Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful~Psalm 100

The Bible is full of verses about thankfulness.  One of the most dearly loved is Psalm 100.   The sweet ladies over at Dear Lillie are giving away a beautiful word art of Psalm 100.   Click HERE to read the post.

They have a gorgeous shop with lots of artsy things so check that out, too!   I plan to print out my copy and frame it so it can grace the mantle. 

Thank you Dear Lillie for sharing this!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sometimes, life doesn't go as planned....

We had grand plans for the weekend!  The bags were packed, the food made and ready to go.  Fun, fellowship and shopping!  Not to mention touring and catching some beautiful fall color in North Georgia. 

But, then...yes, plans had to change. 

Thursday night I experienced the worst RA flare-up in all the 15 years that I have had it.  The pain was so intense, I couldn't move my limbs.  Slowly it eased as Bob faithfully prayed for me.  It, unfortunately, left me swollen, painful and minimally functioning.  No trip for us.  We were all very disappointed.  There wasn't even a Plan B of seeing some people on Sunday.  I still couldn't leave the house. 

The very good news is that today I am feeling much better!  I can function and certain joints no longer look like things that belong in buns with ketchup and mustard!! 

Through all of this a thought has emerged.  It seems we (some of my immediate family?) have fallen into the trap of looking for the next social engagement as the highlight of our days.  Living for the next "fun" event.   Can we, should we, be content with each day as a gift from God and enjoy the work, chores, family time and quiet of each day as much as a "social event"? 

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Yes, I believe we should!  The example that we see all around us is living for entertainment.  That we are only truly happy if we are having "FUN".   Get through the work week so we can "PLAY" on the weekend.

This verse leads me to believe otherwise!  Every day can be joyful and we can be glad  in it!  Even if that means working hard and fulfilling our responsibilities.  We can be peaceful and content daily. 

(Please don't misunderstand me, disappointment over a lost trip is normal and to be expected.  But are we balanced in our outlook on life?  Are we just as content and happy being at home as we are out at a social event?  Food for thought...)

So, sometimes life doesn't go as I had planned, and that is OK.  I am seeking to be peaceful, happy and content today as I teach my children, cook our meals, fold laundry and all the other things I do on a regular basis. 

Today is a good day!  I will rejoice and be glad in it!

Have a joyful day, wherever you are!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Just a few of the things that I am thankful for today....

...such a beautiful blog background created by my sweet daughter...

...amazing red leaves on my trees outside my kitchen window... for Bob and the boys...which means some much needed money!  :)....

...finding a much needed used wheelchair in my city for only $45...

...a chance to visit friends this weekend and spend some time with my family...

...fresh green beans from the garden...

...the ability to crochet and create fun and functional things that I can enjoy... temps and sunny days....

...fresh eggs in abundance... Heavenly Father who loves me when I mess up and doesn't expect perfection from me...and a wonderful husband who does the same!...

...great children who love the Lord and want to live Godly lives...

Well, the list could go on and on but I just had to share some of the things for which I am thankful!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Awesome Giveaway!!

Over at Unsinkable, these fine ladies are giving away a pattern for a beautiful, 1910 Tea Gown ePattern kindly donated by Mrs. Chancey of Sense and Sensibility Patterns!  What an awesome pattern!

Just hop on over to the Unsinkable blog and enter.  The giveaway is until November 12, 2011. 

Happy sewing,


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Back again...

It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since I have posted.  This last month has just flown by. 

So much has happened. 

Many things were scratched off the to-do list.  Yay!  That's always a good feeling! 

I have opened a Facebook account....I'm not impressed.  More on that in another post.

I saw old friends on Facebook...very nice but few really wanted to connect.   That's a little sad.

My sister Cheryl, rode in segments from Michigan to Orlando, FL with a group to raise money and awareness for a pregnancy help center.  It was grueling but very rewarding for her. 

God has provided work for Bob in amazing ways!  He is working with a pool company and a landscape company on a commission basis.  He has several opportunities for sales right now.  A BIG THANK YOU to all of you who prayed for us.  Keep praying that these projects move forward.  Also a landscape project popped up so Bob and the guys will be installing that in just over a week.  God has been so faithful to hear and answer our prayers!! 

Our garden started producing more beans!  This is truly amazing!  We had planted pole beans but they never produced.  Now since the rainy, cooler weather has come, we are getting lots of wonderful, sweet beans!  Also the yellow squash and zucchini are producing.  More blessings!!

