Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I've Moved!

I've moved the blog. Click Here to find my new home.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pinterest Post

First some housekeeping. The winner of the "Isn't it Time for a Coffee Break" giveaway is KatieBeth!!

I have a thing for dishes. Really I do so of course it would make sense that I have the smallest kitchen ever and hardly any space for them. Does this curb my enthusiasm and collecting of them? I would say "yes, it does", my husband would say "no, it doesn't" (but that's only because he doesn't know how many things I DO pass up, he only sees what I bring home.)

Several years ago I began falling in love with blue pyrex. You know the stuff ALL our moms totally got for wedding presents (except everyone I knew had the brown and green ones, blech). I don't know why but the colors just really appeal to me. And it's so durable and useful; I mean who doesn't need another covered vegetable dish, am I right? Add to that a lot of it still has it's lids and oh my dear... dishes with lids make me swoon, they really do.

Then I found pinterest and then I found this pin 

AND then, I found THIS PIN!

and I realized that not only did I want (need, crave, yearn for) blue pyrex but I also had to get my hands on some pink (way harder to find by the way). And so after I put the Christmas stuff away this year I decided I had enough pyrex to put on display. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I actually had more then I thought (not saying I'm done collecting, don't be silly). I'd love to have it more centralized and in my someday kitchen I will have a much better place for it, but for now I'm pretty happy with how it looks.

What do you think of my collection. Tell me what things do you collect make you swoon?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Today is a Grumpy Day.

Honestly it doesn't feel all bad, I've gotten quite a lot accomplished but the children are bit on the whiny side and boy does that wear a person down. It got me thinking about how parenting is hard. It's not like hard in the way that I worry it will be (and hope it never will) you know kids walking down the wrong path or getting seriously injured or sick? That's a kind of hard I am so grateful God has sheltered me from. I'm talking the daily grind kind of hard. The kind of hard where you honestly just want to eat your lunch locked in the bedroom so you can get five minutes to yourself with out having to get up and grab something. Seriously kids you get to eat why don't I? Which brings me to my other question: if I never sit down and never eat why aren't I stick thin?

It got me thinking about past me. If past me had known the actual details of my present daily life. Had known the kind of hard I'm talking about I think she would have opted out of motherhood completely. Please understand I'm not saying I wish I had opted out. What I'm saying is knowing past me the way I do and knowing the struggles she dealt with if she had known about the late nights, the daily grind, the never ever ever getting to take a shower or go to the bathroom by herself, she would have chosen not to have children. That scares me a little to think how close I came to not being a mom. I am so thankful that past me did not know all of the tiring little details of being a parent. She was scared enough as it was and she would have let her fear and her poor self-esteem frighten her out of having kids. You see becoming a mother has brought out the best and worst in me. It's strange that you can be so good and so bad. Sometimes I dream about having the house to myself. My kids make me mad. Seriously I had no idea what kind of temper I had until I had kids. Perfect moms do not yell at their children, they are firm but always loving and never ever loose their tempers. I totally loose my temper. I really hope that my kids don't need therapy as adults because of it. How can a three year old be so maddening?

Thank goodness I didn't know about my temper before I had kids. I would have decided I wasn't mother material, that I wasn't patient enough, or loving enough, or good enough to be a mom. I would have been right I'm totally NOT good enough. However, with God's continual strength, mercy and forgiveness (oh baby, how my kids make me need his forgiveness) I think I'll do. I am so glad I am a mom even though it completely sucks sometimes (it really does sorry) because sometimes it is completely awesome! Sometimes when my three year old says "Mom I luf you." it makes everything else melt away (even if in the next breath he fake burps in my face). When my six year old compliments my dress and says "Nice heels!" I am so humbled and grateful that I am a mom and so very very relieved that the past me didn't know what present me knows.

I think we tend to completely focus on the good or bad of parenthood. We become grandparents and all we remember is the roses. You know what ladies I am never going to miss having to take half a shower because my son has to poop, I'm just not going to miss that. However, I'm pretty sure I am going to miss the fact that he always wants to be in my lap (even though sometimes I want a little space). Oh parenthood you are a bizarre and strange mistress!

Brian and I fight over who HAS to sit by Conster because
when you sit in a booth with him he sits pressed up against you gooey fingers
and all. I'm pretty sure that IS one of the things I'll miss someday.
If you want more stuff on real parenting you should check out the crappy parenting blog. It's hilarious and funny and occasionally a bit irreverent. She has no idea who I am and is way cooler them me this is not an advertisement I just wanted to share her awesome blog.

p.s. Don't forget to comment on the previous post for a chance to be entered in the giveaway and if you go and "like" Amelia Rhodes face book page I'll enter your name a second time!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Isn't It Time for a Coffee Break?

Isn't it time for a coffee break? Blog tour with ameliarhodes.com
My answer to that question is; "when isn't it time for a coffee break?"I think my friend Amelia would agree. She so loves coffee that she wrote a book with the title question as the title. Let me backtrack for a minute Amelia's book isn't really about coffee it's actually about friendship and relationships and it's so so good.

