Wednesday, March 19, 2014


At around 6:00 pm, my patience is in tatters, my ears are ringing, my brain is buzzing (I really have that sensation, anyone else?), and my tolerance for little ones hanging on my legs as I walk between fridge and stove getting dinner finished is really gone. I am so grateful that bedtime is close, so close...and repentant for my ingratitude...for scolding and snapping and grumbling.

I'm reading John Piper's, A Godward Life, during Lent this year. I'm not very far in, but I would recommend it already. The reading for today was based on Matthew 6:34: "Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

"The manna in the wilderness was given one day at a time. There was no storing up. That is the way we must depend on God's mercy. You do not receive today the strength to bear tomorrow's burdens. You are given mercies for today's troubles. Tomorrow the mercies will be new." (Piper 26)

We have a faithful God, one who gives us enough mercy and grace for today. I think of two things when I consider this:

1) A reminder that losing my temper and speaking harshly to my children or husband is not an option. This life is not 'too much' for me, no matter how crazy it might feel in the moment. He has already provided me with grace to choose joy and love no matter how I feel right now.

2) There will be new mercies tomorrow. We get to sleep and wake up rested (some days) and our God will provide whatever we need for that day.

I sometimes get caught up in a wave of anxiety about my childrens' futures. What kind of society will they grow up in? Will they know Jesus? Will they make devastating choices? Regardless of the answers to any of these questions: God will give me mercy and grace to deal with the future. One day at a time.

Present grace and future grace: our God is good.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


It's been a frozen winter...weeks of snow and ice and subzero temperatures. Thanks, Disney, for predicting the worst and producing a movie and soundtrack to get us through... I think everyone has had an "Olaf" or two this year.

While I am not thrilled with all the time indoors, I have put it to good use. You may notice a bit of a theme here, an obsession with staying warm, perhaps?)

1) A twin sized quilt. Love it! I made it to match the one already on P's bed (the last photo below). In the next few months we will set up another bed in his room for V, but I know when the great weather sets in I won't be motivated to spend it inside piecing and quilting! I used the same pattern (Dot Party from Jaybird Quilts) but I added more prints (more gray and navy, less red) and quilted it a bit differently--horizontally and vertically on each side of every seam then diagonally across the squares.

2) A baby afghan (can't show it yet because it's a gift), I used Purl Bee's great tutorial HERE like the one I made for baby V two years ago. How can it be two years!?!

3) A baby quilt (again, gift, but I will show pics soon). I absolutely love it, I got to use all my favorite scraps and it's my first attempt at piecing very small triangles. It was so much fun and I think it will be much loved! Here's a peek at the back :) Lots of pressing seams open, but it's worth it!

4) Half of a crocheted throw, a knock off Hudson Bay blanket. I love the boyish/campground feel, but they are soo expensive! The pic below is from Purl Bee, my version is similar, but larger and I'm crocheting and using worsted weight cotton.

I also have a little list of projects in mind for the next few months: 

1) Get ready! Pirate Costumes. My Peter Pan Costume Tutorial is pretty popular (about 900 views per month). I think it's time for another costume! P, at three and a half, is much more interested in dressing up and imaginative play. That's very fun for me and I want to encourage the creativity!

2) Spring/Summer clothes for the boys. Shorts/overalls, etc...

3) Applique T's. They're everywhere and it's so simple and inexpensive to embellish a T. Check these out HERE and HERE and HERE.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Holiday Living

Colossians 3:16-17
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

I’ve noticed a lot of friends devoting this month to “30 Days of Thanks”—an exercise directing heart and mind to gratitude, a special season of thankfulness set apart from the rest of the year. The whole Christian community does something similar in preparation for Christmas and Easter. For Advent and Lent, we have special songs, special services, special times of prayer and traditions within our own families that increase our eagerness to celebrate the birth and resurrection of Christ—what God has done for his people through his Son. These things point us to Jesus in ways that are heart and life altering, exciting.

I often wish that I had the same sort of zeal for seeking Jesus on a daily basis that I do during these ‘build-ups’ to the holidays. It’s still early November, but I cannot wait to start advent with my little boy. It’s a good thing, but I want that eagerness every day. By the grace of God, he has given his Spirit who works to encourage, comfort and revitalize us. By that grace alone, we are capable of change—capable of desiring change. I want the gospel to be woven through the fabric of our family, and not be just the glitter we toss over our lives around the holidays. I want our day-to-day routine to remind us of the miracle of salvation—just like seasons of Thanksgiving, Lent and Advent remind us of God’s faithfulness, goodness and love in precious and unique ways.

I’m not sure exactly what this looks like yet it’s a new idea for me. One example would be to talk and pray and ‘get excited’ about each upcoming Sunday—eagerly anticipating worship with the church of Christ, like a mini advent every week. We could take time to discuss what a miracle it is to approach the Creator of the universe and call him, Father; all the while training our hearts to love and cherish and look forward to the Sabbath. I do know that weaving our lives through with “holiday living” will include getting into the word, bowing in prayer and talking about the Savior as Colossians directs: with the word of Christ, singing and thankfulness, “doing everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

This November we are going to write down one thing we are thankful for every day and put it in a jar. Weeks will pass, leaves and blessings pile higher, with the hope that the mindset of thanksgiving will stretch over into the rest of the year. Practicing reflection on God’s goodness and trusting the Spirit to work lasting gratitude on our hearts and minds.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

French Toast: Why didn't I think of this sooner?!

