Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday Post

It's hard to believe its only Tuesday. This week has been full. But I found myself in a place where I have a couple hours of relatively uninterrupted time to catch on the blog and other correspondence. So here we go....

Yesterday I took The Girl to her art class. She has been learning to paint from a friend of mine who lives out in the country. They have a pond and are raising up ducklings. But these three babes are too little yet to live on their own so they are currently living in the kitchen of this beautiful country home. They are darling when they get to take come out of their duck-pin a take dip in the pool. I had so much fun watching them splash and play.

On Sunday night, The Girl and I went to the Kari Jobe concert. I still remember my first concert (Amy Grant in 1987) and I was excited to experience The Girl's first concert too. I was so excited when we got to meet Kari after the concert! My friend, Angie, had also come with us, and she has excellent after-concert skills. She knew to wait until everyone left, and then she was able to find where Kari was greeting people. So much fun. Very thankful for my Girl.

The Mister bought me a new art book, Avian Friends Guided Activity Journal  and the pages are so pretty I cannot stand to paint in them. So I've decided to draw some of the pages on watercolor paper instead. I can't decide what I like more when painting, flowers or birds. In this book, you don't have to choose. I should be busy in the office for a good while.

I'm grateful that the "winter" storm expected today hasn't come. My Camellia's are starting to spring up and they just make me happy. They are my favorite flowers in the yard.

I'm still trying to gather my thoughts about the weekend, still trying to think things through, but I do know this: I am thankful for that boy.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Comfort for Street Weepers

I didn't post yesterday because my heart is heavy...

On Friday afternoon, a dear friend of my son was on her way to pick him up from our house. She had her sister and a friend with her too.They were going to grab a bite to eat and go do something fun the girls had planned. She had just called to say she was nearly there, so he stood outside and waited.

When we heard the sirens, it didn't even occur to us that it could be for them.

But it was. When the girls failed to arrive forty minutes later, my son knew something wasn't right. So we ran down the street to find the wreckage, just at the end of our street. Two smashed cars in a ditch and a broken telephone pole. All involved already in route to hospital by ambulance.

The damage didn't look survivable. When I saw the fall out of the wreck, I wept on that street like a child who was lost. My sobs rang out and echoed off the pavement. My own son had to be the adult, gathering information and consoling his mother.

But God is good, all the time.

Everyone survived. Two of the girls have major bumps and bruises and will need lots of recovery time. The driver, my son's dear friend, is still in the hospital, beginning the healing process of a broken pelvis, broken ribs and a collapsed lung. But she is alive!

Life is fragile... "And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.... he hears us...We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know Him who is true. And we are in Him who is true - even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life."  (1 John 5: 14, 20-21)

Even in the face of all the things we wish we could have done, or should have done, or would have done, if we could do it all over again, we must remember this: it is only God who gives understanding. This is a merciful gift. He does not give the knowledge to rely on ourselves and avoid the trials in life. But He gives us understanding that we might know Him, who is the Truth, and cling to Him without hesitation, while the trial passes through. He is the One who picks us up while we are weeping in the street, cares intimately for our heavy hearts, and gives comfort that is strong and lasting. He is the true God. 

The Lord preserved the lives of those three precious young women on Friday afternoon. May this moment draw them, and their families and friends, and my son, and me... always to the understanding of Christ and His amazing love. Amen.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Photo Friday

Feathered, Furry, Four-legged Friends…

…. and a flower, for good measure!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Being Present

{Throwback Thursday post from the Archives: originally posted on Mar 19, 2009 - LVCG}

I'm in the middle of trying to plan a little family vacation, so i am going to use today's computer time for that. But I wanted to share one of my favorite pictures. This was before we had a digital camera so this picture looks fake ...but oh! this day was very real.

This was taken outside of Estes Park, Colorado on a trail that I think was called The Devils Backbone. It was the summer of 2003. 

This picture means so much to me because I was finally coming out of struggle in my life. 

I had had a long battle with myself; I was finally feeling free. I was in the early stages of being healthy--body, mind, and spirit. 

I was really living

The air was cool. A monsoon storm was threatening to roll over the valley that quietly sat beneath the opposite side of the ridge. 

