Sunday, September 26, 2010

the gift of the present

  As I was coming home from the mall the other day, I made a phone call to a friend and she teased me about being at the mall in the middle of the day....the thing is, I squeezed in the mall trip in order to get my mom's birthday gift and some favors for the dinner we were having for her birthday (which was the next day).  I commented that it would be nice to have the cushion of that I'm not running around the day before the event, trying to pull things together.  But, that's not the season that I'm in at this time. 
 Right now, I'm:
* working at being a present and attentive wife (you can't take a vacation from your marriage...ever)
* running a household of 5 (6 if you count my mother in law who lives with us)
* home schooling 3 kids (high school, middle school, elementary school)
* teaching every week in a co-op class
* helping with administration for a home school basketball ministry
* making time for friends and family (relationships take time and nurturing in order to grow)
* exercising regularly (heck, I'm 42...I've gotta do something or it all goes south!)
* probably some others...but my mind is too jumbled to think of them
So, my husband gently pointed out that I was spending too much of my time complaining about the busyness.  And that rather than complaining about the busy-ness and the lack of time, I needed to refocus and be thankful for the fullness and the overflowing of all that's in my life. 
Then on Friday, I sat at dinner with one of my mom's friends who had lost her husband of many years to cancer.  He'd battled cancer for 12 years.  (I'm sure our sitting together was one of those Divine Appointments.)  She is a widow now and rather than cry about how lonely she was, she told me that she's enjoying this season of her life.  Of course, she would rather have her husband with her...but she's able to focus on the blessings that are around her. 
For example, she was having 6 orphans from Africa to spend the night at her house while they were here touring with a choir.  Her husband wouldn't have really encouraged that and so now that she's alone she can open up her home in ways that she couldn't when they were a couple and she needed to think of his feelings and desires. 
 She said, that when she was a mother raising her 5 kids, she couldn't imagine how she'd survive when her kids went off to school and careers.  So, she asked the Lord to help her to enjoy each season that He placed her in.  She didn't want to miss the blessings of the present over fears of the future or wistfulness over the past. 
 She said, that He'd done just that....He allowed her the gift of enjoying the right now.  When she prayed that prayer, I'm not sure she had any idea of what the future held.  But of course, none of us have any idea of what our futures hold.  What a blessing it was to talk to her and be encouraged to enjoy the here and now.  So, currently I am honing my focus in on all that I have and all the blessings in my life.  I'm sure I'll need to readjust it from time to time (in all honesty), but I'm thankful to the Lord sending me people who can speak truth into this season of my life...I don't want to miss a minute of the joy because we all know how fast the seasons fly. 
{all the photos are from a special afternoon that John Samuel and I spent together at a local park}

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

for the cold snap

Have I told you about the yarn shop that Kristyn and I discovered when she was here visiting this summer?  It's in a little town not terribly far from my house.  It's right on the road that I take when the girls go to their Thursday classes.....It's dangerous. very dangerous.  Kristyn and I spent about 2 hours in there...and yes, our checkbooks took a hit.  Lana, the owner, has the shop stuffed full of wonderful yarns and a plethora of projects. 
One of the many projects that caught my eye was this seed stitch cowl (ravelry link).  I must say, had I seen the original pattern, I wouldn't have even considered knitting it.   But seeing it done up in a color that I would wear, sold me on it right away. 
This pattern knit up quickly on size 11 needles. It was interesting enough to keep my attention but not too tricky.  I think I'll wear this a lot, even around the house when the days get chilly.  The weather here is too warm to wear it right now, but I'm ready for the next cold snap. 
Here's the knitty gritty:
Pattern: Seed Stitch Cowl, Vogue Holiday 2009
Yarn: Trendsetter Yarns, Granito color 4 Cactus Flower ~ I used 3 balls
Needles: size 11 circulars
Modifications: none...other than yarn choice.
Special thanks again to my photographer...Maggie. 
I only had to call bug her 3 times to get all these photos...she was very patient with me.  (thanks girl!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

just because...

Kristyn gave me this cute pack of alphabet cards when she came and visited in July.  She picked them up at Archivers.  They are so fun and the teacher in me gets all warm and fuzzy when I flip through them.  (Aren't they adorable?!) 
 I put the cards away for a rainy day and for some inspiration to strike.  Well, this week I received this card in the mail from Kristyn. (isn't it adorable!?)  It was created with those very same cards that were marinating in my craft room studio.   (reminder to self: fill the cookie jar!)
Her card sparked the fire that I needed...which led to a spontaneous card making session because why not spread the warm and fuzzy feeling around?! 
It is so fun to get a card in the mail as opposed to junk mail or bills.  I know how receiving a card brightens my doesn't have to be handmade; any kind of card brings a smile to my face.  But apparently people are sending less mail than they ever have.  The postal service is planning to cut mail delivery to 5 days a week instead of 6.  I propose a plan to keep the postal service going and bring a smile to some one's face.   Send someone a card this week...just because! 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

at the front of the line

I've got a basket full of yarn and I've got plans for most of it.  Do you have a stash that makes its way to the front of the line?  Well, this basket is full of that kind of yarn.  (We won't even talk about the yarn that's in the closet) Now, that we're back in school and the routine is being established, I'm finding the urge to knit more regularly.  So, I pulled my basket out and started to think through my projects.  A huge chunk of this yarn came all in one week.  Amanda and Lily from Joli House had a giveaway and I was the winner!  I'm sure they heard the squeals of delight all the way across the ocean!  Here's what I won...
It was a fabulous package loaded with goodies...inside I found:
  • 2 100g skeins of Cumbrian Wools Wenslydale Aran.
  • 1 skein of Rainbow sock yarn
  • 1 skein of Rowan kidsilk haze in Cocoa.
  • 1 large handmade button
  • 1 copy of Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles
  • 1 copy of Lily’s shawl pattern, Levens
  • chocolate
  • the cutest little handwritten note
If you're not familiar with Joli House, you should hop over and check out the gorgeous photography and hand knits that Amanda and Lily (who is an accomplished knitter/designer at the age of 12!) dish up.  It's a feast for the eyes.  (thanks again Amanda and Lily!  I love everything)

So...back to that basket of yarn.  Here's what I'm planning for the goodness in my basket:
I've already started on the seed stitch cowl, and I heard the dish cloth cotton whispering my name the other night.  It should be a great season of knitting.  How about you...what's on your next to knit list?