Thursday, February 23, 2017

Spilling Words ✽ Spring Bunny

Hello peeps :)!
I don't have anything big to share, so don't get too excited... I'm just talking... again... haha :). I didn't get to blog last week, and I've been waiting to be able to all this week, haha :).
Annnnnd my blog background seems to be missing. Lovely.
I'm kind of tired of Blogger's shenanigans right now...

Josiah, sitting in the car eating a snack before we go into Hobby Lobby: "Why are there truck rails?"
Mama: "Awwwww, the lines are truck rails, that's so smart!"
Josiah: "There are trucks on the truck rails." *points to truck* "There's a broken truck." *points to truck* "There is a broken truck." *points to van* "There is a not broken truck-car."
Haha!

We have this game where we tap Josiah's head and say, "Turn off!" Then he slaps his head and yells, "TURN ON!" We'll do it a couple times, and then, you know, usually that's it, until next time.
I guess he didn't want to play while I was getting him ready for church this Sunday, though, because, as I helped him stand up, I tapped his head...
"Turn off!"
'Siah: "TURN ON". *covers as much of his head as possible with both of his hands* "I have all my buttons."

Something I never would have expected to say:
Me: "Um, no. Actually. I think if you look like a pork chop, you probably are a pork chop."
Tori: "How much pork would a pork chop chop if a pork chop could chop pork?"
It was like 1 in the morning, we don't even remember why we were talking about pork chops.
Also, for your information, we don't eat pork chops anyway.

Me while eating some canned soup: "When we were little, we used to eat canned soup or these little turkey pot pies every Friday and Tuesday."
Abbi: "Were they good?"
"Yeah."
"Do you miss them?"
"Well, I mean they were good, but I'm afraid if we ate them again I would think they were nasty now."
Abbi: *sighs* "I miss them, and I haven't had them. I miss them in my mind, anyway."
I laughed, and Tori was like, "What? I miss walking to the mall for a pretzel, and I've never done that either."
True.
And Mama heard us from her room (?!?!?!) and bought some turkey pies the next day, and we ate them with toast, per tradition, and they actually weren't bad, so I was thankful that bit of nostalgic memory didn't disappoint me, haha :).

Tori: "Who am I in When Call the Heart?"
Me: *thinks* *gives my best answer* "So who would I be?"
Tori: *evil snicker* "Charles."
"Ewww. Please no."
Tori: "I was joking. You're Gowen. NOOOOOOOOO, YOU ARE BILL!!!!"
"Why are you so mean, what even? No!!!"
"No, you're Clara, I think."
"What? Really? I wouldn't have expected that, especially from you. That's not usually the kind of character you pick for me."
"Well, whatever, you're the lady who preaches."
And she just kept throwing out names every single time I asked if she'd settled on one yet. I don't even know.

Also, I know we are behind on the times, but we just finished watching season 2 the other day, and I am so disturbed. Mama and Daddy are laughing at us, because they already know what happens after this, but seriously, when Charles was the one at the end, Tori and I literally both jumped forward and gasped "WHAT?" Like, whyyyyyy!??!
And I'm really annoyed that the Pastor is a former criminal.
And I firmly believe that as annoying as she can be, you can't actually hate Rosemary.
I'm done. Sorry.



And can I just show you what I finished this morning, because, ahhhh, I am so hyped about this one!!!! It was weeks in the making in between other projects, but it's finished now, and I love it! I did it without a pattern, but "recreated" it based off of this Etsy listing, and added a diaper cover because I loved this picture. My Granny asked me if I could make her a baby set to give as a gift, and told me she didn't care what it was, so I got to make that hat, which I have loved since I first saw it, but, um, I wasn't going to make it for a brother, hahaha! Soooooo, I jumped at this chance, and I finished it, and it's so sweet and girly and knit <3. Haha! Also, I forgot that I don't knit as much as crochet partly because it blisters my finger, but I've remembered, haha...  I think I'll be doing more knitting soon anyway, though, because the project has fueled me to do a couple others, haha :).

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri :)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Happy Saturday ✽ Little things from my week



^^^^ That's my blogging buddy this evening. Although he's not sitting on the bed anymore... as soon as I sat down he came and crawled on my lap, and he's just sitting here. He's been doing that so much lately, he's gotten so snuggly and I love it <3.

I spent half my morning drinking coffee and and reading "Toliken's Reader", because...


:). One of my friends made me that mug, and it's adorable <3!

Also, my morning was spent doing completely unreasonable things, like walking downstairs and getting my arm stuck on the stair railing because I forgot to let go before I turned the corner. Me.

Mama wouldn't take me driving after that, hahaha! Actually, we weren't planning on it anyway, but, she still mentioned it as a definite no, haha.


