Friday, August 31, 2007

A Simple Matter of Trust

My heart has been restless lately. So much so that I haven't felt like posting on my blog. I am sorry for this. I truly am. But maybe after you read this post, you will understand my hesitation to post. I want you all to know that my intentions on posting this bit of my heart is in hopes that it will help someone who needs it. Maybe one of my faithful readers or even someone who just happens by for a moment.

But back to my restless heart. I feel that God is calling me. Leading me. Showing me how to be His beautiful woman. His beautiful bride. I feel convicted of things as I read His word and try to apply them to my life. I strive to raise my daughter by these convictions.

Alot of these things are considered "old-fashioned" or even "weird". I am quaint. I am different. But doesn't God call us to be different from the world? (Eph. 5:7-14) Even down the way we dress? I believe woman are to stay home and raise their families. I believe children are to be taught by thier mothers (and fathers) as opposed to strangers who are "just doing their job".

I find that such beliefs are mocked, critizied and even sabatoged by the world. Sadly enough, it is hard to find a church where these beliefs aren't critized. I have found that even though we attend a wonderful church, these beliefs are not condoned. Woman are to work outside the home and families are frowned upon. Children are viewed as a burden instead of the blessing from God that they are. Its okay to have a couple of children but any more than that is bad. That is what even Christian's believe. It is wrong for someone to have more than a handful of kids. Its poor planning, misuse of resources...the whole nine yards. I don't believe that and so I get critized and ridiculed. (yes, even by members of our church family)

My spirit is torn. My heart is broken. This hurts me deeply because I believe these things also hurt God's heart as well. But the reason I struggle so much is because my husband holds the same views as everyone else. He doesn't agree with me about dressing femininely so he doesn't support me in raising Chloe to dress like a little girl. He doesn't want me to homeschool her past the first or second grade.

This is hard for me since I honestly believe this is what is best for Chloe. I believe it is what God wants. So, I have spent much time praying about this. I have asked God to change James heart. To show him how things need to be.

Everything culminated for me last week. James and I had a little argument about my decision to wear skirts everyday. He didn't like it and it was starting to show in his attitude every time he came in the door from work. I don't know why it bothered him so much. I can't, for the life of me understand why it would, but it did.

I stayed up late that night in prayer. I meditated on the verses that supported my beliefs and prayed that God would change James heart. I also meditated on Ephesians 5:21-24. I have always struggled with the whole "submission" thing. I think I know it best because I know everything!!!

But God convicted me that night. After reading those verses about 10 times, it finally hit me. I was not trusting God. God has told me to submit to my husband. That is more important than the kind of clothes I am wearing, whether they be pants or skirts. That is more important than whether Chloe is homeschooled or attends a private school. God has told me to submit to my husband. God has put James as leader over me. He is my head. God won't let anything happen to me or to Chloe that is not within His Will. I can trust God that if something doesn't please Him, He will convict James of this. It is not my burden to carry. If God truly wants Chloe homeschooled then He will lead James down that path. It is not my battle to fight.

Oh, the peace that flooded my soul when I realized this sin on my part and confessed it. I gave God back the control over my life. Over Chloe's life. We are God's children and everything He has planned for us is GOOD. I can trust Him. I can trust God.

So, I still want to dress femininely and I will continue to pray for God to change James heart on this matter. I still want to homeschool Chloe and I will continue to pray for God to change James heart on that matter as well. But even if God doesn't change James heart, I will trust God that He knows what is best for this family and I will submit to James' decision in this matter, because I know that it is far more important that I submit than it is to get my own way.

Now, I must be going. We are off to go camping this weekend. Hooray! I have been asking for James to take me camping for years and its finally time. I will have loads of pictures come Tuesday. Have a wonderful, blessed and safe holiday this weekend. Pause and remember so many who have sacrificed so much so you can be free. Those families who work hard everyday so we can live in this free country. Say a prayer for the families who are seperated from thier daddies and husbands. God is good!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An Icky Sort of Day

Yesterday the rain was nice. It was muchly appreciated and very muchly needed. The day before that was the same. After the heat of summer it was nice to have some cooler weather and some rain. But today is different. Today it affects me. Today I do not want the rain. Oh, its not really the rain. I don't mind the wetness all that much. I enjoy what it does for my flowers. Its the gloominess of the dark clouds that affects me. I found myself lying in bed this morning and I didn't want to get up. That is what rainy days do to me.

So, how do I break myself from this depressing mood I am in? I don't know. Maybe I will sew. After all, I recieved a good many "vintage" patterns in the mail yesterday. I won them from Ebay.

