Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Faith through music

Many people ask me how the heck I came to reverting back to Christianity and the honest truth is I’m not sure myself. Of course I can tell you that I had many things happen that pushed me to look elsewhere with my beliefs (and really challenged them as well), a few people who cared enough about me to really wait until I was ready to hear what it is they had to say instead of just giving up, and a few instances of semi-epiphany based on pure emotion. All that is true, of course, and it has all contributed to the change, but there’s something else that most people find more surprising than the rest. I absolutely and truly believe that music has helped me re-shape my faith.
Music has a way to get into my head and under my skin. I listen to a song and will ponder its message and lyrics for days afterwards, and I really feel that I express myself through music. I don’t know how to play any instrument, and I sing like a crow, but when I find a particular song that fits my mood, or that says in just the right words what I want people to understand, it’s like a release. I couldn’t live my life without song in its many variations, with and without lyrics, in a hundred different languages, and sharing a million different messages.

So way before my change, I was listening to different artists sing about God and Jesus, and liked their songs even though it ran against everything I believed in at the time. One in particular was played more often than not, and that was Carrie Underwood. Her voice was amazing, and the feeling she put into song was just what I was looking for. I didn’t much like country before I discovered Carrie, and I didn’t much love God before her either. She sort of introduced both in a very early way. Songs like angels brought me here, praying for time, and especially Jesus take the wheel were put in repeat mode on my Ipod and I listened, and felt. I admired her devotion, and a small part of me (which I would never have admitted to anyone) wished I could feel the same way about God, and wouldn’t it be great if I did let Jesus take the wheel and let go of everything that was screwing me over.

So Carrie paved the way for the Dixie Chicks, then Brad Paisley (When I get where I’m going is particularly meaningful to me), then Reba, Dolly Parton, Keith Urban, and so on. So what if I dream of the quaint country life?

In any case, Carrie Underwood and country music helped save my soul. I wonder if that’s the case for anyone else out there...

Monday, April 25, 2011

A little bit of everything

I've settled on a fairly easy quilt pattern called the Fat Quarter Baby Quilt for my first attempt. It seems doable and simple, and Ive got everything I need except for a rotary cutter, which will be bought in the next month or so. I still havent found a good cloth/sewing store (apart from Fabricville), but am still looking. Im also looking into taking a course on sewing, so I can refresh what I do know and learn some more. School will be dropping to stage and once a week (occasionally weekends) which means a whole lot of liberated time slots and more time to do things I actually want to do! Woo!

My babies are growing! Its very interesting and thought provoking to see which are growing, and which are not.  

Those beans, cucumbers, and leeks are growing like MAD
  Here is a prayer that particularly struck me at Easter service this weekend (switching this keyboard is too confusing, so pardon the missing accents):

Pour que l'Eglise temoigne avec courage de l'amour immense de Dieu qui nous fait vivre, prions. Dieu de la vie, exauce-nous.
Pour que les personnes qui souffrent ou qui vivent des echecs ne desesperent pas de Dieu, prions. Dieu de la vie, exauce-nous.
Pour que chacun et chacune de nous fasse l'experience de la presence du Ressucite a l'oeuvre dans nos vies, prions. Dieu de la vie, exauce-nous.
 I also just started a new scrapbook for one of my girl friends. Due date: January 2012, so about 8 months. I am very excited about this! My ribbon hangers keeps peeking out at me from my closet enticing me to new ribbon-y adventures.

Use meeee

Friday, April 22, 2011

Living the RRR

Reduce Reuse Recycle! To be green doesnt only fall under what products you use in your home and your self, or what choices you make when it comes to transportation, food, etc. It also comes down to plain old creative thinking and finding solutions to reducing your garbage, reusing/recycling the things around you in order to consume less. And if like me, your creative thinking process takes too long and all too often results in dead ends, the interweb is full of lovely ideas. Here is a few that I made today:

Hanger Ribbon Organizer
This was awesome in two parts - I used up a few hangers that were lying around, AND I liberated one of my drawers in my craft storage unit thingy.

Rain Barrel
Since I dont have 150$+ to spend on a rain barrel, I've been learning what I needed to do to make a DIY barrel work, and while taking a walk, I saw a garbage bin that was being thrown out and brought it home. Took off the wheels, and voila! A container to collect rainwater to water my eventual garden.

Milk Jug Birdfeeder
I had two huge plastic milk jugs that we had yet to put in the recycling bin, when I thought how easy it would be to make them into birdfeeders. I made some birdfeed with various bottom-of-the-bag nuts, cornmeal, and dried fruits, and hung them up outside in our frontyard.

pic taken from the internet, havent gotten to taking pics yet, will do soon

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Earth Day!

Fabric Fabric Fabric

So ever since I received my (FREE) spiffy sewing machine, I have been researching quilt patterns, reading books and articles, and looking at fabric to be able to make my first quilt (EEE)! I settled on making a baby quilt for a girl, to go along with the baby scrapbook that I had made. Who will that eventually go to, I have no idea, but I would guess either myself or my little sister, whoever has a daughter first!

So I ordered my fabric (on sale, booya!) off of Fabric Shoppe on Etsy, and I just received it!


