Monday, February 28, 2011

Multitude Monday

It can be hard to wake up early, especially after an eventful night!  Our kids slept in the tent again last night, to give their little sister a chance to join in the fun.  So when I woke about midnight to the rumble of thunder, I was thankful.  Thankful because I never wake before the storm, during it, sure.  But before?  Rolling thunder rarely wakes me from sleep.

But God knew my young children would be terrified if they woke in the middle of the storm, and so he woke their Mama.  (and Daddy too).  The dogs were out as well.  The starter plants, young life, they were out too.  Who wants to work at midnight just a few hours into the night of sleep?  Not me.

But we did.  We woke the kids, we brought the dogs in to their beds, and we rescued the plants to the kitchen.  Then the storm HIT!  It was a pretty intense storm too.  The thunder was terribly loud, and right over us.  The hard pelted the house.  I was so thankful our kids listened from their safe and secure beds.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

by the numbers

The weekend here at the “Farm”

1 silly girl

1 silly girl

5 boys and a tent

5 boys + 1 tent


5 silly boys and a tent

5 silly boys + 1 tent


one worn out husband

1 worn out husband (who worked very hard all day getting our garden ready)


50 x 60 ft garden

1 garden : 50 x 60 ft



1 of 12  mounds

1 of 12 mounds (with pine straw paths)

2 baby turkeys

2 new turkey chicks!  (hopefully a boy & girl)

5 of 6 baby gineas

5 of 6 new guinea chicks


2 sweet cuddly kittens

2 sweet snuggly kittens

6 hungry kids and 1 pizza

6 hungry kids, 1 pizza and a few more to come


8 sweet hens

8 hens growing up fast, enjoying some brief  freedom


25 growing chickens

25 little boys chicken growing very fast, finally in their new home


maggie meets katie 2

1 curious cat and 1 cautious chick meet



how many chicks can we squeeze into a corner

How many chicks can you squeeze into a corner?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Treasures & Clothes Pins

When I arrived up in the metroplex last weekend, Jennifer had been garage-sale shopping while waiting for me.  She found several great treasures for me :

new shakers


new tea pot

Love them both!!

Then she also got this too:

feb 2011 125

Can you see a theme forming?  Yes, chickens – with the chickens multiplying around here, I decided it was time to have some chicken stuff around the house too.  So I now have several fun chickens in our kitchen and living room!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tootsie Roll Day

It is Tootsie Roll day and in my attempt to celebrate life daily we celebrated this day this morning! 


365 Days of Celebration and Praise: Daily Devotions and Activities for Homeschooling Families



I am loving this book we just added to our library!   She took a day about a piece of candy, connected it with sweet speech and added a verse!  My kids already have this memorized, but their sweet reward {a tootsie roll of course} will not be given until they can recite it tonight.  Here is my oldest this morning though…


I had some buyers remorse after paying for this book.  It is not me.  It seems very “rabbit trail-y” and that is not me.  But you know what?  God had other plans.  He knew my kids would love it.  He knew it would be a great devotion book to have at the table for meal times.

Now?  I love it.  I know it is going to bless us!  Thank you Lord for pushing me to buy this despite my nature!!

May the words of my heart, the meditations of my mind be pleasing to you, O God, my rock and my redeemer!  Psalm 19:14wednesdaybutton2

more baby steps

I came home with quite a list of things I wanted to add/implement/change in my home after listening to Sally Clarkson and her friends this weekend.  I am not going to share the entire list, but I will share what little things I have done since getting home. 

1.  My goal was to make my kitchen “Clutter Free” and I was serious!!

So, I arrived home and Sunday evening after my appointment with Dave Ramsey, I started picking up the kitchen.  Why the kitchen as my focus right now?  Well, my bedroom looks like a man’s workshop exploded – and let me tell you, that room does not make me happy when I enter it.  However, I cannot influence, change or control that room while my husband is soldering pipes, hanging dry wall, or laying tile.  So, I choose to ignore the way that room makes we feel, and move on.

I happen to spend most of my time in the kitchen.  So, I decided the kitchen could be improved.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Grateful Evening

You know it has been a long day when you are just getting around to posting your Monday Morning gratitude journal list at night!  I say Monday Morning since I almost always do that in the morning. Somehow, this morning slipped by.  Then the afternoon slipped by.  And now the kids are in the bed, and I am finally getting some computer time.

