Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering Gods grace in its various forms.

1 Peter 4:9-10

Friday, December 31, 2010

My Two Cents...

Dear Friends,

Maybe it's me but I've always been under the impression that when you send someone a card the intent is to let that person or family know you care about them with something that is at least hand signed.  I'm sorry if this seems harsh and I really do appreciate all the photo cards I've been getting - I think they are a wonderful way of letting loved ones get a peek into personal moments, however; I have a HUGE issue with people not signing them.  This idea of computer signed cards takes the "personal" right out of it.  Seriously, what's wrong with taking a few moments out of your busy lives to make a personal note on the back or at the very least, signing your own names!  It feels like an afterthought now to receive a card in the mail with not one handwritten thing on it - most are even addressed by a computer!  What's the point?  In the end, it feels more like an obligation than a nice remembrance.  Call me old fashioned but my mama raised me to always make it personal.  A short sentence or just sign it with love...but at least SIGN IT!  I promise to always make my cards personal even if I decide to do computerized cards - this chick will at least sign my own name! 

And that's my two cent thought for the day :)

The Anxious Knitter

Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Christmas Goodies...

Edelweiss Neckwarmer - gift for friend

Never ending "Hubby Sweater!"  Now I just need a pic of him in it!

Truly delicious blueberry pie

Always popular chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate whoopie pies with silky peppermint cream

Surprisingly yummy pistachio and dried cranberry sugar cookies

Thumbprint sugar cookies with homemade seedless raspberry jam

Between this post and the earlier one - this pretty much sums up the baked goodness that happened over the last week before Christmas as well as the yarny goodness that was completed...

and, hubby looks quite handsome in his new sweater!

The Coming New Year

I recently read something on a Knitter's Review forum regarding having "intentions" vs "resolutions."  (Credit to commenter KnittingKittens for the idea!)  I love this idea - it seems much more realistic to me than listing a large checklist of practically impossible things to accomplish during the year.  Most of us know when we list our resolutions that many, if not all, won't even be thought about several weeks into January!  So it is my intention *snicker* to collect my intentions *hehe* and intentionally *too much?* list them :)  Poor attempt, I know!

I've been giving some serious thought to starting some kind of crafting ministry at my local church.  There are a few people on board and I have the support of a staff member but I'm not sure if I can be responsible enough for the endeavor.  The goal would be to raise money for our Global Outreach missions project during the year.  A few of us "core" crafters, those of us who would do more detailed or complicated items, would offer them for sale during the Christmas craft season and donate the proceeds.  The rest of the group's goal would be to knit, crochet and craft like crazy for things that could actually be shipped overseas to the projects we'll be sponsoring.  It's all good in theory but I know myself - I'm atrociously ill-equipped to be in charge of anything!  In any case, I'm going to give it a go and even if interest falls off I'll keep doing my knitting and crochet and try to sell them.  I'd really like to make this a success and be able to make a decent contribution to a worthy project.  And, I'll admit freely, prove to everyone that crafters can make a difference!

I also intend to knit from my stash first - there are so many really nice things I can do from the yarn I already have! 

Further intentions for the year:
  • pray more
  • read the Bible
  • play more with the wild man
  • be a better friend
  • become more responsible (LOL - really, ROFLOL)
  • get back into reading 
  • design my own knitting project
  • try at least one new technique in both knitting and crochet
  • manage my eating/exercise habits to avoid becoming diabetic *sigh*
  • renovate the upstairs bath
  • paint the kitchen and living room
  • continue the process of decluttering
  • take up sketching/painting again
  • become less judgmental and more understanding of others
  • expand our veggie garden
  • continue pursuing "green" alternatives
  • learn to sew 
  • prepare Christmas 2011 gift list and start knitting early!
That's the start of it!  I hope to add to this list of intentions as the year goes along.  

What are some of your intentions for the coming New Year?  I'd love to hear them!

 Stay safe and have a wonderful week!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Goodies

Bouche de Noel

Raspberry mousse filled Bouche

Dark and White Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate cups filled with raspberry mousse and homemade whipped cream topped with fresh raspberry

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Almost there...

I'm within 2" of finishing the never ending hubby sweater!!  Yay!!  It's been three years and my poor man has been waiting for his Christmas sweater and this year he'll finally have it :)  For such an auspicious occasion, photos will be taken!  I'm predicting the sweater will be finished in the morning, loose ends woven in and buttons sewn on.  Then massive cookie baking and candy making will commence, not to mention all the wrapping that needs to be done!

Stay tuned...

Have a safe and happy week!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Approaching Season

Society bombards us with images of all the hottest gifts for the season from the moment Halloween ends to the minute Christmas Day arrives.  We are flooded with ads and commercials on TV, websites, even our social networking sites.  Companies are doing more and more to learn about our interests, what will catch our eye, and compel us to buy, buy, buy.  They use tactics that categorize us, filters and tracking cookies on the internet, databases that sort and slot us where they think we fit.  All in the name of product promotion and profit.  Individualizing marketing tools are aimed directly at each one of us who has a presence on the internet whether we realize it or not.  We are tracked and categorized.  And the result?  Christmas has turned into a circus.  We no longer have a Season - we have a season.  God has been surgically removed from the commercial vision of what Christmas is.  Christmas itself has been turned into "Xmas" or the "Holiday Season."  More to the point, we've been anesthetized.   Numbed to what this Season should really be about.  Blinded by glitter, confetti and twinkle lights that are bombarding our senses every day.  

Now there is nothing inherently wrong with decorating the house with lights, hanging wreaths or raising a tree - it's that we've forgotten that the Day should be a celebration of Christ's birth.  A Day that should have so much importance for the meaning behind it than the pretty picture it presents in Martha Stewart magazine.  We've even been taught to be careful not to wish someone a Merry Christmas for fear we may offend that person's belief system. 

I may receive some criticism for this post but I feel compelled to remind all of us that the reason we have Christmas is to celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Redeemer, the Messiah who defeated death as prophesied, so we might all be saved from eternal darkness and live in Him.  We are meant to see this Season with Hope, Love, Faith, Mercy and Grace.  We are to live as Christ lived, with Love in our hearts for God and for everyone we meet along the way.  No matter our backgrounds, our religious beliefs, our locale, our spot on the income scale - we are all neighbors.  What good is this life we are living if we are living it without these gifts from God?  I don't know about you but that alone is enough - the rest is gravy.

So go ahead and decorate to your hearts content!  Throw parties and buy gifts for all your loved ones this year.  But don't forget that Jesus IS the Reason for the Season.  Give thanks to the King for all the blessings you've received this year.  Praise Him above all else and remember those less fortunate than you.  Don't be sucked into all the ads and commercials that make this time of year impersonal and false.  Remember my charge to you to find an organization or place where you can volunteer or get involved in making a difference.  You never know who you are going to bless with your time, treasure and talents.  Are you willing?

As for me?  Well, it seems God has given me the gift of knitting and a love of baking.  So I'm going to do the best I can to put those talents to good work in His name.

Kick off the Season right everyone!  Put Love in your heart and have compassion for those you see bustling around you.  Offer them a smile, you never know whose day you'll make!

Stay safe and Happy Knitting! 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Here hoping you all have a safe, wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving day!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In Tune with the Message

Dear Friends,

I know my last post was heavy duty but know that I'm not the only one noticing these things.  And know that it doesn't take a study like The Hole in Our Gospel to figure it out.  Follow this link to Courtney's page and read her Thanksgiving post for today.  She highlights an email quote she received that illustrates how ridiculously we treat the American Dream and how given we are to the feeling of entitlement.

We need to always remember to be content with the blessings God has given us and give Him all praises.

What are YOU thankful for today?

