Hospitality, Friendship, Encouragement

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home Life - The Atmosphere


One of the most important areas of home life is the atmosphere we establish in our homes.

We do not have to have mansions, we can live in the humblest little cottage or apartment, but we can have a beautiful atmosphere inside.  The great thing is anyone can do it.  You can make the choice to build a beautiful home life for your family.

God put it on my heart many years ago now to establish a warm home life.  A place that my husband and children would love to be...It took thought.  What do I need to do so that MY husband feels welcomed when he comes home?  What kind of attitudes are going to be acceptable?  Do we want music playing, if so what kind?  

A woman is a thermostat in her home...she sets the family temperature...if she is contentious she will fill her home with strife.  If she serves her family in love she will get love and happiness in return. 

One way I established warmth in our home was to model it with my own attitude...it isn't/wasn't always easy, but I determined with God's help to show my family my joy in being their wife and mother and in expressing thankfulness for them being in my life.  I greet them every morning, and make sure I end the day with them.  When they go to bed, I drop in and pray with them or at least talk for a few minutes and tell them I love them and say goodnight.  I do this with all my children, and with my husband on the occasion that he is working unusual hours and is going to bed at a separate time from me.

I like to use candles in our home, and lamps for ambient lighting - no harsh overhead lighting - or as little use of it as possible.  I try to have good movies, books, and music available to them and comfy places to sit and enjoy those things.

I try to take time for each of them, to do something that makes them feel great that I am with them.  For some it means reading a story, for some it means being with me, for some it means playing a game?  Now, I am not a child centric person.  I adore my kids, I like kids in general, but my life doesn't revolve around them.  I find ways to include them into my life.  I am the adult, with responsibilities and duties, and they learn to like doing my stuff.  I am friends with my kids- Emily was given a Starbucks gift card and tonight she and I are going out to Starbucks and going to hang out a bit.

We work hard at speaking kindly to each other, no habit of put downs or rudeness.  We deal with wrong attitudes, including our own, and pattern humbly asking forgiveness.  I don't mean to communicate that I am some "super mom" or perfect person.  In fact the truth is just the opposite.  I am not always kind, I can be selfish, and when we were going through a rough patch with our oldest, the atmosphere in our home was tense and stressful to say the least.  But my kids all like each other and have learned about forgiveness and choosing to love those who are at times unlovable.

Did I tell you that our oldest moved back home?  He will be here for a while, hoping to save money to move out again.  He is an adult, and likes living away from home.  You know what though?  He loves our home and has a greater appreciation for it.  He loves his family.  He loves my home cooked meals and so did his friend who ate dinner with us last night.  His friend comes from a difficult background and really enjoyed the meal and atmosphere. We enjoyed having him here.

That leads me to a natural consequence of having a warm family home and relationships.  Other people notice and are drawn to it.  We love to practice hospitality and God has shown us how our family life is a testimony of His Grace in our lives.

It is all Him, at work in us, to make us more like Him.  I encourage you to seek Him, and ask Him how you can establish an atmosphere of warmth, love and respect for one another.  It is such a joy to have this kind of home life.  I am thankful for it everyday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

This and That

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Saturday we went shopping with our friends and they picked out some great material!  Their Easter skirts are going to look awesome!  Also they picked out fabric for bedding for the girls who share a bedroom...it will be cute and a bit more "grown up" than their current pink and purple princess and castles look.

My girls had fun as well, and Rachel bought herself some fabric for a skirt...it is really cute.  I hope to do a lot of sewing this week - my older girls are going to help by brushing up on their basic sewing skills...at least helping to cut out!

Yesterday we had church and then a fellowship meal.  These are always fun.  I took Curry chicken and rice and a yellow cake with homemade chocolate frosting.

The frosting recipe is so easy:

6 Tablespoons of butter, softened.
2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
1 tsp real vanilla
1/4 cup of milk

Cream the butter, add the sugar, cocoa and vanilla.  Slowly add the milk.  If you find the frosting too thick to spread easily, add 1-2 more Tablespoons of milk.  This frosting is great on brownies too!

I am going to work on Lindsay's dress too, it should go together pretty quickly.

Tim is doing very well.  He has his first visit with the surgeon on Wednesday and then should be sprung from "house arrest" as the kids call it.

Yesterday after church, the kids went hiking with a group from church, Tim, Kyle and I came home and visited with friends from church.  We sat on the deck and watched a storm move in...the clouds were wicked looking and we saw some definite upper level rotation...my dad called and said a possible tornado was seen north of us...it started to rain so we went inside, and shortly after the kids arrived home.  It started pouring and then hailing....the main part of the storm had passed by, by then, so we weren't worried.

