Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life in bullets



  • The boys have been busy…. very busy!

               ~ It’s been interesting to see the shift from Joel being the one bringing home all the deer, to him stepping aside, sitting with the the younger boys, and letting them take the shots.

  • The boys were very involved this year in the butchering.  Butchering 101 took place in the barn and the boys all dove right in.  The oldest two actually skinned a deer by themselves one afternoon while Joel was on a fire call.  We were all impressed at their ability and gumption.
  • Assembly line packaging cut down on the amount of time it took to process the deer.  Joel has definitely gotten it down to a science.
  • Our freezer is now full to the very top with venison… thank you Lord for Your provision!





  • Our days have been full to overflowing with learning.
  • There have  been many moments of life lessons.
  • Moments of relational lessons
  • Times of Spiritual lessons.
  • And many hours of school lessons.


  • We have been learning how to count money, add, subtract, and read.

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School-4-SycamoreLane Photography


  • Learning how to do fractions, Roman numerals,  converting, and percentages.


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  • Learning how to read bigger words with fluency.

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School-3-SycamoreLane Photography



  • Learning all about American History… while running a hot wheels car over your hair.  I’m sure there is some scientific reasoning behind this! If I asked him he would probably say something like this:  the friction from the tires cause the brain cells to accelerate into super cell mode and therefore enhances history learning capabilities.



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  • And most importantly we’re learning how to be who God has called us to be… a family who serves, loves, and works together.


Kids Christams photo shoot 2012-6-SycamoreLane Photography

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Truly Thankful

Sometimes words just can’t convey how deeply thankful I am.


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autumn fog-2012-hd


Nouns, adjectives, and verbs cannot fully capture the beauty of what the Lord gifts to me daily.




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Words aren’t strong enough to express the gratefulness in my heart even for the difficult, heart wrenching event of this autumn. Because even in the ugly, even in the breaking, even in the emotionally gripping, HE IS GOOD!




He is provider.


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autumn glory- SycamoreLane Photography


He is Lover and He is beyond mere words.


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Vacation Sept 2012-sunset-1


For every bit, for each moment, for every breath, I am thankful.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I sit on my knees on top of the counter.  Camera in hand. Gazing out the window above the kitchen sink.  A blazing red orb sinks leaving a trail of pink-orange through the bare black arms of the trees.  I have to capture it.  God is here in this moment. Providing me a deep breath, a glimpse of His glory.  A whisper in my heart, comfort for my soul.


Sun through antique glass- A Country Girl's Ramblings


I caught the colors out of the corner of my eye on my way out to the mudroom. It’s the last night of Bible Study.  The last night of leading a wonderful group of ladies through Ann Voskamp’s, One Thousand Gifts.  I can’t pass up this moment. God is calling.

I grab my camera, hike my leg up, climb onto the counter, adjust my settings, and the breath leaves my chest.

It’s Beauty flowing through my window, right to my very soul.

The day had been a rush of self imposed anxiety. There are parts in the 11th chapter of Ann’s book that I know have created controversy.  Words that are so intimate that some have taken them the wrong way.  I wonder what the thoughts of the ladies in my group would be. The ultra conservative voices from my past threaten to strangle.  And the enemy grinned.

Oh how foolish.

It’s not about what other’s think or how they might read into or twist Ann’s words or even their innocent well meaning opionions.  I had fallen head long into old habits, again.

Those words of Ann’s spoke to me. Reminding me of my own heart to heart,  soul experience with God.

It’s about a heart that is sold out to Christ. It’s about the Spirit moving, molding, and using me. It’s about pure and un-muddied intimacy with Christ. Soul to soul.  Not Ann’s alone, but thousands of others and mine.


sun through antique glass-3- A Country Girl's Ramblings



sun through antique glass-1- A Country Girl's Ramblings


I hear the age old whisper, “I will quiet you with my love.” (Zeph 3:17 NIV)  Words He uses to soothe my soul. Verse that I’ve hidden in my heart for over a year now. One I cling to when the fear rears its ugly head.

As I watch the sun slipping down He reminds me that “He is mighty to save. He takes great delight in me… He rejoices over me with singing.” (Zeph 3:17)  The display out my window testifies to it all. This is His song over me.  Color drenched love that soothes my soul.

I am His and He is mine.

Calm floods over me as I sit perched on the counter.  An odd place to meet God, maybe… but it is where He has called me to commune with Him.  And I am so utterly grateful! Once again He looses the chains and I am free!

I climb down, making my way out the door.  Heart assured.  He is with me!  His words, His wisdom, His guidance they are with me.  And any discussion tonight will be flooded with His very presence.

God is GOOD!

My throat forms words of thanksgiving and I know I have sat on my counter top and experienced the presence of the Lord! 




sun through antique glass-2 words- A Country Girl's Ramblings

Monday, November 12, 2012


Days are just happening over here.  They come, then slip right through my fingers.

