Sunday, November 28, 2010

So Sunday...

Pablo...such a cat.
This is us today...lazy. Chris has been sick the last couple of days...back and forth from the living room to the bed...headache, stuffy head, body aches. The boys spent lots of time with friends this games, scooters, sleepovers. It was gray and rainy yesterday...a perfect day to make that turkey I'd had defrosting. And of course, all of the trimmings, too...potatoes, Noni's stuffing, gravy. And yes, even a pumpkin pie! Seth helped was delicious. Matter of fact, I just had some for breakfast. With whipped cream. I make no apologies.

Today will be slow...just like the last two days. And that...makes me happy. I will do some reading...and some tidying...and some washing...and I will hunt around for recipes and make a menu plan for the week. But other than that...we're taking our cue from Pablo this beautiful autumn day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give thanks...

 Happy Thanksgiving

I'm thankful for you...have a blessed and safe day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

Psalm 84:3

Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

* * *

I've been spending a lot of time at home lately.
I've been moving slow...and deliberate.
I've been taking care of my nest...
and my young...
and my self.

And nest is near His altar...
so close,
He is right there...
I feel Him,
I hear Him,
even if it is just a whisper...
I know He is near.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Boutique.

the main display table in the living room
  The Holiday Boutique was on Saturday...and it was so much fun! And it was also a success! My aunt's house was completely transformed into a true was great.
There were about a dozen of us who participated and there was a wide variety of items for sale...vintage finds like thimble shaped shot glasses, beautiful floral dessert plates, silver salt and pepper shakers, beautiful dish sets...and more. Very cool was hard not to buy, buy, buy!

We also had handmade items...ornaments, hand knit wash cloths, adorable appliqued onesies, homemade dog treats, lots and lots of yummy baked goods, handmade wreaths, adorable sock monkeys, quilts...and more! 

We had a steady stream of visitors from start to finish. We mulled some delicious apple cider...we had Christmas music playing in the background...there was lots of laughter...and lots of SHOPPING!

baked goods beautifully displayed on the island
ornaments, glitzy wreaths (made by my aunt), glassware and
 rustic snowmen (made by yours truly...)

vintage-like glitter of my offerings.
Mr. and Mrs. mom made
these adorable little Christmas mice...and my
friend Sue took them home as a pair!

My Aunt Lisa made this sweet little mouse sitting
in a snowball...isn't he darling?

You might recognize this young's a
Mimi Angel complete with wings and a halo!

Appliqued onesies and fancy stinkin' cute.
My cousin made these sweet little numbers and
they are adorable.

And would you was pouring down rain! It rained like crazy when I arrived in the morning...just in time to unload my wares. And POURED in the evening, complete with thunder and lightning, just in time to load our cars and go home!! But that was OK...what's a little water?

Thank you to my Aunt Lisa for opening up her home for this endeavor. And I'd like to extend a HUGE thank you to my uncle D...poor guy was misplaced for about three days while his house was torn up and transformed into the Holiday Boutique extravaganza. But, being the amazingly good sport that he is...he made the best of it! (Thanks, D!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Santa...

Please bring us a new water heater that produces lots and lots of nice hot water. I've been a pretty good girl this year...well, most of the time...sort of...except for maybe that one time. But that was an accident...pretty much. Well, sort of. Oh...and there was that one other minor little incident...but nobody suffered any permanent that doesn't count right? Right? I did make my bed every day and use my manners on a regular basis and eat all of my vegetables. Hopefully that will count for something! Oh, and I'll even leave you cookies! Thanks're the best. Love, Michelle

Our water heater isn't working! We realized this last night when Chris went to take a shower and there wasn't any hot water. This morning Seth took a cold-ish shower...Ian washed his hair in cold water...and I'm patiently waiting for my handy hubby to come back home to fix it so I can take a shower and get going with my day!

