Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Another Finished Object...

The other day I was digging through one of my "to do" sewing totes for a template for one of our quilts. At the way bottom of one of the totes, I found two nursing blouses, already cut out, and ready to sew. I had started them last year, then had to set them aside to make a quilt for my neice's wedding. One thing lead to another, and the two shirts were buried and put away over time. Out of sight, out of mind. You know how it goes.

Even though Isaac is still nursing a few times a day, I don't really need them, so I called my friend Amy who is due soon to see if she would be interested in them, and to tactfully find out what size she is. Thankfully I used an Elizabeth Lee pattern, and Amy is close to my size. The EL patterns leave a lot of "ease" in the shirts, which is nice, especially for nursing. Another thing I love about the EL patterns is that they are quick and easy to sew.

Here is the first shirt:

Here is a close up of the fun stitching on the front:

I also used the same stitching on the sleeves:

I couldn't resist using the pretty stitching around the back:

Onward to nursing blouse #2!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A Little Birthday Splurge for Me

Okay, my birthday was back in December. However, I have been mulling over some really wonderful yarn and finally bought some, using some birthday money I received. I will be using it to make some really soft, but "funky" socks later.

Misti Alpaca yarn, from

Before I start on sock making, I want to finish my Minimalist Cardigan, which I *just* started last weekend, and with all the sewing I have been getting done, not much knitting is being accomplished. I do try to squeeze in about a 1/2 a day at least. Sometimes more, if I am feeling energetic in the evenings after the kids are in bed.

The pic really doesn't do it justice. It is gorgeous, and feels GREAT! I cannot wait to work with it.


Monday, March 29, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, March 29th...

Outside my window... Damp and a tad chilly.

I am thinking... about the very spring-like forcast for later this week and how I NEED to start my seeds! Sounds like a good science project, if you ask me.

I am thankful for... a very productive morning this morning. Excellent, especially for a Monday!

I am wearing... long jean skirt, chocolate brown short sleeved turtle neck tunic.

I am remembering... my cousin in prayer, who is having a terrifying time with her pregnancy right now.

I am going... *possibly* to JoAnn's later this week.

I am currently reading... 2 Chronicles, "An Old Fashioned Girl" by Louisa May Alcott, and every so often another several pages of "John Adams" and OH, I got a new Keepsake Quilting catalog in the mail! Woohoo!

I am hoping... to have lots of time outside later in the week.

On my mind... Babies. I know two people who are due soon! LOL

Noticing that... Our lilac bushes are budding!

Pondering these words... "If we are going to be ready for Jesus Christ, we have to stop being religious (that is, using religion as a higher kind of culture) and be spiritually real." ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest.

From the kitchen... crock pot going with brown rice, sausage, fresh veggies, and cheese cooking; a batch of white beans cooking to put in the freezer for quick, future use, and lunch being made by my good helpers.

Around the house... The usual Monday busyness: menu and shopping list planning, weekly logs for school, laundry, and some cooking. I hope to get to some sewing later this afternoon.

One of my favorite things... Unexpected call from a good friend

A picture thought I am sharing...

apparently not sharing... Blogger is not uploading my pics for some reason. I will come back later and try again!

To participate in the Simple Woman's Daybook, visit Peggy's blog here:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spotted: A Finished Project!

If it seems the blog has been quiet it is because I have been busy knitting and quilting and keeping up with home schooling, and everyday life. I finished one top for a baby quilt and am helping the girls on their baby quilt top as we are a little short on time. I still need batting, but hopefully will get that taken care of in the next week. My friend could have her baby ANY DAY, and there will be a baby shower 2 -3 weeks after that, so that is the time frame I am working in.

I have joined a KAL for knitting the Minimalist Cardigan. I wanted to finish the soaker I was working on for Isaac before I started the cardi. So, here is Isaac's second knitted soaker:

I have plans and yarn for another one,but right now he has plenty of diaper covers that fit, so I am going to work on my cardigan. I swatched for gauge and casted on yesterday, and hope to spend some time this afternoon working on it after I take a nap with Isaac. Which I am going to do right now...


