Monday, March 30, 2009

What To Do With Vintage Bed Linens-#4

Spring is coming! I think!? We have had quite the tease here in the Midwest-do I wear shorts or my winter coat today!? None the less, I feel the fever coming on for sunshine, gardening, and days in the pool! So, feeling so inspired, I thought it would be nice to sew up a few reminders of the springtime blooms we are awaiting. If you have paid any attention the the bed linens of the 60's and 70's, they all tend to scream flower power!! Pretty fun if you some color in you day. And, they are not to difficult to coordinate! So many of them seem like they were meant for one another!

So, in preparation for ball games, days at the beach, summer camp, garage sales, and parades, simple totes make a perfect project for vintage bed linens. They make wonderful book bags, just throw in your favorite book, journal, pen, and of course you camera and have it ready for the unexpected moments of inspiration. Or, bring it to the hospital full of goodies for a friend who needs some cheer.

Happy sewing from one bag lady to the next!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update On Demo

Matt finished working on the shower around 1 am last night-ouch! He was able to get the shower far enough along so that we could use it today. Unfortunately we forgot to turn the hot water up before we went to bed, so we were unable to all enjoy a hot shower in the morning. Matt and Cole made it to church spit spot and I spent the day getting the rest of the bunch squeaky clean . Noah needing it the most since he had decided to wear his plate, full of syrup, as a hat when he had finished his pancakes yesterday!

We still have a bit of finishing up to do-we are going to trim the edges with a row of tile, which will be fun to pick out. The window also needs to be sealed and caulked, hence the lovely garbage bag decorating the shower! It is nice to be done with the work that ruled our time with no choice. We are thankful that no major or unexpected disasters occured, and thankful for the help and fun encouragement helping us to get through it with a sense of humor! And we are so very ready for our day of rest tomorrow!

Here are a few more pics from along the way.

Noah was happy to pitch in and would be ever so offended every time we would remove him from the bathroom.

Around 12:30am I propped some tension rods up to help seal the surround to the wall. I thought it may be a better plan than making Matt stand there for hours. I think he appreciated it. And I was also able to clean up the tub to get it ready for today. Oh how good my pillow felt!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nearing the End of the Forced Bathroom Demo

Well, it is nearly 10pm, and Matt is completely wiped and still pressing on! He is still planning on completing the surround this evening. I know he feels he doesn't have a choice and I so incredibly appreciate it, but I sure wish he could just rest. The poor guy sprained his ankle last week playing football with the sr high guys at church. If he hadn't of gotten it x rayed and looked at by a doctor, we both would have been pretty worried just by the looks of it. It was completely swollen and purple from the tips of his toes to a quarter of the way up his calf. He was supposed to stay off of it and use crutches, but you know how it is. Finally by Sunday last week, his birthday, he laid on the coach all afternoon with it up. What a surprise, the swelling and lovely shade of purple began to go away! So, this day has certainly taken it's toll and his ankle is pretty bad, an unfortunate casualty of this war with the bathroom.

Both of us are thankful though that this hurdle is almost finished! And I am quite happy that our guests for Easter will have a nice shower. Tomorrow will be a race to see who gets the first shower and how long the hot water will hold out! I think dad deserves first dibs! I will restle off the wee ones for him.

So, all of you at the Mission's trip meeting tomorrow, do me a favor and tell him to prop up his foot!

Update On the Forced Bathroom Demo

2:30pm and we are in good shape! Praise the Lord! We may just show up to church all showered tomorrow! And for all of the youth-you should pray for that because Pastor Matt doesn't function all to well without a shower!:)

Our blessed plumber was here and gone before lunch, having saved us from disaster! What an amazing blessing! He was able to replace the tub drain perfectly and we saved the ugly tub! YEAH! No more leaks-no more buckets-no more towels-and finally a lower water bill!

Now it is simply putting in the new surround and fixtures. Still a ways away from the finish line but we can definately see the finish line with victory in sight.

Cole has been Matt's sidekick in the project and Madi happily keeps Dad company on all the trips to Menards! Hey-it is shopping!! That is all that matters. Joslyn and Bell are busy bees playing and Noah even took a nap amazingly(his crib is right against the bathroom wall) Other than the extra dust, the loud sawing and pounding, and mass potty breaks, life is pretty normal and we are all still getting along!!! And..... I am NOT cooking today!

