Friday, January 27, 2012

Words of Comfort

It seems like lately I lean to words of comfort. There is so much going on in our lives, in the lives of our family, in the lives of our friends and in the lives of others that we know and don't know.
I find that life is so stressful lately.
It is rushed, chaotic, demanding. 
Sometimes it is full of great anxiety and sorrow. 
I sat back yesterday and watched my children, 
how their emotions were so mixed up 
and they were fighting because they didn't quite know how to deal with what they were feeling. 

I understood this emotion. 
How sometimes just the amount of stress in life 
can allow you to react in a way that really was not intended, 
you just burst at the seams,
like a teapot, that is nice and hot and ready to pour. 

This all leads me to the word of God this morning 
and some verses to share 
in hopes that if you need some comfort or reassurance 
you might find it in the Words of our Heavenly Father.

The Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy, the Lord accepts my prayer. 
Psalm 6:8-9

In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From the depths of the grace I called for help, and you listened to my cry. Jonah 2:2

This is what the Lord says to you, Do not be afraid or discouraged.. For the battle is not yours, but God's.
2 Chronicles 20:18

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; If they fall down, they can help each other up. But pity those who fall and have no one to help them up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm, But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I pray for you today. I pray that your needs be met, that your heart be lighter. I pray that you find the goodness in the midst of the storm. If you would like prayer directly please comment and I would be happy to lift up your requests.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Wow what a Thursday. First let me start off by asking prayers from all of you who read my blog for a family in our community. Their son lost his battle today. They made the tough decision to bless others by donating his organs, now others will live as he becomes an angel in heaven way to soon. Please pray for the family, the students of the school and the staff that have all been affected by this loss. I pray that Sunshine of Autumn Quilts and my family may find a way to provide some healing to them if this is what the Lord's plan is.

With this incredible loss in mind I think of my own children. I think back to before I got married and how they said I wouldn't have any due to a severe injury in college. I think back to my soon to be husband and the plans we had for opening up a Ranch to help children with differing disabilities. I had no idea the Lord had a different future in mind. I am so thankful we took this journey in faith together.

Soon after we were married I would find out that I was pregnant. I had gotten sick  on the drive to Texas from CA and they gave me some steroid shots to help out as well as some other stuff, well guess what that got my ovaries in full gear and a couple months later we were pregnant with Jakob. I didn't know until we were 10 weeks along. I remember being very scared about the whole situation. I didn't have family here, we didn't have a job, we were living with Paul's mom. I took great comfort in her holding her hands over my stomach and praying for 30+ minutes. I could just feel a sensation over me that I had never in my life felt. He turned out to be extremely healthy. 

I can honestly say growing up I really didn't think of children. I thought of working- being a counselor or a teacher, working with children but not having my own. I honestly did not feel I was cut out to be a mother. Kind of a funny statement if you have been around my children. For the most part I have done a great job with the guidance of our heavenly father and a very supportive husband 90% of the time.
I think back to the beginning times with the kids though. Jakob was easy. He slept right away, he loved to play, he ate frequently. It was just the two of us most of the time. Zekaryah's pregnancy was a pretty easy one. Jakob was over a year, I was ready for another one if the Lord was willing. His last few months though from 6 on were very difficult. I was constantly sick. I didn't feel him move very often. I was terrified. I had no idea we would have to part with a child that the doctor did not feel I was carrying. As Zekaryah gets closer to turning 14 I just feel so blessed that the Lord left me him and did not take them both. I have a healthy boy who fights every day to be a great child. He is a hard worker and determined. He can be lazy, especially if he is overwhelmed but I know he has a heart of gold. I can't imagine my life without him even though we have endured many trials together. Such as 7 months of colic, a reading disability that has led to more nights and days of crying over homework then any mother should have to endure. He is my adventurous child, always into something, creating problems really because of his intense curiosity in the outdoors and with science. Still through all the things I could list, I could list 100 more positive ones to counteract them.
As for Mekenzei the pregnancy with her was utter shock. I was still breast feeding Zekaryah so I had no idea I was pregnant until I was mowing the lawn and I started to miscarry her. I am so thankful to that Dr we saw, he truly is a blessing from the Lord because it saved her life. We have had some medical scares with her. When she was first born I remember holding her and the nurse coming in and telling me she needed a transfusion. She had the same blood issue the twin with Zekaryah had. I remember just sobbing. How could we loose another child. I remember telling the Lord, Look I have held this one. I had never wanted a girl. We didn't find out with her what we were having and my heart just melted away when we saw that she was indeed not a boy. Immediately I had her on every prayer chain I could. My parents were not there yet and my mom personally called TBN for a prayer request. In a few hours they said her blood was free, they thought maybe they had made a mistake, it wasn't a mistake it was the Lord.  I am thankful she was an easy baby because I hit a depression like no other after having her. 

