Sunday, January 15, 2012

Beginning A Project

Way back in June, I mentioned that I wanted to make a quilt for Micah. To set a goal to have a quilt ready for him when he moves into a big-boy bed - in 12 years. I showed the colors I liked, and some fabrics - mostly navy, green and light blue.

Today, I ordered some fabric. Only a fraction of what I'll need in total, so I have much, much more to buy. And somehow, my color palette changed... Orange popped up in there too. When I decorated Micah's room, I used greens, browns, blues and orange mostly, so it only felt natural to put the orange in the mix.

So then I ordered five orange fabrics...

I also drew up a sketch of what I want the quilt to look like. Do other quilters do this? I'm not sure. David asked me this afternoon why I was drawing it first and I realized I wasn't sure. It definitely helps me to have a good idea of what I'm planning to make, and it's helpful for calculating.

My dad is a bit of a perfectionist when he does projects - it's a good thing - he makes beautiful pieces out of wood. He does these perfect drawings of what he's going to make before he makes it. Maybe I take after him in that way? I have to see it before I can really have my head wrapped around it.

So, all that to say, I'm excited to get started when my fabric gets here! Until then, here's the plan and the color scheme:

I'm planning to use five different patterns of each color: blue, green, orange and gray. The background is going to be white. Am I crazy to make a mostly white quilt for a little boy? It's not like he'll be eating in his bed, right?

If you sew or quilt, let me know: Do you draw out your project beforehand? Do you have a computer program that helps you?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Do The Funky Chicken

We've had 'Chicken Dance' mania in our house lately - check it out:

And don't mind the mess - this little boy has a love of all things where they don't belong. Apparently he has a short attention span - he takes things out then tosses them aside after just a few seconds.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Congregation of Alligators

Have you ever wondered what to call groups of animals? We all know the common ones: a herd of elephants, a flock of geese, a pack wolves, but have you heard of a business of ferrets? A murder of crows? A congregation of alligators?

You can look at this section of Wikipedia if you're interested in looking up other animal packs.  Or you can wait and see what I have to show you.

If you look under alligator, you'll see that multiple alligators in one location are not called packs or herds, or even groups, but rather, congregations.

So, because I enjoy a good laugh at a group of animals' expense, I'm providing you with my thoughts on alligator groups - or congregations.

Source: my brain, drawn to give David a good laugh.

Monday, January 9, 2012

One Little Word 2012: What's Mine?

A year ago, I committed to focus on one word for 2011. 

This is what I said about my choice: "Why did I choose the word joy? Because, daily, I want to choose joy in my life." It was a very fitting choice for the year that 2011 turned out to be - I was given many opportunities to decide whether I would choose to be joyful or frustrated. This hasn't been an easy year for my family. There have been many surprises, some of which were good but many that were very difficult. 

I can't say that I always chose to be joyful. There were times that I complained - lots of times, really. Overall though, I think that I have been able to find greater joy in the circumstances I've experienced than I might have if I weren't focused on this idea that it's a choice. 

Even though 2011 is over, I hope to still choose joy in my circumstances.  James 1:2-3 - "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." 

I'm now faced with a new choice - will I have a word to focus on this year? 

As I begin to think about possibilities for my word of 2012, the list goes on and on. Ali Edwards, who started One Little Word, has a list that her followers have sent in, sharing their own words. I particularly like 'hokey-pokey' - more dancing? 

So, here are some possibilities: 

I love this verse from Philippians 4:7 - And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. What a great reminder that God gives us peace - that we don't have to worry because we have a savior who will take care of everything for us. I don't handle stress well, and I would love to spend the year focusing on finding peace in Christ.

I am not a very disciplined person. In many ways, this would be a good word for me this year. I'd like to become more disciplined in how I spend time in the Word, our family eating habits, how I spend my money, how I parent Micah, and many, many other areas. I've set myself a goal already to be more careful with our money, to be more disciplined about not buying things I don't really need - like Starbucks - it's so expensive!

Recently, I have really felt a call to show compassion to others. I volunteer at the local crisis pregnancy center, and we support a child through Compassion International, but I want to do more! I know that we live in a culture of excess where we have way more than we need and I've really been reminded lately that many, many people live in places where that's not the case! I want to use our abilities, talents and even our money to show Christ's love to others who could really use some help. I'm not really sure what that looks like for me, but it's something that I have been and will be praying about in the next few months.

So, I'm unsure. Can I have three words? Do I split the year into trimesters and focus on one at a time? I'll have to think about this for a little bit and see what seems right. I don't know if it really makes a difference if I have more than one word - it's not like there are any rules here! 

What I do know is, these are three things that I want more of in my life! 

And to bring a smile to your face - Micah wearing his daddy's new t-shirt:

I guess my word for the year won't matter - I just died from his cuteness.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Some Time Away

Christmas was great this year!

The last few weeks have been extremely busy and really fun for our family. Most of our Christmas break has been spent traveling. We are all really glad to be home and in our own space, especially to our bed! It's great visiting people, and we had a really good time with our family and friends, but Dorothy knows what she's talking about - there's no place like home!

Our first stop, after a terrible, long, disgusting car ride (I'll just say it involves vomit and Micah), was my parents' house, for a week. We spent a lot of time relaxing, and did a family Christmas celebration on Christmas day. My mom is so funny - she made my brother this great chef's hat, apron and oven mitt for Christmas. They're perfect for him because he loves to cook, and talks about food all the time! The hat is really great - all the gathering must have been a pain, but she did a great job.

Micah really enjoyed opening (and playing with) his presents - he just sat down  in the pile of wrapping paper and played with his new Legos!

I made my sister a jewelry holder for Christmas (and a purse gone wrong), and I think I'm going to make one for myself too. I used a picture frame, hot glued ribbon and gray felt onto it, and put nails on it to hold necklaces. I also bought a flower necklace from Laura at Along For The Ride, and included it so she'd be able to tell what it was!

Micah also got a haircut while we were in Everson - here's a before picture:

And an after: 

I think he looks so much older!

I also got to go wedding dress shopping with my newly-engaged sister (I won't include those pictures...), visit with my good friends from high school, and see a lot of friends. I didn't see everyone I'd like to though, it just seems like time goes so quickly - especially over the holidays!

Our next stop, after an uneventful car ride, was Eugene for a couple of days. We stayed with our college roommates and did some shopping, played Just Dance 3 on XBox, celebrated a very low-key (but fun!) New Years, and ate a LOT of sugar. It was really exciting that we also got to meet baby Madison for the first time!

We took Micah to a toy store in Eugene on Saturday morning. He was really happy in there, and walked all around the store picking things up, looking at them, and then moving on to the next.

Everyone got a chance to hold Madison - she was very sweet and very cuddly.

Here's a sign that Micah will be a great big brother. We set Madison on his lap and he wrapped his arms around her to cuddle for 15 minutes or so. He was so sweet to her!

I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Years! I'm excited to see what God has planned for 2012, whether or not it's the end of the world... I'm thinking it's not.