Galatians 2:20 & 21 "For I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pinwheel Quilt Blocks

I've signed up with companies online to get pictures, directions, and inspiration for new crafts ~ specifically quilts (to do in all my spare time!)  Here are some of the sites I get inspiration from....

Sewing It Up from AllFreeSewing
AccuQuilt News
Hooked on Crochet
Fave Crafts
Tipnut.com
Clotilde - Love to Quilt

With most of these, you can sign up to get a weekly email ~ each email could contain a multitude of crafts, ideas, tips & tricks, and even recipes & cleaning tips.

Several months ago, I saw a beautiful pinwheel quilt and wanted to make one.  I've collected contrasting fabrics, gone through my scrap bins, washed, dried, ironed, and cut my squares out.  I sewed the first 2 blocks yesterday in my new sewing room (Katie's former bedroom).

The top square was my first attempt and the bottom was the 2nd square.  I really like the way they are turning out.  I decided to make big squares for the first pinwheel quilt because I wanted bigger fabric pieces to work with.  Since my fabric was cut into 8 inch squares, my finished blocks are 14 inches.    The smaller the fabric squares are cut, the smaller the finished block will be.

Here is the site I got the directions from........
http://oldredbarnco.blogspot.com/2010/03/pinwheel-quilt-day-3.html
You'll have to copy and paste that onto your browser.  There are 3 different parts to the directions.  The first talks about the fabric, the second the cutting and constructing the square and the third is quilt construction.

I discovered a few things when I did the first block.  You are supposed to lay the 2 contrasting fabrics face to face, draw a line from one corner to the other with a pencil or pen (half an X), pin fabric together and stitch 1/4" down both sides of the line on that block ~ then cut down the line and you have the top half of the block.  (There are pictures on the link above that make more sense!)  There has got to be a trick to sewing 1/4" on either side of the line that I don't know because that was not easy.  My points on that block don't totally line up the way the picture showed they should.

On the second block, I put the contrasting fabrics face to face, and instead of drawing the line cut it into triangles with my rotary cutter ~then sewed.  MUCH easier and the points lined up.  So I think we are going with triangles from now on.

I've got of different fabrics and had fun collecting them.  Our Walmart started their fabric section again so I got some from there.  Hobby Lobby and JoAnn's have filled in the rest of the selections.  1/4 yard of fabric will give you 4 - 8" blocks.  Make sure your fabric is one hundred percent cotton so the pieces retain their shape when cut, sewed, and ironed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daybook for Tuesday





For today.....

Outside my window...cloudy, drizzly looking, cold

I am thinking....about fun times & fellowship with my family

I am thankful for....a snug house, cozy quilts, hot chocolate

From the kitchen...not sure yet, since we cooked and ate so many "company dinners" last week ~ it will be something simple ~ maybe pizza

I am wearing...snowman knit shirt, denim skirt

I am creating...hand quilting a queen size quilt, cross stitch kitchen towel for my daughters Hope Chest, crocheting a pink & white striped baby afghan

I am going...to enjoy our lives together

I am reading..."Brentwood" by Grace Livingston Hill & finishing the book of Ezekiel in the Old Testament

I am praying...for my friends, for my family, for our 1st little grandbaby arriving next summer

I am hearing...fingers typing, cars driving on the road

Around the house...Crafting, playing with puppies, playing new Wii games, puzzle building,
undecorating for Fall

One of my favorite things...time spent alone with my husband

A few plans for the rest of the week...ballet lesson for Amy, Bible Study, watching our very pregnant Mama Chihuahua waddle around, deciding which holiday decorations to use and which to keep packed away

A picture to share...

Our "crunchy" deep fried turkey ~ thankfully only the skin was burned, the meat was juicy, tender & delicious

Greg decided maybe he should not have listened to Paula Deen and her turkey frying instructions!
 

