Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Smiles in July ~ Celebrating! I know the picture above is a silly one of us...there's a better one later in this post! ;) We spent July 4th at a local parade and then spent that evening at our church's annual 4th of July picnic at our pastor's house! I take lots of pictures there to share with the church so that means there are never any pictures that I am in (which is really ok with me....truly!) but I would at least like the proof when we look back in later years that I was actually there! So, a selfie with my love would have to suffice! Cheese! (My hair was down earlier in the day....but it was quite hot as the day wore up in a tail it went!)

I'm just sharing a few pictures from that night....they are the darker ones so as to protect the privacy of anyone who doesn't want their photo out in the blog-o-sphere! This was after supper...getting ready for some fun fireworks! Our pastor's wife hands glow sticks out every year to all the children! She loves to do it and they love to get them!

All the children lined up to watch...

My nephew, Dusten, turned ONE this past weekend! I can't truly fathom how little Dusty has become a toddler already! He goes, goes, goes! He's so much fun! How did we ever live life without him around? He is such a joy! 

(Although I am handling the idea of him turning one a little easier than the fact that my Madelyn turns 17 this week!! What!? I know what you are thinking!!! I think it every day! How is that even possible!? I think she was 6 or 7 when I started this blog! If you've been here with me a've watched her grow up too! Be still my heart!)

Chris talking to our niece, Audra.... (she told him she didn't want him to go home....she would miss him! Isn't that so sweet!?)...

Me with my love...

Dinah-girl trying to see what things looked like through the colors of the balloons!

The birthday boy himself (I would have more pictures....but my sister was busy so I took pictures for her on her camera and didn't get as many on mine!)....

Madelyn is in a courting relationship (always have a chaperone) with a young man that we know through our homeschool co-op. He is just delightful, kind, and funny! He has a great sense of humor! He loves the Lord and has even prayed with Madelyn! His name is Isaac and Chris nicknamed him Zeke (for I-Zeke)! He has graduated and will be heading to college shortly. He won't be too far away. They are both seeking the Lord's will with this relationship but would both like to see it come to marriage one day!

I said (randomly at our co-op one day) to Madelyn.....that Isaac is such a sweet boy! He is kind and helpful and just has a great character. I kinda smiled at her...and she was like "oh MOM!"....months later they began talking more...and more and then one day Isaac asks permission to spend more time with Madelyn to get to know her more!

Oh my....parenting is no easy thing! Pointing your children to Christ, teaching them love, morals, kindness, selflessness, and servanthood along with book learning, homemaking skills (and more) is *such* a joy though! Watching your children blossom into young adults...(feeling like I was just there myself not long ago...although it really *was* 20 years ago!) is an amazing thing. I am so thankful to God for the gift that is my Madelyn. Her heart is sweet and she is a wonderful, lovely young woman! I am incredibly blessed to call her mine. Life wouldn't be this good without her in it!

I'm sorry my posting has been so far and long between each one. Life just keeps happening....I blink and another day has gone by and sometimes seems to go faster and faster. Although I am cherishing my days right now....I do admit that I miss my littles actually being "little"! If your children are small yet, please enjoy them! They really aren't little very long. Love them, teach them...bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Of course, I must plug here: if you can ~ homeschool them! Don't give them to the gov't institution for 6 to 8 hrs a day! Be in their them, guide them, love them and nurture them. These years are critical! And though the days can be crazy *will* miss them. :) Most importantly ~ pray for your children and thank God continually for them.

It's getting late...I have had a busy day of working out early (and hard)...home to do housework/chores as well as some organizing projects. Chris and his brother worked on the back porch this evening after work and I made them grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for supper! Madelyn went to church tonight and the boys have been riding their bikes around! It's now closing in on 9:30pm and I am ready to hit the hay!

I thank you for taking the time to stop by today and visit me! I hope your July has started off beautifully! I hope you will stop by again real soon!


Monday, June 25, 2018

"It was June...

...and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."

