on Eve {and women}

(this photo has nothing to do with the post...just wanted to share...and what good is a post with no photos?) 

"It's funny, not really, how the punishment fits the crime in God's economy. The woman took on Adam's headship and now futilely wants it. If she gets it, it's often to her own hurt. Adam, however, passively allows his wife to take charge of the situation. Now all nature fights against his passivity, never allowing him to rest." Sandra-a lady I go to church with...but don't know.  :)

I read this quote this morning and it made my heart sing.  Because it is so TRUE.  I honestly believe that the womens lib movement has done more harm than good...made women more unsafe than ever in history.  (Let the verbal beating begin).  And I have been so happy to hear a pastor preach so many thoughts on the subject that are in line with GOD's plan and NOT with mans.  Many of the thoughts in this post have been spoken from the pulpit of our church where we have been going through a series of sermons on Genesis.  And I have honestly never, ever, loved a series of sermons MORE...because I share so many of the same thoughts.

Each Sunday we would discuss God's original plans for how things should be...and how they are now.  So much hurt and pain through history because of man's disobedience...and the beautiful redemptive love of a God who cares too much to let us fall into the hands of our own destruction, but instead sends a Hope for our future. 

Many will claim that the Bible is not for today.  That times were different then and the instructions were for a different people.  And what do we even have in common with those people?  I say everything.  The more things change the more they stay the same.  They were "yeah, but" people and so are we. 

Let me explain...when I was a social worker, with 30-40 kids on my list of clients that I had to meet with regulary, I had two steadfast rules for them.  1) We never say "shut-up" and, 2) We never say "yeah, but".  As in I ask them a question, such as "Do you want to do better in school?" and they respond with "Yeah, but I can't"...or some form of that. 

We are "yeah, but" people just like the people of Moses' day.

God delivers them from an ugly situation and they say "yeah, but we don't have water"...God delivers us from an ugly situation and we say "yeah, but we don't have the house we used to".  

God gives them water and manna and they say "Yeah, but we want meat". 

God gives us a job and we say "Yeah, but I'm not using my degree". 

You get the idea.  God gives us/gave them good and we respond with "yeah, but it's not enough". 

God set up a plan for how the family unit was to be and we say "yeah, but we know a better way".  We are constant in our correction of God.  I know I am guilty of this.  

It has been my theory for years...for as long as I can remember...that you can trace every social problem back to the breakdown of the family unit.  And you can trace the break down of the family unit back to a break down of trust and reliance in God.  We think we can fix every situation on our own...seek our own solutions and do our own thing...like we know better.  We never know better.  

I know I am blessed to be in a marriage where my husband seeks God and His plans for our hope and future.  This allows me to trust Doug 100% without fear of my safety or well being.  I know that not everyone can claim such a thing and truly that grieves me.  As much as some may not want to hear it, women were made to be in care of men. Not dominated by or controlled by or bossed around by or hurt by...but cared for and loved by a man who seeks God and HIS intentions.  If every marriage was this way...imagine the love and grace in the world? 

 God created woman to be a helper to her husband.  Some read this as derogatory but it is not so...for God called Himself a helper.  Woman is supposed to be born into the PROTECTION of the family to be honored, served and protected.  Sadly, this is often not the case because of all of our "yeah, buts".

The state of our society today often has me in a whirl of homesickness for Heaven.  I'm weird in that the death of a believer, while it does sadden me...also makes me a little jealous.  Jealous because the worries of this world are behind them and they are now spending eternity worshiping and hanging out with Jesus.  

Someone once commented on one of my posts about how they felt like the world was getting better and better every day.  Can I tell you that no comment has ever haunted me more? No comment, not even the all the ugly ones combined, has ever made me more sad. 

Are we blessed beyond what we deserve? Yes.  

Is God good? Yes. 

Is the world a good place and getting better? No, no, no.  Nothing is as it was intended.  If the world is good...what good would Jesus be? 

If there was good in us...what would the point of a redemptive savior be? 

We are all knee deep in sin.  

We all need the point of life...and that is to glorify God and enjoy HIM.

So that is where my heart is at the moment...swirling and whirling around these concepts and how to apply them to my life...how to pass them on to my children. 

And for some reason I feel compelled to share this, maybe you need to hear it, maybe I'll just look pathetic but...

I have read my Bible for years...13-14 years or so.  And it is only in the last year that I have LOVED to read it.  It has only been in the last year that I can truly say that I savor it...that I miss it when I don't...that look forward to my time reading it because I can FEEL His presence when I do.  That is MY time and I treasure it.  Can I just encourage you to hang in there?  God always shows up.

