Tuesday, July 6, 2021

"Summer afternoon -- Summer afternoon..."

 ....to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

~ Henry James

Ok, so I must confess...summer isn't my favorite season (despite the quote I posted above) but I have come to the conclusion that I don't have a favorite season anymore. I used to say it was the lovely autumn that was my favorite....but now, I truly must admit that I love each season for the different blessings they bring (but also each has it's not-so-great things about them too)! 

Summer is a time of gardening, being outside, swimming, sun, and fun! But it's also a time of heat (sometimes unbearable) and for me ~ bug bites! Oh, how they love to get me! My husband barely gets a bite. We enjoy sitting on our Amish rocking chairs on our back porch some evenings...but I just can't stand getting so bit up! Chris lights a citronella candle....but it doesn't help. I am not super fond of the bug off sprays either....unless I *have* to wear them. 

I'll have to photograph our vegetable garden to share with you. We have lots of corn and green beans growing! Above I shared some of my perennials as well as an area we just finished planting and mulching in! It was a lot of work (and sweat) but I'm so happy with how it turned out!

I always have people tell me how much they enjoy seeing photos from inside my home. It's humble and simple....but warm and cozy. It's our "place" and I am so thankful the Lord blessed us with it! 

In the kitchen  (those floors used to be covered in carpet when we moved here 20 years ago...then underneath that was tile...and more tile underneath that...and then the whole wood floor was covered in tar paper!! It was awful! During lockdown from COVID last year, we worked hard to get all those tiles and tar paper off. It was back-breaking, knee pain! But it was worth it! Now it looks like a farmhouse floor which I love! It's not the most beautiful floor and maybe one day we will cover it....but for now, it works for us and has an old, rugged, farmhouse look to it and I love that!)....

And here's a picture of the dining room (dog toys on the floor and all!). Our hand-me-down chairs that we had for years and years finally bit the dust so we had to purchase some. We decided to get four solid wood chairs and a bench....

Although not a "pretty" picture....here's the gym Chris and I have put together over the past year. I still use our local Y most days....but it is so nice to have our own place to workout when we want. Chris uses it often! It's nice and cool in this room because it's the basement! Our newest addition to the gym is the battle ropes at the bottom of the picture! 

Stella-cat....in all her glory! She and Winnie-the-Cat enjoy sleeping through the day in our air-conditioned bedroom. They sure do have it rough, huh? 

The last photos I have to share are from our 4th of July. A local parade was held on Saturday the 3rd. My dad took one of his tow trucks through it. Jaxson (my youngest) and my sister and her children rode through on it. Xavier rode with the volunteer fire company he is part of and Madelyn just sat and watched the parade, I think (she was at the other end of the parade so I didn't see her). 

Here is Jaxson, Eloise and Audra throwing candy... (Dinah, my sister and Dusten were on the other side of the truck)...

On the actual 4th, we attended Sunday School and Church, had a light lunch and then Chris and I headed out on a bike ride on a local trail! We workout together in some way or another every Sunday afternoon! 

So that's just a wee update of life lately. Truly....tons has been going on....so much I can share. I will try to come back and share soon. This week is super busy but I wanted to pop on really quick and say hello! 

Thanks so much for stopping by and hopefully I will be back soon with more of what's been going on here! 


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Our Hope is in Christ

 As we see votes going toward the party of murder (abortion), marxism (BLM)/communism and immorality (LGBT)...we, as followers of Christ, can feel a sense of dread, depression, hopelessness. Heavy hearts weigh down our souls. But friends, be encouraged! This is not a time to despair! Our hope doesn't lie in a conservative political party (most of which are out doing much of the same garbage the liberals are....politics is just a game. A horrible circle of power). Our hope lies in Jesus Christ, alone! 

