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 honestly...it has been invigorating and wonderful...and clicking with SO MANY THINGS that have been on my heart and mind right now...it'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 notice...at 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 family...it 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 important...at 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 all...one thing is certain...it 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"...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 what...it still IS.

I hate when I have to walk by one of those stores with my family...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?

BULL HONKY.
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 is....how 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 house...at 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. :)
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50/50

well with many thanks to my wonderful, child occupying husband...the quilt is 50% quilted!  
on my machine.  with my brand spanking new free motion quilting foot.  that i have used once (ONE) (1) time before this.  just a little tiny bit scary.  but so far so good...i am pleased with my loops and random pretty form.

what do you think?  cute right?

and you know when you KNOW you are doing what God has told you to do...and the enemy gets wind of it and tries every trick in the book to sway you from doing it...yeah, that is going on big time.  but we will talk about that later...just keep praying, ok?

until later...have you bought a net yet? click on the button to the right to do just that. :)
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your quilt top is ready {and she's a beauty}

the title of this post will be true for at least one of you! :) this could be YOUR quilt!! :) 

Have you bought a net yet?  Go HERE to do just that!

I'm almost sure I won't make it through the weekend without starting to quilt this beauty...but I have to get some other stuff done first...what do you think? Do you love her?

xo
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hooray!!!!

Thanks to the best comment ever left by Cristi from 2 If By Sea...I was able to whip right through the rest of the de-papering of the quilt squares!!!

Cristi suggested that I mist the back of the squares to allow the paper to be easily pulled away...while I did not have a mister...using a wet cloth wiped across the seams worked beautifully!  Crisit if you lived close enough I would come over and hug you...you saved the day!!

Sooooo...I'm hoping to have something else awesome to show you soon! :)

Yes, the "Love you so" sign is for sale!  Just email me...first come first served. 
n
And I am working on an awesome week of posts next week...with giveaways...from our new sponsors...and hopefully ending the week by starting the quilt raffle with a finished quilt!! :) 

Email me if you want to be a sponsor you will be among great company!! :)

Off to work...happy Friday to you!! :)
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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 pan...so I searched high and low for another recipe. 

here is what I found:

Blueberry Buckle

Ingredients
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 again...so 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 coming...it's not to late to join them! :) Email me for rates! 

And depapering those squares is taking way longer than I thought...so 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!
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70 {seventy}

I sewed my rear off this weekend...and just finished sewing the last of the squares for the Nothing But Net quilt last night...the grand total?  SEVENTY!! :)  Seventy beautiful, wonderful, lovely, life saving squares.  Want to know more about the Nothing but Net Project?...click HERE. 

Want to go buy a net or nets/entries?  Go HERE.  

So now that the strips are sewn...
  I have also ironed them flat...
and I am currently trimming the squares...I hope to get that done today and then de-paper the squares tonight while watching a movie with my love. :) 

Maybe I will even have a finished quilt top by weeks end? 
I hope so...I just can't wait to see what it will look like.  I am SO excited!

I hope that when the time comes you will blog, tweet, facebook, talk, scream, share, etc...all about it.  You will won't you?

Consequently...it's a great time to think about advertising with little bit funky...I have great rates and excellent stats...want to know more just shoot me an email. :)

Hope you are keeping cool where you are...we are under a heat advisory here until Wednesday night!

xo
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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 fun...here 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 bland...you 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! :)
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hoho takes on the water park...

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and sigh...

I told you last week that we were going away for a couple of days.  What I didn't tell you was that we were going HOME!  At least for me, the New River Valley (Radford and Blacksburg) is the ONLY place that has ever felt like home...the only place on Earth that I truly love.

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned it since.  The truth is...I haven't recovered. 
At least not emotionally. 

You see...it wasn't just the physical location that we were going to see...it was the people that would be there.  Our family was going to be there...Doug's parents and some siblings.  Family that we love and don't get to see nearly enough.  It was a wonderful weekend.  Perfect.  Moses loved it.  Aaron loved it.  We all left happy and full.  

Now the recovery is still going on.  We (some me and some Doug) are absolutely heartsick to live closer to family.  I long to live close enough to see them more than a few times a year.  Outside of our family of four, Doug's family is everything to us...for reasons I won't discuss, my side of the family is out of the picture, and will remain there for long into the foreseeable future.  

We plan our lives around the trips we take to see them...we get there and love every minute.  And then we come home...to a place that we don't particularly love.  And there is always a great period of recovery and grief and homesickness.  Especially for me. 

It pains my heart when Moses asks if we can go play with his cousins...or go visit his grandma...or go see his aunts and uncles...and he doesn't understand the distance that separates us.  We can tell he feels the same as we do...he just has less words and ability to express it. 

Add to that...the fact that since it has been 3 1/2years almost since we left HOME...things have changed...people have changed and moved on...life is different there....we are different.  If could go back there...it wouldn't be the same.  Home has truly become wherever our family is.  

Which leaves me to wonder where God has in store for us?

Add to that also...the fact that so far...2010 has been a huge pruning year for me.  God has shown me areas in my life that need a good trimming...be it people (family, friends, etc) that need to be cut away....or things that are taking up too much time...or blogs that I need to cut out of my reading list, etc...it's been a year for cutting away the lifeless things to make room for the growing ones.  

I'm not saying that I had all these cancerous things in my life...I'm not talking about anything drastic like drugs or drinking or filth...but more like God showing me parts of my life and asking "Does this bring you Joy? or does this give the enemy a footstool?"  

