Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mary A. Kassian
Page 58-59

Do you wonder why you feel no peace in your heart? Do you
wonder why you feel restless and unsettled? Do you wonder why you
feel frustrated? Perhaps it is because the Holy Spirit in you is crying
“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” But you are busy, occupied with other
things. Or you are too afraid to look into the Father’s eyes and let Him
love you.

The Father appreciates your obedience. He appreciates your disciplines
of prayer and fasting and being in the Word. He appreciates
your service. But more than all these things and at the center of the
Gospel is this: The Father wants your heart. He does not want rote
obedience, conformity, service, sacrifice, and ceaseless ministry from
you. If He does not have your heart, these things mean nothing to
Him. Living in a love relationship with God is the key to enjoying and
delighting in Him and experiencing His delight in you. If you truly
understand this and take it to heart, it will revolutionize your life and
will allow you to begin to experience the joy and victory that Christ
has already won for you.

Understanding Christianity as a love relationship revolutionizes
the way we live. It changes the way we view repentance and confession.
We repent and confess because we have hurt the one we love, not
merely because we have broken the rules. It changes the way we view
witnessing. We witness because we want people to get to know our
wonderful Brother and Father, not to convert them to a church or
religion. It changes our perspective on Christian disciplines. We read
the Bible, pray, memorize, meditate, and fast not because it is required
of us, but because of our longing to connect with the lover and
redeemer of our souls. We are motivated by love and longing, not duty
and obligation. It changes our perspective on Christian service. We are
under no pressure to perform. We listen carefully to our Father and
do only what He asks of us. We delight in our Father and revel in being
His child. It changes our perspective on suffering, pain, and sacrifice.
We are filled with joy and hope in the certainty that our Father is in
control and will make it right. We are eager to give up lesser joys for
the all-surpassing joy of knowing and walking with Him.
Are you living your life in a love relationship with your Abba-
Father? Are you nurturing or neglecting that relationship? Are you
running toward or away from Him?

emphsis are mine
"We repent and confess because we have hurt the one we love, not
merely because we have broken the rules."

I was pretty convicted by this sentence. How often I repent because I have broken the rules, not because I have disapointed my Heavenly Father.

“Red Rose of Thoughtfulness”

Nancy at Roses and Teacups is hosting a contest, with a WONDERFUL prize!
Be sure to check it out! I'm trying to think of who I can enter...there are so many to choose from!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Quilt Show is Over!

Thank the Lord. The weather was awful the first day, and cold the second day. There is a TON of work that goes into one of these shows...I'm glad it's only once a year. At the same time it is very motivating! It is simply amazing what some women (and men) can create with with a little fabric and thread!

Emma received a blue ribbon on her quilt, this was her first quilt. I was happy for her. I'll try to post that later. I received a second place ribbon on a throw I made, it was in the Novelty category.

Olivia and Emma basically ran our own vender's booth. They gave out free samples of hot cider and pumpkin bread, which were perfect for a cold, wet day!

We sold a few items that we made such as these Clove Scented Rice Packs. You pop them in the microwave for 3 minutes and then apply to your ache or warm up your cold feet! :o)
These are handy pincushions we made with a bag to put your scraps and threads in. We have one at the ironing board, one at our cutting board and one at the sewing machines. I love them!

Here is a doll I crocheted to put in our county fair, she won first place, but no one wanted to buy her :o(...Olivia is hoping I let her adopt her! :o)

These are Teaspoon Pincushions.

These are Teacup Pincushions.
These are some quilted Snowman Ornaments. Sold out of them!
But our big seller was the Pumpkin Bread...

and the hot cider mix!!!

Girl Talk has some EXCELLENT post on Distorted Beauty.

Alex and Brett have some good comments too!

Watch the video clips!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Remembering God's Promises
Psalm 25:4-5, 12-16

Make me know Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
for You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.

Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
His soul will abide in prosperity,
And his descendants will inherit the land.
The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him,
And He will make them know His covenant.
My eyes are continually toward the LORD,
For He will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Blount County Quilter's Guild
Quilt Show 2006

This weekend (Friday and Saturday) is our guild's quilt show. We will be pretty busy the next few days with that, plus the girls and I will have a vendors booth there. Olivia has been busy making several little projects to sell. Emma too!

Quilting can be such a form of art. I was so inspired by the quilt below last year at our show! Josh, who is a boy, can't quite 'understand' our passion for quilting, but he really liked this quilt! I hope to make him one next year for Christmas. Our Guild will be having a class next year making it.

