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

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The End of April


We had a wedding to go to this past weekend and it was located several hours south of us, making the trip a sort of spring-opener for us.  Leaving the gnarled fingers of our own bare-branched trees and slowly reviving grasses behind and winding up where flowering trees were all gussied up and glorious was pretty amazing.  The drive home, pinks and greens turning back to brown and crusty was less so.   The wheat was already knee high in places and there was a mustard field just outside of the church where a family kindly took our picture.  Oh, the bright yellow of that field can't help but make a girl cheerful.

I do have a few little things here and there popping up, now that I took some time to clear the flower circle out of winter debri and dead leaves.  I even spied the true heralder of spring- asparagus!  Unfortunately, every one of my garden beds is entirely covered in dandelions and grasses so I have some serious work cut out for me to prepare beds.  This is what happens when you are lazy in the fall, great with child be darned.  The dandelions are not dandy to me this year, but depressing.  There are more in the garden than in the whole yard!  And the strawberry patch I believe is going to have to be entirely redone.  There is so much to do outside to prepare for the growing season.  It is slightly overwhelming.   But it will all work out in the end.  (I repeat in my head, over and over...)

Speaking of trees, ever since the last one, these cutting boards have been my go-to couple gift.  I gave one as a wedding gift this weekend and one as a Christmas gift to Matt's brother at Christmas.  The latter one being extra special because Matt actually made the cuttingboard instead of me just drawing on a storebought one.  Isn't it beautiful?  I like the concept a lot but I do admit that my trees need some serious work.  I need to study the composition of trees more thoroughly to make my tree sketches less wonky, the branches less stubby and the trunk more natural.  Perhaps allotting myself more than a hasty 15 minutes to sketch and burn the design into the wood before having to wrap it up would help with that too. But will that actually happen?  Doubt it.

April is about over and May is fast approaching.  May is one of my favorite months of the year.  Maybe because it is my birthday month or maybe because it is when the lilacs begin to pop or maybe it is just because I come out of hibernation, stretching and yawning into the bright warm sun.  Whatever the reason, I am eager for May to make way.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Mending Pile

The grass is officially green.  And though the night temperatures still get below freezing, I know that spring is now officially upon us.  I am very much aware that the supposedly 'slow' season of winter, the one in which I have a bit more time to do little creative bits I don't have time for in other seasons, is fading and we are fast approaching 'busy season' with its' frolicking and gardening and swimming and berry picking and canning and weeding.

 I don't feel like I ever actually enjoyed any of the slowness that is supposed to accompany winter.  Where did it go?  Was it because of a certain baby girl?  Was it because the winter was so mild that I never felt huddled up and hibernating?

So in these last slow days of spring, I have been trying to eek out little moments to do some of the winter things I enjoy doing.  Mostly sewing....

I had a whim to make a dress for Ineke like this one to match her cousin.  Of course, because it was a whim, I didn't bother to look at the instructions/print the pattern and it turned out to be a shirt, not a dress and with armholes that were too tight.  FAIL.  She wore it once.  (But looked pretty darn cute doing it!)

Then, Matt's work jeans got another tear and needed mending.  They are his Frankenjeans because, even though he has other pants he could replace them with, he just won't give the darn things up.  It's bad.

Since I was mending...

I started mending other things that have been waiting for too long to be repaired...

... including undies. 

 Not to be too personal here but... have you ever thought about repairing undies instead of tossing them?  When I stretched out the elastic on all mine at 9 months pregnant, I thought I would have to toss them and start fresh.  Then I looked at just how expensive underwear is.  WHAT?!!  Yeah.  No.

I replaced the well stretched (and holey)  lace with elastic for pennies on the dollar.   Probably everyone has thought of this before and I am the last one to arrive at the party- this was one of those 'duh' moments for me and I am glad I finally had it.

At the bottom of the mending drawer I found a quilt that I started oh.....when I was pregnant with Adele.  ADELE the seven year old.  Yeah.  It was done entirely except for the binding.  Binding a baby quilt apparently takes 7 years.

I do love the fabric though...even if seven years later some of the colors have run.

I made a simple drawstring bag to store fort-building supplies that have been shoved inside a nasty old cardboard box.  Yes, I know that drawstring bags take only minutes and aren't that serious of sewing projects...

...but those few minutes were hard to etch out so it totally counts as something to be proud of.  Besides, I had been wanting to do that for over a month.  So I feel very accomplished with that little drawstring bag.

I also discovered a skirt that I have been saving (for, ahem, years).  It was one of those wildly inappropriate mini-super-short PINK skirts that  look more for a sleazy cheerleader than an adult.  It was given to us.  I thought about trying to sell it on consignment to the local sleazy teenager store and then thought something like "I like the fabric.  Maybe I could do something with it?  And besides, wouldn't I be perpetuating the sleaze by offering it for sale to the cesspool of scantily-clad self-depreciating teen girls out there?"  (or something of that nature.)

this is it, inside out.
So instead of doing that, I decided to redeem the fabric into a wholesome and sweet little Ineke ensemble.

