Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Kept

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And the peace of God that passes all understanding shall keep you.... Phillippians 4:7

I have been pondering the word "kept", here of late..  What does it mean to be kept by God?
I don't claim to have any deep or theological resolve to that question, but I did think of this..

You know when your walking along and the way is treacherous and you feel someone take your hand, pull you close to their side, and "help" you through and over...

There is such a peace in that moment.
Isn't there?

It doesn't always make sense.  Does it?

Why would someone else's care, specific care, I might add, resonate so deeply.  Settling our emotion in that precise moment and all the ones subsequent...

I think that is what it might mean to "be kept".  To feel secure.  Safe.  To be assured.  To rest.  At peace.

And so it is with God.

We are kept in His Hand, by HIS hand. He is whom we can fully trust.  For there is NO OTHER by which we may be saved.

Isn't that the most wonderful thing?

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,  To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.  ~ Jude 1:24-25 (KJV)

***
Have yourself a safe and wonderful weekend.   Thank you for your continued prayers...regarding our sick little ones.  We're ALMOST over this...I think.  I hope.  What a week this has been...

All by HIS Grace,

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Aubrey's Gift

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So, she was invited to her first ever Birthday Party, a friend - outside of family.  It was for a little gal friend from school.  Her brother has gone to two, no make that three!, birthday's now and so FINALLY it was her turn.  She was so very excited..

She talked to me about what she wanted to give this little gal as a gift.

I was trying to help her sort through her options and finally she decided that she wanted to give this little gal a skirt.  "One made from you, Mom!"


A generous man will prosper.  
He who refreshes others will he himself be refreshed. 
~ Proverbs 11:25

After I spoke with the girls mother to get an idea of her size and favorite color(s)... Aubrey wanted to pick out the fabric.

 (That's my girl!)
She had so much fun going through my stash..  she settled on a "vintage piece" of feed sack cloth.

:: Forget ~ Me ~ Not ::
Little girls, simple style skirt

Of course, we needed a card to attach to the gift.  She set right to work..


I love this girl's artistic abilities...  
I keep thinking about writing a children's book with Aubrey as my illustrator. :)
**
Soon after...the "Pixie and Pirates" Birthday Party...

Aubrey and Jayne set up their own version of a birthday party!


I walked in on the "event" and had to turn around and go find my camera.  Too bad, I wasn't invited to stay although I was asked to provide the refreshments.

Of course, I'll provide catering...

"You're the best Cooker, MOM!"
She says with a smile.


Pretzels and kisses were an easy thing to send their way..
It was perfect!
***
Aubrey's gift!

This one sure knows how to give out compliments.

Oh, and she wears the best smile, too!

She refreshes me..
***

**Thank you for your prayers...
Aubrey is feeling way better and pretty much back to her normal self..
Caleb is "home from school" again today and still not so well..
Jayne - so far! - has been kept at bay.  Thank the Good Lord!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas

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Oh what a different sort of day - compared to yesterday.  The sun is shining as brightly as you can imagine - but it is COLD out there!!  That called-for cold snap sure came back around...

Another thing different about today is that I have a couple (well, one for sure!) of sick kiddo's home today.
It started with an eye infection, of sorts, for two of my children.  One had a sore throat and complained of an ear ache - the other has been throwing up with it all - all through the night.

Needless to say the last two nights have been a rough go of it.  NOT a lot of sleep for both my husband and I last night.  But... God gives grace.  Obviously, we have what we need(ed).
And of course - the washer and dryer are a runnin'... full speed ahead.

***
I thought I would share with you a recipe today.
Keep it simple.


1/2 cup chopped onion
4 T. butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. chicken bouillon
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
3 cups cooked and shredded chicken
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1 can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
10-12 flour tortillas

In saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender.  Stir in flour and add chicken broth and bouillon.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.
(OR ::  If you're like me and just happen to have a can of  Hatch - Green Chili Enchilada Sauce (Medium heat) - simply because your looking for a can of green chilies in your cabinet and all you is find is the enchilada sauce - then, by all means improvise.  So -instead of doing the flour I just added this can of sauce to the sauteed onion and added a bit of the chicken broth , maybe one cup worth... let that cook through, removed from heat and then added the sour cream.)

