January 31, 2012

A Day Late And A Dollar Short

Sorry about the no-post yesterday, we had a very busy (and tired) day. Of course the night before I've scheduled to spend the day out of town Addie decides to not sleep two hours together so she was *super* tired and cranky all day. Which was such a shame since she'd been sleeping through the night and being an absolute doll for the whole last week!

Let's see... well, yesterday (the out of town day) Mom was a sweetheart and drove Addie and myself to Olympia to run some errands. We stopped by Babies'R'Us to get a baby monitor (I had a gift card, woo!), I got a very nice new nursing bra (it's much easier to feel put together with a nice starting layer) and Costco, which, thankfully, Addie was asleep for so Mom and I got to browse through the aisles and discuss the marvels of warehouse stores. I cannot tell you how much I love Costco; my grocery budget would look a *lot* different if I couldn't get to a Costco once a month. (Back in AZ my apartment was only a five minute drive away from Costco. Amazing!) Some of the basics I always get at Costco are stuff like:

 Frozen Chicken/Ground Beef 
 Peanut Butter (have you seen how expensive this stuff is at regular stores?!)
 Chicken/Beef Base (their price on the Better Than Bouillon brand is awesome)
 Cold Cereal (Noel's breakfast of choice right now, as I'm still sleeping when/where I can)
 Lunch Meat (for Noel's lunches)
 Anything Dairy Related - Milk, Butter, Cream, Cheese, etc. I can get a pint of Half-and-Half for 3 or 4 dollars here in town and get a quart of it for the same price at Costco.
 Olive Oil 
 Coffee Beans (sadly, coffee is getting really expensive but it's still cheaper to make your own than to buy itfrom a coffee shop)

Basically, if I can get it at Costco I usually do. I can't actually remember finding something there that I could get at a better price somewhere else. (And their coupons are nice for the occasional splurge on something yummy!) What about you, do you like warehouse stores? 

 (Oh, and by-the-by, I finished another book and have already started a new one, so yay for that 2012 goal! I think muffins are next on the list.)

January 29, 2012


"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself." 
-- C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

I love this quote. It's a reminder that even if I have an idea about how something should be, it doesn't mean it is correct. Humans can only see so far, God can see for eternity. Humans can only understand so much, God is understanding. God does not have to inch along to see if the ledge is safe, he built the plateau I get to walk on. It is not too dark for him, only me, which is why he is my light, holds my hand, and leads -- it is not that he is deficient,  it is that I am. In fussing it is like saying, "God, you think you know everything but do you, really?" It's obvious when put like that but it's the same thing as, "God, you should do this instead so that it won't hurt me." You might be wondering, 'Where did she get this out of that C.S. Lewis quote?' It's the bit when he says, "He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of..." He is building it to his specifications, to perfection, to something beyond human comprehension. In the process, I don't have to get in a tizzy about how everything is going to go down; I get to wonder, and marvel at his Majesty -- clapping here, praising there, giving a Huzzah! and a Thank you Lord! To us, what God is doing can be a bit frightening at times but in the end what God is doing is truly amazing.

Hopefully that all connected, haha, I am no theologist. I am sure that what I said can be expanded on or even clarified more so feel free to add with your own thoughts.You might even touch on that he is doing all this for himself, I would love to but my brains and eyes are a bit too tired now. :D 


P.S. It's so awesome that God is omnipotent and all-knowing, it fills my soul with peace just writing about it.

January 26, 2012

Quick Mix Tip

Nope, it's not music, it's.... Tea!

People tell us womens (yup) that drinking raspberry leaf tea is good for us, which it really is. But the sad truth of the matter is that raspberry leaf tea tastes like...well... leaves. With maybe a little bit of earthy dirtness thrown in for good measure. But *trumpet sounds* it doesn't have to! My trick for making raspberry leaf tea taste better is to make it per its directions and then, in the last five minutes of steeping time I add Raspberry Zinger tea bags to the mix (because I do like Raspberries), and then finish it off with just a dot of honey. Ta da! Better tea, just like that.