See?  Wholesome.


A Perk for the Work

When one goes about bringing children into this world you can expect a lot of things- but one thing I never anticipated was the amount of things UNEXPECTED.

Children add so much humor and fun to life.  

Like when they walk through the door, talking casually as usual but with hair flipped over in a backwards ponytail and some reading glasses and you turn around from what you are doing, take a double/triple take and then just bust a gut.

Or when you discover in the midst of entertaining company that, even after the frantic 'get the house in order for company flurry', there is a measuring spoon taped to the doorpost.  

Why is a measuring spoon taped to the doorpost?   One doesn't ask those sorts of questions.  

I have erased from my memory so many of those wonderful things that pop out of childrens' mouths because I have intended to write them down but never did.  Here are two that are fresh enough for me to still remember:

Me:  doling out a handful of those hard, crunchy Cheetos to the children.  A rare treat.

Judah, ever curious about what he is eating: "Mama.  Are these tiger bones we are eating?"


I am working with the children on memorizing the books of the Bible.  Thanks to this cd (song #12), we've got the New Testament downpat.  We were working on the Old testament a while ago and it was Adele's turn to recite.  Genesis.  Exodus.  Leviticus.  Letters.  

(Guess she got her letters and numbers mixed up.)

Children make life so much more fun.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Yarn Along

I made a sweet little pinafore for Ineke a month or so ago.  When I first made it, the dress looked so tiny and sweet.  Then I blocked it.  It got so much bigger!  I was worried at first but it has turned out to be a very good thing indeed~ this girl is growing too fast!

My current project is an offshoot of a $60.00 pillow I saw on a certain bridal registry.  It isn't the exact same pattern but I am hoping that soft, bulky and textured ivory meets pillowform will be close enough for her liking minus the pricetag.  ;-)

As for reading~ I have little stations.  If I am nursing on the couch I am reading Loving the Little Years.  If I am in bed, it's The Narnia Code.  And if I am in the middle of a cleaning project (and by the looks of the house that hasn't happened in a while!), I am listening to A Tale of Two Cities on audiobook.

You yarnies out there- still going strong or are things starting to wane now that the weather is turning spring-like?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Baby Mine

These moments of suckling babe... of curled toes and thigh rolls, of entwined fingers and heavy breathing, of contented sighs and body loosing into dreamland, of wrapping under blankets and melting into one another, of perfectly formed earmarks indented in my arm and drippy milk drool...these are my moments.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Overwhelming(ly good)

I've noticed something about my blog lately.  It is BOOOOORING.  (And I don't even use that word.)

But that is the sad fact.

While I am not putting any meaningful words down on paper or doing any blogworthy activities, I am still often snatching photos throughout my days (though noticably less stellar than in times past) and they are piling up for 'one day when I again have time to blog'.   I make dinner.  I recite presidents and quiz country locations.  I try to stay awake as children take forever to read words like company and fellow.  I have realized anew how much laundry a baby makes.  (Wow.  I had forgotten!)  I change newborn clothes for bigger baby clothes (too soon!) and admire pages and pages and pages of freshly made art in speed rotation.

This is a rowdy, hectic, cluttery, overwhelming life.  And lest you think I am complaining, I mean that in the best possible way.  Rowdy with fun.  Hectic with little people who keep you on your toes.  Overwhelmed by the goodness of living it.   Maybe I don't love the clutter- but it only shows the abundance which we enjoy.

My days are full.  My hands are full.  My heart is full.

I have been toying with the idea of blogging every single day in the month of May to make this blog a bit more reflective of my actual life~the beautiful busy~ but I don't know if I have it in me yet.  Would it be more pressure than pleasant?  I don't want more pressure in my life.   I know that I much prefer for my blog a few select photos more often than big photo dumps every few weeks.

My worry is that I hate to be chained to something and I hate failing at things (given my track record of blogging, this is a real probability) but at the very same time I could really see it being fun.  And even a bit therapeutic.  How about this week be a test run?  Can I blog every single day this week and actually enjoy it?  Let's see....

For today~ a photo dump to help get us up to speed...

The gardens are in desperate need of some spring cleaning/maintence.
This fellow is a sure sign that I am behind the times.

The girl is not hard up for snuggles, that's for sure.

Love winter gnome babies.

Like a little puppy dog~ when the wind blows she laps it up.  

March 9th it was 78 degrees out.  We ate supper out on the porch on our new picnic table (a handmade Christmas gift!) and I took a photo in disbelief.  A month later, on April 10th, we had a snowstorm.  Strange year.  

my Opa flowers

...and the girl behind them.

A Papa pile