Posted in 3 Words, Daily Prompt

The Daily Post: If I Had a Hammer

IF

I had a hammer, it could be dangerous.

If I had a hammer, I might just start knocking some walls down….framed in walls that have remained unfinished for almost ten years.  When death hit, the walls were never completed. It’s an add-on room, with insulation wrappers blowing in the wind, hitting hard on hearts as the sound is a reminder.

hammerIf had a hammer, I would knock down walls, to let light in to a darkened kitchen . . .a wall that keeps the sun from shinning through.  As dishes are washed, that wall lurks there, that cannot be washed away with the suds that go down the drain.  Time cannot heal when there’s vivid reminders, daily.

If I had a hammer, I’d knock the wall of silence down. I’d show you not talking does not take thoughts from our minds. If the wall of silence was knocked down, kindness might prevail, depression could be more understood, different lifestyles could be accepted, two sides of the story accepted as truth as pain makes it’s separate paths and gossip would stop.

If I had a hammer, I’d knock down the wall of ignoring and show you the recovery path is not as low as the grief path, but there’s still pits and stones to stumble on . . . there’s still reminders . . . and there’s still days the sun just does not shine through from the walls of pain blocking it.

If I had a hammer, I’d wish you’d hold it with me, than taking it from me . . . to work together than demolishing the wrong walls that take so long to rebuild.

If I had a hammer,  I might try fixing the walls and frames, the hurts and pains, but only God knows the intentions of hearts, and can fill the voids and heal the wounds that reinfect.

IF I HAD A HAMMER Daily Post Partipant

3 Words   This blog post is participating with 3-Words. Words used are in bold.

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Daily Prompt: Moments to Remember

What are the three most memorable moments — good or bad, happy or sad — in your life? Go!

IF

you have read my blog for awhile, you probably could name my top memorable moments –  the births of my dozen children, the deaths of two of my children, the birth of my grand-daughter, the marriages of three of my children, the heart surgeries for my daughter, etc.  Instead, I am going to tell about my third born child and the miracles in his life and how God has so uniquely protected his life.

He’s my third born son, now 24 years old. He had spinal meningitis when he was barely a week old.  I remember the screams from his little body as they poked and poked his spine but could not get it just right.  He came through it, by God’s grace, with no side affects.  Miracle #1

Jayson1 My husband was building a small pole barn building and our son was probably 4 years old and very much interested in what daddy was doing, wanting to “help”. As my husband was putting some boards up very high, one came down and hit him in the head, knocking him down.  My husband swooped him up and rushed him into the house. He was crying, but we could find no bumps or bruises.  Miracle #2

This same son, got too close to me when he was about 6 years old, as I turned around from the stove with a potful of soup and bumped right into him, spilling down the front of him.  I ran after him with a pitcher of cold water.  We took him in to the doctor and he was treated.  He has a small scar from it.  Miracle #3

Years later when he was probably 14 or 15 years old he was cutting our lawn on a lawn tractor and did not see a hole the dogs had dug, hit it with one wheel, got out of it quick, but with the quickness of it, it made him steer into the neighbor’s chain link fence.  He kept going – through it, the link fencing loosening, and him ducking down,  Besides a few scratches from the fencing, he was unhurt.  Our neighbors saw it happen, and thought for sure, it was going to kill him. Miracle #4

And then he began to drive a three wheeler – maybe to get mom used to him driving a car.  The neighbors called me on him – he was driving too fast.  He flipped it one day, did not get hurt, so when he flipped it a few days later and was hurt, this mom did not give much sympathy.  His shoulder hurt and his dad ended up taking him into ER.  In the meantime, his younger brother went out to get the three-wheeler near the end of our drive and found a metal strap had caught in the front wheel which is why it stopped suddenly and flipped it.  It was not the way he was driving it.  So, I went to the hospital to apologize and then found out he’d need surgery which included three pins in his shoulder.  He made it through two surgeries for this – putting the pins in and taking them out.  It was such a painful surgery for him.  I am thankful it was only his shoulder – not his neck or back or his life.  Miracle #5

Jayson2Yes, he’s now driving a car.  I am sure I do not know about the many close calls – he knows how to protect my heart!  But there was one time, I was texting him, not knowing he was driving, and he went off the road and hit a tree and got stuck on a stump.  He did let me know later what happened, that he was ok – and then found out it was when I was texting him.  Ugh.  I was not happy, but very thankful that God protected him.  Miracle #6  

This now 24 year old young man is now managing and operating a cellular phone repair store which he opened and is about to open another one.  He has a God-given gift with music – with both singing and playing a guitar. I know God has something special planned for his future, and it’s neat to see how it unfolds for him and remember how God protected him through numerous, what could have been, life taking incidents.  

