Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1st marks the official start of the Christmas season. It is such a wonderful time of year as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I enjoy everything about the Christmas holidays but I especially enjoy having some of those treats that we only allow ourselves to have once a year. I love the smells of Christmas too like the fragrance of pine and bayberry, peppermint and mulling spices simmering on the stove, and gingerbread cookies coming out of the oven. Here is a book I reccomend to get your kitchen involved in the celebration of Christmas, it is called The Christmas Kitchen by Tammy Maltby.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's a mad mad mad world out there! In case you haven't noticed, just turn on the news or pick up a newspaper. The morning TV news channels alone have stories that make me want to run and jump back in bed and pull the covers over my head. If you have kids it makes you want to keep them at home to protect them from the world outside. Although that's a novel idea, studies are showing that even inside the home our children are being exposed to so many negative influences via television and the Internet. So what's a parent to do? My husband and I have asked ourselves that question many times over the years that we have been parents. We have tried to protect our children from the evil of this world by preventing their exposure to things we thought would be harmful to them. We have tried to prepare them for times when they may inadvertently be exposed, giving them examples of what they should and should not do. We have provided our children with a loving, Godly Christian home in an environment where they could thrive and grow and develop. However, it seems that there is no getting around the fact that we live in a dark world with a dark culture that threatens the very life of our children, our home, and our family. So do we just give up and say there is no hope? Absolutely NOT! We are on a battlefield at this very moment, whether we like it or not. Some days I feel like I am running scared from the enemy and some days I feel like hiding under a rock. Some days I fight back with the fierceness off a mother bear when there is a threat to her cubs. Then some days all I can do is just stand there. The war rages on every day. So again I ask, "What do we do?' First and foremost, we should pray. Pray for guidance, wisdom, protection, and strength to persevere. Pray for our children, for their safety, protection and the strength to say no in a world that says anything and everything is ok. Pray for resources to fight the battle. I was listening to Focus on the Family just this morning and the program that aired today was talking about this very thing that has been on my mind so much in recent days. If you get a chance go to Focus on the Family's website and listen to this program with James Dobson interviewing Rebecca Hagelin. She has recently put out this book which I definitely will be adding to my personal library.
Second, we should seek to gain knowledge about the strategy of the enemy's attack. Be informed about what is going on in the world. Read, study, listen, learn all you can. There are so many family organizations, like Focus on the Family and Family Life Today that provide great resources to educate you about forces that threaten our families and what we can do to equip ourselves to guard and protect family values.
Third, we must stand. We must join in with the thousands of other Christians in this world who have chosen not to give in to defeat to the forces of evil. We must lock arms and together STAND.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Fall Y'all

I can't say that I have a favorite season. I like change! When it is time to go into a new season I am always ready for it, except maybe winter, because I don't tolerate cold very well. The Fall season has its endearing qualities though. Frost on the pumpkins, apple picking, autumn hues of gold, red and orange, chilly mornings, cool nights and did I mention apple picking? My family really enjoys going apple picking each year. We have been going to the same place since the kids were really small. It's an orchard near Hendersonville NC that is run by a family. This orchard is a little "off the beaten path"

which is the way we like it.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Heirloom Sewing part 2

In my last post I gave a little teaser about the Martha Pullen Sewing Celebration that has been going on all week in Columbia. What a great event it was!!! Here is a photo of Martha and a dear friend of mine who is my sewing mentor! Martha was very personable and a lot of fun. She made us laugh with her stories. What inspired me the most about Martha was that she gave credit to God for all He has done in her life and her business. She is a very inspiring lady!

Martha and my friend Deborah!Here are a few photos of some of the items on display. There were a lot of gorgeous things.

Lovely sleepwear!

Here are some adorable garment bags!

Such a beautiful pillowcase with dainty stitching! I love dainty things!

Look at this gorgeous jacket! The bottom part that looks like crochet was actually done on the serger!!!!!
Here is a sweet little baby gown.

I had the privilege of assisting in the heirloom nightgown class. Here is a picture of the nightgown. Here is the top yoke overlay.
Here is the bottom of the gown.Isn't this so sweet and feminine? After being in the class as an assistant, I think I am now brave enough to tackle the techniques used to make this nightgown. After seeing it broken down into steps, it really is not that difficult.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Anybody Like Heirloom Sewing????

