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Fabulous Family Friday Returns! Helpful Reviews

Friday, February 17th, 2012

It certainly took long enough!  :)


I thought I’d give the reviews I promised last week!


First, a miracle product!


Two weeks before certifications, my right hand broke out in this awful rash.  I’ve gotten it before, but it’s been a long time since the last time it broke out.  My guess (and Teresa confirmed this) was that it was s-t-r-e-s-s!  My adrenals were stressed already from the cold/sore throat/cough I had for 3 weeks in December, Christmas, preparing for certifications, and my hand was itchy and so red.  Parts of it broke open and would bleed from time to time!  I wish I had taken a picture so you could understand how uncomfortable and bad it was!


Lauren (one of the super-duper office girls at T-Tapp!) told me I needed to show my hand to Teresa, that she had something for it.  So I did.


When I showed Teresa, she had something in her bag, so she put a little on my hand.  She told me it would sting a bit, but it should start feeling better.  I know it had colloidal silver in it, as well as MSM.  It didn’t sting too badly, and it quit itching so intensely!  ( I would wake myself up scratching it. :( )


I was amazed just from that one application  how much better it felt!  Even the next day it felt better and wasn’t quite so red and angry looking!


So she gave me a small jar to use out of for the rest of the week, then before I went home took a little out for her and gave me the rest of a bottle that she had.  I used it three times a day, and in just 3-4 days the rash was nearly gone!


What was this miracle stuff?!


Silver Majik Lotion!


It doesn’t take much, really, so a full bottle would probably last a loonnnnggg time! I still have plenty left in the partial bottle she sent me home with!  I used it 3 times a day for a few weeks, now I use it twice a day.  I have just a tiny little spot on my hand now.  It truly is amazing!





Next review—pillows! :)


I have this thing about pillows…I’m a side sleeper and I can’t get one to stay firm enough for longer than 3 months!   And who keeps the packaging and wants to send a pillow back to the company to cash in on their 3 year warranty?!


(I can see that conversation:


Dallas:  what is all this plastic wrapping?

Me:  To all the pillows I own, in case they go flat and  I need to send one back before the warranty is up!


Um….yeah!  I have enough junk in this house….and the garage….and the shop….and…. :p )



I slept at a friend’s home the night before we flew out to Ft. Lauderdale a year ago for filming the PBS special for T-Tapp.  I loved her pillow on her guest bed!  It was a Sealy and I could tell it wasn’t going to go flat in just a few months!  And the firm was truly “firm”!  Without being a rock!



I did some checking online, and found J.C. Penney carries Sealy pillows.  My husband and I were going out to eat at a restaurant a few weeks ago that was near a mall that had a Penney’s, so we looked.  They had all three kinds on the website.  I found the “firm” custom support pillow was…um…not firm enough for me!


Then I found the Encompass one was even less firm!


So I tried the Grand Impressions one—and it was just right! ;)


This one had a few mixed reviews, but I thought it was worth the gamble.  I’ve only had it a few weeks, so we’ll see how it actually holds up, but it’s the first pillow that really supports my neck (I get shoulder issues from my neck not being supported) but it is soft on my face/cheek. I had one pillow that was great–but I felt it put my jaw out of alignment!  (Get one end fixed, the other goes out!)


Penney’s was very reasonable, and this way I didn’t have to pay shipping–I would have went with the Custom Support or Encompass by the reviews–so I was so glad to find them where I could feel how supportive they were!


And no, I did not keep the plastic wrapping to know where to send it if it breaks down! ;)  I’ll report back in a few months to let you know how it’s holding up!





Finally, a book review!





My pastor’s wife gave me 31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers several years ago.  I ended up getting some of her other books as well!  I go through periods of time where I don’t use any devotionals, and others where I have 4 or 5 going!


I love how she has taken Scripture and created beautiful praise prayers to our Lord!   Because of going through this book several times, I have gotten the knack of doing the same with my daily reading in the Psalms.  I used to read 5 Psalms every day to go through the whole book in a month.  Then I started slowing it down, and now I only read one Psalm a day, savoring it more slowly, using the words and thoughts to pray/praise back to my beautiful Savior and Lord.


All of her books are good (31 Days of Prayer, 31 Days of Power, The Satisfied Heart (now called 31 Days of Drawing Near to God), but this one on praise is especially powerful.  I highly, highly recommend it! It will revolutionize your devotional time and your prayers!



I hope these reviews have been helpful!







Fabulous Family Friday–Family Purpose

Friday, October 28th, 2011

I didn’t get a chance to do a video for this week’s post–hopefully I can for next week.  My “videographer” was busy! :)



Today I was listening to two of my daughters play a piano and violin duet in the living room.  I looked up at the pictures of the children on the wall…..looked out the window that has the same curtains we put up 20 something years ago.   Sitting in the rocker we’ve had for 21 years.   The one I’ve rocked our children in.



I got kind of nostalgic…thinking back to the many times I helped my girls practice their violins and cellos in this very room.   The tears.   The wishing we could tear our hair out….    




And the fun! :)




I remembered years ago, when our children were really little, how Dallas and I discussed music for them.  He said music was something they could take with them into all of life.   I played flute in high school, took a little piano, had one semester in college where I took music theory, and I sang.




We started lessons, and after a few years he suggested we sing for the local senior citizens’ “Meals on Wheels” gathering.  They enjoyed it, we had a fairly good time, and it gave us a reason to practice.  Of course, I had to come up with things we could do together–it used to be pretty tough to come up with 20 minutes’ worth of things to sing/play!  (Now it’s hard to limit it to 20 minutes!  LOL!)






We added color coded handbells….character songs….eventually some of them could read music, but I still had to “arrange” some things more simply so we could all play together–those college music theory classes sure came in handy!





All this was going through my mind (at lightning speed, of course!), and I thought how it has been worth it.





Every dime spent on instruments and lessons.





Every “talk” we had to have about practicing.






Every “want to pull my hair out trying to make this work” arranging.






Every giggling, slap-happy, “it’s getting too late to practice but we have to” session!





Every reward system we came up with.





I wish I could describe the incredible feeling of peace and joy that came over me as I sat there, listening to the beautiful duet my daughters were playing!





I just want to encourage you—don’t wait until they’re older and can practice on their own.





Whether it’s music lessons, learning to cook, sewing, serving……find something you can do together.




Even if you’re “not musical”, you can still support and do what you can to help foster your children working together in their talents.




Maybe your strength is serving together.   Or making something together.   Or making food for families in need.  Or making cards and visiting shut-ins.




