Monday, November 29, 2010

a small glimpse of sweetness

Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.  Rom 16:19

The time and energy I invest in guiding my children is such a joyous endeavor.  It warms my heart in those moments when I can experience the pay off. It gives me hope for their future.

The other day's glimpse of needed correction is one tiny example of a lifestyle of daily moments that produce this smile you see to the left.  
Kurtis obediently lay on the couch for nap time.  The home did not stop for him, activity tempted him all around.  I have been working on this for awhile and today, a glimmer of hope as he lay there, waiting patiently for his eye lids to succumb to the call of 'mimis'. He did not disrupt the rest of the home and was nicely in sight if there was a need.

I could not resist sharing this moment of sweetness with you.
Obedience is a lovely reward to witness.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves...Prov 3: 11-12a

This cute little guy is one tough nut.  This was after numerous redirects and rebukes.  He was totally not phased by any of it.  His demeanor wasn't even defiant or angry--it was a non-chalant self-will.

He was going to continue to do what he wanted to do, regardless of how many times I told him otherwise. (and all this was happening before 10am!)

The neat thing was--we both kept our cool. This was a non-emotional event.  He stayed at that small space of wall pretty well. I think he actually tried to climb it. Seriously.

Afterward, I gave him a couple commands and tasks to do, to establish my authority and remind him who the parent was here.  He happily obeyed.

My flesh would love to let my children run wild and do everything they want.  It certainly would make my life easier--in the moment.  The verse above always comes to mind though and I know, in my heart, in the long run, I would be doing myself, my children and society at large, a disservice.

Appropriate training and guidance is lovely.

easy peachy cobbler

This is my default dessert in a pinch.  It's ridiculously simple, quick but super delicious. 

large can of peaches
box of cake mix
stick of butter
handful of oats

Preheat oven to 350 or 400 depending on the temperament of your oven. Empty the can of peaches (including juice) into your favorite baking dish. Cut peach slices into smaller bits and bite sized chunks.  Pour cake mix on top of peaches. Spread evenly but not necessarily smooth.  Toss handful of oats on top. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg.  Grate refrigerated stick of butter over top , evenly. Bake about 15 min until juice is bubbly and top is crispy.  (*note: cake mix is not expected to cook all the way like a cake)


This would especially hit the spot if served warm with vanilla bean ice cream.

Variations: canned cherry pie filling with chocolate cake mix-minus oatmeal
apple pie filling topped with vanilla cake mix, extra oats.
Nutmeg is my most favorite spice and secret ingredient is just about everything. sssshhh! really!

We enjoyed this yummy dessert this evening.  The guys braved the extra chilly weather outside, putting up the Christmas lights.  They were rewarded sweetly. My #2 son was excited to finally be allowed up on the roof with his big brother.  What a rite of passage!

Desserts are so lovely.  Especially shared with friends and loved ones, over good conversation, on the good plates, of course. Don't forget the hot tea. ;-)

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I know I have so much to be thankful for everyday.  I have been close to losing it all on more than one occasion. Giving thanks and gratefulness come easy to me.

However, so many times showing that gratitude does not come as easy.  It's here in my heart, but it stays hidden. Therefore, when I see such failure in my life, even at simple things, I feel that grace from above and my heart cries out with unmatched gratitude.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8

I can think of nothing more lovely to be thankful for.

Monday, November 15, 2010

time well spent

I went out with my husband tonight.  It wasn't a big planned date but it was time spent together with out our offspring--so I guess you can call it a 'date'.  I was wearing make up--so  that counts for something. ;-)

We were able to enjoy a very original evening for sure.  Since my husband is now a bona fide member of the SAG union, he has the opportunity to participate in various union sponsored events.  Tonight we went to a Q & A featuring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, discussing a recent movie they starred in.  Afterward, there were delicious gourmet snacks and wine available, if you were so inclined.

It was in a small auditorium like setting, intimate and personal.  We weren't out very late, which was nice.  We were only gone for a few hours and were home in time to enjoy our kiddos before bed and tuck them in.  The traffic, although annoying, was a bonus because it gave us more time to spend together, conversing, sharing ideas and thoughts, uninterrupted.

It was a really pleasant and unique night out.
Taking time to invest in your spouse, to really focus and listen, is lovely time indeed.
A lovely evening is always time well spent.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Each month so far we have memorized a new poem.  This is a new addition to our home educating journey so each monthly poem has actually been entitled for that particular month, so far.  I think poetry is a greatly over looked part of a well rounded education.  Not only does it help with memory and memorization skills but also recitation, public speaking, proper annunciation and articulation, as well as various writing devices, recognition and use of rhyme schemes.  

