Friday, March 13, 2015

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 45)

You know how sometimes you don't blog for a really long time, and then it feels like you can't write a post until you have something to say that's really important or profound, but all you have are those usual little bits of everyday life that just aren't as interesting or timely anymore?  You try to say something like, "two months ago, we played in the snow!", but now everyone's already in Spring mode and so ready to be done thinking about winter.  It just doesn't work.

That's kind of what's kept me from writing until these Quick Takes today.

 Tom and I are now godparents to another sweet godson, Daniel!  He's the smallest baby I've ever seen in real life :-)

I've been reading a fascinating book this Lent.  It's The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ by (Blessed) Anne Catherine Emmerich.  Anne was a nun in the early 1800s, and a mystic.  She had many supernatural gifts, including the stigmata, and she received innumerable visions.  On many occasions, especially during Lent, she had stunningly detailed visions of the Passion.  This book recounts those visions (as told to a third party).

It's just amazing how many little details she was shown, and the connections and meanings of events that she is able to explain - things a poor uneducated nun like her would never have known.  To be sure, some people are skeptical of the authenticity of these accounts.  Regardless, the book provides an excellent meditation on this most important event in the life of Christ.  Definitely keep it in mind for your spiritual reading.

I re-painted our dining room a month or two ago.  When we moved in, the walls were a medium green, and the ceilings were light green.  We went to light green walls and white ceiling.  It's so much brighter and happier in there now!

I didn't take as many before and after shots as I usually do.

Here was the room a few days after we bought the house.  Note that these photos was taken during the daytime (during March).  With all the lights on.
Changing that very dark chandelier was one of our first orders of business

It felt like a cave in there

And I wanted to include this photo (from Christmas) - it shows how our decorative tree sort of blended in with the green of the walls.  You can also see where I'd just started painting some white on the ceiling above the window.

In progress.  The ceiling is now white.  The old wall color's on the right, the new on the left. 

This is the room in the new lighter color - it really helps the tree "pop"

Notice the walls behind Stella

Like the "dark cave" picture, this one was taken during the daytime in March, with all the lights on.  But it looks like a different room entirely.  I'll post the "before" again for easy comparison...

versus how it looked last year

It really makes a difference!

In quilting news, I'm still working on the queen-sized block-of-the-month quilt for our bed, but it's going to be a long time until I finish.  Me and the other women in the class were all imagining that once we finished our twelve pieced blocks, we'd just need a few connecting strips, and we'd be done.  But our instructor recently showed us her completed quilt top, and....oh my....there's SO much more to do!

In the meanwhile, I started cutting out fabric pieces to make a a twin-size quilt for Sly's bed.  He's been begging me for a quilt since I joined this group.  Since I've already made *two* quilts for Stella (hey, she's my only girl, and I like to make feminine quilts!), I figured he had a good point.  I let him flip through some quilting books and pick a design he liked.

This little man has been on a nap strike, and let me tell you - it's nerve-racking trying to use a rotary cutter when there's a baby crawling around!

I just need to cut a few more white fabrics and I can start sewing!
Sly insists that I put a ship in the middle of his quilt (I might have influenced this desire, since his room is decorated with ships).  I found a ship quilting pattern I liked, and threw together a test block (using different colors than what will be on Sly's).  I like the look of it, but this 12" block will be too small for Sly's quilt.  I'll have to make some calculations and enlarge all the pieces.

I was hoping to frame this sample ship block and hang it up in my living room, but unfortunately, the color density is way off and I think it might look weird.  The colors are quite bold at the bottom, but the yellow sails almost disappear into the pale sky....

Since I've been married, my dad has been dropping off box-at-a-time all my old stuff that was still sitting around his house.  I don't blame him at all for wanting to clean out his house, but it's been frustrating to keep being reminded of how much crap I accumulated over my lifetime and then having to deal with it!

I finally thought we'd received everything, but I had let myself totally forget about something stored in the closet in his entire collection of Breyer model horses.  My dad made us take the whole collection at once - much to Tom's distress.  Ha - he had no idea the would be as large or numerous as they were.  It was fun looking through my Breyers again, and fondly remembering how much I used to love them all.  For several years of my life, every spare cent was saved up to buy horses, and they were the only type of gift I asked for.

I sorted through them, and set some aside (probably too many!) to give my kids when they're a bit older, and able to treat them gently.

Oh shoot.  I just remembered....I think there's also a huge Beanie Baby collection tucked away in another closet, that my dad still hasn't discovered.  haha...Well, I have virtually no sentiment attached to those anymore, so perhaps I can just grab that box before the kids see inside, and send it straight to Goodwill!


Some friends were over recently, and asked us a question we've been asked many times: "So, how many kids do you guys want to have?".  Tom and I sorta hemmed and hawed for a bit, because it's a strange question with no real answer for us.

I finally just said, "Look.  We both want a big family.  We want a lot of kids - whatever that means.  We don't have a specific number.  We're just letting the babies come."  Our friend nodded and suggested, "However many God wants, huh?"  I thought about it for a few seconds, and answered, "Well, I'll be honest with you.  I should be able to say 'how ever many God wants,' but it wouldn't really be true.  I want a lot of kids.  I hope and pray that I have a lot of kids.  If God made it clear that I would never be able to have another would probably take me a really long time to come to terms with that."

I guess judgements on family size can go both ways.  Conceivably, people might look at us and assume we're extra holy for wanting a lot of kids, but it's not necessarily the case.  (but we sure as heck will need a lot of grace to handle it, if the babies keep coming!)

My friend Kellie painted us some beautiful custom-made Saint peg dolls. I told her what I wanted each to look like, and she executed those ideas beyond what I could have hoped for.

These are my children's name Saints - St. Sylvester, Mary "star of the sea" (Stella Maris), and St. Linus.  Our kids all have rather obscure patrons, so it's hard to find nice devotional art for them.  These dolls will be in their Easter baskets this year.

Seven Quick Takes is hosted at This Ain't the Lyceum