Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Christian!

Sometimes when you just can't go home you  go to the next best place. 

You can rest your weary head here anytime!
Happy Birthday, Little Man!
I love you

Monday, December 16, 2013

Morning Feeding

So, I thought I heard this guy early last week.
Bob confirmed it when he came in and said the same thing!
He found where he's feeding.
Here he is:
(That light color under his body is not part of him,
but where he's pecked away at the tree.)

A Pileated Woodpecker
He was tearing that tree up until I went out to snap a picture! 
Then it was a stand-off to see who would move first.
I lost.   I really wanted to get his full body length. 
He is huge and beautiful! 
And his call is incredible!
Ahhh. . . . . 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Happy Birthday, Bobby!

Happy  Birthday to my brother!
You're catching up to me ~ just lettin' you know!

Hope your day is as special as you are.

Love you

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy Birthday, Nichole!

Seems all my Bebes are growing up! 
Way.  Too.  Fast.
Hope you have a beautiful birthday, Lovely Lady!
I love you
Aunt Crickett

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sam!

I've been looking and looking for just the right picture for this day.  I stumbled upon this one.  It is a classic in so many ways!   It's funny how quickly you guys actually ended up behind the wheel of a vehicle! That you both now look like a cross between ~ well, I won't say ~ and Duck Dynasty dudes.  But even funnier is the fact that you are in Matt's Jeep!  He would have skinned us all alive had he been privy to this act of defiance!  Do not.  Touch.  The Jeep.  Period.
Happy Birthday to  you!

I love you bushels!
Aunt Crickett

Friday, November 8, 2013

" . . . we are the clay . . . ."

"But now, O Lord,
You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And we are the work of Your hand."
Isaiah 64:8
Jenny painted this clay pot for me 14 years ago this past July.  Although she did not cast the pot she did, however, have a hand in the finished product.  I loved it.  It had bird houses around the pot with a scripture verse along the rim.  It no longer exists.  On Wednesday I asked Bob to bring down Itty Bitty's dresser drawers at his convenience so I could change out her summer clothes for winter ones.  (I'm just a little behind here)  I had the pot sitting at the foot of the stairs in a wicker pot holder.  He didn't clear it when he came down and the corner of one of the drawers caught it and sent the basket and the pot flying.  He offered to save the pieces, but it was beyond repair.  It would have taken a master to fit all those tiny pieces back, fill in the gap where the clay disintegrated and paint it back the way it was.  There was nothing he could do to make it perfect again.  It was beyond his ability.

I  have seen a few broken pots in my day.  Some beyond repair like my pot.  Some with just minor cracks and a chip or two ~ nothing that would affect its ability to do as it should.  And some that had just a broken piece that could easily be mended.  Not perfect as before, but almost unnoticeable.  I was free to choose to keep them or just toss them in the landfill.  Depending.  Depending on how badly broken they were.

We are different than the clay posts cast on an assembly line. Slight imperfections can be overlooked and will get labeled as "seconds".  Less impressive they are, but they can beautifully adorned so those imperfections would never be noticed.  Covered by paint or stain or some other artistic medium.  But their overall structure may be weak and vulnerable to everyday use.    
But us, we are perfectly cast by the Potter's hands. Just as Jenny's pot is signed, we each have the Potter's stamp somewhere on us or in us!   Even those that mankind may see as "seconds" or "culls" were deliberately and perfectly made.  We were made to withstand everyday use.  Not to buckle or bend under normal circumstances, and even when dilemmas challenge us, we are equipped to carry the weight.   

It is when an outside force, one unexpected, perhaps much stronger, takes advantage of us that we may become the broken vessel that may appear totally destroyed.  Broken beyond repair.  Left to be claimed by the garbage truck, tossed in the landfill of life.  That may be what the human eye sees.  But the Potter knows His handiwork. He knows the strength of the clay He used.  He knows repair is possible, even likely.  He is gracious like that.  He allows the observer to see not only the original piece of work, but the repair of the damaged vessel.  It is an amazing thing to see a broken vessel heal right before you eyes.  It is nothing short of a miracle.  A miraculous gift from an amazing Potter.

I am glad my Potter is not of this world.  I'm glad to know I would be doted over like a small child should I become broken. I'm glad to know my Potter will fix exactly what needs to be fixed. I'm glad I don't have to depend solely on my fellow man to fix all my cracks and dings and missing pieces, although they surely would if they could.   And if my vessel were to become so damaged that repair is beyond the question, well, then, I might just be dancing in Glory with a new, perfect body!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Look Back at October Through Pictures . . . . .