I love you my double-dimpled darling – proud of you too!

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Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names

Weekly Writing Challenge: Power of Names

W

ith having a dozen named children,  many have asked how we came up with names or if it was difficult with the younger ones to find names.  I enjoy names.  I enjoy finding the meaning of names.  And with each of our children, we specifically chose names that had meaning – sometimes after someone; sometimes for the time we were in our lives.  As these children grow up, I see how their names really fit them.  I will share about our kid’s names, though with most of our children, I will just share about their middle names.  They are in no particular order too.A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

Matthew Norman ~ Our “forever 16” year old son in heaven. Matthew means “Gift of God” and how often we do not realize what a treasure someone is til they are gone. His first name a Bible name; his middle name after his dad and grandpa.  Though our Matthew was never a “tax collector” as the Matthew was in Scripture, he was one to be very inventive with ways of making money . . . and his heart was towards missions, even thinking of becoming a missionary pilot.  I like to think that despite the way he died, his story is told to prayerfully prevent other kids from dying as he did – and in a sense, still a missionary.

Levi – our son born a couple years after Matthew was gone – and has the new name Jesus gave Matthew – Levi.  He is not taking Matthew’s place.  Levi means joining or adhere – and we are so thankful for him joining our family after such heartache.

Angela Hope – our daughter born still at 36 weeks.  I cannot remember the name we originally had planned for her, but do remember her middle name was going to be Angela.  We change it to Angela Hope – because of the hope we have in Jesus to see her again.

Bernard – our son’s middle name – named after his dad and grandpa.

Henry – our son’s middle name, after my grandpa.  When he was young he used to think his middle name was either Hungry  or Hurry !  🙂

Faith – After going through a difficult time, switching churches, being criticized for “falling away” from legalistic Christianity, our faith still was strong.

Melody Grace – This name so goes together – After our daughter born still, because of God’s grace we were given a new melody in our home to allow our hearts to sing again.

Timothy – son named after an uncle and after Timothy in the Bible.  Timothy means meaning honoring God, or dear to God, something I pray for all my children.

Louise & Jean – Middle names of twin daughters – named after both sides of family.

Heidi – named after the Heidi book – my favorite childhood book.  She then named her daughter Elsie, after her favorite childhood book, Elsie Dinsmore.

Jessica Joy – I’ve written about her a lot on my blog.  She’s my only child born at home and child who has triumphed through three open heart surgeries and gallbladder surgery.  Jessica means “God beholds”.  And joy – well you know that.  Despite her heart surgeries and spinal problems, she is a joyful girl who radiates Jesus.

Rose – A daughter who truly has rosy cheeks, who loves to sing for Jesus.

I probably could write a book on all their names – so many stories came to mind with each of my children, how their names fit them – how really, God placed their names on our hearts to give them.

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Daily Prompt: If You Leave

Daily Prompt: If You Leave

I

posted a few days ago about my friend looking for her birth mom.  Since writing, she has been connected to several in her birth family and she is getting questions answered!  I know the feeling after finding my birthparents and siblings!  Of course, there are some expectations that may never be met.  As an adopted child, we have this dream-like vision of what our birthmom may be like.  For most adopted kids, that expectation is quickly lost.  Through the years as a child, where always the questions of,  . . . why would my birthmom not want me, why would she leave me; what was wrong with me . .. or her/them.  Maybe it’s why Jesus’ relates it numerous times in Scripture how He will not leave us.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
John 14:18

Even if my mother and father leave me,
    the Lord will take me in.
Psalm 27:10

mirrorThere’s something else I’ve been thinking of as my friend has been looking for her birth family. I think back to how I wondered who I looked like, wanting to “know” my birthmom.  Not just what was written on a piece of paper what she looked like and what nationalities she is, but what she is really like.  Isn’t that somewhat what we search for in God? The more we know Him, the more we want to know Him and the more we realize we do not know Him.  I think of how I’d look in a mirror and wonder where I got my big brown eyes from. And God says we are made in His image. As we grow, we are to become more and more like Him, reflecting Him.  