This was (just one of) my completed projects this past week :). I freehanded the pattern, and I found great satisfaction out of making her feet one piece with her legs without a pattern and having them still come out with some shape to them.. And actually, the shoes delighted me too, although they actually aren't such a much. It's the little things in projects that the creator ends up loving, haha :). The hood, though, was... eh, yeah. I made it four times, and I still am not totally pleased with it, but I couldn't even cheat and use someone else's pattern, because apparently NOBODY else can make the hood either... haha! The thickness of the yarn doesn't allow it to disappear into the dress like the real thing, but, that's okay. This wasn't actually for my shop, I made it up for a little friend, and she requested I leave the hood, so, I went with it, despite wanting to tear it out and throw away the yarn, haha ;). But, along with this, I got several things made or started this week, so watch for new items in Under the Tapestry next week :D!

We went over to a church family's house for lunch last Sunday, along with a couple other families. Of course music/The Piano Guys came up in the conversation. One of the girls leaned forward really eager and asked, "Oh, you listen to the Piano Guys?!"
"Yeah, every night I make some tea, and Josiah and I sit down and watch some of their music videos while we drink it," I told her. (I love this time of the day <3 .)
She got this kind of taken-aback look on her face, leaned back in her chair, and said, "Wow. That's.... sophisticated."
"No, you don't understand," I laughed. "It's fruit tea out of a mason jar."
"Ohhhhh," she answered, and I really think she seemed relieved. "Well, that's about as sophisticated as we southern rednecks can get."

Watching "Cello Wars" as "the Jedi" does his "crazy mind tricks": "You will start cello lessons... now."
Peter, in his matter-of-fact way: "No we won't."
Me: "Wow, Peter, that was pretty defiant for you."
Peter: "Well, we don't even have a cello in this house!"

Tori: "Thank you Peter."
Peter: *pauses, thinks a minute.* "...You are welcome."
*turns to me*
"I didn't hear what she said, but in my mind I heard what she said, so I said she was welcome."
Tori: "He means he guessed."

Rejoicing in Hope,

Bri :)


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Happy Anniversary, Mama and Daddy! ✽ More randomness, it's all I do



Mama and Daddy celebrated their wedding anniversary yesterday <3. The little people put on an elaborate show for them, with Abbi on the keyboard, Emmi dancing, 'Siah on the harmonica, and Peter strumming the guitar (...when he remembered, haha! His contribution was my favorite, he was adorable to watch.) Then Andrew gave a show of the singing dog choir, and Abbi put on a puppet show about two pigs who fell in love, and Emmi served them little pieces of bread cut into hearts. It was so much fun to watch... I had been hearing the planning and rehearsals for about a week beforehand, so I had the added benefit of anticipation, haha! And each person's leading act was so fit for their personalities! We were laughing so hard, it was awesome... As they brought out yet another surprise, Mama mentioned that it was a big deal because Tori and I never did this, and I reminded her that we did, once. We put on a show, and they laughed, so I vowed never to set one up again, haha. But I'm very hopeful that this crowd will stay in business (and as one of the "unimportant" people who can hear all behind the scenes production, it sounds like that hope is well grounded).

Then we watched old family videos, because Mama remembered the show we talked about and wanted to see it again, haha! And oh my goodness, Tori acted like Josiah in so many ways when she was little! And looked nothing like Emmi, although Emmi is almost her clone now? Isn't it interesting how that works?!

I am so thankful for my parent's relationship and love for each other. It is a blessing I know not everybody has! They have worked together to bring our family to just the place God has for us, and God has used each of them to strengthen the other, and it is a joy to have this example set before us <3.

 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Joey is the King of Working... unless there is anyone
he could boss to do it instead, of course, haha ;).      

 JoJo walks by the garbage can, sees trash laying on the floor: "I threw this. Away. FOR A REASON!"
*picks up trash and slams it back into the trash can*
*Lumbers away like the growling, snarling, cuddly teddy bear he is.*

Daddy examines my glasses: "There is a little spot here, and it's actually part of the glasses."
Me: "Huh?"
"Actually, there is one of each of your lenses. With a 1/25 written under each one."
"I don't know what those numbers mean. Both of my eyes have different prescriptions, and neither one includes a 25? And I've never noticed the circles."
Daddy: "Well, I'm going to assume it doesn't mess with your vision then..."
I *can* see it if I look hard now that I know it's there, but yeah, I've not noticed at all for the past ten months, haha!
By the way, I have zip depth perception without my glasses. I went to get my glasses cloth to clean them before I put them back on, stating I didn't need the glasses to do so, and promptly bumped into the edge of the table. 

Also, I was going to pull my head out of the fridge the other day and almost ripped my glasses off with the freezer handle. Story of my life.

