Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas apron

This is the apron I made for Christmas, but actually finished it after Christmas. I got the Christmas fabric half off at Hobby Lobby. They also had matching paper plates and napkins for half off, so I splurged and we used those for our Christmas dinner. It was a fun little treat for the day.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Puzzling update

One of the things we like to do as a family is watch old tv shows. It's a good evening thing to do when it's time to start settling down. I usually knit while we're watching, but since I can't do that anymore (please, please, please pray about that) I decided to work on a puzzle instead. I've done three in the last week or so. Here they are.

My favorites are the Charles Wysocki ones. They are hard enough to be challenging, but easy enough to enjoy. The middle one is a Jane Wooster Scott.
I'm working on my fourth one now. Stay tuned. :) Oh and did I mention praying about my hand/wrist/arm? Please, please, please?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Another of my favorite things to do on a cold winter's day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas favorites

I've been tagged by Cheri to participate in this meme: list five things I love about Christmas.

And guess what! I get to tag at least one other person to get the above reward. : )

Here are my five favorites, not in any particular order.

1. Christmas lights.
2. Giving and getting Christmas presents. Yes, I still love getting them.
3. Celebrating Christ's birth (and life, death and resurrection).
4. Hearing from some of our friends by way of Christmas cards. Now if I could get all of them to participate that'd be better.
5. Christmas music.

Tag you're it!
E Made This!



Feel free to participate even if you weren't tagged. Make sure you tag at least one other person.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Pond

This was my view yesterday when I went to get in the car. I went right back in and got the camera.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A bit of knitting

I finished this scarf this week by putting the pom-poms on. The description says it's a short, flirty scarf. It's definitely short and in the words of Amy, "How can a scarf be flirty?" Good question. Flirty or not, I like it.
I'm taking a needed break from knitting so my hand, wrists, arms, elbows will heal, so I'll be able to knit again. I sorely miss it! Pray for healing. (Now if I can just make myself stay away from this computer, I'll have it made.)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

CPSC on Craftzine


~As of Thursday December 18, 3 p.m. PST, 4,417 petitioners had added their names to ipetitions.
~Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont sent a note to Cecilia Leibovitz, founder of Craftsbury Kids, stating his intent to work with the Congress work towards a solution that will help small American manufacturers.
~National Bankruptcy Day lists many helpful links and sites for those compelled to learn more and take action. One of them is the wiki link to the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which lists the names of Congress members on the committee who should be written to.
~Fashion Incubator is also following these developments closely and offers useful links and information.

CPSC another link


The whole article is at the above link. Here are a few excerpts.

While you might think that small business minded representatives from Montana would be wiser about this than their urban counterparts, you'd be wrong. Sens. Baucus and Tester both voted in favor of the House/Senate compromise version HR 4040 (the bill that became the CPSIA), and Rep. Rehberg voted yes on the House version HR4040. Frankly, I have to wonder if anyone in Congress even considers the impact of laws on small businesses and home businesses. Why? The combined House and Senate votes on this legislation yielded only three "No" votes. Three. More people failed to vote on this measure, including Senators Obama, McCain and Clinton, than voted against it. Want details? The House vote is here, the final Senate vote is here.The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), passed on July 31 2008 and signed into law by President Bush on August 14 2008, makes it illegal to manufacture or sell toys, clothing and other items for children that do not meet the act's testing and labeling requirements. Even better, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been given an additional $620 million so they can enforce this law, whose details were largely left up to the commission.

Here are a few examples of businesses that will be impacted by the CPSIA, otherwise known as "reasons to care:"
~If you're like Mrs. Santa, who makes wooden toys in her workshop in Evergreen, you get to pay $4,000 per toy to a testing lab to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
~If you make the classic gray sock monkeys and sell them at Depot Park during the Hockaday's big craft event, during Columbia Falls Heritage Days or during the litany of events in downtown Whitefish - you have three choices: sell them in violation of the law, close up shop or pay the fee to have your items tested. Each SKU = $4000, most likely. If you're running the Hockaday, your biggest fundraiser of the year is at least partially threatened by this act.
~If you own a small toy store, have items that cater to kids, or you sell antique toys, like Station 8 in Columbia Falls, or the Imagination Station in Whitefish – you have to pay to test every toy you import from Europe, or make sure that it has been tested (CPSIA-compliant items are labeled as such). Note that the requirements for toys imported from Europe exist despite the fact that for years Europe has had tougher toy safety standards than ours.
~If you buy and sell science kits for homeschoolers, the CPSIA applies to you as well.
~If you're a school who buys such kits, ditto your suppliers.
~Every large U.S. toy manufacturer who actually *does* still manufacture items here at home - and had nothing to do with the toy recalls from 2007 - still has to pay to test their toys. Actually, I'm ok with that one.
~If you enjoy shopping for your kids at craft fairs, online at Etsy.com or eBay, or you like buying used toys and clothing - sales of items that do not conform to CPSIA regulations and that have not been tested will be illegal to sell - thus reducing your ability to choose.
~If you sell items for kids on eBay, all your existing untested or non-compliant inventory has to be gone by February 10, 2009 or it cannot be sold.
Retailers, you too can be held liable for selling any handmade toys or children's items that are not tested by a CPSIA-compliant lab and labeled per the CPSIA.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Needing Encouragement

2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 NKJV
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one."

Feel free to leave comments about what encourages you.

