Saturday, August 19, 2017

That Smells Really Good!

For the past couple of years, I have been playing around with essential oils. I don't know that I will ever get as involved or as enamored with them as some of my friends.  However, there really is something to how they work.  Today, I cleaned our mattress with lavender oil and baking soda. I can't tell you how good it smells. I have done this before using lavender and peppermint--the peppermint was supposed to keep away any little critters that like to invade that space (dust mites, etc). I recently discovered how much I like the scent of the mandarin orange. It is not a orange cream-sicle flavor like some orange scents.  It is also a little sweeter than an orange essential oil  Like lemongrass oil, there is something about it that makes you feel better.  
This company, Eden's Garden, has been a blessing to our family. If your are interested in trying essential oils, give them a look-see.  (this recommendation is from my heart, and I am not a paid endorser). Shipping is free in the US. 

Today has not only smelled good, but it felt good--good to be home and working around the house. School has been so demanding lately that the housework fell apart.  Today, I cleaned out the fridge and did lots of laundry. I will have Monday off from school (the eclipse!) so I can get caught up on school work then. 
The best things in life are often right here at home. 
Hope your weekend is a wonderful one!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back to School

Yesterday was a good "First Day of School." Our classes typically start on Wednesday, so yesterday felt like MONDAY all day.   Virginia was very excited about starting all of her  music classes as an official student within the music division (as opposed to a dual-enrollment student), and she has a Bible Survey course with one of our family's favorite professors. James Martin is hanging in there with his job--he feels strange not being back in school, but maybe that feeling will make library school even more appreciated once he starts.  John Thomas is enjoying getting back into the swing of things.  He will have Hebrew all this year. I would love to take that with him, but I am not sure my tired old brain could handle it. 
Many of the local school systems are suspending classes on the eclipse day (which happens to be M's birthday!).  TMU has given us the option of doing so, but I think we will meet. since my classes are in the morning.  Apparently, our part of the world here is a particularly good spot to watch it in the early afternoon.

I am still working on getting the office in good shape.  No, the picture above is NOT my office, but wouldn't that be great?  I had a little time to sit down and work on class writing yesterday, but I need more.  With my rearrangement of shelves, I have all the books I need for my classes this term within literally an arm's reach!  I had no idea what they would do to help until I actually sat there yesterday.
I may try to post some pictures once it is all finished.  This is not a redecorating project--just a rearranging (and book-thinning) project. 
Today is our food distribution day at Church.  It is also our 26th wedding anniversary. 
Tomorrow night, all of our little chicks will actually be off from work, and even more miraculously-they don't have plans or obligations. SO . . . .
we might get to all go celebrate with a nice dinner together.  
Sunday is our quarterly "3rd Sunday sing." Brother Travis suggested we eat lunch at Church after the morning service before the singing, and he has pledged a gallon of Brunswick stew.  That is just fine with me!!
Busy week, but a happy one. 
Hope your week is going well.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Getting Ready for School

Getting ready for school again . . . there has been quite a flurry of activity lately with the kids and their social calendars:  weddings, work, friends visiting . . .  all good stuff. This week at the University is our week of meetings. Next week, more meetings and then classes begin on Wednesday. I wish I had spent more time reading this summer. 
 On another note, it is time to break out my well-worn copy of Anne of Avonlea.  I like to read this book before the school year begins. Like Anne, I am a little anxious about a new teaching assignment. All my years of teaching hasn't done much to help me with back-to-school butterflies. 

She had sat up until nearly twelve the preceding night composing a speech she meant to make to her pupils upon opening the school.  She had revised and improved it painstakingly, and then she had learned it off by heart.  It was a very good speech and had some very fine ideas in it, especially about mutual help and earnest striving after knowledge. The only trouble was that she could not now remember a word of it . . . .

Sunday, July 30, 2017

What a Great Weekend

This has been such a great weekend--we had a wonderful visit from a young man who has been a friend to all of the kids for 4 years.  Everyone had something special and fun to do with friends Friday and Saturday. Last night with everyone back home, we all watched an episode of  Father Brown together, enjoying our favorite meal of "petros." 
Josh went to church with us this morning; his father pastors a church very similar to our's.  Everyone was tickled to have him.  Today was communion Sunday, and it was a blessing for all of us.
Tonight being a 5th Sunday, we had something different in the evening service:  we all went out to the fellowship hall and watched  Joni . The story is a wonderful today as it was when it was first released in 1979.  We watched the whole thing in one sitting (complete with popcorn, cookies and cokes).  We got home a little bit later, but that was just fine. We had BLT's for a late supper and watched The Andy Griffith Show.

I can't think of a more relaxing way to end one week and prepare for the next. 
Hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

A Busy Week At the Ponderosa

What a week here at home!  The week has been a pretty good one, but so busy.  The start-up activities getting ready for the new school year have begun. The kids have been put on some tough work schedules--Dear Daughter and Dear Son 1 have had their share of 11-hour shifts. Dear Son 2 is enjoying things at the donut shop, but it has had its own challenges. They had a day when friends and family could come in to get whatever they want, and we certainly enjoyed that. We were able to talk to his boss, and he seems to really like JM.  JM is so tall and big-built that he is able to help with a lot of the moving work.  I think that has been a blessing.   Virginia got her learner's permit, and on the same day,  took the ACT for official admission into the university (as opposed to the dual-enrollment status she has had the last two years).  She is still working hard on the skirts for the wedding. Two of the three are almost done.

A happy spot this week has been the arrival of a couple of the boys' friends to visit for the weekend.  One has been staying with us, and it has been a lot of fun.  The other night, they all went to the Chicken House together, and Virginia took this picture.  This has been great. Our visitor, Josh, has been a friend to all our kids for 4 years.  Nathan has been friends with them for even longer.

Today, everyone was scattered in their own directions, and M and I sat and watched westerns most of the afternoon.  We watched Gunsmoke, Daniel Boone, and The Virginian. I made a little progress on the pink and cream afghan. Having done a lot of housework getting ready for Josh, I didn't have as much to do. That was really nice. I am going to make a pot of chilli

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Crayola Crisis at our Home

I have to share this story about what happened at our house the other night.  The boys and I drug out the coloring books, paper, pencils and crayons and turned on Audible to Ivanhoe.  Virginia was trying to work on her skirts. Dad came in and joined us, and proudly brought his own box of crayons that he had just bought at Wal-Mart (this is the time of year that the 24-pack is on sale for 50 cents, and we feel obligated to purchase at least one box). I was initially surprised that he did this--usually he does the crossword puzzle in the latest issue of his beloved Sword of the Lord. We are coloring along, pretty as you please, and Michael hands me his box of crayons and says, "smell these."  The wonderfully familiar Crayola scent was not there! In fact, they smelled pretty bad. We came up with all kinds of explanations--and all four of us are smelling our older crayons and these crayons . . . it was a sight to see! Had Crayola changed the formula? 
We went back to Wally World the next day to get something and hubby went over to the crayons to see if all of the new batch smelled this way--It might just be the end of an era!
Well, it was so funny to see us smelling those crayons.  We were low key, but I am sure someone noticed. Anyway, to our relief, the other boxes smelled normal. Civilization can continue as before.
He figures there must have been something wrong with that box, and it wasn't a harbinger of doom of things to come in crayola production!

We have a big box where we keep our smaller boxes of crayons and all of the supplies we use. There are quite a few "orphans" floating around in the big box--crayons without a home. I remember that I always liked keeping my crayons in a cigar box like this one-

My maternal grandfather would take me down to the "news stand" and buy me a book. The wonderful gentleman who ran the business would always keep the cigar boxes for kids who wanted them for crayons. I must have had a dozen.
We try to tell the kids, and I think they understand better now that they are young adults, that the simplest pleasures are the best and make the best memories. 

Here is a picture from one of our parties some time ago . . .

Sunday, July 23, 2017


Virginia has taken on the task of making 3 skirts for a friend's wedding party (the bridesmaids). It is going to be a small, lovely wedding-maybe the best kind! The girls are all three very different sizes (Virginia is one of them).  Each of the skirts are a shade of purple with tule on top.  She is having trouble with the sewing machine's tension setting. I have no ability to help her, but she has contacted a couple of friends who know their way around a sewing machine. Used to be that every small town had at least one Sew n Vac- type store where you could take your machine.  This is a new machine that we bought for her not too long ago. Her friends gave her some tips on how to deal with the problem until we can get it fixed. Yesterday before she went to work, she had the fabric all spread out in her room. It looked like a purple sea.  I will take some pictures to post soon. 

Virginia's best friend, Sarah, has completed a BEAUTIFUL quilt.  She sent me these pictures. I know she really enjoyed working on this project.

Isn't that beautiful?

Sarah's mom, Miss Sheila, has made some LOVELY afghans.  I need to ask her if I can post some pictures of them to keep me inspired and working on mine!

When Sarah sent these pictures, she talked about how much she enjoyed working on the quilt.  It really is a good feeling to have a project going--something pretty to make-an attainable goal to work toward reaching with something really nice as a finished reminder of your diligence.   
Well done, Sarah!

Friday, July 21, 2017

A James 1: 17 Week

The Lord has brought good and perfect gifts into our lives-
Charlie and Janice.  They are two of the most wonderful people I have met.

 I am sending all of these to be printed. 
Our Sunday school lesson this week is about gratitude to God 
"To Him who alone doeth great wonders . . ."
He has certainly done a great wonder for my family.

My nephew Bruce; brother, Charlie, and niece, Kathy.
Treasures all.

The Latest Yarn

Sorry to have been so long between posts. This is a quick snapshot of my latest--yes, I started something new with lots of things waiting in the queue to be finished. Years ago, I played around with the soft colors, and I loved it. I am just making an 8 x 8 throw ( 8 squares x 8 squares) with a few border rows around it.  I want to put this on the foot of our bed. Now for the fun part:  in the border, I will use the pink and ivory colors AND a mystery color. Can anyone guess what that mystery color will be?  Dear daughter figured it out. We'll see.

We had a blip on our finances thinking that our summer pay would arrive on a certain date when it actuality it was destined to arrive two weeks later. Thinking the pay was on its way, I bought this bag of yarn from a company in England. It actually cost less than a comparable trip to Hobby Lobby. I felt terrible about buying it after we found out about our summer pay, but it is ok. With shipping it was just over $40 USD. Not the best timing in the world, but I learned a valuable lesson without a terrible catastrophe.     

This is from a company that distributes the yarns used in projects by Lucy at Attic 24. Here is another photo of the colors of this yarn from Lucy's site.

I may make squares, but I am not sure. I might do a striped granny.  The colors are something else. I thought the yarn would be wool, but it is acrylic, and it is very soft like the Hobby Lobby yarn. I am glad it is not wool. 

This has been a summer of many wonderful gifts from the Lord. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Tender Thoughts for the Day--Losses and Gains

This week has already been "something else" and there are more events on their way.
Saturday, we went to do some shopping for a trip I am taking this week, and when I returned home, I could feel something different on my ring finger. Lo and behold, my diamond had fallen out of my engagement ring. I have had that ring for 26 years. I don't know what in the world I will do.  The monetary loss doesn't bother me, but Michael picked out this ring for me--I think today the thing to do is for the bride-to-be to pick out what she wants.  But mine meant so much because he picked it out.  My finger is so much fatter than when we were married, I don't know if I can get the ring off without having it cut, but I have to do something because the prongs are pointed and sharp. The Lord will show me what to do.
Virginia has started working. I have mixed feelings, and they are working her very hard. She has had a recurring UTI and we are going to have to address it with a specialist, I think. I am grateful for having access to the doctor.
Friday, I  will be going to see a half-brother who just learned of my existence this year. I can't believe how marvelous this is. His daughter, my niece, has treated me like she has known me all her life. 
It has been a very different summer. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Thoughts on Laundry, Life, and Love