January 24, 2012

What I'm up to...

Over here in Idaho, Ryan and I have found a house to rent! And we're moving in on Saturday -- it's been a whirlwind adventure! I'll keep you posted (with pictures) as we get settled into the new place. God has really blessed us with this: it's in the perfect location, in a good neighborhood, it's much nicer than anything else we'd seen, it's bigger, and it's cute!

We are plotting how to set up our new kingdom...we even have crazy hare-brained thoughts of using the master bedroom as a studio. It has the most lovely window seat, which would be kind of wasted in a bedroom. It would be unconventional, but kind of nice... :)

Right now our apartment looks like this, and we feel about as tight as a snake in its skin. It will be so good to have a little room to stretch! Blaze will be glad when all the hubub dies down, too.

Next week in the new territory!


January 23, 2012

Embroidery Sites

It is January and I am looking around for projects to keep my hands busy (can't give you good reasons why I don't finish all that I have started first...perhaps because a new year makes me feel like new projects are needed!) I love embroidery and would like to do more of it so I have been searching the internet for inspiration. There are so many talented people out on the web! I thought I would share a bit of what I found

 Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread - Tips, Tricks & Great Resources for Hand Embroidery
    This website is amazing! Mary has provided over 50 video tutorials, free patterns, tips and techniques and gobs more. I am hoping to work through her Hand Embroidery Tutorial:

Hand Embroidery Lettering and Text Tutorials on www.needlenthread.com

 feeling stitchy
Feeling Stitchy is a great group of embroiderers and crafters. And they blog about all sorts of things. A fun thing that they do is provide a monthly stitch-a-long. I plan to join them on one of these soon!


Wild Olive is a blog run by Mollie. I only just discovered her but oh-how-cute! are her creations. This is a simple but darling recent project:

hand warmer

HomeThe tag line for Sublime Stitching is "This ain't your gramma's embroidery". Oh so true! Very contemporary and some of it isn't my cup of tea....but....there are a lot of really great patterns that I would love to try...like

Aren't these lovely?!

5. Don't forget Etsy.com. MY OH MY....the cutest patterns! Type "hand embroidery" into the search box, and don't forget your hanky in case you start to drool a little.
Sweet Dreams - Hand Embroidery PDF Pattern        Sweet Apple tree (bunny with the golden apple) Hand Embroidery PDF Pattern
Like this from Bumpkin           Or this from FollowtheWhiteBunny

6.  Just one more......
Take a peek some great groups on Flickr.com.
The Embroidery Group - There are over 7,000 members uploading photos of their beautiful embroidery.
Hoop Love Vintage Transfers - thousands of scans of vintage embroidery patterns
Vintage Embroidery Patterns - another group of vintage patterns

January 20, 2012

Sow Grace

Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, 
for he shares his bread with the poor.
Proverbs 22:8-9

"...God commands you to live graciously because he is gracious. He commands you to be patient and merciful because such things find their beginning in him. And you not only know him, but you know his grace. God has extended mercy to you, blessing and forgiving you when you deserved much less. As a child of God, represent your Father well by showing grace. Sow it." - Joe Thorn (Note To Self: The Discipline Of Preaching To Yourself)

This was especially convicting for me as I struggle (a bit) with being graceful/filled to people I think are wrong; being rude, mean, or generally annoying can get you a judgement call from me in a big fat hurry. ("What kind of awful person *are* you?!") Lots of times I try to chalk my "judgey-ness" up as righteous indignation but it's almost always just me taking an ego trip because I feel like I do a better job of not being those things. (I'm just the epitome of pleasantness, you know. Ha!) Of course, it's so easy to say "Oh yes, I'm going to work on extending grace to those people that just bug the snot out of me." but it is so much harder to do it when my un-graciousness comes out a split second after an offense. My Mom has a great description of *actually* succeeding at this as "flexing your grace muscles" and it's true! At first it's like trying to do a million push-ups when you've never done *one* before. But then you work at it, work at it some more, and eventually it gets a little easier and you get a little closer.  So, here's to a good workout! 