Never has this been more true:

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand

Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand

And this is where I am in my learning...I always love to hear your thoughts...and as usual, ugly, anonymous comments will be ignored and not published.

 Thanks to Chris (our pastor) and his thoughts that echoed mine so well. 


a gift for great pa.

We'll be celebrating Doug's grandpa's birthday while we are on vacation. 
He came here from Norway when he was just 14...with almost nothing.  
Since that day many many years ago, he has built a great life for his family through his hard work and started a successful contracting business after retiring.  After having a daughter that was blind and multiply impaired and seeing a need for residential housing and care for this category of God's people he helped to start and fund AMIB.  The agency now has several houses and programs that help people who may otherwise not have access to the care they need.  
 Needless to say...we love great pa (as the boys call him) and we are so proud to have him as a head of our family.  We are excited to see him next week.
And I hope he loves our little tribute to his roots. :)  


a girly little makeover.

Last week Doug and I got to go on a little day date...thanks to my awesome neighbor we got to go ALONE.  Which never happens...unless we are with my in-laws. 
Anyway...while we were out we went into a not so local Goodwill and found this old little beauty...I hoped that I could make it pretty for my niece, who we get to see soon. 
Some sanding, filling and spray painting got us to a very pretty place with it. :)
I made a cute little mattress that fits right inside...along with a cute little pillow and mini-quilt!
So cute, I could nibble on them! :)
Here's a better look at the two sided quilt and the other side of the pillow. :) 
When I made this little doll (that comes in a panel of three from Patty Young) I had hoped she would fit inside nicely...but she's a little big...but I'll just assume that Ky has something that will work.

She does sit nicely inside. :)

I hope she will love her and it becomes a sweet little memory in her childhood. :) 

I've been working on lots more that I want to share so stay tuned!

p.s.  I have two dolls from THIS PANEL left.  If you would like to order a doll/outfit/mini-quilt/pillow combo be one of the first two to let me know and and I would happily make one up for you! :) Email me for details. :)

20 minute crafter. {photo ornament}

Hooray!! At long last I have another 20 minutes crafter for you!!
Now this one is a Christmas one...and I know it's August.  But if you *really* want to make things to give as gifts...*this* is the time to start...and not in mid-December.
So here is what we are making...cute little photo ornaments for your tree!
Or to give to grandma...or teachers or anyone who would just LOVE a photo of your child...or pet...or you! :)
Here is what you need:
one 4 1/2in by 6 1/2in white piece of white or light colored fabric
one 4 1/2in by 6 1/2in piece of patterned fabric
approx 9in of ribbon
a 2 by 3in piece of vinyl
(i get it from Joann's...i don't know the gauge...but get something in the middle range...not too thick and not too thin)
either a set of letter stamps and ink pad
fabric pen
Step one...stamp the name you would like on your fabric...practice on paper first to get a good feel for how hard to press and make sure everything is spelled correctly.  If you are using a fabric pen...practice first! :) You can lay the vinyl in the middle of the fabric to get an idea of where to stamp. 
Step two...using a zig-zag stitch go around the bottom three sides of the vinyl.  
Step three...fold your ribbon in half and pin it in the top middle of the piece you just sewed.
Step four...lay your patterned fabric on top of what you just did...right sides together and sew around the perimeter leaving a two inch or so opening.
Step five...clip the corners.
Step six...turn right side out and stitch around the edge...leaving the opening.
Step seven...stuff and sew closed...either by hand or with your machine.
Yes, this photo is sideways...sorry.
Add a photo and you are done! :)

Enjoy and have fun!
I'll answer any questions in the comments!

on the agenda.

This week is going to be Busy.  With a capital "B".  I don't plan on sleeping much. We are going on a much needed vacation soon and I know I will enjoy myself all the more if I can get certain things done over the next several days. 

First things first.  There will be a SHOP UPDATE TONIGHT! :) 
I will be listing several unclaimed hoho's.  And since vacation is coming up this may be the last batch until the end of September.  I am going to try to squeeze in another batch before we go but I can't promise it will happen.

So SHOP UPDATE TONIGHT at 8pm! :) (est). 
I am also working on a pattern for the shop for my "What's in a name pillows".  
I hope to get this done this week...
I also have a 20 minute crafter ready to go in the next day or so...maybe tomorrow? 
I am also working on some more quilt squares...a thrift store find remake...and lots of other stuff.  So if my blog is lacking good posts...just hang in there...I will be back. :) 

Happy Sunday to you.  :)

why i love my job.