I thought September flew by, but boy, oh boy, October was a blur!  Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was gone for a third of the month.  Maybe it's just old age.  At any rate, it was here and gone before I could flip the page on the calendar!

So, here, in some cases in a blur, is October thru pics:

Only an Itty Bitty could stack a wobbly tower and not have it fall.
How does she do that?

We celebrated a birthday.

I finally deflated Dora after four plus months of
hanging around!  I've never seen a Mylar last this long.  It
was for Itty Bitty's birthday in May!

This was the original reason I was to be in the Land of Horses at the end of October.
Band Competition.

This is Hope doing her hoop thing ;)> .  She is going to be talented
like her older sister!
This is Sarah's Senior year in HS.  This was her last Guard competition.
Bittersweet.  That is her in the dress.
She had the solo part this year.
 She enters a portal to a different realm,
 only to become part of their world ~ for just a short time.
She was fabulous with the rifle!
"Should I leave?  No . . . I'll stay just a bit longer."

This is the reason I arrived a week early!  How can you say "No." to these little faces?  How?

Give me my heart back!  Now!
Never mind.  You may keep it.
Snug as a bug with his binky!
And cute little chapped cheeks, to boot!
Never too big for an exer-saucer!
L. O. V. E.   Nothing less.
Back home in time for Trick or Treating.
Our 80's gal, our Jelly Fish and an Itty Bitty Cow!

Dare I even say it's November?  How could it go any quicker?  Um, don't answer that!  PTL for cameras ~ even tho I'm a lousy photographer I get to keep the memories.  At least pictures don't fly by at break neck speed!  I can, at least, linger over them ~ well, for two minutes or so. 

Let's wait and see how November pans out.  Can I get a worthy post or two in before the end of the month?  Or is this a sign of things to come?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Little Man!

He adores hates it when I call him that.  He thinks I'm referring to stature, when in reality I'm referring to age.  I remember like it was yesterday when I took this picture ~ Little Man's first birthday. Little did I realize how quickly the time would race by and leave me 25 years later with fully grown children ~ this little guy being the youngest. 

Happy Birthday, Little Man. 
You've grown into quite an amazing young man
that I'm proud to call my son. 

I love you,

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sunshine On My Shoulders

Today was one of those rare days where I embraced being home all by myself.  The sun was shining, the weather was warm toasty, and it was perfectly peaceful and quiet.  I don't get these kinds of days too often anymore. Family keeps me busier than a one armed paper hanger in a wind storm!

So, just what did I do with all that extra time?  I used all that extra time to work on, and almost complete, a quilt for one of my gals.  I had the radio tuned to oldies, and when I say oldies, I'm talkin':  "The Wanderer", "I'll Cry If I Want To", "Love is a Many Splendored Thing" and so many more.  I would sew some, stretch some, dance some, sew some more, eat, sew, dance, sing a little,  and peruse the internet.  I took Audrey out to do her business so we could get some fresh air. Did I mention it was a little toasty out there?  And I stuck my hands in the pool (that we haven't closed up yet). Then we would come in a and get a treat and some iced tea and continue on.  And I had a chance to reflect ~ a LOT ~ today.  It was wonderful.

Near the end of the day John Denver's song, "Sunshine On My Shoulders" came on.  It was the perfect finish for the day.  As I was listening (I love his voice, by the way) I couldn't help but think how I would love to give everyone I know a day like I had today.  Not that it was incredible, but that it was just so relaxing.  Incredibly relaxing.  I think his words pretty much summed up the condition my spirit was in. 

So, here's my gift to you.   Just sit back, close your eyes, take calming breaths and let your cares ease away.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

Another year older?  Are you sure?  You don't look any older.  Not in the pic anyway.

Have a splendid day!  Enjoy all the glory God has given you!

Love you bushels and pecks!

Aunt Crickett

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Look Back at September Through Pictures

This month has flown by ~ way to quickly.  So here's the "lowdown" of how our life "went down" during September:

Our South Paw had to come to Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop's just to rest
Itty Bitt is really itty bitty!
Squashing the ants (long "A" sound here) on Uncle Ben's boat
Audrey Dog thinks my sewing space is her window to the world!  Get.  Off. Now.
A Sweet Pea named Missy gave ME raspberry jam and a bouquet of flowers
from her very own yard!  Thank you!
My washer went up so I was able to snag these from Kellifer.
Again. . . . Thank you!
We've confirmed Itty Bitty is a klepto thief.
I got to go to an estate sale as well as a barn sale!
Scored big time!  These are only a couple of goodies from
the estate sale.
We got to watch our South Paw play some fall ball!
Of course,  there was some playing with cotton, some birthday stuff, some a LOT of school and the everyday mundane stuff ~ you know ~ laundry, cleaning, cooking. . . . . .

