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Working on a Business


As many of you know I have health problems, and some of those health issues cause me to be susceptible to every virus that is brought around me.  That is one of the struggles when you have Epstein-Barre Syndrome, every time someone has the flu, a virus, colds, strep throat, or any other such thing, I get it.  So my last few weeks have been filled with these things.  I spent a lot of time down with the flu, a sore throat and a ear infection, along with dealing with my pain from arthritis, bone spurs, and fibromyalgia.  But I didn’t let this all keep me from doing something constructive…something that I’m still working on.  With the cost of things  going up in the U.S., and government budget cuts that affected my husband with a 6 month layoff, we found ourselves in the same position as many Americans, living from pay day to payday, well actually more like payday to the week before the next payday.  So I set out to find a way to help my husband with finances, despite having to spend so much time in bed due to pain.  A couple weeks ago while straightening up things in my room, I found a program that my husband got me that allows me to design cross stitch designs.   I can use my photos, clipart, or my own artwork to create beautiful design instructions for other cross stitchers.  For those who do not know what this is, it is a type of embroidery where simple X’s are made on canvas to complete a design using embroidery thread.  I’m still working on getting designs together, but I’m also researching ecommerce sites that offer what I need to have my own site.  I’m praying God’s leading, direction and blessing on this endeavor.  I’m hoping that it will be the help my family needs to get through this tough time.  However in doing this I’m not able to spend too much time blogging, or on other things.  I’ve had to cut down other activities on the computer, even time on Facebook and on my email.  I know once I get it up and running I will have more time for other things though.  I wanted to share some of the designs I’ve finished working on in this post.  Each design comes with…

  1. the original photograph or artwork I used,
  2. a jpeg of the finished design,
  3. a pdf of a black and white representation of the design with symbols showing wear each color goes,
  4. a stitch pattern pdf showing what the finished work looks like in cross stitch,
  5. a color key pdf showing the colors of embroidery thread used for that design, and the measurements of it.
  6. a pdf with color blocking of the design, for those who prefer to use a color graph without symbols
  7. and a pdf with color blocking with the symbols.

I’ve worked on hard designs for those who are looking for a challenge, medium designs for those who are at the intermediate level, and easier designs for those who are new to cross stich along with children who are just learning how to cross stitch.

I’m rejoicing to have found some way of using my own drawings and photos in a way to help my family.  Please pray with me that this works out, and that God will bless each step and open the doors along the way.  Below are some of the designs I’m finished with.  Enjoy!

An angel, one of many I drew and designed.

A chocolate milkshake from my

art.

Woman with the Alabaster Jar of oil.

A parfait from my artwork.

Blueberry Muffin

A Cupcake with Pink Icing and Sprinkles

Stained Glass design

Original artwork

Stained glass design done in cross stitch.  It looks better without the glare from my camara.

Very colorful parrots

A secluded waterfall.

King Solomon

Bird and Flower

Fashion Face. I love designing hats, shoes and clothes. Jk wants me to make a bunch like these and make them into a quilt for her bedroom.

Patchwork Boot…my artwork

 

 

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Now For a Few Awards I Designed

For the last few weeks I’ve been working on compiling a list of awards that are here on WordPress.  Some of these awards many of us have received over and over, so I thought we needed some fresh ones to share.

The first one is The Full of Heart Blogging Award.  It is to be given to bloggers who write from their hearts, no matter what the emotion, but you must be able to feel their heart through their words.

Rules for this award are…

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Share the people or things you love most in an anagram using the word HEART.

     (Example:  H…Hearing laughter from my family

                        E…Every single day that I am alive.

                        A…All my family

                        R…Reading Books

                        T…The Bible

       3.  Nominate 7 other bloggers, and notify them of their nomination.

Since I designed this award I will thank God for the inspiration to design it.  My anagram is the example listed above, but I will nominate 7 bloggers to recieve this award.  They are as follows…

http://momentumofjoy.com/

http://thelmac.wordpress.com/

http://birdmartin.wordpress.com/

http://adifferenceforyourlovedones.wordpress.com/

http://93percenttrue.wordpress.com/

http://originalapplejunkie.wordpress.com/

http://kyllingsara.wordpress.com/

 

 

Award #2 is The Super Sweet Blogging Award.  This award goes to those bloggers who give the sweetest comments, or have the sweetest blog.

The rules are…

  1. Say something sweet about the blogger who nominated you, thank them and then link to their blog.
  2. Answer the following questions…

     a.  Cookies or Cake?    (My answer is both, because it depends on my mood and the type.)

     b.  Chocolate or Vanilla?  (My answer is Vanilla, unless it is a candy.)

     c.   What is your favorite sweet treat?  (Mine is Chex Turtle Mix)

     d.   When do you crave sweet things the most? (Not often but usually when I real low on energy.)

     e.   If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be?  ( Mine would be Chocolate Covered Cherry)

  1. Nominate a “Baker’s Dozen” (13) other bloggers for the award and notify them of their nomination.

    Since I designed this award I will thank God for inspiration and my husband for fixing my computer and keeping it running right.  My answers to the questions are in parentheses next to the questions, and here are my nominees for the award…

    http://kyllingsara.wordpress.com/

    http://waltbrite.wordpress.com/

    http://terry1954.wordpress.com/

    http://thehomeheart.wordpress.com/

    http://iftodaywehear.wordpress.com/

    http://mylifeuncutalmost.wordpress.com/

    http://childdrivenlearning.wordpress.com/

    http://twisteddomesticgoddess.wordpress.com/

    http://redwhiteandgrew.com/

    http://throughthehealinglens.com/

    http://lynnecobb.com/

    http://originalapplejunkie.wordpress.com/

    http://hometogo232.wordpress.com/

    That’s my Baker’s Dozen, and they are really sweet people who deserve to be noticed.

