The Charming Tyrants

The Charming Tyrants

Good Words

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears and light for the way. - Anon

Thursday, December 29, 2011

December in Review

Well the month is almost over and so is this year.  I'll not be sad to see it go, not because it was an especially bad month or year but because it is better to look forward than to wallow in the past.

Anyway . . .

It has been a busy month.  The week before Christmas being the busiest of all as I'm sure many of you can attest too.  All in all it was a good Christmas, a good month.

The boys had fun running all over the christmas tree lot, "helping" us pick out the perfect tree.  HT  really wanted one like Charlie Brown's.

I found these two cars in the fridge one morning.
 Then I found this one the following day hiding in the stable.  Even Italian race cars worship the King.
HT had his Winter Program at pre-school.  Lasted a whole 7 minutes.  I know, right?!
 He sure was cute though and did his Mama proud.
 We came home and decorated Snoopy's doghouse . . . 4 times, thank you very much.
 Some of us are having fun.
Do I look like I'm having fun, or does that face say, "If you ever buy these again Auntie, you are doing the decorating, NOT me!"?
I've mentioned here before how this boy does love a bucket.  They do make the most fashionable head gear . . . for a two year old.
The Christmas eve service at church with the "impromptu" live nativity was really enjoyable and the kids had fun acting out the parts.

HT could hardly wait to dive into the presents on Christmas morning.
The boys got everything they could have asked for and more.  The only specific request made was for a treasure map.  So Papa sat down and drew one for HT and he had fun following it and finding where X marked the spot.  His treasure was a boxed set of Roald Dahl books and we have been reading James and the Giant Peach and he is loving it.
EM was content to play with his "marmol machine" as he calls it. For those of you who don't speak toddler, "marmol" means marble.  He also got several dump trucks or "dumb frucks" as he calls them, which can be quite amusing, unless you are walking into the store as he sees one and he starts telling you all about it in the loudest possible voice. "Wook mama, dumb fruck!"
And finally we feasted on roast lamb for Christmas dinner with my brother and his family.

Merry belated Christmas to you all and I pray that God will bless you and yours in the coming New Year!

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. 

Revelations 22:21

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tissue Holder Tutorial

I was going to link up this post with Sew and Tell Friday over at Amy's, but it's not friday, so you can decide if I'm really early for next friday or late for last friday.

Anyhoo. . .

Some of you may have noticed that I haven't written much of anything lately.  I've kinda been in a fog.  My house is a mess, we've eaten lots of junk food and I sometimes find myself wishing for the day to end.

Usually I find solace when I can be creative.  But even that has been hampered due to my limitations since the surgery.  I did however make these.

They were super simple and I have made more than a dozen and have sold some and given some away.  I wrote a pattern and made up over 60 kits to sell at one of our local quilt shops and was very pleased that all of the kits sold in less then a week.  They did so well in fact that they sold my samples too.

For all you fabric aficionados I used Hometown by Sweetwater for Moda, the denim weight cotton for the exterior and regular for the lining.

And for all you who would like to make one . . .

cut 1  6" x 7 1/2" denim weight cotton for exterior
cut 1  6" x 7 1/2" for lining
cut 2  6" pieces of decorative trim

1.  Lay fabric pieces right sides together and using 1/4" seam allowance stitch together short sides, remembering to back stitch at beginning and ending point.

2.  Turn right sides out, then press.

3.  Using matching thread, add decorative trim along sewn pressed edge.

4.  Mark the center of long sides.

5.  With lining face down, fold sewn edges toward center point, meeting in the middle.

6.  With a 1/4" seam allowance stitch in place, remembering to backstitch and beginning and ending point.

7.  Zig zag raw edges to finish.

8.  Turn right side out, insert tissues.

This makes a great little gift for a mom, a grandmother, an aunt, a sister, a friend or anyone else you can think of who might like one.

If you don't sew and would like to have one e-mail me and we can work something out.

Have a God blessed day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thankful Hodgepodge

I'm thankful for the hodgepodge today if for no other reason it gives me something to blog about since I have nothing else to blog about, so as long as you're here you might as well sit back, relax and read on.  You'll thank me later.

1.  Let's start with something controversial . . . dressing or stuffing?  What is it called at your house and what's included in your recipe . . . cornbread? oyster? sausage? chestnuts?

