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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Evening Song– Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Psalms 92:1-2  It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night,

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sew Happy Friday – Two Tutorials for Zipper Pouches

The first one is from Jennie Doan at the MSQC.  It’s a little more complicated perhaps, but it gives some good ideas.  One thing I think she missed was zigzagging along the edge where she attached the zipper before sewing the sides and bottom.

This second video is by the Gourmet Quilter in New Zealand.  Personally, I like her method better.  It could obviously be made larger (be sure to use a zipper in proper proportions).  It would also be possible to use “orphan blocks” on the outside, or to “quilt as you go” with strips across it in either direction.  She doesn’t use iron-on fleece, showing that it can be made with plain, thin batting; and, consequently, with materials you may already have in your sewing stash.  I love all the ways she shows to finish it – the different shapes. :-)  I also like her idea about the chocolate!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Australian Memories- Warm Thoughts


To remind us of summer days – things from my sister-in-law’s garden when we visited in October 2013.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just for Fun – The Last Laugh


The Last Laugh

Author Unknown

A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another mother I knew well, rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation.

"Do you know what you and I are?" she demanded.

Before I could answer - and I didn't really have one handy - she blurted out the reason for her question. It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver's license at the County Clerk's office. Asked by the woman recorder to state her "occupation," Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "Do you have a job, or are you just a....?"

Continue reading here.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Come, Ye Sinners – A Poem

Come, Ye Sinners

Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore:
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power:
He is able, He is able,
He is willing: doubt no more.

Continue reading here.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Evening Song– We Rest On Thee


2 Chronicles 14:11  And Asa cried unto the LORD his God, and said, LORD, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power: help us, O LORD our God; for we rest on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude. O LORD, thou art our God; let not man prevail against thee.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Sew Happy Friday – Egg Cup Pincushions


Photo property of Christina Lane of the Sometimes Crafter blog.

Here’s a clever way to up-cycle your unused egg cups, or ones that maybe have a hairline crack or internal damage.  I don’t have any egg cups on hand at the moment, but as I sort through our garage (I think the stuff is multiplying and dividing out there) I may run across one or two.  This is another opportunity to “shop your own stuff” and to use up scraps of fabric.  (I’m wondering if I could figure out a way to use some cute little china napkin rings for this purpose.)

Here’s the tutorial from Christina Lane at the “Sometime Crafter” blog.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Just for Fun – Fourth Grade Philosophers


Esbjorn Doing his Homework by Carl Larrson
[I love that tongue-in-cheek title.  Is Esbjorn doing his homework?]

Whether this actually happened or not I can’t say for sure.  This is one of those things that was circulating on the internet back in the days before we had Facebook and didn’t know we needed it.


A teacher gave her fourth-grade students the beginning of a list of famous sayings and asked them to provide original endings for each one.  Here are some examples of what they submitted:

The grass is always greener ---- when you leave the sprinkler on.

A bird in the hand ---- is a real mess.

No news is ---- no newspaper.

It's always darkest just before ---- I open my eyes.

You have nothing to fear but ---- homework.

If you can't stand the heat,----  don't start the fireplace.

Never put off 'til tomorrow ---- what you should have done yesterday.

A penny saved is ---- nothing in the real world.

The squeaking wheel gets ---- annoying.

To err is human. ----  To eat a muskrat is not.

I think, therefore ---- I get a headache.

Better to light a candle than ---- to light an explosive.

It's always darkest before ---- 9:30 p.m.

Early to bed and early to rise ---- is first in the bathroom.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a ---- blister.

There is nothing new under the--- bed.

The grass is always greener ---- when you put manure on it.

Don't count your chickens -- it takes too long.

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry, and ---- someone yells, "Shut up!"

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Short Thought – Are You Warming or Chilling the Lives of Others?


Psalms 91:2-4  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

By Marsha Burkholder, February 2014

This seems to have been one of the coldest winters I remember in Austin since we moved here over 30 years ago.  Most of the Austin winters have always been too mild for me.  I tolerate the heat of summer and love the cold of winter.  There are some Austinites who do not share my enjoyment of this winter weather.  Of course, if I had to work out in the cold or lived in an area where the winters were much colder and longer in length, I might not feel as enthused about winter.

Some of the things I enjoy about winter are sleeping under thick blankets, wearing sweaters, basking in the warmth of a fireplace, coming into a warm, cozy house, drinking hot chocolate with melting marshmallows and in the rarest of Austin times having to stay home because of inclement weather.  I guess when I look at what I like about winter, it looks like I like it most when I’m doing things that will keep me warm.  These thoughts made me think of a quote I read:  “This cold world needs warmhearted Christians”.  Indeed, this world is a spiritually cold place.  I don’t enjoy its kind of coldness; however, it gives us Christians an opportunity to be someone’s spiritual blanket, sweater, fireplace, heater or hot chocolate.  That unsaved person we meet at the grocery store, the school, the work place, etc. who seems to be chilled to the bone, burdened with the cares of this world needs our smile, our encouragement and most of all our witness of the Savior and His wonderful salvation.  Even that saved person who may be going through a wintry time in his life is in need of our warmth.

