Wednesday, June 16, 2010

God's Promises for Girls

This is a devotional book for girl's (and young ladies.) My daughter (18) and I read this book, and I will be giving it to my granddaughter for a gift. It is excellent. The drawings are adorable (though it could have been even more multi-cultural than it is) and printed on nice quality, glossy paper. Each topic is a 2 page spread. The first 4 lines give a summary of the topic - then applicable Bible verses are quoted. Younger girls will need to be instructed on how to use the book - or even better - read it together with a significant adult. As the years go by, the child will then be able to use it as a comforting devotional guide on their own. 

A devotional book is a great way to find help in time of need and learn to turn one's heart to God first in life's trials and complexities. This is a superb first devotional for girl's that can become a comfort to them well into adulthood. I highly recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Book Sneeze as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Friday, May 28, 2010

I Give Up - Goals Don't Work For Me....

Since I tried to organize and create focus by using goals - I have found that I am sinking, not moving forward. I probably try to do too much - but at the same time I do allow myself to at least just see progress not necessarily perfection - but not even that works.  I find my stress levels rising and then I begin avoiding - and then I get further behind. I'm changing tactics now and I am just going to do something every day and what will be, will be. 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Folded Gingham Giveaway

Those interested in blog giveaways might enjoy this site and prize. You can click on the title for the link to the blog. 

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Goals - Week 2

Hmmmm, should I go ahead and post the goals for Week 2 - even though I didn't finish Week 1? Can I be a super woman and finish all the goals of 1 & 2 in the next week? - or am I setting myself up for failure? I don't know - but let's move forward and see what happens.

1. Sew jacket

2. sew vintage PJ's

3. sew pants in muslin and fit them

4. cut out the pants in the fashion fabric

5. cut out lab jacket (for #2 son)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Embracing Your Second Calling by Dale Hanson Bourke

The subtitle for this book is, "Find Passion and Purpose for the Rest of Your Life." Dale Bourke writes in a homey and conversational tone making the reader feel right at home - and you need to feel comfortable as some of the topics can be tough to hear. I was in tears by the second page.  Dale Bourke takes the reader through a series of challenges and relates her personal experiences through the biblical filter of Naomi in the book of Ruth. 

The timing of this book is amazingly significant for me as my youngest child is about to graduate high school and I will soon be free from my homeschooling duties for the first time in over 18 years. I was very encouraged by Dale Bourke that God has definite, purposeful  plans for me for this next chapter in my life. She made me smile (after having made me cry) and gave me hope that God has much more planned for these upcoming years than I could ever imagine. 

My relationship with this book was a bit of a love-hate nature. I felt that there were just too many additional sources cited and too much emphasis placed on angst over being unattractive to men. There is also a definite slant to the professional woman and career. But at the same time I loved subject matter, the sidebars and calls to action, the inclusion of the book of Ruth, and the great bibliography. The personal stories also made the lessons much more real and captivating. 

Anyone facing this huge middle age change in life will find solace and inspiration in facing the next half of one's life in service for God. Don't be distracted by the parts you cannot relate to, rather embrace the heart of this book and the author's message of finding purpose in your "Second Calling".

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Goals - Week 1

1. Finish vintage slip

2. Finish Black oriental blouse

3. Finish blue blouse

4. Cut out jacket and lining  (maybe hat)

5. cut out vintage PJ's ~ DONE

6. cut out a mock up for pants

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Living Proof Live with Beth Moore

On April 16-17 a group of friends, the Princess, and I went to a Living Proof Live event in the Tampa area featuring speaker Beth Moore. It was excellent.  Beth gave us permission to post the outline of her topic over that Friday evening and next Saturday morning. 

That Wild Thing We Call Family

Introduction: The perilous last days feature social issues 2 Timothy 3:1-5, and environmental issues Matthew 24.  People will (are) growing less and less attached to family - more hard-hearted. 

1. We increasingly lack family - are we deliberately teaching our daughters and granddaughters to be a lady? And our sisters in Christ as well?

2. We need family - people close enough to us to knock the rough edges off. We need depth of relationship - not just FaceBook friends. 

3. Family was meant to grow; not shrink. A. Christ came to birth a new family. B. Christ can also resurrect and old family. 

4. Any family can have calamity. Whining will never help us - get up and face it and battle it out. Do not fear brokenness - we are already broken, but God puts us back together!

5. Family calamity is most complicated when it comes as a consequence. 

6. Family calamity doesn't have to be irreparable.  Seek restoration  - seek peace. If the situation cannot be repaired - we don't have to be broken.  Isaiah 58:6-9 "...not turn away from your own flesh and blood."

