Friday, February 27, 2009

My Toothless Wonder

Finally!!! The kid will be 8 years old in July and he has finally lost his first ever baby tooth. That same little tooth broke through on the day he became my is bittersweet! To say that Zach was thrilled is an understatement! The one next to it is loose, so he will be working on that one diligently!
We had other thrills that day also. The mailman brought goodies....My friend Cheryl, (Copperswife), sent me a package containing all kinds of fun! I had entered a drawing for a hat she created...a choice between purple and brown. I chose brown...I did not win. The winner chose purple and so Cheryl said whoever posted first on the next post would win the brown hat. I posted second. I rarely ever win anything. Ace had posted first and won the brown hat. She e-mailed me and graciously let me have her win! (Thank you, Ace!) Soooo, after that long explanation, Cheryl sent me my beautiful brown hat! The toothless wonder modeled it for you all!Also included in the package was her own copy (which I will cherish) of Created To Be His Help Meet, a book I have wanted to read for a long time, and a GORGEOUS packet of 12 fat quarters. The fat quarters are from the Robert Kaufman Clothesline Club (I LOVE this line) and are called Mama's Feedsacks by Darlene Zimmerman.Look at that bright Sunflower yellow. It would be great for the centers of flowers. I instantly saw Grandma's Flower Garden.Won't they look wonderful as hexagon flowers??? Libby and RoseMarie have been teasing me with all their hexagons and I have always wanted to make one. I will use the English paper piecing method (it is done by hand) and it will make a great summer project. Perfect for sitting outside on the deck while the kids play in the yard. Now I need to order my paper hexagons and make a trip to Belvidere for more feedsack looking fabrics. (Speaking of fabrics and Belvidere, Coleen has finally posted a pictures of all her wonderful fabrics she bought on our trip to All My Stitches)
I also received my challenge panel from Milah.She sent out 4 of these panels and has challenged us to create a quilt by Easter. She will be doing one too. The panels are all so adorable.
We do not need to use all 10 panels, and Milah gave some great advice...keep it simple. It will make a nice quilt for Grandma's house. Winona is also taking part in the challenge. It will be fun to see what everyone does.
Around the house, we are all keeping busy. Kyle is working everyday and on the phone most evenings...that is a story I will save for another day, though pray for me. A mild mentally handicapped young man and a mild mentally handicapped young lady....Lord, give me strength. So far, I have kept it a phone relationship. I also listen carefully from a distance.
The little kids are working hard in school. Sweetheart is still working on the ceiling in his "man room". Yes, that is what it is going to be...."A Man Room". My mother-in-love wanted me to post a pic of the ceiling so far. It is stained, but still needs polyurethane and the drywall panels need to be primed and painted white. It is really difficult to take a picture of a ceiling.....It looks beautiful in person. The pics do not do it justice and make it appear bowed, which it is not. All the edges of the wood are routed beautifully and the screws and joints are filled in and sanded smooth to look like one big piece of lattice. I have been pounding away on the church library project. I am really enjoying myself. I have completed over 250 books and am only 1/2 way done. I am finding lots of treasures in those books though. This was a fun one to find....It is a song book from the old Oral Roberts tent revivals....if only that book could talk!!! Oh, the wonders it would share.The tent revivals of the 1950's were unbelievable!! I have always wanted to experience one. There is a video by Carman called "1955" that gives you just a taste of what being at a tent revival might have been like. There is some humor in it too....quite entertaining. You can view it by clicking on the link. Wasn't that fun??!!
Time for me to get busy here at home. I have laundry, school, and grocery shopping to get done. We are having a big potluck after church on Sunday and I need to plan out what I will bring.
Have a blessed weekend!!!! Don't forget to ask yourself what you can do this day to bring glory to God.
"Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the LORD in holy array."
1 Chronicles 16:29

