Monday, July 31, 2006

AND NOW FOR THE QUILTING SIDE OF MY LIFE...since I haven't talked much about it for awhile. On Thursday, I picked up my two quilts (throw size) from the woman who quilted them and they turned out great! What a relief. That meant that I was able to take advantage of "chocolate days" at my local quilt shop.
It is only one day per month and is designed for us to be able to finish projects we are working on without interruptions as mundane as fixing meals:) They provide lots of chocolate nibbly food for the day (not a huge temptation for me) and lunch and we get to sew to our hearts' content. They usually do some type of mixer game that we can play while sewing or having lunch so we get to know each other a little better. I haven't been able to go for months so this was a great treat. They have a huge cutting table that makes it very easy to evenly trim the quilt before putting the binding on. Basically, I got both quilts trimmed, the binding on one and much of the binding sewed together for the other one so that when I got home, I was able to complete the job and have both quilts done...except for the labels. One is for my brother and his wife and the other is for my sister and her husband. I have one in the works for my youngest sister who took a little longer figuring out what colors she wanted. If I work things right, I'll get a quilt made for each during my 60th year plus the two for the new grandchildren that got made. Not a bad accomplishment! I would be glad to keep either of these quilts. They came out even better than I expected them to. What a treat!
Well, here is the quilt for my brother. the colors don't show as well as in real life, but you get the idea. The border is sort of a teal with rust dots in it. Of course, the photo doesn't show the beautiful quilting that was done. In one block, is a large leaf, in the next, a smaller one framed (on point) with a bracket design that also goes around the inside rust border. The square where all the brackets join form a sort of four-petaled flower. Along the wide, teal border is a freehand leaf design. The quilting is really beautiful! I'll include the next quilt in another blog.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

LAST NIGHT, I MET WITH OUR present some items for approval and present what I have (not a lot of specifics) in terms of vision for the women of our church. They were very open and receptive to the planning so far. I am excited to be able to move ahead with specific asking of the women for a steering committee so we can start praying together and working toward developing a women's ministry at our church. This week, i'll be meeting with a trainer who lives in a nearby town, to get some help from her. I feel like the ball is rolling now in a way that I have to move with it. I can't change my mind and move on to something easier. The important thing is that some others will be willing to buy into this as well. It will be exciting, though I'm sure not always easy, to see what God is going to do here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

THIS IS CATCH UP TIME...and I've been working at it in lots of areas of my life. Today it is in my devotions. I've gotten way out of balance there! So just as I have had to clean out closets and throw away, I'm having to study and clear away the clutter in my mind and this afternoon, spend some more concentrated time in prayer. My brain works so much better when the house and my life are cleared away and the clutter is tossed out. That is what has needed to happen for quite awhile. As long as I keep "running" and don't take the time for quiet with God, I get more and more stressed and react more and stay calm less. So today is one of those days to catch up in the most important area of relationship with that I can relate well to all those people that are around me.

Monday, July 17, 2006

ORGANIZING AND THROWING OUT!...that's what I've been doing the last few days. I got to a point after our second move in Hanna City (to this house) that I just had no where to put things, so I quit opening any more boxes and tried (in vain) to find places for what I already had out. I never have been able to manage all the clutter and once I got home this summer, I decided to tackle this downstairs clutter that never seems to stop! I'm not finished, but have filled multiple garbage bags with trash and debris that I'm realizing I really do not NEED. I added some storage area that is helpful, cheap and flexible so I can store all the varieties of things that need storing:sewing supplies, scrapbooking materials and multiple miscellaneous stuff. The piles on the floor are almost gone now and I even have space to put things.
I have emptied some drawers in my room as well as this craft area in the basement, so I'm pleased to be getting some control over the mess. The really hard area to attack will be the laundry/storage area. It is so hot outside that I really can't do much out there. This is a great way to spend my time and clear out stuff and now, know where a lot of it is. My head is clearing up already. Yeah!

HERE IS THE FINAL SHOT... this seems to always have been a family favorite over the years. We have usually lived in places where there aren't a lot of cemeteries with gravestones. This was especially true in FL, partially true in TX. The girls have always been touched by this little headstone from the year before their own dad's birth. It is wobbly now (run into by the mower?) but is still standing almost 70 years after being put there.
In this age where people are still trying to decide whether abortion is moral (that can't really be a logical or truly scientific decision anymore, can it?) and on what grounds it is actually legal, there seems to be something God put in the human heart that tells us that this was a human being. This was someone made in God's image...a little lower than the angels (as opposed to a little highter than the animals.) That is something our forebears knew without all the scientific information we now have. They had more faith abounding in the culture then. They had to. They didn't have answers to all their "why's" but they did have more trust in the One who created everything. The personal decisions re abortion, need to be made long before one is needed. It can't be an emotional decision, it must be a theological and rational one.
If a child results from a sinful/illicit relationship, God forgives as we make changes in our life and repent. The solution to "problems" that result from sinful behaviors are not solutions that involve covering up the results of our sin. Abortion does that with many physical, emotional and sometimes psychological consequences. If we can trust an eternal, sovereign God to forgive our sin, can't we also trust Him to guide us in providing solutions to our sinful behavior that don't result in more cover-ups or death? The answer to the rhetorical question is YES!
Well, my ramble was totally unexpected. That was not a topic I planned to write about today. It relates though, so I'll leave it.

