Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Forever and Ever Love

I remember when I was dating Joel how I couldn’t wait to be able to do his laundry, to cook his meals, to keep his house.   I waited impatiently to care for him exclusively.  I wanted to meet his every need.  I just knew in my heart I would never tire of taking care of him.

Oh how I wish that were the end of the story, but I do not live a fairytale life.

Some where along the line the novelty wore off.  The thrill of keeping my own house became more of a chore.  I didn’t get immense pleasure out of folding my husband’s laundry.  I impatiently served. I selfishly viewed it as tedious work. I lost sight of the importance of my work.  I buried the joy of serving. I put my own desires before loving him. I soon talked myself into the believing it was just easier to disconnect rather than put so much effort into my marriage. Married life was not what I had envisioned. I felt alone most of the time and I slowly almost imperceptibly began to dislike doing anything extra for my husband.

As a young girl, I foolishly thought this would never happen to me.  I thought I would forever and ever love taking care of my husband.  I thought I would always find it exciting and fulfilling.  And because I was naïve and thought love should be all bubbles and rainbows, I quit trying to find the joy in serving my beloved husband. I

Giving in to selfishness was the worst thing I could ever do.  My love began to fade.  I saw all the annoyances in his behavior.  I desired less and less to do that little extra for him.  It became a sense of duty.  Gone was the joy, the happiness, the thrill I had once felt for caring for my soul mate. 

Complacency and selfishness can be such killers.  Killers of love.  Killers of decency.  Killers of giving.  Killers of commitment.  Killers of grace.

Eventually, God brought me to my senses. He shook me awake. He showed and is still showing me my tendency to be quite selfish.

Praise God, He is a God of Love.  He restored my love.

He is guiding me.  He is helping me to find the joy in serving my husband.  He is reminding me that it is a privilege to fold laundry for my husband. He is showing me ways to go farther, to do more, to meet the needs Joel has.  He is giving me a deeper, stronger, amazing love for my man.

The thrill, the electricity, the love, the desire to meet Joel’s every need is back.  As I look to God to guide me, He gently takes my heart in his hands and infuses into it the love that seeped out.  He is showing me that He has created me to serve.  I have learned I cannot put myself first and be truly happy.  To experience joy I must give of myself.  To know my forever and ever love I must give my heart to serving even when it is difficult.


“….serve one another in love.”  Ephesians 5:13

“….if anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides…” I Peter 4:10

Monday, June 27, 2011

Perfect Little Model

Have I ever told you how MUCH I love child photography!  I rank it right up their with nature photography. LOVE IT!  This past weekend I had a photo shoot with my good friend Jenny’s daughter.  She was the perfect little model!  Take a look at these and I bet you’ll swoon over her beautiful brown eyes, wavy hair and gorgeous smile.  And to beat all that she was so helpful and even thought up a pose herself!  She is a treasure!  A precious little girl with a sweet, beautiful heart!









Thanks for the wonderful time Miss “M”!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Scavenger Hunt~ 06/26

This weeks items: Windows/doors, Eyelashes, Paint, Leaf veins, Faceless portrait.





Exploring with a camera 







Leaf Veins

leaf veins


Faceless Portrait

sis in field-w


For more Scavenger Hunt photos head on over to Ashley’s

scavenger hunt

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On Strawberries, Summer, and Miscellany Flower Shots



Well, after three trips to the berry patch (one in which I only helped pick for others, just in case you think we must be Strawberry gluttons;), I think we are finally done with the storing up process for Strawberries.  Seven batches of jam are sitting in the deep freeze.  And 13 quart bags of whole berries have joined the jars.  There was enough for fresh eating and a tasty shortcake, too

Strawberry picking, Strawberry jamming, Strawberry freezing…Check, check, check…DONE!

It feels good to check it off the list.

On other news, summer is here and along with it many, many weeds.  My garden is calling me and I must be more diligent about relieving it of all the crab grass and other pesky weeds that insist on invading.  I don’t like to use chemicals on my garden so it’s up to me, my hoe and an occasional rotor tilling. It’s hard work ya’ll!  Then there’s the potato beetles that are chewing away at my Potato plants and Eggplants.  I have been picking them off by hand and squishing them between a couple of rocks. And also destroying any eggs I find on the undersides of the leaves.  I’m not sure if I’m winning the war or not.  Those buggers multiply so fast. I’m hoping not to have to resort to an insecticide.  Any suggestions from all you gardeners out there?

