Friday, December 25, 2009

A Merry, Quiet Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Last night and today have been lovely, quiet days around here. Maybe quiet isn't quite the right word....at least for me. I have been working like a beaver, but enjoying it thoroughly.

Here's Mom all ready to head out for Christmas Eve candlelight service. She looked super in her new coat and accessories.


After church, we came back here for our "traditional" brunch. I usually make a breakfast strada and coffee cake with fresh fruit. The casserole bakes while we open our gifts. This year was the usual routine......without the fruit.

We won't be doing any entertaining this year......I'll miss it. I so enjoy having people over. The hubby doesn't enjoy it like I do. We often have the in-laws over right after Christmas, but this year he wanted to have a more restful holiday......maybe I can talk him into something for new year's.

Here's a couple pics of the scarf I whipped up for the work gift exchange. It's a slip stitch pattern that I've worked before.......it's fun and easy.


This is Barb.......my "secret Santa" pick. She's a great gal and really loved her gift. Her favorite color is purple......can you tell?


In between all the rush lately, I got out Timmy's vest to work on. His exact words when he saw it were, "that has sleeves, right?" "'Cause I really want a sweater." Well, I was having a problem with the pattern, so I decided to tink back to the rib and make him a sweater instead. Hopefully he can wear this before he graduates from college ;)

I also want to start some embroidery work. I purchased eight cotton dinner napkins at Target (four white and four ivory), and want to embroider on them and crochet around the edge. I'll keep it simple since I'd like to have them done for spring....and at the rate I've been going, that's wishful thinking.

One last thing before I go. Have any of you read The Shack? I received it with part of an early birthday gift and couldn't put it down. I'd love to know what you thought of it. All I can say is that I enjoyed the story very much, but felt it was not theologically accurate.

Next post I'll show a couple of the sweet birthday gifts from my beloved friend, Nancy. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Until then, I hope you all feel the love God has sent to us in Jesus.

"Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come and has redeemed his people..."
Luke 1:68

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Addition and Subtraction

The past year has been a series of pluses and minuses for me....lot's of addition and subtraction. I had to subtract a few things from my life.....but have a lot of happy additions. Here's one....the "birthday girl." Pumpkin is one year old today!
Of course the biggest addition is having my mom here full time. Every day brings a new little something with it........be it a concern, a surprise or some sort of challenge. Some folks may consider that a "minus," but I think it's been a plus for all of us. I'm thankful for the help of my family, and for the strength God has given me to meet this most humbling responsibility.

If someone had asked me five years ago what I thought my life would be like today, my description would be vastly different. Knowing my children would be in college and pursuing their own dreams, I figured I would pursue some of my own. I had geared up to go back to college myself......looked forward to spending more time with the hubby, etc.

Now my days see me working more at my "professional" job, and working so much harder at my "home" job. Every once in a while, though, we take some time for fun. Yesterday Emily and I dressed Mom all up and took her to the mall. She bought a new fur (faux) coat, hat, gloves, and purse. She had a good time, and afterward we met the guys for dinner.
Emily and Gram stop to window shop.

Mom is having a good time.

Out to dinner and getting tired.

Not too much needlework getting done. I continue work on Timothy's vest and just finished knitting this hat for a friend at work.....I drew her name for Christmas. My friend loves purple.

I found this handy dandy little pom pon maker a couple of years ago, and I really love it.

I love making "bobbles."

Our house is ready for Christmas...but I am not. I have only picked up a couple of things for the stockings. No baking has been done, and I have only partially planned our menu. I won't be taking any time off between now and the new year, so I'll somehow squeeze everything in. I suppose a lot of little things will be let go.....a far cry from all the years I was a full-time homemaker. I dream of being home again full time......until then, I'll remember all my blessings, including my job in this difficult economy.

I'll ring off for now......with thanks to all my friends who have left comments while I was away to remind me of your lovely thoughts. I am so blessed to have you all.

I'm going to endeavor to post again before Santa comes......until then, keep warm and let me know of all your doings.

