Friday, July 31, 2015

The Record in Your Head

I find there's a record that plays in our heads.  It can go something like this, "I'm so tired.  I don't have enough energy.  I can't get it all done.  I'm doing a terrible job..." 

Maybe that isn't always what your record says, but it becomes like Blonde jokes to a blond young woman ~ eventually you start to believe it

That's why I've found it is increasingly (as I get older) important to be careful what I'm putting into my mind, to make the record myself, so to speak.  When I was younger, hope seemed to flare easily.  I didn't have to work as hard to keep my thoughts in line.  I have to be more purposeful now.  It's healthy to recognize that and then do something about it.

I was reading Romans 8:7-9 the other day and jotted down these things for my mind to chew on:

*My mind is set on the Spirit.
*My mind is friendly toward God.
*My mind subjects itself to the law of God.
*My mind is able to do so.
*I can please God.
*I am in the Spirit because His Spirit dwells in me.
*I have the Spirit of Christ and so I belong to Him.

Periodically I glance at that little bright orange card and give my mind a better record to play repeatedly.  It sure beats, "I'm so tired... etc." 

"Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God;
for it does not subject itself to the law of God,
for it is not even able to do so,
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit,
if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.
But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,
he does not belong to Him."
 Romans 8:7-9
What record is playing in your mind today?  

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Can you bear it?

Can you "bear" the post vacation and potty training pile of laundry?

(We named this black bear, "Yogi!"  For the next few days, there were several versions of Yogi imitations, "Come on, Boo-boo, let's have a pic-uh-nic!" 

Sunday, July 26, 2015


A week at the cabin always help me count my blessings. 

 Somehow when I'm not confronted by mounds of wash and loads of dishes, I have less trouble seeing the beauty in each day.

Each moment is treasured ~ distinctly relished and cherished. 
My heart lifts and the clutter clears out of my head.  I can hear God's voice with clarity. 
Those are things I like to take home with me from vacation.
Ya'll know how I feel about listening to the creek babble and chat.

It was those times by the creek that His words of encouragement in my heart came to me. 
I started this wife/mother journey as a victor.  I've never sat around and believed I had to take whatever came down the pike.  God provided a way for me to be victorious - even joyous - every day. 

Every day of life on this Earth is something of a battle, in one way or another. 

Sometimes you get weary or tired or you just forget cuz you're busy.  Maybe all of those things.  Still, God the Father provided a victorious daily life for me through His Son. 

Who cares what comes down the pike?  I can lean in, push my chin up, stand taller and smile through it, only because of what He's done for me.  I don't have to be a victim of daily life. 

 "But in all these things
we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us."
Romans 8:37

Thursday, July 23, 2015

More snapshots

Evidently, Blossom4 bucks the system already!  She was diggin' the cradle for dollies!

These were my two most favorite rooms at Lang Pioneer Village in Keene, Ontario.  This one was the dining room at the historic hotel.  Check out that table and corner cupboard.  Scrumptious!

Gotta love that spinning wheel in the one room cabin for a family of six!  Such a neat historic place. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


It makes my mama heart melt. 

(Taken at Riverview Zoo in Peterborough, Ontario.)

(This is actually Blossom1 convincing Daddy to rent canoes at Beavermead Provincial Park. 
It worked.  Why am I not surprised?)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Favorite Quote of the Week

We have this snack rule in our house:
"If you want a snack, you can eat fruit, vegetables or string cheese anytime, without permission."

We arrived home from church and I was slicing up a lush, juicy watermelon.

Blossom3 piped up, "Mama, can I have a piete of watuhmelon?"

"Yes, ma'am, you can, honey."

Blossom2 interjected, "Blossom3, watermelon is FRUIT!  You don't have to ask!" 

Blossom3 excitedly announced, "Watuhmelon is fruit?  I did not know dat!!!"

Mommy asked, "If you didn't know watermelon was fruit, what did you think it was?"

"I tought it was JUNK FOOD!" responded Blossom3.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Where Have We Been?

Hello friends,

Can you guess where we've been lately?

The Girls LOVED Niagara Falls, Canada!  I am so glad we took a break from our travels here.

And yes, we all wore orange shirts.  You'll remember them from other playdate days. 

Honestly, we stood out in a crowd, but it made things SO. MUCH. EASIER.  At the ritzy brick over pizza joint with the floor to ceiling open windows and delicious Niagara breezes, our waiter asked us if we were Dutch.  Apparently the Dutch soccer team wears bright orange.  In any case, the orange helped us to keep up with long strides of the Rugged Mountain Man AND enjoy ourselves as we travelled through the crowds of other sight-seers.  That means a whole lot to me - peace of mind and a good time.