Forced Bathroom Demo

You know how it goes....putting some major repair off in hopes that you can save enough to pay for it or come up with some miraculous fix that does not involve pain in the budget!!! But does disaster ever seem to wait for you to be prepared-I think not!! We bought our first home almost 5 years ago. It is a pretty modest ranch from the sixties with the fixtures to prove it! Of course, we still gets tingles every once in awhile when we remember what it was like to drive up that first time after closing on the house-or those nights sitting out on our front steps when the weather began to warm up, looking at our street and being so thankful! We, in many ways, thought that we would never own a home being in ministry, so this was a pretty big surprise from the Lord! But, yes, the reality set in pretty quickly as the repairs began to come. Can't we call the landlord for this-oh yeah, I am the Landlord!

About a year and a half ago, the plumbing decided to begin to bid it's farewell. One day we noticed that the water in the kitchen was barely coming out. So Matt learned how to put in a new faucet-no biggie-we can do this! Then the same thing happened in the bathroom-OK-we can fix that. We still didn't really get it. When the kitchen faucet went in a week-we actually thought it was a faulty faucet-duh!!! It wasn't although I think we actually did change it out again with a more exspensive one-because I guess if you buy cheap, it is cheap-right?! What we finally realized was that our pipes were so clogged with rust from our water, it was effecting the flow, and every time we turned the water off to fix a problem, turning it back on just made it even worse!! I found that out when my laundry would take 5 hours to get through a load! Not good when you have 5 kids! So... Matt learned how to install a water softener. Do you know that they actually built this house with only one shutoff valve-not the brightest idea! We had to have the city come out to turn the water off until we installed the water softener and install proper shut off valves. We actually learned how to survive without water quite well!

This was the first major redo in the bathroom over a year ago. We happily ripped the sixties vanity out and put in an antique dresser vanity in it's place. I had found the dresser at a thrift shop a year before that knowing we eventually would need to put a vanity in the bathroom. Someone had already used it as a vanity but the wood on the top had been warped by water. We decided to put a marble top on it instead of refinishing it and having it warp again. How exactly would I keep the kids from getting water on the counter? Remember, it is the one and only bathroom! I don't think so!

We have known that the tub and shower had major work needed on it, but coordinating the time and the money never seemed to be on our side. We have faithfully been nursing a slow the basement for quite some time. Matt has replaced the fixtures in our shower multiple times in an attempt tom prolong the inevitable for as long as we could. Well-it finally began to rain in the basement this week, forcing us to face our fears. Thursday afternoon and evening Matt worked on replacing the pipes and fixtures within the wall with our friend Bill's incredible help and guidance! Yeah, for such selfless friends who sacrifice time, rest, and precious time with family to help! Our suspicions were confirmed unfortunately that there was no cement board behind the tile-meaning mushy drywall and a complete makeover needed. They finished work around 11pm Thursday and we had a partially functioning shower for the time being.

Now, comes the really tricky part! Today, we are having a plumber come in to try and save the bathtub, as ugly as it is!! The pipes are so old, Matt fears not being able to fix them by himself and we would really like not to have to replace the entire tub!!! Before the work on the pipes begin, Matt has some wonderful little helpers on demo duty! They are working on ripping the tile out so that we can put in a new surround. While we would love to have some beautiful tile work in there, time, funds, and commen sense just seem on opposing sides. With five little ones right now, simple to clean and maintain seem best.

Yes! I think Matt is actually enjoying this!!!

So hopefully we will all be showered and clean for church tomorrow! But if not, be kind :)

I will keep you updated on the Drietz bathroom redo!!! Pray hard!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yeah, It's Friday!

So, the last couple of days I have found something new to stare at on my computer screen, as though I do not stare at it enough! I finally jumped on the facebook wagon-oh my!! I have not talked with so many long lost friends ever! And all in only a few days! Very fun! Technology does have it's up side, for sure. However my kiddos are probably wondering "MY Mom has friends?" "When did that happen?" And they are probably ready for me quit telling them who is who and what they said, and so on. But, it was pretty sweet, while I was reading up on all my old friends, I noticed some singing coming from across the house and the kids were all quiet, so I tiptoed to find out just exactly what was going on and this is what I found.

