Friday, December 31, 2010
Our year was extraordinarily full and many blessings came our way. We await all the lessons and spiritual gifts our Heavenly Father has for us in this new year.
2010 was our year to learn camping as a family, settle into a new house, renew our wedding vows and observe our 10th anniversary, travel and learn a lot of things along the way.
I have little idea but some inklings of what this new year might hold. I know that whatever it holds in store that with our All-Powerful God beside us it will all be ok.
Prayers,Joy and Love in Christ,
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Christmas morning here! The living room is cozy and twinkly lights are all around. The tree has a moderate little pile of surprises under it. And it's softly snowing outside. Amazing to have it snow on exactly this day in our part of the world where snowfall can be erratic!
Last night we carried on our new tradition of reading stories of the manger scene etc. before bed. Our pastor and his daughters brought us a basketfull of treats as we were reading. So sweet!
I made blueberry banana pancakes topped with Cool Whip and served up chocolate milk with new snowman straws.
A breakfast for dinner tradition could happen maybe. Or maybe we will just see what God provides!
This year we were brought the pancake batter and given some of the other food items on our dinner table.
I must say that as Lee and I have been working ever closer toward being footloose and debt-free I often thank God for all the providential ways we have been provided for even when we have had very little extra from a logic point of view. What could seem like random happenings to some I call occasions to thank God for all our needs being met!
God is good! Have a joyous holiday!
Somewhat Sleep Deprived,
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Today the message is short. Are you hungry? Do you have hungry children to feed? Want to eat well so you can feel well?
Well, visit this site. And while we're at it, how about making an Eat Kale T'shirt? I may try my hand at it one of these days.
Well, take a peek .
Thursday, December 9, 2010
I have now made a pile to go into a Things to Do basket, a pile for all things Letter writing and Thank-you note related and lots of things to be hauled to their actual spots of residence.
Things like a dvd about swamp tigers without the case, a lot of lists( I am a Listmaker) ,a little book with the lyrics to the Jungle Book movie's songs, recipes, flashcards and a new CD. And birthday money and gift certificates. And an abandoned thank-you note project. And more...
But now I have a plan of attack! To:do projects get their own basket in a less visible spot. Letterwriting basket-ditto! I must not let my tiny amount of counter space get overrun like this again!
I tell myself I am still digging out from the craziness of a vow renewal ceremony and planning, honeymoon, farming children out, four birthdays in two months kind of Autumn.
Fortunately for us the Christmas is a laidback season as far as gift giving pressure. Thankfully!
I hope to make cookie or some such thing plates for the neighbors and keep the focus on serving others. We have been going to midnight services every Saturday night this month which the little people sorta dig....
So we will try to stay calm and keep things simple and our countertops under control,yep!
Last but not least it is really cold nowadays. We got some snow and the weather is cold. Like 11 degrees F cold!
The Cleaning Lady,
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Here we are, finishing up salt dough manger scenes and snipping paper for snowflakes for the windows.
We are playing seasonal music and prepped our Winter book basket with a lovely handpainted sign by Alex.
Now I need to clean the kitchen and do laundry. I'm still recovering from a weekend trip that turned epic as well!
Last but not least, check out the giveaways over at Crafty Crow this week! I'm hoping for the children's sewing book....
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Two pumpkin pies and one Apple pie have been made. The green beans are in the fridge waiting to be tipped.. My part of the family Thanksgiving feast is close to done! Even if I did spend half of the day in bed with a stiff neck and upper back.
My children are super ! They helped clean up from the birthday party last night and make this whole day work!
Thankful for my lovely children,
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Three years ago today a very special person arrived, freshly created from the Creator's hand.
Her middle name is Faith.
She has brought great joy to our family.
We" sing for joy at the work of His hands"!
Thank-you Father for this little life.
Tonight we plan to celebrate with a burrito dinner and cake!
~ off to cook and bake,
Friday, November 19, 2010
Anyone who has raised children, especially a larger family knows the truth of what cleaning up is like. Like the old saying that goes something like "cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." Nevertheless it still has to be done.
Today I managed to finish writing thank-you notes to the ladies of our church family for a party they threw this fall to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I also made a bunch of homemade cards using tie-died paper the children made with a friend. I layered the paper over a white card made from printer paper. Kelsey managed to finish one thank-you note already. This is a huge thing off my mind, getting that well underway!
Prepping for Thanksgiving is underway!
I must map out plans for the pies who will make the journey to relatives with us! Must get on that tonight!
