Saturday, March 31, 2012

Just a Minute Giveway

I haven't done a book review on this blog in some time.  Not that I don't still read, I do!  I just wanted to keep all of the book reviews in one place and so I created Sunflowers at Home's Book Reviews 4 U 2 which is ONLY book reviews.  This is one of those books that while not having to do with crafts I still felt like you, my readers, would be interested.  If not, just skip this post and pretend you never saw it.


How long does it take to make a difference in the life of a child?
For good or for ill, individual moments in a young person's life can make all the difference in their future. It may be something said or done by an adult who hardly thinks about it: a hug, a compliment, an intriguing question, a sincere applause. But in that moment, the child discovers who they are, what is important to them, why they matter, and sometimes even what their destiny will be. Most of us want to help encourage and build into this next generation, most of us see the need all around, but we just have no idea where to begin.

Now, with this book, you know where to begin and you know that it only takes Just a Minute. Follow along as Dr. Wess Stafford, president of Compassion International, shares stories and experiences to introduce you to the difference you can actually make anywhere on the spectrum of child development. From helping meet physical needs to breaking down emotional barriers and from discovering latent talents to equipping with spiritual insights, these stories are a catalyst for action.

You don't have to be a teacher, a parent, a pastor, or a doctor to make a difference in the life of a child. You only have to be willing!

My Review:

This is a great collection of real life stories of how a small moment in time can have so much meaning in the life of a child.  The book is broken into seven section.  These include A moment for rescue, a moment to build self-worth, a moment to form character, a moment to discover talent, a moment to awaken the spirit, a moment to stretch the mind, and a moment to realize one's calling.  Most of the stories included in this book illustrate how children are positively influenced in those moments.  However it does acknowledge that those moments can have a negative impact as well.

I found the stories heart touching and even found myself reflecting on those who have touched my life and helped shape me into the women I am today.  And while all of these stories are great, it was the final chapter that held the most meaning for me.  The reminder that while it is great to reflect on those who affected me, I also need to look around for opportunities to affect others as well.  Stafford says in this chapter, "tomorrow's leaders, in whose hands the future rests, will still climb into your lap today, run to your embrace, laugh at your jokes, listen to your wisdom, and comfort you with tiny arms and big hugs.  But not for I'm asking you to join me in doing something great...If there isn't something in your life that is bigger than you, outside of you, not about you, that demands and deserves your time, talent, and treasure, I beg you, don't live like that.  We don't have time to simply coast."

This book serves as a reminder that the next generation, and generations to come are being shaped by the minutes we spend with them today, both the good minutes and the bad.  We have an obligation to make the right impressions on them, impressions that guide them to the good and honorable paths, that guide them to the narrow and less traveled path of truth.  This book is a call to action to take part with ANY child who crosses your path because God has put them in our paths for a reason.

Want a chance to win your own copy?  The publisher has provided me with 2 copies of this book and I am passing them on to you.  Scroll down to enter.

Until next time,

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 29, 2012

1 Timothy 4:12

It's hard being a preteen.  New school, new friends, new decisions, new pressures, new problems.  Princess H has really been struggling lately and I wanted to give her some encouragement. So I made this:

and printed it out on a full sheet of paper.  She sleeps on the bottom bunk of her bunk beds so I taped it to the underside of the top bunk.  That way she will see it every morning as she wakes up. 

I love this verse for two reasons, first it reminds her that she is just as important, just as special, as anyone else.  Preteens and teens tend to get lost in the background.  They aren't children that need constant supervision anymore, but they aren't  adults yet either.  They tend to be overlooked.  This verse will hopefully remind her that God has a purpose for everyone at every age and her purpose is just as important as anyone elses.

Second it reminds her that she can set an example to those around her, her peers, her elders and those younger than her.  Then it goes on to give her specific areas to focus on. 

Feel free to print out your own copy.
Until next time,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lent Hats week 6

My stash of baby appropriate yarn is starting to dwindle, I may have to {gasp} buy some more yarn! 

If you haven't already, head over to my book review blog and enter to win a copy of Frank Peretti's new book, Illusion.  Only 3 days left and right now you stand a really good chance to win since there are currently on 10 entries as I write this post!

Hat 1 is the Very Basic Baby Beanie by Janet Russell.  Super simple and classic style.

Hat 2 is the Stretchy Crocheted Hat (yes, the first pattern repeat) I added some crochet spirals to the top

Hat 3 is the Basket Weave Baby Hat  you can't really see the basket weave texture in the photo but I promise it is there!

Hat 4 is the Crochet Baby Hat by Kathy Shute.  The weather here had started to warm up and I wanted to make a little sunhat.  This is quick to work up and cute on Princess A's dolls so I hope it will be cute on a baby too

Hat 5 is from the Little Baby Filet Crochet  set by Kathy North.  There is a cute blanket to match at the link as well

Hat 6 is the Tea Time Baby Beanie.  I struggled with this one the entire day until I realized I was reading the pattern incorrectly!  After that it went really fast!

So there you have it, and I now have a total of 28 Lent hats.  I just sent off a package to God's Tiny Angels that included the hats I have made so far and a few sweaters, booties and dresses.  Please consider making an item and donating it if you chose to use any of the patterns I have shared.

Until next time,

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lent Hats week 4

Before we get to this weeks projects, be sure to check out the book giveaway that ends March 29th over on my Book Review blog, you don't want to miss it!

This week I wasn't sure I was going to get all of my hats done.  I had an order from my Etsy shop to fill and several Spring wreaths to create.  Due to a counting error though I ended up one hat ahead!  So here are this weeks hats:

Hat 1 is the Sweet and Textured Newborn Beanie.  A cute and airy hat that worked up really quick.  If I make one again I would play with the beginning of the pattern to avoid the medallion at the crown and try to continue the pattern instead.

Hat 2 is the Laid Back Little Man hat.  I really like that it is a simple pattern and even a beginner could create it and yet it looks very elegant with the subtle line pattern. 

Hat 3 is the Shell Stitch Beanie.  I left the flower off of this one.  Not because I didn't like it but because I simply didn't want to sort through my stash to find a color that I liked.  (At this point I really thought I wouldn't have time to finish everything!)

Hat 4 is the Looks Like Knit Crocheted Shaped Baby Hat (try saying that 3 times fast!).  I worked 2 extra "wedges" as the pattern calls them.  I also added a ch 15 to the end of every row 2 to create the pompom look at the top when it is gathered.  I am not a big fan of making real pom poms so this is a great alternative for me. 

Hat 5 is the Ribbed Crochet Preemie Hat.  I really love the way that the Bernat Sweet Stripes yarn looks with this pattern.  I bought the yarn when it was being discontinued and after a few projects I realized why it was being discontinued.  It's a boucle which makes it hard to work with but no different than any other boucle.  The problem is that the yarn was advertised as being self striping, and it is.  Problem is that it tends to stripe in the middle of a row and ends up looking odd in most projects.  This pattern helps conceal those oddities.

Hat 6 is the Stretchy Crochet Hat.  This was WAY to big for a newborn.  It actually ended up being big enough that my 3 year old could probably pull it onto her head!  In the picture above the brim is folded twice.  The good news is that it really is stretchy so it can be a hat that the baby has for several seasons (especially with the LONG length!).

And here is the extra hat I made this week:

It's called the LeLe Baby hat.  It is supposed to be worked with a super bulky weight yarn but I didn't have any so I used Simply Soft and a mystery blue acrylic yarn and held them together throughout.  This ended up being a bit big, but I really like the pattern!

And just in case you were curious, here is what I made for the Etsy order this week:

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Illusion giveaway!

head on over to my book review blog for a chance to win Frank Peretti's newest book, Illusion!  Hurry, the giveaway ends March 29th at midnight!

Until next time,

Saturday, March 10, 2012

lent week 3 projects

First, I want to say thank you to all of the pattern designers that have so freely shared their patterns for free on the web and on Ravelry.  It sure keeps me from getting bored doing projects like this.  I have made 16 hats as of today and each is different and all are free!  Be sure to thank them if you decide to make any of the patterns I am linking to so that they will know they are appreciated and will hopefully continue to share! 

Also, please consider using your gift of crochet or knit to help someone else.  I am donating all of these hats to God's Tiny Angels, a local group run by a great woman.  She organizes everything and often pays postage to mail donated items to hospitals around the country out of her own pocket.  You can find out more about the group at their website here or at their Facebook page here.  There are so many great organizations out there, just please chose one and send an item.

Also, I don't know how many of you are readers (of books and not just blogs) but if you are looking for a good book please check out my review blog, Sunflowers at Home's Book Reviews 4 U 2.  There will be a book giveaway later this month open to US residents. 

Hat 1 is the Ring of Cables Hat.  This was really finicky to work and it took what felt like forever to finish the band but it wasn't boring and went quick once I got past the band. 

Hat 2 is Olivia's Butterfly.  I really liked this one and it was super quick to work up.  The pattern is written for a larger size.  I modified it by using a G hook and for round 5 I worked 2 dc in next, dc in each of the next 11, repeat from around the hat. Omitted rnd 8 entirely and worked the rest of the pattern as written. What a cute little hat!

Hat 3 is the Puff Stich Baby Hat.  I ended up having to add extra rows of sc to get the right height.  If I make this one again I would add even more rows as I like this hat better when it is folded.  The puff stitch then ends up looking like a scallop on the edge of the hat. 

Hat 4 is the Sweet Dreams Baby Hat, but it is modified to include a pattern in the hat.  The shaping is all the same though.  What I did was to add a few purl stitchs to create some interest.  I also used SS yarn and size 5 needles, only casting on 64 to make up for the difference in yarn.  This may be the hat I make for my first grandbaby due in October.

Hat 5 is the Baby Beanie with Flower by Lisa Auch.  This is a great spring/summer hat and I LOVE the large flower on the hat!

Hat 6 is a combination of the Basic Baby Hat pattern and the Baby Bunny Hat.  I really liked the ears of the bunny hat but preferred the shaping of the basic baby hat so I combined them.

So that is what I have been up to this week.  15 hats done and 25 to go.

Until next time,

Saturday, March 3, 2012

week 2 projects

So those of you still sticking around, thanks!  It has been a lot harder than I thought to limit computer time.  I often find myself thinking, "I'll just go look that up" only to remember that the time I had set aside for the day had already been used.  It forces me to be a lot more conscientious of what I need to do on the computer versus what I want to do. 

On the plus side, my hook and needles are getting well worn and I am loving some of the new patterns I am trying.  Not all of them have been great though and I ran across one this week that I really didn't like the final product (more due to my skills than the pattern I am sure) and another where the directions were really a mess and I had to wing the last bit of it.  So here are my projects this week.  I had hoped to include today's hat in here but it is taking a bit more time than I anticipated so I may have to finish it up Sunday. 

hat 1 is the Rib Look Baby hat  I really liked this one and it works up super quick!

hat 2 is the one I am not so happy with.  It is the Garter Stitch baby hat.  working it on 4 dpn I ended up with ladders between the needles and I think this would have been better with something other than Simply Soft yarn.

hat 3 is the Crochet WW hat from Save the Children. Quick to work up also.

hat 4 is my favorite this week.  It is the Divine Hat and is available in preemie through adult sizes.

hat 5 is the one with the messed up border directions and it is called the Crochet Baby Hat by Bernat designs. 

What are you working on this week?

Until next time,
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