Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Her eyesight is almost gone. Her body shifted and twisted by age. Each month seems to bring  more physical road blocks and further fatigue.

I stand in the kitchen scrubbing specks of dried food off of her salt shaker.

I wipe and scrub and listen.

In the other room there is a soft, high little girl voice mingling with a slower, steady, elderly woman’s voice.

They’re playing babies.

Every other Friday my daughter packs a bag full of her little miniature baby dolls and we head to Wanda’s house.

“What’s your baby’s name?” Wanda inquires


“Al? Isn’t that a boys name?”

“No, Alice,” my daughter speaks just slightly louder.

“Well, I guess if you want, Al can be a girls name.”

I walk by, smile at my daughter, and we both giggle.





The conversation blooms from there with escapades to the grocery store and dollies that Wanda insists need clothing. And comments interjected at random; “What! You be careful you can’t toss your baby around like that. You’ll hurt her!”

As I clean the kitchen I look at the old brown sink with hard water stains and rust. There’s no water softener to lessen the effects of hard country well water. It builds up leaving its trace every point where water touches.

No water softener is just part of her era.

Simplicity and tenacity.

Staring at her sink brings memories of her stories.

When she was newly married and for years after, she lived upstairs in her mother-in-laws house.  She wasn’t allowed to use her mother-in-laws kitchen and so she would cook meals on a hot plate in the upstairs of that old farm house. Tough times.

No children ever graced her home and I know that was heart ache for her.  She has a mother’s heart.

In the 1960’s she weathered a nasty tornado all by herself.  With nowhere to go she chose to hide under the kitchen table. When it was all over all that remained of her house was the kitchen table she was clinging to. The house I clean now is a result of that destructive storm, small and modest ranch, replacing farm house.

Perfect for the years that followed.

As I clean her house I am struck by the sparseness of her belongings.  Wanda hasn’t amassed material goods.  Her lifestyle has always been simple.

It is uncluttered by society’s cry for MORE.

I yearn to learn that more and more. My heart cries out for simplicity. And little by little my hands are putting items in deep boxes and closing the lids. It’s long past time to de-clutter. Little by little my heart is learning to de-clutter from all that I keep shoved in there. What truly is important to hide there? Where are my priorities? What is God calling me to? Little by little my mind is clearing. I know He is calling me. I know what He desires of me if only I am willing to de-clutter, to shove out the unnecessary.

It’s time.

Time to take the time.

Time to focus on the simplistic.

Time to rejoice in the Lord.

Time to fully enjoy my family.

Time to take time to smile, laugh, and enjoy.

Time to take the lessons I’ve learned from an older generation and live to the fullest; with little material wealth, my family close to my heart, and God at the head of all I say, do, and believe.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 10/21

This weeks items:  Orange or Pink, Faceless Portrait, View From the Top, Cozy, Stacked

No time for new photos this week, I had to go to the archives.  BUT, these are all pictures that I edited just today, specifically for the hunt.  I’m sure that counts for something, right?!






Faceless Portrait





View From the Top

This was the view from the top of the log slide sand dune on our September vacation.

Vacation Sept 2012-Log Slide-w




In the cooler months the favored cozy spot for Mack is the southern facing sliding glass doors. Nothing is better than your favorite rug and warm sun streaming through the windows.





These sunny flowers were stacked one on top of the other in my dad’s field.





Linked up with Ashley:


Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Again

Small bodies gather around the table and spoon warm oatmeal to fill the hungry places.  We eat and talk as the oldest pounds out a rousing Russian military march on the piano.  And I smile.  It’s Monday again. It’s time to jump back into routine after two days off. I sit and ponder over the weeks menu plan between the talk and the eating. I come up with nary a meal to put on my list before I’m up running water in my bowl and wiping down the counter.

Piano music still floats through the house as the rest of my children head toward their bedrooms to make their beds, pick up and get dressed for the day.  I’m left to think quietly for a moment. And I see the good in this Monday morning.

Running feet pounding up the stairs and a bit of sibling rivalry floats to my ears.  I stop my youngest son who seems bent on teasing his sister and gently reprimand. I turn him around and send him out the door.  The hens are waiting.

