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Word for 2014

Word for 2014

Connie Prince’s “Star of Wonder” digital scrapbooking kit, available at Scrapbook-bytes.

My Word for 2014 is grace. And my verse is Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. May I focus this year on God’s grace, manifested in so many ways in my life and the lives of those around me. It is sufficient.

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As the year draws to a close, there are so many things that I am thankful for:

1. My family. Of course. When you are faced with difficult times (relatively speaking, of course) there are few things that you can count on. I am blessed to be able to say that my family is together and that we are one. We don’t always get along, but we always stand together.

2. My faith. It truly is a gift from God. Sometimes, I hear myself tell people things (like, “Well, I’m just trusting God for that. If this is where He wants us, then this is where He’ll keep us. If not, then I don’t want to be here anyway.”) and I think, that was the Holy Spirit speaking and I praise You, Lord, for those words. Make them as true in my heart as they were in my mouth!

3. My freedom. I just can’t think – the thoughts don’t make it all the way through my brain – how some people live in this world. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I’m jealous of them. If I didn’t have the freedom that I have here in this nation, would I rely more on God than on myself? And yet, I am so thankful for the freedom to gather with my children, the windows uncovered, broad daylight, to study the Bible. I’m thankful that I can raise my children to love God, without fearing the persecution of man every single moment of every single day.

4. My provision. God takes care of us. Plain and simple. He takes care of us.

I am also looking forward to the new year. I am not making resolutions. I’m not even really setting aside goals that I will forget in the next two months (those of you who’ve kept up on my blog for a couple of years know what I’m talking about). I am, however, aiming for a few things. If I get anywhere near any of them, I will be thrilled with the year, come December 31, 2011.

1. Study the Bible. Not just read it, and not the whole thing. Study the Bible, book by book. I’m in Colossians now, and I want to move on and finish Daniel. Not sure what else after that, maybe Ephesians.

2. Make a quilt for Mr. Nutt. Ssshhh. It is going to be a log cabin lap quilt made out of patriotic fabrics. Along with this, finish F2’s quilt. I was blessed by a good friend who quilted it for me, now I just need to get the binding finished up (the hand-sewing part). It should only take a day or two, if I would just sit down and do it! I also have a quilt that I started quilting on (I was going to try to sell it to gather up money for school books) but was very disappointed in my quilting. I need to finish it up and give it, I think, to F7.

3. Scrapbook Project 52 at eNKay’s blog. I like the idea of having themes for each week, as opposed to just taking pictures on the fly and getting the same stuff over and over. I also love that at the end of the year, I’ll have a 52 page album that I can print off or have printed at Shutterfly that embodies the year 2011.

4. Become more active both with the local pregnancy resource center and maternity home. I will hopefully be going through the peer-mentor training at the pregnancy center and I have already been teaching basic infant care classes at the maternity home. I am so excited about both of these opportunities!

5. School with the kids. Yep, just keep plugging away. Get it done every day and mark down what we’ve done. I love Donna Young’s site for her record-keeping files. She really is amazing.

I think that’s probably enough to keep me busy for the year!

Be blessed as 2010 closes and be safe as we enter 2011. May God’s grace abound in your life, and may you truly know His love.

What are you thankful for this year? Any plans, goals, ambitions, resolutions? Are you good at maintaining these, or do you utterly fail like me?

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Hmph. Actually, it is Saturday. I drank a regular 16 oz Mocha with Giradelli chocolate at Big Apple Bagels this afternoon. That would explain why I’m up blogging at 12:27 am on Saturday morning, instead of peacefully sleeping in my comfortable bed. But it doesn’t explain why I knew in the real world that it was Friday (well, Saturday) but in my bloggy world, I thought it was Wednesday.

You see, I had planned to post on the blogs each Thursday. I just don’t have enough in me to write every day, but I thought that I could make a habit of it on Thursdays. Except, I also don’t seem to have any conception of time. So, I missed Thursday. I only realized it when I went to see if Booking Through Thursday had their post up yet, since it was so close to Thursday, you know. When I got there, I realized that not only was the post up, but there was also 93 comments already! How could this be? Then it hit me, like the ton of bricks that apparently I needed to be hit with. Today is Friday! So, to make what should have been a short story very, very long, here I am.