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Those are some Cabbage Patch clothes. One knit for preemies and one sewn for regular dolls. I have one Cabbage Patch doll from when I was a girl and he/she is desperately in need of some clothes.

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Ahhhh...my favorite lot. I am pretty excited about this set of patterns. So excited, in fact, that I almost forgot about my depressed state and the gloomy rain outside. ALMOST! You see, my mother will be bringing out two of her old dolls when she comes to visit in October. These dolls were hers when she was a little girl. (before she was five years old) They are from the 40's so I scoured Ebay for some vintage patterns to make clothes for them. Part of the problem is that the main doll is 27" tall. (that is a BIG baby) So, these sort of patterns are harder to find. BUT I found one. One of the patterns you see above is for a 28" doll. I figure it will work.

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I did tell you that I am really into vintage dresses from the 50's. But I didn't tell you that I have a pattern. Yes! I have a vintage dress pattern. I got this last week sometime but just didn't have time to show it to you all. I can hardlY wait to make this dress. I am thinking I will make the fuller skirt with the longer sleeves though. (for winter) I love the collar on this dress though. Cute.

Can you believe that I have actually made some things and forgot to show them to you? I realized this morning that I promised you I would show them to you last week and I didn't. Well, better late than never.

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This skirt is made from a sheet I got at Elijah's barrel at church. (the free thrift store I was telling you about) I had enough to make a skirt for myself and a dress for Chloe. I love it when mothers and little girls match so I made us a matching set.

Now you can't tell very well in the picture but these are definately "play" clothes. I would never wear this out of the house. I didn't realize it until I had sewn it up that the sheet was quite old and therefore worn in some places more than others. So my panels on the skirt are different shades. There are also some stains in the fabric that I didn't notice either...but you can see them in the right lighting.

Now I have to decide how I want to spend my gloomy Tuesday. I am thinking I will finish a nightgown I started sewing on Sunday. Or maybe I will make some doll clothes. Or cut out some skirts or a dress I bought fabric for. I might even finish crocheting a baby dress I started yesterday. I don't know. We will see what speaks to me.

Have a good day everyone!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Missing Home

I didn't realize the extent to which I am a homebody until last week. I have always known I love being home, but man oh man...to be gone from home every day of the week...I don't know how working woman do it. I really don't. Working outside the home is definately NOT for me. I can say that much.

Why was I gone so much last week? We had Vacation Bible School at out church and I helped out there every day. I can honestly say that I am more active when I am home (from baking bread to running up and down the stairs a billion times) but I came home from bible school everyday and took a long nap with Chloe. I was just so worn out from being around people so much.

So, today I spent the morning and afternoon playing catch up. I cleaned the entire house (almost), bought some food (because we were completely out), baked some bread, made some mint jelly and crocheted half of a baby dress. (yes, a new design soon to be released for testing - Oct 1 in case you are interested) I even got some pictures of things today.

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The above is some garden goodness from my very own garden. YUM! I can't wait to eat those tomatoes. I am sort of stuck though. There are too many tomatoes coming in for us to eat by ourselves but there isn't enough to can. What should I do? Eat them til I get sick???

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That is the mint jelly I made. It turned out much darker than I imagined it would. I think I may have added too much food coloring. I would rather it have been a lighter "minty" color. Similar to that of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Anyways, all three jars set so there won't be any taste-testing of it today.

I have enough mint to make another batch but I will wait until morning to do that. I am tired of standing in the kitchen and I have yet to start dinner.

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One thing I firmly believe in is that Chloe should be with me throughout the day, learning from me so that someday she will know how to run a home. So, when I cook in the kitchen, she is there with me. Well, while making the bread I had to let it sit for about 15 minutes so I left the kitchen and checked my emails. Chloe asked to wash her hands so I turned on the tap for her while I was around the corner. Well, about 10 minutes later I heard her turn off the tap. When the timer went off I came around the corner to find my little helper helping me. (she even grinned and said "hup...hup" (which means help in toddler-speak)

She managed to get the bananas from across the room and unpeel two of them and put them into the measuring cup for me. (not that I needed bananas for whole wheat bread or mint jelly) We ate the bananas up and then made the bread.