She was born in May and I miscarried in December, at this point even though I wanted one more child I knew God was telling me it was enough. That they each had a purpose in my life. Today I am so incredibly thankful for each one. Sometimes the fighting can be overwhelming or the nagging to get them to do what I ask, or the fact that they don't clean up like they should and I do instead, it does upset me yet I would take a million more days of all those bad things to have them here with me. They mean everything in the world to my family. They each have their piece of the pie that makes us complete. I am so honored the Lord placed them in our trusting care until he has another purpose for them.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Time for another Tshirt Giveaway

If you have been following me for a while you know that I love my Boys! I am always so proud of their hard work, their uniqueness and their loving spirits toward others.

To celebrate their upcoming birthdays, one will turn 14 the other 16.   I am giving away a Tshirt Quilt. Granted you do have 5 mandatory entries that are needed in order to win, there are other optional entries so you can increase your chances. I settled on a date in between because if they had been born on the days they should have, there would have only been 4 days between their birthdays. The Lord knew that would be an impossible task in our household. I am thankful he had a better plan.

This quilt will be in gray fabric. It will contain 12 of your own shirts. Preferably adult size because it will give you a nice size lap throw. You will be responsible for mailing me your shirts at your cost.

It will have this exact soft cuddly gray on the back with a black handmade cotton binding. 
I do these giveaways in hopes of the feedback and the sharing that will take place. I am allowing the Lord to run my business and in order to do that it is by your word of mouth that it will grow. In exodus it talks about some of the Lord's children being Artisan's. I am honored that the Lord gave me this talent and I pray that I will always be able to bless others through it. Thank you for entering and please share the news of this giveaway and my ETSY page, I would be grateful.


Tackle it Tuesday

I had hoped to get my quilt block done. I had hoped to get some of the house clean. I had hoped to work on a quilt since Friday.. I didn't get any of that done. I created a spreadsheet of all business conducted for Sunshine of Autumn Quilts for 2011. It took hours. I plugged in all our tax info into H and R Block online, which by the way I really love. I used Turbo Tax for years, then last year I got a free trial for HnR, they got me a little more back and so this year I didn't hesitate to use them again. I really like that they have some small business pop ups. I wasn't quite sure where all my information went on the deductions/income sections. Their software was great at helping me figure it all out- myself. I got up this morning, plugged in all my business info and now we are filed and await approval. I am so thankful it is all over.
I learned a ton. First off I need to do better at keeping every receipt. I forget sometimes to keep thread reciepts, or batting reciepts. I forget to break them down between orders when I buy in bulk. I lost out on a lot of write offs. I did not start keeping track of any giveaways or free quilting services until May- once again something I need to change. I did try to download quickbooks- the free version from Cnet, I must say it didn't want to install on my computer. I looked at purchasing it and could not justify the cost. I looked at purchasing quicken- which I used for years when we were first married- you used to get it free when you purchased Turbo Tax. I could not justify the $30 for me to be lazy about having to total my monthly sales. Maybe if I can sell a couple queen orders, right now money is so tight I don't know how we are buying food and paying for gas. In fact this week I could only get half the food we needed because I only had $25 for groceries. 
I am thankful last night that a customer purchased the Baby Genius quilt, I had discounted it to $25, way lower than what I normally would charge but we were desperate. So now just one more premade one to sale at $20. I am praying that will happen for us too.. I hope today to get a quilt block done, start working on that quilt and get some of my very out of control house situated. All these boxes for the garage sale and buckets of my moms fabric are really adding some clutter to my already tight situation.
Hope you are having  a great week


Monday, January 23, 2012

The Giveaway Quilt for January 2012

Here is her quilt. I forgot to measure it and it is already boxed so I guess I won't have that info this time.