You get the idea.  Music is wonderful and worth every bit of effort and financial investment.   But if you’re not “musical”, don’t let that stop you!




I pray you may someday look around and see the fruit of your efforts….fruit that you might have thought was soooo far away in coming.





Mama, time goes faster than you realize!





One of the best things you can do is find something you can do together. Think of your strengths, or something you want to do or learn to do.    Ask our loving Abba Father for ideas.   He will give them to you!




And then go do it!




Yes, even if you sometimes want to pull your hair out!




Even if you wonder if it will ever go smoothly!





Even if you are stretched to your limit in creativity to make it work!





It will be worth it all, Mama!   And someday you will have such wonderful joy and peace in your soul as you watch your children blossom beautifully and have fun–






Fabulous Family Friday–The Enemies of Relationships

Friday, October 21st, 2011

I had intended these to be a bit closer together than 2+ months!   I had written about the first enemy of relationships in August, here.




The second enemy of relationships also begins with an “E”, and I think it’s probably even worse than the first one.




I’m speaking of Expectations.




That could be a book all by itself!




Truly Expectations can kill a relationship–with God, our husbands, our children, friends, church family…..




In my own life I have found that lack of gratitude is usually linked strongly to this monster.   Once I start feeling I am owed something, I don’t see the many efforts others go to to bless me, and then I expect it, then they feel they can’t ever do enough for me…..ay yi yi!  What a horrible downward spiral it becomes!




Then I become bitter, lack gratitude and express it even less, and here we go again! :p




STOP!  I want to get OFF!




I can remember a specific time in my prayers for my husband, where I was praying Godly, Scriptural things….but my spirit was becoming more and more bitter.  I was comparing him to my idea of a spiritual leader, and in doing so, was missing his unique gifts and abilities God had placed within him while focusing on what I perceived were his weaknesses.  Of course I wouldn’t want him doing that to me!  But as often happens when we let this monster grow, we don’t think about that part.  It actually all stems from pride.




Thinking that we are not doing the things others are “guilty” of.    Of course I’m not judging…I’m not ungrateful….I’m doing what I’m supposed to do….  (ack!)




And this pride doesn’t always stem from just an “I’m better than everybody else” attitude….usually it is rooted in having been on the other end of the “expectations” ideal—someone had unrealistic expectations of us (or we of ourselves) and that insecurity fuels perpetuating the same monster through the generations.








It’s time to slay this monster!




I honestly don’t know what made me finally get sick and tired of my way of  “praying” (or was that complaining to God?!), but I do remember one day finally writing “PSALM 62:5″ in HUGE letters across my “prayer page” for my dh!




“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”



I honestly quit praying all those things.  Even Scriptures.  I just prayed, “Lord, make him the spiritual leader YOU want Him to be.”




That was all I prayed for a long time!




As I’ve realized more and more Abba Father’s love for me, and His acceptance of me based on who I am in Him vs. what I do, I’ve been able to not only let go of unrealistic expectations of myself—but of others as well.




Some time ago–again, I’m not sure exactly when, I started praying Scriptures for my husband again.  But this time, my focus was different.  I wasn’t praying for him so he’d be the kind of spiritual leader *I* thought I needed so I could be comfortable and happy.  I was praying for him to be what God wanted him to be so he could fulfill God’ s call on his life…..and be fulfilled by doing so.   Of course that could only benefit our family.  Much better than forcing my dear husband into a mold he didn’t fit into!  (And that didn’t benefit anybody!)




This has spilled into other areas of relationships as well.  I quit expecting my children to act or be a certain way so I could look good, or because I thought that’s what a good Christian family should be.  I started saying “thank you” a whole lot more and praising God for the wonderful gifts they were to me.




I would say that the biggest antidote to expectations is gratitude.  I have suggested this before, but I’ll do so again–start a gratefulness journal.   Write down at least one thing you are grateful for each day.  You could even write three things–one thing you are grateful to God for, one thing you are grateful for in your husband, and one for your children (or even one for each of them!).  It is amazing how focusing your eyes in a different direction affects your heart and attitude–and then of course your words and actions!




I remember as God was teaching me to lay down my expectations, we were trying to sell a pop-up camper.  We had already dropped the price and didn’t want to go much lower.




We had lots of lookers but no takers.  Then one day, I came home from some errand, and Dallas told me he had sold the camper!




Of course I wondered how much.  He had come down even further on the price, but I felt peace about it.   He later told me he felt total freedom, that I wasn’t going to make him feel badly about dropping the price.  He specifically said he could tell I didn’t have expectations of him to do things a certain way.  Wow!




Yes, I was disappointed we had to lower the price, but I had total confidence in his judgment in this.




It was equally freeing to me!




Many times we try to hang onto control, either fueled by the fears and expectations or resulting in them.  Either way, once we learn where our true trust must lie (in Him), and quit putting it on those around us, we free ourselves and them to be who God created them to be!




I have found that our Lord’s ideas are far better, wiser and infinitely higher than mine!




I’ll write more about this, more specifically how this enemy can affect our relationships with our children.




If you have also been working on slaying this monster, please share what has been helpful to you!


Marvelous Mommy Monday–Homemade Toothpaste!

Monday, October 10th, 2011

I missed Fabulous Family Friday, so I thought I’d post it today!



We were busy getting ready for some dear friends to visit for a week–they came from Connecticut Saturday and we are SO enjoying them! :)



I really wanted to get back to my FFF posts and even had a great idea, but it took Jessica helping me and we just couldn’t connect Friday due to everything else we were trying to do–including Isaiah’s birthday, which was also Friday!   (Is my “baby” really five years old?! )


I thought it would be fun to do a video post!  I’ll post the recipe I use below so you can copy and paste it if you want, but sometimes seeing a how-to in a video is even more helpful than in pictures.







Here is the homemade toothpaste recipe (not original with me–I just tweaked what I found on the internet):


4 TB baking soda

1/2-1 tsp. celtic sea salt or himalayan salt, ground fine (you can do this in a coffee grinder, mini-chopper or blender)

Note: I use about 1/2 tsp. celtic sea salt in the double batch–you can leave this out but it does add minerals!

2 TB coconut oil (can use olive oil or sweet almond oil, or you can even leave it out and just have a tooth powder)

Water (optional–if your mixture is too dry, add a little, a few drops at a time)

15 drops total essential oils  (approximately–as you saw in the video, this isn’t exact!)



Here is what I used, but of course use what suits your family best!


