Sunday, November 29, 2009


Come, let's shout praises to God,
raise the roof for the Rock who saved us!
Let's march into his presence singing praises,
lifting the rafters with our hymns!

And why? Because God is the best,
High King over all the gods.
In one hand he holds deep caves and caverns,
in the other hand grasps the high mountains.
He made Ocean--he owns it!
His hands sculpted Earth!

So come, let us worship; bow before him,
on your knees before God, who made us!
Oh yes, he's our God,
and we're the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.

Psalms 95:1-7 (The Message)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Home with a View

Special bennie's of our new La Maison du Lavande (ok, just trying out some names) aka Lavender Holme...We prayed for a place to call our own. We weren't too specific, but wanted (Kevin) a garage, (me) 3 bedrooms and 2 baths (hey, for what we pay for a home, you need AT LEAST that!), nice neighborhood, and not any further (it does add 10ish minutes to my commute) from school in the lower valley. We really didn't wish for much more, unless it was lots of property, which places us too far away from too many things, and a manageable monthly payment. What we've (esp. Angie) have always loved in homes are - old ones, bricks, wood floors, a fireplace flat on the floor with a mantel, built in storage, old outbuildings, short counters...Some concerns along the way were how much new appliances would cost when we needed to purchase them (we sold our old ones with the last house), close proximity to the parent's, and plenty of parking.

What God found for us - and it was not even on our list - Sold by owner (no realtor fees), owner paid most of the closing costs, appraised significantly more than we paid, owner dropped the selling price, very nice and old neighborhood, easy access to main street, 10 minutes from in-laws, BIG garage, an old outbuilding which will eventually be a pottery studio (por moi), hardwood floors in 2 bedrooms and supposedly under the living room carpet, a lovely fireplace (floor level) with a mantel, 3 bed/2 bath, master suite (converted garage), ANTIQUE very cool headboard and dresser (free from owner), a TRUCK (for Kevin, because we need yet another truck, but he swears this is his dream 4x4 Chevy S-10, and it's even gray like he wanted, canopy included - free from owner), one counter in the kitchen is exactly my height for working, mostly new paint inside, one bathroom is redone, lots of parking, AND appliances included!

Seriously, we saw the ad for an open house one Sunday afternoon, drove by, backed up, went in, saw it once, went back the same day and saw it again, made an offer 2 days later, moved in just about 5 weeks after our offer...Awesome.

Now we have a home with a view. Not necessarily a great view of anything but the homes of neighbors, but a home with a great view of God's heart. He has blessed us with things we didn't even consider (like Tieton irrigation water, instead of city water for outdoor use - $$$$), hardwood floors (which we liked, but hadn't planned to find), an older home (1953), excellent neighborhood, slightly larger than 2 car garage, built in shelves and storage all over, antiques (I have been looking casually for years for something like this headboard). It's overwhelming, to think what God put into this house deal, all in regards to blessing us. Taking care of us. Reminding us of His care. Even down to the appliances and a truck for Kevin.

Drop by sometime and see the great view. It's worth the trust.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

purple bug

purple bug season
is nigh.
tiny flies
keep your mouth
or swallow a few.
shut your eyes
or squint in and
trap one or two.
can't be outside
or plan for some
stuck in your hair
or your teeth
or your wear.
alas, no deep breaths
facemask or cloth;
the lack of either
means a gag or a cough.
come on freeze,
it's time to deliver.
frigid cold weather
will stop
purple bug season.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Orange is In.

Orange, orange, orange...

Orange is the color. I can't really decide how MUCH more I like orange than red and green, but orange wins hands down. There was this one double knit pant suit my mom made me (think 70's and an orange and white hounds tooth pattern)...I think that may have been pushing it. Ok, it WAS pushing it. But I have always loved orange. I believe I felt pretty hot in that pantsuit! We also lived in Arizona. So think, sweaty, hot, double knit, bright orange and white hounds tooth pantsuit. Enough said.

Fast forward to today, and my precious little grandson shows promising signs of loving orange just like his nana! Ah, delightful boy. Papa and nana took our bundle on his first pumpkin patch visit. He absolutely LOVED the pumpkins and oranges and gourds and squash and bumps and Indian corn colors (tried to eat them, in fact). He was wearing an awesome onsie with orange and some picture. All I can remember is I love orange on him. And all I can do is look at his sweet little grin. Who knows what his shirt said?