So indeed, the Man who made us in His image, paid a price for us to keep us by dying on the cross for us, of course, never will leave us.  He paid the ultimate price – He does not want to give us up. He keeps fighting for us and pursuing us.

There is no if’s with God.  We are His.  He won’t leave us.

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Daily Prompt: New Sensation

Daily Prompt: NEW SENSATION

 Describe your favorite fashions from days of yore or
current trends you think are stylin’.

D

oesn’t it seem many of our childhood fashions come around to our own children? I remember my favorite bell bottom pants that I wore in probably junior high – a creamy soft cotton corduroy with big pink and peach flowers on it.  I so loved those pants.  I only wore jeans about one time a week to school . . . my mom still was not used to girls wearing “boy’s pants” to school.  I remember too, in probably 4th grade when mini skirts were in.  I’d wear plaid skirts and at school roll the waistband over one . . . two . . . maybe three times – til it became a mini skirt!!  Can’t imagine why I’d discover one of my own younger girls doing this!!

blog1One thing I do not see any more – though I think I was the only kid even way back in the 70’s wearing, was what I called “shoe boots”. They were boots that I pulled over my shoes. Ohhh, I hated them, while all the other girls wore nice fancy knee high boots with no shoes worn in them! 

The Farrah Fawcett hair style was certainly in . . .  and seems to be somewhat in style even now again!  

Today I am thankful that the the fashion trends allow for modesty, especially with the layering.  A low cut top can easily be worn with a lacy camisole under. There are definitely “girl” jeans than there was in the 1970’s – dressy ones, cute ones and all different colors!  The one fashion style I do like is wearing pajamas out in public! Sweat clothes is about the worst “I don’t care” or “run to the store and hope no one sees me” style I might quickly do.  And later regret if I run into someone I know!

So what about your favorite trends or not so favorite ones from today or from the youth days?

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Daily Prompt: Sweet Sixteen

R

eading this Daily Prompt idea, I see how I’ve tried to redo my childhood through my children. I don’t remember my 16th birthday.  It does not stand out in my mind. It does not mean it was a bad day, but I don’t remember it as a highlighted birthday either.  I do not remember any birthday party or special cake.  I don’t remember “sweet sixteen”. My sister and I shared birthdays often – our birthday dates a month a part, yet by five years.

bday1So, I try to make birthdays special for each of our kids and probably go overboard with it at times.  It’s their day to celebrate their life. It’s also a celebration for me as their mom. I am thankful to do this each year, with each of my children, even remembering our two in heaven on their birth days.

Our twin’s 16th birthday was the first sweet sixteen birthday to celebrate for girls in our family.

bday2

We had a small surprise party for them, having four of their special friends surprise them by being at our local Coffee House.  I hope they remember and treasure this birthday for many years, knowing how much they were and are loved!  Now both these girls are married and one also a mama!

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Daily Prompt: You’re a Winner!

You’ve just won $1 billion dollars in the local lottery.
You do not have to pay tax on your winnings.
How will you spend the money?

I

really should not write on something like this! I suppose it can get our minds envying and coveting for things that will never happen and become such a letdown. I’ve only bought a lottery ticket two times – and no, I never won anything! But, had I?  WOW!  blogI know our first objective would be to be 100% debt free.  That would be wonderful! No more mortgage payments!  And our kids mortgages would get paid off.  And our church mortgage would get paid off. Then, we’d probably want to get a different house – maybe have one built or get an old one with all the charm and character I miss from our former house and update it. Our current house would be given away to someone who needs it.  My husband would get the truck he has dreamed of and I’d get some SUV or Suburban I’d love to drive.  Our kids would have new vehicles too.  

