Thursday, April 23, 2009

Off We Go!!!

The daily grind can dull even the most zealous passions. It is for this reason that I am very excited to be heading off tomorrow morning, alongside my husband, to the Christian Heritage Conference. We had the privilege of attending it a few years ago, when Hannah was a baby, and it was so very wonderful! This year's theme is "Passing on Faith in a Faithless World". I am looking forward to my fervor being renewed and my devotion to homeschooling our Fabulous Four refreshed. I am looking forward to learning and listening. I am anticipating being challenged... and I can't wait! Having two days of time with Craig is the delicious, thick, homemade, cream cheese frosting on the cake!!!! If you think of it, I sure would appreciate your prayers, that the Lord would use this time to accomplish HIS will in our family. Thank you!!!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


In the current issue (March/April, '09) of Homeschooling Today, Shonda Parker wrote an excellent article titled, "The Appointed Time", drawing a wonderful parallel between seasons of a mother's life and the yearly seasons. If you can get your hands on a copy, or read it on line, it is a worthy read. Just a few points that especially encouraged me and hit home...

* "During the spring of childhood, we must work the ground and plant the seeds, watching for those first tender green shoots bursting forth with promise."

* "In the garden, we find that plants thrive in environments of consistent care of watering, feeding, and weeding; so our children need consistency of care in nurturing, teaching and guarding.
A day does not pass when we do not have work to do, repeating the same work day after day. This season can be particularly tiring and a time for growth in patience for us. We cannot yet see the full reward of our daily work. Take encouragement from each blessing that comes from your daily faithfulness when you see the tilled ground begin to part, the tiny plant begin to rise up, the unfurling of the sprout, the tender shoot, the first putting on of leaves, and the upward thrust toward maturity."

* "Though spring seems busy, early summer intensifies as our seedlings grow tall and strong, preparing to flower. Under such rapid growth, our children need intensive training to yield a mature plant capable of producing good fruit. Spring years, focused on training and instruction, turn to summer years of granting increasing freedom to our children as we watch them grow, while we continue to instruct and intensively train on the right path."

* "There are various methods of training a plant for maturity and abundant fruit production. We do not need to worry over someone else’s method; we simply need to remain faithful in our own, as we daily seek to glorify God with our child-rearing."

Good stuff, huh? I'm so thankful that I get to be in the midst of a couple of different seasons at the same time. A little spring here, the beginnings of summer there. God is so good to use it all not only to grow up these seedlings He's blessed us with, but to grow me up, too!!! Praise be to the Master Gardener:)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Discovering Tree Swings

How do you like to go up in a swing
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside—

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown—
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

~The Swing, by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

This and That

We've been doing a little of this....

And a little bit of that...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Dirty Dishes

Life is like a camera lens: it's all about perspective.

Isn't it true? I was pondering this while tackling a sink full of dirty dishes just this afternoon. With the right angle, aperture, lighting and lens, my sink full of those blasted things could be a thought-provoking, eye-catching piece of art. (Of course, in order for MY sink full of dirty dishes to be considered art, a good photographer would also be a necessity!!! )

Want to know something else? With the right attitude, angle, Light, and perspective, my sink full of dirty dishes can also be proof of God's blessing. My sink was full because I had an angel food cake cooling on the counter for an Easter dessert at my parent's house; I had a 1/2 gallon mason jar full of strawberries, sliced to perfection by two handsome boys; I had Cowboy Cookies (Craig's very favorite cookies of all) baking in the belly of Thelma for our Spring Break trip in a few days, and I had four tummies full of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, complete with sticky smiles.

My friend, Sharon, reminded me of the value of perspective in this blog post.

Just something to think about...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009


A girl and her dog...Can you tell this girl loves her dog? "Tucker" was the first word, next to 'Mommy' and 'Daddy', that Sarah has spoken very clearly. Many a time I've found her standing quietly beside him, twirling the long hair on his belly or tail like she twirls her own. She assures him of her love by giving him treats and hand-feeding him whenever possible. I found them yesterday, snuggled on the couch, soaking in the sunshine streaming through the window. Sweet....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Fine Art of Spinning Plates

Before delving any further into the subject of habits, I am compelled to ponder the fine art of spinning plates. Wikipedia defines plate spinning as "a circus manipulation art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling off. Plate spinning relies on the gyroscopic effect, in the same way a top stays upright while spinning." It also states that the unbroken world record for spinning plates was 108 simultaneously spinning plates. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

Well I, along with throngs of mothers world wide, would like to challenge that world record. In fact, we DO challenge that world record every single day. And I would like to state that there is no gyroscopic effect that keeps my plates spinning. If I don't spin them myself, they come crashing to the ground.

When considering habits, there are hoards of habits I would like to develop and hoards more that I would like to get rid of. I would like to habitually bake my own bread, cloth diaper the baby, visit my family, line dry my clothes, prepare nourishing meals, grow a spectacular garden, raise a thriving flock of chickens, play the piano, keep in touch with friends, sew to wear and sell, keep my floors spotless, pack lunches for my husband, train children flawlessly, make yogurt and kefir, educate The Fabulous Four in the 3R's as well as geography, history, science, a second language, music, social studies, and art, volunteer at the homeless shelter, attend a bible study, take nature walks with the children, bake, drink 64 oz. of water a day, read, pray for Craig, launder for a family of six, dust, exercise, groom the dogs, grow beautiful flower beds, knit, take my vitamins, pray for my children's future spouses, read God's Word, clean the bathroom, have tea parties with my daughters, listen to praise music, water my houseplants, visit the elderly neighbors, take the dogs for a walk, .....

Okay, okay, do you get my point? My list of appealing habits is endless but my ability to spin countless plates isn't. The truth of the matter is I only have 24 hours in my day and I can only spin so many plates simultaneously. So when considering the habits I would really like to develop and/or maintain, I need some direction. Otherwise, my plates will come crashing down in an overwhelming heap before I even get started.

Ready for some encouragement? Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye". Oh wonderful!!!!! That is exactly what I desperately need when considering my habits. So before I fashion my own lofty list of habits I want to develop, before I go tossing spinning plates up into the air, I need to come before the very One who knows how many hairs are on my head and simply ask, "Lord, what habits would YOU like to develop in me?" In Psalm 32:8 lies a promise: God will instruct me and teach me in the way I should go. And by the way, did you know that the word "eye" in Hebrew is translated "presence". God is so good!

I know I'm getting a bit long-winded, but if you are pondering your habits along with me, would you join me in asking the Lord to show us what habits He would like to develop in us, instead of us just willy nilly pulling desirable habits out of a hat? If we seek His direction first, I am most certain that the plates we do spin, the habits that will become our character, will do much more than get the laundry done. I believe they will bring glory to God!!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Genetic Ingenuity

In the midst of remodeling mayhem, we discover genetic ingenuity.

P.S. Do YOU see those sweet toes peeking out from underneath that dress? Yep, down right delicious:).

Book-Reading Habit

"There is no finer mental training that can be done than to teach the child the reading habit, a good intelligent book-reading habit.""The books may be few, but they can be chosen, and be choice."
"To teach a child to read a book thoughtfully is one of the greatest services that can be rendered."
"The thoughtful mastering of one good book will frequently train and transform the whole life."
"And, more, it fixes the reading habit which makes all books your helpers and servants."

~Quotes taken from one of my very favorite books, "Quiet Talks on Home Ideals", by S.D. Gordon.