Faith. Family. Friends. Love. Home life... so fun!


Friday, May 31, 2013

I'm going to quit blogging...

Here, anyway ;)!!!
How many of you caught my announcement this morning in my (late) Thankful Thursday post that that post would be the last Thankful Thursday post here? How many of you suspected that "here" meant this blog, and how many of you thought that it meant I was going to discontinue my favorite category of posts?!
No, I wouldn't quit Thankful Thursdays. But I am moving to a new blog :).
Since Mommy came up with this really neat name for a blog that featured Thankful Thursdays :), when I had been meaning to change my blog name anyway (and didn't know how to make my blog address match the title without old readers losing it :)), and since I found the latest background on the Plumrose Lane site and loved it, and since I had wanted to work with my sidebar anyway, and many other things that happened :)... I just decided to go with a new blog, partly so that I wouldn't have to work around stuff, partly because I didn't want to lose all my posts on this blog doing something disastrous, and partly just because I thought that this was too much change for a well-seasoned blog ;)... Anyway....
So, those who are still interested in updates from my blog, head on over to "Forget Not His Benefits" at! I look forward to seeing you there :)!!!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits" 
        ~Psalms 103:2

Thankful Thursday, week 60

This week I am thankful for....
~Fun with Tori creating things Wednesday.
~Music notes.
~Coming to the end of a book we have been trying to read for a year. We enjoyed the book, but it is also nice to know how it ends ;).
~Feather dusters.
~Tatted split rings, and the fun new pattern I made using them. I'll wait to show what it looks like until it is up on the Hidden Treasures site, though ;).
~Peter's snuggles.
~A chat with a very dear friend Wednesday :).
~Trips to the park.
~Our back yard.
~Fun with the camera :).
~That somebody looked at our house yesterday...
~Crazy yarn,
~being used on the birthday present Emmi asked for... I thought it was so sweet that she had a specific request!
~Lime chicken soft tacos :).
~Tori's sense of humor, heeheehee :)...
~Beading wire waiting to be used.
~Singing hymns together in the car.
~Abbi's excitement at "playing chess" with Tori.
~Peter's love of all things music.
~This last day to finish up all the items for the next auction, get ready for Emmi's birthday tomorrow, and get everything ready for Daddy to come home tonight :). We're going to be busy!
~And my last Thankful Thursday post here...

"Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!"
                          ~Psalms 148:1

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Just a couple thoughts on Exodus 10...

"Then Pharaoh's servants said to him, “How long shall this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve the Lord their God. Do you not yet understand that Egypt is ruined?” Exodus 10:7
I was reminded of something that I have read many times over the past couple weeks when I read those words...
"For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” ~Romans 9:17
God could have used anybody to bring the Israelites out of Egypt. Anybody could have been Pharaoh at that time. But God chose this Pharaoh to be ruler at that time, and he chose not to break his heart to the will of the Lord. Why? I know that that is what many of the Egyptians were asking as they watched first their land, then their possessions, and eventually even their families be destroyed. But the answer is given clearly in Romans. It was the best way to show God's power. The story would be so supernatural, so full of the works of the Lord, that it would be shared all over the world. God would be able to save many, even while showing his power over Pharaoh. Did you know that every plague the Lord used was connected with one of Egypt's "gods"? The darkness, the frogs, the deaths, were all to show how powerless all Egypt's gods were. From "Mathematics: Is God Silent", in one of the footnotes:

"The ten plagues were (along with the Egyptian god judged:)
1 Nile turned to blood (the Nile was the sacred giver of life.)
2 Swarm of frogs (Egyptians saw the frog as sacred.)
3 Plague of lice (no Egyptian could approach a sacred altar with lice.)
4 Plague of flies (Beelzebub, the lord of the flies, was worshiped to remove flies.)
5 Diseased cattle (Egyptians worshiped the whole animal creation.)
6 Plague of boils (started with ashes from the furnace of the Egyptian god Typhon- this furnace was a place of human sacrifice.)
7 Thunder and hail (Egyptians worshiped all the forces of nature.)
8 Plague of locust brought with the wind (wind was another force of nature worshiped.)
9 The sign of darkness (the Egyptian god, Ra, is shown to be powerless.)
10 Death of the firstborn (this included the firstborn of Pharaoh who was worshiped as a god.)"