I can still smell the rain on the wind, feel the dirt on my hands. I can see different shades of green foliage, blue sky, and red earth; with the dark clouds of black and grey, that couldn't have have darkened my spirit, even if it poured out heavy drops of rain. I looked into the deep brown eyes of my children; felt the dry, strong, hand of The Misters in mine.

I was alive. 

In that moment, I felt blessedly content.

The voice of a hawk called from the craggy crevices behind us. Daring us to walk closer, yet we stayed on the trail. We hiked to a bench that sat between the path overlooking the valley, we sat and watched bolts of bluish lightening make its presence known. 

It is something I will never forget...that time when I realized how amazing life can be when we choose to be present. 

Storms may be on the horizon. 

The trail maybe steep. 

But there is rest for the soul in the midst. Where we resist the call to leave the road marked before us, and stand in awe of all that is good. 

...where we can breathe deeply, and smile.

Jeremiah 6:16,

God's Message yet again:

   "Go stand at the crossroads and look around. 
   Ask for directions to the old road,
The tried-and-true road. Then take it. 
   Discover the right route for your souls."

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Happenings in my Office/Studio

I know you aren't going to believe this (given the typical state of my compulsive need for the creative, and my tendency to the unfinished project) but I actually have very few unfinished pieces in the queue right now.

I started the quilt above, for a sweet baby named Mira, in October last year. It was a pattern from this book, given to me as a gift several years ago. (I've been a big fan of Alicia Paulson for nearly a decade.) I tend to avoid quilts… I love making the top, but the quilting and binding make me want to cuss so I put it off… until last month. I tried this tutorial for machine binding, and honestly, it was so easy that I may make this the Year of the Quilt. I was thankful to find it. Mira was born in November and I was hoping to finish it before she went to college. Now I can't wait to bind a top I made several years ago. Really, if binding is what gives you the heebie-jeebies in quilt making, check out that link.

In February I crocheted these cabled wrist warmers for my BBFF (British Best Friend Forever), but forgot to take a picture. I'm including the link in this post because the pattern is FREE, and very easy, yet satisfying. I think I may make myself a pair, since winter is carrying on the way it is...

I've been doing a lot of watercoloring lately. Experimenting as I get ready to teach my co-op kids, and the classes I'll be teaching at home.

Honestly, I never considered myself much of an artist when it came to drawing and painting, but three things changed my mind:

1. I read Drawing with Children, and it has totally changed the way I think about drawing.

2.  Teaching art to children requires a lot of tempera and watercolor, and I need lots of practice.

3. My friend, Julia, gave me a watercolor kit for my birthday, and my dad encouraged me to use it. (I'm grateful to both of them!)

Right now I'm drawing a lot of flowers. They are easy and colorful. Perfect projects for a frigid almost spring. (I'm done with saying winter.)

About two years ago, when I lost my mind with anxiety,  I found a photo of a cracked vase with a flower in it, in a magazine. For some reason it spoke to me. I cut it out and plastered it above my work table as encouragement. I loved that picture. I think I felt a little cracked myself, but was doing my best to remember that beauty can come from broken vessels, if we allow it. So I kept the clipping.

Eventually, (thankfully!) as I got better, and things got moved around in my studio, I took the picture down and tucked it into a drawer. Last week I was thinking about what might inspire some watercolor practice, and I remembered the blue vase. This is my current unfinished, but happy, project.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Glass Trees in March

When I threw back the curtains this morning I gasped.

In like a lion, out like a lamb? I'm thinking the lion rages on.

They are beautiful, these icy trees of glass.

A slight breeze blew through the trees and the ice made strange crackling sounds; being equally frightening, and somehow musical. Like the sounds of wintery chimes.

I snapped pictures off the front porch wearing yoga pants, a t-shirt, and socked feet. Not optimal clothing for a morning like this… but who has a time for shoes and jackets, when the sparkle of ice begs to be seen?

Usually at this time of year I've got seedlings growing in the garage. Not this season. I think I'll just buy seedling plants for the garden, which is full of icicles now.

The good news? It will be a great day for making bread, and (if I go outside again) I'll wear my boots for one more day!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Ten Minute Post


Spring is around the corner and I'm getting antsy.

