Thursday, November 3, 2011

Proverbs Family Bible Study Give-Away

I came across a blog that is hosting a give-away for a family Bible study through the book of Proverbs. It looks like a wonderful, 3 volume study put out by Generations with Vision. Just click on the Raising Olives blog to find out how you can enter for a chance to win this study. The give-away ends on November 4. Of course, if you don't win or want more than one copy, you can always visit Generations with Vision to purchase the study guides. I'm hoping to win.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Squeeze

It's happened. I can't sit comfortably in my jeans anymore. So, I brought out the maternity clothing yesterday. Hmm.... things are not fitting well. I spent the entire day yesterday constantly hiking up my jeans. I really didn't want to give people a "plumber's view" (if you know what I mean). Maybe once the tummy really starts sticking out the pants will stay up better.

Most of my maternity clothing is from my last pregnancy in 2009, which was generally in the spring and summer. The first time I was pregnant in 2004, I only had a couple months to wear maternity clothing and didn't really develop a wardrobe.

How could someone only have a couple months of pregnancy? don't know that story? I've got some time before heading to bed, so why don't I fill you in?

*disclaimer: I will be discrete, but this does touch on "women stuff."

I have never had what is considered a regular cycle. Which has never completely bothered me. The "week" of the cycle is always long, uncomfortable and heavy and that's all I'm saying about that. Before getting married in 2000, I had a doctor tell me that I would have a very hard time getting pregnant if I got pregnant at all. Not really something a bride-to-be wants to hear. But after 4 years of marriage, her prediction seemed to be coming true.

In September I noticed that my clothing seemed to be getting tighter even though I was trying to be good about my eating. Brian and I went to a friend's wedding and I felt dizzy throughout the day. Just thinking that I hadn't eaten breakfast and it was hot, I disregarded it. But at the beginning of October, I took a pregnancy test on a whim.

Positive!! How excited I was! Finally, I was going to have a baby! My appointment to see the doctor was the last week of October. She thought I might be due around March, possibly even the end of February. It had been a year since my last cycle, so the medical professionals couldn't count on their little charts. We had an ultrasound scheduled for November 2 (my birthday). The technician did all her measurements and we were able to see our little baby. What a wonderful day! And then we were hit with a bombshell. According to the numbers, this little one was due closer to the end of December.

Yes, you read that right. Less than 2 months. I had only just found out about this bundle of joy for a month, at the most. This was going to be the fastest pregnancy in history! (Of course, now there's a show where the entire premise is women going into the hospital thinking they are sick and ending up giving unexpected births. I had the idea first.) I saw the doctor a few days later and she wanted to push the delivery date to the beginning of December. By this point, I didn't want to see another medical "professional" until I was ready to give birth.

But, on January 1, 2005, I finally gave birth to my sweet baby boy Arthur.

(*I would put a picture here, but don't seem to have any on my computer at the moment.)

Anyway, how did I get on this long rabbit trail? Ah, yes! The lack of appropriate maternity clothing. Thankfully, I do know how to sew and have a few patterns. It's a good thing I DO have the patterns I have because the pattern companies have decided to STOP printing maternity patterns! I'm still in shock!

(Shaking myself out of this unheard of atrocity.)

Next week I hope to get out my patterns and search through my fabric to get some lovely things made to make me feel pretty during the uncomfortable stretching and bulging. I actually love to wear maternity clothing. I just think there is something so beautiful about a pregnant woman. (But not so beautiful that I want to see her naked tummy! Ick!! But that's another rant I'll avoid at the moment.)

What is going to be your next sewing adventure?

Friday, October 14, 2011

To Run or Not to Run

Back on August 24th, I told you that I would explain what I'm doing different with my exercise program and never did. Well, I'll tell you how I changed it and why I'm not following it.

The running program Couch to 5K is designed to get you ready to run a 5K in 9 weeks. Because I started off overweight, this ended up being a killer on my knees. I got fitted for new shoes (courtesy of my dad) and started the program over. However, I decided to take TWO weeks for every one week of the program. For the first month, that seemed to work out great! Then it got really cold (30's at night and never above 45 in the day) and I didn't feel well.

