So I’m a Little Nuts…

“Let’s bring the trestle table upstairs and take this one downstairs before the boys get home from youth.”

“But Mom, it’s 8:20. Aren’t they going to be home soon?”

“We have an hour – PLENTY of time!! Think how surprised they will be!”

“You’re serious. Okay. What do we have to do?”

Thus started one of those projects that leaves those around you wondering if you have lost your mind.

We have this beautiful solid wood trestle table that Tim’s Mom & Dad bought when he was a kid. He and his siblings grew up eating at this table. It’s in rough shape right now – but it’s beautiful. It’s SO heavy (I’m guessing it weighs over 150 pounds)! They don’t make them like this anymore! I can’t wait to refinish it…but I digress.

Emily and I headed downstairs with the chairs from the old table as we don’t need them upstairs anymore. Step one done. YEAH! Still had lots of time to get things done.

Next step was to move that big old table out of the family room and up the stairs. No big deal. Until I realized it was too wide for the door frame. And FREAKIN’ heavy. Hm. Now what? Brilliant idea came to mind: Take the top off.

Half an hour later and we had only managed to remove a few screws and discover that years of use had fused the top to the base. We were running out of time.

Plan B – put all the screws back in. Turn the thing on its’ side and slide it through the door at the right angle to get those legs out and around. Okay…Ready? One…Two…Three!!

SUCCESS!! Oh…crap! It was catching in one spot and no amount of maneuvering was going to budge it. And now I’ve ruined Tim’s fantastic trim paint job on that door frame. And we’ve got 5 minutes at the most until the boys were home! Panic was setting in – not enough time to move backwards and not enough time to move forwards (yes, we were STUCK)!

I wish I could have gotten a picture of Tim’s face when he walked in the door and found me at the bottom of the stairs with my end of the table visible. He’d already worked a long day and I am pretty sure he thought there was no way he was getting out of helping with this one, just when he wanted to do nothing but go to bed. Well, the wonderful guy that he is, he did bail us out a little and helped us turn that sucker on its’ end and get it through that one door frame. I sent him on his way after that.

We huffed. We puffed. We pulled and we pushed. We shimmied and we tweaked. We got sweaty. But we managed to get that table up the first flight of stairs to the landing. A few adjustments of position and we started up the second and made quick work of that one. It wasn’t long before we had that table in the kitchen and headed on to the dining room.

1 1/2 hours after we set out to surprise the boys with our table switch, I’d say we were successful! We only had 1 paint mishap (the doorframe downstairs). We didn’t hurt ourselves. And we were pretty quiet. To quote Tim “I’m impressed. You’re being quiet, you aren’t banging up the walls and you aren’t swearing. THAT is impressive!”

I am pretty proud of myself and Emily – we got that table moved with almost zero help from the guys. I had a fun bonding time with my daughter, showed her that she can do more than she thinks she can if she puts her mind to it and accomplished something I have been wanting to do for a while now.

Now I wonder if I can move that china cabinet by myself?

Keeping In Touch #3

Currently…..

2014-03-16 16.03.01-2

Liam Selfie – when traveling, sometimes you just have to give the kid your phone to keep him happy!

Obsessing over: Sewing! And crosstitch. And trying to figure out, or rather, find a way to balance what I need to do each day with what I want to do. As well as trying to determine when “good enough” is okay and when it’s not.

Reading:  I’m STILL reading “Desperate”…and “Cleaning House” although CH has taken a backseat. I’ve been tired lately and my head and heart are so full of things to process that I am slowly working through the good stuff. I’m also reading “Sycamore Road” by John Grisham…which I am sharing with Tim – he reads before he falls asleep and I come in later and read before I fall asleep!

Oh! I am also reading 1 Peter right now in my regular Bible reading. Some really great stuff!!

Working on: Continuing to work on decluttering and simplifying our home. There is no point in trying to organize if we have much more than we need taking up space in our home. This week I am working specifically on Isaac’s room and my office. My office is just messy. Isaac’s room looked like a bomb went off! YIKES!! I should have taken a picture so I could show a before and after but you’ll have to just take my word for it!!

