Friday, July 25, 2014

Postman Dispatches July Pillowcase Project Delivery

Neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night
stays these couriers from the swift completion
of their appointed rounds.
~Postal Tribute

It's amazing how many projects get done in the good ol' summertime! For the Pillowcase Project, Susan at My Place to Yours sent word that her pillowcases have been shipped. Thank you, Susan! Everyone's excited to see them!

I have lots more great news to share today, too! Since her pillowcases arrived last week, first we'll look at Laura's from Decor to Adore.

Aren't they adorable?!

Laura's pillowcases
came tied with terms of endearment.

What she wrote will bring a tear
to your eye, too:

... I wanted to tell you a bit
about the fabric and trims I selected.
I learned to sew from my Grandma Mary
and foster mother Nadine.
After they passed on
I inherited their sewing stash
and could not bring myself to use any of it.
This project was precious enough
to put an end to my hoarding
and share their love and beauty
for a good cause...

Thank you for the opportunity
to work on this wonderful project.

Notice Laura's handmade, vintage fabric, lavender-filled 'strawberry,' complete with yo-yo top and vintage button. And the sprinkling of 'confetti' from the sweet little blue fabric 'envelope.' Sew sweet, Laura!

Next up is a comment left by Connie at Crafty Home Cottage who wrote:

Great to have you aboard, Connie, and happy moving! I know you'll be sew happy when all the boxes are unpacked... And I appreciate how Carol inspired you.

Speaking of Carol at The Polka Dot Closet, her confectionary pillowcase offerings were postman-dispatched early this week. Just look at their sweetness!

Of course each one possesses-- what else?-- pretty polka dots!

Aren't they yummy?!

Complete in shades of
chocolate, cupcakes and taffy!

Finally, here's the comment left by Marlynne (pronounced Marilyn) at Marlynne Creates Daily.

Would you look at the beautiful smiles
on the "Chat & Sew" group of
The First Baptist Church of Archie, Missouri?!

I think sweet Marlynne's third from left
holding a fabulous pillowcase
in her favorite color red!

Go check out all Marlynne's photos here on her blog. Aren't their pillowcases awesome?! Looks like they had fun with them, too. What a blessing these will be at Christmastime for the little patients at National Children's Hospital in Manila, Philippines.

Laura and Carol, thank you for sharing kindness and Christmas cheer with some precious little ones far, far away. I'm sew grateful for your help, ladies! Susan, Connie and Marlynne/"Chat & Sew," we sew look forward to sharing your pillowcases, too!

Kindly accept my thanks again for all of you wonderful contributors who've joined or pledged to join The Pillowcase Project in honor of my precious mother-in-law. Your offerings will be a huge blessing to all the little ones at National Children's Hospital!


ALL ABOARD! Contributor update:
Bloggers, you're welcome to add the pillowcase image from my sidebar (or any others) to your own blog. Please link to Kelley Highway's The Pillowcase Project and I'll be oh, sew grateful.

2.  Sherry at Creatology
6.  Annabel in South Australia at The Bluebirds are Nesting
7.  Lana at Miss Lana
11. Ilse Moore, a contributor to Rhonda Buss's Mary Bridge Hospital pillowcase project

12. Christ Temple of Phoenix, Arizona

Joined in February
14. Ellette Day

Joined in March

Joined in April
17. Dayle's mother, Mrs. Ruth Allen

Joined in June
18. Claudia and her church's ladies in Twin Falls, Idaho

Joined in July
19. Connie at Crafty Home Cottage
20. Marlynne (pronounced Marilyn) of Marlynne Creates Daily's "Chat & Sew" group at Archie, Missouri's First Baptist Church 

Pillowcases need to reach me on Guam
(a U.S. ZIP code)
no later than
December 1, 2014.

When you're ready to mail your pillowcases,
click here and send me an e-mail.
I'll reply with my mailing address.

You can also click "About Kelley"
up there on my left sidebar,
then click "Email" under Contact Me.

Five months until November 25--
a good pillowcase mailing deadline!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Great Coals o' Fire

If your enemy is hungry,
give her bread to eat;
and if she is thirsty,
give her water to drink.
For you are heaping coals of fire
upon her head,
and the LORD will reward you.
Proverbs 25:21

In recent weeks and in three different settings I've heard this same passage expounded upon.


Each of the three {incorrect} explanations I heard went something like this:

"If you give your hungry enemy food,
if you give your thirsty enemy water,
this will cause your enemy to feel
red hot shame and embarrassment
for what they've done wrong to you."

