Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Gratitude

porch swing love
The last prompt for the Love Your Blog Challenge is Gratitude.

I have so much to be thankful for. So I'm just going to sum it up and say....

I thank God for this beautiful, messy life I have. 

Yes, I've had heartaches, but you know what? Everything I have gone through has bought me to where I am now. And I LOVE where I am now and the life I have. I'm surrounded by love, my family supports me no matter what crazy adventure I take, and life is good.....very good.

~ For The Love Your Blog Challenge with Kate of A Playful Day

Monday, April 27, 2015

Girl Scouts Rock!


I am so proud of myself! I've been a Girl Scout troop leader for a few months now. It's been exciting, a little nerve wrecking, more work than I thought, but I've loved every minute of it!

This past weekend, I had to do my outdoor certification (camping), so I can take my girls camping and other outdoor activities. This weekend was rainy, and chilly. Not the best weather for camping, but we're Girl Scouts, right. So need to be prepared for anything!

My friends and family still have can't believe I'm a Girl Scout leader. I guess some would call me a girly girl. I like pink, wearing high heels, and I have a tiara, I like dolls, but I can be girly girl and still step out and do other things. I like being outdoors, even liked camping as a kid. I like to fish, ride horses. Why limit ones self?  Maybe it's because I'm a Mom to all boys and I've never been a Girl Scout myself. Who knows why people find it hard to believe I'm a Girl Scout leader. I told co-workers and friends I was camping this weekend, and the majority of responses, was "really? you?"

Yes. Me! 

So camping I went, along with other troop leaders to be certified. I bought a companion on my camping trip,the last doll I made. I had to strap her in for our ride to camp. Safety first! I've never set up a tent before, so a day before going to camp I had my son help me set up the tent, so I wouldn't be totally clueless. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Plus I had seasoned campers/troop leaders helping out once I got to camp. Got the tent all set up, rolled out my sleeping bag, and cheetah Snuggie, and my bed was ready!

We had a full day of learning. How to start fires without flammable liquids or match light charcoal. We made fire starters out of kindling, egg cartons, and wax. I wasn't sure I would be able to do start a fire without lighter fluid, but I did! Got a little tepee fire going and roasted myself a huge marshmallow! Being that it was raining and everything was soaking wet, we put newspaper down in the fire pit so it wasn't so wet and didn't build a huge fire. But I got one going, so I was happy! We baked chocolate chip cookies in a box oven! A box oven! You get a sturdy box, cover in heavy duty aluminum foil, use charcoal briskets in tuna cans, and you have an oven! That actually bakes cookies! Who knew! Dinner was a chicken potpie in the cast iron skillet and breakfast was breakfast burritos. They were the best breakfast burritos I've ever had. I didn't get a picture of the burritos because I ate them so fast! Ooops!

We learned about cooking outside, safety in being outdoors, flag ceremonies, tying knots,...so much more information, but so good. The trainers were long time Girl Scout leaders and trainers and they were the best! So many great stories and had me excited and proud to be a Girl Scout! I learned a lot. And made new friends. Our patrol was the best! And I'm so thankful I got to do my training with them. The weekend was great. The only downfall was being wet and cold all weekend. There was a few times I wanted to go home, to hubby and a nice warm home, but I stuck it out! I'm proud of myself, and I earned my first Girl Scout patch!

Girl Scouts and leading has taken me out of my comfort zone on many levels. I originally wanted to help lead a troop, not have my own, but there was a troop of girls who needed a leader. So my own troop I got. And even though I'm learning as I go along, and sometimes ask myself, who am I to mentor these girls, it really is the best thing for me. I'm learning and growing right along with the girls. And I'm so excited for all the adventures we will have!

Girl Scouts ROCK!


camping companion tent down tent up tent bed ready to camp fire and marshmallow chicken potpie box oven cookies_collage outdoorcertified

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Adventures and Creepy Scary Movie Stuff

Ezekiel Titus Train abandoned4 me titus tracks abandoned2 abandoned tracks2
I have a thing for railroad tracks. I think I've mentioned that before. Maybe it's because I grew up living across the street from train tracks. Who knows. But they scream adventure to me. And who doesn't like an adventure.