I was first introduced to heirloom sewing by my sister in-law. It was at her house that I had my first look at the magazine Sew Beautiful by Martha Pullen. I was immediately enraptured!!!! This was over 20 years ago and I still eagerly await each new issue of the Sew Beautiful magazine. Now I would like to say that by now I am an accomplished heirloom sewer, but I am not. I am definitely an heirloom sewer want to be!!!!!!! I am proud to say that I am closer today to that goal than I was yesterday! I have had an exciting week this week and it's not over yet! I have had the priveledge of assisting at the Martha Pullen Heirloom Sewing Celebration sponsored by the Creative Sewing Machine Center. Oh my stars!!!!!!!!!! I just have to share a little taste of some of what I have seen so far, so here is a sneak peak. Just enough to whet your appetite!!!!! Stay tuned.....I will have more later! Maybe a picture of Martha herself!!!!!
My family is very important to me. I was reminded recently of a time when I thought I would never have my own family. I was listening to Focus on the Family recently and was just overcome with emotion when I heard a story that aired. Part of the story could have been about me when I was a young girl. My parents divorced when I was 7 and my mother re-married a very abusive, alcoholic man. There was a time period that was so difficult for me as an 11-12 year old girl living in an abusive environment that I felt so alone. I had a horse that had also been abused by a previous owner. This horse was my best friend. I would go out to him and throw my arms around his neck and cry into his mane for hours. I longed for a normal family. I wondered if I would ever have a family of my own because the nightmare I was in seemed as if it would go on forever. I would cry and tell my horse all my heartaches and dreams. He would just stand there completely still while I poured out all my hurts and suffering to him. While I talked and cried and talked and cried, he would just stand there and not flinch a muscle. It was as if he knew and understood my pain, my fears, and my loneliness. He brought me so much comfort during a very dark time in my life. So when I heard the story about Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch and some of the stories that have come out of their ministry I was just overwhelmed. The owner of the ranch has authored several books about amazing things that have happened at the ranch. I identified so much with this story on focus on the family. I can testify to the fact that God can work in miraculous ways to bring about healing. He certainly used a horse in my life!

Myrtle Beach Days!!!! We had some fun in the waves!

I was feeling a little low on the Saturday before Labor Day. We had not been able to get away all summer for a vacation and Labor Day marks the end of summer, (and white shoes/pants/skirts here in the south!) But through an unexpected course of events and a last minute phone call, we were on the beach by late afternoon Saturday and enjoyed a 2 day getaway thanks to a dear couple from one of our former churches. We were so blessed by those 2 days away. We enjoyed some great weather, the beach, delicious seafood and some great family time with our children (minus 1). However, we were all missing our oldest child who is off at college. Here is a picture of her. It felt strange doing a family outing without her with us. Her siblings said that it was much quieter without her! They missed her being with us too.
Here is a jellyfish that washed up on the beach.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

These are Incredible Kids!

These truly are incredible kids! I am incredibly blessed to be their Mom! I thank God each and every day that He allowed me to be their Mom. They each are so unique and different and of course each are a precious gift from God. You can read about that in another post that I wrote several months back. I am amazed at the family God has given me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I was glad to see this today on the blog Balancing Beauty and Bedlam and again over at the blog the Pleated Poppy. Mark August the 10th on your calendar and anticipate a great new place to hang out in bloggy world. You can find out more here.

I definitely will be checking this out when it makes its debut.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Back to School Blues!

Today started with a flurry of activity of back to school stuff; registration, high school freshman orientation, locker assignments, record transfers etc. Just when I was settling into the routine of summer it's almost over! If you have the back to school blues head over to Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker and enter her give away. Winning a prize might just cheer you up!
Of course any time you have "the blues' just head over to Aunt Ruthies Sugar Pie Farmhouse . Visiting there is sure to lift your spirits. Her blog makes me feel so welcome, warm and cozy! It's a happy place to visit!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I am looking forward to getting my copy of this new book by Bruce Wilkinson. Pre-order your copy by clicking on the photo of the book below.

421821: You Were Born for This: Seven Keys to a Life of Predictable MiraclesYou Were Born for This: Seven Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles

By Bruce Wilkinson with David Kopp / Random House, Inc

Wilkinson's The Prayer of Jabez changed how millions pray---now he offers advice about what to do next! In his straightforward, story-driven style, he'll motivate you to see your world differently; to expect God to work miracles through you to meet others' needs; and to master seven simple tools of service. 240 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Still Catching Up!

Still trying to catch up on news and family happenings since Memorial Day. Speaking of Memorial Day, I would like to take a moment to honor this handsome man.
My husband!
When I married my husband he was a Marine. While serving in the military he felt God calling him into the ministry. After 15+ years as a pastor he returned to the military as an Army Chaplain. He had a very vital ministry to the soldiers and serving in the chapel. He recently was medically retired from the army due to some health issues. So we are presently exploring opportunities to return to the pastorate. I'll keep you posted! Who knows where we will end up!!!!

When you have five kids it's hard to get a good photo of them without somebody doing something crazy. I was trying hard to get a nice pose while they were dressed and relatively clean. They just would not cooperate!!! But I happen to love this particular picture of our children because it shows their personalities coming through!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I am still playing catch up on updating this blog, but in the meantime I am getting geared up to do another online Bible study with Donna Partow. I really enjoyed the last one Becoming the Woman God Wants Me To Be. This Study starts July 20th and is called Becoming the Woman I want to Be.

like the online group and the videos that Donna puts up. It is neat to be a part of a study that thousands are doing at the same time. If you are interested click on the link to join.Click here!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

So Much To Catch up on!!!!!

