Tuesday, March 30, 2010


We had Asher's heart doctor appointment today. All went well, as expected, but it didn't stop me from being extremely nervous this morning. I try really hard, in situations like these, to be realistic and to let go and let God. I'm pretty good at boxing things up and setting them aside and I truly believe that my worrying will accomplish nothing. This morning though... I can't recall the last time my stomach felt that nervous and my limbs were shaking a bit. I guess when your a mom there is a point when your body takes over. That physical connection we mothers have shared with our kids since minute one only lessens as far as the eye can see!

Well, Asher's fine. The doctor is 95% sure that it is a benign murmur. There is a 5% chance that he has a small hole in his heart but, apparently, that is also just as benign. So, in two years, he'll get another look-see. It ought to take me two years to recover from this morning!

Asher did really good, too. I was very proud. He had to have an EKG but he handled it pretty well. Even his Pooh Bear got to have an EKG! The whole appointment took an hour and a half- mostly waiting. Now, Asher did well but Dave... Next time I'll have to remember to bring something to distract and entertain my dear husband.

So, now I'm home and fed. Asher's in bed. Time to clean. At least the sun is shining. The dust motes absolutely sparkle;)

Enjoy your day!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Springtime" Finis!

My "Springtime" candle mat and the pattern for it are complete. I know it's a week late. Life gets in the way a bit and you have to adjust. It's done! And I am very happy with how it turned out. It has been one of those projects that has grown past its original design- in a good way, too! Both the mat and the pattern will be for sale at the web shop and on Etsy. Give them a look see!

It's sunny and bright here. No seedlings have emerged yet (being that they were only planted a few days ago!). I keep watching them. If they could talk they'd probably ask me to back off. But, until they actually tell me to, I'm still going to hover- out side of the sunlight, of course!

Meanwhile, my ever-fertile brain has been growing some new ideas. I'm going to go play around with some wool now and see what emerges. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Busy Fingers

I've just added a bunch of new items on Etsy. Go check them out here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It has been awhile, but...

I'm still here!

I've been a bit preoccupied, body and mind, with..... vegetable gardens! Mine in particular, of course. I really wanted to do it right this year and not just hope we get lucky. I want fresh, from the ground, from my hands vegetables. (Fruit, too, but I think we'll have to do some you-picking as far as fruit is concerned.)

I have recently started following a blog called "Thy Hand Hath Provided". She has graciously provided her followers with a vegetable garden tutorial and oodles of advice. I have also found a website, Gardener's Supply Company, (shout out to my mom for telling me about this) and, it too, has been very helpful. It even has a garden planner that helps you plan your garden, print out the plan and even provides info about growing the veggies you've chosen. Too cool!

So, Sunday we went out a purchased our seeds and, since then, I've been deciding on what to start indoors, what to plant outdoors and when each veggie should be planted. Lots of work but interesting and I am learning a lot.

I've also been working on where to plant our gardens. We live in the city, in an old neighborhood with lots of big, old trees. We live on a corner lot and our house faces north. Truly, the best place to plant is in our side yard 'cause when the sun makes it over there there is no shade or shadow to get in the way. It makes that side of the house uncomfortable in the summer but it's ideal for growing things.

So, I've decided on three raised beds, 4x5', in the side yard and a single, "regular" garden in back for those veggies that can handle not being in the spot light all day. I have also been learning about which veggie likes to be planted with which veggie (or not, as the case may be). Oy! That was a bit head-ache-inducing. It was like putting a puzzle together. I think I've figured it out, though and I am happy with how it looks- on paper.

Today, I've been getting my seedlings to-be in little newspaper pots that I made. There are three different kinds of tomatoes, broccoli and peppers. Later I'll also be doing some pumpkins and sunflowers. Now my pots are sitting in the only south facing window we have on the first floor. And that window happens to be in front of, you guessed it, my sewing/crafting table. Oh, well. Six to eight weeks will zip on by, right?

I took some pics, so check them out. I'm off to do more laundry and them I'm going to make my planting and harvesting schedule. Enjoy your day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First off, a blog that I follow has a lovely post on "When Loving Is Hard". It's very well written and ties in nicely with the post I wrote on Monday. Check it out!

