“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Monday, December 31, 2007

Handmade Christmas Gifts

my very first cable project!

Okay, I have a couple more knitting projects that almost did not make it to the intended receiver... I wanted to keep them! We exchange names in Anthony's family for Christmas. We can choose to make a gift or buy one. I knew Cammyk would enjoy something handmade. At first I thought about socks... but then I saw the above hat pattern at NW Wools. It is made from alpaca silk in an off-white. It was my first cable project and I loved it. So did Cammyk!

Swap Box Project

From the Swap I did earlier in the year... I received some delicious fat quarters, buttons, doilies, and a Christmas CD. I had wanted to do a project that incorporated some of these items together. So, I decided it would be a great idea to give the cable hat in it's own special box. I took a box... hot glued fabric to the top of the box as if it was gift wrap... cut one of the doilies to the desired size... added some buttons... used some left over alpaca silk yarn as a ribbon... and Voila!

Lisa's Wishlist

When I asked my sister for ideas for Christmas gifts... she said a Vera Bradley bag or my raincoat (no, literally MY raincoat) or something to throw over her shoulders to keep her warm at work. Well, two out of three. I decided to pull the colors for the "caplet" from the Vera Bradley bag. I realized that I had all the colors in my leftover yarn stash. Yarn from my vest, her vest, my poncho, Christopher's throw, Ruth's hat (Anthony's Mom), and Tamra's scarf (from last year's gift exchange). I had to convince myself that I had enough to make one for me (or I would have kept it for myself). It's perfect for when I'm sitting reading with a throw over my lap and the caplet on my shoulders. I guess I have to make my own now.
Why Knot!

A couple weeks ago I was at the Dollar Tree hunting for some bargains. I found this Lion Brand yarn for a dollar a skein. I thought.... why not make a caplet for mom, too!

Any more handmade requests? That is after I make my caplet...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas Traditions

The Waffle House Tradition

One of our favorite Christmas Traditions is to take my mom to Waffle House on the night of Christmas Day.  We pile into the Waffle House and end the evening with a reallly big tip for our deserving waitress.

Merry Christmas, Tiffany!

So here are some more of our Christmas Traditions...
  • Thanksgiving Weekend.  Put up Christmas tree as soon as possible, so that we can enjoy it before we leave for Maryland.  Make sure the tree is artificial.  Otherwise, we have to take it down before we leave for Maryland... or sweep up what is left of the dried up tree when we return from Maryland.
  • By December 15th.  This year... wise up!  Shop, wrap and mail presents parcel post to Maryland.  
  • Three days before Christmas.  Anthony and Christopher and I open our gifts so that we can enjoy them a little before we leave for Maryland.
  • Immediately after opening gifts start doing laundry so we have clean clothes for Maryland.
  • Two days before Christmas.  Pack.  One carry-on each for trip.  Not waiting for luggage is a good thing! 
  • Anthony stays up late finishing 2007 DVD.  Gets to bed around 2am.
  • Morning of Christmas Eve.  Sheri wakes up at 2am and can't fall back asleep.
  • Get up before alarm goes off at 3:30am.
  • Out of the house at 4:30am to catch flight to Maryland.
  • Arrive Maryland.  Hop in rental car.  Drive to Aunt Linda's where family has already eaten dinner.  Dinner is still warm, so fix a plate of yummy traditional food prepared by my family and wait for Santa to arrive.
  • Santa. Chaos. Cousins.  Presents. Presents. Presents.
  • Take Mom home.  Head to Boonsboro for sleep.
  • Christmas Day. Try to sleep in. Wrap miscellaneous gifts.
  • Exchange gifts with Mom and have dinner at Waffle House.
  • Day after Christmas Day.  Head to FreckledFarm for more Chaos. Cousins. Presents. Presents. Presents.
  • Day after day after Christmas Day.  Exchange presents with my sis and niece.  Have lunch at Ledo's with Mom, Lisa & Anne.  
  • Take Lisa up on her offer to ship presents back to Portland. 
  • Day after day after day after Christmas Day.  Pack.  Say more good-byes.  Get on plane.
  • Exhausted.  Arrive home after midnight (3am EST).  
And I thought we didn't have traditions!  I'm not complaining.  I'm glad I have traditions!  Especially the chaos, the cousins and the mounds of gift wrap everywhere!  