Almost all of them sacked out on my bed watching Mary Poppins. Madison, being sneaky had snuck up on me sneaking up on them. But she was in there too watching with them. Unfortunately, the snap of a picture ruins it all, I guess the trance wore off with the flash of the camera. The house has gone back to a circus and I of course am staring at the screen again. I am going to try to round them all back up and join them in watching Mary Poppins! It is Friday and school is DONE! Yeah!!!

What To Do With Vintage Bed Linens-#3

Every year for Christmas we make a 12 hour drive to Minnesota to spend Christmas with Matt's family. A drive that just about kills me every time since I cannot even sit still long enough to watch a half hour TV show! And let me say that I completely despise having to pack up 7 people! We mind as well just move, it would be about the same amount of work! But oh how I love spending time with my family and it makes it all worth it!

Packing 7 of us in a mini van is tough enough without all the STUFF that we need for a 12 hour road trip! And of course the kids all want to bring their quilts and pillows and animals because they could not possibly sleep without them! But! Just hold up there a minute-5 bed quilts in our small van-I don't think so! So this year they were all asking for new quilts for Christmas. So I decided to make "travel quilts" that were large enough for a bed but would pack up teeny tiny for traveling. I simply did not put batting in them, reducing the BULK! I still quilted them(very simply since I had 6 of them to do-yes, my husband decided two weeks before Christmas that he would like one too!)

Coleman's quilt had to be Star Wars of course! After making oodles of star wars tote and messengers for the shop I had a lot of odd shaped small scraps that needed a purpose. I used varied size squares to put the top together and backed it with a solid red bed sheet. His quilt was probably the most time consuming because of the detailed cutting to get the scenes I needed. But how cool it turned out!!! Truly one of a kind!!

Joslyn's was also made from vintage bed linens. She had asked for one big enough to cover her bed and she had a rainbow of colors she wanted. That was a fun one to do because it meant using random prints that I loved. I did a star pattern for hers. And it ended up turning out to be the biggest of them all-I got a bit carried away with all the prints I wanted to include!

Bell's was also done with many of the same bold and bright flower child prints. I did it in a simple square design and the back was the part I really loved! I used a vintage bear print that came from bed sheets.

These types of blankets or quilts are excellent for traveling but also great as playmats for little ones, picnic blankets, or lap blankets for cuddling up with a good book.

On each of the kids quilts I wrote a note and the date and printed it onto a fabric sheet and stitched it in the corner of their quilt. It gave me another oppratunity to share with them how much I love them and how precious they are to the Lord.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What To Do With Vintage Bed Linens-#2

I had to find a fun way to keep a small reminder of the fun prints I have found and passed on to customers or used in my creations. Our stairway to our basement is pretty drab and dark and for the time being and it will probably stay that way. I hate clutter and have a horrid time trying to concentrate in the midst of it, so I have not been able to bring myself to having a messy bulletin board up in our living space. Hiding that mess in the stairway since it is so close to the kitchen was a perfect compromise! I have taken varying sizes of cork board and foam board and covered them in random vintage flower power prints. It took a bit of puzzle piecing to arrange them, but that was fun. I had tried all kinds of sticky back tapes and adhesives but found that nailing them was the best solution. Now I have a whole side of my stairway to pin up important messages-but I have a confession to make! I can't bring myself to clutter it up-aughh! It looks too cool all by itself! My daughter Madison leaves tiny little notes taped everywhere and she was the first to break in the new bulletin board. I have left it and it is the lone sweet reminder. GOD MADE US.....

