Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Final Winter Story

Do you all remember how I've said that our children have spent most of their years growing up in Central America?(I keep wondering when I'll break down and just say ya'll...) Anyway,keep this in mind when reading this story...
We don't get an abundance of snow here in our corner of the Shenandoah Valley. But this particular day we had gotten enough that the boys got all suited up and went out to play. Sometime later I realized Jess was in retrieving something or the other and headed back out,muttering to himself "need to eat more carrots,need to eat more carrots".
(I guess someone had told him that eating carrots was good for the eyesight.)
And when he came in and went to the basement I think, he had trouble seeing and all.
I guess he'd never heard of snow blindness.

In His Love,

Friday, March 27, 2009

Encouraging the "TROOPS" in tight Times

So many have stories to tell in these tough economic times for our nation. So the stories are not what are unusual.But how about maintaining an air of cheerfulness and content in the midst of it all?
So many of us have gotten into the habit of thinking so many of the things on our shopping lists are necessities. And they are very helpful for maintaining an orderly,comfortable life even if they are not essential to staying alive.
But what about when push comes to shove? What about the hard choices between helping out a very needy person with your extra pennies and or being able to buy two gallons of milk instead of stretching out your one? What about choosing between a good deal on used summer clothes for your children and shampoo and laundry soap?
For some of us those choices and many more are very real. It's not always an easy road to walk.
But there are so many good things to be learned from these situations.
Thinking on these things this morning I started counting my blessings.And they are many.
I've learned so much about valuing relationships over "stuff".
Sure,I can go to Starbucks with a group of Christian friends for an evening of fellowship.No matter if I pick up one of the cheapest things on the menu. I'm there to enjoy fellowship instead of gratification of the tongue. Remembering these priorities helps one keep from self-pity.Yes!!
There are many choices like this that I can make,often. It's good.
We also can find so much more thankfulness in our hearts for each blessing we are able to have.We find so much contentment growing in our hearts.
Resourcefulness and encouraging the hearts of my little"troops".
What? Out of eggs and milk today? Instead of being blue,we can dig out that free canned pineapple we had squirreled away in the cupboard.We make an exotic breakfast....
Dependence and confidence in our Heavenly Father,that He knows all things and has circumstances exactly as He wishes them to be.This is the best part of all,this resting in the Father's arms and plans.
And so often,He sends me so much abundancethat is beyond neccesity. A lovely table with wooden chairs. A trip to the zoo. Bags of food.So many loving friends. So many things I don't even ask for,that He allows me from His Fatherly heart.
May we ever be good stewards of the gifts He bestows,always looking to help others with the abundance He sends our way. Not looking to lay up treasure on earth.
He is Good. May you always rest in that confidence.
In His Love,

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Belated Tour for Ya'll

Let me start right off by saying that I didn't shoot all the photos in this post.I can take credit for this sea anemone picture though.
This tour,by the way,is in Washington DC,mostly in the National Zoo,with a few surrounding shots. Pictures courtesy of my cousin's fancy pants camera.
I captured this hippo as he was entering the water.I couldn't believe it was actually going to perform so beautifully for the camera.I think I missed the splash as it was going in though. I was kinda being mobbed by the crowd,especially as I had squeezed up near the rail.Just relax and play ball......

There was a good microscope station.

All we could think of was Aslan.......

Our budding photographer. Photography is almost a basic skill in our homeschool:).

Yeah,I'd hate to meet one of these in the wild.

Doesn't this turtle look like it's surfing? I even took this picture:)

Look! Nature goes neon!

I've often felt secretly worried that I find so much of nature boring,to speak plainly.But this zoo trip cleared things up for me.I really enjoy the absurd in nature.
Let me loose with aquairiums full of ocean life.I will be very content.
(I also enjoy flowers and unusually shaped trees.Go figure. Oh,and beautiful rocks.)
Anyway,I got to see this octupus changing color. I really enjoyed that.

OOps! This wasn't supposed to be in this post. Pretend it's weird art.

Who took this lovely picture? It wasn't me.

Out and about.I think this is the National Monument.

I can't remember which this one was. A walking tour of these would make for better shots of course.

Well,there are more pictures of course.And maybe sometime I can post some of the zoo from Jess' s camera. Whatever I'm trying to say.
So,there's your tour. Maps at the National Zoo cost around 5 dollars as of now. Think of it as a souvenir. That way you won't do as many circles as we did.
In His Love,

Friday, March 20, 2009


"Being organized is like a bank account: I can draw from it in bad times and add to in good times. And with money in the bank, I no longer feel like I'm drowning."