Who needs Christmas Day at home in their pajamas?  Isn't that what the day after the day after the day after the day after Christmas is for anyway?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas!

Now, I answer the question... Where have I been the past week?  

I have been busy knitting.  Christopher now has a sweater that matches his Daddy's.  We were such a cute matching family this morning at church.  (I had made the poncho two years ago, but thought it went well with the sweaters.)  When I made Anthony's sweater I knit stockinette (knit one row, purl the next).  It had a a really loose feel, so I used a rib pattern (knit 5, purl 2) for Christopher's.  Too tight!  I'm going to try and block Christopher's sweater... it was a surprise, so I hadn't gotten a chance to try it on him.  Otherwise... do I rip it apart and start over?  Yikes!  But I've done it before.

Well, just in case I don't get a chance to say it in person, "Merry Christmas!"  Don't worry... my Christmas Card to you did not get lost in the mail.  We didn't send one this year.  I'm feeling really guilty about it.  I love opening all the Christmas wishes from my friends.  Maybe I can send an e-mail Christmas Card?  I just need to add the ripping of the envelope sound.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Friendships of Women #5

Thoughts on Chapter 6, The Risk of Love

For Spring Break this past year, Anthony, Christopher and I went to Mexico. Christopher loooves to go swimming. As we saw him at the top of this ledge, we thought to ourselves, "Wow! Look how close Christopher is to that ledge. He'll back away from it quickly. He would never take that risk."

I have had some of my friends (yes, I know I do have friends) talk to me about being almost too vulnerable on my posts about friendships. Some are concerned, some have asked how I am doing, some discussed why they haven't left a comment, or some wonder how I can vacillate so quickly between loneliness and contentment.

Trust me. I do not like being vulnerable. Sharing my deep dark thoughts... well, that might make me look needy. It might make people think that I am talking about them. Well, I am needy and I am talking about some of you.

I am so tired of being on this roller coaster of uncertainty. I long to be content, mature and healthy in my friendships. The Lord has been saying to me... let's flesh this out. Let's work through the pain. And by the way, let's explore where this pain came from. So, it's okay. I really want to work this through.

And guess what? I am not alone. But you know what? I thought I was. Really! I didn't think other women wondered why they weren't included in a luncheon that their friends had together. That they might feel rejected. And oh, by the way, I've made other women feel that way, too. Ouch!

So, interestingly enough, my vulnerability has sparked your vulnerability. It is bringing us closer together. So, my risk, in the long run... has become my reward.

Well, we were wrong about Christopher. He dove (er, cannonballed) right in... and then again and again. You know what? He had the time of his life. He had never done anything like this before, but he was willing to take the risk... jump completely in... and discover this was actually fun.

How about you? Let's go grab our bathing suits. I promise, no pictures!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Home to Holly Springs Review

I'll be gentle, kind reader.

I was so excited to be able to borrow a copy of Home to Holly Springs from the Library. Considering there is still a waiting list of over 100 people. I've missed Father Tim and Cynthia. I knew the book would be "different" from the Mitford novels, but I'm dying to find out what happens to Dooley and Lace, so I am compelled to keep reading.

I was not prepared for all of the new characters. My little mind had a hard time trying to remember who was new and where they fit in to the history of Holly Springs or the present of Holly Springs. Especially when two of the main characters have the same name, Peggy.

The dust jacket cover said that Father Tim discovered many "disturbing" things from his past. Let me tell you, if you are looking for "disturbing" you will not be disappointed. I actually had to skip a portion or two due to the disturbing nature of some excerpts of the novel.

My funny quirky thing I do have to share... Okay, so maybe I should consider proof-reading as a second profession! At the beginning of chapter 27, "Now allowed to drink, [Cynthia] had lost no time in renting a car and amusing herself at the library, a museum, and the bookstores." A little background, Cynthia had hurt her leg, and so was not allowed to drive (not drink). I have to say, I did find this little faux-pas amusing.

Because I am so desperate to find out about Lace and Dooley, I will give the second novel a try when it is published. But if it includes the word "disturbing" on the book dust jacket cover... well, I think I'll just have to pass.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Excuse Me While I Sharpen My #2 Pencil

I am currently studying Elijah in my "quiet time." Elijah is the prophet who had the guts to make fun of the god, Baal. (I Kings 18:21-39). Elijah taunted the worshippers of Baal, "Shout louder... Perhaps he [Baal] is in deep thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened." Then the very next day, Jezebel vowed to kill Elijah. He was so afraid that he ran for his life and wanted to die! (I Kings 19:1-9) The VERY NEXT DAY...