This is a bargello design.

Our quilt show is part of the Covered Bridge Festival.

Y'all come!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Parenting Teens

Being the mom of teenagers is so hard, so fun, so rewarding and so scary! I am watching my children find their convictions. Some of their 'world view' can be shocking at times, but I know God is faithful. Our oldest (18) seems to be really struggling right now and when worry and fear floods over me I have to remind myself that he (all of them) belong to the Lord. I know that their faith, their convictions won't be *theirs* until they are tested. And as they grow up I become less and God the Father becomes more. The hard part for me as the mom, is being still and knowing that God loves them more than I do. God *will* finish the good work He has begun in them and at the same time His work in me!

I read this on Spunky's Blog today. Oh, may God call our children to Himself, give them wisdom and a love for life. And may parents teach their children faithfully.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Teaching Good Things

Our new site is up and running!!! It has taken me a month to get this done. Now to actually get our products (the DVD's) finished!

We are open to drop ship if anyone has a product that will go along with our theme of teaching practical skills. Just e-mail ME!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Emma...Patience Rewarded

After two years of asking, Emma finially started her horse riding lessons today. She loved it!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Baked Apples a la Mode

A wonderful treat for these cooler autumn days. Olivia made some for us a couple of weeks ago.

4 large McIntosh or Empire apples, cored
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oatmeal
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/8 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 pint vanilla or caramel ice cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Sprinkle cored apples with lemon juice. Mix next 7 ingredients and over-stuff apples. Bake 20 minutes in a small oven safe dish. Transfer apples to small bowls with a spoon and top with ice cream and whipped cream.

Our Reversal Story
Four Years Post-Op

After the birth of our 4th child (our first baby died at 1 day old), I agreed to have my tubes tied. I knew that my husband felt great pressure of providing for our family. He was working so hard to provide for us, working 2 jobs. We both knew that it was important for me to be at home with the children and teach them. Day cares and government schools were not an option. We thought we were being ‘responsible’ by not having more children.

A couple of years later, while at a home school conference, I heard Gregg Harris explain that God was the True Provider for the family, and if God created them, then He was capable of providing for them. My heart was so broken, as I began to see what I had done was wrong. I remember driving home from the conference by myself, crying the whole 45-minute drive. I felt so guilty, so cheated, so deceived. I was angry and sad at the same time. We bought the lie of comfort and prosperity. The lie of being able to ‘afford’ to give our children what they wanted. We believed the lie that children cost so much money. As I look back now, I see that our lifestyle really has not changed much, we are no ‘better off’ financially by our closing off the womb. To be honest, I think it makes families even more selfish and materialistic, as if the ‘things’ of life are what a child needs.

I came home with my grieved heart and told my husband what I was beginning to see. He too felt that way, though I do not think as deeply as I was feeling it, but what was done, was done. God forgives and we move forward. I had the hard lesson of submission to learn. I wanted more children so badly, but I had to learn to follow my husband.

A couple of years later he and our son, age twelve, were at a Father Son Retreat, hosted by Vision Forum, and it was there that God began to really speak to his heart about the blessing of children, and how God uses these children to build His kingdom. He began to see that God is the True Provider. One of our favorite quotes by Doug Phillips is, “Children are a blessing, and debt is a curse.” For the sake of having a life of comfort, a life of material gain, we cut off a Godly seed, our heritage. Why do we embrace debt and tell God to give us no more children? We have it all backwards. How sad that we were both so active in church ministries, trying to ‘reach the lost’, and in turn we rejected God’s plan for the family. We have no doubt that if husbands and wives would spend more time (a lifetime) building their families, not only on the Rock of Jesus Christ, but also in number, THEN we would see a revival in our churches, in our nation and in the world. You cannot have a strong church without strong families. It is whole, healthy, Godly families that are able to meet the needs of our hurting neighbors. This does not exclude single people, but we should first seek to be strong at home, and then reach out to others.

In 2002, about a year after God changed my husband’s heart, I had a tubal reversal. He and I went into this knowing that there were no promises. We knew that most women that have a reversal usually do not conceive. It was nine years in between my tubal ligation and the reversal. It has been four years since my reversal. I have had an hsg, which showed total blockage. Devastated does not even begin to explain how I was feeling when the doctor told me I would never get pregnant. It truly was like a death. Most people around us could not understand. They would comment about how we should be thankful for what we have and ‘get over it’.