It has been a good day here trying to weave into our routines a few new ideas I brought home.  I know this will continue to be a journey of tweaking our home life and our school life – improving, dropping, adding, ever changing.  But it is fun. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Quiet and Alone

It is so sweet to be in a place where you can hear God, but even sweeter still when you know you are hearing God and you can almost feel him hugging you and encouraging you.

That is usually how I feel when I get to be in a room with Sally Clarkson.  This weekend is proving to be no different.

But this morning, as I woke up early (with many less hours of sleep than I am used to) with little bags under my eyes, and my body wanting to roll over and go back to sleep, I went down to secure seats for today’s conference.  It is what I do.  I am the seat recon person.  It seems I normally get up earlier than most in my group, and well, it is what I do.  So I took off with my Bible hoping to get some reading done while I waited.  I skipped my Mark reading yesterday, not intentionally, just got pulled away before I got there.  But, now I see God wanted me to read that particular passage today.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Mark 6:31

I read this last year about a week before this same conference – and felt that this was God telling me to Go – without guilt – go to a quiet place and be alone with him (alone in the sense of with 600 other moms doing the same thing).  So I went.  Then, and now.

Even Jesus knew the importance of getting away from all that tugs at us and pulls us here and there.  To get away to a quiet place to meditate.  To think new thoughts.  To dream.  To reconcile where we have been and are.  To get away.

There is so much value in it.  When Sally speaks, I hear the words God gave her to speak life and encouragement into the hearts of those who are daring to live their lives pouring everything into their children.  TO some weary women on the battlefield of the World – battling against, everything the world throws at us. 

And, wow – so sweet.  So, so sweet to hear the words that God is pouring out to my heart.  Not words of condemnation, or guilt – but words of life.  Truth.  Inspiration. 

So, I sit here this morning, in a quiet place, knowing no one is going to come out and ask me what is for breakfast & when am I serving it.  No one is going to ask for anything from me right now.  So I get to read His word, refresh my soul, and let Him fill me back up before I step back out on that battlefield.  But when I do, I know that I am ready.  I have plans.  I have ideas.  I have high expectations.  I am dreaming of bigger ideals than Friday morning.  I will keep striving to pour so much more into the hearts of my fellow warriors on this battlefield – even though they may not yet realize they are that.

I am so grateful.  So thankful that Sally is obedient to a God who asks more of her, who stretches her – and who has called her to do what she is doing.  She is fighting the battle through her life, but through ours too every time she refreshes our souls!

Monday, February 14, 2011

so much gratitude

Sometimes it takes getting sick to really be thankful for all that we have.  When you are feeling too yucky to eat, and cannot really speak, you find out how thankful you are that you can normally eat, and normally read to your children without irritation.

Last week was a huge reminder of all I have to be thankful for.  I am thoroughly enjoying watching my boys fill in their printable Gratitude journal from Ann also.  It is a joy to see them opening their young hearts to gratitude.


So today, with a healthy throat I am thankful for …

~ swallowing without pain

~ an upcoming weekend of relaxing, recharging, and fellowship

~ writing valentine letters to my children hoping to fill their love cups with words of encouragement and love

~ 25 chicks still alive and kicking, and getting 13 more very soon

~ a husband who means so much to us, but really does not realize it

~ the end of the 4 night shift

~ tears of joy during worship, feeling Him hug me through songs

~ teaching little ones, even a few extras, about Jesus and seeing that they get it

~ for a house that has enough Bibles that we each can look at one, and a few to spare

~ for a yard that seems to not end, and birds that fill our trees and our air with songs

~ little girls who believe they may grow up and be  real princesses one day, and knowing that one day she will grow up and know she is a princess as the daughter of the King

