Wednesday, January 26, 2011

snow busy....

Today is a snow day and I'm so thankful for that as our calendar has kept us hopping lately...
In between basketball games and basketball practices we've been:
{doing laundry (of course...that never stops)}

{stitching some wintery goodness}

{turning nine!}

{meeting new (tall) friends}

{playing (but obviously not cleaning up)}

{knitting warmth (a new sweater for me!)}

{traveling to new places}

{investigating (thanks to a special session with our botanist friend)}

{making lists and storing away treasures}
I hope that no matter what your calendar looks like that you're able to enjoy the moments in your days. (and since a snow day always helps.... I hope one comes your way soon!)  

Monday, January 17, 2011

I've got a plan...

....well, actually Kristyn has a plan and I'm latching onto hers.  If you followed Kristyn at all last year, you probably saw her ADVENTure posts.  Throughout the year she would update us on her preparations for Christmas.  She was purposeful in thinking through what she wanted to create, gift and enjoy throughout the year so that when December came she wasn't harried, frazzled and cranky.  I watched and cheered her on...but I didn't join in due to a road block in my mind. 
You see, I had this notion that Christmas inspiration wasn't really Christmas inspiration unless it struck me from October on.  I felt like I had to wait closer to the day for the real inspiration to hit me.  What if I made a gift in February and then in November - THE PERFECT GIFT IDEA came along?  What would I do then? 
 So, I've been thinking through my ideas and what I think really makes up the perfect gift and I've come to realize a couple of things:
1. the thought that goes into the gift is more valuable than when that thought occurs (it doesn't matter if I think it through in February or November)
2. I will enjoy gifting much more if I don't have deadline pressures on myself (anyone ever finishing a project in the wee hours of the morning know what I'm talking about?)
3.  I can wait for inspiration on those gifts that need inspiration, but for those that I can, I'm going to knock them out ahead of time and leave myself some room for when the inspiration happens (I can make my teacher gifts in the summer and my book club gifts don't have to wait until November)
4. If I keep doing what I've always done, I'll keep getting the results I've always gotten (I'm always wanting more creative time and more time to relax closer to the holidays - perhaps with some pre-planning I can achieve that this year)
I may be a bit slow to catch on, but once I'm on fire watch out!  I went through and made a recipient list and jotted down any gift ideas that I already had.  I'm keeping this list where I can update it and add to it when I get a gift idea. (and yes, I'm giving my mom something in addition to the gift tags that I listed by her name, but she liked mine so much this year, I thought I'd give her a set early in December that she can use on her gifts)

Then I went through and put a stickie note on each page in my calendar.  On these stickies I wrote some projects that I want to work on for gifts (and for myself) this year.  I have three people who I want to give dishcloths to, so I wrote dishcloth on the stickie for three different months.  I left myself plenty of room for last minute inspiration and personal crafting. 
There are plenty of weeks for me to enjoy the seasonal ideas that come along and plenty of time for me to stockpile some of the gifts that I really do want to give at Christmas (or for any holiday/special occasion).   I've already got some tags ready for giving next year...check,, smile! 
So, that's my plan...I'm stockpiling blessings for next fun!  If you want to join, jump over to Kristyn's and check out her post, it's full of great inspiration and it'll get you started on your own ADVENTure! 

Friday, January 14, 2011

with eyes to the east

I'm so very thankful that His mercies are new every day.  I'm grateful for a brand new day....a new start and a new supply of grace.     

"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:21-23
May your day be encouraged by knowing that He is faithful and His mercies are fresh for the picking every morning. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

the knitting wrap up: a hug, toasty and slippers

I enjoy knitting.  I tell everyone that it's my therapy. They laugh.  I laugh.  But it's so true.  I get a lot of things sorted out while I knit.  I also get a lot of praying done while I knit.  Whenever I knit a gift for someone, there's a lot of prayer knit right into their gift.  I knit several gifts this year.  Some of them I already posted, but the gifts for my three sneaky kids had to be kept secret.  They actually read my blog (well, the girls do...) 
For Maggie:
Gaia Shoulder Hug- she's already worn it to a couple of parties....she wears it backwards like a big looks great on her.  I typically wouldn't have chosen to knit this for a teen, but she modeled one I made earlier and she loved it...begged me to keep it.  That one was for someone else, so I made her this one in her favorite colors. 
For Mckenzie:
 Toasty- She's been wearing mine and asking for a pair since the weather got cold.  I actually started a pair in a different color to match her winter coat and then we realized the sleeves on that coat were too short, so we took it back.  I switched to these colors and they are so Kenzie...she loves them and now all of her friends want a pair. 

For John Samuel:
Felted Slippers- His daddy has a pair and I've often found him wearing those...he loves them and we had so much fun felting them together.  I gave them to him unfelted and he knew exactly what they were and how they would change after their hot water bath. {For these I used Patons Classic Wool and they have felted rather fuzzy.  They remind me a bit of Cookie Monster...not sure if I like that look or not. On the other ones I used Plymouth yarn and it felted a lot more smoothly, not nearly as fuzzy.} 
These were some of my favorite gifts to watch being opened on Christmas morning.  It was pure joy to see my kids eyes light up when they received their hand knit from mama.  Who knows how long they'll still want me to knit for them?  I've got to soak it up while I can.    And the bonus is that all of those gifts were stitched with lots of love and prayers, which makes them the perfect gift. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011


New Year's always makes me a bit nostalgic.  In my reflecting,  I went through my project 365 photos and chose just one photo for each month.  This was harder than I thought it would be....I really had a tough time narrowing it down to 12 images.  But when I think about it, it's good that it was so tricky to pick one per month, because it means life here under the oaks is full and overflowing.  It was fun to look back over the year and see all the reminders of God's goodness during the last 365 days.  Here's my snap shot of 2010:

So...goodbye 2010...hello 2011!  It's going to be a great's already full of possiblities.  I hope that your new year is so overflowing with blessings that they can't be contained in 12 photos either!  Happy New Year to you my friends!