At first, I thought I had a little upset stomach from eating a bit too much homemade hummus. But after 2 full days, I began to reconsider. I then found out on Brian's birthday, September 29, why I felt "off."

Sometime in the spring we will have a new little bundle to add to our brood.

Since I haven't really been running and not for long, I've decided to stop the running program. I am, however, going to try to walk every day. So far, that hasn't really happened. I've been exhausted and getting up later at the same time the kids have been getting up earlier. I need to push myself to walk in the afternoon when Abigail goes down for her nap, but have been napping instead. Monday is the start of a new week and I WILL walk!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It is Finished!

After much struggle (see the previous post) this little blue sweater is finally done! I was never so happy to trim the last piece of yarn on a project than I was tonight. I'll give this to Abigail for her birthday in October - perfect timing for the cooler weather.

Now, what do I want to knit next...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Love/ Hate Relationship

In the last few years I have had several people give me older magazines of knitting, quilting and other crafts. While flipping through the pages of Knit It! by Better Homes and Gardens from 2006, I found a cute little sweater that I thought would be adorable for Abigail.
Here is a link to one made by michbrum. (I didn't find any real name or information on the knitter.)
Yes, I'm trying to look at the photo objectively instead of hurling fiery darts at the knitters perfect lace patter.

The body of the sweater is all knit in one piece, back and front sides from the bottom up. After a few rows of the lace pattern, the fun begins. I was to do several stitches, bind off a few stitches for the armhole, stitch across for the back, bind off some more for the other armhole and then continue with the side front. The problem I ran into was that I didn't know where in the lace pattern I was to continue on each row to make it look fluid.

After ripping out the back 5 times, I decided that I needed to chart the rest of the pattern. Once I had that done, things went much smoother. I still ran into some snafus (I've only worked from a knitting chart once before.), but finally finished the body of the sweater. I am now working on the first sleeve and having fun trying to chart the pattern and figuring out how to do the increases. If I didn't think this pattern was so cute, I would have thrown it out long ago.

I'll be glad when this sweater is done!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Socks and Shoes

It has been my project all summer. I began it just before AWANA and Community Bible Study ended for summer break. Wherever I went, my knitting basket (and later my bag) was by my side. While I traveled, watched TV, visited with friends or family I knitted. I quickly discovered that these socks required a little more concentration. This was my first project to use cables and a few of them are facing the wrong way or extra long. Good thing these socks are black and for me. :)

My knees have been in a lot of pain for over a week and a few people suggested that it may be because of bad shoes. I must admit that my shoes are pretty old. There is a shoe store in Bend that will do custom fitting to find the exact shoe, so I gave them a call. The look at your stride, how you run and measure your foot. Then they will fit a shoe to you. This is free (included in the price of the shoe). So, I asked how much the shoes cost. Any where from $100-$150 and on up. There is just no way we can afford $100 for a pair of shoes, so I went to Walmart. After trying on just about every shoe and walking around in a few for almost an hour, I found a shoe that fit well, seemed to have good support and felt pretty good. And what was even better was that they were on sale for $15!
Now, I have shoes and am looking forward to getting back to my exercise routine. I will let you know another time how I'm changing that up.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Missed Stitches and Painted Rooms

I am thrilled to have a newly painted room! It is so fresh and clean looking. And now the walls don't clash with my quilt!

Yesterday afternoon I noticed a posting on Craigslist for a meeting for a local knitting and crocheting group. They were going to host their first meeting that night at Sam Johnson Park. That's about a half hour walk with the kids and Arthur likes the playground, so off we went.

I got there 10 minutes late for the 6:30 meeting time, but didn't see any knitters. At a picnic table right near the playground was a loud, smoking family. Under the pavilion on the other end of the park looked to be a family reunion. So, I sat in the shade while the kids played on the playground and got out my bad to knit. Around that time two couples pulled into the parking lot and got out with a dog and walked past me. I didn't think anything of it until they had already passed me and I overheard the word knit. At that time, however, Abigail decided to go down a steep slide and scared herself. Meanwhile, the knitters ended up going to the extreme far end of the park and I couldn't convince the kids that they wanted to run around in the grassy area. But I spent my time at the park pushing Abigail in the swing and her laughs and squeals of delight beat out any knitting group any day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

While the Cat's Away...