I’m reminded of an old saying that something “warms the cockles of my heart” i.e. brings joy and warmth to the innermost part of a person.  Only Jesus can bring that kind of joy and warmth.

Christians can become cold when they stray from the Lord’s warmth.  In that state, we cannot give off the warmth to the unsaved who are truly the coldest of all.  When one is cold, it doesn’t do him any good to shake hands with someone who has cold hands.  When one is cold spiritually, there is the same effect on another.  Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.”  God’s provision of salvation, His daily provisions and love are truly warmth for the cold in heart.  May those around us never feel spiritually cold from having been around us but desire to know the One Who keeps us spiritually warm.


Editor’s Note:  It is amazing how much a kind word and a cheerful smile can improve someone’s day and warm their heart, and it usually costs us nothing more than the effort.  Even more importantly, we need to point others to the only true source of spiritual warmth and light – the Sun of righteousness with healing in his wings…  Malachi 4:2

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Evening Song – I Am Persuaded

This is one of my favorite songs.

Romans 8:35-39  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sew Happy Friday – Some Tips On How to Clean A Quilt


There is some good information here from “apartment therapy” on How to Clean A Quilt, especially vintage quilts which require much more careful handling.  The bit about cleaning a wool quilt with snow is very interesting.  I wonder, though, how you clean it if you live where you never get snow. 

For an old white or light quilt, you also might try laying it on clean grass in the sun to brighten it.  I remember reading once that this was an old method for brightening white clothing and it was claimed that it really did work.  Of course, you wouldn’t want to do this often with a quilt of any age!

If you have an old quilt that is poorly put together be sure to use extra care in cleaning it.  If you have a local quilt shop you may want to contact them to find out if you can get any special help with it or if there is someone locally who specializes in cleaning antique quilts. 

One thought that comes to mind is that some wedding dress shops have means and ways for cleaning vintage fabrics because they are sometimes called upon to restore an old dress for a wedding.  If you have an old quilt that is velvet or silk or some special fabric you may want to contact local wedding shops to see if you can get some professional help from people who know what they are doing.  Ask to see photos or examples of vintage items they have cleaned and restored.  However, if they act at all hesitant or like they don’t know what they are talking about, don’t trust them with your quilt (or wedding dress).

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Monthly Challenge – January


Here’s another new idea for 2015.  I like challenges, but I like them to be something worthwhile and generally of modest proportions, at least when it’s something that I choose to put upon myself.  We get enough of the more difficult kind just living, right?  Hopefully, this idea will be more of the enjoyable as well as expanding type! :-)

Each month I hope to post a challenge to us on the first Tuesday of the month.  They will vary in type from reaching out to others to working on our own personal space and selves.  I hope it will prove to be interesting, enjoyable and also helpful to us over the course of the year.  I also plan to give two options so that it will be easier to choose something that will fit into each one’s life and schedule.  However, you’re welcome to do both if you like!

To start off with, since I didn’t get this going at the beginning of the month, I’m making it relatively easy.  It’s always better to ease into new things if we can anyway. :-)


Challenge 1

Write a snail mail to someone far away.


Pick several people on your contact list on your cell phone who you have not communicated with for a bit and send them a kind text message.

Hebrews 13:16  But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.


I already sent text messages to several ladies that I hadn’t communicated with for a week or more.  I won’t always tell you which or what I did, but since I already did this I thought I’d mention it. :-)  I may still also write a snail mail, or two.


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Something New - Word of the Month – Attributes of God


Attribute n. - a quality or feature regarded as a characteristic or inherent part of someone or something.

A blogging friend of mine chose a “word of the year” to focus on.  The word she chose is “Trust” and she desires to learn to trust God more this year of her life.  This is a good word and worthwhile goal!

This is something I’ve never done myself.  I think this is fine for anyone who wants to do something like that.  I wouldn’t commit to something like that myself because I know myself.  I’m not sure I’d have what it takes to focus on one word all year. :-/  Even if I displayed it in a prominent place I’d probably stop thinking about it for days at a time before the year was over.

But it got me to thinking. And maybe because of my post from last Sunday I thought about considering an attribute of God each month and putting up a different attribute for us to consider and think about.  My intention is not to deal with deep theological thoughts and five dollar words. But I hope we can pick up something to take with us through the month and meditate upon.  Mostly, I hope we can get a bigger view of who and what God is.

Because of my blogging friend’s word, “TRUSTWORTHY” was the first word that came to mind.  “Trustworthy” is so easy to define that it doesn’t require a lot of explanation.  Simply it means “worthy of trust”.