Do them good and not evil to make them feel bad? Is that it?

"Heap coals of fire upon her head" has not a thing to do with "make your enemy feel shame or guilt for what she's done."

See, in Bible times a home possessed what was called a brazier. Ever heard that word? Me, too, because Dairy Queen-- seller of brazier burgers-- was my first job. DQ's burgers were not grilled on a hot griddle but over a genuine fire. As in flames

In Bible days, when someone accidentally allowed the fire to go out in the brazier during the night, what then? No cooking without fire. No breakfast without fire. And baby, if it's cold outside and there's no fire in the brazier, baby it's cold inside, too!

So what she did, who accidentally let the brazier grow cold, was to situate her brazier basket atop her head, walk to her neighbor's house and knock on the door. Shuffling her sandals in the dirt, she might mumble after her neighbor answered the door, "I accidentally let the fire go out in the brazier last night. Can I borrow some coals o' fire from yours?"

She hadn't asked for food.

She hadn't asked for water.

And she wasn't an enemy either. For what she needed she asked her neighbor. She needed a coal o' fire from the brazier.

Like any good neighbor would, the reply would've likely sounded something like, "Sure, c'mon in!"

Moving quickly toward the brazier, her neighbor would've positioned herself near the fire as her guest knelt down, lowering the basket closer to the brazier. Using tongs, one or two hot coals o' fire would've been plucked from the brazier and dropped into the basket upon her guest's head. "There!" the lady of the house would've smiled. "Now remember, anytime you need anything, if I have it to give, it's yours."

Provision of food and water for my "enemy" in need is equivalent to heaping coals o' fire from my own brazier upon her head.

Being transparent, that's exactly where I am today.

Go above and beyond, Kelley,
and for that the LORD will reward you.

want that reward. I've got this.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Laine's Letters: Laine Introduces Herself

Now I am His Servant,
His Slave,
His Daughter,
and part of His Glorious Bride!

Because I'm often asked about the "Laine's Letters" I have saved on my laptop in PDF, I thought I would share them one by one in weekly Tuesday posts. Here's Laine's Letter in which she introduces herself.

Laine and Art

By Laine

Dear Sisters,

I thought I would introduce myself. It has been so nice to receive e-mails telling me how much you like the Proverbs 31 Bible study. A friend of mine told me yesterday that I sound as though I "have it all together" in it. We laughed about that as she knows me so well. What I hope to convey in it is that I am striving, as I know many of you are, to conform to the image of Christ and to have my home be used for His Glory. With that in mind I thought I would tell you how the Bible study came about.

I have been married 16 years to Art. I prayed since I was sixteen for God's man for me, and God was faithful to me, even when I was not to Him. I am 36 with four beautiful children: Quincy (14), Brady (11), Abbie (7), and Gabe (4). I often look at them now and whisper to God, "You make the most beautiful children."

When I was pregnant between Abbie and Gabe, I lost a baby at five months of pregnancy. It was so hard for me because I was very sick with that baby and in bed much of the time. The fact of the matter was, I was becoming depressed and feeling God was not listening to me as I cried out in sickness. Then it got worse... my baby died inside of me without my knowledge of it for a while.

I was His Child, but I was spending more time reading rough romance novels, and watching soap operas and movies that I should not have. These were the words I was meditating on all day. I was spending no time in His Word except for opening my Bible in church on Sunday morning.
I was a fearful woman who put her children first in her life. Most of my fears concerned them. In my fear I was critical and frustrated which caused me to yell at them a lot. My husband didn't know what to make of me and just tried to cope. We often had heated discussions. I felt as though everyone was sucking off me, and they were sucking me dry...

I got pregnant two months later with Gabe. Oh, I was so excited. He was born five weeks early, but there was serious trouble two weeks later. Before I knew it he had developed pneumonia and was in an oxygen tent in the hospital fighting to breathe and stay alive. The nurse who was assigned to us told us he couldn't keep up the striving to breathe as he was only 4 pounds and that his heart would give out. She was sorry but she was so swamped with patients and would we call out to her when the heart monitor went off to signal his heart had stopped so that she could rush in to tend to him. (I am trembling as I write this and trying not to cry.)

