Wings As Eagles: April 2007

Friday, April 27, 2007

Mom loved Spring!

Today was beautiful outside! Not that I was outside much to enjoy it, but it was a great day for going to Dodge today. I had an appt. to fit the Miss Kitty costume I am making this afternoon and ran to a couple of stores. I actually needed the air conditioner in my car - the first time this year!

As I pulled in the driveway, the thought crossed my mind that Mom would have loved a day like today. Spring was her favorite time of year! If Mom would have been shopping in Dodge, she would be anxious to get home and be outside. For her weekly grocery shopping trip, Mom usually left in the morning while it was still cool and would be home by lunch or early afternoon. After we helped unpack and put up groceries, she would always sit down in the kitchen and go through all the sales receipts to be sure she was charged the correct price on sale items she bought. Mom was very skilled at finding sales and bargains!

Then she would go and sit on the back porch steps reading and enjoying being outside. There were times she would work in her garden or flowers. I can just see Mom in my mind sitting on the steps, sunglasses on, a bottle of water nearby and Lady sitting next to her. Sometime she would be reading her Bible or a book, reviewing memory verses or just praying and enjoying being outside. She would look up every once in a while and watch Dad as he would be going in and out of the shed, working on something.

I just wish I could walk across the family room, look out the back door and see Mom sitting there on the steps again!

images courtesy of

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Spring cleaning has begun...

Jena and I started some spring cleaning this week. Actually I don't plan to start the "real" spring cleaning until next week, but we sorted and organized several rooms downstairs and the schoolroom upstairs.

Mom had lots of things that she kept "just in case" she needed them for something. The "just in case" things have been piling up over the last few years and were in need of organization. We were able to sort through the freezer room and fruit room downstairs yesterday. We unpacked, sorted and repacked box after box and shelf after shelf.

We discovered a few things we didn't know we had, chuckled at some of the things Mom kept and recalled the things we used in the past, but no longer needed. Some things we had no clue what they were or what they once belonged to!

Paper plates, napkins, paper cups and plastic silverware we will not need to buy for years! After we rounded up all that we had, we were able to fill two large boxes! At least they are all together, so when we need them we will know where to look. Mom had kept many of our old school books and papers, so we went through those, saving some and throwing away others.

We collected enough stuff that we don't need anymore and have a huge pile to take to the Mark Down Shop for resale. We also have boxes and sacks ready to go in the trash. The dumpster was almost full before we started carrying things out to it. Now it is full and overflowing with another stash of stuff on the porch just waiting to go into an empty dumpster!

We went through file cabinets and Mom's desk filled with papers regarding nutritional information, exercising, vitamins, homeschooling and much more! I found stacks and stacks of notes for everything, including Internet passwords, nutritional tips, household cleaning helps, newspaper clippings and information Mom printed off the Internet. It was all very organized, all the info grouped into folders so she knew where to look when she needed to find something.

I can't believe all the notes she took during church all her life. There are stacks and stacks of her notes on every book in the Bible, teaching conferences we attended and Biblical subjects she studied. Definitely a reference of information to keep!

That's the end of the spring cleaning for this week. Next week the real work starts...dusting, washing windows, moving furniture, cleaning carpets...something to look forward to! ;)

click the photos to enlarge

the trash pile on the porch

the take to Mark Down Shop pile

a stack of photos needing to be filed

Jena cleaning in the fruit room

me sorting wrapping paper & bows

Shopping for free?? Yes, with VistaPrint!

Shopping for free? I can't imagine that being a possibility, but it sure is! There are lots of freebies to find online. One of them that I use frequently is VistaPrint. I discovered that VistaPrint offers free business cards last year when I started my website. I can get many free offers like promotional postcards, flyers, letterhead and labels every few months. This is a great help financially since I pay very little or only shipping to receive these offers.

My business card supply is dwindling, so last week I strolled over to VistaPrint to order some more. I discovered they have lots of free products that I could also order and pay only shipping! So, guess what? I did!

