Thinking about Love

Today I will share some ideas for showing your love and remind you how very much God loves You! Truly!

“Lift up your face to God.” Job 22:26 Now Job had a quite a face to lift up to
God. It was red, festered, teary, grieving. He had seen sorrow and he got the tee shirt of misery. Yep! His friends were commiserating about his woes. Almighty God heard their moaning and he stepped in to ask Job a question and it was a doozy! Ready, Where were you when I made the world? Kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it? Wow! I have been sharing how much I enjoy my writing books. The last two scripture quotations are written near the photo of me and my dad.
It was our last dance together. “Because you are precious in my eyes and honored and I love you.” Isaiah 43: 4. I prayed for my dad. I knew he was in God’s hands and I knew he was going where there would be no more sickness and his bride was waiting with God to welcome him. “Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:8 I hope these thoughts warm your heart this cold January day.

I have also begun to create my valentines and some pretties for Valentines Day. Patrick took close up photos so you could see what I have been doing.
You know I enjoy crafting with old greeting cards, well I cut out a heart
pattern using the back of a card. Then placing the pattern on the front
I cut out hearts. I made a dozen different cards with glue, paper scissors and the fronts and backs of old cards. Joy!
I also made hearts using cross stitch, another was made with buttons and felt and the last was a hand stitched into a crazy patch heart. I started with scraps of fabric and placed the first piece in the center. I continued to add scraps until the piece was the size I wanted. Do not cut this pieced piece of cloth. Make a pattern a heart and use it to draw on top of the pieced fabric. Now embellish with embroidery, lace and buttons. Mine even has a blue bird pin. Now you cut out the heart shape and cut another piece of fabric using the heart for a pattern. I blanket stitched the two heart pieces wrong sides together. You can then and finished by sewing a pin or a ribbon on the back.
Lastly, I am using a grape vine wreath to create a special anniversary piece
which I will hang on the front door. I promise to take a picture when it is
done.
Oh, here is the web site information for 58,000 e books I was talking about.
https://en.wikpedia.org/wiki/projectgutenberg.org Enjoy!
Blessings and warm hearts,
Trudy

Piecing Thoughts and Dreams


The colors – blues, rusts, and lavenders radiate from the center of the quilt outwards. The play of lights and dark’s remind me of the sunlight and shadows that dappled the old porch floor where the quilt design emerged
from a jumble of fabric triangles.

This quilt would not exist if years ago someone hadn’t taken the time to share. They took the time to give me their knowledge and enthusiasm. I was taught how to sew. I learned to express my deepest feeling with needle and thread. I have sewn grief, prayers, love and joy to create a heart gift that speaks for me of my deepest feelings.


Kindness given long ago surrounds me now with color and warmth in the
form of a quilt. Think of this blog as a collection of cotton fabric scraps given to you. You spill the contents out and begin to sort the scraps that appeal to you. Colors of life experiences, interests, beliefs and gratitude are
spilled out in front of you.


At the center of all these is the dominate color of me. love. I am a daughter of God and of Albert Groff. I am a wife of 50 years and a mom. I am comfortable with this time in my life. I have peace, time, joy and great love. As you read the scraps of thoughts that I write to you, discover the ones that add beauty and richness to the quilt fabric of your life. It is my prayer that you will use these to express your true self. Use whatever medium stirs your soul. Create and grow. Discover what enriches your faith. Share
the blessing that is you with others.

Joy!
Trudy

When a woman’s about twenty,
With a baby about two,
She begins to wonder what the years will do.
Baking a cake for a community affair
She pictures herself with silver hair.

Carrying her efforts to a church nearby
A huge truck salutes with an air horn’s blare
Which confection he is complementing
She just couldn’t care.

Acknowledgement is made with a lady like wave,
But the thrill of impropriety is saved,
Put by against what the years will do.

Trudy Groff Costello

The First Year of Life 6 to 9 Months

There is a lot of learning going on. Baby continues to grow and gain weight. His feeding/wake schedule may change because he has hit a growth spurt and he is hungry. Ask your medical provider when to begin to introduce solid foods. It is also during this time baby begins to teethe. This could affect his appetite and his sleep routine. Most babies this age are starting to crawl, You might be surprised at how be maneuvers himself about.

