Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

It's my Birthday...and a BIG SALE!

Good morning to you! Today I turn 39 years old, and honestly, I feel like a 25-year-old. I cannot fathom how close to 40 I am because I just don't feel it. Anyhoo, in keeping with the celebrations, I thought I'd host a ONE-DAY ONLY sale for my Rose & Ruffle facebook fans today. Every single item in my shop is 25% off! 
Get a head-start on Christmas shopping with some adorable Christmas and Winter Wonderland Pajama Pants & Nightgowns! 
There are also some Fleece & Flannel Reversible Neck-Warmer Scarves for ladies and children, as well as Dresses, Bonnets and Baby Ensemble Sets.

I will gladly take custom orders,and I love to make sibling sets!
Imagine those early morning Christmas photos with adorable custom-made, matching pajamas & nightgowns!

Find Rose & Ruffle Co on facebook HERE 
**there is a 25% off coupon code for fans listed on the page!!!**

{ You can visit my shop is HERE }

As always, THANK YOU so very much for your support! I'm just a regular Mom who loves her family, has been touched by adoption, and who loves to be creative, so thank you to all who have helped us to raise the funds for this next adoption!

This is my Isabelle Kate on her first birthday - I couldn't be there with her on that special day, but because of the miracle of adoption we have a whole lifetime ahead of us! ADOPTION MATTERS!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Cinderella

Off to the ball, kind of. A party at her little friend's house.  ;)
I probably have a million and a half pictures, and I love them all. Every single one of them! So I'm sharing lots.

Over the past several weeks, Isabelle Kate has wanted to be a cowgirl, a cat, a leopard, a horse-ridin' girl (but not a cowgirl, because I asked), back to a cat, a ballerina, but oddly enough she didn't beg to be a princess like she usually does. I started to panic a bit, since I'd been planning on making her Cinderella's dress for months now. She loves Cinderella, and I was hoping she would love the surprise...she did!

Last minute, I decided to go with buttons instead of a zipper for the gown. I think they look sweet, but they are kind of a pain, ha! At first they were too "loopy," so I had to tighten them with a few stitches in place. That did the trick, though now they're not nearly as easy to manage, especially when my fingers are cold and uncooperative.  =)  I also added a hook and eye below the buttons since we had a slight wardrobe malfunction of sorts and needed to keep the fabric pulled together. It worked beautifully!

I goofed and forgot the choker, so some of the pictures have it and some don't. Darn it! She wasn't too thrilled about heading out to the cold for another photo session, but I think we did okay.  :)

Isabelle twirled and twirled and giggled and squealed with delight (the first time around anyway, ha), and I think I felt like the happiest Mommy in the whole world!

I was also relieved because this was the one dress I didn't have her try on before I put it all together, and it fits like a dream. Phew!

Here is Isabelle's Trick-or-Treat goodie bag. Such sweet memories looking at it. I made one for each of the boys when they were little, and then after so long, I finally had my sweet girl to make one for. It really is the simple things that bring so much joy.  =)

I have to write this down so I don't ever, ever forget. Tonight we cuddled in her bed for a little while, and then it was time to say prayers. Here's what she said:

Dear Heavenly Fah-der, 'cuz that's what my Sunday School teacher says, thank you for giving me my Mommy to make me pretty Cinderella dresses, so that I can look extra pretty...and for my friends, even the ones I don't really like...and for all the candy at the pow-ty (party), even though I didn't bring any home because I already ate it all...and for my glowy-dark light thingy...aaaand my dress {insert long yawn here}...and that Mommy didn't get super mad because someone ripped my new dress. Amen.


sharing with:
 sew many ways
link party palooza
funky polkadot giraffe 
sugar bee crafts

Friday, October 25, 2013

Best Homemade Rolls Recipe & a House Anniversary

Today is by far the coldest day we've had yet this fall, one of those perfect Beef Stew kinds of days. With rolls!  Delicious, homemade, melt-in-your-mouth rolls. And I've finally gotten around to sharing the recipe!

Best EASY Homemade Yeast Rolls

1 1/4 cup very warm but not hot water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbsp dry, active yeast (or 2 packets)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp sugar (more or less)

In large bowl, gently mix the ingredients and let sit about 15 minutes to proof.

Next, add the following & stir together with a sturdy wooden spoon:
(You can use the dough hook on your mixer but it only takes a few moments and a little muscle to stir the dough by hand.)

1 egg
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour (you can use bread flour too)
1 cup whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
dash salt

Sprinkle additional flour onto your kneading surface and turn out dough; knead until smooth and elastic- sometimes this takes several minutes, but little helpers don't seem to mind. =)

I use a small plastic square and slice off pieces to shape into the rolls- keep the ball of dough flat in your hand and gently turn under the sides, pinching them in place on the underside. Place each roll in a lightly greased 13 x 9 baking dish/pan. Have a smaller (8 x 8 or 9 x 9) dish ready to go as well because sometimes you'll have enough dough to make extra rolls. This is a wonderful problem to have!  ;)

Let rolls rest & finish rising in pan for about 10 minutes while oven preheats to 400 degrees. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Easy and delicious! These rolls pair fabulously with my Hearty Slow-Cooker Beef Stew.