I saw this cute little tidbit at the bottom of a shirt and found a  way to applique it on a bock, this helped me out too because the brown shirt was very narrow and I wanted to secure the corner where the sleeve was at the top.

Like advertised I used a comfy blue flannel for the back, and a black with green print for the binding

I did include 3 additional squares because the shirts were very small. I felt like if it was going to be her son's quilt I needed it to be a little longer. Not much I could do about making it a little wider. I sure hope he likes it, as well as her.


Menu Planning Monday

Chili and Cornbread
Campbell's Chicken Soup- Kids

Spaghetti and Garlic Bread

French Toast and Bacon
Veggie Plate Night- Mac n cheese, corn, broccoli and mashed potatoes w gravy

Zekaryah Celebration-
Hot Dogs and Smores on BonFire- Board game night, sundaes for dessert

French Bread Pizza

Zekaryah's Birthday Dinner
Homemade Chicken Tenders, Okra and French Fries


The Weekend What a Busy Time

So to tell you how our weekend went. Friday started with moving boxes from a friends storage unit, of things her family did not want, that were her mother's, who passed away last year. She gave them to us in hopes we could make a little money doing a garage sale. Right now they sit in my den. It will be alot to go through. I am hopeful that it will all work out though. Then I dropped Paul off at his brother in laws for his weekend trip, which I told him over and over it was probably not the best timing.. Guess what it wasn't. Its funny how I am always right about these things. I just knew it was such a busy month and he really does a lot to help me with scheduling on our weekends. I depend on him.

On my way back home, after dropping my husband off I found out our daughter wanted to go to a  friends after school, which sounded fine because at the time I wanted to work on a quilt to list on ETSY this week.
Well she ended up riding the bus home instead of going home with her friend, because she couldn't find her which pushed Jakob and I late to find a book or two for a report assigned Friday, research being due Monday. We met with the dad and her friend at the library, got into the library to find someone checked said book out 30 min prior to us being there. We jotted down some info from a reference book quickly as the library closes at 4 on Fridays. I really wish they stayed open until 5. It makes life difficult if children are assigned projects Friday during school, due Monday morning, or even Tuesday. We then  rushed to a local bookstore- to find out they are closing. Everything is 60% off and nothing really left. That said book- sold 30 min before we got there. I am at a point of frustration now..

I rushed home, got online, reserved the book and another at Barnes and Nobel in a location that my husband nearly always drives through because I nearly always get lost.  I printed maps, dropped Zek off at a friends for the night and we left in search of the bookstore. We got there searched a couple sections for more books on symbolism, to find there weren't any. I was thankful I had reserved my two. We went to pay for them, the one we really needed, that we hunted for twice already, they didn't have ready, nor did they have at the store like they said online. The one we paid for, not very useful, it is more a dream definition book. At this point I was wasting gas and we were starving so we stopped in at Denny's. I am thankful he is my practical child who ordered from the cheap menu. We still had to drop clothes off for Kenzei and finally got home near 10 pm. It was a long day!

Saturday started at 8. Waking Jakob up to write out his words, went to the college library in search of a reference book they were supposed to have on symbolism. We searched, finally asked for help for the reference librarian to be in utter confusion at the fact they didn't have the book. What is it with this book! We went to the regular section, her thinking that maybe it was re-shelved in the wrong place and it wasn't there either. I am so thankful that at this point we did find TWO other books, not online in the catalog section, that did work. We don't have a card for this library so we had to sit there and write all the words and info out, so he looked each up and dictated what should be written down because I had a feeling I would be typing it, and wanted to be able to read the writing. At least I could plan ahead for this point I am thanking the Lord for answering some prayers, feeling guilty that I am not at SOS volunteering but thankful at the same time I was spending time with Jakob.