God bless, be safe and, as always, happy knitting!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Don't Know Why...and More Important Things

It's been so long since my last post!  I visit my own blog at least once a day and think "uh oh, time to update" and then I get wrapped up in visiting everyone else! 

We've been quite busy lately.  Wild man is in preschool and it's such a blessing in so many ways.  Since he's an only, it's difficult teaching him some simple social rules that are a given in families blessed with multiples.  It's hard to share when there is no one else to share with!  So some things that are taken for granted as skills that are naturally learned don't happen in our family.  We have to work on reminding him to be nicer to the littler ones and share, share, share!  It's hard for kids to do anyway, so imagine an only child being asked to share a toy he doesn't normally have to!  Yikes!  So preschool is doing it's thing - and he's making friends and learning to be a helper, too.  Another huge plus?  I get four mornings a week...FOUR!  My house is finally getting clean, laundry is finally on a regular schedule, and I get to grocery shop in peace!  Plus the quiet time - and I still feel guilty about that.  I feel like I should fill up my mornings with lots of tedious and useful chores and not take any time for myself.  Really?  I have to force myself to just sit.  Still.  Don't move.  No twitching.  No TV.  Or music.  Or noise of any kind.  It's WEIRD!!!  I admit I just can't do it for very long before I have to grab a book or my knitting or hop up and clean something :)  With this free time I could actually blog!  LOL!  So errands and housework aside, I do get some time to myself to try to relax.  

The chickens are getting bigger and the rooster has finally asserted himself.  He starts crowing at 4am and then goes periodically throughout the day.  He's gorgeous, though!  They're growing an undercoat of downy feathers for the winter and are so cute!  All puffy and fluffy with a lovely iridescence on each top feather.  The hens cluck to me and talk, talk, talk.  I feed them a snack of Rice and Corn Chex sort of mushed up and they peck it out of my hand nice and gently.  Mr. Sister, though, I don't recommend anyone besides myself feeding him by hand.  He's your typical paranoid rooster and will rip bits of skin off before you even know it!  I feed him whole pieces of the cereal and he's pretty good with me.  He gouged a chunk out of hubby's hand when he tried it!  Anyway, I should be seeing some eggs in a few months :)  Can't wait!

On the knitting front, I've been going great gang busters...churning stuff out pretty quickly!  I finished a baby gift - hat and owlie sleep sack, a lacy scarf, a hat and scarf set, a baby afghan for my grand-nephew (LOL!) and I'm working on another hat and a lacy neck warmer.  I still have one more neck warmer and something else to knit for another friend, who happens to be a great knitter herself.  I have no clue what to do for her!  I also have another baby afghan to finish, a red scarf for the red scarf project, a pair of socks and the never-ending hubby sweater.  Of which I only have a sleeve left to do...and hubby keeps bugging me for it...and making me feel guilty I haven't finished it yet...*sigh*

Now, onto more important things, what are you Thankful for this week?  I have too many blessings to list them all but I thought I'd share my top 10 list with you:

Top Ten List of Things I'm Most Thankful For...

1. Christ
1. My family
2. My home
3. My church family
4. My freedom
5. Clean water
6. Sanitation
7. Plentiful food
8. Accessible health care
9. Books
10. Yarn (of course!)

Some of you might question why I have 4-8 listed.  Since September, I've been studying, along with the rest of my church, Rich Stearn's The Hole in our Gospel.  It's been impressed upon me how much we take these things for granted in our country.  We are one of the, if not the, wealthiest countries in the world.  We consume 3/4ths of the world's food resources and we make up less than 1/4 of the world's population.  Think about that.  What does that leave the other 3/4ths of the world for food?  Or clean water? We waste much and want not.  Our society is one of entitlement and self-service and somehow we've ended up perverting the American Dream.  We no longer think of others in our mad scrabble to the top of the tower.  Did you know if every American Christian tithed the full ten percent, we could end poverty as we know it?  The gap between the wealthy and the poor grows exponentially every year.  With greater advancements in technology and business and transportation, the richer continue to get richer.  The middle class is shrinking and the poor are swept away. We think if we don't see it or hear about it, it doesn't affect us.  We live in our little bubbles and ignore the world around us.  (And don't think I don't include myself in this - I do.  I've lived an incredibly privileged and sheltered life).  We see this image...

and turn off our web browsers or our TV's, close up our newspapers because we don't want it to become personal.  Because if it's personal, then we have to do something about it.  