Manna Storehouse Update


Raid on Family's Home and Organic Food Co-Op Challenged
posted December 17, 2008
Columbus - The Buckeye Institute's 1851 Center for Constitutional Law today took legal action against the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Lorain County Health Department for violating the constitutional rights of John and Jacqueline Stowers of LaGrange, Ohio. The Stowers operate an organic food cooperative called Manna Storehouse. ODA and Lorain County Health Department agents forcefully raided their home and unlawfully seized the family's personal food supply, cell phones and personal computers. The legal center seeks to halt future similar raids. The complaint was filed in Lorain County Court of Common Pleas.
"The use of these police state tactics on a peaceful family is simply unacceptable," Buckeye Institute President David Hansen said. "Officers rushed into the Stowers' home with guns drawn and held the family - including ten young children - captive for six hours. This outrageous case of bureaucratic overreach must be addressed."
The Buckeye Institute argues the right to buy food directly from local farmers; distribute locally-grown food to neighbors; and pool resources to purchase food in bulk are rights that do not require a license. In addition, the right of peaceful citizens to be free from paramilitary police raids, searches and seizures is guaranteed under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14, Article 1 of the Ohio Constitution.
"The Stowers' constitutional rights were violated over grass-fed cattle, pastured chickens and pesticide-free produce," Buckeye Institute 1851 Center of Constitutional Law Director Maurice Thompson said. "Ohioans do not need a government permission slip to run a family farm and co-op, and should not be subjected to raids when they do not have one. This legal action will ensure the ODA understands and respects Ohioans' rights."
On the morning of December 1, 2008, law enforcement officers forcefully entered the Stowers' residence, without first announcing they were police or stating the purpose of the visit. With guns drawn, officers swiftly and immediately moved to the upstairs of the home, finding ten children in the middle of a home-schooling lesson. Officers then moved Jacqueline Stowers and her children to their living room where they were held for more than six hours.
Such are raids are beyond the scope of the purely administrative authority delegated to ODA and county health departments. In enforcing licensure laws, these agencies are only permitted to contract for routine enforcement services. Forceful raids and sweeping searches and seizures are not routine, and exceed the authority granted to ODA and county health departments.
The Buckeye Institute seeks an injunction against similar future raids, and a declaration that such licensure laws are unconstitutional as applied the Stowers and individuals like them.
There has never been a complaint filed against Manna Storehouse or the Stowers related to the quality or healthfulness of the food distributed through the co-op. The Buckeye Institute's legal center will defend the Stowers from any criminal charges related to the raid.
A copy of the complaint is available at http://www.buckeyeinstitute.org/stowers.pdf. A video of the Stowers describing the raid is available here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More on the CPSC


There is quite a bit of discussion on this site about the CPSCIA that I brought up a couple days ago. (Thanks to HD for posting it.)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas cheer

I'm in need of something cheerful to post, so here we are!

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I'm to a point right now in my life where I am feeling overwhelmed with the government intrusion that is going on around me.

A couple weeks ago this happened near here:
"Manna Storehouse, a food co-op in La Grange, providing grass fed beef, lamb, pastured poultry and other Weston A. Price foods was raided yesterday by SWAT, ODA officials, and local authorities.

The family that runs the co-op tells me they were herded into the living room for 8 hours while the home and business was torn apart. They were not given reason, saying they were under investigation. All of their computers and phones, and customer information were taken, as well as $10,000 worth of beef. A "warrant" which didn't appear to be valid, showed the reason for investigation, was "beef".

If you are a customer, please know they only have cell phones and a few numbers that may be in those phones they can call. They have no records as they were all taken, so they can't be in contact.

They won't know anything until they go to court, and at this point are considering going to the media.

Interestingly, I believe they said a month or so ago, an undercover ODA official came to their little store and claimed to have a sick father wanting to join the co-op. Both the owner and her daughter-in-law had a horrible feeling about the man, and decided not to allow him into the co-op and notified him by certified mail. He came back to the co-op demanding to be part of it. They refused and gave him names of other businesses and health food stores closer to his home. Not coincidentally, this man was there yesterday as part of the raid."

The above came from a poster on the OhioWAPF (Westen A. Price Foundation) yahoo group. The following is a portion of the latest post on this:

"If you have been following this story, here is what you may not know: Search warrant was expired, eggs were sold to a health department employee posing as a plain citizen to obtain evidence, father of the family is serving in the military in Iraq, home school with children and toddlers was in progress in their home. According to the family, guns were pointed at the children held for several hours as the house was ransacked and coop and personal food was taken with computers and phone from their private home. 12 armed deputies were there along with agents from ODA and local health department. 61 boxes of grass-fed beef were taken that was butchered, wrapped and labeled by a licensed and USDA-inspected butcher shop. There was violence in the home and according to the sheriff's report, a deputy was injured by falling such that medical care was needed. According to the expired search warrant, deputies were to seize money and bank accounts. The complaint was the Manna Storehouse did not have a retail food license which is not required. This is the fifth raid like this in Ohio in the past three years. A law firm has been retained."

Then I recently learned that the Consumer Product Safety Commission managed to get the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act passed which basically requires all children's toys and clothing to be third-party tested for lead and phthalates. That may sound good, but it effects crafters, families who want to give their hand-me-downs to someone, people who rely on making things for their livelihood, etc. See these links for more information.




These are just two (of who knows how many) examples of what I call being in bondage to the state. I feel all I can do is groan and that the Holy Spirit will intercede on my behalf to the Father.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Do Hard Things

We've been reading Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris for our Keepers at Home group (the teen girls). It's my turn to prepare the study for this coming Monday. I'm covering chapters 6 & 7, I just fininshed chapter 5. I think I need prayer.

Lately, I've been thinking a bit about living a life of faith rather than of fear, so when I came across these quotes in the book I was challenged.

"We resist, delay, fight, and scream--all to keep from leaving our cozy little routines. But there's a high cost for choosing comfort; without even realizing it, we build an invisible fence around ourselves. Nothing challenging is allowed to enter--even if it has the potential to set us free. Inside the fence are all the things we feel comfortable attempting, things we've already done successfully." p. 67, 68.