We may face persecution in upcoming days, months or years (John 15:20). The Lord said we would, as believers living a Godly life (2 Timothy 3:12). I think many of us have lived lives with a sense of comfort ~ not truly understanding Christian persecution. Of course, living peacefully is wonderful and desirable...but I believe God separates the wheat from the chaff during times of persecution. Are you willing to give up all you have? Are you willing to be tortured, ridiculed, and demeaned as Christ was? Are you willing to die...or watch your loved ones die while you cling to Christ? In Matthew 5:10-12 ~ the Lord tells us that those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake are blessed! 

It is time (if you aren't already), dear friends, to be in prayer and daily, reading God's Word in context. Memorize scripture. Put on the full armor of God. Memorization can be difficult...so try to do so in the form of songs. Those have always helped my family. Be ready to share the hope that is within you. It is a lost and depraved world. Your faith must be strong. Pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). The world hates us and will continue to. This should not come as a surprise (1 John 3:13). But let us remember the promises of Romans 8:35 ~ that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Take heart! For Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33)! He is our true King! 

If you haven't been already...live your life for Christ (1 Peter 4:19). Honor Him as Lord. Praise Him! He knows us through and through....our failures and sins...and yet, He loves us anyway. We don't deserve it. We are righteous only because He made us righteous. He took our sin and shame...and imputed us with His righteousness so we can stand before a holy God and be blameless. Not one of us deserves that. Oh how great is our Lord. Always faithful, always true! How worthy of our praise (Revelation 6:9-11)! 

I pray you find encouragement and strength for your soul here today (Acts 14:22). Please feel free to share your heart in the comments below or by email. I will reply if you desire to converse! Every time your soul feels troubled in this political climate or any troublesome time you are experiencing, direct your focus back to Christ. He is our hope and we can *always* find joy in Him (Psalm 23). 

If you are looking for a great fiction book to read...I highly recommend Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. It details some of how Christian persecution is in China. It will challenge you...truly! The link above is for Amazon but you may find it cheaper on ebay! :o)  



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Celebrating 20 Years & Some Updates...


Today marks a blessed day for my husband and me! We celebrate 20 years of marriage today! I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am for this man the Lord has given to me ~ the absolute blessing he is to my life. He is my very best friend. He is a great provider, comforter, and protector. He is talented (if something is broken...Chris can fix it!). He isn't perfect (nor am I) but he sure is absolutely fantastically mine. The Lord made him for me...and me for him. We fit together so well that I detest being separated from him for very long! 

I love how we take care of each other. We have traditional family roles in our household (as anyone can tell if you have read my blog for any length of time). I take care of Chris...and he takes care of me. He works hard to provide and works on fixing up our home (which he just finished the siding on and I will have to post about!). I make his breakfast and coffee every morning and pack his lunch for work. I homeschool the children and tend to the home chores (and make supper in the evening). I love my simple life. It's not perfect this side of heaven...but it is good. The Lord has cared for us in innumerable ways and I am truly grateful. 

I'm not sure if Chris read this post or not...but if so: Happy Anniversary Love! There is absolutely no one I would rather have spent the past 20 years with! I pray the Lord grants us many more years together! 

A few quick (but rather big) updates from lately...

Madelyn has moved! Yes...it's true. She's 19 and working and was ready to be on her own (sort of). She's renting a little house right next to my parents (that's the only reason we agreed to it....it's affordable and her grandparents are *right* there). For anyone wondering ~ she didn't go to college. We don't think college is the correct path for children. We aren't against higher education but rather we believe it is best for young girls to marry, bear children and keep the home as submissive wives to their husbands. Of course, there are circumstances where this can't happen for some...but we believe it to be the way the Lord would have most young women go and that it is the ideal. 

I'm struggling a wee bit with it...she was gone a lot anyway with work and things...and X is gone a lot working too. He does his schooling, then helps at my dad's garage for a few hours in the afternoon and then works at a farm on many evenings. So...the supper table looks bare many evenings with just Chris, Jaxson and me around it. But this is how the seasons of life go I suppose. It's how it is suppose to be. My babies can't live here forever (and honestly...I wouldn't want them to! ha!). Madelyn is still settling in at her place but I will share some photos when I can! 

