Friday, May 30, 2008

Mommy Cards

Katie over at Musings of A Mamma of Many has been blogging about Mommy Cards. I thought they were an interesting and fun concept, so I got a little creative. Katie asked me to post a picture, so here is my amateur rendition of a Mommy Card! Please excuse the blurriness:) I am not at all technically savy and had to resort to taking a picture and loading it that way!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Seeking God's Wisdom

"My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth comes knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:1-6

Wisdom, that is something I need desperately when it comes to raising my children. Each and every day I am faced with some new challenge. It is amazing (and sometimes tiring!) how different my children are from one another. What works for one doesn't neccesarily work for the other. I am totally on new ground with my daughter. I feel as if she were my first and I am starting from scratch with no prior knowledge of child rearing! Some days I feel at a total loss. Am I supplying what they need? Am I showing God's love? Am I creating good memories for them? Am I setting a good example? Am I giving them my all?

I find peace from v.3-6, "And if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding..." What comfort to know that I can cry out to the Lord and he hears me. When I am muddling through another day and it seems like the bickering is at its peak, I know the Lord hears my cry. When I need to address a character flaw in one of my children, I know I can turn to the Lord for guidance. When I feel lost and clueless about how to handle a certain situation, I know I can call out for insight. God will supply me with the knowledge and wisdom to teach my children if I call out to him.

Reading these verses reminds me to "look for it as silver and search for it as for hidden treasure...". How precious God's wisdom is. If I actively seek it then I will shine with his glory and my children will see the Lord through me. What better testimony can I share than this. I must search for God's will for my life and in return I will be blessed with God's knowledge. Living for God, seeking His will can only make me a better mom, wife, friend, sister and christian. But the verses also point out that you must actively look for God's wisdom. If I fail to give my heart, body, soul and time to the Lord I will not be rewarded with his knowledge and understanding. What a great reminder of why it is so important to spend time in daily devotions.

"Lord, fill me with your wisdom and knowledge. Help me to seek your face as if I was searching for hidden treasure. Fill me with a desire to dig into your word and open my mind to the knowledge and wisdom that is waiting there for me. Guide me as I apply what I learn from you to the raising of my children. May I be a blessing to each of them. Most importantly may they see You, Oh Lord, in my life."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

No Time to Post Today!

No time to for a serious post today! I am in full spring cleaning mode. Not my most favorite job, but a necessity! I have been tackling the kitchen. Cleaning above the cupboards, cleaning the outside of the cupboards, cleaning the inside of the cupboards. You get the idea. I am beginning to make a dent, but there is much that needs to be done. So, until I get some of this unglamorous cleaning done I must say, Adieu!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why We Homeschool

Our decision to homeschool our children centers on the most important of reasons: God has led us to. All other reasons fade when compared to this. We feel this is what God desires for our family and so in obedience we are homeschooling. For the most part I am in compliance with this arrangement, unless of course, you count the days when we are having meltdowns and I day dream of what it must be like to send your children to school! However, these are just flitting visions, because just as soon as I wonder about the other side the Lord fills my mind with all the wonderful aspects of homeschooling.

  • I get to be with my children each and every day.

  • It gives me the opportunity to build strong relationships and bonds with each of them.

  • I can teach about God and His Word.

  • We can pray in our school and it is recommended!

  • We have a flexible schedule and we can change directions at a moments notice.

  • Learning experiences are all around us and we can take a break from scheduled school to pursue them.

  • I get to cuddle with my children on the couch as we read history, science or a good book.

  • My older children are learning by teaching my younger children.

  • I can control what my children hear and see- no R rated words, images or conversations in our school.

  • If someone is having a bad day we can take a break and reduce the school load a bit.

  • I get to learn amazing stuff that I didn't learn in school.

  • I get to teach, something I love to do.

So many wonderful reasons why I feel homeschooling is best for us. We are truly blessed to be able to do this in our family.

"So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you." Proverbs 22:19

Monday, May 26, 2008

Remembering Our Heros

Today we visited the country cemetery that is a couple of miles from our home. On the way there I explained the importance of Memorial Day to the boys and then I gave them an assignment. I told them to look for the grave stones that had flags flying next to them. Our goal was to find 1) the earliest war veteran 2) the number of different wars that were fought. Isaac found two grave sites that had markers that stated the men had served in the War of 1812. Goal number 1 was accomplished. Next we found a grave site of a man who fought in the Civil War. We also found graves of veterans who fought in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. Goal number 2 accomplished, we found 6 wars represented in the cemetery.

