Sunday, October 31, 2010

Putting Creativity on My List

Remember this piece of fabric?

I bought it  just after our 16 year old daughter
cooked our amazing Thanksgiving feast last year,
in preparation for this year's celebration.

I had to start early.
My MIL is coming.
She could make Martha Stewart cringe in shame.

I blogged about my preparations when
 I had 216 days until Thanksgiving.

The countdown's getting lower every day.

I've been making a lot of mess.

My dream was to create those type of holiday decorations
that you just use over and over and over.
I started out by cutting
 a 40x40 inch square cloth to drape diagonally
over my  new green tablecloth from Target.

I used a decorative stitch and a 3/4 inch seam allowance.
Keep your needle down into the fabric wthile turning a corner.
Not every corner will look the same,
but it turns out fine.

This is easy, 'cuz you just sew all the way around,
then unravel.

Start with a full bobbin,
the decorative stitches take a lot of thread.

A rolled hem looks great,
but takes more ironing and precision.

This was a heavy material with large threads,
it worked perfectly for this time of edging.

Throw the threads on the floor.
It's more fun that way.

Watch out for the cat.

Not all the threads pulled straight to the end,
because I cut or sewed crooked,
so when it doesn't pull anymore,
I just trimmed it.

I loved how the scalloped pattern
complimented the curved pattern of the pine cones.

It will be layered over a tablecloth the same color
as the cloth napkin.

I also bought enough cloth napkins for the the table and for decorating.
They make great seasonal splashes of color around the house!

I had enough to make a cloth for a little table in the living room.

There was still enough to make one for the coffee table.

I made a long cloth for the fireplace mantle.
The "Science Shelf" is a fall school project Beka and I worked on.

This little scrap I have left?

I'm thinkin' this little table in the corner
of my dining room needs a table runner.

I'm thinkin' it needs dusting, too.

Now that I am almost done with creating my Thanksgiving ambiance,
maybe it's time to clean.
I said,

This project brought back some creative joy into my life,
and I decided I always needed to have a craft
or sewing project underway,
something to look forward to,
in my rare spare minutes.

I loved having something
I wanted to do,
instead of always just having lists of
things I had to do.
let's face it,
when you have kids,
(I'm too nice to mention husbands)
your toilet will
need cleaning.

I think it is healthy to have a creative outlet,
something to work on
a few minutes a day or
a few hours each week.

Life is too short to always haven't a perfectly clean bathroom,
isn't it?

What are you working on,
instead of cleaning?

Share your creative joys!

Wanna see what I did next?

Linkin' up!


Friday, October 29, 2010

My Heart is Broken

I hate cancer.
I love, honor and serve my Savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ,
and understand and accept His plan,
but I hate cancer.

RivkA and I met through a mommy cancer blog,
and like many, I was drawn to her.
When she asked me to write for
I was excited and honored.

But, also sad.
Because of the seriousness of most of their cancers,
I knew the title of the blog was hopeful,
at best.
RivkA is no longer
a Mother Living with Cancer,
and my heart is broken.

She was loving, she was funny, she was serious, she was smart,
she loved her family and she loved people.
Every moment and ounce of strength she had that escaped
the enemy cancer
she used for others.

This morning on her blog, Coffee and Chemo,  I learned the
Jewish blessing said after hearing of  somone's death.

Baruch Dayan HaEmet - Blessed is the True Judge.

It is appropriate for what I feel,

He is the True Judge.

I love Him,
I believe in Him,
I trust Him.

But, I hate cancer.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Makin' A List, Praying More Than Twice

The other day I blogged about a few small ways
my husband and I keep ourselves afflicted with

The same day,
a bloggy friend, Bevy,
also blogged about her husband.
(His name is also Scott,
so please don't be confused.)

I appreciate her faith, her heart for the Lord,
and her adorable children.
But, she taught me something
I want to pass onto my daughters.

She shared how she
prayed her husband
 into her life.

I prayed, too, but I used
The List.

Ya' know, the list teen-age girls hide in their Bibles?

The List
that contains all  the secret desires and qualities
they want in  the
Man of Their Prayers.
(Yea, we Christians pray, not dream.
Or, we're supposed to, anyway.)

The List is clutched in young hands,
impatiently prayed through over and over,
as young girls long to be swept off their feet.

They usually start something like this
"must love the Lord
have Biblical convictions
play guitar
love kids
be good lookin'

It worked for me.

But, I like Bevy's advice better.

"When I began really seeking the Lord about what sort of man I was desiring (for my future) as a spouse... these verses became sort of a bedrock - for my prayers.

