Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Drawing Finished!

The completed work before framing

If you've ever put something off you may understand the satisfaction I feel in completing a drawing I promised years and years ago.

After many years of putting it on the back burner and promising myself to get started "soon", I finally actually took the first step and began working on it in January of this year. I had a few false starts but the third time was the charm and after working on it for about 30 hours, I finally finished the drawing today.

I purchased two frames, one for each drawing that I did of my friend's two daughters. I had plans to meet this friend for dinner this evening and it was my goal to finish the drawing in time to give it to her tonight.

I wrapped it and gave it to her before dinner because I was so anxious that my stomach was tied in knots. I couldn't eat until I saw her reaction. Would she love it?

She was so surprised when she opened the box and saw what was inside! The tears flowed and I was gratified to see that my efforts were not in vain. What a blessing to be able to use a God-given gift to bless others. Thank you Lord for using me and help me to remain open to being used by You in the future!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Allllmost There!

The drawing I'm working on and the "hostage" drawing I did many years ago.

Isn't she adorable?

Have you ever procrastinated on a project?

I have, in a big way.

I promised a drawing to very dear friends of mine many, many years ago. Umm, how many you ask? Well, it pains me to admit that it's a baby photo and this "baby" just turned...

Do I have to tell?

All right, she just turned sixteen.

Yes, sixteen.

In my defense I was not given the photo until about ten years ago and soon after receiving the photo I gave birth to my third child and soon after that I went on the wild ride of an ovarian cancer diagnosis, hysterectomy and chemo treatments. Still, that's been ten years ago. In all reality, a cancer diagnosis only gets you a free pass for so long and I figure that ten years has got to be the limit, don't you?

I don't know why I was so paralyzed about creating this drawing. Have you ever hit a dry spell? I certainly did and I lived there for ten years! My friends were so gracious but it really bothered me that I was not fulfilling my promise to them.

Soooo, a few months ago I sat down at my drawing table and began drawing this beautiful baby. It took me a few tries, three to be exact but I think I've finally gotten it and I'm so close, so close that I can almost taste it.

I hope to finish up tomorrow, buy a beautiful frame to put the drawing in and give it to my very patient friend at dinner tomorrow night. Not only will she get this new drawing but I've held another drawing of another daughter hostage for many years while I waited to complete this project. I can't wait to see her face when I give her both drawings! Tomorrow's the big day, I just need to finish the final touches...

I can't wait!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Bullseye - Part 2!

Close up of the target. The upper left hole just barely ripped into the outer
bullseye circle which is why he got 58 points and not 57.
One more shot of his target, which he wants to frame!

His prize trophy. If you look closely, you can see 1st Place on the bottom left.

The boy and his trophy AND his brand new BB/Pellet gun that
he bought from me. It was to be mine but really, this boy needs
his own gun. I let him pay cash for half and the other half he has
to sweat off by working for his dad and I.

Like mother, like son they say. What?! They don't? Well they should!

Daniel and I went to the annual Kids' Day at our local Rod and Gun Club this morning. It was a chilly morning and the rain was pouring down so turnout was not as large as usual (we were told). However, those that showed up had a great time. This was our first attendance and we didn't know what to expect but it was a fun (if wet) morning.

They split everyone into three groups: 9 & 10 year olds, 11 & 12 year olds and 13 & 14 year olds. Daniel was in the youngest age group. We started with archery where he received a very respectable score of 23 out of 30. Not bad, considering his lack of practice but it wasn't good enough to get in the top three.

Then we moved on to the shotgun. They used a 20 gauge shotgun and the children were able to shoot at three clay pigeons shot in the air. Unfortunately, Daniel missed all three. One boy right next to us hit all three! We were impressed!

After our turn with the shotguns we moved into the clubhouse for lunch. It was nice and warm in there and we enjoyed the break. Then it was on to the final shooting competition, the 22 rifle.

Daniel waited in line and shot five rounds when it was his turn. He was instructed how to hold the gun, use the scope and fire. He looked very serious and I could tell he was really concentrating before each shot. His target was too far away to tell how he'd done so I was just hoping that he managed to hit the paper five times.

