Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Things of Life

Okay --just so ya'll stop complaining that I haven't been keeping you informed --yes, I'm in the current (September) issue of GUIDEPOSTS Magazine. Not a big deal --just a little blurb on the last page. (They saved the best for last, of course!)

Betsy Wetsy Etsy did put your order through. I have your card ready to mail --just need to take it to the post office for hand canceling --wouldn't want that monkey squished in the automated system!

I accept your apology for Sara --although as a Mom, you really needn't take responsiblity for your adult childrens' actions.

And as for the next "thing of life"...and I realize that as I'm typing this, Brillo Man's 'forever oldest' and 'formerly youngest' have yet to learn this news unless they've spoken to Grandma Erskine today....After a very, very long doctor's appointment yesterday, we have learned that Brillo Man's hip which he had replaced in July 2006 will need to be redone. Not fun at all. Although we really knew that this was coming --it wasn't at all easy to hear. Here is the remarkable part --after an hour of intense conversation with his (new, never before seen, 2nd opinion orthopaedic surgeon), Dr. Piston began talking about the Lord and how he knows that God is always there - walking with us through all that this life brings - carrying us when we only see one set of footprints in the sand. He talked about Job, reminding us of all that he endured, yet Job still glorified God. He told us that he would be praying for Randy, not only for his health, but for our finances which in our human eyes will be stretched beyond the limit throughout this process, as Randy will not be able to do any work for a number of months. We both sat in the office and cried as Dr. Piston talked about the faithfulness of the Lord and then gave Randy a huge bear hug! (sorry Brillo Man, now the countless millions who read my blog who all along have just taken you for a comic, will know that deep down, you are a tenderhearted, loveable, sensitive guy...One of the MANY reasons I fell in love with you!) We know that God works ALL things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose!

...And of course, that leads me to another thing of life...a friend and dear sister in the Lord whom I've never met, Arlene, continues to need us to storm the gates of heaven on her behalf! With all that she has and is enduring - her faith has never wavered. I'm sure she has no idea how much of an inspiration she is to me and others who know and love her and follow her blog. We continue to believe for her complete healing and pray that the Lord will be glorified through this situation.

And finally, the last, but not least, thing of was Olivia's official FIRST day of school. She was so excited and got very little sleep the night before. She dressed in the cutest outfit which she had chosen specifically for the first day. As we were ready to walk out the door, she really wanted to take Dolly with her, but I explained that Dolly needed to stay home. Her little mouth began to turn into a pout but thanks to quick thinking, I told her that Dolly would need to be home so she could keep watch over the chocolate pudding that Olivia would have as an after-school snack. It worked! No tears! We waited for the bus and prayed together that she would have a safe, happy day at school. After a full, exhausting day, the bus driver had to wake her up when she arrived at the end of our driveway. But she quickly disembarked, looked at me with evidence of chocolate pudding on her face from lunch and exclaimed that the cafeteria served salad and pizza and peaches and chocolate pudding on her tray for lunch - all her favorites. AND --the best thing of ALL was that she was able to snap her own skirt all by herself after using the bathroom! (She keeps me grounded! --Full of joy over the little things!) But God cares about even the smallest details of our lives. Even the hairs on our heads are counted. "Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
—Matthew 10:29-31, NIV (Jesus speaking).

We should never lose sight of what God can do, big and small. all of today's things of life...I praise Him for the small joys, I praise Him for the expectant big miracles for all who need big miracles...and continue to trust that He is sovereign and faithful and keeping track of my hair count (down three due to the gray ones that I plucked while in the bathroom before typing this blog. Believe me, no one knows how great a miracle it is that He can keep up with my hair count because, as you may remember from my previous post, I spend WAY too much time in any given day removing those rogue hairs from my head!)

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.
-Dueteronomy 7:9

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Got Junk?

While Brillo Man was working his paying job last evening, I was busy creating. (No - my studio isn't done so don't ask.)

Brillo Man is working really hard collecting scrap. He is now the resident expert in dumpster diving. Hey --the mortgage business is NOT good right now and as they say, 'ya gotta do what ya gotta do!' Our working loans are down - way down - and lenders are dropping like flies. On a daily basis we get emails from lenders saying that they're no longer in the business of funding loans. In fact, Countrywide's subsidiaries went out of business and Countrywide had to borrow money. They're one of the biggest lenders - number three as far as dollar amount loan funding is concerned.

