Monday, November 30, 2009

Misc. Monday

What a great long weekend!

Thanksgiving Thursday was so nice. Hubby & kids let me sleep in then the afternoon/evening was spent with my in-laws. We decided (I decided, hubby let me decide - thanks, honey!) that we would only go to one place. There is always so much pressure, in my head anyway, to go to both places because they are 25 minutes from each other, but that is SO unrelaxing, and stressful always thinking about when you need to leave to get to the next place... so I decided to only go one place, the place that stresses me out the least, and it was wonderful, with family and good food. Thankful Thanksgiving!
On Friday I made a triple batch of Poor Man's Salisbury Steak, we ate one and two batches went in the freezer. 2 for the freezer - yay!
Minnesota comfort food. Mmmmm!
(Or yummy things to do with Cream of Mushroom soup)
Check out the recipe here!

My mom used to make 'porcupines' and I'd love the recipe! They are meatballs (beef, not porcupine) with rice in them.I think the rice was uncooked, and then she'd make a milk gravy.
The only recipes I can find for it are in a tomato gravy/sauce.
Do you have a recipe for it?


Grace received a belated birthday gift including paper dolls/fairies/mermaids.
She loves them. Can you tell?
Some of my weekend/Christmas projects.

Cut up 8+ pair of jeans & matching flannel.
Spray/baste together for machine quilting.
Machine quilting with jean thread...
Not perfect... I need to get some rubber tipped gloves to get a better grip...
This stack will eventually be the thing I am not talking too much about, but am prayerfully assembling this for someone who may or may not even read this.

This is material grace picked out and I can post it here because she doesn't read! It will be a raggy quilt with an 'Around the World' pattern. I think I will machine quilt each square with a heart or star and I am going to find fun buttons to put on the front of the quilt, too. She keeps asking when it will be done and I keep saying that I don't know. But she'll open it on Christmas morning. I hope she likes it. All the blankets she likes to use either leaver her shoulders or toes uncovered.

I'll post Multitude of Monday later! Have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful for an Old Friend

I was flipping through a Bible a couple nights ago.
I pulled my first 'real', not paraphrased Bible off a shelf.
It's a big study Bible and I don't use it much anymore.
I have others that are less cumbersome to bring anywhere,
but it was so fun and encouraging to look through it!
Do you ever do that?
It's like reconnecting with an old friend,
looking through old photos and
talking about, "remember that time...?"

Here's a few shots from it.

Could I circle 'Do Not Worry' a few more times?
I need to remember and walk in this every day!
Where is my fruit?
What is my fruit?
Love God. Love people. Period.
THANK YOU for everything we need.
My good friend, Colossians.Do everything as unto God.
I want to be like Mary, definitely Mary.
How can I show extravagant love? (Love) Intentionally.
I thank my God every time I remember you!
and we rejoice!let us be THANKFUL, and so worship God
acceptably with reverence & awe,
for our God is a consuming fire.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I hope you recognize something new to be thankful for!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Getting Hooked

I feel like I should warn you that this is not an 'up' post. It's not starting that way, anyway... If you come back tomorrow, it may be more up.

I am kind of freaking out, more than a little emotional & could cry if you look cross-eyed at me. Why? There's a whole list.
  • Money, there's never enough. We are OK, but I don't feel like we are OK. This probably has a bunch to do with the impending Christmas season. And how sad that I just used the word 'impending', which is so often associated with 'doom', in regards to celebrating the birth of the King. Very sad.
  • I saw someone at a store last night, who I think saw me, and turned away in an 'I'll pretend I didn't see her' kind of way. Or I just thought they did. Why would they do that? And why do I care so much? If I allow myself to be honest, I recognized the 'I'll pretend I didn't see her' move because I've done it myself.
  • From a full dose of Effexor (antidepressant I've taken for 3+ yrs, after 9 years of others), I am down to 1/4 dose for the last 3-4 days. I'm trying to wean myself off of them, under Dr. supervision, because I don't like some of the side effects. It's taken about 3 months to get to where I am... this could totally be making me emotional.
  • The moon. I'm pretty sure it's out of whack in relation to whatever planet I'm in, or on, or something...
  • Parenting is hard. It stomps on your emotions and leaves them battered & torn. Being a parent is like wearing your heart outside your body.
  • I feel out of control. Which is ironic because any control I think I have is an illusion...
  • I could go on and on.... what a downer.
Have you seen this blog? I feel like I could write my own blog on Things I Want to Punch in the Face. But that is not who I want to be! And that is not who I believe God created me to be.

