Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Time for a Few Thoughts

At last, fall has arrived.  This blessed season is the most fleeting--and it took so long to get here to us.  I am trying my best to savor it.  The hurricanes have kept our weather a little off kilter. Between the hurricanes we had little rain, but there has been some of late, and now some cooler temperatures. I am hoping the promise of brilliant golds, reds and oranges will be fulfilled in the next week or so.

We continue to have 10 or more different schedules to follow in a 5-person household.  I wouldn't mind a return to the homeschool days where we can spend an entire day reading together. When they were younger, I didn't make the mistake of looking forward to when they would be older; now I probably shouldn't look back!

I fixed a HUGE pot of vegetable soup this morning to be ready for anyone at anytime they come in between classes and rehearsals and work. I would like to make some fried corn bread, something I learned from Mrs. Donna last year, but I think I will have to stick to the method more time-economical in the oven.

We had such a busy weekend this last Saturday--the Singing Convention was at our Church so we fixed a great big lunch for everyone (20 pounds of potatoes!), and then we raced off to a wedding that dear daughter was in. Sunday, she had two performances with her school groups at Churches in faraway places.  Everything is good, but I am longing for some quiet and some slowdown. Dear daughter is learning that she will have to say "no" to doing certain things.  The students have learned that she knows how to hem and sew, so they all come to her for help.  She had been given a dress for a wedding (some time away), but the hem was very complicated.  I couldn't do it, and we even tried asking another friend who was unfortunately out of town.  She wisely returned the dress and said that she couldn't complete it.  A wonderful man at church quoted to me some time ago, "the worst enemy of best is good."  How do you figure out which is which?  I think we have to rely on common sense and more importantly, the Holy Spirit of God!

This all sounds like complaining--it is not!  It is thinking out loud, sorting through the day and the week.  I want to seize time and hold it tightly so it doesn't escape entirely.  I did spend some time last night working on a Christmas cross stitch project, and that soothed my spirit so much. I watched an episode of Lost in Space.  

Off to school shortly!  Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Hometown Morning

This Thomas Kinkade painting is called "Hometown Morning." Our town looks like this today as we get some of the marginal rains from the latest hurricane this season.  I went ahead and got lunch ready--we are having chilli and chips ("petros") and some brownies. The brownies smell so good in the oven as I type this post. We are headed out to Church soon.
Hope you have a wonderful Lord's Day. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

I Don't Think He Would Approve


On one of my blogs, I have at some point extolled the virtues of a program on PBS called "Father Brown." The show is loosely based on a character created by the great G.K. Chesterton. I love G.K. Chesterton, and I have enjoyed this series and a previous series made in the 70's.  I have to call back my recommendation of the latest incarnation. While this Father Brown is written as a kind man whose primary concern is the soul of the individual, his current writers have taken egregious liberties with the Father and  with Christianity. I can't imagine my Catholic brothers and sisters approving of some of the positions taken by Father Brown in season 5, and I feel sure that Chesterton himself would be quite upset. So, if any of you have watched the show based on my praising of the show, I apologize for the direction some of the later episodes have taken. 

A Little Happy News for Your Day

With all the bad news on television today, I am pleased to share a little bit of happiness with you:  We are all so excited about a ministry project we have been working on for a long time at our Church.  Mrs. Donna, pictured bending forward on the right and Mrs. Linda, standing on the left, spearheaded a sewing project to make these beautiful little "pillowcase dresses" for as many little girls as possible. They ended up making over 50 dresses.  A local retailer donated a gift card and the ladies used it to buy some of the lace and ric-rac. Lace was also donated by a thrift-store owner we know. Much of the fabric was donated by other church members. Almost every family in our little congregation contributed in some way. The dresses were originally to be sent with the backpacks into the Appalachian ministry region.  Our WMU director, Mrs. Rosy, got the sad word that no clothes were needed or wanted. We thought that was very strange.  Michael contacted an area missionary from the region, who at that time happened to be visiting in a neighboring county to our church. He was THRILLED about the dresses and said that he knew of a ministry serving over 800 young mothers and their children. He saw the dresses as manna from heaven. I think he is right. We will get everything together for these families (and we have collected and laundered all kinds of warm winter clothing to send with the dresses) and hand them off to Brother Barker. I think, in true Baptist fashion, we are going to have a nice meal for him.

