Thursday, January 28, 2010

the time of my life....

me: snatching a few minutes to sew after the school day was done...

9yo Josiah: "Are you having fun, Mom?"

me: "Oh yes!"

Josiah: "Are you having the time of your life?"

me: pause. "Why yes, yes I am!"

Josiah: "You always have the time of your life, don't you?"

Of course I don't always have "the time of my life," but I'm glad he has that impression anyway!

Havin' the time of my life (usually),

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Project Life Jan. 26th edition


'm really loving the Project Life that I am working on this year.... but I'm *not* happy with my little computer who has most inconveniently decided to quit working not once, not twice, but three times since Friday, necessitating reloading of my files each time. There are few things that frustrate me more than feeling like I am wasting time on my computer. I enjoy using it as a tool, but I really , really dislike feeling like a slave to it.

Thankfully I am up and running again ~ so grateful for Acronis backups and MOZY online backups.

The following are some pictures from our life during the past week which will be slipped into my Project Life album, along with a few notes about the photos. I can already tell that we are going to *love* having this to look back on from this year. (please excuse the photo quality... I had to rescan in photos that were lost when my computer crashed.)

I can see so much more clearly now that I have both little guys and adult children that the things I am certain I will remember from our day-to-day life; I don't remember. And it's getting worse!

::Friday 1/15 This is so typical of 3-year-old Timmy right now: trucks, trucks and more trucks. Lining them up and driving them all manner of places in our home. I love having so many little boys here!

::Saturday 1/16 We have several bird feeders outside the bay window in our kitchen. It is a favorite spot to sit and watch a wide variety of birds. Unfortunately, every once in a while a bird gets confused and flies into the window. Thankfully this little guy (a male downy woodpecker) was only dazed and flew off soon after posing for his photo.

:: Sunday 1/17 Jon and Dan enjoy playing together *most* of the time! Caught them working on some puzzles together today.

:: Monday 1/18 Today Timmy decided to serenade Great Dane puppy "Dude." Dude kept looking pleadingly at me. "Please, rescue me!"

:: Tuesday 1/19 A little picture of reading (updated to read "math practice!"... it's been a looooong week! I was checking my post for errors ~ *after* publishing, of course, and noticed that those cards have numbers, not letters on them!)practice with Daniel. So excited to see him "getting it" after so much review and work on phonics sounds. He is really proud of himself!

:: Wednesday 1/20 The oldest at home right now, Miss Hannah is such a delight. Love the fact that she not only loves the Lord, but also loves to invest in her siblings' lives.

:: Thursday 1/21 Dan: "Mom, I'm all dressed up. Won't you please take my picture? Please?"

Enjoying life here~ and trying to capture a few bits and pieces~ somehow makes it more "real" for me,


Monday, January 25, 2010

Multitude Monday (of blessings, that is!)


y the end of January, winter begins to feel like a guest who doesn't quite know when to leave....
(not that I've ever had a guest like that, mind you! We *love* having guests over! I just thought it was a funny comparison.)


To cheer myself up on yet another cloudy day here, I'm choosing instead to focus on the many, many little blessings in my life that I could so easily overlook otherwise.

Adding to my continuing list...

136. the drip, drip of melting snow and ice.
137. God's Word... meeting me right where I need it.
138. laughter
139. neediness, my lack of ability to "do it all."
140. humbling mistakes and faults on my part.
141. hunger. both physical and spiritual
142. boys + pranks ( like the old "fake spider under my pillow trick!")
143. encouraging conversation.
144. big boys helping little boys.

145. family devotions James~ so rich today.
146. hope of spring in pansy seeds.
147. food choices~ when so many go without.
148. combination of the colors red and yellow in decorating and fabric, etc.
149. sleepy children.
150. puppy "Dude" romping across the field on sunny day.
151. sun out for the first time in two weeks! Yay!
152. a flower blooming in southern window.

153. sun reflections on cheery yellow kitchen wall.

154. a certain three-year-old's delight in life!

rejoicing here... even on the cloudy days!

"Finally my brethern, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things again is no trouble for me and it is a safeguard for you." Phil. 3:1

holy experience

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's still up there...


he sun, that is! After almost two weeks here of cloudy weather we were blessed with sunshine today! Yay!

This cheered me so. As much as I try to fight it, the day after day of cloudy weather does begin to wear on me. But today we had sun! (not all day, mind you, but long enough for me to run around with my camera catching the beautiful shadows and light here.)

