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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review - The Purpose Driven Life

I received a copy of the most recent, re-release of The Purpose Driven Life (expanded edition)by Rick Warren as a blogger from Booksneeze.com. I received the book free and in return I read the book and post my honest opinion. I am not paid for my review. Oh...and this was supposed to be posted earlier, I just couldn't finish it that fast...   :(

So...I read this back in 2003 when our church broke off into home groups to study The Purpose Driven Life. From that reading I took what was of value to me and left what was not. Having gained 9 years of living, and being in my calling, I approached the book a bit differently this time around. My mind was in a different place and of course, my outlook on my future is clearer.

The expanded edition has two more days of study: The Envy Trap and The People Pleaser Trap. Wow!  and Yes! Before I even read the new chapters I knew Rick Warren hit this one right on the head. I found myself reflecting on walking in my calling, using my gifts and talents and looking around. What are other people doing? Why can't I do that too? No one is going to be happy with what I am doing...I have to do what everyone asks...I can't say no.  But that isn't what God has called me to. I realized in reading the new chapters that I have what God has for ME! I can't get caught up in what other people are doing and what there situation looks like from my vantage point. I also can't worry about what other people think and say about me. It surely isn't about pleasing man...it's about pleasing God.

The scriptures at the beginning of the chapters are perfect and give a Biblical reference point that can be studied and meditated on.

I am so pleased to have been able to re-visit this book. I was not disappointed...well, maybe a little bit...the book has those QR codes you can zap with your smartphone. I don't have a smartphone, but I can get connected online. Super addition to the book.

I gave this one 4 out of 5 stars...$22.99 (retail) is a lot for two chapters...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Twelve Unlikely Heroes by John MacArthur.



I received a copy of this book as a reviewer for Booksneeze. You can too. Just read the book and give your honest feedback.

Twelve Unlikely Heroes was exactly what I thought it would be. Images from the Bible of God using ordinary, flawed, sinful people for very extraordinary, exceptional assignments for the Kingdom. One of my favorite characters in the Bible is the Apostle Paul. I always considered him the most fortunate to be chosen from his despicable self to change his life so drastically and life his life for Christ, to share the Gospel, to win souls and to be so ultimately sold out. Twelve Unlikely Heroes gives you a straightforward glimpse into the lives of others in the Bible and maybe even to reflect on your own life and worthiness as seen through the eyes of God.

As I read the book I was able to look at my life in ministry and shout a heartfelt AMEN! for being one of the chosen; an unlikely hero in my own right. Living the life of a new creation and understanding that it's not my past that interests God, it's the future that He has destined me to and how stepping into that purpose is what He's waiting for.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

That's Enough About My Hair



A lady stopped me the other day to compliment me on my hair...then she asked me when did I "go natural," how long had I been.  Why do some assume we all had perms and had to "go natural."  I did get a relaxer, back in the 80s, but I only did that for a short time. It was almost a hairdo. It was definitely not a lifestyle. I have worn my natural hair 41 of my 42 years. I never considered myself as one going natural. The state of my hair is the one that always was. I think we should all be a bit more classy about how we address one another. She could have stopped at, "your hair is so pretty, can you tell me how you do that style?"

The style, by the way, is a flat twist out (a two strand twist that is twisted similar to a cornrow, starting with a small section, divided in two, then picking up a bit of hair on each twist and joining it into one of the two sections as you work your way down the parted section). I washed my hair and while wet and very well conditioned combed it all to one side, then parted from my left temple across my head to the right and flat twisted one section at a time for a total of 6 sections. I wore it like that for a day while it dried completely. (I could have just sat under the dryer...but  the style was cute enough). Then I un-twisted them and fluffed the parts away.

Beautiful large curls.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Notecards






White on Black is so much fun! These are a set of notecards I designed. For sale. $7 for the set of three.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What My Auntie Did!


Look at the beautiful Potting Shed of my Aunt La'Rhett. She did such a marvelous job. Inspires me to create, but then again, what doesn't? You just have to love the country charm of it. I obviously didn't get my "brown thumbs" from her or my mom. Potting shed? Ha! It would be a plant mortuary at my house.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Inspirations

Pinterest is my new inspiration.

All the things I have been creating or planning to create because of Pinterest is a ever-growing list. I have been inspired to draw, paint, sew, crochet, write, craft, cook, bake....

So the last few things I was inspired to do were to make French Toast Waffles! The kids loved them.

