Sunday, March 30, 2014

Now for a New WIP from an Old Friend

This pattern is from the online source,  I found the company when we first moved to our current state home almost eleven years ago. They have a very unique approach to patterns. You can order them either in a paper copy and have them mailed, or you can download them and print them instantly. I bought this pattern from them when we first arrived and had kept it in a notebook stuck away somewhere.  With the help of  Mary Ethel the Floor Lamp and my new glasses, I am happily cross stitching with confidence again.  This will be a picture of a mailbox in front of a picket fence, surrounded by all manner of blue and violet morning glories. The pattern is called "Mailbox and Morning Glories." I can't tell you how happy I am to be working on this. I love the colors. There is a "sister pattern" with crepe myrtle blossoms in front of the same  picket fence, and it is about the same size.  They are by the same designer, Ursula Michael. I wish I had done this on 11-Count, but the 14 isn't too hard with my visual assistants.

Oh no, it's me!  We are back from Church (I love Sunday night services), and I asked our daughter to take my picture before I put on my housecoat and slippers!  Haha! You can see my new glasses and Mary Ethel. She is such a blessing as are the glasses. I have worn glasses since 3rd grade, and because of an assortment of issues, finding the right Rx has been a challenge over the years. These are THE BEST I have had in sooooo long!  They told me at Lens Crafters that the next time I have an eye exam with them, it will all be done with a laser scan that will read my prescription needs. No more, "which is clearer, 1 or 2? 3 or 4?"  
The box you see on your right, my left, is a vintange yarn box I found at a local thrift store. I just love it. It has to date back to the 60's. I need to take a picture where you can see the pattern a bit better. 
I hope your Sunday has been a blessed and restful one.
God bless you and sleep tight!

What a Blessing!

An area in our house that stays cluttered is the piano and the surrounding surfaces upon which mountains of music and hymnbooks are place.  There is no order, and anytime one of the kids looks for something in particular, it is lost in the confusion and endless stacks. Well, yesterday I took the bull by the horns and put everything on the table and asked DD to help me sort out what was used and what could be put away or thrown away.  We have had the three crates you see in the picture below, but they were worthless in that stuff was just crammed in them. Once upon a time, each child had his/her own crate for his/her own music, but that didn't last. Now, each crate contains a different set of materials and each of the kids know what is where. In the picture above, you see our hymnbooks arranged for easy access. The little shelf they are in is quite sturdy and everything is right there at their fingertips. I am a happy mom. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Merry-Go-Round of this Week

This week has been a whirl-wind of a week, with lots of emotional ups and downs. This post is not meant to be a post of complaining--just a little of "phew, glad that's done."  We have had "Capstone" presentations at the College:  the graduating History majors have to discuss  their research (30 pages minimum) papers to a panel composed of three faculty members. Hubby, Dr. G and myself have heard 8 of these papers presented this week. All of this took a big chunk out of the week.  I feel that I am so behind in my school work otherwise; dear daughter has been on her own too much, and I am lost with regards to where she is in her school work. The van had a minor crisis, but even a minor crisis sets us back tremendously financially. The house is a MESS!  LAUNDRY is taking over. A dear friend of the family has faced a tremendous health crisis but  the Lord has intervened, praise HIS HOLY NAME! One of my cubs is out of the house this weekend, and I am missing him.

On the positive side:  as I said, the Lord has made a terrible health scare for our friend much easier to handle, and the prognosis looks much better than feared. The capstones were completed with a minimum of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth (but there was some); the car repair bill was less than $50 and it seems to be running ok. Last night was a great night at home--DS2 and DD watched a movie they had been wanting to see, complete with many snacks.  I cross stitched and watched Murder, She Wrote in our room while Michael read and snoozed.  The day today is rainy and cool, perfect for staying indoors and reading and NOT spending any money!  I have a fridge full of hot dogs for supper, and we should all be back together tonight  to watch a western or Emergency!.

I am hoping to take some pictures of the current WIP--I did finish the pink and white Vanna's Choice afghan, and it is at the foot of our bed.  I crochet most of the time on the way to Church (about a 30 minute drive each way), but my cross stitching is better done here at home with Mary Ethel. My new glasses have made EVERYTHING better--I think I am seeing better than I have in YEARS! They have made school work so much easier.