For more Daybook visits please go to....

http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/


 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Celebrations

 Earlier in the year, I talked about changing our December celebrations.  And we are still on track to do that.  Now, that Thanksgiving is over, we really need to decide what to do, but we are "on a journey" and don't have a jumping off spot yet.  Here is what we do know....for right now, at least

Our past observances of "Christmas" will be changing.  Our journey has led us to ponder what we've done in the past and why we've done it.  I love tradition, keeping up traditions, and passing on traditions ~ but is that a good enough reason or any reason to continue on the same path?  For some, the answer would be Yes ~ keep it up, there is nothing wrong with it, and everyone has to make decisions for their own family and household.  Our journey, has also pointed us toward different sermons, resources, books, etc. that deal extensively with the subject.  If you start reading/listening you will find that emotions run deep and some get quite obstinate/heated/antagonistic ~ on both sides of the issue. There is the Puritan "don't observe the day in any way", there is the "observe it as Christs birth day" mindset, and the "do whatever, have fun, anything goes" mindset.  We could get to Heaven and find out we are all wrong, and we missed the path completely.

This is the difficulty, both in deciding what to do and the explaining about what we are striving toward.  The Bible doesn't indicate what we should or shouldn't do.  It never tells us to celebrate or observe the birth of Christ.  It does tell us to remember His Death Burial and Resurrection by observing the Lord's Supper and Baptisms.  However, there are many accounts of the birth of Christ involving ~ angels, singing, praises, visits, and gifts.  All given to Him and for Him.  In the New Testament, the books of Matthew and Luke share the birth of Jesus.

The 2 blogs listed below have some good points and the ladies share what their families are doing...

http://yoursacredcalling.com/blog/2011/11/should-christians-celebrate-christmas/
 http://newlifeonahomestead.com/2011/11/why-weve-decided-to-stop-celebrating-christmas/

You will probably have to copy and paste these to your address bar to read the articles.  I added these links so y'all could read some other perspectives and know we aren't the only "crazy" people out there changing things up.

We are not dropping the observance of Christs birth (even though he wasn't born on 12-25, that is just a day which was selected by the Roman church to coincide with a pagan day).  It is more likely that Jesus was born during the festival of booths and that the stable was a booth built by the Inn Keeper.  This festival occurs during the harvest time, when Caesar would have asked people to pay taxes.  This is also the time when shepherds would have been out with their flocks at night, not during the cold of winter.  This also ties in well with John the Baptist being born at passover 6 months before Jesus.  We aren't dropping all gift giving, just greatly cutting down ~ and we are going to give gifts to our children, each other, family members when we find them...not find, save, stash away and bring out on 12-25. We are doing minimal decorating ~ haven't quite decided on this one yet, but its time to decide.  We are eliminating Santa, reindeer, etc.  Greg has a good blog on the lie of Santa and why we should not have him in our house.  We are also eliminating our tree (Jeremiah 10:2-4).

While we don't have all the answers, we are striving to make our lives pleasing to the Lord.  We do know, when you ask the Lord to show you what to change in your life to please Him ~ you had better be ready for His answers and guidance.  He is leading us in directions we never dreamed about.

***This post is just a sharing of our journey.  It is not an attempt to sway anyone to our "way of thinking".  The 2 links given share their families observations and what they've decided for their families.  There are many excellent sermons on Sermon Audio concerning Christmas.  

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Shopping

Amy & Will have never been shopping with us on Black Friday, so this was the year.  We slept in and left about 8:45 or so.  The first stop was Dunkin Donuts ~ gotta get your sugar rush, first thing.  Then Bass Pro Shop, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Best Buy, Walmart, & Office Depot.  We got some jeans, 2 shirts, 2 games, a movie, some craft supplies, and a "case" for the Kindle.  We looked at Best Buy and Office Depot for a case and didn't want to pay $40 for one, so we found an alternative ~ a padded zip up pencil case for school supplies.  The Kindle fits perfect and we saved $34.  Just the perfect holder for my "backgammon player" machine!

By the time we got to all the stores, the lines and crowds weren't terrible.  Lots of folks at Bass Pro.  Almost no one at Office Depot.  When Amy and I ran into Walmart, there were folks in the electronics but not throughout the rest of the store.

Then we had a lazy afternoon.  Played some backgammon, new Wii games, read some blogs, talked to Mom several times and Katie several times.