Ouch! This reminds me of... ME! One day I will feel content in my relationships - and the next day I'll be having a pity party. "So and So has not called me back!" "This person let me down, again." "No one left a comment about this post." "I'm lonely. I have no friends. What is wrong with me, Lord?!" Yuck, I hate even writing this down! The truth hurts.

About two months ago, I was having a conversation with one of my friends. (Yes, I really do have friends!) She is an attractive well-put-together business woman. We made a pact - when we start to feel like we are "alone" or "lonely" - we call the other person, so that we are not relying upon our own judgment. Well, of course, I did not call her... I can handle this on my own, right? I realize it would have helped if I would have called her as soon as I started "feeling" this way.

God did provide encouragement. A kindred spirit who I contact probably once a year. Her name is Christine. We met at church in Frederick back in 1995. Just months before we loaded up the wagons to head to Oregon. Our hearts knit immediately and we wondered out loud why God would bring us together only to share a few months of fellowship. She even used Ruth 1:16-17 in her wedding vows. She made a calligraphy of the verses in a frame which still sits at my bedside over twelve years later.

Christine had sent me her Christmas card via e-mail. I decided to invite her to visit my blog. She sent the most encouraging e-mail. When I read her words they were like sustenance to the soul. No longer was I relying on my feelings - having my pity party.

God has been dealing with me on my "friendships with women." I say to Him, "I thought we already worked through this..." and He says, "we have, but on this test, I want you to not just pass, but get 100%. So, you are going to be refined... and perhaps share what you have learned in the process." (I remembered hearing this test analogy from Beth Moore's study on Daniel. The final DVD of the study.)

So, here I am... pulling out a sharpened #2 pencil... will you join me, friend?

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Friendships of Women #4

But Ruth replied,

"Don't urge me to leave you or
to turn back from you.
Where you go I will go, and
where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and
your God my God.
Where you die I will die, and
there I will be buried.
May the LORD deal with me,
be it ever so severely,
if anything but
death separates you and me."
Ruth 1:16-17

The Friendships of Women

Chapters 4 & 5 discuss the relationship between Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth. Like many women, I asked for Ruth 1:16-17 to be put into my wedding vows. But these verses are between two women. Ruth who is being REJECTED by Naomi is vowing to stay with her. Most of us would have come to the logical conclusion that Naomi didn't need us or WANT us. But not Ruth.

Many times, I come upon women who are hurting and in need. When I ask if they need help, they tell me that it is not necessary. I don't want to be a pest. I really want to help... if only I knew what to do. Whether I should go and help. The book shares the thought, "If she is a good friend, -- GO!" Well, what constitutes "good"? There are so many women who I know and love, but I realize that they may not feel the same way about me... that they have not given me permission to be that "good" of a friend to just come over... and listen... or help... when they have said, "It is not necessary."

This is where I run into difficulty with the verse I spoke of in the post "The Friendships of Women #3." "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." -- James 4:17. Sometimes I feel compelled to help anyone in need... to do the good I ought. I almost track them down. It is a battle within myself to determine... Am I a good enough friend that I should persist here? Or does this woman have closer friends that could minister to her in a way I am not able?

I thank God for prayer. I can always ask God for wisdom in each circumstance. And I can always bring any sister to the Lord in prayer. It is not that I shirk responsibility when I say that I will pray for someone... It means that I am taking my full responsibility for someone when I remember her in my prayers.

I have not stopped giving thanks for you,
remembering you in my prayers.
Ephesians 1:16

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

In Memory of Jack Sr.

Jack Sr. and Sheri

My step-father passed away a year ago today. It is an "anniversary" of sorts. One normally thinks of an anniversary as a happy event, but today... not so much. I still cannot believe that he has passed away. I knew him for about 25 years... it seems just like yesterday.

Jack was the man who walked me down the aisle. Who encouraged me to attend a college that would challenge me. Who attended my "Parent Day" events at college with my mom. Who taught me how to drive. Who bought my first car... and then let me pay him back $75 a month so I didn't have to endure interest payments. Who drove my mom and me to my biological father's funeral.

