What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Monday, January 31, 2011

Flapper-esque Preemie Beanie


My parents are foster/adoptive parents (did you know?) and there is a new baby in town~ born too early at 2 pounds 14 ounces.

(Jealous of the name~ wish I had used it: Aletta. Gorgeous, am I right?)

Anyway, I couldn't stand the thought of that teeny little head being cold on top of being all corded and tubed and taped, so I made a wee hat. And by wee, I mean.... WEE.

That little hatstand is actually a candlestick~~~

For anyone interested in making one (or many):
I thought I would share the pattern I created:

The Flapperesque Preemie Beanie

This hat will fit a teeny preemie, 2-3.5 pounds.

Worsted Weight yarn (I used Caron Simply Soft: Lavender)
"F" Hook

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Make ch4, sl.st to form ring.

Rnd 1:ch3, 11dc into ring, sl.st into top of beg ch-3. (12 st)

Rnd 2: ch3, 1dc into base of ch-3, 2dc into each st to end,
sl.st into top of beg ch-3. (24 st)

Rnd 3: ch3, 2dc into next st, * 1dc into next st, 2dc into next st,
rep from * to end, sl.st into top of beg ch-3. (36 st)

Rnd 4: ch3, 1dc in next st, 2dc into next st, * 1dc into next 2sts,
2dc into next st, rep from * to end, sl.st into top of beg ch3. (48 st)

Rnd 5:
ch 3, in back loop only dc in each st around (48)

Rnd 6-8: ch 3, dc in each st around (48)

Rnd 9:
ch3, sk 3sts, (1dc, ch3, 1dc) in next st, sk 3sts,
* (1dc, ch1, 1dc) in next st, sk 3sts, (1dc, ch3, 1dc) in next st, sk 3sts,
rep from * to end, (1dc, ch1), into same st as beg ch-3, sl.st into top of
beg ch-3. Sl st to beginning ch 3. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Weave ribbon or lace into Rnd 8 for embellishment, if desired.


(To give credit where credit is due: the pattern I created was *very* modified from this pattern.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Favorite Foto Friday


Time to share your favorite photo of the week!

The totally optional challenge last week was STRIPES. Again, didn't pick my camera up but once, so I didn't have many to choose from! I was totally uncreative, but I went with the theme anyway. I knew I needed to document Corynns teeth (or lack thereof) situation (predicament?) at some point~ so I just taped up some wrapping paper for a background and killed two birds with one stone.


She makes some pretty frightening faces these days too.

Now, what's YOUR favorite photo of the week?




Fine Print::

The idea behind Foto Friday is to share a favorite photo that was taken the week prior. My hope is that it encourages us all to get behind the camera more often, to seek beauty out and new perspectives, and that it forces us to challenge ourselves and our photo-taking skills to soar to new heights all the while, having crazy fun.

Though a theme/challenge is not a requirement for sharing a photo, I will give a challenge SUGGESTION every week for those that want to push the envelope in their photography. I can not promise I will follow through with the suggestions myself, but I will be trying them on occasion. :-) Feel free to use the suggested challenge or create a challenge of your own, and if the mere act of picking up the camera is challenge enough-feel free just to post your favorite photograph of the week!

Please put the specific blog link in the Mclinky when sharing photos, and if you would~ add the Foto Friday button (on sidebar) to your post. The more that participate, the merrier.

Have FUN!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those so inclined, a good challenge for this coming week is rainbow .

(gonna have to make my own rainbows!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

*Sizzle Sizzle*




Ever have those moments when your brain hurts? When very important, even eternal~ but not-very-pleasant things have to be handled and take up all your time? When those very important, not-very-pleasant things don't escape your thoughts even when you aren't actively DOING those not-very pleasant things? Which then, of course, leaves your brain pretty much fried ALL the time?!?

That is kinda sorta what I have been living the past week or two. And as a matter of fact, not even kinda sorta. I keep telling myself these not-so kinda sorta awful things are so much more worthwhile of my time than doing those very much wonderful things but, frankly, I am very much ready for some pleasant, non-thinking frivolousness.

And yes, I do realize this blog post likely makes no sense to anyone not living my life. And, unfortunately, I can't clue you in. Sorry.

But I am granted awesome, powerful bits of glorious KINDNESS to help me through these busy, stressful, heart-hurting days.

Like Matt, calling on the way home from work and sensing my stressful day saying "Would you like me to pick something up for dinner? Wait, no. I WILL pick something up for dinner."

