Back to School Blues

The school had their open house yesterday, so we lugged the two younger daughter’s loot (aka supply list) over, because there’s no way they could have carried it on the bus.  DD#3 was as happy as could be and just wanted to sit in her classroom for the evening and pretend that school had already started.  The school is a conglomeration of buildings (not portables), and she gets to move up to the second building.

DD#2 said she wasn’t ready for school to start, but of all of them, I think she’s the one who is most ready to use her mind in a constructive way again.  They’ve changed the way they’re teaching the middle school, and now there will be four teachers (two are the ones she had last year for fifth grade) so that each teacher can focus on their specialties – as is the law in Texas for the public school system, one has to teach to the TAKS test.  I think this is good, though one of her teachers is questionable in my book.  But, we’ll see how it goes!  Sixth grade is one of the big milestones for the TAKS test, so she must do well (not that I have doubts, she did excellent last year on the tests).

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DD#1 just wanted to hug everyone – students, previous teachers, new teachers.  Teacher’s pet?!  She’s ready for her mind to be challenged, too, and is a quality student as well.  She’ll complain a bit, but she’s pretty darned smart (commendable on 3 of 4 of her eighth grade TAKS tests and one question away from commendable on the fourth one), so we don’t worry too much about her academics.  But, she is moving up to the high school, so her social life will probably get more involved as she participates in some of those upper grade activities. 

DD#1 was measured for her cheer squad outfit, too – can I just say ADORABLE?  Imagine 20+ little first, second & third-graders, getting out on the football field during halftime and doing a routine!  Although I’m not athletic now, I was a cheerleader in Jr. High … and I (secretly) can’t wait to see these little ones having fun and cheering on our school at the football games!

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    Quilt of Holes

    As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. 

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    Before each of us lay our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life. 
      
    But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all. 
      
    I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly  fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. 
      
    My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air. 
      
    Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth.. The others rose, each in turn holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me,and nodded for me to rise. 
       
    My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time  offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. 
      
    And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. 
      
     I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.  An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. 
      
     Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes,creating an image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. 
        
     Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.
      
    May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through! 
      
    God determines who  walks into our life …it’s up to you to decide whom you let walk away, whom you let stay, and whom you refuse to let go.

    Author Unknown

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      Hanky Panky Crazy Quilting

      At our little quilt group meeting last night, our lesson was taught by a lovely lady who has been around for a while 🙂

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      She makes handkerchief crazy quilts, and a number of our members wanted her to teach us how she did it.  She creates them all by hand, with the only thing sewn by machine is putting the top blocks together with sashing.  Mind you, the handkerchiefs usually have something embellished on them, and most have lovely edging…but, she adheres them to an underneath fabric by hand, with crazy quilting embroidery to fill in the blank spaces and to sew them to the background fabrics.  She made this one with 20″ hanky blocks and then 2″ (finished) sashing.

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      The resulting quilt is very beautiful, almost delicate to look at.  And those handkerchiefs sure bring back memories for me of my Gramma, when she’d come to our house and I’d want to be with her and help her do things like iron her handkerchiefs!

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      Of course, as she was talking about her techniques and telling us all about how she put them together, my mind was abuzz – I don’t have the time to make something like this by hand, but it sure would be fun to make it with a machine with a bunch of those fancy stitches that I rarely use!

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      And here’s a photo of some handkerchiefs and linen napkins that another member brought, laid out in practice for making a whole block:

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        More Tote Bag Fun

        When you have 3 girls, the bags are multiplied ten-fold!  I made this one on Saturday for DD#2, who had chosen the fabric two years ago:

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        But, she wasn’t sure she wanted one that tall, even though I’d modified the pattern from the original design.  Then Sunday, I whipped up this one:

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        And now, the indecision is unbearable.  As the two bags sat on the table last night, every so often she’d whine because she just could not choose one – perhaps I should give her both???  HAHAHAHA – NOT.

        Then DD#3 decided she should get the one that DD#2 didn’t want…while DD#1 whined because I hadn’t made hers yet, even though she’d already made herself a lovely one. 

        ARGH

        I’m pretty sure I could make bags every single day, and these girls would argue, whine and beg for every single one of them! 

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          Sasha the Terrier Terror

          Whoa, we have a cat.  Not a feline cat, but a canine cat.  This wild thing really busts the moves at night (of course, just as we’re all up in a circle getting ready to say prayers), running through the house, terrorizing Phydeaux (who is a big lug when it comes to retaliating) and creating new race tracks to run around the furniture and through the rooms. 

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          Oh yeah.  Nascar at its finest, right here in our living room….including the roaring of the engines (which would be kids AND dogs).

          And the minute I sit down in the recliner, she is on top of my like flies on…..well, you know.  And she doesn’t just jump up and sit down as my Tenny-dog did.  OH. NO.  She flies into my lap and climbs clear up to my head, licking and nipping all the way….until I finally pull her away from my body (those aren’t paw pads – I swear they have octopus suction cups on them!) and settle her into a comfy position for both of us.  She won’t stay there, of course, but she will eventually settle down if I pet her in just the right places — which changes daily.  😉

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          Then, she’ll stop for just a minute and hunker down and shout out some puppy barks for the son-man.  Have yet to figure out what that’s about, but she sure likes to bark at him!  hehe

          Potty training still in full swing, though we’re down to just a few accidents in the house a day.  It sure helps having another dog around, to show a new pup the potty-train ropes!  Now, if we could just get her to stop chasing the bigger-than-she-is chickens as she runs down the deck, we’d be set!

          But, that angelic face is enough to make you stop, drop and roll.  Those eyes!  Those ears!  The look she gives of total trust and glee that SHE is gifting YOU with her presence:

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