Monday, March 30, 2009

Knitting Completed!

It's DONE! IM FINISHED! My first ever knitted project finished this morning by with sewing the seams. DS1 Loves it, and despite my concerns over how bright the yarn was, I'm very pleased with how he looks in it. I used the Weasley Sweater pattern, and I think I will make another in denim blue for his little brother.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

God Is WIth Us!

The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Psalm 121:8

- Amen

c CEJTM 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I DID accomplish something this week! WOoHOo! DD made pin cushions, buckets and flowers (still have to make some leaves though). I received a prize for entering a Valentines day contest on Ravelry's Knutty Knitters Unraveled (Thanks Stormy, I love the stitch markers and book mark!) I received my fabric scraps from Etsy, a Sweet score! Back to making yo-yo's with DD. I created a knit/crochet pattern from some lovely thrift store green wool yarn and cotton cream yarn, a nice arm warmer (now for arm 2)I acquired a large stash of wool yarn for under $10 from the thrift store. I also acquired a nice lot of antique pins for $1. I did a doodled sketch I think I'll keep. I cleaned up my desktop on my computer, now all my downloads are filed properly. And my children have been amply loved, fed and clothed and cuddled all week! So life is good :o)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Crazy Busy Day

Yesterday could have used a few more hours tucked onto the end. The day was done and over before I was, and yet I'm not entirely sure what got finished!! DD did sew together a pile of pin cushions. We've modified the pattern, and they look wonderful! She is waiting for me to embroider some leaves to be sewn on with some ribbon. I finished the wedding gift for April 3, except for one small thing to sew on the machine, and the children got all their Awana work done. DD memorized all the books of the bible and is now working on the 23 Psalm. And today she advanced to the next level in her step dance class! She's been waiting for this for a while. Great job Sweet Heart!

Monday, March 23, 2009

So Proud!

My Little Princess was so sweet today! The boys were napping and we made a few pincushions together. Then while I was cleaning up she asked, or rather insisted that she should start supper. She is 6, to be seven in June. She pulled out a chair and started arranging the pots for spaghetti onto the stove, took a measuring cup and filled two pots with water (we make two pots, gf rice and multi grain noodles) Added salt and then cut open the bag of hamburg and dumped in the frying pan. AND remembered to wash her hands diligently after touching meat packaging! I sat and chatted with her while she did this and answered her questions. She got out the sauce and peeled an onion with her hands (that was funny!) and dumped the pasta into the pots. I even let her turn on the elements, showing her how to do them from one side to the other so you don't get burnt reaching over a working element. She allowed me to cut the onion, open the jar of sauce and drain the noodles. But she carefully separated the meat and seasoned it when it was finished, all while carefully standing on her chair at the stove. She looked so cute in her apron and was so careful and listened so well to my directions. It took a while to cook because I kept the elements low so we wouldn't have any boil overs for her to worry about. And then she dished up everyone's plate with spaghetti and green peas (that she also cooked herself) I put the sauce on and Bon Appetit! I wish I had gotten a picture. She says every Monday will be Spaghetti night, and she'll cook. A very tempting offer! (But like she said to her brother, then she doesn't have to clear dishes!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Life Lessons by a Seamstress

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." (Isaiah 61:10)

When you look at a sewing pattern, it's all packaged up neat and tidy. It's perfectly folded and waiting to be used. But is it finished yet? The obvious answer is no, because it has not served it's purpose yet! But is it useful? Yes! The seamstress can use it to make a beautiful dress. But first it must be opened up and taken apart, cut out to the right shapes and size.
A pattern is then set on a solid piece of fabric and pinned on or weighted down. The seamstress carefully cuts around each pattern piece and ends up with a neat pile of material. Is it finished yet? NO! You can't wear a pile of fabric! But is it useful? Yes, to someone who reads the directions provided and takes the fabric to the sewing machine to be manipulated into a beautiful dress!

The seamstress carefully sews it together using their machines and scissors to trim away extra fabric, making all the seams co-operate with the shape of the dress to be. It can be tried on, pinned to size and length and zippers or buttons placed on maybe even embellished with embroidery or lace.
Is it finished yet? It's wearable, it was made to fit. But with all that handling it has creases and wrinkles. It should be ironed with a hot iron to be made crisp and straight. To lay the seams down flat so there are no puckers. But the iron must not be too hot, the seamstress must know her fabric so that she does not burn the fabric and ruin the dress.Is it done yet? It could be. You can wear it with pride, everything looks to be in the right place.