I was suprised to see so many flags flying in the small country cemetery. But more importantly I was in awe at all the men and women who had served to preserve our country's freedom. The boys and I talked about the sacrifice that those people gave. Caleb summed up all of our thoughts simply by saying, "I'm sure glad they did."

Me too, honey, me too!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Grandparents Love

My children are blessed to have both sets of grandparents live close by. My parents live right around the corner from us. Joel's parents live about 15 min. away. The boys spend as much time with their grandparents as possible, sleep-overs are a must, and take place almost every weekend!

Just this evening we were over at my parents house, enjoying a campfire. I stood still for a moment and watched the interchange between my parents and my children. It fills my heart with awe! How awesome to see the love my children have for their grandparents and visa-versa. Lauren took off with plastic hoe and rake in tow to help grandpa with the garden. I listened as my dad greeted her with such enthusiasm and utter love. I looked on as Jacob and Caleb, romped around the yard and played on the swing set. Just as comfortable in grandpa's yard as they are in our own. I smiled as they threw their arms around my mom with pure love and adoration.

My parents and Joel's, are an extension of us. They add such depth and maturity to our childrens lives. They are able to give what we sometimes lack. They help strengthen our childrens faith, by displaying a true walk with the Lord in their own lives. They sometimes spoil them, but hey I think they've earned that right! They supply them with knowledge about life, love, Christ and everything in between. But it is much bigger than the knowledge, wisdom and love they share. It is an amazing bond. It is something deeper than any of my simple words could describe. And it truly astounds me and fills my heart with a deep love and appreciation for our parents. God has blessed our family with the gift of loving grandparents and I plan on not taking that for granted.

Sanity Saved

I'm going to be absolutely honest with you right now. For the past few days I have been on the verge of running out my front door arms flailing above my head, yelling a primal scream, and not looking back as I headed for who knows where. To put it bluntly, I desperately need a break. I need some me time. I'm getting overloaded with being needed, constantly. I need to get away from the bickering, noise making, whining, fit throwing, leg clinging chaos that has been following me around my house! Now don't get me wrong my angels aren't always beasts. They just seem like it when I've had enough! It has been over 2 months since I have been able to get away. I believe my mothering skills are being tested and failing miserably.

My sanity was saved last night in the form of one my dearest friends. Heather called as I was getting Lauren ready to go on a family grocery getting expedition. Yes, an expedition, in my mind last night, I was going to need the strength of Rambo and the knowledge of David Livingstone to accomplish the feat of getting supplies for the following week! Heather asked me if I wanted to head to the outlet mall about 45 min away from where we live. She offered to take me to Wal-mart to pick up the groceries I needed and get this, to top that all off she wanted to treat me to dinner! I practically yelled a resounding yes, in her ear. I even forgot to check if that would work for my husband in my haste to find some reprieve. Thankfully he was fine with the arrangement, since I would be taking Lauren with me.

Heather brought along her daughter Kloee, who is 10 weeks younger than Lauren. It was funny to listen to the girls. They kept calling each other babies and in the next breath yelling, "no, mine." We had a great evening. It was so refreshing. We talked and talked about what we wanted to talk about, no Star Wars, or cowboy ramblings, or hunting tales. We laughed and there was such relief in my mind, body and soul. For the most part I am a total home body. I love being in my home surrounded by my family. But every now and then, I feel such an intense need to get away, that it consumes me. It affects my parenting if I don't fulfill that need. Thankfully, the Lord knew it was time! Heathers call came about 15 minutes before I would have been leaving. God knew I needed to rejuvenate. Its amazing how an evening away can help me with my perspective. This morning I feel like a new woman. I'm ready to go on that expedition and face the clinging monkeys, roaring lions, bickering wildebeests and tiresome mosquitoes, with wisdom, grace, mercy and most importantly love!

To Heather, thank you for being who you are! Your generosity to me is amazing and wonderful. You always lighten my heart and mind with your ability to laugh at life. Thanks for being such an awesome friend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sincere Faith

"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives also in you."
II Timothy 1:5

I have been reading through II Timothy for my devotions for the past month. The above verse speaks volumes to me every time I read it. I am reminded of how important it is for me as a mother to set a godly example before my children. Honestly, somedays I feel I fail miserably. I lose my temper and fail to speak kindly. I get busy with the day and fail to do family devotions. I get tired and fail to take my children to Wednesday night prayer meeting. Thank goodness for a loving God who picks us up and surrounds us with unfailing love even when we continue to fail. I often pray "Lord, fill in the gaps where I have failed to supply correctly for my children." I want to display a sincere faith for my children so that they may also make their relationship with the Lord strong and true. My desire is for my children to give their hearts and lives fully to the Lord for His service. I pray that they will see God's light shining through me and desire to continue in their love for the Lord as they grow, mature and are faced with lifes trials. I am grateful for the example of Timothy in the Bible. It gives me focus as a mom and reminds me of the importance of a Godly mother.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bunny Update

One of our adorable baby bunnies!