     

     

    #3 of my awards is The Crafty Blogger Award, and is an award that I believe should go to those bloggers who are crafty and are always posting things they have made or want to make, or share craft ideas with their readers, or who share their creativeness through art or photography.

    The rules are..

    This award should be given to those who show crafty projects they have made on their blog.

    1. Thank the blogger who nominated you, and place a link to their blog in your post.
    2. Tell about the greatest home made gift you gave or received.
    3. Nominate 5 other bloggers for this award and notify them of their nomination.

    Since I designed this one I will thank all those craft bloggers who have inspired me throughout the years, and God who gave me the gift of being creative.

    I’ve had the joy of making special gifts for many others and for being given great homemade gifts, so I will mention one I was given, in fact I’m given every year.  My sister-in-law started a tradition a few years ago of making clear glass ornaments with special things in them and a slip of paper attached with an encouraging thought.  She has encouraged us to have faith, to dream, to love, and more through these ornaments, and it is one of my favorite Christmas gifts each year.  I can’t wait to see what she has come up with each year for us to add to our Christmas tree.

    My 5 nominees for this award are all bloggers who inspire me through their crafty posts, their art, or their photography.  They are…

    http://e1aine.wordpress.com/

    http://blackcatoriginals.wordpress.com/

    http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/

    http://artbycamila.wordpress.com/

    http://jumpoutthebox.wordpress.com/

     

     

    #4 of the awards I designed is The Creative Writer Blog Award, and is meant to be given to those who share their creativity through writing stories, poems, and themselves through their writing.

    The rules are…

    This award should be given to those who have written a poem, a story, scripts, or some other creative form of writing for their blog.

    1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for the award, and link to their blog.
    2. Write a 8 line poem about yourself.
    3. Nominate 4 other bloggers for the award and notify them of their nomination.

      Since I designed this one I will again thank God for the creativity and inspiration he gives me to share this gift of writing.

      Here is my poem…

      Every morning when I rise,

      I wipe the sleep from my eyes.

      I wonder what the day will hold,

      And if my daughter will do what she’s told.

      I talk to God to start the day,

      And ask for help when I pray.

      I know that I will make it through,

      As the Lord helps me with all I do.

      My 4 nominees are…

      http://thelmac.wordpress.com/

      http://5gsandacupofjoe.net/

      http://allinthelifeofjk.wordpress.com/

      http://originalapplejunkie.wordpress.com/

       

       

       

      #5 of the awards I designed is The Dining Blogger Award.

      The rules are…

      This award goes to bloggers who share recipes, cooking stories, or cooking tips, canning tips, or food gardening tips on their blog.

      1. Thank the blogger who nominated and put a link to their blog in your post.
      2. Answer the following questions…

          a.  Is the cup half empty or half full?    (Always half full, but don’t mind if it’s overflowing.)

      b.  Mayonnaise or Salad Dressing?          (Salad dressing, preferably Miracle Whip)

      c.  Butter or Margarine?                            (Butter)

      d.  Favorite food?                                     (Seafood or Chinese)

      e.  If you could have a meal cooked by any famous chef who would you choose?  (Guy Fieri)

      f.  What was the last thing you cooked or baked?  (My homemade 3 cheese lasagna)

      g.  Party style, Buffet style, or Family style?  (Family style)

      h.  If you could have one last supper, what would you want?  (Boiled crab and lobster, shrimp cocktail, hushpuppies, fried clams, and boiled mussels, all with garlic and butter sauce.)

            3.  Nominate 6 others bloggers for this award, and notify them of their nomination.

      Since I again designed this one I will thank all those chefs on television who inspire me to cook, and who keep me hungry!   My 6 nominees are…

      http://rantingchef.com/

      http://letsgetbasted.wordpress.com/

      http://soulsbyfarm.wordpress.com/

      http://myhomebaked.com/

      http://justafrugalfoodie.com/

      http://modernchristianwoman.com/

      Two more awards to go!!!!!!

       

      #6 of the awards I designed is The Imaginative Youth Blogging Award.  This award was designed because of all the homeschooling parents out there sharing ideas for our children.  So it is meant for those who share things for our youth, whether lessons, crafts, words of wisdom, or such.  But it must be things that help young people, not hurt them.

      The Rules are…

      1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog.

      2.  Share a story from your youth, or if you are still young (20 or younger) share a hope and dream you have for your future.

      3.   Nominate 5 other bloggers and notify them of their nomination.

      Here is a story from my youth…wow, I just went blank…lol.  Hmmm.. .okay here is one I haven’t written about.  When I was 7 and 8 years old we lived in Biloxi, Mississippi, because my dad was stationed there.  We lived in base housing that was surrounded by a swamp filled with snakes, including water moccassins.  Across the swamp from where we lived was the V.A. Hospital, where there was lots of land surrounding it, big enough for a few sports fields.  My brothers and I, along with a few other G.I. brats use to climb a large tree that had a branch that crossed over the swamp, and we would drop into the Hospital lawn.  We would play ball and other games until we got caught.  One day the military police were waiting for us as we started dropping out of the tree.  After taking us all home, they chopped down our favorite branch so we couldn’t do it again.  I won’t tell you what we started doing to get back at them, but let’s just say it involved other trees, netting and snakes as surprises as they patrolled the sides of the swamp.