Poetry memorization has been a surprisingly lovely part of our daily routine.

Still the garden blossoms bravely,
     Though the Year is nearly done,
Fresh chrysanthemums are shining
     In the pale and wintry sun.

Such a number of bright colors
     Make the beds and borders plain,
We believe the summer roses
     Must have all come back again.

Now's the time when great plantations
     Must be planted, oak and fir,
Beech and elm, and towering poplar
     That the wandering night-winds stir

And the time when treasured fruit-stones,
     In the summer stored away,
Must be set, that spreading orchards
     May grow up another day.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

got color?

After attempting to naturally dye the wool roving I purchased...and failing...I finally figured out I could simply use food coloring and it works lovely!  I mean look at these scrumptious colors.  Blue, green, red, yellow and yummy orange. 

This is only 5 ounces that you see here.  I still have plenty more.  I can't decide what other colors to make.  maybe lighter versions to have pastels? I don't know but I am very pleased with the results so far.  I don't regret one bit purchasing it undyed.  It was so much cheaper and the dyeing process really isn't hard at all.  I purchased a full's just the most lovely thing to hold in your hands, so soft and cuddly.  It's almost a shame to needle it. ;-)

Best price I've found for undyed wool roving: Deer Run Sheep Farm

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Recently we received our first charitable solicitation of the holiday season.  I let my daughter open the 'junk mail'.  Inside was a picture of a young girl and a 'copy' of a letter her dad had written, from prison, requesting help in getting her a Christmas gift.

The organization sounded good enough but I already have a Christmas charity that our family participates in every year.  As I was cleaning I casually tossed the information into the recycling bin.  Honestly, I didn't even read the actual info, noted the 'child model' was cute and the 'letter' was a good 'heart-ploy'.

Well, today my daughter began to ask me about it.  I tried to change the subject and reminded her of the charity we participate in.  I also told her I had already tossed all the information in the trash.  She recited ALL the little girl's info: age, what she wanted for Christmas, her clothing size and the name of her 'dad', from memory.  She told me she wanted to send money to get that little girl her Christmas gift.

She was serious.  I had sense enough to not over look her interest.  I explained what that charity does--shares the love of Christ by providing Christmas gifts for children of inmates.  I explained I had already tossed the info but she was certainly welcome to save her $$$ to send or use for a similar charity this season.  She even found the little paper tag, later, that had all the exact info she had expertly memorized.  She was SO excited.

It wasn't until later that it really hit me.  How cynical I was in my heart...something my daughter obviously wasn't.  She doesn't care about charitable organizations, all she cared about was another human being.  A child like herself that has less than her and her heart was moved.  The more we talked about it, my middle also became interested and wanted to help.  He even suggested we could forego our own gifts and give gifts in this way instead.  That is something I have always wanted to do for the holidays.

Later, when it hit me...I was so over come by emotion.  I was so humbled by the sincere and innocent heart of my children. How awful and sad that even I, who sincerely cares about humanity, could feel so jaded, in a moment. In all of my sincerity, to still be so shallow.

My prayers were repentant this evening and full of thanks for being humbled and exposed. 
Humility, that leads to grace and love, is nothing less than lovely.

James 3:13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

Charity that captured my daughter's heart: Angel Tree 
My favorite Christmas charity: Operation Christmas Child

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


1 Th. 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

This is usually the time of year when people make a conscious effort to focus on giving thanks.  

To honor that spirit, a friend suggested a 10 day challenge of not grocery shopping or eating out, in preparation for the feasting of Thanksgiving.  Naturally, since we do not own a farm we will need to purchase perishables but the goal is to use what we already have in the cupboards and pantry.  Also she was challenging herself to not spend more than $40 for that 10 day period.

Our family has accepted this challenge as well.  We are on day three and we did get some groceries yesterday as we were out of all basic essentials. For us the main thing will be not eating out or indulging in fast food.

I am also posting daily, what I am thankful for.  Having a heart of thankfulness is not really that hard.  I can look around me and see so much to be thankful for.  For me the challenge is *showing* my gratitude by valuing what I have and have been given, being a good steward.  This goes for my time and my relationships as well. 
I believe a true heart of gratitude results in a much lovelier life over all. You care for those things which you are grateful for.

How are you preparing your heart to celebrate  and honor Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 1, 2010


YEP! I put these costumes together.
A little bit of sewing, hot glue and repurposed items & VOILA!!