Bob has mastered Google Sketchup to the place that he can use it to present pools in a 3D format.  That is a real praise as he had to relearn how to use the program and made quick progress.

I was asked to make some custom aprons and so making some more money for the household expenses.

We were accepted by the homeschool convention in SC, the one we really wanted to attend.  The kids continue to sell ebooks.

We "happened" upon a huge yarn sale at Hobby Lobby and I was able to get some yarn so I can make more slippers to sell!! 

And the list goes on...I see these things as direct answers from God to the prayers that we poured out to Him.  Some people would say this was all coincidence but no,  it is the hand of God. 

Why do I doubt, why do I fear?  There is no need.  God will supply my needs.  He will provide.  He has proved Himself faithful over and over. 


Monday, September 19, 2011

Life right now is just amazing....

I am in an amazing season of life right now.  I guess you could call it "growing pains"!

Recently, we have been praying, crying out to God, to show us what to do.  In every area of our lives as a family and individually. 

We had been going through such a dry time.  We had to leave the church we were attending.  We seemed to have almost no friends.  My one good homeschooling friend had to get a full time job so I never see her anymore.  Bob's work was very steady from March through mid-July and then nothing. 

So we were totally and completely relying on God.  And praying... and hoping.   But, you know, God is faithful.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  It was just fine to be taken out of the busyness and hurry to stop and focus on His still, small voice.  Sometimes, we can't hear it in all the frenzy.  We rush on about our own ways and don't heed His voice, His directions, His ways.  So we waited.  And waited......

Just when we were about at our end, (of money), God sent work our way.  He prompted us to hold a yard sale.  Then another call for a design job came in.  Bob has connected with a pool company and it may do very well for us. (Keep praying about that one, will you?)   Julia was paid for her jewelry that she sold to a store (finally).  Their ebooks sold well when hosted by the Homeschool Freebie of the Day.  Julia was asked to do some graphic design and was paid well for it.   Some Mennonite friends of ours run the Deli in town.  I asked if they would sell some aprons, hotpads and slippers that I made.  They were happy to do it and I sold almost all the slippers and hotpads in 2 days. (I had been trying to sell them at shows for about a year!)

We also had been praying about being vendors for homeschool conventions this year.  The door to FL was closed even though that was our first choice.  So we have knocked on the door of NC.  Then God sent a lady to our yard sale to tell us of a new convention in SC called "Teach Them Diligently".  So this morning I am filling out the application for that convention.  Knocking on that door to see if it is where we are to be in March 2012. 

We are friends with a sweet Mennonite family here in town and God is bringing me some sweet ladies online as new friends!

There are other things God is showing us.  It feels like....

Isa 54:2-4 Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes;

 For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

 Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame:.....

That may be taken out of context but that is what it feels like here.  God is pressing us forward, requiring that we walk in faith and not in fear!  He is showing us things we need to learn and do. 

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of this last night.  As a family, we read 1 Peter 1.   I was so encouraged by this....
1Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Our faith is being tried right now and we are believing that it will come out more refined.  God is keeping us by His power.  But during this trial, we can have joy unspeakable and full of glory!  We should be rejoicing!!  Wow!  I don't rejoice most of the time.  But I can and I should.  What a different perspective this is.  Lord, help me to see and have faith through this season.  Help me to hear your still, small voice and follow your leading, not doing what I think is best. 

So, if you feel led, please pray for us, will you?  I believe that God is faithful to hear and answer our prayers. 

If you are going through a dry time, a trial, take heart!  You are not alone and God is for you.  Have faith and believe His Word.  Listen for His voice for He wants to show you the way.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 Freebies!!

Wednesday was the big day but don't worry!  You didn't miss out!

I am talking about the 2 freebies being hosted by the Homeschool Freebie of the Day

Yes, Warfare by Duct Tape is giving away The Throwing Axe Booklet and The Shield and Buckler Booklet!!  Just hop on over there and get your FREEBIES!!  (Scroll down to the bottom of the page.)

We are also giving a 20% discount on all titles of the ebooks for Jewels by Julia AND Warfare by Duct Tape!  Good only until 9/17/11.  So don't delay!!   Use coupon code HSFREE22  .

One of our customers, Stephanie, said, "Thank you Mark and Steven for sharing your creativity (and mom Gloria for the ebook)! We downloaded the FREE Shield and Buckler ebook and my boys, 8 and 4, and 35 year old husband have had so much fun. This really helped spark their imagination, enhance their love of learning and most importantly created memories.
I just purchased The Battle Book and looking forward to what it brings our family!   I'll be back for more!!"

