Monday, January 30, 2012

*Child-like Faith*


Where to begin this post? To exclaim God's goodness (great-ness is a better word) could be one way! How perfectly wonderful and sovereign He is. For He, alone, deserves all the glory. As I walk with Him, reading His Word and staying in prayer...I am continually reminded that Jesus is the author of my faith....He is the perfecter of my faith (Hebrews 12:2). How truly grateful I am for His love and mercy...neither of which I deserve.

The Lord is high above all nations, and His glory above the heavens.
Who is like unto the Lord our God, Who dwelleth on high,
Who humbleth Himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth!
~Psalm 113:4-6

Last week, Xavier and I were working on his language arts. We came to a part where He was to name a singular noun from some sentences on the page. He saw "God" in one of the sentences and used that as his choice. I agreed that it was a singular noun and a correct answer. He stopped me though, and exclaimed, "But mom, He's really three, you know...Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit!". For my 8 year old son to grasp, with his child-like faith, the truth of the trinity blessed my heart. To know that God is **one** but also **three** is something that many people have a hard time understanding. The key is that we don't have to understand everything...we need to have faith enough to trust what God's Word tells us. 

It's easy for my mind to be swirling with questions and wanting answers. Although we are to be growing in wisdom and discernment....as Christians we also need to accept that there will be (many) things we don't understand in their entirety. We need to have the faith to know that God is in absolute control and trust that...through everything, the good and especially the bad. My knowledge is so limited...and as my mind has been swirling lately...this verse was laid on my heart: 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. 
~Proverbs 3:5-6

Glory to God! I may not know it all...but I do know this...Christ and him crucified. And that, He did for those He loved...whom the Father gave Him. Oh, amazing grace....how truly sweet the sound! 


The past couple weeks, Chris and I have had a difficult time with the outdoor wood stove. The stove, itself was fine, but the wood was wet (since we hadn't gotten it all split and stacked early enough in the year) and soft pine (trees that someone had cut down and given us to cut up and split). Soft pine does *not* burn well and it being wet didn't help matters. It became exhausting...me going out numerous times during the day to tend the stove (with the fire going out often) and Chris sleeping downstairs and going out to tend to it during the night....all trying to keep the water temp. up which heats our home. We each would get so terribly frustrated and discouraged...thankfully, at alternating times. When one of us was discouraged and grouchy...the other was encouraging and optimistic. Oh, how God knew we needed each other...Chris and me!

Saturday...we were quite determined to get a bunch of wood split and stacked and get it drying out as best as we could. A friend had loaned us his wood splitter...but the motor on it died after the first try with it, previously. Chris's Grandpa gave us his extra one but it needed some work too. Chris found the parts it needed but we had to order them and wait. So Saturday, Chris was using his ax and muscles to split wood...a slow and tiring process, truly. As he is splitting...I kid you not, his ax broke. Oh my....I saw his heart sink low...the sadness and defeat that covered his face made my heart clench. He threw the ax handle down and walked to the side of the wood shed...anger quietly surging through him. I walked up behind him, placing my hand on his shoulder in love...each of us in silent prayer.

He turned and told me he was off to the hardware store to purchase another ax.
Xavier....waiting and watching for daddy to come home...


Wouldn't you know...what we took as frustrating and defeating, God used for our good and benefit. Oh how He works in marvelous ways. Some may call it coincidence...I call it the love of God:

After Chris left our house...he stopped at his parents meat market to have a cup of coffee and relax his frustration (and admittedly, anger) before going in to the hardware store. He was only there a couple of minutes when his Grandpa walked in with a magazine in hand...one from a store about 10 miles away that had just the parts needed for the wood splitter (the one we thought we would have to *wait* on parts for). So, instead of the ax....Chris and his Grandpa drove off, together (Chris, renewed in spirit) for the parts to fix the wood splitter.

The ax broke. If it hadn't...Chris would have been splitting wood by hand (back-breaking, exhausting, slow-going type of work). Chris stopped at the meat market and his Grandpa came in...just in time...with that magazine in hand. They were able to go get the parts needed for the wood splitter...which ended up getting more wood split, in less time, with less back-aching. Coincidence? Not at all....it was providence. God's divine help and goodness.






