Friday, January 30, 2015

Snow Much Refreshment

When I worked at the "World's Weather Leader," I came to be known as quite the optimist.  After a snowstorm, I recall walking out the door with my boss and a co-worker and commenting off-handedly that snow is God's way of slowing everything down.  My boss turned to me and said, "You really do see the silver lining in every cloud, don't you?"  (He saw muck and slush.  I saw the blessing of a slower pace.)

One of the first things you notice about a good snowstorm is the silence.  The quiet alone is simply breathtaking. 

Then, there's the fun that you just can't have at any other time... things like shovelling a maze or "run" for Bree the Narnian Bunny to frolic in.  Bree loved it!

Blossom4 needed Blossom3's help to enjoy the snow.  Otherwise, she just kept falling down.  Believe me, a face full of snow doesn't make anybody happy.

As I went sledding with the girls and walked down by the creek, I took the time to let the snow do what God meant it do - remind me of Him.  The creation always points to the Creator.  I believe that and that's why it's so important to me to get the Blossoms out in nature as much as possible.  Salvation is practically written in the sky, etched in the trunks of trees and babbled from brooks.

Our nature times are easier now that Blossom4 finally understands what, "The creek is cold" means.

I guess I'm the only mother around that allows for a form of winter creek-walking, but honestly, sometimes I just get tired of saying no.  I think to myself, "Why not?"  As long as they don't get soaked, "Why not?"

We journey homeward, refreshed from the snow,

ready for some hot chocolate, Swan Lake research and concocting suet feeders for our birdie friends. 

Wonder what we'll be doing this spring?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015


I attended and worked at a Christian camp when I was teenager.  Our director once said,
"Be a spark in the dark!" 

That's what came to mind when I stepped out onto the deck and saw the Rugged Mountain Man busy at the fire pit during our most recent snowstorm.  There are times when the moments of beauty in our everyday life take my breath away.  This is one of them.  And I find, if I pause, God speaks. 

Be that flame,
ever burning,
ever brighter.
Burn with His fire.
Ne'er to extinguish,
Ne'er to diminish,
Ne'er to fade.
Always burn.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Behold, the Sock Bun!

Hey Ladies,

I love it when I find an easy way to look well put together.  Check out this link from  Behold, the sock bun!!!

Angelique Lorence from the Where the Piggy Toes Go always tries to look stylish and classy, even with three energetic boys in tow!  I love that!

After watching her sock bun tutorial, I was able to wear it to church on Sunday (on my third attempt that morning).  And today, I did two more sock buns on Blossom1 and Blossom2.  They loved them!  I've gotta say, I'm a fan!  Why not give it a try?  :) 

Thanks, Angelique for such a great tutorial!

Monday, January 26, 2015

You know that verse, "Narrow is the way and few will find it..." (my paraphrase), I dare say that it isn't very popular.  (As a former youth leader of a small youth group, I always felt it strangely comforting.)  In any case, once you read it, I love what happens.  It chips away at this pervasive all-inclusivism.  You read it and if you're honest, you think, "Am I making it in through the narrow Way?"

Think on it.  Are you one of the few?

Friday, January 23, 2015

He speaks

"A clean house relieves stress."

- The Rugged Mountain Man

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Farm Show

The Farm Show!

With the Rugged Mountain Man!!!
(His and hers pick-me-ups!)

Apparently we all need a little more potassium in our life!  (He couldn't believe I was taking a pic of this truck, but it just made me laugh!  I must have a strange sense of humor.)

Just watchin' the different divisions of the Draft Horses Competition.  Daddy got a kick out of the team pulling the antique hearse. 

Is it wrong that my mouth watered when we were in the turkey aisle?  Blossom2 thought it was pretty nifty when this turkey started to strut. 

Daddy is doing his turkey call.  It must've been working! 

Gotta love Blossom3's Dairymen's hat!  The Milk Shake stand furnished them.  Mommy was thrilled to have a great milkshake.  (Food is a major drawing card to the Farm Show...  May I recommend the Potato Donuts?)

We found the spinning to be so intriguing!  The Rugged Mountain Man wants me to spin so I can make some real wool yarn for clothes for him.  Maybe someday when I don't have so many "Littles." 

Blossom4 enjoyed the corn box.  Actually all the girlies did.  It was a good way to unwind from the crowds. 

Check out the hand-dug canoe.  We met up with some friends of ours at this stand and decided that since we've got seven children between our two families, surely we have enough child labor to make one of these ourselves.  That'd be a terrific educational project!

Ahhhh, I love chatting with my husband on the way home. 

