Saturday, December 26, 2009

All I want for Christmas is WATER!


Guess what Santa brought us for Christmas? A broken water heater and valve!!! This might not have been the work of Santa but of that sinister Grinch or Scrooge. I would have preferred coal because at least we could have done something with it. Apparently Santa also doesn't read this blog because if he did, he would know all the good will and cheer I attempted to spread onto others through apron making. He would never have done something like this if he had read my blog and seen what a wonderful person I have been lately. Hmphf.

Thanks goodness I have been on two mission trips. In Peru, I learned the fine art of dumping water into a toilet to force it to flush. In El Salvador, I learned the fine art of pouring clean drinking water into a cup and submerging my toothbrush and toothpaste into it to maintain proper dental hygiene. On some very microscopic level, and I emphasize microscopic, it has helped me salvage a bit, and I emphasize a bit, of sanity which isn't saying much.

Here is a picture of a toilet in Peru outside of an elementary school. The orange bucket is full of water, the white bucket is using for pouring.

And this is a picture of a toilet in a poor village in El Salvador. This is actually a very nice toilet compared to what a wonderful pastor and his family used to have.

If I look on the bright side, at least the broken water heater and valve waited until our Christmas Eve company left before deciding to act the fool.

And if I continue to look at this as a glass half-full moment, than I must continue to be joyous that Isaac was feeling sick after our Christmas Eve company departed.

That's because instead of going to a late night Christmas eve church service, Ike, Aaron and I stayed home. Isaac was trying to go to sleep but heard this annoying tick-tick-tick sound in his room.

I thought I found the culprit to the sound and turned off a few ceiling fans. However, the tick-tick-ticking continued. Being the mama of a Soldier, I thought it sounded like a bomb. Freaked me out a little. The sound was relentless and I pressed my ear to the walls trying to figure out from whence the maddening noise was coming.

Aaron saw me listening to the wall completely dumbfounded as to the source of the problem. Pressing my ear to various places on the wall, I told him this reminded me of a close family member who had suffered from mental illness who also heard things in the wall. It was one of those awkwardly funny comments and Aaron wasn't sure what to say. Thankfully I wasn't the only one hearing this sound.

When the Hubs and Nate returned from church, Aaron was fast asleep, Ike had relegated himself to another room to sleep and the Hubs and OS began to hunt for the sound.

That's when we discovered that the tick-tick-tick was actually a drip-drip-drip coming from the attic and Christmas Day arrived with a very unwelcome gift...no running water. You can get batteries on Christmas Day but you can't get a new water heater and valve at a gas station! Where's a Jewish plumber when you need one?

We're Day Two of this annoyance and the saga continues...ergh...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Crazy Christmas Cookie Time

And my sisters have an annual tradition in addition to our Christmas Pickle video...

After my sister Lorri arrives from Chicago, the three of us along with other important members of the family, this year being Rachel's Christmas video debut, we make Christmas cookies. Last year Aaron made a video about it and it was so cool, he's now the honorary videographer.

Denise was the brains behind the "story" and I will say on behalf of myself, at the risk of stating the obvious, my acting is very natural! We are not a perfect family but it's moments like this that make me overjoyed to be a part of this clan!


video

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas Pickle Video 2009

It has been a family tradition for many years. The day after Thanksgiving, we decorate our Christmas trees. Then when we are done, the Hubs and I dismiss our OS into another room and we continue another family tradition, the Hubs and I hide the Christmas pickle ornament somewhere on the tree. I'm not sure if the Christmas pickle is a Southern thing but we've been doing it since we moved here.

You might think that my OS are too old for such shenanigans, that they are too mature, too busy, too manly to engage in this family tradition. But you would be wrong. Very wrong. This year to our surprise, a new OS became the vanquisher and someone very shocking came in last place.

We give each OS an inexpensive gift for finding the pickle. Even at 19, 15 and 13 years old, they still expect a present. When one OS finds the pickle, he is automatically eliminated from the next round. I'm really making this sound more complicated than it is...

Hope you enjoy! Special shout out to middle OS Aaron for making what was now become another family tradition...a Christmas pickle video! And if you're a glutton for punishment, check this out...




video

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sew messy

For the last six weeks, I have been a mad seamstress. Not mad as in angry but mad as in crazy, frazzled and ridiculously blessed. As of this post, I will have made almost 70 aprons for Christmas. Since I am the mama of three OS, I have used nearly half a football field worth of material. I have sewn aprons for people who aren't even related to me, people who would not feel morally indebted to purchase something made by my hands.

Beyond my wildest expectations, the Lord has spoken to my heart deeply and when I have time, I wish to share with you my personal history as it relates to aprons. For me, aprons are more than an "outer garment one uses to primarily cover the front of the body." But alas, let me say that I am nearly without words to describe the depth of happiness and fulfillment it has brought me to make them for others including some of you who will read this post.

If there is a downside, it's that my house has been a wreck. Seriously. Sew messy. And it seems as if there hasn't been a room in my house where the Fabric Monster hasn't touched. Threads, pins, remnants have invaded this once fairly tidy domicile.

