Monday, November 29, 2010

Ahh! Monday!

It was a very thankful day.

The table was set. The company was awesome. The food, well, you know it was good.

I would tell you that I worked my fingers to the bone cooking up a storm on Thanksgiving...but the truth is I had a lot of help. I LOVE making Thanksgiving dinner, but having another cooker (as the kids like to say) was awesome.

My friend Becky and her sweet family came and spent the day with us.

After our delicious dinner the kids earned their dessert by pushing the baby around in a box.

Seriously, you've never seen three children, spanning more than a decade in age, have such a good time together playing with a box.

Yes, thanksgiving was good...and over all too soon.

I spent the rest of the weekend in my pajamas, either on the couch or in my office under piles of fabric and yarn.

I was lucky that Becky did my Black Friday shopping for me...she scored two pairs of $5 pajama's on sale at Old Navy for me. I may never wear real clothes again....

I managed to crank out nearly all the handmade gifts I wanted to make for my family and friends. I can only show you a few of them because the recipients read this blog...but I'll let you take a sneak peek at a few gifts:

I made another poncho just like the one I made for myself two weeks ago out of a new (to me) brand of yarn. It's called I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby, and I do... love that yarn. For an acrylic its so soft and luscious I could eat it. But since Thanksgiving is over I'm trying to cut back a little.

I also whipped out a couple of scarves:

The Taffy Pull....

and The Ruffly*...

Taffy and Ruffly... the names just make me happy. If you're interested, I found these patterns online and they are very beginner-friendly. You can click on the names above to go directly to the link...go on...I know you wanna try.

Then I finished up a little cloche hat and am currently working on a poncho for my niece Mia.

I have only a couple more gifts to make...

When I'm done, I may start blogging more...

(*) - when linking up to the scarf I realized its not called Ruffly but Curly-Swirly...I like Ruffly better so I'm not changing it. ;)

I'd love to know what you're making for Christmas this year...

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Giving Thanks: Another Birthday!

Today's is The Mister's birthday.

I was thinking about him this morning and it occurred to me how patient he is...

As you may know from past posts, I have a tendency toward impetuousness that's meant to get things done quickly, but ends up taking twice as long. You may remember my recent banking fiasco and my Pressure cooker catastrophe.

Let's just say that I average one "accident" a month...only this month I've already done two three.

The good news is that there is only seven days left in November!!!!

What did I do this time?

Well, I mixed up a bunch of deposits at the bank causing much confusion (but we've figured it out!).  I ruined yet another kitchen item on the stove top (always turn your burners off before placing your glass cake pan on the, unevenly heated, has a tendency to explode) and I broke the garage door...but at least I didn't back my car into the side of the house. I already did that once. I try not to do the same stupid thing twice...unless it involves the stove top.

Yes, The Mister is long-suffering and patient, and when i do silly things he comes up behind me, sweeping the broken glass and patching the stucco.

He takes good care of me, and I try very hard to take good care of him....when I'm not making more work for him.

For his birthday I've planned a feast - his favorite lasagna meal. He doesn't like to be fussed over, but it is my privilege to do so.

I'm working real hard at being extra sweet too. Mostly because I still giggle a bit about that first year we were married and his birthday fell on Thanksgiving Day, and in all my "this-is-my-first-married-Thanksgiving-excitement, I sort of forgot...

I'll never forget again.

Speaking of keeping memories alive....I still sometimes wince when I remember that night, so long ago, when we were working together as newlyweds in the kitchen of that itty-bitty duplex on campus...when he was doing the dishes (by hand) and I was trying to multitask while making a pot of rice. I accidently burned his bare back with the scalding pot lid...

He'll never forget that, I'm sure.

Good times, good times...

Happy Birthday Mister,
Thank you for sharing life with me.
I'll do my best not to get into trouble this week...but after 17 years of dating and marriage I think you know how hard that will be...

your coffeegal

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks: Random Rambling

I love Thanksgiving week.

The hustle-bustle. The excitement.

I love the preparation and list making.

