Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Our wishes to you for 2010

May you give what you can take,

spend some time in the dirt,

do something silly-it might make someone smile,

take time to smell the flowers,

smile, even in the rain,

make some really great friends,

be yourself,

try - even when it seems impossible,

ask for help when you get stuck,

stay warm and cozy,

and may your cup overflow with blessings!!

Have a very happy, healthy and stupendous New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Girlie Apron

One of the gifts I made for Christmas this year was an apron. It was my first attempt at sewing without a pattern and if I were getting graded, it shows it's imperfections.  I was encouraged though because when I looked more closely at many professionally sewn items they all had imperfections so I know I am not the only imperfect gal at a sewing machine! Here are the steps I took to make this one...
First, I took out a few of my own aprons, compared, measured, changed and adjusted.  Allowing for a 1/2 inch seam allowance I drew my finished pattern on parchment paper, which is holding up quite well(I'm making a couple more) and aligning it on the fold of my main fabric I cut.

I then cut a matching (but much shorter) piece for the facing out of the contrasting fabric as I couldn't figure out another way to make a sort of sweet-heart neck line. I'm sure someone else has a much better (ahem, correct) way to make a sweetheart neckline, (please share!) this is just how I was able to finagle it.
Next I made all the ties, again from the contrasting fabric.  I decided on a two inch thick tie for around the neck and 1/2 inch for the two around the waist then allowed for seam allowances and cut.  I folded them in half right sides together and stiched and turned them right side out.  Finishing the short edges was done by pinking them and folding them in about 1/2 inch, pressing and straight stitching. 

Finally, it was time to put it all together. I placed the main apron piece and the facing right sides together. Next, placed the two neck ties inbetween the apron and facing piece at their appropriate places and pinned. Did the same thing for the waist ties. Stitched around the edges and pressed and clipped seams and turned it right side out.

I just wanted a slight gather on the ruffle so I cut a length of the contrasting fabric one and a half the width of the apron. I finished the bottom by turning it up twice, pressing and stitching. Then basted (is that how you spell the past tense of baste?) and gathered, matching the centers of the fabric to be sure it was even, pin right sides together and sew! I pressed the seam open, cut with my pinking shears close to the seam and called it a finished edge.

The sides were finished the same as the bottom all the way so that the ruffle was even with the apron body.  I added some finishing touches like topstitching along the neckline, reinforcing the waist ties on the right side, adding a pocket and voila an apron!

It really was a fun adventure with my sewing machine!  I will most likely not make another with the 'fake' sweatheart neckline until I find out how to without pulling my hair out do it the right way.  The rest was a fun way to involve a bit of myself in a gift for someone special.  I'm planning another for my husband when he bbq's, without the ruffle of course!

Friday, December 25, 2009

All Tucked In

I just tucked in my kids on what was the most wonderful Christmas.  The baby (I can still call my two year old baby right?) passed out quickly.  The sounds from Nathan's room still indicate the excitement and wonder winding down from the day. 

Last night he says to me as we are putting out (rice) milk and cookies for santa (carrots and apple for the reindeer), "Mommy, santa is just the best but not really because I know that God is the really best."  I couldn't have said it better.

Some photo memories of the last 24 hours...

Saturday, December 19, 2009


"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau

"You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” - Mark Twain

"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral. " - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This last week has been crazy and I admit that I have been busier than normal.  This week I want to witness these moments again and encourage them because imagination is where these kids learn.  In their imagination is where they are figuring out how this crazy life works and where it will take them.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Making Memories

I'm just gonna flat out say it, this time of year I especially miss my Mom, Dad, Sister and Bro and their families.  They live 2000 miles east of me and I miss them. 

Christmas time is still amazingly fun and joyous even when you are missing people, Jesus is after all the very best gift!  One of the things I do when I'm missing them is think of memories like making gingerbread houses and singing happy birthday to Jesus and making rolls and my Dad stoking the fire and my Mom baking and a gazillion Nutcracker performances! My memories are enough to cheer my heart!

Plus dare my heart shed a quiet tear for the past and no sooner do my present and future come running towards me bearing sunshine!

Just a few that have been captured on film, uh, I guess I mean on disk.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

From Rags to Curlies!

The other night (while taking a small break from all my projects) I took the time tie my little girl's hair in rag rollers. I have been looking for uses for some old t-shirts and remembered this one.

