Saturday, April 25, 2015

I'm Moving

No, we're not moving again!

After almost 10 years of blogging in the same place, my blog is moving.

My new address is www.susanhutchens.com

Yep. I have my own domain name. Seems a little prideful, but Wes has assured me it's fine. And when I look at my stats, the most common search term is "susan hutchens blog." So now it's named after me. Although I'm still calling it ByGrace.

I have several posts published already (just reposts from this blog to see how everything works at the new place), plus a welcome message waiting there this morning. I'm still working out all the bugs and kinks, but it's up and running. I hope you'll follow me over there. I'll be leaving this blog up for a while, but after today, all new posts will be at the new blog.

Come on over and see the new place!

Monday, April 13, 2015

I'm 50? How Did THAT Happen?

It's been quite a while since I last checked in with you, but I wanted to say hello today. It's my 50th birthday! And I don't quite know how it happened!

On the way to church on the last day of my forties!
I've gotten quite sappy in the weeks leading up to my birthday. My natural tendency is to be emotional and sentimental (I love nothing better than looking at old pictures and talking about old memories!), so of course the approach of my 50th birthday turned my thoughts toward sentimental things. Here are some of my thoughts lately:

1. Time really does fly. I have a hard time believing I'm actually 50 years old. It seems like just a week or two ago I was a teen girl meeting the boy who would become my husband, then getting married and having my babies. Those years flew by. Then I had small children, then teenagers, now young adults. I clearly remember being the ages my children are now. Yet here I am, already 50. Most likely, there is more time behind me than there is ahead of me (that's a sobering thought!). So I've resolved to enjoy every day of my 50s. Revel in them. Live them intentionally. Because they will go just as fast as the other four decades of my life have gone.
"Whereeas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." James 4:14
I really was a baby!
2. Enjoy every season. Life happens in cycles. There will be up times and down times. Times of sickness and times of health. Times of smooth sailing and times of storms. That's just the way life is. Life also has seasons. I was a child. I was a teenager. I was a new bride. I was a young mother. I was a mother of toddlers. I was a mother of grade-schoolers. I was the mother of teens. I worked outside the home. I was an assistant-pastor's wife. I am a pastor's wife. I have learned to enjoy each season for its own joys and pleasures. I loved having my little babies, but I enjoyed their school years, and I am loving them as adults. I've been a mother, and now I get to be a grandmother. Each season is short, and each season has its own joys, so I want to enjoy them fully.
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1
Age 3, with my two grandmothers, who, incidentally, were 50 and 51 at that time!
3. Live each day to its fullest. This might go along with the previous thought, but it's more tuned in to individual days. I've learned to live in the moment, as Jim Elliot said: “Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God.” The days are going by so quickly; I want to enjoy each one completely!
"And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:13
Age 5. I loved having my picture taken. Obviously.
4. What doesn't matter doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what people think, what kind of house you live in, how much education you have, how much money you make. People matter. Your relationship with God matters. Very little else does. I want to live by priorities, and when I list them, do you know what the top ones are? My God, my husband, my children . . . it's all about relationships, not things.
"Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13
In high school, 11th grade, the year I met Wesley
5. Learn all you can. Not all learning takes place in a  classroom. You can learn by reading, studying, talking with people, observing people and situations, reading the Bible, listening to Bible-based preaching . . . there is no end to learning, and we all have something new we can learn. What better time to learn new things than after 50?!
"A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:" Proverbs 1:5
A bride!
6. Be yourself. This has been a hard lesson to learn, but as I get older, I realize more often that there is no one else that I can be. God made me; He made my physical appearance, my personality, my strengths and weaknesses. There is no need to try to be like anyone else. Nothing I can do will make God love me any more or any less, so I can relax and be myself.
"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psalm 139:14

Saturday, March 07, 2015

We Interrupt Our Normal Programming . . .

I was going to have a new Worth the Read post ready for you this morning, but we have some important news that's much more interesting than that. At least to me it is.



These two are having a baby!
Our first grandbaby!

A few facts about this sweet little development: 

Baby is due September 27, 2015
Juliana is doing fine, mostly evening sickness, and the pregnancy is progressing well


This will be the first grandchild on both sides of the family
On the Hutchens side, it will also be the first great-grandchild
It will also be the first great-great-grandchild for Wesley's grandparents
We hope to get a five-generation photo after Baby comes, Lord willing


This baby will be my parents' third great-grandchild

My youngest sister, who got married last March, is also expecting her first baby . . . 

the same week!

I, the oldest sister in my family, will become a grandmother the same week that Rebekah, the youngest sister, will become a mother
How's that for family history in the making?!
Rebekah's baby will be our parents' 16th grandchild
I am so pleased to share this special time in our family with my youngest sister!


Here's how Sam told us about the baby . . . 
I was already texting him about a picture he had posted on Facebook, and he asked if I'd seen the other one he posted
I said no . . . 
and that boy sent me THIS


Wes said that was one of the few times in my life I was speechless
Samuel had not posted it to Facebook, of course,
and he immediately called us through FaceTime on his iPhone to tell us all the details
He almost got himself in big trouble with that one!

So we are excited 
and incredibly blessed 
to know that our first precious grandbaby is on the way!
We love him (or her) already
and I can't wait to hold it and plant kisses in its sweet little neck!

Friday, March 06, 2015

Road Trip Case

A couple of weeks ago, I found a treasure trove of DMC embroidery floss at the thrift store. I snatched it right up, but when I got home I realized I didn't have anywhere to store my sudden wealth of floss. I had found a storage box with the bunch of floss I bought, and I had one already at home, but I quickly realized I was going to need about 4 boxes to store all this floss. I also have a new floss goal: at least one skein of each color floss that DMC makes! Anyway, storing all that floss in boxes is no problem, but when I'm working on a project (like Keeping Room), I don't want to cart 4 boxes of floss around the house and have to constantly open different boxes to find the floss I need. And there was no way I could - or would - take all that floss with me on a trip, which is one of my favourite times to work on cross stitch projects!


So I began a search online for a pattern to make an organizer that would hold floss, scissors, needles, hoop, pattern, and the actual project. I wanted something I could use at home as well as away from home, and cute wouldn't be bad either.



The pattern I bought is Noodlehead's Road Trip Case. It has a clear vinyl zippered pocket, plus 4 more pockets to store extras. I made the 4-pocket alternate version; the original version was made for rainbow loom supplies, with the long, slender pockets with elastic at the top. For my case, I used an embroidered denim for the outside and inner pockets, an apple print for the inner lining, handles, and pocket flaps, and a red & white plaid for a finishing touch here and there. I quilted the outside, but the embroidery was already done - several friends have asked if I did the embroidery too.


I made the case in about 3 evenings spread out over the course of a week. It's not a difficult pattern, but I did have to make sure I understood exactly what the purpose of each step was and how I was supposed to achieve it. I'm familiar with sewing, but not as familiar with items like this, so I had to pay close attention to where the pattern was headed with each step. There were several times I started out putting something together backwards!


I was nervous about sewing on vinyl, but I was pleasantly surprised to find all the steps with vinyl to be the easiest ones! The pattern mentioned that the vinyl might stick to the presser foot, and what to do if it did (use tissue paper under the foot, then tear away after stitching). I only had to use the tissue paper once, while sewing on the binding. Most of the time, there was fabric between my foot and the vinyl. Also, this was the easiest zipper installation I've ever experienced! Don't be afraid of zippers in pouches and things like this case; they are much easier than putting a zipper in a dress or skirt! The hardest part - and even this wasn't all that hard, just fiddly - was binding those curved edges. Of course, I used bias binding, and it turned out ok, but I'm going to have to practice curved binding! You may not be able to see it, but there are places where it's rippled and twisted just a bit, and I'm not quite happy with that.


This case was my "test run," with fabrics from my stash. I like it well enough to use it myself, but there are several things about it that make me hesitant to put it in my shop, all mistakes that I made (like those spots of ripply binding!). Anna gives permission to sell items made from her patterns as long as they aren't being mass-produced and pattern credit is given to her - both of which I'm fine with! I'm going to make another one soon for myself, out of some designer fabrics, and I'm planning to make several for my shop, some from designer fabrics and some from vintage sheets and/or fabrics. This would be fantastic for kids' toys or craft supplies, as well as sewing or embroidery supplies, or for art or journaling supplies. Or letter-writing supplies - pens and stickers and stamps for writing and sending notes and postcards on a trip! Whatever small things you want to organize on the go, I'm thinking this bag would be just right.


Do you like to carry small crafts with you on trips? Are you able to work on crafts or read while you ride?