We left there still needing one more word, got lunch, went to the library in town wrote up everything else he needed from the book from Friday afternoon, that thankfully could not be checked out by anyone else since it was a reference book. I dropped him off at home, secured Zekaryah staying with another friend, Kenzei going to a birthday party with Friday's friend at another friends and went to SOS to work until 5:30. Got home made us some eggs and bacon to get a call from Kenzei that she needed clothes, she had not packed enough. I just wanted to lay in bed and watch a movie at this point. But duty calls. I text the mom where Zekaryah is because I was already headed out, and didn't want to do it again later that night..thankfully he is a boy he and didn't need anything- heck he probably didn't even shower.

Dropped off Kenzei's clothes, on the way home Jakob and I got sundaes at McDonald's. I ate my Sundae, decided to put in a movie, I really needed to de-stress. Then I get a call after the movie at 9:30 to find out that the approved party at the bowling alley was in fact not at the bowling alley, which was not her fault, they were under renovations. The mom dropped 5 12/13 year old girls off at a movie theater across town that is huge and has a bar! I did say dropped off as in no adult stayed. So needless to say my precious daughter never called to let me know of the change in plans, and should know better,I like to know where my children are. I am protective that way. So I called and told her to get her stuff together she was coming home. There went my evening. Her in the backseat, feeling I was out of line and she was very upset, not talking to me. I felt upset because she should have called to let me know they were going somewhere else, and I really am not comfortable with them being at a location like that alone.

I picked up Zek at 10 Sunday, finally kenzei was talking to me again so she went along. Came home and guess what? I decided to top off my emotional weekend by going through every one of mom's totes...
Oh wow, I am sad to say that the majority of it I can't use for quilting. Its more clothing material I am thinking. Some of it I don't even know what it is called. I sorted what I wanted, sorted what I knew I could sell online because it has a tag etc on it, to tell me what it is, and then the rest I stacked together in an area for now. I am praying someone will come along and tell me what it is, so I can sell it online or locally.
This is an example of a stack I will list on ETSY, it is very good fabric, just have to figure out how to do it all.

I finished my evening by tagging 11 buckets of clothing from SOS, which I will take back today, and picking up Paul. I tell you ...what a weekend, and he will be lucky if he gets to go again. I am sure I will come back to my senses, but it is hard to have him away like that with school in progress.
All I could think of when I woke up this morning is that, in my efforts to clean house Sunday, it looks worse and I have three boys coming over Friday night for Zekaryah's birthday- we are doing hot dogs and smores and playing board games. And guess what Paul has a side job early Saturday morning...hoping next weekend has better luck.
I am so thankful to our heavenly father that he watched over us the whole time. I may not have gotten the kitchen done, the house clean, my quilt made but I was able to find the bookstore with help from a friend. Three other friends helped me maneuver children this weekend. Just having Jakob made it easier. I can't imagine trying to find time to drive them to where they wanted to be too. I am also thankful that despite all the time that Jakob lost looking for the books for this paper for English, he was able to get all his other homework done on Sunday. I pray for him today as he goes into Spanish probably not as prepared as he would have liked, for his oral speech. I am also thankful he did his art portion of this project while I worked at SOS Saturday afternoon. It is simply amazing!

He had to choose 7 words from ideas of his personality. Then he looks them up finds their symbolic meaning and draws a picture to display that. It is a hand holding a pawn, that has a shadow, he also has fire in the picture with ash shooting across both sides the dark in black and gold and the lighter with white and blue. 
He also has to write a 3 page paper. I admit outside of driving him around, I don't have to help much at all. Boy am I thankful for that.
It was an interesting weekend full of obstacles and time spent together somehow..


