Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What do you get with fabric, buttons and thread?

I've been quite busy with sewing the past several weeks, and I thought I'd share a few of the garments that I've been working on for one of my customers. Little girl's clothes are some of my favorites to sew, and I have many on order now. The one on the right is one of my favorites so far. Combined, the fabric, buttons, and pattern style chosen make an adorable dress.



Aren't these fabrics so cheerful? As my customers provide the fabrics for their garments, it is always a surprise to see what prints, type of fabrics, etc., that they choose. These springy dresses and jumpers have been quite enjoyable to work on during these winter days.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A glimpse into our day

Yesterday was one of our warmer days that we have had over the past several weeks (if you can call barely above freezing and a strong wind warm!). Ryan took the opportunity to work his dogs and I photographed and walked. Towards the end of my walk it started sleeting and getting colder. It sleeted and snowed off and on throughout the night and today it is cold. I think that I'll let Lassie spend the night indoors. She's nine now, and her joints seem to bother her when it gets cold like this.

Ryan's dogs sure didn't seem to mind the cold, and I had fun watching Ryan throw bumpers for Lucy. She absolutely loves it! She gets so intense as soon as she knows that it is time for bumpers. Lucy's been doing very well with her training, and Ryan is hoping to get her placed in a hunting home this spring.

Girls Group

Our time with the girls this past week was full and quite enjoyable. We began with reviewing what we had learned last week and then began our study of 'keeper at home'. This is a topic that we have learned about in the past, but as it has been a long time since we did it, and we've had many girls join since then, we decided to study it again. We first read portions of Titus 2:4-5 where it exhorts the older women to teach the younger women many things, one of which is being a keeper at home. We then discussed what this 'keeper' is. It is one who watches over and cares for the home, one who guards the home, etc. Proverbs 31:13 and 27 give a glimpse into what qualities characterize a keeper at home:

"She . . . works with her hands in delight." (vs. 13)

and

"She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness." (vs. 27)

We discussed the meaning of these verses with an emphasis on the "working with 'delight'". A keeper at home takes care of the household chores and duties making it a pleasant place to be, and also helps care for the atmosphere of the home. Instead of working with a bad attitude, anger, etc., we are to work with joy and delight. Not only does this please God, but it is also a blessing to all those that we are around.


A practical aspect of being a keeper at home is tending to the household cleaning. With so many girls participating each week in girls group, it is difficult to do hands on cleaning. (For example, it's a bit hard to fit 13 girls into our tiny bathroom!) So Leah and I made these sheets:


We then went room by room and discussed, brain-stormed, and took notes on what and how to clean each room of a home. The girls really enjoyed this, and it will be interesting to see if they put what they learned into practice in their own homes as they help and assist their mothers.

All of this took less time than we had planned, so we decided to do our bottle toss game. We make bottles for each attribute that we learn about, and on each bottle is a quality, the description of that quality and then verses that relate to it. Sometimes when we review, we use one of the bottles and toss or pass it amongst us. Whoever gets the bottle then says something about the quality. Either a description of it, what it looks like lived out in daily life, etc. Sometimes we also use the bottles for verse memorization. Whoever gets the bottle says one word of the verse and then passes it to another. The later is what we did this week, and using this method the girls quickly memorized Proverbs 31:27.


And girls group is never complete without cross-stitching. . .

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Beginnings of a Daily Schedule

Towards the end of December, Leah and I made a loose daily schedule which begins something like this: get up 5:30 to 6:00; read our Bibles; work on posts for Follow In His Steps blog, work on letters/e-mails regarding our Lord and His Word, etc.; then it is time to eat, do dishes, laundry, animal chores and then dinner preparation (Leah and I make the meals three weeks out of four).

Before, we had always made dinner in the evenings, but for the past several weeks, we have been doing as much dinner prep as we can in the mornings, and it is amazing the difference that it makes in the day! Before starting on this new schedule, it was difficult balancing evening animal chores with making dinner, especially in the winter when it gets dark so much earlier. So far this new schedule is working out very well.

Last night we had All Day Meatballs (one of my Dad's favorites), Coleslaw, and Whole Wheat Rolls. Tonight is Meat and Potato Casserole with leftover rolls and something else . . . haven't quite decided yet. :)

Mmm . . . it's making me hungry just thinking about it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Family Life . . .

What a beautiful weekend we had here in mid-Missouri! Sunday and Monday our temperatures reached 70 degrees and it sure was pleasant being outdoors. It was hard to believe that only a few weeks ago we were in the midst of an ice storm! The pleasant and warmer temps always bring a taste of spring and with that, the desire to garden. I’m going to begin looking through my garden catalogs to figure out what seeds to order for this year’s vegetable garden. I’m also planning on planting flowers for drying out at Ryan’s place and I am greatly looking forward to that.

As the weather was so nice, we spent quite a bit of time outdoors enjoying it.

Mama and Leah walking

Lassie and I

Chore time!

I’m glad we enjoyed the nice weather while it lasted as a cold front moved through yesterday bringing with it severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail and, today, cooler temperatures. We live just a few miles west of where some of the severe storms moved through, so we thankfully had only strong winds and heavy rains.

Dad and Leah had been trapping for nuisance coons at a friend’s house and yesterday afternoon went to pull the traps. Shortly after they left, it began to sprinkle and get darker outside, and after checking the weather, I found that we were in a tornado watch, which later changed to a tornado warning. The weather station was saying that a tornadic storm with large hail was moving right towards southern Columbia which was also right towards where Dad and Leah were.

Meanwhile, Dad and Leah had arrived at the home to get the traps (the family was not there), it was only sprinkling at that time, but they could see a storm developing quickly. After they got the traps and began walking back to the truck (which was a ways away), the sirens began going off and right at that moment lightening began to fill the sky with light while thunder crashed and echoed through the air. Dad and Leah made their way quickly and safely back to the truck while lugging three heavy cage traps. The drive home for them was slow and long due to heavy rains, some flooding and quarter sized hail, but they made it home safe and sound. Dad is such a good driver in bad weather! Ryan waited out the storm at work and then once it had moved through Columbia, headed home. As of this morning the storm reports indicate that some parts of Missouri were hit hard last night. We are thankful that we all made it through okay.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Girls Group

After meeting together only once since November due to bad weather, Leah and I were so glad that we were able to have girls group this week. Whenever we are unable to have it, I always really miss our time with the girls. Hopefully we will not have to cancel many more times this winter. The project we began this week was making Spritz cookies.

Adding the egg yolks to the butter and sugar mixture

Adding the flour

Stopping for smiles

After the cookie dough was mixed up and in the refrigerator, we had our lesson. This week we discussed the verse found in Acts 9:36 regarding the life of Tabitha. (This morning, Leah wrote a blog post based on what we studied which can be found here.) After the lesson the girls wrote in their journals and cross-stitched. As always, I greatly enjoyed our time with these precious girls.

Cross-stitching

Leah with one of the girls