The Barn Quilt, A Christmas Story Celebrate Lit Book Tour and Giveaway

My Thoughts

The Barn Quilt, A Christmas Story by author Patti Michels is a lovely children’s book.  With twenty-eight pages it is filled with a delightfully engaging story that is complete with beautiful colorful illustrations.  Even though it is a children’s book, adults will enjoy it, also.

This is the tale of Dennis, who is new to the area.  He visits Miz Patti and Farmer Max and they discuss Quilt Squares that are on barns in the area.  They go through the patterns and meanings looking for the right one for their barn.

Chatting about the first Christmas the friends begin to ponder what quilt block might have been on the stable where Jesus was.  Which one is perfect for that?  That opens the door for even more talk about Christmas.

This is a wonderful book.  It is nice for ages 7 and under.  I found it to include information on Midwestern farming, barn quilts, friends, and faith.  It is a very nice, different type of Christmas book that children will love.

Yes, I recommend this book.  Any “little” would really enjoy it.  It would be an asset to a church or preschool library.  I rate it 5 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

 

About the Book

Book: The Barn Quilt

Author: Patti Michels

Genre:  Children’s Book

Release Date: November 19, 2019

TheBarnQuilt_cover1Farmer Max and Miz Patti have a big red barn on their Maple Shade Farm, but one thing is missing—they need a barn quilt. But what pattern should they hang on the side of their barn? The pineapple quilt, or the corn and beans quilt, or what about a quilt with animals on it? None of them are quite right though. Since it’s Christmas, they wonder what barn quilt would have been just right for the stable where Jesus was born. Work along with their neighbor boy, Dennis, as he helps Farmer Max and Miz Patti decide on and make the perfect barn quilt.  

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

Patti MichelsPatti Michels has lived in the same rural midwestern county her entire life, thirty-nine of those with her husband. She loves designing her family’s Christmas card and working with senior citizens. At the end of a long day, she enjoys returning to the farm and looking out her kitchen window at her own barn quilt. 

 

More from Patti

Believe it or not, the idea for this children’s book started out as a Christmas card.  Each year the Michels family produces their own original Christmas card.  This tradition started out simple, in the early 1980’s, as the Michels’ two small daughters helped with the coloring, cutting, and gluing!

Patti Michels and Max, her farmer husband of 39 years, live on a small farm in Southern Illinois.  The girls have grown and moved on, and the empty-nesters have joined others in their small farm community, in creating a barn quilt to hang on their barn.

While Max was preparing the 36″ X 36″ wood panel for Patti to paint, Patti was drawing and designing and dreaming up the best barn quilt pattern to display on the barn at Maple Shade Farm. As Patti painted their special barn quilt, a Christmas card idea popped into her head. “What if the stable where Jesus was born had a barn quilt?”

Patti feels like ideas are a gift from God, as is her husband, who helps her pull off one after another completed “project”.  Whether it’s feeding cows, baling hay, making Christmas cards, or creating a barn quilt, they continue to work side by side. This book, based on the real life story of creating the barn quilt, gives kids a glimpse into a small farm family life, while also enjoying and celebrating those things that make Christmas so special, like hot chocolate, cookies and God’s love.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, November 26

Remembrancy, November 26

Reading Is My SuperPower, November 27

For Him and My Family, November 27

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 28

Older & Smarter?, November 29

Seasons of Opportunities, November 29

Vicky Sluiter, November 30

Sara Jane Jacobs, November 30

Bigreadersite, December 1

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, December 1

Maureen’s Musings, December 2

Texas Book-aholic, December 2

janicesbookreviews, December 3

A Reader’s Brain, December 3

For the Love of Literature, December 4

Mary Hake, December 4

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, December 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 6

Emily Yager, December 6

She Lives to Read, December 7

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 8

Inklings and notions, December 8

Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 9

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour Patti is giving away the grand prize of a signed copy of The Barn Quilt, and a $25 gift card from Amazon!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f197/the-barn-quilt-celebration-tour-giveaway

Mothers and Daughters

There is a special bond linking mothers and daughters.  At this stage in my life I am a mother and daughter so I know first hand how amazing the relationship is.  Both my mother and daughter are true blessings from Abba.  The three of us share many things, our love of God being the most important.

