Monthly Archives: February 2008

The World’s Softest Baby Blanket

Well it might not technically be the *world’s softest*, but it is pretty cozy!

I saw the Chenille Backed Blanket Tutorial over at Craft Apple this past summer and was really excited when I finally got a chance to make one a couple of weeks ago.

I have to say that I give her tutorial 2 thumbs up!  I’m a total sewing novice, but I was able to do this project (with just a little bit of help) in just a few hours.

You basically just sew a piece of flannel and a piece of chenille right sides together, flip it inside out, and then do a decorative stitch around the edge.

I’ve got to tell you a secret though –

One of my friends helped me and she had the most la- dee- da sewing machine that I’ve ever used.

Just take a look at this baby –

Brother SE270D Sewing Machine
It’s a Brother SE270D Computerized Sewing and Embroidery Machine. This baby loads the thread, threads the needle, cuts the thread when you’re done, and even stops and goes at the push of a button. You don’t even have to use the foot pedal!! How cool is that?!

I wasn’t sure if I’d like that feature, but it actually helped me to keep a steady pace rather than my usual poky puppy/speed demon fluctuations.

It’s quite a bit more expensive than my little starter machine, but with all those extra features it was definitely worth it. I even did a really cool blanket stitch all around the baby blanket with it.  My little beginner Brother sewing machine is alright and everything, plenty sufficient for the little bit of sewing that I attempt, but using the la-dee-da machine made sewing this sweet little baby blanket even more fun!


I saw a link to this personality test over at Mommy Life this morning.

It was kind of weird because as I was taking the test I felt like my answers were kind of all over the place, but all in all I think the results might be pretty accurate.

Your Type is

Extraverted Sensing Feeling Judging
Strength of the preferences %
11 1 50 78

At first those results didn’t really make any sense to me. I didn’t really "get" that whole judging part. But then I clicked on the Keirsey Temperament Description and it all made more sense.

The Portait of the Provider (ESFJ)

Provider Guardians take it upon themselves to arrange for the health and welfare of those in their care, but they are also the most sociable of all the Guardians, and thus are the great nurturers of established institutions such as schools, businesses, churches, social clubs, and civic groups. Wherever they go, Providers take up the role of social contributor, happily giving their time and energy to make sure that the needs of others are met, that traditions are supported and developed, and that social functions are a success.

Providers are very likely more than ten percent of the population, and this is very fortunate for the rest of us, because friendly social service is a key to their nature. Highly cooperative themselves, Providers are skilled in maintaining teamwork among their helpers, and are also tireless in their attention to the details of furnishing goods and services. They make excellent chairpersons in charge of social events. They are without peer as masters of ceremonies, able to approach others with ease and confidence, and seemingly aware of what everyone’s been doing. And they are outstanding hosts or hostesses, able to remember people’s names, usually after one introduction, and always concerned about the needs of their guests, wanting to insure that all are involved and provided for.

Providers are extremely sensitive to the feelings of others, which makes them perhaps the most sympathetic of all the types, but which also leaves them rather self-conscious, that is, highly sensitive to what others think of them. Because of this Providers can be crushed by personal criticism, and will work most effectively when given ample appreciation both for themselves personally and for the service they give to others. This is not to say that Providers are afraid to express their own emotional reactions. They are quick to like and dislike-and don’t mind saying so-tending to put on a pedestal whatever or whoever they admire, and to come down hard on those people and issues they don’t care for.

In their choice of careers, Providers may lean toward sales and service occupations. They have such pleasant, outgoing personalities that they are far and away the best sales reps, not only regularly winning sales contests, but earning seniority in any sales group within an organization. Observing Providers at work in a sales transaction reveals clearly how this type personalizes the sale. They are visibly-and honestly-concerned with their customer’s welfare, and thus the customer is not simply buying the product, but is buying personally from the Provider. This same characteristic causes them to be good in many people-to-people jobs, as teachers, clergy, coaches, social workers, office receptionists, and so on. Providers seldom become a source of irritation in the workplace; on the contrary, they are unflagging in their devotion to their company, and show such personal loyalty to their immediate superiors that they make invaluable personal secretaries.

William Howard Taft, Barbara Walters, J C Penney, Ray Kroc, Louis B. Mayer, Sam Walton, Dolley Madison, and Dave Thomas are examples of Provider Guardians.

