how much is enough?

I almost didn't write this post...mostly because I know that I will get flack for it...for being old fashioned and too conservative.  But you know what...I feel like I am supposed to...and I tried to ignore that feeling...believe me...I ignored for as long as I could muster and then finally...just seconds ago I had to turn off my sewing machine and pull over the lap top.  I feel the need to share.

I'm a big chunk into the Beth Moore book that is on my reading list...So Long Insecurity.  And I am really loving it...way more than I thought I would...and it is kicking my butt.  As I assumed that it would.  But has been invigorating and wonderful...and clicking with SO MANY THINGS that have been on my heart and mind right's almost like I was supposed to be reading it right now? (wink, wink).
So really...this all started with Lebron James.  You have him to thank for this...well maybe not him, but the media reaction to him and ridiculousness that followed his choice of where to take his career path.  

If you know anything about me you know that sports could stop this very moment and it would take me a while to least until my husband got home from work.  He is on the complete opposite side of the spectrum LOVES sports...the stats and numbers...the history and all that jazz. 

But anyway...I am shocked that I still have eyeballs in my head...what with all the eye rolling that occurred as the media poured over Lebron's "betrayal".  I don't even want to go completely in depth with it...but it was CRAZY.  People were crying...and burning his jersey's and calling him a coward...people were threatening his friends and was CRAZY.  All because A MAN choose a path that he thought would be the most successful for his career.  I mean has no one else from Cleveland ever moved to a different city to better his career?  ...OH but Lebron is a CELEBRITY...I get it...that makes him better and more least that is what the media tells us.  
Forget the fact that time and time again, celebrities let us down.  We let our little boys and girls look up to them as false "hero's"...only ending up having to explain why their hero decided to carry a gun...or use drugs...or beat a girlfriend...or deny being a parent. 

But the media and society tell us repeatedly that they are better...more special...more like who we should be.  And I feel that a society that lets celebrity dictate their feelings is one in desperate need of a Savior.  THE real one.  One that will never let us down.   

And what does media do to women? 

Oh geez...I can't even begin to explain all the frustration I have with it thing is is partly because of this area that I am thankful to have two boys...not that that gets me off the hook in this area...more on that in a minute.  But we, as women, are CONSTANTLY bombarded with images that we end up comparing ourselves to.  The media tells us that we must be thin (this means size 2 or less)...and have such and such kind of hair...and such of such kind of clothes...and that ever leaving the house without make-up is a no-no.  Basically...if you aren't prepared to be photographed and have your near naked photo hanging in the Victoria's secret window...then something is wrong with you.  Just the thought makes me want to inhale a bag of peanut butter m&m's.  

PUH-LEASE.  I am so sick of the everyday woman not being praised and celebrated.  
Celebrity is not real life.  And, even though I cringe as I write this for the flack I will surely receive, if you can't leave the house in jeans and a tank top and NO make-up and STILL feel beautiful...there is a disconnect somewhere.  God didn't design us to need anything BUT Him to feel good.     

I am NOT saying that make-up and dressing up is bad...not at all.  I am just saying you should also feel 100% without all that society says we need...and believe me, I am convinced that society indeed tells us we need all that extra to be beautiful and live up to some imaginary standard.   It's a lie my friends.  A lie.  You indeed are beautiful, as you are. As God see's you.  

But we tend to not believe that either right? Not even when those we love most tell us that we are beautiful when we feel least pretty. 

I know that I am guilty of this.  Sometimes I can't believe that my husband can look at me...having carried two babies and nursed them for 18m total...being a little weathered and weary...and still believe that I am beautiful...usually I tell him that we need to get his eye glass prescription checked. 

But the reality is that I need to go back to our family rule that says "If someone pays you a compliment, you say thank you" don't dismiss it.  

And what does the media do to our wonderful men?  Oh, nothing but barrage them with stick thin models at every turn.  Our society makes it SO hard on men to turn away from pornography...because with every day that passes...more and more is deemed socially acceptable.  

What do you think would have happened to those Victoria Secret photos and ads back when TV began in the 50's?  

How about NOT. Would never have happened...nearly naked women on a poster?  They would never had heard of it because back then it was deemed indecent.  And you know still IS.

I hate when I have to walk by one of those stores with my two precious boys and my ever faithful and loving husband.  How is it we live in a society that makes that OK?  You know how...because we live in a society that is constantly pushing the envelope on what is "OK".  The media convinces us that men looking at pornography is no big deal...and even at times I have heard it deemed a "completely natural and normal need and action" for men to do so.  Therefore we, as women, should just accept this proverbial third woman into our marriage...because after all..they can't help it right?

That doesn't fly in my marriage...and my husband 100% agrees.  
Pornography sets men up to fail and women to not feel like they are good enough.