In our subdivision we have walking trails and old tracks run along the trail. I would much rather walk the tracks, then on a paved trail. My boys have been wanting to take the tracks to see if it would lead to a little convenient store in our town. Before I would let them do that alone, I decided to walk the tracks with my older son to check it out. And of course Titus too! He loves an adventure!

The day we decided to take this adventure, the pollen was high, the air thick with a yellow haze. But the trees were just started to sprout new leaves and everything felt alive.

Along the tracks we came across old abandoned shacks, a deserted school bus and cows. If I had my big girl camera, I would have gotten some pictures of the bus. Looked so out of place abandoned in the woods. I told my son we would need to go back when I have my Nikon to capture it. We walked what seemed like forever, and still no store. I decided it was too far, and too deep in the woods for them to walk this alone. Maybe I watch too many scary movies, but all I could see was Jeeper Creepers or someone coming after them.

On our way back home, we came across the abandoned shack again. I told Ezekiel, let's go explore and see what's in it. His response...

"Mom, this is some creepy scary movie stuff! I am not going into that shack!"  

Of course, I went in the shack, and he followed. Well, he didn't follow all the way into the shack, but he did get near it. I went inside the shack, with Titus, just in case zombies were in there. (we watch Walking Dead also) Turns out, there was nothing in the shack. Just some graffiti, a dirt floor.and sunlight streaming through the roof.  No creepy movie stuff. Thank goodness! Because I'm not sure what I would have done!

It's fun going exploring. I really need to do it more often with the boys. Especially since they are growing so fast! Won't have many more opportunities.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ugly

samuel In the blogging world, at least the blogs I read, only the best is put on display. It seems everyone has the perfect home, the perfect job, the perfect spouse, the perfect kids, the perfect Pinterest life. Who wants to share a messy house, the burnt meals, the fight you had with your husband....the murder of a son.

When the word Ugly was given as the prompt this week, the first thing that came to mind was the death of my son. That has been the "ugliest" part of my life....the ugliest part of my blog. Or so you would think.

When my son was killed, I blogged. Blogged my feelings, my heartache, the unfairness of it all. I poured out my heart. Dwelling on my son's death, I was unable to see past my tears, to the beauty this life still held. Life is so short. Too short to be unhappy. To dwell on circumstances I cannot change. Yes - losing my son was the worst thing that could ever happen. But I couldn't let the ugliness of that take control of my life. So I started to focus on the good, the beauty and love all around me.

Life isn't Pinterest perfect. We all have ugly in our lives. Do we want to display that ugly on our blogs? Do I want to display that ugly? Yes....I do. Because through the ugly I found a sort of healing. I can look back on the worst moments of my life and see that I survived. That I may have helped someone going through the "ugly" in their life.

And from ugly, beauty was born. samuel25 ~ For The Love Your Blog Challenge with Kate of A Playful Day

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April Showers Bring May Flowers

evening knitting yellowrainboots
I found these cute, bright yellow doll rain boots and thought they would be so cute on one of my knitted dolls. I pictured stripped legs, a jumper and a bright yellow rain hat! I got started on April May this past weekend. One leg done so far! I hope she turns out as cute as the picture in my head!

While working on the leg last night, I was comfy in bed while April showers fell outside. I smiled to myself thinking of all the flowers I had planted this past weekend and hope will sprout up in May.

April showers bring May flowers!

~Joining Ginny (Small Things) Yarn Along.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Beginnings

gardening gardening2 gardening3 gardening4
My flower beds have been in dire need of attention. Grass and weeds have grown into them and old gladiolus stalks add to the disarray. Such a sad state of affairs.

After much avoidance, this past weekend the weather was perfect for gardening. I wasn't exactly looking forward to cleaning out the beds, but once I got started I actually enjoyed it. The sun felt good on my skin, the smell of the dirt, even the little worms and bugs I encountered was a simple pleasure.

I have gladiolus planted in both beds, but decided to move them all over to one bed. One bed for perennials and one bed for annuals. The first bed I cleared, I planted sunflowers and pumpkins. I grew sunflowers a couple years ago and loved them. This will be my first time planting pumpkins. They are small pumpkins, and I'm not sure they will grow, but we will see. I think this bed may be my favorite. The sunflowers are planted toward the back along the fence (2nd picture) and the pumpkins are planted in the middle. The beds look small in the pictures, but they are actually pretty good sized. The back of pumpkin package said to plant Apr - Jun and after I planted them, I realized it should have waited longer. They will be full grown in 110 days, which will make it July 30! Too early for pumpkins. You live and learn, right. Next year I will wait a bit to plant them, because if these grow, I will definitely plant them again next year.

