Friday, April 29, 2011

Customer service? This is NOT the child I requested!

Next week was supposed to be huge for him...a short school week with an overnight camping trip with his classmates to cap it all off.  All he had to do was behave (check) and pass all his classes (check, again).  I'd been praying over this:  Please, Lord, help him through his day to pay attention, do the work correctly and, above all, turn it in on time with his name on it.   

I should have seen it coming. 

This afternoon, I found out he didn't turn in three papers.  This is how you go from passing to failing a class in two weeks time.  There was talk from the school about extra work to, hopefully, boost the grade and how did I feel about that.  I could practically feel the internal struggle: yes/no yes/no yes/no.  If I said no, it'd be like ignoring an entire year's worth of hard work which would be grossly unfair.  If I said yes, what would that be teaching him?  That as long as someone comes along to give you a boost, everything'll be harm, no foul; that the rules apply to everyone BUT you?  I just don't get it.  How can you so look forward to something, knowing the requirements ahead of time and be surprised when you personally let it slip through your fingers.  He tried to shift the blame (I do so love THAT game they play).  He tried to say he'd worked so hard all year, it shouldn't matter now; he deserved to go.  I can't even believe the words as I'm typing them.  I can't bail you out of this one.  I can't shadow you through the day.  Yes, you're 11 years old, but you knew the score.

Lucky for me, my dear hubby agrees with me, so while the decision wasn't the desired one, it's the best one.  So, here we go with the crying and long, sad face.  Hey, let's see if we can get sympathy from dear Grandmother...nope, no dice.  Try harder next time, buddy.  And forget about telling Grandpa unless you're up for The just to keep your mouth shut with that one.  Now, we're on to the silent treatment.  It's been five hours of this shit and I'm already tired of it.  I'm not budging and neither's Dad.  Suck it up, learn your lesson; adapt and overcome.   Parenthood sucks.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We Have a Winner!

These are the awesomely cute buttons I won in an online contest hosted by Michele at Quilting Bloggers Directory.  Look them up if you get the chance.  Michele's site lists bunches of talented folks and their blogs, of which mine is one (thanks, Michele!).  The giveaway itself was from Incomparable Buttons of South Africa.  Their company employs local women, helping them earn an income to support their families.  Their website is or visit their blog at   Their catalog features oodles of handmade (you can see fingerprints on the backs of these babies) buttons of all sizes.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gold on the Inside

I wanted so desperately for him to win a ribbon at the UIL competition last week.  He'd picked 800 word list to study, but hey, he's a VERY good speller.  'Please, Lord', I pleaded, 'let him win a ribbon.  Any ribbon, any color, any place...1st, 2nd, 6th I don't care.  Just let him have that, Lord.  He's trying so hard and it'd mean so much.'  So, the day of the competition arrived and I sent him off with a hug and a go-get-'em attitude and prayed again.  By late afternoon, they were finally ready for the awards ceremony and I sat there with my fingers crossed, still pleading silently for that ribbon.

He didn't win.

I felt a little deflated, but even worse was the thought of what was to come.  I just knew he'd be terribly upset, after all, I sat there watching him as he watched his fellow spelling competitors win various ribbons and he got a little less animated every time.  Why couldn't he have just one stupid ribbon?  Would that've been so hard?

I got him in the car and asked 'You okay, buddy?' 
'Fine', came his reply. 
'A little disappointed?' 
'Some', he said 'but it's okay.' 
I cringed inwardly, expecting the worst in reply to my next question: 'You gonna try again next year?' 
'Well, sure!' came his exuberant reply.  'It was alot of fun!'

They say the good Lord gives you what you need, not what you want.  I sure wanted that outward sign of his success so I could say 'See how well he's doing, how far he's come?'  God saw what Seth needed, that boost of inner confidence that maybe today wasn't his time, but he'd try again...and that makes him pure gold on the inside.