"We've noticed that the fence that keeps us from breaking out of our comfort zones is nearly always built of fear--fear of weakness, discomfort, failure, humiliation. We've noticed something else too: you can't live by fear and live by faith at the same time." p. 69.

They quote 2Timothy 1:7 which says, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

And the first part of Hebrews 11:6, "But without faith it is impossible to please Him..."

I'm also reminded here of the parable of the talents and the man who was given one talent. Matthew 25:25, 'And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' I think those of us who don't step out of our comfort zones are like the one-talent man. We're not good stewards of what God has given us.

There've been times in my life when I've stepped out of my comfort zone like when I went to Singapore by myself (traveled by myself), when I did the zip-line one summer (have pictures to prove it), when I wrote a Christmas play for children and with tons of help got it performed at church, when I learned to knit this last year. Sometimes I look back on those things and wonder at it all and realize that the only way any of them happened is because God gave me the strength or ability, not because I could have done them, so I'm able to praise Him when I see His work.

So, on Monday I'll be stepping out of my comfort zone again. Here I go...praying all the way.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Here's my "find" of the day. It's a Mikasa platter that still had a Mikasa sticker on it. I got it for $1.91. Isn't it pretty. I also found some of my sister's dishes for her. They are boxed up and ready to go. (I think I remembered to put all the pieces in the box.)

Both Amy and I found a few clothing items. We went with several women from our church to three different thrift stores over an hour from here. I think we all did pretty well.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tree's up

I think 22 degrees might be the coldest temp for cutting down our Christmas tree that we've ever experienced. The first two Christmas Tree Hunts were in WI, and those were pretty cold. I didn't, actually, start thinking about temps until we moved to OH and it was somewhere near 70 one year. That was amazing. So, 22 is probably a record for our OH experiences.

This year's ornament is from the Outer Banks.
Part of the process.

The final outcome in the dark.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I decided to join Facebook yesterday. The only reason to do such a thing is because I have family on there.
So my initial impression is that it is a waste of time. Now, don't get all ruffled. I think it has good uses, but when I read some of the posts like "I'm going shopping." I thought to myself and outloud to whomever was around, "who has time to post such a trivial matter?" And who really wants to know? I guess I just don't get it.
We'll see how it goes after I've experienced it for a little bit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas lights

I love Christmas lights! The more the better. Now I do like my house to be tastefully lit up, but I like other peoples' houses to be gaudy. Weird, maybe, but we had a family friend whose whole house was lit up at Christmas time. It was so much fun to drive by. That's one thing we did sometimes was drive by houses that had lots and lots of lights. Remember the late 70s and the "energy crisis"--that did stop some from putting out their lights, but not all.

Amy's been busy putting out lights. These are in the house.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Charlotte Mason quote

This week on HSLDA's Homeschool Heartbeat the discussion has been about how graduates of institutes of higher learning do not know much about American history, economics, international relations or government. I personally think there are plenty of people (socialists, atheists, etc.) who like it that way and want to keep it that way.

Today we were reading in Charlotte Mason's Ourselves about loyalty to country. Here's what she wrote:

"Loyalty to country, Patriotism, is a noble passion. Revolutions come about when the character of the sovereign is such that right-thinking people can no longer be loyal to king and country; when unjust laws, undue taxes, the oppression of the poor, make men's hearts sore for their fatherland. Loyalty to country demands honour, service and personal devotion. The honor due our country requires some intelligent knowledge of her history, laws, and institutions; of her great men and her people; of her weaknesses and her strength..."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

NC pictures

Here are several things we noticed while at the beach house.


Ring-billed gulls

Thanksgiving trip

We spent our Thanksgiving week in Corolla, NC. I'd never been to NC before, let alone the Outbanks. We had a nice time with dh's family. We visited the beach several times, played games, and worked on a puzzle.


Here we are in Hawaii, November 2007...

...with this background. Temperature was around 80 degrees.

Here we are in North Carolina, November 2008...

...with this background. Temperature around 40 degrees.
No matter where we are it's just as sweet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Today's treat

I'm still sick (missed a wedding yesterday and church today), but getting better. We've got a busy week ahead so I'm glad to be on the mend.

I was at the kitchen window and looked up to see her walking through the yard. The first picture looks like her tongue is sticking out, although it's hard to know if that's her tongue or something in the background.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Anniversary post

So last year we celebrated our anniversary in Hawaii. This year we celebrated in snowy Ohio by way of eating Bob Evans take-out because I was sick.

DH did surprise me with a new lap top. My current one has something wrong with it, we're not sure what, but it seems to have started after a power outage.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Anniversary Tribute

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful dear husband.

I'm so thankful that God put us together. It's through God's grace that we keep going with a great marriage.

Here's to my dh:

He's been gentle and kind, generous and loving. He's been a great provider and protector. He has patiently endured all my sinful attempts to be the leader.

He fixes all sorts of things from computers to toilets. : ) He keeps our house and yard in working order.

He prays for me and provides spiritual guidance.
He's been the best husband for me for the last 21 years!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Latest sewing project

I made a table runner for our Thanksgiving meal. It's just a small contribution, but I enjoyed putting it together. It was the first time I did mitered corners with binding. They're not perfect, but they'll pass.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We've got snow

Sadie likes to lay in the snow when she outside. I think she's supposed to be taking care of business, but she'd rather lounge.

My lovely aqua picnic tables are sitting pretty with a layer of snow frosting.
Just a year ago we were enjoying Hawaii. I think most of us would like to be there, but for now I'll delight in looking out my window at the wintry weather.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Tomato Soup

Early in our marriage I used to make a yummy tomato soup. The recipe came from The American Country Inn and Bed & Breakfast Cookbook Vol. 2 by Kitty and Lucian Maynard.