Those of you who follow the cross stitching home blog know that we have been " round and round" with our laundry appliances with the happiest of endings here recently. I am SOO grateful for the repaired dryer and the new washer.  Yesterday, I reached a milestone I probably haven't reached in more than a year:  all of the boys' laundry is clean, including sheets, blankets, comforters, towels and EVERYTHING.  I can't tell you what this means to me.
I am the queen of complaining, but I want to say this --I love being able to do things for our family. I am not a good housekeeper, although I want to be. I am not an especially good laundress, but I try my best to be. Life is about doing the best you can and balancing the failures with the victories. 
Doing something for the family, something that the world would see as mundane or silly, makes me as happy as anything in life--a basket full of clean, white socks that smell of Downy and bleach; twin  stacks of jeans folded and sorted for our two towers; clean sheets on EVERYONE's beds, waiting for them to fall into after working hard all day! True accomplishments!
Years ago, my sister in law was telling me how happy she was that she and her husband were going to be able to help one of their grown sons pull up his carpet and put down new flooring. I understand that now more than ever.  
Love is in the small things.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Returning Thoughts

Wow, what a long time has passed since I have posted on this blog.  In many ways, I am no longer "homeschool mom/scribe" since my last homeschooler will be moving to full time college attendance, but I will still be around with my books and encouragement for all three of them as they continue their studies.
This summer is flying by, and I am not sure why. We have had some good moments and some setbacks. I woke up this morning uneasy, but I don't know why.  We had to buy a new washer, but it is such a blessing--there are NO words. I really do about 5 loads a day, at least 5-6 days a week. I just wear them out. Both the washer and dryer are working. 
Michael is sorting through books downstairs and getting it in order.
I have found family members who didn't know about me, and that has gone better than I could ever have imagined.
My summer classes are running fairly smoothly.
Dear Son 2 has a job, not the one he wanted, but the one he was to have. It will go a long way toward paying for library school.
Dear daughter, against my better judgment, also has a job she begins tomorrow. Dad and I are going along and helping her, but I wanted her to spend the summer resting and working on piano. It will be the last chance for the former!
Dear Son 1 continues his job and his graduate studies. He thought he had earned a "B" in Greek, to all of our shock.  The grade was an error that the instructor discovered and changed. JT would never have said anything, so that was a blessing to a broken heart (he wouldn't say "broken" but he was so disappointed--the Greek has meant a lot to him).
I am trying to get some reading done. 
I feel discouraged sometime--a list seems like a formula for failure. If it hits a list, it is sure to not get done. I don't know how to change that.  The more determined I feel to get something done, the more life takes me down a different path.  The Christian life is about surrendering your life to the will of God and being led by His Holy Spirit. Sometimes, I feel, as does Michael, that we are holding on white-knuckled to a kayak racing down the rapids with no way to steer or stop!  But there is Someone steering and He will calm the waters and gently waft us up to the bank of the river to rest under His goodness and mercy!
Fellow reader, if you are tired or discouraged, me too!  We'll be fine!
God bless and keep you. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Time to Get Out the Crayons

We are about to have another week of break for Holy Week. This is the kindest school calendar I have ever known.  We have had an interesting week with lots of thunderstorms, rain, and WIND.  Due to the hail from a couple of weeks ago, we have a new roof.  The woman from the Corporate office of our insurance company called with the notion that we were opportunists trying to take advantage of the scenario to get a new roof.  She came to the house (from Chicago!) and climbed on the roof herself.  I was a little perturbed--not that she came, but that she came with this predisposition.  We have lived here about 14 years and have NEVER made any kind of claim on our insurance, paying our premium (first as renters, then as owners) faithfully to a local agent we hold in high regard.  After  her "walk around" on the roof, she said, "yeah, and we'll get you some new gutters, too. How about that bird feeder? How much did you pay for that?" I was stunned. Michael took it all in his usual stride. Everything ended very cordially and professionally. 
We had the roof done this Tuesday--with rain and storms the day before and the day after. It was amazing. Our neighbor had damage that extended into his house, so the roofers are over there today. 
Anyway, we are settling into the week's wind down.