Cowboys and Their Mommies

Jacob and Caleb spent all day Monday playing cowboys. They dressed up in their cowboy gear and rode their "horses" all around the house and yard. In the evening, I noticed blankets had been laid out on their bedroom floor. I asked Jacob and Caleb to pick them up before bed. I was quickly informed that those were their bedrolls and they would be sleeping on them! They got all comfy on their cowboy "beds" and I came in to pray with them. As I kneeled down to pray with Jacob, he informed me, "Usually cowboys don't have their mommies pray with them."
I just as quickly replied, "Well, this cowboy does!"
Gotta love them cowboys!

Monday, May 19, 2008


To The Wonderful Women In My Circle

When I was little, I used to believe in the concept of one best friend, and then I started to become a woman. And then I found out that if you allow your heart to open up, God would show you the best in many friends.

One friend is needed when you're going through things with your man. Another friend is needed when your going through things with your mom. Another when you want to shop , share, heal, joke, or just be. One friend will say let's pray together, another let's cry together, another let's fight together, another let's walk away together. One friend will meet your spiritual need, another you shoe fetish, another your love for movies, another will be with you in your season of confusion, another will be your clarifier, another the wind beneath your wings.

But whatever their assignment in your life, on whatever the occasion, on whatever the day, or wherever you need them to meet you with their gym shoes on and hair pulled back, or to hold you back from making a complete fool of yourself.... those are your best friends.

It may all be wrapped up in one woman, but for many its wrapped up in several... one from 7th grade, one from high school, several from the college years, a couple from old jobs, several from church, on some days your mother, on some days your neighbor, on others your sister, and on some days your daughters. So whether they've been there 20 minutes or 20 years, pass this on to the women that God has placed in your life to make a difference.

Auther Unknown

Friday, May 16, 2008

A Letter of Love

Two years ago today God blessed me with a precious baby girl. It has been two amazing years!
Lauren you are a treasure to our family. You don't realize it yet but not only do Papa and myself love you immeasurably, but your brothers love you wholeheartedly too! You are always receiving hugs and kisses even when you don't want them! You have definitely stolen our hearts.
This past year your personality has really shone through. You are little miss independent! You enjoy doing things for yourself and by yourself. Not a day goes by that I don't find you making a wardrobe change. Sometimes you take all your clothes off and put on new. Other times you just add shirts or pants to what you are already wearing. I find you like to be creative. Sometimes its a shirt you have decided would make good pants (Its very interesting to see you try to walk when you have shoved both of your legs into one shirt sleeve)! Or maybe your brothers pajama top makes a great stole. Whatever the occasion you have an outfit to match!
Some of your other favorite pastimes are:

domestic interests-
unloading the dishwasher, taking the clothes out of the dryer,
dusting, putting dirty dishes in the sink, and making cookies.
playtime interests-
swinging, playing in the sandbox, feeding the bunnies dandelions,
being outside for an eternity, baby dolls (usually undressing them!),
coloring, dancing, reading books, and anything your brothers are doing.
My prayer today for you on your special day is that you will grow to be strong and healthy. That you will love the Lord, give Him your heart and live solely for Him. I thank the Lord for the blessing you are to us. Another ray of sunshine in our family. You are beautiful little girl, inside and out. I love you completely.

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Homeschooling Rocks!

