Charisma’s Gold Star

LOL! I have had some gold star parenting moments…and some not so Gold Star moments.

Well I have not updated you recently so much on my thoughts, raising kids and that sort of progress. So it’s time. So many things have happened this summer. It’s been full of challenges & triumphs. It’s been good. I feel like I am back to my self. I have calmed down…I think most of that is due to the fact that I took myself out of a toxic environment. It was church…which is sad to say…but there was a family there that couldn’t just let things heal. Now our pastors are leaving….so we feel comfortable with our choices.

The boys worked all summer….So we had lots of in & outs. Which has been different. 2 drivers. So I have been chauffeuring less.

I have been working less…..but still more than a normal person who works 8 hours a day. I don’t know that, that will ever be possible for me. For many reasons. So I have managed to get a lot of hand stitching done…and Clarissa and I have watched a few series of programs. Our current fave is Gilmore Girls. There is no way we will finish the series before she starts school in a week. So I will have to figure something out about that…because we  are watching them on DVD’s from Netflix. But at about 9 each night we get comfy on the couch and watch. It’s good time. Roo & I have spent a lot of the summer together.  She is in an awkward stage and there have been times over the summer where she drives me crazy. I feel bad about that. But it’s because she is controlling and thinks she is the mom. So I get annoyed….and I have to correct her. Then she gets annoyed with me. She is a cook and also has decided to critique my cooking…..Did you put enough garlic in that? What is in this? Maybe you should have added this? Seriously? I have to take this from an 11 year old?  I try to brush it off…..but sometimes I just want to tell her to take over and make dinner for everyone. But I am the adult…so I just move on….mostly. LOL I can see the teen years are going to be fun. But I think she is solid in many ways…so it may not be as rough as I might think? Who knows?

When the kids started seeing the progress from the garden…they were pretty amazed. In fact one day Preston & I were working at picking beans & tomatoes and he said”Mom I really have to give it to you…This garden idea worked out really well. At first I thought it was just going to be one of those crazy ideas you come up with and they don’t ever happen.”


Seriously! How do I respond to that???

SO I said “why would you say that? I am offended” I said it in a blatantly dramatic way…so I didn’t hurt his feelings. He said “Well mom don’t you ever think that there is something us kids can’t do?” I said “No, I believe with hard work & practice you all can do whatever you want”

He said “Well Sorry mom….I just thought this was gong to be a flop…but you proved me wrong.” LOL

Wow! The vote of confidence is just great in my kids! I guess the good part is that they helped me put it together before telling me. He waited until after the goal was met. It’s a good thing I don’t rely on them for my confidence all of the time.  I am glad that that i could teach them these lessons before they were married. Gotta find the silver lining, right?

Carl has been hanging out with his friends very regularly. For a child with social anxiety…this is great progress. He had a long board accident ( nothing serious) a few weeks ago and I saw his body. I had to put cream on his wounds and bandage them up.  Which was eye opening. This poor kid is so self conscience that he has been suffering with cystic bacne and not telling anyone. I was kind of in shock…none of us have had that before and he already has scarring. So I am going to work on doing something for that. I know that some of those were so painful and he doesn’t complain. I try to explain to him on so many occasions that he can communicate to us when something is happening so he can have the same comfort that all of us have….but I think he is just so thoughtful, at his own expense, he really doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone. That truly bothers me. SO Rob had a talk with him about that.

Bryce has had the same girlfriend all summer. I limit their time together because I think at this age they don’t need to spend every waking moment together. I think they need to have healthy relationships with friends as well. It’s a struggle I have to say. Bryce has a pool of friend to choose from. So he is working at managing his schedule. He is still not managing his money as well as I think he should. But he is paying his bills… I can’t really complain as far as that goes. At least he is paying his bills. he had one session of senior pics taken…we are going to get some hometown photos taken.

