Wednesday, December 29

*snow dog and those ears!

This is Frayja. This is her first snow, probably her last too! She loved the snow. Running took on new meaning as she sped through the powdery snow fetching sticks or simply fighting the snow to later take a bite out of it.

Her ears are amazing.  We can not for the life of us understand why someone would crop a Danes ears. I mean, it does look stately, however we get much joy out of Frayja's floppy ears.  She is 9 months old now and weighs about 115 pounds.  She has probably reached her full height now but will hopefully put on some more weight in muscle or just a bit of body fat.  While she is just a dog, we are greatful for her companionship. 

*white Christmas after all!

We have been in Florida for one month now and the temps have been way below normal since our second day of arriving.  Not having packed for freezing temperatures, I headed off to Walmart to purchase a few sweat shirts or something to keep us warmer.  I was even going to pick up a pair of gloves for each of us, but NO. You can find beach toys in the stores here but not winter gloves. 

We drove back to North Carolina just a day or so after Christmas so I could finish packing the house here so we can get our last bit of things down to Florida.  Upon arriving to what we have called home for 24 years, we were greeted with a snowy cold white Christmas!! It was pretty awesome. I mean if  you are going to have cold weather, lets have some snow!

Monday, December 27

We're Expecting!: Urgent Prayer Request

Click on the link below to see the request and blog of my dear friend:

We're Expecting!: Urgent Prayer Request

Friday, December 24

*going over the bridge again, and again, and again..

So how about if I need to go to any kind clothing store, computer store, major chain etc I have to travel over BRIDGES that cross MILES of WATER to get there.  Alright, alright. I hear you.  You are saying.. and??!  You see when I was growing up my mother had a fear of crossing bridges.  In fact, now that I sit here and think of it, it was probably just this one bridge that we sometimes crossed quite by mistake that caused her to be nervous.  Perhaps my mother wasn't fearful of the bridge after all; perhaps it was the location of town that she wasn't familiar with, the many turns that she would have to make to get back on the right road, then cross the bridge to get back to the right  place.  Ok, so maybe she was fearful of the bridge.  All I am sure of is this.. I have a fear of crossing bridges. Bridges with land under them, bridges with water under them, bridges with anything under them. 

About three or four years ago I was traveling to Georgia to visit family and I took an exit just past the Santee Cooper Lakes (pretty lengthy bridge) to get gas.  Upon getting back on I-95 I took the NORTH ramp instead of the South ramp... Yep, you guessed it. I had to cross the bridge again, take an exit to get back on I-95 South and go over the bridge AGAIN!  I know that God was speaking to me during that time. There after, I have done great with bridges (me and God). 

 This however, is testing me. It isn't testing God of course, but me - so much!  It isn't even that I don't trust God - I hope that isn't what it means. I will likely be crossing these bridges and ones like them a lot. I am sure that I will get over this silliness sooner or later.  (BTW.. both of my hands were gripping the wheel tighter than it should have likely been gripped.. Henry took the pictures, not me)

(this photo taken from google, not my own image)  This is one of the other bridges I have to cross.

Prayers welcomed regarding my issue concerning bridges.

Thursday, December 23

*2010 12-N-12 Quilt Challenge Last Submission (almost)

So somewhere before Thanksgiving and now, a day or two before Christmas, I lost myself!

So, without further ado.. well with some (you will see what I mean), I must present to you the WiNnEr of the 2010 Quilt Challenge.  Many beautiful quilts were pieced with much love over the last twelve months, so were given deep consideration and never made it to the drawing board, some partially pieced but not completed, some set in but not quilted - this is the story of a quilter.  I will be posting the November and December submissions after Christmas but for now the winner of the $100 gift card goes to Jenny!  Jenny actually upped her odds in the drawing by having the most finished projects over the last year and it paid off. Way to go!  You can actually see her latest project by visiting her quilting blog at Rosy Crafts.

This Challenge has been fun and encouraging to me as the months of 2010 rolled by.  We will blast off in 2011 in February with another Quilting Challenge. Please send me your ideas, suggestions etc on a fun challenge we can all encourage each other with.  Stay tuned for a post in January with the last submissions from this year. (Ladies, if you have some projects that you finished since your last submission, please go ahead and send them to me so I can include them in the Jan. post!)   Thanks to each of you quilters for participating and keeping me challenged along the way! 

