Tuesday, March 30, 2010

adjusting.

we've moved. 94% of the house is together. the garage is a nightmare, and anyone who didn't know where something went put it in what will be my sewing room. awesome.
we won't have internet till the 1st. so, you'll hear more from me then....

Friday, March 26, 2010

repurposing.

i am not good at seeing something for other than what it is. i have several friends who can brilliantly take something old and recreate magic. not me.
however. i did do something (nothing original mind you) the other day. i had this outgrown sweater (really cute sweater, but why is it outlet clothes sometimes don't fit the way they should after a couple of uses?) that was just lying around needing a new home. well, instead of tossing it in a pile for thrifting, i decided to be thrifty with it.
said sweater- but it was a little longer (i took pictures after i started the project, but you get the idea)

these little "baby legs" were the arms of my sweater. they were TOO long, and do not stay on henry's legs at all. this was not the greatest achievement of my project. i threw them in my finish later box- i think after cutting off some of the length and adding some elastic in the top will help them stay put.
and now, for what i am super proud of:
a little baby hat.

just how cute is this baby? that is not a shameful plug for starbucks in the back- remember we are moving!
this was so stinkin' easy. i grabbed a hat of campbell's that i love, laid it on the sweater- the bottom lining up with the bottom of the sweater, and cut 2 equal panels. pinned the sides and top right sides together- sewed...a 1/2 inch seam allowance? actually, probably 3/8, because that's the edge of the presser foot, and helps me stay somewhat straight. flipped it right side out, and tied 2 little pieces of ribbon at the top. when i make this hat again (because i cut out pieces for a smaller version) i will probably sew the ribbon on before i tie it on- just to make it extra secure.
now only if henry like to wear hats. it was hard enough getting the picture taken.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

fixing a problem.


for mason's birthday (back in december) i had wanted to make her a birthday dress. i made her a cute one for her 1st birthday that she can actually still where today. and since i had made one for her first birthday, i just couldn't allow myself to break with tradition. so i found this pattern and decided it would be perfect! easy to layer, and would last longer as a shirt too. great.
now, i am not sure if i have told this story online already, so if i have, i am sorry to repeat myself. so i received my pattern, cut out the fabric and got ready to go (i should mention said sewing took place on december 24th- mason's birthday is on the 27th) and i literally had everything but the arms done with this dress when i realized just how easy it was. i had bought this red dress from old navy for mason to use as her christmas dress, and realized- hey, i have a lot of red fabric lying around (and nothing but free time... ha... ha... ha..) so why don't i stop working on the birthday dress and quickly make her a christmas dress, and save the 10 bucks?

it should be mentioned here, that one should never assume a pattern is easy until you have FINISHED the dress.
because there i sat, in tears, at my sewing machine with mason's almost finished red christmas dress and i had of course fumbled the sleeves (on both) and couldn't figure out how to get the elastic in the casings.
well sam convinced me to go to bed around 12:30 am (merry christmas) and i simply folded exposed edge over and hemmed it up. leaving mason with these horrid wings. i just hated it.
well, seeing that i have nothing but time on my hands these days (right, i'm not moving or nothing) i decided that it was time to fix this problem.
elastic thread i love you. i got my first taste working with elastic thread when i did this free dress from heather ross. i just loved what it did to the fabric and how easy it was to use.
so i threw (i mean, winded) some elastic thread in my bobbin and put the horrible winged sleeve under my needle, and.....
before- the sleeve is supposed to be closed with elastic, just like the neckline
the pictures really don't show how horrible they flapped around
after: beautiful shirred sleeves!
i am quite proud of myself, i have to admit.


and here is ms. mason in her birthday dress just a few days ago. see how perfect the sleeves fit on her? do you like the rest of her ensemble? she needs her wings for flying, not sure why the lei is being worn like she has arrows on her back, and yes- that is her stick. she is quite the character.

more past sewing things to come.... my little outlet from the mess i have in my home.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

westin. part 2.


nothing terribly glamorous in the gifts that i made for little westin. although, the one gift not pictured (a small little car seat blanket- that i just finished for henry, and by the way i HATE sewing with that silky soft fabric) was the one thing sierra picked up and went, "oh you made him a night night!" which is funny (for those of you who aren't laughing) because all of my kids have a special night night (well they each have 2) and the older 2 are insanely co-dependent on these blankets- i think they put linus to shame.

little booties out of amy butler's sewing book.... i think little stitches for little ones? i'm a bit to lazy to look for a link, or to even check out the actual title.
a set of burp cloths. they aren't to long or wide (they are folded here) but 2 of them have ribbon on the front, and i appliqu├ęd those words on in felt. why moo? cause remember, i went a little nutty with the cow theme.

