Monday, January 31, 2011

The Quilt Holes

An email shared with me today.. makes you think ..
"The Quilt Holes" 

As I  faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the  other souls.  
Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.

Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries.  So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life and laughter, but there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it.  I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life.  I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth...My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.

I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.

An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me.Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.  Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. 
He said,'Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.'
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn,allowing Christ to shine through!
God determines who walks into your life.It's up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay and who you refuse to let go.'

When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need.

Birthday Laughter

Happy 13th Birthday Zekaryah
Laughter is a must in our household. While I can't share what Paul said to make these kids laugh so much, I am thankful I got to capture the picture. What a great way to end Zekaryah's Birthday night.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Monday Jan 31st
 Cheese Enchiladas- Younger two
Chicken Soft/corn Tacos
Refried Beans, Salad

Tuesday Feb 1st
Chef’s Salad

Wednesday Feb 2nd
Chicken Stir Fry

Thursday Feb 3rd

Friday Feb 4th
French bread Pizza and Movie Night

Saturday Feb 5th- Super Bowl Snack Day
Buffalo Wings, Queso and Chips, Veggie Tray
Boston Crème Pie Cake

Sunday Feb 6th
BBQ Crockpot Chicken
Scalloped Potatoes, Veggies

Sunday Recipes CheeseCake

Home Made Cheesecake
In Honor of Zekaryah's Birthday today. Happy 13! Another teenager in the house.

Crust- you can use a premade one if you want- I like to make ours
1 ½ C graham crackers crushed
¼ c sugar
½ c butter melted

You can crush your graham crackers easily if you dump the 1 ½ to 2 packages into a gallon size zip lock bag then for about a minute or so roll your rolling pin over it, flipping from back to front to get them nice and crushed. Once they are crushed you just mix with the sugar and butter and pat down in your pan. I use a 9 in Spring Form so I can remove the side, but you can use a pie or cake pan too.
2 packages of cream cheese
1 c sour cream
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 c sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all of it in your mixer until it is creamy, not super creamy but like frosting almost.
Then just scoop it all out into your pan on top of the pie crust.

You place all this in an oven at 350. I cook for about 35 min then check it and usually cook an additional 10. It depends on how well your oven cooks. Let sit for an entire hour! Otherwise it does not finish setting.
I use a can of pie filling to top it with per slice.
You can also top it with a mix of ¾ c sour cream and ¼ c powdered sugar after it is cooled before placing any fruit on it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Psalms Saturday

Psalms 71:23
My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you – I, whom you have redeemed. (NIV)
Another verse for this week that reminds me of Zekaryah.
The boy is always singing. He has the best falsetto. I am so thankful he decided to join choir a couple of years ago at school. He has really grown in his talent. I love to listen to him when he really wants to sing. He does have moments where he goofs around with it and sometimes those are difficult to tolerate. He always knows by the look on my face too, the look that tells him- that’s enough now really sing if you want to sing.. lol
I love that he loves to praise the Lord by using his voice. It’s a sound that truly gives you goose bumps down your arms. I can just imagine the Lord looking down at him in smile. Some of the most joyous times in our home is when everyone joins in song together. My oldest doesn’t do this as much, but the rest of us can’t help at times but sing those praise songs to the Lord that come on the radio. There have been times where one of the kid’s friend’s is with us in the car and we kind of forget. I wonder what story they tell when they head home...I bet it’s interesting at times.
I am betting when the children sit down years from now and discuss memories of their childhood. Singing, praising the Lord...that will be something on the top ten of their most favorite traditions in our house.. Hopefully one they will carry on with their children too.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Pink Floral Pinwheel Quilt

41 by 53 Floral Pinwheel Quilt
Floral Prints with pink floral border and a beige butterfly and floral print binding. Pink Floral Flannel on the back.

This years Valentines

Many Memories Heart Valentine's Day Card
Modern greeting cards and party invitations by Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Proverb Friday

Proverbs 24:27
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house. (NIV)

Digging Deeper
Exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil.
To regulate, conduct, or manage, to arrange methodically or suitably
Field (farm) –
A tract of land, usually with a house, barn, silo, etc., on which crops and often livestock are raised for livelihood
House: (home)
A house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household, the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.

