Friday, April 30, 2010

Quick Note on Tutorials

I am delaying my meeting with Jillian Michaels. I know there will be pain involved.
I wanted to write a quick note before I forget regarding tutorials. I want to start posting some. The reason I never have is because I've never thought what I have made was at ALL interesting enough, different enough, or just plain quality enough for anyone else to want to try. I wouldn't mind just sharing with a girlfriend how I did something, but to put it out here on the web feels like I'm claiming to be good at this or know the right way to do it.
I am making neither of those claims, but I've decided to just not care if anyone thinks I am. Or maybe I could make a disclaimer to put at the top of every tutorial.
I will try to do the pillowcase blouse tutorial soon, but there may be a couple of less time-consuming ones coming your way before that. Maybe a hair clip and a way to spruce up a shirt using a zipper... fingers crossed that I get some time to do them!
Ok, ok Jillian, I hear you calling my name. As soon as I'm sure the babies are going to sleep, I'll join you in the living room for some more shredding.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

All Types of Ladies

Beyonce isn't my favorite singer or anything, but there's something about her Single Ladies song and video that I really enjoy. I'm amused, impressed, drawn in. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it by clicking here. (There may or may not be an ad before the video.) Her dancing is phenomenal. I don't know if it can be fully appreciated how difficult the choreography is unless you try it yourself. I can say that because I'm trying to learn it. Yes, I've spilled the beans. I'm learning the choreography to Single Ladies to challenge myself... and just for fun. But that's not what this post is about.
Just today, a friend on FB posted a video that amused and impressed me even more.
Check it out here. But don't watch it unless you've already seen the original. Trust me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Matrix of the Heart

I was thinking today (not an unusual pastime for me) that there are so many songs out there that talk about putting up walls around our hearts and protecting ourselves from more heartache that, oftentimes, that becomes part of our way of thinking even as Christians. Don't let yourself get walked on or hurt again. Be strong and smart, etc.
It struck me (and by that I mean, the Holy Spirit taught me something) that God, who is hurt and slandered and betrayed and scorned constantly by the ones He loves the most, continues to reach out, give of Himself and offer His affections in the very same manner. Now, that's not so impressive, I guess. He's God, right? We're just humans.
Well, I think He can do that because He doesn't depend on anyone else for His image, His confidence, His security. He knows exactly Who He is and He's not concerned that what someone thinks or says about Him will change that. Now, we know from His Word that He can be grieved and saddened, but that doesn't stop Him from giving to us.
Yes, we are "just" human, but that's why Christ died for us... to give us abilities that we can't expect to have by depending just on our human condition and sinful nature. Guess what? If we know who we are in Christ, we have the fortitude (and the calling, by the way) to keep loving and reaching out to people that have hurt us. We can have the ultimate confidence in Whose we are and Who holds our hearts in His safekeeping. Why should we worry about or image, our pride, our soulish selves?
I'm not trying to sound insensitive. I'm not saying I can actually accomplish this. I just caught a glimpse of what might be possible if we were to fully embrace Christ's gift and purpose for us. I'm not saying to be unwise. Don't get physically hurt. Don't put your life at risk.. unless the Holy Spirit leads you to. Oh, to be so close to the Spirit that we knew HIS wisdom instead of depending only on common sense and worldly advice. What makes sense to the world doesn't cut it in God's Kingdom and those who follow Him should look like fools to the world.
It's like the Matrix out there. Everyone in the Matrix follows the rules of their computer coded world. Laws of gravity, time etc. But those "delivered" from the Matrix and with knowledge of the deception do not abide by those rules and even make decisions that look unwise to those still inside and unaware.
Let's get risky with our hearts. Because really, there's no risk at all if they already belong to the One Who made them.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Favorite Friday

Favorite hobby besides dancing: photography!
I would LOVE to be paid to do this, but I don't know enough to be confident enough to ask for anyone's money, besides, as soon as you get paid for something, stress is introduced into your hobby and I want to just be free to enjoy it.

So maybe I wouldn't love to be paid to do this. But I guess I kind of am anyway.

Paid in the currency of smiles and cherished memories, ohhs, ahhs and wows.

A Hostess at Heart...

