Friday, February 26, 2010

Panting for water

As the deer pants for the streams of water, so my soul pants for you O God. Psalm 42:1

I think that is the verse I am carrying into my weekend.  I get to run off today after lunch with some friends for a time of renewal, refreshment and fun at the Whole Heart Mother Conference.  I cannot wait!

The menu includes:

Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Fried Rice, Peanut butter Fudge

Couscous, beans and apricot Nectar Cake

cheese, chicken salad, and other various snacks.

We plan to swim tonight in the hotel pool after our session, I know we are going to browse some amazing books, and we are going to hear what God has laid on Sally Clarkson’s heart for us to hear!

I am just tickled.  I cannot wait.

I do feel like that deer, I am thirsting for a word from God.  Not that I have not felt him moving in our lives or heard him speaking through is word.  This panting is a more specific panting.  Sally speaks to my heart as a homeschool mom and as a wife who is very committed to my family.  She has a way of saying things that do not add guilt to my already heavy load, but instead inspiration, encouragement and refreshment.

She may say – not “Yu need to have tea parties with your kids if you want to be a good mom.”  Instead, “did you know that by having a tea party with your children you open their minds in new ways and inspire them to greatness.  YOu get to share something sweet and gentle, something intimate and special.” -   Something like that.   I just love her approach and it does inspire me.

So I am off to clean like a mad woman, cook like a starving one and finish packing.  I hope to have pics to share and lots of wisdom too!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I am not a runner.  I have been reminded that this week.  Not a runner – as in put on your running shoes, running bra and go run – but a runner as in always on the go.


We have been given a gift of sorts.  Robert has had some changes at work that allow him to go in a little later – so I have some time in the morning to get some things done sans kids.  Don’t get me wrong, I can pack up my brood with no warning and do some serious grocery shopping, run here or run there.  But the dentist is one thing I have been putting off for months because they usually do not love when you arrive with 4 kids in tow.  SO I checked that block this week.  I made it out to JBF to stock up on some great items for my little princess.  I even enjoyed a great lunch at a new place in Arlington – Potager Cafe – it is a new place (well a year old or so)  you pay what you want.  They make the food each morning – the menu changes every day.  The food was wonderful!  So fun!


Ok, so back to running.  It has been a long week.  Get school done with the kids, keep them quiet and then run out to take care of some things.  It is great to get to do the dentist and even the JBF sale.  But I do not like to run.  I like to snuggle up in my house, I like to sew, I like to be home.


So I am looking forward to, not next week, but the following week.  I am looking forward to, hopefully warmer days, and staying home.  Savoring the day with my kids.  Slowing things down.  I think that is what God wants for all of us.  I know that looks different for everyone – the slowing down part.    If we are going too fast, we miss what is going on around us.  You know?  Like if all I am doing in a morning is rushing through school, trying to get some chores done and then running out – am I really doing my kids any good?

I know there are days we need to get more done than others, but how often do we stop everything and listen?  To our kids?  To God?  I know when I am running I am not really listening to anyone.

So I am looking forward to slower days.

I will say though praying BIG this week has been powerfully changing my life.  I am reading a book called Praying Big for your Child – I have mentioned it before.  I have always known the importance of praying for your child.  But these last few weeks I have been praying different prayers.  Even with my boys at night, when they mentioned Haiti the other day.  Both my older boys prayed for Haiti.  And then we talked about how we can specifically pray for Haiti – how to pray BIG for Haiti.

These last few days I have been praying BIG for a very dear friend.  I am praying that God moves in a miraculous way.  So if you are reading this and you are the praying kind, will you join me in my private prayer?  Pray that God moves so big it will not be attributed to anyone but him.  Pray that God will bring a softened heart and a heart of repentance and a heart of forgiveness.  I am so broken over this right now – it is just tearing my heart apart.  SO please pray.  My friend really needs your prayers too.

