Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It's Tuesday...

And I am sitting here at school...knitting...and blogging. Don't worry though, I am on my lunch break. No rules are being broken. At least I don't think they are! :) Anyway, I was trying to decide what to do for a blog post and realized that, yeah, I don't have much to say. Who knows what I may end up rambling off during this blog post.

So want to know what my week is going to look like? Well, today is my last day of school for the week. I took Wednesday and Thursday off. I have 14 1/2 personal days to use up, remember? Anyway, I took the rest of this week off for a couple of reasons. First of all, I seriously need to think about what I am going to do this next year and that includes possibly looking for a new job. Second of all, we are taking our youth group to a youth event called "Aquire the Fire" this Friday and Saturday. We need to make plans for it and I also need to mentally prepare myself for it and that includes getting my house work done BEFORE we go! :) We probably won't be getting home until REALLY LATE Saturday night and then we get to wake up bright and early the next morning to go to church and have a potluck. Can anyone say "Bad timing"? We are going to be exhausted come Sunday afternoon!

I did find out a new piece of information regarding my job yesterday. I have many, many parents behind me, supporting me. Some are from this year's class and others are from my past years of teaching. I was pretty shocked by that. They are willing to do almost anything to help me out. That kind of support really makes a person feel good about themselves and that is something that I definitely needed. I have had such a great school year. I love my kids (most of the time) and I really enjoyed getting to know this group of parents. They have been, probably, my most supportive group yet!

Anyway, told you I'd end up rambling! That's what happens when you don't have anything specific to talk about. At least I posted though, right? :) Hopefully I can post something tomorrow that has a little better flow!

Here are some things that I have been knitting lately. They can be found in my Etsy store now.

I can't wait to show you my latest projects! I am SO excited about them! Stay tuned!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sharing my heart...

So I know a lot of you are dying to know what has been on my heart lately since I keep mentioning it but haven't explained it. Well I think it's time I shared.
Here goes...I lost my job.

Yup, there it is. My position here at the school has been terminated due to budget cuts. Our district received a HUGE cut this year and after trying to cut corners as much as possible, they decided they had not other choice but to start cutting teachers. Since I am one of the newest teachers and still probationary (I would have been tenure after May), I was one of the first to get let go. It's sad, but true.

Seriously though? What is wrong with our government? Anyway, I'm not going to go into that right now.

First of all, I want everyone to know that I am at peace about it now. It was a very difficult time for me at first. I was feeling a lot of hurt and betrayal but the Lord is good and has really brought comfort into my life. I do not know how I would have gotten through this month without Him and my VERY supportive husband. I am still unsure of quite a few factors that I really don't want to get into but I know that this is going to be for the best and, to be honest, I'm kind of looking forward to the future!

My husband and I have done some budgeting and we have decided that we can easily make it with his two salaries and have no difficulties. I am probably going to take at least a year off from teaching and there are a couple of reasons why. First of all, there are no local job openings because every district is in the same situation that mine is. Second of all, since we are in the process of trying to start a family, we are praying that God's timing is right in this. If it is, I am going to be a stay at home mom and I couldn't be more thrilled about that! It was always something that we dreamed about but we were never sure how to go about it with me having a job. Now that I don't have one, we feel like maybe this is in God's plan. Something else I have always wanted to do is homeschooling. I really feel strongly about homeschooling as does my husband, especially since I have a degree in teaching anyway! We are thrilled to be able to raise Godly children and I am so looking forward to having the freedom to teach what I want in my own home!

As of now, we are not planning on moving back to our home state of Iowa but of course that option is never completely thrown out. We are going to put our land and possibly even our house on the market to see if they will sell (since Nick says EVERYTHING is for sale at the right price, haha) but we are not too concerned if they don't sell right away. We aren't too hopeful with the economy as it is, but I guess we never know until we try! Nick is hopeful that if we can sell our house, we may be able to begin building our own home!

Anyway, all that said, I guess not having a job (and currently no children) means that I am going to have a lot more free time. I am already really excited about being able to keep a clean house and organizing the rooms I haven't had time to touch since we moved in. Besides that though, I really look forward to enjoying all things crafty! I have been knitting, making jewelry, and sewing a lot lately and really look forward to jumping back into the paper crafting world!
In other good news, there are currently 20 days of school left and I LITERALLY have 14 1/2 personal days left that I need to use! I was saving them for a possible maternity leave and now that I won't be coming back, I somehow have to figure out a way to use them! Haha! I plan on taking off MOST of them but I really don't feel right using all of them because that would mean I only have 5 1/2 days of school left this year! I couldn't abandon my kiddos like that. However, I am taking at least one day a week off and and will see what else comes up!