I ordered 100 postcards, 10 invitations with envelopes, 10 sheets of letterhead stationary, 250 business cards, 10 notecards with envelopes, 25 magnets, 1 rubber stamp, 1 pad of sticky notes, 1 notepad and 10 announcements with envelopes all for under $15.00 (shipping fee). I can upload any of my own colors and designs or use one of their hundreds of templates for creating whatever images and text I want in any color or font.

The desk photo calendar is really neat! I was able upload 12 photos or clipart images and paste them into a 12 month calendar, plus choose the design theme! With my notecards, I used one of VistaPrint's templates and added my own lettering. They even have a glossy finish plus matching envelopes! I created a shopping list notepad to hang on the fridge for our weekly shopping trips.

I uploaded my own image (a one time fee is charged) for the business cards, postcards, magnets, announcements and invitations. I will use these for mailing advertisements. Everything ordered would have been over $180 if I hadn't been able to get it for free with VistaPrint's current promotion.

It was fun designing my own paper products. So fun, that I will order again and get some more freebies! What a great way to shop...anytime of day or night online and then receive a box of goodies delivered to my front door! And the best part is that it is all free!! :)

VistaPrint is now offering free postcards, rubber stamps, notepads, sticky notes and business cards, plus half price specials on notecards, labels and letterhead. Be sure to request a current catalog and you will receive a unique link for more great deals online! Visit VistaPrint for more details...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Stuck in the Ditch!

Jena went to Wichita with a friend from work on Friday and Saturday. They shopped and shopped for two days, but they had a fun time together!

Dad talked to Jena at 9:30 Saturday night and she said they were at Pratt, on their way home. That meant that she only had another hour and a half to get to her friend's house in Plains and then another hour to get home. She said she would call my cell phone when she started home, so she wouldn't wake up Dad.

I went to bed about 11:00, expecting her to call anytime or within the next 30 minutes. I never did really sleep, but just dozed off and on, waiting for my phone to ring. About 12:30 the phone rang. I answered mine, but realized it wasn't my cell phone, but our home phone. When the phone rings at 12:30 in the morning and Jena is not home yet, that is not a good sign! Especially when it had been raining off and on for several hours.

I heard Dad answer the phone and get up. I went upstairs thinking that maybe she just called to say she was spending the night in Plains. Nope, Dad said she was only 3 miles from home, stuck in the ditch. The dirt road was now a mud puddle and she landed in the ditch!

Dad had to go out in the pick-up and crawl around in the mud to get a chain hooked to her car and pull her out. By the time they got home, it was 2:00 am and Dad was covered in mud, along with Jena's car.

Yesterday, Jena said that she hated to call Dad, wake him up and have him come get her, but she knew there was no way that she could have managed to get her car out of the ditch. I told her that I could have come and picked her up and then Dad could pull out her car in the morning. But then if I would have gotten stuck, wouldn't Dad be thrilled to get up and pull BOTH of us out of the ditch?! :)

Too bad we don't have pictures of her car in the ditch - that would have been a sight to see!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mom's Monument

Dad came in this morning after checking the cows and said, "Guess what? Mom's headstone is up at the cemetery." We have been waiting and looking for it to be up soon. I guess the ground is finally dry enough to put it up. It looks nice with the spring flowers arrangement that Jena put out a couple of weeks ago.

It took us while to decide what we wanted to engrave on the front and back. I especially like the verse in the ribbon at the bottom: I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 2 Tim. 4:7

Nothing could describe Mom better. She finished what God had her on earth to do and He took her home to be with Him.

click the photos to enlarge



Spring flowers

Computers & Technology are Fantastic!

I will admit it, I love all kinds of electronic gadgets, especially if it is related to a computer! VCRs, DVDs, MP3 players, wireless devices, cell phones, computer accessories and any kind of computer software just intrigues me. I love to open up a new gadget and figure out all the neat things it can do!