Fall is the perfect season. Oranges, reds, yellows, pumpkins, squash, corn, and cool days with fall blue skies and approaching storms. Perfect grandbabies with adorable faces.
And orange.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ah, Autumn...

Autumn is my favorite, most favorite time of the year! I love the cooling weather and frosty nights (ask any woman in her late 40's and she will most likely love cooling weather).

I love the ~

fall colors, oranges, reds, and yellows
mountains of pumpkins
displays of harvested gourds and squash
yellow straw bales

drifting leaves
pumpkin mazes
frosty breath hanging in the air

fuzzy horses with beginnings of winter coats
diamond covered yards decorated with ice
crisp apples fresh from the trees
bountiful produce, soon to disappear into freezers and pantries

shorter days
drifts of wood smoke from cozy fireplaces
warm jackets and long sleeves
pumpkin scones and pumpkin butter

Thanksgiving around the corner
Christmas a few blocks beyond Thanksgiving
the Lord, the gracious provider of all things wonderful

Autumn is just too beautiful for words and images.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

All Work and No Play Makes Angie Behind on This Blog

I am no longer in a retirement/unemployed status. And just to let you know, it is seriously cutting into my free time! Things like this blog have well as sleep time, hubby time, friend time, shopping time, writing time, stamping time, crafting time...What has increased is my stress level, which shows itself in my jaw and neck, and probably the width of the view (of me) from behind. But the sacrifice is worth every second. That is what I am telling myself when I get up at 5:30 am each day, and head home usually around 6:00 pm at night.

But seriously, God provided a teaching job for me at the 11th hour before the school year began. One week before students, I was hired. It has been a whirlwind of planning, preparing, cleaning, making, searching, talking...and the Superstars are off and running. The last month has hurled me into the world of teaching, from which I had a few years of a hiatus. Well, a break from formal teaching...

Harrah Community Christian School is my place of rest, I mean where I teach. I really wanted my own classroom. God gave me my own building! I did not want to teach higher than 3rd. I am teaching a combo class of 2nd-3rd graders. I've heard horror stories about class sizes between 27-31 in public schools. I have a lovely 12 students. I wanted to be able to share my faith. I am required to teach Bible and pray in class! I missed relationships with colleagues. HCCS has a very small staff of 5 teachers and 4 support personnel. And each one of them is a blessing to me. I think they must be ready to pull out some more hair every time I ask yet another question, but they don't show that to me. :) The coffers were getting pretty empty, dry, and dusty. Now there is a bit of lolly floating around. A bit. And even though my hours are long now, I think it's a part of God's plan to keep my mind occupied while our son serves overseas in a dangerous location...Being very busy keeps me with less time to worry and fret (which is wrong anyway, since God is taking care of it all).

I'd say, things are going great for us. Blessings upon blessings. Now, I just need the strength to keep up! But the Lord will provide.

All in all, I'd say Thanks-for-giving will take on some in-depth meaning this year.

(Photo 1-From the back, my building is the one on the far right; Photo 2-Lovely chapel window; Photo 3-Front view of HCCS)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Something of Which I Am Proud...

Just in case you were wondering, this post is not about my grandbaby, although I am extremely proud of him. :)

Families on Mission, Teaching Your Preschooler to Love, Share, and Care (New Hope Publishers) by Angie Quantrell

Check out this book. It's a great resource for families - filled with ideas for activities, games, and projects. Many of the activities are geared towards families with preschoolers and younger children. I am so excited to offer this book as a resource to families who want to teach their children how to be on mission - how to live their daily lives as an active, loving, giving, sharing testimony about Christ. I hope you will take a moment to check this out this book. It was my pleasure to write it for New Hope Publishers. Let me know what you think. :)

(Notice several other books in the image - the "I Can" Series published by Woman's Missionary Union, also written by yours truly.)

I Can Pray by Angie Quantrell

I Can Give by Angie Quantrell

I Can Do It! by Angie Quantrell

I Can Be More Like Jesus by Angie Quantrell

Monday, August 17, 2009

Quiltin' Nana

Have scraps. Will quilt.