I told John Thomas, "it's time for a coloring party." He said, "I'm for that."
So, we can plan on one next week since he has to work Friday and Saturday.
We are all big Crayola enthusiasts, so we all try to keep up with the changes in the products; we were sad to learn that the color "Dandelion" is being retired. It is one of his favorite colors. We have plenty of them in the house to set aside as artifacts to show the grandchildren! 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Blessing

I was supposed to have a meeting today with my "big boss" (as opposed to hubby who is my immediate boss).  Meeting was postponed, and now I have an hour to read. Pretty good deal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Masterpiece Theatre

I grew up watching PBS. Back then, there weren't so many channels, and I think we were better off. Moma and Daddy loved Masterpiece Theatre and Evening at Pops with Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops.  You can still watch some of the episodes of the latter on You tube, including an evening with The Carpenters. Alistaire Cooke was the host when I first watched the show, and we have seen many others fill that role over the years. I thought Diana Rigg did a great job. She introduced a remake of Daphne de Maurier's Rebecca  in which she starred, playing the mysterious and dark Mrs. Danvers.

Among my parents's favorites were The Six Wives of Henry VIII and Elizabeth R.  Our kids have grown up with these classics and others from the program.  We have come home many a night from church, grabbed our supper, and sat down to watch Poldark, Downton Abbey, and most recently, Victoria.  I love Wolf Hall (although I question the historicity of some of it, as with Victoria--it's no fun living in the house with 4 historians). I love the original Poldark, and the remake was good as well. I am currently watching The Pallisers. There are quite a few available on YouTube. By the way, in a survey taken to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of Masterpiece, Upstairs, Downstairs was rated #1.  I tell our kids that there would have been no Downton had there not been an Upstairs, Downstairs. In fact, there were many story lines and characters that seemed very much like those in the Jean Marsh series.

Michael really likes some of the older Masterpiece Mystery: P.D. James and Lord Peter Wimsey in particular. We love Foyle's War and Lewis now. You have to be careful because some of the mysteries can be harsh. The Cadfael Mysteries are really good--especially the first series with Sean Pertwee as Hugh Beringar.  When he leaves the series, it loses quite a bit of its character.

I told Michael I want a "Masterpiece" shelf--the videos and DVDs we have collected over the years, the books they represent, and a couple of used book store Masterpiece Theatre book finds we have.
These programs and the literature and history upon which they are based have added a lot to our lives.

Here is a favorite of our family's:  Upstairs, Downstairs with an introduction by Alistaire Cookie.

Monsterpiece Theatre

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Piano Girl

Friday night there was a performance of some of the participants from last Saturday's Music Festival.  Virginia loves to play on these grand pianos. 
She found this dress in SC when we went to Belk's to get Michael some shoes. She had looked longingly at the dress earlier last year, but it was just way too much.  It had been marked down to about $14 when we were there Thursday!  There was only one left, and it was her size!

This was her 11th year in the Piano Festival. The boys participated for about 9 years.  Their teacher, Mrs. Ann, has meant the world to them over the years.  She has taught them much more than piano. She believes in the old fashioned virtues of deportment, courtesy, and professionalism. If you make a mistake when playing, keep going. Always be gracious. Always treat others with kindness. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Trying to Gather Thoughts, Capture Time, and Move in the Right Direction

Years ago, I followed a blog called "Raggedy Janet's Country Home."  This beautiful blog was a source of encouragement from a mom who homeschooled her three children. She often spoke of "busyness" and the dangers associated with it.  I think time slips through the cracks of life when we are so busy we don't know what we're doing. An insidious aspect of this is that you can easily slip into the routine of "busyness" neglecting the importance of taking time together to do what is really important.  A couple of expressions come to mind--we have all heard these, but they bear repeating:
1. The enemy of best is good.  (Amen to that!)
2. Stop and smell the roses.

