Friday, March 30, 2007

The Perfect Vacuum

So, I have a floor fetish. I am sure you are all tired of hearing about me and my floors. I vacuum almost every day. I like clean floors. What can I say? Well, about a year ago, James bought me this awesome Dyson vacuumn. I adore it. You can't get a better vacuum than this.

So, when I saw this contest over at 5 Minutes for Moms, I knew I just had to share it with all of you. You have got to sign up to win this vacuum. It is very easy. Just go check out this contest.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed if you win this contest. I love my vacuum.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Friends

Well, it certainly has been long enough since the big blog party hosted by 5 minutes for Moms to get my new friends introduced. I was supposed to introduce you all to some new friends I made during the party and...well....I guess time got away from me. (again!!!!)

So, without further ado. I would like to introduce you to a new friend. I love this blog. I found it while blog surfing the huge Mr Linky list and have been back to visit many times. I wish I could leave comments each time I visit, but alas, time is not on my side. I barely have time to read the blogs that I do. I am very selective about the blogs I add to my sidebar due to the fact that if a blog is in my sidebar, I am reading it. And if I don't have time to read blogs, I don't add them to my sidebar.

But Lily of the Valley is such a sweet and uplifting blog. I love to stop by there and read it. She is a fellow sister in Christ who has alot of the same interests as I do. She is a homemaker and, I feel, a Proverbs 31 woman of noble character. (the kind of lady I strive to be)

Another blog I will be adding to my sidebar is a special blog. She is a dear sweet sister in the Lord and someone who has become a very dear friend of mine. She was (is) my secret pal this round. The really fun element to this whole round was as a secret pal coordinator, I get to pick my own secret pal. So, I handpicked her. I just knew we would be kindred spirits.

I introduce to you, Hearts Crochet. She praises the Lord in each and every post she writes. I love her sweet spirit and gentle attitude.

Stop by both those blogs sometime and meet some truly wonderful ladies. I can't wait to have them over for tea at my cottage in heaven. I hope they both accept my invitation.

Now I really am off to work on Chloe's Easter dress. (after I put her to bed, that is.) Check back tomorrow. I may have a little preview of the dress. You never know.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things on my Want To-Do List

I have a To-Do list and then I have a Want To-Do list. These are two very different things. On my to-do list are such things as fold laundry, scrub the toilet and type crochet pattern. My Want To-Do list is very different though. On it are the things I dream about crocheting every time I sit down with a hook. These are the items that I look at each time I visit Crochet Pattern Central just to drool over. They are the things that I really want to do but never seem to find the time. (what with all my WIPS and Design ideas, you know...story of my life, right?)

Anyways, here are 13 things from that list. (note: this is not an all-inclusive do that we would need about a thousand more things on Thursday. Thursday One Thousand Thirteen. Doubt anyone would go for that)

1. A Touch of the Irish Doily - just a pretty doily that would be quite easy to make. Plus it would make a lovely addition to my 37 Doily Challenge.

2. Dragonfly Afghan - funny thing is, I saw this as a complete project over on the ville...actually saw two in one day...and when I saw the book in AC Moore one day, I just had to buy it. Isn't it the cutest afghan??? I love it. I think I would do the same exact colors too.

3. The Rose Doily - I am falling in love with Irish Crochet. (but more on that another time. Can't give anything away for "secrety purposes".

4. The Rose Doily - different from the one above and simply stunning. It reminds me of my grandmother and I simply must have it.

5. Fleur de Lys Doily - a gorgeously lacy doily. I think of a vintage home whenever I look at this doily. I love it.

6. Irish Rose Doily - Another irish crocheted doily. I love the center of this one. Very unique.

7. Romantic Rose Doily - The name is very fitting. It truly is romantic. I love this doily.

8. Laura Ingalls Wilder Doily - Just because I love Laura Ingalls Wilder. I think I need to have something designed by her herself. How cool would that be???

9. Tuscany Tank Dress - I love this dress. I would probably make it a tad bit longer and wear a good slip under it, but the dress is gorgeous.

10. Daisy Skirt - I am very tempted to make this skirt for Easter this year. (that is...if I get Chloe's dress done in time) I love this skirt.

11. Mussel Lace Skirt - I love the laciness of this skirt. I would make the dense portion a bit longer as I think its too "sexy" for my taste...but I still love the skirt.

12. Vintage Baby Frock - I love the idea of using laceweight alpaca silk for a dress for Chloe. And its vintage too. How cool is that? I would love to make this dress for her.

13. Irish Crochet Tablecloth - as if I didn't have enough on my plate with the tablecloth I am currently working on. (and have been for the past 8 years.) But this one is next up once I finish the other one. Either that or this one. I can't make up my mind.

So, thats all for today. As I said...there are many other things on my "want to-do" list...but I can only list 13 today. Maybe I will list more next week. (as you can tell...I snuck another one in there for number 13. I am very tricky!)

Have a wonderful day everyone. I'm off to work on Chloe's Easter dress. (which may or may not include size 80 thread) It is coming along nicely and is one of my most gorgeous dresses yet. I can't wait until its done. Let's just say dainty and lacy and frilly all in one!!! (of course it would be that with size 80 thread...but, you know...)