I really believe the Lord answered those prayers... when he brought,my husband, Scott into my life."

Read the rest here at her blog
:treasured up and pondered:

Then  have your daughters and single friends
pick out a passage of Scripture,
to put on the
The List.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Didja' Ask?

For festive occasions,
I bought an adorable Wilton cupcake stand.

With my 40% off Michael's coupon,
it was a great deal.

Everything looks better on this stand.

I think it even tastes better, too.
The food, not the stand.

It promised to make all my parties and occasions
more festive,
more fun,
more memorable.

Then, I lost a piece.

It was just a small metal rod with threads on each end.
If anybody in the house found it,
they would think it was garbage.
But, without the little rod,
my stand was useless.

I couldn't throw it away,
and I didn't want to buy another one.

After it sat  in my cupboard for months,
then I moved it to the kitchen counter,
where it slightly frustrated and annoyed me
everytime I saw it.

I couldn't put it away,
but didn't think I could deal with it.

It sat there so long,
I kinda' forgot about it.

One day, I was wiping the counter around it,
and finally decided to write to Wilton.
I thought it might be cheaper to buy the new piece,
than a whole new cupcake stand.

They sent me a new one.

Very quickly.

For free.

It was so simple,
I wondered why I didn't ask sooner.

One little email
and that nagging problem on the counter
was solved, restored and useful again.

We have other little problems in our lives.
Little things that bother us,
nag us out,
maybe even make us lose sleep.

Sometimes they are so deep, we are sure there is no solution.
So we let those problems sit and taunt us.

 James 4:2 teaches us
"you do not have because you do not ask."

It is so simple.

Verse 6 tells us He will give what we need.
"But He gives more grace..."
This verse continues by giving a reason why we don't ask.


“ ...God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”


We're too proud to ask for help when we need it?

Maybe we like pouting.
Maybe we think we can come up with our own solution.
Maybe we just forget.
Maybe the problem has been  there so long,
we just lose hope that it can be solved.

Maybe we like sitting useless on the counter,
with a missing piece,
so we can whine and fuss
about the missing piece.

Whenever the Lord has an
OUCH in the Scriptures,
where He has to speak the truth in love,
it is always followed up with His yearning for us
to come to Him
with our missing pieces.

James 4:7-10
Therefore submit to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners;
and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Lament and mourn and weep!
Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord,
and He will lift you up.

what are you gunna' ask for?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Touches of Love

When we were first married,
my husband and I determined to not get over

People often made rude comments and jeered
about "the honeymoon being over,"
as if
the love and joy would end
as soon as we unpacked from the honeymoon.

Even Christians occasionally gave us the idea
that the love would change so much,
it would never be as good as the honeymoon.

We decided we didn't want that.

We wanted to prove them all wrong.

Our goal was to stay in love through the years.

That's our mushy-gushy talk
for "I LOVE YOU."

Since my first bout with cancer in 2005,
my husband has begun each day by waking me up
so I can take my thyroid hormone at the right time,
then he makes me coffee.

Even without the note,
that wafting coffee scent speaks of his love for me.

Leaving notes is only one of the ways
we keep from being cured from
We also give brief calls,
 drop a short email
instant message every day.

I say short because my husband is being paid to work,
not romance me.
But, it doesn't take long to send love,
a laugh,
a greeting
or a word of appreciation
during the day.

It doesn't take much,
to inflame that  touch of

And you know what?
People were right about the honeymoon being over.

It really isn't the same as it was on the honeymoon.

Honeymoon love is great,
but married love is
and a more satisfying love.

What are some of the ways you and your spouse
keep love alive?

Doin' One Thing At a Time

I have finally admitted something to myself.

I will always be busy.

I will never have a slow time.

Not just because the demands of life make me busy,
I want to be busy.

Even if I could finish everything on my list
I will just make another one,
or two or three.

I cannot sit still.
I do not want to sit still.

I love to do things
 with and for my family,
friends and other people.

Having a husband and  six kids,
 exercising hospitality,
attending Bible study,
I love it all.

When the list gets too overwhelming,
I don't even write it down,
or try to hold myself to a schedule.

I conquer the daily  immediate demands,
then chisel at the extra stuff,
one thing
at a time.

one thing.

When I walk down the hall,
I grab
one thing
that needs to be put away in a bedroom.

If I have to go to the laundry room I take
one thing
from the railing that needs to be put away downstairs.

When I sit down at my desk,
I will go through a pile of papers,
and deal with just
one thing.

If Beka is busy with school,
I quickly mend or sew
one thing.