Here are the ingredients for the Tomato Herb Soup:
1/2 c. olive oil, 3 c. celery, chopped, 2 c. onion, chopped, 1/2 c. flour, 1 46 oz. can V-8 juice, 2 qts. water, 1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes, 1 tbs chicken base, 2 tbs sugar, 1 tsp thyme, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbs parsley, 1 tbs basil, 1/2 tsp pepper and Parmesan cheese.

There are things in the original recipe that I don't eat, but I really wanted some soup like this, so I decided to try altering it. Here's the new recipe:

1/2 c. mix of olive oil, butter, and coconut oil
3 c. celery, chopped
2 c. onion, chopped
1 qt. homemade pasta sauce
1 qt. chicken broth
28 oz. can tomato puree
1/2 qt. water
1 tsp thyme, 2 tsp salt, 2 tbs parsley, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbs basil, 1/2 tsp pepper

Saute celery and onion in oil mixture until soft. Add remaining ingredients, stir well. Simmer 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Homemade Pasta Sauce
3 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 lbs tomatoes, peeled, cored, seeded cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbs fresh basil, chopped OR 2 tsp dried
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
2 med. garlic cloves, minced

Saute onion in oil until soft. Add tomatoes. Cook until juice in reduced to desired consistency. Stir in basil, salt and garlic.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another quilt give-away

These quilts are so fun. I hope I win! : ) Old Red Barn is giving away three this time.

Tithe Sermon pt. 15

3) As the tithe was abandoned, state taxes increased to the level of double or triple tithes to pay for the new social order. We pay 30-50% in income tax, property tax, social security tax, unemployment tax, medicare, state income tax, city income tax, sales tax, excise taxes, etc.

4) Charitable foundations, once an instrument of the Christian tithe, became humanistic social agencies with statist ideas. American Christians have been fools, denying God His due and allowing the state to take our tax money to set up non-Christian substitutes.

5) In the modern world, the operative god has become the state.

6) The result is injustice from progressive tax rates and taxing the producers to support the nonproducers. Christians have robbed God and are now, themselves being subject to theft by the state.

We will not turn back the messianic state through political action or elections. It will take the restoration of the tithe and God's social order.

America has the government it has, in large part, because American Christians have abandoned the tithe.

Dear Father,
Help us to examine ourselves. Is our first response to the 10% tribute You ask from us for the blessings You give us one of clutching our money to ourselves or one of open-handed celebration of Your gifts? Please reform our hearts. Create a stewardship ethic in us so that we may be involved in restoring the fabric of our society to Your jurisdiction and bring a blessing on our nation by attacking the foundations of the messianic state through faithful tithing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fall beauty

This tree really looks better in person; I like the few red leaves that are still left.
The next post will be the last in the sermon series.

Tithe Sermon pt. 14

3. The point is, if we all paid God's tax, the tithe, we could create God's government: churches, schools, hospitals, relief agencies for the poor, and more. We can provide for godly arts and we can create Christian arbitration courts, and so on. This was done once, and it can be done again.

a. According to Rushdooney - Example of Plymouth Massechusetts - early 1800's, 2000 to 40,000 met at the boat. There were English classes, work for the men, cooking classes for the women, schools for the children. All were involved in church.

b. Rushdooney, Institute - The modern social order strips virtually every area of life from God's jurisdiction, from God's ordained government and care. This happened through the neglect of the tithe.

1) Within a generation of the abolition of the legally required tithe in the U.S., the state-supported and controlled schools came into existence.

2) As revivalism and antinomianism led to the decline of the tithe (which was denounced as legalism or bondage to the law [aren't we quick to find excuses not to tithe?]), by the beginning of the 20th century welfare or poor relief came to be a state function.

[Antinomian: a person who maintains that Christians are freed from the moral law by virtue of grace as set forth in the gospel.]

Monday, November 10, 2008

AG Fall photo

Amy wanted me to post something other than the Sermon, so here are Josefina, Etta, Anna, and Emily. Amy took their picture this morning in the fall almost winter-like weather.

Tithe Sermon pt.13

H. What kind of blessing is involved in obedience to the tithing command or alternatively, what curse comes from not paying the tithe commanded by God?

1. With the widespread use of the "gospel of prosperity" by television evangelists and the like, many think God promise in Malachi is greater personal wealth. This is only indirectly so.

2. God's prophet Malachi was speaking for God to His people:

"You have robbed Me, even this whole nation."

"Return to Me and I will return to you."

"Try Me now in this if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room to receive it."

"I will rebuke the devourer for you sakes..."

"And all nations will call you blessed for you will be a delighted land."

a. It is a national blessing, not an individual blessing.

b. But isn't our nation doing just fine without the tithe?

Do you think we are blessed by the government that currently rules over us? By a government that views itself as our savior and the answer to all our problems?

Francis Schaeffer told R.C. Sproul our greatest problem is growing statism.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 12

G. To whom should the tithe be paid?

1. The tithe was brought to the central storehouses from where the Levites distributed to their various orders, and to the poor as prescribed.

2. Some say the local church is like the modern storehouse, and it should distribute to the ministries. The Old Testament storehouses would be more equivalent to denominational storehouses.

a. But the local church does have the primary responsibility for providing for the needs of the local saints.

b. R.C. Sproul - The lion's share of the tithe should go to the local church. A requirement of membership in a local church should be to support it with your tithe.

c. Other ministries doing God's work can also be legitmate recipients of the God's tithe.

1) Tithe recipients should themselves be tithers. Our elders have decided to use 10% of our church's tithe for missions.

2) Rushdooney Institute of Biblical Law: The tithe belongs to the Lord rather than just to His church, and it is legitmate to give it to other minstries especailly when the church or priesthood is apostate.

