Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Blogging Along 2013

 Here is an overview of my 2013 blogging...one post from each month...usually from the very beginning of that month.  It is always interesting to see what a good representation it is of my posting variety.  I enjoy this blog...one major plan for this year is to get them (the MomE one too) printed and bound.  I'm thinking this will cost mucho dinero...but maybe I'll just start by getting them all backed up on my computer.  Anyhew...
Happy New Year my bloggy friends.  
Keep on Blog, Blog, Blogging Along!!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy 10th Anniversary!

It hardly seems possible that a full decade has passed. But, indeed, TEN YEARS has come and gone. We are blessed...God has been so good to us! Looking forward to growing old(er) with my Sweet Loverbrains!  Grow old along with me...the best is yet to be!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fun Friday Linkys

I am and always will be a food gawker.  This is site is full of fabulous pictures linking you to fabulous food!  Bon Appetit!

One Pretty Thing
If you aren't inspired...take your pulse...you might need medical attention!

Crazy Mom Quilts
I am so inspired by the Finish It Up Fridays...but only enough to gape open mouthed at all these woman are able to finish up on Fridays.  Sigh...Someday I'm going to finish something up and link in!

True Woman's Inhospitable Hospitality via Barbara's Stray Thoughts
What a good admonishment to make our home hospitable for our own families as we make it hospitable for others.  "A store-bought pie served with a smile is of much greater value than a homemade one made through gritted teeth. Don't work to earn gold stars and oohs and aahs this year. Work to put Christ on display. What could be better than that?"

A GREAT article by a Dr that performed the first-ever RU-486 abortion reversal

Macro-photography of Snowflakes
Wow...I just wanted to SING praises about how AMAZING my God is!!!

Free Printable Gift Tags
Freebies and DIY

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tradition Thursday!

Springerle!  Yes, it's that wonderful time of the year.  
They are a special anise cookie from my side of the family. I make them every year for Christmas. They actually have become a favorite of my husband's family too! It just tickles me when my mother in law asks if I can bring them. It almost killed me when I was on the Celiac diet and couldn't eat them. Total torture...and for the record...
I now have a pretty rolling pin...to make pretty cookies like above...mine are not this pretty...at all...BUT MINE TASTE GOOD! I know that these sound gross to some people...but to me they are downright addictive! Even to people who don't like licorice/anise... I mean...they are "hide them from me already," GOOD. Of course, my Dad can sniff them out...I'm not kidding! You can't hide them....he WILL find them...that and the chocolate covered cherries...no matter how you wrap them! Love you Daddy!

For those interested...in the recipe...

Nana Ruth's Springerle

Anise seed
4 eggs
2 c. sugar
4 c. sifted flour
1 t. baking soda
2 t. anise extract

Beat eggs and sugar for 5 minutes. This step is important so your cookies will have a frosty top layer. Stir in all other ingredients except seeds. Roll out dough to 1/2" thickness. Roll once with Springerle pin to 1/4" thickness. If you have no pretty rolling pin...use bottom of pretty jar. Place seed on bottom of cookies. (with fingertip use tiny bit of water and then seed) Bake in oven (preheated to) 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Let mellow in a tightly covered container for about a week.  
(Snort...hahaha...R I G H T...that's a good one!)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Humbug Hodgepodge!

1. Do you believe in miracles?
2. What's a recent fad you admit to trying?
Boots...I'm not sold just yet...but with all this snow I'm quickly thinking it's a great idea! 
3. Peppermint-are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite food or beverage containing peppermint?
Yes!  I love York Peppermint Patties.
4. Break the ice, on thin ice, as cold as ice (emotionally, not literally)...which phrase have you run into most recently? Explain.
Cold as ice...seems to describe way too many women when they don't get their way.  
5. Have you ever broken or spilled something in someone else's home? Still friends?
I accidentally dumped iced water in the lap of a Pastor's wife when I was teen serving at a church dinner.  Thankfully, my parents were there cuz she was prepared to be pretty nasty even though it was an obvious accident.  Hopefully, after all these years, she's chilled out!  Haha!
6.  'Tis the week before Christmas...are you feeling more like Buddy the Elf or the Grinch before his heart grew?
I'm feeling pretty Grinch...not about the celebration of the first advent of Jesus Christ or the looking to his second advent...but grumpy re the crowds and rushing and nasty busy, etc.  Guess I need to take a deep breath and take stock of the "whole world" he came for, eh?  Praying for compassion, right now.
7. Share a favorite quote relating to Christmas.
“There are some upon this earth of yours,' returned the Spirit, 'who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name; who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us.” A Christmas Carol by Dickens
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sew Saturday: Organic Pillow

