Friday, January 28, 2011

Progress, Not Perfection!

Or “Housework done incorrectly still blesses your family.”

I have never been a great housekeeper…too easily distracted, procrastinate too much, too much of perfectionist,…whatever the reason.  I had made some headway last year, but then Brother Blessing was born.  Let’s just say…I’m just now breaking through the fog of survival mode of the transition to having two kids.

So, recently, I’ve started really trying to get back on track with my daily routines and some decluttering.  At times, it is really overwhelming and discouraging.  For one reason, it is never ending, especially with two little ones running around making messes faster than you can say “Calgon take me away”.  And Brother Blessing isn’t fully mobile yet.  I can only imagine how many messes he will make once he is on the move.  Actually, I can and it’s scary and I’m not going to let myself go there or I might have to hide in my room.

Then there’s the clutter.  We have too much stuff.  And we need to get rid a lot of it – bless someone else with it.  FlyLady (check out the link to find out more) says to just work on it 15 minutes a day.  However, just trying to do the basic things done around the house that have to be done and take care of a four year old and almost eight month old, doesn’t leave a lot of time for much else.  So I look at the clutter we’ve been blessed with and wonder if I will ever finish.  

The perfectionist in me has tunnel vision.  I only see the mess that’s still there, not the progress I’m making.  And while I’m trying to extend myself some grace since I have two whirling dervishes “helping me”, I get down on myself.  And I feel guilty that I’m not doing better, especially when I try to do some sewing or crafting.  I feel like I should be doing housework instead.

We had a gathering at our house recently and did some crisis cleaning to get things presentable.  We’ve done a fair job of keeping things up.  It was the catalyst I needed.  Sister Blessing now has daily routines that help me with their bathroom and her room.  She loves it and I hope I’m instilling good habits in her that will last.  I’m working on getting a least part of my routine done every day, but if something doesn’t get done, I don’t beat myself up.  I just try to get back on track tomorrow.   

Anyway if you’ve read this “book” of a blog entry so far, you’re too kind.  All of this is to say that I’m really trying to get my house in order so I have more time to sew and do crafty stuff without feeling guilty.  I want to bless others with my crafts, but also would eventually like to bless my family financially with what I make.  However, I feel like I need to focus on my family first.  So if you were wondering why I haven’t started the store yet – that’s why.  I just can’t in good conscious do that until I feel like I have a better handle on things.  I’ll still be doing some crafting and sewing.  I like to make gifts and crafting is my stress relief. 

In fact, I’m working on something to help me get organized.  I don’t know if I’ll post a picture of the finished product or not.  One, we left our camera charger at my parents’ house over Christmas and just realized it this week – waiting for it to  be mailed to us.  Two, it probably will have our name on it and I’m still trying to decide just how anonymous I want this blog to remain (at least to those who may read it and not know me personally).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

I'm in love, I'm a believer!

Wahoo!  I finally got to play with my new machine I got for Christmas.  I wouldn’t let myself pull it out because I had a lot to get done and didn’t need the distraction.  Plus, I do my sewing in the dining room and we were having people over.  I needed the dining room to be presentable. 

Can I just say I’m in love?!?!?!?  Keep in mind that I’ve been sewing on a machine from the 1980s.  It was a good and mostly dependable machine.  However, it had its quirks and was getting temperamental in its old age.  Now I’ve arrived in the 21st century.  I can easily wind a bobbin, load the bobbin, thread the needle and use so many cool stitches.  Or I will eventually.  It took a little bit of hard thinking to figure it all out.  Hey – I’m used to ancient history – not science fiction!    My stitches are a little rough and I should have used a different color thread.  But I thought it didn’t turn out too badly considering I’m still learning how to operate the Starship Enterprise instead of the Battleship Enterprise.  

Here is my first project with my new machine:

A new pacifier clip for Brother Blessing.  

Sister Blessing never liked pacifiers, so it’s been a new experience for me to keep up with one.   The strap to Brother Blessing’s current clip has gotten quite yucky.  He’s teething so he chews on everything.  And drool gets everywhere… I mean everywhere.  Plus, there’s another baby in the church nursery with the same kind of strap and pacifier.  So I wanted a way to distinguish which one belongs to Brother Blessing.  I did a modified version of this project I found on Prudent Baby:  DIY Ribbon Pacifier Clip

Instead of using Velcro, I used a ponytail holder to attach to the pacifier.  Brother Blessing would only use the hospital pacifier for the longest time.  He’s now decided other ones are good enough for his discriminating tastes, but I remember how hard it was to find a strap for that type of pacifier.  So I looked at his strap and realized the attachment looked like a ponytail holder.  So figured why not give it a shot – especially since I got a bunch of them on closeout.  It works pretty well.  I may have to make some for baby gifts.

Next up:  I hope to embroider Brother Blessing’s name on one of these.  I think that would add not only a nice personal touch, but also be very practical.  Speaking of Brother Blessing, he’s staring and smiling at me.  I think he’s telling me to get off the computer and play with him.  Little stinker blessing should be asleep!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wishberry Blossoms: Hiya!

Check out my friend Brandy's Blog. One of her projects got picked in the link round up for Prudent Baby!

Wishberry Blossoms: Hiya!: "If you found me via Prudent Baby, HELLO! And welcome. Glad to meet you. :) The Big One's neck cuff was featured on Prudentbaby...."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Updated Look

I finally had some time to update the look of the blog.  I brushed off my web skills and I think I made it look more professional.  Let me know what you think.