Don't get me wrong... trust me... I haven't forgotten the darker side of our relationship. Like the day when I informed him that he was not my father. That he uprooted me in the middle of my junior year of high school... so that I graduated with people I barely knew...

Over the years, I asked God to give me a love for Jack. And He did. It made it easier to be with him... It made it easier for me.

I still regret not seeing him last year when we went back to Maryland in November. I could have seen him, but it was getting so hard to visit the nursing home. I was afraid it would break me. And less than a week later there was the phone call in the middle of the night. Then he was gone.

My first thought at that time was remembering this photo. Jack at his prime.

I called my mom today to reminisce. And she asked if we could light a candle and say a prayer when I visit at Christmas... of course, Mom... it would be my pleasure to help you work through your loss.

I know that I can not heal her pain, but I know the One who can.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Monday, December 3, 2007

Congratulations to Our Winner!

Congratulations to Aunt Tamra!

She won a box full of Christmas Goodies for entering our November 10th contest. (We'll have to see if we can sneak in some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!)

Thanks to all who entered!

The Friendships of Women #3

On Tuesday mornings, you can find me at my church hosting (leading/facilitating) one of the tables at the Ladies' Bible Study. It has been an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to get to know the ladies around my table.

For the Christmas season, our study is on break. But I wanted to meet with these ladies one more time until January. So, I invited them over for Girl Talk and Holiday Munchies. A little lunch, some lit candles, Christmas music and a beautiful raspberry cake brought by one of the gals. Oh, yes, and of course, coffee! with cream and sugar (er, Splenda), please! These women are such a joy to me. Unassuming. Grateful. Kind. We sat and ate and talked. What a wonderful thing... to get together for the pure enjoyment of friendship.

And so this leads us on to Chapters 2 & 3 of The Friendships of Women....

This particular Bible Study was the first time in about nine years that I have led or helped to lead a table. So, my table was already assigned, but during those nine or so years when I was not leading a table, I always dreaded the first day of Bible Study. At which table would I sit? Since, as we have already discovered, I do not have a "best" (read: one and only) friend... I would search the room seeing many ladies I know... But... Where would I feel "comfortable"? Will this table talk more or review the lesson more? (I'm more of the review-the-lesson type of girl.) What is the "age group" of this table? Do I know all of these ladies? Will I fit in? God, help me to sit at the right table! I don't want to be all alone at a table with seven other ladies.

I realize I am not alone in this feeling. Recently, I had spoken with one lady who was completely new to the Bible Study and does not attend our church. When she would come on Tuesday mornings, she thought all the ladies at her table attended our church. She was hurt when one gal didn't reach out to her. When I shared with her that the "one gal" didn't attend our church and had been brought by a friend and had still felt a little out of place, well, that changed her perspective... her expectations... her feeling of being branded "an outsider."

But it is not always the one looking in that needs the adjustment... sometimes when we are having our own needs for intimacy met, it is easy to slide into complacency about the needs of others. We think... well, I'm new, too. I've just begun to fit in... so we don't even look around and see that sitting next to us is someone who is just trying to fit in, too.

I encourage the ladies at my Bible Study table to create bonds of friendship. But in creating that bond, will a newcomer sense our intimacy and "feel" immediately that she is an outsider... and does not fit in... No matter how much we reassure her that she is welcome into our circle... she feels just a few steps behind... she doesn't share all that we have shared.... and so, does not return back.

Well, I wonder to myself how I can reconcile all of this... it seems so complicated!
Perhaps each woman needs to:
  • Realize that there is a void that God has created within each person
  • Realize only God can fill that void
  • Depend daily upon God to fill that need through prayer and the study of His Word
  • Establish friendships wisely; and
  • Be aware of those women God has placed around us.
James 4:17 says "Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." The sin of omission. Let us each consider if we could just lift someone's spirit today by giving them a smile or just saying "hello!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Christmas Spirit

Setting up the Manger - the Real Spirit of Christmas

Anthony and Christopher have already caught
the Christmas Spirit.

Christopher insisted we put up the Christmas tree
this past weekend.

Anthony decided to bake some sugar cookies.
We all had fun decorating. But best of all is the eating!

The red raspberry Linzer cookies melt in your mouth.
We didn't add the almonds like a real Linzer recipe...
but they taste delicious!!!