How was your St. Patty's Day? Ours was quite lovely and yummy! It was a beautiful day with oodles of sunshine. We had Irish Soda Bread for breakfast. We toasted it in the broiler and spread butter on it. I don't think I've ever had that before but it was quite good. And then, as you can see, we had corned beef and cabbage for dinner. It was divine! I do not exaggerate here folks- yummmmmmy! I don't know why I don't make this more often. It is super easy to make- kind of like a crock pot meal. And because you have to let it sit and simmer for three hours, the house smelled heavenly all day. What I'm trying to say is that it was good!:)

I'm not Irish but I love to read books (Maeve Binchy, Patrick Taylor) that take place in Ireland and one of my favorite movies is "The Quiet Man". And, when I read those books or watch the movies, I adopt the language- if not the accent. I like to think I could pass myself off as Irish, especially now that I have this red head with me all the time! But, alas, I'm not Irish. I'm mostly Portuguese. I like being Portuguese and would get behind a Portuguese holiday of some sort- maybe St. Manuel's Day? I'd probably still have corned beef for dinner, though.

How is my week going, as far as the 'Here's my chance!' challenge is going? Well, I've had my ups and downs. I won't go into detail but suffice it to say I'm not very loving when driving my car. Or when I find the aforementioned red head pouring salt into my creamer. I did have a bit of a breakthrough with my eldest last night though. Maybe it was more of a revelation on my part. Anyway, he got upset with me when I said it was time to go home from the park. He took off running (I had Asher in the stroller) and 'disappeared'. I eventually found him where the slides are and he walked over to me when he saw me. I didn't say a word- more because I was still counting to 10 million than anything else. He asked why I was upset and I asked him if I should be upset. He said yes, so I asked him why I should be upset. Etc, etc. With very little words and effort- and no yelling!- on my part, Nathanael proceeded to lay out for me what he did wrong, why it was wrong, what could have happened and acknowledged my right to be upset and his need to be punished in some way. It went really well! Don't get me wrong- Nathanael was quite upset. The difference was that he was upset because he understood that he had disappointed me. And I didn't yell!
I didn't have to yell. I didn't want to yell. Now I hope that I can keep up this approach when faced with little boy disobedience. I know I won't always be presented with a cooling off period, like I was last night, but that's my issue. Parenting!

Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I should be stitching...

...but I thought you'd like to see the sweet things I whipped up this past Saturday.

The carrots are my own creation. Orange and gold wool, jute and mica flakes. The cross stitch is a free pattern from The Sampler Girl.

These are my own, too. They are made out of wool roving, using the needle-felting technique. It's quite fun; like sculpting with fibers and an insanely sharp needle. I bled quite a bit. I was worried it was going to look like I was trying to slaughter that poor, little chick for a tiny dinner. Have I mentioned that I want to raise chickens? That'll be another post....

This cross stitch is a freebie from Primitive Betty's.

And finally, one of the sweetest creations in my collection. He was a collaborative effort;)

Enjoy your day!

"Here's My Chance!"

In church yesterday, our pastor challenged us with a simple, cheesy (his word, not mine) phrase- "Here's my chance."

The long and the short of it is, as a christian, I have Christ in me and therefore have the ability to actually act like Him, if I choose to. If I choose to. If...
God's greatest command to us is to love. Love is commanded of us because love is a choice, not a feeling that we have no control over. And, as we know from the 'Love Chapter' (1 Cor. 13), love is patient, kind, slow to anger, not boastful and so on. So, the next time someone cuts me off in the Kroger parking lot, stealing the space I was patiently waiting to turn into, I need to say to myself, "Here's my chance!" and love that person. (Not glare at him and think that just because I didn't show him my displeasure with a particular finger that I am a good person. Or have not-nice thoughts about him and express those to a two year old who can't rat me out. Or continue to glare at him every time I run into him in the store. Poor man!)

