Tuesday, March 30, 2010

my recipe binders

Several years ago, I started compiling our family's favorite recipes into binders.  I bought some 8 1/2 by 5 1/2 binders and some page protectors and typed our 'go to recipes' into the computer.  Then I printed them on card stock and popped them into a binder.  These binders have gotten a work out.  I pull them out weekly when I'm meal planning or looking for last minute supper ideas.  Because the recipes are in the computer, I've printed out copies for friends and even made a couple of 'cookbooks' to share with friends who were moving.  
 But of course, over the years since everything was first put into binders, I've acquired several new 'keeper' recipes.  They've been piling up in my cupboard and I've gotten tired of rifling through the pile to find the one I wanted....so, over the last week, I took some time and typed in the new recipes.  My friend (hey Laurie!) asked me how I knew which recipes to add and which recipes didn't quite make the cut.  My answer was the test of time.  If I find myself making a recipe over and over again (and it's getting eaten over and over again) then that recipe belongs in my binder! 
I started with two binders and now I'm up to three.  I spruced up the covers with some fresh scrapbooking paper...(thanks for the inpiration on that Kristyn) I'm thinking one day when my kids are ready to start their own households, that these will make wonderful housewarming gifts! (and at the rate I'm going...there will be plenty to share!)  These binders are not only stuffed full of special recipes but memories as well! 

Friday, March 26, 2010

setting the table

When I was little, I remember my mom had these yellow and white plaid placemats.  They were laminated and perfect for a family with kids. (very wipable!) My mom always set the table with placemats under the plates.  Didn't matter if it was breakfast for one or a family dinner, we always used placemats (unless of course she had a table cloth on the table).
 Fast forward 30 years and now that I'm the mama setting the table (or having my kids set it!) we always use placemats. Quirky as it sounds, it just doesn't feel quite right without placemats.  Matter of fact, one of John Samuel's jobs is to clear the placemats after every meal.  So, I had some leftover fabric from my scrappy log cabin quilt and an old sheet and I made some placemats for my ever changing collection. 
 I didn't want to make them too busy as I have so many busy cloth napkins and my everday plates have a strong design on them.  So I added a strip of squares down the side of the placemat and then quilted them with straight lines. This was a great way for me to practice my quilting skills on a much smaller, easier to handle project.   I used a warm and natural batting in between the front and the back and then put on a binding with my machine. 
I started this project back in January and I've not been in a hurry to finish it.  These placemats have been percolating and slowly emerging from my mind.  They are reversible which is great...that gives us so many options.  (really...it allows us to flip them over and use the clean side until they can be thrown in the wash!)  
The back is an old sheet.  That old sheet has been used for some many projects.  I ended up making six placemats from what I had left over from the quilt.  I really like them.  I think we'll enjoy many meals on these placemats....who knows maybe one day, my kids will think a table is not quite right unless there are placemats under the plates!  How about you....any quirks going on at your dinner table?  

Monday, March 22, 2010

champions and adventures on the river

Thanks to everyone for their well wishes on our trip to Lynchburg, VA.  Everyone had a wonderful time.  There were tons of memories made and many special friendships formed.  And we came home victorious!  The girls played their hearts out and took the championship title of Division 2a.  They got to play their final game in the Vines Arena at Liberty University.  Playing in a Division 1 gym was overwhelming and exciting all at once.  They trailed the entire game and managed to take the lead in the last three minutes.  It was a nail biter to say the least!  We're so proud of all of them!
On our way home from the tournament, we had ourselves quite an adventure.  We came home through Virginia and decided to cross into Maryland via White's Ferry.  When we were about 1/3 of the way across the Potomac River on the ferry, the cable holding the ferry broke!  Aparently a huge tree had floated down the river and bumped into the ferry getting tangled up in the cable.  The tension caused the cable to snap and it was then that we were floating freely down the Potomac River.  It was the most surreal experience.  We were in the front of the ferry and so we saw everything clearly. 
 As we drifted down the river, we went askew and hit the river bank on the Maryland side.  The captain told everyone to get into their vehicles and we all quickly complied.  Our family began gathering our laptops and cameras and essential stuff in case we needed to pile into life boats. (just so you know...my knitting bag was in that essential stuff pile!)
That however, proved unnecessary as they were able to slow the ferry down enough to hook it to a tug boat.  That little tug boat pulled the entire ferry back to the dock and after some manuevering with a big bucket tractor, we were straightened out and able to drive off.  It was some kind of adventure.  (that's our van in the front there with Johan Samuel and John in the front seat getting a great view of all the action)
I called my mom and mother in law and asked them to pray for everyone on the ferry.  God was so gracious to answer the prayers that were lifted up for all of us.  We felt calm and peaceful throughout the entire experience....well, except for Kenzie.  She had to go to the bathroom so badly and when she realized we were off cable, she had a bit of a moment.  But she and I jumped ferry when they got us close enough to the dock.  They had left the gate open as they were securing cables and she, Maggie and I quickly slipped out and jumped to dry land to get her to the port o potty. 
Whew!  (good lesson:  go to the bathroom before getting on the ferry!)  As we were leaving the ferry, after the hour + long ordeal,  the ticket collector gave us two round trip fares and told us to, "Come back and see them again!"  Needless to say, we're so grateful to be home.   We're praising the Lord for His protection...I'll even relish doing the piles of laundry this week....those piles that could have ended up on the bottom of the Potomac River! 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

