Monday, December 22, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Keepin' It Real at Christmastime

For those of you overwhelmed by jingling bells, perfectly decked halls, and chestnuts roasting on an open fire, WELCOME TO DOWN ON THE FARM!!!

I just put my FAKE Christmas tree up last night.

I can't even find my tree skirt -- seriously, I thought it was in the box with the tree???

My ornaments don't match.  They don't even have a theme.  And I only put them on the side of the tree that people can see.

I put my tree in front of my front door (uh, nobody EVER uses our front door) because it's the only place I can put it where I don't have to move something.  To be brutally honest I haven't even put up a Christmas tree the past two years.  It's just too much trouble!!!  But since my kids no longer live at home, I want it to seem Christmasy when they are here.  I had to have the tree up by this Thursday when our daughter comes home from college for winter break!!  How's that for giving yourself a deadline!!!!!

I have no Christmas lights on the outside of my house, and when I asked my husband this morning on a scale of 1 to 10 what his interest was in putting up Christmas lights he responded "zero." But I'm still working on him!!

Just this past weekend I had my sweet husband take a scoop shovel and scoop up the remains of the dead, frozen, deflated, mushy pumpkins from the back steps.  I'm not kidding.  They were GROSS.

I still have DEAD FERNS in the pots on my front porch and back porch.  (Note to self -- THROW THE DEAD FERNS AWAY TONIGHT!!)

I haven't mailed any Christmas cards.  Who am I kidding, I haven't ORDERED any Christmas cards.

I've not baked one cookie.  I've not wrapped one gift.

Am I stressed??


Why am I not stressed?


Yes, I will have gifts for everyone by Christmas.  They will be wrapped.  They will be pretty, not fancy.  There will be plenty of good food to eat, but no artfully decorated homemade sugar cookies. My home would not impress anyone, but it is full of love for my family and my friends.  And it is my desire that all who enter our home feel loved.

But make no mistake, Christmas is about one thing -- Jesus.

Luke 2:10-11  Fear not: for, behold, I bring
 you good tidings of great joy, which shall
be to all people.
For unto you is born this day
 in the city of David a Saviour, 
which is Christ the Lord.

So today, if you find yourself in a whirlwind trying to keep up with the "Joneses" of your world just STOP.  Don't do that to yourself.  It doesn't matter.


Embrace the real meaning of Christmas.  The Son of God, sent from heaven to save an undeserving world.  A Baby born in a stable, raised by a carpenter, crucified on a tree for the sins of the world, MY RISEN SAVIOUR!!!!!


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Keepin' Your Ears Warm

You may know that I am a knitter.  Which is to say I am a BEGINNING KNITTER.  Which really just means I have a few needles and some yarn and I can knit and purl.  

My beautiful daughter has been begging me to knit an ear warmer for her.  She says it's COLD when she walks from class to class.  So I have searched online and finally came up with a pattern for a really cute ear warmer that doesn't have very many complicated stitches.

'Cause us beginning knitters can't do complicated stitches. But I don't want to make something that isn't cute.  If I'm going to put the time and effort into knitting something, I want it to be something I am proud of, and that my daughter will be proud to wear.  Does that make sense?

So a couple of weeks ago I found a pattern for a "Lacy Earwarmer."  It was under the heading "One Hour Projects."  So I figured hey, one hour project, how hard can it be?  Sounds simple.  I can do simple.

I had some yarn I bought a couple of years ago because I wanted to knit myself some fingerless mittens.  I haven't made the mittens, so I still have the yarn.  I had to make two trips to JoAnn Fabric to buy the right size knitting needles.  I bought the right size needle the first time, but after I got them home I noticed they were too long.  This project is knitted on circular needles, and the ones I bought were too LONG.  So I took them back and exchanged them this past Monday for shorter circular needles. 

Last night I told myself SIT DOWN AND KNIT YOUR DAUGHTER SOME EARWARMERS!!!  I mean, it's only a one hour project, right?  I have plenty of time to do this, I said.  It will be easy, I said.

I had to cast on the stitches THREE TIMES because I kept running out of yarn.  A simple beginners mistake I guess, but really, can any of you professional knitters out there tell me how in the world you know how much yarn to use in a long tail cast on??  'Cause its BEYOND FRUSTRATING to have to cast on THREE TIMES!  UGH!!!

Finally, I was able to cast on 63 stitches and join in the round and away I went.  Or so I thought.  Some of the stitches were new to me.  I mean SSK??  What in the world is SSK?  YO?? Hello, what is YO?  But I have discovered that YOUTUBE is absolutely PRICELESS for us beginning knitters.  Did you know that you can find a YouTube video that shows every knitting stitch in the world????  I can now tell you with certainty that not only do I know what SSK and YO mean ("slip slip knit" and "yarn over" for you non-knitters out there), but I can actually knit those stitches!  YEAH ME!!!

Once I got the hang of the new stitches, the pattern was really pretty simple.  And here is the finished product.  Ta da!!!!!

I think it turned out very nicely.  It is warm and soft. Just what my daughter ordered.

But I would like to say this.  It took me a whole lot longer than ONE HOUR!!  I started knitting about 9:30 p.m. and finished this project at 1:00 a.m.  Yes, I am a beginning knitter.  Yes I had to cast on three times.  Yes I had to check the pattern -- a lot.  And YouTube.  Lots and lots of time on YouTube.  I am going to make another one, and I can probably do it in an hour or so, now that I'm not checking YouTube every few minutes!

I'd be happy to share the pattern if anyone is interested!  And if you have any knitting advice to share, I would LOVE it!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Hands to the Heavens

One of my FAVORITE contemporary Christian songs -- "Hands to the Heavens" by Kari Jobe.

We are your church
We are your sons and daughters
We've gathered here to meet with you
We lift our eyes
We lay our hearts before you
Expectant here for you to move
With our hands to the heaven alive
In your presence oh God
When you come
So pour out your spirit
We love to be near you oh God
When you come
You are the way
The truth and the life we live for
Oh how we long to know you more
Come like a rushing wind
Come light the fire again
Come like a burning flame
Have your way
Have your way

I am challenged to truly embrace the words of this song.  I want to lift my eyes to Him.  I want to lay my heart before God and EXPECT Him to move.  Yes, not just hope He moves, but expect Him to move.

When Elijah prayed for the fire to fall from heaven, I don't believe he doubted for one SECOND that God would answer his prayer.  (Read I Kings Chapter 18)  He KNEW that God was going to show up in a big way, and HE did!

In Acts Chapter 3, when Peter said to the lame man at the Beautiful Gate "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk" there was no hesitation, because He trusted God completely.

Oh, for a faith like that.

So today I say to God "Come like a rushing wind, come light the fire again, come like a burning flame, HAVE YOUR WAY, HAVE YOUR WAY!"

That should be the desire of everyone who calls Him Lord.  For Him to have His way.