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Titus 2 Women

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God.
Titus 2:3-5 (TLB)
Yesterday, Charlotte and Rachel took a crochet lesson from Mary. Mary is an older lady in my church who teaches anyone who wants to learn, the fine art of crochet. She also creates (with the help of other ladies in the church) prayer shawls that are given to those in need. They are beautiful shawls that are made with a special "Trinity" crocheters will know what I am talking about, cause I sure don't!
It was a wonderful time together....Mary will meet with the girls (and any others that want to learn) on the first Monday of every month.Poor Charlotte had made some bad habits that needed to be broken, but she was able to do just that and is on the road to making beautiful things that do not curl or twist! Rachel had only known how to make a chain and so she was a clean slate. Both girls left knowing how to do a perfect single crochet!Candy is another wonderful Titus 2 lady from the church....She opens her home to the girls and to all of us ladies every Monday night for Bible Study. I had prayed not only to become a Titus 2 woman, but to have some in my life. God heard my prayer! While the girls learned crochet, I quilted. Sweetheart went to his mom's, so I took Zach and his Gameboy with me. He loves Miss Candy's house!By the way, he did get a haircut last night!!!Today, is school and the book project. It is coming along and I had planned to make a huge dent today. I found this extraordinary book in the boxes....The Book of Revelation
by Clarence Larkin
Amazing!! It is a complete study on the book of Revelation and is very good!! It was first published in 1919. Not sure how old this copy is as it does not say, but it is quite old. The illustrations are wonderful.Many charts.....It took Mr. Larkin 25 years to write this book. You can tell it was a deeply moving journey for him. It belongs to the church library, but I plan to find my own copy.
So I said I planned to make a huge dent in those books, and I still do, but I got a little sidetracked by a visitor.Emerson Avery showed up bright and early for some Grandma lovin!! Her mommy and brother went to MOPS (Mother's of Preschoolers) and Emerson stayed with me. She got some new kicks!!! Aren't they cute??She is getting so big!!! It won't be long and she will be taking crochet lessons too!!!Now, laundry is calling and my napping granddaughter is starting to stir.
Be blessed today!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fat, Frogging, and Friends

My update for the diet challenge is not good. That flu threw me back into a carb craved state...sounds like a good excuse, eh? Ok, we will go with that. I have gained 2 pounds, but am back on track and plan to share a more negative (scale wise) update next Monday!
We got blasted with snow again on Saturday. This is the view outside my sewing room window.It was finally gone. Now it is back. I am pretty tired of the white stuff and am looking forward to Spring.
Sunday was spent going to Sunday service and then having TJ for the afternoon. I hope he grows up remembering his Sunday afternoons with Grandma and Grandpa. Yesterday he spent alot of time on the computer. I was sewing on the machine and he wanted to be with me because, "It's much fun, Grandma."We had several wonderful little conversations. He sure is entertaining. So much so, that I messed up what I was doing!!!I started to attach another dark triangle on the opposite side of the square to make the square in a square blocks. After the 11th one, I realized that a light triangle needed to be there!! Next came a time of frogging (rip it, rip it!)
Zach came in to play with TJ and clicked the camera...he was taking pics of TJ and I never saw that one coming. He got my good side! The boys continued to play. Zach needs a haircut BAD! I was going to let it grow out, but I think I can not handle it! Guess where Charlotte is?? She was across the street shoveling the neighbors drive way!! They are out of town and though Sweetheart had snow blowed over there, the wind had again covered their drive with about a 1/2 inch of snow. She went over and cleaned it off. I was very proud of her!!
Sweetheart came in and took his turn on the computer...he is a FOX news addict and what do you think he was surfing for??? Fox News dot com!Finally, I completed the 56 square in a square sections correctly!Now I just need to sew the 9 patch sections together to form the completed block.
I promised to share some mail and a recent purchase. Here is the purchase. I love it! You know I keep my applique threads in a plastic zipper more!This wonderful case now keeps my threads all nice and neat! My fatter spools do not fit, but I plan to collect all Gutermann brand, so this will work.
As for the Friend mail, Linda sent me some wonderful homespun squares for the flowers on my applique border....RoseMarie, sent me her copy of a pattern I want to do.She even sent me her notes to help me along the way!!!She hole punched it and it is in my HMB waiting for the time when I create it...which will be Spring time since it is a Christmas gift!
Also, I received a surprise package from Nancy! I had sent her some pieces of fabric for a consolation prize and she made me this with some of it!! Aren't quilty bloggers wonderful??!! Always ready to share!I plan to use this to take my hand quilting supplies when I go out, which will be happening in just about an hour here. Charlotte has a crochet lesson and I take my quilting with. I better get ready to go!!!
I will leave you with this question that I challenged my children to ask every morning....
"What can you do this day to glorify God?"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Family Blessing-More Than A Review

"You are an outstanding woman for all you do for your children. I admire you more than you will ever know."
"Your children are blessed to have you for a mother. You are a gift from God."
"What a Godly example you are of a mother. Your children are so fortunate to have you."
"I don't know how you do it. You are amazing."

