Sunday, January 30, 2011

Restful weekend

     We have had a very quiet weekend. No plans, not even any shopping. Yesterday we stayed home all day, in our PJ's and did nice relaxing things. My Hubby played a game on his PS3 and I knitted while watching some movies. I managed to get the pair of mittens done for Mrs Cromwell, unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of them before giving them away. Oh well.
      This morning we woke up to a frosty world and some lightly falling snow. We went to church, and listened to yet another wonderful sermon, we are so blessed to have been led to the church family we did by God. He is such a great God, and knows us better than we know ourselves. Its soooo awe inspiring, isn't it?
     Our Niece spent last night with us, and we got to bring her to church with us, which was nice as we have not been able to bring her for a while. She is now 13, and has a newly busy social life, but its nice that she still asks to come to church with us. I how she continues too, it is a nice loving break in such a scary world as this. We took her home, out in the middle on the "boonies" as we call the town she lives in. Maine is mostly boonies after all! We enjoyed the beauty of the ride though, it looked a lot like this,
     Now the Hubby and I are snuggled in at home once more. I think I'll go put the kettle on and make us some tea, and maybe start a new pair of mittens. God bless all who read this, and I hope you have a wonderful evening,,,, Good Night:)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Well, I got some things finished anyway!

     This week I signed on to do 5 or 6 things too keep the spirit of homemaking in my heart (thanks to Hearts For Home) I got the Hubby's laundry all done for the week, though unfortunately I didn't get to washing too much else. And instead of working on my To-Finish knitting basket, I stated a new project. YES, I know! Haha, but I got a request,,, and how can I say no when someone REQUESTS something made by me:) One of our close friends, and fellow sister in Christ at our church has requested a warm pair of mittens to wear when she goes hiking. Her circulation is not so good, and gloves just don't do the trick. Here in Maine it has been barely in the teens (F) recently, BRRRR. So, I am knitting her up a pair of double strand mittens in two shades of green, her favorite color. I LOVE to give things I have made. I just love taking practically nothing, and making it into a THING, like string into mittens, and flour into cookies. That is truly one of the greatest joys in my life, giving of myself:)
      Another thing I have worked on (and FINALLY finished!) this week is the table with a shelf under it that has its home in my kitchen. We bought it at a junk shop. It was buried under trunks of old moth eaten linen and dust, we offered $10 and it was ours. It was beat up, and stained in a very dark color, with two unfinished panel's on top. I am assuming it once had glass panels, but they have long since been lost.  I had my Hubby spray paint it in a bright blue,
     I then found a coordinating fabric, it is a burlap type cloth with pretty tea roses and tiny blue flowers in the same shade as the paint, though I don't think you can see that in the pictures.

     I finished sewing the curtain for it this afternoon, and am VERY pleased with the results! I was aiming for French Country Cottage/ Shabby chic. I think it fits! You can see in the background the shelves where I keep my cookbooks and tea things. I figured while I the Hubs spray painting anyway, I might as well have him do that shelf for me, to match:) We also ended up doing the table legs in the same shade of blue, and the  the mismatched dining chairs in different shades of pastel. I don't have a picture of them right now, but someday I'll show you.
     So, the curtain makes my kitchen tidier, and I am feeling really good for doing so much with my hands this week! I can't wait till next week, I wonder what else I will get accomplished:)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hearts for Home 1/25/11

     I have decided to join in the weekly "Hearts for Home" posting with the lovely ladies who read Cherished Hearts at Home. Here is the link. Its a delightful blog that I read for inspiration in my day to day housekeeping. Its nice to find ladies who share my passion for being a housewife! So here is my list of 5 or 6 things I would like to do this week, to help me keep focused on making a nice home.
     1. I would like to make sure I keep on top of washing my Hubby's warm clothes. It has been so cold out, and I want to make sure he has plenty of clean warm clothes to work in. I know laundry is an everyday chore, but I do try to do HIS clothes first, that way I know they are done and ready.
     2, I'm going to make a batch of cookies for tonight's Ladies Sewing Circle that I go to every Tuesday. I get together with some of the nice ladies from church and we all work together to make quilts for children with cancer. I have been wanting a way to get together with other women and share my love of crafting, so this group is such a blessing.
     3. I need to make a curtain for the long table/shelf I have in my kitchen. We got this table used and fixed it up by spray painting and decoupage. I wanted it it for extra storage, as our apartments kitchen has very little in the way of counters and cupboards. It looks very cute so far, but i don't like that the shelf underneath that holds my food processor and blender and cake pans is visible. Soooo, I'll make a curtain, pics will be coming soon:)
     4. I have a half knitted cushion cover that I should probably finish. I am so bad, always starting projects and seeming to finish only about half of them. So I guess that leads to,,,,
     5. Finish up the odds and ends of knitting and sewing projects that are lingering around the place. Oh Boy,,, this may take more than a week,,,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Baby Stuff!

