Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Scribble Picnic–Fairy

     I don’t often draw human (or "fairy"!) figures, but had to give it a try with this week’s Scribble Picnic theme.  I started with a couple of sketches as seen on the right below.  Our daughter-in-law chose a Tinker Bell theme for the nursery when our oldest granddaughter was born, so I switched to using the leftover material from making curtains for my fairy inspiration.  I debated staying with regular pencil, but decided T. Bell would be more recognizable in color.  (Note to self–get some quality colored pencils ordered!)  You can see the fairies others chose to draw by clicking on the links at this page.  I hated missing last week’s Lantern theme, but we took a trip to see some of the grandkids for a few days, then went on to spend several more days “touristing” in central and north central Oklahoma.  We quite often take a short trip of some kind in March, our anniversary month.  This year marks 34!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Scribble Picnic–Umbrella

     For this week's Scribble Picnic umbrella theme I thought I would do another pencil drawing.  But after looking at my initial sketch, my mind went back to some children's books with torn paper illustrations.  So, I pulled out a glue stick and my stash of construction paper, and starting literally tearing into it–no scissors allowed!

Linking up with Scribble Picnic again this week. You can check out many other umbrellas here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

H–is for HIE

     In a few months our first granddaughter will reach her second birthday, which will be a great day of celebration, as was her first birthday.  Her actual day of birth, those many months ago, was a time that should also have been full of smiles and joy, but instead filled with worries and questions.  She had HIE–hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Hypoxic–lack of oxygen. Ischemic–restricting blood flow. Encephalopathy–affecting the brain. Simply put–oxygen deprivation that affects the brain at birth.

    The medical staff took immediate action, but it still took hours to stabilize, make preparations, and transport her to the NICU in the larger city. They couldn’t use the life-flight helicopter because of there being such bad thunderstorms going on that night. Instead she was taken by ambulance, with one of the first actions taken being to cool her body, which slowed blood flow to prevent further brain damage. It was a month later that she was able to go home. Her parents quickly learned and gave the day by day care needed, one of the biggest of which was getting used to feeding her via a gastronomy tube. They were fast learners, and Samantha thrives physically. In the next photo you can see her "button" for feeding.
Samantha with her beloved Grampa
     One of the HIE effects was that she was never able to cry. One doesn't usually think of a crying baby as a blessing, but it truly is. How thrilled we were when Samantha first started making some vocalizations!
Samantha having a meal via tube with the help of the orange feeding pump.

     Because of a “default mode” of mostly keeping her head turned to the left (which she still does), her head was getting flat on that side.  So, until her skull fused, she had several months of wearing a helmet, which did its reshaping job.
Helmet "graduation day"
     Samantha has a variety of specialists and therapists who help with different developmental aspects. Even though she has always received her main nutrition through a gastronomy tube, she is also undergoing therapy to strengthen her face and mouth muscles to be able to eat by mouth. A wonderful by-product is that those same stronger muscles help her be able to vocalize more, and to smile. It’s such a blessing to see her eyes light up during an interaction; and now to see an occasional added smile just makes my heart rejoice!
     One always expects and hopes the best with a new baby. And you know, that’s just what the family got with Samantha. No, she isn’t developing at a “normal” rate, but she is making progress and developing at her own normal rate, just as God knew she would.  She reminds us all not to take anything for granted, and is such a sweet joy!

The biggest smile I've seen–looking forward to many more!

     (If you want to know more about HIE, you can read here. Our friend Kacy writes about her own daughter here and here. Of course each child affected by HIE has different diagnoses, but some of Hudsyn’s–the GERD, the gastronomy tube–are similar to those of Samantha.)    

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Scribble Picnic–Cabin

Just a simple cabin in the woods, ready to provide shelter.

Linking up with Scribble Picnic again this week.  Thanks for hosting, Michael.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Scribble Picnic–Octopus

Oliver was so nervous about his first date that he forgot whether they planned to go bowling or play golf.  Oh well, he was prepared either way!

I joined in on the Creative Tuesday art challenge a couple of weeks ago, but it turned out to be the final week of the run of that particular art co-op. Fortunately, CT is being replaced by Scribble Picnic each week, so I'll see if I can keep up with that.  Or at least join in now and then!  This week's theme–Octopus.  (And my first time using color in my drawings.)

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

G–is for Gum Ball Machine

     As mentioned a few posts back, I decided it was time to start putting pencil to paper again. Through Wanda I found Creative Tuesdays, where this week's theme is–you guessed it–Bubble Gum Machine! So, just for the fun of it, here's my attempt. Guess I was so intent on making it recognizable that I forgot to get creative with the contents. Oh well, maybe next time! Since this will be linked, I suppose I might see a few new visitors, to whom I say, "Welcome!"

Monday, February 06, 2017

F–is for Family

     Family.  What does one do without it?

     I’ve been blessed all my life with an amazing family.  I have SO MANY great memories of family time when I was growing up.  My dad loved the Lord, was the kindest man you could ever hope to know, and absolutely adored my mom.  They were college sweethearts and had over 50 years of married life together.  Mom was the best anyone could ask for, and I’ll forever miss her love, encouragement, and support in my life.  My older brothers put up with their younger sister, and still do for that matter!  I just wish we could get together more often.

