Wings As Eagles: June 2008

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It only takes a couple of days being gone...

...for the packages to pile up downstairs:

...and Skittles to pack her toys on my bed:

After getting home from Colorado yesterday afternoon, I walked downstairs and discovered a table full of boxes to unpack and mail to sort through. It looked like UPS, FedEx and DSL have been here in my absense.

Then I walk through my sewing room to my room and discover that Skittles carried her toys and fabric scraps I left on the floor onto my bed. That is usually what happens when I'm gone. She drags those toys around looking for me and they wind up on my bed.

Adventures in Colorado!

This past week I spent several days in Colorado with Joanna. Guessing from all the laughing, talking, game playing and movie watching you could say we had a very wonderful, fun time together!

Wednesday, we went hiking at Glen Eyrie and I'm so glad I had my camera or Jena and Krissa would never believe I ACTUALLY climbed over all those rocks up to the waterfall. We even got a little wet, which actually felt good since it was a little warm. Well, let me correct that statement. I got a little wet, but Joanna was pretty much soaked! :)

It was a bit of a challenge climbing from rock to rock, trying not to fall into the water. We even saw a few certain animals along the trail that I could have rather done without such as a lizard, several snakes and lots of spider webs.

Thursday, we went to probably the greatest store in all of Denver - Denver Fabrics. I absolutely love that store! And as usual, some fabric I really did not need, but just could resist buying came home with me. Now if I can just find the time to sew it, instead of letting it sit for several months. :)

More photos are here...

Hmmm...which rocks would be the best to stay out of the water?

Now, which rock would be the best to step on???

This is a good place to sit...

...unless someone splashes you with water! :)

Finally...the waterfall!

Watching the waterfall before climbing back down the rocks...

Those rocks are most certainly not found in Kansas!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

This calls for a celebration!

I can hardly believe I'm saying this, but for once in my life (ok, maybe not once, but certainly for several years!) I beat Grandma at the game of Scrabble. And not only did I barely beat her by 11 points, but I was able to stay ahead of her the whole entire time.

I spent last Friday afternoon/evening with Grandma and she loves to play Scrabble. And she is so good at creating words and finding places where to put them in this classic game, that usually she wins by a large margin. A large margin that leaves me far behind. Finally that winning streak has been broken! :)

At least we have a Scrabble dictionary that is very helpful in creating words. There are words in there that I had no clue were even words in the English language. We gave that little book to Grandma for her birthday one year and it has been used so many times during that game! :)

We ate supper at Donna C's and had a fun-filled afternoon and evening. We're planning to get together with Grandma this week before Krissa leaves for Alabama on July 2nd. That is less than two weeks away! The time will fly by fast!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Keeping my focus on the eternal, rather than the temporary...

From the time I wake up each morning to the moment I fall asleep, my day is planned, many times to the minute. I have things to do, my own self-inflicted schedule to keep and my self-set deadlines to meet.

As I wake up on any given day of the week, my first thoughts are of what I need to get done that day and how much can I get accomplished in each hour. After I get dressed and have my morning devotions, my mind moves to my to-do list for the day.

After spending the morning answering my email and shipping orders which takes longer than the time I had allotted, I move onto illustrating the art work for my newest pattern. The noon hour sneaks up and I take a quick break to fix and eat lunch all the while my mind is on the artwork and how I can get the layout correct.

After another quick check of my email and a couple of things crossed of my to-do list, I move onto organizing some computer files and planning my next quilting class. All of a sudden a new "have-to-do-today" item crossed my mind and I scribble that down at the top of my list. Supper time has arrived and after that's done and over, I tackle more email, do some blog reading and upload some new inventory to my website.

It's now 11:00 pm, our evening family devotions are over and I'm still staring at a computer screen with a mouse in my hand, trying to finalize some pattern and quilt details. Right before I turn in for the night, I make out my list of things to do for the next day. As I'm falling asleep, my mind is dwelling on the fact that I can probably get my quilt directions written by noon tomorrow, but if I can get them done by 11:00, that would be even better.