When I think of this verse I think of my husband and my middle child Zekaryah. In Honor of his birthday I chose this verse this week. This boy loves to be OUTSIDE. He is always doing something out there. It’s anything from building, to digging, to planning to often times getting into trouble. What is funny is he gets into trouble the most not for what he does that often does not seem very productive to my husband and I, however we respect his creativity; but for not putting the “borrowed” items of Paul’s back in their proper places, i.e. they are left about outside.
I was talking to my husband about this verse the other day. I said did you know the bible says we are to prepare our fields first. He just laughed and said, “Okay so let’s work on the garden instead of all your inside projects you have planned- see even the bible says”. I just had to laugh. It showed me that we each truly have our own desires. While mine is to have a house that functions- may take years to get there, his is to have a yard that functions. He wants a huge garden that provides our salsas and other items throughout the year. He wants fruit trees- which we keep losing to the cold weather the last three years, he has even tried chickens twice which the dogs won’t seem to let him have.
I am thankful we are each different. We each bring something to the table and complement each other. I focus on the differences in our family and I celebrate them. Each of my children compliments my life differently and I would never want it any other way.

Faithful Friday

The Lord’s continued Faithfulness was shown to us in many ways.

1.        I got our taxes done, we are just waiting for the online acceptance and our return.
2.       Paul worked an extra side job on Thur and will work extra hours at work on Sat.
3.       He provided us with some hot water instead of none- both elements could have gone out in the water heater.
4.       The Lord blessed us with Zekaryah 13 years ago and we celebrate his birthday Sunday.
5.       The Lord blessed me with a finalized quilt order and is giving me a way to have it finished and back to them by the 14th to bring sunshine to my customer’s son.
6.       The Lord blessed me with time to finish the second Pinwheel quilt order I had.
7.        The Lord gave me an idea for more followers- give way a Pinwheel quilt when I reach 53 followers.

So there are 7 ways that God has been faithful to me this week. If you would like to join in the fun, follow the link to Striving for 31 today and link your Blog post, or if you do not have a Blog you can comment on her post for today. Have a very Blessed Weekend, hope everyone stays warm and Healthy.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday is hosted here at Spiritually Unequal Marriage in January. 
"But my God shall supply all your need
according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus"
Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
I am so thankful that water heaters can be replaced this week. Ours went out on Saturday or Sunday. It blew the breaker- Since it is a two element water heater, it seems that maybe only one element is out because we get about 1 1/2 minutes for a shower and I am probably being generous. So far we have not had time to find out if it is strictly an element issue or if it is the water heater needing to be replaced. Thankfully Sunday is just a few more days away and we will be able to find out.
I forget how often we use the water heater. It affects a great deal, doing dishes, taking showers, washing clothes. The good thing is it too can be replaced or fixed. It seems like we keep getting thrown back to the old days of life. No central heat, no central ac, we have had trouble this past summer with no toilet, no kitchen sink, no pluming. It really makes you think how comfortable life is with simple amenities. Overall, I am incredibly thankful to have a roof over our head even if we have situations arise to make us appreciate the little things in life.
On a larger scale I am thankful to my husband this week who will pull some extra hours tomorrow night. I am also thankful he brought me some Peanut M&M's, I did not even ask him, he just stopped and picked up that and some scissors for the kitchen- which I desperately needed. Super sweet.

Giveaway Upon Reaching 53 Followers*** CLOSED

****Giveaway is now closed*** Congrats to Billie #15 ***Chosen via Random.Org

As 2011 approached I really want to host some giveaways on my blog, the first was for kitchen handmade items. I will admit I was hoping my kitchen goodies giveaway would have more interest. It will end in a couple weeks but so far there are not very many entries. I realize it all takes time of course to have followers, which I think is the cause of lack of entries- No Followers. I think of all the Blogs out there and how hard it is to get stumbled upon so I thought I would try and host a giveaway to promote my blog with a popular item.

I decided when I reach 53 followers
(in honor of my mom's age when she passed away in July of 2010)
I would host my own giveaway a Pinwheel quilt made by me-
it will be slightly larger than a baby quilt- about 40 by 50.
I will make your quilt with the same floral prints as above- it can then have your choice of border fabric in colors such as blue, pink, purple, red etc..
So spread the word.
This quilt is nearly custom just for you the winner..
I will use to select the winner. This is for U.S. entries only.
****Giveaway is now closed*** Congrats to Billie #15 ***Chosen via Random.Org

**Follow me on GFC then leave a comment below to enter- tell me what color you would choose as your border and list your email address so I may contact you if you win** mandatory to enter

If you would like additional entries you can do the following
Please make sure you leave your email on each entry.
**Follow me on Twitter
**Follow me on Facebook 
****Giveaway is now closed*** Congrats to Billie #15 ***Chosen via Random.Org
**Tweet about this giveaway and leave a link of your tweet**
**Blog about my giveaway and leave me a link to your posting**