January 18, 2012

Little Things (Full Version!) - Pomplamoose VideoSong

Here is an awesome band -- they're awesome. Yeah, so check out their other music. Just do it. :D

January 16, 2012

           Pasta = Life             

I'll admit that my love of pasta is somewhat abnormal -- it's just so good. This recipe is a bit summery but when it comes to pasta does the time of year matter? You'll notice the recipe is entirely up to your preference, that's part of its beauty; it's the inspiration for greatness. You can add meat, take out the garlic, keep the garlic add meat and zucchini; it's up to you, be creative. Anywho, for all you pasta lovers out there, who just want something quick and delish, here is a recipe for you.


1/2 Lb. thin Spaghetti -- or amount to your preference
Cherry tomatoes -- amount to your preference
Fresh basil -- to taste
Garlic -- to taste
Pinch salt
Parmesan cheese, grated -- to taste
Extra virgin olive oil -- just a little


You know the drill; fill a pot a little over halfway with water, add salt and splash of olive oil, set on the stove at medium high and bring to a boil.

In the meantime: slice the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside. Peel the garlic cloves (I use about four or five, depending on the size), set aside and have a garlic press at hand. Being careful not to tear the basil, pluck the leaves and stack them by size, from large to small, inside each other; role the leaves into a cigarette and using a sharp knife, thinly dice.

When the water boils add the pasta, cooking till al dente, about ten minutes on medium heat.

While the pasta is boiling: add a splash of olive oil to a large frying pan and set on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add tomatoes; making sure not to mash them, use a rubber spatula to flip them about. Using the press, quickly crush the garlic into the pan then add salt, mixing in with the tomatoes. Add a little of the basil but save most of it for the end. When the tomatoes are soft but still firm take off heat.

Drain the pasta then flip into the frying pan. Fold the tomatoes in with the pasta adding the rest of the basil and the Parmesan cheese. Serve hot. Enjoy!

 ~ Kait

January 14, 2012

A Double-Post Saturday!

Aren't y'all lucky?

Well, since it is the new year (bye bye, 2011) I thought I'd set some (very simple) goals for myself; there's just nothing quite like giving oneself easy-to-achieve goals for a whole year. :-P

 Noble's Fabulous Five:

1. Bake Muffins. Specifically these incredible Pumpkin Muffins. My mom made them back in October and they were *amazing*! And, since I got my very first muffin pan for Christmas (Yay!), I figured I should break it in with something super-delish.

2. Start researching potty-training. The day will come for Addie to be done with diapers and I want to be prepared!

3. Sew something by myself from start to finish. I got this adorable book from my brother-in-law for Christmas, and I would love to make some of these as presents. :-) (And their tiny size is a plus!)

4. Purchase an eyeliner pencil and learn how to use it properly. Kaitie has been a total sweet heart and come over a few times to help me out with my make-up (she's so savvy with stuff like that) and she has made me a believer in tasteful eyeliner.

5. Read more! We (Noel and I) got ourselves a Kindle for Christmas and I have really been enjoying it. It is much easier to nurse a baby and read if the reading only requires one hand,and I've already read one book this year which is a good start! (Letters Of A Woman Homesteader by Elinore Pruitt Stewart) I'll keep y'all up to date as I finish my reads.

Do you have easy-to-achieve goals this year,  or are you going for Olympic Gold?

A little note from Luther

Alright, so this was supposed to be a post for Friday, but there is nothing like a coming-on stomach bug to mess up the schedule!

