Saturday, September 29, 2012

book review - the power of knowing God . . .

Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries International have done it again with The Power of Knowing God, a 6-week, no-homework Bible study.  Long have I been a fan of Kay Arthur and her inductive method of studying the Word and this new study works hand-in-hand with inductive study and group discussion.

What I liked best about the study was that it fit a broad range of students -- both new and mature believers will be able to sit together and discuss scripture as they're directed to mark particular references and discuss the meanings.  The leader is provided with questions and insights to help facilitate and guide group discussion.  The format is terrific, and the fact that there's no weekly homework makes it particularly appealing in this day and age of over-commitment.

I also liked that the Scriptures referenced were included in the text and that the New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was used.

Not only is the format wonderful, but the content is top-notch, too.  Do you really know God?  That's the question posed on the back cover. Starting in Genesis and then working through Scriptures in both the old and new testaments, participants are challenged to look at God's Word through fresh eyes and dig into passages with the intent to truly understand not just why it was written, but why it was written the way it was.

Whether on your own or in a group, I highly recommend this study as a means to enriching your own personal relationship with God.  For more information click HERE -- to read Chapter 1, click HERE.

I received a copy of this book from WaterBook Press in exchange for my own, 
honest review of the publication.  I was not compensated.  

book review - rules of engagement

The next book that I chose to read and review was Rules of Engagement:  Preparing for Your Role in the Spiritual Battle, by Derek Prince.  As the title might indicate, this is definitely not a fictional work!

Derek Prince was a contemporary and acquaintance of C. S. Lewis.  He was a noted teacher, preacher, scholar and philosopher, among other things.  His love of Jesus and the Scriptures was unabashed, and he spent his life encouraging God's people to grow in the Word.

Rules of Engagement is a culmination of teaching letters that he wrote over the course of ten years.   The book is broken into four major sections ... Building a Soldier's Character, Holy Spirit Training, Battle in the Heavenlies, and Enduring to the End.  Each section has six to nine chapters, which read along the lines of a daily study and finish with a life application, a memory verse, and a faith response.  There are a total of thirty chapters, so ideally, a month of study.

Prince's love for the Lord and his passion for sharing the truths of Scripture are evident in the pages of Rules of Engagement.  His instructions and encouragements are soundly based on Scripture and are clear and concise.  He walks the reader from submission to "finishing the course" without ever sounding condescending or holier-than-thou.  

I thoroughly enjoyed my read/study through this book.  It's a tremendous resource and asset; a definite plus to any believer's collection!

I received a copy of this book from Chosen Books (a division of Baker Publishing Group)
in exchange for my own, honest review of the publication.  I was not compensated.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

talking up a storm . . .

I had the opportunity, on Tuesday evening, to participate in #talknt aka Talkin' Tuesdays.  For those of you who aren't familiar, it's a twitter chat event hosted by Cara at Cara Quilts.  It's a two hour period on Tuesday nights (and a #talknt2 on Tuesday afternoons, now, as well) where a variety of quilters get together and chat.  
There's generally a sponsor and folks can link up on the Talkin' Tuesdays blog to win prizes.  It's fast moving and can be overwhelming at first, but I've participated quite a number of times and it's a lot of fun, too.  Cara has a set of questions and so, among the general chatter and bonhomie, there's also structured discussion ... some of which can get *very* interesting.

