Saturday, July 31, 2010

His Beautiful Message

"This is the Lord's message to us: 'Just stay near Me -- as close as you can. Don't run yourself ragged looking for help and hope. Don't keep consulting this person, that person, and the other person. Talk to Me every time you think of it. Read portions of My Word and then chew and chew and chew on them. Stay in My Truth. Crowd your way into My presence. Drink from My stream. Stay, stay, stay. And rest in My faithful love and care.' Instead of allowing ourselves to be troubled, worried or led astray by our circumstances, David urges us to feed, like a humble sheep, on the faithfulness of God -- to graze safely in God's good pasture."

~Ron Mehl (What God Whispers in the Night, p. 70)

I am reading the book I linked to, above, by Ron Mehl. It is a wonderful book and when I read the paragraph I quoted above...I felt such a sweet peace and knew I wanted to share it. :)

My mom is doing well and resting a lot. Thank you for all your loving notes and prayers! I truly appreciate them! God is so good! :)

The summer days are full. I am thankful to say, though, that the past few days, the temperatures have been especially nice...in the 70's and 80's. I love comfortable days like these! We will be starting our school days soon. I am excited for what the new schooling year holds...the learning and growing that occurs is such a beautiful thing to watch happen! The bright eyes and excited faces of my children, when they learn or understand something new, is a joy to behold.

Thank you for stopping by. I pray that what I shared, from Ron Mehl's book, blesses you like it did me. And I have a link to it from Amazon if you are interested in purchasing the book for yourself! :) May your day be full of joyful surprises and love!

Warmly,
Katy :)

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Games, Busyness & Canning!

Thank you for the kind emails of concern since I haven't posted in a few days. Some days....things just get busy and other priorities trump the blog. However, yesterday was an emotional day...I don't want to go into too much detail, as I don't know how much my mother would want her health splashed across the 'net...but I *will* say that a strange migraine and horrible blood pressure issues persuaded us to take my mom to the ER. I thank God that he layed that on our hearts and that my mom, although reluctantly, agreed to go...for when we got there we found that she was close to possibly having a stroke. It was so scary...my eyes fill up with tears at the thought of losing my mother. We are so close and I couldn't imagine living my life without her in it. I know my dad would just crumble, he loves her so. She is a constant in all of our lives...full of love, encouragement, support, help, and faith. I am so thankful for her! Now we wait while the doctors help her to get her meds to keep her blood pressure at healthy numbers.

In addition to all that I mentioned above, our days have been full and busy. Dishes, sweeping, dusting, washing and hanging out laundry and other housework keeps me busy each day...as well as knitting I am doing, playing games with the children, weeding at the garden (although with the days of heat, I wasn't very good at keeping up with it), quiet times with God and scripture memorization with my children... and now...some of the green and yellow beans, from the garden, are ready! Time to start canning!

Playing Go Fish with my children...



I finished the dishcloth I had mentioned in THIS post and gave it to my friend, who warmed my heart as she lovingly accepted it with joy! Some people don't really appreciate receiving a homemade gift...it's always so wonderful when the recipient is a homemade-things-lover. I was *so* pleased to find out my friend was one of those recipients! :)

Now that some of the days have been a bit cooler (not in the 90's like before)...I enjoy sitting in the living room working on my knitting and having lit candles in view. I love the look and *smell* of candles. :)

After taking the children to our church, last night, for VBS Sports Camp...Chris and I got out in the garden. We weeded and picked some green and yellow beans that were ready. Not all of them were ready yet...but we picked what we could.

So we got home and while I washed and boiled jars...Chris sat and snapped the beans...(Isn't he so sweet? ;)...

I washed up the beans, filled up the jars with them (and some salt and hot water). Sealed them up and into the canner they went! :)

Out of the beans we got picked, we only got 4 quarts canned. I am thankful for those quarts and look forward to doing more, soon!

I have been canning for 3 years, or so, now. Each year, I would get nervous about canning...afraid I would forget how to do something correctly. This year though, I *knew* what I was doing and was comfortable with it. :) If you are a beginner canner and it seems like a stressful process...just keep with it. It *will* become an easier process for you after some practice! :) If you aren't a canner...and would like to start...I recommend you get and watch The Art of Canning from Homestead Blessings. I am a visual learner, myself, and I think this instructional video is a valuable thing for beginners.

