Thursday, July 31, 2014

7 Months

Well, this project only took me 7 months to complete!140731_0003Do you ever have a project that you just keep setting aside over and over again? This was that project!

As I was working on minion hat after minion hat last November and December, my own kids kept begging me to make something for them—especially Phaedra. So come January when I had all the Christmas projects behind me, I let her choose what she wanted me to make her. After 6 minion hats (nope, still haven’t blogged them), I was SO relieved when she chose Hello Kitty instead.

I got all the yarn I needed. I got started. And then I reached the point on the hat where it said, “finish off and weave in ends.” I set the hat aside. And it sat. And sat. And sat . . . The crochet part was no problem, but I think I was just too burnt out and sick and tired of weaving in all the little yarn tails on all the little details!

I think the only thing that got me going on it again was the fact that baby #4 is going to make her arrival in just a few months, and I’m feeling the need to do some nesting crafts. I hold to a strict rule that I can’t start another project until one is finished (especially same type of project), so that lit a fire under me to finally force myself to finish Hello Kitty. My poor Phaedra gave up begging me months ago.140731_0004And now she has to wait for it to actually get cold again to need to wear it (poor girl).140731_0006

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I promise Hello Kitty has a left ear. It’s just hiding behind the bow. I snapped these photos quickly before we hopped in the car to go the library, so I wasn’t paying that much attention to all the details.

I swear I do this every January. I work so hard to get handmade items done for people for Christmas, and I think I can keep the momentum going after the holiday and actually make some stuff for our family/house. So I get all the materials for a project, sometimes I even get started, and then there’s no deadline . . . no pressure . . . and it never gets done! Don’t ask me what ever happened to the fabric storage boxes I was going to make out of the beautiful organic fabric 2 years ago. Just don’t!

I’m extra proud of getting this hat done because I actually completed 2 Hello Kitty hats. I made the first one and decided it was just going to be way too small, so I started over and completed them both. I’m still trying to decide what to do with the extra.

P.S. I found the pattern for the hat HERE.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Book Review: Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

Rump: The True Story of RumpelstiltskinRump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

For a summary of the book, click on the title above (not the blog post title).

I just loved this book! From the very beginning, Liesl Shurtliff showed such great imagination in the telling of Rumpelstiltskin's background. The whole way through, I was thinking to myself that it would make a great family read-aloud if I liked the rest of it as much as I liked what I had already read. And I did!

This book has plenty of adventure without being too scary for younger readers. I was really impressed how the author weaved Rump's past into the story we know of how he ended up. She also used other fairy tale characters or made mention of other stories so Rump's story intertwined with other fairy tales, while keeping the main focus on him.

I think this is a great book for boys and girls alike. Shurtliff keeps you invested and turning pages the whole way through.

I bought it and have started reading it with my kids.

Content: This is a kid-friendly book! The worst words you'll find are "butt" and "idiot." There is some mild peril, and the main violence is when the bad guy hits someone or there is evidence that someone was beaten up.

Have you read it? Tell me what you thought!

Friday, November 15, 2013

My Cup Runneth Over

This month, I have been trying to notice my blessings, big and small. I have lots of friends on Facebook who post every day something that makes them feel thankful. In the past, I found it a bit . . . forced—and too public for my taste. But this year, I decided to join in, knowing that focusing on the positive could only help my situation. I haven’t posted something every day because I can’t commit (ha ha), and sometimes I think of something for which I am grateful that I just don’t feel like sharing. But today, I had more on my mind than I could possibly share on Facebook.

As I sat at lunch with Phaedra and Curtis this afternoon, my heart was full. I looked from one child to the other, noticing their beautiful eyes and faces, and feeling so in love with them I could scarcely contain myself. They happily munched on mac & cheese and begged sunflower seeds and croutons off me from my salad. At that moment, I felt so full of the light of Christ. I don’t know any other way to explain it. I love those moments. I am so grateful for those moments.

Those are the moments when I don’t think about the boxes I still have to unpack, the unruly pile of shoes by our back door that are begging me to find a place to put them, the pile of dishes in the kitchen, or even the miles upon miles upon miles between us and the rest of our family. All I can think about is how blessed I am to be right there in that moment. I’m amazed by my children—how they grow and learn and love, and I am honored to be able to witness it and be a part of it. I feel the love of a hardworking husband who comes home after work and helps with dinner, pays attention to his family, and helps put kids to bed. He is concerned for our welfare, and he leads this family righteously.

For most of the day since that moment, I have been mindful of other blessings throughout the day and in my life in general.

I am grateful for my kids and how they remind me to stop and enjoy things like piles of leaves in the yard. I love how they beg me when we get home from school to spend some time raking leaves. I love how Curtis thinks he’s so important and helpful when he comes along and puts his rake in the center of our pile and pulls the leaves in the opposite direction. He hasn’t quite figured out how to get the leaves to go where we are trying to take them, but he really wants to work.

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I’m so in love with those faces!

I’ve felt thankful on many occasions that our new ward is so welcoming and friendly. I’m so glad the sisters are so kind.

I’m glad we’ve been here for a month, and it has gone by quickly.

I’m glad we were able to find a place that has a good school for Eleanor.

I’m am so grateful that the snow from Monday has melted! Watching that snow fall down and start sticking on the ground made me the worst kind of homesick I’ve been since we got here. It’s going to take me time and lots more warm clothing before I will be able to embrace winters here. I think I’m going to have to buy lots of thermals to wear under my clothes. And warm hats!

I’m grateful for the love of my family and for the connections I’m still able to have with them and my faraway friends.

But mostly, I’m grateful for moments like the one I had at lunch when I can stop and realize the great bounty that I have.