~ Maud Hart Lovelace

Projects around the house are getting done quite slowly. There are just so many other things that demand our time. I have more free time than Chris does...but alas, the projects that really need done are only things he can we wait. The man works hard and I am thankful when he does get a little down time (but I will confess that living in a fixer upper house for the past almost 18 years makes having patience difficult! I always remind myself that this home is temporary, truly...while we are grateful for it and do our best to take care of it ~ we are only here for the duration of our lifetimes ~ which is but a tiny dot in the midst of eternity. Having my home look magazine-pretty really isn't what I'm pushing for! I honestly am just big on things looking neat and tidy.)

Chris has been doing some *finishing* things on the back porch....and we have been discussing new windows for the upstairs rooms (dormers and the very front window). The windows there now are the original ones to the house and need updated. Once that gets done...we can finish the siding on the dormers and front of the house as well. I am *super* excited for that to happen! (I say "we" can finish the I am actually part of it ~ when I just try to keep Chris and whoever helps him with it hydrated and well-fed! I truly don't *do* any of the siding!).

I strive to keep the yard cut and tidy as well as flowers and plants planted around about to make things pretty. I took photos to show you but truly, everything looks *much* prettier in real life!

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June."

~ L.M. Montgomery

The days have been going continually right after the other. Days filled with work ~ differing forms for each of us. Chris and Xavier are often working at my dad's garage (or at his dad's meat market). Madelyn babysits and also works some afternoons at the meat market. Jaxson helps with chores and is a great helper to his Grammie in her gardens!

My work is definitely that of a keeper at home. The mowing, laundry, dishes, cleaning up the house, grocery shopping and more keep me happily busy. I am still keeping up with my daily exercising as well.

My raised bed is looking nice! Everything is growing beautifully....although I don't think anything grew in my second raised bed. Always so strange to me how sometimes things take...and other times they don't! Our corn down at the "big garden" didn't take at all.....but our green beans and pumpkins are doing great down there!

As you can see in the photos below ~ Chris has the wood to start finishing things on the back porch...

Now I am trying to decide if I want to *stain* the back porch....or if I want to paint it white. Ack! Decisions, decisions! Any suggestions? If I am going to put the money and work into it...I want it to look nice! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it! :)

It's 4 pm right now....and I feel like I could fall over and fall fast asleep! It's been a busy day (not *overly* busy....just normal...getting things done sort of busyness). I taught spin this morning at 9am....then came home to mow and hang out some loads of laundry. After lunch, Jaxson and I went for groceries (then of course, you must come home, unload them from the car and put them all away which is another exhausting task! I was so thankful for his help!). I've done some other housework and then sat down to write this blog. I have some more things to tend to before I start supper so I best be saying my *good-byes* for now!

Before I go....if you like to listen to sermons, snippets, or read things I find interesting (I have a list of great sermons in a link on my right sidebar...but I've been too lazy to add more when I come across them!) I do share things I like on my Google Plus Page. You can find it HERE. Just if you're interested!

Anyway...I hope your day has been enjoyable so far and that June has been a great start to the summer for you! Please visit again soon!


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

"Never give up praying...

...until the answer comes."

~George Muller

I am reading George Muller's autobiography (which you can find HERE). I'm not sure if I have posted about it here before or not. It's a really great book! To see his faith and how he waits upon the Lord...all while fervently praying and entrusting *everything* to Him ~ it is truly inspiring! Prayer, when it is along with God's will, is a powerful tool He has given us to communicate with Him! What a beautiful gift and privilege it is to be able to talk to the Creator of the universe and *know* He hears us...and loves us! When you are adopted into the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ you can know for *certain* that you are His and He is yours. When you try to truly fathom is hard to wrap your mind around! I hope you spend time in prayer daily....communing with our Lord. A relationship *needs* communication ~ and that happens only through reading God's Word daily and talking to Him regularly! :) 

 Along with Muller's autobiography and my daily Bible reading...I read a little snippet from Joni Eareckson Tada's book: Diamonds in the Dust. It's a devotional and full of uplifting, convicting devotions! It's definitely worth reading and you can find it HERE if you are interested! Just be sure a devotional book doesn't take the place of your daily Bible reading. Being in the Word....and chewing on it in vital to your walk with Christ! :)

I am now home after a difficult workout this morning. It was good to do it....but my muscles are just exhausted! I'm happy to have gotten my workout done early though. I am now showered and have had breakfast! Laundry is going, dishes are started, and I filled an etsy order and put it in the mail! :) It's a great start to the day and I am thankful for that! I always love when I can get a lot accomplished!

