Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa's the Man!

My sisters Candace and Caitlyn, also known as Thing 1 and Thing 2, used to work as administrative assistants at an Architect firm. One of the benefits of this was yearly pics with Santa. Les, one of the men who works at the firm, takes his Santa role seriously. Summertime is when he begins working on his hair and beard length. By the time fall is past and Christmas is looming, his beard and hair are about 4 to 5 inches long. The last step in this process, involves lots of bleach. Les is so dedicated to looking authentic that he even uses white hairspray in his beard. So the beard and hair you see here are homegrown, not storebought. His suit is also high quality with a custom made belt. We get our own private pic session every year (really a how's it going and catch up with eachother). We always have such a good time together. And Les brought his daughter and elf helper Carolyn. She was fun to chat with and an excellent help to her dad. As they were leaving 3 kids saw them outside. Of course, Santa sat down on a nearby bench and asked them what they wanted for Christmas. One of the kids had a big ice cream cone (ice cream, beard, and santa suit do not make a good combo). Carolyn very nicely but firmly pointed this out - preserving the pristine suit. She also brought in crazy hats for us to try on. We had such a good time. Thanks Santa!
Caitlyn with Santa.

Candace with Santa.

Mom and all of us girls with Santa.

Santa's elf Carolyn...(hope I spelled it right.)

Old Navy Spree...Yeehaaah!

Snyder's chocolate covered pretzels, no other brand will due, are an important part of the diet of a shopping girl. Chocolate and shopping, shopping and chocolate...they go together people.
Me with my fat bag of goodies.

Candace felt a strong urge to kiss the chocolate....don't's a girl thing. Those of you who have wives or sisters will understand.

We were in Old Navy for about two hours. Can't you tell?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Came in his Truck

More pics coming soon....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Diaper Drive!

God is so good! Check out the "stuffed" honda! Starting December 7 I did a Diaper Drive at three different churches for our local Crisis Pregnancy Center. They are an amazing center that really cares about women. They are dedicated to communicating accurate and truthful information to those affected by an unplanned pregnancy and to provide them with physical, emotional, and spiritual support. The center is often are in need of material and financial aid, being a non-profit organization. That's where the Diaper Drive came in. Doing a diaper drive is a practical way to serve the center while raising community awareness. Because of the current financial crunch, I wasn't sure what the end result would be - some diapers and wipes or none. But I was hopeful because it doesn't cost that much to buy a couple of boxes of wipes or a bag of diapers. I was

delighted when I had to drop off two car loads of diapers at the center. I currently have a pending third load (still collecting). People were so generous! The majority of the diapers recieved were the "jumbo pack" size! It was great. Also people really paid attention to the flyer I made and were sure to buy the right sizes. The center has no need for sizes larger than 3. One of the best parts of this effort was that from just one family the center recieved $130 worth of gift cards to Wal-Mart. These are always needed. Many of the women who come to the center have had difficulty affording gas in the recent past, and it has been the distribution of these gift cards that has made it possible for them to come. I loved doing this! I was so pumped! I can't wait til next year! It was so rewarding after pouring several hours into organizing this event to have such fantastic participation. To see how many men and women really cared and eagerly wanted to help was an encouragement to me and of course to the staff at the center. I hope that this inspires you to reach out and serve your local crisis pregnancy center whether by a consistent pledge of financial support, or by volunteering, or just doing a diaper drive. Think about it and ask God how He might have you serve in this way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


A topic that I have been wanting to post about is Asperger Syndrome. I know a relative who has this syndrome and have been strongly compelled to share what I have learned about it. I love my relative dearly and want to give the rest of the world a glimpse of what life is like for this person. Inability will not be the sole focus of these posts, but also ability. Attitude is another topic I'll discuss. It is a privilage to know someone like my relative. People don't ever seem to know how to react to him and respond either with delight or strong dislike. I want to help educate people on how they can bless and be blessed even more by someone with Aspergers. It is unfortunate that people like my relative are imprisoned by these types of sydromes. Yet here in the midst of human weakness is an amazing opportunity to see the mighty strenghth and tender love of God. I used to say, "I just want him (my relative) to be free!" By this I meant free to share in all the "normal" life experiences that I have had. After looking at my life and then looking at his, I think that he has missed out on so many opportunities. He can't drive, he'll never grow up enough mentally to handle being married, he'll never be a dad, he can't, can't, can' is sad. But a dear friend from school recently gave me her perspective on this. She had a brother with far more severe problems that passed away when she was just 15. She told me, "You know, it's not freedom they need, it's joy. They need to be able to find joy in the midst of their circumstances." (I'm paraphrasing.) Unlike her brother, my relative knows he has a problem. His attitude about it varies; one day he admits it, the next he angrily denies it. Still, this is my prayer right now - that he would find joy. My dear Dad in heaven has said in His Bible:

" 4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.10I rejoice greatly in the Lord....11I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philipians 4: 10-13.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Grand Illumination and Party Bash! Wooohooo!

A week ago today, December 7, my family and the Bulmans went to Williamsburg, VA to see the Grand Illumination fireworks display. This event is free and the fireworks are unbeatably fantastic. It's freezing cold outside after nightfall at Williamsburg, but I prefer this to sweltering 4th of July weather. From left to right in the pic above, we have Isaac and Sam Bulman and my bro Nate.
This freezing cold person, is my dear Aunt Ann, who is quite a character.... a regular nutcase you might say. I love her to death. She's like a second mommy in a lot of ways.