"[In Phil. 2:1-4] we see clearly that the Apostle has prescribed this rule for the life of Christians, namely, that we should devote all our works to the welfare of others, since each has such abundant riches in his faith that all his other works and his whole life are a surplus with which he can by voluntary benevolence serve and do good to his neighbor." Luther, The Freedom of a Christian (or On Christian Liberty)

I love this quote so much that I try to read it every few months. It's such a great thought: we have such a bounty of riches in our faith, that all our life and works are extra, that we can give to other people!

Of course, it's a great thought that's hard to remember...that's why I have to come back to it so often. :) 

January 11, 2012

Rainy Days and Puppy Dung

It's been raining a lot here, with clear days interspersed, but mostly grey skies and wetness.  To fit the mood, I've been enjoying listening to piano music while I study and go about my everyday life. When it comes to piano music I usually listen to classical but I've taken an experimental turn to a more modern pianist: Yiruma. I love his music. Because his expression is so clear, it's easy to hear stories in the notes. As I stated before (in an earlier post), daydreaming is one of my favorite pass-times; I like to imagine plot lines while listening to his music -- ignoring what I'm supposed to be doing... Anywho, here,  Yiruma – Puppy Dung is one of my favorite albums by him -- I know, awesome name, haha, I'll admit the title is what originally drew me to it. In this album, I recommend Yiruma – Spring Rain and Yiruma – One Day You Will...; the other songs are all lovely too, of course. You should check out his other albums as well, he really has some beautiful pieces. I hope you enjoy listening to Yiruma as much as I do and are having fun in your snow or rain or clearness or whatever. :)                        

P.S. It just occurred to me that this blog is supposed to be motivational. Ah well,  I'm motivating you to embrace your creative side and be inspired...yeah, I'll just stick with that...

January 9, 2012

What were my hands up to this Christmas?

If you are like me you are ready to let Christmas rest for now and move on to wintery things. So I hope you don't mind if I talk about it just a little bit more. Because, although I was out of touch this last month on the blog, my hands were up to fun things.

Six sheets of double-sided Christmas-y scrapbook paper turned into a lovely wreath for the hall ~

A tee-shirt turned into two of the sweetest bunnies for my grandbabies ~

And 8 sweaters from my stash turned into perfect Christmas stockings for my quickly growing family ~

I have links for the bunnies and wreath. The pattern for the stockings I got out of a Christmas book that I checked out from the library. Sadly I do not remember the title...but I have seen this idea several times out on pinterest.

Looking forward to 2012 and swapping stories of the the goodness of the Lord with you all!

January 7, 2012

5 Tasty Recipes

5 Tasty Recipes  (that I didn't invent :))
My own sparkling cranberries, made from the recipe below. So pretty!

1. Candied Walnuts -- good on salad, good eaten straight....

2. Sparkling Cranberries -- a friend of mine linked to these on facebook, so I made them yesterday. SO beautiful and delicious! You should at least go see the pictures (and maybe make these, while cranberries are still available!)

3. Poached Figs -- so this is out of season, but you should really save it for when figs are back! Even if you don't like figs...This recipe turns them into beautiful things. (It's very versatile, too. I don't usually have port, so I substitute whatever wine, red or white, I happen to have around. :))

4. Brownies -- it makes a big 9x13 batch, so if you have a small family you can freeze them. (And they are delicious straight out of the freezer, too.....) I usually cut the cinnamon in half, cause it was a little much for us.

5. Mushroom Soup -- something completely different! It is SO tasty, and the author claims it will boost your immune system. And your immune system will need a boost after the other four recipes!

January 5, 2012

All Children Together

"...and we were all children together. We forgot all about feuds and partings, death and hard times. All we remembered was that God is good and the world is wide and beautiful." - Letters Of A Woman Homesteader (Elinor Pruitt Stewart) 

I just started reading this book this week, and I have to tell you I've been enjoying it immensely! I gave you a more serious/thoughtful quote but the author has had me laughing out loud several times. Addie has been enjoying it as well; I've been reading it to her over nursings and sometimes when she's just chilling.