Seven months later, I ended up in the ER with a possible eptopic pregnancy. The Lord graciously intervened in the situation and I miscarried and did not have to have a tube removed. About a year later during a yearly exam with my gyn, I asked him AGAIN if there was nothing else that could be done. He suggested doing a laparoscopic surgery that may be able to remove the scar tissue. Once again, I had hope. That surgery ended with heart breaking news. I had one tube that was not even connected and the other was in very bad shape, which could have been from complications with the healing process. My reversal doctor did offer to do another surgery at no cost but hospital fees. My GYN suggested a specialist, but this is not covered by our insurance and the price would be very high. My husband felt that I had been though enough, including four c-sections, and that it was God’s hands and that we would cheerfully accept whatever He brings us. My GYN did say that the odds of ever becoming pregnant again would be 1000 to 1, but he also acknowledged that God will do whatever He chooses.

It has been a VERY long road of grieving and healing, but our whole family has grown in our faith through all of this. I would love to have more children, but I have also learned to be content with what God has given me. I have many regrets, but this is where God’s grace comes in and realizing just how dependent I am on Him for everything! I also realized that for about two years I was obsessed with fertility and that I neglected my husband and children. I had to repent and ask God to forgive me of my idolatry. What a merciful God we serve.

I also feel an urgency to share with others that God’s ways are best! Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.) Do not close the womb. If you are choosing to have things rather than having babies, it is not worth it! The things of the world will be dust and ashes one day, but birthing and raising Godly children will impact the world, and then you will rejoice forever, together, before the Throne. The Christian life is not easy, it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but is there anything more worthy? Don’t we all desire to stand before Jesus and hear, “Well done good and faithful Servant!”

I help run a support group for couples that desire to have a reversal. So often, I encounter couples that have become bitter with God and with their spouse because they have not conceived or been able to give birth. If they are not bitter, they become depressed. And to a certain extent I think that is normal, but there is a point where desire turns into obsession, idolatry. This is sin. Our focus has to be on joyfully serving our Father, no matter what our circumstances are.

Though God has chosen to give us no more children, I would do it all over again. I am learning that our journey in this life is seldom how we think it will be, but His plans for us are good! (Jer. 29:11)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Olivia, Emma and I are reading through Biblical Womanhood in the Home. The second chapter is about True Beauty. It is convicting and enlightening.

Yesterday, I came across THIS post on Girl Talk which goes right along with the chapter we just finished reading.

We all know that the Internet can be a very dangerous and evil place, but it also loaded with tons of good sites, information and encouragement.

Last week I came across THIS site. If you enjoy homemaking, then you'll keep coming back to this one!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Olivia's Cheese Cake

1-1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 tablespoons sugar

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a 9-in. springform pan; set aside.

3 - 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a bowl, combine the first four ingredients. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a 9-in. springform pan; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in coffee and vanilla; mix well. Beat in cocoa just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until center is almost set.

1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Remove from the oven; increase temperature to 425°.

Combine the sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over warm cheesecake; sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool for 1 hour longer. Chill overnight. Remove sides of pan. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 15-20 servings.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Teaching Children to Work
Part 2

Work is Not Punishment

Though we can use extra chores as a consequence, we should be careful not to regularly treat work as a punishment. There are times at our home when attitudes are 'stinky', and one of my favorite consequences is for the offender to go turn the 'stinky' compost pile, or some other task that usually gets overlooked, such as wiping baseboards down. This way they are suffering some punishment and being productive. But overall work should not be viewed as a punshment.

If a job is not done up to par, according to what a child is capable of doing, then the consequence is to do it over...maybe a couple of times. This teaches attentiveness to details. The job needs to be done efficiently and with a good attitude. Remember attitude is more important than the task. If they are 'willing' then they are more likely to do a good job. It is a difficult balance between giving grace and expecting their best.

Rather than piling on a ton of extra work for a punishment, sometimes it is better to just use the rod of correction. Then work can be more of a productive event than a punishment. Here again, this takes a lot of discernment and we need to seek God for wisdom.

Remember our goal as parents is not to just get the job done, but to train our children how to work and WANT to work. If the chores are done, but we have a houseful of bitter and lazy children at heart, then we have not trained them to work from God’s perspective. For us parents this is not a one time training session. It usually takes about 16-18 years! Here again, THIS is OUR JOB, to train our children up in the way they should go. Remember that WE have to keep OUR attitudes, and OUR purpose in check!


