Joy In The Mail

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This past week has been really busy. After a very long winter and an unreal wet spring, the farmers in our area were finally back in the field.

The river has been behaving again and so have the days. They have been breezy, warm (almost hot) and drying. There are still many wet holes in fields but farmers are now farming around them.

Some farmers do venture close to those muddy areas and do end up getting stuck. It has been a very normal thing this year to see Facebook posts with photos of tractors and equipment up their axles in mud.

The other day, my husband came to the house and said he needed my assistance. He and his tractor had ventured to close to an area that looked fine, but was way too wet. We did get it unstuck without to much trouble and it was decided that area would not get planted this year. (There is probably a life lesson in there somewhere.)

I am also still waiting to finish planting my vegetable garden, but I hesitate to mention it because I need the assistance of my farmer husband and he is quite preoccupied this week.  I know it will eventually all get planted….late…but that is better than not at all!

In the middle of all this odd planting season a bit of joy arrived in my mailbox. The picture above is a card from a blogging friend of mine. (moreinkplease). She knew I had been making jean quilts for my grandkids and she also knew the challenges we were facing with farming this year.

I am in awe of her talent at card making  skills (and yes she does sell them and I hope she puts a link to that in the comment section!) Here is the link for her Facebook page…Late Blooming Designs by beverly. I am also loving how she knew exactly the words to write to ease this farm wife’s heart and soul. She is an amazing example of how a few words can say and do so much.

Let’s finish this week following her example. Let’s encourage each other through the hard parts. Let’s see those who are stuck in the mud holes of life and the literal mud holes. Let’s offer words of hope. It doesn’t have to be big….a quilted card can bring a lot of joy! 

“Be humble,
be simple,
and bring joy to others.”
– Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

 

 

 

 

Card Making and Youth

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I spent some time a couple weeks ago preparing to help with a girls organization called GEMS. This is a church related group that always has a theme verse for the year. I found out that this year it is one of my favorite verses… Micah 6:8 ” He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

My part of the evening was going to be helping with the craft and I was going to help with card making. Last week, was the week I got to have the fun of helping out with that group of girls.

20171106_143517_Film1.jpgIt was a little hard to decide what type of cards I was going to prepare for a group of young girls. It is always kind of an experimental thing knowing what someone else will like. Of course I had to include a chicken card!

They did seem to like that one and it was fun to hear the stories of moms and grandmas who also had chickens. It was also fun to try figure out if I knew those moms and grandmas!

The stamps for the chicken cards were a set from Stampin’ Up called “Hey Chick”. I love this set for obvious reasons! Some gold, white, and navy cardstock, markers to color chicks with and we had a finished card.

The other two cards we made, are in the picture at the top. Not quite as “fun” but they still had a good time making them. All the stamps used on these three cards were from various set from Stampin’ Up. The cardstock and paper came from a variety of places…..Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, Stampin’ Up and some really old scraps from Creative Memories. (Nope I don’t get any compensation for mentioning where the stuff comes from….just thought it might be helpful.)

Watching those girls make cards and listening to their comments was wonderful. It gives me great hope for the future. These girls were polite, full of funny comments and they freely helped each other with ideas for their cards.

It should probably be mandatory for everyone over a certain age to spend time with young people. Their view on life can make a person feel young again and see that the future is full of promise. They give you the feeling that anything is possible and bring a joy to life that is catchy.

I have always told my kids that my goal is to get old but not grow up……and after that evening I know why. (Oh….and my kids have assured me that I am doing just fine on my goal.)

It is good to have the joy of a young person. It is good to see the endless possibilities in life. Some days are easier than others to find that joy but it is a wonderful thing when you do. I pray this finds you full of joy and possibilities.

 

The good thing about being young is that you are not experienced enough to know you cannot possibly do the things you are doing.
Unknown

Youth is not a question of years:
one is young or old from birth.
Natalie Clifford Barney

Rainy Days…..

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The last couple days we have been enjoying some really nice weather that gave us a taste for summer…..at least it gave me a taste for those warm summer days.  This morning our territory was once again sent back to a rainy, gray day. I have to admit it really wasn’t so bad once my husband got the woodstove going…….in fact it was downright cozy sitting in my living room today.

It seemed like the perfect type of day to do a little more card making. I think I was rather inspired by the day I spent card making with my sister last week. This time around I only made one type.

After sorting through my stash of stuff I discovered a bag of cards and envelopes I had purchased at a second hand store. One grouping of ten looked promising to be re-purposed into Thank You cards.  The only thing I needed to cover was a small square on the front that originally had featured a pair of wine glasses .

I made some small blue squares for that space and stamped the Thank You stamp from the set, Lotus Blossom.  I then used Stampin Up sets; Gorgeous Grunge, Four Feathers, and the Feather Framelits Die Set to cut the feathers out. I used a brad to attach them to the card stock……and I was good to go.