"You will keep in perfect peace, him whose mind is steadfast..." Isaiah 26:3

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sunshine Sunday

"A ray of sunshine, a balmy breeze
Are a gift from God above...
He also gives us faithful friends
To warm our hearts with love.
"


It's a beautiful, sunny weekend here in Michigan...a nice change since we have been getting a lot of rain and colder temps. I've missed my little blog.

First, I want to thank all of you for your sincere and lovely comments after my last post. Every word was a balm to me. Things are perking along here at the 'Acre. My hubby, a sweet and sensitive guy, has had a rough couple of weeks. For now he is doing some contract work....not his dream but a blessing all the same because he needs to stay busy and it sure helps financially.

Now to catch up on a few other bits........

I mentioned last time about our anniversary. It was such a treat to get away overnight. We drove down to Ohio for the Country Living Fair. They have a vast assortment of crafts people selling their wares.......set on the grounds of a little historic village. We had a warm day and a good time.




Someday I want to make a quilt like this...I like applique.

In other news, I finished one sock and have started on the other. Also continuing the work on Timothy's sweater vest. No sewing lately and only a little crochet. I'm still hooked on making the little motifs.....they are perfect for filling short snippets of time.

I came across these sweet little fall plates and pumpkins. I love pretty dishes but have only a small collection. These will be fun to set the table with each autumn.


I love the little deer.
And....since it's autumn.......here's my favorite pumpkin.

Pumpkin says, "not another picture."

Oh well, hope you are enjoying my favorite season....I'm off to enjoy a cup of tea.
Toodles.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Today

Today I hoped to blog about my wonderful anniversary weekend.

Instead, just a short note to ask for your prayers. My husband became unemployed today...and my heart aches for him. Even though we expected this, it is devastating nonetheless.

I am a little beside myself as well, but hopefully I'll be back very soon with a happier post.

Love,
Amy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Apple Cake and Jesus

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
~Jesus....Matthew 28:20



We have a lovely church not far from our home that is well known in these parts for its extraordinary beauty. The building and grounds are just lovely. We were out for a couple of quick errands, and it was a gorgeous day here, so I asked the hubby to stop by the Shrine of the Little Flower to snap a couple pictures.

A recent addition (I'm not sure what year) is a monument of Jesus at the Last Supper. A life-sized statue sits alone at the table with twelve empty seats around him. It's difficult to describe the feeling of sitting across the table from Jesus, even a sculptured one.

This is a beautiful garden complete with waterfull and statue of Mary (not visible from this picture).

There are gardens with benches all around, as well as the story of the crucifixion told on plaques throughout the gardens. You can see the front of the church in the background of this pic.

Once we got home, I changed gears and mixed up an apple cake. While working, I thought about all the wonderful places I am privileged to have so close to home. I will stop by this church again, perhaps when I am alone and can stay longer. It would be a lovely place to sit and pray, think, even make out a list or two.
I serve the cake with vanilla ice cream and a little carmel sauce drizzled over both. Tim was nearby when I took this snap and offered to "take one for the team" and eat it once the picture was taken. Such a good sport, eh?
Look's like Pumpkin is wondering where her cake is :)


Praying it's a good week for you and me.

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ, Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday

Remember when my friend Diane gifted me with the two beautiful bundt pans?
Well, she also shared her recipe for Bananaberry Bread, which I have made many times since.

Today, I had some bananas that were getting too ripe, but was fresh out of blueberries.
I did have about 3/4 cup of maraschino cherries in the fridge and about 2/3 cup of chocolate chips in the pantry....so, how about some Cherry Chip Banana Bread?


Today is a doctor appointment for my mom. I'm ahead of the game....Mom's had a shower and a good breakfast. I think we'll have a little hot tea and banana bread in an hour or so, and then a short rest and out the door at 4:00.


Happily I report the first item to cross off the list is done......the tea towel for my neighbor, Angel.


