Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sew and Sew: Reconstructed

Once upon a time, there was a cute pair of Old Navy girls' jeans. They were well constructed, but also well loved. They developed a large tear at the bottom hem of one leg, probably from a slightly too short owner. They wound up at a thrift store, dreaming of a new home. Then I came along & saw what they might become. Here they are now. Reconstructed.

:: front::


:: on their new owner::

They look a little Disney-ish for some reason, probably the red & white polka dot fabric making think of Minnie Mouse. Now she just needs a red shirt to go with them. This was a fairly straightforward project. I used the cut-off legs to the add the triangle shaped piece in the front and back. The back was a little tricky as I had to cut off a little extra fabric that kind of sticks out when you lay the pants/skirt flat. I added a little red top-stitching around each triangle piece and also around the bottom where the denim meets the ruffle. Not bad for a first attempt, eh? I think it's a great way to give a little love to a pair of holey jeans!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Talk About It

I'm going to be making a few little changes around here {looks mostly}, but I think I want to add some kind of weekly feature where I ask a question that's been lurking in the back of my mind & we all discuss. I really enjoy a good stimulating discussion now and again & I think sometimes it helps to "sort things out" in my own head when I can bounce my ideas off other people. Know what I mean?

When we went on our little getaway this last weekend, after checking in you are instructed to go to the Concierge desk & receive a coupon book. The lady at the desk talks you through all the coupons in the book, starting at the back of the book & working her way forward, while asking relevant questions like "Are you traveling with kids?" "Are you interested in a fine dining meal?" and things like that. Then at the end of her little coupon book presentation, she arrives at the first coupon in the book: $50 off one night's stay {either that night or on a future visit}, if you attend a timeshare presentation/tour. Eh, I thought, $50 would not be worth it, would it? She then says that she'll take off $80 instead plus she'll give us $10 worth of tokens for the arcade. Kinda hard to pass up, considering my ever-growing frugal sensibilities. We decided not to do it, but continually joked throughout the weekend about what that $80 would've been able to pay for and is it too late to take the tour?? Hmmmm........I began thinking though......

Would you attend a presentation of some sort to get the benefit/gift, with no intention whatsoever of buying the product?

Play nicely. We're all have our own opinion, but let's be thoughtful and respectful of one another.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekend in Review

We spent the weekend here. It's our favorite family vacation spot because there's lots to do at the resort, it's not too far from home {2 hour drive}, and it's pretty cost effective {especially in this case since Grandpa & Grandma paid for our stay}. The weather was decent, of course being the nicest on the day we left. We had lots of water fun. I got to go down a big tube slide with my dad & even talked Tatiana into going down a tamer one with me. She made me pray for her right before we got on the ride! I had lots of opportunities to practice successful thinking & kept trying to make the best of things, repeatedly telling myself that at least I don't have to cook or clean or do laundry! That surely kept it all in perspective. I was reminded of the difficulty of traveling with a baby. {Maybe the more you do it, the more you get used to it?} You don't have all the necessary baby items handy, his schedule was completely out of whack, plus he was trying to sleep in a foreign place with a foreign bed. Hubster & I kind of took turns caring for the little spud and just did the best we could. Today though, I am thankful for home sweet home. Hope ya'll had a lovely weekend!

Friday, May 23, 2008

ABCs of Me

I stumbled across this at Confessions of a Craft Addict & was in the mood to play along. So here we go......

Nope. Although when I visited out east a loooooong time ago, they thought I talked funny. I really don't think Midwesterners have any accent to speak of though. {Sidenote: when I read the word "accent", being the crafter that I am, I first thought of "embellishment", ya know, like room decor, not a funny way of talking.}

Book that I like: Just one? Any cookbook really. Especially ones with straightforward recipes & amazing photography.

Chore I don’t care for: Most of them. Maybe I should stick to the short list of chores I DO like: vacuuming, wiping things {weird, I know} cooking, baking. Hey, I'm sure some people consider those last two to be chores!

Dog or Cat: Neither. I am anti-pet. It might sound terrible, but I'm kind of glad in a way that our fish died last weekend. It was the girls' pet, but guess who was taking care of it. {Is it okay to admit that?}

Essential Electronics: my cellphone, a computer {any will do}

Favorite Cologne: I like nearly any mens' cologne. I love it when Rick wears cologne!

Gold or Silver: Silver.

Handbag I carry most often: I don't have too many handbags {now totebags are another story}, so I just try to rotate them to something befitting of the season.