Oh...but don't you DARE think of nursing your baby in public...that is just indecent
(read sarcastically in reaction to a societal double standard).

Our minds, men and women, are a temple for the Lord.  We are to fill our minds and thoughts with all that is good and right and uplifting.  To focus on Him and anything that takes away from that clear and beautiful focus is hogwash...and needs to be deeply examined.    
I am talking to myself here too.  This is true for ALL areas of life.  ANYTHING not lined up with Christ is detrimental.  Period. 

So I guess my ultimate question for us all much control in how we think, feel, share, give is enough to give to society/media?

I for one, refuse to stand by and let society and media dictate my life.  Unless you count the Bible as a media source...then I will confess to leaning heavily on that one.  

I want to live in a society where the everyday is celebrated.  Isn't that how it should be?

In my the end of every day, good or bad...the second my husband and I walk out of the doors of our boys rooms, who we just tucked into bed...and usually high five for another successful (or at times having survived another)day of parenting.  A celebration of the everyday.

Don't we praise our kids for the little everyday accomplishments? 
Using the potty...sharing a toy...being kind.

Shouldn't we decide to do the same for each other and not let the media tell us what to celebrate?
Maybe not using the potty...but how about finishing the laundry...or cleaning out the attic...or making dinner for a friend...or throwing surprise birthday party...letting someone with cranky kids go ahead of you in line...
I don't know about you...but those things rank higher in my day than 99% of what is in the media. 
I mean, finishing the laundry?  Come on...that is AWESOME.
How about you?

Ok...I'm done with my rant.  As usual I would LOVE to hear your feedback...your kind feedback that is.  Negative, cowardly anonymous comments will not be read or published.

Back to your regularly scheduled program. :)

covering a lot {of ground}

this is where I get my super power.  coffee and yum. 
I made Meg's blueberry buckle last summer...and loved it.  But Doug likes more of a coffee cake type dish and her recipe wouldn't fit in my springform I searched high and low for another recipe. 

here is what I found:

Blueberry Buckle

Cake ingredients:
  • 2 cups and 1-2 Tbsp of sifted, all purpose flour separated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pint blueberries
Topping ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar instead)
  • 1/3 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.
2 Sift together the 2 cups of flour, the baking powder and the salt. Set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk. Toss the berries with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour (to separate and scatter evenly throughout the batter) and fold in. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.
3 Combine ingredients for topping with a fork to make crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this over the batter.
4 Bake for one hour, then test for doneness by gently inserting a fork. If it does not come out clean, give the cake another 5 to 10 minutes to bake.
5 When the cake has cooled, run a knife around the edges and lift the cake out o the pan. Serve with whipped cream.

I made three of these in about an hour...not counting baking time. :) Two for neighbors and one for us...though I just got blueberries on sale I see another in our future. :)

And I have been working on improving my signs...I think I found love.
And more love...
And more. 
And in boy news...we have been enjoying the summer...water...cold foods and fun.  Yesterday was 105.  That is just plain gross. 
Moses went to see his first movie in a theater.  His super great dad took him.
And it was 3D.  He loved it.  :)
Hoho is mastering the fork...and peed on the potty this week.  If only that would mean he would be potty trained soon...he tries to go everyday...
And here is Moses showing off one of the many huge trees that fell during that crazy storm we had a couple of weeks ago!

In other news...we have some new awesome advertisers's not to late to join them! :) Email me for rates! 

And depapering those squares is taking way longer than I I am plugging away at it...slowly but surely.  Hang in there!

See something you want in my new items?  Just email me!

Happy Thursday to you!

rainbow {pudding} pops

Want to make some happy kids? 
These were a big hit...found via Jimaie Marie...who found it on Secrets of a Super Mommy.

Simple and is how we made them...
Make vanilla pudding according to directions on the box.  Be sure to buy the BIG box of INSTANT pudding...I accidentally got the kind you have to boil...still worked but an unnecessary step...once you have it mixed...divide evenly it between five or six bowls...depending on how many colors you want.  They taste more rainbowy if you make them in rainbow colored bowls...that's a fact right there. :)
Add yay amount of food coloring...
Mix to get the color all the way through...
Starting with red...evenly divide between your cups.  I purposely used small cups and lots...I wanted smaller pops that the boys could handle easily...these are dixie bathroom sized ones...
Continue through all the colors...remember ROY G BIV (red orange yellow green blue indigo and violet) if you want a true rainbow effect. :) 
Add a popsicle stick and freeze.  My sticks may look huge and my pops small...but they sizes were perfect for my kids...they could hold on well and it wasn't too much icy coldness. 
The boys loved them.  It was great that they were made from pudding because they were less drippy than normal popsicles.  However...if we make them again...I will probably add some sort of flavoring (pineapple?)...because to me they were just a tad know, like vanilla pudding. :) 
But like I said...the boys were happy.

