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

Saturday, March 31, 2007


Surely, you all must be very tired of picnic and park photographs...and by the most recent photo redundancies, you very well know how much time we waste idly playing outside. With the weather being so tempermental, though, the children and I try to take full advantage of the sun when it shines. I will say this...after several park excursions, this was the winning trip...the one that we were actually able to coerce geese into feeding from us. It was also the weekend, ironically enough, that I forgot to bring extra bread (and lettuce!) with us. So-we used half of Corynn's sandwich!

Mattie works this weekend...the third weekend in a row that he has worked. So he is off working hard for us today and we are going to go grocery shopping. More like a run-of-the-mill type day than a weekend, but still. He works tomorrow as well. We both hate it when he works on the Sabbath. I may take the children by myself to morning worship, rather than wait until evening as we usually do. Last weekend he worked so late, we didn't make it to evening worship either-and so I will make sure the children and I are there bright and cheery (though not so cheery they are loud during service, I hope!) for the morning worship service. All this to say, my dear husband sure does a lot for our family and without complaint. He amazes me.

Tomorrow is the big day...the prize reveal! And then-Monday, ah Monday. My Panda turns one. What a dear boy he is. Takes after his father.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
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Playing with shadows and hightlighting in a photo program, I created this interesting picture. I like the fiery feathers and I love the way the waters ripples are highlighted.
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This time, though, a neighbor joined us...

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Keeping the dentist away...

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Calling all birders...

I spotted this great winged beast yesterday and could only get this photo of it. Once again-very good reason to want the fancy shmancy type camera! Anyway...is it a red tailed hawk or something more glamorous? I spent quite a bit of time in my birding book and came up with a few possibilities. Of course, my glimpse was as good as yours. To my own detriment, I tried getting better pictures and thus, missed the birds take off-a time of great importance when determining bird species. Argh!
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Friday, March 30, 2007

Oh, How Gladly I will do so!

Our natural reason looks at marriage and turns up its nose and says, "Alas! Must I rock the baby? Wash its diapers? Make its bed? Smell its stench? Stay up nights with it? Take care of it when it cries? Heal its rashes and sores? And on top of that care of my spouse, provide labor at my trade, take care of this and take care of that?...

What then does the Christian faith say to this? It opens its eyes, looks upon all these insignificant, distasteful, and despised duties in the spirit, and is aware that they are all adorned with divine approval as with the costliest gold and jewels. It says, "O God, I confess I am not worthy to rock that babe or wash it's diapers, or to be entrusted with the care of a child and its mother. How is it that I without any merit have come to this distinction of being certain that I am serving thy creature and thy most precious will?
Oh, how gladly I will do so."

~Martin Luther
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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Putting my hands in a bit of everything right now

I have been extremely thankful the past few weeks to have a space of my own to work, unapologetically making messes and LEAVING them until the next time I return. I have been so motivated to work on new things, knowing I wouldn't have to clear the table off and pack up before supper!!!

Right now my craft room is in a total uproar, with projects thrown this way and that, all at different stages in completion. It is exciting to have my hands in a bit of everything right now. Perhaps because I know the time I can devote to crafty things is whittling away as the days pass. Soon enough I will set aside the busyness of my 'inside joys' to work on my 'outside joys'.

Here is a rundown of some of my projects and some updates on their progress:

* Remember the afghan I am making for Mattie? Well, I had only 3 skeins of yarn that I purchased LONG ago-which is not NEARLY enough to finish the job. Yesterday, I found the same color and bought LOTS...and a few dark blues to make strips with perhaps, or an outline. Not sure. It is nearly four times the size of this photograph.

* I finally began a poncho for Corynn! I had to change the yarn to more spring-ish colors... The dark fallish colors just weren't fitting for spring. I will save them for later and maybe make one from those lovely colors for fall. The new color scheme includes buttercup and lavender-one of my favorite combinations!

I started it last night and if I work on it as long tonight-I can get it done! Wa-hoo! If I have extra yarn, I may make a small one with matching yarn for Corynn's doll. My friend Nancy has been sewing handmade dresses for the American Girl dolls to sell, and she does such a fabulous job that she has inspired me to make a few things for my Little Miss and her doll. Of course, hers is just her Christmas DOLL, not American girl-but just as precious to Corynn.

*Well...er, I have to make another BLUE bootie to match my singleton but that is on hold until the poncho is complete.

*A breadcloth...yeah. THAT has the pieces cut...and that is IT. Thankfully, I have a few more days!

And two SUPER-DE-DUPER Confidential and HIGHLY secretive projects...

One using a certain crochet hook and the other, partners in crime with the sewing macine.

As the weather warms I was feeling a mite-bit guilty since I hadn't completed a VERY important annual winter task. That is, to tackle the mending pile. I always have to do that in winter (and often once in summer, too!) and I had not yet done it. well, I can now officially say GOOD RIDDANCE, Old Man Winter! Yesterday I did some serious and some not-so-serious mending to half a dozen garments. NICE!

Oh yes-and I nearly forgot! The fabric above I purchased at Surplus City. Any guesses what I might create from it? These fabrics are being lovingly set aside to make myself an apron that goes around the shoulders instead of the neck. I am thinking something vintage-looking. The neck straps give me migraines. I know. Weird. But...won't it be just LOVELY?!?

If I don't manage to screw it up, that is! ;-)

Oh-and the biggest, bestest project of all is the preparation's for my Panda's birthday. He is going to be ONE YEAR OLD on April 2nd...just a few short days away. I decided it only fitting to make him a Panda cake. Now-just to figure out how! ;-)

The little stinkpot has not yet said "Mama" so I am seriously considering withholding all birthday presents from him. The little buggar deserves it...
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Answering Questions MY style!!


Several people have asked me recently what type of camera I use. Well, HERE IT IS! All my photos are taken with this little guy, the Nikon Coolpix 5600. We received it as a baby/going away gift last year and it is seriously the VERY best gift we have EVER received. Not only does it take beautiful pictures, but it even has a MOVIE option-so we had a video camera as well! It is small thing but takes wonderful pictures. (Take a look at my archives (I am embarrassed to send you there) to see the 5 photo limit digital camera I was working with before...yikes! That was and IS awful!)

Someday I would love to get a fancy shmancy digital to take 'professional' shots (my dream? The Canon Rebel XT-only $1,000.00!!!!) but right now...well. THAT is just not feasible. Besides. What would I use it for to make it pay for itself? Certainly not kiddo pictures. Not of MINE anyhow. I will say though, I do miss very much focusing by hand. THAT is real photography!

If you are in the market for a nice quality digital-think about this one. It puts out a phenomenal photograph considering its humble size!
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I Love my camera!

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Look-it's not a square!

Last night was another crochet night and the party didn't stop until nearly seven hours later! Would you believe, I didn't get home until 2am? I missed the whole 'partying days' of my teen years-I guess I am making up for them now...with a crochet hook and a friend.

To show for it-a scrapped skirt (yep. Guess all those African skirts didn't give me enough practice because the skirt I was making for myself had to be tossed. BIG bummer.), a practice poncho and a booty for a one-legged child. Anyone have one? No-but really, I am VERY proud of this sole bootie (get it, sole!?! hahaha). It is nice to work on something that is NOT square. Gives me hope that someday, MAYBE, I can do something a bit more substantial-like a sweater!!!

I will make a mate for this loner and then, I wonder, what shall I do with a pair of booties for a baby that we are not having? Perhaps we will tuck them away to patiently await some 'good news', though I know if 'good news' comes we have one Little Miss that insists the booties should be pink!
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I've got the blues

Silly me. I plum forgot that I had three quarts of frozen blueberry's stocked up for winter's use! Now that springtime is awake and stretching out into the sunshine, I think only of those winter nights when we settled for homemade applesauce when I REALLY wanted fresh fruit. The blessing and the curse of a chest freezer, I suppose.

I am making it my priority to get those fruits cleaned out (I had a plethora of bananas and peaches hiding in there as well!) to make room for a new and fresh stock when it comes time. As the weeks progress, I am afraid you will be seeing BLUE here at Renaissance! Yesterday I made some lovely blueberry waffles hot of the iron. DEEEEE-LISH with our own maple syrup! I doubled the recipe so as to stock some up in the freezer as well. Waffles are fantastic because you toss them in the freezer and then, when you are ready to eat them-pop them in the toaster. They will come out warm and toasty-just like those Leggo Eggo's from the store!

Needless to say...I have a few popped in the toaster as we speak...

Someone mentioned that she appreciated the recipes I post...for her, I post this. Thank you for the feedback!

Homemade Waffles
(this you will need a waffle iron for, though. Would you believe bachelor Matt had this before we got married? Yep...it was definately a perk...)

2 eggs
2 c. milk
2 c. flour
6 T. veggie oil
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
2 t. baking powder

Spray waffle iron with cooking spray and preheat. Beat eggs and milk together. Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour batter into iron and spread a bit with a knife. Make sure you RE-GREASE before each new batch! Cook for 5-7 minutes per waffle (though most waffle irons have a light that turns off when waffles are done)

Note 1: If waffle batter is stored overnight in the fridge, add another t. of baking powder before cooking.