7. Christ came to bring honor back to the family. 

8. We ARE family. Psalm 68:6 God sets the lonely in families. 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vintage Patterns

I love vintage patterns. Almost all my patterns are vintage to some degree. I do have a few new ones, but only a few - mostly for the Princess. I shop thrift stores (you can't beat 25 cents each!) and my favorite website - Momspatterns. Some folks also use Etsy and E-bay. If you go to the Dressaday blog there are also lots of links to vintage pattern sellers - but Momspatterns is my hands-down favorite. 

The photo above is my current vintage project and it is for the Princess's college wardrobe. It is a slip from the 1930's. The first version I am making is for a contest entry for the Pattern Review vintage pattern contest. This first version is a polyester crepe backed satin in white. I even learned to do french seams to be true to the vintage intent. After this one is done, I have plans for one in flannel backed satin, and another in black cotton interlock. The flannel backed satin will be great for extra warmth in the winter. The interlock version will function as a camisole on the top part - probably with a bit of lace edging. The bottom will function as an underskirt for a wraparound skirt to keep it modest when it falls open (as it seems to want to do.)  

Once you learn to look past the envelope art with its dated hair, fabrics, and accessories - and instead look at the actual silhouette of the  garment - you will be amazed that a skirt, is a skirt, is a skirt. Many times these older patterns are better made and have better instructions - depending on the decade. But once you venture back before the 1950's it was assumed you already knew the basics of sewing and the directions actually get really sparse - and the pattern tissue will probably have no printed guidelines on it, instead they use a series of holes and notches to show grain lines, darts, matching points and so on. They aren't really hard once you really study it, but it can still be intimidating. 

Don't overlook a great pattern just because it looks "old". They can be a lot of fun, save you money, and challenge your design ability. 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Trail Mix Apple Salad

Just made this up from a recipe in Reminisce Magazine - it is great ~ and healthy.  I think I will be making this for the week I bring the snack for my Friday night Bible study.

Trail Mix Apple Salad

2 apples, chopped into nice bite sized chunks

1 and 1/2 t. lemon juice

Mix these first 2 ingredients, then add:

4T. chopped walnuts

2T. sunflower kernels

2T. dried cranberries (Craisins)

4t. honey

(the recipe calls for 2t. flaxseed - I didn't have this so didn't add it)

1/4t. ground cinnamon

*Note - I get my nuts and seeds at a local SDA health store - they are great quality and low prices. The honey is from a local apiary.  This recipe easily adjusts to any amount of servings.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March Sewing Goals...

I need some accountability ~ 

I have a number of partially done projects that just need to get d-o-n-e. I have declared March the month to finish up the most glaring of these projects. In order, they are:

1. The robe portion of a Victorian  nightgown and robe set. I cut both pieces out (sigh) last year. I just finished the gown, but now have the robe about half done. I hope to finish it this week.

2. A quilted purse. I have had the pattern and fabric kit to make it for over a year. It is time. Pattern Review is having a contest to make a purse by the 15th of the month. This purse fits all the criteria - so it is second on my list to get done this month. 

3. The Princess' (gasp) Christmas dress - that is Christmas '09. I seem to have missed that deadline. It is about half done - I found the lace challenging - and it languished. It is time to get it done.

4. A black tropical weight jumper for me. I thought I had it done, but I need to do some fit adjusting. I want to make more versions of this same jumper for other seasons, so I do need to get the fit just right - and this month!

Bonus Round: Fix and finish a PJ set for one of the grandkids. 

I will post progress as I go.


1. - Done!

2. - Done!

3. - nothing  :(

4. -  almost done - I finished all but the buttons - but even though I made a mock-up first, I still managed to size it wrong. Thankfully it is too big rather than too small, but since it is wool I won't wear it until next winter now - so I will fix it in the fall. But I do plan to make the jumper up in some summer fabrics after the Princess's college wardrobe is done. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Three Cups of Tea

Another book I recently read; Three Cups of Tea. This is the youth version, actually. I often read the youth books, just to keep up with what they have available. This is the autobiographical account of a man who was challenged to begin schools in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I enjoyed the book, but do be aware it has a bit of a slant towards political correctness. That doesn't dampen the story, but since it is youth oriented they can be more susceptible to those overtones. 

It would be great to have all students read this. The emphasis on education for those that must struggle to get it puts our ingratitude to shame. Afghan girls would do their lessons in the open air and write times tables with sticks in the dirt - but yet they faithfully did those lessons in order to learn, even when a teacher could not be there. Our students can't seem to function without calculators and laptops. 