Well, I cried out to God as never before in that hospital room. He had taken a baby from me already and was now ready to take one I had seen and held. I had been a Christian since I was ten, but I did not feel His peace at all. I didn't feel it because I did not know my Father. I didn't trust Him in this situation whatsoever. So I started to bargain with Him. I promised Him I would get up early every morning and get to know Him if He would heal my Gabe. The heart monitor went off signaling Gabe's heart had stopped, and I rose to yell for the nurse at my husband's cry. I pleaded with God as I began to yell for the nurse. Gabe's heart started to beat again. My husband had been encouraging me to write a book on saving money on food as I had a knack with that and had spoken to many women about it. The heart monitor went off again with a penetrating long and loud buzz that sliced into the room. I rose again to yell for the nurse at my husband's cry. (My husband just kept staring at Gabe in the oxygen tent praying for him to live.) I made my second promise. I promised the LORD I would write for Him to women if He would heal Gabe. The heart monitor stopped blaring and Gabe's heart started to beat again. Soon the room was a mass of confusion as they prepared to rush Gabe by ambulance to San Diego Children's hospital.

One week later the head doctor of the critical care ward came in and told me that they had no reason why this baby was well. But they were sending him home. I was so far from God that I did not give Him the praise and the glory He deserved to that team of doctors. I stood there silent, but thankful to have Gabe back.

Once I got home, I knew I had to do what I had promised. So I started to get up at 4:00 a.m., as this was the only time of my day that I could be alone, and I opened the Bible to the beginning: Genesis. I asked Him to show me Who He was, and not as I perceived Him to be, as I did not know Him as I should. And I asked Him to help me love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. It was very hard for me to get up at 4:00 a.m. with a nursing baby, three other children, and home schooling. And I had always started to read the Bible before, but found it to be too time consuming and difficult to continue. But I feared God! So morning after morning I got up to be alone with Him. Soon I was growing and finding out who God was! And how much He loved me! I couldn't wait to get up and get into His Word, and many times would get up at 3:30 a.m. to linger longer with Him.

That was five years ago this November, and my whole life has been turned upside down with the joy and love and adoration that our great Heavenly Father brings to me, one of His Chosen Homemakers. I have more energy than I did before when I was sleeping longer. He multiplies my time. (I liken this to tithing as it seems you can never afford to tithe, and then after you start tithing, you can never afford to stop. Likewise when you "tithe you time" to Him giving Him the first of your day daily.)

And this summer I have had the privilege of almost seeing completed the book that I promised to Him almost five years ago. The Proverbs 31 Bible study is the beginning of that book as I have a passion to help homemakers as God has so wonderfully seen to help me. It was good that I was afflicted. I no longer read rough romance novels, watch soap operas, or movies that I shouldn't see. He slowly pulled each one of those out of my hands. I no longer put my children first, but can see His plan for the family and try to walk in the Light of His Word on it. I no longer fear, feel frustrated daily, and yell at those that I love the most. I ask that I walk at His Pace, doing His Priorities, by His Power, with His Peace, and with much Praise to Him along the way. I ask that I might cling, cling, cling to Him and that I never return to the state I was in before. Because I know that it is only through the power of His Holy Spirit that I have anything with you to share.
And each morning I get up so excited to see what He will say to me in His beautiful, beautiful Word. And then I have the pleasure of conversing with Him as He speaks to me. Intimate conversation in a holy kitchen. I can handle other's words now so much better in my day because I have heard The Word first. (My husband told me today that as I share with other women he can see early morning lights on in kitchens all across America. It gave me goose bumps when he said that as I know the strength a homemaker has who is sold out for God and clinging to Him.)

My husband gets up next when I am 3/4's of the way through my Bible reading, and I have never looked at him with more love than I do now. God has given me new eyes to see him. He sits next to me and reads His Bible, which he never did before. My children get up after he leaves for work, and I cannot believe the change my behavior has had on them. My eldest son says the change in me caused him to start to read his Bible through every day for a year (recently accomplished). And then, "my servants" get up and get going, which has had the most profound effect on my outlook concerning the running of my home. It was on the umpteenth time of reading through Proverbs 31, and trying to assimilate the wisdom taught there, that He opened my eyes to see who my servants were: crock pot, bread machine, washer, oven, sink, refrigerator, sewing machine, and many, many more. And then to get them going early in the morning after He has given me the Living Bread to meditate on all day long.

I am still striving to be all that He wants me to be. I have not arrived. I still struggle. But as I see Him afresh and anew every morning, I see He has the power to do anything with anyone who is willing to let go and let Him have total control. It took me three readings of His Word to do that. Now I am His Servant, His Slave, His Daughter, and part of His Glorious Bride! I ask Him to orchestrate my moments into a life of praise to Him. May He shine, may He shine, may He shine! And may His Servant, Laine, be forgotten and may Jesus Christ be the fragrance remembered. I am His Fingerprint, wanting, oh so wanting, to leave His Impression.