And in other news....due to a few reasons...I had to have a hysterectomy at the beginning of the month. My doctor who is also a Christian, called to check on me a few days after surgery (it was done laparoscopic and in and out of the hospital in one day). He told me we need to thank God I had my uterus removed for they found abnormal cells in my lining that were a step away from cancer!! Praise God for his care for me! He is so good! I don't deserve His mercy and love...but He gives it anyway. I am deeply grateful! Recovery has been good. Honestly, I have felt fantastic from right after my surgery...this has been bad though because I just want to do everything like normal...exercising, weight lifting, housework, mowing etc. I have over-done it in the past 3 weeks and am heading to the doctor today to make sure I'm healing okay. Although I hate insurance and all the garbage that can come from technology ~ I must admit that the technological advances in surgery are *such* an amazing blessing! 

I actually need to go finish getting ready for my appointment! I just wanted to pop on and share this little update! I hope you all are well. Thank you for stopping by! I hope to post again soon! 



Wednesday, August 19, 2020

My New Home Office

 I couple weeks ago, I rearranged my home office area. It's where I check my computer, pay bills, plan in my planner, make stickers, plan school etc! It works wonderfully for me now how I have it set up. It's organized and cozy and I love it! I took some pictures to share:

The baby picture below (on my desk) is of Jaxson when he was wee. Now he's 14.5 years old!!

Our electric went out the other day. It was quite warm out and uncomfortable...so Jaxson, the dogs and I sat out on the porch for a bit. Everyone else was busy that night and didn't get home til a bit later. It came back on around 9:30pm...then went back out again in the wee hours. I must admit...having electric really does spoil us! 

There's Mickey on the porch and Cash out in the yard...(yes...Cash is still ticking! The old boy is closing in on 13, I think! You can see him as a pup HERE.)

Luckily for our family...I love candles and oil lamps...so we just light 'em up when it gets dark! :)

I hope your week is going well! Chris has been working on siding the dormers in the evenings...it's such a process! But it's happening...we are so, so close to be done! I can't wait! 

Veggie beef soup in the crock pot for supper last night....and tonight I'm making french toast! What's on the menu at your house? 

We started our homeschool year this past Monday. I can hardly believe Madelyn is done. She is off to work most days. The boys do their schooling in the mornings and then are off to work most afternoons. Seasons of life change so quickly, don't they? 

I gotta run...it's been a busy day and I have more to do but I wanted to pop a few pictures and a post on while I had a chance! I'll share more soon! Happy Wednesday!



Friday, July 24, 2020

2020 Formal

I was in charge of our homeschool co-ops formal this year. Because of all the Covid lockdowns we had to post pone the date. Usually it is held in May or beginning of June. This year we had to have it in July. Three days prior to the formal, our governor decided to put in a new mandate (despite the fact that our county  of 45,000+ has had under 50 cases of Covid and no deaths) that you couldn't have gatherings indoors of more than 25 people. I was not going to cancel the formal because of this crazy mandate put in on a Thursday! Everything had been purchased, the hall...food...dresses and suits....so we went ahead with it. I'm so glad we did. It went beautifully and the children all seemed to have such a great time!

My mom and Jaxson were awesome help. My mom has an eye for these things. I jokingly tell people that some women buy shoes and purses....my mom buys event decorations (oh look! Tea lights! Oh look, strings of lights at 90% off, oh look, floral garlands!)...haha! It has blessed numerous people though as she has used these decorations for wedding receptions, mother/daughter teas, dances and more! So, because of this, she saved our co-op money. We didn't have to buy decorations!

Ironing all the linens is such a pain...but thankfully, numerous moms volunteered to come the evening before when we were starting to get everything decorated and they brought their irons and ironing boards! (When all was said and done, I had to bring home all the linens....treat them for stains and wash them etc. Oh, how lovely disposable things can be sometimes...haha! My mom always stands by the fact that these linens...although more work...are much classier than disposable table coverings...and of course, she is right!)