Every summer, Brian is the videographer at a camp for a week in July and August. That is the time that I take on the big projects at home.

In January I finished a long awaited for quilt for our bed.

It's red, black and white and is being used as our Fall and Winter quilt. In June, I finished a Spring and Summer quilt that has large white areas and splashes of cheery 30's fabrics.

I love the quilts and am thrilled to have them on our bed. But now, the room looks way too busy. Do you remember the walls from last summer?

I never was totally thrilled with how they turned out, but lived with it. Now, they just look awful and clash with the quilts. So, time to paint!

I finished priming the walls this morning and now have one wall finished. I'm really looking forward to having sane bedroom walls.

Sunday night, I finished my first project: a window treatment for my sewing room.

Originally I was going to turn these blocks into a wall hanging. The blocks looked to busy without sashings which made the quilt too large to hang on my wall. I soon discovered that it would fit my window with a little wider border. I lined the quilt top but did not add any batting. I didn't want it getting too thick. Then I quilted it and put binding on 3 sides. The top side is wrapped around a mounting board. I added rings and cord to the back and now have a nice roman blind. I just love the stained glass effect when the sun shines through the window treatment!

This evening I also repaired our sliding screen door. Our cat got it into his head to start scratching on it and created quite a huge hole the last two years. I took down the door, pulled out the screen and gave it and the tracks all a good scrubbing. I then put in a new screen and reinstalled the door. I'm getting that spray bottle full and ready for when that cat begins to show his claws.

I think once the bedroom is painted, I'll focus my energy on organizing. I do have some other outdoor projects I'd like to do, but they can be done when Brian is around and underfoot much easier than when I'm sorting things. Right now his office and the living room are cluttered with the bedroom things.

I'm excited to get this done!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Running Elephant: Me

This week (Has it only been one week? It feels so much longer!) I started training to run a 5K in November. I came across this site that claims it will take you from the very beginning (sitting on a couch) to running a 5K in just 9 weeks. It's called Couch to 5K and I began the program on Tuesday.

Three days a week, I do interval training. Interval training is when you switch back and forth from walking to running. This week I run for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds, repeating that for 20 minutes. I did pretty well on Tuesday. I was winded and it took a while to recover my breathing and for the heat in my face to cool down. Thursday was a different matter.

Brian and Arthur were gone overnight, so I had to take Abigail with me. Since I couldn't go down the stairs into the dry canyon with the stroller, I took the longer route which included a hill into the canyon. Going down the hill to get in was just fine. Turning around to come back, however, was a different matter altogether.

My body was tight and sore from the run on Tuesday, even with full stretching before hand. I'm not sure if the stroller was a help or hindrance. It was nice to have something to kind of lean on, but it was more awkward to check my stopwatch and push the stroller and swing my arms, and it was heavy. The last 60 second run came up when I was pushing the stroller up the hill to go home. I was still gasping to catch my breath from the last run spurt 90 seconds earlier. I was dying! Sadly, I had to forgo that last run-minute.

I did make it home without dying, but it was an embarrassing exercise. I don't think it could really be called running, more like lumbering. My legs felt heavy, I could barely lift them off the ground to take the next step. I'm surprised I didn't trip from dragging my feet along. Tomorrow is the third and final run workout for the week. I'm really hoping to end it well.

I don't want to be a running elephant anymore.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Place to Worship

For 10 years, Brian and I have been attending a small church in Alfalfa. (Brian for a little longer as he attended before we were married.) It was a wonderful church family with good, solid preaching from the Word of God and wonderful hymn singing. I became involved with planning Sunday School and VBS, Brian played the piano every Sunday. Both of our children were born while we attended.

Around Christmas of 2009, the pastor's wife became ill and he felt it was necessary to step down so he could care for her. Brian stepped in as the speaker, but never felt called to become the pastor of the church. One of several reasons was that we lived 30 minutes away from the church and the community. Alfalfa is a rural, farm community that we just don't understand. (We're city folk through and through.)