      My 5 nominees for this award are…

      http://homeschoolyear.wordpress.com/

      http://creationscience4kids.com/

      http://canadianmommytime.wordpress.com/

      http://naturallyfundays.wordpress.com/

      http://childdrivenlearning.wordpress.com/

      I love sharing things from these blogs with my daughter, Jk, and so they are well deserving of this award.

       

      Finally, here is the last award I designed.  It is The Family of Bloggers Award, and was designed with the thought that there are many guys who also blog that might not want the Sisterhood of Bloggers award…lol.  Really, I’ve come to think of many bloggers as a part of my family and so this award was designed with them in mind.

      The rules are…

      1. Thank the person who nominated you and tell them what family member they would be if they were really related to you.
      2. Place a link to the blog of the person who nominated you in your post.
      3. Tell what attributes you bring to the family, using an anagram of the word FAMILY.

      (Example)…F…Fun

      A…Artistic side

      M…Maturity

      I…Intelligence

      L…Laughter

      Y…Youthfulness

      4.   Nominate at least 4 other people to be in your family of bloggers, and for this award, and notify them of their nomination.

      Since I designed this one I will thank all those bloggers who have been so warm and encouraging that I have felt like part of their family, like that crazy aunt…lol.  Here are my 4 nominees…

      http://originalapplejunkie.wordpress.com/

      http://birdmartin.wordpress.com/

      http://kyllingsara.wordpress.com/

      http://terry1954.wordpress.com/

      Well, that’s it folks!  I’m finally through blogging awards.  All that is left to do is add pics to this posts in editing, and notifying all the nominees for all the awards I blogged today!

      Yay!!!!!!

     

 

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Two Awards in One…“Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award”

I was nominated for this award twice in the same day, and within moments of each other.  Thank you to Diane at… http://hometogo232.wordpress.com/ and Terry from… http://terry1954.wordpress.com/ !  What is funny is that both of these wonderful women said the same thing to me when they nominated me for it…that I would love the name for the award, and that it was perfect for me…lol.  I wasn’t sure whether they meant the Mrs. Sparkly part or the Ten Commandment part…lol.  I remember saying the same thing to both, that I found the name funny because it was the first time I had heard the word Sparkly used in the same sentence as the words Ten Commandment!  I took it upon myself to add the title of this award, “Mrs. Sparkly’s Ten Commandments Award” to the picture that was posted for the award.  So that those receiving it will always get a smile when they see the name.

The rules for this award are that you must answer the following ten questions and nominate ten blogs that you think deserve the award.  So here are the 10 questions…

1. Describe yourself in seven words… Sinner Saved By Grace, A Vessel of God

2. What keeps you up at night?  Insomnia from Fibromyalgia…well it did until a friend suggested Melatonin to me because it helped her sleep through the symptoms of insomnia that accompanies fibromyalgia.  It Works…Praise God!

3. Whom would you like to be?  Well, the Bible says that God made me quite unique (I’m fearfully and wonderfully made by him.)  So I wouldn’t want to be anyone but who God made me to be…however I would like to be more like Jesus.

4. What are you wearing now?  My favorite pajamas…the comfortable red ones!

5. What scares you?  Now this is funny, because everything I’ve ever had a fear of I’ve had to face and get over.  For example…I have never been afraid of dieing because I know where my eternity will be, but I always feared living with pain.  Now with Fibromyalgia I don’t fear it anymore because I live with pain daily.  I was afraid of heights and tight places, and working in theater I had to deal with both.  God has a way of teaching me that the only fear I need to have in my life is the fear of God.

6. What are the best and worst things about blogging?  Best is writing and sharing with other bloggers, the worse thing is there is never enough time in a day to do all the blogging and reading of other blogs that I would love to do.

7. What was the last website you looked at?  Does this mean blogsite or website?  I would have to say my blogsite since that is what I’m writing on right now. But I would have to say not counting blog sites, and other than WordPress it would be MSNBC homepage for about 10 seconds until I started blogging on here…lol.

8. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  No more pain, so I could do all the things with my youngest daughter that I was able to do with my oldest daughters.

9. Slankets, yes or no?   Slankets?  Are we talking Snuggies, because I have a bright red one and it is the most comfortable thing on my bed, which I use every single day, and my daughter, Jk, keeps trying to take from me…lol.

10. Tell us something about the person who nominated you. Well, I was nominated by two very unique, loving, caring, and compassionate women that I’m proud to call friends and sisters-in-Christ.

I am nominating five other bloggers to receive this award, since I’m not sure how many I’m suppose to actually nominate.  Those I nominate will either fit the Mrs. Sparkly part of the award name or the Ten Commandment part, so either they will be creative in a sparkly kind of way, or they will be really grounded in their Christian faith.  Here are my five…

1.  http://e1aine.wordpress.com/ …This blogger is definately one of the Mrs. Sparkly bloggers, and a wonderful crafter to prove it.  I love her posts on the jewelry she creates.

