When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you. Isaiah 43:2

Monday, January 26, 2015

Whoo Hoo! Now There Are Two!

Hi friends! After an irritating unstitching session, I am back on track. There unfortunately are a few mistakes in this Theotokos pattern. It is easier when you catch them first, hey? ;)

Yep! I am down to two remaining partially done pattern pages to finish, before I am FINISHED! No updated picture for you today.

Here is an updated picture of Mabel for you. ;) I gave her a haircut half a week ago.
She is looking tired and worn out here. I took this a few minutes after we were done with the grooming. I love the haircuts about as much as she does, but poodles do need their hair cut! She is the prettiest dog we have ever owned. I just love this precious, grey poodle.

You all know I love Henry too. He is cute, not pretty! ha! Here he is being the watch dog he is.
The latest baking I did was chocolate chip cookies. I have to make a double batch around this place, let me tell you! Everyone in the house wants some cookie dough to eat first. Yes, I know. Well, we do eat a bit of raw cookie dough. This is what the cookie jar looked like after I was done baking. And this is even after dough is eaten and over two dozen warm cookies are eaten.
I am still keeping up with my daily, chronological Bible reading. I am over half done with Genensis now. That is the only reading I am allowing myself presently. I am pushing on for the big finish on Theotokos.

Thanks for checking in. I appreciate your friendship!  Have a super week in the Lord my friends!

Stitching and praying,
Vickie
She's lucky she doesn't have a mohawk now

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wheeee! I Am Down To Three!

Hi friends! I have knocked off another two pages of the Theotokos pattern. Three more partially completed pages to finish now. Here is a progress picture.
My stitching companion keeps my seat warm while I bake bread.
Today I made Sweet Italian Bread. In case you have not noticed, I like to use my bread machine often. I love to bake. I made the dough in the machine, and baked these in the oven. The egg wash on the loaf on the  right is crackled on top because it fell onto the bread board. ;)
I set out some Valentine treasures.
This is a collection of past Valentine stitches. There are two pincushions I received as gifts from stitchy friends in there also. :)

Now I am TRULY motivated friends! I feel the end coming on with Theotokos! Whoo hoo!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a fabulous night!

Stitching and praying,
Vickie
I think she does it on purpose

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Stitching and Yummies

Hi friends! Thank you for your sweet compliments. You cheer me on. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. You lift me up.

I can finally share my last finish of 2014 with you. It was a birthday gift for sweet Anne.  If you follow Anne, you will know that her and Lee are expecting their first child this spring. What a true blessing from God! I wanted to make up something special to commemorate this.I chose Family Pyn Pillow by Jeannette Douglas Designs. This pattern can be found in the JCS 2013 Christmas Ornaments Issue.

So frustrating! I must have deleted the closeups I took of this lovely ornament. I have "borrowed" Anne's picture from her blog. I used 4 of the recommended DMC flosses. I used Nancy's Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe Hand Dyed Floss for the 3 remaining colors. I stitched this 2over2 on32ct lambswool linen. I finished this as a flat ornament.
I have had a request for the Challah recipe. Challah is a special Jewish braided bread eaten on Sabbath and holidays. I have been using this Jewish recipe for years, as it is adapted for the bread machine to make the dough.

Challah

warm water   1 cup
salt                2 3/4 teaspoons
sugar             1/3 cup
eggs, beaten  2
vegetable oil 1/2 cup
bread flour   4 1/4 to 4 3/4 cups
yeast             1 tablespoon

egg wash: 1 large egg & 1 yolk

Place ingredients in bread machine pan in order. Set machine for dough cycle and start.  When cycle is complete, remove dough to a floured surface and divide into 3 sections and then braid into a loaf. Grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place bread onto prepared baking sheet. Generously brush bread with egg wash (reserve remaining egg wash for later).  Place whole baking sheet into a large plastic bag.  Allow bread to rise 30 to 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.  Brush again with reserved egg wash.  Preheat oven to 375º. Place bread in oven, and immediately reduce heat to 350º. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Last week I baked more of the Grinch Cookies. I know Christmas is over and done, but the kids gobble these up! You roll these in powdered sugar before baking. I cannot seem to get them covered enough that more than only a bit lasts til after baking though.
Do you make chili? I make it fall through winter. I always bake garlic cheddar biscuits to go with it every time. I came up with my own chili recipe at least a dozen years ago. This is what my chili looks like.
Do you add noodles? What do you sprinkle on top? I sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese. =)

Finally, I must tell you I have one page of the six pages that make up the Theotokos pattern, completed!! That sounds weird after you have seen all my progress on that piece. The pattern pages lay out like this:
1  2
3  4
5  6
Well, I did not stitch them in numerical order. If you recall, I worked the outside border first. I have been slowly working my way around and in. So page six is finished! No updated picture today. Next time.

I hope you have a wonderful day my friends! I plan to. My pain is decreasing. I have a book on hold for me at the library. Yep! These are things to be thankful for. :)

Stitching and praying,
Vickie


Friday, January 16, 2015

Plugging Away

Hi friends! How are you? There are a handful of you I am praying for. If you need prayer, let me know! I could use prayer. My pain is high currently.

I have been itching to stitch a small sooooooo bad, but I continue on with Theotokos. At this point, I have got needlepoint down. No more confusion with that, like there was when I began. Here is where I am.
I have finished reading the book of Job. I am almost 1/3 of the way done with the book of Genesis. If you missed my last post, I mentioned that I am reading the Bible chronologically with Joni and Ken Tada. We will read the Bible in one year. It is not too late to join in if you like. Or if you just want to take a look at the reading schedule, take a look at this link here.