So, go make some memories,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bless the LORD

Psalm 103
 A Psalm of David. Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

Bless the LORD,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

This Little Beauty is FREE!

Today, right NOW, this instructional ebook is FREE!  The Homeschool Freebie of the Day is hosting Julia's ebook as a freebie for just TODAY

So hop on over there for the link to her site, or a-hem...,( just click on the side bar), and click on the Freebie star.  Be sure to save it to your computer because it will only be there through Saturday. 

SALE!  Julia is offering 20% off all her ebooks until 9/10/11.  Use the coupon code HSFREE11 to get the discount!

This necklace ebook is an excerpt from her How To Create Noticeably, Noteworthy Necklaces ebook.

You will find it on her website, Jewels by Julia Shop, and can purchase it and download it as a PDF. 
Thank you Mr. Erskine for hosting our ebooks! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

In the Desert

I am in the desert and it is not easy.

It's not what I'm used to.

I don't like it.


Desert Amazing Wallpaper 300x168 Desert Amazing Wallpaper

In the article, "No Fellowship, No Problem!" Chip Brogden encouraged me with these words,

The purpose of solitude in the spiritual desert is to get you to see that Jesus is Enough. You’re not going to die from lack of fellowship, but if you don’t learn that Jesus is Enough then spiritually speaking you’re dead already. He’s the One you need to be focused on – not starting a fellowship, not finding a home group, not making something happen with other people.

So, we've tried and tried to be part of a fellowship of believers and it has not worked out since we moved here.  Chip goes on to say,

There are times and seasons where He calls you to be alone and apart with Him. I’m not saying it will always be like that, but what if it is? What if He calls you to walk alone with Him for the rest of your life? Is Jesus enough for you?  I asked that question of a group of Christians once: is Jesus enough for you? Because most Christians do not believe this. They want Jesus, but they also want fellowship with others. Really, do you know what Christians want? Not fellowship with others. That sounds so spiritual. Really what they want is acceptance from other Christians. You go deep down and that’s what they want. They want to feel accepted by other Christians. Well, all I can tell you is that you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment. Eventually there will come a time when you will have to decide between the truth that God has revealed to you and the acceptance of other Christians. Now it hurts when you are not accepted by other Christians.

Yeah, I guess I want to be accepted by other Christians....and yeah, the disappointment is there, too.

But the bottom line is your spiritual life and walk with God does not depend upon the acceptance of other Christians. You might think it does, and it sure makes things easier, but it is not a condition of following Christ – making sure other Christians understand and accept you. The deeper you go into God the more unacceptable you will be to other Christians. ....Jesus is Lord and if you are His disciple then He accepts you whether the rest of the Christian population accepts you or not.

I AM accepted by my Father in Heaven.  He sees me and hears my heart cry!  He knows me for I am His!
He loves me just the way I am! 

“Oh brother Chip, I’m so lonely, I’ve been going to church every Sunday for twenty years and now we just sit home on Sunday and we feel so empty inside!” Well praise God, if that’s where God has you right now then thank God for it. Stop looking for other people to fill a void that only Christ can fill. You’ve been covering up that void with a lot of religious junk and He’s stripping all that away. He’s trying to build something in you, so let Him do it according to the times and seasons that He has appointed. Don’t rush through that process. Get comfortable with just you and God. My goodness, you don’t even know what it’s like to walk with God and just be hidden in Him because your whole life you’ve been following Him in a crowd, worshipping Him in a crowd, praying to Him in a crowd, learning about Him in a crowd.

It's time to get to know my Father, one on one without all the baggage.  Time to be quiet and restful and let Him fill the void and bring real peace. 

The Bible does not say “hold fast to the Body” or “hold fast to the members of the Body”, it says “hold fast to the Head.” The Bible does not say, “Seek ye first the fellowship of others”, but “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things – including fellowship – will be added to you.” You learn to do that and the rest will take care of itself, in the time and manner that God sees fit.

I choose to trust Him in this area of my life.  ...To walk in faith that His timing is right and true.  ...That I don't need to force the fellowship but wait on Him to provide the best thing.  I am beginning to be excited about what God is going to teach me and reveal to me through His Word and prayer. 

So, I'm in the desert.  It's lonely.  It's quiet.  And that's OK.

Where are you, today?

To read the entire article mentioned above, click here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's Going on Around Here

Life has been full lately.  Some of the things we have been doing....

