Saturday, February 27, 2010

This morning we went to a lovely baby shower for our good friends, Adina and Bernard. What fun we had! Little Clara Victoria is beautiful. (Clara rhymes with Laura.) I couldn't wait to hear what Adina had named her. Adina is from Romania and is very "old world." As I expected, her name is beautiful...and little Clara is four days old today!

Adina's midwife is located in northern VA, so they had an hour and 15 minute drive. Baby Clara was born in the jacuzzi as underwater birth. Adina said it was a perfect birth. PTL

Ruthie stitched up two receiving blankets.
The gifts went in this gift bag. I think the notecard idea is so creative!
And Lizzie stitched up this quilt. We didn't know until Friday that the baby is a girl, so Lizzie found some pink binding to stitch on the side. (We were having trouble deciding what color the binding should be.)
The fabrics came from Joann's fabrics. We are so pleased with the outcome that we've decided to get some more of these fabrics for future quilts.
The luncheon was very tasty. The Boston Cream cupcakes were a favorite.
The meal featured quiche with many different salads. Everything was delicious. According to the ladies, this is a typical Presbyterian lunch. Yummy! Maybe we should convert?!
The mantel had cute baby toys. What a smart idea.
Adina is a very warm person and now she is a superb Mommy. I am so pleased that she has a large circle of friends to support her.
And this is the proud Daddy wih the star of the show. Baby Clara slept the whole time. I got to hold her!! But she was getting hungry, so it was a short but sweet moment.
There were 25 ladies there...many of them old friends. I knew everyone but a few, so it was another afternoon of catching up on old friendships. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday. Thank you for your friendship, Adina and Bernard. And thank you Lord for their testimonies.

Sarah and Anna went to a "women's day" at church. They are due home any minute. I can't wait to hear how that went.

Now it's time to do some cleaning while preparing my heart for tomorrow's sermon. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I can't believe the week is gone already...and nary a blog post from me. I am weary tonight but I thought I'd make an attempt at writing about this past week. Last Saturday we went to a delightful party for friends of ours, Natalie and Laura. They are twins, and they just turned twenty. Natalie and Laura look like Maggie, so when they are together we call them the triplets.

There were many friends at the party, so it was a fun reunion. On the way to the party, we had to go over the Solomon's bridge. The water was so calm and serene I couldn't help snapping a picture.

This week has been busy with all the usual lessons, appts and chores. Our family has also been reading a lot lately. I thought I'd give you a glimpse. First off, we're all reading the Bible...of course. No born-again believer can grow without reading the Bible.

I personally read the book of Esther twice. What did I glean from my readings? All week I have been meditating on Mordecai's challenge to Esther: that God is going to perform His perfect work. He can accomplish that through you...or someone else. The choice is up to you.

Hubby dear has been having fun reading this Math book. I asked him if this is a must-read book. He assured me it is a book only for geeks. PTL!
Mike and Allen read this bee book about the collapse of the honeybee and the ramifications of that. Both guys agree everyone should read this book. Lots of food for thought.
I have been reading mostly magazines lately, but I just picked this book up at the thrift shop yesterday, and it looks compelling. I'll let you know what I think when I'm finished. This is the summary on the back cover:

Hank Hanegraaff documents the danger of looking for God in all the wrong places and goes behind the scenes into the wildly popular and bizarre world of contemporary revivalism. Hanegraaff masterfully exposes the stark contrast between these deeds of the flesh and a genuine work of the Spirit by contrasting modern revivals with the scriptural examples of God's movement among His people.
Maggie has been reading this book...and I've read it too. You won't eat another soy product after reading this book!
It looks like we will be doing the thrift shop/Burger King routine with Sarah and Abigail every week. Sounds good to me! (But I am sick of BK food already.) Abigail fed herself yogurt.
We would ask Abigail, "Where are the cousins?" And she would smile and raise her shoulders to her ears. So cute!
Today Abigail put away all her fears and climbed to the top of the playground. She loved looking out at us.
Early Thursday morning we got a call from Walter Reed's Pain Management office asking us to come up for an appt. So we quickly arranged to do Maggie's appts on Friday, then off we sped. I felt so blessed...there was hardly any traffic.

I kept thinking back to last year when Maggie would go to these appts. She would stare out the window all the way home. Then I would hold her all evening while she cried. Well, not anymore!! Yesterday, Maggie sang and talked. What an answer to prayer. We even stopped at a huge thrift shop across the street from Andrews Air Force base. Wow...the above picture shows one of a dozen or so aisles. It was so much fun!