Work is Productive

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for men,
Colossians 3:23

Children need to know they are accomplishing a goal, a purpose. No one wants to work and feel like nothing important was done in the end. Life is usually made up those little task that no one knows about, that seem meaningless, but without these little task being done, the larger task could not be accomplished.

As children grow, be sure they know how to do all of the chores in the home. Boys need to know how to maintain a home, just as girls need to know how to get the yard work done and put oil in the car. Those boys will grow up and may be out on their own before God gives them a wife and they will need to know how to do laundry and cook. They will also be able to be a blessing to their wife if she is not able to do her duties in times of sickness and such. Girls need to know how to do basic home repairs and car maintenance. A woman may have an emergency and have to handle a situation until help comes. There may be financial times when she could be a real blessing to her husband and her family to be able to do her own repairs.

Children need praise, they usually want to please their parents. They need to know they are accomplishing something. They need to know they are part of a bigger picture. It is not just about having a clean floor; it is about working as a team, working to please the Lord with our lives and possessions. Praise is important, but be careful not to over emphasize undue praise because then real praise will be meaningless. Always point to Christ. There will be times when you will overlook the reward of praise, children need to know that they can do a job to the best of their ability and know that God sees and knows every little thing, even if no one else does. Teach them to seek to please God, not so much man. As adults, they should be faithful, even without praise of others.

Do not give them a task that is too burdensome for them. Sometimes it is hard to tell how much is expecting too much or not expecting enough. Seek God’s wisdom for that. Different children have different abilities at different ages. Becareful not to compare them with other children.

As parents, we sometimes feel like we are just spinning our wheels, saying the same thing over and over, day in, day out, but we need to remember our purpose, our goal. Parenting is some of the hardest work a person could ever do. Be diligent! Pray for wisdom and grace!!! Most of all, remember how often God has to tell us the same thing repeatedly!


Nurture God Given Talents

May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands.
Psalm 90:17

It won’t take long and you will discover that your child has special abilities in certain areas. Nurture that! As they mature, find ways that they can use their God given talents/skills to work and serve others.

When our son was young, he LOVED to go to the thrift store and buy remote controlled cars, bring them home, take them apart and rebuild them. He spent hours and hours doing this. His Christmas and birthday gifts were tools to help him ‘play’ at what his interest was. He loves electronics and electrical challenges. When he was 17 he started apprenticing to be an electrician, in hopes of one day to be a “skilled craftsman”, as it says in Scripture. He will use this to do his life’s work, a part of his calling. THIS is education. He is quickly learning that being an electrician is not just wiring. There are a lot of other tasks that an electrician must do, and it is not always fun, but it is something that must be done to accomplish what he WANTS to do.

He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen,
designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen,
and weavers—all of them master craftsmen and designers.

Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men.
Proverbs 22:29


Enjoy the Fruit of Your Labor

Reward does not always mean cash, but the satisfaction of a job well done, knowing they have done their best. Work is a good thing, even when it is hard. Reward in the form of gold star stickers (for the very young), cash or other material gain is good. It is good to receive and enjoy the fruit of their labors, this can be anything from a couple of extra hours playing with dad to getting a few extra dollars at the end of the week. But at the same time, children should not be ‘paid’ for everything they do this is unrealistic. Adults, especially moms and dads do LOTS of jobs with no pay or recognition, but we know it is to glorify our Lord. We know there is a bigger picture that God is drawing with our lives, children need to learn that too. It is good to receive and enjoy the fruit of their labors, this can anything from a couple of extra hours playing with dad to getting a few extra dollars at the end of the week.

What does the worker gain from his toil?
Ecclesiastes 3:9

From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.
Proverbs 12:14

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you,
1 Thessalonians 4:11

Rest Children need to rest just as adults do.

but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.
On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter,
nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
Exodus 20:10

And we pray this in order that you may live
a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
Colossians 1:10


*Set an example with your attitude and diligence.
The old saying, ‘more is caught than taught’ is so true.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Teaching Children to Work
Part 1

Proverbs 6
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.
How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest-
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.

Good character is being able to understand the difference between right and wrong and then having the courage and ability to do the right thing. Being intelligent and well educated in academics is not the only tool to make a person successful. Intelligence without character is dangerous. History is full of very intelligent people that had poor character. They brought great destruction to themselves and nations. Two on the top of our modern day list would be Hitler and Margaret Sanger (the raciest/feminist/abortionist), among many others.

God called His creation work:

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.Genesis 2;2
Part of Gods plan was for man to work:

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.Genesis 2:5
The first children were given work to do:

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.Genesis 4:2

Jesus called His life here work:

Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."John 5:17
The biggest part of our day and our life, will be working:

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."Genesis 3:13

Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.Psalm 104:23
Work is Not a Dirty Four Letter Word

Teaching children to work and work hard is one the most valuable things you can teach them. It builds strong character and appreciation if done with a spirit of purpose and reward, not of dread or something to run from. Teach them from a young age that work is a responsibility and that it pleases their Lord. If they are old enough to pull the toys out, they are old enough to put toys away, at the same time do not expect perfection. Approach work with smiles, re-enforcing the fact that responsibility is not something to avoid.

Do not overwhelm children with too much work, too soon. A begining, 90 pound weight lifter does not strart out with 200 pounds on each hand. You do not want to have too much work and too little play or pay. This will cause children to become bitter, not only about working, but about you. That does not mean all jobs are fun or rewarding, but at a young age we need to work on attitude, just as much as performance.

Work is usually hard and trying. This is because of the fall of man, sin. Children need to understand this. There is no free ride, no easy ride.


Refer to Scripture for Purpose
God told Adam that he would have to work and provide for his family by the sweat of his brow.

Genesis 3:19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground,since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

The Proverbs 31 Woman is constantly working with her hands to care for home and family. It is her work that praises her, because she has done her work well.

She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.Proverbs 31:13

She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.Proverbs 31:17

Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.Proverbs 31:31

Once children understand that work is just part of life and that it is a command from God, then they can start to understand the purpose. They can start to understand that God did not put us here just to eat, drink and be merry! He created us for a reason, to glorify him in everything we do. We work because God tells us to. We glorify Him by obeying with a willing spirit. Just as Jesus was willing to come to earth and do the hard work of redeeming our souls from hell. It is a testimony to others when we enjoy our work, when we persevere even when it is not pleasant.

In our life long lesson of dying to self and living for Christ, work can teach us diligence, humility, obedience, gratefulness, patience, attentiveness, orderliness, responsibility, initiative, creativity, thriftiness, availability, and self control.

Scripture Warns Against Laziness

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."2 Thessalonians 3:10

He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.Proverbs 12:11

All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.Proverbs 14:23

One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroysProverbs 18:9

Children need to know that laziness will not be tolerated. This includes complaining and procrastination. This also means a job half way done is NOT done. Remember the age and ability of your child. Do not expect perfection, but do expect an honest attempt.

A willing heart and ‘mostly’ clean bathroom is much more important
than a bitter heart with a spotless bathroom.

It will take years to reach our training goals with our children. Parents do not need to become frustrated and lazy in their training. It takes A LOT of patience and diligence to teach children to work. Remember just how longsuffering God is with us!

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Decorating Children's Rooms on a Budget

The Sparrow's Nest will be coming out with an e-book, Creative Children's Rooms on a Budget. I thought I'd share what I did in Olivia and Emma's room. Olivia and Emma have very different personalities, which makes it a challenge to decorate when they share a room. Olivia is a very feminine, Victorian, froo-froo type. Emma loves horses, cats, outdoor type of things. This has worked well for us. Emma's side of the room has her horse figures and such. Olivia has spent more time 'accessorizing' her room.

This is Olivia's side, she loves hats, all from yard sales or the thrift store. They are hanging on a plate rack. I bought them matching quilts on clearance at Khols. She dried and arranged her own dried flower arrangement. I made a ribbon canopy and paper clipped silk flowers to frame her bed. I used a staple gun to attach the ribbon to the ceiling.

I bought this dress form at the thrift store for under $5, she loved it!

I painted God's word over their door and across their walls with butterflies.
All the Scriptures I put on their walls were about growing up to be Godly women.

Along the baseboards I painted daises and bumble bees.

Using the computer I designed them each a copy of their first and second name with the meanings. This was printed on pretty pink, 'texture-looking' paper. I used some pressed flowers to embellish them, and then framed them with frames from yard sales.
Emma's side! Her favorite accessories are her horses and a picture of her and her dad!

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Filet Crochet Names

These are 4 names that I have been working on for months (crochet). I did them as a trade for Mary Kay! :o) I am part of an online trading group, but this is the only trade I've done this year.
I was very active a couple of years ago, but this year I've been too busy learning new things!

I made one with our family name, framed it and it won second place at our county fair this year!