Happy Birthday, Mommy!

Sheri & Mommy (April 1988)

I've been having fun looking at old photos lately... as you can tell. As I looked through the pages of the photo albums, I came across this one. Somehow, looking at the photo gave me a flood of emotions. That I'm really beginning to understand how much my Mom really does love me. Not that I doubted it! It's just as I get older... and I sift through the past, I am so grateful that she is my Mother. As I learn what it is like to slowly, but, oh so, slowly release your child into their future... I realize that this is a very difficult task for a mother. No one gets it right... but if we love... we can try.

I love you, Mommy! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Missing You!

I miss my garden sooo much! I actually bought Paperwhite Bulbs to grow indoors. I never really understood the value of these bulbs until now (read: desperation). The bulbs had to sit in a dark place for two weeks... and then brought out into the light to bloom within two weeks. Well, you know Portland.... They've been in the "light" for a month now... but I think they are about to bloom!!!

My impatients and geraniums still persist in blooming outside. I did bring most of them into the patio area which definitely helped. I'd have to say... I'll be planting them again next year!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Friendships of Women #2

The Original Sisterchicks
Lisa and Sheri (1972-3?)

So, back to The Friendships of Women and off to Chapter 1!
From Girlhood On, Gifted for Intimacy

Sometimes, I think... why can't I be normal like everyone else? And then I read a book like this that reminds me... I am like everyone else! In our friendships with women, we all have our insecurities, our betrayals, our expectations, our disappointments... and for me especially, the need to feel that I am "unique" to my friends.

I know why I have a need to feel "unique" and the reason I do have this need is not important. But how I respond to this need... aha! that is what I want to talk about... I realized something in my grief class earlier this year... I came to "a better understanding of what Ruth meant to me OR perhaps really how I feel about what I meant to Ruth. Being someone's 'beloved.' Not their 'only' beloved. But realizing that [Ruth had] the ability to express [her] love in such a way that it cannot be denied or rejected by the receiver." (excerpt from my personal grief journal)

I always tell people that it seemed like Ruth lived 93 years just to meet me. Like God prepped her and had her ready all that time just to minister into my life for one year. Wow! Did I feel like I was special or what? Absolutely... and that's my point.

One of the topics discussed in the book is "intergenerational" friendships. We normally gravitate to people who are similar to us. Our peers. Which is totally fine and necessary. But I ask you to consider the beauty of intergenerational friendships. There was 55 years difference between me and my Soul Mother Ruth. And because of this... she was able to love me with a maternal love that was so ingrained in her spirit. She had lived her life... and loved her Lord... and she gave a gift to me that was so precious... unconditional love. Sweet, ladies, so sweet!

I also love being with younger ladies, too. They are getting married... having babies... I get to knit baby sweaters... oops, I digress... they are fresh and young and open to receive inspiration or encouragement or just plain love from this older woman. (hee! hee!)

And of course, there are my Sisterchicks! Friends who are going through almost exactly what I am going through... and we commiserate together and our children have playdates together... or are the moms really having the playdates?

I know... I know... all of this takes time! But I say to you... it is so worth it. I challenge you... especially if you are lonely... or you are caught in friendships that are not particularly encouraging... start praying! Ask the Lord to prepare your heart to be the friend He would want YOU to be... and then, only after that, ask the Lord to bring a special sister-in-Christ into your life. Not one who will meet all your needs (only God can do that!), but one or two or three that will share this journey of life with you.

I'll be praying for you, too!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Friendships of Women

Sheri and Colleen, BFF (1980?)

Well, I have decided to take you on a little journey. I'm not positive where we'll end up. But we are going to explore The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin over the next month. This is a book I read probably around 1995 for the first time. I remember... it was a time in my life that I wondered... Why don't I have a Best Friend? That one girlfriend that you talk to every day. You share confidences with.... You laugh with... you cry with... The one who notices that you weren't in church today... and actually calls you to see what's up. You go out to coffee, shopping, and plan holidays with... I didn't have one... and it just wasn't fair!

I was probably around 25 years old, and I remember my counselor at the time trying to tell me that as we become women we normally don't have ONE "best" friend. We may have a friend who we go to coffee with... or a friend who is similar in status to us (we were DINKs at the time)... or a colleague at work... or a friendly face at church... but basically, I was out of luck.... there was no such thing as having a Best-est Friend as a woman... or at least it was very, very rare. One woman who would meet all my needs for coffee talk, shopping, and emotionally. I just didn't believe her. I saw other women who had these friends. I just figured I hadn't worked hard enough to find mine.