So, I'm challenging myself this week to be more loving. Oy! Which, as I was thinking about it yesterday, also means not being so sarcastic/snarky/snide, or rolling my eyes or glaring at people or even threatening to pray for someone with a tone of voice that sounds like I'm really putting a curse on them. And, horror of horrors, I also realized that this means that I can't be un-loving in my mind! Even all by myself, with no one watching or listening. Oy! I picture a lot of turning the other cheek this week. I also picture my two year old saying, "Here's my chance!" by the end of this week.

Here goes! With a two year old and a seven year old this could be interesting. I'll try to avoid Kroger as long as I can, too!

Giveaway from "Feathers In the Nest"

Go to "Feathers in the Nest", a wonderful blog by a sweet woman who loves to cross stitch, and enter her giveaway. It is for a a patriotic pattern- check it out. Check out her blog, too. She does beautiful work is is great about chronicling her progress with great pics.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Trip Down Memory Lane

A short trip! It would be way too easy to get lost in memorabilia and look up to find that three hours have passed. I don't have that kind of time!

What am I talking about? Well, after almost 9 years of living in this house (and after 39 years of living) I have finally gone through with my plans to clean out my attic. Part of what has been holding me back is the fact that I married a man who was married before and has two, now grown up, boys from that marriage. Therefore, there is a lot in my attic that has nothing to do with me but is still precious to others. I've decided to just set all of the 'unrelated' stuff to one corner of the attic and tackle everything else. I'll let Dave weed through his pile when he is ready.

So I started last week by going through my kids clothes. Pretty easy except for the itty bitty baby stuff. Too cute and too sweet! I kept showing Asher all of the little outfits he and Nat. wore but he wasn't impressed. Two-year-olds! Go figure!

Then I went through Easter stuff yesterday. We have a lot of baskets. I don't know why, but it has to stop! That was followed by my elephants. I've always collected elephants and have amassed quite a collection. I found two tubs up there full of elephants so I brought them down and added them to the display I have above this here computer. It is a very impressive herd if I do say so myself!

Today I pulled down four boxes of stuff from my childhood, high school and college. (I know there has to be at least one more box up there somewhere but I can only stand to dig through that attic for so long.) I was worried that I'd get too caught up in the past and waste a lot of time. It's funny how being harassed by a two-year-old motivates you to move it along! It was fun going through everything. As I have gotten older I've found that I'm not so sentimental anymore. At least not about myself, I guess. Having kids of your own changes so much, doesn't it? I went through some of the things that I am keeping with Nat. He got a kick out of the pictures. I found my baby blanket, some dolls, yearbooks, notes from friends that would have been passed furtively in class, letters from my Mom and Dad when I was on my own and a folder full of pictures of guys I thought were cute. The last was funny! Many, and I mean many, pictures of John Stamos. I watched General Hospital when he was Blackie. Remember? Also pictures of Jack Wagner (G.H. again), Kevin Bacon (Footloose!), Eddie Van Halen and oodles of pictures of Def Leppard (esp. the lead singer, Joe Elliot).

(I was a Forest Hills Central High School Ranger, class of '88. Go green and white!)

(Then I went to Kendall College of Art and Design.)

(They're getting old, too, huh? But still looking good, Joe;) )

(Do you think they'll ever bring Blackie back to General Hospital? Wouldn't that be awesome!!!)

(Footloose. I remember going to see that movie in the theater. And, I remember the boys locker room scene....)

So, that was my morning. Now I'm ready to chill out a bit, do some stitching and get ready for Nat's conferences this evening. The trip down Memory Lane was fun but I find that I prefer moving forward. Less dust and spiders:)

Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Boys

As promised, here are pictures of the boys with their new hair cuts.

Nathanael first...

So serious!

Gosh, he looks like his Dad!

Blowing Mom a kiss! My little lover-boy;)

Look at those freckles!

Is that a milk mustache?

Now for Asher. I finally got him to sit still (strapped to his booster seat and half asleep).

I could look at this boy all day long!

Enjoy your day!

Sneak Peek

Wanna see what I've been up to the past few days? At least, as far as sewing is concerned? I think I've mentioned this before but if not.... I've always wanted to create a monthly... something (mat, pillow, hanging, whatever). I never have and I think that is because 'monthly' is a bit much for me right now. When over-whelmed I tend to just avoid so I've changed the plan from monthly to seasonal. Only four to create, three months at a time. This I can handle! And, I have a wonderful, nature-made, pre-determined release date: the fist day of _________ (pick a season).