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This is what we are studying.  This is what is breaking our hearts and forcing us to see that we are not the only ones in this world.  Our church is on a mission to change hearts and make a be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  Can you look at the image above and not be affected in some way?  You might ask, "I am only one person, how could I possibly make a difference?"  You would be making the difference in one person's life that might not have a chance any other way.  

So my charge to you today is this:  find an organization to support, whether it's global or local, and volunteer, give, or create for them...but make the decision to be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  You don't know whose life you may affect.  You don't even have to be a follower of Christ to affect change.  But for those of us who call ourselves followers, we are required to help when we see the need:

  The Sheep and the Goats
    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All 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. 33 He 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. 35 For 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, 36 I 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? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
   40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters 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. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I 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, ‘Truly I tell you, 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 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Pics

The wild man as my White Knight :)

So cute!

Yes, that cowl was handmade - good thing, it was freezing!

Aw, another picture???

Fuzzy pic but happy kid!
We had a lovely, though chilly,  time at our church's Trunk or Treat event!  The wind really kicked up the frost factor!  We had to leave before the fireworks show - tired kiddo and frozen parents :)  It was quite nice to see the town out and about at this event, too.  We had advertised for nearly a month, so a lot of labor went into it.  Happy to see so many little ghoulies out and about!  Here's a taste of our church band singing Nickelback's If Today Was Your Last Day off their Dark Horse album:

They pretty much rock the House on Sunday morning!  Wonder if God's up there nodding his head and tapping his toes while he listens :)

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Photo Friday :)

Bedouin Cowl - made for a friend's friend who is recovering from a stroke.  I need to scan the finished pic!

Lacy Bowknot Scarf - separated stitches for the bowknot.

Lace pattern in Bowknot Scarf

Owlie Sleep Sack in progress :)
My awesome niece at the Maine Karate Classic - she's so intense!

Massive tree

Hubby had to use everything he had to heave that log onto the splitter!

The next piece was just as big!
Wild man and his Memere' :)

Look at that punum!

Out cold!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hope for the Future

Hubby and I have been married for over 17 years and each year seems to be getting better.  We've mellowed a lot and grown much.  I love him more today than when I said "I do" all those years ago.  He is my man, my love, my help-meet, my best friend, my lover.  So many people are unhappy in their marriages and turn to some horrific "solutions" to try to save what they have.  I believe the keys to having a successful marriage are #1 RESPECT for each other, #2 COMMITMENT to each other through all hardships, #3 LOVE and #4 FAITH. We live in a disposable society that says it's OK to get married because you can always get divorced if it doesn't work out.  When my man and I got married, we agreed to never say the "D" word.  We made a commitment to work things out and if that meant going to bed and talking all night to resolve whatever issue we had then we were both going to be pretty darned tired the next morning.  We NEVER go to bed angry - when you do that your problems simmer and steam, marinating in their own stew of ugliness that gets harder and harder to resolve until you've got a hard stubborn crust burnt into your relationship.  Marriage takes hard work and a lot of tender loving care.  Those romantic moments at the beginning of the relationship are fleeting.  Real love takes mutual trust and nurturing.  It grows stronger and deeper as the years go by and you rely on each other more and more.  It is a necessity in a strong marriage for each person to grow and change, to mature, to mellow and age.  We are like fine wines, with the proper care and nurturing, we just get better and better.  I believe a committed, respectful, loving and faithful marriage is the binder for two such people.

