Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Laine's Letters: 25, No, 26 Easier Ways

Not all my new recipes
turned out like I had hoped,
but the ones that did
gave me anticipation and enjoyment.

"25 26* Easier Ways"
Unknown date
By Laine

Dear Sisters,

As I work around my house I think of you often and things that I would like to share with you. Things that I have learned to make my homemaking a bit more simpler. So while I am working today, I am finally going to write some of those things down. Here are 25 
[26] of them.

1) When you are putting away your dishes, open every drawer and cupboard until the job is done. So much easier than opening and shutting and opening and shutting a drawer or a cupboard.
2) Tape your favorite recipes to the inside of your cupboards. I have my favorite baking recipes inside the cupboard next to where I bake and my favorite stovetop recipes inside that cupboard for easy access.
3) If you need cake flour for a recipe, take out two tablespoons of flour per cup and replace it with two tablespoons of corn starch.
4) Set your table early in the day, if possible. It will just motivate you to cook! And it looks so welcoming to your husband when he comes home. Your children will look on in anticipation as well.
5) Plant lavender by your clothes line. The smell is heavenly as you brush against it hanging out your clothes.
6) Buy some cinnamon carpet powder. I have some sprinkled all over my bedroom carpet awaiting my vacuuming. I don't even mind vacuuming knowing that I can smell that wonderful scent in my bedroom all day. A small pleasure for 99 cents at my local five and dime store.
7) Think hospitality. The LORD might bring someone to your home today. Have one room clean and ready. (Sort of the "parlor idea" so popular way back.) Also the bathroom clean. Those are the two rooms you would probably have to use if you should have a surprise guest. This happened to me recently. The rest of my house was not ready, but I had my living room ready which I led them to and served them in. I was able to focus on my guests and enjoy their company, rather than worrying about my home. Even an outside spot can be ready! Remember Abraham serving the LORD and the angels under a great tree when they unexpectedly arrived one afternoon.
8) Think Christmas all year. My mom just brought over some items she was getting rid of. I didn't need them, but they were perfect for Christmas presents. My budget is very tight, so I shop a little here and there. I put them with the many gifts I have already acquired. It is always my goal to be done Christmas shopping by December and to just enjoy being with my family.
9) Set up a baking center. It is so nice when all your baking items are gathered together in one spot for easy baking. I like to put my ingredients in old fashioned jars which makes cooking even that more delightful. My flour is in old candy jars, the baking powder and baking soda are in old blue mason jars, and my brown sugar is in an apothecary jar with a heavy glass lid. I pick them up here and there at thrift shops or garage sales. I can leave everything out and they go with my decor!
10) Break up the cleaning of your refrigerator by assigning each child a shelf or a section of the door. I get my refrigerator clean pretty fast this way and keep up on it as well.
11) Have beautiful praise music going while you work. Oh, how that helps you to keep your mind on the LORD even while others around you are quite grumpy. Can you tell what I am dealing with right now? Smile.
12) Have a little blackboard put up near your sink. Every time you run out of something, put it on this blackboard. With only a glance I can see what I need when I make out my shopping list.
13) Keep a small notebook near your computer to write down pertinent information. I have a small one that is just for herbal information which I learn as I go. Another is for a prayer list.
14) Keep verses you'd like to memorize on or near your computer. I have in front of me right now: "Always give yourselves fully to the work of the LORD. You know that your work in the LORD is never wasted." 1 Corinthians 15:58b
15) Never leave a room empty handed. Carry something out that shouldn't be there while you are passing through. I get a lot of stretching in this way as I bend down quite a bit. Smile.
16) Keep a little notebook in your kitchen to record those things that you need to do but keep forgetting. This helps my mind be at peace so much. I glance at this notebook several times a day to remind me what needs to be done. I feel peace the moment I write something down knowing now that I will not forget it.
17) Keep a bottle of windex and some paper towels under the sink in your bathroom. Takes only a moment to spray everything down quickly and then wipe it all up. While I have the bottle in my hand I go around spraying every mirror or glass item in the house that needs it.
18) Keep a bottle of windex, some paper towels, a small bag for trash, and a wisk broom in your vehicle. When you are waiting somewhere you can clean your vehicle out in no time. I've done this while waiting at piano lessons.
19) Keep two sponges by your kitchen sink. It is much faster to use both hands while wiping and cleaning than just one hand and one sponge.
20) Wash your cake pans as soon as you remove the cake. So much easier to clean than when dry and crusty.
21) Try a few new recipes every week. This keeps your cooking interesting and gives you something to look forward to try. This week I tried making english muffins, soft pretzels, and an orange bread for the first time. Not all turned out like I had hoped, but the ones that did gave me anticipation and enjoyment.
22) Keep a couple of cookbooks, finance books, and anything else you might want to learn from in your bathroom in a pretty basket. Snatch read when you have the chance. You know you'll be in that room for sure in a day!
23) Cut your coupons and put them right away in your purse. Put the food items together in one bunch and the non-food items together in another bunch for easy access once you are in the market.
24) When you get your tithe ready, put it right away in your Bible. That way you won't forget it and will have it ready when you leave for church.
25) Put all your cleaning supplies in a pretty basket to carry around with you from room to room as you work. Mine are in a pretty rose basket. Even my husband loved this idea. It was my seven year old daughter who thought of it and put it together for me!
26) Invest in some burner covers. My old stove looks clean and bright with these in place.