We watched "Miss Potter" earlier this afternoon, and it was fun to watch it knowing this time how closely they had actually stuck to her life. When we were at my aunt's, I was reading a Beatrix Potter journal she has, and I was surprised to find that she mentioned being engaged to Norman Warne in one of the entries. I asked Mama later, "Did you know that that actually happened? I thought you said that was just added to the film, and it disappointed me so much." She answered that she had only found that it was rumored, not confirmed -it was speculated, but his brothers denied it, although that didn't mean it didn't happen, since the engagement was supposed to be a secret. I told her about the journal, and she was like, "Oh. I guess the speculation came from... her journal... then." So, yeah, I enjoyed knowing the movie was pretty accurate AND good, haha :). I love that opening scene... it's "nothing special", "just" washing paintbrushes... and yet they brought out the beauty of it perfectly :). 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January in Review ✽ Hello February

Highlights:

-Noah started walking! He wants to talk, too... He's so big <3.

-Studying Colossians 3 with a friend (and like, forever after I "should" have been done with her, haha...)

-Staying with Aunt Tessa and getting to help throw an Elephant themed baby shower for my Aunt Amber and baby James.

-A precious package from a dear friend <3.

-Branching out and trying new drinks from Starbucks. I am usually a very predictable person.... I get a caramel macchiato. Every time. Haha. But we ended up getting a free smoothie when we went in one night, which was okay, considering I usually only like strawberries fresh, and then they were handing out samples of the new Cascara Latte the next day (it was pretty good too! Bold, but not bitter). Then in a fit of daring, I ordered a caramel frappuccino, and it was delicious. Then Tori let me taste a sip of her Java chip frap, and that was good too, although I didn't like the chunks in it.
Me: "This is so good!"
Tori: *takes it, takes a sip* "Bri, that tastes exactly like what you always drink."
Me: *thinks about it, realizes she might be right* "...But the texture is even better!"

-Beginning work with another local church and their respite program. It went really well, and I'm excited about where it will lead. This seems like just the door I've been looking for :).

-Getting to see some friends I hadn't seen for 18 months.

-Working on a crocheted princess Leia doll for a little friend :). I'm freestyling it because the one she saw didn't come with a pattern, so, we'll see what happens. Lol!

-Tori showing me how to draw a jellyfish, and I don't think it was a fail, although it could use some improvement.


-Setting up the snowflake tree and decorating for winter.

-Deciding to join Grace Anne in writing a letter or note every day in February. I can think of 18 notes or letters I was going to write anyway... the other ten I expect will come. This should be easy... haha ;).

-Speaking of which, catching up on my correspondence. although I owe people again now, but at least I'm not two months owing them, right?

-Actually blogging a bit. I miss this hobby being a regular part of my life.

Laughing at:

-Getting Bethi addicted to Rolos. I let her have a few I bought, and then the next time she picked out a snack, she went right for them. That was easy.

-"Soooooo," I asked, looking back at Bethi and Andrew, as Daddy pulled out of the parking lot I had been practicing driving in. "Was it what you were expecting?"
"Yup," Bethi answered. "I expected you to go as slow as a snail, and that's what happened."
"It was boring," Andrew pouted.

-Almost accidentally ordering water at Starbucks. I was telling my aunt, "When we went to get coffee with our friends this month, one of them went to get their tea cup refilled with hot water because she was liking the warmth on her hands, and the guy asked one of the other baristas, "How much do we charge for water?"..."
*Barista peeks over the counter* "Does someone need water?"
"Uhhh... no. Sorry. I'm just... telling a story."
"Oh, that's okay!"
*continues* "And then the barista must have told him that it comes free, because next thing we know, we hear him holler out, "How much do we charge for the energy to make water hot?"
*cringes as I realize that the barista is looking my way again to make sure no one is asking for water*


-Me: "I bet Evynne Hollens will do "Somewhere out there" since she's on a Disney song kick. That would be so fun!"
*checks youtube three days later*
New subscriptions: Peter Hollens: Somewhere out there
"Close enough."

-Tori, as we listen to a song: "What is she even saying?"
Mama and I: "Not sure. Your words have faith? Your wounds are faith?"
*Mama looks up the lyrics*
"Ohhhhhhhh, "your wounds have made a way."
??????

-Bible time, Daddy asks if everybody is done being loud so we can read.
Josiah: *Leans against the door and coolly remarks, as if it's an obvious loosing battle* "...There are a lot of people in here?...".
Tori mentioned it was like Peter when Jesus asked "who touched me?" and he just kind of looks around like, "Ummm, Jesus do you have eyes? There are so many people shoving I doubt they even know?"
Peter was so human, haha...

-Gramma re-shares a link she tagged me in on Facebook a year ago.
Me: "Awwww, the hedgehog is cute"
*looks at old comments* Me a year ago: "Awwwww, the hedgehog is adorable!"
In some ways I never change.


-Me: "Tori, come look at this mouse skateboarding on our bathroom tile."
Tori: "Why did you show that to me? Now I will never be able to not see that."