So began a lifetime of exploring my relationships with other women. I still don't have this all figured out. It's so complex. When I look at who I really am... I see a girl who has grown into a woman... who hasn't really changed. I have always had a lot of friends (or are they "acquaintances"?) and that was always where I have focused my energy. Getting to know everyone... it doesn't leave much time for getting to know one person very intimately.

In the past couple of months, I have been speaking with other women about their friendships. Realizing that perhaps we need to look at this in a little more depth. What is it we are really looking for? Who are we as a friend? What does it mean to be lonely? betrayed? outcast? intimate? unique?

I met Colleen in 2nd Grade. I had moved to a new school and we became best friends immediately. Colleen and I still keep in touch through Christmas cards every now and then. But, it's funny... my heart beats faster just looking at her in the photo. Remembering how precious we were to each other... so many, many years ago. Colleen, ILY,DNQ!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

La Multi Ani! Pastor Tami!

Our 40 Days of Purpose Small Group
March 2005

Dearest Pastor Tami,

Happy Birthday! I hope I got the right translation for Happy Birthday in Romanian? I was looking for a picture of you and found this one from our 40 Days of Purpose small group. Wow! Over 2 1/2 years ago. There you are... on the far right. What a wonderful time of fellowship and encouragement! It's interesting who the Lord brings into our lives for a brief time. I miss you and our coffee talks. Well, LA MULTI ANI!

Love you, friend! Sheri

For more info about Pastor Tami visit Pastor Tami's Website

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

So, What's in the Box?

So, what was in the swap box I sent? I went with a garden theme since it was something the receiver and I had in common. (What, me, garden?)

A handcrafted card to greet the receiver.

Packages of different shapes and sizes.

I lined the box with card stock from a MB calendar. Goodies are in a printed paper bag, handmade paper (not by me) envelopes, sheer bags, decorated box, and a tin.

Pressed dried flowers, white ribbon edging,
assorted scrapbooking frames,
floral pattern wire ribbon, and a white doily.

A handmade (by ME!) dishcloth, tin of buttons,
gardenia votive candle, votive holder (that I decorated with tacky tape cut into the shape of a flower and sprinkled white and silver beads on top),
flower ribbon, "It's A Party" raised stickers.

It was really fun pulling it all together. Being creative with the garden theme and wrapping all of the items so that it seemed like a gift. I'm half (but only half) ashamed to say that I didn't have to buy anything to put in the box. I had accumulated these items over the past couple of years. The expensive part was sending it. I decided to limit my box to a flat rate postal box which no matter the weight cost $8.95 to send.

I received my swap box yesterday. Will take photos. I'd like to take some of the items and make a project. Keep on being creative... Maybe you can give me some ideas?

If you're into "swap-ing"... Domestic Bliss is doing a Christmas Swap, but you have to sign-up by next Wednesday, November 21st.


Little Lucy

Well, Lucy liked my sweater so much that she put it on right away and asked me to take a picture of her. Okay, well, not really. We struggled to pull the sweater on since her little baby arms are still snugly close to her body... and she refused to wake up for the paparazzi.

Looks peaceful, huh?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veterans' Day

Christopher had yesterday off of school in observance of Veterans' Day. He has asked for the past few weeks to be taken to a cemetery on Veterans' Day. Last year, his 2nd Grade teacher Mrs. L had instilled the importance of the day... that it is not just another day to have a sale, but to pay our respects to Veterans.

I knew there was a Memorial Park near Christopher's school in Beaverton. We drove there in the cold rain of a Portland afternoon to pay our respects.

It was an educational day for both of us. It's funny how children can remind you of the importance of observances. Thank you, Veterans, for your sacrifice. Some gave all...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Floral Buttons

So, I went to the Button Emporium last week and picked up a couple buttons for some baby sweaters I finished. Yes, it is the same so-called "5-hour" baby sweater pattern I have used consistently in the past. I'm just amazed how many variations come out of it!