This past Tuesday night, the one of the questions tackled the subject of "critique" on blogs.  Evidently some bloggers have had horrible experiences with folks opining in comments some hurtful things about the blog owner's quilt(s)/projects.  As if the 'safety' of being online allowed one to say whatever, without regard for another's feelings.  It rather blew my mind.  I'm wondering what you all think? Does posting your work online automatically invite critiques/opinions?  I've never had anyone say anything mean, hurtful or ugly on anything I've posted.  Maybe I'm just lucky?  I've asked for opinions before, and have gotten them--but never in a mean-spirited way.  The whole discussion was both eye-opening and thought-provoking and made me *very* glad for the circle of blogging friends and quilters I find myself in.  I do expect everyone likes everything I do -- we're all different and have different tastes and preferences (not to mention skills).  But respect is crucial to successful community.   :)

Yesterday was an Ellie day!!  But since today is Feline Friday, it was also a Leia day!  LOL!  We had Ellie on the floor playing . . . 
Evidently Leia keeps pretty close tabs on the baby.
I had to take two, it just cracked me up.  I love the oh-so-serious look on Ellie's face, and the splayed-leg look of Leia.

Joc and I decided that if Ellie looked darling in the Raggedy Ann wig, then . . .
Yup!  Leia wants to be Raggedy Ann, too!!!
Not.  Make sure you head over to Sarah Did It! and check out the rest of the felines this Friday!

And later, it was all about some sweet potatoes . . . 
And then some yogurt!
Ho ho ho!!  And happy Friday!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

a few of my favorite things . . .

Today is Thursday, so it's time for the "Favorite Things" blog hop!  I have lots of favorite things to share today!

First, I had a fun happy show up in my post office box earlier this week . . .
Can you see the return address?  Let me zoom in a little.

Someone knows me well, no?!  Hahaha!!  My sweetie-pie friend, Jean (of Jean Creates), knows my affinity for all things pumpkin and has done a marvelous job of setting me up for the onset of pumpkin season!
Wasn't this fun?!?  The table runner pattern is just darling!  And the tip towels -- it was like she read my mind!  I've never seen the Stitch-Craft-Create magazine, so I'm really enjoying perusing its pages.  And those sweet little bundles of fabrics??  They have *sparkly* lines!  And I grinned when I laid eyes on the book -- for me to read with my Sawyer and share my pumpkin love!!  Thank you, Jean, for being so thoughtful!!

Speaking of Sawyer, I spent time with him yesterday morning, while his mommy headed in for a baby-check.  It was an early appointment, so I had the pleasure of making him breakfast!
I tried to get him to smile (to make up for his last photo), but he was all clown.

Too focused for a smile here . . .

Too many toys (cars, dinosaurs and transformers) to look up and say "cheese" here . . .

Neesey, where are you?!
RAWR!!  I scared you, Neesey!

We had a fun morning.  He's all boy -- but he's such a cuddler, too.  Gosh I love that!  And, in case you're wondering, Baby June and mommy are doing fine and we've moved to the once-a-week appointments!  Won't be too much longer!

Another favorite?  Walking through the camp and finding pretty things popping up in the most unusual places . . .
So gorgeous!

And I can't have a post about favorite things without sharing my sweet Eleanor Pearl . . .
Or should I say Raggedy Ann?!?  Is she darling, or what??!!  

I am blessed!!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

september, october, june . . .

Jocelyn did such a lovely job putting together Kim & Baby June's shower ... and it was such a sweet afternoon ... I wanted to make sure I shared some photos from that day.  Especially since all my family lives so far away and this is the only way they get to be a part of the festivities!  But instead of a lot of talk (especially since in order to do the day justice, there's a lot of photos), I'll "caption" my way through the photos today!

