Monday, April 11, 2011

So many blessings!

Welcome back - I know it's been a long time since I posted anything about our quiet life here in the Midwest!  I decided to use my free time this morning to share a few of the blessings we've been enjoying in the last few weeks!

On Saturday The Storyteller and I made a trip to Joann's to find just the right fabric for upholstering the giant piece of foam that will make his new 'dugout' a cozy place to sit and read or dream about baseball! We  found some heavy red duck canvas that was on sale for $5 a yard and it's perfect for this project!  I am so excited to finally be moving forward again toward getting his room back in shape! It's been a mess for so long that any progress is such a blessing! We've done everything but the 1/4 round trim and and the final painting, and of course the sewing for new valances and the upholstery of the 80"x24"x6" piece of heavy foam!  I bought a super long zipper to make this a 'zip off for washing' cover and I'm excited to get going on it this week!

I have been blessed to have some time in my sewing room lately working on a wild and crazy quilt for the Storyteller - it is just made up of cotton quilting scraps in various shades of red, tan and blues - so many fabrics from my stash that it kind of makes your head spin to look at, but he LOVES it!  I have to piece the backing together and take it to the quilt shop to have it quilted like Dreamers.  

The quilt is a 'pattern' I found in Creating Vintage Style and it was way more work than I thought it would be, but it's so perfect for our energetic boy! Some of the fabric is baseball prints from various past projects and the backing is all baseballs, so he is over the moon happy.  I guess it is only fair that since Sister sleeps beneath a 'made by Mama' quilt, Brother should too!

While at Joann's we bumped into a sweet friend Anne who reads my blog and she let me know that she's been  thinking about me and my sore hands!  That was such an encouragement to me! I let her know that they are much better - and I thought is was time to let you know too!  I so appreciate all of your kind comments and e-mails.  My hands are still not pain free, but the swelling and stiffness is all but gone - until I over do things and I start the painful cycle all over!  I'm looking forward to talking these issues over with my doctor next week and hopefully we'll find some answers! I felt so blessed on Wednesday when I was finally able to put on my wedding and engagement rings again.

Despite the struggles, I've been keeping busy as always!  Does it seem like spring is the season when homeschooling is the hardest?  We worked right through the public school's spring break and enjoyed the change in routine - we didn't have ballet, art, home school gym or AWANA that week so we were really able to get caught up in some school work!  We are planning on taking our spring break at Easter - because Poppa and Grammy will be here!!!!! Yeah!!!!  We are so very excited about their visit - it just seems like forever since we saw them!  It's been a long long winter!  We are looking forward to celebrating Resurrection Sunday together!

Spring is slowly unfolding with color and beauty!  Last week we enjoyed the last of the crocus' for one day! The rains came pouring down and flattened their blooms completely and they were gone! 

Many of the plants I started under the grow lights in early March are taking off and will soon be ready to harden off and transplant in the garden.  I planted more over the weekend since my tomato plants didn't do as well as I'd hoped. I love this time of year, but it can be a little overwhelming!  I am trying to stay ahead of the weeds in my garden until we can get our mulch delivery.  We use about 3 yards of mulch every other year and it helps so much to keep the weeds down, but it is a lot of work to move it about the yard.

The dandelions are just thriving! Since I was suffering with tendinitis last fall, I didn't get the garden 'put to bed' completely and I am regretting that terribly this spring. We've got carrots, radishes, lettuce and peas planted in our raised beds and hopefully the rain we are enjoying today will water everything nicely. I divided and transplanted a few 'Deer Salad' plants, known to most gardeners as Hosta - the deer munched our Hosta down a few times last summer and they returned nicely, so hopefully they will like the new varieties to choose from!

I'm working on a two week schedule for my spring cleaning this year.  I remember when I could do it about three full days, but this is a more reasonable goal and I am happy that I am even up it! I have 14 areas that need to be tackled and the worst is the Grammy flat.  No surprise there! We moved my sewing area out there and it has really made our bedroom a much more pleasant place to rest, but I need to organize the stuff we moved and make room for Poppa and Grammy again!!!

