Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Eagles

This morning we watched an ice fisherman who was on the lake just out in front of our house. He seemed to be having good luck catching fish. It might be the last weekend for ice fishing. The ice is turning very dark. Puddles are beginning to appear, and I am hoping that it won't be long before the ice is gone. Spring is finally coming.

At lunchtime we looked out at the lake again. The ice fisherman was gone... but something else was out there. We grabbed the binoculars - and this is what we saw:

I wished that I had a better camera, with more zoom. I was afraid to go outside to get closer, I didn't want them to fly away. So I took this picture through the window (which still has plastic on it from winter) with my little Canon point and shoot camera.  These eagles were so big!  It was a such a precious gift to see them. I wondered, are they husband and wife? Are they by one of the holes the man had made this morning? Were they fishing too?
They stayed there quite a while and I didn't want to leave the window. Of course, as soon as I turned away to dish up lunch they flew away.
What a magnificent Creator God we have! He didn't stop at just one kind of bird or one kind of animal, but created all kinds of beautiful things! Living up north I have many more opportunities to see God's creations in their natural habitat. From these eagles to the loons, hummingbirds and goldfinches who visit in the summer, the whitetail deer who have been visiting us this winter, and the red squirrels and chipmunks in the yard, I am thankful for them all.
Spring is coming, and soon the eagles won't have ice to land on, but I hope they'll be around so we can enjoy them in the air, or landing in one of our trees!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hymn for Today

  1.            Higher Ground

  2. I’m pressing on the upward way,
    New heights I’m gaining every day;
    Still praying as I’m onward bound,
    “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
    • Refrain:
      Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
      By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
      A higher plane than I have found;
      Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
  3. My heart has no desire to stay
    Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
    Though some may dwell where those abound,
    My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.
  4. I want to live above the world,
    Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
    For faith has caught the joyful sound,
    The song of saints on higher ground.
  5. I want to scale the utmost height
    And catch a gleam of glory bright;
    But still I’ll pray till heav’n I’ve found,
    “Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Sometimes we don't know where the Lord is leading us. Like the path in the picture, we can't see the destination. We know, however, that God is leading us to higher ground - and not only will He lead us, He will help us and even carry us when we can't go on alone. Pray the prayer from this hymn, "Lord, plant my feet on higher ground." 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fingerpaint Art

Whenever our grandchildren come to visit they always ask if we're going to do any art projects.  Isabelle loves making cards with my stamping stuff,,, and all the kids like using my Little Big Shot die-cutting machine. So we started out making washi tape egg garlands like the ones I saw on

Our next project was to make flowers like these:

Our big project of the day, however, was to use fingerpaint to paint canvases. We got the idea from

I bought this fingerpaint and canvases at WalMart. So we spread out newspaper on the table, and then each grandchild decided what design they wanted on their canvas. I used my Silhouete machine to cut the design out of vinyl. We positioned the design on the canvas and smoothed it down. Then it was time to paint!
We made sure that we covered the whole canvas with paint, and llet the paint dry a bit before peeling off the vinyl. 

Here are the canvases right after they were painted. The vinyl design is still on.

Here are the finished pictures!

These pictures were fun to make. Didn't they turn out cute!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Climbing Miner's Mountain

Our son, Brenton, and his kids are here to visit for the weekend. We decided this morning that we wanted an adventure, so we headed to Miner's Mountain.

Here's the view of Miner's Mountain from across the lake:

 Parts of the path were still covered with snow, but that didn't stop us. The kids kept an eye out for treasures along the way.

This hawk looked us over pretty good as we neared the top.

It took us about an hour to hike up there - and the view from the top was amazing!

I want to go back this summer and enjoy a picnic lunch on top of Miner's Mountain.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Midweek Musings

It's Wednesday - the day that many call "hump day" and since it's almost 8 PM I can say that I've made it over half way through the week.