And then, we could finally sponsor children through Compassion International.  Several of our kids and I have wanted to do this.  Plus, we could visit – donate time and money to the orphanage our children are in!  Through this we’d find even more, how spoiled and how much we take for granted.

I’ve had a heart’s desire for many years to have some kind of retreat for families who have gone through the death of a child.  I know how sometimes families need to get away – have a change of scene, but it is not financially possible.  To be able to do something like this once a year could help so many! To have a leader encourage a group who may have gone through something similar could be so uplifting.  

Then for our family businesses, what my husband and I along with our children dream of wanting to do – we’d have to have something like a strip mall – and there you’d find a Small Engine Repair Shop, Auto Repair Shop, Cellular / X-Box / Media Games Repair Shop,  a Coffee Shop with an art and photography gallery, a Christian Day Care, etc.

INRThen, because of all our daughter who has had 3 open heart surgeries has gone through, and the many months we had to fight to get her a CoaguChek XS System Plus 48 Strips Plus 50 Lancetsto test her INR – her blood thinning levels. She has been on Coumadin since she has been about 15 months old. She used to have to go to a blood lab at the hospital, several times a week.  As soon as we’d pull into the parking lot, she’d start to cry.  She was so little and it was hard to find her veins and get the right amount of blood.  With the CoaguChek XS System all it requires is a fingertip drop of blood and results are given within a minute.  It sure saves a lot of time and hassle and sure gives parents a peace of mind having one readily available, especially after a child gets hurt.  It would be so wonderful to have a program available for families to get one.  

And of course, I’d want more public awareness in schools and in parent’s hands regarding the choking game and other “games” kids play that can take their lives, like it did our son.  

There’s vacations we’d want to do with our children we have never been able to do – and ones we’d want to take alone.  I’d so love to go to Israel and walk where Jesus walked. My husband and I dream of going to Hawaii. 

Well, enough day dreaming about that billion dollars I’ll never win!

Posted in Daily Prompt, Imperfect Prose

Imperfect Prose ~ Fearful Symmetry

I’ve not participated with Imperfect Prose in awhile  ~ I’ve missed it ~ so it here it goes along with a writing for “Fearful Symmetry” 

F

earfully and wonderfully made.gbaby5
First grandchild
Fifth child’s first baby.

Father God, I am in awe as I count her toes,
Fingers around mine, I kiss her button nose.
Feminine features … petite … so priceless.

Fondly and intently watching for,
Facial expressions that delights us each more.
Funny hiccups … yawns, sneezes and coos.

Fiercely in love, as with each of our children,
Fighting back tears of joy bubbling over again.
Full well do I know, Your works are wonderful.

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Elsie Jean 1

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Daily Prompt: Never Again

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself,
“I’m never doing that again!” 

I

am one to try new places and new foods.  Just a bit ago, I tried frog legs for the first time!  Yup, I liked them!  So, for me to think of something new and thought, I’m never doing that again, is far and few between.  

blogThe one thing that keeps coming to mind is well over 18 years ago, when my middle son was maybe a year or so old, and we were given the opportunity to go on one of those big high swings that is often at fairs – to go on it together, me holding him.  When I think back to it, it still gives me the chills.  First, I am shocked they’d even suggested it or allowed it.   And, I think it was one of the first times I dealt with a real panic attack.  I was doing it for my little guy.  But as soon as we started swinging around, I thought I was going to die.  I am sure I practically took the wind out of him, squeezing him so hard.  I never knew I had a fear of heights.  I had gone on them before and never had a fear of it.  It was probably the longest five minutes of my life.  I could see my husband and other kids below.  They could not hear my silent screams or know how fast my heart was racing.  I kept fearing I was going to drop my baby.  I just could not think straight or calmly whatsoever.  

When I got off, I could barely walk.  It took quite awhile to calm down.  And, I know I said and continue to say, “I’m never doing that again!” 

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Posted in Daily Prompt, Family, PLINKY

Daily Prompt: A Fly on the Wall


If you could be a “fly on the wall”
anywhere and at any time in history,

where and when would you choose?