The snow is gone, and daffodils have come up. That lovely Amaryllis has already come and gone, but I thought this post needed a little bit of happy color.

School feels a little bit harder each week. The routine I crave so much at end of summer is now feeling like a chore. This is the time of year when finishing well starts to sounds like a bad idea-- let's just chuck the books and move in at the pool. But quitting isn't on the syllabus, so I press on!

I'm ready to have some summer time with the kids. This will be my last year of homeschooling with The Boy. He will go to a public high school next year that will allow him to earn college credit while finishing his junior and senior year. I am thrilled that he will get this opportunity, but it will be strange not to have him in the house all day. We are all ready to see him stretch his wings, but my heart knows this is just a sign of the times to come. I can't believe how quickly these years barrel through!

Let's see what else can I tell you in the 6 minutes I have left…

I have spent a lot of time in the studio getting ready for a big project I have coming up in April and May. I will be teaching elementary art classes in my home. It's a sort of trial run, to see if this is something I might like to do next fall. I've really enjoyed teaching art in our homeschool co-op this year and I think it might be something I would enjoy doing on my own… maybe even something I might do when my own chicks have flown the coop!


Times up!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. 
Stand firm then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." 
Gal 5:1

In September I made a goal to memorize Ephesians 5. I started strong, but around verse seven I got side tracked and never came back. The first verse still swirls inside my head.

I often need reminding to stand firm in the freedom of Christ, but its the word "again" that stops me in my tracks.

Do not be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. 

It's the again in me that needs reminding.

There are so many snares in this life. And I'm not just talking about obvious things that are harmful. I'm talking about the things that steal my focus and pull me away from the loveliest place of all: freedom in Christ.

I live with two teenagers. We talk quite a bit about "turning our eyes from worthless things" and actively pursuing the life God gives. But do I choose well? Do I walk in the freedom set before me? Or do I burden myself, again, by the yoke of distraction, indifference, and discontent.

The truth is, sometimes I do choose well (if the moment is perfect and the day is right.) But often I choose the harder yoke. I thought that getting older would lend to easier choosing, but it seems the Christian life is always a struggle. I think it's meant to be.

The hardest thing about being enslaved, to anything other than Christ, is that it isn't like being kidnapped against your will. It's more like setting yourself in a room that gradually loses light. Eventually your eyes get used to darkness.

This is why I love this Gal 5:1 (and really the whole chapter): It's the "again" that grabs my heart and turns on the light. What's more it reminds me of my truest Love, and points me back in the right direction: freedom in Christ.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Revival of the Blog: Day 1

Nine years ago, when this blog was born, I hadn't enough time to write everything I wanted to say.

Today, I struggle to find the words to begin.

I wonder why this is? Is it because social media has robbed the ability to think beyond two-sentence stats? Am I no longer capable of writing without an amazing photo to springboard my thoughts? Am I stifled by the desire to speak what is on my heart, and yet wanting to limit it to short sound-bites that convey meaning without using much energy? Or does my tendency for capricious creativity (let's crochet! let's sew! let's play guitar! let's garden! let's paint!),just lend to the pile of so many unfinished projects?

Keep a blog? Did I do that?

It might be all those things. Or maybe it was just time to rest awhile; to be quiet in a world that clamors and rings. Yarn work, reading, painting are inward and quiet things that require thought, yet no conversation. But, the writing... I do miss it.

So, I'm gonna make myself a blog Re-Do. A Revival. A Rebound. (Oh, thesaurus.com, how I've missed you.) I am going to follow in the typing of my dear friend Kim, at The Mother Load, and embark on a 30-day Blogging Challenge.

She set up a format, so perhaps I will to:

Sunday:  Thoughts on the Spiritual
Monday: Random thoughts from Kellie's brain (perhaps a 10-minute post)
Tuesday: Things I Love
Wednesday: Creative Work(s) in Progress
Thursday: Throwback from the Archives (aka: my favorite Posts from the Past)
Friday: Photo of the Week
Saturday: Home stuff: recipes, DIY, life in the studio/office, etc.

Whew! 30- days of La Vida recovery.

First post....Done!