But sometimes the seamstress decides that something is missing, small details need to be added.
And one by one she carefully applies small crystals to the skirt, or the bodice, that makes the dress sparkle when the light touches it. A special detail to make the intended wearer shine above the others around them.
It is done, ready for the big day! The wedding goes on as planned and the day is filled with happy family and friends and a thousand pictures are taken in the garden.

The Garden. Grass. The dress is long, and the grass is damp. And even though we sometimes remember to lift the dress as we walk, all the moving and positioning of the dress during photo's moves the dress carelessly over the grass and stains the underskirts and the hems. Some brides carry white chalk with them to rub over the stains, but it is only a temporary fix. The stains are only masked over for the time being, but they are still there.
Is the dress ruined? If you put no value in the dress, you may say it's ruined and toss it away. But to a bride this was her perfect dress for her perfect day. She will take it to a cleaners and have the stains from that day removed professionally. And then the traditional bride will ask them to box it up carefully for storage, hoping that someday she might have a daughter who she might pass the dress on to.

Now, think of God as our seamstress and our lives as the pattern and fabric.
We come into this life as babies, perfectly folded and sweet. But we are expected to grow, to blossom and experience life. Most of the time we go through life and we are content with where we are . But when strife comes, we question our abilities or our positions or our relationships. And we wonder what we are here for. But God isn't finished with us yet! He still has more to do, situations that will make us grow,instances that will humble us, reasons to show us His love. When we read life's directions from the Bible, we can be more willing to be His fabric and be changed and shaped into something beautiful.
We may feel cut up, pinned or weighted down or feel the heat of hot irons in our life. But that does not mean that God is not in control. Sometimes we put ourselves into those situations because of our free choice to make (bad?) decisions. And sometimes God puts us in those paths, but he knows our fabric and knows how much heat it would take to burn us. God does not desire to ruin us, that is not a part of his plan. He can use those situations to shape us, to iron out order in our lives. He can embellish us, make our lives shine for Him, displaying the light of His Son in this life and allowing us to leave a legacy for our children. But even if we walk faithfully with the Lord, that does not mean our lives will be trouble free. The sinful world will still affect us and even leave stains on us. But when we remain faithful through all these things our reward is with God in Heaven, where we will be perfect in His eyes, "grass stains" and all will be cleaned away, completely gone!

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

c CEJTM 2009

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Thrift Store Finds!

Had a nice day for shopping yesterday! And the thrift store had a few special finds for me. The first was a sugar and cream set. The leaves on it remind me of a maple tree that hung over my parents back yard when I was growing up! I think the coloring is beautiful! I don't need a sugar and cream set, but I didn't pass it up! $3
Next find was a Denver Hayes wool hat with silk lining. It's practically brand new. Someone has sewn on extra buttons, which I may or may not keep on. $5
A pair of retro looking shoes, perfect for the up coming wedding I'm going to! I can't find an outfit better than anything I already have, so these will be a nice touch! $7
A pair of skates for my daughter next winter $0.50 (oh my, broke the bank!)
A pair of denim weight dark blue pocket curtains that match the boys comforters (All items are dark denim and have natural wood buttons, all bought at separate times and thrift stores!!) $13
And some wonderful yarn. 3 skeins of vintage wool/mohair,gold metal- Italian. $1.50 (not my favorite color, but it seems to scream my MIL name) and a ball of baby green and cream fingering wool, wound side by side, ready to be knitted into something wonderful! $1.00 (and came with a bunch of other green acrylics.)
So it made for a great day all around. Now I need to search out some patterns!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Jodie!

Best Friend Jodie is having a birthday! Happy Birthday to You! The children made her a couple of little gifts to send to KW with their dad when he went down on a run last week. DS1 wanted to make something stuffed, but time and space, and the fact he isn't able to make something that intricate by himself I started putting out other ideas. Jodie LOVES to read, and has very eclectic tastes in books. So we came up with our own bookmark pattern (if I figure out how to make pdf's to share on blogs I'll post the pattern) of a giraffe. He cut out all the spots himself and between him and his sister, glued it all together. The eyes stick over the top of your book when you place it inside!

And DD made Jodie one of the pin cushions she had wanted to try. She choose out all the materials and sewed the actual flower and stuffed it. Then I embellished the leaves and sewed it all together (for this time! I want her to learn to sew the pieces together herself on the next one!) I'm very proud of the outcome. The ribbon on it actually reads happy birthday in gold sparkles! Both these projects were done in a 2 hr time span, and a lot of fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dancing at Rogers

March break madness around here, only we don't really get a March break being home schooled. But we have taken advantage of some of the family activities provided in the area. But yesterday was our super busy day!The childrens dance teacher Kelly Maw invited us to meet her at the local cable station and the children performed on the local Daily talk show! What a great experience for them all. DD and DS1 said the lights were "awful bright".
I took some pictures, so here I present to you the Step Dancing at the Cable Show!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Make your own Ketchup!