A new watchword in popular culture today is to live "intentionally." I usually hate cliches and phrases of the day, but this one has a place in the discussion. If we do not live INTENTIONALLY, we will live in a way we didn't intend to at all. 
Hubby and I are blessed beyond measure to have the kids at home now.  When we were their ages, we were in colleges far from home. I am so happy that they are still here and still want to be here. But I feel that our youngest is losing track of what is best in the face of so many things that are good. 
Life at college has completely swallowed her senior year of high school, and the demands of her schedule have pushed away some of the things she needs to do at home with her school work. Her college grades are exemplary, but she is so tired when she gets home, she really doesn't do much. 

I have specific prayers for all of our children:
1. That they will add to their lives Christian friends who treat them the way they treat their friends. I pray this especially for DS 2. He often feels isolated. 
2. That they will work harder at spending time with the Lord in a personal way.
3. That they will put down their phones and pick up a book.
4. That they will find the RIGHT individuals for dating . . . and marriage.

5. We ALL need to stop, smell the roses, count the blessings and sit quietly amongst them. 

We went to South Carolina the other day, and the best part of it was just being together in the same spot. 

Lord, I pray today that You would show me what to do to better manage my time and to better help them to manage theirs. 
I love You, Lord.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

May I Have My Chalk Board Back, Please?

Our college had a nice blend of old and new as they work hard to have a good teaching and learning environment. I really do appreciate the technology, although I don't understand it all, at our fingertips. Today, I showed a good movie off of You Tube about the Glorious Revolution. Gone are the days when we have to lug in VCR's or even DVD players. It is all at our fingertips.  However, it is difficult for me to understand what plugs into where and how.  I thankfully had one of my own children in the class to help today. James Martin came to the rescue when it came time to get everything set up. I will have to master this myself since he is GRADUATING this semester! Many of us remember the old filmstrip projectors and the record that BEEPS when it is time to go to the next frame. Having said that, I do miss my chalkboard. I have a dry erase board now, and I like it, but I miss the chalk board.  [ I had to teach one semester in a classroom with one of the SMARTBOARDS--I  didn't think I would make it]. All of this AV stuff helps make the class room more entertaining, but there is no substitute for putting pen to paper and chalk to the board and TEACHING through lectures, reading and good note taking.

I am troubled, too, by the shrinking attention spans young people have today.  This problem is often exacerbated by a touch of rudeness. Today, after a "multi-media" class with film accompanying the lecture, a student had found one of the poems mentioned in the lecture.  He was going to read a bit of it . . . that showed a lot of initiative, I thought. The entire time he was reading, however, they were all packing up their books to go.  The only exception was James Martin (our youngest son) who sat listening. 

These are not bad students or students that are rude beyond how their generation usually acts. I was just a little surprised.  I have had some heart-to -hearts with them this semester, and I don't think anything I have said or done has really changed their ability to see themselves. 
Oh well . . .
I am grateful for them and the fact that I have this position.

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I love this blog, but haven't posted on it in a while.  We are all hip-deep in school work, Church responsibilities, and everyday life.  Added to that was a flu-bug that fell on Michael about a week ago. He is far from 100% but is doing better. John Boy thinks he is coming down with it, too. I had a mild version, but feel much better today, owing largely to the amount of chocolate and Diet Mountain Dew I consume.
Pictured above is a little Calico Critters set I bought for Dear Daughter.  She had some of these Calico Critter toys when she was younger, and she still loves them. I thought she would like the little piano, flute, and violin.
Updates on the Boys:  James Martin is having a good term. He is LOVING his library work and his classes.   He is working on his capstone (senior paper). We fixed up a table in his room where he can put all of the books and papers he is using for the paper.
John Thomas is having a good term--he is completing his first year in the grad program. He is also working still at the Chicken House. He has a good working relationship with the people there, and they know they can depend upon him. 