O

h if it were only possible, and I know some day it will not matter.blog  But if I could be that fly on the wall, I wish that I could go to my parent’s childhoods, in the late 1920’s and see what they went through.  Maybe I would understand more of  who they became and why.  Just bits and pieces of things would occasionally come out, but for the most part, they did not discuss it.  

My dad only had one brother, and they lived poorly.  My dad did not talk much of his dad and the one time I do remember that he did, tears filled his eyes, which was a rarity – and then he got off the subject as quickly as he got on it. It’s something I will never forget.  He talked some of  how his mother was the one who took them to church and made sure they had a good Christian foundation.  I wonder if his dad ever went.  I wonder how his parents met.  And then, my dad went away to WWII before he even graduated from high school.  I wonder how his parents handled this.  It grips my heart to think of.  And how he was changed when he came back.  

My mom I probably knew a bit more about – her being an only child and her dad, my grandpa, living with us for almost my entire childhood.  She spoke of taking strong stands in school with no dancing and sometimes her and a girlfriend would be the only ones sitting off to the side, not participating.  I can only imagine how hard that was.  I never really got to understand her mother’s personality.  She died shortly before I was born. But I think several of her illnesses were hard on my mom.  I wonder how guarded my parent’s dating time was – what rules were set – how long they dated, what they talked about, etc.  I wonder if she was a spoiled only child, or one who was a lonely only child – or possibly a little of each?

Childhoods and things that happened that were undesirable in my parents era was not discussed or worked through.  It was swept under the rug.  I wish I could lift up the rug and put some of the pieces back together.

Posted in Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Back to School

If you could take a break from your life and
go back to school to master a subject,
what would it be?

I

have thought of this . . .  not often, but a couple of things I’d possibly like to do.  Professionally, mainly to help out our family and be able to get a quicker degree, I have thought about learning to be a Phlebotomist – a person that draws blood from patients.  With our daughter being on coumadin (a blood thinner) she has had to get her blood drawn often for INR/PT –  checking the levels of her blood thinner to make sure it’s not too thin that she could hemorrhage or to thick that her heart valves could clot.  Dreams do change though.  Before he died, I dreamed of a big house, and many bedrooms.  Now I dream of something more simple and open.  Thankfully, we have a machine at home that we can check her with most of the time.  However, when she was a baby, it was awful.  She would start shaking as soon as we parked in the parking lot.  She knew where she was and what they were going to do to her. I got to the point that I would allow three pokes – if they could not get it – they were done, and we’d come back another day.  And, over time, we knew who the best phlebotomists were and we would request one and refuse some others.  I would enjoy working in a clinic, especially with children.  I would not want to be the one going early into hospital rooms waking up cranky people who want rest (I can be one of those cranky people when they come into the hospital room and turn on the bright light!)  

The other thing that is close to my heart, is grieving people, especially those that have lost children or babies.  It’s been a heart’s desire for some time to get the training for a grief counselor or grief coach.  I am not sure when this would be able to work in my life, but I hope and pray some day it will be something I can do to reach out to others more.

Posted in Daily Prompt

Daily Prompt: Nightmares or Daymares?

Daily Prompt: Nightmares

Describe the last nightmare you remember having.

T

hankfully, I do not have nightmares often.   Actually, I cannot remember the last time I had a nightmare.  I used to have horrible ones when I was in college to the point of not even wanting to sleep.  I’d fear going to sleep . . .  I felt more tired after sleeping because my nightmares would wear me out terribly.  My roommates would often wake me up from screaming.  

Though I do not have nightmares, I can have “daymares”.  I can get myself in such a tizzy worrying about something.  Such as when the kids come home late or I cannot get a hold of my husband who forgot to turn on his phone.  I can be sitting on the couch looking out the window for them to return, and be picturing the police coming up the driveway and being told of a fatal accident.  I can get sucked into such fear that I can barely breath by the time the one I am waiting on gets home (yes . . . those anxiety attacks so many responded to before).   It’s remembering to 

From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.