Can I just say what a delight it was to stroll through the complex with my family.  The Blossoms listened and stayed close.  They never complained and were very interested in the things we saw.  Not every outing goes well; I get that.  However, we've invested so much time day after day in obedience and training.  It's a real pleasure when we can do something like this as a family and reap the rewards of it.  Thank the Lord!

Monday, January 19, 2015


Ho-hum, when is Daddy going to be home?

Jake loves the mini party that happens each evening Daddy gets home from work. 
He sets up as much of a racket as the girlies do.  :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Meet my Mountain Goat

I finally figured out something this week.  Blossom4 has an innate need to be up high.  It's like goats.  If you raise 'em, you know that you automatically provide them something high to climb on, or else you're gonna have a lot of trouble.  When it comes to little, bitty girlies, who needs a jungle gym when there's furniture? 

Yep, this is my mountain goat.  :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Temptation for Mamas

Have you ever seen the Mommy that is perfect in public?  The one with the calm, sweet voice and impeccable relations with her children?  While I applaud patience, I really do, I've noticed a temptation for mothers.  It's this - to be the most patient, kind and sweet Mama in public.  But, oh boy, wait'll you get home.  Mama turns into a bear. 

Matthew 6:1
"Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven." 

Matthew 6:2 - "When you give to the poor..."
Matthew 6:5 - "When you pray..."
Matthew 6:16 - "Whenever you fast..."

This chapter gives guidelines for how to practice your righteousness.  He condemns blowing a horn when giving money.  He doesn't like the praying fancy prayers in public, just so people think you're amazingly spiritual.  He says that you shouldn't try to look homely just because you're fasting.  It's a theme in this chapter and the result is always that if you practice your righteousness to be noticed by people, that is your reward.  That's it.  No reward in Heaven.  No commendation from the Father.  Nothing.  If you please people, that's what you get, their approval, but nothing eternally worthwhile. 

I've long since thought that treating my children how I'd want to be treated is everyday obedience to God.  Fleshing out such commands like "love your children" and "train up a child..." are more ways that I obey Him.  These are the nitty-gritty of me practicing my righteousness, if you will.   And the real deal happens at home.  At home when no one is watching how I speak to my children.  When no one is taking notes on how patient I'm being today.  The command is just as relevant as when Jesus spoke it ages ago...

Mamas, beware of practicing your righteousness to be noticed by people.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Friday Fun

I love when Daddy has a day off!  He surprised us by taking us out to a favorite local restaurant.  It's a charming log building with vaulted ceiling punctuated with a 20+ foot Christmas tree.  The tree is such a drawing card that the restaurant staff (some who have worked their 20+ years and remember us each time we come in) leave it up well into February. 

I LOVED the crocheted ornaments this year. 

And the branches of berries...

And the cardinals...  it was  Another year when a local Little League team made it to the Little League World series, it was a Blue and White tree with the team members' pics on all the ornaments.  Cute and very local-esque.  I liked it, but this year was tops. 

We downed several slices of French toast, pancakes, Eggs Benedict, toast, eggs, home fries and a slice of Coconut Cream pie (ahem, that could've been me... I discovered that I'm about the only one who likes it.  I made a mental note to order it more often, as I had my pie all to myself.)  This family knows how to EAT and most of the Blossoms were nominated for a spot in Mommy's Clean Plate Club!

The people make this restaurant special, since it's the kind of restaurant where the waitress helps you cut up your children's food (if she isn't busy at the moment.)  No wonder it's a family favorite!

Blossom4 noticed the bear skin rug at the top and announced BEAR!!!!  :) 
I can't believe she noticed it peeking out from behind the tree.

I thought the hand-carved eagle was stunning!  (Aside from clinging to our guns and religion in this area, we also cling to our patriotism evidently.)

It was an enjoyable meal.  I was savoring the moments with our children.  The snow was falling outside... the wind blowing and the fire crackling indoors.  So much ambiance and so many blessings to go with it.  It makes for a good round of warm fuzzy feelings.  We want the girlies to be thankful for being able to go out to eat, being able to spend time with their family.  It's a privilege and another little blessing.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Buy Liberty's Kids!

A while back, Abbie, from M is for Mama, recommended a DVD series called, "Liberty's Kids." 

She also just so happened to mention that the ENTIRE 40 episodes could be found on Amazon for only $5.00.  "Edutainment" is my go-to for when the kiddos are too sick to concentrate on schoolwork, but still healthy enough to soak in some educational information from the couch.  I also love "edutainment" for those rare times when Mommy feels like she's gonna crash and needs a serious insta-break.  In any case, I snatched it up for the girlies for Christmas.  I wanted to buy one for everyone under the age of 10 that I know (I love a good deal), but I restrained myself since I hadn't actually seen them. 

