Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Crocheted Baskets

It's been a crazy week of weather here in the Midwest.  The week started out with an ice storm, and the very next day the temps were in the 60s, followed by a day of thunderstorms and power outages. But not for long, because today we had a small snow storm move through and tomorrow, below zero temps are expected.  So we've decided to, stay in, stay warm and crochet! 

I decided it was time to move on from scarves and stockings and try to crochet a few baskets.  I'm hooked :)  I LOVE how they turned out! I have so many fun ideas for spring and Easter, I don't know where or when I'll find the time!

I have made 3 baskets (actually 4, one not posted) and it's only Wednesday :)  I started out with the larger one, and was so happy with the results I moved on to the other two.  I combined a couple different patterns and came up with this small Easter basket.  I am going to try and perfect it a little more before I share the pattern.  I then moved on to the small bowl, which I absolutely love.  It's so simple, subtle and cute.  I'm not sure what to do with it yet, but I'm sure I will come up with something.  Tonight I was working on a small basket crocheted out of twine, which will be a lot of fun to use, maybe in the kitchen... 

And while I have been busy crocheting, the kids have been having fun making valentines and valentine boxes and playing in the snow.

Also, my daughter takes the most lovely photos, don't you think?  She made my blog header and also took the above pictures for me.  Here are a few more she took capturing the beauty of winter.

(yes, today was garbage day, please just ignore the trash cans)
So tomorrow will find me once again, staying inside, by the fire, crocheting.  Of course, that is after I finish home school, laundry, dishes, have supper already prepared and the rest of the chores done :) 

♥  Shannon

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Even if...

I cannot lie, the past few months have been difficult.  Don't get me wrong, I experience joy through my children, husband and all my blessings.  However, this going back and forth between homes, is not a "homemakers" dream.  My "career" is at home.  Everything I do, revolves around my home.  So pulling me away from that, or trying to make it work between two homes is not always fun.  We were in Illinois over the weekend, enjoying our home, and yet, I was sad because I want to live there full time.  We had so many plans that are now on hold.  Yet again, I am learning over and over again, that PATIENCE is a VIRTUE. 

This couldn't have been avoided.  There was nothing we could do to stop it.  It hit us hard, right in our tracks, and we were left with this, as our only choice.  We felt God leading and directing our path, but that doesn't always make it easy. 

So as I was doing laundry, my girls were cleaning up the kitchen and listening to the radio (as they normally do).  A song came on (K Love), that I've heard a hundred times "Even if" by Kutless.  It stopped me, right there and I just stood, (from the other room) listening to the words, really listening and letting them sink in.  "When life falls apart and dreams are left undone, You are God, You are good forever faithful one".  Wow, that's exactly how I was feeling.  Left undone, as if our life had fallen apart and dreams now on hold.  BUT, God is good!  He is faithful!  He will never leave us or forsake us!  I realized I wasn't doing my part.  TRUST!  I haven't been trusting Him.  I have put my fears and worries ahead of everything else and completely left fully trusting God, out of the picture.  God never promised life would be easy, always fun, everything perfect.  But, he did promise he would guide our path, never leave us and He never changes.  He NEVER changes! 

So I feel a burden has been lifted.  It's not up to me to have it all figured out.  God knows the path he is taking our family and He has never failed us in the past.  Why would I think different this time?  A favorite Bible verse of mine is "Be still and know that I am God" Psalm 46:10a   He has this one! 

So there I was, left to do nothing else, but count my blessings.  My husband HAS a job.  My kids are all healthy and growing strong.  We not only have one, but two roofs over our head.  We have the love or our families supporting us.  A wonderful church family who we have become so close to this past year.  AND, we have a God who gives us eternal hope far beyond what this world can bring.

So, I wanted to share this song with you all by Kutless:  Even If

"Lord, we know your ways are not our ways, so we set our faith in who you are..."

♥  Shannon

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cozy Winter Decorating

I don't know about you, but whenever I take down my Christmas decorations, it makes me a little sad.  I so enjoy the extra lights in the house and the warmth it brings, especially living in the Midwest, where winter can be long and dull.  So I have been leaving up little pieces of "winter" (as I like to call it) all through the house.  I wanted to share a few photos of some of my decorations around my home, that makes it feel extra cozy and not so bare. 

I have been adding splashes of pinecone and evergreen wherever I can.  As well as candles.  I also have a small tree I leave up through March, that I love to decorate with candles, pinecones, and any other homemade, or wooden objects I can find.  It adds so much warmth to the room and we all enjoy the lights at night after the sun goes down.

I have an antique ironing board, that I use as a sofa table.  My kids have found antlers in the woods near our home, and I love to decorate with them.  I added some pinecones and evergreen and now I  have the coziness of winter, without the Christmas theme.

This is my winter tree.  There are a few ornaments that may still resemble Christmas, but my youngest daughter was helping me decorate it.  She also crocheted a garland last year when she was 6 and just learning, and she put it on the tree.  I haven't taken it off since.  Sometimes it's not about how perfect it looks, but the thought that counts.

Another small evergreen sits on top of the piano. (As you can see there is also a children's music book and recorder in this picture).  I figure there is no point in trying to hide these things from the camera.  It is just proof that many children fill this home. 

As you can see, I have a deer theme throughout my home. I have added some reindeer over the holidays, and I cannot bring myself to pack them away just yet, as they add just enough whimsy to the room.

This coat rack is very special to me.  My husband made this for me about 15 years ago, out of an antique mantel.   He refinished it and I have had it in every home we have lived in. 
Lastly, I love to add a touch of winter through my dishes.  I just purchased these snowman plates 75% off after Christmas.  Again they add just a bit of whimsy and winter cheer to the room.
So, there are some of the ways I like to brighten and warm up my home, even after the Christmas decorations come down.  There are many cold days still ahead.  In fact right now, we are in the middle of an ice storm.  Even so, I really do enjoy these winter months. 
♥  Shannon

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Looking ahead in this New Year

If you look closely, you will see deer running through the field

I'm back to blogging!  It has been a while.  We have had a lot of changes in our family over the past few months, and so I guess, somewhere along the line, I felt uninspired and not sure what to write.  I was also, very much enjoying the holidays with my family.  For those who don't know me personally, my husband is now working in Wisconsin, which has called us to live there during the week with him, and then we all head back home on the weekends, and holidays.  It's not ideal, and we are hoping to get back to "home" full time after the next year or two, but for now, we will make the best of it.  We have also had the flu bug hit our home and have had one sick family member after another since New Year's Eve (Happy New Year).   All that being said, it's definitely time to start looking ahead in this New Year.  We have a lot of fun plans, and projects planned for our home in WI, and I look forward to sharing all the before and afters with you all.

We live across the road from a ski mountain in WI, and so we are teaching the kids to ski/snowboard. What a great way to get everyone moving this winter. We have been having so much fun teaching the kids and re-learning all over again. It's been great exercise for all of us! 


I hope you all are staying warm and enjoying this time inside with your family.  We are finding lots of time to play games, read a good book or work on crochet projects during these cold days of winter. 

♥  Shannon