I had one of those rare afternoons this week...where I could have cleaned but I decided to sew instead.  I've been working on Christmas things...but that afternoon I decided I'd just put on some music and sew a random "me" project. 
I got this sampler packet of organics fabric from Quilt Camp.  I had an idea to make them into sheep for a wall hanging...but today decide they'd make a warm, lovey pillow.  My friend gave me her packet too...so, I had enough for a nice sized pillow. 
The variety of thicknesses was vast.  Some were heavenly soft.  The organic Sherpa in particular...oh, my! My my my!!  Too bad I didn't know about this fabric when I had babies.  Sooooo soft!
I chain pieced it together and then arranged it with a "snowball" pattern in mind.  Between the combination of my anxiousness to get it done (not enough pinning) and the different thicknesses, let's just say...it shifted all over creation....so, NO...you don't get a close up.  The seams don't match up.  Hey, it's a cozy pillow...it's relaxed about such things. 
I tried it out on my bed upstairs but it was just TOO stark on the quilt.  I keep thinking I want pillows on my bed...but I am realizing that I don't want any of the blocks of my beautiful quilt covered...hahaha.  So, now it's downstairs on the couch.  Quickly to be destroyed I'm afraid.  Sigh...
Here's a picture where you can kind of see all the different textures of the fabrics.  Ooooo...Ahhhh!

So, what have you been sewing??

Friday, December 13, 2013

Jesus Juke Addendum

As I was mopping my floors, (hey, between that and the shower it's my best thinking time)...it occurred to me that sometimes the Jesus Jukes are most plentiful among those living life out HARD for Jesus.  This post has gotten me a few e-mails...not comments...go figure.  All very good food for thought.   I did mention that sometimes Jesus Jukes are from that personal conviction inside and it just comes out sort of wrong...with a tinge of pride attached.

But what I didn't address are those people that feel they CANNOT let a conversation go without spiritualizing it.  They are deeply convicted that this might be the last time they get to speak to someone about Jesus.  While I agree with this basic sentiment, and agree we must "make the most of each opportunity"...I think there's a few hiccups with this plan. 

What does it mean to make the most of an opportunity?  It means I must be rooted in a deep TRUST of God's Sovereignty.  I must be faithful in planting the seeds but it's HIS job to make them grow.  Relationships must be built first, because the SOIL often needs tending before the HEART is receptive to the seed at all.  I feel that those who are determined to spiritualize every moment...throwing out tracks instead of good tips...turning and twisting conversations into full blown Jesus Jukes, are making a grave mistake.  When that good seed does fall, it hits hard packed soil...made all the harder by the approach that was taken to get it there.

Sadly, Christians do this with each other...we feel we need to "spur each other on to good works"...and often end up just being a giant thorn in the soil.  Watch what you put on FB, ya'll.  Really.  I've been known to unfriend well meaning people for Jesus Juking my every status update.  Sometimes, I just want to be funny and moisten the soil of my friendships with tears of laughter.  Sometimes I do indeed want to moisten that soil with God's Word...but it is frustrating and can I say rude...to RAIN ON MY PARADE.  Sorry couldn't resist that pun.  But, no, seriously...sideways, holier than thou, Jesus Jukers can ruin MONTHS and YEARS of trust relationships and tilled earth that I've been diligently working to develop.  Sigh...it's not so much WHAT you say...as when , where and how you say it!

Oh Dear Lord,
May the Word of our mouths and meditations of our hearts be pleasing to You...our ROCK and REDEEMER.  May each word be seasoned with salt.  May all the words we speak not elevate US but build other up in Christ Jesus.

Fa la la la Friday!

Well, I love handbells...and this is wonder...a little Handel Handbells...
From a musical standpoint, this group isn't as great as some flash mobs I've watched.  BUT...if you watch til the end, I think you'll agree that it is one of the most spiritually moving Christmas flash mobs ever...WOW...someday I wanna be a part of a flash mob. AWE--Some!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

For years I have pondered something called a "Jesus Juke."  I first heard the term on Jon Acuff's Stuff Christians Like.  While I don't always agree with everything he says...he does have an uncanny way of making a convicting point, often while making you chuckle.  I think he may have even coined the "Jesus Juke" phrase.

He says...
"A Jesus Juke is when you're having a normal conversation and someone tries to juke in some Jesus out of nowhere. For instance, if you tweet, "I'm so excited about the Super Bowl," and your friend responds with, "Don't you wish we were that excited about church on Sunday." That's a Jesus Juke. Being excited about the Super Bowl and church are not mutually exclusive."

For the non sports enthusiasts such as myself...Juke=To deceive or outmaneuver (a defending opponent) by a feint; fake.

"Don't confuse a rebuke with a Jesus Juke. One is done in love and causes change, one is done in pride and causes shame. They're antonyms, not synonyms."

