Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lights in the Sky

There's almost nothing better than lounging on a blanket with your hubby, your kids laying all over you, and gazing at the night sky full of explosions of light.

This was by far  the best  fireworks show we have ever seen!

I wish I could have gotten better photos, but I just had my cell phone with me.

We thought several times that we were watching the finale, but we were wrong - it just kept going, and going, and going!  And then when the finale had finally come and finished, the sky was empty for about 2 minutes while the crowd clapped, whistled, and cheered.  And after a few second of silence, there was another burst of a few finally final explosions.  It was awesome!  Everyone burst into cheers, and whistles, and screams, and clapping, and laughter...again!!!  Loved it!

Truly, appreciating the freedoms we have in this country and in our amazing God.

"If therefore the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed." ~John 8:36

Friday, April 15, 2011

Amazing Vegan Loaf!

I have 3 daughters that are vegan and one vegetarian (that's about half my tribe) and finding great recipes is always exciting to me (us). 

I stumbled across Vegan Dad's blog the other day and found this recipe for Vegan Loaf, well he calls it Veggie Lunch Meat.  No matter how you slice it, it's good. 

It's a great alternative to putting out the money for the expensive vegan patties and tofurkeys, and in the form of this loaf, there are so many different ways my daughter can incorporate it into her meals. 

I followed his recipe with two small differences, I didn't have any ground fennel so I went without that, and instead of garlic powder I added chopped fresh garlic.  And we don't have a regular steamer, so I set it on a metal rack inside my dutch oven and steamed it in there for about an hour.  You can find the recipe here.

Again, we are very happy with the results.  I will definitely be using this recipe again.  Thanks again Vegan Dad!!  You Rock!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meatball Dinner

Meatballs, gravy, carrots and broccoli, and bread and butter.  This was dinner tonight.

It seemed like I spent a lot of time in the kitchen today, cooking, cleaning, doing something...piddling around.  So, when I got that food on the plate it made me happy to think that it was the last meal of the day and I sighed a little sigh, thinking I was glad to get it done.  (I currently have beans cooking on the stove for tomorrow - so, I'm not completely done in the kitchen)

I don't know what it is but it there is always something going on in our kitchen.  Whether it's cooking, cleaning, preparing, baking, making food for the dogs, whatever, there is a constant flow of activity in there and it just never quite gets completely cleaned up and put away. 

I found this button awhile ago and I absolutely love it.  It really could be me on that button, although, I must admit I don't look that put together when I go to bed.  :)

It says, "I dreamed my whole house was clean..."
...and what a beautiful dream that was.  :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Strange How My Brain Works

     I have been sitting up reading and doing some writing.  Everyone else has gone to bed and it just dawned on me that, somewhere in the back of my mind, I have been waiting for my 18yr. old daughter to call me to tell me she's on her way home or ask me to pick her up - and that's not going to happen.  It's strange how I know she's moved but part of me is still thinking that she's here.  We are such creatures of habit.  I wish I had more good habits programmed into me than I do.  Ah, well....  :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love, Love, Love

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." ~John 15:13

Loving Wishes To All

     Early this morning, my 18yr. old daughter hopped on a plane and headed southwest where she'll be living, (for who knows how long) at least for the time being.  So, that makes 3 daughters now living out of state.  I miss them immensely.  But, I'm thankful that they are all happy and healthy and they have always been beautiful blessings to me. 
      I don't know if it's just my imagination, but candy hearts don't seem to be what they used to...I couldn't find one "Be Mine" or an "XOXO" or even just a plain old "Love" in the whole bag.  Call me old fashioned, but it seemed kinda strange to see "LOL" and "eMail Me" stamped on those little colored hearts.  And seriously, "Hey You" ?  We don't say "Hey, you!" to each other, seems a little rude.  :)

      I crocheted a few little red hearts for the kids.  I found a pattern at julie-k's blog.  Mine look basically the same as hers, but for some reason when I followed her pattern they came out almost round, so I changed it just a wee bit to make it more heart shaped.  I added a couple double crochets and an extra chain stitch.  They worked up so quick and easy and were fun to make.  :)  I am really enjoying crocheting.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Early Valentine

   One of my daughters is moving out of state soon and so she gave me an early Valentine that she made for me.  It was so sweet and so beautiful. 

The lighting in this photo doesn't do it justice. 

    I remember my Dad always saying when I was young that anything I made for him was so much better than anything I could buy for him.  And this always made me feel better because I never had any money to buy him anything anyway.  But, there was always part of me that thought he would just say this to make me feel better.  

    One year, when I was in grammar school, I hand sewed him a tie.  I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  He always wore clip-on ties and I thought that was because he didn't have the money to buy a "real" tie.  I can't even remember where I got the material from, I just remember that it was blue.  I'm sure I recycled some other piece of clothing that I found that was no longer in use.  Since I didn't have another tie to copy or even look at for reference, I just dove in and cut it up and started sewing, making it look like what I thought a tie should look like.  Ha!  He "ooh'd" and "ahh'd" over it and went on about how great it was and then put it on and tied it around his collar and wore it the rest of the day.  At night, he didn't untie it but just loosened it and then hung it over a hanger in his closet.  I'm not even sure that he ever wore it out anywhere, but just seeing that big loop hanging on his hanger and  thinking about how excited he seemed when he unwrapped it, made me feel so good.  (I'm smiling now and still feeling good)

     Well, now that I'm an adult and a mother, I totally understand and completely agree with my father's sentiment.  As far as I'm concerned, there is nothing in the stores that can compare with something that one of my children have taken the time to make me with their own hearts and hands. (and apparently, it will continue to bring them some joy, as well.)

