Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family Pictures 2013

Well, Grandma's and Grandpa''s that time of year. Your pictures will be on their soon as I get to the PO! For some of you this a sneak peak at the Christmas cards too. I know the new header here is a bit...oddly shaped. I'm still working on resizing...and I've run out of time! Sigh...

Monday, November 18, 2013

Myelofibrosis Monday

I know many of you are feeling like I speak in riddles here lately.  Some have sweetly e-mailed to check and see if I'm truly okay.  I will tell you that I know the ROCK I stand on is SOLID GROUND...but sometimes my world does shake.

I'm not going to explain all my riddles...probably never will...but one I would covet your prayers for is my Dad.  If you said, "huh?" when you read this post's subject then this is for you.  My Dad has a rare illness...most easily said to be Leukemia-like...but actually that's just where it ends up.

I'm still learning...and it's SO complicated...but this video is good...for some reason You Tube won't let you embed it so you must click on this link HERE!

Love to my Dear Void...and those of you who've reached out from the Beyond of the Blogosphere to extend your love and support to me!  Thanks!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sew (Crafty) Saturday: HARK!!!

Every year I make ornaments or canned yumminess for the neighbors. We live on a large cul-de-sac...with 17 houses. I want them to know our family...and know of our love for Jesus. 

Thankfully, my Mom has given me lots of ideas for this venture. When she was about my age, and the pastor's wife to a small country church, she made Christmas ornaments for every family each year.  One year she made these noodle angels.  Hers had wooden ball heads...covered with a coating of those teensy star pastas... and held ribbons with real music pasted inside their books.  Once I got these assembled I was pretty much thinking..."I don't want to cover the hanger...and the angels had the 'glory to God' song down...they didn't need the music...I'm tired!" 
They are simply CUTE...I used a gold bell for the head (comes with a built in hanger...woot woot)...rigatoni body, elbow arms, bow tie wings.  Used a fine tip Sharpie to make the faces.  I love the old burlap twine for the hanger.  They were spray painted white and with a shot of glitter paint.
I think the neighbors will love them!!  They expect to see us now that we've lived here almost 8 years.  We started caroling last year...and that was a HUGE hit...they were delighted SO, I guess we'll be singing this year too!!  Such fun.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday For Real

For REAL?  The worst thing about my neck and back hurting...I'm struggling to read and write.  I can only do it for short spurts without needing a break.  This has been a REALity check for me.  It's one of those things I have taken for granted...but no more. 

I've worked on creative ways around this...but it's come down to limiting my time at these activities.  This has made me have to be more disciplined in what I spend time doing.  I make wiser choices...what will I read? (my Bible, my lesson, fiction??)...what will I write? (my prayers, my ideas, my friends??). 

What's most important? 
What if this was forever...which hopefully it won't be but what if? 
Would I give up on these disciplines of the faith I'm literally hurting to enjoy? 

No, let it not be so...I want to tell God I would muscle through (pun intended) to spend time with Him in prayer and His Word.  In this thankful focused month, I'm most thankful for what I don't have right now...and the opportunity it gives me to be thankful in the waiting, to persevere in faith and to give sympathy and comfort to those also hurting around me.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thoughtful Thursday

I've challenged myself to write out the homiletics this year...even though it's not required of me. It's a skill I long to develop. It helps me squeeze every drop out...and causes me to consider what God has for me to learn from a passage, in ways perhaps that I wouldn't ponder it otherwise. It has taken discipline and a decent chunk of my Sunday afternoons. Time well spent. It's also taken the grace of knowledgeable friends to help me hone this skill. I used to try this because my pride puffed me and made me want to be what I'm not. But now, I made this goal because the Spirit moved and gave a desire to learn!  I have no thoughts that He's using it for anything but my own personal growth.  If He plants another idea, I'm open.  But I'm okay with His just working on me.

And what have I taught myself?  Wait, no, that's wrong.  What has God taught me through the study of His Word?

Matthew 4-- Followers of Jesus face temptation with Scripture and repentant hearts.
Where do I need to place Scripture in the face of temptation?
Have I seen Jesus as fulfilled prophecy in my life?  Have I consistently repented of my sin...kept short accounts with him?
Am I following hard after Jesus?

Matthew 5:1-16--  God's followers get blessings when they live as salt and light!
What behavior or attitude needs to change so I can be blessed?
How can I be saltier, brighter in my witness?
Where is God calling me to just live loud?