So that pretty much sums up September this year.  Hopefully October will just casually stroll along.  Hopefully.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Seth!

Dear  Seth,

Here's wishing you a very blessed birthday with all those who are near and dear to you.
May this upcoming year be filled with happiness and prosperity. 

I love you
Aunt Crickett

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall Ball

I remember those days.  Baseball in the fall.  Hot, to warm , to cool to downright cold.  Had to take gear for every season just to be comfortable.  Not so today, though.  Sunny, warm and breezy.  We had the pleasure of watching our oldest and only grandson pitch today.   He's enrolled at Essex and they played Chesapeake. 

He's a South Paw

Can I say:  "I hate taking pictures thru chain link fences."?   I don't have the most modern, techno-savvy camera out there and I get blurs and obstacles (aka:  chain the link fence).

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in a play that I forget to take a picture.  Such was the case today when my boy and a team-mate had the enemy runner in a pickle. Ha! Awe, the enemy poor guy didn't make it.   Such is life. 

We didn't win, but, hey, it was a good day for baseball.  And I got hugs from my boy.  And I got to meet his girl.  And then I had to say goodbye.

I love that boy.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Just When You Think It's Safe. . . . .

. . . . to go back in the water . . .

In my case, just when I thought it was safe to blog again.   Things can go awry terribly quickly around here.  Case in point:  On Friday afternoon I thought since Itty Bitty was watching TV with the girls I could steal a few moments and blog over in the Land of Cotton.  It wasn't a terribly long blog.  All seemed fine in the living room.  I could hear voices and the movie they were watching.   No worries.  There in lies the problem.  I assumed (and you know what they say about ASS U ME) all eyes were glued to the boob tube.  WHAT was I thinking?  Not much of anything apparently.  It's not until I finish my blog and go check on the girls that I notice Itty Bitty holding her hands behind her back ~ 1st give-away ~ and she's got a s**t eating grin on her face ~ 2nd give-away ~ and . . . she tells me as she moves toward the sofa that she doesn't have anything ~ 3rd and deadly give-away.

No, no she doesn't have anything in her hands.  Nothing.  So. . . . what's hinkey here?  Nothing looks out of place except for her occasional glance at the pillows on the sofa.  Hmmmm . . . . .  "There's your sign".

 I go to lift pillows, she squeals with delight and anticipation at what she doesn't have.  This. Cannot.  Be.  Good.    And it wasn't. 

She had collected:
energy spray
chap stick
lip balm

She had visited everyone's room!

And I realized after I put the camera away there were things under the other pillow as well.
She had snagged both Kelly and Ben's deodorants earlier in the day and I made her put them
away herself thinking that would teach her a lesson.  No ma'am. No way, no how. Not her.
Note to self:  Never take eyes off Itty Bitty.  EVER.
She's a force to be reckoned with.
Help. . . .
Anybody?     Anybody?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, B. O. B.

He's a  hard one to photograph, this man.

He's not just Bob.
Bony Ol' Bugger
MoCuLa  (Moe, Curly, Larry)
As Ben would say:
Happy Birthday, Old Man!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jenny!

Happy Birthday to My First Born!

It's hard to comprehend the speed at which these last forty-one years have gone.  I remember as if it was just moments ago when you were born.  You, me, the Doctor and the nurse.  A bond between two among strangers. 

I have to say how proud I am of you. Your strength, your courage, the love you have for your family and the compassion you have for those around you. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out.

I pray God gives you only the best, that the trials He sees fit to let you experience will only make you stronger, and that you lean on Him for your everything.  As much as I love you, He loves you millions times more.  And that is an incomprehensible amount of love!

Have a wonderful day! 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

Happy Birthday!
You're knockin' on the door of 3.0.!
S C A R Y ain't it? 
Imagine how I feel!

Have a great day!

Love this picture!
Love you!
Aunt Crickett

Friday, September 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, Greg!

Hope this years showers you with blessings galore!
Happy Birthday,

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gavin!

Happy Birthday to a happy two year old!

