Friday, January 25, 2013

Project Pictures

Jen just sent these pictures of the things I made for the kids:
Kiara is wearing her apron and holding two of the super soft balls I made for Max (and her).  The burp cloths are laying next to her - they have cute cotton fabric on one side and chenille on the other.  The ABC fabric is the tub side mat - it has foam in it for Mommy to kneel on and it flops over the side of the tub with pockets to put baby wash and shampoo in.  The little green thing with legs is just a soft cotton toy for Max to grab and chew on.  Kiara asked if it was a crab, a jellyfish or a spider?  Too funny.
 This is the first apron I made for her, in the smallest size.  The one she has on is the same pattern just the next size up.
Here is Max's quilt . . . . . with Max on it!!!!  Oh!  It is so much cuter with him on it!  My, he looks tiny!

Oh how I wish I was there to snuggle in between them!  Just adorable!
I still need to make a label for the quilt.  I sent it off just hours before he was born.  You know, he wasn't coming out until I got that quilt done and in the mail!  Sorry I made you wait 3 days past his due date, Jen!  LOL
Max David Fahmy
January 7, 2013
10:28 am
8 lbs 3 oz, 20.5 inches
Big sister
Kiara Marie Fahmy

Michigan to Texas?

So, how did a Michigan farm girl wind up in the middle of Texas?
I'll start with January 1981.  It was not starting out as a very good year.  The factory where I had been working for 4 years was having trouble staying afloat.  They would work us a few days and lay us off for a week or so.  The outlook for the whole state was looking pretty bleak. 
A friend I worked with (Velda) had been talking with her aunt that lived in El Paso, Texas.  Her aunt said that there were all kinds of jobs in El Paso.  "Pack up and come stay with us!"  So Velda and I came up with a plan.  She would sell her car and fly to El Paso and check out the job market, then I would drive out there so that we would have a car, until she could get another one.  (I didn't say it was a great plan!)  By the first of February the plan was set in motion.  Velda sold her car and flew to El Paso.  For 2 weeks she hunted for a job.  The plan was not quite working as drawn in our heads!  Our idea of "all kinds" of jobs and Velda's aunt's idea seemed to differ . . . . . . a bit.  So!  New plan!  At that time you could buy a Houston or Dallas Sunday newspaper in Michigan for about $5.00.  It was worth it though because the "want adds" were huge!!!!!!!  There were "millions" of jobs that I could do.  (eye roll)  No really - that's what I thought!  Ok, then . . . . the "NEW" plan - I would drive to Dallas or Houston; get a motel room; Velda would fly in from El Paso and we would get a job and find an apartment and go from there.  See - simple.  Won't take long if you say it fast!  I'm not sure how or why we decided on Houston, but we did so that's where I was going!  Side note:  I was 23 years old, born and raised on a farm in the thumb of Michigan (about 80 miles north of Detroit).  The biggest city that I would frequent was Port Huron.  Which at the time did NOT even have a mall.  In these 23 years I had never lived more than 30 miles from my family.  And, as I look back, I was not the brightest bulb in the box!
On with the trip.  February 18, 1981, I packed my little 1976 Mustang, Cobra II with my worldly possessions and off I went.  Mom was not thrilled, but glad I was trying but I think Dad didn't like it at all.  He didn't say anything to me about it until years later, but said he worried because I could get lost going to town!  (We lived 4 miles, straight shot, from town.)  He liked to tease, but really was worried.
Not to worry!  I had gone to AAA and pretended to know what I was doing (like I was a member) and had them map out my trip with a handy little "trip tick" they called it, with my route highlighted.  I was good to go!
