Monday, February 28, 2011

What’s Going On


Life is just goin’ on around here. The daily, day to day, stuff.

  • I’ve been through all my seed catalogues.  With much difficulty I whittled down my list and finally my first order has been sent in and delivered.


  • Sometime soon I’m going to work on my second order that consists of herbs and a few flower seeds.


  • I’ll be making a trip with Sissy to the pediatricians this afternoon. She’s been fighting some sort of virus for over a week. She was doing pretty good until this weekend. I spent last night sleeping on the floor of her room. I dislike those nights of croupy coughs! This morning she woke with a fever. I’m thinking its gone into something bacterial at this point.


  • It’s days like these I’m thankful for a bread machine! When I’m short on time and don’t have time to knead it does the work for me. Then I can take the dough out let it rise and have fresh warm bread for supper.


  • Spring can’t get here fast enough!


  • Joel has surgery on his left hand on Wednesday for carpal tunnel and then on the 16th they’ll do his right hand.  He thinks he’ll be loading our out door wood burner one handed.  I have news for him, but he’s not ready to listen yet!  I’m thinking long about Wednesday afternoon he’ll change his mind!  I’m hoping not to singe off my eyelashes and bangs this time.


  • I’m thankful for a 14-year-old who is capable in the kitchen.  He will be starting supper for me this evening, while I’m on the road returning from Sis’s appointment. What a blessing to have help in this area when I can’t be home to do it.


  • And did I mention he really enjoys helping me set up my camera for self portraits?! I was trying to take a picture of myself and I needed him to sit in for me so I could focus my camera. That way when I go to take the picture it is focused.  Well, look at his face in this picture! Doesn’t he look thrilled! :)


  • We have 2 1/2 months left of this school year.  I think I have some boys counting down the days!


  • I’m ready for warm days, green things, and laundry swaying in the fresh breeze.


  • We’re having stir fry for dinner tonight.  I can’t wait!  It is one of my favorite meals!


  • I was told by my daughter the other day, “Momma, you have big, little buns.”  I’m not sure how to take that! :)


  • Oh! And by the way, I can’t wait for Spring!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Simply Saturday~ 02/26



Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this post.  And while your at it do you mind  linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)


This week I choose another picture of burdock.  I just couldn’t help myself!  The recent ice storm we had left everything absolutely beautiful and when the sun started shining. It was beyond description.  I spent about 45 minutes outside just trying to capture all the glittering beauty.


I loved this shot with the ice mounded up on top of the burdock, the icicle dripping down, the gorgeous blue sky and all the sparkly reflections of the ice in the background. It really speaks to me!  Isn’t it amazing how simple ice can transform an annoying weed into a thing of beauty! I just love that I can walk out my door and see God’s handiwork! If you’ve been here the past couple of weeks maybe you’ve guessed that nature speaks of home and simplicity to me!

Now it’s your turn…what spoke to you this week about home and/or simplicity!

***This linky will be open until Friday, March 4th, so you can enter anytime that is convenient for you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011



In the silence of our home, void of electricity, there is a soft hush.

The clock counts the seconds steadily with a tick, tick, tick.


The sounds of a battle at the Alamo is being played out on the kitchen counter. Artillery is launched in soft explosions and instructions are whispered to the troops.

At my feet spills a basketful of dollies, their accessories, and odds and ends.  My daughter snuggles up to my legs and whispers to her babies of plans for the day and words of endearment.

It seems the powerless hush has settled upon them.

It’s quiet.

It’s peaceful.

It’s a reprieve from the usual noise that fills our home. 

Dryer tumbling, feet running, words flowing, washer whiring, music murmuring.

Our home void of an excess of noise.

It’s wonderful.

And when the stove beeps letting us know our power has been restored. My daughter says, “AWWWW.  Why did the power have to come back on. I was having fun!”

Thankfully it did come back on many around us have been without power since Sunday.

But, the silence, for an afternoon was appreciated by us for its uniqueness and it calming hush!


***Written on an afternoon spent in a powerless hush!***

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weighed Down

The last 24 hours have been transforming. Yesterday afternoon and through the evening freezing rain fell steadily. Joel and I tried to catch a bit of sleep but were kept awake by all the calls the fire departments in our county were receiving.  Around 2 am, Joel’s department got called and he has been at the fire department or on calls for most of the day.  And with the winds picking up it looks like he will be there most of the night, too.

When I woke up this morning, I grabbed my camera and headed outside.  As soon as I stepped outdoors, the sounds sought my attention.


The trees creaked and groaned, stiff with their unyielding coats. The rustling and scraping of ice on ice creating a whole new world.