 It was simply awe-inspiring.  The power of water reminded me of the amazing power of God.

When I saw the Grand Canyon as a girl, it left such an impression on my mind because of its grandeur and sheer inability to be described.  (If you've not been there, I'm sorry to say that you don't understand.  Pictures fail the Canyon.  Just go.)

The Grand Canyon, the Sequoias, Niagara Falls ~ these are the things that impact children; the things that speak profoundly of the Almighty God.  When little Blossoms have blossomed, at some vital moment in their lives, Niagara Falls will come to mind and they'll say, 
"I have seen the power of God.  I know what His hand is capable of.  You cannot unconvince me."

As we travelled over the Rainbow Bridge and through Niagara Falls, New York with the Falls long gone from view, I glanced backward and saw a huge cloud of mist rising above it.  Yet another sign of the power of this beautiful landmark.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Mountain Laurel

We recently headed up to the mountain where my parents (aka "Gramma & Grampa") live. 

I towed the log splitter up there since this year's wood is done.  (I had to put that in here because I was so very tickled to have hooked it up and hauled it up all by myself!  The Rugged Mountain Man said he would, but I told him I could handle it. :)

What I really needed was my Mom's mad sewing skills.  I got myself a $2.75 dress at Goodwill for the upcoming wedding we'll be attending.  It was a weird length and needed a modesty panel inserted into the neckline.  Yes, I can sew pretty well, but I knew it would take Mom WAY less time to do this project than it would for me to do it. 

Besides, I love an excuse to head up there to be with Mom.  (I passed Dad on the way up, right after I'd dragged an enormous branch out of the middle of the road.  This is real country livin,' folks!)

Our area is known for its Mountain Laurel and although my husband hates the stuff (for good reason!  If you're a hiker and you get stuck in a huge patch of it, you can get all disoriented and lost!  Bad news for hiker people!)... As I was saying, although he hates it, it is rather beautiful. 

Actually, Grampa came back later and took the Blossoms on a mini-hike around the perimeter of their acreage.  Such a great little Tuesday afternoon.

Family and nature ~ it's so refreshing!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

What I've Been Reading Lately

If you stopped over for tea, some time or other, the conversation might get around to what I've been reading lately. 

(That opening statement is quite ironic, considering a friend was stopping for tea the other day.  I was SO excited to have some good chat time with her.  Then, Blossom4 came down with a high fever and I wouldn't even let my friend in the door.  She's got 4 kids too.  Since I didn't know what other symptoms came along with the fever, I wasn't taking chances.  The irony is that it was pouring down raining as I sadly requested a rain check.) 

ANYWAY, so here's what I've been reading lately:

The Book of Luke
One of the things I love about the Gospels is how it shares Jesus' everyday doings with us.  Luke was endeavoring to write an accurate account of all Jesus began to do and teach.  My favorite verse that I recently highlighted is Luke 7:10.

"When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health." 

I think it speaks for itself.  Jesus responded to the faith He saw and returned the man's slave to good health.  It's logical to assume that that is God's will for me.  It's comforting to know that I serve a God like that.  If you feel like you don't know what God would be like if He walked the Earth, read the book of Luke and you'll feel a little bit more acquainted with the human form of God.

Home Improvement
By Scott Turansky & Joanne Miller
I attended a seminar with this pair as the speakers and was also blessed by their books at the homeschool convention I attended in May.  I was able to borrow this book for free since I am an Amazon Prime member.  It was a terrific and helpful read.  So much parenting is only trying to correct our children's behavior.  As Christians, we want our children's hearts to be reached.  There were practical tips for how to end discipline sessions on a positive note.  It's funny because my parents did many of those things when we were being disciplined.  It just goes to show you that if you are humble and read the Word, God will lead you in the right direction, whether you were raising in a Godly home or not.  I love that Turansky & Miller encourage parents to talk to kids about what they did wrong, why it's wrong and what they'll do differently next time.  READ IT.  It was seriously the best parenting book I've read in a LONG, long time.  I'm looking forward to reading their book, Good and Angry.  It tackles parental anger (ahem.)