A good read, and can lead to many interesting discussions with your children.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Long Way Gone

I recently read this book. It was suggested to me by a friend since I had an interest in Sierra Leone. (see the T-shirt project by clicking  here.) This story, in first person, documents the journey of one young boy through the war and finally to his new home in the USA. While the events are horrific, it is told well and the gruesome details are only as much as is needed to tell the story. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homeschooling Family Granted Political Asylum


January 26, 2010

Homeschooling Family Granted Political Asylum

Immigration Judge Says Germany Violating Basic Human Rights

In a case with international ramifications, Immigration Judge Lawrence O. Burman granted the political asylum application of a German homeschooling family. The Romeikes are Christians from Bissinggen, Germany, who fled persecution in August 2008 to seek political asylum in the United States. The request was granted January 26 after a hearing was held in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 21.

“We can’t expect every country to follow our constitution,” said Judge Burman. “The world might be a better place if it did. However, the rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate.”
In Depth

Burman added, “Homeschoolers are a particular social group that the German government is trying to suppress. This family has a well-founded fear of persecution…therefore, they are eligible for asylum…and the court will grant asylum.”

In his ruling, Burman said that the scariest thing about this case was the motivation of the government. He noted it appeared that rather than being concerned about the welfare of the children, the government was trying to stamp out parallel societies—something the judge called “odd” and just plain “silly.” In his order the judge expressed concern that while Germany is a democratic country and is an ally, he noted that this particular policy of persecuting homeschoolers is “repellent to everything we believe as Americans.”
‘Embarrassing for Germany’

“This decision finally recognizes that German homeschoolers are a specific social group that is being persecuted by a Western democracy,” said Mike Donnelly, staff attorney and director of international relations for Home School Legal Defense Association. “It is embarrassing for Germany, since a Western nation should uphold basic human rights, which include allowing parents to raise and educate their own children. This judge understood the case perfectly, and he called Germany out. We hope this decision will cause Germany to stop persecuting homeschoolers,” he added.

The persecution of homeschoolers in Germany has been intensifying over the past several years. They are regularly fined thousands of dollars, threatened with imprisonment, or have the custody of their children taken away simply because they choose to home educate.

The Romeikes expressed relief when they heard the decision.

“We are so grateful to the judge for his ruling,” said Uwe Romeike. “We know many people, especially other German homeschoolers, have been praying for us. Their prayers and ours have been answered. We greatly appreciate the freedom to homeschool we now have in America and will be building our new life here,” he added.

Donnelly testified at the hearing on January 21, telling the immigration Judge that homeschoolers are persecuted all over Germany.
‘Ignoring the Truth’

“There is no safety for homeschoolers in Germany,” Donnelly said. “The two highest courts in Germany have ruled that it is acceptable for the German government to ‘stamp out’ homeschoolers as some kind of ‘parallel society.’ The reasoning is flawed. The fact is that homeschoolers are not a parallel society. Valid research shows that homeschoolers excel academically and socially. German courts are simply ignoring the truth that exists all over the world where homeschooling is practiced. They need to look beyond their own borders.”

In 2003 the highest administrative court in Germany, which interprets its federal Constitution, ruled in the Konrad case that it was permissible for parents who have jobs that require them to travel—such as circus performers and musicians—to homeschool, but homeschooling was prohibited for parents who wanted to for reasons of conscience. The highest criminal court said in the Paul-Plett case in 2006 that the government was allowed to take custody of children whose parents want to homeschool for reasons of conscience.

Donnelly challenged the reasoning of the German courts.

“It is ridiculous for German courts to say that homeschooling is allowed if you have practical reasons but disallowed if you have conscientious reasons,” Donnelly said. “This is simply about the German state trying to coerce ideological uniformity in a way that is frighteningly reminiscent of past history. Homeschooling is a growing social movement all over the world, and the Germans want to stamp it out based on a fabricated notion that homeschoolers are a ‘parallel society.’ Germany’s treatment of homeschooling families is worthy of condemnation from the international community. I am proud that a United States immigration judge recognized the truth of what is happening in Germany and has rendered this favorable decision for the Romeike family.”

