Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I love sewing for our children, but I don't have the time or energy to do it as often as I would like. I have not given up, but I have adjusted my expectations! I sew Sunday dresses and special occasion garments, just for fun'dress up' items, and hard to find garments for the children, and it makes my heart sing to know how much they love to wear something made by Mommy.
As a teenager I worked part time at a wonderful Canadian fabric store, part of a nationwide chain of stores. I loved working there - most of the time! I rarely brought home a complete paycheck, since I often had a stack of fabric and notions that I could not pass up! I made most of my own clothes and I sewed constantly. When The Historian and I were married, I had to my credit 11 big boxes of fabric! For about 5 years I made much of our clothing, our simple gift items and our 'parsonage home decor' using the contents of those boxes - and since we were as poor as church mice, it was wonderful to have!
My biggest frustration in working at the fabric store was with a certain group of customers - women in their mid to late 40's in fact! These ladies would come into the store - often with a young teenage daughter in tow and they would proceed to buy 'the list' of items required for a grade 9 home economics class project - usually a gathered apron. Most of these ladies professed a deep love of sewing in their teen years, but hadn't done much sewing 'since we had the kids'.
I do hope my frustration with these ladies was not too evident, but perhaps it was since I've always been rather too transparent. I was so perplexed with these dear ladies because to my mind, they had missed a golden opportunity - to sew for their children! I determined that I would not be 'one of those ladies', that if God blessed me with children, I would sew for them.
May I say that I now know the folly of my youth? I feel terrible for judging those poor mothers so long ago! I was so sure of myself - determined to find a way to sew for my children and not at all understanding the daily demands of parenting. I have sewn for our children - on and off throughout their lives, but it has not been as easy as I thought it would be. My time is not my own, and each day is filled with the tasks of daily living. Children grow so quickly - keeping up with a full wardrobe of purchased clothing is hard - anticipating their growth is nearly impossible! We love hand me downs and thrift stores - if our children had to rely on my sewing for them they would be poorly dressed indeed! Many times my sewing machine has gathered dust for months or been buried under unfinished projects and mending!
I will soon be one of those women in their 40's and I am glad! I have learned so much and come so far - I hope! God has allowed us to go through some deep valleys and we have learned to trust Him more with each trial we have faced. I am glad just to do the bit of sewing and crafting I find time for - and I dream of the day when I can work on a project without quite so many interruptions! In the meantime, I'm still a sew and sew once in a while!
Monday, January 29, 2007
The Dreamer helped with the labels - good spelling practice!
The finished project - still up on my table waiting to be rolled under the table! My back was not up to bending over the drawers, so this worked out well.
I've been having a terrible time logging in to Blogger for some reason, but I am finally here and able to try to post these pictures.
Last week Mrs. Wilt at The Sparrow's Nest came up with this wonderful way to motivate us to accomplish one thing we have been putting off! I chose to tackle my sewing area since I have been longing to sew, but have been overwhelmed with mending projects and piles of new projects half done and collecting DUST!
Since we moved 2 years ago, my sewing supplies have been living in ziplock bags in white bankers boxes - not the most efficient organization system! They are piled in my 'crafts closet' and really a pain to get in to. My mom and I brainstormed about a better way - we decided that a set of rolling plastic drawers was a cheap and easy method of getting everything I need to sew in one place.
I first re-established my 'mending basket', which looks more like "Mommy's Doll & Stuffed Animal Hospital" according to The Storyteller! I have never had so many casualties at once!
I put the contents of the boxes on our bed and had The Dreamer help me sort and make labels for the contents of the drawers! It was fun and really satisfying! There is room under my sewing table to roll the drawers under when not in use, and the drawers are not overstuffed, so there is room for more notions!
Already, this orderliness has helped my sewing time! I have made pajamas for The Storyteller and an apron for The Dreamer! Next, I am tackling the Mending Basket and after that, I am going to work on our bedroom curtains! I feel better about the appearance of my sewing area since it is also our master bedroom
Thank you Mrs. Wilt for the motivation to tackle this job!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Aprons – Y/N? If Y, what does your favorite look like?
While I have many aprons, I don't have a favourite - they are all well used and I really need to make a new one for each of us!
Baking – Favorite thing to bake
Muffins! My family loves muffins and they are so easy and yummy! Too yummy! Scones and cookies are fun too!
