Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Stitch in Time

Several years ago, I met a “mom of many” who became a sweet friend but, at the same time, she made me sick. She sewed most, if not all, of her children’s clothes and they usually matched. Sometimes she would even match. Our kids were in homeschool band together and during rehearsal, moms would chat in the nursery and this friend would sometimes discuss sewing techniques she had discovered. I remember thinking, “I need to try that! (except when she spoke of an easier way to make the boys’ ties…my eyes glazed over for that one. I’ll just buy the matching vest and tie, thank you).  I used to sew all the time. In my younger days, I would take advantage of the quiet of the night and sew til 3 a.m. so as to finish my project. My first two girls had a few matching dresses, many that didn’t match, costumes, doll clothes and I made all of the kids’ stockings until child number 8. I have fabric for everyone’s stockings. I just don’t see that hunk of time sew. I asked my friend (we both had “only” 6 kids at the time) how in the world she found time to sew so many outfits. She told me that some days, she only gets one stitch done. Say whut? She said she leaves her sewing machine out with her current design left under the presser foot ready for the next five minutes she can sneak in and sew a seam. My personality type was stymied. I’m the kind of person who wants to get a project DONE in one sitting. I could not wrap my brain around it.

I have implemented that principle of getting things done in bite-size pieces in many areas but mostly with housecleaning and business projects. I can organize a pile for five minutes then stop when the timer goes off. That’s a big deal for me! I did have it down for the sewing at one time but got out of practice. Now I have a new laundry room with a sewing table and I feel motivated and obligated to get back to it.

One area I struggle with the “one stitch at a time” method is writing. For example, I need to quit right now and head to the shop to carve a cake and make curly Q fondant strips for the mane but I’m having a hard time stopping because I’M NOT DONE, YET!!! Oh, fine….I’ll be back….

Okay, I’m back. It is not easy to get back on the train of thought after being derailed by the to-do list. So…where was I? Oh, yea…early this morning, I took a moment to read a post from one of my favorite bloggers and guitarists, Mark Lee.  His latest post is “Embrace the Chaos,” which totally describes my life, talks about learning to blog amidst the nuttiness of life rather than wait for that ideal day or idea. He also suggests working this habit into other aspects of life.

That takes practice and an attitude of “must write.” People often ask me, “how do you do it all? How do you balance the big family, homeschooling, theatre, owning a business?” Balance? Um, no. We have had to learn how to blend.  Having babies constantly in our home became a part of our norm. Home educating became a part of our lifestyle. Theatre came into our lives and it’s just “what we do.” The catering scene has become a big part of our days and that’s just it, it’s something that becomes a part of our schedule. Sometimes we work what needs done for the business around our homeschool; sometimes homeschool is worked around the job that needs done. I know I need to squeeze in two loads of laundry a day in order to maintain the piles and keep everyone in clean socks and underwear. I use a lot of post-it notes and checklists to stay on track. I’ve also learned to use a timer to limit time spent decluttering or cleaning projects. If I didn’t, I would spend the whole day on that one project until it was done. I have other things to do! Like write. I have blogged many times here about how I haven’t been blogging, yet have not once considered quitting. I don’t think I can. Some of us think through the written word! I need to blend the writing into the batter and stop treating this as if it’s “extra;” something I can do after I get everything else done. Being  practical, if I need to set a timer, I’ll have to learn to stop then pick it up later and add “another stitch.”  I received a Bluetooth keyboard for Christmas and it’s one of my favorite tools. I fumble around with texting and trying to email on my phone.  My keyboard not only removes that frustration but I can sit in the car waiting for play rehearsal to finish and start another post on the WordPress app…which I have done. But you’ll have to wait for that one…it needs a few more seams.

I did it. I have proven to myself that it’s possible for this “must finish” personality that I can step away from the project and come back to it later then just  add to it in between the other parts of my day. Guess what else I did today? I started hemming some jeans I found at Goodwill. I only have them cut and pinned…and waiting for the stitching to begin.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

 

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Music Monday – Lead Us Back

March 3rd. March 3rd. March 3rd. Lead Us Back, Third Day’s newest album is out MARCH THIRD!

