Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stash Bash ~ Holy Week Edition

This week's Stash Bash is all about getting all of the projects that are imperative for Easter finished. I really want everyone to look their best this year. With four sacraments on Saturday, you can't show up looking shabby. We never do, but you know what I mean. It is a special day regardless, but three confirmations and one First Holy Eucharist are a great reason to get extra specially dressed up. We bought new suit pants for dad, Noah and Owen. I planned on making Maria's confirmation / Easter dress, but it was only a few days ago that I realized that Patrick's church pants are toooooo short. How can that be? I just made them in February, I think.

I finally made him the Treasure Pocket Trousers from the Sewing for Boys: 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe book that I borrowed from the library. I have had my eye on this book for a while and wanted to see if it was worth buying. I found the directions incredibly difficult to understand for these pants, but that may just be me. The directions are different than the picture and that irritated me. I found an errata online and some modified instructions and pattern piece. They turned out wonderfully, but they sure took me a long time to make. Arghhhh! I wanted to  be done a bunch of other things on my to do list, but c'est la vie. It is what it is. The pants are cute, though. There are more pictures in yesterday's post.


I also made him a bow tie from the SEW IT ALL magazine that I also borrowed from the library. It was so easy to make. I can see myself making a few more of these in the future.

I also made Maria's confirmation dress this week. My machine has seen a lot of miles this week. Thankfully the kids helped with babysitting, cooking and whatever else that mom needed them to do. I used the Wrap Top & Dress pattern from YouCanMakeThis.com. I got the pattern during one of their $5 sales. If you subscribe to their email, you get notifications for their pattern sales. It is worth the full price though. The instructions are super easy to follow and the pictures a really helpful.




My serger finally arrived. Oh, it is so much fun! Who knew??? I even used it to make a rolled hem for the first time. It is so handy that I am going to have to find excuses to use it more often.


I whipped up a flower clip for Maria's hair. I don't know if you can tell, but the flower is made of a fabric that has white birds on it. I'd like to believe that they are doves. The button has little Edelweiss flowers on it. I still have to finish our Easter table runner. I was having issues with it and then life happened. I am not too worried about it. If it doesn't get finished for Easter Sunday, there are still weeks of Easter season left to enjoy it. 

Last weekend, I helped Owen make this little pillow from the book S is for Stitch that I blogged about last week. He did the embroidery and stitched the patches together. I assembled it all into a pillow. He is so proud of his work and so am I. Our fingers are crossed that we win this book because our library copy has to go back soon.


Don't forget to stop by Tricia's blog (if you have time) and see what everyone has been sewing.

God Bless and have a wonderful Easter.
Vintage Easter Card

Friday, March 22, 2013

And the Winners ARE...


The doll quilt goes to...
We have been reading Beatrix Potter pop up books. My son is sooo ready for spring...so am I! The quilt would be a perfect addition to our story time! If I happen to win the doll dress, please give it to Reb Thack's little girl. From her comment, it sounds like her little girl is having a tough time :( Thank you for participating in the blog hop. What fun to visit everyone :)
The doll dress goes to...
My favorite way to beat the winter blues is to play in the SNOW with my children.

Thanks for all of the entries. I have sent emails to the winners. 



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

It's More Than Weight Loss



Exactly 60 days ago, I began a challenge. This challenge was tough. At times, it made me want to give up and hide under my blankets. This challenge was bigger than the weight loss. It wasn't until after Mass and mom's group this morning that I realized why I needed this challenge. My fitness journey revealed to me what I need for my spiritual journey.

60 days ago, I signed up for the T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge. You were to submit specific photos and measurements and do one or more of the T-Tapp workouts for 60 days. The pictures of me were awful. You see all of your problem areas magnified. I almost didn't sign up. I convinced myself that I could do it, signed up and was gung-ho. I really thought that I had the stuff to do this. I wanted to win a trip to Florida, which Canadian wouldn't?

This is so much like my spirituality. I go to Mass every Sunday, sometimes even during the week. I do the exercise even when I don't feel like it because I know that I need it. I need Jesus. I need Him to help me through every challenge that comes my way. Do I always have my heart in it? The answer is NO! For whatever reason, I do some days more than others. My workouts were like this.

