Thursday, January 30, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

Its funny sometimes I wonder if we live under a cloud of complicated situations. Today I found out that the kids needed $100 between the younger two by tomorrow morning, Its amazing how quickly the trips, extra curricular's etc add up. Their science field trip to the zoo is $25, I remember the days when the Houston Zoo was $5. So we ran to town to get money from the bank, went to Walmart to get what we needed for Zekaryah's birthday dinner.. Came home and I had forgotten to swing by Walgreen's. While I was gone MeKenzei discovered she didn't have her AP Human homework, which she completed a week ago-  I know she did it because I was super impressed she was so far ahead. She text messages me to COME HOME NOW..I came home to a girly crying beyond belief.
Meanwhile Zekaryah and Jakob try to remedy dinner which I obviously didn't have time to make.
I contact a friend to find that her daughter has her assignment in the gym locker which is luckily open because there was a soccer came at the school. We run, get the assignment and come back to make the template so she can start on it.
While I am gone the waffle maker blew the lock for some reason and didn't want to cook the waffles. After helping the boys get the one they put on  off so more could be made. We discovered you could hold it down and they kind of sort of cooked. I offered to buy pizza but waffles were HIGHLY important. I was not driving to Walmart for another one tonight. I am thankful the kids made due with dinner. 
We returned the homework back to school, while gone did I mention that the waffle iron decided it really didn't want to work anymore it blew the surge protector, so we will be replacing it for sure now. Maybe a good Valentines Day gift? I checked on girly after dinner, she is already so tired and asked for coffee. I don't drink coffee and Paul hasn't been home much in forever so I offered to run to Mc D's for a Frappe. While that didn't ease the blow of redoing 7 pages of AP Human Vocab, sentences and illustrations, it did show that I was supporting her in her all night endeavor to get credit for this assignment. What a difficult lesson to learn, that you really do have to keep binders instead of little plastic folders, that it is better to separate your homework even though your big brother doesn't. I  know she will get it done, its important to her and I bet she really pays attention to where she places things. Last time she remembers having her homework was for a quiz last Thursday. What an evening..I am most thankful that my son came up and said he had an amazing day. I am thankful since it sure was a stressful one.

Changes for our Girly

Mekenzei has been enjoying High School. I think that she wanted something new. All Christmas Break she asked about cutting her bangs. She had been asking for several months and since she was still wanting it I agreed. It takes a long time for us to grow our hair, unlike most people, so it is a huge deal when you want to cut large lengths off. 
I really love it, she didn't go super short but enough that it added some texture to her hair. It gave her more of the teen look that i think she was looking for too. She definitely has her own style and I am so thankful for that.
Another change this month is the orthodontist deciding to remove her braces. She was super excited. The first thing she said is she could not wait to eat an APPLE. I had to laugh- not candy, gum etc but an apple. Its amazing that we take some simple things like biting into a whole apple for granted. Now if they will just call us for her retainer I would be a happy camper. Their machine broke the day they were supposed to make hers and the new one hasn't come in yet. Its been a week so that makes me a nervous mama about those teeth moving. She sure does have a beautiful smile!

Work and Travel

The Lord has brought a lot to our plates as of late. Its been very challenging to have Paul gone frequently. I am thankful that we are trying to grab the smallest moments together lately. I am not sure what the Lord is trying to teach us yet but I know he has a plan for us.  It reminds me a lot of the days when our children were very little and he was gone often in the early stages with Compaq. It really makes me miss my mom so much. She was a great source of comfort during his absences. She was someone I could talk to when I got lonely or discouraged. I know it seems crazy that I have lived here 19 years and don't truly have anyone that I have that kind of relationship with. I am not sure why. I tend to make friends that are connected to things that I am involved in, not really friends that I do outside events with. I don't go out  or get away. I pretty much surround my life with the activities of the kids and my husband. I am learning how much impact that decision might be in four years time.
This past weekend Paul got to come home Thur night only to fly back out Monday. I was very thankful for the time but I admit my biploar is much more affected this time around. The first few nights are always more difficult, so since he came back and is gone two more weeks again, there is that readjustment time.
I know the weather is part of the issue too, this constant back and forth between cold and somewhat warm is a little crazy, combined with cloudy days and low sunlight. I found myself really struggling today to work on an order. I am hoping that this too will pass and we will be back to our normal lives soon enough. I am super thankful that he is so successful at his job, that they need him and are very appreciative of his time. I am also thankful when layoffs are happening all over our country this little bit of knowledge secures his job. I take comfort in knowing that his traveling will be minor compared to so many soldiers and other  father's/mother's that travel much more frequently and sometimes for many more months/years than my husband.