Now, repeat it back. What day does Lead Us Back release? This is just review. There will be a test. If you are new here, I really, really love Third Day.

We were able to preorder ours awhile back and…..IT JUST CAME IN THE MAIL TODAY!!! WOOHOO!! I started writing this post before we received this so timing couldn’t be more perfect!

Third Day

 

We were also able to sing along with the first single, Soul on Fire, at a concert this fall before it’s release and it had me hooked from the first listen. It’s like a rally cry between myself and God and it comes with the attitude that the victory has already been won and I have the confidence that I WILL be a soul on fire.

The members of Third Day do seem to “get it” and by “it,” I mean the battle is won. It just so happens that “Victorious” is another song from the new album and “Victory” is on the “Miracle” CD.

I can’t help it; I wish Soul on Fire had come out before “Catching Fire.” It would have been an amazing theme song for Katniss. Can’t you see it? No? Okay, so load this video but don’t play it, yet, and turn the Youtube volume all the way down:

Okay, now load this Soundcloud:

Play the Soundcloud then start the video.

Am I right? Just sayin’.

Yes, I sometimes play around too much….I’m tho thilly.

Here’s the OFFICIAL Soul on Fire Lyric Video:

And Victorious:

I’m listening to the CD as I type and I have goosebumps.

And here’s where to preorder your Lead Us Back CD or CD Bundle (click that yellow tab with the plus sign down on the bottom right):

https://www.thirdday.com/home

Looking forward to seeing them next month! They are amazing live and we get to meet up with precious friends we’ve met through this awesomesauce band.  A Third Day concert isn’t just a show; it’s worship and a taste of Heaven. I hope you’ll join me during this Soul on Fire Tour as we worship together as we “Run to His heart till we are souls on fire!”

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Dear Blog

Dear Blog,

Remember me? Have you missed me at all? I’ve missed you bunches!Here’s the dealio: We had to drop Verizon like a lead brick due to  their constantly increasing fees and horrific customer service. Heretofore…we have no internet at home. Additionally,  to replace our connection with clients and the rest of the world, we opted for a smartphone. Yea, I know, we’re catching up with everyone else. Well, the phone I ordered started crashing immediately upon activation. SO, I have been trying to remedy that while getting my geek on to keep the phone breathing until Straight Talk, ATT and ZTE all figure out whose warranty this gadget is covered by…sigh. Moreover, I have been unable to access my Quickbooks files which are “sort of” needed when prepping for your appointment with your accountant for taxes. My laptop had to have surgery so I was without that for a week and just got it back a few days ago. SO, you see, I haven’t been deliberately ignoring you. I have been held hostage by technological difficulties. I have missed you and will figure out how to make our estranged relationship not so strange. Excuse my boohooing. I just want you to understand that if I could be here, I would! Please be patient; wait for me. Nothing but love!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Ugly

I’ve been putting off blogging until all is right with the world but that’s looking to be a pretty long wait. Go figure. So, I’m going to have to be real and write where I’m at and where I’m at ain’t pretty.

Because it’s become very popular to a have picture at the beginning of a blog post to set the “mood”, I went searching for SOMETHING that would suit my needs. This one was a possibility:

ugly-smile

The problem with that one is he’s happy, regardless of his issues so that doesn’t fit. I also came across this guy:

ugly-faces10He’s just creepy. I’m not dealing with creepy so we’ll pass on him. On the other hand,  our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12) and that’s kinda creepy so this could work.

I went looking for this guy. This pic used to hang in the dressing room hallway at Richmond Civic Theatre with the caption, “I will not complain about my costume. I will not complain about my costume.I will not complain about my costume.” Yea, the worst kind of ugly is self-inflicted, no doubt.”
25447-think_ugly_ugly_boy

There were a gazillion others but this one fits my purposes:

U-G-L-Y

You ain’t got no alibi.

You ugly, uh-huh, you uglay.

