Even the Little Things

There is a movie that my sisters and I just love.

We love it because it has something for everyone.






Yes, check.

This is also how we introduce it to our friends when we explain it to them.

It usually convinces them. We have gotten at least one or two hooked πŸ™‚

I am sure you have heard of it….my sisters and I are slowly catching up on the “good” adult movie world as we get older.

Knight and Day….a movie starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

Tom Cruise is a secret agent on a mission, and he ends up involving, small town, June (Cameran Diaz) in his quest to complete his dangerous mission.

The whole movie is filled with car chases, plane crashes, witty humor as June, freaks out and can’t take it anymore.

But…I don’t want to give it away….my family says I am notorious for doing that.

I just want to highlight one little scene towards the end and then you should go watch it for yourself.

June, is tied up in a chair, filled with a drug that makes her tell only the truth. She starts describing Roy (Tom Cruise) , saying that he is so thoughtful, getting her to her sister’s wedding on time, making her an omlet.

“Its really the little things, they count so much”.

This quote came to mind,

my hands in soapy water, rejoicing with my friend about about the treat she found for our coffee tomorrow.

Really….that’s what God does for us.

He fills our lives with good things….sometimes we just have to have the eyes to see them…to name them.

A recurring theme he has been giving me over and over.

“Remember the little things Jess, remember the little things.”

This first week in East Asia, hasn’t been much to speak of.

My friend and I have both been tired, sick with colds.

Our days have fallen into a routine, caring for the baby we are nannying.

A slow routine actually, marked by the little things….

Fresh watermelon, cold.

Sipping much needed coffee.

Sitting and looking at the beautiful city lights. Really guys…we have the best view.

Finding movies, we had just talked about wanting to watch.

Laughing with an old friend.

Cheering, when the baby actually decides she wants to eat.

Scones fresh out of the oven.

Finding coffee magnums!!!! πŸ™‚

Making the baby laugh.

Smiling as she learns phrases like “Eeew that’s gross” and “I need it!”

Shrugging our shoulders and throwing up our hands when try as we might, the baby won’t say “Jess” but instead has taken to calling me “Minnie”

Eating dumplings

Cheap Asian deliciousness!

My atm card working….

An unexpected run…refreshing, as I sped off, my legs fairly dancing at the chance to hit the pavement.

Carmel for our apples……even some leftover for our coffee.

Skype calls to family…..

Just sitting and wondering at my good fortune, that I get to be back here….words can’t describe!

Finding large trash bags. (seriously…..all they have is tiny ones!)

Milka Chocolate!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

When you make the choice to see the little things…..to rejoice at each new gift

they just add up, and madeΒ  the week a blessed one.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Jame 1:17


Touring around Eurasia…..

I am not a good tourist…..

Pictures are often just not my thing.

So when we walked into our first tourist sight at the start of our 4 day tour, I didn’t pull out my camera. Not even once.

Sometimes I just want to walk unencumbered into a place and just feel.

To absorb the full extent of the surroundings with no distractions.

So that’s what I did.

We walked into the Hagia Sophia, and I didn’t take one picture.

I walked around, at times almost in tears, in awe of the beauty of it.

Here was a building, that had stood the test of time, still retaining its beauty, filled with history.

This cathedral, turned mosque, turned muesum I had read about it middle school and here I was, walking inside of it. I got to touch the cool marble and walk up and down the ramps, in the four corners of the cathedral that serve as buttresses. Because the building was completed in only 5 years, they weren’t able to give the foundation time to settle, therefore the walls started to lean in. Hence the buttresses/ramps in each corner.

I totally didn’t understand the buttress thing until I actually walked inside of them!

We saw the huge discs with the Koran on them, the purple pillars that are made out of ancient marble, beautiful mosiacs (again something I learned about in school) paintings of monarchs that had donated a lot of money to the church and thereby supposedly gaining entrance into heaven, some of the cherubim that are in the four corners in the center room.

It was a dream come true for me. πŸ™‚ How often do you read about something in school…..something that happened halfway across the world and many years ago and actually get to see it?!