-Sitting down to play the piano with Josiah and Noah... next thing I know, Noah's toes are on the keyboard while he chews them, and it's anything but a melodious sound, haha!

-Peter, who only found out he was "bigger" than Josiah a couple months ago:
"Ohhhhhhh, I was born before Josiah and Noah? So that's how I got bigger than him!"

-Peter: "I'm four, Josiah, you are two."
Josiah: "NO. I am four, you are two."
"No, I am this much." *holds up fingers* "You are this."
*Back and forth for a while*
Josiah changes tactics: "You are four. *I* am *this much*. *holds up six fingers*

Quotes I liked:

-"The decisions we make today determine the stories we tell about our lives tomorrow." -Pastor Dude


-"it's a losing battle
but a soldier fights anyways" -Julia Ryan

I don't know, y'all. I just loved that line when I read it in one of her posts.
-"Doing something different calls for repentance — turning around and heading in a different direction. As believers, we have “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator” (Colossians 3:10, ESV). We’re being changed. If it’s time to turn toward a new way of thinking or doing, commit to doing that now, asking for strength and grace from the Lord who specializes in making all things new." -Pam Foster from Doorposts
-"It is true that justice demanded that Christ should bear the burden which as a substitute he undertook to carry, but Jehovah always loved him, and in love laid that load upon him with a view to his ultimate glory and to the accomplishment of the dearest wish of his heart." -Charles Spurgeon (I'm pretty sure, lol. I read several online commentaries around this time.)

Reading:

-"Radiant". I enjoyed this book, and started a list of people to find more biographies of, haha :).

-"In His Steps". Which I started in November, but the middle was kind of slow, and so it took me a while to push past it. I liked the Bishop that was introduced in the last half of the book, I wish more of what he did was in the middle of the book instead of after, haha!

-"Scout", which was more of a young boys book, but I picked it up off of Andrew's shelf from boredom one day while I was putting Josiah to sleep, so Andrew gave it to me to finish, and I didn't want to disappoint him. It was actually pretty good, it just had that younger reader feel that is hard to get caught up in.

-"Foxe's Book of Martyrs", because I don't remember it hardly at all, and want to.

-Colossians 3... what else ;)?

Fails:

-Calling the bank to see if my card was on it's way because I was going to be out of town and it was hitting the maximum time I was told to wait, and then they probably think I'm a scam because I gave them Bethi's social security number.

-Then realizing that that probably means I gave the church her number when I went to take the training class to work with their special needs program. Yep.

-Realizing I have something I'm not sure what it is charged to me on my receipt, and going back in to ask about it. "I didn't get any jewelry making?" "Oh, I just hit the wrong button, that's one of your yarn balls." But I only had seven balls, not eight? So, she refunded it, and I went back to the car... to turn around and take the eighth ball, that I found under Noah's seat in the car, back in. I will probably never go back into a store to question $4 again. I wanted to cry.

-Giving Josiah extreme anxiety over people not being seen for even just a scene or two in movies, presumably because Daddy came home from dropping me off at the special needs respite without me; he cries if he doesn't know that all the characters are accounted for. This is the child who formerly just kind of threw his arm over the back of the chair and looked invincible if a movie became worrying. Also, he couldn't find me the other night and so he wailed, "Bri! I love you!" in a pitiful, don't punish me sort of way. This from the child who usually tells you "Hi" to make you tell him you love him, because it's weak to tell you he loves you first.

Grateful for:

"I will give thanks to the Father who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of the saints of light, and steadfastly continue thanking God in my prayers, being watchful in them with thanksgiving. For I have received Christ, and will walk in him, rooted and built up, established in the faith by him, as I was taught, and abounding in thanksgiving; rejoicing in my sufferings for Christ’s sake, rejoicing in the good order and firmness of faith of his children, singing hymns with thankfulness in my heart to God. I will do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through him. And be thankful.
May it be so, Lord." (Prayer formed from the commands to be thankful in Colossians)

-Getting to listen to music while I drink tea with Josiah (almost) nightly.
-All the reading I have been able to do lately :).
-Noah's little grin.
-Hugs.



-Peter's chatter after he asks you to lay on his bed for a few minutes before he is tucked in<3.
-Being able to crochet, and some of the neat tips I've seen this month :).
-My journaling bible! I love it so much! I've been using that bible to study Colossians, and it's become a colorful couple of pages, haha :).
-That the Lord is always with us!
-Anyone who cared enough to make it to the end of this post... haha :).

I hope you've had a wonderful January... happy February!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Chatting over coffee ✽ I can finally get into my blog!!!

I asked recently if you all could view my blog, and a couple of you said yes; but I still couldn't go to my blog home page for WEEKS after blogger's recent update, I could only view individual posts by typing the direct link in, and it was really grating on my nerves! But I try to pull up my blog every time I blog, and it just worked, y'all! I'm happy about that, and, hey, my panic about it caused me to back up my blog, which is a good thing so we're all good, right? Haha :). My blog page has never been so satisfying to see...

