Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quilt Exhibition

 One fine day my daughter and I went on a girl's day out because I very much wanted to see what quilting looks like done in Latvia. Quilting isn't popular here like in the States and cotton prints are very expensive and I have never seen the selection here you see in the States.I was impressed with the quilts/wall hangings I saw and wish I had more time in my days so I could do some quilting again as well.

 This sunset was one of my favorites!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sarongs- or HUGE scarves

If you have a huge scarf at home or are thinking of getting one for this Fall/Autumn/Winter season but are wondering how you might wear it other than around your neck then you need to check out these videos! Huge scarves are extremely multifunctional not to mention plain fun to wear around your neck when the weather gets cooler! 

These are some fun ways to wear a sarong or huge scarf and you will soon realize why you simply cannot live without your very own sarong.

So- checkout my Etsy shop wear you will find some in my Huge Scarf Selection. Like this peacock one!
Peacock Wrap. Peacock Scarf. Art Nouveau Peacock. Sarong. Purple Wrap. Hand Painted Silk Wrap. Perfect Wrap.

Or how about a blue one or a red one?

Turquoise Blue Wrap . Silk Wrap . Turquoise Scarf . Caribbean Paradise. Hand Painted Silk. Huge Silk Scarf. 

And if you don't see one in the color you want- then write me a message and I will paint one for you in your tones! 

Happy sarong wearing! 

Friday, August 29, 2014

My Jonah Day

This was a day that seemed off from the start.

Our 4 month old puppy decided she couldn't part with her man owner when he was driving to work and so she jumped the fence and chased his car. Good thing he saw this in his rear view mirror and he called me on the phone to come and help catch her. She had meanwhile chased another car in the opposite direction and was quite far. But to my surprise she DID come when I called her (we have worked on that alot). BUT of course she didn't come near enough to catch and so I started running backwards (like the books say- run away not towards). She veered past me and towards my husband who thankfully has LONG arms and just barely caught her. I reprimanded her. OOPS! I know you are supposed to make coming to the owner pleasant- but I was hopping mad.

All that happened while our two youngest were still in bed.

My middle child- our daughter woke up grouchy. We had numerous melt downs and she was sent to her room to fuss it out there. YUCK. I despise grouchy mornings, they are so contagious!

I was pinched on time to get ready for guests and nothing seemed to be going right.

My daughter needed an emergency bath. . . I was trying to mop the floors and other things.

Someone by 10:00 we had our lives in a bit of order and lunch was started.

Lunch went off well. Naptime arrived and my youngest didn't sleep. My daughter woke up grouchy again and so continued our evening.

But in the end the winds changed and the fussiness dissipated and somehow we survived the little grouchies in our home. We worked on recall with our dog until she was plumb tuckered out and ran to us immediately.

And now as I paint and listen to Anne of Avonlea I am thankful that God is present in our Jonah days- whether with big or small problems.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Golden Day for Her

What a cutie pie!

Today is a golden day for the only and dearest sister I have in the whole wide world. It is special to her because it is her "golden" birthday and it special to me because it celebrates her. 

I don't have a gift for her yet, a golden day seems so unworthy of normal gifts. And so I wanted her to know that despite living a world apart I have not forgotten her and that she is the best sister any person could ever hope to have. 

