Tuesday, February 28, 2012

she loves to knit

my daughter, elly grace, loves to knit.
she started about a year ago, making simple scarves and such, and has improved in her skill enough to make sweaters, pants and baby booties.
with the basics down pat, and the ability to read and understand patterns, the possibilities are endless.
she is constantly ordering and checking out books from the library, trying to learn more.
it's safe to say that i am very proud of her, and i am thankful for this gift that she has been given.
and in case you were wondering, i have NO idea how to knit.  :)

here are a few of her latest projects.

:::baby pants for an expectant momma:::

:::koolaid dyeing:::

:::owl booties she sold:::

:::dainty cowl:::

:::baby cardigan for a sweet baby boy at church:::

:::infinity cowl:::

i love you, elly.
and i pray that you will honor the Lord in whatever you do.
even in knitting.

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
Proverbs 31:13

did i mention that i'm a tad in denial that i have a teenager now? 
a sweet, loving girl, who desperately wants to open an etsy shop to sell her creations.  oy.
hug those babies tight, mommas!  they grow up so fast.
you blink, and they are 13 going on 30.

thanks for letting me brag on my girl, for just a bit today, friends  ;) 


Monday, February 27, 2012

monday ramblings

good monday morning afternoon!
did anybody else out there make a beeline for the coffee pot this morning?
it seems like we have been getting to bed SO super late lately and i literally had to peel myself out of bed.
i was still in my pajamas with bed head at 10a.m.{see below picture for proof}.  :)
sans make-up, puffy eyes, bed isn't made, bangs protruding from my forehead, favorite 'stinky' sweatshirt.
yes, this picture has all of the ear marks of a monday morning, for sure.

now that i've scared you all half to death, how was your weekend?
we had a fairly normalish, not super eventful one, which was nice.

i took the last remnants of birthday decorations down and cleaned up a little.
the carnival has officially left town, and spring has moved in at the krause house.
i am so thankful that we get to experience all of the wonderful seasons.
it seems like just when you are getting a little tired with one, a new one comes around.
spring is really special to me, because everything is so fresh, and new life is springing up all around us.

i love this little plaque i found at walmart yesterday.
it was $3.97{yay!}, and it reminds me throughout the day that a little love and compassion can go a very long way.
God is love and He most definitely saves all of my days from becoming complete messes.

friends.  meet luigi.
luigi.  meet my friends.
we like to call him kitcat/motormouth/kitty witty or what ever else comes to mind.
he responds unusually well to a high pitched indian chant.  "ay yiyiyiyiyiyiyi!!!!!!!"
he was a naughty, naughty boy on saturday.
while i was rearranging decor and putting our some of my 'new' junk, this guy was tearing things up.
first, he knocked over an ironstone pitcher from the mantel.
the pitcher was unscathed, but sadly, the berries were toast, and i had to drag out my bff{aka mr. dyson vacuum}, again.
he, too, saves the day for me some days.
after cleaning up the berry filled floor and chair, which were long overdue for a cleanup{the berries were lingering from Christmas},  he decided to spew litter all over the bathroom.
total psycho kitty=total psycho mommy.
then he disconnected the internet playing with the cords.  again.
all in a days work, i tell ya.  :)

henry wowed me with his writing and phonics skills on saturday, too.
that will do good to any home school mommas heart anyday!
yeah, henry!

i even cleaned off the top of my toilet and rearranged that, too.
dusting the top of my toilet is not on the top of my list, so this was big for me.
i added my new metal for sale sign, and the metal tray.  i think i paid $5 for both!

clean and shiny.  for today.  :)

nathan got stuck at work extra late, so we made supper and waited for him to come home.
if you have never tried trader joe's orange mandarin chicken.....you must.
it is ahhhmazing and we ate every bite{and we wanted more}.
add a bag of harvest blend {cous cous, red quinoa, garbanzos and orzo}, and your set.

we put the kids to bed and watched atlas shrugged part 1.
i didn't like it, so i should have just gotten the extra sleep.
live. and. learn.  :)

on sunday morning i woke up a tad crabby, but after talking to the Lord about that and listening to some of our favorite songs, i felt much better.

here we are off to church.
i teach the pre-k-kindergarten sunday school class, and nathan teaches the teenagers.
who can resist 12 sets of eyes focused intently on you, and sweet, trusting faces, beaming as they talk out of turn and tell you about all of the happenings in their life from the past week?
not this girl.

in typical fashion, we headed to my in-laws for our traditional, mouth watering, sunday dinner feast.
it consisted of homegrown fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy{of course}, garden sweet corn, homemade rolls, homemade dill pickles, sliced garden carrots for a little fresh crunch... 
and homemade pie.
peach and cherry this week.
i cannot say enough about how much i love and respect nathan's mom.
i just can't do her justice with words, and it's not because she can cook like nobody's business.
you'll have to trust me.
she had 10 children.
she is really, really amazing.

