Wings As Eagles: September 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The morning spent outside...

I've spent the last several weeks teaching in Sunday School on creation and Adam and Eve. I usually spend a couple weeks on a subject and review and repeat. Just because I want the kids to learn the material I'm teaching them, not to just barely know it after hearing it one Sunday. And of course the more times they hear it, the more they are likely to remember it!

So, last Sunday was my "review and quiz" for God's creation. I printed out a poster with all 7 days written on it. Then I made little foam pieces and stickers to correspond with each day. When I went to church that morning, I took a quilt and we took our lesson outside!

Why? I'm not crazy about being outside, but I knew the children in my class would love being outdoors and I wanted them to really think and look around them to see what God has created.

So we started out with the earth being covered in darkness and then God created light! So my question to them was, Are we in darkness or light now? and What did God call the dark and light?

And so we continued with each day, asking them what God created. Then we looked around outside and tried to spot different things that God created outside. This provided them with a real thing they could actually see that God created. And that's exactly what I wanted them to understand and be thankful for what He's made for us.

You know that kids can come up with the most clever of ideas and thoughts to the subject your teaching. So when we were talking about the plants God created on day 3, Adam said that we can't live without plants.

And I replied with, "That's true and why can't we live without plants?"

He replies with, "We breath what they don't breath."

In my mind I just had to laugh and think upon how true that really is! That's not quite where my line of thinking was in asking why, but that is a very accurate answer! They release oxygen which we breath in and we exhale carbon dioxide which they need to survive. So true and amazing that God created it to be that way!

A time of learning...

For the last couple of months I have been teaching the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade age group at church on Sunday mornings. Oh, how I have enjoyed teaching this little group of eager learners! They are quick to learn and respond to the questions I ask.

I probably spend too much time preparing for my lesson time on Sunday morning, but I just enjoy so much putting Biblical principles into hands-on learning tools and crafts. Kids this age are so visual and hands-on that you need to have something to keep their attention.

I've been teaching on creation for the last several Sundays. It's actually a very good review for me also. I probably end up learning more in my prep work than the kids!

One Sunday we "built" a creation theme poster. I had different pieces cut out for everything that God created on each day and we built it, piece by piece. The earth started out covered in darkness (black poster), then God created light, the next day the waters and sky. On the third day we added dry land with mountains, trees, grass, flowers and all kinds of living plants. The sun, moon and stars were added on the fourth day.

On the fifth day, I had foam stickers and other stickers for fish, sea animals and birds, which were scattered in the ocean and in the sky. The sixth day brought land animals such as elephants, lions, cats, tigers, bears, monkeys and then finally man - Adam.

I had the kids put on the different stickers and pieces having them think on the different things that God created each day. They just loved it! And it added a wonderful addition to our Sunday School classroom wall! :)

I do so much enjoy and look forward to teaching every Sunday morning! I enjoy serving in this way and being able to teach some Biblical truths to these young kids' minds.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I can't help but think back...

I can't help but think back a year ago, where we were, what we were doing, how we were struggling. The past few days, my mind had been returning to what was going on a year ago frequently throughout the day.

Yesterday, September 28th is a day (plus many days after that!) I will never forget. Yesterday a year ago, Mom had brain biopsy surgery in Wichita. We knew at that time she had a brain tumor, but didn't know the extent of it or what would be required after surgery.

We checked into the hospital early that morning and Mom went into surgery about 8 am. I can remember the time spent with Mom before surgery. We stayed with Mom the entire time until they wheeled her into the surgery area. I can remember the tears, the hugs and kisses before she went into surgery. As we prepared for the long hours of waiting, we could only pray that God would direct the outcome of the surgery and guide the doctors and nurses.

After surgery, she was admitted to ICU and we were able to visit her. When I walked into her room, I thought that this just couldn't be Mom. This was not my Mom who had been so healthy and strong, so full of energy everyday, just lying there hooked up to so many tubes and machines. She was still really drowsy from the anesthesia and unresponsive to us.

The day of surgery was long, hard and so difficult. But to me the next day, the day after surgery was almost harder than the day of surgery. Since she was in ICU, there were just a few hours during the day that we were able to see her. In between times we would rotate between the three of us (Dad, Jena and myself) going back to the motel to rest.

It became increasingly difficult to go into that ICU room to see her. We wanted to be there, we wanted to be with her, but it so hard to see her the way she was. She was a little more responsive to us, but the hardest part was that she was unable to speak or move her right side (including her arm and leg) at all.

