Wednesday, April 29, 2009

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

Drum roll please.....

The long awaited book.....

Is now finished....

Ready to be packaged up with other goodies....

And sent on it's way to grandma's favorite little girl who is so deserving of the love and time it took to finish this.....

Hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed making it!

Now.... on to my next project.....
I will show you what that will be next Wednesday!
To see the Work In Progress photos of this book, click on the "Labels" link at the bottom of this post

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea

It is my granddaughter's birthday today. She is a big three year old now! I can't believe how fast the years have gone by. I seems like just yesterday when we welcomed her into the world.

I didn't get my daughter's permission to put current photos of the "birthday girl" on my blog, so these will have to do - The first picture was taken the day of her birth - doesn't grandma look tired? I was allowed to participate in her birth - it was so scary and exciting standing helplessly nearby. A very long day- but so worth it! She had such a tough time coming into this world.

My daughter had several miscarriages prior to "R's" birth. We were so devastated by the losses and were afraid to hope again but God finally blessed us with a healthy, beautiful little bundle of joy!

Today she sports a full head of wild curly black hair that her mama constantly tries to tame and eyes that you can get lost in. They are big and blue and she has the most amazing eyelashes. I am so smitten with this little bug!

She celebrated her third birthday far away from me and I am so sad that I missed her special day. Thankfully her Grandpa and Aunt (my oldest daughter) were able to fly out for the weekend to help her celebrate. Auntie (my oldest daughter) got "R" a cabbage patch doll which is what my oldest daughter had received from her grandmother the day her sister (my granddaughter's mother) was born. Was that clear as mud? It is hard to describe without using names on this blog! The cabbage patch doll that my oldest daughter received from her grandmother the day her sister was born was very special to her. I am hoping that "R" cherishes her new cabbage patch doll that her Auntie gave her too. I have heard that she has been taking it with her wherever she goes and although she has several dollies - this one is now her favorite. I am hoping the relationship between "R" and her Auntie will continue to grow and that she will be as close to her Auntie as I am to mine.

This is the beautiful birthday cake that my daughter designed and made from scratch for the big day. Isn't it great? "R" loves the children's show
"Yo Gabba Gabba" so my daughter used it as her theme for the birthday party. She designed the characters out of fondant and painstakingly colored the fondant "clay" and molded them into these delightful little creatures. She said that the fondant was a "bear" to work with and her hands were quite sore afterwards. What a cute result though - I am so proud of her. She is such a good little mother and so creative!

Here are close ups of the little creatures:

This is "Foofa"

Foofa's buddy is "Muno"

This is "Plex"

This little guy is called "Brobee" - the little round containers hold the coloring paste that she used to add color to the fondant.

This cute little creature is called "Toodee". I haven't a clue as to what kind of creatures they are but the kids seem to love them these days. The whole show is based around the creatures that come out of a television set - that is why the cake looks like a t.v. stage - so I am told. Grandma's aren't as in tune with these new shows I guess! As long as my girl is happy - that is all that matters to grandma!

My daughter constantly amazes me with her talent. I have told her that she needs to get into the cake decorating field somehow as she is such a natural at it. I remember the days of trying to make birthday cakes for my childrens birthday parties and how stressful it was! My daughter has the patience that I never had. The birthday party was held last weekend. It was a huge success.

Tonight "R" will celebrate quietly with her mommy and daddy. Last weekend was lots of fun with family and friends and my poor daughter was exhausted! Now they can have the time they need to make family memories alone together.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea! I love and miss you so much. Lots of kisses and hugs sent your way!
Love you!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Give Me Your Eyes Lord

I encourage you to stop by and visit all of the participants of Spiritual Sundays. Such an uplifting way to spend a Sunday. Reading wonderful devotions, Bible passages and listening to edifying music while praising the Lord on His special day of rest for your soul! A special thanks to Charlotte and Ginger for organizing this awesome event each week!

