November 26, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

On Saturday evening, dear husband and I came home very late from an important meeting. It was almost midnight and we were sleepy and tired.


As soon as we entered the house, we were surprised to see these flowers on the table.


How did they know we needed a little encouragement these days?
We later learned in the morning that the girls went out with their cousin to buy these flowers for us. 
Sweet girls!

"When you put faith, hope, and love together, 
you can raise positive kids in a negative world."
 Zig Ziglar

     
   Mellow Yellow             Today's Flower                 Ruby Tuesday
 

November 20, 2010

Practical Christmas Decor

I have Christmas-themed fabrics that I've bought very cheap here. In my host city, Christmas is not an official celebration and so I believe these beautiful fabrics were unpopular so they were sold at a very low price. Some are from 2 years ago and some were bought yesterday.
My special thanks to my dh who is celebrating his birthday today for driving me to the mall to find more fabrics. I would also like to take this opportunity to tell him how much I appreciate his support and encouragement in pursuing my hobbies. Such husband is rare to find. I'm indeed a blessed wife.


As you know, I have a smaller house now so I must make sure that my Christmas decors don't take much space. Also, we are in a new neighborhood in a non-Christian country. I want to be more mindful on my decorations. I want to put up what is only necessary to Christmas celebration.  We have decided not to have a tree this time. We'll have the nativity scene as our main decor. Well, I have not really given much thought about the details but I must admit, I can't wait to do something with the fabrics I have.

This is one end of the holder where I inserted an elastic/garter. Both ends should be with an elastic.

Last week,while supervising my homeschoolers doing their lessons, I sewed 3 plastic bag organizer/holders. I have many used grocery bags that I keep to recycle as garbage bags but they occupy much space in my kitchen drawers, and it's difficult to find the right size of bag that I need. 3 holders for 3 sizes: S,M,and L. It's a very easy project. I think one can imagine how to make it without a tutorial.

I hung them on the door between my kitchen and dining room. I would like to think of them as practical and in season. Cant's wait to start making throw pillow cases.

She selects wool and flax
   and works with eager hands. 
Proverbs 31:13


 
Special thanks to Lori for hosting Friday FarmGirl@Heart.

November 14, 2010

She MAKES, SELLS, SUPPLIES and SMILES...




Faith and Work: A woman of God has both.


This is my entry for Scripture & a Snapshot this week.
Thanks to  Katie for hosting this beautiful meme.

Simply Hibiscus

I have five different colors of hibiscus in my garden. And I'm looking forward to adding more colors.


Yesterday, I saw another kind, and it instantly became my most favorite. I love the curls in its petals, and its pink color is so sweet. But it's not for sale....

I used to think that hibiscus is the simplest flower, but after seeing this showy kind, I've changed my mind.

Still, it remains my favorite.


 
I'm linking this post to the following beautiful memes:

  Macro Flowers Saturday         Flowers on Saturday          Today's Flower   


  Mellow Yellow        Mosaic Monday       Ruby Tuesday


November 13, 2010

Playing Silly With My Sili (Chili)

 I gave a bowl of chili from my garden to my neighbor yesterday. I should have taken a photo of it to show how beautiful and healthy they were.


I kept the odd-shaped ones for our own use.



I felt good to have shared the produce from my tiniest garden. 

While basking on that good feeling, I found myself playing with the chilies that were left.

 The local people here love chili and they use it in almost all of local dishes. You can imagine how happy the old lady was when I went to her door and handed her the bowl. "Oh, dheng, dheng mahk!" (Oh, so red!)


Today, I gave a bunch of basil (3 kinds) to another lady who came by my fence to appreciate my blooming orchids.

The joy of sharing is the farmgirl's reward.

Gardening Tip:
Instead of throwing your egg shells into the garbage bin, you can crush them and sprinkle them on your garden soil. Egg shells are rich with calcium which is needed by plants to build stronger stem.

 
Special thanks to Lori for hosting Friday FarmGirl@Heart.


May I also invite you to check out our  GIVE-AWAY ?


Macro Madness

 I fall in love with macro shots lately. I'm still learning my way to do it better but I'm really enjoying the process and the result. I'm using a simple digital camera, and trying to preserve raw photos. The following are not post edited, only watermarked; taken in the morning by the window where sunlight was strong.



This basket sits anywhere in the house. I move it to places, depending on my mood.



This shows that I do not only collect seashells, as I mentioned before in my previous post, I also collect other things like dried fruit.



This one is a fruit from an unknown tree. Dh and I were riding an elephant up in the mountain on our last wedding anniversary trip. A branch of a tree was blocking our way, I grabbed the branch before it hit my face, and then snatched this fruit off the branch.


I don't know how long it can hold together. Noticed the web? It's because I'm careful not to dust it off too much.




 This is a mangosteen fruit that I got from another province. It was ripe and bigger the time I was served a plate-full by my host. I saved one for souvenir.



The biggest one at the back is a pomegranate fruit; the one from my former garden. It was 70% ripe when I plucked it off the tree. It's not yet fully dry and I'm hoping I can keep this one longer.

May I invite you to check out our  GIVE-AWAY. Check the link now.

November 10, 2010

Amazing Grace!