Academic Decathlon

This past weekend the High School held an Academic Decathlon. It typically takes place over the course of 2 days. With our crazy weather here in Texas we had to cancel school on Friday and we thought the competition would also be canceled. With the help of so many volunteers the competition was held in its entirety on Saturday. It made it a very long day for the students. I was so proud of Jakob. He has come a long way in his competition skills. He is so much more confident than he was a few years back and that was apparent in this years interview, where he nearly scored a perfect 10. He got 3rd place in Economics and was the top scorer overall for our school.
Our high school took 3rd place overall, they can go to state and oversee the competition there. Jakob will likely opt to compete at the Skills USA competition that same weekend. Last year he competed in Technical Math and did very well. I am praying he has even more success this year.

Sweet Moments

I don't know why but I am addicted to sleeping moments. There is just something so precious about them. Its funny all four dogs were sleeping prior to me stepping up to take this picture of all of them and Zekaryah. It has been so cold here and I know they were all trying to stay warm together.
Another moment I caught this month. Kenzei had come home from school and wasn't feeling well and the dogs were comforting here and keeping watch. I can't take pictures of myself and the dogs but they have been this way with me all weekend. They sure are amazing friends.

Purex Fresh Mountain Breeze Crystals Coupon and Sweepstakes

I love the simplicity of Purex Crystals for the laundry. I love that I can add the amount that I desire so that my clothes and towels are not too fragrant but if I need a little more than I can add a little more to the load. I have an example of needing a little more long lasting scent- that is my bedding and the dogs bedding.
We have acquired two new great danes, the first was an abandoned dog that a friend found. He escaped after the first night and my children were devastated. This same friend came across another great dane which we decided to take in. A few days later the stray wandered up. So after a couple of weeks of coaxing and nearly a month of loving on him we have four dogs. That can be quite a handful and boy can it create a smelly room.
I love these crystals. They last much longer than liquid fabric softener and help me not have a home that smells like I am raising a pack of dogs.
Purex is not only allowing me to give out 3 coupons but they are holding a sweepstakes
One grand prize winner will receive $500 and 100 additional winners will receive a coupon for a free bottle of NEW Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze. Purex Crystals go in at the start of the wash and infuses your clothes with freshness that lasts for not just days but weeks!
Go Enter today

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy 16th Birthday Zekaryah

Happy Birthday 16th Zekaryah
16 Fun Facts about Zekaryah
1. He was born early. I was out moving limbs due to a storm and I guess I pushed the limits. I came home thinking I was just in comfortable and learned that I was in labor. By the time we got to the hospital I was 9 inches dilated and was delayed due to an epidural which I should have never received. Hes been "running" ever since.
2. He was the late on everything- last to walk, talk, never really crawled and to this day is the last out of bed, last to do homework, last one to let you down if your his friend.
3. He Loves Water- he lived in the bathtub, he always tries to swim in Uncle Davids pool at St. Patricks Day, he can be creative with water too like making a Huckleberry Finn Raft one time on vacation.
4. He is my relaxed child. He loves to spend time by himself building forts in our back yard. There are remnants of them everywhere.
5.  It is hard to get a serious photo with him, he has been a HAM forever. I often get upset that I don't get that "good" photo" yet I find those are the ones I always seem to pull up. I am glad I don't delete them.
6. RED DYE is a big no no, esp if we combine that with video games. One year our friends Matt and Stef found that out the hard way..
7. His siblings always complain that he is annoying but they secretly do love him. I capture those moments all the time.
8. He was always into EVERYTHING. Hence photo above in the bottom of my filing cabinet. This past year he tried to fix an electric heater with a can of air cleaner that you use for a computer. It was a terrible mistake. Luckily it just removed his ability to breath for a short time, it cinched some hair and scared the living daylights out of all of us. I know this will not be the last time..
9. He loves to sing. Sometimes this is not a blessing but most of the time I am in awe just to listen. I was very proud last year when he and his sister sang a duet together. I am thankful to the choir teacher that believed in him that he could perform on stage and gave him that opportunity.
10. He loves to Run and is very good at it. I am not sure what High school will hold for Zekaryah with running, up until this years track season he truly loved to run, however lately it seems like the coach pressure may be a little much. I am praying God works that out.
11. Zekaryah loves HUGS. I cannot even express to you how many hugs Zekaryah wants in a day. I see him hug all his friends constantly, i know sometimes they get annoyed by this.
12. He loves God. He does such a good job at showing us constantly that the Lord is first in his life. He prays before meets even if others don't. He prays with friends before he eats. He also is not afraid to talk to others about God.
13. He has an amazing hand with vines. He makes the most beautiful wreaths! He loves to give them as gifts.
14. He is my least picky food wise. He doesn't always mind trying new things. He is the easiest to cook for.
15. He loves with his whole heart, which is huge!
16. He is super sensitive about not learning like other students. This makes him super compassionate towards children with limitations of any kind. He works so hard to achieve A's and B's where possible and I know that patience in his own life transcends into the lives of others.