Neglected to sleep last night in favor of reading Jane Eyre. Must not do that tonight.
Split pea soup, toast, brown rice and tea are ready in the kitchen. We ladies of the estate are waiting for our guys to get home- they have been out working this afternoon. They will arrive bearing firewood I believe.
Monday, November 15, 2010
The rain has started. I hear we may be in for a bit of that wet stuff.
Early morning church service here as usual.
We were still without gas with which to cook but maybe tomorrow the gas tanks will finally be re-hooked up.
The children had music class as usual as well. It went great and that made me glad!
I also got to see with my very own eyes an answer to prayer that was most amazing! I am still marveling.
Read and did important laundry. The children and their visiting friend watched a movie as well as starting a fire in the grill so we could make soup for dinner. So I made soup and ran around prepping for another batch of friends who would arrive to take us with them to children's choir practice night where they could bring friends (us!).
We had a great time doing that and then coming home to sing and read from No Compromise.
Read from Romans afterwards and put some sheets we were given into the laundry.
My synopsis from yesterday's sermon-" Seek to glorify God in everything you do".
Friday, November 12, 2010
Had breakfast at the community center this morning. Afterwards we came home and got some laundry rolling and did school related stuff like finish our chapter book on Squanto(which held the children's attention very well) and reread a book (storybook) on the Pilgrims which we were given back when Jess and Alex were babies. We discovered the book was really old too-like going on a hundred old!
We heated sandwich meat on the woodstove as our gas tanks ran dry yesterday and we are in the process of getting them refilled.
Then I saw an offer on Freecycle for some really pretty sounding colors of paint for giveaway and so we packed up and walked over for them.The street was immensely interesting in and of itself as well.
Hurried home to prep for dinner guests,a family who lives nearby who was coming for dinner.
We planned to cook over the fire in the grill.
They brought the rice.
I burned the beans.
But everything else was good-maybe because Lee cooked...
They brought Squirrelgirl a tutu and that pleased her very much. She looks like a pink turkey.
We had prayers with the children anmd Lee read some more to Jess and me from No Compromise.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Spent yesterday in BED.
Today, feeling much better.
Sent off one card and one tiny care package.
Lee made breakfast before he left for work- he is one stinkin' cool dude.
I tubbed the girls and washed their hair. I did the same for me later. We were a smelly, tangly-haired bunch.
The sweet woman who gave me clothes at church, showed up with a giant princess bag and one shopping bag, all full of presents for the children. Don't you think that is most Amazing?
Alex worked on a homemade ladder in our livingroom.
We went for a family walk after dinner.
Then Lee read more to us from Keith Green's book No Compromise.
Then I didn't feel sleepy.
So here I am......
Late for Bed,
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Well.. these have been a busy couple of days! Still fighting a sinus something which is nasty. Yesterday I took a long walk with the girls and a friend to a benefit yard sale for the community center/ church meeting space.The guys are working on some projects which gives us girls some girl time.
The boys then went with a friend to act in a film a local university student is making.
Lee helped me do some needed fixit jobs around the house which was GREAT!
Last eve. we attended a party for some newly wed friends of ours abt. 40 minutes from here. It was a potluck and a "pounding" which meant people could bring a pound of food or other items.
Took beans and a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit for the bride, with whom I have shared deep talks on the meaning of Real.
Shopped for Chelsea's b-day as well.
This morn. I slept in.
Finally went to church late. Our church family is wonderful! A sometimes homeless aquaintance so sweetly gave me a bag of clothes for the children. She has little ones too but is not allowed custody of them. Life has Strange and Beautiful moments-how does one respond Properly?
The boys were asked to sit in on the worship team's meeting today-such a good place to expend their talents and energy especially as they grow older.
Lunch was amazing- including a leafy greens salad with dried cranberries(?) and walnuts and grapes and topped with feta cheese.
Went home and rested a lot more, feel crummy.
A friend dropped by with fresh cilantro and fresh greens-yum!
I started to clean my messy house and talked on the phone to a friend who recently had a a second child about mothering's amazing requirements!
My cousin stopped by to visit, bringing homemade pumpkin pie! Yum again!
Guys came home- hungry!
Children's Sunday School teacher dropped by with the children's offering envelopes, collecting money for hungry people in Haiti and pictures of my birthday picnic.
Today she said they will give us One Whole Day of babysitting all our children so Lee and I can have a getaway day! She is also giving me some "mom-time" gifts by babysitting . So sweet of them!
The gang is asleep and I am typing this. Lee is snuggled by the fire, sleeping in the cozy lamplight.