Bob has completed our third chicken coop.  We call it the Dawdi Haus because it is attached to Coop 2.  The oldest group of hens has moved in and seems to have settled in nicely.

It has 3 nest boxes and a nifty lid so that you can reach inside and get the eggs without going into the coop!
(He's so smart!)

He also has replaced our upstairs toilet, it broke!  So glad he is a handy fix-it man!!  I'll spare you the picture.....

Today he stained the back of the carport of our log home.  It was one of those jobs way down on the list.  But now it is done and looks great! 

Of course, he is puttering in what is left of the garden, considering the heat and excessive drought conditions. 

And, most importantly, Bob has had precious time to read the Bible.  God is teaching him more and more and he is soaking it up like a sponge! 

While reviewing some history books for the boys' schoolwork, he realized that his ancestors on his mother's side come down from the Pilgrims of 1620 and the Puritans that came over on the Winthrop Fleet in 1630! 
And that they wanted a godly life and religious freedom and were willing to put their lives on the line to get it!

The kids have all gotten new computers.  They were able to buy them with the money they earned from their businesses.  So far, Julia has gotten back into blogging, taught herself how to use Gimp and started a new site for free blog backgrounds.  (My new background is one of her free backgrounds!)  She is also my "right hand man-er-woman"!  She helps me so much around the house.

Mark has ramped up his schooling and is planning a new Lego movie with Steven. 

Steven has made a stop-motion animation movie about David and Goliath.  He is in the finishing stages and we are hoping for the premiere soon!  Then Mark and Steven plan to do a movie together. 

We are excited about some new places for the kids to sell their ebooks.  They are now "live" on The Old Schoolhouse Magazine Ebook Store!  Yay!  Click on the link and then search in "companies" for Warfare by Duct Tape and Jewels by Julia.  We have a couple other places in the works, more info on that later. 

They are also kept busy caring for our 26 new little chicks that I posted about last time.

Me, well, I have learned to continental knit.  I am basically a crocheter that dabbles in knitting.  But I find knitting to be very slow for me.  I watched this knitting video after someone suggested the continental style and I really like it!  It will take some practice to get really fast but I have it down now.  I love learning new skills even at my age! 

It has been a whole month that I have been trying a new way of eating.  A friend of mine has Fibromyalgia and she was greatly helped by eating this way.  I don't have Fibro, but I deal with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Basically it is no sugar, no high fructose corn syrup and no hydrogenated oils or lard.  Do you know how many foods this cuts out?  The kind in a can or already processed?  Quite a bit.  So I have learned how to make my own refried beans, my own tortilla shells with whole wheat and ones from corn.  I have made muffins with honey instead of sugar.  I dragged out my old Sue Gregg cookbooks and voila!  it was all in there!  She has some great recipes if you want to keep it simple, from scratch and whole wheat, etc. 

I have been working hard to promote the kids's ebooks, fixing up websites and finding another convention for next year.  As well as plan and begin another school year with the boys. 

Dealing with our garden produce has been a learning curve for me this year!

It has been a great problem to have, pumpkins and squash, tomatoes and peppers.  Bob planted cayennes this year as well as jalapenos and green peppers and they have been prolific!!  So I will learn how to dry the cayennes and make a powder out of them.  They are too hot to eat fresh!  But I use the powder all the time to make our hotsie-totsie sauce (like Taco Bell sauce).  We've made lots of fresh salsa, too!

Today I washed about 5 dozen jars that were given to me.  I plan to can chicken soup when we butcher 3 old hens whose time has come. 

It is also time to buy groceries this week.  I plan menus for a month and grocery shop once a month.  I inventory all that I have in the pantry and freezer and then make out the grocery list.   Tomorrow is the big day to hit the stores.  I absolutely love doing it this way.  I save about 9 hours of my time every month by only shopping once in the month.  Occasionally, I'll stop in the store if there is a great BOGO sale or we need more produce. 

This has been an incredible time of learning to walk by faith.  In all areas of my life, I have to live by faith.  My health, my children, our finances, our businesses, everything is out of my control and firmly in God's hands.  I can't do anything to change these things except believe that God will make a way, show us the way to go and provide everything we need in the right time and the right way.  We are not just sitting on our hands, as they say, but doing all we can do.  But in reality, we can only trust.  God is faithful and true.  He will never leave us nor forsake us. 

So this is what has been going on in our lives.  What's new with you?
Leave a comment and tell me what new in your life.  I'd love to hear from you. 

Gotta run, Bob is patiently waiting for me to cut his hair!