This nana loves to quilt. Let me clarify that. I love to make BABY quilts. I've tried bigger ones, and the rows go all weird. I love sleeping with big, beautiful quilts that others have created. But the ones I make are for babies - les bebes. There is no way of telling how many quilts I have pieced over the years. The reports from new mommies confirm that babies love cotton, colorful, washable quilts. While I don't have time to do intricate, age-old quilt designs, I've found that patchwork patterns thrill new parents and their precious ones just as much. At least, that's what I tell myself as I give them as gifts. :)

This Quantrell nana's quest to quilt for queues of bebes began when the quantrell babies were very young (trying to see how many times I can use 'qu' in a sentence). I discovered a delightful patchwork quilt, with no less, and I am not exaggerating, close to two hundred tiny squares. The quilt was sized for a baby. Wise choice on the part of the seamstress, or she could well be still sewing on that quilt. Each quilt piece is about 1" x 2" long. I still have the quilt, but it is lost in storage with all of my other quilts. I loved how my babies stared intently at the colorful pieces as they lay on the quilt. I draped it over the back of the couch, the car seat, the crib...focal point deluxe. I especially enjoyed that I could throw the soiled (now honestly, babies never make a mess, do they, of one kind or another?) quilt in the wash. It always came out softer and more comfortable than before the soaking. It is easy to choose a theme and colors based on the sex of the baby or parents' interest or a large collection of a certain fabric color (justification to save every piece of fabric that passes through my fingers).

So, determined to recreate this piece of wonder, I made quilts for both of my babies. And then I started making quilts for other babies of friends, relatives, acquaintances, door prizes, shower gifts, auction pieces...I really would like to know how many I have made in all. My baby-baby is 18 1/2. Making quilts since she was 1 or 2, several, if not over a dozen, a year...that adds up to quite a few. My list this year is getting longer all the time. Quilting my way through it piece by piece.

I recently added embroidery to my grandbaby's quilt. We will never forget his birthday, weight, time and year of birth, or his name. With love, bebe, from the Quiltin' Quantrell.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rock Hunting (and Washing)

One of my all-time favorite activities is rock hunting and washing. Simple yet entertaining. Opportunities for descriptive language learning are abundant. Get rock hunting!
1. Go rock hunting with your child. Let him or her invite a friend. Check fields, river sides, beaches, or anyplace rocks grow. Wink, wink. (Make sure you are allowed to hunt rocks.) Place dirty rocks in a canvas bag or cardboard box.
2. Fill a large tub with water. Provide old toothbrushes and bar soap. Let your child and his/her friend soak the rocks, brush soap off of the bar, and then scrub the rocks clean. If you are concerned about dirt and stains, make sure the children wear old clothes or cover up with one of your work shirts. The rock hunters will have a ball by themselves. Or, you can play along and throw in comments like: Which rock is heavier? Oh, that rock is shaped like a square. Which rock do you think looks like a ladybug? This rock is so smooth. That one is bumpy and lumpy...Encourage the children to decide what rocks resemble - the sillier, the more fun.
3. Let the rocks and kids dry in the sun. :)
4. If you want decorated rocks, place newspaper on a table, squirt acrylic paints on a paper plate, and put paintbrushes next to dry, clean rocks. Invite the artists to create their masterpiece rocks. For more permanent designs, when paint is dry, spray a coat of clear acrylic sealer over the top and let it dry. If you don't need permanence, arrange the rocks in the garden and the paint will eventually fade and flake off of the rocks.
5. Repeat steps as necessary.
Before you know it, you will have rock fiends of your own.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pocket Full of Rocks

I love rocks. Just ask anyone in my family. Also old barns, but that's not in this post (ok, one thing about barns - I dream of renovating and living in an old barn!).

Collecting, admiring, photographing, and arranging (rearranging) rocks are my thing. I'm the kid on the beach with her britches half way down due to the sheer number of rocks in her pockets. Well, IF we grew up near the beach, that would be me. There were no beaches in Arizona. So we had desert rocks. Rocks are way cooler, interesting, and more dangerous in desert climates. One never knows what is under a desert rock, of course, unless one looks, right? :) Tarantula? Scorpion? Snake? It's like Christmas each time I picked up a rock. Don't tell my mom. She doesn't like snakes or other poisonous things.