Now, it's post-Christmas and we are steadily working our way through the episodes. 

And, we love them.

Even Mommy and Daddy love them. 

The Blossoms beg for an episode.  It's decent animation, great voicing and terrific content.  It isn't Disney Pixar.  I won't lie, but I've never been the person that cared more for the movie quality and production than I did for the movie content.  Still, the quality is good and the content is terrific.  Plus, the price is right. 

Just thought I'd share.  I'm really glad I purchased them and thought you might like to know. 

(This is NOT an affiliate link.  Amazon doesn't have me on their payroll.  I just think that Mamas have to share their secrets to help each other out!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Other things we've been up to...

Check out some of the other things we've been up to lately...

Legos... not just for boys!  (PS - That's not just in the background, it's an incubator!  Blossom1's heart's desire!)

Meandering down by the creek produced some rocks for further investigation by our onsite up-and-coming mineral expert!  :)

Packing for a trip to Grammie & Pappy's.  I LOVE the new color coded/animal printed duffel bags!  Now I will always know whose is whose!  (However, Daddy is confused already.)

Apparently, chocolate chips and peanut butter is a treat much better enjoyed in a blocks container, with your sister. 

Blossom3 assured me that it was still ok to make these cookies, as it is still "Critmiss break!"  (or was, as I write this anyway)  (Take note of the two pint-size milk bottles in the background.  They are a gift from my sister-in-law and her sister-in-law.  My creative mind is soaring over the possibilities... got lots of Pinteresting to do now, especially since I have announced that all family members desiring to remain in my good graces must save these Starbucks bottles for me!)

Blossom2 sometimes falls into Blossom1's shadow, so I banished Blossom1 from the kitchen, until we were done baking two kinds of cookies together - just me and Blossom2.  (Those Dark Chocolate M&M cookies are DIVINE!)  Not only does Blossom2 benefit from the one-on-time, she also needs this instruction so she can become as kitchen proficient as Blossom1 is. 

Snickerdoodles have long been my specialty, and my go-to cookies.  Someday I'll share this recipe with you. 

And then, I set Blossom1 loose to bake some bread.  The loaves were delicious.  And yes, she (mostly) cleaned up this mess.  I still had to shine up my KitchenAid a bit, but I can't complain.

Hope you enjoyed Christmas break.  I'm looking forward to the routine again. 

Blessings to you!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Who you pullin' with?

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. 
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." 
Matthew 11:28-30, NASB, my own emphasis added

"Take My yoke."  As Moms, a lot of times, we wear a heavy yoke.  The thing is, we often feel like it's a yoke that is forced upon us, a schedule that we didn't get to choose with activities that we care little about.  It's not the kids, it's the errands, the activities, the meetings, the appointments.  But, our acquiescence, albeit, silent, is there, just by the fact that we roll with the craziness.  We've taken that yoke, whether we meant to or not.  It doesn't have to be that way.  We CAN take a different yoke.  We CAN shrug off the burden (or throw it off) and crawl under a new burden.  He promises that it is easy and light.  To many moms that just seems too good to be true.  (I choose to believe the Bible.)  It doesn't promise that important responsibilities and appointments will just disappear.  Our Master is different.  We'll be pulling our yoke WITH Him.  (Most yokes utilized two oxen.  You represent one.  Who would be in the other?)  So, yes, let's use some common sense and be the boss of schedules, instead of letting them boss us.  BUT, let's purposefully rise and enter a quiet time with the Lord.  Let's get up and take His yoke

Friday, January 2, 2015

Good-bye, 2014!

Hello friends & family!
I sure have enjoyed the privilege of sharing my thoughts with you in 2014.  I'm looking forward to another year.  I realize that God has many more lessons for me to learn and experiences for me to walk through.  I'm thankful for His grace for every season of life, including this one. 

Wherever you are in life, I pray that this little light 'o' mine shines our Great Saviour to you.  I've been talking to the Blossoms about being a witness, just little mentions here and there.  It's so important for us to be aware that someone is watching us.  God is always watching, but, when we least expect it, other folks are too.  We ought to conduct ourselves as such.  So, I invite you, let the Holy Spirit evaluate your conduct in the next few days.  Let Him make the appropriate adjustments.  Let's not hide our lights under a bushel basket.  Let them shine bright and clear so there will never be any doubt of our Master. 

Blessings in the New Year!