Grieving with Those Who Grieve

There is a time for everything: a time to write papers; a time to make tea wallets; a time to consume jello salad; a time to go to bed at 7:30 on a Thursday night; a time to take a hay ride under the stars with lots of small children; a time to wonder if you’ve again bitten off more than you should have with outside-the-home responsibilities; a time to think with hope about the coming advent season; and a time to mourn with those who mourn.

My Facebook status this week has said, “sad,” or something to that effect. I’ve been asked why a lot and sometimes I’ve answered. The reason? We will be attending a funeral tomorrow for a baby who died last Sunday. It will be sad. We will cry.

I don’t understand, nor will I pretend to try. Life is hard sometimes. And when that hard happens to someone you know, you want to just do something – anything, really, but something. I think I’ve finally figured out that you make meals for people in mourning not because they need to eat, but because you need to feel like you are serving them in some possible way.

Tomorrow we will be present. We will honor the life of the little one. We will show respect to his parents, his brother, his sister. We will ask God questions we don’t know the answers to.

So, quiet on the blog this week? I can blame it on traveling, or on a busy end to the semester, or on whatever else I can think up to blame it on. Truth is, I’ve not really known what to say; everything I have right now is trivial in comparison.

I feel pain on behalf of others. I don’t know why, but I do. I don’t know the family extremely well, but I want to. I’m hurting for them. For whatever I’m feeling, they are feeling a million times more that I can’t even begin to fathom.

Tomorrow will be hard. Please pray for a family in the fumble. I imagine their need is only just beginning.


Happy Thanksgiving!

May your family be friendly,
May your turkey be juicy,
May your chocolate pie be tasty,
May your jello set up in time,
May your butter be soft,
May your bread be warm,
May your self-control be in check today,
May you laugh a lot, love a lot, and create pleasant memories for years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tea Wallets

I’m updating this post altogether with current inventory only. I can’t guarantee any custom orders to be shipped in time for Christmas, but if I post it here for sale, I will ship it the same day I receive payment, first class mail.

I have a handful of tea wallets left over from the mad rush due to a few orders canceling after I started making them. That’s okay, I don’t mind having extra, but I figured I’d go ahead and post them as I finish them here. Anything posted here is ready to go. They are $7 each including the Trader Joe’s tea and shipping. I mail them out the same day I receive payment. Email me at halfpinthouse at gmail dot com if interested.

More Tea Wallets!


Inside More Tea Wallets!

Don’t forget, Christy made this tutorial up and graciously shared it with all of us. If you can sew, you can make these yourself!

Why, No, Thank You, I Can’t Stop…


These two are for Christy. More to come. And yes, I did get one book review turned in and another written and awaiting editing. We interview a couple on Monday night and I’ll write that paper later that evening. This means I need to start the big paper which isn’t due until December 16. But, wait, my GWN deadline is moved up to Tuesday this week instead of Thursday which means I also have four articles to write, and OH YES, I’m teaching Sunday School in the morning, so I need to prepare too.


This is How I Procrastinate

It's the end of the semester. And yes, some of us only took one credit hour this semester, but that same someone had a professor who assigned work worthy of at least two hours. At least.

Some people turn into Facebook junkies for the last two weeks of school. Some catch up on all previous seasons of Lost! Some, well, some decide this is the perfect time to tackle all those Christmas gifts they'd been thinking of doing for the past four months.

I'm not amazing. I'm average. I just show it with my sewing machine instead of my remote control.

Now then, I'm not allowed in the basement for the rest of the day. And if you catch me playing Scrabble on Facebook, you need to tell me to stop.

I've got some papers to write.


Okay, Advent

Emily asked about Advent. I’m glad she did because I usually remember to pull the stuff out about a week after it begins. This is a good reminder to me to get it going on time (ie: go to the basement and find the box of Advent stuff; soon).

Here’s the post I wrote last year on it with a few minor modifications. Here you go!


I wasn’t planning to post what we do for Advent, but since a couple of you have asked more specifically, I’ll give you a little run down.

First, we have the Noel Calendar, which I got from John Piper’s church a few years ago. (I looked for it on their website and it appears they do not have it this year. I heard somewhere else that they are revamping it, so perhaps it will be available again next year.) I really like this calendar and it has been a great addition to our routine. It involves reading a short line from the pamphlet, and sticking one of the little figures on the scene. In the true spirit of something, our girls usually argue over who gets to put baby Jesus in the manger on the 25th, so I mixed it all up this year and nobody knows who gets to do it yet.

Noel Calendar



Next we have Celebrating the Life of Jesus: Daily December Devotions for the Family. I ordered it directly from the author, Brenda Poinsett, several years ago. It is not showing up on her website right now, so it would be worth an email to her to ask (it was cheap, like $3 or something for the book); if she doesn’t have any more, ask her for permission to copy mine and I’d be happy to do that for anyone (I’d need you to pay for copies and postage, though).

Celebrating the LIfe of Jesus Tree

Book by Brenda Poinsett

And then there’s the Jesse Tree, which I posted about last night. I made my ornaments based off the list here. I used to also copy pictures of these, along with the verse so the girls could color them while we were reading about it. Last year God’s World News sent out subscriber emails in which they included a downloadable pdf of all the Jesse Tree symbols to coincide with the poster along with appropriate scripture. Each symbol gets its own page so you can print them individually for coloring purposes, or you could make your own ornaments out of them, whatever. I made sure this was kosher before posting this here (made sure last year, am hoping this is still kosher!).

And that’s our Advent routine. I used to do the candle thing, but gave that up, too. We’ll save it for Sundays, when the church does a much better job of explaining the candles than I ever did.

What am I missing? Anything you all do that I need to know about?