That is the #1 on my thanksgiving list this week. God's grace is truly amazing!
As we celebrate my daughter's birthday, memories from 11 years back came bit by bit today. It was our first overseas experience, far from our home country, there were times when all our "life lines" were cut and we could only look up to God for help. I mused on how God met out needs in an unexpected ways. Sometimes, I would wonder if He would hear our prayers from that remotest part of the world. He did and His hands were not too short to reach out to us. It was His grace that we found favor in His eyes.

Naomi was a winter baby. Her birthplace is the most polluted city during wintertime. She was kept inside the house during her first few months, no fresh air and sunshine. The lowest temperature outside was -28 Celcius. So when we brought her back to our home country, she started showing signs of asthma, and soon we begun our frequent rush to the hospital, almost every month for 2 years. She would react sensitively to many food, weather, and elements in the air. My poor baby! I stand amazed now on how she is enjoying good health.

My thanksgiving list for this week:
1. God's amazing grace
"The Lord is gracious and full of compassion...." Psalm 145:8
2. God's beautiful gift: my daughter Naomi
“For the Lord is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11
3. God's healing upon Naomi
"For with God, nothing is impossible." Luke 1:37
4. God's sufficient grace sustaining our family
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." 2Corinthians 9:8
5. God's beautiful plan for Naomi's future
"....I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." John 10:10

As my way of thanking God for what He has given me, I would like to share this following video to all my readers. It's only 3 minutes. I hope you will be blessed.





Special thanks for my dear blogging friend, Judy, for hosting this beautiful meme every Wednesday. Click the button to take you to Judy's list of thanksgiving, and also to meet other thankful women.
Wednesdays

November 9, 2010

A Date With My Birthday Girl

My Naomi turns 11 tomorrow, November 10th. It was the first da xue (big snow) that day for the winter of 1999. The first time I saw her, I named her in my heart, "the future Ms. universe". I think most, if not all, mothers can relate to the bliss I felt the first time I saw my first daughter.
Soon she'll grow taller than mommy and will have her own schedule and dates. So, I thought of making the most of the years left for me to enjoy her company. 

We took a walk together just across our street, to the huge home products shop. We enjoyed looking at beautiful things. We spent most of our time in the bathroom furniture area. I need to get ideas and inspiration for our own bathroom.  Now, that we have smaller bathrooms in our new house, it's a big challenge to set them up and enjoy the same comfort and convenience with the size we had before.

 I watched her carefully on the side. She's curious, too. She has eyes for beauty and it's one of the things I like window shopping with her.


My baby is now a young lady. She decides which lane to go and what item to check.

"I want this when I have my own house."
And now she has plans.

A daughter is the happy memories of the past, the joyful moments of the present, and the hope and promise of the future.  
~Author Unknown

November 6, 2010

Where's Home?

I always get butterflies in my stomach whenever a thought of travel comes to mind. It's a mix feeling of excitement and also of the fear of flying and passing through immigrations. The excitement part is normal and I like it but I need to work on the second one.

I'm closest to heaven when I'm on board on a plane. Not just literally! I would be in deep prayer each time I do. And it helps to be on the right perspective, that my life is in God's hand and not in the pilot's.

With the immigration thing, maybe because my first few trips were quite stressful so the feeling keeps coming back whenever I'm in an airport. Plus the fact that I rush most of the time to catch the next flight adds to this unwanted inner state.

The first country I visited was unfriendly. "How much money do you have?" The immigration officer asked as he looked to me from head to foot. I have never been denied entry but I do get pressured whenever I talk about visa and passports. Was it because I lost my first passport on my first trip? I now have my 5th passport and that means I have been flying for years. I live in 4 different countries and that means I already have processed many visa applications. Never denied once but still this unwanted feeling keeps coming. Maybe it's best to stay at home.

I visited my home country recently. It is when the photo above was taken while on board on a plane. Thoughts came flooding as I faced my inner battle. I have already been granted with a residence visa for eternity. My passport is sealed, guaranteed, authenticated (Ephesians 4:30). No longer will I deal with unfriendly immigration officers. Jesus has promised, "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you." (John 14:4). Heaven is my home.



This is my entry for Scripture & a Snapshot this week.
Thanks to  Katie for hosting this beautiful meme.

Butterflies In The House

 In my homeschool blog, I posted about the butterflies we farmed. (If you are curious on the process of butterfly transformation, you should check this link.)


Most pupae are now hatched and we have butterflies in the house. We were excited to see the first one, then the next two. We saw 6 of them in 3 days. But now that the homeschoolers are familiar with the process, we let go of the pupae out of the box and place them in a safe spot in the garden.


 Our garden has now transformed into a real butterfly garden.



Our garden is very small yet there's so much excitement going there. 

Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable,
butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life.  
And everyone deserves a little sunshine. 
~Jeffrey Glassberg


 
       Shadow Shot Sunday       

Rose Garden


Who would think of the passing of time when you are on a bed of roses? Well, at least, that's how I felt when dh took me to a rose garden. I come alive when I'm out there, taking a moment to smell a flower.

It's an inexpensive leisure yet the pleasure is priceless.


 Taking photos of flowers is one way of nurturing my "green pasture" within.

Take some time to look at flowers closely.
Nature has it's own way to bring you closer to its Creator.





I'm linking this post to the following beautiful memes:

  Macro Flowers Saturday         Flowers on Saturday          Today's Flower   


  Mellow Yellow        Mosaic Monday       Ruby Tuesday


Special Invitation:
Saturday Sightings meme is up starting today. Check out this brand new meme!