Thursday, February 28, 2013

Getting in Touch with your Inner Groovy-Tshirt Quilt Craft

When I started my blog a short week or so ago, I really had no clue what to even talk about in a Blog.  One of my philosophies in life is "Whack it out and hope for the best."  Well, I have whacked out a blog and I must say I am enjoying stroking my inner Groovy with writing.  The Blog is developing and I suppose it is going have somewhat of a Gong Show flavor.  A variety Blog so to speak.  I hope I don't have anyone gong me though, lol.  Too much healthy lifestyle is boring, too many funny stories becomes mundane where eventually my readers will quit reading, and too many tips on raising the children gets old too.  So the blog will take on a Gong Show flavor by providing a nice variety.  If you are waiting for more dieting and exercise tips, they are coming, along with the boy's dating contract, more hilarious stories, and more Groovy Ideas.  I am full of it all!!  But today, we will get in touch with our Inner Groovy with what I will call a "Groovitivity Project".  

Today's Groovitivity Project is to create a quilt out of old tshirts that you can't throw away because they mean something, but that you either can't wear or can't close your drawer because you have too many.  So before you say, "OMGoodness, I can't sew!"  Just hold tight and read on.

Here is a finished product that fits a twin sized bed.
I made this quilt from Tshirts belonging to my oldest daughter. 

Here is a finished product that fits a full sized bed:
This one I made for my son.  I did not have enough tshirts to make his, so I purchased some flannel from the fabric store and made additional squares to make it big enough.

The materials you need are simple  They are as follows:
  1. Scissors
  2. sewing machine
  3. 36 tshirts for a full sized with 15 inch blocks
  4. 30 tshirts for a twin sized with 15 inch blocks
  5. quilt batting from the local store(Walmart even carries this for very inexpensive)

These items are useful but not necessary for the project:  rotary cutter, quilter's square, and rotary mat.

Those who are familiar with quilts and quilting, I made my quilts are ragtime quilts in the interest of time and money.  To make the quilt, you start by laying out each shirt and cutting the front and back at the same time into a 15 inch square.
After you cut all of the shirts, then cut the same number of batting squares.  Then you are ready to assemble the squares for stitching.  To assemble, place a batting square inside the front and back of the 15 inch tshirt square to make a sandwich.  Right sides of the tshirt are facing outward.  When you have all the squares assembled, lay them out in the order you want them to be when it is finished.  Twin size, lay out 5 squares across and 6 squares down.  Full, lay out 6 squares across and 6 squares down.

Then you are ready to sew them on the machine.  Start by stitching an X shape across each block.  This will be your quilting.  Then start in the first row and stitch the first block to the second block, the first and second block to the third block and so on until you have the first row sewn together.  Make sure you put back sides facing each other when you stitch blocks together.  You should have raw edges and batting showing on the top side.

Once you stitch all the rows, then you stitch the top row to the second row, and so on.  This project, believe it or not, takes very little time and money and is quite fun to do.  I made these while I was also working outside the home so it can be done.  We make time for what we want to do.  If you want to do this, you will make time to do it.  It is really a good esteem booster to stroke your inner Groovy.  And you will have a great conversation piece to show for your efforts!

Today's Points to Ponder in the Groovitivity Project:
Whack it out and hope for the best!
We make time for what we want to do.

I hope you enjoy stroking your inner Groovy and have a fabulous day!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Teen Dating: I am not Always Convinced We will Survive Raising the Children

All I ever wanted to be was a mother.  I played with dolls until, well, I still do.  People crack me up that say "My child will NEVER do that." or "If my child did that or acted like that I would wear them out and they would never do that again."  Well good luck with all of that.  I pray that you are more successful with those words than I was.  I remember being in college and dreaming of what I would name my children someday.  I would have 6 because I did not want my children to be only children like I am.  Some of the ones I remember were Kyler and Kaylor.  They were going to be twins.  Heaven help me if I had actually birthed twins.  I would have had to raise them.  Two in diapers, two to buy baby food for, two to date, bury me now.  Yes, adorable they would have been, but a lot of work they would also have been.  Although the truth of the matter is that I would have done a great job raising Kyler and Kaylor and their 4 brothers and sisters had God had that in my life plans.  God had the perfect play for my life and my family.