We split and stacked with a renewed spirit...working, talking, laughing...all with total thankfulness to God for showing us how much we need Him....and how He *does* provide. :) Half the wood shed is full now...the wood stove has been working much better for us and we have been warm in our house.

Madelyn has a snuffly-cold which I seem to have caught. So I am grateful I won't need to make quite as many trips out to the wood stove as I did the past few weeks (I was a lovely sight, most days, I tell you! Chris's up-to-my-knees muck boots, skirt, super-duper large hoody and gloves were my height of fashion the past couple weeks! ;).

Well, I have been working on this post for quite a while this morning...off and on. X is out shoveling snow, Madelyn is making eggs and Jaxson's washing eggs from the chickens (we have 5 dozen in our fridge at the moment!). I need to get moving...laundry and dishes await me...and the children and I need to get working on our schoolwork for the day as well. So to end this post...I'm just going to share some photos from the weekend! :o)

Chris's jeep (that has been such a blessing!)...


I have been crocheting pot holders...


After coming in from checking the wood stove, the other morning, I found my children reading their bibles (filling this mama's heart with **joy**!)...



And one of my snuggle-bunnies...bundled up, cuddled up and snug with his monkey, George...


Our hens have been laying just wonderfully for us now...like I mentioned earlier, we have 5 dozen eggs in the fridge!


Later....reading...


And playing...


Rolls for lunch....


Cloth napkins...folded up and ready for use...


I-Spying...Jaxson and daddy...



Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love is the thing...


...that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots. 
~Hoosier Farmer

There is nothing like the feeling of a well-tidied *home*. Notice, I say *home* and not *house*. I do so for a reason, for a home is not one where you can't feel comfortable...where tension fills the air when things always have to be too perfect. A well-tidied house is cold and lonely feeling. A well-tidied home is full of warmth, hospitality, is eye-pleasing and comforting.

What’s more important to a sense of "home" is not perfectly arranged designer pillows, but the comforting arms of a mother or wife who is available and content when her family needs it. 

It is my goal, daily, to have a *home* where Chris likes to come back to after a long day at work. He deserves for it to be tidy and nice-smelling...a place where if he *does* bring some mud in with his shoes, he doesn't feel that he will be fussed at. It's simple to clean up and something I can tend to as he rests. Most nights, though, my Christopher doesn't get much rest time...between tending the wood-stove and other things that need his attention (here and helping others)...I want him to *know* that home is his sanctuary...a peaceful, restful place away from it all. 

A peek in the bathroom...


And the kitchen...


The blue little caddy was a thrift store find! I love it with that chicken wire. I need to sand it and repaint it (I'm thinking black...with roughed edges for a rustic look)...



This morning we had some freezing rain outside. Chris was out at the wood stove and I went out to see if he needed a hand. I noticed the outside steps were quite slippy (especially for me, as my legs are still terribly sore from my workout yesterday morning). The boys were in charge of the goats and chickens today so I told them to be very careful on their way down the outside steps and on the driveway...as it was icy. Those smart guys of mine thought it best to secure their go-kart helmets to their heads...just in case they fell. It may seem silly...but I must admit, it gave me a sense of comfort! I just love these fellas...


Working on a bit of school on a cold, wet, glad-to-be-inside type of day...



Chris will be home from work soon. Although *you* didn't know it, I stopped mid-post to go mix up rolls to rise and also to tend the wood stove. I will get supper started and look forward to my sweet-heart coming home. Warm wishes for an enjoyable evening and also, for the weekend ahead. :)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

~ A Bit of This & That~

 Good morning! I am quite chipper today...since I am an early bird (usually up around 4:30am, naturally...which to some may seem like a curse, but to me is a few hours of enjoyable quiet) I decided to start working out with a cardio video. I began today (already knowing I am out of shape...but realizing how *much* so as I got tired during the warm-up!) and whew! I feel great...except the fact that my legs feel like spaghetti noodles! ;) After the cool down (which I have truly decided is my favorite part of the whole routine) I jumped in the shower. Now, here I sit in my denim skirt and organish-pink colored top and my cozy slippers...feeling rejuvenated and ready to start the day! The children are waking up slowly but surely...getting ready to start their chores and have some tummy-filling breakfast.