Those are just a few of the things I am told regularly from other bloggers and friends. They are copied and pasted here from actual e-mails, the most recent just a couple of days ago. If you want to continue thinking these things about me, then you will need to stop reading NOW.

No, I am not going to belittle myself, or think untrue things regarding my character. I do not have a low self-esteem (in most areas I am a pretty decent person), nor am I seeking someone to tell me I am wrong. I already have conformation from God that what I am about to share is truth. It is ok...I am forgiven and I forgive myself and I will take what I have seen in myself and change it immediately. I am sharing it, because I want to be held accountable. I need accountability. Hopefully, all the pretty pictures will make this post not so ugly! Anyone reading here for any length of time, knows the struggles I have had in raising my daughter. I have shared numerous times of my resentment, anger, hostility, and frustration. It is also no secret that I love this little girl more than my own life. I want to see her succeed in the future but walk in doubt and fear that she will be nothing less than a transient. Great faith there, eh? Well, in doing the library project I pulled a little book called The Family Blessing by Rolf Garborg. I had felt a pull to read it, but then thought, "Nah...I have too much to do. I will put it on my mental list to check out later." Back in the pile it went. When putting books back in a box to take to the church, I again felt an urge to read this book. It is light reading, I am sure from the title. Just a quick read of 105 pages...a couple of hours at the most. So I pulled it and sat down just this morning. I am numb. I am humbled. I am convicted beyond words. A light read it was not. Not for me anyway.It started out as a sweet message about how a father used the principles of A. W.Tozer's words,

"If it is good, God did it. And if it is bad, I did it, and it's worse than it looks."

He uses this with his children, speaking a daily blessing over them. It all sounds wonderful and the principles are definitely scriptural. Jesus blessed the children. The Bible is full of actual blessings spoken over God's people.The book stays light, though with enough meat to really chew on...
"Our greatest responsibility to our children is to exhibit the heart of God to them"
Mr Garborg also shares the story of the Chinese Bamboo tree, and how the seed lays dormant for 5 years. Still it needs tending and care. You see nothing come from all your efforts until 5 years later when that one seed shoots sixty feet into a mature tree in one years time. A wonderful analogy as to all that we sow into people. We may not see growth, but the care and nurturing are still vital.

All of a sudden 1/2 way through the book, all the light, feel good stuff is gone. What is left is a huge knot in my stomach and words that feel like a knife in my gut.

""Death and life," says the book of Proverbs, "are in the power of the tongue." (18:21). Nowhere is the reality clearer than in the dynamics of family life. The words parents speak to their children day in and day out, even in casual conversation, create an atmosphere in the home over time that either chokes and poisons their young spirits or nourishes and strengthens them. The results can be devastating or life-giving: "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing." (Prov. 12:18 NIV)

Oh. My. Goodness. Goodness is too strong of a word!! I should have said Oh my badness!! Mr Garborg goes on with his knife words....

"We have the daily choice as parents to speak life or death to our children. Speaking "death"---destroying their self esteem with negative labels, nicknames, household reputations, or self fulfilling prophecies---is what the Bible calls "cursing"; we will deal with that issue specifically in chapter 7. But even if we rarely inflict these kinds of verbal injuries on our children, we may still be guilty of draining the life from their spirits by our negligence or reluctance to "speak well" of them."

OUCH! I confess before man that I am guilty. I have given my daughter nicknames, a household reputation, negative labels, and self fulfilling prophecies. The author gave me an "out" that I could say I am guilty but "rarely inflict" this on my daughter. I can not in good conscience take that "out". I do this regularly. I could tell you it is a curse that most mom's of RAD kids have...I can't say that cause I do not know that to be true. I could justify it all, at least in my own mind, but that will only delay the see this is not the first sign that God has been dealing with me in this area. It has been going on for weeks now. Every time I turn around, I see something. A post from a fellow blogger, a piece of scripture (James 1:19-20 among others), a word from my husband....who listened with out comment as I read him, out loud, the above experts. Then when I was finished he said, "I am not going to say anything." That said it all.