~8-12 drops peppermint

~6-10 orange

~1-3 cassia


Mix together and store in container(s) of your choice.  To use, wet toothbrush and dip in to get a small amount on the brush.  Use a bit more water to help it reach all tooth surfaces, rinse well.


Note:  I doubled the above amount in the video.


Here is a picture of the containers we use, purchased at Wal-Mart, they come in packs of two in the travel toiletries section of the Health and Beauty area.





Here is Dr. Ray Behm’s site, and right on the homepage you’ll see “The Secret” that I shared about in the video.



Save Your Teeth



Please share in the comments if you have tried making this and what essential oils you used.



Also please let me know if you liked the video “post” and would enjoy more in the future!



Keep that smile bright and healthy! :D





Fabulous Family Friday–Just 15 Minutes a Day!

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Do you ever get overwhelmed?!


I’m sure everyone has felt overwhelmed with a project more than once in their lifetime!  Maybe even overwhelmed at more than one project at the same time!  Plus just living “normal” life (whatever that is! ;) )


My tendency when I need to do a big project, is to either think I can block of a big chunk of time and get it done, or to think I can do just a little bit over a looonnnnggggg time and it might get done…only to have to start it over again because the first part of it got undone since I was taking so long!


I will confess it right here–I am a messie.   A reforming messie,  a not-nearly-as-bad-as-it-used-to-be messie, but a messie nontheless!


I am not task-oriented.  I like to cross things off my list just like everyone else does, but I very often don’t have a realistic idea of what can really get done with the time and energy available.   That has certainly  gotten better over the years, but between adrenals that are challenged, running my home for just the daily things, even with the girls’ help –it takes a lot of emotional energy!  Add to that the craziness of studying to be a trainer (and that with God’s leading and my husband’s full blessing), you can imagine that things get “out of hand” from time to time!


Over the years I have come to realize, as Donna Otto stated, that most packrats don’t really like a lot of stuff –they just have a hard time making decisions.  Boy, can I relate to that!


Again, this is something that has gotten better over the years, but it’s also something I still have struggles with!  Knowing what I do about the adrenals, I realize part of that problem is truly physical.  Part of it is emotional –having a hard time letting go (memories associated with the “stuff”!).


It may be that something just doesn’t have a good “home” yet.  Or to make a place for it, it’s a domino effect of:


~Wanting to make my one computer desks’ “cubbyholes” my “office”, using the shelves for my mail and paperwork.


~To do that, I need to clean aforementioned shelves off.


~To do that, I need to file things.


~To do that, I need to clean out the file drawer.


~To do that…..well, you get the picture! ;)


So I’m overwhelmed, and usually doing well just to keep up with the dailies. Kind of like budgeting for bigger items, you try to save a little each week….but you can’t ever seem to get ahead to do that!


I had a revelation the other day!


I have lost 9 sizes basically by doing 15-20 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week over the past 4 1/2 years.


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you are a size 22W, and you feel like you will never lose enough to really make a difference.  Especially in just 15 minutes a day!


But then I found that it did work–I just needed to stay consistent!


My thought a week or so ago, was why not do the same with these overwhelming projects in my life?


No, 15  minutes a day isn’t going to make a huge dent in that desk….yet over time it will make a difference!  Let’s just hope it doesn’t take 4 1/2 years!


I’ve tried doing something similar before, but my focus was on how BIG the project was and how l-o-n-g this was going to take, and I lost heart almost before I started.  Along comes real life, with its myriad interruptions, and I would give up.   Again.


But now, having accomplished something big over 4 1/2 years’ time, investing an average of 15 minutes a day, 4 times a week, I can see how it can work in other areas!


So my goals?


Two big areas  that need decluttered are my room and the computer desks (yes, we have two, side by side!).   There are more areas, but those are my priorities right now.    This week had some craziness (as usual!) so I didn’t get to work on those areas daily, but that is the goal I’m working towards–at least 4 days a week.    I did get to work on one desk and it’s amazing what can be done in 15 minutes at a time!


I am also reading through Large Family Logistics, and Kim Brenneman suggests something similar in her book. That plus doing a 10 minutes on task, 10 minutes break or do something you enjoy, then back to 10 minutes on task, etc.  An hour or two of that could make a big dent!  I’m hoping to get to the point of doing that on  Saturdays (when canning is not consuming us!).


I am applying this 15 minute idea to many areas of my life, not just decluttering!


Such as:


~Practicing my flute –no 15 minutes isn’t a lot…but it’s more than the 0 minutes I’m doing right now!


~Sewing–again, no, I won’t finish anything quickly doing this, but it’s better than nothing!


~Studying T-Tapp–I am working on one or two moves a day, so reading up on that/those moves in Fit and Fabulous in Fifteen Minutes, and…


~Doing those 1-2 moves a day (meaning talking them as if I’m teaching them!)


~Working on some writing projects (blog included!)



As I said, I’m not going to finish overnight–but just like losing inches, its effect is cumulative!


I love how God weaves my life together, as Ann Voskamp says, it’s a  One Piece Life. It isn’t compartmentalized into sacred and secular –and so T-Tapp sparks some spiritual applications, and also my quiet times sometimes yield insights into T-Tapp for me!


In this case, the progress I’ve made, putting my best efforts in just a little bit each day, has encouraged me to do the same in other areas of my life.


And just as being on the forums, especially Habit Formers, has helped me with accountability in my workouts, so I am going to be accountable to you here on my blog each Friday, reporting in what got done that week!


Of course, we all know life happens!  It does in T-Tapp, too!  But, my goal is to spend at least 15 minutes 4-5 days per week,  decluttering those two areas and study my T-Tapp 15 minutes daily.   Then I can add more into my day as those habits are established.


Do you have a big project?   Something staring you in the face and overwhelming you?    What could you commit to do for 15 minutes a day, 4-5 times a week?


I’d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and we can pray for each other!


Next week I’ll tell you how I plan to transition into starting our school year! ;)



Fabulous Family Friday–The Enemies of Relationships

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Maybe this should be subtitled:  Lessons I learned in the blueberry patch!


This past week I was pondering the enemies of relationships.


The one that really stood out is Efficiency.


Wait a minute!  Isn’t efficiency a good thing?  Get things done in a timely and efficient manner so we can spend more time with our children?


Yes….and no.


Like so many things in life, we can take it to an excess and still miss the most important things in life.


After all, Martha was no doubt an efficient homemaker and cook!  But she still missed “the one thing needful”.