It’s a Monday like any other Monday we have spent over the past 11 years of homeschooling, but hard, soul searching events  have come upon our family causing me to treasure these moments even more closely; skewing how I perceive all that is around me.

I need to look deeply, to cherish the childish, because all too soon and oh so easily it can be stripped away. 


Story time 2012-w



Growing up is hard and full of choices, decisions, and ultimately consequences.

Our days and my outlook will never be the same.

But, God is gracious and He is good, a keeper of promises. And He’s showing me the importance of prayer, patience, and trusting in Him. He’s guiding me to an even deeper relationship with him and with my children.

Because time is fleeting…. it has to be now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cookin’ Up a Taste of Autumn

Gray autumn day-1

gray autumn day



When the clouds scud across the steel gray sky and the wind brushes noisily past the windows and the beauty of orange, yellow, and red twirl and float across the Autumn sky, it’s time to bake!


PB baked oatmeal


The other morning it was gray and cold. I couldn’t resist.  I just had to have a warm breakfast even if it meant we started school later than usual.  I had been wanting to try a Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal recipe for a long time.  The moment just presented itself perfectly for whipping up a warm, filling, tasty breakfast.  And I must say this recipe did not disappoint!  My children LOVED this, as did I.  It will definitely be put into the cold months breakfast rotation!


Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal (adapted from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures)

3c quick cooking oats

1/2c brown sugar

1c milk

2T melted butter

2 eggs

2t baking powder

3/4t salt

2t vanilla

1/2c peanut butter

3/4c vanilla yogurt

Mix all ingredients in mixing bowl. Spread into a greased 9x13 in. pan.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 20-25 min or until moist crumbs are left on knife that is inserted near middle.  Serve with a sprinkle of brown sugar and top with milk or half and half.


I’m on the hunt this afternoon to make some wonderful bread and baked goods. I haven’t pinned down what I’m going to make yet, but I will.  Then I’m going to top off my baking spree with a Down Home supper of Salisbury steak (made with ground venison), mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and a loaf of hot homemade bread.

I can’t help myself.  This is what is urging me on.

fall leaves 2012-1

fall leaves 2012-3

queen annes lace and fall colors

fall leaves 2012

bob cat





Sunday, October 7, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 10/07

This weeks items:  Shadow, Keys, Smile, Unedited, Spice




Vacation Sept 2012-L-Au Sable-w




One of the keys to a good vacation is a spoon, a cup, water, and LOTs of sand.

Vacation Sept 2012-L-beach




Farmin’ just makes a guy smile.





My daughter and my parents on our vacation in September.

Vacation Sept 2012-278





This sunset on one of the evenings of our vacation was like spice emptied onto the clouds and reflected in the water.

Vacation Sept 2012-sunset



Linked up with Ashley:


Monday, October 1, 2012

Deep Breath In

Vacation Sept 2012-lake-w


It’s on the verge of unexplainable.

Peace surrounds me.  God is heart and soul close.

I’m home. Surrounded by His beauty.

It settles deep within me.

A continual deep breath in and an increasingly relaxed deep breath out.

A calm. A knowing.

A deep wordless assurance.


Vacation Sept 2012-sunset-w


He is here, He is mine.


Vacation Sept 2012-Lk Superior shore line-w



pictured rocks-1-hd


I don’t know exactly what it is about this particular spot on this great big earth, but I do know that when I am here, surrounded by cold, changeable, powerful water that gives way to shale, stone, dunes, and clinging trees, I feel God is near.  One week a year.  That’s what I get, to explore, to breathe deep, to feel God’s all pervading peace. It spreads out, covers me, wraps around in cozy folds, lifting me up until I know without a doubt that it is God and He is holding me.


Au sable


Often the connection is so immense that I ache when it is time to go home.  This spot, in my heart, is home.  It is ingrained in my soul.  A minute picture of the glory of heaven. This year it was different. I was sad to leave, but ready to head home.  Home, where God is calling me to follow. Where He is calling me to serve.  The place on this great, big earth where He is saying “Come and talk with me” and I am running, with abandon, saying “LORD, I am coming”. (Psalm 27:8)


kids- walking down road


bean harvest


Bible copy-bigger

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