Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood,
Sealed my pardon with his blood:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
Spotless Lamb of God was he;
Full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

Lifted up was he to die,
“It is finished!” was his cry:
Now in heav’n exalted high:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

When he comes, our glorious King,
All his ransomed home to bring,
Then anew this song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! what a Savior!

~(Hymn “Man of Sorrows” also known as “Hallelujah! What a Savior”)


Sew cool!

My first project on my new sewing machine!

My first project on my new sewing machine!

My mom used to sew quite a bit.  She would always make me and my sister matching dresses for Easter and Christmas.  I’ve always been a bit of the creative type, so I dabbled in sewing pretty early.  The first project that I remember was a red and navy skirt from some scrap fabric.  I had the idea, but I didn’t know how to work the machine yet.  My mom ended up sewing it for me.  Basically it was just a tube that I pulled on for “play.”

I have since learned how to actually use a sewing machine.  Most of the things I have sewed were just ideas that I thought I’d try out.  What this means is I did a lot of pinning, and quite a bit of seam-ripping.

I saw a bag a few weeks ago that I thought was pretty cute, and looked fairly simple.  Plus I just got my own sewing machine this past Christmas and haven’t had chance to use it yet!  I was pretty excited to try it out.  I tried to take a few pictures while I was sewing, but I was a little too excited and I kept forgetting!

I got some fabric from a local store.  The solid is a canvas type fabric.  Its pretty stiff and sturdy.  I wanted the bag to be able to have a little bit of shape.  The print is also a more stiff type, but maybe not quiet as much as the yellow canvas.  I cut 2 rectangles from each fabric.  I used 18” x 20”.  I also cut two 4” x 43” strips from the yellow for the handles.

Fun bright fabrics!

Fun bright fabrics!

I started with the handles.  I folded the fabric in half and sewed the LONG way down one side.   (Generally I’d say fold good-side to good-side, but my canvas didn’t really seem to have a wrong or a right side).


Then you need to turn the whole long tube/handle inside out, so that the seam is hidden inside.  This turned out to be a bit of work with the stiff canvas fabric!  Thankfully my husband helped me work on this while he watched some basketball on TV J  I found it was easiest sticking my thumb inside, pinching the fabric on the outside, then rolling my pointer finger down the fabric so that my thumb is exposed again.


Basically I rolled the fabric between my thumb and forefinger.  It takes some pulling and pushing.

Then put your 2 outside rectangles together, right sides together.  Sew down the two opposite sides. This step will create a circle of fabric.  Fold the fabric so that your two seams are laying on top of each other in the middle.  Sew across the bottom to make the bag.


Then we will do a box corner.  This is where I should have taken more pictures, but I was getting excited that it was actually turning into something recognizable!

Push the corners of the bag into a triangle shape, with the seam running down the middle of the triangle.  Then you’ll sew about two inches from the corner across to actually make a triangle shape.  (Google a box corner if this isn’t making sense.  Someone out there has to have a good example!)  Do this with the other corner.  Then repeat the whole bag sequence with your lining fabric.

Now we’ll add the handles to the outside fabric.  I pinned them down where I thought they looked good.  I brought the ends all the way to where the “bottom” of the bag was.


I tucked the very end of the straps inside itself so that there is a better looking hem.  Sew from the top of the bag down the strap, across the bottom, then back up again.  I only did three sides, being sure not to sew the back ALL the way to the top of the bag.  You’ll need some room for a seam.  Do this for both handles.

See how I tucked the raw ends inside? It looks much cleaner this way.

See how I tucked the raw ends inside? It looks much cleaner this way.

Now stuff the “outside” fabric (mine is colored) INSIDE the “inside” fabric (mine is solid).  Put the fabric good-side to good-side.  Sew around the top attaching the outside to the lining.  DO NOT SEW ALL THE WAY AROUND!  You need to leave yourself an opening a few inches wide to flip the whole bag inside out.  Pull the whole bag through this hole so that you see both “right” sides, like it should be!  This also takes a little work as there is a lot of fabric and its fairly stiff!

After I sewed the lining to the outside.  I gave myself a pretty big seam allowance.

After I sewed the lining to the outside. I gave myself a pretty big seam allowance.