I had picked up this white yarn at NW Wools on clearance probably over a year ago. I was getting ready to hop on a plane to Maryland and wanted an "easy" knitting project to take with me since I was in between projects. I didn't have any 100% cotton yarn to make some dishcloths, so I went with what I had. Well, as usual, I ran out of yarn! I refused to find a matching skein since that was beside the point that I was trying to use up left-over yarn. I went through my bin and found this purple yarn that I had used on a previous baby sweater (see photo below). I love it! I wasn't sure whether to add a button or not, but I went ahead and picked up this adorable purple plastic floral button.

Here is the same pattern with five buttons.

So, who are these sweaters for? Well, I had started the pink one for a little baby named Lucy. But, I'm thinking Lucy might be more of a purple type of girlie-girl. Her big sister tends to wear a lot of pink. I'll be giving the sweater to Lucy on Wednesday.

No matter what... it is always hard for me to part with my projects. Sometimes when I 'm thinking about how much I will miss a project when I give it away... I pray over it. Praying for the beloved who will receive it. That seems to make me feel a little better about handing it over!

April 2005.
The FIRST baby Sweater!
I hadn't learned to crochet a little tie, so I put in a white ribbon... it didn't last long! But this fuchsia is just phenomenal on my first baby model, Karen. (The above sweater with 5 buttons is the leftover from the skein I used to make this sweater over 2 1/2 years ago!

January 2006.
First time with buttons and a bonnet.
Since Karen loved to wear the first sweater so much whenever I saw her... I made her another one! (See my philosophy here... then I still get to see my project!) First time I went to Button Emporium for these delightful little floral buttons.

July 2006.
Let's try it in white with matching bonnet and booties!
Friends tried to persuade me to add an accent color, but I liked the all white for a change.

November 2006.
Trying to have the pattern look
a little less frilly... for a miracle baby boy!

What a fun walk down memory lane... and, actually, there have been more, but I forgot to take photos!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Christopher's Splash!

Christopher enjoying an M&M Blizzard at Dairy Queen
when we were vacationing at OBX.

"Splash" aka Christopher has decided to add
a couple new posts to his blog. Stop by

Christopher's Splash
and leave a comment for any of his posts and
I'll enter you into a drawing for
a box full of Christmas goodies.
All entries must be posted by
Saturday, November 24th,
in honor of my most favorite Aunt's birthday.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My First Book Review

A couple of weeks ago I was at Christian Supply. I was browsing through the fiction section... Jan Karon's new book was not out yet (I am number 7 out of 96 on the library wait list!) and Robin Jones Gunn hadn't written any more Sisterchicks novels, but I saw this PINK paperback. Of course, it caught my eye. Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker. Then I saw that it was the 2006 Women of Faith Novel of the Year. Hmmm.... what's it about? Humor and Breast Cancer!

Well, I bit the bullet and bought the book. Wow! I ate it up. I really enjoyed it. It's one of those books that makes you laugh out loud and also brings tears to your eyes. I wouldn't have been able to read it last year, but now, well, it brought about hope and reflection.

I highly recommend reading Christian fiction. I think it is good to hop out of our own lives every now and then. Make sure you're prepared for what you're reading. Last year, it was suggested that I read Christian fiction. Well, I picked up a mystery and in the first chapter someone was murdered. Then the second chapter... and graphic! I told Anthony about it... He said, "Sheri, you wouldn't watch something like that on TV, so why do you think it's okay for you to read it?" Well, then my friend "ladybug" suggested the Mitford Series by Jan Karon and Sisterchicks by Robin Jones Gunn. Now, I'm always on the lookout for some "reading candy."

I also balance out my fiction with non-fiction. Latest book: Boundaries in Marriage by Cloud and Townsend. I found it on Audio CD at my library. Even after 19 years of marriage, it's always good to keep learning! (Yes, I was married at age 10.)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Twin Vests

I got to visit my vest. I mean the vest I made for my sister for her birthday. When I told her I was coming in to Maryland, I asked her to wear my vest... I mean her vest. I liked "her" vest so much that I took off the edging I had used on mine and re-did the edging with the same yarn (Silk Mountain by Noro). It created that heavenly scalloped effect like it did on hers. I also went to the Button Emporium and bought a new button.

(See my previous posts on July 12th and August 23rd for more details about my sister's vest saga if you're new here.)

I looove the Button Emporium. They help you pick out the most perfect button for your project. It really adds the finishing touch. In the past I have scoured JoAnn's for the perfect button... for hours (at least it seems that way!) ... still not finding the right one. I go to the Button Emporium and within minutes I have the perfect button to finish my project.