Later our friend Kelly's mom called to say that her sisters' neighbors roof had blown off the house and flown over her sister's roof and landed on the other side of her house!  Wow!

 My van has been having issues...some kind of switch...our good friend Carl is on the job and it will likely be back in running order this evening.  We are so thankful for how the Lord is at work on our behalf!

"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed.  Because His compassions fail not.  They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  The Lord is my portion, says my soul, Therefore I hope in Him." Lamentations 3:23

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sewing


I am working on a new ball gown for Lindsay for our Jane Austen Ball.  I am using the pattern below and doing view A - the one with short sleeves.  We have modified it in that we have raised the neckline a bit.  It is going to be all white, which was very common in the Regency period, and I can't wait to finish it!  Emily's dress is an almost exact copy of view A - which I made in the fall of 2007 and it now fits her beautifully!



Today we are going with friends the PA Fabric Warehouse to buy fabric to make skirts for both daughters and mothers...It will be fun to work together to make some pretty skirts for Easter.

What are you doing today?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Always Wanted To Be Nurse

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I was told I didn't have the math skills, but medicine and health have been big interests for me, and they still are.

I have been taking care of my Tim and doling out his meds everyday, and teaching the girls what to do as well.  They are very good about caring for others.  I encourage him in his therapy and make sure he has his coffee just the way he likes it.  It is a pleasure and a joy to do this for him.

I find that God has granted my desire when He made me a wife and mother.  Little did I realize that in that gift, I would use all the areas of interest that He placed in me.

I love to care for my family.  I nurse boo boos, research the best way to deal with poison ivy or bug bites, I take care of minor burns and tummy aches.  I know how to deal with bee stings, or when to call the doctor about a fever. I do not turn green at blood or at broken bones, or staples, used in place of stitches...

I thank God for allowing me to function in the interests that I have, and the blessing of using them to care for my family!


Family Read Alouds


Last night, we started a read aloud as a family.  We haven't had a read aloud with Tim for years!  The book we are reading is "The Scottish Chiefs", by Jane Porter with illustrations by N.C. Wyeth.  This book is a nice compliment to our World History studies.

Tim, holding court in the recliner...

Emily listening and trying to follow the "old fashioned" language...it gets easier as you get into it.
Rachel drawing while listening and snuggling with me.  It was terrible..:)

Sarah occupied while listening...

Lindsay was really enjoying it.

I must say that I did too.  There is something relaxing and soothing about having a read aloud.  This book is very big, we will be reading it for awhile - I wonder if we can get it done before Tim's six weeks disability are over?  That would be great, as I don't know if we could get back to it once he heads back to work....

What kind of books do you like to read and do you ever do family read alouds?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Is Here!

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and I say "Hallelujah!"  

We had a long, cold winter and while we may yet have a Spring snow storm, I know that it wont last.  How do I know?  My lilac is leafing out, I have "weeds" in my flower beds, the grass is greening up and we see the sun alot more!

I always get excited this time of year.  We are getting to the home stretch with our schoolwork and our homeschool convention is coming up.  I soon will be able to enjoy my perennial gardens, we will take more trips to Longwood Gardens! In late spring - early summer we move into a more relaxed mode for a time.  It is good and enjoyable!

We took advantage of the beautiful weather we had this weekend to visit with friends who came to see Tim.  Tim is worried that he will become very bored while he is recovering so he was especially pleased to have company and to get to church this weekend.

Yes, you read that right.  He is doing so well, we went to church.  Everyone is amazed at how he is doing.  Our friend wants to bottle whatever kind of pain tolerance he might have....

What did you do this weekend?  I know Miss Paula paid a visit to her grandson, Cayden, I know Becky was here at the cottage last evening....I can't wait to hear what you have been up to.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Franklin Springs Family Films

I discovered this film company last year and was intrigued by the films they had for sale.  Then they had a booth at our homeschool convention last year.  By the fall we discovered that we had a new channel on our dish and it was Angel2 and on Saturday nights they show the Franklin Springs Family Films.

The first film we watched was The Art of Candle making and featured the West Ladies.  I was so excited because I had just read about these ladies on the "Eyes of Wonder" blog.  They were friends with Jewels and her whole family!

We really enjoyed watching them teach us how to make candles.  My good friend Becky is a wonderful candle maker and my girls and I thought it would be fun to try out making the beeswax "glow pots."  They were very simple and are so delightfully beautiful when they have a candle burning in them!  We gave every family in our church one for Christmas this year.  I also received several of their dvds as gifts this past year.      

In an email from the other day, they mentioned that they are having a contest.  I am going to have the girls make a video for our candle making and one for the soap too!  I certainly would love to own more of these wonderful family films!

