Thursday, October 27, 2011

Foxy lady!

I recently got a special order for a crocheted fox scarf. This definitely turned into one of the most fun pieces I've designed! Here it is, the Foxy Lady Scarf:



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This little toggle clasp slips between crochet stitches to attach the head to the body or tail of the fox (as it's being worn in the first photo.)


Christmas will be here before we know it. It's a great time to get in your orders for hats, scarves, handbags, or other items! Click on the "Crochet Examples" tag at the bottom of this post to see more, and email me at with your ideas. I love doing custom designs!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kissin' Kindergarteners

A few months back, Chickie and her friend Coqui kissed each other at church--a couple of times. Big ol' smooches on the lips. We adults couldn't help but laugh, but we also made it clear to them that kissing is really for when they get older--at this age, hugs are more appropriate! They took our words to heart, and now they give each other frequent, enthusiastic hugs.

Today on the way home, Chickie told me about one of the boys in her class who had hugged her and kissed her, when she didn't want him to. I asked her how it made her feel. "Icky" was the word she used to describe it, and that was a red flag to me. This was no consensual kissing--or hugging!

"What did you do about it?" I asked her. She responded that she told her teacher. Yay!! She did exactly what I want her to do in these situations--told her teacher immediately, and told me too. Her teacher used their discipline system to give the boy a consequence.

Now, I know that exploring appropriate forms of affection is totally normal at age five. But I also think it's never too early for my daughter to learn that she should have boundaries, and that she has permission to enforce them.

So I told her she can push a boy away if he's trying to hug or kiss her and she doesn't want it. "I can push him?" she asked, surprised. I made it clear that if she can get away without pushing him (just walking away as he approaches), she should. But if anyone (except a younger kid who doesn't know better) tries to touch her in a way that makes her feel icky and she can't just walk away, she can push.

I then emailed her teacher to update her on the conversation I'd had with Chickie. I feel that it's important for her teacher to know that it was a big enough deal for my girl to talk to me about it, and I also wanted her to know that I'd given my daughter permission to push, within certain guidelines!

I've got to be partners with her teacher if I want this year to be a good one. So far, it has been--this is the only real concern I've had to bring up with her teacher. She responded quickly to my email. She told me that they suggest the child say "Stop" and then tell the teacher. They can't advocate pushing, but if someone is holding onto them and they can't get away, of course they can do what they must to get out of the situation. Sounds like a good plan to me, and one that I'll be reinforcing in later conversations with Chickie.

What about you? Do you remember dealing with these issues when you were a kid? Or have you dealt with them with your own children?

Monday, October 17, 2011


I've got big stuff on my mind right now and I've been wanting to find joy in the exact circumstance I'm in, every day.

As I was walking home the other day after dropping off Chickie at school, I was worrying about this big stuff that's on my mind. I was fighting in myself to trust God instead of indulging in worries.

Then I started really paying attention to Zoodle, who was riding in the stroller. He was playing a silly game on my phone in which he says something into the phone, and a cat repeats what he said in an altered voice. He was giggling in delight as he made funny noises and heard them repeated. So I took the phone and started saying my own little messages.

We both laughed, and I realized--finding joy doesn't just apply to the big stuff in my life, the stuff that consumes my attention. Lots of times that big stuff doesn't really need that much attention.

Finding joy also means looking away from that big stuff, and enjoying the small stuff. (Funny thing is, the small stuff tends to put the big stuff in perspective.)

Next time my mind is warring between worry and joy as I look at all of life's unknowns, I hope I can turn my attention to a giggling kid or a great song or a sweet moment with my husband--all the simple things God gives me to experience joyfully...every day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

For Dennis


Back in 2003, I became involved in a community theatre. I met Dennis, who is the mustachioed gentleman in the middle of this photo. (It's a cast photo from the play we did together.)

We started as fellow actors. I met his wife Teri, and before they moved out of state, they became my real estate clients. But underneath it all, always, we were friends. Even with only occasional contact, we cared about each other. Last year they moved back to town, and once again they were my clients. It was wonderful to get to know them all over again.

Yesterday Dennis passed away after a hard-fought battle with cancer. I want to share some of my memories of him.
  • Dennis and Teri gave me the chance to help them sell a really awesome home, when I was still new to real estate. What's better, they trusted me through the process. That trust was a gift to me. What a great way to encourage me to be a great agent, and to build my confidence.
  • After they moved, Dennis and Teri drove back to town to watch me in a play. That meant so much to me!
  • A number of months later, I drove to their new home to watch Dennis play Daddy Warbucks in Annie. What a great role for him! He already had the acting and singing skills; he just had to shave his head, and he was a wonderful Daddy Warbucks. I bet those kids loved acting with him! And he and Teri were such sweet hosts. I'm so glad I took that trip.
  • He used to share openly about his experience coming home from Vietnam...about the warm welcome he didn't receive. So sometimes on Veteran's Day I'd send him an email, thanking him for serving. He responded with such warmth. I know I'll be thinking about him on November 11.
  • It was so great to reconnect with Dennis and Teri when they moved back to town last year. I had the pleasure of representing them as they built a house. I remember sitting in the car with Dennis. I think Teri was out walking a piece of land they were considering building on. "The most important thing," he told me, "is that Teri is happy. I know that this cancer may be what takes my life. I want to make sure she's in a place where she feels comfortable." No wonder she loved him so much!
  • When Teri called me earlier today to let me know about Dennis' passing, she told me, "I wanted to make sure I called you in person, because you've always been so special to us." It meant so much--so much--to hear that. They've been so special to me too. It's possible to feel close to someone even if you only see them or talk to them occasionally. That's how the relationship between me and Dennis/Teri has been. We respect each other. We love each other.
I'm going to miss my friend Dennis.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Volume control

We sat around the dinner table the other day with some friends. With four adults and four kids, there was a lot going on, and Zoodle definitely hasn't fully grasped the quiet, "inside voice" concept yet. His voice rose above the rest.

"Zoodle!" The Engineer said, exasperated. "Why are you talking so loud? You need to learn some volume control!"

We went on with dinner, and a minute or two later, Zoodle's voice piped up,

"What's vawyoom contwoah?"

We all laughed, and Daddy and I explained the "volume control" concept to him. But that wasn't enough. He followed up our explanations with questions about what "vawyoom" means, and what "contwoah" means.

And when we were done, he proved to us that he does indeed have volume control. The control just happens to be stuck on "LOUD."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Handbag #3!

I finished my third crocheted handbag! This one is a (very belated) birthday gift for my best friend Ann.


She wanted a flower in the front...


And, once again, I put plenty of pockets inside! (Love the green fabric she chose!)

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Hope you enjoy your new purse, Ann!


And, as the weather gets cooler...I'm taking hat orders! Feel free to email me at