Monday, December 29, 2008

~Baby Knitting~

Several months ago, I knitted a Lacy Baby Bonnet (link directs to free pattern). It was a fun knit that took me only an afternoon to complete. This is the newborn size. I would like to make it again with thicker yarn, for a bigger size.

This afternoon I finished a small Petal Bib, found in the book One Skein. This took only a few hours as well. I started it last night, and would have gotten it finished much, much sooner, but I think I spent as much time unknitting as I did knitting! I've done short rows before, but for some reason I had trouble getting the hang of this pattern. However, now that I've got it done, I think it would be fun to make another one or two. This bib turned out smaller than the pattern because I used a lighter weight yarn than the pattern called for. But that's ok. =) I learned several new techniques on this project, which is where the unknitting came into play!

As always, more details on Ravelry.

Sorry for the picture quality - it is a yucky day for pictures!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

~Orange Muffins~

Can you stand another food post? I suppose after months of not being able to even think about food, I am eager to share the few recipes that I'm actually enjoying now. Oranges were on sale, so we had quite a few, and I searched for a recipe that would help me use some up.

Fresh Orange Muffins
1 orange, quartered and seeds removed (with peel)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 large egg
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 400F; spray a muffin tin (12) with non-stick cooking spray like Pam and set aside.
2. Put orange quarters in food processor (or blender) along with orange juice and process or blend until pureed.
3. Add egg and butter to food processor and combine; pour into large bowl.
4. Combine dry ingredients together in a separate bowl, then add all at once to orange mixture.
5. Stir to combine.
6. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes; remove from oven and let stand in tin for five minutes before removing muffins.

Recipe and picture from

I have made these twice now. They are very good! It took 2 oranges for the 1/2 cup of orange juice, though if you have orange juice on hand, it would certainly be easier. The last batch I made with 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour. Very yummy!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


I have a friend who sells Uppercase Living, and with part of my birthday money, I bought two expressions. Kevin put one of them up for me today, and I love the way it looks!

This wall is in our living room. I've never known quite what to do to decorate this wall. Do I pretend the stain glass window doesn't exist, and put decorations on either side of it? (Before we redid the living room that is what I did, and I wasn't happy with the look.) Or do I accept the window as a piece of artwork and put low-key decorations around it? Well, I chose the latter this go-around. I am quite happy with the look! I also used birthday money to buy the candle sconces.


Last weekend and the early part of this week we got dumped with snow! I'm not sure what the total amount was, but it was between 2-3 feet. Kevin's truck is parked in our back yard, off the side of our driveway, and the snow blower attacked it:


Today it has been raining and it is quite warm. Balmy, in fact. I went to the library and people were out and about with no jackets, and in their shorts. Oh, "balmy" is relative - in our case the high for today was 55*. LOL The snow is coming back tomorrow though!


I really wasn't thinking when I posted last - because, yes, we did have a very cozy, quiet Christmas Eve and morning, but then we were invited for dinner to a friend's house Christmas afternoon. We enjoyed a nice dinner, and then played games afterwards (and there was nothing quiet about that! LOL). One of the games we played was a complicated card game called Rage. I do not enjoy learning new games, especially complicated games, but I persevered and guess who won? Yes, I won! I was quite surprised. =)


Hoping the rest of your year is wonderful!!! Can you believe 2008 is almost over?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

~Merry Christmas!~

Wishing you and yours a very merry Christmas!

This year is our first year to have a WHITE Christmas! We have had quite a few snow storms move through our area and we have mountains of snow in our yard! It is also our first year to celebrate Christmas with just the two of us....we're having a much quieter Christmas than normal.=)

May you have a wonderful day, God bless!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

~Christmas Memories~

I was inspired by Susan's post, to share my own Christmas memories!

When we lived in Illinois/Ohio, we always spent Christmas with my mom's parents, who lived in Ohio. One particular year, when I was 5 or so, we had gotten a big box of presents from my other grandparents and aunts and uncles. I couldn't wait to open them! However, we had to wait, because my mom didn't think it would be fair for us to open twice the number of gifts that my cousins had. I was just dying to open those gifts, I couldn't wait till my cousins left! I kept asking, "When are they going to leave?" and when they were finally walking out the door, I was running down the hall shouting excitedly about opening our gifts (note: the door didn't have time shut behind them before I started shouting!). Kids just don't have tact, do they? ;-)

Another Christmas memory is sleeping on the hide-away couch in my grandparent's living room. We got to go to sleep with the Christmas tree still lit, and it was so fun to lay there in the dark with just the Christmas tree shining. Of course, it sounds peaceful, but the other half of the time, my sister and I (who didn't share a bed at home) were fighting over the covers. It's amazing that we didn't rip the sheets to shreds, the way we pulled and tugged those covers!

