Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Sweet Thursday Friend

Amelia was born in June, 2007. Her Mommy and I became friends while working in the scrapbook store together. When it was time for Bethanie to return to her "real job", she had childcare all arranged except for Thursdays. I offered to be the Thursday person and that worked out good with everyone's schedule. It had been a long, long time since I had babies around and at first it was a real learning experience. So many new conveniences to learn about! I had never even had a pack & play with my kids. (I should note here that Bethanie is the same age as my children, in fact we discovered quite by accident, that she had graduated high school with my youngest son!) At first, Amelia slept alot as new babies do so I didn't have to do much except feed and change her and give lots of kisses. As she got older and her skills increased, we were able to do many more things. We took walks, read lots of books, sang songs and explored our house. I looked forward to and cherished my time with my Thursday friend!
I rarely had Amelia for the entire day on Thursday because her Nana lived close by and would pick her up after her (Amelia's) afternoon nap. But from 7:30-2 we had a fun time and developed a certain pattern of activities and a loving relationship. I have learned that you surely don't have to have a bloodline connection to someone to love them like your own family. This is true with Amelia and Bethanie, too!
Amelia loved to "help out" in my studio or play with my bears and dolls.

She loved to read and had a favorite book, a pop-up book, titled The Zoo. We read it every day, at least twice, before her morning nap.David & I encouraged Amelia to broaden her skills. She loved to dust with the Swiffer...and she also helped "D" (her name for David) haul the trash out to the curb....child labor laws, did someone say anything about child labor laws???? (You know this was just a joke for the photos-right?)

And of course there was Edith, the squirrel, who came every day for peanuts at the back deck door.Earlier this Spring, Bethanie and her husband decided that Amelia needed to be around other children during the day. Two weeks ago, Amelia started going to a daycare center near their home. The change would mean much less travelling for Bethanie and an opportunity for Amelia to be with other small people. Of course we supported this decision 100% but when we knew that our days were numbered, David & I were both sad. I'm writing this blog post to share with Bethanie and you, my friends, some pictures I took over the 19 months that Amelia came on Thursdays.

We miss that sweet, sleepy little face early in the morning. We miss our dishwasher door filled with alphabet or animal magnets. We miss singing and dancing and getting the Cheerios from the pantry for a snack. We miss reading about Grandpa and the pizza and playing with the farm animals. We hope you come and visit us often, because we don't want you to forget Auntie Joyce and Uncle D.

We love you Amelia, Thursday friend. Don't grow up too fast! XOXO

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Barbe

It started with this beautiful nest made of twigs and pussy willow branches I found at Soergel's, a local farm that has a great garden gift area. The nest was nice and deep...a perfect place to "plant".I printed out these pictures (in black and white) of my grandnieces, my sister's granddaughters. Natalie, Emily, Libby, and Fiona were all given wings, their bodies fortified with wire and placed in the nest. Moss covered the floral foam, wire and feet. A tag was made...Happy Birthday Barbe...I hope you like the nest of fairy girls I've sent!

Book Group

I am fortunate to be part of a Book Group made up of wonderfully loving, funny, bright, supportive women. We meet monthly in each other's homes, usually on the second Thursday of the month. Our meeting time is 12:00 noon and we always have lunch first (there are priorities after all!) and then we discuss the book we've chosen to read for the month and other life topics. I love these women! We laugh together, we cry together, we pray together, we talk together, and we eat together. Sometimes we read serious books that generate deep discussions and sometimes we read just for fun. We met yesterday at Susan's to discuss The Carrot Cake Murder, a book that I recommended based purely on standing in Target and reading the back cover. It's a murder mystery by Joanne Fluke (one of a series) and the heroine, Hannah, owns a bakeshop and is also a crime solver. The story takes place in Minnesota which is thick with Lutherans and the book has many references to Midwest Lutheran customs. (somewhat reminiscent of Garrison Keillor) Our group is mostly Lutheran so we all appreciated the humorous references. The part of this book that attracted me was that aside from the fact that it was a murder mystery, it was filled with recipes! A bonus! This is not a great literary work but it was the light reading we needed after having just recently completed Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Shack by William P. Young. All of this leads to my little pictorial mystery here.
Just reading the book title The Carrot Cake Murder made me hungry for....Tiny but delicious...
I ate one and then left the room for a bit. When I returned, this is what I found....Hmmmmmm...who could have eaten the second carrot cupcake? I wonder!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy 1 Year Blogiversary Mimi!

