Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dear Sweet Grandma Yoder,

Today, you are dancing on the streets of Heaven, no longer hindered by an earthly body. Or maybe you're playing beautiful hymns on a heavenly-tuned piano and the angles are singing along. Perhaps, you and the love of your earthly life are thanking God in person for all the times of joys and trials that He blessed your marriage with for 62 wonderful years. Thanking Him for your 100 descendents and the legacy of faith, love and laughter that you were allowed to leave them. And I am sure that you have heard Him say the words, "Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord."

You loved us all so well. Even with 7 kids, 6 daughter/son-in-laws, 26 grandkids, 18 grandkid-in-laws, 40 great-grand-kids (with 3 more on the way), you managed to make each and every one of us feel special, favored and cherished. You remembered every birthday and even little significant tidbits that lined up with our lives. Like that the silo on the homestead farm caught fire on my birthday one year on July 31st. 

Your example of love and joy created a legacy of strong, happy families and marriages. The sweet adoration you showed to Grandpa for sixty-two years is something we have all looked to as an example. Even at your fifty-year anniversary party, I can remember you glowing with love like a newly-wed bride. And the best piece of marriage advice I ever received, I heard from you. "Don't waste your energy arguing," you told me with a mischievous glimmer in your eye, "save it for more fun things." Well then.

I know life changes and nothing lasts forever, but I wish Weston and Isaac could have experienced summers on the Farm. Those times are my favorite memories from my childhood. Climbing on the hay bales, drinking chocolate Quik (mixed with fresh, whole milk that you gathered that morning from the barn), dancing to the hymns and nursery rhymes you'd play on the piano, waking up to the sound of Grandpa and Uncle Tim yelling at the cows to come in. All of these times are precious to me and I wish there was some magical way for my boys to have memories with you like that. They would have adored you. 

I'm so glad you were able to pat my twin belly last summer when I came to visit. You were so excited about that and my favorite picture of you and I will always be of that moment. 

I'm sad you're gone. I'm sad that so much of my life was spent living on the other side of the country from you. I'm sad I don't have more memories with you. I'm sad for those of us who are left behind to miss you. But out-weighing my sadness is a overwhelming joy for you that you are finally Home. I know you were ready and I'm so glad you are finally were your heart longed to be. You lived ninety-one full, happy years and you are now seeing first-hand the promises of the scriptures you so steadfastly read and believed in. And I am thrilled for you.

It is hard to imagine that you are not here any longer. It almost seems like you're still just a few thousand miles away and we're just between visits. Which we are in a way. So that is what I'll think about today and in the years to come when I miss you so badly. We're just between visits and I'll see you soon. I miss you Grandma and love you so much. 


Monday, March 26, 2012

Beaded Crosses: Easter Sale

EDIT 4/2/12: This sale has ended. If you would still like to purchase a cross at regular price, please visit 

• • •

If you know me at all, you know I'm creative. Art, photography, graphic design, writing, crafting, decorating - all of it. I love it. And while there are very few days that I miss being in the work force, I do miss having a daily, creative outlet. Now that I'm home full-time with my sweet boys, one way I keeping my creativity alive amidst the diapers, laundry and baby-talking is by making and selling beaded crosses. 

Since Easter is coming up in just a couple of weeks, I thought I'd offer a special deal on some crosses that I currently have in stock. The handmade, beaded crosses are 3.5" tall, come in a gift box and include a ribbon for hanging. They are normally $30.00 each (shipping included for U.S. addresses), BUT if you order one of the crosses below before March 31st, I'll drop the price to $25.00 and have it shipped to you in time for Easter (U.S. addresses only). You can email me your order and payments can be made via PaypPal. Please mention this Easter Sale in your email and include your mailing address. First come, first served.

Crosses available in time for Easter:

 Desert Sunset*
(shades of purple with red and gold accents)
One Available for Easter

The Dark Before the Dawn*
(shades of gray, black and navy)
Two One Available for Easter

New Life*
(shades of green with gold accents)
One Available for Easter

We're All in This Together*
(multi-colored and made with magazine beads from Uganda, Africa.) 
50% of the proceeds from this cross will be donated to feed the poor of Uganda click here for details.
One Available for Easter

Pretty in Pearls*
(shades of pink with pearl accents)
One Available for Easter

If you are interested in ordering additional crosses (that you don't need before Easter) head on over to my Crafty Notions site and peruse more of my handy work. 

*Please note: Because they are handmade, the pattern of beading will vary slightly on each cross. Crosses pictured are samples only. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

But I don't want to be a mommy blog...