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Blowing Bubbles in Barefeet

I can't believe the weather we had yesterday. It was absolutely gorgeous! This winter has been a little bit hard on me. I am not used to such cold weather. We lived for 2 years in Arizona (which is the land I love) and then spent a year in England. The weather in England could not be considered warm compared to Arizona but it is definately NOT "cold". We have spent the past 2 and a half years in Louisiana. (again...pretty warm) and now we are up north in the cold. And when I say cold, I do mean COLD!!! Snow. Ice. Cold.

I am a little tired of it and have been longing for spring about Novemeber. Well, I got it yesterday. It was warm enough for tank tops and barefeet. It was Chloe's first official day in barefeet. (besides in the house in Louisiana...but that doesn't count.) We ran around outside in barefeet and it was beautiful.

And what better thing to do on a lazy day basking in the warm sunshine than to blow bubbles. should have heard the giggles. How can a little plastic tub of $1 bubbles entertain a toddler for so long? I don't know...but we had a blast.

Today was shopping day with the Pastor's wife. Chloe was a perfect little angel the entire time. (a good thing when this was our first shopping adventure with the pastor's wife. Did I mention it was the Pastor's wife???) She is a dear though. A real dear. And she knows how to bargain shop. Let me tell you. I wish I could show you what she helped me buy today...but is still at the store. I have to wait until tomorrow for James to pick it up. (maybe tonight. I forgot his school is cancelled today.) Once it gets home I will take a picture of it for you. It is a desk with a hutch on it for my sewing room and its perfect for storing all my books on. (well...more like half my books on) I can't wait. I will be sanding, priming and painting it white. Yum!!

So, let me show you what I bought and brought home today. Can you guess??? Need I even tell you???

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Okay. You can quit rolling your eyes now. First let me explain something to you. I got these at the Salvation Army thrift store. Okay? They were $1.99 each. Right? That is cheaper than even the used bookstore I frequently shop at. Second, I don't have any of these books in my collection and they are practically new. So, you don't need to roll your eyes and mutter under your breath. I admit it. I have an addiction to books. I like this addiction though and I highly doubt its going anywhere.

So, you know its pretty bad though when you buy books at an antique store. Aren't you supposed to buy things like old chairs and seaman's chests at antique stores??? Not me. I buy books.

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Okay now...really. You can knock it off with the eye rolling!!! (its getting on my nerves) You have to understand. I wasn't planning on buying any books when I entered the antique shop. They just kind of jumped out at me. First was the Irish poetry book. How cool is that??? Then it was an antique Louisa May Alcott book. I HAD to have it you see. I did! Then, as I was about to pay for my purchases, I noticed some Grace Livingston Hill books in a small corner of a large cabinet filled with antiquey porclain-like things. I HAD to buy at least one. I have quite a collection of Grace Livingston Hill books that my mother gave to me. I love them. I had to buy one. Don't you see it now? (I am sure it will make sense if you think about it long enough) I need books. I just need them. I see them and I immediately need them. Now if only I could explain it so rationally to James. He doesn't see it the way I do. I have tried the whole "computer" know, the "your computer parts cost this much and my books cost that much so it equals out" but for some reason he doesn't get it. (maybe he doesn't want to get it???)

I didn't only buy books today though. Wednesday is half off day at the Salvation Army and so I found a little robe for Chloe to play dress up with.

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This will make a lovely addition to her dress up chest. (I was actually looking for said chest today at the antique store. Her dress up clothes are in a plastic storage tote that fits under the bed...well...used to fit under the bed but is now overflowing so it is sitting next to my bed.) I think it would be fun to have them in a chest.

I also bought a lovely little teacup and saucer at the antique store.

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I can't wait to get that tea shelf finished so I can hang all my tea cups up. (well...not ALL of them...they won't all fit.) The pastor's wife is such a sweetie. She found out that I love pink. (more like adore it) She also found out that I love tea cups and china. So, look at all these things she gave me.

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A beautiful set of teacups and a creamer bowl. Notice the pink flowers??? Gorgeous.

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Two little saucers. I might use these for a tea party...or I may hang them on the wall above my window in the dining room/kitchen. Haven't made up my mind yet. And do you see the pink flowers????

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And more pink flowers. Isn't it beautiful? I love it. It would be perfect to serve some petit fours or crumpets on. Ohhh...I really want to have a tea party. (gotta get my doily place settings done first. If this isn't motivation, I don't know what is)

And favorite. This is the most gorgeous plate I have ever owned.

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I love this one. I don't know what I am going to do with it yet...but it will be special whatever it is. I told you the pastor's wife is sweet. She really is. While at the Antique store, she asked me if I wanted to share a booth with her there to sell my purses and dresses at. I am so excited. We might have a booth there as soon as May. (I think she wants to aim for April 1 but I don't think I can be ready that soon. I still have to finish Chloe's Easter dress and a few last minute things for my secret pal) But how cool is that??? I am pretty excited about it. I will keep you all posted about that endeavor.

Well, I hear a conversation going on between Chloe and Mickey Mouse. Both of whom should be asleep right now but apparantly are not. I must intervene. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Tackling the Tea Shelf

My dear pastor's wife bought me this tea shelf. It is to hang all my teacups up for display. You see...they currently reside in a brown cardboard box in the basement shower. (which isn't working at this time)

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So I will attempt to sand this thing, prime it and adhere a coat of white paint to it. Think it will look good??? Check back later for the after picture.