Who started my love of technology? My Dad; he's the one who showed me how to use the first VCR we bought. How to record, edit, duplicate and everything that goes with it! We soon had a Mac computer and then a Windows PC to use for school. We did use it for school papers and software, but it was great to discover all the software programs that could be installed and the wonderful things those programs did. Printmaster, WordPerfect, stationary software, pacman games and other programs could not do near what they can now, but it was just the starting point for me.

My knowledge of technology has grown tremendously over the past 12 years since the days of our first computer. I still recall using the onscreen tutorial for learning how to click and drag the mouse, when to single click or double click and how to change computer settings such as wall paper, screen savers and mouse pointers. I put lots of hours on that first Mac computer, probably more than anyone else in our family. My sisters and I would have to take turns using the computer! :)

When we purchased our Windows PC, mainly to use some school software that was not compatible with our Mac, it was great to have another computer in the house! I spent many hours digging deep into the hard drive of the computer, much of the time not knowing what I was doing. But I would change things to see what I could do. Needless to say, this caused a lot of havoc. I would change things in the control panel folder and in those folders that say, "This folder contains files that keep your system working properly. You should not modify its contents." That should have been warning enough, but it didn't keep me out! You know when people say, "Don't be afraid to use it; you can't do anything to hurt it." Well, I took that statement literally and let me tell you, technically speaking, it's true. You can't really hurt it, even if the hard drive crashes, it can still be repaired and many times files can still be recovered. But it sure can cause a lot of other problems I didn't plan on trying to fix.

Most of the time, I would make changes and it would only affect certain parts of the computer. I could always reverse the changes if it didn't work out as I had planned. Many times there would be a glitch or error in a program and I would dig around in the software for several days and be able to figure out what the problem was and how to fix it. That was how I learned so much about computers, how they work and how to fix the problems. I created the errors by the mistakes I made and then had to figure out how to fix it! The only thing is that several times in the process of figuring out how to get the original error repaired, I would end up creating more glitches which I would have to find out how to overcome to fix the error that started the whole thing.

I recall one time trying to repair a software program that kept freezing during a specific task. I had been working for over a week trying to figure out what was wrong. I finally thought I had it, restarted the computer and instead of seeing the floral wallpaper, saw only a blank, black screen. For several minutes I panicked; I did not have a clue what to do at that point. I ended up calling a local computer technician, who told me over the phone how to reboot Windows.

There were several times that a blank screen would appear after I restarted the computer. I became proficient at booting up the computer in MS-DOS, crashing the hard drive and reinstalling Windows. There were several times that I was completely stumped and had to take the computer in to a technician who actually knew what he was doing. After the computer was back in working order, I would ask them what they did to repair it. One technician told me that the way he learned to repair computers was by unknowingly creating errors and then figuring out how to fix them. That may not be the best way to learn computers, but that's the way I did!

We started out with a Juno email account, changed to dial-up Internet and then upgraded to DSL high speed Internet. Soon we had to have a wireless router to create a network so I could connect online, print and share files between my laptop computer and our desktop computer. Technology, especially in the computer industry has grown at a rapid pace. The things I am able to do now online and with computers, I would have never been able to imagine doing 5-10 years ago. With each new device or program, I was able to learn more and more about the world of computers and what they do. Now, I am so dependant on computers and the Internet that I am totally lost and almost unable to function if I am disconnected for even a few hours, let alone a few days.

Technology is great; I love it! At times it is frustrating when a program will not do what it should be doing, but usually there is just a small glitch that is causing it. With computer technology there is no gray area, just black and white. One option check-marked when it shouldn't be or one digit in software coding that is wrong can cause something to work incorrectly. That is what makes it such a fun challenge to figure out! :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Beautiful Wallpaper!

Take a peek at these neat wallpaper designs! The images are beautifully designed with added Scripture and text. Wouldn't it be neat to wallpaper a room with one of these designs?!

graphic courtesy of

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

OK, I'm confused...

