WMFW-Tea Party Craft

wfmwLast month, you know, way back in 2007, Rachel and I were invited to a Craft Party. Since I don’t really “do” crafts, I try to accept any and all invitations that give the children opportunities to explore their creative side. Thankfully I’ve been blessed with wonderfully talented friends so the children aren’t suffering too terribly.

We were instructed to bring a package of tea. How lovely, crafts and hot tea! Doesn’t that sound like a perfect way to spend a rainy, gray afternoon. Sure enough, the party was a delight.

Heather (our hostess) had a craft area set up for the girls, complete with paints, hot glue gun, pretty stencils and more. There were instructions written up on the board, a model of the completed project and scented candles burning in the background.

shall we paint?

The girls were to design their own tea caddies. They each had an unassembled cardboard box (old film packages, I believe), ready for painting and decorating as they liked. After they painted the boxes, they glued them back together, added glass beads for feet and a decorative pull for the top. Best of all was the tea swap! They traded and shared the different teas among them so each girl brought home a full box of tea.

hard workers

Heather and I met several years ago when a friend brought her to our church’s women’s retreat. I immediately enjoyed her sense of humor and love for the Lord. The next year she joined us again at the retreat and we had more opportunity to visit. I knew this was creative, hilarious, homeschooling mom was someone I wanted as a friend.

kathy and michelle

This, of course, is Michelle (who introduced us) and NOT Heather, as Heather was the one taking the picture. Clear as mud?

I am constantly amazed at how God brings beautiful, unique, intelligent women into my life. Each one is like a precious gift and I am truly thankful for the way they enrich my life.

Heather is a talented artist and has a home business where she sells gorgeous project kits, ribbon crafts, and other treasures. Her oldest son was born with two congenital heart defects. Her renewed interest in art came about during the traumatic first year of the baby’s life. As she says so beautifully on her website:

Then, as God patched Jacob’s heart with a miracle, He also patched mine. With the guidance of God’s gentle hands I have been creating with my hands and heart ever since. That is why we are called The Patchwork Heart, Co.

I love that name, The Patchwork Heart. It so perfectly captures exactly what the Lord does as He gathers the broken pieces of our heart. He makes us new creations in His image.

Heather also writes for the Girlhood Home Companion magazine.

The Girlhood Home Companion is a beautiful 4-color magazine and companion guide that encourages young ladies (ages 10-18) how to enjoy their precious girlhood years while walking closely with the Lord and developing a deeper relationship with Him.

The very best thing of all is that Heather is MY friend. Despite my incredibly inept crafting abilities, my pathetic lack of artistic talent, and my tendency to ruin perfectly good decorating projects, she still likes me. :)

just beautiful crafters

The girls hold up their finished projects.

rachel's creation

Rachel painted hers in two of her favorite colors – purple and turquoise/aqua.

a closer look

Here’s a close up.

When you have time, I know Heather would love to have you stop by The Patchwork Heart for a visit. Her winter newsletter/catalog is online and she shares a delicious recipe for apple honey tea as well as other craft ideas.

Thank you, Heather, for a delightful afternoon!

Anyone care for a cup of tea? Oh, I have to ask: what is your favorite kind of tea? As much as I am a serious coffee drinker (love me some Starbucks, as they say), I am very fond of tea. I prefer the non-fruity ones and adore Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Constant Comet, especially with a little bit of milk.

Am I missing a fantastic tea flavor? One of my good friends loves Stash teas and introduced me to chocolate hazelnut. I’m also curious as to where you buy tea? Do you order it online? Is there a particular grocery store that sells a wide variety of teas? Does tea go on sale? What is a good price for tea?

Sorry to ask so many questions but I know there lots of you who enjoy tea and you really should share you wisdom with me!

Speaking of which, I guess I should be sure and refer you back to Rocks In My Dryer where people are sharing tips about everything from coupons, crib sheets and cameras.


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Happy Birthday, Mamie! Part 1

Someone wrote a most amazing, loving blog about my mother. You have to go and read it. Click on this link:

Happy Birthday!!