~ sweet valentines made by little hands, offered with love

I could go on and on, but for today that is my list.  My heart spills over with the many things I am thankful for – so many things.  We all have so much more to be grateful for than we realize.  Too often we are fretting about the next _______ (fill in the blank) the next project, the next thing for the shelf, mantle, etc.  But really, none of that makes us happy.  If it were all gone tomorrow, I would still be thankful for sweet hugs, for snuggling in the morning, for naps on the couch, for the little things.  Because really, aren’t those the big things?  Kids saying grace without being asked.  Praying for friends, for each other.  Holding hands in a parking lot with brothers laughing.  Playing games on the blanket in the living room sharing, encouraging.  Playing the game he wants, so that next they will play the game the other wants.  Reading to a little sister before bed, giggling in bed.  Having a sleep over with their sister while their little brother sneaks in with mommy!  Can you tell, the list really does not end…..

but I will end it for today.  I am grateful.  For everything, I just need to stop and think about it more – stop and realize I have more than I need.  It is not about remodeling.  It is not about a new outfit.  It is not about new paint, or new furniture.  It is about the real things that matter in life.  And in that area, I have far more than I deserve.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It’s been a week

I feel like a week slipped by without my knowing it.  It kind of did.  I was pretty useless for about 4 days this week.  No school, no cooking, no just about anything.

Fortunately I am feeling much better, cooking, schooling, and everything else again.  It has been a great day here – a full day of normal!  We did school this morning finishing a week – even though we missed quite a few days.  Then I was able to make my way over to the school building (we schooled in the house by the fire again) – to get some craft time! 

I was pretty excited this week to finish up a birthday gift for my sweet niece – hope she likes them:

feb 2011 015


feb 2011 017

Here are a few felt treats to go with a fun Tea Set – AG loves her felt food so I thought Caitlin would too!


While I was sick on the couch, we added 25 more chickens to our home.

feb 2011 004

It was so sweet to have these little birds again in our home, I love to hear their little chirps.  They are just so cute!  feb 2011 006

Of course, 25 little chickens start to stink a bit faster than 12 do, and this means they are moving outside very soon!  They were in the living room the last few days simply because of the weather being so severe.  Tomorrow they move to their new home in the garage.  But they are still pretty cute!!

feb 2011 007


Here are some of the cards I made tonight too :

feb 2011 018


I have made a few other treats recently – I made mug rugs for the kids for Valentine’s Day – I will post some pics after this weekend.  I know the kids will love them – we have tea quite often so I know they will enjoy their little mug rugs when we do! 

The countdown has begun for the Whole Heart Conference too – next weekend I get to get away for a few days of recharging, relaxing, and fun!!  Cannot wait!!

Random thoughts tonight, I guess that is what you get when I am out of the loop for a week!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Monday : Meal Planning

So, we have been following our meal planning pretty well.  When you factor in feeling sick, change in plans, and life – we are doing great!  Still have not eaten out!  Success there!

So here is our plan for the next 3 weeks or so :

8 ~ Tuesday : Beans and Rice

9 ~ Wednesday : Chicken Spaghetti {casserole}

10 ~ Thursday : loaded burritos

11~ Friday: Make your own Pizza

12~ Saturday: (trip to DFW) sandwiches in the car

13 ~ Sunday : Chicken & Rice Soup {Crock pot}

14 ~ Monday: Beans & Rice

15 ~ Tuesday {veggie}: Southwest Egg Rolls

16 ~ Wednesday : Veggie w/ Baked Potatoes

17 ~ Thursday : Beef Stir-Fry w/fried rice

18~ Friday: (*WHM for me) Pizza for them

19~ Saturday: (*WHM for me) steaks for them

20 ~ Sunday : spaghetti

21 ~ Monday: Beans & Rice

22 ~ Tuesday : Homemade Chicken Soup

23 ~ Wednesday : “Gourmet” Quesadillas

Trying to sprinkle in the Beef & Chicken nights each week – but not too many.  We are still enjoying many “Meat-less” meals – us and the kids, so that is great!  Stretches that meat a little more too!

Keeping my plan up to date has really saved us a lot of money too – I keep it on the fridge – when I lose that I print it out again, and each  morning I try to put it on my Daily Docket as a reminder and to get me thinking about sides, prep time, etc.  So this is all working for us.

It is all about saving money, eating healthy, and well, saving money!  So far so good!!

