Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Ditched the List


~ Sore throats, fevers, runny noses and general yuckiness: Only three days in and school is put on hold for the oldest two.

~ 10 quarts of tomatoes from the garden simmering on the stove, while I work with my girl on her letters, start sending out a funky smell:  Scorched. All contents dumped in the weeds may the critters enjoy all my efforts.

~ Spare change container takes a dive off the refrigerator: 4 pounds of coins scattered across the kitchen.

~ Princess girl excited over her lemonade loses all hand grip function: sticky sweetness splattered all over the linoleum.

Before anything else could happen to make me grit my teeth and pull my hair, I ditched the list that was looming over my head.  Laundry, cleaning, gardening, canning, GONE.

I made sure my sickies were wrapped up in blankies, made them big bowls of Ramen noodles, and set them in front of the TV, like any good mom.

While they slurped away, I took the other two outside for an impromptu picnic.

boys-1 picnic sissy

sissy-1 boys sissy-2

picnic-1 Ellie picnic-2

The sunshine, sweet breeze, bright colors and giggles did me GOOD!  I re-entered the house 45 minutes later in a calmer state of mind.  Sometimes it just good to push that list out of sight and enjoy the day!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

No See Me


I’ve been a bit absent from my blog and all of yours lately.  Scheduling issues, ya know?!

This country girl took a bit of a trip last week.

Amazingly enough it was to a city!  Yes, I know that probably produced a collective GASP from you all! 

It was a sight to see, I’m sure, this countrified girl oohing and ahhing at all the sights. And just imagine the scene of mild confusion at my trying to figure out how to order at Panera Bread! Just a bit of embarrassment and flushed cheeks ensued on my part.  Thankfully I had my city savvy sister at my side at all times or I would have felt totally itty bitty!

 Indy-1Indy Indy-5

I’m not real up on city living and workings, so making this trip to Indianapolis for a Women of Faith Conference with my mom and sister, Marisa, was a big treat and learning experience.


It was so much fun just being with the girls. There was singing, praising, worshiping, learning, TEARS, and much lifting of our hearts up to our Lord and Savior.


Not to mention so much giggling and laughter that I usually had tears filling my eyes from all the hilariousness.  And not only from the speakers did all this funniness come, my sister, mom, and room mate Betty, all seemed to exude hilarity.  FUN, FUN, FUN, I tell you!


Now, back home, school has begun. So, when I find spare moment (sarcastic laughter inserted here) I will stop by and leave you a comment!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

AHHHH Country!

Before green apples blush,

Queen Annes-textured-1

Before green nuts embrown,



Why, one day in the country


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Is worth a month in town…



Christina Rossetti

I’m a country girl through and through.  My country life soothes me, calms me in a way I words could never perfectly describe.  I can only attempt to capture the beauty and sweet solitude of where I live and love, through the lens of my camera.  With my camera I can capture in time, the color, light, beauty and life, that makes you take a deep breath and say AHHHH Country…..calming Peace, Joy and a bit of Heaven on earth.

Monday, August 16, 2010

In The Midst

Rain came down in driving sheets.  Lightening flashed.  Thunder rolled.  My oldest was on the verge of panic over the storm that surrounded us.  I continually tried to reassure him that we were perfectly safe, but to no avail.  As we pulled into the parking lot at a shopping center, he exploded into a panic.  With extreme agitation he said he saw a tornado.  I scoffed at his statement and firmly told him he needed to calm down.  But, as I peered through the windshield in the direction he was pointing, I saw it. 

Bearing down across the highway, a swirling mass was headed straight for us.  Fear gripped my throat and then a rush of adrenaline burst through me.  I began searching the parking lot for my sister’s vehicle.  She had her son and two of my boys with her.  Time slowed, stalled and sputtered to a stop.  

With my son clinging to my hand and my 6-week-old daughter, swinging in her car seat from the crook of my elbow, I raced for my boys.  I gathered them close, instructed them to hold on to my shirt and trotted towards the store entrance. 

We gathered all of us, my mom, sister, nephew and my children in the ladies pajamas department. We huddled on the floor in each other’s arms.  As I looked into my children’s faces I saw fear. I heard fear in their voices as they asked if they were going to die. Fear was so thick around us, threatening to suffocate those who yielded. 

