Have a dressed up day!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I love hand-me-downs.

I love, love hand-me-downs.

I love, love, love hand-me-downs.

Dear friend Jennifer passed these down to me.  Look at the Carhart overalls, my little man will look just like his daddy.

Thank you, Jennifer - cause . . .

I just love hand-me-downs.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
Luke 6:38

Monday, August 30, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

He suffles his feet now when he walks.  He can't remember everyone's name.  He smiles more now than I remember before.

When I first met He's Too Good To Me's grandfather over twenty-two years ago he was a big man.  Tall and stout strong.  Not much over sixty years and still able to work with the best and hold his own.

Many hats have found their way onto his dear head over decades.  Owning construction, taxi service, pear orchards, and junk shops.

But this one . . .

lover of The Word who pastors and teaches, is the purpose that holds most our memories.

We just celebrated eighty-six years of Dad, Papaw, and Big-Papaw.

Last night Granny said she knew time was short.  Strange how our lives move by with long days that turn into flash years that blink by into what our hearts feel is too short a time.

My gratitude list continues . . .

Papaw and Granny

aunts, uncles, and cousins

new baby on the way

borrowed traveling pen to return

new bike

cool air

thunder during family blessing

food spread fit for a king

Mom's warm welcoming home

Max asleep in my arms

on call doctors

strawberry banana smoothies

consignment sofa

lesson planning

wishes for a new bed

spilt soda

sticky doorknobs

fountain cokes from him

Izzy singing with earphones, loudly

practicing new song on piano

new hall floors

having a few dollars to give the man, his soft whispered - God Bless

smell of sawdust

anniversary lunch with parents, baby sister and her love

private prayers for a new little one

thank you notes

Shelby's cake passion

icing magically becoming shag

My list, #'s 273-303.

holy experience

Friday, August 27, 2010

Jesus Never Leaves You - I Want To See Him

We drive down the road to gather with treasured friends and make jelly and sew dolls.

Today will be special, so . . . as we've done often lately, we read schoolbooks in the car.  The car hums, the air blast in our summer heat, and she reads from the backseat.

The chapter speaks of how Christopher Columbus took his men to church to pray the day before they sailed, he wrote that he sailed "in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ."

Mama, was Christopher Columbus a Christian?

Sounds that way baby bones, hope so.

Won't it be really cool one day to meet him in heaven?

Yeah, it'll be cool to sit at the table with him and sup.

I can't wait to meet alot of those people.  My favorite will be Mary and Joseph.

You can ask Mary all kind of questions like, "Were you scared?"  "What was Jesus like as a three year old?"

No!  My favorite will be Elvis!  Yeah.  Do you think Elvis was saved?

I don't know.  As a child he grew up in church.  That's where he sang first.  I'd like to think he was saved as a child but lost his way. 

Yeah.  Cause once you're saved you can't be unsaved, right?

Right, baby.  Jesus never leaves you.

I hope Elvis was saved.

Me too, baby, me too.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."
- John 14:1-3

My favorite will be Jesus.  To have Him put His arms around me and hold me.   

It's a good thing there are no tears in heaven.  'Cause if they started, they would never stop.  Tears of joy and gratitude.  Tears of love.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bedtime Prayers

Saying bedtime prayers with Daddy while he works late.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm Falling In Love - Part 2

Continued from yesterday . . .

His jaw clenches and the little vein below his right eye is swollen- the way it does when he is thinking hard.  Him thinking hard always means he is talking little.

And then he says it.  He says what will make me cry.

I fall more - without a net . . .

When the man I love was young, barely eighteen but still eighteen, he made a bad decision.  He chose to take what did not belong to him.  He chose to steal.  Felony.  The word and the memory and the consequences have followed him to this day.  The part of his life he chose to destroy God chose to use to make him a better man.

We can't take Natasha, this Natasha or any other like her.  Orphans can't find their way into our family this way. 

But this man I love is beautiful.

And there are other ways.  God always makes a way.

Our food comes. Hot toast, eggs, bacon, and grits. He takes my hand and thanks God. He asks for wisdom in this decision. He begs to stay in His will.

We eat while I feel helpless to decide and his jaw clenches. 

I want to scream to everyone around me that he deserves more than what is in this envelope.  That he deserves more of a truck than this is going to buy.  That the callouses are from years and years of hard work.  I want to scream that he doesn't have the motorcycle or the boat or the four wheeler.  He just has four children and this wife he allows to stay home.

And then he says it . . .

Rie, I know what to do.  I'm going to buy the other truck and we are going to give the thousand dollars to help bring Natasha home.