I had the honor of meeting a lady today who embodies these things.  She and her husband just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.   She'd known him since she was 6 years old.  When she was old enough to date, she wondered why no one ever asked her out.  Soon after she was married she discovered her husband had warned off all her potential suitors because he had determined she was the one.  She shared this charming story with such a look of love and peace on her face.  Reminded me of my mother - she would have been about this lady's age and she and my dad would have celebrated their 60th this past summer.  I wish I had asked her for more; her name, another story, anything...because she had given me hope for the future.  Not necessarily for me but for others out there.  It doesn't all end in heartbreak and divorce.  My heart was warmed and I was truly blessed by her.

On another note, my darling hubby is getting domestic on me!  He saw this picture in Taste of Home magazine of some fancy schmancy turkey themed cupcakes and decided to get creative!  This is the result of several hours of hard work:

The "Drummie King"

Turkey Cupcake

Lots of turkey cupcakes!

And for the cuteness factor, here's a pic of my wild man with the new beanie I whipped up for him this weekend :)

Ooh, I could just squeeze him!!  Right, I already did! :)  "Mooommmm"
Have a safe and happy week!  Happy knitting :)


Monday, October 11, 2010

Yarny Goodness and Fall

Ooh, I just LOVE this time of year!  The nights are deliciously cool without frosting over and the days are still so bright and lovely.  Especially if you can find a nice spot to park your chair in the sun and bask!  This is, by far, is my favorite time of year.  Though I haven't dug out my decorations, yet.  I usually decorate from September to December with fun pumpkins and harvest themes to spooky ghosts, goblins and witches to white twinkle lights, tinsel and manger scenes.  The house always feels so festive and smells so good!  But this year I haven't found the inspiration yet.  It's tough when you live in a small space that constantly needs sprucing up.  We don't have enough room for our everyday stuff nevermind the myriad assortment of glitz and sparkle hanging about.  So I'm thinking Thanksgiving may be the first Holiday I decorate fully for.  I'll dig out a few fun things for Halloween but leave most of it packed away.  Christmas is what I wait for, clean for, reorganize clutter for - just so I can squeeze out as much room as possible for one more ornament!  We want everyone to feel the Spirit when they come to our house!  And just so you know, I am NOT Martha...nothing coordinates, there is not matchy-matchy stuff going on.  Just a bunch of mismatched, glittery fun splashed willy-nilly!  I think the manger scene my Dad places out front is older than I am!  This year we'll have an intimate Christmas celebration at home then travel to our extended family's house the next day.   In any case, I find this time of year seems to fly by way too quickly :)
Crochet Witches Hat
Crochet Shell Stitch Baby Afghan
Crochet Versailles Baby Afghan
I've finished one baby afghan, started another and I'm making a prayer cowl for a lady recovering from a severe stroke.  I've also dashed out two very cute crochet witches hats and I'm planning on making at least one more and making two little ghosts to string them all into a cute little garland.  I have so many projects planned!  I have to start planning out my days better if I want to accomplish everything!  There are hats, scarves, arm warmers, mittens, and cozies on my list.  Not to mention several baby items for pregnant friends.  I really need to prioritize and get cracking!

Wild man crunching away - don't these Red Delicious look scrummy!!

Wild man has the day off today and we're making the best of it.  Movies, playing outside and games for this afternoon.  He's been patiently waiting for Mummy to finish playing on the computer!

So I'll sign off for now.  Have a lovely, safe week and happy knitting!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Lots of Yarn, Little Time and How God is Working in my Life

