"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Friday, December 13, 2013

a stone dressed for the weather


I crocheted a rock.  Well, I guess the more complimentary term would be a stone.  Yes, that's what they are calling them... crocheted stones.  Three years ago while combing the Oregon coast with friends I stuck a few (stones) in my pocket.  "What are we looking for?", asked the friends.  "Beach stones", said I. "What for?", they inquired.  I proceeded to explain that I had seen these beautiful crocheted stones and I intended to make some.  By the time we reached our cottage I was dragging my stooped body up the stairs with pockets heavily bulging with the abundance of generous non-crafters.  Of course, if they had been fellow creators they would have been hoarding for themselves.  All is fair in love and art.

Three years later and I decided it was time.  The fact that I still don't know how to crochet didn't slow me down ( that is if you don't call the 3 year hesitation a pause ;)  I Googled the tutorial by Margaret Oomen on The Purl Bee and proceeded to do it all wrong.  First, I couldn't find any crochet cotton so I grabbed some fingering weight boucle instead.  Then I found myself a crochet hook ( I have them to assist in my knitting faux pas). Then, I must have been confused about which stitch to go into each time around because my pattern doesn't look anything like Margaret's.  I couldn't care less.  Isn't it lovely?  Thank you.  ;)

Blessings, Debbie 

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Enjoying the most importants right now.  Breathing deeply in the moment because everything just happens so fast it makes my head swirl.  I'm learning to hold on tight to the here and now because if I blink...  ~Nope. Just don't blink!!

Every time I pop back in here it's with the intention of being consistent.  So here goes again.  I hope to 'see' you all tomorrow.  But just in case my best laid plans...

Merry Christmas.  And may the peace of God and His rich blessings be your perfect gift.  I accidentally typed "His rich blissings" and I do find that perfectly appropriate.  :)

Love to all, Debbie   

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baa, baa bare sheep..

Actually, in this case... alpaca!  I'm adding a new dimension to my fiber fanaticism.  My husband wonders, "Will it stink?"  We'll soon see!  :)

Blessings, Debbie

Friday, October 18, 2013

how autumn is the sound of music

Fall decorating, gathering the last of summer's eggs, foraging for rose hips and collecting flower seeds to plant next spring... as the girls would 'sing' (and play), "these are a few of my favorite things."

Exciting things happening around here... I'll be sharing in bits and pieces.  I've been bit hard by the creative bug and I'm feeling like Martha on steroids.  Christmas should be no problem as I've been addding a gift a day to the present box, no kidding.  And yes, people are eating and learning and wearing clean clothes!  It's this fabulous autumn air...

Blessings, Debbie

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

seasonal change and new additions

The weather is beginning to turn from the scorching, sun filled, endless days of summer to the less predictable, often turbulent, shorter days of fall.  The grass and the posies are looking tired, like they are quite ready to be put to bed for a long winter's nap, "thank you very much."

We've added a few additions to the household and I for one am quite excited to spend some time curled on the new (to us) couches or sitting before the new spinning wheel or standing before the new loom.  I LOVE YOU CRAIG'S LIST!

We're a bit late starting school since we had a few things to check off the list before finding our mojo. First there was the wedding of dear friends leading into the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents.  Fifty years! Next came church camp, then today we had our kick off picnic for our local home-school group.  So, now we are ready to settle back to normal.

...  Someone define normal for me... 

Every day brings a new surprise!  We are more than thrilled to be welcoming Taren into our family.  Looks like we will be getting back to 'normal' after May or June.  :)

Blessings, Debbie

Monday, September 23, 2013

Charlotte's story... part 2

cont. from here... Thankfully the spinal tap went well and another didn't have to be done (which we had been told was a possibility).  Two visitors were allowed at a time and there were 5 of us in the waiting room... waiting.  We all got our turns and then Cory took the girls and I back to the house to pack some clothes and necessities for Monte, Hillary and Charlotte who were now looking at 3 more days away from home.  We stopped at the store on the way back to the house for sandwich fixings since these parents who had just had a baby yesterday morning hadn't had much to eat in two days.

As I said in the previous post, the hospital was almost an hour away so by the time the food reached our little family it was just after 10:00 p.m.  They were supposed to be transferred to a 'real' room in the children's hospital but we found them in the cramped little space we had left them in.  They had Hillary on a bed and were trying to figure out how they might fit another in for Monte.  I honestly don't know how they did it but they did.  Apparently there was no room at the hospital which only happens a couple of times a year.

Now Charlotte was hooked up to an antibiotic drip which made nursing quite difficult for the brand new mama.  I'll add that she wasn't complaining.  She was doing a wonderful job at going with the flow and just loving on and caring for her baby.  Monte was doing what he does best and keeping on top of the staff and information... taking care of his family.