This will be a quick-sort-of post...as I am ready to tackle schooling and housework. Later, my nephew is coming over to play for a bit...which the children look forward to. I have crocheting to do, as Jaxson has his request in for a pair of slippers now. (I finished Chris's slippers the other night and they fit him to a *T*!) As well as spending time in my Bible daily, I am also in the midst of reading THIS book from Kim Riddlebarger. So there are many things to fill my day...thus the reason for a quicker-sort-of post (although, as chatty as I seem to be, it's not as *quick* as I intended!).

Did you know that Huckleberry Fin lives at my house? Yup, he does. He's a grand fella, I tell you! I know, you wish he lived at *your* house...




Around the house the past few days...

Candles lit in the kitchen...


And the dining room...


I was cleaning this past Saturday (like I posted photos of HERE) and moved a through things around and did a little organizing in the schoolroom. A comfy spot to read...


One of the *many* bookshelves...


The chore chart (which I made and posted about HERE)...


I've been baking and cooking each day (I know what you may be thinking...doesn't match with my exercise plan, does it?). Although these soft pretzels don't look exactly pretty...they did taste good! You can find the recipe for them HERE...


Hashbrown casserole (to go along with eggs for supper one evening)...


And finally, before I go...a picture of my Christopher (He makes my heart go pitter-pat...those soft, green eyes of his hold so much warmth and love. He wraps me in them daily. I think if it were possible for a person to melt, I would be a puddle everytime he looked at me.) and me...


Okay...I really must go...a day to be lived awaits me!
You have a *great* Wednesday!

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy

Monday, January 23, 2012

Hooray! Eloise turns *ONE* today!


Exactly one year ago today, God blessed our family with our first niece! Oh, how joy-filled this past year has been! If you have visited me here these past 365 days, you have seen how much we all just love this little girl! I can hardly believe how quickly the time has flown by...bittersweet, truly.

Eloise had a *Minnie Mouse* themed birthday party. My sister did such a wonderful job with everything! Everyone in attendance had a great time...Eloise (aka: Minnie Mouse) was super-cute in everything she did. She seemed *very* happy that many of the people she loved most were all in the same room! I will admit, I took a lot of photos...I am posting some of them (but there were many more!)...


Xavier and Eloise...


The slippers I made for El fit her (to my absolute delight) perfectly!



My sister got my children these funny glasses...


Eloise was trying to figure out *who* it was behind those glasses...


Peek! Well, hello there, Madelyn!


Who is behind these glasses? Why, it's Jaxson!


Eloise takes a turn!


Oh how El loves Madelyn...and the feeling is completely mutual! Maddy can really get her giggling!


Time for a break from all the fun...it's time to eat some supper!


Daddy reading to Jaxson...


Cory and Devon served up a delicious supper of hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, macaroni salad, baked beans and carrots! Everyone got their fill and then it was time for presents!



She sure loved that wrapping paper (as most babies do!)...



She really enjoyed pulling the paper off and then putting it *in* something...specifically a gift bag that you will see she fell in love with, a few photos down. Look at my sister in this photo, below. Isn't she just beautiful?



This gift bag caught Eloise's eye and she loved putting things in it and carrying it around!



The last gift of the night was from Grammie and Pop-Pop (Devon and my parents). It was a **baby**. Eloise fell immediately in love and Mama couldn't get the baby out of the box fast enough!



She ran around the room showing everyone her baby!





It's almost time for cake...but first, Eloise wants to feed her baby!


Time to blow out the candle (with just a wee bit of help from Mama)!


Devon made El a super-healthy carrot cake to enjoy...and she truly did enjoy it! She was very neat about it though, much to our disappointment (well, not complete disappointment...she was super-cute...messy or not!)



Clomping around in her snow boots, baby-in-hand...


Winding down for the night...sitting with Madelyn...


What an absolutely wonderful evening it was! Everyone laughed and enjoyed watching Eloise be her sweet self all night. I know my sister is going to post photos of her own this morning (I just rise from slumber earlier than she does). I hope you will pop over and see her pictures HERE!

We thank God for the wonderful gift of Eloise. None of us could imagine our lives without the *sparkle* that is her.

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,
Katy