Thursday, March 24, 2011

Boden knock-off

When I was in PA for Christmas, my mom and I went shopping for clothes for her to get the kids. This plain purple t-shirt was on sale and while not my favorite I figured we can always use a shirt.

{imaginary picture of purple shirt before.}

She wore it a few times and in the meantime I saw these in the Mini Boden catalog (there were cuter ones than the chicken; there was a cat and another thing that was super-cute).

{click on the link, I don't feel like saving and uploading.}

So I decided to make my own using the same method for the number t-shirts.

I printed out a flower shape and cut it out.

I ironed the fusible web onto some purple-patterned fabric I have and traced the flower onto that.

I cut out the flower, ironed it onto the shirt, and zig-zag stitched in purple around it.

I add a yellow circle to the middle in the same fashion.

You have to ignore how cute they are and look closely at her shirt. This was my first attempt to take a picture of her new quilt; you'll notice the other ones are better staged.

I love that this is so cute and so much cheaper than an actual Boden shirt.
And it rescues the plain purple shirt from being, you know, plain purple.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quit your bellyaching, you anemic worm

Walking back from the dining common with Diana and Jan, Diana admonished us with "Quit your bellyaching, you anemic worm."

I promptly fell over laughing.

She claimed she meant to say "quit bellyaching you sickle-cell anemia" (being, of course, a pre-med major), but what she really said was so much funnier; it entered the pantheon of frequently-used inside-joke catch phrases.

I still say it sometimes to Craig and laugh to myself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Am I the only one . . .

Who can't stand this

and has to do this?

Who wonders what was going on in a child's head to do this?

But then that (above) explains this:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beth Moore

Praying God's Word by Beth Moore was one of the books I wanted to read this year (it's only March and I've finished* or at least begun** some of my goals/"resolutions" for the year . . . it's like, I've finally learned to cut myself a break [it's OK to not do it all] and I'm willing to go ahead and do something, even if it's not everything. Which weirdly*** enough is what this post is going to be about).

*finished: headboard, Testimony, playing Harry Potter

**started: painting bedroom furniture, Praying God's Word

*** in that, I planned where the post was going but not the introduction and the intro fits in with where I wanted to go.

To me, Beth makes things accessible. She gives simple steps that lead to the big, overwhelming things that I think the Christian life "has" to be about. I'm about halfway through the book; I read the chapters and pray the prayers. Some of the chapters I go back to daily to pray, and as I go on I see how some are more pertinent now than others. Yesterday I read "Overcoming Food-Related Strongholds" and thought, I'll read this but it's not really where I am right now. But that chapter caught me off guard with the most encouraging and blessing-giving sentences yet.

To quote (p. 151):
I'd like for you to see one more very important truth encased in 1 Thessalonians 5:24. Thank goodness the Word says, "The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it." You and I cannot get our bodies and souls under continued control. Cease trying to "get yourself together" and be disciplined in your own strength. It is useless. We might make it work for a little while, but failure is imminent."

I've been struggling with not being disciplined with my "free" time and "doing the right things" and all that . . . what I have to do vs. what I want to do vs. what I think I should do . . . I get anxiety-ridden about it and don't do anything at all.

Then I blame it on Bob Jones for not teaching us to think and for having rules all the time about everything that provided external structure but not an ounce of inner discipline. I feel like I'm so old to be at such loose ends about what to do . . . everyone else seems to know what to do.

But this book, this chapter . . . it's not up to me. I don't have to get myself together. She used the exact words that I berate myself with.

She continues on p. 152:

"Victorious living is not an instant arrival."

Which is, of course, what I want. Or was taught was attainable (whether it's my perfectionist personality or the message I heard at school and home, or a combination of these): getting everything right at the same time and then things will stay that way with little effort on my part. Like a recipe: put all the right ingredients in and you end up with something perfect that doesn't have to be remade or redone.

"A daily recommitment is not to ensure that we'll never fail, but to help us develop the mentality that every singel day isa new day. A new chance to follow Christ. Obedience to God is not some diet we suddenly blow. It is soemthing to which we recommit every single day."

" Stop feeling guilty becasue you don't ahve any self-discipline on your own."

Those words stopped me. WOW. I know she's specifically talking about self-discipline regarding food, but how those words apply to me and my feelings of guilt. I've been saying in my head, "what is wrong with me that I don't have self-discpline?"

She also talks about how Joshua's challenge of "choose you this day whom you will serve" is not a one and done thing . . . choose this day. "The concept of rededicating our lives to Christ only at infrequent revivals or conferences can prove disappointing and defeating."

For me, this made it possible for me to take a deep breath. This day is committed to the Lord. He will show me the plan for today. I don't have to trudge under fear and guilt, dragged down in failure and inconsistency, unable to live up to what I think I should already have attained. It's not all up to me. I'm learning to be OK with life as a process and journey. God doesn't fault me for being on a journey, for being a work in progress. He's not resentfully, grudgingly helping because I can't seem to get it right and it's taking too long.

He loves me. He invites me to walk with Him, to, as Beth put it earlier in the book, "dialogue" with him about the areas where I'm weak and vulnerable to failure. Everyday I can recommit to to Him, trust His plan (the big, overarching plan for my life and His creation but also just "the plan" for the day. Breakfast. Bus. Cleaning. Quilting. Whatever.)

Victorious living is living, not a finish line. And I'm thankful for that.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Just so you Know

It's been a week since I posted? Where has the time gone?

I had a big rush of ambition and words last week. Then I got a stomach bug that wiped me out for 2.5 days. So the words stayed in my head.

I really enjoyed the sitting in bed and reading uninterrupted while Craig was home on Sunday.

I did not enjoy dragging my energy-deficient self around in a semblance of normal behavior because life must go on regardless of whether or not I can think about eating without gagging.