While html code is fun, interesting and very intriguing, sometime it can be downright frustrating! For some reason, on some of my posts the spacing of the letters and lines of text is different from others. I had thought this had something to do with the added photos, since the letters were scrunched together on those posts, and the ones without photos had more spacing. But the last post did not have any photos and the spacing was still smaller. Although I did change paragraph justification and text color.

I guess I need to start digging in the html coded template I am using on Blogger and see what I can discover and see what code I need to change to make it all appear the same. Perhaps I will do that in one of my "spare moments." :)

Trusting in the Lord

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 16:20
...Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.

God's Word tells me to put my complete trust in Him in everything that I do. While that is very encouraging to know that God is in control of everything in my life, putting my complete trust in Him with everything is not always easy to do!

Whether I am preparing for classes that I am teaching or planning products and promotions on my website, I like to know everything that I am doing and when it needs to be done. I have pages of papers with details, notes to do this or that and timelines for when things need to be finished. Yes, I am one of those people with lists for anything and everything! :)

While planning and organizing is important and necessary, sometime I don't know or can't know certain details or the outcome of whatever I have planned. That's where trust comes in. I often find it frustrating when things don't fall into place as I think they should or I'm not sure what will happen.

Often times I will worry and my thoughts and focus are on "What am I going to do?" or "What would happen if I did this?" Instead of letting it occupy my thoughts day and night, often preventing me from getting other things done, I should continue to pray about it, trusting that God will fill in the details and gaps in His timing, not mine.

And what a blessing and joy that is when He does! I have been making some decisions on teaching some embroidery/quilting classes in the coming months and several things just fell into place today. For some reason, unplanned by me, I visited with several people today while shopping that just confirmed what I needed to do. I just happened to visit with a couple ladies who commented about several classes I have taught in the past. I just happened to make contact with someone in regards to where I can teach.

The I just happened I mentioned above have no valid reason except that God filled in a few of the missing pieces I have been pondering. Was I planning to visit with the people I did this morning? No, teaching was not even on my mind. But with the details I have so far, I can plan one step further as to what I need to do. Is everything crystal clear as to the who, what, when, where and how? No, certainly not! But I can keep on trusting that God will fill in the gaps in His timing as to what He wants me to do. The only thing I have to do is keep trusting Him!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Krissa in Washington D.C.

Krissa is in Washington D.C. with some other journalism classmates and having so much fun sightseeing. Yesterday they toured FOX News and the Washington Times, required for their journalism classes, and then were free to do their own sightseeing for the rest of the day.

She called last night about 9:30 (10:30 eastern time); they had just visited the Lincoln Memorial and were walking by the reflecting pool to the Washington Monument. She said everything was fun to see lit up at night! Earlier in the day they had walked by the Capital building (they didn't go inside) and toured Union Station.

As she was describing what they had seen, I could just picture it in my mind when I was there in 2001. I was able to go inside the Capital, see the Senate and Congress rooms, which were full of Senators and Congressmen and walk down Pennsylvania Avenue right in front of the White House. Many of those things have changed since 9/11.

She was really excited because today they were free to do whatever sightseeing they wanted to do. She wasn't sure what all they were going to do, but shopping was number 1 on the list and visiting Union Station again. I'm glad she is able to go and see the nation's capital city! It would be fun to go back and see it all again!

photo courtesy of

Lady and her leg

The vet determined on Thursday that a ligament in Lady's back leg is only sprained. That is why she is limping and will not put weight on that leg. He put her on medication for 2 weeks and wanted us to limit her activity. Hopefully that will take care of it. If not, they will have to do surgery to repair the ligament.

Needless to say, restricting her activity is not something Lady likes. No more running with Jena when she takes walks or going out in the pasture with Dad to check cattle and chase rabbits. Yesterday she didn't mind being locked on the porch since it was snowing outside. She just stayed cuddled up in her bed. But this morning she was ready to go with Dad as he went in the pick-up. After he left, she just stood by the door and whined. She won't be very content, but at least it's only for 2 weeks.