My husband and I have three beautiful children.  The oldest is a girl, a most precious love who is truly a gift from God, and is almost 18, graduating from high school this year.   Our middle child is a boy, our only boy, and most special boy, who is 14.  Our youngest is a girl, age 10, and she is our frosting, our sweetness, our baby.  And then there is Zoe, our dog, who is almost 1 and had I known a dog was so great, may have had her first and left the other three off the list of family members based on their behavior on any given day :)  We planned our children 4 years apart so that we did not "boot anyone out of the nest" for the next baby to come along.  It was a fabulous plan, and one that worked perfectly for us.  We never experienced any jealously when we brought a new baby home.  Yes, we had some incidents, but overall, the older child, or children were excited to have the new baby to come home with us.  

Thanks to the good Lord, I have been able to stay at home with the children for most of their growing up thusfar.  I do think it makes a difference in the children when you are available for them.  I know many working moms who are able to do both beautifully.  I admire you tremendously.  Here is a thought that I have discovered is totally wrong:  If we have to choose a time to be at home with the children, when they are babies is the most important time.  Although this is a very important time, and you miss many firsts if you are unable to care for your children full time when they are babies, the truth of the matter is that anyone can feed them a bottle and change their diaper and talk to them.  But when they get older, SOMEONE is going to influence them, and if you are not around and not readily available, YOU are not going to be the one that influences them.  Thus, we need to be readily available physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for our preteens and teens or they will be influenced by others and many times it won't be good.  Be available.

Let's talk about dating. I have MANY stories to tell but they will be for another day.  In my home, I introduced the concept of Contract Dating.  Contract dating is basically this:  If you want to date my daughter, we have rules, and you both may abide by them, or you will not be allowed to date.  Please fill out the paperwork, sign and date, and I hope you both have a joyful, well behaved date(and the car behind you is mine because this mother is better than any FBI agent ever dreamed of being).  If you break the rules, you will be shown the door, thanks for playing. 

 Some of the rules in the paperwork are as follows:
1. You will not cover up with blankets.
2. You will sit up on the couch. (If you are too tired to sit up, then you should go home and sleep)
3.  You will greet the adults in the home and carry on intelligent conversation with them.
4.  You will not hit, kick, pinch, grab, or restrain my daughter in any way, shape, form, or fashion, even in a playful way because we do not find that behavior playful or amusing.
5.  You will not download or listen to explicit music, videos, or media to our computers.
6.  You will treat our daughter's brother and sister with respect and give them the time of day when they enter a room.
7.  You will not touch the torso area of my daughter, and she will not touch you in the torso area.
8.  You will only use Princess terminology when talking to my daughter.  You will not use expletives, or any language that could be defined as verbally abusive by the parents.
9.  You will not cuss in text, phone calls, or in person.  If you are tempted to cuss, we will help you to broaden your vocabulary so that you can use other words that are less offensive.
10.  You are not allowed to drive my daughter's car unless prior permission is given or blood is involved.

I have read and agree to the terms and conditions of dating the Anglin daughter.  Any violation of these rules will result in immediate termination of the right to see her.

Signed_______________________________ Date___________________

Daughter_____________________________ Date___________________

The idea of contract dating has been very successful here in the Anglin Home.  It has successfully rid us of a toxic boyfriend, and has also caused our daughter to be selective about who she dates because only the best kids would not be scared off by such a contract.  I have found from experience, that children will rise to the occasion, and boys will comply if they know what you expect from the get go.  Also, contract dating removes the blame from Mom and Dad.  Your child and their boyfriend/girlfriend are in charge of their ability to date.  They violate, its their own fault, not yours.  They knew the rules and signed the paper.

Now THIS is a lot to ponder.  I have many more facets of raising the children for another day.  Take heart, weary pilgrims, for if your children are small, at least you know where they are.  They are right under your feet crying.  When they get older, you are chasing them around to make sure they are doing the right things, OR, like most people, you are just burying your head in the sand and not paying attention to what your teens are doing.  NOT GOOD!  Don't even for a second believe that your child wouldn't do that.  That is self fulfilling prophesy...They WILL do it.  It is unusual if they don't.  Look around at all the fine, church going people around, and even look at yourself.  Did you behave like you would want your children to?  Ok then.  Take measures and chase.  Become an FBI agent.  Pray a LOT!  It will save the children.  