We visited with the surgeon that afternoon and he confirmed that there had been some brain damage during surgery. Mom wouldn't speak again, be able to walk on her own or move her right side. He also told us that the type of cancer she had was in the latter stages and very difficult to treat and usually patients with this type of cancer lived only 6 months to 2 years.

How shocked could we be? So shocked we couldn't think or even speak, the tears just started coming. We knew she had a brain tumor. We knew the risks of surgery could damage her brain and make her condition worse. But we were not expecting this.

When we walked back into Mom's ICU room, we could tell by her facial expression that she knew something was wrong when she looked at us. We didn't tell her much at the time, not knowing how much she was able to understand. We just tried to keep our attitudes upbeat and be encouraging to her. Thinking back on it and Mom's response to us, she knew more and understood more than we thought she did. But I'll never forget the look on Mom's face as we walked into her room after receiving the news. That look of anguish and helplessness. That look of wanting to say something, but unable to.

To me that day was harder than the previous day of surgery. We were faced with something that would only get worse. We didn't know at the time how quickly things would progress and didn't ever expect Mom to be gone in less than two months time.

But as Dad and I were talking this evening, we can rejoice for the time we had with Mom and be thankful for the life she lived. We can be thankful for her Godly example to us girls as well as many other people. For Mom, death was a time of rejoicing; she had a much better future to look forward to. It just makes is difficult for those of us she left behind. But oh-what we can look forward to as believers!

Friday, September 21, 2007

:-) turns 25!

Did you know one of the most popular symbols written in our land of Internet, email and blogs had turned 25?! Read this to see how it all was started...

Here's a little excerpt:

Fahlman said, "I sometimes wonder how many millions of people have typed
these characters, and how many have turned their heads to one side to view a
smiley, in the 25 years since this all started."

Me too!!! :) Read the full article here....

It really is funny!

Morgan posted this funny eBay auction listing, which I had read the week before, but totally forgot about mentioning it here. It really is hilarious! You never know what you can buy and sell on eBay!! Would you believe her hilarious story sold that pack of cards for over $100?!?!

I couldn't stand it anymore!

See all those little black dots??

This morning I walked into one of our storage rooms to get some things for lunch and decided I just couldn't tolerate it anymore! I was tired of trying to dodge the dead little black bugs dotting the floor. You see, the cellar door leading outside is in that storage room and for some reason those little black bugs find their way inside!

Dad had sprayed around downstairs the other day, so that really drew out the bugs, but at least it killed them. For the last couple of days, more and more bugs have been appearing on the floor and I decided today was the day to sweep them all up!

Over the next few days, I'm sure there will be more as the chemical drives them from their hiding places into the open. But at least for now, I don't have to worry about stepping and hearing a crunch underneath my foot! Or about waking up to find something crawling on my arm from a certain furball bringing me her "new find"! much better!

Today was just the start of a difficult couple of months...

As I was doing laundry, cleaning and doing various other things upstairs today, I couldn't help but remember this day a year ago.

I can remember Dad and Mom being in Wichita, having an appointment with the MS specialist Dr. I can remember Dad calling home and saying that the lesions on Mom's brain were not related to MS, but were in fact a brain tumor. I can remember Dad saying they had to stay in Wichita so more tests could be done at the hospital the next day.

I can remember Dad being barely able to talk, concerned about Mom and in tears. I can remember hearing Dad's tears and that started my own. I can remember calling Grandma and hearing her worried voice when she heard the news.

That day was difficult. I don't think we fully realized at the time just how hard the days to come would be, what would be involved and how little time we had left with Mom. Those days, I would not want to go through again, but oh-how we learned to fully depend on the Lord and His strength!

5 reasons...

Morgan tagged with a meme and I wanted to be sure and post it. I know (head knowledge) how great and loving my God is, but do I really appreciate how much He loves me, what He had done for me and what He continues to do everyday? Probably not, but here are 5 (there are so many more!) reasons why I love God!

1. He sent Jesus Christ, His Son to die on the cross for ME!

2. He forgave my sins when I accepted Him as Savior and continues to forgive the mistakes and wrong things I do daily!

3. He is with me everywhere I go. No matter where I am or in what situation I am in, He is there to guide, comfort and encourage!

4. When I feel like the world is spinning out of control and I can't continue, He is there to lift me up and give me strenth!

5. I love Him because I can trust Him with everything. I can put my life, my plans, my desires in His hands and I know He will do what is best for me (even if I don't like it at the time!)!

If you would like to join in, consider yourself tagged and give your own 5 reasons why you love God!

Let's see...

...what's been happening around here???

Our renters next door to us moved out, so Dad had been busy working over at the other house, cleaning, painting and getting things ready for new renters to move in. The house is pretty filthy and a couple rooms need painting, but Dad is hoping to get it finished this weekend. We already have renters who want to move in next week - unbelievable!

Jena had to work today and is back to work tomorrow. They were busy at the hospital today with plenty of patients and surgeries also.

Krissa called yesterday and talked for a while. Poor girl!! She is so overwhelmed with classes and responsibilities!! I think she's only surviving on a couple hours of sleep everyday, but at least the weekend is here and she can get a little bit of a break.

As editor of the college paper, she was really pleased with the results of the first issue! You can see it online here. It looks fantastic and the layout looks very professional! Great job, Kris!! :)

As for my week - it has been busy getting caught up on stuff and still working on quilt class details. Every night this week I have been up late, on my computer, getting things prepared for classes. So tonight, I thought I'd take a break from quilt details and get things caught up here! So be prepared to be overwhelmed with a series of posts....:)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Internet Emergency!

I found something else that brought a smile to my face - an Internet emergency! You'll get a chuckle out of what to do when your Internet connection is broken. Be sure to scroll clear to the end! I love the last graphic on the page - downloading the Internet so you can view if offline! Watch the animation for just a minute and be prepared to smile!

Ok, now back to work...

Just a chuckle...

I stumbled on this page this morning and couldn't help but think of my sister with her car in South Carolina! The catchy tune and hilarious lyrics are just too funny to resist! :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Our day at the fair

Yesterday we attended the Kansas State Fair! It had been 2 years since we had been there and I had sent 2 boxes of my stitched projects to be entered in the fair, so I wanted to go and look through the domestic arts building.

The day turned out to be a little cool and cloudy, but not too bad for walking around outside. Jena met Katrina (a friend from Topeka), leaving Dad and I on our own for much of the day. Then on the way to Hutchinson, we stopped at Stafford and I saw Lois, one of my quilting buddies! Believe it or not, we were both headed to the fair and neither one of us knew the other one was going! I couldn't believe it, but we planned to meet up later and go through the quilts together.

I'm so glad I ran into Lois! We had such a fun time looking through all the quilts and stitched items. The time we were in there just disappeared, but when we left I figured we had been in that one are for over 2 hours. That was fine...Jena was off with Katrina and Dad was looking at farm equipment.

I sent over 20 projects to the fair, entered in 10 different catagories. Dad and Jena walked with me through the domestic arts building, quickly, looking for the things I made to see if I received any ribbons. I didn't really expect to win but just a few, but I actually received a ribbon in 7 different classes. I sent multiple items for each class and can only receive a ribbon for one. I ended up with 4 blue ribbons, 1 red ribbon and 2 white ribbons. I was completely surprised!

Overall it was a fun day! Here are a few photos and there are more on my online photo album. Enjoy!

Jena & Katrina

Jena, Dad, Me
Dad found the hat he was looking for at the fair!


My dove quilt won a red ribbon!

My Stars of the Show wall hanging, featuring Jena and Krissa,
won a blue ribbon! Jena said now they are famous! :)

This day, a year ago and years before that...

I actually meant to post this yesterday, but we were at the fair for most of the day and I didn't get to it, so here it is today.

September 14th is a special day, but perhaps more significant this year more than any other. September 14th is Mom's birthday. That one day in September that my sisters and I tried to do something special for Mom. That one day in September that Mom knew she would be one year older. That one day in September that I'm glad happened or I wouldn't be here!

Through the years, my sisters and I would always come up with something special for September 14th. Sometimes a little item we bought for her or maybe just a card (even e-cards!), but it would be something to show we loved and cared for Mom very much.

I'll never forget the first store-bought gift we ever bought for Mom (and it was probably the first thing we bought on our own, also!). I can't really remember how old we were (I'm sure I wasn't any older than 10 or 11), but Jena, Krissa and I decided to surprise Mom with a candle from Wal-Mart with one of her favorite scents. We always went shopping with Mom every week when she did her grocery shopping, so we knew it would be a challenge to get it at that time, but we didn't really have any other choice. We couldn't go shopping on our own and Dad was working for AT&T at the time and unable to take us. Do you know how hard it is to get a surprise gift for someone when they are right there??

