Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Mary-Beth getting some quality girl time with Hazel.

Look what I picked up for $2.99/skein today!  The photos don't do the colors justice, y'all.

I think maybe a shoulder wrap.  What would you make?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Canned some strawberry jam

If you're a canner, don't throw away the foam you skim off your jam.  It goes great on biscuits at snack time!

Completely different subject, but I had to chuckle when I looked at this photograph.  See how neat and tidy Jonah's area is, and how spread out Mary-Beth's set-up is?  Their bedrooms, indeed their personalities, are very similar to what you see going on with their snack situations.

Jonah's very ordered.  There's one way to get from point A to point B - fast.  His room is neat and tidy, he straightens it himself sometimes twice a day.  He has a place for all his things, and likes for the day to go a certain way.

Mary-Beth is so different from her brother.  Order?  That's something you do at a restaurant.  She doesn't walk anywhere.  She skips, twirls, dances, hops, anything but walking.  The right place for her things?  Anywhere in the house will do just fine, thank you.

I wouldn't change a thing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cheap thrills

If only all forms of entertainment were this innocent, and this much fun.  Thank you, WinCo, for the cheap thrills.  You're almost as fun as when the garbage truck comes on Thursdays.

Rushing the season

My brother, Luke, and his wife, Melissa, will be hosting Thanksgiving this year.  It's their first holiday Out On The Farm with a nice big dining room to fill with family.  Between their 6 and our 5, plus whomever else comes to share the day, it will be a home full of love and thankfulness.

Yes, I'm already looking forward to Thanksgiving.  And yes, I do realize it's only August but I can't help it.  Fall is my favorite.  My favorite, y'all!  What's not to love?  The cold mornings with hot coffee, the rain, the cozy evenings together at home, the leaves, the family get-togethers, the autumn decorations... Did I mention it's my favorite?

Today I'll be getting my home ready for fall decor.  Storing all the summer stuff, cleaning the areas I usually decorate, probably forcing myself not to haul out the fall stuff.  After that, I will finally finish those napkins - I will!  (Again, I'll post about that later - I will!)  I've had a shoulder wrap on the knitting needles for almost a year, so today, in anticipation of the cooler weather, I'll use my earned free time to work on finishing that wrap.  Can't wait!

I'm so thankful to be home, not having to be rushed after a long day at work like the old days when it was just Ashley and me.  I can putter and dote all day long.  Thank you, Father, for my home and family!

Have a fantastic day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Last night during dinner...

Jonah: "Dad? Can we play catch after dinner?"

Dan:  "No son, I'm gonna try and fix that water pump."

Jonah:  "Without electrocuting yourself?"

Dan:  "That's the goal."

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My brother and sister-in-law have moved Out To The Farm, as the children say.  They're coming into town for errands today and then stopping by for a visit.  I've been happily straightening and polishing in anticipation of their visit.  I did the daily sweep this morning rather than this afternoon so I know baby Ellie won't be snacking on anything she shouldn't be.  ;-)

Getting all my work done this morning so I can sit and visit and not worry about not getting things done.

I know there will be much horseplay by the 5 cousins and I don't want to miss a moment of it.  I think we'll have tuna sandwiches for lunch.  With many pickles.  Tuna just isn't tuna for Ashley without copious quantities of pickles.  I agree with her.

I enjoy Melissa's company so much.  Ashley said it best a few minutes ago: we aren't friends because we're family.  We're friends because we can be.  Because the Lord has brought us together as sisters in Christ and I couldn't be more thankful.

I know Melissa and I will talk of God and of His unfathomable grace.  We'll marvel together about how God moves and leads.  How He reached down into the muck that we called lives and saved us from ourselves.  We'll energize each other, galvanize each other's resolve to point others to Christ with our lives.

Enough sitting at the computer.  I want to finish up a few napkins (will post about that later) before everyone gets here.  Have a fantastic day!

Holy motivation

I've been reading the Little House series again.  My particular favorite is Farmer Boy.  Um, yeah.  The amount of work they did in one day just to survive?  We in our culture don't do that much work in a week. 

Whenever I'm resenting having to pick up shoes - again - or irritated that I have to haul the trash can out to the curb in my robe because my honey forgot...  And what is that?!  How dare I?  That man works so hard, the least I can do is haul the trash to the curb on the rare Thursday that Dan forgets!  And while we're on the subject, why am I not dressed yet?...

In short, when I'm knee deep in the process of building an altar to myself and demanding that my family bow at it, I sit down and read Farmer Boy again.  I suggest it to you now as a way to appreciate what little we have to do these days.

So I'm trying to earn my free time.  Isn't that a new concept?  Earning it, rather than feeling entitled to it.  My husband is out busting his hump every day, slaying dragons in the world of HVAC install and service so I can stay home and educate our children.  He *sometimes* gets a lunch break, but it's a quick one, and he has to earn it by working hard before and after that break.  All the work needs to get done and there will be no excuses given or accepted at the end of the day.

I'm resolving to finish so many tasks each morning before allowing myself to sit and have idle time (internet, reading, knitting, sewing, etc.).  It's worked well so far!  Of course, this is day 2.  I can do anything for 2 days.  ;-)  Praying to God to keep me motivated.  Oh how I need Him for motivation, because I don't have it in me on my own.

Reading Farmer Boy always brings me back to the ultimate Authority, the Word of God. 

Proverbs 31:27 - She watches over the affairs 
of her household and does not eat 
the bread of idleness.

Hello.  Yeah.  It's all right there. 

Have you and God solved an idleness issue of your own?  I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

While sitting around the back yard fire pit last night

Me: Mary-Beth, good job going behind Daddy instead of walking in front of him, close to the fire.


Mary-Beth: Sometimes I burp into my napkin.