And so, I'm here, with not-supposed-to-be cold coffee in my beau-ti-ful cup, to ramble on my blog, because that's what I do best ;).

*Goes for pictures* *plugs in USB cable* *remembers comment I saw one time that someone thinks when they bury the creator of the USB cable they will lower the coffin, pull it up, turn it, and lower it again as tribute* *further remembers the comment that the USB symbol is always on top, so you should never have to turn it around* Like, duh? The things I never notice *gets it correct first try* I haven't had to turn it around once since I saw that weird thing, and I find it disturbing that that has become such a predictable pattern in my life.

Apparently Walter is helping write this blog post, thanks to Peter 
Pumpkin... haha! Pardon my messy bed- creativity is disastrous ;).
And I promise I have a life outside of the snowman... haha! He shows 
up a lot here, I know.... He just gets into the strangest circumstances- 
he's like elf on a shelf, but not creepy. And it's my siblings pranking 
me instead of Mom pranking the kids. Ha!                                         

My Gramma sent me a pattern for some red valentines day head warmers on Facebook recently and several ladies thought they were adorable, so I made some up, and now I've listed them in my shop :)! That's the most exciting shop news I have for now... There are wheels turning in the background that I'm super eager to share, but aren't ready to be revealed in any coherent way yet. Hopefully soon! I'm especially chewing on the idea of... but you'll have to wait and see :)!

Emmi "modeling" one of my headwarmers. I just love window 
pictures like this... they are so pretty! And Emmi <3. She got her
hair cut today... maybe five inches? And it doesn't look any shorter?
How does that work?!                                                                        

I do want to ask, does anybody get tired of hearing about my shop here? I have a Facebook page that I'm trying to build up for it, but it's just so much more natural to share it here... this is like my online home, haha. I don't know... I feel like I mention it too much, but, it's what I do, and I enjoy it. But do people really want to hear about it all the time? Then again, do they really want to hear anything that I post? Blogs are supposed to have a theme... "Find your niche, make sure you have enough material to make it worthwhile, create a perfect design, then go for it"... but I like simple. I don't enjoy making pins that bring people to my site, I often can't talk myself into sharing my posts on the FB page I set up for my blog because it was "the thing to do", I like simple and pretty rather than the complex or stark white sites all the big bloggers settle on (not that I dislike the blogs that look like that... just for me, my blog, it just doesn't fit) and if anyone were to ask me what my blog was about... I don't know, life? Random ramblings? My less-than-stellar-capability in weird situations (haha... that would probably be the first thought for some people ;) )? Nothing that you can quite grasp as the one common thread? How does someone create a blog focusing only on one aspect of their life, when all of life is such a writable, lovely, aching-filled, laugh inducing, constantly changing, growth bringing, twist filled, gift of a story from God? I struggled with that for a while. Where was I supposed to direct my posts? But I don't need my blog to be perfectly conformed to this world's standards of correct. God gave me the desire to write, and he'll use the ways I do that to bring about what he wants to do. So, in a way, I guess it doesn't matter; skip my shop stats if you want. But I do also want to cut back on it if it's annoying... I have a journal that I write the stupidest things in, so I can always rave there instead... haha!

That's my badly settled mind flow for the night. Thank you for your time. Haha...

Also. Tori did this. And I want to hug it until it stops crying, but also,
it's just really good. She's so good at art... she drew something recently
that is GORGEOUS, but she hasn't revealed it yet, so I'll share it later :).

 Not sure what is going on here, but this is the crew that I get
to read children's stories with frequently, and I love it :).        

Big boy sleeping in his own crib! But he doesn't stay there long, 
I'm told, haha. He walked "for real" Thursday of last week.
 Tori and I left for my aunt's the next day to help set up Aunt Amber's 
baby shower, and I was soooooo glad I didn't miss him walking! 
I knew he was close, and I actually threatened to stay home 
if he kept trying as hard as he was but wasn't there by Friday, haha! 

The baby shower went really well- it was elephant themed, and it was adorable, and it was happy, and our stay with Aunt Tessa was busy and cozy :). We had coffee and got rained all over, set up for the shower, went to church with Aunt Tessa, and I snuggled cats, and we baked, and I missed everybody here dreadfully even though I was loving every minute there, and on Saturday I called Mama at 11 o'clock at night, and we talked to everybody in turn (except Noah, who isn't quite ready for the phone, and Josiah, who was asleep and had already called me that evening to tell me he ate supper by himself, which was adorable), and we got the most convoluted report of the day from everybody from Daddy to Peter, all told in very personality-true styles... haha :). I was happy to get back home, and I look forward to visiting again... it's one of those hard to choose between things, you know :)? Also, I learned how to make a washigami elephant, and I'm very interested in learning more. OH, and when Mama and the little girls arrived for the shower and to bring us home Sunday afternoon, I went out to hug them, and I tried to take Noah to soak in some snuggles... and he screamed at me and flung himself back at Mama. I was gone for what, 45 hours? and the child acted like he didn't know me? So wrong...
 