I'm not quite sure which one of the three of us thought of the plan, but we had a plan in place. All three of us would leave Mom while she was shopping go look at the candles and decide on one to buy. Then I would go through the checkout and pay for it while Jena and Krissa found Mom and kept her distracted so she wouldn't spot me. The candle was small enough that I could stick it inside my jacket and it wouldn't be too noticeable after I paid for it. If I tried that now, I'm sure the Wal-Mart anti-theft cameras would catch me on tape and I'd probably be stopped for trying to stuff something in my jacket. :)

Anyway, that was the plan. And it worked well until...I was checking out and realized I didn't have enough money to pay for the candle. So I did the first thing that popped in my head and still to this day can't believe I actually did that! I told the clerk I would be right back. I ran back to where I knew Jena and Krissa were keeping Mom distracted, dug in Mom's purse that was in the front of her shopping cart, found her billfold for several quarters, ran back to the checkout aisle and finished paying for my item.

Were there a line of people waiting to checkout behind me? I don't know. Did the clerk think I was crazy? Probably or maybe she just felt sorry for me that I didn't quite know what I was doing. Who knows? But I managed to buy the candle, get it inside my jacket and get home without Mom having a clue what we did.

Mom treasured that candle for years, only burning a little bit of it at a time. It wasn't much; just a candle, but the thought and effort we put into getting it was special to her. I don't recall if we told her our escapade of getting it, but that made it all the more fun getting it for her and surprising her with it. I'll never forget that September 14th!

Last year at this time was quite different from years past. Krissa was in South Carolina at college and had sent Mom a card. Jena and I bought Mom some fresh flowers that we knew she would enjoy. Mom was not feeling well and we were still trying to deal with the shock of her diagnosis of MS only a little over a month ago. Her health was declining everyday and we couldn't understand why. Mom had days where she felt better than others and this was one of the worst. Little did we know on that September 14th that her next birthday would be spent pain-free, rejoicing in heaven.

Although this day brings sadness and some tears, it also brings great joy! I'm thankful for so many things. For the years she could spend with us. For the lessons she taught me; not only in school from first grade through high school, but also in daily life. For the encouragement she was to me when I was struggling. For the godly example of a wife and mother. And for most of all - leading me to a personal belief and trust in Jesus Christ!

Even though this day brings some sorrow where in past years has brought joy, I can choose to rejoice and be glad for the years spent with Mom. We have wonderful memories that will be remembered in years to come!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Just a few cute photos...

Skittles is wherever I am, no matter what I am doing. Last week when I was at my sewing machine for 16 hours a day, she was right at my feet, trying to get on my lap or walking in and around my machine.

So this week as I was at my computer most of the day, she was right here. If she wasn't right at my feet, she was sitting beside me. Talk about being loyal...that she is! :)

Right at my feet under my sewing machine!

I look down from my quilting and this is what I see...

Playing with the ceiling fan might be fun!

Playing with her tail right next to me on the couch!

Still camped out beside me...

Looks like she's watching the computer screen as I'm typing! :)

Wednesday night kid's club

On Wednesday evenings, Jena and I have started helping with Kid's Adventure Club for kids, ages 4th-8th grade. Yesterday was the first meeting for this school semester and it seemed to go really well!

The theme for this semester is Godly Character Traits, which will be a fantastic, practical topic the kids can put into practice on a daily basis. We have a teaching time, memory verse challenge and activities planned every week.

I'm in charge of memory verses, which I am enjoying and continue to look forward to. So far, I've decided to build a brick wall with character traits written on the wall. For each character trait verse the kids memorize, they will get to put up a brick. They will be divided into teams and the challenge for each team is to memorize the most verses by the end of the year!

We'll see how it far so good. Last night went better than I expected, partly because I was a little worried teaching a little older kids than I am used to. My Sunday School class I'm teaching is first, second and third grade - so there is quite a difference in ages and teaching techniques between my Sunday morning classes and Wednesday evening sessions.

But I'm looking forward to next Wednesday! Plus it is also fun that Jena and I can be involved together and bounce ideas off each other!

Our trip to OK

Last Saturday, Dad, Jena and I traveled to OK to visit Dad's family. We went out to eat, toured Gloss Mountain State Park and also visited the cemetery where Dad's parents and sister-in-law are buried. Plus we drove by the area where Dad grew up and went to school - I can't imagine living in a house that small!

