Thursday, October 27, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Our Sweet Dog

photo (4)

One week ago we found out that our beloved dog Joe had Lymphoma.  We weren’t given any sort of timeframe or anything and just knew we would love on him and make him happy.

One week later we had to make the hardest decision of our lives.  His health went down so rapidly it was hard to believe.  When we went to the vet he wasn’t even able to walk in, he had to be carried.

I have to tell you – this house is way to quiet and still now.  By habit you do so many things, then tears come to your eyes when you realize that whatever it was will never happen again.

We had eleven and a half years with him…..  and now we miss him terribly.

A few links to previous Joe stories and pictures:

Joe Loves the Lake

St. Patrick’s Day Cupcake Fail

The Halloween Experiment

Joe’s Birthday and New Hairstyle

Brooklyn and Joe at Christmas

Morning Routines

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Burp Cloths using the Embroidery Machine

My sister-in-law is down this weekend because we have a baby shower to attend!  My cousin’s son is expecting their first (a boy!) so there will be much rejoicing.

I wanted to share the burp cloths that my mom made because I think they are so cute. 



Mom uses her embroidery machine and finds the most darling little patterns.  I love that these are so unique and the dragon is just too cute for words.  For those of us without an embroidery machine (insert sad face here) I’m sure we could come up with something cute to applique in place of the embroidery.



Mom sews on a strip of ribbon and then does a satin stitch at the burp cloth edge.  Simple and it really makes it so special.


Close up photos of the embroidery:

SONY DSC                     SONY DSC

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Family Dinner for Lynne’s Birthday

I keep thinking back to the evening of The Birthday Dinner with so much contentment and happiness.  I dearly love that our family enjoys being in each other’s company so much.  We laugh and tease and my cheeks hurt by the time the evening ends!

A few pictures to share…..



We got to the restaurant first and opted to wait in the truck.  Next came the Birthday Girl and she climbed into the back seat to chat.  The Boy (how she often refers to her boyfriend when talking to us) was next to arrive and joined us.  We decided since it was a Kodak moment we’d test out the timer feature on the camera.



Lynne’, aka Birthday Girl, and little Miss B while we waited for our order to arrive.  I’m not sure what Brooklyn was telling Lynne’ in this picture, but from the look on Lynne’s face she’s not buying it!



After dinner she opened her gifts and Miss B was quite interested in this, though she wasn’t really all that impressed with anything that Lynne’ got.



Keith and I being silly with the “hold your camera out at arm’s length in front of you” self-portrait.



Everything I read about photography says not to do staged photos.  Phooey on them - I will enjoy looking back at the group that met this night!  Standing between Lynne’ and Keith is Alicia, one of Lynne’s roommates.  This photo took several tries with the camera self-timer….. and with people entering the restaurant through the door behind us!



I had told Keith on the way to the restaurant that I was going to start a new tradition and get a photo of me and The Birthday Person every year.  He did tell me it can’t be a tradition on the first night you think it up, but I didn’t worry much about that.  Note to self for future pictures – set the purses aside.  ;)   Other than that I love this picture of my daughter and I.

This was truly one of those moments in time that warms a mother’s heart.

Friday, October 21, 2011

{Review} Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Susan May Warren

Baby It's Cold Outside

Baby, It’s Cold Outside
by Susan May Warren
309 pages
Summerside Press


ABOUT THE BOOK:  Hope finds the hopeless when a storm hits.

It's Christmas weekend 1949, and despite the threat of a storm, the townspeople of Frost are determined to continue their holiday traditions, if only as a means to forget the war that they had all just suffered through. But the suffering hasn't ended for Dottie Morgan who lost her only son in the war. She's preparing to wallow in her isolation for the weekend, when Violet, nearly a spinster at age 29, dares to make a request that will force Dottie to publicly revive the memory of her dead son.

When a storm traps the two women at home with a strange young man who has an unbelievable confession and a neighbor with more to do with Violet's past than she would like, no one can predict how this Christmas will give them all a second chance.

Read an excerpt here and find out the story behind the novel


MY REVIEW:  “Oh the weather outside is frightful…”  But it manages to bring five people together for some unintentional, intense time together.  That time seems to be exactly what each of them needs, even if they might not have known it before.

Each character is instrumental in bringing about changes in thoughts in somebody else within the house.  Preconceived notions are put to the test and they question some of the things they believe – both in themselves and in those with them during the blizzard.

Such a very good book!  The characters are so easy to love, the time period of right after the war and watching love bloom make this a new favorite book of mine.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Susan May Warren is an award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty-five novels, many of which have won the Inspirational Readers Choice Award, the ACFW Book of the Year award, the Rita Award, and have been Christy finalists. After serving as a missionary for eight years in Russia, Susan returned home to a small town on Minnesota’s beautiful Lake Superior shore where she, her four children, and her husband are active in their local church.

