I'm so glad you stopped by. Whatcha see is whatcha get. I value your comments! Together we can be great.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Is God Calling...or Am I Just Crazy?

Ever have a completely
idea and wonder if
you're losing your marbles
if God is calling you to
do something odd?


Then I start wondering:
If I did it, would it not end up
being odd at all?

I really hate when people do weird
stuff and say God called them to do it.

But here I sit wondering if I'm
about to be one of them!

What is this hairbrained idea, you ask?

Well, it's like this...
This crazy idea keeps surfacing.
It keeps coming up.
I keep wanting to research it.
I keep wondering if I could do it...
If I SHOULD do it...


I'm not sure if that's what I would call it.
Milk and juice FAST
makes it sound like I am going
to abstain from milk and juice.
What I'm considering is
ONLY consuming milk and juice


Before you go weird on me,
I want you to know I've already
gone weird
on myself!

One reason I am wondering if God
wants me to do this is because, well,
I kinda LIKE FOOD.
I can't imagine being able to
actually do it - NOT EAT
for almost a month.


I've looked into it a little bit.
There is a diet out there called
the Milk Diet
where people literally only drink milk.
But they drink raw milk, which is
not practical for me, so I would
need to drink O.J. to compensate.

The other important part about the
"diet" is that I am supposed to rest
as much as possible while on it;
as if recovering from illness.

This piqued my curiosity.
This is the point where my engines
started working overtime and the idea
started getting obsessive.


What better way to prepare my heart
for Christmas!?
REST and reflection
on the past year.
REST and single-minded focus
on the year to come.

I've often admired various
religions for their emphasis

The Amish
Tibetan Monks
for example.

Without having to wonder what I'm
going to be eating every moment of the day
I will free up that part of my brain
to focus on God
and the birth of his only son.

By AGGRESSIVELY resting, I am
taking care of and listening to
my body,
which (in theory) should help me
to differentiate between my own

and God's.

I think I may have just
talked myself into this

I'll start December 1,
and I'll end with Christmas Eve dinner
(because no way am I missing
potato dumplings!)

Maybe I'll blog about it.
Maybe I won't.

So what do you think?
Or God?

What would YOU do?
Just Amy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Prim Stacking Boxes Giveaway!

Head on over to
for this cute Christmas
stacking Box giveaway.

Then stick around just because
the eye-candy is SOOOO yummy!

Click To Enter My Giveaway!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quilt-along Block Two FINISHED!

I am done with block two!!


I know...don't faint.
Maybe blogging the progress
was a good idea after all.

Guess what?
Not only did I get Block Two finished,
I made a BONUS block too!
Doesn' that just take the cake?

Hope I don't need those pieces later
or I may cry...
and you will have to listen to me.

So here are the pictures:

Block number Two

I actually like this block even better than
the first one:

Block number One

However, I do not like them TOGETHER,
if that makes any sense.
I put them next to each other and
I didn't like it.
So NOW I am working strictly on
that the finished product will have
a cohesiveness that I do not
yet see!
It HAS to...I am using a Jelly Roll
after all.

Then after I was done with the block,
I noticed several elements left over.

I tossed 'em together to create
(and have NO idea what I'm going
to do with it)

Bonus block

There were SEW many ways
to fiddle with the left-overs,
but this way won.

I love to play spin the block!
How about you?
Did you finish?
Did you make a bonus block from the
Are you saving the left-overs until
a later time?

For those of you following
along...(chirp, chirp...awkward silence)
find Block Three in 
the series

Thank you so much to
Moose on the Porch Quilts

for coming up with the
idea and blogging this first!
You rock, girlfriend!

Really, you should check her out.
Toodles for now.

Just Amy

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soap Making 101

I was running low on the laundry soap
and had to make more.

I thought, why not try to document the
very simple process and
post it for all of you who say you
can't do it.

First of all, I got my "recipe" here.
I also got the soap from them as well.
There is a recipe for powdered soap - which
would be even less time consuming than
liquid soap, but I don't make it that way
because I have a machine that wouldn't
be able to use powdered soap.  Just

I actually do all the grating and measuring
of the product one time.  I just place the grated
soap in a quart size baggie, the powders in another
baggie and toss them all together into a gallon
freezer baggie. 
I probably should have taken a picture of it
all together, but I'm new at this and
didn't think of it.

Next time it's a cinch!

So here we go:
I take my bar of grated fells naptha...

Not that you care, but next time I am going to use
ZOTE.  It's pink and more fatty and smells a little
like citronella.  I currently use it only on stains,
but I am going to try it in place of the Fells...


I put it in a medium sized saucepan and cover with water.
Do not freak out about how much water like I did
the first time. 
Just cover the soap by an inch - like you're
making chicken stock or something.

I put it on the stove on low.
You don't want to COOK the soap, just
melt it.

After a few minutes it looks like this:

Yum!  Fight the urge to whisk it.  Just gently stir or
you will end up with too much foam on top and
won't be able to see if the soap is melted.

Once the soap is melted into a clean-smelling watery
concoction, it's time to mix it all together.
I haven't looked at the actual recipe for probably
a year, so I do this step differently every time.
It usually turns out the same.

What I do at this point is:

I take my Borax

 you can find this at your grocery store laundry isle.

and I take my Washing Soda, which is in the same area.  I
am sorry I don't have a picture...I don't
currently have a box handy.
It is NOT the same thing.

I dissolve them with very hot water from my tea kettle in
this bucket:

I DO use a whisk here just to make sure it's good and dissolved.

While I'm doing the whisking, I am simultaneously filling up
my clean dishpan with hot tap water.

When the powders are dissolved or when my pan is overflowing
(whichever happens first)
I add the melted soap to the powder,
give it a few whisks to make sure it's
combined well...

And then add the dishpan full of hot water to the bucket.
I usually have to fill up a couple of pitchers too...
to get it nice and full.

And stir, stir, stir to make sure everything is all combined.
How do you like my fancy stir stick? 
Hubby made it for me.  It's a 1X4 (I think)
and he was nice enough to duct-tape the other end
so I don't get splinters when I am stirring my "cauldron"
as he says. 
We are all about SIMPLE here. 

At this point you could use it right now if you want to.
I usually do not need it immediately, so I cover it and let it sit
in my kitchen until someone big and strong comes home to
move it to my second story laundry room...
sometimes it will sit there until I trip over it one too many times
and I will carry it up myself, cursing all the way up
and apologising to my Lord all the way down...
But that's just my house.
You are surely more organized and less
than I am!

I am not quite organized enough to be able to tell you exactly how long
it takes us to get through a 5-gallon bucket of laundry soap.
I would say it's more than a month...but less than 6?  I should really
keep track.  But I won't.  I just know that
I have been doing this for over a year and I have only
had to purchase more washing soda and Borax

With this last batch, I did use up the Borax, so I will
go get that and washing soda again.
I ran out of Fells Naptha as well, but as I said at the beginning,
I will be using another bar of laundry soap
next time, and if it works I will
have 8 more batches ahead of me before I need
to purchase any more soap.

I really like making my own laundry soap.
I hope you found this at least a little helpful...
if not, well, you can always follow the directions. 
Toodles for now!
Just Amy

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Maximize Your Mornings Challenge Week Two


I know it is only the second day
of the second week, but
I am ready to


First of all, I get up, uh, well...


That's just how I am. 
I need at least 30 minutes
to resemble a human being.
I doesn't matter WHAT TIME
I get up...

Second of all, this is not the first
time I have tried to work through
the maximize your mornings program.
I've tried numerous times on my own
and twice with Kat.

Because I know that for me to be a good mom,
I need to be up before my kids. 
I do not want them to see me
acting like The Beast.

SO, there are two options I am going
to try before I completely give up


One option is that I will just get up
at 6 or 6:30, but not plan to do
anything until the kids go to
Kat promised me that my kids
would learn to respect my
quiet time, but that ain't happening!
I can't even get to the quiet
time without losing it.

I've tried going outside.
I've tried LOCKING MYSELF outside.
I've tried planning my day in bed
so I can pretend to be sleeping
when they come check on me...
It all just makes me ANGRY
because the kids are pounding
on the door or lifting up
my eyelds "Mommy?  Are you awake?"

People laugh and think I'm kidding.


So I thought if I just get out of bed,
make lunches and breakfast,
dress myself and take them to school...
and save the planning and the God and
 the exercise until they're gone,
maybe that would work.


But thats Plan B for now.
This is because not only am I useless
when I arise in the morning...
I also peeter out in the early afternoon!
So if I'm gonna get stuff done,
I need to start as soon as I'm human
and haul tail, or I won't get
anything done.

That means: waiting until the kids
are in school to start my day is
the equivalent to waking up at noon.

Personally, my most productive hours are
from the time after dinner to about
2-3 in the morning.
THEN I'm like the energizer bunny.
But for obvious reasons, that doesn't work
in this life I've chosen.

Plan A will be (for now):
Da da daaaaa:

I'm going to get up at 5 with the hubby.
He's been complaining that he needs
a good breakfast anyway...
I figure, I don't even have to do anything
until 6-ish, so I should be my
regular good-natured self by then, right?
(unless I make him breakfast, but I can do that
half-dead as long as he doesn't talk to me)

I may even have my planning and God
out of the way...and I can
exercise with the kids

I just need that half hour to become
human...and the kids REFUSE
to allow me that.

So there you have it.
5am tomorrow.  No easing into it.

I'm going to do a lot of planning
before bed!

Toodles for now.
Just Amy

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quilt-along Block Two

Here is the information
for our next block,
courtesy of

Block Two, here I come!

Follow along with me.
It's more fun with friends.
Whatever you do,
Be sure to check out

She's WAY more inspiring
than I am.

Just Amy

Quilt-along Week One DONE!

Check ME out!
I finished my first block.

I think I am in love! 
She's so purdy.

The 9-patch in the middle is
accidentally made with the same
print on dark and light fabrics.
I didn't notice that until
I was done.
Then the border is almost
a blown-up version
of the darker squares.


If you're following along,
you will notice my version
is less scrappy than the original.
I'm all for scrapy, but
I liked it this way better.  lol.

Now we have two weeks
to complete block number two.
I'll post that info next.

Toodles for now!
Just Amy

Friday, November 12, 2010

Discoveries of the day

  1. Sandwiching a quilt makes me feel like an old lady.
  2. I really love the color combination of pink and brown.
  3. or mint and brown
  4. or turquoise and brown...I'm quite possibly obsessed.
  5. I am more like my grandmother than I care to admit.
  6. The back of the van (where the kids sit) is disgusting.
  7. I eat entirely too much sugar and sugar-like products.
  8. To get a "mother's ring" like my grandma's, we'll have to save for awhile.
  9. I have way too much stuff.
  10. I am SO tired of the "alpha male contest" in my house.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Maximize Your Mornings, Step One

Inspired To Action Button

Well, I did it!
Drum roll please...

I got up at 6 a.m.!

For the first time since...
uh...high school?

Surely I've gotten up that early
since, but this is the first time
I've done it WILLINGLY...ish.

I plan to get up even earlier,
but the book says I don't have
to just yet.
I already did more than
the book recommended
for week one...so
I don't want to take on too much,
get overwhelmed and give up.

Like I did last time.

The ultimate goal is 5:30.
Then I will spend a half hour
with God,
A half hour exercising, and
a half hour planning my day.
Then the kids will be in my hair
Then my perfect spawn
will arise to make my day

Get the book, get your purpose...
and stop by Kat's awesome and
inspiring website too.

Jelly Roll Quilt Along Block 1

Okay, I have my
material picked out!

The Jelly roll is from Moda's
Civil War Homefront
Barbara Brackman.

I kinda have a "thing"
with Civil War era fabrics.
And furnishings.
And life...

I may have to get
another one for a
disappearing 9-patch quilt...


The background fabric
is going to be
unbleached muslin.
I have what I believe
will be enough, but
if I get stuck, it's
only a couple of bucks
a yard AND easy to
match if I need more.

I have not picked a border
yet, but I have a possible one
in my stash.
Never occurred to me to take a
picture, but it's a red toile
printed on off-white.

Also have not picked a backing,
but will more than likely
go with more muslin.

So there you have it.
And what did YOU choose?

Here is the link for the
materials list.

See you in a week with the finished
block!!  Whoo-hoo!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jelly Roll Quilt-A-Long

I am going to do it.
The actual quilt-a-long is actually over.
It ended in August.
She does have a new one going now,
But I have the materials for THIS one.
So here it is.
I'm going to do the


I can't wait!
I looked ahead at all the different blocks.
I'm a little nervous about one or two,
But like mama always said:
I'm "taking it one step at a time!"

How about you quilt along with me?
We can be the Quilt Along Procrastinators Club!
each week so we can be on the same page
and I'll blog about my progress...
and YOU comment about YOUR progress!
Okay?  Okay!
Just Amy