There is nothing wrong with mommy blogs. There are a number of really good mommy blogs that I enjoy reading and have gained some much-needed encouragement and wisdom from. Moms have a lot of really great (and entertaining) things to share sometimes. And after just one short month of being a stay-at-home mom, I can totally see how mommy blogs are a sometimes essential bridge to social sanity for the women reading and writing them. It's just that I never wanted this space - my little spot to reflect, share and talk about topics that I find meaningful, fun or interesting - to morph into a mommy blog where I only ever talk about my kids (not that my kids aren't meaningful, fun or interesting to me... awkward silence...).

The thing is though, my life itself has morphed into a world predominately conquered by my kids and it's hard to come up with anything interesting to write about that doesn't revolve around the twins (who, while lovable, adorable five-months-olds, are not all that interesting). On top of that: mommy-brain is a doozy and holding down a thought long enough to wrestle it into a fully-form sentence seems nearly impossible most of the time.

So here my blog sits - unable to assert itself as much at the moment because it's run by a gal trying to grasp her new identity and adjust to being a full-time, stay-at-home wife and mother. Poor blog. Do not loose hope my digital friend, you will rise again. Someday, ponderous tidbits and amusing stories will once again flow across your htlm-coded pages. Cling to that little blog. Cling to it like boogers on a baby's nose (dang it - mommy blogging).

So yeah. The adjustment to my new career as a nanny/laundress/cook/maid/mom/wife or what is now considered the p.c. term - "a home manager" - is slow going. Some days I absolutely love it. Some days I just want to pawn my wee babes off on anyone who is willing to take them for a few hours (days??) so I can go on a mental vacation and spend some quiet, quality time just me and Joe (as in, Mr. Cup O'). But every day, no matter what the joys, stresses or boredoms, I am truly grateful to be home and able to pour more energy into my husband and kids. It's a blessing. And while I'm struggling with wondering if the daily tasks of a stay-at-home mama is "enough" in light of so many needs and troubles in this world (which press so heavily on my heart), I am praying that God will show me how I can best serve Him and others without neglecting the new responsibilities He has place lovingly in my arms.

This time last year I was on my way to Uganda, Africa to love and serve some beautiful, precious people. A big chunk of my heart still pulls me towards them - to their needs and to their inspiring hope and faith in God. I don't want to forget them as I care for my own. While tending to my two small babies, I don't want to forget the mother somewhere who is struggling to feed and provide for her little ones. While loving my hard-working husband, I don't want to forget about the family whose husband/father is without a job, or worse, whose husband/father has abandoned them or been taken by disease or hunger. I do not want to get so caught up in loving my own that I neglect loving others. Caring for my family is a wonderful gift and calling, but it is causing tension as I navigate this new season. My mom/wife heart and my justice/mercy heart are trying to figure out how to live under the same roof.

At the core of all this is the fact that I don't want my sons growing up thinking the world is only about them. I want them to truly love others more than themselves and deeply care about the poor around the world. And I have to teach them this by my own actions. Tension exists here because how do I deeply love others while also having enough left in me to deeply love this little family God has blessed me with? I don't know yet. My "doing" in regards to the mercy/justice side of things might be in a resting season for a little while during this tender time of caring for my little ones and if that is the case, I have to learn to be okay with that.

Still... if I start writing less and less about orphans and the poor and more and more about boogers and diapers, somebody please hack into my account and put this blog out of its misery. Thank you.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Goal #21 Complete: Art Walk

More progress on my Project 101 in 1001 list. Read about my journey here.
Goal #21: Attend an Art Walk in downtown Scottsdale and dress to the nine.
(insert here the sound of life throwing on the brakes and dropping a set of twins in our laps)

Now let's revamp that goal a little to fit the reality of our new life:

Goal #21: Attend an Art Walk in downtown Scottsdale Chandler and dress to the nine in a trendy fashion suitable for parents carrying around four-month-old twins. COMPLETE

Here's the thing, Scottsdale is a little hoity-toity. The quiet, indoor galleries featured during the monthly Art Walk often have wine and cheese served. Not exactly the most conducive attmoshere to be carting around (potential fussy) twinfants. Also, if one is carting around twinfants, "dressing to the nine" is kind of a waste as one will (very) likely end the night with one's fancy clothes covered in drool, spit-up, tears, pee, poop or some combination of the afore mentioned bodily expulsions. 

So, with those things in mind, I reworked this goal a bit and Devin and I (twins in tow) attended an Art Walk that was just around the corner, in very our own downtown Chandler. It was casual, outdoors and five minutes from home (in case of a twin melt down). We did not "dress to the nine" per-say, but we did rock some baby carriers. And nothing says "trendy fashion" like a modern baby wrap that matches your "artsy hipster" attire.

We invited Devin's parents to join us and had a really nice evening, concluded by enjoying some delicious handmade fruit bars at Paleta Betty's. Goal completed.