"Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”
~ Jani Ortlund

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Homemade Gifts: From The Heart

Monday I made a quick trip to a local craft store for some sketch books.  In our Home Economics class, I was going to teach the girls about scrapbook journaling, and we needed sketch books.  

I always have to check out the yarn section of the store - I am addicted to fabric and fibers!  

This yarn caught my eye and I bought a skein as it was on clearance.  The colors in the yarn are favorites of several of my girls, and the pattern that came with the yarn was so simple.  I'll share it with you.

Cast on three stitches.  Knit only until you come to the end of the yarn!  That's it.  Three stitches across. The scarf is about three inches wide and about four feet long.

I am having a blast working on these gifts.  It is only 9 weeks until Christmas, so I am glad that I have these projects underway.

I need to finish Kamryn's quilt.  Here is a photo of the fabrics used in her quilt.

I did buy material for a dress for Kamryn also, and I have plans to sew pillow cases as gifts, as well as some new aprons.  

Do you make homemade gifts for family and friends for the holidays or birthdays?  I'd love if you would share your ideas in the comments.  I love to be inspired!

Monday, October 20, 2014


We had a lovely weekend.

It really started on Thursday evening at our ladies book study.  We were missing several of our group but the conversation about the Lord and His work in our lives, and how He is making Himself known to us was good.

We like to celebrate birthdays of the adults in our family by going out to eat as a big extended family.  When we have multiple birthdays in a month we go out just once or it would break our budgets!  May and October are those multiple birthday months for us.

Saturday most of us were able to make it to breakfast at one of our favorite places.  It was so great to be together.  It was a treat to have Tim's brother and sister in law with us this time too!  Since they are usually in Africa we don't get to celebrate birthdays together, so this time was special.

Saturday evening we went over to Joseph and Lindsay's to watch a bit of Dr. Who.  It's fun to go to your married daughters' home.  

Sunday was a great day of fellowship.  We had communion together, then a meal.  Then some of the younger folk and a few dads went on a hike to a cave they like to explore and the rest of us hung out and drank tea at my house.  The weather was so nice, after a lot of rain during the week.  We had good conversation, and sharing.  

I love this about our church family.  We are not perfect.  We are very different from each other.  But our church is strong in love and in caring for each other, bearing each others burdens, praying for each other and rejoicing with each other.  

We are rejoicing in the healthy pregnancy of one of our church members.  We are rejoicing in how well Joseph's family is doing, especially his mom.  It was so great to have her and the kids at our house and to be able to talk and laugh together.  We enjoy our married kids!  I am thankful for emotional healing and grace.  I've learned so much.

I am thankful for God's grace to me.  That He shares His strength with me when I am weak, when I hurt, when I am misunderstood.  I am thankful for His grace when I fail, and when I have need of growth.  He is generous to me, loves me.

I am thankful for each one of you who keep reading here.  I'm not sure why you do, but I am so thankful for each one.  I'm happy to call you friends.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weight Loss Update

Quick update -

I've lost 15 pounds.  I'd love to have 20 gone by now, and I thought I might with the cold I had, as I wasn't eating much.  But I think I didn't lose more because I wasn't fueling my body.

Anyway, 15 pounds in 8 weeks is good, and I am happy about it.

I also have lost 3 inches in my hip area and 3 1/2 inches in the waist.

I'm smiling today!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

After The Rain

This morning is a bit hazy, it may be partially cloudy all day, but the rain that came and dropped 4+ inches is gone.

 I can't quite capture it, but this small red tree is so stunning.  It is in my sight every time I walk in the kitchen.  I see it out the sliding door to the deck.  
I took this with my phone from my deck this morning.  They aren't great but they give you an idea of the beauty in the changing leaves that I am experiencing at our home.

I am hopeful that the chairs and table on the deck will dry up and I'll be able to sit outside and enjoy the beauty.

How is Autumn coming along where you live?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


It's a gully washer, as my dad likes to say.

 How's the weather where you live?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Music: Lessons and Practicing

One thing we have done for our kids is allow them to take lessons for playing an instrument.  

Nate was our first with guitar.  I miss hearing him play!  Lindsay and Emma were next with piano, but Lindsay liked the violin better and switched to that.  Rachel took piano for a year, and has now playing the cello for the past two years.  Sarah has done a bit of piano over the last few years, very casually with friends, and loves it.  So we sought a more permanent teacher and found just the right one - our son in law Joseph!  He and Lindsay come by one night a week, I feed them dinner and Joseph gives Sarah a lesson.  They are both enjoying it very much.

See Sarah's notebook sticking out behind her music book?  Joseph writes practice squares for her to check off and how long to practice certain things.  She loves this - it satisfies her little OCD heart to check off those boxes!

Rachel takes cello every week, also.  Rachel is naturally gifted and so gets a tad lazy about practicing.  I'm trying to be better about helping her not to procrastinate.  (smile)

Kyle wants to learn the bagpipes.  Seriously.  I may look into it.  But not yet.  We may start with a chanter.

 Do you play an instrument?

Monday, October 13, 2014

Reading: Books To Savor and Enjoy

I am a reader.  I read books, magazines, online.  I'm always reading, as a kid I would even read the cereal box at the breakfast table.

I have favorites and I love re-reading them, and I adore getting new books.

Here is what I've been reading lately.

 I got all these books for my birthday.  I finished Jan Karon's book.  What a delightful time with old friends in this book.  I have read Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson last year but I didn't own it.  Now I do!  I love owning books that I love.  The Nester's book is delightful as well.  Her style is very different than my own, but her decorating philosophy is alike, "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful."

 Today, I have been reading Tasha Tudor's book 'Pumpkin Moonshine' to Kamryn.  She liked that little Sylvie Ann looked just like herself!

 I am also enjoying Victoria Magazine.  What a delight to soak in the beauty in this magazine.

What are you reading?