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Olympics Lapbook.. Better Late than Never

I had intended this lapbook to be started a couple weeks before the Olympics started. However, that was around the time we had a bout of the flu here, and it got put off. So, while Dale was on layoff, we caught part of the Olympics, but ended up finishing our study more than a week after the games ended. Close enough!

I actually bought the lapbook study for $3.00 because I was short on energy and time and liked the layout so much that I went ahead and purchased the kit. I usually make up my own, but this was too good of a deal to pass up! It is a 3 Folder lapbook, times 5 kids, adds up to a lot of learning fun, cheap!

Here is the front... hmmm... apparently this child forgot to decorate it.

Folder 1 of the lapbook:

Folder 2:

Folder 3:

The whole kit and kaboodle put together:

I purchased the lapbook study through Very reasonably priced! They have LOTS of goodies, btw, so go check them out.

Spring has Sprung!

It's beginning to look and feel like Spring around here! Over the last couple weeks we have had some very moderate temperatures. I think that last snow storm we had while Dale was on lay off is the last of winter for us. It is a mixed blessing for me, as I like winter, but I also enjoy being able to take all the kids outside, hang laundry, and start seriously thinking "garden". Here are some signs of Spring:

First laundry hanging... yes, I have been known to scale the peaks of snow piles to get to the laundry line.

The first bee! (Watch out mom!)

I just have to try these this year:

Since we moved we haven't had a hummingbird feeder, so I decided ( a mere four years later.. ahem...) to get a new one:

When your thrifty little dd says "can I start tomatoes from seed so we don't have to buy the plants" what ARE you supposed to say???

Of course if you buy tomato seeds you have to get:

and also....


Oh and some of these...

Oh yeah don't forget the...

and we will need some....

Oh yeah, and since our cheap-o gloves from last year are ruined from certain children leaving them out in the weather (I wonder who that was... aHEM again.... )....

Dale is back to work, Missions Conference week is over, and I can turn my attention to the above items. We start planting (indoors) this week!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 22nd....

Outside my window... Rain and cooler temperatures. Had to start the woodstove again last night after not needing it for many days!

I am thinking... about what a blessing our Missions conference was!

I am thankful for... a time of spiritual refreshing.

From the learning rooms... back to the ol' grind!

From the kitchen...Leftovers for supper, and menu planning this morning.

I am wearing... jean skirt, pink embroidered fleece pullover, and my slippers. :D

I am creating... another knitted wool soaker for Isaac, and a baby quilt for a friend

I am going... to a Fibers of Faith meeting tonight.

I am reading... "Jack and Jill" by Louisa May Alcott, and "John Adams" by David McCullough. I really am making progress in both, you'd just never know it!

I am hoping... to get a nap with Isaac later.

I am hearing... quietness. Everyone is off getting dressed and making their beds. Wonder how long the silence will last?

Around the house... Not too much today. Just sticking to the basics as we are in "recovery mode" from a very busy week last week!

One of my favorite things... watching Isaac fall asleep.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Previewing a DVD the kids were given "The Nativity Story"; Fibers of Faith tonight, and hopefully starting some of our seeds indoors by the end of this week. :) I can't believe it is that time already! I miss winter!!!!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

For guidelines in participating in the Simple Womans Daybook go to:

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 15th.....

Outside my window... Damp and rainy, but sunny days are ahead!

I am is going to be a busy week!

I am thankful for... a restful day yesterday.

From the learning rooms... More on our horse unit study, starting a new history book... "For the Temple" by G.A. Henty; and reading aloud "Hildago", and a ton of music practice for the Missions Conference this week.

From the kitchen... Menu planning, grocery list making, general cleaning.

I am wearing... multi autumn colored broomstick skirt and matching green shirt

I am creating... another wool soaker for Isaac, a baby quilt, and window treatments for the boys' rooms.