At the beginning of the challenge I had fire and drive. I worked out without getting distracted. I put in the effort for the results, I wanted to be skinny like I was before I had children. Then I got a bug and couldn't work out for a few days. Then the baby was fussy and didn't sleep well because he was cutting teeth. Then my knee hurt. Then it had been so long that it was hard to start over. I could have given up, but I didn't. I began again, but it wasn't the same.

When I neglect my prayer life, my life gets hard. I get distracted and don't pray as much. I lose focus. Heaven seems like it is so far away. I want to give up because being a Christian is hard. It is hard to deny oneself. It is hard to pick up your cross, let alone carry it willingly. I start over and commit to praying again and then life gets easier, not easier as in things go my way, but easier as in I can handle the bumps better.

A few weeks into the challenge, I added supplements (Alfalfa) to my diet and began skin brushing. My body began to detox and I felt vigorous again. I tried a new T-Tapp workout to give my body more of a challenge. It felt good to work hard, but I wasn't seeing the results that I had hoped for and lost spirit.

Does any of this sound familiar? Sometimes I commit to reading my bible more or to reading a spiritual book. I want to detox and come closer to God. I put in a lot of effort (or at least I think that I do) and then if I don't FEEL God's presence or FEEL God's love, I put in less effort. It is wrong, I know this, but it is who I am. I want to be a winner in God's eyes. I want to shed all the bad, but it is hard. Especially if you let your FEELings influence your actions.

I didn't try hard enough during the challenge. I skipped workouts, I let myself get distracted and did not get the results that I had hoped for. But that is not what it is all about and that's what I found out later.

Even though I don't see my ideal reflection in the mirror, my body is better for it. I got rid of some of the toxins, I built some muscle and got rid of some fat. I am sure that my joints are thanking me, my heart is thanking me and my brain is thanking me even if I don't see those things. I have more work to do, my journey has only begun.

My spiritual life is like my workouts. I need to work on it even if I don't see the results I want. I know that God is working on me even if I don't FEEL like He is. I will always have work to do in coming closer to God. I also know that if I don't put in the effort and give up for a bit that it will be harder to get into it again. I can't let my prayer life slide anymore than I can let my health slide. I need God and the people around me need me to be fit so that I can serve them. My husband needs a wife, a healthy wife and not a skinny wife. My kids need a mom that can keep up to them and to challenge them and to care for them. I can't do any of these things if I am lethargic physically or spiritually. Teresa Tapp's motto is "Yes you can!" God's motto is "Yes you can!" He even gives me the graces to do it.

I debated on whether or not to lay it out on the table and reveal my before and after photos. Mind you, I am all for modesty and I wouldn't normally share photos like this, but I want to show you that despite all of the struggles I managed to see improvements. I lost a total of 21 inches in 60 days (you measure inches and not lbs) and dropped about 3-4 dress sizes. I have a long way to go spiritually and physically, but with God's grace I will enter heaven after a long and healthy life.





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Celebrating Husband and Father

St. Joseph and Jesus.Happy Feast of St. Joseph!

While searching the web for a prayer appropriate for the day, I stumbled upon the following prayer. It is called:

A special prayer to Saint Joseph

Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in you all my interest and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him close in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls - Pray for me.

This prayer was found in the fiftieth year of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles when he was going into battle. 

Whoever shall read this prayer or hear it or keep it about themselves, shall never die a sudden death, or be drowned, nor shall poison take effect on them; neither shall they fall into the hands of the enemy, or shall be burned in any fire or shall be overpowered in battle.

Say for nine mornings for anything you may desire. It has never been know to fail, so be sure you really want what you ask. ~ source: prayerbook.com

This wasn't the exact prayer that I was looking for, but isn't it beautiful? I got tears in my eyes while praying this and knew that I couldn't disregard it. Sometimes I am funny that way?

We are making a new tradition in our family as of today. We are celebrating St. Joseph's feast day by spoiling our spouse/father. St. Joseph is such a model for husbands and fathers. I think about how he protected Our Lord and Our Lady. God gave him a huge task. God gives husbands and father's the same task, provider and protector of families. St. Joseph is an inspiration. I never realized that my husband was so devoted to him. There are actually things that I don't know about my husband and I am amazed. What better day than today to honor our husbands and father of our children than today.

My husband is my everything. We have been through so much together and he has never abandoned me. He is the reason I do so many of the things that I do. I never knew that I could love someone so deeply before I met him. I don't tell him often enough how much I appreciate all that he does. I may be sounding a bit sappy, but it is all true. And the next time he is bugging me for whatever reason, remind me to read this post again.