Really, it’s got pictures and scripture and beautiful words of praise. You will feel incredibly jealous and wish that this was your mother.


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The Sanctity of Life

January 22, 2008, marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision which lies at the core of our national debate about abortion. In those 35 years, more than 47 million infants have been legally murdered by residents of this nation alone. The Supreme Court, seeking to protect a woman’s right to privacy from government interference, neglected to protect the rights of the unborn in what seems to many a monstrous parody of ‘justice’.

Harry Blackmun
This man, Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun (1908-1999), wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. May God have mercy on his soul.

On Sunday our pastor spoke about what the Bible says about three pertinent questions:

  1. When does life begin?
  2. What about a person’s choice?
  3. What about forgiveness?

It was an excellent, courageous, insightful and straightforward discussion which left no room for doubt that:

  1. The Bible clearly indicates that human life begins in the womb, and that God values in utero life in no way less than an adult human.
  2. A woman’s choice for her body is subject to God’s control and will, and (as a child of God) her body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. As with any person, her body is to be offered to God to do works of righteousness; this does not include murder.
  3. God’s forgiveness is offered freely to all who sin and the blood of Jesus is more than enough to forgive even the vilest of crimes.

Our pastor is a very kind man, and his sermon was delivered in such a way that people would really have to work to be offended — yet he didn’t pull any punches in laying out what the Bible says. I was proud of him and delighted to sit under the teaching of such a man.

The verses our pastor cited are as follows:

The unborn are created and known by God: Psalm 139:13-16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

The unborn are called babies: Luke 1:41 (John the Baptist), Genesis 25:22 (Jacob and Esau). (The same Greek/Hebrew word is used in the scripture for the unborn as for infants.)

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of the LORD.

The unborn are protected as persons: Exodus 21:22-23

“If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

The unborn are called by God: Isaiah 49:1, Galatians 1:15

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name.

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased …

Our pastor went on to list several specific applications, ranging from political to personal:

  • We are fortunate to live in a nation that allows us to vote, and we should apply that vote in support of a candidate who values human life as God does.
  • We must not grow weary in praying for justice for the unborn; rather we ought to be praying more and more fervently.
  • We are surrounded by many opportunities to show love to those who find themselves with unwanted pregnancies; in our own community there is CareNet, which offers ultra-sound services and counseling to thousands of women each year.

I John 1:9 — If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Thanks be to God that He is able and willing to forgive any and all of our sin, whether public or private.


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Bloggy Giveaway Preview


Starting January 28th and running through February 1st, Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a bloggy giveaway. Last time there were nearly 500 participants. That’s five hundred chances to win something free (and meet some other bloggers). People giveaway everything from books, gift certificates, dvds, and trinkets.

We here at the Duckabush blog have not participated in the last two giveaways (except to enter, like crazy, as many drawings as we can) but I think that is about to change. Ever since Tim won the Scrabble tile, we’ve been feeling the need to pass on the love.

Discussions are in place as to what we will give away but I suspect it will have something to do with two of our favorite things:


I’m still a bit perplexed as to how Rodgers and Hammerstein could forget those two items when they wrote that famous song. I’m sorry but I would give up crisp apple streudels for chocolate and coffee any day.sarah cheers

Be sure to come back on the 28th for the Big Bloggy Giveaway, and be thinking about something you might want to share with the blogging world on your own site.


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Rejoice With Me

We had occasion today to consider the parable of the lost coin.

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” — Luke 15:8-10

Kathy was adding a little salsa to a pot of soup (she can’t stand stews that are bland, even if she isn’t going to eat any), and as she put the salsa away in the fridge, she whacked her hand against the door. Looking down at her bruised finger, she noticed that her engagement ring was gone!

At about the same time, Sarah shattered her favorite snow-globe on the floor of the upstairs bathroom. Pandemonium ensued.

One ‘down-side’ of Kathy’s weight loss over the past several years is that her ring is loose — we keep meaning to get it resized, but we never get around to it. She lives in terror (O.K., she lives in mild worry, which sounds much less impressive) that she will fling it off while standing on a bridge or hiking through an impenetrable swamp. She doesn’t actually spend that much time in swamps or on bridges, but it is still a worry.