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Yesterday Vanessa, my daughter, came by to help me with some things.  She just sensed things were unusually stressful for me.  When her pretty face popped in it was followed by some beautiful purple flowers and red roses.  A pick me up in my favorite colors and flowers given out of love brought warmth to my heart and tears to my eyes.

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Often during conversations she can finish my sentences or nod before I even start talking.  Does she read my mind?  Maybe because she knows seems to know what I’m thinking.  Same thing happens between me and Mom, too.  Perhaps it is because we have spent so much quality time together.

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Vanessa is a jewel and I am proud of the Christian woman she is.  Of all the things I wished for her to be, a woman of faith was first on the list.  Mission accomplished.  Mom taught me about Jesus, and I taught my daughter.

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Mothers and daughters start out as just that and will always be, but as they age they become close confidants and best friends.  I delight in chatting with each of mine daily.  Mom is a fountain of knowledge.  Her voice is something I yearn to hear.  I crave her wisdom.  Vanessa is level headed and loving.  I miss having her under my roof but delight in her family.  She is a good wife and mother.

I love these women of faith, my women.  They are my support system.  It thrills me that we will spend eternity together.  Oh the things we will do!  It is mind boggling yet comforting at the same time.  I cannot imagine it.

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Thank you Vanessa and Mom for your love and support.  Life would be so much harder without you two.  You both are loved, appreciated, and treasured.  My life is happy because of you.

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Readers, who do you need to thank today?  Reach out and tell someone how important they are.  Are you certain you are spending eternity together.  If not, have a chat with them.  Make it a Thankful Thursday.

Unsolicited Advice

Since my husband has retired we spend almost all of our time together.  Good thing we still love each other very much!  Honestly, it is what I have been anticipating for many years, our time.

He never was one to do anything in the kitchen except lick the spoons or steal some cookie door off of the sheet right before I popped it into the oven.  It made me ponder how my friends had gotten so lucky to have husbands that cooked.  Not mine.  He is a self proclaimed “eater”.  Without eaters the world would not need cooks is his logic. (lol)

Last week I was preparing dinner.  A simple beef roast with vegetables in my Rockcrok, a slow cooker.  All of a sudden I had a supervisor.  “Those potatoes need to be cut in quarters instead of halves.” my husband gingerly stated.  Having gotten away with that a minute later he stopped me and said “Whoa, you have enough carrots in there.”  Now I was getting a bit irritated.  The final straw was when he asked “Do you always use that many herbs and keep the celery leaves on?  Maybe that’s too much.”

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I don’t tell him how to run things in the yard or take care of the vehicles, because I have no experience.  He knows so much more than I do in those areas.  Just like I know so much more about cooking than he does.

As soon as that comparison came to my mind, so did something else.  How many times have I done the same thing with God?  Ouch!  Have I really tried to give advice or tell the Creator of the Universe what to do?  Well, yes, I guess I have.

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There have been times I have taken things to Him in prayer, and instead of asking that His will be done or for His help, I have listed what needed to be done.  Have you ever done that?  I would pray asking Him to do specific things so that the end result would be what I thought I needed.  How ridiculous is that?  The child giving instructions to the all knowing Father? Unsolicited advice being given to the One that directs us?

Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:6-7:  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Abba doesn’t need a work order from me.  His way is perfect.  He already knows what needs done and what will happen.  All I need to do is lift my request to Him.  God knows exactly what needs to be done.  He is not waiting for my suggestions on how to solve a crisis.

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My prayers now take a different tone.   I know God knows and does what is best.  When I pray I take my concerns to Him, thank Him for being bigger than any issue I have, and leave it with Him.  Believe me, it isn’t always easy.  Sure I would love to include my suggestions but that would be silly.  Jehovah is our powerful God.  He isn’t our God that needs help.

Think about this the next time you pray for something.  Don’t make the same mistake I did.  Ask Him for help not if He needs any.

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Happy Birthday Mom, Our Own Proverbs 31 Woman

Today is the birthday of a very special lady.  It is my sweet, dear Mother’s birthday.