So...ya Got Junk? Or as I prefer to say, "Got Junque?" --that spelling is oh so much more...Je ne sais quoi!

Here is a find - along with a bunch of other really neat things --but this was the neatest so far-- from this house that they're cleaning out and getting ready to sell.
One side is engraved "Alice" and the other "1887". Needless to say. We will NOT be scrapping this piece of metal! (you can click on the photo if you REALLY want to see the detail!)

Until the mortgage business improves, Brillo Man will continue with his paying job and I will create and sell my art!

Here are my latest card designs. When the finished cards are completed, they'll be listed on my etsy site. Stay tuned for more! I've got the creative "bug" now!

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Crunch is On

So...with all this talk all these months about my studio....the neat doors we're putting on the ceiling, etc... because of a billion other "priorities" - my studio has not been completed. In fact, it's FAR from started!

Brillo Man said to me two days ago --"This week, I want to get your studio finished." Yeah! Hooray!! Now finally, perhaps with Olivia starting school next week, I'll have some time to get back to my passion of creating!

Here are the "before" photos (All of you who are 'neat freaks' may not want to look - it could be too much for you!):

Some progress HAS been made --the garage door has been removed and two french doors put in it's place. The doorway to the next bay of the garage now has a door and not just an opening. Insulation has been added to the front wall. A pellet stove has been installed. We're not mentioning that all of that was done more than six months ago...

Of course, I'll share the "after" photos. (Brillo Man says one week --I say, don't look for the 'after' photos any time soon. - We still have to drive 60 miles to pick up the old doors which we bought for the ceiling --last summer. I hope the guy still has them!)

In the meantime, look for my art to appear on my etsy site. There are a couple of things there now --just so I could play around with listing.

I hope to get some good stuff listed in time for the Christmas shopping season! I go to work on THE STUDIO!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The First Day

Yesterday was Olivia's first day of Kindercamp.

Kindercamp is a program which our school district has initiated which helps ease kids into kindergarten - thereby hoping to deal with and alleviate any anxieties that the children may have about going to school.

Yesterday, Olivia woke up, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed, excited to start her first day. We drove to the school and assembled in the gymnasium with all the other children and their parents. The students were soon ushered back to their classrooms, ready to begin their adventure. As they walked away and we watched them disappear down the hallway, my friend Jim said, "...there they go...with not even a wave goodbye..." It was then that I got a little bit teary-eyed - but managed to hold to together. After all, we parents would be in the school the entire morning and I would be driving Olivia home.

This morning, however, on day 2, Olivia woke up, all bright-eyed and bushy tailed and excited again because she was going to ride the school bus! I wish I wouldv'e been quick enough to capture the expression on her face when she pointed down the road and exclaimed, "Mommy, the school bus is coming!!" (Okay Mom, hold it together...this is, after all, just a 'dry run'. School doesn't REALLY start until the 28th....this is JUST kindercamp...) The bus moniter emerged and taught Olivia the safe way to board the bus and off they went, down the road. Destination: Adventure!

Now I'm faced with the long walk back down the driveway. Surprisingly, I took a few deep breaths, thanked the Lord for the beautiful morning, and tried to push out of my mind that I've just sent my baby girl out to face the world all on her own. I made up my mind that I wasn't going to cry and instead decided to take some pictures of the flowers growing along the way.

How beautiful they are - created by God just for me to enjoy this morning. But then I saw it - the flowers were crying.

Still - I'm okay...there is a lot that I'm going to be able to accomplish while Olivia is in school and this is going to be a good thing....

Then I came in and started typing...and did really well until I typed the words, "...I've just sent my baby girl out to face the world all on her own." It was then that I could no longer hold back my emotion. The tears are falling...she's in Your hands Lord. Keep her safe. My baby girl is growing up...

...but I don't have to like it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

wasted time....

It's 1:15 am.

Well, that's what time it is while I'm typing.

I'm about to fall asleep - but can't seem to pull myself away from this strange website.

...trying to think what I can put in my microwave...just for fun?

Love this --a complete waste of time and energy! (wasting time is what I'm all about!)