Burdened and weighed down, not by a protective covering, but by a destructive one, pulling, heavy, cumbersome.


Bending, leaning, falling beneath the cumbersome, unyielding ice.


Some of the trees will survive with only minor natural pruning. Others will succumb to the weight of the ice and crumble to the ground.

The weighted world outside my windows reminds me of my heart.  Lately it has felt heavy, encumbered by life and sin choices. I have been distracted by living.  And I lack the desire to supply the effort it requires to change.

My dry soul…it needs God’s sweet, soothing love to remove the calluses that have built up from my neglect.  It needs God’s protection and strength from the sin I’ve let become imbedded there.  

I have a choice.  I can reach out to God who is holding out His hand to me. I can push forward, through the weight that tries to constrain me. I can look beyond the dryness and be open to the lesson the Lord has for me.  Or I can remain where I am stagnant, in a state of inner barrenness.

Why do I turn away, when I know I just need to seek Him more fervently during these times?  Oh, the turmoil and strife I would relieve myself of if I would quit looking inward and start looking upward.

Like the sun that will eventually free the trees from their temporary bonds, so, the Lord, will free me from my heaviness of heart if I continue to seek Him. His Son can light my way and free the bonds tightening on my heart. In seeking Him I will receive his light and strength which can warm, soothe and strengthen my soul, freeing me from the weight the encompasses and restricts.

I have a choice. I can bend to God’s will and learn. Or I can break and pay the consequences for my unwillingness to yield.

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of you heart.  I will be found by you, declares the Lord…”  Jeremiah 29:11-14a

I continue to seek my Savior during this time of heart sluggishness.  I know He hasn’t abandoned me, but is trying me!  Will I come out purified or will I come out sullied? 

My heart may be weighed down, but my mind, heart and soul are still seeking my Lord.  In His time He will remove the surrounding weight.  But, in the mean time I will see this weight as His way to bend me to my knees. Submitting, waiting, yielding to my Lord who loves me with an unconditional love.

****It is now snowing.  We have gotten at least 2-3 inches this afternoon with more this evening.  The wind is supposed to pick up with gusts of up to 30 mph.  Everyone around us is without power. We lost ours for about 2 hours this afternoon, but it came back on. It is only a matter of time before we lose it again. So we’re hunkering down in another winter storm. It has a sense of coziness all its own!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Simply Saturday



Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this blog.  And while your at it do you mind  linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)



I love African Violets!  Many years ago, a man from my church gave me this violet. Since then it has grown and grown. I have repotted it a couple of times and once again it is need of a larger pot.  It is a happy grower!  What a really appreciate is that it blooms many times through out the year.  It is presently on its second blooming for this winter.  I am so thankful for the color and sparkle it brings into my home.

What speaks of simplicity and home to you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Spring is around the corner with all its glorious beauty and color.  Yes, we have a bit more time to be doused with snow and cold, but there are hints of warmer days ahead.  While it is still a bit colorless out of doors, I am thankful for the color in my home. It makes all the difference on those gray days. 

Here are a few ways I have added color to our days.

A crochet project….


A Begonia blooming on my kitchen window sill…

begonia in window

Little girly girl’s hair twisties….


I’m entering the hair twisties photo in Farmgirl Paints Thrive Project.



What are some ways that you add color to your days?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunshine Shining


Oh what a beautiful day!!!  The sun is shining, the frigid temps have blown on to another quarter (at least for now), blue skies are beckoning me to gaze upon them and I can almost taste spring!


Last fall I almost cut down these hydrangeas. I usually get trim happy and whack every thing down.  But, I decided to leave this one bush and I’m glad I did. It makes for some pretty pictures.

And I even like this picture of snow covered logs even though it reminds me we have a lot more winter left!


I’m so thankful for these big logs! They will keep us warm in the cold days to come and give me lots of hot water for all our needs.

This morning, before I woke for the day, I had a dream. The details aren’t important but I do believe it was from God. In this dream I was reminded that all I have are blessings.  Yesterday, I was taking some of those gifts from God for granted.  I had a couple hours which I allowed to be plagued by a nasty attitude.  Oh, how easy I forget God’s love and his precious gifts.

Today I am remembering and hiding in my heart all His goodness.

