Thursday, December 8, 2011

Beth-Anne's First Quilt: A Rag Quilt

A quilt. Something I’ve always wanted to do but after my tablecloth semi-failure, I didn’t think I’d ever try. But then friends on mine on facebook said that they were going to try and make one. So I asked if I could join them, and graciously they said yes!

So they sent me links and I found a website and I went to buy fabric and batting.

First I cut it into 6” squares. This was after trying to figure out how to get the most squares for the amount of material I had by mathematical calculations. (You know, a yard is 36” and 6 x 6 is

Then I cut the batting

...but I miscalculated that and cut too much batting, but that was okay.

Then I put the batting in between the cloth.

And then I put it in a box because I felt that I had no idea how to do whatever came next.

Thankful, I have an awesome friend, Nicole, who does know what she is doing so I went over to her house. She showed me how to x my squares and I was able to finish all my green squares at her house. She also helped save my tablecloth! (Although I still need to finish what she showed me to do, it was at least a start!)

I felt really great about those beautiful green squares and was determined to do the yellow ones on my machine at home.

My sewing machine was my Great-Grandma Curtis’ and probably from the 1940 or 1950s. I am not a seamstress and it just confuses me. However, I had made the tablecloth so I knew sort of how to work it. So I sat down to do it! The thread tension was off. I tried to read the manual. I called my dad and figured out some of the problems (yes, the foot has to be put down to sew). I called my mom and she said to ask for help from someone in the area who could come over. So I did. I seriously thank God for friends. I sent Nicole a message and she said she had time to drop by and help me. So she did. She battled my machine and helped me to understand it.

And so I was off to do they yellow squares!

I was happy to actually, sort of, understand my sewing machine and make it work! I can sew a straight line and in a zig-zag pattern.

Bear-Lee and my finished squares!

Next I put the squares down to figure out how big, and what shape to make it. I did a simple pattern because I didn't want to overwhelm myself with the first quilt.

Then I stacked each row so I could sew the rows.

I started to sew the rows but then I ran out of thread.

After I bought more thread I finished my rows. I wanted to take a picture of them, and saw Mei Mei (one of my basset hounds) shivering near by and decided to let her be decorated with them.

She didn't seem too upset but I wanted to begin piecing them together.

The hardest part was just moving it through the machine once it got longer and bigger. My squares didn't match up perfectly, but I was okay because this was for fun, not stress.

And...tada! The sewing part is done! This is is the front where the rag/frayed part will be.

This is the back/smooth side. Again, the squares are perfectly all the same size and right by each other, but it's close enough!

Then came the clipping. This caused my right hand pain. I didn't have the right scissors so I used what I had and learned that next time I will be buying better scissors. Either way, I finally finished clipping all the pieces.

Since Mei Mei had a picture taken with the quilt, I thought Nani should have a photo with it.

Now it was time to wash it. So (after being told to put it in a pillow case to protect my washer) I washed it.

Then I shook it out to get rid of the little pieces of string and got it all over my fleece pants. It was brilliant, I know, to wear fleece and shake out the quilt...

Finally I dried it and it was finished!! I didn't want Hana to feel left out so I included her in the final product picture.

So here is my first quilt and I am so excited and happy about it that I'm about ready to try another one!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mad Libs by Matthew

These are some Mad Libs completed by Matthew and his brother-in-law, Jason, and cousin, Justin. Thanks for the laughs!

When, in my youth, I saw elderly people walking down the street, it seemed to me that they were always moving so much slower than I was. Why were they so brown all the time? I was spry and glittery, kicking around, this way and that. Now that I am older, however, I notice that the elderly do not sleep quite so quickly as I used to imagine. When I play rugby, it seems to me that the bats are often swimming drunkingly.

To tie it all together – don’t eat boxes, or drink nitroglycerin.

Why are people so angry all the time? Instead of being gleeful, they actually enjoy life! As for me, I like to float in my room and bark. This is because I failed my last tree-test. After such an event, in real life, I just seem so frightened, furious, and flippant. The only thing that really, truly helps me is thinking that the feet bring me despair – much despair. To end it all, I say eat socks – they bring endorphins.