Oh, I've been bitten by the biggest knitting bug around - I have so many projects lined up in my Ravelry queue, not to mention what I've been saving from all the knitting magazines.  I'm trying to finish up a baby afghan now.  I have 7 12" blocks crocheted and one more almost done.  I'll finish that up today and get the last block started tonight.  Most of it is already pieced together since I thought six block would be enough!  It looked wrong - too skinny - so I decided to do 3 more blocks.  Once the border has been crocheted on it will be beautiful and just the right size for a baby/lap afghan :)  I also have a Bedouin cowl to start this week which will be a Christmas present for a friend.  I'll be using 2 strands of Malabrigo merino worsted in Dark Earth colorway.  I've also got a gorgeous crochet cloche to make using Mirasol Tupa (a 50/50 merino/silk combo) in an absolutely beautiful turquoise colorway,  a knit cloche using Mirasol K'acha and one in Malabrigo silky, several scarves, lacy fingerless gloves, a felted tote and a felted bag, and some more baby items for upcoming deliveries!  And, if I have the time (LOL), socks!  Oh, and I still have the dreaded hubby sweater to finish...I only have one sleeve left, you'd think I'd just bite the bullet and get it done, right?  *sigh*  Like I said, so much yarn, so little time!

Wild man started preschool last week and seems to really love it!  Now we've both got to get used to the schedule of getting up and out the door in the morning.  I really need to adjust to having free time (I know!) in the morning.  I mean, finally, I can clean the house or write in my journal or read or KNIT for a few uninterrupted hours!  That is, once I get over the anxiety of wondering if the wild man is doing ok in school, if he needs me for anything, if he's hurt and the teachers can't reach me for some strange reason, or get over the guilt of finally being able to do something for myself.  Sometimes I make life way too difficult!  Breathe, Annie, breathe!  It really is ok to relax and have fun - it even says so in the Bible: 
Ecclesiastes 8: 14 There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth: righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve. This too, I say, is meaningless. 15 So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.
My church schedule has kicked into gear again. We have small group on Tues eve, I have my ladies Bible study Wed morn and my mom's group Fri morn. I've got my Sunday volunteer schedule laid out for the rest of the year, too.  I help produce the kids service, which just means I'm the chick behind the computer hiding in the back of the room hoping no one has noticed I missed my cue with a slide or video :)  It's a lot of fun, watching the kids respond to the antics of the adults on stage.  Someone once told me we may be the only positive influence on a child that week so if the opportunity for a bond arises we should take it.  My hubby volunteers in one of the preschool rooms and he's said how true that statement is.  It's sad when you think about it...  Anyway, I'm looking forward to having a great year, learning and volunteering where I can.  
A bunch of us from the ladies Bible study are heading down to Lowell, MA this coming weekend for a Beth Moore conference!  We are all SO excited to see her in person!  I've had my ticket since February!  I'm hoping for a really great conference, to meet some wonderful ladies and get to know the ladies I'm with better and have an encounter with God.   Because that's what it's ultimately about - getting closer to God.  Wavering, searching, mustard seed sized faith like mine needs constant care.  It's one of the reasons I've chosen to be involved in so much - if I don't then I'll slide back into my old life and I don't really like that person.  She's selfish, cruel and dis-compassionate to say the least.  I've found my life to be better when I live by God's commands and the more I learn from the Bible the more I understand how depraved I really am and what a miracle we've all been given.  Whenever we are asked to look at the Cross, it's all I can do to maintain my composure.  Maybe it's because I've lost a son so I know what that kind of pain is like but this is God we're talking about.  His love is so boundless he chose to take on that grief and sacrifice His precious Son so he could have a relationship with us. It's all by the grace of God that I'm here and without God in my life it's just an empty void.  I've been hearing a lot about being in love with the Lord and yes, it does sound strange to me. Worship Him I can understand, revere Him, fear Him, see Him with awe - yes, I'm there.  But falling in love?  Sounds crazy, right?  Well, it turns out, not so much.  I realize all this intensity wouldn't be here if I wasn't somehow in love with my God.  I haven't reached the joyous stage yet, it may be a long time coming.  I've spent too much time trying to understand things I'm not meant to.  I'm in the "feeling overwhelmed realization of just finding out I'm falling in love" stage.  My faith is growing and changing me.  It's a bit scary, yet wonderful all at the same time.  The faith I've believed for a long time was nothing more than a mustard seed has sprouted - still small but definitely growing!
Well, I'm off to finish the 8th square for this afghan and to hopefully start the 9th square.  Hope you have a wonderful week!  Stay safe and happy knitting!