I won't be dressing the turkey with any stuffing this year, my sister is doing the cooking.  The only stuffed dressing I have made is the kind where I try to stuff my oversized self into my dressing every day.  I don't think you want my recipe for that.  And stuffing made with cornbread is just so wrong, so, so, wrong people.

2.  Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?

I try not to make comparisons, they always seem to come out badly with me on the short end of the stick.  And since we are being thankful today, I'm thankful for who I am.  Others  have told me that I am a lot like my mother and I'm okay with that.

3.  When were you last inside an airport?

August.  Visited the in-laws and had a wonderful time.  I am thankful to have such loving, accepting in-laws.

4.  What is one side dish that must absolutely be included in a turkey dinner?

Mashed potatoes and gravy.

5.  What Christmas song do you dread hearing?

The one with the dogs barking jingle bells.  I'm not really a dog person but am thankful that other people are, let them listen to them barking on the radio.

6.  If someone approaches you and asks for money do you give it to them?  Do you drop money "in a tin cup" that belongs to a person on the street?  Do you have a specific charity you support during the holiday season and/or year round?

Rarely, but my husband generally will.  Although I did give someone bus fare the other day.  I have been known to buy someone a sandwich or put gas in someones car tank and besides our regular giving to the church we have anonymously left presents on the door step of those in need during the holiday season.  We have been given so much and I am very grateful for what has been given.  I'm a big believer in paying it forward.

7.  Share a favorite Thanksgiving memory.  If you live in a country that doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving share a favorite memory associated with food.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and not because every so often it falls on my birthday as it does this year, but because it is about nothing more than giving thanks and I remember one such occasion when everyone was home.  I don't remember the gifts or the food or if there was cake in addition to the other desserts what I remember is the fellowship and the camaraderie between family and friends as we celebrated our blessings.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I read this today and was inspired to remember what I already have.  I won't repeat Sara's list here but wanted to add my thanks for/to my family and friends.

Your ever grateful servant,
Charming's Mama

 ". . . O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
Psalm 30:12

Thursday, November 17, 2011

PHFR - Kids Say the Darnedest Things

Over at Like Mother, Like Daughter they do a weekly link up party called, Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real.  The intent is to capture in words and/or pictures "the context of everyday life" or is it "contentment" anyway I have linked up with them once before and thought I would do so again today.


We had our first snow fall of the season two weeks ago, before the trees dropped all their leaves and it was really pretty.  Especially when the sun peeked through the clouds and made it all sparkly.  I was glad that it didn't last very long.  

But the boys took full advantage.


Sometimes it really is the simplest little things that make you happy, like finding a love note in post-it note form stuck the the computer screen yesterday morning.

A surprise play date with a friend.

A visit from your nephew before he moves to a foreign country.


So, funny story . . .  the other night we were sitting down to supper and HT asked about the menu when I put some chicken crispers in front of him, he inquired if they had bones in them.  His Auntie quickly assured him that they did not, then she asked him if he had bones in him, he assured her that he did and she continued with, "Are you sure?  Do you have bones here (pointing to his arm) and here (pointing to his hands) and what about here (grabbing his little finger)?"  

He felt each body part and assured her again that he did.  

Then in all seriousness he said, "I know somewhere that doesn't have any bones."  

"Really?" was her reply, "Where?"

That's when he told her his p***s,  didn't have any bones.  I am not going to spell out the word for you because I don't want any undesirables googling that word and landing on my blog but I will tell you that he was referring to his "daddy parts".

If those chicken crispers had had bones in them we would have all choked on them, trying to stifle our laughter.

Smart boy.  I felt it necessary as his mother to point out that his nose and his outer ears also do not have any bones in them.


This boy does love a bucket and it makes him very happy to dump the contents and run up and down the hallway with it on his head.

Even if it does make it difficult to get to ones nose.  He also has caused me more grey hair in his two short years, than his brother has in five.  He's the reason it has taken me all day to get this post written.

And I love him still.

round button chicken

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Say Cheese

I took the boys into Kiddie Kandids to get their pictures taken last month, (perhaps you noticed the new header) and they turned out fabulous, I just might be partial though but I think I have two of the handsomest boys on the planet and by far the most charming . . .


That's not the point of this post, well sort of . . .

I have bemoaned my struggles with making a photo collage with my severely lacking computer and software and can't really afford any fancy upgrades of photo editing software so I have had to make do with its limitations, which left me frustrated and discontent.

That was until one of my blogging buddies clued me in.