The tears fall.  They start so quickly and I take my orange juice and drink.  I can't stop them.  I can't speak.  I drink juice again.  I hope the burn of the acid in my throat will stop the tears. 

He never says a word.  He sits and lets me cry while the city of Amite eats breakfast all around me.  Orders are shouted out and coffee is poured and I cry while he quietly waits.  

I kiss him out of the corner of my mouth.  I can't look at him.  I'm falling hard and I didn't think there was anywhere left to fall.  There is no net and I fall deep into his love and if I look I won't be able to catch myself and I'm wondering how far can a woman fall for a man? 

He was listening last night.  He was listening as I rambled on about what was weighing my heart and as I desperately tried to get his mind off worry and make conversation for a two hour trip with a man that is sometimes content to be too quiet.  A man that needs a work truck to feed his family and knows the cash in that envelope is not enough. 

A man with concern.  And God spoke and he listened and the worry flew like the wind.

The orange juice doesn't help and I take his hand and we walk out.  I know his mind is made up and he will find a way to make it work and I proudly fall. 

What we cannot do we can help others do.  God spoke it to him and he listened.  In spite of my noise he was quiet and heard the voice of God.

He is taking less to give more.  This world screams move forward and my love chooses to go backwards as my love falls further.


I pray so many things for her.  Not the least is that she may fall one day into a man as good as the one who is loving less so he can be one small vessel in her fighting chance. 

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.  Proverbs 31:8,9

Our Adoption Journey

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Falling In Love

He's Too Good To Me crosses the intersection on his green light and is hit hard.  She tries to stop, he sees it all over her face, but there was nothing either could do.

It's after midnight days later as we pull into the hotel.  I'm telling him about Natasha, how she needs a home in our country.  How friends of ours would like to bring her home. 

I tell him about Kristen and her trip to Africa.  How she can't keep her stuff now and struggles daily with a heart breaking for what she knows.  How she and her family are covering their refrigerator with Compassion children.

Is he listening?  I'm not sure.  He nods, agrees, nods some more here and there as I talk endlessly.  Says nothing.  So much on his mind.

We walk around the car lot miles from our home and I hold my purse to me like it is gold.  Hold it with both arms and clasped hands.  There is cash inside an envelope.  His truck was worth more to him than this, but we don't make the rules.  I hold tightly and follow behind him.

We go eat breakfast to decide.  We sit in a booth and hear a beautiful blessing from behind us. 

We talk about mufflers and tires and how it needs a thousand dollars work.  I try to ask questions to help him decide.  How I wish I knew something about this stuff so I could give useful advice.  I feel helpless.

Our food comes.  Hot toast, eggs, bacon, and grits.  He takes my hand and thanks God.  He asks for wisdom in this decision.  He begs to stay in His will.

And then . . .

Part 2 tomorrow.

Monday, August 23, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

Marco Polo is the inspiration.  Caravan traveling and the bringing of spices and silk treasures to a world that would behold them with wonderous eyes.

Behold them and covet them and the other treasures of a faraway land.  Men then forgetting their humanity as they took what they wanted.  We study the bad sad part, too.  We study to take example and be better.

My gratitude list continues . . .

imitation silk

the dancing of ideas

a sister's vision

fabric dyes

the smell of wax

old sheets

yellow yumminess

the softness of used bristles

brown blazing

cups of water turning to glory

blue bouncing

the spread of color

genuine green


colors mixing to create surprise


the covering of mistakes

old towels turning to rainbows

stained fingers

memories of a college textile class




vanilla bean

the taste of mint


ginger root cut into smelling like lemon

delicate ramekins

spice cakes

taking turns at the mixer

more giggles

licking fingers

the smell of baking goodness

hot cake melting on the tongue

My list, #242-275.

Thank you, Father, for treasured friends.  Thank you for the art of Batiking, for the baking of spice cakes, for smelling and tasting, and for the blessing of home education. 

Thank you for teaching me more than them. 

holy experience

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Feel Eighteen . . .

He and I stop on the way home from LA and walk around Tractor Supply.  Just the two of us.  Not for long, but precious is the time.

The phone is ringing as we climb back in the truck.  My sweet oldest -

Mama, please call Shelby.  She has been trying to call you and Daddy for thirty minutes.  She's scared and freaking out. 

Ok, we forgot to take in our phones.

Just call her now.

Other phone is ringing before I hang up.

Hey, baby.  Sorry, we -

Where are you ? I've been trying to call you for thirty minutes.

Sorry, we -

I've called your phone and Daddy's over and over.

Baby, we went in Tractor Supply and left our -

You said you'd be home at twelve, it's twelve fifteen and y'all didn't answer your phones.

I didn't realize Daddy -

I've been pacing and worried about y'all, calling and calling.