What To Do With Vintage Bed Linens-#1

Here is the first-straight from my studio- in a series of creations made from the glorious land of bed linens. Cheerful and sunny for the days when the clouds are gray and gloomy. My kitchen curtains are made from a fun collection of vintage yellow prints. Delicate yellow roses with a slight tone on tone white polka dot married to a classic yellow gingham and bottomed off with a playful polka dot. I used a bold yellow polka dot bed linen to tie the curtains back. I did back them with a solid white-again I used a reclaimed bed sheet. I have found it is very worth the time and effort to back any curtain. It helps them to stand the the beating of the sun and makes the prints show up much better!! Be careful in choosing the lining color though, if you choose a color, it will show through the print and could distort the look you are going for!! Neutral is usually best! Even a yellow lining would have made a big difference on my curtains.
One of the biggest gripes the kids have when they are doing their chores in the morning is that the sun is too bright for them-(I think that makes number 101 on the list of why they can't do their chores!) So, with the new curtains, I have squashed that excuse! The curtains nicely close to keep the sun from blinding them! Pretty curtains, clean dishes, what more could I ask for!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What Is Up With the Story of Job!!!

Those were the words of our next door neighbor one day as my husband stood at the fence talking with him. I am going to be pretty honest in saying that I have definately thought the same thing sometimes! There is not ever a time when reading the book of Job, that I have not been astounded in one way or the other-whether it be weeping for sorrow and grief or angry for what Satan was allowed to do to this man! But the most overcoming emotion I have for this piece of scripture is awe for how Job continued to praise the Lord! He still got that we deserve nothing and God deserves everything from us. Would I be that faithful in the face of utter despair and loss, or would I turn my face from God and curse Him for my exsistence!

The Lord is at work and He has been putting pieces together in my mind. And I want to share some of what He has done and is doing that very much reminds me of Job. Last year Matt and I had a chance to go to the Desiring God conference that John Piper has been doing for awhile now. It is the second time we have gone and it has been an amazing blessing and encouragement to us. This year during one of the breaks we browsed around the book shop and found an amazing book by John Piper, telling Job's story through poetry and art. We snatched a copy up and took it to dinner with us that evening. As we sat in the resturaunt, I read it aloud to matt and could barely see the words through my tears. Two things came to my mind while we read this.....Ralph, our neighbor-and the story of my parents.

The first thing we did was to go buy a second copy for Ralph, who we are praying comes to know Jesus. We gave the book to Him for Christmas, hoping to help him understand God's purpose for telling us of Job.

The second thought, is one much deeper and personal to me that I am hoping to begin sharing. Although it will take some time, and I am not sure how to even pull it all together. Let's just say it will be a work in progress.

I was born into a family where my parents knew Jesus and loved Him very much. I was raised with the truth and took it as my own. I grew up knowing Jesus loved us, created us and ultimately saved us from our sin. I also grew up in a family that faced utter tragedy many times over! And that is the part that is amazing-I had a mom and dad that showed Jesus's love to me despite the incredible heart aches they faced. My parents could have easily choosen to turn from the Lord and convince themselves that He was removed from their lives and didn't hear them. But the Lord has used their faithfulness to draw me to Himself.

If any of you have heard Natalie Grant's song "Held" it is the perfect description of what my parents experienced when I was just 1 1/2 years old. One morning after my Dad had left for work, my Mom got up surprised that my new baby brother had not woken up to eat yet. Jason was a rolly polly chunk of 11 pounds at birth!!! When my mom checked on Jason, she found that he had died in his sleep. Since I was only 18 months old I do not have much of a memory of the experience, but my mom has shared over the past 10 years pieces of this day. From what she has shared, it was their neighbor, Rose, that called 911 from hearing the screams of my mom. The one memory I do have is the picture in my mind of the police officers coming in. I think that has stuck because my Mom said that Jesus took Jason to be with Him, and I wanted to know if the police officers were Jesus. Jason was 2 1/2 months old when he went to be with Jesus, and some day I will see him, but even more important is that my mom and dad will see Him! It is pretty difficult to understand why these things happen. It is difficult to think of my mom sitting in her nightgown alone in the back of a cold paddywagon on the way to the hospital, pleading with Jesus that Jason would just wake up,just be alright, or think of my Dad falling into my Grandpas arms and crying Daddy when they met in the hospital right after Jason's death. I do not think there could be a deeper agony or pain than the loss of a child. How do you begin to even breathe let alone get out of bed in the morning. I know that losing Jason changed my mom and dad forever, they will tell you that. My mom has said she is not the same person she was before that, and wonders sometimes what she would be like, had Jason not died. And even though they were hurt and didn;t understand the Lord's plan, they continued to follow Him and believed that he loves us.