We prayed out loud as people passed us by in the dark isle-ways. We claimed God’s strength and protective hand. I pleaded for God’s calming force to fill my son's hearts.

Four years have passed since this frightening event. This summer, like none I can ever remember, has had us spending hours upon hours in the basement from tornado warnings in our area.  Each time, I see the fear, uncertainty and panic creep into my boys eyes. The memory is still so fresh.  When the possibility of bad weather presents itself worry fills our home.

I’m no stranger to worry. I understand its far reaching grip. At times it covers me like an old itchy blanket. I kick and yank, yet I’m encompassed with its prickly irritations. It is a repulsive companion I struggle to shake loose. Left to fester worry soon invites fear and anxiety to occupy my heart.

Over the years I have learned to champion over worry and its colleagues. Every verse that speaks to me about God’s strength, protection and love is placed into my verse book. Whenever worry begins to stealthily creep back into my soul, I begin to quote and quote and quote, until I feel God’s steadying hand.

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 with my righteous right hand  Isaiah 41:10

In you O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Recue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go; give the command to save me; for you are my rock and my fortress.  Psalm 71: 1-3

SO, when the storms of life come our way and fill our hearts with concern our family will be raising our eyes up to the Lord, filling our mouths with His promises and feeling His comfort in our hearts. 

For He is our ROCK and FORTRESS.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven~ Book Review



The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven is a remarkable account of Alex Malarkey’s journey to heaven after being seriously injured in a car accident.  This book takes you through the hours before the accident, the accident and the years of recovery that followed.  The pages are filled with miracles that can only be attributed to God and his Heavenly Hosts.

When I first saw the title to this book I was a bit skeptical.  I wasn’t sure what it was that I would be reviewing.  I wondered if it would be a bit fanatical and over the top.  But, as I read, I was touched my Kevin Malarkey’s honesty in the introduction and throughout the entire book.

I’m not here to beat a drum, convince you of a theological argument, or force you to validate Alex’s experiences.  But I humbly offer a challenge: suspend your judgment for just a few chapters.

I think your life may be changed forever.

Sometimes I have no clue what to make of Alex’s supernatural life, I have no theological box to put some of this stuff in.  But everyone who has taken the time to get to know Alex agrees: he is a remarkable boy on whom God has placed His hand for His purposes. (introduction)

This family has been through something most of us will never experience and I am so glad they took the time to share, with integrity and honesty, their story.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010



I’m not sure how or why it happens, but every summer seems to float off into history at a mind bending pace.  Even though the days are longer, the sun keeping us company, warming our faces and lighting our days for more productivity, there is always more to do than what can be accomplished in a 12 hour period.

My days are full, good full.

 DSC_0027 DSC_2955DSC_2585 DSC_2864DSC_2888  

I have certainly been blessed this year with a garden that is yielding an over abundance. Our freezer is filling up and the empty jars on the shelves, in the storage room, are being replaced with colorful jars full of garden freshness.

The flowers in my garden are a continual source of enjoyment and comforting peace.

 Lily morning glory black eyed susan-3

 allium and bee-3 bee

Every time I walk outside I am blessed with their beauty and reminded of their Creator.


Our summer break is coming to a close, to me it is bitter sweet. I love the freedom summer days bring.  Time for gardening, hanging clothes on the line, preserving, swimming, picnics, lazy afternoons flipping through back issues of Country Living with an iced coffee in my hand! But, I also look forward to the schedules that school brings.  Productivity, learning, organization, time spent snuggled on the couch reading with my children, candles burning, bread baking, crocheting!

I guess that’s what keeps my life interesting. The change in seasons not only brings beauty and wonderment into my life, but it helps me to be thankful that my life isn’t like a straight, flat, monotonous, highway, but rather a glorious country road full of hills and dales and meandering curves through woods and fields.

Who wouldn’t want to take that journey?