And I encourage you to join me in praying BIG too – it will change how you see God, change how you approach his throne, change you.  It has been amazing and it feels so amazing to talk to the Lord with power and authority!

Monday, February 22, 2010

It’s Monday…..

….my favorite day of the week!  Not that every Monday is lovely, but I still love my Mondays!!

Life is good, Robert is trucking right along with the job and the recent position change – I think he enjoys the increased responsibility as well as having more control of changes and such!  So that is a great thing!  God is good and it is so great to watch him  move!

My excitement is growing so much!  I simply cannot wait for this weekend!  I love the Whole Heart Mother conference!!  Just love it!  God has so spoken to me at both conferences I have attended, but even more importantly I just feel so refreshed, renewed and refilled after a weekend with:

sally pic  Sally Clarkson,

my friends and some quiet time with God.  It really is such a great weekend for me!

So I am thrilled, plus I am planning a surprise for my roommates – can’t reveal too much incase one of them happens upon this blog.  But I will have pics to share later this weekend!!  It has been so much fun getting ready for this weekend! 

It’s Monday a which also means my Gratitude Journal!  Such fun, here goes:


076.  Soothing a croupy cough in the middle of the night with hot cider and hugs (E)

077.  A friend who gently rebukes with love – and points me in the direction I need  to go

078.  The sun shining between the rain showers

079.  A hard working husband who serves his family with love

080.  Boys who love Jesus

081. long blond curls with a bow (A)

082. Deep brown eyes that sparkle with mischief (E)

083.  endless hugs and requests for back rubs (P)

084. A boy growing into a young man, who I really like (J)

085.  A man who loves me even though I do not speak his love language

086. Always  enough….in EVERYTHING

087. Adonai – the LORD is sovereign

088.  For friends sharing their love of Jesus with me – and encouraging me through sweet words

089. For Jesus who tells us 365 times not to fear!  We have no reason to fear anything!!

090.  For the hope of seeing my brother in a few months in Oregon!!

Hope you are having a great Monday!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

So Excited!!

I have started the adventure of making my first real quilt!! 

Woo Hoo!!

Check out Rachel's Blog and see her first block tutorial for this amazing quilt!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Fun Time

I found some time this afternoon to play while the kids played the wii and watched some Olympics!

These dish rags were not made today – but this is my new hobby – crocheting – I LOVE IT!!

Here are 2 that I made recently – I will admit that perfect squares are not the finished product yet, but I still love them!

2 dish rags

striped dish rag

But today I did find time to replace my children’s poor towels.  A case of the peddlers children never have nice shoes!  I have made these towels for almost everyone, but my kids towels are shredded and falling apart.  So today they each got new towels – well not the princess – her towel was not very old.

2 wii players modelling their towel

The boys modeling with their wii motes too!!

Here is our youngest boy with his new towel!

  E in his towel Here is a new craft I have found and love to make!!  Love these!  Little snap wallets!

snappy wallets

This is a purse that I have seen online and you can buy the pattern, but I am too cheap to do that so I came up with how I think they should be made – here is my first version:

 A's drawstring bag

Below is my second purse – and again I think I am in love!  Love the fabric extras I had left over from past projects, but love the purse so much!!

another DS bag DS bag 2

So it was a fun afternoon and I have lots to show for it!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just another day