In large bowl combine 1 cup sauce, the chicken, the beans, 1 cup of cheese, chilies and chili powder.  (Of course - I didn't add the green chilies because mine were already part of the sauce..)  Mix well.

Fill each tortilla with equal portions of chicken and bean mixture..  Roll up and arrange in greased 9"x 13"  baking pan.  Spoon remaining sauce over tortillas.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake at 350* for 25 minutes.

Serve with a nice side salad.  And a bottle of your favorite Hot Sauce.**

**My kids thought it was already too spicy.  I thought it was okay - perhaps just right.  My husband - said "NO WAY!" it wasn't near hot enough.
It was then that I remembered that I had forgotten to add the Chili powder the recipe called for.  Oops!

**
I not so sure what will be on the menu for dinner tonight...

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Daybook in January

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FOR TODAY ~ the fourth Monday of the month...

Outside my window... there is still snow on the ground (as we've had another 2" +, over the weekend) and the skies are a whitish grey... the sun was trying to shine this morning.. maybe it will still make it later today.

I am thinking...the temps!  This morning (at around 8:10 AM)  it was so weird.  IT FELT SO WARM outdoors this morning.  While waiting, with my son, for the school bus - we were commenting on how still - how warm - the weather felt. The thermometer reads 25*.  With a high of 33* expected for today.

I am thankful...a good night of rest last night.  I didn't know it until this morning that my hubby did not sleep so well.  (I'm sorry!)  I had no idea that he was up for about 2 hours with one of the girls...who either fell out of bed and couldn't settle back down or what?  I must have "crashed"... cause I didn't hear nothin'. and was dreamin' the sweetest of dreams.. yes! indeedy.

In the kitchen...reheated coffee (I'm afraid!) and a few bites of coffee cake - for me!  The kids all had cereal this morning, and yesterday (Sunday lunch!) was a nice pan of Chicken and White Bean Enchiladas.  I'll share the recipe another time this week.
Let me clarify on the coffee... soon! there'll be a fresh new pot in the making.

I am wearing... my usual fare.  A long jean skirt and a simple black Tee..

I am creating... well.  I have been a busy bee this past week. And, last night, I finished up another bag order. I can't wait to take photos of it and post it.  This one might be my next new favorite.  Unfortunately... it is a SOLD order.  As well.  I made two girls skirts... again, both are/were gifts.
I'll show all of these as soon as I have pics...

I am going... outdoors soon - to take those photos..  As soon as my camera battery charges!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (this camera of mine..)

I am wondering... if your weekend was as wonderful as mine?
**We've had a lot of fun...Saturday.  Caleb raced his first Pine Wood Derby race.  He placed third in his heat.  That was fun helping paint and decorate his car... a couple of nights ago.  As well... I was up early Saturday morning flipping pancakes for him to take along.  His daddy signed me up!  Caleb LOVES his blueberries - so I whipped up a batch of Whole Wheat Buttermilk pancakes sprinkled with blueberries.  His kiss on my cheek upon his return home that day and the whisper in  my ear that those were the bestest pancakes ever!  won my heart a GOLD medal!

And Aubrey... well, she went to first ever BIRTHDAY PARTY... for a little gal from her school.  She came home all decked out in pink fairy wings and sprinkles of treats from her "take-home" party favor bag.  Oh goodness!  For the little girl's gift, Aubrey wanted me to make her a skirt.  She was so proud to pick out the fabric - from my stash!

All while this was happening - the snow was starting to fall. What a wonderful evening to just stay home and cozy up to some yummy Potato Soup and Yorkshire Pudding. (Curious: who knows what Yorkshire Pudding is and if you've ever made it yourself?)
Saturday afternoon/evening is when we got about another 2" on top of what we have had already on the ground  and so after church on Sunday - the kids got to go outdoors to play in the snow.  Even Jayne wanted to go out.

