Monday, November 30, 2009

Favorite Ornaments

Hello Friends!
I hope this finds everyone hale and hearty :) My husband went shopping on Black Friday and I had Christmas early because he couldn't wait to give it to me. LOL! So I thought I'd use my new gift to take some pictures. Keith got a sweet deal on a Cannon Rebel EOS T1i and it came home to live with us. So I was dinking around and took some pictures of some ornaments that I stitched for my kids over the years. These reside on my cross stitch only ornament tree.

Here is Ellie's Baby's First Christmas:
Ellie's First Christmas 2005 -
design from a random Leisure Arts Booklet

Ian's Santa ornament which was from either For The Love of Cross Stitch Magazine or from Cross Stitch and Country Crafts Magazine (I can't remember which) but I do know the design is from Terri Richards of Shepherd's Bush before I think Shepherd's Bush was born. Cute isn't it?


Ian's Santa Ornament 2001
Design by Terri Richards

Here is Jake's complimenting Reindeer Ornament that goes with Ian's Santa designed by Terri Richards, I always try to stitch "companion" ornaments for the twins. I know they won't have the same Christmas tree when they grow up and have their own families, but it always makes me smile to see them on my own tree.

Jake's Reindeer Ornament 2001
Designed by Terri Richards

And here is Katie's ornament. This is from a Cross Stitch and Country Crafts magazine, and I remember stitching this when I was pregnant with the twins. Katie was just about 22 months old and she was such a little darling (she still is a darling, just in a bigger package). I picked this ornament because at our old house she would sit on the couch and look out the window and this ornament reminded me of her and looks just like she did during that time.


Katie Grace's 1999 Ornament
So there you go...
a random trip of some favorite ornaments, a blast from the past. My kids are growing up so fast, and I can sit and look at them and my heart really just aches and tears come to my eyes. Oh they make me angry, frustrate me to no end some days, have me pulling hair other days, but those times are always eclipsed by the wonderful people they are becoming. They are kind and polite, concerned and caring, and they make their mother proud. I thank God every day for their them. They are Mama's little dears.

Now then....

I was paralyzed with fear over Thanksgiving - not about the holiday about the food that was going to be present over the holiday. But you know what? I made good choices. And so yesterday, I was sort of reining myself in by gathering my wits and was thinking of something that I could make that would be using filling foods and low in points so I came up with these delicious (if I do say so myself) and hearty Huevos Rancheros recipe. Here's what I did: cut up into small pieces red pepper, red onion and portabello mushroom (about 1/2 cup each). Spray saute pan with Pam, throw all the vegetables in and cook until tender (still a bit of crunch, but tender). Turn vegetable out on a plate. Spray pan again with Pam and then add 2 egg whites and 1 egg (salt and pepper) - scramble. Turn out egg on plate on top of the vegetables, mix and sprinkle with Weight Watchers Mexican 4 Cheese. Toast two pieces of Sara Lee Delightful Wheat Bread and use 1 tsp between the two slices. You can have this hearty meal for only 5 points. I think that's pretty fabulous, personally. I need something hearty because I eat after my 30 minutes on the elliptical. Today I did level 8 on the fat burner cycle and I thought I was going to have to crawl up the stairs :) LOL! But the readout said I burned 250 calories. So I guess crawling upstairs was worth that.

Well folks...
after a long drought of NO stitching, I'm finally stitching! BUT, it's for a personal exchange. Soon though I'll be able to show you that and more I hope.

In the meantime...

I wish you many abundant blessings during this season of joy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks....

When you look at this picture...
can you imagine what that first Thanksgiving was like? Oh from the time of Kindergarten we've learned about that first Thanksgiving. Through the years I've come up with my own thoughts on it. I can imagine that it was probably dusty, dirty and smelly. There most likely was the scent of tangible fear in the air, exhaustion, hunger and myriad of other things. Can you imagine the thankfulness of the Pilgrims, not only to the Native Americans, but to God? They were starving, they watched their children starving, death and dying all around them. I'm sure it was pretty bad, I'm sure there was a feeling of total and complete devastation, dread, loss, suffering, self doubts, and more. I also theorize that if the Native Americans came to deliver the Pilgrims from their plight with gifts of food and comfort, that they must have felt a huge amount of empathy for them. How else could the natives have confronted their own fears of these people of the pale skin that came with "fire sticks"invading their land? Much was over come on that day and one thing was definitely illustrated - that human emotion of thankfulness.

