Sunday, April 03, 2011


I am a competitive person, but only in certain areas.  If I'm in an exercise class of some sort, I would definitely want to do the most, the biggest, the spunkiest version of whatever the step is.  That is not to say that I can actually keep that up for more than 10 min but the urge to be the most energetic in the class is still there.
I am NOT competitive in the blog world.  I am doing my three blogs (yes, three) strictly for my own pleasure.  This means there sometimes are long gaps between posts, I do not always take pictures with my fancy camera to post and I do not count my followers or try to get more.
Same thing with my short stint in the world of YouTube videos.  I was amazed at the push for followers, just anybody and everybody.  The number of followers you had indicated success and possibly brought deals from companies wanting to use you for advertising.  I did a couple of giveaways and you had to be a follower to win, but other than that, I never pushed for followers.
Now, I have a business, an Etsy shop.  I hate sales.  No, no, I like getting a sale in my shop, but I hate being a salesperson, the business of sales. I hate feeling like I'm competing with other people making bags.  I don't want to feel like I have to make better bags than them.  I just want to make the best bags I can in fabrics and using designs that I think are attractive.  I don't like mentioning my business unless it comes up in easy conversation.  I don't give my card out unless it's asked for, usually.
Probably not good for business, but if I'm going to promote, I'll definitely have to grow into it.  I do want to be able to give more to the Balama Project (  Since I give them 10% of profits, more sales would mean more to give.
If you want to help me give and get a pretty bag or earrings to boot.  Go look at Molly Blossom and see if there is something that tickles your fancy.
There, I did it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Christmas is Coming

I know you're probably wondering why I titled my post what it is titled.   Well... it's true, isn't it?  Christmas is coming slowly but surely.
I be you're also wondering what the cute pictures above have to do with my title.  
Here's the deal.  I have a tradition to uphold and I've got to start now, even 9 months ahead to think of our next great Christmas photo.  I'm sharing my process with you.  I think that some sort of Christmas card using multiple photos as if they were one would be cute.  I have no idea what we would be doing in the photos, probably not kissing, but something.  
There you go, that's how my fantastic ideas start.  ha!  :D

Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

This is a post taken from the blog A Wise Woman Builds Her Home.  I've been pretty stressed out about dealing with my two girls lately and I'm on the search for some pertinent encouragement.  I was thinking tonight about what my Dad used to pray over me every night.  I Googled the verse and this blog entry was one of the links that came up.  It was worth sharing.  It's good, but a long and challenging read, so be prepared.

The Bible tells us this about daughters in Psalm 144:12-13,
“That our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace: that our garners may be full.” 

As corner-stones, polished after the similitude of palace, God desires that our daughters grow up to become strong and beautiful ~ and adorned with all the ornaments belonging to their sex. What are the “ornaments” that the Bible teaches belong to the female sex? Titus 2:4-5 describes them as: soberness, love for family, discretion, purity, excellent housekeeping, goodness, and submission to authority.

That’s a tall order, isn’t it? And the reason that it is so important that our daughters be taught and trained in these areas is because (as the Treasury of David so wisely puts it), “Daughters unite families as corner stones join walls together, and at the same time, they adorn them as polished stones garnishing the structure into which they are builded.”

Daughters are an important part of every family, and it is our duty to teach them how to be a blessing to our families now so that they will understand how to be a blessing to the family they will marry into later on.

Matthew Henry writes, “That our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace or temple. By daughters families are united and connected to their mutual strength, as the parts of a building are by the cornerstones; and when they are graceful and beautiful both in body and mind, they are then polished after the similitude of a nice and curious structure. When we see our daughters well established, and stayed with wisdom and discretion, as cornerstones are fastened in the building; when we see them by faith united to Christ, as the chief cornerstone, adorned with the graces of God's Spirit, which are the polishing of that which is naturally rough, and "become women professing godliness"; when we see them purified and consecrated to God as living temples, we think ourselves happy in them.”

So, how are we to go about accomplishing so great a task?

First of all, we must remember that daughters have a great need for love and security.

1. Daughters need to be treated with kindness.

2. Daughters feel loved when we are patient with them.

3. A critical spirit is a destructive thing to a daughter’s spirit ~ it causes her to feel insecure about who she is and what she is able to do.

4. Comparison also causes daughters to feel insecure about themselves. Daughters are in desperate need of acceptance in order to become the polished corner stone of the family that God desires them to be.