I am reading...I'm still thumbing through the book: Grace for the Good Girl (Letting go of the try-hard life) by Emily Freeman and I've also picked up: A Sweetness to the Soul by Jane Kirkpatrick.  This last book here has been tucked away on my bookshelf for like FOREVER!!  I can't believe I've never opened it up to read before.. Jane is such an amazing, seasoned author.

Oh - and I picked up another *new for me* cookbook over the weekend!  Favorite Recipes from Quilters..  by Louise Stoltzfus.  I've been having fun sitting around and reading through it, as well.

I am hoping...for a mellow week this week (schedule wise) and a chance taken to do some things around the house that NEED to be done!!!  Maybe try out a few new recipes, eh?

I am looking forward to (and a little nervous about) ...something that starts in a couple of weeks.  Feb. 9th! to be exact.  My husband Scott and I are coordinating a 9-week course - through our church - using the materials from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University.  So far we are having an amazing turnout of interest...
This is our first time of doing anything like this (as coordinator's) but personally we've gone through these materials for a total of 3 times... and cannot tell you how much this has radically changed our lives.  We are so sure of it that we "just have to" tell others about it and assist them through it..
Praying that we can of influence to someone else (even if it's just one person!) to make a lasting difference in their lives and for their future as well.  However....

I am learning...You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.    It's been the hardest thing for me to learn. Try... but then to let go and let others learn from their mistakes, etc.
(sigh!)

Around the house... are the obvious tell-tale signs that this house is lived in!  That kids have (some really big!) imaginations; the daddy works hard to provide and the mamma does her best to "keep up" and keep after.

I am pondering... my recent epiphany!

A favorite quote for today... While thumbing through this new cookbook I found a quote (as there are stories, and memories of both quilting and cooking sprinkled all through out this cookbook) that just made me swoon... and thought, if only this would be true for me. However..., I will not hold my breath.  As some of you might know - my hubby doesn't cook and while I love quilting, I'd be worried for him... and wouldn't get anything done.

 Here is the quote..
My husband does most of the cooking while I quilt. ~ Joan Coale Klosek, Ellicott City, MD

I had to chuckle a little bit over this one... Bless them both! I said to myself.

One of my favorite things...hearing my two year old sing her little heart out as she toddles around the house.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  I do have a meeting scheduled with Aubrey's pre-school teacher, Friday and one of our vehicles will be off for inspection.  So, other then continuing to keep the home fires burning... it's a hope for a quiet week.

A peek into my day...
I'm pulling out an "old" photo here - one from a couple of weeks ago. You've seen this photo before, I'm sure.  It's the only one I have of some pretty long icicles..

Icicles always warm my heart.


I share this photo with you today, because as I was out and around this morning (in between the writings of this post) I noticed that random icicles I would see here and there were getting longer and longer- as the morning wore on.   As I type I can hear snow sliding off of our tin porch roof.

Obviously - the sun did make it out today...we're warming up, folks!  We warming up!!  But only for a short while, so I hear.  Another serious cold snap is on it's way..

**Following along with Peggy from The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday's Finds :: I still have time! {an epiphany}

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I haven't talked about laundry in awhile and so I thought maybe today would be the day!
There is some beautiful sunshine outdoors this morning, beautiful enough that you'd think it would be nice enough hanging weather.  NOT!!  They'd freeze stiff.  So, into the dryer the clothes go.  

Anyway..

Welcome to Friday's Finds!


Here is my find...  The other day - I had an epiphany, and I thought I would share that with you today.

I was folding the laundry.  A regular weekly occurrence.  It's also a time when I can "sit and ponder" as well as pray!  I think about a lot of things.  I pray, probably without thinking about it..
On this day, as  I was folding each of the kids clothes...it dawned on me just how big my kids are growing and how fast.  I prayed they'd slow down.. a bit.

My kids are six, five and two.  Right now - their "laundry loads" - are just one really big load.  There isn't a separate load or two for each kid - yet.

At the same time.

It dawned on me that I still have time.  You laugh!  But by the looks of their clothes... I realized that my children are still small.  Small enough to remain teachable.  They're still young and oh-so-innocent.  They are still my responsibility to raise and nurture.  We have a ways to go.  A lot of growing seasons ahead..