This week was a very special one. On Thursday I was able to participate in an event that has changed the way I want to live my life. A few of the ladies from my ladies group at my church - 18 of us (how cool is that!) went to tour a wonderful ministry that we have here in Georgia. It is called MUST Ministries. We were able to tour their main campus in Marietta and walk through the housing that they have for the homeless, their dining facilities, their foodpantry and their clothing store. The many people I met that night and the heartbreaking stories left a deep impression on my heart. These wonderful people and what they do in our community is amazing! They not only feed and house, but train people how to make better choices for themselves and help them to integrate back into society so that they can better care for themselves and their families. They are welcomed as "guests" so that they can maintain their dignity through their trials and treated with respect and love. I was in awe of the gentle witness of this special ministry!

There are so many ways that we as a congregation can serve. I am eager to start! In the summertime they have a program that helps feed the children who during the school year are on the reduced lunch program. They are made aware of the children in the most dire of circumstances and provide lunch for them throughout the summer so that they can continue to receive the meals after the school lunch service ends for summer break. They make upwards of 2,000 lunches a day for needy children! A lot of times - these lunches may be the only meal that a child has in a day - the lady who gave us the tour told us that we would never understand the depth of the need - there is such severe hunger in our communities!

She told us that God's Provision and how he takes care of His people through this ministry is evident daily. He is a constant, Gentle Servant to these people through this organization and to the people who volunteer as well. The volunteers get back tenfold what they give by seeing God's mighty Hand at work.

I could go on and on about the wonderful stories I heard that night. I was in tears most of the evening! My heart was so touched by it all! I am sure as time goes on and I become more involved - I will be able to share more with you. I feel so blessed in this life to have been given so much. I am hoping to be able to give a little bit back now.

I hope you enjoy this beautiful thought provoking song this morning.
Blessings on your day today!

31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.

32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?

38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Matthew 25: 31-46

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Meager Beginnings

This is how big my yard is.... okay - maybe a slight exaggeration, but it IS very small. It is the only thing that I wish I could change about my home. I LOVE gardening - I love to be surrounded by lots of color. It makes me so happy! Working in a flower garden for me is a great way to de-stress after a long hectic day at work, or on the weekend.

When we moved here last June, we didn't have the money to put into the yard. We were trying to get our home in Washington rented out - it is so tough having to swing TWO housepayments!

This is a picture of our home. This picture was taken the day we arrived in Georgia after our long 5 day drive here from Washington State. That is my hubby with the cute white legs - you can tell we came from a place with very little sunlight huh? :-) He would kill me if he knew his picture was on my blog~ tee-hee! Ginger is anxious to explore her new home!

Slowly but surely these past couple of weeks I have been playing in what will soon be my flower beds. Compost, topsoil, bark and pine straw are now in place and last weekend I was finally able to plant a few things!

I took this picture in the hot, bright sun and obviously didn't get a good close up! If you get your magnifying glass out you may be able to see the beginnings of some color! :-) I am always amazed at how much money it takes to fill a yard with flowers!

My hubby and son cut out this little section around my mailbox so that I could fill it with flowers.I am very pleased with the results! It greets me with color everyday when I come home from work. Now that the flowers are planted, I can't wait for it to spread out and fill in the empty spaces. Slow down Kymber! It is a start!

As you have probably heard we have a drought here in Georgia. With the rains that we have been having the past couple of weeks - it has helped, but we still have a long way to go before we are off water restrictions. The grass that you see here is just coming out of it's winter dormancy period. It isn't yellow due to lack of watering - the whole neighborhood looks like this! Look at my first picture and you will see that by the time June rolls around, we should have a green lawn again!

This was Ginger's way of "helping" me in the yard. She kept laying on the flowers I was trying to plant and thought it was quite funny when I would get mad and try to get her off of them. She would run around trying to dodge me and was making quite a mess! After a bit she finally settled down in the middle of it all in a nice shady spot. It was in the upper 70's this day. I love the glorious weather we have here!

Such hard work for a little girl!

Here are a few pictures to show you what I am up against:

Back yard

Side of house

Other side of the house

Front bed - ugh! Those ugly bushes have got to go!

Another area in the front yard I hope to add some color to.

As you can see - I have my work cut out for me! I think this is going to take me a couple of years to do all that I want to do. We only have one more month of "moderate" temperatures here before the humidity kicks in.

