Saturday, March 31, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 04/01

This weeks items: Clouds, Sun Flare, Seven, High Angle, Low Angle



barn and clouds-w

 Sunday Snapshot



Sun Flare

sun flare




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High Angle



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Oh snap

Low Angle

low angle

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Remembering my Memories


January came in snowy and blowy. It was perfect for sledding, cold cheeks, and hot cocoa. I know not everyone enjoys winter, but I most definitely do. I love that where I live we get four distinct seasons. It keeps things lively and you just never know what your gonna get!  It always puts a smile on my face to watch my kids go sledding. I remember when my sisters and I would spend hours out in the snow.  We would make a couple of tracks and then go down them again and again, making them icy fast. I’m sure we went at least 60 mph and the G forces were impressive! We nick named the hill at the front of our house su*cide hill. It was steep, super fast and ended with a bunch of swamp brush that was so thick it would launch you off the sled if you didn’t dive off before impact.

These days I live on the edge by watching my children from the window with a steaming cup of coffee in my hand!

Sledding 2012

February came cold and not much happened. It’s usually that way. It’s the sort of month when you have finally had enough of winter and all you can think of is spring. Enough of the dull and hurry up with the color.  I actually did a photo shoot in February for a senior in my home. That was interesting!  I’ll have to post about it at some point.  I took the photo below on the day of the shoot. I needed to check my white balance and set up my speed light. So of course I needed a model. Thankfully she most often is very willing to do this for me!



February was also the month of  her first lost tooth. The night it came out she was fussing because it hurt. I looked at it and it was barely hanging on.  I told her to grab me some tissues.  She did but she was starting to get a bit panicked she did not want me to pull it out. I reassured her I was just going to see how loose it was.  I got a hold of it with the tissue gave a minute tug and out it popped. Her tears turned to amazement and unbelief. Too funny!


first missing tooth-w


March, oh March…it came in warm, hot even. Eighty degree days! Unbelievable. We broke temperature records. When its summer in the winter who can resist puddle jumping and stream exploring.  Mud and smiles have been worn with regularity. Frogs are peeping, bugs are emerging, and flowers are blooming.  We are soaking up all this glorious sun and inhaling deeply all the fresh spring scent we can hold. It’s a wonderful, perfect gift!






Three months into the new year and I’d say we’re making some pretty good memories!


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******these aren’t necessarily my favorite pictures of my children from the past three months, but they definitely are some of my favorite memories.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Early Arrival

They are the first to arrive on the scene. Pushing their way through darkness, cold, and resistance. Bright spots among dullness and litter. They defy the cold, push aside the discarded remnants of winter. Tips of green and promise amidst the gray of a long season.

The colorful splashes of spring’s flowers speak of renewal. They throw open their bright heads and chase away the gloom of a too long winter. They dance and bob on increasingly warm breezes and exhale peace and comfort into the wind.

Bright yellow warmth a top life giving green, shoulder to shoulder with broken down, jagged winter stalks.

Side by side.


These early arrivals make me think.

Those stalks they’re the wounded. The hurting, broken people that I know and hear about. People stumbling in darkness, pain, and challenges. People broken down by a long struggle. People seeking, needing, waiting to know the comfort of God.

It’s a challenge from God, I know.

Am I willing to be an early arrival. Willing to be one of the first on the scene. Giving sacrificially of my time and myself to show the love of Christ to the jagged stalks in my garden. Because they are there. The hurt is evident. The scars are visible. The winter has been long and harsh for many.


Am I willing to bring the message of LIFE. To be bold and push through the litter, the resistance, the cold. He’s calling me to bring the warmth of His love to the people I meet, the ones I know, and have known for years and yet I haven’t made the effort to offer myself.

Just this morning I was convicted of this.

We have a neighbor lady who I don’t have much contact with. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I probably have spoken ten words to her in the eleven years I have lived down the road for her. My reasons are selfish. I didn’t have time. 

I didn’t make the time.  I made no effort.

Last week my daughter out of the blue asked me if we could take something down to this lady.  (Never before has she said anything about this lady or asked about her.) I put her off with a maybe.  The horrible truth of it is she not only asked me once, but several times over several days. I hemmed and hawed.

She quit asking.

This morning I found out our neighbor lady was just diagnosed with cancer.

I know now that God was using my daughter. He wanted us to reach out. To be present. To share His love and His greatest gift with a woman who does not know Him as her Savior.

I could have been an a early arrival. I should have been an early arrival.

Today, I’m going to bring a little sunshine into a dark situation. I’m going to breathe God’s love. I will arrive with words the Holy Spirit provides me and a warm loaf of bread to show we care. Because it isn’t to late to share God’s grace, love, and comfort.



