Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday 4

Mealtimes at our house are always fun. I've got a good eater on my hands!

Switching gears ... Here is my submission to The Paper Mama's photo challenge. This weeks's topic: favorite photo from August.
The Paper Mama

Forget favorite picture, this was my favorite moment of the month. Cohen learning how to stand on his own. We were both so proud.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Go Team! onsie tutorial

While stalking perusing Pinterest the other day, I stumbled upon this and spit my Diet Coke all over the computer screen:

My first thought was "OMG this is the cutest thing ever!" My second thought was, "I NEED to make this!" and my third thought was more pouty:  "Hubby will kill me if I put his boy in this shirt."

I am in luck, though. A sweet friend had the cutest little girl not too long ago, and her big brother just happens to play football. I made up my mind on the spot: precious Ava will cheer on her big brother in style this season. Wanna know how I made her shirt? Read on.

**Before we move on, let me confess that I am new and self-taught on the sewing machine. I make mistakes and probably don't do things they way they should be done. But it works for me, and I am learning each day**

You will need a shirt (or onsie, as in this case), fabric for the football, ribbon in your team's colors, coordinating thread, a needle, Steam a Seam (or whatever iron-on adhesive you choose) and your sewing machine. That's it.  Oh, and a football pattern. You need that, too.

Step 1: Trace your football pattern (I just Googled "football" and looked through the images until I found one I liked) onto the smooth side of the Steam a Seam. Like so:

Step 2: Cut out the football shape and iron the bumpy side to the backside of the football fabric. It is very important that you do not iron your pattern onto the pretty side. This is what it should look like.

Step 3: Cut out the fabric football. See how pretty?

Step 4: Remove the paper backing and position your football on your onsie (it should be fairly in line with the armpits of the shirt). Iron. Starting to get exciting, huh?

Step 5: Now we're ready to start sewing! I use the basic straight stitch setting. You could zig-zag, but I really like the cleanliness of a straight stitch. Here's what it looks like on my machine:

Now, position your needle. I use the notch in the presser foot as a guide. I place the notch on the edge of the football fabric. Also, start sewing in the corner of the football where you are going to put your bow. That way, if your start and stop don't line up, the bow can cover it.

Stitch all the way around the football, stopping every once in a while to lift the presser foot (while the needle's still down!) and reposition the notch on the edge of the fabric.

When you get all the way around the football, backstich. Now you have an ironed-on Hey! Arnold head. 

Let's add the white seams to the football (I just drew out the seams, ironed them on the football, and stitched -- just like I did with the football). A football! Horray!

Step 6: This is probably the trickiest part of the whole process: making a bow. I have no picture of how to tie a bow as it took me a good while and lots of head scratching to get this bow. It's a basic tie-your-shoe kind of bow. I'm sure you could come up with a better one. Anyway, I positioned it where I wanted on the shirt and hand-stitched the bow in place. See?

Once you finish attaching your bow, you're finished! Yippee! This is absolutely a naptime project as it took about an hour from start to finish (and that was with me starting and stopping frequently to take pictures, think through the process, and eat delicious freshly-baked cookies).

Now you know how to make this shirt -- go make your own before the weekend's football festivities (we're counting down the hours until Thursday night over here)!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lest Darkness Overtake You

Sometimes the Holy Spirit has a way of waking me up in the mornings by giving me a good slap in the face. And while a spiritual slap is quite painful in the same way a physical slap would be, it is also a precious reminder of God's sweet love and guidance. I am thankful for holy slaps.

This morning, my time with the Lord centered around one verse:
"Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you." John 12:35
I'm reminded of a day a few weeks ago. I wanted some pictures of Cohen in the backyard. I had planned it all day. The original plan was to take pictures after his nap, but he slept late that afternoon, and by the time he woke up, it was time to cook dinner. So I moved on to plan B.

Plan B: I would go ahead and cook dinner and eat with my husband, but immediately afterwards we would all head outside to take some pictures. But Cohen had a particularly messy fun time enjoying his dinner, and a trip to the bathtub for a good wash-down was necessary.