Well, time is slipping by me, ever so quickly and although we got the housework mostly done already, this morning, I have a few more things to accomplish plus would like to go see my mom. My sister also celebrated her birthday yesterday! If you have a moment, I know she would love you to visit her BLOG and say hello! :)

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a lovely Wednesday!
Warmly,
Katy

**The verse my children and I are memorizing together this week:
"I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me." ~Psalm 13:6

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Place to Hang

I love my aprons. They are just a necessary thing for a woman to own! :) My poor aprons have had no real place to call their *own*! I was thrilled when, one day, I found this "coat hanger" at an antique/old stuff shop. Immediately, my mind thought to my aprons...and their need to be in a place, together, neat and tidy. I got the *what I now call* "apron hanger" for a wonderful price and Chris (being the sweet, loving, helpful man that he is) helped me to hang it! It is in the laundry room (which is not our permanent laundry room)...on the wall just at the bottom of the steps!

Although it is simple and not-so-very-exciting to most...it makes me smile. Adding things to my home that make it a tidier or prettier place to be gives me joy! *And* I just love aprons...don't you? THIS article at Above Rubies is a beautiful way to describe a love for aprons! :)


Other than some baby things I have been knitting recently...I am knitting dishcloths for people, as gifts. This is the one I am working on now, for a dear friend...

When it is finished it will include 9 hearts. :) It is going well and I hope she likes it! It's nothing big ...but a gift from me to her. It is such a wonderful thing to *give*, isn't it? Not only of *things* or of *money* but of our time and energy. What lives can be touched and improved if people just *give* more! Especially the lives of our own family. How many people are *out* helping others...but meanwhile there are spouses and/or children who need them at home?

It is my sincere desire to, each day, give more of myself to my family....really take the time to listen to my children, smile at my husband more, make it a point to find a way to make each person feel how special they are to me. It's easy to go through life, going through the motions. I want to make each day beautiful. A new pearl to add to the strand of life! **Again...if you haven't already...you need to buy (or borrow) THIS book to read! It will teach, encourage, and revive your heart!

And...just because it makes me smile...

The weekend has been busy and I am in need of rest. My eyes are heavy and ready for sleep. Chris is picking the children up from Sports Camp...it's a VBS our church does...this is the 3rd year. I look forward to hearing how their evening was and what they learned! Then it will be time to get changed into bed clothes, teeth brushed, prayers said and lights out! Tomorrow holds busyness of it's own and we all need our *beauty rest* ~ maybe not so much for our outward beauty...but for our souls. You can't be *beautiful* if you are crabby and joy-less! :o) So...off to get some sleep!

Wishing you a beautiful week ahead! I'm so glad you were able to stop and visit!

Lovingly,
Katy :)
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Revival of the Curls

I am a fan of long hair on girls...I just love how it looks natural and feminine. Madelyn, however, has thick, curly hair. With her hair as long as it was (when wet and combed it went to the bottom of her back)...it pulled down all her curl and was difficult to keep neat. Even when you would brush it, it would look messy again immediately. She asked for a hair cut...and I reluctantly agreed. She wanted it all cut to her shoulders. I was so hesitant to do that. It would take *so* long for it to ever grow out a bit! So I suggested layers. :) My aunt is the only person who has ever cut Madelyn's hair...*we are quite spoiled*! I explained to her what I was thinking and she agreed that would work. So after a snip, snip here and a snip, snip there...she was done!


If you look above in my blog header...on the right side, you can see Madelyn with her long hair. The curl just isn't there in abundance. Now though...the curl is back! Yay! Even after the picture I took above, her curls got even more curly and cute! She likes it, I like it ~ everyone is happy! :)

Just a quick post for today!
Thanks for visiting!
Kindly,
Katy

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Loving My Family & Home

I love taking care of my family and home. It is my life. It comes second only to my relationship with God. It's not always easy....it's not always fair. Over the past 10 years, God has revealed so much to me. He has taken me from a selfish wife to a wife who truly desires to serve her family! I will be forever grateful!

When Chris and I got married, we were so young...I, 19; He, 21. Although I truly loved Chris and wanted him to be happy...at that time, I was in the mind-set that I was deserving of his constant praise and adoration. I wasn't really in the *servant* frame of mind. I cleaned and tried to take care of him...but I got easily upset when he didn't seem appreciative or attentive to *my* needs.
It took me years to let God do a serious work in me. I wanted control. I wanted to be in charge of me. Oh...I cringe at the selfish attitude that I possessed. As a woman of God...it is my job and life's mission to care for my husband, children and home. I am to be a servant....with a joyful and loving spirit. It is difficult to detach from self. But if you truly desire to be like Jesus and live your life for Him...then you must let go of self and start cheerfully focusing on others. This starts first with focusing on Him...for how can you know how to live if you don't *know* the Reason for life!?

