Thursday, December 6, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent

I have dabbled off and on with making my own laundry detergent for years.  The liquid stuff was fun, but a bother to make.  Last year I came across a powdered alternative using the same ingredients and gave it a try.  I just was not as happy with how clean the clothes were coming out though compared to the Tide I was using.  Thanks to Pinterest I am back on the DIY wagon.

I while back I came across a "Pin" for this DIY Laundry Detergent.  The time was fast approaching when I would have to pay another 30 bucks for a box of detergent, so instead I rounded up the ingredients for this homemade version.

Here is what you need if you want to try it for yourself:
1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda  (Note this not baking soda- there is a difference.)
1 (3 lb) Container of OxiClean- Opt. ( I used the Sun alternative because I like to to save money-leaves more for quilt fabric you know!)
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda- (I always get the the big bag from Sam's so measured mine out with the kitchen scale)
1-2 (55 oz)Bottle of Purex Crystals Laundry Enhancer. (I chose the Lavendar scent and used one bottle)

I found everything I needed at the superstore except for the Zote bars.  Our store only carries Fels-Naptha which is what I have always used in the past.  Having done a good bit of research it seems that over time the Fels starts to dull the colors on clothes.  I still love it as a pre-treater though.  The Zote bars I had to order from Amazon-but I am on the lookout for a local supplier as some find them at dollar type stores for around 90 cents rather that the 3.00 dollars a bar I paid.

You will need a large bucket- five gallon would work well.  I used one of my recycling bins.  The hardest part is preparing the Zote.  We are on a septic and I need the soap to be very fine so that it dissolves easily in the water.  My process was to open the bars and let them air dry for a couple of days.  Then I zapped them in the microwave for about 90 seconds.  If you do this watch very closely and do not leave the microwave unattended.  The science person in me loves how this makes the bars a pink oozing blob.  Next I popped those blobs into my extra coffee grinder to give me a very fine powder.  A lot of people use a grater rather than the microwave method, some even put it into a food processor or blender- do what works best for you and your situation.

Next I started mixing everything together.  I added about a third of all of my ingredients and mixed them thoroughly, then added another third of each ingredient, mixed, and then added the last of the ingredients and mixed it all up until I was satisfied that it was all well blended.

At this point I have to mention the house smelled like a field of flowers, which lasted for several days.  Fine by me and the men did not complain.  I refilled the Purex Crystals container, two 48 oz containers I had in the laundry room, and 2 1/2 gallon size Ziploc bags with my detergent.  I feel like this pink and lavender concoction needs a prettier jar- something like this perhaps:

Now for the really hard to believe part.  I use just 1-2 Tablespoons of detergent per load in my HE machine!!!  I may have enough detergent made to last me for a year doing 5-7 loads a week.  And I paid less for all of my supplies than one box of Tide that does apprx. 80 loads.

It is probably just my imagination but the whites seem whiter.  What is not my imagination is that I no longer have to add a dryer sheet to my loads, even as we enter the time of year where that static cling seems to worsen.  I was totally won over however, when I forgot about a load over the weekend.  Usually I have to run it through a time or two to get that musty smell out, but this load smelled just as fresh and clean as if they had just completed the wash cycle.

I think I finally found a DIY detergent that I can love.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Partners in Evil

This fall I have been in a battle for the truth.  That sounds dramatic doesn't it?  But really that is what it boils down to.  I have heard things like; it is foolish to suggest we only use the Bible as the source for our teaching, we can use the good points an author makes without agreeing with all that is in the book, that is a sign of maturity (even if that author aligns himself/herself with false teachings.)  I am feeling let down by shepherds in the church who are not protecting the sheep from error.

I  read 2 John this morning.  It is a short letter from John, the Elder.  Some sources believe that the Apostle John was around 100 years old when he penned this letter.  It's recipient: "the chosen lady and her children." I don't know who that woman was, some even believe this is code for the Church.  Either way this letter is filled with the importance of knowing the truth.  That word truth is used three times in just the first two verses and six times in the letter's 13 verses.  John was happy to have met some of her children and to have found them living in the truth.  I like to think this woman was teaching her children well, but John suggests there is a problem.  First he urges her to be obedient to God's command to love one another and adds, "Love means doing what God has commanded us, and He has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning." (NLT1)  This morning I am seeing a two-fold meaning here: the first, love one another; the second, recognizing what it means to love someone the way God loves them.  It is not a love that is blind, but one that seeks the best for the other, and we know that the best is bound up in truth- love cannot compromise the truth.