 I love reading two sections of scripture at a time just for this reason; there are so many correlations between them, that actually give you more insights into each individual passage :)!
Another part that really stood out to me was Exodus 10:10... "But he said to them, “The Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go!"  I find it interesting that Pharaoh himself said that if he let them go, it was an act of God! I wonder what his thoughts were when he eventually let them go? Obviously it wasn't repentance to the Lord. We are given the account that the Egyptian army ended up at the bottom of the red sea, after they chased the Israelites down. But did he realize the irony of that sentence that came from his own lips? "If I let you leave, it proves that your God really does exist, and is the only true God." I wonder if it was the remembrance of this statement that made him change his mind that final deadly time? Just a thought, but I wouldn't be surprised. Remember, the Egyptians viewed Pharaoh as a god. Being under the true God could have pushed him out of power. 
The final thought was less important, but verse 14, "The locusts came up over all the land of Egypt and settled on the whole country of Egypt, such a dense swarm of locusts as had never been before, nor ever will be again." made me think of the "Little House on the Prairie" books, where Laura Ingalls Wilder reccounts the story of that summer when the grasshoppers came and destroyed everything. Most of us have read that book, and we have read how the grasshoppers covered "every blade of grass", and thought about how awful that must have been. But the Egyptian plague was so big it was "never seen before, nor ever will be again". That just helped me to see a little bit more just how plagued they were by grasshoppers!
It is amazing what we will bring on ourselves in an attempt to defy the Lord. But I think it is even more amazing to see God's grace to us. We all disobey, just as the Egyptians did then. But in His great mercy, he holds out to us grace and forgiveness. How blessed we are!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thankful "Thursday", week 59

I have had so much to be thankful for over the past week (and a half... I'm late again, very! ;P...). It is kind of hard to know where to start!..
~That Daddy may (may...) have found a house to rent in VA. As long as we're approved, he found one ;). We'll see...
~And the time we had with him last week.
~The fun outing that Mommy and I took.
~The time at the park we had as a family while Daddy was home (due to someone looking at the house...).
~That the Lord has given us the ability to cook.
~That we finished the yard the other day before we got the call...
~... that somebody was coming to look at our house. I am always thankful when someone looks at it. Now I am even more thankful that they usually give us more than forty-five minutes to leave ;). But now we know how fast we can leave the house when we need to! Haha ;)!
~The flowers on our squash plants!
~And the pea pods on the pea plants :).
~The yummy rolls Tori made us the other day!
~The book "So Much More", by Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin.
~Cinnamon Swirl bread.
~All the special blessings that the Lord sends when you least expect it.
~Notes of encouragement.
~Being able to read through Exodus with Bethi :). (I'm caught up again, yay! Thankful for that, too :).)
~The funny little dance Peter does when he sees ice cream, heeheehee :).
~Being able to sit down and draw. Even if it is just something small, I really enjoy it. And while designing a card earlier, I got really eager to do something more "time consuming" ;), with art again :). Maybe after Emmi's birthday (coming up June 1st) :)!
~The lettuce that we were able to eat straight from the garden today :). If we have to still be here to take care of the garden, at least we're getting the benefits!
~Fun tatting this afternoon!... tatting a bookmark for the next Hidden Treasures auction :). There are still four whole days until that starts, if you want to send something in :)!

"Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!"
                                                    ~1 Chronicles 16:10

Tatted music note bookmark

Like all of my other patterns, this was made using a tatting shuttle, and I have no clue how to tat using a tatting needle ;). This took a whole lot of experimenting, haha, and Daddy eventually helped me after even looking for patterns online failed to work (although this one was great in many ways, in fact, I included many aspects of it into my own pattern, and love the treble clef, I can't wait to try that :)!!!) ;). Then, after it finally worked, I gave it immediately as a gift to a friend, without getting pictures :P! But, I've finally got the pattern written down, another one made, and pictures taken, so, here it is! After I knew what I was doing (and even, for the most part, before :)), it was so much fun :).

Music Note bookmark pattern

Two shuttles 
size ten crochet thread
 1st SR: 6 - 5/6 - 3 - 2
LCh: 1 ds + (to last picot of previous ring) 6 ds
2nd SR: 4/2
3rd SR: 3/3
4th SR: 3/3
5th SR: 3/3
6th SR : 4/2
 LCh: 6 ds, leave picot-sized uts, 1 ds
7th SR: 6 - 5/2+(to uts of last LCh)4-6
Cut off and tie.
Attach thread at 6th SR
Leave approx. five inches (more or less as desired) of uts.
Top ring: 5-5-5-5. Close ring. 

