Showing posts from February, 2013

2013 Goals: February Update

When I decided to publish my goals for the year 2013, one thing I was looking forward to was the accountability I would receive from my readers! To keep myself on track, and let you know the areas I've been working on, I'm posting an update today from the month of February. I'd love to hear how you are progressing with your goals for 2013, whether you set several or even just one!

Spiritual goals: {this is the most important area for me!}

Draw closer to and be more like my Saviour. I know this sounds vague and non-specific, but at the end of 2013, I want to be able to say that my relationship with Christ has deepened over the year. If I accomplish nothing else all year but this, 2013 will be worth it!

**Ongoing goal

Finish memorizing Philippians. I have the first chapter completely down, and half of the second. I need to be more intentional about plugging away at this!

**I had wanted to get all of chapter 2 finished this month, but didn’t quite make it. I’ve memorized th…

The Words I Speak

“I sure would like to be able to play that piano as well as you can.”

I smiled down at her. It was a grimacing smile...a bit embarrassed that I was being praised. I don’t like being praised, but I am thankful that my piano playing can be used as a blessing to others.

So I prepared to offer one of my usual statements in such a case. Something to the affect of, “well, all it takes is practice!” Or, “I’ve been practicing a long time...I haven’t always been able to play this way!”Other times I might spiritualize my answer to try to get the focus off myself: “I”m thankful that the Lord has given me this ability.”

But before any of these well-practiced answers could pass through my lips, my eyes glanced down to the hands folded in her lap.

Gnarled, twisted fingers.

Some fingers were curled, others slightly bent back. All were misshapen in some way. While they were able to grab and hold onto objects, those hands lack the strength and coordination to even push her wheelchair forward.

What could I…

It's Party Time!

In January we started this series of monthly linky parties, with Home Improvement as the theme! Before February gets completely away from us (oh wait, it already did!) lets get together and party over the improvements and accomplishments we've made in our homes this month!

The idea is pretty simple:

Come back next Tuesday, March 5th, to link up any type of post that has made an improvement to your home - a project, organizing effort, cleaning system, new recipe, planning or list making, or even a topical post like couponing or child-rearing. Basically anything goes!Feel free to link up as many posts as you’d like, as long as they are recent {we’ll say anytime in February to be fair}Include a link back here somewhere in your post Don’t have a blog? We’d love to have you share the details of your recent home improvement in the comments! It is promising to be a fun party! Besides getting to share our ideas and creations, it is always fun to browse through the posts of others and gain…

Kitchen Cleaning Plan

I've never been a huge fan of cleaning. Oh, I've done my fair share over the years, don't get me wrong! But really, is there anyone out there who really loves to clean? {If you do, don't tell me...I might throw something.}

As I've gotten older I've definitely seen more and more the benefits of cleaning, and have gotten to a place where I don't mind it as much as I used to. {Just don't tell my mother that}

Since I am the one that does most of the kitchen cleaning around here, I recently decided it was time to come up with a plan for better long-term cleaning. Some areas of the kitchen were really starting to bug me - the food splatters around the compost bucket, the dingy white-ness of the cabinet doors, and the feeling of of never being on top of it all.

Ever felt that way?

{Or maybe you don't have food splatters around your compost bucket. Can I come live in your perfect world?}

I made a list of the areas that need constant cleaning maintenance, and fou…

Goals for the Week, February 26th, 2013

One of these weeks, my blogging week will start on a Monday like a normal business week does. {wink!} We were unexpectedly without internet yesterday, so I come to you a day late with an update on my weekly goals. Happy Tuesday!

Here are the goals I set last week:

Continue reading “Julie” by Catherine Marshall and “The Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor” by Dr. And Mrs. Howard Taylor

Get up by 8:15 each morning - actually came close to this, only missed one or two days! Yay for progress!

Decorate and set up for the Valentines banquet

Write one letter to a friend

Work on purging one box of stuff in storage

Memorize 3 verses

Hem curtain for church

Finish one new shop item - can't wait to show it to you later this week!