Although I believe this is a basic emotion, it is one that is often overlooked, especially and sadly it seems, in this day and age. On the most basic level, do you hail your fellow man when passing on the street with a "Good Morning", "Good Afternoon" or just wish them a good day in general? What about a simple smile? My Granny always told me it is easier to smile than to frown, so I try to do it a lot. It makes me look prettier than frowning anyway and it sure does seem to have a positive effect on people around me. In my personal experience the smallest of acts, brings the greatest joy - not only to myself, but to others as well.

Now...
it often seems that bad things happen to good people. Don't they? All you have to do is take a trip around the blogs on any given day, at any given time of the year and you will see pain, suffering, heartache, illness, depression - things that you don't wish to happen to anyone. We all have experienced these emotions, and when we read about others facing difficult issues we feel badly for them, we have empathy for them, we remember how we felt when we struggled with something similar. It hurts, makes us cry, makes us want to burrow our head and never come up for air.

My family has experienced loss year. We experienced it just 9 short months ago. We've experienced this kind of loss before and we'll experience it again. It makes me scared. Makes my heart ache knowing that I have to live through that kind of emotional hurt and pain again. But that is part of the beauty of life. We don't know when the day or the hour shall be, but if you put forth just a little bit of effort those days and hours leading up to the day and the hour it makes it all worth while.

So therefore...
I'm thankful. I'm thankful for all that I have and all that I have been blessed with and you know how I show it? I smile. I say "good morning" or "good day". I try to always thank those around me - for opening a door for me, letting me in a densely packed traffic line, oh, there's lots of things I can thank people for, but I shan't list them all here. I do these things, but the most important thing I do of all is: I pray. I pray for God to help me be a shining example for my children and perhaps to others. A light that beacons calmness. Am I always calm? Heck no! Am I perfect? Absolutely *not*! But I try to be, I strive to be - and that my friends, is the ultimate human condition - striving. Striving to be something more than what you are. Striving to have what ever it is that makes you happy. Striving.... it's a good word, as is thankful and prayer. So to cover all my bases I try to do all of them. I strive, I'm thankful, so I pray. I think it's a good life plan, and I'm going to keep on keeping on. :)

In closing...

I wish all my dear readers, friends and family a *SPECTACULAR* Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for you! I also want to let all of you know that I pray for all those that have difficulty in their lives and are facing things that are nearly unspeakable. I hope that you find inner peace and a wall of courage to face your challenges. I pray for you now, as I know that countless others prayed for me and mine 9 months ago. I never forgot the outpouring of love and prayer and I never will.

May God's abundant blessings be upon us all, Happy Thanksgiving!
*now please pass the turkey!*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Goodness...


I thought I was the only looney toon in the bin. But apparently I've sparked a real Hoomba with this Prairie Schooler Alphabet deal. And I've been asked mulitple questions...so I thought I'd address all the e-mails, questions, etc here.
The project that I referenced with the link below, I'll repost the link here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8416520@N02/2219248167/sizes/l/
Now, I don't know this lovely lady of the wonderful project, but I've read the captions on all her photos of said lovely project and it is stitched on 28 ct. one over one using the called for DMC.
Said project is The Prairie Schooler's Alphabet Series which you can go to this link: http://prairieschooler.com/inventory.htm and check out the original patterns. They are a few years old.
Now I've also been asked if I'm going to set up a blog and do a Stitch~a~Long. Well I wasn't planning on it, but I guess if there would be enough interest, I could. So I guess...let me know? Leave a comment here if you want me to set up a Stitch~a~Long blog.
Now people have also asked if I've started: Nope, I haven't
I've been asked, when I'm going to start: Well, soon, I hope....I'm dyeing my fabric today! Gonna do a little basting and baking of the 'ol fabby and see what is what. But lets remember that I have 1 personal exchange that I've got to stitch for prior to Dec. 1. Then I have a little thing that is called a finishing business and talk about a looney bin....that is what it has been the past month. So I'm a little busy....but I'm thinking by Dec. 1 I'll be ready to start. Maybe.
So about this SAL, if there is enough interest I'm game to set up a blog, have people join and then lets just see what happens. I'm not good with SAL's every time I say I'm going to SAL I flounder. So lets just say it's a blog and you can work on it when you want, start it when you want to, drop out if you want to, not join if you don't want to. Whatever....that's the rules. Anything goes....but if I start a Prairie Schooler Alphabet Blog, then you got to at least stitch something using the said charts. It doesn't have to be all on one piece of fabric, but it has to be from the Prairie Schooler Alphabet Charts. Ok. There ya go...now comment if you want to SAL. I'll contact you (if you leave your e-mail address).
Just a FYI, I did some cipherin' cause I'm a good cipherer (don't you know) and here's some dimensions for you:
All of the letters are 70 stitches wide. Some of the charts are 100 stitches high and some are 101 stitches high.
Now if you figure your layout. (I'm doing mine in three rows like "THE PROJECT") and that would be with (2 stitches in between all the blocks) 646 stitches wide and 307 stitches high.
here's the size fabric you'd need:
20 ct. (over 1) 36 x 19 (with 2" border included in dimension)
25 ct. (over 1) 30 x 16 (with 2" border included in dimension) or 32 x 18 (with 3" border)
28 ct. (over 1) 29 x 17 (with 3" border)
40 ct. (over 2) 36 x 19 (with 2" border)
I didn't do all counts, because this is the fabric I had to work with...but it will give you an idea....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ornament Exchange