It comes down to a heart problem. Critical Spirit and Snarky gone wild. My er, favorite this year...Only One Black Friday Offers Eternal Savings. Ugh...barf...are you kidding me?  I mean...I don't even participate in Black Friday and that bothers me.  But then, as I typed this, I realized I put my own on FB..."Only in America do people trample others for sales the day after being thankful for what they already have."  I still think that's kind of funny.  But..."if you propose to speak...first ask yourself...is it kind, is it true, is it necessary?

These are questions that we should ask ourselves...There are statements that should convict usPersonally.  And that should effect change in our hearts and lives.

I will say, that having juked people, it isn't always really intentional.  I've been working on correcting things in my own life...(ie. gossip, etc.) so when I call it out it's not really to make others feel bad...although it did when I blurted out and juked the room with..."God isn't pleased with our gossip!"  Because this actually happened, not that long ago, I know that the better way to deal with the sticky situation I found myself in would have been to personally shut up (from the very beginning of the conversation) and not participate.  If questioned, I could have then *humbly* mentioned my own personal conviction on the issue and how I was trying to do better. 

In the past, I know I have juked total strangers and sullied the name of Christ.  I have also juked my family...and been called out cold for it.  That hurts...as it should.  This Christmas season I want to SHINE and SPARKLE for Jesus...not just give people more evidence of my snarky pride and how it can inhibit the gospel message.  The Jesus Juke isn't witty, it isn't funny, it isn't good.  It doesn't please anyone...especially not God.

Only in very rare instances is it right to offer a rebuke.  It had better be the right person and the right timing.  I must always...always...speak the Truth in Love.  And just because I know the truth doesn't mean I have to tell everyone, all the time, either.  I need to remember there is one Holy Spirit...and I'm not Him!

If you're reading this and are thinking..."humph, she should talk"...you're absolutely right...I stink at this...I'm writing in the hopes that I'll follow my own advice.  I'm hoping God will help me change to be more like Him.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ho Ho Hodgepodge

1. Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so please share.
This year we are using Ann VosKamp's new book...and ornaments I made to go with it.  
2. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...and of course you recall, the most famous reindeer of all...so, which reindeer name best describes you this week?
Prancer...I'm dancing in one spot, trying to tell myself to be calm. 
3. What's worse-too quiet or too loud? Which have you had more of lately?
Yes!!!...I've had quiet days and loud nights...
4. This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens-thanks Zo!
When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they've committed to do?  If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through? 
I've grown in this area...I hope.  I think I realized that I was hurting people by not trusting them.  The way other people do things, while not the way I would always approach things, is still just fine.  I also learned to be careful when I select people...reliability isn't everything.  You can be burnt, and I have been, by not checking more carefully on what you've delegated.  Bottom line in any kind of leadership...PRAY...and Trust God.  It's a journey to do that more fully.
I do not handle it well when people go over my head and do what they gave me to do...but this is rare, as I am often the strongest personality present and am liable to just openly communicate my problems.  Hopefully, with more grace these days...
5. What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?
Traveling to see family.  It's not the seeing family that bothers me...it's the traveling.  Not that I particularly want to live closer...(I don't, I like my space)....I just dread the weather and drive...and feel like I come home exhausted.  When people ask me how my holidays were I generally say, "Well, they're over!"  Ugh.
I most look forward to celebrating advent with the kids.  It's a special way to say NO to all the consumer crazy nutsy counterfeit christmas junk.  Lighting candles...breathing calmly...singing sweetly...praying!  Ahhhh...
6. Facebook has released its list of the 'most talked about' topics of 2013. Pope Francis took the number one spot.  Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about topic in 2013? (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)
I was very surprised.  I wonder if that means that the majority of those on Facebook are Catholic?!  Although...I'm not really sure what else I thought would be "most talked about"...
7. What's something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury?
The first thing that comes to mind is my smartphone...gasp...I've been won over to the dark side.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Oh, just look at my babies from advent past!  CUTE!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tune Tuesday: Already all I need...


Asking where You are Lord, wondering where You've been
Is like standing in a hurricane trying to find the wind
Hoping for Your mercy to meet me where I am
Is forgetting that Your thoughts for me outnumber the sand

You fill the sun with morning light
You bid the moon to lead the night
You clothed the lillies bright and beautiful

You're already all I need
Already everything that I could hope for
You're already all I need
You've already set me free, already making me more like you
You're already all I need
Jesus, You're already all I need.

Walking through this life without your freedom in my heart
Is like holding onto shackles that You have torn apart
So remind me of Your promises and all that You have done
In this world I will have trouble, but You have overcome

And every gift that I receive, You determined just for me
But nothing I desire compares to You

In Your Fullness, You're my all in all
In Your Healing, I'm forever made whole
In Your Freedom, Your love overflows and carries me
You carry me, yes You carry me, You carry me

Monday, December 9, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sew (Crafty) Saturday: Paper Ornament!