last night, we headed back to church and watched this.
it's a must see about a topic that i am extremely passionate about.
i think we need to educate ourselves and our children so that they are equipped to stand up for truth.
they are going to live in a different world than we know today.

if you think of it, please keep on praying for the Cretzman family.
they will be burying their little baby girl, Azlynn, tonight.
it will be live streamed at 6 p.m., if you're interested.
check here for more info.
this family has been on my heart for days.
we really need to band together and pray for them, you guys.
this will probably be the hardest day of their lives.
may God be glorified through this tragedy, because we know that there are no accidents with Him.
He is in complete control.
He is our all-knowing, sovereign, providential, caring Father.

so that's about it for today.
what did you do this weekend?
i sure hope it was lovely, dearests.


bits of splendor monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Saturday, February 25, 2012

do the right thing

hello, saturday!
hello, sweet friends!

i am dropping in to thank you so very much for being the sweetest friends ever and for praying for me.
i have been feeling so much better over the last few days, mentally AND physically.
one thing that i must never forget is that the Lord is faithful.
He is truly our Help in time of need.
keep the prayers coming, though!

i love saturdays.
they usually consist of pajamas, coffee, cleaning and sometimes decorating.
this morning i got the itch to rearrange a few things around here{i stopped at a 'thrifty' store yesterday and picked up some fresh finds}.  love
and nathan, you did not just read that.  i repeat, i said nothing about new thrifty things.  ;) 
anyway, that's for a different time.  focus, mary!

so the real reason that i am writing, is to show you this adorable mini pennant banner that i ordered from an etsy shop called dear nicole.

i fell in love with this banner right away, and thought it would be perfect to display in our home 
as a constant reminder to, well...do the right thing! 

Do The Right Thing canvas mini-pennant banner

they have some seriously cute things going on over there...

Aqua and Red "this little light of mine" Glass Tile Pendant and Silver Ball Chain

gray fabric rosette necklace

felt bow necklace

adorable, right?

well, i happen to love my banner and i had fun moving things around while i was cleaning in my jammies this morning.
without further ramblings....
here is how the package came.
i am such a sucker for cute packaging!
and getting things in the mail.
this purchase was a double score.   :)


pssssst....that little chippy baby doll cradle is one of my recent finds.  :)

so there you have it.
what do you think? adorable, right?
and this baby is already fulfilling it's life purpose.
one day while we were eating lunch, jack was sorta complaining about not wanting to finish his food{the norm}.
he looked up and saw the banner, and guess what?  he kept eating!  no joke.  isn't that funny?
i think you should head over to dear nicole and check everything out.  

are you still in your pajamas?
did you dust the top of your toilet off today, too?
have you had three cups of coffee?
madelyn just finished making funfetti cupcakes, so i gotta go clean some more.  ;)
hope you are having a fantastic weekend!


please continue to pray for the cretzman missionary family.
azlynn's funeral is monday, and they are facing some seriously tough days ahead.
God is their strength, but they need our prayers.

Friday, February 24, 2012

:::food on friday:::

i love food.
a lot. lot,
so i decided to share this yummy in my tummy quick supper that we had the other day.
it's not earth shattering new or anything, just an old favorite with a twist.
a little healthier, maybe?

stuffed grilled cheese

i started with my fave bread.
i'm not a fan of ezekiel bread, because it's too dry for my taste, but this is amazing!
trader joe's sprouted bread is equally as yummy.

add your cheese.
and lots of it.
we chose pepper jack, cheddar and swiss.
i try not to buy shredded cheese, because of the anti-clumping agents{cellulose} in it, 
but it's what i had in the fridge. 
fresh is best!

cut up and  saute your veggies.
we chose peppers and onions, sauteed in coconut oil.
i love coconut oil.
mmmmmm....wouldn't baby portabellas be amazing?  and spinach?

once your veggies are tender, pile it on,

and fry it up!

{oh, and ignore that ginormous pile of newman's own cheese dip}

i think i burnt it, which is no surprise at all, 
but it was still yummy.

we added some of our  favorite chips in the whole wide world.
go buy some right now!
i know chips aren't necessarily healthy, 
but because this is real life, we eat chips.
we just try to eat better ones.
if there is such a thing! 


happy eating!

have a wonderful weekend!


linking up with sweet Becky
from Farmgirl Paints

Thursday, February 23, 2012

praying for the {Cretzmans}

i cannot imagine my life without my children.
losing one of them would be like losing a part of my heart and soul.
entertaining those thoughts have brought me to tears many a time.
my kids each bring such a uniqueness and brilliant element to my life that if one were lost, the void would be too great to bear....alone. 

meet the Cretzman family.
they are a young, vibrant, missionary family currently on deputation with the aspirations of serving the Lord in Cuba.
their current goal is 75% met, and their vigor for the Lord is quite evident on their website and through their facebook page.

