The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tea Talk--"Doers and the Deluded"

Time to share a cup of tea with Ruth, the lovely hostess for this meme.
Please click on her button above to find out how to join us!

NOTE:  I create blog titles that catch your attention and make you wonder, and want to read further.  I hope this particular title causes you to do that.  :)

I'm having...a cup of Trader Joe's organic decaf tea, with honey and cream.  And a bowl of popcorn.  ;)  Actually, this was what I had last night for our family movie night.  (Of course I shared the popcorn with everyone!)

I'm everyday ceramic mug, four of which were given to our boys for Christmas by my mom several years ago.  She filled each mug with packets of hot chocolate and other goodies.  Yum!

I'm feeling...tired but productive today.  Planned for the rest of the day around homeschooling:  laundry, bread baking, and sewing.

On my mind is...ministering to an acquaintance this evening by helping her de-clutter her condominium.  That's the really big task for today, and I'm praying for energy for both of us!

I'd like to share with you...a verse from our studies at dinner a few nights ago.  Fernando leads devotions at that time, and we have been working our way through the book of James.  He is reading a lot of the side notes from his study Bible, and I have been abundantly blessed by them.  He pauses patiently while I write notes, underline words, and circle key phrases in my Bible.  He calmly repeats a definition, a word, or an explanation as I try to soak it all in.  I love "dig-deep" Bible study!

But prove yourselves doers of the word,
and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
James 1:22 nasb (emphasis mine)

Doers of the word stood out to me, and in the Greek, the connotation of this phrase is that the entire personality of a Christian should be characterized in this way.  Someone should be able to look at my life and say, "It's obvious she's a Christian."  Oh, that it may be so!

The word delude was used in mathematics to refer to a miscalculation.  This implies that if I think I can just hear the word, and not do anything with what I've heard, I've made a serious miscalculation.  A sober thought to ponder.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tackle-It: Science Supplies

To find out more about Tackle-It Tuesday,
and how each of us is cleaning, de-cluttering, and simplifying our lives,
click on Shani's button above.  And join us!!

Box of science supplies
A few years ago, I loaned out this box of chemistry supplies; it was returned to me just a few weeks ago.   The box sat on the counter for a few days, then I moved it to the basement, on the floor in front of my homeschool cubby-hole cabinets.

Cubby-hole cabinets with box of science supplies

Thank the merciful Lord that I had already gotten my cubby-hole cabinets cleaned out and re-organized a few weeks ago!  I love these cabinets, which were originally literature cabinets that Fernando's company was throwing away in their dumpster.  Are you kidding me???  Each cabinet has 16 cubby-holes perfect for organizing things--especially homeschool things.  These cabinets are a prized possession, and have been put to incredible use for, oh, eight or ten years now.

If you look at the cabinets like a Battleship game board, cubby-holes A5 through A8, plus B8, contain my science supplies.  The top of the right-hand cabinet also holds boxes with science supplies.  When I first organized this, I made an index of supplies, named each cubby-hole and each box, then found a spot for every item.  I labeled each cubby-hole:  Bin 1, Bin 2, and so on, and the boxes in each bin as Box A, Box get the picture.  And that index exists today!

But, when I bought the chemistry supplies, and Jacob ended up dropping chemistry, the box of supplies never got cataloged or put away.  Shortly thereafter, a friend asked to borrow them, so the box made a trek to her house.  And now that Danny had embarked on the chemistry journey, necessity spurred me to finally get these supplies indexed and put away.

Science supplies needing a home

Though there weren't that many things to put away, it still took time.  A few of the items were duplicates of things I already had indexed, such as eye droppers and beakers, so those were easy to put away.  I cleaned out the two cardboard boxes of jars, vials, and beakers (sitting on the top of the cabinet), since there were more items than we would use at any one time.  Most of what I recycled were glass jars; several of them--16-oz. former jelly jars--made their way into my pantry for storage or freezing.

Index of supplies

I indexed all new items on my science supply list by adding them in with pen, then placed the items in their new homes.  My index is alphabetical, and shows:  (1) the item, (2) how many I have, and (3) where I can find that item.  For instance, if I need assorted wood blocks, I go to Bin 1, and pull out Box A, and I will find the blocks.  Simple!

A place for everything...