The Pharisees were very efficient in their studies of the Scriptures, but they missed Jesus.


And sometimes, we mamas can be so focused on getting things done, that we miss true relational opportunities.


For example, you might be a busy mama of younger children and not be able to go to the blueberry patch to pick blueberries, but you can buy them already picked at a good price with some other moms.  That’s great!


But sometimes, it’s just easier and we never get around to picking blueberries with our children…and making memories.


It would be faster and cheaper sometimes to buy through a group, go pick up my blueberries, and then we could bag them together.  And there is nothing wrong with that.


But if we are always looking for the “easiest and cheapest” way to get things done, we may fall into a trap of missed opportunities to connect with the hearts of our children.


We have picked blueberries at the same patch for 12 years.   I’ve worn babies in carriers or had my older girls (12 and 10 at the time) push them around in strollers, and they remember watching the “little girls” (Anna, Bekah and Charissa) play in these old corn cribs pretending to be animals in cages! We would take a picnic lunch and pick off and on for 4-5 hours.


The girls have great memories–and this place is nostalgic for us! :)


I’m not meaning to make you feel guilty by any means!  I’m just using that as an example–sometimes there is a time to just buy the blueberries….but other times, it might be time to spend a little more time, maybe even more money….to do something with your children that will stay with them forever.


Many moms (myself included) often think “I need to get this done” and just don’t feel they can harness the energy of those little ones. They’re playing happily in the other room–I can get supper on the table faster without them!   But of course it doesn’t last-usually someone needs you before you get the main dish put together!


Taking your children with you into your life, your work, will do two things.


1. It will say to them how much you enjoy their company, that even though you could get it done faster without them, you wanted their company. (Hmm….wonder if God ever feels that way?!)


2. It will train them in lifeskills that they will need, helping things to become second nature and helping your child to become more productive as he/she gets older.


My daughters can outpick me two 5 lb. cans of blueberries to my one!   Mama, those years where I picked the bulk of the berries but took them with me has paid off.  Now I better be getting lessons from them!  LOL!


Dishes, meals, laundry, gardening, cleaning…you could do it all faster and better.  But you will short-change your children learning skills that will help them become and even feel productive in the family.  Sending them off to play all the time might be easier…for now.


I would say most of us understand this in theory, but it is SO hard to do! That’s when we may need to let go of our standard—maybe you could buy berries already picked and get them done up in a few hours.  But then again, maybe you could take the littles to a nice patch, have a picnic lunch, make it a day, even get fewer blueberries picked….and tie heartstrings in a way nothing else would!


It is important to get things done, I realize, but it’s more important to spend time with your children, even if it means a chore isn’t done in a timely manner or not as efficiently as you’d like.


It can be a fine line between efficiency for efficiency’s sake and efficiency as a good steward.  The key is–does this build relationships, or take away from them?


Are you finding ways to enjoy their company while being efficient–or are you pushing them off, using the excuse “if I get this done quickly then I can spend more time with them”?  Because typically, something else rushes in, and then another thing, and then….you get the picture!  The tyrrany of the urgent wins again….and you still didn’t really spend more time with them.


So efficiency can be a friend….or a foe!


You decide by what’s in your heart.






(Next week we’ll look at the enemy of Expectations.)



Fabulous Family Friday–They Grow Up Too Soon!

Friday, August 5th, 2011


Cassia, Susannah, Leah, Jessica, Christmas 1993


My daughters are always so good about getting pictures up for their sisters’ birthday posts. They go through old pictures, scan them, and make a post, with a picture for every year.

They recently did this for Cassia, then someone put this picture as wallpaper on one of our computers.


Cassia is 3, Leah is 8 and Susannah is 5 in this picture.



Cassia, Leah, Susannah


They are now 18,  22 and 19-almost-20!!!


Mamas, they grow up TOO fast!





I almost have bittersweet  nostalgia seeing the older ones so small again!  I wish I could go back and enjoy them more!  Quit worrying about if I was parenting just so, or my homeschooling was up to par, or my homemaking was good enough!


Fifteen years later…..that stuff really doesn’t matter as much!   Oh, yes I know, we  need to educate our children and train them in Godliness, to love the Lord, and we need to keep our homes clean and orderly (well, somewhat….. ;) ), but….



Jessica and Cassia



I recently read a devotional by Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies about keeping an orderly home.  It’s true, God does all things decently and in order, but He doesn’t expect us to keep an “orderly” home at the expense of relationships.  As in so many things in life, we add rules and regulations on where He never put any.  We add so many things to our “list of things to do” that we are more focused on the task needing done than the people around us.



Jessica and Leah, 1988


After awhile, our children become a means to an end, instead of the chores becoming a way to knit our hearts together!  We are more concerned about being “efficient” and “good stewards of our time” and such, and we miss the whole point.


The point is not for my home to be clean and orderly, everything in its place.  Surprised?!


The point is for you to have relationship with your Abba Father and to gently lead your little lambs to Him.



Dallas, Trisch, Jessica-5, Leah-3 and Susannah-4 months


Chores and school can be a part of that, but don’t ever trade “doing school” for relational matters.  Marilyn Howshall has a saying:


“Character training adds time to every duty, and every duty should stop for character training.”


The problem is, we really don’t want to stop our “agenda” for character training—sometimes because it’s really our character that needs training!  We can become so busy with all that needs to be done as a young mama of littles, that we lose sight of the fact that the chores will always be there….the littles will not!





Here is a quote from the devotional I linked to above:


“I would also encourage you to cut corners—not corners of cleanliness, but unnecessary tasks. I remember when I first started homemaking nearly 50 years ago; I kept to the traditions of that time. Every week, without fail, I changed the bed sheets. We used to take the bottom sheet off the bed and put it in the laundry, put the top sheet on the bottom and a new sheet on the top! That was the norm back in those days. But now we have fitted sheets and it doesn’t work that way. Plus, I don’t believe that we need to change sheets every week. I have digressed from that tradition. If children bath or shower, you can keep sheets on the beds for two or three weeks at a time. That saves a lot of laundry, especially if you have a number of children.”



Susannah and "Molly"


“What about ironing? I also started out ironing about twice a week. I even ironed pillow cases (I had friends who ironed their tea towels!). Help! How did I do that with four children under four and then six young children? I certainly don’t do that now, even though my children have grown. I have better things to do. I try to purchase clothes that don’t need ironing. I iron only what is absolutely necessary. I try to hang up clothes from the dryer immediately so they don’t crumple. I will even throw a dress in the dryer to unwrinkle if it needs an iron.”