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Trip of a Lifetime: London - Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Rooms

Continuing on in sharing our trip with you, today I'll show you pictures from Westminster Abbey and The Churchill War Rooms.

This day was rainy, and we stood outside Westminster Abbey for probably 30-45 minutes for the tour.  It was a pleasant morning of exploring yet another famous historical landmark. The Abbey was built, as were many other landmarks, over 1,000 years ago. While the architecture was absolutely amazing, what I found most interesting were the hundreds of people buried inside the building! There are quite a few "chapels" containing the remains of various members of royalty, but the floor is also full of graves! I knew there were graves at the Abbey, but I assumed there was a cemetery; I had no idea people were buried in the floors!

Waiting in the rain
We saw the graves of many famous people, but the one we most enjoyed seeing was the grave of missionary David Livingstone. I wish we could have taken a picture of it, but again, there were no pictures allowed inside. You can see the memorial inscription inlaid in the floor at the link above, which also briefly tells the story of Livingstone's life, the transportation of his body home to England, and how his grave site was chosen. We were pleased to see that it was in the centre of the Nave, the large room where weddings, funerals, and coronations take place. Also buried in the Nave are other famous people, such as Sir Isaac Newton and, ironically, Charles Darwin!

I loved standing in the Abbey and imagining the royal weddings and the Queen's coronation taking place there - and I was standing in the same spot! It was definitely a beautiful building, but so full of tradition and man's religion.

We walked a few blocks from Westminster Abbey and visited the Churchill War Rooms, which was the actual bunker for Churchill and his War Cabinet during World War II. All the rooms are set up exactly as they were during the war - offices, briefing rooms, living quarters. I found the personal living areas most interesting, especially the room Mrs. Churchill occupied when she was in residence at the bunker (which wasn't very often). It was (almost) a home away from home! Never mind there were bombs exploding above your head! There is also an interactive Churchill Museum that I enjoyed very much; again, finding his personal life most interesting. He was an amazing man with much drive, determination, and wisdom, but he also had his faults - like cursing and drinking. I was inspired by his life and thankful for his leadership during the war, even though it was 20 years before I was born. Think what our world would be had Germany and Hitler had their way!

Trip of a Lifetime!
South Africa
London - Windsor Castle
London - Tower Bridge
London - Tower of London
London - Buckingham Palace
London - Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Rooms
London - Bunhill Field

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Book Review: One Perfect Word



During January, I read the book One Perfect Word by Debbie Macomber. I don't know where the practice began of choosing one word to focus on during the new year, but apparently this author has been doing it for quite a while - all the way back into the 1990s!

I love the idea of choosing a word to focus on for a year, but each year that I've done so, I've ended up just choosing the word that sounded good to me . . . and nothing happening from there. This year I wanted my word to be chosen more deliberately, and I wanted it to be something more from my inner heart than in years past, something that had personal meaning for me. Debbie's book definitely helped me learn to choose my word with deliberation, and to choose it with my heart in mind rather than my outward life. The funny thing is, the word I chose this year will affect my heart, and as a result, it will affect my outward life.

In One Perfect Word, Debbie describes in detail how she has chosen some of her words for different years of her life, and how those words have changed her and shaped her life each year. I enjoyed reading her insights into various words, developed as she studied, prayed over, and journaled them each year. Each chapter includes her suggestions for discovering your word for the year, how to explore and study that word, and how to apply the lessons you learn from studying your word for the year. She offers excerpts from her personal journals, and gives tips for transforming your word from an abstract concept to a tangible part of your daily life. Each chapter also has a theme Bible verse for the word highlighted.

I enjoyed reading her personal stories of how her word for the year played out in her life in ways she never expected. Some of her words are things I would not naturally choose, like "obedience" or "hunger." But God used those words in her life to teach her throughout the year exactly what obedience and hunger are biblically. Several chapters contained practical advice for words such as "balance" or "goals." I especially enjoyed the chapter on "purpose." I love that God has a purpose for each person's life! I'm sure that there will be at least one chapter that will resonate within your heart; I found several that touched my heart!