With much love to you all, Laine
(Psalm 18:1)
"I love you, LORD, my strength." 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Healing Journey of a Healthy Blister

Knowledge is being aware that fire can burn;
wisdom is remembering the blister.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

About a month ago, Wednesday, the 18th day of June found me in Manila, tacky gluing and hot gluing a project in my Inspiration Station. My honey was still on Guam where he would teach that weekend before returning home late Saturday evening, the 21st. Our guests would arrive Sunday morning, so besides book'oupage projects, touching-up the walls, etc., I was embellishing a tiny wood birdhouse with raffia and seashells.

The hot glue I turned to use was mistaken for the tacky glue I had also been working with. Whoa, I got a nasty, nasty burn when nearly a dime-size dollop of the melted glue stick dripped onto the underside of my left wedding ring finger. I was able to remove most of the offending glob but it was several moments before I could get the finger iced and several hours until it was well numbed. When I turned in that evening, I prayed it wouldn't feel worse the next day.

In the morning I awakened to a generous blister. I snapped these iPhotos above, below and iMessaged them to my girls.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Baby wisely advised:

Good advice, indeed. During the healing journey of this healthy blister, I lost count of how many who told me, "But I thought we were supposed to pop blisters." Nope. Beneath the blister's enclosed pouch of fluid, healing was well underway. Protected and safe, new skin began forming while I slept.

I wasn't aware until we were on our way to the airport to fetch our guests Sunday that the blister evidently popped while I took that morning's shower.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The next day, Monday, the four of us flew to Malaysia where we attended the Purpose Institute Summit 2014 in Kuala Lumpur.

And the blister healed.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Saturday, 28 June 2014

A month after the accident,
good as new.

Monday, 21 July 2014

I will praise You
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made:
marvelous are Thy works,
and that my soul knows right well.
Psalm 139:14

Saturday, July 19, 2014

It's at It Again... and Now It's Fixed!

Friday you saw this (keep reading!):

While working on a week of wedding posts for August's "Our Family's Final Wedding" (our daughter Dana's and Justin's beautiful wedding day), it's happening again... Empty squares on my blog's dashboard.

All the Blogger signs are little empty frames, empty squares, empty boxes.

Apple says it's a Blogger issue. The Apple tech who helped me on the phone says he even sees the empty squares which change to a foreign language as he slides the slider bar up and down at Kelley Highway.

I can't find the issue on a forum at Blogger or Google (which acquired Blogger in 2003).

Guess I won't be posting "Our Family's Final Wedding" posts...

Guess I may kiss this blog goodbye.

Very frustrated.


Saturday morning I called Apple again. Mr. Edwin so graciously humored me, and walked me through downloading Firefox. "If this is a Blogger issue, then all your empty frames and foreign language will be present in the new browser." Wow! It was! It went from bad (in Safari) to worse (in Firefox).

So'pe. This was a Blogger issue. I headed straight to Google and issued an SOS in the form of a forum.  Wow.  Thank you nitecruzr for your help x 18!  Read my SOS's question, "EMPTY SQUARES or FOREIGN LANGUAGE instead of TEXT or LETTERS," and here is how nitecruzr helped me solve it. It was SOOOOO simple...

Thank you, nitecruzr!
No wonder he's a "Top Contributor," awarded a blue ribbon for
"1,000 Best Answers!"

Somehow my blog had changed languages!

nitecruzr, I owe you... um... a bread pudding!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Better End

This rough-ish draft of a Weight Watcher talk is at least 16 years old and from my personal Weight Watchers leader archive. If you needed a little pep talk today, then this is for both of us.

The Better End
by Kelley Dibble

Just as a hop onto I-70 East could take you to Baltimore, one bite could take you to a binge.

But just because you're on I-70 East doesn't mean you're bound for Baltimore.

And just because you took one bite doesn't mean you're headed for a binge.

At Point A, plan the journey to Point B, knowing you're not there yet.

Why did you get on I-70? To go to Kingdom City [Missouri]? From where you are right now, you'll have to drive west to get to Kingdom City. On I-70 West you'll have to take the proper exit to Kingdom City.