So instead of making St. Joseph's Day treats that you would typically see on a St. Joseph's Altar, we are making daddy a simple meal. One of his favorite meals  is chicken curry. Tonight there will be yummy chicken and veggie curry on mashed potatoes, orange delight smoothies (made by the kids) and nutella ice cream pops for desert. It's the best I can do without using gluten (like almost every typical St. Joseph's Feast Day recipe ).


While Adam napped and I prepped the dinner, the kids made daddy some Feast Day cards. I think it is important that my children know and respect all of the things that daddy does for them and not to take daddy for granted. I am sure that Jesus never took St. Joseph for granted. Imagine the love that Jesus must have felt for St. Joseph while working alongside him in the shop. I am sure that He looked up to him as any child looks up to a father. I can only imagine the love that Mary must have felt in having a husband that honored God and then protected and cherished her and Jesus both. What a man! My husband talks about St. Joseph being the ultimate man. He remarks fondly that he didn't have an easy task living with two people who never sinned. If anything was out of sorts, it was Joseph's fault. I was pleasantly surprised when Sascha said that he was choosing Joseph for his confirmation name. What a great choice! To aid him on his journey, he is getting some inspiration from his kiddos.


by Owen

by Noah

by Mia with the book that inspired the idea

He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying ‘Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.’ from a sermon by Saint Bernardine of Siena
St. Joseph, Patron of fathers, pray for us. 

D is for Dinosaur and S is for Stitch

A few weeks ago, I was reading some random blogs for some inspiration. When bloggers do book reviews on books that look really good, I open up our library website and promptly put the book on hold. The following book is no exception. This is a brand new book and I am one of the first to take a look at it. I like to preview books at the library first before I invest in it. S is for Stitch: 52 Embroidered Alphabet Designs + Charming Projects for Little Ones


I don't do a lot of embroidery, but this book is adorable. I might actually have to make the 'abc' quilts for our home school. Paddy is three now and is really into learning his letters and Owen is an emerging reader. Dyslexia has really held him back, but he really is determined. He is reading now. It is really hard for him, but he is reading!

Last week, I promised to do some sewing with him, but I wasn't sure what he should make. I wanted him to use some charm square that I had, that I knew, but the rest was unknown. I wanted a simple sewing project for him because he doesn't follow directions very well. It wasn't until I picked this book up from the library that I knew what he was going to work on. Owen was going to make himself a pillow like the one on page 124.  



 Yesterday, during school time, we got started. I trimmed the squares to the sizes indicated in the book and Owen sewed them all together. I didn't follow all of the directions to a 't'. I sewed the block to be embroidered into the pillow before embroidering. The book suggests to do the embroidering first, but I don't have a little hoop. It is also easier for Owen to hold a bigger hoop, so I cheated a little.... And we changed the picture. Owen wanted to make a dinosaur. He is a huge fan of these prehistoric creatures.
This is the sneak peak of his stitching. I am a proud mama, I must admit. It is nice having fellow needle workers in the house. 
After working with Owen on his project, I decided to look online to see how much this little book will set me back financially. Then, I noticed that beginning today, there is a "S is for Stitch" blog hop in which you can win this book as part of the giveaway. Here is the line up:

Allison Rosen @ stashbooksblog.com - March 19
Allison Harris @ cluckclucksew.com - March 20
Amanda Jean Nyberg @ crazymomquilts.blogspot.ca - March 21
Amy Sinibaldi @ nanacompany.typepad.com - March 22
Anne Sutton @ bunnyhillblog.com - March 25
Lori Holt @ beeinmybonnetco.blogspot.ca - March 26
Sherri McConnell @ aquiltinglife.com - March 27
Me! @ prettybyhand.com - March 28

Happy Feast of St. Joseph, everyone. Thanks for stopping by. God Bless.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Stash Bash

My mind has been all over the place this week. I spent too much time on social media, watching tv and online watching everything about the conclave and our new pope. I am so happy that we have a new pope. From what I have been reading and watching, Pope Francis is going to be a wonderful Holy Father and next leader of our church.

I haven't been sewing that much lately, but managed to finish a mini quilt for my Etsy shop and start one for
us. 




 This is supposed to be a candle mat for St. Patrick's Day, but it still needs the binding. I wonder if it will even get finished for St. Paddy's Day on Sunday? Hmmmmm


I have begun a new stash, a stash of beads. I know that this is a Stash Bash post and don't worry, I plan on working through this stash.