If I can narrow my focus to
one thing,
that thing will get done.

I can accomplish so much,
one thing
at a time.

You know who invented conquering the world
one thing
at a time?

It wasn't Martha.

It was Mary.

I  can imagine Martha
 scratching lists  onto scrolls,
of all that had to be done because
 the Lord was going to dine at her home.

When I read the Lord's gentle rebuke in Luke 10
I always cringe.

I really, really, really wanna be Mary,
but Martha is my twin separated at birth.

Mary did
one thing.
The only thing that really matters in a home.

Luke 10:39
 "Mary... sat at Jesus’feet
and heard His word."

The Lord told Martha about the
one thing
that needed to be done.

Luke 10: 42
 "But one thing is needed,
 and Mary has chosen that good part,
which will not be taken away from her."

I'm starting another busy week,
with a lot on my list,
but only
one thing
 that really needs to be done.

Linkin' up!


Saturday, October 23, 2010

MM Meditation - Keep Me From Falling!

Psalms 116:8
For You have delivered my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
And my feet from falling.

Another excerpt  from F. B. Meyer's
"Some Secrets of Christian Living."

He is able to guard us from falling.  He can.  He will.  But we must trust Him.  Moment by moment we must look into His face, and say, "Hold me up, and I shall be safe; keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me under the shadow of your wings."

He will never fail you nor forsake you.  He will give His angels charge to keep you in all your ways.  He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wing you shall trust.

At the moment of temptation do this.  Ask the Holy Spirit, whose office it is to bring all things to our remembrance, that He would remind you to look off to Jesus, when you are in danger.  Entrust yourself each morning into His hands. 

Look to Him to keep you looking.  Trust in Him to keep you trusting.  Do not look at your difficulties or weaknesses.  Do not keep thinking that you will some day fall again.

Go through life, whispering, saying, singing, a thousand times a day, Jesus saves me now.

A friend always took time at night to consider quietly, in the presence of God, where she had lost ground during the day, she never slept until she had asked to be forgiven and restored.

Jude 1:24
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

He is willing and He is able, but are we able to submit our will?

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Sweet Gospel Message

For Vacation Bible School this summer,
I decided even the candy treats
had to proclaim the glories of the Lord.

It only takes one verse to convict the heart of sin
and lead them to salvation.

We just have to get those verses into their hands
and their houses,
so maybe it can enter into their hearts.

I send goodie bags home each day of VBS with a Gospel tract,
a small gift for attending,
an invitation for the next day to pass out to a friend,
and a candy treat.

These are the extra candy gifts I used during VBS
we'll be passing out next weekend.

We don't participate in Halloween as a family,
except to pass out tracts and candy to the neighborhood kids.

I have made a practice of making little baggies ahead of time
with a few pieces of candy
and an attractive Gospel tract.

I also pass out chocolate and
a Gospel booklet called
to the mommies.

All templates were from Microsoft Word.
They're so easy to use!

(click on any picture to enlarge)

This was actually a template to label garden plants.
(don't know how they think the paper will
survive outside in a garden, but whatever)

Under New choose
then Labels,
then Other Labels,
then Herb Garden Plant Markers.
Insert verse. 
I used Genesis 24:26.

I love making these little gifts!

Wrapping box after box of Nerds can be challenging,
tying tiny bows can drive you crazy,
but they sweetly illustrate the Gospel verse,

I glue the box on the card.
I didn't use a template,
just a Word document, where I kept cutting and pasting
2 Timothy 3:15 over and over.

I punch a hole in the corner and tie
two Smarties on with curling ribbon.

This is a business card from Word templates.
I just added Ephesians 3:19, punched the holes,
and slid the suckers through.

I was grasping at straws,
 and used the comparison of candy fillled with chocolate
to being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Other years, I have typed up this little paragraph
and filled celophane gift bags with the paper
and individually wrapped types of candy listed.


 RED HOTS – Hell is real. Hell is forever. Hell is the punishment you deserve for your sins. The hardships and sufferings on earth are nothing compared to the eternal suffering in Hell. Revelation 20:15, says, “and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

 LIFE SAVER – there is nothing you can do to save yourself from an eternity in Hell. Christ alone can save you from your sins. John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved” Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

 SMARTIES – Make the smart decision. Accept the Lord’s free gift of salvation. 2 Timothy 3:15, “And that from a child you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

 NOW NOT LATER - II Corinthians 6:2b “Behold NOW is the day of salvation!”

Yea, His Words are sweeter than candy.

