Wednesday, February 25, 2009

W.I.P.(Work In Progress) Wednesday

Two posts in one day! I wanted to give my mom a post of her own today - I will post more about her at another time. I want to share with you what an amazing woman she was but I can't do it today. Her birthday is always such an emotional day for me. She was such a wonderful mother!

I missed out on posting last Wednesday about what I have been working on - due to my son's birthday post. February is a busy month for birthdays in my family! I wanted to make sure to post about it today. By now you all know what I have been feverishly trying to finish. I got a tad bit behind this week - I was hoping to be further along but here they are:

I can't seem to get the light just right in my house for taking pictures - so please excuse the dark photos.

I needed to take a break from all of the blanket stitching that I do on these blocks, so I have been trying to teach myself how to knit this week. I am left-handed so I have been trying to learn from a book that explains left-handed skills. This may take awhile! Slowly but surely I am learning, but I don't expect to knit anything complicated for quite awhile! I am learning though, that you can teach an old dog new tricks - you just have to have lots of patience! :-)

I need to stick with what I know how to do - that is to get this finished in time to send to grandbaby for her big third birthday!
If my ADD doesn't have another flair up this week - I should be back on schedule! (yes, I am kidding!) ~smile~
I am so excited to show you what I have been working on for my house - so check back this weekend - by then I should have the projects finished!
Blessings on the rest of your creative week,

Mom's Birthday Today

Happy Birthday Mama - We miss you!
February 25, 1940 - May 28, 2004

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let It Go, My Child

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-

18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.

21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
Psalm 103:8-21

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This and That

This is the beautiful view that greets me most mornings when I look out my windows. In the summer, the leaves on the trees block the view of the neighbors houses. It also blocks the views of the beautiful sunrises and sunsets that we have here in Georgia. Even though the view is ever changing with the seasons, I LOVE what I see when I look out my windows - the sun always streams through making my house look warm and cheerful inside - unlike my old house which didn't get much sun at all.

I have been enjoying the time with my son who is now living here with us. He moved here from Washington State as I wrote about in this post. We have him settled now in his new school. I think he will adjust well - he is already making friends and this morning, he and his father are on their way to help work on our new church building. They are helping the Builders For Christ who are here as I wrote about in this post.

Last week was a very busy week. I am finally feeling my head above water.
Our church Ladies Group had a special evening planned to honor the wives of the Builders For Christ. They are here working side by side with their husbands building our church. Some of them help in small ways - cleaning up the worksite - warming the meals brought to them by the ladies of our congregation. All of their service is done for the Lord - They have dedicated their retirement years -when their lives should be slowing down from the hardships of work for the worthy cause of building churches wherever they are needed. I am in awe of this ministry! They give up time away from their homes, families and their home church families to do the Lord's work in this way. They live for weeks on end in trailers which are on our site. They put up with many inconvieniences and poor weather all without complaint! The ladies of our congregation wanted to honor them for their selfless acts of service to us by giving them a night out -a "ladies night out" so that we could get to know them better. We had so much fun - we played Bunco which is a fun way to get to know people because you are constantly getting new partners and rotating tables to play with new teams. We laughed all night long and ATE - man we ate! I think I am packing a few pounds around from that night! Each of the ladies from our congregation brought a dish to share and we also made up little gift boxes full of goodies for the ladies to take home to the men at the end of the evening. My contribution for the evening were Whoopie Pies

These don't seem to photograph that well, but believe me - they were a hit! I used to make these alot when the children were all at home. They are a cake like cookie with filling in the middle. A cross between a Hostess "Ho-Ho" or a Little Debbie, and an Oreo.
I forgot how many this recipe made and I decided to double the recipe - big mistake! We will be eating Whoopie Pies til next year around here! I don't think my son minds all that much though - they are slowly disappearing. AWWW! It is good to have a growing boy around!

Here is the recipe:
Whoopie Pies
1-1/2 cups shortening
3 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups sour milk (I add 2 tablespoons vinegar to the milk to sour it - wait a bit for it to curdle before adding it to the mixture)
3 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups cocoa
6 cups flour
3 tsp. salt
3 tsp. soda
1-1/2 cups water

Cream shortening and sugar. Add well beaten eggs, sour milk, vanilla, flour, cocoa and salt. Dissolve soda in hot water, add to mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls. (I use a small meatball scooper for this because they come out looking rounder and more uniform.) Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
3 egg whites
3 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 cups shortening
6 Tablespoons milk
3 cups powdered sugar

Beat egg whites untill stiff. Add vanilla, milk, shortening, and powdered sugar. Mix well, put filling between two cookies.