We have seen all of the "Homestead Blessings" films, "Pull Up A Chair: The Story and The Songs with Nathan Clark George," "An American Adventure: The Living Legacy of Jimmy Gentry,"  "Inherit The Land: Adventures On The Agrarian Journey," "A Journey Home," "Charlie Zahm: An Evening of Classic Melodies," "The Peasall Sisters" (these are the girls who did the singing for the daughter characters in "O, Brother! Where Art Thou?"  They won a Grammy for it!), "The Eden Strings Quartet: A Bountiful Blessing."

I have really enjoyed all of them!  They are very good, clean, family friendly films.  Go check it out!

He's Home!

My darling is now back home with us!

He is doing well in his recovery and all the appropriate people were impressed with his ability to get around, so they sent him home.

We are very happy to all be back under the same roof, especially our Kyle who "mithed Dad tho' much."  We are looking forward to having time together - I told Tim he could do math with our six year old and he and Kyle could nap together!  It is going to be special.

Thanks, once again, for your prayers for our family.   I have a few request, as we come to mind...

1. That Tim will continue to recover well.  I was a bit concerned last night as he had a low grade fever - but it was gone in a few hours.  The nurse mentioned it can happen as part of his healing.

2. That Kyle and the other little ones would remember that they can't just jump on Dad like they usually do...I am sure you can guess why I am requesting this.

3.  That we would grow in grace together.

4.  That the girls and I would take delight in serving Tim and our whole family.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

He Is Now Bionic!

And much handsomer than Lee Majors ever was!  

His surgery took a total of 1 hour.  Can you believe it?  To do a total hip replacement!  So awesome!  The doctor said everything went great!  

I got to talk to Tim about an hour ago....he sounded a tad hoarse but otherwise just fine.

As soon as they have a room available, they will move him and I will get to see him.

This morning he told me that the words to Garth Brooks song "If Tomorrow Never Comes" was rolling around in his head.  He was asking if all the things he has said to me over the years would be enough for me to know how he loves me...just in case.

It made me teary.  My answer was yes.  He used to leave me notes more often but he always manages to find me incredible cards and writes in those.  I know that I am valued and loved by him. 

I try to keep a mindset of keeping a "short account", not letting things fester and build.  I want to have no regrets with my relationships with my husband and our kids.

The girls and my folks fly home today....hurray!  It has only been a week but it feels longer!!!  I miss them.  Oh, and Lindsay has bought me See's Candy "California Brittle" my favorite!  I hope they don't get stuck on the tarmac or anything or I might not get any See's Candy. sob....

Thanks for praying!  We have felt it all day!  I will update again tonight!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Prayer Request

Tomorrow, my Tim, will be having hip replacement surgery.  He is young, but has suffered with arthritis since his childhood.  Our family doctor and the two orthopedic doctors that we consulted with, all commented upon seeing his xray "Wow.  That hurts." They couldn't believe that his hip was so bad and he was just now coming in about it.

He is getting the Trilock hip replacement which simply means that the femoral head is larger (this goes into the hip socket) and will give him greater mobility and range of motion than the traditional hip replacement.  After his 6 weeks of therapy and such he will be back to work with no limitations.  This is an answer to prayer already.

I would be so thankful for your prayer for us all as we have lots of little details that have to take place.  Coordinating babysitting for my youngest children, as my older girls and parents are in California.  They fly home tomorrow! How we have missed them!  

Tim has to get a shot of radiation before the surgery to deal with bone spurs, as well.  If everything goes according to plan, he should be coming home Friday or possibly Saturday.  

Lots to do today, as well, I have my annual check up (why didn't I reschedule?), we are dropping off my husbands van for my son to use for a few days, taking the kids to Chick-fil-A(whoo hoo) and lots of stuff like that.

I will take my trusty laptop and attempt to update if I can find wireless at the hospital tomorrow.

We are not fearful, but a tad anxious.  We trust the Lord's sovereignty in all things.  I am now going to have to get into shape...it is hard enough to keep up with my husband, and once he gets the new hip....let's just say the kids and I think he will be bionic!  hee hee

Monday, March 16, 2009

I Am Now Unplugged!

Last evening Becky and her husband Warren and daughter Chelsea came over.  The main purpose normally would have been for fellowship as we really LIKE these people a lot.  But seeing as how we had been at church with them from 9:30 in the morning until about 6:00 in the evening - Sunday school, morning service, fellowship meal, congregational meeting - we figured we had all seen enough of each other!  hee hee.