Mom made me promise I would be off the road by dark and call as soon as I was settled in a room every night.  No problem.  First night I was barely out of Ohio.  Second night I was in West Memphis, Arkansas.  During this check-in Mom told me that she had talked to my Aunt Jenny and that Jenny told her that my cousin, Vince, lived somewhere near Houston.  (You know how crazy that sounds to me now?  Now that I know what Houston looks like?  Now that I know that Houston actually starts about Conroe and extends nearly to Galveston!?) 
Webster to be exact.  Any way, they thought that I should have Vince's number in case I could make it by to see him while I was there.  Cool!  I hadn't seen Vince in years!  It would be wonderful to stop by for a visit.  Why back when we were in 5th and 6th grade, he and his family lived just a few miles from me for a year while his dad (a career military man) was in Viet Nam.  We were buds!  (Some great stories there!  Later)  So, after talking to Mom, I called Vince.  (Don't remember the exact conversation now, but it was something like this . . . . . .)  Me:  "Surprise!  It's cousin Kath!  I'm going to be coming into Houston this weekend and Aunt Jenny said that you lived somewhere near, so I thought we might get together for a visit."
Vince:  "Hi!  Ah. . . . you're where?
Me:  "Well, right now I'm in Arkansas, but should be getting into Houston tomorrow."
Vince:  (Still not sure he is hearing me right)  "And you are coming to Houston for . . . . . "
Me:  "To work, to live!  I'm moving there!"
Vince:  "You have a job and a place to stay?"
Me:  "Well, no.  Not yet, but I will.
Anyway, I told him "the plan" and looking back I'm thinking he must have thought, "My dear Lord!  She must be on drugs!"  "My dear cousin has lost her mind!"  But he calmly told me that I should go right on through Houston to Webster and don't stop till I get there.  He gave me all the needed information to get to the apartment complex where he lived and I went happily to sleep.
Day 3 . . . . . . . WAS A NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What.  In.  The.  World.  Was.  I.  Thinking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Arkansas was not a problem, but when I got to Texarkana, it turned to crap quick!  32 years ago the expressway system was a little rough.  There was no smooth transition from I40 to Hwy 59.  You had to hunt and search!!!!!!!
Ok - found Hwy 59 south to Houston.  Whew!
Now, somewhere between Texarkana and Houston, I needed gas.  Looking, looking, looking, ooooohhh, looking, OK!  There's one.  There I am, pumping gas, and here comes the station attendant (they still have those?  even then?)  Attendant:  Hi there!  Need some help?
Me:  Hi!  No thanks!  I got it.
Attendant continues to get closer.  I mean closer!  "Are you sure you wouldn't like some help?
OH CRAP!  I look around and there is no one around!  I mean NO ONE!  "Ummm, no really, I got it."  Then he touched me!  YIIIKKKEEs!  That's it!  I handed him the money and the gas hose, put the cap on and hauled butt!!!!!!!!!!!!  I was almost hysterical!!!!!!  A few miles down the road, actually probably almost a hour down the road, I realized in my hurry to get out of there, I took the wrong road!  Again I was almost hysterical.  Ok, OK just get the map out and get your head on straight.  I found my way back to 59, thankfully without having to go back by that gas station! 
All calmed down now and just ready to BE THERE!  Just about dark and I see a sign that says "Houston Intercontinental Airport".  "Cool", I thought, "that's where I can pick up Velda!  I'm here!"  WRONG!  It's over an hour before I see a sign that says "Houston City Limit".  CRAP!  Traffic flying around me like the Indianapolis 500!!  Then there it is!  In all it's lights and towering skyscraper glory!  Downtown Houston!  WOW!  How cool is that!?  Honk, Honk!!!!!  Whoa!  Sorry!

