Thursday, October 21, 2010

for someone very special...

We have an adoption update coming soon (really!) but in the meantime I wanted to throw in a couple of photos of a big project I've been working on for someone special. Scale doesn't really show well here, but these are for a premie who was born at 26 weeks. ♥

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Rushings-Out and Rescuings

I have no time...the wind is wild here tonight and I like to be ready just in case the power goes out. To my right I have four projects piled in a heap waiting to be finished, and there's also that %^&*! flier I need to get done for the craft fair (and you know how I love computer work right?)...

So I was going to put this off til later but I really feel like maybe someone out there just needs this tonight. Do you? I have needed it's message before, too. I still need it.

Anyway, just a sweet poem that the kids are memorizing lately, but you can find a lot of wisdom in children's literature. Enjoy and know that you are loved...and go take out those dragons. Fight and win! ♥


Whenever I'm a shining knight,
I buckle on my armour tight;
And then I look about for things,
Like Rushings-Out, and Rescuings,
And Savings from the Dragon's Lair,
And fighting all the dragons there.
And sometimes when our fights begin,
I think I'll let the dragons win...
And then I think perhaps I won't,
Because they're Dragons, and I don't.
- A.A. Milne, When We Were Six

Thursday, August 5, 2010

147 million raindrops

Or, Why We're Doing What We're Doing. This is my heart, very unedited, not pretty, a little rambling, and just honest. This is our story - yours either has been or will be different in many ways.

I know many couples who have thought off-and-on about adopting. We were one of them. We thought we would look at it seriously when we were done "having" (in a pregnant sense) the four kids we always knew we would have. When we were ready. When life slowed down. We would do the research then, discover the needs then. We were shallow, with good intentions. We were unaware, and about to be educated.

"Then" finally happened last year, after we slowly woke up to a realization that our plans and thoughts were not big enough, that our life wasn't supposed to slow down, that we weren't done having kids at any arbitrary number (we'd "had" five, anyway) and that we were beyond ready, as long as we were willing.

It was happening everywhere around us. We have aquaintances that have adopted, and friends that have adopted, and friends that are going through the process of it...we have been in court with friends to witness their adoption officially become final. It was everywhere we looked.

Then I sold a hat. Hang with me now, this is important.

What? Big deal! I sell hats all the time (well, to be honest, not often enough in the summer, but I digress). This was last fall. Just another customer, nothing special.

Turns out I sold her the wrong-sized hat - and the funny thing was, she still became a return customer and ordered another completely different hat, at which time I realized I had messed up her first order. I was mortified, and sent a gushing apology along with the correct hat and the new hat, and she was wonderful. She said it was okay and that she loved my work and wanted to feature my shop on her blog...would that be okay with me?

Would it?!? Free publicity? I said "Yes, please, and thank you!" Then I checked out her blog. I waited for the page to load...there were a ton of pictures so it took a while. And when it was done, I saw - well, here, you can see it for yourself. Here's my sweet friend Shonni's blog:

I counted. Ten, eleven. Because those little hats she bought from me were for her newest little precious one that she and her husband had just adopted from Ethiopia. I saw pictures of her little guy wearing my hats.

I became a blog-lurker (you know what that is...some of you know I'm talking about you, right? *wink*) and read all about the honest difficulties and successes of having a family of 13 (Thir! Teen!) . I found other adoption blogs. I read this post by Shonni's friend, and it changed me. Folks, there is a need that is unimaginable to those of us who have beds with clean, warm blankets and lattes and dinner out every few weeks. 147 million kids all over the world with no mommy or daddy to tuck them in at night - many of those have nothing to even be tucked into at night. Sick. Hungry. Uncared for.

God would not let me go about this. I was undone. 147 million is a pretty big number. Months passed, and I learned more. God was educating us. He was making us aware. He brought depth to our good intentions. He was giving us a bigger vision of what He planned for us, if we were willing...and we are. We often feel like Frodo when He said "I will take the ring...though I do not know the way." Like Peter when he walked on water, and did just fine as long as he kept his eyes off his circumstances and kept looking at the One who was above all circumstances.

