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30 September 2011


I love Pinterest. It's like having the most amazing craft, decorating, diy, style, and food magazine ever...all on your computer. And it's never-ending. Seriously, so much fun. If you're not familiar with Pinterest, it basically acts as a virtual bulletin board where you can 'pin' just about anything you'd like...decorating ideas, diy project ideas, style inspiration, funny sayings, recipes, etc.

Naturally, you can understand my excitement when I read about Amanda's little Pinterest Challenge. I admit to having a multitude of projects I'd love to try, but have not yet found the time to get around to them. Amanda's challenge is to actually attempt something you've 'pinned'. It could be a recipe, a craft, a decorating project, anything! I'm thrilled to have found some motivation to actually execute one of the many ideas I've collected over the past several months.

If you've been bitten by the Pinterest bug, join Amanda {and me!} in checking some of those projects off your 'to do' list. I'll be sharing my project next Tuesday!

29 September 2011

Nine weeks later...

It has been nine weeks since Truett had his big surgery. I cannot believe how quickly time passes, especially when children are involved. I know I will blink again and we'll be celebrating my little man's first birthday. For now, I'm treasuring each snuggle and giggle that comes from this boy. I love being his mom so much, and wouldn't change anything about the first 4 months of his life. Obviously, I could have done without the whole heart surgery situation, but I have learned to rejoice even in the difficult things God allows into our lives. I learned so much about prayer, trust in God, love, and the body of Christ through that ordeal. And really, looking back, I wouldn't trade those lessons for anything. They are part of Truett's story and part of our family's story, and we have all grown closer to each other and closer to the Lord as a result.

We've had about half a day of autumn-like weather here, and I am so ready for the crisp, cooler days! Hopefully they will arrive soon so I can dress Truett up in more hats like this...

Yesterday, the kids and I took a little trip to the Pediatric Cardiologist. Truett received rave reviews on the condition of his heart, and we were told to discontinue his final heart medication. In the doctor's words, he's a 'perfect baby'. I couldn't agree more! Here's my little wiggle-worm smiling and squirming for the tech.

Truett had his blood pressure checked for the final time in 2011. {Lord willing!} We don't have to return to the cardiologist until January. Woohoo!
Once again, thank you so much for the kind comments and emails you've shared during this journey. I will forever remember the love and encouragement that's been showered on us during these early months of Truett's life.

Revisiting some old favorites

Good morning!

This week Gussy's Inspiration Workshop prompt is Favorite DIY. I've had a great time looking back through my archives at previous projects. I decided to share a few of my all-time favorites with you today.

Gussy Sews Inspiration Workshop!

26 September 2011

What I've been up to lately...

I've been having a great time constructing some new items for the shop. Working on these projects is such a delight for me. With two young children underfoot, it is often challenging to find time and energy to pursue my creative endeavors. But I've recently had a bit of an epiphany. You see, I believe creativity is a gift from God. He has, after all, demonstrated the most amazing creative works in His magnificent creation.

For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
Colossians 1:16

For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Psalm 95:3-5

I love thinking of the Lord as our Great Creator. I can't help but praise him when I think of how he's formed and planned out my life and the lives of my husband and children. I can't help but give glory to his name when I drive around town and see the immensity of the Rocky Mountains spread across the horizon. So, I consider it a great privilege and an act of praise to spread my creative wings, so to speak. It is a gift to create interesting things, and it is a joy to have this be an opportunity for me to contribute something financially to our family.

Now, for the big reveal! These little collages are each so special and unique. I create the original designs, hand-cut all the paper, and stitch each piece together to form a whimsical piece of art. I hope you like them!

23 September 2011

Friday hi!

I just wanted to stop by to say 'hello' on this lovely Friday! My aunt and uncle are visiting from Minneapolis, so we're enjoying company at our house this weekend. Maren is keeping them quite busy with all of her creative antics. I took these pictures of Truett last week [a little late!] to document him at 3 months old. I did the same with Maren, and it's been great fun to compare their pictures each month. Here are a few favorites of my sweet, smiley boy.

Maren wanted to get in on the action, so we goofed around and took a few self-portraits.
I love my days with these two littles...they are such a joy!

19 September 2011

Finding August...and Jesus

It was a joyful afternoon at our home on Friday...for August has returned! Maren was brimming with thankfulness to those kind souls who cleaned August all up and gave her some nice new clothes. We did tell her that this was a 'new' August, as to not be deceptive. My mom even suggested we call this new baby September. But, August she will be...Maren seems certain her exact baby has returned. I am a tad concerned for the welfare of my future grandchildren, though. Maren didn't seem at all put off by the much blonder eyelashes or the two teeth August has grown in her brief time away from us. Maren appears to be lacking in her perception to detail. I can only hope she doesn't leave for the mall play area one day with my blond grandson only to return with a red-haired little girl.

Here is the much-anticipated moment of reunion...

She could hardly contain her excitement...[and, yes, she picked out that well-placed-little-pink-bow all by herself.]

Oh, August, how we've missed you! [But not the old August...she was stinky!]