    I love my kids, they are so wonderful and such a blessing to me every day.  :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Crocheted Soap Saver

Again, I followed one of traceyishh's tutorials posted on her YouTube channel.  It was for a Spa Loofah Soap Saver.  It was very easy to follow and it worked up pretty quickly.  I'm pretty much a new crocheter and I consider myself on the slow side, so I can only imagine how quick and easy this would be for someone who is experienced.

Making some as gifts for my daughters and sending them with a few bars of natural organic soap.

  I was happy with how it turned out, and I just love this Moss Stitch.  I've already started a washcloth using this same stitch and I'm really excited about how it's turning out.  

Friday, February 4, 2011

Crocheted Mary Jane Baby Booties

I have been looking for a Mary Jane Slippers pattern for adults and came across this video tutorial for Mary Jane Baby Booties on You Tube done by traceyishh.  Her tutorial was perfect for me - she went nice and slow and explained everything!  And being able to watch her crochet each step was also a big help.  Besides that, she has a lovely voice and pretty hands :)) which made it even more enjoyable to view.

Here's traceyishh's

Here's my attempt.
I know I did something wrong because mine turned out a little longer than hers but I was still happy with it.   Now I need to do it again to see if I can figure out where I went wrong.  I hope I can get this down since there are a few babies I'd like to make these for.

I have also just found traceyishh's blog, yay!  It's The Jilted Ballerina, and she does such beautiful yarn work and has links to all her tutorials and patterns there.  :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Pillow Pet Thang

My youngest son just sweetly shared with me that he'd love a pillow pet for his birthday, which is coming up soon.  I was like, "A pillow what?"  No, I do not live under a rock.  He "likes the panda one best". 

We have only gotten TV streaming into our home recently, (which I think I'm somewhat regretting - even though the kids pretty much only watch that qubo channel) and I guess he saw a commercial for the Pillow Pet.  Well, after googling it to find out what it was, I realized we totally missed the big PP craze before the holidays, and glad I am.

But, I have to admit, they are super cuddly cute!  Even though they are only about $20, which isn't much to spend on a sweet little boy for his birthday, I'm considering making one.  I've found several blogs where the moms have sewn their own, and also a couple tutorials.   I will most likely be using this one, at Twelve Crafts Till Christmas.

I hope it turns out, I don't want to disappoint my little Budz.

My New Iron!

It's pretty sad knowing that a new iron is so exciting to me.  Can ya tell, I don't get out much?

Well, my daughter accidently dropped my old iron recently while helping me move my sewing and craft stuff down to the basement.  I had only had that iron for about 4 months and it was the first "nice" iron I had ever owned.  I was so happy with it.  It was a Black & Decker "Classic" - nice and heavy, big metal bottom - kind of like an old school iron.  I guess that's why they named it the "Classic".  I had gotten it on sale at Kmart and it was definitely the best iron I've used since I've been married.

Well, I was so sad when my sweet daughter unintentionally broke it.  I knew it was going to cost more moolah than I'd have available to replace it.  I didn't want to replace it with a cheap "waste of my time" iron - been there, done that.  I did check around and couldn't find a decent one for under $30.  Which may not seem like much, but definitely more $ than I could afford at present.  So, I just put it off and waited.

Well, this evening, my hubby and I were running an errand and I just asked him to stop by this store which I see all the time but have never entered...I wanted to know what it was all about.  It's called "Deals" but each time I've passed it I've never had the time to stop.  So, anyway, we stopped.  Basically, it's just a big "Family Dollar" store under a different name.  We walked around and picked up a few things.  And on the way to the checkout I saw this iron - well, actually I saw two irons.  One was a small lightweight iron, which I knew wouldn't do me any good and it was $10.  But then next to it, was this big, heavy duty iron and it was only $5 more!  WHAT?!!  I couldn't believe it!  My pulse began to race and my heart skipped a beat.  That iron was calling my name.  (sad, yes, very sad)  There was only 1 left and we scooped it up pronto, bought it, and carefully carried it home.  At home, I showed the kids my new find and announced that they could all look but not touch.  They were cool with that, and strangely not as interested or excited as I was. 

Isn't she a beauty?

And red is my favorite color!

So shiny and bright!   

I can literally see myself in that sole plate.

It's a Black & Decker First Impressions Iron

Stainless Steel SolePlate, Steam Surge and Spray Mist, Vertical Steam, 3-Way Auto Shutoff, Auto Clean System, Large Water Tank, and Retractable Cord.  Yay!

I'm going on about it, I know, but it's so hard to sew without a good iron - and a good iron makes quite a difference.  And it was such a great deal!  Only $15!  *sigh*  (yes, I'm smiling as I type this - how pathetic am I?)

I have tried it out and so far, so good. 

I am a simple, simple, woman and apparently quite easy to please.  :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crochet Problems

I am slightly frustrated with my crocheting right now.  I have tried several different patterns for hats and none of them seem to be coming out as the pattern picture shows.  I even purchased a pattern online and have had quite a bit of difficulty with it.  I've been doing a lot of ripping out and restarting, and I'm not that quick of a crocheter so all this time spent with nothing to show for it is a little sad.  :( 

Sewing is so much quicker for certain things.  But, I do love crochet - not ready to give up on it yet.  I just wish I could find a "fool proof" pattern - if there is such a thing - for a nice slouch hat.  I'm going to keep looking and trying.  I've also been looking at slipper patterns and giving them a try.  Hopefully, I'll have more than dishcloths and scrubbies done soon - want to get some gifts ready but it's taking so long, grrrrrr.

Okay, going to dig in and try again.  

Not a Survivor

(I originally wrote this within the first 6 months after my daughter's death. I didn't post it then, I don't remember why.  I...