Just another day.  Isn’t that how most days start, unless you have big plans?
Today I did not have big plans.  Unless you count my plans for last night – I had big plans then.  My plans were : “sleep all night” – little did I know that was not to happen.  When we went to bed and Robert informed me he took Nyquil for his cold-like symptoms I knew he would be out like a rock all night and of no help if needed.  Well, this proved to be true when my youngest son barged into our room about 11:45 sobbing that he could not breathe.
So for the next 45 minutes or so, I tried to calm him down so that he would be able to breathe a little better and not keep “croupy” coughing.  He seemed a bit better after some hot cider and a spoonful of honey!  Then we (really I) put the humidifier in his room and that noise woke up his sister leading to more time laying with a child trying to comfort them.  It is cold in our house too – and so that makes the comforting the child part – not so comforting for me because I am freezing!
It has been so long since we have had the croup I have forgotten what to do!  I wanted to call someone who would clue me in- that happens a lot – during stressful times I tend to not think real clearly.  Of course what is new?  That is really life is it not?  When we get so caught up in something we cannot see clearly outside of our situation.  So many times I see that, especially with Kristen, she sees clearly when I do not and vice versa.
Today was filled with unexpected blessings though!  After finishing school with the boys and nothing on my to-do list.  I decided to sneak away to rest.  I was cold too – and I think that is the real reason I climbed into bed, I was cold and tired of being cold.  So I snuck into bed and waited.  I knew my buddy would join me.  She usually checks on my whereabouts every 20 minutes or so.  And needless to say, before falling asleep a sweet little girl grabbed her night-nights and climbed into bed in her daddy’s spot and stole a nap with  me!  How sweet is that?
So losing sleep at night is not fun, but finding some unexpected sleep in the late morning is lots of fun!!
We also ventured out today on a walk.  It has been ages since I have been to the park with the kids or out in general.  We walked down to the park and did the 1 mile loop and it was soo good to be out in the fresh air and in the sun!  the kids were inspired to be out too and when we came home they immersed themselves in fairy-house building!  This is a favorite of theirs.  We have built fairy houses in Mississippi, Maine, Michigan and a few in Texas.  So today we made some at our new Irving home.
Here are the boys gathering supplies and making plans for their building to come
boys preparing the biuld
P is in deep thought about how he can use all this good stuff! So sweet
in deep thought
This is J’s house – hard to see it all – but it is nestled ina bush outside our front door, I am sure he will continue to build on this house as spring arrives!
J's fairy house
Here is my sweet sicky!  Doesn’t he look sick?  I think the walk did us both good!  Here is his fairy house – he is so proud – he says there are tanks – did not recognize them, but I am sure with his mind he can see them clearly!  Love it!
E with his fairy house

So a day that started out as just another day has turned into a day of gifts : unplanned nap, walk outside, fairy house building, and who knows what else today?
Sweet girl – in her world coloring while the boys build – aren’t we all called to create?  Just like the one who created us – in Him image!  I love to watch  my children create!!
drawing in her world
happy girl 
I love when we wake up expecting little and God surprises us by blessing us Big!
I love spring, and I can feel it in the air!  I know it is coming and am so excited.  We even have flowers (2 of ‘em) coming up in our flower bed – hyacinths! 
my soon to be flowers
I love them – the best part, they are a surprise!  Someone before us planted them – and we will be blessed by them!  One of my favorite flowers for my yard!!  So God is reminding me , it is coming, be patient.  And I am.  I am waiting, with anticipation of a glorious and beautiful spring!  I love spring!  The new life, the fresh smells, the beauty that all points to my God!  My redeemer. 
Some more pics – what a difference a few days make:
Taken on Friday
sweet kids in snow
Same yard – 5 days later!!  Crazy Texas life!!
boys preparing the biuld
Some more snow pics I had to share!!
The day did not start out like I expected (if you count from mid-night on) but I feel like God took this day and just poured out his love and goodness on it and it became a great day!  I think these days can be some of our favorites because we don’t expect much and get lots!  Hope you felt God walking with you today!

Monday, February 15, 2010

meandering through this monday


feb 2010 059 Another great Monday.  We indulged our selves this morning with a small fire – small to conserve on the last of our firewood.  Bit it was fun to feel the warmth for a little while – at least while we schooled!

I have been blog –hopping most of the weekend if I was not out stamping, playing in the snow, cooking or anything more productive!  But honestly there are some amazingly talented crafters out there and I am so excited to have found several!!  Check out :

the girl creative

stamp with jennifer

niesz vintage fabric

the creative itch boutique

crafts keep me sane

Just to name a few for today!

