Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Little of the Ordinary

In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. 

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I'm so thankful for: 

Madelyn made lunch for her and Jaxson (X was helping Pa)...


An egg salad wrap...hits the spot!


Home (humble as it may be)...



Madelyn, Jaxson and I played the Hobbit game...


Xavier was there too (but he didn't want to play)...


It's such a cute game...




We had fun!


Here is an area in my dining room. I added a painting I have from Katie Berggren. I love her artwork. You can find her HERE!


Isn't it beautiful? I see it as me with my three children. :)


Today was spent doing some household chores, running a few errands, swimming with friends, and trying to stay cool. I am more-than-ready to head up to bed with my planner, my Bible and another book I am reading by R.C. Sproul. I actually think my bed may be calling my name! ;)

 I bask in the richness of the ordinary! :) Do you?

Warmly,
Katy

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Little Sadness....A Little Forge

A Little Sadness....

The past four days have been quite difficult. Friday morning, I got home from spin. Jack-Jack (the cat I have had and loved since I was 17 years old) did what he always does, steps right in front of my vehicle while I am trying to pull into the garage. So, I did as I always do...inched forward a little at a time. I opened my car door and called out to him...as he always comes when I call....and this time he didn't. My heart is heavy to admit that I hit him with my back tire. Just typing it makes me cringe and shudder as I remember. I wish I could get the sight of it out of my mind. I ran in and yelled for Chris...but it was too late. I have such tremendous guilt about it and spent most of Friday weeping. 

That evening, we attended my friend's brother's viewing. That was so hard and laid heavy on my heart as well. It definitely put the right perspective in my head though....as much as I loved Jack, he was a cat. People are *much* more important. I will miss Jack and cry because of how much I miss him (he has been with me for half of my life!)...but the tragic loss my friend Jess (and her family) are experiencing is so much worse. It helps me shift my eyes to her pain rather than my own. 

*Then* early this morning, on my way to spin class, I passed my inlaws' house and saw something up ahead laying on the side of the road (it's a main, highly used road). As I went by, I saw that it was their dog, Maggie. My heart sank. I went ahead and turned around and came back to her and stood with her. She was gone. I called Chris who came down and helped me get her into my vehicle (in a tarp). She was stiff. It must have happened in the wee hours. Chris called his dad...he came out but didn't come over to her. It was probably better that he didn't. We called Chris's brother (who lives just up the road from us) and we took her out to bury her. It made me so sad....I know how bad Pa is feeling. 

So, sadness has been hovering around us lately...but there is some happiness as well. Beginning *and* ending a post on a sad note can be so depressing. 

A Little Forge....

Chris and the boys made a forge. 


They did a really fantastic job with it and Jaxson was so excited. He was the one who asked his daddy if they could build a forge!



That hose is to an old vacuum...


They made use of a lot of old things. Chris is seriously a real-life MacGyver!



I'm not quite sure what the milk jug was for...



To see the boys' excitement (including my husband) over this was heart-warming and after a time of grieving this weekend...it was so welcome.

And so, life goes on....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Time Well Spent

Spending time with my sister and nieces is definitely well spent! We enjoyed our day with them! (Xavier is missing in the photos because when we all met at my dad's garage, X stayed there working with my dad and Chris!)

Dinah always bee-lines for the piano when she comes in. She *loves* playing it and slides from one end to the other of the piano stool to make sure she plays *all* the keys!


Lunchtime!


When the girls were finished eating, their mama cleaned them up and then I took them out to swing! Dinah loves to "Sving! Sving!"...



After swinging for a while...we went over to the basketball court to ride bikes...



Although Eloise didn't *need* to be pushed, as she pedals quite well on her own, Dinah had fun pushing her!



Eloise loves riding her bike!


Dinah loves El's bike too!


Dinah loved the chickens...


She chased them into the garage...



Back to swinging...(She kept saying "TiTi, Sving! Sving!)...


The girls loved swinging together...



Madelyn and Jaxson with the girls...




Yes, the girls are wearing coats...it is chilly here in Western PA. I find the weather to be absolutely delightful...but just very surprising for the middle of July! I am definitely *not* complaining though! So far, we have not turned our air conditioner at all this year! We've had some warmer temps...but nothing so unbearable! I am quite happy as that means our electric bill should be a bit cheaper! :)

Now, I am going to spend the rest of my evening matching socks. We have a basket-full that don't seem to have matches (where oh where do socks GO?). My boys are somehow *out* of socks and I have washed all their laundry. Quite frustrating....especially when some socks never have their match found...so we end up throwing it out or using it as a dust cloth (and then a year later, its match shows up!). Oh dear! Please tell me you have issues with socks too!? Well...it is doing a service for my family...so I suppose matching socks is time well spent too! :)

So glad you dropped by!
Happy Thursday Friends!

Joyfully in Christ,
Katy

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

*Home* and More...

"The God Who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that the should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us.......The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a Man He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead."
~ Acts 17:24-27 and 30-31(all emphasis mine)

In my daily bible reading (working through the book of Acts right now) I came across these verses which I already had underlined from previous reading of this book...but soaked them in again. I really felt it upon my heart to share them on my blog...and so here I have. What book of the bible are you currently reading in?