These are the cupcakes that I made - it was around Valentines Day - hence the reason for the candies. I was in a hurry so they are kind of sloppy - but these cupcakes are one of my favorites and most asked for recipe.

They are filled with cream cheese and chocolate chips - they don't last long at any function I bring them to!

I got this recipe from my Mother in law. I would love to share it with you - be prepared though - these will cause your upper lip to sweat they are SO rich!!

Renate's Black Bottom Cupcakes
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup oil

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
8 oz. cream cheese
1(6 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

Make cupcake ingredients in bowl. Pour into cupcake containers. Fill halfway.
Filling: Mix filling ingredients except chocolate chips. Whip until fluffy, add chocolate chips. Spoon heaping teaspoon of filling in center of each cupcake. (this will sink down inside the cupcake during baking)
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Check with toothpick. Store in refrigerator.

I usually double this recipe - one will make enough, but they don't last long, so two is better :-)

I hope you enjoy these recipes and if you make them, I would love to hear feedback as to how you liked them!

I am so glad that it is Saturday - a day to get caught up a bit around here. I am off to mail some packages to my son in college and a belated gift to my granddaughter for Valentines Day.
Have a blessed day today,

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank you

It seems like I am saying this phrase often lately. The phrase from Winnie the Pooh, "The hurrieder I go, the behinder I get"!

I wanted to take a moment and thank ALL of you who generously take the time to leave me a comment here on my blog. I can't tell you how much your thoughtful words mean to me. My hope is always to be able to visit you and leave a comment in return - to thank you for stopping by and to take the time to get to know you through your writings. I seem to have fallen behind in my visits and for that I apologize. I feel such warmth toward all of you and love making new friends here in blogland. I will eventually get back to you- but my life is at times crazy-busy, so my visits may sometimes be late.

I wanted to take a moment to extend a hand in friendship to a special lady, Mary who recently send me a beautiful vase and card that she made. During one of my visits to a "Pink Saturday" post, she was offering a lovely vase in a drawing. Of course I couldn't pass up such a kind offer so I asked her to put my name in the drawing - never imagining that I would win. I did!
And here it is! Isn't it lovely? She made this pretty card for me too! Such a special gift - It was really fun to look out on my porch and see a present waiting just for me! Thank you so much Mary for your thoughtfulness - I will treasure it and put it in a place of honor!
Check out Mary's blog - she always has great posts to share!

I have two awards that I need to post about soon. Again - I haven't forgotten - I feel very blessed to have received them both - just haven't had the time to post about them decently. Bear with me as I try to play catch up!
To all of my dear cyber friends out there - You all mean the world to me!
Have a blessed day today,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nineteen Years Ago Today...

My beloved son was born nineteen years ago today! I can hardly believe it has been that long. Happy Birthday son!!
Have you ever had so much in your heart that it is hard to express the depth of your feelings? That is how I feel about writing about my son. There is so much I could say - my heart is so full of love for this special young man!

"J" is the youngest of my three biological children. He has always been a very special child. Incredibly bright, he started reading at the age of 3. I homeschooled him until he was in the eighth grade. Those were some of the best years of my life as a mother. It was wonderful to be able to view the world through his curious eyes. He was like a sponge -eager to learn about the world - he used to read from the encyclopedia (not at three of course - when he got older) and the phone book. I would hear him call out information to me from another room - "Mom did you know..."

At the age of 7 he decided he wanted to invent something. He found a craft book and made a "bubblebath maker" from it. The bubblebath maker was made from a recycled tin can with holes punched around the bottom. He strung yarn through the top part, and hung it over the spigot in the bathtub. He put a bar of soap in it, and when water was run through the can, the bubbles would flow out of the holes into the water.

He decided he wanted to Patent his invention. I let him look up the Patent office number (not knowing how far he would go with this) he picked up the phone, went into his bedroom and shut the door. He wanted to be alone when he made his call! Through that experience, he learned that Patents are very expensive and that plagarism is a crime punishable by law. He decided that since he got the idea from a book, that it really wasn't his idea after all. It was so stinking cute as a mom to see him work through all of this on his own! He was always doing cute things like this.