and a little diaper/wipes pouch. no, the W isn't for "wipes" its for his name, but i guess it works either way. i absolutely love this fabric, the little cowboys are so cute.
i was absolutely mortified as a woman at the shower jumped from her seat to examine each of these gifts slowly. word to the wise- my sewing gifts are really better appreciated at a glance. a far glance.
far. like in the pictures of blogging world.
sewing has been a fun little outlet lately (even though these were sewn 2 weeks ago) so get ready for a mix of "i hate the process of packing" and sewing posts.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

discouraged.

today was just a rotten day masquerading as perfectly beautiful. it's nearly 11pm and i sit here typing, fairly discouraged. ok, completely discouraged. technically we are to be moving sometime during the next week. i haven't really announced this proudly to the world because i am not going to get excited until keys are put into my hands and i actually believe that it is all happening. i don't even really believe it after sending a hefty amount of money to our title company today. the move is stressing me out, mainly because it is magnifying my greatest weakness:
1) how much i hate mess
2) how much i hate money
3) how much i hate feeling out of control.

the mess is fairly disgusting. and its everywhere. the takeout containers from our late dinner are littering our living room, my sewing area is a fantastic mess, an odd assortment of outgrown kid clothes are just thrown on the floor, some breakfast, lunch, and all of the dinner mess extends from the living room to the kitchen.
and that is all of what i can see from where i am sitting.
out in the garage (oh the garage) is a disaster that could send me into a tizzy. and today i spent several hours (with my older kids happily playing in the sunny weather) trying to sort through baby clothes. 2 45 gallon sized garbage bags full of clothes to give away, and i still have 5 totes of kids clothes to sort through (and i really need to resort through the ones i already did go through and seriously downsize again- i mean how many 0-3 months onesies does a person need? not the 20 i am still clinging to). and that's just the kids clothes. there's an odd assortment of previously sorted donated clothes- yet they never were donated, there's all of my clothes, all the skinniest mary clothes, to the way to big maternity clothes, to the middle time. then there are unused toys.... oh, and so many other things i can't bear to think about it right now. oh, and i forgot the greatest part- the box elder bugs (the beetles as we call them) that infest our back yard go into the garage to hang out, mate, and die. there are literally thousands (i could take a picture) that just die flat on their back, and they are everywhere. it is disgusting. plus the neighborhood cats that sneak into the garage- one scarred me half to death when i took my last trip out there a few minutes ago.
needless to say, we could possibly close escrow on friday and i have packed 3 boxes.
3.
3 boxes for the house that today i found out would be costing a crazy amount more in water that i had ever dreamed possible. since its a duplex we are "buying" we have to pay 2 septic bills. that means before we even turn out the faucet we automatically are paying 121 bucks a month.
that sucks.
and they are full of books that won't be unpacked until we hang shelves. and judging by the undone projects that liter our garage, who knows when that will be.
and then the house needs money for us to be able to make it a little bigger in areas for our ever growing family, and that means i have to amend our taxes for the home buyer credit, and i somehow already amended it once for a mistake a made, and i can't stop and re amend with my original return, i would have to send 2 separate amendments to the irs.
am i not just begging them to stop by more door?
i find myself frustrated and angry. feeling overwhelmed by everything.
everything that God has blessed me with.
i mean, i have to many clothes- and so do the kids.
blessings.
we are most likely buying a house that has given us no complications during the entire process.
blessings.
we are getting money back on our taxes.
blessings.
and other small things, like my children playing happily together. and the weather being nice, answering a quite prayer i had barely made- desperate to wear skirts and hide the expansion of my thighs.
the next few weeks are going to be mad insane. henry turns 1 in 7 days, then campbell turns 4 right after that. somewhere in between there i need to finish their birthday gifts, mason's Easter dress, another baby shower gift, another birthday gift. and a good friend from florida will be in redding, so i need to drive the 3 hours with the kids and spend time with her and her family. our truck that won't smog needs to be driven and retired (before the 31st), the yard we have viciously neglected needs to be cleaned, our house needs to be moved, the new house needs to be cleaned, this house needs to be bleached down.
and yesterday when i went to open our van door (it wasn't on) to grab some febreeze (mason won't stop taking her diapers off in her crib, and this one was dirty) well the wipers started going.
that can't be good.
my life is full and busy.
and yet in all of this i know i need to find the moments to see what God is doing in my life, and how i can better serve Him.
and really, it could start by not locking myself in the bathroom screaming un-Jesus like things in my brain. several times during the day.
but instead, loving my kids (it always comes back to that, because it is the most important thing, and i don't understand why it is so hard) and enjoying what God has given me, remembering that these overwhelming feelings of anger and frustration and hate at the world, don't come from Him. and that its not through my strength that He is glorified, but through my weakness, because anyone who knows me knows that i cannot do this by myself, that i must rely on Him.
and that was the tiny gem i learned from my wonderful realtor last night as we signed our life away.... i mean, signed papers for our house.
your mom is the best Becky.
each day is a day the Lord has made, i need to rejoice, and be glad in it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

westin.



sewing and baby showers. two things i have been doing a lot of lately. mostly i have been sewing for the baby showers, but i also did make myself a top (pictures to come... um.... later).

sam's cousin sierra is having her first baby (a little boy) and i was quite excited that someone else who joins us for family dinner once a week would be sharing in the "joys" of wrangling a child with all of us.

sierra is doing a farm theme in baby westin's room, and she made the mistake of saying cow to me.... well, i took the cow theme and kind of had to run with it! the banner was the last thing i made (the morning of the shower) because i had made my cow squares (sewn right sides together with black felt) and discovered that the black felt letters i had carefully cut out looked pretty terrible next to the cow print (which took 3 separate fabric stores to find). sam suggested teal, but i had some green felt (for another project) and i really liked the way it popped.


it was a dessert shower, i provided some "cow cupcakes" and brought milk. i loved that since it's Easter time i was able to find green grass- and little farm animals at the dollar store. the plates, napkins, and cups were all black and white.
more farm animals, and a sweet little cow for baby westin.

and balloons! green, black, white (coincidentally the 3 colors i ended up wearing to the shower, i am quite the dork) hung around the shower to tie in all the elements.

the shower was a lot of fun, i left with a nice sugar high. and have since nibbled on one to many leftover cupcakes. tomorrow i'll share 3 of the 4 little gifts i made for westin (i forgot to photograph gift number 4- but i'm making the exact same one- with the same fabric- for henry's first birthday, so you will see it then!).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

my only hobby.

i have a very wise friend who once told me that parenting is her greatest hobby. with 6 kids spanning 2 years apart i would say that is a fair thing to say. i have a lot of friends who i can call on for questions about many things whether it be sewing, cooking, cleaning/organizing, or just looking for someone to vent. and most of these friends i do tag in for venting and questions and the basic "why God?" of life when it comes to my children.
but when i want the ultimate conviction of someone who really knows her stuff, i tend to pick up the phone and call her. and i am encouraged. i am uplifted, and i am reminded to bring what i have back to the Lord.
her comment of parenting being her greatest hobby made me stop and think. i know ( I KNOW) that i overload my life with way to many things. i am usually always planning some sort of baby shower or birthday celebration for someone (2 on the horizon for the next 2 weeks). i usually have multiple sewing and or craft projects going on (oh, about 10?) not to mention my desire to learn new recipes in the kitchen, or bake up something delicious, or fly through a book (i really have to limit my reading, because when i start something i usually stop everything else), the constant (never ending) attempt to re-organize different aspects of my home and life (whether it be full on furniture moving, or just closet restructuring) and then of course: friends, family, my children.
the greatest hobby of my life? mastering the balance act.
and i don't really like that.
sam (my husband for new readers) asked me the other day if i could pick any time in life to live in when would it be.
my answer? whenever Little House on the Prairie took place. when really, the things that i truly love: my husband, my children, my home, and the small tasks of creating would be my primary focus.
but how is that any different than now? other than the added convenience of electricity and the internet (and many other wonderful things. wouldn't i still be doing all the other things that i am doing now?
so i would come back to balancing everything. i sometimes wish i wasn't interested in anything. that i didn't add on any extras- but wouldn't i be terribly bored? isn't part of who i am, what interests me and motivates me?
but. i need to make sure that what interests me and motivates me is first: serving my Lord.
and when i try and think of all the things that interest me, the things that i love and how i can apply them to serving the Lord, i realize that nothing needs to be perfect (because i am so far from perfect)but that everything stems from my hearts attitude, and that right now- in the season that I am living in (or stuck in as it feels most of the time)the best that i can do, is try (or just do) and be an example of God's love.
so much easier said that done.
or typed than done.
i am trying to re-read those words and let them sink in.
for now, a second cup of coffee, a few minutes with my Bible, a desperate prayer for patience, and then the attempt to tackle all the things i should be tackling.
like loving my children.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

focus.

disclaimer: this post is not intended to bring about positive cheers in my court. i am not looking for sometime to pat me on my back while i am feeling down. i know that i am loved, this is simply here to share.