When you lack the time to blog regularly it is hard to pick it back up without catching up on all the events between now and the last time you blogged. So I am going to attempt a quick catch up today. Since I last blogged on Memorial day many things have happened. Four of my children auditioned for a local community theatre production and all four got a part in Sleeping Beauty! The show ran for several weeks and my kids learned a lot about theatre, performing, rehearsing, and making new friends. It was a wonderful show! I will have to add photos when I can find them.

Child #3 received the Rudy Mancke science award!
I am so proud of her! I can't believe she will be starting high school in the fall!
School is out for the summer and I am not ready to think about the kids starting back in the fall. I enjoy them being at home and the somewhat relaxed pace of summer. Although the first part of the summer I was busy sewing like crazy. I was honored to be asked to sew the flower girl dresses for a friends wedding. I like to sew but am not an accomplished seamstress by any means but I think the girls looked beautiful in the dresses and I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment when I watched them at the wedding. Here they are! It was such a beautiful wedding! One of the greatest things about being a pastor and pastor's wife is the priveledge of being involved in the lives of others. Here is my handsome husband who officiated in the ceremony. We are very proud of this young couple. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sixteen years ago today, I had to have an emergency C-section to to bring this child into the world!
Happy 16th birthday dear son!!!!!

He asked for two things for his birthday. This!

or This! Which do you think he got? This of course!

I'm not quite ready to turn another one loose with a set of car keys!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Life can be hard sometimes. We face sickness, tragedy, death, evil, and brokeness just to name a few of the things that cause life to be hard. Thankfully though there is hope in God. He has a purpose for our lives and I truly believe in Romans 8:28 "that He can work all things together for good to those who are called according to His purpose". I believe that God can put back together the broken pieces of our lives and make something beautiful out of us. I have been hearing a song on the radio lately that has really been encouraging to me. If you are dealing with brokeness and heartache in your life listen to the message in this song.http://www.myspace.com/whenlifegetsbroken

I love the distinct sound of Russ Lee's voice who sings this song with Michael OBrian. Wow what a great combination of two talented singers!!!! We actually got to meet Russ Lee in person last year when he did a concert for the soldiers at Fort Jackson. Here is a picture of him with my youngest son who was thrilled because Russ gave him his guitar pick.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Return of the Slugger and other stuff

Child #5, My youngest, loves baseball. He has played in our community league for several years. Each year he has improved so much from the year before. This season he hurt his shoulder and couldnt play for a week or so. He finally got the clear from the doctor that he could play and Thursday night he finally did it! He hit a HOME RUN!!!! His first home run! When he came up to me after the game, he said "Mama, tonight was the return of the slugger". I guess he really meant it because last night he hit another home run! Way to go little slugger!!!!!!!
Having 5 kids is a tremendous blessing. Not a day goes by that I don't tell God thank you for letting me be Mom to these children. You see, I always wanted to grow up and marry a wonderful man and be a wife and mother. My husband is truly a gift from God to me. I knew the moment I met him that he was the one for me. We went into marriage assuming that we would have to adopt. I had been told by a doctor shortly before we married that I would never be able to have children due to endometriosis. We prayed, and prayed a lot that God would help us to be good parents. Well, I had no trouble conceiving, inspite of what that doctor said. Each child is a miracle!
It's not always easy having such a big family and there is always laundry to do!!!! The older the kids get, the more they eat!!!! But it is a wonderful adventure!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where did April Go?

Time is flying by unbelievably fast. I havent even had a chance to post all the things that have happened this month. Here are some random things that I had intended to post. I did some sewing with my daughters. Child #1 and I made this dress. It's Butterick 5177.
Child #3 and I also did some sewing
and she made this bag.

I was so proud that both girls took an interest in sewing! I think they did a great job and I loved the fabrics that they came up with. Of course the fabrics came from my favorite place to shop for fabric, The Creative Sewing Machine Center.

Easter has come and gone. We spent Easter Sunday at church in the morning then to my sister-inlaw's house. She has the most adorable bunnies. Here is a picture of one.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This is Yummy!!!!!

I tried a recipe that I saw on one of my favorite blogs and it is sooooooooo good!!!!! I crave this Hillbilly Spaghetti Pie. It is a delicious recipe that is full of flavor. My whole family likes it. We will be having it Wednesday for supper with a salad and some Garlic Bread! Go over to Warm Pie Happy Homes Blog and get the recipe and enjoy her beautiful blog! I love her kitchen!!!!
Speaking of kitchens, I found this one on another favorite blog of mine The Inspired Room. I like the farmhouse kitchen style. Warm, inviting, cheery. A place to spend a lot of time because the kitchen is "the heart of the home".