2

Easter Art

When Linda invited me over to her house today to make truffles, I had no idea how I would fall in love with eggs.
Yesterday was a tough day all the way around for me. Although it was gloriously spring, my heart was so sad. Just so sad. Sometimes I get tired of being sad. Even when I laugh and enjoy things, I am sad. Maybe someday the sadness will leave.
But then again, I want to hang onto it. Because it is a link to my daughter. I’m her Mommy. And although I knew all along she was actually God’s, she was still born from my heartbeat. And even if I know she is supremely happy and feeling better then even the healthiest person on earth, I am still her Mommy. And Mommy’s have this sixth sense that is made for their children, and when that sixth sense gets tampered with, or is empty completely, there can be a lot of sadness involved. ALOT of sadness. So don’t freak out or think you have to fix me. Sad is just part of my breathing right now. Even peaceful sadness can be relaxing, I have found.
Back to falling in love with eggs. And truffles. I wanted to learn to make truffles like Carolyn does. They are absolutely thrilling. She taught me how today. I took a kaleidoscope photo to tantalize your senses. These are the peanut butter eggs we made.

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And another angle….

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So yes, these wonderful bits of truffles were amazing! But then we did this really fun thing with hard boiled eggs. I’ll post the super simple recipe at the end…

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Doesn’t that look like so much fun! Kobe was totally in his glory! We made all kinds of marvelous marbled effects…just by dunking them in liquid!

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It’s the first time I’ve done this style of Easter eggs. I’m sure I wouldn’t have tried it on my own this year. But I am so thrilled to have these bits of beauty in my house! So thankful to Linda for having me over and handing me creativity. It’s just what I needed today.
Now…for the recipe…

Marble Easter Eggs
A dozen or more hard cooked eggs. Let them cool!
Fill three coffee mugs 2/3 full of boiling water.
Add 1 tsp. food coloring and
1 tsp. vinegar to each cup.
Let the water cool.
Add 1 tsp. vegetable oil to each mug.
Dip your cooled eggs into a mug. Lay it on a towel, and wipe it off.
Dip it into another color. Wipe dry again.
Use different layers of colors to create different effects.
The more you stir the water, the finer marbled the egg coloring will be.
Store eggs in fridge when not displayed
(although they say they never had them rot out of the fridge:)

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6

Painting Rocks For Kierra

This past weekend has marked the two months of missing our little Kierra. In one way, it seems like two years! My little human mind cannot fathom eternity, if two months here on earth have stretched this long! Friends have been so kind to us over the past few months. I’ve had plenty of things to do, and also time at home to remember and grieve and try to come to grips with our new life. Sometimes the lonesomesness and missing Kierra is so suffocating and final. I can also think of her with a peacefully feeling, though. A grand sense of freedom and release and happiness. Because she is truly free and living to her full potential right now. Her body is brand new and her spirit is released to be all she was created to be. As glorious as that is, the hard part is not knowing what that is like. Our little girl has changed and with it comes the earthly limitations on our mind that cannot grasp what she is really like now. Parents want to KNOW there children. They want to be in touch with their feelings and personality and likes and dislikes. I just can’t get my mind around what Kierra is like or what she is doing or experiencing right now. That hurts. It makes me feel shut out and lonely. I just can’t wait to meet her all over again..like a long awaited for, perfect birth. This time, we will ALL be brand new…and can love in a completion we can’t comprehend.

The other day, I had to clear my head, and Kobe needed fresh air, so we wandered down to the creek, and gathered some rocks.

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I washed them and layed on the kitchen window sill to dry. A few days later, Joanna, Crystal, and Alisha came over for the day. We were all in shock from the horrific accident that claimed the life of one of their friends.  It made us miss Kierra also, all over again.

I had just come across a great websight that explained how to crayon paint on wood, canvas, rocks, etc. So we popped the now dry rocks in the oven and  pulled out the crayons and made little memory rocks for Kierra.This was the result.

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I heated the rocks in the oven at about 200 degrees, then we drew on them with crayons. The crayons melted on the hot rocks and created a lovely kind of paint. We used water color paint and paint brushes to add more detail. Then I sprayed them with a clear sealer since I wanted to put them at her grave marker until we get a memorial stone for her.Kobe and I went over to the graveyard on a lovely spring day and placed them by her grave.

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You are my sunshine, SWEETHEART!

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fly happy, sweet one, on the wispiest of wings
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Praying For The Kuhn Family

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This lovely family is Joe and RoseAnn Kuhns.
They were in a tragic accident last night. It rained all day yesterday. A steady dripping rain. Last night their car lost control, and in an eternal instant, there was an awful crash.

Joe is in the hospital for observation. RoseAnn is in critical care in Lancaster General. Janna, 14, is in Hershey Hospital. ( she is standing on the far right in the back on their picture) Hershey has a Pediatric Trauma Center. I heard she was also in critical condition, but I do not know her status this morning. The other four children were not along.

Jennie, 11, went to be with Jesus.

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I did not get to know their family as well as i would like over the last two years since we were very busy taking care of Kierra. When we did make it to church, I would sit on the back bench beside Kierra and just watching Jennie’s exuberant, radiant smile flashing around was enough to cheer anyone up!

