Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A New Place to Worship

For 10 years, Brian and I have been attending a small church in Alfalfa. (Brian for a little longer as he attended before we were married.) It was a wonderful church family with good, solid preaching from the Word of God and wonderful hymn singing. I became involved with planning Sunday School and VBS, Brian played the piano every Sunday. Both of our children were born while we attended.

Around Christmas of 2009, the pastor's wife became ill and he felt it was necessary to step down so he could care for her. Brian stepped in as the speaker, but never felt called to become the pastor of the church. One of several reasons was that we lived 30 minutes away from the church and the community. Alfalfa is a rural, farm community that we just don't understand. (We're city folk through and through.)

After 18 months of Brian filling the pulpit, the seeming lack of desire of the people to really search for a new pastor or help out in the church, the numbers dwindling to 7 adults and 6 kids, and the desire for us to be part of a church body in our own community, Brian announced our leaving the Alfalfa Community Church after Easter and the high probability that the church would close. (Interestingly enough, in one week one family in the church pushed the AMF area director to find a pastor and he took over the week after we left. Sadly, the direction the church has taken does not seem to be very solidly based on the Bible.)

A couple years ago, Ed Nelson and his wife began a church in Redmond. Now, Redmond has a lot of churches with a few on our road. Sadly, most of these churches have the wrong doctrine or their music is painful to sit through. We don't enjoy the choruses or praise/worship songs popular in today's churches. We prefer the hymns. The Berean Bible Church has a traditional service with hymns and good preaching. (No drums, no worship team, no bells and whistles.)

We have been attending for a month and a half and already feel so welcomed and loved. The majority of the members are in their 60's and above and no other children attend, but Brian and I have come to realize that is not what church is about. It is a time to gather with other believers and hear from the Word of God. We do hope that other families might start to attend because of our little family being there.

It is an active little church, too. They have a weekly Bible study, monthly men's breakfast, monthly potluck, and other activities scattered throughout the month. We have already been added to a deaconess list and she hugs me every Sunday. We see different opportunities to serve and be a part of this caring and loving body of believers. It truly is good to be in the house of the Lord!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A June Contest

Periodically, QATW will host quilting challenges or contests. For June, we have a contest to finish a quilt. The quilt is something that we had to have started before 2011 and will require at least 10 hours to finish. I had the perfect quilt.

January 2010 marked the beginning of a 30's BOM. 30's is a type of fabric that is reproduced from the fabric made in the 1930's. The fabric is bright, cheery and fun. I love it!

1930’s Fabric Club

BOM = Block Of the Month. The hostess will have a quilt design, but only release one step a month. By the end of the year, the participants will have completed a quilt top. The BOM's at QATW end up being Block of the Moment projects. If most of the people have the latest block completed, directions for the next step will be released. I think we had all the block instructions by June. I added a few borders and extra blocks to my quilt to make it large enough for our bed without struggling too much to keep Brian from stealing it during the night.

Back to the contest. We have to pledge a quilting/sewing notion to enter. Whoever finishes their quilt during the month will have their name put in a basket. The name drawn wins all the notions that have been pledged. Around 2am on Sunday morning, I put the last stitch in the binding of my 30's BOM.

This quilt is already on our bed and I love it. This will be our Spring/Summer quilt.

Now, I need to spend the rest of the week working on swap blocks. I've really procrastinated in getting them done. Time to sew in every spare minute.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Some days do not go as planned...

Periodically, the kids and I end up in Bend overnight doing some house-sitting. Friday night was our latest adventure. Since we didn't have anything going on Saturday and Arthur has been asking to go for a while, I took them to the Bend library. I couldn't plan much for outdoor work as rain was predicted on and off all day.

The Bend library is much larger than the Redmond library with a wonderful children's section. We decided to enjoy the library for an hour or so first and then get some lunch before heading back home. That would get us back home in plenty of time for me to do some much needed indoor stuff that I'm always putting off. Don't ask me why, but I just detest doing dishes and laundry. Sadly, those two chores are never done, even when you've done all you can for the day. Someone then decides they need to change clothes or eat something. Ah, well.