3) That is why religious orders arose in the middle ages to address education, health and welfare when existing orders failed to minister God's gifts properly.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 11

3. On gross or net income. It is because of our disobedience that we suffer under large taxes.

4. R.C. Sproul: The most common objection to the tithe he hears is "I can't afford to tithe." (Human nature makes us so quick to find excuses not to tithe. Idolatry of money.)

a. His reply "Let me translate. What you mean is that you can't live according to the lifestyle you're currently living and still tithe."
Importance of teaching tithing early - establishing the habit.

b. Sproul: It is a liberating thing to live within the guidelines God has given us. There is no better investment than the kingdom of God.

c. To withhold the tithe in any degree is to rob God.

1) And yet Christians generally give only 2.5 to 3% of their income to charity (vs. 2% for all Americans) per [Douglas] Wilson.

2) Only 4% of evangelical Christians identify themselves as tithers. Think of the magnitude, if the 70 million American Christians tithed there would be no hungry children in the world.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 10

F. How is the tithe computed?

1. The tithe is God's 10% tax on our imcrease or income. It is not a tax on wealth or property, but only on the income we receive from our labor and our accumulated capital.

2. The tithe is absolutely equitable - everyone pays exactly the same percent of their increase.

a. It's not a flat fee like a head tax or poll tax but a flat % - the more one receives as God's steward, the more that's entrusted to him, the more that person pays. Deuteronomy 16:17 says,
"Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you."

A progressive tax rate always turns taxation into a politcal football, victimizing one group for the benefit of another.

b. Under this standard, some celebrated philanthropists are actually paying too little.

1) The businessman who makes $10 million and is praised for giving $400,000 to his church and missions. (10% is 1,000,000.)

2) On the other hand there's the widow and her mite. She voluntarily gave more than the tithe; she put in all that she had.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 9

2. But some Christians use a principle that Old Testament commands apply only if reiterated in the New Testament. Tithing is reaffirmed in the New Testament by both Jesus and Paul.

a. Jesus affirmed the tithing obligation when He chastised the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Phairsees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices, mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law: justice, mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done without leaving the others undone."

b. Paul affirms that New Testament evangelists and preachers like Old Testament priests should be supported by the tithe. I Corinthians 9:13,14:

"Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 8

D. Any discussion of the tithe raises a number of questions; I'd like to address four of them.

1. Does the tithe command in the Old Testament really carry over to the New Testament?
2. How is the tithe computed?
3. To whom should the tithe be given?
4. What kind of blessing or curse is involved in obedience or disobedience to God's tithe command?

E. Does the tithe command continue under the New Testament?

1. Our general principle is that God does not change, that His Old Testament commands continue to apply unless abroagated in the New Testament. e.g. circumcision and dietary laws were done away with in Christ.

a. The fact is that there is no New Testament abrogation of the tithe.

b. A priori reasoning also suggests that responsibility should increase as benefits increase. We enjoy much greater benefits and promises under the New Testament. Luke 12:4 says, "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

[I'll comment here that I heard the statistic that the average American gives 2% to any charity. The average Christian gives 4% to any charity including the church. I heard this on the Family Life Today radio broadcast with Jerry Bridges as the guest on Oct. 29.]

Monday, November 3, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 7

4. Three observations about this passage:

a. First, God views the tithe as a very serious obligation, indeed. It is the giving obligation by which His church, His earthly work is to be financed.

1. Most of us would be horrified at being involved in robbery, but we can be insensitive to our robbery of God-a far greater sin.

2. Leviticus 27:30 - The Bible says the tithe is holy. "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord."

b. Second, God does not want us giving out of guilt, but because we are so full of gratitude.

1. Grudging giving is not valued by God. 2Corinthians 9:6,7.

"But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."

2. God wants cheerful open-handed givers. We need to examine ourselves. Is our first response to the tithe clutching the money to ourselves or open-handed celebration? What a privilege it is to return 1/10 of the increase God has given us to support His church and ministries. How can we not cheerfully celebrate this support privilege?

c. Third, note the blessing promised by God for our grateful obedience. How often in scripture does God ask you to test Him? When Christ was tempted by the devil in the wilderness: "You shall not test the Lord your God." But Malachi 3:10 says, "And try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it." More on this blessing later.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 6

C. It is the last book of the Old Testament, however, which contains our text for today's sermon. Malachi 3:7-12

1. The prophet Malachi wrote to the people of God about 450 B.C. - the times of Ezra and Nehemiah, the time of the return to Jerusalem and rebuilding the Temple and wall after the Babylonian captivity.

2. But he speaks as well to us because we should also be in a period of rebuilding of our nation from its postmodern humanistic captivity.

3. Malachi 3:7-12
"'Yet from the days of your fathers
You have gone away from My ordinances
And have not kept them.
Return to Me, and I will return to you,'
Says the Lord of hosts.
'But you said,
"In what way shall we return?"
'Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,'
"'In what way have we robbed You?"
'In tithes and offerings.
You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me,
Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now is this,'
Says the Lord of hosts,
'If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
'And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,'
Says the Lord of hosts;
'And all nations will call you blessed,
For you will be a delightful land,'
Says the Lord of hosts."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Getting Gas

I actually got gas today for $1.99/gal. Can you believe it?!

Tithe Sermon pt. 5

B. God gives us a continuing way to demonstrate that we know all we have comes from Him and to reflect our continiung gratitude - the tithe.

1. The fundamental basis of the tithe:
Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein."

2. The purpose of the tithe is set out in Deuteronomy 14:22, 23. It is to remind you always to put God first in your lives.

"You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always."