Our whole group decided that this was one of the best ways to learn history as we journeyed through the Topkapi Palace, Ephesus, Laodacia and many other places.

By the 3rd day I started to take pictures.

How else could I resist this awesome tile work that resembles a quilt pattern???? (And yet I resisted the Hagia Sophia….well I figured my sister Hannah could get that for me….when/if she posts a blog about her experience of the trip I will let you know….she will give you a better overview….and such better pictures…this is another reason I am awful at taking pictures. Why take them when your sister will take better ones?????)


Yup…the quilter in me couldn’t help myself. I am starting to see quilting patterns everywhere!

Hm…maybe I could figure out how to free motion quilt this?Β 


Talk about an awesome idea for a border!


I think this is where quilters got their original ideas…..


There has got to be a quilt out of this pattern.

I never expected to get inspired walking around ruins!

On our last day, after we went to Laodacia, we went to Heriapolis, a place of healing waters, and doctor fish. πŸ™‚

After seeing the pool and walking in pools very similar to these,


I decided to take off my shoes…..see my wonderful chaco tan line???? (I am kinda too proud of it)


I had a ton of dry skin on my feet, and the group said they would pay for the “doctor” fish to eat the dead skin off. We had visited this booth earlier, and put our hands in one of the 3 rows of tanks, that contained these small fish. The fish would immediately swarm whatever body part you put in the water and you would feel an extreme tickling sensation.

Let’s just say it was all I could do to keep my feet in the water the first 5 minutes of my 25 minute session.Β  After those first five minutes the tickling sensation wasn’t nearly as pronounced and I could actually look at my feet without squirming.


They didn’t get all of the dead skin off, but my feet definitely felt softer!

In other news, the never ending journey did end and I made it safely to my destination, and am currently working on settling in. I just wanted to make sure that posted something about my tour.

I hope you enjoyed πŸ™‚


The Long Journey

Sitting in an airport…waiting for time to pass…..that time can be the slowest yet at the same time the fastest.

I was able to not die of boredom during the 12 hour airport wait.

I would set goals for myself to make the time go faster. I would pick an activity, reading, sewing, watching a movie and would make myself sit there doing that activity for how ever long I decided. Then I would get up, and move somewhere else.


I was somewhat limited dragging my luggage around. Every time I moved, the duffle bag wheels would screach and I would feel and see people looking at me. My arms would ache dragging that awkward thing. They still do. Yet even so, I managed.

I was filled with anxiety, worried that somehow they wouldn’t find my ticket when the agent looked up my passport. It was all I could do to not think about it.

Everytime I would remember, I would say to myself “all things work together for good…..God works all things together for good”.

When the time came close for them to open up the check-in, I planted myself in front of the line and sat on my duffle.

A man from New York came and we waited together. It was nice to have a conversation in English.

When the check-in opened, the man from New York carried my duffle bag up for me. Grunting he commented on how heavy it was. Yeah…I know.

In spite of my anxiety, that made my stomache churn and my adrenaline race, everything went smoothly. They checked my bag through to Asia and it was under the limit!! πŸ™‚

Things started getting better from there…every where I turned I saw the hands of God’s goodness.

Like when seeing people from where I was headed and they spoke English!

Getting Starbucks πŸ™‚


Helping a man find where his check-in gate was.

Having the check-in gal be super nice to me. She even weighed my carry-on….it was super over…..and she LET ME TAKE IT ON!!!!!! πŸ™‚


Being able to change clothes…thanks to the super nice lady letting me have my roller board.

Arriving at the airport where I would have an almost 20 hr layover to find that I would get a free hotel room!

And that hotel has wifi!!! (its the simple things…it really is πŸ™‚

Being able to take a shower.

Getting to taste authentic Asian food again…..sigh…

God is good isn’t he? πŸ™‚

As for me…I am going to sleep well tonight!

Airport musings

By Saturday, I am going to get really good at airports.

Currently, I am at an airport for over 12 hours waiting to check into my first flight to east Asia. I will have another almost 20 hr layover before my trip is done.

