Thursday, May 31, 2007

Knitting Progress

Here is my latest cloth. It is a sailboat. It worked up fast and was created by the same person who created the lighthouse pattern. Such talented ladies out there! I know many people think that home arts are a thing of the past but I have seen over and over that this is not so!

Now this sailboat has a heart on your left in the sail. Here is the funny thing. It was on the RIGHT side in the picture of the original pattern. But I think this happened because I am left handed and knit right?? I have always said I knit backwards, now I have proof! LOL! I plan to do this in blue next so hopefully the design will show up better then.

Here are all the cloths I have knitted thus far.

The next pattern I will work up is the state of Maine!! There is a woman in the Dishcloth KAL who has created a pattern for each state and she has generously shared the state of Maine pattern with me!! I think I will do it in the yellow first so it is easier to show! I am having fun, can you tell? Having a project like this is so relaxing! I can sit yet still be productive; perfect for summer!

Summer Schedule

(The Harbor in S. Portland, Maine)
This being our first week of summer break I have been working on a summer schedule for the children. I want them to feel like this is a relaxed vacation but I also want there to be some accomplishment of goals as well as upkeep on the house and yard.
My first attempt at the schedule was to give everyone a list of their chores, a time limit for screen time of the day and then let them schedule themselves. That did NOT work. Everyone procrastinated their chores and it really ruined the day. They had the chores hanging over them and I was frustrated.
So, today I told them we would start chores at 8:30 a.m. This worked much better. Except for rare occasions they are all awake and up by 7:00 a.m. so this gave them time to get ready for the day before chores. It also will get everyone done before we would meet with friends as we don't usually leave before 10 a.m. to visit with friends. We tried it today and it worked so much better. My goal, on sunny days is that they would have 30-40 min. of indoor chores and 20-30 min. of outdoor chores when need for a total of an hour a day of chores. These chores do not include cleaning up after themselves, folding and putting away their laundry. No, it includes cleaning the house but not cleaning up after ourselves.
So here is how our day should look:
7 a.m. Family Devotions
Clean up and get dressed.
8:30 a.m. Chores
9:30 a.m. Assigned summer reading and practice instruments.
Free time or leaving to meet friends.
When home, 11:00-12:00 pm Tidy up (picking up all that was used) and prepare/clean up from lunch.
Free time.
4:00 pm Tidy up room by room and prepare supper.
7:00 pm Tidy up.
Relax and bed by 9:00 pm for kids.
We'll try that and see how it works! I would love to hear/see what others do! If it is on your blog, feel free to leave the link in the comments. :)

Lobster Cloth Knitting Pattern

Janey asked where I found the Loster Cloth Knitting Pattern. I found it at:

There are many wonderful patterns there including the Lobster Pattern! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

"If This Were All"

If This Were All
Edgar Guest
If this were all of life we'll know,
If this brief space of breath
Were all there is to human toil,
If death were really death,
And never should the soul arise
A finer world to see,
How foolish would our struggles seem,
How grim the earth would be!
If living were the whole of life,
To end in seventy years,
How pitiful its joys would seem!
How idle all its tears!
There'd be no faith to keep us true,
No hope to keep us strong,
And only fools would cherish dreams--
No smile would last for long.
How purposeless the strife would be
If there were nothing more,
If there were not a plan to serve,
An end to struggle for!
No reason for a mortal's birth
Except to have him die--
How silly all the goals would seem
For which men bravely try.
There must be something after death;
Behind the toil of man
There must exist a God divine
Who's working out a plan;
And this brief journey that we know
As life must really be
The gateway to a finer world
That some day we shall see.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Discipline Brings Blessing

As a parent, it seems I spend a good bit of my day convincing my child/children that they need to do what they would really rather not do. It starts as infants. At some point mommy has to put the baby down for a few moments and the baby would rather be held, or change the diaper when the baby would prefer to not have the diaper changed. Then we move to potty training to lacing up ones own shoes to doing chores. From infancy to adulthood I must plant seeds of discipline into my children. Here is the lesson I have learned. When the child figures out that mom is serious and is not going to change her mind, the child falls in line and meets the expectation. Sometimes there is a transition time (At times this seems like a mourning period!) where the child is upset, but given time and consistency they come round.

