Friday, January 20, 2017

Freebie Friday

This post is about celebrating the many wonderful things in life that don't require going out and spending money. 

Five Fun things to do for Free

  1. Play music.
  2. Make a rag rug. Maybe not everybody finds that super fun but I sure do! :-)
  3. Take a walk and take pictures of beautiful things that you see. Be observant and creative in your picture taking. Beauty can be found pretty much everywhere.
  4. Invite a friend over for tea or coffee and a chat.
  5. Go watch a robotics tournament. Or have your child get involved with robotics. It is pretty interesting and generally sponsored by businesses so that makes it pretty much free for the kids. Also it doesn't cost to go watch. The picture below is an old one of Jonathan's team but they are busy working on their robot again and we will be heading to the state competition in a couple of weeks.

 Learn for Free

  • How to make ribbon roses. Megan and I were working on some decorations for a friends wedding and so I watched this video as a reminder of how to make ribbon roses. I love Youtube videos for learning things like that!

  • Veritasium is a Youtube channel that the kids and I have enjoyed watching quite a few science videos on. He does a lot of neat experiments and checks out interesting things. I don't say that I agree with everything (I don't really know his world view) and we haven't watched nearly all the videos but much of what we have watched has been good.
Read for Free (on your Kindle or possibly other devices)

Listen for Free

This song by Joey and Rory reminds me that I still have a giveaway of their DVD going on for another 24 hours. You can enter it here.

Free Gifts to Give

Things to Print for Free


"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23

Disclaimer: When I say free it doesn't mean that it didn't cost somebody something. Also I may list various activities that are free to me because I already own the equipment needed but if you don't than it wouldn't be free to you - just skip those. Some things that might be listed might not be truly free (like inviting your neighbor to join you for supper) but really aren't going to cost much more than you would already be paying.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Do You Have in Your Hand? {Making Gifts for Babies}

For a quick update - my no-spend challenge is going well with no extra expenditures this past week. We still have plenty of food to eat (like way more than plenty but I did do some baking today so that there was something quick and easy to eat no just wheat berries and meat in the freezer :-) ) and it has been a great time to get the fridge all cleaned out and use up somethings that can sometimes get ignored for a while like Beef Tongue. That was on the menu for supper tonight. It tastes good but it isn't terribly fun to prepare so I tend to put it off. But this month I am on a mission to clean out clutter and to use up things that might go to waste and stuff like that so I made it and we ate it. 

   We have had some births and birthdays lately and so along with my plan of doing handmade gifts this year we made some presents for those occasions. We had a pretty fun time doing it too and they were great opportunities to work together as a family.

  Our big project last week was a rocking horse for my nephew Ephraim's 1st birthday. I have always thought that rocking horses were kind of fun (and they just look so old fashioned - which I like too) and when I was browsing at the library I happened across a book on making rocking horses and I thought - Now that would be fun to make for Ephraim. So I brought it home. The book actually told how to make these super fancy, hand carved in detail horses which would take a LOOOOONG time to make so we didn't follow those patterns. But still it had got me thinking.

   So, I asked the men in the family if they thought they could help me make a rocking horse. Ken said "No, we're not that talented" (Woodworking is not really his specialty though he has very successfully made quite a few things but it is a slow process and not one he truly enjoys - his talents lie in other areas) but Jonathan was willing to help me give it a go.
  I found the wood from our stash up in the attic of the detached garage. Jonathan and I looked at pictures on Pinterest and decided on a design and then Megan and I went to work at drawing out the pattern on the wood. That was Wednesday night after church. The birthday party was Friday evening so we needed to get busy. I am working to learn not to procrastinate but it is still a long process I think with my learning.

   On Thursday morning Jonathan cut out all the pieces (while I taught music lessons), he got to skip some of his other school work for this special "shop class". On Thursday afternoon Megan and I sanded the pieces (while he was off to Robotics) and I commissioned Aaron to carve a handle. As soon as we got the pieces sanded I stained them.

  After Jonathan got home on Thursday evening we went to work to put them together starting at about 9 pm. I thought it would take maybe 45 minutes. Ken helped us find all the tools and screws we needed and gave advice but still we were up working on it until around 11:30 pm.

The next morning I went to work at getting it varnished.

 After 2 coats of that were dry (thank-fully we had some varnish that dried nice and fast) Megan and I filled in the screw holes with putty.
 Mara had some leather that she made ears from. Megan painted the eyes. I had to fill in around the handle with some foam and felt so that the handle fit snugly.
 I set Aaron to work at cutting yarn for the mane.
 Then I braided a long piece and glued it all together.
 Next to glue it all in place. We love being able to use a hot glue gun for projects that get done quickly.
 It is coming together! Mara made and attached a tail.

 It is ready to ride. I was nervous about it but both Aaron and Megan tried it out and it held up fine.
 It works! Yeah! We were able to make it completely from things we already had on hand. Another Yeah!
 Ephraim is still kind of little for it and wasn't sure about it but hopefully it will be a very fun thing for him to have as he gets a little older.

Another gift we made very recently was this little outfit for a new little guy at church (it is big for him yet but I wanted it that way). The shirt was made using some guidelines from this post. The pants tutorial is from here.
 This outfit below was one I made as a gift a this past summer but I realized I never blogged about it so I thought I would share it here too. It also was one I made using things that I already had on hand.
Making homemade gifts can be time consuming but it is also fun and I find it rewarding. Not all projects take a super long time. Both of the outfits only took around an hour to make. The rocking horse however was a longer project. Just for interest sake we calculated man hours that went into it and it was around 14. But it was a learning process as well. Sewing is something I have done for a long time and am confident at - wood working not so much. But the more we do anything the faster we get.

How have you made do with what you had "in your hand" this week?

Do you have any favorite gifts to make for babies?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Seeking To Simplify

I read a post this week that really got me to thinking. It is titled how Minimalism is Biblical by Allie Casazza. I am tempted to tell you all about the post but it makes more sense for you just to go read it yourself. :-)

She does quote this verse (among others)
"And He said to them, “Take care, be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
— Luke 12:15

After reading her post I also started thinking about and noticing other verses of this nature. This is something I am going to study into more. 

So if you want some encouragement in getting ridding some clutter in your house I encourage you to go check out her blog (I have only just found it and read on it a little - but I enjoyed what I did read).

 Working on my simplifying goals went pretty well this past week. Some days I didn't get them all done but then I worked and caught up on other days so I did manage to declutter an area all 5 days, to go through 5 or more photo files per weekday and I decluttered a total of 41 items. Again I didn't get anything sold BUT I did take pictures and list an item on Craigslist so at least I did try. :-)

How is simplifying going at your house? What are you especially working on? What is your motivation for simplifying?

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Deity of Jesus

    As a Christian my faith is primarily founded upon the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Without that my faith would be useless. Why do I believe that however?

Let's look at some characteristics of Jesus that could only belong to deity.

  • He was in the Beginning. "Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was." John 17:5 also see: John 1:1 &14
  • He was/is sinless. "For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth:" 1 Peter 2:21 &22. See also: Hebrews 4:15, 2 Cor. 5:21 and 1 John 3:5
  • He had/has the authority to forgive sins. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us." Ephesians 1:7 & 8 See also: Mark 2:3-11
  • "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:6
  • " For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form..." Colossians 2:9
Some of the things He did could only be done by deity.
  • He shared in the work of creation. "For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones of dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him." Colossians 1:16  See also John 1:1-3 & 10 and Hebrews 1:2
  • He upholds all things. "And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they." Hebrews 1:3 & 4
  • He is our redeemer. " Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds." Titus 2:14 See also Ephesians 1:7 and Revelation 5:9
  • He will be involved in punishing the wicked. "....When the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believe - for our testimony to you was believed." 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10
Jesus made claims that could only be true of Deity.

  1. "Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." John 8:58
  2. He claimed to be wiser/greater than Solomon. Matthew 12:42
  3. "And He was saying to them " "you are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world." John 8:23
  4. "I and the Father are one." John 10:30
  5. "Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, who do you not believe Me?" John 8:46
  6. "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." John 10:17 & 18
  7. "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." John 8:24
  8. "But He kept silent and did not answer. Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, "Are You the Christ the Son of the Blessed One?" And Jesus said, "I am, and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of Heaven." Mark 14:61 & 62
  9. "For this is My blood of the covenant which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins." Matthew 26:28
  10. "But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." Luke 22:69
  11. "Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgement." John 5: 28 & 29
  12. "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." John 6:38
These claims that Jesus made are either true or they are false. There is no in between. I believe they (and the many others you can find as you read the gospel) to be true. 

 Many other testified that Jesus was deity - God the Father (Matthew 3:17), John the Baptist (John 1:29-34), The angel Gabriel ( Luke 1:31-35), Philip (John 1:45), The Centurion (Matthew 27:54), Thomas (John 20:27-28) and Peter (Matthew 16:15 & 16).

Do you believe that Jesus is God?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

This Week in Pictures

 A few views from this week....
The wood stash in our garage attic. This is from a tree that we had to cut down to build our house and then my Dad took it to his place and we helped him cut it up in his sawmill and then plane the boards. We are enjoying using them to make projects. I hope to share a couple projects with you very soon - my desk and this one that Jonathan is working on below.
 Can you guess what we made?
 Mom recently sent over some baseball stuff that she found at her house. Aaron is quite sure that they are antiques and that we should put them on special display. :-)
 Megan found this glove especially intriguing.
 I tried planting wheat grass for our rabbit (which she loved!) but am just enjoying it as a potted plant as well. I also did some reading on it and think we might try eating it too. I also think I might use it for decorating at the Bridal show in a little over a week (I started some more for that).

 I am working on a couple of new memory verses and so I wrote them out and put them so that I can see them when I do dishes. It is a wonderful time to review.
 I am dealing with a cold today and Mara thought that a walk would help me feel better. So out we headed.
The girls and I with our faithful Kitchi went down the river a ways on the ice. It was lovely out.

What was your week like?

Freebie Friday (Make that Saturday) and a GIVEAWAY!

This post is about celebrating the many wonderful things in life that don't require going out and spending money. 

Five Fun things to do for Free

  1. Go Ice Skating
  2. Learn to juggle (Aaron recently mastered juggling 3 balls!)
  3. Play Hide-and-Seek in the house with the lights off (adults too!)
  4. Make envelopes from old calendars 
  5. Knit something from yarn you already have on hand. Be creative in combining yarns. I am almost done with a sweater for Megan that I made in this way.

                                                                       Learn for Free
Read for Free (on your Kindle or possibly other devices)
Listen for Free

This one is rather fun to watch as well as listen to:

Free Gifts to Give

A Hug

A Song (I know many who love to listen to music - especially at the nursing home)


I have a DVD of "To Joey With Love" to give away!

To win, please leave a comment telling of one of your favorite things to do for free. Be sure to leave a way that I can contact you if you win.

This giveaway will go through January 21st. Then we will randomly choose a winner.


"For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 6:23

Disclaimer: When I say free it doesn't mean that it didn't cost somebody something. Also I may list various activities that are free to me because I already own the equipment needed but if you don't than it wouldn't be free to you - just skip those. Some things that might be listed might not be truly free (like inviting your neighbor to join you for supper) but really aren't going to cost much more than you would already be paying.


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