Sunday, June 1, 2008


It all starts today!!! What are we celebrating??? We are celebrating
"Pieces From Me"!!
On June 9th this blog will be 1 year old!! So let's have a party! What goes on at a party??? Food??....I can not help you there. Music? Turn your speakers up and we can party to "Kool and the Gang"! Games, yes we will play games!! Presents?? Of course there are presents.
First I want to share how special this blog has been to me. I started this blog for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it is a journal for my future generations. Charlotte and Zach will have documentation of their childhood to share with their children and grandchildren. TJ can show his own children how their Great Grandma spent her days. How she shared books on the swing with him when he was only 2, and how much she adored him!! Second, I started this blog to join in on all the inspiring quilting blogs out there. I have been inspired by you all everyday since. Something I did not plan on, were the wonderful friendships I would make. People I have never laid eyes on who feel like family!! Also, the inspiration from women in general. It has truly changed my life. OK, I am doing the thing Miss America does when she know, how she waves her hands in front of her eyes to dry the tears before they fall!!??
SO....I want to show how much I appreciate all of you by giving one lucky reader a selection of gifts that represent "Pieces From Me". Here we go.
Did you put on your pearls, party dress, and that coat of Strike-A-Pose Rose?? What??? You don't have that shade?? Oh it is wonderful!! My favorite because it can be applied so light, it is a hint of color, or bold enough to see you coming from a ways off (my favorite way to wear it). Well you just need to have a tube, so here you go!!!
A year ago, this blog started out a quilting blog. It is a large part of my life and I want to share my love of fabric, and hand quilting with you.This table runner has fabrics from my own quilt, all my children's quilts, my husband's quilt, my grandson's quilt, my granddaughter's soon-to-be quilt, along with a piece of all my Galena fabrics. It has fabrics from my first jelly roll, my first Thimbleberry line, and my civil war fabrics. It represents my "loves". (I cut it close...the binding just got finished last night!)
Homemaking has been a huge "Pieces From Me" subject. I have learned so much from all of you and want to share my favorite homemaking/housekeeping tools. Holy Cow pink is my absolute favorite product. I learned of it in blogland and I use nothing else. It cleans carpet stains, clothing stains, grease off the stove top, and shines a sink like nobodies business!! Of course, you need a hand knitted dish cloth to go with it. Nothing else will do!!! (Sue made the dishcloth)You can't clean that kitchen or bake those pies without an apron!! I love aprons and I love vintage....what could be better than a vintage chicken scratch apron??? It will look so cute on you!I love a home that smells good. I want to share my favorite scents. The Cabernet sachet is heaven on earth!!! Also a 100% soy candle scented with organic essential oils in a Lavender Clove scent. It is a scent that will sooth and energize at the same time. It is a Healingsense candle and I made it myself (with Rachel's help) :) Now you know why my e-mail is Healingsense!Once your house is clean and smelling good, you need a break. Sit down and have a wonderful cup of favorite drink of all times. In the morning I want basic coffee, splenda and cream. In the afternoon and evening I like a great flavored coffee. Here is my favorite...Decaf Hazelnut Creme in a green (my favorite color) mug!Throw in a CD while you relax. Mark Schultz is one of my favs!!! Tracks 2 and 3 are awesome!
The biggest life lesson I have learned through blogging is to....For me it is not about growing a garden, canning, consuming less, or cooking everything from scratch. I have started doing alot of those things to benefit my family, but for me the lesson and philosophy is this...When my daughter sucks the brand new can of redi-whip dry, don't go nuts! When I find a new scratch in the wood work, don't freak out. When life happens, and it will, take it for what it This has made my entire life expectancy longer! I want to share that lesson with this sign. It is a smaller version of the one I have hanging in my own home. Let it mean to you whatever you need it to!
Finally, my children want to give you gifts too!!!Kyle wants to gift you with his favorite patriotic mouse pad. He is a true American that boy!! Charlotte wants you to have one of her necklaces. It is a pink "diamond" (her words) on a silver chain. Zachary can not imagine you not having at least one match box car to play with. He chose for you a convertible roadster!!!What do you do to win the Pieces From Me Blogoversary gifts??? One comment could do it for you! Leave a comment on this blog post sharing one memory about your visits to this blog. This will get your name put in the drawing. Want more??? Let's play some games. Between now and the actual drawing, I will post a question (or two) each day. All questions asked have answers that can be found on this blog. Answer that question correctly and your name is entered again. Every correct answer gets you another chance! You do not need to answer any questions or play the games to be entered once, however, you can not play the games unless you first comment on THIS post with a memory. The drawing will take place on June 9th, which is the actual blogoversary day!!!! Feel free to use the search box on the sidebar, but I can't think of too many people who want to take the time (except Corin who loves games AND competition!) You can answer each question one time only! Don't know the answer and have no time or desire to search??...Take a never know! Leave your comment and answer today's question correctly and you already have your name entered twice! If you do not have a blog, please leave your e-mail address so I can contact you should you win! Today's question???
What did I name my vacuum cleaner?
(don't forget to leave the memory or your guess won't count)


dot said...