I will leave you with a picture of one area that God added color to just for me! I was pleasantly surprised when the trees started to show their pretty Spring colors again. Tucked in amongst all of the green are some beautiful dogwood trees that lend splashes of color to the backyard. I love it!

I will be posting new pictures as I add more color to my yard. I TOLD you my new home was a blank canvas!
Have a blessed day today.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I Remember You This Easter Morn

I wanted to share two songs this morning that are appropriate for this blessed day. One of them is somber and one of them is joyful. I pray that both of them will touch your heart as they have touched mine over the years.

Let us praise our precious Lord Jesus together for all that He has graciously done for us!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Foodie Friday

Special thanks to Designs by Gollum for hosting this fun event! To view other great recipes stop by Gollum's for some mouth-watering fun!

It is Good Friday today - the perfect time to start thinking about the recipes you will prepare for your Easter Dinner (or Brunch for that matter). I thought I would share some family recipes that I make for our Easter meal. Every year we have a Pineapple/Mustard Glazed Ham, Macaroni Salad, Ranch Potatoes, Rolls and a dessert of some kind. This meal has become a family tradition.

My Macaroni Salad is a big hit at any function I bring it to so I thought I would share it with you! I hope it doesn't cause frustration though, as I don't have exact measurements for you - I got this recipe from my mother in law years ago and she usually just made this "to taste". If you know the main ingredients, you really can't go wrong with this - you just need to do a bit of taste-testing along the way to get it to your liking. No problem there - right?

This picture isn't the best - I made this salad for our Builders one day for their lunch. That is why it looks huge! It takes a lot of salad to feed 30+ people!
This macaroni salad will cause my brother to come visit! It is that good! Now that I am living in Georgia, it may take a little bit more to persuade him to come though - I may need to make his favorite cookies as well!~smile~

Renate's Macaroni Salad
Salad Macaroni - 1 pkg. (I use the smallest macaroni noodles you can find - I can't seem to find small noodles here, so I used shell macaroni for the salad pictured above)
Green Onions - (2 or 3) chopped
Sharp Cheddar Cheese - cut into cubes
Hard-Boiled Eggs
Sweet Pickles (NO substitutes! - this is what gives the salad its flavor)
Miracle Whip - 1 cup (again - do NOT substitute regluar mayo for this recipe)
Mustard - 1 tsp
Sugar - 2-3 tsp

What I do for this salad is cut up all ingredients and mix together - keep adding until you have the right amounts to your liking. There should be equal amounts of eggs, cheese, and pickles. Go easy on the green onions though!
Mix together Miracle Whip, mustard and sugar. Depending upon how much salad you make, you can add more of this dressing if needed. We like it VERY creamy! For added flavor, you can add a little pickle juice too. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for a few hours to blend flavors.

I hope you try this - you won't be disappointed! if you make it let me know what your family thinks. I bet they ask you for more!

This is another picture I took of a meal I had prepared for our church builders. I usually make this cake in a bundt cake pan. To make enough for 30+ people, practicality won over beauty! I had to make it in pans that could be discarded after use.

This is a wonderful Springtime recipe. It is so refreshing and sweet. It is called Lemon Poke Cake - hence the reason for the holes that you see in this picture! This is a great recipe to make for your kids - they will love it as it has lemony icing that is pored over the cake after it comes out of the oven. Sooo good! When you make it in a Bundt Cake pan - remove it from the pan and invert it, the holes aren't seen - so the presentation is better than you see here.
Here is the scrumptious recipe:
Lemon Crazy Poke Cake
1 box Lemon Cake Mix
1 small box Lemon Jello
4 eggs
3/4 cup Water
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil

2 cups Powdered Sugar
4 Tablespoons Reallemon ( concentrated lemon juice) - or juice of 2 lemons
Mix cake ingredients all together. Beat 4 minutes, pour into greased and floured 9x13-inch pan or Bundt Cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Bundt Cake pan may require more baking time - check with fork after 35 minutes - adjust as needed. Mix powdered sugar with lemon juice, let stand while cake is baking. Immediately when cake is done, poke holes all over with toothpicks or wooden spoon handle. Pour lemon mixture over the top while cake is still hot. It will harden as it cools to make crunchy, yummy icing. This is so good!