So, I am feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful home and privileged to be the queen of it. I do miss it when I am gone for so long.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Interpretation of Vintage

My question of the week is "What is Vintage?". I think I am going to have to do a word study for vintage since I have found myself really struggling with this word lately. My recent fixation with sewing has not waned. I am still going strong. (although this past week has been a little LESS strong due to my busyness with Bible School at church and the opening of the Autumn Round of Secret Pals over at the ville)

I can't seem to get enough of the style of the 50's. Gosh...I just look at those dresses and drool starts dripping out of my mouth. My mother mentioned to me this week that she is so glad she doesn't have to deal with gloves and high heels everytime she wants to leave her house. I almost died right there. I would LOVE to leave my house in gloves and high heels everyday. Boy...that would be like a dream come true. (oh...don't even get me started with Victorian or Edwardian dress...don't even go there)

So, I have been scouring Ebay for vintage sewing patterns. More specifically dresses from the 50's. (and some from the 40's as well) But when I type in the word "vintage" in my search for vintage sewing patterns, do you wanna know what comes up? (I bet you don't, but I'll tell you anyways) I get things from the 70's (okay...okay...so I can almost see that. ALMOST!) from the 80's (clearly NOT vintage) and even a few things from the 90's (huh???) 1990's people. Not 1890's.

What on earth classifies something as vintage? I am majorally confused here. To me, vintage means 50's or earlier. I can sometimes convince myself that 60's is vintage but that is really stretching it for me. Am I wrong? Am I just plain weird? How on earth did something that happened less than 10 years ago become vintage? My philosophy is this. If I can remember the era its not vintage. (and I am not that old...so its not my age that is the issue here)

Be prepared for a SLEW of sewing projects this coming up week. Oh...and quite possibly some...shhhhh....crochet...quite possibly, quite possibly. I may even get around to finishing Chloe's knit sweater. It only needs blocked and sewn but do you think I take the 10 minutes neccessary to do this? Huh. Guess I need a swift kick or something.

Have a wonderful Sunday evening everyone! Its going to be a delightful week.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Lookie Lookie

I love to hear from the readers of my blog. If I don't hear from you, how do I know you are reading? To put it simply....I don't. So thank you to all of you who leave me comments or email me or contact me in other ways. I LOVE to know that you enjoy what you read here. Makes me feel good. (although that's not ALL this is about...I do want what I write to glorify God as well.)

Anyways, yesterday I heard from a reader and she sent me a link to a wonderful blog I had never seen before. You have GOT to check this blog out if you like sewing. More specifically if you like sewing dresses. Even more specifically if you like sewing vintage dresses. Its called A Dress A Day. It took one glance to inform me that I had found it. I didn't know I was looking for it but I had found it. A blog that would inspire me in my insatiable need to sew clothes.

One of the problems I have is that I am looking to sew/crochet/knit (pretty much MAKE) both Chloe and my own winter wardrobes this year - the entire wardrobe (well...almost the entire wardrobe) - and I can't seem to find any dress patterns for myself that I would wear AND feel modest in. While I am not one of those who wants to cover myself from head to toe, I do want to look nice but remain modest at the same time.

I have been fascinated, lately, with the style of the 50's. I LOVE the dresses from that era. Well, while I was looking around on the aforementioned blog, I saw a link to the most wonderful website in the world. Vintage Patterns. REAL vintage patterns. I am in heaven! The site is called Out of the Ashes. Check out the patterns they have from the 50's. These are real patterns from that decade. I am in love. I have to restrain myself from buying everything on the page. Did I mention that I am in love???? I think I will buy this dress pattern. How adorable is that??? I can hardly wait to get it. Not quite a winter dress...but it will do for church. I can wear it with a sweater and be fine.

Anyways, I am off to crochet. Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Worshiping Doilies

I sometimes qualm at sharing personal things on my blog. Things that cause readers to roll their eyes or worse yet...quit reading my blog. Things of a spiritual nature, things I learn while spending time with the Lord. But I can't do that. (qualm) I can't hide who I am. I can't NOT speak about the Lord. So...with that in mind...I want to share with you something I thought about this morning.

I began reading Jeremiah today. I am trying to read more the Old Testament in my devotions. Most of my life I have stuck with the New Testament but know very little about the Old Testament besides the stories I grew up listening to in Sunday School. So, I chose Jeremiah this morning. Before I began to read, I prayed a simple prayer. It went something like this... "Lord, please teach me something today. Show me something in Your Word. Mold me. Shape me. Make me into the woman You want me to be. I am here to learn from You." Little did I realize how such a simple, little prayer would be answered. God DOES answer prayer.

Here is the first verse that stuck out to me.

Jeremiah 1:16

"I will pronounce my judgements on my people because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made."