Zekaryah's Surprise 16th Birthday Party from His Friends

Happy Birthday 16th Zekaryah from your friends!
I had planned a birthday party for Sunday since Paul was only home a couple of days and had to leave out again for work. He had asked for five friends to get together, go to the movies, have chili dogs, chips and cheesecake. When we were talking on Friday I came to realize that he really wanted to go to church camp and I could not afford to do both the deposit of $100 and have a get together/movies out. He needed to make a decision. I was very proud of him for choosing camp over the get together, I know it was a hard choice to make but with the lack of money coming in we truly could not afford both right now.
My husband and I missed the surprise party that his friends moms threw for him. I was at an Acadec volunteer day for our oldest and Paul was working a side job. I really wish Paul had known so he could have stepped away from work for a while. I know its hard on him to miss this birthday for Zekaryah not only is he turning 16 but he has never missed one of his birthday's before. I am however super thankful that his friends did this for him. I know they made it such a special birthday. Tonight at church he was able to give the pastor his $100 for camp, now he just needs to raise $300 more. Mekenzei was only able to give $16 but hopefully God will also meet her needs as well.
I think the best photo is the boys praying. I know I capture these moments all the time with cross country, track and choir but this one was just as special. It means a lot to see he is surrounded with such a wonderful group of young men.

Variable Quilt with Tshirts

These quilts seem to be a new addition to my store front and a unique experience for me as a quilter. They do cost a little more than the traditional tshirt quilt I create but the customers sure do love the unique look of their quilts. I have creative license in most cases and just piece according to all the t shirts they send so that the blocks are more random.
This customer had some tshirts with some larger designs and then some that were tank tops or maybe just had small graphic designs on the front, so that allowed me to create some units that would go together.
In this quilt the top and bottom are very similar and then the middle section is also the same, so you basically have three units to create the whole quilt.
This customer wanted the same cotton fabric on the front and back and she wanted something very plain. 
This was my first order to Hawaii, I was a little nervous, I have seen some BEAUTIFUL quilts there through photos. The customer wrote to tell me the quilt was Adorable. I love that...

January Quilt Orders

Back in December I had a request for 6 Vanderbilt Quilts for a customer for her 2 nieces and 4 nephews. I was unable to accomplish them in December but she was good with having them by the end of January. These quilts are always a little more challenging because they require more backing so when you have so many orders you have to purchase flannel online- i needed 24 yards! Then another challenge was this crazy weather and being able to pin the quilts outside. Thankfully we had a warmer day and I took advantage of it and pinned them all in one day. That was a lot of work. I think its really neat to see how they all are similar yet very different too. I hope they love their gifts!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Moments together

I think with all of Paul's traveling we seize some of our own moments lately. We happened to look back and see that sometimes we forget to take photos of ourselves when we get all these snap shots of the kids. We are trying to make sure we do better with that. One of the kids snapped this shot Christmas morning. I love it.
We actually got a night away for our anniversary this year. I found an incredible deal in Galveston so we took advantage of it. I am super thankful Jakob took this photo for us before we left because it was so cold and miserable we didn't get any photos of ourselves while on the trip, then I must have eaten something because I became pretty sick that evening and we actually came straight home after check out. We had another trip planned for this month with a friend and her husband to Louisiana, I am thankful that we went for our anniversary because we had to cancel since Paul's work needed to send him to Ohio. Sometimes the Lord really does impress things like dates upon us, we need to learn to listen because we almost missed this opportunity in planning for the future instead of the moment in front of us.

MeKenzei and just a day of some photos

Teenage years are fun. Kenzei was just doing homework and I saw how absolutely beautiful she looked so I suggested we go outside and snap a couple of photos.
We are thinking of letting her post some photos for a local boutique and see if she might win a modeling slot for them.
I am learning to really pay attention to some small moments in time to preserve memories, there wasn't anything particularly special about this day but I sure did get some precious photos.

Jakob Senior Photo Take Two

We had taken Jakob to lunch and saw this cute place near where we were eating that was abandoned, so I took about 8 pictures and two turned out really good. We hope to keep getting a few more really good shots so that I can make his graduation announcements from them.
I love this one..

January Quilt Orders

12 Clothing items to create a memory quilt of a husbands clothing.
5 Tshirts from High School Homecoming to create a Keepsake
12 Tshirts and some extra fabric to create a twin size quilt to preserve Softball Memories