Saturday, June 30, 2012

In the summer...

...Swimming is a necessity!

Friday was another hot day in our neck of the woods (maybe it was in yours too?). My brother-in-love, his wife and son and also his mother-in-law all met us over at our neighbor's house (remember them? Yeah, those ones who are such a blessing to everyone...who gladly share everything with everyone...including pool usage? Yep...them!) to swim. I don't swim (although I *can*, I just choose not to until I am at a comfortable weight for myself and once I can, then, purchase a modest swimsuit). Everyone else had a great time though, cooling off!

When the children even hear the words "let's go swimming" begin to come out of my mouth, they are off like lightning, to find their suits! Were it possible, I think they would each *live* in the pool for the season!

My sister-in-love's mother is a swimming instructor. She kindly gives of her time and ability to help my children learn. She does such a great job with them! Here's X, learning to float...

And here he goes front-ways...

Madelyn, enjoying some swim-time (her and those goggles crack me up!)...

Xavier and Jaxson, splashing around...

Jaxson just loves these flippers. Anytime he is at the pool he puts them on...

 It was truly hilarious watching him flap those flippers back to the pool! We all had a good chuckle over it (which he loved and made his "flapping" even more dramatic!)...

When not taking photos or visiting with everyone along the side of the pool, I sat back in the shade working on a small knitting project. It's just a simple dish cloth. It's hard to make anything *big* in the summertime...

Chris's brother worked with Jaxson on his kicking...

But Jaxson is happy just floating around in a mini-intertube!

The walk back home is a short one....just through the woods and across the driveway...past the chickens and the garage. If you look closely...way on back there through the can see some laundry hanging out on the line to dry!

My poor, sweet Christopher. He was at work when we went swimming the *first* time yesterday (his brother has the summer off since he is a teacher). Chris loves to swim (although it takes him what seems like an eternity to actually get *in* a he goes around dipping a toe into each corner of the pool, checking the water temp.).

Everyone went swimming a second time yesterday, in the evening, but Chris got called back into work to help my he missed it that time too. Often, after work, he works hard around the homestead and is usually just too tuckered out by the end of the day to even get a small swim in. As I type, he and the boys are out working more on the clubhouse! The walls are all up and the makings of a door are happening! :) I will be sure to update with photos in another post next week, if I can! I hope you can stand the suspense for a little while!

It's pretty warm maybe, just maybe, I can convince Chris to go ahead and take the time to jump in the pool...I know he will really enjoy it! I hope you are able to get some swimming in during these hot summer months!

Thanks for visiting me here today! Although I feel as if I could keep there are always many things on my heart to share, I regret to say that I must go. Actually, I don't really regret it...because the *reason* I must end this post is so *I* can go out and see the exciting progress on the clubhouse! ;)

**Some of Chris's family went down the road in a horse-drawn carriage just now! I always love seeing that. Sometimes they will stop and let the children climb on for a ride!**

Ok...I'm really going now. ;)
Until next time, Lord willing...

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Days at Home

It's Thursday morning. The sun is shining, the children are playing and laundry is washing (which will be hung out on the lines as soon as it is finished!). I am sitting here in my denim skirt, olive green peasant top and my hair pulled up into a bun. It's suppose to get pretty hot today...thankfully, though, at the moment it is comfortable outside with a nice breeze!

I hope to get a bit of mowing done with the reel mower this morning...but we'll see. I'm not feeling 100% at the moment. Throughout the past few days, I have gotten a majority of the lawn already mowed. It's such a great workout...I am so thankful we got our mower! (The goats are out eating the grass they are great little mowers as well!) :o)

Although the clubhouse isn't done yet (and Chris hasn't had much time to work on it this week), the children still enjoy sitting up there (this mama is anxious for the other walls to go it will be much safer then!)...

Xavier, using leftover wood, made a great stool for them to sit on up in their club!

