Christmas Decorations!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Matt wanted to put the Christmas decorations up this weekend. I was less than excited at first, but we really had a blast doing it! Both boys pitched in and we had a lot of fun!

Here's Matt and Rob putting the tree together. Rob loved helping!

More after the jump...

Change of Heart

Saturday, November 26, 2011

We had a bit of a scare this month, where I thought there was a strong possibility I was pregnant again. It's embarrassing to admit, since we're trying to hard to prevent that from happening. It was mainly the embarrassment that made me freak out about it to begin with. I was scared to tell my family; to see the disappointment on their faces. I was afraid to tell my church, fearing that my "anti-baby" attitude as of late would draw mocking (or they would stone me for being a hypocrite). I was even afraid of telling Matt, in fear of, again, putting more pressure on him to provide for a growing family. I now know that all these things are unjustified and ridiculous fears. Yes, my folks would be shocked and probably concerned, but they'd eventually get over it. Our church, though playful, would be behind us 110% and would rejoice with us. And Matt? He would be the unfaltering support he's always been for me and our boys, and would take it with humor and grace. As the month drug on and the certainty of expecting became more solidified, we actually started getting excited at the idea and welcomed it - despite it's untimeliness and difficulty of the task we were facing. The thought of God blessing us again, out of the blue, using the slightest of chances, was overwhelming. We were stoked. Scared, but stoked.

I don't know if it was my mind or my hormones that tricked me first, but I am, without-a-doubt, not pregnant. It hit me harder than I thought it would, judging by the "I'm-never-having-another-one-ever-again" mentality I was sporting before all this. I'm even surprised that I got so excited and joyful over the idea to begin with. As you remember from my prior post concerning adding on, I was ready to call it quits at two. Why I was experiencing symptoms that completely convinced me that I was for-sure pregnant, I will never know. I do, however, think it was no mere coincidence. I do believe God was trying to reveal our hearts to us on the matter. And soften them.

We're not ready right now. We know that for certain. We're enjoying our season right now and want to be smart about this. But in the next year or two, we're open to the idea. We would really love to have that one, last child that we've been on the fence about and then be done, permanently. It's in the Lord's hands, now.

My boys make me go insane most days. It's no secret. I whine and complain about it far too much. I'm not perfect. But I do cherish what God has entrusted me with - the ability to carry, bear, and raise precious children in His name. There is nothing more fulfilling than to hold your flesh and blood for the first time and for the rest of your life, knowing they come as a blessing and reward from the Lord. They may drive me nuts, but they are so very precious to me and I love them with every ounce of my being. I'm willing to sacrifice my sanity just for them. =)


Oh, you boys crack me up.

Unstaged, unposed, and unprompted. My favorite moments to capture.

Yes, I Did It Again...

Friday, November 25, 2011

I just can't help myself.

Some people are addicted to drugs; some people are addicted to booze. Personally, I'm addicted to changing my blog. I need an intervention.

But I really like this layout. It's personal. It's fitting. It' I got my hands on some cool digital papers from Paper Street Designs and I was instantly inspired to make something - other than our Christmas cards. I *had* to make something else. *HAD* to. I satisfied my craving by redoing my blog. Enjoy. For now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Cute Thanksgiving turkey craft here:

We Plow the Fields

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"This thanksgiving hymn was written by a German, Matthias Claudius, who was born in 1740. In 1779, Claudius had a severe illness in the course of which he came to see his youthful folly, and from that time, he was a humble sweet-spirited Christian, reflecting his faith in the poems he wrote.

This hymn is part of a much longer poem that sketched rural country life, in the course of which the country people sang a harvest song of devotion to God."

We Plow the Fields

We plow the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord
For all His love.
He only is the Maker of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower, He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey Him, by Him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, His children, He gives our daily bread.


We thank Thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, and food;
No gifts have we to offer, for all Thy love imparts,
But that which Thou desirest, our humble, thankful hearts.


Various Projects

Monday, November 21, 2011

My hands have been flyin' lately!