How has your week been?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


I hope you all were able to hear the short message by Ken Ham in the post below. He said what I have thought for a long time:  if you question the 6-day Creation, how can you argue the Truth of the 3rd day Resurrection?  When I saw this clip, I wanted to add it to the blog. Unfortunately, because it is from you tube, other "related" videos come up. You may be able even to see comments. I apologize for the content there.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Under a Rock

 Yesterday was a good Saturday in that we were able to stay put (for the most part) at the house. I got a minimum of housework done (I really mean, 
minimum) and some laundry. We had petros for supper, which everyone always likes. Michael and I watched a great John Wayne western called Rio Bravo. As you can see from the pictures, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson and Walter Brennan were also in the movie. It is a long-ish movie, so the Pastor snoozed a little; I snoozed a little, too and crocheted a lot.  We really needed a quiet day at the house. It has not been a great week--lots of things and issues pulling at our hearts.  I told Michael today I just wanted to crawl under a rock. Do you ever feel that way?

Gratitude dramatically outweighs complaint, though. 
It's good to have all the kids at home, and these days, I am more than ever grateful to have a home. I think the economy is far worse than anyone in the media will admit. Staples like milk, bread and hamburger (not to mention peanut butter) have sky-rocketed where we live. Gas is creeping back up. Why is this not in the news?  I am old enough to remember the old "Whip Inflation Now" buttons. 

Well, as long as I have enough money to keep my yarn addiction fed, I really have no worries! 

The Busy World of Richard Scarry

This morning is my nursery morning at Church, and I am thrilled to be taking some of our Richard Scarry books and coloring sheets for "The Littles."  Our teenagers, especially the boys, love Richard Scarry even to this day.

We had all of these books, and I remember seeing them when I was growing up. All of the little details and elements of everyday life seem to captivate little minds through the generations. 

He Speaks and the Sound of His Voice Is So Sweet . . . .

 . . .the birds hush their singing.

Wishing you a wonderful Lord's Day. What will you do this day to worship Him? 

Special thanks to Abby at
for this beautiful graphic. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014


I read a post on the Lion Brand Yarn site about creating a "sacred space" for your crafting. This is a picture of one of the Lion Brand studio rooms, but I had to show share it so you could see the lovely yarn colors.
One of my first memories of visiting a yarn store was in my home town with my 4-H group.  The store had a wall full of beautiful yarns (mostly Red Heart, I think) and an open area in front of the yarn wall to sit and crochet or knit.  Virginia and I went to a store in Atlanta a while back that had a similar set up, but the yarn was much more exclusive (and expensive). All of it certainly made a colorful and beautiful setting.

Our crafting area is primarily wherever we are at the moment. We both carry a bag full of yarn or a sewing basket with us when go somewhere. I know that Twyla and Lindsey at Two Crazy Crafters have a beautiful craft room.

Where do you do your crafting or reading?  Better still, what is your way to escape the pressures and stresses of the day? The Lord is our True Resting Place, isn't He?

Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Matthew 11:28

May each of you find rest in Him today. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Returning to a Old Favorite

When we first began homeschooling years ago, we started off largely with Rod and Staff books. I can't say enough about these kind and thorough books. We went with A Beka for a while, and I think it served the boys well and got Virginia off to a good start.  In fact, we may return to them next year for some help with Literature and math. The past couple of years, we have used older textbooks from the public schools, circa 1967/70 for Virginia. I can't tell you how good they are.  But, it's time to move on, and I think we will pick back up with Rod and Staff's English course, at least for a while. We just need something with a gentle spirit and sound method.

I am also going to pull out the old Pathway Readers we have. They are tried and true. 

It's been a good week, but a busy one. I managed to get quite a lot done at school, but very little around the house. I am about to take my crochet bag and do a little of that before turning in. Hope your week has gone well. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Mamie Dear

I just had to post this vintage ad.  Look at that dachshund!  She looks so much like our beloved Mamie. Mamie is a wee bit more portly, but the same can be said of me!  Haha!  I love the colors, the hair and the beautiful needlework in the background.

Here is our Mamie Dear in her natural habitat, the bed! We are fine with her in bed with us as long as she is sleeping parallel to us, but when she shifts to the east-west position, we are a little cramped! A small price to pay for such a sweet companion.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Our daughter Virginia is visiting her "Bestie" Sarah in Tennessee this week. (Sarah is on your left; Virginia, on your right).  They have been friends now for several years.  They have lots in common--music, reading, homeschooling  and most of all, the love of the Lord. Virginia's life has been blessed by the "Godly counsel" of this young lady. Sarah's Dad is a Minister of the Gospel, too. I'm sure they have fun sharing PK stories!

Mary Ethel

This Christmas, the Pastor bought for  me the most marvelous craft lamp you could imagine. The picture above is a stock photo, but my lamp is just like it.  The light is LED, and you can use it with or without the magnifying glasses built in.

