Happy Doctor Who Day!

Today is Doctor Who’s 46th anniversary. For those who don’t know, it’s a British science fiction show. I was introduced to it by my Dad.

I used to watch the Original Star Trek and Doctor Who with him. I grew to appreciate the shows in time, but mostly, I just wanted to spend time with my Dad. Those are some great memories. Just sitting on the couch with him watching the strange TV shows with terrible effects, but utterly intriguing storylines. Perhaps that in part is what inspired my facination with astronomy and space exploration.

I don’t have anything profound to say today. But it was nice to remember some of the good memories that I have from my childhood.

Daybook for November 9th

Outside my window… turkeys yesterday, but none today.

I am thinking… worrying actually, about my test tomorrow.

I am thankful for… Camo’s second birthday on Wednesday!

From the learning rooms… sorting out how to make this work when life gets in the way.

From the kitchen… Jello for supper!!!

I am wearing… jeans and a black cable sweater.

I am creating… finished Camo’s birthday sweater and cast on a new sweater for me!

I am going… mad. The raving lunatic kind.

I am reading… I have too many books going at the moment.

I am hoping… that things come together for Camo’s party on Thursday.

I am hearing… my kiddos discussing the alphabet over breakfast.

Around the house… the house has rather gotten away from me as of late.

One of my favorite things… my children’s birthdays!

For more information about the daybook, please visit: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Glimpse

The following entry is from my journal. I pour out myself onto paper through my pen. If it is rambling, I apologize. If it makes little sense, please bear with me. I’ve written much about hope and grief this year. I want to give you an honest glimpse into my journey. It’s easy to write about hope, but so hard to hold on to it.

“Here I sit, LORD. Once again in the same place. Why do I return to this stronghold of darkness? Why do I allow this misery to consume me? Is it because this is familiar?

Oh God, this is not what I wanted! This is not what I planned! To be without her now, is too unfair. I didn’t want this, not now. Not so soon. The time we had was too short. So many questions that I never asked. The hole left in my life is eclipsed only by the one in my heart. Like a piece of me is missing.

Holy One, my strength is gone. I fell to my knees, unable even to stand. Here I lay, in my very own Slough of Despond. Cold and alone. Crying out to You, because I HAVE NOT THE STRENGTH.

Savior, my faith has been tested. I believe, truly I do. My mind knows the truth and holds fast to it. But my heart hurts. My black heart selfishly refuses to accept Your will.

Creator, break my heart. Shatter it if need be. ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Mold my heart. Make it true. Purify it by fire. Let it long for You.

Great Physician, break me that I may be healed.

Prince of Peace, rule my heart. Guide it. Let in find peace only in You.”

Legacy of Love

I was seated at the table, sipping a hot mug of tea and paging through Mom’s quilting books for Christmas ideas. Lessons were finished, the boys were playing and Munchkin was drawing. It occurred to me that sitting at the table with my tea and quilting books, I was the picture of my Mother. She used to sit at her table with her cup of French vanilla coffee; looking through her books or magazines and finding more projects that she would like to do than she would ever have the time for! Sometimes I would sit with her, and we would both point out the prettiest quilts, or the one with colors that looked perfect for one of us. Those were good times. Nothing spectacular, just the ordinary. I find that is what I miss the most, the ordinary things. Things that I never thought to really appreciate until they were gone.

Mom taught me how to quilt. The first quilt I sewed was for her. Looking back I think how horribly ugly it was. The colors were just whatever I could find, and none of the seams were straight! My hand-quilting was even worse than it is today. (I know, that’s REALLY hard to believe!) I quilted a heart in every block, because Mom always said that every quilt had to have at least one heart, since it’s made with love. It was a truly awful quilt, but that didn’t matter to her, she loved the fact that her daughter’s first quilt had been made especially for her. Fortunately, my sewing skills have improved quite a bit since then due to the amount of practice I’ve had. But she was still better than me. Whenever I had something that just was not working out, I’d call her. Mom would know how to fix it, she always did. If she didn’t know, she’d figure it out.

The old treadle sewing machine that Mom learned to sew on is still at the house. It belonged to her grandmother, and when it was passed on to her she treasured it, and the memories attached to it. I have my great-grandmother’s treadle machine and Aaron’s grandmother’s treadle machine in my care. I seem to inherit these sorts of things, just like Mom did. I love the beautiful antique sewing machines, but even more, I love the memories, the legacy that they remind me of. I think of the strong, Godly women who passed on their skills and their passion for making something beautiful and useful to show their family how much they were loved.