Joc did all the decorating.  She made the pendant banner with her Silhouette.
June's baby quilt will have pendant banners on it, too!
A "Headband Station"! All the guests were given the opportunity to make a headband for the baby.
Isn't that clever?  She had headbands in different sizes and lots of bows and flowers and embellishments. And tags, so Kim would know how big the headband was and who had created it.  It was fun!  I wish I'd thought to get pictures of the finished creations.
The "J" is for June wreath!  Kim was real pleased with this. She's going to use it for the hospital door! Joc was real pleased with that.  :)  These are the same fabrics I'm going to use to make the pennants banners for June's quilt.  On white.
And here's the Guest of Honor/Mommy-to-be (again)!
Joc made the fabric corsage.
It looked a lot like a peony - Kim's favorite flower!
The food buffet.  Joc took care of the decorating and had her co-hostesses take care of the food (which I thought was a very smart move).  I did the punch -- which is my favorite punch recipe and was a big hit -- sausage balls, and . . .
The S'mores Pops!  They look a lot more elegant here than they did in the styrafoam! These were a big hit too -- especially with Sawyer, who I think managed to each four or five (or six) by the time it was all said and done.  :)
The cake was pretty -- June Madelyn Panter -- and tasted marvelous!
Ellie came all ready for a party in her pretty party dress and hair bow! 
Sawyer, bless his heart, woke up early from his nap.  He is (like most of us) a little--grumpy--when he first wakes up! I do believe he sat on his mommy's lap the entire time she was opening presents.  He wasn't going to *anyone* else!  Several of the guests had brought a little something for him, too.  It was very sweet!  (But not sweet enough to get him out of Kim's lap!) 
Kim sent all the hostesses home with these pretty little packages!
Isn't this fun?  She made us each a jar of Honey Caramel Dip--which is *marvelous*--and topped it with an apple. And wrapped it in a fat quarter!  (I don't have to count gift wrap fabric in my stash report, do I??!  LOL!)
All in all it was a lovely afternoon and Kim and June got some very darling things!  I can hardly believe that in just one month, June will actually be here!!!!  YAY!!!

James shot this on Saturday morning.  He's got a great eye and a steady hand -- two important attributes for a professional photographer.  Here he had a beautiful subject, as well, which didn't hurt!!
Some fun things going on in blogland, too ... Missy, at Missy's Homemaking Adventures, is doing a birthday giveaway which is definitely worth checking out!  And Wendy, over at Ravenwood Whimzies, is hosting a "Thanks For Giving" swap and signups are open until September 30th.  I've also gotten some snail mail squishy love that I'll share with y'all tomorrow!

Today is a Camp MACOBA administrative kind of day ... I gots to earn my keep!  LOL!


Monday, September 24, 2012

stash ... silent ... design . . .

Yes, this is one of *those* posts.  I was too lazy worn out to post anything coherent yesterday, so I'm combining yesterday's Stash Report #38 (?!?!~38~!?!?) and Slow Stitching Sunday with today's Design Wall Monday post. Kim's shower was wonderful fun and deserves a post all of its own, so I'll share that later in the week!!

My stash report actually has a tidy little sum in the 'used' column and not a single thing in the incoming.  For a change.  Mostly because I was feeling puny and didn't leave the RV from Sunday after church until Thursday afternoon and didn't do much of anything except sew/quilt/stitch.  My 25th Anniversary BOM helped boost those numbers a lot!  LOL!  Without further ado . . . 

Used/donated this week: 6 yards
Used/donated year-to-date: 34.75 yards
Purchased/added this week: 0 yards
Purchased/added year-to-date: 143.75 yards
Net used/donated for 2012: -109 yards

Hmmmm . . . I wonder if I can make it back down from trip digits to double digits??  Nah!!  I'm going to backdate (or whatever) and go ahead and link up with Judy Laquidara's Patchwork Times for yesterday's weekly stash reporting.

I'm making slow progress on my Mr. Owlie ... but I *am* making progress . . . 
He looks much more symmetric with both eyes finished!  I am heavily outlining the owl himself and then I'll more delicately use colored floss to embellish him and outline/embellish the flowers and leaves.

Here's the tangled mess of black floss I'm working with at the moment:
Can you find an end?  Yeah?  Great!  Now will you please e-mail me and tell *me* where it is???!  ;)

I don't have anything else the stitchery hoop at the moment, though I have it on very good authority that I will soon be doing several more of that darling hexagonal table topper.
I've been sketching out ideas for mini Christmas stitcheries ... one on green, one on white, and one on red -- to go on those blank hexies in the pattern.  This is sort of along the lines of what I'm thinking of stitchery-wise.  And this segment is brought to you by linked up to Kathy's Quilts and Slow Stitching Sunday!