After my family and my grandparents moved to California, we split Christmas Day with my mom's parents and my dad's parents. We started the fun tradition of bringing all our gifts over to my mom's parents and opening everything there. It has always been a controlled mad house with wrapping paper flying everywhere, punctuated with shouts of "OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVE IT!" (That would be from my dramatic, younger sisters!)

One year, when I was about 11 or 12, my grandpa gave me $10 before Christmas, and helped me shop for my sisters. That was tremendously fun! I couldn't wait for them to open my gifts on Christmas Day!

One last memory - the year that Kevin and I got engaged! His mom flew us to Washington the week before Christmas. The evening after our arrival, we went on a ferry across the Puget Sound. As the Seattle skyline faded in the distance, Kevin worked up the courage to ask me to be his wife! :-) And of course, I said yes! Well, actually I nodded yes, until Kevin prompted me to say yes. LOL For some reason, I think because our tickets were purchased at different times, I flew home a day before Kevin did. The ticket agent asked Kevin if I was flying as an unaccompanied minor! Haha...her face got so red when she found out that I was 23 and newly engaged, not under the age of 12! When I got off the plane, my siblings bombarded me with hugs and everyone was tugging at my hand trying to see my ring! Kevin was also included in our family Christmas, and he proposed to me several times in front of the family. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2008


“No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasent. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.” — Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910) Scottish Preacher

Thursday, December 18, 2008

~Christmas Candy~

One of the things I've enjoyed doing in the past is making Christmas candy for gifts. It is fun to give a plate of goodies to neighbors and friends. I haven't done it the past two years, but this year I decided to make my treats again.

Peanut Butter Balls
1 lb. butter or margarine
2 lb. peanut butter (smooth)
3 lb. powdered sugar

Mix butter and peanut butter together. Add powdered sugar. If need be, use spoon when it gets thick. If using real butter, use all powdered sugar. If using margarine you probably won't use all powdered sugar. Make into 1" balls. Dip in almond bark or coating chocolate (2 - 1 1/2 lb. packages). Makes 200. If you cut down the recipe, cut it down by weight, not measurement.

--from a friend

This year, I cut the recipe in half. I didn't want to stand and roll peanut butter balls forever. :-)

Pretzel Sticks
I bought pretzel rods, dipped them in white almond bark and rolled them in crushed candy canes. I did let them harden too long, so I ended up having to recoat them with more almond bark before the candy canes would stick.

Easy Toffee Candy
1 1/4 cups butter, divided
35-40 saltine-style crackers
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts

1. Melt 1/4 cup butter; pour into foil-lined jelly roll pan.
2. Arrange crackers over butter, evenly spaced.
3. Melt remaining butter; add sugar and boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Remove from heat and add condensed mil. Spread over crackers.
5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, until bubbly and slightly darkened.
6. Remove from oven, cool 1 minute and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes until chocolate is soft and melty, and spread chocolate out.
Sprinkle with nuts; press lightly into chocolate.
7. Cool; refrigerate until chocolate is set.
8. Remove foil and cut candy.

This tastes a lot like Almond Roca. Makes 50 pieces.

This recipe is from a blog I used to read, and I'm drawing a blank as to what the name of the blog is. I just have it printed out, with no source listed.

Edited to add: recipe can be found here, at Life in a Shoe.

I also made some orange fudge. It turned out ok...I had a terrible time cutting it, and I'm not very impressed with it. I won't be making it again, so I didn't want to post the recipe. :-)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


We live in an interesting society. It all started with a cup of spilt coffee and a law suit to McDonald's, and now, 14 years later, lawsuits against companies are rampant. Instead of people taking personal responsibility (oops, I spilled my cup of coffee - I need to be more careful) it becomes the problem of the company (you gave me coffee that was too hot). A little side note - who wants lukewarm coffee anyhow???

So last night we were in a meeting, and one of the guys sat on a chair. But he didn't stay in the chair long - he was soon on the floor. He had straddled the chair backwards, and the chair tipped over. All of a sudden, the chair was a "terrible" design, and why did the facilities have these ridiculous chairs? And since his back was terribly hurt, he insisted on filling out an accident form. But interestingly enough he didn't want medical treatment.

Why was it the chair's fault? The manufacturer of the chair did not design the chair to be straddled backward. (And I must add that my own husband and many others throughout the 5-week class were able to sit on the chair backwards, without falling from it). Why was it the fault of the company who bought the chairs?

I hope he doesn't sue. But people bring forth more ridiculous lawsuits on a daily basis, and win, or settle out of court.

Whatever happened to personal accountability?

Friday, December 12, 2008

~A Bowlful of Memories~

At a recent doctor visit, I learned that my iron is a little low, and the nurse gave me a sheet that lists iron amounts of various foods. The food on this list that is highest in iron is Cream of Wheat. So, I switched from my morning bowl of oatmeal to Cream of Wheat.

It brought back a flood of memories! The summer I was between 1st and 2nd grade, my family had an extended visit in California, where we stayed with my great-grandparents. When my great-grandma would make Cream of Wheat for breakfast, my great-grandpa would pour his orange juice over the cereal.

I remember begging to be allowed to do the same. My mom eventually let me do it, warning me that once I did it I still had to eat it. =P Well, I loved it, and continued to copy my great-grandpa each morning we had Cream of Wheat.

I haven't been pouring orange juice over my cereal, just remembering that it was done. And I don't make the cereal lumpy (it is, after all, called Cream of Wheat for a reason), even though as a child I thought the lumps were great. LOL

It is amazing how a simple bowl of cereal can bring back so many memories!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

~Cinnamon Rolls~

I think a new tradition for our family is cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving morning. It makes a quick, yummy breakfast if you make them the night before. And we've done it two years in a row now so it is a tradition, right? :-)

This year my sister helped me make them. They were devoured too fast to get a picture. Trust me, they're delicious! They take a lot of work and lot of butter! So obviously these are a treat!

Cinnamon Rolls

These taste like the famous cinnamon rolls sold in malls. [I would assume the author meant Cinnabon, and having had Cinnabons, they do come close!]

1 T. dry yeast
1 C. warm milk
1/3 C. white sugar
1/2 C. soft butter
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
4 C. flour

Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Knead into a ball or put in a bread machine on the dough setting. Let rise until double in size. When ready, roll out to about 1/4-inch thick. Spread with filling.

1/4 C. soft butter
1 C. brown sugar
3 T. cinnamon

Spread butter evenly on dough. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon evenly over buttered dough. Roll up dough. Slice roll into 1-inch slices. Place on a greased pan. Let rise until double in size. Bake 10 minutes at 400*. [Our rolls needed longer than 10 minutes.]

1/2 C. soft butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 oz. cream cheese
2 T. whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Beat until fluffy. When rolls are hot, spread lots of icing on them.

--Recipe from Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy

These were equally good hot or cold. We just stuck them one at a time in the microwave for 20 seconds. Or ate them cold. However we felt like!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

~Christmas Cards~

This year, I am not sending out a slew of Christmas cards. I just don't have the energy for it. Instead, I have purchased 5 cards from Susan's Etsy shop, and I am sending them to close family members. Pictured to the left is one of Susan's pretty cards (I snagged the picture without asking her, but since I'm giving free advertising I hope she doesn't mind. ;-) ). I was pleasantly surprised at how fast my cards came in the mail! Since they are mailed from Canada, I wasn't sure how long it would take, but it was only a few days.

I'm in my third trimester now, and any energy I had before has depleted. So I'm saving my energy for important things. :-) Christmas this year will be a quiet holiday for Kevin and me, and I'm carefully choosing the things that I am doing to prepare for it so I don't get overly tired. I'm glad that I was able to purchase these beautiful handmade cards to send to my loved ones.

Friday, November 28, 2008

~Happy Thanksgiving!~

Happy Thanksgiving, a day late, to my US readers! :-)

I hope you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. Since we have moved to Michigan we have had pretty quiet Thanksgivings. However, this year it is *not* quiet, and I'm very grateful!!! Two of my sisters and my brother are visiting us this year, and we are enjoying their company very much! They arrived on Wednesday morning, and will be leaving Monday morning.

Any "Black Friday" shoppers out there? Everyone but me was going to get up early and go out...but everyone slept in. ;-) They just got back with all their deals, so I guess they didn't miss out on too many sales!

Have a wonderdful day!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

~Turkey Poem~

How not to roast a turkey...

The Turkey Shot out of the Oven

Jack Prelutsky

The turkey shot out of the oven
and rocketed into the air,
it knocked every plate off the table
and partly demolished a chair.

It ricocheted into a corner
and burst with deafening boom,
then splattered all over the kitchen,
completely obscuring the room.

It stuck to the walls and the windows,
it totally coated the floor,
there was turkey attached to the ceiling,
where there'd never been turkey before.

It blanketed every appliance,
it smeared every saucer and bowl,
there wasn't a way I could stop it,
that turkey was out of control.

I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure,
and thought with chagrin as I mopped,
that I'd never again stuff a turkey
with popcorn that hadn't been popped.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

~Ottobre: a new adventure in sewing~

With part of my birthday money, I treated myself to a subscription to Ottobre. Ottobre is a quarterly magazine filled with trendy children's patterns. It seems expensive, but there are so many patterns in each issue, it is worth it! The magazine is published in Finland, and thankfully they have an English version! :-)

I just got my first issue in the mail this last week, and I'm really excited about some of the patterns. I think I will probably wait to start sewing until my little one is here, and I can figure out what size will work best for her. All the sizes are by centimeters, so that is a little confusing to me. I've never gotten comfortable with metric measurements, so I guess I get to jump in with both feet on this one! :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

~Have You Ever?~

Have you ever? I saw this several places, and thought I'd do it too! =)
Bold the things you’ve done.

