Thursday, July 25, 2013

Words to remember

"Even if you're not thanked, what you are doing matters."

I REALLY REALLY need to remember this today.

Today is one of those days where most of us in this house (really, all of us but one) woke up "on the wrong side of the bed." It is that-time-of-the-month for me and I am a little extra irritable. And hungry. Allthetime.

The kids are arguing and whining about every little inconsequential thing...
"She looked at me mean!"
"No I didn't!"
"yes you did!"
"did not!"
"Did too!"

They're being incredibly demanding. And to make it all a little more fun, my husband is working night shift this week, and trying to sleep. In his bedroom. In the same house as four noisy rambuncious kids. I tried to distract them by taking them outside, but within 5 minutes they were all complaining that it was "too hot". Yesterday I officially banned the wored "bored" from our house, but they are continuing to say it, and I can't STAND IT!

But I am not a failure. I am a mom. These kids are safe, healthy, clothed, fed, and relatively happy. That means I've done my job for the day. And even if I screw up, or they mess up, or someone pees on the floor and colors on the wall... there is still grace for them. For me. For all of us. Because Jesus loves us.

Rachel Marie Martin has some more great ideas in her encouraging mom post here. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I have five kids with me all week. Good thing the "extra" ones are big enough to go without a carseat, or it would be a really tight squeeze in the backseat of my Junkmoblie van. Did you know that it's quite difficult to eat your lunch when five children are running circles around you? Gotta take the little one the the bathroom again...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Praying for Diego

Our friend Diego was released from the hospital this afternoon! He'll be resting at home until he starts chemo next week. If you want to stay updated on his cancer journey, you can read the website created for him here:

Please keep Diego and his family in your prayers as they begin this difficult treatment process.

Also, if you have any great ideas about how to tangibly support Diego and his family during this time, please share them in your comments below. Thanks! :) 

easy peasy dc bracelet - free crochet pattern

Here's another free crochet pattern for you. You can also find it listed on Ravelry.

+Please keep in mind that although this is a free pattern, I would appreciate if you didn’t sell the pattern OR the finished product. If you like it and want to use it, that’s great! But please give me credit if you do. A linkback or a comment would be much appreciated. Thanks.+

Easy Peasy Double-Crochet Bracelet
My 8yo and I have been making these fun little bracelets during the hot, boring summer afternoons and handing them out as "friendship bracelets". I used a variated yarn for mine, but you can use any color or style of worsted weight yarn. You could probably use any yarn you want, you just might need to adjust the hook size and stitch counts. You might also need to adjust the number of beginning stitches to get a comfortable fit.

Supplies needed: a size G hook and about 10yds of yarn.

Row 1: Chain 30.
Row 2: DC in 3rd ch from hook and each st across. ch2, turn.
Row 3: DC in ea st. across. Ch1, turn.
Row 4: sc in each dc across. ss ends closed. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

It should look something like this when you're done:

You can optionally create a buttonhole closure and sew a button on the other end to make it look a little more "grown up". Or switch colors every row to make a pattern. Have fun with it. :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Celebrate! Free crochet pattern: princess headband

My newest hobby is crochet. I started learning to crochet at the end of December, about 6 months ago. I taught myself the basic stitches by watching YouTube videos, believe it or not. My daughter started practicing too, and she can do a really great chain stitch :) She sometimes manages to make things like bookmarks and bracelets.

Today we were celebrating the birthday of one of her dear friends. I love giving handmade gifts, but I had this particular friend with me most of the week, and didn't have to time to create or buy anything without her seeing it. I checked around a little bit on my favorite crochet site,, but didn't see anything particularly fast and easy. So I made up my own pattern. (Isn't that usually why patterns are made up?)

Here's the cupcake decorating station.
Her mom made special gluten-free cupcakes.

And here are the kids' party favors: They got to decorate their own flip flops! They turned out really cute!

And here's is my Princess Headband pattern, free for your personal use and enjoyment.
Use any ww yarn and size G hook. This size fits teens-adults.
Adjust the beginning chain length, if needed, for a different size, such as for a smaller child.

Terms used:
ss - slip stitch
sc- single crochet
sk- skip a stitch
dc- double crochet
trc- triple crochet
dc4tog- double crochet 4 stitches together. Do this as if you were decreasing by one stitch, but instead of one, pick up 4 dc stitches. Yarn over, and pull through all stitches on your hook. There, you've done it. It's not hard, it just looks a little odd at first.

R1: ch93.  turn.
R2: Beginning in 2nd ch from hook, sc in 30 sts. ch2, sk2, 5dc in next st. (sk3, 5dc) repeat six times. Then ch2, sk2, sc. Turn.
R3: ch5, sc in 2nd dc, dc4tog. (ch2, sk3, dc4tog) rep. 6 times. TRC in 1st ch. of previous row. Turn.
R4: (ch5, sk3, sc) rep. 3 times. Then ch12, sk3, sc. Again, (ch5, sk3, sc) 3 times. (Note: You will sc into the first "ch5" of the previous row, Row 3. Hope that helps.) Continue by ss into the next 6 sts. sc in ea. st across. ss to join, making sure your chain isn't twisted. Fasten off, weave in ends. All done! :)

Total working time: 10-15 minutes.
This is a sweet little headband for dress-up, birthdays, a quick "get-better-soon" gift, or "just because." You could also add small beads or use metallic thread for some extra glitter and sparkle. Have fun. Happy crocheting...

+Please keep in mind that although this is a free pattern, I would appreciate if you didn't sell the pattern OR the finished product. If you like it and want to use it, that's great! But please give me credit if you do. A linkback or a comment would be much appreciated. Thanks.+

Friday, July 12, 2013

Praying for Diego

My friend Diego is 6 years old. I met him when he was two. I've seen him learn and grow into a sensitive, caring, sweet, kind, silly, generous boy. He's supposed to be starting first grade next week. However, on Thursday. he and his family got some horrible news: They discovered that Diego has cancer.

Today he will have an operation to remove the cancer, as well as one of his kidneys. But this is just the beginning of Diego's journey. He will have a long, hard road ahead of him.  Diego needs all the prayers that he can get. I'd love it if you would pray for him, too. If you see a little boy with a silly grin, please think of Diego and say a prayer for him. I'd love for he and his family to feel the love, peace, and comfort of God during this difficult time.