Something is definitely hooking my emotions. I just can't see what it is. It's like it is hiding behind all this junk I have piled up and if I could just see the other side of it, I could deal with whatever it is. I thought I'd try to refocus my mind, set my heart on what's really important, and be thankful. It's not Monday, I wouldn't want to confuse you!, but I feel like God is saying, 'I hear you. Really, I do. Now, thank Me.' So here goes:

holy experience

80. People who drop by this blog. You.
81. Hubby who let me accomplish not much of anything last night, and said it's OK.
82. Teenagers who apologize.
83. 5 yr. olds who dress up because it's 'Stone Soup' day at school.
84. The heater under my desk.
85. The sun I can't see through the rain/fog/drizzle.
86. The rain giving plants a long drink before winter.
87. Lost dog found.
88. Clean clothes.
89. Dirty clothes.
90. Belonging, even when you don't feel it, can't see it.
91. Salt.
92. Darkness so we can see
93. light.
94. The Bible, my Bible. Written in, highlighted, applicable, reminding, preserving this journey.
95. Today is a new day.
96. So is tomorrow.
97. Second chances.
98. Third chances.
99. Fourth...
100. Truth. Truth spoken to my heart. Truth in writing.
101. Chai tea.
102. Marching bands.
103. Drum cadence.
104. Jazz bands.
105. Sipping pretend tea with the girl in the bathtub.
106. Listening to knock-knock jokes that aren't funny or make no sense. Unless you are 5.
107. A new rotary cutter to replace broken.
108. Re-purposing old, ripped jeans.
109. Re-purposing anything.
111. Ridiculous love.
112. Dark chocolate mochas.
113. Order.
114. Disorder.
115. Little hands.
116. My mom's hands attached to my body.
117. A nice pen. A Pilot pen.
118. Getting first things first.
119. Keeping them there.
120. A clean table.
121. A clean desk.
122. A meal plan.
123. God is good.
124. All the time.
125. Luke 2:8-14. You know it, see it here.
126. This dance.

Whew! Have you tired this? Seeing things to be thankful for? It works! I'm living proof.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Multitude Monday

holy experience

62. Short weeks at work! Yay!

63. Everlasting, sung by Hillsong. I love this! And truly, THIS is why I am thankful today and all days. I am learning 'the art of losing myself in bringing Him praise'. Here are some of the lyrics. Check it out.
A thousand times I've failed
Still your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
Still I'm caught in your grace

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
In my heart, in my soul, Lord I give you control
Consume me from the inside out Lord
Let justice and praise become my embrace
To love You from the inside out

Your will above all else, my purpose remains
The art of losing myself in bringing you praise

Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending, Your glory goes beyond all fame
And the cry of my heart is to bring You praise
From the inside out Lord, my soul cries out
64. This dinner: sauerkraut (that Grace 'helped' make here) with dumplings, pork roast & baked potatoes. SO good! This came right out of the crock. We've had a failed attempt at making kraut before so this tasted even better after not having it for years. There was also mashed potatoes and ring bologna, but not on my plate. (Hubby and I each grew up with sauerkraut, but we each are used to it with different side dishes, so instead of one of us missing a key element to a childhood meal, we make it all! It all goes as leftovers, anyway...) Good job, hubby! You get an 'A'!
65. This girl. She ate this meal 2 times yesterday and kept telling me how good it was. Yup, I'm such a good cook, I can add ricotta cheese to a jar of spaghetti sauce and make a meal a 5 year old will scarf down! (She ate this instead of sauerkraut, AND insisted I take a photo of her eating it.)
66. This girl, again, who is suddenly SO GOOD. She pushes all our buttons, has some of the biggest tantrums I've ever seen, and suddenly, unexpectedly, a good week. Thank you Jesus!
67. Brief moments of camaraderie.
I am making something for someone I am having such a hard time with. I am trying to prayerfully, thoughtfully thank God for this person as I focus on them while crafting this thing I can't tell you about or show you until after Christmas. Here are a few thankful points:
68. The love of music, instilled from birth
69. Creativity
70. Unique style
71. A heart thirsty for God
72. A great sense of humor
73. Loyal
74. Sensitive
75. Hears God
76. Teaches me, even when I don't want to learn or change
77. Smart
Thank you, God, for putting this person in my life, their iron sharpening my iron...

78. Grace and the crown she proudly wore to church yesterday. I could learn a lot about confidence from our little princess.