2. http://creationscience4kids.com/ …If dinosaurs and science could be considered sparkly this blogger could prove it.  Also grounded in their Christian faith, I find this blogger a great candidate for both parts of the awards name.

3. http://allinthelifeofjk.wordpress.com/ …I don’t know anyone as sparkly as this blogger, and I know she has been grounded in her faith in Jesus Christ, because she is my youngest daughter and I live with her and her sparkliness ever day!

4.  http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/ …This blogger would get the award for being the sparkliest homeschool site… that is if there was an award for that.  Since there isn’t I’m giving her this award!

5.http://originalapplejunkie.wordpress.com/  …Now this award is perfectly named for this blogger!  She is spunky, sparkly, and grounded in her Christian faith.  Hmm…no wonder I keep thinking she reminds me of one of my daughters!

Okay I may have to add one or two more nominations, because I see a couple more blogs that fit my idea of ones that deserve the “Mrs. Sparkly Ten Commandments Award.”  So here goes…

6. http://katescreativespace.com/ …This is definately a creative sparkly site.  Usually when I check it out I’m either thing…Yum or That is so cool!

7. http://jelillie.wordpress.com/ …This is a site that shares their heart for God and is creative both!  You can look at a blog post of a craft or such and before you know it this blogger has related it to something from God’s Word, or a thought about the Lord.

Alright! Two more award posts finished!  Congratulations to all those I have nominated, and thank you to Terry and Diane for giving me this award!

 

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Two Versatile Blogger Awards!

Wow!  I’m so honored!  I finally got an internet connection this morning and was blessed to find that I had been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award!  Thank you http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/ for the nomination!  As a homeschooling parent it is a wonderful thing when we can make a connection with other homeschooling parents and share activities, learning and craft ideas and experiences.  Future.Flying.Saucers is a blog full of wonderful posts on homeschooling, but it is more because it is also filled with a lot of love and joy.  I love the way this mom shares her love for her children, for the homeschooling experience, and just her love for being a mom.  Everytime I click on her site I get the excitement of opening a present at Christmas, the anticipation of what might be inside today, and I can see why her children are excited about homeschooling, and about their mother!  Thank you again, for sharing your blog with us, and for the nomination, http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/ !

Also thank you to http://scottsholar.com/  for the second nomination!  From current news events to thoughts on the teaching from the Bible, Scott always shares his Christian perspective and his love for Christ.  Although his site is new to me, I’ve loving it, because he is dedicated to standing up for his Christian faith, and isn’t being swayed by the lies the world is using to sway believers from God.  I also like that Scott is an encourager to fellow Christian bloggers, and that he is a good source for information about what is going on in our country that pertains to Christians.  Thank you Scott, for the nomination and for sharing your faith in Christ Jesus as well!

The Rules for this award are as follows:

  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging (or whose blogs you enjoy most).
  2. Let them know that you have nominated them.
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself.
  4. Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you.
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.

Now for 7 random things about me.  I think I’ve shared so many things this week through the other awards, that I’m not sure what is left, but here goes!

1.  My sister, Nelda, dyed my hair the summer between my 8th and 9th grade years of school.  It was suppose to be blond, but turned out orange.  Because she didn’t know how to fix it, I went to school that year and garnered the nickname “Rusty” from my friends at school.

2.  That same 9th grade year of school, my mom decided to buy me a purple shirt for school pictures and get me a perm.  Well, the perm turned out to be really tight and frizzy, and with my orange hair and purple shirt, I looked like a clown…lol.  Talk about the worse school picture.

3.  I started working at the age of 12, cleaning houses for various people at our church, usually those who were ill and couldn’t do it themselves, and others who worked or were elderly.  I continued to work many jobs from that time on, until I started homeschooling my youngest daughter a few years ago.

4.  I have held as many as 3 jobs as a single mom, to make sure my family was taken care of.

5.  I actually graduated from Cosmetology School when I was 21, and started regular college that same year.

6.  I have a thing about Queen Anne’s Chocolate Covered Cherries, but I only want them at Christmas time and only 1 box.  It’s because of my mom, who worked at the Queen Anne’s factory in Indiana when she was 16.  She passed that love she had for them on to me.  No other brand will ever do, once you’ve had Queen Anne’s.

7.  I play guitar, and I taught myself to do it with God’s help.  I tried to learn when I was 15, but I couldn’t do it at all.  When I became a Christian I sat down with my guitar, and spent a whole day learning to play “Jesus Loves Me” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children” so I could play them with my daughters, and to use in Childrens’ Church.  By the end of that day, I could play both songs and a few more, and since have added many chords and many, many more songs to my repertoire.  I never forget though that it was the Lord who made it possible.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Okay, 7 things about me done, and now on to nominating 15 fellow bloggers for this award!  I have nominated so many for awards this past week that some of these may be among those already nominated for other awards.  I think The Versatile Blogger Award should probably go to bloggers who fill their blogs with a variety of posts, but while showing the various sides of them, still show their heart through each post.  So those will be the type of blogs I will nominate.  The following blogs are the ones I have chosen to nominate for The Versatile Blogger Award.

1.  http://momentumofjoy.com/  I love her thoughts on Christ, but I also love the laughter she brings through some of her posts.  I find this site to give me great moments of introspection and joy!