I am probably the world's worst at scheduling things for myself to do and saying "yes" to just about every project that I encounter. And while none of those things are necessarily wrong or bad, it can turn into something that is, especially when my focus is so much on what I "have to get done" instead of those things of eternal value that really matter.

When I stand before the Lord and give account of my life here on earth, is it going to matter how many patterns I was able to get published or how many quilts I finished? No. Maybe the number of quilt classes I taught or the amount of emails I answered on time will earn some eternal significance? Nope.

As I wake up in the morning, my mind is jumping to the list of to-dos instead of praying, "Lord, what would YOU have me to be doing today?" Instead of being bombarded by with my own set schedules and deadlines, my heart and attitude should be, "Lord, how can I serve and minister to others for YOUR glory today?"

How easy it is for me to get caught up in my day-to-day activities and not really stop and consider what God has me on earth here to do. So many of my daily agendas don't really have any eternal value and in the whole scheme of things will make little difference in my life 10 years from now.

Not long ago as I was writing in frustration to my closest friend that I didn't get my Sunday School classroom decorations changed when I wanted, she emailed me in response, "And, I seriously doubt that when you face Jesus in eternity that whether or not you got your classroom decorations changed by your self-inflicted deadline is going to be important."

Very true. How easy it is for me to set a deadline and I will do just about everything, short of killing myself, to get it accomplished. At least on time, if not ahead of schedule. But is it really that important? In eternity, am I going to look back and kick myself that I was two weeks late changing from Spring to Summer decorations? I don't think so.

Lately it seems that I've been bombarded with things to do in these busy summer months and God is trying to teach me what's really important to do and what's ok to just let go. Little things keep cropping up that keep reminding me that the things of this earth are temporary and my focus and goal should be different than what it is.

The memory verse I taught to my SS class last week was Matthew 24:35 which says, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." I explained the verse to my kiddos, saying that someday all we know here on earth will be gone. It's just temporary, but God's Word, the Bible, will never ever go away. It will always be here.

It wasn't until this week in Sunday School that I reviewed our verse and one of the kids voluntarily told me what it meant, that the significance of that verse really hit me. And it hit me full force. As Weston told me the Bible will always be here, but heaven and earth would someday be gone, God brought to my mind the things I had been so busily doing the previous week and how little importance they really had.

How many times do I try to teach and minister to those kids on Sunday morning and many times God uses them to convict ME in certain areas? I've had that verse memorized for years, known and taught what it means, but it wasn't until Weston repeated back to me what it meant that it made me really stop and consider those things of true importance.

As Matthew says, treasures in heaven are much more important than the temporary treasures on earth. Matthew 6:19-21 - Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

While I continually fail and am constantly surrounded by things of this world, my focus and goal should be on Jesus Christ and what His desire and will is for me to accomplish that day. I may get nothing done other than answer emails, ship orders, laundry, meals and helping someone in my family, which at the end of the day makes me think, "I just didn't get anything done I wanted to today." But perhaps I really did....that time spent emailing a friend, spending the afternoon with my Grandma or just listening to someone who needs a listening ear may be just on God's to-do list for me.

So the next day (and I know all too well, there will be many to come!) that things don't go as planned by the end of the day, I can be thankful for what God allowed me to get done that day and keep in mind that my focus should be on what truly matters and the things of eternal value.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Krissa!!!

Glitter Graphics

I can hardly believe that today my little, baby sister is 21 years old! The years my sisters and I have spent together have most certainly been ones to treasure. And we'll miss you when you leave for Alabama in a couple of weeks!

Happy Birthday, Krissa!!! I hope your day today is wonderful!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - week of June 16th

Here is what we are eating for dinner this week:

Monday - taco salad

Tuesday - sweet bbq chicken kabobs

Wednesday - roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots

Thursday - pizza, salad

Friday - speedy chicken stirfry

Saturday - hamburger casserole, bread, green beans

Sunday - whatever is left in the fridge from this week! :)

Check out OrgJunkie for more great recipe ideas!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How thankful I can be for Father's Day!

Today is Father's Day. A special day, giving my thanks and appreciation to that special man in my life who has made such a impact on me and taught me so much.