I couldn't believe how much it hit me... that I still have time!  It's such a strange thing and kind of funny, actually. You'd think I would  have thought about this way before now... but apparently not. Again, I know you're laughing at me...

***
Have a wonderful sort of weekend...even if it's just about sorting the laundry!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Slow Fade

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***
Reading in 1 Peter 5:6-11, this morning...convinced me that I need to share this song with you this morning.  It's a song that has been playing over and over in my heart and in my head.  Lately, I've just been thinking about (pondering) the words to this song, and the words - they have become a solid prayer of mine - to be aware of this very thing.  That - Slow Fade.
Everyone thinks - "Oh, this will never happen to me, etc."  but, it does, and it can, more often than we care to admit.  Oh so very slowly..
When it comes to my marriage, my mothering, my relationships..either with the LORD or any other person.. it's time to remain vigilant. Because - they matter!  It's time to stand firm!

Be controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith... (vs.8-9a)

Will you join me in prayer..?
Will you keep fighting for what's worth fighting for..in your life?
Don't get caught in the Slow Fade.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spreading the love around..

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 ***
Just thought we'd share a few more of our snowflakes with you today!
The kiddo's are home from school (cancelled!) today - probably due more to the -13* weather (wind chill factor) that we have going on here, in our neck of the woods.  So, we're enjoying yesterday's snow from indoors today, as best as possible. (smile!)

Happy Homes
~
It takes such simple homey things
To hold a family together;
It's keeping home fires burning
Regardless of the weather.

It's keeping home life cheery
And a kitchen spick-and-span,
For these things do bring happiness
To children and to man.

The smell of gingerbread,
Or warm cookies row on row,
Are two familiar things
Our children ought to know.

Oft repeated prayers of thanks
For life's meat and bread,
Can sustain our restless hearts
And keep our minds well fed.

Love and peace and harmony,
And kind words daily spoken,
Are keys unlocking happy homes
With no hearts sad or broken.
                                       
                                                     ~ Mabel Wilton
***
We are grateful for food and shelter and one another!
Lord, may this ever be our prayer...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stokin' the fires of home!

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With the forecast snowy and white today - I thought I'd stoke the fires of home today!
Expecting both son and hubby home early today; respectively, from school and work.  I think the call is 6"-10"  10"-15" of snow - unless that has changed, since reading last.

Just here watching and listening to the girls playing so nicely (for the most part!); enjoying a lit candle and takin' in some sewing...
Of course!


As well. I think there'll be a nice BBQ chicken dinner, this evening, with a side of homemade coleslaw and this here yummy cornbread.

Come on home, boys!  Come on home!
***

Monday, January 20, 2014

Meet me there at Ten!

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"Coffee is far more than a beverage.
It is an invitation to life, disguised as a cup of warm liquid. 
It's a trumpet wake-up call or a gentle rousing hand on your shoulder...
Coffee is an experience, an offer, a rite of passage, a good excuse to get together.
When someone invites you to get coffee, it isn't because they're thirsty.  It might be because they're cold, but more likely it is because they want to spend time with you.  Coffee makes a promise.
Coffee also calls us out of hiding.  Coffee is a universal welcome."
 ~Nichole Johnson, Fresh Brewed Life

***
Do you hear the invitation, this morning?

Let's grab a cup of coffee, shall we?  Meet me there at Ten! (smile!)

Listen, you need this invitation as much as I do...

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  ~Matthew 11: 28-30 ESV
                                                                               ***


Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday's Finds :: I'm torn!

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Christmas Decor!
Winter Decor!
They're one in the same around here...

Do I take it down and put it all away - today!  Or wait a few..

 That, my friend, is the quandary I find myself in...