And now...a few hours later, I have gotten the first coat of primer on. Silly me decided to sand this thing in the basement. *shaking head* I don't know where I get my brilliant ideas...but now I have a weird taste in my throat. (not my was closed. Can't very well close your nose) Anyways, I got smarter as time went on and I moved outside to prime the shelf.

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I am posting this picture while it is drying and by the time I am done, it should be completely dry. It is HOT out there. Not just warm...but hot. James claims it is going to hit 80 degrees today. YAY!!! I only hope we don't have an ice storm tomorrow. (since that is what happened last time it got warm like this) But this heat is nice for drying paint.

Check back later to see more results.

Monday, March 26, 2007

24 Hour Scrapghan

Just a quick post tonight. Wanted to show you what I spent the last 24 hours working on. For some reason, all that thread got to me and I needed a little break. (or could it be the desire for a gold medal in the stashbusting CAL this week?) Anyways, yesterday evening I decided to start another scrapghan. James goes to feed the homeless with the pastor and a couple of other people from the church every Monday evening and I thought it would be nice for them to take an afghan with them. So, here is what I whipped up.

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I used this Stained Glass Window Afghan pattern. I am not completely pleased with the results. If I hadn't been in such a hurry to get it done (so hubby could take it tonight) I would have redone the edgings on the panels. The way the pattern is written causes the edges to pucker up. I don't like it. Another reason it puckers so bad is because I used scraps. ALL scraps. I loved the idea of having different textures incorporated into the afghan, but now I am rethinking my decision. Oh well. It is done and its okay. It will keep someone warm.

The next time I do this pattern though, I think I will just do it in double crochets with a double crocheted edging. It will be thicker for one thing and it won't pucker so bad.

I wanted to post the link to the Strawberry Shortcake recipe I used for Chloe's birthday party. I have been asked to share the recipe but I don't feel comfortable posting it on the blog since I am unsure of copyrights on recipes. So, the recipe can be found here on the all recipes website.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Stashbusting the Thread

If you would like to earn major points for your stashbusting efforts, then I would highly recommend you NOT bust your thread stash. I doubt you will get many points. You see...for me it all started a couple of days ago. I receieved a lovely 50% off coupon from AC Moore. Not the normal 40% off, but a whole 50! What a glorious day. Dreams started forming in my head of all the things I could buy with this treasure.

But then it hit me. I knew what I had to get. PURSE HANDLES. So, after James took me out to eat, I asked him if we could stop by AC Moore on the way home. (he seems to have this idea that I finagled him into this. As if I had only suggested "dinner out" as a ploy to get him to drive me to the craft store. What? Me? No! Don't be silly!)

He dropped me off at the front door and I knew my time was limited. Very limited. (for some reason, he thinks I take too long in craft stores. I wonder where he would get such an idea?) I hurried to the only department I thought would carry such an item as purse handles. The YARN department. I was on a mission. (and time was running out.)

Alas, no handles could be found. I searched up and down all five aisles in the yarn department without even stopping to pet one single skein. Not one!!! How could they not have any? What was I too do? I didn't have much more time. I stopped the nearest sales store associate and asked him. He took me to the one and only handle they carried. ONE! That was it. And time ran out.

As I turned to leave, a book sitting with all the other books behind me caught my eye. I gingerly picked it up (looking around me to make sure hubby couldn't see me from the car) and thumbed through it. What would it hurt? Nothing. Nobody. I did have a coupon that needed to be used (one cannot waste such a precious treasure as 50% off) and I already had the book in my hand. The generously alloted time was up so the wonderful book came home with me.

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Do you know what that is? Why its only a book of the cutest little doilies but the worlds BEST designer. Patricia Kristofferson. (only the BEST!!!!) I love this book. I came home and immediately commensed crocheting some. Three that evening and two the next morning.

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I am in love with this book. They are so quick and easy. Only thing is that some of them are actually too small to even be a coaster. (maybe I need to adjust my gauge a tad to make them larger) Anyways, a few of these might even become RAOK's over at the ville.

In other ville type news I joined a new CAL this week. (crochet along for all you non-crochet forum message board lingo type people) The Crinoline Lady CAL. I love Crinoline Ladies. I bought a few from Cylinda over at Crochet Memories last summer (a wonderful website by a truly sweet lady) and I even made one. I never got around to making the other two until this new CAL popped up. Now, all of a sudden, I needed to make them. I couldn't resist the urge. (who can?)

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Isn't she gorgeous? I thought so too. So much so that I went back and bought 4 more ladies from Cylinda. They don't really help in the stashbusting efforts though. I mean, I didn't get a single point for the lady and the doilies up above only got me two points. So, in a week of stashbusting thread, I got TWO POINTS! This is my reason for not recommeding busting thread stashes if you wish to acquire many points. It won't work.

Its time for an abrupt subject change. Do you know what yesterday was??? FRIDAY!!! Do you know what that means??

