Thursday, December 31, 2009

Letters From War...

October 25th... that was my last entry. For some reason I felt that if I sat down to write my tears would just not stop. I had so many things to say to my Grandpa and went to sleep that night anxious for my visit with him the next day. But That phone call was what woke me up that next morning. My grandpa went to be with Jesus early that morning. This has left me wordless for awhile, and I have thought many times about sharing little things here and there, especially about the Christmas season, but just couldn't clear my mind enough to share. But this morning I received a second letter from my cousin who is in Iraq fighting in the war. The first letter I received was over Christmas when we were at my family's up in Minnesota. Both of these letters carry such important messages. They can encourage and inspire anyone who reads them. Having my cousin fighting in this war has made me so much more aware of the sacrifice our soldiers make. Not only them, but their families as well! And their sacrifice, I believe, is right and just. It is not for nothing! But it does come at a price! Gabe has a wife, Lisa, and two little boys at home. And every time he is deployed, he misses the everyday things for a year! Now, I admit, I cannot relate even remotely. So when I saw Lisa over Christmas, I asked her if it is harder at this time of year with him gone and she said, no, it is hard to not have him here for the everyday things. She just wants him here at night especially. And I spoke with Gabe for only a brief minute or two as the phone was passed around at our family Christmas get together and it was a reminder that I need to try much harder to support them.

Gabe has sent two letters and I thought I would share them with you. His words are so well thought out and well spoken. I have deeply appreciated these and I am so proud of him.



Family and Freedom. These two things are foremost in my mind, especially today. Today, we celebrate the birth of our savior Jesus the Christ. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the commercialization of the holiday that we loose sight of this real meaning. It is with Jesus to whom we belong to a greater family and we owe our Freedom to him. Not a freedom from government oppression or slavery but a freedom from eternal death; a freedom from want; a freedom that nothing in this world can take away from us.

The definition of Christian is of being like Christ. If Jesus came to save the oppressed, then is it not our duty to do the same? I am not calling the war we are in a religious one but the parallels to living a Christian life are glaring. I say that this war, as ugly as it may be, serves the oppressed and the wanting. These people, throughout the world, have lived under the heavy hand of slave drivers and dictators and know little else but that life. To give a family their freedom, that means a lot to me. I would hope that there is enough good in this world that if my family and I were ever in that situation, that someone would have the intestinal fortitude to free us.

I fight in this war because I know it to be right, regardless of politics and other things. I know of people, whom I have helped directly, that no longer fear; that no longer want; that they have a chance to be a family. I fight in this war for my own family. To Lisa, Joshua and James - Guys, I am far away in a dangerous place doing dangerous work but I want you to know that I (We) are not selfish. We believe in something bigger than ourselves and are prepared to give every last drop of our blood in it's defense; Life, Love and Liberty. These wishes are not American but of all who want freedom.

Let us give thanks on this Christmas day for our freedom both earthly and eternally. Do not let this Christmas season go by without really looking at yourself and the world around you and see the good. Sometimes it is hard to find it but I ask each and everyone of you to look at the good around you and use that to motivate your actions. It's hard here but we all do that. It would be a long deployment if we were to dwell on the bad. Live fully; love deeply; and bring freedom to those who do not. God Bless all of you on this Christmas!



Today is New Year's Eve and we are on the threshold of a new decade. I think we were supposed to have flying cars by now right? To me, this new year and new decade bring with it both a sense of uncertainty and hope. Who knows what the world will be like in the coming 10 years? Will be fall deeper in to chaos and war or will we, as a global family, begin to heal those wounds that have long scared our histories?

I have hope. I have seen the true nature of man and have hope that the intentions of the good outweigh the intentions of evil. There is a quote I often use to remind myself of the resolve of well intentioned men: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke. Mr. Burke's contention is simple; so long as good men are willing to fight, evil has no chance of establishing it's permanence on earth.

I have seen good men fight and die for what is right and have seen the end of evil's life on several occasions. It brings me hope, not that we use force per se, but that there are those within this world who are willing to give up that which we hold so dear; our lives. It brings me hope seeing that there are those who are willing to set aside our differences and start fresh with a sense of tolerance and forgiveness.