3. The tithe is mentioned throught out the Old Testament from the first to the last books.

a. When Abram rescued Lot and the inhabitants of Sodom, he gave 10% of the recovery to Melchizadek (probably a preincarnate appearance of Christ). Genesis 14:18-20.

b. When Jacob had his vision at Bethel of angels ascending and descending. Genesis 28:10-22.

c. When Moses brought the law of God to the people, the tithe command was there. Deuteronomy 12.

4. God instructed His people to pay a tithe of one-tenth of their increase to those devoted to His work. The tithe was to underwrite the work of God in the world, the work of God in the midst of the people.

a. At the time of the Exodus, God separated out the tribe of Levi to do the work of the sacrificial, priestly and tabernacle operation and maintenance functions. No land or inheritance in Canaan supported the tithe.

b. Levites also took on the religious instruction function for priests and Levites, for the King (copy out the law), and the people; also judging disputes according to Biblical standards.

c. The tithe was specifically to be used for poor relief.

Charlotte Mason quote

I just read a CM quote that I need to apply to my own life.

"The habit of holding oneself well in hand, the being impervious to small annoyances, cheerful under small inconveniences, ready for action with what is called 'presence of mind' in all the little casualties of the hour--this is a habit which should be trained in the nursery. 'If you are vexed don't show it,' is usually a quite safe teaching, because every kind of fretfulness, impatience, resentfulness and nervous irritability passes away under self-control."

Back to the sermon...next post.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 4

8. Don't we have reasons which are overwhelming to be grateful to God!? What good thing do you have that didn't come from God? How are we to show our love and gratitude to God? Obedience, a broken and contrite spirit. "If you love me you'll keep my commandments."

a. Now let me ask you this-God's kingdom work on earth-the spread of the gospel and the work of the church and its prescribed ministries to the world-How is it to be paid for? By supernatural means or natural means?

The answer is that God gives grateful believers the privilege and the responsibility to finance His work from the resources He has given them, by responding to the tithe command.

b. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 8:18, "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day."
He gives you wealth to establish His covenant.

c. As we know from the Scriptures and the parables of Christ, we hold all our earthly wealth as stewards for Christ.

1. We are sojourners and pilgrims, citizens of heaven, not piling up treasures on earth.

2. The tithe is tribute money demonstrating tangibly that God is the full possessor of all, and
that you are the grateful steward of the 90% He has given you.

3. Douglas Wilson said: How much better it is to be the blessed steward of 90% than the
cursed and deluded owner of 100%.
The steward receives his living in the Lord's service, but he manages the Lord's property
to be returned with increase to the Lord. (See the parable of the talents.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 3

6. The opportunity you've all been given to live in this country at this time with this freedom and these opportunities and this material abundance-Where did it come from?
Why weren't you born in North Korea or the Sudan or Iran?

Acts 17:26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.

So we're here at this time in this country by the appointment of God.

Now coming to the most important of these questions:

7. Your faith and salvation, your means to escape the damnation which is the just consequence of your sin and to spend eternity in the glorious presence of Christ and of God, free from pain and sin and with unimaginable joys-Where did that salvation come from?

Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

[It's looking like this is going to take more than a few days. ; )]

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 2


3. You men who have a wife who loves and respects you, who provides you the comforts of home, who raises your children in the admonition of the Lord-how did that Godly wife come to you? What would you be without that wife? Has she made you what you are today?
Proverbs 19:14 Houses and riches are an inheritance from fathers, But a prudent wife is from the Lord.

4. You women who have a husband who loves you and provides for you and who brings you to church and who is concerned for the spiritual health of your family-where does that Godly husband come from?
Christ said no man comes to Christ unless God the Father draw that man to Christ.

5. You children who have parents who love you and protect you and tuck you into bed at night and teach you the truth about God and sin and the world-How did you get those parents?
Who sent you those parents?
Why aren't you one of 8 million orphans in Brazil, or one the millions of AIDS orphans in Africa, for example?
Why aren't you one of the children of one of the drug addicts and criminals or abandoned by your father as I see every week? [This elder is a judge.]
The Bible says God knit you together in your mother's womb. He selected your parents for you. If you are adopted, God guided your parents to you. Do you see that your loving parents are a gift of God? And parents do you see that your children are a gift from God?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Tithe Sermon pt. 1

For the next several days I want to blog about a sermon on tithing one of our elders gave. He gave me his outline and notes with permission to use it here. The part that impacted me the most is at the end, so that'll be a few days from now.

A. Let me ask you some questions.
1. The life that's in you-where does it come from?
Gen. 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

2. Your body's ability to heal and repair itself-where does that come from?
Your body continues year after year, with billions of cells carrying on the business of repairing and duplicating themselves, with the immune systen fighting off disease until the time God withdraws His sustaining vitality, and the body, within hours, begins to rot and decay. God is the creator and sustainer of all life. We could not continue to exist for an instant but for His sustaining grace.

More tomorrow, Lord willing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Selah Concert

On Friday I was blessed to be able to go to a Selah concert with my friend from Z'ville. I think we both enjoyed it, although it could have been less loud. I'm really not sure why concerts seem to need to be loud. Anyway, Selah is probably my favorite Christian music group.

I think my friend found Selah (correct me if I'm wrong) because Todd Smith's (one of the band members) wife started a blog after they lost their new born daughter. My friend sent me the link and I noticed the relationship with Selah which I mentioned to my friend. She then acquired the Greatest Hymns cd and liked some of it.

So, we enjoyed ourselves with the concert and good conversation before and after. Thanks for going with me.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

AG Swap part 2

Here's the outfit I received from the AG sewing swap. Doesn't Emily look sweet?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I feel like I should blog something, but not much is going on. Although, when I start thinking about what we've been doing there are things.