Smile??? Next time I ask him to smile for a picture, I'm going to make sure he's finished eating! OOPS!

Smile???
Next time I ask him to smile for a picture, I’m going to make sure he’s finished eating! OOPS!

Thinking about: I was at a conference on the weekend, Levite Summit, that was focused on worship and the arts and the resurgance of creative and new within the church. Erwin McManus was the keynote speaker. I can’t even begin to put into words yet what I am thinking about from the teaching and information from the weekend but you can bet that once I am done processing and pondering there WILL be a post about it!

Anticipating: My dear mother-in-law is coming to visit on Friday and my older two kids return from Ontario, where they have been visiting their dad, on Thursday. I am looking forward to the end of the week! We’re having the local kids in for dinner on Friday evening. I LOVE having family around and in our home!

Eating: Apple Crisp. Made some for dessert tonight – had my grandpa over for dinner – and mmm mmmmmm. I LOVE apple crisp! And Liam does too! Guess what’s for breakfast tomorrow??!!

Praying for: ALWAYS my kids!! You can just assume that! Also for the big kids – Tim’s kids – as they are all encountering life and challenges and the daily realities of being adults. I’m also praying for clarity and direction as I work to figure out exactly how God wants me to serve Him – I’m feeling like I’m supposed to be doing more but am not quite sure what “more” is or what that looks like.

Wishing for: Rest. Direction (as mentioned above). A cleaning and decluttering fairy (although doing it myself is rewarding, I know…right?).

And that’s that.

No One Right Way

Dear Parent Trying So Hard to Do It All “Right”:

I saw you today – you were stressing out trying to follow all the rules. You know the ones I’m talking about. The list is endless and daunting and reality is  if you don’t hold your tongue just right and use the perfect tone of voice, you’ll fail and your child will most definitely be a loser in later life. Or at least that’s what you have come to believe.

In this journey that you are on called “parenthood”, you’re going to encounter more opinions and theories than there are seconds in a year and every one of them is going to be the “RIGHT” way of doing things, the only way of doing things if you want to be successful as a parent. It’s crazy. I have read countless books in my 14 years of being a parent and if I have learned one thing it is this: THERE IS NO 1 RIGHT WAY OF DOING THINGS!

Some parents cloth diaper and swear by it (I am one of those…now! I haven’t always been…see…no 1 way of doing things). Some parents swear by disposables (yea that was me once upon a time). Some parents choose to do elimination communication – they only use diapers when they go out. Some parents swear by sign language and others don’t see the point. Some parents are very rigid with their child’s schedule and others have no schedule at all. Some parents never use a stroller and only wear their babies all day everywhere. Others are big believers in swings, strollers, exersaucers, and other baby entertainment or containment devices. Some parents begin to feed their babies solids (as in rice cereal or pablum) as early as 4 months while others exclusively breastfeed until their child is a year…still others formula feed. Some parents are militant about breastfeeding while others are the same about formula. Some parents cosleep. Others can’t sleep unless baby sleeps in another room. Some parents enroll their children in all kinds of lessons and classes from the moment they can sit up. Others just let their children play freely all day. Some parents…

You get the point.

Every family is different. Every child is different. THERE IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY!! 

Read the books, listen to and hear the opinions of others (including professionals) and then DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY! Relax. The only way to do this parenting thing wrong is to give up and not do it. YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES! You will make decisions that seem right in the moment and then realize later that what you thought would work, isn’t working, and you’ll have to change course. THAT IS OKAY! Read the books and gather the information but give yourself permission to filter that information and take out of it what works for your family and leave the rest to the side. You will never be just like the family down the street or in the next pew at church. The formulas won’t always work in the whole for you. You are you. Your family is your family. And remember kids are no greater experts at this than you! They will adjust and forgive when necessary!