I should wrap presents.....
Friday, November 5, 2010
So I am making personal sacrifices right now.
We would like to travel to spend Thanksgiving with Lee's niece.
We have also had many, many expenses this fall .
So I have given up cheese for a month.
And the library book sale.
I am trying hard to only spend for needed items. Books are not exactly a need when the library has so many.... But sometimes I forget...
Got up this morning and washed dishes and cleaned up from last night's get -together. Also hauled in the garbage cans and recycling bins from the curb and tidied up the back yard a bit.
Worked on backlog of laundry and then went downstairs around noon to visit our good friends who had a severely handicapped relative with them for the day. So inspiring! We were sent home with lots of yummy chicken!
Boys went with Lee to do a project, so the girls and my cousin accompanied me to the thrift store.
Found: 1 pottery looking soap dispenser (for the kitchen)
1 mini First Aid kit
1 comfy blanket for taking naps under on the couch!
A friend came over to pick up a handdrawn "logo" Alex drew for a "club" poster she is making.
Afterwards the girls and I went grocery shopping (sort of) and hauled Stuff to drop off at the community center.
Today was also busy with arranging etc. freecycle pickups. I adore Freecycle and think lots more people should do it.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Still sick with a cold-snuffle!
Got some Important Things done today like giving Jess a very long reading lesson and sleeping in way late. Cut a bunch of fabric leaves out to use on a thankful tree for this month. I plan to hang the fabric leaves from a large branch that I plan on setting into a vase. On the leaves we will write things we are thankful for.
Lee's sister came by and had lunch with us. She brought us a number of goodly gifts including some yummy cheese curds.
Lee came home early so we snuggled up by the fire while our offspring watched a movie. Got to have snuggly moments -oh yeah!
The homegroup we host from church met at our house tonight. We have started a little tradition of burrito nights. Wonder how long it will last..
Talked to my sister tonight and had good prayer time with the children.
Another Good Day,
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Came down with a very sore throat last night. Lee made me hot tea which was lovely and made sure I was comfy. Jess and Lee had gone out shopping for shoes and came back with a bargain DVD. So they disappeared into the bedroom while I curled on thew couch by the fire. The two middle children were out with family tonight so I waited up for them.
This morning I still felt pretty rotten. Jess and Alex spoiled me, making food, bringing me a hot water bottle and tea, even washing dishes.
This afternoon I was slated to cook at the community center so I cleaned up and dragged myself out. The evening actually did me good, though I did not help with cleanup! And the food all of us whipped up was amazingly yummy! Pomegranate, grape and apple fruit salad included on the menu! Fresh!
Friday, October 29, 2010
It is a New Day. Hopefully it will be a day In Which I get Things Done!
Yesterday I decided that when I don't feel motivated, I should always find one corner and get started. Because,you see, then I usually find other things that need doing at then the ball is rolling and then poof! Suddenly I am no longer Undermotivated!
Which, speaking of getting going-I should go water the mums by my front door. And empty a bucket of cleaning water.
Yesterday I cleaned my stairway which was very dusty and stowed an errant suitcase which had the nerve to be waiting on my the stairwell for days!
Now if only I can soon pick up some Patterned Duct Tape and patch the ottoman which had the nerve to hunker down in the foyer, I will be all set!
Maybe today could be a Day for Cleaning out Freecycle Clothes?
In a Cleanup Mood,
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Dear Julia Charlotte,
I do not plan to eat so much raw cinnamon roll dough ever again if I can help it.
It causes one to suffer the effects of drinking soda pop but in a "bready" flavor. Gross!
A friend has my sons tonight for a sleepover. Lee-sweetie is working. Me and ma-girls (who are sleeping) here.
I am reading too many late night blog stories and folding laundry.
I am feeling very happy with the three pans of cinnamon rolls Chelsea and I made that are now resting on our kitchen counter AND the tiedye window decorations I hung on the kitchen window (which is by my roughboard shelf). Accomplishment I say!
My internet connection was out for a long while today.
I should go wash late night dishes which means I should dress appropriately as my kitchen windows are curtainless and I have neighbors closeby in a couple directions...
I am also sad because I received some sad news tonight about a friend being hurt in an accident-possibly seriously.
I have closed my other curtains and tidied my rooms for the night. It always feels so cozy and so this is a major incentive in tidying up in the evening for yours truly.
I think I should now wash my hair and brush my teeth for the night.That would be truly mature of me.
Ok, all clean and shiny.