Wednesday night, we laid out all of the dresses to check the sizes and colors. We have ordered little long sleeve shirts to go with each of the jumpers. 

After sorting and counting sizes, the dresses were gathered and put into a bag. We all gathered around the bag and prayed for the dresses, the little girls wearing them, and Brother Barker.  The Lord's work comes in sizes, colors and textures as varied and beautiful as this collection of 'pillowcase' dresses.

And as if the coffee weren't already spilling over into the saucer, it was Family Night which means a meal together! It was chilli dog night!  Our resident hot dog lover and connoisseur, James Martin, was afraid he would have to miss the night because of a meeting, but all worked for him to come on to Church and have some chilli dogs (his employers are usually really great about working around his Church schedule). 

It was a great night for everyone. Thank You, Lord!

Sunday, September 24, 2017

An Exciting Week . . .

Virginia was able to attend a conference in Nashville this week with her TMU music ensemble, "3:16" led by Mr. Dennis Allen. Mr. Allen took them up to hear the speakers at this marvelous conference. They attended all kinds of "talks" and lectures, the theme of which was the eternal value of hymns and hymn writing. The highlight of her trip was getting to hear Joni Eareckson Tada speak and sing.  We were able to watch a live-stream of one of Joni's presentations.  She is amazing. 

This is a picture Virginia took at the first of Joni's presentations. 

Virginia was gone for 8 days. I was glad that she came home early yesterday.  She bought some books and some really nice tea at a tea shop.  They also were able to spend some time in a studio recording their group's music. She had a good time with that.
We all held down the fort here as best as could be. 
The boys have worked hard this week--John Thomas has had a lot of hours at work and a lot of school work. He is enjoying Hebrew, but it is a long class that meets only once a week (I think languages are like math--they should ALL be 5 days a week). He was saying the other day he wished it met more times each week. His professor is really a great teacher and scholar. James Martin continues working hard at the donut shop. His schedule is a wonderful schedule, and the owners gave him another hour each day.  He appreciated that. They have been really good to him, but I think it is safe to say, it is a two-way street. 
Hubby is doing well. He has been enjoying having his quiet time out on the front porch--the mornings have been cool and pleasant. 
Hope your week has gone well for you . . .

Time to start getting ready for Church--it's so good to all be together.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Back to Normal?

Not quite. 
Today promises to be quite a busy day. "3rd Sunday Sing" has rolled around again. It will be at our Church. Thursday is our food distribution day.  Dear Daughter is gone for the week on a music group trip to Nashville. Yesterday, we were able to a few things done around the house after getting her launched.

This new project is a series of alternating stitches, single crochet and double crochet. These stitches create a pattern of subtle ups and downs.  That seems to capture this last week--ups and downs of a more dramatic nature.  My heart is full of joy and happiness that my friends in FL made it through the hurricane unhurt with their homes intact. I hope to post about that soon. But on the other side, we lost two dear friends to illness.  I was able to attend one of the funerals, just as the storm was coming to our area. The Lord in His goodness withheld the rain and wind until the graveside service was over. There was a misty rain and virtually no wind. But on the way home, the deluge started--rain, wind, limbs falling. The Creator and Sustainer of all the universe cared about this heartbroken gathering of His sparrows.  His Tender Mercies are daily and  eternal . . .

The other passing was in my home state, and I found out about the service well after the fact.  I was privileged to know Kerrie and Lucy, and look forward to seeing them again.
I want to keep the posts positive, and I debated on whether to leave this one, but worry, fear, illness and loss--these are all part of our lives.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
lean not on your own understanding . . .