I can remember times when a child was particularly resistant to chore time. No amount of crying could sway mom, so the child gave in and did the chores. By the end of chore time I was being showered with "I love you's" and hugs. There was a blessing of satisfaction in a job well done!

Don't give up, you moms out there!! Your loving consistency will bear fruit.

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Heb. 12:11

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal. 6:9

Monday, May 28, 2007

Maine Lobstah!

No, we are not EATING the lobster, not today anyway! (*wink*) But this is my latest dishcloth design! I joined a Dishcloth Knit Along Group. Did I mention that? This is where I am getting these designs! I think I might make more of these up after the blanket is done for Christmas presents! Here it is:

Here is a close up of the lobster design:

It was fun to work up. My favorite so far is the Lighthouse. It was the most fun. But I do love the yellow cotton for the sun. Today I am off to Walmart for more "Peaches and Cream" cotton yarn. I will get more yellow and also a large spool of white. :) I am on a roll and hoping it continues so that I could have my blanket done by the end of the summer!
This week I need to construct my quilt blocks for the T2CHK Quilt block swap. I post a pic when I am done so my dear recipients will know what's comin'! It is a 9 patch and promises to be sheer enjoyable relaxation! Have a great day!

Memorial Day 2007

Because of those who have fought for our country:
We do not look to the skies for bombs dropping.
We do not have a bomb shelter.
My children have no nightmares involving enemy soldiers.
We worship our God without fear of punishment.
We speak our views freely.
Soldiers do not line the streets with guns.
We walk the streets freely.
We ARE free.
Let us never forget the sacrifice of those who have and do fight for our country. Let us not treat lightly the blood that has been shed for our freedom. Let us never forget.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

...And Then There Were Two...

(Pattern by Rhonda K. White, copyright 2005)

Here is my latest knitted dishcloth to add to my cotton blanket. It is a lighthouse which hopefully can be seen here!! :) It was fun to knit because of the variety with making the little holes that represent the light coming from the lighthouse.
I do find I am learning much from knitting these cloths. I am really a beginner, at least that is how I feel. From the cloths I have learned how to recognize the right side/wrong side of the piece better. I also have learned to slip, slip, knit as well as a yarn over on the purl side.
I also have completed another yellow sun pattern like the one I showed a week or so ago. Here was the bummer though; I ran out of cotton when I was casting off!! I was really praying to get through the second one with my leftovers. So, undaunted, I put the piece on a stitch holder and moved on to the lighthouse. I will get to Walmart soon for more cotton!!
Next on my list is a lobster pattern. I will post a picture when I am done. This is quite fun! Eventually I will decide how many of each pattern I will do in which color. I think my colors will be limited to blue, yellow and white. These are nice cottage colors. This is the look I am going for in the house. I love the cottage look with crisp, clean, simple decor! :)
Happy Sunday!
(Why am I not at church you ask? Well, after all that talk about knowing how far I can push my back, I overdid the gardening yesterday. There is no way I can sit in a metal chair so I am home resting my back today. I thank God for sermons online! I will pick one to listen to today as I knit!)

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed of hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything thorugh him who gives me strength." Phil. 4:11-13

Saturday, May 26, 2007


("Spring Walk" by Jacqueline Penning)
This is my first spring since stepping into the company of those with a "bad back". I can bend over about four times a day before I start paying for it. I am in mild pain all the time until I start working. Then, if I am careful, it can stay quite manageable. I am still fearful enough of the pain that I rarely push it so hard that I end up in bed. I know when to stop and if I listen to my body then I do okay. I am thankful. It could be worse and I do try to remind myself of that. But I am certainly not immune to frustation over it at times.
Rachel has always loved to plant flowers beside her mom. It used to be just for fun, now I really need her and couldn't do it without her. I can work on the pots and any raised beds if I can do it sitting. But no bending or really even kneeling on the ground. So, I am thankful she loves to plant and loves it even when I am just advising and keeping her company.
Thankfully the children have always done chores. When I hurt my back I was glad I had taught my children to do certain household tasks. As soon as I was on my feet again, I immediately taught them more and more! This continues. I could not spring clean without them now and many household chores would wait longer if not for them. Perhaps the good in this is that I will continue to be motivated to train them because I need them!
Each year unfolds new challenges and lessons. This past year it has been my learning to say, "will you help me", or "I need to stop and rest now." I have had to learn to be thankful I am upright! I have had to learn to do as much as I can and be thankful for that. Perhaps someday it will be lifted; I don't know. But God helps me through each day if I will let him!
"May the Lord answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
May he send you hep from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests.
Now I know the Lord saves his annointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.
O Lord, save the king!
Answer us when we call!"
Psalm 20