Thursday, December 9

*feeling the love

You know the books by Gary Chapman on love languages, I read them years ago and have tried to figure out my love language. I think at 30, *wink* I have finally figured out that what speaks love to me is acts of service.  This is one of my favorite ways to show love to people who are important in my life, I also love to give gifts to show love, but it is not one of my top ways of receiving love. In fact, gifts is on the bottom of the list. Check out this great website to find out what your love language is, and have your family members discover their also so you can love them the way they best receive.

Firstly, Henry himself is a gift to me. His birth came 8 and 1 half long years after our first son was born. He is a treasure and we are grateful for the blessing of this second son!

Since we homeschool, we have the liberty of taking the some days off to learn some on job training that will help him in his practical life in years to come.  Henry has been a major help to us.  On this day, removal of this floor was a gift to me, an act of service that I am grateful for. 
As Henry worked on the laundry room flooring, he lamented that he had to rip out this old crumbly green flooring from the 70's because he thought it was beautiful.  This flooring was under other flooring that had been laid on top of it years ago instead of being ripped up. On this day Henry delivered another gift of love, another act of service.
He chose his room colors and began working on this with some prodding here and there but he did the work which was a great help since I have a large amount of surface that needs to be covered with paint.  This act of service was something he wanted to do to help me with the paint load.  He has had some jobs laid on him that he may not necessarily be thrilled about, but some he has volunteered. He is learning so much that he can take on with him in his adult life.  I am finding myself thankful.

I mentioned yesterday that Henry had trimmed a Crape Myrtle bush last week. I suggested that he keep the straight, nice limbs and branches to make rustic furniture.  He did as I recommended and stored the limbs and branches in "his section" of the workshop.  The last few days, IN FREEZING weather, he has been in the workshop designing and building a rustic bench for ME.  It is a gift, and I am thrilled.  He knows I love rustic things, it really blesses me that he is so sweet and tender to craft a gift for me on my birthday!  
He has never made one before, I think he did a great job for never having had read about designs or how to make a rustic bench.  He is already making plans for the next one with a few added changes for more stability in a quality bench. He loves working with his hands, always has.  Another gift, for which I am truly grateful!

Wednesday, December 8

*come lets take a stroll

Today, the first time in weeks, I got back in my exercise routine. I took a 3 mile jog down the lovely road our home situated off of.  

Here are some of the sights I took in along the way. Some made me smile and reflect on my gratefulness even more and some made me laugh and wonder what they were thinking.  Enjoy!

Alright, so this wasn't on my run today.. but it is pretty isn't it? Henry trimmed one of the Crape Myrtles for us and clipped this off then beheld the beauty!  He wanted me to capture the beauty of the leaf with an image; so glad I did! 

This is the entrance to our house!

One of the neighbors on the road we live on. 

Neighbor. Uh.. are you getting the drift yet?

Most of the neighbors have horses AND there is a equine refuge right across the road as well.  It is a haven for rescued horses, until placed in a permanent home.
This was what I was so puzzled about. I thought at first is was a whimsical bird house, but no.  The mail box was closed on both ends. (I looked)

*at home

Although very little of our house hold goods are here with us in the Florida house it is starting to feel like home. We all drove down on Tuesday of last week, it hardly seems like we have been here for only 7 short days. Eric flew back Friday of last week, so Henry and I have been working very hard. We have, (I use "we" loosely as far as the flooring is concerned): taken all the baseboards up in the dining room, kitchen, laundry room, living room, den and the bedrooms. Floors has been removed from: kitchen, living room, dining room, den, laundry room, and all three bedrooms.  I have painted kitchen, living room, 2 bedrooms, and all the trim. Also, painted both bathrooms and the trim in those. Henry has been doing an awesome job the last day or so painting his room.  I have used almost 12 tubes of dap, dapping where needed ( I like dap!).  We have cleaned every window jam, every window, power washed screens, power washed the covered area by the pool, power washed the pool area.  We have worked a TON in the yard, sawing dead trees down, sawing large and small branches where needed.  Henry worked tirelessly one day on the roof cleaning all the gutters out which must have had years of decayed leaves in them.  Ok.. so you get the picture.. the list really does go on for a bit longer.. but I will spare you.