Clothesline – Y/N?
Yes, I have a wonderful outdoor clothesline that my dad made for me and a rod in the laundry room.
Donuts – Have you ever made them?
Yes! For a long time we had the young people from our church dropping by every week for homemade donuts - they were cheap to make and yummy!
Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day
It seems like everything! Wiping counters multiple times per day!
Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?
Yes! We have an upright freezer and a spare fridge with a big freezer!
Garbage Disposal – Y/N?
Yes. We rarely use it! We compost and recycle whatever we can!
Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Talking Dirty with The Queen of Clean
Ironing – Love it or hate it? Or hate it but love the results?
I like ironing but it is hard on my body - we have so much because our clothes are mainly cotton and we are not BARBIE DOLL sized people! I have a friend who comes to iron and it helps us both out!
Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?
Junk basket - in the laundry room! Whatever I find in pockets goes there and anything not claimed after 30 days will be disposed of at my discretion! I keep ALL money!
Kitchen – Color and decorating scheme
We chose maple cabinets with an opaque creamy stain and pewter wash. We have very little wall space but what there is is painted sage green. Our counter tops are black/ green/gold flecked/ ruby sparkling granite and the floor is a warm red/brown cork. The appliances are black and my windows are topped with a cream and sage toile called 'Rustic Life' by Waverly lined with a sage green check. I love my kitchen but can never keep up with all of the papers piled on my counter tops!
Love – What is your favorite part of homemaking?
Expressing my creativity for the pleasure of my Creator and my family!
Mop – Y/N?
YES! I used to despise a mop, but now I live with liver problems and a lot of hard floors!
Nylons – Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
By hand with Woolite!
Oven – Do you use the window or open the oven to check?
What window? Open it up and look!
Pizza – What do you put on yours?
Ham, parmesean cheese, tomatoes, red peppers and green olives please!
Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
Read, sort mail, blog, sort mail, plan menus, sort mail, correct schoolwork, sort mail ....
Recipe card box – Y/N? What does it look like?
An antique 6 drawer mini file cabinet that my husband gave to his mother years ago! Three generations of recipes! I also use a binder for all my full page recipes from great blogs!!!!
Style of house – What style is your house?
1950's rambling ranch - grey siding, black shutters and cement brick - yuck yuck yuck! It is on the 'to change soon' list - I'm hoping to strip the vinyl, restore the wonderful wood and paint it rich tan with cream trim and sage accents.
Tablecloths and napkins – Y/N?
Does a quilt count? I use table runners and a few quilts to make the table special on weekends, but during the week it doubles as our homeschool area and needs to be bare! Last week I left the centerpiece on and a flying pencil broke my last special glass candle cup!
Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland?
Somewhat organized, but needs to be wiped down. Again!
Vacuum – How many times per week?
At least once, sometimes twice, rarely three times but it has happened! We swiffer almost every day! Once I vacuumed 17 times in 5 days but our house was on the market and we had that many showings - we were living at the Tim Horton's across the street waiting for folks to finish looking at our house! I miss my central vac system!
Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do per week?
7 or 8 loads - too many for a family of 4!
X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
Yes - I love to make lists and cross them off!
Yard – Y/N? Who does what?
We hire our yardwork for $25 a week and we have an acre to mow - my husband would do a great job, but the kids will only be young once - we want to do things together and not watch Daddy mow for 5 hours every Saturday! We'd have to invest in a riding mower I think! I do the gardens and hubby does the minor tree trimming - he's a whiz with the trimmers!
Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
Making sure the kitchen sink is empty and ready for a new day!
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
A Psalm of David.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
During my Ladie's Bible Study yesterday we were talking about putting people 'up on a pedistal'. We discussed how we look to others around us and wrongly assume that they 'have it all together'. We can even begin to look to others for the answers to life's questions. That is one difficulty I sometimes have with blogging. I find myself looking and thinking, 'wow, she does this, this, that and the other thing - her home is spotless, beautiful and orderly, her kids are lovely and always well behaved, her walk with the Lord is constant and she has an adoring husband - I want to be like her when I grow up!'.