"You Can't Saw Sawdust" That is the title of Chapter 7...that chapter where he will go into more detail on my parenting style and how my tongue created sawdust in my daughter's life. It may seem this chapter would be the dreaded one...yet it is where I found hope. The authors words were like a salve on my open, gash.

"Hurts and wounds can be healed. The resentment can be replaced by an attitude reflecting God's character. The heart of bitterness that destroys a life can become a heart of praise and gratefulness to God."

Words of you can not turn back the clock, nor put the toothpaste back in the tube, nor can you saw can however, per the author, take the sawdust and make something new...particleboard!! Solid and usable. Charlotte came to me splintered. Her physical life was hanging by a thread and by all reason, she should not have been alive. Today she is physically care healed her body. What about her splintered spirit? I see sawdust when I think of it. Today I will start to speak blessings and not cursings on Charlotte (and my other children) It is a lie to say that an unattached child is impossible to love. It is a lie to say an unattached child can not receive love. A blessing is love. A cursing is hate. Anyone, can receive either of these. Isn't it ironic that I always close my posts with the phrase, "Blessings"? It is time I start doing just that!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Need a Break From My Break!

The Library project is much more work than I thought it would be. It is fun and fulfilling though. I love books and just going through and touching and flipping through them is pleasure. I was sitting at the Church library working, but decided I could get more done if I brought them home. Sometimes the building is not open when I am available and this way I can even work in the evening. I brought home a huge load of books yesterday....the ones above and these....I am now ready to take them back and get more. I would never have completed these in the couple of hours I could have been at the church. I have to go through each book and check for content, and decide if it is worth the space, which is limited. It is not difficult, as I worked for several years as a book buyer for a Christian book store and can pretty much tell by publisher if I need to check for content. For example Zondervan puts out some really great Christian books, however, they have been known to be pretty liberal with the content of their inspirational romance novels. Bethany House is one that never has a concern. See. Easy.
Next, I place a sticky envelope in the book which holds a card containing the code, author, and title. This card will be used for checking books out and in.There are several codes. S=Spiritual/prophecy, CL=Christian Living, W=Women, F=fiction, etc. This will determine which shelf in the library they are placed on. This code also goes on a piece of "miracle" (brand) tape on the spine, along with the last 3 letters of the author's last name. Once this is done, I box them up to go back to the church. I imagine there are about 600 books in all!The little kids have been a huge help. Zach spent the morning putting cards in the envelopes for me. Charlotte helps by cutting the tape into sections. I am hoping to have this project done for the March 1st service, but if not, there is no real time limit. That poor library has not been used in years. Now we have fresh books to add and a new system will hopefully give it a boost. I was shocked at some of the index cards in the books...the past system of check out. One of them had not been checked out since 1979!!!! I would say that book should be retired. I have already seen several books I want to read myself, and many more that Charlotte would love. I am sneaking a early read with this book. It is short and I can read it in a few hours...I am anxious to see what it says. The subtitle says, "One Simple Act That Will Dramatically Change Your Family's Future".
Sweetheart has been working on the ceiling in the new room downstairs. Like the library project, he has found this job to be more difficult than he thought. It is up as of this morning and now he will do the detail work.To stay in our budget, he created a drop ceiling out of wood and drywall. It really looks wonderful. He will need to router and stain the wood and paint the drywall. He already put in the light fixtures, which needed to be moved and re-wired to hook to a switch.They are 4 ft sections and form a 3x6 grid. He is anxious to get this part done. Then his fun begins. Painting, trim and carpet installation. He brought home 2 carpet samples...Everyone, except Charlotte picked the one on the right...she likes the one on the left.I have been quilting on my sister's quilt. She even called me this morning to see how it is going...she misses it, even though it was just a flimsey. I told her not to despair as it is now a "sandwich" and no longer a flimsey. She laughed at all the names of the different stages a quilt has.Well I had more, but deleted the pictures to show next time. This was a pretty full post! I have mail surprises and a purchase to share with you next time. Until then, have a blessed day!!!