Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Late Christmas post

I thought I needed to say a word about Christmas, although late. Thanks for your patience! We were thankful for many things this Christmas.

12. A reason to celebrate--Christ came in the flesh! What a wonderful, surprising fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies.

13. Such fulfillment of prophecy gives HOPE for the future--how will He fulfill His promises to come again? I can't wait to see.
14. Advent reading--we read Jotham's Journey again since Abby wasn't around the first time.

15. Fun making ornaments for my brother and sisters' families.

16. Enjoyment making ornaments with friends.

17. A house full while family came to celebrate with us, and making MORE ornaments.
18. A WHITE CHRISTMAS! For those in the north, you might not understand my excitement. We haven't had a white Christmas here since 1947! It actually started snowing the evening of Christmas.

19. Fun throwing snowballs at each other.

20. Snow sculpting a bear.

21. Singing at 2 nursing homes and the smiles that brought.

22. Esther 9:22 "that they should make them days of feasting and gladness, days for sending gifts of food to one another and gifts to the poor." The Jews celebrated this way when saved from Haman's wicked plot. I love how God smiles on feasting, gladness and food gifts when celebrating something special--especially something as special as His birth.
Join me in giving thanks. Here's a link to Ann Voskamp's blog that started it all.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Enjoying family

Thanksgiving for our family this year was not a traditional one spent with extended family around a bountiful feast. That day found us traveling, and enjoying the Thanksgiving meal Cracker Barrel had to offer. We still enjoyed our time away with just the four of us!

But...when we returned, I decided an impromtu feast was in order to celebrate before our oldest returned to college--to make memories and show them love. We set the table with our nicest stoneware, and silver inherited from parents.

We added fall decorations, and prepared a feast of rosemary-roasted chicken and potatoes, green bean casserole, corn, and homemade buttermilk biscuits. Yummy! I think they appreciated it after meals on the road. We enjoyed spending time together over the meal.
It's so important to build pleasant memories while we have our children with us. Now that our oldest is at college, we have very limited times with her, and we try to make the most of them.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Still, My Soul, Be Still

My favorite new song writers/performers are Keith and Kristyn Getty from Ireland. Their songs are full of rich, Biblical lyrics. Much like hymns of old, their new hymns have verses that are each packed with meaning. This particular song (different from their hymns) has meant a lot to me today. You can access an audio sample of it here. We don't know what lies ahead in life, but we can still be assured of God's presence with us and we can rest in Him no matter the circumstances.

Still, my soul, be still and do not fear though winds of change may rage tomorrow.
God is at your side; no longer dread the fires of unexpected sorrow.

God, You are my God, and I will trust in You and not be shaken.
Lord of peace, renew a steadfast spirit within me to rest in You alone.

Still, my soul, be still; do not be moved by lesser lights and fleeting shadows.
Hold onto His ways, with shield of faith against temptation's flaming arrows.

Still, my soul, be still; do not forsake the truth you learned in the beginning.
Wait upon the Lord, and hope will rise as stars appear when day is dimming.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Delicious Poppy Seed Bread

This is a wonderful recipe I received from a relative for Poppy Seed Bread that I've used many times . It is so easy to make, and I've used it often for a Christmas gift for neighbors, or to take to a church fellowship meal. It's so delicious! I must tell you first that while the recipe is mine, the photo is not, as I borrowed it from I'll hope you'll also visit their site as they have many wonderful recipes too.

Poppy Seed Bread
Makes 2 loaves

3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cup milk
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons EACH of vanilla, butter, and almond flavorings
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Frosting ingredients:
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon EACH of vanilla, butter, and almond flavorings

Mix all the ingredients except frosting ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes. Grease and flour 2 regular loaf pans. Pour 1/2 of the batter in each pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then mix all ingredients for the frosting and pour it over the loaves while still in the pan. Let stand at least 5 minutes before removing.