And so my dear sister here the reasons I celebrate you in victorious, golden applause; because you- dear one have reached the "golden" age. (they are not in order of importance)
I love your hair!
  1. You are mine. Everyone needs a sister, but you really need one if you are female. Sisters have a bond unlike any other relationship on earth. Sisters understand, sisters feel with you, sisters laugh at and with you, sisters tell you the truth, sisters stand together.
  2. You are a dreamer. Everyone of us kids was and is a dreamer, but you top the cake in that your dreams were more wild than the rest of ours. I like that you dream big and wild! 
  3. You are passionate about Revelation. It is as if the things that scared me always fascinated you and it amazed me how you were so into everything Left Behind and End Times, etc. Your enthusiasm is admirable and I thank God that you know Him and serve Him. 
  4. Your excitement for the old-fashioned. I love how we always had such great fun watching Road to Avonlea and all kinds of old-fashioned movies. I love how we used to wear those lovely dresses and such- we have such lovely memories. Thanks!
  5. Making music together: I love how we both play the piano and sing. I loved how I used to get to accompany you on your solos and how we could just be together though music.
  6. You give great hugs. Or more like torture your sister squishes, but even though I complained, I'd sure love a good hug right now- wish we lived closer!
  7. You are a great friend. I never knew anyone who cared more for their friends and took care of those relationships better than you. You always have gone out of your way to spoil your friends. 
  8. Reading Together: Whether it were the walks we used to take where you read aloud or just talking about books we've read and when the movies are coming out or which version is the best I like that we both love to read.
  9. You are always in the loop: You seem to know the latest about everything, and are a source of information to those who need it :)
  10. Our adventures: We have seen so much, and done so much and traveled so much together. I love that we share that interest! 
  11. Your down to earth attitude. You aren't too proud or dignified to crawl on the floor with your nephew or be silly.
  12. Your silliness. You ability to be silly for fun and for the fun of others amazes me. I love how you are so free in yourself!
  13. Your frankness. I am always trying to be polite and nice and you aren't worried about that as much as I. You can be frank when it needs to be that way- that is awesome! 
  14. Your crazy ideas. You are a wonder for having wild dreams and ideas- but it is what makes you unique!
  15. Your curls. Do you know how many times I've wished I had curls like yours?!
  16. Your helpfulness. You are willing to help when you can, and have done so much for others over the years.
  17. You are so talented. Whether it is photography or music videos or music, God has blessed you and I love it when you use those gifts!
  18. You are beautiful. With your black curls, dark eyes and ivory skin you could be Snow White. You are lovely, from the inside out! NEVER forget that! Care for yourself dear one!
  19. You are a good Mommy! With your sweet little ones and your busy life you are doing an awesome job! 
  20. You are a fighter. Life hasn't been easy for you and even when it was calmer you have always been a fighter- seeking to reach your goals and aspirations and doing it the best you can!
  21. Your uniqueness. You are the only person I ever knew who wanted their room metallic gold and painted it that way- nothing better describes your golden personality than that :)
  22. You are fun. Every memory and thought of days spent together and things done with you makes me smile. That is who you are, you make others smile! 
  23. You believe. You want to think the best of people and believe in them, your acceptance of others helps them!
  24. You admit when you are wrong. We all make stupid mistakes- but a truly repentant heart is not often found. Thanks for being willing to say when you are wrong. Thanks for not letting pride reign in  your life.
  25. You do your best. Whatever it is required of you- making tacos, or photography or anything you do you give it your best shot! 
  26. You remember where you have been. I like that you treasure the past through photos and your music videos. You live today but with an understanding of who we were and what holds us together. Living today with our roots in yesterday is good as long as long as we don't get stuck there. Thanks for helping us all remember how we have become who we are!
  27. You are a drama queen.Crazy VBS roles were done better than anyone could have hoped. Your costumes, your acting, your YOU-ness :) You always have been the best drama queen I know!
The future is bright. I am so excited for future plans  we have and for the person you are becoming and will be as you follow your dreams that God has blessed you with!

I love you my dearest sister,  dressed in the golden splendor of 27 years well lived! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Walks with Kids

Autumn is fast approaching and with the cooling of the weather and the near daily showers it has become very Fallish out. With this change comes warmer clothing and the fact we would rather stay in than go out. But kids need fresh air, as do puppies and Mommies. And so now and then I try to convince my kids we ought to go on a walk.

However, they'd often rather play Legos, or pretend together than even think of going out. Being desperate the other day to get them all out of the house I knew we needed to take going outside to new level and so I thought, "a nature/treasure hunt would be just the thing!"

I did a quick Google and found some great sheets to print and then with these in hand and lots of excitement in my voice I told my 6 and 4 year old we are going on a walk, it will be like a game, you get to find all these things on the page. And guess what, it worked! We were out the door as soon as we were all properly dressed. And there was no complaining about going home sooner or tired legs. So excited!

Playground Hunt Treasure Hunt

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Choosing Films

When it comes to films for us or our kids I like to be careful what I spend my time, thoughts and attention on. Some may think what we watch doesn't influence us, but I strongly believe it does. Growing up I saw firsthand that what I watched would also influence my dreams- and so i am very careful with what I show my kids. 

But how can we know about a film before we watch it you may wonder? Do your research. Very rarely do I watch a film without having first read about it. I read the reviews and especially the parental reviews on this site. You simply look up the name of the film and then scroll down to the Parents Guide section. Here you can usually find a detailed list of the stuff in the film. From this I decide whether the film is something I want to spend my time watching or not. 

Another good source of reviews is Plugged In which has reviews on new films. 

As for choosing films for my kids I try not to show them anything I have not already seen or know to be good. 

How about you, how do you choose which movies you will watch or won't? 

Do you think what you watch influences you, why or why not? 

What is your favorite movie? I love getting suggestions on good ones to see :)


Saturday, August 16, 2014

What I Want Them to Know

As summer ends and a new school year begins the thoughts of busyness make me spin and I wonder how this new phase will unfold. My children are young yet and don't yet go to school, but weekly lessons at kindergarten for my older 2 will keep us hopping.And my oldest is starting music school this year, so with all these plans life looks like it might get hectic.

This summer I have pondered a lot. I have thought about parenting and life and this crazy world we live in. My heart has ached at the wickedness so brazenly displayed and I have longed to guard my little ones for this evil. I long to raise my kids in a good world, where life is charming and innocent. But in our days- this innocence comes only by working hard and staying in some part distant from this world as it has now become.