The quote I most enjoyed from One Perfect Word was in the beginning of the book:

"When we choose one single word from His Word and spend a year with it, I've found that the Lord takes us by the hand and walks us through the year, teaching us about that word, about ourselves, and even more, about God Himself." Page 11

I found One Perfect Word easy to read, with plenty to think about, but not so heavy that you have to spend a lot of time digesting what you've read. I would recommend it if you're thinking of choosing a word as your theme for a new year, or even just for quick tips on how to study a word in-depth. 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Making

Even in the midst of busy times, I'm still pecking away at crafty things! I'm not a super-achiever, by any means, but I'm learning that even a few minutes a day can lend progress to all my little crafty
irons I have in my fire. Here are a couple of recent finishes, and one project I'm working on this month.


My first finish for 2015 was this patchwork heart from Lovely Little Handmades that I started two years ago and loved at the time - and said I would finish at the time. I was going to make it into a pillow cover, but decided to make a table topper instead. And I hate it! LOL I finished the back with a plaid fabric that I had in my stash, and tried to give an "interpretation" to my quilting on the front. I was going for an arrow look through the heart, like Cupid's arrow, but I just winged it and didn't get everything arranged like I had it in my mind. And the colors and fabrics are not much my style anymore. I will use them for things for others, but I'm not fond of this color scheme myself. So this one will be chalked up to "don't work on it if you don't like it." Lesson learned. Maybe another color scheme would work, and just plain quilting. I don't know. I just know I don't like how this one turned out.


My next finish is one that I love, though! It's a table runner I began several years ago, before we moved from North Vancouver. The fabric is Nostalgia by April Cornell. At the beginning of the year, All People Quilt magazine offered a 2015 UFO Challenge for finishing your WIPs (Works In Progress) or UFOs (UnFinished Objects). Each line on the worksheet has a number 1-12, and each month, All People Quilt will choose a number. That number will correspond to the WIP you work on finishing that month. This table runner was my assignment for January.


When the month started, the table runner was basted into a quilt sandwich with top, batting, and backing. All I needed to do was quilt and bind it. This runner was begun early on in my quilting journey, so I found that the backing was too small and would draw up as I quilted it and wouldn't fit under the top. So I found another backing piece. It wasn't wide enough or long enough, but it was one of my bigger pieces that I felt would work with the top, so I pieced it with some leftovers from the top.


Then, even though I really want to learn free-motion-quilting, I haven't done it yet, so I had to do straight-line quilting with my walking foot. Except I tried something I'd seen someone do on Instagram: I quilted with a wavy line that is one of the stitches on my machine. And I love it! I chose to make my binding from the backing of my very first quilt, a blue and tan floral. I really enjoy binding my projects for two reasons: (1) I find the handwork of binding to be relaxing, and (2) binding is the last step of the process and the project is done!


This month's WIP for me is a cross-stitch project I began while we were in South Africa. I always think I can get a cross-stitch done a lot faster than I can. Which is why I have several of them in the WIP stage! ;) My favourite cross-stitch magazine is Cross Country Stitching (which is sadly no longer being issued), and this project is Keeping Room from the February 2008 issue. 

I'm working on it in the evenings. I don't know if I'll be able to finish it by the end of the month or not, but I'm giving it my best try. It will at least have more done than if I hadn't put it on my WIP sheet!

What kind of crafty things are you working on right now? I'd love to hear about them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ministry Last Week

Sorry to have disappeared again! Last week ministry looked like this:

Monday: Valentine's dinner for church couples. We used a room at a local restaurant and decorated it ourselves. I made candle holders from vintage mason jars. I bought paper heart doilies at the Dollar Store, punched out pink and red hearts in two sizes from shimmery card stock, stamped a heart design on the smaller one, and tied them to the jars with twine. I also added some little red berries from an old Valentine-heart wreath I had bought but never used. Then I partially filled each jar with epsom salts and added a tea light candle. I loved how they turned out! We also ordered cupcakes and wrapped them in little cupcake boxes covered in cellophane, with little heart tags. And we had a photo booth made from a canvas paint cloth, with several props. It was a blast! Our most popular game involved three couples, a tube of lipstick, and kisses all over husbands' faces. Hilarious!

Some of the jars at home, after I finished making them

On the table, candle lit, at dinner
Tuesday: Helped an elderly friend with her grocery shopping and banking while I did my own grocery shopping. Hope to fix dinner, then Tuesday night enjoyed coffee with a church member.