We are trying to unwind a bit from this past weekend's busyness and celebration! It seems after a birthday party or bigger event, I need a few days to recoup! Are you like that too? Yesterday, it rained quite a bit...so we spent the day indoors...doing some normal housework/chores, a bit of organizing and some relaxing as well! The weather cleared up some and I got a nice run in (while Xavier rode his bike beside me!). Today, it rained this morning (so Madelyn and I did some organizing in the school room) but as it started to dry up through the day, the children went out to ride their bikes while I mowed. We got housework done, laundry out to dry on the lines and then went out to my great-aunt's home to mow (She went to visit family in Florida for a few weeks and we are missing her greatly!). 

I was so excited one day, a week or so ago, to find this beautiful valance at a local store...on clearance for $5! I just love it and think it looks nice on our front door...


A corner in my home...


I spend some time each day planning out my days. I like order and organization. Of course, all my planning ahead is dependent upon what the Lord wills. To keep things mapped out and notes jotted as reminders, I feel it helps to keep me on track. As a wife and mother, I feel I need to make the best use of my time. Planning my days (with room for flexibility) helps me to be a good steward of that time. It also helps me to remember to do things and never miss an appointment or important date...


A view of my front porch at night...


Normally, egg-washing is Madelyn's job...but she spent a couple days at Grammie's house working on things for her birthday party this past week so I took over egg-washing-duty. Aren't they beautiful?


Jaxson made me laugh when he came to me with this crocheted beard/face warmer and his dad's sunglasses and hat on...



A friend of mine just lost her younger brother in a car accident, less than a week ago. I believe he was only 31. My heart is heavy for her. I have been praying for her and her family who loved him so much. Some of us friends have been trying to take care of them as best we can. It is such a difficult time...but there is hope! My friend and her family are believers! There is nothing better than having *the* Comforter as your Lord. He will carry them through this. If you will, please remember Jess and her family in your prayers. She and her husband have four daughters as well (who saw their uncle as an older brother type) who are hurting terribly right now. In Christian love, will you pray for this sister in Christ and her family? I would really appreciate it.

We are unwinding a bit, after a busy day, here at home. Chris had to go to a church board meeting right after supper (lasagna)...so we look forward to his return this evening and all heading to bed. Another day awaits us, Lord willing, in which to glorify Christ in all we do. It's always good to get a good night's sleep.

Thank-you for coming by for a visit. I hope you have enjoyed your time here and I hope you will return!
Warmly,
Katy

Monday, July 14, 2014

*She's Thirteen!*

We had Madelyn's 13th birthday party last evening. Here in Western PA we were experiencing strong winds, rain, a tornado warning and thunderstorms. We prayed it would pass before the party began. Chris and our BIL worked on putting up a bit of a barrier from the rain and wind...


Chris is such a monkey...


My mom, my sister, Madelyn and one of my nieces worked on the flower centerpieces (that kept falling over and dumping the water with all the wind)...



During the calm before the storm, Eloise and Dinah enjoyed some time on the swings...



My mom (who did *so* much for the party to make it special) made Madelyn's music note cake (although I forgot to take a picture, they made music note cookies too!)....


My sister made these awesome rag garlands (which Madelyn was allowed to bring home to hang in her room!). The gifts, Madelyn requested, were to be for a local organization that helps abused children. So we accepted donations for that (and Madelyn got a few gifts too!). These aren't all the donations/gifts as people hadn't arrived completely yet when I took the photo (but I wanted to get a picture before the rain set in, which could possibly mess it all up)....


The dark clouds began to roll in and soon we were pummeled with hard rain and wind and a tornado warning. The clouds in the photo below don't even do it justice...it was much darker than my camera made it look...


Thankfully, the Lord graciously pulled the storms away and brought out the sun. The ground was soaked but we were still able to have food, fellowship and fun with our family and friends...


More donations (and a few gifts) arrived!


Eloise was her super-cute self sporting her polka dot rain coat and wellies!
(I LOVE polka dots!)...


There were more in attendance than this but I just wanted to get a picture of the girls all at one table in the back and the boys at the other! ;)


Blowing out her candles with a little help from a cousin...


My mom made this neat, colorful cake! See that black spot in the middle? There was no bug in the cake...I *think* as I took the picture a bug was flying by! How funny is that? ;)


My Jaxson and Dinah...


Madelyn with one of her friends...opening up the donations for the local organization and a few gifts...




My boys and nephews decided it would be fun to get muddy...and oh did they ever! This is light compared to what they looked like by the end of the night (they ended up covered in mud from head to toe!)...


The flower arrangements (in my blue jars) were so beautiful!


Chris and our SIL (who let us borrow her tent) worked on putting the tent up that the girls would camp out in...


It is such a great tent and we are so thankful they let us borrow it for this occasion!


Breakfast was eggs and bacon over the fire! :)


So now we are home after an exhausting night and morning. Now we need to spend the day catching up on some household chores and hopefully, relaxing a bit. I definitely think today will be a great day for a nap! It is cloudy and wet out so mowing can wait for another day. Today is a day to re-cooperate from our *fun*. We are so thankful for such great friends and family...who will attend an outdoor birthday party in the middle of summer thunderstorms! :)

I'm still processing the fact that I am now the mother of a teenager. I knew it would happen eventually, it just seemed to spring on me all of a sudden though. I didn't expect the years to roll by as swiftly as they have! I'm sure, if you have children, you can relate!?

Thank you for sharing in our day with us!

Kindly,
Katy