Begin reading “Salvation” by Earl D. Radmacher 

Practice piano arrangements in preparation for a funeral next weekend. {so many funerals lately!! :( }

Here are the goals I am setting this week:

Finish The Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor

Get up by 8:15 each morning

Write 3 letters


The Desires of my Heart

We all have dreams - visions and plans for the way we want things to turn out in our life. Often, those dreams do not go as we planned. Today I’d like to give you a brief testimony of God’s grace to me.

Have you ever made plans and dreams, only to have to put them on the shelf later and try to forget about them? I have. I’ve had to come to a place where I took my dreams and sacrificed them on the altar of my will, and gave the entire thing over to God, saying, “God, its yours.” Hard, people, hard.

But He giveth more grace...when I least expect it. One of those dreams - that I thought was completely and totally out of reach - was revived this weekend. It was like God reached down and said, “I haven’t forgotten about you, Nicole - so I’m giving you this gift, a token of my grace in a difficult time.” It was a small thing, and very insignificant to everyone...but me. He granted me a desire of my heart.

I played the piano for a radio broadcast.

I know you think it is insignificant and silly.…

Radio Sunday!

I’ve had this day marked on my calendar for quite some time now…

This last Sunday my church had our second opportunity to be broadcasted on a local radio station. Just like last time, I continue to be awed by the greatness of our God. I love and look forward to each of the opportunities! As I sat in the service, I got goosebumps just thinking that this was going to be on the radio. Just think how many lives can be impacted by even a single broadcast...people that wouldn’t step foot in a Baptist Church can still hear the truths of God’s Word and the message of salvation. Tell me what part of that isn’t just plain awesome. :)

It is humbling that God has chosen to use our little church in this way. We are “just” a small, traditional, country Baptist church. Our auditorium would be packed out with 60 people. I’m not the greatest pianist that ever lived, and I just play on a small-ish keyboard {this time he put a microphone directly on the keyboard - yikes!}. Yet last time around, there were…

My Emergency Overnight Kit

Living here in the Maritimes, there is one thing that is sure, and that is that you can’t be sure about the weather. {wink!} It can be raining in the morning, snowing in the afternoon, and sunny by evening. Or it can be snowing without a cloud in the sky. {no joke!} After living here 2½ years, I’ve learned to just be prepared for any kind of weather!

As winter was approaching this year, I decided it would be a good idea to put together an emergency overnight bag to keep in the car when I go to church on Sundays. I wanted to be prepared for any situation:

    ...there are 80ish kilometers between my house and church. The differences in the weather between the two places can be as different as night and day!
    ...I stay at church all day, so there are bound to be changes in the weather in the course of a day {see above}
    …even though I don’t plan on getting in an accident, I want to be prepared in the unlikely event that were to happen!

So, I grabbed some items to put together this emer…

Promises From God, Truth During Grief

So, I unexpectedly dropped off planet earth last week.

Did you notice?

Well, I didn’t really leave the planet {way cool} but I did leave the country. As I mentioned before, we had to take an unexpected trip to Maine last week...for a funeral.

I guess all funerals are somewhat unexpected, aren’t they? But this one was even more so. A young life, just 43 years old, ended. And while the death wasn’t in my immediate family, it was close enough that it felt like a loss in my immediate family.

It was a pretty difficult week.

But y’all, I’m so thankful for family. I’m thankful for the way we rally around each other, encourage each other, cry and pray with each other. Some of these same people comforted me and my family during the deaths of my grandparents. Now we were able to do the same for them, just be there, supporting them in any way we could during this time.