That loss would not be their last though. After my sister Nicole was born,who was a sweet balm to my parents, Mom endured many miscarriages and one of the babies, who was a boy, died at five months along. Mom had to deliver Paul in the hospital among all the new moms and babies. They buried another son.

My baby sister, Molly, Is a miracle baby. I was in third grade, Nik and I were home from school for some holiday when my Mom recieved a call from her brother, who my Dad worked for. her screams were chilling and Nicole and I were wide eyed. My dad had been in an explosion at his work site. Dad was in construction and He and his partner Joel were working on a town home. There was a propain tank in the house that was leaking. They were told to carry it outside. As they walked back into the house, the entire place exploded. There are some amazing things I beleive the Lord was a part of. When the roof came down on them, each of them were under a skylight! It was also winter time which meant snow to cool the horrific burns my Dad sustianed until the ambulance arrived. My Dad's burns were over his face and head, hands and back. When my Mom arrived to the hospital and they told her were he was, she came back the the nurse and said there was a mistake, and that that man was not her husband. Dad's burns were so bad, she could not recognize him. May dad went through months of very painful recovery and skin graphs. I remember him coming to my softball games completely covered and with an umbrella on sunny days because he could not be in the sun at all. All the while, Mom was carrying Molly safe in her womb. Do you think God has plans for Molly!?

My parents have now been facing the struggle of unemployment off and on for 5 years. It is a very scary situation that they face everyday. They have to make decisions of what to let go of, will they be able to keep their house, will the bills get paid next month. So much being out of their hands. So many details being unknown to them. But they continue to worship, continue to trust and continue to talk to the Lord.

My parents have modeled so consistantley throughout my life their reverence for the Lord that it now seems quite foreign to me to ever want to go through anything without Him! They have been testiments of God's grace and healing, His love, forgiveness, and His faithfulness. Mom and Dad do not always know why and they may not ever in many things, but they know they can trust Him. Despite the hard, I have witnessed the miracles that have come with them. He has worked good for His plan. It has given me an excitement for the future and it has also taught me that the here and now is so very temporary compared to the eternity he saved us for to spend with Him!!! I am beginning to see that the story of Job is a reminder of who God is no matter what the circumstance is. He is the author of everything!

This is a quote from the book written by John Piper on the life of Job.

"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

"Afflicted with disease, stripped of his wealth, and asked to confess to evil provocations, righteous Job reaches through his cloud of suffering and strains to touch God.

We have heard Job's story. Yet as we ponder Job's misery, do we see the threads of God's mercy in it? We will all face suffereing at some point in our lives, it is inescapeable,. But what makes calamity endurable is not that God shares our shock, but that through every flame of pain and flood of fear, His soveriegn goodness sustians us and turns it all for our good."

What a friend we have in Jesus!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday Morning Treasure Hunts

I have always been a thrift shop junkie. I had one of the most fun friends growing up named Josie. She was full of life and had a great sense of humor. She seemed to truly enjoy being exactly who God made her to be and didn't concern herself with other's opinions. After school we used to walk over to the resale shop down the block and spend our time laughing at our finds. It was good to just be silly! But little did I know then, how much of an influence it was having on the rest of my life. The Lord was providing me with a passion and humor to reclaim the lost and abandoned and create new life for them. I have yet to find a friend who can make me laugh the way Josie did, how much I miss her!

I have shared with many of my customers about my treasure hunting experiences, and thought it might be fun to give a sneak peak into my studio on my treasure hunting day. I am a stay at home mom, and when I say stay at home, I really mean stay at home! Most of my days I do not leave the house. Since I work at home and homeschool our kids, I do not spend much time runnning around during the day. I actually am quite a homebody though so I do not mind this at all. Since my husband is a Pastor, his day off is on Monday and by the time Monday rolls around, I am itching to get out for some alone time! Monday is the day I make my rounds to all the thrift shops and I usually hit the floor running. The excitement never seems to fade! What I have found out about Monday in a thrift store is that it is very quiet, very clean, and freshly stocked. At least that is what I have found in my area. I am usually home by lunch with a couple large garbage bags full of treasures. Some of my neighbors must be wondering what in the world I am up too! The rest of the day in between school and family fun, I am getting everything through the wash!! It usually takes 4 or 5 loads to finish!