Before you leave, though, you'll fill your car with fuel, check the oil and put air in the tires so you'll get where you're going. You'll even clean the windshield so you see where you're going.

The fuel in this scenario are the meetings that keep you going, give you ideas and inspiration.

I-70 is the program you follow, the right highway, the right program, the right path.

The tires are literally the rubber that meets the road. You're not parked in the garage. You're walking the walk and talking the talk. JUST DOING IT.

If I want to go to Kingdom City, I must get into the car and go! I can't get there with just knowing the plan, just knowing the program. The program will never get me there just as sitting in the car inside the garage won't take me to Kingdom City. I must pull that car out of the garage and push the pedal to the medal.

Are their obstacles? Stay in your own lane. Signal your intentions. When it gets dark outside, turn on your headlights. You're headed somewhere safely and there will be no collisions.

Is the needle moving toward EMPTY? Pull over and refill at the nearest gas station. The meetings are that fuel. The meetings give us food for thought and challenge us. Every car's got to have fuel. BMW's gotta have fuel. 1970s Vegas gotta have fuel. All God's chil'ens gotta have fuel. Camaraderie, that you're not alone, that if s/he can lose weight, I can, too! You'll never make it to Kingdom City if there's no gas in your tank.

When we travelled every summer, I always looked up where the nearest Weight Watchers meeting was held in the city where we were going to be because I have to refuel. It's a priority. It's a must. Drinking all that water alone is not going to get me to my goal weight. I've got to have fuel. I've got to have food for thought. I attended meetings in cities all over the country because it was important to me. I was headed somewhere.

The program or the highway can be taken or driven from one extreme (California) to the other (Connecticut), but we must use the program, we must take the highway to get where we want to go: pounds lost. Not just to Centralia [Missouri]. All the way to Kingdom City. Weight loss or bust! Goal weight or bust!

If you know the interstate system of Missouri and saw someone going down Route 63 South with a sign taped to the bumper that read "KINGDOM CITY OR BUST," you'd shake your head and wonder about that driver! Is she crazy?! She's going the wrong way! She'll never get to Kingdom City on 63 South!

Whatever others do, wherever others go, you go to Kingdom City. Don't do what others are doing. She's where she is on her journey and you are where you are on yours. Sure, listen to her experience and remember her advice. "Right about mile marker 148 there's a huge pothole. I don't know why the highway department hasn't come out to fix that yet. My neighbor told me about that pothole... after he tore up the right front end of his car!"

Yes, you listen and heed their warnings, you pay attention to the traffic report (and "There's a smokey that always parks at mile marker 164!"), but you start where you are and do what you know you must do to get to Kingdom City. Each mile of the drive takes you closer to your destination, closer to your goal weight.

Be on the lookout for things that may distract or detain you-- "I'm practicing excellence."  KINGDOM CITY OR BUST! Rubber meets road. You're not parked inside the garage! You're headed to your weight loss goal.

Seeing your way is vital.  Driver safety instructors advise us to check our rearview mirrors every ten seconds. Accelerate only when it's safe. Change lanes only when it's safe.

And take care on those bridges.

The hardest lesson in life is to learn
which bridge to cross
and which bridge to burn.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Bread Pudding for Two with Butter "Rum" Sauce (a recipe)

No matter what the recipe,
any baker can do wonders in the kitchen
with some good ingredients
and an upbeat attitude!
~ Buddy Valastro

Let's make bread pudding for two!

I made mine in Ball jars.

Bread Pudding for Two

Preheat oven to 350º.

Grease the insides of 2 8-ounce ramekins, custard cups or Ball jars.

Cube or tear into pieces 1 dinner roll or 1 slice of bread and drop into the prepared dish or jar. Repeat for second dish or jar.

Scatter over each dish of bread 1 Tablespoonful of raisins or other dried fruit. (I used dried blueberries in mine!)

Next, combine in a measuring glass:
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 egg
3 Tablespoons water

In a tiny dish, mix together:
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Add the sugar-spice mixture to the measuring glass mixture. Note the measurement of the liquid and pour evenly over the bread-filled dishes. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350º oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Butter "Rum" Sauce for Two.

In a small dish, beat together with a fork and set aside:
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon water

In a small saucepan, gently melt:
2 Tablespoons butter

Stir in the egg yolk-water mixture and:
2 Tablespoons sugar

Cook and stir over medium-low heat for 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon rum extract (optional) OR 1 Tablespoon rum or whiskey or bourbon (optional). I poured the sauce over the puddings that had cooled for 15 minutes.