I have been enjoying lots of tea the past few weeks.  There’s nothing like it on a super, hot, sticky day. I make a quart jar for myself EVERY day!  I just stick in a regular black tea bag and then a flavored tea bag.  Lately it has been either, Country Peach Passion, Bavarian Wild Berry or Peppermint.  I fill the jar half way with boiling water, and I let the bags steep and steep some more, because I don’t want any weak tea passing through my lips!  Once I think it has steeped long enough (30 minutes or more depending on how patient I can be) I fill the jar the rest of the way with ice.  MMMM!


beads of condensation

My herb garden that I planted in my front flower garden is coming along SLOWLY.  I wish it was doing better.  I have some natural fertilizer that I bought from Gardens Alive.  I think I will apply a bit more of that and see if it doesn’t perk up all those plants I so lovingly started in March.  If I get it to flourish I will take a picture!

In that very same flower bed grows a bit of this.


bell fkower-w foxglove peony-w


My many flowers which make me very happy.  What a blessing!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scavenger Hunt~ 06/19

This weeks items: Emotion, From a Flowers Point of View, Natural Frame, Letters, Bliss



sis tear-w

From a Flowers Point of View

Bee and rose-w

Exploring with a camera

Natural Frame






There’s nothing like scraping out the last bits of homemade Strawberry Jam….pure Bliss!

sis and jelly



scavenger hunt

For more great photos head on over to Ashley’s!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Busy as a Bee

Coneflower and bee-w


Yep, that’s been me lately.  I’m not usually an overly busy person, but the last few weeks have got my head spinning.

I’ve been…

  • creating a custom photo for a clients web-site
  • writing Sunday School material for Union Gospel Press
  • editing a photo shoot
  • weeding a monstrously weedy garden
  • visiting my brother and his family
  • writing for At The Well
  • weeding and transplanting in my main flower garden
  • picking, freezing and jamming (not a word, I know!), Strawberries
  • organizing and helping to run a Christian Children’s Softball league (very laid back with games only for six weeks on Mondays)
  • AND doing all the other motherly and household things that I do.

So, if I miss a post or two of yours please forgive me.  Something has to give before my head whirls clean off my shoulders!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Combating Sassy Mouth Syndrome

Sassy talking children and me just don’t mix. Hearing little mouths with bad attitude has always sat wrong with me. The tone of disrespect is like nails on a chalkboard.  It’s just WRONG!  As a young mother, I vowed to never have a sassy mouth in my home. Imagine my surprise when 4 years ago one was born into my family.  Shock and disillusionment followed.  How could I, the mother of 3 boys who I taught diligently to watch their tongues, now be harangued by a sassy, princess child?

The sass and attitude snuck up on me.  It blind-sided me.  Me, the momma, who promised to always have respectful children, now had a girl-child who thought she was the queen mother…..


To read more of my latest article head here At The Well.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Scavenger Hunt~ 06/12

Long Exposure

f/5.6 at 1/2s  ISO 200

vintage kitchen tools-1




gas pump


lily of the valley



Mulberries in the making




Childhood Memory

These were my dolls when I was a little girl and I have wonderful memories of the hours my sister and I spent playing together with our Strawberry Shortcake dolls.



scavenger hunt

For more blogs participating in Scavenger Hunt Sunday head on over to Ashely’s.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

In Just a Glance

I glanced in the mirror the other day while I was helping my daughter brush her teeth. Like electricity, a thought flitted through my mind. It was like a floundering spark there one minute gone the next, yet still hot to the touch. 

Just for a split second, in the time it took to take a glance, I was shocked that I was a mom of four. Me?  How?  When?

Sweeping the floor the kitchen floor one evening, a chore I repeat repeatedly, a thought like the wind blew through my brain.  Me, 38, domestic and with a family depending on me.  When did this happen? It is true?

Out in the garden, planting rows of corn, my mind wanders back.  I wonder what the boys in high school would think of me now?  Bare feet coated in garden dust, frizzy hair swirly around my beet red, moisture-beaded face.  I’m sure they would never have envisioned my future this way.  Can I?

How can this be?  When did time rush past me at the speed of light. How can my 14-year-old be way bigger than me when I held him in my arms only yesterday. How can I be as old as I am?  When did life as I know it happen?

Am I the only one who has these shocking, quick moving, stop you in your track thoughts?  They leave me speechless.  In a nano-second of time its like I’m standing outside myself and wondering how in the world I got where I am. Then just as quick I’m telling myself yes your life is your reality.

And this reality…I chose it!

So where does the shock of being a countrified,  homeschool mom of four come from?  I don’t rightly know.  But, time certainly is playing tricks.

Because only yesterday….

I was teaching preschool and knowing deep in my heart I needed to be home with my baby.

I had a baby on my hip and a toddler wrapper around my ankles.

I had a deep desire to live in the country.

I couldn’t garden big enough.

I started homeschooling (going on 10 years ago).

I became a momma again and again.

