Thursday, September 27, 2012

Working,Working... Working

It has been a beautiful first week of fall here. The days have been in the 70s and the nights cool. I love it when the sun is warm but the breeze is cool. Perfect weather for outside work and that is what I have been doing for the past few days. My yard has been neglected for the past 4 years... I hate to admit that but the shop took me away 6 days of the week and there was no time to work in the yard. So now it is damage control... little by little I will get it back to this...

Meanwhile I am painting the potting shed after my son redid the whole porch roof because it rotted from too much foliage growing over it. It took me 3 days and 5 lawn bags later of clipping and sawing to be able to paint. I am not done yet, but I will show you the finished shed hopefully next week.

It is that time of year again, pumpkin time!
This time of year the sewing machines are whirling and the hot glue guns are working hard on hand made goodies. If you are not working on fall chances are Christmas has exploded in your studio.
It is time for me to put the Christmas music on and start getting in the spirit of Christmas hand made goodness. I love this time of year.

Meanwhile, I am making pumpkins...

Sweater pumpkins with vintage millinery and lace

I also have been working on jewelry. I still had quite a bit of turquoise left over from my trip to Arizona a couple of years ago, so I used it. This turquoise is from the Kingman area and Bisbee mines in Az. 

And some shoe buckle bracelets...

I have opened my etsy shop again. Everything you see here is available on my etsy
All my etsy sales go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
 They will be in great need through the coming months now, getting ready for winter. 

I hope this finds all of you well and happy. Safe travels to all those going to Round Top this week. 
I will be joining my friend Debra at Common Ground for her Vintage Friday party, please join me there.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A time to dance

Thank you so much for leaving such warm and encouraging comments on my changing seasons posts. I know many of you told me you were going through some hard changes yourself right now and I hope these posts help to edify and encourage you in your hard choices. What seems to be a lifetime at the moment passes quickly and you find yourself in another season, stronger, wiser and praising God for His goodness.
Eccl. 3
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to break down and a time to build up;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace and a time to refrain;
a time to seek and a time to lose;
a time to keep and a time to cast away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for

This week it is our time for dancing... our time for laughter... 
our time for love.
We are celebrating the birth of the twins 15 years ago today. 
 My first grandchildren, yes I was blessed with two from the beginning. 

Zachary Scott and Luke Damon

It wasn't always a time of celebration...
born to my daughter at 26 weeks, so frail and tiny. 
Not knowing minute by minute if they would give up the fight, trusting our Heavenly Father for their fate.

As the days past, one hurdle after another... one more round of steroids to strengthen their under developed lungs but not enough,  pneumonia set in. It robbed Luke of the brain damage he escaped at birth, unlike his brother... it seemed they were still connected - tag teaming each other with every set back. So tiny that Luke's leg broke without notice to the careful watch of the NICU.

But they are fighters and against all statistics for little boys they grew and became stronger. Soon to come home and with them enough equipment to turn a nursery into a small NICU.

They came home, here. My daughter gave up her room and
we had the privilege to share the first 6 months of their lives.
It was scary at first, so much to learn... breathing machines, NG tubes, feeding machines, medications. My daughter got a crash course on nursing and she aced it. 
Little by little discovering the extent of the trauma that affected the life of these two boys... and change ours forever. 



My daughter was trying to nurse them along with the ng tube (a small tube that goes through the nasal passage into the stomach which is hooked to a feeding machine that looks much like a IV unit) But they cried much of the time. Sleep didn't come easy in those days and still doesn't today. The family rallied and all took turns helping. 
The kids were in the middle of renovating a house they had bought on the next block behind our house. They thought it would be done before the twins birth but of course the twins came early. So Kerri's life for 6 months consisted of the small bedroom across from mine. Someone was always in the room.
Moving day finally arrived but I didn't have to go far to kiss their sweet little faces each morning... just down the path of my garden across the street and up the Branson pathway.