"Worshiping what their hands have made"! I used to think that this meant something along the lines of a golden calf statue as seen in Deuteronomy 9. I don't have any statues of cows in my house, let alone any gold ones. And if I did, I certainly wouldn't bow down before them. I mean, what can a statue do, right?

What shallowness. My mind immediately went to that shallow interpretation and I failed to see the deeper meaning behind it. Then I asked myself a question. I am a designer. I make things with my hands so the question I asked myself is only logical. "Do I worship what my hands have made?"

In order to anser this, I must look to God's Word and find out what worship is. I didn't have to look far.

Romans 12:1

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship."


A spiritual act of worship. Offering my living, breathing body as a sacrifice is my spiritual act of worhsip. What I do with my physical body reflects who (or what) I am spiritually worshiping. WHOA! Wake up call to Anna. Something struck a nerve.

How many mornings have I woken up late, skipped my quiet time with Jesus, hurried through breakfast and the rest of the morning routine only to spend the rest of my day crocheting? Or knitting? Or sewing? Or updating my website? Instead of having devotions with my Lord, I devote myself to my hobbies, my business - the work of my hands. This devotion to my handiwork becomes my spiritual act of worship. I offer my body as a living sacrifice to the work of my hands, exactly what the Israelites did in Jeremiah 1. (where they were about to be sent into exile by the Lord because of it. Read the first chapter of Jeremiah and you will see)

I don't hang my freshly made doily or baby dress on the wall and bow down before it (how silly would that look) but I do have an idol. I have a god. I have placed this god before my God. Do you realize the implications of this? I have broken the very first of God's 10 commandments. (Thou shalt have no gods before me) Having handwritten half of Deuteronomy already, I see just how big of an issue this is for God. He repeats it numerous times throughout each chapter. As I was writing it, I thought that those Israelites must have been thick-headed. To have needed it repeated that many times and still have done the very thing God told them not to do.

All I can do now is humbly bow before the Lord and ask His forgiveness. I am thick-headed too. "Oh God! Please forgive me. Forgive me for placing things in my life ahead of You. Forgive me for my pride. Forgive me for my sin."

But there is hope. Looking back to Romans 12:1, I see that I can offer my body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing, to the Lord. I can turn this around to exactly the opposite. I can take what my physical body does (the crocheting, knitting, sewing, updating the website and whatever else I do) and offer it to God as my living sacrifice. This is my prayer. That I will be so entirely devoted to God that what I enjoy doing, my hobbies - the work of my hands, becomes my spiritual act of worship to Him. May it ever be so.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Aquafina Fascination

We almost went to the beach on Saturday. By almost I mean that we got up early, packed up the car, went to the gas station, bought some food for lunch, drove to the beach only to be told there was a festival and we couldn't get in. The beach was closed to the public. So...we drove the 45 minutes BACK home to spend the day sulking.

One of the things James picked up (for lunch) was TONS of bottles of aquafina. (I don't know how many people he thought lived in our family but we had enough water to hydrate the entire beach population.) Now the problem lies in the fact that we didn't make it to the beach and we now have this load of water on our hands. I figured it would be wise to save it for the next time we attempt a beach visit but it would seem someone has other intentions.

Chloe has taken it upon herself to hydrate everyone in our household with aquafina water. We are never without a bottle of water nearby. Whether it is being handed to us or being placed in close proximity to our location, we will never forget to drink our water as long as this cooler remains in our kitchen.

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When I say that everyone gets a dose of Chloe's hydration methods...I do mean everyone. She came down the stairs this morning calling out to me, "Mick...MICK. Mama...MICK!!!!" (which means Mickey.) I thought she wanted to watch Mickey (her favorite movie) but no. She appeared around the corner with an ear-to-ear grin and both her Minnie and Mickey dolls in her arms. (they both are "Mick") She then walked over to the table (which is completely covered in sewing materials) and set them down in thier individual chairs saying, "Eat. Eat." (no translation needed there)

Then I looked over and saw this....

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...peering at me from across the table and I began giggling.

I got up to investigate further and saw this...

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I just had to share this with you all. My little laugh for the day.

Sweet Sheets

I haven't told you this yet, but I recently joined a new forum. Okay. The forum is not new in itself, just new to me. You may have been wondering where my recent craze (addiction) for sewing came from? (aside from the fact that after many years of pleading and begging James finally bought me a new sewing machine for Christmas this past year) Well, Sewing Mamas really has helped me along in the "sewing inspiration" area. (as if I needed any help...I truly think I could be inspired by a piece of lettuce or a pine tree...funny, eh?)

