Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winds-day

Birthdays are so much fun. Spending time with family and a few special privileges.(Like not changing diapers and cleaning dishes) I had a birthday the other day filled with lots of birthday-y enjoyments.
 Coffee drinking. Book reading. A little journal writing.
 Present opening. Uninterrupted sewing. (More on what I made later...)
Candy munching. Pandora listening.
Cheese-burger bliss. Sunshine. Sister time.
Screaming for ice cream. Movie watching. Photo credit: My sister

I am so happy to be alive! Another year has gone by filled with so much to reminisce on. 
I am looking forward to another year to grow and learn.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas...

 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Luke 2:10-11

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday musings...

Only three more days...until Christmas...!

 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. 
Romans 5:1-2

What are your Christmas plans this week?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Special Girl...


 My sister turned fourteen on the December eighteenth...!

 Dear Sis,
Happy Birthday.
You're a beautiful young lady,
an inspiration, a joy.
You can make me laugh.
You can make me think.
You make amazing music.
You create stunning art.
Thanks for being there when I'm not the big sister I should be.
Thank you for being... you.
Much love,
Leah

Saturday, December 17, 2011

•Crocheted Tree Tutorial•

With a little time on your hands you can make a cute last minute gift. This crocheted tree can be an ornament, applique or even a cleaning scrubby. You can experiment with this pattern to design your own original tree shape. I will start by showing you how to make the tree and then I'll show you how to make a tree trunk and how to stuff your tree (optional).
 You'll need two balls of yarn, crochet hook, large needle, and stuffing or felt.
 Begin with 12 stitches and crochet three rows.
 Then decrease one stitch and crochet three rows. Decrease one more stitch and crochet one row.
 Decrease one and crochet a row again. You should now have nine stitches.
Keep on decreasing one stitch and crocheting one row until you have one stitch on your hook. Now cut your yarn and finish off.

If you want to make a stuffed tree repeat the above steps to crochet two tree pieces.
If you'd like to make your tree a stump begin with two stitches on your crochet  hook and crochet about four rows. You should have a rectangular piece. Now roll it up and stitch it closed. It should look like a cylinder.
Put your stump aside for the moment. 
 Now take your stuffing and sandwich it between the two pieces. Start to whip stitch with yarn on one side of the tree and stitch your way to the top and down the other side.
 Take your stump and put it in the middle of the open end. Stitch one half of the opening and stitch the stump on all the way around.
Now stitch the other end closed. Tie off. You can decorate your tree with ribbon, buttons, and anything you like.
I crocheted a few little "ornaments".

I hope this all makes sense. If you have any questions just comment!
Have a blessed holiday season...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rolling by...


 When ever December rolls around, I tend to ponder a lot of things. Sweet and sour thoughts. Fond memories of the year's events. But I also get to thinking about the purpose of the year. How much did I accomplish? Did I doddle through a whole year? Did I grow in my relationship with Christ? It makes me realize how precious time is. How every minute can be used and should be used productively. The end of the year makes me realize how short life is. How short my life is. The way we spend our short life truly does effect our eternity.

As the days pass through the 12th month of the year, There is one thing that I want to have accomplished. Growth. Most importantly spiritual growth. I look back on the past events of the year and see how they've effected me, sanctified me, and stretched me.

I've become more aware of faults, realized how to deal with them, I've realized the great need of God's grace in my life, which truly changes my perspective and actions here on earth.  I've learned, and learned and learned. I've realized more and more that I don't know everything.
I've become aware that a year is short compared to eternity, but long in the way it impacts life, -how it impacts my life.

What did you learn this year?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Coffee. The End.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Little Pitchers Have Big Minds

 It was one of those days.
Everything drags. The house is a mess. And an ominous gray cloud floats above my head.
I was in a sour mood. Grumpy at best. I had a few chores left to do and I wasn't pleasant.
Not that I mind chores...Usually. The anticipation of work is the worst of it to me. But when you get down to it it's not bad. (It's amazing how much thinking time you have while cleaning)
I got the vacuum out.
I plugged in the vacuum and was getting ready turn it on.Then my four year old brother walks over and asks, "Can I help?"...
I smiled. How could I be angry with the best brother in the world?
Not only did he help me, but he basically did the whole job. (Of course with a little supervision.)
Not only did he do the whole job. He did a great job.
And best of all? He asked to help. He enjoyed it too.