Cole has a NOT girlfriend. It’s a funny thing…in the conventional sense she is his girlfriend. But she is not allowed to date. So they are just friends. Her dad is actually Bryce & Cole’s boss at the pool. She comes from a nice family. THANK GOD! Cole is my 4th child. I have had such bad experiences with parents on the other side of boyfriend/girlfriend relationships……. You have all heard of the church family Jeri is with….they are in leadership at church let her live at the house basically….even when they know the kids are engaging in “activity”. It has been disheartening. It’s just so shocking to me that there are parents that don’t value their kids as much as I do. I think kids will do what they want…but I also don’t think that you don’t make it easy for then to engage in bad stuff. I won’t ever hand my kids a bottle of booze and let them drink in front of me. I don’t care what rationale people use. It’s just not going to happen. Bryce has had a few relationships and the parents were good…..just more lenient than I think they should be for sure.

Well Cole is a responsible kid. Get’s straight A’s. always dresses nice. Works hard. Makes good choices. IN fact this summer has been difficult for him because the friends he has had his whole life are engaging in things he doesn’t want to be a part of. SO divorcing friends is always a difficult time….and especially halfway through high school. The only person he hangs out with is his girlfriend. So when I tell him he can’t hang out with a girl that much he takes it as a punishment. I am punishing him because he doesn’t have anyone else to hang out with. I understand where he is coming from…but I don’t want them getting so attached they can’t form relationships with anyone else. So I decided to call her parents a few nights ago .


I have to say I was honestly relieved to find out they were feeling the same way. Their daughter is going through the same exact things. Good student, very responsible. Doesn’t have any girl friends to hang out with. So we have the same rules in each house. They are not to be alone at all. They have strict time lines and limited days. They have been struggling with the same exact issues we have….and didn’t know what the balance was. Can I just tell you what a relief it is to have good parents on the other end of the line?  Not only that when Cole showed up at their house they had an open honest discussion with both of the kids. We do that with our kids all of the time……..but I feel not many parents do that. They opened up to Cole and told him how they feel and told their story of how they met ect.

Cole came home and asked if we could talk.  He told me he heard what I had said and that he just wanted to express to me how much he loved me. He told me I was a really good mom and he cried as he said it…that he appreciates how much I care for him. That even though I nag at him and I annoy him by always checking up and talking to him..he hears my voice in his inner ear telling him when things are right or wrong. He knows I will always go the extra mile. I am never going to just let things go. I blubbered. He hugged me several times…and tried to gather his thoughts enough to tell me how much he appreciates the things I do for him.

I explained to him that I white knuckle it most of the time….while parenting. I am so paranoid and scared of doing the wrong things. I didn’t have good parents…so I always think my gauge is off. SO I try to go above & beyond to compensate for that.    Communication is really key in these situations..and I am just thankful he chose a good girl from a good family so this could be the situation. I compared it to Jeri’s situation and the sinful family. How progress can’t be made until humility & communication can happen. These parents admit that they are in the same boat…trying to figure it all out. If we can work together we will have better success.  Which is to the betterment of our children. I never claim to have all of the answers…but I am willing to work as a team. That’s what it takes.

So I get a gold star.

Last year when all of this bad stuff was swirling..I was lost. I felt like a terrible parent. I could see what was happening and I was helpless and felt out of control. I am not in control. But it’s so difficult to see something that you can do nothing about. Our daughter is gone. Out of our lives. She has a new family and that’s ok. Rob and I have discussed several scenarios ..several times. We are in a stage of acceptance. But when I see the progress our other kids are making and using her as a bad example…..of what not to do. Well I guess she served a purpose in our family. They know all of the things not to do. We have seen her in passing several times. She treats us like strangers. When she does stop to talk..she only talks about herself because she is scary narcissistic. Many people with her disorder end up in prison because of that……and I guess time will tell. But I feel good knowing that it won’t have been us that fed her evil. I guess it’s kind of like one of those things…’s good to get the painful part over with so you can move on & learn. I will never understand crazy…and I am not meant to. So I have to leave it behind. I think we are finally in that place.