I baked this Challah two days ago. All gone. ;) We love this bread. This would be my favorite homemade bread. I use the bread machine to make the dough. This makes a nice, large loaf.
Miss Mabel needs a haircut, but I am not up to that yet. Hopefully in a few days my pain will go down.

Thank you for stopping by. I know this has not been the most exciting stretch of posts lately. I am trying to get Theotokos done though.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie
I try to be fair

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Progress

Hi friends! It has been bitterly cold here. Madeleine had school cancelled on Thursday and Friday due to the cold, windchill and snow storm. The boys have not returned to college yet, still enjoying the Christmas break.

Thank you for your encouraging comments on my ornament finish. :)

I am itching to stitch a small, but I am pressing on with Theotokos. Here is my progress.
I listen to two daily radio programs and read a daily devotional by Joni Eareckson Tada every day. Joni and her husband Ken have been reading the Bible together for years. That is something Brian and I do daily also. However, I decided this year to additionally read along with Joni and Ken. They use the Chronological Bible Reading Schedule If you click on that link, you can download a copy of the reading schedule for yourself. I am happy to say that so far I am keeping on track. It really does not take very long each day to read several chapters. I have read the entire Bible before. That was years ago, and I read it cover to cover. This will be different. Joni says that "when you go through the Bible chronologically, you see God's plan of redemption beautifully laid out from beginning to end." 

So tomorrow, after we return home from church, it is Ice Bowl II time. Do you know what that is? If you live in Wisconsin or Texas I guarantee you KNOW. Click here to find out more.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie
She's smarter than I am

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas my fellow Orthodox friends!
I did the finishing on Brian's ornament gift last week. Here it is out in the snow.
I read my first and second books of the year. Both by Ted Dekker. I read Hacker in 36 hours. :) An exciting read. Here is a little snippet for you: "Death isn't death. It's not the end because we aren't just our minds or our bodies. We're far more than just physical beings having a spiritual experience. We're spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience." He paused. "All I know is the reality that's beyond all of this transcends words and comprehension. The only way to grasp it is to let go of our own limited understanding."

Hacker is a modern-day parable that examines the staggering world around us-the seen and the unseen- and reminds us that there's far more to who we are than meets the eye.

The second book was a free,digital short story I had missed. It is a prequel to Mortal. This book was called The Keeper,from 2011. More good stuff. ;) Nope, you won't catch me complaining about Ted's writing. He has written 47 books. I have read 45. I am in the process of trying to acquire The Drummer Boy and The Promise: A Christmas Tale through our library. There is one librarian who works very hard to locate books for you from who-knows-where?!

This is what kept me busy Monday.
It's not easy being a poodle. Or the poodle's groomer. ;) Of course now that little 6 pound Henry is clipped, it is frigid outside. The high today will be -1º with a wind chill of -30º. blech.

Madeleine wrapped a tape measure around Henry's tiny front leg and got a width of 1.5 inches. He is so fragile.

I will be giving Mabel a haircut soon also.

Theotokos is coming along. Picture next time.

I have been baking chocolate chip cookies and breads.
Brian and I are off to Christmas Liturgy this morning. Then we will have a Christmas meal and fellowship in the church basement. I am wearing my long, red corduroy dress and sweater tights! ;)

Keep warm my friends! I thank you for stopping by. I love reading your comments and I appreciate you taking the time to leave one.

Stitching and praying,
Vickie
I'm still a little mad

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Last Two Finishes

Happy New Year friends! I took a short break from Theotokos to stitch up Brian's Christmas present. (No, this is not late! Our Orthodox Christmas is in 6 days. :) It is an ornament from this year's JCS Ornament Issue.
Home For Christmas by Gentle Pursuit Designs.
This was stitched on the recommended 40ct Light Examplar linen, two over two and a bit of over one also.
I used all the recommended DMC. I also used this.
This spool is approximately 20 years old. The pattern called for Kreinik very fine braid #4, but I just separated this silver thread apart. It is actually made of three thin threads. I stitched up the silver sections with one of these thin, silver threads. I like the delicate effect. It made me think of, and sing "silver white winters that melt into spring, these are a few of my favorite things." tee hee! It does not take much to make me sing The Sound of Music songs. ;)
So now I will make it up into an ornament and place it on the tree. Last night, after I placed the last stitch, I asked Brian how he liked it. He loves the trees the best. He wanted to know where this one is going. HA! Was he surprised when I said "Merry Christmas! It is yours! I made this for you."♥

The other finish I had last night was The Slumber of Christianity by Ted Dekker. It was the book I was reading and I wanted to finish it in 2014. This is a non-fiction book by Ted. A very good one. Here is an odd quote from the book: “The world’s bumper sticker reads: Life sucks, and then you die. Perhaps Christian bumper stickers should read: Life sucks, but then you find hope and you can’t wait to die.”

I have from the library the latest Ted book I did not read yet, Hacker. I will start it today! Can't wait. Ted has approximately 45 books. I have read 43. There are two more older ones I missed that I am going to try real hard to get through our library.

I read 40 books in 2014. I read 40 books in 2013 also. That's odd. :)

Isn't this sweet?
This is a PINK snowflake made just for me from dear Anne. The winter sun is shining on it very brightly, but I promise, this is pink. I already have a nice red one from her from last year too. :)

Here is where I am at on Theotokos.
I so wanted to take a picture of my 2014 orts for you out in the snow. It is so very odd. We have no snow. None.
Do you like my cast iron poodle bank? He is about 12 inches high. :) I will be putting these orts out for the birds to build beautiful, warm nests with them.

May God richly bless every minute of every day of this new year for you my friends!

Thank you for your friendship. I appreciate every single comment you leave me.

Stitching and reading and praying,
Vickie