The Spawn BRAT

That BRAT had a birthday this week. She’s now 12. The jury is still out as to
whether she’ll make it to 13.

So, a month ago, MIL and I were discussing the BRAT’s birthday and I said I’d
buy the bedroom stuff she wanted (comforter, dust ruffle, etc.) and I’d leave
whatever else up to MIL — but, she needed to be sure to get the new Harry
Potter book.

I took the BRAT to San Antonio on Saturday and found a cute bedroom set for her
bed, $350 worth! Bedspread, dust ruffle, sheets, pillow shams, pillow cases.
It’s nice and it suits her to a T.  She had it on her bed before I turned
around and wouldn’t even let me wash it.

Then Monday, MIL took her to town because she wanted new jeans and new crop
pants from the grandmama – who gets a special discount because she’s a retired
associated of a large department store chain.

So, she had only one gift to open on the night of her special day because
we’d already put everything else on her bed. She opened it was done.

It dawned on me that we were MISSING something — so, I mentioned it.

Do you know what that little BRAT did? They had stopped and picked up the new
book while they were in town, and the BRAT had HIDDEN it.

Not only hidden it, but I went into her room to see how her new pants looked
and I laid on her bed and that BOOK was INSIDE her pillow sham that I laid on
and I didn’t know it!

She can’t read it yet because she hasn’t read #6 yet, but she had to have the
book … and I HAD TO READ IT!

Way to pull one over on the mom, for sure.


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    Do You Have Our Son?

    After Miss Last-kid’s baptism yesterday, we headed out for lunch at a local restaurant.  Our son was having troubles sitting in his seat.  He asked to go to the restroom, and we allowed him to go alone (doesn’t happen often).  When he didn’t come back within 5 minutes, I asked my husband to go check on him.  You see, there’s an arcade and tortilla-making room between where we were seated and the bathroom – and knowing my son as I know him, I figured he’d found something else to do.  Sure enough, DH found him checking out all of the games in the arcade!

    Sometimes, he just gets ants in his pants.  Sometimes, he has things on his mind that have nothing to do with what we’re doing at the moment.  Sometimes, the poor guy just cannot make good choices with his behavior.  He’s a little boy and there’s SO MUCH life to explore!

    He had already been corrected a few times while waiting for a table at the restaurant, because he couldn’t keep his hands off of others.  He had to have a time-out and he was upset about the choices he was making.

    After lunch, was time to go home.  I have a habit of putting myself either in the front or in the back of our family when we’re out and about.  That way, I’m either leading them or following them, to make sure they get where they’re supposed to be.  Yesterday, I was the last one out of the restaurant, and all of my brood and our dinner companions were in front of me.  I asked the group who was riding with me and who was riding in the other auto and only 1 daughter said she wanted to come with me.  So, I walked to our car with her and Tio and Ms. C got in our car and we left.  I saw the other auto ahead of us, going in the same direction we were going.

    We stopped at a stop-n-rob to pick up some soda for the drive home.  Just as Tio got back in the car, my phone rang.

    “Do you have our son?” my husband asked.

    I did a quick mirror check and responded that I didn’t, I only had 1 child.

    Lord have mercy, son wasn’t with his dad, either!

    We both headed back to the restaurant and looked around the parking lot.  No son.  We parked and went into the restaurant, no son.  We talked to servers and hosts and cased the place, no son.  After JD had made his rounds and admitted to himself that son wasn’t in the restaurant, he nearly came unglued.

    Our son was gone.  MISSING.

    A parent’s worst nightmare, come to fruition.   Unbelievably, I didn’t panic.  In fact, as I told my husband later, I was completely calm about the whole thing because I didn’t *feel* as if anything was wrong.  You know how sometimes, you just know things?  Like I knew when my son was not doing well with his behavior in school and I knew we had to formulate a plan to help him when the school called?  Like I knew when we received a call (some years ago) that my brother was not going to live?  Sometimes, you just know bad things are in front of you.  I didn’t feel that way yesterday.

    I walked out the door of the restaurant to have a look around at where we were and where he’d go and there he was, walking towards me, with a policeman.

    “Son, where were you!” I asked while hugging his neck.

    “I was walking home, Mom, cause Dad left me here.” he replied.

    I thanked the policeman and walked inside so JD could see the boy.  He hugged him and we all went to our cars, this time with ALL of our children, and we left to go home.

    “What happened to you, son?” I asked after we were in the car.

    “I was walking home, mom.”  Mind you, we live 35 miles from the restaurant, so it was quite a walk for a young guy.

    “I know, you told me that.  But, why weren’t you in the car with Daddy?”

    “He left without me.”

    “Son, when I saw you as we were leaving, you were going with Dad … so, why didn’t you get in the car?”

    “ummmm, I got distracted Mom.” he stated, hanging his head in shame.

    “So, how did the policeman find you?” I inquired.  I didn’t want to make him feel any worse than he already did because what he did, after the distraction part, was admirable.  He tried to go home.  He knows where we live and I have no doubt, except for outside interference, he would walk right over the mini-mountain to our house if he had to.  It wasn’t necessarily the correct thing to do, if you’re lost, but we needed to get the story before we began working on the right steps to take in this type of sitaution.

    “Some lady saw me and stopped and I told her I was lost.  She waved at a policeman who was driving by and he came and talked to me.  I told him we had eaten at the restaurant and he said he’d take me back there to see if you were there.  And you were,” was his explanation.