Plan C consisted of giving the baby a quick bath, dressing him in a cute outfit, and heading to the backyard to finally get my pictures. By the time we made it outside, the baby was cranky and ready to go to bed, the daylight was weak and quickly fading, and I was frustrated. I didn't get the pictures I wanted. I did, however, manage to be ugly toward my precious son and well-meaning husband.

How often I have days like that with the Lord! I am guilty of knowing exactly what God wants me to do, but because it may not be what I want to do, I will put it off. I'm quick to give excuses: it doesn't feel like the right time, I'm not in the right frame of mind, I have other things to take care of, that person is not receptive, and on and on. In reality though, if God calls me to do something, anything, that moment is the absolute perfect time to do it.

Do God's work while you have the light. With every excuse, the sun sinks lower on the horizon until all you're left with is an overpowering darkness and a list of excuses.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Finding the Joy Friday, v1

Today I'm finding joy in...

-- eating leftover birthday cupcakes AND brownies. And not feeling one shred of guilt about it.

-- my birthday card from my husband. It is so us.

-- getting belly laughs out of my baby. I found a new ticklish spot, and it's hilarious watching him anticipate the tickle.

-- free food in honor of my birthday. Thanks, Moe's, for my birthday burrito! Everything tastes better when it's free.

-- building architectural masterpieces out of foam building blocks only to have Cohen knock them down.

-- having a "me night" last night surrounded by some really great ladies and some even better food. Church-lady-food is the best.

-- the feeling that everything is the way it should be.

What are YOU finding joy in?

Linking up with Momma St. J Says for Finding the Joy Friday. You should, too!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday 3

There's a song our kids leared at Vacation Bible School this year. It goes like this: "We've got so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much, so much to be thankful for!" That could be the theme song to my life right now!

Here are the top 10 things I'm thankful for this week:

1. 27 years ago. On this day 27 years ago, my mom brought me into this world. Yup, it's my birthday!

2. Birthday parties. We threw one large birthday party for all the kids in the youth group last night. It was so much fun to hang out and eat junk food, and the best part is that everyone got a present! Presents are always good.

3. Selfless deeds. I was the recipient of a very selfless deed this week. It has made my steps a little spring-ier and my smile a little brighter.

4. Husbands. Well, mine in particular. He is the best person in my life. And he makes me laugh :)

5. No traffic. We used to live in Atlanta and battled the traffic every day. A few years ago, we moved away from all that traffic and never looked back. Well, this morning, I drove into Atlanta an hour after rush hour and it still took me almost 2 hours to drive 20 miles. Ugh.

6. Shiny nails. A birthday present today: this kit. It makes your nails look like you're wearing a glossy polish. Best part? Unlike every single manicure I've ever gotten, it doesn't chip off an hour later.

7. Happy babies. Mine is the happiest and most easy going. How did I get so lucky?! We were out this morning, and he missed his morning nap and was so very sleepy. He was still so sweet and never once cried or screamed or did anything else to embarrass me. I love that kid.

8. Cooler weather. Well, in the mornings, at least. We've enjoyed the last couple mornings with temperatures in the 70s. Makes me want fall to get here NOW.

9. These people (one's missing). They are the people who help us lead the student ministry. We make a great team, and my husband and I are so thankful for them.

10.  July 12, 1998. Today is my birthday, but July 12, 1998 is my better birthday. That was the day I became a Christian and received eternal life.

Here's what the Bible says about this better birthday:
  • "In reply Jesus declared, 'I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.'" (John 3:3, NIV)
  • "Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.'" (John 3:5-6, NIV)
  •  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV)
  • "In his great mercy he (God the Father) has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you ..." (1 Peter 1:3-4, NIV)

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

What are you thankful for this week? You can post in the comment section below if you don't have a blog to post to!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday 3

Today's Wordless Wednesday is also my entry in Paper Mama's Photo Challenge. Topic: furry friends.

Best friends from the beginning :)

Link to Paper Mama's Photo Challenge here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Feeling the Attacks

Today's is a personal post. It has been my study for the past week. It is umpolished and not what I consider "pretty" enough for a real blog post. For that reason, I am hesitant to share it. But I feel the Lord telling me to share what's on my heart.