The goal is to have it done before Opening Day which is April 30thPoppa and Grammy will be here for that's special day as well, so that's huge for our Storyteller - he is so excited!  Many of his practices have been cancelled because of rainy weather or extreme cold, so he is anxious for the season to begin, but feels a bit rusty after a long winter of not playing ball.  We are so happy to have an organized coach this year - it's just such a blessing!  We've already gone through the schedule and realized that there are only two games that's he'll need to miss because of church activities, so he's pleased about that.  We always put church before sports and he understands that - hopefully his coach will too.  He'll need to tell his teammates why he will be missing those games, so hopefully he will be able to be a witness to them.  I know many parents don't feel the same way, but for our family, our children's grounding in the Word of God will always come before sports or other activities.  We know that God will honor putting Him first in our home.

Dreamer is diligently practicing for her very first Guild Piano Auditions at the end of this month - she has 9 classical pieces memorized - one more to go!  With each piece she has to know the key signature and play the scales for that key, both hands two octaves, along with the chords for that key.  It's a lot of work, but she is really loving it!  She really wants to to it!  

Two days after her audition she has her Spring Piano Recital and she is very happy that Poppa and Grammy will be here to hear her play.  
Yeah!  Another blessing to count!

 I made a Spring Wreath last week also - it is a total copycat inspired by the beauty of Emily Jones design - you can find here lovely wreath  at  Jones Design Company
Her whole blog is just lovely and she shares her talents sweetly so do take some time to 'look around' if you're looking for some creative inspiration!

My wreath is mostly  'up-cycled' - the linen was a beautiful designer skirt in it's former life, and I thrifted it for less than $1! I simply hated cutting it up but it didn't fit anyone I knew and was very stiff and heavy so I thought to make it into a purse, but I love it as a wreath.  The wreath form is a straw wreath that was used before.  The branches are from our yard and the nest was part of my spring mantle display last year.  The wool felt scraps were once a sweater!  Too fun!

It's time to get back to work and direct some home schooling and lunch preparation.  We are low on leftovers and fresh fruits and veggies - tomorrow is Happy Box Day and we are looking forward to the wonderful fresh food we receive each week! Last weeks mustard greens were not a big hit, but everything else was wonderful  The children enjoyed exploring a new taste  - eggplant.  It's not something I've ever bought, so it was fun.  We've had many fresh salads and lots of lovely organic fruit, though we are a bit tired of bananas.  If we get them again this week I've promised to make Plantanos Fritos for something new - apparently you can get tired of banana bread and muffins! I have lots of banana's in the freezer, so we are trying to be creative!I have a feeling some smoothies might be a good choice too.

Goodbye for now sweet friends 
- thanks for stopping by to visit. 
As always, I love your kind comments and all of the things you share! 

Happy Spring!

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  1. I am so glad your hands are starting to feel better. I talked with your mom this morning at Coffee Hour and we had a bit of a visit as we did the dishes afterward. Our home school curriculum is stuck in Canadian customs in Mississauga and has been since March 31! I'm praying it will come soon. Anyway, the point of this whole ramble is that I am glad you are starting to feel better and I know your mom is really looking forward to seeing you too =)


  2. It is so good to hear from you and an update on how things are going. I'm glad your hands are doing some better and I hope that you will at least be able to do some of the things you enjoy without too much trouble. The wreath is absolutely beautiful!!!! I will check out that blog. I am trying to sew felted flowers while Michael is away. Haven't had as much time as I hoped, but I'm still enjoying what time I get. 9 piano pieces memorized is pretty impressive. That is great that she is willing to work on that herself. Rachel and Andrew are each playing one piece tonight at a 4-H talent show. We'll see how it goes....

  3. I am just back to say that your wreath is even more stunning than the original. What a beautiful blog it came from! I'll be following it for ideas!

  4. This is my first visit to your blog ... and not my last ... and I have just glanced over it but I wanted to tell you how beautiful your wreath is! I'm not much of a wreath girl (no where to really put one) or of seasonal items (not much time for that) but THIS is one I'd find time to make and find a place to display. Totally beautiful!!!


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