Saturday, January 12, 2013

Crochet Fun!

Lately, the energy and creativity I used to save for writing have been channeled into my new love.  Crocheting!'s not that new. I learned to crochet in 2002, but I spent the last ten years only being able to make simple scarves and baby blankets. "I can't read a pattern," I thought.  "It takes too much time and energy to learn something new!"

But, about a year ago, while I was crocheting up a baby blanket for my adorable niece, I wanted to add a little something special to it.  Just a simple heart on the corner.  So, I googled it.  And then I googled all the parts of the pattern that I didn't understand.  Google is amazing.  About an hour later...viola!  A little crocheted heart that I could sew on the corner of that hot pink blanket to tell Kynlee how much her auntie loves her.  And....I was hooked.  Ha!  Get it...HOOKED! :)  I started looking for more patterns.  More simple things I could learn.  And guess what? There are THOUSANDS of free patterns on the internet.

And guess what else is awesome?  A lot of the crochet blogs that I am currently devouring are written, interestingly enough, by people from the UK, which makes it a delight to read!  All that talk of things they are crocheting for their flats, and their mums, and getting "cross with bits of yarn when they get tangled straight away."  It's intoxicating.  Not to mention that crochet blogs are some of the most colorful, beautiful things to look at.

All that to say, I have been creating things left and right.  And I can hardly finish one thing before I start another.  And my husband, a smart man to feed my addiction to yarny things, got me a crochet magazine for Christmas with all kinds of interesting patterns and these instructions, "I want you to make me a sweater someday."  Now, this is interesting, because he's not really the sweater-wearing type.  I think he just wants what we all want.  To be wrapped in something that someone made with you in mind.

I'm not ready to tackle a whole man-sized sweater yet, though.  So, I'm starting small.

I made a bunch of these swirly, twirly scarves around Christmastime to give as gifts.  Because I feel like, in Colorado, you can never have enough beautiful scarves. This is a tiny toddler version I made for Ava and she looks insanely adorable with it wrapped around her like a grown-up girl.

I made a few of these hats, too.  Such fun little girly hats with beautiful cluster stitching and super easy flowers.  This is Hope's and it looks super cute on her.

This baby blanket with all it's ripply goodness is still in the process but I love the way it is shaping up.  And the pattern is so easy, I almost feel ashamed that I didn't step out of my straight line, double crochet baby blankets sooner.

And this adorable cupcake was made for a little girl who is turning one. I think it's the perfect gift for a sweet little future cupcake baker.

I've also made my first pair of mittens and my first shawl and there is a lot more coming.  Including these amazing little matryoshka dolls.   Are you kidding me?!?  How cute are these.  Oh yes, I will definitely be making some of these.

There are a million fun things you can do with yarn and I think in 2013, I might  just try out a couple hundred ideas.  So, if you don't see me for a while, you might want to rescue me from my basket of yarn and insist that I rejoin the outside world for at least a couple of hours.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Week of Thankfuls...January 4, 2013

I am thankful for adoption!

-I'm thankful that God chose this unique road for our family and that we have experienced the miracle of adoption.

-I'm thankful for three birthmoms who made a brave and sacrificial choice.  They amaze me and I'm thankful that we get to see them and stay in contact.

-I'm thankful that God's timing is perfect, that he redeems what's broken, and that he blesses us with more than we can even ask for.

-I'm thankful for adoption agencies who sorted out all the paperwork, who held our hands through the process, and who prepared us as best they could.

-I'm thankful that our story of adoption has taught me so much and continues to teach me about love, mercy, healing, and how God makes a way when there seems to be none.

So, so thankful!     

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Week of Thankfuls...January 3, 2013

I'm thankful for my friends!

-I'm thankful that the prayer I prayed early on in college...for best friends...has long since been answered in these precious people.

-I'm thankful for friends who have their own stories of adoption.  You have no idea what a blessing that is to our family.

-  I'm thankful for friends that are next door neighbors.  Friends that share flour and eggs and hands and hearts. We are better people because we live next door.

