Monday, December 31, 2007

Walking with God

What is "walking with God?" Simple. Doing what he asks you to do each and every day. Living in active relationship with him. Filling your mind with his Word, and letting that Word penetrate every waking moment.

--Phil Vischer, in Me, Myself & Bob

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas sewing

Here's what I had worked on for months before Christmas for Amy. The fabric is from Fabric Obsession. It's a fabric she really liked.

This is Amy's jelly bag in the background, three of the nine doll-sized bags, a quilt for Bitty Baby and a little quilt for Bitty Bear.

The little bags.
Josefina modeling one of the bags.

Amy's jelly bag. She was so surprised and loved it.

Her reaction. Beautiful!

Bitty Bear's quilt.

Bitty Baby's and Bitty Bear's quilt.

I think all the "girls" like their bags and quilts. BTW--Amy is collecting AG dolls, if you can't tell. : )

Our reason for celebration

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men, and the light shines in the darkness, and darkness did not comprehend it.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Christmas Memory

On Christmas Eve every year my mom read this story to us. The book was a tall paper back in the shape of Santa Claus (I think). I wanted to share it here.

by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas picture

Here's the best one out of about a dozen. ; )

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My little snowman friend

We have this little snowman ornament that I hung on the patio door handle. When we close the verticle blinds his nose gets stuck between two slats. I think he's very cute peeking out from there.

More Christmas poetry

Prayer for the Dance

May we dance with timbrel, harp,
And thank the Lord above
For blessing us with bounteous gifts,
Emblems of His love.
May we dance with tambourine,
And give Him highest praise,
And leap for joy upon life's stage,
And love Him all our days.

--Norma Woodbridge
From Christmas Blessings: Prayers and Poems to Celebrate the Season
by June Cotner

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I wish I had pictures to post tonight showing what I got done today, but the lighting isn't good now. I try to post something tomorrow.

I'm sort of in between sewing projects and I really felt I needed something to do (I know, I know, I could have been cleaning or some such lofty thing.). Today I actually got five scrapbooking pages finished! I'm absolutely thrilled. I haven't scrapbooked for months and months. So I end my day with a sense of accomplishment.

I also had a great and much needed conversation this evening with someone dear to me (you know who you are). I hope we are much closer because of it. So I end my day with peace and resolution.

We finished term one of the school year today. So I end my day with vacation ahead. Yippy!

God is good!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Joy of Giving

The Joy of Giving

Somehow, not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you;
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad;
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to make you glad.

John Greenleaf Whittier

Monday, December 17, 2007

It snowed!!

It started snowing on Sat. about noon. It seemed to come all of a sudden. So what do you do when it starts snowing? You head to the library to get the books you have on hold. I actually had hubby take me there. He's wonderful!

We weren't able to go to church for the second week in a row due to weather, so again we had family worship. We listened to a John MacArthur sermon on the lineage of Christ, sang a few Christmas carols, read from God's word in Colossians 1 about the preeminence of Jesus and had our normal family prayer time. So despite missing the fellowship of our church we had a good day.

The other thing we do when it snows is watch the birds flock to the feeders. On Friday we knew it was supposed to snow, so wonderful hubby went out and filled all the feeders to the brim. Then on Sunday we discovered the bluejays were in search of our whole peanuts, so Amy get her boots on and trudged across the snowy deck to put the peanuts out.

I hadn't made paper snowflakes for years, but for some reason I got the idea to make a few while we were watching The Grinch last night. Amy got in the act also. She even made a few doll sized ones. Making memories--gotta love it.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My favorite ornament

I think I made this one when I was in 3rd grade, however, I could be wrong about the year.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Amy made several dozen for the Keepers at Home meeting on Monday night. I only helped a little. I think I'll get the clean-up job. ; ) She did a great job!

Christina Rosetti poem

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine;
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friends and Art

Today I spent the day in Columbus with a friend. We started off at Archivers. We each went our separate ways and enjoyed the hunt for a bargain or at least some great product. Then we went to Trader Joes. Since I rarely get there I stocked up on a few things.

We had lunch in German Village at Max & Ermas. I love the old buildings in German Village.

