"We write to taste life twice - once in the moment and in introspection."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Some Quilt Finishes

I'm finally getting around the posting some pictures of some quilts I've finished up.

This baby quilt refuses to upload any other way than on it's side. But at least you can see the pattern and the fun, bright colors.

I had been working on these blocks for awhile and then a friend let us know that she's expecting her twelfth baby, so now I have someone to give this to. Mighty nice of her.

This queen sized quilt has actually been in the works and out of the works for about seven years, so I'm very happy that I finally finished it and it now graces our bed. It is from an Eleanor Burns book. The pattern was actually for a wall-hanging, but I wanted a bed quilt, so I changed things a little.

My Princess and Bob the Cat (Bobcat) enjoy it, too.

Since I had a few leftover blocks after a little redesigning, I made a wall-hanging, too, the edge of which you can see at the top of the photo. I might make some pillow shams with the last two blocks, but that's not even on the list right now. Christmas gifts need to come first.

I hope you've gotten to finish a few things.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Outdoor Hour Challenge - Maple Tree

Normally (if there is any normalcy around here) we do our nature studies on Saturdays to best make use of the most recent Outdoor Hour Challenge which is posted on Fridays.

But this afternoon was so lovely and we were a little behind in our Challenges anyhow, so we picked up our nature journals and headed for the yard. 

The focus for this month is on trees and we are blessed to be surrounded by them and get to enjoy them a lot.

We decided to start our observations with maple trees as they are our favorites, especially at this time of the year, and we have quite a few near the house. And we had real maple syrup for breakfast.

Leaf rubbings are always a good way to observe the leaves of a tree, so we grabbed a few of them and went at it, removing the caterpillar first.

Some of us enjoy writing more than others, so some got a little more verbose, while some wrote almost nothing. I'm hoping to encourage a little more writing slowly but surely.

I'm also hoping to add in doing some notebooking pages in a separate notebook/binder since Barb at the Outdoor Hour Challenge has some very nice pages available. We're really just beginners at this whole nature journalling thing, but I think we all enjoy it pretty well.

It's such a great time of getting us outside and enjoying God's wonderful creation. As I copied into my journal:

There's not a plant or flow'r below but makes Thy glories known;
And clouds arise and tempests blow by order from Thy throne,
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,
And ev'rywhere that man can be, Thou, God, art present there.
                                            by Isaac Watts

Measuring the girth of the big front yard maple.

Enjoy God's beauty!


Scrappy Stars

Since we took last week off of home schooling to visit with our son and his girlfriend (now fiance), I squeezed in a few minutes of sewing and got caught up on the Scrappy Stars quilt-along at terrytreasures.blogspot.com.

September's stars
In September I hadn't had time to do two blocks (sad, huh?), so I got September's stars done and then did both of October's.

October's stars

And now I get the fun of making a wedding quilt!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big News

Last week while our son and his girlfriend were here on fall break, they got engaged. So we are looking forward to a spring wedding with great excitement.

And I begin the journey of learning to be a good mother and mother-in-law to grown and gone kids. 

Life is forever changing and our roles and responsibilities are, too. Thankfully, our God is ever the same and helps us along.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lotsa Forgiveness = Lotsa Love

"But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." 
Luke 7:47b

One of the ways God helps us to learn to love Him is through showing us our immense amount of sinfulness so that we come to Him in dire need of forgiveness, which He offers freely. Then because we've been forgiven much, we fall in love with Him even more.

And the chief of these sins, I believe, is pride. Sometimes we think that we don't have much to confess, so we don't confess much. We are forgiven little, and we love little.

I can remember as a young teen thinking such thoughts. Just before communion in our little church we would have a time of "contemplation and confession" during which we silently reflected on His great love for us and our lack of deserving that love.

At that time in history, the whole "saved from a life of drugs, illicit sex, knives and switchblades" stories were popular. And I had grown up as a good, Christian girl who had no story like that, so I figured that I really had very little sin to confess during confession time. Silly girl. 

That thought in itself needed to be confessed. Because it was pride. It stank of Phariseeism. It forgot, or ignored, the myriads of attitude sins and the immense selfishness. It ignored the disrespect of parents and backtalk, the snottiness to little sister and brother, etc., etc. making me nauseated now.

Fortunately, God loved me and wanted me to grow in my love for Him, so He has given me many opportunities to see my sinfulness, my need for a Savior who takes my sinfulness on Himself and who forgives me. So I love Him more.

But the key is to be humble and ask for forgiveness. There have been the many times that I have ignored His promptings to draw closer in humility and instead I grow hard and embittered rather than falling more in love with Him because I've confessed sin and received forgiveness.

So I'm thankful that, as Larnelle Harris sang, He's the "God of the Second Chance."

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Early Thanksgiving

We're extra blessed this year in that we get to celebrate Thanksgiving Day twice.

Actually we have somewhat of a Thanksgiving dinner every Saturday evening as we being our "Sabbath." We have been going around the table giving thanks for certain blessings throughout the previous week.

But since we have our son and his girlfriend home for their college's fall break, and she's Canadian, and Canada's Thanksgiving Day is this next week, we have a great excuse to celebrate early and then celebrate again in November.

So out came the new, soon-to-be-heirloom needle felted pilgrim couple with baby to grace the center of our dinner table. My young, gifted artist friend, Olivia, made this and I am so excited about it.

And up went the Thanksgiving tree.
And we have begun to count our many blessings by writing them on paper pumpkins, apples, clouds, and leaves and pinning them to this simple tree quilt. After our feast, we'll enjoy hearing my husband read them all.

Helping us to count those blessing are our special "1000 Gift" notebooks wherein we've been keeping lists of our many blessings, cultivating the attitude of gratitude. If you haven't read Ann Voskamp's book,  1000 Gifts, you must. It's life changing.

And out came the old pilgrim salt and pepper shakers.
I made these ceramic shakers years ago by just clear glazing them and having them fired. Every year we repaint them with acrylic paints as a Thanksgiving activity. Then we wash the paints off to be ready for the next year. This year I'm working on some turkey salt and pepper shakers, too, but haven't gotten them back to the ceramic shop to be fired. They may have to wait till November Thanksgiving.

Giving thanks to our loving God should be part of who we are as Christians. We have a special day every year in which to do that (in our case, we have two such days this year). We also have the table of the eucharist, which means the table of thanksgiving, which we happily enjoy every Sunday. We have times throughout our days, primarily as we sit at our meal tables, to give thanks. And our every breath should be a thanksgiving to the God who loves us so much and showers us with so many undeserved blessings. That would do away with so much complaining and self-pity.

Give thanks!