(Here is the reason.  I nearly didn't put any up at all - that is until my kids convinced me two weeks before Christmas.  Usually, it's all up the day after Thanksgiving - or soon thereof.  Now, I'm half-ready to take it all down.  It's still winter, yes!  My kids beg...to hang on to it a little longer.  Sigh!)
~~~
Welcome to Friday's Finds!


Finding myself torn.
***
Until I decide and when I decide...
Enjoy your day and on into the weekend.

May God bless you and yours!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fly away Dreams & Wishes, fly away! {Bags by Bevy}

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* Dreams* and *Wishes*
Both Little Girls Skirts are gifts... off and away to a set of twins near by.
(these are not for sale!)
***
Stepping outdoors, this afternoon, to photograph the latest in fashion from Bags by Bevy, I discovered this box..sitting and waiting, for me, on my front porch.  Fun mail!!  Yay! (smile!)


Thank you, sweet friend.  You know who you are!

Now, flying off and away to open it..

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What is Home?

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A world of strife shut out -- a world of love shut in.
The only spot on earth where faults and failings of fallen
humanity are hidden under the mantle of charity.
The father's kingdom, the children's paradise, the mother's world.
Where you are treated the best and grumble the most.
~ Anonymous

***
A place where the cozy and comfort and chaos collide.

How is your home doing this evening?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Deep Winter

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Winter is the season in which people try to keep the house as warm as it was in the summer, when they complained about the heat.
~Author Unknown
** This quote made me smile, a little..
***
Travelling along a few country back roads, one early morning, I couldn't help but notice the trailing wisps of chimney smoke at every glance.  House upon house seemed to be chugging away, producing a warmth that remained nestled deep inside.  I was sure of it.
It was cold - outdoors.
Those smoke-clouds hung low and white in that there cold air.
It was as if a wispy canopy had settled in and around the community.

Kinda neat and cozy, I thought to myself.  One doesn't see this every day.  It told me that someone was home.  There was "life" happening in each of those homes.   There was a fire burning somewhere...
It was alive and warm.  Burning bright.

I had to wonder, to myself.  When you say "deep winter", is it the cold(er) temperatures that causes us to say "we're in the deep of winter" or is that an indicated date on the calendar?  A date that says we're beyond or near the end of... and so we hunker down and ride out the remaining days of the winter season.

***
As I pondered the above there for a minute...I realized there is yet another sense of "deep winter" that maybe should be alluded to.
This is that one Season of the Heart that doesn't always rise to the surface.  It's a place that (can) stays cold.  Hard. Dismal.  Recluse.
I don't know if you're someone who can get "lost" in the deep winter blues or not?
I know of a few souls who can...

I have already, somewhat; not too badly.

But, let me tell you.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Not bad... but just enough.
My heart was heavy.  And, sad.
(It wasn't even a literal cold day.  It was probably one of the warmer days we've had in awhile. I even went outside with the girls for awhile - enjoying the "warmer" weather.)

Still.  I spent a lot of time - reflecting on the deep, deep love of Jesus.

I needed to.

He is my ALL in all.

You know what song/hymn came to mind?

Does Jesus Care.  

This is the hymn that came flooding over me...

Oh, Yes He cares, I know He cares. 
 His heart is touched with my grief.  
When the days are weary, the long nights dreary, 
I know my Saviour cares.  
He cares.
***
That said,  I HOPE my chimney, today,  is producing some evidence of the life, the warmth, the love of my Saviour.

You know what I'm saying?


Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday's Finds :: Snow Surprise!

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What a wonderful way to wake up this morning!  And, to have found an unexpected
and snowy surprise - out doors.

While it was snowing harder and prettier than this, this morning.  I dug up an old photo of Caleb - doing the very same thing this morning.  Trying to catch a few of those "surprise snowflakes" with his tongue.

Wow!  It really was a pretty snow.  So soft and gentle.  Covering everything in sight.  Those big ole flakes.
Till the bus came by, which came late today, later than usual, both Caleb and I looked like little frosty snowmen!  Well, one big one and one little one. ;)
***
The kids really are funny!
I told you that we've been making snowflakes, over the past couple of days, and taping them to our dining room window.
The kids, they get me every time!  "Hey Mom, look! - it's snowing", they'll say, pointing to the window.