In addition, I spent some time in my laundry room soaking my plastic seedling flats and other seed-starting "stuff" in bleach water.

This helps avoid dampening off disease in the little seedlings. It can be heartbreaking to see healthy little plants wither and die after so much diligence in starting them. So be sure to carefully clean your seed-starting equipment, ok?

Looking forward to all sorts of diligent school work and other delightful homekeeping projects. (some sewing, quilting and garden planning too!)

Before I forget, I came across the coolest blog this week! Have you seen Ana's blog Knock off Wood? She posts plans here to authentically recreate furniture like that found in Pottery Barn or Crate and Barrel. If you are like me and love to peruse those catalogs for ideas but could never afford to actually purchase from them, then you've got to check out her site. She has accurate measured plans for free!

Here's the bed that I have talked Jacob into helping me make... so, so cool! Here's the original Farmhouse bed from Pottery Barn.

And here is Ana's knockoff... before the canopy is attached. Wow!

happy homekeeping!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Project Life January 19 edition...


oday I have been thinking about Emilie's post. It's short but sweet. A topic on my heart a great deal lately. Living fully engaged, joyfully embracing today. Not wasting today in the potential tragedies of tomorrow or the heartache of past mistakes. Emilie says it better than I have...

Praising God for the gift of today.

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Mat 6:34

Images from this week...

simple life,

drenched in God's grace...

The following photos will be slipped into my "Project Life" scrapbook for this week.

learning to live life joyfully and fully engaged,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Plans this weekend...


t's that time of the year here... the seed/gardening catalogs are arriving in great abundance.

It's time to plan this year's garden. Hannah and Abbie and I especially love the flower/herb gardens, but the veggie gardens are important too, so we'll be planning for all of them.

I like to start many of our plants indoors from seed~ so much cheaper that way and allows access to many varieties that simply aren't available in local nurseries too.

I have already ordered my pansy seeds. I *love* having pots and all sorts of containers on our front porch and back decks full of pansies. They can go out early in the spring (hello? spring? where are you?) Anyway I always start pansies from seed (well, most years I do) but I don't think I have ever started them early enough to have blooming pansies to set out when I am ready to put them out.

Here in the Midwest many years it simply gets too hot for pansies to do well once June arrives, so I need to start the seeds early not only to satisfy my desire to see green and color, but also to beat the heat.

Last spring, when I was still pretty new to the whole blogging thing I did two tutorials on seed starting under lights in your basement. If you are interested, you can find part one here and part two here. I am quite certain that I have overlooked one thing or another in those tutorials, so feel free to ask if you have a question and I'll try to answer them in another post soon.

Then, just for grins, I had to show you this:

All I did was ask for the boys to get out the peanut butter so we could make sandwiches and this is what I got! And yes, all seven are open and each one in various states of being used up.

I think we'll be cleaning out the pantry this weekend as well!


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Project Life... week 1


am so excited to be participating in Project Life this year! Project Life is simply a photo album set up to hold a photo-a-day for all of 2010. There is also some space for journaling, etc. So simple and so doable.

I love Beckys album, but this could be so easily done using many other formats. I know myself and do not plan to strictly hold to a photo-a-day. I do take lots of pictures, but there are days when life is simply too crazy and I don't end up picking up my camera at all. I plan to either use a cute decorative filler card for that space, some other scrap of life here like a receipt or picture or portion of an email, or simply use some other photo from that week. At the end of the year I'll have an album covering the highlights from our year. So much fun!

Each Tuesday Jessica Turner has offered to host a MrLinkey so we can see what other "Project Lifers" are up to. Here's my week one installment:

Friday Jan.1, 2010
My early morning kitchen audience. The little boys love watching/helping me cook. Today they had quite an adventure going on with their little cars.... love this.

Saturday, Jan.2, 2010
A view out of the window in my work area... the children pointed out that the icesicles look like teeth. Sorta' an "inside the mouth of the vicious wild animal view." Snowing again too!

Sunday, Jan.3, 2010
Captured: Joshua attempting to surprise me after hiding behind one of our woodpiles that the boys so diligently cut and stacked.

Monday, January 4, 2010
My (very cold) birthday! I thought the frost on the storm door was beautiful.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Love it when my children find delight in creating. Here Joshua was working on a notebook of favorite pictures that he found and cut from old magazines.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Yet another goofy picture of me. This time holding Great Dane puppy "Dude" who at 3 months old doesn't really fit on my lap any more.