Lizzie, Ruthie and I will be going to a baby shower tomorrow, so Ruthie and Lizzie are both sewing up a storm. Lizzie is making a quilt, Ruthie is sewing two receiving blankets. I will take pics when they are done. The shower was supposed to be a surprise...but Adina had the last laugh by having the baby on Wednesday. A darling girl! And she still wants to have the shower tomorrow. We can hardly wait!

Enjoy your weekend. Many blessings ~ Kathie

Friday, February 19, 2010

Today was a big day for us...our annual Valentine's Day tea! We were supposed to have it last week but it got snowed out. When we were driving out on our driveway, I took two pictures. We either have lots of potholes as in this pic...
...or lots of snow that turns to slick ice as soon as the sun goes down. I prefer the ice...the potholes are deep!
I took this pic as I backed out of the garage. Today celebrates our two-week anniversary of the snowstorm and we still have a bit of it. Unbelievable. Do you see my sheets hanging up on the porch? Yesterday it was blustery and I found the sheets on the ground. So this morning I re-washed them and pegged them with lots of clothespins. I'm glad to say it is rare that anything blows off.
Today's tea party included 21 ladies. Sonya had three tables set up in her living room, dining room, and family room. This is Ruthie's table. (Church folks will also recognize Hannah, Sarah, and Hannah 2.) I think we had two Hannahs, 2 Annas, and three Sarahs.
This is Lizzie's room. (Church folks will also recognize Jenna, Rebekah, and Cici.) I am thankful that my daughters can still find like-minded friends and enjoy being young ladies. What a blessing.
And this is Maggie and Anna's room. (Church folks will also see Rachel.) What a fun bunch of girls. This was our fourth year coming to the tea. One year it was 84 degrees and the youngest girls went outside to play kickball. Not today!

The menu was delicious ~ chicken salad sandwiches, fruit plates, bowls of grapes, and 7-layer bean dip (my contribution). For dessert we had chocolate mousse balls and cake (Maggie and Lizzie's contribution).

I really enjoyed the way Sonya folded up this quilt she inherited and displayed it on the mantel. The pattern is Grandma's Flower Garden ~ one of my favorites.

We had a wonderful time of fellowship. Ruthie's table made a cute craft, and Lizzie's table read poems. Lizzie chose a short and sweet poem that our entire family loves:

Tea Party

I had a little tea party, this afternoon at three.
Twas very small, three guests in all: I, Myself, and Me.
Myself ate up the sandwiches, while I drank up the tea,
Twas also I who ate the pie and passed the cake to me!

~ Jessica Nelson North

Enjoy your weekend. Ours will be so busy...I'm hesitant to start it!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My kitchen sink faucet has been acting up for the past year, so when it finally died a slow death this month, I was thrilled. Hubby installed a new one, and we all love it! I like the tall spigot. And it doesn't leak!!
I go to our local dollar store once every two weeks or so, and one of the things I look for are good tea towels. I'm especially interested in the colors. I finally found what I was looking for...a wheat-colored tea towel! Can you believe they only had one?

So tonight I had fun doing a project that's been at the back of my mind for almost a year. Every time I give someone a loaf of fresh bread, I always wish I had a nice bread bag to wrap it in. I didn't want something elaborate that took a lot of time or money. Just something simple.
The tea towel's hem could have been used as a facing if I would have had some buckhide string on hand. Instead, I ripped out the hem, then used the stitching line for my foldover guide. (Thanks to the cheapness of the towel, it took me three minutes to rip out the hem.)
The casing sewed up easily. I was thrilled to have the perfect color thread on hand.
I tried using twine for the drawstring to get a natural look but it was a disaster. It unraveled terribly. So I found a small ball of 100% cotton yarn and used two strands to crochet the drawstring using a basic chainstitch. That took 5 minutes.
Then I stitched up the sides...on the outside. Very simple!
I was anxious to see if a loaf of bread would fit in the bag, so I dragged out my bread machine and started a loaf at 9 pm. It takes 1:58 to bake.
This is what a 2 lb loaf looks like when you kind of "eyeball" the ingredients. Yes, I was getting tired.
But it was worth fits! Would you mind getting a loaf of freshly baked whole wheat bread in a tea towel? I am going to keep looking for more towels. Wouldn't it be nice to give away garden blessings in a veggie themed towel? And it's machine washable!

