Friday, April 30, 2010

Dancing in the Rain

"Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain"

Have you ever had one of "those" weeks?? Of course you have...what a silly question! Well, my week this week was one of "those". It was so much one of "those" that I am ashamed to say that I really couldn't bring myself to do a "Thankful Thursday" post yesterday as I normally do. Wednesday and Thursday were so negative and full of ugliness that I was grasping for anything positive just to help me endure the day!

The week really started out OK, but there was certainly a series of unfortunate (maybe fortunate in the long run) events. I say that because now that it is Friday, I can look back and see that many lessons were learned and as painful as they were, it was necessary for me to learn them...all of them...AGAIN!

I learned that there are people in this world who can't help but lie! Yes, they have a choice, but they choose to lie and for some reason can't, or won't, help themselves by telling the truth and more importantly, they don't live in truth! Maybe they just don't know how to do that so my judgments of them are futile and wrong.

I learned that I am WAY too naive about trusting certain relationships. I have found out that talk is sometimes the cheapest thing around! It means absolutely nothing if it is not backed up by action! I learned that there are people who are so selfish that they actually exploit relationships to only benefit themselves. So sad, but so true. Betrayal is painful and sometimes irreparable. Forgiveness is ALWAYS necessary, but that same forgiveness doesn't always require the continuation of those very relationships...sometimes cutting ties is the ONLY way to heal...

I learned that when one door closes (even by choice) that God always leads you to another door which can be opened if we trust in Him with all of our heart. I also learned that "exercising" faith is called exercise for a reason!

I learned that time is sometimes the greatest blessing...and that making big decisions during the heat of high emotions is the worst decision you can possibly make. For me this is sometimes difficult because I like to resolve things MY time...I often ignore GOD'S time...BIG mistake! Being still and patient is not my strong suit but I'm working on it and remembering to give myself a break...I'm a work in progress.

And finally, I learned that life is beyond PRECIOUS and can be cut short in an instant! One of our "Beatles" friends was taken from us very unexpectedly early yesterday morning and left behind a devastated, but strong wife. He touched the hearts of so many of us through his gift of music...even those who didn't know him personally. His passing has reminded me to live each moment as if it's my last and look forward to future moments as if they are the first and to never leave things undone. Express love and kindness often and liberally...remember to compliment, hug, smile and say "I love you often...

I have seen a lot of ugliness this week from so many people...From total strangers to people who are supposed to love us. I have shed many tears and ached as I have realized that we live in a world where we have become a selfish society and don't care if we hurt each other. Good old fashioned manners have become obsolete...they have breaks my heart!

Today, on this Friday, I am thankful for LIFE LESSONS...They are painful to learn. They usually beat us up. Sometimes they bring out ugliness is us. But when the storm passes and the winds calm, we become stronger, more vibrant, we heal and ultimately become happier. I am so thankful for the people in my life who really do love me and who aren't selfish in showing it...I'm thankful for a husband who loves me and allows me to have one of "those" weeks without judgment and instead, encourages, uplifts and supports me no matter what!

So, Thank you, Lord, for loving me enough to give me one of "those" weeks...I survived and I promise to remember to Dance in the Rain!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We're Not In Kansas Anymore...Or Are We?

Kansas probably gets a bad rap all because of a little movie we all know and love! When I was a kid growing up in California, I felt sorry for people who lived in Kansas because I figured they all lived on the desolate plains and lived in fear of the constant barage of tornadoes! I was very pleasantly surprised, the first time I went there to see that it was a beautiful state and the weather happened to be perfect while I was there!

For the past few days, we have had beautiful Spring weather. In my small town, there is a lot of talk about the weather because we live in the mountains and have pretty extreme winters. This year has been really rough. So anyway, we have all been excited for any glimpse of warm weather.

Tuesday night was CrAzY!! About 5:00 PM, I noticed that the wind was picking up. I had heard that there might be more snow on its way...REALLY?!? I didn't give it much thought. I had to be somewhere at 6:30 and by the time I was getting into my car, the wind was so fierce that I seriously had difficulty getting to it let alone getting my things into it. Like I said, CrAzY!