Howdy doo friends!
I participated in an ornament exchange on the Friends Through Threads blog and yesterday this little buddy flew the coop and landed in my mailbox:


Christmas Chicken from Margaret S. of New Zealand

Didn't Margaret do a fantastic job? He's going to have to roost high up on my tree because the kitties sharing our home has been giving it the old stink eye....I know Red, for one would love to pluck it's gizzard, for sure! :) Thank you Margaret for such a lovely addition to my ornament collection.

Now....
Since this IS a stitching blog and I've not shown you anything stitching related in a. long. time. Would you like to see what I stitched for Joan S. in the same exchange? You do? Well then, here it is:

Prairie Schooler "O Come All Ye Faithful"
taken from the book entitled "Songs of the Season"
Stitched one over one on 25 ct. ivory lugana using DMC threads as called for

I love...

how this turned out. In fact so much so that I visions of stitching all of the "songs" in this booklet for myself as ornaments on 25 ct. fabric. Think I'll "git 'r done"? Well excuse me while I laugh my rear end off because I want to show you what I'm contemplating next....

Now....
copy and paste this to a new browser or click on it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8416520@N02/2219248167/sizes/l/
(and please use your best Brittany Spears voice and sing with me)
Oops....I did it again,
Looked through flickr albums,
lost track of time,
Oh cheese and crackers.
Yep, I bought the fabric,
I'm gonna tea dye it
and get all my threads
yeah, ready, ready
Pretty snappy tune, eh?

What else is up....

My Sweetie Pie, Honey Buns Husband is out of town. He's in Washington State near Seattle doing a major install of some thing that he's worked on for 4 years. According to our phone conversation last night, all was going well. I can't stand it when he's gone. Not only does it mean that I'm flying solo, but I'm just sorta lost without him. He's my best friend. I miss him.

I guess....
that does it for me. I've not hardly done any stitching of late because of my busy schedule. But hopefully soon....or at least at the beginning of the year? Fingers crossed. Until next time....
Love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours!
XXxxxx

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day...

Katie.....
along with three other young students, won the Veteran's Day Essay Contest at her school.

Daddy and Mama....
attended the Veteran's Day Convocation where she read her essay to the whole assembly.

~Katie, the oldest student, waiting her turn~

~still waiting, but she saw Mom is taking pictures~

~Katie's Turn~
Here is her essay and we dedicate it as a family to all the veterans that have served our country throughout the years from 1776 to 2009. Especially my Grandfather Bernard F. Weber (U.S. Navy - WWII), my father-in-law Edwin P. Pfeiffer (U.S. Army, Vietnam) and my brother Jeremy D. Epperson (US Marines)
Dear Veterans,


Veterans are the reason this country was started. Many of our Presidents were veterans, like George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ulysses S. Grant and others. We should also be proud of the veterans that are here today.


Veterans are heroic, brave, strong, patriotic and protective. They want to help other countries that don't have the lifestyle and freedoms that we as American citizens enjoy. Veterans keep us safe, defend our rights, work every day nonstop to protect our country from visible and invisible threats. Thank you veterans for your unfailing and ceaseless hard work in keeping this great United States of America the "Land of the Free" and the "Home of the Brave".


Tonight, before you go to sleep, thank your lucky stars that there are soldiers protecting our land, cruising our waters and flying overhead to keep you safe while you sleep.