     I am sooooo excited that we are getting things done and ready to start the process of adoption/fostering. Its almost like we are expecting in a way:) I have dreamed of being a mummy for so long, its soooo scary to be getting this close! I have been making big plans. I have also been making lists. Have I mentioned I am a bit of a fanatic list maker? No? Well, I am. That doesn't make me a bad person, just an annoying one.
    So along with my to-do list to get done by June, I have also been compiling a list of things we will need for the baby/small child. We have started to collect a small amount of clothing. I don't want to get too much, as we don't know what age or sex the baby will be, but I just can't help getting lost in baby departments! For years I have been peeking with torturous want at all the sweet jammies and dresses and onesies, and now, FINALLY I have an excuse to buy them, and NOT for giving to someone else, but to keep! You have no idea how great that is!!!
     So here is a peek at the small hope hat box I have been stashing the goodies in:)
     I was very pleased to find glass baby bottles at the local walmart. I was sure they had probably stopped making such thing, I guess the "poison" plastic thing has scared back a demand for them which is great, I have always preferred them to plastic. I am knitting a pair of booties, they are pink, I hope to do up a few pairs in assorted colors and add them to the stash. I am also going to make a crib quilt out of vintage baby fabric. Here is what I have,

     They have such sweet little critters on them, and I love all things vintage. I have already made up a valance for the nursery window, it is made with some of the fabric you see on the top of the stack above. There is both pink and blue in it. If we do get a girl though, she is going to be utterly smothered in pink!
    So that's about it for now, I will probably be done the booties tonight, so I will try and get a picture up tomorrow. Sleep well blog world!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A knitted bunny and wedding cakes!

    My sister managed to snap a picture of the bunny I knitted for a baby shower gift this past weekend,
    Isn't he cute? It took a few tries, knitting and re-knitting, but he came out pretty adorable in the end. I love knitting toys, and I hope to make a few more in the coming months, to add to our "nursery" room for our future child.
     We also ran out of raisin filled cookies today, so I baked up a batch of Mexican Wedding Cakes, which are sugar covered walnut shortbread perfection!
Don't they look yummy!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Mom's Raisin Filled Cookies

    Growing up, my Mom did a whole lot of cooking and baking. Breads were almost always homemade, so were cookies and pies by the dozens. We were quite poor, so it wasn't fancy, but it was always tasty. Maine has a lot of regional dishes, and I am pretty sure raisin filled cookies are one of them. My mother got the recipe from her mother in law after she married my Dad. They have always been a favorite in our family. Sometimes I have come across these same cookies, only with date filling instead, and I suppose you could even used dried figs or prunes. But Mom always made them with raisins, and that's the way I make them, since I am a stickler for tradition :) Now this recipe didnt have a whole lot of instructions, so I will write it as is, then I will tell you how I made them. These are nice big and thick cookies, with the doughy part quite similar to your standard sugar cookie in flavor. They are scrumptious! Especially while still warm, and served with a cold glass of milk.

           Raisin Filled Cookies
for the dough;
     1c sugar
     1/2c shortening
     1/2c sour milk (I put 1/2t of lemon juice into a 1/2c measuring cup, then fill with milk)
     2 & 1/2c flour
     1 egg, lightly beaten
     1t baking powder
     1/4t baking soda
     1t vanilla
for the filling;
     1c raisins
     1/2c sugar
     1/2c water
     1T flour
     pinch of salt

     Boil filling until smooth. Roll out cookies, put spoonful of filling on 1/2 of the cookies and top with the other 1/2 of the cookies, press together and bake in 350' oven for 10-12 min

  OK, here are my tips,
      It didnt say how long to cook filling, so I boiled/ simmered it for about 5 min, until it thickened up, then let it cool while I made the dough.
     Cream fat and sugar together, add egg and vanilla, then add flour and milk. Knead and work dough until well combined. This makes quite a soft dough, but I found it was very workable. 
     Roll out on floured work surface, sprinkling dough with more flour if needed.
     Cut with a round cutter, I used a drinking glass and place rounds well spaced on a lightly greased cookie sheet. I didnt grease my sheet, but I made sure that the bottoms of my cookies were floured dry. They stuck a tiny bit, but not so much that it did any damage to the cookies.
     I brushed a little water around the edges of both mu cover, and bottom cookies, to make sure of a good seal, and I sealed by pressing them with my finger tips.
     Bake until ever so lightly golden at the edges, about 12 min, and remove immediately from the pans to cool n a rack.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Knitting a bunny