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Yup! That's right! Playdoh day! I have missed playdoh day something fierce. A few weeks ago my darling husband did a really nice thing. He got out the playdoh for Chloe to play with. Only he left the room shortly after doing so. (I don't call or something like that) Apparantly Chloe soon tired of playing with it by herself (since I only let her play with it if I am playing too. Its one of those mommy and Chloe playthings) and she got down to find something else to do. I walked onto the scene about 3 hours later to find dead plahydoh. Oh. I know I could have resuscitated the poor stuff with a "few drops of water and mashing it around and a few more drops of water and mashing it around again" for about 20 minutes but I just didn't feel like it. Plus I knew what I got Chloe for her birthday.

So, yesterday I got out all these nifty little playdoh tools. Aren't they great???

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They have helped our sculptures advance dramatically to the next level. I never knew we had it in us. Check out what Chloe made.

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We call it "midnight sky." Yes! She DID make that. I helped, of course. But its amazing what you can do with a good set of tools.

Well, today is the day. The BIG day! We will be taking apart Chloe's crib and making it a toddler bed. Oh...I don't know but that I will shed a few tears over this. Motherhood is so bittersweet. I love it that my darling little girl is growing up, but I hate it that my darling little girl is growing up. Each new day brings new joys but it also means that old days are left behind. Bittersweet. I look forward to the new days but I miss the old days. All I can say is that Chloe is the sweetest little girl and I have never had so much fun in my whole life.

I must go for now. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Words I Love

I love words. Especially descriptive words that evoke strong, sentimental feelings from my soul. I thought it might be interesting to post 13 words that I find stimulating. These are not neccessarily my "favorite" words since I probably can't think of those off the top of my head. These are just cool words I like that pop in my head at this very moment in time.

1) Whimsical ~ given to whimsy or fanciful notions (this IS one of my favorites. I love this word. And I think perhaps I am given to whimsy or fanciful notions from time to time.)

2. Lackadaisical ~ without interest, vigor, or determination; listless; lethargic (I don't really care about the meaning of this word. I just like the sound of it and how it rolls off my tongue. A very fun word to speak.)

3. Chocolate ~ a preparation of the seeds of cacao, roasted, husked, and ground, often sweetened and flavored, as with vanilla. (of course, this is one of my favorite words. Need you ask why???)

4. Onamonapia ~ a word, or occasionally, a grouping of words, that imitates the sound it is describing, and thus suggests its source object, such as “bang” or “click”, or animal such as “moo”, “oink”, “quack” or “meow”. (I just like this word alot)

5. Dainty ~ of delicate beauty; exquisite (just a nice, descriptive word I use alot)

6. Exquisite ~ of special beauty or charm, or rare and appealing excellence, as a face, a flower, coloring, music, or poetry. (isn't the sound of this word just exquisite????)

7. Silly ~ absurd (I love to call things - or people - silly. I love the word and the things that the word describes. I love all things silly)

8. Giggle ~ laugh (doesn't this word just bring a smile to your face? You can't help but be happy when you read, or say, this word.)

9. Confuzzled ~ this is a word I made up. It is a cross between two words. confused and befuddled. (I added the z's in there simply because I like z's - and it sounds better with z's.)

10. Muddle ~ confusion (I just like the sound of this word. It reminds me of befuddled - which is another one of my favorites)

11. Lovely ~ charmingly or exquisitely beautiful (a word used quite a bit in England, which happens to be where I fell in love with it.)

12. Charmingly ~ pleasing; delightful (don't you just love the way this word tingles your tongue?)

13. Delightful ~ giving great pleasure or delight; highly pleasing (I love it when things are delightful and I love to call them delighful. I just love this word.)

There are many more words I like...maybe I will have another Thursday Thirteen dedicated to words. You never know, since I do whatever floats into my little brain at any given time.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Time is NOT on My Side

Do you recall that song? It goes something like..." on my side. Yes it is!" Well, obviously, time is NOT on my side. I don't think it ever was. Yesterday, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and all of a sudden last Thursday she turned 2 years old. TWO YEARS OLD! Somehow, she grew when I blinked. I don't know how this happened. I am sitting here literally shaking my head. I can't figure this one out.

The past two years have been some of the best in my life though. I have grown so much and learned more than I ever thought a person could learn. I have loved more than I ever thought possible. I never knew a person could love another person with so much abandon. So much "unconditional" love.

Chloe's birthday party last Friday was so much fun. She opened every single gift with awe and excitement. I loved watching her. I have promised pictures and here they are. (better late than never...right?)

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My darling girl in the outfit I made for her birthday. It is my Sweet Indulgence Set. The hat for this set (not pictured) was the very first item I ever designed. I crocheted this skirt in one day and the sweater the afternoon before the party.

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Here is Chloe opening her gifts. See? I told you she was a pro at it.

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Our pastor and his wife came and gave Chloe some books and this doll. She is a sweet little doll who can suck her thumb. Ahhhhhhh!!! (I typed that since I know many of you are saying it at this point. Thought I would help you out.)

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The theme of her party was strawberry shortcake and so you know I had to make a strawberry shortcake. It is a real shortcake. (need you ask???) I always have to make my cakes from scratch. (almost always) This was no angel food cake type cake. was the good old fashioned shortcake. YUM!!! (I even got a request to make this for Easter Dinner at the pastor's house)

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Okay...I know you can see the cake in this picture, but I really wanted you to see Chloe and her dollhouse. This was the most exciting thing for me. And guess what!!!! Do I know my daughter, or what? She adored the dollhouse. She plays with it every chance she gets. (and she even gets her daddy to play with her with it.)