I can't wait to show you some of the other knitting projects I've completed lately. Got to make a quick Button Emporium stop and then take some photos. Although, I can't show you the project I made for a gift for Christmas already. It is the first time I've used the cable stitch. It turned out wonderful. I really want to show it to you, but the recipient is the one who inspired me to start blogging and she likes surprises. Of course, I really do like this project... I want one for myself... maybe I could wear it here in Portland and she wouldn't know? Or maybe I should make her something else? What a dilemma.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A Sneak Peak!


Well, here's a sneak peak at the box I sent today (via USPS Priority) to Lori at Girls in the Garden. Lori's name was forwarded to me by the swap coordinators at Domestic Bliss. After viewing how talented Lori is at sewing, I was a bit overwhelmed. Fortunately, we share the love of gardening, so I decided to use that as the theme (hmmm... imagine that!) ... Okay, enough for now. I want Lori to get her box before I spill all the goods. I'll admit that I was surprised at the amount of time I spent pulling it together... and the worse part is the clean up! After that being said, it was a good exercise of my creativity. Exercise is always good, right?

Sorry, if you've missed me... We just returned from my brother-in-law's wedding in Maryland. I still can't believe that the weather cooperated. It made for some really beautiful photos. But more about that in another post...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Be Still and Know...

Why do I need to be still?

As I was listening to a set of motivational audio cds in the car today, I was hit with the fact that -- to become more like someone... ideally, it would be best to spend time with them. I mean, if you had the chance to meet Martha Stewart and ask her questions versus trying to be like Martha just hanging out at your house alone and fiddling around with a craft or recipe... Which would you choose? You would choose to meet Martha. Or if you wanted to be a really incredible golfer like Tiger Woods, would you choose to go to the golf course alone and try to be like Tiger OR would you choose to actually meet Tiger Woods and receive instruction?

Well, it hit me. I want to be like Jesus. So, should I just go out and try to be like Jesus? Maybe serve in a ministry or two? OR... should I spend time with Him? Getting to know Him? Asking Him questions? Receiving instruction from Him?

Well, sometimes, I get it backwards. I think, well, Jesus wants me to be serving Him all the time. Really? Or does He want me to know Him well enough... that when people look at me they see Him?

"Be Still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10 NIV

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Let's Get Inspirational!

I stopped by The Cottage Nest today (after checking Bloglines and seeing there was a new post on her blog!). Jen said that she was participating in her first ever swap. She called it "A Happy Miscellany Craft Swap" at the Domestic Bliss blog. So, I decided to take a look...

Well, I'm jazzed to say that I'm going to participate, too... How about you? You have to sign-up by Friday, October 26th. It's things like this that keep life interesting... creative... inspirational! Basically, you fill a box with the fun things listed with about a $10 total value. I'm thinking have I got fun stuff to swap!

Saturday, I went with a friend to Roses Glassworks and look what I created! It is a "fused glass" plate. It's hard to take a photo that really shows off the beauty of this creation, so you'll just have to come over for a cup of tea and have a glimpse.


I was talking with a fellow blogger about checking each of my favorite places to visit (blogs) to see if there was a new post. She told me about Bloglines. I guess there are other ways to track blogs, but this I found to be convenient. (For example, Xanga has the capability right on the blogs, but blogger doesn't.) Now, I just go to one page and it tells me who (from my "favorite places to visit") has been creating posts lately. Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The real truth behind why I had to throw out a perfectly good cup of coffee...

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Last Wednesday was a strange day for me.

I ended up dropping my cell phone in my coffee.

Yes, you read that right.

Not only did the cell phone not work, but I had to throw out the coffee. Who really knows where that cell phone had been?

Okay, so I like my coffee in a coffee mug. I just carry it out to the car (half full...or half empty...well, I'm trying to be optimistic here) and it doesn't fit in the drink holder (you know the handle gets in the way) so ... anyway ... I'm pulling out of the garage, putting down the garage door, looking for anyone in the cul-de-sac, turning off the radio, so that I can call Anthony who is on travel on the way to drop Christopher off at school.

Then I realize that I'm just not capable of doing all of this at once, so I throw the phone into my lap and PLOP! right into the coffee.

Go Ahead. LOL!