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

Friday, November 30, 2007

Project Dollhouse: Eats

Was it two weeks ago that I first told you about our Project Dollhouse? Has it been two weeks already?!

Today I am going to show you some of the 'eats' I created for the kitchen. This was the first time I had ever worked with sculpty clay at all-and making miniatures was more difficult than I thought! My nails kept making indentations and my fingerprints kept making patterns... but it was A LOT of fun and VERY addicting. I planned to make a pie using a beer bottle cap I had saved and ended up making ALL of these things. :-)

Candy canes are a NECESSARY part of the season and thus, simply MUST be included!

Here's the cherry pie. I am particularly proud of this! The base is a bottle cap and the insides are red beads. I wonder if a blueberry pie is in our future?!?

I had Thanksgiving on the brain, it being that time of year and all...so I decided to try my hand at a Turkey. As you can see...it didn't work out that well! I used toothpicks to create a semblance of a leg bone. I think if I glue it on a platter with some garnishes around it, it might look more...er, realistic. :-)

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Here are the rest of the treats. From left to right:

1st row: strawberry glazed donuts with seedbead sprinkles
candy canes
loaf of french bread and braided loaf with real poppy seeds!

2nd row: Chocolate cookies-used a pen cap to make the circles perfect
Cupcakes-beads decorated the tops. Made toothpick indentations on the sides.
Corn on the Cob-the sparkly kind! :-)

3rd row: Spaghetti and Meatballs (meatballs are beads) made on a bottle cap
Marshmellows for a bonfire (anyone want some smores?!?)-used toothpicks for the twigs
Cherry Pie

and speaking of cherries:

So that is my Sew Crafty Friday and Show and Tell for this week!

Matt is planning on working on the actual DOLLHOUSE this weekend and perhaps enlisting the help of his Dad, who just happens to be visiting this weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A word to our sponsors:

Attention: Lindsey!!

Here are the finished bonnets for your custom order. I didn't know if you might like both your girls to have the exact same matching bonnets or if you might prefer them to be individual but still coordinated so I opted to go both ways and leave it up to you.

So~ I made one large(r) size in burgendy and pink and one of BOTH fabrics for the small(er) size. Go ahead and let me know which one you'd like your littlest girlie to have and I will make the reserved order for my Etsy. It was easier to post the options once here than to post three options in reserve on Etsy.

I posted your name instead of your screen name to give you the option for anonymity and if you'd like to keep it that way-just email me the decision instead of posting a comment.

THANKS so much for being such a wonderful, WONDERFUL lady. You've been such an understanding customer! I have really enjoyed working with you!

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Not quite reindeer

It's ironic. The very day I post about looking on the bright side of having rodents in house since they weren't in the kitchen, I find a rodent. In the kitchen.

I was making tea yesterday afternoon; the water was boiling and I opened the pantry door to get some teabags.

The moment I swung that door open I saw a HUGE gray thing-staring its beady eyes into mine. I screamed and blubbered for just an instant and in that very same instant the thing (still unidentified) sprang at me! I stepped back and not a moment too soon.

I couldn't believe a mouse could be THAT large. It was HUGE. I couldn't believe a mouse could fly! I couldn't move my body-I couldn't think straight. I looked down. It was a flying squirrel! I didn't know what to do! I scanned the kitchen for a box to trap it in while the squirrel scanned the kitchen for an escape route.

It ran left. I ran left to block it from leaving the kitchen.

It turned and headed right. I did too.

Left again.

Right again.

I was doing a dance with a squirrel in my KITCHEN of all things! I spied a box, under my desk that would work. But-how could I GET it without the squirrel speeding by? I thought for only a second before the squirrel found a hole under my cupboard and snuck through.

I tried to get it-but knew it was no use. He was in a place I just couldn't get to, no matter how hard I tried. So I tried to go about my business as usual. But my eyes darted about, scanning the area before I walked into any particular place.

The day was uneventful and eventually the night came round with no squirrels flying or crawling about. At least none that we saw. I knew I couldn't possibly hope that the squirrel had made its way outside. Besides, a whole FAMILY of squirrels are living in the walls...so even if it had gone out of the INSIDE of the house, it was resting comfortably in its home within our home.

I put the children to bed, having nearly forgotten about the incident, and had retreated to the only warm part of our house-the basement. Matt and I were talking when I heard Corynn scream bloody murder.

