next on the agenda.

These are the fabrics for my next quilt.  This one is to fulfill all of Doug's requests in a quilt. 

He requested:
Extra long and not so wide.  
(basically the perfect size for covering his tall self while watching TV)
He wanted ALL black and white or gray but he chose the fabrics above.

And my personal favorite request:
A furry lined pocket on the bottom to tuck his feet into. :)

I even drew up my very own quilt design.  We will see how proud I am of it when it is all said and done. 

Has your husband made any request of your crafty goodness? 

And just a reminder...you have until THURSDAY to buy a net to qualify for the quilt raffle. :)

xo
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convo with moses.

In the car yesterday, this was our conversation...out of the blue, mind you.

Moses: When I grow up I want to have a girl. 

Me: You want to have a girl? 

Moses: Yes, I want to have a girl and I want to hold her hand.

Me: Ooookay.

Moses: And that is it. I don't want to talk about it anymore. Don't ask me any questions about it.
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on being a good blogger. aka blogging etiquette.

(this photo has nothing to do with this post...but this is what hoho does every times he sees me trying to photograph a product...naturally he assumes that i want him in the photo).

Some time ago I asked for your input on what makes a good blogger...otherwise known as blogging etiquette.  I got tons of great feedback...via comments and emails.  
And the basic theme I saw time and time again was...don't do online what you would never do to someones face. 

For example...would you scream at someone who is standing three feet from you? 
Then don't type in CAPS.  It baffles me to that some people still don't know that ALL CAPS equals SCREAMING.

Would you walk up to a complete stranger and tell them how much they suck/how much you hate their hair/clothes/religion/decor? 
No? Then don't go to someones blog and leave a nasty comment...especially if you must to do it anonymously.  You know...if you can't say something nice...then don't say it anonymously.  

Would you send follow a friend around waving a letter at them that they HAD to read? 
No?  Then don't forward every blog post to your contact list.  Let Google reader do it's job.  
I was amazed at both how many times this came up AND how many people don't know what Google Reader is. Google it.  Thank me later. 
 Include photos.  People like to see things.  It's true. :) I for one, am far less likely to read too far in a blog with no photos...I'm a visual kind of person...maybe it's because I still have kids who read picture books? But photos, like the photo above...which also has nothing to do with this post...provide interest and get you to smile a little...right?

As a blog reader...I think the thing to remember...is that behind every blog there is a person.  
With feelings and friends and family.  Each and every one of us has good days and bad ones.  We all have highs and lows in life and I, for one like to share them all.  Others don't. That is ok.
As a blog writer I think it is even more simple...write as though you remember that God can see what you are writing.  Would you read it out loud to Him? 
I share it all because I think that is the way to do the most good with my blog.  I know that if I read a blog that puts up a perfect appearance...without a flaw or bad day or pile of laundry...then somehow I can make that reflect bad on me...not being together enough or efficient enough or good enough.  The truth is that I don't read those blogs for long...if I am taking the time to read it...I want it to feed my soul and mind.   

If I know that other blogs make it harder for me to like me, which I realize is part of my own mess...then I want to do everything I can to make sure that my blog doesn't contribute to those feelings in others...though I know I can only control that to an extent.

I share because I want to find like fibers in our humanness...because I believe that finding common ground is the starting off point to all sorts of healing.  Being real does that.  Putting up a pretty front doesn't.  But the point of your blog may be different than mine...I can appreciate that. 
My goal is to do my part in uniting women as a team...as cliche' as that sounds...I want to contribute to a beautiful Godly force to be reckoned with.  And I am not talking about feminism.  Sorry.

But I am talking about something like this...
"The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful."
1 Corinthians 10:13

And lest you think that I am too, anything, here are my kids, eating a dinner of frozen waffles, in a bowl mind you, while watching veggie tales.
:)

And PLEASE go buy a net!! We are over $2000 so far!! WOO HOO!
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bits of random...