79. A short week - did I mention that already? :o) 4 days off coming up!

Happy Thanksgiving! Eat turkey, love people, thank God!

Friday, November 20, 2009

One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure

In August, I was on a bit o f a quest to find some slides & stuff stored away. (Refresh your memory here and here.) And if you want to see a modern-day picture of what you can do with granny squares, check this out! A friend suggested this could be the replacement for the duplicate item in the crochet post (thanks, Ann!) ... So that is the background on why my front entryway looks like this:I brought home box after box of 'treasures', things my mom, or I, thought were important enough to keep. I'm sure some of it is, but right now I can't even get to the front door. My dilemma is, what do I do with all this stuff? What's worth keeping? What will my kids care about? What do I have room for and what is the best way to store it? I'm very intimidated to start this project. Last night I went through a bag of stuffed animals and kept only 3 things:
Who but me would want this stuff? Fluffy (bear), Thumbelina (doll) & kittie blanket.
Fluffy has had major surgery to reattach eyes & nose many times. And he's still smiling.
Well loved, hugged and tugged so much his tummy is bare. He used to be white but I think a wash might be the death of him. He'll have to stay grimy.
I don't know if this doll came as Thumbelina, she doesn't look like any Thumbelina I've ever seen anywhere else, but she's always been my Thumbelina. She has a string in the back that makes a weird mechanical noise when pulled and I think the head used to move with what may have been a cry. Matted hair, stained & worn sleeper, Thumbelina has also been well loved.
And then there is kittie blanket. Can you see the faded kitty batting a ball of yarn below?
Another obviously well loved item. I remember thinking my blanket was the best, the softest and prettiest blanket ever. How do you part with these things?
And I fuss when Grace wants to bring hers everywhere, partly because I know this is a treasure and it will eventually be lost permanently as it's been lost temporarily many times, also because... it is a treasure that looks like a rag. See?
So my question is, how do YOU pick and choose what is worth keeping? And then what do you do with it? And what's your long-term plan for it? Will your kids want it or are you storing it so they can toss it in a landfill someday?

And how about this: How does thinking about these things, the items we can't seem to part with, change what I'm spending money on today? Does it change your spending? Does it change how you are planning Christmas gift giving?

It's changing how I am planning gifts this Christmas. Between this, and the current economy, I'm planning to make celebrating Jesus, celebrating family and celebrating memories made more important that rooms full of stuff bound for a landfill.

I'd love to hear what your plans are, and how you deal with your own treasures!
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
~Luke 12.34

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whispering, Gently Nudging

I am pretty good at self medicating. Most of us are. Sometimes, many times, I can't even see that I do it. And then Papa whispers, gently nudging, and my feeble attempt to protect bruised pride, bruised heart is undone.

Family. A happy gathering to an outsider.
Family. An occasional minefield for me.
Words said, words unsaid and action taken, actions not taken.
I awoke knowing I would see family, may feel... something.
I felt OK with that.
I went to church. Still OK, prayed for other people, no prayer for me.
I partied, ate cake, gave & received hugs, said goodbyes.
Drove home the long way, through the cemetery, then home.
Thought I was still OK.
I missed people, loved ones who weren't there and never will be again.
Family who can't possibly meet the needs in my heart
family who can't even see the needs in my heart.
But still OK, I think?
At home, tummy too full of party to eat, next best medication is sleep.
An unusually unrestful nap, a cranky awakening, a spirit out of sorts.
Drive to church, few words for my passenger,
I can feel the gravitational pull of the Father
and I..... don't....... want........... to.............. go.
My spirit cries out, at war with head & emotions
that say I. AM. FINE.
But I'm not fine.
God descends and I can hardly breathe.
Spirit passes through hugs, balm on bruised heart.
My spirit worships, holy communion, tears of surrender,
Words refresh, burdens laid on altar, my cup overflows.
Papa is whispering, gently nudging,
and I can breathe again.
I can breathe again.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another Beautiful Fall Day

The view coming down Piedmont this morning.
These colors would make interior decorators from the 80's jealous;
pink & gray at it's best!
Ore boat on Lake Superior
And the sun makes an appearance!
Beautiful! I love where we live.