Uh-oh. We made our way upstairs. She was terrified. "There's a, a, a aminal in my room!" she wailed. And sure enough. It was back. Matt wanted to shoo it out of the room. Catching a squirrel was the LAST thing he wanted to do at 8:00 at night. I wanted to catch the darn thing and get it OUT of our lives for good. I knew the children wouldn't be able to sleep if we didn't and neither would I.

What were we to do? How were we going to catch a darting, flying squirrel?!? I grabbed a box that I had prepared myself with from the earlier kitchen incident. We moved the bins of clothing in the closet and there it was-huddled in the corner. I leapt at it with the box and VERY nearly enclosed it in the box. In fact, I got the tail in the box.

I had miscalculated just a TAD bit. If I had moved the box up just a few inches I would have captured the thing and been done with it. The rest of the night would have been less than dramatic. But NO. I had to eyeball it wrong. The box edge landed on the squirrels tail which freaked it out. Incidentally, the tail is so teeny that it slides right out from under a box. Just for future reference. Also for future reference...never be close in proximity (say: an arm's length) to a freaked out squirrel. Trust me on this.

That blasted freaked out squirrel hurled itself at me and landed on my shirt then scurried its awful little rodent body up my shirt and around my neck before I could swat it off with my hand.

Talk about the heebie jeebies!!! Ugh. Gross. If I think too long about it-I still feel that furry tail on my neck. Yuck. Stop. MUST STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.

After I had squealed, jumped up and down, and tried to get over what had just happened I knew that THIS squirrel had to go. And PRONTO. THIS squirrel had just declared war-and I was GOING to win.

I grabbed a toy and started hurling it around the squirrel like a mad woman. I didn't care if I hit it. I didn't care if it ran. I wanted it to run. Matt was armed with the box and as it scurried away from me, fearing for its life-Matt ensnared it with the box. We got it.

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Since the squirrel lived in the walls and had somehow made its way inside, we knew that if we just tossed the sucker outside it would come again. And again. And again. Personally, I never want to have a self-flung squirrel climb up me ever again. EVER. AGAIN.

We tried to kill it. I won't tell you how. Would hate for nastygramsl to come just because I tried to kill a rodent. We thought it was dead. Matt took it outside and finally lifted the box and there was its still body.

But it was breathing. And then-as Matt stood in utter shock that it was still alive-it darted into the woods.

So that is my story of the the Flying squirrel. I can only hope, now that he has run away, that he doesn't come back tonight and take the revenge that he spent all night in the woods plotting.

If you never hear from me again, you'll know why.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our Love Story, the Moment. Part IX

Matt had just led me through his bachelor pad, and had revealed to me a feminine vanity and then, shock of shocks whispered "It's for you." All this while being chaperoned by his soon-to-be sister-in-law, Holly.

The vanity was lovely. A HUGE first gift. But more- even more huge was the message it conveyed. No. Guys don't buy girls pieces of furniture if they just want to hang out and chat sometimes. This painted white vanity that he bought for a song, revealed HIMSELF to me. His interest. His care. His intentions.

Never more have I cursed the presence of another than I did of Holly's that day, at that very moment.

You see, while Matt (older than me by more than a fistful of years) was responsible and mature, prudish and respectable, I am QUITE the opposite. I am affectionate and love affection returned. When I am grateful, I want to show it. I am spontaneous and wouldn't have blinked an eye at jumping in his arms. Besides, I had thought enough about the day I would kiss him that I was looking forward to it with eager anticipation. If Holly hadn't been there, I would have done so. I would have jumped into his arms and slathered that handsome, soft, smooth face with the kisses that I had spent many a dream on. I guess that is where the older and WISER man might have made a good decision. It was a good thing that Holly was there. But I hated it. And I hated that her presence had RUINED the chance for 'the kiss' and that in that very moment, I felt AWKWARD. I didn't know how to act, what to say, what to believe. I had four eyes peering at me, waiting for my reaction, and I didn't know what to do. My face, without fail, turned crimson and I awkwardly muttered a high pitched 'Thanks' while staring down at my shoes.

The ending had been awash. The grand finale was not so grand. But the drive home that night felt more like soaring wings than spinning tires. He DID care about me. He WAS interested in pursuing me! It wasn't just him being a great guy to everyone. He was being an especially great guy to ME.

From then on, we had sparkles in our eyes when we looked at each other and I didn't feel guilty that my thoughts throughout the day turned to him. After all-he was interested in me romantically!

