Monday, December 31, 2007


I did it! I finished the first part of the large cross stitch! I do have a good bit yet to get done between the border, the back stitching and the embellishments, but I have finished the cross stitch part. Here are the pictures. Reckon how long it will take to finish the finishes?

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

There is a lot that I did not get done/finished, but we are having a good time with our family.  Junior  and I went shopping one day for about 3 hours and that was about it. Most everything was handmade; I'll try to get some pictures of the ornaments that I made for most of the nieces and nephews before I give them tomorrow.

Here are some pictures from today's work that I think are pretty funny. We thought that the reindeer looked more like a crocodile at bedtime last night! The first picture is before I got started stitching this morning and the other is after I finished this evening. All I have left of the reindeer are the antlers, the candy cane in his mouth, and his haunch. Then the border and the embellishments. Yikes!

But I am having fun doing this. Stitching time is great prayer time.

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas, and please pray for Todd, who urgently needs a new liver.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Junior's home! Junior's home!Junior 's home!! It is so good to have our son back in the house.

I am busy with a number of projects; finishing the big cross stitch, working on Makenna's gift, making ornaments, and the Christmas cards need to get out soon, too (but I am not going to try and do handmade this year). Here are a few pictures of what is going on.

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold,a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mr. Marvelous is off today, Yay!! Jr. has one more final on Saturday, and we are praying hard for him. I may write more later today, but I wanted to share this quote before the day got any older. This is written by T. Davis Bunn (one of my all-time favorite authors) in his book "The Ends of the Earth"

"They came to their chosen church not to worship, but rather to worship publicly. Their worship was a daily act, a constant communion"

Monday, December 03, 2007

Wheeee!!! Yippeee!!! Yeeehaaaahh!!! and Yay!!! Tonight I finished the second of four pages of the BIG Christmas project, so I am (hopefully) half-way done. I will try to post pictures of this tomorrow; it is a little late to do that tonight and Mr. Marvelousis tired (me too!). Mr. Marvelous read to me as I finished from Richard Foster's book, Celebration of Discipline. An excellent book and one I highly recommend, especially if you have a husband sweet enough to read it to you while you cross stitch.

Meantime, I am floating at what I have accomplished....and trying not to fret over what I have left to get done on this.
Yesterday morning I had the honor of working with K church at Grace Baptist. These are the 3-5 year-olds. What fun we had! My friend Noah was not a happy camper, so he got to climb into my lap and learn how to do the wheelchair dance while we sang praise songs. A few of the songs were slower and not appropriate for dancing, so he held my hands and taught me the motions to the songs. He is a snuggler, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. Next week I get to tell the story, and then I get to go in once a month and be the story teller.

This week's story was about the annunciation. We got to the puppet show and the puppets talked about the fact that Mary was a little scared by the angel, so the angel had to tell her not to be scared. They also talked about the fact that Mary was probably a little scared about being a good Mommy to Jesus and wondered if she could do a good job. It occurred to me that Mary is the ultimate human example of completely removing SELF from the picture and surrendering to God completely.

As I spend this advent season preparing for the coming of Christmas and for the second coming, my prayer is that I will do a better job of surrendering self to God.

If thou could`st empty all thyself of self,
Like to a shell dishabited,
Then might He find thee on the ocean shelf,
And say, `This is not dead`,
And fill thee with Himself instead.

But thou art all replete with very thou
And hast such shrewd activity,
That when He comes, He says, `This is enow
Unto itself - `twere better let it be,
It is so small and full, there is no room for me.`

Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

If you have checked in lately and prayed for John, Thank You! He has improved significantly and we are all very thankful for this.

We had a great Thanksgiving with our family, even though the McNutt contingent was absent and I STILL have not met Makenna Grace, our newest great-niece. We look forward to making her acquaintance in December sometime.

Mr. Marvelous, Jr. was home from Tuesday evening through Sunday and we had a great time with him. We didn't do anything wild or crazy (no Disney World that week), but it was so good to be in the house together and get to talk and visit. I think the best part of the break for him was getting to sleep past 0600.He  went to church with us Tuesday evening for our annual Thanksgiving dinner, communion, and service of thanks. Jr. was still in uniform, as required, and looked rather handsome in his ACUs. During the service of thanksgiving, one young man stood up, turned around, pointed to our son, and said, "Sir, would you please stand up?".He  stood to attention. The young man said, "That is what I am thankful for. The men and women who are in uniform and are willing to put their lives on the line for our freedom". What an honor for our son to get to stand in for these heroes! He knew that he was representing so many, many heroes. What a sweet young man to have stated his thankfulness in that way!