Finally ... the design wall!  There's not much left on it after last week's burst of productivity!  Today I'll pull colors for this week's Grandmother's Choice BOW block, which is called Kansas Sunflower:  Yellow and Gold.  Have you seen this thing?? Yikes!  I may be working on it all week, as it appears to be a true booger of a block...good thing I like a challenge!

I'm also auditioning fabrics for this little project:
I like the idea of a number of solids, with maybe a print in there somewhere, and the leaf stitchery on the bigger blocks.

Which reminds me ... somewhere on the DW by the end of the week better be something 'leafy'!  The Leafs Me Happy blog hop starts October 1st!  My date is October 10th ... which also happens to be a pretty big day [big, HUGE day] in my life.  Count on a giveaway to go with it all!!  Linking this section up with Patchwork Times and Design Wall Monday and What a Hoot's BOMs Away Monday!

I've found that the steroids are leaving me rather unable to sleep.  I went to bed at 10 pm, got up around 11:30 pm to use the bathroom, tossed and turned until around 1:30 am ... and finally gave up and left Todd to get some decent sleep. I've been surfing and stitching and reading ever since.  Gosh I hope a nap is in my future at some point!  On the positive side, I can breathe better and the wheezing isn't as bad as it was; both of which are very good things.

A final picture.  Hey, if one picture of Ellie is good, then how a picture of *36* pictures of Ellie?  For your viewing pleasure (or mine, anyway), here's her first 36 weeks.  This is so amazing to me! I didn't compress it so you can click and make it big!  :)

Happy Monday -- have a *great* day.  The week is a clean slate before us -- how shall we color it in?!  


Saturday, September 22, 2012

show and tell saturday . . .

Whew!  What a *busy* day yesterday was.  But first ... I did bring my camera, fully charged and ready to go.  I had to capture a shot of my lil' darling . . . 
But I'm telling you, I'm so busy enjoying her, I don't get a whole lot of pics of her (and this one isn't a great one ... but look at those big, beautiful eyes ... such a serious girl--she'd just woken up)!  C'est la vie.

Joc and I worked (or played at working?) hard yesterday, getting ready for . . .
The baby shower!!

Take a look a this stack:
And this pile . . .
Not mine -- thank goodness -- Joc's!  She's become a bigger fabricoholic than *I* am!!  The chevrons? No particular purpose, "It was just pretty!"  Hahaha ... she's sunk!

The first stack was for assorted pieces of the shower.  Aren't the colors fun? June's nursery colors!  First thing Joc was going to do was cut strips.  With scissors.  I told her not to do scissors, that I'd bring tools that would make strip cutting a breeze!  I brought my June Tailor Shape Cutter ruler and after showing Joc how it worked . . . 
She made short work of the first set of strips!
And shorter work of the bunch!

In no time, she had created a masterpiece!
Isn't it darling??  J is for June!

One of my favorite jobs yesterday?  Making S'mores on a Stick!!  They were so easy.  I gathered my chocolate melts, graham cracker crumbs, 6" sticks and marshmallows.
Dip the marshmallows in the melted chocolate, dip the tops in the graham cracker crumbs, and voila . . .
And they taste pretty darn good, too!  Perfect for a Saturday Show & Tell party over at Cheerios and Lattes!

And as for Friday Night's Sew-In, I didn't get to the project I'd originally planned on, but I did get some important stitching taken care of!  Using the same fabrics from the wreath (and other projects), Joc wanted a matching runner for her table for the shower.  So I cut strips of varying widths and stitched 'em up.
This would have been very cute as a quilted table runner, but we were running out of time, so I simply tucked the raw edges under and stitched it down.

It's a *little* long for my table . . .
But it will look perfect on Joc's dining room table!

I'm outta here -- got to get ready for the big day . . . y'all enjoy this glorious first day of FALL!!