So, the first day of spring is fast approaching. A good thing for many reasons! I've been trying to pin down what I want to create that can be reproduced to represent the different seasons yet still look related. At first I decided to do a framed piece, did the sketches, made a plan. Then, the other day, while I was picking out the wool and colors I wanted to use I thought- this would make a great mat. What I had drawn has a 5" 'topper' so, I copied the 'topper', flipped it around and placed it on the other end. A mat! This way, you will have the choice to make a mat or a framed piece.

I've been having a lot of fun working on it. The weather has been so sunny and mild. It's been perfect for sitting in my sunny corner and stitching pretty pictures of spring! Here are some pics of my progress.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

More Spring Cleaning

Today is Go-Thru-The-Kids-Clothes Day! Woo, hoo!!

Our church is having a clothing drive over the next couple of weekends and they are requesting children's clothes. I do believe I could clothes all of the little boys, newborn to 18 mos., in the greater Lansing area. Seriously!

You see, when we found out we were having a baby it was a bit of a shock.(Putting it mildly.) My husband has 2 sons from a previous marriage who are 18 and 20. We have a son, Nathanael, who is 7. After having Nathanael, we debated having another child and, as time passed, it became clear that we were not going to have another baby. Sometimes I was unhappy about that, but I enjoyed my Nathanael and loved watching him grow and change and, therefore, did not feel any yawning chasm. Or so I thought. The Good Lord, in His infinite wisdom, felt differently. Enter Asher. And it was good:)

(My wee baby boy!)

One of the hiccups- and a frustrating one at that- was that we had already given away all of Nathanael's baby clothes. I still had some 3T's of his but that was the smallest. So, in a way, Asher was like a first baby. We got lot's of clothes and bought lots of clothes. And, today, I am now washing, drying, sorting and backing lots of clothes. This is not strenuous work but it is a bit emotional. My wee baby isn't so 'wee' anymore!

I also decided to go through Nat.'s clothes. I've got tons of 4T's on up. Unfortunately, Asher is only 3T but come next year we'll be all set!

In other somewhat related news, the Crane boys got their hairs cut last night. Dave and Nat. did great! Asher, not so much. This was his first professional hair cut. It was long overdue. He was beginning to look like one of the Beatles. I've given him a couple of haircuts before. Not good! He wouldn't sit still, kept reaching for the scissors and screamed as if I was stabbing him. Talk about butchered. And, when all was done, he always looked like 'Finster Baby' from the Bugs Bunny cartoon. Remember him? With the short, straight-across bangs?

(My hair-cutting abilities. 'Finster Baby')

Well, The hairdresser did a great job last night. Asher looks like a little boy and nothing else. He still acted like he was being murdered, screaming and crying, his face beet red. Poor baby! (I'm sure the poor girl who cut his hair needed a sedative after we left!) No pictures yet- he's not in the mood to be still for the camera. Pay backs maybe?

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Busy Morning

Had a busy morning.

Nathanael had his seven year check-up this morning. He did great. He had two shots and a finger poke, though. Not happy about that! He wants to watch what the nurse is doing which I think is a big mistake. As much as the shots and pokes might hurt, I think seeing his blood is what upsets him the most. So, we gazed deeply into each others eyes and all went well. Actually, I think Nat. had a bit of a let down since things didn't get too hysterical:)

From there, I took Nat. to school. Then I picked up the little girl I babysit. That was a treat. Her mom is a Mary Kay lady so I also got a bag of goodies!!!

Then to Target for diapers and pants for Asher. My boy is getting a bit of a gut:)

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig! Lunches, clean-up and a brief moment in a quiet corner to explore my bag of goodies:)

Now here I sit, winding down. I'm feeling under the weather again- sore throat, stuffy nose and tired as all get out. It's only one o'clock but I am already looking forward to bedtime!

I think I'll work on some sheep now. Enjoy your day!
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