I am amused by simple things, like finding a face on my husband's piece of pie
Wednesday: Home all day, but had nursery at church that night. Brought home two small girls, ages 3 years and 18 months, to babysit for the weekend while their parents took our teens to winter camp in Alberta.

Thursday - Saturday: Taking care of above-mentioned little girls who are early risers. Like 6:00 am early! Lots of answering questions, snuggling, reading books, kissing boo-boos, refereeing sibling spats, changing diapers on the toddler, going potty with the big girl, bathing, cooking, feeding, cleaning up under the table, running up and down the stairs. They napped for 1-2 hours in the afternoon, then went to bed at 7:00 and 7:30 each night. By then I was exhausted! This is why God gives most of us our children when we are young!

All sweet and snuggly after their baths
Sunday: Getting two little girls ready for church, cooking breakfast, preparing meat and veggies for lunch, then getting myself ready for church. Played piano for morning service. Home for lunch and a nap. Back to church for the evening service, picking up above-mentioned elderly friend for the service and taking her home again afterward. Got sandwiches at Subway for supper. Came home and crashed.

The drive into town for church on Sunday morning - we've had sunshine all week, but it's still cold, right around freezing. Notice that most of our snow has melted away
Last week was unusually busy! But every now and then, that's how our week goes - so busy with ministry opportunities that I can barely think. I am not complaining at all; this is our chosen life, and it's our privilege to serve the Lord and others. Just sharing with you a little of what life looked like for me last week!

The new necklace Wes gave me for Valentine's
What's up in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Book Review: A Little Salty To Cut the Sweet

This post contains affiliate links!

One of my favourite bloggers, BooMama, aka Sophie Hudson, wrote a book a couple of years ago sharing stories of her southern roots. I knew about the book, but . . . you know . . . I just never got around to reading it. Until a couple of weeks ago. Sophie has a new book that just came out, Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong, so I thought maybe I should read the first one. I'm sharp like that. And now I want to share it with you (in case you're like me and like to wait two years till a new book comes out to read the first one).


In A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet: Southern Stories of Faith, Family, and Fifteen Pounds of Bacon, you'll meet all of Sophie's family, including her gracious hostess mama, Ouida; her Southern-gentlewoman mother-in-law, Martha; Martha's mother, Sissie, and a host of other relatives that will make you laugh till you cry, and then turn the tables on you and make you cry again. I was raised in the South, and this book had me laughing out loud over our southern mannerisms, comfort food, and all the quirks of the South. I say "our" because I felt an instant connection with Sophie and her very Southern family. They were like old friends with new stories!

If you've ever read Sophie's blog, you know she has a down-home way of writing that instantly draws you in, pours you a glass of sweet tea, and sits you down at the kitchen table for a heart-to-heart. Her book is no different. You're drawn into each chapter and family event like you were really there. Sophie includes some hilarious memories of her family (must-read chapter: The Night We Neither Camped Nor Fished) but among those hilarious tales runs a thread of the serious stuff of life - family, friendship, tradition, grief, aging, faith - the salty things that cut through the sweet of all our lives. You learn to love her family with all its quirks, and in turn, begin to realize the love you have for your own family, with all its saltiness among the sweet.

If you are a southerner, definitely read this book. You will identify with everything, down to the recipes included in the last chapter (her mama makes devilled eggs just like my mama did!), and you'll find yourself laughing and nodding over all the similarities of her childhood to yours. If you're not a southerner, definitely read this book. It will help you understand us a little better! No matter who you are, I know you'll love A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet.

Because it's about real life.

And it'll bless your heart, Honey!



Check out my 2015 Reading List to see what else I'm reading!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Trip of a Lifetime: London - Buckingham Palace

I hope you're enjoying the pictures of our globe-trotting adventures! I'm trying to get these done quickly, but I don't want to lump everything together into one post. Thanks for reading!



On Tuesday of our week in London, we visited the place I did not want to miss: Buckingham Palace! I was super excited about seeing the palace and visiting the various attractions related to it.

The famous balcony
The first thing we did was walk around to the front of the palace and just look. We wanted to see the guards, the balcony where the royal family gathers to wave at the crowds, the changing of the guard . . . anything I could see without getting in trouble! ;)

The most amazing thing to me was that the palace is just right there in the city! Of course, I knew that, but I didn't realize that there would be traffic going right past, and that we could just walk right beside it. I'm sure there are plenty of security measures in place, but I was surprised that we could get as close as we did.

