Thursday, December 10, 2009
Occasionally, in the midst of homemaking, I get this creative urge to make something beautiful that I can enjoy right away. Let's face it, baking, doing dishes, cleaning house, and grocery shopping just doesn't fulfill a creative desire (OK, it sometimes does, but the clean house or the cookies or the full pantry doesn't last very long).
When this urge hits me, I generally want to do a project that will not take too long to finish. Sometimes I pick up my paintbrush - I enjoy watercolors, sometimes I pull out scrap booking, sometimes I blog :), and sometimes I sew.
Last week I got the "creative bug" and started making a tea cozy that would fit my largest tea pot. I looked up different patterns and ended up using the instructions on a website called "The Rusty Bobbin". I couldn't get a link to work *grrrr* so just Goggle "rusty bobbin sews tea cozy" and you'll find it.
I also purposed to use only what fabric and notions I had on hand (to save money and to have a fun challenge). Applique is one of my favorite sewing methods because the projects are small and I can work on them while sitting with the family.
So, Ta Da....
I love RED, so there is red accents - if I had brown fabric, I probably would have chosen that instead of black, but I am happy with the black.
The main change I made from the directions, was to put a casing around the bottom and run a bit of elastic in it so that the cozy would "hug" my tea pot better.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
3. My Kids: I think I have some of the most forgiving kids in the world! They just keep loving this Momma of theirs and I am so humbled. Steven often comments that we are raising our best friends. :) While right now, I have to be teacher, guide, Momma, and bedroom inspector - I can see that someday, I will be free to enjoy a close friendship with these amazing people. I am getting glimpses of it with Millie now, and I LOVE it!
5. My Parents-In-Law: You know how you just can't out-give some people? Well, these are two of those people. They are always giving - to strangers, friends, fellow-believers and family. They raised 5 children and have 27 grandchildren (the oldest is 18). Dad has run a dairy farm and a construction business. He has a reputation as being upright and honest in all his dealings. He is the "lay-pastor" in our home fellowship and is often sought out for his council and wisdom. Mom is truly a "mother-heart" that has room in her time, home and arms for all who need her. She is a great cook - nothing beats Mom's roast beef or chicken. She has run a floral arranging business in the past and she did our wedding flowers.
6. My sil, Melodie: Mel is six years older than me and my husband's only sister. Right from when we met, we have been friends. She is so giving and sensitive to other's needs and hurts. Over the last month, as I have been struggling with this miscarriage and hormone changes, she has sent me several notes and gifts to encourage me. Her oldest kids are 5 years older than our oldest, so I have appreciated someone who I can talk to, ask questions of, and get ideas from. She has been so content in their little 1920's farm house - always showing hospitality and generosity. She is due to welcome their 10th baby in February.
7. My sil, Laurie: Laurie and I knew each other as kids, growing up in western Alberta. Then our family moved east to the prairies and I lost touch with her. It was such a surprise when she turned up at Prairie Bible Institute in our town - and caught the notice of Steve's older brother, Kevin. She is now my sister-in-law and the mother of 7! Laurie has been a true friend, especially the last few years since they moved into town. She has visited my Mom with me (she lost her mom 3 years ago and understands). She has made our family many meals when I have been ill or just had a baby. She is always honest and just herself... she couldn't be deceitful if her life depended on it! She always thinks the best of people is quick to praise any good she sees. I am always amazed at her example of "plodding". Laurie doesn't do spectacular, unusual things in her homeschooling, housekeeping or projects - but she plods... and by her faithfulness she accomplishes HUGE things.
8. My new sil, Emilie: I am still getting to know Emilie (married to Steve's youngest brother, Justin) - but the things that I appreciate about her already is her cheerfulness, creativity and servant attitude. In their few months of marriage, she has delivered 2 or 3 meals to my door to help when I was sick as well as taking the littlies to the park and other helpful things.
9. My community: My "little town on the prairie" has a pop. of 3500 and is in the middle of nowhere (it isn't "on the way" to anywhere). I have lived here for over 23 years. When I go "uptown" I am constantly greeted by name - people know my kids - they stop and ask how we are doing. It is a great community to raise a family in and we are thankful to be here.
10. My e-friends: I used to think that nothing could be more shallow than having friends that you only know through the computer. When I started a blog, it was to keep in touch with family and friends that we didn't see often... but it hasn't turned out that way. Many are just too busy to be bothered with checking in on our family or read what I have written - hey, I understand. Instead I have made many new friends (and met up with some old friends). Altogether, I have been encouraged and enriched by meeting other godly woman who want to honor the Lord in their homes and relationships. I have learned to love many of you and I think of and pray for you often - you are precious women! My husband was VERY sceptical of me contacting people this way - but he has been won over! He even asks about your families and activities. :)
Well that was longer than I though it would be... but I am just overflowing with thankfulness!
Oh not! I forgot someone! Steven's dear Aunt Ardith! This woman is one of the most gracious, composed, generous, thoughtful, compassionate and kind people I know. I was actually going to post something about her on my other blog, "At The Rose Cottage", so I will keep this concise and just say that the Lord has used "A.A." in our lives for a tremendous blessing!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Abundance is realizing what you already posses that no money could buy: joy, love, peace and freedom.
Early in our marriage, my husband included in his prayers this verse, Proverbs 30:8 "Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me." Truly the Lord has honored that in his life. We always have "enough". At times I do feel discontent, but always the issue comes down to my attitude, not the situation.
Deceivingly, our society has led us to define our abundance by comparison. Then the extremely rich, unnaturally beautiful, and uniquely successful are paraded in front of us on every TV, magazine and media - truly "vanity and lies". Even the most stout at heart can fall victim to comparison.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
So many of my experiences since married has been accompanied by the clasp of his hand.