2.  http://birdmartin.wordpress.com/  Whether speaking of her love for Christ, about her love for family, or just a funny story about her life and her family, Bird always shows her heart and her personality in every single post.

3.  http://canadianmommytime.wordpress.com/  You want a taste of Real Housewives, then quit watching television and visit this Canadian Mommy’s blog.  This is a real mom, real housewife, and real woman’s life, not that glitz and glitter of shallow, spoiled women you see on television.  Canadian Mommy shares her love of her family, and of her life in every post.

4.  http://e1aine.wordpress.com/  I love this young lady’s blog, whether she is showing her beautiful jewelry creations, talking about fashion, or giving a good grammar lesson.  She writes with the heart and humor of youth, and the wisdom of maturity all at the same time.

5.  http://homeschoolyear.wordpress.com/  I know this is a Homeschool blog, but the variety of posts feature not only the written word, but photos, craft ideas for families, and even book reviews.  This blogger truly approaches homeschooling and blogging from a variety of angles.

6.  http://barbarabazzocchi.wordpress.com/  This blog is filled with a love for crafting, crocheting, gardening, travel and family!  Every time I click on Barbara’s blog I feel like I’m about to set off on a new journey filled with adventure!

7.  http://5gsandacupofjoe.net/  I can’t tell you how much I love this blog, but I can tell you why.  Visiting this blog is like sitting down with an old friend and talking about anything and everything in life, from Christ, to prepping, world news, to family.  This regular Joe makes you feel right at home when you visit his blog.

8.  http://sharinhislove.wordpress.com/  This blog does just what it says.  It shares the love of Jesus Christ in a variety of ways.  If I need a word of encouragement, or need a new way of looking at things that are going on, or just want to feel the joy and love of Christ in my life, this is one blog that gives me those immediately.

9.  http://hometogo232.wordpress.com/  What to feel love in a variety of ways, this is the blog for you.  You’ll either feel like you are at Grandma’s home, Mom’s home, or a dear friend’s home when you visit this blog, depending on your age.  It is evident, no matter what Diane is blogging about, you will feel welcome into her life, and her heart, but most of all you will feel her love for Jesus.

10.  http://thehomesteadatspringcreek.wordpress.com/   Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to homestead, to live off the grid, or what it must have been like for early settlers?  Then this is the blog for you.  Each post is an adventure in the making, whether family life, gardening, information about different plants, recipes, or a new look at things in nature.

11.   http://pulchradoctrina.wordpress.com/   Another homeschool blog filled with ideas, photos, family, and personality.

12.  http://lynnecobb.com/   I love that this blogger writes about a variety of things from a variety of emotions.  One moment you will feel empathy with her, the next you will be laughing at her adventures and her look at life.

13. http://originalapplejunkie.wordpress.com/  Can’t forget my Apple Junkie  Sister-in-Christ!  Her blog is filled with her adventure of living in Portugal, yet filled with a variety of things from cooking, family, and personal thoughts from the heart.  You can’t help but feel the heart of home in her writing while enjoying her adventure in another country at the same time.

14.  http://naturallyfundays.wordpress.com/  Another homeschooling blog with a variety of adventures, ideas, and lots of family love.

15.  http://childdrivenlearning.wordpress.com/  Nothing I like more than traveling…taking a journey to some place new.  This blog takes the reader on a trip with them through their homeschooling adventures.

16.  http://lbtk.wordpress.com/   I’m adding an extra one because I feel this one is so deserving of this award.  The variety of posts which all share this bloggers love for life, for teaching, and for the Lord Jesus, always leaves me with a warm feeling of standing at the foot of the throne of Jesus, yet feeling his warm hugs and love for me, that I’m drawn back to see how that love is expressed with each post.

Again I would like to thank http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/  for the nomination, and to all these other bloggers as well for filling my blogging adventure with variety, warmth, and fun!

 

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Here Comes the Sun(shine)!

Sorry for the title of this post, but everytime I see this award’s picture on anyone’s blog there are certain songs that run through my mind…”Here Comes the Sun” which I believe is correctly entitled “It’s Alright”, “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” which is a song from my childhood, and “You are My Sunshine”.  I often have this experience when people say things or I see or hear things that remind me of a song.  In fact, today my clothes dryer was making a thumping noise that reminded me of the song “We Will Rock You”, and yes I began singing with it, until Jk came into the room with a look on her face like I was crazy.  What can I say, it’s a gift and a curse (mostly to my children who think it is embarrassing…lol.)

Well, it has taken a while to post about this award, but I figured since I’m having a good internet day, I should get it done now.  Thank you http://originalapplejunkie.wordpress.com/ who nominated me for this a week or two ago.  I said it had been awhile, didn’t I?   You are a bit of sunshine in each day I read your blog posts.  You are a sweet person, who really has an adventurous heart.  Why else would you live in another country alone, if not for being an adventurous soul?  I love reading about your life there, and about your interest.  It makes me feel like a much younger me.

Now for the requirements of this award.  They are as follows…

  • Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself
  • Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you!

Let’s see 10 things about myself…hmm…what to say that you don’t know from my blog?