Like the neighbor guy coming over (without being asked) after a hefty snowfall and plowing us out while the tractor is out of commission.

Like wondering and stewing about how to find the words needed, then during devotions stumbling upon the very words.

And like this Judah-bear outfit, handmade by someone who really doesn't have the time-but did anyway. Thank you, thank you Nanci. It fits him well, with room to spare! (That's a first!) Though, sadly, Mr. Bighead looked pretty ridiculous in the adorable (ADORABLE!) coordinating hat. I would show a picture of the hilarity if I was sure it would make you laugh instead of cry.

A little birdie is in mid-flight to your place. Birdies always know how to give proper thanks. I tucked along a few kisses under his wing for you too.

~~~~~~~~~

Hoping for the cloud cover to clear.

It's too early in winter to get my winter-blues but even still, I am in need of a rainbow.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Foto Friday


Time to share your favorite photo of the week!

Last weeks (completely optional) challenge was: SPOTS. Was anyone up for the challenge?


Adele was on the bed, Corynn was making faces to get her to smile and instead: she made the faces. Check out the hands on the hips! Utter cuteness.

These two are some close runner-ups though, not because of the photo per se-but definitely of the subject. I asked her to close her eyes and go to sleep. Anyone else think it is stinkin' adorable when babies close their eyes when you tell them to? Even though they don't understand why...? Probably just a me thing.

And I love how unreserved she is in her jumping. She actually got some good height on a few of those jumps! :-)




Link up!!







Fine Print::

The idea behind Foto Friday is to share a favorite photo that was taken the week prior. My hope is that it encourages us all to get behind the camera more often, to seek beauty out and new perspectives, and that it forces us to challenge ourselves and our photo-taking skills to soar to new heights all the while, having crazy fun.

Though a theme/challenge is not a requirement for sharing a photo, I will give a challenge SUGGESTION every week for those that want to push the envelope in their photography. I can not promise I will follow through with the suggestions myself, but I will be trying them on occasion. :-) Feel free to use the suggested challenge or create a challenge of your own, and if the mere act of picking up the camera is challenge enough-feel free just to post your favorite photograph of the week!

Please put the specific blog link in the Mclinky when sharing photos, and if you would~ add the Foto Friday button (on sidebar) to your post. The more that participate, the merrier.

Have FUN!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those so inclined, a good challenge for this coming week is STRIPES .

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Gift


I am a writer.

Words have power over me and freeing them from my fingertips is liberating and calming and emotional and powerful. For years I have been scribbling out words from fingertips into this cyber journal and in doing so pouring forth a glorious life lived. Dreams are for the taking, accomplishments for the admiring, anecdotes for the brightening and truths for the strengthening, all mixed about with love and joy and photos.

Because I don't want to forget. And I don't want my children to forget.

For more than a year, unbeknownst to me, my love was gathering these snippets of heart into a surprise of the most monumental proportions. Love wrapped in brown paper packages.


A book of my words. And yet, His. A book of remembrances, ours.



Sandwiched between ink and paper was gratitude. And adoration. And reassurance. And romance. And ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.



And the tears flowed.

He sees me!

He sees what I strive to do, he translates what it means.



He NOTICES the unnoticeable .... and acknowledges the HARD work that I do.

Every. single. day.



He sends me a lovenote that says I appreciate you and all you do. The most beautiful love note I will ever get, could ever get.


He tells me, "I know you. I know who you are. Where you came from. What you love. We are one."


In the photos he has chosen, he assures me of his adoration. And yes, he DOES think I am beautiful after all. Even after 8 years, and eye wrinkles and darkening hair and widened hips and skin stretched around four children and coming home to the same woman every night and being
SATISFIED.


He relishes in our life together and shares in the memories. We laugh. We cry.


We wonder at the beauty of it all.



Devotion.

It is the most beautiful word in the world.

And the assurance of it is the greatest gift I can ever imagine.



Friday, January 14, 2011

The Bed Turned Bench, a repost with photos



It was raining. Dreary day become more so.

The worship service was over. Bellies filled from feasting on Body and Blood. Voices warmed with songs sung. Sunday school finished. A weeks' worth of catching up, done...until next week. The hour long drive home, driven. And the day more than half spent. What to do with the rest of a day, set apart?

Most Sabbath afternoons I enjoy writing letters (the real kind, mind you) and sending cards to those whose lives might need a bit of brightening (there are plenty.)