 I cant wait to start! Of course, Ill be exercising my machine sewing skills on rags, dog scarves, and pillows before attacking the quilt, but this seems like another step on my journey of becoming an adequate and authentic homemaker. It feels good to get that feeling of rightness that comes from knowing your doing what you are somehow supposed to do, if that makes any sense. And just to bring it a step further, I'm off to bake a pie.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What Did You Do Today?

Today I left some dishes dirty,
The bed got made around 3:30.
The diapers soaked a little longer,
The odor grew a little stronger.
The crumbs I spilled the day before,
Are staring at me from the floor.
The fingerprints there on the wall,
Will likely be there still next fall.
The dirty streaks on those window panes,
Will still be there next time it rains.
Shame on you, you sit and say,
Just what did you do today?
I nursed a baby till he slept,
I held a toddler while he wept,
I played a game of hide and seek,
I squeezed a toy so it would squeak.
I pulled a wagon, sang a song,
Taught a child right from wrong.
What did I do this whole day through?
Not much that shows, I guess it’s true.
Unless you think that what I’ve done,
Might be important to someone,
With bright brown eyes and soft blond hair,
If that is true … I’ve done my share.

Author Unknown

Mauve Monster Muffins

Its incredible the difference that breakfast makes with children. Us teachers and educators can always tell when a child who usually eats breakfast, doesnt. And likewise for the kids who never eat breakfast and do on a certain day. Believe them when they tell you breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

This year, my monsters have been pretty good at eating breakfast and coming in with a full tummy, but there's those few who don't, and always a couple who (for whatever reason) didn't that morning. That being said, I always like to try to bring in something for them to eat. Of course, I can't do that every morning, but I try it about once a week. Cinnamon raison bread, oranges, fruit smoothies, etc. But nothing gets them going more than Mauve Monster Muffins. I don't know if its the color, the name, or the heavy fruit intensity, but they loooove this muffin. They think its a dessert, when really, its antioxidant fruits and calcium and fibre makes it a great breakfast delight. But what they don't know won't hurt them. :)

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tbsp natural honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 10 ounces (three containers) of fat-free blueberry yogurt
  • 4 tbsp 2% milk.
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 cups mixed antioxidant fruits (like these, or this if you prefer frozen)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. Stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Stir dry into wet, and work together until combined (this is where the purple part comes from); batter will be very thick. Scoop into prepared muffin cups. I also sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar to the top for that extra sweet touch.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Makes 18.                  

mmm purple batter

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I am so grateful!

Life is amazing. I have such generous friends. I recently just made an Amazon Wishlist and posted it out of fun for my friends who call me backwards to have a good chuckle out of. I put some books and a sewing machine on the wishlist, and one of my classmates commented on the post, saying that she hadn't known I had wanted a sewing machine. She was going to put it up on Kijiji, but that she would rather give it to someone she knows. So I got an almost brand new sewing machine with all these fantastic options for free. I just cant believe my luck. I am so thankful for this!

My new sewing machine!

Second amazing news is we have a new adopted member in our family! Clover, born January 14th. What a fuzzy little bundle of joy!

Friday, April 8, 2011


My seeds and plants have been chosen, organized, and planted in my home version of a greenhouse. The cheapest way to do this is to use an egg carton (brown cardboard, not styrofoam!), lightly perforate the bottom, do the planting process, and cover with plastic wrap. Ultimately, you would call it recycle, but when you have to throw away the egg carton after one use (which will not be accepted at the recycle depot because of the moisture that will have seeped through), re-wrap the plastic about once every week and a half to optimize the greenhouse effect (which is usually not biodegradable), I find that its worth spending the money to get a reusable conatiner. Which I found, at Canadian Tire, for 2.99$ with 36 compartments. Awesome!

So here is my seedling plot:

I also have a strawberry and raspberry plant in seperate containers. I am so excited to not only start this process, but learn what I can. What's the best type of soil, what is the best mulching techniques, what is the best fertilizer (apart from compost, which I was unfortunately denied the right to have no matter my best arguments)... I have to admit I cheated on my Lent promise to reserve my readings to spiritual only persusings with this book, which has helped me out so much already about the where/when/how/what questions. It might be a while till harvest time, but I am so looking forward to saying 'That cucumber came from my garden. Don't those strawberries taste so fresh?'

The backyard will also have some flowers and general landscaping, but that is a second priority to the consumer garden.

I am also looking into getting a rain barrel, but prices are ridiculous, so looking into DIY'ing that. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Go Bananas!

Bananas are delicious, but I have to admit, I can't stand the texture in the morning. It just makes me feel like Im eating mush, and it doesnt make for a good-morning. But I will eat them in probably any type of baking. That being said, nothing better than grabbing a quick banana muffin and yoghurt for breakfast when your on the-go.

Banana Crumb Muffins

The original recipe contained so much sugar, it would make anyone's teeth fall out just by looking at it, so I took out most it within the muffin and added that crumb topping on the top to make up for it. Mmm.

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 bananas mashed
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 egg lightly beaten

3 tbsp cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lightly grease a 12 muffin tin.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together banana, apple sauce, sugar, and egg. Beat the dry into the wet slowly, and spoon into the muffin tins until 3/4 full.

In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar and cinnamon toguether, the fork in the UNmelted butter, until it is crumbly. Spread evenly on each of the 12 muffins, and bake for about 16 mns.