I am going... to renew my driver's license

I am reading..."John Adams" by David McCullough, and almost done with "Jack and Jill" by Louisa May Alcott.

I am hoping... to keep up with a rigorous schedule this week!

I am hearing... Isaac trying to "sing"

Around the house... General tidying up for our Missionary guest.

One of my favorite things... that quiet time in the evening after the kids are in bed and before I go to sleep when I can regroup and knit.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Missions conference Wednesday thru Sunday night, international dinner on Saturday evening.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

Guess what I have been hearing?

For guidelines for the Simple Woman's Daybook go here:

My First Knitted Wool Soaker

I admit it took me longer to do than I first anticipated, but honestly, I learned a lot. There were a lot of "firsts" for me in this pattern. I am doing a second one, and I can see it is going to work up much more quickly.

This was my first attempt at knitting in the round. My first time using double pointed needles. I found that awkward at first, but am way more comfortable now. It was also the first time I have ever used short rows. Actually, it was the first time I ever even HEARD of short rows. It was also the first time I ever grafted a seam, also known as the Kitchener's Stitch. What grafting and the kitchen have in common I don't know. If it was called the grouting stitch, or even drafty stitch, I might understand, but it's not, so never mind. Anyway, grafting the seam is not like just sewing up a seam. You actually stitch it in such a way, almost like weaving, and the "seam" basically becomes part of the whole, invisible, and perfectly flat. It is neat and tidy, undetectable, and I'll definitely be using it again.

The second one I am sizing up a bit as Isaac has plenty diaper covers he can wear right now.

Here is my first soaker!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

FO Alert!

FO in crafting stands for "finished object". While I haven't been blogging much lately, I have been sewing and knitting as much as possible, around all the usual, and some unusual activities of life.

During Dale's layoff, I made four blouses, and five skirts, and got a good start on a peekaboo nine patch baby quilt. I am also knitting. One project I worked on for a while then didn't like it so I frogged it all out, wound the yarn, and set it aside for inspiration. The other one, a wool soaker for Isaac, is ALMOST done! I will post pics asap.

Today however, I want to share our finished church outfits. We are wearing curved hem slip on blouses, and box pleat skirts. They came out very well, and were very easy once I got all the calculations done correctly. I hate math. Anyway, not pictured is the fifth skirt, and everyday A-line navy blue skirt made from leftover material from the skirts you see.

Here are my little princesses all decked out for church:

Here is a close up of the box pleats:

All us gals... at the insistence of certain male family members:

I am quite pleased with how the outfits came out except one thing that both Dale and I don't care for. They make the girls look too grown up! LOL Notice how tall they are getting? We are all wearing flats, and I'm not crouching. In fact, I was standing up as straight as I could. Ack! Maybe I should try putting bricks on their heads....

I got the squares cut out then laid them out, thinking ahead to where the cuts for the disappearing nine patch method would go. Anyway, here is a peek, at the peekaboo nine patch baby quilt:

When I get this done, it is amazing how the quilt looks NOTHING like the block above, but still fun and pretty.

I still haven't gotten batting for the Just Because Quilt, so that is on hold for the moment. My friend who the baby quilt is for is going to have her baby any day now, so obviously that has priority.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY March 8th...

Outside my window... 50 degree weather, beautiful sunshine.. such a gorgeous day! Oh, and the drive is one big mud hole.

I am thinking... We have got to get outside today for a while, mud or no mud.

I am thankful for... The time we are having with Dale while he is home on layoff. He goes back to work this Friday. :(

From the learning rooms... More on the Horses unit study, and still working on our Olympics lap books.

From the kitchen... Menu planning, shopping lists making, and lesson planning for this week.

I am wearing... brown courderoy knit skirt, rust colored short sleeved turtleneck tee.

I am creating... matching outfits for us gals for church.

I am going... out later with Dale and the kids to run some errands.

