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140 In Faith/ Life

The Girls Have Something to Say

Paiger first {age 3}. And I will add: she’s not usually so expressive with her mouth, I’m certain she knew she was on camera and added a little drama for effect.

Morgan next {age 5}.

We started an Advent calendar on December 1st and to accompany our nightly Advent devotion we read from Luke 2, and asked the girls if they would memorize it {at least the first 14 verses}. By day 5 or 6, they pretty much had it down. Then we missed a few days here and there. Last Christmas {somewhere in the blog world} I saw a  young child, around the girls age recite Luke 2 and I was inspired to give it a whirl and was pleasantly surprised at their ability to memorize so quickly!

Merry Christmas!! We hope and pray that you will rejoice this Christmas because the tiny baby born long ago was the was the ultimate gift from God to us.

Psalm 119:1 “I have hidden your word in my heart”

84 In Faith/ Life/ Sewing

Rockin’, Quiltin’, & Leavin’

It’s fairly late on Monday night but I’ve learned lately if I don’t post now {at night} I won’t do it in the morning…. so here I am! 🙂

We had a great night tonight, as I’ve mentioned before, we’re in a small group with other couples that meets every Monday in our home. Tonight, like most every Monday night, I feel so encouraged and filled. It truly is such an encouragement to me. I love those people deeply and I love to spend time working through tough questions & Scripture. Our latest book is A.W. Tozer’s The Pursuit of God. This is not what I would consider “easy reading” but rather challenging and enriching. Tonight’s chapter  challenged me to live by and follow the Spirit of God; to lay my pride aside. While I feel very encouraged tonight, I also have tinge of what I’d like to think is righteous anger towards the fallenness & sinfulness of humanity. I got a reality check tonight that people who call on Christ as their Savior do not escape sin; powerful sin that can ensnare men and rip families and lives apart. Sin is grotesque, deceptive, & destructive and tonight I grieve for families who’s lives have been forever scarred by it. I’m also thankful that our God is bigger than any sin and there is power in His blood to redeem and restore!!

You probably weren’t expecting to hear all of that… but it’s fresh on my mind and heart. The rest of this post is fresh on my mind too but much lighter in subject matter and I’m slightly challenged on how to transition from the fallen state of man to what I did this weekend… but here goes…

This weekend… We had a great weekend and enjoyed time with good friends and good music. I went to two concerts. Indelible Grace one night and Lincoln Brewster the next. They were very different but both wonderful & worshipful. I absolutely love music. I can’t sing worth a durn but sure enjoy listening to others. They also both made me feel old because I thought they were very loud. 🙂

I also cussed a little this weekend. That’s what quilting makes me do. If you’ve been around a while you may remember that I attempted my first quilt back in December and what an ordeal that little thing was. I didn’t even bind it and it nearly made me nutty. Well this weekend I started a little project for my ktichen then decided it was too cute for my kitchen that something cute needed to belong to someone cute so I ended up making a very small quilt for my new baby, Sloane. 🙂 Erika close your eyes!


I watched a YouTube video on ‘how to attach quilt binding by machine’ {by the way, it’s really amazing what you can learn on YouTube, it also taught me how to ‘stitch in the ditch’}. Anyway, she failed to mention, or maybe she did and I didn’t pay attention, that if you are attaching the binding by machine you are blinded to see where the stitches are going on the underside of the quilt. A few lightweight cuss words later and I resigned the fact that the quilt would ever be perfect. The back of the quilt binding is full of flaws… I got over it fairly quickly because I know Sloane loves her MommaSis’ so much that she won’t care if the stitches look like poo. I combined some sweet fabrics on the front with a soft flannel on the back, I can’t wait to wrap her in it and kiss her face. I’ll be sure to take a picture when I do.


The quilt started as a dish mat, which is why there is terrycloth underneath it on the table. Somehow it quickly morphed into a quilt. But when I was all done I still wanted a dish mat. So I then proceeded to make a dish mat.

What the heck is a dish mat? It’s kinda like a bath mat for your dishes, you know the dishes that come out of the dishwasher still soaking wet after they’re apparently “DRY”. 


I was inspired by SouleMama’s Handmade Home projects. I don’t have the book but apparently she has a tutorial for a bath mat made from old towels. Mine is not made from old towels, nor is it a bath mat… but I was inspired by an application for dishes that I saw on her blog!

I preshrunk my fabric & terrycloth. I also wanted my dots to look like they were inset in the flowers. So I used a triple stitch on the outside of each dot seam so they would appear to be inset. Both of these fabrics are from Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern collection.


Here’s a close up of a ‘triple stitch’. Check your sewing machine’s owner’s manual to see if you have it. I love it… it’s decorative while not being too decorative. It basically stitches three times… forward, backward, forward to give you a nice substantial looking stitch.


I think you each need a dish mat and I think everyone on your Christmas list needs one too.


I know you lay a towel on top of your dishwasher every time you unload it. Wouldn’t this be so much more fun?


And last but not least, I’m leaving on a jet plane to see this man, my father {aka DaddyBoy– who recently asked me to be his friend on Facebook}.


Daddy Boy caught wind of my recent date with Morgan and asked if he could take me on a date. My date is not out for a cookie at Barnes & Noble… although I’d be up for that too. My date is a long 5-day weekend in Chicago. Mom will be leaving Erika and Sloane and joining me. I’m really excited about going but not excited about leaving 3 little scallywags and Justin behind. Justin will be Mr. Mom while I’m away… you can pray for him! 🙂 I’m not sure if I’ve ever shared that I’ve lived in Chicago {well, a suburb outside called St. Charles} twice and DaddyBoy currently has an apartment there. I’m excited to see old friends, a new baby, my precious cousin, and enjoy a real taste of fall weather! We’ll likely hit the Kane County flea market and I’m hoping to a run through Ikea because I’ve never been to one…. anything else I need not miss?! Besides a drive up to Elgin for a malted milkshake from Al’s Ice Creamery!!