God bless and keep you all this week. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New Mercies I See

My friends  who went through Irma have had some interesting insights into life without electricity and internet.  They have commented about sitting around their tables talking, playing board games and enjoying being together at home.  My friends in Florida went through some terrifying hours, but I think they will remember the Lord's mercies more than their fear.
The sweetest story came from one of families at church last night. Brother Travis and his wife are in their 80's and every bit as active as they were at any time in their lives.  They lost their power for a couple of days (as did several of our Church family).  Brother Travis told us  that he and Barbara read the story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus by candlelight and that seemed to make everything better. I wish I could better recall his exact words. Another one of our members, Brother Jett, uses a wood stove, and he was really grateful to have it over these last couple of days.  I didn't hear anyone complaining--just gratitude to the Lord for His provision and goodness. We were talking about the King James word, "Lovingkindness."  It is a unique word in the Hebrew and used only to describe the LORD God.  

Speaking of around the table, here is a picture for my family in North Carolina-

We made the most of all being at the dinner table at the same time. and have enjoyed supper together. I made a meat loaf in the cast iron pan, not thinking about how heavy it would be with all that hamburger in it! We had both meatloaf and macaroni for leftovers the next day. That was great!
We have been out of school all week, and I have to be honest, I have really liked that. That sounds really selfish (because it is), but I have loved being home together. The kids have had a lot of extra hours at work because of their availability, and because everyone without power has wanted to eat somewhere with lights and hot food!  But we have still had more time together than in a typical week. Virginia leaves Saturday on a week-long trip to Nashville with her performance group, "3:16." I am grateful she is traveling away from the weather. 
Hope you all are having a good week, staying safe, dry and warm. Thanks to Sandra and others for their prayers. Thanks be to God for His Lovingkindness.

POST SCRIPT:  We all read with horror about how looters and predators are on the loose in these storm-ravaged areas, but love and thoughtfulness are also on the move:  a sweet friend in my hometown, without electricity fired up his grill and made steaks and potatoes for another friend without power at her house. These times reveal the character we have within ourselves. God bless you Jay, for your kindness. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017


This afternoon, I was able to spend some time on the internet trading pictures about crochet projects with my friends who  down in the path of the hurricane in Florida.  I think it was a pleasant diversion for all of us. One of my friends is teaching another down there how to make the different stitches, and they both post neat pictures of what they have done. Margaret and I even exchanged pictures of our crochet hooks.

I do about a row every night.  
Think I will try to finish up the pretty light olive color I am working on now. 
Hope to get back to the cross stitching soon.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Is Supper Ready, Yet?

Buttercup came down from her usual perch on the stair railing and made a bed out of a cardboard box.  She peeked up over the edge at me as I walked past, and I had to get this shot.  
Tuesday was a good day,but we all seemed to be coming and going all day (except me--I was home most of the day). The crock pot will have a full workout by the end of the week. I made vegetable soup for our supper . . . ready for whomever and whenever . . .

It was really particularly good, because rather than just two great big cans of Veg-All, I used a bunch of cut-up potatoes, tomatoes, carrtots and onions (then, I threw in the veg-all!).  It was really good. I also made a pound cake for Church Wednesday night (our 'Family Night' meal). The crock pot is full again, cooking away at the "calico bean" soup we are bringing.  Brother Henry will make Mexican cornbread, and Mrs. Donna is bringing her cole slaw. Sounds like a feast.

Taking advantage of my time at home, I made another of JES's recipes from her Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth blog.  These little spray bottles are wonderful.  One, the Peter Rabbit room spray, is for sleepy time; the Raggedy Ann spray is just a sweet, nice spray to lift your spirits.  My spirits were lifted making these, and I appreciate JES's blog so very much.  

There are lots of difficult things going on around us these days. We have a family friend who is in the gravest of health; another potentially horrendous hurricane is bearing down on Florida, my home state. Tensions abroad continue to plague the nation. But the Lord is aware of all. His love will sustain us all through these times. God bless each of you as you serve and love Him this day.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Bathroom Blues

Do you like my jars?  I bought them at Hobby Lobby (the small one I bought was $2!). The little labels were available free at Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth. I printed them out and used some laminating paper to affix them. I loved this project.  It was my inspiration to get in and deep clean our bathroom and bathroom closet.  Getting this done is such a good feeling.  I will try to tackle the boys' bathroom this week as well. I probably won't make them their own apothocary jars, though!