Well now, I have no idea what you named your vacuum so I am going to guess Big Red. My favorite memory is just your love and kindness that shows through your entries. You are a women dedicated to your family and Charoletee and Zach are lucky to have you.

motherofmany said...

What a neat idea!

I remember thinking I had found someone who can understand. It is not hard to find other homeschoolers, homemakers, quilters, or Christians online. But finding someone else who is raising kids who have been truly and deeply traumatized is very rare. And what a blessing you have been to me!

I also looked up Holy Cow Cleaners after following the link on your site because I was so intruiged, and they are super cool!

PS- I don't want to give it away, but wasn't it H***l? She tried to eat your skirt.

Bren said...

It's ok...please type out the answers to the questions. You won't be giving it away!!

Mamabeanof4 said...

Isn't her name Hazel? The sweeper, that is;)Or maybe Flo...mmmm, guess I have 2 answers-gosh, I need to use my "lifeline" for the 1st question!!!!????!!!!
Bren-this is going to be so much fun! Only you would come up with an idea this crazy-you crack me up!!!! That my friend is why I continually read your blog-YOU are REAl and you crack me up on a daily basis.
I really want to win the prizes from the kids-but Oh! I would love the other prizes too-the runner is sooooo me and I LOVE the sign-you know that already though now don't you!!!!!????!

Niki RuralWritings said...

Just ONE memory....oh my gosh I could name a dozen...but the "Bun Making Fiasco" has got to be near the top...who knew your breadmaker was ALOT smaller than mine??? LOL
But, now that we have that nailed, you are a beautiful bread and bun maker!

Congratulations on your first anniversary, my friend, you are an inspiration and an encouragement to many.


Anonymous said...

That was easy- hazel.
My favorite memory is info about your organizing binder, which i'm going to start.
Happy blo anniversary!!!

Solstitches said...

Happy anniversary Bren! I love the party music you have going on - makes me feel happy :)
Thanks for ALL the memories. It's hard to choose just one but I think the one that will always stay with me is Charlotte's story.
I had no idea what your vacuum is called. I could remember you calling something "the servant" but in searching to confirm that I found that the vacuum is Hazel as a few others already said.

Nancy said...

Your vacuum cleaner is "Hazel" and yes, I had to search for the answer cause I was sure you had named it "Flo" for some reason....

My favorite memory is when I found your blog. Linda from "all-stitched-up" sent me over to read.


Su Bee said...

Of course she's Hazel, after that sweet housekeeper. Have you only been here one year? It seems like I've known you forever. You inspire me every day and you may actually have something to do with me being in my current state of content. (!) My most touching memory shared is Kyle's seizure time. Having lived through the same thing I felt everything you felt. ((HUGS)) I'm SO glad you joined us - Happy first birthday!

Copper's Wife said...

Ah....I remember, on more than one occasion, shaking my head up and down and knowing EXACTLY what you were talking about when you mentioned some funny thing that one your own children, or TJ, had done. That's not one memory but more than a dozen.......does that count????

The vacuum - Hazel!

Susan said...

Hmmmm . . . I know your vacuum is named Hazel (not from reading the comments, though!). I've only been reading your blog for a couple of weeks, so I don't have any memories of what you've done over the past year. I did add you to my Bloglines right away as I realized you were someone I could learn from. I only add to my Bloglines when I know it's someone that I will definitely enjoy! I love how you combine your quilting with your everyday family life. Does that count as a memory?!

Happy Blog Anniversary!

Jeanne said...

Hazel is my guess, also. I love how organized and disciplined you are, Bren. The Tackle it Tuesdays are fun to see your before and after photos.
I love reading about Zach and Charlotte and TJ, too. Congratulations on your first year! I hope there are many more. You have chosen very thoughtful gifts for your giveaway.

Libby said...

Happy Bloggiversary - looks like you are revving up for a whole lot of celebratin' *S* Way to go!