Here is the rest of Aunt Ann's pretty face and also my Uncle Stuart. (They're not actually blood-related, but have known my family since before I was born.) Uncle Stu is like a dad to me - love him a lot too. I've know these wonderful people for forever and still can't ever seem to get enough of them! They love Jesus, and this is evident when you see what how much they seek to serve and care for their friends and family. They have such big hearts for my family. I am blessed to be able to watch them live their lives for Christ and see their exemplary marraige.

This lovely lady is my best friend in the whole, wide world - my Mom. It would take a bizillion blog entry's to describe how amazing she is. I would not have a personal relationship with Jesus like I do and be the kind of person I am without her example. I am thankful she puts up with me and all my issues. Big hugs to you Mom.

This is almost all of us. We're missing the three boys and me (I'm taking the pic of course.) But these smiles are genuine, because for much of the time that's all we did was crack up and laugh.
The Bulmans and Peases always have a blast together! The lady in the middle is Debbie, Uncle Stu's sister. We had lots of fun yacking with her. (Yacking is my way of saying 'talking'). I'll probably post a few more pics of this. I only took half a million.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I still haven't figured out exactly where the text is going to end up each time I post, so I hope this is in the right place! The twinzos, mom and I all love to go for walks. Where we live is beautiful and we get a lot of good excerise. On the last walk, I brought my camera along. Well as you can see us girls where feeling goofy. What you are about to see is not just pics of three sisters, but also three BIG HAMS! We had a blast going down the slide, running and jumping. One of our neighbors saw us while we were doing this. I'm sure he thought we were nuts....and we are. It took several tries, and after much coaching from Candace (Thing 1) I finally got a pic of them in the air. We were really cracking up in the one of all three of us because we kept cutting off eachother's heads or only getting 2 of us. It was easy to smile that day too, because it was soooo cold - chattering teeth....brrrr! And believe it or not, we really do act grown up most of the time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Never Was There Such a Pair of Sisters...

I am thankful for my best friends ~ Thing 1 and Thing 2 ~ my identical twin sisters Candace and Caitlyn. They are so cheerful and always inspiring me and challenging me in so many ways. Whether it's sharing their favorite new movie clip on Youtube or telling me about a fantastic book they're reading or being patient with some of my pigheaded ideas, or comparing school stories with me, they are an example to follow. I learn so much from them. Even though I'm slightly older than they are, I feel like I can't quite keep up - they're always one step ahead of me! The only problem with the twins is that I have two people to answer to when I do something to one of them. For instance, when we were kids we would often swim in a friend's pond with a floating dock. One day I decided to sneak up behind one twin and push her off the dock. I had stupidly forgotten about the other one who in no time at all was pushing me straight in after the first one! So be forewarned...even though most twins look cute, they're feisty, especially mine.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Live Music after Thanksgiving Meal at the fun!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How I Pay for Tuition Continued...

Free-form feather design up close.
This pic was taken from the backside of the Gammill (that's the brand of long-arm machine I have). It gives you a better view of just how big it is. The machine rests on wheels and the wheels sit within grooves that run all the way down the length of the 12 foot frame. (It's kinuv hard to explain it exactly.)

First Layer: Quilt Top given to me already pieced by the customer.

Second Layer: Batting (it is like a very thin blanket of cotton)

Third Layer: The Backing of the quilt.

My Job: Sandwich all three layers with my free motion stitching. You can see here that I used my "freeform feather" design on this quilt.
Sometimes I put both hands on the handlebars, but most of the time just one. This way my other hand is free to smooth out unruly puckers and deal with other issues.

How I Pay for Tuition...

This is the longarm quilting machine I work on. I love quilting quilts. The machine itself is about 4 feet long and and frame it is positioned on is about 12 feet long. There are also overhead lights for sewing at night. The motor is very powerful and makes a loud, steady whirring sound. It is quite impressive and tons of fun to work on.

As you can see here I hold onto the handlebars and sew at speed 80. I regulate the length my stitches by how quickly I move my hands. The actual technique I use is called "free-motion quilting." This means that I create with "free motion" the stitched designs on the quilt. I don't use pantographs and the machine is not pre-progammed, I simply design my own. Waaaaay fun! I'll have to post a video sometime.
This kinuv gives you an idea of what it actually looks like to have a quilt in progress.
Step#1: I recieve the quilt top from the customer along with the backing.
Step#2: I pin in the backing and the top to the cream colored canvas fabric which is attached to the black metal bars. The batting (the stuffing in between) is gently draped between the two layers and not pinned in. Every time I complete 2 passes (sewing down the quilt top from left to right) I roll up the part I just quilted and start on the next 2 passes until I'm done.

Little People

11 week old feet, with tiny toes!
12 week old hand with fingernails! Wow....
12 week old foot.

A perfect little ear at week 14. (Odd how the ear itself sortuv looks like a fetus.)

I was shocked to find out that in 2007 there were 9,546 abortions in a nearby county. That's just one county...I can't imagine how many there were in all the local counties combined. The baby pictured here is 8 weeks along.

Friday, November 21, 2008

(Ok, the cone of silence can now be lifted)

One of my favorite pastimes is perusing friend's blogs. I love looking at all the photos and seeing what God is doing in other people's lives. It has always looked like fun to have a blog, so I finally joined the club.

Scribble Scrabble will be a place for my ramblings and musings. I will post glimpses of my daily life as a hard-working, almost broke, college student. God is a big part of my life - so He'll be mentioned a lot. Hobbies and fun pastimes are some of the other things I'll write about. Family too. For now, I'm done with my first post. It's 11:14 pm, I'm going to bed!