The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wakey Wakey

I am expectant. I have been waiting for today for awhile. It's going to be awesome.

(I hope Diane doesn't mind I'm using her photos.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fast Food Friday

By 3 p.m. every Friday, during the school year, my body aches and my brain has usually turned to mush. This happens every week. Strange. I don't recall this pattern with any other job I've had. Maybe, it's because I'm older? Maybe, because I've got kids? Maybe, because my days are full of other peoples' teenagers and I'm just "done" by 3 p.m. every Friday? I don't know. What I do know is my people think dinner is "a must" (phrase stolen from Micah, lol) every night...even on Fridays.

I am especially tired today. (Maybe because I was at work for 16 hours yesterday?) I think I dozed off while flipping through one of my Moosewoods trying to figure out what to make for dinner. At some point, it occurred to me I start dinner the same way almost every night...saute onions, red peppers and garlic in olive oil. I figured if I started, dinner would shape itself.

I was right. It did. And my people are happy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Legacy of First Born Women

There were once five generations of first born women in my family. What I mean is my great-grandma was the first born child, my grandma was the first born child, my mom was the first born child and so on...all the way down to my daughter.

Ten years ago this month, five generations became four.

The oldest and the youngest of us this week...closing in on fourteen, she has no idea how blessed she is to have had this. Someday, I hope she will realize.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Totally Random Tuesday

If I don't hurry, I'll have to change the title to "Totally Random Wednesday".

1. T'was the first day back in the mission field. (I used to think it odd people referred to my job as my mission field. I've come around.) As much as I would have liked to stay home a few more days, I needed to go back. For one, it turns out I missed the kids. And, surprise, they evidently missed me. Still processing that.

2. I finished some projects.

From this:

To this:

And the room after it went from Canteloupe orange to Tinkerbell green:

(Yes...the fishbowl seems to be in the process of being cleaned.)

3. Random Secret #1 about me: I'm generally not a fan of surprises. But, look what I found growing in my garden...the mini carrots I planted last year that never grew!

4. Random Secret #2 about me: I cry more than anyone I know when I cut onions. It's ridiculous considering the number of onions I cut per week.

The end result is usually worth it, though...tonight was red beans and rice with smoked sausage(clearly, non-vegan).

Monday, April 25, 2011

Life Lessons

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV)

As spring break comes to a close and I reflect on everything I wanted to get done, my list of "wanted to do" is much longer than my list for "actually did". Contrary to what I present and what you all might believe about me (because I take pictures of the parts of my life I'm happy about and conveniently ignore the rest), I really don't accomplish all that much. And, most of what I do accomplish isn't beautiful and perfect (otherwise, you all would get to see a lot more pictures). Instead, I abandon my dreams of perfect and beautiful and settle for "good enough" and "didn't get to it at all".

Tomorrow, I go back to work and I'm embracing the reality all the laundry isn't done, the house is a disaster, my garden isn't planted, the grass is knee-high, etc... I had envisioned returning to work with a perfectly clean and clutter-free house, planned (and possibly already prepared) meals, prepared lessons for the week, etc.. I worked on it all week and last night was brooding over the fact this work is in nearly the same state of completion as when spring break started. Granted, the rains came (and came again), but the rest? I worked. It should have gotten done. I couldn't understand it. How is it possible to spend so much time working and have so little to show for having done it?

And then, I woke up to these verses in Ephesians and the truth hit me. It is true I was working all week on getting my house clean. But, instead of following one task to completion, I would do a little of this task and a little of that task and ultimately arrived to now where I feel like I accomplished nothing. I am here as a result of my decisions and habits. The enemy wants me to be depressed I've been home for 10 days and didn't get anything done. The enemy also wants me to dwell on what I could have done differently and to waste time trying to be better. God's word reminds me I should make the most of every opportunity and be wise about what I do. His word also reminds me I can't do anything without Him.

Today, instead of being depressed and angry with myself about this situation, I can praise God for making clear to me how I ended up here in the first place. I can rest in confidence He will teach me how to live wisely and how to make choices that will lead to a better life.

