Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Blessed be the Name of the Lord

If you have been reading my blog for many months, you might know what a rough year last year was for our family. I haven't talked about it much more than to mention that it happened... it was something that touched a lot of our life, but it didn't really lend itself to being shared candidly. For those of you who haven't been reading very long, Mama suffered two miscarriages, an emergency surgery, and lots of testing last year. This was hard for our whole family, but especially for Mama, understandably. Thanksgiving arrived and I believe we were all conscience of the people who would forever be missing from our table; Haven had been due to arrive right at Thanksgiving, and the loss of little Selah was still fresh, and both of these things made the fact that we had two other children/siblings, Micah and Michael, already in waiting in heaven even closer to our heart.

But the Lord sent a gift to make that day of remembrance one which brought us much to be thankful for, as well. Because in His grace, the day ended with this news...

The grace of the Lord is so wonderful, His gifts are merciful, and I am so thankful for the joy He brought out of our sorrow <3. This precious little one is due to arrive in our family this July, and the Lord has blessed Mama and Baby Bear with wonderful health! We would appreciate prayers for this little one's arrival, but also praise that the Lord has given this life to be treasured, not as a replacement to the little ones who touched our lives so much in such a short time, but as proof that our Father cares for His children <3!

"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." -Psalm 30:5

"O Joy, that seekest me through pain, I cannot close my heart to Thee; I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain. That morn shall tearless be." -Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go"

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change." -James 1:17

Monday, March 12, 2018

50 More Random Facts About Me

I sent a random picture of a new recipe I made to a friend recently and was given the response, "This reminds me of something I read about you." Instantly I was a little disturbed, because what could she have read about me that I didn't already know she had read about me ;)? She replied that she actually read 50 things about me... and I realized she was talking about this post, done spontaneously a few years ago. And then it came about that we decided that I should do another such post, and this is the end result of that! That being said, without further ado, 50 more random facts about me!

