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This year the Survival Skills day camp moved to a new location, Wise County Park at Bridgeport Lake. 002-IMG_4311

The campsite/park is located between Bridgeport and Chico, and just three minutes from my house-a super plus!001-IMG_4310017-IMG_4369

This day had been covered in prayer and it turned out to be a perfect day. The weather was perfect and the ever blowing wind was down.

Just as planned our day started at 8:00 am.

Starting the fire is always first on our list of setting up camp. We at least try to start the fire without using a lighter, and this year the Survival Skills class started the fire with dried grass, twigs that they gathered from around the camp and a flint-with some help from one of our chaperones, Jason.

They set up the tent, which was a group effort, while the fire built up enough to start breakfast.

Just in time! The fire is ready to start the pancakes and hot cocoa.

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After breakfast they had a few hours of free time. They had the options of fishing, hiking, or kayaking. They all chose kayaking and spent the whole entire time on the water.

Several students had their own kayaks and were experts. Others needed about a ten minute crash course and they were ready to go.

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This campsite actually turned out to be pretty perfect. There was a slough that ran just behind our camp. It was big enough for all the kayaks to fit, but not too big. It ran into the main body of the lake, but they stayed in the slough.

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It didn’t take long for them to ditch the kayaks and jump into the water.

We did have a couple of fishermen.

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Lunch time came too soon for our kayaking crew.

We had our usual hot dogs and chips, with cactus on the side.

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Don’t you just LOVE a good ole American hot dog?

It is our custom to finish our day camp off with s’mores. Perfect finish!

This year the Survival Skills teacher forgot to bring the roasting sticks, so the students had to actually kick into Survival Skills mode and get creative. So we did it the old fashion way and cut sticks off of the trees and trimmed the tops to a point.

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Back into the water and kayaks one last  time!072-IMG_4573

A big round of applause to our amazing parents! They sacrificed their Saturday to bring their children to the camp, bright and early. They supplied food, drinks and supervised the camp. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing group of parents!

But I have to give kudos for the little heroes of the day. The little ones who very patiently sat at the shore and watched, with no hope whatsoever of participating in the water fun, but didn’t seem to mind just watching.

Who stood by ready to lend a helping hand.

Who made new friends.

Who found whatever way they could to pass the time.

Who practiced their survival skills.

Yes, this was the perfect day, everything about it was in our favor, a gift from our Lord.

But . . .

*Note to self: Don’t forget the insect repellent next year-Chiggers are out earlier than originally thought!

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This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.    Psalm 118:24

 

 

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The Sleep Over

It broke her little heart every time she had to leave her big sister at mammy and gump’s house to spend the night. She wanted to stay so bad, and she was determined that she would be big enough, and brave enough, but she was too attached to mommy and could not bear to leave her for even just one night.

So mommy and mammy devised a plan. She would finally get to spend the night, along with her sister and her mommy. The perfect solution.

The plan was set in motion and preparations were underway. She was so excited and it bubbled out of her and onto the rest of us. She could not wait. 

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They came bearing gifts. Each of us got a new pair of pajamas, so after dinner, the girls got their bath in mammy’s great big tub (a favorite thing for them),then they donned their new pj’s and the fun began.

We went from one project to another. They spent hours painting (another favorite), and coloring.

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Even mommy joined in the painting fun.

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Mammy and mommy spent time on their favorite things as well.

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It was perfect !

She ended up with mammy for just about ten minutes, them spent the rest of the night with mommy. But she was happy. And mammy was happy. And we are already planning our next sleep over.

37-IMG_5372Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

 

 

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All Year Round Jacket

I found the most delightful Norwegian knitting patterns here and here. Unfortunately for me, not all the patterns come in English, and I want them all!

I have two of their wonderful patterns, but this is the first one that I have actually knitted.

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This pattern is called the All Year Round Jacket, and it is knitted totally in a three by three ribbed pattern. It is very stretchy and bouncy. The pattern is a one size fits     2-5.

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One of Aniyah’s favorite features of this pattern is the little pockets, just big enough to hold her treasures. This was the first time I have made pockets in a sweater and I almost eliminated them but decided that I wanted to learn how to make them.

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I changed the pattern some by adding a band along the front. It kind of messed it up, so I added the buttons and it seemed to make up for it.

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The Boutique Unforgettable yarn is from Red Heart and I purchased it at Walmart. It is a self striping yarn and comes in a few different colors. I am a huge fan of self striping yarns. This yarn was nice to knit and came out feeling really soft. I used two skeins for this project.

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Aniyah will be able to wear this sweater for a few years because of the sizing. I always appreciate a pattern that allows for growing room.

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I also clothed you with embroidered cloth and put sandals of porpoise skin on your feet; and I wrapped you with fine linen and covered you with silk.   Ezekiel 16:10

 

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An Asian Event

I started collecting for this event about three years ago, constantly looking everywhere I went for things to add to my collection. I was finally ready when I purchased the girls the sweetest little Chinese dresses off from Wish.

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I purchased the beautiful Kanzashis (hair sticks) at an estate sale. The Kanzashi was  Aria’s favorite.

The long string (fake) pearls also came from the same sale.

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The Wagasas (paper umbrella) were purchased at one of my favorite places, the flea market in Bowie. I grabbed one every time I went for a few trips, my original plan was to invite guests. The girls loved them, but I think that the wagasas was Aniyah’s favorite.

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The dinner and tea was a total surprise for them and they were so excited. I had everything ready so that it would be the first thing they saw when they walked into the house.

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I served them chicken stir fry and rice, with egg rolls on plates purchased at the local thrift store, and I have been saving chop sticks from restaurants for a while.

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They both tried the chop sticks, and Aniyah really seemed to get the hang of it.

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Aria, not so much, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.

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The egg rolls were a big hit.

The beautiful tea set was a gift to my daughter from a sweet friend.

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Fruit and gluten free cupcakes topped off the dinner.

We had a wonderful dinner and the girls were thrilled with their treasures.

 

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Oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 34:8

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Just A Note

So I finished Aria’s scarf and was totally surprised by what I found when I blocked it.

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This beautiful, colorful yarn ran when I got it wet, not just a little, but a lot! I soaked and rinsed it twice and the color would not stop running. I even soaked it in hot vinegar water, but it still ran.

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I am a little concerned that if she wears it outside and gets it wet that it may ruin her clothes.

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A good thing to know.

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Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

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We’d Be Held

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

We have fallen on hard times here and there is no making any sense of it. It has fallen on many hearts, in many places and we each share in the grief of the other.

And as we lament, each in our own way, this deep, passionate expression of grief; weeping, wailing, sobbing, or just the plain beating of our chest, we find solace in the only place imaginable, or sensible. We find it in the arms of our Lord.

John Piper in his sermon on Job, When the Righteous Suffer tells it like this when he quoted one of his favorite pastors and authors, George Muller as he preached his wife’s funeral after 39 years of marriage.

And this is what he said, “I miss her in numberless ways and shall miss her yet more and more.”

John Piper pauses here and adds, “ He’s not naïve, the pain is real. The pain is deep. Please let nothing that I say in these hours together in any way imply that you shouldn’t feel the full force of the pain of loss. And weep. And shave your head. And tear your clothes. And fall on the ground.”

And he continues, “I will miss her in numberless ways and shall miss her yet more and more. But as a child of God and as a servant of the Lord Jesus, I bow. I am satisfied with the will of my heavenly Father. I seek by perfect submission to His holy will, to glorify Him. I kiss continually the Hand that has thus afflicted me.”

So I look to Him, and He to me, and I feel His comforts all around me. He uses many forms, and many sources, bringing them all together like a beautiful symphony on my heart. He is true to His promises. He has never left me or forsaken me. He has become my strong tower. I have felt His ironclad arms, strong and mighty, holding me, protecting me, wrapping me up tight. Fierce and immensely powerful, yet tender and loving, gently holding me close, lovingly whispering His precious promises in my ear and on my heart.

He sings over me (Zeph. 3:17) and the words of the song fall softly on my heart, reminding me of those promises, opening the eyes of my heart to His presence, revealing His tender care of me, “like the precious oil upon the head, running down the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments.” (Ps. 133:2) And the words that soothe, that hush and quiet my throbbing heart are held in the song He gave me.

This is what it means to be held, how it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive. This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was that when everything fell, We’d be held.

(Held~by Natalie Grant)

And there is was and I knew it was from Him and I knew He was showing me and reminding me. The promise was that when everything fell, we’d be held.

I have been held, and I have been loved and I knew in that moment that He would never let me go.

And I too, along with George Muller can say, “ But as a child of God and as a servant of the Lord Jesus, I bow. I am satisfied with the will of my heavenly Father. I seek by perfect submission to His holy will, to glorify Him. I kiss continually the Hand that has thus afflicted me.”

I’m not so sure that the Lord did not give Natalie Grant that song, those words, just for me, just for this moment, because that is what it truly means to be loved, and to be held. Please read the beautiful words of this song and listen to the music. Whatever you are going through, just lay back in His arms, close your eyes and just be held.

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The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

 

Zephaniah 3:17

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I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect pattern for Aniyah’s outfit. I knew what I wanted in my head but was having a hard time finding it in a pattern. I knew that I would probably have to tweak the pattern to get exactly what I wanted, but I did not have the time to just make my own design. So this is the pattern that I finally settled on.

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The inspiration came from a pair of leggings that I purchased from Old Navy for Aniyah. They just so happen to match some fabric that her mama had bought for her before she was born. The fabric came from here.

I used the same three fabrics that I used for Aria’s vintage outfit, I just changed the order in which I used it.

The pattern is a long dress and I actually considered it, but she is still pretty small and I kept seeing her trip over the bottom of the dress, so I once again changed the length.

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I really wanted ruffles on the front of this dress, so I just added them along the outside of the bodice front.

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I used the same vintage velvet trim that I used on Aria’s, just a different color and width. I also added the trim to the cuffs.

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I added the dark brown dandelion fabric to the waist band.

This dress also zips up the back.

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Usually when I make matching outfits for the girls I like to incorporate their own personality and style into the project, making them the same but different.

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For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  Galatians 3:27

 

 

 

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