Last week, I posted this about a person's spiritual temperature. I shared how lately I had been inching toward lukewarm, and that made Satan happy because the lukewarm person will do the work of the devil for him. Now that I am moving back toward hot, I know I am making him angry because I can feel his attacks.

That poses the question: How does Satan attack the Christian? I found this article the other day, and I think it does a good job of using Biblical truth to explain. Let me share what I've learned:

1. Satan attacks the Christian by bringing up fleshly desires through unbelievers and an unbelieving world. (Gal.5:19-20, Gal. 5:17).  

2. Satan attacks the Christian by deceiving him with the lies of worldly wisdom through unbelievers and an unbelieving world. (Jas. 4:1-6, Matt.16: 21-24).

3. He attempts to deceive us with a false Jesus and a false gospel through false Christians. (2 Cor.11:2-42 Cor.11: 13-15)

4. Satan can physically afflict us or ones that we love with illness, crimes, disasters, persecution and the like.
(Job 1:1-2:8, 1 Pet.5: 8-9)

In James 4:7, James tells Christians to “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

It is wise, therefore, to know and understand these ways of attacks so when we are confronted with them, we recogonize them for what they are and do not allow ourselves to get drawn into them. That is the scheme of the devil: to distract us from the works of God.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cohen is 9 months old

Ok, technically, Cohen turned 9 months old last week, but, silly me, I didn't get around to writing this letter until this morning. So we're just going to pretend he's 9 months old today, mmmmkay?

Dear Cohen,

Today you are 9 months old! It seems hard to believe most days that just nine months ago, you were so little and helpless. Those words definitely don't describe you now!

You are the brightest ray of sunshine in my life. You are smiley and giggly and full of energy. And it begins when you first wake up! I love walking into your room every morning and seeing your huge smile spread across your face. Lately, when you see me, you start whispering, "Mama ... mama... mama," which is pretty great, too.

You have "Mama" and "Dada" down pat. You only say "Mama," during the day, but when daddy comes home, you switch to "Dada." You know how to give high fives, and you are very quick to give them! You like to clap (you have the cutest way of clapping -- melts my heart every time), and wave to people. You even wave to people on Sesame Street! You are trying to learn how to blow kisses, but right now it just looks like you're waving at your face!

This month, you have started standing on your own. You get so proud of yourself when you realize that no one's helping you! Your daddy and I are very proud of you too, and we can't believe that you're doing it so early. But you've done everything early, so I guess we should have expected it!

You have 6 teeth (4 top front teeth and 2 bottom front teeth), but you've got some pesky bottom back teeth that are trying to come in. They bother you a lot, and last weekend, they actually made you really sick. You had a fever and lost all your energy. Your daddy and I were so scared and felt so bad for you. We just wanted to take it away for you. You were a trooper, though, and got better quickly.

You are a wild man! You love to explore and discover things. You like to climb the stairs, and if we're not watching you close enough, you'll be up the stairs and exploring in a matter of a few minutes. We have to block off the stairs with the dog crate, but you've learned how to shake the crate so it moves enough for you to get by. How did you get to be so smart?!

You love your bottles! You are actually pretty obsessed with them. It doesn't even matter whose bottle it is, you just know you want it. You get 4 5-oz bottles a day, and you eat 3 meals and lots of snacks throughout the day. You are a really good eater and will eat anything I give you. Your favorite foods are diced carrots and green beans. You eat fruits, but they don't seem to be your favorites. You really don't like blueberries, but you eat them when I give them to you. You're such a good boy. You love to snack on Cheerios and puffs, and this month we discovered yogurt. You went crazy for yogurt! You also like to try anything that daddy or I are eating, too.

We go to the doctor for a check up next week, so I don't know your official weight, but when we get on the scale together, you add about 21 pounds. You are getting very long, too. In just the last month, your body has gotten too long for your 6 month clothes. 9 month clothes are even fitting a little too well. It looks like we might skip 9 month clothes and just move on to 12 month clothes!

Lastly, you are my best cuddlebug. You love nothing more than when I lay down on the floor, because that means you get to crawl on top of me. You like to lay your head on my chest and give kisses. Your kisses are a big open-mouth slobber, but I love them because they come from you. When you get sleepy, you like to snuggle in my arms and rub my face. How did I get so lucky to have you?! You are my favorite little boy in the whole world, and I love you to the moon and back!

Until next month, I love you, little boy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

{P}interesting things I need to try

Back in April, I bought my first sewing machine, and ever since then, I've been a crafting fool. I spend many nap times behind the sewing maching -- some of my creations turn out really well. And some, well, they flop. But I'm learning and having fun, and every once in a while even a blind squirrel finds a nut. And this blind squirrel has made a couple of really cute things.

One of my boards on Pinterest is dedicated to things I want to try my hand at making. I'm thinking if I make it public, I'll feel more pressured to try them out. Here are top 5 projects on my to-do list:

1. Vest and Tie onsie, from rocknrags Etsy shop

I have mastered the tie onsie, and I figure adding the vest wouldn't be too difficult. I plan on thrifting a pair of men's dress pants to make the vest and a matching pair of baby dress pants. Can you say super cute church outfit?

2. T-shirt hat from I am momma, hear me roar

I attempted a cotton hat over the summer, but I got frusterated with it and gave up (it's still sitting on my kitchen table taunting me). Maybe with better directions and a better material, I could do better. Next time I go to the thrift store, I'll be on the lookout for a cool shirt to cut up.

3. The "Not Ugly Car Trash Bag" from Pink Chalk Studio

Ok, I NEED this. That's motivation enough.

4. Turkey Shirt from The Cottage Home

Ok, I know this shirt is very girly, but I'm thinking with the right scraps, I can man it up a little for my little guy. Besides, he'll only be a year old at Thanksgiving ... I could put him in sissy clothes and he wouldn't know the difference. Muhahaha.

5. The 90 minute shirt from Dana Made It

First off, Dana is a sewing beast (did I just say beast?!). I love all her sewing tutorials and totally appreciate her BOY series. I mean, do you even know how hard it is to find tutorials for cute boy things? Trust me, it's hard. I've been eyeing the 90 minute shirt for a few months now for multiple reasons: 1. I can use a thrifted shirt, so it'll only cost me $1. 2. Uhm, it's called the 90 minute shirt. That's a complete craft in 1 nap. I like to be a good steward of naptime freedom. And C. Imagine the possibilities! Color combos, appliques, stenciling. Ohhh, this could be bad for my naptime sewing time...

Linking up with paw prints and pastry bags for pinnable me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thankful Thursday 2

Linking up with Curious Georgi this week for Thankful Thursday

1. I am thankful for consignment. I participated in a very large consignment sale this week, and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the entire experience.
Here's my pile of things to sell:
And here's what I bought:

I think I bought more than I put up for sale, but I made out like a bandit! Already looking forward to the Spring sale!

2. I am thankul for God's wisdom and timing. He is the great orchestrator; I just wish I always appreciated that in the moment.

3. I am thankful that I am able to provide "new" toys for my son to play with. Watching him play with and enjoy them makes my heart happy.

He loves his new tunnel
and his tricycle horse

4. I am thankful for God's healing. He is doing mighty things in healing Caden's heart. Seeing what God is doing in that family's life alone is enough to fill up an entire Thankful Thursday post.

5. I am thankful that even though there are babies all over the world who are really sick and need healing, God still has time to hear my prayers and heal my baby. On Saturday, Cohen came down with a fever that really wiped him out. We were out of comission all day on Sunday. Having a sick baby is not fun. Thankfully, he's better now, but here he was on Sunday:

6. I am thankful for soap. Look at yesterday's Wordless Wednesday, and you'll understand why.

7. I am thankful that I am surrounded by people who care about and love me and my family. I've asked God to remove people from my life who don't have good intentions towards us, and I can see Him working.

8. I am thankful for my grocery shopping trip yesterday. We have a tiny grocery budget and rely heavily on couponing. The past few months haven't been great coupon-wise, and I have felt like I wasn't saving much money. Yesterday's trip was encouraging. We saved 50% off our grocery bill at Kroger. It felt good.

9. I am thankful for peace of mind.

10. I am thankful for moments like these. I mean, doesn't it just melt your heart?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18

What are you thankful for this week? You can post in the comment section below if you don't have a blog to post to!