Hope you're all enjoying the pretty day wherever you are. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Dear Daughter's Desk

Her desk and things she loves. The cloth covered book at the left of the picture is a book of poetry. We have used it for years as a source of penmanship practice. Now she keeps a book of quotes.
I am proud of the young woman she is. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

A Reading Assigment

Our daughter is taking classes at the University (it sounds odd to say that after so many years as a college), but she is also continuing in some homeschool courses.  A lovely coincidence this year is that she is required to read In His Steps for one of her homeschool English courses AND for her father's American History course at the university.  He assigns the class a portion of the book each week, and they then have a quiz on that portion each Friday.  This isn't typically his approach, but he wants the class to read in such a way that the meaning of the book will sink in.  He also has this course read Chuck Colon's Born Again. I know of a young man who came to a saving knowledge of the Lord by reading that book.  A wonderful benefit shared by both home education and a college with a Biblical foundation is that the material will honor the Lord and bring the students closer to Him. 

If you haven't read this book, I hope you will take the time to do so. 
God bless you all this week. 

Thoughts from the Week

This week has been calmer than last, I am happy to say. 
We were all over the place last week, but just about 1/3 as busy this week. Michael had a meeting in a neighboring county Monday night and brought this lovely yellow and purple bouquet home!  It is still just as pretty.
Progress on the two projects continues slowly and surely--the Simple Sampler and John Thomas' afghan. Today, I want to work on the kitchen with some deep cleaning, and then I might take off the rest of the day to try to get some work done on these projects. My goal is to have them done by the end of the month, which is rapidly approaching. 
Family night in this Wednesday at Church. On the first Wednesdays of the month, we have a family meal.  Our older fellowship hall has had new life breathed into it, and we have a functioning fireplace. Michael suggested that we could have a "soup supper" (everyone's favorite), and sit around the fireplace. I think the idea sounds great. I bought a bag of the calico bean soup mix at the grocery store last night with the thought of fixing it to take.
Because the winter months here are so fleeting, we all get excited about these cozy moments!
Hope you all are keeping warm and cozy!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Plan for the Week

This week looks busy, but not quite so crazy as this last week.
Hubby had a trip to Atlanta with another professor that he really likes. They had a great time, but I was sure happy to see the Hallelujah wagon back in front of our office building.
Dear Daughter had a weekend-long trip with her music ensembles. She is way too tired. That concerns me a little, but I am happy to say that she is home safe and sound.
Thursday was our food distribution. We had a great day, and one dear soul came to the Lord!
Friday, M and JM watched the Inauguration together. That was great. JT was at the Chicken House, and I was at work until 1:00.
We are having some pretty serious rain and storms, so no Church tonight.
Chilli is bubbling on the stove, and we are all about to pile it on top of  fritos. Add some cheese and sour cream, and we have a feast!

The picture on top is from my Amazon instant video collection, and I hope to watch it this week and complete my cross stitch picture. I am close to getting it done.

Hope your week goes well. Let me know what you're reading/learning these days!

Monday, January 16, 2017

For My Friend, Miss Janice

Janice, this would be even better were the two both cats, but it reminded me of your cats, Gingham and Calico.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Never Stop Praying for Your Children

I love stories with happy endings whether they are realistic or not. As Christians, we shall all have "happy endings." But the years of life between our Conversion and our Presence with Christ have lots of bumps in the road. Like every mom, I am facing lots of ups and downs with our children as they walk into young adulthood. Their dad and I are so proud of them. They make good decisions, and they are old enough to take credit for that themselves. However,  I wish I could write a happy chapter or two  for them on this side of heaven, especially in the area of searching for a spouse. 
Never stop praying for your children.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Some Thoughts From the Desk--the Gift of Femininity

A topic I have long wanted to post about is the subject of the obfuscation in our culture today of the genders given to us by the Creator. The Scripture tells us clearly and repeatedly, "male and female created He them." A great way to strike at the soul of the individual, the family, and the society is to confuse and redefine these roles. I see it all around in every aspect of our culture. If, dear readers, you will indulge me, I want to speak to these instances:

1. The education system on every level, from K-12 and the colleges and universities extol the virtue and acceptability of alternative lifestyles, families with 2 moms or 2 dads.  We have a grammar book used by most universities that use these scenarios for writing prompts!  We are no longer using that text, but it is widely used throughout the country. I think the title "Alternative Lifestyle" will fall into the abyss  politically-correct disuse. These lifestyles are contrary in every direction to what the Bible teaches, yet are culture seems to embrace them. 