Forgiveness. A word most of us are familiar with but, admittedly, used sparingly. I am no more perfect than anyone else but it has become blatantly obvious that without forgiveness, there can be no healing. Some reading this may not be Christians but forgiveness is not necessarily a Christian concept. Jesus taught us that we must forgive. For those of us who claim Christianity, how can we if we chose not to follow in those footsteps?

In this New Year, let us be mindful of the true meaning and practice of forgiveness. The world will be a better place and 'good men' will prevail against evil not through force but by love.

Thank you Gabe for reminding us to live with purpose that is beyond serving ourselves! Thank you for your sacrifice, for your bravery, for your passion and love for others in need, and thank you for bringing our family into this war which I also believe is right. All my love! Mandy

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just to Let You Know...

Hello my friends, my family and my creative customers! I just thought I would share a bit and let you know about life this next week.

I do not think anyone is ever prepared to say their goodbyes to a loved one and no matter how much you know it is inevitable, it still sneaks up on us and leaves us struck. I have been blessed to have Grandparents who have been alive to see my marriage and the birth of my five kiddos, but time is now showing itself as the enemy and this week it has brought with it the reality that it is time to start saying my goodbyes. My Grandpa is in his final days and I am struggling with the loss of time to spend with him. So many questions and so many things to say. But, it will now have to wait and I know he is so anxious to be with Jesus. I am excited for him but sad for us. I am aching for my Grandma who doesn't want to be far behind him. I went and sat this afternoon in his hospital room with my family and enjoyed the time talking and listening, happy to have had the grandpa I do, but so wishing this was not the last days. I brought a little stack of letters he had written to me while I was in college. I had always loved listening to him tell stories of his growing up and when I was in school I asked him to write them for me. I wish I had been in college longer so that I had more of those stories captured in letters. But this next week, I am hoping to go and sit with him some more, as much as time will allow and as many days as the Lord will give. So, If it takes awhile for me to get back to you, I just want you to know why. I will have to sneak my times in when Matt is home with the kids since I cannot take all my lovelies with me. I still have things to say even though he cannot talk back. Families always have tough stuff in their legacy but they almost always have blessings that are worth clinging too and really appreciating. I most treasure my Grandpas story of how he met Jesus as a young adult and I think that is the most powerful legacy he has left behind for all of us. One I will be eternally grateful for. It is a time of sadness, but I came home from the hospital this afternoon and found myself so much more alive and grateful for what the Lord has blessed me with. I was so content to just chase my little ones around the house laughing and felt an ease and joy that has been struggling to get out lately. So, I find myself so thankful to our God for His gift of life, for His gift of family, and for His gift of Eternity with Him. My Mom would say "Life is hard, but God is Good!" If you think about it this week, I would greatly appreciate it if you would pray for my family, my Grandma, who has spent 60 years with him, pray for comfort in the end days, and healing in the family.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Most Priceless Art...........

This Masterpiece is entitled " The Spider Who Wants To Be a Boy" ~by Bell Drietz

Why would I want to shop the galleries of the world for art when I have the mind of a precious child to captivate and pull me into their imagination. I have a crate full of stories and exploration, full of my childrens expressions and thoughts. And then there is the stack of picnic baskets that tuck away more of there doodles, oh and the drawer of the misplaced nightstand for the overflow. But, a collision has occured and it has made a beautiful mess on my walls. We have one finished wall in our basement amongst the more "modern industrial" concrete know, the walls that have not been touched since the house was built except for a coat of paint slapped on occasionally so it feels more like a real room:)- But what do you do with one silly wall in your semi TV room? Well at the same time as this question began building, so did the craving to showcase my kiddos fun creations instead of them being hid away. And that is how a happy medium was arrived at. With a trip to the dollar store and a few cans of spray paint, I was able to turn our rec room wall into a gallery for the kiddos. They have been pretty excited about looking at there art in frames. And I, well, I could stare at them for hours. Fun to giggle about some of their stories. So here is their debu....

"God's Zoo" ~ by Madison Drietz

Madison has been working on a zoo-she has Zeke the Zebra, Giggles the giraffe, Elly the Elephant, Lady the Lady bug, and more to be unveiled at a later date:)

Cole has a masterpeice of humor up on the wall called "Smell the Pitt-ur"

Now this picture was colored years ago and it just makes me laugh because everyone who sees it thinks it says, "smells the pits" which completely looks fitting-but! it doesn't, see Cole had just recieved a set of smelly markers when he colored this and it actually says "smell the picture" but is of course mispelled. Isn't childhood fantastic!
Joslyn has been painting up a storm this week and this is her newest work of art.
It is entitled "POT" oh, the joy of learning to spell. She has been the one most fascinated with them being put up on the wall and has helped me get them hung. I have a feeling it will continue to inspire her to create more. She is my little one who loves to draw whole books for me.