Insomnia: Sometimes, yep. Especially if I took a long nap during the day or had too much caffeine {for me, one regular pepsi around dinner will keep me up til 2 am}!

Job Title: Domestic Engineer

Kids: Tatiana {Tats} 6 1/2, Sienna 3, Sebastian {Spud} 5 1/2 months

Living Arrangements: Honey, the kids, and my hobby supplies live together in rural Northern Illinois

Most Admirable Trait: I really have no idea. {Suggestions?} I'd like to think it's genuineness. I am who I am from the moment you meet me. I don't try to impress you or be someone I'm not. I really care about people. When I ask, "How are you?" I'm truly interested in the answer.

Naughtiest Childhood Behavior: Being super mean to my brother. Things like convincing him he was adopted & giving him a bloody nose by kicking him in the face come to mind. I have been living a lifetime of remorse for these things......

Overnight hospital stays: Three related to delivering babies. A two night stay and a one night stay for severe stomach flu & I did sleep in the hospital for 5 nights when Tatiana had her appendectomy.

Phobias: Probably fear of heights.

Quote: I am aware that I am less than some people prefer me to be ... but most people are unaware that I am so much more than what they see.

Religion: Christianity, although I like to think of it more as a relationship/journey, not a "religion", which makes me think of a set of prescribed rituals and practices

Siblings: One younger bro.

Time I wake up: As late as the kids will let me. Usually between 7 and 8 am.

Unusual Talent or Skill: I can't think of anything unusual. I will say this though. When I was a teenager, my friend Jessica and I used to see how many cherries we could put in our mouths at one time AND de-pit. If you swallowed the pit, then of course it didn't count. I could do 15.

Vegetable I Refuse to Eat: Brussels sprouts. Beets. Cauliflower. Cabbage. {Mostly cruciferous vegetables, although I *love* mustard & horseradish. Weird, I know.}

Worst Habit: I bite my nails when I'm nervous or under stress. I didn't always do this. It started when I was pregnant with my second daughter & somehow the habit just stuck.

X-rays: I think I've only had one: when I broke my collar bone in a car accident.

Yummy Stuff: Fresh french bread with sweet butter. Crustaceans. Freshly baked cookies chock full of goodies. A grilled ribeye. New York style cheesecake. Fresh berries & cream. I love just really good simple food.

Zoo Animal I Like Most: See answer to dog or cat. The only reason you'd find me at a zoo is because the kids like going there.

Anyone else want to play along?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Successful thinking

"This is just my bad day."
::what my precious 3 year old says if things aren't going her way::

That was yesterday. Hubs & I were having lots of deep conversations about different things, mostly about me & how he perceives that I respond to stressful situations and people that rub me the wrong way. One of these such people is a family member. We discussed boundary setting, which hubs doesn't seem to get. "Just let it roll off your back," he'd say. Um, yeah. Not so easy. I was just in a bad place forward a few hours to a conversation with world's-best-sister-in-law {sorry if you think YOURS is the best}. She was sharing something that her pastor had taught her:

It all starts with your thoughts. Then your feelings come from those thoughts, then your actions will come from those feelings.

I think that's why God tells us to:

...pray for those who persecute you...
{Matthew 5:44}

Because once you really pray for those people, then you will feel differently about them and then, as a result, act differently towards them. So I am changing my thinking. When I am feeling annoyed or some other negative emotion, I will tell myself that "this person needs Jesus" or "God loves this person" or "we are all sinners". Hopefully that new thought will trickle down into my feelings & actions. So I will be working on thinking my way to success.

I'd love to hear some encouraging words or to know if this will change how you think too.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Steals & Deals for the Week

No.....Thank you!

I got this $5 Starbucks Gift Card in the mail yesterday as part of a Catalina** promotion they were running. If you bought a bag of Starbucks coffee at participating retailers, you receive a Catalina with a special code to input online. My dad bought the coffee, noticed the Catalina & saved it for me. What a great dad! Also FYI: If you register your Starbucks gift card online, you can get extra benefits at participating Starbucks locations, such as free refills on your coffee & free extra syrup flavors.

**Catalina: a coupon that prints at the register from a separate machine after you check-out

Jewel: Last weekend I took advantage of their General Mills deal. If you buy 10 participating items at $2 each, you get an instant $10 off your order, making the items $1. You had to buy them in multiples of $10. Adding some coupons with that {they take expireds so I was saving them for such an occasion as this}, I was able to purchase 12 boxes of cereal, 4 bags of Cheerios/Chex Snack Mix, 4 boxes of Nature Valley Trail Granola Bars, and two packs of gum {for the Hubster} for a grand total of $11.73!