It was a long day, but the weather stayed fairly nice. It only just started to rain as we were getting ready to leave, so we were glad. Jena and some others hiked up the stairs and trail to the top of one of the mountains and of course she had her camera with her.

You can see some photos in the link from her blog here...

Krissa's BJU college survival kit

Krissa called Jena today just totally thrilled with the package that she received in the mail! Last week Jena did the usual grocery shopping and seemed to be gone forever!! I kept wondering what was taking her so long to get home, but it turns out that she was shopping in Wal-Mart for over 3 hours!

She had a fantastic idea! Make and send Krissa a survival kit with the theme being her senior year of college at BJU! By the time she was done, she has a huge list of items, the reason behind her choosing to include each one, all tucked nice and neat in a basket!

You can read her Survival Kit Guide on her blog here...

Krissa was so thrilled and told Jena it was just so BJU - everything just fit right in to college life, which was what Jena was trying to achieve!

DVD bloopers

One reason I love dvds over videos - aside from the fact that the picture is so much clearer, it's so much easier to skip around and find certain movie spots, no rewinding necessary and of course you can play it in a computer - is for the simple fact that I love watching the deleted scenes, how the movie is produced and most importantly the movie bloopers!

This last week, I video taped my quilt introduction for my online class and retaped and retaped! Just as I thought I had the perfect set, the phone would ring, Skittles would interfere or I completely lost my train of thought for what I was saying. I'm learning it takes practice and many, many tries. At one point I finally said that was the last time I was taping a section, but little did I realize I would be taping it another 5 times before I was finally happy with the results.

Do I have some taped bloopers? Oh, yes, for sure! But I can't imagine the amount of taped blooper footage I will have by the time I have taped all 12 months worth of classes! And they're hidden deep inside my computer so only I know where they are and some certain sisters of mine can't get to them!! :)

I'm done!!!!

...and you're wondering, "You're done with what?" I realize I haven't posted much over the last couple of weeks. In fact I looked at my blog just now and couldn't believe my last entry was almost two weeks ago. So now, I have time to post all the notes rolling around in the back of my head that I haven't posted yet!

It's not been a lack of things to tell you about, actually there have been quite a few things happening around here recently, but most of my time has been consumed with getting things ready to start a new quilt class I am planning to teach both locally and online.

It seems that I have been living and breathing quilting, computer files and Internet uploads. There have been lots of details to plan and problems to solve, but I think I am finally there! And as always when I'm in the middle of accomplishing one thing, I never fail to think of something else that needs to be done as well, so I just add that to my list.

But as the date draws closer, I am getting more and more excited about starting this class! I'm anxious to see all the colors and fabric combinations everyone will decide on using!

Last week I stayed glued to my machine, getting my quilt marked and all the quilting completed. I still may add a few quilting details to it, but am really, really happy with the quilt, colors and quilting stitches! I truly enjoy quilting, even though the weight of the quilt gets rather heavy and really works my arm and shoulders, especially when I'm trying to accomplish several weeks of work into just a few days and nights! Yes, you read that correctly - days and nights!! :)

This week I have stayed glued to my computer! But I'm so excited because my quilt is finished, photographed and completely online!! Class notes, details, supply lists, kits and my taped video introduction have all been written, edited and uploaded online also. So for the moment, I can take a breather from quilt class details and get some other things done!

And I'm so glad that Jena was home today to fix lunch and supper!! Plus she finished the laundry that I started this morning and never made it back upstairs to get it completed! So thanks, Jen!! :)

Oh, btw here is my finished quilt....

Saturday, September 1, 2007

That's the limit!

Early this morning I woke up to Skittles poking her paw around my arm. I didn't think too much about it, thinking she brought one of her toys on the bed and was playing with it. Then I felt something brushing against my arm. Again, I didn't think too much about it, figuring it was her whiskers tickling my arm.

Then I felt something crawling on my arm and my concern level began rising very rapidly! I threw back the covers, turned on the light and saw a black bug dart under the covers with Skittles right behind!

After just about tearing my bed apart to get it, I finally found that bug and got it out of there! I can take Skittles and bringing her balls, ribbons or bells on the bed, but in no way, shape or form am I going to tolerate sleeping with bugs! Good thing she is an inside cat or who knows what she would be bringing on my bed!