Reflecting on the first time that he held my hand, I remembered the Christmas that his folks had my family over for dinner. Steven and I had been dating for over a year but we had been very careful of our physical contact. That night, we went for a walk in the moonlight... and the extreme cold! We were standing down behind the barn, leaning on the heavy white wooden gate looking over the moonlit pasture when he asked me if he might hold my hand. :D
Then there was the first time we held hands as husband and wife.
Over the years, most of my memorable moments have been experienced with my hand in his. He held it through:
~the births of our seven babies
~visiting my mother in nursing homes
~the funerals of family and friends
~waiting for our little Sunny to come out of surgery
~quiet walks and strolls, over cups of tea
~sitting next to each other while driving - except if I am driving he insists I use both hands :)
~lying next to each other at night, visiting about the day, discussing our hopes and dreams
~and then there are those little clasps and squeezes as we pass in our day.
So much of my life is defined by that touch of his.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Wafe and Kinners are helping Steve at the shop this week, so they did their chores at home, practiced their music lessons and then headed for the shop. They left at 9:30.
So it was just me and the littlies left at home. I had a short rest and then we did their phonics lesson.
We call the boys at 12:15 (Steve is usually able to come home for lunches and I just give his cell a ring when it is ready). By 12:30, they still are not home, so I call them again. Steve had had some machinery going so did not heard the first call. They hurry home and Kinners eats fast so he can be ready in time for swimming lessons at 1:00.
12:50 I leave the house with Kinners and Sunny and head for the pool (only 6 blocks away).
They make it to their classes on time and I go and sit in the observer's seating with the other Moms. A girl I know, Cristine, comes over to visit. She lives up the street from us and Steve did quite a bit of finishing work in their heritage Eaton's home a few years ago.
(Usually, I either go for a walk or have a nap right after lunch. Having swimming lessons really disrupts our day, but it is only for a short time and it is worthwhile.)
Visiting made the hour pass quickly and soon the kids were heading for the change rooms. I told them that they had to get changed quickly today as I had an appointment after. They were very quick and we were in the van by 2:10. That gave me just enough time to drop them off at home and head up for my Dr.'s appointment at 2:15 (I got their at 2:18 and didn't have to wait at all!).
The appointment went good. The doctor thought it was kind of silly to want progesterone cream, but he agreed to give me a prescription for it (YEA!) - as long as I did not use it until after Friday's blood work to check my thyroid. He was alarmed that I was still bleeding and booked me an emergency ultra-sound to check if any placenta is still retained. That is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. He is really a great doctor and I am so thankful that he is a believer.
3:00 - After the appointment, I stopped off at Steve's shop to tell him about what the Dr. said. We visited for a few minutes and discussed how to work things with the kids tomorrow if I run into the city to have the ultra-sound. I also like stopping by to see how his projects are progressing. The octagon shaped island that he is building right now has a heavy, octagon pillar in the middle of it from the counter to the ceiling. Steve has hand carved roses up the pillar and the boys are fine-sanding the carving.
The holes cut at the bottom of the pillar are for electrical outlet boxes.
3:30 - Home again. The little ones are just getting up from naps and I get them a snack. I then phone the music teacher to switch tomorrow's lesson time to accommodate my appointment.
4:00 - I plan on having baked spaghetti tonight, so I get the hamburger browning and gather ingredients for the sauce. I put on a John Mcdermmot CD while I work and put my casserole together to the notes of "Scotland the Brave", and "Danny Boy". I then cut up a green salad.
5:20 - I called Steve for supper (we usually eat at 5:30). I then get out the laptop to work on this post while I wait for him.
6:00 - Steve is not home yet, so we are going to go ahead and eat. If he is late, it is usually because one of his brothers, his dad, a fellow contractor or a customer had stopped by for a visit after work. It is nice for him when this happens as he has usually worked by himself most the day.
Steve got home at 6:30 - we were mostly done supper. I stayed at the table to visit with him while he ate.
7:00 - After supper, he asked me to do some computer work for him. The older children did their chores and the little ones played while Steve and I worked in the office. I purchased most of our hunting licences online, discovered that they did not issue us enough pre-numbered tags. I looked up where the Fish and Wildlife office is in Red Deer so I can pick up some more tags after getting my ultra-sound. The office turned out to be about 4 blocks away from the medical office so that will make it easy for me.
I will also get groceries for the next 2 weeks while I am in the city tomorrow. I also need some clothes... and I would REALLY like to get to the fabric store... but there will only be a few hours to work with.
I got our monthly bulk produce list today and I put my order together and emailed it - I ordered 35# of butternut squash, 1 box of tangerines (for making juice in the mornings), 1 box of bananas and 1 box of grapefruit (a box is generally 40#). I still have enough apples from last month's order. I will share lemons, lettuce, cucumbers and broccoli with my SILs.
Steve was working on an estimate for a kitchen while I did the computer work. When he was done, I scanned his drawings sent off several emails for him.
9:00 - Oh dear, it has gotten late. Usually I read stories to the little ones at 8:00 and they are in bed at 8:30! Tonight I read one short story, prayed with the four youngest and got them to bed quickly.
Then we had devotions with the older children and they were off to bed at 10:00 - again a bit later than usual (the theme of today!).
It is now 10:15 - I am going to work on this post for a few more minutes, read some on friend's blogs, have a shower and then snuggle in bed. I recently switched to having my personal bible reading once I am in bed (instead of in the morning as I usually hit the ground running in the morning and to sit down, interrupted just doesn't happen!) and I try to have the lights out by 11:00.
That was my "ordinary day". I am always so thankful when everyone is safe at home after a busy day - I have so much to be thankful for!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Robert Louis Stevenson
The earth yields a bounty:
from the field...
... from the forest...
With some harvest, we fill our larder...