Enjoy your day, and I hope you learn something from my experiences.   

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Taken

Elementary, Middle, High School, even College...spent trying to walk, talk, and be like someone else.  Someone I viewed as popular, I wanted to walk like them, or hold my books like they do when they walk down the hall.  I wanted to fix my hair like they did and it never seemed exactly to work out because in my adult life I learned that different hair textures and kinds just won't go into certain styles.  Explains why we have those "awkward years" where we all look a bit like animals at the zoo.  However, there is always that set of animals or even one animal that we want to look or be like and try to emulate them at all costs.  Even growing up we try to be like our parents and fit into their mold.  Then when we get out on our own we still carry that mold with us and our first meals we cook are the meals we had at home(even though they aren't worth eating at that time because they aren't as good as what momma made).  The truth of the matter is, when we try to be like everyone else, we feel trapped, like we are put into a box and it becomes claustrophobic in that box.

For me, the real transformation to being myself came about 8 years ago when I decided to cut my hair into the spiky do.  I remember at the time I was working very part time at the bank and I mentioned to a couple of my co-workers that I wanted to get my hair cut spiky.  Of course, I met with protest.  Oh NO, you don't want to cut your hair like that!  Well, maybe I do.  YOU may not want to cut YOUR hair like that, but maybe I do.  It took me another month or two before I was brave enough to cut it because I have to admit, it is SO hard to overcome people's opinions and when they seem to be free flowing, it makes it even harder.  I did cut my hair and I have had it like it is now, spiky and sassy, every since.  I am fairly convinced that I will never have another hairdo.  It suits me perfectly.  It is ME.  Anyone who knows me knows that it is ME. I feel so free.  If we all could take a step back and realize that everyone is different, and not to impose our opinions upon other people then there would be a lot less pressure and stress in the world today.  Embrace our differences.  If you are out with a friend and she says, how do you like this shirt?  Say, That would look great on you!  Trying to make other people fit into molds is one of the most debilitating habits that has been presented into our world today.  Embrace yourself.  Be yourself, Because everyone else is taken.  Now that is a point to ponder.

This very point is the reason that dieting never works.  Every diet tries to put us into a mold that we don't fit into.  Diets try to make us eat foods that we don't normally eat or don't normally like.  God made us all different and some of us don't like plain yogurt and blueberries.  Some of us like chocolate and pizza.  And some of us want to be healthy and thin.  

See if you recognize this pattern:  Decide to diet, go on the diet, buy the foods suggested, stick to it for a week or two or a month or two, loose some weight, get excited, stick to it another week or two, feel deprived, binge, go back to what you were doing before, gain the weight back plus some extra.

In my experience with dieting, the reason this happens is simple: we were trying to be someone else.  We can't be someone else, because someone else is already taken, we must be ourselves.  Folks, the secret to healthy dieting and weight loss is simple:  Eat what you want, just not a lot of it. That way, we are being ourselves, and we are setting ourselves up for success instead of failure.  If I want a piece of pie, I eat one, but a very small piece.  You can make good choices along the way, and over time, we are going to talk about good choices and elaborate further upon secrets to dieting.  But one thing at a time.  For now, Eat what you want, just not a lot of it.  When you go to a restaurant, ask for a to go box when your meal arrives and put half of it in the box.  No one needs the absurd portion that is presented at a restaurant.  Order what you want, just don't eat all of it.  This way you are not depriving yourself.  The #1 reason that we don't stick to diets is because we get sick of depriving ourselves of things we love and we cave in.  And when we have deprived ourselves for so long, heaven help the first pie we dive into...  If we eat what we want, just not a lot of it, then we are not depriving ourselves.  We are cutting calories without deprivation.  Can you live the rest of your life without pie or carbohydrates? NO, Can you live the rest of your life eating what you want in small quantities? YES!  Yes we can!  Setting ourselves up for success we are!