Well, the Holiday Boutique is tomorrow! I have so much to do!! I have to finish my fence board snowmen (that turned out super cute, if I don't say so myself! and yes, I'll take lots of pictures so you can see!) I have to price everything still... I need to put together more note cards... And I need to load it ALL up into my car, as well as some large display old table, an old folding screen made from shutters, several old wooden crates...and whatever else I think to bring along. Then I need to be at my aunt's house around 4:30 or so to set up. It's gonna be a long day. But it's going to be worth it...the boutique is going to be adorable. My aunt and I did a little bit of set-up last night and we got really already looks cute! Would you believe we dragged a big ol' tree branch indoors to display ornaments? Yes. We did. And it looks so cute!

In the meantime, I have no hot water. This is not a good day to not have hot water...NO day is a good day for no hot water. This is a nice little lesson in "things I take for granted"...yes, indeed. Hot water. Flip of a handle and voila...there it is. I can take long, hot, soothing showers...I can wash clothes...I can wash dishes...just like that. Yes, I take it for granted every single day. Running water, too, for that matter. We are such a blessed people...such a blessed nation...

Thank you God for that little wake-up call...that little reminder...that I am blessed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chickens? What chickens?

Nellie...taken right before I left for Belgium.

I'm kidding! Yes, I still have chickens. Of course I do...I love those crazy little birds. They are healthy and happy and continuing to lay big, beautiful, brown eggs. They're still averaging 2-3 a day...not bad as the weather turns a bit colder.

I decided I needed to clean their coop this morning. It was a bit overdue...poor girls, and it's going to rain this weekend. So I needed to get it done. I have been having Seth toss the grass clippings into their coop each time he mows the lawn. They love to scratch around for bugs and nibble at the fresh cut grass. As I was shoveling out the bottom of the coop floor...grass clippings, wood shavings (nice that my hubby has a wood shop...that sawdust is good stuff!) and of course, chicken poop!...I realized that it was actually GOOD stuff I was tossing into the recycling bin. The grass and sawdust  had been decomposing, as well as some maple leaves that had blown in, and then of course all of that combined with the chicken droppings, I had the makings of some wonderful compost. I couldn't bring myself to just throw it away. Not with thoughts of next year's garden dancing around in my head! Fresh tomatoes, cool cucumbers, tons of zucchini, fresh green beans, fresh lettuce...oh my, nothing like a salad made with fresh lettuce grown right in your own backyard.  And it's so easy to grow...

Is it summer yet? (just kidding...)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wednesday in the Word.

Psalm 63:1-8

1 You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
 in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.

2 I have seen you in the sanctuary
and beheld your power and your glory.

3 Because your love is better than life,
my lips will glorify you.

4 I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

6 On my bed I remember you;
I think of you through the watches of the night.

7 Because you are my help,
I sing in the shadow of your wings.

8 I cling to you;
your right hand upholds me.

I forgot today was Wednesday. And I started a whole different post...about the boutique we're doing this Saturday. But then it dawned on me what today was...and I deleted the whole post...and started over. I had to think a bit about what I wanted to share today...and as I thought the word "dry" popped into my head.

That's how I'm feeling lately...dry. Not down. Or sad. Or depressed. Just...dry.

And...I know why. Because I haven't been having my time with God each morning. I haven't been reading my bible. I haven't been writing in my prayer journal. I haven't been listening to worship music. I haven't been doing a bible study. I haven't been doing much in the way of spending time with God. At least not quality time. I talk with Him in the shower...and I talk with Him throughout the day...but it's more of a one-sided conversation. I'm talking. He's listening. And probably waiting for me to hush so He can get a word in edge-wise!

Talking to God throughout the day isn't a bad thing. It's good to be in communication with God all day long...being open to Him and His guidance. If I'm at the grocery store, I want to be open to Him asking me to buy food for someone. Or as I'm driving along, I want to hear Him whisper someones name so I can pray for them, or give them a call. It's good to talk with Him during the day. But those times are more like friendly chats...not good, deep, heartfelt conversations. And that's what I'm missing...

There's something about those first moments in the morning that make those conversations possible. It's quiet, and's just me and Him...and it's then that I can actually hear Him...clearly.