Have a wonderful day now!


*I corrected Laine's miscounted list, so we all got a free "Easier Way!"

Monday, August 25, 2014

Postman Dispatches August Pillowcase Project Delivery

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night
stays these couriers from the swift completion
of their appointed rounds.
~Postal Tribute

First, I want to welcome the following ladies to the Pillowcase Project:

Emmanuelle from Bath, England...

and Patty from Elegant Cowgirl.

We sew appreciate your contributing to this worthy cause and look forward to receiving and distributing your delightful pillowcases!

Now for the August pillowcases that made their way from sewing machines in Tennessee, Idaho and Missouri!

This is such a great project!
Thanks for giving me the chance to participate.
May your efforts- and the many pillowcases-
bring comfort to the children.

Susan Nowell of My Place to Yours...

hired someone
{gave someone a paycheck!}
to make this pair of beauties.

Thank you, Susan! Your contributions will definitely provide the National Children's Hospital pediatric patient-recipients the comfort you intended!

Blue plaid, and black with fuchsia flowers

Next up are pillowcases contributed by the ladies at Higher Ground in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Tinkerbell and Dora

Birds and birdcages

Packers, Pooh and happy animals

Teddies, Chinese fans, and pink and brown

Sailboats and Crosses

Pandas and Cars

Christmas lights!

Thank you, ladies of Higher Ground, for your cheerful contributions to this project!

Hope this is helpful to getting
to your goal.
Happy Day,
Happy Day!
[Pastor's wife] Claudia Johns

What a sweet little vintage postcard!

And the last offerings to arrive this month came from the First Baptist Church's Chat & Sew in Archie, Missouri. Here's Marlynne (pronounced Marilyn) third from left of Marlynne Creates Daily. Isn't that a neat photo below?

from left
June, Barbara, Marlynne, Betty, Twila, Karen and Connie


Fuchsia, green, and plaid


Trains, Cars, and teddies

Thank you so much, ladies of Chat & Sew. Your pillowcases are sew cute-- adorable contributions to this worthy cause!

Before I go, I whipped up two more pillowcases, too. The soft green left was a scrap leftover from a summer skirt I made and put to good use!

Kindly accept my thanks again for all of you wonderful contributors who've joined or pledged to join The Pillowcase Project in honor of my precious mother-in-law. Your offerings will be a huge blessing to all the little ones at National Children's Hospital!


