Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Spirit

Setting up the Manger - the Real Spirit of Christmas

Anthony and Christopher have already caught
the Christmas Spirit.

Christopher insisted we put up the Christmas tree
this past weekend.

Anthony decided to bake some sugar cookies.
We all had fun decorating. But best of all is the eating!

The red raspberry Linzer cookies melt in your mouth.
We didn't add the almonds like a real Linzer recipe...
but they taste delicious!!!

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Sheri & Mommy (April 1988)

I've been having fun looking at old photos lately... as you can tell. As I looked through the pages of the photo albums, I came across this one. Somehow, looking at the photo gave me a flood of emotions. That I'm really beginning to understand how much my Mom really does love me. Not that I doubted it! It's just as I get older... and I sift through the past, I am so grateful that she is my Mother. As I learn what it is like to slowly, but, oh so, slowly release your child into their future... I realize that this is a very difficult task for a mother. No one gets it right... but if we love... we can try.

I love you, Mommy! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Missing You!

I miss my garden sooo much! I actually bought Paperwhite Bulbs to grow indoors. I never really understood the value of these bulbs until now (read: desperation). The bulbs had to sit in a dark place for two weeks... and then brought out into the light to bloom within two weeks. Well, you know Portland.... They've been in the "light" for a month now... but I think they are about to bloom!!!

My impatients and geraniums still persist in blooming outside. I did bring most of them into the patio area which definitely helped. I'd have to say... I'll be planting them again next year!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Friendships of Women #2

The Original Sisterchicks
Lisa and Sheri (1972-3?)

So, back to The Friendships of Women and off to Chapter 1!
From Girlhood On, Gifted for Intimacy

Sometimes, I think... why can't I be normal like everyone else? And then I read a book like this that reminds me... I am like everyone else! In our friendships with women, we all have our insecurities, our betrayals, our expectations, our disappointments... and for me especially, the need to feel that I am "unique" to my friends.

I know why I have a need to feel "unique" and the reason I do have this need is not important. But how I respond to this need... aha! that is what I want to talk about... I realized something in my grief class earlier this year... I came to "a better understanding of what Ruth meant to me OR perhaps really how I feel about what I meant to Ruth. Being someone's 'beloved.' Not their 'only' beloved. But realizing that [Ruth had] the ability to express [her] love in such a way that it cannot be denied or rejected by the receiver." (excerpt from my personal grief journal)

I always tell people that it seemed like Ruth lived 93 years just to meet me. Like God prepped her and had her ready all that time just to minister into my life for one year. Wow! Did I feel like I was special or what? Absolutely... and that's my point.

One of the topics discussed in the book is "intergenerational" friendships. We normally gravitate to people who are similar to us. Our peers. Which is totally fine and necessary. But I ask you to consider the beauty of intergenerational friendships. There was 55 years difference between me and my Soul Mother Ruth. And because of this... she was able to love me with a maternal love that was so ingrained in her spirit. She had lived her life... and loved her Lord... and she gave a gift to me that was so precious... unconditional love. Sweet, ladies, so sweet!

I also love being with younger ladies, too. They are getting married... having babies... I get to knit baby sweaters... oops, I digress... they are fresh and young and open to receive inspiration or encouragement or just plain love from this older woman. (hee! hee!)

And of course, there are my Sisterchicks! Friends who are going through almost exactly what I am going through... and we commiserate together and our children have playdates together... or are the moms really having the playdates?

I know... I know... all of this takes time! But I say to you... it is so worth it. I challenge you... especially if you are lonely... or you are caught in friendships that are not particularly encouraging... start praying! Ask the Lord to prepare your heart to be the friend He would want YOU to be... and then, only after that, ask the Lord to bring a special sister-in-Christ into your life. Not one who will meet all your needs (only God can do that!), but one or two or three that will share this journey of life with you.

I'll be praying for you, too!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Friendships of Women

Sheri and Colleen, BFF (1980?)

Well, I have decided to take you on a little journey. I'm not positive where we'll end up. But we are going to explore The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin over the next month. This is a book I read probably around 1995 for the first time. I remember... it was a time in my life that I wondered... Why don't I have a Best Friend? That one girlfriend that you talk to every day. You share confidences with.... You laugh with... you cry with... The one who notices that you weren't in church today... and actually calls you to see what's up. You go out to coffee, shopping, and plan holidays with... I didn't have one... and it just wasn't fair!

I was probably around 25 years old, and I remember my counselor at the time trying to tell me that as we become women we normally don't have ONE "best" friend. We may have a friend who we go to coffee with... or a friend who is similar in status to us (we were DINKs at the time)... or a colleague at work... or a friendly face at church... but basically, I was out of luck.... there was no such thing as having a Best-est Friend as a woman... or at least it was very, very rare. One woman who would meet all my needs for coffee talk, shopping, and emotionally. I just didn't believe her. I saw other women who had these friends. I just figured I hadn't worked hard enough to find mine.