On Friday Jr. and I attended a memorial service for a gentleman in our St. Andrew's Society in Aiken, SC. This gentleman had been a retired military officer.  Jr. sat with two friends who are retired military. Across the aisle from them was another gentleman who was obviously retired military as well. At the end of the service when the trumpeter began to play Taps, it was as if there were a common thread connecting all these gentlemen (Jr. included) and pulling them to attention. It was interesting for me to watch as Jr.'s Mom. They were rather impressive!

I am including a picture of some fall foliage, just in case you do not have any where you are. I am also including a picture of Cadet Akin in his class A uniform. This was taken Thanksgiving morning after he raised the flag for me and before he went to church with his grandparents.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving came and went with a some wonderful time with our son. Yay!! I was able to travel with Mr. Marvelous to go pick him up on Tuesday and even able to make the trip again on Sunday evening. I'll post more info and pictures tomorrow (really, I promise I will this time, not like the last time when I said I would post more and didn't!).

However, my priority tonight is to ask for prayer for a good friend. John (not my brother) had another heart attack last week. This was followed by emergent bypass and the placement of an IABP...intra aortic balloon maintain his pressure. That has now been removed, but he is still in pretty serious condition. He was able to sit up briefly and take a few bites this evening, so that was amazing. His heart function has dropped from 30% to 10%. Please lift John, his wife Cindy, and their young son Tyler up in your prayers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

OK, folks, check out the new link. First, the link to Angel Card project. This is a project done by several Yahoo! groups during the Christmas season to send a Christmas card to folks who need a little encouragement. I do this through my Crafters Among Us group, a Christian collection of crafters of all types. If you have an extra card and an extra stamp, check it out.

Secondly, if you haven't already noticed, there is a link to Fred Thompson's campaign. I support Sen. Thompson because of his pro-life, small government stance. I was able to help vote him into the senate when I lived in Tennessee, and I will do what little I can to help him get into the White House next fall.

THAT BEING SAID, I must state that I have learned the hard way that I, as a Christian, am not to put my faith in our government or those who run our government. I do what I can to be a responsible citizen and reflect Jesus in this area of my life, as well as all other areas, but government is flawed and people are sinners. Our world is not going to be "fixed" until Jesus comes back! So if your views are different from mine, and you are spending time praying over this area, fine. I still love you!

Craft wise I am working away on Christmas bookmarks and pots. I'll post more about that later this week.

Until then....

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20,21

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It has been a busy day. I have gotten all my outdoor plants into the sunroom (Mr. Marvelous did the heavy lifting). The temperatures are supposed to get down to around 30, possibly into the upper 20's tonight, so I was feeling a bit of pressure to get this done quickly. I have 3 hibiscus, and I really like them, so getting them taken care of was a big deal. Unfortunately, they have had some problems with some kind of pest. Since we have indoor cats I wanted to be careful about how I treated them, so I just washed them with dish soap and water. That was quite a job, but I am glad to have it done and the plants inside. Poor Mr. Marvelous; getting this done meant missing church tonight. Oh well! Here are some more October sky pictures I have.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Well, it took more than a week, but I finished the first of four pages of my big project and I am so excited I am floating!! I had hoped to finish the back two legs by today and maybe, hopefully get the rest of this quadrant finished tomorrow, but I have finished the whole quadrant except for the embellishments (ribbon, bells, and charms). Whew!

Monday, October 22, 2007

 I'm so happy; I have finally finished the snow on the cross stitch project I am doing. Now if I can just get the four legs finished this week.....! Pictures are below.

I am trying to get 28 more bookmarks made for my Tuesday Bible study, too.

Yesterday we had a missionary visit us from Romania, who is working with the gypsies there. It is amazing what God is doing! Can you imagine talking to people who have never, ever in their lives heard anything about the Bible or God or Jesus? What an experience to be allowed to share this with them. They are responding in amazing ways, too. The missionaries had to be careful about giving out Bibles, since they had a limited supply, so they told the children that they could have one after they came to church 6 times and memorized the books of the Bible. They have given almost 200 Bibles just to the children! What a remarkable response. Praise God for what HE is doing. When we remember what our family is going through and dealing with around the world, it makes it easier to view our own particular circumstances in a better perspective. Look at Jesus. Seek His face. Allow Him to direct our gaze where He wants us to look.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Moving right along with the Christmas project. If I can finish the snow foreground by mid-next week, I'll keep plugging along and try to finish by Christmas. If I can not, then I will change and start another project for this particular niece's Christmas gift this year.

Meanwhile, I am fascinated by October sky. It is amazing to me how clear and how blue the sky is these days. Each afternoon, the clouds roll over and the sunsets here are gorgeous. The sunset pic is from our backyard and the sky pics are from our front yard. I love sitting on our back deck and watching. Our back-door neighbors have the willow tree and I have always enjoyed the look of these trees. Mr. Marvelous loves that we don't have to take care of it and clean up after it and worry about it ruining our water lines!