Well that's it for my sad story. Thanks for sticking with me. I suppose I will grace you with a picture now! :) Look what we got this weekend. YUCK!

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you have a WONDERFUL MONDAY! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wonderful News About Your Sponsored Child!

We received an email yesterday with the title "Wonderful News About Your Sponsored Child!" Ah...I LOVE that kind of an email title. Why? Because I know exactly what it means. It means our child received a special kind of gift...adoption. You see, almost 4 years ago my husband and I decided to sponsor a child through Holt International.
So what is Holt International? Here is a short synopsis of what they are. This quote is taken directly from their website:Orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children around the world need love; they need belonging and security. At Holt International Children’s Services, we believe that families meet these needs better than any alternative. Holt International, a Christian organization founded over 50 years ago, continues to be a world leader in international adoption and child welfare programs that enable children to have families of their own. Holt International is dedicated to carrying out God’s plan for every child to have a permanent, loving family. So tell me. Who wouldn't want to take part in a program like that? Since we began sponsoring our very first little girl, Angelina, we have had 4 children get adopted with our help. We are now waiting to hear who our fifth little one is and we are so excited! :)

Check out these sweet children who still need to be adopted. Would you be willing to help a child find a loving family?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What Am I Getting Into?

I decided to try my hand at making jewelry and let me tell you, it's been VERY addictive.

Here's the story.

Years ago, when I was still in high school, I worked at a craft store that really sparked my creative juices. I got into almost every type of craft thinkable! :) Well one of those crafts was jewelry making and I soon discovered that it is not a hobby you can truly master unless you plan on getting some kind of income from it. The reason for this is that it is EXTREMELY expensive. I will not mention just how expensive the tools can be nor how pricey the beads are! Just take a look at your nearest craft store and you will see exactly what I mean. Anyway, I was a stubborn youth and decided I was going to try it either way. I think I made two bracelets and gave up. Haha! My interest level died down quickly when I realized that you can only so many with just a few bead choices.

Well the other day, I was working in my craft room when I discovered the remnants of the hobby in a box. I bought a little bead sorter and proceeded to sort out the beads. Much to my delight, I realized that I could attempt to make some more jewelry and see if my interest in it had changed. Boy was it! I haven't been able to stop making jewelry and I even went back to Hobby Lobby this weekend (they were having some wicked sales) to purchase MORE beads and wire in the hopes that I can possibly create a business from it.

I don't have pictures of all the jewelry I've made but here are a few things that I have.

I think the easiest piece of jewelry to make is a bracelet like this one. It just requires a few tools, some wire, beads, a clasp, a couple of crimps and Ta-Da! A cute and simple bracelet!

I have also LOVED learning how to make these little bird's nest necklaces. I am a self-taught learner when it comes to these so who knows if I am making them correctly. All I know is that I am really enjoying the results and apparently others are too!

I decided to post them to my Etsy shop and see what happens so last night I took a few pictures and uploaded them to my computer.

Well wasn't I shocked to get an email this afternoon from a buyer requesting I make one for her! Woohoo! I was beyond thrilled! :) I hope this is a sign for future business!

Wouldn't these make the cutest Mother's Day presents? My original plan was to attempt to make them for my mom and Nick's mom as gifts. I then wondered if other moms might enjoy them as well! I have started custom designing them according to how many kids are in each family. For example, my mom has 2 kids so her nest would have 2 eggs. Now obviously there are going to be limitations to how many eggs I can put in a nest but for the most part, I think my plan should work great! :)

SO...if you are interested, of course you can check out my Etsy shop or send me an email! It's never too late to shop! :D I still have a lot of work to do on my shop's home page but soon I will get it looking nice!

Oh and mom, if you are reading this, act surprised when you open your Mother's Day gift! Haha!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fabulous Deals on gDiapers!

As I have already mentioned mutliple times, Nick and I plan on cloth diapering our future children and we feel that it is never too early to start preparing for them! We have looked at many different cloth diapering companies and felt that what would work best for us is cloth diapering with an occasional hybrid twist. What I mean is, we are leaning towards always using straight cloth unless we are traveling (which we do occasionally). Since our family is in Iowa, we tend to be stuck in the car for long road trips about 3 times a year. Originally we had planned on just doing disposables during these 13 hour trips but then I stumbled upon the gDiapers. The gDiapers not only have the full cloth option but they also have disposable liners that you can actually flush down the toilet! WOAH! We decided that this option was one we were definitely going to check into. Now, the problem with the disposable liners is that the can be quite expensive but, in reality, not much more than a case of disposable diapers. We would mainly use gDiapers as a cloth diapering system anyway so there is no need to buy tons of disposables if we are only going to use them when we are on the road.

