Friday, February 25, 2011

Yarns and Such

I have decided to re-purpose this blog! Or, just add to it. In addition to the random topics I write about, I am turning this into a crochet blog! Complete with pics, patterns and the occasional *wink* mistake, just to remind you that I am still learning.

To make it official, below are some recent projects I've completed:

Do you see a common, ahem, pardon the pun, "thread"? Yes, I am ecstatic about hats! I love trying all new kinds and then the best part, giving them away :) B and K are my sweet models :)
Please excuse the terrible picture of me. But kudos to Brilla for taking a photo of the bobble hat. I think it is cute for kiddos, but will skip wearing out in public on my head!

I am thinking that I very much like working with cotton yarn. Soft and sturdy. Also, the colors are brighter. I worked the pink butterfly cap B is wearing in cotton yarn, Sugar n' Cream. I can't wait to go to a local specialty yarn store and see what they have in stock.

The hat below is in wool, which I prefer for winter. I went hog-wild at a yarn sale they were having at Michaels earlier this week. Most of it was red-tag clearance!!! I am trying some cotton/acrylic. It is soft like cotton, but a tad stretchier. I also wanted to try the tweed blend...and the bamboo...but alas, can't get everything. I will just have to go back. Ha.

The above leggings turned out so well! Except for the strange seam I have going on (because I didn't pull up a loop when I connected). But even the seam can go in the back and they look so cute when B wears them to ballet class.

I am almost finished with my next project...can you guess what it is?

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Life Gone From this Earth

On February 5th, our friend, Paula Lofgreen, went to be with her Lord Jesus. What a celebration! She had suffered a long road of cancer and is now breathing fresh, clean, heavenly air.

I have been surprised at the emotional roller coaster I have been on since her passing...

For the first few days, I felt this heavy, sad burden that wouldn't leave. Every time I felt it, I would just go to God in prayer, pour my heart out to Him, ask Him to be with Paula's family. It's only natural to feel this way, but at the same time, the feelings have caught me off guard. I didn't expect to feel this way. I can't tell you how many days I've just had to stop and cry, unable to do anything for a while.

Every time I think of Paula's grown daughter (who was a best friend in my teens) and her two children having to go through this loss, my heart lurches for them. The tears come. Imagine having your mom gone at 32. Wow. My mom lost her mother at age 23 and that was extremely hard for her, especially since she didn't have the knowledge of the comfort of the Lord Jesus. But when I empathize with Paula's family's pain, again, I give it to God, because He's the only one who truly knows pain and can truly heal. Then I think of the eldest granddaughter, the same age as Brilla, I can't imagine losing the Mema who used to bake, catch crabs, and just do fun stuff with you all the time.

Every time I think of Cass (Paula's husband) and the Love he has lost until we join Christ on the other side, I think of how empty he probably feels. How he likely experiences peace, pain, and heartache, strength, all simultaneously. Being a widower at 50 is hard. When he gets home, he no longer has Paula to come home to. He will be on a long road of healing.

So, in a way, it's like I'm grieving too. Although our families are not super close as we used to be, all these memories of Paula keep flooding back. Our families used to be like one big family. We did Easter and other holiday dinners together. Neither of our families had relatives in the area, so we took their place. We even had a project where we painted each other's houses. Yeah, crazy. We watched Beethoven at the theater on Christmas together. All the picnics, home school field trips, sleepovers, and such. I find myself digging out old pictures and scrapbooks. The memories just keep flooding their way in...

The biggest anchor has been to pray, but also to remember SHE IS WITH HER SAVIOR. We will see her again! It seems so far away, but it's not really. And instead of suffering with each respiratory attack, she's up There preparing the huge Feast, or whatever special job God has for her. She's worshiping her Almighty God! Praising her Maker! What could be better than that?

Her memorial/celebration service is this Saturday. I am going to bring a handful of tissues because there is no doubt I will cry. Okay, sob.

Too bad you could not have been at this huge party in your honor, Paula. You would have loved having your family and friends all in once place! In some ways, it feels like you could not be gone. That you're still at your house in Steilacoom, laughing, smiling and encouraging others like you always have. In some ways, it's almost like my own mother has gone. Can't wait to see you on that Shore!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Legnoart CREMEUX Milk Flother, Designed by Robin Levien
Just saw this at TJ Maxx yesterday. Normally $59 on Amazon, it was $12.99. For your curiosity, it's a Legnoart Cremeux Milk Frother. Isn't it pretty?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I know I only have two kids, so if you have more than that, you will likely find my post below to be shallow and a big whine. But here goes...

I'm having a hard time juggling everything!

With home schooling, bookkeeping, teaching piano, cleaning my house, and running errands, I find that more than one of these gets overlooked until, bam!, it must needs be done right now!

My frig is a disaster, my floor needs to be mopped (mind you, I don't have a huge kitchen to mop, but smaller ones do get dirty faster thus needing to be mopped more frequently), my bathroom is always behind on a scrub (amazingly, I did clean it last week), and dusting rarely gets done (except every time my husband notices it and goes "'s kind of dusty in here...").

Also, I have a hard time getting out with other mom-friends and their kids. We have like, one day of the week for freedom, and usually that's spent catching up on things that get let go! I've tried scheduling. Believe me, I am a schedule maniac. But you can't always schedule everything. With kids, things come up unexpectedly.