Anyways, while browsing on this sewing forum one day, I came across a project done by one of the mamas. She had taken a sheet and made the cutest little outfit for her daughter from it. I was inspired!!! So, Sunday after church I headed over to Elijah's barrel. (our church has a free "thrift store", of sorts, (sort of like a missionary barrel) that we can shop at) I picked me out a few sheets and spent the rest of the afternoon cutting out patterns.

Here is the sweetest little girl's dress I made from two of the sheets I picked up.

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Isn't that the most adorable thing you ever did see? Okay. Never mind that they are old and used. It makes the cutest little summer play dress for Chloe. I am not a big believer in having a ton of clothes. Especially for children who grow out of them while your washing the dinner dishes. I bought Chloe 10 dresses for this summer and she rotates through them about once a week. Well, they are getting a little ratty-tatty so I thought it would be nice to make her some new ones.

I know I am supposed to be working on the winter wardrobe now if I am to make it in time for winter, but I just couldn't resist. And you can't make cute dresses from sheets for winter. (too thin)

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About this pattern. It is Simplicity 9008 and is no longer available. I actually found this pattern at a thrift store before I was married. I assume it is quite old because when I bought it, it was quite old and that was about 10 years ago. Why would I buy a baby pattern before I was even married??? I have no clue. I didn't even own a sewing machine. Actually, I think it came in a set of patterns and I wanted some other patterns that were in the set. (like something I will be showing you in a couple of days...gotta get the fabric for it though...but it is sooooooo cute. and 70's-ish. I can hardly wait!)

Anyways, I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I have another something to show you but that will have to wait. A little clue... mine is finished but I am still working on Chloe's. (and I am using sheets again)

Have a great-fully wonderful day! It is a beautiful day! Let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Few Snip Snips Equal A Whole Lotta Projects

I am really done for now! I should have stopped myself but alas...I didn't. Or I couldn't. Or something like that. Hey! I wonder...do scissor go dull? How long would it take, I wonder, for...say...some nice, new Gingher scissors to go dull? Why? (you ask?) Well, because I spent the better part of yesterday and today cutting out patterns. TONS of patterns. And I haven't even scratched the surface of the Winter Wardrobe Challenge (That could be because I keep making SUMMER things...could be...)

Anyways, check this out.

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Do you have any idea what that is? Any idea at all? That is a whole lotta sewing projects, that's what it is. My but I am going to be one busy seamstress this week. In that pile there are about 5 dresses for Chloe, a nightgown for Chloe, two skirts for myself, a couple of doll dresses, some Barbie clothes (did you doubt that??? I bet not.) and also a knit shirt for Chloe. (to go with her jumpers that were included in the "dress" total)

So, I hope to get this all sewn up this week since I am working at the Bible School next week at church. Check back later for some finished projects. (a few have a special little something about them that I am going to have fun telling you about.)

Have a wonderfullyishness type of day!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Color Coordination

Its official. I have decided to take up my own challenge and try to sew, knit and crochet Chloe and my own winter wardrobes for this year. (yup...this one. The one coming up in a couple of months) I will be adding that particular post to the Gallery in my sidebar so you can all track my progress to see if I make it or not.

But I have one problem. Now that this decision has been made another, more looming, decision plagues my mind. WHAT COLOR????

Let me explain. I am a beginner knitter so anything I knit will have to be something that goes with everything. So, I was thinking that I could choose a color scheme and make all the clothes to fit that scheme. Like a mix and match sort of thing.

I will give you two options that I can't decide between and ask that you help me with my color choice.

Choice #1 ~ PINK, CHOCOLATE BROWN AND OLIVE GREEN

I love the new skirt I made this weekend and it would be a great color scheme. You can't go wrong with pink and brown. Here are some samples for you to see the kind of fabric I am looking at.

Pink and Brown (of course)

Pink, Green and Brown all in one

Green and brown toile

Brown and Pink MUM

Brown with Pink Polka Dot (because of course you would have to have this in a brown and pink color scheme)

Choice #2 ~ TORQUOISE AND BROWN

Torqoiuse and brown (I just ADORE this print...really...)

Cute Floral (and this is really cute)


So. What color scheme should I choose? I might just have to mention to you that pink is my all time favorite color. Don't let that sway you though...not my intention at all. Okay. I am off to try for a nap. It was a late night for me last night and my brain (and body) is complete mush. I don't think coffee can fix this one...so I am calling Mary Poppins over to babysit while I try to sleep on the couch with a toddler climbing all over me.