On Our way home from Vermont

We stopped to spend some time with our SOWER friends, Kim and Joe, who live in Upstate New York.  We love our visits with them – totally laid back at all times.
Untitled
Two of their grandsons (ages 14 & 12) were there one day since Kim’s been helping out with their virtual school days. They wrapped up their school requirements by noon and spent the rest of the day on the tractor or 4 wheeler or Gator. Pretty much this is a young boy’s paradise!
Untitled
Along with all those fun-for-boys (young and old) vehicles, they have also helped build this incredible treehouse!
Untitled
I mean really. Does this resemble any treehouse you’ve ever built?
When we visited them last summer it was ‘mostly’ done. The “Phase Two” structure (bedroom) was complete (and mostly decorated!)
Untitled
and the kitchen/living section was just waiting for cabinet doors and countertops.
Untitled
But even then it was most impressive. Did I mention that Joe has milled all the wood he used at his home sawmill? Almost anything that isn’t wood is something that has been repurposed (windows, roofing, doors, etc.).
Here’s the living area this year –

Untitled

Love this sink and counter!!! The running water comes from a 250 gallon tank, and the fridge, lighting and stove are propane. This baby is totally off grid!

We thoroughly enjoyed getting a tour of this year’s improvements and finished out our treehouse time with a hotdog roast around the campfire.
Untitled
Does it really get any better than this???
Untitled
It was a wonderful way to end our little early summer get-away to Vermont!

Just for the record – we call them “SOWER friends” only to identify how we met them. We are such good friends at this point that I can’t quite remember when I did not know them and I thank God continually for merging our lives together. How gracious He has been to us!

Thanks for stopping by!
Steph

P.S. If you’d like more information about Joe and Kim’s Treehouse, he’s entered a contest through the Wood-Mizer manufacturer (the sawmill company). Here’s a link that should take you right to his spot. Feel free to vote for him too – or check out some of the other entries. It’s pretty impressive what you can do with a ‘backyard’ sawmill and lots of ingenuity!

 

 

A Visit with Lynne

Lynne and I met when our oldest sons were in preschool together. They are both 42 now, so you know we’ve been friends for a long while. They’ve moved a couple of times over the years, but we somehow managed to stay in touch, however loosely that may have been.  When Roger retired (or mostly retired) they settled in Ludlow, VT, which just happens to be on the way to The Cabin!  Since we’ve been on the road our friendship has blossomed again, as they have often come to The Cabin for an overnight or two and we have stopped to spend time with them in our comings and goings to our cabin. It’s been a lovely thing!
Croswells and us
Late in March of this year dear Roger slipped quietly and unexpectedly into Heaven.  Oh, how our hearts ached for Lynne. As we were preparing to head to the cabin in late May I asked Lynne if she was ready for company.  She was hesitant at first, I think – so much seems so overwhelming right now, but she finally said yes. Come. So Gary dropped me off on our way north and I was able to spend three lovely, quiet, tearful, and maybe even a bit productive days with this dear friend and sister in Christ.

I joined her on one of her daily walks
Untitled
and we found a five-legged newt!
Untitled
We helped him get safely to the side of the road. (Though it’s not a very busy road and he probably would’ve made it without our assistance!)
We lingered over breakfast on the porch,
Visit with Lynne
filled the house with the delicious smells of homemade soup,
Visit with Lynne
attacked some crazy weeds in the garden,
Untitled
did little dusting and did a little puzzle puzzling.
Visit with Lynne
And finally, when the chores were done, we spent some time in her studio – the first time she’d been there since she lost Roger.
Visit with Lynne
Visit with Lynne
It was hard, but it was good.
We sat quietly and remembered Roger with both laughter and tears. We prayed. We talked about the days to come and the days that are gone. Her grief is great, but her hope in the LORD is greater! I was blessed and honored to spend those precious days with her.

We all miss you, Roger – but we know you are in such a better place! See you when we get there!

Love,
Steph

The Dashboard Dance

dashboardplantOver the years many of you have asked if we really drive with so much ‘stuff’ on our dashboard. And the answer is a very simple “Yes”. It all started with this little jade plant that was a cutting off a plant that I had purchased in 1972, the summer after we were married. By the time we left on this adventure it was over 3 feet tall, and had about a 3″ diameter trunk. It didn’t seem really practical to bring that along, so we settled for those two sweet cuttings.  Over the years as it grew (and we left more cuttings with friends along the way) it was joined by an Aloe Vera plant from the Florida Keys in 2011 and then this sweet little cactus from Arizona in 2016.
Dashboard cactus
Other items have joined the party (mostly attached to memories or stuff found in Gary’s pockets)and this is how the dashboard looked as we left Columbus last month, heading east to PA.