Don't get me wrong, I like being busy. In fact, I probably asked for it. I seem lost and restless if I'm not preoccupied. But often, it catches up with me and chokes me and I feel stressed.

Do any of you, my dear friends, have keys to managing your time? Any empathy?? :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

If there is a word that can describe how I've felt lately and am trying to cultivate the feeling more and more, it's thankful.

As I pray for missionaries in Asia and the little ones in India who have next to nothing, my mind cannot help but realize that though I have a little less than last month, it is still so much more than they ever will have. Just goes to show that richness doesn't consist of things, but perhaps spiritual depth.

One of the easiest ways to become disgruntled with what I have is to look around, and as a result of looking around become discontent. Why do I choose discontent over contentment when I can choose the latter? Human tendency. Selfishness. Okay, let's just call it sin!

So. Lately, I've chosen the former, not due to happy thoughts, but how much I have in the Lord. Really, showers of blessings, is more like it. A husband who is faithful, trustworthy, (might I add handsome?), and a great daddy. Two daughters who I strive to raise in God's ways. A church family that challenges and exhorts me. Parents who love Jesus. Friends who pray for and love me. Wow. All this!

And it even applies to things. When I don't have that very shirt that would match my trousers, I just need to get creative. Money doesn't have to be spent to get happiness. I've realized that shopping for me can become an idol! Something that I grab a hold of that quenches the restlessness inside. Something I lean on, even before I reach for my Bible or kneel down in prayer. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your patience. I want to be a woman who is thankful in all things and content in You.

Another thing. I've realized that I can't change my circumstances. But I can for sure change how I'm going to respond to them. Some challenging words were spoken at our last Bible study lecture. I can wake up in the morning and grumble, or I can wake up and say, "God, thank you for another day to live." Instead of snapping at my husband because my high expectations aren't being met or because I just am grumpy, realize I can choose to control my actions and attitudes and give him grace. Because I've been shown grace. How many opportunities has God had to wake us up from our stubbornness? Sometimes he painfully shows us, but, most of the time, he gently chides. Oh, that I could be more merciful and gracious like my Savior.


An Update on Real Time :)

We have been focusing on school lately. Brilla is reading!! And loving addition! Her least favorite is Handwriting and poetry/verse memorization. But, I think the teacher needs to do a little tweaking to make it more palatable. Honestly, it feels like I'm the one being home schooled. It's so hard for the parent to be committed to a schedule and follow through. But you know, it's totally rewarding. I'm grateful to be home with my girl to teach her like this.

Brilla's still in ballet and now takes piano lessons. She simply drinks both. In ballet, she's the ahem, wayward student, but we are working on that!! Can you say 'humility' on my part? It's embarrassing to be the parent who's child is acting up. She's taking on more responsibility here at home to improve that and we've seen progress. I think it's also just a part of life.

I am still crocheting my little hands away. I recently completed a hat that I am embarrassed to wear out in public. It has little bobbles all over; it looks like a clown hat! Teehee. Very appropriate for a certain niece of mine who would think it looks cool. Currently, I'm working on a diaper cover for Katie, since I accidentally felted her last one. And now I can post pics since I found my battery charger! Pics to come as soon as I'm done.

I'm also going to learn to *whispering* knit. Mind you, I'm still learning to sew. So, who knows when I really will get to knitting. I have high aspirations for myself. My husband, bless his heart, wishes I'd put down my crochet hooks once in a while and just read next to him or something!

Mike is currently low on work, which is a prayer request. Instead of worrying, however, I know God will provide. Meanwhile, we've been tightening the belt buckle, so to speak.

I'm still teaching piano, just recently started up some beginners. They are cuties! So ready to learn and so excited to hear themselves play :) I've been trying to make it more fun, less boring. I've always had great teachers who motivated their students well. You never know when a student will want to be a teacher someday!

I've also felt the need to do some body toning, so I've rented a few exercise videos. Ever since quitting my membership at the gym, I realize there's a little "extra" hanging around. The morning are best! Can't wait until Spring/Summer to get outside more. Oh, sun, come quickly!

What did you all do for Valentine's Day? Mike took me out to a Grill on the Eastside which was delicious. No kids for an evening is always nice. And tonight as a family we went to Fat Burger, using a coupon we had! So fun! Mike also brought home a beautiful bouquet of flowers that currently sits on the living room side table. Flowers are beautiful, they remind me of life, especially life after this life! Mike also got us a Sees candies certificate, so we're going to go pick out chocolates some time this week. Wow, I've had so much sugar lately, I believe my immune system is way down, and probably the reason my throat is scratchy. Think I'm catching my youngest's cold :( Also, today, we attended a most elegant Valentine party. Thanks Susi. It was a blast to hang out, even though it was slightly crazy with kids. But food was wonderful and the treats were ohsogood!

This post has become extremely long and doubt most of you will have time to read. Hopefully, on this day celebrating love you will remember that Jesus loves you SO much. We don't have to better ourselves before coming to Him. We just need to come to Him with humble hearts, wanting to turn, repent from our ways, conform to His. Then His Spirit does the changing!