Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lewis Strikes Again...

"Yes, I too think there is lots to be said for being no longer young; and I do most heartily agree that it is just as well to be past the age when one expects or desires to attract the other sex. It’s natural enough in our species, as in others, that the young birds should show off their plumage — in the mating season. But the trouble in the modern world is that there’s a tendency to rush all the birds on to that age as soon as possible and then keep them there as late as possible, thus losing all the real value of the other parts of life in a senseless, pitiful attempt to prolong what, after all, is neither its wisest, its happiest, or most innocent period. I suspect merely commercial motives are behind it all: for it is at the showing-off stage that birds of both sexes have least sales-resistance!"
-C.S. Lewis, Letters to an American Lady

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Pajamas

Last night I put the finishing stitches on the pajamas I made for Suzy. I'm pretty pleased with them, even if lack of time and skill made them not quite how I pictured. Then, I carefully laid them out on cute backgrounds and took pictures for this post. My computer ate those pictures! So what you see her are the pics I quickly took with the last battery juice of my camera. Not nearly as cute, but at least you can see what I'm talking about!

This is the Bonne Nuit Chickadee. Isn't it cute? I love it! I had fully intended to embroider "Chickadee" under the little birdie, but time got the best of me. If you don't speak French, "bonne nuit" means goodnight - "nuit" sounds like "nwee," so it's a rhyme! Here's a close up of the little chickadee:

Still, it wasn't quite what I designed:

I don't usually embroider, so I had no idea how to get my design transfered onto the fabric. So I came up with the supposedly great idea of simply writing the words out on paper, pinning the paper onto the fabric, then stitching over the paper. In theory, I would then gently tear the paper away, revealing the lovely words. In theory. However, though it might have worked with tissue paper, it does not on printer paper! I couldn't tear it out without damaging the stitches. I had to WET it, scrape as much of the gummed paper off as I could, and dry it, hoping the dryer lint grabber would do the rest. I still had to pull micro bits of paper out from under stitches with tweezers. Do any of you embroiders know how to transfer a design?

Here's the next pajama set:

Again, the pictures aren't great, but it gives you a rough idea. I really like the print on this flannel. It's actually a DKNY pillow case I got on clearance from a design store for $1! I was so excited. It was just enough to make the pants, and the 5 bunny appliques it took before I got one right. Curse you Wonder-Under iron-on adhesive! I had learned my lesson with the chickadee, so I very lightly penciled in the words "Fais dodo" on this and then stitched over it. "Fais dodo" means "Go night-night," roughly.

Isn't he the cutest? Excuse the water stain. This was taken after Suzy tried them on and then wiped chocolate on them. So I frantically tried to clean them with a wash cloth. I realized after I started making this that "fais dodo" and "bunny" don't have the same charm as "bonne nuit" and "chickadee." So I have named him Pedro. Fais dodo, Pedro! I like the French and Mexican aspects of it. If I ever have nieces and nephews from my sister, who has started her own Frenchish/Mexican family, I imagine there will be many a blanket and onsie embroidered with little Fais Dodo Pedro. But even Pedro was not quite what I planned:

I think this is maybe the cutest thing I've ever drawn. But it's hard to transfer that to fabric!

Here's my sweeite pie in her new Jammies:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Devotional Mad-lib

“When God hath done so much for you, will you leave it in the power of an unconstant creature to trouble you and rob you of your peace? Is the joy of the Holy Ghost so subject to the malice of [insert name of whoever] or the weakness of [insert name of whoever] ? Delight yourself in an all-sufficient constant God, and he will be to you a sufficient delight.” (A Grief Sanctified, pg. 78)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Ornaments

I love my Christmas tree. I love decorating it every year. It's a red and gold color scheme, with lots of holly berries, pine cones, and ribbons. Nate and I have tried to find or make ornaments that are symbolic of the real meaning of Christmas. I thought I'd show some here, if I can figure out how to do the photos with captions!

I made lots of little scrolls with Scriptures about the birth of Christ or prophesies about Him. I attached red ribbon to them and put them all over the trees.

I made some unopened scrolls too. I thought I was being clever, but someone mentioned they look like two cigarettes tied with ribbon! Not the look I was going for!

"Star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright!" Around the house I like to sing "Oh little star of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie..." and Nate will invariably say, "Town! Town of Bethlehem!"