I was pretty pleased how they turned out……especially using repurposed note cards.  Now I need to spend some time writing in them. I have people I need to thank for the graciousness I have been shown in the last couple weeks. My husband and I are amazed at the visits, food, and well wishes sent our way since my surgery.

All those actions have filled my heart.  It seemed fitting to make these cards on a rainy day that is sustaining the earth with moisture.  Just as the rain waters the ground….. so many of you have watered my soul with your caring and love.

Life truly is about relationship and I have witnessed true relationship so often these last weeks while I have been recuperating and it is beautiful.  I am so grateful for all of you.   You truly set the standard for caring. It has challenged me to pass that caring on to the next person in need of it. You have paved the way and have been an inspiration……I am blessed and I thank you.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you…”
John 15:12

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verse-about-helping-others-21-top-scriptures/#ixzz4cll6o200

Card Making and Sister Time

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I had a great day spending time with my little sister making cards today. In the weeks before surgery we picked this date as a good day to get my mind off recuperating and onto something fun.

She came before noon with dinner in hand…..chicken, broasted potatoes, and cactus bread from our local Pizza Ranch. That was a great way to start and was delicious!  Once eating was out of the way we got down to figuring out what cards we wanted to make.

She got her “stuff” out of her vehicle and then we scavenged through my craft cupboards. We also looked through Pinterest to find ones we thought we could make with what we had. The picture above shows the ones we decided on and ones we put our twist on.

We decided early on that perfection was not the goal.  This was a good decision as our cards ended up not always so perfect. The stamps and ink we used were mainly ones from Stampin Up. Our cardstock and paper came from anywhere we could get them. (Michaels, Ben Franklin and/or Hobby Lobby).

We spent a lot of time today making cards; but what was so much fun was the time spent visiting about anything and everything. We rehashed past surgeries, family history, good jokes we had heard, recipes we have tried and so many other topics. It was a good day spent laughing and connecting.

The time spent turned an ordinary day into something more. It turned it into a time of family and the memories that family carries. We have already made plans to do this again….only next time we are inviting the other sisters and friends. I have one sister who tells us that, “crafts make her sweat.” She will also be invited and we will try to make it as sweat free as possible!

The thing to remember is not what the cards end up looking like ……but how much fun it was gathering to make them. So much of life is like that….it is not what you accomplish but how and who, you accomplish it with.

What do you like to do with your sisters? What makes for a great time spent with your family?

May your weekend be filled with family, friends and fun. May you make memories that will last a lifetime and be the kind you can’t wait to revisit when you gather.

“The only ones who truly know your story are the ones who helped you write it.”
Unknown

 

Nailing Jello to a Tree

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Years ago when we were raising our sons I read somewhere that raising children was rather like nailing jello to a tree.  I always thought that was a pretty apt description. This weekend I once again got to experience that feeling with two different groups of kids.

Sunday morning, after church, I filled in for a Sunday school teacher who needed to be gone. I taught (or should I say I attempted to teach) a group of nine first and second graders. If one could bottle the energy in that room it would be truly amazing what could all be powered by it.

I will say it was a tremendous amount of fun. Bribery of candy canes (not the missing ones from previous posts) was incredibly successful in keeping some semblance of control. They seemed fascinated by the story of Jesus and Matthew the tax collector. (It could have been my peanut butter jar of pennies that was fascinating….I am not totally sure.)

The peanut butter jar of pennies was for class participation. Each child was given some pennies prior to lesson time and told to hang on to them. (This had the added benefit of keeping their hands busy.) At a certain point in the story I became Matthew and collected their pennies. (The pennies were also returned at the end of class time as they had been attentive.) I recognize that some will not appreciate using bribery….but, at times, bribery will get you everywhere.

My other endeavor was being the “craft” lady for the 7th grade GEMS that met this Monday night. GEMS is kind of Christian Reformed Girls Scouts. They earn badges, do crafts, have Bible lessons etc. I was asked to help with the 7th graders as the craft was going to be making cards.

It had been a long time since I had been in the company of 7th grade girls.(And it has been even longer since I have been a 7th grade girl!)  I had kind of forgotten how giggly that age can be. After raising boys, this was an entirely different perspective. Never once have my sons “giggled”. They have guffawed, belly-laughed, snorked as they laughed but…..never ever giggled.

The card making went fairly well. Most of the trash ended up in the trash bin and most of the ink was stamped on the cards.  Everyone went home with three completed cards so I feel we were quite successful. For the cards; I basically went through my paper stash and used what I had on hand. The stamps used were all from Stampin Up as were the punches.

It would be kind of entertaining to know what perspective both of these groups had about “that lady” who came to class. Then again…..perhaps I don’t want to know! I have a feeling that the women who regularly teach these classes stay young at heart from dealing with those that are actually young.

I do admire those teachers. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment to teach and give your best to train kids. I have done the Sunday School job and it is not always easy. While it is not always easy……  it is always rewarding.

 

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.”
Harry Edwards

“There’s nothing more contagious than the laughter of young children; it doesn’t even have to matter what they’re laughing about.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy