Juggling?…..Struggling!

I suspect that if I took a vow of silence that my to-do list would finally start getting smaller.

My biggest challenge is not other people piling work on me since I am a stay at home, pastor’s wife….oh no! It is and always has been me and my big mouth. I volunteer, I take over, and even more often…it was my big idea in the first place.

While I have come to the realization the perhaps I am not superwoman, I still have high aspirations. But right now I need to get some mad time management skills… currently I have sitting on my plate to organize a camp work day, VBS (looming large and in charge), we need to revamp our sunday school program for the kids (I appointed myself coordinator), our weekly playgroup, I decided to make all of Reagan’s clothes and more cloth diapers,gardening to save money on our grocery bill, lots of homework and assignments for our Thursday night class, researching homeschool methods, trying to keep my house clean (and failing miserably), the humongous pile of boxes just chillin’ out in my yard, sorting things for the New Hope rummage sale fundraiser and baking cookies for the bake sale, I also have my heart set on making them a quilt to auction off… PLUS keeping up with this very busy and adventurous girly

 

And the most important thing on my plate is my relationship with God. If I am going to live a life of peace and blessings then my personal prayer and devotion time can not always be the first thing to get cut when I get too busy. I should use that time with God to center me, strengthen me and gear me up for my super busy, super blessed life……so, what’s a girl to do?

I have a couple ideas..but PLEASE share any others you may have.

I am going to make myself a daily schedule. This will include getting up at 6am for my bible study and prayer. I will make a weekly schedule of the housework that needs done and have a time set aside for it each day which will be during Reagan’s first nap. I will use from 8pm-10pm for my sewing time each evening after Reagan goes to sleep. I am also going to hire a “mother’s helper”. That’s a young girl at church who is willing to work for peanuts and will come for 2 hours or so twice a week to play with Reagan while I get other stuff done at home. Since Reagan is a climber she requires constant attention lest she climb the stairs, grab the bird, eat carpet fuzz… I also want her to be engaged and since we don’t put her in front of the T.V. (we don’t even have one) it required me to be creative. Michael is very supportive and has agreed to pray for me and this new schedule which I will start tomorrow. It will just take some prayer and practice to find the rhythm of our home!

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Spring Sewing!

I have started to work on Reagan’s spring/summer wardrobe. I love having a little girl to sew for and dress up. Michael did remind me to make things other than dresses and while that isn’t as fun I guess I can see his point.

When we were stuck in the dumpy trailer I traced and cut out several things for spring/summer and so now I am finishing up the sewing so I can dream up more projects. Actually I have to take a break and make another birthday dress but that shouldn’t take too long. Since I am committed to sewing all of her clothes I have started scheduling my sewing time more regularly. I am trying to get in the habit of sewing clothing from 8pm until 10pm (but I usually stay at it till 11:30 or so once I get started). My goal is to work on quilts during nap times and I have set up a small sewing station downstairs using a microwave cart. It is so nice to have Eloise my Singer Featherweight fixed!

Ok, enough rambling. I know you what to see the goods…

The pattern is the Portabellapixie Claire pattern. (Peasant dress view)

It was a seriously gorgeous day out today

This is the same pattern (obviously) but made in a tunic length to wear over shorts/skirts/pants/cloth diaper…

I find it rather easy and very productive to make a couple of the same pattern at the same time. It doesn’t add very much time to your project and the payout is big.

Thanks for looking.

My little apple trees looked prettier the other day when I originally tried to get the pictures but it was so windy it kept blowing the dresses out of the tree.

What’s going on….

I know, I‘ve kind of been a boring blogger lately…mostly I have just been entertaining you with things I have made or received in the mail. I am no longer allowed to blog from work and as that was primarily where I blogged from it has been a challenge to set time apart to chronicle my adventures.

 

I have been sewing fun things. I am currently challenging myself to complete all my half finished/unfinished/forgotten projects. I am calling it UFO Smack down. I am looking forward to that amazing sense of accomplishment I will experience once I reach my goal. Also the joy and fun of making more UFOs….ones I am not yet sick of looking at or feeling guilty over.