I could give some excuses as to why I haven't been spending time with God first thing in the morning...but why? The simple fact is that I have been distracted...and I have gotten out of the "habit" of my morning time in God's word. That's it. So now it's just a matter of getting back into that "habit"...because I am very thirsty, dry and parched. And only the Living Water can quench this thirst...

Dear whole being longs for you.
Help me find my way out of this desert.
It seems I've lost my way.


Monday, November 15, 2010

be inspired.

these are not my photos. they are some of my Favorites on
flickr...such an incredible amount inspiration
to be found there...people's creativity is amazing!

My aunt is hosting a Holiday Boutique in her home this coming Saturday...and I am participating. I'll be selling framed photographs, photo note cards, handmade ornaments and some snowmen made from old weathered fence boards and rusty embellishments. I have 5 days until the boutique...and a lot of work left to do!

I love making things...I love paint on my fingers, wrestling with hot glue strings, bits of fabric and ribbon on the it. I have a big pile of a MESS at the end of my dining room cutter, paints, brushes, scissors, jingles bells, ric rac, Mod Podge, glitter, glue, buttons...and more! My table seats 6...but only three of us can fit at one time because of all the stuff....thank goodness Seth was at the movies at dinner time last night!

So for the next few days I'll be painting snowmen and Mod Podging old papers onto ornaments and snipping fabric and sprinkling glitter and...serving dinner buffet style.

What have you got going on this week? Anything fun and messy?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

Psalm 31:24

Be brave. Be strong. Don't give up.
Expect God to get here soon.

A few weeks after I returned from Belgium I had a revelation one day. I had decided to take it easy this particular day. I slowly sipped my tea, caught up on email, read a few blogs, got some laundry going and then thought to myself, "I'm going to go for a walk." I got dressed, put on my walking shoes, loaded up the iPod and off I went.

It was a beautiful morning. It was brisk and was evident that autumn was officially here. It was a perfect morning in my book!

As I was walking I was listening to worship music, talking with God and thinking about my life and the direction I'm going. I was asking God questions like, "What next, God? What am I doing now? Why do I feel stagnant? Stuck?" As I continued to walk and watch the leaves fall from the trees wait for answers I realized that I was listening to the same old songs on my iPod...and that I need some new songs on my iPod...but I don't know how to do it. Then I thought, "I need to ask one of the boys to load some songs for me...or maybe Chris'll do it..."

Then, as if a light went on, I stood up a little straighter and walked with a little more authority and thought, "No. I will load my OWN songs. I will learn how to DO it myself. And if I don't know how, I will teach my SELF how to DO it." It was that simple of a thought. And it was about more than music on an iPod. It was about life in general. No more waiting around for someone else to do it. No more talking myself out of something before I've even given it a shot. No more being afraid of the unknown...whether it's loading an iPod, sewing a patchwork quilt or flying to Belgium. No more.

And no matter what the answers to my questions may be...I am ready.

It's be BRAVE.

Monday, November 8, 2010


 I love autumn. And I love "fall"ing back. Springing forward? It makes me mad. And I don't seem to ever get used to it. Ever. But falling back makes me feel good...and cozy...and safe. I like that it gets dark reminds me to cook dinner. When it's light for so long I don't think to cook. Not to mention, it's stinkin' hot...and who wants to cook when it's so stifling hot?

Yeah...fall...I'm loving this.

I took this photo in Belgium. It's a random little vignette to the right of the sink in the kitchenette. It says it's 8:25am (I know it's am because that's the only time we went into the kitchen, in the mornings)...I wonder where we were headed the day I took this shot? I can't remember. And my camera battery died at one point early on in the trip and since we were sharing chargers and adapters and the power there was all weird, I wasn't able to recharge it right away. Then, I forgot to charge it...and before I knew it I'd missed some great photo opportunities. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I thought I would. I think it's just because we were really busy...and in the car traveling from location to location much of the time that I got tired of blurred drive-by shots. (Word has it I'm going to be getting a CD of all the pictures everyone else took, too. I hope so!)

I was talking to my friend's Jess and Irvina yesterday (they were the ministry leaders I traveled with) and we realized that we didn't really take pictures during ministry events. We took lots while we were sightseeing...and while we were hanging around the hostel or walking through the town. But we didn't take many of the churches we visited or the events we attended. I mean, taking pictures at events like that isn't always appropriate...and you do have to be discreet. A few of us did take a few pictures. But it's almost like once we got ready and got in the vans and were headed to an event we were focused on what was ahead of us...even though we never knew what to expect. Plus, we were all so busy praying for people, or singing or speaking...we were too busy to think to take photos! On several occasions we had no idea what we were going to experience. We really went blindly into many of our visits. It was so great! And required TRUST. Major amounts of trust, I tell you. It was incredible...a totally incredible experience.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday is here...

bread shop in Belgium around the corner
from the hostel's almost noon already. I woke up thinking it wasn't quite 6am yet...but as I set the flame on the teapot I noticed it was closer to 8! I got my tea ready and sat down to the computer for a bit. After checking email, eating some toast and reading a few blogs with a sleeping kitty on my lap it was suddenly 10. Wha...?

I decided to hop in the shower and get a move on. I had a lot I wanted to get done today, after all. But first...I had to do the things that needed to be done. Like sorting through the piles that continually multiply despite my attempts to purge the mail before even bringing it in. A few loads of laundry...just to stay caught up. Rearrange the little set of drawers I have here by the computer...purged three phone books and made a ton of  room for computer papers and such. And I'm about to go on a quick run for milk and a few other things.

When I get back, I will begin to do the things that I want to do today. Like making ornaments and dolls and rosettes for the boutique. Then write my 500 words for today's NaNoWriMo plus the 300 or so I am behind. Writing 500 words a day isn't that hard as it turns out. I should have known this wouldn't be a problem for me. I was referred to as a "social butterfly" in grade school on a few occasions after all. Being wordy isn't difficult for me. (Ahem) And don't get me wrong, I'm not saying those 500 or so words that find their way to the page are interesting by any means, or that they string together to form coherent thoughts or paint vivid pictures. But the words are there...and that is the point of NaNoWriMo. To get words to paper in the form of a novel. And I like that about it. I'm glad I stepped up to the challenge.

Speaking of "the novel"...I had a really cool idea while in the shower this morning about a possible way that I can string those words together to make some sort of sense. It just came to me. And I'm excited to see how it works! (I may need to keep a notebook in the shower...I get so many ideas while I'm in there!)

But...first...the grocery store!!

Be blessed this beautiful autumn day...the air is cool and the leaves are falling. This makes me happy...


Thursday, November 4, 2010

what to do...

the kitchenette at the hostel in Belgium
 I'm enjoying my second cup of Earl Grey this morning. Everyone is gone to their respective, work...  I'm still in my jammies, trying to figure out what I'm going to do today. My aunt is hosting a holiday boutique in her I could work on some of the items I'm making for that. I could wash the new fabric I bought last night...muslin, linen, ticking. I could drop things off at the donation station at the thrift shop. I could mop floors. (eh..) I could write my 500 words per day, plus 500 I missed for yesterday, for the NaNoWriMo project I signed up for in a moment of insanity. I could go pay a bill. Or two.

And...chances are...I will do ALL of these things.

But not right a little bit.

Because first I want to share a couple of cool things with you this morning...

My sweet friend TH over at Thy Hand Hath Provided has started a new series called, Giving of Ourselves. TH has such a heart for missions...and for giving...and for living on less so that she can give more. She has decided to use her blog for God's glory and in doing that she will post occasional interviews with women who are giving of themselves to serve God the best they can no matter where they're at in life. Her hope and her desire is that women will be inspired to do what they can, be it big or small, to make a difference in the lives of others. And I am humbled that she chose me for her first interview.

Another sweet friend, Camilla over at bloom has just opened up her new online business, Magnolia Handspun. Camilla spins the most beautiful yarns and out of fibers she's dyed herself and they are unbelievably gorgeous.

Good stuff...I'm surrounded by amazing, beautiful and creative cool is that?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wednesday in the Word

Psalm 5:3

3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you
and wait expectantly.

Good morning, friends...have you layed your requests at His feet today? It's not too late...