1.  My name means Beautiful Fight.

2.  I found out the meaning of my name after a fight where I ended up with 2 black eyes, and my mother and sister came home after my sister’s OBGYN appointment and shopping for her baby to be.  She was living at home while her husband was serving in Vietnam during the war.  Mom came into the kitchen saying, “Bonnie do you know what your real name means?”  She stopped dead when she saw me holding 2 steaks to my eyes, and haltingly said “Beau-ti-ful Fight.”  Then after a slight paused she continued…”And I see you are living up to that name.”

3.  My mom sent me to Charm School in 7th grade because she caught me and my brothers fighting with some neighbor boys because we caught them getting my baby brother to smoke cigarettes.  She wanted me to start acting like a young lady.

4.  I had a reputation as a loner and a fighter in high school.  But I wasn’t a bully, instead I didn’t like bullies and most of my fighting was protecting someone else from a bully.  I usually caught them outside of school to confront them though.

5.  As a child living in Mississippi in base housing, we were surrounded by a swamp that separated us from the V.A. hospital.  My brothers and I used to climb trees at the edge of the swamp, and use nets to catch Water Moccasins, then hang them from the trees with the nets, in hopes that the Military Police who patroled both sides of the swamp would be frightened by them.  Yep, we got in trouble for it!

6.  I actually finally got my degree in Music/Vocal Performance at the age of 37.  What can I say, marriage, children and life happens and it took a while to go back to college and finish up.

7.  I am short, yet I’m the tallest of my sisters by 1/2 inch and that is important to me…lol.

8. I have eyes that change colors, and some of my family can tell what mood I’m in by the color of my eyes.  They say when I’m being mischievious they are dark brown.  When I’m angry, they say my eyes get a goldish tint to them.  And only my husband knows what mood I’m in when they are green, and I plan on keeping it that way…lol.

9.  I’ve hiked the Grand Canyon with my oldest daughter, when she was in 8th grade.

10.  I’ve been on a few mission trips to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.

Okay, with the 10 things out of the way, the next part is to nominate 10 to 12 other bloggers for the award.  I’m going to pick ones that bring sunshine to my life whenever I read their posts.  So…here goes…

1.   http://momentumofjoy.com/ In its simplicity, through word and photos, this blog never lets me leave it without some type of introspection on my part.

2.   http://birdmartin.wordpress.com/ of Everyone Has A Story  Bird can make you think while you are laughing with her through the life experiences she shares.  One of my favorite blogs.  I think I’m addicted to Bird and her blog.

3.  http://futureflyingsaucers.wordpress.com/  This blogger always has great ideas that I can build upon for my own daughter’s homeschooling experience.

4.  http://homeschoolyear.wordpress.com/  This blogger always has great ideas that I can build upon for my own daughter’s homeschooling experience.

5.  http://5gsandacupofjoe.net/  A true sense of humor that makes dealing with the news of the day easier to digest.

6.  http://todayiprayed.wordpress.com/  From the heart of the family, and the blogger, this site will bring a smile to my face each time I read it.

7.  http://365daysofpraising.wordpress.com/  This blogger said they were ending their blog after 365 days, but I’m hoping they will continue and maybe do another 365 days of Prayer, or 365 days of Worship.  It has been a real encouragement to me, to keep praising no matter what I’m going through.

8.  http://loopyloo305.com/  of My Blog.  She is a real encourager!

9.  http://inspiredandpretty.wordpress.com/  Some beautiful photography that just brings joy to me.

10.  http://liferevelation.wordpress.com/  From day one of my intro to blogging I have found this to be a very thought provoking blog.

Now all I have to do is notify these bloggers and 2 of 3 awards are done.  Yes, I just found out I was nominated for another.  So on to finishing this one, cook dinner, eat, and in the words of the Terminator…”I’ll be back!”

 

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The Prayer Shawl

This past year I watched as all the things that happened in this world started having an affect of many of my friends and family, even to those in our home right now.  Military budget cuts caused massive layoffs for those working in the military contracting area, my husband, Don being one of them.  For a guy who had worked all his life, including serving 22 years in the military, it was devastating and quite worrying to him, to say the least.  With no federal budget being passed, and very few jobs open in his area of expertise things didn’t look promising.  As a pretty new babe in Christ, having something hit you from out of the blue can be a real trial on your newfound faith.  What made it worse is the way he was laid off.  We had been away at his father’s funeral, and just returned the day before.  He got up that Friday and went into work like usual.  For some reason his key pass didn’t work and a fellow worker had to let him into the building.  He went straight in and began his work day, doing what he knew he was suppose to.  About  2 hours into the day, one of the bosses came walking into the room he worked in, and asked my husband what he was doing there.

My husband looked at him puzzled, and said, “I’m working.”

“I can see that, but why?  What are you doing here today?”  The boss was as puzzled at Don’s response, as Don was at his question.

Don paused, and looked at the boss, sizing up what he must be talking about, thinking he meant why had Don come instead of staying home the extra day after the loss of his father.  Don finally responded, “Oh I just couldn’t set at home today.  I figured it would be better for me to keep my mind busy working.”

The boss suddenly looked down, shuffled his feet, and said, “No, I mean, why are you here today?  Didn’t they tell you that you were laid off yesterday?”

To say the least, Don was stunned!  No one had called, emailed, sent a letter, or even spoke to him face to face.  Not one of the leads at his job had thought to let him know, although they all knew he was gone at the funeral of his father.  Not one even after that tried to explain how it all happened, or the reasoning behind it.  It was months before he  finally found out what all took place and how the failure in communication came about.  Nor did they seemed concerned about their failure, or about how their failure affected Don at that time.