Remember that cute little edifying ditty from our youth? Ugly happens to everyone at sometime or another. Even though that is a truth of life, nobody wants to be ugly.  As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been wanting to blog but that person who wants to write about the lovely and be inspirational is procrastinating until “the time is right.” It’s tempting to wear a mask and be all syrupy sweet gushing with optimism, oozing Biblical wisdom and displaying all the qualities of a spiritual rock. I could lay that on but I’m writing as much for me as anyone else and I sure won’t be fooling myself with that nonsense. No, I’ll just be real and say, “Hey, we all go through hard times, we don’t always respond the way we should, other people in our lives don’t respond the way they should and life is full of what we call “growth opportunities.”

I have read those blogs offering Biblical wisdom, quick-witted humor and/or Titus 2 admonitions. And let me not forget the brilliant photography and delicious recipes with step-by-step photos not to mention the consistency of regular blog posts. Sigh…I want to be all of those bloggers. Where God has me, though, is in the middle of yuck. Some of it is my own – my attitude and spiritual struggles. Some of it is the unpredictable stresses of owning a business still in the “losing money phase” of start-up. Some of it is the on-going saga of being a mom. Moms take an emotional beating, dontcha know? There’s plenty of other stuff I could boo hoo about but I’m not here to whine or make excuses. I just want to take a minute and be real.

We all expend a lot of energy in hiding our ugly. I know I do. I smile and say “I’m fine.” I avoid friends while I wait until I have my act together. I don’t invite people over when my house is a wreck.  I don’t blog because I think I need to have something beautiful to write. I don’t go to God because I know what a disappointment I must be when that’s the exact opposite of what He wants.

There are folks who know “of me” who think I have it all together because I have twelve kids AND we homeschool AND we own a business, etc., etc. WELL, I don’t. Just ask my kids. I wish I did but I’m struggling right along with everyone else. I’m a normal person just asking God to use me then turning around and begging Him to stop because I can’t take the pressure. So, I put on my mask, quote just the right Scripture, smile and say, “I’m fine,” then go home, take off my mask and wonder what the Lord sees in me. I know that’s satan whispering in my ear. It doesn’t make me feel any better at the time. I know I’m a child of the King but sometimes  the only ball this princess will attend is a masquerade due to her desire to be ambiguous.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but ugly is in the eye of anyone with an eye. We’ve all had defined for us by our culture what’s defined as lovely but there’s something in all of us that KNOWS ugly. No one wants to be ugly, we don’t feel lovable when we’re in an ugly place and it’s hard to love others when they’re in an ugly place.  I’m ugly, you’re ugly, all God’s people get ugly. Wisdom is seeing through God’s eyes and seeing what God sees. Jesus ain’t ugly. Let’s take off our masks and love each other where we’re at.

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

I love this! Y’all are gonna want to be at my funeral. I’ve been inspired!

Army Of Awesome People

Funerals are generally thought of as glum and solemn affairs, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Here are some things you can try to make your own funeral fun with a little planning. (Disclaimer: DO NOT attempt to make someone else’s funeral fun without prior consent, as some people’s ghosts have no sense of humor.)
1) Put a “Please Do Not disturb sign” on the side of the coffin.Rental-1
2) Place nearby a glass box with a wooden stake in it, with sign “Break Glass In Case Of Emergency”
3) Attach a Romney/Ryan 2012 bumper sticker to the coffin.
4) Send out an automated e-mail to all invited guests with an apology that you will not be able to attend due to a scheduling conflict.
5) Wear pajamas in the coffin. I mean, this is clearly not the best of all possible occasions, so why not save…

View original post 155 more words

This looks so unbelievably yummy, it’s worth saving here if for no other reason, so I can find it when I’m ready to dig in and make some of this craziness. DANG!

Make Your Home a Haven Challenge

I just wanted to take a minute and share this challenge with the ladies. It’s from the Women Living Well Blog and I’m going to take a breath once a week to do this. I thought maybe someone else out there would like to as well. Just click on the button and you’ll be magically transported to the challenge.

 

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

More Family Camp Adventures

Well, my photo journaling hasn’t quite brought us to Miracle Mountain Ranch but McD’s is still part of the fun. Especially when three big families invade.