Safety – If you have not yet taken a floor level search of your home – now is the time! Do you have safety plugs in unused outlets? Tie up blind cords.
Where do you keep cleaning supplies? Can they be moved to an upper cabinet? Cabinet locks and “bumper pads” for sharp corners on your list? What about stairs? Need a safety gate? Emergency information on your
phone is great, but what if something happens and you do not have the
phone or are unable to use it? Please create an emergency information sheet. List on this sheet emergency contact numbers, medical provider contact, any medications baby is taking, Dad’s work number and maybe even the number of a neighbor who would help in an emergency. Keep this in a protective plastic sheet on the fridge.

Teething – Babies may begin to teethe between 4 to 7 months, some later.
Teething may be painful, but it doesn’t usually make baby sick. Contact
your healthcare provider if baby has diarrhea, vomiting, rashes on the body, a high fever, or cough and congestion. These are not normal signs of teething. www.webmd.com
* Researching on teething information I learned that the liquid filled teethers, and teething necklaces should not be used. Numbing gel products,
containing benzocaine like “orajel” should not be used on children under two years of age. Learn more at www.mouthhealth.org a web sight of the American Dental Association.

Baby is learning ways to get from one place to another. He is curious and eager to explore. He may crawl, scoot and pull to a stand. He will look for a toy that is hidden. He can drop things intentionally to see what happens. He is also watching your response to this activity. *Remember this activity is developmentally appropriate for this time period.

Stranger Anxiety – Your baby now understands the difference between you and a stranger. You can help baby get comfortable. Baby will watch you for cues, show how him that you like and trust the new person.

Separation Anxiety – Your baby will likely cry when you leave to persuade you to stay. I encourage you not to sneek away. Tell baby good=bye and that you will be back to get him, then leave. If you are concerned you can always call the caregiver to check on baby. I encouraged parents to have a picture of themselves and tape it to a spot baby can see.

Stress – It is important to understand that babies are tuned in to our feelings. They know when we are happy or upset. Even if baby is asleep
angry voices and conflict can raise stress levels of babies as young as 6 months.

God Bless you and this young life you are caring for.

Trudy

Long Ago letter

Dearest child, 3/1995
This letter is written so that you may know that I love you.
Feel the warmth of my love as you read my words. Know that
there is a God! He made you and me and He loves us dearly.
God is. He is in, about, around, beside and inside. All of nature,
the vastness, the depth, the beauty and wonder are His creations.
Seek the path through the wood, watch the sunlight on the water,
see the flick of bright wing, hear the call of an owl and thank Him
with all your heart.
When you are hurt, confused, leave the trappings of man and
seek a quiet spot to sit and share with Him. He’ll be waiting for you.
Remember not to lose yourself in things. Share what you have
been given. If you put God first in your life, then, I truly believe
you will be blessed. Do the best you can. Hurt no animal or beast if
you can help it. The only thing we own, truly is what we share: our-
selves, our love of God, man and nature.

Praise, blessings and much love,
Mom (Trudy)

The First Year of Life – 3 1/2 to 5 1/2 Months

From helpless newborn to active toddler takes only twelve short months.
It is important to remember that each baby in an individual and their progress in reaching milestones of development is unique to the individual child.

Tummy Time – When baby is alert and ready for play introduce this activity. It can be done on the floor with baby on his tummy. If baby does not enjoy this activity you can try placing him on your chest. A few minutes at a time doing this activity with you will help build baby’s neck muscles.

By 3 ½ months: Baby will turn his head to locate a sound. He will respond when he hears his name. You’re getting a little closer to a solid sleep routine. Rest when baby does and know that waking several times at night to feed is completely normal. After four months of age babies will likely sleep 12 to 15 hours a day including naps.

Baby development four to 51/2 months:
Baby is learning to reach out and manipulate. They are discovering their hands and their voice. Baby will reach out to grasp, swat and manipulate
objects. They will babble and laugh. The game of “Peek-A-Boo” is a great way to help baby learn that things exist even when we don’t see them. Baby is also learning to sit up.

Safety:
Baby is learning to roll over. Have a play mat on the floor or place baby where he will be safe if he rolls over. Baby is using his hands and mouth to explore things. It is vitally important to keep small items that might be a choking hazard away from baby. If an item fits through the cardboard toilet paper tube it is too small for baby to play with.