I have been surrounded by people for the past two weeks. For an introvert as myself this is a nice break, to sit in a coffee shop and just chill. It was beginning to be quite the effort for me to respond nicely to people on my team. Can’t people just stop talking??????

Yet at the same time now that I am alone (as alone as anyone can be in an airport) I find myself narrating in my head.

“Here I am dragging my large awkward duffle bag and rollerboard into the bathroom…I think I shall slide
them underneath the sink. There is no way I can get them into the stall. This is not the America of large handicap stalls.

“I am hungry.

“This coffee shop looks nice.

“no, Jess you can’t cry…..

“I think I shall get some coffee and a muffin…

“Man my duffel bag is heavy….

“My arm hurts…

“Yikes….those squeaking wheels on my duffle bag are obnoxious…..I hope I don’t stand out too much.

“I really hope those wheels decide to squeak if someone tries to steal it while I am on the toliet”

Turns out I do miss people…I think I am just trying to forget it so I don’t cry.

Saying goodbye to your sisters for six months can be quite the ordeal especially when you are trying to hold back tears.

It makes it harder that my sister started to bawl. Hannah….just because I didn’t start to cry doesn’t mean that didn’t I wanted to. I just have to hold myself together ya know? πŸ™‚

You see, I am going to be gone for six months. I left the states to spend some time in Europe to work at a conference. I had a blast assisting at a business conference providing childcare for the attendees. Two of my sisters came and it was very enjoyable to work with them and then tour with them and the rest of the childcare team visiting the local tourist places.

Now I am at the airport (my flight was 12 hours difference from the rest of the team) on the verge of a big adventure.

“What am I gonna be doing?” you ask?

I am going to beΒ  a nanny. Yeah….not maybe what you would think when you think “adventure”

To me though, adventure is different to each individual.

For me flying halfway around the world, by myself and living in Asia is an adventure.

I am excited. I am excited to see what God is going to do in my life as I take care of this little girl. I can already see fruit as I work hard to trust God. There are so many things one can find to worry about while traveling by oneself.

“What if my ticket doesn’t work?”

“What if I lose my passport?”

“….Lord please please help me remember my pin”

“Will I be a target because I am traveling alone?”


Yet the Lord is reminding me in many ways to trust him. I am so thankful that I memorized verses like,

“Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you”

“I will NEVER leave you or forsake you” (emphasis mine)

“Fear not…for I am with you”

“Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will take care of itself”

It has been amazing to me to see the growth in my peace level as I meditate and dwell on these verses. His promises never fail people!!!!!!

I probably won’t be able to post this for awhile, so when you read this post, hopefully I won’t be sitting in an airport anymore counting down the….um yeah….how many hours till I get to check my ridiculously clumsy duffle….hey…don’t judge….do you know how much suitcases weigh empty???? This thing allows me to pack more stuff! πŸ™‚

Peace be with you! I will check in later! πŸ™‚

Run the Race

I am due to run a marathon on Sunday.

Will I make it?

I don’t know.

But I am going to try, I am going to try my hardest.

Putting one foot in front of the other letting God do the rest.

You see, my feet have been bothering me for the last month, so I don’t know if I will get to cross that finish line.

I am not prepared for “do not finish”.

I won’t let myself be prepared for a “do not finish”. If I try, I know I will cry.

So I will take it one day at a time, as each day takes me closer, closer to that start line.

There isn’t much anything else that I can do.

I know that God has a race for me to run on Sunday.

Whether it be half, full or “DNF” I don’t know.

All I know is that he will give me the grace to run the race he chooses for me.

I don’t need to know anything more.

School House Tunic

These past couple weeks, I have been working a lot and been sewing up a storm! I am so thankful for my sewing machine can put up with me.

A couple years ago I replaced my Pfaff with a Bernina and my Bernina puts up with my “abuse” a lot better.

One thing it does for me is it continues to keep working when I forget to change the quarter inch foot to an open foot when I am doing a zig zag. I haven’t forgotten very often but when I do….bam there goes a needle.

