Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Cold, snow, smiles, cocoa, books, fire, candles, delicious smells, pies, snuggles, laughter, knitting, games, singing, all the "pretty lights" as the twins say...

These things are winter.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Of God's wisdom and baked bread

Sweet scents permeate the house and beautiful music plays softly. The running about of little feet is constant...through the kitchen, down the hall, out the backdoor, back inside. The footsteps accompanied by laughter and chitter chatter.

Peace interrupted by a scream outside, followed by two children crying and yelling, the footsteps turned into feet stamping on the back porch into the house. I know they are both upset, ready to come and defend themselves, to try and make themself look the victim, their sibling the culprit.

A quick prayer leaves my lips, "Oh Lord, give me wisdom on how to deal with this situation. Help my words to be gentle, my actions to be filled with love."

I take a deep breath and brace myself for the 5 and 7 year old to burst in through the door, bringing their chaos with them. In they tromp, loud and angry. Before I even open my mouth, one child's yelling subsists, the other's sobbing turns to quiet cries. I wonder at the cause for this almost immediate display of self-control.

7-year-old answers my question with her own, " Mmm... mama, what's baking?"

5-year-old adds on, "It smells so good in here."

I tell them I have a few loaves of bread just about ready to come out of the oven. Completely calmed down now, they ask if they can have a warm piece with butter.

I take a moment to answer, remembering they were just in the middle of a fight, yet to be dealt with. Should I deal with it first? Should I discipline them by not allowing them to have the bread?

"Oh Lord, give me wisdom..."

I feel I need to move on...give them a piece of bread, hug them, kiss them, mention nothing of past wrongs. Somehow know it will work itself out.

Bread comes out of the oven, we slice it, butter it, sit at the candlelit table and eat. I'm quiet as I look at these two beauties.

7-year-old softly breaks the silence. "Josiah, I'm sorry for bossing you around."

5-year-old responds, "Sorry for pushing you sissy."

They continue eating their bread, and I mine. I smile and say nothing, so proud of these two littles. All forgotten, we eat a few more slices of bread, then pull out a game to play.

As we play and laugh, I think how, left to my own ways, these two would probably be sitting alone on their beds right now, still upset, still angry. So thankful for God's wisdom, here we sat together, enjoying each other, the two of them having fixed things on their own.

Could it be better? Could it be sweeter?... never

Thank you Lord for your wisdom and patience. Thank you for helping me not to parent in my own "wisdom". Thank you for bread to bake.

Friday, October 23, 2009


"Whenever I had anything, and saw a fellow-being suffering, I
was more anxious to relieve him than to benefit myself. And this
is one of the true secrets of my being a poor man to this day. But
it is my way; and while it has often left me with an empty
purse, which is as near the devil as anything else I have seen,
yet it has never left my heart empty of consolations
which money couldn't buy, the consolation of having
sometimes fed the hungry and covered
the naked."

-Davy Crockett

As I teach my children everyday, what do I most want them to learn?
To worship the Lord,
to serve Him,
to show His love to others,
to have compassion,
to show kindness,
to be selfless...

To teach them, I must model
To teach them, I must do and be
Lord, help me
to worship You,
to serve You,
to show Your love to others,
to have compassion,
to show kindness,
to be selfless...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Finding Peace

This is our time of unknowns. It is unknown to us whether the house which we thought would be ours will actually be ours. We are uncertain as to whether we will get the extra money necessary to buy our house and if we do get it, we have no idea where it will come from. Such uncertainty can be scary, and yet we find ourselves calm and at peace.

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.

And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus."
Phillipians 4: 6-7

Not knowing where we will live in the next couple of weeks is an interesting thing. I am one prone to worry. Yet I remember the promises He gave, and I feel peace.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
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

I find peace in...

little kisses
beautiful music
children's laughter
fall colors
holding hands
walking in the crisp outdoors
the scent of pumpkin and cider
warm food
piles and piles of books
made up games
the rain falling on the pond outside
holding big babies
feeling little baby inside
the first quiet of the night...
tucking littles in under comfy quilts and blankies
the Word of God...