John then moves on to warn her that "many deceivers have gone out into the world." (v.7a)  The Greek word used here is Plan'-os and denotes an imposter (noun) and as an adjective signifying "wandering or leading astray, seducing." (from Strong's Greek 4108)  John says that "such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist."  Wow- we don't say things like that about people- an antichrist?!  I guess by definition those "who are not with Me (Jesus) are against me, and he who does not gather with Me, scatters." Such a person would indeed be an anti-Christ.  I am more comfortable with the words "false teacher," and even that I hesitate to say, but I think the Church needs to get bold again about calling things what they are as we have allowed too much false teaching to infiltrate the body, we no longer even recognize it or it's dangers.  And it's dangers are matters of life and death.  Which gets back to the idea of loving one another the way God does.

So what does John say to this woman about the deceivers?  Watch out, be on guard, pay attention, be diligent- so that she does not lose what has been accomplished, but receives a full reward. (v.8)  I don't like this verse for it suggests that I can lose ground in my faith.  Again, I am led to believe that John sees this as an extremely important issue- something that we must not ignore, for doing so is perilous.  Why is it so dangerous?  "For if you wander beyond the teaching of Christ, you will not have fellowship with God."  There you have it.  "But if you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son."  Sounds so simple really, but those deceivers are really good at what they do, and they do it so sincerely, many because they themselves have allowed themselves to be deceived and so promote false teaching/doctrine.  (This is where I hammer in the idea of Sola Scriptura-by Scripture alone.  Read The Book, it is the safest place to be if you do not want to wander away from the teaching of Christ.  Don't take my word for it, don't take the top selling author's word for it, don't take your pastor's word for it- check everything against this one Book.  It takes work on our part, but I cannot stress enough that we dare not be lazy in this regard.  John MacArthur has stated in effect that a mark of a true believer is one who has a love for the Word, one who holds it in highest regard and longs to be in it.)

And now I come to the verses that led me to write as I have this morning.  "If someone comes to your meeting and does not teach the truth about Christ, don't invite him into your house or encourage him in any way.  Anyone who encourages him becomes a partner in his evil work." (v.10-11, NLT-1991 version)  The NASB says to not even greet the person, for in greeting them you participate in their evil deeds.  Think twice about buying that book!  Think twice about using materials that lend financial support to those who do not teach the truth about Christ.  They are out there in our churches dear ones- popular authors who say there is no hell, that everyone is going to heaven for God would never turn any away.  There are those out there who would have us delve into the practices of eastern mystics with their teachings on contemplative prayer and the "spiritual disciplines."  I read somewhere recently that you can judge an author by their bibliography.  Many of the books out there encouraging the modern church in these practices have very interesting bibliographies indeed.  Do you know who Aldous Huxley and Thomas Merton were.  It is on these mens writings that much of the teaching we hear today is coming from- they are the "fathers" of contemplative/centering prayer.  Merton was a Roman Catholic monk who held to the belief that all religions had the same basic truth and Christianity could not lay claim to the whole counsel of God.  What do you think John would have to say about inviting the thoughts of these men into our homes, our churches, and yet that is exactly what we are doing when we pick up a copy of Celebration of Discipline for example.  I have a copy sitting on my desk right now- I purchased it back in the 1980's when the church I was attending at the time began a study based on this book.  I told myself that while I did not agree with everything Richard Foster wrote I could still cull some good ideas from it's pages.  Hmmmm- I don't think that argument would go very far with John the Elder.

And so my thoughts return to the woman John was writing to- and to her children.  Some translations say that John met "some" of her children and they were walking in the truth- what about the others?  Had they wandered away because the woman had allowed some deceivers into her home?

Be careful out there today,

Monday, December 3, 2012

Santa Quilt Progress

I have been busy in my workshop (aka quilt studio) the month of November.  Someone in my life is getting a Santa quilt.  There have been a lot of firsts for me on this one so far.  First time to really take a pattern and make it my own.  Last year I purchased this pattern from Country Appliques called Belsnickel Santas.

I chose one of the Santas and made three for the blocks.

 Then I designed a patchwork tree to go with them.

I wanted to jazz up the background for the Santas so did a crazy patchwork style for them.  I also decided I wanted to do an applique border and so far this is what I have.

Need to finish needle-turning the last three leaves 
and then add heart shaped to-yos to the centers.
(the stripes on top are the beginnings of the final borders that will finish it off.)  