She has been one of the best gifts God has ever given to me.  I have loved her every day of my life since it began.  Yes, it was love at first sight for us.  Hearing her voice is like a soothing balm to my soul.  In fact, I would venture to guess that melodious voice calmed me while she was carrying me safely inside of her over sixty years ago.

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Everyday we talk.  We begin our days with a check-in call.  Throughout the day I can’t count the number of calls.  I depend on her for so many thing.  “Mom, how do I…..” or  “what was the name of that ….” or even “do you remember what recipe Mammaw used for…” are some of the normal lead-ins.  Let’s not forget the ever popular “Mom, I need to know what you would do….”  To be honest, sometimes I just want to hear her voice.  Before we go to bed each evening, we call to say “good night, I love you” and sincerely mean it.

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This beloved, exceptional woman gives sage advice to whomever asks.  It is never unsolicitated.  Mom waits until she is sought.  Her counsel is biblically based and comes from experience.

She is very loving.  Whether via gifts, words, hugs, or kisses, Mom makes certain we know that she loves us all, and equally.  There are no favorites with her.af019dec-b67e-4e33-a91a-e2f2a758f2a2 Through her guidance I was lead to the Lord at an early age and taught to follow and obey Him.  I love that we still talk about Him – what He does for our family, how He answers our prayers, what we need to take before Him, and how we should serve Him by serving others.  A big smile overtakes my face as I remember her holding my hand for bedtime prayers.  We would go through the family asking our Heavenly Father to bless each one as we named them.

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My Mother provides the best living example for a Proverbs 31 woman.  She worked full time, kept a spotless house that was a loving home, and made delicious meals. If a friend needed help or school needed a sponsor, she volunteered.  Besides all of that, she was and still is a member of a community organization, has been on others, helps those in need, is an active member of our church, is a shrewd businesswoman, and is the best wife, Mother, Grammy, family member, and friend you will encounter.  Yes, maintains a sparkling clean home and is a fabulous cook still today.  I have never seen her drink any alcohol, smoke a cigarette, or heard a curse pass her sweet lips.  Absolutely, she is a true jewel and Proverbs 31 woman, not to mention a role model for many.

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Her life has touched a multitude.  People have told me stories of how she helped them in various ways.  When I was a young girl I remember going with her to take meals to  shut-ins.  We did not just drop the food off.  We visited, tidied up, and read the Bible.

I know how to take care of my husband and children because of her.  A lot of the fun things we did were activities she did with us.  Those trickled down and I see my children doing them with their children now.  She makes everything fun, exciting and memorable.   Our family still quotes things she said years ago and mimics things she has done.  She is the Queen of our family and glue that keeps us together.

By example she showed me how sisters love each other, how mothers treat their children, and how to maintain lifelong friendships as she has two that are older than I am.  Those ladies are like family now.  Family is important to Mom, second only to God.

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Happy Birthday to you, Mama.  I wish you many more happy ones.  Thank you for everything you have given me, given up for me, taught me, and for being the beautiful Christian lady you are.  You are adored and cherished.  I am blessed beyond measure that I was given the honor of being your daughter.  There are not enough worlds to express my love and gratitude to you.

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Sometimes I wonder where or what I would be if you had not been chosen as my Mother, but that thought is quickly dismissed.  You were chosen, and I was abundantly blessed.  You are absolutely perfect for me and our entire family, but God already knew that.  Lord, we are so thankful for her and the choice You made when you gave us our own Proverbs 31 woman.