Lord, show me how to adjust my habits and how to make the most of the time you have given me. Teach me how to live wisely for your glory.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Because He Lives...

There was a change of plans...we all wore (bought from the store) black/white.

Of course it isn't about the baskets or eggs or rabbits or clothes...for the first Easter in many, we've all been in church. (Is it possible I have not been to church on Easter in 7-8 years? That's crazy.) God has wrecked our house this year.

Night has fallen and the only sound is Ryan humming "Because He Lives" as he puts away the groceries. That's really all I have to say at the end of this perfect Easter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Facing Realities

I think it's sort of a Christian tradition to be sewing Easter dresses at the last minute and typically there is an all-nighter involved. I did plan ahead. The problem was my plan included a beautiful white linen that I only just discovered is destined to always be wrinkled no matter how much one irons it/steams it/starches it/etc...

So, at the last minute, I had to buy new fabric. My dress is the farthest from my mind's original picture than it could possibly be. It also turned out at least a size too big. I should have cut the 6...probably could have gotten away with the 4. I took it in a bunch in places I could take in a finished dress. I'm not totally happy with it and it looks way more girly than I was thinking it would look...

But, check out the facings. I love the shapes of the Colette Pattern pieces. Typically, I can't stand facings and will just line something to avoid them. But, these facings are so pretty. If I look at them long enough, I kind of forget I'm not so happy with the whole dress.

The next dress will be better. Pictures of this dress tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Food should look pretty.

The Yada Girls came to my house last night and we ate cake.

My first attempt at an edible arrangement...because I'm way too cheap to spend $50-$100 on some fruit when I can put it on a stick myself.

Doesn't everything look happy?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Spring Break Day #2

I'm behind people. Seriously behind. I had all these plans (except they were vague and I should have listed them out specifically...maybe tomorrow)and they aren't quite coming together the way I had envisioned.

The day started not so good with the neighbor's dog and my chicks. Yeah, not so good. We still have Pearl, but she's looking really lonely.

My girl reminded me I "promised" to paint her room on spring break. I sort of don't exactly remember that, but I probably actually did tell her I would. So, I spent the entire day turning her room into something a little less colorful than the inside of a canteloupe and a little more subdued with something called "Tinkerbell". I'm still in the midst of this neverending project. Who knew canteloupe (the "perfect" color the last time I "promised" I would paint) would be so hard to cover? Hopefully, pics tomorrow of that.

I'm the only one currently drinking coffee in the house (which means I can have the whole pot)and have plans of a possible
all-nighter to get back on track. I want to cut my Easter dress which means I have to finish all that painting so I can clear all the painting stuff from my table. (Because there is even more stuff on my cutting table. Notice a theme with the way we live?)

At least we are eating well. I do have that goal in check.

Sausage and Caramelized Onion Quiche for the non-vegan eaters...

and Thai Curried Tofu and Broccoli for the rest of us.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Break Day #1

My friend Nell Claire and I have given this spring break a theme: Take Back the Land (and the house). I have several goals. Too many.

Goal #1...get the farm animals out of my house.
Right now, I've decided the transition needs to happen. Obviously, this is not a permanent solution, but gives my little girls some experience with the out of doors and gives my big girls some experience with getting to know them. (Because, we had some disasterous results last week when I read you can just sneak chicks under hens when they are asleep and they will wake up and think they've been there all along. That isn't what happens.

Goal #2: Get the garden cleaned out and planted.
My potager is a DISASTER. I keep trying to work on it and just get overwhelmed. The only things growing there right now are strawberries, rosemary, thyme and chives.

Goal #3: Feed my family good food.

Last night was hummus and a tray of veggies...yum!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vegan Times with a Side of Chicken

It's been a long time since we ate vegan. I didn't know I missed it so much (It appears we are heading into a semi-vegan stage)...the cooking, the creativity, the flavors...I love it.

Black Bean/Corn/Cilantro Salad

Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Marigold and MollyAnne...our sources of organic eggs. The kids have no intentions of going vegan. (We also have Edith, but she didn't want her picture taken.)

