Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do you ever feel dumped on by life?

Do you ever wonder sometimes why things seem to pile up?  or come at you in what seems like masses?
I’m not referring to work or your to-do list.  I’m talking about circumstances, health issues, financial stresses, family conflicts, change and the like.  Our last few months have kind of been like that.  We’ve have plenty of good things going on too but there sure have been lots of “not wonderfuls” piling on top of one another in a not so enriching way. 
I’ve used the saying before that ____________(fill in the blank) is just one more fly to the manure pile.  That phrase must be my midwestern upbringing.   Eventually there are so many flies that the manure pile is covered and seems to take on a life of it’s own with all of the flies moving about.  Have I grossed you out yet? (truly not my intent)  A person can start to feel all bogged down in the stink buzzing about everywhere but not able to get the stink off yourself.  Have you ever felt that way?
However, manure doesn’t just stink it can also be a great fertilizer and grow wonderful things.  I, for one sometimes have trouble seeing the fertilizer for the flies.  Does that make sense?
I truly believe God uses that manure, whatever it is to refine us and grow something beautiful from all the flies and poo.  It can be really hard to see that while bogged down in it but looking back on other happenings in my life, I can see why God allowed certain things to happen and what beautiful things grew out of the manure.
I get a daily devotional delivered to my inbox from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Todays’ devotional hit the nail on the head.  Please take a few minutes and read for yourself here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New favorite quilt shop

DH went with me to Madison last week for some not so very fun tests.  He was “my driver”.  After my tests were done, a meal was top on my list of things to be doing as I hadn’t eaten anything since noon the day before.  We stopped at a little cafĂ© in the small town of Belleville, just south of Madison for some lunch.

Ironically, just across the street was this wonderful quilt shop.


I really wanted to show DH the building as it’s a converted old store with wood floors and the big front display windows.  They’ve done a beautiful job with restoring it and keeping the old charm.  I had been in the store one time prior during a Madison trip earlier this month and was more than eager to stop in again.  The owner and her employees are extremely friendly and helpful. She has a great selection of fabric and some adorable patterns.  This might just become a regular stop.  Since early August, I’m 2 for 2!

Sunday night sunset ride

We took a ride tonight about sunset time.  The bike was out from earlier today so since we had to start it to put it away, we might as well go around a section or two, right? 

What do you call a mile square area in your neck of the woods?  a mile west, mile south, mile east, mile north kind of thing.  Here in the flats of NW Illinois, they’ve always been a “section”.

The sunset was beautiful tonight. 


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Storms rolling in…

I love to watch storms roll in.  I don’t’ especially like what they do when they get here but it’s interesting to watch them come. 
Over the weekend I was taking pictures of a thunderstorm on it’s way to pound us visit


and a little buzzy friend got in the pictures.


Doesn’t it look like an plane coming in for a landing?


He was completely unconcerned about me and only interested in his snack.  Smile

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy 30th Luke!

30 years ago today at 7:10pm, our life was radically changed by welcoming into this world an adorable “big boy” at 8 lbs 10-1/2 ounces and 23-1/2” long our first son, Lucas Daniel.scan0006


Luke was such a sweet, funny kid and still is.  Why is it that no matter how old your children get they’re still your “kids”? 

He’s going through an unexpected rough patch right now but is handling it like a true gentleman.  

Luke is such a good hearted, hard working, kind man.  We’re so proud of what he has accomplished in his first 30 years but more importantly we’re incredibly proud of who he is and excited for what is yet to come for him.

His work has finally slowed down enough, he was able to come home this weekend so we celebrated with a birthday dinner yesterday.  His brothers and families were here and we even had a surprise visit from an old high school friend of Luke’s.  [Curtis smelled lunch cooking, I’m sure of it! Smile]  What a great day!

Happy 30th birthday Luke!

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We love you tons!

Monday, August 8, 2011


We had rain early this evening but about sunset the clouds started to clear and the sun came out so beautiful and orange mixed with the dark rain clouds.


It even cast an orange glow on the yard.




For some reason when I say the word bargello I want to throw my hand in the air and say it with an italian accent.  Smile

I mentioned here that we were embarking on this project.  Friday was bargello day!

I can’t remember the last time I took a whole day and just sewed.  We’ve decided we need to do more of this and are trying to schedule monthly get togethers this fall.

Joyce mentions on her blog about how our unique personalities come into play as we sew and quilt. It was fun to watch that play out.


Here I am getting frustrated concentrating so as to not have to un-sew any more than necessary.  I am more of a barge right in and a “good-enough” sewer and typically don’t tackle anything too complicated.


Joyce is an excited lil sewing machine with beautiful results.  In fact, she has just started her own long-arm quilting business and turns out some gorgeous quilting.


It was Sue’s idea to tackle this pattern.  Sue is very precise and has already made some wonderful quilts even though she is relatively new to the craft.

You can even see our different personalities and styles in our almost finished projects below.  The pattern is the same but our fabric choices were very different from each other.


What a fun day.  I can’t wait for the next one!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Shower for Erik David

I helped a friend with a baby shower for her grandson on Saturday.  A “book shower” theme was used.  Her son and family live in ??? town in the United Arab Emirates where her daughter-in-law is teaching school so gifts had to be very transportable.  Her son is in the U.S. National Guard and flies back to the states often.  With a book shower he can take a few items with him on each flight back home. 

The shower was held on her deck.  It was a beautiful sunshiny day.  A bit toasty but no rain so who could ask for more than that?


We got the idea for the tulle streamers from blog land.  Nothing too fancy but they sure added a nice touch.  Oh, the ideas one can find with a little googling and blogging!



She had brunch of egg casserole, muffins, scones and don’t those fruit skewers looks wonderful? 


All in all, a very nice morning!  Welcome to the world Erik David and Congratulations to Grampa Neal & Gramma Lisa!