Thursday, May 30, 2013

In the Garden...

Gardening requires lots of water ~ 
most of it in the form of perspiration.  
~Lou Erickson

This past Monday, since Chris had off from work (and it was a beautiful day) we set out to get our things planted in the *big* garden. We planted rows and rows of potatoes, corn and green beans. Before planting, we (actually, Pa and Chris) used the tractor to lay plastic down first. Then we made holes and planted our seeds. We are hoping this really cuts down on the amount of weeds we get!

We are planting all the things I plan on canning and using a lot of in the big garden. The raised garden beds at our house are growing onions, carrots, peas, broccoli, lettuce (and eventually pumpkins and watermelon)! I don't necessarily plan on canning those things. We will just eat them fresh as they are harvested!

Everybody works together. Teamwork makes the job easier!

Madelyn and Ma working together...

We plan on having enormous amounts of green bean plants! (The backs of my leg muscles were killing me afterwards...I looked like a frog as I went down the row planting all the seeds after Chris cut the holes!)...

Mama and Jaxson...

Whew! Time for a rest! We were busy there most of the day! I got some sun (which started out a little red but has now turned into a nice brown). I lather Chris and the children with sunscreen...but never put any on myself. I like to get a bit of color. :)

Are you planting a garden this year? If so, what are you planting? I would love to hear about it! :)

We have been so busy....between finishing up the school year, gardening, church activities, housework, mowing, weddings, showers, dedications and lots of other responsibilities ~ we are always going, going, going! :) It's a good (but exhausting) sort of busy. Each and every night, I am so grateful to be able to lay my head down on my pillow in my wonderfully soft, comfortable bed. Because of this, I don't sit and have time to think out *thought-provoking* posts...lately they have just been simple, journaling-type posts....a way to keep memories from slipping away. 

I do appreciate that you still come by to visit. You each encourage and bless me with your comments and emails. *Thank-you* for them! And now, it is my bedtime. It's been a long day and there is more to keep me busy tomorrow (Lord willing). So I am unashamedly saying "so long for now" and carrying my tired body up to bed where I can collapse in a heap and drift off to sleep! 

Wishing you each a happy day (and weekend) ahead!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Little Work...A Little Play...

Days have been busy around here. Along with finishing up our school year and getting portfolios ready to turn in, we have been planting (lots of veggies and hosta), mowing, cleaning and playing...

I have also been working on cleaning out and organizing our school room (where we don't actually *do* school...but where we keep all our school things stored). It's amazing how quickly it can become disorganized! I still have a ways to go on it...but it's getting there!

Jaxson loves looking through old photo albums. This is one from back in my cheerleading days...

Madelyn and Daddy had fun fishing at his sister's pond. The boys did some fishing too but got bored when they didn't catch anything right they ran off to play with their cousins!

Fun at a family picnic...

There goes X on the go-kart...

Daddy takes a turn!

Making me smile...

Aren't the fields so pretty?

We were blessed with nice weather yesterday. I was able to get 2 loads of laundry out on the lines to dry as well as some schoolwork with the children. Then, since Chris had off from work, we all headed down to the big garden (which I will share photos of soon) to plant potatoes, corn and green beans! We got a *lot* of seeds put in! It was exhausting work! I got a little sunburn too (I always make sure the children are covered but always want to get "a little color" myself...and end up getting a bit of a burn!). After that, I worked on some reel mowing at home. 

We were all positively plum-worn-out after such a busy we invited Chris's parents up (they had been down planting with us too) for a little picnic. We grilled burgers and ate out at the picnic table. It was really nice! After getting everything cleaned up, my in-loves went home to relax and everyone here got bathed and collapsed into bed! I love productive days like that, don't you?

When I do have a bit of *down* time...I enjoy putting sermons on to listen to. Lately, I have listened to some *great* ones! (You can find other ones I have loved and gleaned much wisdom from HERE). Here are some of the ones I have listened to lately that you may enjoy:

Getting Your House in Order ~ Voddie Baucham
The Supremacy of Christ ~ Sermon Jam
God Always Provides ~ Paul Washer
Whoever Controls the Schools, Controls the World ~ Voddie Baucham

If you take a listen to any (or all) of them...I would love to know what you thought! They are great to put on while you are folding clothes, washing dishes or dusting. :)

Thank you for visiting today...I hope you have been able to mix up your work and play! I am so thankful for all the beautiful memories we are able to make while we work *and* play together!
Have a great week!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Visiting at Grammie and Pop-Pop's House

Grammie and Pop-Pop's house has a great climbing tree! The children turn into monkeys whenever we are there...climbing, hanging, dangling and jumping! Xavier likes to climb as high as he can and makes this mama nervous! We had supper there earlier this week and enjoyed wonderful food and fellowship with our family! :) My heart sings with all the memories we make!