The funny thing is that my "after" picture above doesn't look all that different from the "before" picture; the box is missing, and that's it!  That means that everything got put away.  :)  (Not to mention the fact that my "before" picture is really the "after" picture of my previous clean-the-cabinets project!)

Science supplies :)

Above is a close-up of most of my science cubby-holes.  It's so simplifying to have these things in their places.  A place for everything, and everything in its place.  I would add more to this motto:  If it doesn't have a place, don't give it any space.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WWU--What Do These Stones Mean?

Please visit Mary's blog (click on the button above) to read more and to participate!

This is my opportunity to remember and reflect.  It is a time to remember all that has happened this past week, and time to reflect on those events.  It is a time to thank the Lord for everything He has allowed into my life.  It is a time to build a memorial that shouts to future generations, "This is what the Lord did!  Praise be to God!!"  I'm waxing eloquent here, but then again, I'm a passionate person.  It truly is the reason I participate in Mary's weekly wrap-ups!  (Thanks, Mary, for hosting!)

My Home

Home life is settling into a routine--finally.  Even though our hectic schedule hasn't changed, there is a calmness and a smooth rhythm to our routine now.  The boys are still all over the place, driving to school, logging on for online classes, and grabbing me to supervise experiments and assist with grammar.  And I am becoming settled in my heart with this new season.  :)

My Kitchen and Garden

With a couple of very warm, humid days this week, bursts of red appeared among my tomato plants!  I picked a whole bowlful, and more have been turning.  I also picked an entire bowl of green beans to freeze.  One lonely little red pepper sits with those green beans.  But I'm happy that I have one to put in a salad.

I went out to my garden on Tuesday with a spade and high hopes that one or two of my carrots would be bigger than my finger.  A little loosening of the dirt, a little help from the spade, and a little carrot pulled out.  There were a few nice ones, and of course I sliced the biggest carrot with my spade trying to dig it out.  They're the sweet Nantes variety, and taste great in a salad.  I roasted some with a chicken last week, and they were gobbled up.  I'm leaving the rest in the ground until next week in hopes of a longer crop!

Looks are deceiving--the longest one is about five inches!

My Project Desk

I completed some craft projects this week!  When I lit the new candle in my powder room a few days ago, I realized I had never sent a thank-you to my dear friend who had remembered my birthday.  So I went to my project desk (it's in my bedroom) and created this card.

I usually get inspired by thumbing through pictures of other cards.  And since I end up using different colors, or paper, or I tear the paper instead of cutting with scissors, I achieve a completely different look.  Hey--that'd make a great post:  a picture of my inspiration, then a picture of my finished product.  Hmmm...

I returned to my project desk the next night and decided to make a few more thank-you cards using the one I had just made for inspiration.  I know the cards will get used, as the Lord keeps bringing to mind things I need to be thankful for!

Behind the Lens

I published the sister of the below photo on my photography blog.  This little guy waited patiently for me to:  (1) notice him, (2) run inside, (3) grab my camera, (4) change to the macro lens, and (5) run back out to my front porch garden.  He then perched for ever so long on top of the dead flower stalk.  He flew off a time or two, but thoughtfully came right back to pose for me.  I've never seen a dragonfly this color!  The breeze pushed his wings into an umbrella shape covering his face, but you can still see the red at the tips, and the bright red abdomen.  I spent some time looking for a good website for dragonfly identification, but finally gave up.  One can waste only so much time!

My Heart Thoughts

Since I talked about monuments to the Lord above, I thought I'd share this Scripture.  I haven't taken enough time to mark those times and events in my life where the Lord has mightily moved.

So Joshua called the twelve men whom he had appointed from the sons of Israel,
one man from each tribe; and Joshua said to them,
"Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan,
and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder,
according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel.
Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying,
'What do these stones mean to you?'
then you shall say to them,
'Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD;
when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.'
So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever."
Joshua 4:4-7 nasb, emphasis mine

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Friday, September 24, 2010

FFG--Maple Crumb Muffins


My friend Lori is a farm girl at heart.  Click her button to the left to visit her blog and join us on Fridays, because farm girls love company!  :)

Well, it was a good week here on my suburban "farm."  We actually turned on the a/c in the "barn" for a few return-of-summer days!  Number one stallion (Joe) stayed in the "barn" for shelter this week.  Number two stallion (Jacob) studied hard at the "training corral."  Number three stallion (Danny) is getting "saddle-trained" both online and with his older brother.  And number four stallion--well, colt, anyway--has romped rambunctiously around both the "barn" and the "pasture."  (That would be Thomas.)