Susan's larger than life characters and layered plots have won her acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. A seasoned women’s events and retreats speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!. She is also the founder, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice.

Susan makes her home in northern Minnesota, where she is busy cheering on her two sons in football, and her daughter in local theater productions (and desperately missing her college-age son!)

A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found

Warm up to Christmas early this year with Susan May Warren's Baby, It's Cold Outside</ a>! To celebrate the release of her new Christmas book with Summerside Press, she and the publisher are giving away a Kindle Fire and hosting an early Christmas Party on Facebook

Read what the reviewers are saying here.

One festive winner will receive:
  • A brand new Kindle Fire
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside by Susan May Warren
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/26

But, wait there’s more! Join Susan May Warren on 10/27 for merriment and a few early Christmas presents at her Baby, It's Cold Outside Christmas party! Grab your Christmas sweaters, socks and pj’s and join Susan and a few friends for a fireside chat about her recent books (Heiress & Baby, It’s Cold Outside), holiday traditions, favorite Christmas recipes, a trivia contest and more! Invite your friends and don’t miss the fun!

RSVP here and we'll see you on October 27th at 5 PM PST / 8 PM EST!

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter


** Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Card #10-Mojo Monday #211–Happy Birthday

Today is my daughter’s 26th birthday!  We’ll be celebrating later, but for today I want to show the card I made for her.



I used the Mojo Monday sketch and it came together quite easily. 



The flower in the corner?  I *MADE* that!  It was so simple and as soon as I read about it on Stampin’ Pretty’s blog I knew I had to try it.  The only problem with finding something that cool and that simple is that I fear I’ll be using the same flower on everything I make for awhile.

Supplies used for card: stamp from Stampin’ Up’s Well Scripted set

** Linking to Mojo Monday, Make It Monday

Saturday, October 15, 2011

{Saturday Stumbles} 10/15/11

This week I’m going to share some of the bedroom ideas I’ve found on Pinterest.  Really some great inspiration out there and it continually amazes me the level of creativity of people!  Just click on the photo to go to the blog of the person that did this and read their entry in its entirety. 


green and gray quilt

I *love* the quilt on this bed!  I know she’s showing the picture for the whole room, which is sooo pretty, but I’m mostly enthralled with the quilt.  It just goes to show that even a simple pattern can look stunning.


Ruffled Lampshade

I’m in love with this lampshade and the most fun thing about it – for me – is that I had bought a lamp at a garage sale and was unhappy with the shade.  Now I know exactly what I plan to do.



This says so much to me and I definitely am going to do this in our room.  Isn’t it amazing how something “simple” can be so awesome?



Right now we play Words With Friends a LOT, so I really think I love this idea.  Not sure what word I would use, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.


Enjoy!  And if you’re on Pinterest let me know so I can follow you!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brooklyn Loves Weddings

We recently were so thrilled to attend the wedding of a young couple that just mean the world to us.  Danny has been a friend of my son’s since they were in the 8th grade.  I always felt close to him because during the 8th grade I picked them up from school and took them home every day.  You don’t spend that kind of quality time with kids and not learn a thing or two about them!

And through the years we’ve gotten close to his bride, Rachel, as well.  They’ve spend several weekends at the lake with us and again, you don’t spend that much time with people without getting to know them!

This wedding was made extra special because my son was the Best Man, daughter-in-law was a Bridesmaid, and granddaughter was the Flower Girl!



This is little Brooklyn after the wedding was over.  She did a spectacular job of dropping the rose petals down the aisle.  In fact, she was very, very meticulous about the whole thing!  {love her little shoe peeking out from beneath her dress}



Our son and daughter-in-law….aren’t they beautiful?  The fun part of this picture is that Brooklyn took the picture of her parents!  Of course, grandma did assist a little in the post-processing, but nobody really needs to know that.  Love, love this picture of the two of them.



This picture makes me giggle!  We discovered that little Miss B LOVES to dance!  She was on the dance floor for practically every dance and her dance card was never empty.  Here she’s dancing with Grandpa and the camera caught her in a bit of a mid-twirl.



This picture dad was trying to get her to look at the camera, but she was very intent on “Gotta Dance!”

It really was a night to remember.  These are the times that a person feels truly blessed.