This recipe was slightly adapted from this one.

Tomorrow marks our one-year anniversary of owning this house! I remember so clearly that I lugged over the Crock-pot, the veggies and meat already prepped, a tube of chocolate chip refrigerated cookie dough & a baking sheet, and all the utensils we would need in order to eat our very first meal in our new home the day we closed. It would be another three weeks before Move In day, but it was a special night for us.

Lots of times I get so annoyed with myself for not having this or that finished, but we've worked really hard throughout the year to make this place feel like home. And it finally does! Here are some pictures of the changes we've made:

 more info about the kitchen here

 we recently painted the island a contrasting color &
finished off the {disgusting} toe kick under the cabinets- that's a post for later

 more on this small powder room here

 our home office space (adjacent to my sewing studio) - neither blogged about yet

 redoing the foundation garden - left side

foundation garden (with a new rock wall) - right side
I just spent 10 minutes looking for a post for either of these gardens...and nothing!
I'll put one together when it's grey and freezing and I'm dreaming of getting my hands in the dirt

I haven't shared any of our kids' bedrooms because, well, I'm busy and haven't bothered had the time. I'm still deciding what to do in the bathroom upstairs, but I painted the walls (and heater!) and am so smitten with the color! Just gorgeous! We were about to buy a vanity, sink and all the powder room hoopla when the garage door went and broke. As in, broke. Can't open or close, and thankfully the glass windows didn't shatter into a million zillion pieces. Anyhoo, that gets replaced Monday, so the ugly bathroom stuff stays put for now.

Have a good weekend!

linking up here 
The Idea Room

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to Get a Bird Out of a Garage (Without Ladders, Nets or Trauma)

It's no secret that I adore animals of all kinds, and that love certainly includes songbirds. This weekend, two sparrows got trapped in our garage, and if you've ever witnessed this, it's just horrible. They become so dazed and disoriented - and upset- that they simply cannot manage to get themselves back out the door or window to freedom. It happened once at our old house, and it was an all-day effort involving ladders, nets, and lots of trauma (the bird's too, ha!), but everything we read online recommended the same thing: try to capture the bird one way or another in order to release it back outside.

There's a much better way! 

The first thing to try is opening up all the doors which lead to the outside. It probably won't work, but if the bird hasn't gotten confused and upset yet, it just might. We actually thought this had worked for us, but lo and behold, the next morning when I walked out into the garage, there she was, flitting from one rafter to the next. She would swoop down in fits, soooo close to the open door, but then she'd dart right back up to the rafters, more traumatized than ever.

Birds, like this sweet chickadee, are much better suited for the backyard than for the inside of a garage.

Time for Plan B: Fill a large bowl with water to simulate a bird bath, and place it directly in front of an open door. I put some peanut butter and nuts in a smaller bowl beside the water (because I don't have birdseed yet) to further entice it to the open door. I've read that birds are attracted to the sound of moving water so I spent a few minutes gently splashing the water around inside the bowl- I flicked some onto the garage floor as well, thinking perhaps that it might get her attention faster. Then I went back inside to let her try to figure it out.

I peeked a few minutes later, and she was perched on the side of the bowl, but the darn door squeaked and startled her, so up to the rafter she went. Ten minutes after that, we checked again, and there was no sign of her in the garage. She must have realized that the great outdoors was right there, and thankfully, she flew outside. This was a much better solution than trying to capture the bird to set it free!

As I was about to empty the bowl, this beautiful image caught my attention: nature's mirror

This bird house - built by one of my sons and his grandfather - is a much better, safer place!

linking up here

The Idea Room

Friday, October 18, 2013


Right now, as I type this, the colored leaves are scurrying about the yard, being blown back and forth like bright autumn snowflakes. This is it. Once these slip from the branches, everything will be bare. I adore Fall, but this part just seems kind of sad. I don't feel ready for it yet, like another season of life just whipping past at its merciless pace. And I'm trying desperately to just hold on.

Ethan continues to recover, though the concussion isn't as minor as we had so naively thought. I don't like that he isn't well, but I do enjoy having him all to myself every day. He may be able to go back to school for 1-2 classes beginning Monday, and we'll see that goes. Soccer is done. For a long while. That has been hard. We tried to take a walk yesterday but didn't make it very far. Thank you so, so much to each and every one of you who prayed for our family!

Last night was Caleb's school's Annual Harvest Fest. There was some slight darting back and forth between Jonah's soccer scrimmage and Isabelle's gymnastics, but we made it. Ethan ate dinner with Bill's parents, Jonah left his game with Mimi for a sleep-over last night, so it was just the youngest two with us for a change. Harvest Fest is fun and all, but...A. I dislike crowds (like, seriously dislike crowds); B. After the 6th year, you sort of get that "been there, done that" feeling; C. Hmm, nothing. For some odd reason, A and B seem like enough.