the madness begins

March....brings spring rains and peeping flowers.  It brings the end to winter for many...and it brings the madness of basketball tourney time!  I just love March Madness.  During March (actually all season) you'll be able to find me sitting in front of the tv watching basketball or at a game cheering on my favorite team.  Heck, the entire family is into basketball. We've got our brackets filled out and we're ready. 
Maggie's basketball team is competing in the East Coast Basketball Tournament this week in Lynchburg, VA.  Teams from all along the east coast, Texas, Tennessee and Iowa will be there grinding it out.  John is one of the assitant coaches, John Samuel is one of the ball boys, Kenzie is a middle school groupy and I'm one of the chaperones. We're taking down 15 girls and our Varsity boys team is going as well.   
If it's anything like last year's tournament, we'll come home loaded down with memories and in need of some serious sleep.  So in between cheering for the Warriors, I'm be checking scores and marking off my NCAA brackets.  I'll be blogging about the Warrior's games here.  And maybe, just maybe I'll get in a bit of knitting.  The gatorade is packed....see you next week! 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Tomorrow is my adoption day.  When I was just a wee baby, only two weeks old, I was adopted.  My mom and dad, have always told me how special the day was when they got the call that there was a baby girl needing their love. Mom tells me she was coming in the door from teaching and the phone was ringing.  She dropped her books on the ground and snatched up the phone.  The voice on the other side said, "We've got your baby girl ready for you to take home."  There's not a time when I can remember not knowing I was adopted.  It's who I am.   I've always felt special because of being adopted.  I guess I could have gotten stuck on the fact that somewhere, someone didn't or couldn't or wouldn't keep me...but thanks to the grace of God, I've always felt chosen and wanted. 
I'm so grateful that my biological mom made the hard choice to allow someone else to raise me and care for me.  Her unselfishness (that's my way of looking at it) allowed me to grow up in a home where I heard the wondeful news about Christ and His love for me.  I asked Him into my heart when I was a bitty girl and He's been walking with me all the way, guiding my journey through this life.  When I think about it, I've actually been adopted twice.  Once by my adoptive parents mom and dad and once by my Savior.   I am so thankful for my mom and dad; they've blessed me beyond measure.  I was grafted into a wonderful family.  And in a different way, I'm thankful for the parents that made the tough choice to let me go.  But mostly, I'm thankful for my Savior who knows me better than I know myself and yet loves me unconditionally. 

O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
Psalm 139
Happy Adoption day Mom and Dad...this day is yours as much as it is mine!  I love you both so much.

Friday, March 5, 2010

It's a shoe in...and swap info!

My dear friend Kristyn celebrated her birthday last week and I wanted to send something that would make her smile as she is always so good at bringing smiles to my face.  When she was here over Christmas, she mentioned that she wanted to try to make some shoe bags.  Shoe bags are great for keeping your clothes and shoes separated when you pack your suitcase. Betz White has a tutorial on her blog, so after I shopped for some fun fabrics (Kristyn's favorite color is pink)....I followed Betz's tutorial and made 4 shoe bags.  
Kristyn and her family travel mulitple times a year, so I knew these would get lots of use.  I don't have a serger but I wanted the inside seams to look nice, so I hooked up to Larissa's tutorial for making french seams.  I love how the inside seams look...so professional.  These were so fun to make and Larissa's directions were the perfect finishing touch. 
Aren't blog friends just great for tips and tricks and patterns and stuff?!?   And speaking of friends...I've emailed everyone their swap partners.  If you didn't get an email from me with your partner and their email address, please let me know.  {my email address is on my sidebar} Thank goodness it's Friday....Shoe hope you have a great weekend!  (sorry I couldn't resist)

Monday, March 1, 2010

and the winner is....

I used a random number generator to pick the winning comment and the number 3 came up.  (that was so easy...and no little papers to cut up and pull out of a hat!) So congratulations to Renea!  Renea, email me your address and I'll get your prize in the mail to you!  Thanks everyone for playing along and for sharing...I loved reading about all of the blessings in everybody's life...isn't God good!?! Have a wonderful week enjoying more of God's goodness.  {let's just hope that goodnesss doesn't come in the form of snow...ya know what I'm sayin!?!} I'll be back later in the week with some more stuff to share and I'll also be emailing all napkin swap participants their swap partners later this week.