By the time I got home, around 8:00, it was OUT-OF-CONTROL! I noticed that my back door mat was gone...vanished! My outdoor chairs were knocked over (and they're made of heavy metal!) We lost our power for a minute, not for long, and heard the fury of the wind. I fell asleep.

Yesterday morning when I woke up, this is what I saw:
My sweet little neighbor's tree was destroyed and landed on either a phone line or power line...not sure. 
Our Flag Pole is totaled.

My "Welcome Spring" sign blew off the door! And even the roof and top of my bird house blew off!

But this is what amazes me! We had a few trees trimmed earlier in the day. There is a big pile of cut limbs waiting to be hauled away and NONE of them moved an inch...I just don't get it!

And then we had snow...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tote Bag Tutorial

The other day I made 4 of these bags for my Littles. I had no pattern so they are all a bit different in size, but no worries...the kids LOVE them!

I cut the main body of the fabric 12" X 24". I then folded it in half and sewed up just one side. Then I cut a piece of fabric for the top border. It was about 3" X 24". I folded it in half (wrong sides together) and sewed it around the top. Next I cut a piece for a pocket about 6" X 6". I hemmed it then sewed it on about 3 inches from the bottom of the top border.

Confused yet?? I then sewed up the other side of the body, turned it right side out and pressed it. We're almost done...

Finally I made the handle. This is very subjective. About 24" X 3" is good. Fold it in half length wise and sew it up, leaving the ends open. You now need to turn it right side out...this may take a few minutes, but when it's done it looks great. Press it then fold in the ends (again, I ironed them) and sew them on the outside of the bag. I sewed a square around the bottom of the handle and then sewed an X to make sure it was secure.

There you have it! Easy-peasy and they are done in less than an hour! I used my "Cricut" to cut their initial and then used iron-on transfer paper. Voila! Personalized bags that they love for their "important" things!

I even made one for my grandson, Anthony, but didn't get a picture taken of his :( I used "Cars" fabric with a bright green for the pocket, trim and handle...Surprisingy, he was thrilled! And the best part about this was that they cost me about $3.00 each!

Stella Update

Stella finally got her cast on Monday. Of course she picked pink. They also wrapped her other leg so she would take the stress off of it. She actually hasn't complained since she got it on because she says it feels better.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Do you ever feel like this? I have been so exhausted lately and only wish that I could sleep anywhere, anytime like these Littles do...They have no idea how lucky they are!

When I was working as a Flight Attendant, my sleep patterns were SO messed up. I would wake up in a different time zone everyday and I operated on very little sleep on a regular basis. It has taken me a good 5 years to get back into a regular sleep routine...but lately I am getting to bed late and waking up early.

How do I harness the energy of these Littles and their ability to just "drop"? Any suggestions??


Monday, April 26, 2010

Mother's Intuition

On Friday, 3 of my Littles went to Salt Lake to spend the weekend with their daddy. Since Alakina had a birthday this past week, it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate with her other grandparents. So the girls were totally excited to go spend the weekend at their grandparents house with their dad.

As soon as we all said our "goodbyes", Aja came into my house and said that her anxiety had kicked in. This is her first weekend since her separation where she would have NO kids from Friday afternoon until around 6:00PM Sunday night. She was excited for the quiet, but stressed at the same time. She didn't have a great feeling...nothing against her soon-to-be ex, she was just anxious.

Since she had to work that night, Brad and I were also looking forward to a quiet evening without 3 little "tornados" running around! (they have been staying with us for the past month until her house comes available). We had plans to have dinner at our neighbors house.

As we were literally walking out the door, my cell rang and it was Aja. I answered and she was in an absolute panic! Little Stella (her 2 1/2 year old) had somehow pulled a T.V. down while reaching for something that was on top of it and it had shattered, pinning her legs underneath the rubble...when she got the call, Stella AND Ali were screaming in the background and she was told to meet her ex and his mother at Primary Children's Hospital down in SLC. We had a wonderful time at our neighbors, but I was anxious the entire time...