A loaf of whole wheat bread, french toast batter and my Belgium Waffle Iron.

Make an Owl Doodle!
So really, how cool is that?

Make a toilet paper roll owl!
And now, I guess owls are my new "thing!"

I was even inspired to organize my kitchen drawers...and use a new technique to wash every towel in the house...


Today...spend the day with family and friends!
Happy Independence Day!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Angular


I have been wanting to make a triangle quilt. Actually, I have been coveting the one on the wall on Fons and Porter Love of Quilting show but could not find the pattern for that quilt on their website. But the Internet is full of resources and resourceful people. I am starting to believe that really, there is nothing new, now we just have access to it all.

I found a website with what I wanted a couple of days ago, but now I can't find it. I even left a comment. Sheesh. So I can't give credit, but, like I said, there is nothing new, so I am sure there are many others giving instructions too.

This isn't meant to be, so it's not much of a tutorial, but I will show and tell what I did. 

First I had to look for my triangle ruler. I have a "Quilt in a Day" triangle that is 5 inches from the longest angle to the side opposite.

The other tools I needed were my sewing machine, cutting mat, straight ruler, rotary cutter, scissors, and *sigh* my seam ripper. 
I pulled out a variety of scraps. I'm not too much for a mish-mash of colors, so I went for monochrome and blue which seems to be my go-to. I found 7 blues and two beige. I cut 5" strips and started cutting triangles (sorry, I didn't take a pic of this part). 

Lay the triangle on the strip where the longest angle (which has no tip on the ruler) touches the top and the opposite edge touches the bottom. Cut off the end (scrap bag) and cut the other end. *Pull away your triangles and flip the ruler. Set it against the cut edge and cut.

Okay, so now with all those triangles, I cut off the points. I used my triangle ruler and just turned it to use as a guide and lopped off the points. 

I cut out 150 triangles and then laid them all out.

So, this is where I messed up. I laid out all the triangles and played with the layout and colors and decided that I would just throw caution to the wind and toss them all in a bowl and randomly pull them out and stitch. I did that and matched to edges and sewed...74 sets of them, I sewed. I cut them apart and that's when I realized I sewed them all wrong!



The correct way is to flip one triangle onto the one next to it. ONLY ONE SIDE will line up!!! There are bunny ears on the other side. 

So I un-sewed all those little seams and re-sewed them...
I figured I would have completed the quilt in the time it took me to take all those triangles apart... Live and learn...

Then they all looked like this...
For my lap quilt I ended up with 8 rows of 15 triangles. 
Yeah, I know...I had to un-sew the last one on each row. I didn't really think all this through...remember when I tossed them all in the bowl?

Here's the finished triangles. 

But I'm not finished yet! I need to square up and add borders, batting, backing and quilt it.

Right now it measures about 
31" x 36" minus the points I will cut in half on the sides when I square up.


I will probably add 4" of border before I finish. The finished quilt top should measure approximately 35" x 40".



Friday, June 15, 2012

"The Beauty Book" by Nancy Rue



I read The Beauty Book because I thought this would be a perfect book for my 8 year old daughter. I was right. The book exceeded my expectations. An easy read, that isn't preachy at all. It's more of a workbook, using fun quizzes and fill-ins, the book is very interactive. And, the best part, is that in it's entirety, The Beauty Book points straight to God. Quoting scripture and answering questions about the norms in beauty in society. It also addresses what God thinks of her and the decisions she makes.

There are question and answer sections in each chapter. Girls have asked beauty questions and Nancy Rue answers them in a very straightforward way. I was tickled to see the author acknowledge the authority, knowledge and wisdom of the parents. Not giving the reader an out. Nancy Rue even addresses whining and the "gimmes," and that part of being beautiful is acting beautiful.

The Beauty Book stays in it's lane and avoids the most personal topics making this book perfect for the preteen. The last chapter of the book skims over puberty and introduces the next book in this series.

Beautiful illustrations add to the delight of The Beauty Book-- something that my preteen certainly enjoys.

I give The Beauty Book Five Stars...

I received a copy of The Beauty Book by Nancy Rue from Thomas Nelson Publishers for free as a member of Booksneeze. In return I am asked to give an honest review of the book. You can join Booksneeze by just following the link and signing up.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Kid's Blue Jeans Scrappy Quilt

I made a quilt over the last two days. It's a lap size made from scraps of my kids old blue jeans. The instructions are at equilters.com. So I took that idea and chose not to put the contrasting colors in the center of the squares. So...This is what I learned and my gentle critique of the equilters pattern.


