Sonja, Austin, Taylor and Chris Noskowiak and Cayce Crews

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I am SO Blessed, so thankful and feel so loved by you all!!

This is a Story I posted on the HGTV Quilting and Needlework Boards Giving thanks for the wonderful project my friend Lisa organized for my family. She has truly been my friend since DAY 1 of us losing our home. A few pics might be different or added cause I think I had one or two out of sequence. Either way, here is the story. I wanted to share with all the rest of my Friends, whether homeschooling friends, Facebook friends or other. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it, AND being on the receiving end of an AWESOME Tearful Day!

Posted Feb 28, 2010 01:07 AM

I'd like to start this off as a story along the way, so you feel like you were here with me. I know I sure felt your love and spirit here Smile My family and I are so thankful for the act of kindness, love, support, and most of all, your friendship you have shown us since our home burned in Nov. Seems just like yesterday and oh how the time is flying. I'll have more to say along the way, so let me get started. I think I have over 30 pics to post! Hope you are ok with that Smile

Let me start by saying, IowaLisa (Lisa) and I text each other pretty often. I am sure I hear from her at least twice a week just to say hello and she is thinking of me. It has uplifted my spirits on so many occasions. I know she has has to get tired of all the belly aching too from me, but has never said a word, just listened and let me vent. Lisa, thanks so much for that... we all need to do it sometimes, but I know I did it excessively.

So Lisa text me and told me she had stuff to send to my children and she would let me know when she sent the boxes off. I said ok. I just figured she was sending some clothes for the children like Pam did. Well, that's what I thought! She text me yesterday and said the boxes would be here today, but wait till they ALL get there before I let them open them. I thought, WOW.... more than one box?? What is in them???

I was eating lunch when the children themselves brings in the boxes. I was so shocked to see 3 boxes. I told them I would finish eating and they could open them. I tried to eat, but the more I did, the more the tears fell. I don't know, it just caught me by surprise that it was 3 boxes and I started to think just how sweet and thoughtful that was to send my children something. My heart was so like mush already!! I text Lisa and asked which box first if any and she said, open up box 1 or 2 and 3 last. She said, "In it, is an envelope". I got to thinking, "An envelope"? For my children? I peeked into box 1 and there was an envelope, but I also seen what looked like a quilt! I was saying, OMGosh Lisa.... a quilt?????? I don't know if I said anything else for a while after that, LOL. I finally got everyone, including my parents into the kitchen and I laid out the boxes and asked,
"Which one do you want to open"? Taylor said, "I want the 3rd Box"! Austin says, "I want the first box", and Chris said, "I guess I will open up box #2". So we were all set!

        Here is Austin opening up Box #1

After Austin opens the box and we discover there are "TWO" quilts in the box, we wanted to know which one was Taylor's and which one was Austins? So I opened up the envelope which contained a card and started to read.

For those of you who do not know this, I have a parrot. She says Momma all day long IF she can hear my voice. In this pic, you will see me laughing cause I am actually crying and I hear my mom shout, "Shut up Elvis, your Momma is crying"! Ok, I thought that was funny in between my crying.

In the next pic, more tears shed, my mom said, "I am going to my bedroom if you don't stop crying and get opening up those boxes".At that time, this is the excerpt from the card I
was reading at the time.
"Think about life's LITTLE JOYS...
Homemade Cookies,
handmade toys,
Cotton clouds,
Buttercups and butterflies...

I said to her, "I don't HAVE a kitchen to bake cookies in of my own right now". Trying to make her understand, but she said, "You are supposed to be happy, not cry"! Guess she couldn't understand, I AM happy but this card is so sweet and touching my heart.

And in this pic, I guess I lost it! Sobbing at this point, not being able to believe you all made my kids a quilt... feeling so loved by you all!! And by the way, soon as I read the beginning of the card, it says "Especially for Sonja & Family From Your Hgtv Friends", I then KNEW the boxes was not from Lisa, LOL. Yes, I knew then, yall were up to something!

 Still reading with DH looking on Smile

On the other side of the card where I quoted
about the cookies is another part which touched me greatly. It says,
"Starlit Nights and sunny days,
Words of hope
and love and praise,
Cocoa in a favorite mug,
A smile, a friend,
a big warm hug"!
I received your hug!! It felt so GOOD!