I love giving the kids a modified school schedule, requiring only History and Literature reading to be completed. Its a holiday hall-pass...for them....for me.

I'm looking forward to the games we'll play, the birthday we'll celebrate (The Mister is the man of the month) and the Turkey-Time Tolkien Trilogy Tradition.

(Say that three-times, fast.)

Yes, we'll start on Tuesday with The Lord of the Rings and watch a movie each night. However I'm not one to waste nine precious hours just sitting. While Frodo carries the ring to Mordor, I will be crocheting Christmas gifts and sipping coffee and tea.

(I guess now would be the time to tell you: I love alliteration.)

Speaking of crochet...

I finished my poncho project this weekend and to say I have poncho pride would be precise.

(Nothing says "pride" like posting pics with wet hair and no make-up)

Ok, I'll stop and move on now....

I'm thankful that in spite of the bloggers-block I am currently facing you continue to read! Thank you!

I hope to blog this week, but it might not happen since The Mister will be home and the festivities will be in full-swing.

I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving...filled with all the things and people you love.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giving Thanks: Creativity

Good Wednesday morning!

Today I am giving thanks for so many things, but because my mind is a jumble of thoughts not quite ready to be spoken, I am going to give you something I have no problem talking about: cratfing.

Currently my WIP's include a bunch of stuff in the embroidery machine, most of which is "commissioned" work, so I won't show you in case it happens to be your Christmas gift (after all, I'm not entirely certain who reads this blog.)

Last week I finished this hat:

You can't see, but the white yarn has sparkles in it.

I had to mail this one out as soon as it was finished because The Girl was vying for possession.

Once I finished the hat, I had to get something else on the hook.

Had. To.

So I started a poncho for myself out of some yarn I had originally bought to make the princess wig. However, she had in mind that a princess would have wavy we switched to the yellow yarn pictured below.

That left me with two big skeins of yarn just waiting to be made into something fun.

Last night I decided this creamy colored yarn needed to be a poncho:
I have a tendency to give away the things I make, but this may just be a keeper....I'll let you know when its finished.

Let's switch topics, shall we? Moving on from crochet to sewing.....

Several years ago I found these really cute Turkey Place-mats for kids at Pottery Barn. I was really tempted to buy them but the price per mat was a little high for my taste. I knew that if I waited it out, some amazingly talented women would realize she could make them for less and then put a tutorial up online.

Good things come to those who wait.....

Last week I found this post in my Reader: Turkey Place-mats by She wears Flowers

I'm trying to make three mats(we will have an extra little-turkey in addition to my own at this years feast.)

The pattern is easy, but slow going...since I have Crafting ADD issues.

So that's what I am working on....I am thankful for creativity and (since I'm here) I am thankful for my office, a room that inspires me daily.

What are you working on?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Giving Thanks: A Song

Today I am thankful for the words of a song:

my soul, be still,
 and do not fear
though winds of change may rage tomorrow.

God is at your side;
no longer dread
the fires of unexpected sorrow.

 you are my God,
and I will trust in you
and not be shaken.

Lord of peace,
renew a steadfast spirit within me.

my soul,
be still.

*words and music written by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townsend

Friday, November 12, 2010

Giving Thanks: Fall In North Carolina

I've got a full and fun day ahead of me so I thought I'd have a blogging breakfast this morning.

Before I give thanks about the fall let me first say I'm thankful for the Pumpkin Yeast Bread recipe I found yesterday. It makes excellent toast.

I've written this before (and said it in real-life a thousand times)...I love the fall.

I've always loved the fall season, but growing up in the desert I never really appreciated the spectacular show that comes on cue in places where the tree leaves really change. I didn't know that smells change too, and the "feeling" of fall isn't just a cool breeze and pumpkin bread.

Fall is the beautiful time when world around me begins to slow down and prepare for the winter that is to come.

So this morning I am thankful for the sights and smells, and lessons, that come with the changing of season.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Giving Thanks: For Something Totally Superfluous

I am not one who always follows the "gotta-have-it" crowds. I am many things, but I'm not a materialistic girl. I hope you'll indulge me in this completely materialistic post.