CVS: I haven't been CVSing as avidly as I did when I first started {March} as a) I have a decent stockpile beginning to build up and b) would rather devote the necessary time/energy to other things. They had a sale on Oral-B products {Buy $20, Get $10 ECBs} and hubster has an Oral-B Vitality Toothbrush. At $17.99 for a pack of 3 replacement heads, I thought it would be a good time to get them now. I also picked up a box of Crest Toothpaste, 2 boxes of Aquafresh, and some Schick shaver refills {$8.88, get $6 ECBS + I used $4 Q}. I ended up spending $10 OOP, but that was fine with me, since the refill heads alone cost nearly double that!

Pick up any goodies last week? Get any free samples in the mail?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Big Rocks

I read a story recently about a motivational speaker inspiring his crowd. He places a large jar on the podium in front of him and puts several large rocks inside the jar. He then asks the crowd, "Is the jar full?" Most of the crowd responds, "Yes". Well.....the speaker then pours some gravel into the jar which trickles into some of the unfilled spaces. He asks again, "Is the jar full?" A little wiser to his scheme, the crowd responds, "No". The speaker then adds some sand to the jar, further filing in the tiny spaces, again following up with the question, "Is the jar full?" An emphatic "No" resounds. The speaker takes out a pitcher of water, pouring in several cups before stopping. He then asks this question, "What is the moral of this exercise?" Many people respond something along the lines of: you can always add more things to your life, even when it seems already full. "No," the speaker says, "The point is.....

.....if I didn't put the big rocks in first, they never would've been able to fit."

This illustration spoke volumes to me and I've been mulling it over for the last week. For me at least, if I don't make it a priority to get certain things done on a daily basis, they just plain, DON'T GET DONE. I had a really enjoyable conversation with Hubs about his Big Rocks. We both realize that some Rocks that are in our jars shouldn't be and there are some that aren't in there, that should be. So, I've been asking myself what my Big Rocks are....

What are your Big Rocks?

Home for Mother's Day

Please pray for a friend, Jeff, and his family. Jeff's mom, at the age of 62 had a massive stroke last week. Part of her brain was without oxygen for 3 hours. The family prayed for a miraculous healing, but God had a different plan. She was just coherent enough to accept Christ as her Saviour shortly after, while in the hospital. On Mother's Day, the Lord called her home and welcomed her with open arms. She leaves behind her husband of 39 years, two children and two grand-daughters. Please pray specifically for comfort during this time for all those lives she has touched. Thanks in advance. Becki

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

May we never take for granted the blessing and privilege of motherhood. Every time we comfort a screaming child, wipe a runny nose, change a poopy diaper, say "NO!" for the umpteenth time, let us not grow weary for doing good, as we remember women who long for the chance to do those things. May we pray a little harder, play a little harder, laugh a little louder, and have our hearts be a little fuller today as we cherish our children. Let us all enjoy this wonderful, exhausting, touching, seemingly never-ending journey together.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Cinqo Meses

My sweet boy is five months old today! Five months old on 05/05! My, how the time has passed. He is still not rolling over yet {does he even lay down long enough to practice?}, but he's eating like it's goin' out of style! He loves him some good baby cereal & organic baby food. He is still nursing & *refuses* to take a bottle. Go figure. He has some bad eczema issues & scratches himself up when he is stressed. He wakes up some mornings lookin' like he had a little baby battle in there. Speaking of sleep, at his four month check-up, his pediatrician indicated that he should be able to sleep 12-14 hours at a time at night. Well you can bet that I got workin' on that: PRONTO. Especially considering he was waking up about 3-4 times a night up until that point {for four. long. months.}! Project Sleep only took about 2 nights to get him to sleep for about 10-12 hours at a stretch between nursings. If I thought it would be so easy, I'd a done it much sooner. His sisters still adore him & the novelty has lasted much longer than any Christmas present has. He loves his jump-a-roo {as we call it} & really likes his chupy {pacifier}. Sebastian went for his first walk in the stroller earlier this month and first time in the baby swing in the backyard. As if he wasn't growing fast enough, he woke up this morning with two brand new teeth! I still can't hardly believe it.

Happy five months Buddy, Spuddy, Spudicus! I *love* watching you grow, but won't mind if you slow it down a little ;>)