After reading this wonderful moving card, I found a note to read after wards. Lisa said she wanted to make 4 quilts, one for each of us that lived in the fire damaged home and she had more than enough blocks to do so. She said, "The purple border one is for you Sonja". Oh my gosh... "A quilt for me"? Someone made ME a quilt"? I have never had someone make and give myself a quilt personally. This quilt is sooo beautiful!!! "Well, let me show you"!!!

Here we are looking over the beautiful blocks in my quilt!

The kids and I enjoyed looking at all the pretty blocks which you all made for my quilt. So many pretty ones.

Just curious... "Jayardi, did you make this block"?

I LOVE Tweety!!!

Here is a pic of MY quilt with my parents holding a corner and looking on. My mom  She kept saying, "Sonja, I don't have a quilt, when are you gonna finish mine"? I told her
soon, but I am still trying to learn how to quilt like you ladies. Bless her heart, she said, "I don't care how you quilt it, I won't mind how you do it". I said, "well, I will practice on yours then". She said OK! lol. I really need to do that soon!

Beautiful Quilt!

Lisa said in the note as well, "The one with the star backing is for your daughter Taylor, and as for the other two boys, they can figure out which one they want to claim as their own". So we opened up the Blue backed quilting to find this gorgeous Red, White and Blue Quilt. Yall KNOW I love those colors in a quilt. And... the blocks I had been working on was for a quilt for my husband which was smoke damaged. Not sure I got all the smoke out of them as I tried to wash and soak them. They smelled ok, but I had to pack them back up, so who knows?

This is beautiful and Austin claimed this one for himself! He LOVES it and will be on here
tomorrow sometime to thank yall along with my husband and my daughter Taylor.

On the back of Austins Quilt was a pretty block places there. What a super way to display a beautiful block. I will have to remember this!

Wanted yall to see it! It was made by Chanlady. Love it Chanlady!

And here is Austin All Wrapped in YOUR Love!!!

My DH opened the 2nd box to reveal Taylors Quilt and another quilt.
Here is Taylors quilt and boy does she love it! She has it on her bed now, although it's a single bed. She will have LOTS to cuddle up to.

And here she is, standing ON a chair holding up HER Quilt! I LOVED hers and especially loved some of those floral prints in there Smile

Here is another pic of us holding up the quilt. It's so good and heavy. Taylor has it on her
bed and LOVES it!

Lisa- Taylor loved the back of her quilt so much  she wanted a pic of it even before the front, LOL.

And here is Taylor all wrapped up in your Love!! Can you tell she loves her quilt?

DH opened his blue backed quilt to find a Red, White and Blue Patriotic Sampler. He LOVED it!!! These are some pretty blocks and I am so touched he now has a Patriotic Quilt as he served in the Marine Corps for 8 years and National Guards for 2. Perfect Quilt!!!

My DH wrapped in your LOVE and he did this without us telling him to do it for the camera!! See.. He is soo touched, like you wouldn't believe and he is such a kid! Thank YOU Lisa and Ladies for giving him something. He keeps saying, I wish I had friends like you! I keep saying, You do, cause they LOVE you too! Now as you see, he KNOWS ITSmile


He turned around so a pic could be taken of the blocks. I am so happy to see him SO Happy! He will be on later to say hello!

 And.... here is MY quilt with ME wrapped up in yalls love. Lisa what an awesome quilt!!! The colors, the quilting... I just can't say enough about this quilt. I have a few pics of it so stay tuned!! lol

And another of some of the blocks on the back!

Ok, when I went to take this next pic, I felt a hand slide around my waist. I honestly THOUGHT it was my younger sister, (who is a special needs child age 36)who came up and put their arm around me for the picture, cause she does it so often. Imagine my surprise when I turned around and it was my husband, who looks like he is beaming with love and appreciation too for this quilt!! What a Kodak Moment!


And then... I just felt like since he wanted to share my quilt, I'd just wrap us both in LOVE!! I LOVE this pic of us both! Notice I had taken my hair down. I sure didn't prepare my hair and face for any pics. Of course, my makeup would have been gone anyway! lol

Stuck in this box was also a block which NICUNurse made. Oh my gosh, Taylor and I both fell in love with it!!! Look at this!!! So much work went into this and now Taylor and I are arguing over who is gonna get it!!! LOL.