My son is a very loving young man. He loves all people and animals and when he was little, he would lovingly sit beside me as I worked in the yard and look at the tiniest of insects and talk to them. He was always so gentle - even as a very young child. He helped me really look at God's beautiful creation through different eyes!

He has always been a momma's boy - fiercely protective of me. He is a loyal friend and very sensitive to the needs of others. He has the best sense of humor and always keeps us laughing! I have watched him grow up to be a beautiful young man - inside and out. As you can tell - I am extremely proud of him! I want the world for him and if he has his way - he will have it!

"J" has been incredibly fortunate to have traveled to many places in his young life - London, Scotland, Korea. He hopes one day to live abroad. Right now he is studying Political Science in college. He is just beginning his journey to his dream. Today he is sitting at his desk in college - far from all of his family on his big day.

I miss you so much son - I wish we could celebrate your birthday together!

I hope your day is full of sunshine and fun!

I love you with the "Biggest" love


Sunday, February 15, 2009

One Day....

1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
Revelation 21:1-4

Friday, February 13, 2009

Surprise Revealed

I have been keeping a secret. Actually, I have been holding my breath until I was certain that this is really going to happen. It seems that our empty nest isn't going to be so empty after all. I have always said that when the birds leave the nest - they really just flutter outside the window for awhile. That is perfectly fine with me. One of our beloved sons is coming home to live with us! I am overjoyed!! This empy nest thing we have been going through is for the birds! (pun intended) :-)

Here he is with Ginger. This picture was taken a few years ago at our old house. She is sporting a pair of sunglasses. Classy lady huh? See the small strip of tape and texture piece missing from our wall - Ginger ate it one day! Thankfully she has outgrown that behavior. We had quite a few areas in our old house to repair before we could move. I am SO glad she hasn't gotten bored and tried that here at our NEW house!
She seems to have an issue with separation anxiety! Now she just chews on items like the T.V. remote if we don't remember to keep it out of reach.

Our son (my stepson) has been living with his mom for the last couple of years. He decided to stay with her when his dad's travel schedule got a little too crazy. He has lived with us for most of his life and now that dad isn't traveling as much anymore, he has decided to move back home. He is leaving behind his twin brother. His twin wanted to continue to live with his mother. I am hoping that the adjustment of being without his twin brother won't be a shock. They have never been all that close - even though they are identical! The twins are the youngest children in our family. All of our other children have grown and are either married or in college. We are so happy to have one of our kids back with us! I can't believe I am back to raising a teenager again! I thought that part of my life was over. He will be learning to drive soon ACK!!

With 6 children in our house it was extremely hard for us to "spoil"
our children with things that they wanted. Edited to add: We have seven children but our oldest was already getting ready to live on her own when we got married. We had seven in the house for awhile (long story) but for the most part had six in the house the majority of the time. Sorry oldest daughter - I wasn't trying to forget you in my story!

I think some of our children resented the fact that they always had to share us and share their space with so many other children. We just didn't have the room, or enough money to always do things for them that a household with one or two would be able to do. We had to have them all share rooms, and even though we tried our best to give them each time alone with us, it was difficult. Everything was a major production. For example - We had to limit the amount of time each child was allowed on the computer to 30 minutes - otherwise they would have been on there all night!

I hope the children have grown up knowing that each one of them is loved and very special to us. I have tried hard as a mother to try to give them that assurance. I was a stay-at-home mom and devoted myself to giving them as much of "me" as I was able. Even though we were short on room and money, I tried to spoil them with my love and time. I have loved nothing more in my life than being a mother. It is God's greatest gift to me! I have truly enjoyed having such a large family and feel so blessed that God gave them all to me to love and care for.