This is the first time I have gotten serious with needle-turn applique and every so often my fingers needed a break from the pricking so I also have been putting in some time on the McKenna Ryan wildflower quilt I had hoped to finish this year.

Four more blocks finished and ready to be added to the others:
Yellow Bell
The last four have not been sewn in yet,
but this is how they will be set with the previous blocks.
And in case that was not enough I also started working my way through  Sally Collins book.  A very generous friend gifted me with and Amazon card and what better way to spend it than on quilting stuff!  This was one of my purchases.  I have already seen an improvement in the precision of my piecing, enough so that I am willing to tackle some three inch blocks.  More on those later.

Not as productive a month as I had hoped, but I am enjoying the flow of creative juices and that is something that had been missing for a while.

Have you got any projects in the works?  I would love to hear!


Sitting at His Feet: A Different Kind of Party?

I have some unfinished business at my other blog, where I led a study of Ephesians this past Spring at church.  I finished the study with the ladies but never finished posting my thoughts...

I have been trying to decide what to do for my next study- any suggestions would be appreciated!

Sitting at His Feet: A Different Kind of Party?: Ephesians 5:18-21 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalm...


Friday, November 30, 2012

Everything I Need: Part 3

Welcome back for Part 3.  My emotions are a little raw again this morning.  This was the day set aside for Rex's memorial service.  I came across a song for the first time this week, or perhaps I just really heard the words for the first time.  Steven Curtis Chapman wrote it after the death of their young daughter the summer of 2008.  It is titled See. This video has a brief interview in which Chapman explains where the idea for the song came from with the song actually beginning around minute 4:22.  Even when our hearts are breaking, even in the midst of those unanswered questions we see things with an eternal perspective and that makes all the difference.

And that patient endurance in times of struggle leads us to godliness. (2 Peter 1:6b)  I have to ask, what is godliness?  I pulled out my Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance again (love that title!)  The Greek word used here is eusebeia (yoo-seb'-i-ah) which means godliness and Strong's expands upon that to say: "it is from eu, 'well,' and sebomai, 'to be devout,' denotes that piety which, characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is well pleasing to Him."  So then godliness must be a devotion to God that seeks to please Him, in thought and in action.

Godliness leads to love for other Christians- that brotherly love we hear about.  Look how far down the progressive list this is.  Can it be that brotherly love does not come as naturally as we think?  Can it be that it comes with maturity in the faith?  Can it be why the church has such a bad reputation in the world- we do not yet know how to love one another as we should?  Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."  John 13:34-35, NASB  Jesus is not talking about just putting up with people, smiling and hugging them on Sunday at church and then walking away and thinking/speaking poorly about them the rest of the week.  He is not talking about telling people we will pray for them and then never giving them another thought.  He is talking about loving them the way He loves us- sacrificially, without reservation, without limit.  Can you imagine what our churches would like like filled with people like that?!  Well, it starts with us dear ones.

"and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone." (v. 7b)  A love that extends not just to our brothers and sisters in Christ, but to everyone.  For God so loved the world...He does not desire that any should perish but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).  He loves the Muslim, the Buddhist, the Mormon, the prostitute, the drug addict, the homosexual, the liar, the thief, the murderer.  When we look at the people around us do we see a world that is lost, a world in need of the Savior.  They seem to think we are in the business of condemning people.  Just what do I see when I look at those outside the church.  They are people who are lost, stumbling in the dark and most do not even know it.  The kind of love that is genuine here is the kind of love that leads me to see them not as the enemy, (which they are not!) but to have compassion, just as Jesus did.  Not to condone their lifestyles, but to be salt and light- to show them that what I have found in Christ is so much better then anything they could imagine and it can be theirs too.  I am troubled by those in the church today who think we need to change the message to bring people in.  A watered down gospel that does not confront sin is not a gospel that will save anyone.  Jesus is the only way, the only truth, the only Light, and no one comes to the Father apart from Him.  The only commonality between the Muslim and the Christian is that we are both sinners in need of a Savior.  

"The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted.  They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin.  So dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen.  Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away.  And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."  -2 Peter 1:8-11.

Today our community is remembering Rex.  And we do not mourn as those without hope.  He was a ten year old light that shone very brightly, and I think I can hear him saying to all of us- "See, it's everything He said that it would be, and even better than you would believe.  And I'm counting down the days until you're here with me.  And finally, you'll see."

Rex Fleming- a giant of the faith.


Blessings dear friends,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Everything I Need- Part 2

Welcome back! Yesterday I began a look at 2 Peter 1:2-11 in Everything I Need-Part 1, today I continue beginning with verse 6, "Knowing God leads to self-control."