Most of you readers know how close to my heart the issue of relationships between women is. God created the female heart to need the love and companionship of other female relationships, and I think that is so amazing! Amelia takes you through all the aspects of relationships with the symbolism of coffee leading the way. This book is a great read on it's own but would make an even better group study. In celebration of it's publication I sat down with Amelia to ask her some questions.

Amelia tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks for having me on your blog Jessie! I live in Michigan and have been married to my high school sweetheart, Kedron, for 15 years. We have two young children (kindergarten boy and 2nd grade girl). I looove coffee with friends and have a passion for encouraging women to share an authentic life together. When I’m not writing or helping in my kids’ classrooms I’m chasing groundhogs out of my garden or running or sewing or knitting. I like to do a lot of things I guess!

How did you get into writing and how did you end up writing this book?

I always enjoyed writing and telling stories as child. In our mid-twenties Kedron and I moved to Florida and both of our children were born there. Kedron suggested I start a blog to keep in touch with our family back north. I asked, “What in the world is a blog? And WHY would anyone ever want to read one?” Little did I know! Ha! At his urging, I reluctantly started a personal blog. As I told the stories of our every day life, I fell back in love with writing. I also began to see how the pieces of our little stories fit into God’s bigger story. One thing led to another and a few years ago I started to submit to various publications and began to blog for Circle of Friends.

 I had been blogging for Circle of Friends for a year or two when they approached me about a series of books they were creating called Women Living Life Together. (Check their website www.ourcircleoffriends.org for the other 4 books in the series by other authors!) Circle of Friends sent me a list of topics, and this one about “doing life together” stuck out to me since it’s something I’m passionate about. It also didn’t hurt that the title had a coffee theme, and I’m addicted to it (pausing to slurp a little now).

 Tell us a little about your book?

Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? offers humor and insightful Bible-based encouragement that will inspire a new outlook, as you begin to discover the beauty and fulfillment of “doing life together” with your sisters in Christ.  Throughout the book, I share many of my own life experiences and the stories of friends to take a closer look at doing life together according to God’s plan.

I’m particularly fond of the chapter titles (which I came up with during a six mile run).
The Aroma of Relationships: Love
Brew a Strong cup of Friendship
Share a Cup: Generosity
Experience the Variety of Blends: Hospitality
Filter out the Grounds: Unity
Sweeten Your Cup: Forgiveness

I work in the church and value the relationships I have with other women. I've also seen how poor relationships and misunderstandings can really injure the entire church body. I was wondering what your thoughts on interrelationships between women in the church are?

Jesus said that “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35 NIV).
Our lives together matter. The world is watching. In chapter 5 I talk about unity among believers. I tell a story in that chapter of a family friend who read the whole Bible, and believed it was true. But after watching how Christians treated each other he decided it couldn’t be true and turned to Buddhism instead. We don’t know who is watching, and how our actions reflect Christ in us, for good and for bad. So it’s extremely important that we focus on loving each other, even when we disagree.

Why do you think it is so important for women to have relationships with other women?

Sooner or later we all hit what I call “rocks of impossibility,” situations in our lives that bring us to a standstill, times when we just feel “stuck” and don’t know what to do or how to get past it. There will be times when you need the help of a friend see the good things in your life. She can be the outside pair of eyes that can see God’s work, when all you can see is the rock of impossibility in front of you. We need women in our lives who have their feet firmly planted on the solid rock of God’s truth who can call out to us and urge us to keep going, to hold on, to remember we are God’s beloved daughters.

What women have been most inspirational in your life?

My mom has been quite inspirational for many reasons. I used her as a great example in the chapter on generosity. She has spent her life using her gifts and talents to serve others. In fact, Jessie you’d love my mom, because her gifts and talents come in the form of fabric and yarn. The work of her hands has traveled the globe and blessed countless people. You’ll have to read chapter 3 to see what I mean!

What advice could you give to the fellow moms out there?

The normal, mundane routines of life – the grocery store, the bank, in your kids classrooms, packing lunches, changing diapers, making dinner – those things matter. Look for God’s story in the little things that happen every day. I love this verse from 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Those every day, monotonous tasks can bring glory to God when you do them out of gratitude and service to Him.

If there was one specific thing you would want women to know about your book, what would it be?

I’m praying that this book might be a tool women will use to reach out and invite others into their lives. I hope they might invite someone new to their circle of friends and open up a seat at their friendship table for someone they might not normally associate with and get to know her better. I think women crave a place to belong, and many of us put up a good front that life is ok and that we have plenty of friends. But I think many of us would admit that we have room in our life for more friends and are craving to be known, accepted and loved just as we are. My hope is that after reading this, women will reach out and offer that love and acceptance to others.

