Math bean bags!

I had some fun last night making some numbered bean bags for my little ones.

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They were super easy to make, I just cut some 5″x10″ strips of fabric, and then cut some numbers from an old worn out t-shirt. After trying it out I think a non stretchy fabric would have worked better, but live and learn! I took the fabric numbers and machine appliqu├ęd them onto the strips, and then folded the strips right sides together and sewed the three open edges together, leaving a gap to turn the bags with. Then I turned the bags, filled with a bit of rice, and sewed the gaps closed. Easy peasy!

New dress!

I had a wonderful time over at my friends house the other night. She is a wonderful seamstress and we got together to make my youngest a new dress. I love working with her, she is such a patient teacher and I learn something new every time I go over there. I learned how to gather on this dress (on the sleeves). We had a blast, it probably took twice as long for her to help me make it than if she just made it herself, that’s why she is such a great teacher, she has tons of patience! I am so thankful that God has sent such a wonderful friend into my life!

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Bias tape woes

Geesh, I spent all afternoon yesterday trying to make some nice looking hot pads. Everything is great until I get to the bias tape part, and then it just all goes downhill from there. I can’t get the mitered corners right and it really stinks! I’ve tried four different techniques and nothing is working right. I’m usually pretty good at figuring things out, especially with sewing, but this has me stumped! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

You have mail!

I love to hear that phrase! That is, as long as they aren’t bills, lol. About a month ago I spent some time with my family in Indiana. Every time I go I seem to collect more stuff than what will fit in my bags to come home with, so I always pack a box, get it all labeled and ready to go, and then my Dad sends it when he gets a chance. This past trip my Grandmother let me go through her fabric stash and take as much as I wanted! She told me that she was done sewing and anything I didn’t take was either going to be given to Goodwill or to the local quilting guild. She had tons of fabric! Most of my fabric stash is a yard here and a yard there, almost all of her fabrics were 3-4 yards plus, and she even had closer to ten yards of one fabric! I don’t have a clue what I’m going to make with all this fabric, but I’m sure looking forward to figuring it out! I also found a bunch of books at my Dad’s house that I was going to purchase for our homeschool this year and a few books that were on my reading list, so I got to pack those up as well. God is so good to provide! He doesn’t always do things the way we expect, but who cares if I bought the books and fabric or was given them? It’s all the same in the end, except the fact that I got to be a blessing to my family as well and help them get rid of things that they no longer have any use for:)

Struggles

As I struggle each day to raise young men and women for Christ my faults become apparent. Some days my “bag of tricks” for training my children becomes depleted and we just struggle to finish the day. I find myself unprepared for the task at hand and at a loss for how to shape these young and impressionable minds that God has entrusted to me. It is at these times that my daily prayers for guidance turn into desperate cries for help. Our God is good and faithful to help us in our time of need! He may not always give me every piece to the puzzle, but He does at least give me a piece. Once I have that piece in play He always gives me another, until the puzzle is finished. Perhaps I am just too hard headed and stubborn to simply receive an answer, or maybe it is just that He requires faith on my part that He will give me the answers as I need them.

Yesterday, after my daughter went to bed, I began to notice all the things she hadn’t done during the day. The trash that was supposedly taken out, the floor that was supposedly mopped, the laundry that was supposedly put up, etc… We have struggled with a lazy and rebellious attitude in her for awhile now. Every time I think we are making progress my love, compassion, and desire to trust her are put to the test. She has an amazing knack for knowing the precise moment that I let my guard down. Her spirit isn’t being shaped, just her persistent nature to do what must be done to hide the dark secret of laziness and rebellion.

As I spent some quiet time yesterday reading through some posts on Godly womanhood I stumbled across a gem here. I wasn’t fully aware of how her story had touched me until my husband and I sat down to once again discuss our daughter and what we need to do to raise her up properly. Then it dawned on me, just like the woman in the story, I needed to step back and allow my husband to take control. When she was a newborn (and during the majority of my pregnancy) my husband was deployed overseas, leaving me in single mom dominant mode. The funny thing is, despite the fact that I allow him full control over our other children I never really gave over the reins with her. It is almost as if I subconsciously view her as my own personal project, as if no one can understand her and shape her the way that I can.

As that realization dawned on me I realized that I have brought all of this on myself, both to my detriment as well as hers and my husband’s. His punishments, in my eyes, always seem fair and just with the other children, and yet when it comes to her I have always felt that he was too harsh, that somehow her sensitive nature required a different type of training than what we have proven works for our other three children. I have coddled her as only a mother can and now I have to pay the consequences. Today begins a new day, a day where my husbands wishes in all areas, including the training and discipline of our oldest, are paramount to my own. It will be a day that hurts, both my pride and my heart, but one that sets me on the journey of being the wife and mother that both God and my husband want me to be. If you are reading this please pray that I have the strength to do what’s right, to follow my husbands lead, and to rid myself of my own rebellious spirit that was secretly hiding, undermining all my efforts to be the wife, mother, and teacher that God wants me to be.

Blessings in disguise

Have you ever laid in bed at night begging God to help you or to give you an answer, but no matter how hard you try it feels like you are talking to a brick wall? We’ve all had this happen to us at on point in time or another. Remember that no matter how things may seem God IS listening!

The other night I was feeling particularly alone. It just seemed like life was getting the better of me and nothing was going quite as planned. To make it worse I somehow got the odd notion in my head that my husband just didn’t love me like he used to. We’ve all been so busy lately tending to the needs of the family as a whole that I think we just forgot to take time for each other individually.

I lay awake asking God to show me that my husband loved me, to remind me of something he has done for me lately to show me he cared, to take away the lonely feeling, ANYTHING to make me feel better! I finally fell asleep without any answer, without feeling better, feeling like I was praying to a brick wall. The next day life went on as normal, no change whatsoever, and I really had to guard myself from grumbling in my heart that God wasn’t helping me.

Then, it was time to start dinner. I started up the grill and grabbed some Italian sausages out of the fridge. As soon as I opened them a horrible stench hit my nostrils and I knew they were bad. I hate to waste money but it wasn’t that big of a deal, I figured I would just grab the country ribs that were also in the fridge and cook those instead. Once I opened the the same putrid smell hit my nostrils and I went into panic mode. I was already late starting dinner, we should be eating but I had just started cooking, the meat was bad, and everything else was frozen solid! To make matters worse my husband would highly prefer to just be a carnivore and I knew that serving him a vegetarian meal could easily start a big fight. I did the only thing I could do and went and told him the truth. I was expecting a lecture at best, but was bracing myself for some pretty harsh words. If there’s anything sacred in this house, it’s my husbands dinner!

To my complete and total surprise my husband smiled and said not to worry about it with a big smile on his face. I just stared at him blankly in shock and he laughed and told me not to worry about it. This was very odd behavior, I was actually worried that he was playing some trick on me to get me softened up before the final blow and I began apologizing profusely. He looked at me and asked if I got mad at him when he makes mistakes. I thought about it for a second and told him that I didn’t. Then he asked me what right he had to get upset with me over a mistake if I don’t get mad at him for the same thing. After that we decided on some fried chicken and I ran out and grabbed some KFC.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was God’s way of showing me that he does still love me. Only love will grant the type of grace required for an extremely hungry man to smile when his dinner is not only late but ruined as well. Only love not only forgives but uses that same mistake as a means to point out my good points (of not getting mad at him). My husband may not always show me that he loves me in a way that I consistently recognize, but God showed me that he still loves me just the same. Our ruined dinner turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Always remember to look for God in your life, He may be telling you something even if you feel like He isn’t listening!

Homemade cat toys

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Here’s a pic of one of our new kitties:). Gorgeous isn’t she!

We all decided that she needed some fun toys to play with. Instead of going to the store (and spending way too much money) I decided to go DIY and crochet some toys. I know that the cat will eventually tear them up, but that’s okay. I picked up a bunch of yarn at a thrift store for about $0.25 a skein so these toys cost me next to nothing!

I’m not too fond of patterns, I always seem to lose my place, so I just winged it and came up with some fun designs. My favorite so far is a corkscrew with a handle on one end and a ball on the other.

To make it I chained enough to wrap around my hand (for a handle) plus the length I wanted the corkscrew to be. Then I double crocheted the length of the handle and slip stitched it to the beginning of the chain. Then I did five single crotchets in each stitch for the length of the corkscrew. It will automatically bunch up into a corkscrew when you do this. Then I made the ball. I chained three and slip stitched together. Then it’s just a pattern, single crochet in the next stitch, two single crotchets in the next stitch, single, then two singles, etc until the ball is as wide as you want it. Then single crochet two together, single crochet, two together, single, etc until the ball is formed. Before your hole gets too small be sure and stuff it! Then just tie off and you have a super fun kitty toy that you can throw on the floor, hold, or place over a doorknob!

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