Bell's was about a spider who is dreaming of becoming a boy and she sure enjoyed telling the story. She even let us giggle while she shared and seemed to completely understand the humor in it. She is also the mastermind behind the bug which is on the wall and the "pile of poop" which we have not framed as of yet:) It is all about the mixing of paint I guess only a true artist could relate to. I am seeing art in a whole new way thanks to her!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Ah insomnia .....well, if I cannot sleep, there is sure a lot I would like to do!

I was cleaning out some old containers of collected clipping that helped to spark the imagination and i came across something I had found and printed out almost 10 years ago. It still makes me laugh and I thought I would share one of hundreds of thoughts about being a quilter.

You know you are quilter when.... you quit your job paying $20 an hour to quilt for maybe $1.00 an hour.

God I Need Thee


When morning crowds the night away
And tasks of waking seize my mind;
I need Thy poise.


When love is hard to see
Amid the ugliness and slime,
I need Thy eyes.


When clashes come with those
Who walk the way with me,
I need Thy smile.


When the path before me lies,
I see it...courage flees-
I need Thy faith.


When the day's work is done,
Tired, discouraged, wasted,
I need Thy rest.

~Howard Thurman(Deep is the Hunger)

Especially thinking of my cousin Gabe, as he is in the midst of the war in Iraq once again.




Friday, October 9, 2009

Hold Me Now...

From the glass alabaster she poured out the depths of her soul
O foot of Christ would you wait if her harlotries known?
Falls a tear to darken the dirt
Of humblest offerings to forgive the hurt
She is strong enough to stand in Your love
I can hear her say...




Hold me now, hold me now

let he without sin
cast the first stone if you will
to say that my bride is not worth half the blood that I spilled
point your finger and laugh if you choose
To say my beloved is borrowed and bruised

I can hear her say...




Hold me now, hold me now

~Jennifer Knapp

For you beautiful girl-Jesus loves you-He made you-He died for you-you are his beloved-come to him-find rest-be a new creation-pure-clean-found-forgiven-rescued-saved-valued-adored-HIS

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer;I have overcome the world. John 16:33

The Nonsensical Love of Scraps.....

Now, I do know that I am not alone in this crazy obsession for fabric scraps! And the more I read, the more I am finding my "OWN KIND" I am finding that there are others of you who actually think scraps are better than money, others who would love to open up a gift and find a box full of scraps or who would rather get a pound of scraps than go to the fabric store to get a yard of fabric of the bolt! I am with you completely! After nearly 20 years of sewing and collecting and creating and many years of running my own unique form of a fabric store online, I have come to have quite the stash. Those silly dreams as a young girl that I had of literally wishing I could live in the fabric store, have in one way actually come true. I worked in fabric stores from the time I was 16 until my first child was born. I had the challenge of being on the management team at one of them after I was married. I thought it would be amazing to wake up amongst fabric and all the possibilities it held. Don't get me wrong, I do laugh about that and find humor in the thought especially when I think about it from another person's perspective. But the fact of it is that I do now have a sort of fabric store in my own home. You know the old saying amongst fabric collectors-"The one who dies with the most fabric wins"- Well, I am off to a great start-but I do not intend to die with it-I do actually intend to use it or pass it on to my customers! Hopefully one of my girls will acquire a similar love because if they don't, this will be one area that will make them crazy when I die.

Back to scraps though, I am wandering here in my thoughts. They are endless, aren't they. Especially if you sew all the time. And for me, creating is only half of my job, so I do not unfortunately have the time to use all of them myself. I always have more ideas than I have time. But I have really enjoyed the oppratunity I have to pass those scraps on to other creatives. As a matter of fact there are many creatives out there that make their living off of using scraps for there creations. The ability to take a scrap piece of fabric, something so tiny and tempting to some to throw away, and turn it into a useful or beautiful item is really quite fantastic! Whether you look at it from an artistic point of view, a thrifty point of view, or an eco friendly point of view, it is a wonderful way to reuse or use everything at our fingertips.