Pam, this is so beautiful.. so special!! Maybe I can learn to make one cause I do have the yoyo maker. Did you do these on one of those?

Then I found out, MnGrandma actually took the block and made a small pillow sham from it! What a beautiful piece of art! I was so happy to hear MnGrandma had contributed to helping. I have missed her so much, since the first retreat!

(hoping this pic turns out, made a small collage) (OH.. the reason Taylor has an evil look on her face is.. "This is the look she gave me when I said, "This is MY Pillow Sham"! LOL Talk about 17 year olds with an attitude!

After we took pics with our quilt, there was a ziplock baggy with a note in it. Actually two
of them. The first contained a note from Lisa telling me about the conversation we had back in Nov. about a few things. She was recalling how I told her I had no quilt to call my own and the stash of blocks, and Batiks were in your smoke damaged house. (I did later find out my Batiks were ok cause they had double plastic bags covering them on the
shelf and had been removed promptly). She went on to say Quilters understand the value of a quilt and the cost that goes into making one. She said, "I knew I had to do something to help put a smile to your face, and reassure you that many are out there thinking and praying for you and your family. She said, "I put a post out to the HGTV members asking if anyone wanted to help contribute to your family". She said, "46 ladies mailed me blocks,
fabric, batting, an actual quilt top, thread, and money all for YOUR FAMILY!!!

My heart was so full already.. you put a HUGE SMILE on my face Lisa and friends! SEE, just look!

Then, there was this other letter which said to open before last box! I open it and read, "The Tale of the quilts"(I am going to sum this note up here, but with Lisa's permission will print the whole notes onmy blog when I can get the time to update it next week!

In this note Lisa tells me that the beginning of January that her and EJ180 (Mandy) went to
MnGrandma's house for a weekend of quilting. I am so surprised to read this, as I haven't talked to MnGrandma (Sherry) in a long time and we've known each other since the first retreat! How special it was to be at the first and meet everyone and now friends for a few years now. I have spoken in email to her but haven't heard from her lately, so this was so sweet. Mandy too was someone I had fun with at the retreat. Sheshowed me how to do "Needlepunch" so we spent a good bit of time at that retreat together. Been friends since then and have shared quite a number of emails over the years. I was still so surprised. I guess words can't express how surprised I was reading this. I'm sure the pic will tell it all
Also in the note she says she used Sherry's (MnGrandma) Sweet Sixteen to quilt the 4 quilts. Says, "I am by no means a professional so please don't look too closely
at my attempts to quilt them. Yea well.. Lisa, they sure look professional to me!!!!  LOVED the quilting. I should have gotten a pic of the quilting on them. I will have to do that and post some more pics of it. I will do that on the blog for sure! Lisa, Awesome JOB on the quilting. I loved it! Now teach me!! lol

She said with the help of Mandy and Sherry attaching the borders and binding and making the pillow cover, they finished all 4 quilts and pillow covering in that weekend! WOW!!! In one weekend??? 4 quilts??? That's awesome ladies!!! You had that machine smoking Lisa!! She said they were a HUGE help and couldn't have finished them without them.

She said, Sherry had quite a bit of border fabric and backing in her stash that they used. She said, in another box is quite a few more blocks that members passed on to me to make the quilt, along with a few other things they wanted me to have. Also, a check with the money that was

also mailed to me to give you. She said to use the money however I wished, for quilting supplies, food, clothes, etc...

Ending remarks, "I hope this brought a smile to your face and that when you sit to relax or
when you need a pick me up, you can cover yourself in the quilt and feel the love from all
of us all over the USA. I had a great time doing this for you my friend, I only wish there was more I could do to help you out. Ya'll had a rough year, but I know 2010 will be a great year for the Noskowiak Family (and I hope this helped a little to get it off to a great start)

Sorry.. I could not help but cry while reading your note!!! I was so deeply touched... watch..

See.. I told ya the tears started!!!! My heart felt like it was a dam.... had all that water
pushed back.... and all of a sudden... "The Dam Broke"!!!!