I'm going to a craft show Saturday with some ladies from church. I am so excited!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My blue linen is serged, and I have gotten started. I got three rows done Monday, while sitting with Mom at the hospital, only to realize that I was too close to the edge, so I had to rip out and start over. Sigh. Three rows may not sound like much until I tell you that each row has approximately 100 stitches! Oh well, I'm up and running now, with almost 8 rows finished.

I slowed down a little this week to make bookmarks. I enjoy making these. I make them with waxed linen and make two tails to them so you can mark two places in your Bible if the preacher gets ripping. Right now I just enjoy making them to give away. I've sold some to the local Friends of the Library, but that was back in June and I have not gotten any further orders.

Mr. Marvelous is busy writing an essay/treatise/whatever on the subject of worship. We are so bothered and discouraged by the current acrimonious arguments over what type of worship is "right", and the assertion that any other style or format is therefor wrong. It is sad to see the church tearing itself apart over trivial matters.

Friday, September 28, 2007

My linen came, my linen came!! I am so excited; I can get started on my big Christmas project. I'll post a picture once I get started.

I thought I would post a couple of pictures of my pots that I have painted. I did one for my Dad's fig tree and have done three for my hibiscus plants. I enjoy doing this; it is so right-brain! I did learn that it is important to prime the pots before painting. After I finish, (I use acrylics), I spray with a sealer and that seems to do better. The pot with the tea-pot nose and handled ears was not primed or sealed, and it does get a little moldy sometimes. I do take care of my hibiscus and water them, but these were taken during that long, dry spell of 100+ degree temps.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Cabin Fever hit yesterday for some reason. It's not as if I never get out; I got out Tuesday morning for my women's Bible Study and went to church Wednesday evening. However, yesterday, I went a little nuts! Mr. Marvelous came home from a complicated trip back and forth to Columbia, SC and was informed that he was taking me OUT OF THE HOUSE!! Poor thing! We did get out and went to IHOP for supper (I even ate some of his omelette and a few bites of his pancakes...yum!) and then went to WalMart to pick up some groceries. Mr. Marvelous did the household shopping while I had fun picking some things up for a care package for our Hero/Soldier. Even though I was hurting some then and really hurt this morning from it, it was worth every twinge. The half-moon was peeking through some clouds as we were coming home, so I went and lay down in the front yard and got these pictures of it. Today Mr. Marvelous is taking me to a cross stitch shop in North Augusta and I can hardly wait. He is such a sweet, understanding (and long-suffering) husband and I am most blessed among women.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Uh-Oh, it is Thursday and I haven't written anything since Monday. So much for turning over a new leaf! I don't even have the excuse of having been dreadfully busy, since it has been a pretty quiet week. I'm posting here a picture of the big Christmas project that I am hoping to get done....if my material ever comes in! If I get really ambitious, I may try and do the rocking chair, too. The card caddy is an alternate (kind of like the Miss America pageant; we have the winner, the first runner-up and the second runner-up).

For the record, the reindeer is the winner and I will be doing it as a wall-hanging, rather than a pillow. These pictures were taken from the Mary Englebreit Christmas project book.
Finally, I am including a picture of Moses and Makenna, my nephew's two children. Just because they are the cutest, sweetest two children in the world!! They are being held by their Auntie Meaghan, who is another of the cutest and the sweetest.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I'm motivated....look at this; two days in a row of posting something!

I made it to the last local Walmart tonight that still has a craft department and found that what floss was left was on sale for 10 cents per skein. Yippee! Now if only they had fabric, too. I am going to start tomorrow on a jar tie for my cross stitch exchange group and I'm looking forward to doing a pretty Mary Englebreit pattern for that. I got my craft room organized Saturday evening and re-organized yesterday and enjoyed sitting out there making bookmarks this afternoon. I've added a couple of pictures. That's the Mr. Marvelous Chair in the corner. He inherited from Uncle Harry. The tea set on the pretty wicker table with the bunny picture was a gift from my friend Susan. The set belonged to her daughter Sarah, Sarah drew the picture and the wicker table belonged to Sarah's grandmother. I never got to meet Sarah before she died, but I am looking forward to spending a lot of time with her in eternity!

I came across this brief explanation that George Mueller gave of how to apply Biblical principles to discerning God's will in decisions that have to be made. I have shared it with one or two friends but thought it warranted a broader audience.

1. I seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord's will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is.
2. Having done this, I do not leave the result to feeling or simple impression. If so, I make myself liable to great delusions.
3. I seek the will of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also.
4. Next I take into account providential circumstances. These plainly indicate God's will in connection with His Word and Spirit.
5. I ask God in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.
6. Thus through prayer to God, the study of the Word and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues after two or three petitions, I proceed accordingly. In trivial matters and transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What a great time of worship this morning! Praise God that He allows us to come freely into His presence whenever we want to.