When we lived in Tennessee, I taught with another Pastor's wife at the college there. Here name was Mary Ethel. Mary Ethel was always an encouragement to me; in fact, she introduced me to the card game, Authors, and it became a favorite with our children. Mary Ethel was always patient, kind and thoughtful.  In her honor, I have named my lamp, "Mary Ethel." I have been able to cross stitch again, and the crocheting is much easier as well. ME is portable so I can move her around to the table when I am grading or writing lectures. I have even taken her to my side of the bed to supplement the lamp on the nightstand, and I'm enjoying reading again.

As if that isn't enough, Monday I was able to get new glasses. We figured it has been about 4 years since I last went.  With 5 in the family wearing glasses, it is hard to keep track.  I cannot tell you what a difference these glasses have made in the last few days. Together with Mary Ethel, cross stitching is SOOOOO much easier than it had been (the DO told me my eyes had changed a lot since the last Rx).  I'm not ready to stitch on linen or 18-count again, but I can see so much better on my 14-count project. I am working on a pattern from  I bought the first semester we moved here to GA.


Years ago when I first started blogging, Blogger would give you this happy little message, "SUCCESS" when you posted on your blog.  This little message of encouragement popped into my mind yesterday when after searching in two other states, I finally found a size N crochet hook at Hobby Lobby. We have owned 3 and lost them all--may I say, "I" have lost them all. As always, DD got me started on using such a substantial hook--this is the size called for in Vanna White's wonderful afghan book.  The patterns in that book are so pretty and so easy to do. I would love to do them all.

 When we went to TN the other day, our family and the Browns met at Hobby Lobby. This Hobby Lobby is wonderful, but was out of, not only the Hobby Lobby Yarnology brand size N, but all other N's as well (unless I bought a large pack of a variety of sizes). The Hobby Lobby in Buford, GA was out last time I looked as well. JO-ANN's in Gainesville had no size N hooks in stock.

Yesterday, we went to Greenville, SC so the Pastor could visit one of his favorite places, the office of the late Oliver B. Greene, The Gospel Hour. Brother Greene has been gone quite a while, but Michael loves his books and his recordings and he can browse through them at the ministry's headquarters there in Greenville.   (BTW, The Gospel Hour is not affiliated with BJU). Anyway, the Hobby Lobby there had one Yarnology size N crochet hook, and I grabbed it. I can finish the pink and white ripple I am working on using the Vanna's Choice yarn. I want to get started on the Lion Brand Heartland afghan soon.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Yesterday's Kindnesses

Yesterday, we traveled to meet up with Virginia's best friend and her mother (andtheir much-loved  four-legged mascot, Clyde) in another state.  We met at the half-way point between our two houses as we usually do when getting the girls together. Our day started out with a nice surprise when at the McDonald's drive-thru, we were told by the nice young man working at the window that our order had been paid for by another customer. We did not know her or why she did it, but it was certainly a lovely, lovely act of kindness.

Our trip up was uneventful after that. We had a very pleasant albeit short visit with Sarah, her mom (Miss Sheila) and Clyde.  After going our separate ways, Dad, the boys and I  did a little shopping then headed home. On the way back over the mountain, we kept running into law enforcement who had pulled someone over. Ont he NC side, we were pulled over.  The officer was very nice, but came up and asked for Michael's license, insurance and registration. He wouldn't say why he stopped us until he checked our information (I guess as the Dispatcher would say on Adam-12, there were no "wants or warrants"). Apparently, one of our front lights were out.  That's odd because we hadn't noticed that, and Dad had just had the van checked out for the trip.  What was even more odd was that he asked where we were from, where were going and what we were doing. It was about 7:00 or so in the evening at the latest. Now, I want to say that the Officer could not have been more polite.  Every stop like that is potentially a life-threatening situation, so I do not think that he was stopping us for any frivolous reason.  Michael and I are both convinced that he and all of the other Law Enforcement we saw on the road where looking for someone. It was just too strange. He gave us a "warning" to get the light fixed on a sheet of paper which we could use if stopped again (to prevent receiving a ticket).  The stop made Michael, already a cautious driver, even more careful on the rest of the way home. We both appreciated the officer's kindness all the way around.

It was good to get home even though we had to immediately start setting our clocks ahead! Yikes! This is NEVER my favorite time change, but what a kindness that it is here just as we begin Spring Break.