I hope to be able to spend some time out on the porch (in my rocking chair of course) reading at some point today too! The weather has been so lovely...cloudy and rainy some days (but we need that!). The temperatures have been in the 70's usually with a nice breeze! Wonderful weather to have windows open and clothes out on the line!

As you can see...some of my hosta is out of control. I will be separating some of it and moving it to other areas at the end of the season! It is just getting *too* humongous for this space!

A nice breeze comes in through the open kitchen windows...

The raised beds are coming along nicely! In the first one I have sweet onions, lettuce and purple beans planted. Yes....purple beans! Isn't that so fun!? The package says they will turn green when you cook them! I'm excited to see them grow! I've never grown or seen them before! In the back bed I have a few rows of green beans planted (we also have green beans planted down at the big garden....along with sweet corn and pumpkins!).

We had to get a new washing machine. Our last one was only 4 years old and developed a problem with it that would cost over $350 to fix! We decided it's better to just buy a new one. These things are *not* built to last anymore! What happened to washing machines lasting 20+ years!? We never buy extended warranties on things because I am appalled that they would ask for another $100+ to buy a 5 year warranty for their product! They can't guarantee that a washer that we pay $600+ isn't going to last at least 5 years!? I think it's ridiculous! Our last washer was a Whirlpool. So this time we got a Maytag. It *does* come with a 10 year warranty on the motor and some other part. We didn't have to pay extra for I'm glad they at least stand by their products it seems! If this Maytag washer does well for us then when our Whirlpool dryer bites the dust....we may look into a Maytag dryer too!

It's so nice to have a well-working washing machine again! I definitely put it to good use! :o) (On the right side you can see that plant in the pot....that is Madelyn's Tom-the-Tomato).

Now I must go. The laundry probably needs switched and the dishes need finished!

I hope your week is going well. May June be a wonderful month for you and your loved ones! Encourage one another in the Lord and may your walk grow closer with Him each day!


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

...when loneliness settles over

 ...when pain and grief and anxiety conspire to push you over the edge of despair, remember God's mighty deeds in your life. Remember His kindness, His special, tailor-made graces that fell out of the sky like a gentle spring rain."

~Joni Eareckson Tada

Times of difficulty come to each of us in different forms over the years. We all struggle with things we suffer with....whether that be death of a treasured person (as many of us are mourning over the sudden death of Jewels), hurts and wrongs between loved ones, trials, tribulations, uncertainties, depression, physical ailments and more. Tears and feelings of loneliness and heart ache can seem too much...but we have a Lord who understands our hurts.

For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham.  Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.  For because He himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2:16-18 

 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16

You are not alone...ever. Children of God never need feel lonely...for He is there. And when sadness, grief, fear, and feelings of despair threaten to consume you ~ He is there. Cry out to Him. When the path before you seems uncertain and the future seems scary ~ you have nothing to fear for you have a great High Priest who goes before you! He is our ever present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46:1)!

Spend much time in prayer. Fancy words aren't needed....He knows the cries of your heart better than you do! Spend time in God's Word! Let Him talk to you! The psalms are full of help for the weary soul!

Isn't it a pure delight to know that the sovereign, most high, Lord of the universe, Creator of *all* loves His children? He adopted us as His very own! May we hold that truth tight and seek to know Him more! May we strive to live in obedience to His Word ~ for Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments...

"Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him."
John 14:15

Jesus replied, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him."
John 14:23

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome...
1 John 5:3

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.
2 John 1:6

Sunshine-filled days and flowers can always improve my mood...even if just a little (not that I am in a "bad" mood right now...just a little solemn as I continually pray for Jewels' family as well as deal with some things in my own life right now). I'm sharing some photos from around our house recently. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and everything (although just a bit of simple landscaping) was lovely and made me smile.