The Queen Victoria Memorial, in front of the Palace
We looked through the fence at the front of the palace and decided to come back for the Changing of the Guard. We knew there would be a crowd, so we decided to come back about an hour before the ceremony. We learned that was wise!

In the meantime, though, we toured the Royal Mews. This is where all the horses, carriages, and cars are kept for the royal family. Basically any and every kind of transportation for state duties or for personal use was in this building. We saw a few horses, but most of the displays were of carriages and cars. We saw the carriages that have been used for hundreds of years, all the way up to the most modern ones, including the Queen's Diamond Jubilee State Coach. It was easy to spend lots of time here, especially with our audio tour headsets! We could take our time.

The Queen's Jubilee State Coach
We headed back to the front of the palace to see if we could catch the Changing of the Guard. There was some doubt if they would have it that day, because of rain. But eventually we realized they were indeed having it, and we were in a fairly good place to see it. If you look at the front of the palace, we were on the far left, standing behind just a couple of people. We all got to be good friends in the hour and a half we stood there! The police came by several times to remind us how to protect ourselves against pickpockets - a very common occurrence because of all the people crowded around - as we stood under umbrellas and waited. And waited. And waited. Have you ever tried to stand beneath 5 or 6 umbrellas held by people of varying heights, with the little points dripping from the rain? I don't know how many times I nearly got jabbed in the eye!

This was my view of the Changing of the Guard. Doesn't look like much, but I was only one person away from the fence. By the time it started, there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people crowding in to see.
Finally the ceremony started. The "guards" are actually composed of five infantry regiments. The group guarding the Queen at any given time is the "Queen's Guard." When the guard changes, a new regiment marches to the palace grounds and changes places with the guards on duty, and they become the Queen's Guards. As I've said before, I love pomp and splendour, and this ceremony had plenty of it. Lots of marching and music and slapping of guns on the ground. The whole ceremony took 45 minutes. After it was over, we were a little underwhelmed, but I'm glad we got to see it. There are just some things you have to do when you go to London, you know!

Here comes the new guard!
This guard was leaving the grounds after his shift

This carriage with a couple of people in it drove into the palace grounds during the ceremony, the people got out and went inside, but we have no idea who they were!
What would be your must-see thing in London?

Trip of a Lifetime!
South Africa
London - Windsor Castle
London - Tower Bridge
London - Tower of London
London - Buckingham Palace
London - Westminster Abbey and Churchill War Museum
London - Bunhill Field

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Worth the Read

Welcome to my weekly feature, Worth the Read, where I share with you the things I've read this week that have blessed me, inspired me, or convicted me. So grab a cuppa and join me. I hope you'll find something that you feel is worth your reading time!



How Not To Become An Old Biddy - This is the top blog post I read this week! I'll be turning 50 this year, so the topic of aging is much on my mind. Barbara gives excellent, scriptural advice on growing old graciously - no matter what your age now. You are becoming right now the woman you will be. Don't be an old biddy!

Ten Things That Will Improve Your Life - I appreciated this back-to-basics type post that reminded me of the priority of my walk with God, while at the same time reminding me that it's not all about a list of do-good-things that will make me acceptable to God.

Intimacy or Familiarity - Another great reminder that walking with God is meant for intimacy with Him, not just familiarity. There is no substitute!

7 Lessons From 50 Shades of Grey - I haven't read the book and do not plan to watch the movie, but apparently millions of people have and will. I believe this blog entry is important to read. Not pretty. Not fun. Not entertaining. But so very necessary.

8 Lessons From the School of Prayer - This is a great article - and very convicting - about prayer and the lack of it in our lives. Good read!

Praying For Adult Children - This one resonated with me because . . . well, I have adult children! Many of you do also, and if you have small children now, someday they will be adults!

A few crafty things: 

Free Patterns to Sew For Valentine's Day - A few patterns and tutorials for Valentine's crafts.

15-Minute Pillow With French Seams - This looks very easy, even if you're a beginning seamstress.

The Most Popular Valentine's Day Ideas and Printables - Tons of good stuff here!

14 Snacks You Can Make at Home Instead of Buying - You just might find something here you want to try!

What worthy reads have you come across this week? Share with me in the comments!

I'm Moving

No, we're not moving again! After almost 10 years of blogging in the same place, my blog is moving. My new address is www.susanhutc...