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars - at camp, when I was in high school.

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland/world - Disneyland with Kevin

8. Climbed a mountain - if it has stairs up it does it count? :-) Morro Rock in California

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang/played a solo - piano

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning - yes, and it was awful!

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked - when our car broke down

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - yes, but at the place where I worked sick days encompassed other things besides just being sick

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business - does my Etsy shop count?

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Gotten flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job - but not for doing wrong! :-) I lost several jobs due to the economy at the time (early 2000's).

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Made a baby
- but can I say that God truly is the One Who is in the baby-making business!

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

Friday, November 14, 2008


Recipe found on this recipe cheater sheet. I baked it in two round cake pans, and plan on freezing one for later. This gingerbread is so yummy! It isn't very sweet, just the right amount of sweetness, I think! I didn't have a cup of molasses, so I added 1/2 cup honey to the molasses I did have.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

~A Change~

Today I made a change...after being a loyal subscriber for over three years, I switched to Google Reader. Since I have less than 30 blogs I subscribe to, it didn't take me too long to switch. I think I'm going to like it. It is different, of course, so I'll have to get used to it.

I was just fed up with Bloglines. Today I opened the feed reader and it said I had over 5000 posts to read. Ha. As if 30 bloggers had typed that many posts overnight!...and when I cleared them, they came back again. I was getting frustrated. If that were the only problem, then I would have just dealt with it. But lately I have been missing posts from certain bloggers, then all of a sudden the last two weeks worth of posts would show up. Etc., etc., etc.

I've put up with a lot of bugs over at Bloglines in the last three years, we'll see how Google Reader does!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

~Winter is here~

Sunday it snowed, pretty much all day long. It didn't stick until later in the day though. Monday morning, not exactly a winter wonderland, but still snowy:

There is still some snow here and there, but most of it has melted. *Sigh* I miss warm weather already!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

~Just saying hello~

It has been a gorgeous fall so far! This week we've had weather in the low 70's! That is very unusual weather for the beginning of November, but I'll take it!!! It's hard to believe the snow will be flying soon, when it is so warm and sunny out.

I am still feeling yucky with my morning sickness, thus the lack of posting. I'm trying to figure out what I want to do with blogging once I feel better. I've enjoyed blogging over the last 3 years, and I'm not quite ready to give up on it. But I know that my blogging lacks a lot right now. I also will be one of those protective mother hen-types and won't be posting any pictures or details of our little one. I've given it a lot of thought, actually way before we were even expecting. It's hard, because I really would love to share with my dear bloggy friends, but I realize in sharing, I'm sharing with the whole www...and that scares me.

My house is torn up right now because Kevin is completely redoing what was my sewing room. It will be the nursery. I'm terribly excited about how it is turning out! When it is finished (in a few weeks) I will share pictures of the whole process. :-)

I celebrated my birthday last Sunday. It was my most unbirthdayish birthday ever. LOL We actually celebrated on Monday, since Sunday was so busy. =) With the state of the economy, some restaurants are having special deals at the beginning of the week - we went to a steak house and got two meals for $13. Of course, you have to select off a special menu, but I thought it was worth it to go on Monday instead of over the weekend. I had steak, Kevin had chicken. We both got two sides and we left very satisfied. My steak was 6 oz, and I only ate half of it, so Kevin had steak and eggs for breakfast the next day. :-) The meals weren't skimpy at all (unless of course you want a larger steak!), plus it felt great to walk out of a nice restaurant and have spent less than $20! So anyhow, I thought I'd throw that out can check around and see if restaurants in your area are offering deals like that - there are several that do this in our area. It makes business sense for the restaurant: the place was packed for a Monday night and people were waiting in the lobby for seats.

Lastly, I wanted to share some Etsy shops with you. :-)
Susan is selling handmade cards. They all look so pretty!
Her daughter Beth is selling jewelry. I've purchased two sets of earrings for birthday gifts for my sisters.
Heather has restocked her shop with colorful box bags. I can think of so many uses for these!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

~Itsy-Bitsy Baby Booties~

I just finished these baby booties for my coming lil' one. I had purchased the yarn before we found out we're having a girl. I need to get to the store and get some PINK yarn. :-)

Pattern: Christine's Baby Booties
Yarn: Bernat Baby
Needles: Size 2 DPN's
Modifications: I only knit 15 rounds for the cuff instead of 22 rounds

Kevin called these "futuristic moon boots". LOL The ridges on the sides help keep these booties least that's what the pattern says! We'll see...

