Friday, December 30, 2011

Kindle Cover

One of the gifts that I was blessed with this Christmas was a Kindle Fire.  I can't begin to tell you how much I LOVE that thing.  It is very difficult to put down :)  But put it down I must.  And I don't want it to get wet, or scratched or made it a cozy.

I didn't use a pattern. Just cut some cotton for the front and back and some felt pieces for the padding......all a little bigger than the Kindle.  I attatched a little bit of green braid for the loop and a button for the closure.  I did a repeat this afternoon for a friend of Lee's and it took less than 30 mins.

Let's see.....oh yes, I was going to share about my Christmas projects.  I've made a ton of hats.  Tons.  And I made an adorable shawl for my mother-in-law.  I'll try to get a picture of that.  And then I made coasters.  I actually cut up the blocks from a quilt top that I made but never got laid out right.  I traced around a CD and made a sandwich with random pieces and a same-sized piece of felt.  They are very, very cute. 

This week I started/finished a knitted baby bib.  I'm not sure of the practicality of them but it is adorable!  Now I'm working on a cowl for me.  Picture to come when I get it finished.  (I'm not the best at remembering pictures!)

But isn't that kindle cover adorable?????  Happy New Year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!!!

I hope all of my dear readers can feel the love and presence of our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ during this season of Christmas.  Also, I want to thank all of you for hanging in there with me for another year, I treasure each and every one of you!

Last night we had a big Christmas dinner with Norman's mother, her boyfriend, his sister, her daughter and friend and our son's girlfriend.  I prepped most of the meal on Wednesday and then Norman did all of the cooking while I was at work on Thursday.  We had a beautiful, delicious smoked ham, hashbrown casserole, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, deviled eggs and bavarian dinner rolls.  My mother-in-law fixed some pies.  Everything was delicious!  The only shadow on the evening is the severe illness of my mother-in-law's oldest sister, Joyce.  She has had some severe complications following a surgery she had last week.  The doctor's don't think that she will make it.  Unfortunately, she is in a hospital in Texas, and of course, we are all in Illinois.  Her husband and children are with her and our prayers are with them all.

Norman has to work on Christmas day so the children and I will attend church services and then come home and await his arrival.  We have so much to be thankful for and many blessings this year.  I feel like I don't deserve anything more. 

I'm beginning to work through my goals for the year and next month.  I kinda let that go with the moving/Thanksgiving/Christmas but they are going to be back.  Its good to keep me accountable.  Looking forward to some down time with the kids next week. 

I thought I had a lot to say but turns out maybe that is it.  I hope that all of you have a blessed holiday weekend with your families. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Playing Catch-up.....With Pictures

We had our family portraits taken recently and I just got the disk back today.  So I ordered Christmas cards (they will be late going out if you are expecting one!) and some prints.  Will go back later and order more for grandparents and such.  The pictures are great!  My children are very photogenic :) 

Gregory Robert - age 11

Leland David - age 14

Norman Matthew - age 4

Abigail Caroline - age 19 months

That's a yawn.....taking pictures is HARD work!

Mommy's little girl.

The last 3 weeks or so have been VERY hectic.  I did some sewing for a friend (WITH my friend Shanna) - a 81x81inch comforter and curtains.  I still need to do matching pillowcases but that will wait until after Christmas.  I've been knitting like a crazy woman.  Hats for all the kids (Abby is wearing hers in some of the pictures above) and for myself.  A few gifts :)  And sewing some gifts (can't divulge what yet but I will after Christmas - easy peasy and soooo cute!).  I have my sewing room set up the way I think I want it.  We will see.  It was insane how much fabric and yarn I have.  I solemnly swear that I will try not to buy anymore yarn or fabric until I use some of what I have......unless I go to MBT....then I can't promise anything.  I had better get back to knitting and sewing :)

I've been baking like a crazy kid.  The 3 youngest kids helped me make sugar cookies on Monday.  There were so many sprinkles on the kitchen floor that it was like walking on marbles.  We took or will be taking cookie plates to our neighbors....some of them are difficult to catch at home. 

The Christmas spirit is alive and well here :)  I love that I am able to enjoy it with my little family while we remember the real reason for the season.  All 4 children took part in our little church's Christmas poduction.  I am hoping that someone took pictures that I can get my hands on.  Lee was Joseph, Greg was a wise man, Bear was a sheep and Abby was a little angle.  After the play Lee and Greg joined some friends in whistling We Wish You a Merry Christmas and playing a few songs with the bells.  We are Christmas carolling on Wednesday night.  I love to go Christmas carolling.  I can't wait!!!!!!!

I hope that all of you are enjoying the wonderful time of year that is Christmas.  Remember our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and cherish the time that you can spend with your family.  Hugs to all my friends!!!!!!! 

2011 Gabby Moms Program - A Year in Review

As most of you know by now, I have been a member of the Eternal Encouragement Gabby Moms program during the pilot year, 2011.  I thought I would share a little about my experience and share what I have learned throughout the past year...........

I came to The Gabby Moms program as a "seasoned reviewer".  I've been reviewing homeschool products for TEACH magazine (now Eternal Encouragment) for years.  I was also a member of the 1st year TOS Homeschool Crew and still occassionally do reviews for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  I also review books through the Blogging for Books program (as you can tell I LOVE to read and learn).  With all that "experience" under my belt, I have to say that The Gabby Moms program has been the most encouraging group of ladies that I have ever worked with.  The products were GREAT, however, I was most blessed by the group of encouraging ladies that I could be in instant contact with (through email and facebook).  I spoke with Cindy and Lorrie Flem via telephone over the last year and came away encouraged, refreshed and ready to give another day a good shot.

The products that Lorrie offers through Eternal Encouragement are encouraging, down in the trenches products.  Lorrie doesn't speak of lofty objectives or philosophical theories.  She writes or talks about mothering, being a wife, managing a home and speaks as one that has done these things and has experience about how to be the best wife and mother that you can be.  I can honestly say that I have been blessed by every single product that I have received and that God, in His timing, always managed to send the product that I most needed at that time.  This program has never been a burden because I was reading/listening/reviewing something that was directly applicable to MY life.  What a blessing!!!!!

So, that's my experience as part of the 2011 Gabby Moms program.  I am so thankful to be able to say that I will be a part of the 2012 Gabby Moms program as well.  Please come back and look forward with me for what Lorrie has to share with us in the upcoming year :) 

Monday, December 05, 2011


So here are some pictures I've been promising you.  We had our "professional" photos done (how professional can the photos be when you can't get everyone to sit still for 5 seconds????  Our photographer works miracles.) so the blog pictures should be updated soon and I will share my favorites then.  Something is wrong with our camera so all of these are from my phone which doesn't do the best, but we work with what we have.

The first 2 pictures were taken at the Shinn Family reunion over Thanksgiving.
This is Stan (Norman's dad) and all of his grandchildren.  Back row: Leland holding Abby next to Greg.  Middle row: Noah, Bear, Alice, Grandpa Stan, Nolan.  Front row: Christopher. Off to the side holding mommy's hand, Chloe

This picture is 4 of the 6 Shinn brothers.  The 2 missing are older than Norman.  Back row: Josh, Timothy, Christopher and Norman.  Front row: Stan.....Missing are Stanley Jr. and Stanley Wayne (don't ask)

Today, the babies were helping with the laundry (as evidenced by the laundry - clean - all over the laundry room floor).  Apparently that involved getting in the dryer.  You can just barely see Bear's white hair already in there.

This is the window seat in the sitting room.  Abby loves to sit here and look at books.  It makes a perfect spot to sit and knit also. 

Well, that's it for now :)