Multi-Colored Neckwarmer with Brown & Teal Reversible Buttons
For sale: Etsy

Dark Red / Gray Brioche Cowl
For sale: Etsy

Pink / Purple Ripple Scarf
For sale: Etsy

Brown / Lime Chunky Earflap Hat
For sale: Etsy

Tunisian Stitch Kindle Keeper
Not for sale, but I'm working on some to put on Etsy.

5 Essential Doctrines to Believe In

Thursday, November 17, 2011

J.C. Ryle has to be one of my absolute favorite preachers (besides Pastor Bear, of course =) ). He hits you hard and doesn't back down! I had to share this list of doctrines of what I, and every proclaiming Christian, should stand behind. It's dripping with Truth! Soak it up!
- - -
1. The Absolute Supremacy of Holy Scripture

Show us anything, plainly written, in that Book, we will receive it, believe it, and submit to it. Show us anything contrary to that Book, and however sophisticated, plausible, beautiful and apparently desirable, we will not have it at any price.

2. The Doctrine of Human Sinfulness and Corruption

Man is radically diseased. I believe that ignorance of the extent of the Fall, and of the whole doctrine of original sin, is one grand reason why many can neither understand, appreciate, nor receive Evangelical Religion.

3. The Work and Office of our Lord Jesus Christ

The eternal Son of God is our Representative and Substitute. We maintain that people ought to be continually warned not to make a Christ of the Church. We hold that nothing whatever is needed between the soul of man the sinner, and Christ the Savior, but simple child-like faith.

4. The Inward Work of the Holy Spirit

We maintain that the things which need most to be pressed on men’s attention are those mighty works of the Holy Spirit–inward repentance, faith, hope, hatred of sin, and love to God’s law. We say that to tell men to take comfort in their baptism or church membership when these all-important graces are unknown, is not merely a mistake, but positive cruelty.

5. The Outward and Visible Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life of Man

We maintain that to tell a man he is “born of God” or regenerated, while living in carelessness or sin, is a dangerous delusion. It is the position we assign to these five points which is one of the grand characteristics of Evangelical theology. We say boldly that they are first, foremost, chief and principal things in Christianity.

~ J.C. Ryle

Source: J.C. Ryle Quotes

Snickerdoodle Recipe

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Matt asked me to make his Bible study group some cookies last night, so I started searching for my tried and true Snickerdoodle recipe. I could not find it! So, I took a chance and went to AllRecipes and found a recipe that had over 3,000 reviews and a 4.5/5-star rating. Can't do much better than that, right? So, I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised. These cookies are awesome - even better than my original recipe, I think! Just enough crispiness on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside - the perfect cookie.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
  3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Robby the Baker

Monday, November 14, 2011

I picked up these Thanksgiving-themed sugar cookies from Pillsbury on a whim yesterday. Rob was all over it, man! He loved making those little cookies and was quite proud of himself after.

The proud little baker himself. 

Gosh, he's getting big. Where has the time gone?

 Enjoying the fruits of his "labor" the next day, while watching the squirrels scamper across the fence outside. Hey - he's happy, I'm happy and I got a cute picture out of it. =)

Herringbone Infinity Scarf Project

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I had left over yarn from Cher's hat, so I decided to make another scarf. Yeah, I love them and they're really popular right now. Hopefully someone else will agree with me and buy it.

For sale: Etsy
Source: Wheat Cowl

Brioche Cowl Project

I loved this project! It was challenging, but the result was so worth it! I will be making more of these in the near future.

For Sale: Etsy
Source: Radicowl

Cowl/Infinity Scarf Project

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fun little project. I love this stitch. It makes a great texture to the work. I think I will making another one of these someday. Right now, I'm just trying to whip up a bunch of items to sell on Etsy. You can find this item here.

Basic Earflap Hat Pattern

I was contacted over Ravelry from someone requesting my pattern for this hat. Staring blankly at the screen, I think, " did I make that?" Ha! So, I sat down, strained my brain a bit, and wrote out a vague pattern. Enjoy. Share. Gift. But the pattern's mine. Even though it's really basic. But it hurt to think about. So, I'm claiming credit. So there.

Basic Earflap Hat

This hat his completely customizable, including yarn, size, and creativity. Don't let the vague instructions scare you. Now's your chance to make it your own!