Today I’m going to be an early arrival. Showing up in time of need. I will not put it off. I will not declare that someone else will do it. I’m going to push my head through tough ground and come up with a heart and face shining with love and compassion that only Jesus can provide for me and her.

An early arrival easing a bit of the gray sadness and cold uncertainty.  A messenger of Hope, Love, Mercy, Grace and Peace.

It’s what He’s called me and you to do.

Let this not be said of us.


"Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock?
You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock.

You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.

So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.

My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.”   Ezekiel 34:2-6

Let’s not wait. Seasons change too quickly. Moments of opportunity too easily missed.  Let’s go out and be the early arrivals in this world of the hurting, anguished, and unreached.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 03/25

This weeks items: Whimsy, Create, Dust, Seed or Sprout, Swing or Drop



…a fanciful or fantastic device, object or creation.

I think this English Daisy fits that definition. What a fantastic creation! Every petal designed beautifully and perfectly by its Creator.

English Daisy-1

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I have had so much fun creating these color blocks lately! Love all the beautiful palettes that you can come up with using this technique!

flowering almond color block




Seed or Sprout



Swing or Drop



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Thursday, March 22, 2012

If Hanging Out Laundry Makes Me Crazy….

Well, then call me CRAZY!



About a week ago I was telling some ladies how I was happy that I had been able to hang 5 loads of laundry on the line that day.  One of my friends leaned over to another lady and said, “Is she feeling okay?!” 

I laughed because I knew she was just joking.  Not everyone is a laundry hanging fiend.  But, I am! 

I love how it gets me outside for 5-10 minutes in little spurts through out a busy day.

I love how the sun shines on my face and how the birds soothe my mind with their singing.

I love how when I’m out there pinning up the clothes, towels and sheets, God sends peace and quiet reassurance to my soul.

I love how laundry fresh off the line smells. I can bury my face in it, smelling fresh, clean air and warm, comforting sunshine.

Hanging up laundry, a blessing?  You bet.

I know all about the benefits that can be listed of hanging up laundry like using less electricity and thus saving money and helping make a healthier earth.

But, honestly those aren’t the biggest pull for me.  I do like the knowledge that I am lowering our electric bill and in return helping to reduce our bills.

But, that isn’t the main reason I do it.

I do it to feel closer to God. It’s in those moments I can savor the nearness of God. My God who comforts me, strengthens me, guides me and blesses me.

My God who meets me at the clothes line! He likes me being crazy like that!

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Just Can’t Stay Indoors


It’s gorgeous here.

Unseasonably so.

Daffodils are blooming. Highly unheard of around here.

My Irises and Lilies are well above the ground.

The leaves on my Lilac are opening.




The Pussy Willows are all fuzzy and in the past couple of days have become chartreuse in color. When I look out the back windows of my house. The swamp is alive with fuzzy spring color. 

 pussy willows-w


It is so beautiful here, with temps near 80 degrees, we are outside hours upon hours.

There has been frog catching.



Steam exploring.


stream-2 stream-3 stream-kids


Laundry hanging.

Blueberry and Strawberry gardening.

Seed and sprout tending.

And evenings spent playing “Barnyard Basketball”.  A game Mr. Hollywood made up…an anything goes sort of basketball game!


boys boys-1 boys-2


AHHHH!  Spring.

We’re sorta holding onto our hats, though.

We may pay dearly for all this warm weather so early.  I’m praying no hard frosts or freezes come our way.

One last photo (or two), because I love how these crab apples are still holding on! What tenacity!  A great reminder for me on the days when I feel like giving up and tossing in the filthy, well-used towel. Hang on. Hold tight. Fresh, new days are coming.





Saturday, March 17, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 03/18

This weeks items:  Vintage, Word or quote, Nature’s own, People, Photographer’s choice



On every old farm there used to be a dump. Where I live now is part of what used to be my grandparents farm and this farm is no exception.  The boys went exploring in the old dump spot the other day and found this old bleach bottle. Now I just need to see if I can clean it up!



Word or Quote



Nature’s Own

The unseasonably warm weather has made everything POP! We have many Pussy Willow trees behind our house and the other afternoon I slipped on my flip flops (some boy commandeered my rubber boots) rolled up my pant legs and slowly worked my way through the swamp and briars so I could get some shots of these beauties.

pussy willow-1-w


Two of my favorites!



Photographer’s Choice

My middle son went frog hunting the other day and I just had to get a shot of this cool guy. What I really love is the reflection of my kids in the frogs eye!


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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homeschooling in the Trenches

It was gloomy here yesterday.

Not only out my window, but in my soul.

School spiraled down the tubes and I frantically grasped at the splintering shreds of it. Frustration and failure mounted in my chest.