  • I used the lid from a container I had. It's about 5 inches or so across. I cut out 103 circles. I had three extra and ended up with a lap quilt 36" square.  
  • Making the square inside each circle proved to be the most difficult part of the whole project. I never did get that quite right and as I sewed the flaps down I found that I had a hard time matching up the lines and then I ended up with little gaps where four patches met on parts of the quilt. 
  • Seams, though are really cool design elements, are problematic. If I do this again, I will avoid the seams.
  • Stretchy jeans are bad. Use jeans without stretch. 
  • EASY!!! Once I had all the circles cut and started sewing them all together the work progressed really fast.
  • The effect of this quilt is really, really nice. 

I'm updating because I washed it today and took it outside to show the colors better. I LOVE IT!



Sunday, May 6, 2012

I am going to draw

I am going to draw today.
I am determined because God has allowed me time for writing and now I want to draw.
I need to draw.
(give a woman an inch and she'll want a mile)
So today
With paper and pencil in hand
I am going to draw.

My determination is in a book that I am going to self publish.

Stand by...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jesus is the Reason

I was online and found these really cute marshmallow lambs. I followed the links and could not get to the instructions. So, being the innovative person that I am, I cam up with my own!
Here they are and a video that shows how they are made:

So easy and so fun...Marshmallow Lamb Treats


I hope you enjoy making them...and sharing them! 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Review - Proverbs Reconstructed

I received a free copy of this book from Thomas Nelson, I received nothing in return for this review and I am not employed by Thomas Nelson.

I review for BookSneeze®

Disappointment is all that I have for this book. I had high hopes and selected this book because we are studying Proverbs at church. But the book is set up to be grouped by subject. I downloaded the book onto my Kindle and it was very hard to navigate. I couldn't find specific chapter and verse and when I did it was grouped with other on the same topic but not necessarily with the same context and never able to navigate to the next verse from there. I found it very hard to study the Proverbs with Gus Dallas' book. I had hoped the book would be a good study tool. It was not.

A reader looking for specific Proverbs on a certain topic would find this book useful. The contents are actually listed by topic. So on my Kindle I went to the contents and selected a topic. If I selected money it took me straight to Proverbs on money. (Kind of like a thesaurus) Then the book lists verses that mention money (good) and then a list of verses that mention money (bad).

Overall, I guess, for the sake of newsletters and devotionals, "Proverbs Reconstructed" is a suitable addition to the Christian's library. But if I were giving it stars, I'd be hard pressed to give it three.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

It's Spring!

It is spring and the flowers are blooming. I love this time of year. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right!

There is a tree across the street from my house that has been struggling with the change in season. You see, that tree has believed we have already had spring twice this year, donning a bouquet of white blooms, making noses run and throats itch through the winter months.  My husband, who suffers greatly with allergies is not having fun, but the bees are surely enjoying the early treat have come and gone and come and gone.

And bees, as Winnie the Pooh suggests,  mean honey, and where I live, that means honey sticks at the local farmers market. The treats and visions of spring. Kinda makes you smile.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Book Review - "Rumors of God"

I received a free copy of Rumors of God by Darren Whitehead and Jon Tyson 
 from Thomas Nielsen to review. It has been sitting in my bag for a long time. It's not that the book was a bad read, it just didn't capture me. I think Rumors of God is good for a new Christian or to revive an old Christian, but I found it to be a bit redundant and dragging. I felt like screaming, "OK! I've got it!" several times as the authors rambled on.  Rumors of God did inspire me to get up off my you-know-what and get to work in the ministry. I enjoyed the laid back tone of the book. I felt like I was sitting in the room with "Darren" and "Jon." I recommend the book as a quick and easy read for anyone who simply doesn't have the time to do an in-depth study. You will still feel like you have been fed.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pliars and Rings

I've had this desire to make jewelry. But really? Like I need another "thing." So I have put it off. But for January I have joined a craft-a-long (for lack of a better term). This lovely group of Christian women on Ravelry have decided to make a craft a month. The craft for January is this cute pair of chain maille earrings. Here's my earrings:
 

The first pair is following these directions. The second pair is my attempt at just copying a pair I saw online. I'm probably hooked, but what do you do? It's in my blood.