Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Break Wednesday

Today was window cleaning...well, downstairs window cleaning, and I use the term rather loosely.

At any rate, our littles cheerfully (for the most part) attacked their chore and the windows are looking much better! Outside is very cloudy and gray in our patch , but the blooming fruit trees let us know that it really is spring, not fall.

After lunch, the girls did some needle work. Rachel and Sarah are working on some floral dish towels.

And the twinkles tried their hands at some cross stitch. Looks like they are up for the challenge! This Spring Break Project won't be completed today, but I think they both got a good start. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Break Tuesday

Well, the spring cleaning chore for today was the kitchen. Beginning w/ emptying the pantry,


 cleaning and then replacing all of the things back in the pantry in an intentional way. 

The twins emptied the cabinet under the cooktop - my pans

Sarah cleaned it out and then the pans were a much nicer manner.

And when the work was finished, we made pretzels!

YUMMY! Would you like one?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Spring Break Monday

Today, after a morning of spring cleaning, we made up a passel of people. Grandma Nancy had given us a collection of wooden spooled thread. So, we transformed the spools into all kinds of folks.

 Everyone at home made at least one person. So fun to have a craft in which ALL of our ages could happily and successfully participate!

 Thanks Grandma Nancy!

A Book Review

Yesterday, Gregg was reading books to the twins before church. A book was placed in his lap...and I heard him say, "How'd this book get into our library book bag?" Hmmm. Guess the book monitor wasn't doing her job. But he began reading it anyhow. The book was called, "Santa's Secret".  Now, we don't really do the Santa thing around here - it isn't part of our Christmas celebration. However, in our culture, the kiddos hear about Santa, see Santa, wonder about Santa, and have friends that take Santa more seriously. We aren't totally Anti-Santa.....We have been given some Christmas decorations w/ Santas on them.... and our children are told straight out that Santa is not real, but is a fun game that some people play....and then explain our reasons for not playing it.....Ah, I digress.

The opening setting is in Santa's workshop...the elves cheerfully working. The question is raised, "Why do we celebrate Christmas?"  Well, I thought this would be the end of the story and Gregg would be explaning why he wasn't going to finish the book, but then some little elf answers, "It's the day we celebrate Jesus being born." Well, so far so good. Wonder if that is just a nod to the Christian community. Then the book goes on to ask, "Why do we celebrate the birth of Jesus?" Answer, "Because of all the wonderful things He taught and did.", "He taught us to be kind to each other, and to forgive each other when we make mistakes,", We shouldn't tell lies, we shouldn't steal, and we shouldn't be mean, Jesus taught us to love each other the way we love ourselves." - Quickly, loosing ground here, I'm expecting the book to get shut and Gregg to begin some parental editorial about the values of Christ being tied to who Christ is, when again some little elf in the back  answers, "Jesus taught us to give. Not just stuff but to give what really counts - to give of ourselves. He gave His life for us. He died for us. He is the Savior, because He saved all of us." Okay, that's a decent answer. The questioner continued, "What does that mean?" ...Well the story continues, and the book even unashamedly attacks defining words like ATONEMENT! (Hooray for children's books that use doctrinally sound words that have more than 4 or 5 letters!) The author also attaches meaning to the word Santa by making an acronym out of it. Not sure if that's kosher, but I won't mind my children being directed to think of Santa as:

Savior's  Atonement -Necessity To All

In the end, we were rather happily suprised. The book gave some decent definitions, and even a platform for talking in some more depth. I am also happy to know that some other child in our community can grab this book and, it could be life changing for them!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Some Finished Projects...

 Though I've made several of these soccer balls, this is the first one that will stay at our house. Grace and I have both made these for some of her soccer teammates' birthdays. All of my children think they are wonderful....they are just a great size and cushy and cozy. And the colors can be anything you like. The colors in this one are definately Grace-like. She is a ray of sunshine - quite a bright spot in our family!

This is my second official Keri-On sized Keri-on.

The shape is a pattern from Marta McCall. I am not as proficient a knitter yet to do all of the colors in the pattern.  Maybe someday...

 My first Keri-On still isn't lined.... I realized it wasn't as daunting of a job as I'd imagined...but now I need to find the right fabric. Nothing seems to tickle my fancy for lining this bag. 

 I really enjoy making felted bags. The first felted bag I made was a Christmas purse for my mom. I made Sarah a purse using the same pattern, but in spring colors. It is also very fun to make. It is a pattern from Nicky Epstein's Book.

And some unfinished projects (not counting my housework!)...

And I'm thinkin that little bird may end up being a latch on the Keri-On bag....yep, I think that'll happen. The rest of those little flowery blocks can grow up to be another soccer ball or even a blanket...not certain yet....I'll probably just keep making more until I decide.

Hope you have a masterpiece of a day!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Blessed by Grace.... more ways than we can say...But one of the ways is in this precious girl, Grace Christine, who is turning 12 years old today!

Grace is a sweetie. She is amazing w/ younger children. When I have a friend over that has younger kiddos, Grace organizes them, has craft clubs and singing groups with them, and hours can pass, while the other mom and I are chatting away...we are never even interrupted...and there are frequently in excess of 7 littles that she is entertaining. Our family is amazed at her skill and enjoyment of this activity. Grace is also quite a little organizer. She can have anything - cabinets, rooms, books, art supplies, organized and looking lovely.

She also LOVES to sing....sing, sing, sing! She is a little songbird!

She is learning to use her skills to bring glory to her Lord, and improving each day.

God bless you, sweet Grace! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Monday, March 21, 2011

True Contentment

My husband and I were listening to this song yesterday....and were (again) struck by the reality of the completeness we have in Christ. The amazing fulfillment in Him. We just need to remember to live in that knowledge!  Enjoy!***********************************************************************************
At the moment, half of our house has no flooring...just sub floors. Three years ago, we were able to build an addition on to our home - a great blessing. But at this point, the flooring is not yet in. I am experimenting w/ making some rugs for the stairs when they are finished. I would like to have wood on the steps, but because of the slippery factor and because there is a big window at the bottom of the stairs....we need to have some traction. This is my first attempt...I crocheted the rug and then felted it.  We all like it, but I'll have to decide if I want to make 14 of them, or if a simpler design will work for the stairs. I think I have lots of time to decide or create for that matter. But it's fun to have a working plan.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Now, add a "Patch the Pirate" cd in the background, and you'll have what our afternoons sometimes look like.

Baby Girl in Japan

A week ago Sunday, a friend at church asked me to crochet a baby blanket for a niece who was pregnant with a little girl. I love to crochet or knit for babies....even babies that I do not know. I have the opportunity to pray for them while I am stitching away. Incidentally, this little girl and her family live in Japan. The earthquake happened the following Friday. As of Sunday, the baby had not yet been born - the parents were fine. I believe that they live within proximity of the nuclear power plants.

 So many people there......within the catastrophe zone....people with a lot of needs...

I finished the blanket yesterday

But I think the prayer for that little girl and the country she is in, will continue for quite some time.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Just a quick reminder. We like to eat pi whenever possible!!! Especially on 3.14! So, be mathematically correct, and eat pi today! (Well, I'm posting this a bit early...but you get the point - hehehe, I love those math words!)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday Tea - What are you looking at?

Grandma Nancy was here for tea today! She came 600 miles, from the Bay Area to join in the ritual. She even came prepared. She sang a version of "Jesus Loves Me" that was geared toward seasoned child of God. We LOVED it.

 She also told the story in Matthew about Peter walking on the water and beginning to sink..."What did he need to do?" she asked. "Keep his eyes on Jesus!" was the correct answer. She then pulled these out.....

and showed us that when you keep your eyes on the "eye" of the feather you can balance it on your fingertip, but if you take your eyes off of the eye, you will not be able to balance the feather.
So, we all gave it a go, and had a great time trying to keep our eyes on the "eye"...and will be reminded of keeping our eyes on the One who can keep us in the right place! Thanks, Grandma for a great visual lesson!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"A Passion for Thee"

Last evening we were preparing for a church group that meets at our home..You know, sweeping, picking up stray items , starting the tea water and coffee…hustling about and shooing the littles out of the way. Then two very precious scenes took place….

The shooed away people, 3 of them to be exact, were found sitting on the sofa, hymnals in laps, singing together…not just any song, but one of our family’s favorites: (
A Passion For Thee

Set my heart, o dear Father, on Thee, and Thee only,
Give me a thirst for Thy presence divine.
Lord keep my focus on loving Thee wholly, Purge me from earth; Turn my heart after Thine.

A passion for Thee; O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lord, Thy power impart-
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

Father, fill with Thy Spirit, and fit me for service,
Let love for Christ every motive inspire;
Teach me to follow in selfless submission, Be Thou my joy and my soul's one desire.

A passion for Thee; O Lord, set a fire in my soul, and a thirst for my God.
Hear Thou my prayer, Lore, Thy power impart-
Not just to serve, but to love Thee with all of my heart.

Music and Words by Joe Zichterman

What a beautiful blessing to hear those little voices…

The other precious part was that, though I would have missed the sweet singers entirely,

 my 13 year old son, pulled me aside, pointed out the choir in the great room and whispered, “mom, before they started singing, Zachary hummed a starting note like the older kids do when the whole family is singing together!” I was touched that our 13 year old son had eyes to see the sweet happenings before him – happenings that I would’ve missed had he not shared his find! God is SO good! These sweet people He’s put in my life – I can take NO credit for their beauty! I am privileged to enjoy it each day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Empty Chairs

Our children's string quartet has the privilege of playing at a local Caring Pregnancy Center's annual tea. They are always grateful for the opportunity of ministry there. Two of my daughters were so touched that they came home and immediately blogged about it. Sarah wrote a heart wrenching poem as a result.

I can't say that you'll enjoy it...but it is well written and conveys the sad message beautifully.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Here's a glimpse at our Saturday.....

Silly boys

Silly Seven year old

Sourdough waffles

                                           Skipping Spring lambs

Sent Sarah to Fort Vancouver...(this is a picture from another day) with Rachel and Grace for Dame School. The girls dress in period clothing and learn skills from the fort days. Sarah is actually an adult volunteer called an "auntie" - she is one of the teachers.

Grilled Pizza ---okay, we didn't have grilled pizza, but I am really looking forward to barbeque weather here in the northwest....may have a while yet to this picture will have to suffice.

Hope your weekend was lovely!

Friday, March 4, 2011

"Jesus Is All the World to Me"

My sweet 1st grade class that consists of my 7yr. old son, and two 5yr. old daughters, is singing this song for tea today. I am praying that they will know it to be true in their hearts, not only their minds.

Jesus is all the world to me, my life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day, without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go, no other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad, He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me, my Friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and He gives them over and o’er.
He sends the sunshine and the rain, He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain, He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me, and true to Him I’ll be;
O how could I this Friend deny, when He’s so true to me?
Following Him I know I’m right, He watches o’er me day and night;
Following Him by day and night, He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me, I want no better Friend;
I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when life’s fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a Friend, beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy, He’s my Friend.

Words and Music by Will L. Thompson