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
~ Proverbs 31:11-12


Next, if you are married, the focus is on your husband. This may not be an easy thing...but it is absolutely a *must*. Your husband may leave dirty clothes on the floor, beside the hamper. He may leave his shoes on the floor in the living room. Maybe he doesn't read the Bible like you want him to...or isn't exactly who you want him to be. But it isn't our job to change our husbands. It *is* our job to pray for, encourage, love and take care of our husbands....even if they don't pray for, encourage, love or take care of us! When you married him...you did it for better or worse and for *life*. Make the absolute best of it. Be the *best* wife you can be! :) Let God work on your husband...you just keep on loving and caring for him!

Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
~ Proverbs 31:28

Your children come next. Caring for, loving, and training them up in the Lord is our responsibility. It's not the grandparent's job, not the babysitter's job, not the school's job, not the church's job....it is *ours*. God entrusts us with these beautiful creatures to raise up in love. Everything we do for them should be done in love...including discipline. We should be teaching them to have a servant's heart as well. It can be very difficult at times...children have different temperments, characters and personalities. I have shed many tears over the years...feeling that my mothering was sub-par and struggling when I didn't know the right way to handle a situation. Turning to our Father and how He parents us is the best way to learn how to be the best parents for our children.

She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
~ Proverbs 31:27

Creating a home that is a cozy and comfortable place for your family is also very important. Keeping things tidy and cared for can let your husband and children know that you work hard to keep a lovely and peaceful place for them to enjoy. But keep yourself in check...this doesn't mean scrubbing every inch of your house daily....or making a *perfectly* kept house more important than the people who live in it! Also keep your *attitude* in check. A pleasant, cheerful, and loving woman is someone that others will *want* to be around. :)
I am so very far from perfect...but I hope, in sharing my typical day with you, that I will be of encouragement to you! :)

She gets up while it is still dark;
~ Proverbs 31:15a

My day starts out anytime between 5-6am. My body naturally awakens at that time. I know this doesn't come naturally to some...but you *can* retrain your body...and that time in the morning is very valuable! Some days, I check email and such on the computer...then go downstairs to have breakfast, read my Bible and review my To-Do list for the day and any appointments in my planner.

I then will start Chris's coffee and make his lunch. I will then take a shower. Usually, by this time it is around 7 and my children are up. They feed the dogs while I wake Chris. Then I will get them breakfast. After sending Chris off to work with love...I will then sit and start decorating and recording a bit in my memory journal. Usually at least one (sometimes all) of the children will sit down at the table with me and color, practice writing their letters or words etc. My mom calls most mornings around 8...so I enjoy a few minutes of conversation with her each morning before starting my daily chores.


Then, while I begin cleaning...dishes, laundry, general pick-up, sweeping and vacuuming etc...the littles will go out and feed the sheep and chickens and then stay out to play while the weather is still cool.

Loads of laundry are washed and hung out to dry through the day...then brought back in, folded and put away!

I try to get my kitchen clean and neat each morning. A clean and nice smelling kitchen is such a joy to walk into. It is such a central place of the home.

Making sure all the beds are made each morning is something important to me, as well. A neat, made bed can make an even messy room appear tidier. :)

Once we begin our new year of homeschooling in August...I will get the house generally picked up each morning, early...and then after breakfast, we will spend the morning on our schoolwork. Then I will do a bit of deeper cleaning in the afternoon.

Most afternoons, we have a time of rest....not always a time of *sleep* but a time of rest and calm. Sometimes my littles will drift off to sleep and other times, not. Just as long as they have some time of rest after busy hours of play, cleaning, and (during the school year) schoolwork. Then it's time for preparing supper and making sure the house is neat and tidy for when Chris comes home....not because he requires it, but because I feel that preparing a comfortable place for him to relax after a long day at work shows him I love him! :)

At times, during the day, I will sit and knit. I have been working on many different things, but since they are gifts, I can't post about them right yet! :)

After supper, after making sure everyone is full and content, I will do dishes...then some evenings we'll spend time as a family, or each of us will work on projects we are doing, the kids will play etc. :) Around 8 or 9 at night...we'll tuck the children in and usually I will turn in, as well. Usually Chris rests downstairs in his chair, watching TV for a bit. I will lay in bed and read and pray. Usually, as I start to fall asleep, Chris will come up after showering and sit in a chair in our room and read a while before coming to bed. :)