Super Saturday!

Today is our first day of "summer". Not by the calendar of course, but the school books are being put away and the weather is warm and we are getting things ready for the summer season! This summer we are trying something new. Each child was to set goals for reading and for learning. I will help them stay on goal. I want them to see that they can set a goal, learn something fun and meet the goal. This week I ordered each of them Art Books.

For Rachel: "The Wonderful Art of Drawing Horses" by Barry Stebbing:

For Christian: "The Incredible Clay Book" by Sherri Haab and Laura Torres:
For Tyler: "Draw It! Sports Stars: by Tiffany Peterson:

Christian has a clay book because he like to make characters and then write movies. He uses his figures in his movies and he does all the voices. He video tapes his finished product. It's lots of fun for him to do and for us to watch!

He started right away this morning with his books and made lots of creative characters!

Below is the whole gang:

Rachel started her books too. First you are to draw a horse without any instruction. This is kept as your "before" picture. At the end of the book she will draw another for her "after" picture to compare and see how much she has learned. She can't wait to see what her "after" picture will look like. Below is her "before" picture:

...and a closeup:

Tyler was busy with his baseball team today so he will get started later. It's an exciting start and I am so happy they are enthusiastic. Besides the Art book, Tyler would like to learn to cook independently, keep working on guitar and get in shape for soccer.
Christian would like to add Mark Kistler's book "How to Draw in 3D" to his art skills and he will keep practicing drums, and keep learning to program games in JAVA through Green Foot.
Rachel would like to add learning to sew, learning more knitting, learning more piano as well as taking a couple of dance classes. She would also like to do some Nature Journaling.
All of them will read through the summer. We will garden and swim and just have some fun. In between we will play some Math and Science Games and Rummy Roots to keep up with our school skills. I am usually pretty good at keeping up with these things through the middle of July. This year I hope we can stay constructive allll the way to September! Stay tuned!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Yummy Bean Dip

Here's another "keeper recipe" that I got from "Taste of Home Quick Cooking" magazine. They call it "Layered Chile Dip".


1 can (about 15 oz) refried beans
3/4 cup red chile sauce with chicken (I had to substitute in my favorite salsa which was still quite good!)
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
1 carton (12 oz.) prepared guacamole, opt. (I think this is entirely necessary; I make up my own and I will share the recipe below)
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sliced green onion with tops
1-1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 can (2-1/4 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained, opt.
Tortilla chips

Directions: In a medium bowl, combine the refried beans and red chile sauce, mix well. Spread the mixture evenly on a 9 inch serving platter. Blend the cream cheese and sour cream; spread on top of refried mixture. Top with guacamole, tomatoes, green onions, cheese and olives. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Serve with tortilla chips. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Guacamole dip:

Peel and puree one avacado.
Add 2 Tblsp of sour cream and 2 Tblsp of salsa. No need to be exact, let it be heaping.
1/2 small onion chopped or 1 green onion.
Mix well.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wonderful Wednesday

Awww....isn't he sweet? This is our Shih Tzu "Dash" sleeping in a blanket with his teddy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Marvelous Monday's Musings

