Friday, March 28, 2014

Books for March 8::52

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At the beginning of the year I found Laura's blog and her "Year in Books" series. She set a challenge to read at least one book a month for 2014. Even though I haven't blogged it, I have managed at least one book for the three months.

In March I far surpassed that goal. It is so easy to pick up a book when a baby falls asleep on you!
My book list for March:

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Slow Motion by Dani Shapiro
My Sisters the Saints by Colleen Carroll Campbell
The Bookstore by Deborah Meyler
Shirt of Flame by Heather King

They all were good. Life after Life was different. But I couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Slow Motion was a little slow for me at times. I enjoyed her "Still Writing" that I read in February a lot more. The Bookstore was good as well. Again I couldn't really put it down. Although I wanted to smack the main character more then once. The guy was a Jerk. After the third time of him saying he was leaving her because she was too "boring" she finally got it. Although by that time she was already 8 months pregnant.

My Sisters the Saints & Shirt of Flame are both great. I've been using them as part of my morning prayer. I'm not quite finished with Shirt of Flame. It's about my favorite saint, Saint Therese so I am soaking up her words again. I haven't visited with her in awhile. I was long over due!

Tuesday I will be back here with my April choices. Lots of poetry!!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kitchen Sink

The view outside my sorta kitchen sink window. My sink is in the corner of the counter looking at the backsplash!

Most days I spend a lot of time at my kitchen sink. Before leaving the house I always make sure the morning dishes are clean. Depending on what I bake or cook throughout the day, there are more dishes to be done in the afternoon. And then of course those after supper dishes.

I have a dish washer. I have only ever used it twice. The act of doing dishes--running the water to hot, filling the sink with hot water & soap suds, the act of taking the dirty dishes, scrubbing them clean and placing them to dry--I find very soothing. Many time as I go through the familiar motions my mind wanders. I think of my to-do list. Or what to cook next. Or the worries I have. I find I often pray while I am doing the dishes. And then there are other times I don't think of much at all. 

I find the act of washing dishes to be a symbol of the service I do for my family. Because there are dirty dishes--I have cooked food for them. They have eaten that food. I am now washing the plates & silverware & glasses & pan that held the food I prepared to nourish those I love. Thanks to the dirty dishes they have full bellies. Doing the dishes reminds me that I am taking care of my family in the most fundamental way--by providing food.  

And when they are all clean, piled sparkling on the dish dryer, more times then not I get a feeling of deep satisfaction. Another meal has been prepared, cooked, consumed and cleaned up.

Weaving words with the Write ALM prompts for March.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yarn Along

Waves of prayer

Wow it's already Wednesday!! Life has been a whirlwind lately. The days go swooshing by. I had a weekending post all ready to go. It just needed to get from my head to the blog. But that didn't happen! And now, to be honest, I can't really remember much of what happened over the weekend!

I do know that I spent time with this prayer shawl. I got a text early Saturday (or late Friday?) from my mom. She said the prayer shawl ministry at her church was out of shawls. I just happened to have this sitting in the bottom of one of my baskets. I began it in December of 2012! So I picked it back up, worked feverishly much of Saturday and almost all of Sunday to finish it up late in the afternoon. (So I suppose that is pretty much what happened here over the weekend!)

Monday morning I dropped it off at my moms all ready to be gifted when someone is in need of the comfort of a warm prayer shawl.

I know how much these mean. This past November, V was gifted with one while she was in the NICU. That blanket never left her the whole time she was there. It was very comforting to me to know that someone had knit it for a little one, and my baby was covered with prayers. I hope this brings comfort to the unknown person who will receive it.

Aside from this, and a pair of socks that I began last week (that haven't gotten very far) I haven't been knitting too much. My "me time" has been dedicated to reading and writing. Right now I am in the middle of reading "Shirt of Flame: A Year with St. Therese of Lisieux". I am enjoying it so far. This is one of, I think six, books that I have read so far in March. Stay tuned for the full list on Friday!

What is on your needles & what are you reading these days?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Welcome Spring!