That's a general idea of our days...although no two days are *exactly* alike. :) I pray, if you haven't before, that you will seek to serve your family with a cheerful spirit. :) I hope you find encouragement in this post and in your daily time with God. I want to stress the fact that I am definitely *not* perfect...but just wanted to share how I am striving to live to serve! :)

I feel as though I have so much more I would love to share with you...but alas, between the time it takes to type this as well as some difficulties with my computer ~ I have spent more time than I wanted to, already, here. So I will leave you with this, as is. :)
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts...whether by comment or email. Thank you for taking the time to stop and read and, if you do, share your thoughts with me! :)
You each are always a source of encouragement and blessing to me!

Warmly,
Katy :)
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Celebration of *30 Years*

My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this week. We threw them a surprise party at my inlaw's pavillion! It was one of my aunts idea and her and my sister were the main conspiritors...I helped by doing whatever they needed me to do. :)

We *told* my parents that the picnic we were having on Sunday evening was for Madelyn's birthday...since we hadn't had a party with Chris's family and mine all together. That seemed totally normal to them and they had no idea of anything different!

Although the above picture doesn't do it justice, it was set up really nice....simple and sweet. :) We had between 50 and 60 people in attendance!

The party was to start at 4.....but they didn't show up at that time....so as we waited ~ people chatted while the children rode bikes, did some swinging on the swingset and took opportunities to make faces at the camera ;) ....

Even though we were just *pretending* that it was Madelyn's party...she still received a few gifts and cards from some family! ;)

Finally....around 5 (only an hour late!)...my parents arrived! :) They were very surprised! I really love them...God blessed me with wonderful parents!

My sister ordered a cake with their wedding photo on it. That photo is my favorite picture of them...isn't it sweet?

If you want to read more about their party, from my sister's perspective, you can go HERE. The first half of the post was about Madelyn's party at Fun Central. The second half is about the surprise anniversary party. :)

Annndd...I am sure you will relate with me when I explain my nervousness yet excitement when my dad (aka: pop-pop) brought this for the children to ride...

Yep...a motorized mini-bike. X went a bit faster than I really liked...but that was to be expected from him...he loves anything that *goes*! He absolutely loved it and it has been the main topic he has been talking about for the past few days! Madelyn took a turn, as well, and did really well. There were a few times we thought they were going to drive right into some vehicles...but fortunately, didn't. Whew! ;)

Jaxson really wanted a turn...but was just a wee bit small for the bike. So with the help of daddy...he got to take a spin! :)

My sister has a video of the mini-bike riding HERE. :) The video is just hilarious and completely worth watching! :) It will definitely make you giggle! I am smiling as I type this!

Today is grocery day! My menu and lists are made and ready to go. :) Beds are made, the house is tidy and everyone is dressed and ready to go. Tonight I have my sign language class! :)
I hope you enjoy your Wednesday! Thank you for visiting!

Cheerfully,
Katy :)


The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26

Monday, July 19, 2010

House *Work*

Chris is working on the *last* side of our house that needs sided!!! (Pictures are from Saturday) I am so excited! Because our home is made of the tile/block that you see in the pictures, it has no insulation. So Chris has to attached all these wooden strips to the outside walls. He will put foam insulation sheets between them. The siding will be held on, then, by screwing the lengths of siding onto the wooden strips. He also needs to box in around the windows...so they look like all our other windows.

Oh my goodness, I am just so, so excited! All he has left to do is this side and then the two dormers above! If you look at the window on the addition, below, you can see that we haven't even taken the stickers off of the windows from when they were new, yet! ;) We have been focusing our efforts on getting the siding up *before* working on the new living room/pantry/laundry room that will be housed in the addition! :)

While Chris worked on that (with some help from his eldest)...I was busy inside! I washed some loads of laundry, including some quilts and then hung them out on the line to dry...

...folded and put laundry away after it was dry...


...did dishes, sweeping, and general cleaning all day as well. :) I also decided to make some peanut butter pies for Chris. I was so thrilled that he had time to work on the siding and I wanted to show him my appreciation...what better way than through his stomach? :)

So I made the two pies...but the graham cracker crusts were terribly crumbly. I have never made such a messy peanut butter pie before! But there was just no escaping it! As I scraped the mixture into the crust and tried to spread it around, the crust fell apart and just made a mess! I was quite bummed by it's appearance...but after everyone took a piece ~ I got rave reviews! X said I was the "best pie-maker ever"! :) So...thankfully, the taste was not affected!