The picture above is a scene in Maine. It is a pretty typical scene for me, lots of trees and lakes. Recently the children and I were priviledged to hear a speaker from the Maine Forestry Dept. He surprised us all when he told us that 90% of the state of Maine is covered in trees!! I believe Maine has the largest percentage of trees of any state in the USA. No wonder I am constantly pulling saplings out of my gardens!!
Speaking of my home front, this is our last week of formal schooling before summer break! HOORAY!! Mom is more ready than the kids are. This last week is a light week as many subjects are finished. Therefore the kids are helping me finish any spring cleaning that did not happen as well as preparing the house for summer, inside and out.
Today we tidied and they dusted the downstairs furnitures, radiators, lamps, etc. While the younger two dusted, Tyler helped me clean out and scrub out the refrigerator. It shines like new now!
Tomorrow, I hope to finish decluttering our sunroom, wash the glass sliders as well as the door into the house. Then, once we drop Tyler off for baseball, Christian and Rachel and I will take advantage of a store sale for summer clothes.
Wednesday I hope to clean and declutter the bedrooms. Thursday I hope to get the lawn mowed and raked. Friday I hope to buy my annuals and get them planted as well as deep clean the bathrooms. Then over the weekend I would like to plant some veggies. We will see about that as my raised gardens need repairing first. We also need to install the air conditioners and move furniture and bookshelves around to prepare for summer company.
Memorial Day is Monday which is the official start of the summer season in Maine! These are the days I was dreaming about in the midst of February. It is here, praise the Lord!!

Dishcloth Mania...The Beginning!!

This dishcloth was my weekend project. What fun it was!! The lighting in my picture isn't the best but hopefully you see the sun design in it. It is really a "square" not a dishcloth as I will be using it in a blanket. Hmmmm...wonder how many it will take to make a queen size blanket?!! Yikes, better not think that far ahead!
Robin's idea is to use the same "Sun" design and do yellow and white squares. But I might use other nautical designs and see what he thinks of that. I know I found a sailboat one. This is going to be a fun project for summer. They are small and easy to take along with me! YAY!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

True Nobility

True Nobility
Edgar Guest - 1916 - A Heap o' Livin'

Who does his task from day to day
And meets whatever comes his way,
Believing God has willed it so.
Has found real greatness here below.

Who guards his post, no matter where,
Believing God must need him there,
Although but lowly toil it be,
Has risen to nobility.

For great and low there's but one test:
`Tis that each man shall do his best.
Who works with all the strength he can
Shall never die in debt to man.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Knitting Projects

I saw this shawl pattern online at this website: . The pattern is so basic that I thought it would be a good project for Rachel. You just cast on 3 stitches. Then on each row you knit one, yarn over and knit to the end of the row. It gets bigger and bigger and you stop when it is the size you want. This would teach her to yarn over which she has never done but also be sooo easy. She could make these for her American Girl dolls. There was no mention of needle size but I will use one of my bigger ones. One website I saw said size 35 or some ridiculously big needle but I think since it is for a doll, we will try our size 15 needles.

I just joined a Dishcloth Web Group. I joined because dischcloths are small and doable and I might learn new stitches along the way. Now here is my crazy idea...I have always loved the feel of the cotton yarn. So I am going to make a bunch of dishcloths and then join them together for a blanket! My husband, Robin, is loving this idea so I will give it a go. I think I might stick to ocean/beach themes for our blanket dishcloth. We'll see. I'll post my progress.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Terrific Tuesday!

Lately I have found it some much easier in the long run to prepare supper while I prepare lunch. Since I have chronic pain that kicks up later in the day, it is nice to know the family is fed and I can relax at the end of the day with my chores done and meals prepared (Since the kids clean up from supper with dh's supervision! :)). Today I made up a Shepherd's Pie.

Shepherd's Pie is one of those dishes meant to be a nice alternative to leftovers. You simply layer the bottom of a casserole dish with scrambled hamburger and gravy (gravy is optional), then layer with leftover veggies, then leftover mashed potatoes. Then bake at 400 degrees F. until it is bubbly and the top is browned. When I make mine I like to use one can of creamed corn and about one cup of frozen corn for my veggie. Here it is:

Today, I had a second reason to prepare supper ahead. I needed to take Rachel to Burlington coat factory to find a formal white gown. She is going to be a flower girl in my sister's wedding in July. She is soooo excited!! Finding a dress for her in a Bridal shop was so expensive so my sister wisely thought that we might find a nice Confirmation dress that would fit the bill. We wanted one with an empire waist which was hard to find for an older girl. But then I remembered that Burlington always has a nice selection in that style. We went today (happy supper was all done and just needing to be heated) and the first dress she tried on ended up being "the one!" Wow, praise God!! I prayed ahead but those of you who shop with or for girls understand that finding a dress on the first try is VERY rare and this one was even at a very good price that meets my budget! Praise the LORD!! It has lots of embroidered flowers and bead work that is hard to see here in the picture(But I think if you click on the pic you can see it more close up). Here she is trying it on for daddy:


I have been tagged by "Such Treasures" (see side bar for her link). Here it is!


Lists 8 random facts/habits about yourself in a blog post. List these directions in the post. At the end of the post, tag 8 people to complete the task. Leave the persons you’ve tagged a comment to tell them they’re tagged and refer them to your blog to read the directions.

8 Random Things About Me

1. I am a freckle face! I have no capacity to tan in the summer.

2. Like Sylvia at Christian Homekeeper, I cry very easily too. But when I saw Dee Brestin speak she made me feel better. She said, "When God squeezes the heart, tears come out!" She cried through her whole talk as did I; she was the best speaker I have ever seen, tears and all!!

3. I love to sing and love to harmonize. I am an alto but look forward to being a Soprano 1 in heaven!!

4. Visiting the city is fun but I wouldn't want to live there!

5. I am an Abstract/Random person. When I took that personality test I tested 50% Abstract and 50% Random. NO Sequential, Concrete to be found! I need good directions to get ANYWHERE, even if I have been there before. When in a mall I have to memorize whether I came from the right or left when I go in a store to know which way to go when I come out...sad isn't it? ;)

6. I hate pulp in my drinks...gag! I don't even like to LOOK at pulp.

7. I think happiness is being a wife and mom.

8. It is curious to me that God uses me more when I share from my weakness than when I share from my strengths.

I don't know who to tag who hasn't been tagged. So if you are reading this and haven't been tagged than you are now if you want to be. If you do leave a comment and let me know so I can visit your blog and read it!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Marvelous Monday~Happy Thoughts, Happy Thoughts!

Here is the scene. I wake up Monday morning, my husband has a terrible cold and feel just horribly. The weekend elves snuck into the house during the night and trashed my house (I can't think of any other reason it would look like this, tongue in cheek!)! No one wants to do school work, including me! HAHA!! I want to quilt to be honest! So what to do, what to do?

Set the children to work on their schooling, not admitting that I want summer break more than they do!! Then I put myself in the direction of the room that annoys me most, the bathroom. I cleaned the sink, toilet, mirror. I take a note that I want the children to wipe down the shelves, window sill and radiator in the afternoon. Then I move to the kitchen and do the dishes. Then I vacuum the downstairs. I am not perfect, it takes everything in me not to slam around because I am just frustrated and don't want to clean. But thankfully, I am able to "act right" even if I don't "feel right." Next I switch laundry, ask daughter to quickly put away dishes that I would have to bend over for (bad back) and put the laundry from washer to dryer. Son takes out dog, other son cleans random papers off his desk so that he can FIND school work! :) (Thinking they needed a short break from school work anyway, wink!)

So I am feeling a bit better. Then oldest son shows me how he is ahead in some subjects and doesn't have too much in the rest, younger son offers to make lunch, daughter shows me how she is able to improvise a little on her piano pieces and add pretty sounding notes(she is 9 and has only taken lessons for a month!). Now I'm really feeling better!!

Somedays the mountain of what must be done just seems too high for me. I can't imagine how I can get it all done. Sometimes I can't get it all done as fast as I would like to. But I pray, "Lord I need your help."

"Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his annointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever." Ps. 28:6-9

The Lord helps me. My husband has a saying, "There's only one way over this mountain. We must climb it." So, one foot in front of the other, with a prayer to my faithful God and Shepherd for help, I begin to climb.

(Illustration found at

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

"He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." Isa. 40:11

"He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord." Ps. 113:9

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Cling to the Shepherd!