Which one is your favorite?
I think I'm partial to the marshmallows.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

The Great News of the day is that Kelly's EEG revealed NO sign of epilepsy!
They're weaning her off the meds and we're believing that this whole seizure thing was just a one-time incident - never to return again! Our God Reigns! Jehovah Rapha - The Lord Who Heals!!

After a stressful day in our mortgage business world...Olivia decided that she was going to perform a Ballet for any and all who were interested. She lined up quite a few of her stuffed animals, requested that I play some appropriate ballet music and then she and Ballerina Bear did a dance after her brief introduction:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, announcing Olivia!
I will now begin my dance for Jesus!
Please take your seats
so the dance can begin!"

The entire time she was dancing, she was also singing another of her 'made-up' songs..."God is holy, I will worship Him, He is holy, He is holy, We will praise Him and dance for Him for He is holy..."

She makes my heart smile - and is ever so good at reminding me that life is so much more than mortgages, bills and worries about finances.
God is good.
All the time!

Here she is, following the performance, with some of her "fans".

Left to Right: Purpley CareBear, Olivia-Prima Ballerina, Orangey Bear, Valentine Bear, Dolly Lolly, Dolly Polly, cousins of the ever-beloved Dolly (note, Dolly appears as though she has been dragged through the mud --can we EVER give her a bath? NO! Her trusted ever-present companion...just wait until school starts!...Dolly and Oxyclean are going to have some time to get to know each other!), Bob and Larry, and "the Orange Bear that those nice people at Stuffmart gave her after they won it in the crane thing." Not Pictured: Dolly Molly (Dolly's sister) and Birthday Hippo - both of whom were taking a nap. Also note her legs --with the "tattoos" of Ariel and Belle --which are obviously wearing off. "MOM! I HAVE TO GET NEW TATOOS AND YOU HAVE TO TAKE THAT PICTURE AGAIN!"

More Fans:

...And now the encore...

Our Prima Ballerina with Ballerina Bear

Wardrobe provided by Grandma Leanne

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Rock

In the midst of uncertainty
there is God

when you can’t possibly anticipate what’s next
there is God

when the entire world seems restless
there is God

The Rock
that consumes all fears
of the unknowing
restless things
in this life

stand firm
the ground beneath you is solid
when you’re standing on The Rock

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name
On Christ, The Solid Rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand...

—Edward Mote (1797-1874)

As Jesus said, "Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet, it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." -Matthew 7:24-25

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Finally Doing That "Tag" Thing....

Eight Random Facts About Myself:

1) I spend too much time
on any given day
searching for gray hairs
and plucking them out.

2) I can’t think of any day
when I haven’t been
in denial of something.

3) My “Top Ten Things to Do Before I Die” list
includes taking a ride in a hot air balloon.

4) I don’t have a favorite color,
although Olivia INSISTS that it’s green.
(Although if Brillo Man
should ever want
to buy me some jewelry...
the Emerald IS my birth stone after all...)

5) If I read one book per week,
it would take me more than five years
to read all the books that I own.

6) As I type this, (at 1:24 am)
I am wishing I had
a piece of sausage and black olive pizza
from Pizza Joe’s.

7) I don’t like snowball fights.
(It’s all fun and games
until someone loses an eye!)

8) One of my favorite scents
is the smell of Crayola crayons.

(This Next photo is just for you Pat...)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Update on Kelly

Hello All!

We so appreciate all your prayers and concern for Kelly!

She is home from the hospital and will be staying with Brillo Man's parents (her grandparents) for several days. She has an appointment with a neurologist on the 9th. They haven't given her a specific diagnosis, although they've prescribed Dilantin which is an anti-seizure medication used to treat epilepsy.

It is beyond my scope of comprehension why they haven't told her anything and are waiting until she sees the neurologist. They haven't given her any indication at all as to the results of the myriad of tests that they performed. ?

Having worked at a HUGE university teaching hospital where things are addressed with expediency...this is very frustrating!!!

Anyway --that's the update. We appreciate your continued prayers and of course, I'll keep you all updated as I know more.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

Hello all -

Brillo Man's daughter, Kelly (age 21), is currently in the Emergency Room undergoing tests. She had two seizures this morning and is understandably very frightened.
I appreciate all your prayers.