We arrived at the library just after 11 am, only to find the library doesn't open until noon on Saturdays. I saw a sign reading Library Park, so gratefully took the kids over there. There were no slides or swings, but a small path and a few benches backed by a large rock garden. Arthur had a great time climbing over the rocks and Abigail was pleased to just walk around on the brick pathway, thick grass, and rocky sitting area.

At noon, we entered the library and relaxed for an hour and a half playing games on the computer, reading books, playing with the toys and watching the other kids. By 1:30, we were ready to go find some lunch and head home.

Our car is a 1993 Chevy Cavalier. This car has one key to unlock the doors and trunks and a different key to put in the ignition to drive. I admit that I was more interested in talking to Arthur about plans for lunch than in paying attention to which key I was putting in the ignition. When it wouldn't turn, I realized I still had the unlocking key instead of the ignition key in my hand. The was stuck, but I was able to wiggle it out. However, when I put the right key in the ignition, it wouldn't turn.

At this very moment, Brian was just arriving in Prineville (about an hour away) for a video job. He was going to be taping a dance recital at 2:00 and sometime around 6:00 or 6:30. In between the recitals he would have a couple hours. Since he would be working and we needed to eat, the kids and I walked downtown to find Subway. I didn't know that they had closed. (At least I couldn't find them.) But we did find a New York City Sub Shop. By the time we got there (about 4 blocks away) I was regretting not having a stroller for Abigail. We some delicious subs; I love their meatball sub! I called Brian and left a message telling him we were stranded.

The rain poured while we were in the library earlier and in the restaurant, but we didn't have any rain falling while we walked the several blocks to and from the library. I tried the car, key still wouldn't turn. Now, it was close to 3 and busier in the library. Four little girls were running around being pretty wild. They spied Arthur and had fun teasing and pestering him. I finally allowed him to escape to the computers to play as we sat and waited for word from Brian whether he could save us or not.

Just before 4, Brian called saying he could get us in an hour and we'd have to be quick so he could back to Prineville. I did put a shout-out on Facebook for anyone that could help us, but no-one was able to. As the library was closing at 5, Brian drove up. He tried the car ignition with his key and it still didn't work. So, he drove us home and he went off to his second job.

Our car still sits in the 2-hour parking space near the library waiting for a locksmith. Our locksmith friend doesn't have his truck until next week, so we'll call Bend Lock and Safe first thing in the morning to see how quickly they can come fix our car.

So, I broke the car and we will probably have to pay out $100 to get it fixed. Brian's camera is also broken (NOT my fault) and will cost $400 to fix. And then there are the other bills of living on top of that. Things are REALLY tight, but we have an amazing God. He has given us the money to pay bills just when we needed it in the past and we know He can provide, again.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"The Marionettes"

Here is the quilt that I finished on May 23. The man who commissioned it has already received it and loves it. He said it was perfect! That makes me feel so good.

Close up of the quilting detail.

After mailing the quilt, I found I had no other pressing sewing projects, so I brought out a quilt that I made into a top last year. This is a 30's BOM that we did at QATW at the beginning of 2010.

After hunting through my fabrics and piecing together a backing, I then tried to spray baste the layers together. I used this method for "The Marionettes" and it worked wonderfully. This quilt, however, is much larger. The top measures 99x99. Trying to lay fabric out smoothly on a sticky surface is quite a juggling act. When I finished and lifted the quilt, the back was covered in ripples and puckers.

There was only one solution, but I kicked and screamed for a day. Finally, I removed the backing and resprayed the quilt. This time I made sure that the bottom was smooth and taped down well to prevent the ripples. Success!

I am now close to done with the quilting. Tomorrow I will mark the borders for the quilting design and a scalloped edge. We may be sleeping under this quilt by next weekend. :)