How could it be that my two strugglers. My two peas in a pod, separated by 8 years and of different genders, could both have blank brains yesterday.

My daughter couldn’t remember any of the her short vowel sounds, which she previously knew quite well. And her numbers, oh my goodness, how could she not remember these when we have been going over them for so long.

My son needed extra guidance, time with just him and me side by side digging in deep, and a bit of pep talk.

It was a tough day. I wanted to cry and tear my hair out in frustration, simultaneously. I wanted to have learning come easily to my children.

I wanted to NEVER hear again about other people’s children who, “LOVE school and are excelling way beyond their grade level and their peers….and its all because they are homeschooled.”

Yesterday, those words that I had heard AGAIN over the weekend came back and slapped me hard in the heart. Those are not my children. Those are not my days. And that is not my life.

It isn’t easy around here. It is a struggle and often there is little joy in all these big mountains we are climbing.

And I could have sank down low and got covered in the muck, but I remembered these words from my dear friend, Kristin…..


“Once, a few years ago, I was talking to a sweet homeschooled girl. And she mentioned all that she was doing and how advanced it was. She also mentioned that it was why after being at a private Christian school, her parents brought her that she and her siblings wouldn't be "held back" by those struggling kids.
It was very innocent. made me cringe a little.
"Those" kids that would hold her back, would be my boys. At least some of them anyways. And it made me hurt for them.
Our world defines success by grades...
Test scores....
College options....
Financial success....
And so on.
And as the mother of 3 boys.
There worth will be measured by others perception of success. And I worry so much... that the voice they hear, won't be mine.
Or Gods.
The one they hear, will be the worlds voice and in turn, they will feel inadequate.
Our oldest has dyslexia and dysgraphia.
It's tough.
Our next one, probably does as well, but milder in my opinion.
We haven't had him tested. little guy....just like his oldest brother at this stage and age.
I can't think about it a lot, though.
I just "do" today.
My oldest is so embarrassed and ashamed.
He thinks he is stupid.
He is not.
I worry.
He worries.
It breaks my heart.
And his.
That's our big hurdle right now.
I know part of the reason he came home was, because he was tired of trying to please his teachers and keep up with his classmates. We picked the school we did for it's learning center and it's emphasis on dyslexic teachings. It was a 30 minute drive, cost a fortune, and seemed to be the best option. I didn't think I was qualified to teach him in the least.
And now that he is home. We see that it was a mistake. I should have brought him home long ago. We have so much work to do and so little time. He needs almost as much of my time as my third grader. These last few weeks have been grueling.
Oh the rewards.
The softening of my boy.
The guard coming down.
The relationship building.
The time.
The love.
His help around here.
The conversations.
All of it.
My husband just wants us to do our best with his "school work", but....what we are really focusing on. Is life skills and relationships. Does that make sense?
And you know?
I feel God deepening me and refining me more through homeschooling, than at any other time. We are all being tested on our faith, endurance and grace with each other. Never have I ever felt so alive, exhausted, and right with Jesus as I do right now.
I have such peace.
This is where I am supposed to be.
This is what i am supposed to do.
These boys....
They are mine and I am theirs.
I am their mama, and I will fight for them to the end.
They may not fit "the world view" of success.
But, by Gods grace, and my love and determination they will fit HIS!
I am so with you.
All the way.
I get it.
All of it!”




Oh, these words they wrap around my heart and lift me up. These words from a kindred friend remind me I’m not in this alone. And it’s okay. By God’s grace, strength, love and compassion my children will be molded into just who He wants them to be.

Thank you Lord, for friends who understand. Friends who get it. Friends who turn my sorrow around and help me remember to focus on God, because He created my children just the way He wanted them. Because He has GRAND plans for their lives and it isn’t some cookie cutter life. It’s an awesome adventure planned out solely by their loving Heavenly Father. Thank you Lord Jesus, for friends who remind me of what this Momma’s mission truly is, to point my children to the Father of Lights, their Savior, their companion, their CHAMPION!


I’m climbing out of the trenches and scaling the mountain. Because God is making champions in my home today.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 03/11


This weeks items: Water, Light, Chocolate, Animal, Crowded



Down at the pond we have these really cool looking seed heads. I just love all the detail in them, so I plucked one out of the ground and stuck it in the mud at the edge of the pond.

Winter weed at the pond-w


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Oh snap


After I got my photos from the pond loaded on my computer I was happily shocked to see that I had captured the sun rays!  WOW! Not sure how I did it, but I love it!








Loved the stance of this Black Cap Chickadee. He was getting ready for flight when I captured this.

blackcap chickadee-w


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Berries on a Juniper bush packed in tight.

juniper berries



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