-I'm thankful for friends who make me laugh and who cry with me and who hold me accountable.

-I'm thankful for friends that are far away but still manage to call at just the right times, to be present in all the important moments, to pray for us faithfully.  Seeing far away friends in person after time away, and picking right up where you left off, is one of the sweetest friendship gifts ever.

-I'm thankful for friends who instantly make me relax in their presence.  And the deep joy that comes from the goodness of being known and loved.

-I'm thankful for friends who teach me how to be a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, a better follower of Jesus...and that they love me when I miss the mark.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Week of Thankfuls...January 2, 2013

I am thankful for my family!

-For a husband who loves Jesus more than anything and is a gentle shepherd who encourages me to do the same.

-For a husband who is thoughtful and kind and funny and creative and an amazing father and smokin' hot.  Just sayin....

-For a husband who makes me feel like I'm something special, too.

-For three little girls who redefined family for me.

-For three little girls who know how to love well and are learning what it means to follow Jesus.

-For three little girls who are as different as night and day, and who each remind me of how creative our God is.

-For piano playing, and soccer, and giggling, and arts and crafts, and bath time, and tea time, and hugs and kisses....and all of the things that make up my day with these beautiful girls. 

-For my first family...who taught me to love Jesus and to get along with others.

-For parents who love each other and who still hold hands and who call on our birthdays to sing  a harmonic version of Happy Birthday.

-For sisters, who helped me learn to share and how to be a good friend...and who are still friends today.  And for brother-in-laws, who quickly became the brothers I never had.

-For the legacy of 2 sets of grandparents who loved each other faithfully for 60+ years.

-For my husband's family...who welcomed me immediately and have always treated me like a daughter/sister.

-For an extra set of parents who teach us how to grow to love your spouse more every year.

-For in-laws who feel more like sisters and brothers and moms and dads.

-Again...for the legacy of 2 sets of grandparents who loved each other faithfully for 60+ years.

I am one blessed girl!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Week of Thankfuls...Jan 1, 2013

It seems like there could be no better way to start the new year than by being thankful.  And there are a lot of things I am thankful for.  So I thought i might just be thankful every day this first week. (Let's hope it doesn't end there!)  A different category for every day.  Since we just saw a WHOLE BUNCH of our Young Life friends...I'm gonna start there.  I'm thankful:

-that we got to host 21 (22?, 23?...I lost count somewhere along the way) students at the Malibu Work Crew reunion this past week, right here in Canon City (12 boys in our home).  These students are truly some of the most wonderful people on the planet and I enjoyed every minute of it. Having a work crew reunion is a blessing that is almost too sweet to take in.  That these students, from all over the country, love each other and want to stay connected is an amazing thing to see. 

-for high school boys who love Jesus and sit around talking about him and encouraging each other. For boys sitting in our sun room reading scripture in the morning.  For boys who sit around singing worship songs.  For boys who give us thank you cards and gift cards and hugs.  For boys who understand that they were designed to desire the company of other believers.  For boys who give me hope that one day my daughters can be loved by men who will love Jesus more than they love anything else.

-I'm thankful that, although God has blessed us with a house big enough to host 12 boys, my little family can all fit quite snuggly in one room for as long as we want to.  It's a good reminder that we don't need it...and that this place was given to us to share.

-I'm thankful that my kids can sleep through almost anything, including 21 high school students in the next room playing games and laughing great big belly laughs.

-I'm thankful for great big belly laughs filling up this house.

-I'm thankful that my little girls get to be around big kids who love Jesus. Who show them what it looks like to love Jesus as a teenager.  I think they are gonna need that example in their lives.

-I'm thankful that we get to be a part of this ministry and all that it brings to our lives.  We have, over the years, received far more than we have given.

-And I'm thankful that the message we get to share in Young Life, the Gospel, is way more enticing and inviting and appealing than any creative way we could find to share it. And that when it takes root, it produces such abundant blessings. (See picture below!)

Join me, won't you?  Let's be thankful all week!