PS:  I got the backgrounds and header picture from a cool site called  But I had to do some tweaking to get it to work the way I wanted to.  I'm used to being able to manipulate web pages more than blogger allows you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blessings of the Day

I think I'm going to start a new feature on the blog.  Every so often, I will post about the blessings of my day.  Today's blessing:  Dancing around the kitchen with Sister and Brother Blessing while singing about God being "bigger than big" and "mightier than mighty".

The finished product

Birthday gift has been given to Sister Blessing's friend.  So as is a picture of it:

My letter is a little off centered...but I can tell each time I do something like this, I get a little better.  Do you like it?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.

Well, I was actually able to do some sewing today…but I didn’t get to use my new machine. L  I needed to finish a birthday present and didn’t have the time to figure out my new machine.  It’s killing me to not use it yet, but I must wait…
I’m trying to exhibit one of the qualities of the Fruit of the Spirit.  No, I don’t mean the grape, I mean patience.  I did a quick internet search on quotes about patience and came across the title of this blog.  It made me laugh out loud or LOL in text speak.  I don’t know, some days I feel short on both patience and brains…that would be a tough call deciding on which one was worth more.  But I digress…
We are having Sister Blessing’s belated birthday party (a month late -*oops*) next week.  I have way too much to do to spend time playing with my new toy.  You know, like cleaning the house, getting a cake, cleaning the house, get the food, cleaning the house, finish last minute details.  See a theme? I’ve never been a great housekeeper, but I’ve really struggled since Brother Blessing was born.  So my house is nowhere near company ready much less ready to host a bunch of preschoolers and their parents.
The other reason I must be patient is that I do all my sewing on the dining room table.  We need the table for the party…So it makes more sense to wait until after the party to even pull it out…but it is so hard to wait…especially since we may have an unexpected day at home tomorrow due to weather where Chief Blessing might be home to distract the kiddos for me.
So, back to today’s project – I made a cute present for one of Sister Blessing’s friends.  I will post a picture of it later, but want the finished product to be a surprise and I don’t know if his mother reads my blog or not.  I like how it turned out and think I want to try to offer it as an option in the store later.  But while I was working on it, I kept thinking about how much cooler it would have turned out with the embroidery from my new machine. And I could have used some of the cool new stitches, and…ACK! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON, DANGER! IMPATIENT MOMENT INCOMING! DANGER!
Sorry about that…was getting lost in dreaming about what I will be able to do with my awesome, incredible Christmas gift.  Anyway, the present turned out pretty cool even if I do say so myself.  Then I realized I didn’t have a gift bag or wrapping paper.  I thought I did, but I only have baby shower or Christmas bags.  I don’t think a preschooler would appreciate that.  And since we have had some unexpected snow and possible ice tonight, I don’t know that I will be able to go get anything.  So I improvised.  Since I don’t want to post a picture of the actual gift, I will share what I did to wrap it.  This is what I came up with (with a little creative photo editing to hide the names on the tag):
I think it’s cute.  In fact, I may use the idea for packaging if I sell these in the store.  Of course, that’s assuming my blessings will ever cooperate long enough for me to get the store going.  J
Okay, now it’s time to go to bed.  My few remaining brain cells are exhausted.  And lately Brother Blessing has had some really inconvenient wake up calls.  Maybe I’ll dream about fruit or bushels of brains or  a housecleaning fairy!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm a grape

Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version, ©2010)
 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
I started a new Ladies Bible Study this morning by Beth Moore about the fruit of the Spirit.  As an icebreaker, our facilitator had us tell which fruit we were like and why.  Honestly, my introvert self hates icebreakers of any sort and I got called on it today. J  So what I came up with for myself is that I’m like a grape.  I enjoy my time by myself, but also enjoy time with “bunches” of people. 
The dilemma is that I am someone who needs alone time to refuel and to face the world. I crave solitude.  However, alone time is a rare commodity these days with the responsibilities that come with being a wife, a mother of two small children and other commitments.  When I go long periods without much solitude, I get antsy, easily irritated and impatient.   I don’t want to be that way and I try so hard not to be, but I was reminded this morning that I can’t do it on my own.
Sewing has become my outlet lately.  It allows me to focus on something fun and have a break, but still be at home.  However, it isn’t always easy to carve out this time for myself.  Chief Blessing is so good about  trying to help me find the time, but there’s laundry, meals, grocery shopping, diapers to be changed, messes to be cleaned up, a baby that only wants Mommy, a little girl who wants Mommy to read the same book for the hundredth time, etc…  So I have to put off my desire to complete a list of sewing projects or play with my new machine .  I find myself not being very patient or gentle with the wonderful blessings God has given me in Chief Blessing, Sister Blessing, and Brother Blessing.
I felt very convicted this morning while listening to Beth Moore about how I act with the people I care about the most.  I really want to handle myself in a different way, but I have got to stop trying to do all this by myself. First and foremost, I’m hoping this study will cause me to be more consistent about really seeking God’s power to display the fruit of the Spirit in my life.  But I also am realizing God is telling me He’s put people in my life for a reason and I need to be better about asking for help when I need it.  I need to be real and let them see my disaster of a house, which is a good illustration of how I sometimes feel on the inside, too.  There have been some rough moments during the transition to having two children.  Yet, most of the time when I’m asked how I’m doing, I just say “fine”.   While I’m not exactly sure how to go about accomplishing this change, I know it’s something I not only want to do, but need to do.