Cosmo Circa 1938

I am cleaning out my sewing room (so I can actually move around in there) and found one of my favorite things. I forgot I even had it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lady Grey

She's sort of done. I'm going to mess around with the hem some more, but beyond that...she's done.

The facing and lining...I love these fabrics together. (Click on the pics to see them bigger Grandma.)

I only have tags for childrens' clothing and a "Jacob's Alley" tag all written in a kiddie font with crowns was just not what I was thinking of. I always sign my e-mails with a -m, so just embroidered that on the back yoke. I should have stabilized it, but thought the interfacing would have been enough. It wasn't. Oh, well. Next time.

Here I am...looking all annoyed. In my defense, I had just come from lacrosse, preceeded by lunch with a friend, preceeded by 5 hours at the church, preceeded by....I was probably just tired. But, annoyed is also a valid option. Note the wonky hem. Perhaps, I was thinking about that hem.

And then there is this lovely photo. There is something wrong with our video card that makes pictures look distorted. If I look this wide in real life, don't tell me. I'm a size 6/ can I look this wide? Can I blame it on the flare? Am I just in denial of my big arse??? Argh. This picture has convinced me to make a straight coat next time.

Pattern Review: I like the pattern and think the design is great. Everything came together perfectly (except for that hem). The problem with the hem is the coat is very flared and the bottom is wider around than any other part of it. Turning the hem up means there is more fabric than space to sew it to. I did ease it, but there was still too much fabric. I'm getting ready to cut part of the hem off and will just make it narrower. I think that will solve the problem. (I'm a little scared to do that, but need to move on...) I'm not a huge person and I think this coat kind of overwhelms me. Maybe. It's probably better for someone taller and stick thin. But, that's not the pattern's fault.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Summer Palette...Maybe.

Playing around with ideas. I'm trending towards "girlie" these days.

The coat is nearly finished. I can't get the hem right. Namely, because it requires turning up the hem 2" and shape is triangular. So, thinking about some kind of solution to create a flat hem instead of one that is all bunched up. Because, the bottom of the coat is wider than it is 2" up.

Additionally, I didn't think about how a flared hem was going to visually affect my lower half. I look pear-shaped. Maybe, I already look pear shaped, I dunno. What I do know is a flared hem does not help that situation.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Posting a pic of my progress thus far on the jacket so E can see. Everything always looks really wonky to me when it's half finished. I hope that's the case with this. Because, it doesn't look right on my body in it's current state. The flare is too much and the rest is just a little overwhelming. Maybe, with the lining and a belt it will look better? I hope so. Otherwise, what a huge waste of time. (And, I've topstitched so much I've already used an entire spool of thread.)

The Perfect Pair of Pants?

I've spent 3-4 weeks thinking about how to draft a pattern for an exact copy of a pair of trousers I have...the only pair I've ever owned that have fit me perfectly right off the rack. Well, sort of. I did have to hem them up a bit.

I kept looking at them and all their details. They really are absolutely perfect. I watched Youtube videos on how to copy somethng exactly. I was going to wait until summer when my brain will be working a little more effectively.

And then...I stumbled onto this pattern. I generally don't buy from the "Big 3" (Shouldn't we call it the "Big 4"?), but really....the shape of these is exactly like my others. All I have to do is add the details.

Totally makes my day. Just added these to my long list of projects.

Monday, April 4, 2011

From my good friend, E...

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:10

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Project #2

Yes, I realize I didn't post project #1. I will. It's my style to be out of order with things. Project #1 was a skirt. It's awaiting belt loops. Instead of finishing up that little detail (which seriously would take maybe 30 minutes), I've moved to project #2.

This was not my first fabric choice. My first choice did not have enough left on the bolt. But, it's "happy" and not like anything else I own. I have spent way too much time looking at vintage and indie patterns. I love this designer.

I cut out all the pieces last night. (Cutting adult sized pieces takes FOREVER.) I cut an 8. The measurements say a 6 will fit me, but I like roomy coats. I'm ready to get going with this project, but alas...the house, the kids, lacrosse, my parents are coming over, yada, yada, yada... Perhaps tomorrow I can actually sew.