Saturday night we had some friends over for dinner. They used to live in Z'ville and have since moved here. The young man used to babysit Amy when she was around four or five (?). Now he has a baby and Amy's going to get to babysit him (the baby). I think that is so cool!

Tuesday I went to the chiropractor and dropped Amy off with some other friends, so she was able to be of help to the mommy by playing with the kiddos for a while. After I was done with my appointment I stopped at Joann and wandered around there for an hour. When I got back to the car I was shocked I had been in there so long--just enjoying myself, I guess. I hadn't even considered looking at the time while I was in the store.

And we're doing school in the midst of it...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

AG Swap

Emily got to be the model for the outfit I made for the AG swap. I knitted the scarf and hat then sewed the blouse and jeans. The poor thing needs some shoes, but I think maybe I'll pass on that. We do have a pattern, but I don't think I have time or supplies.

Charlotte Mason quote

We read the following in school this week. It struck me that when we think the worst of someone that "worst" often comes out. Why not have high expectations instead?

"Sympathy is an eye to discern, a lever to raise, an arm to sustain. The service to the world that has been done by the great thinkers––the poets and the artists––and by the great doers––the heroes––is, that they have put out feelers, as it were, for our Sympathy. A picture or poem, or the story of a noble deed, 'finds' us, we say. We, too, think that thought or live in that action, and, immediately, we are elevated and sustained. This is the sympathy we owe to our fellows, near and far off. If we have anything good to give, let us give it, knowing with certainty that they will respond. If we fail to give this Sympathy, if we regard the people about us as thinking small, unworthy thoughts, doing mean, unworthy actions, and incapable of better things, we reap our reward. We are really, though we are not aware of it, giving Sympathy to all that is base in others, and thus strengthening and increasing their baseness: at the same time we are shutting ourselves into habits of hard and narrow thinking and living."

From Ourselves Improving Character and Conscience by Charlotte Mason

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Entering a quilt give away


I'm entering this give away. But please don't enter because that lessens my chances of winning. : )


This week's Marriage Memo began this way:

Where Is Your Trust?
Dennis Rainey
October 13, 2008
Are any of you a little weary of bad news right now?
For the last month, and especially during the past few weeks, negative news about our economy has battered us unrelentingly. The October 10, 2008 edition of the Wall Street Journal, for example, began with a huge headline: “Market’s 7-Day Rout Leaves U.S. Reeling.” Other headlines last week included, “Crisis Threatens Defense Programs,” “Economists Expect Crisis to Deepen” and “Searching for a Silver Lining: Prices Drop, Taking Spirits With Them.”
That last one is truly an understatement.
How much bad news can you take? Have any of you turned off your television or pitched the newspaper to the side and said, “Enough”?
But this is more than just bad news—it hits us personally. At times like this, it’s natural for us to be worried. Many of us are counting on our investments for helping our children with college and for living expenses in our later years.
At times like this, we need some perspective. Last week I received an email from Stephens, Inc., an investment firm in Little Rock, that included a memo written by W.R. “Witt” Stephens after the stock markets fell on “Black Friday” in October 1987. Witt Stephens has since passed away, but the firm thought it was appropriate to revive his memo, saying, “His wisdom and good advice lives on.”

In order to read Mr. Stephens's memo and the rest of the article, click on the following link. Due to copyright issues I'm not allowed to put in on my blog. Please read it.


AG knitting

When you take this yarn...
And this yarn...
And put them together...
You get this. It's a scarf for the AG sewing swap. It's probably hard to see the colors as well as in person, but I love the way they combined.

History of the current economic mess

I received the following in an email from a friend.

Dear Friends,

I am sounding an alarm! For the life of me, I cannot figure out why this is not being discussed on the media or why conservatives leaders are not making their case: Most of America leans conservative and THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!!!! The following is a condensation of a series from the Investor's Business Daily explaining 'What Caused the Loan Crisis':

1977: Pres. Jimmy Carter signs into Law the Community Reinvestment Act the foundation and cornerstone for the impending disaster.. The law pressured financial institutions to extend home loans to those who would otherwise not qualify.

The publicized premise: Home ownership would improve poor and crime-ridden communities and neighborhoods in terms of crime, investment, jobs, etc.

The Results: Statistics bear out that it did not help.

How did the government get so deeply involved in the housing market?
Answer: Bill Clinton wanted it that way.

1992: Republican representative Jim Leach (IO) warned of the danger that Fannie and Freddie were changing from being agencies of the public at large to money machines for the principals and the stock holding few.

1993: Clinton extensively rewrote Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's rules turning the quasi-private mortgage-funding firms into semi-nationalized monopolies dispensing cash and loans to large Democratic voting blocks and handing favors, jobs and contributions to political allies. This potent mix led inevitably to corruption and now the collapse of Freddie and Fannie.

1994: Despite warnings, Clinton unveiled his National Home-Ownership Strategy which broadened the CRA in ways congress never intended.

1995: Congress, about to change from a Democrat majority to Republican, Clinton orders Robert Rubin's Treasury Dept to rewrite the rules. Robt. Rubin's Treasury reworked rules, forcing banks to satisfy quotas for sub-prime and minority loans to get a satisfactory CRA rating. The rating was key to expansion or mergers for banks. Loans began to be made on the basis of race and little else.

1997 - 1999: Clinton, bypassing Republicans in Congress, enlisted Andrew Cuomo, then Secretary of Housing and Urban Dev elopement, allowing Freddie and Fannie to get into the sub-prime market in a BIG way. Led by Rep. Barney Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd, congress doubled down on the risk by easing capital limits and allowing them to hold just 2.5% of capital to back their investments vs. 10% for banks. Since they could borrow at lower rates than banks their enterprises boomed.