With this child coming home now - he has a large home to live in - a bedroom all his own for the first time in his life! Things will be different for him now. He will have privileges that the other ones weren't able to have because of there being so MANY of them in the house before. Hopefully - now that the children are older, they will all understand and not resent this.
Our door is always open to any of them who want to come back home to live. (hint, hint) I miss them all so much and would welcome any who need some "mama lovins" (inside joke) When they are here with us now I always try to "spoil" them. ~smile~

I would welcome any prayers sent our way that this will be an easy transition for our son. It is so hard to leave friends and family behind. Even though he thinks that this new adventure will be fun, it will also be hard to go to a new school and live in a new state. We are so very excited for this new change, just praying that he will be comfortable and happy here.
He arrives tomorrow - such a wonderful Valentine's Gift - don't you think?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

W.I.P.(Work In Progress) Wednesday

I had such a nice day today. I had an unexpected day off from work. Absolute Bliss!

I have been able to accomplished so much! It has been truly needed around here. It feels good to have the day to do those things that get left undone until the weekend. It gives me more time on the weekend to relax and do some crafting!

Here is what I have managed to accomplish this week on my Works In Progress.

What I haven't had time to do today is look into photo editing/sizing as suggested by Susan. I think I need a week off to be able to wrap my little pea brain around that issue, so we will just have to look at pictures that are a little bit wonky until then :-)

As you can see, I have manged to get two more blocks done and one cut out ready to work on. I am a tad bit behind schedule so I need to finish two more blocks by Sunday to catch up. I need to finish my grandbaby's Alphabet book by April 12th in order to get it in the mail in time for her birthday. I long for more time to complete all of the gifts I want to send her for her big day - but alas, I work until 4:00 pm - 5 days out of the week so it doesn't give me much down time to work on things.

I have finally finished the edging on one of my pillowcases that I cross-stitched and showed you earlier. When I get tired of working on blanket stitches, I take a break and pick something else up. It has taken me awhile to finish this because being fairly new at crochet and self taught, I sometimes find the patterns overwhelming. I had to take out two rows and start over - I found an easier pattern online and I can call this one done! I am currently in the process of completing the cross stitch on the other pillowcase to make it a matching set. I won't completely call this project done until they are both finished!

During my blof surfing one morning I happened across Dawn's blog. She has been making the cutest little valentine hearts - as you will see if you look at her header and this post. I now realize that if I start my spring craft projects in the winter, and my winter projects in the Spring, that I just may have something to show for it with my work schedule the way it is! Nevertheless, I just couldn't resist trying to make one to tie onto my granddaughter's valentine gift. It is my first attempt, but I am hooked - and hope to make more next year when I have more time.
Lorrie has done a great tutorial on making these too! They are very easy to put together and as you can see - you can put little touches on them to make them all look different.
The Yo Yo that you see on my little heart was made with this neat device.

This is the cheater way to make Yo Yo's. I can't remember what blog I read about these on, but this tool is so easy even a five year old could use it! I am planning eventually to make a Yo Yo quilt (one of my many dreams - I have so many- it would take three lifetimes to finish them all)This is a craft that you could sit and do while watching television. Great little tool!
I have thought about possible creating a new blog that contains just the crafting part of my life, but since I am not able to work as much as I would like to on my crafts, I wouldn't be able to update regularly so I have decided to just keep things "as is" for the time being. I would love to hear from other crafters - if there are any out there who read this!
I am hoping to write a post tomorrow - I am dying to share a secret I have been keeping!
Until then....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Pink Saturday

This week went by so fast! Don't you just LOVE the weekends? Once again it is time for Pink Saturday!

Thanks to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for this fun event. Be sure to visit Beverly's blog to see a complete list of participants for this week.

I thought I would start off by showing you a few of my pink teapots. I started with one teapot, and my friends and family decided that I was collecting them. They soon started to multiply around my house. I learned that I really do love them and starting collecting them myself! This teapot is one that I purchased while on a romantic getaway with my hubby to Victoria, British Columbia. I am especially fond of the details. I love roses (you probably know that by now if you have read my blog before) and the delicate details and soft coloring stole my heart. The name on the bottom is "Crown Dorset" Staffordshire fine ceramics - Staffordshire, England.

We bought this one too while we were there and even though they look similar, the name is "Regency" English bone china - Made in England. Two beautiful treasures to help remember a wonderful weekend together!