The big "stud" worked hard all week providing for this "mare" and their herd.  Even though his mane has a touch of gray now, he still has what it takes to round up his herd well.

Since I happen to be on a farm theme, I leave you with a Bible verse, and a yummy recipe.

Know well the condition of your flocks,
And pay attention to your herds;
For riches are not forever,
Nor does a crown endure to all generations.
Proverbs 27:23-24 nasb

Maple crumb muffins

Maple Crumb Muffins

2 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup + 2 T sour cream
1/3 cup maple syrup

Streusel topping (mix together until crumbly)
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Using whisk, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir in egg, sour cream, and syrup.  Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Sprinkle with streusel topping mix.  Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm or hot.  Makes 12 muffins.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TT--A Calmer Week

A hot, but lovely, day on which to share a cup of tea!  If you'd like to participate, and to find out more, click on Ruth's button above!!

I'm having...a rare cup of coffee today.  My ds Jacob sells Organo Gold coffee and I'm having a cup.  It's pretty much a lot of sugar and cream, with a little coffee.  (That's why I rarely drink it!)

My teacup is new!  Long story short, I bought some Gibson "everyday" china, and ended up getting a whole set free.  I love using the teacups when I have company for tea.  Being a practical homemaker, I love the fact that I can use the teacups--and the dishes--whenever I want to go fancy.  Plus, white goes with everything!

A quick "funny"--I've already sipped some coffee out of the above cup!  I have a habit of filling my cup literally to the brim.  I then bend down and delicately slurp out enough until I can safely carry my cup to my seat.  :)

I'm feeling...much calmer this week.  I think we're starting to settle into a comfortable routine with homeschooling and housework.  I'm still trying to fit exercise into a workable routine, hopefully over the next few weeks.

On my mind...I'm always making mental lists, some of which get transferred to paper.  My list of to-do things is growing, but I keep plugging away.  I know that the Lord will allow me to do those things that fit appropriately into my day.  And on the days when I feel like I haven't accomplished anything on my list, I know the Lord had His list for me!

Leaving you with...a quote I found by Martin Luther.

Faith is a living, daring confidence in God's grace,
so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it
a thousand times.

Be sure to visit Ruth's blog to stay for a cup of tea!!

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday at Montrose

Fernando and I had Part One of our anniversary date last Sunday.  We ended up downtown at Montrose Harbor, where, despite the cloudy gloom, I enjoyed the view from behind the lens, and Fernando enjoyed the prospect of catching a few fish.

We didn't do much talking, but Fernando explained that he can fish all afternoon without saying much at all.  I think this is the only time he doesn't talk.  It was a peaceful afternoon of spending time together.

At one point, a young boy plopped his fishing gear and a bucket down right next to us.  He got his bait ready and threw in his line.  He was not shy, and was soon chatting with Fernando (okay, what is it that people of all ages find so inviting in a dark, linebacker-sized bearded man??).  Generous man that he is, Fernando helped the boy hook his bait, and even gave him a bobber and a weight for his line.  Was that boy ever excited!

I enjoyed watching all the sailboats glide across the water, while weekend life hummed along just beyond the shoreline.

All in all, it was a good day.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TT--Sewing!! And a Card

It's time to share our projects on Tackle-It Tuesday!
Click on the button above to visit CelticMom, to read details and to participate!!

No big cleaning projects, no organizing, no re-arranging, no before-during-after photos.  Last week was a project week with very specific projects, and a very specific deadline:  a wedding on Saturday.

My first project was sewing a "modesty panel" in the dress I planned on wearing for the wedding.  The "vee" in the neck revealed just a little too much!  I've had this dress for about four years, and I used to wear a camisole underneath for modesty.  The problem with the camisole is that I had to shorten the shoulder straps so it would sit up high, but then it was binding under my arms.  So last week, I brought out my scissors and snipped a triangle piece out of that camisole.  I figured, "How hard can it be?"

It was frustrating trying to get the panel to sit just right inside the dress.  But surprisingly, the sewing part was fairly easy.  To my hyper-critical eye, the panel is a tad crooked.  But who will notice?

dress with modesty panel

Now for the fun project.  For the wedding couple, I made a card.  I took the wedding invitation apart, and used a pocket in the original card to make a pocket in my own card.  :)  I then made a pull-out card to go in the pocket.  We wrote a blessing on the back of the pull-out card, and we all signed it.

card with pull-out message

And just for fun, I made a bookmark.  The ink on the word sweet smudged a bit, but it still looks pretty good.  The white tissue-paper flower (and the teal one in the flower on the card above) are also from the original invitation.


close-up of card
A neat side note:  My dress matched the wedding colors, which were chocolate brown and teal/sky blue.  I think it worked out nicely.  :)

Thank you, Shani, for hosting Tackle-It Tuesday!

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Saturday, September 18, 2010

WWU--Be Still

This is the time to wrap up my week--the goings-on in my home, behind my camera lens, and in my heart--in words and photos.  To find out more, or to join, please visit CanadaGirl's blog.  You can also click on her button at the end of this post.

Tuesday's robin

My Home

I've just been trying to keep the house generally clean and my spirit calm this past week.  Fernando says--and I've said this before--that homeschooling is my #1 priority.  But I need to figure out how to balance everything else, or there will be no clean clothes, and no dinner on the table.

Our anniversary was on Sunday, a wonderful day to have an anniversary on!  Celebration--part of which will be a surprise to Fernando--to come tomorrow afternoon!!

Homeschool and College

We're still trying to sort out schedules and get into a smoothly flowing routine.  Jacob missed most of his late-start Psych class which started on Tuesday, because he thought it started next week.  Then, he somehow thought his 7:30am Thursday class started at 8:30am.  After double-checking his schedule, he grabbed a nectarine for breakfast and tore on out the door.

Danny had his first on-line chemistry class.  It was strange to hear voices--especially girls' voices--emanating from the basement throughout the late Wednesday morning hours.  I'm still not used to this whole internet/headphone/voice online class thing.  Good grief, I used to get up and walk across the room to change the TV channel!

Thomas and I are getting along famously in school.  He is pretty much keeping me on track.  He won't leave me alone.  I can't blog when I want to.  (This is a good thing.)

Experiment in physical science

My Kitchen and Garden

I picked several more tomatoes this week--yay!  And there are lots of jalapeƱos still growing; I'm leaving them there until I'm ready to try making green tomato salsa.  Since this weekend is packed, hopefully I'll be able to grab a few hours one day next week.

I was able to snag some time on Friday to (finally) bake some bread.  Hopefully the eight loaves will last through next week...

Double-long loaf of whole-wheat bread

The Lord blessed me with a suribachi!!  It is a Japanese mortar and pestle, unique in that the inside of the unglazed bowl has a ridged pattern helpful in mashing garlic and herbs.  I had read about them, then researched a little, and by God's grace, found this one for only $10.

My new suribachi

Am I the only one who thinks a birthday salad is great??  I used farmer's market lettuce, and tomatoes, green pepper, carrots, and onions from my garden.  I topped it all with homemade creamy garlic herb dressing, and my tummy sang "happy birthday to me!"

Stick a candle in it!!

My Project Desk

On Friday I wore a French blue blouse which I bought at Goodwill.  This week I sewed hooks/eyes on to prevent gapping, and I took in the sides so I look like I have shape.  Because I'm broad-shouldered and, um, blessed up top, I need larger blouses.  But then they look like tents on my waist!  So I developed and cut out a template, which I used to take in the sides so it flares out a bit at the bottom and gives me shape.  Photos to come later, I hope.  :)

I also made a wedding card (and a bookmark) for Tim & Evy's wedding this afternoon.  I took apart their wedding invitation and used several pieces to make it.  The pocket which holds the pull-out "card" is a section of the invitation.

Tim & Evy's wedding card

Behind the Lens

I'm sooo happy to have my camera back.  I took so many pictures last week!  It was great to be able to take Ellie to downtown Chicago on Sunday to capture Elliot's baptism and some artistic photos at 12th Street Beach.  Besides Sunday, I've been taking pictures all week, of anything and everything!  I'm also trying to capture images specifically for my blog.  Any excuse to use the camera!  Here is my favorite photo from downtown at Lake Michigan.

Grace in motion

My Nightstand

In all the busy-ness of this week, in all the driving around seemingly for no purpose, in all the frustration of mounting laundry and what's-for-dinner, the Lord desires that I stop, and still my heart, and focus on Him.

"Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Psalm 46:10-11 nasb (emphasis mine)

CanadaGirl is the lovely hostess for our Weekly Wrap-Up.  Please click on her linky button below to visit her blog, to read more, and to participate.

Thanks for stopping by!  Now it's time to get ready to go to a wedding!!

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Friday, September 17, 2010

FFG--Cinnamon-Oat Muffins and a Farm Photo :)

To find out about Friday Farm Girls at Heart, click on the link to the left and visit Lori's blog.  Then stay for a visit and chat with us!  We farm girls love company.

A farm wife must love to cook.  That's my impression, anyway.  So I guess this suburbanite can say that she is a farm girl at heart!  I love cooking, baking, and discovering new recipes.

I tend to experience two phases in my kitchen and in my life in general:
  1. The search to gather ________
  2. The effort to de-clutter ________
I have filled in that blank with many different things:  books, science supplies, hats, shoes, kitchen gadgets...  The word recipes was in that blank for several years, but I have just finished Phase #2 by getting rid of  four or five cookbooks, and combining my recipes--two overflowing binders' worth--into one binder, with space to spare.

I determined that one can have only so many recipes.  I purged several which were similar, and kept only my favorite ones in all categories--breakfasts, main dishes, breads, muffins, cakes, etc.  (Click here to see my post about my recipe binder.)

I recently found some muffin recipes unique enough to try and keep.  I kept only a few, which you'll be seeing in future Farm Girls posts.  Muffins are great--if you find a basic recipe, you can add any sort of fruit to it to change it up a bit.  Or, add some lemon or orange peel for a slightly different flavor.  That's why I'm determined, in the recipe arena, to have just a few.

Cinnamon-oat muffin with a cup of tea

Cinnamon-Oat Muffins

1 cup old fashioned oats (not instant)
1 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/3 cup cane juice crystals (or sugar)
1/3 cup sucanat (or brown sugar)
1 egg
1 t pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon

cinnamon-sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine the oats and buttermilk in a bowl and let stand for ten minutes.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, cane juice crystals, sucanat, egg, and vanilla.  Add the oat mixture and stir to blend.  Add the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon and mix well.

Spoon the batter into paper-lined muffin cups (dozen).  Sprinkle each muffin with cinnamon-sugar.  Bake for 20 minutes; let cool for about five minutes before removing muffins to a cooling rack to cool.  Makes one dozen muffins.

Since we're sharing Friday Farm Girls, I leave you with this picture, just for fun.  Yes, I have been on a farm!

Not my back yard  :)

For every beast of the forest is Mine,
The cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird of the mountains,
And everything that moves in the field is Mine.
Psalm 50:10-11 nasb

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tea Talk--"Power Relaxing"

It's so nice to relax over a cup of tea, and share my thoughts with you!  To join this time with us, please click on the button above to visit Ruth and to learn how to participate!

I'm standard Irish breakfast tea.  It's a strong tea, but caffeine doesn't really bother me and I like the taste of a bold tea in the morning.  I usually drink mine with a little honey and cream.

A photo tea mug!  I'm so happy to be able to show you a photo of my mug.  This is my everyday mug, discovered at a garage sale this summer for 50 cents.  (I love garage sales.)  My kitchen is more navy than this mug's bright cobalt, but blue is blue.  I love its rounded shape, and the flower and butterfly designs.  Notice my pretty little teakettle?  That's also a garage-sale item, which a lady told me once belonged to her grandmother.  The silver kettle looks so pretty sitting on my stove, against a silver and white tin backsplash in the background.

I'm feeling...relieved that this week is almost over.  It has been very hectic, with Jacob almost missing a college class (twice), me making unneeded and unnecessary trips, and both Jacob and Danny waiting until the last minute to begin work on an "essay summary" assignment for their college class.  This little Tea Talk break today is my "power relaxing" time, as I've not had a moment to breathe all week.

On my mind is...several tasks that need to be done by this weekend!  Wrapping a wedding gift and making a card--praise the Lord I finished modifying my dress last night--and more organizing of homeschool science supplies.

Scripture to leave you with...we finished my favorite book--Ephesians--and have just started reading through Philippians.  I pray these verses for you all--and for me--today.