With incentives in place, banks poured billions in loans into poor communities, often 'no doc', 'no income', requiring no money down and no verification of income. Worse still was the cronyism: Fannie and Freddie became home to out-of work-politicians, mostly Clinton Democrats. 384 politicians got big campaign donations from Fannie and Freddie. Over $200 million had been spent on lobbying and political activities. During the 1990's Fannie and Freddie enjoyed a subsidy of as musch as $182 Billion, most of it going to principals and shareholders, not poor borrowers as claimed.

Did it work? Minorities made up 49% of the 12.5 million new homeowners but many of those loans have gone bad and the minority homeownership rates are shrinking fast.

1999: New Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers, became alarmed at Fannie and Freddie's excesses. Congress held hearings the ensuing year but nothing was done because Fannie and Freddie had donated millions to key congressmen and radical groups, ensuring no meaningful changes would take place. 'We manage our political risk with the same intensity that we manage our credit and interest rate risks,' Fannie CEO Franklin Raines, a former Clinton official and current Barack Obama advisor, bragged to investors in 1999.

2000: Secretary Summers sent Undersecretary Gary Gensler to Congress seeking an end to the 'special status'. Democrats raised a ruckus as did Fannie and Freddie, headed by politically connected CEO's who knew how to reward and punish. 'We think that the statements evidence a contempt for the nation's housing and mortgage markets' Freddie spokesperson Sharon McHale said. It was the last chance during the Clinton era for reform.

2001: Republicans try repeatedly to bring fiscal sanity to Fannie and Freddie but Democrats blocked any attempt at reform; especially Rep. Barney Frank and Sen.Chris Dodd who now run key banking committees and were huge beneficiaries of campaign contributions from the mortgage giants.

2003: Bush proposes what the NY Times called 'the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago'. Even after discovering a scheme by Fannie and Freddie to overstate earnings by $10.6 billion to boost their bonuses, the Democrats killed reform.

2005: Then Fed chairman Alan Greenspan warns Congress: 'We are placing the total financial system at substantial risk'. Sen. McCain, with two others, sponsored a Fannie/Freddie reform bill and said, 'If congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole'. Sen. Harry Reid accused the GOP ;of trying to 'cripple the ability of Fannie and Freddie to carry out their mission of expanding homeownership' The bill went nowhere.

2007: By now Fannie and Freddie own or guarantee over HALF of the $12 trillion US mortgage market. The mortgage giants, whose executive suites were top-heavy with former Democratic officials, had been working with Wall St. to repackage the bad loans and sell them to investors. As the housing market fell in '07, subprime mortgage portfolios suffered major losses. The crisis was on, though it was 15 years in the making.

2008: McCain has repeatedly called for reforming the behemoths, Bush urged reform 17 times. Still the media have repeated Democrats' talking points about this being a 'Republican' disaster. A few Republicans are complicit but Fannie and Freddie were created by Democrats, regulated by Democrats, largely run by Democrats and protected by Democrats. That's why taxpayers are now being asked for $700 billion!!

If you doubt any of this, just click the links below and listen to your lawmakers own words. They are condeming!




Postscript: ACORN is one of the principle beneficiaries of Fannie/ Freddie's slush funds. They are currently under indictment or investigation in many states. Barack Obama served as their legal counsel, defending their activities for several years.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


For my dreaming friend.

"Some dreams and wishes, I believe, are of the dormant, time-released variety. They aren't forgotten over many years or through many changes in life. They don't shrink during their hibernation. They simply wait to come true when the dreamer and the wisher need to believe all over again." p. 1

"That's when I understood that sometimes a hibernating dream or dormant wish must be ushered out of its cavelike sleeping chambers and nudged right up to the cliff's edge of possibility. It must take a deep breath and step off the edge into nothing but untamed air. In that risk-taking moment, the wish just might discover its wings and fly." p. 2

From Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sewing break

I have not been at the sewing machine for over a week! I've been too busy this last week with having C & K here, making applesauce almost daily since last Sat., taking care of the zucchini, errand running, and school. I have managed to get some knitting done during school, so that makes me happy.

I've got an AG sewing swap to sew for next week. It has to go out on the 20th.

Here's some good news in the midst of all the bad.

Psalm 125:1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

Psalm 128:1 Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More applesauce

I'm still making applesauce in the crock pots. I'm starting to run out of jars. Who would have thought! The thing I like about crock pot applesauce is that you don't have to run it through a food mill or blender. (I suppose you could if you like your sauce very smooth.) I have two crock pots and I run them both at the same time. Here's the basic recipe:

10 apples of whatever variety you like, peeled, cored, sliced
1/2 c water
1 tsp cinnamon

Place apples and water crock pot. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, low 8-10, stirring occasionally. Stir in cinnamon when it's starting to look like sauce. Cook until you have sauce at you desired consistency. The times were accurate for one of my crock pots while the bigger one with the removable pot took twice as long (on high).

Tomorrow, I need to shred and/or cube more zucchini to freeze. I'm also out of chicken broth so my last stewing hen will be busy tomorrow. ; ) There are still apples, so sometime I need to get those cooking.

I'm thankful God has provided us with a bountiful harvest. I'm sorry for the times I said, "I never want to see another tomato or zucchini."

Monday, October 6, 2008

Date Night Special

A couple weeks ago dh & I were walking the Target store just looking. They had these dishes marked down from $40 to $20. Oh, I thought they were so cute, but neither one of us thought we should spend the money. So we walked on and left them at the store. Last Friday we're doing our Target walk (it's a shopping walk, not an exercise walk.) at a different Target. We came across the set again only this time they were $10. I am a sucker for "cute" but I'm really a sucker when "cute" is a great price! The 16 piece set ended up in the cart, in the car, in the house, in the dishwasher, and into the cabinet tomorrow. They'll most likely be on the table at suppertime.