 It's amazing how unexpected little children can be. And very observant. One thing we've been striving to do is making helping fun. Encouraging work, encouraging help, encouraging learning.
Work can be fun. With the right attitude.
Kids notice an attitude. Sometimes I am not in a good mood and my two year old brother will look at me and ask, "Are you happy?" They notice when I don't want to do something. And when I change my attitude they often do the same. If I put on a smile they get excited about the task ahead.
The main point: attitude counts.  Not just that though. Attitude and our heart. Putting a smile on is important. But making that smile come from our heart is even more important.
I'm learning sincere gladness:
Light is sown for the righteous,
         And gladness for the upright in heart.
 Psalm 97:11

I'm learning that work by itself may be tedious, but with a friend, -even a four year old, it can be enjoyable and rewarding:
Two are better than one,
      Because they have a good reward for their labor.
Ecclesiastes 4:9

Both of these lessons I'm learning from little children.

At that time Jesus answered and said, 
"I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent 
and have revealed them to babes.
Matthew 11:25

What are you learning from children?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Necessities for any holiday...

A holiday would not be complete without yummy food, family, laughter, and at least one amazing dessert.
Sigh...I love my life. I'm so blessed!


By the way-- The picture is hair glistening in the sunlight. Congratulations to Annie for being the first to correctly answer the guessing game!
Everyone that commented guessed correctly. Did y'all know you are very smart?


Have a memorable thanksgiving!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A little guessing fun...

What is it?

Do you know?

Maybe it's easy,...maybe it's not. (evil grin) 

We shall see.

I'll tell you on the Thursday, November 24th!
All guesses will not be published until then. Whoever guesses correctly will be congratulated and will have the satisfaction of winning. ;-) (Sorry, no prize. But guessing is the best part...Right?)

Have fun commenting! I am looking forward to seeing what y'all come up with.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Winter is in the air.

Have you noticed the nip in the November wind? I have.
As autumn packs up and takes a vacation to the beach, winter makes itself comfortable.
Winter is one of my least favorite seasons.
Plants begin to fade, cloudy days seem to multiply, maybe even a few more sniffles and coughs.
But like any season it has it's good side.
Holidays, birthdays, hot cocoa, scarves and slippers, baking, snow and many other blessings to look forward to...Speaking of blessings I've really been enjoying the give thanks! challenge.

I know there are quite a few different thankful challenges going on. Especially as thanksgiving is coming upon us. It really has been making me appreciate the blessings in my day to day life.
To name a few: sunshine, quiet moments, family, spice muffins, music, fun new fabric, health, home, laughter and....
...Bread. Simple gifts like daily bread are a blessing I take for granted.
Credit for this lovely bread goes to my talented Mother. 
Mothers are a huge blessing, too! :-)

Have a lovely weekend!
What do you like best about November?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Doors Knobs, Keys, and Roots

  I begin this post with a (sort of) thrown together title. 
In a hope that I'd draw your attention. 
Although what I write in this post has most likely been said before,
what I am writing is something that I am learning and discovering.

I sit on a hard, rough bench. The room damp and dark.
I see the door that is keeping me in to this room.
The door is marred with dents and scratches. I rattle the door knob. Only to find it is locked. 
I rest my ear on the door trying to hear what is on the other side. 
I look through the key hole on the door knob.
I can only see a faint, but bright light. 
I pound my fists on the door, hoping it will open. 
  