This morning, they were right!  But by later today, I'm sure a nary one'll be in sight!

S"no"w Surprise, there!


***
Enjoy your weekend!  Whatever, the weather..

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bags by Bevy :: Come meet the Newbies...

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 :: Well Wishes::
small, purse-like bag
***
:: Tea Wallets ::
two different sizes

***
Both items can be found in my etsy shop - today!
Thanks for taking a look!

***

I won't be around tomorrow...
I'll be off enjoying the day, with my family, at the PA Farm Show!

See you Friday?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm thinking...

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Today, I'm thinking of friends and family all cozied up, bundled up, across our nation.
Baby! it's cold outside.  Be safe!
Here, in our neck of the woods, we have been privileged with a recent mega-bout of rain that near washed all of our pretty snow away.  And, the sun is shining!  Which makes it look deceiving until you set foot outdoors... well, even before that.  Until you open the front door...then it is, you realize...it is very cold outside.  Repeat:  VERY COLD outside!

I think of my brother - who is outdoors pounding the pavement - delivering mail.  He walks a near 10-mile a day through any sort of weather - just because - oh how, we love our mail!  Yes! indeedy..

I think of the menfolk in my life; my two other brothers who are out laboring - one in construction, the other - working for a moving company.  Men in general, particularly my husband, - who work so hard to provide albeit whatever the job and where ever it takes them.  (Thank you!)

I think, while sipping on hot coffee, of all those that don't have the blessing of heat (maybe), or electric or running water - in these frigid temperatures.  Not, like we do.
(the children and I were talking about this at breakfast, this morning... we are so blessed!)

Weather, like this, makes me think of ALL the things that I should be doing.  Such as, cleaning out closets or baking bread or just cleaning the house in general.
I really do have no place to go.  I really  have no excuse.

 And then... there are things that I want to do.  It's more like this, this is the kind of weather that makes me think of things I would like to do.  Just because...
 It's cozy.  It's calming.  It's creative.

Instead, we, the children and I, sit around and cut out snowflakes - taping them to already frosty windows.  Or, talk of ice skating...past, present and future. Which, that is cozy, calming and creative, too!  Yes!
**
I'm thinking of things like what I had an opportunity to do on New Year's Day - but that didn't happen.
I had a chance to go to be with cousins and Aunts, my Mom - sitting around a quilt frame.  However, my children were on the edge of sore throats and sporting runny noses, at the time, and  I didn't want to take any chances of sharing any lingering or potential germs...with my one cousin's little guy who is recovering from Leukemia.
I still think of the fun that would have been mine that day!

Sitting there with needle and thread in hand, slipping it in and out of layers and following design - keeping track of who's conversation was going where and what were my kids getting into, etc.

H.W. Pierce., Quilting bee in the olden time, done for centennial exposition, colonial revival

{via}

Listen to this.  Here is a fantasy-would-be-dream of mine...(sigh!)
From a 1930 diary from Upper Frederick Township, Montgomery County:
September 2,  Tuesday:  Put quilt in a frame.
  September 5, Friday: Finished quilt.We will assume that the writer of this diary knotted rather than quilted the quilt, since the diary also states that during this time she also canned three baskets of peaches.
~ copied from, The Quiltie Ladies' Scrapbook, Variable Star Quilters

**
Here is the deal. Like this quote says; which is more my reality...

You will never find time for anything.  If you want time, you must make it. ~ Charles Buxton

I think.  If I know you- you'll start reading between the lines.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Shelter {Mugs & Muffins Winner}

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Home is a shelter from storms - all sorts of storms.
~William J. Bennett
***
One of the things that I've been trying to instill within my children is to be grateful for shelter.
I know that shelter can be anything.  And sometimes what appears to be a form of  "shelter" - can still be ripped away and lost forever.
Shelter is meant to be temporary.  A place of refuge...particularly in storms.
But - on the contrary - I would hope that my children would know that "under HIS wing" can we truly hide.  That there is where true shelter is and only there.

Home ~ safe in Jesus!
This kind of shelter will stand and lasts forever.
Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.  
 ~ Proverbs 30:5

We pray for those that would seek shelter.
We pray that our hearts would be open to sharing - shelter.

We pray that our home is shelter.
A place of peace.