Look with me: We are all standing in a deluge. It's pouring down. One-hundred-forty-seven-million raindrops are falling all around us. There are small clusters of people standing out in the deluge holding out small teaspoons in effort to catch some of these drops before they hit the ground. There are other people standing with those holding the teaspoons, helping them to hold the teaspoon higher, farther off the ground, to keep the wind from blowing the drops away. Some of the raindrops will be caught and given a new hope. Some will fall to the ground, lost forever.

We choose to step out into the downpour and hold out our very small and very expensive teaspoon, though we do not know the way. We do not know how it will happen. He is making us able as we make ourselves willing. So that is our far. He still moves us.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Christmas In July SALE!

Yay, it's finally here! That blessed time of the year when those of us who make mostly winter items can still hope to move some product! *grin*


1. All items in the section "CHRISTMAS IN JULY SALE" are already marked down 15% or more. This is your chance to stock up on baby shower gifts, birthday presents, a little something for yourself, and...oh yeah, Christmas. :) Sale ends August 1st!

But wait, there's more!!!

For Facebook fans ONLY:

2. Take an additional 10% ANY item in the entire shop. Please contact me (via email, Etsy convo, or Facebook message) to adjust the price for you prior to purchase. But if you forget, I can just refund you through Paypal. No biggie. :) more bonus for Facebook fans:

3. Suggest our fanpage to your friends, and for each friend that "fans" us by 7/20, YOU can take an additional 2% off (this is added to your 10% fan discount) any item, up to a total of 40% off. No kidding! Just make sure you let us know who you referred (or ask them to write it on our wall) so we can keep track and give you full credit.
Happy Shopping! And don't forget...He is the reason for every season, every day.

Friday, June 25, 2010

welcome to summer!

I'm on a couple (ahh...a few...maybe...five?) amazing teams on Etsy. And I do play favorites - a couple of the teams I absolutely love. I love the members, I love the mission, I love the talent. So here is a summertime smorgasboard of some of my very favorite shops. I hope you find something you love here, too!

vintage pastel flower pots by Bird-in-Hand

vintage quilt snippet from Wordz of Life - I've bought several of these and they are all of them hangs above my work table.

colorful quilted pillow cover by Studio Cherie

organic lemon jelly by Swan Mountain Soaps (these guys are local and fabulous!)

crackled glass hairpins by Sue Runyon Designs

baby jackrabbit ACEO by Tapestry316

Stangl pottery leaf dish by Sweet Rice
These are not all of my favorites, of course. I can't possibly fit all of them into one post, so I'll try to spread the love a little more later, too. ♥

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

well, honestly...a candid shot

Here I am. No make up, a little sunburned (Irish-ly tan, don't you know), working on the computer. Yes, that's an unwashed rice cooker behind the laptop. And, yes, those are some sad little seedlings waiting to be planted outside (the five-foot dowel rod was inserted by our oldest, out of concern that one of the plants needed a little, um, propping). That's a homeschool map under the counter by my feet. No glamour, just life. Isn't my littlest model cute, though?

I love normalcy. Simplicity. There is a pie crust crimper in one of our toy baskets. Our couches and other furniture are regularly de-frocked of their cushions and throw pillows in order to be utilized as fort materials and gymnastics mats. We wade through cats and small children like we're in a constant low surf. This is real life, no frills...and I love it. ♥

Friday, May 21, 2010

did you wonder?

Yes. She has hair. I just thought you should know, since it's always covered up by a hat.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

doing it all

I'm asked all the time how I "do it all." Reading, homeschooling, knitting, the's just life. Some of you have called me Supermom...but I've noticed that those of you who call me that have never actually been to my house. *grin* A very wise friend of mine told me (because she had been told by a very wise friend of hers) that God gives you grace for wherever you're at - so if you have one kid, you have the grace to cover one kid. And when you have four, suddenly you have the grace for that, and you wonder how you could have ever been overwhelmed with just two.

Well...this is not how I do it all! (keep dreaming!) Chamberlain broke a huge bowl in the pantry the other day, so she is closely monitored around the dishes!

I'm so encouraged by hearing how other moms manage their days. So at the risk of sounding completely self-centered (but it's my blog, so there) I'll share a little about how we do it all.