Worst feeling in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But after changing the needle and taking a break to stop and clean out the bobbin case and of course add a couple drops of oil, it keeps running like new.

One of my finishes that I got done was this School House tunic by Sew Liberated.

School House Tunic

*Photo credit goes to my lovely sister Hannah…to see more of her work head over here.

I had bought the pattern at a quilt shop in Nebraska last fall and I finally found the perfect fabric for it.

I decided to go with a Hoffman batik. I haven’t made clothes in a long time and I had never tried making a dress out of a batik before. But I love the look! You definitely won’t see other people wearing batiks.

One thing I was worried about when making this dress/tunic was the fact that I have rather broad shoulders for my frame. The thing I liked about this pattern is that the pattern writer combined the sizes, because I had one of those problems where you are in one size in the bust but in a different size in the hips and the waist. What a dilemma! This pattern takes that problem out for you and just combines the sizes.

The first day of wearing the garment I did find that the shoulders were a little tight but after the second day the shoulders weren’t that bad at all. Go figure. (it probably has to do with the fact that batiks have a tad bit of stretch to them.)

Also I had a birthday! The day was busy filled with church, a quiz meet and then finally crashing at home to watch the Amazing race.

IMG_20140302_171737My littlest bro decided it was his job to guard my presents. He did a good job too!

IMG_20140302_214104Here are a sampling of some of my favorites!!!!!

I haven’t had too much time to look at them but they make me so happy to look at all the pictures! Thanks Mom!

Linking up today with

My Lovely Vintage Quilt

When I was 14 I was given a quilt.

My great aunt gave it to me while my family was on vacation in Kentucky. Kinda surprising that Aunt Jane Ann would give an heirloom quilt to a 14 year old.

But our family kinda lacks quilters, and I was one of the few.

I had it tucked away in a box with several other quilts and found it when I was rotating a couple. (I like to make the best use of them and change them periodically)

Turns out my family had unknowingly folded it wrong.

When I received this quilt, I read that you need to refold the quilt every couple months and that it is best to fold it on the bias to avoid getting that awful center crease down the middle. This helps save the textiles from more wear and tear than they need.

I refolded it, the right way (well the way that I like this quilt to be folded) and I thought I would take some pictures to show you how I fold my quilts on the bias.


First here is the quilt. Isn’t it lovely?


and the label on the front. As best as I can make out there are two embroidered signatures. The first one says “Angela Reinhart September 29, 1884” and the second signature is “quilted Jan, 1958 Inez Cruse”.

What a treasure!


I just had to take a picture of this block! Can you tell that she had to “make do”???? I have honestly just noticed this since I pulled it out recently and it kinda makes me happy to see living proof that sometimesΒ  you just run out of fabric…

or have to “make do”

Ok now on to the folding.


The first fold I take one of the corners and pulled it diagonally so that it makes a triangle. Because the quilt isn’t square there is going to be a little tail on the end. That’s ok.


The next fold I grab the top right corner. Ya know, the one that is part of the tail, and pull it diagonally so it is even with the bottom edge like so. Now you have a triangle with out a tail.

20140205_121435Next I grabbed the left bottom corner of the triangle and folded the quilt in half so that the left bottom point met the right bottom point.


Next I grabbed the right corner and folded it down so that I could start creating a square which is easier to store than a triangle.


Finally I folded the left corner up to meet the top right corner forming a square.

Voila! You are done!

I try to pull out my quilt every couple months to refold it.

To make sure you aren’t folding on the same creases just start on a different corner. The goal is to make sure that the quilt is folded on the diagonal which is stronger than if it is just folded in the traditional quarters.

I decided to fold my quilt so that the piecing was in the inside to help save the color of the quilt, but if you want to display your quilt lets say in a china hutch folded like this you could just fold the quilt with the pretty side facing out.

You are still helping to save your quilt because its is folded on the bias while you get to enjoy the loveliness of the piecing.

What are some of your favorite vintage quilts?

Linking up today with Show off Saturday @ SewCanShe