 

Sewing night is still going strong. Several Reengage sewers are working on a group projects. First they made an apron and now they are working on a clutch. I decided to work on my own projects but am available to help and answer questions when needed. Plus if you were to look into my closet you would know that I need another purse like I need a hole in my head. Before I spent all my extra money on fabric and yarn I was racking up quite the purse and shoe collection. Yes, I am properly ashamed of myself.

 

The Lu$ty Ladies will be meeting on Saturday at Tweet’s for book club. We had a bit of a hiatus since sometimes it is difficult to coordinate all of our lives for a get together. We will finally be discussing the Poisonwood Bible which I loved. I am eager to find out what the next book will be. Hopefully we will get this back in regular rotation. It is such a stimulating and enjoyable activity.

 

The horrible, wretched snow is finally starting to melt and I am anxiously waiting the planting season. My fingers are aching to work in the dirt. Gardening and creating in general brings me closer to God. Can you only imagine what the Master of Creations must have felt as He created us and our world? Pretty intense to say the least. I love the solitude and the ability to commune with the earth. Watching plants sprout from the dirt I till and the seeds I planted is so rewarding. Harvesting, cooking and preserving your own harvest is something I would encourage everyone to experience. It makes you feel so empowered and independent. And then you know where your food comes from and how it was treated. A deeper connection is formed with the earth as we learn to respect it for the role it plays in our survival and sustenance. I must get my starts ordered and my seeds sorted. Sowing time is right around the corner.

 

Last night we had our Fireproof your Marriage study that we host at our home. We also had a small party for Mr. Michael. He was spoiled silly. He wanted to have “taco bar” which is where you just put out all the fixings for everyone to make their own tacos. We had beef and shrimp tacos. If Michael had his way we would have taco bar at least once a week. He simply loves it. The Thompson’s got him started making “double decked” tacos with both a hard and soft shell. Michele also made a Ho Ho cake like only she can. It is a yummy cake but I refuse to use a box cake mix and Michele will so she was in charge of the cake. How crazy is it that I love to bake so very much and my husband’s favorite baked goods come from a box? Funfetti cake anyone? He also doesn’t always approve of me sneaking in whole wheat and herbal sugar substitutes in.

 

As most people know Michael has been asking for (actually he has been begging anyone who would listen) for a Nintendo DS after Becca and Bryce got one for Christmas and he discovered he likes playing it. For those of you who may not know I am Anti-Video game (hard core). I think they are bad for kids and families. It is my opinion that they often encourage violence and ADD tendencies and discourage reading and playing outside. I realize that I am in the minority on this topic as video games are only getting more popular. We also spent several years with out a TV until the Olympic games came on and I drug it out of the closet. I am considering getting rid of it again. Michael has never expressed interested in having a video game player until now. When he first mentioned it I blew it off thinking he would forget about it after a week. For those who know Michael this was an epic fail on my part. He talks about wanting one everyday. Anyone who comes over he will mention it to. One night Emily was visiting and Michael was stating his case for why a Nintendo DS will make his life better. I kid you not that man said this little hand held device would make him a better father (he will be able to relate to children) a better preacher (it will help him memorize scriptures) and prevent him from getting Alzheimer’s. Emily will back me up we let him know he was stretching a bit and he was delusional but it did show me how much he really wants one. So alas, I alas a decision to make and after thinking about it I realized that Michael is not one (usually) to ask for frivolous things (ridiculous certainly, anyone have a spare chicken coop? Want to borrow our film strip projector?) Michael usually asks for books, Christian tracts to pass out and socks for his birthday. And this is the husband who graciously allowed me to blow the stimulus check on Bernie, bought me another machine 6 months later for Christmas (Sergio) and got me the green sewing chair and an ipod for my birthday. I am always asking for frivolous things. Also, he doesn’t complain too much about our little stock pile of fabric and such. So while I don’t like video games and I know he will barely play with it after the novelty wears off I know he deserves it for being an amazing, adorable and understanding husband. Plus look how excited he was

 

p1010178.jpg picture by Cre8tiveCrys

 

Michele wrote “DS” on the cake and Becca made a fake “DS” that she put in her case to fake him out. We made him wait until last to open the real “DS” it was pretty funny.