We're fine, we just left our phones in the car.

Well, you need to take your phones in with you, don't you?  How far are you from home?  You said you'd be home fifteen minutes ago.

I'm sorry, we'll be home soon.  I'm sorry, baby.

Ok, well . . . don't do that again - 'k?


I've been chastised.  Tarred and feathered.  I feel eighteen and she forty-five. 

There's laughter from the driver's seat. 

But for me . . .

beads of sweat.

holy experience

Friday, August 20, 2010

American Girl free downloadable pattern

Aunt Penny and Susie-Chris, this is for you.

Last night Isabela made a dress for her American Girl doll, Josie.  Josie has to share this dress with doll Elizabeth.

We pulled out the scrap bag and used a free downloadable pattern from a great site I discovered.

You can download the pattern and some other free patterns, too. 

I'm really very proud of her and the sewing skills she is practicing.

Josie and Elizabeth are lucky girls. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010


When you put the three of them together you never know what you will get.

But if it can be it will be about animals.

Sometime last year they formed a club.  An Animal Rescue Club - A.R.C.

ARC - animals - Ark - animals.  Cute, huh?

I will only live once so any kindness I can show to a creature let me do it now.  Amen

My dear friend, Sandra, who is also Emme's mama, took them to the Animal Rescue League last week to deliver newspapers and volunteer.

She does things like that, so does Caitlin's mama.  But me?  Not so much.  I feel like the man outside the ark shaking his fist at Brother Noah.

This next little fellow . . .

stole my Izzy-B's heart away.  Fortunately, he was adopted while she was there.  That's a good thing y'all, cause wearing my shoes when she has found a new animal to love can sometimes be difficult. 

Tonight she asked for a flying squirrel. 

Tomorrow it may be a leaping lizard or a dancing bear.

She loves God's creatures.  I love them too if they stay in the yard. 

It's a battle I'm not so sure I'm going to win.

They're ganging up on me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Family Fun Magazine Deal

Today only (August 18, 2010), you can subscribe to Family Fun magazine for only $3.73 per year.

Just click on the Deal of the Day offer on the homepage of Best Deal Magazines and then use coupon code PXCJ822 to get an additional 15% off the price, making it only $3.73 per year.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Teaching A Child to Raise A Child

He runs up behind me and throws his full weight onto my legs, tears streaming and mouth uttering words I can't understand.

Calm down, son.  Tell me what's wrong.

Her won't let me help.



Who is her?


I pick him up and walk to the kitchen preparing myself to upset one of my children.  Wonder which one will win out?  I ask myself.

It only takes a suggestion and she wraps her arms around him, sits him on his little red chair that is 46 years old, and wipes every tear with just a bowl of sugar and a spoon.

His own little bowl of sugar to stir and his own little pan to pour it in.

He's all smiles and she learns a way to allow the little one beside you to joy in what is your joy.

She learns a little trouble is worth the trouble and a wait is a reward.

I walk away and look into a day to come to see her face in a little face as she does what she doesn't even know she learned when I taught a child to raise a child.

A Giveaway at An Old Fashioned Girl

Johanna over at An Old Fashioned Girl, one of my niece Susan's favorite blogs to read, is hosting a giveaway to celebrate her 200th post.

She will be giving four prizes away.

This lovely nite light from Roses and Teacups.

This jumper pattern, and the fabric to make it with, from Marie Madeline Studios.

An e-pattern from Sensibility.com.

And last, but certainly not least, these lovely earrings from The Joy of Jewelry.

So, go on over to Johanna's and check out her blog.  She writes of modesty, reading, sewing, cooking, and the virtues of being a godly young woman.

Links to all four of these generous businesses donating to this giveaway are on my sidebar.  Check them out and support them, they take us back to a simplier place and time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

I look at the end of the bolt, nine dollars a yard.  Owls float all over yardage that looks just like her. 

It's too expensive, find another one, I say.

She walks off, no whines or frowns.  Must be the company, I think to myself.  Shopping with friends for apron fabric. 

I scan the shelves and point to the colorful wall with the large forty percent off sign.  Over there, I say.

I watch her, asking her friend Will to reach the bolts on the top shelf.  Katie and Amy give their opinion and back up it goes.  Will patiently pulls another one down, puts it back up, pulls another one down.

I watch her smile and laugh and tug on her hair. 

She's beautiful, I think to myself. 

But I'm not seeing the sunstreaked hair or the blue eyes on a face kissed by the heat of summer.

I'm looking at a little girl made beautiful by the ones who love her.  Made glowing by the love she feels for the ones she loves.  These friends.  These blessings she shops with, schools with, plays with. 