{Review} Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards


Zombie Church
by Tyler Edwards
211 pages
Kregel Publications


ABOUT THE BOOK:  There is something missing in the church today. Stuck in a rut of routines and rituals, the church is caught up in doing what it is “supposed to do” but is lacking the true essence of what it is supposed to provide: life. Real faith--and a real relationship with Jesus--is not about playing by the rules, attending services, and praying before meals. Real faith is more than religion.

Believing there is a way to breathe life back into the church, Tyler Edwards adopts a contemporary and entertaining metaphor--zombies--to highlight and challenge the problematic attitude of today’s believers.

Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus.

While other books have addressed legalism in the church, this is the only book that effectively capitalizes on a popular entertainment genre in order to diagnose and correct the problem. Realizing that even his own church is part of that problem, Edwards has written an accessible and often humorous book that will help believers change the Spirit-draining (or life-draining) habits that stop them from achieving a full, fulfilling life in Christ.


MY REVIEW:  I’ll be the first to admit that the title is what made me look into this book.  As the mother of two 20-somethings and a family of zombie fans, this caught my eye.  When I read the back of the book and saw what it really was about I was thrilled.

Instead of being a book content to throw stones at churches that “do it wrong”, Tyler Edwards gives us both the diagnosis and the cure.  I found myself actually taking notes while reading this book and pondering his thoughts late into the night or while driving to work.  The church is definitely ailing and maybe if we’d all take a hard look at ourselves and begin within it would be our first step.

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I can say wholeheartedly that this book should be read by all.  The smaller thickness of the book might fool you into thinking it will be a fast read, but the reality is that there is so much content in those pages that you will want to ponder and reread quite often.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Tyler Edwards is the lead pastor at Cornerstone Christian Church in Joplin, Missouri, where he works to help people learn how to live like Jesus, love like Jesus, and look like Jesus—so they carry out the mission of Jesus to the world. He graduated from Ozark Christian College with bachelor’s degrees in both Biblical Literature and Christian Ministry. He has written articles for Lookout Magazine, spoken at various campus ministry events in Missouri, and served overseas in Mbale, Uganda.

Tyler loves cheesy horror films. He is particularly fond of movies like Dawn of the Dead, The Signal, and 28 Days Later, where zombies run wild and threaten to infect an entire town. Connect with Tyler on Facebook.


The publisher is sponsoring a $50 giveaway!

About the Giveaway! To enter all you have to do is send a tweet (using @litfuse) about Zombie Church or share about it on Facebook!

If you tweet we'll capture your entry when you use @litfuse. If you share it on Facebook or your blog, just email us and let us know (

Not sure what to tweet/post? Here's an idea:

TWEET THIS: Zombie Church by Tyler Edwards - a fair-minded & tenderhearted critique of the church @litfuse RT for $50 to @amazon

FACEBOOK THIS: Don’t miss Edwards - a fair-minded and tenderhearted critique of the church. Written for the discouraged, disenfranchised, and anyone unsatisfied with their same-old church routine, Zombie Church challenges readers to turn away from hollow religious practices, which characterize “zombie Christianity,” and turn toward a radical relationship with Jesus. Share this for a chance at $50 to


** Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a copy of this book for my honest review.  Click here to see what other reviewers have to say about the book.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

{WIP} Wednesday

So many wonderful projects in progress, so little time!



I *finally* got the muslin and batting cut for the first square in the Christmas Stitchery Banner Sew Along (do click through and see what the finished project will look like – I’m excited!)!  Traced the first pattern, then since it was late in the evening and dark (and I was already dressed for bed) I decided not to go out in the backyard to spray the basting spray.  Instead I went in the garage and thankfully at the last minute grabbed one of the old bath towels to set the fabric on.  Let me tell you something – basting spray is VERY STICKY!!!  Worked like a charm on my project, but I ended up throwing away the towel.

I’m behind on this stitchery, but have to say that once you get to the point of stitching it goes oh so fast.  And this weekend I’m heading out to a crafter retreat with girlfriends and I’m going to bring this with me for those times when I just don’t want to have to think.



This is the Melody scarf, still with very little progress.  I see that I posted it in WIP Wednesday on August 31 as the ball of yarn and wow see how much is done now!  What happened though is that I cast on over Labor Day weekend and knit during a movie. At the end of that time my arm/shoulder hurt so bad that I put away all knitting until last night – oh the horrors!  I think I’m going to take it a little slow to start and see how we do. The Malabrigo Sock yarn is a dream to knit with though and so hard to put down.


No Progress:  (both projects found here)

* American Girl Doll dress
* Scrapbook Challenge Project


New Projects – Ahem….:

* Bloggers BOM Quilt Along – I kinda sorta bought some fabric for this…..

* Christmas Cards for OWH – the prototype is done and I plan to make the remainder of the cards during my retreat this weekend.