Today I'm giving thanks for something I do not need, did not deserve, and didn't think I would ever have: an iPad.

I knew this little machine would be fun, but its turned out to be a hard-working luxury item.

I have used it to teach my history class at co-op on Wednesday afternoon, showing pictures I swiped from the world wide web of ancient Egyptian art and how the Mayan built their huts out of lime and grasses.

I have used it to answer email, and as a GPS, and to keep me occupied in the doctors/dentist offices.

It's been a cookbook, a novel, a crochet pattern keeper.

This little computer has been a movie theater, a calendar, a bank (in the pic above I was moving some birthday cash I had been saving into my checking account. The CarpoolQueen snapped the photo.)

So today I am thankful for this crazy little gadget.

What item do you have, that you could live without, but are thankful you don't have to?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

10 on the 10th: Thanksgiving Style

I've missed participating in the Life at 7000 Feet: 10 on the 10th carnival for many months. This month I'm jumping in with Meredith and giving thanks ten times over.

1. I'm thankful that I'm sipping coffee with Peppermint Mocha Creamer...even though this goes against two creamer rules: the "only-drink-peppermint-in-December" rule; and the "would-be-better-if-it-was-fat-free" rule.  I'm living on the edge.

2. I'm thankful that The Mister didn't kill me yesterday when he found out I hadn't done the one-thing he asked me to do in mid-September and then reminded me to do sometime around my birthday, but let's not get into specifics ...the result was getting a cable bill with three months of charges on it.

3. I'm thankful that the nice cable man generously waived those expensive and ridiculous denied credit card fee's when I told him that his help would save a poor scatterbrained housewife from living in the proverbial dog house over night what had happened.

4. I am thankful that three months ago, when our credit card was breached, our bank found it quickly and took care of everything (including canceling the old number and issuing a new) so it would not happen again.

5. I am thankful none of our other bills are paid via credit card...otherwise we might not have had the electricity to participate in the 10 on the 10th.

(5.5- everyone in this household is thankful I don't do the billing around here.)

6. I am thankful that we will share our Thanksgiving meal with friends.

7. I am thankful that Becky is making the homemade stuffing this year...I am thankful that she didn't even bat an eyelash in horror when I told her I usually make Stove Top.

8. I am thankful for the season of fall in North Carolina.

9. I am thankful for the excitement of preparing to have an Arizona Christmas.

10. I am thankful for what I read this morning in Jer 31:3-4

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
   I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.
I will build you up again,"

I'd love to know what you are thankful for today. And thanks, Meredith, for letting me play!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Giving Thanks: My Beloved

He's humble, and smart, and he doesn't like his photo posted on the blog.

So you've never seen his face.

He's a country boy, a hiking-man.

He thinks more, and talks less.

He loves books, and good movies, and eating food cooked at home.

He's me, to the kids, to others.

He makes me laugh.  A lot.

He holds me close, but he also sets me free.

He isn't perfect, but he's the better half.

He's my beloved, and I am his.

For The Mister I am thankful.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thankful: Days 5-8

It's been five days...

After that last post I bet you thought I'd quit blogging too.

I haven't.

I just had a whirlwind weekend that was full and exciting.

But I cannot lie, there was a moment that left me feeling as if a thunder-head had come to rain on my parade.

I had to hold on tightly, lest the wind of fear blow my focus away, and remember the goodness all around me: exciting news from family; birthday celebrations; the tenderness and laughter and encouragement of good friends...

For all these things I am thankful.

So very thankful.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Giving Thanks: Choosing to Think

On this third day of gratitude, I am thankful I quit Twitter.

Although, if I'm honest, I sometimes miss it.

What? You didn't know I quit the Twitters?

It's OK. I didn't tell anyone, and even those close to me didn't realize it until weeks later. I just closed the account, and went about my life.

To be honest, I had struggled for a long time with Twitter, because it greatly impeded my thinking powers (not to mention sucked up time). I felt certain that thinking in 140 characters or less was draining my capacity to think deep thoughts, but I couldn't pin down a good excuse as to why that would be true. So I continued typing short sentences with bad txt tping...only I wsnt LOL'ing. U knw wht I mn?