Remember God has already given us everything we need for living a godly life and we are taking a deeper look at what that means.  First we have to know Jesus, then we have to have faith, then we add to our faith moral excellence, and then knowledge of God, and now we come to self-control.  Notice that self-control does not come immediately in this process.  It comes as our knowledge of God increases.  If it came first in our list then we could say that we are doing all the work and grace would have no place in our lives.  Websters defines self-control as "restraint exercised over one's own impulses, emotions, or desires."  Oh my, when you put it that way I am not as far along as I thought, but I can see improvement.  I still allow anger to rise to the surface in my marriage, but far less than in the past.  I have a real weakness for quilt fabric and patterns, but I am learning to put restraints on that spending, s-l-o-w-l-y.  I have even started to share my stash of chocolate, sometimes with joy in my heart. We gain self-control when we are being influenced by God's divine nature as we spend more time in His good company.  What a difference in my days when I spend time in His Word and in prayer.  Are you, like me, ever just fine with being angry with someone- I do some of my best housework when I am mad.  That is not self-control.  I cannot tell you the number of times I have had an attitude adjustment take place when I stop and spend time with the Lord, nor the number of times that I have not spent time with Him because I did not want to experience an attitude adjustment.  Knowing God makes all the difference- there is no shortcut if I really want to change.

Self-Control leads to patient endurance.   Oh, this is perhaps my least favorite thing.  It always seems to involve some sort of suffering, some sort of trial.  There have been a few of those in my life so far- I wrote about two of them in When God Says No.  What do we do when the road gets tough?  What do we do when temptation comes knocking.  What do we do when it feels God is slow to answer our prayers?  Do we give up and walk away?  Our lives as bond-servants of Jesus often put us in opposition to the world.  I think about my cousin and his family who are in Nigeria where they put their lives on the line to even attend a Sunday worship service.  There are those of the faith who are patiently enduring things that I cannot even imagine, so my trials seem pretty puny in comparison.  The Greek used here is hupomone which means steadfastness, constancy, endurance (Strong's NT 5281.)  When the going gets tough I need to remember that I am exactly where God wants me to be at that moment.  He has not changed, His love for me has not changed, His promises are still trustworthy.  I need to cling to verses that remind me that I am not alone, that the Lord who made the universe, the King of Creation, the great I AM is always with me and He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."

And here I am out of time again this morning.  I hope you will stick with me for part three...


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Everything I Need- Part 1

Let's see, I've got my drafting supplies...

Lot's of fabric in my stash to choose from...

Thread (love the two-sided cases for thread storage I picked up 
from Superior a couple of years ago by the way...)


Rulers- these are my personal favorites...

new rotating cutting mat, rotary cutter...

Assorted notions...

Iron and pressing surface...
Sewing machine...

and even a chair to sit in...

Add some batting...

have quilt frame on standby (Ken and I built one just like this 
from a kit over 20 years ago, I think I need to stain mine and make it pretty...)

Yes, it looks like I have everything I need to make a quilt.  
On their own all the individual parts cannot do much, but put them all together and

I read 2 Peter 1:1-21 this morning and in this letter Peter stated that As we know Jesus better, His divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. (v.3)  Where does our knowledge of Jesus come from?  His Word.  It seems these days we want the easy road for everything, we can even take a pill to help us lose weight instead of eating properly and exercising.  We peruse the bookstores for books to help us solve every kind of problem we have, looking to people for solutions that God tells us He has already provided.  He has given us EVERYTHING we need.  That means that there is nothing we lack.  So why do we often feel so lacking?

 He has given me all of His rich and wonderful promises (v.4) and I have but to apply the benefit of these promises to my life.  It all starts with faith.  That faith is grounded in something very specific.  Jesus died once for all-He was the ultimate sacrifice that allows us to be reconciled to God.  Without that faith none of the rest of this is going to make much sense.  Knowing Jesus leads us to that faith.
Faith in turn produces a life of moral excellence.   Moral excellence, sounds kind of high and mighty doesn't it.  I don't believe Peter is talking about a list of do's and don'ts, I think it simply means to do what is right, in all things, in all areas of our lives.  When we really know Jesus there are things that suddenly make us uncomfortable.  Sometimes the language we use needs to change, sometimes the things we watch with our eyes and listen to with our ears need to change, sometimes there are habits we need to let go, sometimes even the way we dress needs to change.  It means more and more I choose to do the right thing in every circumstance, even if I am ridiculed by the world for it.  I think it means that I recognize that right and wrong do exist, despite what the world all around me is trying to sell.  "If it feels good do it," it not moral excellence.  Interestingly that life of moral excellence that comes from knowing Jesus leads me to knowing God better.