Thursday, January 7, 2010
Dude discovered the "spring-door-stopper-thingie" and decided that it must be our arch enemy. His barking, growling, pawing and general carrying on had us all laughing so hard!

Friday, January 8, 2010
Delightful new flannel fabric arrived from Abbie and I will make new warm nighttime clothing from these.

Saturday, January 9, 2010
Tom and the older boys have a favorite new game here... it is a Monopoly card game. They have a lot of fun, but it can get really competitive!

Love this time of the year when we can spend so much time together at home learning, creating and enjoying each other. It is a contemplative quiet season.

"And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You."
Psalm 39:7

Waiting on Him and enjoying finding Him in the simple everyday things here,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Endless Gifts... January 11 edition


his outpouring of thanks....
how could I have ever guessed the way it would color my world?

As I purpose to notice these many gifts given,
I find myself overwhelmed by God's grace and mercy in my life...

surprised and delighted to be reminded of His care for me
even me.

115. more snow tomorrow!

116. 10:40pm~ quiet house
117. stories to tell of God's faithfulness

118. the red in the photos on my journal pages of thankfulness

119. large pile of hats and gloves, boots and coveralls by the woodburning stove.
120. daughter Hannah... her passion to encourage young women.

121. New flannel fabric to ensure warm nights arrived just in time for weekend sewing projects. (Love fabric shopping here.)

122. New Amy Butler tunic pattern~ really looking forward to sewing it~ *love* her new fabric line. (completed this on Sunday afternoon~ really nicely finished design. Her instructions were *very* detailed and easy to follow. It did turn out smaller than it should have, so Hannah gets this first one. Planning to work on another for myself and for Abbie this week.)
123. Wood stove warmth on a very cold night (-4 F.)

124. food for birds and
125. birds for food. Delightful to watch.

126. early morning boy shenanigans upstairs.
127. if He knows when a sparrow falls, surely He cares for me.

128. slanting sun on snow.

129. glorious sunset.
130. dinner with new friends.

131. a slight thaw today~ up to 33 F.
132. hot chocolate
133. kind encouragement
134. details falling into place.
135. abundance of wood for heat.

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.
Ps. 29:7

praising Him in the Midwest cold and snow,

holy experience

Monday, January 4, 2010

Endless Gifts....



This is a word that transforms.

The ordinary becomes sacred. A gift to be reveled in.

I find myself reminded of His great love for me, in spite of my imperfections.

Oh! How He loves!

Today, my birthday gift to myself, a whole page filled out in my "endless gifts" journal... a small sampling of me "delighting in the everyday."

91. early morning quiet alone.
92. warmth of bed.
93. pile of covers on 4 degree mornings.
94. adult children who love the Lord.
95. curious little boys.
96. husband who encourages/models thoughtful giving.
97. frost etchings on glass.

98. this combination: deep snow + boys + big furry dog + puppy
99. full bird feeders.
100. handmade gifts.
101. friends who thought of me and took the time to wish me "happy birthday." (thanks everyone!)
102. *very* sweet card from my parents.
103. Black Forest Cheesecake (Hannah stayed up late last night to bake for me!)
104. sunshine for my birthday!
105. Col. 2: 6-7
106. Tom's vision and passion for church planting and reaching people for Christ.
107. stack of beautiful magazines Tom found for free at our library for me!
108. Children who share their heart with me.
109. fellowship and encouragement of friends, both old and new
110. Amanda's birthday email.
111. the ability to create, and to find such joy in creating.
112. 3-year-old little boy hugs.
113. a loud and happy group singing "Happy Birthday" to me.
114. promise of spring as gardening catalogs arrive in the mail.

Of all of the new habits begun in 2009, this, this journal listing blessings,

gifts without number,

is by far my favorite and has been the most profitable.

It is merely an artist's journal, embellished with pictures from cast-off magazines,

but it has become so much more.

Second only to spending time in God's Word, this changes my entire outlook on life and reminds me to rejoice and purposefully notice the many blessings given.

"Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith just as you were instructed and overflowing with gratitude." Col. 2:6,7

overflowing with gratitude here,

~ for additional delight, perhaps you would like to visit Ann's blog and read more thankful praise to Him for gifts given....

holy experience