NOW TO TIE UP LOOSE is one of the photos from the cemetery (Ron's parents). I'll have to show the final photo in the next entry!
The group photo of Ron's class is not the whole class, but only those that wore their t-shirts for the picture.
The final photo is the one of his baby sister who was born almost exactly a year before he was. If she had lived, it is unlikely that I would have a husband! He and his brothers were each about six years apart. So once again, God's sovereignty is seen through a sad event as well as the happy ones.

Friday, July 14, 2006

HOME AGAIN! I seem to have this recurring theme, only this time I really am home for awhile. We had a wonderful weekend in WI. Ron's 50th High School Reunion was great. We took the day and puttered around Chetek eating lunch at Bob's Grill and driving by the home where Ron grew up, where his mom lived after she remarried/retired, where some of his grandparents lived and so on. Some of the places rated a photograph, others landed in the memory bank...because they look better there than they do now. Ron was full of stories about growing up that day. It was fun to hear them again.
We ended at the cemetery. We haven't been there since his mom's funeral three years ago. The headstone had been cleaned up when it was engraved with the date of her death. She lived over 50 years after her husband died, raising her sons (the oldest in college, youngest in kindergarten) finishing her college degree in the summers (she had gone to normal school) as she taught during the school year. She scrimped and saved, put her three sons through college, saw them all marry and have a total of eight daughters. One became a high school principal in CA, one a minister (my husband) in FL, TX and now IL, and one a junior high english teacher in WI. Best of all, they became really great people (in character). In her 94 years, she buried a stillborn daughter (whose grave is also at that family plot), a husband (age 48) and her oldest son (age 56). The men both died of heart attacks. Her second husband who she married about the time she retired from teaching, she also buried after a few short years of a happy marriage. She was a really neat lady. With all of her saving, she still had some money left over to leave her kids! (I don't think I'll be able to do that if I live to be 94.)

We went to several of the family plots there getting dates off the headstones that we might want. We did find a person we hadn't heard about, so we are checking with a family member about her since we haven't seen any photos in the family pictures even though she lived to be in her 20's.

The reunion was fun. I have been to enough of them to have met a few of the people so I didn't feel like I was totally among strangers. Since this was a small town, most of these people knew each other all the way through school. Fortunately, some of the people Ron had known very well were there so we got to visit and catch up. Of course, the evening flew by and even though we weren't at church and didn't have to lock up the doors, we were still in the group that stood around and visited and was the last to leave! I guess it is hard to break some habits:)
Sunday afternoon, we were at Ron's brother's home in Menomonie. Their two daughters live in the twin cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) in MN which are about an hour away. Their older daughter is single now and is a social worker, their younger daughter is married with three children ages 10,6,3. She was born the same year as our oldest daughter. The children are lively enough that you know the "lights are on" (as one friend puts it) but not so wild that they are uncontrolled. They were a lot of fun. The youngest boy was born the same month/year that our older granddaughter was born. He is quite a little imp. It was fun to visit with the girls and catch up with their lives between the antics of the kids...and eating of course:)
Once again, I have two photos that go with this blog. I may have figured out how to do that too:) Wow!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

HOME AGAIN...ALMOST FOR GOOD. We arrived home on Friday night about 9 PM after almost 2 weeks away and a total of 2600 miles traveled. We only have one more short trip this coming weekend for Ron's 50th high school reunion in Chetek, WI and we will be home for the summer...what's left of it:)
It always takes a few days to get reoriented to life here. Saturday was spent getting the laundry in order...including the ironing which is now all caught up:) We attended a 50th wedding anniversary celebration and the rest of the day, Ron prepared for Sunday. Monday was our day off to rest and further catch up. The only outside activity we did was to finally get over to visit our youth pastor and his wife to see their new baby girl born last Wednesday. She was 9 pounds 7 oz. and looks half grown. She even has a double chin! She is a sweet and calm baby though and that is what parents really like.
We also got to visit the wife's parents who are missionaries in India. I have no sense of time, but realized we stayed way too long. Ugh! I wish I could pay attention to the time. I hate to be checking my watch when I'm visiting and that is the only way I know how much time is passing. I hadn't had a chance to visit with the new mother for awhile because I've been out of town so much, so I was catching her up on some projects we have been talking about. When her mom got home from some errands, we got talking about quilting and... Her mom did start supper b/f we left and I washed dishes so I could assuage some of my guilt.
Our week at General Assembly in Atlanta, GA was great. There weren't as many activities as there often are, so we weren't running like crazy people and I didn't get as tired. There were less seminar periods. The down side was that a lot of the ones I wanted to attend were at the same time. The up side was that once I decided on what I was going to attend, I could go and enjoy it and remember the few I attended.
One of the highlights for me was in an affinity group (separate from the seminars) for pastors' wives, our small group included an assistant (now associate) pastor's wife who served with us in TX, Susan Hunt, Karen Grant, a former college acquaintance who worked with my mother later on and who I see each year plus others I haven't known before. Susan and Karen were especially encouraging in the Biblical sense toward many in the group encouraging us to stop and pray for one who had had a number of deaths in her family. They were wonderful models of encouragement and selflessness. I can't say I was surprised, but it was like drinking from a refreshing stream. That 45 min. or one hour flew.
The week is always a great one because we see so many people from different stages of our past. It was nice to catch up with some of them as well as have the elder and his wife from our present. This is their second year to attend and they seemed to find their way around real well!

Now I have to digest a lot of the material I received...especially in regards to our women's work. We are trying to broaden our church's ministry to women and want to do it wisely and well. That will start with a Bible study in the Fall (we hope). It will also need some other structure for future development. That is the part that will take wisdom. I'd better stop my update for now with that or the ramble will get bogged down. More on our trip later.