This is how I feel sometimes when looking for an answer....
...We all have flaws.
I often try hard to overcome, and correct my own faults. I struggle to let go of selfishness, impatience, pride and anger. To unlock the answer to overcoming. They can all be stitched into a web.
A web that I wage war with.
Some days it’s easy to win the battles.Patience, humbleness, joy overshadow my struggles.
But some days it takes so much work (and battling) to get my anger and other faults controlled.
So, I ask myself over and over how to win the battle...
The desire to keep fighting my sin is there. (Sometimes more than other times)
However sometimes I miss the real reason that I am trying to fight my sin.

One thing that God emphasizes many times in His word is love.
I might want to be a better person. But love should always go hand and hand--
---or rather be the center of my goals. Love for God. Love for my neighbor.
It might seem a simple concept. (It might even be easy to ignore.) But, it might be hard to follow through.
Always loving. Kind. Never hating. Not boastful, not selfish.

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 22:34-40

Did you skip that verse? You should read it.
I never truly took this verse to heart until a few years ago as our pastor preached on it. All the commands of the bible are connected to loving God and loving our neighbor. If we love God, we’re not going to have any other gods, we’re not going to have idols. We’ll keep the Sabbath. We’ll honor our parents. We will not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie or covet.  
That’s an amazing concept. Love is the root to obedience. 
It’s the key.

 Your thoughts?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Ocean's Beauty

Here are only a few of the numerous photos from our family's vacation. Fond memories.

The ocean and the tide pool.

A happy flock of seagulls.

One of the very unique and intriguing starfish I saw.
(Or sea stars. They're not really fish.)
Star fish are truly amazing little critters. They feel funny on your hand.

                A silhouette of palm trees. Love it. So many colors.





















This was a fun photo. That's my sister. She has a lovely profile.
















Our sand castle. My sisters and I had one shovel and one bucket as tools.We had a lot of fun. 
There was lots of giggling involved, a lot of creativity and some failures. 
(Our original plan was to build an igloo.) ;-)
We didn't have time to decorate it before the sun went down.














 The beach houses were picture perfect.  
  Look at that blue sky. Amazing.

                                                A cloudy beach.

                  













  I realized after photographing this little guy that he only had one leg. 
                          He( she?) was very good at keeping still.

All I can say is God's handiwork is incredibly intricate, beautiful, and awing.
I only edited photos 5 and 8. Truly inspiring and perfect.

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. 
Psalm 19:1

As a side note I bought some more photo space. So, I'll probably be posting more photos soon. 
Maybe a few interesting posts. ( I hope)

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reflections

 I'm back!...
I have been having an amazing break. My family and I drove to the beach three Saturdays ago and stayed for a week. We were able to walk to the beach every day. We rented bikes for the week and enjoyed riding by the ocean. We made sand castles, slept late, ate cereal, dunked oreos in milk, and my sister found a huge whelk shell.
I took pictures.(You can see a couple pictures here.) Almost five hundred pictures. Pictures of the beach when it was windy, when it was stormy, when it was sunny, as the sun set. Even a few photos of our family in front of the ocean.
I saw sea shells, star fish, sand dollars and seagulls.
I read "happy baby colors" many, many times through the car ride.(Not to myself, but to my baby sister.)
Through the adventures of following a GPS that can't seem to tell us where to go, I am happy to be home.
Vacations are such a blessing.

I've been working on school, coming up with Christmas gift ideas, taking pictures, writing, getting ready for hand bell and violin recitals/performances, and finishing/performing a reformation skit with my two sisters yesterday. My sister wrote most of it. She's a great writer.
We helped tweak it here and there. My sister is so creative. It went well. Although I accidentally skipped one of my lines.

Also, the picture space on my blog is full. So, I am thinking of either paying for more space or transferring my blog to it's own URL. Do you have any ideas as to what I could do? Has this happened to you? Any help would be appreciated. :-)

I love blogging. I have missed it. But, I am really trying to focus on life. And most importantly on God. It's amazing how nice it is not to be on the computer so often. I do have some posts up my sleeve. But I will be posting fewer and especially since I don't have any more picture space.
You all and your blogs are a blessing. I've loved hearing what you've been up to. I've been reading all that you've posted, but not been commenting very much. (I've done many mental comments mind you.)

