"The willingness to be and to have just what God wants us to be and to have, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else, would set our hearts at rest, and we would discover that the simpler the life the greater the peace." - Elisabeth Elliot in The Shaping of a Christian Family

Monday, August 28, 2017

Another Look at the Angoras

Because they're so cute, and I've gotten to enjoy some time with them recently, I have to post some pics of the angora babies.


They're not so little anymore.


Because of a family emergency, they hadn't been brushed in awhile, so there was some matting that had to be cut and brushed out, but these three young bucks are looking pretty good now. Ready for new homes, if you're interested.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Easy Elegant Chicken Dinner

I can't believe I'm sharing another recipe cuz I'm definitely not a food blogger, but this one is so wonderful and so easy and nutritious and not too expensive to make, so here goes...

Here's what you need:

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • Marinated artichoke hearts
  • Sundried tomato pesto (found in the tomato sauces section at the grocery store)
  • Olives, if you want (my husband can't stand them so they were a side dish at our house)


Slap the chicken breasts into a lightly oiled 9x13 pan. Since the ones I'd bought were rather large (think Dolly Parton here), I sliced mine thinner so they'd cook quicker and so the good stuff would get onto more surface.

Top with the artichoke hearts, oil and all, and spread on the tomato pesto. Bake at 350 degrees for close to an hour, depending on how well-done you like your meat.


It's really not a thing of beauty, except to your taste buds. My 13yo who doesn't usually gravitate toward meat or artichokes had three helpings during which time she discovered she does like artichoke hearts.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Help! I'm Overloaded With So Much Zucchini

Are you, like most gardeners, overblessed with zucchini at this time of the year?


Do many more blossoms on your plants promise future excess of blessing?


Well, there are a lot of ways to take care of such blessings that don't include sneaking them onto your neighbor's front steps in the wee hours of the night. We've all seen all kinds of recipes of breads and even chocolate cakes. And for those purposes we grated and froze a bunch of zucchini today.


Of course, zucchini is good eaten raw as well as in stir-fry, but today I want to share a recipe I got from my father-in-law for a Cheesy Zucchini Casserole (Cheezucchini, anyone?) Even my children who aren't too excited about zucchini like this side dish.

Here goes:

In a large bowl, mix:
1 1/3 c. flour (I tried an almond/coconut flour mix and it wasn't as good as wheat flour)
2 tsp. baking powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 beaten eggs
1/2 c. oil
1 c. grated cheese

Add:
4 c. grated zucchini
1/2 onion, grated or chopped small (I used about 1 T. onion powder because I have one who doesn't             care for the texture of onion.)
2 tsp. garlic powder


Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Top with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese if desired. You can add herbs and spices to your family's taste, but I'm thinking next time I'm going to try adding Italian seasonings. Maybe some fresh ones from the herb garden.


Happy gardening and cooking!










Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wise Words Wednesday - Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

How dangerous it is when our souls are gasping for God but we're too distracted flirting with the world to notice. 


Flirting will give you brief surges of fun feelings but will never really pull you in and hold you close.


Indeed, the world entices your flesh but never embraces your soul.


All the while, the only love caring enough to embrace us 
and complete enough to fill us,
waits.



Lysa TerKeurst in Uninvited

Friday, July 21, 2017

No Longer Missing in Action

Yeah, I know. I've been kinda missing in action again. That's because there has been a lot of action.

I "suffered" through going to visit my far-away kids and met my newest grandson.


We've had family visiting us, too, and had a great time with them.

Then I decided to share costs of a farmers' market booth with Sarah, who's been vending hand-spun yarn, enabling me to vend some little girls dresses and hopefully some embroidered pieces.

I had to start out small since I've been so otherwise occupied, but it's mostly been fun and creative. The display is bifold doors from Habitat for Humanity's Restore, painted and polyo-urethaned. It folds into the back of my SUV rather nicely.



Since it's now a shared booth, we redid the sign using an old sign we'd had for our summer cinnamon roll baking business a few years ago. 


Sarah's yarn business is named for the story-telling (yarn-telling) rabbit in Watership Down, so she used pages from an old copy of that book as a back-ground collage.








We have more of these; we had just hung them around the tent.
And that's what we've been up to.

Linked up at: www.weirdunsocializedhomeschoolers.com/weekly-wrap




Thursday, July 6, 2017

Another Finish

I'm excited to be able to report another finish! My UFO box is becoming more empty.