Warmth.
Forgiveness & Grace.
A place safe enough to be real.
Home is a place for our feet to come and go - but our hearts leave never!
***

You are the winner of the Mugs & Muffins Giveaway!

Patty ~ please email me your mailing address so that I can get this out to you - ASAP!

:: Tea Wallet w/tea, and book! ::
Congratulations, Patty!
Psst:  Finally!  there are two other Tea Wallets, for sale, in my shop!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday's Finds :: Longing!

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Heart's Desire... Home!
La Mont W. Olsen

When the work of the day is finished
And I turn my footsteps home,
I enter the gate to paradise
In a world I call my own.

A little nose on the window,
Two tiny hands thrown up in glee,
A burst of childish laughter
Rings out at the sight of me.

The patter of tiny footsteps
Across the kitchen floor;
Two smiling cheeks, two big blue eyes
To meet me at the door.

A cheerful face and a glad "hello,"
A kiss and a hug - two or three -
We meet in a happy reunion,
Mother, and son and me.

Oh, it's here that I've found contentment -
Just to read and dream by the fire,
In a home where peace and love abide,
I call it "Heart's Desire."

***
I long for this to always be true of our home ~ and yours!

Enjoy your both your weekend and your family.



***
The Mug & Muffins - Giveaway Winner name will be drawn tonight and announced on Monday!
Thank you, for entering!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Get Out Of The Van!

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Recently, I heard a sermon illustration that I want to relay to you - simply because it struck a cord with me.  I'd imagine this could relate to some of you as well.

The Pastor, sharing this illustration, was talking about himself.

He went on to say that as a young teenager he had gone through a season of where they would go somewhere as a family - say, to a family reunion or something - and he would choose, rather, to spend 6,7,8 hours  -alone!-out in the van rather than participate with the family gathering.  He said, he can't believe it to this day - how or why his parents didn't "kill him".

He humbly recounted, "This all came to a head - one summer- when our family decided to go on a trip out West!  My parents had saved and saved to make this a memorable family vacation - and yet, sad to say.  
I missed over 80% of our stops because I had stayed in the van."

The Pastor went on..


"We were at the Grand Tetons.  We parked.  And we only had to walk maybe 200 yards down around some trees, to where you could take in a glorious view...the most glorious view.  But you know what?  To this day - I actually never saw the Grand Tetons, the way my family did. They all got to take in this breathtaking grandeur, up close and personal, as up close and personal as that could be, but not me!  
Because, I stayed in the van."

***
Isn't that so true of us?
We miss out on ALL that God has for us...
Because we simply stay in the van.

{pause, for effect}

GET OUT OF THE VAN!
***
Here are the verses from Ephesians 3:16-21... that were shared that day!

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Interestingly enough for me.  Back in December, when I began the series of carols, talking about preparing...

I started with these very verses (in bold print) as a prayer of mine.  And, as a prayer for you!  

God's love is so vast, and deep, and rich, and true!  It's more than we can ask or think...we can't even wrap our minds around it and yet we can fully know this love.  We can be filled to the fullest measure of this..

It's not that I would love HIM more - but that I would know all the more the depth, richness, and fullness of His LOVE for me!

I thought it was neat that now at the end of the yuletide season, and it the beginning of a very New Year ~  I'm hearing the very same thing.  Okay...I'm getting it.  The Lord certainly has my attention.  But, I need to participate.  I simply need to get out of the van!
***

Don't Forget:  Tomorrow is the last day to enter the Mugs & Muffins Giveaway!!
Please do.  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome 2014:: The Pages of Our Years

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Our lives are albums written through
With good or ill, with false or true;
And as the blessed angels turn
The pages of our years,
God grant they read the good with smiles,
And blot the ill with tears!

~Whittier - written in a Lady's Album

***
As I stand before a New Year - I look at it, a bit like this window pane.
Can't see too far ahead, can I?
But.  One thing I know.  This New Year - of 2014 - will completely have God's hand all over it.

God-breathed plans!
Beauty in the making...
Mystery..
The Unknown lies...yet to be seen, felt or realized.
Whatever it is.  It's intricately designed...with just the right amount of HIM!

To this New Year - we say Welcome!
***

Please, take the time to enter the Mugs & Muffins Giveaway!
You still have time...
It ends on Friday, the 3rd.
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