Even though today dawned overcast, we were still excited that it is the first day of Spring! Ree & I headed outside to see what signs of Spring we could find!

Welcome Spring! Welcome Spring! Welcome Spring! Welcome Spring! Welcome Spring! Welcome Spring!

By the time the wind got the better of us, the sun had come out. We spent a fun 45 minutes basking up the fresh air, loving seeing the green of future flowers popping up and finally seeing the brilliant blue sky. Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Some randomness

Before we get to some random things floating around my head today, make sure you check out my giveaway for Amy's newest issue of {Art Together} Printmaking!

Outside my window the snow has ended. Now it's just cold. But the sun has been peaking through the clouds this afternoon!

I am thinking about that I need to start ignoring my lizard brain. And just write. 

I am thankful for a husband who supports all the creative ideas I come up with. ANY idea I come up with

In the kitchen I should be putting together a meal plan. I have good intentions to. And I need to write a grocery list. We don't have much food in the house!

I am wearing yoga pants, sweater & warm hand knit socks. I am cold! 

I am creating a poetry project. I made some good progress this week on it! I'll be sharing more here soon!

I am going to begin supper soon & get some laundry done. The baby has been fussy all day. 

I am wondering where spring is! Although I have been seeing signs of it the past few days. Just waiting for it to come to stay

I am reading some poetry "how-to" books; Slow Motion by Dani Shapiro

I am hoping to see flowers popping up soon

I am looking forward to my husband coming home to take over bouncing around the house with a fussy baby duty

I am learning lessons in habit. When I stick with something it works. If I let a few days go by of not doing it, it is hard to get back to it. Oh the excuses! 

Around the house I am putting together a "spring cleaning" list. Not as intensive as the one from last year. Really just an airing out, cleaning the floors & washing some curtains. Need to wait for a string of warmer days though

I am pondering "Do you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?

One of my favorite things quiet mornings. Watching the sun come up as I read from the Bible, journal & enjoy that first cup of coffee. Packages in the mail "just because". I love happy mail!

A few plans for the rest of the week the week is almost done. This weekend it is celebrate St. Patrick's Day all weekend. Ree has plans to do some St. Patrick's art. We should start working on that

A peek into my day This has started to be our new routine in the morning. After she wakes up by watching one show, we put music on & sit at the table to do our "work". Mine is usually making to-do lists or grocery lists or some other kind of list. Ree works on art or her version of "school". Her new favorite activity is to "go to school" and learn her letters. 


Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Morning, noon and night...three little peeks into my day yesterday.
Linking up with KC at Mothering With Mindfulness

Morning:: 8:30am

Noon:: 1:00pm

Night:: 8:30pm

Monday, March 10, 2014

{Art Together} Printmaking

The latest issue of Amy's e-zine {Art Together} came out last week & I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy!

This issue is all about Printmaking & I knew as soon as I saw the topic that it would be something Ree would love. Mainly because it includes her favorite way of doing art these days....paint! She was so excited last week when she came into the kitchen and saw all the material laid out on the table.

The first activity we did was Found Object Prints. Which is just what it sounds like. Go around the house & find some things that have cool textures. Put paint on them and then stamp them to the paper. 

Print making
But it was this activity that really drew her in and kept her attention for quite some time! Scratch foam prints! I had some smaller pieces of craft foam laying around & we each took a pencil and drew a picture on them. Ree found out that she drew just enough to have the picture show up in pencil, but she didn't push down hard enough to have it make the indents in the foam. So when she printed it onto the paper her whole picture didn't show up. I thought she'd be a little upset but nope! She noticed that where she had colored in spots with the pencil came up white on the paper with the paint all around it. Then she took my piece of foam to "study" it to see what I had done different. While she was touching it she noticed that she could feel the lines where I had pressed down. She felt her own & noticed she hadn't done that. So she went over her drawing pressing down harder. Painted it up again and it worked! Problem solving at it's best!

Each time she pulled back the paper she exclaimed "This is so EXCITING."

Here are some of our finished prints.