Ok, Ok 45 south, ok, got it.
Eldorado Blvd. exit - great!  got it!  Wait!  What do I do now?  Where's the road?  Is this it? or is that it?  CRAAAAPPP!  Don't honk at me!  I'm lost!  Ok, ok, just pull into this mall.  Crap!  I wish it wasn't dark!  Pay phone, good, I'll just call Vince.  Shoot!  how many of these numbers do I dial?  Is it a local call or long distance?  CRAP!  Third try - ring, ring, "Vince!  I'm at a BIG mall, I can't find the road!  Get back on what?  The feeder?  What's that?  Oh - ok, I think.  Go to the overpass and come back on the other side and take a right.  Ok - got it. I think."
There it is, Eldorado Apartments, now to find number 911.  What the heck?  How many buildings are there in here?  The biggest apartment complex I've ever seen only had 4 apartments in it!  How in the world am I going to find #911!  I'll just have to park the car and walk around.  There's 5 or 6 guys on a balcony, I'll ask them.  "Excuse me.  Could you tell me where apartment number 911 is?"
"Would you settle for 909?"  "No, thanks"  I'll just keep walking - I must be close.  Now I'm walking in between the buildings, it's dark, I can't read the apartment numbers, I'm scared, tired and really feeling I screwed up beyond repair and I hear, "You looking for me?"  I look up and at the top of the stairs was a tall, slim good looking young man with a beard.  I was just about to say, "No!  I'm not looking for you!"  But instead I said, "Vince?"  Oh My Goodness!  I found him!  Praise the Lord! I couldn't even make it all the way up the steps!  I sat down and started, wait scratch that, continued to cry and he came down to give me a hug!
And there, my friends, is where my life as a Texan began.

Over these 32 years, most of the trials and rough spots have faded but I will forever and always remember that Friday evening in February, 1981 when God sent an angel to save this Michigan farm girl from being swallowed up by the big city of Houston, Texas!!
God bless you my dear Vince!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Me - Today

I guess while I'm updating, I should update my profile picture too.  That's right.  You got it.  That's me.  Today.  Just how you would find me if you were to drive up right now.  No make up, hair a fright, sloppy clothes, sitting in front of this silly computer!  LOL  But absolutely loving life and in absolute awe of our Heavenly Father for the multitude of wonderful blessing he bestows on me every day!  I am so undeserving, but yet every day he blesses me and every day he loves me!  Praise the Lord!

I thought that today I would show a few little things I have made recently.  One being a sweet little baby quilt for my dear little Max. 

Also in the care package were a few helpful items for Mommy. Burp cloths, pacifier clips, bib clips, a nursing cover and a bath tub mat.  But I can't find the picture I took of all of this.  Maybe I can get Jan and Jen to snap a couple of pictures for me.
I should have known better than to try organizing my pictures!  I just spent most of the afternoon making folders and moving pictures around.  I guess if I've only lost a couple I did pretty good.
Here's a close up of one of the blocks in the above quilt.  Sweet!  Just like Max!
This sweet little set, quilt and crib side storage, I made for good friends of ours that are new Grandparents.  Bless their hearts, the baby was born in August and I had this finished in September and it's still sitting here on the table.  I hope I get it to them before she outgrows a crib!
Well, I suppose that will have to do for today.  I have a story in mind for you tomorrow about how this Yankee happened to wind up here in Texas.  So have a blessed evening and I'll see ya later!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Whoa!!!!!!  That was some vacation!  I forgot to come back for over 2 years!  That's crazy!  Well, I'm going to give a go again - see if I can do a little better.

This is due, in part, to Jane over at Jane's Fabric and Quilts blog.  She is doing an embroidery blog hop and has inspired me to blog about the things I love most to do!

But I also want to blog about some of my favorite people - family.

Since it's been so long, it would probably be best to, almost, start over.  But I think just a little splash of info from here and there will do.  Let's start with most recent happenings and work backwards . . . . . . . kinda . . . . . . .

My dear sweet Niece Jennifer and her husband Claudio had a sweet baby girl, Kiara Marie on July 10, 2009.  This picture was actually taken in September of 2010.

This one was taken this past summer - Kiara is kissing her baby brother, Max!  To bad the whole picture doesn't show - Kiara has her lady-bug dress and wings on and she is on her tippy toes to kiss Max.  Too cute!

Here she is holding little brother Max! She is now 3 and loving being a big sister!

Max arrived on January 7, 2013, weighing 8lbs, 3oz. and was 20 1/2 inches long.  He is one week old here and such a good baby!  That's what Gramma and Mommy said anyway!

