Day #1 – I had a mother who read to me…

This is probably the first 31 Days Project where I actually sat down and planned out the entire month’s posts ahead of time. And, in doing so, I quickly realized that we could discuss children’s’ books for at least two months before starting to run out of ideas! At least. Maybe three.

Our family loves books. We have shelves full of books. And boxes of books in the attic that no longer fit on the shelves. Our girls claimed piles of books to put in their hope chests, and each have quite the library already. We get it honest… Our parents and grandparents also had oodles of books when Hubby and I were growing up. And they read to us. Often.

NanaReading

So… This month I thought it would be fun to just highlight some of the many, many books our kids enjoyed over the years, jabber on a bit about the different types of children’s literature that is available, and discuss the importance of spending time reading aloud to children of all ages. “Reading aloud” can be so much more than a bedtime story!

I’m also hoping to pick my paintbrush back up and continue working on Pie from Scratch this month. (That was the half finished 31 Days project from two years ago… I discovered it that must be Autumn in order for me to paint pumpkins, so I’m going to devote this Fall to finishing it up! I’ll post progress throughout the month!)

ReadingAloudImage

Throughout the month of October, if you click on the “31 Days to Reading Aloud” button (above, and on the sidebar) it will bring you back to this page… All the posts for the month will be listed below so you can read the entire series! Enjoy… And chime in if you have any Read Aloud memories or tips!

Day 1 – I had a mother who read to me…
(You are here.)

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be–
I had a Mother who read to me.
~Strickland Gillilan

A Word Fitly Spoken…

A few weeks ago, a blogger that I had never met before asked if she could use one of my papercuttings as an image in an upcoming post on “How we use our words.” And I said, “Sure!” because that’s a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Donna Farley of The Rafter’s Scriptorium just let me know that the post is up. It is part of a synchroblog (That’s a new word for me!) where a group of bloggers are posting on the same topic. There are some very thoughtful posts linked there, and reading them this morning got the wheels turning in my head. Which can be dangerous.

:-)

In today’s time, words are plentiful, but most of them are not “fitly spoken.” There is a plethora of sarcasm out there. Snarliness and snarkiness are commonplace. Cursing abounds, as do euphemisms for curse words. I often wonder, “Do they KNOW what that word is short for?!” Dirty jokes are e-mailed back and forth and posted on Facebook. Humor is “in your face” and often crude. And even in our close relationships, we kid and tease each other with cutting remarks. Where are we going with all this?

The only place I know to go is to THE Word.

There’s plenty of Wisdom to be found in the Bible on the subject of our words. What I find there is that controlling our tongues doesn’t just mean waiting until the kids are playing in the other room before you tell that joke. Or saying something good about someone to their face and then tearing them apart when they walk away. Or using a euphemism when you mean the real thing. No, our words go deeper. All the way to the heart.

Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditations of my heart,

be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
~Psalm 19:14~

Rest assured… if this verse is highlighted in my Bible, it’s for a good reason. Because I need to flip by that page every once in a while and see it there all colored in bright red. I’ve had my share of snappy moments, believe me. I’ve gotten on the soapbox of sarcasm more times than I’d like to admit. But He’s still working on me… and thankfully, that Still Small Voice tugs at my heartstring when I go over the line.

Many years ago, I read Proverbs 25: 11 for the first time…

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

…And it made absolutely no sense at all to me. Not even grammatically. It was like the road sign “Bridges ice before highways.” As a kid, I could NOT figure out what that meant, but now as a grown-up, I can’t figure out what was so confusing about it. Of course bridges ice before highways. Same with the “apples of gold” verse. Now it makes perfect sense. It’s highlighted in red too.

God’s Word gives us some excellent advice concerning how we speak, and if I could encourage anyone to do anything, it would be to encourage others with your words. In this day of bullying and sarcasm and just plain meanness, an encouraging word from us can build others up instead of tearing them down like the rest of the world is doing. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, friend, and neighbor… and as a Christian… it really helps me to remember to keep this as a goal…

She opens her mouth with wisdom
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Proverbs 31: 26

That’s also highlighted in red. As you can tell, I need LOTS of reminders!

Day 14 – ReFeathering by Catching up!

One of the main things we’ve been doing the past few weeks is playing “Catch Up.” The Great Bedroom Swap is going slowly because of that. I’m guessing that catching up on things is probably a big part of every empty nest, especially after the flurry of sending a child off to college or to their own nest. So due to a ginormous List of Things That Must Be Accomplished Today, I thought perhaps a quick post about catching up might be appropriate.

A Partial List, 
in Numerical Order of Importance.

1. Study for Spanish II test that is tomorrow
(Could also use prayer for that!)

1.Work on Big Framing Order
(Sherry, if you’re out there checking on the blog,
we laughed so hard yesterday when another
picture to frame arrived in the mail!)

1. Prep for show next weekend
at Belmont Hall 

1. Finish donation for Lilly’s Benefit
(If you can help Lilly’s family in any way,
I know it will be be a blessing to them!)

1. Vacuum…  it’s getting a bit crunchy around here
(Hey, I did wash the dishes!)

Sometimes life seems to speed ahead like an 18-Wheeler going down a mountain without brakes, and we find ourselves wondering how we got so busy, or how we got so behind, or how we got strapped onto the grill of the truck. And there’s no sense in fussing or fuming about it it, because it only makes things worse and everyone around you miserable. The only thing to do is the next thing. Life IS crazy sometimes, but it’s okay, because it’s still life… and it’s precious. And perhaps part of learning to be the Empty Nest “us” is going to be continuing to find balance and playing “Catch Up” when necessary.

And by catching our breath when we can.

Below is a favorite poem that I heard Elisabeth Elliot mention more than once. I’m not sure of the original author, but when I Googled it so I could find all the words, I also found another 31 Day-er who mentioned the idea in her post a few days ago! (Going to have to check out more of those posts on Getting It Together!)

“Doe The Next Thynge”

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “Do the next thing.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing.

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.

Christmas things in the works…

Hello Folks! We’ve been trying to get in the Christmas mood lately, since we have a couple of shows coming up, and will need to have Christmas-y sorts of things on the table!

We’re going to be at…

and also at…

Christmas in Odessa

So, that means lots of Christmas carols playing around here for inspiration. Haven’t broken out the hot chocolate or mulled cider yet, but that’s next.

:-D

This morning, I took a few minutes and added our current Christmas designs to our Tidings of Comfort and Joy shop page. And a few on our Miniature Papercuts page. There’s still a bit more to come, so keep a watch on it… my scissors are still snipping…

Oh, my gosh, my golly
It’s time for mistletoe and holly…

(…and maybe a bit of pine too!)

Something a little different…

One of our General Store ladies, Miss Charlene, requested some papercut shells a while back, and I was a bit pokey about designing them. Actually, they seemed a little scary, so I procrastinated. However, I’ve been tackling projects one-at-a-time the past few days, and once I got the first one cut, the designs really took shape! There are a few more to come, but here are the “just cut, not painted” versions! The staining and painting will be very light, and the frames will be aqua blue, with some antiquing.

© Kim Frey 2010

(Hey, I just figured out how to make a copyright symbol on my Mac keyboard!)

American Folk Art Theme Update!

We have been diligently searching for signs of Spring. It’s starting to feel slightly Spring-like, and the rain smells like a Spring rain. I have a feeling if Spring every really and truly busts loose there’s going to be a great amount of rejoicing on the East Coast! It will be The Most Anticipated Spring Ever. I went out this morning to check on the state of the daffodils… my youngest daughter’s very favorite flower. Perhaps that’s because daffodils are such hopeful flowers. I found some that were pushing up through the mushy soil, but no blooms yet.

And while taking the shot, I had a helper. Actually, I think she was wet and wanted to dry herself off on my pantleg.

Having found no actual daffodils, I thought I’d just make some myself. They’ll have to do for now!

Hop on over to American Folk Art for the March Hare theme update! Today at noon!