After about a year into selling fabrics and my own creations on line, I found that it was becoming more and more difficult to store all of it and to keep it organized. While I do keep quite a large amount on hand for myself and the things that I design, the amount that was accumulating that I did not see myself getting to was in need of a purpose. So last February I began with a new addition to the shop, something that my customers could get use to finding available. I began doing a 1 pound scrap pack of the day. The scrap pack is always $5.00, but on the day it is listed, it is 50% off making it $2.50. It has gone well and I usually do not ever have more than a crates worth of them in the shop at a time. Meaning that they sell quite frequently. I know some love to just add it to there order as the cherry on top, some love to come in and buy up a whole bunch of them, and some will come in just for that day's bundle. I always look at those scrap bundles as I package them up for their new owner and love to think about what they may become. While I still have my own ideas for much of the fabrics, like I mentioned earlier, time just prohibits me from getting to them.

I have certainly missed days, sometimes weeks, depending on my own family life or what else is going on in the shop behind the scenes, but my customers are always welcome to request the bundle of the day, if I have not gotten one in the shop that day. Some days I have even listed 2 if I have missed days before it. One customer wrote me one day and said "Do you realize you will have sold over 300 pounds of fabric in one year! And that is just scraps! Pretty crazy thought, and although it may not come out to that amount exactly, it will be pretty close.

So, for those of you who love working with scraps, these are what the bundles look like. They are made up of a very wide variety of fabrics, from wool, cotton, polyester, silk, fleece, corduroy, etc. The sizes of the scraps are anywhere from a 2 inch strip to just under a fat quarter in size. I do actually take pictures of the exact fabric you will be getting. That way you can buy what you need and not end up with fabrics that are useless to you.

And I have put in some photos of things that I use scraps for around the house and in my designs for the shop.

I have used my scraps for covering buttons in which I use for bookmarks, hairpins, magnets, and push pins.

I use scraps for making all of my zune, iphone, camera, or ipod cozies.

I use scraps many times for making crayon rolls or crayon pouches.

The scraps are wonderful for making patchwork bibs as well.
Or for patches that can be used on clothing, blankets, totes, in picture frames, etc.
Or for sachets, bean bags, rice packs, etc.

And of course there are headbands too!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Helen's Thoughts...

When Matt and I were in college, some of my most favorite dates were spent hunting for old books. I am not a bookworm of the normal sort. Actually book learning has always stretched and challenged me a little on the uncomfortable side. I do love books though, old ones the most. And, my mom always says I am a romantic, I still get teased now and again about it, but in many ways it has served me very well. I can now say, I am happy to be that way. So, when it comes to books, there is a scene from a movie that captures that romantic side of me concerning books. It is in the newest version of Sabrina. it is a scene of her father in his home, and everywhere you look, there are stacks of books, comforting for some reason. Anyways, yesterday Madison came down with some fun flu season bug that just left her miserable with a fever we could not break. So after she had spent most of the day sleeping, it was difficult for her to fall asleep at night. She was so achy and just wanted to curl up in my bed where it was dark and quiet. So after the other kiddos were asleep, I crawled into bed with her and cracked open one of my favorite old books I had found on one of those college dates of Matt and I's. It is a book of Helen Keller's thoughts. One of the thoughts that struck me this time was this.

"I try to increase the power God has given me to see the best in everything and everyone, and make that best a part of my life. The world is sown with good; but unless I turn my glad thoughts into practical living and till my own field, I cannot reap a kernel of the good." -Helen Keller

It really is a gift the Lord has given to us, how He makes good come from bad. But sometimes we can decide not to see the good, we make a choice to focus on the bad. And reading those words come from a woman who lived in silence, whos life was so extremely difficult. It is nothing less than inspiring. She had horribly difficult days, days when she just wept, but she even says those days were nessesary in order to have the good days when she could talk with friends and see life's goodness. So, I am trying to continue to see the good the Lord has given and to make sure I let it impact my life, for it to be more than a thought.



Thursday, October 1, 2009

Russian Tea Recipe

Every year at Christmas time, my mama would make this tea, actually she still does. It has become the smell and taste of comfort for me and I actually start making it as soon as those cool fall days arrive. So tonight I have just made my second batch as the fall flu season has hit us-yuck! Hey, it is a nice excuse to cuddle up with the kiddos for the weekend though! Dad is gone on a youth trip and we are going to relax. So here it is...the recipe for Russian tea.