“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" So said John the Baptist...and in Revelation Jesus is pictured as the Lamb. So we made this. It was really hard work molding the clay and painting it realistically. Just kidding! We got a toy lamb and put a hook in it's back, which I then covered with ribbon. It took two minutes.

Revelation 5:5
But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.” We made this the same way as the lamb.

A dove for the Holy Spirit that descended on Jesus at His baptism. "Behold My Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased."

Not a symbol of Jesus, but a picture of our biggest little blessing!

A little French pride and a nativity scene.

And of course, we needed a cross!
Galatians 6:14
"But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. "

1Corinthians 1:18
"For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

Colossians 1:20
"and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."

1Peter 2:24
"and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."

There you go, a little tour of our sweet little Christmas tree!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Paper Plate Christmas Wreath

Today Suzy made a paper plate wreath. She painted it green yesterday, which is always a thrill for her. Not only does she love painting, she loves it that when she's done, I send her to wash her hands by herself while I clean up the paint. She usually spends at least 10 minutes washing/splashing!
Today she glued the leaves and berries on. I usually water down the glue in a little bowl and she puts it on with a brush. But today I just gave her the bottle. She loved using the glue bottle like a big girl.
I love seeing how her ability to do crafty things increases. I just love doing things with her! She's so bubbly and curious. She makes everything fun!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baking Fail, Preschool Win

In Suzy's preschool lesson today, we were going to make Christmas cookies. Nothing elaborate, I thought. Just plain cookies, in circles and hearts, with green icing and multi-colored sprinkles. Just an easy, relaxing Christmas activity or mother and daughter. Except I totally failed, and for the first time in my life, my trusty Fanny Farmer cookbook let me down! There was nowhere near enough flour in the dough to roll it out, so I kept adding it in nervous scoops until it got thick enough. When it was time to roll it out, I had a plan. That also failed. I've read that if you roll out the dough on the cookie sheet, you can cut the cookies out directly in place and simply peel up the scrap dough. So mess-free and simple. Except, of course, that it didn't happen. Suzy and I took turns with the rolling pin to smooth the dough out into the pan. Then She got to work with her cookie cutters. I went to peel up the dough, and it just smushed and smeared. I tried lifting the cookies out with a spatula, and they too were destroyed.
By this time I was seriously frustrated. But I tried to put a positive spin on it for Suzy. "Hey, Suzy, would it be fun to squish up all this dough and pat it out onto the pizza stone?" "YEAH!" "And make one GIANT cookie that you can cover with red sugar?" "YES!" So we did that, and she had a blast. And it was not bad tasting, for all it lacked in looks.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chicken Quesadillas and Mexi-casserole

This is one of Nate's favorite meals. It's VERY easy and delicious.
Chicken Quesadillas
- Package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Jar of chunky salsa (I like lime & garlic, the cheapy Walmart variety, $2)
-10ct package of tortillas
-bag of shredded cheese. It doesn't have to be quesadilla cheese. Cheddar and colby jack are also really good.
- Sour Cream
-a side vegetable

* Put the chicken in a crockpot and pour salsa on top. Cook 5-7 hours. Shred the chicken and mix it up with the salsa in the crock pot.
* Butter one side of the tortillas.
* On a griddle, foreman grill, or large skillet, place one tortilla butter side down. Sprinkle with cheese. Add a layer of chicken and another sprinkling of cheese. Top with another tortilla butter side up.
* If your using a grill, it's a lot easier because you cook both sides at once. In the skillet, you'll have to carefully flip it over. Cook until golden brown.
* Let it set on a cutting board for a minute as you get another quesadilla started. Then cut into quarters and stack on a plate as you go.
* Save the leftover salsa chicken in the fridge for mexi-casserole.
Serve with sour cream and a side vegetable, and there you go! But that's only the first round for us. We're a family of three, but with Suzy, we only eat like one of 2.25. All in all, we get four meals (2 dinners, 2 lunches) out of the salsa chicken. We have the leftover quesadillas for lunch the next day. Then I make the mexi-casserole for dinner the next day.
- Leftover Salsa Chicken
- 1-2lbs pasta, like macaroni, or a pan of rice
- shredded cheese
- corn
- optional: can of black beans or sauteed bellpeppers.
* Cook and drain the pasta (or rice). Add the leftover chicken and corn, and anything else you want to throw in there.
* Spread the mixture into a 9x13 bake pan. Top with cheese.
* Bake at 350 until cheese is melted and it's warmed through.