House before & after post coming SOON!!!

70 In Faith/ Life

‘Round Here

It’s been a very busy and productive weekend ’round here. We’ve been pressing on with the outside of the house. On Friday my house smelled like a pumpkin spice candle, paint, and saw dust! It was a lovely combination.

There were two guys here installing new doors. 

The one pictured here was a jokester. He would say things like, “Mam’, are you going for the castle look?” And then he would snicker and laugh. I didn’t exactly know how to respond to a question like that. He was referring to my new lights; I really didn’t think they “castle-ish” but apparently he did.  Anyway, they did their job and got the doors in and they are SO much better than the originals.


If anything is “castle-ish”, I would say it would be our old doors and hardware. Of course, he went on and on about how much he liked them! 🙂

We had the same 4-lite door installed at our side door too.


Since these were taken on Friday, the doors have been painted and the hardware installed.

A few weeks ago the front of our house looked more like this.


It had a very “original to the house” look. The house has had 2 additions and in both additions the previous owners apparently couldn’t match the brick. The garage was the worst… it was very peach and the rest of the house had black bricks in it.

You can see clearly in this picture of Rover that the garage brick {on R} was very different from the house brick {behind Rover}.


Painting the house has been on the agenda for 2 years and I’m thrilled that it’s now complete and much more uniform.

Out front, Justin used the tractor to remove the iron handrail you see here behind John Martin {sniff sniff… Kipper please come back!}.


Once the railing was down we added a step. My sister-in-law conveniently had the bricks in her backyard! Score!


The new step will be painted tomorrow.

I’ve been torturing myself over the window mullions. They were all “light gold” which was the original color of the trim. I haven’t worked on any of the ones you see above yet but in the last few days I’ve been slaving over the ones below. My goal was for the “outside” side {the side that faces the window glass} of the mullions to be brown to match the trim and keep the other 3 sides white… did you know such an endeavor could drive a woman to drink?


Dear friends, it took me 4 hours to tape off the window mullions in the center bay window alone. 4 hours. That was with Rover’s help. Without his help the other bay window {there’s another one identical to this one} took 3.5 hours to tape off. But I am done, with both big windows and the windows adjacent {which in this picture haven’t been installed yet}. For those of you who may have no idea what I’m talking about, those brown lines above are “window mullions” and they pop out in one giant, fragile, wooden grate. And I painted one side, trying my very hardest not to get brown paint on the inside side because our trim inside the house is white, not brown. And when I was done with these bay windows I broke into Handel’s Messiah with lots of loud “Halleluiahs”!

I’ll be back soon with sources, paint colors, etc.

While we’re on the topic of house renovations… do any of you get a channel called DIY Network? I probably should have asked sooner because they’ve already aired a show twice called Bathtastic that features our ORANGE BATHROOM renovation.  It will be on one more time: Friday, Sept. 18 at 9:30 pm and 1:30 am! The show is titled “Old Hollywood!” Isn’t that perfect for that orange bathroom? Anyway, if you get the channel {we don’t}, tune in. Has anyone happened to see it yet?

Now, I’m going to make a very drastic subject change to prayer. From house renovating to PRAYER… just like that. Our Associate Pastor is teaching our Sunday school class and going through a book called A Praying Life . I don’t have the book {yet} but his lesson this morning was on “Learning to Be Helpless”.  Basically Paul Miller {the author} says that prayer is taking our helplessness to Jesus, admiting that we cannot fix things on our own. I know my prayer life suffers because so often I am not weak before the Father. Instead of coming to him in weakness and helplessness I either don’t come to him at all or ask for “help to keep it all together” when in reality I have nothing together at all. He says that strong Christians pray more not because they’re more disciplined but because they more aware of and recognize their own weakness. Weakness is the channel that allows them to access grace. Edith Schaeffer {author and wife of Frances Schaeffer} was asked, “Who is the greatest Christian woman alive today?” She replied, “We don’t know her name. She is dying of cancer somewhere in a hospital in India.” Miller says, “I’m talking about that woman. Underneath her obedient life is a sense of helplessness. It has become part of her very nature… almost like breathing. Why? Because she is weak. She can feel her restless heart, her tendancy to compare herself to others. She is shocked at how jealousy can well up in her. She notices how easily the world gets its hooks into her. In short, she distrusts herself. When she looks at other people, she sees the same struggles. The world, the flesh and the devil are too much for her. The result? Her heart cries out to God in prayer. She needs Jesus.”

I need what this woman has, not the cancer and hospital bed in India. I want her sense of helplessness, I taste of it regularly but I don’t breathe it. Too often I trust myself. The lesson this morning was about praying, not blogging but I couldn’t help but think about what is my purpose in all of this? I think about it a lot. What makes me think that any of you actually care that I took my handrail down out front of my house or that I painted my brick because it didn’t match. In general, blogging does not provoke a poor spirit or a spirit of helplessness.  I just want to be completely honest with you all that I struggle with this on a regular basis. I sit down to type a post and think is this for His glory or my own? And sometimes I can’t tell. But if I daily came here and told you how rotten I am, how I walk around in the world look at people, compare myself to others, judge others, get frustrated with my children and husband {and yell at them} it would be a very different blog. I guess, I always want to be clear that I am a big sinner, that my hope is in Christ, that in my own strength I can do nothing but I have a Savior who is bigger than my sinful self. I share my interests and hobbies with you and it is my prayer that my conversations will always be seasoned with salt…. that you can taste of the goodness of Christ and be encouraged.

And to once again change subjects … Marla will be here later this afternoon with the answers to your questions!