i have pretty much been sucking it up as a wife and mother. although, i am going to give myself a little bit of credit here- i have been putting a lot of work into my marriage (most days) and i do feel like the relationship aspect of what i have with sam is definitely moving in the right direction. praise the Lord.
however- wifely duties? like having a clean, well maintained home? or having dinner made and not ordered in? or how about having a showered wife? although these days i am sure he would be happy for a smiling wife (as opposed to the ball of stress i have been).
but a lot of the wife aspects can be chalked up to 2 reasons:
1) i am an exhausted pregnant woman.
2) i cannot get myself organized
and those things can be directly related if not caused by the simple fact that i am not consistently starting my day centered on my Savior.
it's the kid stuff that is really breaking me down. pretty much all day sunday (starting from a little after midnight) was an emotional roller-coaster. way to much bleeding for someone who is pregnant, followed by a stupid nurse who doesn't accurately know how to use a doppler to check for a baby's heartbeat, and the horror of what we thought was going to be a second lost baby (we had a miscarriage in March of 2005).
but the prayers that you are sometimes to afraid to even utter, but are pragmatically etched into your heart, are answered. and around 10 am sam and i got the first glimpse of baby 4 (happily moving and heart beating).
so, you'd think after spending a day not moving- then monday being sick and letting my husband take care of everything, one would think i'd be emotionally recharged for my life.
ha ha ha ha ha.
i wish.
if anything i am ashamed of myself. i came close to what i thought was losing a child, and here i am tuesday morning secretly wishing that someone else could be the other 3's mom for a couple of days.
my children are driving me crazy. and i hate to even admit that out loud, because i will get the friends who actually say to me, "and you think you are going to home-school your kids?" and the friends who just look at me and think "she'll never be able to handle staying home and home-schooling all of them".
not that i blame them, i am the not the picture of someone who has it all together.
when i take a moment (while my children are NOT napping, even though they should be) to really reflect on myself as a mother, and why i cannot muster up an iota of patience towards my children, two things come to mind.
1) the director of women's ministries at my church (and leader of my women's Bible study which i rarely can get myself out the door for) told me something fairly profound- which may not sound profound to anyone else, but at the time it was for me simply because it was said in such a way that made sense to me.
"one of the reason's God gives us children is to show us how much we need Him, and how we cannot do any of this on our own".
apparently God really wants me to know how much i need Him, because He keeps throwing these little blessings into my lap (feel free to replace blessings with any other word that may come to mind.)
2) compassion.
i seem to be unable to show my children the smallest amount of compassion. instead i continually demand excellence and perfection from them, when i am not taking the time to lay down the steps to help them accomplish obedience.
and today i connected the 2 thoughts in my brain. because i kept thinking, it's not like i am constantly whining to God about Mason sitting in my chair or Campbell touching me with his milk cup (2 things my children frequently do) or its...... well i was going to come up with other examples and then realized i couldn't. because i DO do things like that all the time. i may ask my children to pick up their toys 20 times before they do it- and get frustrated to the end of my very short fuse, and what about me? how often does God ask me to not worry but to trust in Him? and how many times at the first sign of conflict,crisis, or concern do i immediately find my husband or a friend or the internet or my own scenarios trying to mend the issue? instead of simply stopping myself and praying to my Lord?
i am not different then my children. the only difference is that i cannot physically see the Lord getting frustrated with me. but my children get a front row show to that all the time.
so why can i not offer them the same compassion and forgiveness that the Lord gives me? why is it so hard to be an example of Christ to them, and imitator of God?
because, i am a sinner who really needs her Lord.
i thought about all the things i could try and start to make my life more organized: doing dishes after each meal, not going to bed with a messy house, not letting the laundry pile up, getting the kids to clean up their toys immediately after losing interest with them....
all of those things are good things- but they don't represent the heart of the problem.
and that is me, and my heart.
i have become more self-fish than a mother can allow herself to be. constantly frustrated by being interrupted with all the things i want to do.
when being a wife and mother is the only thing i want to do.
such a pickle i am in.
so, a small challenge for myself. instead of trying to radically change all the fiascoes of chaos i have forming around here, i am going to try instead to focus on my heart.
1) starting my day centered on the Lord. i know that i may not always have a moment to do devotions before one, two or all of my children wake up, but starting my morning with my eyes and mind focused on Him, asking there to be more of Him and less of me, will be a good start.
2) really praying. being slow to anger. quick to listen. to pray before i react- to remember that i am the biggest example of Christ my children will get to see today and tomorrow.
and if that thought doesn't freak me out enough to change.... well, than i need a lot of prayer.