We are so blessed! The doctor said that since it was an old T.V., if the glass had shattered (everything shattered BUT the glass screen) she could easily have been severely cut, incurred internal injuries or even worse...been killed. But instead, she ended up with 2 broken legs.

Her left leg is the most severe. She encountered a "buckle" break of the tibia and it will be cast on Wednesday..currently it is in a splint and wrapped. Her right leg is just a "hair-line" fracture. If she was older, she'd have to have that one cast as well but since her little bones are so soft, the doctors are hopeful that it will heal quickly and since she can't walk, they don't feel the need to splint or cast it.

I have often marveled at "Mother's Intuition". I know that it is real! I know that the heart's electromagnetic field is 5000 times more powerful than the brain's and that we, as mothers, learn pretty quickly to listen to our heart! This sweet little one will be fine and she will heal quickly. In no way was her daddy to blame...this could have happened anywhere. Aja learned a valuable lesson in listening to her "gut"...not that she would have kept her from going with her dad, but maybe she would have reminded him that Stella is a climber or even just share her concerns.

Friday night, after the hospital stint, Aja brought Stella to our house, leaving her 2 other kidlets in Salt Lake with their daddy and grandparents. Brad and I took her for a walk on Saturday was beautiful out and Stella was thrilled to see the new colt by our house.

I am so thankful that this was a relatively minor accident. It could have been worse. Angels were protecting her and for that I am eternally thankful. She was sweet and well behaved, loving and, as always, precious.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pure Sweetness

Do you remember getting your first bike? I don't, but I do remember trying to ride my brother's 10 speed and of course falling and getting stabbed in the left knee...I still have a KNARLY scar...I guess nobody worried about stitches back in the 60's. I also remember going off a bike jump and skidding on the rough asphalt FACE FIRST. I did get stitches that time, 32 to be exact and still sport a lovely scar on the bottom of my chin..anyway, I had several bikes and I do remember that it was always a big deal when I got a new one.

On Ali's birthday, her mommy presented her with the sweetest, most precious bike I have seen in a long time. It is a beautiful Periwinkle color, with hints of blue and purple. It has soft-hued tassels on the handlebars and the seat is silver with polkadots and stars on it. Instead of a basket it had has a clear pouch with light purple and blue stars and dots on it as well. It was raining a bit, but that didn't dampen her spirits!
(She does wear a helmet and pads, this was just the initial trial ride!)
When I saw this sweet bike, I immediately was transported back to my childhood...a LONG TIME AGO...and was flooded with the memories of wanting a new bike so bad that I could almost die if I didn't get one...I remember the "Sting Ray" handlebars and the "Banana" seat. That was a must! We never wore helmets, arm pads or knee pads and I have a few more scars to show for that!

I also go her some Roller Blades that I found at Walmart. They are just the beginners by Fisher Price, but she LOVED them and had a blast trying them out...she actually did VERY well  and aside from a few wobbly moments, we were amazed at her ability to stay up on them!
Then Stella wanted a turn and Ali was so sweet to her, sharing and helping her because she was now a pro!

Life was so simple when I was a kid! For me it consisted of playing outside with friends, riding our bikes all over our neighborhood and this would start at sun-up and end at sundown!

I hope this sweet bike and these skates bring the same kind of fond memories for my precious Alakina as all of my bikes and skates did for me...without all of the scars, of course!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday: Humor

Ali with my dad, her Great-Grandfather

Today I'm thankful for HUMOR...all kinds of good humor...but especially the innocent humor of little children.

My sweet little granddaughter, Alakina, had her birthday today. She came bounding into my room yesterday morning and proudly announced, "Nana, I turned into 4 today!" SO cute!

She was talking to my daughter Brittany (her aunt) on the phone and told her the same thing. When she turned the phone over to me, Britt commented on how cute that was and I smartly said, "I guess that means I turned into 54!". There was a pause and then, very seriously she said, "Wow, I didn't know you were that old!"... REALLY?!?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Homemade Wipes

With the economy the way it is and with not a lot of positive outlook in the near future, I am always looking for ways to save money but I hate to have to give up certain things. One thing that I absolutely LOVE is a nice container of "Sanitizing Wipes". I usually pay around $5-$8 per container and I admit that I go through them pretty fast. So as you can imagine, the cost is pretty high each month.

I have found a way to have what I want and to save BIG money in the process...I have learned to make my own!
You need your favorite disinfecting cleaner, a disposable container with an lid and a roll of strong paper towels...

"Saw" the roll of paper towels in half...a serrated blade works best.

Mix approximately 2 cups of warm water with 2-4 Tablespoons of your fav cleaner...This is dependant upon your own particular liking...
Make sure it's soaked completely through. I turn the roll as I pour the liquid so it soaks throughly and be sure to soak the cardboard center. This provides for easier removal.

If you have an old "Wipe" container, squish it in..if not, you can leave it in the disposable container, squish it down and put the lid on it and pull the wipes from the center each time you use them.
Ta Da...there you have it! And for only pennies. The cost breakdown is as follows:

  • $1.59 for a roll of Paper Towels (and that makes 2)

  • $.50 for the container (I got it at the Dollar Store)

  • Approximately $.05 for the cleaning liquid
Total: $1.35 for the initial roll...if you reuse the container...well, you get the point!

I'll admit that the individual towels are not as strong as the store bought wipes, but it is still cheaper and if you can find the industrial paper towels (they're usually blue) you'll get a stronger wipe.

I also made baby wipes. I went to the dollar store, bought a large bottle of baby shampoo and a large bottle of baby oil. The process is the same, just add 2-4 Tablespoons of the shampoo and 1-2 Tablespoons of baby oil! They work great!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Birthday Week Madness!

Well the big birthday party has come and gone. It was hectic, chaotic, adorable, sweet, crazy, did I say hectic and chaotic? Oh, and loud! But the kids had fun and that's what really mattered!

Aja and Brittany had a joint party for their little girls, two of my Littles, Alakina and Brooklyn, since Brooklyn's 1st birthday was on the 10th and Ali's 4th birthday is tomorrow. They had it at a friend's house who has a big backyard and we were praying for good weather. Our prayers were answered! This was a first for both of my daughters...they have each always had their children's parties at a "facility" who did all of the work and they have always paid at least $200.00 for each party. I was pleased to see them do all of the work this year and anxious to see what they came up with. They started out with grand plans! That quickly changed...

The big "event" of the party was the making of the tiara's (crowns for the little boys). It was a mess, but the kids LOVED this activity and were busy gluing, sticking and glittering whatever they could on them then proudly displayed their creations for the rest of the party by proudly wearing them the entire was cute!
We started outside but the wind came up so we moved it indoors...

Britt made cupcakes. Of course, they were a hit as well! The kids played and ran, and laughed.

The girls wanted to keep it simple, and did, and although it was a lot of work, the kids had a great time. A few things that they had planned on didn't work out, but it was OK. Even old friends showed up and Brittany was especially thrilled to see her friend, Sara, whom she hadn't seen in probably 10 years!

One mother made this adorable princess quilt...(wish I had gotten a better is SO cute)
I was absoultely amazed at how good all of the kids were! And Alakina was SO excited over every gift...she even used her manners and thanked each child for their gifts.

They day was completed when a few of us all decided to go to Tommy's Bar-B-Que for dinner. It was delicious...again, very loud and crazy but well worth it and a great time. Kids were exhausted and cranky by this time, but overall they had a great day!

I realized as I watched this party unfold that these sweet innocent little children just want to be with people they love, doing the things they love. They don't care about what didn't happen, they care about and are thankful for what did happen! It was so sweet to watch each child get SO excited when they handed their gift to each birthday girl and watch with anxious anticipation as their gift was opened and then gratefully accepted. I know that a lot of work went into this party and my girls were exhausted, but their labor of love was appreciated by me and I know their daughters appreciated it even though they are young and unable to realize what all went into it. Someday, they will know, just like my daughters took doing the work themselves to realize it, but now they know! Photobucket