As I was talking to my Grandma this past week, she asked me if we had any special plans for Father's Day to which I answered with, "No, not really." And we both talked about how Mother's Day gets lots of mention and attention, but Father's Day does not quite get the special consideration it really deserves. Fathers are special just as much as mothers and play significant roles in the lives of their children.

To which my Dad most certainly falls in that category. How blessed I am to have such a person who I can lean on and depend on, knowing the sound advice and guidance he gives me has my best in mind. When I seem swamped with problems I am dealing with, a talk with Dad usually results in those becoming much smaller issues than my mind had them envisioned.

How thankful I am that I have a Christian father who along with Mom, raised my sisters and I to love the Lord and put Him first in our lives. Someone who not only taught us the Word of God, but also continually lives for Him, setting for his daughters a godly example everyday.

Someone who willingly took the role of substitute teacher when the real teacher was gone for the day. Someone who bought bucket calves for us to bottle feed and helped us through the months of feeding them. Someone who without complaint drove to change a flat tire I had the first day of work.

Someone who, with great concern and fear, drove on slick, icy roads to pull me out of the ditch on a cold winter night. Someone who keeps my car in perfect working order, including keeping the tank full of gas. Someone who has no interest or knowledge in sewing, but patiently listens to my concerns and problems. Someone who fixes my computer cable over and over again and invents ways to hang my thread cover on the wall and my video camera from the ceiling. Someone who probably gets tired of fixing our curling irons, cell phone cords and other things we bring to him, but willingly does it.

Someone whose heart is broken and grieving over the loss of Mom, confidently says, "God is in control. God's will is best. We must continue on with what God has for us to do." And not only does he say that, but he shows us that in every way he can, even though it seems as his world has been torn apart.

Someone who faithfully reads and studies God's Word and teaches us through words and actions to do the same. Someone who guides our family in every area of our lives. Someone who God had given sound wisdom to pass onto his daughters.

I have so many past memories of family times spent with Dad, some bringing smiles and laughter and other sorrow and pain, but through it all, Dad was there. Dad has been such an important part in the lives of my sisters and myself, even more so in the past couple of years. And Lord-willing, we will have many more years together, making many more memories.

Caution: Young Minds Studying God's Word!

Just see what this mess....

...can turn into here....

....and here.....:)

The look on my little one's faces made all the time worthwhile! :)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Garage sale shopping made much easier with the help of Google

10 years ago the Internet was a brand new thing in our house. With only one computer for our entire family of five (I'm not quite sure just how we survived, but apparently we made it!), our online adventures were just an email check once or twice a week and that's it!

Compare that to now, where we have more computers than we do members of our family. And you may be thinking, "You can only use one at a time. You only have one pair of hands to type on one keyboard at one time." Sorry to say, but that just has no validity to it. If you could take a peek at me now, you'd see me surrounded by three computers, all on and all in use. But most of you who know me, realize that's no great surprise.

And the Internet is not just a once or twice a week email check with a dial-up long distance phone call that we had to limit to only a few minutes. The Internet now is apart of my daily life (no big surprise there, huh?).

But seriously, once upon a time when I needed to know how to spell a word, I opened a dictionary. When I needed a phone number, I opened up the actual hard copy phone book. When I needed to know how to get to X street, I spread out a paper map, trying to figure out which way was up (or to make it much easier, just ask Dad). When I didn't have all the information I needed for a school report, the set of encyclopedias in the bookcase had the answer.

But now, there's only one word for the answer to all of the above: Google. Yep, I can type just about anything in that text box, hit the enter key and in less than 2 seconds have a list of answers at my fingertips.

The Internet and Google have changed so much of what we do. Which brings me to the real reason for this post: Did you know you can now plan your garage sale shopping with Google?

When I read that, it just brought back so many memories of garage sale shopping with Mom. I can just imagine the "planning" that would now go into Mom's garage sale hunting with the use of Google.