Charissa and Bekah


“Remember, you are responsible to keep your home clean and in order, but not to do unnecessary tasks. Make the use of this time to spend more time with your children, reading to them, teaching them and doing creative things with them. That will have far more impact than unnecessary household tasks.”


Jessica--a "little shaver"! ;)



I would highly urge you to go before the Lord, and ask Him for His “pattern on the mount” for your family.   So often we add to our housework, our schooling, our outside involvements out of a sense of duty that God never gave us.   There were many lepers and widows in Elijah and Elisha’s day, but they didn’t heal them all.  Jesus said He had completed the work the Father gave Him to do.  But weren’t there more lepers to be cleansed, sinners to be forgiven, lame and blind men and women to be healed?


Jesus spent time with His Father, yes, even after a long night of ministry!   I’m not advocating you deprive yourself and ruin your health, but perhaps write down what all you do in a week.



Jessica and Leah


How much time is spent running errands?   Are you running more than you should?  Has it become a “diversion” to avoid dealing with your flesh?


How much time is spent in cleaning that might truly be unnecessary, especially at this stage of your children’s lives?



Jessica, Leah and Susannah, Easter 1993



How much time are you spending doing formal school?  Are you adding and adding out of fear, vs. what is “the one thing needful”?



Jessica and Cassia



I think one of the hardest things to realize, is how much we parent and homeschool out of fear.  We as women want security, and because of the sin nature, we will try to maintain “control” of situations to help us feel secure.


But it doesn’t work!



Jessica and Susannah


Usually it stresses us out, whether it’s the way we like the dishwasher loaded, or the way we want the books to be put away in a bookcase.  Or the way we want to have all the budget nicely divvied out in its place so there are no surprises….


Maybe it’s the way you do school.  You can’t let go of a curriculum because you “paid good money for it” or “what will my friends/neighbors/parents/in-laws think?”




Jessica, Leah, Susannah, Cassia

I’ve learned over the years that letting go is the way to peace!


Sometimes God has had to pry my fingers off, like a parent does a foolish toddler hanging onto garbage instead of letting go and receiving a treat from the Father’s hand.



Charissa and "her" baby, Noah!


I have had to let go of a lot of “normal ways to do things”.  I have been laid low with miscarriages, health issues, sick parents, a husband with a major head injury…things that kept me from being able to “just push through” and do my agenda.   I had to cry out to Him, to look up for HIS agenda, His plan for my days.



Jessica and Leah


There are so many things I wish I had taken time for!  What was so important, that I didn’t have time to….


*write in a journal often what we did, what we ate….things they said…..that would be so much fun to read today?


*keep up with reading to them every night?


*pray with them as much as I should have?


*take them to see grandparents and great-grandparents more often?  (Oh, but we had to do school…..)


*take them to the park more and swing on the swings with them?


*keep up our hymn singing we started?


*make them more doll clothes?


*have tea parties with them?


*just sit and hold them?



Mama, my “little girls” are now 24, 22, 19, 18, 14, 12 and 10!!!  This time has flown all too quickly, and although I did do a lot of things well, I have regrets.   No one is perfect, I realize that.


But I also know the Lord nudged me different times to focus on relational things that would last for Eternity, and I was “too busy” with temporal things.


I wish I had made fewer issues of things, which turned into power struggles, and only made discipline for true issues.


I wish I would have quit worrying about what others thought of me, or my homeschooling, or my homemaking, or my parenting…..




….and just enjoyed them!


Mamas, take time…take time. Don’t let the tyrrany of the urgent steal your time with your little ones.    Don’t be “too busy” with things God has not called you to do, and be like the parable of the servant in I Kings 20:39-43, who was “busy here and there” and his charge “was gone”.



Anna :)


As the song “Goodnight Kiss” by Steve and Annie Chapman goes:


“For I know too soon they’re up and gone, and walking out the door,


and I’ll never have a child to kiss, good-night, anymore.”


Yes, too soon, they’ll be grown up–and even though they may still be in your home, still love you dearly, still kiss you goodnight and still call you Mommy….



They’ll never be little again!




Jessica, Leah, Susannah--The Three Musketeers!






Before the time is gone!


Isaiah and Charissa


Fabulous Family Friday–It’s Time to Let Go

Thursday, July 28th, 2011




Dallas’ step-mom stepped into Glory early Wednesday morning.


Times like this make you re-evaluate your life.


What is really important in life?  What IS the “important stuff”?


Well, if you know me at all, you know I “preach” about relationships all the time.


Relationships.  Those are the “important stuff” of life.   God wanted fellowship, so He created man.  He didn’t “need” us.  But He wanted a creature that would choose to fellowship with Him. So He gave man a choice.


Man didn’t make the best choice and has suffered for it ever since.


Then the Father made a way to reconcile us to Him.  He paid a precious price to redeem us from our foolish choice of self!


What a wonderful Savior He is!


And yet….


I can’t help but think of the parable Jesus told in Matthew 18:21-35.   I used to tell my girls, when they were younger, how the servant owed money that if it were stacked up, would be as high as “the tower”.  “The tower” is connected to a Cargill facility and stores grain to be used for mixing feed.  It is 8 stories high and visible for miles around!   In our rural area, it stands out!  It was pretty new when they were small, and they used to look for the tower on our way home from anywhere and start this litany of “I see the tower!  I see the tower!”


So it made a BIG impression on them to think of $20 bills stacked 8 stories high!


(Note:  I’m not stating that is the exact amount or how it might look but was using it for an analogy! ;) )


That’s how much the servant was forgiven!


Then what does he do?  He goes out and finds a fellow servant who owes him $20 and says, “Pay up or else!”   As his fellow servant begs for patience, he has no mercy whatsoever.


I’m sure we’ve all read that and thought, “How could he do that?  How could he just be forgiven a debt that he could never repay, and then demand his fellow servant pay a ridiculously small amount?!”


Because he didn’t understand mercy.   Or grace.   He didn’t focus on the “important stuff”.


I have watched Christians hang onto bitter grudges and hurts, and say things like “They’ll get theirs!”


Really–do we want others to “get theirs”?


What about “ours”?


Oh, that’s different!  WE get grace and mercy!  But “they” don’t “deserve” it.


It looks pathetic in print, doesn’t it?


Yet that is what we really are saying when we choose to not forgive.


And that is usually at the bottom of broken relationships.  Someone is not meeting our needs, someone is not doing what they should, someone else is being selfish and it hurts you….yet God’s grace is there to help you forgive them.