...I am not. But I do wish, one day, to acquire the skills and the accessories to be a marvelous hostess.
Here is one tutorial I could SO do in the meantime. Please go and check out this awesome DIY if you have ever served cupcakes or other dainty sweets and wished for a beautiful or unique tiered cake stand to present them on.
I am SO doing this!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

I always thought cleaning ladies were for people with money and big houses. My perception may be changing. A friend of mine had a lady come to do spring cleaning for her because she is having a baby in June and wanted the house extra clean. That started me thinking that maybe I should do that once every three or four months. Then, when I was talking to someone else about it, she said that her friend HAD to make room for it in the budget on a regular basis and now her marriage is a lot happier. That's the one thing she just really disliked doing and her husband really liked being done, so now they're both happy.
And just today, at breakfast with a lovely group of ladies, one of them mentioned that she has someone come regularly and that it really lets her focus on other things (aka. the kids) and makes her husband happy as well. She said it's the best money she spends in her month and hasn't bought clothes in a while just so she can keep the cleaning lady coming back.
It's true, though, that just to keep the house picked up and tidy, not CLEAN is a daunting task and one I rarely accomplish. It seems I'm always juggling schedules. One is up. The other is sleeping. They're both sleeping and I don't want to wake them by doing loud things like putting away dishes or vacuuming. The one that just woke up wants a snack and then wants to play outside. It gets too crazy to stay in the house a second longer, so we go out. It never ends. I also feel like, even though I do play with them and feed them and hold them and bounce them etc. that I never quite give myself to it completely. It's not that I'm consciously thinking about the fact that there are other things to do, but I do think I could enjoy them more if I knew the floors, windows, tubs, toilets and sinks were clean and all I had to do was laundry and picking up after myself and them.
So now I'm seriously wishing for, seriously considering the possibility of... "the cleaning lady," whoever she may be, paying us a visit. Maybe even on a regular basis. It's been a rough month or two with the budget and we're considering buying a bigger car for me to cart the girls around in, so this may continue to be on the back burner and stay a wish for a while.
Any thoughts? do you have a cleaning lady? and if not, how do you make the cleaning happen with small kids?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Clothes!

I FINALLY got a chance to sew something else! I've had piles and piles of fabric on the guest room bed calling me and then it all got put away at Easter because my parents came to see us. I got it out again a couple of days ago while looking for my craft box with all my bow making supplies in it. I failed to find the box, but the fabric started calling me again.

I decided to make something for myself this time. Since, for the most part, all I have to wear these days are clingy t-shirts of various colors and designs, I've been wishing for something a bit stiffer to hide my left-over baby belly. I can't seem to find anything in stores I like that I'm also willing to pay the $$$ for. I have been wanting to try a pillowcase top or dress for a while and decided to take the hour that was handed to me by a miraculously coordinating schedule and go for it. Here's what I came up with! I think it looks better with a belt, but not this belt. I need to get a natural fiber belt, something similar to the hat...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Favorite Friday

This whole Favorite Friday thing is actually kinda weird for me because I usually don't like the question: "What's your favorite _________?"

I certainly never thought I would have a favorite nail polish. My favorite color has been purple for as long as I can remember, but I've never cared for lavender really. And I definitely never considered it for a nail polish color.
For some strange reason, as of the past couple of months, I just feel so pretty with this particular nail polish color on my fingernails. It's called "Done Out In Deco" by OPI and I can't explain my attraction to it.... but I love it!
I have painted my nails with it no less than three times in the last few weeks, and with about 15 nail polish colors that I like to cycle through, that's saying a lot. Painting my nails has become a new way for me to express myself, feel pretty and relax after the kids have gone to bed. It's somewhat therapeutic. I find that, lately, I'm holding on to anything that I feel makes me an individual... separate from just being "Mommy." It's not that I don't want to be "Mommy," but I am still struggling to find myself within that relatively new label.
Wow, this post turned out to be deeper than I intended. Maybe I need a shrink. Or maybe I should just repaint my nails.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wishful Wednesday

My wish, as of late, has been for some great family photos. My parents came in town for Easter and my Mom took this gem...
but I wanted more. I have been wanting some photos of us in the downtown area for some time and then a friend of mine who is a photographer posted on Facebook that she would be doing some mini-sessions in the downtown area. The price was reasonable, the date was available for us and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to capture our family as it is now, in the city where we are building it.