“I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me;…”  Psalm 86:12-13a


My most recent article is posted AT THE WELL today. I would love for you to read it!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little Love and A Winner


Happy Valentines Day! I hope you have a wonderful day full of love.

brotherly love

Today we’re spreading the love around our neighborhood.  Cards have been made and mini-loaves of banana bread have been baked. We will be taking these to the elderly neighbors this afternoon.  I would like to challenge you to spread the love beyond your little nest today.  Is there someone in your neighborhood, school, or work place that needs to be reminded that they are special? What about those in the hospital or a nursing home? Think especially of those who are going through a tough time or those who are alone.  They are the ones who really need to be showered with love.  And let’s not stop at just one day!  Let’s keep showing God’s love to those in need year round!

“The most important one (commandment),” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31


♥♥♥♥Now for the winner of the CSN Giveaway….I plugged the numbers into the random generator at and it spit out #13….Katrina.  Congratulations!  And thanks to everyone who left a comment!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Simply Saturday~ 02/12



Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. All levels of photographers welcome! Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this blog.  And while your at it do you mind  linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)


For this weeks photo I wanted to share a picture I captured of one of the cattails down by our stream. It wasn’t super simple to walk down there with snow above the tops of my boots, but when I saw the beauty down there it was well worth it!

Winter cattails 

I love this area behind our house.  It is so peaceful and full of God’s Beauty.  Whenever I take time to go there I feel such serenity.  There is simplicity and complexity in nature that combines together to bring magnificent beauty.

For me, abundant nature, room to move, places to explore, plenty of land surrounding me, these things speak to me of simple living and my home.

**Have you commented on my giveaway post?  If not, head over there, leave me a comment, and you will be entered to win a $35 CSN gift certificate.

Now it’s your turn to show us simplicity and/or home in your photo.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Giveaway Time!


Have you heard of CSN Stores?  You’ve got to check them out! This site has 200+ shopping sites!

You can find anything from a swing set for your children to enjoy

Naturally Playful Playhouse Climber & Swing Extension

Or a cast iron dutch oven that you’ve wanted for a LONG time,

2-Quart Round French Oven in Cherry

Or maybe you have your eye on some new furniture.


Whatever is on your need or want list, for your home and office, CSN carries it.

Now here’s the great part! CSN has contacted me and offered one of my U.S. or Canadian readers a $35 gift certificate (this doesn’t cover shipping costs) for any product from any of the CSN sites.

For a chance to win the gift certificate all you need to do is leave me a comment by Sunday, 8:00 pm EST.

Want to win…Go Comment! :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This Just Ain’t Gonna Cut It


Yesterday I thought my phone line had issues again.

Anytime we have a lot of rain or snow we get a horrible buzzing in our line which eventually erases all traces of a dial tone.

Yesterday it buzzed so loudly I about lost my hearing when I went to use it.  I used my tracphone with dwindling minutes to call the phone company. I did a little dance when she told me the repair man was in the area and would come to fix it.

Rod (yes we’re on a first name basis…that happens when you have a bad line), spent an hour trying to track down the problem because its ALWAYS been outside in the line. But, he ended up inside this time and we eventually tracked it down to the modem in my computer.

UGH! The modem I had just replace a month and a half ago.

Good news the computer shop in town replaced the bad modem for free.

Bad news after I loaded and installed it, I am only getting 36 bps.  That’s ten slower than before.

Not a good thing for a girl who has a thing for blog reading and photography.

SOOOOO! Tomorrow I call my internet provider. If they can’t help me I will have to resort to calling the computer shop and possibly having it looked at AGAIN!

Just thought I would let you know why I am not reading and commenting. As soon as I get a bit more speed behind me I’ll be back in the ring! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011




I have a school dreamer. This is not a boy dreaming of doing school, quite the opposite. This is a boy that spends his schooling moments dreaming of future adventures or some such thing.  Honestly, I’m not sure what is running through his mind when I find him in this stupor. All I know is that it isn’t his math work he’s dwelling on!

A lack of motivation seems to settle upon him at times. Other times it is lack of concentration.

This is not a new development in our homeschooling journey. It is one I have dealt with before in my other boys.  Ten years of homeschooling will do that for you!  It tends to give you resources for dealing with schooling/life issues.

I was talking to my sister the other day and she was having some attention/motivation issues with her son. So I decided that I would share some of the things I have done over the years to help alleviate the dreamer syndrome.

First, it is very important to know your child.  Are they staring out the window because their work is too hard or maybe because it is too easy?  Frustration and boredom can be precursors to daydreaming.  If you find this to be part of the reason for lack of motivation then either, a) go back over the work until they understand it or, b) challenge them with something more at their level.

