Friday, March 28, 2008

Track Pants - Day #2

With apologies to Mrs. Fussypants and her tireless effort to 'Fight The Frump' it's day two for track pants! Yuck! I promise not to take my 'frump' out in public! I think I am some better - but it might just be wishful thinking! Our Historian came home early from yesterday afternoon and I went to bed. Sleep is supposed to be the best medicine, right? The Storyteller is complaining of a stuffy nose and sore throat too. This isn't good.

Have I mentioned that our immigration interview is coming up soon - as in this coming Monday? For a bit of background, you might like to read here, but then again .... you might not! It is the reader's digest version of our long and laborious immigration journey. The Historian and the children are not the problem, being U.S. citizens - it's just me! Those dangerous Canadians you know! I guess you really have to watch the polite ones who 'talk funny'. I don't know how often I get ' you're not from around here, are you?' - my speech must give me away!

Our interview is very early in the morning, so it necessitates an overnight - hopefully at a hotel with a nice pool! We were hoping to make this otherwise very stressful interview into a mini-holiday for the children, but if we will have to get feeling better if we are all going to enjoy this the way we had hoped! Can they deny you entrance into a country because of a the common cold? I hope not! I guess I'd better find my voice quickly so I can answer all their probing questions - and think clearly!

We are leaving the house tidy - even if it takes all my strength - which, it just might! Dreamer's room looks a little bit like an episode of 'How Clean is Your House?' and the Storyteller might win a prize for the most toys on the floor in history. Our room looks like a fabric shop exploded - I've been going through my fabrics and trying to pick out patterns to make some summer clothes for Dreamer, and a skirt or two for myself. The bathrooms don't exactly sparkle, and a good vacuuming is in order. So we all need to nip in and get to it, after school work is done! Maybe I'll take another nap first ....

EDITED: It gets worse .... the toilet in the laundry room couldn't have chosen a worse time to back up! I will admit that for a moment I was tempted to leave it until the Historian came home, but I love him too much for that! I am NOT handy with the plunger and the end result .... well, another shower was in order. Since I only own ONE pair of track pants ... guess whose I borrowed? The only good news there is that they are way too big for me - causing my gradual decline into frumpiness to accelerate rapidly. Needless to say, the house isn't clean - but there is always tomorrow!

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Observant children?

An overheard conversation this morning really opened my eyes - maybe it will make you smile too - especially if you know my real life self well!

Dreamer: 'We have to be really helpful today.'

Storyteller: ' Why?'

Dreamer: 'Didn't you hear Daddy - Mommy is sick!'

Storyteller: 'Is it her liver again?'

Dreamer: 'No, she has a sore throat.'

Storyteller: 'Sister, Momma just keeps going when she has a sore throat!'

Dreamer: ' Not this kind of sore throat. It's really bad.'

Storyteller: 'How do you know?'

Dreamer: ' She's wearing her track pants, and Daddy says we'll have a short school day.'

Storyteller: 'Oh, yeah - it MUST be really bad. Poor Momma! I'll be really helpful today, Sister - won't you?'

Dreamer: 'Of course!'

Chicken noodle soup is simmering on the stove and I'm just going to make a nice soothing cup of tea with lemon. It's just a cold, but my throat is raw, and my voice is gone! Thanks for sharing sweet Dreamer - I'm glad you're feeling better!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Chatter

Mrs. Sparrow: "Well, will you look at that?"

Mrs. Robin: "Goodness - when did they build that?"

Mrs. Sparrow: "Just put it up yesterday. Can you see a sign?"

Mrs. Robin: " Ummm, no, but it looks just the like the 'Nest Depot' down the road, don't you think?"

Mrs. Sparrow: "You're right! I'm sure they'll put out their sign soon. Have you noticed the owners?"

Mrs. Robin: "Yes, unusual, aren't they?"

Mrs. Sparrow: "I don't like to gossip, but they are both very pale, and not at all friendly."

Mrs. Robin: "They look a bit like some relatives of mine, but of course, all my relatives are very friendly and colorful."

Mrs. Sparrow: "Oh, yes, so you've said. Hmmm. Check out the nest display. Would you say it is more 'Granny Chic' or "Traditional'?"

Mrs. Robin: "It looks very poorly made to me, whatever it is. I'd say it is 'Shabby Chic', but I'm no expert. Of course, it is just a floor model and they are never as advertised. Mr. Robin and I are planning something similar, of course, but much better made. We have the design from the 'Maker's Best Company'. We Robins have been using it forever. "

Mrs. Sparrow: "Yes, we have already begun as well, but I don't think Mr. Sparrow will mind if I offer just a little advice. I think I'll bring home some of that lushy green moss for the chick's bedroom. It will be perfect, don't you think?"