And mostly I ache for this baby in my heart that we have yet to find. I never thought it would take this long, and some days I can keep busy and not dwell on it. But other days, like today, the ache gets a little bigger and my arms feel especially empty. If you're visiting from Kelly's Korner, Hello!, and you can read THIS if you want to catch up to speed a little bit. While adoption is miraculous and beautiful and life-changing, it can be so, so hard. I wrote a post HERE about that.

However...while we wait, I sew sew sew. (My Etsy shop is our primary fund-raising effort to pay for this second adoption.) I have been super busy and have added some Christmas pajamas to the collection! I love them! I hope you do, too. I will make a link to my facebook page and my Etsy shop below- I would love it if you became a fan of either, or both! I'll be posting about a sale soon on the facebook page....  ;)

Have a great weekend!

Rose & Ruffle on Etsy

Here is a sampling of some winter & Christmas items for sale.
I love sibling sets, so email me or contact me through the shop or facebook and we'll talk details.  =) 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Accidents. And God's Grace.

I'm so antsy and anxious right now. I can't sit still, think clearly. I tried to zone out in front of the TV but to no avail. Today I faced the prospect of a forever-changed life. I heard the words concussion, severe lacerations, cat scans, stitches, test results, and fractured vertebrae.

Fractured vertebrae.

And then time stopped for a few moments as the words sunk in. My heart lurched in my throat and sank and throbbed and ached all at once as I resisted the panic rising within. As I wondered if they were telling me that my son might be paralyzed.

It's Ethan.

It has been a long, anxious day, but we now know that he will be fine. He has to stay overnight in the hospital - Bill is there with him now - but his neck is not broken and his concussion is minor. He will recover fully, and I am so grateful. This day could have had a very different ending.

I kept rehearsing my "mother speech" to Jonah and Caleb all afternoon. The one that assures them all will be well. The thing that kept coming to mind was a quote from the movie Facing the Giants. "We will praise God if we win, we will praise God if we lose." Different details but the same sentiment. God is good, in every way, all of the time. I am so humbled and grateful for His mercy today. I'll probably share more later, but I just had to get this part written down today.

Ethan is in more pain than he has even experienced before so he could use your prayers. Thank you so much.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

One Week.

Lots of pictures in this post! I'll try to keep the rambling to a minimum.  ;)
I must say THANK YOU, though, to those of you who have either emailed, left sweet comments, or prayed for us when I shared my struggles the other day.

Time is so fleeting, and downright unforgiving. I don't want life to slip by unnoticed- I want to savor it all.

We met Daddy at the beach because Ethan's away game was so close by it was impossible to resist one last frolic in the waves.

We were so excited to see two horses trotting along the shore! Isabelle was crazy-happy-giddy, but I didn't have my camera with me at that point.  =(

Such a beautiful afternoon.

Jonah is getting so tall all of a sudden! Definitely not my little Jonah Boy anymore.

We ate dinner in the stands at the game. And Cheesecake-Topped Brownies. I'll have to share the recipe- they were diviiiiine!

Crushed 'em. Both teams played hard and played well, but our guys were on fire.

Goofin' around.

More goofin'.

Lazy, happy boy.

This lonely little berry missed the memo that summer is over. Isabelle popped it in her mouth afterwards and squealed about how "juicy and yummy and sweet" it was.

Midday view of our backyard.

Red, green, orange and yellow all on one tree!

These rolls and this hearty crock-pot Beef Stew. THE perfect autumn meal.

I'm not sure why, but I just love this photo from our front yard.

Saturday morning soccer games, lazy lunches, and more dinners with friends. We brought dessert:  these and these. =)

Weekend walk along the river. Someone can totally shimmy up a cute!!!

Translucent overhang.

Rushing river.

It is unbelievable how excited we get and how LOUDLY we cheer when Ryder takes a dip. He was so fearful of the water before, and he's really starting to like it now- watching him swim and look all happy about it makes my heart smile so big. Seriously, The.Cutest.Thing.Ever.

Brothers. Sword fights. Adventures. Imaginations. Love it all.


I found the best surprise while looking up a pie crust recipe (me, a PIE?????) - a tucked-away note from a dear friend for my bridal shower.

Told you.
It worked! I made a pie, I made a pie!!! And it was really good, too.

These colors take my breath away. It had just begun to rain, which then made thousands of leaves drop to the ground, and I felt my heart sink just a little bit. I'm not ready for this yet. It's just all moving along so quickly. I may have even pleaded with the leaves to hold on. Maybe. Well, they didn't listen.

Do you see all the leaves swirling around? The wind picked up substantially and it looked like it was snowing neat!

Later on, the sky turned dark grey and thunder rumbled in the distance, and that wind was cuh-razy! And then it was over, the sun peeked out for a little while before setting, and it's been gorgeous ever since. Oh New England.

One last random tidbit.
So I think I am officially The last person on the planet to "get" the whole hashtag thing, and it's like a brand new world has opened up before my very eyes. So much fun on Instagram! I'm bethanyliv if you want to look me up, and let me know if you follow so I can follow you back - I adore glimpses into people's everyday lives on IG. Is that the nice way of admitting that I'm extremely nosy?

The hour is getting late and I'm an early riser, so...Goodnight!
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