Today I am thanking the Lord for my full days.  I am relishing the coming change.  I am counting every blessing.  Because each and every day is a beautiful treasure.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Our School Room~ A Work In Progress

School in our home for the first eight and a half years centered around the dining room table.  Each day we gathered there to learn and grow in knowledge and life.  The walls were covered in maps, charts and art.  The edges of the room were lined with crates and a filing cabinet holding school work. It worked well for us.
In the middle of this past school year we were able to move our boys bedroom to a different location (still in the house in case you were wondering!).  This freed up their old room for us to use as a school room.  To say I was thrilled was an understatement!  Why was I so happy when our previous arrangement was working out just fine?  Well, after 8 years of homeschooling we were accumulating quite the library of school books and literature.
Now I can keep all of our school supplies, books and information in on location and not scattered throughout several spots in the house.
SO…Welcome to our School Room~ A Work In Progress
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A place for reading           Previous years school books          This years books and all the extras

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   Our art wall                       Desks for working and art sessions          A work station/my tutoring table

My newest addition to our school room is the art center.  For the past 8 years I have had all this art stuff in boxes in our basement.  I tried to bring it out once and a while to let my children do art, but most often I forgot about it.  This year I decided, since I have a room dedicated solely to learning, that it was high time to get out the art supplies! 
You should have seen the response!  Each of my children were wanting to create before I even finished unpacking and arranging.  The creative juices were flowing this weekend and many interesting and unique projects were made.
art-2 art art-3

I still have plans for our school room.  I would like to find a big old frame and use it to frame part of the wall painted with chalk board paint.  I have a wooden end table I want to paint white and I need to finish painting the clothes pins on the art wall. 
But, most importantly our school room is ready for our first day of school! 
Let the Learning Begin!

*Just a side note….my three youngest children still gravitate to the dining room table to do their school work!  Old habits die hard, I guess.  Actually this fine, since it puts them all in a central location and I can work with each of them easily that way.  Plus the school room is a bit small and for a couple of my boys that is REALLY distracting! :)
Do you have a room dedicated for your school and school supplies?
This post is linked up to Not Back-to-School Blog Hop at Heart of the Matter.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Billy Graham His Life and Influence~ Book Review



Graham wasn’t born with a mandate to become the a face of modern evangelism.  Growing up, he wasn’t much different from other boys in his town.  Billy was more interested in going to the movies than the moving of the Holy Spirit, and he spent more time chasing girls than God.  But at a revival meeting the day before his sixteenth birthday, Graham committed himself to Christ and never looked back.  That day, he started on the path that would make him the most influential Christian leader in American history. (taken from back cover book)

David Aikman, former Time Magazine senior correspondent, has written an in depth biography about the great influence, triumphs and struggles faced by Billy Graham.  Mr. Aikman is a gifted writer and this biography is well written.

Before reading this biography I didn’t know much about Billy Graham except that I knew he held crusades.  Other than that, I was pretty clueless.  In fact, I never knew he had been a confidant to our Presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower through George W. Bush. I was taken a back by some of his foibles when it came to things political. It really made me grateful that I am not in the lime light and that no one will ever be writing a biography about me!  There were many interesting stories about Billy Grahams life in this biography and I certainly know much more about the man who desires for others to make a commitment to Christ then I did before.

If you are curious about Billy Graham and his influence as an American Protestant Crusader, then this book will definitely inform you all about where Billy Graham started from, who he is, what he believes in, his influence on our Presidents and who he has become.


* Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Summer Favorite

A trip to the Lake…there’s nothing that shouts summer more!




Waves, sand dunes, floaties, snacks, giggles, squeals, smiles, family, cousins, and sand every where.

Even where it shouldn’t be!





The scenery is gorgeous. Sun, wind and water soothing. I can’t think of a better way to spend a summer day.


It’s so hard to say goodbye!

***Just a side note…I took all of these pictures with my son’s Kodak point-and-shoot camera. There was no way I was taking my DSLR onto the beach.  I would have loved to capture some awesome pictures with it, but was not to keen on the possibility of sand scratching and ruining my camera. So, to get to the point, you can still take really good pictures with a point-and-shoot camera, you don’t have to have the biggest or best or most expensive camera out there.  You can still capture those special moments with a less expensive model, my motto is just take a bunch of pictures.  You can always delete those that aren’t good.

This post is a part of The inadvertent farmer Summer’s Simple Things.


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