We really had fun with these activities. And there are still so many more to do!! The most intriguing one that I am excited to try is gelatin prints. Amy gives a wonderful step by step tutorial on how to make the gelatin and then use it as a printmaking tool. And of course there is the featured artist with resources on learning about Hokusai. Many ideas for resource books on printmaking (which Ree reminded me of: "Remember Momma, the last time we did thing with this art book we got lots of library books?") I am spoiled with having Amy here in the same state....any library book she is able to get I am too!

Once again, Amy has taken an art subject that seems intimidating and made it anything but. In her straightforward, approachable way she has come up with activities that are enjoyable for ANY age group. And as always, if you have any questions or need help she is just the click of a mouse away through e-mail or her blog.

She is generously offering one reader here at iHappy a free copy of Printmaking. So if you are interested, just leave me a comment! Comments will be open until Friday when we'll pick a winner!

Congratulations Claudine!! You won the copy! Look for an e-mail from Amy soon!

Sunday, March 9, 2014


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Sun! Warmth!! Grass!!!

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous. I opened all the windows to get the stale air out and welcome in the fresh, spring is coming air.

There was still lots of reading on my part. Some art making (come back here tomorrow for an Art Together giveaway!)

Playing with the baby. Getting outside to enjoy the gorgeous weather. A nap for all. Baths. The usual family things that take place during the weekend. Today is more the same. Except down an hour with the time change. But I have to say I am loving that the light is returning! Here's hoping my energy level goes up and creativity gets a kick in the rear! So many projects I want to work on in the coming weeks. And yet so many books calling me to curl up on the couch with my tea, a blanket, the baby & Ree!! 

How was your weekend?

Friday, March 7, 2014

This week

An early morning baby wake up call means an early start to the day. Candle light, God's Word and coffee make for a good quiet time while the snow (again) softly falls.     #ifequip #hellomorningcoffee She makes Lego creations at rest time. A different one each day!

This week crawled by and sped by all at the same time.

Aside from laundry, dishes and cooking there hasn't been much going on. Except for reading. I've read the two books I had wanted to read for March already. And am 3/4 the way through the third

I had decided I didn't need to be checking social media constantly and wondered how I could fill that time. By the way I've been reading, I guess I spend A LOT of time on-line! 

These are pretty much the only pictures I've taken this week too. One from an early morning at the beginning of the week. The second one of Ree's Lego creations. Every afternoon after lunch she heads up to her room for rest. Each day this week she has spent time quietly making a different creation. She is always so proud to show me what she's come up with! 

I think it's time to start coming back to the land of doing more then reading. Like do a few projects from Amy's new Art Together e-zine Printmaking (look for a giveaway here next week!!) maybe do some knitting. Taking my camera out and finding the beauty in the slowly changing season. Work some more on that poetry project that has stalled. 

Yup. Time to get moving!

Monday, March 3, 2014


Double yolk

This weekend was spent thinking, a lot. 

There was also time with family. A Friday night wedding and then a bachelorette party. (For two different people!)

A relaxing Saturday morning. An afternoon & evening spent with my parents

Our Sunday morning usual. Then a "quick" (haha) trip to the mall

A Sunday afternoon nap for Ree & Momma while baby & Daddy kept each other company

A quick dinner of ham & eggs. I cracked that egg to find a double yolk. I was so excited I called everyone to the kitchen while taking pictures. Then I felt silly about being so excited but most of all that I took a picture. 

My husband told me that every time I feel silly for taking pictures (like of my coffee. Or my food. Or my yarn. Or the hundredth picture out of the living room window) that it shows I'm passionate about life. And noticing the small details. And that's a good thing. And I've never thought of it that way before. 

After supper we headed back out for an ice cream social at Church. An early bedtime for the girls and I spent the rest of the night reading. And contemplating Lenten plans and specifically Lenten plans and the computer. And contemplating food. And contemplating life. And my husbands words. And many more things that belong in the pages of my journal and not here for the eyes of the world to see.

Lots of thoughts. And lots of gratitude for the poetry ideas and suggestions from my last post. I truly appreciate it! Feel free to keep them coming and I promise I will continue to share my progress on that little project of mine!