2. Girls growing up seem to have 2 choices in clothing selections: sexually-provocative and mature feminine clothing or masculine outfits.  If you question this, go into the stores and look. When was the last time you saw a feminine dress for a young lady that was not revealing?  I had a lovely student a few years back who was attending a prom (she was a dual-enrollment student, taking college courses as part of her last year in high school). She was athletic and very devoted to her academics. I liked her a lot.  She was always dressed in her running apparel (her sport of choice).  When she showed my daughter and me her prom picture, I just about fell over!  I didn't want her to note my reaction, but her dress left very little to the imagination. My first thought was, as it usually is, "where is your mother?"  Often, when we look at mom, she is dressed the same way. Today, dresses look like slips or undergarments.  

3. Gender identification is a tricky term--here I don't mean the more complex topic of  DNA issues, but  choices. Our young men are being feminized and our young women, made more masculine, and that is supposed to be good. Hmmm    Many professions that have been typically dominated by men are now completely overtaken by women, and that is supposed to be good. My niece (by marriage) is in her second year of vet school at a major state university; she told me that most of the students are female, and that the profession has as many women as men, if not more. Take a look one day at the names on the shingles of your local vets.  Many denominations that have accepted women in the role of deacon and minister are now stuck with both a shortage of men to fill these roles and a surplus of women to take up the slack. 

4. Roles at Home;  Don't you think that Satan particularly likes targeting the family?  He went after Eve in the garden, and he is still pursuing her. My eyes were opened to a verse of Scripture years ago in a Sunday school lesson: " . . . and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee."  After Eve's terrible mistake with the serpent, everything changed.  She would no longer be content with her created role as "helpmeet." She wanted her husband's position.  The verse in Genesis 3 describes a dissatisfaction with her role and a desire to have his.  We are still bristling and waging war against God's perfect order.  The husband is the head of the home and the family; what kind of riot would ensue if I talked about that openly in public today? The Serpent dangled the fruit in front of Eve again with the "Women's Lib" movement, and to be frank, with "the pill" as well. Eve believed that the pill and easy access to birth control and abortion gave her sexual freedom. She was in fact chaining herself to an immorality that denies her self worth and self respect. Satan often works that way, disguising slavery as freedom. The women's liberation mentality has done nothing for us at all other than push us further and further out of His Garden.

5. Femininity in General;  this is probably the hardest for me to set down in words, but I have seen (through relatives and many years of students) a trend among young women:  they will reject feminine colors, styles, roles, and views as a way of being trendy and accepted.  Sugar and spice and everything nice has been replaced by tattoos, pink camo, zombies and vampires, and pornographic books aimed at teen girls. What do they wear, read, watch, and do? Do they sew, knit, quilt and cook? Or do they text, twitter, snapchat and instagram?  Who are their heroines? Corrie ten Boom? Laura Ingalls Wilder? Or Lady Gaga? Miley Cyrus? Mothers are teaching their daughters today to reject their roles as caretaker of the home and family in favor of a career that has typically been occupied by men. Eve has fallen for the lie of "you can have it all"--here, "all" means you can be a great wife and mom and an ambitious career woman.  Having it all means fulfilling God's role for us. Proverbs 31, Titus 2--we must teach our daughters to live by these guidelines, not the world's.

Many of us have to work outside the home, and I am in a profession that allows me more time at home than most. Many mothers don't have this opportunity. That is why every moment possible must be lived and taught through the admonitions and completeness of Scripture.
Isn't that the problem today? 
Do we know the Scripture?  Even Christians lack the Bible knowledge needed to combat the world's values.

I want this year to be a year that I am closer to the Lord and ever more dedicated to learning from Him and His Holy Word. 

Create in me a clean heart, O God,; and renew a right spirit within me.