I think my rock fetish goes way back to grade school - in the desert. There is not much to do on a dirt playground. Just play with dirt and rocks. So we created elaborate homes, outlined with small rocks. From there, pretend families, friends, and neighbors developed from classmates and other recess kids. When the bell rang, the rocks stayed in place, ready for our next excursion out into the heat.

As an adult I still collect rocks. I have many times enlisted my family and friends to help me haul my favorite finds to the car, and from thence into the garden scheme. I remember one specific camping trip with a college buddy. Rock collecting involved a huge canvas sack, a river, deep water, wet shoes and shorts, and both of us tugging the laden bag to the car, full of prizes. What a friend.

Don't even get me thinking about how OLD the rocks are. My maiden name is Hill. After a certain age, family relatives with the same last name constantly heard the 'old as the hills' comment. I'm thinking rocks are older than hills, since many many hills are made out of rocks...I love old stuff.

I'm don't discriminate against size, color, shape, weight, or location when I am on the hunt. Occasionally, I will look for rocks with one qualifying item. Like at the beach, I look only for rocks with holes or rings of white around them. On mountains, I like rocks with character and lichen. At my sister's place, large and bumpy (and movable) are prerequisites. Over my lifetime, I guess I have gathered and displayed several tons of rocks. I think some of my husband's back issues MAY stem from his willingness to lift the hefty prizes for his stone addled wife. ;0 (See the photo? I want that rock.)

As a teacher and mother, one of my all time favorite activities is, yep, rock collecting and washing. My kids grew up loving to wash rocks using a big plastic tub, water, old toothbrushes, and bar soap. It's amazing how entertained young kids are when they have a stack of dirty river rocks. The rocks ended up either somewhere in the garden or painted and displayed on pieces of furniture. And talk about cheap gifts. Blob on some bright colors, seal with acrylic spray, and voila, a paperweight, napkin holder, objet d'art, birthday gift...

Rocks are such a natural part of landscaping. I use them in planters. I love the way succulents and rocks go together, and the way plants creep over rocks, softening the edges and making them melt into 'been like this forever.' I create ways to make paths, borders, designs, and focal points with rocks. I especially enjoy large rocks with natural dips and holes perfect for water spots. Which leads me to my next favorite pastime, gardening for insects. Insects love natural water holes...

I know I'm not the only one. Rock fiend forever.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Down by the River (or in a Park)

And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there. Acts 16:13

I LOVE this account. On the Sabbath, the men did not go to church or the temple, but out of the city and down to the riverside. Where, as God would have it, they happened upon women who were meeting in a spot where prayer usually occured. The men sat down and interacted with the women, joining them where they were and guiding them further along the path of search for Truth. Down by the river, men and women discussing Scripture and recent happenings in the region.

No bells, whistles, or trappings. The choir was absent, the temple walls gone, the music and musicians silent. No Sunday school, coffee fellowship, clocks, power points, hymnals, air conditioning, cushy pews, or sound systems. Just the Gospel and interested people. Small groups discussing real heart matters. Simply Jesus. Nothing else.

Relationships. Common interests. Discussion. Seeking. Contemplation. Prayer. And the Word of Jesus was heard and glorified.

Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshipped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, "If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay." So she persuaded us. Acts 16:14-15

Did she meet only near the river outside of the city? No. She opened her home and welcomed others in. Something big happened in Lydia's life that day. She went from a small group to the Church - as in THE Church, made up of all believers throughout time. I would love to follow her life to see what else Lydia, a woman of influence and wealth (purple dye very costly to harvest and make, and cloth dyed purple was reserved for royalty and the rich), did the rest of her life after that meeting outside the city.

But it all began very simply. By the river. When God opened her heart.

Small start. Keep it simple.