Imagine my surprise when he went to get his target after his group was done shooting and he returned with a very tight cluster of shots in and around the bullseye! :) He was SO excited. Out of a possible of 50 points he received 48. Wow! That's some shooting! He ended up winning the rifle competition and received a very nice trophy for his efforts.

Not only did he win a trophy but his name was pulled for a $10.00 door prize to a pizza place and they had generous gift bags for all who attended as well. I'm really impressed with this shooting range. We are considering becoming members there which I think would be a great idea. We'd have a good place to practice and we'd support the sport all at the same time.

I've got a new nickname for my boy now: Dead-Eye Dan!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Boys, Go-Karts and Mud!

My excited boy giving me two thumbs up!

Uh oh - better to stop before you get in too deep...

Big "J" saves the day!

Rescue mission almost complete!

Look out - you have entered the MUD zone!

We've got a go-kart and a ten year old son who's finally big enough to reach the gas pedal. Heh heh heh... Sounds like fun to me!

At long last permission was granted to get behind the driver's wheel and boy, did he have fun! I took a few photos of him riding by my mom's pond "next door" which is drying up for lack of rain. I guess it's a sad day for the geese and ducks but a great day for ripping it up in the mud with a go-kart. Daniel had a few difficulties negotiating the mud by the edge of the pond and got stuck until his cousin, big J, rescued him. Thanks Jared!

I consider the go-kart a win/win. It's got a seat belt and roll bars but yet goes fast enough to be a blast for young and old alike. Here's to many days of fun in the mud and (hopefully) a mom who doesn't get worked up over muddy boots/shoes/clothes/helmets and a boy who is growing up right in front of her eyes...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


My target from the 22 rifle.

Target from the pistol doing speed drills and shooting one handed

Target from the pistol shooting using both hands.
Note hole right in the middle of the black dot!

All three targets. I may have to frame them - ha ha!

Check it out. Take a look at those targets!

I'm sorry I didn't post sooner but as fellow blogger, Auntie Cake noted, it's hard to keep up with blogging in the spring. There's just too many other things to do.

The Women on Target class was a blast. I loved the rifles and I loved the pistols. I just plain loved the shooting! We split our class up into two groups with one group on the rifle range and the other on the pistol range. We worked closely with instructors who helped us learn how to load and shoot our firearms. After we had had time to work with and shoot a variety of firearms, we switched. I shot four different rifles (using 22 mag ammo) three with scopes and one without. I stayed inside my black bullseye rings until I used the gun without the scope, then I strayed above it a little bit. I have to confess that with the rifle barrel resting on a stack of sandbags and using a scope it made hitting the bullseye easy. Of course it didn't hurt that the targets were only about 15-20 yards away.

As much fun as it was to shoot the rifle, I liked firing the pistol even more. I was using a Ruger 2245 and it's a great handgun. I did have a few jamming issues where the cartridge was not fully ejected from the gun. Then I would have to remove the ammunition source, called a magazine, flip the gun upside down without pointing it at anyone, including myself, and remove the empty cartridge. Not the most fun thing to do (I'd rather shoot) but an important skill to learn. The instructors thought the pistol might have needed to be cleaned but it might have been my shooting technique. If you don't hold a pistol properly it can cause it to do that sort of thing.

Even so, my shots were pretty accurate. In fact, my instructors asked me if I'd done much shooting. When I told them no they said I had a great eye! Aw, shucks...

During our classtime it was mentioned that a husband and wife team in our area have an intense home defense training weekend about once a month. The waiting list to get into this class was supposed to be a year long so I decided to call them right away to get on the list. Guess what? They just added an additional training session the first weekend in June and they had room for me. It's an 18 hour course and very intense but they claim that when you're done, you will be very confident with your firearm and self defense in your home which is just what I want.

My dear husband and I drove down to meet the man in charge (a retired police officer) of the training and we liked him and were confident of his abilities. He let me handle his wife's guns so I could try out the different grips. It is mandatory to bring your own firearm to learn with and so that will be my next purchase. Actually, my next purchase will be a 22 pistol to practice with because the ammunition is so much cheaper but before June 5th I will have to find a 9mm pistol that I feel comfortable with.

I'm looking forward to getting a target set up on our hillside and practicing my shooting skills. Bullseye!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Women On Target

I tried something new tonight and attended a NRA Women on Target class at the local shooting range.

I don't have much experience with guns but I've been around hunters for my entire life. Now I'm married to a man who likes to hunt and you can bet that as soon as he's able my ten year old son will be carrying a gun as well. He goes out duck hunting and practice shooting with his dad already, so he's eager to "graduate" to the next level.

I've thought about taking this class for a while but had schedule conflicts when it was offered. Until now, that is. Two very nice men patiently explained how ammunition and guns work in very simple terms for the 15 or so women that attended. We had some really great discussion as well about our liberties and rights as U.S. citizens and not taking them for granted. The topic of self defense also came up which I think is so important. I want to learn how to handle a gun so that I'm not intimidated by it and so that I can gain enough proficiency to defend myself or my family if need be.

I realize that guns are a hot topic and to be honest my views have changed radically in the last twenty years. I used to think that they were dangerous (they can be) and that gun bills limiting access was good. Now I think that gun ownership is a right, protected by the second amendment of the constitution. I want to be able to bear arms if I choose to do so and I want that for my children as well.

Tonight's class was three hours long (it actually ran fifteen minutes over because we had such great discussion) and we meet again on Saturday for seven hours where we'll get out on the range and try out all the different guns they explained to us tonight. I'm excited (and a little nervous) to give it a try!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Time Flies While You're Having Fun!

Hey fellow bloggers!

Life in my corner of the world has been busy lately. What have I been up to?

1. Homeschooling

2. Parenting conference at our church by Paul David Tripp about the Heart of Parenting which was excellent!

3. Cleaning out my gardens around the house. I've got the front done but have the sides and back to do yet.

4. Cleaning out the garage. Long overdue.

5. Cleaning out the mechanical room which functions as our "basement" since our lower level is all finished off.

6. Cleaning my son's bedroom. Not a lot of fun but he and I persevered and the job is done. Hurrah!

7. Tuning up bicycles. I am not much of a mechanic but I can switch out seat posts, seats, mirrors, etc. and that's what I've been doing. The girls have been out but the rest of us are going tonight for our first family ride. It's a beautiful night and it should be fun.
8. Working on completing a drawing I promised to dear friends many years ago. It's coming along nicely and I hope to complete it by the end of the month. They've waited a long time and will be shocked to receive it. I hope they like it!

Next on my list is a Women on Target class I want to take. It's an instructional shooting clinic for women. I've grown up in a hunting family but never went hunting myself. I still don't want to go hunting but I'd like to learn how to use a firearm. My dear husband is a hunter so he's all for it. That's on Wednesday night and Saturday morning.

There's a homeschool conference that I had been considering for the same Saturday which is a couple hours away. I would like to go but it's looking doubtful this year. For one thing it costs $80.00 just to get in the door. Eighty dollars! Wow! Just out of curiosity I checked out a few other homeschool conferences in the states and none were that expensive. Figures. I might just have to pass this year. I guess since I am supposed to be not shopping this year it would be a good year to miss.
Well, enough random thoughts for now. I hope you're all having a fabulous spring!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Can Do Mom MIA

Sorry to drop out of blogdom this past week but I've been busy.

The girls and I drove home on Monday and Tuesday without any problems. Thank you, God! Then there was the landing at home. If you've ever travelled for any length of time you know what I am referring to: unpacking, putting everything away, the mountain of mail that needs to be opened, sorted and dealt with, then there's laundry, laundry and more laundry. So far, so good. It's all been done but now I have the last item to be dealt with and that is the scheduling for the remainder of the school year.

I need to sit down with all our curriculum materials and come up with a reasonable plan to have everything completed by the first or second week of June. I'm procrastinating but I really need to log off and go do what needs to be done.

Tomorrow is Easter. I hope you all have the most blessed of Resurrection Sundays! He is risen, He is risen INDEED!