Ear infections:
www.nidcd.nihgiv/health/ear-infections-children
National Institute on Deafness and Communicative Disorders
If you suspect your child may have an ear infection, please contact
your medical provider immediately. The peak time for ear infections is 6 to 18 months. An ear infection is an inflammation of the middle ear, usually caused by bacteria, that occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections. The eustachian tubes are smaller and more level in children than adults. This makes it more difficult for fluid to drain out of the ear, even under normal conditions. Also, a child’s immune system isn’t as effective as an adult’s because it is still developing.
Currently the best way to prevent ear infections is to reduce the risk factors associated with them. Follow your medical provider schedule for immunizations. Studies have shown that vaccinated children get far fewer ear infections. Avoid exposing your baby to cigarette smoke. Babies who are around smokers have more ear infections. Do not let your baby drink from a bottle while lying down as this may allow small amounts of formula to enter the eustachian tube and cause blockage.
www.webmd.com

God bless,
Trudy

The First Year of Life – Newborn to three months

Mom – Yes that is you. Please remember that you are experiencing physical and emotional changes. You are now a 24/7 caregiver. It will take time for your hormone levels to return to normal. You might feel blue. It is vitally important to you and your baby’s wellbeing to be aware of how you are
feeling and talk to your medical provider about postpardum depresson.

You and your newborn will be on a six week learning curve. A newborn’s
tummy is really small so baby will need feeding frequently and you will be exhausted from lack of sleep.


Crying – Birth to 3 months
Crying is baby’s way to communicate hunger, discomfort, distress or a need for your attention. Babies under 6 months cannot be spoiled. They do not understand that you are another person. Responding to baby’s cries reasurres baby his needs will be met. Soon you will be able to read your baby’s cries and cues. Newborn’s reach a crying peak at about 6 weeks and then their crying starts to decrease. By 3 months babies typically cry for about 1 hour a day.
Colic – Colic is defined as crying that begins and ends for no reason lasting at least 3 hours a day, happens at least 3 days a week and continues for 3 weeks to 3 months. Please discuss crying with your medical provider if you suppect colic.

Relationships – So much is changing and it is important to find time for being with your hubby. This is a big change for him too. Encourage him
to get to know baby. Baby knows the sound of his voice and he will soon
recognize his scent too. Try to carve out time to be together.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMTION: Baby’s need you to support their neck.
It is also important to place the baby on his back to sleep. Never shake baby.

Breastfeeding – This is your decision. Please talk to a lactation specialist and
your medical provider. If you can give your baby the colostrum that comes
before the milk that would be a special gift for the both of you.

2 months – Read baby’s cues. Moving head toward breast or bottle – I’m
hungry. Eyes bright, awake and alert – Time for play. If baby turns his head away, cries, or arches his back – I’ve had enough. Baby recognizes faces, voices and smells.

3 months – Baby is learning to trust. He relies on you for comfort. This helps baby learn to comfort himself. Baby babbles and opens his hands.

God Bless, Trudy

Resources:
www.zerotothree.org
www.parents.com
www.webmd.com

Ingredients Needed in 2019

The year of 2018 will end tonight and a bright new year awaits us. We all
wonder what this year will bring. No one except the Good Lord knows. He
has the plans in His Hands. The Bible reassures us the He will be with us.
“Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you where ever you go” Joshua 1:9 If I were planning a meal, I would begin by listing the ingredients needed. As we visit today we are sharing ideas to help us plan for the year ahead. God has required us to include strength and a full heart of courage. We are not to add worry, because He wants us to use the leavening of faith. I have little physical strength, I am a LOL (little old lady), but I do have faith and I will include lots of prayer.
Life goes best when we add lots of prayer. Mother Teresa explains “God speaks in the silence of the heart, listening is the beginning of prayer.” A lot of time when we are preparing something, we forget to add an ingredient or even burn our efforts. Life is like this too. “God answers all prayers but sometime His answer is “no” (Dan Brown). His answer will always be love.
The wonderful thing about 2019 will be that we do not journey into the unknown alone. We will journey forward together in faith, God will be with us. Give yourself to Him and He will fill us up so we can feed those lost and hungry. What a wonderful adventure life is.
Joy! Trudy