On this day you turned two,
So many things to see,
So many things to do.
Oh my gracious, how can it be?
You're already on that curious road
To the wonderful age of three!
Hugs and kisses
To you from me!
Aunt Crickett

Friday, August 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Helena!

Happy Birthday to my Goldilocks!

Look at you,
You're nine years old!
Seems like yesterday
Truth be told ~
That you made your debut
You're nine years old,
Look at you!

I love you bushels and pecks
 My Goldilocks Girl!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Happy Birthday, Kellifer!

Sometime, not always, but sometimes,
just the right picture presents itself.
I heard this one yell scream, "Pick me!  Pick me!"
Happy thirty ~ ah-hem ~ sixth!
Enjoy your day!

Love you bushels!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Erica!

Happy Birthday Little Lady!
12 YEARS old! Shew. . . where did the time go?
I hope your birthday is as beautiful as you are!

I love and miss you so, so much! 
I'll see you in the fall! 
Hugs and Kisses

PS ~  Tell Mom that Mom-Mom said you
 want NEED Hamburger Pie for dinner!  :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required

I've never had a verse stick in my head for so long.  About a week or so ago, totally out of the blue, there it was and here it still is.  I've tried to ignore it, but it just won't go away.

I remember the first time this verse was ministered to me for my benefit.  I was struggling with the financial responsibility imposed upon me by someone who had asked me to care for something.  Not that I minded caring for this item, mind you, I just didn't think all the financial burden should be mine. It agitated me, to say the least.  As I was pleading my case to Pastor Gore, he, in his infinite wisdom, shared this verse with me.  At least the second half:

Luke 12:48b ~ "But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.  For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to  whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." 

I got it! We weren't wealthy, but we weren't dirt poor either.  I could take care of that item.  I just felt imposed upon.  But understanding changed how I looked at the situation and I carried on.  God's Word is so clear.  Can I hear an "Amen"?

That was many years ago.  Things  have changed drastically for us here at the ol' home place.  We're not in the same boat we were in then.  As a matter of fact, our boat is more like a dingey these days.  We have no available green stuff.  Our home is bursting at the seams with kids and grandies, so space is nil. Hours in the day and days in the week are short and full.  I'm not sure what God is asking me to give. I don't know what I could possibly have that I can give or that anyone would need,  but He wants me to.  I know He does because this verse will not leave my head alone.  Will.  Not.  Clear.  As. A.  Bell. (not clear what I'm suppose to give, but clear that I'm to give something)

So I'm left pondering this verse and my responsibility to it. I am listening, I am looking, I am waiting.
What to do, what to do?

Aaron?   Hur?  

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, McKenna!

I want her!  Can I have her?

Oh, My!  Oh, mercy me!
5 years old! Can it be!?
You've grown so fast
You've grown so tall
And you know you're
Loved, by one and all!
Happy Birthday, McKenna!
Aunt Crickett

Friday, July 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, Corrinna!

Happy Birthday, Little Lady!
Hope  your day is filled with happiness
and good times! 

I love you!
Aunt Crickett

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vintage Vibe

I know you know that I love all things glass ~ and vintage (well, not ALL things vintage, but a good amount).  And I love finds, steals, gifts from family and friends and, aaand, a "shout out" from a kindred spirit on Pinterest!

Have you ever wanted something when you saw it?  Ogled over it?  Wanted it?  Couldn't afford it? Never got it, but it was always in the back of your mind?  I would say, "One day. . .. one day, I shall have one".  Well.  A month or so ago I was playing with paper at Dolly's house and before I left she sent Miss Sarah to the attic to fetch something.  Down came the following:

"Would you like this?" she asks.  Say what?  Be still my beating heart!  Why, yes, YES I WOULD!
You could have knocked me over with a feather.  Oh, Dolly!  Thank you so, so much! Insert Happy Dance! Ahhh. . . . chippy love!   I have pondered for a while as to how to use it. 
I'm sure the perfect thing will come to mind, but if not, I love 'er the way she is!

Then a couple weekends ago the Lion's Club here in town had a "community yard sale" in their building.  I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to go and finally caved around 11:30AM.  I know from experience that all things good and pretty and valuable are usually gone in a matter of minutes.  So I figured I was just going on a scenic tour of the place.  (I've  never been in their building before.)