After 18 months of Brian filling the pulpit, the seeming lack of desire of the people to really search for a new pastor or help out in the church, the numbers dwindling to 7 adults and 6 kids, and the desire for us to be part of a church body in our own community, Brian announced our leaving the Alfalfa Community Church after Easter and the high probability that the church would close. (Interestingly enough, in one week one family in the church pushed the AMF area director to find a pastor and he took over the week after we left. Sadly, the direction the church has taken does not seem to be very solidly based on the Bible.)

A couple years ago, Ed Nelson and his wife began a church in Redmond. Now, Redmond has a lot of churches with a few on our road. Sadly, most of these churches have the wrong doctrine or their music is painful to sit through. We don't enjoy the choruses or praise/worship songs popular in today's churches. We prefer the hymns. The Berean Bible Church has a traditional service with hymns and good preaching. (No drums, no worship team, no bells and whistles.)

We have been attending for a month and a half and already feel so welcomed and loved. The majority of the members are in their 60's and above and no other children attend, but Brian and I have come to realize that is not what church is about. It is a time to gather with other believers and hear from the Word of God. We do hope that other families might start to attend because of our little family being there.

It is an active little church, too. They have a weekly Bible study, monthly men's breakfast, monthly potluck, and other activities scattered throughout the month. We have already been added to a deaconess list and she hugs me every Sunday. We see different opportunities to serve and be a part of this caring and loving body of believers. It truly is good to be in the house of the Lord!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A June Contest

Periodically, QATW will host quilting challenges or contests. For June, we have a contest to finish a quilt. The quilt is something that we had to have started before 2011 and will require at least 10 hours to finish. I had the perfect quilt.

January 2010 marked the beginning of a 30's BOM. 30's is a type of fabric that is reproduced from the fabric made in the 1930's. The fabric is bright, cheery and fun. I love it!

1930’s Fabric Club

BOM = Block Of the Month. The hostess will have a quilt design, but only release one step a month. By the end of the year, the participants will have completed a quilt top. The BOM's at QATW end up being Block of the Moment projects. If most of the people have the latest block completed, directions for the next step will be released. I think we had all the block instructions by June. I added a few borders and extra blocks to my quilt to make it large enough for our bed without struggling too much to keep Brian from stealing it during the night.

Back to the contest. We have to pledge a quilting/sewing notion to enter. Whoever finishes their quilt during the month will have their name put in a basket. The name drawn wins all the notions that have been pledged. Around 2am on Sunday morning, I put the last stitch in the binding of my 30's BOM.

This quilt is already on our bed and I love it. This will be our Spring/Summer quilt.

Now, I need to spend the rest of the week working on swap blocks. I've really procrastinated in getting them done. Time to sew in every spare minute.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some days do not go as planned...

Periodically, the kids and I end up in Bend overnight doing some house-sitting. Friday night was our latest adventure. Since we didn't have anything going on Saturday and Arthur has been asking to go for a while, I took them to the Bend library. I couldn't plan much for outdoor work as rain was predicted on and off all day.

The Bend library is much larger than the Redmond library with a wonderful children's section. We decided to enjoy the library for an hour or so first and then get some lunch before heading back home. That would get us back home in plenty of time for me to do some much needed indoor stuff that I'm always putting off. Don't ask me why, but I just detest doing dishes and laundry. Sadly, those two chores are never done, even when you've done all you can for the day. Someone then decides they need to change clothes or eat something. Ah, well.

We arrived at the library just after 11 am, only to find the library doesn't open until noon on Saturdays. I saw a sign reading Library Park, so gratefully took the kids over there. There were no slides or swings, but a small path and a few benches backed by a large rock garden. Arthur had a great time climbing over the rocks and Abigail was pleased to just walk around on the brick pathway, thick grass, and rocky sitting area.

At noon, we entered the library and relaxed for an hour and a half playing games on the computer, reading books, playing with the toys and watching the other kids. By 1:30, we were ready to go find some lunch and head home.