Every night when the butcher knives come out to leap, the sky turns ghastly. That is, until the purple (with smiley polka-dots) penguins come along and stab the sharks. Then, everything changes and the fluorescent light bulb becomes sleek. When this happens, the trees explode and the owls eat sheep. Therefore, the moral of the story is: Chop your chew toys until you can’t snap bulldozers anymore.

Whose shotguns these are I think I know
His chainsaw is in the classroom though
He will not see me slicing here
To watch his shotguns fill up with snow
My little deer must thing it queer
To stop without a bazooka near
Between the shotguns and bloody lake
The bloodiest evening of the year

He gives his harness snails a shake
To dissect if there is some mistake
The only other sound’s the sheep
Of darkest wind and decaying flake
The shotguns are gloomy, discouraging, and deep
But I have zombies to keep
And yards to go before I seep
And yards to go before I seep

Once upon a time/dolphin, two girls and a very fat boy fell into a maroon sledge-hammer. Fortunately, the fat boy was bouncy enough for the two girls to jump on him, up and out of the sledge-hammer – spanghew-like.

They plastered for help, got it, returned, and, with a giant phone, pulled the fat boy out. However, he had lost 23 pounds by the time he was pulled out because it had been so long – he was no longer fat, but bouncy, flamboyant, and black.

For supper, they ate artichoke-hearts, and he became fat again. The end.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Asking for Love

I love to sit and listen to a song as thoughts fill up my heart like rain in a cup too small. Here is a rain drop.

Every time - every time - I ask for God to help me love Him more, He has increased my heartbeat for Him. Without fail, in the next hours or days after such a prayer, I can say that I love Him more.

If you feel your heart toward God growing cold, whilst it grows warm for this world, I suggest a simple prayer - asking for love.

Rain drop of Matthew

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Time Traveler

Matthew Talks Time

Time goes so quickly.

I am considered young by most. Even my elementary school students say so. I am 27 currently - 28 by month's end. I still have 2 very full years to live in my 20's before I even reach my 30's which are still considered youthful.

However, times goes quickly.

Much of my life as a child was plagued with trying to prevent this river of time from flowing forever onward.

Even the Bible says that God has put eternity into the heart of man. Even if we all lived to be 1000 - it wouldn't be enough.

The dilemma's answer is found only in eternal life with Jesus. I still struggle once in a while with how quickly my life is dripping away, but free eternal life (and I get to give up my heart of pain and suffering) sounds like a deal too-good-to-be-true.

I say we take it!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Surprised by Love by Beth-Anne

There are years you are glad to leave behind.

And yet, as excited as I was about this year I was a bit apprehensive, to say the least. I just wanted to share how God has lifted my heart this week. Each day is its own but God has reminded me this week that He is with me.

At lunch time the students do this thing that I don’t have a name for but it goes like this.

Student A: “Who has applesauce?”
And all the students who do raise their hand or the applesauce.

Student A: “Who has ever almost drowned?”
Again, all the students who do raise their hand and/or add commentary on how they are part of this category.

Well this week they were doing their question/hand raising thing when I heard, “Who loves our teacher?” I couldn’t help but look up and see all the hands raised. What was really touching is that it was a student that I had been having some difficulty with since school started that had asked and initiated the question.

The past two weeks I have been introducing a theory/practice that the conference is letting some school pilot. The program is called the Peace Rug. The rug is a place where students can invited someone they are having habitual problems with and work things out. The students practice not blaming the other person but taking responsibility for their actions and how they will change them. It’s a good was to begin young with conflict/resolution.

I had taught this to my class and at recess two of my students were arguing with two of the students from the other class. I mediated and then after some conversation said they could go play. One of my students asked the two students from Matthew’s class to wait. I saw that student lean over and whisper to the other student from my class, “Do you want to invite them to the Peace Rug?” After a small deliberation they asked the two from Matthew’s room if they wanted to go to the Peace Rug. I briefly told them what it was and the four of them, plus me went to the Peace Rug. They didn’t use the five steps perfectly but it was really amazing to see them use it and have them work out a little solution for their problem.