Right now, in addition to my time in God's Word, I am reading "Our Sufficiency in Christ" by John MacArthur. It is absolutely *full* of truth and wisdom! I am really enjoying and gleaning much from it! Here are just a few (of the many I have highlighted) truths that you may find as beneficial as I did...

"For many, self-esteem, self-worth, and a man-centered theology have created a greater confidence in self than in the Holy Spirit. The truth is, only the Holy Spirit can produce and sustain spiritual life. Apart from Him, all our efforts are in vain.....Sanctification comes by the Spirit working through the Word to transform us into Christ's image (2 Cor. 3:18)....Therefore we must reject man-centered, humanistic "solutions" and learn to rely on the Spirit and walk in His power."

"...there is a trend in contemporary evangelicalism away from expository, doctrinal preaching and a movement toward and experience-centered, pragmatic, shallow, topical approach in the pulpit.....The church is suppose to confront the world. The message God has called us to preach is not designed to make sinners comfortable. The fear of God is what should motivate us to persuade men (2 Cor. 5:10-11). Many preachers today are fearful only of offending people; hence they preach an insipid, powerless message that is in fact as offense to God."

" is spiritually lethal to tolerate false doctrine and apostate teachers--and foolish not to know the difference. But the spirit of ignorant tolerance that plagues the church today often brands any attempt to scrutinize others' teaching as narrow-minded, unloving, or divisive. The flip side of tolerance of error is indifference to truth--and that is disastrous."

It's funny...the more I grow and mature in my faith...the less that I feel I truly know, as there always seems to be more than I realize I haven't grasped! It's truly quite humbling! God's glory is so great...absolutely unfathomable!
It baffles me how so many seem to blindly follow the teachings of the Joel Osteens and Joyce Meyers of the world. I feel like the false teachers stick out like sore thumbs and yet many flock to hear them teach. It saddens me...because you won't find truth with them.

Well, time is ticking away and I could go on and on. Quickly, I want to share these last few pictures then I really must get moving! :)


Madelyn in the pretty new skirt Grammie found for her...

And below shows the DVD set I won from Homestead Drying Racks a month or two back. We haven't started watching it yet but definitely will soon, to be sure!

Wishing you a glorious Thursday! Thank you for taking the time to stop by! :)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Linked up with:
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Far Above Rubies

Monday, June 25, 2012


Hello there! It is an absolutely beautiful day in Pennsylvania! When I woke early this morning, it was raining quite hard with some lightning and thunder...but the weather has cleared up and is just wonderful now! It's sunshiny and warm with a great breeze.

I am sitting here at the dining room table. My hair is in two braids (courtesy of my daughter) and I am dressed in a long skirt and pink top. I am resting for a few minutes...taking a break from doing some mowing (with the reel mower). This morning, after spinning for 50 minutes, I came home and showered and started some laundry. Chris left for work and the children got up, did their chores and got dressed. Then we headed into town to run a few errands.

We have been home, now, for a bit. After lunch, the children went out to play while I nursed a headache. When I started to feel better I went out to get some mowing done. After the sunshine and rain we have gotten lately, the grass has been growing quickly!

The children have been helping do some things outside too!

Madelyn, hanging out clothes...

While Xavier and I put the goats out, Jaxson got them water...

Pearl, in the back, and Polly up close...

Chris is making fantastic progress on the clubhouse...

A few more walls, windows and a door to go...

This past weekend...

Madelyn helped me in the garden...

We are getting radishes galore! (I wish I *liked* radishes! Chris does, though, so he has been enjoying them!)...

Jaxson enjoyed looking through some books...

Madelyn and Jax played checkers on the front porch...

Madelyn was given some roses from my grandma's memorial service...

Having Eloise around during the viewing services for my grandma was really good for my heart. She kept things cheerful and sweet. She loved smelling silk flowers that were sitting on a table. Her simple joy was wonderful to watch.

Oh! Before I go, I wanted to share that I have now lost a total of 8 pounds! It's still slow-moving it seems...but it's real. I am getting fit and healthy and I can *feel* it! It feels **great**!

