Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hi Friends

Hi Friends-

I just wanted to let you all know that the Robinznest is going to be quiet for a little while. As all good bloggers know, there comes a time when we just need to be still and allow God to speak in our lives. That time for me is now.

I don't have a plan so I don't know when I'm returning. I will know when the time is right. I know that I will be posting a special Birthday post on May 19th for our sweet Tyler who is going to be turning a year old! I want to share with you what we have made for him for his birthday. I have come to know many other mothers and grandmothers of missionaries and we all ask the same question - what can we do to keep a strong connection with our kids? My gift helps with that I think - and I'm looking forward to sharing it.

In the meantime, I will still be reading your blogs and perhaps even leaving comments here and there. You have become my friends in a strange 'not in real life' sort of way and I appreciate the encouragement and good things that you share. God uses you in my life. I can only hope that He has used me in yours.

So until later, keep me in your prayers. Grace and peace to you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dishcloth Knitting

I have completed my set of 7 knitted dishcloths - a fresh, clean dishcloth for every day of the week. I just loved making these because they were so easy. I like to always have two knitting projects going at a time - a challenging one and a "mindless" one. These dishcloths fall into the "mindless" category. They are great to work on while watching tv or traveling in the car.

They are not so great to work on however if you are watching 24. 24 knitting doesn't work for me no matter how "mindless" the knitting is. I always end up with a bunch of knots. In my knitting and in my stomach. Especially when I am arguing with everyone else that Tony has not gone to the dark side. I believe in Tony. It's all a set-up. Tony is good. Trust me. I was the only one who believed he wasn't dead two seasons ago - and see - I was right. And I'm right about this too - I just know it.

But I digress....

Here are my completed dishcloths

I have always loved 'Day of the Week' things ever since I was a little girl and little girl panties were monogrammed with the day of the week. It suits my CDO tendencies I guess. And by the way CDO is OCD - in alphabetical order - as it should be.

Back to the dishcloths - I seem to be having a hard time focusing today. I plan to just leave mine stacked by the sink next to the soap decanter. That way I can grab a fresh one each morning. And because they are monogrammed it will make it easy to know if I am using a clean one each day.

I made mine out of organic cotton purchased from Knit Picks - my favorite online knitting store. They have awesome prices.

And the free pattern was downloaded from Jimmy Bean Wool online knitting store. They have spectacular yarn that I buy when I can't find what I want locally. I'm embarrassed to admit that I have turned into a bit of a yarn snob - but you can't beat knitting with good quality yarn in my opinion.

The monograms are done with a stitch called a Duplicate stitch. I thought they were knitted into the design but they aren't. You knit the whole dishcloth and then add the monogram. Directions for how to do it can be found here. And the edging is a very simple single crochet stitch. Easy peasy.

I'm going to keep knitting them so I have wedding gifts on hand. I think wrapped up with a little soap decanter they would make a charming gift. Knitting dishcloths is a great summertime project because they are small and you don't have heavy, warm blankets or sweaters sitting on your lap as you work.

So tonight I will continue to knit. Thankfully, it's not a 24 night so I will get something accomplished. And remember, Tony is good, Tony is good, Tony is good.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook - April 20

To read more Daybook entries click here.

For Today...

Outside my window... beautiful, beautiful sunshine. It's supposed to hit 80 degrees today! I could sing the Doxology right now!

I am thinking... about my kids in Peru. I am wondering if I have what it takes to be the mother/grandmother of missionaries. I am realizing I don't - but I know the One who can give me what I need. I didn't ask for this, I don't want it, but since it is what I am living with - I want to do it well. The lyrics to Chris Tomlin's song Enough have been running through my mind all weekend. I sing them. Do I really believe them? I wonder sometimes if I am really paying attention to the words I sing in church every week. Do I really mean them? Is it more than lipservice?

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
worth living for
And still more awesome than I know

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You’re my sacrifice
Of greatest price
And still more awesome than I know
You’re the coming King
You are everything
And still more awesome than I know

More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know
More than all I can say
You are more than enough for me

Today I choose to really mean these words. Jesus is more than enough. Do you hear that Michelle (and everyone else who needs to know)? Jesus IS enough - even when we are homesick, even when our wallets and backpacks are stolen, even when we want nothing more than what is familiar and safe-feeling. Even when I ache to hold and snuggle my little grandson but I can't because he is too far away. Even when I "talk" to him on Skype and the realization hits deep that he doesn't know me anymore. Even then, I choose to believe that Jesus is Enough. He is all I need. It's true. And it isn't dependent on how I am feeling at the time. Truth is truth and it is truth whether I feel like it or not. Praise God.

From the learning rooms... see above.

I am thankful for... good books. I just ordered a few from CBD and I can't wait for them to arrive.

From the kitchen... Taco salad has been sounding really good. Maybe tonight?

I am wearing... a skirt and matching sweater. And sandals!

I am reading... I just finished "Where Do I Go?" by Neta Jackson. It is a new spin-off series from the Yada Yada books. I absolutely love the depth that Neta writes with, all the while really relating to my life. This book was not fluff - it has some hard stuff in it. I really found myself immersed in it and since she left me totally hanging at the end I now have to patiently wait until September for the next book to come out.

I am hoping... for a quiet, uneventful week. Please God?

I am creating... knitted dish cloths. I should finish them soon and I can't wait to post about them - they are really pretty, simple, and easy!

I am praying... for many people that I love. My list keeps getting longer and longer. What a sweet responsibility it is to lift people in prayer.

Around the house... De-cluttering 2009 is in full-swing. This weekend I completed the bonus room - where all my book shelves are. I donated four very full bags to the church library and one extremely large bag to the second-hand bookstore. My goodness - I never realized what a packrat I have become. I am now 1/3 of the way done. Next comes the Living Room.

One of my favorite things... is watching my little grand-girl, sweet Ava Claire, during the worship music at church. Six months old and she LOVES worship music! She bounces and flaps her arms and legs all over the place, all the while watching with deep intensity the musicians on the platform. She blesses my heart!

A few plans for the rest of the week... dinners on the patio, knitting, planting a few seeds, finishing up some work projects.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
Isn't he just the sweetest? I miss him so much.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sweet Miss Ava Claire

One of my most favorite things about being a grandmother is watching my children parent. There's just something about watching them love their babies - it just warms my heart.

Last night Andrea and Miss Ava were playing together before her bath and I caught this little video on my camera. Miss Ava loves her mama!

Another favorite grandmother thing is buying or making sweet clothes for the babies. I loved dressing my girls in sweet clothes and I get so much enjoyment doing special things for Tyler and Ava. Last week I was at Kohl's looking for picture frames. I tried to stay away from the baby department, really I did. But somehow I found myself walking towards the racks of baby clothes and I found a rack that stopped me dead in my tracks. It had the sweetest little girl seersucker summer dresses I ever saw.

First there was this:

And then there was this:

And this:

I couldn't decide what was cuter. So in true grandmotherly fashion, I bought them all! Sweet Miss Ava is going to be so cute this summer in her little sundresses.

Now all we need is some warm weather.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

How Much Would You Pay for a Box of Love?

The good news is that my kids finally received their package in Peru.

The bad news is that they had to pay $75 to get it from the Peruvian Post Office.


When Michelle went to the post office to get the package they made her open it in front of them. Then the man went through a book to determine the tax on each item in the box. Honestly - homemade cookies? Taxed?

He finally decided that the cost would be $75 and told her that after looking in the box "there wasn't anything in there worth $75 so she probably didn't want it" as he started to take the box away from her.

Well, my homesick girl didn't care what was in the box. It was from home and by golly he was not going to take it away from her. So she paid the tax.

We are both sick about it. But I'm trying to focus on the fact that they got it. The post man was right - economically speaking there wasn't anything in that box worth the $53 postage or the $75 tax. But emotionally speaking, how do you put a price on a box of love? You can't.

Unless you live in Peru. Peru can figure it out. Apparently a 14 pound box of love costs exactly $128. Who knew?

But at least my sweet boy has a birthday present from his Mia and Poppa to open on his birthday. And he has homemade cookies straight from Mia's kitchen! And some new clothes and even some Easter toys. My girl has a new book (a new Yada Yada story) and some magazines to read as she munches on her Rice Krispie Treats. My son-in-law has some Montreal Steak Seasoning to grill with. And they have lots of salt and pepper as well as Ranch Dressing packets - you know, the things in life that make everything better!

Michelle said the people at the post office were laughing at her as she tried to re-pack the box. I knew it wasn't possible. It took me all afternoon to get all of this:

to look like this:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Thoughts

It is Monday morning after Easter. I am back at work, well I'm at my desk anyway. Today is a student holiday and it is slowww.....

I had been dreading this Easter holiday really. It was the first major holiday with Brad, Michelle and Tyler gone and I knew it was going to be hard. However, God used my sadness and feelings of loss to gain a better understanding of what Easter is. Good Friday was as usual dreary and sad and heavy. I never have like Good Friday. Remembering what Jesus experienced on that day, how He was treated, how He died - sometimes it is all just too much. On Friday I was surfing around on the net and I stumbled across some really ugly, blasphemous and perverted ways that non-Christian's spend Easter. I wished I hadn't of seen any of it. I thought about how humanity is still mistreating my Jesus. It was so ugly and heavy I went to my room and shut the door and just spent time praying and asking God to forgive us because we don't know what we are doing. Between that and missing my kids I have to say it was about the heaviest Good Friday I have ever experienced.

And then came Sunday! What a bright and beautiful and glorious day it was! We had a beautiful church service with incredible music and the message of the Resurrection was preached loud and long! People were excited to be there. He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! What hope - what promise - what joy! It turned out to be a wonderful day.

I feel like I really "got it" this Easter.

And of course it was extra special to have our sweet Miss Ava Claire to enjoy for the day. She came over before Sunday School dressed in her special bunny jammies - complete with a cotton tail.

Then her mommy dressed her in her very first Easter dress - she was so beautiful and sweet.  And she loved her new dress - she kept laughing as she played with it - I think it was so ruffle-y and it made lots of fun crinkle-y sounds.

After church I plopped her in the garden by the daffodils and got some more pictures of her. I love 6 months old!

After church we dressed her in a special "after church Easter ensemble" that I made for her.

I have to say that this little outfit gave me fits. I am a pretty good seamstress - I have sewn since I was 12 years old. I have made all the bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dresses for both of my daughter's weddings. Somehow this little outfit about did me in! There was something seriously wrong with the pattern instructions. I finally gave up and did it my way.

This Easter was a strong reminder to me that life is sometimes hard. Sometimes it's almost too hard. But God is so very good. He is Risen. He is Risen indeed.

Monday, April 6, 2009


For the past several weeks I have been on a mission to de-clutter my house. I knew this would be a huge project and since I don't have the luxury of having a week of time to set aside to complete my goals, I decided to take it in baby steps. I started in my closet. I moved on to my bathroom. When I finished I found it simply delightful to go into my bathroom. It was clean and simple in there. I had gotten rid of so much and put everything in its place. It made me feel good. My bedroom caused me to take even tinier steps. I chose under the bed for the first phase. Then I did my nightstand. I worked my way to the armoire. And then my bookcase. I finally finished my bedroom. I am moving on to the laundry room.

I have been simply amazed at the amount of stuff I have collected. Stuff that serves no purpose. Stuff that doesn't do anything at all to help me. Stuff that, in fact, burdens me and causes me work because it needs to be cleaned and dusted and taken care of. So I'm getting rid of it.

This weekend at church we had what is called a Lay-Witness event. It was our third time of doing this in the past 6 years. When people hear about it they always ask me, "What is lay-witness"? I've never had a good answer because it's really hard to explain. I now realize the best answer is "It's a time to de-clutter your heart."

Basically the premise of lay-witness is so simple. There is no production. There is no practice involved. There is no money involved because it doesn't cost anything at all. All it requires is your willingness to attend. It is simply a time of examining your heart and allowing God to de-clutter your life. And amazing things happen when we allow God to work in our hearts. There were people who found tremendous healing in relationships. Forgiveness was extended and accepted. Marraiges were renewed. New and deeper spiritual commitments were made. The importance of a daily quiet time with God was emphasized and many, many people resoved to do a better job at meeting with God every single day.

God worked in my heart once I finally allowed Him to. I was amazed at the stuff He found in there. Stuff that hasn't helped me at all. Stuff that has burdened me and caused me much stress. I am choosing to get rid of it. And it already feels so much better.

So. Much. Better.