It’s not a feeling.  It’s a choice.  But too many of us are bound by our feelings.   And as we’re waiting for “feelings” to help us forgive, we’re getting more bitter every day.


Bitterness is not just wishing for revenge.  It can also be hanging onto the hurts.  Which is all too easy to do, especially when the other person either doesn’t have a clue they even hurt us, or they don’t care.


But we are commanded to forgive, to let go, to love, to bless and do good to our enemies (Mt. 5:44).


If we are to do that with our “enemies”, shouldn’t we do that all the more with our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Especially in our families?


This brings peace, rest, grace…unity.


And unity is the gift we can give to Him.


“That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us:  that the world may believe that Thou hast sent me.” Jn. 17:21



How will the world believe the Father loved them enough to send His Son, when His children can’t even love and forgive each other?


When we keep His lovingkindness, His mercy, before our eyes, it is easier to see how to walk in His Truth.


“For Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes:  and I have walked in Thy Truth.”           Ps. 26:3


His lovingkindness is also His beauty, His favor.


When we keep before us all He did for us, and that we have favor with Him only because of His Son, it makes it easier to trust Him and believe that truly He can work even the wrath of man to praise Him. (Ps. 76:10)


Do we really think we can make a difference in an offender’s life by holding him or her hostage to our bitter emotions?


Christ died to free us from the shackles of guilt, shame, bondage to sin.  So why do we insist on putting shackles on our brothers and sisters?


I told my husband the other day that I think I know what the “unpardonable sin” is.


He asked what?


I said, “Unforgiveness.”


No, I can’t prove that theologically.   What I mean is, first of all, if we don’t forgive, He plainly said He won’t forgive us, either.  (Mt. 18:35)


If we are truly His, and we choose not to forgive, we may still “get to Heaven”, but we will live in a self-made hell-on-earth, because we can’t stay in fellowship with the Father Who forgave His prodigal when we harbor bitterness and unforgiveness towards another.  We won’t feel His forgiveness, His favor.  We will also destroy other relationships, because anyone who acts like or reminds us of the one we won’t forgive will evoke a reaction from us.  Or we’re so consumed with rehashing in our minds and to anyone who will listen how that person wronged us.  How we’re justified in feeling this way.  And then we will wonder why certain people have become distant to us.


Our hearts will shrivel up more and more as we get more self-focused, self-possessed.


“Be careful that you are following Me, and I will care for all else.  Striving is for those who have not yet learned to trust Me.  Anxiety is the affliction of the self-possessed. The godly know their heritage and revel in the protection of their Redeemer.  For it is in the blood of Jesus that refuge is found for every onslaught of the enemy.                                               ~Come Away My Beloved, by Frances Roberts


Truly, hanging onto offenses shows a lack of trust in God, and a lack of belief that He is Sovereign.   He could have stopped the offense, but didn’t.  Can He really be God?  (Where does that lie come from?!)


By embracing the grace He extends to you, and choosing, in spite of your feelings, to forgive, and instead of rehashing what was said or what you will say when you get a chance the next time, you choose to think of His grace and say, “I choose to forgive them.  By Your grace, I choose to love them”, then eventually it doesn’t hurt anymore.   And you actually DO love them!


Jesus didn’t die on a Cross so you could “have the right” to “speak your mind”.  Or to hold onto a grudge and refuse to give grace and mercy when you have received so much more from Him.


It’s really a slap in the face to the Glorious Son of God Who died to set you free!


We really have no other choice if we truly want peace and to stay in fellowship with Him.


It’s time to let go.


As you can imagine, life has prompted this post.


29 years ago, my step-mother-in-law had heard some things about me that weren’t true, but she trusted the one who told her.   She didn’t know me very well yet.  For close to 2 years, I could tell she didn’t like me and didn’t really accept me as her daughter-in-law.   At the time, I didn’t know why.


I had to choose to forgive, to say, “I love her” even when I didn’t feel it one little bit.


I’m so glad I did!


As I knelt by her bedside a few days ago, holding her hand, not knowing if she even was aware we were there, I thought, “Thank You, Lord!  Thank You that we cleared all that up years ago!”


My mother-in-law did say she was sorry, but by the time she did, it really didn’t matter anymore.


You see, if you wait for them to “say their sorry and mean it’, they will never be able to mean it enough for you.  You will still be expecting so much from them, and when they sincerely ask forgiveness or apologize, you won’t be able to release them.


And your “balance” will be upset.  As long as they were not acknowledging their wrong, you were “justified” in your feelings.  But now they have received freedom from God, if not from you, and their end of the balance has flung to the Heavens.  And you are left with the weight of the bitterness you harbored in your heart.


There is only one thing to do.


Let go.   Give it to Him, a thousand times a day if you must.  But let go, before it totally destroys you and those you love.


After all, when you get to Heaven, and see those nail-scarred hands, just what will be so important to hold on to, when you look into the face of One Who let go of it all…..for you?


Remember, it was from His Cross that He spoke the ten words that are our example….



“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”



May you find in Him the grace, the mercy, the strength….


…..to let go.


For then you will see and know His Truth, and “the Truth shall set you free.”


May you be free in Him!




Fabulous Family Friday–The Sound of Music

Friday, July 22nd, 2011


Little did my mother know back in 1973, when she let me take the “Tonette” in 5th grade, what it would lead to……



Only part of the "family orchestra"--four more are up and coming!


When I started flute in band the next year,  they bought me a Bundy flute used fr om my neighbor for $50 with the stern admonition that if I started band, I could not quit.  I was in it for all 6 years!


After I “proved” I would stick out the first year, they bought me a “new” Bundy….I really wish I had kept that one!  But I still have my original Bundy…I will be teaching my 10 year old, Charissa, on it this fall!


I did stick with band for all 6 years of junior high and high school, through three band teachers, too!    My freshman year I tried the drum set….fun but  not quite “me”!


Then in 10th grade, there were too many flutes for our small school, so I switched to oboe!  (It’s in the same key and most of the notes are the same fingering–the double reed is a bit different, though! LOL!)   It belonged to the school so I didn’t even have to pay rental.  I got to be a part of the Honors Band that year as there was only one other oboist within a 30 mile radius!


Did you know that the whole orchestra tunes to the oboe?   According to Wikipedia it’s because the oboe pitch is secure and penetrating.  I was told it’s because the oboe didn’t have much wiggle room for tuning, so you got as close as possible to be “in tune” and then the rest of the orchestra tuned to you!  ;)   Makes an oboist feel a bit more important!  :D


I tried trumpet (didn’t have the lip for it!), clarinet (that mouthpiece hurt with my braces), and played tenor saxophone in jazz band (another instrument that has the same fingering as the flute–handy!)