Saturday, April 9, 2011

He Blinded Me with Science

The phrase "science fair project" holds as much excitement for me as a rectal exam.  Even the word "project" be it for child or adult, makes me contemplate acts that would surely jeopardize any hopes of entering the pearly gates and enjoying everlasting Paradise.  A school project of any kind is teacher-speak for WHOLE HELL OF A LOTTA WORK FOR MOM.  Togetherness and family bonding over a school project?  I think I'll pass, thanks.

Seth's science fair project was supposed to be Dad's domain because let's face it, I carried the kid for nine months and got the stretch marks to prove it.  That, and I told Dad it was his job.  I figure giving birth makes me exempt from anything science or project related.  Yeah, right.  Subtle hints do not work with this man.  This is, after all, the same man who requires visual cues for birthday and Christmas gifts otherwise I'd wind up with a wet/dry ShopVac and a set of drill bits.  Go ahead, ask me how I predict this with such accuracy.  

All that to say guess who got saddled helping with the project?  I'll be so glad when it's over and you can bet the farm I'll be saving every detail so we can recycle it when the next one's turn comes around.  Is it just me, or do today's kids (and teachers for that matter) require way more parental project involvement than previous generations?  My Dad, bless him, constructed a hinged project display board for me one year from plywood.  No lightweight materials for him; when Dad makes anything it's meant to withstand whatever life throws at it.  But that was the extent of my parents' involvement.  Not that that made them bad parents mind you, it just means they offered what they thought was necessary and then gotta the heck outta Dodge.  These are not stupid people.

The date of his science fair is looming on the horizon, but is he sweating it?  Puh-leeze!  "Mama", he says "It's under control.  I think you've had enough for today; go take a break and relax."  How humbling to have the 11 year old send you to your room.  Where's the Xanax?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Weekend W.I.P. Part 2

Party animal that I am, I managed to stay up Saturday night until 11:45 and got a couple more blocks done.   This is an achievement because I'm typically first to bed at quilt retreats...embarrassing since most of the ladies at the last one at Milford were practically my grandmother's age.  Those ladies rocked it all night long! 

The patterns (circa 1991) are from Granny Nanny's out of Virginia, although I don't know if they're still in business or not.

I think the fuschia/teal block's my favorite so far.

I can't believe I'm actually cutting into my batiks stash and I'm having a lot of fun (read: headaches) trying out color combinations.  I'll confess to perfectionism.  If I don't like it, I redo it.  My Orphan Quilt just acquired a new block.  I think I like the teal-background heart better; hubby's vote's for the other one.

Sunday morning before church (yes, the kids and I went and the roof didn't cave in), I got the fabrics picked out for the next block:

After church, this is what I got done:

My daughter's favorite!

My son made an awful face over this one.  Odd child.

Typically, my reply to "Did you get any quilting done this weekend?" is are you kidding!?  Lucky me, I gots LOTS done this time around!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Weekend W.I.P.

Yeah, I know I said no new projects until I had my current stuff quilted, but...I lied!  These are 3 1/2" sq. paper-pieced blocks that I got from my Mom when she was weeding out her stash.  They're so old, the
price tags (who does that anymore?) have now faded to a sickly yellow and the gummy backing is about gone.  OLD, like what my kids consider me to be.  Anyway, I've got these two completed:

Generally, when I ask my hubby what he thinks of a block/quilt I'm working on I get the standard "nice" reply, all this without him actually looking at the thing.  Today he looked...really looked and declared the peach-toned block had to go, so it'll end up in my Orphan Block Quilt someday.  The green/batik one is my second attempt which, I admit, I like alot better.  Hey, I never claimed to be any good at choosing what goes together best.  I'm lucky I did well picking such a gem for a husband.

This one's currently working its way slowly, very slowly, under the needle of my machine:

I really like this one.  It's kinda hard to tell, but the batik is fiery reds and oranges with cool purples and greens.  LOVE IT!  Since the guys are at the car cruise and my daughter's hogging the TV to watch Bambi (gag) for the second time (sob), I'm gonna have plenty of time with my Featherweight, Lennie, tonight.