Beautiful morning

The sun is shining brightly on the snow this morning making it just glisten. What a change from yesterday! It would be fine with me for the sun to shine all day and melt the snow. I am so thankful for the moisture the snow provides, but with it the roads and driveway will be a muddy mess.
Jena was scheduled to work today, but didn't because of the snow. They only had a few patients at the hospital, so with two other nurses on duty, they would be ok without her for today.
the front yard

One lone flower standing up in the snow

Friday, April 13, 2007

Electricity back on!

Our electricity is back on after going off about 2:30 this afternoon. With all the heavy, wet snow and the blowing winds, some of the power lines were knocked down. Thankfully we have a generator that we can use when needed!

This year, Dad going back and forth from the house to the shed where the generator is located to switch it on and off has become way too frequent. In fact Dad just emptied the last of the gas from the tank that runs to the generator this week, thinking that he wouldn't need to have gas in it until next winter. We weren't expecting one last blast of winter in April!

But this year has been unusual. Normally we don't have this much snow in the winter, let alone in April. And the power has been off this year more than it has in the past five years!

Snow & Thunder in April??

Snow falling in the front yard

The huge flakes in the back yard

It is almost the middle of April and we are right in the middle of a snowstorm. The wind is blowing and the snow is falling...and falling! This is what is looked like at 12:30 today and it is still snowing. The flakes are huge and just keep on coming.

Jena and Dad went out in the pasture to get one of the cows home that just had her calf this morning. Dad was concerned about the calf being out in the cold and snow. Jena remarked that the snow is so heavy that it is like walking through mud. The snow is heavy - some of our smaller trees are starting to bend with the weight of the snow building up on the branches.

The funny thing is that several times I have heard thunder. Snow and thunder??? The two just don't seem to go together. But I guess it is possible!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Just a few notes

Lady has been hobbling around on three legs for almost a week. Last week she was chasing a rabbit out in the pasture and came back limping. It doesn't seem to bother her when we touch and feel it, she just won't put any weight on it.

Yesterday Jena jogged all the way to Ensign (5 miles) and Lady ran with her all the way - on just three legs!! She protects that leg, but still runs around outside. We are not sure what is wrong with it, but Jena and Dad are taking her to the vet this afternoon to see if they can diagnose the problem.

After only slightly warming up, it is supposed to get cold again. It's windy and chilly today and there is a chance of snow tomorrow. I thought last week was the last of the cold, but apparently not. Hopefully it won't last long so we can get back to warm, sunny days.

My sister, Krissa, is in Washington D.C. until Sunday. She is traveling with several other journalism students for an educational tip to D.C. They are going to tour the Washington Post and some other tourist sights. It will give her a break from classes at BJU.

Follow the leader

My cat, Sissie, follows me around no matter where I am. I will be downstairs sewing and then run upstairs for a while. It doesn't take long and I find out she has followed me upstairs. If I keep the light and radio on downstairs, she seems to know that I will be right back, because she stays down here. But if I leave with the light and radio off, soon I discover a little ball of fur next to me wherever I am!

Tuesday I was on the floor taking pictures of several embroidered photo frames. I turned around and found her less than a yard away, just watching me. Needless to say, the fabric, thread and scraps on the floor does not bother her one bit! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Happy Easter!


We hold so close to our hearts
The cross where Jesus died
But so much more than the blood-stained cross
Is that Jesus came back to life

The stone's been rolled away
The tomb lay open and bare
They looked for Him, and then the angel said
That He is no longer here

Oh what joy they must have felt
To see Him just once more
To eat with Him, to drink with Him
To receive Him back as Lord

So much did He accomplish
Through His death upon the cross
And in His rising from the dead
He reconciled us back to God

Nothing else could bridge the gap
That sin had wrenched apart
Now we can freely go to God
And receive Christ in our hearts

© By M.S.Lowndes

Graphic courtesy of
Poem courtesy of's cold!

It has been so cold and windy that it seems like Winter is back! We even had some snow falling yesterday. It's April, but it sure doesn't seem like Spring with the weather as it is now.