The night of the formal, my mom and I had all the food prepared and some of the other moms dropped off cookies, which was fantastic. My mom and Jaxson kept replenishing the punch, water and food on the table!

 Table decorations were simple but pretty...floating tea lights in water and tissue paper flowers (we had to make each one of those...thankfully, I had some people helping me with that too. We had to pull each sheet of tissue paper away from the middle and fluff it. It isn't difficult, but tedious. We had a lot of them to make too! But it got done! :)

For a dj, we had one of the students who attend our co-op, as he is getting started doing that. It's a way for him to make some extra money and he did a great job! :) Our photographer graduated last year from homeschooling and she was also an attendee from our co-op. She took the next four photos:

Xavier (almost 17):

Madelyn (19), Morgan (Xavier's sweetie) and X:

X and Morgan (We just love this girl. She compliments X so well...and just fits with our family! We pray she is the one the Lord has to be X's wife one day. That's their plan!)...

 All the kids had fun dancing. They all liked a lot of the line dancing...like the Macarena and the like! They even all loved doing the chicken dance! Hahahaha!

During slower songs it's always so sweet to see the boys (and every once in a while a bold girl asks a shy boy) ask a girl to dance. Not because of a crush or love interest...just as a gentleman...and as friends! Such a great group of kids!

These two aren't permitted much physical contact. X was so glad to be able to just put his arm around her and dance with her. We have some strict rules with our kids. They are never alone. Always chaperoned...even in a vehicle. Sometimes they think it's excessive...but one day, they will realize how much we love them and want to protect them. ;o)

As it got later...the lights around the hall looked so pretty!

The pictures of the food table looked so much prettier at night!

The pic below is quite blurry....but I wanted to get a pic of the sense of how lovely it all looked as night set in! It really was beautiful! Although you can't tell...standing back there is my love~ Chris (the short one) with our friend JJ. They were talking and laughing! I jokingly went up to them and told them they were horrible chaperones because they weren't even paying attention to the kids! haha! There were a few other parents there though and all was good. Plus...these kids, although not perfect, are good kids. They know Miss Katy will whoop 'em if they get into trouble! ;o)

And then, these two...just because. :o)

I had numerous kids come up to me during the formal...thanking me for everything, saying they are having a great time and how much they appreciate it! I had mothers tell me that too later. One mother even emailed me and was so grateful. She even sent my mama a thank you card! :o) Honestly...knowing that it all turned out so wonderfully makes it all worth it!!! Such great memories were made and that makes me smile big!

After cleaning up and getting home and things put away at home...I dropped into bed and was so exhausted. I didn't sleep till after midnight. For some people that is no big deal. I am an early to bed, early to rise gal and I was dead to the world once I fell asleep. We didn't even attend church the next day (although Madelyn still went). I was completely spent. Plus, our church starts at 9:30am...which typically is no big deal for me....but I just couldn't get moving that day!

Today has been sunshine filled and warm out. I have clothes on the line and have gotten a lot of housework done. I even vacuumed out my car! My workout was done this morning! I need to stop and get a few groceries then meet my family ~ as this is our week to go clean our church!

I hope you have a lovely weekend! Thanks so much for stopping by! It means so much! I forgot how much I enjoy blogging! I hope you enjoyed the pictures from the formal I shared!


Thursday, July 16, 2020

"Trust in the Lord and do good...

...dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture."

Psalm 37:3

May I recommend, if you feel a burdened heart and heaviness in your spirit because of the chaos in the world today....read Psalm 37. I read it last night and found it so encouraging. Our Lord is sovereign...which means He is in control. We can rest in that! 

The Lord makes firm the steps
 of the one who delights in Him; 
though he may stumble, he will not fall, 
for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

Psalm 37: 23-24

Our garden is growing well. I'm really excited about the corn! It's growing quickly...these pics were taken a few days ago and already the corn is taller! It will only be enough for a couple meals....nothing to can or freeze...but that's ok. It will still be fantastic to eat something we grew! We've already eaten some of the green beans from our garden and they were delicious! How is your garden growing? 