Sunday, October 26, 2008


I just discovered that HopiQ tagged me to do a "seven random things" meme. I don't get around to too many blogs these days, so I'm a little late to the party. However, I thought I'd participate anyhow! :-)

Several of my siblings are attending college and the word that has replaced "cool" is "random". So instead of saying, "that is so cool" they say, "that is so random". I guess I'm an old fogey because that just sounds so stupid to me. LOL

So here are some totally random, totally cool facts about me:

1. I have really enjoyed being in my 30's. Much better than my 20's, I think.

2. I enjoy cooking, but don't really enjoy baking. Baking is too nerve-wracking!

3. I hate spiders, mainly because I got a poisonous spider bite as a teenager. But then, I haven't gotten bitten by a mouse or a snake, and I avoid them at all costs as well. So I guess I just don't like creepy-crawly things!

4. I've had the material to make our living room valance for over 2 years. I haven't even started on it. *Sigh* I'm such a procrastinator sometimes!

5. Since moving to Michigan, I can tell when it is going to rain. I couldn't do that in California. Maybe it is easier to tell here?

6. I really dislike sweeping and mopping. Too bad over half our house is hardwood, tile, or laminate!

7. I love to make gifts for loved ones! I hope to make all my Christmas presents this year. :-)

If I were playing by the rules, I'd have to tag 7 more people. But I'm not playing by the rules. So...if you'd like to participate, just go right ahead! ;-)

Friday, October 24, 2008

~Trying something different...~

I decided to switch things up a bit and design my own blog. I still have my template saved, and I must admit that I took a deep breath when I looked at the change.

Happy Fall! :-)

~Etsy Sale~

This morning I've substantially marked down the items in my Etsy shop. Please take a look! :-)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

~National Infertility Awareness Week~

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. Infertility effects 1 out of every 8 couples. If you yourself haven't experienced infertility, the chances are very good that you know someone who is going through infertility right now.

This blog post is a little long, but I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage those who haven't gone through infertility to be a blessing and an encouragement to those who are in the midst of it. Please take the time to follow the links and read through the short articles - I'm sure it will come in handy for you some day!

***The definition of "infertility" is the inability to conceive within a year's time.
***The foremost thing to remember is that infertility is a medical problem.

Now, some suggestions for offering support that is appreciated:

First of all: please, no nosy questions! I had to stumble my way through so many questions (and to be honest I'm still on the receiving end of painful questions and comments). It is so hurtful to be asked yet again, "When are you going to have children?" "Do you want children?" "Why don't you have children?" "Whose fault is it that you can't have children?" etc., etc. If it has been asked, I have probably had to answer it and it is not fun! There has been only one time in which I appreciated someone asking me about my situation - a friend who felt led of the Lord to approach me because I was heavy on her heart. In the privacy of her living room we talked and cried together. She listened to the Lord and was able to minister to me.

Infertility has been likened to reverse grief. When someone dies, you mourn for them. Slowly, as time passes, the grief lessens. With infertility, it is the opposite. Slowly, as time passes, the grief intensifies. Going through infertility has also been compared to going through cancer. Please know that the person or couple you are praying for and trying to be an encouragement to is going through times of intense grief and sorrow!

Infertility Etiquette - this article by RESOLVE will help to explain what to say and not say. Please don't blindly hand out advice. "Just relax" is the most ridiculous thing to say to anyone. Remember that infertility is a medical condition. If someone broke their arm you would not say, "just relax and it will heal." No, you would take them immediately to the emergency room.

Also by RESOLVE, Infertility Myths. This article will help you to see that "just relaxing" or "just adopting" isn't what it takes!

Sometimes there isn't really anything you can say that is going to make the situation better. A simple hug and "I'm praying for you" truly goes a long way!

I want to encourage you to be an encourager to a couple/woman facing this struggle!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Something that has been on my mind and heart lately is hospitality. The Bible commands us to practice hospitality, so it is something that is important in every believer's life.

There are so many ways in which to be hospitable, I think the most important step is to just start. I recently checked out four books from my library that I have been browsing through. So many ideas!

The Welcoming Hearth by Elizabeth Skoglund: She focuses on everyday hospitality, being prepared for company at a moment's notice, and simplicity in hospitality. There are many recipes throughout the book, including some Swedish recipes, since she is Swedish.

Hospitality with Confidence by Grace Pittman: Not only does this author look at everyday, simple hospitality, but she also branches out with many ideas for fun parties and larger get-togethers. Something I really appreciated in both this book and The Welcoming Hearth is that the authors really stress that hospitality begins at home with your own family: having traditions, special meals, and treating your family with as much care as you would a guest - important and needful!

The Personal Touch by Rachael Crabb: This book is filled to the brim with stories of how the Lord has worked through the author's life to reach out to others through hospitality. It is written with a sense of humility, and seems to be written by an older author. It is very inspiring!

Love You Can Touch by Jane Jarrell: This fun little book is packed with recipes and gift ideas for special occasions.

I have been enjoying each of these books, and hope to incorporate many of the ideas into my own life. Right now I am still dealing with morning sickness which usually doesn't keep itself to the morning, so it isn't practical to have company right now. Especially since Kevin would have to do all the cooking and preparations! :-) But I recognize this as just a season in my life, and anticipate the day when I feel better and we can share our home once again!