I am so inspired and cannot wait to make many of the creations I stumbled upon on their blogs!

So we are down to 12 weeks left in our school year!  Yeah!!  Not sure when we will finish this year, since we are trekking to Oregon in April and that may throw us off a week or so.  Either way it is fun to see the light at the end of this tunnel.  We will then take a week or two off school before we start back up.  I like to school year round – that gives us time to take weeks off if say you iving in the middle of no-where and you want to make school all about playing outside in God’s creation.  Or say you are travelling through some 23 states by car and you just want to take in some great museums and sites instead of reading about them.  So we love the year-round schooling thing and will start our 1st grader, 3rd grader and 4th grader up about 14 days after we finish this year!!

Have you even known what you need to do about something but fail to really understand?  That is why I love how God puts people in our life to point out the glaringly obvious.  Sometimes we need that.  We need someone to tell us what we know. 


My gratitude journal continues:

061.  scripture that points you to where you need to go

062.  snow in Texas – enough to make snowmen

063.  feeling the sun warm my legs in our drafty school room and being reminded of the promise of spring

064.  family loving you even when you say hard things to them

065.  children opening valentines from siblings and delighting in that gift

066. a movie night with my valentine

067.  a wonderful babysitter who came through with no notice

068. a church that reinforces all that we are teaching in our home

069.  for people (real people) who go on mission trips to speak to the lost

070.  wet kisses from sweet faces

071.   tax returns

072.  paying off debts with #71

073.  knowing God always provides, even when it seems hard

074.  electricity – for the lights, the oven, the tv, so many things

075.  fresh bread


My current verse in progress is:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood. but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the Heavenly realms.  Ephesians 6:12

Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Day

We had a fun day of snow!  Many trips outside, many wet mittens and hats, and many moments by the fire to warm back up!


I even ventured out to help with a snow man!  I did offer some spray bottles to my kids after quiet time filled with colored water so they could spray the snow colors!  What a fun day!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wednesday Wonderings


This is a week.  I mean, it is February and I know that – and I know that our most consistent snow comes on Valentines Day – (as far as I can tell) but seriously?  Again?  We have had 2 or 3 snows already this year, and that is crazy for this hot Texas region!  But once again, we are expecting snow tomorrow.  Crazy!

Kind of like my life, unexpected, but predictable at the same time.  God.  He is moving big in our lives, still.  Unexpected because I have not come to expect him to always move big – not daily anyway.  But predictable.  Predictable because when you are following where he is leading you, he moves!   I should start to expect that kind of thing in my life.

He is moving in our hearts and changing how we live each moment of our days.  I see these changes in me: with our children, with my quiet time, with my heart.  But I see it too with my dear husband.  I see his response changing, I see his heart molding more like His, and I see God’s fingerprints on him.  And my children too: I see their increased patience with one another, I see a milder expression of a temper, I see a bit speedier obedience.  I see hearts changing, and that is just cool!!

  feb 2010 001 feb 2010 002

feb 2010 030

This is our youngest son with a Christmas craft from his Grammie and Papa – he mixed the molding material (by hand) then he held his hand still enough to make the form to make the above mold.  I love it!  A sweet hand!


Birthday Time!  Cupcakes, cake, and Daddy helping out too!!

Our big boy turned 9 on Sunday!!  Here he is with his banner the other kids and I made while he went out to see a movie with his grandparents!  It was fun to make it and he loved it!  Below he is blowing out candles on his cake with our cousin party!

feb 2010 017 feb 2010 015

I have been finding some moments to craft too!!  I love a blog I found Little Birdie Secrets I learned how to make these:


feb 2010 025

feb 2010 026   

Little crocheted flowers!! there is a tutorial with a video here!  It was so fun to figure them out yesterday!  I am hooked now and just want to buy more yarn to make more, and more!!