You all make me feel this loved...thanks so much for all of your Nothing but Net support!!  I am just overwhelmed by all of the lovely emails I have gotten and continue to receive...you guys are awesome!

We are off to a great start!  I am thankful for each and every net you buy!

Scroll down if you haven't read about our quilt yet. :)

And THIS IS IMPORTANT...if for any reason you don't see your name on our team page (click over on the right) please email to let me know and I will manually add you. :)  For some reason one or two of you are not showing up there.  I want to be sure that your entries are counted. :) 
In other news...I was sick to death of this wall...bland, boring...I didn't love the frames...it needed a redo.  The photos are collages I do of each of the boys on each birthday...so in each photo you see them progress from one age to another...birth to one, one to two..etc...love them and wanted to love their presentation more.  I was going to just paint the frames...but when we went to Michaels the other day...there were frames with mats for sale for $5...they were just what I was wanting...so down they all came...out came some paint...away went a few hats...
 And this is what I ended up with...I made the signs with the boys names...you can buy one HERE...then I spray painted some stars I already had...LOVE.  Makes such a better impact. :) 
As for the frames that were there...they had a date with destiny...otherwise known as aqua spray paint...
And now they are displaying some new art that is in the shop...
I call these ones "be you"...there are two versions in the shop now.

And I am going to take the weekend to do some other projects that have been on my to-do list for some time...and then I am going to start on my next order of Hoho monsters!!! If you want one reserved for you....I strongly suggest that you send me an email to do so...I already have quite a long list and if you really want one that is the best way to do ensure that you get one. :) 

There will be yet another giveaway tomorrow...see you then!

Now go buy a net please. :)
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are ya'll ready for this?

I am SO excited to be writing this post.  You really have no idea...I am almost day before Christmas excited...but not why you think.  Well maybe...if you know me...if you can beleive it...the finished quilt is not the most exciting part to me.  

It's the fulfillment of a promise that is making me all giddy with excitement.  

You see...a couple of months ago I felt the nudge to do more with my blog than just write and share...I felt like I was being led to use my blog as a catapult for showing God's love...
Honestly, I was like...ok...just what do you mean God?
And I waited...and prayed.  And then things started clicking...I found the quilt pattern over at Film in the Fridge. You can find it HERE.
"YES!" Is what I wanted to scream when I saw it...I knew what I was supposed to do...and how.
And quickly, because I am human and humans both chicken out AND forget easily what God tells them to do...I emailed a small group of women that I trust and love...some who I knew would kindly remind me of what I had shared with them that God told me to do. 

Basically, I told them..."God told me to do this...please call me out on it if I don't".
Then I contacted sweet Jody from Fabric Shoppe...and told her what I was on a mission to do...wouldn't you know it...she is a pastors wife and hopes to adopt from Africa one day.  She almost immediately offered to donate ALL of the fabric I would need to make the quilt.  

Thinking about it...that is a pretty crazy thing.  That is a LOT of fabric to just send to a stranger who promises to make a quilt to benefit a charity.  I cried in the parking lot after getting her email.
Then a good friend offered to pay for the batting and the shipping. 
God is SO good. 
God is responsible for all of this coming together.  God loves all people.  God loves Africa...and all those sweet people who are suffering from something that is SO easily helped...
To me...each piece of fabric in this quilt stands for a family or person...or BABY...that together we can help...and this may sound crazy...but if you are one of the many who have told me of plans to adopt from Africa...the net you buy just may save YOUR future baby.  Crazy cool, right?
Malaria kills over 1 MILLION precious people PER YEAR!!!
In fact, there are 10 new cases of malaria every second. 