It's all about Jesus Christ being first
....and second and third and fourth and fifth. 
 What I'm saying is, don't put Jesus first. 
 Jesus is everything
 He's not just first in the rank, 
He is everything
~Paul Washer

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Making My Heart Glad...

I have been convicted terribly lately with harboring feelings of discontentment in my heart. We own a home (that I truly love) that needs continual TLC. I struggle with being the type of person who wants to always have things done yesterday! Unfortunately, money and time are not in abundance...which is actually a good thing. The Lord has been teaching me (and re-teaching constantly since I seem to have a thick skull!) that I am truly blessed (which I *know* but always still dream of the new porch I would love to have built on and the desire to finish our siding on the dormers and new windows for the kids' rooms....etc.).

 It's so easy to *want* more in America (seeing that so many around you have a new car, new this, new that etc). But the truth is, even though we are considered among the "poverty" stricken of this country...we are rich in comparison to the world (in the top 1%). (It is easy to forget that many of the people who have brand-new everything are up in debt to their eyeballs! What a terrible burden to carry around!)

I need to remind myself that our worth does *not* come from what we have. This life is just a journey. We live to glorify Christ...our Creator! I don't need the best of everything (or anything, actually)! Oh how I detest the struggle with the flesh! How I wish to be holy and sanctified... completely...but it is a process, all part of the journey. 

Chris and I have chosen what we feel to be the most God-honoring path for our family. We live debt free (except for a bit left on our mortgage) and on one income so that I can be a keeper at home, educating our children at home. We have clothes, shelter, food for our bellies and comforts that most of the world does not. My husband works hard to care for us ~ I cringe to think of my greedy wants. Admitting this is terribly embarrassing as well...but I *know* I am not the only one who struggles with these thoughts and I felt that by sharing my short-comings, that I may encourage you! 

It boggles my mind to know that *the* Creator Himself loves me...that He continually disciplines and teaches me even though I seem to "mess up" in abundance. Oh, how I praise and thank Him for His patience with me. Being His makes me glad...His mercy is so great. In and of myself, I deserve to be smitten down and destroyed...and it would be perfectly just of Him to do so. My heart was wicked and selfish...but thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ who gave me a new life and a new heart. It is only by *His* perfection, grace, mercy, love, and sacrifice that I can stand before a Holy God and know that I am accepted. Oh how thankful I am that it is *not* dependent upon *my* own goodness...because I would have no hope. His mercies are new every morning! :)

I continually pray that God will keep teaching me and growing me in wisdom and truth. May my heart always be renewed with thanksgiving and gratitude for what I *do* have and not on what I don't. I can always know when I am not spending enough time in God's Word and in solid, Christian reading. I can find myself becoming discontent and frazzled. The more I am in His Word and reading books such as The Excellent Wife or Disciplines of a Godly Woman (as well as many others) the more I realize my proper role as a Godly woman, wife, and mother. 

So many things truly gladden my heart. My cup runneth over and just scrolling through my blog every now and then truly reminds me of all that! 

Taking joy in things around me...

We have been having beautiful spring weather lately. Walking outside, carrying a load of laundry to the clothesline and just drinking in that beautiful sunshine and spring air makes my heart sing praises to God! Green grass, green leaves, blue skies, fluffy clouds, bright sunshine ~ how glorious a creation He has made!

My Ruthers and Jack-Jack...

Fresh eggs from the hens...

Growing seeds...starters as well as in my raised beds...

My Madelyn is always enjoying her knitting! Here she is at my dad's garage where we were getting to visit with my sister and my nieces!

X always loves being at the garage (or at Chris's dad's shop) to help work! He likes working hard and being with the "guys"...

Jaxson...such a silly that smile!

