"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance." Psalm 16:5-6
Ours is a story of what God can do with two silly teens, starting off with no clue;
And baby thrown in, just for good measure. We didn’t know that God would increase our treasure
With four added on in rapid succession, filling our lives with joy and hard lessons.
We’ve had our share of valleys and hills, of times of abundance, and unpaid bills.
We once thought success would bring us bliss; we’ve learned that loss does a better job of this,
As we lean on our Savior, Who always delivers, regardless of the size of our quiver.
Although we’re grateful for the times of ease, the hard times are useful for learning to please
Our Heavenly Father, learning to walk in His Truth, of which we often talk.
May the Lord help us humbly and faithfully serve, staying mindful that the next generation observes.
Prop up your feet and grab a cup of coffee or tea while I open up
The book of my life, without further ado, and narrate the musings of my heart to you.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
I love to glean from talented people. E at Pink Suede Shoe is one of those people. Not only does she do amazing projects for Sew & Tell Fridays, but just check out her recipe for this lovely snack pictured here! OK. That's all I have to say. I need a shower.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I love my husband! There are so many things to love about him. One thing that I've come to appreciate is his weekend tradition of fixing Coco-Wheats and sharing it with the children. Although this particular choice lacks any real nutritional value -- and I strongly oppose it as an acceptable breakfast "food" -- I love that he and the children have this special treat together. They're building memories while giving me a break.
I poked a little fun of this on Facebook yesterday, so today I thought that I should make up for it. I did a little brainstorming and came up with a very yummy breakfast idea for this morning:
Friday, November 5, 2010
Because the original tutorial includes a lining, which hides all inside raw edges, it was necessary for me to find a solution for the pre-quilted fabric that Mom chose. It created an inside raw edge that would indeed be quite unsightly. So, when I mentioned that to Mom earlier, she bought some 1/4" bias tape, which fixed the problem nicely. (I once tried to reverse-engineer a Vera Bradley clutch of Gabriela's, and I saw that this is part of her design method.)
Mom was so pleased to pull her tote from the gift bag we presented to her at lunch. We had a marvelous time. If you're in the Pittsburgh area, you must try Iovino's Cafe in Mt. Lebanon. After lunch, we headed to Cold Stone to pick up her ice cream cake, then returned to our house to find that my dad and the boys had built a fire in the fireplace. They know that this something I particularly appreciate.
My parents stayed for dinner, and we presented my mom with her final "gift" - a letter I wrote to poke fun at some of her amusing traits. Morgan made it so that Mom can add it to the scrapbook we made for her a couple of years ago. (I posted more birthday photos here.)
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I have so many things to blog about and so many excuses for why I haven't done so. But there's no time for that now. First things first. A while back, I mentioned that I had the honor of being invited to participate in a swap making these adorable little gathered clutch bags.
The swap was being organized as we were planning our relocation from Moçambique back to Pittsburgh. The coordinator, Penny, very graciously agreed to let me send mine late due to the dynamics of an overseas move, waiting on our household goods, house hunting, getting settled in, etc. I had no idea just how long I'd end up taking to finish my end of the deal, and I'm quite ashamed at how long it's been. I certainly don't deserve the patience that was shown me, especially since Anna finished the one she made for me right away and had it awaiting my arrival at my parents' house.
I was excited and nervous to learn that Penny would be the recipient of the clutch that I was to make. She's quite a well-rounded gal, and I labored over the details. At one point, I was torn between just sending her a finished product in a semi-timely manner, and finding the final item that would complete the idea that was forming in my head. I'm so thankful that Penny is really a laid-back kind of person who assured me (several times) that she didn't mind waiting until I was really ready.
My friendship with Penny began with a giveaway that she held almost two years ago, when she asked readers to name her new espresso maker. I won with "Stella", and the beautiful items that Penny sent adorn my kitchen today. So, since Penny and I share a love of good coffee, I definitely wanted to somehow incorporate that into the details of her clutch - hence, the burlap. Penny has done some pretty amazing work with burlap, which made me a bit nervous. She's totally a professional! I managed to score a coffee bag from our favorite cafe in Moz. The beans had been imported from Malawi. I was pretty excited about including an element from our African experience.
I bought this zipper pull from a local gift shop in Maputo while shopping for beads to bring back to Craig's cousin who makes jewelry. I knew that I must also include this, adding to the African element.
If you peruse Penny's site, you'll find that she really does a great job of choosing cheerful fabrics with vibrant colors. I love this fabric that I used to make a nursing cover for a friend recently, so I thought it would be perfect for this project, as well.
Penny and her husband are outdoor enthusiasts. I wanted to include something that appeals to that part of her nature. I decided that a carabiner was the perfect hardware for attaching the wrist strap. It's rather hard to locate "biners" on our side of Pittsburgh, so I'm pretty thankful that REI has recently come to town. They've changed a bit since we originally purchased our own camping gear, so it was interesting to find that they now come in a double-sided "S" shape.
When I had the clutch fully assembled, I realized that I had forgotten to sew the divider inside. So, I took it apart and added the missing piece. Penny is definitely worth the effort!
On one of my very few fabric shopping excursions in Moçambique, I came across this print that just cracked me up. It's so fitting, considering the crime rate in South Africa. I couldn't pass this up. I thought I'd include this as the credit card pocket, just for fun.
It was Penny's tutorial that inspired the tags that I now include in my sewing projects. Naturally, I added one to her clutch.
I'm hoping that by the time she reads this post, she'll already have received her package in the mail from me. I waited a few extra days before posting this so that she'd see it in person first. I really hope she likes it! I had a blast making it for her. Hopefully I'll have an opportunity to do another swap and finish on time. I don't foresee any relocations in our near future, so I have no excuse.
Thanks for reading!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Now that we're settled again, I've been brainstorming about peanut butter. This morning, I decided to give my idea a try: