Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prayer Knitting?

For you knitters out there...have you ever noticed how very relaxing it is? I am sure you have. It is very therapeutic...especially the simple projects that do not require a lot of counting or increasing and decreasing. It is so relaxing that sometimes I will even fall asleep with needles in my hands and I know one thing for sure, it is a lot cheaper than therapy!

I can sit for a few minutes or a few hours and I seem to be nice and calm. When things are a little crazy around the house, which often happens with this many boys, I go and sit for a few minutes and work a few stitches or a couple of rows and before long it seems all is right with the world and we can get back to work on whatever it was we were doing.

I think about lots of different things while knitting, solutions to problems, work out homeschool issues, think and concentrate on things. I am sure we could solve the world's problems if we all just took up knitting!

Another thing I do is pray. While I was knitting the scarves my boys requested, my mind would drift to future scenes of seeing the scarf on them, keeping them warm, even keeping them warm when I am not there to do it...maybe a little hug from mom while they are outside playing. I also found myself praying for them while I was knitting. With each stitch or row, a small utterance of good will, blessings, and thoughts for their protection and success in life went into each scarf.

Have I stumbled onto something? I think I have and it is wonderful! I call it "prayer knitting," so you know what I had to do next. Yep...I had to "Google" it to see what came up.

There are women and probably some men who knit different things all while praying for the future owner. Prayer shawls that will comfort someone during a loss, hats for chemo patients or premature babies, blankets for children who have lost someone close to them...all knitted with prayers and blessings intertwined in each stitch.

I would have never guessed that this new "hobby" would end up bringing spiritual blessings to me but I am glad it has...funny how things work out like that isn't it?

If you knit and would like to find a ministry to work with, check out these sites. There are many patterns available online and with each organization.

Prayer Shawl Ministry - shawls to comfort those who have experienced a loss

Head Huggers - Chemo caps

Head Huggers "No Hair Day" pattern - (I love this one!)

The Preemie Project - booties, bonnets, and blankets for premature babies

Project Linus - Providing security through blankets

Mother Bear Project - Make a bear. Make a difference.

Warm Up America Foundation

Snuggles Project - blankets for animals in shelters

Monday, August 18, 2008

Grandma Franca's Italian Style Green Beans

There is a wonderful little woman in our family named Franca. She is my DHs stepmother although we do not think of her as a "stepmother"...she is simply "mom."

Mom is Italian and when we go to visit (which is not nearly as often as we would like) she makes these wonderful "authentic" Italian foods. One that she makes each time is fresh green beans. There is no real recipe for them so you will need to play with it to get the right amount for your family. I hope you like it as much as we do.

Fresh green beans - enough for your family
1 large can of crushed Roma tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves - minced
Fresh garlic - minced
Extra virgin olive oil

Wash and snap the ends off the beans but otherwise, leave them whole. Put oil (about 2 tablespoons) into a large skillet on medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté lightly being careful not to burn it. Add in the green beans and toss to coat with oil and garlic. Sauté for just a few minutes until there are small parts on the beans until lightly browned. They will appear "stir-fried" but still crisp. Pour crushed tomatoes over the beans and add the basil. Simmer for just a few minutes to allow the flavors to mix but not over cook the beans. You will want them just a little crisp instead of cooked through.

These are wonderful served with a nice pot roast!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wordy Wednesday

I work part time as a field inspector for mortgage and insurance companies and I have to take my laptop with me in my van. I looked for a laptop desk or mount to put in my van but none really fit and they were quite expensive.

My wonderful husband made this one with scraps of plywood and PVC pipe. We use bungie cords to strap it into the seat so the seat acts as a shock absorber for the computer. It's worked well now for about a year even though it looks pretty weird! LOL!