IMG_7245 (photo courtesy of Megan Kunkle)

And then time swept me up, twirled me around and presented me with a growing, changing, more independent, no more diapers kind of family.

In those quick, spontaneous glances, I may be shocked now and then that I am a momma to four. Time seems to have slipped through my fingers like so many grains of sand.  The days are changing us.  Yet, in those glances, in these days, there is satisfaction.

I’m right where I want to be. I’m here by God’s design and that’s just fine by me.

Just don’t ask me about it in that mere nano-second…who knows what I’m likely to say!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Thick Enough….

It is a warm one hear today.  It’s not even 10:00am and the humidity is bearing down on us.  It’s harder to breathe and I think I could almost slice it up with a knife it feels so thick! 

We are standing strong here and refusing to turn on the air.  Goodness its only the beginning of June and if the air conditioning is turned on it elevates our electric bill to nose bleed heights! 

Therefore, we say NO! 

However, a little voice inside me keeps peeping, Yes! 

Yes it would be lovely not to be sweating while typing this post.  Yes it would be wonderful to be able to take a deep breath.  Yes it would be great to be able to cook a meal or wash the dishes without feeling like I’m going to melt into a puddle. Yes it would be so nice to not feel sticky and hot and sticky. 

No, No, No, I say!  We will not turn on the air.  And anyway…the boss man said not yet.  And if I close up the windows I can’t hear the sweet melodies of the birds.  And if I close up the windows I can’t smell summer even if it is humid and thick.  And I grew up without air conditioning, I can do this, I will not weaken. So see I’m standing strong.  I can talk myself right into this and my knees are only slightly weak from the intense heat!

And this my friends is my genius piece on summer humidity and air conditioning. 


Your Welcome!


And because I can’t post without a picture, it’s sorta like an illness with me, how about this one….

sweet pea-w

Now I’m off to bake some bread before I swelter clear outta my MIND! :)  Yeah, I’m a glutton for punishment!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Scavenger Hunt~ 06/05

This weeks items:  Hot, Hot, Hot,  Finding Form, Front Page News, Chore, Beads

Hot, Hot, Hot

Hot day equals pink cheeks and one toasty little girl.

sis-summer 2011


Finding Form

water pump black and white


Exploring with a camera



Front Page News




Sometimes on really hot, muggy days my garden can feel like a chore.




of condensation

 ice tea-w



For more Scavenger Hunt photos head on over to Ramblings and Photos.

scavenger hunt

Friday, June 3, 2011

This and That and a Springtime Recipe


On Memorial Day Joel took the older two boys and went on an all day fishing trip.  That left me and the younger two to fend for ourselves.  It was a super hot and muggy day.  We didn’t have any plans and so we held a picnic, in our yard.

It’s such a simple thing.  Yet my children love it.  They grabbed a blanket and found a shady spot.  We gathered together our lunch and I let them have a pop for a special treat.

picnic picnic-1 picnic-4

We talked and chatted.  We ate fruit with toothpicks.  We got sticky and flicked ants off the blanket.

picnic-5 picnic-2 picnic-3

Even in all its simplicity my children couldn’t stop talking about how much fun they had.  I love how excited they get over a change as simple as a picnic lunch in our yard.

In other news I finally got three rows of corn planted.  My garden is slowly coming along. Joel set our oldest son to rotor tilling the garden for me.  It seemed so strange to me to see him out there doing something that Joel has always done before.  It hit me just how old he is and how much he has grown and how he is getting closer to being a man.  Jeez!  My heart was full of pride and just a bit of sorrow watching him being so grown up.


Now on to that recipe….

I love that with spring comes Asparagus!  I love it sautéed in a little bit of butter.  I love it in pasta salads. And I really love it in soup!

Creamy Asparagus Soup…. Oh MY!

asparagus soup

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

5-6 cups asparagus cut into 1/4” pieces

1 quart chicken broth

1 cup water

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

8 oz fat free cream cheese

4 Tablespoons sour cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dill weed or 1 Tablespoon fresh dill

nutmeg (optional)

Sauté onion, garlic and asparagus.  Add to Large pot, broth, water, garlic, asparagus, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until asparagus is tender.  In a blender or food processor place cream cheese, sour cream, dill, salt and 2/3 of  the asparagus.  Cover and process until smooth.  Return to pan and reheat.  Sprinkle with nutmeg when served if desired.

(recipe originally from Taste of Home altered slightly by me.)


Even my daughter who dislikes asparagus LOVES this soup.  I actually puree the whole thing so that there aren’t any chunks.  If it helps her like the soup, then I’m all for it!

Oh and by the way the title for the Recipe is Creamy Asparagus Soup you can leave off the OH MY or include it, the choice is entirely yours! :)   Personally, I’m all for the OH MY….it’s that good!

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