I just had to share! Caleb (6) was sitting on the love seat playing with his stuffed Tigger. He was singing a little song about adjectives, of all things!
I turned to him and said, "Do you know what an adjective is?"
He said, " Yes, they describe things."
Amazing! Then I had him describe his Tigger. We came up with bouncy, orange, black, yellow and pink (nose). Then he started telling me what nouns were! Its awesome that he has retained this. We have a DVD called Grammar Rock. Its all those songs we 30 somethings learned off of the program called "School House Rocks" a PBS show in the 70's and early 80's. He and Jacob love to watch this and sing along. What a great way to help them learn about grammar! This is what is so special about homeschooling it is a learning "melting pot". The boys and Sissy learn an assortment of knowledge just by listening and sometimes taking part in each others studies. I'm glad I have the opportunity to teach my children. It is an amazing experience!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Swamp Study

American Bullfrog caught and
released by Isaac

Wood frog caught and released by Jacob

Yesterday we went back to the little creek that runs behind our house. The boys caught frogs and tried soothing mud masks on their feet, legs and hands! Even Lauren got in on the fun. I wasn't planning on going back to the stream but she kept saying, "wa-wa" and pointing to where to boys had gone. So, being the good mommy, I gave in and we followed the trail that the boys have worn down from their many trips to the creek. Thankfully she had on her rubber boots, because she wanted to wade in the creek too! She had a great time splashing! I enjoyed the beauty and solitude of the nature around me (except for the 4 ticks I picked off my clothes). Needless to say, it was to the garden hose I herded them when we were done. They scrubbed as they pranced around in the cold water. Then they each chose one of the big rocks, that line our driveway, to sit upon while they dried in the sun. After they dried off some, I had them head for the shower, they had a certain swamp odor about them that needed to be scrubbed off! We all had a great time. I didn't even mind the 4 sets of clothes that I had to pre-treat and scrub!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Feasting On The Mammoth

Yesterday evening on the way home from church, Jacob started asking me about a song that was sung during the morning service by 4 of our church members. He said, "Mom, you know the song that Aunt Mindy, Uncle Danny and Mr. and Mrs. Hull sang this morning? Well were they saying, 'balcony' or 'above the knee'?"
I got a giggle over that and replied, "It was 'bow the knee'."

That got us thinking about all the times we have mixed up words to songs we have heard or sung. My absolute favorite occurred a couple of years ago. We had been singing a song in church called "Dwelling in Beulah Land". It has a catchy chorus and Jacob picked it up easily.

"I'm living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky
I'm drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
O yes! I'm feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land."
C. Austin Miles 1868-1946

One day as he was playing I noticed that he was singing this song. I listened closely. He got all the words right up to the third line and that he sung like this:

"O yes! I'm feasting on the mammoth from a bountiful supply!

I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard! I let him sing it that way for some time before I corrected him, because it was so adorable! I guess it makes perfectly good sense, a mammoth would be quite bountiful!

Little Country Church

We attend a little country church set on the corner of intersecting dirt roads. It is surrounded by fields, farms and Amish families. It is a wonderful place to learn about the Lord and to fellowship with fellow believers. If you were to ask any of the members who attend our church they would tell you it is like one big extended family. Most of the families have 3 generations attending our church. We have a group of grandmas that call themselves TOG's- The Other Grandma. They all consider the others grandchildren as their own! So my children have 2 adopted grandma's.

One of these grandmas we call Gramma Nature. She has instilled in me a love for all things birdy! She has helped me in my quest to attract Bluebirds, Orioles and Woodpeckers. She knows so much about nature and she is very willing to teach all the children in our church about the wonders of God's creation. Several summers ago when we were at her house she showed the boys her Monarch collection. She had Monarchs in all stages of development on her kitchen counter and cupboards! The boys immediately ran out to her flower gardens to search the milk weed that she had planted there. We came home with a box all set up for the caterpillars they had found. Since then we go collecting each summer. Last year we raised 40, tagged them for a scientific group which is called Monarch Watch (I think!), and let them go on their journey down south.

Last night Gramma Nature came strolling into church with a plastic storage box that I recognized right away. It was a box she has loaned me the past couple of winters. It is a box that we fill with cornmeal, oats and meal worms! The meal worms are for our Bluebirds. But this time she had a little different arrangement. It is to be a science project for the boys (I told ya she was an awesome lady)! She had placed in the box cornmeal, oats, and a few meal worms that are in the process of changing into beetles. What we will be observing is the worms changing to beetles, laying eggs, dying and then the eggs hatching into the meal worms. Not only is this a great experiment, but I am hoping to save money by raising my own meal worms for the Bluebirds.