Tatting abbreviations:
(numbers, (8, 5, and 1)) equals number of double stitches to tat.
(-) equals picot
ds equals double stitch
(+) equals join to picot of previous ring
LCh equals lock chain
SR equals split ring
uts equals un-worked thread space 

I promise it isn't as hard as it looks, you just have to know all the steps (particularly lock chains and split rings... ahem....) before you start, and hopefully not have a deadline of twelve hours (which, thankfully, turned into a week, haha!), and really, I think this may have been my favorite pattern so far. I love patterns that have different techniques scattered throughout, although I have nothing against repetition :).

Friday, May 24, 2013

Just a reminder of this giveaway...

This giveaway, being held on the blog "A Prefect Lily", to help bring Penny home...
Still needs just about one thousand dollars...
If you donate here, you can enter the drawing here...
And help TWO little girls come home! Because little Julia now has a family, too :)!!!

Also, the next Hidden Treasures auction is just a week away! They can always use prayers, bidders, and donations of handcrafted items, gift cards, gently used items, (maybe items that you have won in a drawing?... ;)...) and the list goes on! It has really been amazing to see all the neat and creative listings that have been posted over the past several months! The two little children that this auction will help, Elaina and Ethan, are just as important to the Lord as Penny and Julia, and we can help bring all four of these little ones home!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Another Laughables post :)...

Just a couple random tidbits that I thought were funny :)...

I was asking someone to hang up one of Emmi's dresses the other day, and Emmi piped up "Yes, in my day, we ALWAYS "hang-ed" it up!"

Bethi, while reading her bible the other day... "Moses wrote Exodus?! I thought he died in the middle Exodus!"
Tori and I answered, "Yes, he wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy."
"Oh, okay. I thought he died."
"Not in Exodus, but he does in Deuteronomy."
Blank look.
"Someone finished it for him, probably Joshua."
I should have told her that Joshua dead before his book, duly named Joshua, was finished, also...

Abbi the other day was looking out the window, and she said "I wish Daddy could stay with us always." Bethi, wanting to know why she voiced that desire at that moment, asked her why. Abbi took it as though Bethi didn't want him to stay home, though, and was thoroughly shocked ;). "Bethi!" she exclaimed. "Because I love him!!! I wish Daddy would sell all of his books (remember, Daddy works at a bookstore ;)) so that he could stay home!..." She is so sweet!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Confessions of an over-achiever

"Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord." Romans 12:11
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" Ephesians 2:8-9
I'm an over achiever. Most of you may already know this; those of you who don't, probably haven't been reading this blog for even a week ;). I'm told I get it from my Dad; I'd argue that I'm worse (at least Daddy has brains to go with it. Somehow my brilliant ideas always seem to backfire, and I create a mess!). I'm told, usually, that this characteristic can be a blessing to others... I am also told, at times, when it is three o'clock in the morning and I may be working on dishes, that it can seem like a curse to the weary, hahaha! I have also been told that it started young; "She has rearranged my kitchen again!... I can't find anything!". I hear this was a frequent remark Daddy heard from Mommy when I was four. Emmi is my buddy, and it's starting to show. I'll include this snippet of trivia that I wrote a while ago to prove it:

We (Emmi and I) went to tell the others good night before going to bed (since we are trying to sell the house, we had to move a bed downstairs, so Emmi and I ended up moving down, too, for the time being.). Emmi headed down the stairs, while I was still talking to Tori. When I finally got downstairs myself, I found Emmi in our room with a pile of freshly washed cloth diapers. She looked up and informed me "I'll fold the washcloths. You fold the diapers."

So what was the point of those facts? To prove that I really am an over achiever. Because that is why this verse made me think... "Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord." Romans 9:11.
What is zeal?
Zeal: Ardor, as for a cause, fervent. (Webster's Student Dictionary)
Do not be slothful in zeal; zeal for what? To see the windows sparkle? The clothes folded? That to-do list shrinking? Or something bigger?
Something like living for the Lord? Blessing others in his name? Honoring him with every breath?
Zeal for the Lord: To live for the cause of his name, fervent in our passion to serve him.
It is easy for me to understand "zeal". And yet, do I really understand zeal for the Lord? When I push aside the urge to go pray and ask the Lord for strength to get through something with the fact that "there is too much to do", neglect to pause and consider whether this is really important to the Lord, what am I living in zeal for? My own agenda, or the glory of God?
Yes, it is easy for me to understand zeal in my own definition. But true zeal for the Lord will set aside my own ideals when they conflict with the work that God has for me, when they get in the way of lessons he is trying to teach me, when they replace my zeal for him. I should serve him with more zeal than I finish my to do list. Without being slothful. Without pushing it aside. Without thinking it too hard.
On the flip side, though... "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast" Ephesians 2:8-9. Not even a zeal to obey the teachings of Christ will save us. Christ's sacrifice, his gift, his calling us to faith in him, is all that will save us. Not even if we, by our own imperfect "goodness", serve him with all zeal, will we have hope without a gift of faith being granted to us. 
So that no man may boast. Not in their own goodness. Not in their own work. Not in their own achievements. But in the grace of Jesus Christ. Grace that I pray that I may learn to love more, to serve with true faith and zeal in that grace.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thankful Thursday, week 58