After flipping the bag inside out, I sewed around the top of the bag again, very close to the edge.  This time I went ALL the way around.  To help the seams hold (and because I think it looks nice) I sewed around the bag a THIRD time.  This time about a half inch from the edge.  So if you look closely at the pictures of the finished bag you’ll be able to see two lines going around the top.  This will help the lining stay on the inside and the outside stay on the outside.

After I nearly had the bag complete, I finished the square I started sewing to attach the handles.  I did one more stitch on each handle to complete the square.  This also attaches the lining to the outside.  This will help the lining stay put a little better when you’re putting things in the bag and taking them back out.

To finish it off I took out a needle and hid all the strings I had hanging everywhere from sewing.  My “starting” and “ending” strings were still hanging out because I hadn’t cut them off.  What I did was thread the needle with the string I had sticking out.  Then I put the needle into the fabric near where it was sticking out, then pushed the needle out an inch or so away.  Here is where I cut the string.  This way there is about an inch length’s worth of “tail” hidden inside the bag.


Ta Da!  This bag is pretty fun and really not too hard (though as I’m typing it out it sounds very confusing!)  I already have an idea for my next one… stay tuned!

~ T ~

2nd Sunday

My family has a tradition.  The 2nd sunday of each month is reserved for going to Grandma’s house.  We call it “2nd Sunday.”  Clever, I know.

I’m actually not even sure when this started.  I can’t remember a time when we haven’t had 2nd Sunday.  Its a pretty good time, a great reason just to get together with family and catch up on our lives.  We’re all getting older, moving to different cities/states, changing majors, jobs…. Sometimes its hard to stay on top of where everyone is at in their lives.  Especially because we have a pretty big family!

Family Picture

Get together of (almost) everyone for Grandma’s birthday last summer.

This past 2nd Sunday there was quite a bit of bad weather here.  Many of us were already on our way to Grandma’s house for dinner when we decided it wasn’t worth the risk; it took no less than a ground blizzard to cancel our monthly get-together.

All of this really had me thinking how special it really is that we can even have 2nd Sunday.  Many people I know aren’t on good terms with family or they are too far apart to meet as often as we do.  I couldn’t even imagine something like that; I’ve never experienced it.

Grandma always says how her neighbors comment all the time on the amount of vehicles she has parked in front of her house when we all come.  She’s quite proud of this bunch and loves to tell her neighbors and friends about how often she has kids, grandkids and great-grandkids at her house to visit.

I never really understood that as a kid.  For me, 2nd Sunday was a time to play with my cousins.  We used to walk to the park after dinner and play lots of games.

When I got a little older, I liked 2nd Sunday because I got to eat some really good home-cooked food.  I was at the point in my life where all my older siblings were gone (moved out of the house, I mean) and so big dinners weren’t as common as home.

Then I got older still, an adult, if you will.  And now I like 2nd Sunday because I like to visit (chit-chat).  My 10-year-old self would be in utter disbelief that I just said that.  Its funny how I see these people many times a year and I can’t even keep track of what they’re up to!  Its nice to talk about what everyone is doing.

I’m also getting to the point where I think i can finally understand why Grandma likes it so much, too.  Its crazy to think back on how my views of 2nd Sunday have changed over the years.

Old family picture

Everyone gathered at Grandma’s; one of my first times!

We really don’t do anything different.  We still plan on going to Grandma’s the 2nd sunday of each month.  We still all bring some sort of food to share.  The little ones still play together.  The older ones sit and visit.  And the older ones yet just bask in the glory of all the family that still comes to visit.  Everyone’s roles have changed; yet despite all the change, nothing has changed!

Its sometimes hard to believe how different 2nd Sunday feels now, even though its still the same as it was.

In any case, its still special, perhaps in a different way than before, after all these years.

Jacob’s 2 months!

Jacob is two months already!  Really? Has it been that long already?  Well, he just had his two months appointment and it definitely shows! He had started out with slow weight gain as it took two weeks to even get to his birth weight. But now he has gone from being in the 30th percentile for his weight to being in the 80th percentile!  He is now weighing 13 lbs 5oz and 24 inches long!

Jacob - two months

Jacob – two months

Isn’t he cute? 🙂  And well, I do love to compare the growth of my kids.  And their pictures.  So first we have big sister Abigail. My long lean little girl was 24.5 inches and 10 lbs. Taller and thinner.


Abigail at 2 months!