He knows how everything will turn out, and that sustains me.
When I am at peace, my children are at peace. They are comfortable and secure. All is well.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

Friday, October 9, 2009

Not holding my breath...

With one week to go, it looks like everything may fall apart. We may not get our house after all. After approving our loan and saying everything looked good, the bank suddenly decided today that we will need more (and quite a bit more) money to get into our house... so that's that. Is it possible? Well, I know that anything is possible with God. Is it likely? Hmmm.... doesn't seem so. If things don't work out what will we do? Good question. We cannot stay here much longer. So... we are just trusting God. He will work everything out they way it is supposed to be. And I do find peace in that.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A look at our days

I'm up at 5... not because I am so "supermom" to wake up at the break of dawn, but because I have two year old twin girls who don't give me a choice. So I am able to make the best of it...

I get to see my husband off to work at 5:45.
I get to drink a warm, delicious cup of coffee while reading my Bible and listening to my twins play together.
I am able to put a load of laundry in and prepare breakfast...

Then three more children wake up.
Breakfast is eaten, showers are taken.

Our learning time begins.
First is our Bible reading. This morning we read Ephesians 6, about the armor of God. Then Layla and Josiah colored pictures and did a word search and maze about the armor of God printed from here.

Ian, Layla and Josiah each work on their math while I play with and read to the twins, pausing often to help when needed.

Nap time for the littles... the twins go down and I read with Layla and Josiah. We read our history, our literature, our nature books. Fifty Famous Stories Retold, Among the Night People, and Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare were on our list today. After each reading we have time for narrations... the children will tell back what we just read, sometimes the entire story, sometimes a favorite part. We discuss any lessons we learn from what we read... What can we learn by Dr. Goldsmith's kindness? How can we show the same kindness? ... Sometimes the children will draw pictures of a part of our reading, sometimes they will make up and perform a play. Once a week, Layla will write her narration.

At this same time, Ian is typically writing at least a one page essay. He will write about something he is reading, learning, thinking. He does his own history, literature and science readings...each one followed by a discussion with me, an experiment (if science), and at least one written narration per day. Currently he is reading Birth of Britain, Ivanhoe, Age of Chivalry, English literature for Boys and Girls, The World of Physics, A Midsummer Night's Dream, How to Read a Book, and Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?

At some point in there, we eat lunch.

As the twins rejoin our day, it becomes a bit louder. They usually color, build blocks, "read" their books, play with their baby dolls and go down their slide while everyone else continues their learning.

Layla does copywork picked from a current reading...either the Bible, poetry (our current poet is Robert Louis Stevenson), history or literature. Josiah works on a handwriting page. Ian continues his reading, writing and discussions for the day and then does dictation. Layla and Ian both have their own language arts books that they work out of.

We make time each day for something extra...either picture study (our current artist is Leonardo DaVinci, our painting is The Last Supper), nature study (we spend time outdoors, find beautiful things, draw them, learn about them), Spanish, etc.

We read our own books freely throughout the day...
Ian is reading Jane Eyre...(yes, a 14 year old boy chose to read this book, and he loves it! That is what happens when you raise your children up with the best literature there is.)
Layla is reading The Borrowers Aloft.
Josiah is very slowly making his way through Winnie-the-Pooh...and he's on his last chapter!

We do some chores, we play, we read, we do crafts, we bake, we go to the park, we (ok, not me) play musical instruments.

I make dinner...tonight something easy, chicken, corn and pasta.

Usually daddy is home by now, and we eat, we play more, we read more and together, we snuggle, we laugh, we give baths, we play more, girls are getting sleepy... we read the Bible, we talk...sometimes we watch a family movie...but not tonight. Tonight was game 1 of the Dodgers in the play offs, and our guys had to watch it. (They are winning by the way, yay!) This explains why I have had so much time to sit and write this post!

Our littles are all asleep, well, except for Layla who is trying to stay awake and read her book. That is a basic overview of most of our days, with a little of today's specifics. I'm sure I have left some things out...like dessert (pumpkin cake the kids and I made), the trip to the store for pencils (yes, we ran out of pencils...not good when you homeschool), all of the numerous snuggles and kisses we had throughout the day... but, this is most of what our days look like.

Have a good night,

Monday, October 5, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

It has been so long, almost a year, since I have done this, but I thought it would be fun today. So here I go... To join in, link yourself at the Simple Woman.

For Today…October 5, 2009

Outside my Window…ducks quacking in the crisp, cool autumn air

I am thinking…how close it is getting to our closing date, and how amazing it will be when we finally move into our house.

From the learning rooms…Books, music, notebooks and pencils awaiting little hands

I am thankful for…my beautiful family, a healthy pregnancy, a house that will soon be ours, and friends that are helping and encouraging us in church planting.

From the kitchen…freshly brewed coffee and a popcorn bowl from last night

I am wearing…pajama pants and a t-shirt...I should get dressed soon

I am reading…the Bible, The Robe (beautiful, awesome book), church planting materials

I am hoping..for a very peaceful day, with good news on the house and smiling, laughing children

I am creating…ideas for our new house

I am hearing…music, twin two year olds chit chattering

Around the house…everyone asleep but the girls and I

One of my favorite things…these early fall days...just starting to get cool, extra baking begins, as does extra snuggling!!!

I am praying for... the Barkers, the Moores, the Fosses...

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…prepare to move, read books, learn with the children, bake

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

This picture is from exactly a year ago. There was already snow, just a couple hours north from here!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

I sat with my children tonight smelling books...

we smelled new books, we smelled old books...

we all decided there is something marvelous about the smell of old books.
There is nothing to new books, so plain, no scent.
Old books just smell amazing.

The interesting ways a homeschool family spends a Friday night.

Really though, don't you agree?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Double birthday

Yesterday, these two girls....

turned two!

(These last pictures are from two months ago, I wasn't able to put their birthday photos up as my camera equipment is packed awaiting freedom when we move into our house)

a day in the fall weather,
throwing rocks into the river,
"quietly" sneaking up on squirrels as they bury their acorns,
sliding with brother,
dancing with sister,
swinging with daddy,
running through the grassy field in two different directions,
skipping an official nap and only dozing in the car...
a glimpse of the second birthday of twin girls.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Come, let us return to the Lord"

How beautiful are the words of Hosea? I love these particular verses and have read them so many times...in times of hardship and in times of peace. A reminder of God's knowledge of all we go through, and His promise to always hold us, to always see us through, to keep us always in His arms.

"Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but He will heal us;
He has injured us
but He will bind up our

After two days He will revive us;
on the third day He will restore us,
that we may live in His

Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to
acknowledge Him.

As surely as the sun rises,
He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter
like the spring rains that water the earth."

Hosea 6: 1-3

Did you read that? "As surely as the sun rises, He will appear" No matter what. Despite what we are going through. Despite our own lack of faith, He will appear. He does not depend on us; He will appear...to heal us, to bind us, to restore us, to revive us...so that we may live in His presence.

A beautiful worship song made from these verses is here. Be reminded of His unending and unfailing promise. He will come...you will be restored.

Have a peaceful day,

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Our first house fell through. The sellers couldn't wait any longer, so they put it back on the market. A day later we heard from the bank, and it was a go...but now we had no house.

So we had to find a new house. House B we fell in love with. It was a beautiful, big house, just perfect for our family. It was $10,000 over what we could afford. I felt very good about this house though, so despite our realtor warning us it was a long shot, we put an offer in. We received a verbal counter offer from them, something we could actually do. We, of course, accepted, and were just waiting to sign the papers. Our realtor called. Before he received the written, signed counter offer, another offer came in which they accepted. It was pretty shady, but there was nothing we could do about it.

Looking for houses again, we found a nice home, nothing compared to house B, but very nice. We went to put an offer in... it was already under contract.

House D we found and it was a beautiful house. First day on the market. We offered full price, and it was accepted. Finally, right? Well, we went for our home inspection, everything is great. The last thing he checks is in the crawl space...termites. Lots of termites. The house needs to be treated and repaired and it will take months. No more house D.

Of course we are being as positive as possible, knowing that God is doing something, teaching us things, and that He will bring us to the right house, (which I still think is House B.)

We put an offer in on house E. The house was okay, but we were settling for this one. It was not what we were looking for. They counter offer. As we are deciding what to do, we get a phone call...

House B fell through. They want us to put our offer back in, which will be accepted. So we are finally under contract for the perfect house, the one I knew was supposed to be ours. Home inspection has passed (and no termites), our closing date is Oct. 16 or sooner.

I never want to buy a house again. :) This has definitely been an adventure.

But God is good, and we are continuing to trust Him, knowing He will work it all out for us.

Have a beautiful weekend,

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The past couple of months

We have had a crazy few months, and it's not over yet! First off, I am 18 weeks pregnant with baby 5! We are so excited.

We have also begun the Vineyard process of church planting, which is quite a relief, knowing we are heading in the direction we have been called to. Through this process we have been able to meet some great people from the surrounding cities who are supporting us and helping us. It is such a blessing.

The most crazy event for us has been buying a house. Over two months ago we put an offer in for a house, which was accepted, and we have been preparing to buy our house. Our closing date was July 24, we were to be out of our apartment August 1. Plenty of time. Well, July 24 came and went without our house closing. Our lender didn't know why the bank hadn't gotten their papers out in time, but he said, it shouldn't be much longer. Well, we had to move out...so, all of our stuff got put in storage and we came for a temporary stay at my mother-in-laws apartment. Every day we have been told today is the day...we will get the green light from the bank and close in two days. Yet, we are still here. Our lender says he has never seen this happen before, and he has no idea what is going on. He says he will talk to someone at the bank who says everything is good, they will send him the ok...and nothing ever comes. He is baffled.

We have decided to look for a house to rent in the mean time...so we will move into whatever comes first. If we get the okay for our house, in we go. If we get a house to rent, and the date comes to move in, and we have not heard about our house, then we will walk away from the deal and rent the house. We are, of course, taking all this as positively as possible. We know we will be in a house shortly, and we also know we will be moving in wherever God wants us, and that will be what is best for us. So we are just trusting Him, knowing He is teaching us patience and faith and probably much more.

We prepare to start school again and the kids are very excited. The twins are big and hilarious, sweet and loving. Hopefully we will be moving this week... I will let you know.

Have a great day,


Thursday, July 16, 2009


Layla and her kitten

Her Littlest Pet Shop cake

Layla Beth turned 7 yesterday. I cannot believe it. She says she had her best birthday ever, because she got a kitten that she named Josie. I don't have many pictures to show, we had children photographers, and most of the pictures didn't turn out.

Now, remember that picture at the top? The one of Ruth with chocolate all over her face? That is how she woke me up at 5:20 this morning. She climbed in bed and said, "mommy." I looked at her and saw something on her face. It was dark and I couldn't tell what it was. Right then James got out of the shower. I said, "Ruth has something on her face." He turned the light on. He laughed. "I know what it is," he said. We went to the kitchen. Layla's chocolate cake had been a little destroyed. One piece had much of the frosting eaten off, and there was cake on the table and floor. Ruth had woken up and gone straight to the kitchen, found the cake and started eating. It was very cute.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Peaceful days

Enjoying the last days of spring, as soon it will be summer and so very hot.
Wishing I could go home this week to my brother's high school graduation. Congratulations, Davey. I love you!
Longing to see my beautiful niece Addison who will be at my brother's graduation.
Missing all my family and friends...
Sleeping girls snoring softly...
Laughing children...
Chirping birds...
These are peaceful days.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Spring Walk

"I'm going out to clean the pasture spring;
I'll only stop to rake the leaves away
(And wait to watch the water clear I may):
I sha'n't be gone long.-You come too.
I'm going out to fetch the little calf
That's standing by the mother. It's so young
It totters when she licks it with her tongue.
I sha'n't be gone long.-You come too."
-Robert Frost
A beautiful spring day, following darling little twins as they take a walk. Their sense of wonder and awe as they explore is heartwarming. Everything is new, especially to them. Their babbles, smiles and laughter tell all. I could take this walk everyday.

Digging, exploring, playing, getting dirty, laughing, loving...


And top it all off by baking a delicious Dutch Apple Pie.

Thank you for visiting. I hope your spring is as lovely and joyful as ours.