I won't bore you to death with more pictures. I just wanted to tell you something else that has struck me lately. A friend of mine was telling me just how much Chloe looks like both James and I. I never really noticed it much before. She has always looked like James so much. But the past week, ever since she turned two, I have noticed that she looks like me when I was her age. I was adopted when I was two so I don't know what I looked like before that. But she looks like I did when I was two. I looked at her today and I could have sworn I was looking in a mirror. (the whole "time" thing again.) Nothing can replace that feeling. To have someone look like you. Those of you who aren't adopted will not know what this feels like. It is amazing to me. Simply amazing.

Well, I need to run. Have a blessed evening everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Management Binder: Menus

The next tab in my management binder contains everything food related. A very important part of "keeping house".

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As you can see, I found a lovely picture of a tea set for my tab picture. I really do feel that personalizing your binder so that you LOVE it will help you do those chores you would rather not do. My verse on this tab is another one from my favorite chapter of the Bible. Proverbs 31.

Proverbs 31:15

"She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food forher family and portions for her servant girls."

I love this verse. Even though I don't have a human girl as my servant (although I strongly wish I had one or two...just to warm my pajamas for me at night and comb my hair in the morning. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Breakfast in bed every morning????) I consider my dishwasher one of my servants...and the washing machine...and the vacuum. Can you imagine what it would be like to beat your rugs with a broom every spring??? Talk about spring cleaning!!! I much prefer my vacuum a couple times a week.

Anyway, this is about food...not floors. So, the first thing in this section is my menu plan. Sometimes I do this a week at a time...sometimes a month. (depending on how venturesome I feel while working on it) I plan out the main meals only. I don't get into all the details of each and every meal. I keep rice, veggies and other little side dishes on hand all the time so I just throw some things together depending on how we feel that evening.

Lunches consist of veggies and sandwhiches most days. (except weekends) We also eat the same thing for breakfast every morning. Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. (or lately we had some Honey Nut Cheerios that we ate a couple of mornings) I also keep tons of fresh fruit and veggies on hand for snacks and a quick side dish.

The next page is my current list. When I sit down to plan my menu, I also write the items I need for that menu on my list. Throughout the week as I run out of things, I jot them down onto this list. Then, when Thursday (errand day) comes along, I have my list all ready to go.

The next few pages are very important to me in the meal planning stage. I have a list of our favorite recipes so that I know at a glance at least one or two things I can cook that week that I KNOW we like.

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This is my Dinner List. I also have one for breakfasts, lunches and desserts. If I ever am asked to bring a dessert to church, I do not have to rack my forgetful brain for a good recipe that I like and know how to cook well. I have it written down on my Dessert List. It comes in very handy. One thing I am planning on adding to these lists is the page number and the cookbook that each recipe comes from. I know what they are but if someone were here to help me out after a baby or something, they would need to know where to find our favorite recipes.

I also use this section for planning out party menus and such. I keep all food related items in this section. That is all I have for this week. I hope I have been able to give you some ideas. I love my "management binder". It saves my life time and time again. When in doubt, I check my binder and it tells me where I need to be and what I need to be doing.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

God Knows Best

I don't know what God is doing but I do know that He knows best. I cannot understand the things He does sometimes, but He does know best. I can think of two reasons why maybe God waited until the day after Chloe's party to allow a little visitor to stop by our house.

One reason being that maybe He wanted me to fully enjoy Chloe's party without the knowledge that there would be no baby for us this month. I am sure it would have made me sad during Chloe's party.

The second reason I can think of is that with all the excitement of playing with Chloe's toys, I wouldn't think so much on sad things. (toys are very much on my "fun" list and I believe that I enjoy playing with them just as much as Chloe does.) I was so excited about playing with her today that I haven't even cried about the sad news. I am also wondering if maybe I am coming more to terms with God's decision to not grant us a baby each month and that its getting easier for me. I don't know.

I am thankful that God knows best though. I happen to think I would be a great mother to lots of children. But I know that I am a great mother to one child. I have the privilege of raising up ONE child for the Lord and I am grateful for that. I shall not dwell on things that are not. I shall play with dollhouses and playdough and rejoice in my Lord for the many blessing He has given me.

Later this weekend I will have pictures of the fun we had last night. Now I must be off to get ready for my scrapbooking tonight and then play with Chloe before I leave. (she got this fantastic dollhouse that I have been dying to play with.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Dare I Hope???

December of 2005 we decided to start trying for a second baby. We had heard all the stories of how the second baby takes longer to conceive than the first (our first took us one try.)so we started trying about 7 months early just in case. We wanted our children to be 2 years apart. That seemed to us the perfect space between them. And it would also give me enough time to have my 7 or 8 before I am an old lady. (my secret...or not so secret...dream is to have 12-16 kids)

Well, it is a year and 3 months later and still no baby. I thought I would be holding a newborn baby by now. My hope was that this very month I would have one. The same month as little Chloe's birthday. (which is tomorrow...YAY!!!!) But God had other plans. I don't know what they are yet...but I know He has them and I trust him.