Friday, October 17, 2008

~Two Blankets~

I got two more pieces of flannel to make receiving blankets out of, and just finished them last night.

These are both for our baby, and yes, that's correct...the one on the left is pink. =)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

~Contest Winner~

And the winner of my 1000th post giveaway is...


Congratulations, Nikki! Please send me an email with your address and I'll get your wristlet and zipper pouches in the mail to you! :-)

Monday, October 06, 2008

~100 Months~

One day last week, my sweet husband woke me from my beauty sleep. He asked if he could turn the light on and I sleepily agreed. Then he asked me what day it was. After thinking, I realized it was Friday. "But what is the date?" I finally came up with October 3rd. Then he told me it was our anniversary. Now I was really awake. Had I forgotten our anniversary? and our anniversary of what?

Well, it was our anniversary! We've been married for 100 months! That's makes 8+ years sound like a very long time indeed! :-)

Kevin had purchased a book for me that I had expressed interest in, and he handed it to me after he told me "happy anniversary." I thought it was so sweet of him to think of this anniversary! :-)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

~1000th Post Giveaway!~

This contest is now closed.

To celebrate my 1000th post, and as a very small way to thank my readers, I am having a little giveaway.

Since it is fall, why not celebrate with a fall theme? :-) To one lucky person, I am giving a wristlet, which is perfect for those times you don't want to carry your purse; a zipper pouch; and a tiny zipper pouch.

All you have to do to get your name in the "hat" is comment. I am willing to ship anywhere! If you do not have a blog, that is fine. But please leave your email address so I can get ahold of you in case you win! I'm leaving the contest open through next Thursday.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Just a little update to say "hello!" =)

I am still sick, but not as sick as I was in the beginning. I keep hoping that one day I'll wake up and feel 100% better, but such has not been the case yet! Otherwise, baby and I are doing fine.

This is my 1000th post! To celebrate with me, come back tomorrow to enter in a giveaway!

Monday, September 22, 2008

~Blue Ribbed Socks~

I've been trying to do some stash busting, so I pulled out some navy sock yarn that I purchased quite a while ago. I didn't want to make just a plain sock, but since the yarn is so dark, I didn't want to do something with too much of a pattern either.

I finally decided on "Oak Ribbed Sock" in Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks. I am pleased with the result. I knitted them up in just 11 days.

Ravelry link here.

Monday, September 08, 2008

~Quick and Easy Italian Veggie Beef Soup~

Tonight I made dinner (which may seem ordinary to you, but it certainly isn't to me! This is only the second time I have made dinner in the last 9 weeks or so!)

So what did I make for this momentous occasion? One of my favorite soups!

I got this recipe from my Fix it and Forget it cookbook, but I think I've only made it in the crock pot once or twice. The rest of the time I make it on the stove top.

1 lb. ground beef, or turkey, browned and drained
3 carrots, sliced
4 pototoes, peeled and cubed
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
15-oz. can diced tomatoes, or 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
6-oz. can Italian-flavored tomato paste
4 1/2 cups water
1 quart beef broth

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on High 6-8 hours, or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

This makes a lot - delicious for leftovers! I add a can of green beans.

The weather today was perfect for soup! Cool and rainy!


Finished last week, the knitted baby blanket (Ravelry details here):

and a knitted teddy bear:

I actually finished knitting the teddy bear over four months ago. It was supposed to go with a gift, but I obviously didn't finish it in time. So I seamed it last week, and I'm somewhat satisfied with it. For all the knitting I've done, this is only the second project that has needed seaming - I need some more practice in this area!

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Lighted Candles and Brick Wall by Michele Molinari
Lighted Candles and Brick Wall

Today was a perfectly wonderful day weatherwise. It was dark, cool, and rainy all day long. I love rainy weather! I lit candles in the living and dining room and enjoyed the gloom. :-)

I have always loved rainy weather. Growing up in California, during a drought, it was especially nice to get rain. Rain usually falls in the winter in California, so it has taken me a while to get used to rain in the summer here in Michigan.

Today was the perfect day to finish my baby blanket. However, it wasn't the perfect day to photograph it! Hopefully tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

~Storm Drain~

ETA: All is well with me and baby! This is just a picture I took the other day when I was playing with my camera! Thanks for the concern though. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Since so many of you expressed interest in projects I will be doing for our coming baby, I thought I would share the few that I've worked on so far.

This is still a WIP, but should be finished in a week or so: a cabled afghan, pattern by Debbie Bliss, from the book Simply Baby. The yarn is 50% cotton, 50% microfiber. It is working up so nicely, and when I'm not working on it, one of my bear friends is. ;-)

I just finished crocheting around the edge of a receiving blanket, and made a matching burp cloth. The pattern I used is modified slightly from the tutorial found over at Sew Chic. For crocheters: instead of slip stitching all the way around (I almost hate to slip stitch!), I did single crochets instead. I did use a slip stitch for the picot.

