"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Saturday, March 24, 2012


It's been 11 years since our girls got to fly in a commercial plane. Some of them got to fly with a young pilots programs in our county wherein they got to fly in a 3-4 passenger size plane for a few minutes. But the oldest and youngest were age-inappropriate for that.

So, it was with great excitement that we boarded the plane on Thursday to fly to Spokane, Washington and then drove an hour and a half south to Moscow, Idaho to visit our son/brother.
Taking the airport by storm!

First time to fly for the Peanut

We chased the sunset most the way

We have to chuckle because we left an abnormally warm spring in Michigan to come to an abnormally cold spring in Idaho. So it's not like we're having a tropical vacation by any stretch of the imagination. It's also been interesting for the girls to see the treeless rolling hills. They have snow on them, which I guess they don't often have. I'll have to show pictures of them later because I sent the camera with Precious and I'm sitting in the hotel with sick girls. We're hoping they get well soon and can continue to enjoy the adventures. Meanwhile, we're learning about Southern culture through the History Channel. Interesting.

Friday, March 16, 2012

3 Finishes (!) and an Idea

I am so excited about some finishes. Actually two were new starts and finished all in one afternoon.

I'd had a long-sleeved t-shirt for some time that I'd wanted to turn into a dress for Peanut. So yesterday afternoon, since we finished our studies early, I had time to make this with some remnant fabric I'd found.

Using a small zig-zag stitch, it was a real quick project. I'm still probably going to add some yo-yos at the waist and Precious wants to sew bright buttons all along the neckline, so we'll probably get to that while we watch movies tonight. (Friday night is movie night at our house.)

The second semi-quick project was to make myself a new apron. I had been given an apron by friends that I really liked, but it was getting pretty grubby looking, so I decided to try to use it as a pattern to make a new pretty one. I enjoyed making it so much that I might try to make up several to put in our rather neglected Etsy store. But that probably won't be for another couple of weeks as our schedule is rather full.

And, last but certainly not least, I finally finished hand-quilting the quilt that I've been working on for months. This was a for-hire hand-quilting job; I didn't piece the top, but I sure think it's pretty. It's a relief to have it done finally and I'm happy with how it turned out.

So to celebrate, we took the quilt in to the quilt shop, which is the drop spot, and then I treated us to pizza buffet at a local pizza shop where I saw this very cool mural. Now I want to make one along the same line.

I wonder how it would be with tea cups, saucers, etc.? So many ideas; so little time.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beauty for Breakfast

A great way to start off the day with an attitude of beauty is to make breakfast beautiful. Sometimes we're tempted to just rush through a quick breakfast so we can get to the "important" things of the day, but we're missing the point of joy in the journey and making everything beautiful. Besides, breakfast is a very important thing of the day. And beautifying it can be so simple and frugal.

So, here are a few ways I've beautified breakfast lately:
The teacups have been collected from auctions, yard sales and thrift stores. The parfait glasses came from a thrift store. The Greek yogurt is so good and thick; the berries were on sale; the granola is homemade.

The egg cups came from Meijer and the ribbons were on sale at Hobby Lobby.

The sideways pineapples and strawberries were on sale and a wonderful spring treat. The plate was a yard sale find.

My favorite way to beautify the table is with table runners and nature - here  a  dried rose bouquet. The table runner was a freebie at a yard sale; all I had to do was sew four vintage yo yo panels together. An exciting find!

So, go beautify your breakfast!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Value of Maintaining Good Habits - Overall Overhaul

               It’s so hard to try to regain order and discipline if things have been let go. Just like it’s hard to lose weight, whereas gaining weight is so easy. Daily discipline and good habits are so valuable and should be maintained constantly. It seems that that would be such a lot of work. But I firmly believe, having learned the very hard way, that the work of daily maintenance of good habits is much easier work than having to backtrack, dig out the old and bad and then begin the rebuilding and recapturing process. Too soon old; too late smart.
               I have let so much slide that now has to be recaptured and retaught and new old habits made. The house work, eating habits, hygiene and body care, study habits, dealing with sin in godly ways rather than in anger and impatience and disgust. The piles of stuff and clutter that lay about the house are only symptomatic of the clutter and bad habits that are lying all over the rest of our lives. We have allowed nasty tones of voices, cutting down, biting humor as well as sloppiness in schoolwork and housekeeping. And now we have to face those ugly piles of clutter and sin and do battle with them, cut them down to nothing and then build new and good habits which should have been built and maintained years ago. Good habits actually simplify life.
               Where to start?! Here are some immediate goals:
Speech: Build the habits of gentle and encouraging words and tones of voice. Help everyone mind their       own business.
Responsibility: Give rewards and praise for those who complete their responsibilities, especially if they                take the initiative to do something.
Homemaking: Continue to attack 2-3 hotspots/piles per week. Build habit of maintaining order by                putting things away immediately after use. Spend more time in the kitchen.
Finances: Build habit of keeping a close eye on what’s coming and going. Always write in debits.
Spiritual: Don’t just read the daily Bible reading – meditate, pray, journal, share.
Physical: Exercise at least once a day – pilates & T. Tapp. Hopefully walk outside, too. Eat natural,                thinking about eliminating wheat. Don’t stress about weight.
Family Relationships: Review how to correct in godly love and pass that on to the girls. Use God’s Word     to point out sins, not correcting just because they’re being annoying or irresponsible.
Spouse Relationships: Don’t be so busy, especially when Lovey’s home. Work on thoughtfulness in the                little things.
Education: Build the habit of checking everybody’s work daily and then helping them learn from their                mistakes. Require more writing. Keep my mind in the schooling.

               Somehow this must all be done with an attitude of love and joy rather than militaristic regimen and boot camp barking. Rewards and praise rather than constant criticism.
               “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” I Cor. 10:24
               “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” Galatians 6:9
               “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard on another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

               So thus begins what I’ve been thinking of as an Overall Overhaul.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not quite done, but sharing anyhow

A year or two ago, in an effort to use up some scraps, I started what I thought would be a twin sized bed quilt. It has morphed instead into a large wall hanging to help teach my youngest daughter the months of the year. It's now hanging in our dining room which is where we do a lot of our homeschooling. I like to enjoy the quilts I make even if they're not quite done, so I hung it even though it's just a quilt top. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to finish it, but I'm leaning toward a simple tying the corners using buttons since it's just going to be a wall hanging, not a bed quilt. What do you think?

Loving thinking of creative ways to teach! Or at least that's my excuse to get to quilt.