If the school work isn’t a problem, but the attitude is, then this is what I have done…

  • When my dyslexic son was younger I would give him breaks after 30 minutes of work. If he wasn’t concentrating he didn’t receive these breaks. Therefore, it taught him to work hard and persevere because he knew if he did, he would receive a break of 10-15 minutes to spend playing.
  • These days I am teaching my 3rd grade son to use his time wisely. I tell him often he is responsible for how quickly and efficiently he gets his daily work done.  In the past I would set next to him and remind him OFTEN to keep working. Not anymore! Now I just keep my lips sealed and let him sit. It didn’t take him long to figure out he was wasting his time!  The first time he saw his brother finish his work and head off to play while he still had quite a bit left to do fixed him!
  • Now if you have a young student who requires you to help them through their lessons, but refuses to concentrate and do the work, this is my suggestion…WALK AWAY!  Walk away and leave him sit.  Tell him you will come and help him when he is ready to do the work.  Until then he can just sit.  Make sure there is nothing in front of him but his lesson and pencil. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to cajole your son/daughter to do their work.  I say, don’t!  It can only create anger.  I always made sure my sons knew it was their choice.  They could sit there as long as they wished, but they would still have to do their work before they could be dismissed from the table.
  • Another option is an incentive. For younger students this works well. Give them a certain amount of work to accomplish. If they do a good job and keep motivated reward them with a small snack.  My boys used to LOVE this!

Finally, I just want to add that you don’t want your children rushing through their work and not understanding it.  In our homeschool, they are not dismissed until I have corrected their work for the day.  I have them sit or stand right next to me while I correct their work. In this way we can work on the mistakes and make corrections where needed. Not only does this help control sloppy work, but it helps me know if they have a solid understanding of what they are learning.

What about you? Do you have any solutions for daydreaming?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Inheritance of Beauty by Nicole Seitz~ Book Review



The Inheritance of Beauty by Nicole Seitz is a work of fiction based around a married couple who are spending their remaining days in a nursing home.  While they are there a mysterious package arrives that takes both Maggie and George back to the days of their childhood, a time they have tried to bury and forget.

I personally would not place the label of Christian Fiction on this book since I didn’t feel it stated strong beliefs in God or Christian faith, but I still enjoyed it.  I especially liked Nicole Seitz’s style of writing. She takes her main characters and uses them to help the reader see their present and past circumstances through their daily life and memories from the past. With the memories and inner thoughts of her characters, she weaves the story line. Usually I find myself guessing the climax of the story, but with The Inheritance of Beauty, I was surprised by the outcome. That in itself was a nice change!

If your looking for a book that speaks of love that remains strong even when the beauty of youth has long gone, with intriguing mystery thrown in,  then I think this book would be one that you would enjoy.

*Thomas Nelson Publishing provided me with a complimentary copy of this book. I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Simply Saturday~ 02/05



Welcome to Simply Saturday!  Would you like to participate?  Grab your camera and take a picture of anything that speaks to you of simplicity and/or home. Your post can be as wordy or as wordless as you like. You decide!  Then come back here and link up. 

You are free to copy and paste the Simply Saturday button at the top of this post onto your blog.  And while your at it do you mind linking to my blog on your post, just to let others know where we are gathering! Thanks! :)


This week I chose to take a picture of the herbs that are sitting in my dining room window.  I love to use fresh herbs in my cooking the freshness reminds me of my summer gardens. And the bit of green in my window sill reminds me of spring. Just a simple touch that makes my home special to me! 

I’m beginning to get the gardening itch. I have about 12 seed catalogues stacked by my bed. I have been dreaming and circling and dog earing pages. AHHHH! I can’t wait to get in my gardens!


Please don’t look too closely, my Rosemary seems to have attracted a bet of dust and house fuzzies! I’m not sure where those would have come from since I AM a specialist in the realm of dusting (or not)!  Guess I need to use a bit more of that Rosemary to keep it from collecting swirling dust!

Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to type in the exact link for your blog post. And visit a few of the other ladies who link up and leave a comment for them, you know spread around the comment LOVE!

So…show me what you got!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011



It is a grand joke where my husband works that whenever bad weather arrives all the kids except for those who attend Juniper Hills Academy (our homeschool) will get a day off from school.

Yeah…I guess I’m known for being a stickler.

We have NEVER taken a snow day, but something weakened in me on Tuesday when I promised the kids that if we got A LOT of snow they could have Wednesday off.  The weather man didn’t lie.  We got quite a bit of snow and a WHOLE lot of blowing and drifting. 



Sometimes even homeschool kids need a snow day.

 valentines activities

So, we spent the day making yarn hearts and rock candy and sugar cookies and home made rolls.

When we weren’t being crafty or busy stirrin’ up something in the kitchen, we were being lazy.

But, hey, that’s what snow days are for…Right!

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