Right now I am working on the biggest challenge I've ever had. A neighbor has an old quilt that her kids (2 of them) grew up with that is a favorite. Now the 'all grown up children' are 'debating' who is going to get the quilt. So their parents have asked me to recreate TWO of them. These will be their big Christmas gift this year. So I have spent the past month looking EVERYWHERE for fabric for a close match. It is also an unusual pattern, so this is a real challenge!

Blessed Are The Peace Makers

Still on the topic of the shootings, I know the core issue is sin, we are all capable of doing it all, if it were not for God's grace and mercy. I don't believe we are born as a clean slate and a product of our environment. We are all born sinners, in need of a Savor, in need of a life of obedience and forgiveness.

Obviously people that do these horrendous acts have not received only what comes from God.

Several years ago Jeff and I did a book called The Young Peace Maker with our Keepers of the Faith group. Other than our study on Proverbs 31, this was my FAVORITE study. It is designed to teach children how to stay off the 'Slippery Slope', and resolve conflict. If you think about it, our whole life is about solving conflict. Is there ever a day when a conflict does not arise in your home (or even more so within yourself..ha!)? As Paul says, 'I do what I don't want to do, and I don't do what I want to.'

I have extended family members that REFUSE to deal with conflict in a Biblical way, even though they say they are Christians, and even attend church. They'd rather harbor bitterness, which only grows like wildfire over time, than to deal with issues and get down to the truth, walk in love and forgiveness. They would rather be bitter than give or receive grace.

We have had some rumbles in our home lately due to not responding to conflict correctly, so Jeff and I thought this was a perfect time to bring out that book and do it again with the girls. May we ALL learn to be peace makers, love covers a multitude of sins.

Luke 12
And to whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: and to whom they commit much, of him will they ask the more.

Where Have all the Protectors Gone?
I have not been as disturbed by a story as the Amish shootings in a long time. Not that their lives are more precious than anyone else, but there is just something about this situation that is particularly disturbing.

Last week when the shooting in Colorado (I think it was that one) happened, the report was that the killer made the teacher and all the BOYS leave. Leaving the most delicate souls in the room. I was impressed that at least ONE BOY said he was not leaving, but the killer put a gun to his head and threatened him, then he did leave. You have to give him credit for at least trying to stay behind for the girls. I respect him for that.

Then this week when the killer did the same thing, made the ones that were suppose to protect leave. How disturbing. Picking the weakest to attack. Can there anything more coward-like? None of us know how we would react until we were in that type of a situation, I hope I would risk being killed before I'd leave helpless ones behind. I would hope my son would do the same. I KNOW my husband would.

In a 'survival-of-the-fittest' type culture (thank you evolutionist!), we have lost sight of 'women and children first', protecting the weak, having a greater love for others, laying down our lives to protect and save the weaker, as Christ did. May we be diligent to teach our sons to be providers and protectors, through God's grace.

Along this same thinking the young men over at The Rebelution
have an excellent series about Modern Day Chivalry. Be sure to read all of the parts of this listed on their sidebar. WARNING! You will spend hours reading their site, so grab a cup of coffee!

Monday, October 2, 2006

My Birthday Weekend

I had a very nice birthday weekend, which I do try to stretch out to birthday week, but after 41 years my family is a bit weary of such long events, so it was just a weekend this year. bummer

Joshua was able to come home for the weekend. He had some side work to do Saturday, so he did not get to go to Little River Canyon with us. Jeff, Olivia, Emma and I started our day at Trade Day in Collinsville, this is a big outdoor flea market.
This was a special treat, a funnel cake...oooo I love them! So Jeff bought me one at Trade Day. There was absolutely NOTHING nutritious in this, but hey...birthday weekend only comes once a year! It's about an hour drive and the weather was just cool enough to make a beautiful day!

Then we drove to the Canyon.
GOSH! I can't believe I have lived here for over 20 years and have never gone there. We will have to go back in a few weeks when the leaves are at their peek.

Olivia and Emma...on top of the world!

We ended the lovely day with a bonfire, chili and smores at our house with my mom and the Richards Family and Joshua's friend, Josh. (Dad and Joshua pictured)

Laura, Joshua, Emma, Olivia, Katie, Josh, Andy...and Scrappy the dog.

Josh and Joshua...testosterone??? lol...
I'd rather them WRESTLE that energy out than chase girls!
This is one event that your weight can be an advantage!

Jeff saying...'Now why do we have to take so many pictures...of EVERYTHING?'
Good thing he loves me!