Hope you enjoy these!
I am off to look at your great recipes now-

I pray that you are able to enjoy a relaxing, peaceful Easter weekend with your loved ones!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

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

Don't you just love this picture? Her dollies are sitting attentively close by watching her sew - too cute!

It has been a few weeks since I have posted my progress on the Alphabet book. I have finally finished all of the blocks (well - with the exception of a few details to finish up here and there) and am now putting together the pages! Right now I am on a time crunch - I need to get this in the mail very soon - I am quickly running out of time!

The blocks appear wavy in these pictures - it is just due to throwing them down carelessly and taking the pictures without taking the time to smooth them out. A photographer I am not! ~sigh~

I love how this little watermelon turned out. The red fabric actually has watermelon seeds on it. It is amazing the fabrics I have been able to find in my stash! The seeds are HUGE, but that is beside the point. LOL! I have a little nick in the felt on this one. I am hoping that because it is in the binding, it won't be seen. This is the last of the felt that came in the kit. The pattern for this book came with enough felt to supposedly finish all of the blocks. I got this kit many years ago and found that when I cut all of the blocks out, I was short four blocks worth! I went to several fabric stores to buy some additional felt, and was only able to find felt that is a tad bit lighter than the original and also it isn't as thick as what came in the kit. How frustrating! Thankfully it will be sandwiched together with another block so hopefully that will help keep it sturdy. I may need to back a few with a thick piece of interfacing. I will cross that bridge when I get closer to finishing the book.

I have had so much fun putting this together! Even though I am more than ready to start a new project, I will be sad to see this one go. As you can see I am not quite finished with the "Z" Block. The pattern called for a painted on zigzag stitch for the mane. I thought it would be fun to add some texture so I have been painstakingly adding a fringe mane instead. It takes awhile because you have to knot each individual cluster of thread. I feel like I am all thumbs when I am doing this on such a small scale. I am pleased with the end result though.

Here are a few of the blocks that have been placed back to back and handsewn together. It looks handsewn - a bit rough around the edges - but that is the idea! I now need to add the 1/2 " cuts on the side to thread my torn homespun strips of fabric that will bind the book together and it will be finished! Hopefully by next week I can show you the finished book and the beginnings of a new project. I have been slowly washing and ironing all of the fabrics in my stash to start an applique quilt that I have wanted to make for quite some time. It will be another great take-along project to work on while the kiddos I am watching are napping during the day.

Hope you have a fun day working on projects that you love!



Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Savior, My God

28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?

32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.

34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,

39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Random Thoughts

It's Friday again - I am so glad! This week was certainly a long one. I have been so busy with work, and sewing my granddaughters Alphabet Book as I have talked about many times on my W.I.P. Wednesday posts. I have all of the blocks done- I am now assembling the book. I need to get it done and off to my daughter in two weeks so that it will arrive in time for my granddaughter's birthday! I will post pictures when it is finished. It has definitely been a "labor" of love. I have had lots of fun making it - but I haven't been able to concentrate on much of anything else that has needed to be done around my house!

Due to my lack of posting, I have noticed I am losing some of my readers! "Followers" seems like such a conceited term to use. Every time a new person decides to follow my blog, I look at them as a new friend! I look forward to getting to know that person as much as they want to get to know me! I have been severely lacking in this lately though. For those of you who have been discouraged by my lack of posting, or lack of variety, I apologise. Sometimes life gets in the way, and rather than blather on about the day to day grind that I find myself in, I sometimes crawl inward and get quiet. Because this IS a weblog of my life though - I need to be better about putting my thoughts down instead of keeping them in my head. That is after all why I decided to start blogging in the first place! The blogs I love to read the most, are the ones who share their heart on a regular basis - why do I seem to have a problem doing that?

For those of you who have stuck it out with me through this, THANK YOU! I really do value your friendship - I will try to be a better friend in turn.

Question for you:

What is it that draws you most to a blog? What do you enjoy reading about? What keeps you coming back for more? I would love some input or direction - you can be blunt - I can take it! I would really love your comments on this - and thank you in advance!