Thursday, May 13, 2021

That Legendary Lady

I've always loved Proverbs 31.  The woman described in verses 10-31 is amazing.  

She can also be overwhelming.  I imagine that some might love to hate her.  She's practically legendary and she's trustworthy, industrious, energetic, strong, wise, busy, caring, prepared, creative, brave, dignified, joyful, kind, and careful.  It's no wonder some of us feel she's just an impossible standard.  

Proverbs 31:30 mentions that a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.  We shy away from the word "fear," but I when I look at it, I think that "morally reverent" would be a great phrase to substitute in for the word "fear." 

Am I reverent toward the person of God?

Am I reverent toward His Word?

Am I reverent toward His standards?

Am I morally reverent?

When I read over the beginning of Proverbs 31:30, it reminds me that charm and beauty are vain and temporary.  When I delve deeper, I realize that you can be smart, beautiful, and have a riveting personality, but it's NOTHING without the fear of God.  

Truly, the fear of God is the root of all virtues.  

That's where the Proverbs 31 woman becomes an encouragement to me.  She is what she is, because she fears God.  She started there and it all grew out of the fear of the Lord.  

I can't ask myself if I have all those wonderful qualities that I see in her life.  

Instead, I ask myself ~ 

Today, am I fearing the Lord?  Am I holding Him in high and holy reverence?

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Blossom3 as Amy March

A friend shared this fabulous free book report resource with me.

It's a "restaurant menu" with a variety of projects for your students to choose from.  Each of them cause the student to evaluate the ins and outs of the book and share their knowledge in a variety of creative ways.

With much determination, Blossom3 conquered Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.  Her interest was piqued when we gave the Blossoms the latest movie version for Christmas this year.  

It's a LONGGGGGG book, but she was so proud to finish it!

For the "entree," she chose to write the "Sizzling Summary."  In the process, I caught her singing a few lines of what she was typing.  An idea immediately blossomed in my mind.  

"You know, Honey, you can write a song and perform it in an Amy March costume and that could be your version of the summary."

She was delighted with the idea!

We pulled together the costume from what we had in the house and I videoed her song.  

I don't think she'll ever forget the details of Little Women!

I'm so thankful we can cater our education to our daughters.  It makes it so memorable!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Spring Days

With the flurry of end of year writing assignments, it's been a struggle to carve out my own time on the computer.  This is definitely a time of year when I feel like we don't have enough devices.  Still, as one friend reminded me, this blog is my outlet and one thing that I thoroughly enjoy.  I ought to make the time for it.  Mamas know that making time for something important takes continual effort.  It's usually worth it though.

The school year is wrapping up.  I'm grateful for that.  The girls are steadily chugging away at the end of year checklist and I dance a happy dance every time something else gets checked off.  I planned for 140 days of bookwork this year ~  a tweak from previous years.  We already have our 180 days of school in.  I say that not to brag, but to share that after eleven years of homeschooling, I finally learned a few things and planned accordingly... finally.  Sometimes lessons take a while to learn.

Y'all know that spring is a busy time here.  Garden work is picking up.  It was so cold last night, so I covered a few things.  They look like they fared well, so I'm happy about that.  The spinach and arugula that have been coming out of the garden are tasty.  

The Blossoms have been splitting wood nightly.  It looks like we'll start the stacking this weekend.  

I read in Colossians 3 this morning and I was reminded afresh to set my sights on the realities of heaven.  Heaven is a reality to me and I want my daily life to reflect that in every way.  I was challenged to think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.  

As the logistics manager of our household, the things of earth often suck me in. I'm not denying the realities of being here.  Rather, I want the realities of eternity to direct my daily life.  

It's letting my little picture be driven by the Big Picture.

That's what I'm mulling over today.  I'm asking the Lord to nudge me when I need a reset, when I need to remember the reality of heaven again.  


Pics from a from a trip to the greenhouse with friends

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Oh, Be Careful What You...

My mind had lots of time to think over the weekend on a getaway to the cabin with the Rugged Mountain Man.  It was lovely, refreshing, and fun!  

Time away in the Wilds with my best friend certainly afforded us some time to finish our thoughts.

Lately, I've been mulling over how important it is for me to be careful of the words I speak ~ 
over my home, my children, and my husband.  

The tongue truly holds the power of life and death.  

I've seen this hold true in my life and the lives of those around me, time and time again.

It's far too easy to let idle conversation form my mindsets about these things.  

We moms say things.  We say it again.  We say it again and again and again,
and whether or not we meant to, now we believe it... 

and we keep believing it and we keep speaking it.

Our attitude is affected.
Our outlook changes.