Overall, the results were very interesting. If you’ve got some time, go take the quiz and let me know what you think.

A True Kentuckian

OK, I’m not saying that we’re all like this, but boy oh boy, a bunch of these are TOTALLY true!

You’re a True Kentuckian If….

1. You can properly pronounce: Louisville, Leitchfield, and Maryville. (Bonus points for Cadiz.)

2. You think people who complain about the heat in their states are sissies.

3. A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel. (Someone reminded me that I should have put something in my A Day At My House entry about stray tornadoes!)

4. You know that the true value of a parking space is not determined by the distance to the door, but by the availability of shade. (Momma taught me that from a young age.)

5. Stores don’t have bags or shopping carts, they have sacks and buggys. (I never say sacks. That one is off for me.)

6. You’ve seen people wear bib overalls at weddings and funerals.

7. You think everyone from a bigger city has an accent. (Not as much as they think we do!)

8. You measure distance in minutes. (Always have. Always will.)

9. You go to the lake because you think it is like going to the ocean. (Not so much on this one. I know what an ocean is and Lake Barkley isn’t one!)

10. You listen to the weather forecast before picking out an outfit. (Doesn’t everyone though?)

11. You know cowpies are not made of beef. (Bonus points if you’ve ever played Cowpie Bingo)

12. Someone you know has used a basketball schedule to plan their wedding date. (These folks are completely nuts about UK basketball.)

13. You know someone who has a belt buckle bigger than your fist.

14. You aren’t surprised to find movie rental, ammunition, beer, and bait all in the same store.

15. A Mercedes Benz isn’t a status symbol. A Chevy Silverado Extended Bed Crew Cab is. (And I’d be mighty happy to have one!)

16. You know everything goes better with Ranch. (No. But I have noticed that!)

17. You learned how to shoot a gun before you learned how to multiply. (VERY true.)

18. You actually get these jokes and are "fixin’" to send them to your friends and finally:

19. You are 100% Kentuckian if you have ever had this conversation:

"You wanna coke?"


"What kind?"

"Dr Pepper."

A Day At Our House

Before we moved out to the country, we had a big house in the historic district right in the middle of town. It wasn’t remodeled or all fixed up, but we had great space and we enjoyed having people over quite a bit. Everyone kind of knew that I wasn’t one of those hostesses that rolled out the red carpet or anything, but my most important concern was always making people feel at home. You know how you go over some people’s homes and they just make you kind of wish yours was nicer or that you were more organized? I used to always joke that my ministry was to make everyone else feel better about their houses and housekeeping!

Well it’s kind of the same with our homeschool. I don’t think our daily schedule will intimidate anyone and it might even make them feel better about all that they ARE getting done.

I can remember the first homeschool magazine that I ever saw. They had a large family on the cover with all the girls wearing denim jumpers and the brothers wearing coordinating button up shirts and khakis. Inside there was a column where people wrote about what a day was like at their house. Well the schedule that they had was so detailed and "perfect" that I just about couldn’t believe anyone really lived like that. I literally called one of my friends and said, "Can you believe this? Do you REALLY think some people have it all together?"

I guess that’s what I liked so much about TOS the first time I saw it, and it’s what makes me so happy to work for them. The magazine encourages me with what other people are doing in their homes without making me feel like a complete and total loser. I mean, I KNOW that some people are much more organized than I am and that some people are much more structured, but I like it when I feel like I can learn FROM them without having to BE like them.

So, without further ado, here’s a bit about a normal day at the Carter household.

Since I’m working full time from home, I usually do quite a bit of work late at night on the computer after everyone else has gone to bed so my husband actually gets our two oldest boys up in the morning and has them get started on their chores and breakfast while I catch a few extra zzzz’s. Joe, my oldest, is pretty much King of the Kitchen so he starts off the day straightening things in there, while Jake, my middle son, heads out to take care of the animals. Feeding all the critters around here is quite a task. The dogs have to be fed in the garage so that the chickens don’t eat their food. Usually the chickens and cats all follow him up to the barn while he feeds Billy the horse. Next he heads on over to the chickens to feed them and check for eggs. And he *hopes* that the chickens and guineas will be so busy with their food that they’ll stay out of the cat food. Notice a pattern here?