She sat brushing her teeth and playing in the sink every once in awhile saying lovingly, 'Mommy, you made these, for me, ponytails!" She was so excited while we were doing it not even realizing that it wasn't the finished result!
A few ended up coming untied during the night but I think she was pleased with the results even still.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

In Case You're Looking

If you need me for the next couple weeks, I can be found behind my sewing machine or stumped trying to make up a pattern for something much more advance than my sewing abilities.  I'm having fun and I need the pressure of a deadline for more motivation, so here I go to sit and figure and play and create.
I will not be able to share all of what I'm up to yet out here where everyone can see it, I'll keep those it in the closet of my mind for now.  I can share a few things though.

So far, I have made some gift bags from scraps of fabric, remnants, and an old t-shirt.  Thanks to Make it From Scratch for the link to make these super easy and cute gift bags.  It is a pretty good project for a beginning seamstress and many can be made in a fairly short time.
I also made one out of an old green t-shirt. I didn't take it's photo but I just sliced it off under the arm pits and sewed those straight edges together to make the bottom of the gift bag. The finished bottom edges of the shirt became the top of the bag and for this one I sewed velcro onto the open end I figured it would be fun for some of them to still make noise when they opened!

I also made this little throw pillow for my daughter.  I want to redecorate in her room and have fabric for a valance that coordinates with this fun one.  So it's turning out to be a sewing Christmas around here.  Also on the to make list, a baby doll blanket or two and a jedi cloak.  Then, if time allows, some doll clothes out of some old clothes my Mom sent from when we were kids.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Love

You know how sometimes there's a theme that keeps happening over and over in your life.  Well apparently that's going on here because today's sermon was on loving one another.  And God is really driving the nail in here...
This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother's were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 1 John 3:11-13
I know that we are saved not by works but by grace in faith and I feel that God is leading me towards something that I haven't quite figured out yet.  I truly do care about people and it is wonderful to have such an amazing teacher to show me how to love even if I'll never be perfect at it.

Ring The Bells

Ring the Bells, ring the bells.
Let the whole world know Christ was born in Bethlehem many years ago.

Born to die that man might live, came to earth new life to give,
Born of Mary, born so low many years ago.

God the Father gave His Son, Gave His own Beloved One
To this wicked, sinful earth to bring man kind His love new birth

Ring the bells, ring the bells,
Let the whole world know Christ the Savior lives today
As He did so long ago!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Memories

Speaking of people I love my Gram has a special place in my heart. She has been visiting my Aunt and is able to see photos of my kids via the web so I'm posting some photos of our Thanksgiving highlights. It's really terrible because I should be sending her more photos but here they all sit, on this computer...
Starting the holiday memories with tradition and our family holiday rolls. Recipe from my great grandmother and "the bowl."

The dough got, "so big!"

First we roll (which takes great concentration)

or a bit of squishing

Traditions says the cinnamon sugar must reach the elbows *wink*

You want me to give these to you after I roll them in this yummy stuff, ha, good luck with that!

Rolling their own pie crusts

Happy Thanksgiving!

I finally finished sewing the little jumper dress she's wearing, not that I got a great photo of it but she was so happy to get to wear it, and I was too!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

There are twelve more minutes left of Thanksgiving and I can't sleep. This is extremely rare for me as usually I'm asleep leaning on my husband on the couch or at the very least as soon as my cheek sinks into the pillow.

Today was fabulous and even though I miss my family I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for the gift of having people to love.

"Love one another, even as I have loved you." Jesus said these words. He did not say 'love your family' or 'love the people you like' or 'love the things people do or have.' He said LOVE ONE ANOTHER. This love he speaks of is sadly so foreign to our culture, isn't it just year ago that a poor man was trampled to death so that people could buy stuff? This is not love, at least not a love for people, it is a love for stuff. It's just stuff, loving the people in our life is the thing that brings us the most reward, the most happiness and the most fulfillment. Even though or I guess in spite of this love, as sinners, people have caused others (even loved ones) great pain.

1 Peter 4:8 says, "Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins." Amen to that, I have been hurt by those I love many times sometimes it is hard but I'll always love them. I'm certain I have hurt those I care most about too, I'm a sinner just the same I can try not to hurt them but I, like you am a fallen, imperfect person.