DS1 on top of all his food problems is allergic to Ketchup. I don't know what or why, but he gets horrible leg cramps when he eats any bought variety. A wonderful friend of mine passed on their ketchup recipe that they use for their ADHD son, whom they removed red food coloring from his diet. So anyone who wishes a gourmet and fresher tasting, less sugar ketchup, here's the recipe!


2- 5.5 oz cans tomato paste
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar (I love pure cane sugar in this)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Cook in a sauce pan on med heat, stirring until boiling. Boil for 1 min and remove from heat a cool. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate. Serve as a condiment.

You could also bottle this while it's hot with regular sealing procedures in a hot water bath.

NOTE: A reader wrote me that they like to add a drop or two of Tabasco to it, YUM!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Turkey on a Bun

Alas, with gluten free diets we can no longer use the traditional can of cream soup in all our casseroles. I have learned to survive without those casseroles, but I sorrowfully missed my turkey on a bun...left over turkey and a can of cream of chicken soup warmed and served on a bun. BUT (!yipee!) I have come up with a Gluten free alternative that outdoes the canned variety! My biggest hint for gluten free today is.....When we make a roast of any kind, we make a SUPER size vat of homemade gravy and freeze the leftovers.
Here's my recipe!

Turkey on a Bun

2 cups of cooked, chopped turkey
1/3 cup Miracle Whip Mayonnaise
1 cup - 1 1/2 cups turkey gravy
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp celery seed (NOT celery salt)

Mix together in a saucepan and heat through, stirring often on med/low heat as not to burn. Serve on closed buns (like a hamburger!)Use gluten free buns if needing GF

Monday, March 16, 2009

MMmmmm Etsy!

I had a package arrive for me today from LotsOpatterns on Etsy with some crafting magazines. DD wants to make pin cushions featured on the cover, to sell for camp money! I love looking at sewing and craft magazines, and am glad I posses the talent to do a lot of the projects, I just wish I actually had time! I'm also making a couple of hand made items for an up coming wedding gift. I've started making pot holders for a kitchen set, but my DD's idea of pin cushions makes me re think that I should make a vintage style sewing kit? The bride has some traditional skills, so she might enjoy it. The couple are renovating their house, so we intend to include a Home Depot gift card as well.
I also ordered some bags of quilting scraps from Sweets for my Baby, so DD and I can make a yo-yo table runner. We have one ready to sew together, but DD is ready to make more yo-yo's.
I'm a few steps closer to getting an Etsy store going myself. I'm working out a business plan and researching what the quick selling items seem to be. I'm thinking small and kit type items. Maybe even kits for some of my free patterns?
And one last crafting link....I am loving Allie's Craft Blog. She has found some great links to some really great crafting/sewing projects!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Peace in the Morning

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)

I am watching the sun rise outside my window this morning. The children are still sleeping and I am just enjoying this moment of peaceful quiet......

For The Beauty of The Earth
by Folliott S. Pierpoint, 1864

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies;
For the love which from our birth,
Over and around us lies;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the wonder of each hour,
Of the day and of the night;
Hill and vale and tree and flow'r,
Sun and moon, and stars of light;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of ear and eye,
For the heart and mind's delight;
For the mystic harmony,
Linking sense to sound and sight;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child;
Friends on Earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thy church that evermore,
Lifteth holy hands above;
Off'ring up on ev'ry shore,
Her pure sacrifice of love;
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For the martyrs crown of light,
For Thy prophets eagle eye,
For Thy bold confessors might,
For the lips of infancy.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.

For Thyself, best Gift Divine,
To the world so freely given,
For that great, great love of Thine,
Peace on earth and joy in heaven.
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This, our hymn of grateful praise.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spring Walk

Sun was so nice today! It's still nippy out, but we went for a walk down the street to the fish ladder. (FYI, it's a man made dam that lets the salmon get up to their spawning ground with less stress) We call it the Mill dam, as there use to be a mill there in years gone by.
We ended up spending almost two hours outside, and even opted to put the swings back on the swing set to keep everyone entertained.
So here is our walk in pictures, enlarge the crocuses by clicking on it and see the obnoxious fly that flew into the shot!