Mom loved, just loved "garage sale hopping" as she called it. As spring drew near every year (her favorite time of year), she would eagerly anticipate getting up early on a Saturday morning with the garage sale list cut out of Friday's newspaper and a map of Dodge City (ummm...that was a paper map, not a printed Google one...:)). With three tag-along girls, Mom would plan out her morning of hitting the best sales in one area and then moving onto the next.

It's been I-don't-know-how-long since I've actually been to a garage sale. But I can remember those times my sisters and I went with Mom. She would find all kinds of things, some of them we still have to this day - computer desk, clothes, shoes, bookcases, and so much more.

We would start early in the morning, go from sale to sale and be back home by noon or early afternoon. The best part would be when we got home. We carried in all our "treasures" and laid them out in the family room for Dad to see what we found.

Those of you who knew my Mom, know that she always was looking for a bargain and just about didn't buy anything unless it was on sale. So she would begin to outline for Dad what she bought, why she bought it, what she planned to use it for and the best part of all - how much she paid for it and how much she saved by finding it at a garage sale!

Mom was very thrifty and that is something we often talked and teased her about. We always said, "Mom didn't buy anything unless it was on sale." So when she came home with a few extra groceries that we normally don't get, we knew she only bought it because it was on sale. After every shopping trip she would look over her receipts to make sure she was charged the correct amount for all her sale items.

I'll never forget one of the first times Dad and I went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, only a few weeks after Mom was gone. As we climbed back into the van after piling the groceries in the back, Dad hands me the receipt and asks me if I want to check it out, making sure we were charged the correct amount.

I responded with, "I think everything is ok because I bought hardly anything that was on sale and that's where the majority of errors are made." When Jena heard that, her comment was, "THAT'S where you made your first didn't buy anything on sale."

With Mom having been gone only a few weeks, the pain of losing her was still fresh, but that brought some smiles to our faces. Because that was so very true. And everytime I remember that conversation, I just can't keep from smiling.

So very true, so very Mom, so very good memories - garage sale hopping, bargain shopping and all!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Joseph and his coat of many colors

Last Sunday I taught on Joseph - a lesson I had planning and waiting for since part of the activity I had planned involved fabric. :)

I printed a clip art image of Joseph and his coat of many colors. Then I cut little strips of fabric in several colors so the kids could glue the fabric to Joseph's coat to make the colors. They had a blast gluing on the fabric and learned some new Bible facts in the process!

My class with their "coat of many colors" they created.

My class of 1st-3rd graders

Krissa's Graduation Party!

On May 28th (yeah, I know, I'm a little late in getting this posted!) Jena and I took Krissa to Wichita for a surprise graduation party with a couple of friends - Shannon and Ruth. They met us at Wild Buffalo Wings and just totally surprised Krissa when she saw them!

Then we headed to the mall so Krissa could "graduate" from Jena's list of credits. She had to do certain things worth so many credits to gain 150 credits to graduate. Finally...after much walking around, many giggles and lots of photos, she did manage to "graduate" with over 150 credits! We finished the day eating ice cream at Cold Stone. What a fun day full of memories!

You can see more photos of our day here...

Shannon taped Krissa coming into the restaurant
We had Krissa close her eyes until we reached the table.
It was so funny! :)
Click the play button to see the video.

taking a ride on the kiddie rides

seeing double????

things did get a little dangerous! :)

...and sisters! :)

ice cream....perfect end to the day!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Menu Plan Monday - week of June 2nd

Ok, I admit, it's been a while since I have posted our weekly menu, but THAT doesn't mean we haven't been eating anything during those weeks! :) But things have been pretty busy and crazy around here last month! This week actually will seem normal for us since Krissa is in Newton for two weeks. I'm not sure if that is a good or a bad thing.....:)

Here is what we are eating for dinner this week:

Monday - saucy pepper steak, rice, peas

Tuesday - reuben sandwiches, green beans

Wednesday -pizza, salad

Thursday - steak & rice casserole, broccoli w/ cheese

Friday - ham & cheese casserole, salad

Saturday - hamburger casserole, bread, salad

Sunday - minute steak, baked potatoes, green beans

Check out OrgJunkie for more great recipe ideas!