The number one item I hunt for, as many of you already know and enjoy, is vintage(and current) bed linens. They are my most favorite fabrics ever!!! I use them for everything!! After I get them all washed, I spend the rest of the week at my cutting table with them. They are cut into fat quarters for my creative quilting and crafting customers. I have a few pics to show the bed linens.

Here is my Monday morning finds from this week.

Here is my fat quarter wall in my studio.

I will try and share some fun projects that can be made with these fabrics this next week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Girlie Night of Pink

I go through phases when it comes to creating. Painting is something that I have a love hate relationship with. I used to paint everything in sight and it was usually very impulsive. But, that was a lot easier when my kiddos were a lot littler and when there weren't 5 of them!! Pulling out a can of paint can be a bit treacherous now. There is usually someone in every inch of our house at any given time and I have actually experienced the horrible and crazy experience of a can of paint spilled on my carpeting(more than once!!!) Imagine red paint on an almost white carpeting and a very happy little 3 year old holding the paint brush very proud of her artwork!! I think I could have passed out if I hadn't been in such a panic to clean it up. I can laugh now-I think!?

Spring has brought in a wave of inspiration with it this year. We moved into our home 4 1/2 years ago now and we painted every room right away. Most of the rooms have stayed those colors until this year. The 7 of us live in a little 3 bedroom ranch, so everything gets very loved! No wall goes untouched! I never realized that washing my walls would be as regular as washing my floors-yikes! It seems that a year for our wall's wear and tear seems to equal about 5 years for others. Wow! So, I have been tackling many of our rooms to clean them up. But of course, not just the walls need new life, all the furniture does too! And part of me is thinking, why did I have to paint every piece of furniture!!! ???

Last week, Madison, who is the oldest of our three girls, went treasure hunting with me one evening. We came across a very beat up old bookshelf that used to be attached to some sort of dresser at one time. We snatched it up for $3.00!!! It was perfect for the top of my bedroom desk. So the next evening after putting my littlest guy to bed, I pulled the shelf, desk, and a fresh can of girlie pink paint out for the makeover. Well- guess who came running into the room wanting to paint with me!? My former 3 year artist daughter, Joslyn who is now 7, and my youngest daughter, Bell, who is 4. My first response was , no sweeties, this is a grown up job. But it didn't take long for the heart to win out on the battle. The shelf and desk are only things, nothing compared to the joy of my little ones! I truly enjoyed painting with them and they did a great job. Including them in projects like these gives them such a confidence and a love of creating. They are really proud of the desk and I love that they are a part of my tasks. I am really hoping that allowing them to help when they are young will encourage them to continue to love helping when they are older. Joslyn has taken to doing her schoolwork at my desk now and I have found her just looking at it at times-I am so glad I got the chance to paint with her!!

Here are some pictures to show the project. A perfect trash to treasure project.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Every once in awhile a Saturday comes along in which I can simply play in the studio. Oh-how happy!!! I haven't shared to much about the shop yet, so this will be a fun way to introduce it! I have been very happily running my shop Whimsie Dots online for the last 3 years. It has given me an incredibly fun outlet for my passions, inspirations, and creations to overflow. I spend about 3/4 of my work time supplying other creatives with reclaimed fabrics and supplies as well as vintage clothing, and I spend the other 1/4 of the time creating my own designs whether it be quilts, bags , and clothing. Since the majority of my time is spent on supplies, you can imagine that I am itching to sit down and create myself!!! So that is where happy Saturdays come in!!! I finally rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, said my sleepy goodmorning to my hubby and kiddos and snuck off to the studio for my playtime!!! It just all fell into place, for it to end up to be a relaxing day. My husband and I got away for our 13th Anniversary this week and I have been on a vacation from the shop, what a fun way to ease back into work! Although what is the saying "If you love your work, you will never work a day in your life"-that is me!