But that's all over and things are slowly getting back to normal . . . whatever that is.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quilt How-To

I will tell you how to get your own quilt like this in 5 easy steps.

1. Marry someone whose mother quilts.

2. Start before this child is even born, asking for a quilt for the older child to "match his room," setting up a pattern where the grandchildren get quilts when they move into big beds.

3. Fall in love with a pattern in a magazine and stash that nugget of knowledge in the part of your brain that remembers random, non-essential pieces of information.

4. When this child moves into a "big girl bed," ask her (at the quilter's request) what she wants her quilt to be. Pass on the answer: Pink and brown and green with flowers and butterflies and tubas. Ignore her and ask for this pattern.

5. Be blown away by the amazing results.

Sorry, I guess that doesn't really help you.

She's amazing, isn't she (my mother-in-law)?

That first picture? I used the tripod and the manual setting, just like Layla told me to. I did for the rest but that first one, especially, I'm really happy with how it turned out.
Thank you, Nana.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


After I finished at BJU, I got a job (through the BJU career office, whatever it's called) at a Christian school in Bloomsburg, PA. Bloomsburg Christian School.

I started in the middle of the year since I finished in December. I had no idea what I was doing. For awhile I lived with a family in the church, until I got a tiny, tiny apartment. I taught 7th and 8th grade English, 7th PA History, 8th grade Bible, and I'm sure other things. That's only 4 classes. There was another junior high teacher and we team-taught, so she did science and math.

Did I mention I had no idea what I was doing? Pretty much every night I'd come home from school and plan out the next day.

I was there for a year and a half, finished out the 97-98 school year (lest you think I lost my mind and left in the middle of a school year), and moved to New England.

Turns out, the 8th grade class that I started with thought they had gotten their former teacher fired. They were very full of themselves, in that rebelliously entitled way Christian school kids can be, and thought they could send me on my way, too.

I was quite busy being a good BJ graduate and trying to figure out what in the world was going on with a place that wanted to know if I could say the books of the Bible in the interview, didn't believe in Christmas trees, and talked about being a B.A.P.T.I.S.T.

One day, the students were talking about something, who knows, and I said something, and one of the kids was replied, "I'm telling the principal," and I laughed and said "Go ahead, what do you think they'll do, fire me?"

A few weeks later I found out that they did indeed think they'd been instrumental in the previous teacher leaving and I laughed to myself that I'd said what I said not knowing what had gone on in the fall.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sally's got a blog!

Well, I found the camera. On the bottom shelf of the former-train-table-now-Lego table, on the back side, near the window, not where one could see it when walking in the door.

That is not one of my usual places to put it. I was taking pictures of Legos for a post and forgot that I had been doing so.

I think maybe the lead paint had addled my brain (that's another project I want to post).

Anyway. I was going to post pictures of Kate's new quilt (gorgeous, you'll want to protect your keyboard from the drool) but the camera battery died. I'm charging it now and will upload them later*.

Last fall (to change subjects sans transition), I was invited to do a study with my mentor/friend (she's got a new merea so now we're just friends and I can't tell you how abundantly blessed I am to have her in my life; I'm a little embarrassed to go on about her because I know she'll read this but she's been so amazingly kind and giving and God has really used her to encourage, inspire, and motivate me). We read The Ministry of Motherhood and it was very good. We did feel like she painted a super-rosy picture of her children, especially the one who was like 8 in the book and talked like a 24-yr-old grad student but overall, a blessing.

Just today, this link was posted on facebook:

First time obedience, really?

It's a little long and the comments are even longer; I didn't read all the comments. I struggle with the mothering thing; I like results that I can see. And there's not instant results with this. We have good days and bad days. I see progress and regression. We get something under control and something else comes up. They both can be so needy at the same time and then they can play wonderfully for whole 10-minute segments at a time.

But this post let me take a deep breath and trust that God has it all in HIS hands. He's made my children unique and exactly the way he wants them, and He's made me (you guessed it) unique and exactly the way He wants me. Besides the good/bad day balance, the clean/dirty house balance, (etc., etc.) there's also the balance of me grabbing control and then releasing it to God, who never let it out of His hands anyway.

Since not sure where I'm going with this, here's a list of a few things that stood out to me on my first reading:

1. There is no formula (I mean, I know this, but that doesn't stop me from looking). I want formulas. I want to do steps 1, 2, and maybe 3 and have my kids eat the right quantity of appropriate food. I want to mix the right steps and have a clean house all.the.time. And certainly there's got to be a formula where I end up with compliant children who don't get on my nerves even if I'm tired.

2. I like her gracious writing style. I like her reminders to understand my children's developmental stages and their limits. If my expectations are not age-appropriate, I'm going to drive myself crazy punishing them for something they're not capable of doing.

3. She had a blog? I love it. I'm going to have to toss out my to-do list and read it while Kate tears the house apart and my arms fall asleep.

4. Yay! Heartfelt Discipline will be back in print this summer!

Well, my wrists hurt. I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I feel like it's a super un-trendy thing to have, like it was the thing to have in the late-80's (Craig pointed out that that was the start of personal computers and everyone had to learn how to use them ergonomically so that's why, in my mind, CTS is linked with that time period) and now the trendy medical issue is a concussion.

Not that I want one of those.

The physical therapist told me to look up online about correct posture/etc. when on the computer. You mean slouched on the couch is not good for me?

The point of these last paragraphs is, I want to wrap this up with some pithy, clever statement, but it's not coming to me and my train of thought keeps being interrupted by the "mother polar bear/panda bear (kind of creature that buries the mama/breaks the nest)" A.K.A. Kate, who is hatching an egg (I think) and now my writst hurt so I have to stop.

*are you keeping track? That's three (3) posts I have planned. Where are my carpal tunnel braces?