The secret had been revealed, so after worship on Sundays, rather than dallying about, we found each other right off the bat and mingled. We began meeting up on Wednesday's at Bible Study. Church was 45 minutes from both of us, our smack-dab-midway point. We would endure prayer meeting, sitting next to one another, but we really lived for afterwards. Down the street from the church was a Dunkin Donuts, that became our official Wednesday night hangout.

After prayer meeting, we would head down there and take up our usual booth. We would share the whipped cream from Matt's cappuccino and I would sip from my juice drink. We would laugh and joke, share and debate, or just drink in each others eyes. Under the table, our legs would always be tangled up together.

Still we hadn't kissed. We hadn't hugged. We hadn't spoken any affection toward one another. It seemed odd. Strangely odd; we were so close, but so restricted. We just kind of awkwardly walked up to one another upon meeting and ungracefully bowed out at our visits end. One day I got SICK of it. Perhaps I am a BIT overzealous with my emotions, but SURELY it was RIDICULOUS that we couldn't show each other that we cared for each other in ANY way.

After one typically enchanting meeting, we were standing awkwardly by his truck making our last awkward goodbyes. It was the PERFECT moment to give him a hug. I wanted to SO bad. Just a hug. Just to say goodbye. Just to drink in his scent until I could see him again. Just to be close to him once more before we were too far from one another for too long. But I couldn't. My legs betrayed me and I stumbled away-back to my car. Each step I took broke my heart a bit more. Would we ever show REAL affection toward one another?

I started the car. He started his truck. Out of the driveway he drove, with me following him. Down the street. We were driving out of town. Away from another once again and, once again, I didn't get the chance to show him how much I cared for him. The streetlight glared its ugly read head at me and I saw Matt's silhouette in the truck right ahead. We were at the intersection with the Dunkin Donuts. OUR Dunken Donuts.

I made a decision right then and there that I was going to go for it, I was going to step out on a limb here and do what I wanted to do. What I NEEDED to do. I swerved at the last moment, screeching into the Dunkin Donuts parking lot. I turned off the car and sat there. Shivers began to shake my body-but it was too late. I was determined.

Matt had turned his truck into the parking lot as well, wondering what the heck was going on. He got out of his vehicle. So did I. He was walking toward me, a questioning look on his face and he said "What's wrong? Is something wrong?"

I didn't answer. I just kept walking. I walked right into his arms and laid my head on his shoulder. He was taken aback but when his arms instantly wrapped around me in an oh-so warm return embrace, I knew he had been longing to show me he cared to. There we stood in the middle of the Dunkin Donuts parking lot, traffic all around us, our cars haphazardly positioned, wrapped in each others arms.

Those precious moments that we shared made time seem to stand still. It was a long and lovely moment yet at the same time entirely too short. Eventually, I picked up my head and said "That's all I wanted to do." And we smiled. Going back to my vehicle, I was so utterly happy that I had taken the leap. HIs embrace had felt SOO, SOOOO good. I felt ready to be apart now that we were....together.

We got back on the road and headed out and eventually the exit ramp toward my home approached. We exchanged a glance in the rear view mirror and I prepared to smile and wave goodbye-when the truck turned in as well and slowed to a stop on the edge of the road.

I passed it. Did he think I didn't remember where my own exit was? What was he DOING? His high beams blinked at me and I thought, "WHAT is going on?" I stopped the car and saw that he was already approaching me. It was my turn this time, to wonder and ask what was the matter.
I rolled down my window. He bent over and leaned down to peer inside the car. "What's going on?" I asked and chuckling, added, "I almost didn't stop!"

Looking in his face, I knew that this was no joking matter. He had something important to say. Before I could wonder if he was going to scold me for being so brazen he opened his mouth, and with a voice thick with emotion, said to me "Rebecca. I need to tell you this now. I want you to know before we leave today, before you go home. I love you."

That's one way to look at it.

I am busy these days, overwhelmingly so. OR I could look at it as I am never ever bored with a mundane life.

Company is expected this weekend which means: 1) Friday needs to wait a bit to arrive so I can be ready. 2) Friday can't get here soon enough, to visit. It's all in how you look at it.

I am in the thick of hauling what has been long out of sight-back INTO sight as we prepare to get our Christmas tree tonight. The house is extremely messy right now. But think of it TONIGHT!