I think it may rain tonight...which will be such a blessing. We planted in the big garden down on family land (green beans, corn and pumpkins) and it definitely needs the rain! I have planted my raised beds and been keeping them watered daily (as well as all my flowers). I don't mind watering everything...but the big garden is not near a water source so if it doesn't rain soon we may have to tote some water jugs out to give it a good drink! The forecast is calling for rain I am hopeful!

Some of my hosta is getting quite large. I plan on separating some of it when the season winds down and transplanting it to other areas! It's such a great filler! Hardy and pretty!

Our garage is quite old (built in the 40's) and isn't really a lovely building to behold...but we are thankful for it and try our best to keep it looking nice and tidy outside of it!

The sun filled days have made line drying the most economical choice for us lately! Such a gift to help save money in the summer! Plus, I am just so thankful for this porch my husband and our brother-in-love built. It is such a blessing! It is so enjoyable to sit out on it and spend time! The children spend a lot of time sitting out here playing games, drawing or writing!

I need to get supper started (we always eat later in the summer since there are many things to get done in an evening and Chris prefers to eat a little later and then rest after a work-filled day)...but just want to leave you with a couple more photos...

Here is Madelyn with a couple friends before they went to their homeschool co-op formal...Her friend Josiah asked if he could escort her to the dance. He asked permission from her father first. It was sweet! Although she isn't permitted to date or "go out" with anyone yet...we thought this would be just fine. He was a gentleman and opened the car door for her and everything. His parents have taught him to be a thoughtful young man...

Josiah's sister, Hannah, is one of Madelyn's best friends! She rode with them to the formal as well! They look forward to next year's formal when their *other* bestest buddy Renee can join them too and they can be their crazy trio!

I hope you found encouragement here today....and a bit of sweetness with the flowers around the house and innocence of young fun for the children! Thank you for visiting me here today and I pray your days ahead are joy-filled even through times of difficulty!


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Radical obedience to Christ is not easy...

...It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And He is more than enough for us."

“The modern-day gospel says, 'God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved.' Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, 'You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, & in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.” 

~David Platt

I encourage you...even if you have read the above them again. (Watch David Platt on youtube...he has some great sermons to watch!) Chew on them a bit. Let their meaning sink deep and then if you don't already....get into God's Word *every*single*day*! So many Christians don't read their Bible daily. This is a tragedy. How can we know the God we love so much if we don't read His Word? We need Him. He is our only hope.

If you are not a believer but like to visit here...please realize your need for a Savior. We are all wicked and terribly imperfect next to a holy, just God. We are in rebellion against Him. But God...our good, loving, gracious Creator took on human form in His Son, Jesus Christ, and lead a perfect life in our place! He then sacrificed Himself to *pay* for our sins against God! He suffered, bled and died (although completely innocent) on a cross. We must repent of our sins and trust in Christ as our Savior. He is the *only* way to the Father. I encourage you to watch: Are You a Good Person? My greatest prayer is that you will come to know Christ as your Savior...and live a life of love and obedience to Him! our home...

Madelyn and Jaxson worked on making envelopes and custom wax seals...

I have kept busy with my housework and exercise...

Making rolls for supper (I believe these were for chipped steak sandwiches one evening)...

I have been taking full advantage of the glorious sunshine the Lord supplies!

...It's so wonderful to save money and put to good use the environment the Lord provides!

My hosta have been growing...quickly! They are just sprouting out everywhere...and growing daily! It's great!!!

Monday was our last day of homeschool co-op for the school year. We'll get to see everyone in a few months when the new school year it's only good-bye for a little while! We shared a nice picnic with friends (got some sun on my arms and face) and the children played with friends (as we were at a park where they could play ball, use playground equipment etc. There were children everywhere!!). The Lord has provided us with a beautiful day each year for that picnic...even if it was predicted to rain! We are always so grateful!

Chris likes to try out recipes from time to time. Madelyn and I are the main cooks in this household but Chris likes to make some new things too sometimes! He likes to watch Kent Rollins cook and ordered his recipe book...

He made sourdough starter from it...

...and he made these great sourdough "biscuits" that were kinda like dinner rolls. I don't normally eat much bread...but I tried one of these when it was warm and it was so good! :)

I've gotta go! Lots of things to accomplish today! I hope your week is going well and thanks, so much, for stopping by today!