Drawstring Baby Gowns On Etsy!

I just listed these in our etsy store and wanted to let all of you know about them as well. As you may have seen on Creative Custom Clothing, most of my sewing is custom orders but this listing gives you the option of choosing what size gown you would like, made from fabric that I already have.

These cute little gowns are a perfect outfit for newborn babies. The V-neckline allows the gown to be easily put on and taken off the baby, and a onesie can be worn underneath. I also offer a closed-neck style with a snap at the top, which eliminates the need for an undershirt or onesie. The drawstring at the bottom not only enables easy access for changing diapers, but by pulling the strings in tight, you keep your baby’s feet warm and toasty.

Here is what the gown looks like:

il_570xN.531064117_pi87

These are the three fabrics that I have available right now …

If you’re interested in having a gown made from one of these fabrics, you can find more details by clicking here.

Will You Color With Me?

Will You Color With Me?

“Hannah, will you color with me?” my nine-year-old sister Lydia posed the question and I hesitated to reply.  Part of me wanted to agree, knowing that I had not spent much one-on-one time with her recently but the other part of me was pondering a mental to-do list.

After coming back from Israel at the end of July, I had resolved to try to delegate some of my responsibilities to willing volunteers and have more free time to focus on my family and projects that I simply wanted to accomplish, not had to accomplish.  But I had to get prepared and organized to be able to do that!  There were emails to respond to, a few blog posts to complete, some pages on the dog website that needed updating, pictures from Israel that needed to be organized and uploaded, not to mention all the design/layout working with Shining Stars Magazine and the Hebrew language lessons to prepare.  It was nearly suppertime and I had been busy all day long … if I was going to stop “working” for a little bit, the most relaxing thing I would want to do was to read a book.

All of this rushed through my mind in a few seconds but as much as I felt the need to accomplish these tasks, I knew that the better decision would be to stop and spend time with my baby sister.  So without allowing myself to analyze any further, I sat down at her coloring book and was handed a green pencil.

Green – my favorite color.

I began shading in the tree and talking with Lydia, or rather … listening to her talk.  She showed me the picture that she and Abigail had colored and apologized that our picture didn’t have quite as many nice things as that one.  Then she talked about the one that she and Sharon had colored and showed me where Sharon had signed her name in Hebrew.  As she prattled on, I made an effort to be an interested listener but I couldn’t quite get the to-do list out of my mind.  Then she said it:

“Thank you for coloring with me. I like spending time with you!”

Will You Color With Me?Have you heard the phrase “like a brick between the eyes”?  That is what it felt like.  I like spending time with her too … why is it such a challenge to find the time for it?

This is my baby sister – the one who treated me like a second mother.  The one who was a toddler as we moved five times within approximately a year, including to Israel and back to the States.  I will forever remember how she would relax when she felt overwhelmed by all the activity or unfamiliar faces.  She would place her lambskin on my shoulder, stick her chubby index finger into her mouth and rest her head on me!

As my coloring pencil moved across the page, I pondered how I could let so many other things prevent me from spending time with my little sister and make her feel that she was not as important as “everything I have to get done”.  How many times had she, or one of the other children, asked me to color, or to play a game, or to go for a walk, or ride bikes, and my response had been, “I’m really sorry but I need to work on … fill-in-the-blank.  Maybe later …”

One of these days, YHWH willing, I am going to leave this home to go into my husband’s home and have my own family.  I know beyond any shadow of doubt that I am going to regret not investing more time into my siblings.  I can begin to remedy that by changing habits now but I know that I will be sorry that I neglected to spend more time with them.

Will You Color With Me?

Dear sisters, let me encourage you to spend time with your siblings.  They look up to you – or at least, they want to.  If your actions have caused a breakdown in the relationship to the point that they do not respect you, this is the time to rebuild and restore what was lost.  Little people look up to big people and they want to be noticed by them.  It makes them feel special.  Whatever their outward actions may look like, I assure you that deep down inside, they want to be your friend … they want to spend time with you … they want you to like them.  You have the ability to influence their lives for better or for worse – please don’t waste this precious time that has been given to you.

I feel like I am forever saying “maybe later …” to my siblings.  My hope and prayer is to change that and when they ask me to spend time with them, to stop saying “maybe later …” and start saying “right now!”  I encourage you to do the same.

“Hey Lydia, do you want to color?” 🙂

The Higher Calling: From Career Woman To Homemaker

The Higher Calling: From Career Woman To Homemaker

It was a bright spring day – one of the first warm days after a long cold winter.  The air was fresh and clean.  Gentle breezes would bring the sweet smell of new blossoms that had unfolded everywhere.  Everyone wanted to be outside to soak in the beautiful day.