  1. My favorite time period to study and read about is the late 1800's. I love it.
  2. When I fold towels, I always make sure the ribbing is facing the top of the stack, and the outer fold is on my left. A stack of well folded towels is very satisfying to behold, I assure you. 
  3. Constantly eating the same foods can get old sometimes. Unfortunately, if I am given the option of something new or something old, I usually overthink things and reach for the same, boring, trusted old foods. If you take me somewhere I have never been to eat, I guarantee you I will get a hamburger or a grilled cheese sandwich if they have it. (Funny that this post was born from making a new meal, isn't it? That shows that nobody is hopeless ;)!)
  4. I have 19 drafts in my blog folders right now. At least four of those are finished. But by the time I got around to editing them, they were too old to share as they were. But I can't ever throw away something I actually spent time working on...
  5. I have gotten better about taking notes for the patterns I create! The problem? They are very loose notes, not actual patterns, per se. And I can't decide how to share them. So, you know. I still don't know if you all will benefit from that...
  6. My favorite coffee drink is a caramel frappachino. I was once told that I make delicious coffee drinks and should work at a coffee shop. Later, I was told by the same person that they really only loved my coffee drinks so much because I put whipped cream on the top, hahaha!
  7. I make some of the social media graphics for "The King's Blooming Rose" ministries :). If you haven't checked KBR out yet, you should <3! It is such a blessing.
  8. If you do not have a nickname, I will give you one. If you do have a nickname... would you like a few more ;)?
  9. Yes, I have two blogger accounts and a wordpress account. I'm sorry my profile picture keeps "changing" on you all in the comments. Tori pointed out to me that it's confusing, and I plan on making them all match soon, but I promise you that they each serve a purpose, haha! Grrr...
  10. There are very few things that I buy without a purpose, especially for myself. The exception is scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby. At only 44 cents a sheet and with the explanation to myself that it MIGHT come in handy to make something for someone else or for my shop, I usually come home with 3-5 more designs than I started out looking for when I dare to browse that isle in the store. It makes me so happy to admire such a beautiful design with the potential of purpose, that it's worth it.
  11. There are very few people I can watch cook in person. It's not you, it's me. I promise. But... please. Can I show you how to use that spatula ;)?
  12. When I was little, I cooked with my aunt every time I went to my grandparent's. They kept their flour in this HUGE bucket, that I was allowed to use as a stool. One day my aunt sent me for something across the kitchen, and opened the flour bucket, unknown to me. I came flying back across the kitchen and took a leap - not onto the bucket lid, but straight INTO the flour. We laugh about this quite frequently when we're in the kitchen to this day.
  13. I eat ice cream out of a tea/coffee cup. It's the perfect size to hold the perfect amount of ice cream, and since it's in a smaller space, it doesn't melt as much, and the handle allows you to hold it without your hand getting cold. Plus it's a reason to use my cup that has a crack in the side, so I can't use it for coffee anymore. I hate melted ice cream -My mom teases me about the time she ordered me an ice cream from DQ, we had to walk forever to find me a place to sit down and truly enjoy it... and instead of being thrilled, I cried at the disappointment that it was "melty!"
  14. My hair was perfectly straight until I asked my Mama to cut about half of it at 14. It curled up immediately after drying at that time, and I have had curl to my hair ever since, though I notice it gets a little more limp during summer. 
  15.  I wash my hair with baking soda and vinegar, not because I am "one of THOSE natural fanatics" ;), but because it it the only thing that consistently works on my hair. Once my mom was asked what she would recommend for a lady's hair as she was in the shampoo isle. She shared what she used, but it didn't really answer the question, so to try to sound more helpful, she told the lady what I use. I am told this lady looked horrified and answered, "But that's what they use to make VOLCANOES IN SCHOOL!!!" I never heard of her again, but I am guessing she tried another method ;)... hahaha!
  16. I quickly develop shared obsessions. I can not help it. It's a way of connecting to people. If you make it obvious you love something, I will think of you every time I think of it, and eventually getting excited about it for your sake will make me just excited to see it, haha! I don't even know what things I love are even mine at this point...
  17. I am reading through the bible for what I think is the 8th time. I know many people have read through the bible more than this, but this is enough times to know that God can teach you something EVERY time. You don't know everything this wonderful gift holds by examining it just once <3. I like to read through the bible cover to cover, than do small passage or topical studies, then eventually read cover to cover again :).
  18. I love weeding! I like all aspects of gardening (except the bugs met), but weeding is the best. I know I am helping those little plants survive, I see immediate results, it creates such a neat affect, and it's something to keep my hands busy outside while I just enjoy the quiet. .
  19. I can (or at least could for years) imitate a pretty good rooster crow. But I'm very self-conscious thinking of doing this now, and told Andrew just yesterday, I'm not sure I'll ever know if I still have it. 
  20. I started to read Louisa Alcott's Hospital Sketches for free one time, and then I quit. Not because I wasn't interested, but because it was a good enough book, I didn't want to read it on the computer, I wanted to read an actual book, haha! I have yet to finish it...
  21. I journal at least once a week - an average of 7 pages. If I skip my regular journaling time by even three days, that number will probably go up to 12. I usually journal on Sunday, because it's a day I have time for it, and because if I have a set time, it helps me not push it to the side, because I really benefit from it, but it also means that if I am tempted to journal on Saturday when I should be working on extra projects, I can tell myself, no, I have time set aside tomorrow ;).
  22. The most disappointing fiction books I ever read are a tie between "The House of Thirty Cats" and "Rose in Bloom". 10/10 would not recommend, I hated the endings of both. Sigh...
  23. I play piano... with lead sheets. Ha. I don't even really think that it counts, although I enjoy it by times anyway, but other people seem to think it does sometimes, and it's confusing to explain. An elderly gentleman in choir once asked me if I played instruments... "Not really, definitely not well." Mama then posted a picture of my baby brother and I playing in the piano with lead sheets, and the next time I went to choir, this gentleman asked me when I was playing a solo, because he had found me out. Haha!