 

This week’ goals and things to day:

 

Monday: I work a split shift and I plan to go to knitting with Michael. I also have to swing by the post office

Tuesday: I work 7-5 and then have sewing night. Babs is pretty freakin’ excited to start a tote bag so I am willing to bet I will be helping her with that.

Wednesday: I am off. I am planning to get my housework done so I don’t have to worry about it this weekend. I also plan to go to the Gym and bible study.

Thursday and Friday: I work split shifts both days (we are so short staffed at the moment). During my break I will be working on my UFOs. I have 5 hours off during the day. I also NEED to finish my living room drapes and hang them up.

Saturday: I was going to work in the yard but it looks like it is going to snow again….I will tackle the laundry, cook for potluck at church on Sunday (Our theme is Jewish food) sew and have book club in the evening.

Sunday: Church, Sewing and relaxing!

Monday: I will be doing Tweet’s hair and hopefully finish my little dress UFOs.

 

What’s going on with you guys?

 

My relaxing weekend itinerary

Will I wish it was just another weekend in paradise:

Relaxing on the beach by virtualphotographystudio

My reality is more along the lines of:

Wisconsin Winter 05 by pacific_pete

 

I know,I know  you are so envious right?

Anyhow so back to my plans for my relaxing weekend….well I meant to be relaxing

Friday:

I am working until 5pm then I will be helping my coworker Julie B move some furniture into her new apartment.

After that I will be cutting and coloring Miss Emily’s hair. There will be no chickening out.

Saturday:

I will not be getting up at 5:45 am….

But in the morning I will finish hanging the art work in my living room and cleaning the kitchen in preperation for my weekend bake-a-thon. I am hold a bake sale next week at work to raise money for Babber’s Mama’s llamas…ok its really for her cow and horses since their barn burned down. I also hope to squeeze in some sewing since I would love to finish my curtains for my living room.

I also have to cook for Potluck on Sunday. Our theme is Italian.

Then in the evening it will be off to Ladie’s Night out at the home of one of our older women. I will take some knitting along hoping to make some progress on a hat that has been on my needles forever.

Sunday:

After Church we will have potluck. Usually after potluck it is nap time but this Sunday Margaret, Betsy, Michele and Becca will be coming over to sew until 6. I want to cut out the quilt for my guest room. I also need to make a lap quilt for my uncle who was just diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

 I have to work from 6-10 for my sister. (She needs off to go ice fishing…yuck)

I am also off on Monday which I hope to spend baking, sewing and chilling out. But I also have an epic laundry situation on my hands and need to sort some clothes for donation.

My goal is to show you finished pictures of my living room on Monday. I also need to reveal the new sewing space for those who have not seen it yet. I should probably take pictures before I spend the weekend messing it up….

 

I meant to spend the weekend relaxing and creating but life sort of got in the way.

What are your plans?

 

 

Only a couple more days to enter my blog giveaway.

Crys is Cre8ting…

Thought I would do a post to let everyone knows what I am currently working on.

On the needles now is this for Barbara for Christmas…. I am not ruining a surprise here since she was there when I bought it. Actually she picked up the sample and said “make me this”. She even picked out the yarn. Its made of cheap yarn which is hare for me since I am a yarn snob and prefer working with natural fibers and hand dyed yarn. Oh well, I know she will appreciate it and I love giving gifts. Now I must decide on holiday presents for the other Lusty Ladies….

Bernie and I are working on this quilt for Tilena’s christmas present. The focus fabric is this that Tiffany brought back from Paducah’s fabric heaven.

I am also working on this bag for my dear mother in law. I am using these fabric for spring. But I need to make her a holiday bag also.

I have also designed our holiday cards and gathered the supplies I need to execute them. I just need to create them and address envelopes. I also need to update my address list so I can send my home made cards to all the people I care about (and those I am obligated to acknowledge) SO if I do not have your address please email me!

On the Art front I am attempting to capture the amazing display mother nature is putting on for us this Autumn on film.

I am also working on a college with all the fortune cookie fortunes I have been collecting for a couple years now. This project is taking on a life of its own and it becoming very dimensional. Exciting but my muse only allows me to focus on this for short spurts of time.