Over time, I am going to share my struggles with weight loss and what has worked for me.  Everyday is a struggle.  I have to get up and make up my mind that I want to eat small amounts of what I like and get my exercise in.  Some days are better than others.  But every day I make up my mind to do it.  You can too.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Caring for Others-If you aren't in the Freezer then you are doing just Fine

How Are You?  It is a question asked all too often by folks just making conversation.  Do we really want to know how someone is?  If we don't then we should come up with a larger vocabulary of "niceties" to exchange.  Like maybe "Good to see you today".  Unless we really DO want to know, hear, and have to time to listen to how someone really is.  The world would be a better place if we all took time to exchange enough transparency to ask with integrity, How are you? and share a transparent answer or have time to listen with empathy.  Now that, my friends, is a point to ponder.

On the subject of How Are You?, I bring your attention to the photo above of me and my good friend Iris.  Iris is an Emu.  Sadly, Iris has never been featured as one of the most fascinating people.  Though not a "people", she really is.  Iris's home is in Chicago, Illinois.  She lives on a farm there with some horses, too many roosters and hens to count, a donkey, and a plethora of other animals.  In recent years, I have had the pleasure of visiting Iris each summer.  When we pull up in the driveway, my friend, Lisa, her Aunt Joan, and our children will go over to the fence, start calling for Iris and she will start thumping.  An Emu's natural noise sounds like a drum.  A BIG BASS DRUM.  It is the oddest sound I have ever heard.  Iris generally hides in the brush, but when we call her, she thumps and then ambles over and peeks out from the tall grass.  This past summer when Lisa and I went to Chicago, we left the children at home because we were going to see a Woman about a Horse(Definitely a story for another day).  So when we arrived at Iris' home, I got out and went by myself to call for her.  She came right over and sat down and let me sit down beside her.  It was hilarious when I got out my Iphone and was trying to take pictures of the two of us together.  It was as though Iris was smiling.  Iris likes to wear a birthday hat at birthday parties.  She has quite a personality.  The farm only has this one Emu.  I asked the owner of the farm why Iris was the only Emu and their answer was this simple:  "Well, we did not intend to have Iris, but we recognized quickly that she was quite the entertainer so we decided to keep her here on the farm.  Her brothers and sisters are in the freezer."  

My friends, when asked how you are doing each day, the answer is as simple as Iris the Emu.  If you are not in the freezer you are doing just fine!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Barbara Walters Live from the World of Blogging-How do I blog?

Barbara Walters here reporting live from the Blogging World where Jennifer Anglin has created a Blog.  Folks, trust me, she has no CLUE what she is doing but here she goes.  It took her 4 days to even come up with a name for such a thing as a blog.  What in the world IS a blog??  and WHO would even read one?  Well, apparently, Jennifer has been told by one too many people to start a blog or write a book that the blog has been created.  The book is still in the computer, and is still being worked on, slowly but surely in between making laundry detergent and making a massive mutiny against excess in the home.

Interestingly enough, Points to Ponder was considered as the blog name.  Points to Ponder is a term that I used to use when I was a wee one just in high school when I would come up with a thought.  I would state my thought and follow it up with "Now that is a Point to Ponder"  Would you believe that is already taken as a blog name??  What in the world???  Do these people not realize that I have mentally copyrighted that term?!  They have no clue who they are messing with.  And when I googled who had the site, it had not been updated since 2007.  What??  Shouldn't there be an autodelete option for non-use?  Especially when I want to resurrect the name.

Today I reached the epiphany of my motherhood.  Yes, I said it.  Epiphany of motherhood.  Claire and I were cleaning out her room and I asked her to go downstairs to get the Magic Eraser.  The following conversation ensued:
Claire:  What is a magic eraser?
Me:  It is that white block under the kitchen sink that looks kinda like a sponge.
Claire: OH and you wet it?
Me:  Yes, wet it and then wring it out good and bring it up here and wipe the spots off your walls.
Claire:  Ok
(thundering elephant down the stairs, slam cabinet, water full force, thundering elephant up the stairs)
Me: Now wipe the spots on the wall
Claire: OH LOOK AT THIS!  It is getting all this marker and stuff off the wall!
Me:  Yes, it is, It is a Magic Eraser.
Claire: This is so COOL!!
For at least an hour after that, Claire goes about the entire house finding everything in sight that she could clean with the magic eraser.  She cleaned so many things that, had I asked her to clean, would have never gotten cleaned.  But because of the introduction of the Magic Eraser, somehow cleaning was fun today.  Epiphany.  Chances are, this will never happen again, but today, I will take it, and be very grateful for the help.  And that, my friends, is a Point to Ponder.