I believe that God delights in showing us His love for us in little ways...little moments placed in time that others would look over...but are significant signs to us that we are ever on His mind.  
Not too long ago I receieved an email from a lovely customer/blog reader/friend. :)
With her permission here is what it said:

hi crystal!

i just had to share something with you about your hohos.  i ordered one for each of my kiddos a couple weeks ago.  i was hoping beyond hope they would arrive before my son started kinder (last tuesday) cause i wanted him to have it as a special symbol of how he's perfect just the way he is.  well, it arrived the day before and he LOVED it!  my daughter likes hers too, but for henry it's extra special since he can understand the meaning behind it.  it's even a little extra special since the one i bought for him has the selvage from an alexander henry fabric on it, so it actually says henry!  he's taken to putting his snuggley from when he was a baby into the pocket each night so they can all three sleep together.  i'm convinced it's helped him during these first days of kindergarten.  thank you so much for creating something that has such a wonderful story and meaning behind it.
we love ours!!
Call me crazy but God loves Henry...and wanted to show Him that.  My favorite part of this story is that from the listing that Heather bought...you can't see "Henry" or the part of the selvage that says his name anywhere in the photo. :)  I believe that God wanted to show Henry a little special love...because he is ever on His mind. :) 

I get emails like this often...about how a package arrived just in time...or made the day...or helped through a hard time.  I LOVE to hear where my creations are going and who they bless.  Your emails and stories, to me, are some of the ways that God tells me that He loves me and that I am ever on His mind. :)
Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. 1 Peter 5:7
 And in random shop news...I made four sweet little lovies...made from hoho fur. :) If you order one of these (which I will most likely NOT be making more of) I can make you a coordinating hoho (for purchase) to make a super cute baby gift. :)

Hope your day is happy.  I PROMISE that I have some 20 minute crafter segments up my sleeve...soon!

bag winner {and etc}

So...the winner of the lovely owl bag...that will be just like the one above is YOU.  If that is you...could you kindly email me in the next couple of days to claim your new adorable new Fall bag. 

If that is not you...so sorry...I wish I could give you all one...but I can make a couple for some of you.  I bought enough of those fabrics to make a couple more of these...if you would like one you can still get one: ) I'll be listing a couple tonight along with...

A small shop update that includes only TEN hoho's! :) I'm shooting for about 7:30pm EST. 

And a request for you.  I have promised Doug that I would send him to his Monday meetings every week with a homemade baked goodie to share with his colleagues and hopefully make those meetings a little easier...and it is my little way to show him that I love him and support him and his career...

So, from you, if you don't mind, could you share your favorite go-to baked good?  You know, the one that everyone always wants the recipe for? I'd love you forever...and my husband may as well. 

:) See you tonight! :)

so far.

 two brothers.
58 hours. 
6 baths. 
two times running the steam cleaner before 8am. 
12 loads of laundry. 
6 or so outfit changes per child per day. 
2-3 per adult.
three kinds of saltines. 
ten hours of sleep per adult for the last two nights.
10 different kinds of clear liquids.
30 hours or more of children's programming. 
two rugs hosed off out in the yard.
one terrible diaper rash.
and one thankful mama.
and I am not thankful because it's over, because we aren't sure it is...though once it IS over (which we are ever so gently hoping it IS) I will be thankful. 

I am currently thankful that this is the worst we have ever had it.  That in a few short days our lives will be (God willing) back to normal.  That in a couple of days my boys will be back to their normal, wild and crazy boy selves.  That in his almost four years on this Earth we have only had to take Moses to a non-well baby visit three times.  Aaron has never gone. 
I am thankful that we could get in the car and just buy whatever it was we needed or thought we needed to help our boys get better.  I am thankful that we didn't have to think twice to buy everything we thought they could/would eat to help them get back to normal.  I am thankful that they are normally super healthy and happy boys.  I will take our last 58 hours over some of the things that other parents have to deal with on a daily and sometimes forever basis.  

This whole time they have been sick, I have had such peace and knowledge of God's presence.  Not saying that it was easy(because it hasn't been)...but it was definitely God that has helped me to clean these messes...messes that otherwise would have normally been impossible for me to clean.  I could almost hear God saying "One minute at a time...this too shall pass". 
God has been gently reminding me how good I have it with these two boys...these two, strong, fast growing boys who rarely fall out of the high percentiles for height and weight.  

These last couple of days God has gently nudged me and brought to mind people to pray for...who have kids who are always sick...who are fighting more difficult things than a stomach bug...who have kids who never came home. 

I am thankful for this stomach bug.  
And even though I am totally drained beyond drained...I am thankful that at least this was Doug's weekend off.  And even though I am weary at the thought of starting up this next cycle of work at below zero physically, mentally and spiritually...I will take these problems and give thanks for them. 

One day...one moment at a time.

