A Word Fitly Spoken…

A few weeks ago, a blogger that I had never met before asked if she could use one of my papercuttings as an image in an upcoming post on “How we use our words.” And I said, “Sure!” because that’s a topic that is near and dear to my heart. Donna Farley of The Rafter’s Scriptorium just let me know that the post is up. It is part of a synchroblog (That’s a new word for me!) where a group of bloggers are posting on the same topic. There are some very thoughtful posts linked there, and reading them this morning got the wheels turning in my head. Which can be dangerous.


In today’s time, words are plentiful, but most of them are not “fitly spoken.” There is a plethora of sarcasm out there. Snarliness and snarkiness are commonplace. Cursing abounds, as do euphemisms for curse words. I often wonder, “Do they KNOW what that word is short for?!” Dirty jokes are e-mailed back and forth and posted on Facebook. Humor is “in your face” and often crude. And even in our close relationships, we kid and tease each other with cutting remarks. Where are we going with all this?

The only place I know to go is to THE Word.

There’s plenty of Wisdom to be found in the Bible on the subject of our words. What I find there is that controlling our tongues doesn’t just mean waiting until the kids are playing in the other room before you tell that joke. Or saying something good about someone to their face and then tearing them apart when they walk away. Or using a euphemism when you mean the real thing. No, our words go deeper. All the way to the heart.

Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditations of my heart,

be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
~Psalm 19:14~

Rest assured… if this verse is highlighted in my Bible, it’s for a good reason. Because I need to flip by that page every once in a while and see it there all colored in bright red. I’ve had my share of snappy moments, believe me. I’ve gotten on the soapbox of sarcasm more times than I’d like to admit. But He’s still working on me… and thankfully, that Still Small Voice tugs at my heartstring when I go over the line.

Many years ago, I read Proverbs 25: 11 for the first time…

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

…And it made absolutely no sense at all to me. Not even grammatically. It was like the road sign “Bridges ice before highways.” As a kid, I could NOT figure out what that meant, but now as a grown-up, I can’t figure out what was so confusing about it. Of course bridges ice before highways. Same with the “apples of gold” verse. Now it makes perfect sense. It’s highlighted in red too.

God’s Word gives us some excellent advice concerning how we speak, and if I could encourage anyone to do anything, it would be to encourage others with your words. In this day of bullying and sarcasm and just plain meanness, an encouraging word from us can build others up instead of tearing them down like the rest of the world is doing. As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, friend, and neighbor… and as a Christian… it really helps me to remember to keep this as a goal…

She opens her mouth with wisdom
and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Proverbs 31: 26

That’s also highlighted in red. As you can tell, I need LOTS of reminders!

Chris and Kim’s Airplane Adventure

In which we missed our flight and
temporarily took up residence in Denver.

In case any of you don’t know, I don’t like to fly. Actually, that is an understatement. I always swore that I would never get on an airplane ever for any reason whatsoever. However, when your kids and grandkids live on the opposite coast, resolutions like that go up in a puff of smoke. I mean who could not visit these people…

Jordan, Luke, Jackson, and Derik

(The bloopers for this picture were hilarious…
Derik is literally being held in position.)

Jo and the boys just bought a house, and we headed out to see it and to help with some DIY projects… Jordan is blogging about them HERE. Keep checking her blog to see the final outcomes! The ten days we were out there were sort of like one of those HGTV decorating shows where the crew comes in and tears up every room in the house, and pulls it all together just in time for the camera crew. Except the “pulling it all together” part was lacking somewhat. We left the new homeowners with a small list of finishing touches to do, but we’re convinced that if we all had another 24 hours, we could have done it!

So anyway… this non-flying Nana has become quite the expert on purchasing airline tickets. We only fly Southwest so we can stay in the same terminal in the airports. And also because I know what to expect on their planes and have their safety speeches memorized. (I’m still not sure why they insist on explaining the life vest under the seat in case of a water disaster when we are flying across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada.) We pay extra for “Early Bird Check-In” so we can be in the “A” boarding group and sit together, which really helps me concentrate during take-offs and landings. I even branched out at booked the return flight through Denver this time so we could fly over the Rocky Mountains for a change of scenery and experience a new airport. How brave is that? However, the best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray, and every single flight has been a personal challenge. After our return trip this time, I think I’ve figured it out…these flights are doubling as “Airplane Desensitization Training” for me.

