Makin’ Stuff: Birthday Banners

Made these on Thursday after visiting teaching… So these are about the easiest things ever to make; scrap bag, green, recycled and re-usable birthday banners. Cut fifteen double layers of scrap fabric into 7″x 10″ triangles, sew right sides together, leaving the top open, turn, press and stitch into 1 standard package of double-fold bias tape. 15 fit perfectly on one package of tape. That’s it. Soooo cute, sooooo easy and so re-usable!

Happy Birthday Jeffrey!

Dear Jeffrey,

Seven just sounds so much older than six. How did you get so big?

I mean really, it was seven years ago tonight that you nestled in next to me on the hospital bed for the very first time. Daddy and I ignored the nurses who said I would squish you, and tucked you in right next to my heart, and the exhaustion of your birth sent us both into deep, sound sleep. You slept next to me for the first ten months of your life, reaching out even in your sleep to nuzzle your little hands under the warmth and weighted comfort of my familiar body. To this day, seven years later, nothing makes you happy quite like squeezing into my side of the bed. Sometimes, I even find you on the floor, your nest of blankets dragged in sometime during the night, sound asleep, arm flung out in abandon towards where I sleep. No one else does that. It’s unique to you.

Such a mix between a boy and young man. On one hand, you are so attached to me- if I go somewhere without kissing you goodbye, you weep with sadness. You stand at the windows and wave to me as I pull from the driveway, doing sign-language telling me you love me. And, at the same time, you want nothing more than to be independent and do things yourself. You want to make your own lunch, you make me breakfast, and you help your brother and sister do a million things each day.

As I write, you are upstairs exploring your new Lego toys with Beanie. You have the door closed, and I suspect you have ignored my request to clean up before you open the new goodies- but it’s your birthday so I’ll let it slide. Lego are so important to you these days- you lecture us at length about what each guy can do, their names, weapons, weaknesses, and you even take photos and upload them to the Lego website.

You helped me make a birthday sign and put up your decorations this morning. Usually I like to do it while you are sleeping, but Beanie is such a light sleeper it’s impossible to decorate your shared room. You didn’t seem to mind, and enjoyed coloring the sign I wrote out. We baked two cakes, and you picked out the candles and ate about six pounds of sugar from the mixer beaters. So did Bean and Abby.

Earlier we got our your journal and read stories from when you were born, when you were learning to walk, and when you were moving to a big-boy bed. I know life won’t always be so simple, and I won’t always be able to protect you, but for now, it honors me that I can help shape your world, and allow you to grow up into the fine young man you are showing yourself to be.

I love you, my sweet boy. Happy Birthday. All My Love,


Sarah Palin

So how do you feel about a mom with a 4 month old baby (youngest of five children) being vice-president of the United States of America? Is it any different than a dad having young kids (Obama) and holding high pulic office? Does it make any difference to you that McCain is fairly old, and if he dies, we would have our first woman president? If not, why? If so, why?

Thank You Scribbit

Michelle at Scribbit has done me a tremendous kindness by interviewing me and posting the interview today. It’s humbling and kind of cool that she thought I was interesting enough to feature. If you’ve never checked out Scribbit, do so- it’s an awesome blog, and one I check daily. Michelle lives in Alaska, and much of her writing is reflective on her life in the last frontier. She is also an incredible cook, and freely shares her recipes each week. Every recipe I’ve tried has been stellar, especially her World’s Best Lemon Bars.

Nie Nie Auction Thursday!

Over at Mommy Wars, we’ve got the goods to auction! All procedes, 100% of money raised, will go to help Stephanie Nielson and her family. This is the day where we all pull together to raise money for Stephanie. On Saturday, August 16, 2008, Stephanie Nielson was in a plane crash with her husband, Christian Nielson, and his flight instructor, Doug Kinnear, near St. Johns, Arizona. Doug Kinnear passed away soon after arriving at the Maricopa County Hospital. Christian & Stephanie remain in critical condition at Maricopa Burn Center. The Nielsons have four children, and blogs all over the blog-world are conducting actions today to help their family. For more information and daily updates, check out Staphanie’s sister’s blog, C Jane.