Psalms 119:103
How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

I would love to hear any ideas you have for making sweet Gospel messages!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thanksgiving in my Home and Heart

Remember the countdown to Thanksgiving?
I started at 216 days.

I'm down to  only 35 days.

There are only 35 more days until my MIL comes for Thanksgiving.

Actually, less than that.  She's coming ahead of time.

I have a lot to do,
but I am trying to accomplish everything

I bought two of these charmers in a store so long ago,
I forgot when and where.

They have been patiently hanging on the wall, waiting to be used.

I printed out some vintage postcards from HubPages on cardstock.
I just copied (Control C)
and pasted (Control V)
each postcard from the site
on a new Word document.

When you right click on the pasted image,
a dialogue box pops up.
The second to last option, SIZE,
and can easily adjust the size.

If I can do it,
you can do it.

My handy-dandy paper cutter needed a new blade.
I had to trim fuzzies from all the edges.

Tucked in the postcards,

added a floral spray,
and I have one more thing accomplished.

And while I prepare my home for Thanksgiving,
I am preparing my heart, also.

If the home is decorated, but my heart is barren,
it will be in vain.

Psalms 69:30
I will praise the name of God with a song,
and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Ya' ready for Thanksgiving and to give thanksgiving?

There are  35 days left to prepare home and heart,

The DIY Show Off

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Wanna see what I did next?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do Parents Know Best?

In September, TodayMoms had a parenting expert on their show.  Her premise was that Parents Do Not Know Best when it comes to raising their children.

From the article, "Clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich sat down with Ann Curry and author and comedian Finesse Mitchell this morning to discuss the question and offered an unconventional opinion: Vranich asserted that parents aren't always the best equipped to advise the kids effectively."

The interactive poll of viewers found that 64% of them agree with Vranich's theory that parents do not always know best.


I guess times have changed from when Father Knows Best.

For those of us that are devoted moms, who eat, breathe and (rarely) sleep our children, how we can be better moms, how we can instruct our children better, love them more deeply, guide them more spiritually,

them's fighting words. 

Watch the video clip first.

I checked the "professionals" criteria online.  She's well educated,  but lives with her boyfriend and their dogs.  We all thought we knew a lot about parenting until we actually became parents. The comedian, who loves and admires his parents, actually gave better advice.

Is she serious that coaches and peers may know children better and give better advice?   Non-homeschooled kids may spend more time  with their peers, but that doesn't mean their advice is going to be sound.  She also has obviously never had a child in a sport.  My kids may spend hours with their coaches, but the coaches don't know much more than my kids' name, jersey number, the position they play and random trivial details.  Not a whole lot of influence happening while my son is guarding second base and the coach is in the baseline.

Being together for hours without talking intimately, cannot even begin to weigh against those amazing 10-15 minute conversations we may have with a child, where hearts are open, advice, comfort or encouragement is accepted and the relationship is bonded.

The clip they used, from a sitcom, I guess, to prove their point was ridiculous.  Who asks kids to blindly  obey all spoken words, especially to the point of endangering lives?  Get real!  Since our job is preparing them to live on their own, we  know we are working ourselves out a job, we understand that letting them make decisions is a huge part of their lives.

I agree that parents need advice sometimes and not all parents in the US are doing a great job. But for me, advice has to come from someone who has survived the teenage years and really has something for me to go on, versus someone who just has only studied what it's like to parent. 

I know her advice would change if she actually had teenage offspring in her life, challenging and breaking rules, not studying or studying too much, dating losers or losing the nice guy,  trying to make friends, crying over a broken heart or an empty heart, agonizing over career  and marriage decisions, suffering loneliness, zits, car accidents, speeding tickets, lying, confiding, and all the other real life situations we parents face.
She also will never know the joy of a heart to heart conversations when a child trusts you enough to confide their struggles, joys and trials.  She will never know the feeling when a child rebels, but later admits you were right and you kept them from a worse path. She'll never know the amount of love a parent can have for a child, that will drive them to say NO when they should say NO, even when they want to say YES. She'll never know the joy of watching a child succeed in life, because they made great decisions, based on your advice.  She'll never know  the joy and love of parenting  that outweighs all the trials.

She'll never know - but I am sure she can read about it.

And while she's reading about parenting, I'm going to prepare a video on how to best take care of dogs.  I've never owned one, I don't even really like them, but I'm pretty sure that I can come up with a few pointers for her because I am emphatic that a Dog Owner Doesn't Know Best when it comes to their dogs. 

So, I'm gunna' go to the library, check out a few books, become an expert and make a video.

Free dog advice, coming soon.