"Can we watch a movie?" Josiah asks me as he sits beside me sketching on Tori's MP3 player art feature. "A scary movie?"
What even 'Siah? Why?!

(For those of you curious, I finally finished the bible study I should have been done with on the 11th. But I'm still going on with it anyway. Haha :).) And now I'm going to go listen to music with JoJo :). Have a blessed Sunday tomorrow!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Little Penguin ✽ Life


 Look at this outfit, like, I love it so much, and that grin and those little feet, agh <3. Mama and I were at Target a couple months ago, and we saw this outfit and I fell in love with it. The penguin peaks out of the jacket, y'all. And Mama laughs at me because I seriously rave over it, haha, but she bought it when it went on sale, and so I made him a penguin for Christmas to go with it, haha :). Daddy got some pictures last Monday :). This is my favorite, even though it doesn't have the penguin...


I mean, could he get any cuter? Don't ask me what he's looking at, but it's cute. And he took two steps in a row during the photo shoot. And four in a row today. He doesn't do it on command yet, but he's growing up...

Qualifying moments of productivity for the day; baking, drinking hot chocolate (I do consider this productive, okay?), getting my new bank card verified, cleaning my purse, and earning one cent switching my Etsy information to the new card ;). Haha! I'm left wondering if they will charge me come my next bill for that cent that was sent to make sure my account is connected right, or if I get to keep it?...

Me trying to verify my card: *puts in number*
"This account number does not exist. Try again."
*puts in number*
"This number does not exist. Verify the number and call back."
Mama: "Want me to try?"
*puts in the number*
"This number does not exist. Try again."
*puts in number*
"Your account has been verified."
We did nothing different?! Whatever....
Me to Mama: "Thank you... for doing exactly what I did and making it work... That was kind of a Daddy moment..."
Mama: "Well, I have to have a few of those moments..."


I recently made up this Family Resolutions custom canvas! I can't wait to make these family canvases a regular item in my store... Actually, I can't wait to put a lot of different new items up! My shop is doing so well, that it's hard to find time to streamline listings to get them up, though, which I am thankful for :).

Bethi today: "I have so much to do. Catch up on my bible study, clean out all my stuff, catch up on writing."
Me: "Wow, that sounds so much like my life."
Bethi: "Yep. But at least you don't have math anymore."
True that.
"And you always seem to be catching up on your bible study, so I don't think that you can be THAT far behind. I am SEVEN. DAYS. behind."
"Bethi... I am ten days behind.
In a 30 day bible study.
Of Colossians 3."
Bethi: *blinks eyes* ".... How can you get behind reading one chapter?"
This question is actually baffling me, too. The assignments are supposed to take 5 minutes a day, but somehow they take me 20 minutes or longer, partly because I get side tracked bible journaling or doing word studies that aren't assigned, and I'm loving doing it, but it's making it really hard to stay caught up, haha!

Also, I've read just for fun every day this week, and I'm super happy about that. And the KBR magazine got here this week, and my friend wrote the subscriber's script! I also knit my first-ever diaper cover! I love January and productivity :).

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year ✽ First Post is Random

Me: "Joey-gator! Hey, come here."
Daddy, from two rooms away, ready to head out the door: "...WHAT did you call him?"
"What?"
"Did you just say Joey-gator???"
"Is there something wrong with that?..."
Mama: "Oh, that really is what she said."
Daddy: "How many nicknames do you have for him, anyway?!"
Quite honestly, I've lost count...


These pictures have nothing to do with the post, and they are
a few weeks old anyway, but this is kind of hodge podged to-
gether  on a whim anyway, and he's cute, so here you go ;).   

I spent the day working on setting up a coupon code and sharing it through all my listings on Etsy (20% off until Friday ;)!), backing up my blog, because blogger's update has literally scared me so bad (I still can't get to my main blog page, y'all! But you seem to be reading it fine, so I guess it's just something on my end?), and formatting coming blog posts... which led me to writing this one for no reason, and do you all realize how distractable I am? Lol :). 

I'm looking forward to this coming year. I'm hoping and praying that the Lord would use it in my life and that I will serve him through the time he has given. There are things I'm looking forward to, and things that scare me to an extent even if I want to reach it as well (driving alone, hello?), but I also think I'm ready to take the plunge. I think, this year, I just want to move forward... that's kind of my goal for this year. Most years I make New Year's resolutions to finish this or that or the other. It's always disheartening to see what I've not done, and this year, I decided I wasn't going to put the big things that I want to get done but that take months to work through and drag on me the whole time. Instead, this year, I sat down, and I thought of the little changes that would make more time that would help me reach those bigger goals. I want to invest in relationships and manage my time well. I don't want to give up anything that I do now; but I also want to do more. I want to read more books, and study the bible more consistently -not jut read, but really study. I want to embrace the new opportunities that I run into with joy, rather than fear. 
 