their story is heartbreaking, humbling, exciting, and unfolding as we speak.
as they buckled their kids into their car seats, for what i'm sure was a routine monday morning for them, everything was about to change.
while travelling on the interstate in N.C., enroute  to a missionary conference in Ohio, their van hit black ice.
they collided with the interstate sign support on the passenger side, injuring mom, Lana, and the impact sent their three year old daughter, Azlynn,  to be safe in the arms of her Heavenly Father.
she died in her daddy's arms.

please pray with me for this family as they go through this valley.
they have put their trust in the Lord, and have seen mighty things come out of this tragedy already.
it has been SO encouraging for me to follow.
God truly uses these trials put before us to reveal His bigger, better plan.
a plan that i believe entails one mission:

bringing hope to the hopeless and lost sinners to redemption.

if you follow this story too, i know you will be greatly encouraged.
while i ask the Lord for peace about what now seems to be such trivial things,
the Cretzmans are headed to pick out a casket for their baby girl.
a princess one, if they can find it.
but God deals in the affairs of all of His children, not esteeming any one more important than the other.
for that i am truly grateful!
while He walks with me and gives me patience not to yell at my kids, He holds up grieving parents and shines through them in their darkest hour.
He is hard at work in your life, too, seeking to win your heart and to answer your prayers.
isn't that totally amazing?!

seeing the Cretzman family deal with this, with such peace and grace, can only be the result of One thing.
Jesus Christ and Him alone.
they have a faith that saves, and they want everyone else to know that and have it as well.
they are fulfilling their calling as missionaries, right here on American soil.
Lana was able to lead one of her nurses to the Lord, and the outpouring of love from the community{none of whom they are really familiar with}has been enormous and overwhelming.
God always provides what we need.

i thought that maybe you would like to shout out to them, too.
let them know that you are praying for them, for they will truly need it in the days to come as they bury their precious jewel.
God is faithful.

a verse they have claimed...

"But as for you, you thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive."
Genesis 50:20

if you would like to follow this story, or just show your love and support via letter, email, facebook or financial donation, here's where to go.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

baby steps

God is gently pulling me out of my cocoon.

it's been quite the whirlwind for the last month, i tell ya.
with four parties within a two week period, i have been recovering from cupcakes, valentines, a teenager, and a carnival.
my brain has been on overload for quite some time now, trying to make each party special for my kids.
making sure that all of the details for their special day were covered.
sometimes being detail oriented can work against you, you know?
like having a vision and trying to fulfill it can sort of make a 'detail' girl go crazy.
especially when there's that little thing called 'life' that keeps happening in between.
dentist appointments where i leave sobbing{Lord, help me}, school to be done, laundry literally piled to the ceiling....you get the idea.

in the middle of all of these wonderful celebrations, my family has been sick, too.
like, "are we ever not going to be sick again?", sick.
my husband had double ear infections and strep throat, among other things, and henry ended up with an ear infection, too.
my body must have felt left out, so it decided to join in the fun with a head cold.  yah!

it was enough to send me into sort of a tail spin, feeling very overwhelmed and exhausted.
i hibernated in my home, not wanting to go anywhere.
i just wanted everyone to feel better and my house to function normally again.

through my lowest moments and my deepest weaknesses, God never fails to reveal His strength.
again, i have been neglecting His help, thinking i can do all this on my own.
i'm SO smart.   errrr....not.

through the storm in my heart, He calls out to me, "be still".
He's making my mess calm.
He's using this time in my cocoon to grow me, and get me ready for the next season in my life.
{i DO have a teenager now}
that is crazy.

so, with my hand gently tucked in His, He urges to me to move forward.
with Him.
taking steps to prioritize,
because that is pretty much my number one issue right now.
taking steps to better time management,
but because He knows my tendencies, He is moving slow.
baby steps.
this isn't going to be easy because i'm an all or nothing kinda girl.
i struggle with balance, but i can practically see His outstretched hand and loving smile telling me that it's okay if the floors aren't vacuumed daily and there is kitty litter on the floor.
it's in those daily tasks that the devil makes me feel like a failure, and it's really on a minute by minute basis that i need His steady hand.
His soft whisper of encouragement through scripture.
i need Him to make this storm calm.
and He will.
it's totally up to me to look. to. Him.

so, pray with me, please.

i need to let go of some things, or at least push them down on the priority list.
i have a family who needs a sane mama and a husband a loving wife.  :)
i have time that needs managing.
do you have any great tips for me?
don't be shy...i know you do.  ;)

how about you?
what's happening in your life?.
i would like to pray for you, too.
please let me know, so that i can add you to my list and we can pray together.

i'm going to leave you with a few pics of our parties.
we had so much fun, even if it was CRAZY at times!  :)
i have tons of pictures from each party that i can't wait to share.
baby steps.
i started a post on valentines day to send my love to you all,
and then got frustrated by the computer, so i quit.
yet another sob story.  :)

my new chapter...

:::maddies cupcake bash:::

:::for my valentine:::


:::carnival fun:::

praying that you are trusting Him to calm your storms, too.
we'll chat again soon.  :)