Waiting until Friday, however, gave me some interesting things to blog about. We have a full Republican ticket now, with the addition of John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska. The kids and I also had a nice day today, redeeming some of their prizes they won at the library. I’ve also finished the top to an adorable wall-hanging, but you won’t see pictures, because I’m not taking any until it is quilted.

Sarah Palin was shock to many of us, I believe. I have to say up front that she doesn’t change my vote, because I would’ve voted for McCain anyway. Obama is just another Democrat. But the addition of Palin is definitely interesting. As a person who loves to armchair psychoanalyze, I have found much fodder for thought in this decision by the McCain camp. I’ve also been reading other blogs, ones I wouldn’t usually read because they are rabidly liberal, but I wanted to see what the RL’s are saying about the great revelation of today. Pretty much, they are rehashing Palin’s inexperience (because after all, 18 months of running a presidential election campaign gives Obama more experience than Palin’s two years as governor of a very corruption-plagued (prior to her governorship) and evironmentally, economically, and internationally important state), the fact that she canned her rather popular somebody or other, supposedly because he didn’t fire her drunken state trooper ex-brother-in-law, and the fact that McCain chose her because she is a woman, and he is trying steal all the Hillary votes. Any died-in-the-wool Democrat wouldn’t vote for McCain because he chose a woman, especially when that woman is pro-life. But the swing voters, who aren’t sure what they are going to do because they wanted Hillary and were swept to the side by Obamamania, might just choose to put Palin in office. Also, because Palin is pro-life, she appeals to the evangelical Republicans that haven’t been real sure how they felt about McCain. Palin is also a shaker. She doesn’t seem to have a problem facing down difficult problems and holding her cool. She also doesn’t seem to have a problem shaking up the status quo to get the job done. All in all, I’m pretty happy with McCain’s choice, and aside from perhaps Tom Ridge, I think Sarah Palin was his best choice.

On to more personal topics (and perhaps, more interesting reads!). The fruit and I took off for the afternoon and evening to redeem some reading prizes from the library. First, we hit said library for some books for the upcoming week of school. F3 got a great little movie about drawing horses. She started watching it as soon as we got home this evening and already has several horse pictures drawn. I’ll try to scan them in and post them next week so you can see the great job she did. I am absolutely amazed. She has been becoming a better and better artist, but this was a tremendous leap. Then we went to Big Apple Bagels, where I purchase the aforementioned Mocha, which you have to thank for this late night/early morning blog entry. We also hit StuffMart, where we bought a book and coloring book for my adorable neice, B, who turns three years old on Monday. Her birthday party is tomorrow. Finally, after dragging seven kids all over town, we hit the local ice cream shop, where four of the fruit feasted on blue raspberry slushies and the rest of us on soft-serve ice cream cones. F7 loved hers (well, I ate most of it) and F6’s loved his (well, his shorts ate most of it).

And finally, I made, in two days, this absolutely adorable wall-hanging quilt top. It will be a gift for a friend, when I finish it. I’m hoping to dig into the fabric stashes again tomorrow after B’s party to find the backing I want for it. Then I’m going to hand quilt it. For some reason, of late, I’ve felt a real desire to do handwork. It is just so peaceful, when I have to peaceful few seconds, to be creating with my hands. I could be knitting, but I always feel rushed when I’m knitting. I have a burning need to finish a row. I could also cross-stitch, but it is difficult to drop that in the blink of an eye, because of the marking on the pattern. Hand sewing (which I didn’t do a lot of, just some decorative stitching around the fused applique) fits the bill perfectly. I will take a picture to show you all when I finish.

Well, the Mocha is wearing off and my eyes are telling me that yes, it really is 1:03 am. So off I go to rest up for another fun and exciting day of mixing nutts. 🙂

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Crocheting

On Saturday evening, Mom taught me how to crochet. I found this pattern for a hat that could either be knit or crochet, but the knit version used double pointed needles and looked really confusing, so I opted to learn to crochet instead. Mom made a hat and I made a hat, using the same pattern. Well, sort of.