So began a lifetime of exploring my relationships with other women. I still don't have this all figured out. It's so complex. When I look at who I really am... I see a girl who has grown into a woman... who hasn't really changed. I have always had a lot of friends (or are they "acquaintances"?) and that was always where I have focused my energy. Getting to know everyone... it doesn't leave much time for getting to know one person very intimately.

In the past couple of months, I have been speaking with other women about their friendships. Realizing that perhaps we need to look at this in a little more depth. What is it we are really looking for? Who are we as a friend? What does it mean to be lonely? betrayed? outcast? intimate? unique?

I met Colleen in 2nd Grade. I had moved to a new school and we became best friends immediately. Colleen and I still keep in touch through Christmas cards every now and then. But, it's funny... my heart beats faster just looking at her in the photo. Remembering how precious we were to each other... so many, many years ago. Colleen, ILY,DNQ!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

La Multi Ani! Pastor Tami!

Our 40 Days of Purpose Small Group
March 2005

Dearest Pastor Tami,

Happy Birthday! I hope I got the right translation for Happy Birthday in Romanian? I was looking for a picture of you and found this one from our 40 Days of Purpose small group. Wow! Over 2 1/2 years ago. There you are... on the far right. What a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement! It's interesting who the Lord brings into our lives for a brief time. I miss you and our coffee talks. Well, LA MULTI ANI!

Love you, friend! Sheri

For more info about Pastor Tami visit Pastor Tami's Website

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So, What's in the Box?

So, what was in the swap box I sent? I went with a garden theme since it was something the receiver and I had in common. (What, me, garden?)

A handcrafted card to greet the receiver.

Packages of different shapes and sizes.

I lined the box with card stock from a MB calendar. Goodies are in a printed paper bag, handmade paper (not by me) envelopes, sheer bags, decorated box, and a tin.

Pressed dried flowers, white ribbon edging,
assorted scrapbooking frames,
floral pattern wire ribbon, and a white doily.

A handmade (by ME!) dishcloth, tin of buttons,
gardenia votive candle, votive holder (that I decorated with tacky tape cut into the shape of a flower and sprinkled white and silver beads on top),
flower ribbon, "It's A Party" raised stickers.

It was really fun pulling it all together. Being creative with the garden theme and wrapping all of the items so that it seemed like a gift. I'm half (but only half) ashamed to say that I didn't have to buy anything to put in the box. I had accumulated these items over the past couple of years. The expensive part was sending it. I decided to limit my box to a flat rate postal box which no matter the weight cost $8.95 to send.

I received my swap box yesterday. Will take photos. I'd like to take some of the items and make a project. Keep on being creative... Maybe you can give me some ideas?

If you're into "swap-ing"... Domestic Bliss is doing a Christmas Swap, but you have to sign-up by next Wednesday, November 21st.


Little Lucy

Well, Lucy liked my sweater so much that she put it on right away and asked me to take a picture of her. Okay, well, not really. We struggled to pull the sweater on since her little baby arms are still snugly close to her body... and she refused to wake up for the paparazzi.

Looks peaceful, huh?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veterans' Day

Christopher had yesterday off of school in observance of Veterans' Day. He has asked for the past few weeks to be taken to a cemetery on Veterans' Day. Last year, his 2nd Grade teacher Mrs. L had instilled the importance of the day... that it is not just another day to have a sale, but to pay our respects to Veterans.

I knew there was a Memorial Park near Christopher's school in Beaverton. We drove there in the cold rain of a Portland afternoon to pay our respects.

It was an educational day for both of us. It's funny how children can remind you of the importance of observances. Thank you, Veterans, for your sacrifice. Some gave all...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Floral Buttons

So, I went to the Button Emporium last week and picked up a couple buttons for some baby sweaters I finished. Yes, it is the same so-called "5-hour" baby sweater pattern I have used consistently in the past. I'm just amazed how many variations come out of it!

I had picked up this white yarn at NW Wools on clearance probably over a year ago. I was getting ready to hop on a plane to Maryland and wanted an "easy" knitting project to take with me since I was in between projects. I didn't have any 100% cotton yarn to make some dishcloths, so I went with what I had. Well, as usual, I ran out of yarn! I refused to find a matching skein since that was beside the point that I was trying to use up left-over yarn. I went through my bin and found this purple yarn that I had used on a previous baby sweater (see photo below). I love it! I wasn't sure whether to add a button or not, but I went ahead and picked up this adorable purple plastic floral button.

Here is the same pattern with five buttons.

So, who are these sweaters for? Well, I had started the pink one for a little baby named Lucy. But, I'm thinking Lucy might be more of a purple type of girlie-girl. Her big sister tends to wear a lot of pink. I'll be giving the sweater to Lucy on Wednesday.

No matter what... it is always hard for me to part with my projects. Sometimes when I 'm thinking about how much I will miss a project when I give it away... I pray over it. Praying for the beloved who will receive it. That seems to make me feel a little better about handing it over!

April 2005.
The FIRST baby Sweater!
I hadn't learned to crochet a little tie, so I put in a white ribbon... it didn't last long! But this fuchsia is just phenomenal on my first baby model, Karen. (The above sweater with 5 buttons is the leftover from the skein I used to make this sweater over 2 1/2 years ago!

January 2006.
First time with buttons and a bonnet.
Since Karen loved to wear the first sweater so much whenever I saw her... I made her another one! (See my philosophy here... then I still get to see my project!) First time I went to Button Emporium for these delightful little floral buttons.

July 2006.
Let's try it in white with matching bonnet and booties!
Friends tried to persuade me to add an accent color, but I liked the all white for a change.

November 2006.
Trying to have the pattern look
a little less frilly... for a miracle baby boy!

What a fun walk down memory lane... and, actually, there have been more, but I forgot to take photos!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christopher's Splash!

Christopher enjoying an M&M Blizzard at Dairy Queen
when we were vacationing at OBX.

"Splash" aka Christopher has decided to add
a couple new posts to his blog. Stop by

Christopher's Splash
and leave a comment for any of his posts and
I'll enter you into a drawing for
a box full of Christmas goodies.
All entries must be posted by
Saturday, November 24th,
in honor of my most favorite Aunt's birthday.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My First Book Review

A couple of weeks ago I was at Christian Supply. I was browsing through the fiction section... Jan Karon's new book was not out yet (I am number 7 out of 96 on the library wait list!) and Robin Jones Gunn hadn't written any more Sisterchicks novels, but I saw this PINK paperback. Of course, it caught my eye. Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker. Then I saw that it was the 2006 Women of Faith Novel of the Year. Hmmm.... what's it about? Humor and Breast Cancer!

Well, I bit the bullet and bought the book. Wow! I ate it up. I really enjoyed it. It's one of those books that makes you laugh out loud and also brings tears to your eyes. I wouldn't have been able to read it last year, but now, well, it brought about hope and reflection.

I highly recommend reading Christian fiction. I think it is good to hop out of our own lives every now and then. Make sure you're prepared for what you're reading. Last year, it was suggested that I read Christian fiction. Well, I picked up a mystery and in the first chapter someone was murdered. Then the second chapter... and graphic! I told Anthony about it... He said, "Sheri, you wouldn't watch something like that on TV, so why do you think it's okay for you to read it?" Well, then my friend "ladybug" suggested the Mitford Series by Jan Karon and Sisterchicks by Robin Jones Gunn. Now, I'm always on the lookout for some "reading candy."

I also balance out my fiction with non-fiction. Latest book: Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud and Townsend. I found it on Audio CD at my library. Even after 19 years of marriage, it's always good to keep learning! (Yes, I was married at age 10.)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Twin Vests

I got to visit my vest. I mean the vest I made for my sister for her birthday. When I told her I was coming in to Maryland, I asked her to wear my vest... I mean her vest. I liked "her" vest so much that I took off the edging I had used on mine and re-did the edging with the same yarn (Silk Mountain by Noro). It created that heavenly scalloped effect like it did on hers. I also went to the Button Emporium and bought a new button.

(See my previous posts on July 12th and August 23rd for more details about my sister's vest saga if you're new here.)

I looove the Button Emporium. They help you pick out the most perfect button for your project. It really adds the finishing touch. In the past I have scoured JoAnn's for the perfect button... for hours (at least it seems that way!) ... still not finding the right one. I go to the Button Emporium and within minutes I have the perfect button to finish my project.

I can't wait to show you some of the other knitting projects I've completed lately. Got to make a quick Button Emporium stop and then take some photos. Although, I can't show you the project I made for a gift for Christmas already. It is the first time I've used the cable stitch. It turned out wonderful. I really want to show it to you, but the recipient is the one who inspired me to start blogging and she likes surprises. Of course, I really do like this project... I want one for myself... maybe I could wear it here in Portland and she wouldn't know? Or maybe I should make her something else? What a dilemma.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Sneak Peak!


Well, here's a sneak peak at the box I sent today (via USPS Priority) to Lori at Girls in the Garden. Lori's name was forwarded to me by the swap coordinators at Domestic Bliss. After viewing how talented Lori is at sewing, I was a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately, we share the love of gardening, so I decided to use that as the theme (hmmm... imagine that!) ... Okay, enough for now. I want Lori to get her box before I spill all the goods. I'll admit that I was surprised at the amount of time I spent pulling it together... and the worse part is the clean up! After that being said, it was a good exercise of my creativity. Exercise is always good, right?

Sorry, if you've missed me... We just returned from my brother-in-law's wedding in Maryland. I still can't believe that the weather cooperated. It made for some really beautiful photos. But more about that in another post...

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