Matthew 5:17-48--  God wants me to please Him with all my heart...above and beyond normal behavior.
What do I do right in action but not with my heart?
What keeps me from full obedience?
Where to I need to go above and beyond the normally accepted behavior around me?
Where have I taken judgment away from The Judge?  Where can I love someone more?

Matthew 6--A proper view of God, through prayer, will erase my worries and bring eternal rewards (the most important kind).
Where is public praise more important to me than secret eternal rewards?
Are my prayers genuine and fully following God's model?  Is His Kingdom starting with me?
What worries me?  How is God not first in that area?

Matthew 7--Wise men walk with discernment and stand on the ROCK.
Where have I been tempted to judge but need to turn the finger on myself?
Do I believe God for good gifts?  Am I walking carefully in the narrow way?
What is genuine and what's not?  God knows...get rid of the yuck.
Is my foundation cracker, shaky or secure?

Matthew 8--Followers of Jesus must believe in His power to heal and be fully committed to putting Him first.
Do I believe in God's power to heal?  Do I have faith in who He is?
What am I putting before God that's keeping me from being wholehearted?
Have I trusted Him for salvation but continue to live in my yuck?

What fun to review...and to be challenged anew.  I'm so glad that He's not finished with me yet.  I guess in blogging this I'm trying to bless others with what I've learned.  

May you be blessed, Dear Void!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hodgepodge Espresso!

1. Describe a typical Sunday from your childhood.
We had a lot of company.  I remember setting the was MY job!  I loved when my Mom let me set the stemware, crystal glasses.  Being a pastor's home, we were often blessed to get to know missionaries and special speakers after the morning service.  Actually, they usually stayed over at our house too.  Oh, and let's not forget the afternoon nap....a tradition I've taken into my little family too.  I used to hate them if I was told to sleep...but loved them if I was allowed to read.  Nowadays I nap!!
2. How comfortable are you with uncertainty? Explain.
Not at all...I don't know many people who like it.  Even people known for their spontaneity don't like uncertainty.  I suppose those with a firm faith shouldn't be concerned about any of life's uncertainties.  But, the truth is most of us are very human in this area.  I know I am.  I wish that I had a greater faith and trusted God more fully.
3. What have you accomplished recently that might be described as crafty, as in 'arts and crafts' crafty?  If crafty doesn't work for you, how about handy? Or both?
I'm working on all sorts of projects right now...but I can't show you because they are future gifts and can't be opened til Christmas.  The most crafty lately has been THIS....and he's sooo cute!
4. Have you ever worked in a 'food place'? What did you take away from the experience?
I worked at a family restaurant and McDonalds during a few college summers.  It's hard work...and that's not a bad life lesson.  It's also good to learn to work with all kinds of people and people groups.  It's a skill you need for matter what you're going into.  And, it's a good reminder to stick it out at school if you don't want to be working in food service forever.  You learn you could if you had to...but you also learn, you might not want to.  It's hard.
5. Cold turkey, talk turkey, what a recent days, which turkey phrase or idiom best applies to you and why? Click on the word turkey if you need to read more about the meaning behind each phrase.
Cold turkey...our family made some drastic, definite decisions without a gradual taper.  Whoa...not for the faint of heart.  Step out in faith.  "To hear with my heart, to see with my soul, to be guided by a hand I cannot hold, to trust in a way that I cannot see...that's what faith must be." 
6. If you could have any one guest join your Thanksgiving dinner table, who would it be?
I wish it was plausible to really have ALL your family together for Thanksgiving...not just one side or extended only so far.  Everybody.  I always feel like there's somebody or some tradition I'm missing.  It probably comes from that extroverted heart of mine.  The only thing that could make a holiday better is MORE people!!  I don't even want to think about how I'm going to feel when my kids have to choose which holidays I "get" and which they spend with their spouse, etc.  Ugh...sounds awful.  I hope I'm as gracious about it as my family always is.
7. What is one thing you must accomplish today?
I need to get all the laundry done...and a sewing project for Saturday sewn.  I'm also working away at a tedious task of tying burlap ties on the ornaments I made for the neighbors this year...coming soon in Sew Saturday...HARK!
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
I'd appreciate any of your prayers.  I hurt my neck and back somehow.  As my friend said, "The weirdest things happen to you!"  Anyhew...I'm pretty grounded from exercise...and I'm finding the laundry today is even more than I can handle.  Ugh.  It has given me good sympathy (or is it empathy) for those in pain though.  In my favorite Bible study ever we are studying Matthew...and were just reading about judgment...a critical spirit.  I've been so convicted...and when I start to judge someone who's being grumpy or not treating me the way I think I should be treated (ha)...I've really been cut to the heart over my need to care about them...and wonder what's going on with them.  It can't be all about me...if I say my life is all about glorifying God. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Memory Monday!!

I know Halloween is over...but I was looking through pictures and couldn't resist a trip down memory lane. There were a few years I couldn't find...but...I'd just like to say...I HAVE REALLY CUTE KIDS!!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Sew (Crafty) Saturday

I am sewing...actually A LOT...but none of it is for me...and all of it is gifts that I can't reveal before the holidays...SO...I thought I'd share what I could... I love me some downloadage from my dear friend Ann. Okay, I haven't ever met her in real life...but I think we'd be great friends...if we every actually met. ANYHEW...I downloaded these lovely leaves (each has a verse on it)...and rather than making a twig tree, per her suggestion...I stuck them on my wall around one of my favorite Scripture reminders. Fun AND easy!!
I had recently purchased her new book.  As any of ya'll who've been Blogging Along with me know, I LOVE ADVENT!  So, I took advantage of her downloadage of advent ornaments too.  Yes, for those of you wondering...I just made up a new word...downloadage= FREE STUFF!!!
So, I bought some brown cardstock tags (cuz they had those nice strong reinforced holes)...and I lopped off an inch.  I cut some twine and chopped some printed ornaments...and used some 3M double stick tape.  WOOT WOOT...pretty new advent go along with our new advent readings!!!
SEW Crafty!!...If you are sewing (or crafting) and it's not an internet secret...please leave a comment.  I'd love to check it out and send some encouragement your way!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Foodie Friday

Well, although this is a bit I forgot to take a picture of the finished product...I still decided to blog this anyhew...the collective memory and all that jazz.

So, this is how I go about making curry chicken.
One small onion diced, 2 cloves garlic minced, 2-3 chicken breasts, 2 T. salt, 1 T. curry powder, 1 t. cumin, 1 t. coriander, 2 t. ground black pepper, and 2 t. tumeric... (tea is optional but very relaxing while cooking)
Add a few T. of EVOO to the plate and smoosh the spices so.  Yes, smoosh is a cooking term frequently used in my kitchen...meaning to mix well with the back of a spoon.

Throw it all in a crockpot on high for 3 hours...or low for 6.  Chicken will fall apart.  Serve over rice or lentils....and with broccoli.  I always do. :-)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that when skies are gray...God's creation shouts loudly! How do these trees seem brighter in the slate gray then in the brilliant sunshine?
I want to be my brightest for God...shout out His praise...on my grayest days!!
It's the only way to walk worthy of His high calling.
Obedience. Praise in the hard things...from the tip of my optimistic, polka dotted umbrella!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Here's Hodgepodge

1. My sister is celebrating a birthday today. Happy Birthday little sis! What's one way you're like your siblings? If you don't have siblings how are you like your lifelong best friend or cousin?
 I'm almost 11 years older than my only sibling.  We both love people...especially older people.  We love to network.  Neither of us knows a stranger.  We both think we're only children...hahaha!  We both love my dog because she reminds us of our childhood dog, Spots.  We are both adventurous eaters...and will try pretty much anything and like it!  Guess we were raised right!  Hmmmm...Anything else come to mind Daver?

2. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of yourself at age eighteen?
Stupid choices.  I didn't exactly make all brilliant choices as a college freshman.  

3. Sculptor-actor-painter-dancer...if you could excel in one of these arts, which would you choose and why?'s the only thing I've actually tried and really enjoy.  If I had more time...
4. What's a scent that takes you back in time, and where does it take you?
 Jasmine...takes me back to Spain where I visited when I was 15.  It seemed to grow everywhere...especially around the palaces and hotels. 

5. November is for Peanut Butter Lovers (National Peanut Butter Lovers Month). Are you a lover or a hater? What's your favorite dish/recipe that calls for peanut butter?
 I love to eat it...but I hate it for trying to kill my baby boy.  My son is VERY allergic to peanuts.  I do love my Mom's peanut butter fingers though...yummy!  She makes them for quilt camp every year because it's the only time I visit without my kids.

6. What do people thank you personally for most often?
 My husband is a very good thank you-er...He thanks me for making dinner (He likes my cooking) and for doing the laundry.  He tries to teach my kids to do the same.  So far it's not catching on...hahaha!

