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..."