Friday, January 20, 2012

Praying for Blessing

We sure have a lot going on financially lately. I just can't seem to stay on top. I got a call from a friend yesterday to see if I could help locate a pick up service for some things she was parting ways with. It ended up being a lot of things...Long story short she ended up deciding that we could have it all if we wanted.. we debated and decided we did. My husband took off work this morning so we can take the trailor to pick it all up. He has a trip later this afternoon and will be gone all weekend so it probably was a good idea to have the morning off anyway. I was going to put everything in the house but then with all the flooding issues we have lately we decided that won't work.
I am hoping to sell some of it on Craigslist or EBAY and then the rest in a Garage Sale. That could prove to be difficult. I don't see garage sales in our neighborhood. There is one family near the front that seems to do it, but I don't know how that will all work. I tried to enlist a friend to help me with it, I didn't get a reply. So I am praying for Blessing. I was overwhelmed at her kindness to think of us. I pray that these items that are treasured by someone will find new homes and that the money earned from it will get us afloat. 
I am still not sure on Jakob's trip come March, it seems he is the only one interested so we are currently holding a blessing of $100 by check that we might be returning. In some ways that could be a blessing in of itself. I have been super stressed as to how we would come up with so much money in a little over a month, how I could justify us spending money on this trip when we have a house that leaks and is not heated, when I can barely put food on the table. I am searching the Lord's grace and mercy in it all. Praying to Him for answers and just a shimmer of light to let us know we will be eating daily.


Lady Bug Burp Rag Winner

Congrats to Cindy Wheatley Holland for winning the Lady Bug Burp Rag Set.
Thank you to everyone that participated. I learned from the low entries to things- one the burp rags needed to be neutral and maybe something besides burp rags. I think this is the lowest entry level yet for me.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Do you ever have trouble feeling thankful? I am struggling this morning, I must admit. I feel sometimes like we take 2 steps forward and 10 back. I think more than ever that is why these posts are so important. It keeps me focused on all those little things I am to be thankful for so that I don't drown in all the problems that arise that lead to doubt, worry and anxiety.
This week we had a holiday to start out our school week. I love those! I love the extra time I get with the kids and also the time they sometimes get spending away from us with their friends.
I am thankful for my dog who provides me with company all day and is quick to alert me of people at my door or in my yard.
I am thankful for my husband and children this week. I had a rough couple of days. I am thankful that I can be honest with them and let them know and that they try to make it a little better by various things like salmon dinner and brownies.
I am thankful we were able to move Zekaryah into an easier math class this nine weeks, I know that will really help him.
I am thankful for the interest in my quilts on ETSY, even if there aren't any new orders yet this month.
Lastly I am thankful we live in a country where we have freedom of speech, so that I can freely write and share anything on my heart without fear of censorship.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tackle it Tuesday

I was hoping to sub this morning, but that did not work out. This is the project I set aside for Tackle it Tuesday

Once again my friend sent me fabrics and asked me to create a quilt for her.

The quilts finished size is 70 by 70

I made up a nice quilt label instead of using my generic ones since she said she will be using it.

I am really hoping she likes it.


ABC Quilt Block Sampler Project Redone Block One

Autumn Tints
This is my first block REDONE for my ABC Quilt Sampler using names of blocks alphabetically as my inspiration for the quilt. My friend Diana had this idea and I decided to participate and do one of my own. I did pick my own blocks
The block measures 14 inches. I decided I didn't like the first block I did, after I did the second one. I think maybe I am just going a different direction so that my blocks do contrast a little more. I like that you can see the colors a little more, compared to the first one where it blended. The first one was also a little smaller than 14 inches which ended up making a big difference once I finished the second block. I am still struggling a little when combining the pieces. They don't always line up the way they should and I don't always understand why the pattern of the block calls for a certain size cut when they don't line up and I have to trim so much off. It surely is a learning process.
I did decide for the third block the Country Crossroads is not one I can figure out, so now I am debating between the Cactus Flower, another pattern I found for the Country Crossroads and then the Chained 5 Patch 
All three would work. I just need it to be 14 inches finished.
I actually am a bit discouraged now that I have the first two done. I think some of the patterns I picked might be to difficult because I can't seem to find really good instructions that explain how to create certain style blocks. Sure hope I can stick with this. I loved the blocks I had chosen
So what do you think?