We have 5 good kids that are growing…maturing and all of those good things we have instilled in them is coming to fruition. Not only that but some of them can articulate that and they are seeing why we do what we do. That’s the good stuff. It truly is. All of those times I had to hang on with everything in me to prove to Bryce that I was in his corner. I just knew that is what he needed from me. Cole needs me to tell him he is noticed….and that he is valuable and worthy. I have to physically speak it into him so he can believe it. Bryce i just have to give him the look and the thumbs up when nobody is looking. I know how they each operate. With Carl I have to give him his comfortable distance. Preston…Preston just likes to be near me..and he wants me to trust him. Clarissa is much the same….but she also wants to take over my life. I am the same as her…..I remember thinking that with my own Mother. But My mom was crazy…so she needed a cruise director. Rob &  I can mange this ship just fine..without her help. LOL

So Over all 5 out of 6 so far……I am right on track. I get a gold star for now. This has been an eye opening summer. It’s like getting a glimpse into the futures of my kids. Knowing what they will struggle with….what will make them stumble & fall. Knowing that I can’t help them and I have to trust them. Some of them more than others. This parenting thing is so humbling. I realize why not everyone gets or understands this gift. It sure grows me up! LOL

This season in my life is more than half over……and I feel good that anything that comes my way–> I will have all of the necessary tools. If I can be a gold star parent…well then I can rest easy.









I have been thinking about this creativity thing for the last week.

I don’t know how to explain to anyone why I decide what design to put in a section of a quilt. Or why something comes to me in the middle of the night…it won’t let me sleep and I will have to get up & write it down or test it out before I can get back to sleep. It’s like the OCD for an artist. Truly…it’s a compulsive thing. It just captures me and it won’t release until I act on it.

When I get an idea I *want* to try it consumes me. I do think there are some components of OCD that I do have…because I get that way sometimes when I am avoiding something I should be doing like paying bills…or balancing my checking account. But not in the same way I get with creating.  In fact if there is an idea that pops into my head…it will make me act on it when I should be doing something else….there is a hierarchy to that part of me.

I read up on different theories of Creativity. Traits that creative people have ect. I love this quote by Steve Jobs:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