  24. I love open windows. I love the brightness of compromised sunshine, and I love the sound of the wind and birds and leaves!
  25. My favorite decorating technique is a big, full wall collage. The sight of them makes me so happy. I want to do so many... so I haven't done even one yet, because I can't decide which to start with, haha!
  26. Fuzzy socks and mechanical pencils are always a good gift choice. Or chocolate. And I probably need a chapstick, because I have to use them constantly, haha...I'm easy to please!
  27. I have lived in 4 different states - South Carolina, Iowa, Indiana, and Virginia. (But I have lived in South Carolina *3* times!)
  28. My memory obviously fully developed at age five. The Indiana house is where all of my youngest "firm" memories took place. Mama baking maple twist and singing to me at bedtime... Christmas baking with Daddy... sneaking downstairs to make sure that my Mom was leaving some of the chocolate caramel eggs (haha!). It's neat and odd to think of all at the same time!
  29. I was supposed to be born on my grandma's birthday. I ended up arriving nine days late on her brother's birthday, instead. I can't imagine the disappointment, hahaha!
  30. I stayed up to wash dishes at 3:00 a.m. ONE TIME and now my family thinks that that defines me. ::sigh:: Haha!!!
  31. My first ever "writing" project that I remember was plastering Lisa Frank stickers of a cat (I thought that cat was gorgeous) into a notebook, then scribbling around them and "reading" the story to my parents.
  32. I really liked being 14. I'm not sure why... there wasn't anything terribly different about that year. But if you were to ask what my favorite age was, I wouldn't hesitate before saying 14. 
  33. There is about a 60% chance that if we are close friends, one of your names starts with C or K. I don't search those names out. They just... happen.
  34. I am currently learning Swahili. Habari! Mimi langu ni Bri S. Mimi ni mmarekani. Ninapenda mkenya. Kewi hari! I would love to adopt someday in the future, Lord willing, and if I did, I would probably lean towards either Chinese, African, or domestic adoptions (and the children with special needs). I thought once when I was younger that it must be terrifying to be adopted by someone who doesn't know your language, especially if you are only three, and so I decided I would like to have at least a working knowledge of Swahili and Chinese :).
  35. I am closer in age to my mom than I am to a few of my siblings & I am also closer in age to my aunts than most of my cousins! My aunt has called me her son's Aunt at times, not on purpose, but because it somehow feels natural, haha! I don't mind, being an honorary Aunt is fun ;).
  36. I learned to knit continentally and crochet from a formerly British neighbor. This was an issue when my friends talked about their american version knit and crochet projects - the two versions have different names for different stitches at times!
  37. When Tori and I were little, our favorite things to play during our daily "quiet time" was that we were snowed in during a blizzard, hehe. I grew up reading Little House yearly for a while, okay ;)?
  38. I once read a quote that said "she was the girl who over watered plants because she didn't know when to stop giving". This took me very aback, because it brought memories of my Dad telling me I needed to water the plants this way, this much, or I would drown or uproot them... and what a hard time I had not giving in to the desire to give them just a splash more, so I was *sure* I had taken care of them. I don't know, it was weird to find! But every time I think of that, my mind then goes to the girl who was walking our neighborhood while I watered the potted plants, who walked past our house with her friends and then spun around and asked, "HEY, DO YOU WANT TO BE MY FRIEND?!??!?!" I was very shocked at the suddenness, but never got a chance to answer, because her friends yanked her away because she was being "weird". I've felt bad for her because of their response ever since, but I still laugh because it was hilarious. She must have been quite the character, and I'm sure being her friend must have been dizzying in an amazing way, haha!!!
  39. I have 400/20 vision. For those who don't know what that means; you are legally blind at an uncorrected 200/20. I have yet to meet a person (who actually remembers their prescription) that has one even close to mine.
  40. I am directionally challenged. It's one of the hardest parts about driving. The other main issue is that I have really bad night vision...
  41. I have been known to scare friends by telling them exactly what they are thinking about a situation before they tell me, even though I have never lived it. Or by remembering their life better than they do...
  42. My dream starter home is a tiny, sunny little two bedroom house with a sofa table covered with plants by the front window, bookshelves full of beautifully meaningful books, a table dedicated to my bible study because I take up allllll the space when I work on that, and a small grey cat named Raspberry purring on the rug while I make supper, with a little basket of toys always out in the corner of the living room for when our little house busts at the seams with small as well as tall guests.
  43. I am probably shorter than you, given the statistics of my life.
  44. Growing up, 19 always seemed to be the age you became an adult. Something about it seemed so old. At twenty, I think that has changed. I'm not old yet. Now I don't know what age sounds old after this, haha.
  45. I give people deals if I am winning at Monopoly. I can not see you struggle while I am winning. I hope this translates well in life, but honestly, I don't have thousands of dollars in real life like I do in Monopoly, so I haven't tested it yet ;).
  46. Tori and I once nicknamed a lady "Miss Crystal Lady" because we couldn't figure out her name without admitting we didn't know it, and she looked like a friend's mom. We found out her name was Linda. Six weeks before we moved. Miss Crystal Lady stuck though. Sorry Miss Linda.
  47. My full first name is not Brianna as you may have supposed; it is Ambrielle. This is a little-known name, which my mom picked out for me when she was just a little girl. It's said about two people per generation have it. From what I have been told by a friend and the fact that my mom and I decided that I'll have to have an Ambrielle, I may know BOTH Ambrielles in the next generation, now wouldn't that be crazy?! Haha! And yet we would all have different nicknames, which would also be neat!
  48. Some of my favorite family adventure memories were made at night. Watching the thunderstorm from our porch, watching the meteor showers last year, looking at the moon when it was supposed to be "different" with Tori... Night adventures are the best. 
  49. I wash my hands constantly. I can make a simple breakfast of bacon and eggs and wash my hands five times just to get the stuff in the pan. Haha!
  50. I am the oldest of my parent's 10 living children.
Thank you for joining me for this blog post <3! I had so much fun writing it out, although it took a while... I hope it's at least a little fun to read, as well ;). I'd love to hear from you in the comments! What are some "random facts" about you? What did you think of this post? What was the most exciting thing about me you learned today :D?...