Slanting Lines and Curving Marks

Today I am on a journey of discovery. Gracious, my curiosity has given me a lot to think about. I wanted to share with you my experiences with personal writing. After our son was born I began writing to him. Sometimes in the form of a letter telling him where we were living and how he has brought us joy. Other times my observations would lead me to attempt to capture an emotion or a memory. These found expression in a poem. (Please be lenient English Majors) Then I was encouraged by the book “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach to write down each day three things I was grateful for.  This has blossomed and blessed me, truly. I found that “slanting lines and curving marks can stitch together mind and heart” (Trudy Groff Costello).  I began to create a book of traditions to share with others.  In these books I used the months and the seasons of the year to share my thoughts, family traditions, prayers, poems and beautiful quotations.  For a new bride I could post the note from a Southern grand-mom to her granddaughter on how to do the laundry. https.//www.snopes.com/grandmas-wash-day
This was special to me because both my grand-mom’s took in laundry.  This loving note clearly explains exactly what effort this required.  I began to write this “Book of Traditions” on my computer and save it so I could print out copies.  I made the copies special by saving clips from old cards, stickers, old stamps and printing out clip art to paste in the book. 

As I researched the topic of writing, and journaling I was delighted but a
a bit overwhelmed with what the internet had to offer. WOW! Please, 
take a quick look for yourself.  I did find one sight www.desiringGod.org.
that at least expressed what I had in mind to share with you. “Journaling is a pathway for joy and a powerful tool in the hands of love” (David Mathis).
I also got some helpful suggestions.  I like the idea of using a small note book.  I had not thought of keeping my writing book with me. Once you have a small notebook and a pen, please date each entry.  Now, the next part is totally up to you.  Do you want to start by making a list of blessings?  Is there someone on your mind you need to talk to?  I wrote a letter to my mom years after her death and it blessed my heart.  Is your writing a tool for studying scripture?  Maybe you would like to begin by writing out a favorite verse and then sharing what this verse means to you.
Write what your dreams are.  Write you favorite memory.  God already knows, but He will use this time with you if He is welcomed as you pen your hearts sounds across the page.

Lastly, I encourage you to save your beautiful old calendars.  I made
pictures books for children, book covers for old books and beautiful
envelopes and wrapping paper.  If there are small pictures on the back
of the calendar put them in your box of clippings.  They can be used
for collage or to decorate your journal.  God Bless, Trudy

Reflections on 2018

This is the perfect time for reflection, prayer and release.
Reflect on all that the year closing has brought forth.
Give it all away! Give God thanks for all the blessings of
ordinary days. Give Him any regrets, sorrows and pain.
You see, Jesus was human and He experienced all. He
saw human suffering, experienced pain, was betrayed,
and publicly humulated.
Now ask, ask for a stronger faith for the days ahead.
Talk to Him. Ask Him what work He has for you to do.
Listen with an open mind. Ask for His guidance. Ask to
be a instrument of His grace.
Now make a plan. Have a goal to reach and write it out.
I hope to touch hearts with faith and love. I want to use
my experience and knowledge to give an understanding
of early childhood development. Know we are never
alone. Know we are loved.



Finding Christmas

What have I forgotten? Did I get all the ingredients? Will they like my gift? Mommy, when will it be Christmas? Mommy, I’m hungry. Mommy, brother is being mean to me! Gracious, these few days before Christmas can be stressful!
Today, I encourage you to find the manger in your heart. I share with you some sources that help center me. It is difficult to find your center when you want so very much to please everyone. You want to make this Christmas special!
Our loving Father has already done that! He gave us his own Son and with this birth we celebrate comes salvation. Goodness for all our tomorrows. Christmas is all about love. “God is love.” With Him there is all that we need. Find something beautiful to read. If you could give any gift to those you love,what would it be? Write out your prayer and bring your gift of love to Mary and her Babe. Merry Christmas!


Gray sky
An earth without warmth,
In the silence
In the cold
When all seemed lost
The promise did unfold
Rejoce dear friend
Of my hand take hold
Together we will light the candle
And guide the children’s path
That we may carry our gifts of love to Mary and her Babe
Trudy Groff Costello

Candle light
Eyes bright
Snow tonight?

Peppermint, pine
Cinnamon and thyme
Sugar plum time

Angels, sheppard’s
Critters and kings
The star’s light brings

In the manger
Of our hearts
Christmas starts
Trudy Groff Costello