"The Shepherd" by Alfred Soord

Follow the Shepherd
Associated Press, July 2005
ISTANBUL, Turkey - First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.
In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.
"There's nothing we can do. They're all wasted," Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd, was quoted as saying by Aksam.
The estimated loss to families in the town of Gevas, located in Van province in eastern Turkey, tops $100,000, a significant amount of money in a country where average per head is around $2,700.
"Every family had an average of 20 sheep," Aksam quoted another villager, Abdullah Hazar as saying. "But now only a few families have sheep left. It's going to be hard for us."

When I read this I thought of all those verses about us as wayward sheep: "All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa. 53:6) and "I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands." Ps. 119:176
This story is the perfect picture of the hazard of straying from our Good Shepherd! We don't even understand that we are leaping off a cliff! Praise God our Shepherd "neither slumbers nor sleeps." Praise God for His rod and staff that though sometimes painful, keeps us from leaping to our spiritual death!!
Cling to the Shepherd!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Crazy May!

May is a crazy month for me every year! Rachel gets real busy with dance as the recital approaches (and as I alter her costumes and get things ready for pictures and such), baseball starts up for the boys (though just Tyler is playing this year), friends call to make plans as the weather warms and we all come out of hibernation (*wink), and a final push is made in schooling so that we can finish well and early. Somehow next year I need to remember not to take on ANYTHING extra in May. I seem to forget every year!!
Today I woke up and turned on the computer and wrote my little "to do" list over on our Daily thread at T2CHK. Then after a couple cups of coffee I realize I need to add: writing a menu and grocery list, shopping for said groceries, going to Post Office, getting supper in crock pot, updating Rachel's IPOD so she has something to do at today's baseball game, burning a book to CD so that Christian has something to do at the game, bathing dog for his vet appt., correcting get the idea!
This is why it is so important that I start my day in the Word of God and in prayer, putting God first in my day. If I wait, it won't happen as the craziness starts. If I don't spend that time with God, I get very overwhelmed and downhearted by the busyness. I am a homebody and like to have my head in my projects. I am not easily bored; I can always find something interesting to learn or do. So a busy life is quite a stretch for me! I just want to be HOME! :) At the same time I know I am where God wants me and wouldn't change it all if I could.
So, here is my perspective today:
"Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples."
Ps. 96:1-3
(This just sets my priorities aright and reminds me of what this life is really about! I need to put a song in my heart and declare his glory to everyone I see today!)
I have a couple of pictures to share with you:

This is the scarf I have been working on that I said I would show. I ran out of yarn so I hope to get the yarn tomorrow and then finish up!

This was Rachel yesterday. Our homeschool group provided a Horsemanship Field Trip through a woman who teaches riding lessons. This was Rachel's first time on a horse and boy was she excited!! This horse (Ginger) is a thoroughbred retired race horse! Rachel had such a fun time with the horse and being with some of her friends. I had a great time too, watching her dream come true of riding a horse. :)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mother's Day Gift :)

Rachel has been working so hard on a gift she is making for her Grammy T. for Mother's Day! The boys are working on a gift for Grammy D. and I will post that pic at the end of the week. Anyway, Rachel has been working on this alongside her friend, Kelsey. Kelsey's mom pieced it all together on the sewing machine and the girls did the yo-yo's, sewing on the button, the applique, the decorative stitching and whip stitching the spot left open for turning the wall hanging. Next time, when Rachel makes another one for her Grammy D's birthday, she hope to piece it together herself on the sewing machine. I plan to teach her to use the sewing machine this summer. :)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Quilt Swap

Here is my material for the T2CHK 9 Patch Quilt Swap. We were to choose a medium floral and a light one. I hope to get it all cut this week. :)

Cheeseburger Chowder

(I so wanted to take a nice pretty picture of this soup in a bowl but it disappeared too fast! I guess that is a good sign though!! :) )

I recently picked up "Taste of Home: Quick Cooking" as an attempt to inspire myself out of my *cooking rut*. I think it is working! I tested out the "Cheeseburger Chowder" recipe on Saturday and it was a big hit with my husband. I plan to make a second batch for him to take to work for lunches. This is a nice, thick hardy soup that really stays with you! Here is the recipe:


1/2 ground beef
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
1-3/4 cups milk
1 cup frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
1 Tblsp. taco seasoning
1 Tblsp. dried minced onion
1/2 tsp. chili powder

Coarsely crushed corn chips, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and chopped green onions, optional.
In a large saucepan, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in the soup, milk, potatoes, chilies, taco seasoning, onion and chili powder until blended. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, for 5 min. or until heated through. Garnish with corn chips, cheese and green onions if desired. Yield: 4 servings.
Now I substituted 1/2 med. onion, chopped for the minced onion. Someday I want to substitute homemade cheese sauce for the cheese soup. But this was such a quick soup and my husband loved it, it is just fine the way it is!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Pleasure Reading

I don't get much time for reading for pleasure during our school year. Added, at times I am a bit sick of reading after reading all day. I had a college professor that always encouraged her students to "read at least one chapter a day for sheer pleasure." I kept up that habit pretty well for a number of years but have let it slide the past couple of years.

Well, during a trip to Walmart I decided it was time to find a "pleasure book" again. So I found this book, "The Beach House," by Sally John. I have not heard of her before but was attracted to it because (1) It is not a love story, (2) It had the word "Beach" in it (*smile), (3) It is about the friendships of women. Now I have nothing against love stories (so long as they are Christian stories) except that they are a tad predictable.

I would love to find a book series that I would love as much as I loved "The Stonewycke Trilogy" by Judith Pella and Michael Phillips. That is my favorite Christian fiction series of ALL TIME. And I love anything by Lisa Bergren. My only complaint with Lisa's books is that she is a fast read and the books don't last long enough! :) It's hard to find truly heart moving books!!

If anyone has favorites to suggest I would love to hear about them!

(Book pic from

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Misery's Company

It's May. Everyone's tired and ready for summer break. We have been feeling this particularly in Math. It's nearing the end of the book, the equations take a bit of perserverance. I find that we need to "change it up" every once in awhile, especially for my 8th grade Pre Algebra son.

For awhile he was working out his equations on a grease board. That helped for a time and he still does this sometimes. But we needed to go to extra lengths.

So, now I work the problem on the grease board while he works the problem on paper. We can laugh when mom makes a mistake. He is not so upset when he makes a mistake (since mom has her own problems *smile*). There is a "we're in it together" feel, KWIM? I suppose I could even argue that he gets even more Math practice by correcting MY equation!

I am not quite sure why I thought of this new approach. Perhaps it is God hearing my cry and giving me another idea that works. I rely heavily on God to lead me through homeschooling ("If a man lacks wisdom, let him ask..."). But it certainly fits the old adage of "misery loves company" or "weep with those who weep"; I am simply "doing Math with those who do Math!"

I Met God in the Morning

I met God in the morning
When my day was at its best
And His presence came like sunrise
Like a glory to my breast.
All day long His presence lingered
All day long He stayed with me
And we sailed with perfect calmness
O'er a very troubled sea.

Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them
Brought to us a peace and rest.

But I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings,
With the Presence left behind.

So I think I know the secret
Learned from many a troubled way:
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day.
--Ralph Cushman
(Pic. by Helen Brown)

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A Peek through Pictures

"My Knitty Knitser "

How did he get so old...and tall?

Well this is a new approach to laundry!

Thanks for dealing me in, guys, I love UNO!

Oh no! Another Draw Four?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Do You Love Me, Lord?

Have you ever been tempted to ask, "Do you love me Lord?" Troubles and trials abound. The world is not always an easy place to be is it? I have been thinking of this question in my mind over the past couple of days and mulling over Scripture.

Question: Do you love me Lord?

Answer: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." Jn. 3:16

Question: Do you love me Lord?

Answer: ""Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Jn. 15:13

Question: Do you love me Lord?

Answer: "Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:7-8

Life is hard, but not because God does not love us. Life is hard because we live in a fallen world. Don't lose hope. It is only for a little while! Heaven awaits us!

When tempted to question the Lords love for us, we need only look to the cross for the answer!

Jesus said: "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Jn. 16:33

(Pic courtesy of