This morning Maren, August, Truett and I were sitting on the couch reading a book. In this book, a sweet little squirrel mama is happily sharing about her best friend, God. Maren asked me if God was my best friend, and I told her that He is. Seeking to utilize this precious moment of spiritual enlightenment, I went on to share about God's love for us in sending Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins. I explained to Maren that someday Jesus would like to come into her heart and be her best friend, too. Maren proceeded to ask if Jesus was in my heart. Yes. Is Jesus in Daddy's heart? Yes.

She pondered these things for a moment and said, "Okay, let's do it right now." My delight at her comprehension turned to astonishment when she leaned down in front of my chest and exclaimed, "Hey Jesus! Come on in!" I have to believe such words spoken by a 3-year-old girl were music to the ears of the Lord.

For now, I will refrain from referring to this as Maren's conversion experience. I will, however, look forward to more conversations about Jesus with my dear children.

16 September 2011

How to freeze peaches

Having grown up in Michigan, I have fond memories of delicious summer produce. We'd stop by roadside stands on our way to the lake to pick up blueberries, sweet corn, and whatever else was being harvested at the time. When we moved to Colorado I quickly noticed a difference in the produce available. While Colorado has many wonderful attributes, an ideal climate for growing fruits and vegetables isn't one of them. That being said, I have discovered the Palisade peaches of Colorado are unrivaled in tastiness. I look forward to ordering a bunch of peaches each August to prepare for freezing. [We do, of course, enjoy plenty of the peaches while they're fresh!] With a well-stocked freezer of peaches, we're able to enjoy pies, coffee cakes, cobblers, desserts, etc. all through the winter months.

If you'd like to freeze some peaches of your own, here's how we do it!

You'll need:

quart-sized freezer bags
lime juice

1. Freezing peaches is a messy business. Might I suggest some great music to accompany your work? I listened to O Sister 2 and Appalachian Hymns.

2. Begin by making a simple sugar syrup. I start by heating 9 cups of water on the stove. I slowly add 3 cups of sugar until it dissolves, then I remove the pan from the heat. There's no need to boil this, just be sure the sugar has all dissolved. I was able to use this amount to freeze approximately 30 or 35 peaches.

3. Fill a large stockpot with water and bring it to a boil.

4. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare an ice-bath for the peaches. I fill my largest bowl with ice-water.

5. When the bowl is filled with ice-water, I submerge a large colander right in the ice. I have found this to be an easy way to get the peaches into an ice-bath without having to fish them out from the actual ice.

6. When the water has come to a boil, place 5 or 6 peaches into the water for 30 seconds.

7. After 30 seconds, use a slotted spoon to remove the peaches from the boiling water.

8. Place the peaches directly into the ice-bath.

9. After the peaches have sat in the ice-bath for a minute or so, the skin should peal right off, leaving nice and slippery peaches ready for freezing!

10. Slice up the peaches and sprinkle them with a bit of lemon juice.

11. I like to line a 2-cup pyrex measuring cup with a quart-sized freezer bag. Using a measuring cup, I scoop 2 cups of peaches into the bag. I've found that many of my peach recipes call for either 2 or 4 cups of peaches. This makes it easy to thaw out the exact amount I need at any given time.

12. Ladle the sugar water over the peaches, just covering them in the liquid.

13. This is about how much liquid I put in each bag. When I squeeze the air out of the bag, the liquid ends up covering the peach slices completely.

14. Label each bag with the amount and the date. You might think you'll never forget what's in each bag, but I always do!

15. Just for fun...have you ever seen the inside of a peach pit? Now you have!

I'd love to know if you have any favorite peach recipes. I'm taking a risk tonight and making a new cobbler recipe for company. [Yikes!] If it doesn't turn out, I've got homemade chocolate chip cookies and ice-cream on hand. *wink*

Enjoy your weekend. We've heard word that August 2 is en route. Maybe she'll arrive sometime this weekend!

Thirty Hand Made Days

14 September 2011

The too-short life of August the doll

Yesterday tragedy befell our home. Before I reveal all the horrific details of the demise of August the doll, let's take a little stroll down memory lane.

We welcomed August into our family on Maren's second birthday. Maren affectionately bestowed her new baby with the name 'August', surely as an homage to her birthday month.

August spent her early days taking long walks with her caring mother.

She even managed to sneak into the official Christmas cousins picture of 2010.

Maren and August asked Santa for a pony. They were able to comfort each other when they awoke to discover this forgotten request on Christmas morning.

August enjoyed her Sunday afternoon naps with the rest of the family, although her choice of sleeping positions was typically bewildering.

Maren was happy to allow her great grandpa to spend a moment with August on Mother's Day. We enjoyed a lovely brunch in celebration.

August loved to pose for pictures, particularly when sharing the spotlight with such a fashion-forward lady as Maren.

Just another afternoon around here...

August could frequently be found motoring about in Maren's rumble seat. On this particular day they were inspecting Brett's work on the removal of our disgusting carpet.