I bought this beauty while on a day trip with my visiting in-laws. We stopped for lunch at a cute little restaurant called Mary McCrank's Dinnerhouse in Chehalis, Washington. Beautiful teapots and teacups were everywhere on shelves lining the walls.
It is a Lomonsov Russian Porcelain teapot - made in Russia. I have never been to any of these wonderful places, but at least I can enjoy my china from there! :-)

Edited to add: I have been trying to show bigger pictures - but blogger is cutting them off on the side so they look off center in these photos. ERRR! Can anyone tell me the size they put their Flickr photos at when adding images to allow for a larger picture that fits in the grid - so to speak - or will I have to get rid of my background in order to do this??

I received this teacup from a dear friend years ago. I have always enjoyed it's delicacy. It is extremely fragile and alas - this is one of the treasures that didn't quite make it through my children's childhood unscathed. It is glued together with just a tiny little piece missing in the front. Even though I will never be able to use it - I can still enjoy it's beauty!

Another one of my dear friends gave this picture to me during a very difficult time in my life. She told me she thought that I was the strongest woman she knew. I didn't feel strong at all at the time, but I will never forget the lessons I learned then - and the strength I feel in myself now having gone through the trial. This beautiful picture has traveled with me ever since and it is a reminder that God has given ALL women the strength that we need at the time that we need it most!

Last but definitely not least, I wanted to show you what I found at the thrift store the other day - I couldn't pass this treasure by! Not only does it have pink in it, but it has the blues that you see throughout my house! If you look closely you can see the "pink" pot inside that holds the african violets. I need to have my husband drill a hole in the bottom of the pot so that I can plant the violets in it permanently. I am worried that it will break if he tries although he has been successful doing this with other pots. I would hate to lose a treasure this way -even though it only cost me a few dollars! I LOVE thrift store shopping - don't you? Such beautiful things to be found at a fraction of the cost! Gotta love a bargain!

Well - I am off to see your pink treasures for this week!



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

W.I.P.(Work In Progress) Wednesday

Another Wednesday is upon us and it's time again to show what I have been working on. I can't express enough how the act of showing all of you my progress has helped me stay on task! I have been trying to finish up some of my craft projects that have been sitting idle in my sewing room. I am so happy to say that since I have been posting my progress, I have managed to finish one of them!

Here it is - the first finished project of 2009! I have started a list on my sidebar and as I finish items, I will add them to my list. How motivating this is for me! I can't tell you how good it feels to get this done!

As I have said before - I started this blanket when my daughter was pregnant with my grandbaby. I was going to school at the time and it became clear that it wasn't going to get done by the time the baby was born. I had already made her one - so I put this one away - to be made for the NEXT grandchild one day.
Do you ever feel like you have so many projects started that you don't want to pick up a new one? Well, since I started this W.I.P.Wednesday post, I have given myself permission to start new projects - as long as I also finish the ones that are in the back of my mind - bothering me!

I have included a picture of the booklet that I used for this blanket. It has been a fun project. I love the lacy look. There are 6 delicate patterns - I may need to make more - they are so addicting!

I apologize in advance for these next pictures - I need to remember not to take them in the morning when the light is bad. They are fuzzy and dark. I need photography lessons!
Here are the latest pictures of my Alphabet blocks for the book I am making for my grandbaby's birthday in April. Yes, I do know that I am missing the "I" Block. I need to go to the fabric store to find a brown check fabric for the cone - it will be an icecream cone for the letter "I".

Here are the finished details on my Gingerbread man - oohh - such a fuzzy picture! You get the idea though - I didn't think I would like this one before I made it - but now I think it is my favorite one! I loved adding the little bow and buttons - such a fun touch!

I finished this one last night, I still need to add the french knots all around the block.

As always, when I start a new block (as the "J" one that you see here) I am not sure if the colors are right - but as I add in some personality, I grow to love them. It is fun to see the end results - each one so different!

When I tire of a project I pick something else up to work on for awhile. I am presently finishing the crocheted edging for my pillowcase that I showed you in this post. I will show the end results when it is completed.

What are you working on? I hope these posts have motivated you to pick up some of your unfinished projects. And if so- please show me- I will link to it so that we all can enjoy!

Blessings on your creative spirit today!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

I Can Only Imagine

This song is so special to me! I often wonder what Heaven will be like. What will it be like to stand before the One who gave me life?
That He would allow me entrance through the gates of heaven to kneel before Him! I long to hear Him one day proclaim "Well done thou good and faithful servant".

One day I will dance before my Lord with all of my loved ones who have gone before me!
I can only imagine what that day will be like....