Yet in all of my desire to keep them guarded I also know that at some point they will encounter wickedness and that their lives in all likelihood will face hard and evil days at some point. So what can I do now to raise them to face this world? I'd like to turn my back and run and spoil my kids and meet their every need and whim. But is that what's best, I think not. . .

So what I want my kids to know is this:

Know God: Parents sometimes are afraid to help their kids encounter God, maybe they aren't close to Him. Maybe they don't even know Him themselves. But kids know their is good and evil and we as parents can let them know God by giving them opportunities to go to church, reading the Bible with them, going to Sunday school and if we know God ourselves by talking about Him, and helping our kids to learn to pray and know God.  

Why should our kids know about God or know him personally? It all boils down to whether you believe there is good and evil in this world. If there is good- there must be a source of that good- that is God. And therefore, there is also evil- and the source Satan. Kids encounter every day in the situations they encounter and in every cartoon a display of good and evil forces and as parents we can help them understand the ultimate one by helping them know GOD! 

When our kids know God is gives them something to cling to that is bigger than themselves. Having faith in God can be the rock our kids cling to when life is scary and bigger than our comprehension. They can pray and talk to God when they are afraid- our son does that during storms. We don't tell him to pray, he knows that God is the Creator of the earth and bigger than everything and he turns to God when he is afraid. 

Know themselves: When we know God we can more fully accept ourselves. Each of us was born with gifts or talents that we can develop and use in the future. Each of us can better understand ourselves when we know who we are in God and how He sees us! We each have a personality and spirit that helps define who we are and if my kids know who they are, and who God is and then it will give them a base on how to live their lives.

I want them to know they are unique, special and made in God's image.

Know right from wrong: I am continually being bombarded of late with the idea that nothing is new, everything has been seen and nothing shocks anyone anymore. That idea make me feel cold chills run through me.

When God is not present in our cultures then evil abounds and when evil abounds it displays itself in blatant evil that should shock and should cause people to turn from it. But if we raise our children to accept that everything goes, and we are afraid to teach them what is right and wrong then the boundaries grow confused and evil grows stronger.

I want my kids to know evil when they see it. I want to them to shudder and turn from what is evil because they know that is displeasing to God and it defiles who they are. Man was made in the image of God and anything that defiles or causes to belittle our true value as people or taints our integrity should be fled from.

I grow sad as I hear others say that if you are different  you will bullied and laughed at. And yet I do not want my kids to be like those who take pleasure in the pain of others. If that means others laugh at them then may they be true men and women of character as they do what is right and find peace in their hearts because they chose to walk a blameless path.

Know boundaries and discipline: If we each lived within boundaries our problems would be much less. I want my kids to know rules and that they would live by them. I want them to respect authority. I want them to be kind and show respect to the elderly. I want my kids to be real men who behave as gentlemen and women who behave like ladies. I want my kids to have a good dose of old fashioned politeness. I want my kids to know that too much of something harms them- too much media, sweets, etc. I want them to know how to say, "No." And to know how to stop. I want them to learn these things and so we must practice them now. Living withing boundaries is what helps us to respect them in the future. Living discipline is what gets us out of bed in the morning and off to work and what keeps us from overeating and knowing how to care for our belongings. Living with discipline is something that each of must learn.

Know kindness: I want my kids to show kindness to those in need. I want them to jump to help when it is needed and offer a kind word when they see one is needed. I want them to think of others and not just themselves and to be kind to one another (sisters, brothers, parents, family, friends). I want them to know life isn't about THEM but that life is about being the person God made each of us to be.

There are so many things I want my kids to know, but for today these are what most pierce my heart. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Musical People

Many years ago in the days when I studied at a small college in MN, I was acquainted with this guy. He sang then, but WOW does he SING now.

I accidentally stumbled upon his music this evening when I was listening to my brother's music and saw that Drew also sings.

It is so awesome to see what people I used to go to school with are doing now.

Wishing Drew and his family the best of luck in the music career. God has given him a great voice and awesome talent. Check him out!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Baking: gift or curse?


Since I was 7 years old I have baked on my own. I have always loved doing so and have loved delighting others with my goodies.

Years have passed and many cakes have been baked, decorated, sold and eaten. I've had the honor of making towering wedding cakes and in the last year of working 2x a week at a sweet, local bakery I have baked apx. 500 cakes.

Wow, even that figure makes me stop.  . . in my tracks.

I am thankful for my job and this place to have down time doing a hobby I enjoy and relaxing from mom duties.

Yet, I wonder, is baking a worthy calling for me? Am I making any lasting difference? What does eating sweets do to better our lives? Or does it just make them worse by the guilt of having splurged? And so despite knowing that God has given me a gift with which I can bless others when need be, I am wondering if I should be doing something else. Perhaps I could be making more of a lasting difference following another job- path. . .

So- what do you think, is baking a gift or a curse? What difference does it make to better ones life?