I began thinking about the word fervent, intense passion, with great zeal, hot and fiery are some of it's definitions paraphrased. What does fervent love look like? What does it mean to love our spouses and our kids fervently? Compassion, a willingness to serve them, even discipline. We still discipline those we love, because we love. What does it feel like to keep fervent in our love for our family and friends? Do they feel that love? What does it sound like to show intense feelings of love to a total stranger? How does his love act? Does it mean an encouraging smile to a mom with a tantrum crazed toddler or just being pleasant to those around you even if they are not.

This brings me to my next long passage, Romans 12:9-21 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary:  "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Now that today is done and another today has begun sleep is beginning to fog my thoughts. I bid sweet dreams and pray that God will teach me this love and implant it into the hearts of my children and all of the world, especially through the upcoming Christmas season. Will You please open my eyes to ways that I can show this love to those closest to me as well as those I've never met. Please forgive me for the times I haven't been loving to others and please keep giving me opportunities to show Your love. I thank you Lord for people to love.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Best

This morning my son was the first kid into our bed. You would think that since I was able to hum my two year old back to sleep in her own bed at 4:30 I would have slept better. Usually by then I'll just bring her in with us. Not true, I couldn't fall back to sleep for an hour, at least.

Needless to say I was still a bit comatose when my son climbed into bed but he knew just what to say to wake me up on the right side of the bed.

"Mommy, you give me the best kisses, they go straight to my heart."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Maybe a Cork?

This afternoon my son was working on a jig saw puzzle when he asked for a snack. Knowing that he would feel much better about his progress if he finished the few pieces left of the edge, I encouraged him to find the missing pieces and then he could take a break.

Somewhat mumbling he says, "but that's gonna take all the smarts out of my brain."


I think I know how he feels!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stupendous Snippets of an Afternoon

This afternoon after baking some scrumptious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies we bundled up and headed to the park. After swinging and playing a short while we walked our very cold fingers back home.

One of the houses on the park has several bird feeders and my daughter would call to the dozens of birds in their yard. She called and motioned for them to come and land on her hand. Visions of Cinderella singing 'A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes'came to me. The birds making her bed and all, we might need to watch that one soon.

When we arrived home (and after another cookie) my son and I were playing cars, I asked why his car went further than mine. His reply, "because it's allergic to big people!"

I was approached while making dinner, "Mommy what does batteries not included mean?" (No the tv was not on at the time.)

Play-doh is theraputic for a two year old even if the container says 3+! She made her brother and I some 'food' while I was getting dinner put together and her brother says, "Goose, this is stupendous. . . . Mommy, whats stupendous mean?" Keeps saying it over and over. I wonder if part of it's allure is that it begins a lot like another forbidden "s" word.

A conversation that as I hand recorded (my wits were not about me to grab the video camera) I over cooked the green beans for dinner but who really cared- not me! These are kids after my own heart for sure!
Son: (acting as a waiter)what would you like to eat?
Daughter: Chocolate.
S: First you have to eat your lunch, what would you like?
D: Chocolate!
S: No you have to eat something healthy first like pizza, hamburgers, or pasta.
D: Pizza please
S: (after becoming the chef and cooking the fastest pizza in the west) Here ya go.
D: Nanks
S: Eat the brocolli all gone.
D: yummy
S: Ok now what do you like?
D: Chocolate!
S: Do you want anything on top like sprinkles or whipped cream or ice cream or all of it.
D: Laa of it!
S: Ok here ya go, I ate it all but saved you one tiny piece.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


After a splendid Sunday my kids sit now at the counter eating cereal and bananas for dinner.

We've just had a bit of a dance off, not quite as comical as Bill Cosby and 'Sandman' Sims (remember that, "challenge!") but my son kept at it saying, "Mommy, can you do this?" At first he seemed surprised that I could and then he became impressed and then really competitive. "Well, how about this" doing some jump into a spin, jumping out and landing directly on his knees. Ah, not with these ol' knees, even on carpet, but give me a pair of knee pads and I'll barely keep up!

Right before this the kids were outside enjoying the spectacular that Autumn has to offer on sunny days. My son steps inside to say, "The baseball is stuck up on the roof, but it's not going down into any guts.......(10 seconds pass)....What are you laughing at? It's not even a joke or anything!"

