Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Birthdays, Schooling, Canning...Joy-Filled Moments!

 The days have been filled with much enjoyment for our family lately...busy but wonderful nonetheless! We've celebrated birthdays, started our 6th year of homeschooling, spent time working, playing, canning, laughing, mowing, cleaning, exercising, reading and napping (quite necessary after all that busyness!).

THIS girl turned 30 recently...

*On* her actual birthday, Madelyn and I went up early (as a surprise) to watch the little ones so my sister and Cory could go out for a *birthday breakfast date*! She was surprised and I think they had a really good time! :)

Sunday, after church, we gathered as a family at their house (after having original plans to go to a park/playground changed due to rain) for lunch and presents! Eloise kept us very entertained!

 Chris took a little snooze when he could...after all, it *was* Sunday!

I got to spend a *lot* of time snuggling Dinah while we were there! 

Jaxson really enjoyed holding her too! Such a sweet, happy girl she is! :)

Jax and Eloise...

Madelyn was there too!! :)

Devon, blowing out her candle!

We all had such a nice time visiting and celebrating my sister's 30 years! I am hoping she enjoyed her celebrations just as much! 

In other *happenings*...

The children have been getting a lot of play time in (we've been having such cooler temps lately...it makes *great* weather to work and play...although not so great *swimming* weather!)...

X and Jax showing me their racing skills...

We have also started our school year. It's a bit early...but this leaves us a bit of leeway through the year, so we don't always have to feel so "under the gun". We are using Easy Peasy for some online work (free!) and Christian Light Education for our math and language arts.

I have been working on canning lately...just doing a canner-full a day or so. I am *so* thankful the weather isn't hot...canning in the terrible heat/humidity of summer can be so awful! 

Littlest Jaxson...making his own eggs this morning...

Much has been happening this July and August seems to be just as filled. I must admit, I don't know how people without a planner can keep it all straight! I love having it all written down and there for me to refer to at any time! If you have made it to the end of this extremely picture-filled post (and this is only a portion of all the pictures I have taken lately), I *thank-you* for making it here! 

And now I will leave you with a quote from one of my (many) favorite theologians:  

As a church we must love Jesus, or else we have lost our reason for existence.
~Charles H. Spurgeon


Friday, July 26, 2013

Canning season has begun!

The children and I have been going out to the big garden and picking our green beans. So far, I've gotten 14 qts canned and we still have more to pick as they get ready to harvest progressively.

Madelyn and Xavier each have mp3 players. Madelyn bought her own and X was gifted his from his grandparents. (Mama gets to pick all the music on them!) They are only permitted to listen to them while doing work or chores...so they were excited to get the chance to use them while picking beans...

Madelyn helped me snap them all!

Green beans...washed, put in jars with salt and water and ready to go...

My first seven quarts for the year...finished!

I also, since these photos were taken, have done another 7 qts. The children and I will go down to the garden again today to see if anymore of the beans are ready to pick. It is to be a beautiful day so I will get some clothes out on the lines and tidy the house. We *may* begin our homeschool year today too...I'm not sure yet. Maybe we'll wait....we'll see what the day holds! :) 
I'd love to hear what you have been canning lately! 
Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"The reading of all good books...

...is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries."

When time permits I find my nose in a book. I read the Scriptures daily...for there is so much to glean from them...I can never get enough. I am always highlighting or underlining important things and I am quite afraid that soon, I will have my whole Bible highlighted! :) Isn't it beautiful how the Old Testament points to Christ? 

"...let me serve my God with all my heart; let me be a follower of Jesus and walk in His footsteps."
~ Charles Spurgeon

I am also reading (and almost finished with) this:

Oh how this book causes me to reflect on my own reverence, wonder, love, and awe of Christ. I fall so terribly short in giving Him the worship, praise and admiration that He deserves. Sarah's love for Christ was absolutely amazing! Reading this book has caused me to pray "Lord, please help me love you more".

"Sink or swim, I go to Him; other hope I have none."
~ Charles Spurgeon

I also am reading The Essential Works of Charles Spurgeon. I just happened to be in our Christian bookstore yesterday (which mostly seems to carry things I would *not* consider good Christian theology...like books by Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer and other such authors). But, in God's beautiful providence, I found this book of Spurgeon which delighted me extensively! It's a super-thick book with around 1400 pages so it cost a little more than I would normally spend on a book. I called Chris to see if he would mind and he gave me the *go-ahead* to buy it! I am on page 44 and soaking it all in! It has his sermons, writings and parts of his autobiography! A gem of a book, truly!

"I deserve to be lost forever. The only reason why I should not be damned is that Christ was punished in my stead, and there is no need to execute a sentence twice for sin. On the other hand, I know I cannot enter heaven unless I have a perfect righteousness. I am absolutely certain I shall never have one of my own, for I find I sin every day. But then Christ had a perfect righteousness, and He said, 'There, poor sinner, take my garment, and put it on; you shall stand before God as if you were Christ, and I will stand before God as if I had been the sinner; I will suffer in the sinner's stead, and you shall be rewarded for works that you did not do, but which I did for you.'
~ Charles Spurgeon

And now, I must go. Xavier and I already practiced his banjo together this morning...now he and Jax are going to race their bikes and I am invited to watch. Then I have clothes to hang out on the lines (as the day is suppose to be beautiful!) and maybe some more canning to do (as I have already started doing some this week). Housework (as always) will need done too! So off I go to live another day the Lord has made! I will rejoice and be glad in it! Will you? 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Guess who is going to be canning this week?

Chris and I went down to the garden this evening and did a lot of weeding and saw that our green beans are coming along nicely! Many will be ready for the picking, snapping, washing, canning process this week! It will be a busy time! 

Chris also made a ramp for our meat chickens to be able to go outside! They weren't too sure what to think of it!

Chris had to *coax* them down...

Look at those huge feet! I just can't get over how large they are!

They are so funny to watch...such little piggies!

Chris made these water holders for them (and is going to make some for my layers). I wish we would have realized these existed a long time ago! They would have been great for our layers through the years!

The chickens drink the water right from them! Such a clever invention! I'm so thankful someone thought this up! If you have chickens and are looking to do something similar, you can find these HERE.

So, this is what's been happening in *my* world lately! What have *you* been up to? :)


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

*Simply Summer*

“It is desirable that a man live in all respects so simply and preparedly that if an enemy take the town... he can walk out the gate empty-handed and without anxiety.” 
~Henry David Thoreau, Walden

It has been incredibly hot here this week. We have been trying to beat the heat with swimming, staying cool under ceiling fans and spending time playing games and doing chores in my bedroom (ironing becomes quite delightful when done in an air conditioned room!). The children often camp out to sleep in our room on hot nights since it is much cooler in there. 

Laundry, hanging out on the clotheslines, has soaked in the sunshine to dry...although on some of the humid days, the clothes don't fully dry no matter how long I leave them out there! I love how after stripping the beds, washing and hanging out the sheets and quilts, and then re-making the beds, they smell like that beautiful summertime air! There are few things so delightful as pressing your face into a fresh-from-the-lines pillowcase or quilt! It instantly brings a smile to my face and a prayer of thankfulness to God for His goodness. Simple, little things are often the most easily ignored but truly the most wonderful! :)

Xavier has begun his banjo lessons (A huge thank-you to Grammie and Pop-Pop who made this possible!) and practices every day! He is doing a great job and we all really enjoy hearing the banjo being played! We're fans of bluegrass here! :) I love to see his excitement for it and hope it continues!

As I said previously in this post, chores done in a nice, cool room are most-enjoyable on a sweltering day. I spent some time ironing while the children played and did some reading in my room...

It's late (for me) and I really must head to bed. But quickly, I just wanted to share with you THIS post by Ann...it's another good one! I hope your summer days are being spent well...working hard yet finding time to rest and stay cool amongst the *busy*.