Ah yes, complete with mask (good to keep one handy, right?) and a couple of crumpled up tissues. (No staging here. This is a true life still life.)
As I began taking my ‘windshield shots’ to document our drive, I noticed that items were beginning to do a little dance.
Dashboard dancing
Let’s face it – the roads through Akron had those guys really jumping!
Untitled
Gary added the candy wrappers and those tissues just kept moving to the road music.
Untitled
The mask was the first to topple over the edge as the dance floor became quite crowded.
Untitled
The dove had fallen over, attempting to get closer to the memory stones, and the pink flowers were distancing themselves from the potted plants. As we crossed Pennsylvania on I80 and then headed north up I81, I was keeping a close eye on the breakables that were getting precariously close to the edge. Just as we were coming into Montrose, the inevitable happened.
Untitled
Can you tell what took that final leap off the dash?
Untitled
One of my little Kenyan hippos! All is well, though – no harm, no foul! He was safely reunited to his mate!

The tissues made it just fine (eewwww), and don’t even ask me why we had a mousetrap on the dash. Somethings are beyond my understanding!

Thanks for coming to the dance!

Steph
And yes, I know that little leaning cactus need to be repotted!! Yikes!

 

Being Crafty

I fear I have set a new precedent. As you probably know, I really enjoy sewing. And sewing for my kids always brings me joy. When there’s a new baby on the way, I usually make one for throw-on-the-floor use before the darling arrives, and then another more keepsake-y (though still sturdy) for after his or her arrival. (Of our 12 grandchildren, 6 were “wait until they’re born” before we knew if it was a boy or girl.) (Here’s a post about the last two I made!) Once we get past the baby stage, I do one twin size quilt after they move into a ‘big bed’. I started strong with our Ellie’s bed quilt – she got it for Christmas just before she turned 4.
e-quilt.1
The last one I completed was for Reis, who was 5 at the time.
Untitled
Next up is Alexandra (who will be 7 in October!!). While I was waiting to find the opportunity to go shopping with Alex’s Mom, I decided to make a Graduation Quilt for Ellie (the recipient of all the ‘first’ quilts!). I didn’t want it to be a big deal (since once I started this route there would be 11 others following) so I decided to do it a in a smaller ‘throw’ size, with nice cuddly fleece on the back. I found a fabric line I thought she would like, picked up a ‘layer cake’ (forty 10″ squares) in that line, and went about making my first Graduation Quilt!
Untitled
Untitled
See the cozy fleece on the back?
Untitled
So the sweet little girl holding the pillow in that first picture –
Untitled
is all set with a snuggle blanket filled with Gram’s love as she heads off to college!
Meanwhile….
My youngest niece is having a baby boy next month (her first), and I was invited to my very first virtual shower. Since I had some nice grays hanging out in my stash (and I knew his room was done in gray), I was able to put together a little quilt for this newest member of our family in time for the party.
Untitled
I loved the fun backing too!
Untitled
(I think there are some matching pajama pants in someone’s drawer from a couple of Christmas’s ago!)
At any rate, it was a joy to send off a bit of Aunt Steph love to this sweet family about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime!

And finally – I did get a chance to hit a fabric store with Lara when we were in Ohio last month, and Alexandra’s quilt has officially been started!
Untitled
It’s going to be bright and cheery – and hopefully will be on her bed by the time she turns seven!! I’ll keep you posted!

So the machine’s been out quite a bit lately – and I’m thoroughly enjoying it! It’s been good to get the quilting juices flowing again!
Thanks for reading through all this Show and Tell. I probably should’ve put a “Craft Warning” in the opening paragraph! =)

Steph

Sabbath Rest – He Will Hold Me Fast

He will hold me fast. He’ll not let my soul be lost – His promises shall last!
What wonderful promises to hold on to (but so very thankful He’s holding on to me!)

When I fear my faith will fail
Christ will hold me fast
When the tempter would prevail
He will hold me fast
I could never keep my hold
Through life’s fearful path
For my love is often cold
He must hold me fast

Chorus:
He will hold me fast
He will hold me fast
For my Savior loves me so
He will hold me fast

Those He saves are His delight
Christ will hold me fast
Precious in His holy sight
He will hold me fast
He’ll not let my soul be lost
His promises shall last
Bought by Him at such a cost
He will hold me fast

CHORUS

For my life He bled and died
Christ will hold me fast
Justice has been satisfied
He will hold me fast
Raised with Him to endless life
He will hold me fast
Till our faith is turned to sight
When he comes at last


Sung and performed by members of the music ministry at Central Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, MO.
Song Information:
Intro from ‘Finlandia’, Jean Sibelius
Lyrics by Ada Habershon (v. 1-2)
Additional Lyrics by Matt Merker (alt words v. 1-2, v. 3)
Music by Matt Merker
Arrangement by Paul Campbell
Copyright 2013 Getty Music Publishing and Matt Merker/BMI

Seeing the country……Serving our Lord!