Before I sign off I thought I'd share the Give thanks! challenge.
You can click the link if you're interested in learning about it or joining.
The holiday season is almost upon us! Cold weather, hot cocoa, and celebrations.


8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.  Ephesians 2:8-9

Have a great day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Hopping break

Cold rainy days. That's what the past few days have been filled with. The sunshine today was a cheering sight.
My sister and I are taking a blogging break starting tomorrow.
A time to focus on other things at hand.
I've been dealing with laryngitis. I feel like frog and toad. Coughing, croaking, and squeaking. I was reading my brother a book yesterday. Really trying to get through it. My sister walks in and starts laughing. I did sound  hilarious. It was funny at first but now it's annoying. So I've decided to only whisper today. I am temporarily mute. I guess you could say my blog will be temporarily mute with me for a few days, too. Don't worry it's not contagious. At least my blog isn't. ;-)
I've been working on school work, reading, crocheting, babysitting, and just a few of the common, wonderful things of life.

It will be quiet around here for a little bit. Stay tuned. I'll be back soon!

Don't hesitate to hop by and leave a comment. :-)

So...what have you all been up to?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hello Autumn

 Hello rake
Hello golden leaves
 Hello apples
Hello sweaters, jackets, boots
 Hello early sunsets 
Hello camp fires
Hello s'mores



Hello chilly breezes and cinnamon spices.
Welcome fall.

What do you like best about autumn?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Life On Hold


 The adventures of life are so numerous. The memories are too many to ponder. I am learning that every minute of the day is a minute to serve God. It might seem simple. But my mind seems to wander from the big picture far too often. Other things seem to take up my motivations and goals. I have to constantly retrace my steps. Remembering who I am, where I am, and why I am here. God teaches so many lessons if we'll only listen to them. My desires and my thinking get in the way of God's perfect plan. I am learning how important it is to take God's word to heart. Ponder it. Meditate on it. Memorize it. Taking away all the distractions and living life all for God. One verse that I am constantly turning to is:

...The unmarried woman cares about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit.... 1 Corinthians 7:34

It's a steadfast reminder for my life right now. Singleness. This time in my life is not just for waiting around until life suddenly unfolds. My life is for God always. For His glory only am I living here at home. Serving my family through the hands of my Maker. My life isn't just on hold. I am not waiting for life to pick up the phone. It's already started. If I truly want to be active in a God honoring life, I can't miss the adventures happening right in front of me.

Your thoughts?...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Good bye summer.



 Good bye daisies
 Good bye bare feet

Good bye golden corn

 Good bye marigolds
 
Good bye caterpillars 
 
Good bye butterflies
 
 
 Saying my farewells to summer. Awaiting the arrival of fall.
 
What are you going to miss with summer's departure?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Family


 I love my family. I love to be with them, I love to talk about them, and I never get tired of them.
My family is special. The little things and the big things make them special.

The chatter that is never is ceasing in the background. The kazoos blaring in your ears. (Sometimes literally)
The very capable bug killers in our home.(They can even squish them with their bare hands)
The unity when my baby sister is crying in the car and nobody minds breaking into song and singing until we get all the home to keep her happy.
The fact that our two dogs and cat don't mind sharing one water bowl.
The laughter that can randomly get started and the jokes that always cheer me up. 
The cute little brothers and sisters that keep getting cuter and make it all worth it at the end of the day. 
The long talks before bed. 
The endless vivid dreams that my sister tells me in the morning. A mom that's cooking couldn't get any yummier. Brothers that don't mind playing with tomato cans in the grocery cart.
Trading a book in for watching a baby. Making curtains with my mom.
Sticky water melon juice on the floor and foot prints of spilled water.
An artist for a sister that inspires me with her beautiful watercolors and colored pencil drawings.
Being able to be myself and not worry that my family won't like me. Knowing they'll always love me.

 What do you love about your family?