I am reading... John Adams by David McCullough, and book one of A Series of Unfortunate Events.

I am hoping... to finish our box pleat skirts today, but realizing it is more likely going to be tomorrow.

I am hearing... The children getting lunch ready and playing with the baby.

Around the house... Need to do some serious decluttering this week in the basement before our missionary guest arrives in a week and a half.

One of my favorite things... Relaxed morning with Dale and a cup of coffee.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Some decluttering and cleaning downstairs, sewing, and knitting, and enjoying the sunshine!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

For instructions and guidelines for the Simple Woman's Daybook go to:

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fun and Busy Days!

Yesterday was one of those perfect days for going visiting, which we did! We drove a couple hours north to visit my MIL, SIL and her family. It was in the 30's, sun shining, just absolutely beautiful! Clear blue skies and when we drove home the night sky was gorgeous with the stars so bright.

Our plan was just to visit all day, but sometimes our plans get changed. First off, Isaac had one of his "I'm awake and you can't get me to sleep" spells, and was up until after 3am. This resulted in us sleeping in a bit, so we were a little later leaving than we had first planned. That was okay, as the day's schedule was flexible.

Then, while Dale was still asleep and I was having coffee and guiding (aka, pushing shoving threatening bargaining cajoling ) my children in their chores I really felt led by the Lord to call a friend that lives not too far from my MIL. She had been sewing like crazy all week to finish some costumes she is making for her and her children. They are going to Williamsburg next week for a retreat, and was really under the gun to get them finished. I called her and offered my help for the afternoon. It was so much fun! I got to visit with her for a while, and of course LOTS of sewing was going on. I especially liked it because... um, well, I just like to sew. LOL.

I did spend some time with the in laws after that, but it was the right thing to do. Have you ever had one of those times when you just knew the Lord wanted you to do something that wasn't "in the plans" so to speak? It is always a blessing to listen to His guidance, and do what He says, even if it interrupts our little plans. My friend was greatly appreciative of my efforts, but honestly, I received as much blessing, if not more, from the "doing" of it.

Speaking of sewing, I need to get back to work! Hopefully I will be able to post pictured by Tuesday.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God

Psalm 19 starts out with those famous words ... "the heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork."

Reading on we see... " Day unto to day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard."

No matter where you are, at some point, you can see the sky, or the things of earth in some way, shape or form. This Psalm points out that the heavens declare the glory of God. Later in verse 4 says: "Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world..." Everyone is witnessed to by what God has created.

I always think of this Psalm when looking out at a clear sky at night. It is no secret that I love winter, mostly for the cooler temperatures. But also for the clear skies, unmottled by the hazy air of summer. The pure vastness of looking at stars light years from us, and feeling oh so very small always gives me pause.

Of course, if you read further in the Psalm it goes from talking about the heavens declaring the glory of God to the well known verses about the Word of God... "the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple..." (verse 7).

It is no accident that God put those many verses about His Word right after the whole "heavens declare the glory of God" portion. What does one have to do with another?

When you look up into the night sky, it should elicit an attitude of awe, and wonder, and a sense of who we really are, or aren't. The stars weren't thrown together in accidentally randomness by some "big bang" billions of years ago. Everything in heaven, and on earth, was made by intelligent design, by one Creator.

This week I have read a couple devotionals that have struck a chord along this vein with me.

From the Days of Praise, please read and be blessed.

Signs and Seasons, Days and Years:

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." (Genesis 1:14)

The subject of "time" is enigmatic. Everyone seems to know what is meant by time, but no one cane define it. We may complain about time going too slow, or too fast, but time doesn't go anywhere. But neither does it "stand still".

At least we can measure time intervals - seconds, hours, centuries, etc. This is because of God's gracious forethought in providing means for doing this. He was not a "blind watchmaker," as some evolutionists have called Him. He actually created time "in the beginning" (Genesis 1:1).