This twin-sized quilt was designed and begun by my daughter, Ruthie, several years ago and then when life changed so much, it went into the UFO box. I finished the top before we moved, but didn't get it quilted till last week. Fortunately, all I needed was a simple all-over quilting design and it was finished quickly.


Ruthie drew this very cute bunny and I embroidered it.


As I sat on the lawn beside my brother-in-law's lake on Independence Day I did the binding. 

Image may contain: indoor

It's a rough life, but somebody has to live it.

Image may contain: one or more people, cloud, sky, outdoor, nature and water


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Making of a Quiet Book

For many years I've wanted to make a Quiet Book - you know, one of those fabric books that have a variety of activities for little fingers to do. When my children were little, I just didn't have the time. So, that dream was put off till I had achieved granny status. Then our lives got a little crazy and I had to work part-time while still homeschooling my youngests. Then we moved and we're still not really settled into our new home or lives. But finally I was able to carve out time to sew while my kids were enjoying time with nearby cousins, etc.

The other problem I'd had recently was trying to decide what pages to make out of all the wonderful Pinterest pins I'd seen. I made a couple of unrelated pages, lost some of the parts in the move, and was floundering in deciding what I really wanted to do.

A couple of weeks ago it just struck me what I wanted to do: A counting book.

So, I wrote a simple story of my three-year-old grandson going for a walk and the things he saw along the way and the things he did when he got home. Because I don't like the way felt looks after it gets well-loved (pilled or stretched or thin), I made the pages of interfaced muslin (10" blocks) that I made two-sided by ironing Wonder Under or Heat 'n Bond between them. I did use some felt for some parts.

Here it is:





For this page, I had seen a picture online, but no pattern, so I drew my own jacket and cut off a zipper to the correct length (this is much easier with a nylon zipper than with a metal one, I learned the hard way).


After cutting out the blue fabric and installing the zipper, I quilted it by sewing it onto a scrap of thin batting and then cutting it out, not worrying about raw edges because I was going to zigzag applique it onto the page.



These too-cute shoes came from popsandpodge and I did use felt for them so I wouldn't have all the raw edges to fuss with.



The left page roadway is a velcroed pocket for the cars. I actually sewed ribbon on the back bumpers of the cars and tacked the ends into the pocket so the cars would stay attached to the book and not get lost, but the ribbons were just in the way of playing with the cars, so I took a chance, and if my grandson loses the cars, they were easy enough to make so I can replace them.


I made the two-sided cars of fabric instead of felt and put thin batting between the pieces to give them a little stiffness. They were fun to draw and sew with button tires.


This one was also somewhat of my own invention. I had seen a picture of an elephant carrying balloons, but didn't think he'd see one of those on his walk through the city. I made the strings so they slide in the man's hand so a balloon can be velcroed to any of the spots.


Again, on this caterpillar (yeah, I know it's not at all realistic) I used fabrics with interfacing for stiffening, zigzag edging, and snaps for attaching the circles.



These flowers were one of the pages I had done months ago, for the purpose of button and color practice and they became the number 6 pages.


Don't you just love the cute little socks?! And the fun dryer door?! The pattern came from Imagine Our Life. Since this picture was taken, I have added the words "They found 7 pairs."




I kinda wish I had made the pieces of velcro bigger so he will be able to stick the socks together more easily. Live and learn.

During some parts of the creative process I made use of these two to hold things in place while I put it all together.



My daughter-in-love tells us John has been pretending he has a blue octopus friend lately, so I made use of that information to create the number eight page.


The idea for the number nine page came from Jocelyn and Jason.



The spine points and button spots are just for tactile stuff and counting. They don't really do anything. I made the points based on my understanding of prairie points (I've never actually done them before). I cut 1.5" squares and folded them in half.


Then I folded the sides down to create a point.


Folding that over into a triangle made it so the spine points stick up and out without any raw edges.


The last page didn't turn out the way I envisioned, but I still like it. I had seen an image online of houses wherein behind the windows was a sliding fabric piece which made it look like the lights went out. Well, given the activity that was surrounding me at the time, I didn't think through the process and measurement well enough to make that work. Maybe another time.


To increase the color fun as well as the tactile qualities, I edged each page and the covers with ricrac.



I debated awhile about how to do the cover and ended up choosing simplicity. So I made buttonholes and used metal rings. The pages turn pretty well with this method and I was able to get things all done with a day to spare before we go visit John.


And guess what! The book passes the Teenager Test!



So, go ahead, give it a try.



I linked up at: 
www.whatjoyismine.net
www.raisinghomemakers.com
www.strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.com/