German homeschoolers have been organizing and trying to draw the attention of German politicians. It has been difficult. Juergen Dudek is a homeschooling father who had been sentenced to 90 days in jail for homeschooling, but whose sentence was reduced to a $300 fine. He noted that officials in Germany have no appreciation for homeschoolers who think differently than the state.
‘Send a Loud Message’

“It is incredible to me that these officials give absolutely no weight to our faith or other conscientious objection to attendance at the public schools,” said Dudek. “We have had a number of families who are not homeschoolers, but who know that the German school system is failing, who called us to encourage us. In our re-hearing the judge issued a decision reducing our sentence from jail to a fine but was totally dismissive of our reasons for wanting to homeschool. We have always been encouraged by the support of American homeschoolers, and we hope that this decision will send a loud message to the German people that what our country is doing is wrong.”

A board member of the Netzwerk Bildungsfreiheit, an organization working for freedom for homeschoolers, said that the ruling would be helpful to homeschoolers in Germany.

“This decision reveals to the rest of the world that the German state acts outside the mainstream of Western democracies. Germany is in the company of countries like China, North Korea and others where fundamental human rights are not respected. Germany’s behavior exposes the totalitarian character of the German school law that takes away a parent’s right to educate their children. A decision on behalf of the Romeikes puts blame on the German government and is a serious warning to Germans officials to change their policies and further accept the rights of the parents. We hope that the decision will send a clear message to authorities in Germany to make changes right away!”

Mike Smith, president of HSLDA, also applauded the decision.

“It’s recognition that the German state is persecuting homeschoolers,” he said. “We are pleased to have been able to support this courageous family, and we hope and pray that this decision will have a decisive effect on German policy makers who should change their laws to recognize parents’ rights to educate their own children.”

Copyright January 26, 2010 HSLDA
Reprinted with permission of HSLDA

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Christmas Gift - part 3

This was an interesting gift. I had heard of the Dead Sea products from Israel, but never had access to them before. This is a nail and body care set. I have used it and like it very much. It has a cuticle oil - I need to use that several more times to fix some of my cuticle roughness, but I have already seen improvement. The kiwi lotion is very nice. The shaping stick is much gentler, and faster, than an emery board. But my favorite item is the buffing square. It puts a really great shine on my nails and evens out the ridges. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Reclaiming Christianity by AW Tozer

Another Christmas Gift. Two of the subheadings on the cover say "Never Before Published" and "A Call to Authentic Faith".  Tozer never disappoints me. He is to the point and blunt - qualities to which I react favorably. Subtle always goes right over my head. To date I have avoided marking in my Tozer books - why? They seemed so neat and pristine - but then I can't easily find my favorite parts again. So I am going to begin marking this one and then do re-reads of the other titles I own from him and just mark away. 

My favorite quote from this volume so far is right in the introduction on page 10: "Until we have a Reformation, all of our books and our schools and our magazines are only the working of bacteria in the decaying Church."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Christmas Gift

I was asked what I needed for Christmas - and I desperately needed a new magnetic pin holder. I am so glad the thoughtful child got me this - it makes my sewing easier ~ and helps keep pins off the floor! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Knitted Baby Blanket - Finished!

It has been over a year - but I did finally get this project done. At the top is a full view of the blanket. Directly above is a close up of the border pattern. It is very simple - but I still managed a few errors here and there - but only I would probably notice them.   

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Almost Snow...

An uncommon site here in west central Florida. while the kids did make an ice/snowball - these aren't actual snowflakes, more like ice crystals. You could hear a soft rustle-y sound as it fell. All the roofs look like someone sprinkled powdered sugar over them.  Maybe by tomorrow we will have actual snowflakes? 

Friday, January 1, 2010

SWAP 2010

Vogue 7359, originally uploaded by fourkidnubians.
Happy New Year! One of my goals this year is to complete the SWAP 2010. I entered the '09 version last winter, but only did 4 of the 11 required garments. I did get 4 nice skirts from the effort - and I learned about pacing. I also learned a great deal of new sewing techniques this past year, including how to better fit what I am making.  You can click the link above in the title to see the requirements of entering SWAP - but here are my ramblings on it for my particular entries.
Title: Fourkid's Florida Winter
I chose to do Option #2:
2 dresses -single pieces consisting of top and bottom that can be worn alone.
6 tops - t-shirts, shirts, blouses, or camisoles
2 bottoms - jeans, pants, shorts, skirts or kilts.
1 your choice (not an accesory)

1 will be a matched print or stripe.
1 will feature embroidery, beads or sashiko
1 will have buttons as the star feature OR use unusual or alternative closure(s).

So far I have begun working on my first item - the (yellow) jacket pictured above. It is my "choice" item. I am making it in a black wool boucle. Though the pattern is unlined, I will be underlining it with a gray rayon lining fabric.  I am still in the muslin fitting process - but hope to have that ready to go in the next few days. I am formulating plans for the other pieces and will post and update as I progress.