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more
in real knowledge and all discernment,
so that you may approve the things that are excellent,
in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
having been filled with the fruit of righteousness
which comes through Jesus Christ,
to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 nasb

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I married my sweetheart on September 12, 1987.  Twenty-three years later, I still thank the Lord daily for my husband.  He is the Lord's best gift to me.  He is an ocean of treasure, into whose depths I sometimes feel I have barely dipped my toes.

Daily surprising, annoyingly spontaneous, always special.  Yeah, we fight.  But not much.  He is my Googly-Bear.  (Pamela, you're right--sometimes love is mushy-gushy!)

My rock, standing on the Rock.

The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man."
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother,
and be joined to his wife;
and they shall become one flesh.
Genesis 2:23-24 nasb

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Time for a Project!

Do you need encouragement to get all those unfinished projects completed?  Need some help or ideas?  Click above to visit CelticMom, the hostess for Tackle-It Tuesday, to learn more and to participate!!

Ahh, I feel like working on a project today!  I think I'll sit at my project desk--where I make cards and work on scrapbooking--and make a card for Tim and Evy's wedding this Saturday.  Last week, my main project was to clean off, de-clutter, and organize my project desk so that I could do a project!  :)

I wish like mad I could've taken "before" and "during" photos, but I couldn't until Saturday--oh happy of days--when my dear "Ellie" arrived by overnight express from the repair company after 31 days of absence.  But I digress.

I worked on this project with my friend and project accountability partner, Helen.  We call each other at a particular time, share our projects, then work for a designated time, calling each other to check in once during the project time, then once at the end.  I thought I was simply going to de-clutter and put everything away, but ack, there was dust on everything.  So I grabbed the dust cloth and cleaned each item before I set it on the floor.  I had to damp-wipe the desk, which was pretty messed up.  Once the desktop surface was clean, I replaced the lamp and a few larger items.  I put every small item in its place (a place for everything...), then started arranging the larger items (bins and holders and such) on the desktop.

I had purchased two stackable trays for my rubber stamp ink pads, but you won't see those in the picture!  The story:  I stopped at Joann Fabrics earlier in the week, and happened to see the trays.  I bought two, and the cashier let me use both a "40% off one item" coupon and a "10% off total order" coupon!  So I paid only about $7 for both of them.  They didn't hold the ink pads like I wanted--they were wide enough but too deep--but they would work.

Then, on Saturday, I did some power garage-sale-ing with my mom, and happened upon a stackable three-tray set-up.  I asked the lady how much they were, and quickly paid her the 50 cents after my shock wore off.  They were filthy, but they easily washed up and they fit two side-by-side stacks of ink pads.  Perfect.  You can see the three stacking trays on the right-hand corner of my desk below.

My clean project desk is calling me to work!
On the desk, from left to right:  lamp, storage caddy for brads/eyelets/etc., ribbon box (90% off at the scrapbook store), stackable bins with ink pads and other supplies, and a phone (because it has no other place to go!).

Tim and Evy's wedding invitation sits on the wooden project board, waiting for me to make it into a wedding card.  I have just two things left to do:  purchase another CFC bulb for the two-bulb lamp (it has only ever had one bulb in it!), and return the two trays to the store for a refund, yay!

This week's main projects:

  • Make Tim and Evy's wedding card!
  • Finish sewing a modesty panel in my dress for the wedding this Saturday
  • Get chemistry supplies (recently returned to me) put back in order on my homeschool shelves

Trust me, there are other projects calling my name, but the above have deadlines.  Really soon.  So I need to get to work!

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
captured by Christine Anne

Monday, September 13, 2010


Our family happily drove downtown Chicago on Sunday, to not only witness Elliot's baptism, but to support his decision and to be an encouragement to him and his family.

Elliot and his family attend our church, and we humbly count them as friends.  This young man comes from an incredible heritage of Christian faithfulness, and it was an honor to witness the next generation's public declaration of faith in Christ.

This was the first multi-generational baptism ceremony we had witnessed.  Elliot's dad baptized him, and his grandfather spoke encouragement and blessing afterward.

Or do you not know that all of us
who have been baptized into Christ Jesus
have been baptized into His death?
Therefore we have been buried with Him
through baptism into death,
so that as Christ was raised from the dead
through the glory of the Father,
so we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:3-4 nasb

Back to life,

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captured by Christine Anne