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

Friday, May 25, 2012

What we've been up to

Again I have not posted in awhile because so much has been happening. Too busy living it to write about it. But I have a little breather today, so I'll share some of our blessings.

Here's something I've been wanting to share for a long time, but it's been a surprise for my sister and her husband, so I had to wait till it was done and delivered. And it is. So here it is.
She wrote that she absolutely loves it, so I am absolutely happy.

I ran out of the lilac fabric, both because Joann Fabric didn't have very much and because I made some stupid and not-so-stupid mistakes in cutting. (My thrift-store purchased cutting mat had the 0 inches line right along the edge instead of having a margin like my other one.) So I was happy that I had other fabrics that went with it all very nicely that I could grab and put in.
Here it is, beautifully quilted by Debra at Quilt Something.
The pattern is Sweet and Simple by Designs by Lavender Lime by Kathy Skomp. It was pretty simple to put together and is a lot of fun to play with. I plan to make a few more of this design.

Another fun thing that's been made around here is this little pincushion that Sweetie invented.

I had gotten several wool sweaters at yard sales and thrift stores and washed them up in hot water till they were felted. Then we have them ready whenever the creative genius strikes. Her genius struck with the idea of using the red cuff rolled into a cylinder, topped with a gathered strip for the roof. A pom-pom and some embroidery as well as an appliqued door finished it off. It is especially nice for a bigger needle like a yarn needle. I don't worry about it making a big hole in the pincushion.

So, that's partially what's been going on. I'll be back, hopefully fairly soon, to share some more adventures.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

If I hadn't had children...

...I could have spent much of my time doing almost anything I'd wanted.

That would have made me a very self-centered person indeed.

...I would not have been able to help six beautiful people get their start in life.

That would have been sad for me and for the world.

...I would not have faced my own sins and inabilities to foster good relationships as I helped direct theirs.

That would have crippled me and kept me immature in my relationships.

...I would not have learned to serve the needy till I was bone-tired.

That would have stunted my growth in Christ, the great Servant.

...I would not have understood as deeply the love of the Father/Parent to us His children.

That would have left me shallow and small.

...I would not have been blessed by having my children shower me with love.

That would have left me empty and cynical.

...I would not have had the same opportunities to feel my own helplessness at doing things right.

That would have kept me from agonizing prayer and total reliance on God.

...I would have gone on thinking I knew so much.

That would merely have fostered an ugly pride in me.

...I would not have gotten to see my patient husband grow in many of these ways, too.

That would have lessened my respect for him.

...I would not have gotten to watch God work in each of their lives, bringing them to Himself in different ways.

That would have deprived me of seeing how He doesn't necessarily need my fingers getting into things in order to make His will come about. He does, however, command me to pray about it.

...I would not have had the deepest pains nor the greatest joys.

That would have left me shallow and not relying on God as much nor praising Him as readily.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

For the first seven years of our marriage, I had not wanted children and took measures to prevent that. I'm so thankful that God changed our hearts and gave us the six precious children that He had planned for us and even that He took the one that was miscarried. And He continues to change our hearts. Praise Him!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Birthing Kittens

This morning our sweet cat, Tux (Tuxedo), helped along our biology lessons by letting us watch her give birth to kittens. So far we are the proud owners of Yahtzee, Risk and either Chess or Bob (the jury is still out). We're not sure if she's done yet or not, but if not, she's taking a rather long break.
Named Yahtzee because of the six spots.

Yahtzee, Risk (black) and Chess (black & white) or Bob.

The sweet cat has been so patient and tolerant with all of us watching and encouraging.
I'm thankful God gives us opportunities to see unusual things and lets us learn more about his creation and how things work. And kittens are so much fun! 

Just wish the big brother and cousins could come see and enjoy with us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Lessons in Spray-painting

I have a quick project to show today and a few pointers about spray painting that I learned the hard way (the way I usually learn, it seems) in hopes that you won't have to learn them the hard way.

My first spray painting project was to paint five boxes a pretty aqua so I can use them to more prettily organize my fabric strips.

I had the boxes already collected, so I just had to cut off the top flaps and then get at the painting.

These particular boxes have a waxy coating, so, though it may not have been necessary, I sprayed on a coat of primer. That dried quickly and I was able to spray on the pretty aqua (Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze).

Now I have pretty grass, too.

Lesson #1: Wear gloves.
Lesson #1a: Not cheap disposable gloves. They tear.

Indoor/outdoor "exceptionally smooth and durable paint" doesn't wash off. It takes forever to wear off. Fingernail polish remover takes a lot of it off, but smears it around a lot, too.

Lesson #2: Wear long sleeves or very long gloves, for the above-mentioned reasons.

Lesson #3: Position yourself upwind of the item you're spraying. Also for the above-mentioned reasons.

Lesson #4: Don't leave your cardboard boxes out for the heavy Michigan dew to ruin. Fortunately, I learned this one before damage was done.

Now for the finished product:

The labels were a simple computer project and were attached with brads. I'd show you a whole row of these on my shelf looking so nice and organized, but I ran out of brads, so will need to get more first.

So, instead, I'll show you my other spray painting project:

I was tickled to find this sturdy wooden table at the Salvation Army thrift store. (It was quite a job to fit it into my already full car, but I persevered!) It was painted an ok white, but I had also found a smaller black table, so I wanted them to match (and hopefully not show dirt so much). So here it is, looking happy in our very foggy backyard. 

I have dreams of setting up little reading areas in our yard for our in-house (or I should say in-yard) summer reading program. This will be one of them. I show them to you as I get them set up.

I hope you're having fun setting up place of order and beauty!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hello again

Here are some of the things which had occupied my time lately and the delightful reasons why I haven't been blogging lately:

Henry Ford Museum with cousins, Dearborn, MI
Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI
Detroit Tigers game with cousins
Having fun smashing the old, very slow, freezing-up, antique computer named  Harvey.
Miniature gardening
Two different recitals

A hobbit house shared birthday cake
See the rock candy paths?

So, it's been fun and I still have a couple projects to show you, but they'll have to wait. One is not yet done and the other is a surprise, so I can't show it yet. :)