Our main goal for this trip was the Columbus Art Museum to see the Monet exhibit. The exhibit focused on Monet's life at Giverney and included some Americans who went there during Monet's life to learn from watching him. Overall my opinion is that the exhibit was OK, but the one I had seen earlier in the year in Cleveland was much more extensive because it included Monet's entire life as an artist, not just the Giverney years.

I am glad we went. We got to know each other better and I think we'll look forward to more art excursions among other things. The next artist we hope to see is Norman Rockwell in Akron.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

2007 Christmas letter

Although a lot of people who read my blog will get this letter, I think I'll post it anyway.

Mele Kalikimaka
Merry Christmas in Hawaiian

We’re almost to the end of another year. Where did 2007 go?

We need to start by giving thanks to God for His grace and mercy on us throughout this year.

Looking back by month:
Derrill started a new job at Sterling Commerce.

Amy & I saw “Willy Wonka” with some friends and thousands of school children in the Playhouse Square area of Cleveland.
Amy made a game to enter in the Life of Faith Board-game contest.

Derrill & I went to a Selah concert. (It was great!)
All three of us went to the Cincinnati Homeschool Conference.
Amy & I went to a Scrapbooking Expo in Columbus with some friends from Zanesville.
Amy started voice lessons.
Amy was the winner of a doll in the Life of Faith contest. She was one of the five finalists. Very, very exciting!

Derrill had adrenal fatigue hit which then affected the rest of the year.
Amy & I went to see the Monet exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Amy & I also saw the “Seussical: The Musical” (again with friends and the school children).

My sister Amy & her husband came to visit. Mike had some training in Cleveland for a week, so they spent a good amount of time with us for that week.
Derrill, Amy & I saw the play “Junie B. Jones” at one of our favorite local theaters in Barberton.

We went to Omaha the first week in June. While there we saw “Peter Pan” at the Omaha Playhouse. That was fun!
Amy turned 12 and had a sleepover party.

Derrill’s sister and family came to visit for a few days.

Amy had her voice recital. Derrill’s parents came to visit that weekend.

*September and October
Looks like these were months where nothing out of the ordinary happened. J

We went to Hawai’i.
We celebrated our 20th anniversary.

Preparing for Christmas.
A friend & I are going to see the Monet exhibit in Columbus.
Derrill & I are going to see “White Christmas” at the Carousel Dinner Theater in Akron with another couple.
On New Year’s Eve we’re heading to Virginia for a few days.

All of the above only tells the highlights of the things we’ve done this year. It’s had its difficulties in that Derrill’s new job has been very challenging. His health hasn’t been that great either, therefore affecting everything because he’s not had the energy to do all he’d like. Despite the problems, we’ve been incredibly blessed to do the things we’ve done this year (including our trip to Hawai’i). As I said God has been generous and merciful. Derrill has had exactly what he’s needed to get through each day, although sometimes it hasn’t seemed that way. We’ve been blessed to have a great marriage for 20 years! We celebrated our anniversary (and Thanksgiving) in Hawai’i. See Ann’s blog for pictures

We are thankful to be able to homeschool Amy. It’s gone pretty well. She’s done well this year with voice lessons. She’s also teaching herself guitar and continues with piano. She’s become our expert computer person in most areas even surpassing her dad in some things. She’s got her own website and developed one for some friends of ours. Her favorite thing to do on the computer is post on AGplaythings and AGfansboard, both American Girl message boards. She’s got lots of ideas on what can be done with AG dolls. She’s learned to sew doll outfits thus saving lots of money. She also sold one on eBay.