5. It’s a mothers job to identify the special needs that her daughter has and help her to overcome or practically accommodate them.

6. Mothers must be careful not attribute motives, nor take offense, lose patience, or take the ridiculous things that daughters do too personally.

7. Mothers must remember that daughters need to be raised in a happy, loving home in order to feel totally secure. No amount of love, compliments or kindness will make up for the fear that is brought into a daughter’s heart by marital strife or divorce.

Secondly, daughters need to be taught to control their emotions.

1. Whining, gossiping and complaining should not be tolerated. Make every effort to train your daughter to be sensible by teaching her how to be thankful, patient and kind as she deals with her every day issues of life.

2. Emotions must be taught to follow and not allowed to lead. The best teacher is example. Make it your goal to be a good example of this so that your daughter can “see” how this is done.

3. Daughters must be taught that they may not use their “hormones” as an excuse for sin!

4. Teach your daughter how to manage her tears. There is a time for tears ~ when they are hurt, when someone they know or see is seriously injured or dies. But crying is not something that should continue on and on ~ they should be short and brief. Even in the case of death of a loved one: there is a time to cry, and there is a time to cease from crying.

5. The same goes for silliness. Giggling and acting giddy is fine at times, but too much of it makes a girl ridiculous.

Thirdly, daughters must be raised to embrace their femininity.

1. Daughters should be taught to be home-centered. They should be encouraged to love working with their hands ~ both in housework and handiwork.

2. Daughters should be encouraged to wear dresses, fix their hair and want to look pretty.

a. However, we must be diligent to encourage them to be MODEST and pretty. The female body is a beautiful creation of God and modesty teaches them that it is a precious thing that must be saved for their future husband (and not the whole world) to enjoy.

b. We also must be careful not to raise our daughters to be too prissy or “primadonas” who only a mother and father is able to tolerate and love :).

3. Daughters must be encouraged to play with toys that will encourage her to home-centered and not bedroom-centered.

4. Daughters must be taught and trained how to respond to the men around them.

a. Daughters have a God given need for male attention. Teach them when they are little how to love and serve Dad, so that Dad will enjoy being around them.

b. Teach your daughter how to respect her Dad and brothers. This is will prepare her to enjoy good success when she is married to her own man later on.

Mothers are the role models for their daughters, and it is important that we realize that we are teaching our daughters every day by the way we live. As Christian mothers, it is vital that we commit ourselves to living as the godly women that we would want our daughters to grow up to become. This is a tall order, but one which is certainly possible as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our loving God.

Another great article by Mrs. Julie Fink @ Lessons for Ladies

Visit her blog and be blessed by her Bible Studies!

Monday, January 10, 2011

From Scratch

My hubby baked butter cookies from a 1940's recipe yesterday.
Well, the whole process started the day before, but he threw out the whole ball of crumbly dough and, consequently, hours of work.
He tried again a second time yesterday and after making another huge mess and then cleaning it all up, ended up with this...
 and this...
 and these beauties!

I hate baking and, although he did a great job persevering though the difficulties of a novice baker with a yummy outcome.  I felt his pain and I do not aspire to try cookies from scratch any time soon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

White, Fluffy, Bearded Lies

This blog might be all over the place because I am not doing it while the kids are napping.  That means Eden is on the couch talking about whatever crosses her mind, because she MUST be talking CONSTANTLY.  This girl does not stop.  She's complaining of a tummy ache, but she's not resting or anything like that.  NOooooo.  Play through it and talk through it.  That's her motto.
I am trying to keep Arielle from being bitten because she is pretending to feed Dolce something imaginary from her little chubby fingers and Dolce doesn't like my children.  And, of course, by the time I've written a few more sentences, that all will have changed and they'll be doing something else completely.

Onward.  A friend of mine asked me a couple weeks back what my views on Santa were.  I told her the short version because there were babies fussing and toddlers waiting for a moment of Mommy distraction to take advantage of.  Since then the deliberate decisions we as a family make about this holiday have continued to be brought to my attention.

First, let me give you some background on how I was raised.  My parents treated Santa almost like the plague, along with Mary Poppins and the Smurfs.  I'm sure I was aware of him, but we never did pictures with Santa (that's right, there's not a single picture of me crying in Mall Santa's lap in my baby albums).  We didn't read books about him.  My dad might have done some readings of The Night Before Christmas when I got older for the sake of good literature and classic poetry (loves of his), but that was the exception. We had no likenesses of Santa in our home except a small figurine of him kneeling at the manger.  I don't remember what I thought about other kids and their views of Santa.  I don't remember feeling the need to correct them, although that would have been JUST like me to do so.  I don't remember ever wanting to join the long line of fussy children to sit on Santa's lap.  I don't remember feeling left out because I wasn't writing letters to the North Pole.

Fast forward to today.  I have two little girls and this is the first Christmas where I'm really having to live out the path I assumed I would take regarding Santa and his hold on this holiday.

In short, I have made a promise to my children never to deceive them.  And yes, I have thought about all that that entails.  I do my very best to stay truthful about everything.  That means if Eden wants another cookie and I don't want her to have one, I don't look in the box and say "uh oh, they're all gone."  I say, "no ma'am, you don't need another cookie."  I can't think of any other good examples of the white lies that we parents tend to use on a daily basis, but you get the idea.  I try to eliminate them.  I want my child to have a commitment to the truth so that I can trust her when I ask her a question.  I tell her the Upshaws are truth-tellers so that she can have a family identity that includes integrity.

Ok, this is getting long.  I knew it would.  I'm pretty sure you can extrapolate from here how we treat Santa.  We've come to a happy medium between my upbringing and my husband's (a more typical, Santa inclusive one).  I don't treat Santa like the plague, but I try to make sure he is not the reason for the season or even the slightest majority of its focus and, as you've guessed, I will never tell my children he is real or brings us presents or is omniscient and knows what every child is doing all the time. 
Ok, bunny trail... can I just rant for a moment about how Santa is very God-like.  He is loving, he knows what you're doing all the time, he can be everywhere at once (pretty much, since there's no scientific way to deliver toys to every kid in the world in one night), children essentially pray to him about bringing them what they want and I'm sure there's more.  That all bugs me.
Back to our family... 
We do have a picture of the kids on Santa's lap from this year, but we didn't wait in a long line or pay for it.  I'm not going to dedicate to much effort to that.  And there will not be a page in the album (wait, what album?) every year dedicated to that picture.
We have been watching Wonder Pets save the Baby Reindeer every day by request and we have been reading a book called "I'm Not Santa!" (in which the "real" Santa shows up at the end) every night by request, but yesterday, I did start to see the need for some major balancing with some baby Jesus stories.  Especially after Eden said "Santa loves me.  He wants to come into my heart!"  Woops.

Alright, we need to go to the grocery store.  My friend Misty was brave enough to state her views on her blog without apology, so I got the courage to do the same.  Love me or hate me for it, that's where I stand.
Don't hate me though, because Santa will know and you will get coal in your stocking.  :D

I know it's backwards.  I know I'm lame for taking a picture with my computer because I didn't want to upload a picture from a real camera.  But there he is, the same figurine my parents had, now displayed in our home.
And, of course, Eden just saw it and said, "Is it Santa Claus?"  Don't ask about baby Jesus, nooooo.  That seals the deal.  More Jesus needed in this house.
Ok, really leaving now...

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


At Fat Free Vegan's blog there is a yummy sounding wassail recipe that I thought I'd share with all of you. I have not tried it, but all the ingredients leave me with no doubt that it would be the perfect toungue-pleasing, inside-warming drink for the cold days ahead.
I copied from there and pasted here just to make it that much easier for you.  :)

New World Wassail

1.5 quarts apple cider or apple juice
1 quart natural cranberry blend drink (no sugar added)
4 sticks cinnamon stick
8 cloves
10 allspice berries
1 quarter-sized slice ginger
1 orange, sliced
1/4 cup cranberries (optional)
1/2 – 1 cup brandy (optional)
Place all ingredients except the brandy in a large, non-reactive pot or crockpot and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover. Simmer for at least 2 hours (may be kept in a crock pot for 4 hours). About 15 minutes before serving, add the brandy and continue to simmer on low.
Strain out the spices and fruit and serve with cinnamon sticks and fresh slices of orange.
Servings: 10
Yield: 2.5 quarts

Friday, August 13, 2010

Lit. Revisited

I've been going through a box of memories and pulling out some things that make me smile.  One piece of paper I just read, I decided to share.

This is from Literature class where I was learning different poetry forms by writing.  I was 15.

A Question of Speed

Everyone marvels at a snail's sluggish pace.
It's quite easy to see why this is the case.
But really, the reason is not hard to trace.
Why run fast when you're not in a race?