Our car is a 1993 Chevy Cavalier. This car has one key to unlock the doors and trunks and a different key to put in the ignition to drive. I admit that I was more interested in talking to Arthur about plans for lunch than in paying attention to which key I was putting in the ignition. When it wouldn't turn, I realized I still had the unlocking key instead of the ignition key in my hand. The was stuck, but I was able to wiggle it out. However, when I put the right key in the ignition, it wouldn't turn.

At this very moment, Brian was just arriving in Prineville (about an hour away) for a video job. He was going to be taping a dance recital at 2:00 and sometime around 6:00 or 6:30. In between the recitals he would have a couple hours. Since he would be working and we needed to eat, the kids and I walked downtown to find Subway. I didn't know that they had closed. (At least I couldn't find them.) But we did find a New York City Sub Shop. By the time we got there (about 4 blocks away) I was regretting not having a stroller for Abigail. We some delicious subs; I love their meatball sub! I called Brian and left a message telling him we were stranded.

The rain poured while we were in the library earlier and in the restaurant, but we didn't have any rain falling while we walked the several blocks to and from the library. I tried the car, key still wouldn't turn. Now, it was close to 3 and busier in the library. Four little girls were running around being pretty wild. They spied Arthur and had fun teasing and pestering him. I finally allowed him to escape to the computers to play as we sat and waited for word from Brian whether he could save us or not.

Just before 4, Brian called saying he could get us in an hour and we'd have to be quick so he could back to Prineville. I did put a shout-out on Facebook for anyone that could help us, but no-one was able to. As the library was closing at 5, Brian drove up. He tried the car ignition with his key and it still didn't work. So, he drove us home and he went off to his second job.

Our car still sits in the 2-hour parking space near the library waiting for a locksmith. Our locksmith friend doesn't have his truck until next week, so we'll call Bend Lock and Safe first thing in the morning to see how quickly they can come fix our car.

So, I broke the car and we will probably have to pay out $100 to get it fixed. Brian's camera is also broken (NOT my fault) and will cost $400 to fix. And then there are the other bills of living on top of that. Things are REALLY tight, but we have an amazing God. He has given us the money to pay bills just when we needed it in the past and we know He can provide, again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"The Marionettes"

Here is the quilt that I finished on May 23. The man who commissioned it has already received it and loves it. He said it was perfect! That makes me feel so good.

Close up of the quilting detail.

After mailing the quilt, I found I had no other pressing sewing projects, so I brought out a quilt that I made into a top last year. This is a 30's BOM that we did at QATW at the beginning of 2010.

After hunting through my fabrics and piecing together a backing, I then tried to spray baste the layers together. I used this method for "The Marionettes" and it worked wonderfully. This quilt, however, is much larger. The top measures 99x99. Trying to lay fabric out smoothly on a sticky surface is quite a juggling act. When I finished and lifted the quilt, the back was covered in ripples and puckers.

There was only one solution, but I kicked and screamed for a day. Finally, I removed the backing and resprayed the quilt. This time I made sure that the bottom was smooth and taped down well to prevent the ripples. Success!

I am now close to done with the quilting. Tomorrow I will mark the borders for the quilting design and a scalloped edge. We may be sleeping under this quilt by next weekend. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011


It's been a very busy couple of months. I've been working on my second quilt commission. I can't really say too much about it, yet, as I believe it is a birthday gift. The binding is currently half way stitched down. I had a pretty short time frame to make this quilt and it was completely my design. But I'm thrilled with the results! I only need to stitch the rest of the binding and then attach a label and then it goes into the mail on Monday morning.

I hope to be able to post pictures soon.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

January - April

Arthur turns 6 on January 1.

Penguins as the birthday cake.

Yummm! Enjoying birthday cupcakes with the cousins.

First day of Kindergarten, January 3.

Abigail standing so tall!

AWANA Grand Prix - Arthur painted his car entirely by himself.

Abigail getting around by pushing her seat.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Catching up on 2010

I'm going to let the pictures do most of the talking.

Fall was beautiful and Arthur had plenty of leaves to play in.

Miss Peggy, the story lady at the Redmond library, retired. Arthur has been going to her story times since he was 3 months old.

We enjoyed our yearly trek to the corn maze.

Abigail turned 1 on October 29th.

We went trick-or-treating and then to a local church for a carnival.

Christmas and New Year's Eve.