See the resemblance?  If she wasn’t wearing pink, I could most assuredly mistake her for Jacob.  Okay, so now on to big brother Isaac.  He was definitely big!! And a bit short I guess.  He was only 22.5 inches long but a whopping 15 lbs.


Isaac at two months

So there’s my little kids.  And for a little giggle, a small glimpse into my life with a 4 year old.  Here is the setting: I am seated on the couch, checking my email.  Abigail comes up to me and asks me very politely if I can move to the other couch.
Me: Why?
Abigail: My imaginary friends Kyra and Cali are here and Krya is going to sleep there (pointing at the cushion I am leaning against.)  Cali is going to sleep there (pointing at the cushion next to me.) And I am going to sleep there. (Pointing to the third cushion.)
I reply: Oh, that wouldn’t be nice if I squish Kyra would it?
Abigail: No.
Me: Can I squish you? (I’m feeling a bit ornery)
Abigail: Nooo.  But you and daddy can squish each other.

😀  Gotta love the mind of a 4 year old.



Have you ever been so overwhelmed, you just don’t quite know what to do, or which family member is going to trigger that “unglued” moment?  I’m certainly not proud of it, but sometimes I let my emotions get the better of me. 

I’m doing a Bible study with some other Moms at Ally’s school called “Unglued” — the website is here: Unglued.  I think it’s a perfect time of year to be going through this study as March 15th (a huge deadline for accountants or people like me in the pension/retirement world) is right around the corner.  So instead of running those numbers, I’m trying to write my first entry to my sisters on this blog.  🙂

Lysa Terkeurst, the author, has such a witty and honest way of going through common scenarios in life.  I certainly cannot recreate her humor, but I have a lot of takeaways that I am praying I’ll put into action.  Here are some awesome reminders that I’m hoping will help me limit those “unglued” moments:

  • There’s a big difference between replying/responding and reacting.  3 rules for replying in a tense situation:
    1. Begin reply by honoring the other person.  You don’t need to honor their words, but you can honor the person.
    2. Keep response short & full of grace.  (Otherwise it’s too easy to be defensive.)
    3. End by extending compassion.  (Don’t fake it!)
  • Whose side am I on anyway?  (God’s side!)
  • Remember: who is the real enemy? 
  • I am a work in progress, and God is full of grace!
  • Doesn’t my family deserve that grace from me, too?
  • When we’re feeling unglued, we may want to have a plan in place (like King Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20).  We need to be “resolved”.  To remember who we are, redirect our focus, recognize God’s job isn’t ours, praise & thank God, and realize that reactions (good or bad) can have a shockwave type effect.  (That’s a bit scary when you think of your kids and grandkids being affected by your every day decisions.)

Each time I go through another set of questions, I am so grateful for all the grace my family has given me.  Love you!

“You Don’t Know, Oh Oh!”

Thats right.  One Direction.  Boy band.

My nieces got a new Wii game this past Christmas; Just Dance 4.  These girls both love to dance, and its actually got some pretty popular songs on it.  They had a ball playing.

The new game my nieces got!

The new game my nieces got!

So after a few hours of playing, all the little ones go to bed.  Let me clarify.  For holidays all of my siblings travel to our parents house to celebrate.  Generally this means long days of the cousins playing games, etc.  It also means late nights of the adults staying up and playing cards or chatting.

Some of us figured we should try this new game out, too!  Yes its easy to cheat (its a Wii… movements are detected by the handheld remote.  So technically you could do really well by sitting in your la-z-boy.  I’m not proud of it, but I ended up playing for several hours throughout the holiday!  It was kinda fun, and a good workout!

Getting back to my point; “You don’t know, oh oh!” (If you haven’t caught on, these are the lyrics to the song “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction.)  We heard and danced to this song.  A lot.

The little kids loved it, and it was also a ‘group’ dance, which made it fun for the adults.  But let me tell you what you don’t know… this will get stuck in your head.  Forever.  I’m not just saying that this is a catchy tune, because it is.  I’m saying that I was sitting at work today and the song came on the radio.  I nearly got up and started doing the moves when the chorus came on.   Honestly, I find myself dancing to this song all the time!

Video still of "What makes you beautiful" dance on Just Dance 4

Screen shot of one of the moves in “What makes you beautiful”

And yes, it is a trifle embarrassing.

For those of you who have seen or played this game, you know.

For those of you that haven’t… “you don’t know, oh oh!”

~ T ~