During "quiet" time my daughter who is fighting naps lately sung and put about six babies and bears to sleep singing to various songs to them and then woke them up saying, "all fall down!" Yes, I use the word quiet time loosely!

Previously we took our dog Tyler for a walk. I chatted with my Dad, my son climbed trees while my daughter rolled down a small hill. All thoroughly enjoying what the day had to offer.

We dropped Daddy at work after a morning full of church and wonderful worship.

Now the kids are showering and then we'll go pick up Adam, get kids to bed and enjoy some time together. I have a feeling he's going to make me guacamole for my dinner - yup serious health kick and organized meal planning needed around here!

Life is such an amazing blessing!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Full Relationships

I've recently been convicted about something. I've been terrible at sending birthday gifts, cards and general well wishes. I still haven't sent my Mom, Dad or sister their birthday cards or gifts from July and August.(I know, GASP!)

Part of it is that it's hard to pick out gifts(we have only one car), get to the post office (expensive to send) and how many other excuses - for people that live across the country. But they are not just people, they are MY people.

This video shows a school teacher, Mr. Stroup, who writes to all of the students he's ever taught on their birthdays. All 2,500 of them, every year! It is so sweet and encouraging.

I'm sure that my family would have appreciated even a hand written letter on lined paper. I know they appreciated that I called and emailed and facebooked them all to acknowledge their day. My family all tell me it's okay because I'm busy with my life and my kids. While it might be okay, my life is NOT about me and I'm not outwardly showing that to those closest to me. I desire for them to know that even though I'm busy, I took time out especially and just for them. Because YOU are that special to me!

John, chapter 4 tells of Jesus and the woman at the well. I never really got what others I knew so deeply loved about this passage. Living water, yes, that is very important. The thing that hit me this past week however was that Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman. You might think, big deal. Yes, big deal! Not only was she a Samaritan, but a woman, and an outcast or at least not very well liked by the others. She had to come get her water in the heat of the day when no one else would be there. She had five husbands and was living with another man, she was a sinner, in a big way!

He was all about relationships and He always had time for others, even in his own weariness. No matter how noble or humble their lives were, He cared for them. He didn't miss an opportunity because He was too tired from His journey, He made no excuse or complaint. He loves every one of us and I believe he wants us to have a life full of the relationships of those around us. He wants us to care and love one another as He loves us.

I know that no matter how hard any of us tries we'll never be perfect at loving others like Jesus was in his life on earth nor as he loves us still. We are not capable of the perfect love of God, yet another reason we need His Son! Does this then mean that we shouldn't try, just because we won't be perfect. Of course not, the reward is the fulfilling lifelong relationships with those we love. Reaching out to them not to show perfection or out of obligation but desiring them enough to do something small to let them know just how big they are to our hearts.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spiderman Saves the Monkey Princess!!

But first, let's go back to last night. While Mom busily cooked an amazing meatloaf with spinach and biscuits,

the baby painted a beautiful pumpkin.

Across the dining room, the big brother pointed out where his Dad should carve out his pumpkin.

All had a blast!

Including the Daddy who carved his own masterpiece!

This morning, the Butterfly family awoke to some most unusual happenings. First, The Big Brother had a mark on his hand that looked like some kind of bite, he also showed signs of unusual strength by carrying his sister around. The Baby Sister only wanted to eat bananas all morning long, not really so unusual but she was also climbing the counters (still fairly normal) and her ears seemed a bit larger.

Pretty soon, "shazam" things were really out of control. This "friendly neighborhood Spiderman" showed up to save some sort of Monkey Princess.

The Mama just figured she better help out, so together they found the Monkey Princess. But she couldn't find her bananas, and she was very hungry.

Spidey quickly retrieved a bunch of very ripe yellow and slightly brown bananas with his super fast webs. Then he remembered, "ooops" Monkey Princesses only eat very special bananas with no brown, only gold and yellow sparkles.

Quickly three glittery bananas were located and Spiderman saved the day for one little cutie. Reunited with her banana, the Monkey Princess spoke a very happy "oo-ooo-aha-ha-aa-aa" and they all lived happily ever after.

The End.

Behind the scenes: Spidey is one funny and silly little guy! He tells me that he doesn't like to hurt anyone, but bad guys have to get to the police. So he helps the fight grime. He also wanted everyone to see the face beneath the mask! Yikes!