(*WHM – Whole Heart Mother Conference – I get to go up to DFW and spend the weekend.  My goal?  Well, relax, be encouraged, and save money!  yup!! The goal is to take food to eat in the hotel – my friend and I will do this together.  More fun, and ….you guessed it :cheaper.  We may have to run out to the grocery store to pick up a few things, but that is still better than eating out!!  Can’t wait Jennifer!!)

A day of gratitude

What a week we have had here in our home.  There seems to be a roving plague of sorts – it is a fever for about 36 hours with a pretty severe sore throat.  First it was E then P then J and now me.   I am thinking I am on the mend, but my throat is killing me!!

It is one thing to treat your child for a fever and sore throat, but when it hits you, it changes a bit!  Of course there is no one to step in and do your job when you are sick.  Fortunately, I have a great little boy who is able to keep a few things in order long enough for a nap here and there.  And thankfully I had some soup in the fridge (for the Superbowl party I was planning to attend) that we were able to eat for a couple meals.

Well, here are my gratitude journal entries for today:

{0405 –0420 }


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Baby steps around the house

Who knew that picking at wallpaper would lead to a completely redone bathroom, about $800+ later?

I had no idea, however, Robert says he did!

Well, while he is working in the bathroom, I get to focus on a few other areas around the house.  I was planning to do the bathroom myself, but when you are tearing down walls, pulling out the tub, and re-plumbing things, I do not get involved.


feb 2011 016

The plumbing, where the rub formerly was…..

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up & waking to snow

Finally, we got it!!  We have woken up to a blanket of snow – I cannot wait for it to get light out so I can get some pictures!  The kids will have so much fun today playing in it….

blanket of snow

I am so excited to start a weekly wrap-up!  I have stumbled on a number of blogs (homeschool ones mostly) that have a weekly wrap up on Friday to summarize  their adventures that week!  I loved the idea of a weekly summary to confirm to me that we actually did something!

This week was a glorious week for our family!  The weather was not wonderful, but it allowed us to slow down to a crawl for a few days, all together in the house!  Too cold to be out, and since we did not get snow, no reason to be out!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why Shakespeare?

A couple months ago a friend came over and we ended up talking Home-School – go figure!


View Image


One of the subjects we addressed, albeit briefly, was Shakespeare.  She asked why we need to study Shakespeare?  Honestly, I knew it was super important, but could not specifically tell her why.  I told her it was important because it really set up entertainment for everything we read or watch.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

forming habits young


I have to brag a bit.  I am so proud of my 2 big boys, and my hubby too. 

I challenged them at the beginning of this year to read through the Bible, daily,with me.  I printed out copies of the plan that Michael at Manna church put out again this year.  So each person has their own schedule to keep up with.




I am just so excited that when I get up each morning between 6:00 and 6:30 and trek out sleepily to the kitchen to put on some water for tea, and sit down with my Bible and schedule for the year – that I am alone for only about 5 minutes.  Invariably, a little boy, an 8 year old one, shows up asking if he can come out and read with me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A small step : (1 of 12) ~ 11 more to come

Have you ever pretended to be serious about something, but were really not serious?  Maybe you did not realize that you were not super serious, until, well, until you got SERIOUS!!

That is my life these days.  We have tried to be serious about our money.  Once upon a time we were debt free.  Then, well, then, life happened, no job, no money, lots of mouths.  Then sold a house (for too little) bought a new house that needs lots of work….

long story…..

and today..well, I am serious about our money.  I have never been this serious before.

Let me share how serious we are….

we pay cash, for almost everything.  We budget every dollar we bring home before we spend any of it.  We do not have cable.  We do not use credit cards – at all.  We do have internet and a phone and are thinking about cutting back the phone – but just thinking right now.

The big indicator of how serious we are is that we made a commitment to not eat out in 2011, unless someone else was paying.  This is a bigger deal than I expected, even though we rarely ate out any more.  But knowing that we cannot changes everything.  But you know what?

so far, WE DID IT!!

We have made it one whole month, without eating out.  1 down – 11 to go!! A step at a time – I have confidence that we can do this!

So, we continue on this journey – our goal is to be debt free again!  And it will happen, or so Robert tells me.   It may take longer than I like, but you know what?  It does not matter.  We will get there.

So Happy February 1st – and thus begins our next month of not eating out!  Woo Hoo!!  It is now becoming a challenge of sorts!


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