The towel shelf makes me very happy.  I washed them all with detergent and white vinegar. The vinegar disinfects and also makes the towels nice and fluffy.  
This has been a pretty good day. Lots of laundry, cleaning, and cooking.  
Hope your day was "nice and fluffy"  . . .

Sunday, September 3, 2017

A Week in Review

With August coming to a close, we are approaching the fall season (my favorite!).  Busy back-to-school schedules are especially long on Tuesdays.  Virginia has a full day of classes, lessons, and then community choir.  James Martin is singing in the choir as well, so he has just a little time between work and getting to the college.  John Thomas has a Tuesday night class, too, I think.  So, we decided to make Tuesday night, "Crock pot night"--that way, a hot supper is waiting whenever everyone is able to sit down--5:30 or 8:30 and all time in between.  Last Tuesday, I made vegetable soup; this week, we had James Martin's favorite, "Redwall Stew."  This is a recipe gleened from the Brian Jacques' Redwall series of books--the boys' favorite growing up. I am actually on the lookout for a bigger crock pot.  This pot was filled to the brim with chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions and chicken stock.  It was really tasty. 

On the 31st of each month, the Baskin Robbins side of Dunkin Donuts has ice cream cones for $1.50.  So, we loaded up to go take advantage of the special.  Michael had a "german chocolate" flavored ice cream--he loved it.  It really was tasty. Virginia had mint-chocolate chip.  I had this beautiful strawberry ice cream. M had to hold it for me while I snapped the picture. It was as tasty as it was pretty. JM was tickled to pieces to "play host."  John Thomas had gone in earlier in the day to get the ice cream cone deal, but he ended up going for a banana split.  

M took me to Hobby Lobby in big town Friday night.  That was a lot of fun.  I didn't need to get any yarn, but couldn't resist taking a quick shot of the beautiful Soft Secret colors. I bought a couple of stitching notions--I want to make a post about those later on this week. 

Yesterday, I spent much of the day working on laundry and emptying the laundry basket that was full of about 100 white socks. I did some "deep" laundry--washing forgotten things like mattress pads. Washing all of this puts me behind with other loads, but it just needed to be done.  If I could cycle those things through about once a month, I would feel good.  There are some wonderful "recipes" on Pinterest that tell how to "clean" the mattress with baking soda and essential oils.  It is really easy, and it smells so good.  I will try to post on that one day soon. 
The basket was full of about 3 loads of whites I had washed over the week but didn't sort and put away.  I put on Gunsmoke on TV and got it done in short order. That was great! I love my pink laundry basket, but sometimes laundry baskets become agents of procrastination--keeping things in the baskets rather than folding them and putting them away. 

Speaking of agents of procrastination, my beloved green chair too often holds all of those things for me that I don't want to put up.  Yesterday, I cleaned it off  and put the newest afghan on the back.  Dorcas is ready to stitch with me. 
I hope all of you have had a good week, taking pleasure in the everyday tasks that bless our homes and families.  God bless and keep you . . .

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Nice to Be Home

This has been a good week, but we are all struggling to find the routine we need to make things run more smoothly. M, JM, and I were able to go to the grocery store in Bigtown (G'ville) last night and really stock up the pantry.  I bought two great big bags of chicken and lots of vegetables.  I am going to depend more than ever on the crock pot this semester, I think. Tuesday nights will be the busiest. JM is singing with Virginia in the TMU Community choir--I am so happy about that.  JT has a night class.  So, I am thinking that just having a slow cooker full of soup and some bread on hand will make it easy for everyone just to come in and eat as their schedules allow. I can put in some chicken, carrots, potatoes and onions for our favorite "Redwall" stew this week. If I make the tea in the morning, it will all be ready when my eaters are. 
I feel like I talk about busyness too much--sorry about that. I am not unhappy, just trying to figure out how to manage the days and get the most our of them AND take care of the family the Lord has lent to me for this season.  I treasure having them at home with Michael and me. 
God bless and keep each of you this week as you serve Him . . .

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!