So here we are on a Wednesday reflecting back on the past few days.  It is exciting to feel God moving in your midst, encouraging you and even comforting you.  I have felt those things these last few days, well maybe more than days.  Like I said we have some big things going on in our lives and we really are feeling God lead us down some new paths.  With that comes an increase in spiritual attacks, but it also brings an intimacy with our Lord that makes it all so special!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Embracing my Monday

I have come to really love my Mondays.  This is a new season in  my life, this love of Mondays.  Not sure where it came from.  Not sure why it is new.  But it is.

I love that they start anew.  I feel a bit of adventure on Monday as I look over our week.  I love to see the list of all the things we will read this week as part of our schooling with Ambleside.  I love to pick a verse for me and one for the kids to focus on.  I love to start over.

I do so enjoy our weekends with Robert home.  Time as a family – doing things we enjoy. 

But Mondays are a bit more special.  Time to reset the house after a busy weekend.  Time to resupply our clean clothes. Time to reorganize a hectic home.

Today I am so thankful for a great weekend celebrating life in our home.


My gratitude journal today:

046.  A sweet boy of 9 who is growing into a fine young man

047.  Seeing that same boy learn to tame his anger and tongue and seeing fruit in his life

048.  a day in church when you feel the LORD speak to your heart and comfort you in your angst.

049.  seeing relationships with new friends grow and flourish and to see the promise of greatness from the Lord in those relationships

050.  Seeing places where you believe God is calling you to serve him.

051.  Getting a phone call from God telling you that you do not need to store manna  - that he will provide our daily needs until he tells us otherwise.

052.  rainy days that keep us in by the fire, reading, writing, coloring and being together.

053.  feeling God confirm a longing he has placed on my heart, but changing my husband’s – and knowing only God could do that

054.  finding comfort and strength in His word, seeing new words each time I open His book, and hearing Him speak through those words

055.  Tim Tebow and what he and his family openly stand for – for the courage to stand for what he believes – for athletes with integrity

056.  For prayers said over small people, and seeing those prayers light up their face, to see them take the words like a gift and store them inside.

057.  for little girls (mine & my niece) growing too fast, but turning into sweet little ladies – and for their delightful smiles that warm my heart

058.  For post-nap shows when I can catch up with Kristen

059.  for Sunday School teachers who almost cry when the find out it is your son’s birthday and they did not know

060. for cousins who never tire of each other’s company

What a great weekend – lots of family, lots of sugar, lots of fun.  I will post some pics soon!


My verse this week:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 

Ephesians 6:12

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

evidence of...

evidence of children

and their imagination

Today I was privileged to :
fix 16 plates of food for little people
organize many books
read scripture verses written with little hands with many letters backwards or out of order
hear God speak through a friend’s words of truth
pray for friends and family of friends
see the sun and the kids playing in it
hug my husband after a long day at work
watch my children show their love to each other

In the preparation of Robert’s arrival home, I tried to pick up those last few things so that the floor was not cluttered and counters were seen. I want him to feel loved and relaxed when he walks in the door and not feel like he is entering a school classroom or daycare facility. I mean those items in our home that reflect those places have their place, we do school kids here and they do spend a lot of time in our home, but I want him to feel a sense of home and peace.

I have also come to fully embrace that I am not a cleaner by nature. I do not love to clean. I do not clean to de-stress. I do not wake excited about a cleaning day ahead of me. Like a friend recently described herself, “Good enough for government work” describes me too in the field of cleaning. Some days, “good enough” is a little better than what you get here, and others I exceed that “good enough” label.

evidence of joy

Today as I bent down to pick up colored pencils for, oh maybe the 15th time, I reminded myself that little hands took them out to create – not to clutter or mess. Little hands held them and colored or drew a picture. Or maybe they took them out to write a love letter to their sibling.

We started that today.

Love letters.
evidence of love...