Tamara said...

There have been great moments since I have started to read your blog. Yours in one of the first I check out everyday. It takes dedication to keep up with a blog. I have to say that your faces of trauma have touched me the most. I could go on and on about how your blog has kept me inspired.

Before I forget your Vaccums name is "Hazel."

Lib said...

Hi Bren&Hazel,lol
Congrads on #1:o)
All your post are great but your faces of trama has touched me the most.How wonderful of you take be so Loving and to give so much to your children!
You're the Best!
Hope you're having a great day.

Alesha said...

Your vacuum cleaner is Hazel. I remember the first time I read when you mentioned her, I thought "Wow! I didn't know she had a maid. That must be nice!" I kept reading, though, and figured it out that you do your own cleaning, just like the rest of us. :-)

My favorite memory is when I read that Kyle's seizures had stopped. I sent you a message asking what medicine he took or procedure he'd had done or was he on a special diet.

You assured me that none of those things helped, but that you had quoted Scripture over him every time he seized. And that you had done that for months and months. And that God had healed him.

THAT has never left me, and has inspired me to do the same with my son.

Thank you, Bren!

Blessings to you,

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I remembered Hazel from a post but I also did a search to make certain Hazel was the name of the vacuum cleaner and not a human (and I'd misunderstood or something). :)

I don't remember how I came to read your blog, probably through our mutual friend, Cheryl? I do know that once I read it, I subscribed on Bloglines immediately because this was someone like me (for better or worse, poor lady).

Nadine said...

Such nice giveaways ! You're so generous, Bren :>)
HAPPY BLOGIVERSARY.....and many more ! and THANKS a bunch for all the inspiration you're bringing to many of us.
Nice game, too. Unfortunately, I really can't remember the answer.


Kathy said...

My best memory of your blog is reading a "Face of Trauma" post that forever changed my/ours as a family view toward Halloween and how we are going to/not going to celebrate it. We have fallen in love with Charlotte, and have prayed for her faithfully.

The vac's name is Hazel...:)

Kathy (

Kathy said...

BTW....Happy Blogaversary Bren! I LOVE your blog!

Ginger Patches said...

Happy 1 year blogging!! What a great party you're giving..WOW!!

I thought it was so sweet how Charlotte posted for you on your blog when you were out of town :) I can remember lots of memorable posts but that stands out for me!

Ginger Patches said...

Her name is Hazel. Yup I looked under Housekeeping :) I am in the market for a new vacuum so it's good to hear you like her. I have the WORST luck with vacuums!!!!

Angela said...

Congrats to you and Hazel. Thank you for being such an encourager.

Sarah Dee said...

Yep, her name is Hazel. I found your blog about a year ago through your Home Management Binder post that Candy from Keeping the Home has linked on her blog. I have many favorite things about your blog, Bren. I feel as though I am one of the family. My absolute favorite memory is probably when you found out that Rachel was expecting. Of course, I love all your posts about the kids!

Corin said...

Happy blogiversary Bren! What a great contest! I'll try to keep that ugly competitive nature under some sort of control ;-)

Memories... There are too many! Charlotte, and Zach's story touches me, each time you add to it... Your husband building the shelves while you were gone... That first time you came home with such HUGE savings at the store (where I literally cheered out loud, and my husband thought I was a nut)... Your pretty shiny Tackle It Tuesday's... Oh! And I can't forget the time you evicted your kids!!! LOL

Your vacuum's name is Hazel :-D

Love Bears All Things said...

This is going to be fun! I like games. I was so happy when I found your blog. Although, I have an empty nest and don't homeschool, I'm a grandmother and am just learning new stuff about quilting. You've given me some good advice and encouragement.
I remember when you reclaimed your sewing room, when you took back the room(dining?)that the children had been using, when you redid the entry way and when you shared your ironing boards. Oh, and "Hazel" seems like, was the name of a maid on a TV program.
Mama Bear

Guðrún said...

The name is Hazel.
I am having a one year blogging anniversary on the 11th of June and am going to have a giveaway. Yours is so much "Bren" I don´t know what I will do!
My memory, well I have to say that the stories of Zachary and Charlotte touched me most of all what I have read on your blog, but reading of your daily life is so interesting as it is quite different from mine.

Angie said...

I just LOVE Hazel ... she's just gorgeous! Hee, hee ... had to put it in there all cute-like.

My biggest and most profound memory of your blog is reading about Charlotte's story. Zachary's too, but mostly Charlotte. I cried reading it, after reading it and have tears welling up now thinking about her(sorry, I'm an emotional person).