The Lord's goodness was revealed to us repeatedly today, through traveling mercies, kind acts from others and the love of family and friend.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Learning Tradition

One of my favorite memories from childhood was our family's set of World Book Encyclopedia. Moma and Daddy could NOT afford this set, but they bought it for us anyway. We all loved looking at them over the years. When our children began getting old enough to enjoy World Book, we couldn't afford them either. We attended a "Friends of the Library" book sale one year in Oak Ridge and found a set of WB from the early 60's. The set was green and blue and in perfect condition.  These volumes became John Thomas' best friends, and they are still in his room. He is always using them. We also later found a set of Childcraft, dated but in wonderful condition, again for a song--about $20 or so.

 Years later at a Homeschool Convention, we were able to purchase sets of WB, Britannica, Childcraft and the "Great Books" series  for an unbelievable price. These were the latest additions, sold as an affordable package for homeschool families. It was one of the most exciting days ever when all of those boxes of books arrived. We use these volumes all the time, particularly the "Great Books."

But here's the thing:  these new editions (they're several years old now) are not nearly as informative and substantive as the older ones!  The boys still use their old green ones. Virginia has a set of red Britannica Junior encyclopedia that are wonderful.  Perhaps the greatest change is in the Childcraft series. I was sorely disappointed. My favorites from my school days looked like this:

I have noticed that with the students at the College today, the majority of them never turn to Encyclopedia. They go to the internet as a matter of course rather than looking through printed reference materials. I fear the day when these great tomes are merely artifacts in the museums.
My mom used to sit and look at volume after volume of the WB's we had at home. I have seen JT go to sleep many a night with one of his green volumes at his side. I am so grateful to have had parents who valued knowledge for its own sake and encouraged learning. It was difficult to the point of being sacrificial for them to buy those Encycolpedia for us. I am grateful to the Lord that we have these great resources in our home and that our children love them, too. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

For Barbie, Barbara and Cathy

This is just a little hello for my friends from home, Barbie, Barbara and Cathy--three wonderful Christian women who love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ with gladness!  We all kept up with each other on Face Book, but I decided to take a bit of a break from FB for a while.  I have been missing those girls so much.

Today, my phone rang and it was Barbie!  I was so HAPPY to hear from her, and I know she will send my love on to the other girls. God is so good to give us Christian friends to strengthen us.  This has been a tough week, and Barbie's call was like a loving reminder that the Lord is watching over all of us.

Barbie, when you see this blog again, send my love to all the girls there! Thanks so very much for your sweet friendship!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rambling Thoughts

Yesterday was an up and down day. We all made it through Music Festival, and enjoyed ourselves. Afterwards, we went to Church to do some cleaning in preparation not only for today's services, but also for an upcoming funeral. We lost someone much beloved in the Church family who had been very ill for about 2 years.  This dear man loved and served the Lord, and we know he is with his Savior. His suffering is done--I thought much about Paul's words in 2 Corinthinas 4:17 ---For our light affliction, which is for but a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

 I have been a Pastor's wife for many years, but the older I get, the more inadequate to the task I feel. I am not spending the time with the Lord that I need to be. He beckons me back daily--I don't know why I am dragging my feet. I can see MAJOR flaws in my attitude these days, and it is explained simply by the fact that I am not where I need to be in terms of fellowship with the Lord. Right now, I here a beautiful hymn, "Take Time to Be Holy" on my BBN internet radio.  Thank You, Lord.

 When we came home, everyone was just exhausted. I went up to the grocery store to pick up a few things, so I bought some turkey bacon and sausage so we could have "breakfast for supper."  I wanted us all  to sit down at the table together with a hot meal that everyone would like.  Afterwards, James Martin had to work on reading for school Monday.The rest of us eventually piled around the TV and watched this old favorite, Daniel Boone. What really tickled me was our oldest's reaction when he thought we forgot him:  I didn't know he planned to watch with us, but when he came back into the living room and saw we had started, he was a little miffed. He had only missed about 5 minutes of so. I was pleased he was that interested in the show. We all had a good chuckle out of that.  I cross-stitched through two episodes; Dad snoozed with the dogs on his lap, and Virginia had all my yarn out picking her colors for a new scarf she is making.  (It deserves its own post)

Today and tomorrow promise to be similar in their ups and downs. This is true for all of us. May each of you keenly feel His Presence this week as you serve Him!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Faith in the Fast Lane

Faith in the Fast Lane

Please take a listen to this little message from Pastor Chuck Swindoll; click the link rather than the picture. I would like to set up a link on my sidebar if I can get my assistant to help me. I have enjoyed pastor Swindoll for many years, and I think you will too.