Well, as of today I am 3 days late. (all you women out there know what I mean) I feel a slight glimmer of hope rising up within my soul and I am trying my best to beat it down. Dare I hope??? Dare I get a little excited??? What if I get excited only to have a visitor show up five minutes later. How long do I beat the rising hope into submission? I have held onto hopes in the past only to be crushed and I just can't bear it to be crushed again. So, I go through the days telling myself the visitor will show up any minute. And yet, this hope is rising. A glimmer. Barely visible. I find my heart faintly whispering, "please?". Just a quiet hush of a whisper, spoken only to Father.

I have two days to prepare for Chloe's birthday party (which is Friday night) and so I will be busy...keeping myself completely occupied. Maybe that way I won't think about it and the hope won't come. Maybe. I doubt it but maybe. Dare I hope?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tackle It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Tackling Doilies

I cheated again this week. I didn't feel like tackling Chloe's hope chest. I fully understand what Tackle It Tuesday is all about. The point is to tackle the items on your to-do list that seem to never come off the to-do list. But I just didn't feel like it today.

You see...I am behind on things once again. (I know, I know. *shaking head sadly* When am I NOT behind???) But Chloe's birthday is Thursday...meaning her party is Friday (lucky for me that gives me an extra day to get things done) and I don't have her outfit done. I was meaning to make something in pink kind of sweet and indulgency but that is not going to happen. At least not this year. So, I am opting to finish another outfit I started last week. I know I can get it done tomorrow. I only have a portion of the skirt left and then the top and I know exactly what I am going to to.

But, I also had to crochet her doily this week for her hope chest. I crochet her a doily every year for her birthday and so I needed to get that done as well. So, I cheated and called this my tackle for the day.

Here is Chloe's doily. (not blocked)

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It is a PK Mini doily from the book "Dainty Little Doilies" and is called Cosomos. Many of you might recognize this doily. I made one for a Christmas gift for 2006. is quick and fun and gorgeous in that peach thread - which was a scrap ball of leftover thread so I was stashbusting at the same time. Hooray! And since I decided to stashbust while crocheting her doily, I used up the rest of the ball and made another doily.

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This one is from the same book...different designer and is called Perpetual Petals. Another quick and fun doily. I have yet to decide if I am keeping this one for myself or giving it to Chloe or maybe my Secret Pal??? Hmmm....too many decisions.

But, the whole thread stashbusting spree was not over. I completed a third "Dainty Little Doily". Yes!!! 3 doilies in one day!!! I was on a roll...I just couldn't stop myself. Would you have quit if you had a hook that was practically flying? I think not!

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From the same book yet again, this doily is called Kalidescope. (not a PK doily either) I actually ran out of thread on this one so the last round used up another tiny amount of leftover thread. So, this doily actually got me two points.

Once I get these doilies blocked I will take better pictures of them (including my famous...or not so shots) and I will also add them to the appropriate galleries in my side bar for future visitors.

Some of you are wondering why I am getting points and what all that means??? I am part of a stashbusting crochet along at the ville and we get 2 points for every full skein or ball of yarn we use up and 1 point for every used skein or ball we use. The opposite rings true too...for every skein or ball we buy or inherit we lose one or two points. So, I am not allowed to buy any more yarn or thread until I "bust my stash". (which is going quite well. I have almost 200 points and have only been stashbusting for 3 weeks.) My reward will be that I get to buy more yarn. So, I am going to buy the yarn to make this coat. Okay...there are two coats there. That is because I have yet to decide which one I am going to make. They both are to die for...but I am leaning toward the knee length one. I have been dreaming of a knee length coat for quite some time now.

Anyways. I have another item to show you. I forgot to show you all this a couple of weeks ago when I made it so I will show you now. It is a gift for Chloe for her birthday. I am hoping to get at least two more outfits done by Friday. (think I can do it??? I doubt it)

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I used Bernat Cool crochet for this outfit. It turned out darling. I am having a hard time finding good yarn to use with the patterns in my Crochet for Barbie book. They all call for expensive yarns that I would have to order off the internet. Oh well...maybe someday Barbie can afford the cashmere/silk blend...but for now she will have to do with the cotton/nylon blend. I really do like this yarn though. Not as nice as Paton's Grace but it is now pretty high up on my list. I do like Red Heart Lustersheen better than this as well. Bernat Cool crochet is a tad bit thicker and I like the thinner yarns. But it has a nice feel and kind of glides through my fingers. (a very important thing to me.)

Well, I must be off. I am off to scrapbook with the Pastor's wife. What fun! I am a little nervous and excited at the same time. I will let you know how it goes.

"It is Finished!!!"

She cried as the crochet hook dropped from her weary fingers into her lap. Her last modicom of energy spent, she laid her head against the back of the couch and let out a sigh. "Thank goodness, it is finished" she muttered under her breath. The wretched yarn almost did her in. But she prevailed and for her efforts she now has an empty tote in which to store her precious daughter's outgrown clothes - which for a week have been stacked upon the floor in her bedroom.

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YAY!!! IT'S EMPTY!!!! So, I am happy to finally have this scrapghan finished. And now that it is done, I can tell you what I did. Nothing special really...just the most gigantic granny square you ever did see.

