Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Memory Blankets: full circle

I'm an excited mom.  The boys both put their memory blankets on their beds tonight.  I have been putting off making these blankets for several months.  Never did I ever think that I would be able to begin and end the making of two memory blankets in one month's time!  Alex's was completed about a week ago.  Tim's last few blanket stitches were added yesterday afternoon.
When they both crawled under their blankets tonight and began talking about their shirts and what they remember about them and when they wore them, it was more fulfilling than I would have ever imagined.

The blankets, stitched little squares of memories, made more memories for us tonight.
They are happy.
I am happy.
A beautiful ending to childhood t-shirts...a beautiful beginning to snuggle time.

I'm really thankful that they sleep soundly...I had to turn on their big light to get the photos. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Zesto's, soccer, and more...

last week was the first trip to Zesto's for the boys
a boy and his ice cream

happy happy happy

after Zesto's we went to the farmer's market for pumpkins...lots o' puree for pies and breads  :)

Alex and his team, the Lynx on game day

Tim in action for our team, the Kickers

card Tim made for me the day I was feeling like death warmed over

double digits

Alex turned the big 1-0 on the 18th.  I'm finally getting around to finding a minute or two to upload photos from his birthday party with his friends at the bowling alley.  We had fun before bowling at the farm...they played in the woods and took a ride in the pasture in the bed of our truck.  Afterwards, we went to our house to open presents and have a grand time on scooters, the flying turtle, bikes, trampoline, zipline, and just watching boys being boys.
This year he celebrated a bit like his mama likes to...he had a birthday season.  It began on the 17th with lunch and golf with Nana and Pawpaw and has continued until just yesterday when Grandpa took him shopping and out for some ice cream....and a whole lot of partying inbetween!
He is my son.  And I love him dearly.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

granting freedom

We let Spikey out of his home away from home this morning before we left for the day.  It would be dark most likely before we returned, so we thought it best to let him free while we were all here together.  It was exciting, yet a wee bit sad for my big hearted 8 year old.
It was wonderful to see Spikey up close and outside in the great outdoors.  However, we did not see him fly away.  He calmly sat on his leafage and seemed pretty content.  We all said goodbye and afterwards, Spikey raised one of his legs as if to wave "Goodbye!" back at us.  It was funny.
When Spikey "waved" is when it hit Tim that this would most likely be the last time we saw him.
We didn't dwell.  No time and no purpose to...just went on with our morning schedule.
Sometimes we just have to let go, knowing we don't know what is next.
We placed him and his leaf on a bush outside, trying to make him less of a target for birds and such while he was getting his wings beneath him, so to speak.  He looked happy.
When we arrived home this evening, I checked the bush and he was gone.  No sign of a disturbance of his was still perched on the bush.  Also no sign of a deceased butterfly under or around the bush that was visible on first sight.  Good signs, I'd say, to the first day of the rest of Spikey's life as a free butterfly.
We have had passion flowers on our property before, so maybe Spikey will find them and begin a new generation of Spikey Jr's and Spikettes for us to enjoy.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Introducing....Spikey, the Butterfly

We have been watching the chrysalis everyday since Spikey, the Caterpillar, transformed into what looked like a dead leaf.
This afternoon, Tim came running to where I was resting on the recliner (due to bronchitis and a sinus infection this week) and was so excited.
"Everybody come look!  We have hatched a butterfly!" he exclaimed.
Alex and I joined Tim in the kitchen and there before us was now, Spikey, the Butterfly.
He is simply beautiful and we haven't even seen him open his wings yet and show off his colors.  So looking forward to tomorrow morning when we are able to let him go.
It might be a little sad, though, too...
Freedom is best, though...even when it's painful to let go.
When I saw Spikey in his new form tears welled up in my eyes and I silently whispered a prayer of thanks to God for allowing the emergence of this butterfly.  He gave us a beautiful gift in this butterfly.
Sometimes, it's all about the little things that make a day better for everyone.

As for the memory blankets...Alex's has been fitted with his back flannel piece, fitted with batting, and tied with yarn at each block corner.  Just this afternoon I was able to begin the edging.  We are well on our way to having one completely finished and I am thankful for something to do while resting in order to recover from this awful sickness.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

HaPpY BiRtHdAy

Alex is 10 today!
He took the day off of school yesterday to go and have lunch and his golf outing with Pawpaw.
Today began pancake birthday breakfast, followed by opening cards and presents.  Later school, piano, and soccer practice...a busy day for the birthday boy!
I love my Birthday Boy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

MtR: words

As I read in Philemon earlier tonight, the words that Paul wrote to Philemon spoke to my heart.  
I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (v 4-7)

Have I said, "Thank you!" to God for sending people into my life who are an encouragement to me?
Do I tell others that they are an encouragement to me?
Am I living my life so that someone would say such to me?

Words...they are powerful.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

progress and problems

Finished sewing Tim's memory blanket top together.  He's happy with it.  We incorporated solid squares throughout and it's the perfect size.

So, tonight after getting home from a trip to IN to visit family, I thought I'd sew on the two rows of blocks to Alex's top so that it would be wider.  First row went smoothly.  Three blocks from being finished with the second row, the sewing machine began making strange noises.  Not for sure what the problem is, but something's amiss for the stitches are not tight in some spots.  I took out the stitches once and tried it again, but it was still hit and miss with the machine.  Ugh!
So close...yet so far...from project completion.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

updates: Spikey and Memory Blankets

Alex's memory blanket top is all sewn together.  He was so excited when he saw his handiwork.  It was his choice on how to have the squares cut out and how to lay them out for his blanket top.  He even helped me sew them together once in awhile.  He'd push down the sewing machine pedal while I fed the material under the needle.  Teamwork at it's best!  The only thing we are trying to decide upon now is if he wants to add a row of solid t-shirt squares from the backs of his shirts to widen the blanket.  It has a nice length, but it might just be a little narrow.  We shall see what he decides.  Once he decides, it's just a matter of cutting the batting and knotting the comforter.  He has decided on using black yarn for the knots and edging.  I think it will be a wonderful way to finish his blanket...and we already have black yarn from a GA Bulldogs blanket I made last year.  Bonus!

Tim and I began working on his blanket...squares are almost all cut out.  45 is the magic number...unless we add solids in to make it wider.  Then the magic number will be 63.

Spikey is no longer a caterpillar.  A day after we kidnapped befriended him, we found him hanging by his hind legs.  The little fellow wasted no time into forming his chrysalis.  He now resembles a dried up leaf just as he should according to pictures I have seen online.
We hope to see a butterfly someday soon!

Friday, October 5, 2012


Today as the boys were playing outside during "recess" they discovered a bright orange caterpillar with black spikes.  Alex came and told me to come and see what they had found.  Of course, I grabbed my camera along the way.
We did not want to touch it, but wanted to get a better look at it, so we let it crawl on a piece of wood and placed it on a stack of wire to see it better.
Before going back inside Alex came up with the idea that it could be our class pet.  We have tried caterpillar keeping before and made it long enough to see the chrysalis form, but it never emerged.  We are all hoping for better results this time.
Alex ran in and retrieved an empty water bottle so that we could house Spikey for the few hours left of school.  We punched a few holes in the bottle for air and his piece of wood and leaves in there with him.  He is one active caterpillar...always looking for a way out!  Once we get a chance, we'll put him in our empty fish tank that has a lid.
Spikey is a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar.  More research on the internet explains why they found it where they did.  It feeds on passion flowers.  Passion flowers thrive in the area in which the boys found Spikey.  We put some other leaves in with him when we first found him, but they aren't passion flower leaves.  I will have to go out and find some before he gets too hungry.
It makes me happy to have our very own living science experiment, but can only hope that things turn out for the good.  It should be a very beautiful butterfly if we are successful at caterpillar sitting for a few days. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

memory blanket beginnings

The boys and I have been saving some of their favorite t-shirts for a few years now.  When they outgrow one, they bring it to me and say it's for the memory blanket stash or for donation.  Tonight, we hauled the stash out to the living room and sorted them into Alex and Tim piles.  It is so much fun for us to "remember when" with each shirt.
Alex and I went over each t-shirt so he could decide just exactly how he wanted the 8 inch square placed on his shirts.  It's his blanket, so he makes the final call.  When a look of concern came about because the designs on a few shirts were much larger than our square, I suggested that we could take photos of his shirts in their original state so that he'll always know what they looked like.  Happy with that solution, it was much easier to find a good square on each shirt.
Alex wants to make sure that I wait to work on it again when he's able to help me.  Tim was working on a science project tonight while Alex and I began cutting out his squares, but he wanted to make sure that I would let him help with his stack of shirts, too.
It's moments like these that I want to remember forever...and am thankful for this blog in order to help me and the boys do so.
I love the memories we are beginning to make together as we begin making our memory blankets!

BMC, hand me down from Lance, Lego
BMC, first Upward jersey, homework
Alex picked out for daddy, Lego, Myrtle Beach

SpongeBob, Cozumel, Las Vegas from Gpa Roth
camo USA, basketball, BMC 2011,
yellow river field trip, (actually tim's shirt), gift from Ken & Anna

Mario, Vegas from Gma & Gpa Roth, Daddy's preschool shirt
World of Coke, Palmetto Baptist preschool 2007, basketball
baseball, New York from Gma & Gpa Roth, musical shirt from Grace

picked out for Mom, Palmetto Baptist preschool 2006, GA aquarium
1st Nascar race at Atl Motor Speedway, Upward practice shirt, coach pitch baseball
soft blue material, favorite, yard sale pick

favorite shorts from a yardsale, Mario pj's, Scooby Doo pj's
Carnival cruise, pj's, pj's
San Francisco t-shirt from Nana, first t-ball jersey, Tampa from Nana

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

mustaches and self portraits

Oh, the photos I find on my camera... 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Monday, October 1, 2012