* She-Knits Mystery KAL (Ravelry link) – so even though I can’t really knit right now, that doesn’t seem to stop me.  She-Knits does such beautiful patterns and she has a new mystery KAL that starts November 1. I kinda sorta bought the kit for it, but in my defense the yarn is by Studio June and in addition to loving her yarn we met her at The Loopy Ewe Spring fling this year and she is delightful.


** I’m linking to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday, where I might or might not have found some new projects…….    Smile

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

{Review} Reclaiming Lily by Patti Lacy

RL Lacy bookcover

Reclaiming Lily
by Patti Lacy
373 pages
Bethany House Publishers

ABOUT THE BOOK:   A storm the size of Texas brews when Gloria Powell and Kai Chang meet in a Ft. Worth hotel. They have come to discuss the future of Lily, the daughter Gloria adopted from China and the sister Kai hopes to reclaim. Kai is a doctor who had to give up her little sister during the Cultural Revolution and has since discovered that an inherited genetic defect may be waiting to fatally strike Lily.

Gloria's relationship with her daughter is tattered and strained, and the arrival of Kai, despite the woman's apparent good intentions, makes Gloria fearful. Gloria longs to restore her relationship with Lily, but in the wake of this potentially devastating diagnosis, is Kai an answer to prayer--or will her arrival force Gloria to sacrifice more than she ever imagined?


MY REVIEW:    Once again Patti Lacy has given us a book with characters filled with such depth that you hate for it to end.  The first Patti Lacy book I read was The Rhythm of Secrets and from that moment I keep an eye out for her books as I know she will not let me down.

The book opens with Rev. and Mrs. Powell in China, having arrived to adopt a baby.  Upon arrival they are told that there are no babies, and through disappointed eyes Mrs. Powell spots Lilly, a ten year old girl that she knows  they were meant to adopt.

Fast forward to “today” when Joy (Lily’s new name) gets into serious trouble and the family gathers around, including her new to her older sister Kai.  Kai seems to be just what this family needs as they struggle through tumultuous times…or is she?

This book receives the full 5 stars from me as I was fascinated right from the beginning.  The story goes back and forth between continents, cultures, families and time in history.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University with a BS in education and completed master's-level courses in English at Indiana State University. She taught at HeartlandCommunity College until May 2006, when she resigned to pursue her passion of writing. The author of three previous novels, Patti is the mother of two grown children and lives with her husband in Normal, Illinois.

For more about Patti and her other books, visit her website at



Patti Lacy is celebrating the release of her latest book, Reclaiming Lily,  with a KindleTouch Giveaway, blog tour and FB Book Chat Party!

Follow the blog tour and read the reviews!

Patti and her publisher, Bethany House, are giving away a Reclaiming Lily prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!

Enter the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway and you could win:
  • A brand new just released KindleTouch with Wi-Fi
  • $25 gift cetificate to
But, wait there’s more!

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. Giveaway ends on 10/19! Patti will be announcing the winner of the Reclaiming Lily Giveaway at her Party on Facebook October 20th! She’ll be hosting a book club chat of Reclaiming Lily (it's okay if you haven't read it - you could win a copy!) and giving away other fun prizes! (signed copies of her books and gift certificates to, Starbucks, & iTunes!). Don’t miss the fun at Patti’s FB Author Page on 10/20/11 at 5pm PST ( 6 pm MST, 7 pm CST, & 8 pm EST)! RSVP today!
Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
** Thank you to Litfuse for providing me a copy of the book for my review. Click here to see what other reviewers have to say about this book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Monday Meows–Our Geriatric Cat

Here it is Monday and because of my love of alliterations on Monday I was kind of stuck.  We haven’t been to a movie lately, nor have I baked any muffins.  Happily I saw somebody else had a Meow on Monday for their blog entry and that clinched the deal.  Of course, our cat’s name is Meeko so that would’ve worked as well!

I realized that I haven’t mentioned the cat on the blog (cat in the hat?) in quite some time, so that meant I had to go search.  Poor little bitty kitty – I haven’t mentioned him since December 2008!  And while there might be some non-animal types out there that just might think it’s a good thing, I really do feel I should mention him at least once every three years.



He is 16.5 years old and is a total indoor cat – except for when he’s in the backyard.  :)   Every now and again when I sit out on the back port with my morning coffee I’ll let him come out with me.  What you can’t see from this picture is that the porch is less than a foot to his left – and this is about as far as he ever wanders!  Ah well – probably good for his soul to get out and look around once in a while.