I know none of this is something that will just happen. It's going to take faith, trust in a God that knows better than I do, and more intentionality than I have lived with for some time. There is nothing special about the day January 1st. It can't do a thing for us. The only newness that is added to our lives comes from the Lord Jesus' forming us always into a new creation, an image of his perfect spirit, and giving us his righteous robes. But I do think that any reminder we have to live our lives more fully for him and what truly matters is a blessing. And I'm thankful for the most recent one, the beginning of 2017. Happy New Year :)!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Valley of Vision ✽ I Don't do Bowling


"Preserve me from a false estimate of the whole or a part of my character;
May I pay regard to my principles as well as my conduct,
 my motives as well as my actions.
Help me never to mistake the excitement of my passions
 for the renewing of the Holy Spirit,
  never to judge my religion by occasional impressions and
 impulses, but by my constant and prevailing disposition.
May my heart be right with thee,
 and my life as becometh the gospel.
....
Give me a large abundance of the supply of the Spirit of Jesus,
 that I may be prepared for every duty,
   love thee in all thy mercies,
  submit to thee in every trial,
  trust thee when walking in darkness
  have peace in thee amidst life's changes.
Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief and uncertainties."

-Excerpt from "The Valley of Vision; a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions", compiled by Author Bennett

This book is one of the best I could recommend, I think, y'all. Each prayer is full of encouragement, conviction, and they are short enough to fit into odd moments -I love it! Mama bought it used a while ago, and it came marked in, although it said "like new". She ordered a new one, because she had actually wanted to do a study through it and needed a clean copy, so she asked me if I wanted to take this one. I've slowly been working my way through it, and I think I'll just start it over when I'm done and make it a constant fixture on my bookshelf, haha :). It's really that good; I think that my top three books for the year have been "Choosing Gratitude", "Fervent", and this one :). I also kind of liked "Aunt Jo's Scrapbook", but only half of the stories would have made it high enough to count, and I liked "The Life and Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien", but I think I actually read half of that last year (I think? I can't remember for sure... maybe it was just before we moved. Either way, it feels like forever ago, and yet it's hard to believe that this year is almost over?!), so those ones were out, which made my choices a little easier to pick from... haha. But I really didn't read that much this year. That is something I definitely want to be making time for again!

At lunch this afternoon...
Tori, to the tune of "It's a Hard-Knock Life": "Don't it feel like the Bri is always bowling, don't it feel like she's never around."
Me: *blank stare* "I have been bowling in my life ONE TIME. And I wasn't good at it." (Not even recently, it was two years ago!)
Tori: "That's two times to many."
Me: "Nuhu-
...what? Two times?!"
Tori: "I saw you at that bowling alley. I mean bowling rink. Bowling alley.
...What is it?"

Oh, and Christmas posts will be coming full fury... after I brave going through all the pictures. Hahaha... it's kind of daunting, y'all, but I'll do it soon :).

Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy day after Christmas ✽ And merry rest of the year

I just finished prepping a very unigue canvas for a
custom order, listening to Peter Hollen's Christmas cd...
and matching the new cup I got for Christmas :D.

I hope your Christmas was as full of blessings and joy as ours was :)! We have had a wonderful, busy week, and I absolutely can't wait to share blog posts and pictures with fun bits of our month with you all. But right now, I'm not actually going to write a Christmas post, although the thoughts do kind of stem from my Christmas this year. Actually, I'm not sure this post is even being written for you all; I think I'm just posting it here because I feel like that will give some of the accountability that I probably need for the things I'm thinking of.

All of our Christmas activities were wonderful and something I'll always cherish; I think being back in SC after being gone for a few years, made being able to celebrate with family and the zoo's Lights Before Christmas even more special. The memories made in VA are precious, but so are the memories we are making here, in different ways. But I think there is one thing that I learned during this Christmas holiday. And that is that I waste too much time.

I've missed the way things used to be for a while now. I used to do so many things on a daily basis that I hardly ever get around to anymore. I thought that things had changed and there just wasn't time for it anymore. 

This year I started making my Christmas gifts at the end of November like I do every year. The thing I hadn't counted on was my Etsy shop actually having some sales (imagine that! Lol. I know I should have expected it, but since November 26th, I have almost doubled my all-time sales, so, no, I wasn't expecting it). While I started my gifts, I didn't get them done very fast while working on the shop orders I was putting together.

By the 17th, I only had two gifts almost finished. I spent that Saturday sick and making another shop order. And really freaking out at what I had left to do.