I found some cigar boxes I received from my mother-in-law last summer. Not sure what I would do with them, I knew I would find a use, and today was that day. We have one for each child and they are busy filling them with reminders of love. So yes, I will pick up the pencils and stick them in their holder one more time because I know what they did today.
We grabbed the sun today too! I insisted they get out and get some vitamin D – since after today we may not see the sun for a few days. So out they went with nature journals – not sure what they are journaling, but they are. So sweet to see school turn into life and not just at the table, but on the floor, in the yard, or on their beds. I love to see them take the learning beyond the hours we school together.

I am reading Ted Dekker’s Black again. I love his books, but this series is my favorite. The story depicts 2 worlds, one like ours today, and one that takes place in the future where evil and good are visible. Not like here, you cannot see things for what they really are. So when we face a challenge today instead of seeing the spiritual battle that takes place, often times we get upset at a person or situation that is causing us discomfort. But I am trying to see the spiritual battles more clearly. I think when we really look at things with a spiritual battle lens it allows us to respond in a more Godly way. I can see how God is tempering my attitude through my dependence on him. I am slower to anger, more patient with my kids, and thinking more about Him. Still so far from perfect or even from where God wants me. But I can see him working on me, my actions, my heart and my thoughts. It is a good place to be when you feel God working, but you see Satan attacking. I figure something is going right!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Magnificent Mondays

It's Monday, and I think I have come to recognize that I love Mondays. Instead of the typical dread that Monday usually brings others, I feel a sense of adventure. I look at the week ahead and see a blank slate, I can determine where I want to go and how I want to do this week. I look at our school schedule and I get excited about all the reading and learning that will happen.

Today is not just a normal Monday, but also the first day of February! A double Yeah!! A whole month before us! That means a new character trait focus for us. Last month we focused on obedience, this month patience. I am excited to see where God leads me and our children as we dive into patience and what that looks like in our lives. I am following the information offered HERE for our character training.

Still planting truths in the garden of my heart. I have found some young fruit already from the truths I have been working on last month - reminding myself to dwell on scripture and when a bump in the road happens I turn back to that same scripture. So I am excited about seeing even more fruit in the weeks and months to come. This next Scripture I am borrowing from Lisa @extravagantgrace - I love this simple and profound verse.

What a great verse to kick off this month, a month of love and hearts, a month of blessings others - a month of obeying. Lisa asked this question on her blog:

Friend, what is the one thing you will strive to obey the Lord in this month, as a demonstration of your love for Him?

My answer: I want to obey my Lord by being peaceful in troubling times, turning to him first to comfort me and calm. I want to choose to have faith that he is working in all that happens and that he will use it to bring himself Glory. I hope to obey his command to have peace, trust and faith in him.

Maybe one reason why I love Mondays is I get to revisit my gratitude journal and reflect on the many things I have to be thankful for, too many to list, but here are a few highlights:

31. days of being home and enjoying the slow pace of life, school and fun
32. blessing new friends with homemade bread - that they cherish
33. feeling a part of our new church, and starting to really feel like it is our new family
34. catching up on school, but not feeling rushed, just enjoying our books and the stories we are learning
35. watching my kids continue to delight in our piano and recalling songs they learned long ago
36. sunshine - and the promise of spring
37. hearing our first bird song while schooling and knowing more are to come
38. see God's abundance in our pantry and refrigerator and remembering his many blessings
39. seeing Robert enjoy his new job, and looking back over the last year and seeing Him move in our lives in a mighty way
40. excited about seeing my brother in Oregon one day soon, praying for it to happen in 2010
41. the upcoming Whole Heart conference later this month - so excited to hear Sally and all that God has laid on her heart, to visit with friends and have time away to recharge and be energized!
42. sharing prayers on my heart with my mom who I know will pray for me - that has been such a sweet gift - reconciliation after 17 years - so precious
43. being asked to pray over my child at night - him wanting those words spoken over him and for him
44. seeing my boys love each other through words and actions
45. maintaining my calm when #44 does not happen, and disciplining in patience and love


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