Monday, July 27, 2015

A Tree Fence (Sort Of)

I wish I had some great revelation from God to share, but this year just hasn't been like that.  And that's okay.  It's been a time of getting back on track, taking care of business, and getting things in order.  Some things I've been slacking on for years and didn't even realize how much I let go because it just happened a little at a time.  Great revelations are wonderful, but for me, most of the time, God is about the everydayness of my life.

Since this year has been about getting back on track, taking care of business, and getting things in order, I thought I would share our new tree fence.  It isn't much of a fence right now but it will be before long.

It all started about 13 years ago, shortly after we moved here.   There was a fence of cedar trees at the back corner of our property that helped separate our yard from the neighbor behind us.  It was a great privacy feature, but they were overgrown and tangled in the power lines.  We took them out with the intention of replacing them.  Thirteen years later ... we did it!

I should clarify that my husband did most of the work, with Travis and Brie helping him.  My part was going to the store to buy them and getting them home.  I put 3 at a time in the trunk of Travis' car and made 4 trips to get them home.  Where there's a will, there's a way.

I just love our new tree fence!

marking tree placement
tree fence holes
planting trees
finished tree fence

Next outdoor project - getting a fountain for that circle in the middle of the yard ...


Winning Words

"Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it." Genesis 2:15

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sewing Practice

It's such a beautiful day in Michigan today.  And so much for me keeping an updated blog.  I have three reasons for this lapse.

1.  This summer has been different for me.  To start with, it was the 3rd rainiest June on record for this area.  I haven't even ventured outside much because when it stopped raining I would be attacked by mosquitos as soon as I walked outside.  That means I haven't taken any pictures until today.

2.  I've also had a few minor ailments for some unknown reason.  This led to an elimination diet.  Have you ever been on an elimination diet?  No gluten, peanuts, soy, dairy, eggs, or corn products.  I may or may not have been a little cranky for a few weeks.

3.  And last of all, the next post was a sewing post and I've sewn wadder after wadder lately that I won't even take a picture of.

So here I am writing a sewing post with nothing to show for it except a sewing room that looks like a hurricane hit it.

(Yes, I always have a seat cushion on my sewing cabinet.  It's for the cat.)

Right now I'm working on jeans.  I've never made jeans before.  I've always thought that's something that would look very homemade no matter how hard anyone tries, but I've seen some really good ones on sewing blogs lately.  The ones I'm working on now will not be wearable at all.  I'm just practicing with some fabric from my stash to see if it's something I could actually make to look like ready to wear.

So this is my sewing post with not much about sewing.

I'll leave you with some pictures of my flowers.

(I tried so hard to keep the pedal boat out of the pictures only to find it reflected in the patio door.)


God is Sew Good

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; 
Thou hast anointed my head with oil; 
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, 
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Oatmeal Cookies

Hey everyone!  Contrary to popular belief I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  I'm just trying to be up and about more than sitting at a computer.  You see, I gained 10 pounds over the winter and I'm trying to get rid of it.  It's a full time job and I'm not making any progress.  I eat salad every day and walk 10,000 steps (I guess that's the magic number), but still nothing seems to be changing.  I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.  I might just buy some shapewear and call it done.  Anyway, in honor of my lack of weight loss, I'm posting a recipe for cookies!

A few weeks ago we went to an 80th birthday celebration for my father in law.  It's hard to buy a birthday present for someone 80 years old, but I know that he has a huge sweet tooth.  I decided to give him an assortment of homemade cookies.  Chocolate chip, chocolate chip with pecans, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal with dried cranberries and walnuts.  I think it was a hit.

For the oatmeal based cookies I used my mom's Oatmeal Cookies recipe.  Anything can be added to these cookies to make them exactly what you want.  I usually add chocolate chips because I don't like raisins.  The cranberry and walnut cookies were good also.  Just add whatever you want to make them your own, or eat them plain.  They're good no matter what.

Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix wet ingredients, then add dry ingredients.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes.  (Mine were done after about 10 minutes.)


Monday, March 30, 2015

He Is Risen!

It's almost Easter!  I love Easter!  I live my whole life like Easter is every day.  That's because it is.  Jesus is alive and it's apparent in my life every day of the year.

I've been thinking a lot about the generosity of God.  The Bible is full of whosoever's and whatsoever's.  I love that.  Even more important than loving it, I believe it.  I realized a while ago that if I don't really believe that God will do something, He probably won't do it.

I'm really thankful for all the people who taught me about God when I was growing up.  They planted seeds that had a huge impact on me.  However, most of them had a very limited view of God.  I was taught that Jesus died so I can go to heaven.  Period.  We prayed, but there wasn't much power in those prayers because we didn't really believe that God would do anything.  Christian life was all about becoming more like Jesus.  That's all good, and if that's all that being a Christian is about it would still be the best thing ever.  But it's so much more.  It's really all about Him, not about me.  It's believing that God takes an active part in my everyday life and in all things.  It's believing that God is not only able to do things for me, He actually wants to!  He is alive!

I love this verse.
"And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."  
Luke 2:52.
Some people magnify the negative.  They're all about suffering for Jesus and being mistreated for the sake of the gospel.  They usually end up suffering and being mistreated.  After all, that's what they're believing God for.  I'm not saying that a Christian will never suffer or be mistreated.  I've certainly had my share.  But when Jesus lived on this earth, as He increased in wisdom and stature, He also increased in favor with God and men.  I'm praying for favor with God and with men.

In fact, I can name several times just in the past couple of weeks that I've been given favor from complete strangers.  I try to point out to my kids when we have favor.  Just the other day my daughter and I received uncommon favor while we were out.   Of course, when we got back in the car I commented that we have favor with God.  My daughter rolled her eyes and said, "Why do you always have to say that?"  I want my kids to recognize God's favor.  I explained that since I pray for favor with God and men, then I'm thankful when I see it happen.  And why would I ever stop praying for it?  I can't think of any reason to stop.  Jesus is alive!  It's exciting to see what God will do for me.

Each of us can believe however much we choose to believe.  I not only pray big, I believe big.  I come boldly before the throne of God and I believe that God has great things in store for me.  Some people will think that it's wrong for me to pray for favor or to expect big things from God.  I feel sad for them.  I'm not going to stop.  My God is big and unlimited.  I have a generous God.  I hope that you believe and experience how generous God is also.  Jesus has risen.  He's alive!


Winning Words

I put this verse on the front of my prayer binder so I can always be reminded of God's bigness.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever, Amen.  Ephesians 3:20 - 21

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Past, Present, and Future Sewing

Not much sewing has been going on here lately.  I became sidetracked with other things, but I'm back on track now.


 I made Brie a pair of pajama pants.  This was just to check the fit which is why there's so many different fabrics that don't go together.  Surprisingly, they fit pretty good with the first adjustments I made to the pattern so she'll wear these.  She said they fit better than any she's had from the store!

She's a really great model but since she just got out of bed when I took these pictures she only wanted the pajama pants to show.  I understand.


My next project is a dress for Brie.  She has a summer dress that she loves but it's slightly off grain which makes it twist on her so she won't wear it.  I took it apart to make a pattern from the pieces and I'll make her another one that doesn't twist.


The project that I'm thinking about is a coat or jacket from this heavy fabric that's been in my stash for a while.  I figure if I start at the beginning of the summer there's a possibility that I'll have it done by the time cooler weather gets here again.


God is Sew Good

I heard this a few days ago and it's stuck with me.  I'm not sure what the exact quote is, but it's something like this.

When we have done everything that we can do, God is just beginning.