I saw a Pinterest ornament that came with no tutorial or true website. So, after a friend helped me figure this out...I thought I'd post a step by step. 

I used the pages of an old golden book that I'd bought and then discovered it was full of ripped and missing pages.  So...it was then available for crafting purposes.  I need to clarify this...I don't want anyone thinking that I'd condone this crafting with an intact book...*gasp*!!
You do need to play with this...these folds are purely the "general direction" sort of thang!
That way...then thisaway!
And...the lines....if you look closely you can see I made a few second folds...heehee!
A bit of Elmer's glue holds the folds and trunk on nicely.  Glue stick...whatever...knock yourself out!
Some glitter spray and a string hanger...and TADA!!!!

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Link Friday

Secure In God's Hands
My Dad wrote this post...and although it's his personal illness, this situation has me reading the Psalms very differently myself.  And singing songs with tears...who knew there were so many songs, hymns and spiritual songs about healing?  I'd never noticed before.

It Takes a Pirate to Raise a Child
Coupland writes about how great children's literature does more than the most cutting edge programs for character education.  “Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.” CS Lewis

Via Barbara's Stray Thoughts...True Woman's Five Ways to Make the Holidays Less Stressful.
This is probably a good article for any time of the year really.  As I like to say, Oh, Lord, give me a roll of supernatural duct tape and we'll all have a good visit!

Quilt Painting of Kite
I generally see quilt painting as WAY beyond my abilities...but this I just loved.  I'm thinking wall hangings are my future...because with quilting I am so slow that I take YEARS to complete quilts.  Sigh...

Free Printable Owl Calendar 2014
I love this kind of free stuff.  You can use their premade one or select your pics for each month from their gallery.  Loverly!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

Why I do what I do.

Right now, I'm gifted with time. And, it's interesting how often I'm encouraged to use my time for things I know aren't prepared for me in advance.  I need to say yes to the best, and no to the good.  I love to sew and sing...hold babies and write blogs. But, not everything is beneficial or in God's current plan for me.
I could start up a shop online...but my time would be consumed. No time for sewing for my personal Sweetnesses and most loved. 
I could get a job...a "real" job with a literal paycheck...but my time would be consumed. No time for baby holding in the ministry of my heart.
I could write more blogs, books or devotionals...but there'd be no time for collective memory making or picture taking.

I'm aware that all these things change...perhaps God will call me to do those things at some future point.  But always I want to be aware...listening for the whisper (or roar) of the Holy Spirit...following His leading in what I do...and why I do it!

Ephesians 2:10, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

1 Cor. 6:12, "“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything."

Duet. 32:4, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge about MYselfie!

1. According to Oxford Dictionaries, the 2013 word of the year is 'selfie'. Your thoughts? When did you last take a selfie? Do you post them online somewhere?  Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the lens?
Let's just say that there are teens on my fb that are currently hidden because I can't take the constant selfies.  I question if they've lost their mirrors and so use their phones instead?  It's pretty narcissistic...and that's er, interesting...since all we ever hear is that all these gals struggle from low self esteem, etc. etc.  Which is why I never say anything (unless their immodest *ahem*)...I just make sure it's hidden where I don't need to see each one.  

I prefer to be behind the camera.  I'm rarely content with the pictures taken of me...and I can't remember the last time I took my own picture.  Even though my iphone has a nifty feature for just this purpose...I can't do it.  sigh...

Above is my favorite picture of me and my babies ...

2. Will you send out Christmas cards this year? If so, are they ready to go? If not, are you glad or sad about leaving that tradition behind?
They were mailed Monday.  I only did about 60 this year.  I've cut back...way back.  If you're on FB you pretty much aren't getting one.  I post the family pic...so, you're all set.  If you are on FB and still get one...either you're family or you're special!

3. Do you trust easily?
Nope...and my experience with people as I get older isn't make this an easier thang.  Just sayin'...

4. Pine-cinnamon-peppermint-vanilla (as in sugar cookie)...of those listed, which one is your favorite December scent?

5. Did you do more talking or more listening yesterday? Was that by choice or necessity?
More listening...by choice...very deliberate choice.

6. What's the last song that got stuck in your head? Sorry if it's back there now :  )
God loves me dearly.  It's a song I sing with my babies in the ministry I love best.  I sing it about a zillion times a morning...hum hum hum...."God loves me dearly gives me salvation.  God loves me dearly loves even me.  Therefore, I'll say again God loves me dearly.  God loves me dearly.  Loves even me!"

7. Which world explorer (in the whole history of the world) would you most like to have traveled with, and why?
I would have liked to be with Louis and Clark...maybe Sacajawea.  It would have been so amazing to see an unspoiled, unsettled and wild America!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
It's fun to get special treats...cheap treats...that make your children squeal with delight.  See!?  Yay for marshmallow madness hot cocoa!!