I never imagined the amount of time and dedication it would take to teach a 10th grader, an 8th grader, a 5th grader, and a 1st grader. The school struggles and special needs sometimes feel way above my capability. There’s a few things that have me scratching my head, wondering what our next step should be.

One thing I’m positive about is that it won’t be a step backwards. And it won’t be a step towards public schooling. We are in this together for the long haul and we will conquer this together.

I have been doing a fair amount of researching and brain storming this fall. I’m am completely dedicated to providing the BEST education for my children.

At times it just leaves me breathless.  I am in charge of a whole lot here!

Responsibility is a big word and carries quite a bit of weight.




But, some days what looms even bigger, now that I am raising teenagers, is the issue of their hearts. Being a teenager is tough and sometimes raising a teenager can be even tougher! Above all else I want my children to live for Christ. I desire for them to have a fire within them to serve the Lord. And so that has become my daily prayer.

In the moments of bickering and bad attitudes I often forget the goal.  I get swept up in annoyance, forgetting that my desire is to train their hearts not have robot children who respond at the sound of an angry voice.

I want heart change for my children.




I want them to know that I love them with a never ending love. I want them to know that here in my home they are safe and it is safe to be open and honest. I want them to know and have no doubts that they are a child of God. I want them to be able to go out into this world and stand strong for their belief in a good God.

It’s a crazy world out there and getting crazier by the minute. Here in our protected country home it doesn’t seem so bad and they are exposed to very little. But, bad can seep in anywhere and I need to make sure they know how to fight against that which desires to overcome them.

It really is a battle field. I am beginning to see that more and more.

I’m not backing down.

I am standing in my God given armor. And I’m battling in prayer and the Word for my children.

The Lord goes before He is Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord is my Banner. He’s my fortress and my shield. As I head into battle for my children, prayer warrior and momma soldier, I am proclaiming my children are Christ’s.

He will battle for me. He will make our paths clear.

He will solve daily dilemmas for His good. And He will be our stronghold on the days when they seem to be too much.

God is good all the time.


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Soli Deo Gloria

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 11/11

This Weeks Items:  Nature, Vintage, Whimsical, Cooking, Weeks Best



There is one lone Calendula plant hanging on in my garden. Everything else has been frosted completely off.  But, this bit of sunshine just keeps hanging on!






I have a couple of vintage metal picnic baskets. One was my grandma’s ( yellow and black) and the one in this photo belonged to my mother-in-law, before it found its way to my house. I was going to set up a shot with the old books, picnic basket and apple, but then I had a volunteer… and I couldn’t resist!  So I have a beautiful little model showcasing my vintage picnic basket!




Whimsical (i.e. playful)

We have some pretty funny hens at our place.  As soon as we step foot outside they come to greet us.  I knew we would have to work fast before the girls got interested in what my daughter and I were doing. Six of them followed us out to the field.  Thankfully they got distracted by some weeds and began scratching around just out of frame.  Then we had one become curious.  She was just sure the apple was something for her to eat. She pecked at it a couple of times before she figured out it wasn’t the real deal, just a fake, and she strutted off.


L & chicken-2-w




My men love mashed potatoes and would probably eat them every meal if I let them!


peeled potato



Weeks Best

It has to be one from this afternoons photo shoot.  It was sunny, unseasonably warm and I was hanging out with my favorite girl!





Linked up with Ashley:


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rustic Apple Tart




Rustic Apple Tart



Rustic Apple Tart


1 1/3 c  flour

2 T  sugar

1/4 t salt

1/2 c  butter

13 t  cold water

1/4 t  vanilla


4 cups thinly sliced apples

7 T sugar

3/4 t cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

2 1/2 T flour


Cinnamon sugar mix

Caramel ice cream topping

Combine flour, sugar, and salt; cut in butter until crumbly.  Gradually add water and vanilla, toss with a fork until a ball forms.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Divide dough in half. Roll into 10” circles.  Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheets.  Combine filling ingredients. Spoon over pastry within 2” of edges.  Fold up edges of pastry over filling.  Leaving center uncovered.  Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar over the filling.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Slide onto cooling racks.  Drizzle with caramel; serve warm.


~This recipe is the BEST! The crust is flaky and the filling just right.  It is definitely one of my favorites for topping off a warm, filling, autumn, comfort food meal.












Not a recipe, just loved taking these photos! I was preparing a pomegranate from my children to have for lunch last week (they love them).  The sun was streaming through the kitchen window making them shine like jewels.  I couldn’t resist grabbing my camera and taking photos!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Scavenger Hunt~ 11/04

This weeks items:  Wild, Welcome, Adventure, Vibrant, Classic



He looks calm, but as soon as night falls this guy runs WILD.





Welcome Pumpkin season…. Let the baking begin!

Pumpkin Moon Pie




A good book is always a great adventure.









A classic sunset photo…. now that the leaves are all gone I can finally capture some beautiful winter landscape/sunset shots.




Linked up with Ashley:


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