We enjoyed going to our daughter's college to visit her on parents day today. They had a hymn sing, and other activities, and then we just enjoyed taking her to small, unique mountain gift shops and looking at all the beautiful, creative things like pottery, hand-knit shawls, etc. It was such a nice get-away.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wonderful embroidery site!

I wanted to share with you my latest project and where the inspiration came from. I actually have finished this butterfly since taking these pictures, by filling in the spaces on the lower wings inside the purple satin stitch.

I did a lot of cross-stitch years ago, but haven't done much other hand embroidery. Then I came across this site and have learned how to do many different stitches. Mary Corbet has very clear instructional videos for learning the stitches--great for beginners. And be sure to read through her posts to see examples of her own work, which is fabulous.
For the butterfly above, the dark gray outline is whipped backstitch. The blue lines are stem stitch, and the yellow knots are French knots. The purple curved lines are satin stitch, and the sea green filler is chain stitch. I just used DMC cotton floss, since I already have many colors on hand. You may also download this pattern from the free patterns she offers.
If you want some other lovely, free patterns, check out my friend Linda Stubbs' blog at She is a fabric artist, and you can sign up for her free patterns along the right side of her blog. You can also access her store from her site where she sells some of her work.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Titanic Museum

Hi everyone! I'm posting again about our trip, wanting to share what we found inside the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN. Looking from the road, it almost looks authentic, since it's made to the same size, but only half of it is there.

There are only 2 smoke stacks. The original had 4, but only 3 were functional.

Here's the sign--no cameras allowed inside. Maybe I can draw pictures with words. Most memorable were:
1-A display box containing a handwritten letter on Titanic stationery, posted from Ireland before traversing the ocean. The letter was written by Rev. John Harper and delivered to members of his church who had lost a relative. He encouraged them not to grieve without hope, and that the loved one who had gone ahead to Heaven was not lost to them, but now a link between Heaven and themselves. He was the pastor who was leading people to the Lord up until he himself perished, even giving his life jacket to someone who didn't know Christ--someone he said "needed it more" than he did. You may find stories about him by searching online and this link gives some biographical info on him. What a testimony for Christ!
2-Photographs by Father Browne taken on board Titanic during the first leg of the voyage before he disembarked in Ireland. He was asked to stop giving talks about Titanic after she sank, and after his death in 1960, his slides lay undiscovered until 1986, when they were found to be the best collection taken on the ship. He took the last photograph of the captain, and the only one of the Marconi Room. You may also view them here.
3-A replica of the grand staircase that we could walk up, laid with the newest, expensive flooring of the day--linoleum!! Pieces of wood from the grand staircase recovered from the water, and wood from the ship made into game boards.
4-Stories about other passengers, so interesting to read. Maj. Archibald Butt, aide to first Teddy Roosevelt, and then President Taft, was said to have been instrumental in organizing the evacuation of women and children to the lifeboats.
Mrs. Isdore Straus, wife of the owner of Macy's, almost boarded lifeboat 8 several times. But she gave her fur coat to her maid in the lifeboat and turned back to be with her husband, saying to him, "We have lived together for many years. Where you go, I go."
5-Toward the end we walked out on what was set up to look like a part of the deck outside the pilot house. There was an ice wall made to look like an iceberg, and containers of water cooled to the temperature of the water that night where we could plunge our hands.
My only comment is to say how moving it was to read some of the stories of those who were so courageous and were still doing the Lord's work in the face of death .

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Vacation time!

We just returned from a trip to Pigeon Forge Tennessee and Indiana. We saw some strange sites along the way (Wonderworks Museum).

It was fun to stay in a camping cabin in Pigeon Forge!

Our oldest daugher Anna relaxing at the cabin.

First stop--Titanic Museum, which we'll write more about in our next few posts.

Then we headed off into the Great Smoky Mountains.
Here's our youngest daugher Abby and myself.

We experienced the highest point of the Appalachian Trail.

We climbed to the top in half a mile's hike.

Picnics along the way were fun.

Stops at craft centers were colorful and inspiring!

Finally the joy of reuniting with Mitch's sisters and step-mother in Indiana.