Every 30 seconds, a child in Africa dies from a malaria infection.  A child that is no less precious or loved or held dear by his parents than our own children.
By buying ONE net a family of four can sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net, safe from malaria, for four to five years.
AND
The benefits of bed nets extend even further than protecting those sleeping underneath them. The insecticide woven into each net makes entire communities safer – killing and repelling mosquitoes so that they can’t go on to bite others who may not be protected by a net.
Although $10 for a bed net may not sound like much, the cost makes them out of reach for most people at risk of malaria, many of whom survive on less than $1 a day.

Just think...to us $10 is a couple of latte's...a movie...a shirt...a lunch out...a CD...a couple of magazines...any number of frivolous things that we all throw money at...can I challenge us all to give those up for a day...or a week or a month...and give a net or two or three instead?
Can you help me show God's love to people in Africa?  And wait with me for God to show up in a big way?  Each net you buy is ONE entry into the raffle to win this quilt!
It's a beauty...if I do say so myself...considering that I only started sewing a little over two years ago...I feel so BLESSED that God would use me in this way to do something big.
It is approx 51in by 73in.  It would be cute as a twin coverlet...or on a couch...or hanging on a wall.  
And fyi--my home is smoke and pet free. :)
And as a special little touch...to help you remember what this quilt represents...I added this cute little tag. :)

God IS SO GOOD!!!

And now for the begging...
PLEASE go buy a net...you can click HERE to go to our page.
If only each daily visitor to this blog bought ONE...we would more than double or triple our goal.  So YES...one net DOES make a difference!

PLEASE feel free to copy this ENTIRE post and repost it on your blog...you will probably have to check the links but feel free to post away....anyway you choose.  I would LOVE nothing more than to go through my reader and see this post over and over and over again!!

We will choose a winner NEXT FRIDAY the 23rd!!  So every net bought by Thursday the 22nd at midnight will count as ONE entry...and I have a totally unbiased judged in mind to do a VIDEO reveal of the winner!!!

 AND there will be other prizes as well.  If you would like to donate a prize PLEASE contact me...I already have several offers and I would like to extend the deadline to donate.

You guys are awesome.  And I love you...truly.  I can't wait to hit "publish" post...I feel like all of this before was like heading up to the highest point of a roller coaster and hitting "publish" will push it over the edge...

Now...pretty, pretty, PLEASE...go BUY A NET...and spread the word!!
GOD IS SO GOOD!
xo
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done! done! done!!!!

the quilt is DONE!!! 
right now it is in the wash...then the dryer!! 
then tomorrow I hope to get some scrumptious photos of it!!

I may post about it Thursday...but for now...

if you have a shop...make a craft...or something like that...and want to donate something to the raffle...I need to hear from you...preferably within the next 24 hours. Even if I have already heard from you...can you email me again...I need to know what you would like to offer...and a photo of it. :) 

It is going to be AWESOME.  I am SO excited.  

Have you bought a net yet?  Over there on the right...click away...thanks to all the many generous donations that have come in...

I can't wait to show you this beautiful quilt!!!!
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julia project num. 6 & 7

This one is for Petra...or at least her daughter.  

This may be the easiest skirt I have ever made...super simple pattern.  
I think it is called the "Flouncy Pleated Skirt". 

I instantly want to make more...took about 20 minutes total to do.

And this one is for Simona...she requested something for the kitchen.

This is the "Kitchy Kitchen Apron".  
Super simple and easy to sew...for me, a little too simple...I added the row of patchwork along the bottom to cute it up a bit. 

I hope you both love them ladies. 
To see the rest of my Julia projects you can go HERE.

And as for the post from yesterday...oh my.  I am so thankful for your responses and support.  Already I have another crazy deep post in addition to/in response to that one...but I am still working it out in my head...soon though, friends.  Thank you for being you.  It is my prayer that through the lovely network of blogs that we can push each other towards that which is most important...Christ.  
Because I don't know about you...but life, without Christ...holds no appeal to me.

And I will be dedicating a whole post to the details of the quilt...hopefully everything you would want to know about it. 

 Come back tomorrow for another great giveaway!!

xo
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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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