These four beautiful blessings that have entered our lives and become friends - a word that grows more precious as time goes by.

My gratitude list continues . . .





bolts of colorful fabric

forty percent off sales

a free sewing class

a sewing teacher full of grace

rows of colorful buttons

clearance racks

ribbon by the spool

scissors just for fabric

front door parking

$1 T-shirts


beating the thunderstorm

gusty breezes on a scorching hot day

wishes for sno-cones

Sunday morning cinnamon rolls

 a full Sunday School class

him holding my hand in prayer

Sunday lunch with friends

God is great, God is good . . .

a lesson in pennies

three pennies in the offering plate

her new haircut

sisters fixing each other's hair

homemade flip books

colorful timelines

leaves in wax paper

bucket full of free pears

My list, #211-241.

holy experience

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What the Word? Wednesday

What the Word? Wednesday welcomes you back.

This week Maxster is kinda sing-songing his words, but it's not a song.

He is saying one of Izzy's favorite things to watch.

Good luck, and thanks for playing.

Comment all guesses and check back here tomorrow for the answer.

Have a wonderful hump day, from Maxster to you.

Emme got it right with America's Got Talent.  We don't really do any Disney shows, sorry guys.

Y'all really should hear him sing it with his guitar and foot tapping.  There are no words except those, so it gets a little repeditive.  Maybe I should put on a show - say $200 a ticket?

Pennies, that is.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Homeschooling Group

A new homeschooling group has been started by eight families in our area.

The name is CLIF - Christian Learning in The Family.

We will meet the 2nd Thursday of each month, with our first meeting being this Thursday, the 12th.

Let me know if you're interested.

Monday, August 9, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

The kitchen table is cluttered.  It starts today and last minute preparations are making my head spin.  I'm doing something new this year, a co-op with dear friend Donna in which I will be teaching one of the classes.

I'm not a schoolteacher.  I'm a designer who desperately began trying eleven years ago to teach her children at home and struggled everyday not to just let them color, touch fabrics, and make things look pretty.  Stay outside the lines, not inside.

Now I'll be teaching someone else's children.  A mother with more experience, more children, and more patience than I have.  She's better organized and more goal-oriented than me.  She schedules and plans meals and frugal shops.

But . . .

She's all that and more outside the lines than I am.  I think I'll be alright.

My gratitude list continues . . .

a patient friend

history DVD's

colored pencils

sack lunches

welcoming homes

mechanical pencils

colored glue sticks


tracing letters

Target $1 aisle


blunt scissors


washable markers

chunky pencils

morning devotions

strawberry muffins

chocolate milk

sour apples

online classes


alarm clocks

first days


My list, #188-210.

holy experience

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

She's Doing It . . .

Grace refuses to put a ceiling or a floor on concern for the neighbor. -Joseph Fletcher

She's doing it . . .

even edible roses.

Thanks to all for giving a scared, nervous, and excited young woman a chance.

Thank you for believing in her.

We. Were. All. There. Once.  

And for those of you that remember that - and consider grace over perfection - I bow to you and thank you. 

From both of our hearts.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Max, I Yell

I'm looking everywhere. 

I move the milk and juice, I push aside the water, I knock over the ketchup.

Where could it be?

I scan the other refrigerator shelves and turn to look at the counters.

Where is it?

Then I remember something he said.

Max, I yell.

Rewind to Friday.

You have to take your medicine.

But, I don't ike it.

I know, son, but you have to take it everyday until it is all gone.

It is all gone.

No, until the bottle is empty.


But, I don't ike it.

It'll only be a few more days.

Fast forward to this morning.

Max, it's time for your medicine.

It's all gone.

No, baby, it's not all gone.

Yes it is, mommy.

Back to the beginning.

Max, I yell.

Did you throw your medicine away?

Somebo'e did.

Max, look at me.  Did you throw your medicine away?


I jerk open the garbage cabinet door and peer in.  New bag.  Garbage day.

When?  I yell, losing my cool.

Last day.

I say nothing.  I still haven't said anything.  I'm speechless.

Maybe I'll say . . .

Wait till your daddy gets home.

Monday, August 2, 2010

One Thousand Gifts . . .

My gratitude list continues -

Izzy learning to make balloon animals

being in love

husband who is . . .

garbage man
bug killer

planning with friends


magnetic wand thingy for canning

Izzy teaching Max to write letters


summer rain


visiting niece


lincoln logs


needle and thread

empty wrapping paper rolls

clubhouse made of sheets

no cavities



old t-shirts

old photographs

gummy vitamins

80's music

new pennies

leg hugs

My list - #153-187.

Drawing of me losing my cool courtesy of budding artist, Izzy.

Have a dressed up day!

. . . put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12