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Substantial Eating

I really benefit from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook. When Amelia bought his Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less cookbook, I thought it would be another great resource for bringing some variety to our healthy meals. I’m now reading through the winter recipes and noting which dishes really appeal to me at first glance.

I’m hoping to add some tasty NEW dishes to our menus–specifically to the menu items that I, following the South Beach Diet guidelines for consuming low glycemic index, high fiber carbs and good fats, plan to eat. My goal is to experience a sense of having had a substantial meal. I’ll let you know….

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Substantial Reading

One of the most helpful books I’ve read in recent history is Grace for the Good Girl by Emily P. Freeman. I’m now reading her new book, A Million Little Ways. I believe that there is a lot of substance in what Emily has written about uncovering the art I was made to live. I’ll let you know.

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Acting the Miracle, Part 1

In the midst of what has seemed to be non-stop life, we were, amazingly, allowed the opportunity to step away for a weekend. Through the generosity of the big kids in taking over our responsibilities, Joey, Tim and I were able to attend the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis. This year’s conference was Acting the Miracle: God’s Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification. And just as my attending The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference earlier this year was a life-altering experience, so was attending this conference.

I don’t want to minimize the impact attending the conference had on us by posting “vacation shots” of some of our experiences. Yet, the “vacation” aspect of this weekend was a vastly important component of it. I mentioned to Joey and Tim that the fact that the three of us, the three people who run the bakery, could get away together was, itself, a miracle!

So…before the conference registration opened, we found some lunch at Key’s. Eating out was definitely a highlight of our trip because usually when we travel, we take most of our food and only eat out a couple of times. (For example, when all nine of us went to Florida to get Lydia in 2003, Amelia made and froze casseroles which we heated up in our motel rooms in our roaster every night. And Jacob-the-dog-grooming-competitor long ago invested in a plug-in travel refrigerator for his competition trips. See why we photographed our meals in Minneapolis?)

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After lunch, we made a loop around downtown so I could take a photo of this statue:

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(Since I had to explain the significance of the statue to the kids, I thought it was high time that we watched some episodes of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” We’ve watched two seasons in the past month.)

We made it to the first session and had a fantastic afternoon listening to David Mathis, Kevin DeYoung, Sally Lloyd-Jones and R W Glenn.

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And THEN…

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Eeps! It was time for the session with Fernando Ortega. What can we say about how God has used this man’s music in our lives? We cannot say enough. Any words sound shallow. And we got to sing with him!

Then, it was back to earth and time for some supper. We ate at the Convention Center and I had the hugest serving of hummus I have ever seen. Yum!

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After supper, we listened to John Piper delve into the conference’s theme of sanctification and, then, more Fernando Ortega. I’ve already said it, and I’ll say it again and again: during the most challenging of times, God has used the words coming out of these men’s mouths as lifelines for Joey and me–and our whole family. God has used their gifts to help us plumb the depths of our souls. Okay, see, any words I use sound shallow…. Anyway, this moment was very meaningful for us because Joey got to thank Fernando Ortega for his music:

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(And, right after this moment, Joey and I had a fabulous chat with Cameron Stone, who plays cello with Fernando Ortega. He gave us his email address in case our cellists had any cello questions! I only have a blurry photo of him though:)

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Since I’m sharing blurry photos, I might as well show this one:

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That was a blurry photo from our room on the 24th floor of our hotel I was trying to photograph the eight (nine?) police vehicles surrounding the entrance to a nearby apartment building. Zooming in didn’t help.

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The point? As much as I enjoy visiting cities, I am content to live rather uneventfully in my rural home. Now, stay tuned for more on the conference….

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Take a Stitch Tuesday: Crossed Buttonhole Stitch

TAST this (18th!) week featured the Crossed Buttonhole stitch.

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I really liked using this stitch with this particular font. I think I will use it again frequently!

Overall progress:

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The Happy Day Challenge #5: I Need to Be Alone

Oh, did Alicia over at La Famille hit in on the nose this week or what? On the nose. I truly needed to be alone for even a little while. So, Joey graciously said, “Be alone. I’ll cover for you.” I love that guy.

I packed up my embroidery.

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And my current Terry Prachett.

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But I didn’t really delve into either. I just needed a couple of hours to be by myself, without anyone needing something from me. And it really made a gigantic difference in my attitude and ability to meet my responsibilities cheerfully. I realized that everyone benefits when I deliberately take some time to be alone.

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Needlebook Swap: My Contribution

My friend, Laurie, hosted a needlebook swap. Now, I like needlebooks and I like swapping and I like the thought of a lot of embroidery on a swap project. So, why was I so conflicted about participating that I joined the swap at the last possible moment? Well, Take a Stitch Tuesday had been occupying a lot of my time every week and I didn’t want to let anyone down by not having enough time to fully participate in the swap. THEN, we unexpectedly had a week’s break from TAST and I jumped on my chance to make a needlebook for someone.

I knew that getting this project done in a week (because I’m still a homeschooling, homemaking, etc., etc., etc. mom all week, every week, too) would require some concentration and immediate action. I was so happy to quickly find Goosie Girl’s heart-shaped needlebook pattern. Eeps! I was overwhelmed by the overall awesomeness of this pattern. Then, I set to work. I cannot even describe how delightful it was to make this needlebook. I enjoyed everything from the wool felt to the heart-shaped awesomeness to the functionality to the jewel-tone colors to the opportunity to embroider my little heart out. I had a hard time parting with it, to tell the truth. SO…I took a ton of photos so I could re-create one someday for myself. And I mean a ton of photos. Get ready.

This is the inside, unfolded.

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Aren’t these pockets so sweet?

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This is backside of all of that…unfolded.

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Connecting stitches held the panels together.

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All folded up, tied shut and ready to go.

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I hope Kim enjoys it!

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Take a Stitch Tuesday: Barred Chain Stitch

This week’s TAST challenge surprised me. I was excited about this stitch because it is supposed to look kind of vine-y and I’m definitely “into” vines around here. I thought I would gain a wonderful new stitch for my projects.

However, I never could develop a rhythm to the stitching. I was basically annoyed and frustrated the whole time I was stitching. Let’s just say that I have enough annoying and frustrating activities in my life already and I embroider to ENJOY the process.

My first attempt at the Barred Chain Stitch was with two strands of floss since I didn’t want my lines to be too thick, making it difficult to discern the lettering.

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I also kept my Twisted Chain stitches (that make up the “bars”) rather narrow compared to the line I was following.

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Consequently, the “bars” are not very evident.

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And since the Twisted Chain stitch was what was annoying me most, I wanted to see the effect it had, rather than it just looking like a kind of messy Chain Stitch. SO for the next word, I used three strands of floss and started the twisted stitch farther from my guiding line.

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I was a little more satisfied with the second attempt.

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I guess I haven’t totally dismissed the Barred Chain Stitch…more experimentation is probably necessary.

Anyway…progress so far:

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