Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quilting update

Yesterday I laid out some of my blocks on the floor to get an idea of what the finished quilt will look like. My kitty decided he wanted to help!

These are about half the blocks I have complete so far. I still have to cut blocks out of the tan fabric and the red with doggy prints. As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to set up my ironing board and get the rest of the fabric ready to cut! Hubby is working tonight so it's just me and a classical CD.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh that I would praise the Lord!

This morning I rolled out of bed and popped on Facebook. My normal habit is to read the Bible before doing anything else, but I had asked hubby if we could take a walk. He had already been up for awhile and was in the middle of something on his computer. So I decided to check my email and read updates on Facebook while waiting for hubby.

One of the updates on Facebook made me mad. Hubby and I spent almost our entire walk talking (or for me, venting) about various issues. I got home and was in a tizzy! Not a good way to start the day when I'm trying to cultivate a heart like God's and be respectful toward my husband. I keep reminding myself "demure, you can be demure..."

As soon as we got home, I spent time in God's word like I should have before I left. I was chastised. My reading took me to Psalm 107. In that chapter alone, four times does the psalmist remind people to praise God.

"Oh, that men would praise the Lord for his goodness,
and for his wonderful works to the children of men!"
(vs. 8, 15, 21, 31).

Oh that I would praise the Lord instead of getting caught up in the ways of this world! God is very good and it's too easy to forget His wonderful works! Oh that I would praise the Lord...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Building Habits - Week 2

Last week I started to practice the habit of having all dishes washed, dried, and put away before going to bed. This way, when I get up in the morning and start making breakfast, the kitchen is clean and easier to work in.

I am very happy to say that I was successful every night other than Friday night. We celebrate the Sabbath from sundown Friday night to sundown Saturday night and I don't do any housework on the Sabbath. Dishes from all of Sabbath were washed and put away on Saturday after sundown. It was really nice having a clean kitchen all week.

This week I am going to continue building the habit of having all dishes washed before going to bed. Because that went so well, I'm going to start building another habit of cleaning the cat boxes every morning. My kitties deserve cleaner litter boxes. Hopefully I am successful this week as well!

Habit #1 - at the end of each day, all dishes will be washed, dried, and put away.
Habit #2 - at the beginning of each day, both cat boxes will be cleaned.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just a bit of quilting

By 11 this morning, I found myself sitting at my computer wondering what to do. My basic housework was complete. I was finished with my one hour of Japanese studies. I have a pile of projects to work on but I'm not used to having time to actually start some of it!

So what did I do? Eat lunch. Yes, I ate lunch. Very productive!

But this afternoon I did pull out my quilting supplies and iron a big piece of fabric. I decided it was time to get back to work on the quilt for my grandpa. I cut 8" strips and then cut it down in 8" squares. So far I only have the first 5 squares complete, but I do have four more strips to cut into squares. Tomorrow.

It felt good to be productive again!

I'm not sure I like this fabric, but it will work. I have a hard time picking out fabric when it's a gift to someone else. Who knows if they will like it?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Japanese update

Image Source

Japanese requires knowing roughly 2,000 words to read a newspaper. I passed a major milestone today by studying my 200th word, or 10% of what is needed to read a newspaper or hold a basic conversation. I haven't mastered all of these words, but I have been exposed to them via Smart.fm's Core 2000: Step 1 goal.

I look forward to mastering these first 200 words and then moving on to the next 200.

Is anyone else learning a foreign language as an adult? It's quite different from learning in junior high or high school.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What's On My Nightstand - September

What's On Your Nightstand I am very excited to be reading again. I read few books this summer and nothing that was challenging. This fall, just in time for back to school, I am challenging myself to learn something. I have some thoughts on educating myself, what excites me about learning, and my goals for education. All will be posted another day.

For today, here's what is on my nighstand, er, coffee table.

It's a huge pile of books and there is no way I will complete them all before they are due back at the library. Some of them are my husband's books and others are reference material. For instance, I borrowed a chronological study Bible just to see what it's like. At first glance, I love it. If I still like it after reading a bit, I'm going to purchase one.