Note 2: If you double the recipe-you can freeze what is leftover for future use. Make sure to flash freeze first so they don't stick together!

Note 3: This is a BASIC, plain Jane waffle. You can add fruits to your liking, chocolate chips, cinnamon (I added about a t. with my blueberries), or whatever floats your boat. You can top with mapley syrup-or be bold and try FRUIT syrups, compote, fresh fruit, whipped cream...and the list goes on. YUM!

Note 4: Think outside the box. These would be delicious to make a quick and easy version of strawberry shortcake-without the shortcake that is...
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Easter Shoot

For Christmas, the children were each gifted their own matching bunniken. Twins, really, but one is a girl and one is a boy. I thought they just cried out to be included in an Easter photo shoot.

No. Easter is NOT all about bunnies, eggs and baskets. No sir. In fact, the real reason for Easter has not one thing to do with ANY of those things...but I must say, I do very much enjoy bunnies and eggs as a tradition as well.

Following are a few shots from two days ago. This time, I used the kitchen as my 'studio' since I took these in the morning and the kitchen gets the morning light. If you look closely, you will notice that the Panda wears two different outfits. That is because he is a stinker (literally) and two outfits were required. 'nuff said.

Now that I think about it. This picture is looking awful suspect...
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Pigs in a blanket

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The basket is only to contain the Panda. A makeshift cage. Except going along with the Easter theme.
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Had to include this one...

It was NOT my idea that they kiss, mind you.
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All in all-a productive 'session'. hehehe

As much as I love taking pictures, I don't think I would want to be a posed shot photographer of kids. It is just TOO difficult. It just gets harder and harder each time I try a 'posed' picture. Especially now that Andrew has so much vinegar in him! Phew!
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Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring has Sprung

Last night as I lay in bed, the midnight music of the peepers surrounded me and eventually lulled me to sleep. This morning I awoke to the morning birdsongs I have missed for so many months. The world has come alive again-and practically overnight, the quiet and depressing solace of winter has transformed into the beautiful colors and scents and sounds of a world stretching out from its long winters rest. Where did all these creatures GO when it was cold? Did they collaborate with one another to hold a wonderful celebration to welcome spring last night? Perhaps that is what I heard last night-the creatures of the night-happily singing and dancing the night away, the party lasting well into the morning.

Yes, that must have been it.

Even though only a penny-sized flower has been spotted up until this point, the fields are beginning to sprout green in perfectly straight and even rows. That is enough for me. Just to see green. Life. Newness.

With the 'good days' outnumbering the 'bad' I find myself less and less holed up-and rather, outside enjoying the gift of warm weather and this season upon us. Soon enough it will be time to put away all craft notions and work in other art mediums-dirt. A garden. Canning. Oh-such a busy time lies ahead. And oh-how I LOVE being busy! It's an exciting time, isn't it?


So much for not posting pictures on Monday, huh? I know. I snap far too many pictures. It is more than ridiculous. That is the good (AND THE BAD) of a digital camera. You just snap away. And each picture is dear to me-each with its subtle differences. The expression on a face. The color of a plant. The position of a bird. I don't foresee its end, either. In fact, I just keep giving in-more and more. I have so many pictures I haven't even posted...including a few to send out for Easter cards. Those will be for tomorrow though.



Before I post the contest, I was wondering if anyone knew (and would mind sharing) how to keep a post at the TOP of your blog even when you add posts later? Some people call it 'sticky pad' them? If someone would explain it to me, I would greatly appreciate it. I just want to make sure everyone will see the contest (since I overwhelm this blog with photos daily!) Thanks so much!
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I love the rolling hills we have

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Grilling seemed in order...another first of the season!

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Practice Practice Practice

While I grilled, Andrew practiced walking with his walking machine. And he got LOTS of practice. He went back and forth on our HUGE driveway, probably twenty times!
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On the menu:

Charcoaled chicken spiedies (I guess watching after a roaming almost walker and helping a little Miss ride a bike took me from the grill a few too many times...) Thankfully I had some...

Kielbasa to throw on there too-to supplement the ashes of chicken

Onions, peppers and mushrooms

Garlic potato wedges

and my favorite:

Grilled peaches and blueberries (both in our freezer), carmelized with brown sugar

The last three items were each grilled in their own makeshift aluminum foil pouch...so NO CLEANUP! Wa-HOO!
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