We believe that our children are exhausting and frustrating, 
our husband is inattentive and ungrateful, 
and our home life is chaotic.  

It's little wonder when those things trend in that direction!

We must guard our words. 

And, it's not enough to guard our words last week or today.  

We must continually guard our tongues moment by moment, day after day.

We're guarding our marriage, our family, and our homes from worldly attitudes and mindsets and satan's wiles.

Let us speak life!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Whole Resurrection Weekend

We had a lovely Easter!  Resurrection weekend is one of my favorite holidays for sure! 

Due to eating too many delicious dark chocolate brownies Thursday night, I was super tired Good Friday morning.  I know this about myself and yet, they were sooooo good.  Maybe I learned my lesson this time.

Friday morning, I was moving slow, sipping tea, and directing family logistics from a foggy brain.  After lunch, I was able to rest and get my energy back.  When Mama's tired, it can be hard to make holidays special and I know that very often this is a source of guilt for moms.  

Over the years, I've learned that each holiday ought to reflect our own family's beliefs, convictions, and traditions, in consideration of our family's current season, rather than the pressure of Pinterest, Instagram, or Facebook.  

I've come to an attitude of "This is what I can nicely manage this year."  I say "nicely" because it's important to me to be Godly.  How much value is making a memory if I'm stressed out, overwhelmed, and upset the whole time?  Better a little less, with a better attitude, in my opinion.  Honestly, there have been a number of years, including this one, that we have colored eggs in the week AFTER Easter and after that first year, I endeavor not to feel the least bit bad about it.  Half the stress is removed when I just space things out and stop rushing around.

For this year, my sister mentioned Hot Cross Buns as a fun and traditional Good Friday treat and we've never made them before.  It sounded cool though, so I snagged a recipe and got those rising.  All those spices that represent preparing Jesus for His burial sure made my kitchen smell lovely!

Everyone came in from working outside and we had a fun fish fry with the fruits of fishing on Mentored Youth day last weekend with Daddy.  We all milled about the kitchen and living room, snacking on delectable trout and perch straight out of the fryer.  The funny thing is, I didn't plan on eating fish Good Friday night, it just happened. 

(Jerry has fish radar.)

I was tempted to grouch that this was a meal that took FOREVER to get on the table, but then I realized how much we could enjoy the camaraderie in the kitchen and living room while we were cooking, so I embraced it.  It isn't a meal I would've attempted when the girls were younger, but I'm thankful that we can enjoy the longer process now.  

(Blossom1's trout was trying to make a break for it.)

From a bin in the basement, I pulled out a dozen Resurrection Eggs that a friend had given me.  They were all ready to go and I was grateful for this a thousand times over.  Resurrection Eggs are colored, plastic eggs with small items that correspond with the story of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection inside. Because of my friend's generosity, I didn't have to go looking for all those little items.  She also gifted us the accompanying book, Benjamin's Box, by Melody Carlson.  

After our fried fish feast, we hung out in the living room and read the story.  The older Blossoms stuck around and the little Blossoms were thrilled to be opening the eggs to find a tiny donkey or a strip of linen cloth.  Hearing the story from a child's point of view with something they could touch was so meaningful.  If the girls had been younger, I would've condensed the story just a little bit, but overall, I highly recommend it!

On Saturday we ventured out in the 20 degree weather for Opening Day of Trout season.  It's practically a holiday in this family, although the Blossoms do miss sleeping in on early fishing days.  Still, it was nice to be out in the fresh air by the creek.  I was doing my usual untangling of lines.  I almost slid right in the creek at one point, but I was happy to stay on the bank DRY and warm!  

(Blossom2 enjoying the great outdoors)

We did our usual Saturday homestead work afterward, had a fun supper, and then we gave the girls their little Easter gifts and candy.  We never did Easter baskets as kids and I've never felt like I missed out.  Mom and Dad really wanted to take the focus back to Jesus from the Easter Bunny.  

The Rugged Mountain Man and I have come to our own traditions, based a bit on each of our upbringings.  We try to make holidays reflect our beliefs, keep each holiday a bit special, but yet not financially burdensome on a single income.  It's neat to see the Blossoms looking forward to these little things!

Sunday was very reminiscent of my childhood Easters.  We dress extra springy, thoroughly and joyfully celebrate His resurrection at church, and then enjoy good food with family and friends who don't have family nearby.  I'm glad the girls are enjoying these family traditions too.  The sunshine and warm temps were a pleasant addition to the day!  And the Ranger rides in the mountains were highly popular too!  

Yesterday was back to school as usual and we managed to color eggs also.  That tie-dyed blue egg on the bottom right is my favorite!

What a fabulous Resurrection weekend!!!  Thank God He is risen and has bought the victory for us!