Since I do not have a craft room, my kitchen has served as the Command Center for this operation. One evening I took a few pictures to offer you a glimpse of the vantage point from my sewing machine. It looked worse at other times but I didn't have the courage to capture the chaos.

To me, it looks like one of those photos you'd see in an I-Spy book. "I spy with my little eye an orange dinosaur..." (I made dinosaur aprons) or "I spy with my little eye a Christmas ornament in a box..." (I personalized an ornament for a friend). We have a beautiful new room outside of our kitchen and to the Hubs' chagrin, the ironing board became a new piece of furniture. It didn't exactly match with the existing decor but I've had no choice.

And then there's Tess. Tess is the name of my dress form. When my oldest OS returned home from West Point for Christmas Break, I asked him if he had met Tess. He said no and when I introduced them to each other, he told me I was seriously freaking him out.

At this moment, our house is less cluttered as my apron making frenzy has calmed down. I am proud of myself for working hard and so happy to being slightly relaxed until Wednesday...aka Christmas Cookie Making Time!

Merry CHRISTmas!




Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sew not happening


Ok, I'm sitting here watching the Army/Navy game. I am so not an athletic person but this is one game where I attempt to pay attention in the warm comfort of my home. I find myself crying at nearly every military commercial the television station runs.

And I'm making aprons. From about 5 in the morning, my little sewing machine is stitching away.

I pride myself on raising three godly OS who love Jesus and remember to put the toilet seat down after using it. My OS can cook, do laundry and iron. Not joyfully, mind you but nonetheless, they are developing into capable, competent men.

But apparently they have limits and they aren't going to budge.

Don't ask me why but I was cutting fabric to make some snake aprons (a future blog post to be sure) and I blithely ask my middle OS and my orange-haired, freckle faced OS a question which will live in infamy...

"Do you think that you guys would ever be interested in learning how to sew?" I inquire.

Aaron squirms and suddenly announces an urgent need to use the bathroom.

And without forethought or hesitation, with nary a consideration about how his precious mother might feel, my 13 year old Ike states, "I'd rather be castrated!"

Allrighty then, I guess that closes that subject! I didn't think either one of them would be interested but it's been confirmed, it ain't happening.

My oldest OS is applying for some exciting overseas opportunities with West Point. They would take him far, far from home and be ridiculously exciting.

But then I had an idea...I told him that I was pretty sure there was going to be an exciting opportunity aka AIAD here in our neck of the woods. And you know what he said,

"Yeah but I heard it involves aprons so I'm not interested!"

How do you like that? Hmphf!

Boys will be boys. I will sew solo, get it?


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sew blessed

Since I will never have a daughter, I have missed out on shopping sprees for dresses. I'm not complaining or feeling sorry for myself, it's just a fact. I have also missed temper tantrums, crying fits with a moody daughter who can't find anything to wear which is totally fine with me. Since I'm wildly crazy about my OS, I don't spend a lot of time lamenting the fact that I don't have a daughter, I just yank up my big girl panties and move on. Sorry for that word picture.

But in lieu of dress shopping, I have the privilege of guy shopping. Recently my OS Aaron announced to me, "Mom, you have to take me shopping!" I wasn't sure of the reason until I inquired. That's when Aaron emphatically reminded me of the Snow Ball, his school's upcoming dance. It was like a V-8 moment...you know where the guy gets whacked up the side of the head? How could I forget?

However as soon as my 15 year old OS told me that, I also translated his sentence. Really what he was saying is, "Mom, I need for you to buy me some new clothes for the dance." That's when I asked my son, "Aaron, with what am I going to buy you some new clothes? I'm not sure we have the money for that."

I could see that he was dejected but attempted to understand. I felt badly because I desperately wanted to do this for him.

That's when I started to pray. "Lord, help me find a way to get Aaron some new clothes for the Snow Ball."

I didn't tell the Hubs of my prayer, it was just between God and me. I didn't tell my friends so they would feel indebted to buy an apron so Aaron could have a new pair of pants or a sweater. I kept it just between the two of us, the Lord and myself. And do you know what happened? He heard my prayer, as He always does and this time, He honored it with a yes. In a week's time, I had enough apron orders that I was able to say to my boy, "Aaron, I'm going to take you shopping and buy you some clothes with the apron money I earned this week."

So last Saturday I took my middle OS out to lunch (used a coupon) and then we went shopping (with a coupon.) Our time was even more blessed because of who got us there (the Lord) and why (sweet folks wanting an apron). In my wildest dreams and prayers, never did I imagine that God would bless me so richly through aprons of all things!

The hugs and love my OS lavished upon me were reward enough. We had silly times as we tried to find pants that fit his trim frame and less than tall stature. It was like trying to find a needle in a haystack. The pants were too big or too long, nearly impossible to get the perfect size but alas we found a handsome outfit worthy of my boy! We left the store excited about the upcoming dance and envisioned all the ladies swooning around him as they admired his muscles, beauty and fancy new threads! HA!

I have been sewing like a crazy woman. My sewing machine is whirrrrrring all the time. There is fabric strewn throughout the house and I'm having a blast helping my family and being creative. The Lord truly does give us the desires of our heart and this moment with Aaron is one of many blessings I've received through His goodness manifested in APRONS. More to come, I can't wait to tell you more stories like this!