The next day they were moved out of the emergency room into the children's hospital.  I'm only going to say that from here on out Charlotte was a human pincushion and nerves were getting quite raw (as were her arms, legs and feet) by the third day.  Prayers were constant and we knew that she was in the loving care of her Father in heaven as well as the sweet parents that were given her on earth.  That was our comfort.  On day three Hillary's mother in law picked me up at the house and together we went to be with them while they waited to be released. By now we felt confident that Charlotte was well.  Close to check out time we were visited by a doctor who told us that there was something wrong with Charlotte's last blood draw and they would have to do yet another.  Dad had pretty much 'had it' and questioned if it was really necessary and we were told that her platelet count was very low and that if the next draw showed the same it could be very serious.  Here we were, almost like we were starting this nightmare all over again.  Once again blood was drawn and we all sat in tearful silence for quite some time.  We were told that we wouldn't know the results for 2 hours.

Several hours later we were finally visited with the release papers and the "all is well."  All was well.  Just like that.

And here we are 2 months later with the sweetest baby girl ever.  The beautiful baby girl who has smiled since she was born.  No kidding... every day since she was born and now she laughs out loud.  I don't understand the rocky start but I do know that the One who orchestrates all things know's exactly what the plan is and I thank Him for His grace and His perfect gift!

It's almost midnight.  We just got back from 4 days of church camp and I'm tired.  I've written the happy ending to the beginning of Charlotte's story and now I'm going to bed.  

Blessings, Debbie

*  The above photos are from 2 weekends ago...  We had them for 3 days!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Charlotte's story.. part 1

Seriously?  Has it really been 2 months?  Oh, delightful life with blots of darkness pulling us back to earth now and then!  What a whirlwind was July.

If you just bear with me for this post I want to chronicle the rocky entry into this life that was Charlotte's. Yes, Charlotte, the beautiful long awaited blessing to our undeserving lives.  Here goes...

Our family headed over to the valley for the fourth of July instead of hosting the forever annual mega celebration that is historically our tradition.  The sweet friends that have vacationed here for the fourth these past 21 years invited us to their home this year knowing that we needed to be close to the kids for the arrival of our first grandbaby.  Charlotte was due June 30th and we were confident that she would be here near the fourth.  We had a wonderful time recreating our traditions in the beautiful, green, Willamette Valley as we anticipated the big moment.  

As I recorded in this post, a decision was made not to have Charlotte induced but to instead wait for Hillary's body to respond to God's timing.  A week later as she was now over 42 weeks she checked in to the hospital and allowed some help with the beginnings of labor.  Her body responded well to the gentle encouragements and labor progressed.  

Here is where I want to mention (for family posterity) that being allowed silent witness to the process was wonderful beyond words.  Monte and Hillary worked magic together.  They were one in a process that was ordained and I seriously felt privileged.  Quietly she labored and quietly he offered his eyes, his hands, his voice, his presence, his strength...

Everything was perfect.  It wasn't until she was pushing... Charlotte was visible.  I had just told Monte that he needed to come and look... "you can see her beautiful face!"  

Thankfully I wasn't aware that something had gone wrong.  I was busy at the top... cheering my girl through those final moments... "You're doing great!  I can see her!  You should see her!  She's gorgeous!  You're doing great!  One more push!  You're doing great!"

Now I know that the doctor had had a scare.  When silent Hillary screamed out loud for the first time, the second time, the third time... it was because Charlotte's heart rate had dropped, her shoulder was stuck and the doctor had to reach in to help.  A good amount of tearing but Charlotte was here!  She was beautiful and fine!  Hillary held her while the stitching went on and on.  She really is the dream patient.  Both the doctor and the nurse confirmed it.

Monte and Hillary decided not to stay the extra night recommended by the hospital.  They wanted their little family home.  The girls and I went home before them and got everything ready... sidewalk chalk welcome, banners and signs, dinner simmering.  We waited.  We knew that it could take a while for final tests and check out.  It was getting later when I answered a phone call from my mom.  "Honey, what's going on?" she asked with concern.  "What do you mean?  We're just waiting for them to come home."

Hillary had arranged to skype with my brother and his family and had to cancel.  They were going to have to stay at the hospital because something came back in the tests...  Hillary had been trying to contact me but my phone was on vibrate and I hadn't 'heard' it.  I called her but there was no answer.  For half an hour the girls and I prayed and worried.  We finally got word from one of Monte's sisters that they were having to stay because the test came back positive for possible... jaundice.  JAUNDICE.  I could so handle that... Everyone breathed relief and I called all of the concerned family.  The next day we video taped the homecoming... a little late but... yea!

We spent a lovely night and most of the next day...  We waved them off to the pediatrician at 2:45 the next afternoon.  Charlotte was dressed up and all was well.  Once again the girls and I prepared to welcome the little family home.  A couple of hours later my son (dressed in his work clothes and at a time when he should still be working)  walked in the front door.  "Cory!"  ...  "Mom, where's your phone?  Hillary's been trying to get a hold of you.  Charlotte has a fever and they think she may have meningitis."