“Trustworthy” does not appear in the King James Bible, but here are a couple verses about trusting in the Lord.  Of course, many could be listed!

Psalms 9:9-10  The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

Psalms 5:11-12  But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.  For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Is God worthy of our trust?  Silly question, right?  And yet, how do we act sometimes?  When things go “wrong” and challenges arise, when we don’t know what to do or how to do it, how often do we forget that God is TRUSTWORTHY at all times?  Psalms 62:8  Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

How glibly we quote verses like Proverbs 3:5-6 about trusting in the Lord with all thine heart, and yet how very hard it is to do that!  And, how easy it is to accuse others of “having trust issues” in relation to humans, and forget how often we don’t trust God!  You know, I think all “trust issues” would be resolved if we could learn to really TRUST the Lord.

BUT – our failure to trust doesn’t change the fact that He is Always TRUSTWORTHY!

That came up in the study from last week too, didn’t it?  God doesn’t need our “affirmation” of His goodness to be good!  “He’s good all by Himself.”  Well, so too, He doesn’t need our trust to be Trustworthy.  Our lack of trust has no effect upon His trustworthiness.  He is worthy of our trust whether we trust or not!  I think we’re going to find this true of a lot of the attributes of God.  I expect it’s true of all of them. :-)

It seems that if we could really grasp the realization that God is completely and utterly worthy of our trust, we would have less difficulty in trusting Him first and foremost, and then thinking about the details.  Too often, we see all the details, we panic and we doubt that He can work things out for good (Rom. 8:28). 

Remember that the opposite of trust is distrust.  I think that we’d hardly want to say to God outright, “I don’t trust you to take care of me, or my family, or this situation.”  Yet how often our actions and speech and attitudes betray distrustfulness of the very Savior who gave His life to save us from hell!  When I think of it like this I’m amazed at myself and us that we could trust Him to save our eternal souls from an eternal hell and yet not to manage the details of our everyday lives on this earth!  Why are we so distrustful?!

The remainder of this month, let’s try to think about the fact that God is completely trustworthy.  He knows what He is doing in our lives from start to finish.  He knows all that we will have to deal with this year and He is infinitely capable of handling it, and of helping us as we trust in Him.  He is not like mankind.  He is completely worthy of our trust, and because of that, we don’t need to fear – not anything.  Psalms 27:1  The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.
- Frances Ridley Havergal

Nahum 1:7  The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Evening Song – So Send I You

John 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sew Happy Friday–The Zig Zag Table Runner


Here’s another tutorial from Jenny at the Missouri Star Quilt Co.  This is for a fun and fairly easy table runner made from 5” charm squares.  She shows us how to make a longish one and it only takes one charm pack, which is nice.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Australian Memories – Lavender Wildflowers


These pretty little wildflowers were blooming in my brother and sister-in-law’s yard.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ponderable Quotes About Living


Making Jam by Vladimir Makovsky

Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.
- Booker T. Washington

Small kindnesses, small courtesies, small considerations, habitually practiced in our social intercourse, give a greater charm to the character than the display of great talents and accomplishments.
- Mary Ann Kelty

Rocking Baby – artist unknown to me

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
- George Washington Carver

As the few adepts in such things well know, universal morality is to be found in little everyday penny-events just as much as in great ones.
- Georg C. Lichtenberg

There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.
- Samuel Johnson

Excerpt from painting by Carl Larrson

I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.
- Laura Ingalls Wilder

My favorite of this bunch:

If we really knew the future glory for us, it would make the best times leaveable and the worst times bearable.
- John Newton

Romans 8:18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thoughts from the Past - Not unto Us, O Lord...but unto Thy Name Give Glory


This is a study that I wrote and published both on the Home Maker’s Corner and here in 2010, but I wanted to post the link here again.  This brief study of Psalm 104 deals with some thoughts on praise and worship and how we think of who God is.  I encourage you to take the challenge to think outside the usual boxes in those areas, boxes where it’s very easy for us to get stuck.

Psalms 115:1  Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.

Here’s an excerpt:

“Now, we are needy people, as my Grandpa Van Nattan often said.  We need a lot of help and wisdom and forgiveness and rescuing by God on a daily basis.  So, it isn’t surprising that we would tend to focus on what He has done for us personally.  And, there is a place for that.  But, my challenge to us is this: that we make an effort and a point of stopping and thinking about who and what God is Himself – of all the many things He does that are not related to us directly and don’t reflect on our personal needs.  More than that, I suggest that we worship and bless and praise Him for those things, yea even speak of them out loud.”

Read the whole article here.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Evening Song – Praise to the Lord

Psalms 7:17  I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Thousand Word Project – Stylish


Happy Birthday to my dear mother!  :-)

With her brother, Jim.



Circa 1960


Graduation from Rift Valley Academy

(Warm thanks to my Uncle Jim who made these photos available.)