Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Projects in Review

Whew! Now that that holiday rush is over, I can finally post some of the finished products of my mad knitting/sewing spree between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Amidst all the crafting we did do a little special baking. I posted before about the candy making, but we also made some sugar cookies and gingerbread men on various days.

I made a ton of these fun potholders: (they make great little gifts!)

here are some of the dishcloths I knitted, with some help from Esther:

I made little throw pillows for the girls:

I made fleece socks for all the kids (except Isaac):

Each of the twins made one of these earlier this year:

I forgot to get a pic of the boy's pj's I made before they put them away. They are now in use and the boys are enjoying them very much. I love it when JoAnn's has the flannel on sale wicked cheap!

One of my favorite projects was this quilt for a neice. I call it "Peekaboo Nine Patch". I used the disappearing nine patch technique. It was fun, easy, and very quick! I highly recommend it!


Back (I LOVE piecing backs! It adds such a touch of uniqueness to the quilt):

Isaac had his fair share of fun helping Daddy unwrap gifts, and playing with the wrap and boxes.

It was so nice to have my mom here for the festivities!

She gave a family gift. One that will yield many, many hours of family fun!

Happy Holidays from the Beehive! I hope you all have had a wonderful holiday.


Monday, December 28, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY December 28th....

Outside my window... It is a grayish, wintry day, with friendly little snowflakes in the air.

I am thinking... that vacation time goes by too quickly!

I am thankful for... a week of rest with my hubby home from work.

I am wearing... my pj's and bathrobe and new slippers, and have no plans to change in the near future. :D

I am remembering... how when I was a kid how long a week of vacation seemed, and now it seems too short!

I am going... out for lunch with the family tomorrow for my Mom's and my birthday.

I am currently reading... Jack and Jill by Louisa May Alcott thru Dailylit. I'm going to finish that this week!

I am hoping... to get reengerized this week from a total burnout from the several weeks of burning the ol' candle at both ends for Christmas.

On my mind... wondering if I can conjure up enough energy to do my nails today.

Noticing that... The sun is peeking out from time to time making everything shine brilliantly.

Pondering these words... " Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer IS the greater work." ~ Oswald Chambers

From the kitchen... Nothing right now, but later some homemade stew!

Around the house... Maybe some laundry today, but basically we are having a very easy and lazy day.

One of my favorite things... Early morning quiet with my Bible and the first cup of coffee, woodstove going, and a fresh blanket of snow on the ground.

From my picture journal...

Winter surfing in Maine... Brrr!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Isaac!

Yesterday (the 23rd) Isaac turned 1 year old! I can't believe a year has passed. A couple at church had asked me if they could make cupcakes and then after church we could have a small celebration. They offered to make pudding for Isaac since he isn't too used to cake-like textures yet. Here are some snap shots from the evening:

This picture I couldn't resist. Isaac is pushing around my sewing machine case, WITH A SEWING MACHINE IN IT!!! I told Dale, "Hey look! He is going to be a fiber artist!"

Dale looks at me blankly.

I clarify. "He is going to be a quilter!"

Dale looks at me and says dryly, " He is going to be a mover, honey."

Hey, there are lots of very talented guys that design and make quilts for art. You never know!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY... December 22nd... (oops, missed it yesterday!)

Outside my window... There were a few friendly flakes falling (say that five times fast!) but now it looks like the sun is trying to come out through the clouds.

I am thinking... I may have to pull an all nighter to get the sewing done before Christmas!

I am thankful for... My wonderful sewing machine!

I am wearing... PJ's at the moment, but will soon be changing.

I am remembering... all the items on my "to sew before Christmas" list.

I am going... to be sewing

I am currently reading... my sewing machine manual in figuring out the fancy stitch on it to make it look like hand quilting.

I am hoping... To get lots of sewing done today.

On my mind... Sewing

Noticing that... Though I am making progress on the sewing pile, I need to put in a lot of time SEWING!

Pondering these words... "A time to sew..." from Ecc.

From the kitchen... Bread raising, sugar cookies ready to frost, need to make cinnamon rolls and frozen fruit salad, then SEWING!

Around the house... Sewing (anyone see the pattern here?)

One of my favorite things... A leisurely cup of tea on a nice, cold, wintry afternoon.

From my picture journal...

Isaac, at about a week old... he turns 1 year tomorrow!

For guidelines in participating in the Simple Woman's Daybook, please see Peggy's blog.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

God and Sinners Reconciled

"We pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. " (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)

In the beginning when God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the "very good" creation (Gen. 1:31), He gave them one rule to follow (2:17). They were created to live forever in fellowship with Him, but disobedience to this rule would bring death.

As Creator, He had both the authority to set the rules over His creation and the penalty for breaking rules, declaring "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). A holy, sinless, everliving God who abhors sin cannot allow disobedience in His presence, and a just God's nature demands a just punishment. Ever since the events of Genesis 3, God and humankind have been estranged, with the awful barrier of sin separating them. Man has been unable to restore fellowship with God on his own! Sin's penalty must be paid!

The angels were present at the creation of Adam and Eve, at their disobedience, and at God's withdrawal of fellowship with them. The angels have ever since been active on behalf of repentant sinners, but they were unable to bring about any permanent solution.

But finally it happened! God, the Creator who had been rejected by His creation, the righteous judge who demanded the penalty of death for sin, Himself had come to pay that penalty, to redeem by His own death His fallen, rebellious, creation, and the angels rejoiced.

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"
Peace on earth, and mercy mild; God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born, in Bethlehem!"
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

(The above devotional was from Days of Praise by ICR, author, John D. Morris, PH.D.)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2: 13-14)

Can we imagine how the shepherds felt that night? One moment they were sleepily watching their flock (Luke 2:8), and the next, they were confronted by "the angel of the Lord" (v.9). Little wonder that they were "sore afraid". But the angel allayed their fears and announced the wonderful news that the long awaited Messiah had just been born and that they were invited to go see Him (vv. 10-12).

But before they could act, the sky was ablaze with "a multitude of the heavenly host," singing and praising God in jubilation.

How could they have responded differently than "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste" (vv. 15-16)?

the heralding angels deserve more than just a passing look. The Bible teaches that angels are not just inhabitants of heaven, but active participants in the affairs of the earth. "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" (Hebrews 1:14). They are continually at war with the fallen angels (e.g. Daniel 10:13) and aid us in our spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12).

In our text, these angels constitute a "host", not a choir! They have not arrived from a perch in the clouds, but have assembled from their various duty stations and battlegrounds to celebrate the birth of their Creator, Jesus Christ. They had long been fascinated by God's plan of redemption (1 Peter 1:12), and now rejoiced as it began to unfold.

Let us empoly the favorite Christmas carol by Charles Wesley to focus our attention on this majestic event.

(Note: The above was written by John D. Morris, PhD, Days of Praise publication by the Institute of Creation Research)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"The Great Life"

"And in despair I bowed my head:
There is no peace on earth," I said
For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men."

"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead: nor doth He sleep:
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.

The above is taken from the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". Okay, you New Englanders, did you know that was originally written by Henry W. Longfellow? There is your bit of trivia for the day.

Peace... I think peace is a highly misunderstood concept. Peace is not what the world is looking for... the cessation of all war and conflict of any kind. That is not peace. That is a pipe dream.

We live in a real, live, imperfect world, with real, live, imperfect people. There are as many different personalities and view points as there are people. There is no there will be perfect unity in thought or philosophies or theologies.

So what about the "peace"? I'm not talking about peace as in quiet. As in "disturbing the peace", though I am not opposed to that type. I am talking about the peace that passes all understanding. That calm, trusting, feeling you can only get directly from the Lord when things start going awry, or are outright falling apart, or a catastrophe occurs. There is also the peace that Jesus left for us before He ascended into Heaven.

Lately we have been reading a book by Oswald Chambers, "My Utmost for His Highest".

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you:.... Let not your heart be troubled." John 14:27

Whenever a thing becomes difficult in personal experience, we are in danger of blaming God, but it is we who are in the wrong, not God, there is some perversity somewhere that we will not let go. Immediately we do, everything becomes as clear as daylight. As long as we try to serve two ends, ourselves and God, there is perplexity. The attitude must be one of complete reliance on God. When once we get there, there is nothing easier than living living the saintly life; difficulty comes in when we want to usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit for our own ends.

Whenever you obey God, His seal is always that of peace, the witness of an unfathomable peace, which is not natural, but the peace of Jesus. Whenever peace does not come, tarry til it does or find out the reason why it does not. If you are acting on an impulse, or from a sense of the heroic, the peace of Jesus will not witness; there is no simplicity or confidence in God, because the spirit of simplicity is born of the Holy Ghost, not of your decisions. Every decision brings a reaction of simplicity.

My questions come whenever I cease to obey. When I have obeyed God, the problems never come between me and God, they come as probes to keep the mind going on with amazement at the revelation of God. Any problem that comes between God and myself springs out of disobedience; any problem, and there are many, that is alongside me while I obey God, increases my ecstatic delight, because I know that my Father knows, and I am going to watch and see how He unravels this thing.

My you be blessed today as you read and meditate on God's Word!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not Wordless Wednesday Here!

Honestly, no words? You have to be kidding! I'm a writer, and I just have to write, given the opportunity! If I was a good photographer like my friend Amy, the Wordless Wednesday would be perfect. I'm not, so it's not, and now you all have to suffer through my cyber babbling.

Amid all the hustle and bustle of some, ah, ahem, stuff, I finally decided it was high time for some special holiday baking.

Except, I don't think "making candy" falls into the category of "baking" but so be it. We'll be doing some real baking later this week.

Every Wednesday one of the elderly gentlemen in our church works at a food pantry, and almost every Wednesday he brings us a box of goodies from said pantry. Here is a sampling of what the Lord provided for us this week:


Tomato soup...

Organic breads... grilled cheese sandwiches on the horizon to go with the soup! I have a bunch of hoop cheese I got from the food pantry a couple weeks ago I think I might be able to use too!

Okay, these veggies are Chinese and Japanese eggplant. Anyone know what to do with them? Yohoo, Shellee W.! Waving at you here... what do I do with Japanese eggplant? Or is it one of those weird things that say a foreign name on it and is really wholly American?

If you look carefully, you'll see GREEN cherries (for the holidays). Those little puppies are $3.69 for only 4 oz. in the store! (according to the tag still on it)

This sweet dill marinade would be good with the turkey!

I always laugh at the bagels. I am a bagel snob. But I think the Lord wants me to learn to NOT be a bagel snob. These bagels we get from the food pantry look harmless, but believe me, you can break teeth on them, unless they are extremely well buttered. Even then, they give my crowns a run for their money.

I have to go and get back to some ah, um, er... stuff. What that stuff is everyone will have to wait until after the holidays. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY December 14th...

Outside my window... Slushy, wet, and gray.

I am thinking... about how from now until Christmas I am going to be in Christmas Crunch mode.

I am thankful for... Family time

From the learning rooms... Today we are studying about the history of wreaths and decorating Christmas trees, and practicing lots of music along with the three R's.

From the kitchen... Making bread today!

I am wearing... Brooms stick skirt and matching shirt.

I am creating... a bunch of stuff that I can't type here right now. LOL

I am going... Crazy, want to come?

I am noticing... That I am getting much better at just savoring the everyday moments and putting them aside in my heart to treasure.

I am hoping... For a REAL winter this year! Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

I am hearing... A couple of the older children on lunch duty, the youngers playing with blocks, and soft clicking of knitting needles as Esther knits behind me on the couch.

Around the house... All the decorations are up and things look very festive!

One of my favorite things... Putting wood in the wood stove.

A few plans for the rest of the week: A FEW? I don't have time to break down my list to "a few"! LOL

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

My superpower: Multitasking.

For instructions and guidelines to participate in the Simple Woman's Daybook go here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

What a fun day we have had today! It was cold and crisp, so much so that the snow was squeaking when it was walked on. Winter is here, Yay! It is SO nice to be able to curl up under quilts and snuggle. It is so wonderful to be using wood heat and having everything so cozy inside. It is SO good to NEED to put on a sweater! And, just for the fun of it, I put on some of my "funky" slipper socks this morning. These sock are extremely warm, and I rarely get a chance to feel cool enough to wear them instead of my regular, boring, white cotton socks. Dale gave these to me several year ago as a birthday present. I have to say, I love them.

My daughter, Esther, made up blueberry pancake batter for breakfast. It was her first time flying solo at it, and I have to say, she did an excellent job. They were delicious!

While Dale and Caleb went out to the library and to visit an elderly man in our church who just got out of the hospital, the rest of us worked on kitchen clean up, and some dusting and vacuuming, and general picking up. I also did some online shopping for Christmas. Most of our gifts will be homemade, but grandparents I like to do a little extra something for. Don't you love online shopping? No leaving the house, no messing with driving, or weather, or crowded stores.

After Dale got back we had lunch and put littles down for naps. Then Dale and Josiah went off to cut our tree for this year. Each year the kids take a turn on who will go with Daddy. It is a major event, and believe me, they know exactly whose turn it is, and look forward to it all year.

While Dale did the lights thing, Benjamin, Esther and I went over to church to clean and I practiced a piano piece I am playing tomorrow in church for the offeratory. Elizabeth and I are doing a duet for special music too. We are playing "How Great Our Joy" on the recorders.

When we were done at church, we returned home and then the family decorated the tree. I think it came out beautifully, but Dale and I keep joking about our "Charlie Brown" tree. We had debated for a couple weeks about even getting a tree. Between the cat and the baby I wondered if I would be able to put up with continually adverting a "CATastrophe". But in the end, we went for it. I figured both the cat and the kid were going to have to learn "hands off" eventually, might as well start now.

Here are some random pics of the tree decorating fun!

Benjamin and Josiah weren't too shy to jump right in.

Looky at my cute boyfriend!:)

He's Da Man!

Esther taking a turn.

Jerusha and Isaac had their own "thang" going in the background.

Elizabeth looking for a bare spot:

Of course this time of year, Aaron is never far from my thoughts, and this was the view from where I was. I thought it was sweet, and made it feel like he was part of the activities.

My wonderful family and good helpers!

It smells WONDERFUL in the living room right now. And things are looking quite festive! So, now onto more knitting and sewing like crazy. I need to think about some special baking too. I have been so busy doing everything else I haven't even thought about decorating cookies! Lame, aren't I?

Here is some of our decorating:

So, picture our cozy little house, filled with the joyful sounds of Christmas music and children playing,(I won't tell you what it really sounds like!) wishing you all a very Merry Christmas! We rejoice not because of the presents, but because of the greatest Gift of all!