Thanks so much for visiting today! I hope your weekend was enjoyed with your loved ones and I wish you a joy-filled week ahead! :)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Health Benefits of Spinning

As most of you know I have been changing my lifestyle habits in an effort to get healthy...and not only that but to be God-honoring. When you are a Christian, you seek to honor God in all you do. Often, people can think that means just staying away from the "bad" things (like: swearing, excessive drinking, smoking etc.). I didn't ever want to admit that a high caloric intake (with little exercise) could be considered one of the "bad" things. But over-eating is gluttony and absolutely wrong.

I am not working to get healthy just to "be skinny" or to "have a better self-image". This is *not* a journey of "finding myself". I have seen so many videos on Netflix or the computer where therapists encourage obese people to "reach into your past and find what events triggered you to be addicted to food" (putting a lot of blame on parents). Yes, stress and terrible events in our lives can trigger us to behave in self-destructing ways...however, the truth of it all is that it is *sin*. We are a selfish, pleasure-seeking people who want what we want when we want it. There is no reason to pass the blame (obese people do not become this way because they are force fed by someone else).

We are to be self-controlled (in all areas). There should be a healthy balance... (as on the other end of the scale (although equally as sinful) is body worship. Obsessiveness over yourself is selfish and idolatrous)... in our lives...all motivated by seeking to glorify God in all we do!

 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-controlAgainst such things there is no law.  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
~Galatians 5:19-25

Will there be temptations? Absolutely! However, God always promises to provide a way out. It will be difficult...the battle against the flesh is one of the hardest things to do. If you are a child of the Most High, though, you can rest assured that you will make it through as He becomes the strength you need! :)

So....I said **all** of that to share with you some of the benefits of taking a spinning class (of course, you can spin on a stationary bike at home...but a class keeps you accountable and pushes you more). I really enjoy is a *great* workout. You will sweat...a lot. You will burn calories and get physically fit! Here are some of the health benefits I have found:

* There is little pressure on your knees, ankles and feet. Of course, there is standing positions in spinning that can be more difficult...but just staying in the saddle (seat)  pedaling fast is a great workout for those who have joint problems!

* You go at your own pace! I am still a beginner in my spin class (I have only gone to 10 classes or so). I can't do *all* the things some of the other ladies can do. I go at my own pace...but try to work a little harder at each class. I get better with each class! I am spinning while standing a lot more at positions 2 and 3 and increasing my tension as much as I can.

* The other people in the class are so encouraging...and it gives you a chance to encourage them! You can push each other and support one another...everyone is there to get healthy and it's way better to do when you have others around you!

* You can burn a lot of calories in a shorter amount of time. I usually spin for around 45 minutes but this past Friday morning, we spun for 6o minutes! Of course, the number of calories you burn depends on how hard you work...but there is *great* potential there!

* As you spin and watch your diet, you gain energy and lose fat. You will feel better after every class! (Ok...maybe not after the first class. My muscles were terribly sore after that very first spinning class...but everyone encouraged me to keep with it and not give up. Now, it is much easier! I look forward to going!)

It is my goal to spin for years....and if I get pregnant again, I intend to continue spinning during the pregnancy. Maybe, one day, I will be good enough to actually *teach* a spin class! That's a goal of mine as well! :)

As a side note...many ladies who visit my blog dress similar to me. They enjoy wearing skirts or dresses each day. Maybe you find this a hindrance to exercising. I go to my spinning class as soon as the YMCA opens (a few minutes before 6am). I wear THESE pants with a t-shirt and sneakers. After spin class, I come home and get a shower (usually before Chris and the children are even awake) and then wash a load of laundry with my icky, sweaty workout clothes in them. After the refreshing (truly, after such a hard workout, it feels wonderful) shower, I get dressed in my normal skirt and top. :) Although I like to dress feminine all the time....during a workout I don't look, smell or feel very I set my skirts aside until I am freshened up! ;)

I hope you have found encouragement here today! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Linked up at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wonderful Words from the Excellent Wife