Passwords Smashwords

Urrrgghhhhhh! I hate passwords! It has taken me 15 minutes to 'not remember' which email went to which password and then to not catch which password goes to which...I feel a slight bit bald in the temple area of my head. AFTER getting to the point where I was allowed to RESET the password (like I will remember the new one?) and finding the correct email address...I reset it, and could instantly log-in (only if the email and the password matched of course). Now, I'm not remotely interested in what I wanted to originally blog. I know we need passwords to keep out the bad computer guys (and nosy people), but seriously, is there an easier way that does not include implanting computer chips or tattooing numbers across my forehead? If that's the case, I will just continue to forget my passwords and make up new ones to forget on a regular basis. ha That'll show 'em.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Keepin' My Chin Up

"Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged." (Luc 18:1)

Yesterday and today I've been a bit discouraged. Ok, more than a bit. But who's measuring? Kevin and I love to misquote one of the funniest movies of all times, Dumb and Dumber. "We got no food, we got no jobs, our pets heads are falling off...You are one pathetic loser! No offense. None taken..." (actually, we do have food, plenty, and Kevin has a job, thank you Mr. Frank's Tire Factory, and our one pet lives at my mom's and, to my knowledge, still has her head firmly attached). We relieve stress and crack ourselves up saying that phrase, adding a list of other things that 'we don't got.'

In my daily reading of the Word, the very first verse that I read was Luc 18:1. Pray always. Never become discouraged. That hit me between the eyes and right in the heart zone. I decided to work on that today - praying always and not becoming discouraged.

Running errands was my main job du jour. After the first stop, I turned the radio on to K-love, a local Christian broadcasting station. A song was playing, and once the words came clear, they were -

Still wondering why I'm here

Still wrestling with my fear

But oh, He's up to something

And the farther on I go

I've seen enough to know

That I'm, not here for nothing

He's up to something

(Brandon Heath, Wait and See, BEC Recordings)

Pretty excellent lyrics. I thought, man, that sounds just like me.

Next stop, got back into the car and turned the radio on. No kidding, the next song was just for me, too.

How could this be from Your hand

When every little thing that I have dreamed would be

Just slips away like water through my hand...

Like they're all made of sand

I won't let go of You now, because I know You're not shaken

I'm trembling in the darkness of my own fear

All the questions with no answers still grip me while I'm here

And I may never know why I may not understand

But I will lift up my eyes

And trust this is Your plan ...

You're right here beside me and You have never left

You're not shaken,

You're not shaken

(Phil Stacey, You're Not Shaken, Renuion Records)

Hearing the words and the thoughts in those songs reminded me that He's still got a plan for me, even if my world is topsy turvy during this season in my life. Regardless of how the world is spinning, He's not shaken, He's the Solid Rock and the True Foundation of Strength. Nope. Nothing can move Him from my side.

"Now, will God not judge in favour of his own people who cry to him day and night for help? Will he be slow to help them? I tell you, he will judge in their favour and do it quickly. But will the Son of Man find faith on earth when he comes?" (Luc 18:7-8)

Be still. Rest in peace. He's right beside me.

The Rollinator

OCD is good. Meet Mr. Frank's Tire Man. Doesn't he look great in his special duds? For now, Mr. Tire Man has a job to organize and maintain the tires behind the scenes (and move them and put them into storage and move the inventory). He was doing such a great job, his co-workers came up with a nickname for him - The Rolodex - for being organized. So Mr. Frank's Tire Store Man became The Rolodex, and then became The Rollinator. I think it's pretty funny. The roll-inator - get it? Tires roll. haha [Flashback: The tooth fairy in The Santa Clause 2 wants to change his name to "The Mol-anator", as in molar tooth. Cracks me up.]

So, if you have OCD tendencies, good things are coming for you! Maybe, one day, you too can earn a nickname just as cool as The Rollinator. And while you're waiting, just keep practicing being organized...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Welcome to my quest!

A quip (kwp) n. =

1. A clever, witty remark often prompted by the occasion.
2. A clever, often sarcastic remark; a gibe.
3. A petty distinction or objection; a quibble.
4. Something curious or odd.

A quest (kwest) n. =
a search for something, especially a long or difficult one
a journey in search of something, especially one made by knights in medieval tales

Quantrell here. Just in case you didn't know the definition of a quip or a quest...I suggest that LIFE is a long and/or difficult/and exciting quest. I have the knight in shining armor (thank you, dear) and some of my past days and events suggest tales (as in tall or unbelievable tales), which are stories. In short, welcome to a blog about life, filled with stories. Along the way, new finds and discoveries, questions, troubles, trials, and victories will emerge from the pen and paper (ok, computer and keyboard). Let it be known that we may encounter monsters of one kind or another along the path. Most assuredly, or the tale would be incomplete. But in the end, this princess of the High King will live in the Castle of Eternity. Oooh, that sounds exciting! Join me.