And while death is never easy, I am so thankful we can still claim the promises of God:

John 14:18  I will not leave you comfortless: I…

Gifts and Goals for the Week, February 19, 2013


I’m back after an unexpected, extended blogging “vacation.” Last week we took an unexpected hop, skip, and jump over to Maine for a funeral {more on that later} and then Sunday I got snowed in with my pastor’s family for the night. {also more on that later} I’m finally home, and soooo hoping to spend more than one night in my own bed! Traveling is fun, visiting is fun, and I love spending time with my family in Maine, but there is still just nothing quite like home. :)

Being gone, especially on super short notice, leaves me with a whole lot to do. Or a whole lot I think I should do. :) We had to bump our Valentines banquet ahead a week, so I’m preparing for that this week, as well as trying to catch up on some of my other goals for this month.

I’ve filled all 10 of my slots for goals this week:

Continue reading “Julie” by Catherine Marshall and “The Spiritual Secret of Hudson Taylor” by Dr. And Mrs. Howard Taylor

Get up by 8:15 each morning

Decorate and set up for the Valentines banq…

January Hot Happenings

Despite the fact that January is half gone, I still wanted to get this quick update up to record the events in our house during January. Lets reflect on the beginning of 2013!

Random note: last year I had a fun time taking a picture of our home each month and watching the progression in the seasons and activities around the house. This year I decided to take a picture at the end of each month of the waterfall near our house. (the same one you saw in this post) Hopefully I'll be able to snap one each month and share with you how beautiful it is!

Ahh, I say it every month, but I'll say it again..Judah is growing and is so.stinkin.cute! He is developing quite the little personality, and learning how to communicate to us what he wants. And believe me, he knows what he wants most of the time!

I mentioned on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago how we lost power for most of a day. A telephone pole snapped in a town nearby, so we had the romantic experience of dining by candle light. …

DIY Scripture Conversation Hearts

I'm privileged to be a contributor at Imperfect Homemaker, and today I'm over there chatting about a little Valentines project I did recently! Here is an excerpt from my post:

I normally try to do a little project to include in the decor for our church’s Valentines banquet. (You can see past projects here) This year is no exception…I created some of my very own conversation hearts to fit the theme of the evening!

This was a super easy project, but I am excited about the color it will bring to the banquet tables, plus the truths of the scripture messages as a reminder of the Love of God!
I just picked up a package of scalloped foam hearts from our local dollar store...
Click here to read the rest of the post! =)

A {Cold} Birthday Photoshoot!

Every year, the kids get new photos taken for their birthday. It is so fun to go back and see how they have grown year after year! This year we did two things similar to last years photos...

1. I took them myself
2. We procrastinated waited until long after their birthdays were past to get it done.{wink}

It ended up being a sunny, fresh-snow-on-the-ground, but freezing cold day...which made for some beautiful backdrops! I did both Rachel's and Carries all in one quick half hour, so we didn't have to stay out in the cold for too long. And as I've said before, I'm no professional, but I do enjoy taking their pictures and experimenting with it a little bit!

Rachel turned 13 last November. Here are last year's pictures so you can compare with these!

Carrie turned 9 last October. Last year's pictures were taken indoors, and she really wanted to have hers done outside this year!

I really kicked myself once we got inside, unfogged my glasses, and I took a good look at these…

Shop Update: Floral Fusions Tote!

I’m so excited to share another new item in my Etsy shop, So Sew Organized!!!

This purple floral fabric is a new first for me in that it is the first one-way fabric I have used in a tote. Normally the fabrics I choose are fun and patterned, but not specifically directional. This fabric was my Grammie’s great idea {you saw it once here when I purchased it} and I just love the end result! The pretty purple flowers are thick and bold on the bottom, and then taper away to a lighter look towards the top.

The pop of light, light teal ties everything together perfectly!

The deets:

I use a serger to finish the inside, leaving lots of space for your treasures.

This medium size tote is most popular as a Bible bag. Here is an example of how a Bible, notebook and pen will fit in there all handy-like:

The pocket is divided with a handy pen slot. I carry a tote this size all.the.time. as it is perfect for everything!

These lovelies, as well as other designs, can be found in my Etsy shop, So Sew Organized…