Here goes. Confession: I rarely cook real meals during the week. We do a lot of easy lunches. We do a lot of easy dinners, too - there's no shame in crackers and cheese and fruit for dinner! I read to the kids during lunch and dinner, and usually eat while I'm putting their meal together. I find that confining them to the table with their mouths (usually) full of food is conducive to better listening!

Vin almost always cooks dinner for us when he gets home from work so I can knit or catch up on business stuff. We both cook on the weekends.

We don't watch tv. The only exception is during football season or the Olympics, and the occasional-but-very-rare (go ahead and laugh) Jeopardy. We do watch movies, though (but we're picky, have you guessed?) and I can usually finish off a hat or two while vegging on the couch.

I read and knit at the same time. Vin got me this really cool book-holder-thingy (mine's a Book Gem) that holds my book up so my hands are free. Occasionally I have to search for it on his side of the bed because he steals it when I'm not using it (he likes to eat ice cream while reading - which is not as productive as knitting, but...I digress).

The kids all have chores. Iree vacuumed the boys room last week! Yeah! They all help with dishes (well, not Chamberlain, see above), cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the catbox, and all kinds of stuff. Mattie reads out loud to the younger ones while I do my chores, and Iree can even read out loud now, too. So we all take turns.

It's not perfect, and there are days when it feels like we'll never get past breakfast. Some days we spend more time disciplining and bossing than reading. But those are balanced by the other sweet times, like Sunday afternoons when we read eight chapters in one Narnia book, or spend the afternoon making and delivering a meal to a family in need. We've even been known to take the kids to a Tea Party or two, and we can now say that our nine year old knows more about the US Constitution than most of our current Congress (ah, couldn't help it; that one was just too easy to pass up).

It's a very simple life. The kids are worth it. Homeschooling is worth it. Our marriage is worth it. Doing it all together is a beautiful thing.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

why we call it his lullaby

This is one of those times when I wish I could take credit for this...I read it for the first time the other day and somehow, he exactly expresses my own heart. Excerpted from Michael Card's Sleep Sound In Jesus:

Beyond their covert purpose of coercing an infant to sleep, lullabies are songs we sing to show the love we have for our children, to show them our concern and to simply let them know we are there with them in this dark and fallen situation....they can also be blessings wherein we plant the seeds of dreams, dreams which never completely leave them.

Lullabies are also songs we sing to ourselves. They help reinforce the love which abides sometimes too deep within our hearts. They are tools to bring it to the surface. They remind us of out protective and comforting roles as parents. They are artful ways of loving our children.

We "artfully love" all of our kids...seen and unseen. ♥

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

studio re-do!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine came over with only a few minutes notice (you know who you are) to let her mother-in-law go shopping in my cabinet (you are soooo forgiven!) and I realized that I was in dire need of some major reorganization.

It may not look organized to you, but I know where everything is. I can tell how much white superwash I have (a lot! Yeah!) and if I'm going to run out of green anytime soon. The other yarns have their own shelf. Every size and style of hat has its own stack. And most importantly, if anyone stops by to do some impromptu shopping, all items are within reach!

Still have booties for Haiti! We raised almost $150 in January! When they're all gone, we'll have raised almost $900 total, so now is a great time to stock up on all of those baby shower gifts that you know you'll need this year! ♥
I've been wanting one of those magazine-holder-thingies for a loooong time, but didn't like the made-in-China ones in the stores. Here we have an upcycled box of Mini Wheats covered in craft paper and wrapped with - what else? - yarn, of course. It holds all of my cardstock, envelopes, address labels, customs forms, and anything else I can stuff in it.
Zee official order-wrapping table. Scissors, hole punch, scotch tape, packing tape, extra yarn, care and content labels, sparkly pens, and ...see that tissue paper hanging on the wall, and not covering my entire work surface? It's a beautiful thing. And Vin scored major points for putting it there.

Even Itzhak the Laptop has a new look...compliments of Iree.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

helping haiti

All sales of baby booties from Baruch's Lullaby are now going to Samaritan's Purse to benefit Haiti for earthquake relief.

Several sizes available, but when they're gone, they're gone!