Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trying To Touch God


One day when my oldest son was 3 years old I walked into the dining room to find him standing in the middle of the table.  He was reaching up high, stretched to his full capability.  When I asked him what he was doing he responded, "I'm trying to touch God!"

How precious a child's faith is.  The lessons we can learn from them abound if we only take the time to listen and apply their simple words and faith to our lives.

These simple words, I'm trying to touch God, speak of the yearning of my heart.  Can't you just picture it!  I am standing on my tip toes reaching, stretching, desiring to get closer to God with a childlike faith.

...Jesus said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."  And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.  Mark 10:14-16

June 08 Lauren


I'm coming Lord!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

One Very Big Reason...



I have never had a manicure


Or a pedicure!


Yeah! I love playing in the dirt!  I have tried to wear gloves, but it just doesn't work for me.  And when your out in the garden in flip flops the dirt gets in between your feet and sandals anyway so you just mine as well go barefoot!  That's what summer is for anyway isn't it?!

And plus I know I will get to enjoy this

100_2804 100_2803






and this



Green beans and Cucumbers








And what about all of these




To me it is a fair trade to dirty hands and feet (plus a little Comet works wonders on all that dirt!).

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Challenged Heart

I wearily sat down on the edge of my bed.  Every muscle in my back, legs and feet were protesting. I grumpily thought of all the laundry that still needed to done. I sighed heavily as I pondered on how the house had mysteriously gotten so cluttered when we had hardly spent any time at home over the weekend.  I struck up a running commentary in my head on the injustices of doing my household duties while everyone else lounged in front of the television.

Then my eyes drifted over to my nightstand and caught these words printed on a card.

Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits-  Psalm 103:1-2

Oops! I had been doing everything but that for the last hour.  I had let my tiredness and selfishness take control.  Instead of complaining, I should have been praising. Praising God for my happy, healthy children. Praising Him for my loving husband (even though he had parked his caboose in front of the T.V.!). Praising the Lord for my home, for the food he provides to fill our tummies, and for the clothes we have to wear. Praising Him for our freedom to worship in this country. Praising the Lord that my husband still has a job. Praising Him for his love. Praising, praising, praising.

Let me tell you those two verses struck my heart. I realized I have prided my self in being a positive person, looking for the good in every situation. Last night I realized my positive attitude does a disappearing act when I am in the comfort of my own home.  All of a sudden, I start to gripe. I get frustrated with all that needs to be done and all that isn't getting done.  My outlook takes on a more pessimistic tone.  Instead of setting my heart to praising I find my self grumbling.  This is the exact opposite of what I want to teach my children.  Now I'm not saying that I walk through every second of my day grouchy.  I tend to feel the grumpiness coming on when I am tired, the children have been a handful, or when there is much to do and little time to accomplish it.  However, I am coming to see that these are the times I need to pour on the praise, look for the positives and fill my heart with thankfulness.  When the pressure is on my children are watching to see how I will respond.  Am I going to crumble or am I going to stand firm and fill our home with praise.  I want my children seeing and hearing me praising the Lord through the good and the bad.  So that when they face difficulties they will know exactly how to deal with them...

Head on,  with a heart and voice full of praise!

Thursday, June 18, 2009



Lauren ran in to the room at full speed and announced in a loud voice, "I have to go potty!"

I looked at her, raised an eyebrow and said in a slightly exasperated tone, "Again!"

She stood there two stepping and I told her to go ahead that I would be right there.

She turned back to look at me and said in her toddler slurred voice, "Mom, do I have issues?"

Stunned I replied, "WHAT?"

"Do I have issues?", she asked.

I just started laughing.

I guess too many strawberries snuck from the patch yesterday created a few issues!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mama Needs Help


At the Well Blog Button

1) Unload dishwasher, put dirty dishes piled in the sink and across the counter into dishwasher. 2) Pick up socks strung down the hall and throughout the house. 3) Seek out Lego's hiding in every nook and cranny. 4) Eradicate dust. 5) Wipe toothpaste off bathroom mirror and out of the sink~ again. 6) Start another load of laundry. 7) Fold the two loads of laundry heaped on living room floor. 8) Plan and prepare next meal. 9) Gather up two-year-olds toys and have arranged nicely at least for two minutes or so. 10) Vacuum floors which seem to be a magnet for every piece of fuzz, scrap of paper and food remnant.

Does your daily list look a little like mine? Does the housework seem never ending? Are your rushing around constantly picking up or cleaning? Or do you just feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start? Today I would like to give some practical advice on getting the whole family involved in helping mom in keeping an inviting, clean home.

When my boys were younger I struggled with a perfectionist complex. Everything had to be sparkling clean and just so. I spent my days quite efficiently picking up, cleaning and picking up some more. As the years went by, we began homeschooling and a couple babies joined our family, my ideal began to crumble and reality set in.