I always wanted to take violin, but alas!   A small town like mine had no orchestra!


When I got into college it wasn’t for music.  But I held onto my flute.   About halfway through college God really got hold of my life and changed my direction.  I took a semester of music at a small Christian college majoring in voice.  And took piano.


Although I only took one semester, I learned enough about theory between my classes and the piano lessons to help me later arrange things for my daughters and me to play!


I share that with you because there are many times we think music is a “nice extra” to “fit in” after the academics.  I’m glad my parents made me understand it was a commitment, and that it was every bit as important as French and Algebra.   And I’m glad they supported and encouraged me, coming to nearly all my band concerts.


When Dallas and I got married and looked forward to having children, we talked about what we wanted for them.  He knew of many families that really got into sports, and although there are certainly things to be learned from that, he felt music was something they could take into their lives once they were grown.  I really appreciate his vision!


When Jessica was very small, she wanted to play the “Volin-V” (so named after her See and Say Busy Bee when he said, “Violin-V!” :) )   At 5 she started violin lessons with an elderly professor at a college about 20 minutes from us.   After he retired we found another teacher, and a year later Leah joined her.


Soon came harp for Jessica, cello for Susannah and Cassia….and I was busy helping them practice!  No, we didn’t listen to the tapes like we were supposed to and no, I didn’t practice hours a day with them (which is why we’re not in Carnegie Hall! LOL!).


I did what I could as a busy mama of many who was also homeschooling.  But I also didn’t just give up.


When the girls were 10, 8, 5, 2 and Anna a tiny baby, Dallas suggested we sing for the local senior center.  So we did!  I remember Susannah and Cassia pushing each other off the piano bench, a dear elderly lady from my Home Ec Club holding Anna, and Jessica, Leah and I singing and playing a few songs together.  And that is how it started, nearly 14 years ago!


I had to write the “music” in a way they could understand it–a real challenge when the “cello girls” joined us!   I would write string names and finger numbers, and simplify hymns so they could play, too!  That theory class came in quite handy! ;)


Over the years, their skills have grown–thank goodness!–and we have a BLAST playing together!


I often tell people, when we share in song, that “family harmony” has more to it than just sounding good together!


For whatever reason, (maybe because we  have a life beyond music!), we seem to end up practicing late at night.  Some of us like to go to bed early, and others of us are night owls!  So usually someone is a bit on the grumpy side and needs to lighten up, and others of us need to be sensitive to that and not let non-essentials put off our practice sessions until so late!


You might think you are not very gifted in music.   Do you know what really sparked my love of music?  My mom had these record albums with “The Best of the Classics” with many of the popular classical pieces.  To this day I am familiar with many of the classics thanks to those albums!  I used to listen to them ALL the time!  (Suzuki-style before I even knew about it!)


Playing good music for your children is a cinch in this internet age!  You can find just about any composer’s work on YouTube with excellent orchestras playing it.  That way your children can see it as well as listen!  (A privilege I didn’t have!)


Check your local community–there may be free concerts, especially if there is a college nearby.   We are blessed, even in our rural area, to have a local symphony (that two of my daughters are going to audition for this fall!), as well as a Christian summer orchestra camp, drawing the cream of the crop for dance, choir, orchestra and theater.   And it’s all free!   So don’t think just because you’re in the middle of a cornfield, there’s nothing nearby! :)


Listening to good music is a good start.  Simply Charlotte Mason has a rotation to listen to different composers for 6 weeks at a time.  You could shorten that if you want to get more in in a year’s time.   But do read up a bit on them and listen to some of their more popular works.  I confess I’ve not been as consistent with that–but my children listen to it on their own! (Like mother, like children, I guess!)


And that is true–if you grump about “having to hear that song one more time”, you will not instill a love of music in your children!


Lessons don’t have to be with a professional….my girls have taken lessons from a professor, a second violinist in a philharmonic orchestra, homeschooled young ladies, college students and now back to more professional teachers!   Jessica started teaching at 13!  The girl she taught was only 8, so all it takes it being a few steps ahead of your student! ;)  (Kind of like homeschooling, eh?!)


My girls have done and now are doing work for their lessons. Their teachers need projects done that they can’t always get to as full-time teachers, so the girls work while one gets her lesson, then switch.  It works out very well.


Cassia wanted piano lessons for a long time, and I taught her a little, but it was obvious she was going to go far beyond me and needed just the right teacher.   A few years ago God opened the door to a wonderful, Godly lady who is just right for Cassia!   She also does work for her lessons.


Maybe going the instrument route isn’t possible, but you can sing!  We typically sing about 4 hymns  day when we are in our routine for school.  Yes, I said FOUR!


“Doesn’t that take a long time?”


I timed it once–it takes about 10 minutes!


10 minutes five times a week yields the ability to sing many hymns and harmonize!


I usually pick a “hymn of the week” for us to sing, to get more familiar with  it.  Then we also sing through the hymnbook–just sing the next song whether we know it or not! (That’s where those piano lessons come in handy!)   We do save the Christmas ones for Christmas time, but we plow through the rest of the hymnbook and find some real treasures in there!


Whoever does their laundry on that day also gets to pick a hymn–and yes, 3 days we double up!   Sometimes we also are working on a hymn to sing together and it only makes sense to do it then, too.   So there you have 3-4 hymns.   The girls are amazed at how familiar many of the hymns are because of us singing them over the years!  My only regret is I have not been consistent since we started this back in the mid-90s.  Just think of the rich treasury of hymns and songs they would have!


We thought we would start having a “Sunday night singing” as a family and sing through all the weekly hymns.  Obviously by the end of the year we might have to split those up since we’d have close to 52 songs!   We were at a ministry once where they picked a hymn per week and sang it at suppertime.  They had it in a binder, and you would move the previous week’s to the back of the binder.  We started doing something similar, and plan to pick it back up here soon.


We also have some Scripture songs we want to learn, so we will be factoring those into the “mix” as well!


Do you see how easy it is to add music to your family’s life?  And how important it is to homeschooling?  It has been said that when the church stopped singing, the Dark Ages came.  I realize that is simplistic, but there is a nugget of truth there.