Now for other baby news.  Back to 2009 . . . . another one of my sweet nieces also brought a bundle of joy into this world.
Amanda, too, had a July baby . . . . Jamal.
Don't be alarmed!  He did not arrive that size!  I just don't have any newborn pictures of him.  LOL
Isn't he a cutie pie?  He's 9 months old here.
Taken - June 2011 - still naked! Still a cutie pie!
Also taken June 2011 - this is Jamal's brother Andre (front) and their Uncle Jerry behind him.  These all belong to my youngest brother, Paul.
This is Paul at his 30 year class reunion - 2011
Amanda is his adorable oldest
Andre and Jamal are hers.
His second child is Leah, who lives in California and is a sweet young woman with no kids as of yet.  (But she does have a Pug - Bella)
And his youngest!  Jerry Lee Elston.  Named after his Grandpa!  They are all growing way to fast!  It would be bad enough if I saw them every day - but seeing them only once a year . . . . . . . STINKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This was taken just this past summer at Jamal's 3rd birthday party at a park in Marlette.  My handsome little guys!

Wait, wait!  Don't go anywhere!  I'm not done!  I have 3 more Nephews and 2 more Great Nephews!  Hang on . . . . . these 5 are alot harder to get pictures of! 
Let me hunt a minute . . . . .Ok . . . here we go:

Put a little food out and they will not even notice you are taking pictures!  HeHeHe
From left to right:  Jason, Arend, Lee, Kim and Paul. 
Ok - Jason is Jennifer's brother and they both belong to my sister Jan.  Arend is my oldest brother's youngest son.  Lee is my oldest brother.  Kim is Jason and Jennifer's dad and of course, Paul is my youngest brother.  Got it?  No?  Not sure I do either, but anyway - a great bunch of guys!
This is Jan (left) and my sister-in-law Florence (Lee's wife)
This is the hard one to catch with a camera - second from left - Garrick.  He is Arend's older brother. (Lee's oldest son)  He's a school teacher by day, but nights, weekends and nearly 24/7 in the summer he's a farmer!  He and his dad (Lee) work, over 300 acres that are 100% certified organic.  Owner/Operators of "Elston Organics".  Lee's wife Florence and their younger son Arend also put a lot of "blood, sweat and tears" into the farm as well, but Lee and Garrick live and breath it!

Now for my other two wonderful Great Nephews.  These two boys are amazing!  They belong to Jason and Diana:  Jason and Cole

This was Jason's 13th birthday - October 2011.  He is an amazing and Godly young man!  I just wish everyone I know could meet him and visit with him.

And this is our little Cole
God bless our little angel!  He has been examined and tested and poked and looked at by every specialist we can find.  No one can give a clear, complete diagnosis.  Jason and Diana and little Jason all do everything in their power for him and a whole lot of praying.  Your prayers are always welcome too, of course.

Little Cole has the sweetest most angelic face, ever!  This is Diana, Cole's Mom.  A wonderful, loving woman.  Strong in so many ways!  Spiritually, emotionally and believe it or not, physically when it comes to taking care of Cole.  She is a tiny little thing and can not open a jar of pickles for anything!  But seems to handle Cole with ease.  God gives you strength when and were you need it!  Praise the Lord!

Of course my dear Jason does his part too.  There is no doubt about it, Cole is well cared for and loved very, very much!


Just to clarify a little; this is "us":  Lee, Jan, Kathleen and Paul.  All those kids above . . . . . are theirs!  No - they are all mine too!  I love them all!  Each and every one!  I'm just "Crazy Ol Aunt Kath"  or "Crazy Ol Great Aunt Kath"!  Just the way I like it!

Well, thanks for letting me go on about my Michigan family!  I sure do miss them, but taking this little walk down memory lane with you introducing them all too you has really been fun!  For me anyway!  I hope you enjoyed meeting them.

I'm going to try to pop in here more often with tid bits of family and a few of my creations too.  So come on back now!  Ya hear?