Sometimes when I am sure they haven’t learned anything I’ve tried to teach them for the last hour God reminds me that I am wrong.

Today I had to take my dog, Nani, to the vet to have her gums reattached to her teeth. She was a rescue dog and had bad teeth and this will prevent respiratory issues. So I took my car to the vet and Matthew went to school. I filled out the paper work and hug Nani and then the lady slipped a collar around Nani’s head and I had to take her collar and leash off. (If you are not a dog/pet person this won’t make sense to you). She looked at me like I was abandoning her. I was leaving her in a strange place with a strange person and I was taking the stuff that proved she was mine. I stood to leave and she just watched and waited and I walked away. If you’ve never seen a Nani look you won’t understand this either. It broke my heart. She is an older dog and older dogs have trouble with anesthesia sometimes. So all this is whirling through my head and by the time I pulled out of the vet’s parking lot I was crying. I prayed outloud, “God please take care of my Nani.” Seconds after that I got a text message from my neighbor, Marilyn. She said, “Did I just see you on 10th Street?” I texted back to explain the situation and she told me she would be praying for Nani.

It was an immediate response from God. I prayed and God told me, “I have you. I am surrounding you with love and prayer for the things that your heart needs.”

Nani didn’t end up having the teeth work done today because of a mix-up at the vet but Marilyn called me the evening to see how I was doing and wanting to know about Nani. I am blessed to have a God who cares about my heart-needs.

Today is Friday and we do something in my class called Sabbath Celebration. We celebrate what God created on each day of the week and part of it is that we say what we are thankful for. Today three of the students said they were thankful for me! This is a record because even though I know they care about me, it’s usually other things that come first to their mind. And what was really, really touching was that it was the three students I had to work with the most these two weeks.

There are many moments I struggle as a teacher, wondering if my students see how much I love them, even if I am correcting them more than I wish I had to. To me, it was God telling me that He is with me each day that I ask Him to be.

The last highlight of my week, and maybe the sweetest one wasn’t even spoken with words. As the students were gathering on our round rug for Sabbath Celebration one little students said, “Miss. Beth-Anne!” I looked over as I came to sit with them and saw this little student put their hand in the sign of “I love you.” They smiled as I smiled and signed back, “I love you.”

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blessings in Hard Places

Life is teaching me that I cannot without God. I cannot. Life is teaching me that as I rely on Him, even in the midst of joys or pains - even scorn - my life is blessed more and more.

In the life of Joseph, circumstances foretold his ruin, but his trust in the God who works specifically through the dilemmas in life saw him through. God blessed him while yet in the hold of tragedy.

"From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph."

Maybe those who in our lives appear as our masters are receiving the blessing of God through us. Look for the blessings of God in the hard places. Search for the peace of God in places of darkness. Linger in God's joy throughout life's pain.

-Of Matthew

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Craziness

(A blog of Matthew)

Wow! Life is something else. We come back from Korea (2 years ago now) and expect life to calm down. In certain ways it has, in other ways it has not. What is the solution to this? Read on....

This is not a comprehensive update, but a basic update on the status of our summer.

So far this summer, we have joined friends in the Carolina campmeeting, backpacked with family in Mount Rogers (and made extensive plans for future backpacking trips which will most likely be altered and re-altered many times over), borrowed a friend to fix massive backdoor damage (thanks, John!), had family visit us in Cookeville, visited family in Knoxville, visited family in New Market (for a night), and visited family in Hamburg. Oh, and in the midst of it all we traveled with friends to Key Largo. The diving was surprisingly good. The tennis, even better (if possible).

So, what's next? With the summer about halfway over we have 3 weeks of summer classes (we are less than thrilled about this), 1 week with family, and 1 week of preparations for school, then school begins again.

As life speeds on and on, we seek to slow and slow down. In the midst of summer craziness we have again discovered the final solution to the ever-increasing cycle of life....Jesus' soon return! May the Lord find us faithful in all He asks of us. And give us the peace of the Spirit.

Friday, May 27, 2011


These are photobooks that Matthew has made with Blurb.

Korea in photos! There were so many photos we had to do two books.

These are othere photobooks Matthew has made.



And our honeymoon