My friend Mimi started a blog one year ago at the urging of some of her friends. She is celebrating this one year anniversary with a giveaway of some very pretty things she has made and a few surprises thrown in. Run right over to her blog and enter for a chance to win....but while you're there, take some time to read her posts and look over her beautiful projects. We met a few years ago when I was working at our local scrapbook store, which has since closed. We both taught classes and as we got to know each other, a solid friendship was formed based on mutual addictions, like scrapbook paper, embellishments and rubber stamps! We still share our love of paper crafts and we have also added "junking" to our list of activities. We can often be found very early on Saturday mornings, newspaper in hand, coffee for Mimi, GPS on the dashboard, trolling the local neighborhood garage sales or flea markets, hoping for the perfect treasure. After we exhaust our wallets or our resources, we usually stop somewhere for breakfast and to discuss our findings for the day. Some day we might even take our cameras and snap some pictures to show you....but it will have to be a day when we have actually showered and combed our hair!!!
Mimi is a very talented woman and I'm happy to call her friend! Way to go Mimi!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Blessings

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." John 20:1-3

He has risen! He has risen indeed! Alleuia, Alleluia!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Just a little bump in the road of life....

I really have too much to do to have ended up in the hospital but that's where I spent most of last Thursday and Friday. Chest pains and shortness of breath-not a very good combo. The good news is-it's not my heart. They put me through all of the tests and the results were good. Checking some other things this week but I do feel a lot better. Don't ignore chest pains of any kind! Heart disease is the #1 killer of women! My Cardiologist said that taking one baby aspirin (82mg) a day is the cheapest and easiest protection against a heart attack. (Of course, you can't forget diet and exercise either) Start today!

On a brighter, and I do mean brighter note, this is a little journal I altered for my dear friend Jeanne for her birthday. She has a jewelry business called "just a little something...". I thought she could keep track of her orders in this. She's thinking about an Etsy shoppe..I will keep you posted. The necklace is one she made for me so you can see she does beautiful work! Jeanne is a very colorful woman with a great sense of style. I thought the papers I used on this journal were fun...just like she is! Here she is (on the far left) with her beautiful daughter, Anna, when our book group was having lunch last month at the Hoffbrau Haus, a new restaurant on the Southside of Pittsburgh. Great food!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vintage Spring Sweetness Swap

Last week, the Vintage Spring Sweetness Swap came to a close. My partner Kana and I mailed our parcels to each other and by mid-week they were received. I have done a half-dozen swaps by now and most have been fun and have allowed me to meet some wonderful women. This was that kind of swap. After we were our assigned our swap partner's name by Linda, one of the best hostesses I've known, we exchanged some information and started to get to know each other. I have found that I prefer to swap with someone who has a blog. That way, it is easier to be able to see what the partner's taste's and interests are. By the time Kana and I sent our packges to each other, we had a good idea of what each other liked. She sent me beautiful items that I know I will use in decorating and crafting ('cause I am already!).

Here is what she sent me....
The picture above shows the assortment of goodies. The bird pencil holder is covered in vintage wallpaper. I have a bunch of pink tulips (silk ones) that are being displayed in my foyer.An assortnment of eggs (the pictures don't do them justice) and a dove in a flowered nest...A teeny peep in a tiny egg-so darling!Tiny notebook and frame...Click on the picture below to see the fine glitter that enhances the vintage postcard image. I think this is my favorite item that Kana sent to me! There was also some German scrap and some vintage reproduction cards.This was in the package I sent to Kana... Some vintage seam binding, ribbon, copies of vintage images and coasters all in Kana's favorite color...An altered clipboard and birdie magnet also in purples....A vintage vinegar cruet altered with silk ribbon, a bird charm and a paper rose on the cork. The pearls are from old necklaces and bracelets....There are 2 things that are my favorite things to do. One is altering notebooks or journals. This one has a reproduced image of an old apron pattern (Kana makes beautful aprons) and button card....The other thing I love to make is banners. This is one for Spring. If you'd like to see pictures of each individual pennant, just click on my flickr pictures to the left which will take you to my photostream.I also made some tags and embellishments using Quickutz dies. So fun!A Springy tea towel and some chocolate carrots complete the package. Thank you Linda for hosting this swap. I'm looking forward to what's coming for Summer!!!!

Thank you Kana for being a delightful partner. I love all the things you sent me! I will be reading your blog to find out what fun you'll be having at "Inspired"!


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