Today, Madelyn and I worked hard working on some things *inside* the house! Below is a picture of a cupboard we had in our laundry room...not really the prettiest cupboard, but it worked as a good pantry area until we get our pantry officially built! ;)

She and I emptied it all out and moved it into the addition. It was hard work for this almost-29-year-old and a nine-year-old! (It's not very lady-like to mention that we were sweating buckets...but I want everyone to realize how truly hard we worked...so I will use the word "glisten" for "sweat"... ;) So, as I was saying...we were working really hard and *glistening* buckets! After it was moved, we reorganized it as well as some of the kitchen cupboards. (The left side is a place where Chris can hang his work uniforms)...

So you may be wondering what we put in the not-so-pretty cupboard's place...

An old dresser/bureau of my mom's that she let me have. I *used* to have it in my dining room, quite a while back, but now it has found a good place to rest. The walls behind it were freshly scraped of all it's ugly wallpaper and left bare until I decide what I want to do with them! You can see my recipes in the basket there...and also below the dresser is my homemade laundry soap! :)
**I have some cereal in the plastic bins there...but what I would like to get are 2 gallons jars with scoops (similar to the 1 gallon jars I use for my flour etc...which you can see at the bottom of THIS post) ...but at $20 each...I may have to wait a while before I get them!**

Now...if you haven't been reading my blog for very long...you may wonder what this horrid wallpaper looked like. Well, you are in luck! I took a picture of the other side of my laundry room that I haven't quite finished peeling the wallpaper on!

Yes...it's balloons....and the border consisted of happy little clowns. We bought this house from my grandmother...and she loved clowns. She was trying to do something fun and different...but it just really isn't my style. At all. It ran into the kitchen too...which is why my kitchen is red and white. I have gotten the wallpaper off in there...and tried to give my kitchen more of a farmhouse country feel to it.

Pictured above is our temporary laundry room...our *new* laundry room will be in the addition, in it's own little closet in the mudroom. :) This temp. laundry room is just off the kitchen and will be made, hopefully one day, into a breakfast nook or something to that affect! :) Until then...I try ever so hard to remain patient and content. I just have so many dreams and ideas that I would love to put into action...however, time and money are not things that are in abundance for us...so we do what we can, when we can. :) I am sure many of you can relate!

And...before I go...I just want to share this with you...

My aunt gave me this ladder and I just love it...but I haven't decided where I want to put it yet...but I know I will come up with something! ;)

Thanks for visiting! I hope you are enjoying the beginning of your week! :)
I must admit, I am looking forward to bedtime! How about you?
Dreamily,
Katy :)

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26

Fun Central

As a fun way to celebrate Madelyn's birthday my mom, grandma, my children and I met my sister at a place called Fun Central. What a great place! Not only was it super clean and safe (a definite plus to me) but just look at what the children got to play on....


In and out of tunnels they went... Swinging on things, sliding down slides and climbing nets!

They had so much fun...and I was happy when they obliged their mama by stopping for a quick picture before continuing their great time of play!


Unfortunately, I don't think I was the right size to join in the fun. I wish I could have, though. It looked like a fantastic way to burn calories!

I loved this picture I got of Jaxson...

My sister and my mom planned out a little Mary Engelbreit themed party for Madelyn while we were there. It was complete with M.E. tablecloths, napkins, wrapping paper and cupcake decorations...

It was all really wonderful and my children *really* enjoyed it. :)

My mom treated us all to lunch there...which was delicous. We all got salads...yum! :)

Notice below, behind Jaxson to the left, my sister's bag from Sam Harvey! :)

After eating and playing...Madelyn enjoyed opening a few gifts...

Fun Central also offers an arcade and games...we didn't do that part but we *did* enjoy watching my children playing mini-golf. It was under black lights. The picture doesn't do it justice, because of the flash...but it was really neat! :)

It was such a great time!!! I am so thankful for my sister and my mother for the whole celebration! What a treat! I am so blessed in knowing my children will grow up with such wonderful memories! I will treasure these memories, myself! :)

Lots to do today...I best be off!!! Wishing you a wonderful Monday! :)
Joyfully,
Katy :)

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee,
and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
~Numbers 6:24-26