"In addition to thanking God and praising His goodness, adopt a high view of God. You are here to serve God, not God here to serve you. Humbly bow before Him taking the posture of His creature whose chief end is to glorify God. Serve God through your ministry to your husband and your family. Revere God. Think of Him and treat Him as the High and Holy God." 
~Martha Peace, The Excellent Wife (emphasis mine)

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The First Day of Summer

Today is the official first day of summer. Temperatures in Western PA will definitely reflect that as we are to get into the 90's. I am so thankful I go to my spinning class early in the morning while it is still cool out! :) For any that may be wondering, spin class is going well and since June 1st, I have lost 6 pounds (an average of two pounds per week). Of course, I would love to speed up the process...but this is a lifestyle change, not just a quick-fix, so I need to make my eating and exercising sustainable. 

Our summer days are full...chores and housework, playing games, reading, mowing, riding bikes, gardening, swimming and on some days, even napping! I sit and do some knitting, as well, from time-to-time but not nearly as much as I knit in the colder months.

This morning, the children and I will be heading to a bible study with other ladies of the church. We are looking forward to it. The children will play with the other children in attendance while the ladies meet, study and fellowship on Titus 2. Today is the first day of the study and I am looking forward to growing and maturing in my faith through it! God's Word is the book our entire lives should be based around, as it is God-breathed from the Father to teach, admonish, encourage and direct us in our lives. I am in the Word, daily, as well as glean much from our weekly church services (full of fantastic book-by-book/verse-by-verse teaching...**not topical preaching, which is, unfortunately, so common nowadays**) but having a study with other women will encourage my growth even more!

The rest of the week will keep us busy as we will have the viewing/memorial services for my grandma on Thursday and Friday and then a busy day of things planned for Saturday (I feel exhausted from it all, already!). It will be days filled to over-flowing with family, friends, tears and laughter.

I need to get going...I have a few things to do before bible study this morning. I have included some photos of my recent memory journaling, just for fun.

Thank you, so much, for taking the time to visit. I hope the rest of your week is joy-filled!

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Monday, June 18, 2012

Building a Clubhouse Part 2

"My father didn't tell me how to live; 
he lived and let me watch him do it."
~ Clarence Budington Kelland

Saturday, Chris spent a majority of the day working on the clubhouse that he is building for the children. You can see the first post on the clubhouse HERE. What better time than right after Father's Day to brag on my (talented, strong, intelligent, loving) husband? I don't mean to speak badly about store-bought clubhouses (not all fathers are talented in the same way my Christopher is) but there is just something special about a home-built clubhouse built by a daddy.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous...warm with a nice breeze. Chris and the children worked hard. I was the picture-take-extraordinaire! ;) I thought it was quite funny to capture a photo of Chris working like this (below). Doesn't he look like a *big kid*?

My boys were fearless with those ladders. I am not sure if that is a good thing...or a bad thing?? My Madelyn is more like her mama... she tries to be brave but is super-cautious as well!

Once the floor was down, Chris needed me to come up and help hold the boards up that will hold the roof. I carefully climbed the ladder...

The view is amazing from up there...but oh my, heights are *not* my favorite thing (especially without the clubhouse walls up yet!)! I think my knees were knocking together! I will be a *very* happy mama once those walls are up!

To keep his hands free (and keep from falling), Chris wrapped a rope around himself and leaned back. (If you are wondering, yes, it made me quite nervous!)...

Once my job was done, I was more than happy to have my feet on the ground again! The boards that are at the top (at an angle) will hold the roof that will slant to the back (to let rain and such slide off)...

The children are so excited that the main skeleton of the clubhouse is finished. I must admit, I am a smidge jealous....this would have been so fun for my sister and I when we were young! Such fun memories the children will make! It makes my heart glad!

I went to spinning this morning and spun for 50 minutes (and still going every M,W,F). I am sticking to eating under my calorie limit and feeling better each and every day! :) How are *you* doing? :)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a *great* Monday!

Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied,

Linked up with The Better Mom