One of the first times i met RoseAnn, i immediately noticed the depth and kindness to her eyes. She asked me how she could specifically pray for me. She cared about people. Her and Joe can to visit us at the hospital when we were there with Kierra more then once. They drove a long way. RoseAnn is gentle radiance. Now she is in Critical Condition. Her family needs her so badly. She has a little three year old that is about Kierra’s age. She helped them be friends.

Please! Join me in prayer for all of them! Especially for her right now. I do not know the extent of her inguries, but she was in emergency surgery last night. Things like this are impossible to understand. There are no words, but God , who hears our hearts when words cannot be uttered, is bending His ear today!

3

The Wonderful Pottery Painting

Pottery Works. Lancaster City, PA.
Talk about a really great place to unleash creativity! Kate invited Kobe and I to go along with her and Katrina last week. We had so much fun! It was the first time for all of us, so we were in awe. :)
The shop itself is a delightful little space with lots of old fashioned character to it, mixed with bright lighting, shelves of unprinted pottery and high ceilings.
It took us awhile to decide what we wanted to paint. There were so many great options! Tea cups and waffle cone bowls and honey pots and serving bowls and piggy banks and crocks and soap dishes and countless other things. Even a tiny, delicate, adorable tea set!Then there was the big color choices to make. It was delightful!

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We had so much fun, painting, layering and stenciling. Katrina did a cup with a lid, Kate did two little tea bag holders, Kobe did a plate with a train fused onto it, and I did an icecream sundae dish. We had to leave them at the shop so they could be processed through the kiln.

Now today, Kate picked them up again. They turned out lovely. Kobe was so excited with his, he wanted to paint right away again, so I let him. The paint washes off super easy.
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The rubber band is to give his plate a bit of grip so it won’t slide off his desk. He just got this from a wonderful friend whose girls had outgrown it. He totally LOVES it!
My icecream dish came out looking very colorful and a bit amateur, but I love it! I made it especially for Steve and wrote ‘Big guys eat Big icecream’ on the side.
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Oh! Along with a stamp of a city skyline:) He’s a great mixture of ‘elk hunter lover’ and ‘city lover’ :)

After our fun time painting, we ladies went to Cafe 18 just down the street for a really great lunch. Kobe slurped his Naked Juice so fast I just about didn’t get any.
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I will totally be going to that wonderful little cafe again in the future, I hope. If you need a bit of spring cheer, go paint yourself a bright piece of pottery,and drink a refreshing Naked Mango Juice! It is totally worth it!
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This pottery painting would be a great project for kids in hospitals or wheelchairs also! Maybe someday I can make that dream come true…
Thanks, Kate! For taking us with you and opening my world to more possibilities and creativity! >

8

First Day Of Spring

In one way, the longer it goes without Our sweet Kierra here, the worse it gets. Sure, the raw emotion of parting and stroking that silky hair one last time and kissing her sweet tiny fingers is behind us.
But the hard part is…She DOES NOT COME HOME.
We miss her cuddles and smooches and nuzzles in our neck. Her loud happy ‘talking’ from her favorite spot in this tiny house…her bed. Her excited voice when she heard Nurse Jess setting up her spot for the night.
You know all the ‘firsts’ that come with a newborn? Well, there are so very many ‘firsts’ that come with death. The first trip without her. The first visit to Outback Steakhouse. The first time to have friends or family over and not have her here. The first time to church and the first time to town. The first overnight at a hotel where we hardly knew what to do with ourselves because there seemed ‘nothing to do’.
The first time to the park. Like today. On the First Day Of Spring.

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Sadie met Kobe and I at the park after we had picked up coffee at the cute, new little coffee shop down town. We had such a nice time. Talking about everything and jumping from subject to subject, chasing Kobe around, sliding and swinging, talking about Kierra. We all missed her.

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I showed Kobe what the ‘love you’ said and asked him if he knew what the last word said. He laid his head on my shoulder and grinned shyly and said, “Kierra”, in his little two year old voice. I was so proud of him:) he usually asks to write Kierra’s name every time I help him write his own.
I was really struggling with Kierra’s room and empty bed. It felt so hollow and not right. I know that is natural, because that’s what it IS. I almost hated going into her room because it was just so bare and lifeless.
Then Kobe broke his already wobbly crib the other week. We knew we had to figure something else out for his bed. A good friend gave me the great idea to let Kobe sleep in Kierra’s bed.
He absolutely LOVES it…and so do I. I can actually USE the bed again, and it helps soothe the Missing Kierra wound just a bit more.
He insisted on her teddy bears to be with him when he slept in it at first.

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So here’s another first. A sweet two year old in his sister’s bed.
There’s one first I just can’t wait for! The first glimpse of Heaven and Jesus and our sweet Darling Kierra!

3

Simple Strawberry N Cream Filled Crepes

To those of you who requested the crepe recipe. This post is especially for you. I am totally NOT a professional crepe expert, but I absolutely LOVE them, and making them is fun because they act different then any other kind of food. They are just so…crepey.

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So with no more ado…pull out your mixing bowl and nonstick skillet and let the fun begin.