This is really good with sour cream too. I have cayenne on the table to add to mine. Suzy won't eat it that spicy, otherwise I'd just add it in before I baked it. We eat the leftovers for lunch.
So, if I get enough things on sale, the ingredients for these 2 recipes costs about $14.50. Which, for four meals, works out to be $1.20 per person per meal for our family. For 2 meals for a family of four, it would still only be $1.80 per person.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

C.S. Lewis as an Atheist.

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? If the whole show was bad and senseless from A to Z, so to speak, why did I, who was supposed to be part of the show, find myself in such violent reaction against it? A man feels wet when he falls into water, because man is not a water animal: a fish would not feel wet. Of course I could have given up on my idea of justice by saying that it was nothing but a private idea of my own. But if I did that, then my argument against God collapsed too - for the argument depended on saying that the world was really unjust,not simply that it did not please my private fancies. Thus in the very act of trying to prove that God did not exist - in other words, that the whole of reality was senseless - I found I was forced to assume that one part of reality - namely my idea of justice - was full of sense. Consequently atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole of the universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

Psalm Reading

Psalm 149:4
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted with salvation.

Do we realize that as Christians, though we are afflicted, or persecuted, or put through trials, our salvation makes us beautiful in the eyes of God?

Psalm Reading

Psalm 149:4
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the afflicted with salvation.

Do you ever think that we are all afflicted with daily decaying bodies, and that by saving us, God has beautified us - beautified our souls, our only eternal part? Why do we spend so much time, money, and anxiety on what is only our shell?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's Love - and Vocabulary

This morning, inspired by last night's Sisters meeting (in which Kirstie talked about gluttony, the danger of being a spiritual sprinter instead of a marathoner, and the benefit of spending 20 minutes on your appearance every day) I got up waaaay earlier than usual, had some tranquil time with the Lord, a real shower, dressed properly, and did my hair and make-up.
I went to Nate and asked him if he thought my hair looked fetching.
He said, "You know what I love about you? You're the only woman I know who uses fetching in a sentence."
Isn't that sweet? Nate loves me nerdy. :oP

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'll Never Tell Her...

Last week, as I was folding laundry and Suzy was napping, I heard a little noise from Suzy's room. It sounded exactly like a small person trying to make as little noise as possible as she opened the cabinet on the play kitchen. Which of course it was.
I knew what was going on. Suzy had gotten out of bed and was playing. She knew she wasn't supposed to, so she was trying very hard to be quiet.
Suzy, however, didn't know that her little naughty self was making my afternoon. If Suzy actually goes to sleep, then after an hour, maybe an hour and a half, she wakes up. In her sweet, confused not-quite-awake state, she leaves her room and seeks me out immediately. However, if she ditches her nap and gets up and plays quietly, she's afraid to come out because she knows I'll put her back to bed. Since she has no watch and can't tell time anyway, she can't estimate a plausible amount of time to fake a nap. So she stays in her room, looking at books, doing puzzles, playing dolls, for up to TWO HOURS! I get to finish my work uninterrupted. When I do go get Suzy, we have time to play together. After dinner, she's usually so tired she wants to go to bed a little early.
Yes! It's a total win for me! I haven't quite wrestled with all the moral implications of delighting in my daughter's sneakiness though. Maybe the right thing to do the next time she ditches nap would be to go in after an hour and put her back in bed. That way I may get two and a half hours! Woo-hoo!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sixpence to the Good

"If you devoted every moment of your life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to its father and saying, "Daddy, give me a sixpence to buy you a birthday present." Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction."
-C.S. Lewis

Thursday, November 5, 2009

So It Begins...

I've named my blog "L'avion Rose." When I was seventeen, I went with my grandmother to France, to visit family. While there, my grandmother gave me a black t-shirt with "La Vie En Rose" written on it, with a picture of a pink airplane. Grandma explained that it was a pun. The French phrase "L'avion rose", or pink airplane, sounds like the expression "La vie en rose", which means "life in pink." It's like the English rose-colored glasses.
I loved that, and I think it's a great title for my blog - which will just be little snippets of my life. In pink.