I think that was the main reason that they sewed, quilted, knit, and cooked for all of us. Yes, they enjoyed the process, but they also saw it as a way to express their love for us. I’ll never forget the mittens that great-Grammy Lila knit for each of us great-grandchildren each year at Christmas. I’ll treasure the baby blanket that Lillian made for her great-granddaughter, and one day Munchkin can wrap her own babies in it. I smile at the piles of socks that we found, knit by great-Grandma Millie, who I never met, but I can see her love for her sons by the wool socks that she knit to keep them warm. Every night, I sleep under a quilt made my Mom and my sister. I sleep under an expression of love.

These women lived their faith. It was evident because they loved. They were loved by so many because of the love that they had for everyone. They knew what it meant to be loved of God, and because of that their compassion and love for others was remarkable. I aspire to their legacy in so many ways. I miss all of them, most of all, my Mom. She left me a legacy. A legacy of love that makes me miss her desperately, but also a legacy of faith that sustains me in my grief. I remember her trusting God, and asking Him for grace and strength. So, in this very small way, I can begin to follow in her footsteps.

Nervous Knitting

I fidget. A lot. That’s one reason why I knit. My hands HAVE to have something to do. If I did not knit then I would drive everyone near me crazy by tapping my fingers or clicking a pen. Knitting is good for those of us who tend to be fidgety.

It’s also good for those of us who are the nervous type. Like me. I’m knitting up hats for gifts right now and making excellent progress. When I’m nervous I knit faster.

What had brought about my case of nerves? I have an appointment with the dentist tomorrow afternoon. I’m a nervous wreck! I have not been to the dentist even once in the past 12 years. Yes, I know! I’ve just had other things to deal with than my teeth. Not to mention how freaked out I get at even the thought of dental work. I had three homebirths and yet the thought of a mere filling makes my knees wobble. Makes absolutely no sense, I realize this. I’m still nervous…

Do you suppose that I could knit while they fix my tooth?

Thanks Mom…

I woke at three AM this morning to words that make every parent want to hide their head under their pillow.

“Mommy, I got sick on my bed.”

I got up, changed the sheets and got her settled back in bed with a bucket close by. She was sick again a few more times before morning, and each time I got up with her. I wondered how many times that Mom had gotten up with me in the middle of the night when I was sick. I can’t even begin to count.

I never thanked her for that. It didn’t occur to me. I know that I thanked her for many of the things that she had done for me, but not that. There are so many little sacrifices that a Mom makes, and we don’t fully realize that until we have children of our own. I am just beginning to grasp what it meant for Mom to homeschool us. Did I ever thank her specifically for that? For making that choice and putting in all of the time and effort that it required? I honestly don’t remember.

There are so many things now that I wish I could thank her for. So many sacrifices made for me. Did she know how grateful I was?

I said a lot of things to Mom. A lot of really important things. I thanked her for the big things. I told her that she was the most wonderful Mom that anyone could have. I said the most important things. Things like, “I love you.” I don’t have any big regrets, just little ones. Because I never thought to thank her for so many of the little things.

She knew that I love her, and I really hope that she also knew how truly grateful that I am, for everything…

Pumpkins, Peace and Praise

Is there anything that says autumn like a pumpkin? Aaron’s parents brought out some pumpkins for the kiddos yesterday. Munchkin LOVES pumpkins! She agreed to let me cook one of them so that we could make a pie. I found a recipe for a Pumpkin Maple Pie that just looked too good to pass up! I baked the pumpkin and pureed it last night, but didn’t mix up the pie until this morning. I used my grandmother’s secret pie crust recipe. (Pillsbury ready-made pie crusts!) It’s in the oven right now, and smells wonderful! I’ll try to wait until Aaron gets home tonight before I have a piece, I’ll try anyway…

Mr. Q has been glued to the window in the living room this morning. They are replacing culverts in the road across the street from our house. A dump truck and excavator are just too much for any little boy to resist! They were so alluring that when I set Camo in his high chair and doled out his cereal, I heard a little voice calling to me from the next room, “I’m not hungry Mommy.” This is utterly unheard of. That boy is ALWAYS hungry. I took in a cup of dry cereal and asked if he would like something to snack on while he watched the tractor. He readily agreed! He stayed there for nearly two hours, content to watch the construction. It was really an adorable picture.