Last week, I finished the two gifts, made seven others from start to finish, went shopping and ordered a couple other gifts. How I did it, I'm not entirely sure. I know it was partially with the help of Christmas music. I have a really short attention span if my hands but only my hands are busy. Somehow, I can sit on my bed and stare at the shapes on the popcorn ceiling for forever (as long as I don't feel watched, haha), but I can not crochet for more than 12 minutes without going insane or getting up to do something in the middle of it, or obsessively checking how much more I have to do if I'm not listening to something -a book, music, a movie. Also, pure necessity. That had a lot to do with the fact that I finished on time ;P. And I very purposefully didn't have coffee after Monday, so I could work faster (caffeine doesn't give me more energy or speed. Yes, it keeps me awake longer if I drink it too late, but not awake doing things. Either awake laughing over nothing even though I know it's not funny, if I'm able to just sit down and enjoy myself, or, and this is more likely, if I have any least bit of responsibility or stress going on after having the caffeine, it just makes me curl up and cry. Lol.)

But, in all honestly, I don't know how I finished- earlier than I have the past few years. I finished Christmas eve, but right before lunch, instead of right after supper like the past couple years. I was so stressed out I was nauseous on the 23rd, with 4 gifts to finish and one that I had ordered not being guaranteed on time. Like, really, if I had worked that hard to finish on time and then the one that I had no control over was late, I would have broken down and cried even without coffee, haha. I was praying so much that it would get here in time! (It got here 5:00 on Christmas Eve, along with three of Mama's packages that Toys'r'Us made such a mess of that she had to re-order from Amazon, praise the Lord, and I was giddy excited -I might have been more excited to get it than Mama was the next day, hahaha!) 

Mama kept asking me how much more I had so she could schedule my work into the day, and I was kind of just avoiding the question with a "hehehe, too much". I knew that under the circumstances I couldn't handle someone else knowing how much I was failing. I finally admitted to Mama last night that I hadn't had a single gift done the week before, and she was like, "Wow, really? I didn't even notice that you were that uninvolved with what we were doing." And it's true. I helped with Christmas cards, Christmas baking (I didn't want to miss out on that!) and house cleaning and gift wrapping; I didn't take any work with me when we went to look at Christmas lights, and I watched a couple movies without any crochet, and I slept longer than I thought was safe a few mornings. I did skimp on some things. I never did get our room decorated (which I am still sad about. But I compiled all kinds of cute ideas and supplies for next Christmas! So maybe that makes it better?), and I didn't get to read to the little ones or my favorite Christmas books that I typically read, and I fell a few days behind in a bible study I'm doing with a friend, and I didn't help with the Christmas grocery list or shopping like I usually do. But for the most part, I tried to stayed as much a part of things as I normally would, because I wanted this time to be about Christ's sacrifice for our salvation and family time, even if I was naturally tugged in the direction of stress and perfectionism.

And I think, if there is anything that I learned this Christmas, it is 
1. I will be taking Etsy orders into my plans next year.
And, more importantly, 2., in part because of how much I realized I actually did have time for this month, and maybe in part because of how many times I listened to Peter Hollen's Christmas cd the past two weeks...
I want this coming year to count. 
I want to stay busy all year long.
Because I have had the time all this time. I just haven't made it. Or used it. Comparatively, I didn't toss that much out of my schedule this past week, but I probably did four times what I usually do. And I am appalled to think of how much time over the past four years I have wasted.
"So this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun"

"But why
Does it change with the seasons, 
And why can't we just hold on?"
(Actually about the Christmas spirit, not my productivity, but every time I hear that chorus, I think it fits very well with my thoughts that I want this worth-while busyness to be a part of life again, and not just a little blip on the screen for Christmas time. Haha...)

I don't really want to make my life as full as this past week has been. It was okay for a week, but I need more balance for life. But I also don't want to continue wasting as much time as I know that I must have been for so long now. I mean, I knew I could do more. But I think I was in denial at how much more I truly had time for. I think that if I had had two weeks to do all that I did in one, and had also done the things I passed on, it would have been perfect. But I also think that the lesson wouldn't have hit as close to home. And so I'm praising God, definitely that I finished with a great reminder. And I'm looking forward to a new start.

_____________________

And so, this coming day will be spent working on my bible study, filling two shop orders, and reading lots of new children's books with my favorite little people :). And you'll probably see me back here, because, though I know I thought I'd be writing a ton during Christmas because of all I had to do, actually, I didn't have time for that either, and haven't written more than three times this month unless you count 3 letters and Christmas cards, but that's a different type of writing, and I'm aching to get back to my rambling, mindless word spilling. That thing about balance? Yeah, writing is one of those things I need time for. Haha :).

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens."
-Ecclesiastes 3:1

*clicks publish and hopes I don't regret it later*