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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Desire

I was taking a shower last night and thinking about how badly I wanted my 2 older kids to come home for Christmas, not necessarily on Christmas Day, but somewhere close.  How I would do almost anything to see them and hold them in my arms.  But, alas, I can do nothing but pray and wait.   I cannot make them come to me.  Then I thought about how God must feel this way toward the many who He wants to come home to  Him.  He's there for everyone - waiting with open arms to hold them and protect them in the shadow of His wing.  How He loves them so much and desires with all His heart for them to come to Him.  But, alas, He will not make them come.  He just waits.

Now, let me be VERY clear on this - my older children, Jessica and Robby, have in no way rejected me.  I just know how much I want them to be here.  I love them and they love me, so we are not estranged in any way.  Those thoughts and feelings, though, made me think of our Heavenly Father.  If you are one of those kids who have not talked to your Heavenly Father lately - take this time to do just that.  He's waiting right here!  Arms open wide!  He loves you and desires you. Give Him a call this Christmas.  He wants to hear from you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Interview With God

I just watched this video called “An Interview with God”. Something that really stood out was “a person is not rich who has the most , but the one who needs the least”. That really struck home with me. Also, something to the effect of we spend so much time worrying about tomorrow that we live neither in the present nor the future. We have scaled down our life a lot since I lost my job, almost a year ago. But I have experienced how God does provide our DAILY bread.

My goal for 2012 is to live in the present moment – not to gulp down my coffee, but to sit and enjoy the smell and taste of it. To see my children as the gift they are and, when they interrupt my spinning or knitting, to stop and play with them. Too soon they won’t ask me to play or read to them or hold them. I want to take a walk and just enjoy the beauty that is around me. To look at my husband like I looked at him when I first met him. To not take forgranted that he will be here tomorrow. To enjoy the talent that God gave me to create beautiful fibers and yarns and not look at it ever as a job, or a chore. To love the Lord and respect the choice that He made to die such a horrible death for me. To not ignore Him in my day, but include Him on everything. To take care of my body and not bring disease on myself by lack of exercising and bad eathing habits. To just enjoy life and be content with what I have for the day.

We are looking at Christmas a bit differently this year.  With money very tight, our family, kids included, are coming up with alternatives to normal Christmas toys.  Yesterday, Ben decided he would like as his Santa gift, an art party.  So we are going to invite some of his friends over for an afternoon of creating art.  Gracie is so content with what she has, she isn't in that "I want" stage yet.  Although, she is really enjoying preparing for Christmas.  She and Ben decorated our tree almost entirely by themselves!

Life is good in the ETSY shop.  Lots of sales and special orders!  Ben created his first yarn.  He got my fiber scrap box out and carded up a bat and then spun it!  It's really nice. 
Isn't it pretty?  I thought he did an excellent job.  His second one, I'm actually using as a border for a scarf.  I'll post that as soon as I'm finished.  I'm using his yarn on the ends and I'm knitting with roving for the body of the scarf.  It is very interesting.  Almost looks woven.  I believe it may be a Christmas present.  Not sure yet. 

I made peanut butter pie for Thanksgiving and boy was it good!  You take peanut butter, cream cheese, cool whip and mix that all together and put into a graham cracker crust.  Then top it  with chocolate syrup.  YUM!   Here is the recipe.  It's from Aunt Bees Delightful Desserts; p.158 Miss Crump's Peanut Butter Pie:
1 cup peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons softened butter
8 ounces whipped topping, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 9 ounce chocolate or graham cracker crust
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, optional

Blend first 6 ingredients until smooth.  Pour into pie crust.  Refrigerate overnight or until pie is cold throughout.  Garnish with peanut butter cups, if desired.  I swirled a chocolate topping over the top, or you could swirl Hersey's syrup over the top.  Either way, the bottom is what counts and boy is it yummy!

Enjoy the preparations for Christmas with your family.  May God bless you with His peace and comfort.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Decluttering and Loving It!

