Friday, January 31, 2014

On bunnies and tea oh my!

So I am not very disciplined am I? I promised myself to sit and blog on here at least once a month; yet the month will be over today (Happy Chinese New Year by the Way) . Nonetheless, I have been continuing my mission of slowing down and finding a thankful heart.  My daughter helped me with that when she recently found the "Blessed by" frame. Its on our book shelf and we are all cooperating in  finding the many things and people that we are blessed by. When I count my blessings (big, small) I find a truly spoiled daughter of the King.
Here are a few of my blessings.

Blessed by POSOLE. Dear Lord you have indeed given my in-laws a wonderful talent: Cooking. I devour posole. Its a type of Mexican soup with chicken and veggies and goodness. Its perfect for the long, cold,winter the midwest has been in. I cannot think of anyone in our family that does not love this soup.  I don't know how to make this soup but am told time and time again that its super easy. Either way, my in-laws make enough for it to last a while and I don't have to make it;)

Blessed by a bunny that is coming around. With time and patience, our very timid Buttercup is starting to engage with us more. We've had to bribe her with more treats than I would like to admit, but hey its working! She jumps on my crochet basket and makes her little crying noises when she wants attention. A scratch behind the ears and a soft touch to her nose and she binkies delighted with my touch.

Blessed by new crochet projects. We've had lots of babies being born around here these days, but I have taken a break from the baby blankets and started to play with crochet. I wanted a bunny appliqué for my purse, but the crochet patterns I found were too small and not what I wanted. I came up with this pattern and I will put it on here if anyone is interested. Does it look like a bunny leaping?

Blessed by tea. My sisters and I decided to carry on mom's tradition of having tea with the ladies in our family. We have started with sisters only at first (husbands were dragged in too) and despite our distance, hope to meet every 3 months for tea. Inspired by our tea and  after seeing these cute cups online, I decided to try and make one. This one is not perfect and I should have used a smaller hook to ensure no gaps, but its still cute. I made some as Christmas ornaments and will making these for Valentines Day as a pin cushions. 

Finally, I have been blessed with so much snow that there is an abundant supply to go around. Feel free to pick up free snow and disassembled snow men at my place. 

Stay warm, stay safe and count your blessings,Gabli

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankful Hoorays!

The fine print****I recently found out that folks are using my pics elsewhere… that is awesome..but please ask permission first and link back here..thanks***

The whole point of this blog was to slow down and in the process find a thankful heart, leave a written life behind for my little ones to peak into and to help me heal. I am thankful that I have been able to do just that. But, lately not so much so.
Once we got back from the island, Puerto Rico, life attacked us. At one point my little girl had 4 activities scheduled for the same day! I now know what it means to be a soccer mom… and my kids don't even play soccer!
I am thankful for these few minutes I have to slow down and reflect on summer and fall, on new and old.
1) Thankful for new traditions. After 11 years, my husband has finally made a football fan out of me. Monday night football is a family activity now. I made this ripple in honor of his favorite Chicago Bears. Our little family is now full blown football fans and I wonder what we will do once the season is over.

2) I am thankful for old traditions. My mother crocheted me a white blanket -that I still use- when I was born. It was an honor to create one for my new niece and nephew. My little brother had twins!  This one was created rather quickly and in the process I was able to teach my little girl to create a granny square. Hooray for traditions. 
 3) I am thankful for a core group of women who have taught me the fine art of crochet. Gwen-aka- the Crochet Kween- always has something new and interesting to teach me and her latest book has left me wanting more. Can you believe that little lady crocheting is made out of crochet! She is a Gwen original. Her book is full of fun examples on how crochet is more than just a hobby. My favorite is information on one particular gentleman that crochets. His art is fabulous! But, I won't give it away here. Click on the book link below to take a look and get more information. Hooray for Crochet!
Find out more here
4) I am thankful for perfect fall nites that lend themselves to warm breezes in the sun room and more crochet time. These little bottoms are for the new twins. I had never made garments (I stick to the easier stuff), but really these were super easy and the web is full of free patterns for this stuff. They were easy enough that the light of the moon was enough light to complete them. Hooray for new challenges.
5) I am thankful for a summer that brings about all sorts of gardening goodies that can be used for crochet. This is a twine holder but works perfect for my yarn. Hooray for new uses for old things.

 6) I am thankful for a family vacation---finally. The beauty of the island is unsurpassed. Every time I visit, it feels like the first time. The buildings in the capital city are from the Spanish era but are kept bright with colorful paints. I pray that God continues to hold that little island in the palms of His mighty hands.

Feeling rather spoiled now that I look over these pics. 
How fortunate I am to have a great family, to be able to get away and witness the majesty of the Puerto Rico, to learn from amazing women the traditions of crochet and to be able to pass it on. 
Feeling oh so spoiled and oh so thankful! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Visiting the Court of the Crochet Kween.