When I start to feel that way, I know I am taking my eyes of the only true example Who will never fail me - Christ alone. I love learning so many things from the wonderful and gifted women whose blogs I so enjoy! I like having little glimpses into the daily lives of women who are journeying through the Christian life, experiencing the joys of making their homes places of beauty, coping with the ups and downs of parenting, and facing the trials and difficulies we all endure. I don't want to put my blogging friends and the crazy idea I have of their 'near perfect' lives up on a pedistal - that is where Jesus Christ alone belongs in my life! I love it when my Bible Study ladies remind me to fix my eyes on Jesus!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Monday, January 8, 2007
When I started taking my bulk foods out of old plastic containers and storing them in glass pantry jars from Martha Stewart Everyday, I thought it would be a fairly easy job. I made some nice labels on the computer and laminated them for easy wipe downs. I counted the number of jars I thought I would need and estimated the sizes. I made my list and went shopping!
After 'cleaning out' no less than 5 area K-Mart stores of the measly number of jars they had in stock, I began to search in other places. I found jars so simular I couldn't tell the difference at a local antique market, but they were $35 each - ouch! I finally resorted to some slightly different but almost the same $5 Anchor Hocking 'cracker jars' from Meijer and now I am ready to finish the project.
Whew! I love the look of all of my flours, rices, sugars etc. in the clear glass jars and I feel sure there will be less unpleasant surprises on baking day 'oooh dear, I didn't know I was so low on coconut'! I like to shop in bulk when possible, and this is my way of doing a bit for the environment with less packaging, and keeping our food essentials in a more healthful way.
With the extra weight of the glass jars, I am glad we upgraded the quality of the lazy susan in our cupboards to 'heavy duty' since I don't think I'd be able to do this with the flimsy plastic shelves. The only other downside I see is that glass breaks - and I am a bit of a kitchen klutz, but I think it is worth the risk!
January Project #1 Almost Completed
Picture from Martha Stewart Living
Thursday, January 4, 2007
We tried this recipe last night for supper for the first time and it was really easy and very tasty - declared a ‘Keeper’ by all. I made some adjustments to the recipe which I found in my Gooseberry Patch Taste of Autumn cookbook. I like to use fresh herbs from my garden as often as possible, so I made that change and adjusted the method accordingly.
Pork loin was on sale for $2 a pound at Meijer’s this week so that is why I decided to try this one, however when I looked at the label and realized that they had added a 10% solution of chemicals we opted for the natural chemical and hormone free pork loin roast in the meat case which was more than twice the price.
2 sprigs of rosemary leaves (no stems)
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 ½” cube of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
3-4 pound boneless pork loin
Combine oil, garlic, ginger and mustard seed in blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add rosemary leaves and blend again briefly (pulse). Add salt and pepper and rub mixture over surface of pork loin. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.
I served this with my rich tea biscuits and honey, boiled redskin potatoes, and steamed baby carrots with green beans, along with generous helpings of my homemade apple sauce. It was AWANA night, so we had no time for dessert!
Monday, January 1, 2007
We just never know what a new year will hold, and sometimes the uncertainty is met with a glorious expectation of all the good that may come or sometimes fear and dread. Isn't it a blessing that we don't have the ability to 'see' into the future and know the path our days will take - it would be completely overwhelming! God alone, in His great wisdom, keeps the secrets of our New Years journey in His confidence, and gives us strength for each new day as it comes! One day at a time, one moment at a time!
I have not had much time for planning for the new year but I always set some small personal goals to work toward, since I truly believe the old adage 'aim at nothing and you're sure to hit it!'. With The Historian so uncomfortable for the past 10 days, time for planning has been limited, but I am going to get to it - soon! Thankfully, he seems to be seeing some improvement in his pain level, so I pray that this crisis is passing and we will be able to resume a more balanced routine. I especially look forward to more restful nights since his pain is reduced he will presumably be less restless - I pray!
The blessing is that we have a very special visitor with us - my mother! My dad brought her down to help us out during this time. He drove almost 1400 miles in three days in order to bring her to our aid, and we are so appreciative.
I'm not sure if we are ready to begin school again tomorrow, but we will ease ourselves back into routine and try to extend the joy of the Christmas break just as long as possible. W have so much to do tomorrow in the line of phone calls and housekeeping items that have been put off, so our day will be full once again!
May the Lord bless you and your family with great joy in the coming year!