Saturday, April 28, 2012

How To End a Long Track Day

1. Kick feet up in Suburban while Oldest Daughter drives home from track meet, with Husband in front passenger seat, and enjoy homemade salsa with tortilla chips.

2. Greet dogs who are overjoyed to see you after a long day, although sufficiently cared-for in shifts by one cousin & one neighbor.

3. Take a shower because you smell just as bad as the athletes who competed all day, having perspired in the sun while watching said athletes run their little hearts out.

4. Lie down on sofa while Youngest Daughter plays with your hair to soothe the long-hot-day-in-the-sun-squinting-from-hair-blowing-in-eyes-from-the-breeze headache you are now suffering.

5. Don't fret when Husband chooses to watch "Band of Brothers" alone on his iPad, Oldest Daughter goes to bed early, and Three Middle Children watch a separate movie in the guest room, despite Mom's suggestions that we all do something together.

6. Grab Youngest Daughter, make blue-cheese-and-toasted-smokey-pecan-stuffed dates, and proceed to Mom's room to watch "The Sound of Music" together (intermittently filling Husband's requests, who has become aware of your secret snack).

7. Give thanks with a grateful heart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Sweetness of a Friend

My oldest daughter recently asked me what I found encouraging about a particular conversation with a friend, and her question led us to a discussion about true, biblical friendship. I've heard it said that some people are energy givers and others are energy thieves, and I can attest to the observation. I imagine there may even be those in the middle who neither give nor steal energy, but remain neutral, for the most part, perhaps as passive observers.

I feel energized when I have the opportunity for fellowship with one who speaks Truth into my life, isn't afraid to offer biblical admonition, is teachable, and whose conversation is edifying and purposeful. I'm thankful for friends whose speech is gracious and whose example spurs others on toward Christ-likeness.

Anna is one such friend. Although I'm older and have been a wife and mother longer than she has, I still learn so much from her. Our family was blessed to host Scott, Anna, and their beautiful children as they were passing through our city last night. Seeing the fruit of their wise parenting - made evident in the pleasant, obedient manner of the children - was a refreshing reminder of our calling as parents.

I wish they could have stayed longer, but the Lord poured out a rich blessing on our household, enabling us to make the most of the opportunity! We enjoyed a yummy breakfast together this morning, more great talks, and lots of time watching the adorable antics of the little ones. The big boys even took a moment to go and see the alligators in our nearby lake.

This could have been a breakfast blog post, but I wanted to highlight these precious friends, instead. If you happen to have a copy of The Spirit of Christmas Cookbook (circa 90s), you must try these quiche muffins. They've been a family favorite since I was still changing diapers.

Happiness is... a son who is pleased to take over the cinnamon roll process!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

So, I've Been Craving a New Bag...

I fell in love with this fabric when I made this apron for Thanksgiving, so I bought more with the hopes of making myself a new bag. I've been super busy with school, household responsibilities, and lots of company. (The count, so far, for 2012 is 26 overnight guests, with that number expected to reach 36 by the end of this week.) Finally, I entered my sewing room yesterday and, except for taking a dinner break, didn't leave until the bag was finished.

I love the size of this bag - although if I fill it to capacity, my shoulder may not love it. Graham remarked on its size as soon as I showed it to the family.

It's even big enough to fit "Menina" (who wasn't exactly enthusiastic over being used as a prop).

The four inside pockets are great. This bag can probably "double" as a weekend bag. With  track meets starting soon, I'll probably use this for all of those little "extras" that don't belong in the cooler (First Aid, baby wipes, hand sanitizer, reading material for the long-distance events, a pillow...) 

I especially appreciate these exterior side pockets for my cell phone, earphones, keys, phone clip, comb... anything that I need to grab in a hurry. 

This bag was fairly easy to assemble, but the fabric-cutting process was not fun. The handles, alone, consist of twenty pieces. Twenty! That, of course, includes the interfacing; but really! I walked away from it on the first day. Then I waited about three more days before cutting the rest out. Then I waited a little longer, just to be sure. I needed recovery time. 

In case you would like to make one for yourself, it's the Cosmo Bag from Amy Butler's Style Stitches. I love her products! You will, too!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


We have a nearby movie theater that serves food, restaurant-style, during the film. It's a rather new establishment, and although we don't always order food, so far we've been pleased with the service. I noticed on our last visit that the halls are lined with massive fabric-covered panels, which gave me an idea.

A little over a month ago, I bought a couple of canvases and had Morgan help me to pick out fabric to cover them. Then, I moved some old coffee prints that I had hanging next to the mirror in the photo, and had Craig hang them in the kitchen for me, instead. Morgan, our Resident Perfectionist, was so kind as to cover the canvases with the fabric for me, using a staple gun, and voila! 

A trip to Hobby Lobby yielded a rub-on Scripture verse, which brought it all together. (Maybe someday I'll own up to the airhead moment I had with the rub-on letters. I blindly tried to lead my dad as he applied them for me, but it was Morgan whose genius got the job done. I did eventually discover the very clear instructions nestled inside the box.)

I didn't post this earlier because I thought that it was cheating, since there wasn't any sewing or other hard labor involved. Caelyn suggested that I "pin" it*, but I decided against that idea. Then, when I saw that Amy mentioned on Facebook that she recently covered some canvases with fabric for "cheap decorating", I was inspired! I can't wait to see her photos.

*ETA: I pinned it!