The journey doesn't end once we come to faith.  Simply doing what's right from here on out is a good start, but it is just that, only the beginning  There really is no such thing as blind faith-God wants us to ever increase in our knowledge of Him- to open our eyes to the glories of who He is.  "Come in-come in! and know me better, man!"  (A line from the Ghost of Christmas Present from A Christmas Carol by Dickens)

There's more!  But this is going to be a very lengthy post if I do not break it up somehow.  So I hope you will come back and read "the rest of the story."

Blessings to you this day,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When God Says No

I read in Daniel this morning the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  They refused to worship the statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected and the penalty for that was to be thrown into a fiery furnace.  These men were brought before the king who gave them another chance to serve and worship that gold statue.  The king entreats them and then states, "But if you refuse, you will immediately be thrown into the blazing furnace.  What god will be able to rescue you from my power then?"  This is how those men replied, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us, He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty.  But even if He doesn't, Your Majesty can be sure that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have put up." (Daniel 3:15-18, NLT1)  And so they were thrown into the furnace.  A furnace that was made so hot that those whose job it was to throw them into the furnace died in the process, but not Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.  The God whom they served did indeed rescue them, not a hair was singed, not a thread of their garments was burned.  When they were thrown into that furnace they were joined by a fourth individual and even Nebuchadnezzar recognized the divine being in his furnace.  I don't know about those three men, but I would have been desperately praying to be rescued by the Lord before I ended up in the furnace.

This past week my mind has been drawn back to the last days of my brother on this earth.  It was my turn to go and care for him after he began hospice care.  The colon cancer had spread to his liver and now the time was drawing short.  I spent three precious days with him.  Mostly he slept but for brief moments of clarity when we shared a few words.  I had to know that it was well with his soul and he assured me that he was looking forward to going home to be with his Savior.  Nothing else really mattered.  He slipped from this life to his eternal home in heaven surrounded by family and friends who loved him.  The very first thing we did was to gather in a circle, holding hands and praying together to thank God for the blessing Jeff had been to all of us here.  We also had to acknowledge that it all seemed so unfair.  I wrestled a lot in the two years leading up to Jeff's death with what to do when God says no.  The pat answers do not cut it when your heart is breaking.

I have been wrestling with those same issues again, this time as a family in our church has dealt with cancer in their young son.  It is well with Rex's soul now too.  He went home to the Lord this past Sunday night.  And this mother's heart is breaking for another mother.  And the pat answers just do not cut it.  My questions remain the same, how is this a better story of God's glory than healing would have been?  I don't know.

What I do know comes from my reading of 1 Peter 4:7-5:14 this morning:  this world is not our home, not if we are Christians, not if we have the privilege of being called by God's wonderful name.  I can trust myself to the God who made me, for He will never fail me.  I can give God all of my worries and cares for He cares about what happens to me.  In His kindness God called me to His eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ.

As we enter into this Christmas season what greater reminder is there that this world is not our home.  My life is not made by the decorations I put up, the perfect gifts I give, nor the ones I receive.  It does not revolve around lights and parties and pageants, and certainly not shopping malls.  Christ came into this world those many years ago not so that I could have a wonderful party on earth each year, but that I could have my sins forgiven once for all, that I too might someday meet my Lord and Savior face to face in heaven.  So I spent yesterday listening to music, a lot of the great hymns of the faith and some new favorites too.  I lifted my eyes towards heaven from whence comes my help.  It was no longer a time of fasting and pleading, but of looking towards the One who holds my heart in His hands, the One who saves me, who strengthens me, who comforts me. The Prince of Peace has come into this world and He offers something far better than the trappings of this world.  He is my hope.  I don't know why God said no once again.  He doesn't always keep us out of the fiery furnace, but I know He is right there in the midst of it with us.

Blessings dear friends,
(Peter closed his letter with these words, "My purpose in writing you is to encourage you and assure you that the grace of God is with you no matter what happens."  I pray I have accomplished the same thing.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


I had already started on my straightening
up and thought I better snap a quick photo
of  my closet "before."
I have a confession to make.  I let my my favorite room in the house evolve into a mess.  The room I refer to as my quilt studio had become a bit of a disaster really.  I have struggled for years with finding a way to store fabric that I liked, was easy to use, and more importantly, easy to put away again.  