I've had another idea brewing using muslin...for my long sourdough french bread loaves. Now that I have a flower stitch attachment we'll have to see what we can come up stay tuned!

Wednesdays are either very busy for me or my day off. Today it was my easy day (ha ha...I did tons of chores in an effort to catch up) but we did make time to meet Sarah and Abigail at the thrift shop. Afterwards we all headed to Burger King to meet Meemaw and Grandad for lunch. Fun, fun!
I never thought I'd live to see the day when my parents ate dollar meals at Burger King! We splurged and drank iced tea...very yummy!
Abigail continues to amaze us with everything she says and does. Here she is applauding herself for climbing into the little playground capsule. She loves "the cousins" and runs to get her coat everytime someone mentions them!
Afterwards we drove through the country to my friend's home to pick up my health food co-op order. Today we bought a case of natural peanutbutter, a case of almond butter, a jar of almond and honey butter (first time and it's a hit), a 9 lb bucket of cashew butter, and a pound of unsweetened, unsulphured pineapple slices. Yummy!
I love seeing the frozen river and pond. Please don't shoot me...I'm sorry...but I'm not tired of the snow!
Lizzie built this little corral in the woods so she can take her goats with her to her treefort. The goats LOVE to go anywhere...especially with their heroine, Lizzie.
If you ever see Maggie in person, ask her to do her imitation of the goats chewing on her dress. Very funny!

I try to change my bedsheets every week. Sometimes it's later than that, but I am always sure to change our pillowcases every four days. Folks with an allergy to dust will understand that. Tonight I put new cases on that I brought in from being pegged outside...and they smell wonderful! I can barely wait to sleep on them. I love the smell of fresh air!

I'm going to try to be in bed by 1 am, so I'm signing off. I've enjoyed my day at home as I always do. Hope you enjoyed your day as well.

Many blessings ~ Kathie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yesterday when Sarah went to drive her truck, she was dismayed to see Ranger sleeping on her wheel...with the engine running! She had to PULL the bad cat away. I guess we should start digging his grave in our huge pet graveyard. (Notice the scars on his nose...which is why we also call him Scarface!)

So what is your favorite caption for the bottom picture? (Photo credit: Sarah) These are ours:
"Pardon me, are you using this vehicle?"
"Not until you play with me!"
"The wheels on the truck go round and round."
"Excuse me but this tire is dirty."
"Just call me Mr. Tire."
"I work for the Truck Tire Inspection failed."
"Go ahead, bribe me."
"Your truck! What do you mean, your truck?!"
"Bad cat? Where? Where!"

A month ago I bought this Distinctive Decorative Daisy Stitch Foot for Anna thinking it would be a good birthday gift. Anna and Lizzie enjoy making quilted totes, and I think it would look wonderful to have some embroidered flowers sewn on.

Then we started talking about baby quilts, PINK baby quilts, and I thought it would be fun to embroider some flowers on the front. So I got out the new foot and spent all last night trying to figure it out. Every time I googled it, I got one blog post...and those are circles. I wanted flowers.
The directions are very details. I needed to find a blog with step-by-step photos, but couldn't find any. Half the problem is that this foot is called many things. Finally I googled Flower Foot and up came many posts...all from Australia! I guess it's popular down there.
I put the foot on my Viking machine...a low shank machine...but it wouldn't work. Reluctantly I put it on Anna's low shank Brother machine...and it worked. I had fun choosing multicolored threads. But I couldn't figure out how to determine where the center of the circle would start. I finally found directions in more detail on this blog here.
I also found this book by Dale Rollerson. Looks exciting...but the only place I can find this book is in Australia...and I don't want to pay the shipping fees. Added later: I just found out that it costs $15.82 total for the book + postage! My book it on its way!
When I found this picture on a blog called "Tracy's Creative Side," I thought this would be fun for Anna to sew on cardstock to make cards. I mentioned that to her...and her eyes lit up! So stay tuned for more on that.
One last mention about the Flower Stitch foot is this website that has a nice idea of making coasters with metallic designs using this foot.

For my family, there are pictures here of Simba's truck accident (his is the beige truck in pic #1). The other guy (blue truck) sure was fortunate to walk away.

The snow is slowly melting away. Our driveway is one long mile of ruts and mud. In the mornings it is an icy path that is slick. We need another snowstorm!

Many blessings ~ Kathie