One of the disadvantages, in my opinion, of worship teams and such, is that the congregation can stop singing and let them carry it.  I know that doesn’t always happen, but I’ve seen it happen and it saddens me.  You hardly ever hear anyone singing in harmony in some congregations.  That is a beautiful art!  (My girls learned this by playing different parts with their instruments as well as hearing it in the music we listened to.)


In the future we do plan to be a little more organized about practicing, taking one day a week to practice together.  But I want to share that we really didn’t practice hours each day.  We sing together, practice together like crazy women when a ministry opportunity comes up ;)  and have fun!   If I could do it with four young children and a baby, you can, too, mama!  Just do what you can, use what you have, and let God perfect it!


I would plead with you to not let this one slip by “so you can get the academics done” (or housework).   Music can lift the soul, encourage others, and become something siblings and parents can do together.   If “all” you ever do is bless a local nursing home with your “ministry”, that will certainly bless and minister to our Lord as well!  And those people enjoy it so much!


If you can have the far reaching vision of music with your children, then someday that can be an opportunity for them to bless others through singing/playing together, giving lessons (for pay and/or as a ministry), as well as something to give them a family purpose.


We are known all over our county and a few others because of our singing ministry.  Many people come up to us and tell us how much they enjoyed it, loved seeing the little ones in there, too, or even remember when the older girls were “the little ones”!


We started with little character songs and hymns. Added a few  hand motions and maybe some Scripture memory.  It took a lot to fill 20 minutes!


Now we can fill an hour easily! ;)


But it starts with little steps, and most of all, it starts with Mama having a heart for ministry and a vision of family unity that will keep you going even when the “musicians” are giving you a hard time!   (Like this goofy video–you won’t see anything because we were practicing late one night and some people weren’t dressed for videoing!  LOL!  And as you can tell–we were NOT in tune! :P  And in spite of my “stern” sounding tone of voice, it was all in fun!  No children or mothers were harmed in this video! )






Add big smiles to the mix and you can’t go wrong!



And one day, you may be blessed to hear their pure, sweet voices leading The Star Spangled Banner at the Sale of Champions during the 4-H fair:






Or maybe you will find a funny song to sing together that will make people smile!





Or maybe one of your daughters will surpass you on piano and take your place accompanying her sister–far better than you ever could!




Or maybe the same pianist daughter, who used to spend hours each day challenging you, will put that energy to better use in playing a tremendously moving piece:





So go ahead–make some music and memories together!



(And thanks, Mom, for making me practice, making me stick with it, and always believing in me!)





Here is a neat resource that we have used–in fact, I need to get ours out and work with the younger ones!




(Scroll down for the handbells–the first ones you see are combination handbell/deskbells.  I always intended to get the extended range and chromatic bells….maybe one of these days!)



Fabulous Family Friday–Being Creative to Feed the Soul

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

This is still Friday, isn’t it?!  :)

Yesterday was a full day, and part of a full weekend.   It would have been easy to say no to something I’ve done nearly every year for 11 years.  

What is it?

Quilt in a Day class!

Now, we really don’t make a whole quilt and get it all done in one day.   We cut and piece the top part and usually it is more a table runner or wall hanging size.  Sometimes we’ve quilted as we went–like a few years ago, but normally I don’t get finished.

And then they sit in my UFO Rubbermaid tub.

What is a UFO tub, you ask?!

UnFinished Object!  :D

I don’t know why it’s easier to take the time and drag your cutting mat, sewing machine, fabric, scissors, etc. to the library and get something done than to just get the machine out at home and do it!   But it seems to be a law of mommy nature that we let the “tyranny of the urgent” drive out the “urge to be creative”!   But we were created in the image of our Creator, and He has put within us this desire to create as well. 

I had posted back when I first started my blog about how we have taken the creative part out of our work–going to buy a comforter at Wal-Mart for $29.95, that may be pretty, but usually is not as well made as homemade and….well….doesn’t really reflect you.



So I took time out of my too busy day to go to the Quilt in a Day class–and I’m so glad I did!

No, I did not get it done (again!), but this time, I am making plans and I’m going to make my daughters hold me to it!   I have ten of the fifteen blocks sewn–another hour or so and the last 5 blocks will be done.  Then of course I’ll need to sew it all together and get it ready to quilt.  I may not finish it in even one more day, but really, how long will this take?!

As I said in the post I reference above, we have taken the part of our work that stays done and what are we left with?   The part that needs redone every day.    And that is a beautiful part of our work as wives, mommies and homemakers, but if we don’t take some time to create something that stays done for more than 5 minutes, we can get discouraged and disheartened in the other part of our work.

I know you young mamas are super busy!   Guess what?  So am I!   Some of it is self-inflicted ;)  but it seems more opportunites arrive as free time increases!   Of course I pray about what to get involved in, but sometimes you may need to make a choice to make your life crazy for awhile to do what God calls you to. 

Or it may come whether you asked for it or not!

During Dallas’ hospital stay after his serious accident I was able to keep my hands busy making a shawl like this one  I gave away a few years ago.   It really helped to pass the time and I really believe it helped calm me, too.   I went on to make four more as gifts for my four oldest daughters over the next year!   (And now am starting on some for the younger girls!  If I can find the pattern online, I’ll post it for you!)

I would really like to challenge you, yes, even you busy younger mamas, to find something to do with your hands.  Quilting, sewing, tatting, knitting, crocheting, counted cross stitch, other needlework…..give yourself permission to spend some time with your hands.

I was a “brain” in school, and unfortunately did not want to learn all that as I was growing up.  I’m sad about that now because my mom had a lot of wonderful skills I could have learned from her vs. learning on my own later.

I know many ladies share how a grandmother or mother taught them different things….can you see the relationship that would be forged through this?   (And you know I’m all about relationships!  ;) )

“But I’m not a crafty type”, you say?    You can become one!   Find something you think you may enjoy….press through…as a “brain” I spent a lot of time studying, learning, etc……all important, but I really feel young ladies need to have some “grounding” through handwork (young men, too–nothing wrong with them learning woodworking and other skills–yes, even knitting if they want to!).

Cardmaking, scrapbooking, even “just” a visual journal…..

I’d like you all to share something you do, or something you’d like to learn or do, and if you have blogged about it or plan to, please leave a link!   And pictures are always nice!

You all can be my accountability–below is a picture of the layout of the table runner. The bottom row of blocks are not assembled yet, so they look bigger, but you get the idea!  

Then in 3 weeks I’ll post progress (that would be April 15)–and you can hold me to it!  :)

Go get creative—it will feed your soul as well as give you some beauty for your home or a gift!


(for directions to make this pattern, click here)