Kathy Von Duyke
Amen and amen!
In His Love,

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Birds and Sunshine

Here's a little girl with a storybook in the sunshine....
Here's a robin sitting by a basketball....

Here's the robin's face in case you wanted to see that.....
Hey! None of these pictures were taken by me! That's ok,must be one of the fruits of raising the manlets.....prolific pictures from which to illustrate my work.....
On another topic,the boys and I were following an assignment in Mystery of History the other day and tried making a human form from Sculpey.It was tough,let me tell you,and we didn't even have to make innards or bones etc,etc. Imagine God making a human form all from dust with no template. It was a great visual lesson!
Well,that's all I feel like saying right now. I'd rather take a nap....
In His Love,

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yearly Tradition-The Digging begins!

Here's a recent garden picture-the onions are up and sprightly already!

Inside we're doing lots and lots of cooking...... this is a strawberry banana& yogurt smoothie with ground flax ? seed in it. No,the straw didn't prove useful-too thin.

Wheatberry Waldorf Salad and rising bread dough.No,my children did not enjoy the wheatberry Waldorf salad.They much prefer when I make fried rice. Too bad,it was so pretty...
Unfortunately,the yummy minestrone soup topped with grated feta cheese was not rated a five star recipe either.My children jump for joy over hot dogs. Thankfully,I am the menu planner in this house.And thank-you God that we are blessed with so much variety!
Next post? Probably lots of bird photos. Now I'm off to finish a chicken salad-my eldest manlet requested it.
In His Love,

Friday, March 13, 2009

One Left Behind....

bird photo by Jess
This week I called to the home of a family who has become dear to us in the past year. The father and husband has been overseas in the military for a long time and was finally coming home.
He did come home. And he died suddenly shortly thereafter,very unexpectedly. We never got to meet him. Our friend is left with young children,to care for without her partner. We pray that we can help fill needs that they may have,wherever God would wish us to help.
Please pray with love for the one left behind.
In His Love,

Monday, March 9, 2009

Food for the Soul in Pennsylvania

Jess and Zac Poonen... he found the sermons fairly easy to understand....Photo taken at the Poonen conference this weekend.

Trying on Daddy's riding boots...


It was quite the weekend for Lee and I, finally getting to meet Poonen and sitting under his messages for two days.How well I remember those lone days in Central America, as we came into new and wonderful relationships with Jesus,and getting our hands on the first set of Zac Poonen's message tapes. Lee and I would sit in our little house in the city,with the children playing at our feet,listening to a segment practically every day on Lee's lunch break. We were so busy with our little cafe that we didn't have much family time,but we drank up those sermons eagerly. Often it was like a buffet meal for us,so much good stuff and us so hungry....

We had so much spiritual food at the conference this weekend,we're still digesting it. It was rich,let me tell you!

"The mark of the presence of God in the tabernacle was the fire,not the pattern." Poonen(possible wording was slightly different.)

Zac spoke on topics which have been very real to me recently and it was so strengthening for my soul.I am so thankful we could go!
Staying with our host family was a real blessing to us also-they were complete strangers but we came to love each other so. They were supremely good to us and I will remember their example for a long time.
On other topics, the weather has changed drastically for the warmer now and has our neighbors spilling out of their houses. I enjoy seeing them all out,so alive and joyful in the hopeful air of a new spring.We took cookie plates to a number of them and I hope to keep meeting more.May they see Jesus,when we interact with them. This is our desire. Lord,keep us lowly!
May your day be blessed with the presence of the Holy Spirit.....
In His Love,

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Things I've been learning........

chair picture by JesS

about the essence of truly knowing that God owns all that I have, unto my life itself. It never has been mine. I only thought it was...
I've been learning that being 100% surrendered to God means exactly that. That His logic is not my logic.
I'm learning to think and look at life under a new light,the light of being a caretaker of God's property.
I'm starting to deeply assimilate that even my little ones are really God's children. I care for His children here in the far country when they are away from Him.
I think it's interesting that something I read on a Catholic mother's blog helped me understand that-God uses so many mediums....
I know that sometimes I'm like a hard piece of Sculpey clay-it's got to be kneaded and pounded a lot before it becomes workable and shapeable.
I don't always like the lessons God wants to teach me but I trust that He will extend His grace to help my weakness.
All this revelation comes out of having my purse go missing at the community center and God not helping me magically find it. I had gone there to worship Him-how could He let this happen to me? It happened when there were a number of other challenging things going on that made the monetary loss and the hassle all the more difficult.Why does a loving Father allow this to happen? I know He could have helped me find the purse,make things easier. I knew there had to be meaning in it. This,above then,is what I learned.
In His Love,