Thursday, January 16, 2020

What I'm reading

It is the conscious absence of all good things that leads us to the fountain of all goodness. That fountain is open to all who thus come; it is closed against all who come on any other footing. It is the want of light and life that draws us to the one source of both; and both of these are the free gift of God.
~H. Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness, pp.77-78

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Projects and 2019 UFOs

I ended my sewing year by finishing a few projects, and leaving several quilt tops pieced but un-sandwiched and un-quilted.  Here's the run-down for those of you who enjoy such things:

I made a plethora of button tree ornaments for my grandchildren and nieces.

Each tree has the receiver's initials and the year machine-embroidered on the ribbon.

I also completed 11 sets of  quilted coasters for church friends, neighbors, and family.

The only large quilt (extra-long twin) completed at the end of the year was this one for Ada's birthday, and  it is being given to her on Sunday, Jan 12, when she amazingly turns 8 years old.  Last fall she told me her baby quilt was too small for her bed now, and was falling apart.  She really hoped she could get a new one.  And her favorite shape is the triangle, so could I please make her a triangle quilt.  All you have to do is ask, Ada Bell!

Then for the UFOs.  UFOs in quilting parlance are Un-Finished Objects.  I have several projects in the works and in various stages, but I did complete three tops this year which I hope to quilt in the near future:

I am already dreaming about and working on the new projects for 2020.  How about you, Gentle Reader?

Monday, December 16, 2019

What I'm reading: Faith

"...For faith is no work, nor merit, nor effort; but the cessation from all these, and the acceptance in place of them of what another has done,-- done completely, and forever.  The simplest, feeblest faith suffices; for it is not the excellence of our act of faith that does aught for us, but the excellencies of Him who suffered for sin, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.  His perfection suffices to cover not only that which is imperfect in our characters and lives, but that which is imperfect in our faith, when we believe on His name."
~Hoatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness, pp.74-75

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Christmas Letter 2019

The whole clan:  Top: Tim, Nikki, Emma, Ada, Elsa, Ben. Bottom: Eliana, Ezra, Carys, Chris, Everett, Dave 
Thanksgiving, 2019
Greetings family, friends, and Gentle Readers!  2019 is quickly speeding by, and we would be remiss to let such a year go by without sharing the abundant blessings of God we have enjoyed this year.  So here are just a few aspects of 2019 for which we are very grateful:


We have been blessed with great family time, times of working together, and times of crisis that have caused us to grow and appreciate one another.  In the great family times category, we have enjoyed a winter break in the White Mountains with Ben and family,  several trips to Tucson, a couple visits to Los Alamos from the kids, meet-ups with Dave's sister and brother as they took Marilyn to their homes for visits, a 60th anniversary get-together for my parents with all the Hanson originals, a bike trip in the Gila Wilderness,

a fall cousin's camp at the Grand Canyon, and Thanksgiving all together in Los Alamos.  And Marilyn, Dave and I will head to Tucson for Christmas.  In the working and crisis category, we helped one of my sisters move, got through illness and injury and aging with all parents and watched as they returned to health, rejoiced when Ezra recovered from a particularly hard-hitting bike fall that resulted in a concussion, and when Tim was hit by a truck while bike riding and escaped with only a few bruises and a bent wheel.  How gracious God has been to rescue, save, and revive us over and over again!  Here are a few photos of our family time:
The PHX crew on the swing in our front yard
The Hanson originals in Albuquerque: Anne, Jeni, Chris, Mom, Matt, Dad, Gwen, Jeff

Cousin's Camp V at the Grand Canyon

Carys and Ada playing in the East Fork of the Jemez River

A big city adventure with the Tucson crew

Cheering on Daddy's excellent bike race in Silver City, NM


Swinging was a different matter for the Tucson crew at Thanksgiving

Everett has the best belly-laugh

Happy Thanksgiving!