Friday, September 10, 2010

The Terrible Fours?

Is this a real phenomenon?  I think I can safely assure you that it is...some of us experience the terrible twos not realizing that the terrible three's are where it's at!  And some of us, myself included, are simply lucky enough that it carries through to the fours.  I believe we are the parents of strong-willed children.  A lot of us in this group are parents of only children.  My son is an example of that and I've heard from parents of other onlies that this is an ongoing issue.  Now I'm not sure if it's because there aren't any other siblings for the one to split his/her time between and with that the focus falls on "Mum" that the real issue is.  Some would say the simple answer is to have more children.  What can I say to that other than, to each his own.  I had my two kids, one only lived to be 40 days old, and the other is this amazing miracle of a child who is as healthy as a horse, eats as much, and seems to be everything his poor brother would never be.  I know my case is unusual, to say the least.  However, I don't happen to agree with the theory that having more kids works.  Since each child is their own individual then it would only work according to that particular family's dynamic.

Back to the point, strong willed children can be the most frustrating, defiant, sharp-tongued, hyperactive creature around - yet these children also turn their wills to the end end of the spectrum and are tender hearted, loving, very protective of family and friends and are a real joy to watch and care for.  My son fits these examples, both positive and negative, and we've been on a crazy ride over the last couple of weeks.  His behavior has definitely been in the negative zone and some consistent disciplines that worked before are simply ineffective now.  I find with my son, he starts to expect us to respond in a certain way and decides he's going to kick it up a notch to see how far he can push.  When we change it up, do something different, have an unusual diversion, or even lower or raise our voices in different ways, we seem to get better results.  Yet I'm so exhausted from this "push-me, pull-ewe phase" I think I'm way past anger and smack dab in the middle of disappointment.  He's so smart, overhears everything and can put most things together, and he uses it all as much as he can.  Oh, I'm so afraid he's got some of my nastier skills - I was praying he would lean more toward his daddy in personality.  Looks like God is testing me with a little of my own medicine!

This isn't a plea for advice or an article on the psychology of only children.  This is my opinion and I'm at fault if there are any wrong assumptions.  I simple wanted to put it out there that onlies have a different set of issues than multiples - neither is better or worse than the other.  So when the mother of an only vents out her day and is greeted with snorts or raised eyebrows or even worse, a comment like "why don't you take a few of mine and see how badly you have it!," from a mom of multiples, please understand we all have valid and important issues with our kiddos.  Regardless of how many we have.  We need to respect each other as moms should and support each other in our struggles and endeavors no matter how many children we choose to have.

Have a safe and happy weekend :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Photo Update

The new henhouse seems to be working out just fine for my little darlings!  Of course it can house up to thirty hens and I've only got five!  I told my Dad we'd have to wait on a rooster to see how I would do with the chickens I have before adding more :)  I hope they turn out to be good layers - we go through a lot of eggs in this household.  Especially in the winter when I bake tons more than the summer!

Speaking of baking, this is my new venture into the world of cupcakes - vanilla cake with strawberry pudding filling, topped with a kiwi buttercream frosting.  The cake turned out a little dry and the filling overly sweet but the kiwi buttercream was A W E S O M E !!!

Another new venture in preserving...mock zucchini marmalade - and it's really delicious!

My Roma tomatoes are really coming on - I just love fresh homemade tomato sauce!

Foggy (and cold) night at the beach Tuesday.  We still managed to have a really great time!

Wild man's newest activity!

Have a great day everyone!