But someone, aka: God, was watching out for me and my addiction!  Just look at what I came home with (all for under five buckeroos!):

Not one, but two, serving dishes!  $1.00 each.  They are pretty good sized.  Larger than a relish tray. The pattern is called "Star of David".  Told ya He was watchin' out for me.  Used them on the 4th.
Two little candle holders that I'm going to turn into pin cushion bases.  They are heavy as lead and very, very sparkly. And they were only a quarter each.
And lastly, (Heidi Jane ~ I can't believe it!) a tiny little Banana bowl!  That's right.  A.  Banana. Bowl.  It's a pressed diamond cut kind of pattern.  Cute.  Shiny. And tiny.  For ~ hold on ~ two smakeroos! Two!   Ahhh. . . . . Happy Jig! Happy Jig!

On our Annual 4th of July get together my sister surprised me with these:

Like my old Maxwell House coffee jars, they are vintage and they came from Dad's. (All but the little one in front ~ she picked it up at a thrift store).  The star lid on the little one belongs on one of the bigger jars, but the OCD in me wanted consistency.  (go ahead and laugh) The lids even have the old cardboard seals still in them!  I asked her why she gave them to me and you know what she said?  Because I said I liked them and if she ever got rid of them I would like them.  Now, how's that for sharing?  I'm going to use them on patriotic holidays for sure!  Already have it planned out in my noggin.  I love the scene on them ~ a kitchen counter with a window, a coffee mill, a coffee pot, a jar of coffee, utensils, a loaf of sliced bread and a vase of flowers.  Love it!

And then, today.  I'm on Pinterest and see I'm mentioned in a pin by my Kindred Spirit on the West Coast of this here United States of America.  She thought of little ole me when she pinned this:

It's an old Coke carrier like the one I have, only this gal ( put shelves in hers to hold pretties.  She even used black, white and red accents!  Can we say: "Oooooo, ahhhhh"?   It was sweet of Christie to think of me after reading my blog post about my Coke carrier.
Even sweeter that she remembered!

Life is too short not to enjoy things around us. It's too short not to share your love, your heart, your talent, your spirit and the things that connect us to one another.  Every day it seems I'm reminded of those that God has led into my life, be it for the long haul or for short stints.  I'm grateful for each and every one, even if I fail to say it.  I feel sometimes I am a miserable friend.  Sometimes I fall short ~ but mostly I just fall.  Flat.

Forgive me?
I love you guys!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summertime . . .

It seems it took For. Ev. Er.  for summer to get here!  For.  Ev.  Er!
But, boy when it did, it flew in like it owned the place.  I really enjoyed the cooler days and even cooler nights, but now we have been smacked in the forehead with 90 plus temps.  "Hotter 'n the hinges on hell's gates!" as Kelly would say.  But the kids are enjoying the pool.  Their gingerbread color is proof.  I'm sure Kelly and Paul have stock in the sunscreen industry.
June was an easy, cool month for the most part.

They swam, and Itty Bitty started learning the doggie paddle.


Reasy Peacy's Birthday Party

They played Yard Twister

Then we slid into the heat wave month of July! 
HOT, RAINY and HUMID! Not necessarily in that order.  Miserable, but we're surviving.  Family for the Fourth has become a tradition here.  We ate, swam, ate some more, and watched fireworks from the comfort of our deck, and all the while we are swatting the mosquitoes that the monsoons have unleashed upon us this year.  Needless to say, bug spray was a precious commodity!

There's a birthday party about to happen today, too!

Each year our little town has a "parade".  Bicycles are
patriotically decorated and paraded around town! 
Some of our gang - out front waiting to cheer them on! 
Gotta love a little town.

Our fireworks were held on the 5th this year . . . .
due to our share of goodness getting detained by DOT and delaying the whole thing!  Some of the family got to come back to enjoy good times.  Some didn't . . . .

Bomb Pops are the bomb!


A friend from afar with us this go-round.
Goldilocks, Reasy Peacy, Itty Bitty, Jenny from Ohio, and
Miss Corrinna.

And today Goldilocks and her big sister, Reasy Peacy, left for a week long camp in Stevensville, MD.
It's right on the Chesapeake Bay.  Can I just say.  "I'm jealous of the view."?  Wouldn't you be?

Two weeks into the month.  Summer in full swing.  So much more to do.  But before we know it, we will be school shopping and getting ready for that fabulous season called "Fall". 


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i'm a wife, a mom, a mom-mom, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a friend...i'm a child of God.... i love to read, scrap, and sew (all when time permits!)... i like trying new things, going to different places, even if only in my mind....i like simple, but life is complicated....i like spring days, snow storms, thunderstorms, and big puffy clouds you can make things out of....i like coffee, tea and iced chocolate milk you can sip thru a straw..........