Indeed we could go through the loss of another child, or have a serious life-changing injury.  But I do know deep down, that if God could get us through what we have already, He can again – He won’t leave me the next time.  He won’t tell me, “I showed you before how to get through it, this time you are on your own.”  And He keeps whispering to me to not get myself in those modes of the fear wandering in my mind.  It helps me to turn on the radio LOUD and let the music take over in my mind of truth through praise songs.  I love this verse too . . . letting God take captive my thoughts – thinking upon Him – and letting Him destroy my fears.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,  for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We ardestroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… Phil. 4:8

It’s definitely a work in progress, and I’m thankful God is not finished with me yet!

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Daily Prompt: [My Life] Far From Normal

Daily Prompt: Far From Normal
Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might

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hey come into the local pizza restaurant and are led to a table while several of the younger children quietly bicker about who they want to sit by.  The group of 15 sit down and look through the menu, some of the older children that look like couples whispering and looking at each other sweetly.  It’s hard to figure out the relationships, though many of the children look a like. The oldest couple, which must be the parents to some of them,  talk to the younger children asking what they want. The mom holds coupons for pizza and writes down on one of them the children’s preferences.

As I observe them I look around the restaurant and notice I am not the only one.  There’s some snickering while an older couple gets lost in remembering their family memories that too quickly passed by.  Another couple get up to leave and stop by to greet the group and then the mom introduces the children.  Ten of the children are theirs – no blended family.  The youngest child and oldest child are twenty years apart in age.  Three of the children are married adding in the three additional children.

“They’re all ours,” the mom says proudly, “with our first grandbaby due in the fall,” she continues on, beaming.

A child about 10 years old interrupts and says, “and we have two in heaven, a big brother and a baby sister.”  The mom nods in agreement.  

Though one of the middle aged boys grabs for the last breadstick as another child did as well, and a glass of water spills, the children stay quiet and respectful.  There’s laughter and joy . . . and teasing.  The dad bows and prays while the family joins hands in a circle.  The pizza is quickly eaten up and I even notice several of the older boys handing their dad money to help pay for the bill.

I wonder how many families are missing this kind of relationship and bonding.  It’s very unusual to see.  I am a bit jealous.

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Daily Prompt: THE DOOR

Daily Prompt:  THE DOOR
Somewhere in your post, include the sentence,
“I heard the car door slam,

and immediately looked at the clock.”

I

t was well after midnight and I was waiting for my 19 year old son to get home.   The one thing I’ve told all my kids as they start going out on their own, as long as they live here, I will wait until they are home.  They try to tell me to just go to bed, but I don’t sleep well until I know they are home, safe and sound.  It was another night like it.  I was starting to doze off on the couch, and I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock. It was almost 1:30 am and I was rather irritated that he came in so late, with no texting me or letting me know.   I was ready to give him a piece of my mind!

rose babys breathRather than trying to sneak off to his bedroom, he came up to me at the couch with one arm behind his back and then brought out one single red rose with baby’s breath and handed it to me, along with a smirky grin.  How was I suppose to scold him now?!?!?!  “Happy Valentine’s Day, mom!”  Yes, it melted my heart. 

I wrote about this later on Facebook.  One of my married daughters wrote, “Ha Ha . . .  smooth!!”  I wonder if I will get more flowers anytime soon? 

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Daily Prompt: Shoulda Woulda Coulda

Daily Prompt: Shoulda Woulda Coulda
Tell about something you know you should do . . .
but don’t.

O

h dear!  I sit here, by kids who are doing school work, and see dust bunnies in a corner of the ceiling that accumulates especially during the winter with burning wood in our home.  I have procrastinated with cleaning my bedroom, because we had a broken vacuum.  There’s drawers that need to be cleaned out and taxes that need to be finished up.  But there’s books that call out to me to read and things to sew for my new grandbaby who is not due for 7 more months!  I’ve got two quilts I want to make for two of my girls’ birthdays in the spring.  And these seem more important than cleaning a bedroom or organizing a drawer or even finishing up taxes.

But even the crafty things can be overruled.  It’s evening and the kids want to watch a movie and one or two snuggle close by or on me, and there goes the plans of the crafts or cleaning or organizing.  But I can knit while watching a movie, so at least I can do two or three things at one time – snuggle, watch a movie and knit!  

Isn’t that using time well?!?!?!  I used to even add in nursing a baby to this!  But certainly cannot run 10 miles while knitting a sweater!!

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