Its been some time since I've blogged on here. The start of the school year, work, after school activities and vacations have left me in a busy whirlwind. When Gwen, the Crochet Kween, and I met about month ago, she asked me to be a guest blogger. I cannot tell you how honored I was to be asked. Here I am a forever crochet newbie and the Crochet Kween herself is asking me to be a guest blogger on her site!! I'm still blushing….gosh ;)
Below is a link to Gwen's blog and what I describe as the royal court of crochet. Experts in crochet stop by her blog and Gwen gives a plethora of crochet information as well. Once you stop by, you will be "hooked" on her blog.

And don't forget to check back with me in a few weeks when I review Gwen's latest book,The Fine Art of Crochet.

Without any further ado, click here for my guest post.

If you want to check out Gwen's book, get a look at it here: 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Where did summer go?

Where did it go? I have a gazillion pictures in my camera and laptop and  I look there for clues. It went to…

  • making ice cream late at night
  • many trips to the zoo
  • gardening
  • picnics
  • play dates
  • nature walks
  • crochet (finally finished that ripple blanket!)
  • reading, lots of reading
  • making forts
  • bird watching
  • sleep overs
  • the hubster's scary fireworks 
  • late mornings in pj's
  • eating wild black berries 
  • spoiling Buttercup 
  • carnivals and more carnivals
  • car shows
  • long bike rides
  • napping and daydreaming under trees
  • homemade raspberry lemonade
  • spoiling two little kids as much as I possibly could
Although summer isn't over, I think I am ready for my favorite time of year, Autumn. The pumpkin flavorings in everything, the crunchy leaves underfoot, the delicate breeze that upsets the rays of that too hot sun and the beautiful trees that dance in the wind, make up for the hustle and bustle of another busy school year. 

You can go now summer, 
not that you were that bad. 
You were soft, breezy and not too hot, 
and I do appreciate that. 
But I would like for fall 
to come a bit early this year, please. 
So move over summer 
and make room for autumn leaves. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Ahhh" moments...

Our party desserts. There are addictive swedish fish inside the jello.
The kids got to make their own little  islands in a cup. 
No matter what my day has been, I try to find a "ahh" moment in it daily. I have done this since I was a tween and its just the medicine I need.
 I strongly believe that God talks to us in the ordinary things, and those are my ahh moments. Ahh moments let me know that I am loved, that there is more beauty than not in life, and they let me know that a higher power is at work. No matter what my life is like, God is in control.
Sometimes I find the moment in the cardinals song outside my window, or seeing the wind play with the tree tops on my drive to work, or sometimes the moments are found in odd ways and odd things. Just last week I was having an internal conversation with myself about all of the things I had to accomplish. Ok, maybe not so much a conversation as it was a complaining rant.  I was cleaning our home after a serious impromptu birthday party -right in the middle of our new floor installation. I was wondering when I would have time to get my to do list done and if my house would ever look normal again.  I absentmindedly continued to stuff things into the garbage can and didn't realize that the bag was overstuffed. When I pulled the bag out it exploded on the floor, well at least that's what it looked like.  A large hole on the bottom let everything I had just put in, out. It was my fault, I overstuffed it. I stood there looking at the mess in the middle of my kitchen. Half eaten cakes, pizza, jello, ice-cream, candies, birthday wrappers, toy wrappings, balloons, etc. It looked like a party threw up on the kitchen floor. That's when my ahh moment came…. yes in all of that garbage. I realized that I helped create childhood memories.  And, while perhaps the children that visited us that day will one day move away, grow apart and perhaps forget, I won't. I won't forget the smile and relief on A's face when her friends arrived and the mischievous smirk on G's face when his pals arrived. I won't forget the laughter roaring from the top floor and and the secret smiles and giggles shared between little girls. And, that's what matters. I won't remember the anxiety over having to change the party venue because of bad weather, arguing with the hubster over which pizza place to order from, the anxiety of the jello treats not setting on time or the anxiety that folks will notice that our floor is half carpeted and half wood. I won't remember those things. I will remember my ahh moment in the garbage. I helped create those memories and I will hold fast to them.

Today's ahh moment was in having a serious conversation with my 5 yr old boy about make-up. He was waiting for me in my bathroom and noticed my make-up case and was in awe of the many exciting things in it. He brought them out and asked about them. I don't like to wear makeup and rarely do but because he was interested I showed him what each item did for my face. He listened intently and got really close to my face and said "mom, you look the same". I responded with an "I do?". Then he put his little hand on my face and said "Yeah, you always look pretty mom but that fat little marker makes your lips redder, that's all". Ahhhh. I smiled, wiped the makeup from my face and thanked God for that little man of mine. 

I hope you get time each day for an "ahh" moment. They help you grow and make you smile so be sure to get your daily serving.
When I come to quiet, I find many "Ahh" moments right here at home. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On Not Slowing Down….