Top priority books:
Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free - I've seen this one highly recommended around the blogsphere and thought it was worth checking out.
The Jesus You Can't Ignore: What You Must Learn from the Bold Confrontations of Christ - I received this as a review copy and need to finish reading it this weekend.
Love & Respect - Another book that was highly recommended to me. So far I keep saying "yes, yes, I do that." But I'm almost half way through the book and I want to know what I'm supposed to do about it. More later.
The Well-Educated Mind - I've actually finished reading this book but I marked a few spots where I need to go back and take notes. I need to finish up quickly, as it's a very popular book at my library and I'm sure I won't be able to renew it.
Canterbury Tales - My husband keeps challenging me to read a classic, so I asked him to pick one out for me. I've never read Chaucer, so I'll be interested to see how I do with this massive piece of literature.

What are you reading this month?

Monday, August 23, 2010

A new goal

Months ago, I started working on smart habits. For some reason, I allowed myself to become lazy and let my newly formed habits lapse. Now that I'm starting to get serious about my homemaking, I want to dedicate myself to building good habits.

Lara encourages people to start with small habits that will build on each other. Instead of saying that "I want to keep my house clean" I will start with smaller habits. Once I establish those smaller habits, I will find that my house naturally stays clean.

The first habit I want to establish involves eliminating dirty dishes. We are constantly washing a couple plates or forks while soaking pots sit in the sink. Ew.

Habit #1 - at the end of each day, all dishes will be washed, dried, and put away.

I'm almost ready for bed and all of my dishes are washed. It's a great feeling.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Sabbath is here

Ahhh... The air conditioner is fixed, my kitty is back to normal, and it's Sabbath. Life is looking up. :)

Happy Sabbath, everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hot, hot, hot

How did people survive before the invention of air conditioning? Was it easier because your body was more acclimated to the heat as you transitioned from spring to summer? Was the temperature cooler 100 years ago without all the cars and asphalt?

I am melting. Today was the third full day without air conditioning and my brain cells are melting. I will try to remember to appreciate our air conditioner more once it's fixed!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Surprise from my hubby

I woke up in an incredibly bad mood. There's no excuse for it, though I could try. There's just no excuse.

Hubby ran to the store for a couple grocery items and came back with a surprise.

There is no way I deserved these and I was really humbled. My hubby is so sweet.

Monday, August 16, 2010

When it rains, it pours!

I had a rough time right after getting out of bed this morning.

My cat is limping and has a giant mass under his leg. He has a vet appointment in 90 minutes.
The air conditioning in our apartment broke and I have no idea when the maintenance guy will be here. It's hot.
One of the check engine lights in our car came on this morning.

My husband made a quip after I ran down the list: "At least you still have internet!"

True, true. I still have internet. I'm an internet addict and must work on that.

In all seriousness, though, my Bible reading this morning was exactly what I needed. How awesome is God?

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted in me?
hope thou in God:
for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
and why art thou disquieted within me?
hope thou in God:
for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 42:5, 11

Why is my soul despondent? Why am I stressing? I have hope in God. I can still praise Him, because He is great. When has He ever let me down?

Friday, August 13, 2010


I am so glad it is Friday evening. I look forward to an entire 24 hours to spend relaxing with God. What a blessing that always is. I find myself wishing Sabbath would never end, but that's not possible.

Today ended up being a really crazy day. Earlier this week I was bit by... something. Spider? The area was really itchy and it's now hard and surrounded by purple. It looks like a giant bruise, but I know I didn't run into anything. We weren't sure if I should visit the doctor or wait it out. I'm very hesitant about traditional medicine and try to avoid taking unnecessary drugs. However, a quick search on the internet showed that it is advisable to see a physician any time a bug bite turns purple. That's a bad sign.

Hubby had to work this morning so we made the appointment for 3:00. I chose my primary care physician a few years ago and love her (when I have to go). Her office is a 45 minute drive from our current house, as I lived a lot closer to her when I selected her as my physician. Hubby's appointment ran very long and he wasn't able to pick me up until 2:20. Thankfully, traffic was great and we walked in right on time. Today I wasn't able to see my physician, but I saw another great doctor in her office.

Well, it turns out my body is hyper-sensitive to whatever it was that bit me and the doc said I had an allergic reaction and the blood vessels swelled, which is why it looks like a huge bruise. She said it will heal on its own but gave me a cream to stop the fierce itching, which will help me not scratch it so it can heal. Yay.