I am feeling quite at home here. I ordered these boots a month or so ago from American Eagle because they were 30% off with free shipping. I like them. They have become a part of my every day wear even though I had initially purchased them with skirt wear in mind. They are rugged enough to wear every day I am outside working on the beautiful country home that God has blessed our family with.
This is the real me.

Tuesday, November 30

*rain, rain, go away

Personally rain is my favorite of all weather! When others are balking at the rain whether it be spring, summer, fall or icy winter; I am loving it! My dear husband always tells me it is because I don't have to be out in it.

It has been raining here for two days off an on, making it near impossible for our dane to get outside and frolic. She loves to be outside running free on her new home front. Today marks the second day of no running, no stimulation and very little attention because my attention is on painting, ripping up flooring, mopping, cleaning .. you get the idea!

But she did find an activity, TOILET PAPER DESTRUCTION that tuckered her out.  This is what happens when your puppy doesn't get out for two days, other than potty time.  Today she destroyed: a roll of toilet paper, a cleaning brush, a sandal (frankly I have always hated those sandals - but I did scold her), a flip flop  and a pork femur.  We are hoping for a clear sky tomorrow so we can all get outside for a while!

Monday, November 29

*a lesson in patience

patience [which is tireless and long-suffering, and has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper.  Patience is a virtue, did your mother ever tell you that? It is a virtue that I am sadly, often lacking. When I think on the meaning of patience I am not sure I ever posses this at all. 

We just purchased an older home on 6 acres of beautifully wood land.  It is a property that has been neglected to a degree for the past few years because the man of the house has been traveling due to work. As you might imagine the old oak trees have limbs that needed to be trimmed, fallen branches that have basically rotted away right where they fell, handi-work that was rushed when done or perhaps not even finished.

The age of the home itself comes with some potential problems which we knew when we signed on the dotted line. I am going to have patience down very well by the time it is all said and done. Patience to endure a leak from the air conditioner condenser pan that has caused the flooring to buckle in several rooms (flooring is coming up it is not about the floor), patience to wait on our house in NC to sell so we can use our equity to fix all the things that need to be fixed here. Patience and I aren't on speaking terms most of the time, but I do hope to become her best friend.

On a positive note this is my favorite room in the house. (not that learning patience is negative...)
this is the hall powder room

I LOVE the white tiles on the floor as well as the others on the bathroom walls. I love the cold and hot knobs. It reminds me of my grandparents big ole farm house.  I am a bath kind of gal.

Do you see the size of that tub? It is grand. OK. So I know they make them bigger, with all the bells and whistles but I am not so sure they are better. I watched a show not long ago with a couple doing a remodel of their older home. Amazingly I watched them sledge hammer their cast iron tub to pieces and destroy it so they could put in a different one. I know.. different strokes.. for different folks.
(BTW.. my next favorite room in our new home is the kitchen because of the cabinet space.  Compared to our home in NC, I have 5 times as many cabinets if not more. Storage space is NO problem in this home.)

Sunday, November 28

*young quilter

A couple of years ago when our niece came to visit us during her spring break, we made an easy quilt that she could give as a gift to a her teachers' baby. We did a simple turning twenty pattern since Kierstyn wanted to have a huge part in the sewing. Turning Twenty is easy and sewing the long straight lines was quick and simple! We put it together in no time at all. She did a large portion of the piecing herself and I set it in and quilted it.

Here she is back at her home in Florida on the morning she gave the quilt to her teacher who was moving from the area.

Kierstyn signed the back of the quilt and dated it as any good quilter would. 

Although the children in her class had nothing to do with the making of the quilt, Kierstyn decided to have the other children in her class to sign the back of the quilt as a remembrance for her teacher.  Each student surely missed the teacher and the baby greatly.   The baby was as much a part of the class as each student pictured above. 

Kierstyn and I have also made one other quilt that was designed for her dollies.  She will probably get some more sewing in this spring break or this summer when she comes to visit for a while.