He loaded me into his car and we high tailed it for the... emergency room?  What emergency room?  We were en route when we realized we weren't sure exactly where they were.  A phone call to another family member had us headed to Doernbecker.  I was in a nightmare. Almost an hours drive through unfamiliar freeways and downtown Portland and we were finally at the desk asking for passes to the pediatric ward. We found our little, brand new family in a 10'x10' cramped room and were informed that blood work had been done and now they were preparing to do a spinal tap.  The results wouldn't be in for 3 days and they would have to stay at the hospital until then.  Our baby girl was barely 48 hours old.

This is already the longest post I've ever written so I'm going to continue tomorrow.  As I said before, this is for family posterity.  Therefore it is the long version.

To those of you who care enough to stick with me through this tale, I value you more than you can know. You've been patient with my pathetic attempts and encouraged me when I needed it.  You've been faithful and I'm thankful.  Suffice it to say that this story does have a happy ending.  I could have just popped back in here with a few sentences but I want to remember the details.  So...  to be continued. 

Blessings, Debbie           

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

at last!

Charlotte Leanne
7 lbs 12 oz.
July 15, 2013 

Stunning!  Perfect!!  Thank you everyone for your precious prayers!  There's always a story and I'll tell this one when I'm done holding our dear, dear baby!  :)

Blessings, Debbie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

the waiting game

June 30th.  We know all about due dates, yet we still couldn't help but be excited when the day came... then went.  We looked forward to the fourth of July.  It came... it went.  The girls and I have been here for a week now and although it's been nice spending this time with Hillary and Monte, we thought (hoped) that we would be spending it with Hillary, Monte and Charlotte.

There is a story in here about being induced (obviously she wasn't, hurray!) but I won't tell that one today.  Nope.  This baby will come in it's time as babies do.

While we are waiting I'm enjoying the knitting.  We took a field trip to a cute little historical district yesterday and it just happened to have a cute little yarn shop.  Hillary picked a beautiful hand painted superwash for the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket that I cast on this morning.  I chose a yummy, soft, merino~angora blend (Hill picked the color) for the Peurperium that is now half finished.  The Plain Vest was started and finished a few days after we arrived.  

I'm really not reading anything since I have all of this wonderful company and my absorbing projects.  :)

So, since you've decided to bless me with a visit today, once again I ask for your prayers for a safe delivery and if you don't mind... add a rush order?  Grandma has to go home Sunday!

Blessings, Debbie

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

another original plain vest

After frogging the EZ bunting that has been on my needles for over a year, I found myself with a mountain of beautifully thick and thin 'ramen noodles'... you froggers out there know what I'm talking about.  The bunting was taking more yarn than I was wanting to spin (already over 1/2 a pound had been spun, plied, skeined and knit) and still I was only about half done with the project.

So, I made the decision to pull it apart and find another use for the yarn.  This free pattern is for a size 1 and calls for dk weight yarn and size 9 needles.  I've made it twice in the past, never using the recommended yarn and winding up with about a size 6 mo. and a size 1 respectively.  Using this bulky handspun and size 10 needles I have here a lovely 4ish?  I took these pictures the other day and it's actually blocking right now.  I just need to sew the buttons on (they are just laying there in the photo) and it's ready to wear.

I thought I'd mention a couple of thing that I did in addition to what the pattern called for.  I put in pockets according to the directions for EZ's Tomten as found in her book and I crocheted around the arm openings for a strong, tidy finish.  I'll submit pictures of it completely finished later this week.

I'm reading the Ragamuffin Gospel.  I was familiar with the title so when I found it at the local thrift I put it in my basket.  I'm only a couple of chapters in so the jury is still out.  Brennan Manning has made a few really good points but I'm not sure where he is headed yet.  Forward by Michael W. Smith and testimony by Rich Mullins is a good endorsement so I'm eager to get to the meat of the message. 

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along
Blessings, Debbie

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

every little bit helps

Back when people drove their boats to the theater.

The Picture above is resurrected from our city's archives.  After being closed for decades the Pine Theater was purchased, renovated and reopened to a thankful public in 2007. Now the Hollywood film industry is doing away with the old way of showing films, everything will now be digital.  Converting to the $80,000 system may not be difficult for the large chains but seems almost impossible to our local small town owners.  It's been a financial struggle for them just to keep the theater open.  The community appreciates having this inexpensive and historic source of  entertainment and many are doing what they can to help.  There are many creative ways to donate, the most successful being the Walk of Fame.  Horseshoes engraved with the name of the donor are being sold for $400.00 each and will be cemented into the entry below the marquis.  That's a great idea but Erin had a good one of her own.   Enter the big guns.


 Check out this amazing campaign to save our beloved theater.

Yesterday I gave you our bad news.  Today I happily offer you the good news.  A handful of our home schooled littles with the help of some of our home schooled biggles raised $213.33! And all in just over two hours.  That's how it's done folks.  Just $40,000 more to go.  

Blessings, Debbie  
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