The spray roses pictured I bought along with some other flowers to make a bouquet as a gift to our hosts for Thanksgiving. A few sprigs couldn't fit in the vase I made for them, so I got to keep some for myself. They are already half dead, but what a beautiful sight it is to see fresh flowers on my table, even if they aren't quite FRESH. :-)

My sewing machine bit the dust this past week. More like, swallowed it whole and then asphyxiated. I don't know WHAT I am going to do until I can save up enough money to buy another one. The 8 or so handmade Christmas gifts I had in mind, mittens for my little kittens, the flannel PJ's, the matching Christmas outfits for the children I had planned, the hopeful's for my Etsy shoppe...all were buried with it. A piece of me died with it. Seriously. That sounds REALLY dumb-but it's true. My sewing machine and my camera are my two sidekicks and now I am off balance. On the other hand, all those stitching plans might not have meshed well with already being overwhelmed.

My glasses, the ones I have owned for as many years as I have fingers, the ONLY ones I have that were WAY out-dated perscription-wise- were bent and twisted beyond repair by a certain set of naughty fingers and now I have none. ON the other hand, I do have contacts, which doesn't NEED to be so.

This house is strewn with mice. And squirrels are living in the walls. However, they haven't yet discovered my KITCHEN and are slowly dying off as our traps are being set. So, is it really all THAT bad?

We can't afford lavish clothes, food, or ANYTHING lavish for that matter and when you want something that is LAVISH or even NOT lavish (like a new sewing machine!) it can make you glum. On the other hand, we have no debt and are saving money. SLowly but surely. For our someday house and land. That makes everything lavish less appealing and every necessary purchase put back into perspective.

I am in charge of decorating yet another bridal shower, this time to a more difficult-to-please bridal family so I am a bit stressed that I meet their expectations. On the other hand, this is a CHURCH shower and I am no paid party planner, so whatever I do should be received with thankfulness. Besides, I do very much love to decorate and plan parties!

My arms are feeling mighty empty now, as another month passes by with no remorse that there will be no Christmas present named Baby on it for me. But, last night I tearfully kissed the foreheads of my sleeping babes and whispered sweet secrets in their ears as they slept...and the corner of their mouths curled up in a sleepy, dreamy, happy smile. I have two that didn't need to be mine. But they are, on loan from the Lord above.

My husband used to write me love poems quite often and though he said he was planning to do another soon, I haven't seen it. Yet, as we laid in bed last night he stroked my hair and looked at me in a most thoughtful way and told me I was beautiful and that he was so glad I was his wife.

So you see, I suppose it's all in how you look at it.

And just because: I noticed another little beastie in the kids' room. And worse, right INSIDE the ARMOIRE for Corynn!

but this one I do hope stays for a while.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

The brisk winds of November have returned again for their yearly visit, and travelling with them, Thanksgiving Day.

It is a good friend to see, and the visiting and catching up that we do when we meet surely does warm my heart.

She asks of me, "Well then, Rebecca. What goodness has been brought to you this year, that we might discuss?" And I smile and nod, and I am lost in thought at how this year has brought me even more wonderful things than the last. The memories that make me chuckle, and some that make me cry.

"The Lord has been good to me this year, Thanksgiving. As with all years." I reply. And she knowingly nods, bending boughs low.

And I try to decide for what I am MOST thankful.

We have eaten well this year, perhaps too well.

Our health is good, a blessing to be sure.

I am thankful to borrow for as long as I am able, the dishwasher that came with our rented home.

The children have beds and blankets, as do we.

We lack for nothing, and even at times, LOATHE all the goodness we DO have (when it clutters the house on a daily basis.)

I am thankful for my friends with whom I write letters and share my daily thoughts with.

I am thankful for my craft room, my dream come true camera that I have waited many years for, and all manner of little luxuries I am afforded.

I am thankful for the people I share my life with. My husband. My girl. My boy. My friends. My extended family. This is true as with every year.

Thanksgiving, patiently waits as I sort my thoughts.

"I think perhaps, my MOST grateful gift this year; the thing I am MOST thankful for this day, is that my life is already planned out for me. I don't know if my family will end up in NY or PA, or when such a move might happen. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if Matt gets a job at a nicer facility or not. It doesn't matter if (gulp) I am given more children or only the two that I have now...

It doesn't matter because even still, it is IN CONTROL. My life is already planned. My life is the LORD'S and He has a plan for us that far exceeds our own expectations. If what we want doesn't happen TODAY...then perhaps it is because something BETTER will happen tomorrow.

But I can rest assured, that the Lord ALREADY knows what will happen. Has already laid the plans. And He will give to us what we need when we need it. His plan for our lives is for His glory and honor, so I can rest assured that it will be good.

Dear Thanksgiving, we simply MUST visit with one another more often." I say.