Anyway, I never planned on buying diapers this early but then I stumbled upon a deal that I literally could not pass up!
Yes, you read that right. Diapers.com has an amazing sale happening right now! 6 gDiapers with cloth liners AND a case of disposable liners for only $89.99! WHAT? I know. Get this though, if you are a first time buyer through diapers.com you will get $10.00 off if you use the code DEJX9488 and they also provide a $10.00 mail in rebate if you spend over $75.00. Just print and mail this rebate sheet. Now how is that for savings?

There is one other deal they have if you are not interested in the disposable liners and you just want to only use regular cloth inserts.

There is also a package of 6 cloth diapers with the cloth inserts for only $59.99 right now too! The $10.00 off applies to this package too!

Well, are you curious as to what I purchased? I ended up buying the first set in both smalls and mediums and they are due to arrive at my door on Monday! Now that's some crazy fast shipping! :) I will try to share some pictures of them as soon as they get here!

Until later, have a great night!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A not so Wordless Wednesday...

Great. She's hit again. Why in the world is it so hard for me to get pregnant? Seriously? Does it really take over 14 months to make a baby? I thought for sure I would have already had one popped out by now. Figures.

Life could be worse, I know that now. This month sucked...BIG TIME. Don't get me wrong, we had some good times this month. Having both sides of our family out was amazing and much needed but everything else was basically the pits. I know that most of you are still in the dark as to what in the world I am talking about and I am sorry for that. I will tell you soon, I promise. It is not something that I can quickly type up and explain though. It's going to take time and thought...and potentially quite a few tears, but I promise it will be shared.

Anyway, what started out as a possible Wordless Wednesday has turned out to be a cry session, sorry about that. I just look at this picture and remember that I am loved by two amazing beings: my husband and the Lord. Ah how they have helped me through this month. The Lord never ceases to amaze me. He can bring light into any dark place and I have been there quite a few times recently. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will not give us more than we can bear. He gives hope to the hopeless. We hear these things over and over again but it didn't hit home until I was broken. I am still broken and I will be broken for a while. My prayer recently has originated from Hillsong's "Hosanna" song. The line "break my heart for what breaks Yours" is so powerful and meaningful to me. It's what I want. I want to be broken because it means that I am not this women of control that I thought I was. That is a good thing.

Pray for me if you would. I could really use it. Thanks for stopping by and more importantly, thanks for listening! It means the world to me!

Monday, April 12, 2010

My sweet baby bunny...er...puppy! :)

Doesn't he look thrilled? Haha! Over the Easter weekend we had Nick's family here for a visit. His dad, mom, sister, brother-in-law, two nieces, and nephew were all here for about 5 days. We had such a blast with them and hated to see them leave. I will try to share some more pictures from our weekend over the next few days. Nick took over 300 pictures! :D Anyway, they decided it would be cute to put some bunny ears on Trip and being the sweet hearted boy that Trip is, he sat there and let them do it! He was so well-behaved that he let Nick snap a few slightly embarrassing pictures too! It wasn't too long after this picture was taken that he got the ears worked off and they were in his mouth where he could properly destroy...I mean dispose of them! :) Don't worry though, the bunny ears were spared just in time!

Friday, April 9, 2010

My Morning!

Happy Friday morning! :D I am so thankful for Fridays like these! It is going to be a VERY beautiful day and I am so excited about it! Here is what my morning consists of...
Spending time with my Lord.

With this view to keep my company!

And later, basking in the sunshine as I proceed to finish knitting one project only to begin another! :)

I look forward to having more time.

How will you spend your Friday morning? Will you make it meaningful?

Friday Finds

This quilt is absolutely beautiful! Jennifer Blosser gives step-by-step instructions on how to create one yourself! Check it out!

I love this Crochet Clutch! It is the perfect thing to hold all of the fantastic crochet tools and accessories! This just jumped to the top of my to-do list!

I totally have one of these buckets laying around my house but I never would have thought to use it as a planter! What a genius idea! It's one I am definitely going to use!