My niece, Eloise...oh is she a hoot! She always keeps us laughing! She's always surprising us with things she says and does!

And Dinah.....sweet, baby Dinah. You have never seen such a smiley, joy-filled baby until you have met her! She is such a delight. Delightful Dinah...that should be her name. I just love when I get the chance to snuggle her. She immediately brightens my spirits because she flashes that toothless smile my way and I can't help but smile back!

Xavier has been working on a model car. Daddy has been helping him and I love watching them work together! (X would be glued to Chris's hip if he could. Wherever Daddy is, that is where you will find X!)...

Although Chris doesn't cook or anything much, from time-to-time he likes to make some homemade tapioca pudding. It takes a lot of time stirring and he plugs in the music and is absolutely hilarious to watch. He dances all over (and even sings) while never missing a beat mixing with his right hand and stirring with his left!

I love it! He makes me giggle!

I realized when going through my pictures, that I have a lot of them (so many things give me joy!)...but alas, writing a blog post can be a bit time consuming and I have been on here long enough. It's time to get other things done around this place! :) So they will have to wait for now...until the next blog post(s), Lord willing! 
I hope my sharing has encouraged you as you seek to live a life pleasing to God. I look forward to the day that I can honestly say that I have no struggles with discontentment or worldly desires. I know that day may only be in Heaven...but I know that I can keep growing in righteousness as Christ as my perfect example. So maybe I will never fully be rid of them (this side of heaven) but I *can* get as close as possible!! :) 
Thank you for coming by! I hope you'll stop again soon! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

There is, somehow, a wonderful power...

...about a mother's voice when she talks to her 
children about Jesus and his love, which stamps itself upon the heart, and the heart is a far better place for the custody of truth than ever the brain can become.
~Charles Spurgeon

I had a wonderfully simple (and sweet) Mother's Day. I awoke early (as usual) and a bouquet of flowers was waiting for me when I came downstairs. Beautiful flowers...they have such a way of lifting my spirits...simple as they can be. We were off to church early (as I am in charge of making our worship guides and have to go early to the church to print them off and fold them) and enjoyed a wonderful time of worship and fellowship. We got home in the afternoon, had lunch and then everyone spent a bit of time in quiet, reading (even Xavier who doesn't normally do so without a fight!). I eventually nodded off and took a nice nap. Later, after having a nice chat with my mom, we went and visited with Chris's mom for a bit and took her a lovely hanging basket for her porch. When we got home, the older two children put on a bit of a presentation for us for Mother's Day. I have pictures below! :)

Xavier made some things at our homeschool co-op for us...coasters for Chris and me...

...and a plate (and sweet notes) for me...he gave these things to us on Saturday. He was much-too excited to wait any longer! I love that my cheeks are hearts...

"As love grows, selfishness dies out in the heart. Love is always ready to deny itself, to give, to sacrifice, just in the measure of its sincerity and intensity. Perfect love is perfect self-forgetfulness. Hence, where there is love in a home, unselfishness is the law. Each forgets self and lives for the others." 
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making

Xavier sings and dances for us!

Madelyn sings and dances for us too!

A gift of *never wilting flowers* from Madelyn...

" all God's world there is no other work so noble and so worthy of her best powers [as training up her children], and she would commit to no other hands the sacred and holy trust given to her."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making

"But when a little child in a mother's bosom is loved, nursed, caressed, held close to her heart, prayed over, wept over, talked with, for days, weeks, months, years, it is no mere fancy to say that the mother's life has indeed passed into the child's soul. What it becomes is determined by what the mother is. The early years settle what its character will be, and these are the mother's years."
~J.R. Miller, Home-Making

Jaxson was there too...but he didn't *perform*. He *did* make me a card though...and I love it! 

It's hard to see it but it says: "I riley (really) love you"...then he drew a picture of me with him. (The scribbled above his head was his *original* head but he told me he realized he made himself as tall as me and that wasn't he had to scribble that head out and remake himself!)

Yes, it's true...I had such a sweet Mother's Day. I am so thankful for my husband and children who were all involved in *making* me a mother. I am also so grateful for my own mother and my mother-in-love. I feel blessed to have their Godly influences, wisdom, encouragement and love. :)
I hope your Mother's Day was filled to over-flowing with joy and love too!