I spent all of last week, well between spinning special orders :) , decluttering!  We were living in total chaos - piles everywhere.  Everytime you walked down the hall, something would fall off the bookshelf.  "Mama, where are my ....?" was a daily occurence.  "Kim, do I have any clean underwear?"  Boxes of fiber filled our bedroom.  The kid's playroom was so cluttered with toys that they didn't even play in there.  I dreaded everytime I had to go into the pantry, because I had to step over and on stuff in the floor.  And if I got a can off the shelf, 2 more would fall on the floor.  I had about 47 jars of pickles I had canned from 07 that had turned to mush.  My dishwasher and table were catch all places for more piles.  YIKES!  So, last week, I don't know if it's menopause setting in, or just the good Lord chastising me for this total failure in being a keeper at home, I decided "THAT"S IT!"  I wished I had taken before and after pics, but I didn't.  We have given 3 carloads of stuff to Habitat for Humanity and thrown out 2 truckloads of trash.  Now, I am seeing the light!!!  I love it!!  I can relax, well as much as I can relax!  When Gene came home and saw the bedroom with no fiber boxes or homeschool stuff, he started running from one wall to the other - jumping and skipping around like a school boy, saying "I can walk , I can walk, I can walk!" 
I moved the kids bedroom into the playroom and got rid of a lot of the toys they don't play with anymore.  They love it!  They are spending more time in there creating and reading!  Who would have thought??  There clothes are all folded and organized and Gracie comes out every morning dressed and ready for the day! 
I made their bedroom my fiber room and homeschool storage.  That room is a mess right now, but that's the only one!  I will tackle that this week.  Then deep cleaning and we are all ready for the holidays!!  
Pantry - note floor and organization of canned goods!
Cleared top!

No clutter!

My linen closet.  It has a floor!  I haven't seen that in years!  This is a closet where you would pull something out and close the door quickly by leaning into it with all your weight until it latched!

If I can do it, you can do it!!!  And I can't begin to say how much joy and peace come with the hard work.  Word of warning:  Your home will look much worse in this process before it looks better.  Decluttering is a messy business, but so worth it.  God made us women to be keepers of our homes and that is to be taken seriously.  When we have a clean home we bring honor and our Lord and to our family. 

Take care!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Oh my gosh, it's NOVEMBER!!!

Only 51 days til Christmas!!!  Where does the time go???  I declare every year time is faster and faster.   Why is that?  When you are a child and teenager, time creeps..then BAM!  What happened?  Kids, life, busyness?  Oh well, I don't care for the speeded up version of life very much.

I am in the process of spinning dog hair for a customer.  It is so beautiful.  It's from a Huskie and, while it is short, it is making beautiful yarn.  Unlike the matted mess I had been working on and am now expecting back from the fiber mill any day now. 

Homeschooling is going  Ben and I were having some attitude issues in math, but it's amazing what 2 superhero figures and a scrabble can do to boost enthusiasm!  I was the bad guy in one corner, and Iron Man was Ben's figure in the opposite corner.  The star square in the middle was the city I was trying to take over.  Iron Man had to beat me to it, or doom and gloom.  We are working on addition and subtraction with 3 digit numbers.  Everytime he answered a problem in his workbook correctly, he got to move the number of ones.  For instance, 100 + 209 = 309, so he got to move 9.  If he missed it, I got to move 9.  If he took longer than 1 minute to answer, I got to move a square.  It was great.  He made it to the city first and I had only advanced 4 squares!  Thank the good Lord for the inspiration!

We are doing pretty great on our budget.  I would still like to cut the food cost back some more.  I spent 64 last week and 46 this week.  I would like to make it to 25 or 30/week.  If I would sit down and do a plan, that would probably do the trick!  I need to get back into that. 

Next week, after I get my special orders done, is going to be dedicated to decluttering in a major way!  I'm going to document our progress.  We have wayyyyyyyy to much stuff!  Especially toys and kid's clothes.  Yikes!

Well, back to spinning!  Take care!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hace Mucho Friooooooooooooooooooooooo!

We just had Spanish class, Can you tell?? 
It is very cold outside!!!  Yikes!  I opened the door to hand Ben and Grace the pig food and was smacked by Jack Frost!
Sitting inside with the heat cranked up and sipping on some Chai tea.  Yummy.  Ben, Gracie and I made Pumpkin Muffins this morning.  I had some leftover brown sugar and cinnamon topping.  So, I put it in my Chai Tea with some fresh cream.  Yummy!

Pumpkin Muffin recipe was very good and very easy!

God has sent me the sweetest gift in the form of a customer.  Her name is Kelli and she is an awesome photographer!  She happened upon my shop in ETSY and voila!   She is a source of encouragement for me right now.  Thank You, Lord, for sending her my way!

Speaking of my shop, I have created some great holiday yarns, and have sold most of them!  This one, will be a particular challenge for someone, but I can't wait to see something knitted from it!