ALL ABOARD! Contributor update:
You're welcome to add the one on my sidebar or any others to your own blog. If you could somehow link it to Kelley Highway's The Pillowcase Project, I'd be oh, sew grateful.~

1.  My precious MIL
2.  Sherry at Creatology
3.  Carol at The Polka Dot Closest
4.  Laura at Decor to Adore
5.  Susan at My Place to Yours
6.  Annabel in South Australia at The Bluebirds are Nesting
7.  Lana at Miss Lana
8.  Frances at Notions from Nonny
9.  Dayle at A Collection of Days
10. Rhonda at Rhonda's Creative Life
11. Ilse Moore, a contributor to Rhonda Buss's Mary Bridge  Hospital pillowcase project.

12. Christ Temple of Phoenix, Arizona
13. Janice at Curtains in My Tree

Joined in February
14. Ellette Day

Joined in March
15. Amber at She Wears Red Boots

Joined in April
16. Cennetta at The Mahogany Stylist
17. Dayle's mother, Mrs. Ruth Allen

Joined in June
18. Claudia and her church ladies in Twin Falls, Idaho

Joined in July
19. Connie at Crafty Home Cottage
20. Marlynne (pronounced Marilyn) of Marlynne Creates Daily's "Chat & Sew" group at Archie, Missouri's First Baptist Church

Joined in August {So far 85 pillowcases have been received. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!}
21. Emmanuelle in Bath, England
22. Patty at Elegant Cowgirl

I can, too.
Read more about it here.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Pillowcase(s) due date: December 1, 2014

When you're ready to mail your pillowcase(s),
click here and send me an E-mail.
I'll reply with my mailing address.

Friday, August 22, 2014

This Week with My Luggage

Did you ever notice
that the first piece of luggage
on the carousel
never belongs to anyone?
~Erma Bombeck

Lookie who I got to hold Wednesday evening...

Let me back up...

Before we left Manila, last Saturday (09 August) all the missionary wives were afforded some lovely fillyship, first, at Chili's for lunch below.

in front from left Lolita, Becky, Donna, Nory
Next to me is Kathy right.

Lolita, Kathy and I then walked to Foot Zone where we met the rest of the ladies and each endured a 1.5 hour massage for P500 (US$12). What a treat!

We flew to Guam the following Wednesday (13 August) where Purpose Institute's semester 6 began. This was my first semester to teach as a "full fledged" instructor and 12 had registered for my class!

I'm an avid admirer of the Old Testament, so I embraced the challenge of teaching "Harmony of the Four Gospels" in the New. It has been thrilling, to say the least, studying the life of Jesus from the "slideshows" of the Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

In these photos above and below, I am sharing the testimony I recently heard about a minister who travels from underground church to underground church. He said that most pastors of these underground churches do not possess a complete copy of the Bible. 

You need to stop and let that sink in. Think how privileged we are. Many of us possess more than one copy of God's Holy Writ.

The minister also stated that often he is approached by the members of the underground churches, staring at his Bible. They look upon the Book in his hands and meekly ask, "Would it be too much trouble for you to let us just look in your Bible? I've never seen a whole Bible before."

He said he is occasionally asked after an underground church member has looked through his Bible, "Would it be possible," he or she begins, holding one or two pages between their fingers, "for you to tear out these pages and leave them here with us?" This account moved me so, I couldn't tell the story without crying.

At the conclusion of my class, I ask three questions:
-- What is something I learned tonight?
-- What can I apply as soon as I go home?
-- What can I study further?

During class, I noticed one young lady, McEllen, read our scriptures by looking at her classmate's Bible. I remember thinking, McEllen didn't even bring her Bible tonight. When I asked the students to share an answer from any of the concluding questions above, McEllen shared this personal testimony.

She said, "It's so true, this Treasure we have, this privilege of owning a Bible. I recently went back home to my island of Chuuk (chook; a Federated State of Micronesia) and of course I took my Bible. My cousin oo-ed and ah-ed over It. As I was packing my suitcase to leave, I felt a prompting in my spirit, Give her your Bible. I argued with the Lord over that," McEllen admitted as she tearfully told us her story, "but I obeyed and left my Bible with her."