    Thank you, ‘some lady.’  For seeing a little boy, out by himself alone, no doubt crying because he had thought his parents left him.  Thank you, policeman.  For bringing my son back to me.  Thank you, my son, for knowing your name and knowing where you were and what you needed to tell people, so you could come back to us.  And thank you Lord, for teaching these parents a lesson in check, double-check and re-check.

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      She Was Welcomed with Open Arms

      Today is a day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be proud in it.

      There have been a lot of things that have gotten in the way of baptizing our youngest daughter.  Actually, there have always been issues with our children getting baptized, and frankly, none of the kids were baptized upon birth as most would do if they believed in infant baptism.  We believe in it, we just couldn’t get it done then!  First, was schedules.  Ours, her sponsors, etc.   Lest not forget the dresses for the girls, which *had* to be made by my husband’s mother.  And she was not always able to do that upon demand.  And then there was our feelings and/or relationships with the churches we attended.  I guess we’re just not easy folk to please!

      All of our children share the same sponsors (aka Godparents).  Unlike with most families, it was *very* important for us to determine who would raise our children should my husband and I not be able to.  Since my own parents died when I was a child and didn’t make this provision while they were alive, it was ever-so necessary for me to have a plan of action, just in case.  When we had our first daughter, we went over and over all of the people we knew — who could care for her, who had the means to do so, who had the love to do so and who had the ability to do so.  It’s never easy to do this, but my peace of mind was at stake and that was most important at the time.  We determined that one of my husband’s best friend from his college days was the most-prepared and capable of the task.  We didn’t want to hurt anyone (not possible, of course), but we wanted our child to not be a burden.  I was a burden to whomever raised me … and so were my siblings.  There is no way anyone will convince me that they took in the Spencer kids out of love — it was necessity or selfishness (or both), end of story.  I had to raise the bar on my expectations and look outside of those who expected to take on my kid … to those who would love to take on my kid. 

      Our children called Dentist-Friend Tio (uncle in Spanish) and his lovely wife, Dentist-Friend-Too, was known as Tia (aunt in Spanish).  Tio and Tia were tickled pink when we discussed their role and our expectations as Godparents to our child(ren).  They embraced us and delighted in their new-found roles … and that sealed the deal with both myself and my husband.  We knew that our children would be cared for out of love, first – always love.

      But, our hearts were broken when our last daughter was about two years old — Tia passed away suddenly of complications from surgery.  I certainly understand why God would want such a loving, caring soul to have wings and be the light of heaven’s lights…but, it was ever-so sad, nonetheless.  And it also put the baptism of our youngest daughter on hold yet again.

      A year later, when we were ready, Tio was changing jobs and trying to get through his grief – he wasn’t ready yet.

      Another year later and we were disillusioned with the church we were attending and didn’t want any part of adding baptized numbers to their synod ranks.

      Yet another year found us facing selling our house and moving 1500 miles away.

      And it’s taken us nearly a year of living here to be ready to transfer our membership from our old church and get Miss Last-kid baptized!

      Today was the day!  In a beautiful dress that her grandma made for her, she was moving up to share in His Grace.


      And it was an appropriate day, too as our middle two children were baptized on a July 23rd … and that happens to be our oldest daughter’s birthday!

      And it was a blessing from above.  Miss Shy-When-I-Want-To-Be was just that, and it took a little while for her to move up and receive her gift of Holy Baptism.  Once she did, though, she was fine … and she loved the attention the entire congregation gave to her!


      We were also welcomed as member’s of our new church home, with hugs and well wishes from a number of folks.  That was sweet and special.  Then, we went to lunch with Tio and his girlfriend and Miss Last-kid was blessed with some special gifts to help her remember this day forever and ever.

      We are loved, and that is a feeling one can never get enough of!

      Go in Peace, Serve the Lord!

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        Jelly Roll Fun

        Lest I forget the true purpose of this journal, I must share some jelly roll fun with you!I issued myself a challenge. sent me a “Holly Jolly” jelly roll, and I wanted to see just how many projects I could make from a single jelly roll of fabric.  I was flabbergasted!  If you haven’t played with jelly rolls lately, you *must* go purchase one and see how much fun it can be!  Here are the projects and patterns that I made:

        Isn’t that amazing?  I was able to make two potholders, two stockings, six placemats, the funtabulous quick table runner and a postcard (not shown) from a single roll of 2 1/2″ strips – and I still have fabric left over!  I adore working with jelly rolls!  Run over and order a “Holly Jolly” jelly roll right now, so you can have so much fun with me!





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          The More I Know People, The More I Like My Dog

          When I first met my husband, he had a magnet on his fridge that said “The more I like people, the more I like my dog.”

          At the time, I didn’t realize just how true that statement was for him.

          Over the weekend, he and our son were doing their weekly manly duties and went to town to take the trash to the dump.  At the end of our road is the highway and when he turned his head to check for traffic before proceeding out onto the road, he spotted a woman and a dog in the middle of a bridge.  Things didn’t look right so he turned in that direction to see if she needed assistance.

          Come to find out, it was a neighbor lady who has early stages of Alzheimer’s, and she found the dog playing in the river and knew it didn’t belong there and she was trying to find its owner.  When she told DH that she had something to say to him but forgot what it was, it dawned on him who she was.  And then he realized he needed to get her home because he was sure her family didn’t know she’d wandered off.

          My loving husband … goes to town … finds a woman and a dog.

          He returns the woman to her husband …

          and brings the dog home.

          There’s a magnet if I ever saw one!

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