Pepper in the Gumbo
by Mary Jane Hathaway
I signed up for BookBub and love that I get almost daily emails on free or cheap Kindle books from genres I like to read.  When this book popped up and was described as being similar to You've Got Mail, I downloaded it immediately.  Um, if you have chores to do, get 'em done and THEN, download this.  It was clean and good.  If it were a movie, I'd definitely watch it (repeatedly) and ya'll know I'm picky about my movies.  Alice, the main character, learns some valuable lessons and the guy gets the girl in the end.  It was a good happy ending, set in Louisiana. 

Thanks for stopping in for tea with me.  I love sharing a good book with friends. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Your Doings

I love it when real life affords a lesson in character for the Blossoms.  One of the Bantam hens was missing when we arrived home from church today.  Being that a neighbor's dog has been caught harassing our MicroFlock three times, our thoughts immediately turned that direction when "Duchess" did not immediately appear.  She was later found in the garden.  (Grrr.)

Over our hot sausage and coleslaw at the dinner table, we turned this into a valuable lesson.  If you do something a few times, it may very well be the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of you. 

If a Blossom is caught shirking work because she was reading, then, when she does not immediately show up for after-supper duty, what's a mama to think?  She must be reading, right? 

Nobody likes to be judged.  Nobody likes it when other assume things about us.  Sometimes those things are justified though.  It's a reputation we've created because "even a child is known by his doings..."

We're trying to teach the Blossoms that if you habitually work hard and obey immediately, that's what we'll assume you're doing.  And vice versa.  You choose.  What doings will you be known for?

Friday, July 3, 2015

What If?

Words have weight. 

Words have power. 

Words can sway people.  Lately I've been thinking about how serious a thing advice can be.  People make choices and decisions.  Sometimes they ask for my opinion and I'm realizing that advice ought to be viewed seriously.  What if you give advice and it steers people in the wrong direction?  What if they marry the wrong person?  What if they make a huge financial decision and totally bomb?  What if?  What if?  What if? 

I think Americans get a little flippant about advice.  I mean, think of the Dear Abby column.  Why would you write a total stranger about family problems?  Maybe they get flippant because they think this life is IT. 

It's not. 

There's Eternity to consider.  Your life decisions now, affect Eternity. 

So, if someone is talking me about their crossroads situation, I ought to be humble.  If God wants to speak through me, I'm happy to be the vessel.  But, if it's just my soapbox, "Dear Lord, help me to shut up!" 

My soapboxes will not help you make an Eternally worthwhile decision.  But, if God in me, can help you stay the course and stick to the Narrow path, then, thank God. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bad Playdate, Good Time

I told my sister and sister in law that I'd never bombed so thoroughly on a playdate.  Not that it was truly my fault, but still, in all the playdates I've ever been a part of, things have never went this awry!

The weather.
It was only supposed to rain for a few minutes right at ten, when we arrived.  (Hence, the reason that we went ahead with Plan A.)  The rest of the day looked clear and the forecast promised for slightly warmer temps.  It was raining and foggy when we arrived and it only rained the entire day.  It never got above 61 degrees.  As we had several days of 85+ degrees, nobody thought we'd need to try to stay WARM.

The park.
It is in the middle of nowhere, but it boasts a lake and pavilions.  We were going to swim.  As we drove into the park, the lake was nonexistent.  As in, empty.  Muddy.  No water to swim in.  AT ALL.

The gear.
My girls all wore flip-flops or crocs.  Blossom3's faithful foot attire broke on the way.  (We weren't even there yet!  This has happened on more than one trip to the same child.  I'm thinking of banning flip-flops away from home.  They must be evil.)  All were dressed in shorts and tees.  Thankfully, those little fleece blankets I keep under the seats of the truck came in handy; they became fleece capes to keep girlies warm!

It was so nice to meet up with my sister.  She was in from Houston, TX for a few days.  My sister in law, Mom and I enjoyed the ride to the park immensely.  Blossom4 didn't make a peep the entire ride.  We're pretty sure she was simply fascinated with her little boy cousin who was just barely (and safely) out of her reach.

The girls had a little trouble with the no swimming thing.  But thank God for Visitor Centers.  Oh man.  It was so great to have a comfy place to chill together.

And the little cousins could get on the ground and move around, without getting muddy and cold. 

The thing was, all those mishaps paled in comparison with the good time we had, just being together.  The girlies loved seeing their cousins and exploring new territory.  (The rain only slowed them down a little.)  I so enjoyed fellowship with my Mom, my sister in law and my sister. 

So, yes, I didn't see the warning that the lake was empty (filed under the Advisories tab on the state park website), even though I did check the web site.  BUT, the biggest treasure of the day was the chatting, smiling and laughing together.  Rain and disappointment can't wash that away.