And so… we were headed back home on Tuesday. Hubby got texts that both flights were being delayed. After one final trip to Lowes, we left with more than enough time to stop for lunch at Johhny Rocket’s and for us girls to run into Anthropologie while the guys ordered the food. Only problem was the food never came. And never came. We were about to tell the waitress we had to LEAVE when the food came, and we ate it super duper fast and booked it to the cars. Traffic was worse than expected because the plane delays had put us closer to rush hour. Jo and I and the boys were trying to check our suitcases while Chris and Luke were trying to turn in the rental car, where there was also a long line of people and only one person at the counter. And then, while the airport was paging us, the lady at the counter told us it was impossible to get on that plane… we were missing our flight.

After a momentary panic, and trying to figure if Hubby should re-rent the car he just turned in, we found that we could actually make the first leg of our journey. There was a plane leaving in 45 minutes that was headed to Las Vegas, which would connect us to a plane headed to Denver, and at Denver, we just needed to explain the situation and they would get us on a connecting flight to Baltimore. Easy.

So we flew to Las Vegas. Did you know there are slot machines right there in the airport? That was an interesting sight to watch. And there was a nice Mexican restaurant there too. Then we flew to Denver, arriving around midnight. The first flights East began at 6 a.m., and we needed to be there for the first one to secure our spots on the standby list. So we spent about 3 hours in a Super 8 hotel, which had a comfy bed, a much-needed shower, and a 4 a.m. wake-up call.

Back at the airport by 4:45, we completely confused the man at the check-in counter. He really didn’t know what to do with us. It was no big deal that we had missed our flight, but missing it the day after Memorial Day and College Graduation Weekend was a bit of a problem. Plus, the night before, several flights to Baltimore had been cancelled due to weather somewhere in the East. He thought the 2:00 p.m. flight would be our best chance, but we had to “try” for the other flights throughout the day.

It was all actually pretty fun. We got to see lots of people coming and going, and bonded with the other standby passengers. Whenever someone got a boarding pass, they were congratulated as if they had just won the lottery! And by the time we got on the plane to Baltimore (by way of Atlanta, Georgia) I was actually thrilled to be getting on an airplane! The ADT (Airplane Desensitization Training) worked!

So I’m pretty sure I will fly again.

After all, who could resist these Cutie Patooties?

Definitely not their Nana and Pop-Pop!


Saturday was a Productive Day.

We like those kinds of days.

The MenFolk were busy outside building Things.

Which was good, because the LadyFolk had Things-To-Do
inside the house. Artsy things. Etsy Things.

Things that needed Tea and Cookies for Inspiration.

We brought out the good china for the occasion.


We Ladies glued and sanded and painted.

We let the men join us when it was time to put pictures together.

And introduced Kate’s Hubby to a pastime we endearingly call
“Midnight Framing at the Frey House.”

 He got the hang of it pretty quickly.

And everyone was rewarded by a Very Yummy
homemade Beef Pot Pie courtesy of Kate.

It lived up to its name.

Saturday’s Framing Adventure was actually  a special event…

It was the first framing of Kate’s hand-lettered artwork!

I think they turned out pretty, don’t you?

We’re taking part in a private in-home craft show this week,
but after that, I’ll bet you’ll be seeing some framed things
in Kate’s Etsy Shop! Keep an eye out!

Be Content…

Our pastor spoke last Sunday on contentment. I think he just might have peeked into my Bible and saw all the verses that are double underlined and highlighted and that have stars and exclamation points in the margins next to them. Or just maybe he knew that contentment is something that pretty much all of us human beans struggle with on a daily basis. But… mostly likely… the Lord impressed on his heart that there were some folks sitting in the pews that needed to be reminded about contentment. Like me.

