peace of my mind

peace I leave you; my peace I give you… Jn.14:27

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Hallmarks of December


Our little fake tree, dripping with ornaments and lots of crazy color. I love it!


Simple door hanging this year.  Thanks to my boys who keep me supplied with choice sticks.


Peppermint puff “crackers” hidden around the house for an advent treat.


Candy Cane Bath Salts for Mom2Mom. Lots of crafty goodness that day!


Cranberry topiary.  Rubies on toothpicks.


Lots of little sewing projects in the works. Little (and quick) is the operative word this year.  New, pretty needles add to the fun.


Rainbow of glove options.


Keepers girls making candles. We also had a cookie exchange and went caroling to the fire department. What special memories!


Luke reading his great rendition of The Grinch.


Boy Scout Christmas party outfitted with onlooking  little sibs.


Caught a glimpse of these two out of the corner of my eye and had to take a picture. Growing too fast!


Mia making corn husk dolls for Thanksgiving.


Britty playing with them.


Pile on: all except for Piper.

December is a busy and sweet month.  It’s hard to savor it with all of the busy.  Hoping these picts will help me remember some of the simple things we treasure.

Hope to post again before Christmas, but if not:

Merry Christmas!!


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Yes! to cheap crafting

20:31 days of Yes!

Today after everyone was fed a chicken patty or some other sundry odd snacks for dinner, I stole a few minutes to make something. And a few minutes was really all this took.
It is made from a cardboard Lego box and some leftover tweed yarn. Hoping to hang it on our family tree wall.

Here is where I first saw this. Pretty in Pink.



31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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Yes! to an itch in the brain

8:31 days of Yes!

I have had an itch in my brain for quite a while to make a wall collection of a family tree.


Fabric, frames and trees.

Source: via Erika on Pinterest

I was inspired by this one I saw on Pinterest…

and also this one.

Here it is in the works. It’s getting there.

Wanting to make burlap leaves for Kevin and me and then a framed leaf for each of the kids with a burlap background.

Trying to decide if I should make them all the same leaf or unique to who they are.  Loving the process.

Yes! to scratching an itch!

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day.  Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.


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Forcing Spring

Another dreary Saturday in the midwest. Little tastes of spring have come, and some day soon, it will be here to stay…but not today!
Our kids are on spring break this week which means no more packing lunches, checking homework, grading pre-algebra.

Forcing bulbs

It may include a little sleeping in, sewing-I hope! and the most fun of all is that daddy will be able to enjoy some of it with us since Easter comes after tax day this year. Praising God for these good things!

Egg sticks

We worked on some “crack me” eggs by Not Martha which was also featured in this month’s issue of Family Fun. The color of these alone has brightened us all a little today.


That and the little ones were enjoying decorating Hot Rocks with crayons.  If we weren’t short on found rocks today, I would have liked that one too.


We have made yogurt successfully in the past thanks to the help of my mom’s yogurt maker. There are many fascinating ways to cure it…heating pads, pilot lights and boiling water in coolers. We tried the latter method a few weeks ago, but had awful results. Pretty sure it had to do with the temps at which we warmed the milk.


While placing a book order recently, the Homestead Blessings DVD series was on sale. The West Ladies youtube promos are so enjoyable, they are sure to be good resources to have on hand. Their family lives “off the grid” and they show sweetly and competently how to grow in homesteading skills-which I confess I am completely drawn to! Their Dairy Delights DVD was most appealing, so I did get that. The rest, I requested from our library.  After implementing a bit of their advice today,  we’ll see if the yogurt yields better results.

Another homesteading resource a friend has shared is the magazine Mary Jane’s Farm.   I’ve read the copies she passed along cover to cover.  While I don’t plan to don a cowgirl hat anytime soon, the idea of using the space you have-whatever that space may be, to be productive and sustaining to you and your family is both inspiring and useful.  I have found the practice of maximizing what you have, to also hold many lessons in godly contentment!

I have another post brewing along these lines.  But for today, we are forcing spring in-doors while we know it’s bound to come any day on the out.

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Hello February

The shortest month of the year can easily seem the longest when there are 12 inches of snow on the ground and you haven’t seen the sun in weeks. I fare these mid-west winter blues much better with shots of color and spice.


Valentine’s day is always good for that. I’m thinking of cooking-in this year. These inspirations are from Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Jan/Feb 2001.

Olive bar

I keep coming back to the idea of fondue…cheese and of course, chocolate. We had a cheese and fruit platter on a recent date night that I seriously keep thinking of too. Really? I can’t stop thinking about figs, almonds and stilton? It made a real impression, I guess. I would also like to try a recipe I saw for pomegranate salsa with seasoned fajita crisps. Yum!


I liked these simple gifts for friends.

Table dressing

This satin rose heart was a quick project I worked at 20 minutes at a time for two or three days. Here is the original tutorial.



Since I wanted to use what I had, I modified it a bit. Rather than a Styrofoam heart, I cut a form from an oatmeal cereal box.  Although I sewed each strip, I did not gather them because the satin was harder to work with than broadcloth.  Lots of hot glue here!

The hot pink, satin yardage was sitting in my stash for too long. I think I bought it for a makeshift shawl for a murder mystery dinner costume years ago. It went to a good cause: helping to spice up February!

Oatmeal heart


The Making List

Here is the Christmas making list that may or may not get ticked off around these parts.  With baby’s arrival careening at us, I may just scrap most of these plans.  We’ll see.  This post is just some links to some  great gift ideas you may also want to give a try.  If you do, I’d love hear how it goes.

From Martha, Martha, Martha:  Japanese Motif Soaps, slippers for the kids, Sugar Body Scrubs along with Candy Cane Bath Salts.

In knitting, the Brangelina Hat.

Loving this! quilty tree skirt.  This would be a big venture for me.  Teachers are getting these water bottle carriers.  The kids are hopefully getting pajama pants.  Amelia is getting my resized prom dresses for her dress-up wardrobe.

And as for trimmings and food, how about making a gift bow from a magazine page, or some spritz cookies (I’m using the brand new press that cost a dollar at a garage sale.)

I’d love to see what others are making/doing this season.  I’m strangely hearing my 6th grade teacher in the back of my mind saying, “Tempus Fugit”….time is fleeting!  And how!

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As we begin to turn inward for the winter months, with all that early darkness and wanting to be in bed by 7pm, I am reminded of the tricks of the season that help get me through. Knitting, handwork, reading, cooking….more time for the slower paced things in life.

Ty has a book report due next week. In efforts to help him catch the flame for reading, we often trade off chapters and work through a book together. This has required me to settle in for hours throughout the week with him…something I mostly am glad to do, but the challenge is for me to sit still that long. I find if I put a project in my hands though, it’s no problem at all.


Here is a cute embroidery pattern from, which I can no longer find on her blog, but if you make the trip over there, you are bound to find something adorable to inspire you.  Embroidering is something I am learning as I go.  This little help from Sew Mama Sew has been exactly that.  I’m a fan of the backstitch.

Fall Embroidery

I’m excited to have finished this one for my niece whose middle name is Autumn.  I’m either going to frame it or make a pillow of it.  Her face was redone three times, but other than that these stitches represent a relaxed evening or two in.