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Like it??? I don't know whether this thing is hideously beautiful or gorgesouly grotesque. I haven't made up my mind whether I like it or not. One thing I can say about it though is that it is VERY warm. You would not be cold underneath this monstrosity of a blanket. Nope.

Speaking of being finished with things, let me show you what we finished this weekend. I can hardly wait to show this to you. It is something I have been dreaming about since we first bought our house. This has been in the works since Novemeber. First, let me show you what the house was like before this great and marvelous thing happened.

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Not the safest thing in the world for a toddler, as you can see.

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First we installed carpet. (as I already told you back in October, but I will tell you again. Just because I like to tell you things.)

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Then, my dearest husband built me the most beauitful piece of work there ever was. It took him 5 months but it is finally FINISHED!!!!

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Isn't it the most beautiful banister you have ever seen??? I am so proud of my husband!!! I really am. He is becoming quite the handy man. (at least I think he's quite handy to have around.)

And while we were on the "finishing" rampage, James started in on this ugly piece of work.

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You don't know what that is??? Why its a door...

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...with broken panels of glass held together with masking tape. I asked James why they didn't just use scotch tape. At least then you would have been able to see through it. I will never cease to be amazed at what some people do.

Anyways, my wonderfully "handy" husband put in the new door me this weekend. He kept saying he was waiting for his brother to come out and help him, but I gave him encouragement and told him that I knew he could do it on his own. And guess who was right???

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ME, of course! (and you had doubts. Ha!)

I am proud of my new door. I feel so much more secure (and warm) with it. Yes. A good door will actually keep the cold weather out. (those old plates of glass held in place with masking tape just didn't do the trick)

And I actually did some work this weekend too. (not like you were wondering or anything) I helped James install the chair rail in the living/dining room.

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Ohhh...I adore chair rails. I think they add so much class to a house. It gives it a clean and finished look.

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Well, I must be going for now. I have a child who has managed to completely empty the coffee table contents and to clutter from the dining room table in the time it took me to type this post. I also smell something and believe it is time for a diaper change. Check back in later this evening for my Tuesday Tackle Item. I believe I will tackle Chloe's hope chest today while I am prepping for her birthday (which is Thursday. Can you believe she is going to be 2??? Where does the time go?) Anyways, I am over halfway done with her birthday doily as well. I started it this morning while I was waiting for her to wake up. So, maybe I might show that to you later today as well. It isn't really helping with the whole stashbusting effort but I want to have it done anyways. Maybe someday I will brave the thread stashbusting. For now, I am sticking to yarn. It goes quicker.

Have a great day everyone!!!

Management Binder: Cleaning - Zones

I got the majority of my "zone" ideas from flylady. If you have never checked out her website, you should. She has many wonderful resources for keeping routine and order in your homes.

Anyways, I told you what my zones were last week so this week I will go into a little more detail about each zone and what I do in them.

ZONE 1 ~ Master Bedroom/Main Bathroom

Master Bedroom
1. clean cobwebs - I take a broom to the corners of the walls and in the nooks and crannies in the ceiling.
2. Wash windows - pretty self-explanatory
3. Clean blinds - I actually take mine down and wash them in the shower where I let them dry as well.
4. Wipe down walls - another no brainer here
5. Wipe baseboards
6. De-clutter closets and dressers - I am always amazed at how much "junk" I have and am willing to get rid of. Things I thought I couldn't part with last month become history this month. It really is amazing how easy and "routine" this becomes.
7. Straighten drawers - this is so much easier if there isn't clutter there.
8. Wipe out closets - I take everything off the shelves and wipe them down.
9. Flip mattress - this is one that I don't do every month. In fact, I think I have done it twice in the past 5 years. But it really should be done.
10. Polish furniture - this is more than just dusting it. I get out the Old English and make my furniture shine. I love the smell too. Nothing says "clean" like Old English.
11. Clean under bed - does anyone actually do this?? Well, I do. I move my bed and vacuum under it.
12. Steam clean carpets - Again, while the bed is moved, I steam clean under them. I love my Bissell steam cleaner. (told you I have a floor fetish)

Main Bathroom
1. Clean cobwebs - see above (its the same)
2. Wipe down walls and baseboards - this one gets mentioned in every room.
3. Clean window - again...gets mentioned in every room
4. Clean blinds - is there a broken record around here???
5. De-clutter - the bathroom is a very good place for empty shampoo bottles and toilet paper tubes to collect.
6. Straighten drawers/medicine cabinent - this is also where I wash out the toothpaste grim from the glass shelves in the cabinent.
7. Clean light fixture - its amazing how much dust that thing collects in one month
8. Scrub floor - on my hands and knees, mind you. Nothing says clean like a "hands and knees" job.

So, this is what a detailed zone cleaning looks like in my notebook. I set the timer for 15 minutes and I go at it as fast as possible. It doesn't matter if its not long as I get it done. The timer is my best friend too. As soon as it goes off, I am free. I love it.

I am not going into each room. That would take me all day to type and I really don't want to bore you to death. You get the idea from the list above. You just change it to each room you have. Like the kitchen you would empty the fridge and clean it out, the microwave, wash out the garbage cans, pet bowls and such.