This is the first 5 decade rosary that I have made for the shop. It is almost too pretty to sell. It is so hard parting with home made things. Having an Etsy shop is hard. I love the things that I make. They are a labor of love. I suppose that it would be terrible if I didn't love the things I make. I refuse to sell anything that I wouldn't be proud to own. I care about the products I make and the customers who buy them.


Also, in case if you didn't know, I am hosting a giveaway for a dolly quilt and dress that I made. It's not too late to enter!!!  Go HERE and then go and read the other Stash Bash posts.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Campaign Life Coalition - Petitions - PETITION TO THE ASSEMBLED HOUSE OF COMMONS AGAINST SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION

Campaign Life Coalition - Petitions - PETITION TO THE ASSEMBLED HOUSE OF COMMONS AGAINST SEX-SELECTIVE ABORTION


It's A Girl. For many little girls, this is a death sentence!!!

It is unimaginable that abortion, the killing of an innocent unborn baby is legal. And while the laws in Canada are few and far between, we have to do what we can to save lives. You can help, too.

Follow the above mentioned link to save little girls from being killed just because they are not boys. They will be so appreciative.

As a mom of mostly boys (4 boys, 1 girl), it breaks my heart. I have miscarried three times. I often wonder if they were my baby girls. I would love to have another baby girl. It is not that I don't want my boys because I do, I love them very much. It is just that I have nothing against having a little sister for my daughter. I am putting it out there, that if you are expecting and you really don't think you can handle being a mom right now, I would love to adopt. We would and I mean that.

All children are precious.

Relaxed and Feeling Blessed

I am in a good place right now. Growing up I always wanted to be happy, but circumstances always seemed to be against my favor. I never knew what happiness was. I was determined to be happy some day. I feel more than happiness now, I think what I am feeling is true joy. It reminds me of the following verse from the bible.
So it is with you: you are sad now, but I shall see you again, and your hearts will be full of joy, and that joy no one shall take from you. John 16:22

I breath it in. I stop and stare at the face of my baby and can't help but feel so blessed. He was given to me after such a devastating loss. Thank you Lord for entrusting him to me.



I am trying not to get caught up in the mundane. I am trying to rejoice in all of the little things. God has given me more than I deserve. He has given me so much. I am not bragging, I am not showing off, I am just truly happy. I never thought that I would be married to such an awesome man. He can get me going, but he can make me laugh so hard that I cry. Every women needs a man like that.


This post is turning into a Thankful Thursday post, I'm afraid. I had a great weekend, despite the time change. I got to go fabric shopping ALONE with my sweet daughter. There were no boys with us, daddy took them all and did guy stuff. I think that is another reason to be super thankful. My hubby was very brave.

Hubby gave us a time limit. I don't blame him and I didn't mind obliging, since he had the majority of the offspring in his care. Mia and I had so much fun picking an choosing fabric for our various projects. I had my  Etsy shop in mind. I am so thankful for the great sales and an almost empty shop when we arrived. Here is a picture of my finds.


I should have taken a picture of Mia's purchases. She bought her own fabric. She makes her own money delivering flyers with her brother. She is very frugal and save up for such shopping sprees. We have similar tastes, but her fabrics have a much more youthful vibe. She didn't waste any time cutting up some of her material. She already made a dolly dress and two matching skirts for two of her favorite dolls.

I unfortunately only have a picture of the dress she made. (meet Brianne - a Canadian girl / Maplea doll which she also purchased with her own money) She used the Liberty Jane Heritage Drawstring Dress pattern. I hardly had to help her at all. It was sew fun sewing along side her. I got my older Singer set up for her to sew with.

How did I get so lucky? I have a daughter that not only loves to sew, but loves to sew alongside me. She gives me her opinions on my fabric choices and I on hers. We work well together. I hope that never changes.  We can giggle together while baby is sleeping and play all afternoon with our fabric. It doesn't take much to make us happy.

I am also feeling blessed to have been able to host a giveaway. I also am so excited about all of the new followers and sweet comments that everyone is leaving. You make my day. I wish that I could give something to everyone that has entered. I am definitely going to be hosting more giveaways in the future. Thank you for making my little part of the world so special. If you haven't entered to win a dolly quilt or American girl dress, please do.

Just follow this link.

I wish everyone a happy week. 
You are all in my thoughts and prayers. 
God Bless.

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