My husband's teaching a class for ministers below, and Lesson 1 was on prayer. I attended his class and What I learned and What I can apply as soon as I go home was to pray with a list. I used to always pray with a list, so the very next time I prayed, I had my list. It was amazing the difference!  

Tuesday, August 19, our Boytes closed on their first house. They are so excited!


When we visit them for the first time in their home, we will take special note of two lists on the refrigerator:

Daddy-Do List
Momma-Do List

Speaking of... Handsome checked off our apar-tel list the installation of this shelf in the closet cabinet. Thanks, Babe!

Earlier this year, I shared that these were to be the colors in our 2014 fam' photo.

They were changed to "colors of the sea." Fortunately for me, I had this pretty aqua print in my fabric stash, perfect for a simple dress. I used two patterns to make it just like Mother's 1956 Football Court Dress I replicated.


In the photo, the sleeves nor the skirt are hemmed, and I can't wait to show you the most remarkably-installed invisible zipper you ever cast your eyes upon! *wink*

Finally, an encouraging update you've been waiting for regarding our sweet Amber Sullivan Todd. Thank you again for all your prayers for her.

We visited her Wednesday evening, the night we arrived on the mainland. However, I didn't feel right asking to take her picture; thanks for understanding. Happily I report that there is breath in her lungs, tubes no longer on her face-- Hallelujah!-- nor down her throat or nose, and she is chuckling and smiling and making everyone's life brighter!

When we entered Amber's room, I went straight to her bedside and began kissing her beautiful face. My voice caught when I whispered, "I'm pretending I'm Carolyn [her mother], and she's here, and this is what she would do." (Tearing up...)

After all that kissin' was done, Dave parked a chair at her bedside for me. "I just have to touch you, honey," I told her. "I have to feel you." Every so often I reached up and caressed her brow or cheek and I'd think, For Carolyn.

Prior to her emergency surgery last Saturday to repair the hole in her colon, Amber and her mother Skyped together, to say their goodbyes. (Remember Amber was not expected to even make it as she was prepped for surgery, much less make it to the other side of surgery.) Mother and daughter still have not been able to be with each other as Carolyn is at home recuperating from knee replacement surgery. My thoughts kept going back to that fact, to Carolyn, for Carolyn. This is what she would do. This is what Carolyn would say. (Here come the tears again...)

Jason continually relayed the goodnesses and blessings of the Lord through his family's harrowing ordeal. He said he felt the Lord impress upon him two things: Jaselyn would be born healthy, and Jaselyn would be paid for.

WHEN Jaselyn's mother's liver transplant takes place-- AND IT WILL!-- the cost for that organ will be at least $350,000! We're so thankful for their insurance! We will not fear; we put our full trust in an able God Who knows the beginning from the ending.

that the liver's enzymes will decrease.

When that happens, Amber's name will be placed on the liver transplant recipient's list.

Here are some pics of the fillyship I shared with Princess Jaselyn Shea Todd who had consumed "her entire feeding" at 8 p.m. that evening! She's gained two ounces and weighs four pounds, 12 ounces now. Her nurse said, "What a li'l piggy!"

OK, Dana, I'll give you a turn!

Jaselyn had taken a test-drive
in her carseat earlier that day!

Daddy Jason soaked up some fellowship, too!

Today, this moment,
all is right in our world...
thanks to the mercies of the Lord our God!

from left Our Justin, Jaselyn's daddy, and Handsome Husband

As we get over jet lag... but a great report of no cavities at the dentist Thursday, I bid you a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

I'd Rather Be a Could-Be

I'd rather be a could-be
If I cannot be an are;
Because a could-be is a maybe
Who is reaching for a star.