I’ve had 3 kids and I have to tell ya, from the first two to my last I have changed how I do things. Oh not everything but some things. I’ve changed. My circumstances have changed. My priorities and dreams and desires have changed. As a result my parenting choices have changed. Did I do it wrong the first time around? Nope. I did things then the best way I knew how based on the information at my disposal, my circumstances and my kids. I made mistakes along the way because I am human but I have continually corrected and redirected and moved forward. I’ve figured out that sometimes things work a certain way for a while but then stop working and adjustments have to be made. That’s okay. It’s normal. YOU ARE NORMAL. Even if you are doing things very differently than others around you, you are not doing things wrong. You are doing what is right for your family.

Relax. You’ve got this. Enjoy the evolution of your parenting as your family grows and learns together. And when someone tries to tell you that you’re doing it wrong (or that you’re crazy), do what I do: put your hands on your hips, feet shoulder width apart, back straight and shoulders back and tongue out. Take a deep breath and PPPPPPPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTTT to them!! Okay not really, well maybe but only in your head…in real life, graciously thank them for their opinion, tell  them you’re doing what is right for your family and then change the subject.

Doing it no one right way with you,

Jocelyn

Look What I Made!

I learned how to sew a straight seam on Thursday afternoon and so I decided I knew enough to attempt a slightly bigger project than a little bag…A QUILT! I picked up a Jelly Roll from the local quilting store (Katja’s Quilts) and got to work.

It’s really quite easy – sew the strips together end to end to create one LONG strip of fabric (and I mean LONG!!!). Then fold it in half, right sides together, and sew from one end to the other along one side (you cut the fold open right before you get to the end). Open it up, fold it in half again end to end and sew up one side…basically you repeat step 1 a few times until it forms a crib sized quilt top. It’s SUPER EASY!!! I did it while sick with the flu on Friday!

Here is my finished quilt top – now all I have to do is learn how to finish it off with the batting and binding and all that stuff! I’m going to let some lovely ladies from my church teach me that in a couple weeks.

My First Quilt Top!

My First Quilt Top! (Ignore hubby’s feet!! and the mess in the living room!)

I DID IT!!

The whir of the sewing machine is a sound I grew up with – it wasn’t a constant in our home but mom was never without a machine to hem a pair of pants or sew a stocking or make a simple dress. I had to learn how to sew in Grade 8 but wasn’t so excited about the idea. Our project option was a pair of bermuda style shorts with an elastic waist. I chose to make mine in a HIDEOUS Royal Purple polyester fabric. I don’t remember if I passed or failed that project in terms of sewing skills but I do know I failed in the fashion department!! To this day, whenever I think about Grade 8 sewing, I see this hideous purple in my mind. It’s really no surprise that to this day purple is NOT one of my favorite colors…at least not THAT purple!!

Fast forward to the last few years. As I have become more comfortable with who I am and my creative nature, I have become more aware of things I would love to make – from toddler busy books to beautiful quilts, there have been many things I have wanted to make but been unable to. I have been handcuffed by a lack of machine and a lack of confidence in my ability to make it work. Seeing the beautiful modern quilts on Pinterest really piqued my interest and my desire to acquire this skill so I set about finding a machine.

I have my Grandma’s OLD machine but I can barely lift it off the closet shelf – it’s heavy! So I put an appeal out to friends and have borrowed one from a girlfriend. I decided today I was going to learn how to make it happen so I pulled it out and got ready to go.

My little pouch...open

My little pouch…open

30 minutes after sitting down at that machine I did it!! I sewed my first straight seam!! And several practice runs later, I sewed a small pouch. Feeling more confident, I found the pieces of a Christmas Stocking that my mom had cut out and never completed and I finished it off complete with a little ribbon loop. I’m SO PROUD OF MYSELF!!!

My Little Pouch - closed

My Little Pouch – closed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This afternoon I picked up my first Jelly Roll of fabric and began the process of putting together my first quilt. I AM SO EXCITED!!! And I know my mom would be so proud of me for setting out to learn a new skill! I still have many of the basics to master and expand on before I will ever consider myself an accomplished seamstress but now that I know I can do this much on my own without help, I know that with a few lessons from others, I’ve got this!

Now I need to go and grow my “sewing projects” board on Pinterest….and add to my Quilting board! 😀

Mom Fail

It’s time for a little confession. Or maybe it’s a big one? Either way, it’s confession time.

Are you ready for this?? You might be shocked and appalled! I hope you don’t judge me harshly. Okay here goes….

I don’t do puke. I can’t handle the sight of it, the smell of it, the sound of it. If a kid so much as dry heaves, I’m heaving along with them. If I hear them actually throw up, I lose it. And if they miss the bowl, I’m in big trouble. I JUST CAN’T DO IT!!!

Tonight was youth and when the kids got home, Em let me know that Isaac threw up a couple of times at youth, was still feeling nauseated and looked green. I have to admit I was certain she was teasing me. And then I was horrified! She was telling the truth!

Cue Psycho shower scene music!!!

Seriously. This is my worst nightmare. It has been a long time, at least a couple of years, since anyone in this family has had the stomach flu and I have been so thankful for that! But tonight that happy run came to an end.

I taught my big kids to throw up into a bucket away from mom’s hearing when they were little. Yup. That’s right. I’m THAT mom – the one who doesn’t wipe her child’s brow or hold their hair back for them as they lean over the toilet. I can’t. If I do, I puke. In this area of motherhood I am a complete failure. I can sorta deal with the bowl contents (hold far away as possible, shallow breathe through my mouth, think happy thoughts when I dump it and flush…) but only after they are in the bowl! Just the idea of having to hear it or help the kids mid hurl makes me feel like I am going to be sick (hope that’s what has my stomach turning – the thought of them hurling – and that I am not about to be a victim of this flu). I’ve sent Isaac to bed with gravol, a bucket and instructions to call me if he needs me. I’m praying he can handle it on his own because I not sure I can.

Yes I am a failure as a mom in this way. But I’m okay with that. It could be worse. Bad-Parenting-Humor

 

Memories

Mom's Tea Set

Mom’s Tea Set

I have a tea set sitting on a shelf in my china cabinet that I acquired after my mom passed away. It’s beautiful. In perfect condition. Might be worth a penny or two. Holds so many memories. But it is so not my style. I am not a pink roses with fluted edges kind of girl. I generally don’t make tea in a teapot that matches my teacup and saucer and cake plate! If I were offered the set by a friend, I would have graciously said thank you but no thank you. I couldn’t do that to this particular set.

I have looked at this tea set over and over for the last few months. It looks pretty sitting on its’ shelf but it isn’t bringing me joy. It’s lack of use & the guilt I feel because of that has started to overshadow the memories. Good memories. Memories of putting on that favorite dress and sitting down to a REAL cup of tea complete with milk and sugar. Memories of my mom, serving cakes and other yummy treats to others and pouring tea from the tea pot. Memories of birthday parties and tea parties and the “special occasion” feeling that was created every time Mom pulled out this set. Memories that I want to keep special.

I’ve known for a little while now that I need to find a new home for this set. It’s taking up space that I need for other things. It is collecting dust. It just needs to move on. But letting it go to just anyone hasn’t been something I’ve been able to do. So I have held on to it. I don’t want it sold off in separate pieces. I don’t want the cups used for candles. I don’t want it to go to someone who won’t appreciate the history and memories. So it collects dust.

A Close Up of Mom's Tea Set - Royal Albert Lavender Rose

A Close Up of Mom’s Tea Set – Royal Albert Lavender Rose

However, this is going to change this week. Following the suggestion of a friend, I contacted a local retirement home and they are so excited to be able to give a home to this set. I am excited to give it to them. They have plans to use it at their next tea party & I just might see if I can get an invitation. It’s great to know that memories will continue to be made with this set and that others will be given a chance to enjoy each other’s company and a cup of tea using my mom’s tea set. It’s even better to be able to think about that set and simply remember the special times I have associated with it.