Here ends the rainbows and unicorns portion of August's life. It was a good life. She made many fond memories with her doting caretaker, Maren. Then one fateful evening she took an after-dinner walk to the neighborhood park. It's possible she enjoyed a bicycle ride as well, but we can't be sure. Maren was so overtaken by the joy of playing with her friends at the park, that somehow August was left behind.

The next day, Maren discovered August was missing. Phone calls were made, steps were retraced, and August was nowhere to be found. In effort to be the knight in shining armor of this tale, Maren's dad took a late night walk to the park with flashlight in hand. He searched high and low, only to discover August in the most unlikely of places. A dark and horrible place. A place where no human should ever venture. Likely at the hand of some neighborhood hooligans, August had found her way into the porta-potty. My dear sister-in-law suggested that we place August in the freezer to kill the germs. I had to clarify to her that August was not merely within the walls of the portable bathroom, but had actually been placed down into the depths of the toilet itself. A brief stay in the freezer was not going to take care of her problems.

Being the loving dad that he is, Brett did manage to fish August out of the blue water. She does, after-all, float. Gross. Anyhow, she received a heavy hosing-off in the backyard, followed by a steaming hot, bleachy spin in the washing machine. Nope. There's just no way August will be welcomed back into our family. The damage was done. August had to go. Thankfully, Maren awoke to good news the following morning. It turns out August has a twin sister, also named August, who happens to be in need of a loving family. She is scheduled to arrive at our home in 7 to 10 business days. Maren will take a few classes on being a responsible parent, and we'll hope to never have a repeat of this devastating experience.

The end.

13 September 2011

A good night at quilt guild

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild. I am learning so much, have made some lovely new friends, and appreciate having a fun evening out every month. Last night's meeting was particularly great. It started on a pleasant note when I was able to leave Truett home with Brett and Maren. It's so nice that he's to the point where I can leave him for for a few hours. I do love having him around, but a little break is welcomed every now and again. I'm so blessed to have a husband who enjoys his alone time with the kids. It is a gift!

My friends in the guild presented me with a lovely quilt in celebration of Truett's arrival. Each participant made a brightly colored 9 patch and I think it turned out so fun!

I also managed to win a fabulous giveaway thoughtfully put together by Randi. Each month the winner of this basket gets to keep all the goodies inside. Now it's my job to fill the basket with some fun things for next month's winner. I do have to say that I was lucky to win this month...it was filled with some perfect items for a new quilter.
I was also fortunate enough to snag those yellow and aqua fat quarters. See why it was such a good night? By the way, if you've never tried that toffee sea salt chocolate bar from Whole Foods you are missing out...YUM!

12 September 2011

This Monday

Today was lovely.

I picked these off our very own apple tree...

Maren and I made stylish new necklaces...

I froze a whole bunch of these...
Later in the week I'll share my sweet little technique for freezing peaches. It makes for some pretty delicious peach coffee cake on a cold winter morning. Happy Monday, friends!

11 September 2011

Weekend Love

We've had a nice weekend around our house. Brett left early yesterday morning to fly to Michigan to pick up our new minivan! I couldn't be more thrilled. Yes, there was a time when a younger, hipper version of myself vowed I'd never own one. Now me and my kids, stroller, groceries, craigslist purchases, packages of bulk toilet paper and Brett are going to rock the mini with pride! We took our first little drive this afternoon, and it's every bit as wonderful as I'd imagined!

This is how Truett woke up this morning. I think he was excited to be 3 months old!

While we were eating breakfast I asked Maren if she wanted to do her hair in buns today. Later, while I was brushing her hair, she asked if we were going to do hamburgers in her hair. She was on the right track...even after I told her they were buns, she insisted on saying that she had one hamburger and one bun. My sweet Maren...
This afternoon I found M sitting outside on her quilts 'reading' her Bible. This is a sight that makes a mom's heart sing! She told me that Sokie and Beboke wanted to hear about Abraham. Sokie and Beboke are Maren's imaginary friends. They've been part of our family for quite a while now, and show up in the unlikeliest of places. Maren made up their names...creative, right?

In other news, my parents celebrated 35 years of marriage today. I'm so thankful for what that means to our family. My mom and dad love each other so much, still spend most of their free time together, and have both been incredible examples to me in so many different ways through the years. I love you mom and dad!

On a day when our country remembers a great tragedy, I am reminded of the rich ways in which I have been blessed and the fleeting nature of life on this planet. I don't want a day to pass when honor isn't given to my great God and when thanks and praise don't flow freely from my lips for each of these people he's so lovingly placed in my life.

07 September 2011

September Gift Guide

Hello there! I've decided to put together a little monthly gift guide to share with you all. I've been trying to be more creative with my gift-giving lately, which inevitably takes more time and thought. I'll share some of my favorite finds each month in hopes of inspiring you to think outside the box in your own gift-giving! I'll include a variety of handmade and manufactured items. Just click on the item for purchasing information!









*I didn't receive any compensation for putting together this little list...these are simply items I discovered and found to be charming!