I hope you'll take the time to pick this book up and give it a read. And, to celebrate we're having a giveaway. Comment on this post telling us what woman has been the most influential in your life to enter to win. If you go to Amelia's facebook page and "like" it let me know in the comments and I'll enter you into the giveaway a second time. The giveaway will be open through Friday.
Look at these great prizes!

Monday, December 31, 2012

I like to keep a lighthearted blog but I also like to keep it real. This is a new year's post and as such a good time to reflect on the past year. To be frank this last year kind of sucked. My husband and I weathered multiple extended family crises, there was a pretty big change up at church (though not bad I still struggle with change), the long distance relocation of one of my closest friends, and finally there was the terrible events in Oregon and in Connecticut. All told this has been a pretty sad year. And I think that's okay. I think it's all right to acknowledge that it hasn't been all roses and rainbows to admit that maybe this is a good year to say goodbye too.

That being said I don't want you to think my entire year has been a wash. On the contrary all these things have made the sweet things of life so much more poignant. I have spent a good amount of time being overwhelmed with gratitude for what I have. For feeling humbled by the wonderful blessings I find heaped upon my, often, ungrateful head. I have children I love and a husband I adore. I love our church family and job, our little home seems so much warmer and brighter now. I was able to welcome a new nephew into the world. I have made some new discoveries about myself and about my dreams. I heard it said "The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necissarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant."This seems a fitting quote for 2012.

I am hopeful for this coming year. Hopeful that I will continue to see the Lord working, continue to minister beside my husband. I am looking forward to seeing my sons grow and learn. I have some new goals for my writing and am excited to see where my pen and sewing machine take me. This journey we call life is really full; full of good and bad laughter and tears. Thank you for journeying with me readers. Know that I value your kind words so very much.
Happy New Year.

With that in mind I'm excited to announce that I am planning some very big changes to the blog. Oh, I'll still blather on about sewing and cooking and whatever else tickles my fancy but I'm going to be changing the look and even location. I hope you'll stick with me through these changes, I really think it's going to make it a better blogging experience for all of us.

Thanks again and happy new year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa Came to Visit

My dear Aunt Clause. She's too cute.
When you have a mother who sews you get a lot of perks. For instance you might get a special visit from Mr. and Mrs. Clause because Mrs. Clause needs a new apron and she has some unique specifications (as you would expect). Most children would consider this to be a huge bonus... most children... Indeed, my oldest son was stoked and chatted with the famous pair for quite a while. The neighbor children, while cautious, were soon won over by the jolly man's charms. However, there was Conster, and he was NOT amused. He was so far from enthused that I would venture to say he may be traumatized, not the kind of traumatized that would require psychiatric help but certainly the kind that will dis-sway him from ever having a picture taken with Mickey Mouse.

This is what he did the entire time Santa and Mrs. Clause were at my house. He gave the impression that he was asleep, as he refused to open his eyes at all. However, since his grip was tighter then death, I was fairly certain he was awake. No amount of encouragement or begging would get him to open his eyes. Poor thing. I hope that Mr. and Mrs. Clause aren't offended, I'm sure they're used to this kind of thing and really three out of four kids isn't bad.

What about you? Any traumatized Christmas memories? I find the best thing to assuage the pain of creepy santa's past is to let us laugh with you and presents. Leave a comment on this post telling us your funny holiday memories to enter to win one of these Christmas gifts. I'll pick a winner on boxing day December 26th because it's a very british thing and I'm still finding myself taken with Anglophila
Some goodies for you; aprons, pincushions, nestlaces.
Plenty to go around so leave a comment.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pajama's Done!

The wonder of sewing is the ability to join any kind of style of fabric you'd like. I have boys they love super heros, they love the Teen Age Mutant Ninja Turtles. I tried to find a picture of the TMNT's running because that is how my boys run everywhere now; with there chest sticking out and their arms behind them (I guess this is how ninjas run). Imagine my joy when I found a pattern for karate pajamas at the Salvation Army store. Perfect for Christmas! And, it was perfect except that when I went to make them the pieces to the karate top were not there, grrrrrrrr. Sure I could just make them regular jammies but by now I have my mind made up that they will haven ninja pajamas!

I ended up using a robe pattern and just cut it shorter (of course I cut it too short but solved that problem by adding a black band to the bottom which tied it to the black pajama pants perfectly). It worked well, except I didn't buy enough quite enough fabric and had to get creative with the facings. The style of the pajamas is ninja but the fabric is this really cool marvel comic book fabric. Joann's just has the coolest marvel stuff, it's all retro looking and so neat!

There just ended up being one problem. I had to use superman fabric scraps from last year to make the facings and as any comic book reader knows if you mix Marvel and DC black holes can result. However, since SuperH has both companies underwear living peacefully in his drawer I thought it was worth the risk. In the end, despite the fact that there were many bang-my-head-against-the-desk (this is mostly a result from the fact that it was suppose to be easier and faster then it ended up being) moments and the fact that they're not perfect (will I ever get used to that?) I am very pleased with them and I think the boys will be too.

Now onto the next task in the mountain of projects!