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Project Blog

The internet is quite inspiring and I have a hard time keeping track of all the inspiration.  I started a tumblr blog to organize all the sites that I keep bookmarking.  Feel free to stop on by and see what inspires me, what I want to make and things I want to buy.  I am still working on the page layout a bit, but I have emptied out most of my google reader starred items and cleaned out my bookmarks.  Things on my desktop are looking more tidy already!

Truth be told, a good chunk of the projects that I have in there are for children and babies.  I don’t have either at this point but I can’t help to dream and mentally prepare myself with tons of things to make when the time comes.  I also have lots of crochet quilting, sewing, and home crafts to keep me busy.

Click here to visit: I like pretty things

PS. The photo at the top is from a street market that we wandered through in Paris.  I loved the colors and would love to have brought one of these home with me, but backpacking stopped me from buying a lot of “treasures”, which is probably a good thing.

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Making Me Happy

Things that are making me happy:

  • New sweaters that I am already sporting in my frigid office.
  • An impending trip to Michigan-Fall, apple orchards, good friends, new adventures!
  • An impending change in seasons in our part of the world.  I keep reading of other people starting to feel the shift elsewhere, hopefully that means we aren’t too far behind.
  • A super clean kitchen. We have been very diligent dishwashers this week.
  • The husband
  • 4 day work week, 4 day weekend, 4 day work week
  • Crafty projects filling my home office desk and trickling out in to all parts of the house.
  • Christmas is coming and presents are already starting to take shape.
  • Variety in our cooking.  Yummy new recipes tried.
  • Hope, Dreams and Goals starting to come to fruition.
  • These two photos taken in Paris on our trip that I still need to finish sorting through photos to write about.

Inspiring

I might possibly be suffering from a little bit of post vacation let down.  Pre-trip planning , preparation and excitement was all consuming for about a month before.  The trip itself was beyond words amazing.  Now I am home, trying to get myself back into some kind of a schedule and stressing about the little (and not so little) things.

I was preparing a lesson for Young Women today, when I found this quote.  I was stopped dead in my tracks.  Maybe a bit of an answer that I have been looking for, but knew all the time.

“It is by serving that we learn how to serve. When we are engaged in the service of our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves! In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus, that by losing ourselves, we find ourselves!

 

“Not only do we ‘find’ ourselves in terms of acknowledging guidance in our lives but, the more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our soul. We become more significant individuals as we serve others. We become more substantive as we serve others—indeed, it is easier to find ourselves because there is more of us to find.

 

“George McDonald observed that ‘it is by loving and not by being loved that one can come nearest to the soul of another.’ Of course, we all need to be loved, but we must be giving and not always receiving if we want to have wholeness in our lives and a reinforced sense of purpose.

 

Sometimes the solution is not to change our circumstance but to change our attitude about that circumstance; difficulties are often opportunities for service. …

 

“God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom. The people of the Church need each other’s strength, support, and leadership in a community of believers as an enclave of disciples. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read about how important it is to ‘succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.’ (D&C 81:5.) So often our acts of service consist of simple encouragement or of giving mundane help with mundane tasks—but what glorious consequences can flow from mundane acts and from small but deliberate deeds.

 

“As the contrasts between the ways of the world and the ways of God become sharpened by circumstance, the faith of the members of the Church will be tried even more severely. One of the most vital things we can do is to express our testimonies through service, which will, in turn, produce spiritual growth, greater commitment, and a greater capacity to keep the commandments” (Spencer W. Kimball, “There Is Purpose in Life,” New Era, Sept. 1974, pp. 4–5).

The Busy Life

July has turned into an eventful month for us.  I got on a cleaning/organizing kick and have made James play along in  a few closets and rooms in our house.  We are no where near done, but we are getting a little closer.  I hate how certain areas of the house attract clutter and dumping.  If I could figure out how to permanently combat the situation, I would be a very happy girl.

I have spent a large chunk of time these days doing research on my health.  I am so sick of just not feeling that great.  I haven’t talked too much about my struggles to find balance in my life with PCOS, but it is very real and very frustrating for me.  I have experimented with different ways of eating and a few supplements and feel like I am finally getting somewhere with it all.  I am hoping that one day it won’t be a part of my life that I have to think about nearly as much.

I was just called to be the Young Womens President in our ward.  I have experienced a bit of trial-by-fire this weekend which has only served to increase my love for the girls that I am serving.  After my calling was announced yesterday I received many comments from the girls and other members of the ward asking if I was ready to have a baby.  That may seem like a weird comment, but the last five or six Young Womens Presidents have all had babies while serving, and none of them served for a very long time.  If that is what it takes to get a baby into this family, bring it on!  They call it the Young Womens President curse.  I would call it a blessing!

James and I are planning our dream trip to Europe.  Neither of us have ever been before and are thrilled with the opportunity to being able to go.  The hardest part of planning the trip has  been trying to narrow down what we want to see while we are there.  We will be making stops in Italy, France and Germany!  We are very excited and will have stories to share when we return.

I am grateful for our country and for the freedoms that we enjoy here.  I love this song.  It evokes tender feeling in me.  I find myself pretty choked up by the words of the third verse.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

The Garden

This is my husband in all of his riding lawn mower bliss.  He borrowed it from a friend and seriously does not want to take it back.  While we don’t think that we have a lawn that is big enough to call for such a big purchase we can see where it would be useful in the hot steamy summer sun.

Well the jury is in on what flowers work best in my front yard.  We loved the petunias and all the color that they added, but the heat has gotten to them and they are droopy and brown.  They need  to be torn out this weekend.  The marigolds are sure winners.  They still look amazing and have gotten so huge and bushy.  The plants come almost to my knees.  They will definitely be appearing in the yard next year!

Playing with Food

I have had some fun with experimenting with food lately.  I have been working to eat more naturally and healthfully and have been playing with recipes to see which things I can make myself less expensively and more healthfully.

I tried my hand at making yogurt with freeze dried yogurt starter.  The towl helped to keep the heat in while it was doing its thing.  The result was a thinner more sour yogurt than I am used to, but it was really good.  I added some vanilla and honey to sweeten it up a bit.

James requested some granola to give yogurt and cottage cheese a little crunch.  I couldn’t find a recipe that I really fell in love with so I kind of made it up as I went a long.  The result turned out pretty well.

I had been craving some good hummus, but I am kind of cheap and thought that I could make it much less expensively than they sell it in the stores.  Turns out I was right.  I think I spent about $3 for what I would have paid $9 or more for in the store.  It was way, way too much hummus.  I learned and next time I won’t go overboard.  I started with dried chickpeas and made my own tahini.  Now that I am confident that I can make a good tasting regular hummus, I am going to try adding other flavors.  Here are the sesame seeds toasting for the tahini.