7. What event this year are you most thankful for?
 I'm thankful for God's clear calling of our family from one place, to another.  He is faithful to lead when we follow Him in obedience.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Bittersweet has been coming up a lot for me lately.  Enjoying my children as they grow up more and more ...saying goodbye to friends moving overseas...knowing I'm in God's will but a bit lonely in the waiting...trusting He's my firm foundation when I wait for news that might shake my world.  I know this sounds cryptic...but that's the life of a blogger.  Just tell me you love me.  I'll be okay!

Tune Tuesday

Monday Musings on Linkage

Turns out I don't know what week it therefore, when I schedule posts for two weeks out they do NOT show up on their appointed days THIS week.  Duh!  So, better late than never.
 6 Reasons Not to Abandon Expository Preaching 
This is SO much what I was trying to express and think through when I posted this on a Thoughtful Thursday.  LOVE this article!!

The Neuroscience behind Sleep
This was very sleep cleans the brain.  Makes me want to work harder to get more sleep.  And then I think, how did getting more sleep become so much work?  HA!

Dumbing Religion Down
Thought provoking.  Favorite quote, "Myself, I would rather my nonsense not be sacred and my sacred not be nonsense."

I'm Done Fixing The Church: Turning the Future Over to God
Seems to state the obvious but how often do I try to do jobs and fix things that God does not purpose for me...and frankly, in sending Jesus He has already won the victory.

11 Reasons You Should Drink Coffee
I sort accidently ended up following this blog...and I really enjoy it.  His dry humor comments after stats just crack me up.  Usually these are things I'm already thinking...

Why Teachers Quit
This hurts my heart.  I field so underpayed, so overpressured, so hurting... and so dear to my heart.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sew Saturday: Cupcake Peg Bear

Inspiration comes at funny times and from funny places. 

I've seen these "peg bears" on Pinterest and around and they were so cute, old modern.  Is that even a thing?  Anyway...they are sort of new vintage.  HA!

I had the scraps of sweater left over from the cute pink bag, and was sort of wanting a hand sewing project.  (Yes, because I'm so sick of binding on my daughter's quilt that I might just scream!  Yeah...pretty much that project is never getting done...argh!)  But still...a girl's gotta have something fun to handsew on cuz she can't always be in front of the machine and mending/binding will drive her mad.  MAD, I tell you!!
So, with a cup of tea, in yet another cup from my china cabinet...this cute cupcake bear was born, late one lonely Thursday evening.  Yeah...funny...go figure?
I then needed her to have a purpose...and since a baby shower invite just came in the mail...for both Sweet Emma and myself...I sifted through my antique hankies and made a dedication shawl.
I looked through a lot of verses...This baby will live VERY far away from me...and I won't get to love on her personally, unless I make a transcontinental flight...the extra work was SO worth it.  I'm also glad that they are highly unlikely to look at my blog so I'm free to share my delight with this project early before it's official reveal!
I especially love her belly button...
...and ribbed sweater face!  Awe!  I sure hope she's loved 'til pieces fall off!!
Coming soon...Cheeky Nappies by Emma...her contribution to the baby shower.  Straight lines are great for beginners.  Pray for me...she's a leftie...but she's highly motivated.  It should work out!!  I'm so excited for a little sewing buddy.  I think I'll set her up on Ingrid while I sew on Jazelle! 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Feel the Spirit Friday!!?

Every time I watch this it brings a grin to my heart.  The joy of the conductor and the energy of the choir...and those words...Oh, yeah...Is He moving in your heart??  I think this also touches my heart because I've really made the Eastern nations a matter of prayer...nations oppressed by years of persecution and communism.  Hearing their accents and voices singing...and knowing that God is doing a powerful work in China and Taiwan...just makes my heart fill with tears.

Every Time I Feel The Spirit


            Every time I feel the spirit
            Movin’ in my heart I will pray
            Every time I feel the spirit
            Movin’ in my heart I will pray
            Up on the mountain my Lord spoke
            Out of His mouth came fire and smoke
            Down in the valley upon my knees
            I asked the Lord, have mercy please.
            The Jordan river is chilly and cold.
            It chills the body but not the soul.
            All around me looks so fine
            Yes my Lord, it's almost time
            There's but one train on this track
            runs to heaven and right back
            So we are waiting at the gate
            Saying come on sinner, don't be late