Have you heard about

It's free and easy to use.

So I have been making collages, lots of them, maybe you've noticed on a few of the last several posts.

See I told you they were handsome.

The free service is a little bit limiting as you can only upload 5 pictures at a time and there are only 12 basic collage layout to choose from but you can increase or decrease the spacing between your photos, change the shadow color, add rounded corners among other options, but once you are done you can save the collage to your hard drive, where you can then upload it to your blog or anyplace else you desire.

So yeah, give it a shot.

You too could make fabulous collages like these.

And just so you know picknik has no idea who I am or that I wrote this review,  I just like their service and thought I would share.  It's too good of a good thing not to share.

And before you holler at me about copyright infringement I bought the CD and the rights to publish the pictures.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

October in Review

I said in my last post that a lot had been going on here but that it wasn't very pleasant or very news worthy,  well I have changed my mind and I'm going to take a page out of my friend Sarah's book and do a recap of last month.  After all if I am blogging to remember I haven't done a very good job of keeping track this month of the minutia of our every day lives.

Sometimes I'm okay with that and sometimes as I see it all dripping down like water through a sieve, I feel so thirsty that I want to rush in with a bucket and gulp it all down before it's all gone.

Sometimes life happens and there's a hole in my bucket.

Sometimes it feels like I'm trying to carry it all one handed, like I've got one hand tied behind my back and I struggle with it all.

This time I kinda sorta do.

I injured my shoulder at the beginning of the month and had surgery on the 24th to repair a torn rotator cuff and remove some calcification on the bone.  It is now sore rather than being painful so I feel like it was a success.  You might expect me to be on pins and needles waiting for the surgeons and anesthesiologists bill to come.  I'm not really though, because truth be told I am at peace about the whole thing, God has provided for all our needs, far more than we could have hoped for or asked and I am in awe once again.

In the midst of all that, this happened.

And then God blessed us with this, for 1/3 of the asking price, low miles, good upholstery, newish tires and in good running order.  Can I get an "Amen"?

Besides celebrating the boys birthdays, we've carved pumpkins.

Been trick-or-treating.

Twice, once at Auntie's work and once with friends.

We had a fabulous time!

And like any good mother (NOT!) I forgot to bring along my camera, the kids candy buckets and something else, I have already forgotten again . . . hmmm . . so it must not have been too much of a big deal.

Oh yeah, it was the glow sticks.

Oh well, the kids didn't seem to mind.

I did take a few pictures with my cell phone.  Now if I could only figure out how to get them off the phone and onto this here blog.

Not to worry though I do have some pictures that I took when we went to Auntie's work.

Someone wasn't very happy about being woken up from his nap, forced to put on a dragon costume and get in the car although he was soon happy enough when he saw that there was candy to be had.

This fall weather has been as spectacular and as gorgeous as was our summer weather and we have really been enjoying it.

Oh, and in the news from September category, I got a job!

Yeah, me!  

A part-time job working for one of our local quilt shops and I have really been enjoying it.  However with my arm in a sling I haven't worked much this month and all my pending projects have been put on hold.  But I am itching to get back to it.

I am so grateful and so thankful for God's goodness and mercy raining down that my cup runneth over spilling all over the place and that my friend's is always (at least to me) news worthy.

"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever;
With my mouth will I make known
Your faithfulness to all generations."
Psalm 89:1

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scrap Happy

A lot has been going on here of late but not all of it is pleasant or even news worthy so instead of blogging about that I am joining Amy today for the semi-annual Bloggers' Quilt Festival.

The last few quilts I have made have a scrappy look and I am loving them, this latest one is a particular favorite, because the only fabric I had to purchase was the outside border and the backing.

I have mentioned here before that I participate in one of our local quilt shops free block clubs, this is one of those quilts.

Friday, October 7, 2011


Happy Birthday HT!

This boy turned five today and as you can see his little brother was as excited as he was.

This is a boy who sees an upside down smile, not as a frown, but as a rainbow.  I love his antics and his optimism.  I am truly blessed and so in love with this charming boy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Happy Birthday EM!

I have lots to say about this little guy, but it will have to wait for another day, but I couldn't let this day end without letting him know how much I love him, how much we all love him and his charming ways!

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Gift of Grace


The whole of christianity could be wrapped up in that one word, that one little word, that speaks so much to God.  About who He is and about how we were made to be and how our relationship with Him was meant to be.