****Giveaway is now closed*** Congrats to Billie #15 ***Chosen via Random.Org

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Children are Blessings

Psalms 127:3-5
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. 
As this week moves forth I am brought to the idea of our children as we begin to celebrate the boys birthdays, which are 12 days apart from one another. Should have been only 4 days but Jakob was born late and Zekaryah was born early, regardless there is almost exactly 2 years between them. I love this verse as I very much see my children as a reward from the Lord. I make a huge deal about birthdays in our house. Not in gifts rather we celebrate all week by allowing them to choose the menu- at least dinners anyway- since all three have birthdays during the school year. We do allow one bigger gift or maybe a couple small ones, it just depends on how things are. I am still praying I get their quilts done in time to give to each of them. For now I will focus on this verse and how blessed I am to have them each in my life. I love them all very much.

Tackle it Tuesday

Cleaning My Side of the Closet
I admit I am not always good at staying organized. I miss the days of hangers and drawers. However I took all my clothes put them on the bed and made a decision, if I didn't wear it in the last year then it went into my donation bag. I did keep a few dress things that I never really wear but for special occasions but it totals all of four items so I am not too worried about it being clutter.
I am sure this will find a good home. Will take it to the donation center this weekend. I would like my husband to tackle his closet this weekend. I still need to get to the floor and tackle that and a couple other shelves that have books. I just want to de clutter the house, so little by little, over the next year I will be taking a trash bag or two to EVERY ROOM. I think we can live with a little less, and hopefully become a little more clean.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Menu Monday

Happy Birthday Week to Zekaryah- he got to choose the menu for the whole week

Monday Jan 24th
Broccoli and Cheese soup, club sandwiches
Ham sandwich for Jakob
Tuesday Jan 25th  
Chili Dogs
Frito Pie for Mekenzei
Wednesday Jan 26th
Beef Taquitos and Refried Beans
Thursday Jan 27th
French toast, Eggs and Bacon
Friday Jan 28th Date Night for Mom and Dad at home
Baked Potato Night
Saturday Jan 29th  Celebrate Zekaryah’s Birthday
Chicken Tenders, fried okra, fried pickles, French fries, corn on the cob
Pumpkin Pie- Homemade
Sunday Jan 30th  Happy Birthday Zekaryah!
Make your Own Taco Bar Night
Banana Creme Pie
Visit Organizing Junkie for other meal plans.

Sunday Recipes Charro Beans

Charro Beans (Pinto Bean Soup)

1 lb of pinto beans- cook in Crock pot all day or in a pan on the stove for 3 ½ hours, stirring occasionally as well as adding water to it
Add 3 cups of Paul’s Red Salsa 2 tbsp of cumin, and 1 tbsp salt 1/2 package of bacon- pre cooked and drippings (you can also use ham instead if you want)
Stir cook an additional 30 min

If you don’t have salsa on hand- use the following
1 can of diced tomatoes or 1 cup of diced- fresh
1 small onion diced
¼ c of cilantro
2 jalapenos or one small can
1 tbsp garlic
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp salt

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Psalms Saturday

Psalms 40:1
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. (NIV)
Sometimes it is very difficult to wait on the Lord. We have really been struggling financially. Yesterday my husband got a small extra check from work. I can’t tell you what a relief that is. We can now hopefully start working on fixing the car so that we have extra transportation. We can also set some aside so that I have extra money to shop with the next time I can match coupons with Kroger’s Sales, as my stockpile of food is decreasing, and I admit I was starting to worry just a little. I had been trying to hold out on his end of year pay information since I knew taxes would provide a little relief but it seems his work is taking the 31st of Jan seriously because we still have yet to get them so that I can file. I had prayed so much last week when we had to spend the last of our grocery and gas money for the month on an expense that had come up. This now provides money for that, and the inspection that is due on the truck that my husband is currently driving. I am so unbelievably thankful.
There have been so many other times where I have had to wait on the Lord patiently. It is very hard to do when things are rough. Sometimes we wait for good things though like college acceptance forms, an upcoming wedding date, and the birth of a child. Those times don’t seem as difficult even though we still have to be patient. I feel like the Lord gives us these sand paper times in order to deepen our relationship with Him. I know for me when things are super rough and then he answers our cry and provides in one way or another, I feel immediate comfort, immediate Praise, and immediate Thanksgiving. I think if we didn’t have some really deep moments like we are going through right now we would not be able to feel the complete difference in lifestyle and need and it wouldn’t make what HE provides in some ways feel like a miracle. In this case I feel like HE provided a miracle, one of which we are very thankful for.