These vintage clutches are fresh and new in the shop. This collection was made from vintage fabrics entirely. Some are even made with some of my vintage bed linens which I am incredibly passionate about! Each of the clutches are quilted with a thin layer of batting. The quilting is unique in each clutch. The clutches are fully lined. They have a velcro fold over closure. They are perfect for days when you only what the essentials. Forgot the 20 pound purse with your life in it. They are large enough to fit a cell, IPOD, keys, lipstick, and money. You can even use these as a large wallet that can easily slip in and out of your purse or bag. If you love bold and fun prints, this collection is perfect. I am hoping to have another Happy Saturday to make a Shabby Chic collection of them. I am always open to custom orders, just stop in the shop and send me a note.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Sweet, My Lovely......

February and March are the celebration months in our home. Five out of our seven birthdays as well as our Anniversary fall into these two blessed months. Just as we catch our breath from Christmas, we begin pulling out the Birthday crowns and banners. We end up with a little bit more cake than any of us really care for, we get to reflect on all the blessings the Lord has given to us, and my hearts tends to ache just a little bit more than usual with how fast the kids are growing. I have grown to be quite fond of it though, I love giving gifts so in some ways it ends up being the way to maybe give a gift to one of the kids I didn't have time to do at Christmas even though I really wanted to. It adds some fun to these long and drawn out cold winter months. And we sure do eat a lot of yummy birthday meals!

Today was my Bell's 4th birthday. She is our fourth child and is the youngest of our three girls. She has been my miracle and there is a unique bond I have with her because when she was only four weeks old, we thought we could possibly lose her. I found a lump on her sweet little head. I will never forget sitting in the doctors office while the doctor looked at this mass. The doctor's face was of great concern instead of assurance that it was nothing to be worried about. She was not sure of what it was, and so we began a bunch of different tests and waiting....waiting...waiting....

This is a small portion of a letter I wrote to Bell that day.

"From the moment you were hidden inside of me, the Lord has used different circumstances to remind me what an incredible gift you are to us from Himself. What a gift each new morning is that I awake to your quiet fussing.

This week I found a small mass on the top of your head. Today I took you to your doctor so hoping she would tell me it was of no concern. But as I watched her face as she checked you, I realized it was not going to be that.

My sweet little girl, I cannot even to tell you the ache my heart felt, my tears just kept coming, even still, they run endlessly. On my way to the hospital I called your daddy to meet us there. His heart was aching too.

As I waited in the hospital, I could not even get the words out to the Lord, it was too hard, but I knew He was with us and that He knew my mind and heart and that you belonged to Him!"

We did go through different tests to find out that this mass had not invaded the brain, but it would be awhile till we were able to meet with one of the leading brain surgeons in the country to find out that it was a simple hemangioma and would eventually disappear on it's own. It did take awhile for me not to worry every time I rubbed her sweet head especially as it grew in size quite quickly. But as her 2nd birthday came around and that was when it was supposed to begin to make an exit, I found that I had become quite fond of this little feature. It had become a part of her. Her hair had grown in over it and it actually gave her hairdo a sweet little lift! Well, it still is a part of my Bell, and this past year was the first she ever even paid any attention to it. She does not view it as anything bad, it is unique to her and she will from time to time like to talk about it. It will remain a reminder to me long after it is gone, that the God who created us and knows each detail, walks through each hardship with us too. I am so thankful I was able to run to His arms about this little child who He loved even more than I did! She is His, and each day with her is a gift!

Last night, Matt and I stayed up way too late putting together a video of Bell. We have started making these slide shows for each of the kids to chronicle their lives. It has blessed Matt and I more than the kids, of this I am sure! I almost do not like sifting through all the memories though because the day is drawing nearer to when I will have to let them go. Those early pictures of each of them, their newness, the simplicity, the peace-it has slipped away too quickly. I want to soak it up.

Here is a glimpse of some of the pics of Bell growing up.

My Sweet, My Lovely.....

I tiptoe Hush Hush....
Pitter pat goes my heart....

Your Beauty

Your Innocence

Joy is found with every kiss

My sweet, my lovely
My sweet, my lovely
So sweet so lovely

Close your eyes
Close your eyes
Close your eyes
Close your eyes

I stare into the bluest eyes

Time stands still in your smile

You weren't here,
and now you're here

I dreamed of you

But I never knew.....

How Sweet, How Lovely.....

The song was froma lullabye album of Plumb's called Blink(quite appropriately). My husband got it for me for Valentine's Day. PERFECT! When I heard this song, I knew it was perfect for Bell.