To read the rest of my most recent article visit At The Well

Tuesday, June 16, 2009



Thank you Kristilea for this lovely award. Thank you for thinking of me. I truly appreciate it!


Since this award is all about honesty... here goes, my sincerely honest self...

~I'm addicted to coffee. It gets me up and going in the mornings. Truthfully, it gives me the oomph I need to get out of bed. Sad, but true!

~I am a homebody. I am happiest when I am at home. I don't like to get out and about a whole lot. 

~Big cities intimidate me! I like to visit and am in awe when I am there.  It is a big adventure! Yet, somehow I feel out of place.  I am so happy to get home to my quiet, country home.

~I love to feed the birds. So much so, that I raise meal worms to give them and I make my own suet!

~I am shy.  I struggle in social situations, where I don't know people.  And sometimes, I even struggle when I do know people. My brain seems to freeze and I can't even begin to think of anything to say. Which compounds the problem and I just get more embarrassed.  I would much rather be at home curled up with a good book or reading blogs! I guess that's one of the things that attracted me to my husband. He can talk to anyone and make them feel at ease.

~I love teaching. I am so glad I have the opportunity to teach my children at home, most days! (I'm supposed to be honest, remember!)  And maybe, when they are grown, I will get to teach in a classroom again.

I pass this award on to...

Marisa@ Small Moments Captured

Wilma@ Little Toes and Cheerios

Amy@ The Kings Table

Dawn@ P.S. He Loves You

Martha@ Fly Away Birdie

Friday, June 12, 2009

In The Garden



I come to the garden alone,

While the dew is still on the roses;

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me,

and He talks with me,

And He tell me I am is own;

And the joy we share as we tarry there.

None other has ever known.

C. Austin Miles 1868-1946













I have been enjoying my garden so much this spring!  The peonies have been gorgeous this year.  I took lots and lots of photos of them, but I figured I should limit myself to sharing just three! 

Last fall Joel and I put about 3 heaping loads (using the bucket loader on his tractor) of rabbit manure on my flower gardens.  All I can say is~ WOW!  I had read that rabbit manure is an awesome fertilizer and let me tell you my gardens are living proof.  Most of my plants doubled or tripled in size. 

I don't have any pictures of my vegetable garden yet. The weather here hasn't been great for growing produce.  It has been very rainy and wet.  I spent most of the week with a light sweater or sweatshirt on, very unusual for June.  Because of all the rain, I ended up having to replant my lettuces and spinach.  I have a few patches here and there of little spouts, but not even close to enough of what I will need. I hope the replanting does better.

When I am out working in my gardens, I feel such tranquility.  The song above "In The Garden" is an old hymn and one of my favorites.  God is definitely in the garden.  Just look at the above photos! The intricacy and beauty is breath taking.  Only God could create such magnificence!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What's Up?

My, oh my, I have been slacking on my blogging lately. I'm having a hard time keeping up with everyone's posts. Goodness, I can't seem to even find time to post on my own blog! I'm trying desperately to keep caught up on my reading because I don't want to miss out on what is happening with all of you, but if you feel by any chance that I have been neglecting you, I apologize, I really do.  Let me see if I can explain why I've been a slacker in the blog world.

Here's the rundown... 



Gardening~ I've been doing a lot of it lately! We finally got all of the garden planted, except for a few more rows of corn that need to go in.  Plus I've been working in my flowers gardens almost daily. I'm trying to get some annual flower seeds in the ground so that I will have lots of glorious color come mid-summer.




Softball~ My boys don't play Little League, so for the past two summers, my friend and I have organized a 6 week Christian  Children's Softball League. Its a laid back affair.  No practices, just Monday night Softball games.  My friend's husband brings his portable grill and we roast up hot dogs and chow down while cheering on our children. I don't know who has more fun the kids or the parents, who are gifted with 2 hours worth of social time!



4-H~ It's that time of year again...FAIR! As administrative leader of our group, I am still learning the ins and outs.  Since it is only my 2nd year, it takes me a bit more time than someone who knows what they are doing. Sometimes I feel very clueless! I have spent a bit of time the past couple of weeks organizing a club meeting and working on paperwork for the fair.  Nothing strenuous, but I like to make sure I have all my ducks in a row!

Lack of creativity~ The creative writing portion of my brain is on hiatus. I cannot seem to come up with anything clever, inspirational or outstanding. My life here is pretty simple and the normal day to day doesn't seem to provide any fodder!

Bone tired~ After laying in bed 24/7 for 2 1/2  months I am finding   that I get worn out really easy.  By the afternoon, on most days, I feel like I need a nap and all the muscles in my back seem to be protesting that they can't hold me upright much longer.  But, I'm gaining and making improvement, for that I am grateful.