Mrs. Robin: "Oh yes! I might just do that too - though, Mr. Robin doesn't always appreciate my sense of style. Maybe just a few of those nice twigs and a touch of that ribbon. It will add a bit of class at our front door, I think."

Mrs. Sparrow: "I suppose they will have sales and coupons in the paper when they announce their 'Grand Opening', but perhaps they have some 'Door Crasher' specials we can take advantage of this morning. Let's get a closer look."

Mrs. Robin: "Yes, let's go shopping! I'll let Mr. Robin know we'll be back soon. A couple of hours at the most, don't you think? It's not one of those Super Centers."

Mrs. Sparrow: "That sounds good, but you know, while we are out, wouldn't you like to visit that other new 'Nest Builders Supply'? "

Mrs. Robin: "That sound's great! I'll grab my purse. Let's go!"

Matthew 10:29-31
The Words of Jesus

"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."

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Monday, March 24, 2008

More Mossy Madness

Up close to the mossy madness on our front door.

The full view!

We are looking to replace this door soon - it has been on the list for three years, but always preempted by other more pressing home renovation projects. We were egged at some point between the sale of the house and our move in date, so the bottom of the door is a mess - did you know raw eggs can eat through metal?

Up close to our side door ( family door) mossy madness.

The full view! I have two more wreathes mossed and ready to decorate, and a few odds and scraps that were not nice enough to wreath. I'm thinking of trying to get them to grow in some sandy soil. Later I'll try to get some growing outside too! I'm just loving this moss. It is so soft and green!

Do you see that reflected blue sky? I'm praising God for no rain since it was past time to strip the beds and do lots of laundry! Since our sump pump has been silent, I think I was safe to wash to my hearts content.

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The Road to Emmaus

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.

He asked, "What's this you're discussing so intently as you walk along?"

They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, "Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn't heard what's happened during the last few days?"

He said, "What has happened?"

They said, "The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn't find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn't see Jesus."

Then he said to them, "So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can't you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don't you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?" Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.

They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: "Stay and have supper with us. It's nearly evening; the day is done." So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.

Luke 24:13-31 - The Message

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Image from Christians Unite

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Blessings!

After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God's angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move.

The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed.

'Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message."

Matthew 28:1-7

The Message

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Mossy Madness

After all my chores were done last night, and the children were sound asleep - I began my mossy madness. Have I confessed my love for moss before? Mmmm ... now you are really getting to know my deepest, greenest secrets!

It all started with a recipe search on Martha Pumpkin Spice Bundt cake, to be exact. Actually, that's not quite true either. My obsession began in Wal*Mart were NORDIC Bundt pans were on clearance for $4. I had to have one. What could be more special than 6 mini bundt cakes gracing our tea time? I knew I had a cup of pumpkin puree in the fridge and that my family wasn't in the mood for more Pumpkin Crunch Muffins. So I searched Martha Stewart for inspiration and that lead me to this wonderful Cushion Moss Wreath.

Thus my search for Cushion Moss began. It wasn't easy. I found it through my local florist after calling about 6 of them - and ordered a case, because it's cheaper that way you know. I thought finding the straw wreath form would be a cinch, but apparently not - they are 'out' right now - evidently, NO ONE is using them ... hmmm! I guess they have never heard of Martha Stewart? Crafts 2000 came to my rescue - hidden in a far back corner. Cheap too - less than $1 each. I bought 7 - because I know that when I get obsessed with something as fun as moss, I just have to make more than one! I also bought a gross of fern pins - for about $1. All in all, I was ready to get mossy.

It was so much fun - who knew pinning moss to a wreath form could be so easy, and fun? Messy - yes, but not the kind of mess that you can't clean up quickly! My first wreath I decorated with a branch, a small nest, a pretty robin and a casual moss green bow. I gave it to my friend Mrs. M (of the reupholstered chair) this morning and she loved it! I forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it away! I'll have to ask her to e-mail a picture of it when she puts it up! She and I found this wonderful cream and rich red upholstery fabric last Saturday - for $6 a yard!!!! There was plenty to slipcover her family room couch - and lots to spare I'm sure! It is a 'railroaded' fabric, very posh and lovely beyond words - quite a find - and perfect for slipcovering! I'm so excited about the project, I've been dreaming about it! You'd think it was for our home! This morning we did the initial measuring and pattern making for the 'muslin' prototype.