We are reunited in Him by grace, through faith alone, in the gift of His son Jesus.  Through the sacrifice on the cross, the death and the resurrection.  The promise of salvation given.


A gift that is offered without fail.  One we can choose to accept, whether with gratitude or grudgingly.  It is offered freely still.  Because of the love of the Father for his children.

A gift, as christians, that we so often take for granted, one that we love to talk about and sing its praises.  It's like a warm fuzzy for the soul.  It's the feel good part of Christianity.  Something everyone wants.


Were it not for grace we would die in our sin and suffer the fate of our actions.  And there's the rub, the flip side of the coin, the reason we need grace, the reason we long for it, the reason our souls ache. The fall of mankind.


The reason we fall to our knees.  The reason we seek forgiveness.  At least we are supposed too.  What's forgiveness for without repentance?  To turn away from our sin.  But really, why do we only give lip service to the idea,  when our actions tell a different story?

Even in grace God calls for our obedience, while he does not condemn us like the woman at the well He tells us "go and sin no more".

Like children we rebel at being told we ought not do a thing, even when it is for our benefit to obey.  To protect us from harm, to keep us safe, to make us free.


We like to forget about that part, we make excuses for our less than stellar behavior.  "Everybody else is doing it.",  "A little can't hurt.",  "Where's the harm in it?",  "I just want to have a little fun."  "I can't help it."  Whatever "it" may be.  Justifying "it" any way we can.  We do it to make us feel better about ourselves.  Deception.  "A little white lie never hurts anybody." After all, "God made me this way."

Isn't that making God, who knows no sin, responsible for it?  We are wretched creatures.  We have taken this beautiful creation and condemned it to hell.


We say things like, "What does it matter?"  "I'm not hurting any one." We are forgetting about ourselves.  We are hurting ourselves.  Our souls ache.

But do we repent?  Not hardly, it seems we would rather seek solace in a bottle, or a needle, or someone else's bed.  "If it feels good, do it." the world tells us.  We try to find some other way to soothe the ache in our souls.

But there is only one way.  And we know it and we know what that is and we know how to get it.


Admitting our need for repentance and forgiveness means admitting that we are less than we think we ought to be.  Admitting that we are wrong. Admitting we need a savior.

Why are we so reluctant?  Why do we enslave our souls to resentment and bitterness?

Freedom is at our fingertips, we need only ask in faith believing.  Freedom from our sin.  Freedom to forgive and be forgiven.  Freedom to live a grace filled life.  Faithful.


To ask is to humble ourselves.  To ask is a choice we make to choose freedom over enslavement.  To turn from our ways.

It is to free ourselves, to let go of the past hurts and resentments, regardless of the actions of others.

We ask for Gods unmerited favor.


"For by grace you have been saved through faith, 
and that not of yourselves; 
it is the gift of God."
Ephesians 2:8

For more faith stories visit Michelle at Graceful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Fun Fair Day

Tomorrow is the official last day of summer.


It has been a really nice, really pleasant summer any way you look at it.  I don't think we got over 100 degrees but once or twice this time around and we have been known to have several days, weeks even, in a row of fried eggs cooking on the sidewalk kind of weather around here.

But not this year and we have been loving it.

To me the State Fair always says fall but there was still plenty of sunshine and things to do, things to see and things to eat in a manner of speaking.  Not that we did any of that mind you.

So when it came, HT and I made a play date with friends and away we went.

We bought a wristband for the rides for the boys and it was totally worth it.  Us moms got to sit on a bench in the shade most of the time and talk about stuff and such while the boys rode every ride they could.

There was a vendor there selling crabs with painted shells, the boys each wanted one for a pet and were busy trying to decide which one to bring home.  We did not however bring one home, that's just the kind of mom I am.

There were even seals putting on a show and for twenty or more dollars you could get your picture taken with them.

Yeah, didn't do that either.

Nor did we bring home a piglet.

Or a fish.

And just in case you were wondering how my entry for the state fair quilt challenge did, I got a second place ribbon.  They said that the challenge fabric got a little lost, because the background fabric was a bit too busy.  I got nailed for what I thought I could get away with and they overlooked what I thought I couldn't.  Go figure.

And no, I did not sign up for next year.

It came, we went and now there is nothing left but empty exhibit halls, vendor booths and food stands, trampled grass and the lingering aroma of cattle gone home.

The boys can't wait to do it again next year!