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That’s it for now. More to come…

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Alaska Cruise – Day 1 – Seattle

“It has been some time since my last entry, and thus I must ask forgiveness for my dereliction; my travels with the Master have, for the past three weeks, been quite extensive, and I have been much distracted. But I mean to correct that, beginning here. Herr Gruber believes this experience will allow me to become a more well-rounded being, and thus far I have been given every reason to believe him, I have seen magnificent things, which I will, to the best powers of description, attempt to put into words.”

And so begins Chapter 2 of The Clockwork Man by William Jablosky, the piece of Steampunk fiction I took with me on our Third Day Alaskan Cruise. I thought it more than adequately starts this post as my travel with the Master have  been extensive and I will resort to photos, for the most part, to share this amazing experience.

Seattle is a fantabulous place to visit, even if you’re not going on a cruise. There are so many sites to see, the food is incredible and the people are some of the friendliest I’ve ever encountered.

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What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle

Third Day 20th Anniversary Cake Part 3

Several folks had asked for close up shots  and pics of us making this cake via Facebook and Twitter so that’s why I’m taking the time to journal the making of said cake with more detail than I usually would. It was an especially fun cake to do so I don’t mind a bit. Having several family members contribute to the creation of this edible work of art makes the memory worth keeping so I’m happy to “scrapbook” this here. I have a lot of pics so I’m not going to try to put it all in one post – you have stuff to do and other blogs to read.

If you missed it, visit Part 1 and Part 2 then you’ll be caught up to speed.

First of all, we had to make Cake Pops for some Gomers who have heard about them and have seen our photos of them. We also like to take some for Lott, the tour manager, as he seems to like them quite a bit. If he’s just faking it for our  sake, he’s doing a good job. We’ve learned that the band doesn’t usually get the treats folks bring them (bummer since that’s one of our “love languages!”) but Lott acts like he’s going to steal them when we bring them. SO, we gave him his own and the band got stuck with cake.

FINISHING THE CAKE BEFORE TRANSPORTING

I forgot to include the cake board when I started this. One of our signature elements: folks get a kick out of serving out cake to discover a message or picture hiding beneath. I was hoping to use the Come Together symbol with a photo but ran into technical difficulties and didn’t have time to make it happen.

 Back to the drum: Before I took a good look at what instruments we’d be putting on the cake, I purchased Opalescent spray for that “sparkly drum” look. THEN, I asked for help from Gomers for good pics and did my homework. The realization that David Carr’s Craviotto Drums are wood grain left me wondering what the heck I was going to make sparkly cuz I was bound and determined to use my spray paint! Darn.

I went to work on the last of the hardware attaching pieces with Piping Gel. Jillian and the small fries had already made the smaller pieces so it was a “simple” matter of assembly and painting. Cakes can be so….stupid. Sometimes,  I swear they’re living, breathing, evil creatures just waiting for us humans to try to shape them into something fabulous but they decide to be “in control” and rebel against their maker!!! Okay, I’ll calm down. Enough of that…stupid cake.

I made a couple of shades of vodka paint with brown icing color for the wood grain. Icing color tends to deepen or darken as it dries so I kept working with the colors trying to get them to match David’s drums expecting the paint to act like icing. It doesn’t work the same, I found. I made a vodka paint with luster dust  and used that Opalescent spray for the hardware. I tried the sliver metallic spray and was not happy with the results. I’ve used the gold before and that looks great but the silver looked blue.  Luster dust for silver. Write that down.

This was where we stopped on the cake on Wednesday, May 16. We loaded the layers in a Cambro carrier with he exception of the 14″ bottom layer which didn’t fit so it was placed on top of the carrier. Each layer was placed on a piece of foam covered with a “grip mat” and the cakes survived the trip with minimal damage. Some pieces slid out of place but I was thrilled that we drove a cake from Indiana to North Carolina and they made it! Our first long-distance delivery. Yay!

Thanks for taking a gander!

What’s not shared is lost,

Michelle