Most Sabbath afternoons, we sit around the table together reading the paper and playing games. (Bananagrams, anyone? UNO, perhaps?) and then eat leftover pizza from Friday night because it is nearly time for dinner when we get home from church.

But this Sabbath, it was a different sort of day. There were plenty of letters to write, but they weren't calling to me. There was no leftover pizza from Friday.

Instead, boys went out together into the gray dampness to work on a long-time-coming surprise for Mama. Big hands creating big things like a board seat, little hands creating little things like branch swords and walking sticks . Side by side, two sets of hands taking after Creator by creating themselves.

Inside, Mama decides to spend her sabbath afternoon in the kitchen. Meatloaf sounds divine, with the "special sauce" baked on top (with a bowl for the table too). In the fridge was thawed ground beef, saved just for that purpose. Haven't had ground beef in what seems like (and probably is) months. There are dishes to do from yesterday. Meatloaf isn't meatloaf without mashed potatoes. Artisan bread, baked yesterday, sitting on the counter calls "I would taste good with supper too!" It could be warmed in the oven easily enough. And brussel sprouts....oh my-it has been ages since I tasted brussel sprouts, sprinkled with vinegar (naturally!). Green beans, too, needed to be steamed since brussel sprouts and husbands don't mix.

As my eyes scoured the kitchen, my girl knows invariably whatever is brewing in my mind will be brewing on the stove soon enough and par for course, wants in on the action.

"Can I help, Mama?" She doesn't even know what I am planning, she just wants to be there.

"I'll be making meatloaf. I think six is about time to learn how to make meatloaf. Don't you?" I wink.

"And with meatloaf, you simply MUST have creamy mashed potatoes." I say. She smiles.

"And we MUST wear aprons!" says she.

I get out the meat, plop it in a bowl and begin pouring in the ingredients. Two eggs. An onion, cut up. Mustard. Ketchup. Garlic. Lemon juice. We crush crackers over top of it all---but first we each eat one ourselves. The baby gets one too. A smidge of BBQ sauce, like the cherry on top. And then, I dig my hands in and squish. I wait for the inevitable. I know what was coming...because the scene has played out in my life the very same way, with a different cast of characters.

"Can *I* do that?!?! I think that would be SO fun! I LIKE squishy, icky things!" I hear my own voice in my girls' and remember a time when I loved nothing better than squishing ground meat, slimy eggs and hard crumbs through my fingers in my own mothers' kitchen.

We shape the loaf and plop it into an already warmed oven. She asks to peel potatoes. She loves peeling carrots, but has never done potatoes before. I show her "the method" and get to washing those dishes so I have more room to breathe. I start humming. I hear her begin to hum along. Humming turns to singing and before long we have belted out, a capella, all of Psalm 98 (three times) and chanted Psalm 84. Her voice, singing loudly with mine, is music to my ears. And His.

The big vat of waiting potatoes are only down four and already, she tires of peeling. I understand. Peeling potatoes isn't quite as fun as carrots.

I begin to peel but there she stands, waiting... It is clear again that it is not really the peeling that she wanted, but the moments with Mother being grownup. "Can I CUT the potatoes?" So I give her a sharp knife (which isn't very sharp because all our knives are insanely dull right now) and she cuts away while I peel. She thinks the knife is incredibly sharp and puffs up with pride at using such a grown-up tool.

We chat. But mostly, we work. Side by side. In the company of the other.

We make mashed potatoes. We make meatloaf. We make vegetables. We make eggnog pudding. I teach her to make the super-secret special meatloaf sauce and she feels she has been told the best secret in the world. She sets the table. I pour the drinks. We warm the bread and I slice it.

I am surprised by how much she is able to do, when given the chance. I am surprised by how old she has become, in a blink. I am surprised by how dearly she loves me, and I, her. I am surprised by how much love can be swapped peeling potatoes.

Just then, a man comes in, my one and only. "Mama, come see." So girl and I gather coats and shoes and head to garage to see the surprise... He takes my hand and leads me, blinded, through tools and wood shavings until he says "STOP. OK."

I look and there it is~ an idea I had made real...made BETTER by his own hands. It is better than I had envisioned, more regal than I thought possible. We picked the bed off the side of the road in desperation to get Panda out of crib...only to find the size bed would not accommodate a traditional mattress. It was then that I suggested we use the headboard and foot-board to make a bench. That day long ago, I didn't think it would be quite so lovely or that it would have a secret cubby.

It needs only a week of good weather for a new paint job and it will be ready!

It was a good surprise. And when we all came in, we had a good meal.