For the last two nights, the temperature has gotten down to freezing or below. So that probably means that our fruit trees which already have blooms and a lot of Mom's flowers which are already blooming will freeze. And that means that we probably won't have any fruit from our trees this year, except for pears. We have two pear trees that always seem to produce pears no matter when it freezes. Of course, I would rather have apples, peaches and cherries over pears, but at least it's fruit!

Dad and Jena cleaned out Mom's flower beds around the house last week, so the flowers look beautiful as they have started to bloom. There are still a lot that will not be hurt with the frost.

Dad is going to a farm auction this morning. He probably won't stay very long since it is so cold. At least the sun is out shining today; yesterday was just cloudy.

Jena is going to spend the day with Grandma. They will probably play Scrabble - Grandma's favorite game to play! And Grandma is really, really good at creating words, so she usually wins. :)

My laser printer has fax capability which I have been trying to get to work in conjunction with our land phone line. I have been able to send faxes without any problem, but receiving them is another story. Grandma and I have tried faxing each other back and forth, trying to get it in working order, but there is one thing I am missing for some reason.

I've changed some settings and when Jena gets to Grandma's she will try sending me something. Hopefully I will be able to get it figured out today. I've read and read on the different settings to make it work with the same line as our home phone, so maybe today will be the last day of fiddling with it! :)

Better get back to stitching...I have a purple skirt to finish stitching, buttons to sew on, a zipper to put in and then onto cutting fabric for my embroidery class on Monday.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Swamped in clothes

Yesterday and today my sewing room is swamped with clothes! Last week I put away most of winter clothes and sweaters and uncovered all my spring and summer clothes. And then what happens - today is only supposed to be in the lower 40's with a 50% chance of rain or snow. Tomorrow and Saturday is not supposed to be any warmer, actually colder! The cold weather won't last too long and warm weather will be here to stay.

I have piles of shirts, sweaters, capris and skirts to repair, alter, find something to match with it or sew. Plus Jena added 4 uniform tops for me to alter for her. I made a huge dent in everything yesterday, so I should be able to finish most of my altering and matching today.

Then I dug around in my sewing room and found 2 chiffon skirts I had cut out last year, but didn't finish. I'll get those stitched today and then this weekend Jena can mark the hem, so I can finish them. I'm sure I didn't finish those two skirts last year because I don't have anything to match them, so I will have to be on the lookout for a matching top.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Packages coming and going...

I usually have a stack of packages to mail out every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Here is my stack from Friday. My package count varies from 15-20 each week - exciting since that is about triple what it was last Fall!

But as I am mailing packages out, more boxes are coming in! I was right in the middle of baking my coconut cream pie, among trying to do laundry and dusting, when the doorbell rang. (I can't do one thing at a time - I can get more done if I'm doing several things at once!) It was UPS with some boxes. UPS & FedEx have the route to our house memorized by now, since they usually come at least once a week!

They don't wait at the door, unless there is a package that requires a signature. They just leave the boxes and packages by the front door. By the time I get to the door, I just wave to them as they are pulling out of the driveway!

One morning Dad came home from fixing fence to find a box that FedEx had left sitting in our living room by the back door. You just never know what will be delivered to our house!

Coconut Cream Pie

Last Friday I was so excited! I haven't baked a coconut cream pie before, actually not any kind of cream pie. Why? We usually bake fruit pies because Dad tends to like fruit pies over cream pies. They are probably more healthy anyway! :)

Coconut cream pie is one of my favorites, so I decided to try one last week. I knew if I got into trouble, I could always call Grandma (the BEST pie maker!!) and ask her for help! It wasn't difficult, but as I was mixing the milk and egg yolks, I began to wonder if this mixture was actually going to thicken and create the yummy pie I was anticipating!

It did!! I followed the recipe to the letter and finished with a yummy pie! Next time I will use a couple more egg whites for the meringue topping to make it a little taller, but it still tasted good! And I didn't even have to call Grandma! :)