We are waiting up for Katie and Bryant to get here.  Then a fun couple of days with them.  We've got some games to play, things to shop for, and a puzzle to put together!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Fun

Its been a great couple of days......On Wednesday, Andy and AmyKate came to spend the day with us.  Greg took us all shopping and out to McAllisters for lunch ~ awesome Club Sandwich and Sweet Tea.  Andy got a new gray suit for his birthday gift ~ its gorgeous and fits great.  AmyKate got a new sweater and dress.  Amy Lynn got 2 new dresses and 2 skirts ~ Belks had a great couple of clearance racks and then 50% off the clearance price.  Greggie got himself a new hat.  Will got some cozy slippers.  I even got Katie a surprise but I can't tell about it because I am giving it to her tomorrow. 

Amy and I went into Gymboree and The Childrens Place and looked around at baby stuff for GrandOlive, but its difficult to buy when we don't know if its a boy or girl.  And the sales weren't too serious yet.  But its lots of fun to look at all the little goodies.  We did pick up a couple of baby projects to work on at Hobby Lobby.

Dinner last night was barbeque chicken, baked beans, and potato salad.  Then we all watched the movie "Soul Surfer" ~ awesome, inspiring, clean, Christian movie.  I could have done with less 2 piece suits, but at least they weren't too bad.  Then Greg found a Tim Hawkins "concert" and we all watched that funniness for a while.  

Greg bought us a Kindle and it came yesterday from Amazon.  I know the thing is supposed to be for books but he might have made a mistake when he downloaded "Backgammon"on to it.  I've played the computer many times and won 75% of the time.  Lots of fun.  Now Amy is playing on it too.  We will probably wear the battery out.

Today was just us and James.  We took our time getting up this morning and then Greg surprised us with cooking omelets.  Amy and I fixed the dressing, green beans, chocolate pies, Red Velvet Cake, and gravy.  Will & Greg were in charge of frying the turkey.  Greg watched Paula Deen and she gave the frying times of 3 minutes per pound + 5 minutes.  Can you imagine a blackened turkey?  The skin was charred but underneath was wonderful moist meat.  We've got leftovers for some wonderful dishes. Oh, James was in charge of buying the newspaper so we could see the ads.

This afternoon we watched some football, the movie "Captain America" and now they are watching "Sherlock Holmes".  We've cleaned off the dining room table and have another jigsaw puzzle started.  Talked to our parents and our Katie and our Allen.  I did a little pre- Black Friday shopping online with Joann's ~ they've got flannel on sale tomorrow for $1.99 a yard, and I bought some to start baby sewing for Olive.  I've never bought fabric online, its very convenient!

Amy & Will want to go Black Friday shopping, so we are hitting a few stores.  On the list are Bass Pro Shop and Best Buy.  We are going at a decent hour......probably around 9.  If they don't have what we are looking for then, we don't need it.  I have never gone at midnight or the crack of dawn ~ thats just crazy.  Even when I went every year with my sister in law, we didn't go till 7:30 or 8...I don't see what the attraction is for these folks that stay up all night.

I hope everyone had an amazing day with your family and friends~

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm Thankful for...(part 4)

I'm Thankful For...My Bible

 Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Exodus 20:3-17 "3. You shall have no other gods before me. 4. You shall not make for yourself a carved image ~ any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5. you shall not bow down to them or serve the, For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me. 6. but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love me and keep my commandments. 7. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. 8. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9. six days you shall labor 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11.For in six days the Lord make the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. 12. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.  13. You shall not murder. 14. You shall not commit adultery. 15. You shall not steal. 16. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17. You shall not cover your neighbors house, you shall not covet your neighbor;s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servants, nor his ox, nor hid donkey, nor anything that is your neighbors." 

 Psalm 23
 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul: He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His names sake. Yea, thought I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I've heard the Bible described as Gods love letter to us, as a Parent's instruction manual, as a history book, and so many more.  It is all those and so much more ~ it is a living, breathing document ~ just as applicable today as it was 1000's of years ago.  We can learn about the character of God, the way to get along, about ancient lands, about how to behave, about how the Lord God feels about our actions, how to worship Him, about life here on earth and what happens after we die (there are only 2 outcomes), about how to come to a Saving relationship with Him ~ the one true God, we learn how to recognize false prophets, idols, and other stumbling blocks in our lives. The most important thing we learn about is God ~ His nature, His character, His love, His wrath, His anger, His perfection, His Holiness.