And we have to be content to be thankful.

And with Thanksgiving just two weeks away,
it might be a good time to consider thankfulness.

For the things we have.

For the things we have to do.

And in every circumstance and situation.

The other day I was straightening up a closet and found my “Nana” sign. She had a sign that said the same thing hanging in her kitchen, so when I saw this in a country shop a few years ago, I just had to buy it because it reminded me of her.

Nana had things. She was known in these parts as the Yard Sale Queen, and if you saw her little gray car at a yard sale, there was no reason to stop because she had already gotten the good stuff! She loved to go “junking” and was always coming home with some little treasure or super bargain. She definitely had things… but she held them loosely. From the time I was a little girl, I knew that if I liked something Nana had, I had better tell her, because she might sell it tomorrow! Or give it away to someone who needed it. The things that Nana had were used to make ends meet or to bless other people. When she left this earth, there was very little monetary value to her belongings, yet she left behind quite a legacy for her family.

A legacy of being thankful and content with just enough.

If she was here today, I’m sure she’d remind me of that
when I get tofussing or worrying or wanting
or being discontent or unthankful.

Not that I am speaking of being in need,
for I have learned in whatever situation
I am to be content.
Philippians 4:11

31 Days of ReFeathering my Nest…

Okay, so it may seem a bit soon to remodel the house after the last chick flew the coop, but I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the upcoming days of major change in our lives. I started a new journal in the midst of the wedding planning, and so far the entries are rather random and very disjointed. Hubby and I have been having a lot of “what now?” conversations. So when I saw our friend Kati was participating in the 31 Days of Change project, I thought it might be a fun and encouraging way to gather my thoughts. And to put the house back together in the process of thought-gathering. So, with no other promises than posting something on here every day for the next month about being a brand new “Empty Nester,” and with absolutely no claims of expertise in that area, I’m going to make an effort to join in…

One thing for sure… Chickadee Kate was happy to take flight. She’s been spending afternoons feathering her future nest these past couple of months. She still officially lived at home, but all her thoughts and plans were centered on making her little house a home for her Hubby-to-be. We’d often tease her that we had our eye on her bedroom, just like she teased her sister Jordan about taking it over when she took wing five years ago. But amidst the good-natured teasing, there was a deep-down understanding of permanency.  Daughters getting married won’t be coming home for Christmas break. They are building a nest of their own. Which is how it should be. It’s what I raised them to do. Kate was so eager to be on her way that she didn’t even stop to put her shoes on!

The Barefoot Bride

So off we go into a brand new season of life. Starting October 1st, that will be the focus of my blog… the cleaning up, reorganizing, and re-prioritizing that must come now. I doubt very much it will all get done and have no irrational fantasy that I’ll know exactly what I’m supposed to do with the rest of my life by the end of the month, but hopefully it will help me take those first baby steps in a new direction!

A Blessed Day

The past few weeks have been filled with activity!

Something Big was in the works.

Something Serious.

Something Fun.

Something of Eternal Value.

And now all the potato salad is packed away
and I can reflect a bit.

Our youngest daughter, Kate, was married to a wonderful
young man named Alex this past Sunday afternoon.

Prince George's Chapel

 They both looked radiant.

Mr. and Mrs. Donovan

In fact, everyone did.

The Bridal Party

There was a bit of smooching.

Kate and Alex

And a party on the farm.

Cutting the Cake

With lots of friends…

Em and Meg

… and lots…

Sara Jane

… of fun!

Nate and Meg

Special thanks to Kristin and Jamey for the early photos! The Internet is wonderful… you used to have to wait for weeks to see any pictures, but we were able to see candids by the time we got home that night! And also special thanks to “Uncle Chris,” whose technical expertise allowed the Photo Booth to happen! And to Kate’s sister Jordan for that fun idea! And to EVERYONE that came out before, during, and after the wedding to help! We love you all!!!