I had seen those fabric organizers available now and thought they sounded like a good way to go, but with the price I would have to spend hundreds of dollars and there is just no way.  On one of the quilt forums someone mentioned using comic boards.

I found them on Amazon and ordered a pack of 100 for under $10.00.  They worked just fine.  For my fat quarters I cut them in half.  I laid out a yardstick on my ironing table and as I "rolled" the fabric onto the boards I measured and included a tag with how much fabric was on the bolt.  Now I have a really nice looking closet- my own little fabric shop-that makes me happy whenever I go into my studio.  One of these days I am actually going to build shelving that fits the space I have in this closet.

That mess of a fabric stash in now organized and I can easily pull out  fabric to try on  a quilt and easily place it back  where it goes.  The top shelf has my stash of flannels, batiks have their own section and I can also see which colors I am low on which helps in taking advantage of the sales at the quilt shop.

Now to get back to work on my quilt!  I purchased Tricia Cribbs Sunday School Singers a while back.  I love the quilt but was not wild about the stick figures.  I shared a while back that I was redrawing the blocks and since this is going to be a baby quilt I am featuring stick figure babies in diapers.  I also added some songs that are favorites around here.

This is where I left off when we left for our summer vacation the first of July.

I've sewn the blocks and sashings  together.  Looking pretty good.  I still struggle getting my corners to line up perfectly.  I've tried pinning, I've tried not pinning, no matter how well I have those seams butted up together I just cannot get a consistent match that I am happy with.  This is one of those times when I have had to just let go of being perfect and get the job done.

Next comes the piano border.  I decided I would place them in the order of a rainbow.
Strip set sewn together and ready to be cut.
Auditioning the piano border-lookin'good.                                                                                         

I found this wonderful print from Timeless Treasures that will be perfect for the final border.

Amazing what can be accomplished when you have a nice, neat, pleasant work space.  The same can be said of my life.  Sometimes I let it get pretty messy in here.  Sometimes I am just too lazy to keep things in proper order both spiritually and in the rest of my life.  I am reading Phillipians right now.  Another one of my favorites.  Paul says to the Phillipians, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer of joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.  For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day  of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:3-6, NASB)  The work that God has started in me will continue.  He will not stop until His work is perfected.  That gives me great hope and confidence.  Especially as I pick up some of the messes of late and get my life in order.  My quilt studio is in such good shape that I can walk in, pick up a project, and get to work on what I have started.  It is much easier now that all of the tables are cleared off, and I can find whatever I need to finish the task.  I think it may just be a little like that with God too.  With the clutter out of the way, I am a project ready for Him to come on in and get back to work on.  That feels good too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Quite the Adventure

I have been quiet for quite some time now but with good reason.  This summer has been a journey.  My family and I traveled to ten states, 5 national parks, and logged nearly 9,000 miles.  We hiked and camped and visited special friends, and hiked and camped and visited family, and hiked and camped and hiked some more.  My feet are still recovering from all the miles they logged on their own.  

This trip was the inaugural  trip for a little camper trailer Ken and I are building.  It was all ready to go except for the cabinets, which worked out well because I finally know what I want as far as all the storage areas go.    We slept really well- the only problem was when our air mattress gave up on us, but we replaced it with some very thick foam and found our only trouble was we were too comfortable and slept in a lot.
Building the bed and under-bench storage.
Our Wee bit of a trailer- 6 feet wide x 12 feet long and tall enough for
  everyone but our over six foot son to stand in.  

Storage shelf across the back came in very handy.

And the journey begins:
An old wagon at a historic camp in Utah near Flaming Gorge- it had a stove inside,
but we decided we liked our mode of travel better.

Birding in the Grand Tetons

Being photo bombed by number one son in Yellowstone

The whole family joined up at Yellowstone

Seattle greeted us with fanfare

Birding on the Oregon Coast

I love the Redwoods

Number two son actually looks small for a change

cousins near my favorite place on earth- a little spot in Oregon on the Rogue River

Crater Lake, Oregon

More family joined us on the trails at Crater Lake

A glimpse of my galley kitchen that needs cupboards

One of many Oregon waterfalls we hiked to see.

One happy Oregon girl back home again.
On top of MacKenzie Pass Lava field near Sisters. Or.

Ken's sister joined us camping too.

That is a glimpse of my summer.  I have just a few hundred photos to sort through and I am sure to share more in the months to come.  Now it is back to life in Texas- another school year has begun whether I am ready for it or not.