1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla or lemon flavoring
2 T. melted butter
1 1/4 cups flour
1 T. Sugar
Pinch of salt

Mix all your ingredients together very well.

It works best to throw them into the blender so they get perfectly smooth, but since my blender is too difficult to unearth, I use an electric hand mixer.

Technically, you are suppose to refrigerate the batter for an hour, but I usually don’t have enough patience.

Heat your nonstick skillet (8 in. works great) over medium heat. Lightly grease it for the first crepe and occasionally while you fry up the rest.

Pour approx. 2 T. of batter into the center of the pan and quickly tilt the pan so it runs all over, evenly coating the bottom of your skillet.
I usually just do this by trial and error. Dash a pour of batter in, and keep in mind that the thinner your crepe, the better. You want enough batter to sufficiently cover the skillet without cracks and holes peeking through.

Cook until the top of your crepe appears dry and you can run a thin spatula ( I use a flexible, plastic frosting knife) under the crepe without breaking it. Flip the crepe over and cook 20 seconds or so longer.

Flip out onto wire rack…or plate. Allow to cool.
And yes, I always put mine in the fridge because I just can’t wait to eat them:)

When the crepes are cool, fill them with whipped cream and slices of sweet strawberries. I LOVE heavy whipping cream, beat to a lovely stiffness, but since I don’t always have it on hand, I improvise with bottled whip cream sometimes.

Oh! And if your first crepes don’t turn out, no worries! Crepe Scraps are even yummy! Who says they have to be perfectly round? :)
Keep trying…it WILL be worth it!

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6

Sunshine and Shadow

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It all began with this old tree outside my living room window. Amazing how God can use a twisted ugly old tree and humble pigeons to radiate His morning sunlight and reach a hurting heart.

It’s times like this that I wish I were a really good photographer and understand the concept of catching light and shadow, because that is what this is all about.

I was  cold as I watched the sun’s softness spread over the frozen countryside. I sat, huddled on our tiny loveseat, gazing at the little bit of open space surrounding the back of our house. It was the one space where I wasn’t distracted with buildings and houses and silos and stone quarry elevators. The old tree with Kobe’s borrowed baby swing and Kierra’s stretched hammock hanging in it. The remains of a bird feast were scattered black over the ground at it’s knobby trunk.

I felt so very empty inside. Like someone had carved a huge chunk out of my heart and closed the door and left the light off. I didn’t know how or what to feel. I didn’t know if that feeling of ‘nothing’ was even normal.

Then  I noticed the pigeons. Since pigeons are in the Dove family, I think it would be much more gracious to call them Doves. Regardless of the proper term, I will do just that :)

A plain, grey Dove was perched high in the ancient budding arms of that old tree.

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Her breast gleamed pink in the soft warming rays of the morning light.

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Her feathers were unruffled. Her bright eyes alert. She was basking in the glow of love, soaking up the warmth.

She was beautiful.

Quite different from her neighbor below her.

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Hidden in the chilly shadows of a slighter tree, shivering and buffeted by the bite of frost, sat another Dove.

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Her feathers were ruffled. Her legs shook with the strength it took to hold on. She sat among the buds of springtime also, but she sat in the shadows. No gentle bathing sunshine for this one!

I could nearly hear her thoughts running though her frozen brain.

I am cold.

But it doesn’t matter.

I have to be tough. I can take it.

I’ll let the higher branches for the other birds.

They deserve the warmth.

I wouldn’t want to spoil their morning view with poor little grey, shivering, ugly me.

I don’t belong up there. 

I don’t want to stick out

because i am afraid

and I am not good enough to sit up high

and enjoy the beautiful view

and warmth.

Yes, it’s best if i just sit down here and tough it out.

That poor Dove! She was so blinded by her own greyness.

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She had no concept of how BIG the tree was. How VAST the warm sun reached. How many empty branches were just WAITING to support her.

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As I sat and watched her shiver, I realized how much I was like her. So many people in life have faced so many harder things then we have. There is heartache and tears and sorrows that run deep grooves into places I have never been.

But this life is not about depths of pain. It’s about trusting God and choosing LIGHT in whatever type or level of pain you are experiencing right now. Give God your pain. Because it will kill your spirit with the weight of it. You were not made to bear it alone.

He found them in a desert land,and in the howling waste of a wilderness. He encircled him, He cared for him,and guarded him as the pupil of His eye. Deut. 32:10

The whole tree top is waiting for us, my friend. We have every right and privilege to go up there and bask in our Savior’s love. We do not deserve it, but oh, how

we NEED a Son of Light and warmth,

we NEED a Protector

we NEED a Savior

we NEED a Gentle Healer!

He is our Creator. Our Father. Our Jesus. Our God.

Our Friend.

The best thing we can do for ourselves and everyone around us is to achingly creak up there on freezing wings and perch on the warmest branch we can find, and let Him love us. Because when He loves us, it’s only then that we can really truly face life. Our hearts can begin to unthaw. Our numbness begin to tingle. Our blood begin to flow again.

Perhaps some cold huddled mass below us will have the courage to come perch with us, wrecks that we are, and bask in His light too.

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The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.