I’ll never forget the look on his face when he walked in that door 4 hours earlier than he usually would.  To say he was downcast would not cover it.  We didn’t know how we were going to get by, because we had just used our savings to travel up north for the funeral, and for expenses while there, and we had to put out most of it before time on a replacement for our refrigerator, dishwasher, and the clothes dryer.  We knew we were looking at some tough times ahead.

Most people would have gotten angry,  downcast, even angry with God.  I knew that with new believers that happens often because their faith isn’t built up to the point of total trust in the Lord.  But for me, it was old hat.  I had been a single mom, who had to trust the Lord to help me through, even to provide for our daily meal at times.  I knew that my God was faithful and if we turned it all over to him, that the Lord would care for our needs during this time.  It was the best gift I could give my husband that day, my love, the encouragement that the Lord would see us through, and a hug filled with all the love and hope I had in me.  Of course the Lord took care of us, for over 6 months my husband was without a job.  The house payment was met, the utilities, gas for the car, medical needs, and even groceries were taken care of all during that time.  God was faithful to care for us, and all during that time we felt his loving arms around us, showing that love and compassion to us daily.  Yet, there were so many we knew going through similar things, and some going through worse things.  What in the world could we do to help so many?

Jesus with a prayer shawl.

It was during that time, a friend said to me, if I lived closer I would be giving you a hug right now, to let you know just how much you are cared for.  I live quite a distance from my dearest friends and my family, so this thought from her was really something that got me through, and it is what the Lord laid onto my heart in showing my own love, care and compassion for others.  There have been so many times that someone I knew was going through something and I wished I could be there to hug them, love them, and encourage than, but I couldn’t physically do so.  I knew that prayer is affective and I could do that, but I wanted to do more, and have them know that I was indeed praying for them and sending them warm hugs and comfort.  That is where the idea of making prayer shawls for my loved ones and friends came from.  Led by the Holy Spirit, I decided to do something that would wrap my love and prayers for them whenever they needed them.  But it wasn’t just about making the prayer shawls, or in giving them.  It was about putting prayer for the person who would receive it, in every stitch and line of the crocheting.  I knew to really be a shawl that would share the love and comfort of the Lord, then the Lord must be in every single stitch.  I knew that my heart would have to be in prayer for the person each time I picked up the shawl to work on it.  I would sit and pray for their needs, their health, their salvation, even the simplest parts of their day, their goings and comings, rising, and sleeping.  I knew during the week or two that I worked on the shawl, I would have to make an effort to find out how they were doing and if there were any special prayer needs.  It became a full out prayer campaign for that one person for the period of time it took to make, and send the shawl to them.  Like most humans, at first it was about what I was doing for someone else, never realizing what the process was doing for me.  Inside me something miraculous was happening, and much like the Grinch whose heart doubled in size when he felt the warmth of love and giving warm it, my heart was growing into a fervant heart of prayer and love.  God was laying something bigger into my heart that is setting me on a new mission for His Kingdom…a prayer shawl ministry for my local church.  It is just in the infant stages, but the urgency in me for it to come to fruition is great.  Each Wednesday our church has a prayer meeting and each week there is a new list of prayer needs for us to pray about, and we literally take each to the alter of God right there on that night.  Some pray by themselves, some pray in couples, and some pray in groups, but everyone prays.  There have been times I went to the altar, prayed with my husband, or by myself, and there are times when I have been blessed to pray with these two wonderful elderly women who are the strongest, mightiest prayer warriors I have ever met.  They don’t miss a name on the list, even if there are a hundred of them.  Each is given the love and prayer that could only come from one who knows how the Lord sees them as if they were the only one in the world. They pour over each name as if that were their own grandchild needing love, mercy and grace, and they come before God’s throne boldly.  That is how I knew I would need to pray for those I would give the prayer shawl to, as if they were my dearest family, and before the Lord boldly and in faith that he would answer each prayer.  But I would also have to pour the love that was in my heart for them into each stitch too.

This whole lesson to me about prayer, planted the seed of this ministry deep into the soil of my heart, and I began seeing that list at church in a different way.  Those on the list for prayers of salvation began to appear as hungry orphans needing food and hope.  The soldiers on our list of Military to pray for, in my heart became pictures of patriots long ago at Valley Forge needing to know that they would find strength and courage through the Lord, and his divine protection upon them.  Those on the list for prayer who had health needs, in my mind, were in a hospital that was filled to overflowing, to the point that there were not enough doctors and nurses to care for them, so would need the care that only a mighty and compassionate Lord, and Great Physician could give them.   The more I saw these mental pictures of their needs, the more that seed grew.  I had no car to go see each one, and my own health issues doesn’t always allow that, or the distance they are away as in our military prayer requests.  But with the help of our church and other crocheters and knitters like me, we could be able to wrap each one in love and prayer, through the warmth of a prayer shawl or a prayer lap quilt.  I’ve been praying about God’s leading on this, knowing that my health was limiting me on being part of the music ministry through the choir.  And God is answering my prayer, as the Music Minister/Assistant Pastor at our church has written me this week that he felt God telling him that we also needed a ministry like this.  For a woman to think so would be as common to me as Jesus appearing to a man first after his resurrection.  But God doesn’t work that way.  Mary was the person during Jesus’ time that people would have felt Jesus least likely to appear first to, and a man who doesn’t knit or crochet in our day and age would be the least likely to feel led to start a prayer shawl ministry .  So I know that this is God’s leading.  The funny thing is, God hasn’t stopped getting my attention about it with just this.  It seems like at every turn around now I’m introduced to someone new in my life, my blogging world, my facebook friendships that is involved in a prayer shawl ministry, or starting one up at their church.  It is like God is opening doors for me to learn more on how to start the one at our church, or sharing ideas with others who are involved in one.  There are times like these that I stand at the garden gate of God’s Kingdom and watch him at work, and I am as amazed as a child looking at the first robin in Spring, or the first earthworm to wiggle through the winter hardness of the soil, or the very first bloom bursting through the bud on an early Spring day.  I stand amazed at the fullness of his plan for me, and at the way he picks, waters and prunes the idea, then opens the doors to let the sunshine down on it, so that it make come to its fullness for his Kingdom.  That is where I am right now, looking at that garden, knowing that I have been planted for a purpose and God is the gardener, helping me bloom into his Will.

Here is a poem that the Lord gave me, to include in with each prayer shawl that I made last year, and with those that will be given in the future.  If you would like to use it feel free to copy it, but please don’t take credit for writing it, this one is of God, for God, from God, and to be used by God.

I will be updating this post with pictures of some of the prayer shawls I have already crocheted, and some I will finish in the near future.  None will be similar, because no two people are 100% the same, and so my heart says each shawl should be an individual too.

THE PRAYER SHAWL

Nothing in this world

Is as comforting at prayer.

Nothing draws us closer

As when the Savior’s near.

As you wrap this shawl

Around your shoulders tight,

May you feel the love and prayers

That have poured out day and night.

Prayers for your happiness,

For joy, hope, and peace,

Prayers that God’s blessings

For you will increase.

So as you wrap this shawl,

And feel its comfort there,

May you always feel assurance

That  the Savior, Jesus, is near.

 

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Spring Wreath

The finished wreath

Today my daughter Jk and I sat down and made a new wreath for the front door.  We wanted

Supplies needed

 

 

something that could stay up throughout Spring and Summer, and we wanted to have it be something we made together.   So we sat down on my bed and decided what we needed and  as we thought of things Jk ran around the house collecting them.  Then Jk started the first step.  She mixed food coloring, hot water and a tablespoon of vinegar together in cups and dyed about a half of a pack of coffee filters.  When she

Dyed coffee filters

was done dying them, she squeezed out the excess water, and piled them onto a plate covered with paper towels, and threw them in the dryer at a low temperature.  In about a half hour they were dry and we were ready to work on our wreath.

Our supplies were:  Dyed coffee filters, pipe cleaners, beads, jewelry wire, 2 colors of ribbon,  jewelry making tools such as wire cutters and pliars,  rubber bands, a store bought grapevine wreath for the base, and paper cutting scissors.

Jklyn started by placing one coffee filter inside another and wrapping it with a rubber band.  She

Filters cut in half and 6 inches of jewelry wire.

then took the scissors and cut the inside coffee filter like fringe to looks like the stemen of the flowers.  Then I replaced the rubber band with about a 6 inch piece of jewelry wire.  We set these aside when we were finished making all that we needed, which depends on your own feeling about how many flowers you want on your wreath.

Next, we cut green and yellow dyed coffee filters in half, then folded each half in thirds.  Then we gathered the wide end together and wrapped it with about a 6 inch piece of wire to give it the shape of a leaf.

Folding the halved coffee filters into thirds to make leaves.

We decided to make a few butterflies out of pipe cleaners, beads and a coffee filter that had been dyed and fan-folded.  We used the beads as the head and tail, by putting one at the half mark of a pipe cleaner and twisting the pipe cleaner to hold it.  Then we inserted the fan-folder coffee filter and again twisted the two sides of the pipe cleaner to hold it.  Then we put the other bead on one end of the pipe cleaner and pushed it toward the filter, and twisted the two ends of the pipe cleaner together once more.  The two ends of the pipe cleaner were then curled to look like antennas.  Jewelry wire was attached to the back of the butterfly to add them when we were ready.  Jklyn also designed her own butterfly to put on the bow out of pipe

A finished leaf.

cleaners and beads.

When we were done making all the flowers, leaves and butterflies, Jk and I were ready to put the whole wreath together.  I started by using the plain green ribbon around the wreath leaving spaces of about 3 to 4 inches for the flowers and leaves.  Then I took both ribbons and folded them to create a bow, and wrapped wire around it and hook the bow to the wreath.  Next we put the leaves around the wreath, and began adding the flowers making sure we mixed the colors up.  Finally we added the bow and the butterflies around the wreath.

This was a simple project and as you can see, it turned out cute!  Jk was excited and barely paused to let me take a picture of her with the wreath,  It now adorns our front door for us to enjoy until fall.  I have to laugh though, because here we are making something that celebrates warm weather and just a few minutes ago they put us under a Frost Warning.  Oh well, when it gets cold I’ll just look at this wreath and be reminded of warmer weather.

Leaves wired to wreath.

 

Bow attached and ribbon wrapped around wreath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the butterflies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jk with finished wreath.

 

 

 

 

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