     Ahhh, I think its time for a little break and a cuppa tea. I have been knitting all morning on a little brown bunny that I am making for a baby boy, soon to be born. I would show a picture, but my camera's batteries are dead, and I wont be able to get more till tomorrow, so hopefully then I can snap of one before bundling Mr Bunny and all the other baby boy items up for gifting at the shower Sunday.
     Baby showers used to be sooooooo hard for me. Infertility made me so bitter, so angry, and so jealous for so many years. It sneaks in and changes you, and I didnt even realize that until I started to not be able to go to showers. I'd cringe, and often cry, whenever another woman announced her happy news. A baby is a wonderful thing, and it took me a while to grasp that, even though I may never get to bring one into the world myself, EVERY baby is a gift from God, and I should never begrudge the joy they bring, but take part in it. It was a long road, but I got there:)
     Actually, speaking of roads, my hubby and I are shuffling ever more steady down the road to Fostering/ Adoption. The apartment is just about where I want it to be, organizational-wise. I am going to attempt at getting my drivers license, though my eyes might put a hurdle up there. We'll just have to wait and see. I know I should have gotten it years ago, but honestly, I HATE driving. Scares the ,,, well, never mind! ,,, outta me. But, the time has come for me to either get it, or be deemed too blind to get it. Either way, we can then move that much closer to parenthood. Our goal it to walk into the A Family For Me office's no later than June 1st, and hopefully be placed with a child before Christmas. We are praying about it, and if is Gods will, then it will be.
   Until then though, I have a lot to do!like get myself onto a regular sleeping schedule, my body just really wants to be nocturnal! We are also going to gather together some furniture and books for the (hopefully) child's bedroom. We have no idea what age or sex our child will be, so we wont be getting a crib/bed or clothing until last minute. We will be saving up some money for that though, and I am sure our family and friends will be throwing us and Adoption Shower:) They have all been so very, very supportive through everything, and I think they are looking forward to a new family member as much as we are! This child, wherever it may be now, is already loved, we just need to meet it:)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Happiness is,,,,

                                                          Like a snowman,

                                                  you have to get out there,

                                    and not care what others may think of you,

                                                       and make it yourself.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

After Christmas thin out.

     I love Christmas, I love EVERYTHING about it. The music, especially the good old carols! The lights, so warm and cozy, the decorations!

 After Christmas though, when its time to take down and put away all those things, I find that I get feeling the need to declutter. Christmas is a beautiful time, but it does tent to be a crowded and mess-making time too. I have spent these last two weeks going through all the things I have (we seem to acquire so much during the year, dont we?) in my yarn and cloth stashes, in my clothing and storage closets, and finding there is plenty of things I can't or wont or don't use. Those are the things that need to go.
     I find that a home that has too many things, even if those things are organized and stacked away, is not conductive to creativity, hospitality, or a feeling of relaxation. Have you even heard of a condition called hoarding? One of my fears is to become a hoarder. After all, we should not place our emotional happiness in THINGS, but in God, and the people we love and cherish. Do I mean throw out family pictures and grandmothers china? Heavens No!! But if you ever get to the point where you have 3 or 4 sets of dishes, choose whats of worth. Love it or toss it. (or better yet donate it!)
     One thing I DO tend to hoard is yarn and fabric. Not so much hoard maybe, more like acquire. I hardly EVER buy them, they are given to me, which is great, I make MANY of my gifts for people throughout the year from these things, and they cost little more than my time. But these stashes do need to be thinned at least once a year, or else my Hubby and I would be buried!
     We have a two bedroom apartment, and the smaller bedroom, up till now, has been used as a storage/catch all room. I would clean it, organize it, but sooner or later it would turn into a big mess again. That is a sure signal that you own too much STUFF! So I have been fixing that problem for the past week, with these results,,,,

The day after Christmas, there wasn't even a PATH through the piles of stuff that filled this room. Now, it is nice and clean. And empty, you may have noticed. That is because, in the next couple of months, Mr Evans and I are going to be doing our best to become Foster Parents. I want to make this the year that I become a Mommy:) So this room, hopefully and God willing, won't be empty next Christmas!