Then He set the sun and the moon in the sky, and made the earth to assume a global shape and to rotate on an axis, making the measurement of time in "days" possible. Next He placed stars in the far heavens in various locations and combinations and the earth to orbit around the sun, enabling us to tell how many "days" make up a "year". Then, once the earth's rotational axis was "tilted", that made "seasons" measurable. So we can can at least identify time durations in days and years with their seasons, and we can subdivide or combine these in whatever ways we find convenient (minutes, decades, summer, winter, etc.).

But what about the "signs"? Although this is a controversial question, certain ancient Jewish scholars believed that God named the starts and their groupings (Isaiah 40:26, Job 38: 31-32; etc.) and then revealed their prophetic meanings to patriarch Seth and Enoch in order to record His great plan and purpose in creation permanently in the heavens. If so, it is no longer needed, since the written Word of God, "for ever... settled in heaven" (Psalm 119: 89), has now been transmitted "unto the fathers by the prophets" (Hebrews 1:1) and "shall not pass away" (Matthew 24: 35).

The Witness of Creation:

"Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name." (Amos 5:8)

This striking exhortation is inserted in the midst of a prophetic rebuke by God of His people Israel. They were rapidly drifting into pagan idolatry, and Amos was trying to call them back.

His exhortation, given almost 3,800 years ago, is more needed today than it ever was before. Modern pagan scientists have developed elaborate but absurdly impossible theories about the chance origin of the universe from nothing, and the evolution of stars, planets, and people from primordial hydrogen. But the mighty cosmos and its galaxies of start- even the very constellations, such as Orion and Pleiades (the "seven stars"), as well as the solar system -- were made. All of these had to be made by an omniscient, omnipotent Creator, who had a glorious purpose for it all.

Similarly, the global evidences that waters once covered all the earth's mountains (i.e. marine fossils and water-laid sediments at their summits) cannot possibly be explained - as evolutionary geologists try to do - by slow processes acting over aeon's of time. God the Creator had to call massive volumes of water forth from their original reservoirs and pour them out on the earth in His Flood judgment on a rebellious world.

All of these witness to the fact of creation and judgment, not to impotent "gods" personifying natural forces. Men urgently need to seek the true God of creation and salvation before judgment falls again, for "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:31).

(All the good stuff is credited to Henry M. Morris, Ph.D, any typos my spell check didn't find are mine.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, March 1st.... (Wow, I can't believe it is March already!)

Outside my window... Snow, glorious SNOW!

I am thinking... about the devotional book My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, and how he cuts right to the core of a matter past all ego,psychological garbage, and false humility in our thought patterns.

I am thankful for... some REAL winter weather... lots of snow here. I've been waiting for this all season!

From the learning rooms... More of the same. We are working on the "three R's" plus a unit study on Horses, and a lap book study on the Olympics. We ended up starting late because of that week of sickness, but oh well... we are pressing onward!

From the kitchen... taking stock of cupboard inventory and making a list and checking it twice for grocery shopping.

I am wearing... black denim skirt, leggings, white turtleneck, and red cable knit hoodie.

I am creating... slip on blouses for all us gals, and knitting wool soakers for Isaac.

I am going... shopping later, and possibly to JoAnn's at some point this week to get batting.

I am reading... Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott on DailyLit (am I EVER going to finish this???) and John Adams by David McCullough. It is slow going, not because it isn't interesting, but because my reading time right now is so limited!

I am hoping... that two of my children who bicker over every little thing with each other will learn to get along.

I am hearing... the happy hum of the washer, and some general soft chatting from the children here and there.

Around the house... nothing exciting except that Dale is still home on layoff. At the very least I need to do some organizational tasks for school this week, and make up the menu and shopping list, and do some laundry.

One of my favorite things...laying down with Isaac and watching him lose the battle to fight off sleep.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Sewing 9what else?) some knitting, school,and possible a trip up north to see my MIL, SIL and family Friday, weather permitting.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Nothing like a feeling of a finished project!