Someone sent over four freezer pops for the small fry, I have numerous mosquito bites and opened the door leading to the deck to welcome in some cool air today-what is up with the weather. That said it is also rainy. Laundry I have out does not seem like it will dry too quickly...
Friday, October 22, 2010
Day full of promise
flu going around
husband made food
discipline is called for
house messy after visitors
lots of things
on the to-do list
for the birthday celebration
is cut out for me
for at least 3 days
is there room
in the midst of
Update: One of my children is working on making an apple crisp today, another is busy making homemade stickers to use as party favors for his birthday, another has started the woodstove and has candles lit, and the fourth has happily spread baking soda on the bathroom floor and (it seems) pooped on the toilet and in her potty.
It is a good and creative day.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
This week is ending up so much busier than I'd hoped . Babysitting,guests, a baby blessing, loving on a pregnant friend, sewing night, monthly carryin lunch at Lee's work, church meetings-it's all adding up to a little crazy!
I adore being home, working on projects for long stretches without interruption and besides there are still bags to unpack from our trip and stuff to reshift from the day we renewed our vows.
So this? This is not so fun!
Next week I may have to put the foot down and just hibernate.
I adore all I'm doing too, it's just I wish for a bit of a breather!
Today I went to craft class and started weaving a scarf. That was a very restful thing to do.
Lacy weaving strip in amongst the off white material and the floral.
It has an overall scrappy look.
And Alex learned to fingerknit and I am most pleased!
I think this letter is very rambling.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Our camera has pretty much slowly declined and now gasped it's last breaths.
Somehow this feels right for this particular moment in our lives. It seems to me that usually I would be quite down about having no camera for some of the amazing and memorable moments we've been having of late. But right now it feels mostly right.
A hideyhole time of no private images of our lives being projected out into the big world.
A moment of respite. of resting quietly in each others arms,not articulating and publicizing every beautiful detail.
And too, it sits well with me,this waiting for a camera to be in the budget. Of late I am striving to bring beauty and contentment to life even when the resources to accomplish that might be sparce.And so I hope to keep my little blog afloat and alive and hopefully a lovely reading place in which to store up the thoughts of my head which often emerge as letters to the beloved and ficticious Julia Charlotte.
Tonight I will go in search of more quiet moments, of a fluid settling into the empty moments left me in this day, of restfulness.
In the coming days?
Hopefully some updates of recent events in our little lives!
But know that I will probably not be able to capture in mere words the half of it.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
This seems to be somewhat normal for homeschoolers.
Oh what can I do?
Learn to accept it?
This cat we have does not help matters any let me tell you.
Cat pee issues are disgusting!
Monday, September 27, 2010
Finally rain has come to end a long,long drought.
There's a bit of wind and it is gray, gray,gray. The leaves are falling and and there's a chill in the air.
Perfect, perfect! Autumn is such a wonderful, "snuggleup" time of year and the richness of color never ceases to amaze and delight me!
We spent all weekend in the forest camping with lots of our brothers and sisters in Christ from our family in Christ (church).
It was an amazing,awesome time.
We lounged, sat in purposeful silence, cooked up feasts together, hauled gear up the long trail, read aloud to the children and read poetry.
We held plays(even though we had to read our parts since we had no time to really memorize them), took funny pictures, passed around babies and hauled water.
We taught each other new songs and handwashed stacks of dishes.
But maybe most memorable of all the many memories made was all the amazing musical talent that lead us in worship over and over.
There was an especially amazing evening when we were up late around the campfire reading and praying together, then late, late we were rather tiredly chanting what probably would have been one of the last songs of the night when a whole band of unexpected but very welcome guests arrived through the darkness- a whole group of young folks from church that we had not expected could make it etc. But there they were -having gotten on the wrong trail for a while and a really long hike to boot. And we were all just so glad to see each other there in the firelight around 11 at night.They, amazed that not only were we not sleeping, but that we were chanting and we, delighted to get their sweet company at that hour.
And somehow their coming revived us and the music got lively again and the prayers flowed out and the conversation turned to our beliefs as Christians and finally in the wee hours of the morning we all finally bunked down.
It was a bonding weekend and really sweet to remember -may we have many more such times if our Lord wills.
~In His Love,
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
(thoughts from Pilgrimama, who should now go do laundry....)
Saturday, September 11, 2010
flowers ( below) decorating a ledge that night...
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Life has definitely had its challenging moments these days. Often these things are too much information for the internets and go into my journal instead.
But a lot of challenges have been surmounted or things I worry about aren't as bad as I thought they would be and so today I am feeling very grateful.