You're such an inspiration and I know I say that a lot but I try to live by the rule: "Say what you mean and mean what you say." So, there you have it. You're both a blessing to each other. God will bless you more than you know. Love ya, Bren!

Linda said...

Hazel is your vacumm cleaners name. Memory, you and I share so many, but I suppose it has to be the first time we chatted together on the phone, which stemmed from the panic on a

Dani said...

I loved the back and forthing with the Redi-Wip comments, that is one of my favorite (recent) memories.

Happy blogiversary to you, celebrate by downing some canned cream, life is good!

Oh, and your vacuum's name is Hazel!

Brenda said...

Hazel is the vacuum. I learned something new about you today. You are super organized. WOW! You are amazing. My favorite memory is when your blog comes up and you are lovin on that baby.

Brenda said...

Hazel is the vacuum. I learned something new about you today. You are super organized. WOW! You are amazing. My favorite memory is when your blog comes up and you are lovin on that baby.

Mrs. Sew and Sew said...

Hi Bren, The memory that stands out most to me is reading Zach's story. I knew he was yours before I got to the end of that days blog. It was hard just picking out one memory.

I love parties. I know that Hazel is your vacuum cleaners name. Ha ha, it was such a cute name it stuck with me. Hugs, Karen

Honest to Ya~Ya said...

Oh what fun!! I was out yesterday with my Hubby and am just now getting over here!!

I'm glad I've not missed anything.

I really had just got to know you when I lost touch and now that we are connected again I am so happy. I wish I knew some of the answers to your questions...LOL! Hey, I loved sprucing your blog up for you and so proud for your blogversary!
Blog ON!!☺

Julie said...

I think her name is Hazel!
I don't really know about memories but I love reading your blog! I am so inspired and learn so much from you!
I love this celebration idea as well! Too fun!

Yvonne said...

Congrats on the Blogaversary! The vacuum is Hazel and my favorite memory....Charlotte's story.

Sweet P said...

Ooooo . . . I love the vintage apron. Your vacuum is named Hazel.

My favorite story is about Charlotte. My heart cried when I read her story. Then I thanked God for bringing her to you.

The Vintage Housewife... said...

ooook honey your sassy lil' cleanin' sister is hazel!isn't that what every sweet lil number who eats the dirt should be called? sweet lil' hazel in her red sassy outfit and she gets the house sparklin' and a shinnin'!!
ok...favorite memory...well for me its a bit inspire and incourage me weekly! my memory is of you, i am so so so Blessed by you! when i check my comments...i smile and tap tap tap over! my vintage apron a flyin' and swingin' shoes a twistin!

when i read your about me, i loved the proverbs & titus 2 too gal me too!!! ok and to be honest i loved when you told the gals about my blog...thats a vintage housewife's....good memory too! ha ha ha ha! i'm special!!! cat^.^

Mountain Mama said...

I have so enjoyed our "blog" friendship. You are such an encouragement in many areas of life - parenting, homemaking, being a wife, quilting etc.

I am so thankful for you! Thanks again for your prayers and sweet comments this past week.

Debi said...

What a wonderful celebration. Congrats on the blogiversary.

Rose Marie said...

Congrats on one year blogging .... you have inspired us, moved us to tears and laughter, and so much more! Some of your posts have left me speechless; especially our Face of Trauma series.
Don't we all love 'Hazel' to give us a hand.

meggie said...

I think Blogger is playing tricks on me! I left a comment here, & it has vanished.
Your Face of Trauma posts are my most striking memories. You wrote so clearly & they have certainly struck a chord with many readers.
Another memory is you tolerance for folk who don't always think they way you do. That is a real gift, Bren.

Cleaner is Hazel.

grandmatomato said...

I love to read your blog and hear of the many things you have going at once.How you started to get up early to do all the things you plan before every one else is up. Making our selves look good on a daily basis helps our own moral.I Have the music turned way down on my computer. Finally figured our who and where the singing was coming from Celebrating come on! Keep blogging

Mrs. C said...

I have so enjoyed reading your fun "celebration" posts this week. Have a fabulous weekend! :)

Robin said...

My favorite memory (and what keeps me coming back) is that you write with such honesty about adoption issues. You love Charlotte, yet your honestly share issues she has because of her past. We are foster/adoptive parents, but fairly new at this, so I love hearing your perspective.
BTW, the Reddi-Whip post is really challenging me right now!

Robin said...

I think you've named your vacuum Hazel.