Sincerely,
Katie G. Pfeiffer


Thank YOU Veterans for serving our country, I know there are many proud families and especially proud Mama's out there for all the men and women serving our country. And I know that I know a portion of that pride, because this is one proud Mama. A Mama proud of her daughter for her ability to produce such a rousing and heartfelt piece of work proclaiming her pride in her country and it's defendants!

God Bless America!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Punching...

Good Day Friends!
One of my followers "divorced" me today, so I thought maybe that was a *hint* that I need to get my hiney on here and tell you something worth reading. I don't have much, but what I have hopefully will entertain you. Can you pretend it is entertaining at least ?! Gee...thanks you all always have my back :)

As the titles suggests....
in between running the kids to and fro, work and everyday, mundane housework, well ok and stitching some secrets, I have been doing a little needle punching. Here's my very first try...this was with a 6 strand needle and I just have a little bit left to finish. Not too shabby for my first try, right? (You better say yes, Vonna, why that's grrrr-eat!)

Then you know me....
why not just jump head first - singing a rendition of Queen's "We are the Champions" - right smack dab in the middle of something that you know very little about? And as in my driving - if it isn't pedal to the metal and rubber to the road, I don't know what driving is - so I went for the gusto! Mama Mia! I had purchased some cloth and then hand drew Fredrick by Carriage House Samplings on it. I stupidly thought that, "Hey, I have Fredrick and hey, I have Fredricka - so I'm going to punch them - it'll be faster!" LOL! LOL! LOL! Gosh I make myself laugh sometimes! Maybe it is a little faster - but I agonized over the drawing for 4 hours! Yep from 2 a.m. until 6 a.m., one morning when this idea whacked me, right in the middle of my forehead, and brazenly woke me up to get on with it! Can you believe the audacity? What is this world coming to?

So....
here's Fredrick from the "wrong side":

Design modified from Carriage House Samplings Cross Stitch Pattern "Fredrick"

And....
Here he is from the right side (pictures clickable):

Design modified from Carriage House Samplings Cross Stitch Pattern "Fredrick"

Purdy...ain't he?

Then....
I haven't told anyone this "openly" on my blog. But on September 21st, I became a Weight Watcher Member. I was scared, embarrassed, desperate...and I just did it. You know I am not unlike what I feel a drug addict must feel like, except food is my drug of choice. So in my mind, going to Weight Watchers was like an intervention. I have a problem, I've admitted it to myself and I know the world has seen it for the past 9 years or so. For the past 6 weeks I have faithfully *every day* counted my points and have eaten within them and have done 30 minutes on the elliptical keeping my pace at 3.8 - 4.2 mph and making sure that I get in at least 2 miles in that 30 minutes. Some days I can get in 2.5 miles in 30 minutes going 4.5 mph or higher. I haven't missed doing my elliptical in 6 weeks. NOT. ONE. DAY.

I'm not telling you.....
all this for accolades or pats on the back or any sort of feedback period. Although I got the last little *push* that I needed from reading of others and being friends with others that are on the program. You know what? That step I took into a room filled with men and women on September 21, 2009 at 5:37 p.m. was the best, single thing I've done for myself, my life, my family ever. Period. This step will be a huge part of my life for many weeks, months and years from now on. If you are even *thinking* about Weight Watchers, do it! My decision to join Weight Watchers is a lot of the reason why my blogging is being cut down to only weekly posts. I'm taking time to focus on ME and get me back to the person I looked like 20 years ago. I looked good. I want to look that way again and you know what? I will only I'll be better, seasoned, like a fine wine. You can count on it. Mark it down, write it in the books - my will is firm and I have one hell of a strong constitution. I'll git 'er done, as my Pap used to say, come hell or high water.



So....
with that little bit of cheering from the recesses of my own head. I congratulated my victories over the past 6 weeks and loss of 14.2 lbs. with a trip to the nail salon. I haven't had my nails "done" since I was pregnant with Katie in 1997. Welcome back, fancy nails :)

So with that....
my story is complete. If I'm not around here at my own blog, I will be back again soon. And I really do try to spend a little bit of each and every day with you on your blogs. Please don't divorce me, I'll be here, but I just need to focus a little more on ME so that I can be HERE for a whole lot longer.

Until next time my dear friends and stitching buddies....
Love and best wishes, as you count your blessings and your stitches, from our house to yours! XXxxxx

Life is not intended to be simply a round of work, no matter how interesting and important that work may be. A moment's pause to watch the glory of a sunrise or a sunset is soul satisfying, while a bird's song will se tthe steps to music all day long.
~~Laura Ingalls Wilder~~