Tree huggers
Now the we live on the Left Coast, the boys and I have become tree-huggers. Too bad it’s an artificial tree …

We rounded up the usual suspects (trash cans, sink, pantry floor, checked Kathy’s pant cuffs, looked inside and under the fridge) to no avail. Kathy wasn’t sure the last time she saw it … she was out at church attending a baby shower today, and we feared the worst.

Rachel (our resident detective) piped up with a comment: “If only someone had taken a picture of you recently, so we’d know when you last had it on your hand?” Happily, Sarah and David had just recently been taking pictures of us parents with Kathy’s little Kodak camera. Sure enough, a picture had been taken of Kathy leaning over the back of my chair — and the ring was on her finger! And to think people tease us for taking more than a thousand pictures a month!

“OK,” I said. “It’s got to be in the house somewhere … Mom hasn’t been out of the house since that picture was taken, about an hour ago.” Unfortunately, Kathy hadn’t been idle in that hour. Here’s a (partial) list of the things she did:

  • Worked in the kitchen making stew
  • Worked in the living room, putting away decorations
  • Put away some miniature Christmas trees that were on the porch
  • Swept out the pantry floor
  • Helped Daniel take the lights off the tree and roll them up
  • Took pictures of the boys putting away the Christmas tree
  • Puttered around on her computer for a little while
  • Built a miniature nuclear reactor

OK, maybe not that last one … but it seemed she was on the move, the whole hour!

Putting away the Christmas Tree
We got a little carried away, putting the tree in its box for the year.

“Do you have to be so busy, Kath?” I grumbled. Why can’t she follow my sterling example and stay in one place? People tell me I’m a saint to put up with her.

A bounty was offered: $10 or 5 one-hour computer chips to the person who finds it. I nearly trampled several children, throwing myself on the floor in front of the fridge, as though I was saving the family from a grenade. We prayed and asked the Lord to help us find the ring, and to give us sharp eyes to see it. We split up around the house, each hurrying to be the hero of the hour. I sorted through orange peels and coffee grounds in the garbage, while Daniel crawled around on the floor where the Christmas tree had been. We searched high and low, for more than thirty minutes, but without success.

I chimed in with an opinion: “The problem is, since we know it was lost here in the house, we continue to have hope. We’ll keep looking and looking, but if we haven’t found it by now, we probably won’t find it. But it will be a long time before we feel that we can give up and stop looking, so we’re actually worse off.” I’m often complimented for my ability to find the right encouragement for the season. As Kathy says about me, “Bummer man, he delivers.”

“I wonder if it somehow got into the box with the tree,” Kathy mused. Since Kathy didn’t help to put the tree away, I was less than eager to get it back down from its high perch in the garage. Kathy decided first to look in the box of the miniature trees she had put away earlier. I came out to the garage to help her get the box down … we dumped out the trees and gave each of them an individual shake-down. Voila! The ring appeared on the carpet as if by magic.

The missing ring
Hooray! The ring was found!

Kathy and the offending tree

We were delighted, although Daniel (who had hoped for a five-chip bounty) was disappointed that he hadn’t found it. I suggested that, like the woman in the parable, we should have a party to celebrate. We ate the stew that Kathy had made, and I took all the kids to Albertsons to buy an individual pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream for each. There was much wrangling over flavors, but great satisfaction when we returned home. We ate it while we watched the second half of The Chronicles of Narnia and generally celebrated. Kathy (who doesn’t eat sugar) couldn’t have the ice cream, so I splurged on a couple of twelve-packs of her favorite sparkling waters. She really knows how to party, that Kathy.

Ice Cream for Everyone!
Maybe the kids got pints, but I went with the half-gallon! Hey, wait, I’ve been cheated! It’s actually only 1.75 quarts.

Thank you, dear Jesus, for helping us to find that ring. Kathy would have been very sad to lose it permanently, and I would have been very sad to have to pay to replace it.

Tower of Treats
Rejoice with me! I have found my lost ring!

Project 366, Day 19

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