The day was filled with love, from morning 'til night....and I can't imagine a better way to spend a Sabbath.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(( Reposted from the archives to add photographs. I promised them "one day" and "one day" took forever. Partly because PAINTING took forever. Then adding pillows took forever. ))

Bed from the side of the road started out like this: (the left bed)


But the awkward size didn't fit any mattresses, so I asked Matt to build a bench out of it using the headboard as the backboard. The finished product exceeded my wildest dreams and even includes a secret storage seat. He is a clever man, he is.


And now we sit like kings and queens.

Hello Foto Friday!



Wow. Gotta get into the swing of {Foto Friday} things again.... it was noon and it suddenly occurred to me that I need to get a McLinky up and running sooner rather than later because this Friday Foto thing is (HOPEFULLY) not just for me.

All this to say: sorry it took so long for me to get this up. I'll get better once I get used to the idea of it all again.

Picking my Favorite Photo of the Week wasn't all that hard since I think I picked up the camera...once. (Very unlike me.)


My brother gave this gorgeous orchid to me on New Years Eve.

I love Orchids.

'nuff said.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is YOUR Favorite of the Week?



The idea behind Foto Friday is to share a favorite photo that was taken the week prior. My hope is that it encourages us all to get behind the camera more often, to seek beauty out and new perspectives, and that it forces us to challenge ourselves and our photo-taking skills to soar to new heights all the while, having crazy fun.

Though a theme/challenge is not a requirement for sharing a photo, I will give a challenge SUGGESTION every week for those that want to push the envelope in their photography. I can not promise I will follow through with the suggestions myself, but I will be trying them on occasion. :-) Feel free to use the suggested challenge or create a challenge of your own, and if the mere act of picking up the camera is challenge enough-feel free just to post your favorite photograph of the week!

Please put the specific blog link in the Mclinky when sharing photos, and if you would~ add the Foto Friday button (on sidebar) to your post. The more that participate, the merrier.

Have FUN!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For those so inclined, a good challenge for this coming week is SPOTS.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Parenting is a SNAP

Otherwise Entitled: TOO MANY BABIES. (the doll kind, of course)


My Adele' already seems to know the five rules to being a good parent:

#1: Give them lots of love


#2: Feed them all the time (though her method seems a bit skewed)


#3: Check in on them every now and again


#4: Make them laugh


and MOST importantly of all:

#5: It's easier to keep tabs on them when you keep 'em all together.


Disclaimer: Yes. We own too many baby dolls. I won't even tell you of the three AG knockoffs we have because that will just tip us on over to EXTREME insanity. Six dolls. Two girls. Ridiculous.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Man Sweater to Baby Suit (Mini Tute)


When I brought out our winter clothing, I went on a purging binge because I am sick of unpacking winter things that we don't wear, then packing them back up just so we don't wear them next year either. Most things made it to Salvation Army, a few things made it into my craft room to be repurposed. (So I guess I wasn't on a total purge binge...)


One of the things that made it to my craft room was a V-neck sweater that was rarely worn by Matt. I tend to shy away from childrens' clothes that have corny characters on them and that really lessens the selection of baby clothes for boys. Because the sweater was super thin and super SUPER soft....I couldn't resist giving it to Judah baby for a new, character-free ensemble.

Made of dark green and paired with lighter olive green buttons, it has a militaryish feel, which I really like in this instance.



(Yes. My four month old could eat my 2 year old for a snack. What of it?!?!)

Begin by laying out the sweater and putting a baby outfit on top that you would like to replicate. If you don't have a one piece suit, you could use a tank and pants set.


Making sure the neck lines up with the v-neck and the leg hem matches up with the bottom cuff of the sweater (you won't need to hem these pieces then) cut around it leaving 1/4-1/2 inch seam allowance on sides and leg inseams. (**Notice: The v-neck/arms were cut so front pieces were SHORT and back pieces were long, giving the arm straps an overall feel.**)


With right sides together, sew up both side seams.


Sew bias tape along the inseams on both front and back leg pieces and along arm straps and underarm, which *should* be all the raw edges (Notice leg cuffs and v-neck are nicely handy now, eh?)


Add buttons to the front panel arm pieces (I used two on each arm) and make buttonholes on the back arm pieces.


Apply snaps to tape on leg inseams. (OR- you can use SNAPTAPE which looks awful handy, but I have never actually used before.)

TA-DA. Sweet little boy outfit for not-a-cent spent.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~