Holiday Directory 2011

A very special “Thank you!” to Early American Life magazine for once again including us in their Holiday Directory! EAL has been my favorite magazine since I was a young girl… my Mom subscribed to it, and it was the one “grown-up” magazine that had Things To Do in it!  I can remember trying to make things from the craft patterns it included way back when…

How very exciting it is, many moons later, to see
something we made nestled within its pages.

And keeping company with the likes of Presidents! Huzzah!

Moms and Dads, you never know what things you do with them now will influence what they do later in life… family trips, craft projects, books and movies, hobbies, and sometimes just the magazines lying on the coffee table. Share your interests with them, even if they don’t seem interested. (This Early American Vintage Farmhouse girl went through a phase as a teen, when I decorated my room with clowns and metallic blue Art Deco furniture. My poor mother.) Someday, something from their childhood will show up in how they make their house a home, or maybe in a career path they choose. And you’ll be thrilled to pieces!

Anyway… stepping down from the soapbox…

We the People and United We Stand
are two new designs in our shop!


Just had to do a quick picture post…

Way back when our grandboy Jack was one,
he did a great impression of a Cabbage Patch doll…

Now that his little brother Derik is three,
I finally figured out his “Look-Alike”…

Minus the Kewpie-style mohawk, of course.

Hugs to my sweet grandboys!

Love, Nana 🙂

Exciting News!

I’ve been VERY quiet on this blog, because there’s been a LOT going on around these here parts!

First of all, I finally finished the Very Big Project! This winter, a gentleman from Texas asked me to illustrate a children’s book, and a new learning adventure began! The project truly took the full six months we had scheduled, and I’ll be documenting the process a bit more in upcoming posts. But as of yesterday, Zero and One is available as an ebook on Barnes and Noble! 

Zero and One is a story about friendship and forgiveness… These two friends rediscover why they love to be together and how they live and work together. Friendship, love, humility and forgiveness are powerful healing characteristics in relationships and productivity.

And there’s romance in the air around the Frey house! A handsome fella came a courtin’, and won the heart of our daughter Kate. (He won ours too!) They quickly realized they were two peas in a pod, and before we knew it, wedding plans are in the making! I think that engagement ring lasted all of four hours in his pocket!

So now the goal is to squeeze a great big crowd of people that love these kids into a historic chapel, and then bring them all back here for a farm-style reception. It will definitely be a fun day for Kate and Alex!

Add into the mix a summer cold for me, a bit of college work to finish, plus some home-fixer-up projects, and it’s been one busy crazy exciting summer!

Sisters, Sisters…

Wanted to do a quick post to mention our girls Jordan and Kate‘s Etsy site! These two were together 24-7 for about seventeen years…

They crafted, knitted, sewed, read, watched movies, fought, laughed, made music, re-enacted, played dress-up (isn’t that the same thing?), giggled, stayed up late, fought, studied, cooked, cleaned, did hair, did make-up… together. It was a really big huge ginormous adjustment for them (and Mom & Dad too!) when Jo moved all the way across the country with her Hubby Luke three years ago. However, they recently came up with a business idea that will let them work together again…

It might be a hard row to hoe, but they’re hard at it! They’re making some sweet little doo-dads, selling vintage bits and pieces, and hoping to branch into fashion. They’ve even managed to hire some famous models to show off their work.

So, if you get a chance, pop over to their Etsy Site…

There is a story behind the name… You know my last post, the one about the having a “proper visage?” Well, when the girls were in the American Girls stage of their life, we read somewhere that Puritans often gave children “character trait” names. Character traits that they hoped the child would develop as they grew older. It didn’t take long for us to come up with a couple… Patience and Grace. SomeBody often rushed through projects in a hurry, never read the directions (wonder where she gets THAT from?), and hated waiting. SomeBodyElse had a tendency to walk headfirst into walls while reading books (doesn’t EVERYONE read while walking?) and has broken the same toe and the same nose multiple times. If you want to find out Who is Who go visit their site!

And while you’re at it, say a prayer for me because I put up official blackmail pictures on here and may be disowned!