So that's that. Praise the Lord for great insurance, which made our visit cost a total of $26 for both the office visit and the prescription cream. Much cheaper than my cat's veterinary visit last week!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Posting - Lite Edition

Sorry for the light posting this week, but I still have more questions going on than answers. I'm processing a few things and don't really have much to say at the moment.

I turned off the comment verification. Hopefully that makes things easier for anyone who wishes to comment (I love reading your comments!). I wanted to turn off comment moderation as well but after less than 12 hours without comment verification, I've already received several icky spam comments. So that will have to stay. If you feel like leaving a comment and can't for whatever technical reason, email me (address is on the right) and I'll figure out what's wrong. It's always nerve wracking making technical changes behind the scenes because I'm afraid I'll mess something up!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

No answers, but encouragement

This morning I decided to spend some time in Psalms instead of doing my in depth Bible study. All it took was one chapter before I found a bit of peace. My questions are still there, but I found reassurance that God is even bigger than my questions.

Be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart,
all ye that hope in the LORD

Psalm 31:24.

What a great promise!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I'm still having a hard time putting into words what I've been pondering. I've actually been very discouraged these past few days about these questions. I can't tell if God is nudging me to make changes or if the devil is trying to pull me down.

Is being a full time homemaker (without children) really what God wants for me?

Am I supposed to be doing something to help fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)?

Is it selfish to be spending my life at home, only ministering to my husband? Do I need to pursue volunteer work?

Is it okay for me to pursue additional education when I don't have a traditional career?

Am I doing enough? I've always been a driven person, whether with education or career or finances. Now I feel like "all" I am doing is taking care of my husband. It's not that it's not a noble thing to do, but is it enough? Is homemaking really a Biblical calling?

I have a bunch of questions and I'm not sure where to find the answers. I'm praying but I'm not sure I know how to listen for God's response.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I meant to write a long post today about purpose and direction and life, but time got away from me and I haven't been able to put my thoughts into words. I'll have to try again tomorrow. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

What an extraordinary day!

Today has been a very unusual day. 

First, I woke up at six on the dot. I rarely wake up that early and never exactly on the hour. Since I was awake so early, hubby and I walked over to Walmart.

Second, when we returned home, I completed most of my household chores and then made breakfast.

Third, the smoothie was an unusual combination (for me). Bananas, peaches, and strawberries blended together. Yum! I might have to do that more often.

Fourth, I had Bible study at the kitchen table. Normally I study on the couch.

Fifth, hubby and I went to the library during regular business hours. Usually we visit on weekends or in the evening.

Sixth, it rained but there were no rain clouds!

Seventh, our vacuum cleaner died. We have to go shopping on Sunday to replace it. Boo. Another unexpected expense this week.

All in all, it was a great day, but very unusual!

When I noticed it was raining, I stepped outside and took this picture. Does it look like it should have been raining?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Love Is a Flame - A Book Review

From the advertising blurb: If you want to improve or revive your marriage, you need more than just theories of marriage from experts. You need shared experiences, to hear other couples say I've been there and to see the unique, creative, and practical solutions they have found to restore the vibrancy of their marriages.

Love Is a Flame is full of short stories of couples who turned their marriages around with God's help. Some of the stories made me laugh and others made me cry. It was a quick read, easy to cover just a couple of the short stories in one sitting. Each story included a one or two paragraph application by the compiler.

The downside of this book for me is that the stories are so short. I really felt that unless I only read one story and pondered on the application for awhile, I'm not going to get anything out of this book. It's like reading the Chicken Soup books - heartwarming stories that are easily forgotten.

I wanted to like this book, but I felt it wasn't something I'd ever come back to or even remember much of a month after finishing it.

Disclaimer - I did receive a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kitty update

It looks like Bruno has passed the critical point. This morning he got up and started following us around the house. For the past week, he has just stayed within the same couple of feet in the bedroom. This morning he started seriously purring when we pet him, ate a bit, and just looks way more perky.

I'm not sure if it was the antibiotics or the water they injected under his skin (that's my guess) or finally getting him to eat yesterday but he's showing signs of improvement. He wore himself out this morning trying to be active and has spent the last few hours sleeping on my desk.

I am SOOOOOOO relieved that he's recovering. He still walks funny, but I think he'll be ok. To anyone who prayed for him - thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sick kitty

My kitty is sick. We're taking him to the vet in 45 minutes. I'm very distraught over the whole ordeal. If you read this, please pray. I need him.