As we continue into our second year of retirement, we continue to marvel at the provisions of God.  He has provided for us in every way. We have been able to do some amazing travel to places like Utah and Oklahoma, Germany, Austria, and Hungary, Arizona and Colorado.  According to Google, I have traveled a distance equivalent to going 1.3 times around the world this year (which is amazing and kind of frightening.) And in the ups and down of all these miles, we have been spared serious illness, accident, or castrophe.  And we have enjoyed the journies and God's amazingly beautiful world and people on top of it.  We have an abundance of friends along the road, both nearby and far away. Here are a few photos of some of the places we have been and the people we have seen:

Marilyn and Dave as we visited some petroglyphs outside Canyonlands National Park in Utah

Tim and Nikki in Silver City
Gila Wilderness, NM
Grand Canyon, Arizona

Cruising down the Danube with our friend Pamela
Nuremberg, Germany

Regensberg, Germany
Passau, Germany
Meeting up with Kris and Paula Lundgaard in Vienna
Budapest, Hungary


Though we have seen our share of struggles this year, we are at a very blessed place with our health.  While Dave still struggles with long-term consequences of his previous treatment, he is now 27 years in remission from stage 4 metastatic melanoma.  That is an amazingly abundant blessing!  He has found some help in dealing with some of the symptoms, for which we are very grateful.  And I found myself just last week explaining to someone that I was a two-time breast cancer survivor , who has been treating an auto-immune disease for the last 7 years, and am now able to at least try stopping some of my medicines because my disease is stable without any flare-ups.  We are awed at God's blessings to us!

So as we look ahead to 2020, what surprises are ahead?  I'm sure there will be challenges, but I know to the core of my being that there will be blessings to meet those challenges, and joy to surround them.  Our prayer for you, dear family, sweet friends, and Gentle Readers, is that you may know the abundance of our good God in the coming new year. May we all see his provision clearly.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Not the faith, but its object

"What should we have said to the Israelite, who, on bringing his lamb to the tabernacle, should puzzle himself with questions as to the right mode of laying his hands on the head of the victim, and who should refuse to take any comfort from the sacrifice, because he was not sure whether he had laid them aright;--  on the proper place, in the right direction, with adequate pressure, or in the best attitude?  Should we not have told him that his own actings concerning the lamb were not the lamb, and yet that he was speaking as if they were? Should we not have told him that the lamb was everything, his touch nothing, as to virtue or merit or recommendation? Should we not have told him to be of good cheer; not because he had laid his hands on the victim in the most approved fashion, but because they had touched that victim, however lightly and imperfectly, and therefore said, 'Let this lamb stand for me, die for me'? ...The point for him was not, was my touch right or wrong, light or heave, but, was it the touch of the right lamb, the lamb appointed by God for the taking away of sin?...The quality or quantity of faith is not the main question for the sinner..."
~Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness, pp.24-25

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Eye update

For those of you still following along on my health journey, it's been a while of steady state.  I just saw my Birdshot specialist in Denver, and my eye stability continues.  We have decided to make my next infliximab infusion (just before Thanksgiving) my last for a while, and hopefully forever.  And if stability continues next summer, we'll talk about coming off the mycophenylate.  Hurray!  God has been incredibly good to me for me to get this far in fighting a disease where a huge portion of patients can never come off their meds.  And already my body is loving the decrease.  I haven't had an infection since last April!  A record since I have been on big-gun immune-suppressants.  It is a long road fighting this disease.  But I see Gods hand in all of it, and His blessings and care along the road. 

Rejoice with me, Gentle Reader!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Fall projects

Amid all the craziness of the Fall schedule, a little sewing was accomplished.  For fall birthdays, a music bag, some skirts, and a baby blanket were completed.

These skirts, for the Tucson sisters, have matching doll skirts.

Then some projects were completed for Cousins Camp: tote bags, stuffed dolls, and t-shirts.

And I also finished a couple of table toppers.

And now, amid all the craziness of travel to Denver and Europe in November, an infusion, and a housefull for Thanksgiving, we'll see how many of the Christmas presents I get done!