I am also thankful for clorox wipes, my steam cleaner, a working washing machine and a temporary gut of steel.

So if you are waiting to hear from me...or you just think of me...please be praying for us to be on the mend...in all sorts of ways and on all levels. 


boys {and other things i made}

Just some boy things going on around here lately...Moses *needed* a new backpack for his two day a week preschool.  Somehow preschool does not play into the "to homeschool or not" debate.  He is going to one of the best in town and Uncle B wanted to pay to send him.  And Moses is thrilled.  And this is a great way to "test the waters" so to speak...
...oh, and of course hoho needed his own monogrammed back pack to match. :) 
I love these wonderful boys.  Moses and his "I hate loud noises but I am the loudest noise ever".  And Aaron and his insistence on feeding himself...and doing a better job most times than his older brother.
We learned this summer that the boys love frozen things.  In this case I just froze some water in plastic cups.  Free entertainment for an hour.  Mommy loves.
We also did this again this this summer...several times.  Tiny toys, frozen in a bowl.  Hours of entertainment as they use water squirters, a small screwdriver and toy hammer to pry the toys out of the ice.  More free fun.
Hoho loves to help with the hoho making process.  He's in charge of cuddle quality control. You can tell he takes his job seriously by all the squeals and giggles that he exudes. 
I walked out one morning to see that Moses had lined all these little guys up on the fence...I'd love to know what scenario sparked this formation. :)
And in other things I have made...I have a new favorite quilt pattern...the wonky star.  This one is for a group project I am working on...
And this one is on a pillow going in the shop. :) I LOVE it.  The center was begging for a little doodle embroidery. 
And this is another set of squares for the same project...another I am sure to use again. 
CJC-What do you think of this pattern for your table runners?
And if you are not a Facebook fan you may not have seen these...these are a pair of "keepsake hoho's" I made for my last batch of hoho's.  These are made from baby clothes given to me to use by the customer...wouldn't you love a hoho made from your sweet bundles baby clothes? 


Well...that's life in a nutshell lately...bits of this and that all over the place. :)

birthday goodness.

This birthday was lovely.  All grown up and fit for a mom. :) 

My week started with this lovely arriving in the mail for me.  I LOVE it.  
I got it from *The Noisy Cricket*.  
Her shipping was fast and her prices are wonderful!
The workmanship on the necklace that I got is some of the best I have seen on Etsy...perfectly done...and comes so sweetly packaged. 
My favorite part...is that when I am wearing it, the two charms make a sweet little noise, like a soft little jangle...from the first time I put it on, every time I hear that noise I am reminded that these two sweet boys are the reasons for my days...the reason I get up and work hard and do my best. 

I am pleased to have her as a new sponsor.  Hop on over to *The Noisy Cricket* for a super sweet gift.
And my BIG birthday gift came from Uncle B last week.  What kind of gift comes from an Uncle B? 
Why...a practical one of course...in the form of a load of gravel and a driveway redo!
Here's a before and after...*before* hadn't seen nary a gravel in years...*after* was edged out and filled in with fresh gravel.  We spent the whole day tilling it up, leveling it out, putting in the edgers and spreading the gravel.  The result is a perfectly respectable driveway where a couple of strips of mud once were. :)
Moses was perfectly pleased with the whole event.  This photo is of him at the end of a day FULL of playing in the dirt and digging in the rocks.  The highlight of the day was when a "real live dump truck" came to our house to dump the gravel.  To say he was dirty is an understatement.
It's all so neat and cleaned up.  This photo is at the top of the driveway...to the right will be filled in with stones and some sort of creeping plants in the spring.
Then the couple of days before my birthday Aaron came down with a high fever and a bit of nasty ick. 
He's a pitiful lump of baby when he is sick...because all he wants to do is see and play with "mimi" (that is Moses in hoho language).   These last couple of photos were from the last time he was under the weather...he came down from a nap and then promptly fell back to sleep on Doug for over an hour.

So that's why I said my birthday was all grown up and fit for a mom...driveway redo's, sick babies and all.  

BUT.  I made it another year.  I have another chance to do better...to make myself better.  I have a fresh new start to a new year of me to make changes, improve areas and put more junk behind me. 

And I am SO thankful for the life that I have.  I have been saved from myself through Christ.  I have THE worlds best husband.  I have two wonderful, healthy boys and a great set of in-laws that surround me.  If I had no other blessing in my life ever, those things would be enough Joy in themselves to carry me for the rest of my life.  I am blessed and fully aware and thankful for it. 

And thank you ALL for all of your lovely wishes...I am so thankful for each and every comment and email I received. :) You are each a treasure for sure.

Happy day to you!
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