Here are just a few thoughts from the week so far:

  • Yesterday was my mom's birthday. If she was still alive she'd have turned 85 yesterday. I can't really say that I wish my mom was still here ... not with all the physical health issues and mental health battles that she had for the last 15 or so years before she went home to be with Jesus. I am happy that she is whole again in the arms of Jesus. But there are times I long for a mom to go shopping with, bake cookies with, talk late into the night, etc. There are questions I want to ask mom about how to grow old, when to let my hair go gray, how to trust Jesus in the next season of my life, etc. My mom was a great mom when she was well. She loved life, she loved to make every occasion a special one. She loved her kids (me and my brother) and her grandkids.
  • I went for my second motorcycle ride tonight. My first ride was years ago, in north Minneapolis when we were at a party and a friend had his bike there. Craig took me for a ride. Now Craig has his own motorcycle, and we went for a short ride. We have to write it on the calendar - "April 9 - first ride of the season." It was a little cold, but it was a celebration of the fact that winter has (finally) lost its grip on northern Minnesota, and spring isn't too far away.
  • I have been working at my current job for 21 months now. I know a lot more about it than I did when I started, but still often feel in over my head. The biggest problem is not having the time to really learn things - there are so many deadlines, so many interruptions, so many crises that demand my attention. I rarely have time to celebrate finishing a project. I guess I miss that most from my former job as elementary school secretary. There was a beginning and an end each year - tasks that were only done once a year. All the staff celebrated the beginnings and the ends of each year. But maybe I need to learn from my mom and make my own celebrations?
  • It's so easy to become a couch potato. I have found that by the time I get home from work, help make supper and clean up, that all I want to do is sit on the couch and read until I doze off, or watch TV, or surf the web. And so the evening melts away and too quickly it's time for bed. I had such plans last fall to do crafts in the evenings, to make things that I could sell this spring. This week I decided that I need to get some fresh air and exercise in the evenings. At least the sun stays in the sky longer now, so I can get outside and take a walk ... and so I have.
  • Our grandchildren are coming up for a visit this weekend, and I'm so excited to see them. We haven't seen them since Christmas. I always wanted to be the grandma who is at all the ball games, the concerts, going to school to have lunch with my grandkids, being there when needed. And here I am, over 4 hours away! So I will try to make this weekend special... savour every moment with them. I hope it doesn't rain!!
  • Next week is Semana Santa (Holy Week) in Guatemala. It's a super big holiday in Antigua, Guatemala where my daughter and family live. Last year I was there for Semana Santa. My grandson had just been born and I went down there to help my daughter and her husband for a week. Next week I will be remembering the parades, the flower carpets on the streets, the costumed people, and all the festivities. I will remember our Easter Sunday lunch at a restaurant high on a hill. Somehow I think we're missing something here during this holy week. We treat the week as we do every other one instead of stopping to remember, reflect, and celebrate the fact that we have Easter because our Saviour, Jesus Christ willingly gave His life up on a cross to pay the penalty for your sins and mine, and then He rose again, having victory over death, so that some day you and I (if we believe in Him and make Him Lord of our lives) can go to heaven to live with Him eternally. Will you join me in taking time next week to make it a holy time - a celebration - an offering of thanksgiving to Him?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Magnetic Picture

I have two necklaces whose pendants are metal and are made to fit a magnet. I have bought many special magnets to fit in the pendants. That way I can have a necklace for lots of different outfits.

Up until yesterday I kept the magnets in a regular jewelry box. They stuck together and I was always hunting for the one I was looking for.

Last weekend I decided to make a framed board for the magnets. I had bought an old little door with glass in it several years ago. I had always thought that I was going to use it to frame a picture - but until last weekend it sat in storage in the garage. I retrieved the frame from the garage, cut a piece of sheet metal to fit inside of it, and spray painted the metal a dark grey. I actually used magnetic paint, even though it was already made of metal. Then I spray painted the frame a cream color. I found a new handle, which my husband mounted on the frame. (The frame had come with a handle, but someone has painted it and I didn't like the way it looked.) Last night we hung the frame in the bedroom, added the magnetics and hung the necklaces from the handle. I love it! It looks so pretty and I won't have to hunt for the magnets any more.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Silhouette Project

Here are the latest projects I've made using my Silhouette.

I made this cute little jar from a jelly jar. I used the Silhouette to cute the owl out of vinyl - but instead if sticking the owl on the jar, I used the outline to stencil the owl onto the jar using enamel paint especially for glass. Then I painted the lid the same color.

For this picture I again used the Silhouette to cut the letters out of vinyl. But this time I used transfer paper to transfer the letters on to the glass. I found the chevron fabric at Joann Fabrics. I cut a piece to fit behind the glass. And then I put the whole picture together.
(I found the blue rain boots at Goodwill. Aren't they cute?)

With each project I learn a little more about how best to use the Silhouette and materials. Thank goodness for Pinterest and YouTube. I've found lots of helpful hints and tutorials.

Do you have a Silhouette? If so, what projects have you made with it?