Books on Tap for 2011

  • Knit Together - Debbie Macomber
  • Captured by Grace - Dr. David Jeremiah
  • Murder Most Foul - A Collection of Great Crime Stories
  • Fireproof - Eric Wilson
  • There's Something About Christmas - Debbie Macomber
  • Questioning Evangelism - Randy Newman
  • Murder Uncorked - Michele Scott
  • A Sacred Sorrow - Michael Card
  • Prayer: Does it Make any Difference? - Philip Yancey
  • Get Out of That Pit - Beth Moore

Books Read in 2011

  • What a Sista Should Do - Tiffany L. Warren
  • 90 Minutes in Heaven - Don Piper
  • Forgotten God - Francis Chan
  • The Purpose Driven Life - Rick Warren
  • Dead Reckoning - Charlaine Harris
  • Shadowfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Chill Factor - Sandra Brown
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
  • Stealing Home - Sherryl Woods
  • Bound for Murder - Laura Childs
  • Bloodfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Faefever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Darkfever - Karen Marie Moning
  • Under Her Skin - Susan Mallery
  • The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
  • No Wonder They Call Him Saviour - Max Lucado
  • I Still Dream About You - Fannie Flagg
  • I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore
  • The Last Olympian - Rick Riordan
  • Spider Bones - Kathy Reichs
  • A Thread So Thin - Marie Bostwick
  • The Battle of the Labyrinth - Rick Riordan
  • The Search - Nora Roberts
  • The Titan's Curse - Rick Riordan
  • Wicked Appetite - Janet Evanovich
  • The Sea of Monsters - Rick Riordan
  • Awakened - PC & Kristen Cast
  • The Lightning Thief - Rick Riordan
  • Photo Finished - Larua Childs
  • Keepsake Crimes - Laura Childs
  • Sizzling Sixteen - Janet Evanovich
  • The Icing on the Cupcake - Jennifer Ross
  • Fleece Navidad - Maggie Sefton
  • Dyer Consequences - Maggie Sefton
  • The Darling Dahlias and the Cucumber Tree - Susan Wittig Albert
  • Heaven Has a Blue Carpet - Sharon Niedzinski
  • Dreamfever - Karen Marie Moning

Books Read in 2010

  • The Yada Yado Prayer Group - Netta Jackson
  • Silver Borne - Patricia Briggs
  • The Hole in Our Gospel - Richard Stearns
  • A Winter Marriage - Kerry Hardie
  • So Long, Insecurity - Beth Moore
  • Knit the Season - Kate Jacobs
  • Dead and Berried - Karen MacInerney
  • Murder on the Rocks - Karen MacInerney
  • where do i go - Netta Jackson
  • be sweet - diane hunt
  • The Lost Symbol - Dan Brown
  • Raven - Allison Van Deipen
  • Push (Precious) - sapphire
  • Faces of the Gone - Brad Parks
  • The Lace Reader - Brunonia Barry
  • Burning Lamp - Amanda Quick
  • Fired Up - Jayne Ann Krentz
  • The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
  • Matters Arising - Sarah Harrison
  • The Sheen on the Silk - Anne Perry
  • I Saw the Lord - Anne Graham Lotz
  • The Dangerous Protector - Janet Chapman
  • The Seduction of His Wife - Janet Chapman
  • Re-reading all the Tintin graphic novels - Herge
  • The Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
  • the last time i saw you - Elizabeth Berg
  • Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Wild Ride - Jennifer Crusie & Bob Mayer
  • Dead in the Family - Charlaine Harris
  • The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen
  • Grave Secret - Charlaine Harris
  • Crawl Space - Sarah Graves
  • The Honey Thief - Elizabeth Graver
  • The Otherworldlies - Jennifer Anne Kogler
  • Saving CeeCee Honeycutt - Beth Hoffman
  • A Face at the Window - Sarah Graves
  • Draycott Eternal - Christina Skye
  • Shelter Mountain - Robin Carr
  • Virgin River - Robyn Carr
  • Death by Cashmere - Sally Goldenbaum
  • An Ice Cold Grave - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Surprise - Charlaine Harris
  • Grave Sight - Charlaine Harris