This is something that would come in VERY handy in my laundry room! We are always finding unmatched socks in our laundry pile! :)

I love the idea of making my own laundry detergent. I think I may try this...SOMEDAY! :)

If I ever have a daughter (which hopefully I do), I will definitely be making one of these for her! :D How adorable! You can find the tutorial for it here.

Reece's Peanut Butter Cups are one of my favorite treats so why wouldn't I want to learn how to make my own???? YUM!

I am humbly admitting that I have never made a cheesecake but after seeing this recipe, it's next on my to bake list! :D Nick will be SO pleased!

I also plan on trying out this yummy rhubarb pie recipe! Mmm!

Aren't these little Crinkle Robots fun? You can make them yourself. Prudent Baby gives step-by-step instructions for them!

I LOVE this pacifier holder! How cute and convenient. There is no need to worry about losing that pacifier now!

Now for my favorite find of the week! :D Check out this stinkin' adorable bunny hat! AAAGH! I know Easter is over but it's never too late to make one of these!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thankful Thursday: My Husband

I am going to try and do a weekly Thankful Thursday post because I have SO much to be thankful for! The Lord has greatly blessed my life and I am so thankful for that. Of course I am thankful for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I hope to do a more thorough post on that soon! However, I have this picture saved to my computer and I wanted to go ahead and share it today!

I love this picture because it reminds me of how wonderfully amazing it is that I have my husband. You see, I almost missed meeting my husband by a few short days. My cousin introduced us literally 4 days before he moved (on Easter Sunday) from Iowa to Colorado and since Nick knew he was moving, he never intended a relationship with me to go anywhere. He figured it was just a nice little introduction and then he would move on with his life. My cousin had other plans though! :) His original idea was "for Nick to fall in love with me and not move to Colorado"! I guess that idea backfired! Haha! Anyway, I was headed back to college that evening (2 hours away) and didn't know if I would ever see Nick again. Little did I know that my cousin was relentless! He called the next afternoon asking me to come back home for Nick's going away party! I battled with the decision and my mother was the one who convinced me to go for it. That Wednesday afternoon, after my classes had ended for the day, I drove the 2 hours back down to Oskaloosa (my hometown). I nervously got ready for the party and then, much to Nick's surprise, showed up! The horrible part about the evening was that it was a FAMILY party and no one knew who I was! Haha! To make a long story short, Nick FINALLY noticed me and told me he would call me once he arrived in Colorado. We did the long distance thing for about 5 months, got engaged, 2 months later I moved to Colorado, and 7 months later we were married! :)

So what does that have to do with this picture? Well it was taken in here in our area of Colorado where we (amazingly) live. It reminds me of how much my husband and I have in common. One thing that is very important is that we both love the outdoors. The trees above us remind me of how we tend to lean on each other during difficult times. Things haven't been the easiest for me lately, in fact, they've been rather tough (I'll share more about that when I'm ready). These past few weeks, my husband has been my rock. I cannot believe how supportive he has been. He is such a comfort to me. Last night, after a hard day at school, I came home and he instantly knew it had been a rough day. He sat me down on the couch and just held me. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. I could go on and on forever but let me just summarize by saying that I love him so very much and thank God for him every single day!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Finds

Sorry for not doing this last week. I have been a slacker to say the least! I am trying to do better, I promise! :D For this week you get DOUBLE the finds. Woohoo!

Check out these DIY towels and shower curtain! I want a boy so that I can decorate a bathroom like this!

Talk about going green! These hand duster and dry mop refills were made with old clothes! How awesome is that?

This crocheted sock monkey hat is SO adorable! I am definitely going to have to try making one. It wouldn't look so great on me but it would look SUPER ADORABLE on a little boy!

And I am going to have to make one of these for our brand new camera (I'll post about that soon!). So cute!

This is just something I fell in love with. Want to make your own? Check out her tutorial!

Have I ever mentioned that I'm a card maker? Well I am! (I'm currently taking a break from it though.) This card immediately caught my eye! I can't wait to try out those sweet rosettes! There is even a fantastic video tutorial to help me out! :)

Can you ever get enough of these sweet flower clips and headbands? I think not!

And yet another!

I think this is just fabulously creative! Who knew a bunch of shower loofahs could look so cute?

Aprons are one of my biggest weaknesses lately. Not only do they help me to actually enjoy cooking but they are super fun to make too! This is one of the cutest aprons I have seen yet!

It's time for my favorite Friday Find! Check out this awesome homemade string nest/basket. It was inspired by the Pottery Barn nests that retail for WAY TOO MUCH! I love this version so much!