And no matter how much we read and study, we will never learn all there is to know about the Lord.

He continually peels back the "scales from our eyes" to reveal more of Himself and His word to our understanding daily.

I'm Thankful for....(part 3)

I'm Thankful for....

Love
Honesty
Integrity
Joy
Resourcefulness
Faith
Calm
Creativity
Compassion
Sharing
Hope
Blessings
Kindness
Gentleness
Self Control
Listening
Simple
Apologies
the Peace from the Lord that passes all understanding

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm Thankful for...(part 2)

I'm thankful for...

Friendship...
Friends to talk to
Friends to cry with
Friends to hug
Friends to love
Friends who teach me things
Friends who share their children
Friends to learn with
Friends to pray with
Friends who love me

Family...
Greg ~ my wonderful husband, blessing from the Lord
My Sons ~ James, Andy, Rob, Allen, Will & newest son Bryant
My Daughters ~ Katie & Amy
Grandchildren ~ 1 on the way & the many more to follow
Parents 
Siblings
Nephews & Nieces

Pets...
Mack ~ who puts up with the Chihuahua's
Hershey ~ who is "great with puppy/puppies"
Skittles ~ the chihuahua puppies daddy
Chip & Licorice ~ my birthday puppies from last year
Bluebelle ~ Amy's lop eared bunny 

Monday, November 21, 2011

I'm Thankful for.... (part 1)

I am thankful for.....

Dirty Laundry.....we have clothes to wear
Dirty Dishes.....we have food to eat
Strings on the carpet/floors....we have a crafty family
Kitchen appliances...we have modern conveniences that make cooking easier
Blankets/Quilts...we can keep warm at night
Power bills...we have electricity, gas and water
Piles of books...we all know how to read
Cell Phones/Computers...we can communicate
To Do Lists...we have the promise of them getting done sometime
The pool...we can cool off in the summertime
Pictures...especially of my children all together
"Acquired" furniture/kitchen gadgets...memories of our grandmothers
School books...we have the freedom to educate our children
Routines/schedules...everyday is not the same
Travel...lots of fun times
Phone calls...keeping in touch with our children/family in different states

Friday, November 18, 2011

Great Friday

Here's our accomplishments today....

blogged
read in the book of Ezekiel in the Bible
cleaned the house
cut out quilt squares for pinwheel quilt
washed winter sweaters/sweatshirts
designed a holiday card on CVS with great family pictures
shopped at Walmart ~ bought more fabric for quilt
visited Rosana ~ what an inspiration ~ got to hear all about their precious Canaan
got gas for lawnmower
cooked and ate dinner
read and answered emails from Katie and Mom
watched "Despicable Me" (1st time all the way through)
Amy popped popcorn
Ready to watch "The Green Lantern" Weird movie ~ the guys are finishing it without us

Tomorrow is date morning with my sweetheart husband
our Pastor's sons wedding
family time at home

Sunday is Sunday School and church
cooking 4 hams for Church Fellowship Thanksgiving Dinner
eating dinner and giving thanks with all our friends
then watching "The Amazing Race"


Life is Great!

Thankfulness Thursday (on Friday)

A simple shoebox of gifts
helping hands
lots of enthusiasm
helping process 1400 boxes on Thursday
children willing to work & bless others
meals to friends
a Grandma gift to me (from Angela)
a husband who runs errands when asked
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
fresh chocolate chip cookies
eating pound cake batter while scrapping the bowl
hot tea and hot chocolate on these cool/cold mornings
getting to the end of a cross stitch picture
more projects lined up
calico fabric waiting for a new quilt top
cozy evenings at home
feeling the Love
a day with no school work
James' A on part of his welding class final
being Greg's proofreader
My Salvation through Jesus Christ

 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Operation Christmas Child Part 2

We spent Wednesday afternoon at our local relay center for Operation Christmas Child.  Praying, counting boxes, praying, labeling boxes, praying, crating up boxes, praying, stacking and labeling crates.
Every group of boxes that is dropped off is prayed for by everybody working, most of this involves everyone touching the boxes.  The prayers are thanksgiving & blessings for the hands that packed the boxes, and for the children/families receiving the boxes.  In our over abundance, completely spoiled society, its humbling to realize that for the children receiving these shoebox gifts ~ this could be the only gift they have ever received.  And many of these children may receive the ultimate gift any of us could ever receive ~ the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

John 3:16 & 17 "16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."