Which one do you think that I did? Do they even look like the same pattern?

I did the pink one. I was supposed to double crochet every other row throughout the body of the hat, but managed to half double crochet instead, not having any clue what I was doing. I finally figured it out toward the end, so I added two more rows to the bottom of double crochet, since the hat was smaller than it should have been and to add the lacy look to the bottom.

They are both for F7, to wear about the house so her sweet little head doesn’t get cold. I’m hoping that they both fit her well, even though I made up a new pattern. Both hats are very pretty, I think. The variegated yarn is much lacier and delicate than the pink one, but both are very feminine.

I’m pretty proud of myself that I finished it so fast, less than twenty-four hours. Crocheting is definitely faster than knitting. I don’t think I’ll stop knitting, though. I really enjoy both.

The link for the hat I knit up is here. Both hat patterns were from Coats and Clark. I used Red Heart Baby Soft for the purple and white knit hat and Bernat Softee Baby for both the variegated that Mom made and the pink that I made. The Bernat is very soft and silky and was perfect for the crochet.

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I Knit a Hat for F7

Okay, I’m ready to go now. Tomorrow I will be officially forty weeks pregnant. The bag is packed. The bassinet is ready. The baby’s clothes are washed. I even knit her a hat to wear home, and I’m going to crochet her another one. Here’s a picture of the hat I finished today.

So, anytime now, I’d be happy to go in and deliver this baby girl into the world! If only she were ready…

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My 9-patch block

My mom's 9-patch block

The three friendship star blocks I finished.  They were from a swap last year and I added the borders to the basic star block.

A close up of the friendship star block.  This is the one I contributed to the swap.

And now, onto the Fruits on bikes. Both F2 and F4 learned how to ride a two wheeler without training wheels last week. Now they are cruising around the yard with no problems. F4 was first, and F2 decided to give it a try when he saw that she had mastered it.

What a look of concentration on F4's face!

Look at her go!  F3 helped her by steadying the bike, but then she took off like a shot.

Here comes F2 on his bike.  He only needed a little help for the first two times, then he figured it out and he was all set to go on his own.

He was pretty proud of himself!

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Wonderful Day of Sewing

My mom and I had a great time sewing today. We are doing a quilt block swap at the t2chk forum and we finished all twelve blocks today. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow of our blocks. They are 12 inch nine-patches; mine are in a mustard yellow with small berry and purple flowery vines (really, it is a lot prettier than it sounds) and a berry toned print with small grape leaves all over; mom’s are a creamy yellow with sweet pea vines and flowers, and an olive green toned print with small grape leaves all over. They turned out just beautiful! Finishing those took most of the day, although we did have a break for chocolate milk (why does pre-made nesquick taste better than powdered nesquick?) and Entemenn’s chocolate cake. We cut our fabric for a fabric swap at t2chk, as well. We are swapping 1/2 yard of vines and flowers with seven other members. I can’t wait to see all of their efforts.

We also worked on some other works in progress. Last year at t2chk we did a friendship star swap, and it has taken me this long to figure out how I’m going to finish those twelve blocks. I’m doing a variation on the Turning Twenty quilt. I had to make it up myself, because I didn’t want to use twenty fat quarters for one, and my blocks were too big to fit into the patterns in this book. But it did inspire the pattern I eventually drew out. I finished cutting all the pieces to it, and hopefully, we will sew some more tomorrow morning. I would love to get those swap blocks into a quilt top. I don’t know how soon I’ll get it quilted. I seem to take a long time to actually finish the quilts.

Mom was working on a quilt for her bedroom at my brother’s house. It is a beautiful purple and green quilt with metallic gold running through it. The pattern is the Lover’s Knot. It is a difficult quilt, but it will be worth it when it is finished. Since it is a double bed size, she is going to have it quilted professionally. What we would give for our own long arm machine (that didn’t cost us an arm and a leg!). As it is, anything bigger than twin (and really, twin is very difficult) is simply too bulky for a regular sewing maching to quilt. Maybe someday.

I’ll try to get pictures posted of all of our sewing efforts tomorrow.

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