Archive for August, 2011

August Ten on Ten

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1. Daily morning fare; 2. So happy to be cool; 3. Lyd and Stef working on the “L” sound; 4. OT obstacle course prescribed by Sara and executed by Sam; 5. Still at it and working hard for Brittanie; 6. New lift on Lyd’s new birthday shoes, thanks to Brandon and Ken! 7. Weekly library trip; 8. Yeah. 9. Sustenance for the trip home; 10. My tired pinked pigs in the grass at Mom and Dad’s.

Yea! for Ten on Ten.

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Some Recent Art

Despite–or, maybe, because of–being in survival mode, I’ve had the opportunity to complete some art the last few days. First, I got to participate in a quick, fun Artist Trading Card swap hosted by the lovely Lauren. I got to send an ATC to Karen.

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Because I like the Bible, calligraphy, crayon and embroidery, that’s what I used to make my card. Plus, I added some glitter. Clara had the brilliant idea of using the pattern of a tin ceiling tile as the inspiration for my design.

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The card I received in the swap is from Lauren.

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It totally made me smile.

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The next piece of “art” I completed was something I had on my “to-do” list for several weeks. It is a thank-you card to my dad. It’s nothing special to see. It’s not very beautiful or artistic.

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It’s not even intended for public viewing. In fact, it is, by its nature, quite personal. So I hesitated to put it on my blog.

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But I hoped that if I included it here, someone might be inspired to write a big thank-you card to someone in his or her life. Before it is too late.

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Then, I actually completed my first SheArt piece! Oh, my! I was so thrilled!

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I have been waiting and waiting to use the ideas I learned in Christy Tomlinson’s class. (Which, btw, I highly recommend…take it if you have the least inclination!)

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Everything she presented in the course was so foreign to me–from the layers and texturing to the quick pace. I mean, to think that I completed this in about an hour blows my mind.

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It’s almost like stream-of-consciousness art.

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I was determined to use every basic technique she taught in this first piece I attempted. I used paper, acrylics, spray washes, stamps, stencils, rub-ons. You name it.

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And I love, love, LOVE the finished product. I mean, I LOVE it. I could not be more satisfied with it.

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Now, I’m working on some ideas for more SheArt. Stay tuned!

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Survival Mode

I feel like I’m in survival mode right now. The other day, I wondered, How long will it be until my first thought upon awakening will be a pleasant thought instead of an anxious one? Yes, I know that I need not be anxious about anything…I’m talking about the thought that pops into my brain the moment I reach consciousness and I am, as yet, unable to control it. So much is going on in so many realms of my life that I am just running on adrenaline.

I have been resisting the urge to blog about everything that is going on because: 1) I think that the only people who read my blog regularly enough to read this are smack in the middle of the whole melee themselves; 2) I hate weird drama on blogs; 3) I want my blog to be more craft-focused than it currently is; and 4) I don’t want to come across as gripey.

But, I think that it is cathartic for me to organize my thoughts in writing and this is my chosen forum. So…. The last couple of weeks have involved a great many Optional Life Activities AND Non-optional Life Activities. I guess that’s how I’ll organize my thoughts.

Optional Life Activities have mostly involved 4-H. The Family Mission Statement that Joey and I wrote many, many years ago, now, basically states that we intend to be a UNIFIED family, to God’s glory. Consequently, over the years, we have chosen activities that unify rather than divide our family. I love 4-H as one of these activities because the kids all have the common experience of participating in 4-H while nurturing their own particular interests within the organization.

Despite all kinds of concurrent Non-optional Life Activities, we barreled on through with 4-H projects this summer, as usual. Maybe because 4-H is the usual, the normal, the somewhat predictable, we felt a need to participate as always. And, you know, it still serves us well in the unification department. For example, experienced-but-retired-4-Her, Amelia, was ready, willing and able to sew with Margaret and Eleanor. They completed garments that they enjoyed taking to fair and I would think that Amelia was somewhat as pleased as Margaret and Eleanor were at the special styling recognition that they each received for styling those garments. Similarly, Clara, Jacob and Tim helped out with the photography projects, Jacob helped with the dog project, Amelia helped with the cake decorating, etc., etc., etc.

However, we’ve now spent four weeks pretty well wrapped up in 4-H activities–getting chickens washed, photos printed and matted, paintings and drawings framed, hats and gaiters and wrist warmers crocheted and knitted, duds decorated, styling accessories purchased, more photos printed, cakes and cookies baked, posters made, mobiles hung, dogs vaccinated and groomed, plaids matched and every dang “i” dotted and “t” crossed according to the strict 4-H rules–and I’m tired. I’m glad fair is over. And I’m glad that State Fair is still a few weeks away.

As for Non-optional Life Activities, well…today I’m feeling pretty tired with respect to those, too. Of course, the biggest Non-optional Life Activity is Dad’s admittance to hospice care a couple of weeks ago. I’m glad that Mom and Dad are able to move back here to be near us during this time and that the hospice care is so good. I’m super-grateful that Levi is around and is genuinely willing to provide the kind of physical support that he can as a CNA. Yet, this time is also very stressful. How do you ever get used to thinking that your father is going to die sometime soon?

And the other big Non-optional Life Activity involves trying to find a residential treatment facility for Peter. Peter’s behavior continues to negatively impact the family every single day. We have an interview for a facility that we think will be a perfect fit for him. We are just so, so, so hoping that he will get in.

Then you add in that our Suburban died and Clara and Levi’s car was out of commission for awhile and poor Stephen and pregnant-and-morning sick-and-hot Amelia (and Harriet) are still having to sleep on our hide-a-bed in the middle of the living room to keep cool every night (the good news on that front is that they will probably be able to move back into their house this weekend!) and that we still have a bakery business to run, well, it all contributes to being in survival mode.

And now that I have all of that out of my system, it’s easier to remember the positive things that have happened lately…like, Mom and Dad’s generosity, our overall health, the bakery’s summer successes. Maybe there is some hope of being out of survival mode. Eventually.

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