And Thanksgiving bows low her head in understanding.

"We shall." she replies.

And I know it shall be so.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my dear friends. I hope your day is filled with love and you give all glory and honor to the One who deserves it. :-)

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My Darling

Oh how thankful I am for my Mattie, in all his many faces.

He lights up my life, even when the light comes only from a thought.

I am thankful that he puts up with my playful, silly ways. I am, after all, practically half his age! ;-)

And that he supports me in all I do. Whether it be work or hobbies, he is always there to encourage me and build me up. He even lets me take pictures of him all the time and I know THAT'S a sacrifice!

My life is what it is because of him. And I wouldn't change it for anything.
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My Girl

Little Miss Corynn brings so much joy to my life. This year she has grown in so many wonderful ways, and for each one I am most grateful. She posesses a joy in the Lord that warms my heart and defines for me what scripture says about faith being child-like. I am thankful that she has a yearning for knowledge, books, and information of all kinds.

I am thankful she has a love of babies and wants to do everything that I do and wants to love everything that I love.

I am thankful, too, that even though she is now FOUR years old...that she still has that small little ear hold whenever she gets a bit nervous or distressed. That is just precious to me and when the day finally comes when she stops doing it, I will miss it. Very much.

I am thankful that she can make me laugh with no effort at all and that she keeps me on my toes and that she makes my life so much more full with her in it.
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The Wee One

I am ever so thankful for my Panda. The changeling that is turning into a boy before my very eyes. Because the Lord hasn't given me a wee one to replace him, I am holding on tighter to these precious few last moments I have of his babyhood.

The eye rubs of babies, as they fight with their entire beings the inevitable rest after a hard day at play.

Eskimo Kisses, they are plentious.

And for all of these, too.

Babies grow too quickly, and speed through stage after stage after stage without looking back. The stage my Panda is in now, is the Mama's boy stage. He needs me near to be confident and assured. I know this stage will be shortlived, and soon enough it will be hard enough just getting a cuddle in here and there. But I like that he needs me so much right now. He clings to me and I can't help but wonder if the Lord made it so because I cling to him as well. He may be my second, he may be my last. Either way-right here and now, he is my only baby and I MUST enjoy this stage before it too, disappears into memoryville.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Still Kicking

Here I sit, three days after arriving home, and only just having the time or energy to devote to posting photos from our weekend away. I know. Tis not like me at all.

Since coming home, one thing after another has hindered me from getting anything accomplished. Things are not going smoothly over here. Or maybe that is just a good excuse?!

Well, regardless, I thought I better get on here and write SOMETHING otherwise I might be thought of as dead. Or at least, seriously maimed.

Which I am not, any more so than usual! :-)

The weekend was wonderful all the way around. It was fun filled, family filled, and brimming with special treats we don't often get. There was the candle at Walmart incidence, and our frantic search for a wine store that lasted many a street's length (had to mention those Mom! Just for YOU! hehehe), the Long Island Iced Tea in the smoky hotel bar. Fun times that only happen when my Mom is around, she is good at finding fun. That's for sure. The billiard tables stood empty only because Matt wasn't with us. My how I did tease him about that one!
The wedding itself was a bit stressful for me-as I was trying to manhandle my two babes alone...and take pictures.

I gave up on that after a while, only in order to keep my sanity. The ones I did take turned out not so well, since a jovial Panda was jostling my elbows every chance he could. I didn't get a photo of the children and I together, as I had hoped, simply because there wasn't time. Too bad too-we were looking pretty dapper...the three of us.

But the wedding stress aside, the rest of the time there wasn't a care in my head.

I love times like that.

So here I am. I am not dead. Or maimed. Just trying to resume life as normal.

Which is highly unlikely, since after all, this week is not a NORMAL week!

It is EXTRAORDINARY, so surely must we be!

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The Wedding

Our row of spectators...

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a few, more or less

The ceremony was full of song. The best man played the guitar. The groom serenaded the bride. Truly reflects the couples' love of theatre and music.

This last picture is not a good one. At all. But I post it because it is a good memory. After the wedding ceremony, I was packing up my belongings when Corynn rushed to me and said that a lady wanted to take her picture. She asked if that would be alright and I said what any Mama wanna-be-someday-photographer would say, "Well YEAH!"

The photographers took Corynn up front and took several shots of her. She was the only one they asked to photograph. The vain and proud part of me says "Wahoo! That is pretty cool!" And the vain and proud part of me shares my indiscretions here, for all to see and tisk tisk at.

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