By the time I get up, the boys are pretty much on auto-pilot so I just check in with them and then check my email. Soon enough my 6 year old will join us and then I’ll do some school with him or his middle brother will pitch in. All this time the oldest one is either plunking away with his schoolwork on the computer or doing some handy fix-it task around the house.

And then because I am a totally spoiled momma, the boys usually fix lunch for all of us. I do more work on the computer, crack the whip to keep the boys going with their schoolwork, try to get someone to switch the laundry around, find something semi-educational to keep the 6 yr old busy while his brothers are still working, and chat with my husband on the phone. As the afternoon goes on, I’ll check on my middle son’s progress with his schoolwork, check in on the oldest to see how he’s doing, and then they’ll try to straighten the house a bit before their dad gets home.

Once dad gets home, all bets are off. (just kidding) Sometimes they’re still finishing up work. Sometimes they move on to doing stuff outside. But the part that is always the same is that they pretty much try to get right up under him to hear about how his day was, who he saw, and who he talked to.

And now while it’s still kind of cold outside, our evenings are pretty much spent inside either on the Internet (we all look like a bunch of nerds sitting around with our laptops) or watching TV.

That’s about it. We don’t do a bunch of outside activities, sports, or music lessons. We pretty much just hang out and live life together which keeps us PLENTY busy, but somehow learning seems to happen in the midst of it all!

The Most Important Super Bowl of My Life

Twenty-four years ago the Los Angeles Raiders beat the Washington Redskins 38 – 9 in Super Bowl XVIII. It was the most lopsided win in Super Bowl history, but I don’t remember any of that.

What I remember was being in eighth grade, at a fun-loving youth group Super Bowl party down in the church basement. One of my friends had started inviting me to church sometime earlier that year and dutifully picking me up and taking me to church every time the door was open. I look back on it now, as only a 37 year old mom can, and realize what a huge deal that was. We lived all the way on the other side of town.  Picking me up on Sunday mornings probably tacked an extra 20 minutes or so on their Sunday morning routine. But yet they did it. Not once a week, not twice, but usually three times a week – sometimes more.

The church welcomed me in with open arms and I soon began to learn that being a Christian was more than just being a good person, going to church, or knowing “about” God. That church truly met right where I was. I often remember feeling a bit embarrassed that I didn’t know about all of Bible stories that most of the other kids had been hearing since they were just tots, but none of them every acted surprised. They simply, quietly and patiently, helped me find the right pages and explained things to me.

I remember lots and lots of fun goofy youth group times. They did all kinds of fun stuff and I loved being in the middle of it. And I can remember that Sunday night that not all of the older folks were happy that the youth were down in the basement watching the Super Bowl, instead of being in discipleship training classes.

I’m sure we were too loud. I’m sure we were irritating. And I don’t remember the details, but it was something like half time when it was time for the church service when we all dutifully marched up to join everyone else for the worship service. Usually we all sat in the front, but this time we sat in the back so that we could hurry out right afterwards to get back to the game. Little did I know that THAT was the night the Holy Spirit would call me.

I don’t remember much of the service. But I remember hearing a lot about God’s unconditional love and how He loved us so much that He gave His only son that anyone who believed in Him could have eternal life. I had heard those words before of course, but that night as they sang “Just As I Am”, I knew that it was time.

I knew that I was a sinner and I knew that I needed forgiveness. And I was just so amazingly grateful that the Lord would love me- truly just as I am. You know how hard it is during those teeny-bopper years – the pressure to make good grades, dealing with all the pressure to be popular,  problems with friends, family stuff – you know the usual. And to think that He was going to love me just as I was – forever, unconditionally, that He would NEVER leave me or forsake me. That His love was a bazillion times greater than anything I had ever known and that nothing I could do could change that. That, my friends was what sent me down that aisle.

I can remember the pastor asking me a few questions and talking to me about how my life would never be the same again. That I was giving over the reins to Him and that He had more in store for me than I could ever imagine. And that He would be with me every step of the way.

It was a beautiful thing folks and my pastor was 100% right, I never have been the same again and the LORD has been with me every step of the way.

As I look back on that Sunday night 24 years ago, I am so thankful for my friend and her parents that took me to church, for the church that allowed that youth group to have a Super Bowl party, for a pastor who didn’t write off an immature boy-crazy teeny bopper, and for a Saviour and His Amazing Grace. It’s so much more than a song y’all, so SO much more.