I am grateful that God is full of tender mercies as well as stern training.
So here is my thankful list!
* I am thankful for good friends in Christ who invite us into their backyards to share campfires and marshmallows.
* I am thankful that a lot of us in our church family are comfortable sitting around being quiet together.
* I am thankful for friends who share so freely.
* I am thankful Lee hauled out the old dinosaur tv so I could clean my rug.
*I am thankful that the laundry monster is being tamed again!
* I'm thankful we got the compost dealt with yesterday.
*I am thankful for schedule editing so I can focus on organizing our vow renewal ceremony and celebration.
I am thankful Lee made Dutch apple pie yesterday.
I am thankful my bathroom is in such a clean state.
*I am thankful Alex cleaned the deck yesterday!
So, if you're still reading, I am thankful for major and minor blessings in other words.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
To: Julia Charlotte,
I've been thinking about how much tidier my house looks with as many uncluttered surface areas as possible.
I like to go to people's houses that have cluttery spaces. It gives me clues as to who they are. It's mentally stimulating.
In other people's houses that is.
In my house? Not so much.
My homes are usually on the small and "cozy" end of the spectrum. So visual clutter often starts to feel like "mess"!
So, if your home is feeling a little too cozy and closed in, I suggest you clear as many surfaces as possible. You may be amazed!
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Here are two book recommendations for you!
Sonhouse people recommend:
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
The Giant Jam Sandwich....story and pictures by John Vernon Lord,verses by Janet Burroway
One book for your preteen-teen reader (or a mama!) and one for the kindergarten set.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
To: Julia Charlotte,
I have to confess I have been journaling a lot more privately and so I've neglected this little blog a bit. Life has been full too and it can be hard to find the energy to write besides.
I have had the delight to help with some weddings etc. this year and it definitely has made for a busy year. We also had a big family reunion which called for a trip to New York state.
Now we are trying to empty our plates of too many obligations, digging into homeschooling, and gearing up for Lee's and my 10th wedding anniversary celebration!
As August winds quickly to an end, I feel like the summer passed quickly and was full of a lot of personal learning and growth and I am looking forward to so much more!
May your Sunday be full of love and inspiration.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
*I am officially a non-nursing, non-pregnant mama for one of the first times in almost ten years of marriage. (I do nurse longish!) Maybe this is TMI but it is true. Sorry!
*I need to get out the door and I am blogging instead. See ya!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
September is coming for us! We are buckling into projects more seriously around here. Summer camp and family reunion and out of state company and big weddings are over (mostly) and I think all of us are very glad to come back to more routine again.I know I have missed routine sorely!
Hurrah, hurrah for August and autumn coming (my favorite time of year) and routines and my birthday this weekend when I get to do some favorite things!
But speaking of routines and homeschool projects and keeping it all together here's a link for you to share... from Camp Creek blog.
Happy routining to you my dear!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
To Julia Charlotte,
I've been thinking today that perhaps one of the bigger challenges to the American family and community is the ability to use transportation to go here,there and everywhere, thereby leading us to participate in a pace of life that is not truly sustainable or healthful for a strong family and church/community life.
Supposing I had the many greenbacks to afford it I could enroll the children in all manner of enriching classes and proceed to run here and there keeping them and me frightfully busy and supposedly better for all our trouble.
Since I do not have the aforementioned generous supply of greenbacks nor the second vehicle to allow me to do this, I have proceeded to find, within my church and friend community, a far more organic way of training for my brood. One friend teaches them music and singing and we trade him lunch and gifts and on occasion a check. We all like this arrangement. He's young and single and seems to like hanging out with a family sometimes, we like his company and benefit from his talents.
Another friend teaches our boys bicycle repair. (Actually the music teacher also is teaching road biking skills to our children.) The bike repairing friend wants to do a simple version of Boy Scouts with the boys also. A grandmother without many grandchildren teaches Bible stories and crafts. One friend is willing to come do some drama lessons. Art may be in the works too.
And instead of running around to kiddie sport team events, our boys have adult mentors that play pick-up games with them and oftentimes children and adults from households that have extra needs.Our boys play hard and thrive in these unconventional setups and pose the question of the need for many of the somewhat contrived classes and teams that our culture has come to think of as needful and normal. And we do most of this using little gas and travel time for anyone involved. Green and community enriching, no?
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
so we had quite the drought... Our backyard felt it badly it seems. One of the trees lost a lot of leaves, especially in the rainstorm that followed. Doesn't it look like fall to you?