I am not painting anything right now but I am hoping to get to art village on Saturday to be inspired by the art of Wassily Kandinsky. I am digging anything Russian right now and it is about time to get the brushes and pigments out!

Sorry for all the links (I hate it when people do that excessively) however someone just learned a new trick!

I have goals….

To live a simpler more content life. This is something we (as in Michael and I) have been working on for a little while now but I wanted to take this time to blog it out. Hopefully that will hold me more accountable and give me something to refer back to. Life runs by at such a hectic pace and massive consumerism and waste are a huge problem for many. I no longer wish to be one of those people who allow “stuff” to control their life and dictate their happiness. I want to be content with what I have been blessed with (and I have been blessed abundantly) and strive to be more self- sufficient. We have been working on this for a little while now and have made some improvements but we have a LONG way to go. I also feel like we are always on the run… we have so many obligations. I want a more home centered life as opposed to always going somewhere. Which is why I have started making our home somewhere we would want to be. That will be a bit of effort.

My goals….

1.) Reorganize and declutter. I am a creative person so I usually have a lot going on and I have so many ideas but somehow this translates into a great deal bit of chaos. How did people who moved here from Michigan in a small U-haul manage to acquire so much junk many treasures in such a small amount of time? I need to stop taking other people’s junk liberating unwanted treasures. Its just that I find so much pleasure in taking something destined for the rubbish heap and giving it a new and improved life. Its an even better feeling when the friend who gave me the object sees it when I am done and A) doesn’t recognize it but loves it or B) wants it back. I have a back log of items that need an update so I shall work on those.

2) Stop the shopping. I know the local and virtual fabric shops aren’t feeling the economic crisis….it’s not possible with Crys out there acquiring fabric at such an alarming rate. MUST STICK TO FABRIC FAST. And I can not replace fabric shopping with other shopping. Like I did with shoes. I use to acquire new shoes like a maniac frequently until I discovered my love of fabric. My husband and friends were so impressed when I was no longer shopping for shoes all the time….until they seen my sewing studio. Now my problems with Materialism really is material….

3) Support local agriculture and business. This is something I have tried to do as much as possible. I encourage others to also since it is so important for small business and farmers and our community. It also makes it harder for BIG Business AKA “The Man” to stick it to the little guy. And I would prefer my produce, dairy and meat not to be harvested before they were ready just to make a cross country “road-trip”.

4) Buy Hand Made. I love Esty! For those who do not know Etsy is an online market place that allows artisans to sell their home made wares to a broader audience. Also support local artisans and crafters. As an artist and crafter myself I generally make a lot of my own holiday gifts but this year we are aiming for 100% home made.

5) Eat at Home. This will surprise some since I love to bake and cook so much however one of then many down falls of always being on the go and busy it always “just picking something up”. I need to plan ahead better and go back to making my freezer meals for when I am short on time.

6) Repurpose, ReUse, Recycle. I am trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible. I grow a huge organic garden and preserve the fruits of my labors through canning, drying (not very often) and freezing. I use environmentally safe AKA “green” cleaning supplies for the most part (we have a few we are fazing out). I compost (have you seen that HUGE, ugly green ball in my back yard!!!). We are making the transition to cloth napkins, grocery bags and cleaning rags as opposed to paper products. But since this is something I feel so strongly about I need refocus and put more effort into being more environmentally friendly.

7) Be Content. I should be happy with the things I do have and not always be working, saving, thinking about the things I do not. I have been richly blessed and want to find true joy, peace and CONTENTMENT. I need to be cured of “stuff-itis” Focus on saving.

8 ) Make a Home Manager Manual. I need to work on being more organized. This would assist me with managing and running my household much more efficiently. If I get the skills in place now it will make it much easier for when/if we are blessed with children.

9) Decorate. Since one of my goals is to spend more time at home I need to focus on making it a place we want to be. I do have a few rooms that are cute (when they are clean) but I have a lot of blank canvas (under the clutter) also. My goal is to make our home a cozy, fabulous space that truly reflects who we are…quirky weirdos…just kidding. I would like to be surrounded by things that are inspirational, envoke good feelings and do not need to be dusted…

Well thats me…what are your goals?