You need...
6 tea bags of cranberry or lemon flavor(however, I use sleepy time tea from Celestial seasonings-so you can replace it with whatever is your favorite flavor tea)

twenty whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 can of frozen orange juice
can of pineapple juice(46 oz)
1 cup of honey
cap full of lemon juice


steep the cloves and cin sticks in 10 cups of water for 10 minutes
add tea bags for the next 10 minutes
remove tea bags
next add the frozen orange juice, pineapple juice, honey and lemon juice. bring to a rolling boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
You can remove the cinnamon sticks and cloves if your prefer, but they can be left in as well.

I put my tea in the crock pot for the day on low, and if there is anything left at the end of the day, I put it in a pitcher and store in the frig. It can be served cold as well. I put it in a sippy for Noah and he downs it. You will want to cool it a bit before putting it in a pitcher though. It is no fun to have a melted plastic pitcher added to the tea flavor!:)

Wednesday, September 30, 2009




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Patches.....

About a week ago, after a looong silence, I had mentioned some fun new patches that were added to the shop. I also mentioned that I would fill you in on the making of them, so here it is...

These little happy wonders are a great break from the normal sewing, cutting and designing. They are also a great way for me to use up those fun little scraps that i just cannot bear to throw out. These patches began as a way for me to avoid mending! I HATE mending! But with five kids, you can imagine the need for it. I am shocked sometimes at the things that can end up with holes in them! And I will show you one of them to prove what I claim! I also found that is was a fun way to get more use out of my free motion quilting foot on the dream machine.

When I make my patches, I do it in bulk, which I have found fills two it is the most efficient way to make a mess! It would be a bit of a tragedy to make such a huge mess for one little patch(haha) And second, I have way too many ideas that I just need to try out! So this last time, I believe the count ended up being over 30 patches in the new collection for the shop. I am still working on getting them all listed!

The first thing I do is to pick out some prints that I want for the background on the patches. I cut them into 6 inch strips and iron on interfacing. The interfacing, I believe, makes them durable which is really the point of a patch, right?
Then I cut them into six inch squares. I do make other sizes for special orders, but this is my typical size.
Such a fun little stack full of potential!
All laid out and ready to be built on!
I keep a crate full of fabrics that have been backed with interfacing. About once a month, I take around an hour to iron interfacing on to fabric scraps that I would like to use for patches, buttons, and appliques I use on clothing and totes. That way, I am not going back and forth to the cutting table, ironing board and scrap bins. Digging through the crate for the right fabric scraps is like putting a puzzle together-very fun!
Here are the patches starting to develop. Many layers are added to each one.

All set to head to the sewing machine. I did two full rounds of patches like this.
Here is the first batch all stacked up. I keep them sandwiched between two game boards until I can get them stitched. Keeps me from losing all their pieces. I takes me about a week to get them all sewn. I tend to work through one thread color at a time. Once I run out the bobbin of one color, I move on to other activities around the house.

Now remember I said i would show you what i have used them for. Well here it is. Awhile back, my girls had the basement covered in forts. They were doing their school in the shelter of them one day and as I was working down there, all of the sudden Joslyn jumps out of her fort and says, Madi's fort is on fire! Talk about your heart stopping! Well it was actually not on fire-YET! See, against my better judgement, I let the girls take a light into each of their forts so they could see, and I of course validated my own fears with this occurence. Now, I must make sure Madison does not take the fall for this, she actually did turn her light off like she was supposed to, but my little guy, the curious, angel employer, decided to figure out how to turn her lamp on and then leave the crime scene. As he fled the scene, he knocked the fort down and in turn almost started it on fire. Thanks to Joslyn's keen sense of smell, we were saved! So, when I say, you can't imagine what I need patches for, I mean it! So after being quite strong in my speech of absolutely no lamps in forts and no forts for quite awhile, and me getting the chance to thank Jesus about 20 times for protecting us, for having us all in the basement when the whole thing went down so that we could catch it before real disaster occured, thanking him for the nasty smell fabric puts off when it is MELTING, and then airing out the house of the burnt smell that was extremely nauseating, I cooled down enough to put some creativity into this disaster. I was so upset about my fun little happy blanket being melted! But, it was saved and now has a story to tell. It now has 3 fun patches decorating it.
And now!!!