I am also loving Picnik. Have you tried it yet?
Chatting at the Sky & Of Love and a Baby have gotten me hooked!
I touched up the above photos only to reflect the actual colors I saw today.
But you can do so much more with it!
I love this one.
I'm calling this one Super Nova.
(Good thing my bomb shelter is still stocked from the Y2K scare - not!)
I plan to make a large collage of different edits
of the same photo for my kitchen,
possibly something like this:

You should try it! You can do all of this and more for free.
But I think I'll invest in the premium package and have even more fun!
Let me know if you do try it!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Multitude Birthday

holy experience

It's my birthday and this day, this time of year is so often emotionally fragile. Some things that are always here, but more evident to be thankful for this time of year, mostly the people in my life:

41. Hubby makes a huge effort every year to make it special.

42. Grace who gave this hint for my birthday present, "It's a rectangle, it has lots of words and grownups really like to loot at it lots." We had to run to Target when I pointed out a book I would like to hubby, because he really hadn't gotten me a book, but Grace's mind was made up!

43. My sister-in-law always, always remembers my birthday and suprised me last night with a sweet gift including this:
You know you want some! This will attract most males, but especially my hubby whose facebook page says, "I am the Jedi Master of Bacon." It smells more maple-y than bacon-y... Even more special because for all my good intentions, I stink at remembering other people's birthdays, hers included, but she just keeps blessing me! Thanks, Deb!

44. My mom, gone 11.5 years now. On your birthday, moms are the ones who seem to celebrate it the best. (No matter how old you get, they are still happy to no longer be pregnant!)

These mean more than I can tell you without tears so I hope written words can equally express my thanks for the hugs from people I love:

45. Hubby, you still make my heart race.
46. Micah - I get one of these for my birthday, right?
47. Grace, the hugs & kisses as you snuggle me each morning, what a great way to wake up!
48. Casey, you see me and know me, even without words. Your friendship is such a blessing!
49. Tim & Nancy, I wonder if you know how I appreciate each of you?
50. Gretchen, I am SO thankful for you!
51. Gordy & Ann, I love serving you!
52. Becky, who I don't see enough of.
53. Phil, I love your sideways, camp/pastor appropriate hugs and look forward to them!
54. Kerry, if you hadn't moved away, we'd never hug when you come back. This is the only reason I'm glad we don't live near each other anymore.
55. Cousins, the big happy-to-see-you! hugs from Cory, Abby & Dan and the awkward/almost adult hugs from Brandon & Jared.
56. The hugs I see my family giving my kids.

Oh... now I feel so thankful! Here's some more:
57. Kai-Lynn who always pops up in my google chat and encourages me!
58. The people who pray at church, you help me see Jesus.
59. Pastors who preach the Word, the Eternal Truth and only the Word, no additions, no man-made rules - thank you!
60. Facebook friends, even when you aren't wishing me happy birthday! I love social networking and am so thankful to reconnect with you and see into your life!
61. Bloggers, blogging friends, blog readers. I love the opportunity to meet so many people, who have so much wisdom and share it with me/us!

Thank you!

Craft Area

Grace loves to be creative. She is all about drawing and writing and cutting and gluing and coloring and stickering... She's so different from Micah. He was more about building and designing things, very tactile stuff. He would often come home from the grocery store with his pockets loaded with twist ties from the produce department. These would soon become fantastical creatures clinging to every surface in his room, but coloring books would barely receive a cursory glance. I wonder if it's a gender difference, personality difference, or a mix of both?Grace and I spent a couple hours on Saturday going through all of her craft supplies. I threw away just about every piece of paper I could get my hands on, I think she managed to rescue 4-5 or five pieces that she just couldn't part with. When asked if she wants to keep this or that, the answer is always, "Sure!" so I stopped asking. We can't keep it all and I already have a full folder of 4 year old art work. This drawer set was shoved in her closet with the table and chair set we would rarely bring out but the addition of the loft in her room gave us space to have more things like this out. The table & chair set is a hand-me-down from my grandparents and was new when my dad and aunt were little. These are much better quality and sturdier than anything we could buy today. Even I can sit on these little chairs and have a tea party!
As we tossed stuff, we also found all the things that were never to be found when needed, like scissors, glue, paintbrushes, pencil sharpener...
All the coloring books, preschool activity books, and notebook/journals found a place in these magazine holders big brother doesn' t need anymore.
Markers and crayons are in plastic shoeboxes left open in a drawer for easy organization. She can open the drawer when working on a project and everything is in easy reach, and easier to put away!
She's so pleased with her very own area to create whatever she can think of! Yesterday she made binoculars out of salvaged toilet paper tubes. I am so pleased because she seems motivated to keep things organized. I hope it lasts. Even more than that, I hope it fuels her creativity!