"A picture is worth a thousand words" Wednesday

I have so many pictures that either tug at my heart strings, make me smile or crack me up. So starting today and hopefully every Wednesday...I will post a picture of the day. I will TRY to let the pictures do all the talking unless it is little journaling on my part!

Owen Austin Knight, 7 months old, on our first "family vacation" to Sugarland, Texas to visit Ashley while she was interning at First Colony Church of Christ for the summer.


It's a sewing Saturday...

Okay, if you know me well and you just read the title to this blog then you probably thought someone else was writing my blog today. I have always been a little sewing challenged. Okay, maybe A LOT challenged. I am not sure what it is. I just have a hard time following instructions on a pattern. If someone told me that I could have TWO new talents, what would they be? I would love to be able to really sing well and to be able to sew and enjoy sewing. Instead of needing to see a chiropractor after a few hours behind the machine. I am determined, though I realize I am getting OLDER, I still have the deep desire to really be able to sew and I am going to keep working at it. My seam ripper and I are best friends. Well, it is kind of a love-hate relationship really, but still, if I can't find my seam ripper then you know I haven't been sewing much!

So, today's project...I am attempting to make a quiet book for Emma's first birthday. Shh. Don't tell her! I bought a piece of fabric at Cabbage Rose (my all time favorite store) right after she was born. It is a printed "quiet book" so basically the pages were there, it was a matter of cutting it out and putting it together. RIGHT! First of all, one of my many problems is, I can't leave anything alone. My brain starts thinking of ways to embellish, make it cuter, etc. There is where I start getting into trouble. My brain can think up lots of ideas but my brain has no idea how to actually make it happen! Thankfully God has blessed me with several friends who are wonderful seamstresses but also very patient! Case in point: Pam. We had talked about doing quiet books for our latest grandchildren. I love that she is a grandmother because it opened up a whole new world of crafts for us to share in. Anyway, after visiting last Friday morning and looking over my fabric purchase, we returned to the store to buy her a piece of the same fabric and some fat quarters for the pages. The ideas were flowing through our veins. Okay, maybe Pam has a better flow than me and she certainly knows how to make an idea a reality, but still we were cranking out ideas! So, we gathered up our supplies and headed to her sewing room, which is amazing! We quickly went to work. Pam was cutting out our squares, I was applying Wonder Under to the backs, etc. We got ready to start sewing...then we realized...we cut the pages the wrong size. Long story...I will not go into it but we recut all background pages and I begin to iron the ABC'S on to the pages while Pam crank up the Bernina (oh how I would love one of those!!!) and we started making progress, though we were way behind schedule. We worked till late Friday night and both went to bed dreaming of how we would finish them up on Saturday. Well, things didn't really go as planned. It was just taking us longer than we thought. After all, the alphabet has 26 letters plus front and back covers and then mulitiple that times two books...you get the picture. To add to the "fun" we kept thinking we were just both having major hot flashes...being the HOT women we are...but after lunch, when we started climbing back upstairs...we realized we weren't so hot...we were MELTING! Come to find out, the upstairs a/c had decided to quit. Upon checking the thermostat we realized it was in the high 90's and rising! So, we had to haul all the stuff and machine downstairs, regroup and start up production once again! The really sweet and fun part about this story, is the fact that even though we were melting and having some cutting issues...we were having the best time talking and working together. By the time we stopped on Saturday evening, we had both completed the first step of each page and were down to putting them together and the last bit of handwork stuff. I have been dying to work on it all week. So, this morning after finishing up my housework or the housework I HAD to do, I have started. I have made some mistakes. No surprise...let's just say I know where my seam ripper is today. I miss Pam. I miss having someone to laugh while I rip out stuff. I miss all of Pam's ideas. I have named her the QUEEN OF EMBELLISHMENTS. I like things cute, I like to add details. I have always prided myself in the fact that I like to take things to the next level. BUT, my brain isn't as big as Pam's. I cannot believe all the ideas that she can think of, plus the fact that her sewing room has a better stock of embellishments than Tinsel Trading Company in NYC! (If you haven't been there before, you should look them up!) The printed pages were cute, but we wanted little touches on each page that our little ones could touch and feel and that would hopefully hold their attention while Mom and Dad are trying to listen to a sermon! That's the plan anyway!