However after we got home, we thought we had had such a great day, maybe they would like to come over for coffee!  Then it occurred to me that maybe that genius, tech savvy Warren could possibly get my wireless connected for my laptop! Aha, genius moment on my own part!

See what I don't know about technology would fill a library or two...however when I bought our niece Jen's laptop, I was so clueless.  I thought "it has wireless capability, she has it running wireless at her house, people use them all the time in public places such as Panera Bread....I should be able to use it with the wireless at home."  I thought how awesome it would be to be able to blog, and cruise the internet from anywhere in my house or possibly outside!  

We came home, I turned on the computer and voila!  It couldn't connect.  I went into the program to see how to get it connected...I had my son come try it. No luck...I was going to have to be tethered to the router box like an astronaut to the space shuttle.  

I knew Warren could do it, but they were going on vacation in the next few days and I just couldn't ask him to take the time to come over and fix it up for me.  I did not want to add stress....so I have been tethered.  It has been fine, it still has allowed us to have several family members working online or on projects or games at the same time. Lindsay and Emily had fun sitting nearly side by side emailing each other and their cousin all evening, for several nights in a row!  (don't let it be said that we don't know how to have some fun!)

Anyway....last night Warren graciously did whatever genius's do....lots of "do you have the user number for this" and such and in a very short amount of time he had accomplished the impossible for me!  Well, I think it was a short time, I was drinking hot tea, eating popcorn and talking with Becky.  But Tim and Warren seemed to be having a good time too, so everything was cool!

I don't know what kinds of things Warren's mother ate while expecting him, but whatever it was - Thank you Georgia!  

And thanks Warren and Becky, for your genius and your precious hearts.  We are so thankful for your friendship!


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Chick-Fil-A

This is my favorite fast food place....I can totally relate to this song, as the nearest one is 40 minutes away! 

Enjoy!




Saturday, March 14, 2009

This And That


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As you know my older girls are in California visiting our family that live there.  We miss them, but have talked to them everyday.

On Thursday, Rachel woke up all stuffed up and with a bit of a sore throat.  She asked if she had to go to co-op that day.  This is so not like her, so I told her to rest for awhile and we would see how she felt later.  Later she still did not feel well, so Becky picked up Sarah so she could go to co-op.  I asked Sarah if she liked going with Becky and her kids and she said "yes, but they had weird music on."  hee hee... Just what were you listening to, Becky?  

It turned out to be a good thing that I stayed home that day, as Tim, Pastor Mike and Becky's hubby Warren all went to a construction auction.  They were looking for personal things and for some cabinets, and a door for the church.  They found a door which will work great for the handicapped bathroom the guys are installing soon, and Warren found some things too.  Tim was able to get T-111 for about half the price at Lowe's or Home Depot and he also got some 2x4's for half off!  This is such a blessing to us as we have a large shed that was on our property since we bought it, that needs to be rebuilt!  He also has enough to build a run in shed for our horses.  Or we might make the shed into a small barn/ run in combo...oh and back to why it was good I was home?  Tim needed me to hook up the trailer and bring it to the auction so they could load the wood.  Then he needed to go to work and I brought the trailer home.  I am always so happy to be able to help him in this way!

The kids have been playing outside a lot lately - a sign that the weather is warming up! Today they played for hours while Tim and I wandered the property, looking at locations for some raised vegetable beds.  We visited with our neighbor and Rachel worked with Sandy and rode her for awhile...

This morning I went to a homeschool co-op leaders breakfast, with Becky.  We had a great time visiting with the ladies at our table, and talking kids on the ride home!  Just when you think you have this parenting thing down, your kids become almost adults and you get to know your kids in a new way!

Tomorrow, we have church and a fellowship meal afterwards.  Then we will be having a congregational meeting.  I need to prepare a main dish, dessert and drink to bring to share tomorrow.  I am going to make my Fajita Chicken Salad - marinated in my own concoction and sliced up on a wonderful bed of salad greens!  So good!  Rachel is going to make cookies, and I haven't decided about the drink yet...

Kyle has been riding his "big boy" bike more this week and is making pretty good progress.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Another Great Find



Last weekend I went shopping for a little something extra for Emily for her birthday.

I didn't find anything for her, but look what I found for me!


Three Johnson Brothers blue plates that are like Emilys' Old Britian Castles.


She is begging for these plates, and they do look great with her dishes, but so far I am loving them too much to give them up!  Breakfast toast is more special served on these plates!

I found them at Marshall's.  For $1.99 a plate.  Whoo hoo!

I am going to start haunting these stores!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Happiest Anniversary Miss Paula!

Today Miss Paula and my brother Robert celebrate 26 years of marriage!  Paula adores my brother and my brother is a great husband, he has studied his wife and knows what things mean something to her.  They are sweethearts and best friends!  What joy to say that after 26 years!

