Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Holy Week Thoughts and Blessings

We have had an amazing time at Church the last few weeks.  We are a small congregation that has weathered some terrific storms, but the Lord has never left us.  The Church has two mottos:

"We're flexible"  
This doesn't represent a loosey-goosey theology but rather, we want everyone to feel welcome and we will do what we can to accommodate changes in plans, weather, etc.  It has served us well.  We have a retired pastor who visits us very frequently, usually bringing a song to sing before the message.  

"We love the Lord, we love His Word, we love each other."
This guides us in all we try to do and gives us patience with each other.  Everyone in the Church loves each other--I don't think there is a bit of the back-biting or 'murmuring' that can tear up a church in short order.  We have had some wonderful experiences this last year with people returning to the Church.  The first person Michael baptized here has returned with her family. They have been back about a year, and her oldest daughter will be baptized on Easter morning.  This has blessed Michael more than I can describe. These last two weeks, another former youth member has returned with her 4 children!!!!  So, we had a "house full" on Sunday morning. Peggy and I colored eggs with them and I brought out the flannel graph again.  These kids have not ever seen anything like that; they were thrilled with it and with everything we did.  Years ago, when Brother Matt Ward was working with the children, I asked him to look into the old flannel graph stories. He did and he used them for years. When his family moved to another state, he left the boards and figures here with us. When I took everything out to get a story ready, Virginia said, "that's my childhood right there, Momma."   Mine, too.  We had a dear lady in my elementary school who would bring her "Character Ed" cart around once a week, and she would tell us a Bible story using these flannel graph figures.  I can remember them so clearly.  My favorite was the story of Esther!
My friend Janice Wilson and I have talked about how much the old ways still have their appeal--Hawaiian Punch and store brand cookies can make snack time a  feast and flannel graph stories can still feed the souls of these little ones. We had two infants (less than a year old and not yet crawling) and 5 kids 8 and under. Most of them had not colored Easter eggs before. We had a blast! Here is a picture of Virginia and one of the littles I took a few weeks back-

Look at that hairbow!  Her mom always has her festooned with something pretty like that, and it always stays put!  That's a miracle! Look at those cheeks. 

This is the second spring break week of the semester for the University, but I am still teaching my dual-enrollment group at the high school.  They are off next week, so I won't have to go out there on the scheduled days.  So, it's kind of like having twice the break.  I am trying to get things done around the house and to get caught up on my grading. It was good to be able to sleep in this morning.  Our weather has been cool and overcast.  I still have the flannel sheets on the beds.  Michael always says he feels like he is on a flannel graph with his flannel pj's!   

I am looking forward to the special services we have this week and to Sunday's beautiful blessings.
Hope your week is going well. 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Old Ways Have their Benefits

A couple of years ago, we joined the 21st century by getting a Keurig  coffee maker.  Although I am not a coffee drinker, I really enjoy my family having good coffee, and I LOVE the smell of coffee brewing.  Our Keurig is nice, but it is an expensive pain to keep clean (if you follow the manufacturer's instructions which I am afraid not to . . .) AND  the coffee does not smell good.  
When Michael and I first married, he loved his coffee; over the years, he has drank less coffee and more tea.  I thought maybe the Keurig would revive his interest in coffee.  
The other day I had a wild hair and bought him a percolator off of Amazon.  My parents had an electric percolator for many years (one of the white and blue Corelle patterns). I thought I was something else because I would fix their coffee for them in the mornings! So, again, even though I wasn't a coffee drinker, I have long been a coffee maker, and I love doing that.  Momma and Daddy went to the drip-maker as did M. But even those don't produce that rich smell I knew as a girl growing up. 
To make a long story short, the little pot you see pictured above is now a welcome member of the family (sorry about the messy stove--I have been cooking all morning).  The coffee it bubbles up for us in the morning smells wonderful.  I might even have a cup!  James Martin, who has become a coffee lover like his dad, likes it, too.  It does take a little longer to get the coffee ready, but I don't mind!  That smell is worth it.  The Old Ways do have their own particular blessings!
Hope you have a wonderful day--if you can, come have a cup of coffee! 

post script:  I make tea the old-fashioned way, too. The tea makers just don't get the same flavor as that pot of boiling water on the stove waiting for the tea bags to steep a while!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Happy Friday!

Yesterday, I took the time to do some real straightening in my school office. I feel so much better.  
This has been such a busy week, but a fairly good week as far as things go.  
Hope to post more soon!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

How Am I Spending My Time?

Having always struggled with staying focused, reading has nevertheless been a great joy.  The last couple of years, reading has become more difficult because of my decreased ability to concentrate.  All of the little gray cells (and their number is quickly dwindling) are taken up by school work.  TV is my companion when stitching or crocheting.  Michael and I watch good stuff-- our westerns and mysteries--he loves Roy Rogers, and YouTube has a TON of the old stuff that is so good.  BUT, I am not reading.  The less I read, the harder it is to read effectively.  I am thinking that I need to turn off the TV or go sit somewhere quite and stick with a book for a little while every night.  Pictured above is one of my favorite shelves--we have collected several of the Lamplighter titles over the years, and the never fail to lift my soul.  The news today (and television today) tears down our spirits.  I can't hardly even stand to turn on the radio news anymore.  
When the kids were all still in their homeschooling years, we worked at having a reading hour.  It wasn't as consistent as I would have liked but we kept working at it.  Michael and I used to laugh at how much we would LOVE for someone to tell us to sit down and read.  But could I do it now?  
I am going to try! 
Hope you're all having a good week.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

What's New?