I am offering on of my diaper bags. Come on, have at it! You know you want it! It’s for a great cause, and you get to pick the colors…

Just So We’re Clear

This is me, blowing off steam.

I’m an honest person. I value trust. I value people knowing when I say something, I mean it. I take honesty seriously. I also take it very seriously when someone dishonors my trust. It makes me very, very angry when someone I regard as a friend betrays a confidence or in some other way squanders that trust.

Just so we’re clear.

There are minor things in life that are fodder for gossips mills- scandalous outfits, rude comments about catty things- and then there is gossip that ruins people’s reputations or potentially changes the courses of lives.

Just so we’re clear.

If you happen to be made privy to a confidential family situation, do yourself a favor and shut your mouth. Really. Shut up. If you have to stuff a sock in your mouth to keep from blabbing things that will hurt others, let me help you. If the sock is not enough, I ‘ve got a roll of duct tape. Do us all a favor and just shut the hell up.

Is that clear enough?

Spotting the Surface

The kids are downstairs blowing off steam in my vain hope we might have some reverence for Sunday. I can distantly hear Dora droning about picking the middle path, and, whining aside, I couldn’t agree more.

David is down in California, beginning the healing process that must follow losing someone you love. The funeral is over, many people have already scattered back to their lives, and now we pick up the pieces and carry on. Right? What other choice is there?

The kids have asked mercifully few questions, and I suspect they are simply finding dad’s absence typical of any business trip. I’m OK with that- and am thankful for the lack of hard questions. My well of answers is fantastically low at the moment.

Dimly, I am aware of other things going on in the world, and of painful happenings in others lives. My vision has been so focused and so myopic on my own catastrophes, it’s startling to look up and note where the world has moved on, or in some places, stopped. I’m thinking of NieNie, and C Jane, of course. It makes my own pain seem small. Add my prayers to the pile…

So, life carries on. Or it doesn’t, sometimes, does it? I don’t know how anyone manages without faith. I can’t grasp how senseless life and loss would be without a faith in something greater than the pain and sorrow of the physical world.


I’m here. I’m alive. Things are…they just are. I have faith. I have hope. And I have love. More than that, I cannot say. Thank you all for your prayers and love. They are are a lifeboat for me and my family.

Needing to Breathe

Trying to decide what to tell your kids, if anything, about suicide is horrible. The brother who passed away? He took his own life. And I’m still waiting for the blast waves to wash over this already fragile family of mine. My husband and his mom are flying to burry their brother/son; the ache and sadness are beyond words. It’s coloring everything I see and feel- including the sunrises I’ve been watching because I cannot sleep. I just cry and cry, and I wasn’t even close to this sibling. It’s unfathomably sad he felt suicide was his best choice. Those left behind are fractured and devastated.

A friend and I were talking quietly in the hallway at church today, and she commented that if I were writing a story on this year, my editor would suggest I tone it down- I mean, really- so many crappy things don’t happen to anyone all at one time, right? It was hard to argue with her. Instead, we sat in the cavernous gym for Relief Society and somberly talked. It’s a good thing, too- the lesson was on dying.

I’ve noticed a ton of sychonicity the last few days. Maybe it’s always around and I’m only noticing because the bundle of raw nerves that passes for me these days has no walls, no defense, little protection, less barriers, no dividing anything. So I notice.

Once, when I was a girl, I drifted into the deeper part of the pool. Never a strong swimmer, I didn’t appreciate being in water over my head. The clear deeper blue and cooler currents gave away my drifting and I pressed my legs down, reaching and stretching and yearning for the solid touch of the bottom. Arms swaying, nose bobbing barely in the air, the fluid rolling edge of the water circling my upturned face, I could almost feel the rough blue surface, just beyond reach.

I know it’s there. I just have to give something up… only this time, I don’t know what I have to give. The rolling silver edge of the water is all around me, and I can’t figure out what I need more- to breathe, or to touch the Bottom.

Going Dark

I have to be gone for a few days- we have some family things to tend. My husband’s brother has passed away, and there is a lot to sort out. Prayers are appreciated. Actually, in my case, they are desperately gathered in and loved.