This week I am especially thankful for...
~The adventures of Abbi... more importantly, that she has survived those adventures.
~Our fifteen passenger van :)...
~...That we were able to clean last night ;)...
~The Peake railroad trails.
~A picnic and hike with dear friends.
~That my siblings and our friends were able to get such a kick out of finding some sun-bleached bones on the trails today ::shudder::...
~Tiny hands in mine.
~Lavender spray (it smells good, and is an insect repellant!)
~Wild strawberries.
~That our peas have flowers on them... so fun :)!
~Also, I think our bell pepper plants are coming up :).
 ~Sewing needles.
 ~That somebody else looked at our house tonight :).
~That I was able to finish copying out the last chapter of the second half of Romans today :).
~That we can trust God to save us by faith, and do not have to work for our salvation.
~All the forms of writing that are open for those who love to write :)... of which group I happen to be a member (oh, side note to prove my point: Mommy was printing two recipes for a friend. She got the first one, off of Tammy's Recipes, and save the file as "Homemade bread"... then saved mine, which is our altered version (which I wrote for a friend and posted on my blog), "Bri's monologue"...)
~The books I have been enjoying lately :).
~Quotes like this...
"What I need is a more thankful heart to the 
"Giver of every good and perfect gift"
         ~"Stonewall" Jackson, to his bride
           "Beloved Bride", by William Potter
~That Daddy is on his way home!

 "Bless the LORD, all his works, 
in all places of his dominion. 
Bless the LORD, O my soul!"
                         ~Psalms 103:22

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reading through God's word

I have read through many bible readings plans the last couple years. Three months, a Proverb a day for a month, one year (which turned into seven months... I don't think I did that one right, haha ;).), reading through the same passage fifty days in a row, and a friend and I were working on reading through the bible in six months when we decided to jump into Romans. We plan on finishing that after Romans :). I have done them alone, with a group of friends, with Tori, with just one friend, and, as far as Romans goes, with a group I don't even know who all it includes ;), thanks to Grace Mally's invitation to those who wanted to join her. But I had never done one with Bethi!
Bethi was going to start a one year bible reading plan on the first of May. About the (tenth?... I think...), she asked me where I was at in Genesis. I gave her a blank look, haha :). I told her I was in Romans, and she gave me a blank look. Come to find out, she thought that I was joining her in her reading plan (although we never talked about it before she started, I didn't know until she started that she was planning on it!). She was truly disappointed that I wasn't, it made me kind of sad :P. I decided to do the best I could to catch up, and have finally caught up with her... It is really precious to see her face light up when she hears that I am going to go read my day's chapters in Genesis :). She runs and grabs her bible, and we will sit together and read :). I have enjoyed it immensely, and I can tell it means a lot to her :). I am so proud of her (and Tori, who is doing a six months reading plan with Mommy!) though, because I know at her age I rarely read more than a chapter a day... I am so glad that they are already into studying God's word and growing in him! I have been struck several times with the fact that if I had started really studying the word when I was younger, instead of squishing one chapter in because reading the bible was the right thing to do, and I couldn't justify reading less than a chapter... How much more I would have gained! I don't think that I read the bible cover-to-cover once before I was twelve, I kind of skipped around, with no real purpose (not that I see skipping as bad, if you are doing it to study, it is just that I couldn't stay in the same book for more than a month... and since Genesis is fifty chapters long, and I only read a chapter a day, I rather failed at making it cover to cover... badly!). It is sad to think of all the time I wasted, but I am so glad to see my younger siblings already actively searching God's word and I am so thankful for the chance to study it now :)!!!

As for some news, Daddy arrives home tomorrow night, after we spend a day with some friends, and keep ourselves out of the house so that we aren't in the way while someone else comes to look at it :)! We are praying that this will be it, and yet we know that it may not be... it is hard to wait for God's timing sometimes, but I know the wait will have been worth it when we look back at it five years from now. Also, my math was "absolutely" fun today.. "absolutely" shocking, right? Heehee :). But, really... it was "absolute values" :)...
I need to go now... I have to weed eat the yard, and we still have to finish up a couple other things, yet, today, so that we are ready to leave early tomorrow...