In my mind, I can clearly see my little sixteen-month-old daughter reaching up to hold the arthritis-deformed finger of “Granny B”, our ninety-year-old neighbor.  We were at the park and I watched as my baby tottered with the uncertainty of her new walking skill, and Granny B tottered with the uncertainty of her old legs.  They moved at about the same speed and each time they bent over to pick up a dandelion or clover blossom, I wondered if I was going to need to bend over to pick one of them up off the ground.  It was a precious sight to see and as I sat back on the park bench enjoying the scene before me, I looked around to see if anyone else was enjoying the scene with me.

The park was full of business people.  It was lunchtime.  At the different picnic tables were groups of men, groups of women and mixed groups of men and women.  There were a few tables with couples that, by their mannerisms, did not look like husbands and wives.  Everyone was so serious as they discussed their “important matters” among themselves.  Although the park was full of people, no one seemed to see the precious scene of the tottering Granny and baby.

It was an eye-opening experience for me to realize that only two springs earlier, I was one of those business people, so caught up in “important matters”.  How quickly I went from “career woman” to wife, mother and home-keeper.  Unfortunately, my mental changes were not as quick as my physical changes.  I brought quite a few thought processes into the marriage that did not contribute to the shalom of our home.

During our engagement period, my soon-to-be husband and I discussed many different topics to determine what would be the convictions of our home.  There were three things in particular about which we both felt strongly:

  • We would not practice any child rejection methods (birth control).
  • We would not have a television in our home.
  • I would stay at home.

The reason we thought I should stay at home was so that I could be a helpmate to my husband, fully submitted to him and his plans for our family, not partially submitted to him and partially submitted to a career that might demand me to spend time differently than my husband would think best.  We were also hoping YHWH would bless us with many children that we could nurture in our home.  He graciously answered our prayers by letting us come home from our honeymoon with a precious life growing within me.

My husband Tom often says there is a big difference in beliefs and convictions.  Unfortunately, I had more of a belief than a conviction about giving up my career when we actually became married.  Several things stood in the way to keep me from staying home.  The biggest obstacle was debt.  We had a large one at the beginning of our marriage and I was not trusting in YHWH and Tom to take care of it without my financial contribution.

The next obstacle was that I liked what I was doing.  The work was enjoyable and I was appreciated.  The company was also in the process of moving to a larger building.  An office designer sat down with me to decide the needs of the new office I was to be moving into.  What type of furniture did I need?  How high did I need a table so I could review reports comfortably?  What colors did I want to use?  I felt obligated to stay.  After all, the company was designing an office just for me.

Another obstacle was fear.  For eleven years I worked for wages.  I knew how to wake up and walk out the door.  My training started at the age of five as I went off to kindergarten, and was reinforced in my years in public school.  I did not know how, or even why, to stay at home.  I falsely believed that I had more value outside of my home than inside of it.

The Higher Calling: From Career Woman To Homemaker

What made me overcome these obstacles?  My growing tummy.  With morning sickness and all the comments from co-workers that made me even sicker, like, “You have got to line up your daycare NOW!” (I was three months pregnant) and “It’s very hard to find space for newborns!” … it was easy to finally give my notice and stay at home.

Although I know beyond a shadow of doubt what I am doing is correct, our society condemns me with the attitude that I am living like a lazy woman of low intelligence, who sits in front of a TV all day, while her wild unkempt children destroy the house.  You’ve probably heard some of these comments, or maybe have been guilty, like myself, of saying them:

“I’d go crazy if I had to stay home all day!”

“I would be bored stiff, I need something worthwhile to do!”

“I can’t stay at home and waste my God-given talent!”

Comments like these make home seem like a horrible place to be.  Another comment often heard is, “Is that all you do?”  That response used to make me cringe.  I found myself trying to think up something more important that would meet the questioner’s approval.  I would start listing things: “Well … I homeschool, garden, sew, bake bread, blah, blah, blah …”.

From time to time, I need to renew my mind from Titus 2:4-5, as the constant assault against my Biblical position tries to take me off the path I have chosen.  I no longer feel guilty, or feel that I must justify what YHWH has called me to do.