And it seems as a mother, "You are keeping your kids sheltered and safe"... but when something comes and steals your happiness, you find yourself hutting off the emotions of it all, so you can still tel l your kids to have FAITH!!! Believe in what you can't see... and KNOW We are gonna have a house again, and KNOW 2009 for us could NOT be wished
on your worse enemy... but, just KNOW G-d is great, and he LOVES us... "I tell them, open up your eyes and heart to see, look what people who don't know you all that well, has done for you". That's G-d's hands... His Love for us, His Faithfullness, HIS Protection!! It's what he gives US that we give others.

So sorry, I am sitting here crying all over again. I have kept it bottled up so long for my family. Why does it seem like crying is a weakness sometimes? I guess I feel like if I do this too much in front of them, they will think I myself have lost my faith! I have not one bit, I just know this is a long road already and wish it was over. I do know one thing,
without Faith... I can not go through this!

Well, let me share the next pics Smile Here is me holding the check. The money will go towards paying for a permit to have temporary power on a pole so we can have a little
electricity for cleaning.

My DH was so supportive and was sniffling behind me the whole time. I can HEAR his
heart breaking at times... even without visually seeing tears. Inside, that man is SOFT! I'm so glad! Tears are a good thing, as long as we don't let tears hold us down and choke us to death. Mine are mixed with so many emotions.... but I can truthfully say, mostly cause the LOVE I feel! Lisa, I hope you can see through my tears how much I appreciate you!!!

I know yall think I should be done by now!! I have a few more!!
Here are the kids going for Box#3! Didn't they just hear what I read??? I said, "It's FABRIC for ME!!" LOL

Do you see that look on Taylor's face and me trying to get the box???? hahahaha this is the
first time she took interest in FABRIC!!!

Ok, who sent the pretty purple sheet??? It will go nicely on my bed with my quilt!!! Love it!!!

Beautiful blocks.... and Fossil Fern FQ's! Who did these beautiful Disappearing 9patches?
Love them!!! I have never tried them yet.
Taylor is holding up a block she loved. Says it reminds her of John Deere! She loves
John Deere!

Husband is so curiously looking on! Smile

TeaSea, love the snowman!!! I don't know who did the others but they sure are pretty!

All blocks and fabrics will be put to good use! That's a promise!!!

I so much appreciate the fabrics... love the fossil ferns and I don't have that many. I will try and figure out how to make these dissapearing 9patch blocks! Gosh they are pretty.

Here is another fabric someone sent. Taylor immediately grabbed it! She says it's hers.

I thought about making her a Hebraic dance outfit out of this type. Where can I buy more of it, and what type is it?  Who sent it? Love it!! It's gorgeous! She modeled it, LOL

The camera batteries died after that pic so I didn't get pics of all the blocks that were sent. After putting them all on top of one another it seemed like there were at least 25-30 more. I will definitely use them for quilts. My daughter has claimed some of those Blue ones and the blue and chocolate ones for herself.

Let me say thanks to all the ladies that sent in blocks for quilts for my family. We are so
touched and feel so loved by what you did. Lisa, g/f.... I've known you since the first retreat... loved you then and have had a ball getting to know you over the years. I want to
share something personal with you here.

I can remember as far back as High Schoolwishing I had friends. Back then, to have friends/buddies, you had to be like them! Most of them smoked pot, drank alcohol,
smoked cigarettes... and I wanted to stay as far away as I could from that. It seemed the more I would try to quit smoking and get around a g/f I would start back. I would have this one say, "come on Sonja, one drag... just one drag... it won't hurt you, smoke with me...
you can quit tomorrow"! It wasn't until about 13 years ago that I quit cause I was so hooked! So I tried to stay away from that... but one day I got so hungry for friends and thought "Well, if I have to be like them to have a friend, I am so lonely I will just be like them". One morning I took some pot to school. I had a very very ugly experience I have cared NOT to remember but it's what caused me to drop out of school. I had a nervous condition (and that puts it mildly without disclosing on the board the reason for it all)which
would literally make me wonder at times if I was alive or dead walking around. Paranoia all the time. That lasted about 3 years! Why am I telling you this? Well, for all those years.. I never felt like anyone loved me. I learned to be outspoken and stand up for what I thought, even IF no-one cared what I thought. I was determined I would NEVER EVER be like someone else in order to have friends. So I thought in my mind all these years I had no friends cause everyone wanted me to change and think and do what they thought and what they did.

For the first time in my almost 47 years of life.... YOU have shown me that I truly have friends out here. I never dreamed I'd get these 4 quilts, I never would have thought someone would care that much about me and my family given my past experiences.
When my husband had cancer some years back, the one person I THOUGHT was my friend quit talking to me. Later she told me she was sorry and she couldn't stand watching me go through this with my husband cause she went through it with her boyfriend. I again, lost faith and trust in someone caring about me. Oh, I know G-d does... I know some of my family does... but I had no clue no-one else did.

I've had people do things during this crisis I've never dreamed they would do. I've been so
touched to learn that it's true that when you Give, it comes back! I had someone say to me,
"I've given this, and that and I've never seen it come back". I know they have... I've seen them give too... but I told them this, "It's when you are in NEED that you find out that your needs are supplied"! You Lisa, you have supplied me with the greatest faith in friendship that someone could ever give! You have restored my faith that I DO have friends! I want to tell you from the bottom of my mushy heart how much I love you and
how much I appreciate you. I appreciate all the calls, the text messages telling me to keep my chin up and that you love me and are thinking of me.....but most of all... You said something one day to make me wake up! You said, in a comment on my blog If you don't live now, where you  are, through all you have, you will wake up  and wonder where one month went, then  a year and then a decade and you find you  were not living at all". Boy.... that sure woke  me up! I thought I was doing so, but I guess  I wasn't. I was focusing on my loss... looking at all last year at my losses and could not see  happiness through them. I've had a great family  who has bent over backwards to help take care 
of us too... so there is NO reason I should not go on living no matter how long it takes to get home again!

Lisa, Again.. I can never thank you for it all. I pray the father will openly reward you and 

when it comes your time of need, that you will find, Your cup is always full, for you have given a large measure to us! We love and appreciate you!

MnGrandma- I have missed you dearly. I have lost touch with you along my lifes journey and I pray you are well. I hope you are reading this  as I wanted to let you know I miss seeing you  here. You had so much to contribute here with your talent and knowledge. I know you were busy  with DH's business last I spoke with you. I sure you will be able to come back sometime and post, at least let us hear from you. I still have that borders book I bought that you showed us at the retreat. It was a yellow book and showed how to do the scalloped borders. One of these  days, I hope to learn to make some of those fancy looking borders like you showed us at the retreat. Thanks so much for helping Lisa with the quilts and letting her use your HQ16. I'd loved to have been there! You are so much 

appreciated. Hugsss and love your way!

Mandy- I do get to talk to you once in a while  on FB but it's not often. I miss ya g/f. Life is so busy and for that I am so sorry. Thank you for all the help on these quilts that you 

gave Lisa. It is so much appreciated more than you will ever know. Keep in touch girl! 
Love and Hugs to you!

When I can get my husband and chldren in here, they would like to say thanks to you. 

Instead of them creating an account, I will let them use mine, telling you first who they are!

Thanks Ladies who contributed this time and in the other ways over the past months. 

I have not forgotten what you have done for us and I pray you are blessed in abundance 
for all you do. You have touched our lives deeply.

I have a blog if you are interested in knowing  the depth of our loss, where we are now and our progression. Sorry to say but we haven't progressed much since it happened. It's all on 

the blog if you want to read it. The link to it is at the bottom of my post.

Thanks for letting me post my pics and share my story! This will be going up on my blog and some pics on Facebook as well. Love you All!! 

Thanks Lisa!!! HUGSS Group Hug Group Hug

""""""For those who read my story, please leave me a comment. I'd love to know who stopped by and read it, thanks!"""""""


  1. Sonya, I am so sorry I didn't know your friend Cathy. I still don't understand FB.

  2. Girl.... You missed your calling. You should have been a writer or should I say a quilt writer. Better Yet. "The Quilt Writer" how's that for a name. I was truly blessed to read your story and was fighting back tears along the way. I Guess Our Hearts Are As One. I could feel your pain and your joy. I'm so glad you have such wonderful friends which means you are a wonderful friend b/c it takes being a friend to have a friend! I Love You


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