This is our little cat, Buttercup. She is NOT enjoying this cold weather. 
I like the cold weather but only because I am inside where it is warm.  Buttercup likes to play outside sometimes, but she has been spending a lot more time inside these last few weeks!
I have been working on a project that makes me so happy. I don't yet have any pictures, but I should in the next couple of weeks. We have a full basement that is only partially finished. Michael has his library room down there; Virginia and I have a "sewing room" and the old school room was down there. It was my favorite room in the house.  Anyway, as wonderful as these spaces are, there is no heating or ac. We used a space heater in the cooler months in the classroom, but only ran it when we were all there. I am wary of space heaters.

 John Thomas' room is down there, too; we have been really worried about him and the cold. We put up some thermal drapes which have helped a lot.  He has about 50 blankets on his bed, including the wool afghan I made for him.  His room has been a make shift mess since he moved  down there. The last couple of weeks, I have worked on it in little snatches of time. There is an unfinished cut-out closet. Michael bought him one of those "portable" closet racks, and it fits perfectly.  It was a major big deal just getting the closet cleaned out enough to put it in there!  But now it is just wonderful!!!!
It is neat, organized and he can put his hand on whatever he needs.

 The biggest challenge has been the mountain of books. He has a good concrete block and board shelf that covers an entire wall. The trick is going to be getting everything in its place there.  I think he will enjoy that once I clear out the pile of stuff in front of the shelf.  This old room had been a play/storage room.  We have been working on this for over a year, but half-heartedly at best.  He is so pleased with the results, and so am I. 

My friend Janice knows that the biggest source of frustration (and the most profound sense of failure) in my life is housekeeping.  All I want is a clean house.  I want the kids' room to be clean before they marry and move out!  :D   My goal with the boys in particular is to get their room where they can take care of it--where they know where everything is.
They decided to no longer be room mates a couple of years ago. James Martin has done such a good job in keeping his blue room beautiful and neat. It is his sanctuary. 
John Thomas has always struggled.  We have all tried together--him included--to stay on top of things. I want this room to be comfortable and comforting for him (even if there are icicles hanging from the ceiling) before he strikes out to another graduate school somewhere far from home.  I want him to be able to take care of his things and his surroundings. It is a life long skill I am still trying to get hold of!
Hope your day is going well and wherever you are, you are warm and comfortable.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Posted but on the Wrong Blog

Sorry to have been away from the blog for so long.  Christmas break was lovely, and I did get some stitching done.  Slowly but surely, these cardinals and their pretty little basket are moving toward completion.  The anniversary of the first date that Michael and I went on is in early February, and I think I can get it finished by then.  The pattern is such a nice one to stitch. There will be quite a bit of backstitching, but that won't be a problem with most of it--very straightforward. In the light greenery however, there is some backstitching that is more difficult, and I am not looking forward to that as much. You can see it in the far left of the screen just behind Mr. Cardinal's back. 

This project bag is one I purchased off of Etsy--Look at that Anne of Green Gables fabric. I love it. It is large enough to keep everything inside except the pattern.  I feel good about having another layer of protection for the fabric.
The weather is quite cold here for us, and I am enjoying it.  Nothing like what my friends in North Dakota, Missouri, and Iowa are facing, but for this Florida girl, it is plenty chilly!  Great for stitching.

I hope to post again soon.  
I had meant to post this on Our Cross Stitching Home!  Rats! Oh well!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas

Sorry to have been so long again between posts. We have been really caught up in Christmas activities --a party at Church and a special meal for our food distribution program. We've had company--friends of the Virginia's (and they are pretty close to the boys, too), shopping, cleaning, and the ever-present laundry. Tomorrow, we will have morning services only, but that's ok. We are having company (those same friends) over for hot chocolate and cookies after Church. 
Michael and I went Christmas shopping yesterday--we spent a lot of time in Big Town--the traffic was really beyond 'bustling.' We did get to go to Cracker Barrel for supper which was really nice. They seated us right in front of the fire place, and that was wonderful. The weather was cool and rainy--today it is really windy outside.  I don't know what is going to happen on the snow front. I don't think we're expecting any soon, but who really knows for sure?

Tomorrow we are having a Christmas communion, and  that will be marvelous.
I have to relate what happened Thursday at our food distribution--a couple came in who had been led by the Holy Spirit to give a financial gift to a family with children.  They had stopped at a business which they believed would be able to help, but that business didn't know really what to do.  The couple saw our sign for the "Free Hot Meal" and stopped.  They talked with Michael about what they wanted to do.  We have a family at our Church now that has three precious children. Mom and Dad are tying their best to follow the Lord.  As a matter of fact, the Mom was one of our Church youth some time ago, but she left when she moved out of the area.  They have very limited resources but share with the Church what they have in terms of love, service and money.  Michael believes they are the perfect ones for this blessing, and I agree. It is just amazing. 
Our Catholic brothers and sisters seem to have the Spiritual gift of watching for and seeing miracles.  I think we as Baptists need to keep our eyes open a little bit wider for these wonderful moments.  They're there. 
He is still with us!!