I never realized how selfish I was until I stayed home, especially after the children came.  I was still in the thinking mode of the world.  I wanted my daily chores completed in a certain time period and then be off, just like when I worked for wages.  I became quite irritable when something came up that needed to be taken care of during the time period that I considered myself “off”.  What freedom I felt when I realized that by trying to have “my time off”, I was not following Yeshua’s example of being a servant.  A servant may have periods of rest but he is always expected to be available when needed.

In the past, I have done projects/ministry in which I was pressured to participate because other people determined I was available.  After all, “all I did was stay at home”.  Because of trying to meet someone else’s value system of how to spend my time, I did many things that seemed important or acceptable.  What I finally realized was: these “important matters” stole from my time with my family.

How many sweet moments kissing my baby’s cheeks were lost, as I rushed through nursing so I could get to this or that project?  How many conversations have I cut short with my children, that gave them insights into this world and YHWH’s plan for them, because I had wasted too much time talking on the phone and now dinner was late?  How many smiles did I not give, and not receive, because I did not notice the little people around me, as I thought on “important matters”?

I have come to realize the most important matter for my day, is to walk in the Father’s loving law so that I may teach it to my children when we sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down and when we rise up.  If that is all we accomplish in a day … Halleluyah!

When I was a little girl, all the newscasters on the TV and radio were men.  Nowadays, it seems a lot of newscasters are women who try to talk with a manly voice and have masculine mannerisms.  And so it goes with many occupations.  When I worked for wages, the need to prove I could do the same job as a man consumed my thoughts.  Bringing those thoughts into my marriage was not beneficial.  It made me compete with Tom, instead of following the Father’s design of submission.  It also made me try to control Tom.  After all, if I could do what he could do, he ought to do the cooking and cleaning too.  It would be only fair, right?  I have had to die to the lie that I need to prove something.  I have seen the blessings of being in submission to my husband.

When I worked for wages, I could be kept motivated to do a good job by a variety of incentives; good feelings from completing a project, monetary gain in the form of raises and bonuses, material goods, etc.  In our home, before we kept Shabbat (Sabbath) and the feasts, I had a difficult time keeping my momentum up to do the tasks before me.  Before I could complete the laundry, another basket filled with dirty clothes.  As soon as the stove was sparkling clean, a pot boiled over.  I would clean the windows, and little three-inch handprints would appear instantaneously.  I would get frustrated and feel like I never accomplished anything.

Then Tom said he wanted to keep the Sabbath, and he did not want me to do housework from sundown Friday to the next sundown.  I was not a happy camper!  I couldn’t get all my work done in seven days, and now he expected me to do it in six?!?!  I did a good bit of grumbling and complaining, and tried to show Tom how impossible it was to do what he asked.  What was the big deal about the Sabbath anyway?  I thought there were so many more important things in the Bible to be concerned about.  Then Father YHWH rebuked me.  Just because I thought the Sabbath was not important, does not mean that it isn’t.

He showed me that six days I was to labor and do all my work, and I needed to seek His help and direction of how to make it work.  I did … He did … and finally it did work.  The Sabbath and the feasts and the joy they bring, have become my motivational factor of how to order my time and tasks for the week.  Our lives revolve around them.  Keeping the Father’s commandments has taken stress away from our home.  It has replaced the stress with joy and the Father’s shalom.  Now, I can honestly say: “I love Shabbat and the Feasts!!”

Welcome!

Shalom Aleichem – Peace be unto you.

These are the words with which our Savior often greeted his followers, 2000 years ago, when he walked on the center of this earth ….. Israel.  As is often the case, English cannot do justice to the Hebrew meaning of many words.  Shalom means so much more than peace, but that is the English rendition we will begin with.  I encourage you to do a word study on the meaning of Shalom and let it affect your life.

My name is Annie and I am the bride of Tom and mother of five daughters and two sons.  Twenty-three years ago, my husband and I began our life of wedded bliss together.

Welcome

At that time, we asked the Heavenly Father to use our marriage for His glory.  It has been an awesome adventure.  Our life has looked much different than the “normal” all American upbringing that we both were raised with.  Hannah, my oldest daughter, seems to think that there are those of you out in blogger land that would be interested in the adventure we have been living, and we are welcoming you to share in our lives.  We invite you to follow along as we share what is on our hearts – covering everything from healthy recipes and homemaking, entrepreneurial endeavors and thoughts on Godly womanhood, modesty and miraculous events that our family has experienced … and who knows what else!

radicalfem

Why Radical Femininity?  Because that is what my daughters and I have been living, that is what we know.  Please join us in celebrating beautiful womanhood in the midst of a culture where women are pursuing masculinity.

familypic1-sukkot copy