I also had some really great customers come into my shop last weekend.  I am working on a baby bootie and hat set for a little boy.  I need to get started spinning this alpaca I have had for 3 months also!  She should have never told me she didn't need it until Christmas!  I also have some llama from this same customer that smelled like stinky socks, but with a few months of being left outside, I think it's much better now.  I'm considering rinsing it in a lavendar rinse, but then it may smell like stinky feet soaked in lavender!  I also want to delve into that box of Shetland that my mom sent to me and I have a box of Angora goat fiber that my cousin sent!  Wow!  I am so blessed!!!!!!!!!!

I am taking the Fall challenge present by Courtney at Women Living Well.  I have my candle lit to remind us, particularly me, to be peaceful in word and deed.  I have cleared off my clutter area - a countertop in the kitchen, and am working on a filling a big box for donation to Habitat for Humanity!  I hate clutter, but I have so much of it!  Clutter = Chaos and that produces stress and no peace!  So, check out the challenge.  This is a great blog, too.

Grace and Ben are doing great in homeschool.  Grace, in particular, really enjoys it and doesn't want to stop!  UI am using Rod and Staff with her - the ABC series.  She gets to start speech therapy in 4 more weeks!  She told me the other day when we were practicing saying a word, "I can hear it, but I can't say it!"  She is doing much better though.  
Ben is doing his final project in the Thomas Kincaid art class he's been taking.  He put together a still life that says something about him.  Here it is:

Well, I need to get back to homeschool and back to spinning!! 

May God rain down His incredible blessings on each of you!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fried Pies

What a great treat - Homemade Fried Pies!  It seems like I have made 100 over the past few days - not really 100, but a lot.  Tonight, I made some for dessert - peaches from my canning efforts from a month ago.  Yummy!  Here is the recipe I use.  It's quick and easy and the dough will keep in the fridge for days!  Good for breakfast and snacks, too!

So, we had an adventure and I have no pics, for which you may be glad!  My husband and our great neighbor and best friend, Mike, butchered our first pig!  I had been praying for a freezer to put the meat in, as ours has been broken just about ever since we gave our spare one away!  Anyway, butchering day came and no freezer, so I got rid of almost everything from our freezer - the kids loved eating the ice cream!  I filled it with sausage, which I made with a food processor!  It was yummy!  Then we canned about 8 jars of meat.  I happened to check facebook and a message from a dear friend, who knew nothing about my freezer prayers, asking me if I needed a freezer!  Praise the Lord!  He is good!  So, I now have roasts, ribs and bacon in my new freezer!!!!!  I'm ready for piggy number 2 in the winter. 
This is Gracie and Pork Chop, the one who got away! 

Can you tell I'm about to turn 50!?
I can be an official Red Hat!
Shop news: Got in lots of Christmas yarns!  I'm trying to finish my entrelac scarf and it's coming along beautifully.  Also has spun 2 skeins of Red Hat Yarn.  Jessica, my oldest daughter, was up yesterday with all of her knitting projects.  She has a renewed interest!  Yea!!!  She's also one of my best customers! 
Check out our new products at Simply Homespun!

We are still finding ourselves financially challenged, but in a way, it is the best thing that has happened!  We are depending on God for our daily needs and He is providing!  Gene and I are both working hard and God is faithful to His word!  It is so awesome to experience His generosity and love daily.  I am really watching our electricity and water usage and we haven't thrown our food like we used to do.  We are eating leftovers and I'm creating new dishes from leftovers.  It is really fun and challenging.  The kids are getting on board.  Ben is really thinking about ways to save and is learning at a very early age to be content whether abased or abounding.  What an incredible thing  for kids to learn!  I'm learning it at 49 and it's not near as easy!    We are using the online library for Tennessee called R.E.A.D.S.  to save on gas.  Going to our library costs us about $7.00 in gas!  We used to go once a week!   You can check out digital books and audio for up to 28 days.  They have a wonderful selection of children's books.  Also, this is StoryLine Online is a wonderful website.  Celebrities read children's books.  One thing I have learned is that $20.00 here and $20.00 there soon add up to $100.00!  How wasteful and not a good steward of God's money I have been!  Another good thing that has come from our challenges.  In case my family reads this - WE ARE NOT STARVING AND WE HAVE HEAT, LIGHTS, PHONE AND GAS!!  SO DON'T WORRY!  I love you!!

Ben is learning keyboarding.  I found a really good course for him online.  It is free!  Peter's Online Typing Course is the name of the site. 

Gracie is sick, so I will be staying home again from church.  Last week it was Ben.  So far, no sickness for mama!  Thank You, Lord! 

Take care and may God bless you all richly!