Speaking of prototypes - I made a wallet this week. I don't have a pattern but was inspired by Autum of Creative Little Daisy fame. She recently conquered binding in a beautiful wallet project. I chose some scraps from our kitchen toppers because I have some black and white toile left from my chair project that I really want to use, but not enough to mess up on, if you know what I mean. I should have used a lighter weight fabric - it weighs a lot even empty! It is thick and awkward, and was difficult to bind properly - I didn't even attempt mitered corners. The Dreamer has her eye on it, but we'll see. My old wallet is leather and simply butter soft - I really wish it wasn't falling apart!

I think I'll just find something lighter for the next one - and save the scraps of classic black toile for some little pouches to organize the inner workings of my purse prettily. I'll just have to find some cheap black zippers!

I have two windows in my kitchen and loved these toppers from the moment I finished them - except for the one little 'fault' of a poorly pieced seam in the binding that is right over my head when I'm at the sink. No one else sees it, thankfully, and they are my most 'complimented' sewing project to date. I still like them two years later, which is a good thing!

I am off for more mossy madness in the Grammy Flat /Crafting room - I still have lots of moss, ribbon, wreaths, nests and robins! I hope that the real robins don't take a peak, think I am putting out the wreath for their benefit and decide to take it all away! In their little bird brains they just might think my wreathes are the birdy version of 'Nest Depot' - it wouldn't be the first time!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blue skies and blooming beautiful!

I was so happy this morning to awaken to sunshine! After days of rain, our area is super saturated and very soggy. Groundwater is filling our septic tank and our sump pump is in overdrive. Our worries are small compared to those who abide on lower ground where the rivers have exceeded their bounds more fully than I have seen in springs past. High water signs are everywhere, and more rain is expected. For today, we have sunshine and a chance to dry up a bit. I hope to be able to do some laundry later, but for now, adding any more water to the septic might prove a disaster of very smelly proportions, so I'm just going to wait it out. I cannot get over how green the grass is - our neighbors with the immaculate lawns are lush and green, and our weed patch is a variegated patchwork of greens!

Our amaryllis continue to delight with blooms that add color to every room. They may not be very 'Easter-ish' but since they are here making my heart sing, I'm enjoying them just for what they are!

We have just about finished listening to 'The Luke Reports - The Life of Jesus', another wonderful radio theatre presentation from Focus on The Family. I have to say that is has really helped us to focus our hearts and minds on the life of Christ, His teaching, His suffering and death, and the sufferings of His followers.

As our celebration of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday approaches, I think this is a very good thing.

We tend to read those passages which record the early years of the believing church from the perspective of the relative peace in which we live and loose sight of the turbulent times in which the church was birthed. Listening to this excellent production has brought history to life in ways that reading alone has not. It is very dramatic, and might not be suitable for many young listeners because of the brutality of the Sicarii Zealots, and the Roman Empire. Our Storyteller (age 7 1/2) has in turns, been brought to tears, and burned with anger at the injustice the early Christians faced. We all have felt passion and compassion as the life of Jesus and His followers comes to life for us through these terrific recordings. I hope that we will remember to listen to these again each year as Easter approaches and many time throughout the year, as I am sure we will continue to be challenged by the Gospel of Luke.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Speedy healing and answered prayer!

Our Storyteller one day last week after a romp outside with the cousins!

Our Storyteller is doing so much better today - he is very sensitive to light and not really enjoying the eye drops, but he has healed amazingly well so far. It will take about 30 days for the healing to be complete and the eye to be perfectly well, but already the large scratch has reduced to a mere line where the deepest part of the cut still needs to heal. We are thankful for the skill and care of our eye doctor, but more than anything, we are praising the Lord for answered prayer! There is still a small risk of infection, but the drops should stop any bacteria from developing into infection. I can't get over how quickly his eye has healed - we are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made! All glory to God!

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Monday, March 17, 2008

Eye emergency ...

Late this afternoon, our Storyteller was opening a favorite book a bit too energetically and it hit him in the eye. When I realized that his pain level was increasing rather than decreasing after 1/2 hour, we got him right in to see our eye doctor - which was a real blessing! It turns out that he has the worst 'scratch' that our very experienced doctor has seen, but it is in a really good place. He actually has a paper cut that took a chunk out of his cornea - which thankfully should heal very quickly. He has a band aid contact lens on his eye and is trying to get to sleep despite the pain. He has antibiotic eye drops every 4 hours without fail and Tylenol and Motrin. This should be interesting. We see the doctor again tomorrow - and very likely the next day as well. The most difficult part of his instructions included words like 'calm', 'quiet', and 'non- strenuous activity'. Um? Just how ... he is 7 you know ... we'll try ... *sigh*! Our Storyteller has a history of wicked infections ( eg. ingrown toe nail becoming blood poisoning) and that is a big threat in this case since it could cause vision loss - so if you would, please pray for protection from infection and speedy healing. Thank you!