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Light-Hearted and Short Look at February

Josiah-isms, because he is at that delightful stage where everything he says seems quoteable... (Tori reads Mama's old blog now kept mostly when Tori was 4-6, and says, "It seems like all you wrote about was me." Haha!)

Jojo: "I don't need my bears."
"Okay, I'll just set them at the end of your bed then..."
Jojo: *sits up really fast as I go to leave* "Where is the other one?!"

Josiah wanders downstairs and looks in the fruit bowl.
*sad little voice* "There aren't any with stickers."
Me: "Tori. Tori. Here." *peels a sticker off my cup* "Go give him a banana with this sticker."
Tori: "Oh look, Joey, here is a sticker!"
Josiah: *completely happy, very excited* *peels the sticker off his banana* "Here Bri, this is for your cup!"
You don't say... hahahaha!

Josiah: "I will clean it up fast. It will just take a little bit and a crumb!"


This child is really odd and hilarious sometimes, hahaha! From the jean shorts, to the fourth of July shirt at Valentine's season, from the church vest to the unbrushed hair and Mr. potato head glasses, I mean, what even is he getting ready for?! I love it.

We don't make breakfast sandwiches often, because it takes a while, but I did one morning this last month. We up-graded from a two-slice toaster to a toaster oven about nine years ago, but the past few years, even that is too small and slow... I just lay all the bread on a metal rack and throw it in the oven on broil for a couple minutes, haha :).

Mama was sick, so all the little ones picked flowers for her :).

I had so much fun designing Valentine's Day cards this year! Peter loved his and carried it around for days, it was sweet and somewhat hilarious... he loved the hearts right off it, haha. But he put them back on ;).

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lordwhose trust is the LordHe is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:7&8

That would be the cup that was subject to banana stickers by a small army of banana eating, sticker bestowing siblings, haha!

He's in our room, and so we get to here him talk in his sleep... hahaha! He loves his puppy!

He got a haircut this last month, too. It's much shorter, and so it doesn't look nearly as curly... and he looks so much older. But he's adorable <3.


A few more random parts of my month: I washed the kitchen floors. I spilled maple syrup all over them the next day. This makes three times in less than a year that I personally have cleaned the floors and have personally thrown a whole jar of something on them withing twenty-four hours. I don't usually spill that much of something at a time... unless I have mopped the floors. I don't get it.

Which is stronger, a garlic press or a clove of garlic? By all practical logic, the answer would be, the garlic press.

Which is why, when I tried to crush a clove of garlic and half of the metal grating can out instead, I was a little more than shocked and laughed really hard. We needed a new one anyway... for the past five years since it lost the pin, we've been using knitting needles and those weird fork things you stick in turkeys to keep the halves together. But that's not exactly how we always imagined it giving up all life.

*I'm on google, and a recommended article is "how to stuff a chicken"*
*my brain as I scroll past: "How to wear a chicken"*

I was offered a goat. A baby goat. A FREE baby goat. A free baby goat that needed bottle fed.
And I turned it down because I am responsible and knew I didn't have anywhere to keep it or know exactly how to take care of it right now.
Why do I have to be responsible.


So, there is a short, incomplete, but hopefully fun look at my February. I would love to hear about yours! What was the highlight? What is something that made you laugh? How can I pray for you this coming month :)?

Rejoicing in Hope,
Bri <3