I promised that I would tell the interesting story about getting started on my Christmas project. I must confess that....I am a procrastinator. My family would be shocked at this, but it is true. I finally decided on my big Christmas gift project for this year. It is a cute Mary Englebreit that I have tried before and had to scrap because when one takes three years to do a needlework project, one tends to lose their place and lose count and after that long, it is VERY difficult to get it figured out again. So I scrapped the original and decided to start fresh. Unfortunately, that meant getting more linen (even though I promised myself I would NOT stitch on linen again!), and getting some more floss. Walmart here in Evans decided that those of us who enjoy crafts are not worth their effort, so that was out as a source. Michael's here in the Augusta area did not have what I needed. I did meet a very nice and helpful lady there who gave me some great tips on ways to get around that, but after bringing home what I decided on, I decided to go with the recommended fabric. So I went on-line and found a website with decent prices that used Pay Pal, and placed my order. And began waiting. And continued waiting. And waited some more. It was a matter of nail-biting anticipation each day waiting and watching for the mail man. Then the defeat of no package (anyone remember Calvin waiting for his beanie in "Calvin and Hobbes"?). This went on for 2 weeks. Finally, I got an email from the supplier that their supplier had had a flood and the delivery would be delayed for another 10-14 days. Sigh. I do feel badly for the folks, but I want to get started! I keep looking for other projects that I can work on while I wait, even though I signed the Multiple Projector's Anonymous pledge to not start more than one project at a time (surely just this once......). But each new project requires fabric and/or floss that I don't have and getting out to the store was not going to happen this past week. Ho hum. Maybe tomorrow my friend Susan and I can get out to the new cross stitch store in North Augusta and find some stuff to let me get started on the rocking chair seat cover for Moses and Makenna. I'll post pictures from the Mary Englebreit book as soon as I can. In the meantime, here is a picture of the big project I did for my brother Robert last Christmas. That verse is him and I looked for years for some way to do it with trees in the background since he is a tree surgeon. I was tickled to finally find the pattern. So tickled I even finished it!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It has been a peculiar week this week. God is doing some work in our church to point out some areas that need work and that is not a comfortable process. I am convinced, however, that "comfortable" churches are not really doing God's work. I believe that finding the comfort of the Holy Spirit is much more important than being comfortable. As my dear husband likes to say, "Worship is not a spectator sport!". How often we walk into sanctuaries desiring to be entertained, rather than to worship the Only Living God Who is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.

Then Tuesday was a day to remember and mourn the tragedy of September 11, 2001. I think the even greater tragedy is how we as a culture seem to have forgotten that day and forgotten our resolve to do whatever it takes to combat these terrorists.

As I was standing on my front porch after raising our family's flag to half-staff, and praying for our men and women who are serving our country as heroes in the military, my husband came out with the phone in his hand and a troubled look on his face. It was my brother's wife (who is very much my sister) calling to tell me that her sister's husband had just had a massive heart attack and was not doing well. Nancy and her sisters grew up with us. Her sister Mary used to bring me paper dolls and play with me, despite our age difference. I attended her wedding when she and Tom married. Less than an hour later we heard that Tom was dead. What a blow! Google "Tom Oxendine" and see what his students thought of him! The funeral is today and I wish I could be there but my job is to stay here and pray.

Last night our son Mr. Marvelous Jr. called to report that this week at college was better than last week. Freshman year is so hard! There are so many transitions to make and it is hard not to worry that I have not done a very good job of teaching him when we homeschooled. We read the classics, discussed world-views of the author and learned how to find the world view. But I never taught him the elements of literature and that has come back to bite him. Sigh. Poor son!

He piped for the memorial service at the college on Tuesday. I wish I had some pictures of him piping for that, but maybe someone will post some on the college website or on Facebook.

I'll write more later about the funny stuff that has happened while trying to get some needlework going. For now, I'll close with this, from the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Q. 1 What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

May all that we do today, all that we say, all that we think, bring glory and honour to the Most High God. May nothing we do, think or say bring shame or dishonour to His Name.

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's funny to me how cluttered we let ourselves get; not just our time but our mind and our heart. I had the privilege of meeting the author Patricia Sprinkle just last week. She talked about how God created out of the void. She went on to say that sometimes we have to stop and listen to the void. I equate that with the command, "Be still, and know that I am God". Being still is hard for our culture. Being still is hard for this family and for me. I always want background noise, whether it is the television, the radio, or something on the net. These things distract me from listening to God and knowing He is God, though. A busy mind keeps my focus from God when I am praying (ever get distracted with figuring out dinner menu while trying to pray for someone?!). A busy mind is not bad....unless it distracts us from God.