I make the patches sew on. I have just never been to impressed with the iron on materials out there, they never seem to replace some good old fashion sewing. But the sewing is simple and the product is long lasting.


This has been on my heart for just about a year now. I have been wanting to share a bit on this subject and the Lord was stirring in my heart on this again today. I think it is easy to fall into the thought process that I have given all I can give, or that I have sacrificed enough, but the real truth is that my soul is not at rest because I know the Lord needs to become more so that "stuff" becomes less in my life. And when that "stuff" becomes less in my life, I am able to give more. The other issue is the flaw in the scale that I use all too often. The other people comparison scale. You know, the thought process that can so easily be manipulated in order to give us the results we want. Like, for instance, I bought a new pair of gym shoes this past weekend. Here is the thing, I already have a pair of gym shoes and really did not need them. It has been bothering me because I have been wanting to do without whatever I could, but I caved this time, somewhere in there I justified this purchase. My husband will tell you himself, I am not a what we hear the typical American woman is with a closet full of shoes. I actually hate buying shoes most of the time because I never seem to find what I like. I actually can mark why I had to purchase each pair of shoes I own, Like, my favorite sandals came from standing up in my sister's wedding(thank goodness she was smart and went casual so we could all get a pair of fun tevas!) Because then the one pair of heals I own that actually have layers of dust on them were from a friend's wedding. My good pair of Nikes I had to purchase because I actually had bruised my heal from standing all day on our concrete basement floor! That was a first-did not know your heal could actually turn 4 different lovely shades of purple! So now i can be seen sporting those lovelies while I do laundry and designing for the shop. I have shoes that are still from highschool! I know-blah blah blah-isn't it sad that i can carry on a conversation about shoes! So here is the point I was attempting to make. I can easily convince myself that I am not as bad as what I hear most women are like in the area of shoes, and that it was ok to buy them because of that abstract scale I based my decision on. It was fine because I am not going too far overboard, I am using them, they were paid in full, I still have enough to pay the bills, groceries, tithe, gas, clothes for kids, etc, etc. But then I listen to something that reminds me of my real desire, my real goal "IN LIFE" and I think, what a waste! I could have helped to change a life instead of buy some silly pair of shoes! What if I could live like that all of the time-wouldn't that be ....well.....ridiculous!

Below is the lyrics from a song that is one of my absolute favorites! I will let you know more about it after you read the lyrics.

What if we all lived in small houses
with rooms we all had to share
what if we all wore clothes
that other people said were too old to wear
what if we all drove cars
that other people thought were ready for the junk yard
what if we only had to eat
what was on sale for the week.

wouldn't this be ridiculous
wouldn't this be ridiculous

what if instead of flying to CanCun
went in the back yard to marvel at the moon
what if instead of watching the game
we prayed for our brothers and sisters in chains
what if we instead of driving to a movie
sat in the home and played bingo with the dying
what if we instead of going out for coffee
gave what we saved to that house that feeds the dying.

wouldn't this be ridiculous
wouldn't this be ridiculous

the children are wishing for a well so they can have clean water
the people are waiting
for someone to come so they can hear the gospel
the family is praying
for some way to buy back their daughter
the orphans are dying
for there's no medicine in the cupboard

wouldn't this be ridiculous
wouldn't this be ridiculous
wouldn't this be ridiculous
wouldn't this be ridiculous
~Can You Hear Us?

That is one of the songs written by the group "Can You Hear Us?"
It is a trio of brother and sisters who grew up on the mission field in Albania.
Their music is an incredible reminder of the social injustices that go on around the world and it challenges the listener to move outside of their own comfort to take part in something bigger than themselves. To not just go about your day and week and year gathering for yourself and family the "American" comforts and dreams. I was blessed to be able to hear them in concert at our church this summer after listening to their music for months. The Lord has gifted them with beautiful musical talents as well as a gift of words.

If you would like to check out their sight here is the link

You can read a bit about their story, their music and the ministries they support.

