Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Berrying

I love this time of year.





Any favorite recipes that will make good use of all these lovely berries and cherries?

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Fire Station


Last week we had an invitation to join another family on a field trip to the Abingdon Fire Station. How could we pass that up?
Our tour guide, Fireman Monty, apologized for not being able to allow the kids to try on the uniforms. Since they're only laundered quarterly, he thought there might be some hygiene problems. Ick.


He showed us the set up of the truck - in and out - and raised the ladder, which the kids loved. I so would not want to be at the end of it, no way.

When Toby saw the "moving tool chest", I think he was a little jealous.

In checking out the ambulance, Monty shared some stories of the types of calls they receive - everything from car wrecks to "I have a headache". And though I'm sure they would like to give such trifling callers a piece of their minds, they have to respond.

In one of the common rooms, there are some toys available for the firemen's children to use during family days. Of course, my kids found these pretty quick.
I think I got a lot more from it than the kids, primarily in regards to what these men (and women) go through in the course of their "normal" duties. I gained such an appreciation for the sacrifices they make, the time away from family, not to mention how they stand ready to risk their lives at every shift. And in the midst of all this, they're still happy to show a bunch of little kids around the station, answering questions and showing off all their equipment with a smile.

Respect to our local firemen - I'm so grateful for them.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Shovelling my pride

We had a mulch delivery last week. The plan was that Toby would do the shovelling and spreading first thing Saturday morning, but I figured I'd help him out by doing as much as I could on Friday afternoon, getting a little extra exercise and giving the kids a chance to help out into the bargain. At least, that's how my thinking started out, but my delusional pride soon kicked into overdrive.
I said to myself, "Self, you sure are working hard! You're teaching your kids to work hard, and you're even being patient! Yes, sir, you're pretty good. Think how pleased your husband will be when he comes home to see how much as been done! Man, he's gonna get you flowers or something. I'll bet even the neighbors are thinking about what a hard worker you are..."
Pathetic, isn't it? But wait, it gets worse:
"It sure is hot out here. I wish these kids would help a little more - they're just running around! Don't they know how hard this is? I thought I was setting a good example for them, but they're not even paying attention! What if no one notices how hard I've worked?"
Fortunately, the Holy Spirit had had enough at this point and stepped in.
"You know, it is hard work, and someone does notice. The Father notices. He notices when you work hard, but it should be for His glory, not for the praise of men. He is honored when you serve others, so don't concentrate on what others notice or not. And you are setting an example for your children, but don't look for their thanks or approval. It's not for now that you're training them - it's for when they are adults, with spouses and children of their own to serve. It's then that what you've modelled for them will bear fruit. Now stop trying to glorify yourself, and look to glorify the One who is actually worthy of it."
Thank you, Lord, for correcting my heart, and giving me the opportunity to serve you by serving my family. Thank you for reminding me that what I do now will serve my children - maybe not now, but in due season.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Magic

It is, indeed, a lovely sort of magic that turns this...

...into this...
...into this.
Now the only question that remains is: is it a hat...

...or a vase?


It's nice to know that either way, it'll serve some noble purpose.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How refreshing

This shirt was in dire need of some attention. It was kind of boring, and the big stain didn't help matters any. Ick. I figured we'd past the point of relying on stain busters, so I went for the cover-up option. Since being gifted with some very cool fabric, the scissors and the sewing machine were called into service.

Just one corsage would have looked kind of weird, so I added another near the hem.

And now I have a shirt that I'm not embarrassed to wear. Not repurposed, really, just refreshed.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sheets

I saw this tutorial and was inspired. So, even though I didn't follow the directions exactly, I'm grateful.
And so is Daniel.
Well, not really, but still.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ellie Joy


Being a model
Being a mommy

(I have no idea what happened to Daniel's neck - we must have misplaced it for this photo)


Being stinkin' gorgeous

About the dress: from Weekend Sewing, the Flower Girl dress. Very easy, in spite of how difficult I tried to make it by messing up a few times. I didn't really understand the sizing, and even though I made the largest size, this will fit her for about 15 minutes. Fortunately, it's easy enough to alter to whatever size you want, meaning Abi and Anna should be getting some, too.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stitch markers

If you knit, at some point or another, you're going to need stitch markers. Now, you can buy the fairly uninspired plastic rings, and they do the job fine. You can use things around the house like safety pins, colored string, or (if you're like me) a broken earring that's still too pretty to get rid of.
But if you find yourself in need of a little "knitting jewelry", you'll get some of these:

Aren't they cute? You can get all sorts like these on etsy or make them yourself.

These are the ones I made for Mum:

All of mine were made with some beads from Grandmom and beads from the girls' stash. They didn't seem to mind...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Eleanor Reads

Sorry about the big truck going by, but it's cute anyway... video

The Twirly Skirt

Anna needed a twirly skirt.
Made from this tutorial. (highly recommended, in spite of the math)

It passed the twirly test...

...which is a relief.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer hair

We all had some seriously long hair. With the hot weather upon us and a decreased desire to fight with tangles, we decided it was time for a change.
This was Anna's before it was cut - Abigail's was a similar length, but I forgot to get a photo before I lopped it off...
Anna's "after" shot
Abi's "after" shot
Now, to be fair, these pictures were taken a couple weeks ago - the girls decided early on they wanted "summer hair". I was slower off the mark. I like my long hair. I like my braid. But I wasn't liking the time it takes to dry. And I think, frankly, I wanted a change. So.....
Before

After

What do you think? I'm rather pleased with it. All in, about 13 inches came off. It's all contained in a nice long ponytail, ready to be donated to Locks of Love. And the best of it is that it didn't cost a cent - my sweet mother-in-law did the cutting. Bless her, she was very nervous about it, but she faced her fear and did a fine job - and she didn't even take revenge for moving her boy so far away. What a treasure!

Whoa - has anyone else ever handed their mother-in-law a pair of scissors and invited them to chop away? I'll have to give her an extra hug today.