Didn't Misty Slay of Fresh Fotography do a marvelous job?! I'll show you more when we get more pics to show. She just gave us a sneek peek while we wait for the files on CD. I am so, so happy I got my wish.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

It's About Faith

We watched Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed" last night. We have a subscription to Netflix now and it's allowing us to get films that we otherwise might not bother to see because we're not having to pay 4 or 5 dollars a piece to see them.
If you haven't seen this film. I highly, highly recommend it. I know I'm coming from a belief system that probably allowed me to easily receive what the film was saying, but I was really impressed with Ben Stein's methods and questions. He did not seem biased or close-minded to me and often tried to assume the point of view of the majority, only to find a different truth.
I must say that the opening sequence with footage of the Berlin wall and other interspersed footage throughout of clips ranging from a bully sitting on a young boy, to men slapping one another, to Nazi Germany were a bit overkill if the makers of the film were hoping that those not already persuaded that Intelligent Design is a valid theory would watch and not be offended. In other words, I think that those not in his camp, Ben Stein immediately offended by his satire and metaphors instead of gently bringing everyone together on a journey of discovery.

Some random things that struck me:

There is a point in the film toward the end where a certain evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, reads a section from his book "The God Delusion" describing the Judeo-Christian God as all sorts of awful things like homophobic, murderous and other evil adjectives. He also assures Ben Stein that he believes in no gods whatsoever. If taken to it's end, this belief means that life is merely happenstance and a series of accidents, there is nothing beyond it to live for and therefore, no reason to behave a certain way, deny ourselves whatever we want, or have any regard for any other of the meaningless human lives around us. The conclusion that I reach from this is that there is no point in criticizing the God you do not believe in by calling Him evil. If there is no God, there is no good and there is no evil and no moral standard. So the God you do not believe in can not be evil. Do you see what I see? The belief that there is no God almost implodes upon itself. If you want to believe there is no God for other reasons, then fine, but don't call His character into question. You have nothing by which to judge it if He does not exist.

There was also a fabulous section of the film where they show animations of a typical cell's inner workings. It was like worship just to look at it. Incredible. Phenomenal! Words can't describe the awe which I felt. It's been a long time since I learned about the parts of a cell and it was a good review in why our God is so great. Many scientists have staked their entire belief system on a one in several trillion chance of just the right order of proteins coming together to even make the first one-celled organism. What strong faith they have in their theory!

No one Ben Stein interviewed could tell him empirically the origin of life. (of course) It takes faith to believe what no one was there to see for themselves.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Parents' Beware

I've been concerned, ever since I got pregnant that there wouldn't be any quality shows on for my little one to watch once she got here. I've been so pleased to find that there are still shows other than ones that include disrespectful sponges. We like to watch Super Why, Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train in the mornings, and, generally, I'm very happy with the messages these shows present.
My ears are always tuned in though, in case there should be an episode that teaches my daughter something I don't want her to learn. I want her to learn truth, not just what the world thinks is good and right, but real TRUTH.
Today, the episode of Super Why we saw confirmed that I do, in fact, need to be vigilant. I'll try to make the description short. I just wanted to share my thoughts about what I saw.
If you're not familiar with Super Why, the show format is that one of the four kids who are the main characters always has some sort of issue in the beginning. They don't know what the right thing is to do and they call together the "Super Readers," which are their alter egos, to fly into a book and find the answer to the problem. The "right" book magically floats down from the shelves of thousands and from the moral of the story and some letters they find along the way, they learn what their appropriate action should be in real life.
Today, the issue was that one of the little girls had a basket full of apples and didn't want to share. They entered a book where a man had a goose that laid many, many golden eggs. The village people wanted some of his eggs and he wanted not only to keep them all for himself, but also for the goose to lay more and more and more.
The first thing I noticed was that the "Super Readers" focused on helping the goose lay more and more eggs, instead of addressing the man and his issues with greed and selfishness. The goose got very tired because she was caused to lay all these eggs (which, the "Super Readers" didn't seem to understand was their fault). The story ended with the heros changing the last line of the story to make sure the goose only laid two more eggs and could take a vacation. That was it! What? Why even introduce the story as a problem with the man sharing his eggs and pushing the poor goose for more if all you're going to do is help the poor goose lay more?
The secret letters that pop up along the way give them the ultimate answer to the issue at hand when they get back to their clubhouse. The letters spelled "share" in this case, which was good.... but then the little girl says "well, I guess I do have a lot of apples."

So what this story taught my child is:
Firstly, that the Bible isn't our source for answers... but I don't really have a beef with that. I didn't expect it to teach that. Just something to be aware of.
Secondly, that greed is ok as long as you share some in the end.
Thirdly, that the concerns of others (aka the goose) shouldn't be considered...only the ultimate goal.
Lastly, that sharing is only for those who have much more than they could ever use themselves, which allows greed to continue to have a place while satisfying your conscience by giving a little of the excess.

Parents! Beware! Be vigilant! Be involved! Don't let "safe," cute shows make you comfortable. Sift through the cuteness to see what your child is learning and make sure they know the real truth from you.