S-L-O-W Internet connection~ This dial-up is torturing me. It is taking considerable time for the blogs to come up, then if I want to comment I have to wait some more. FRUSTRATING! I guess it is one of the negatives of living in such a rural place.


Life~ You know all that stuff like, doctors appointments, grocery shopping, house cleaning, feeding of the hungry hordes, piano lessons, and keeping my little animals from bickering constantly now that they are on summer break.


Well there you have it, my life in a list!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Story in Photos- The Vacation Edition

One of my family's favorite spots for vacation is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We look forward to a whole week of adventure, learning and relaxation all wrapped into one.

Last year one of the places we visited was an abandoned town called Fayette. It was a town built around the iron ore business. We got to walk through buildings and read and see first hand how these families lived back in the 1800's. Beautiful and educational!



Of course while your in Michigan you always have to take time to enjoy the gorgeous beaches...






And don't forget to bring your fishing pole and bait, because there will be plenty of time for trying to catch the big one...



And when you get exhausted and just can't take any more,there will always be time for this...


For more vacation stories visit I Heart Faces.


Friday, June 5, 2009

God's Designs




Nine years ago I started making candles. I quickly found that I truly enjoyed crafting various candles and getting creative with the process. Grand plans furiously took hold in my mind and heart. I decided I was going to go into the candle business!  I would sell my creative and lovely smelling creations and make a small, but substantial income in the process! Well, after a couple of craft shows and a few hundred dollars, I began to realize that there were a lot of people out there making candles on a much bigger scale then I ever could. My plans for grandeur fell FLAT.

I came home from those shows deflated. All I wanted to do was help add a bit of income, so that we wouldn't always be living pay check to pay check. I had just recently resigned from a teaching job so that I could stay home with my boys.  I felt guilty for not contributing financially as I had before. I wanted to be able to help even if it was $20 dollars for groceries here and there.

Well, my dreams of being a grand candle maker never came true. I have resigned myself to that.  I have come to know that it wasn't God's design for me. His plans for me were to include so much more than I could foresee.  I was to become a homeschool mom, a mother to two more children, plus continue in the roles of wife and homemaker. 

When I finally opened my heart to God's leading, I found peace. God's plans for my life where not the dreams I had. They were something much bigger and grander. Before I made the decision to let God lead, I was always leaning on my own power. How could I make life better for my family? How could I earn some extra money? How could I, how could I, how could I.  When I ran out of strength and turned to the Lord, He pointed me in the direction of my family. I found the path God had laid out before me. Down the path I found happiness, peace and fulfillment. God wanted me to put my focus and strength into my family, not into my dreams of creativity and money making schemes.

I still like to take time to be creative. I still dream of what I can make next. Honestly, at times, I still envision making money off of my creations. But, I have learned that these must not take precedence over the Lord, my relationship with my husband, my love and care for my children or my service to others.


Nowadays I make candles just for my family and to give away as gifts. I'm okay with it. Probably if I was a grand candle maker I would really dislike candles! Since I am not a candle tycoon, I can enjoy making them, enjoy sniffing them and enjoy lighting them with my husband, children, family and friends!

God's designs are GOOD!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What Do You Think?


Last summer, after much prodding, my husband hauled this old milk house over to our side yard, from our elderly neighbors farm. My neighbor kept asking me what I wanted with the old thing. In his words, "it isn't good for anything". Well I beg to differ!

I've got great plans for this little building. To me it is a piece of history. Take a look inside...

100_5425 100_5425

The walls are lined with beautiful old boards, picture wood flooring. Back in the day, it was used to keep milk cold after the farmer had milked the cows. That's why they lined the walls with the boards. The extra layer helped to insulate it.


This old building needs a lot of sweat equity, some carpentry skills (which I lack) and a bit of hard cash. The windows are falling out and I have taken to begging my father-in-law for help and suggestions. I'm not sure how to remedy the window problem yet, but I'm just going to be patient and see what comes up. Also my husband had to brace the inside of the building with 2x4's because it was leaning backwards. He informed me they would have to stay as braces or it would topple over. So, I have to figure out a way to work with them, maybe a coat of paint?

Last year, my husband and Brother-in-law put a new roof on it. Step one! Next step is exterior paint. I really wanted to paint it white with green trim, but I need to keep the cost down (interpret, no money will be spent on this old building!). So, I will be using some left over red barn paint, from a previous project. I also have some leftover white trim paint. I am hoping to get it painted this summer. What do you think? Can you picture this little building painted red with white trim? What about a beautiful white hollyhock growing next to one of the corners and a big grapevine wreath tacked to the front of it?

What my real dilemma is what should I use it for. I have two options in mind I can use it for a potting shed or a hen house. I need your help! Cast your vote. Which one should I use this old milk house for?

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Heart Faces- Birthday Party



The theme is Birthday Parties at I heart faces this week. Here is Lauren at her birthday party a year ago, enjoying part of her princess cake.

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