I know of no other church where you can walk in with a box of worms and everyone gathers around to see what the next experiment is going to be! Last night we had a group gathered around our pew to see what Gramma Nature was up to! Gramma Nature always has such awesome ideas and the children at our church love to visit to see just what new projects she has up her sleeve. Truth be told its pretty hard to keep us adults from getting excited too!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


What a gorgeous day it is today! The sun is shining. The birds are singing and the neighbors dogs are barking incessantly (not such a nice sound, but I am trying to ignore it)! I love being able to open up the windows and let in the sounds and smells of spring. Plus it helps me ignore all the smear marks Lauren has left! I don't have much to blog about today, just wanted to give thanks for another beautiful day!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


We are in full swing with the baby bunnies. Yesterday, Jacob's Mini Rex Charlie (yes, it is a girl with a boys name!) had 5 babies. Early this morning Freezer Burnt, a Californian- white with dark grey/black ears and feet, (long story on how she got her name) had 8. About 10:00am Runt had 2 babies. I'm not sure why her litter was so small. She is a Californian and usually they have bigger litters. I will be keeping watch over her. When Isaac and I went out to check on her, we found 1 alive and 1 dead. Isaac took this very hard. All three boys went out and had a funeral of sorts for the baby. They buried it by the weeds, piled some rocks on top and marked it with a stick. Isaac came in before they were finished and I held him while he cried over the dead bunny. He is so tender hearted. He loves the bunnies so much and while it is a good lesson for him to learn about farm life, it doesn't make it any easier for him. About an hour later we checked on Runt again, we found the live baby very cold. I tucked the little one under my shirt and took her to the house to warm her. I think Runt isn't sure what she needs to do. Plus since it was the only bunny left in the nest there was not really any way for her to keep warm. Around noon Big Mama (a Californian) gave birth to 6- one dead, five warm and squirmy. We decided to use Big Mama as a foster mother for the bunny that Runt had. I marked the bunny's ear with tattoo ink (so that I can tell her apart from the other babies) and stuck her in the nest with Big Mama's babies. We will see if she makes it, she was pretty cold when I found her.

Isaac is playing mother hen! He came in from outside about 45 minutes ago, all concerned because Big Mama had blood on her underside and she was just laying in her cage acting dead. He was positive she was dying. So, I went out with him to check. By the time I got there she was up and eating! I explained to him about the blood being from the birth and told him she was just really tired. I had to get a little firm for the mothers sakes and banned him from going back into the barn.

This, once again, has been an awesome learning experience. So many life lessons can be taught in a barn! So far Isaac has learned about the birthing process, the amniotic sac, the umbilical cord, life and death, caring for the mothers and their babies and the importance of letting a mother who is just given birth, rest!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Life Verse

On Sunday my pastor was talking about the importance of having a life verse. This got me thinking about all the different verses I have had as my "live verse" over the years. I guess I can't choose just one! The circumstances of life change so rapidly, affecting what verse I need to claim for my life. I have had many different life verses over the course of my 35 years. When I was a teenager it was Psalm 86:11 "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." A few years ago I chose Isaiah 41:10 when I was dealing with anxiety that arose from some medical problems I had 10 years ago- "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you in my righteous right hand." This year the verse I quote is "Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." I Chronicles 16:11. I chose this verse because their are days when I feel less than adequate to be a mom, wife and a homeschool teacher. When feelings of inadequacy creep in I just say this verse over and over until I feel the peace that only God can give. I know that he will provide the strength I need when I am feeling weak. This verse always reminds me to look to the Lord not to myself. I am reminded that He knows all my needs and will meet them.

There are so many awesome verses in Gods word and I just can't pick one as my favorite, because at different times in my life I have different struggles and needs. The above verses are some of my favorites. They have met needs I have had at different stages in my life. I would love to hear from those who read this blog, what is your favorite verse for this time in your life? It would be uplifting and insightful to see what each of you has chosen for your verse. When you have a spare moment, please share!

Friday, May 2, 2008

It's May

May is finally here! I always look forward to this month. It just shouts spring! Green leaves, pink, yellow, purple, flowers, warm sun and the best smelling breezes! I love to step out my door, take a deep breath and praise God for the fresh air.

My peas, radishes, lettuce, spinach and turnips have all come up in my garden. Lauren and I took a tour of the greens yesterday. She had a hard time keeping between the rows and walked over some of the turnips! Thank goodness the plants are still small!

I haven't been getting much house work done the last couple of days. Lauren just begs to go outside, especially when she sees her brothers out there. Yesterday we spent at least 2 hours outside. She really enjoys the great dandelion field we call our yard. She picks handfuls and then we trudge to the other side of our yard to feed them to our bunnies. She likes picking the "flowees" for her "bun-buns"!

Today it is quite overcast, calling for rain and possibly some thunderstorms. HMMM! Maybe I will get some house work done today. I don't know, some how picking dandelions with my girl sounds like more fun!
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