Angel had a five-vessel coronary bypass last Tuesday. She is only 45. Two weeks ago today she went to the hospital with chest pains and they told her she'd need a triple bypass. Apparently once they began surgery it was determined that two more arteries were blocked. Please keep Angel in your prayers.

******************

Tomorrow I'll spend the day with Emily and Leah.....and the evening with the sewing girls. Our friend, Jan, is back here from Las Vegas for the weekend, so we've planned an impromptu get together at Panera Bread.
Until next time......love you bunches!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Just Peachy, Thanks


It's been just peachy here at the 'Acre this past week.

I can honestly say I've done a lot of baking in my life....but somehow never
made a peach pie. Some peaches came my way from the Romeo, Michigan Peach Festival,
so I gave it a whorl.

I tried a new pie crust recipe.....one that uses butter instead of shortening.
It was delicious....a little more like a "cookie" crust.


The finished pie......even though it looks too brown here and there, it was very good.
Apple is still my favorite, but it's good to try new things, right?
Check out Emily's blog....she tried her hand at peach freezer jam and did a super job.

**************
I unintentionally mentioned the concept of "planning" in both of my last posts. Apparently that is more of an issue with me than even I realized :) Maybe the fact that I carry a palm pilot in my purse and a planner in my tote should have clued me in. Just so you know, I'm planning to loosen up a bit.

In craft news, there really isn't any. I'm putting myself on a "crafting diet" and only working with projects that need to be completed or with the materials I already have on hand. That should keep me going a year or two.

Here's my to-do list.

* The tea towel I'm embroidering for my neighbor.....about 80% or more done.
* Finish the socks that have been on the needles for...oh I don't know...a long time
* The green and brown summer top that I'm making to go with brown capris
* The pink and white baby entrelac afghan
* The pink toddler sweater....which will wind up in the gift stash since the original recipient kept on growing
*
Two pair of knitted slippers that were intended Valentine gifts
* So much sewing...that can actually wait for me...until my life is more my own (I'll look forward to working on these projects someday)

I'll let you know when I finish something....and you let me know what you'd like to finish up (or start). Until next time........hope you're feeling "peachy."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sweet Treats & Tidbits

Let them eat cake......
or this case, organic doggie treats.


Here's the recipe...
  • 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour - I used full grain flour
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 cups rolled oats (I used old-fashioned and ground them finer in the food processor)
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk powder
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • Warm water as needed for consistency

Mix all ingredients together and turn onto a floured surface. Knead several times and roll to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into shapes as desired. Bake at 350 about 15-20 minutes or until golden.


I tweaked Rhonda's recipe, which I found here. The biscuits came out good and little Pumpkin just loves 'em! I am keeping these in the freezer and taking a few out every couple of days to make them last. I called the vet to ask what they thought of homemade treats, and they were all for it.

*******


My sweet friend, Yaya has presented me with a blog award. As usual, I am a day late and dollar short recognizing her generosity. I am ever grateful for your friendship, Idalia. Many thanks for thinking of me.

*******

I have so much nothingness to report that I fear I'd bore you all to death with the daily reports. So instead I will share my view from the porch.

Here's my favorite spot.....the loveseat rocker. I can't tell you how nice it was today to sit outside and spend a few quiet moments.

My sweet pink begonias....I never tire of them.

Impatiens.......and the pretty lacy shadow from the porch rail.

A view over the rooftops........a beautiful blue sky with cotton candy clouds.

There was a good breeze today and the temps were finally a little cooler with less humidity. I did some embroidery and knitting while outside.

Emily and I enjoyed an evening of shopping at a new outdoor mall near us. It's so nice to spend some "girl time" together.......thank's for a nice evening, Honey.

Well, tomorrow is another day......and who know's what I'll be doing. My best made plans never pan out as I expect, so I'm just rolling with it and haven't really made any for this weekend. Other than my usual homemaking........I'm keeping a positive thought and an open mind. Hope your weekend is just what you had in mind......and if not.......that it turns out better than you could have imagined.

"Plans are nothing......planning is everything. "
~Dwight D. Eisenhower