Is life moving slower, or faster than my head is spinning?

I'm sick, or rather STILL sick with the flu. Not the messy kind but the "who wants to eat or move from bed can't breath and tired of the fever" kind. The kind you're suppose to stand in line for a flu shot in November kind that I never take because they've picked the wrong strain to inoculate against 5 years running. And I know it's been 5 years because for 5 years I have always been sick for the 12 of March, including the day I gave birth to our second child, our first son. He turned 5 on Thursday, and I did my best to give him a great day despite my physical yuckyness. His sweater is not quite done, one sleeve left to go, but it is started this morning. We spent his day decorating gluten free cupcakes with Walle candies and m&m's. We had his gifts at lunch time and ate out for Chinese for supper, We rented Kungfu Panda which we watched after pulling open a Buzz Light year pinata. All in all I think he had a pretty good day, although I snuck in many moments to veg on the couch! Yesterday my best friend since the baby carriage came from KW to visit with us. She was up for a family funeral, but made some time to see us, and the birthday boy of course! We had a great visit, we can never get enough of her! Thanks for coming Jodie! Well, the sun is shining today, and the snow is off of the sidewalks. Maybe I'll bundle myself up and drag the bikes out and inflate some tires. There's still snow on the grass, I'll pray no one wipes out! And I'm sure the fresh air will be good for my lungs! Toodles!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Artist Thursday

Kristin has been the princess of challenges of late! It's nice having a good reason to keep creative! She has encouraged us to share our painting. Although I dabble in water colors, I'm more of a pen and ink girl. (I embellish pen and ink with water color sometimes)I usually draw sketches for seamstress work, but I have sold a few of my "scribblings" so I guess they aren't bad. Here is one I sent to my Christmas apron swap partner Christian I've never taken pictures of my work before, so this picture is compliments of her blog (Hope you don't mind Christian!?) I made this art work for her specifically, and transferred it onto her apron as an iron on patch. I've already "borrowed" one picture, check out her blog to see the apron if you wish! ;o)

I am currently working on illustrations for a story for my daughter I wrote. We have "Make Your Own Story Night", where the children and I curl up in bed at night in the dark and tell stories to each other and we get to fill in the blanks as they leave a sentence unfinished. We start out, "Once upon a time there was a boy/girl named____________ their favorite (thing/place/ person) was ______________" and then with the filled in information by us they tell the rest of the story. I've embellished it quite a bit, but it was my daughters story I'm drawing pictures for, so I share the credit with her for it! I hope to post the story with pictures sometime in the future. It's called Teeny Tiny Tea Rose for Two. Should be fun!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

Here’s a Sweet n’ sour cabbage soup I invented. If you’ve ever had cabbage rolls, it’s very similar in taste

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

In a skillet, cook up:
1/2 - 1 lb ground beef
1 med onion

In a soup pot combine:
1/3 of a head of cabbage chopped or grated
1/2 cup rice
2 cups water (or enough to slightly cover the cabbage)

bring to a boil and turn down until cabbage is tender, but not limp

meat mixture
1- 1L can of low salt tomato juice
2tsp Worcestershire sauce (not wheat free) or gluten free Soy sauce
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp (gluten free) chicken soup powder mix (or chicken Oxy cube - sorry not gf!)

Cook on med low heat until rice is cooked through. Serve! If it looks too thick for your liking, add more water while cooking.

And apparently you can sub golden raisins for ground beef if you like meatless meals! I saw a recipe on recipezaar that used raisins for ground beef in soup.

Monday, March 9, 2009

So tired, but happy!

I'm so tired of being sick. For 6 weeks now it's either me or one of the children. On a positive note, although my eyes are watering and the Kleenex box is my closest friend today, I have made tremendous progress on my very first knitted project!! For that I am happy! I have finished the back of the Weasley Sweater after 3 tries. Try one was fine, until I realized with 4" left to go, that I wanted a bigger sweater for my son. The chest measurement was right, but it would have been too short to continue following that pattern. So I recast on, started again and after 2 more inches I borrowed my moms #8 circular needles to have to do the neck in round, and realized that my needles were British and not the same 8 as US 5mm/8. So because I'm a perfectionist, I frogged that attempt and re-looked through my stash of thrift store needles for a needle gauge and found a pair of unmarked bamboo needles that were the right size. So now the back is done, and I am 1/3 done the front. Dear son reassures me I will have it done in time to wear to Chinese on Thursday night for his birthday supper. I wish I could share his optimism!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Faith in Life Here and Now

Hebrews 13:5 content with such things as ye have for He has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Last Sunday I posted on believing God sends us protection, which include angels. And in that post I made mention that I had not always trusted God to protect my little ones. Here is a very personal part of my life story. I believe other moms with postpartum depression, or with a founded fear of SIDs can relate to it. So I share it to let them know there is hope!