The second flower bed, has my gladiolus which I planted a few years ago, and I added daises to them. This will be my first time with daises, such happy flowers.

I can't wait to see little sprouts shooting up. The first time I planted flowers I was amazed and excited when they actually grew! I'm no gardener.....well, maybe I am. Who am I to say I'm not :)

New beginnings, full of promise.

~ For The Love Your Blog Challenge with Kate of A Playful Day

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring

growth growth2
Spring is here! All around me, the earth is awakening. Leaves are sprouting and Spring breezes are blowing. Time to plant flowers! April showers bring May flowers!

My flower beds need some serious work. I have two of them, and right now they are filled with weeds and old gladiolus stems from last year. This weekend or next I will be getting to work. I've decided I want to move all my gladiolus into one bed and plant annuals in my other one. I LOVE sunflowers, but didn't plant any last year, because of all the gladiolus. So it's time for a change. Perennials in one bed, annuals in another. Along with my sunflowers, I'm planting pumpkins! I've always wanted to grow pumpkins, so no more wanting! Now is the time! Life is way too short. And something so simple as planting pumpkins shouldn't be put on the back burner. Pumpkins and sunflowers make me happy. So pumpkins and sunflowers I will have!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Baby Bootie Snuggs, Owl and Pussycat

baby uggs_3 baby uggs_2 owl and pusscat hats
I never thought I'd be an Ugg person. When Uggs became all the craze, I just didn't understand it...until I got a pair myself. Have you tried Uggs. Oh my goodness! They are the most comfortable boots ever! So soft and warm in the inside. If I could wear them with everything I would. With Spring here, I've had to retire them to the back of the closet, but you can best believe as soon as Fall rolls around, they will be back on my feet!

I saw these cute baby bootie Snuggs on Ravelry and saved them to my que to knit at one point. I figured they would be cute on one of my dolls. My sister saw them and had to have them for her best friend who just had twins. A boy and girl. They turned out so cute! Now I definitely need to make them for a doll! I see a Fall doll in my future. Ugg boots and all! The hats were also for the twins. An Owl and Pusscat. I don't do a lot of baby knitting, but this was fun.

~Joining Frontier Dreams Keep Calm, Craft On
~Joining Ginny (Small Things) Yarn Along

Monday, April 6, 2015

Interactions and Community

doll pieces doll pieces_2 littlehousedoll IMG_7169 bonnett apron dress and bloomers
I've been blogging since 2007.

I use to blog all the time, but have lost my blogging mojo these last couple of years. I've been wanting to get back into blogging, but every time I try, I feel forced and the words just don't come. I came across A Playful Day's blog challenge - The Love Your Blog Challenge and decided to give it a try. I want to love my blog again. So here it goes!

This weeks prompt is all about Interactions and Community. And that is what I loved about blogging. The community I built, and friends I made while on this journey. Blogging helped me during the hardest time of my life. The death of my oldest son. Through my blog, I was able to pour out my heart and find other Moms who were going through the same heartache as I. Our children did not die from sickness or accident, but by murder. The death of a child is devastating, but losing a child to murder.....it's the worst.

Trying to maintain after his death, I found my love of knitting. My mom taught me to knit as a child. I knit one thing, a stuffed horse, and never knit again. After the death of my son, how he died consumed my mind. If I wasn't moving, or doing something my mind would drift to his death, the way he died and the horror of it all, so I always had to be doing something. And knitting became that something. As long as I was knitting, reading patterns, learning something new, my mind was off his death. And slowly, but surely I wasn't focused so much on how my son died, but on the happy times, and along the way became a better knitter. And found my love of knitting dolls!

Blogging, knitting, community building! It's all here.

~ For The Love Your Blog Challenge with Kate of A Playful Day.

~ pictures - clothes for my newest doll, Holly Hobbie and Little House on the Prairie inspired.