This picture is from my phone...so it's not the best quality...but Chris made us a dutch door for between our living room and kitchen! We still have to figure out how we want to do the latch for the door...but for now, here it is! I love it! :)

I love this walkway when the hosta is grown and in bloom...

Just a quick picture of Jaxson (he's 14 now!). He has had to get glasses....you can see them on the top of his head below ;) ....

Xavier did 4H this year...it wasn't too thrilling though considering all the COVID lockdowns and restrictions...but he raised his sheep (he named him Stymie). He is showing him tonight and the auction is tomorrow! I hope it goes well!

I have been busy today with laundry, washing bedding, feeding the chickens, etc. I need to get to the gym soon and a friend is dropping off cookies for our homeschool co-op's formal we're having on Saturday. Many moms have offered to make cookies to donate which is fantastic. (My mom and I are doing the rest of the food and decorations. Some of the moms have offered to come help me iron tablecloths too! That sounds so boring...but oh, what a help that is! We are hoping to make it a nice time for the kids!) ....later today I have to get food to prepare for the formal and then have Xavier's 4H show this evening! I wanted to pop on and try to keep up with posting though! :)

Madelyn turned 19 earlier this week! She had the day off work so I took her to lunch and we had a nice time! It was nice just to visit together...sometimes I feel like we miss each other since she works a lot now. Xavier works a lot too....and Jaxson has been helping a lot at my dad's garage as well. He likes working on VWs and my dad has some in there that need attention. I feel like I'm starting to already suffer from empty nest syndrome! Ack! I love watching my children grow...but oh how I miss when they were little! I feel incredibly blessed to have watched them grow into teenagers/young adults. I know this is how it goes....God intends for us to grow and mature! But, I sure do miss them being wee and playing make believe! All seasons of life are such a gift.

I need to get going! I have much to get done today! I hope you are well! Thank you for stopping to visit! I hope you have a lovely weekend ahead!


Friday, July 10, 2020

Madelyn's Graduation Party

From my camera...a few pictures from graduation and then some from Madelyn's graduation party! Above, that was Madelyn's little display for her reception after the graduation ceremony! Below...my girl on stage...

Madelyn and my parents...

A few quick pictures of the graduation party before a bunch of people arrived (that's Madelyn's little blue truck in the background)...

Food tables...we had a taco bar (per Mad's request)...

It was an absolutely gorgeous day...but super hot. Thankfully, my mom had a couple pop up tents to provide some shade. People sat in the shade of the trees and on the porch as well...

My mom made the cupcakes (we had more than this...she made 75!! We just kept bringing more out as the number got lower on the table!

 I made this little sign...

My sister and our family trying to find some shade under the trees...

It was a busy and exhausting day....replenishing food, greeting guests, running in and out of the house...you know the drill ~ being a busy hostess! But it was great! Madelyn had a great time....she and a lot of her friends played Frisbee out in the yard. I wish I would have gotten some pictures...but honestly, I snapped some...then put my phone and camera down and kept busy managing the celebration! :) We had a lot of people in and out through the 4 or 5 hours. It was a good day! Now that it is past though....I am in charge of our homeschool co-op's formal this year. Normally it is held in May or June...but due to COVID, we moved it to January 18th. I have been busy preparing for that. I have helped for the past couple years with decorations and food etc....but this year, I'm in charge of it all. I pray it goes well and the kiddos have fun!

We will be celebrating my nephew's birthday this weekend. He turned THREE this week! He is the cutest thing. His smile (quite the cheese-y grin) lights up a room! You can see a pic of him on my sister's blog HERE but he had just turned 2 then. That's the latest she has updated!

Time keeps on ticking by....but I *am* trying to be a better blogger again!
Thanks for stopping by! I pray your week has been enjoyable!