It was the type of thing that would make me call Mom and say, “You will never guess what your grandson is doing!” I’d have related the story to her and we would have both laughed because no one loves trucks and tractors more than our little Mr. Q. Then I’d have told her about the pumpkin maple pie in the oven, and she would tell me that she’d be down for a piece later. I’d tell her that I still had some of her coffee in the cupboard to go with it. I still do have her coffee in my kitchen cupboard. I’ve not had the heart to move it yet. I like having the reminders, little pieces of her life around me. It still seems like a dream at times. Nearly seven months and there are still days when I can’t believe that she’s really gone. The ache in my heart reminds me that it’s true.

Oddly enough, I’ve been humming the hymn “Nothing but the Blood of Jesus” this morning. I looked up the lyrics, and found hope…

 

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace, Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

This is all my righteousness, Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome – Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

Now by this I’ll reach my home – Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing – Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

All my praise for this I bring – Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Daybook for September 28, 2009

Outside my window… the German Shepherd is enjoying a nice fall day.

I am thinking… about what to munch while I wait for lunch to finish.

I am thankful for… a nice bookshelf for all of my cookbooks.

From the learning rooms… I love the days that we have music class!

From the kitchen… Baked Potato Soup inspired by Sara’s facebook post.

I am wearing… jeans and Aaron’s black turtleneck.

I am creating… a shawl for Aunt Lois for Christmas.

I am going… to stay home today.

I am reading… The Scarlet Pimpernel yet again!

I am hoping… to catch up on dishes at some point.

I am hearing… Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Around the house… Kiddos playing and coloring, and a load of dishes going in the dishwasher!

One of my favorite things… A cup of hot tea. Earl Grey of course!

For more information on the daybook go to http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Doomed

I am obsessed with knitting. I’m sure that my friends and family would tell you that. I can’t really disagree. I do love to knit, and if I’m sitting down, you will usually find needles and yarn in my hands. In an ideal world my yarn budget would be a little more… robust. Since I have to make the most of every dollar that I spend on yarn, I frequent the clearance racks whenever I have the chance to shop at a store that sells decent yarn. (I’m also a bit of a fiber snob, which makes yarn even pricier…) Imagine my delight when I found the most gorgeous teal blue wool in 284 yard skeins for only $2.50 a skein. I snapped up all four of the remaining skeins. At home I sealed them carefully in a Ziploc bag to await the perfect project for my 1,136 yards of beautiful blue.

I am also somewhat obsessed with the Interweave Press magazines. I really should subscribe to Knits, Knitscene and Crochet since I buy all of the magazines as soon as they come out anyway. The Fall/Winter issue of Knitscene contained a sweater named Carnaby Street Pullover. I HAD to knit it! It called for 1,160 yards of yarn. I figured that 24 yards would not make too much difference as long as I was careful, right?

NEVER knit a sweater from clearance yarn when you think that you have JUST enough to complete the sweater. I have a bit less than two skeins left after knitting the back and one sleeve. I have the awful feeling that I won’t have even close to enough yarn to complete the project. I should just frog the whole thing and knit something else with this lovely yarn. I really should… I know that if I keep knitting I’ll run out, be frustrated beyond belief, and have to rip it all out anyway. If I was smart, I’d just frog the back and sleeve right now…

I’ll post a blog rant in a few weeks lamenting the fact that I really don’t have enough of this perfect yarn to knit myself the perfect sweater. No one ever accused an obsessed knitter of doing the smart thing.

First Day

Today was our first day of lessons. The kids did really well, and due to their young ages, we kept the lessons short. We started reading a chapter a day of the book Little Pilgrim’s Progress. It’s a truly wonderful story, and this adaptation of John Bunyan’s classic is quite readable for young children. I remember reading it myself, and have fond memories of my first introduction to Christian and Christina. I hope that my children will have such memories of our time spend reading it together!

As with all milestones lately, it was bittersweet. Mom would have been thrilled to see the legacy she began with my sister and I, continued in her grandchildren. I will forever be thankful to her for investing the tremendous amount of time, energy and money that she did to teach us herself. It was truly a labor of love for her. I pray that I will be able to accomplish half so much as she did!

Throughout the last six months, God has sent many things my way. Scripture, poems, books, songs and even blog posts! So much has been a comfort and encouragement to me. A recent song that is not new, but was new to me, is by Matthew Ward, “I Will Worship You.”

The line, “And when my life’s complete, I’ll place my crown at Your feet,” reminded me of her from the first time that I heard it. I can see her now doing just that. I don’t know if she ever heard the song, but it’s one that she would have liked. A beautiful reminder of who our God is, and why we worship Him.

So, I will continue my journey through grief, and continue Mom’s legacy. I’ll keep teaching my children, and telling them every day just how much I love them.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”