Have a wonderful day everyone. You can do anything in 15 minutes!!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Favorite Books of Chloe's

As many of you already know...I have a keen fascination of books. I love them...what can I say. When I read a good book I am able to travel to times and places I would otherwise be unable to. There are so many times in my life when I wished I had been born about 100 years ago. (I told you I was a romantic) When I read books from that era, its almost like living there for me. I love it.

What many of you probably don't know (although it would be pretty easy to assume) was that my love of books all started with my mother. She encouraged me to read any chance I could. At 8 or 9 I was reading books like "Charlotte's Web". At the age of 12 I was already reading books written by Janette Oak and Grace Livingston Hill. A little beyond my years, I know. But she fostered that love of reading in me.

This is now something I have tried to foster in Chloe. And I think I succeeded. I have read to her since the day she was born. Okay...not actually ON the day she was born because I didn't have any books with me in the hospital. I had my crocheting, of course, so I crocheted her a hat. But thats a story for another time. We are talking about books today.

Chloe loves to have me read to her. We have a little ritual we do about 5-6 times a day. I will sit in the rocking chair and she will go to the bookshelf and pull out a book and bring it to me. I read it to her and off she goes to grab another book.

The funny thing is...she grabs the same exact books every single time. This kid is smart. (she must take after me.) So, today I will list her favorite books in the order that she pulls them off the shelf. Because there is order to this too. She will search the entire bookshelf looking for just the right book...and its the same one everytime. (of course, by now you all know me pretty well and probably could have assumed correctly that the books in Chloe's shelf are grouped together by kind. ie...Dr. Suess, Little Golden Books, Board books...and so on and so forth.

Without further ado I present to you Chloe's 13 Mostest Favoritist Books.

1. "Oh the Thinks You Can Think" by Dr Suess - This one and the next one always come together as a set. She will bring both these books at the same time...every time.

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2. "Put Me in the Zoo" by Robert Lopshire - I can vaguely remember this book from when I was a child and it brought back some nostalic feelings. I just had to get it for Chloe. Little did I know that it would become top of her list.

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3. "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" by Eric Carle - This one and the next one always come as a set too. I love these books because they are fast!!! (when you read the same books 6 times a day every day, you just want to get through them. She has a whole bookshelf full of books and yet she picks the same ones every time.

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4. "Jane's Animal Expedition" by Baby Einstein - Every flap must be opened in this book. She notices if I try to skip one. (told you she was smart)

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5. "Love you Forever" by Robert Munsch - Okay. I am sick of this one. It has been her favorite since she was 6 months old (or thereabouts) and I am tired of reading it every day. I used to cry while I would read I just groan. (inwardly of course. I tell Chloe its a good choice, as I do with every book she chooses) I even made up a little tune to sing the song. I guess thats why Chloe loves it. Or, it could be because I give her snuggly tickles in her neck while I read certain portions of the books. Anyway, try as I might to hide this book in the shelf, she manages to find it everytime. She will pull ALL the books off the shelf looking for this one. So, I quit hiding it. Didn't do any good.

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6. "Slide and Find ABC" - I have no feelings about this book whatsoever. Chloe loves it though because at different points we do different things. I ask her the sign for ball, or we point out her shoes in the room. She enjoys that.

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7. "Who's Hiding in the Jungle" by Ana Martin-Larranaga - I started giving Chloe a little "bump" while reading the "thump, thump" in this book and its the cutest thing to watch her do this while she is reading the book to herself. I also give her snuggly tickles when I "growl and roar" with the lions. She loves it.

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8. "Bible Promises" by Stephen Elkins - I don't really know why Chloe keeps choosing this book. I read one page to her every morning for our little "devotions" so I guess she has taken a liking to it. I don't do anything special like bumpity bumps or snuggly tickles so it must just be the relaxation of reading God's Word that she enjoys. We always pray together after reading it too. She likes to pray.

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9. "Razzle Dazzle Colors" by Chuck Murphey - We received this book from a dear friend at a baby shower before Chloe was born so this is one of those books I have read to her since she was born. It is a quick read. Chloe has learned to point at the items on each page so I can say what they are. (I love her chubby little finger...not too chubby...just baby fat chubby.)

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10. "Good Night Moon" by Margaret Wise Brown - Ahhh. A classic for children. Every child's bookshelf needs this book. And the funny thing is...I never get tired of reading it to her. I love this book as much as she does.

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11. "Just in Case You Ever Wonder" by Max Lucado - Its books like this that I always hope will become one of her favorites. I am so pleased that this one has. Such a great book and I really have to hold back the tears each time I read it. It is powerful.

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12. "Catapillar Hides Away" - This is a book that I wish I had not bought. Chloe loves the colors though and that is why I keep it. (and it is one of her favorites) But I do come pretty close to throwing it out every so often. The catapillar is not happy with her color and she grumbles the whole way through the book until she turns into a butterfly. Maybe I will get rid of it.

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13. "Millie Moo" - This is a book that I wish were up higher on her list. At least it made the list, right? I love this book. It is wacky and fun and I just love it.

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Okay, I can now hear Chloe in her room turning pages of books and ohhing and ahhing and saying "book" which sounds more like "bao" so that is my que. Reading Time. Go read a book with your kids today. You won't regret it!

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!