I didn't finish sewing Nothing but Net squares yet...but I am getting close...I am up to having 38 squares!!!

A huge thank you to the Fabric Shoppe for stepping up to sponsor all of the fabric needs for the quilt!

Ok...go make rainbows...or quilt squares! :)

ice ice {baby} (painting with ice cubes!)

Does that title date me a little? I hope not.  But oh well if it does. :)
Here's a fun little something for you and your littles...I saw this idea over there at minieco.
Fun cold fun for the hot summer days.
Fill an ice tray with water...don't over don't want the water to run from one cube to the next. 
I added one drop of food coloring per cube...but I think two drops per cube would have been better.
Once it's frozen...head on outside.  
I taped some paper on some cardboard....and we worked on the grass.
It was fun...and kept his attention.
And it was free...we had everything on hand. My kind of entertainment. 
His hands did get a little stained.  But it was gone within a day or so.  And he's a kid...I think it's a right of passage to have stained hands...
Oh...and I made him work in and OLD bathing suit.  The food coloring will stain. 
Something fun and different.  Easy and cheap.
Have fun!! :)
This is my one and only goal this weekend....I really want to get the squares sewn for our Nothing but Net I can trim them...and sew them together.  :) And we can get to our goal!
Have you been over to see OUR PAGE!

I'm so proud of us...I can't wait to see where we end up!

Thank YOU for helping!

something for you {a tutorial} how to make a zippered bag.

Thank you thank you thank all you sweet people who left feedback on the previous post.  I love having a place I can share and document not only my kids growth...but mine as well. :) You are all SUPER sweet and I love you to pieces...each and every comment makes my day.  Honestly.  Thank you!

And to say thank you...and prove that I mean what I about a tutorial?
Who doesn't love a nice zippered bag? Once you get the hang of making them...they are as easy as one, two, three.  Just get over your fear of zippers...okay? 
You can click on any of the photos to make them bigger...

Here is what you will need:
2 pieces of outer fabric (OF) (9 by 6 1/2in)
2 pieces of liner fabric (LF) (9 by 6 1/2in)
iron on fabric stabilizer cut to a slightly smaller size than your
fabric(I got it at Joann's)
a zipper--this one is 7in
Iron your backing onto the fabric that is going to be the OUTside of your bag. are going to line up the first items to be sewn. 
Lay your OF face up.
Lay your zipper centered on the OF and face down.
Lay your LF face down on top of that. (I have this folded back in the photo to show you)
Another view to show you...
Line up the top edges as shown and pin.
Sew along the edge...if you have a zipper foot for your machine...Learn how to use it today.  It really does help.  If you don't have will have to sew along the side...butting your sewing foot up against the zipper edge...when you get to the pull part of the zipper...with your needle IN the fabric...lift the foot...and wiggle the pull past the needle...then lower the foot and continue on. :) Otherwise you will wonky up your sewing line.  
But seriously...if you have a zipper foot that you have never used.  Get to it.  Ok?
When you fold back the OF and the LF this is what it will look like.  You can iron it flat if you want to.
Here is the back.  
Then you are going to sew the folds down...use the zipper as your guide.
Now I am going to pretty up the other side of the bag before I sew it to the zipper (you can skip this step and still get a pretty bag)...I'm going to add a ruffle to this one...I like a raw edge so I just cut a piece of fabric yay long and wide.  What ever makes you happy...the longer the piece of fabric...the more ruffle...the more happy your bag will be.  That's a true statement. 
I just centered the ruffle in the middle...and "free ruffled" along the edges as I sewed...tucking in here and there...
Then sew down the opposite side...And we are ready to move on...
Now we're going to make our next little layering...the SAME as before only now the other side of the zipper will have fabric on it...and make sure OF faces OF and LF faces LF.  Ok? Pin. :) Then sew it just like you did the other side...then unfold and sew it down...just like before.
Here is what we have so see how the ends don't quite line can trim them a bit to line them up again...and be sure to un-zip your bag half way.  Don't forget that...ok?
Flip the fabric over and make OF face OF and LF face LF...see photo.
When are going to want to fold the zipper into a V shape...with the point of the V pointing towards the LF...
Starting about three inches or so from the edge of the bottom of the around all sides...leaving a 4in opening on the bottom of the LF...trim corners...
Turn the bag right side shut the opening in the lining...and tuck into the bag.
Almost done...
I like to use a coordinating color embroidery floss to reinforce the edges of the zipper...using a simple wrap around stitch (whip stitch?).  I actually have another tutorial showing you a different way to do a zipper...coming soon.
Done and done.  You can do this.  I'll answer questions as best I can in the comment section.
Once you get comfortable making them you can dress them up all sorts of ways...have fun and be creative.  Make away friends.  Fill a shop with them...make them for your friends and family...whatever floats your boat. :)

Happy making!
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