Because I needed to give my neck muscles a break from the sewing machine...I thought I would blog about the book thus far. Like I said...don't let Emma see these pictures...after all I don't want her to see her birthday present early. Actually, I am just hoping I have it ready in September! :)

It's not finished, which means I should stop writing and get back to the machine. But, I just wanted to stop and thank my sweet and ever patient friend Pam. She inspires me. She teaches me skills I so desire. She loves me warts and all. She also understands my relationship with my seam ripper. Thank you Pam.


Some fun times with some old friends!

When I was in the 5th grade, our family agreed to have a young college girl stay with us for a few days until the dorm opened up. She had been on a mission trip for the summer with ACU (ACC then) and they had returned to Abilene a few days before the dorms were opened for the Fall semester. She was from California. Her name was Linda Smith. I was delighted. I didn't have a sister, but had always wanted one. I got to share my bedroom with her. (Oh boy, looking back on that now, I bet she was really thrilled!) That was a life changing decision on my Mom's part. Linda stole our hearts. She became one of us. She would come spend the weekend with us, holidays, anytime she needed a break from the dorm, etc. On occasion, when she worked in the dorm as a "monitor" she would take me up to spend the night with her in her room! Oh my, for a elementary girl, I was hot stuff! For the next few years we not only fell in love with her but she became of our family. When she started dating Ronnie, they would come hang out at the house. We watched them date, fall in love and later helped plan their wedding. After they married, they lived in a small apartment near ACU. They were both busy with school but we still stayed close. She hired me to clean their apartment. I kid her to this day about my pay. I got 50 cents for cleaning her apartment. Times were different then, but still, I think that was child labor at it's best!! The really sad thing, I loved it! I could hardly wait to hang out with her on Saturday...even if it did mean cleaning! After graduation, they moved to Big Springs where Ronnie began preaching. That is where the first son was born. Then they moved back to Abilene to work at Woodlawn and during that time they had their second son, Jeff. They were in Abilene a few years before they made the decision to move to Iowa, where at the time the church was very weak and needed lots of help! So, they took a job with a congregation and moved far away! Larry and I married a year or so later, and Ronnie married us and Linda was my Matron of Honor. We went to see them in Iowa and stayed close though many miles separated us. They had their third child, Shelli, and my mom and I drove to Iowa to spend some time with them after her birth. This was a priceless time for Mom and I. We had so much fun talking as we drove the many miles and had fun stopping along the way and seeing many beautiful things as we drove. It was so fun to be with Linda and her new little girl. A couple of years later, Larry and I gave birth to Zach. Linda and Ronnie moved to Houston with several other couples to start the Impact Church of Christ. I had Ashley and they adopted Shanna. Linda was like another daughter to my mother. They were very close. Our families have always had a very special connection. We have been there through the good times and the bad. Ronnie, Linda and most of their kids came to stand beside us as Mom was in her final hours. Ronnie had been asked by Mom many years before to lead her Memorial service. He is who we all desired. He knew her well and loved her deeply. I know Ronnie, Linda and their whole family felt the same pain as we were feeling. Their kids were Nanny and Pa's first "grands" and really gave them the names my kids would later call them. It has always been a God-sent relationship. Three of the four of their kids came to ACU. It was a special time for my Mom to "spoil" them. Our relationship is still one that I deeply cherish. When my mom was very ill, the two things she was holding out as her "goals" to attend were Shelli and Jerry's wedding in June and Zach and Meg's wedding in July. She didn't make it, or at least she wasn't on earth anymore. We like to think she had the best seat in the house at both of those weddings! We have remained close...they really are just an extension of our family. God has a way of blessing us in that way doesn't he?

This past week, Linda, Shelli and her two children drove to Ashley's and I came from Abilene, where we had two and 1/2 days of playing, talking, eating, shopping and getting to love of these sweet kiddos! Shelli's has two PRECIOUS little ones...so well behaved and so sweet with Emma. Emma really loved them!! One thing that I really loved, was hearing Shelli and Ashley talk. They enjoyed each other so much and it was so dear to hear them just visiting about "life". I loved seeing that Ashley and Shelli enjoyed visiting as young mothers...just like Linda and I did 30 years ago!

I love this family. They have been a part of my life since I as about 10 or 11. I think back on the first time we had her in our home...little did I know that God was giving me a sister!
Thank you Ashley for hosting the "party"!!! I hope we can make that an annual thing. These friendships are priceless!
Here are a few pictures of our fun!
Cade and Emma playing. Cade was so sweet and patient with her, he kept telling Ashley "I wuv your baby!" Oh how precious!

Linda and I...I have a great one of the two of us MANY years ago, but still the scanner won't scan my pictures. Sorry.

Shelli and her sweet little Paityn