The burp cloth was my own "pattern", fashioned slightly after this tutorial. I didn't like the raggy edges, so I sewed and turned it, and topstitched around. Also, I didn't put batting in between the two layers of flannel. I've seen these around, in stores, and on blogs, and thought they looked really nice, because they wouldn't bunch up on your shoulder.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

~Thank you~

Thank you so much for all the kind and encouraging comments you have left over the last week and a half! They mean so much to me! I don't think I've ever had a post with so many comments (other than contests!).

As Deb correctly guessed, I've been suffering through morning sickness. The worseness of it varies, but I'm nearing my 13th week, so hopefully things will get better soon. In the meantime, Kevin has been a wonderful husband, doing so many of my normal duties, including cooking and grocery shopping.

I will continue blogging, though somewhat sporadically. Life from the couch just isn't all that interesting! LOL

Monday, August 11, 2008


In October, 2001, Kevin and I began our journey towards adding to our family. At Thanksgiving that year, I asked my great-grandma to make me a pair of booties with some yarn that I had picked out. As I stood in the corner with my hard-of-hearing grandmother, trying to be quiet (ha! I had to keep talking louder and louder in order for her to understand my request), the rest of the family gathered what I was asking before my grandma did! I finally succeeded in getting across to her that I was *not* expecting, I just wanted the booties for whenever we had a baby.

My great-grandma knit four pairs of booties (I think in one night, too! She was a fast knitter!), and I tucked them away. I was sure it would be any month now...

Instead, months stretched into years and years. I am a very private person, but it seemed as though I were wearing a badge (or rather a sandwich board), announcing to the world that we were unable to have children. At times, I received extremely rude (and hard to bear) questions and comments.

And so, as I said, I am a very private person. Much of my journey through infertility has been faced alone. I am very grateful for the support God placed in my life to help get me through the last year of struggles. Much of my story will remain untold.

However, it is with tears in my eyes, and thanks to the Lord, that I am ecstatic to announce that Kevin and I are expecting a child towards the end of February!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

~Happy August~

Hello, hello! Wishing those that still stop by a happy August! July just morphed into one looong day and then poof! it was gone!

The cicadas are beginning to sing make their noise, which makes me a little sad because summer is just going by too fast! I do like fall, but I like summer better! :-)

Our grass is brown because we decided to keep more green in our bank account! The price for water just kept going up, so we aren't watering the lawn. It worked out ok for the first part of the summer, but since mid-July we haven't gotten enough rain to keep the grass green. Oh well...a lot of our neighbors are doing the same thing, so we don't stick out too badly. Besides my flowers are still getting watered, so they cheer up the yard!

My red gladiolas were late bloomers. But at least they're blooming!

Well, I hope to pop in and out but I'm still kind of taking a bloggy break! Have a great day!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

~Coming to my library~

I was so excited the other day when I checked my library catalog online and Jane Brocket's book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity, was in the system! Yay! And I'm only 5th on the list! So once the book gets released in September, I'll probably have it sometime soon after that! :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

~Frogged Sweater~

This afternoon I frogged my sweater (frogged = ripped out). There were several reasons why I chose to frog rather than finish this project: my knitting was very tight and it was going to be much smaller than the pattern said, the size I was knitting was too small in the first place (yeah, not so smart), and the sleeves looked terribly wonky.

So. I like the yarn, and I will use this yarn for a different project. It actually feels good to have this sweater frogged - this project isn't hanging over my head any longer!

Friday, July 18, 2008


I'm really enjoying my glads that are in bloom now. I had hoped that they would all bloom at once, but they are blooming little by little, and that is fun too!

Next year I will try to plant them behind a larger plant, so that they will have some support. A few of them have toppled over.

And just for fun, a bloom off a butterfly bush that I bought at a farmer's market. The flowers start off white and then turn pink. Fun, fun! This plant grows fast too - it is supposed to get up to 5 ft tall! (It is an annual.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

~How to fold a t-shirt~

I used to fold t-shirts this way. If you need instructions in English, there are a number of videos on youtube with English instructions. But really, it is more fun to learn from this video. Try it! :-)

Saturday, July 05, 2008

~Gingham Aprons~

There are certain fabrics that just make my heart go pitter-patter with excitement, and gingham is one of them. Last fall, I was out with a friend and found two pieces of vintage apron prints. I was ecstatic to find them, and made up aprons for my Etsy shop.

Currently for sale in my shop:

And then I was clicking links the other day and came across Rick Rack Attack, an online shop which sells vintage aprons. Just look at one of the aprons they have for sale!!!

~Fourth Happenings~

Well, let's see...we had a quiet 4th celebration with just the two of us. We had hamburgers, potato salad and three bean salad for lunch. =)

We went to the park to watch the fireworks. They started at 10:30, we were there before 9:30. So lots of time to sit and talk. :-) And take pics of ourselves:

When the fireworks finally started, we discovered that they hadn't been worth waiting for.

Lots of people left within minutes of them starting, but we figured we'd waited so long to see them, we might as well watch them. The grand finale was pretty good. Next year we'll skip them. =) With all the illegal fireworks people bring over from Indiana, we could have just stayed at home and seen about the same. LOL

The most entertaining part of the evening were the fireworks created by a mother who got mad at the family in front of us. Lotsa bad words coming from her potty mouth. Shame on her!

We had a nice day together. It is always nice when Kevin has a day off work and we can spend it together!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

~Strawberry Jam~

I always forget that mid to late-June is strawberry season here in Michigan. Thankfully I usually remember in the nick of time! Last Saturday I got a flat of strawberries. I made three batches of jam and a strawberry pie.

I wanted to share about the jam, because I made the first two batches sugar-free. Sure Jell makes a "no sugar or low sugar" pectin. The first batch I used Stevia to sweeten it. I was nervous about putting too much in because I didn't want it to end up bitter. It tastes good - but the next batch was better! Instead of the added one cup water, I added one cup of white grape juice concentrate. YUM!

Now, if you're going to make jam sugar free, you have to keep in mind that it is more of a fruit spread than "jam". The consistency is different, as well as the flavor - even the color is different. Instead of sugar with fruit, the fruit is the dominant flavor! I did make one batch of regular jam so I can have it on hand for gifts and company.

I plan on making several more batches of sugar-free jam (I'm thinking cherry, peaches, maybe another berry! mmmmm).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

~Fresh Strawberry Pie~

I found this recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook, but made a few changes. Enjoy!

I made this for a dessert fellowship our church had last Sunday evening. It was SO GOOD. Yummy. I would have liked a whole pie to myself! As it is, I only got a sliver!

Baked Pie Crust
1 1/2 quarts strawberries
1 cup sugar
3 TBS cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup sugar

1. Prepare baked pie crust. (Use your favorite pie crust recipe.)

2. Mash enough strawberries to measure 1 cup. Mix sugar and cornstarch in 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in water and mashed strawberries. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute; cool.

3. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Spread in pie shell. (Note: I added 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/3 cup sugar to the cream cheese, and beat until smooth. It was divine! If you beat in the sour cream and sugar, you'll have a little too much filling.) Fill shell with remaining strawberries (the recipe doesn't say to slice them, but I sliced mine and sprinkled a little sugar over them). Pour cooked strawberry mixture over top. Refrigerate about 3 hours or until set. Refrigerate any remaining pie.

Substitutions: Use 5 cups peaches; or use 6 cups raspberries.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

~Bloggy Break~

I'm taking a little break, and I'll be back...when I feel like it. LOL Hope everyone is having a fun summer, and I'll still be stopping by my regular blogs.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

~$100 Shopping Spree: Etsy~

Etsy is a fun place to shop. Here are some items from some of the shops I've marked as "favorite" that I would be tempted to purchase (all prices include shipping):

From Purple Petunia, an earthenware surprise mug, $48:

From Sunnyside Ellen, Cottage Rose sock yarn:

and Strawberry Smoothie sock yarn, $47 for both combined:

And...that leave me with just $5 to spare. Money goes fast when shopping Etsy! :-)

Friday, June 20, 2008

~Tour of the Grounds~

I planted wave petunias along the front and part of the side. They are doing really well - behaving like wave petunias ought to, and spreading and blooming like crazy! :-D

The driveway runs along one side of the house, so I only have the one side to do any planting in. A bed runs along the length of the house. I am very happy with how things are growing this year! My perennials have come back nice and strong, and are blooming or are about to bloom. For perennials, I have: two echinacea plants, one lavender plant, two carnation plants, a Shasta daisy, a small variety of bleeding heart, and a few other things. I only had to get a few annuals to fill in the spaces this year, which was my goal! I would still like to plant a rose bush and then I will consider this bed complete. I plan on moving some things around to optimize the plants, but I'll do that in the fall when the blooming season is over.

I already posted this picture, but these are my lilacs. I planted allysum along the border and I really like it!

I'll have to get some close ups of the pretty flowers! I'm enjoying a huge bouquet of carnations! Maybe tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

~$100 Shopping Spree: Christopher & Banks~

Continuing on with my "shopping spree", my next stop is Christopher & Banks. If I had $100 alotted for Christopher & Banks, I would purchase:

Tropical Floral Hooded Cardigan, $39.50:

Belted Gored Skirt, $17.75 (on sale):

Button Decorative Tee, $9.99 (on sale):

Skinny Stripe Shirt, $25.50:

My grand total? $92.74. If I were shopping in the store, I could probably find a clearance item for the remainder. :-)