One of momma's creations as a single woman. I have often wondered how she came up with these patterns and what on earth did she wear under it. I am blessed to have inherited it when she moved. As a child I played with it often (pretended it was a fishing net and never thought to put it on). 
One of the many bags my mother made from me out of plarn. The bags were part of our city's recycling movement. The program was canceled and we were left with tons of blue bags. Mom made them into plarn and made this large tote for me. It keeps cold foods cold and hot foods hot!

Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln! What has time been doing to me?! Here we are just days from Summer and I have not been keeping my promise of slowing down. Instead the schedules of life and the joy killer have been keeping me busy. I do snap thousands of pictures. They live in my SD card and I don't take the time to slow down, print and enjoy them. I cut out thousands of recipes and I never take the time to read through and make them. I gather magazines but never peruse the pages. I bookmark many blogs or add them to the little glasses icon thingy on my mac, but I never go back. And be still my heart, I have not been creating (or does weeding the garden count as being creative?)

As a means of resolving this problem I am taking Fridays off during the Summer. I WILL create, crochet, make unhealthy sweet treats, let them stay up late, go to the movies, go on dates with the hubster, explore my world, read and for once in my life be unscheduled (atleast I am scheduling this for Fridays). Yes, I plan to make memories!

I will also dream of visiting my parents this September. Because my family deserves a little vacation and because I miss my mom and dad terribly, this visit is a must. Ok... Ok… its a secret mission to convince my parents to move back to the lovely midwest.  I will do my best to convince them that moving back to live in the midwest is the best thing that they can do. Afterall, why would they want to live near a beach in a tropical paradise, eating organic homegrown, surrounded by a garden that blooms year round and speaking their primary language, when they can be here with me breathing toxic air and worrying about utility rates during the gray and cold winter months?!

I do miss my parents though….. and I wish , oh how I wish, I had spent more time with them before they retired to the island.  Because nothing reminds me more of God's love than family. Nothing rejuvenates me more than hearing the roaring laughter of family around one of mom's awesome dinners. Nothing makes me question God more too than my parents (LOL) and this in itself has caused me to continuously be in conversation with God. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bunny and Crochet

As you know, I have been spending my free time on the joykiller (treadmill). Can I tell you how strange it fields to be jogging to no where. The kindle and phone help with music. I tend to close my eyes and pretend I am away in nature, walking down a beautiful pathway, on my way to by log cabin lined with all sorts of flowers. Then I open my eyes and stare at a dull wall.. sigh. When a friend ordered one of my flower scarfs, I was thrilled to be able to crochet again. I used to sell them online but with little time on my hands, I have not been able to keep Etsy up. I am hoping to post a pattern here since they are super easy. As a matter of fact, it is the old and well known, Irish Flower pattern that I like to teach at the center to crochet newbies. Its a perfect scarf for spring. This scarf will be auctioned off and the bidding has already started for it without me even completing it. Proceeds will go to a non-for-profit community center where I keep an office.

This is what a finished scarf looks like. Easy. 

Something else is in my head today:
Today I got to go on a date and I am so thrilled about this. The hubster and I agreed that we are most agreeable when we have time for one another. We planned for simply, cheap dates at least once a month. We made March's date and almost forgot April. Because he is in terrible pain (cortisone shot on the elbow will hopefully do the trick) he stayed home. I was able to stay home with him and b/c G and A are in school, we got ourselves to an early movie. After the movie we got up to leave and noticed an elderly couple was sitting not too far from us. She  got up very slowly and was slowly making her way down the long aisle and we patiently walked behind her. I saw how she moved stiffly and it just looked painful. He held her hand to keep her from falling. At the end of the aisle, he put his arm around her and she lowered her head to his chest as he gave us permission to by pass them. I smiled and saw her face. I saw shame- embarrassment. My face went red and hot. Can I tell you horrible I felt? "No". I wanted to say "no, we need to learn to respect and be patient with our seniors. You go right on even if it takes a bit longer. Don't stop and wait for me to pass you by, you go right on leading".

We go by in life at all sorts of speeds, we the makers and movers and shakers. We have no time for hello's and goodbye's. We have things to do and people to see. I stopped today and looked into the face of someone who once was like me. A mover. A shaker. Today, she can barely walk. And, while I don't know her story completely, I saw shame and sadness in those eyes. No. I won't pass you by. Nope, I won't move you out of the way. Its ok if it takes you longer. No one will die if I am a few seconds late. I know you once were a mover and a shaker and today have to take the back seat. But not for me. You see, I know that despite the sadness and shame in those eyes, there is wisdom there. Wisdom that only comes from years of experience. So, I won't ask you to move because I am faster. I will walk by your side, chit chat a bit and see if a smile comes up; because one day I know I will be you. And because in slowing down, I will learn to appreciate life around me a bit more.