     My next level of family began with the answer to my prayers that I found in Benny.  We were late twenties and mid-thirties when we met and married, and both agree it was worth the wait!  Raising a son and two daughters was not without its challenges of course, but those were far outweighed by the good times!  What a joy and privilege to see them develop into such fine young people and find their own loving spouses to continue on with.

     This may have been taken a dozen or so years ago!

     Grandchildren.  Did I mention grandchildren?  :-)  We have four now–ages 3 1/2, almost 2, almost 1, and just over one week!  All the clich├ęs are true–there’s nothing like it, why didn’t we have them first, etc.  With their different ages and abilities, each one is a unique delight!

#4 (#1, #2, and#3 are a few posts down)

     Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… None ever lived in the same town I was in, which made each time we were together all that much more special.  Of the older generation, I’ve only two aunts remaining. 

     Of course marriage expanded family immediately.  In-laws and their families brought another good dimension to family that I can't imagine not having.

     I can’t leave the subject of family without including my spiritual family.  These fellow believers have taught and been with me through all kinds of joys, frustrations, and sorrows.  Some I’ve known for decades and some for just a few years, but we all have eternity to look forward to because of accepting Jesus Christ into our lives as Lord and Savior.

     I think family should be spelled b l e s s i n g!

Saturday, February 04, 2017

E–is for EEEEE

     EEEEE!!!!!  I finally made it to 200 published posts!  (Yes, I know that's hardly any for most bloggers, but obviously I don't publish daily, and sometimes I've even gone months at a time without posting.)

     In case you happen to wonder what it is with all the Es on this blog, our last name begins with the letter E.  Five in the family.  Five Es.  There you have it!  Now wasn’t that EEEEExciting?

     In the EEEEExtra miscellaneous information category, the KS instead of X in my blog title has to do with the spelling of our last name.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

D–is for Draw This

     Once upon a time (at least 2007-2012, but I don't know for sure when it began) there was a blog entitled "Draw This". It was a place where a few people who had an interest in art could share their artistic endeavors, whether painting or drawing or crafting or photography.  "Sticky", "animal", "sharp", "insect", and "bumpy" are just a few of the weekly topics posted by the moderator and left open to interpretation by the artists.

     I'm pretty sure that "insect" was the first topic I posted under.  I shared a photo I took of a baby praying mantis, one of dozens and dozens that had hatched out from our pasture-cut Christmas tree one year after being in our warm living room for the season!

     I finally got up the nerve to post a pencil drawing.

     That whale, and many of the subsequent drawings, were rather coloring book style with their dark outlines and one-tone, if any, shading.  I kept trying, though, and in 2009 I took a drawing class, which helped quite a bit if I do say so!  I never got it posted on the "Draw This" blog, but here's one of the drawings I did for that class.

     Sadly, interest and time to keep up dwindled, so that eventually no one was posting, and finally the entire blog was removed.

     But, in addition to encouraging me to keep working at my hobby, another good thing about that blog was the connections from it.  I feel like I would know Wanda, Priscilla, Rachel and "New York Martha" if I saw them on the street, just from keeping up with their own blogs.  I only wish a few more (Oregon, Minnesota) had kept their blogs going.

     Time will tell if I ever get back to drawing on my own.  Here's hoping!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

C–is for Corn Flakes Candy, Cantata and Christmas

Mixed up some Corn Flakes Candy this afternoon.  So simple!

Combine 1 cup corn syrup and 1 cup brown sugar in a 3-quart saucepan.  Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture bubbles.  Remove from heat.  Stir in 1 cup peanut butter and 6 cups corn flakes until well coated.  Drop by teaspoons on waxed paper.  Or, press into well-buttered 9 x 13 pan and cool until firm before cutting.

I usually make some for Christmas, but we had plenty of other sweets around, so didn't this time.

Christmas–that's my second favorite holiday (after Easter).

In a way, Christmas always begins in October for me, as that is when rehearsals for the community Christmas cantata begin.  I’ve missed a few years, maybe more than a few, but have usually sung in it over the past thirty-eight years!  I had an uncle who taught music here one year in the early 1960s, and apparently he was instrumental in getting the annual event started.  What a joy it is to sing about the birth of Jesus, the real meaning of Christmas!

Our traditional Christmas Eve soup and gifts with Benny’s side of the family was at his sister’s, just up the road.
Usually we go to a Christmas Eve candlelight service, but since Christmas was on Sunday, the Lutheran church (which we attended until a few years ago) had a Julotta (Christmas, just before dawn) candlelight service we went to instead.  Then we went to our Berean church's Christmas Day service.  Had a non-tradtional Christmas Day dinner here of crockpot BBQ pork ribs, followed by a relaxing day of nothing in particular.

Midweek my side of the family gathered for our WWW Christmas, always fun and filled with laughter, food, games (always Nerts), gifts, traditions and memories.

This would be our three (so far) grandkids!
Some of the immediate family was able to stay the entire week. Then we celebrated Christmas again with all the immediate family on New Year's Day!
Blessed, blessed, blessed!