As a result, all my thoughts were becoming shallow. I began to tweet mundane things that nobody wanted to know. My entire brain-power was about trying to quip one-liners...and y'all know I'm not that funny.

I read Jerusha Clark's book, Every Thought Captive: battling the toxic beliefs that separate us from the life we crave , and was smacked in the head with this quote from the first chapter*:

How we think determines our spiritual, emotional, and sometimes physical health. Elizabeth George notes, "Like a virus, our thoughts have the ability to drain our energy and cripple our usefulness. Our thoughts can, however, also be a source of strength when we dwell on the powerful truths of Scripture."
I got the one-two punch when I read this:

Proverbs 4:23
Be very careful what you think, your thoughts run your life. 

Wow. And yeah...

Truth. Sometimes it comes gently. Sometimes it hits you on the nose.

I realized that Twitter (for me) wasn't just about what I was thinking, but how it made me think of myself and others....sometimes it made me feel prideful, "Wow, what I just tweeted about my pedi-cure was so clever!" and sometimes it made me feel insecure, "Why didn't anybody respond to that great tweet about clipping my toenails?"

I am very hyper-aware about hiding my needy-ness. Let's just be honest, I like to appear like I've got it under control so people will like me. Twitter fed into this already crazy-frenzy, mixed-up, Kellie the CoffeeGal thought life, and I didn't like the down-hill trend.

This quote, also from Chapter One* hit the nail on the head:
Many of our thoughts, unfortunately, are both negative and untrue. At different points in their lives, most women have believed poisonous lies such as these: I'm not good enough. What others believe about me defines who I am. I am the sum of my accomplishments and my relationships [and my tweets**]. We have all believed self-defeating falsities as well, lies that have hijacked and poisoned our minds.
I wish I could tell you that I am the woman who escaped this generalization, but I'm not. My lack of thinking deep and truthful thoughts was "draining my energy and crippling my usefulness," not only on Twitter, but on this blog, in my conversations with real-life people, and in my quiet-times in the morning. 

When my kids were babies a wise women in our church came to my home to speak to my mom's group. She said that when choosing activities for ourselves or our children, we should ask ourselves this question: Will this activity build us (as a family) up? Or tear us down? 

As a mom, friend, and wife my thought life is the doorway to everything I do. If it tears me down, the fall-out has the potential to pull all those things I endeavor to pursue down with it. Twitter wasn't building me up, it was robbing me of my thought life, but what's worse, it wasn't building anyone up in my circle of influence either. 

So, that's why I quit.

I am grateful, for authors like Jerusha Clark, and other writers who share God's wisdom in books that tell the Truth, though its sometimes hard to hear.

And I am grateful, though I do miss the camaraderie of my Tweeps, that I quit typing thinking in 140 characters or less.

* I'd like to give the page numbers, but I read this book electronically, and the pages are wonky.

** my words, added for emphasis.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Giving Thanks....

Do you remember when I made this banner a couple of years ago and I misspelled 'thanks'? There's a picture of it if you click here.

This month I hope to Give Thanks here on the blog.

I'll do two today (since my day got away from me yesterday).

1. I'm thankful for 7th Grade Algebra.

No really.

It is stretching my mind and building character within me; and its improving my relationship with my son. I am learning to be patient; learning that it's OK to teach from a place of weakness.

My son is learning to extend grace, and that even old moms should never stop striving to be teachable  (although that takes a GREAT DEAL of prayer to do so.)

2. I'm thankful for new friends.

It's been said that God brings people in your life for a reason, a season, and/or a lifetime.

From the soccer field, the co-op, the church, the bookstore, the Girl Scouts, the basketball court, the gym, and all places in between, I've had the pleasure to meet some amazing women. I don't know if these will be "seasonal" or "lifetime" friends, but I am grateful either way.

If the mood strikes, I would love to hear what you are thankful for as the month of November marches on.

Happy Tuesday!