Time and again He has cut.  And now I feel bare.  I am ready to move on from this place...to water and care for what is left and see what grows.  God knows that the desires of my heart (and Doug's too) is to be close enough to family to have REAL relationships with them...to see them even a couple of times a month would mean the world and then some...

And Doug is currently in a series of interviews that just may lead to our hearts desire.  And I know that God's plan and timing is pure and right and good. 

And the crazy thing...is that I have never felt closer to God.  I have never before RUN to read my Bible...or look forward to talking to Him...or felt His presence as closely as I have lately...I guess I needed that pruning to get to that place.  I guess its hard to hear the God that whispers when so many distractions are busy screaming things at you... 

And now I am ready to take that...and move forward (and closer!)...whenever God sees fit to send us.

For now...I'm still nursing homesickness...enjoying my two sweet boys...and praying for God to do what's best...
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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 fill...you 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 quilt...so 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!



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why {bother} blogging. part 2.

I know I have been promising this for a while...but I really had to think about how I wanted to get it out there...what I have to say, that is.  WHY I bother blogging.  Why maybe you should too?  

It really all comes down to people.  The good, the bad and the ugly of it all.  

I'm an extrovert on the outside...an introvert on the inside.  My extrovert loves people and gatherings and being with others.  My introvert is controlled by my insecurities and lack of faith in self. 


   Blogging is my therapy.  My cookbook.  My boys baby books.  My spiritual journey.  My journal.  My way of sharing.  My way of encouraging.  My way of giving.  My way of using what I have for good.  My way of BEING the change that I want to see in others.  My way of learning what I need to change about myself. 

I have learned so much from blogging...and I have only been doing it for a little under three years.  Blogging makes me think.  Blogging makes me want to share...and share well.  Which makes me think...a lot.  And share and think and share and think. 

I want my boys to know me well.  For them to have a history of their lives.  I struggled to get their first year baby books filled in and complete (but I did it!).  I have tried to journal and scrapbook and do photo albums and all of that.  None of it has stuck...I still have and do tons of photo albums but they don't always share the whole story.  

Blogging allows me to interact with my history in a way that encourages me and moves me forward.  Like...if you make a scrapbook page...it sits in a book...sometimes people will see it...some times it just sits there.  With a blog you get instant, and often ongoing, feedback.     

I like the back and forth of a blog versus a scrapbook.  I like "meeting" people that I would never have in my real life.  I like making friends, yes REAL friends, with people all over the globe.  

I would have liked to live back in the day...you know...where you drove your little cart across the prairie, found a good spot, built a house and knew everyone in town within a few days.  You would swap favors and crops and take care of each other.  You knew each other well and watched out for each others kids.  

Instead I live in a neighborhood where I am pretty sure that we are the only people who open their blinds on a daily basis...where kids throw rocks at my house and then spit in my grass when I ask them to stop.  I try to be available and kind and friendly...but most of the people here are very guarded.  We do have a couple of good neighbors though...and we are thankful for those.  

Blogging expands my neighborhood.  

Blogging exposes my weaknesses and various issues.  This is usually through "the ugly" part of blogging...but I try and turn and work this for my GOOD.  Usually a negative comment IS a negative comment because it preys on something that I need to work on.  I use that as fuel to refine...to figure out WHY it bothers me and how I can use it to help myself grow as a person. 

Blogging shows me how far have I come.  

Blogging keeps me close to my family.  We don't live close to any of our family really...the closest is 2 1/2 hours away...we don't get to see them much (though we are praying for that to change soon!!)  This blog helps that family to know my kids a little better...to feel a little more like we live down the street...to keep in touch a little more...to hear some of the funny stories...to add another layer to our relationships...blogging knits my family closer together. 

And that...above all...is why I blog.  

You?
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this will have to do {and help please}

Well last night I was full of good intentions.  I was all set to sit down after the boys went to bed and write up all of my posts for the week and respond to all my emails...I had them all ready to go in my head...and then we had the worst thunderstorm that I have ever witnessed in my life...there is rumor that it may have been part tornado...and I believe it.  It was wicked bad and this morning sounds of chainsaws and hammers are filling the air as people try to clean up the mess that it made.  There are huge branches and trees down everywhere...we are blessed that there is not much damage.

But it did freak me out enough to throw me off my game, shut down our electricity and internet...and we are heading out of town for a couple of days...so this is all I can muster.  

Above hoho is showing off his new Sour Patch kids shirt...custom made for the biggest stinker that I know...cause generally...first he is sour...then he is sweet.

  And this is another fun new thing I am working on...this one will be available sometime next week...with more to come. :) 

And I need your help...I often get the same kinds of questions in emails...so I've been thinking...why not put together a collaboration that we all work on...

Here are the three main topics:

Blogging Etiquette. 
Advice for newly married.
and
a third topic that is currently eluding my cloudy brain at the moment. 

And this is where you come in...on this post...please leave your tid bits for blogging etiquette...and then I will compile them in one big post.  

I want to hear all of your do's and don't's...and you can leave them anonymously if that helps you.  When I compile the huge list I won't put any names to it...so you can forward it along to all those people in your life that may or may not need to freshen up their bloggy etiquette.  

Cause we all have those people in our lives right? 


So sorry this is all I have to give you for a few days...you still love me right? :)

Ok...love you...bye. :)
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