John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

 Pictures from yesterday to share.....





Snack time for the boys in a lull of shoebox deliveries



part of our Keepers girls group enjoying some snacks

Yesterday work...about 47 crates holding 10-14 boxes each ~ depends on the size of the box!  


If each crate held 10, then thats 470...but the average between them all was about 12 so thats put our number at about 664.  Pretty good for 2 1/2 hours of work! We are headed back this afternoon!   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

Its that time of year again!  Its shoebox week!  We love the Operation Christmas Child ministry of Franklin Graham (Billy Grahams son).  This is an opportunity for individuals, families, or groups to participate in a ministry which will impact millions of children worldwide, and do it from the comfort of their own homes.  OCC's goal this year it to collect and distribute 8,000,000 (million) shoebox gifts through churches and schools here in the US and worldwide.  Last year we were able to track some of our boxes and found out some were shipped to Chad & some to Honduras. 

This year, our family goal was to spend $XX amount of money every month to buy shoebox stuffers.  We had a great time every single month going to the Dollar store, clearance bins at Walmart, etc to find goodies.  We even hit a clearance at Kroger and got packs of those little rubbery, Silly Band bracelets for .25 a pack.  We used our coupons to get "free" toothpaste at the grocery store, also.

Our shoeboxes are stuffed with combs/brushes, hair bands, crayons, pencils, sharpeners, pads or coloring books, socks, flip flops, toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Then for each age group, boy or girl, we specialized the little toys - sewing kits, hot wheels cars, dolls, stuffed animals, blocks, tote bags, bead kits, stickers, card games, etc. 

We spent an afternoon sorting our year long collected gifts.  We had to buy some extra stuff to fill in, here and there.  We had a wonderful time doing this and prayed for the children and their families that will recieve these boxes.  This afternoon, we will be volunteering at a local church's Relay Center checking, sorting, and crating up boxes to head to the distribution center in Atlanta.  We did this last year and in a 3 hour period processed over 800 boxes (if I remember correctly).

Here are a few pictures of Amy & Will at work.....






Over the years, we've perfected the stuffing (or cramming) our gifts into these boxes.  We've started using plastic shoeboxes for several reasons - you can fit more in them than a regular box, the children will have a plastic box that will last longer than cardboard, and wrapping shoeboxes isn't easy.  Its lots of fun, great for all ages, a perfect way to get "into missions", a great witness to your children about giving to others, a tangible way to impact a child for Christ.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We Don't Understand

As humans, we don't understand the Lords ways and His will.
He sees the big picture, we only see today.
He knows the plans he has for us.
He knows how to grow us.
He gives us strength and courage when we have none for ourselves.
He gives us tears and love for our dear friends.

Praying fervently for the Foy family today.
Little Canaan was born today and had 1 hour with his family before Jesus took him home.

We don't understand.
But we do know ~
God is in control.
Praise the Lord for His Mercies, Love, Strength, and Courage.

Monday, November 14, 2011

St. Louis Marriage Reception

Last Friday night, Bryant's parents hosted a Marriage Reception in St. Louis for Katie & Bryant.  This was a chance for many of their local friends to meet Katie and wish the Newlyweds well.  It happened to be on the weekend we were traveling up there for a visit, so we all got to go.  Here are some pictures of the evening fun.....


my favorite of the 2 girlies!

The Jackson Girls

daughter and Daddy



I LOVE this picture! We sure do miss Katie at home!



the Happy Couple

English Country Line Dancing (kinda like square dancing)



do si do

Will got out there and danced most of them!  We are proud of the boy for trying!