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Where did our week go?

The cousins have come and gone - and it went all too quickly! We had such a nice time together. Our home was filled with the voices of children - mostly boys! We ate ice cream, visited with goats and cows, we played games, made two fun crafts, ate lots of yummy food, played outside, visited the air force museum, spent time at a living history farm, met a happy chicken family, went shopping, marveled at the blooming amaryllis, watched the snow disappear, played in the mud, watched a movie, visited a book warehouse, ate at a fun restaurant, bought a bunch of Webkins on sale, got a bit overtired, but overall, we had a great visit! Mum was a huge help with the kitchen clean up, and Auntie K took over most of the laundry duties and was our photographer so with everyone pitching in, it went like clockwork. I'm so glad that the children had the opportunity to get to know one another better and to spend time together. Now, back to our regularly scheduled routine!

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Sunday, March 9, 2008

Travelling Mercies

I am just popping in very briefly to praise the Lord - my sister, mum and our three nephews headed out in a snow storm yesterday and struck out for a 8 hour drive in a snow storm/blizzard! I strongly suggested that they wait until today to come, but they pressed on and they took 14 1/2 hours!!!!! They made it safely - we are so glad to have them here! The roads were hideous. They saw numerous accidents, were in white outs and ice storms - I was so worried. I kept praying and waiting all day - and I thought I was trusting my heavenly Father, but I was so stressed out! My Dad is still needing prayer as he travels - he is so sick with a nasty cold and under so much pressure business wise. He sounds really beat and discouraged, so we are praying for him too! God is good - He hears and answers our prayers. We have much to be thankful for.

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Friday, March 7, 2008

Picture This!

Do you remember all the fuss I've been making about these silly valances? Of course you don't - and I don't blame you! If you have been following the drama, here is the final installment in the saga - the completed project - our front room! This is the most formal room in our house - it is the ' no shoes, no toys, no food' room - which means that except when it is coated with and inch of dust or littered with books and papers, it always looks presentable! Now, it even looks 'finished' since the valances are completed!

The computer resides in this room, so it is a pleasant place to spend time! Now, enough of the valances - I promise!!!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

So pretty ...

If I had made this transformation on my own, I certainly wouldn't be 'braggy and boastful', but since I didn't even lift a finger, but let Darcy do all the hard creative work, I can properly express my delight! I simply told this incredibly creative lady just what I like, and voila'! So pretty! There is a handy little 'Graphically Designing' button on my side bar if you'd like to pay her a visit! Everyone can use a little bit of fancy! Thank you so very much Darcy!

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Ice Storm

Yesterday we experienced a terrible ice storm, but I am thankful that we are safe and well. So many are not, and we are praying for their situations. Our yard is littered with branches from our trees, and we experienced a short power failure, but overall, the damage was minimal. Our area is also under water and many roads are closed because of all the water over the roads, so it takes some extra time to get around. Yesterday our detours took us way out of our way, and we were late for piano lessons. Many schools are closed today or under a two hour delay, but the roads seem pretty passable for now. Since it was almost 70F Monday and now we are in the 20's, the weather changes are completely unpredictable. It's hard to know how to dress - layers are essential! The kids are getting tired of putting on clothes - and quite frankly, I could do with a little less laundry. I am really longing for shorts and t-shirt weather - the laundry load is so much lighter!

We are busy getting ready for our special company and really looking forward to their visit. The next few days will be quite busy as we make our preparations, so please don't be surprised if things are quite quiet around here! I'll do my best to get back as I can.

We have started to put the children to bed earlier each night to make up for the time change coming this weekend. It seems to make the transition easier for us all, and with our company coming, they will need to get rested up to keep up with Auntie K, the boys, and Grammy!

Do you remember my free amaryllis bulbs? We have had so much fun with them. The three on the table in just water and marbles are growing wildly. We had to add more marbles to stabilize the whole plant. The water gets horribly stinky, so it is a bit of a chore to change it daily, but as they are just about to reward us with lovely blossoms, it is well worth it!

This one I planted in dirt and surrounded with moss. It has been the first to bloom, and as it sits on my kitchen window sill, it is bringing much pleasure to the daily tasks of washing up and meal preparation.

Do you see how tall and lovely these are? I think we may awaken to the delight of color tomorrow!

For a splash of extra vibrant color, primroses! I was so delighted when my Historian brought these home the other day! I was really needing the encouragement of a touch of spring! I popped them into some thrifted fancy metal pots and now I need to find them a sunny home! They don't get enough light on my kitchen counter, and no doubt they'll get covered in flour as I bake up a storm for our company!