So, I'm not one to toot my own horn.

(Well...unless you count starting a blog and posting pics and descriptions of things that I've made...)

But I made something entirely delicious this morning.

The quickest French Toast ever with sloooow food flavor. Everybody has made or makes the typical, simple version that involves bread dipped in eggs that have been beaten with some milk or cream and cinnamon, cooked up in a frying pan. Good basic ingredients but not a ton of flavor, until you add butter and syrup. Then there are the uber fancy but delicious versions that are great for special occasions--lots of ingredients and large batches. See some HERE and HERE.

One day last week I opened the refrigerator to russle up some breakfast for the boys and discovered one egg, no milk, and the heels of a loaf of bread. French toast was in order, but no milk...what to do?

AHHHHH! (accompanied by loud major chord on the pipe organ)

International Delight, almond joy coffee creamer, like something from a dream.

I don't usually use this in my coffee, but my husband loves it. This particular brand does not contain hydrogenated oils, any artifical sweetener or corn syrup. It's pretty delicious. Add it to some French Toast...INCREDIBLE!

It transformed my French toast and I'm imagining all kinds of great variations. Vanilla? Hazelnut? That one that is flavored with Bailey's Irish Cream?! Holiday flavors?! Pumpkin Spice?! Peppermint mocha?! WHAAAT!? This idea truly belongs in Real Simple's "New Uses for Old Things" section, if I do say so myself...not to toot my own horn or anything.

Bread, leftover or stale is great too
eggs (I have found that one egg is plenty for about 3 pieces of French toast)
1/3 c. of coffee creamer per egg

Optional: cinnamon, nutmeg, etc...

Whisk together egg and creamer, sprinkle in any spices you might prefer (not really necessary, the creamer has plenty of flavor).

Dip each piece of bread in the egg mixture, set aside.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick skillet and cook French toast over medium high heat until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.

You could pose them all pretty and drizzle them with syrup, like this, but let's be real. 

Real life = crookedly framed pictures, no natural light because the babes got up at the crack of dawn, black eyes, bedhead and food cut into unrecognizably small pieces.

Everybody loved it and the fact that it can be whipped up in 5-6 minutes is a big plus in my book! I'm always looking for ways to get the kiddos to eat whole grains and protein. 

By the way...I just searched this idea on Pinterest and there were tons of other recipes for the same thing. So glad I didn't 'toot my own horn.' Go check it out HERE.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mantel Musings

I'm working on changing up the mantel over our fireplace. I've collected a few mirrors of different shapes and sizes for some kind of 'mirror collage' on the wall and plants on the mantel itself. I love houseplants, am loving the whole terrarium trend and am completely obsessed with succulents--another pop trend right now. Problem is that with two little babes, houseplants within reach take a bit of abuse. My current succulent is missing the bottom row of leaves. I'm thinking that moving all my plants to the mantel is necessary for the survival of my plants and possibly my sanity. 

Here are some inspiration pics. All are pinned HERE so you can get more info and pin them yourself if you're interested!

Ahh, terrariums and cloches! Beautiful, whimsical and fresh. I like the idea of indoor plants in the winter when things get gray and cold. It would also be really fun and easy to change things up for the holidays. This blog lists some ideas of plants that grow well when covered, though, I like a mixture of covered and open. 

These frameless mirrors are from Pottery Barn, I love the distressed wood dresser with delicate glass.


I adore the eclectic mix of different shapes, sizes and finishes in this pic. I also like the idea of collecting mirrors on trips, a small one would be pretty easy to pack and transport.

I like the way these are hung so closely and the configuration isn't quite symmetrical.

I'll post some pics once I make progress!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Few Little Things...

A little time at the lake...

A little time at the pool...

A little time with my little sister who just moved to France...

A little trip to the beach during which both of our little children were too sick to sleep at night...we look deceptively rested here. Still, it was a treat to spend a little time with family and get the cousins together! They made some good memories.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Bucket Bag...finally

I did make the bucket bag I posted about many moons ago. I've been carrying it all summer, as a matter of fact, and loving it! I lined it with a fun, floral print (Hancocks) and the neon laminate from Purl Bee is just as lovely as I'd imagined. It was easy to sew with (I put a piece of scotch tape on the bottom of my presser foot when I was stitching on the laminate side) and it was flexible enough for piping. I added some fat piping around the bottom.

I lined the whole inside with pockets--they're great for keeping drinks upright and holding toys. I like the single strap a lot--it's easier to keep on my shoulder than if I'm holding a baby or wearing the ergo. I'm also a fan of bags that stand upright when you set them down, the sturdy canvas and laminate, plus piping on the bottom give it a lot of stability.

I like it! Make one!