That first year was full of joy and pain. The biggest problem became projectile vomiting. Trying to keep the food in the boys was always a challenge. Eventually they would have a surgery called fudoplication but it turned out to be temporary. We went on with this puke fest so long that none of us can drink out of a red solo cup anymore. That surgery turned out to be horrific for the boys, it still makes me want to cry when I think of it... me with Luke and Kerri with Zach trying to comfort them and both of us praying...
Luke and I had a special bond, he took to me for some reason :)  so it became me with Luke and Kerri with Zach.
The boys also had a G-tube surgically placed so they could eat better, we were hoping this would be temporary. We prayed there trunk strength would develop so that they eventually could eat without feeling as though they were drowning... this turned out not to be.

During that first year the boys were tested and observed, in and out of the hospital. Trying different medications and learning, learning. One morning before my usual trip down the path I got a call, it was my daughter crying, the doctor had the boys test results and it wasn't good. They both have severe brain damage and as a result have Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a trauma to the brain at birth or in the first 3 years of life, which results in Neurological disorder from mild to severe. Luke and Zach are affected severely and their brain is also involved. Many CP victims still have full brain capacity as far as thinking and meeting their full capability.  They may not be able to walk or talk but they still may have a very high IQ. This is not the case for Luke or Zach, unfortunately they are not able to process and communicate so we are limited on just how involved their brain is. 
I remember the morning that I got the phone call as though it was yesterday. I put the phone down and went in the bathroom, wanting to loose it but knowing I couldn't. Wiping the tears from my eyes and praying for enough strength for both of us, I started down that garden path... not knowing how to fix this for my daughter. I entered the kitchen with Kerri at the table in tears, we held each other for a moment and then I knew it was me that had to give her some sort of hope, something to hold onto for at least this moment. My daughter was looking to me just as I looked to my mother for life's answers. Of course I couldn't make it all go away, like I wanted to but in those defining moments of life God makes His presence known, it is in those moments when God is God and He is all we have to cling to, knowing it isn't out of control. Knowing God wasn't surprised by this turn of events. Knowing He is my answer. What I said, I can't even tell you exactly but in the back of my head was my mother whispering in my ear. The strength she taught by her actions and the word she taught by faith, it was there when I needed it. 

And so that first year we all came together to celebrate the boys first year here on earth, here in our lives, here to bind us all together in love, as family.

Luke and I

My daughter was diligent in researching different methods and ways to better the boy's quality of life. She discovered a place in Florida that gave Hyperberic Oxygen Therapy with an premises physician. HBO promotes healing by flooding the brain with intense doses of oxygen. The HBO treatments were effective for the boys in small ways, eating, sleeping and a couple of times they actually said a word or two in the tank.
If anyone is interested in learning more about this treatment or more info on CP, my daughter's website is called 
The Branson Project

And now we are celebrating 15 years today. I can't tell you how fast those years have gone by. The boys have had more then their share of pain, surgeries and sickness. They also suffer from cortical blindness, which makes it hard for them to see straight ahead.  But they are my inspiration when it comes to the verse Paul writes, Being content in whatever circumstance we are in. 
The boys are quick to smile, sit for hours watching there favorite Diego show out of the side of there vision, belly laugh at silly sounds and always ready for a hug or kiss that puts a smile on their faces even though they are feeling poor. 

It has not been an easy road for my daughter and her loving husband. They both work side by side to make their family work together. Zach and Luke are included on all family outings and Kerri tries to give them normalcy. They are included in most everything... even to grandma's protests sometimes.



Mama runs a marathon... everyone runs a marathon...


School sometimes gets tough...

We all love being silly...

Blues Boys

Dad and Luke

 God has something very special for these boys and I can't wait to see them walking in the new heaven and earth. I believe those that suffer in this age, will have much mercy in the next. God has a lot to say about suffering. 
I know the boys will have a lot to say and I will be listening...

We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us Romans 5:3-5
Happy Birthday my Sweets!