Meeko is really rather involved in most of my crafting – I just don’t always show him.  He was very interested when I was taking a picture of the Minky Monkey Pillowcase!  Who knew that Monday Meows would Meet Minky Monkeys!   (I just crack myself up!)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

{Review} Along Wooded Paths by Tricia Goyer

Along Wooded Pathssm

Along Wooded Paths
by Tricia Goyer
B&H Publishing Group
294 pages

ABOUT THE BOOK:  All she wanted was a simple Amish life . . . But now Marianna Sommer finds herself depending on Englisch neighbors. Although proud of living apart from the world, she and her newly relocated Amish family have discovered that life in the remote mountains of Montana requires working together.

As Marianna begins helping those different from herself—and receiving their help—her heart contemplates two directions. She’s torn between the Amish man from Indiana whom she has long planned on marrying and the friendly Englischer who models a closer walk with God than she’s ever seen before.

Who should have young Marianna’s heart? What is God asking her to sacrifice? Her traditions? Her community? The answer is found along the wooded paths.

MY REVIEW:  In the book Along Wooded Paths, Tricia Goyer’s second book in the Big Sky series, we once again join Marianna with her family in Montana.  Her heart is still torn between two men and that dilemma is made more intense when her Amish fiance’ shows up.

As we struggle along with Marianna as she tries to make a decision between the two men, Ms. Goyer treats us to some lyrical descriptions of the beautiful outdoors.

“And as she sat amongst the trees, with bird song filling the air, it was as if God sat beside her, whispering words of hope and promise to her heart.”

Such beautiful words to enjoy as we read through the book.

Although this is book two of the series, it does stand alone on its own merits.  The references to events in the first book are explained enough to make this book enjoyable on its own, though I would recommend reading Beside Still Waters first (click through to read my review of the first book).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Goyer is the author of thirty books includingSongbird Under a German Moon, The Swiss Courier, and the mommy memoir, Blue Like Play Dough. She won Historical Novel of the Year in 2005 and 2006 from ACFW, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion in 2005. In addition to her novels, Tricia writes non-fiction books and magazine articles for publications like MomSense and Thriving Family. Tricia is a regular speaker at conventions and conferences, and has been a workshop presenter at the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International Conventions. She and her family make their home in Little Rock, Arkansas where they are part of the ministry of FamilyLife.

For more about Tricia and her other books

Along Wooded Paths Party

Come to a Facebook Party and Live Author Chat!

Tricia is celebrating the release of Along Wooded Paths with a Fabulous Facebook party on October 18th. She'll be giving away prizes and a sneak peak at the next book in the Big Sky series.

Then during the second half of the party she'll be hosting a LIVE AUTHOR CHAT on her website and announcing something BIG! CLICK the button (below) to RSVP for the party - then go here to sign up for the Live Author Chat.


** Thank you to Litfuse for providing me with a copy of this book to review.  Click here to see what the other reviewers have to say about this book.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Minky Monkey Pillowcase


Isn’t this CUTE???  While looking through Pinterest I found a tutorial for a Minky Pillowcase and just knew I needed to make one for Brooklyn.  The tutorial is so well written and easy to follow.

I found the fabric at a local quilt shop and it was kind of funny because when the gal cut the fabric and then looked on the bolt to get the price she said “WOW!”  I felt the need to explain that I was making a pillowcase for my granddaughter and knew that in addition to having the fun of making it I would also have the fun of giving it to her. 



This was some seriously cute fabric!  And there is nothing in the world as soft as minky.  I decided to make this pillowcase travel pillow size because that just seemed like the right size for a four year old.



It took no time at all to sew this and I used the serger since I didn’t want all those little minky snippets to get all over the place when Brooklyn took it home.  Really I think the only reason it took as long as it did to sew it was that I kept stopping to stroke the soft fabric.  :)



I gave it to her this weekend and she loved laying on the floor and playing with the toys.  She kept telling me how soft it was!

Since she likes this I might even see what other minky fabrics they have and make a second one for her.  Grandmas get to do stuff like that you know.  Smile


Linking to – Get Your Craft On, Take a Look Tuesday, Topsy Turvy Tuesday

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Card #9–OWH Holiday Card Blog Hop


For World Cardmaking Day I’m participating in the Holiday Card Blog Hop with Operation Write Home.  If you’ve never heard of this organization I encourage you to click above and see what it’s all about.



A clean and simple, monochromatic card for Christmas, since that seems to be my favorite style.



I stamped it twice and cut out the sentiment, putting it up on pop dots.  I like the added contrast.



Now I just need to get to work and get a bunch more made and mailed before the October 31 deadline for Christmas cards!

Supplies used for card:  All Stampin’ Up! products – stamp from Holiday Best set; white cardstock; Real Red striped grosgrain ribbon, 1-1/4”