This is exactly how I feel when people ask me how I decide to put these things together. It’s a combination of many things. My experiences, what I have seen, what I have done…timing. Timing is a HUGE thing. I also attribute a lot of it to divine inspiration. I know who my creator is and I know he blessed me with this talents and he guides me along the way.  Whenever I listen to that little’s always a winner. Seriously.
How do you explain that combination of things? I think many times if I wasn’t on deadlines ->I could create more art…….but that is the plight of a paid artist, right?
Sometimes my own quilt tops don’t get quilted for years….yes. Sometimes it’s due to time. Sometimes it’s due to the fact that I am stumped…and I need time. Time to study it. Or time to gain new experiences. Time to learn new techniques…..and then all of a sudden a quilt top that has been sitting in my bin for years will pop into my head. I will then be like a dog with a bone. It won’t get out of my thoughts until I actually quilt it. I will think to myself…”why didn’t you do this sooner? ….What took you so long?”
But the truth is it always happens in the right timing. I think quilts are such an expression of soul. I also think they tell us who they belong to. Whether it’s an everyday loved quilt, wall-hanging or one of those art pieces.   So naturally sometimes the creative process will take some time….other times it will just spark right away.
 My process is going to be different than someone else. My brain works differently…I link things all of the time and I day dream all of the time. I have no idea how I grab this idea or that-> from the million things that swirl all of the time. I know some people are minimalists…….I can’t do that even if I try. I like to be inundated with inspiration all of the time.
With my cooking I love tons of flavor. From spicy to salty….to sweet. Seriously….every time I want an assault on my taste buds. There is a joke when people ask me if something is to spicy…..I am a bad judge of that. What is too rich when eating a dessert?
When I want to smell something….I again like strong scents. I know many people don’t like that…but I do. I like burning candles. Perfume. lotions. laundry softener. I love the smell of spices & baking. Flowers. so many beautiful things.
I can associate smell with so many memories. Good & bad. I can remember the smell of Haiti. It’s so distinguishable. I love the smell of lilacs because they remind me of Grandma Nay. Those things make my life so rich.
I am the same with color. There is not 1 color that I don’t like. But I would hate for my world to be blank, black & white or without color. It’s not even imaginable to me. I love color. I love color theory classes. I love to experiment. It’s just a beautiful thing.
Textures……this is a funny thing. I love quilting in textures..I love mixing & matching different patterns. I think the quilts that always catch my eye are the ones that don’t have a place for the eye to rest. I know, it doesn’t make sense right? I know it’s necessary sometimes. I know that…I seriously do. But when I am in my element….and the ones that I just adore are all of those wild & crazy quilts with no eye rest. I love looking at each space and seeing something full-on….brilliantly shining in it’s glory. I know some can’t understand that and don’t like it……but that’s because those quilts are an assault on my senses…and I love that!
I have come to realize that my working space is never going to be clean & simple lines. It’s never going to look like anybody else’s. It’s a reflection of me. It’s crazy, disjointed & doesn’t make sense. It’s not supposed to. I don’t make sense. I have to have an assault on my senses to catch me off guard. Otherwise I won’t be inspired.
Its’ a funny thing……even with my body. Are you one of those people that likes to shower with the door closed so the steam fills up the bathroom and stays warm. Then when you turn off the water & grab your towel you try to stay as warm as possible?
I am not that person. My son and I talked about this years ago because he is the same way. We don’t do that. I open the shower curtain right away so I have that blast of cold hair to heighten my senses. I seriously do. I also love crawling into bed with cool sheets. It doesn’t bother me…I like the refreshing feeling. It’s like riding a roller coaster….or something.  There is something in that blast of contrast that makes your body react. Some people are scared of that…..they don’t like the change. I like the change….because my internal workings will take over in such a short time….then everything goes back to normal. That little shock makes me feel alive.
That’s how my brain works. I can do my everyday work…then a creative light bulb will pop up and it takes over for a short time. I have to act on it. Once I act  on it will dim again and I have to wait for the next zap of electricity. So I wait. I live for those moments. I truly do.
Then what happens is that last light-bulb moment gets added to the catalog of past creative moments. I keep working within those until the next ones comes. Does that make sense? So each bulb was a creative moment…all worthy and valuable. I just have to keep using more electricity as the catalog builds.
Isn’t it funny the things that come to mind? See how I think? Some people might find this crazy…..I would say you haven’t seen crazy yet! LOL
Sometimes if we know how our mind & body works we can identify those things that make us who we are. Do we like that blast of energy? Do we like to stay comfortable?
 Do we know when we need to act or not? what makes us tick? Why are we attracted to certain things?  I think about these things all of the time. I have to know these things in order to push myself to greatness. Not greatness in BIG way. I mean greatness in Charisma’s way. My own self greatness. I know what I need to do to push myself sometimes.   That’s something good to know when you are human and you like creature comforts. Just ask all of my friends…..I won’t go camping. The thought of no electricity or running water and sleeping on the ground……Can’t really push myself to that. LOL But I can in other creative ways.
Have a great day!

2 more QOV

Faith asked me to quilt 2 more QOV for their Oregon group.

As you all know I always try to help with this effort because I support Military Efforts. Anything to help a person serving America is something we should all do regardless of our political views. They give up so much everyday for their country=US!


I quilt simple designs usually.  I am usually on time constraints…& also because I am just one person….:)

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This group works on quilts very regularly and they are pretty prolific….so I commend them for their dedication. I always try to help when I can. :)

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Thanks Faith! It’s always a pleasure working with you!


Hypnotic Stripes

Judy is a local quilter. This is our first time working together. I love her little quilt.



It took her awhile to collect all of the different stripes for this project……but each block is a different print of stripes. Then she cut them and pieced them back together to make this hypnotica type design. Pretty neat, right?


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So I quilted with an all over swirl to carry out the theme. This is going on my list of techniques to try. I already collect striped fabrics anyway….I just love them…but I know not everyone does because they are difficult to work with sometimes. But I just throw caution to the wind and let it go sometimes….and it works out lovely.


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Here’s the back:



Thanks Judy! It’s a pleasure working with you!

Baby Gorillas



Shelly sent this quilt …it used scraps from another project.

She makes lots of baby quilts…so I am thinking this is another one of those for the special babies coming to bless a new family.


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Therefore she is blessing them with a beautiful quilt.

I shipped it back yesterday! Have a great day Shelly! Always a pleasure working with you!