As and aide on a palliative care floor in a private nursing home, I have sat and witnessed more than my share of death. I have felt the presence of a soul leave a room. I have also walked into a room that feels completely empty, and found that the resident had passed in their sleep. Some went peacefully and some with a fight. But I had never been prepared for what I had witnessed, to affect the rest of my life.

It was with our first born, our daughter, that my faith as a Christian was really tested. Within the year of her conception and her birth, I lost two most important grandparents in my life from heart related illnesses.
Perhaps someday I will share more my experiences with Postpartum depression. But what anchored PPD in me was that our daughter had a pulmonary heart disorder. And I felt very alone trying to come to terms with it. I was so afraid to ever leave her alone. I don't fear death itself, but the fear of being left alone while my loved ones were passing on ahead is what gripped me.
Moms know what it is like the first time your firstborn sleeps past their usually feeding in the night. You wake with a start and rush to check on them. For me it was that and worse. I would wake up and completely panic. And I was so afraid to go check on her because I did not want to come face to face with the absolute worst possibility. And then I would beat myself up for not being there for her. At first I would wake my husband, and when he brought her in safe and sound I would nurse her and cry quietly with relief, so not to disturb my husband sleeping again, or my daughter eating. I was just plainly full of fear, and I didn't trust God not to take her from us. I eventually learned to force myself to check on her. But I still cried and would hold her for ages before putting her back in her bed. But God had a lot of work to do on my heart, as well as hers. And it was actually the day of her surgery (she was 11 months old) that I felt at peace for the first time since she had been diagnosed. I know that the peace I had that moment was from the many prayers from my church family and family members that were being offered up that day for us. But I knew I wanted to keep that feeling of peace. I didn't want to fear anymore. And that gave my soul the strength to accept answers to my problems, which I hadn't allowed in before.

I have learn to trust God, although I am not perfect and there are still times my faith teeters. And I had to come to terms with my depression, and with the life experiences I had been through, witnessing death.
My mom who was still grieving the loss of her parents, shared with me one of her mothers favorite verses.

John 14:27
I'm leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.

c CEJTM 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Blog Scheduling

I am trying to blog every day for the entire month of March, along with my fellow yarnies from Ravelry in Kristen's Reclaiming the home group. But I figure I may stay on task better if I schedule a specific topic subject per day. So here is my t.v guide version of my blog, and like any t.v guide, subject to change without notice! I'll list by my favorite tags....

Sunday - Lessons in Faith.
Monday - Crafts
Tuesday - Gluten Free Recipes, Main Dishes
Wednesday- Gluten Free Recipe, Bread and Desserts
Thursday - Family Life
Friday - Crochet Projects
Saturday - Anything Goes!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I Just Might Make It!

It has been a tough couple of days. Very little sleep mixed with testy relationships and a very busy and sick with flu family. But despite the fact that I barely feel sane, I have successfully cast on my very fist knitted project....EVER! I am making a simple sweater for DS#1, and I have a week to finish it (it's small, he's 5 in 6 days!) So despite all my frustrations, I do feel proud, and that I finally figured out that all the times I ever tried to knit, I've just been casting on backwards! (Silly me!) If I really do figure out this knitting thing,watch out!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dress for Dolly

I should have been house cleaning today. I should have taken a nap this afternoon, as I was up all night(really, ALL night) with two sick boys. But I am the most creative when I procrastinate! I did actually start to tackle my sewing room that has been ignored since our last baby bundle arrived almost 3 years ago. But I found a box of thrift store pillowcases and some pink ribbon, so I allowed myself to be distracted instead!!
I had bookmarked the Red Instead Blog on her pillow case dress and when I found a pure white pillow case I went to work! Here's how it turned out.......

DD loves it and wore it all afternoon, she can't wait to show it to Grandma! She wants a matching sun hat, time to dig through my patterns (Oh DEAR!)
I also had some old, REALLY old pillow cases, so I used them to make a nightgown with sleeves today to. I love the crochet lace on the bottom!

So I'm ready to tuck everyone in bed. I'll try to ignore RTH chat room so I might actually accomplish something today! But one more picture of my little model! She is reading for Awana next week!