Monday, April 1, 2013

q & a and easter delight

question: what do you do when one of your favorite cardigans gets a hole in it?

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answer: stick it in your scrap fabric pile until inspiration strikes. and when inspiration strikes, cut it up and make a flower for your daughter's easter ensemble.

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well she's obviously very excited about it!

this project was super easy. just cut a pile of rough circles (i just eyeballed them) and then pinch each one, sew up the end, and stitch together until you end up with a flower. you can't go wrong. (if you need better instructions, i kind of used these, but i kind of didn't.)

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but there was more to easter than silly flowers! we spent the morning worshiping our risen, death-conquering King Jesus at church and then headed over to the family gathering with ben's side.

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the Lord is risen! the Lord is risen, indeed!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

amish friendship bread and things that happen in the middle of the night

i don't know much about the amish but their friendship bread is going to do me in. have you ever been given an amish friendship bread starter? it's kind of like those chain letters we did in middle school. except infinitely more delicious.

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here's the short version: someone passes you a starter bag with ten days of instructions. most days are just squishing the bag, some days you add things (flour, milk, sugar). on day ten, you add more ingredients and split it into four parts in bags. adding more ingredients (baking powder, salt, etc.) you bake two loaves from what is left and give the four bags to four friends (or keep one for yourself if you want to do it again).

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it isn't gluten free, so i gave one loaf to our neighbors and ate the entire second loaf myself (over a period of days, guys. i do have a little self control.). it is SO GOOD. i am on day six of my second batch and my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

i must change the subject. and that is my transition into things that happen in the middle of the night. back in october, i wrote about being up with jane at 4am. then, i figured it wouldn't be too long before she slept through the night. she still doesn't, but i don't want to talk about that.

instead i want to share a small middle-of-the night moment that meant the world to me——three small words from my husband. jane had been crying so hard that ben came up to check on us. i think it was around 1am? ben went back to bed, but i rocked and sang to jane to settle her down. i fed her and put her down to sleep. when i found my way back to bed, ben sleepily thanked me for loving our girl. then he said, "i trust you."

i fell asleep pondering and cherishing those words from my husband. for a wife to have her husband's trust is no small thing (proverbs 31:11) and trust can be lost so quickly. i am not tooting my own horn here. all is grace. but i am gratefully and publicly thanking my husband for his affirming words that spur me on to work hard in my domain at home to demonstrate my love and respect for him. staying at home with our girl is a great honor and his hard work to provide for our family makes it possible. i don't take that lightly.

OH! and in other news, jane is officially a daddy's girl. she says "dad" and "dada" from morning 'til night. not sure she has any idea what it means but i like to think she does.

we love you, ben!

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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

our little easter tree

have you been to the dollar store lately? that place is a gold mine!

i picked up a few goodies there the other day and saw a lot of easter decorations. i've never done much to decorate for holidays other than Christmas, but i think starting our family has made me want to do more seasonal decorating to start traditions and memories. and easter is an incredible celebration. Jesus rose from the dead! i saw these easter egg ornaments at the dollar store and was inspired to make a little easter tree.

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i already had a white planter, and i trudged through the knee-deep snow to cut a branch from a tree in our front yard (this was by far the hardest part!). i scrounged for some styrofoam and used that as a base to stick the branch through and keep it upright.

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i covered the styrofoam with some shredded paper i had saved from a gift (i knew right where to get it since i organized my wrapping supplies!). then i just had to hang my sparkly eggs.

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yes, the branches are bare outside, but inside they carry glittery eggs! for one dollar this little tree sure brings some brightness into our home.

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have you found anything awesome at the dollar store recently? do tell! and are you putting up any decorations in your home to celebrate easter?


Thursday, March 7, 2013

jane: seven months

this month brought two little white teeth!

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

the gift to be simple

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our plans this morning were cancelled because of this mini snowstorm we're having. jane was playing and we were listening to jewel's lullaby. after the song "simple gifts" finished i put jane down for her nap, but the lyrics came back to me as i poured a cup of coffee and sat down with my bible study.

"'tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free." i remember reading about the shakers in elementary school. there was a picture in our music book showing shaker chairs that could be hung on the wall after use. they were attractive, but functional and practical. they were simple.

i cannot even put into words what God has been teaching me through the study of genesis in bsf this year. (this is the part where i start shaking my hands in the air as i talk because i am so excited.) truly. i am learning trust. obedience. waiting! and like the shaker song, i am learning that there is great freedom in living a simple life free from stuff!

ben and i are really watching our finances. i told myself that this season is so good for us. and then i realized that it is so silly to consider it a season. don't i want to watch my finances my whole life? don't i want to be a faithful steward of the talents (both literal money and intangible giftings) that God has given me? this is not easy. we live in a time when even a seemingly innocuous trip to target for groceries can become a battle against the temptation to bring home this cute little kitchen item or that great pillow that happens to be on clearance but wasn't a necessity until i saw it.

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true story: at home goods last week, i bought some baker's twine that i had been wanting for a long time. it was only ten dollars after all! the cashier rung up my purchase, and i looked down at it. i knew i didn't need it. i asked her right then and there to refund my purchase and i walked away without it. i don't miss it. dare i say i feel free?

proverbs 24 says: "by wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches."

ben does not decorate. i do. i want to have wisdom to fill our home with precious and pleasant riches and i want ben to trust that i am spending our money wisely. that doesn't mean i get to buy everything i want when i want it, even if i consider it a need. yes, we could use some more seating in our living room. i especially notice this when we have our small group over. but i can learn to wait and experience the sweetness of saving up for something. our bsf lesson this week emphasized the goodness of waiting. oh how it hit home with me!

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i know this is a random sampling of thoughts. they are connected in my head, but my head is a muddled place. i am thankful for our home. i am thankful for my family. i am so thankful for a patient God who has a tender heart toward His child who must be taught again and again to trust Him even in the simplest things (and that child would be me). thank you for being here with me this morning while i pour out my scrambled thoughts. i appreciate you and all your kind comments and support!




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