I'd rather be a has-been
Than a might-have-been by far;
For a might-have-been has never been
But a has was once an are.
~Milton Berle,
American Comedian and Actor

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Get Over It

You can measure the happiness of a marriage
by the number of scars that each partner carries
on their tongues,
earned from years of biting back angry words.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

August 2011 iphoto

"Stay in there. Finish the fight. I'm sure during long operations, surgeons would like to quit, go home, and sleep for eight hours. But they can't. The open wound needs to be cleaned out and sewn up to heal.  So do arguments. Leaving them open is inviting gangrene into the relationship. You can take a 10-minute breather, but get back to business and sew it up.

"When I'm in the red-hot zone, I ask myself, How important will this be to me three months from now? Or if I found out I had an incurable disease? Chances are that the argument is not that important. Don't go to bed angry (see Ephesians 4:26). Besides, if you go to bed with unresolved anger, you'll be tossing and turning all night.  Get up and get over it.

"Thanks to our fight strategy, our arguments have been shorter, and we both end up 'winning' with a renewed sense of love and commitment to each other. That's something worth fighting for."

~ an old Christian Reader

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sunday's on the Way

Sunday clears away
the rust of the whole week.
~Joseph Addsion

1 a.m. Wednesday morning

Amber's Friday had been the best yet, everybody said. She had laughed. She was alert.

She had visitors. On their first wedding anniversary, Justin and Dana stopped by the hospital en route to their weekend-long Purpose Institute classes in Illinois.

Exactly a year later from this day...

15 August 2013

15 August 2013

... Dana and Justin were awestruck
by this tiny four-pound miracle.

15 August 2014

Saturday, though, was a different story. After Amber complained of pain and, "I can't breathe," a hole in her colon was discovered. To repair it, emergency surgery was scheduled.

The doctor painted black upon a pink-ribboned canvas. "With the toxins in her body, I do not expect her to live through the surgery."

"I'll call the family," Jason replied. "Her dad's on his way." Amber's mother was in another hospital as a result of knee replacement post-surgery complications.

"I cannot wait until her dad gets here. You need to say your goodbyes now."

I. cannot. even. imagine.

When our daughter Danielle heard the news, she packed a bag, jumped into her car, and with her husband's blessing, drove from Central Ohio to Missouri.

There were people praying around the world, round the clock as the minutes turned into hours. Day turned into darkest night, but Sunday was on its way.

Amber's doctors are amazed at how well she pulled through. They even used words like "doing remarkably well" and "very strong."

The added blessing as a result of the necessary surgery: The surgeon looked at the liver and found it to be in a condition in which Amber could survive another three months. "The liver looked better than we had thought, so this will afford us some time for her to not only stabilize and heal, but to make a more ideal donor-match for a liver transplant." She has to stabilize before this can happen.

So all of you prayed. Oh, thank you, thank you , thank you for those prayers!

When Danielle went in to visit her in post-surgery ICU, Amber "cried and reached out for a hug." Danielle said it was wonderful to see her "awake," though her hands were mittened to keep all the wires and tubes in place. Amber couldn't speak, but the two old friends communicated, smiled and enjoyed their short visit together. Amber conveyed her longing to hold her precious daughter again and even joked, "You need to have a baby, too, Danielle!" Danielle took that as a great sign to see Amber "joking around."

Auntie Danielle
got to love on baby Jaselyn
and feed her.
"Momma, she is the most beautiful baby!"

10 days old

When Dana held her,
the little peanut had the hiccups.

She texted me later saying, "Before I left I went in and told Jaselyn that her mommy made it and she just kept on sleeping there in her pink cammo jammies."

Later, Amber's bridesmaids were all there and made a memory for her.

Dana, Danielle far left
At the hospital
Dana, third from left, next Angela- Amber's sister,
Jaselyn's middle namesake Auntie Shea stands next to Danielle

After Danielle was safely back home in the heartland, she received this spectacular gem.

"No more mittens or tubes!"

"Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week" (Joseph Addison). 

God does all things well. Keep Amber in your prayers, please. Oh, how we appreciate you for them!

1:33 a.m.
Departing Guam, 6:15 a.m.