Monday, January 16, 2012

ABC Quilt Block Sampler Project 2

Bear Paw

This is my second block for my ABC Quilt Sampler using names of blocks alphabetically as my inspiration for the quilt. My friend Diana had this idea and I decided to participate and do one of my own. I did pick my own blocks
The block measures 14 inches. I really like this one. I did alter the design a little. It called for 2 1/2 blocks instead of strips for the center piecing. I liked the look from the first block Autumn Tints so I stayed with the same style. That is the nice thing about quilters prerogative. I love the colors of this block. I used the same tan color in the middle to tie in the first block- which used it as a background color. I am really enjoying this process and feel like I am learning a little bit about trimming, ironing and setting of block squares. It is a lot of work.
So what do you think?

Reminder on Burp Rag Giveaway

Don't forget to enter my Burp Rag giveaway, entries are low so you have a good chance of winning.

Hope you are having a great start to your week!


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Menu Planning Monday

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’..3 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:31,33 
Pork Roast with Veggies- Crockpot

Pancakes and Bacon

Chicken and Rice- Crockpot

BLTS and Chef Salads

Baked Potatoes


Taco Salads


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Give Thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I have much to be thankful for again this week.
The rain stopped and the water in the house did too.
I am thankful the cleanup wasn't too bad.
I am thankful we are almost through 9 weeks tests for the kids.
I am thankful for the two orders that were placed through my business, they are just for quilting services, fabrics are being sent to me, but it does provide grocery and gas money for next week. 
I am thankful I am getting better at taking things one day at a time.
I am thankful our menu planning is still working out well and that it has even helped my husband do some of the cooking this week. It is nice to not have to always be the one to cook.
I am thankful I continue to tackle projects around the house from cleaning to just making life a little easier.
I am very thankful for electric blankets. Mine turned off before morning today and wow was I so cold!!
That leads me to my last thankfulness comment which is being thankful for electricity. I just can't imagine life without it.
Hope your week has been a blessed one.


New Purex Ultra Pack Laundry Review

I love reviewing products. This is another one from Purex. It is the same product as in the Triple Action liquid detergent but it is in a pre-dosed square. Very similar in idea to Cascade and their dish washing soaps. This is a great idea for when my children do laundry. I can trust that they will get in the right amount of soap because it is all pre-measured. It is also great for times when we go camping because I do not have to pack an entire bottle of laundry soap, I can just stick this is a zip-lock and we are ready to go. It takes up less space and I do not have to worry about it leaking everywhere. It really did have the same exact cleaning capabilities. I was not disappointed at all. Once again I did opt to get the Free and Clear so that I didn't have to worry about what was washed in the soap. I really love that Purex supports us families that have allergies by always having Free of Dye and Perfume products available.
Here is some information about their new product. 
Give it a try you will love it.

What are Purex® UltraPacks™?
• New Purex UltraPacks are convenient pre-dosed liquid
detergent packs that make doing laundry easier than ever.
• Purex UltraPacks manage to squeeze all the performance
of our new Triple Action liquid formula into just one
powerful pack.
• Finally…No more mess. No more spills. No more heavy
jugs. It’s Laundry Simplified.®
• Each Purex UltraPack contains powerful 2x concentrated
liquid detergent, giving each UltraPack double
the cleaning power in every drop*.
• Purex UltraPacks dissolve quickly once the washer is
started—even in cold water.
• Purex UltraPacks are formulated and safe for all
machines, including high-efficiency (HE).

For Best Results
• Dry your hands before handling the UltraPacks – water
dissolves the film.
• Put (1) pack in the washer before adding clothing
(the more time they spend in the water, the faster
they dissolve). For larger or heavily soiled loads, use
an additional pack.
• If you have a front loader, make sure to put the pack
directly into the drum, not in the drawer.