All SCs are done using BOTH loops for added thickness and for appearance.

Any worsted, chunky, or bulky yarn
Hook size according to yarn packaging
Row marker (optional)

Terms (US):
SC: single crochet
SL ST: slip stitch
CH: chain
ST: stitch
DEC: decrease or SC2TOG

This will save you many tears of failure later, after you've made that sad discovery that that wonderful hat you've toiled over is way too small/too big. Voice of experience, here.
To figure how big of hat you'll need, measure your head (or the recipient's head) around. Take this number and divide it by 3.14. This will tell you how wide (in inches) the crown of your hat should be. For example, my head is about 21" around, so I divide 21 by 3.14 and get 6.7. So, I figure my crown width needs to be atleast 6.5", but most of the time, you want your hat to fit snugly (figuring it will eventually stretch out after use), so I will usually subtract one round for the perfect fit.
So, now that you've figured out how wide the crown of your hat should be, now it's time to start the increasing rows. You'll increase until you've reached your "perfect fit" number. For example (depending on the thickness of the yarn or the hook I'm using), my "perfect fit" is usually around 6 or 7 rounds of increases. Yours will differ, unless you have a huge head like me.

Basic crown:
CH 5, SL ST in first chain to form ring. (You could also use a Magic Ring here, if you prefer. It just depends on your preference or the weight of yarn used.)
Round 1: CH 1 (counts as first SC until otherwise noted), 5 SC in ring, SL ST to join to first SC. (6 SC)
Round 2: CH 1. 2 SC in each SC around. Join. (12 SC)
Round 3: CH 1. SC in same ST as join. SC in next ST. *2 SC in next ST, 1 SC in next ST*. Repeat from * to * around. Join. (18 SC)
Round 4: CH 1. SC in same ST. SC in next 2 STs. *2 SC in next ST, SC in next 2 STs*. Repeat from * to *. Join. (24 SC)
Round 5: CH 1. SC in same ST. SC in next 3 STs. *2 SC in next ST, SC in next 3 STs*. Repeat from * to *. Join. (30 SC)
Round 6: CH 1. SC in same ST. SC in next 4 STs. *2 SC in next ST, SC in next 4 STs*. Repeat from * to *. Join. (36 SC)
Round 7:  CH 1. SC in same ST. SC in next 5 STs. *2 SC in next ST, SC in next 5 STs*. Repeat from * to *. Join. (42 SC)

End of basic crown. Stop or keep going as needed, following the pattern of the increases.

Don't put that measuring tape away just yet! Now that you've made your crown, here comes the easy part - the length, or body of the hat. To find the perfect length for your hat, measure from the crown of your head (your actual head; not the hat you're working on) to somewhere above your eyebrows (or the recipient's eye brows; make them worry about you). This is how long your hat should be from its crown to its brim. This does not include the earflaps. We'll talk about that later. Note: you may want to subtract a round or two so it's not super long, causing your earflaps to hang way beyond the ears, thus making them pointless. Your average length will be about 7" from crown to brim.

Basic body:

CH 1. SC in each ST around. Join. Repeat until desired length. Fasten off.

This is where it gets a little sketchy. Just tinker with it until you're satisfied, gals.
To figure out the placement of your first earflap, count how many stitches you have going around your hat. Hint: it's what you ended up with at the end of your crown increases. So, we'll take our basic crown for example. We ended up with 42 stitches in the end. Divide that by 4. That's 10.5, but we'll just say 10 to make it easier. With the hat upside down, fasten off point facing you, count 10 stitches (or whatever number you ended up with) left of your fasten off point. This will put you right in the middle of where your first earflap will be. Now, you'll have to do some eye-balling. I like about 10 SC-wide for an adult-sized hat, but if you want it wider - go for it. Branching out from your middle point, figure out where your 10 stitches will be. Count how many stitches there are between your fasten off point and the first stitch of your imaginary earflap. Join your yarn in that first stitch, CH 1 (no longer considered a SC from here on), and SC in each stitch until you've reached your desired earflap width. Now it's time to start decreasing. Here's an earflap pattern based off of a width of 10 stitches:

Row 1: Join. SC in the next 10 STs. CH 1. Turn. (10 SC) – We just did this part above!
Row 2: DEC over next 2 STs. SC in next 6 STs. DEC. CH 1. Turn. (8 SC)
Row 3. DEC. SC in next 4 STs. DEC. CH 1. Turn. (6 SC)
Row 4: SC in each ST across. CH 1. Turn. (6 SC)
Row 5: DEC. SC in next 2 STs. DEC. CH 1. Turn. (4 SC)
Row 6: SC in each ST across. CH 1. Turn. (4 SC)
Row 7: DEC. SC in next 2 STs. CH 1. Turn. (3 SC)
Row 8: SC in each ST across. CH 1. Turn. (3 SC)
Row 9: DEC. SC in next ST. CH 1. Turn. (2 SC)
Row 10: DEC. Fasten off. (1 SC)

Decrease until desired length, but basically you want to end up with one ST for your tassel to go through.
For the second earflap, count out your number of stitches you came up with that was between your fasten off point and the first ST of your imaginary earflap, just like we did before. In fact, everything will be exactly as before, except you’ll want to add 10 (the width of your earflap) more stitches to your earflap starting point, since most of us crochet from right to left. Join your yarn and repeat the pattern for the second earflap hat (same as above).

Congratulations! You’ve finished the majority of your hat. Now it’s time to finish it!
To make the edges nice and smooth and uniform, edge the whole outside (earflaps included) with 1 SC in each ST around. This isn’t an exact science; just get it as even as possible. If you’d like to add tassels, decide how long you’d like them and how thick you want them. If it’s just regular, old worsted weight, like Red Heart Super Savers, I like to use 2 or 3 strands. This is totally up to you. Double over your strands, string them through your very last ST at the tip of your earflaps, and braid to the desired length. Simple as that! From here, you can customize your hat with whatever you want – a flower, a tassel on top, or even a mohawk.

I know these instructions aren’t the greatest, but really I’ve made so many of these things, I’ve kind of come up with my own method, which varies from person to person. Once you have the basic hat part down, the rest is pretty easy. If you need help or I've made a mistake somewhere, shoot me a message via Ravelry – shutterbugette. Good luck and happy flappin’!

Miscellaneous Update

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some random updates. Don't you just love these kinds of posts? You just never know what you're going to get.

Last Friday, Matt and I went on a date and we got to see The Piano Guys in concert! If you haven't seen these guys before, please check out their YouTube page. As Steven Sharp Nelson (the cellist) put it, "Classical is the broccoli of the music world. Not everyone likes it, but the few who do REALLY like it. We're just adding a little butter to that broccoli." Well put!

Oh, and our date was wonderful, too. =)

On Saturday night, we had my family over for my belated birthday dinner. We had to postpone our original arrangement because my grandpa was in the hospital with heart failure. Yeah. Needless to say, we were immensely blessed to have him here with us for dinner.

Rob helping Daddy rake leaves for the first time. He did a pretty good job!

 The supervisor.

Matt rockin' out in the front yard.

 After selling my cowl last week, I thought I should add some more warm stuff to my shop. Winter is the time when yarn goods shine! Here's a Crochet Cable Scarf I made over the weekend. I love the design and think it should be made into a blanket somehow.

Someone requested a blue earflap hat, so here you go, Cher. It's waiting for you. If you don't want it, I'll happily steal it from you. =) Did this one completely from my head. There's a pun in there somewhere. 

My attempt at making a fall centerpiece for our table. I think it's purdy, especially against my cheap-o Walmart tablecloth.

My first handmade wreath. Wreath from the Youth Ranch; leaves and ribbon from Walmart.

 My sick boys. =( Poor babies caught something overnight. We all are working on very little sleep today. Drew has it the worst. I'm still not feeling 100%, myself. Just the same junk I've been dealing with for two or three weeks, now. To top it off, Matt woke up with a swollen eye yesterday morning; what we later diagnosed as a stye. It was killing him. The pressure was giving him a tremendous headache and making it hard to drive and work. Darn these fallen bodies!

That's all for now. Just trying to push through sicknesses and the daily norm. Off to go cuddle with my little guys.

Coloring In The Sunshine