I have also been sewing a lot. If you check the archives of my blog you’ll see. Feel free to check my shop at

I’m so thankful to be a wife and mom, and to be able to serve my family (I need prayer to do it better). God has blessed me with exactly what I need. From Derrill…Hi everyone, we pray this letter meets you at a time of blessing. From Amy…Greetings to all in the name of the Lord! I hope you are all doing very well.
Derrill, Ann, and Amy

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas poem

Grandfather's Christmas Rocking Chair

My grandfather loved Christmas
In his rocking chair,
It rocked him back to Bethlehem
And all the glory there--
It creaked with all his memories,
Some happy and some sad,
Mostly he'd rocked with happiness,
Thankful to God he had
A family to love him here,
A big, old Christmas tree,
Children laughing all around,
Their favorite place to be.
Now grandfather's old rocking chair
Sits in the house alone,
Because he's gone to celebrate
A Christmas all his own
With Grandmother in heaven
I know he's happy there,
I just hope God has given him
A Christmas rocking chair.

--Marion Shoeberlein
Taken from Christmas Blessings by June Cotner, 2002

Monday, December 10, 2007

Changing colors

I thought I'd change the colors of my blog for the fun of it. ; ) I'm in the mood for orange. I suppose if you don't like it just wait a while and I change it again.

Here's a picture I took on Sunday of the one leaf remaining on the maple tree along with the ice we got.

What I'm reading

I have a friend whose husband reads a lot. One time she was telling me that he has multiple books going at one time. I remember commenting on how I'd never be able to do that because it'd get too confusing. Then I "discovered" that I do that all the time. I read about a book, put it on hold at the library then end up with a couple that way. I'll also read about a book, find it for a great price, buy it, then have three to read. I went so far as to save a library list on the computer so I can just add books I want to read to that. I try to work from that list,'s helped a little, but as you can see, right now I've got three going. All of which are good. DH even read Phil Vischer's book and enjoyed it. He was actually moved by the story.

Here's a poem from this website.
Bibliopiles by Carmon Friedrich (Dedicated to my friend, Laura D., who knows exactly what I mean. With apologies to every published poet, both living and dead.)

Books in piles, books in stacks, Books face down with broken backs.
("Use a bookmark!" Mother pleads—Son grunts back while he reads.)
On the nightstand, on the floor; Look above the bathroom door,
Where paperbacks fit just right, Not out of mind, not out of sight.
Musty, dusty, some pristine, Shelves are groaning, precariously lean.
(Hear that crash—what was that? Has anybody seen the cat?)
Authors obscure, some of renown, Some bring on smiles, others a frown.
Every genre, old and new; Books with pictures, not a few.
"Do you have a system to read them all?A to Z—short to tall?"
What! Start at 'A' and then go on? Perish the thought—do books make you yawn?
(Wodehouse, Wise-Brown, Wilder I'd never see—I'd still be stuck way back in 'B'!)
Come on kids, hop in the car! We don't have to drive too far.
First to the library, then to the store; We need some books, let's get some more.

That pretty much sums it up. ; )

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Misc. Hawai'i


Looking out from Waikoloa Resort.

I'm not sure I had a favorite airport before, but the Kona airport is now my favorite. It's all outdoors. The breezes blow through keeping it pleasant. Since it's on the dry side of the island rain isn't that much of a threat.

For now, that's all on Hawai'i. Once I go through the journal I kept, I may have more.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Hawai'i: the family

Amy & I on the first flight from OH to AZ.

The second flight from AZ to HI. Amy with grandma and granddad.

On the beach.

Brother-in-law Mike on the beach.

Daddy and Amy.

Waiting for the helicopter ride.

Exhausted after traveling and days of site-seeing.

On the trail to Akaka Falls.

The whole gang at Akaka Falls.

Here's a lava tube. The picture isn't that great but you can get the idea of how big it is.

Before the Luau.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Hawai'i: the house

View from the backyard gate.

The front yard.

The lanai off the main house.

The gazebo between the house and the cottage. This was a wonderful place to eat breakfast. We also sat around the table for our Sunday worship service.

Living room area in the main house.

Walkway along the main house.

Main house kitchen where the dishwasher didn't work and the stove had two burners that didn't work and the microwave had a fan that turned on by itself when food was cooking on the stove. They came to replace the range and microwave while we were there.

Living room area.

The cottage where dh and I stayed. (For some reason I didn't take any pictures of the inside.)

The back of the main house. I think my dad was trying to get one last look at the ocean before we left.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Helicopter tour-north shore area

This area is where whales come for the winter. We did see one; although my mom saw several.