I was grateful to get connected with the group Shared Hope International through their website. Shared Hope International is committed to ending the sex trafficking that has devastated our world and left it's victims hopeless and need of The God who created us to heal them. I have recently read the book "From Congress to the Brothel" that was written by Linda Smith who left Congress after seeing first hand the evilness of a brothel, and has now devoted her time to creating awareness in order to destroy the sextrade industry. Here first hand accounts of what children, boys and girls as well as women have had to endure is very difficult to stomach and will leave you wrestling with the question, "How can man be this evil!?" How can this be going on and go unnoticed. But the book also gives you a glimpse of the hope these women and children are given when Shared Hope International is able to rescue them from their captivity.

Here is a link to Shared Hope International as well

So, this is where my heart rests today, these were the questions, struggles, challenges that I wrestled with and am glad to have wrestled with. I would definately like to think that I could do much better than acquiring a new pair of shoes with what I have earned in my labors!

Monday, September 28, 2009



Saturday, September 19, 2009

What is New...

I thought I would take a bit of time to write while I am waiting for my "drowsy" allergy medicine to kick in. This past month I have been at war with bronchitis. At first I was simply thankful for it not interfering with the activities of my day too much, just was a bit irritating. But the last two weeks as it has been dragging out, it has kind of kicked by butt. restless night due to coughing up a lung, achy ribs and back from-coughing, weary from restarting my sentences over and over again because of-coughing, you get the picture. But with my second trip to the doctor this week, I think i am finally on the mend and starting to breathe again. So, there you go, that is why I have been absent here. As much as i love the blog, it is a bit of a luxury that I must let go of when other priorities leave no room on my plate.

But here are some highlights that I at least had pictures from.
Bell has been enjoying her art easel that she got from her GG(Great Grandma).

Joslyn decided she wanted a horse, so she hijacked my stash of boxes to create her mustang. So we now have a horse residing in our basement-sorry to my lovely customers, my studio is no longer pet free(Haha). Joslyn can bury herself in a project for hours when she gets an idea. I love hearing her say, I LOVE ART. She has been known to very dramatically claim she could not live without art.
Madison is my little lady who loves listening to old records and dancing around. I put together a collection of old record waltzes for her last Christmas. Talk about a fun treasure to hunt down. But this week, the waltzes got to her and she just had to have a partner to dance with her. So I found her digging through crates of Cole's old clothes that do not fit Noah as of yet. This is what she put together for Noah. It really was pretty darn cute! And Noah was quite the sport in it all. He loves hopping around to the music too.

We were able to finally dig up our carrots! They were excellent, kind of ruins it for me wanting to buy them from the store! Next year, there will be a whole lot more carrots growing in our gardens, that is for sure.
While Matt was able to take a vacation day to hang out with an old friend and catch U2's newest tour-which they were able to actually be in the inner circle , center stage for-I am so jealous. I spent the day with my folks, which was wonderful. We sat outside and had lunch and dinner on the deck while the kids played in the tree house my Dad had built for us kids when we were little. Noah took an awesome nap on Grams and gramps floor, thanks to Grandmas's great rocking skills! She has the touch! i can't remember the last time I was able to rock him to sleep!

And speaking of my folks! Dad has now been in his new job for 2 weeks-praise the Lord! After almost 2 years of searching for a job! If you know anyone going through jobloss or difficulty in finding a job, please remember to keep praying, I can tell you from watching my parents go through this, that it is so hard and so discouraging,words could never do it justice. prayer for the Lord's peace, and comfort, and guidance is always needed!

And we are still enjoying the Park across the street from our neighborhood. Our neighborhood is an older one, so it does not have a play ground in it like all the new developments do, but we are blessed to have something even better five minutes walk form our front door! We have Phillips park aquatic center, sledding hills, zoo, island, gardens, and playground and picnic site. Can't beat that! So we are enjoying that all times of the years.
And now, here are a few things I have been working on in the shop.
I love old books that have seen better days. So I have begun to cut tags from the pages of them. The kids love helping me choose what we try to work into the tags. Just a fun little extra to play with. I was blessed with a sizzix die cutting machine last Christmas that my husband brought home from a white elephant exchange!!! I have put it to use -a lot!
I have also had a chance to restock on patches. I enjoyed making them just as much as always! The perfect way to use scraps! I am hoping to begin framing collections of them soon. I will try and write up a post soon on how I make them.

Well, I am very sleepy and need to finally rest my head on the pillow. Toodles lovelies!