Uhhhhhhm... mkay.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Found this out in bloggy land this morning. It cuts to the quick y'all, I reached in to touch it and pulled back a bloody stump. Ugh, I'm so guilty of this. Ask any of my children, especially my oldest. *sigh*

It’s not so much what you say
As the manner in which you say it;
It’s not so much the language you use
As the tone in which you convey it;

“Come here!” I sharply said,
And the child cowered and wept.
“Come here,” I said-
He looked and smiled
And straight to my lap he crept.

Words may be mild and fair
And the tone may pierce like a dart;
Words may be soft as the summer air
But the tone may break my heart;

For words come from the mind
Grow by study and art-
But tone leaps from the inner self
Revealing the state of the heart.

Whether you know it or not,
Whether you are mean or care,
Gentleness, kindness, love and hate,
Envy, anger, are there.

Then, would you quarrels avoid
And peace and love rejoice?
Keep anger not only out of your words-

Keep it out of your voice.

Author Unknown

See what I mean? I know, right? Just had me screaming uncle, like Ralphie in A Christmas Story.

I used to work in AWANA with a woman who said that her mother (get this!) never once raised her voice. Never once yelled at her, but always used a calm steady voice. As you might imagine, we stared at her like she had lobsters crawling out of her ears. Not because of who her mother happened to be, but because of the super huge feat that is. We had to admit it made perfect sense, because these two daughters of That Woman were the gentlest creatures we knew. As were their children.

But come on. Never once raised her voice? Like... never?

Sooooo, when you flushed an entire roll of toilet paper... no yelling? When you took a Sharpie marker to the walls... no shouting? When you stabbed Mother's size 10 knitting needle into the couch cushion 947 times because that ka-thunk ka-thunk sound amused you... no wailing, no weeping, no gnashing of teeth? Nothing?

Yeah. We weren't buying it.

The woman's sister walked in, and after a few moments of memory-searching, it was confirmed that their mother never once yelled at them. I only have three words to say to that: a-maz-ing.

Now I know that nobody is perfect. No, not one. Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. No child is perfect and none of us mothers has it all figured out. There is no such thing as the perfect mother. Even if you think your mother had it wired? I will bet you a million iced grande hazelnut lattes (Starbucks please, make it a triple) that she didn't think she had it wired. We, all of us, have things we want to improve upon. Aspects of our personality or character that we would gladly hack out with an axe if we could.

Proverbs 15:1 - A kind answer turns away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.

It's a science, baby. A recipe. Do this, you get that. This? Then that. This that this that. Scream at your children, they don't listen to what you say, but they do feel your attitude. Your words are meaningless. All they take away is how you're feeling about them. (I know... knife, meet heart... me too.)

I'm not saying don't discipline your children. Anyone who knows me, knows that I would never say that. The Bible says in Proverbs 13:24 that the parent who doesn't discipline her child hates that child. Think about it. It's true. And it also says to do it right then and there, and don't pay any mind to all their whining and boo-hoo'ing. Of course they don't like discipline. It's no fun. But it needs to be done. Proverbs 19:18 (I love the King James here) - Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

There's the art. You have to discipline, but you also have to find a way to do it without breaking their hearts. I don't want my children to be walking down memory lane one day and have to say how much I raised my voice. I want my home to be an escape from the meanness outside these walls. I don't want to pass on that legacy of yelling, that they no doubt will hand down to their own children. (Please God, no!) I want my love and discipline to reflect God's ways. To draw my family towards Christ!

What. a HUGE. undertaking. But! By God's grace, it is possible.

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Do you hear that, fellow mother-in-the-trenches? All things. ALL. According to this verse, it IS possible. (No, really!) And did you hear that other part? It's Christ who strengthens us. We don't have the power to do it on our own.

He's our Daily Bread. He gives us what we need for each day, each hour, each circumstance, right when we need it. If God can provide food and water to the entire nation of Israel during a 40-year journey in the middle of nowhere, reluctant though they were to be there, whining every step of the way... He is big enough to provide you and me with the patience we need to stop, take a deep breath, and not destroy the child who just poured a whole box of Cheerios into the dog food bag.

Discipline? Yes. Grumpy Spice, fire-breathing, mouth-like-a-sailor (no offense, sailors!) pattern of harshness that they'll never forget, and probably inflict on their own children? No. By God's grace, no.

OK. Now you know as much as I know. If you were hoping to get to the end and find that Magic Bullet answer? Super sorry about that. I don't have it. As I said before, you may recall, I struggle with this. I don't always fail, and with prayer and much deep breathing, it's so much better now than it used to be. But I still fail more than I want to.

Tell you what. Let me know you need it, and I'll pray for you. You pray for me too, okay?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I love the smell of wet paint!

I am loving the new drapes and furniture around the old bloggy-blog. Way more fun than those old greenish polka dots, don't you think? And whoever it was that told me I should be blogging what the children say so I won't forget it? Thank. You. I've been reading some older posts and, I'm here to tell ya, I've forgotten half of that stuff. Reading it brings it back, sure, but oh how long is the road back! I'm laughing out loud all over again, as so often happens when we old ladies hear a story again that we'd long forgotten. This one in particular, and this one. Aaaaaand this one.

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Oh. My mistake.

Ashley's friend Ashley Mask is here helping Ashley clean her closet.

Heard from the other room: "That was easy. That was easy. That was easy. That was easy. That was easy. That was easy. That was easy."

Me: "Awwwwww, Jonah! Ashley gave you her easy button. How nice!"

Jonah: "No, actually it was Ashley."

Monday, August 09, 2010

"Mom!!! Eventually, King Neverkizzever believed in the true God!!!" --- Jonah, talking about the Bible history regarding "Rack, Shack & Benny" (a.k.a. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego and King Nebuchadnezzar).
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