In Every Thing Give Thanks

The Bible says in all things give thanks, be thankful. Do you have trouble with this, too?  Maybe that isn’t the easiest to do, but I keep trying.  If the electricity is out, I am thankful I don’t need to get cleaned up to go out.  Perhaps the glass dropped and broke, but I am thankful I wasn’t cut. D77F6883-1992-4866-972F-58DD43ECE5EC Are you seeing the pattern here?  Being thankful is finding your silver lining in the dark cloud.  It is knowing that things could have gone much worse but didn’t.
Sometimes being thankful is far, very far, from what I want to do.  What I want to do is complain and list everything that is wrong.  Maybe I want to enumerate all of the things that have failed or caused me pain and convince myself it will stay this way or possibly get worse.  That, my friends, is the deceiver whispering doom and gloom in my ear.  Does he do that to you, too.
Even in the darkest circumstances we can have things for which to give thanks.   Years ago a young family member of mine was in a horrific accident.  Damage was done to the face and I was devastated that something so terrible had happened to someone I loved with my whole heart.  While many mourned the tragedy I was struck with thanks that there was still life in the body and sight in both eyes.  Both could easily have been taken in that instant.  Was God there at that time?  Absolutely!  Otherwise the outcome would have been much different.  We had much to be thankful for that day and still do.
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Look around at God’s wonders and beauty.  There is so much He has made for us.  It won’t be long and you will be thankful without even realizing it.  Rejoice and be glad in the day He has given you.  I try to do that in the simple things.  Are you glad you were able to start your day with coffee and a devotion?  Me, too, I was more than glad.  I was thankful.  Be thankful for the new adventure the day holds just for you.  Listen to the melody of the birds as they sing.  Think about the One who created a tiny creature that can do such a marvelous thing as fly!  I am thankful I am able to witness that.  Go into a bakery and just stand still for one deep sniff.   Can you almost smell that tantalizing sweet, buttery pastry now?  Now buy one.   Wow!  How thankful are you for those tastebuds?  Touch the softness of a newborn’s little hand and marvel at the perfect way God created us.  Be thankful for God Himself.
Life holds so much for us that our loving Creator has giving.  Take it and see how good life can be. Be thankful in all things today.  Find the good among the bad.  So, what are you thankful for right now?
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Happy Father’s Day

Today is Father’s Day.  The history of its origin is rather vague.  In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that Father’s Day become a national holiday, but nothing was done.  Years later in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as the official day to celebrate Father’s Day. However, it wasn’t until 1972, during the Nixon administration, that Father’s Day was officially recognized as a national holiday.  IMG_3806

     Two different women claim credit for this holiday.  One in Washington state, Sonora Smart Dodd.  She had the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909.   Mothers seemed to be getting all the acclaim while fathers were equally deserving of a day of gratitude.  Her father was a Civil War veteran that raised six children alone after his wife died in childbirth.
     The other lady, Grace Golden Clayton suggested on July 5, 1908, to the minister of the local Methodist church that they hold services to celebrate fathers after a deadly mine explosion killed 361 men.  She proposed Father’s should be given a day of praise like mothers.
     Father’s Day is a bittersweet holiday for me.  I am one lucky girl to have the amazing dad that I do.  He is compassionate, intelligent, loving, faithful, generous, respected, and so much more than words could ever describe.  A giant in faith he is a true son of God.  Best of all, he came into our lives about a decade after my daddy was called home to be with the Lord.  God, our Heavenly Father, is so good and knows what we need, when we need it.  He put Dad in our lives to help heal that broken spot that was ripped open when Daddy died.  Dad has been a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and grandfather.  God used a bad situation for good.  I am forever grateful.
IMG_2286     Sure there are times I still miss my Daddy.  All girls need their daddies.  I also miss both of my grandfathers, too.  My paternal grandfather, Granddaddy, and I were particularly close. I was the first born on that side, and yes, spoiled rotten.  Today isn’t about tears and missing them.  It is about the good memories of the time we had together.  The promise of seeing them again in Heaven.  It is a time to be thankful.
     So, I am.  Thankful for all of the men in my family.  For the grandfathers, fathers, hubby, uncles, son, son-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, nephews, and cousins.  You are appreciated and loved even though you may not hear the words.  Happy Father’s Day especially to Dad!  I love you and am grateful you are in my life.  To the other patriarch in our family, Uncle Gale, ditto to you!  To my husband, son, and son-in-law, thank you for taking care of me and our family.
     Father’s Day should be a day to rejoice, appreciate, be glad, and love.  Enjoy your day!  Don’t forget to spend time with our Heavenly Father, too.   Tell a Him how much you appreciate Him.

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