They have a lot going on this year!  Their oldest son Ryan and his sweet wife Alicia made them grandparents 2 weeks ago.  Here is a darling photo of Miss Paula holding her grandson.

Here is the Popi holding his grandson.


Here they are together with Cayden. (notice a theme?! )

Saturday their baby Kaitlin will turn 18!  Kaitlin is a miracle baby - God has big plans for her.

In November their oldest girlie, Jill is getting married!

Paula and Robert, I love you so much and am delighted at how God has grown you, and uses you as an example for others.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hospitality


A friend mentioned to me yesterday that it was sweet that Emily wanted our family friends over for her birthday.  She seemed impressed by that.

I was not surprised by that at all.  My kids love and respect our family friends.  They consider the adults as their friends as well.  Partly it is because of home schooling.  They are around a wide variety of people for most of their lives, and don't get locked into a "peers only" mentality.

However I believe their is another reason for this as well. I believe it has to do with our practice of hospitality.  We always practice hospitality as a family.  Even if we only have adults over, our children have been taught that they are not just mine and Dads' guests, but they are guests of our whole family.  They do their part to make the time pleasant for everyone.  One child might want to make place cards, one child likes to give tours of our home.  All the kids, visit with our company until we either tell them to go and play or until they ask to go do something and we give them permission.  The older girls often stay with us the whole time.  This is normal for our family, so I think that has lead the girls to enjoy hospitality and to like to practice it themselves.

Emily couldn't have been happier, than she was Sunday night.  The only thing that would have made it perfect is if our family, that live out of state, could have been here!

I want to encourage you to offer hospitality - we have been so encouraged and blessed when we do this.  Your home does not need to be large, or magazine perfect.  In fact we would have people over even when we didn't have trim up around our interior doors. People did not seem to notice - in fact they often would comment about how warm and cozy our house was!

People love to be invited.  They like that someone has noticed them and wants to get to know them better!  It is a way of showing God's love to people.

I am so delighted that my children love hospitality.  I look forward to the day when my children are hosting people in their own homes. Right now I love what our multi-generational hospitality looks like.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Their Leaving On A Jet Plane



Have I told you how awesome my girls are?  Well, they are.  

My daughters are such a delight.  They love their family, they honor their parents, they are helpful and kind to their brothers and sisters.

Lindsay and Emily have been given the opportunity to travel with their grandparents to California, land of my birth, to visit their Auntie Paula and Uncle Robert and their cool cousins, and to see their new wee second cousin!  

We are happy that they can have this opportunity to go, I know they will be a blessing and that this will be a special trip for them.  I am going to miss them as they are dear friends to me!

I will have to work much harder than I normally do, without them around!  So if I don't blog regularly you'll know I am working hard around here!  They will get home late the day of Tim's hip surgery.  Just in time, as they are my right hand women!
 
We have a lot on our plates here in the next week, pray for me.  God is so good and I am going to rest in His sovereign plan for us!




Monday, March 9, 2009

Emily Had A Birthday


She wanted to have a friend sleepover and she wanted to have all our friends over in the evening....
Kyle helping Emily - he adores her!

Emily found a dish pattern she loves so we have started to collect it for her; Johnson Brothers Old Britain Castles.

After church, we ate at B.K. and then Dad took the kids on a hike to house rock.  Lindsay and I stayed behind to work on last minute preparations for the evening.
Emily's friend Amber - they all had so much fun, hiking and exploring.

In this photo you can see Grandpa, and a lot of the other friends who came last night.  It was the kind of get together we love, good food, lots of conversations, kids playing...great stuff.
Even though she didn't want gifts, everyone brought them anyway!  

This fun thing is a caterpillar neck pillow.  Our friends always get at least one "joke" gift, but my girls always end up loving them!  This one is going to California this week!

Our dear girl is a wonderfully sweet, caring young lady.  She is growing into a fine woman.  We are very proud of her!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pam Is Having A Give Away!

Pam Warden is a talented artist and a sweet gal.  Her artwork has been chosen to advertise the Midwest Markets show.  This is for buyers looking for, believe it or not, Christmas items for later this year!

To celebrate she is having a give away of one of her cute pieces called "Let it Melt!"  

Rush right over to see it.  If you leave a comment you'll be in the drawing!

Thanks Pam!

Favorite Book or Series




Miss Paula is hosting a book party!  

I love books and love to read so this is fun for me!

When I was a girl I was definitely into Nancy Drew.  My mom signed me up for a book club for the summer, where I received a book every month or every 2 weeks.  They were special Nancy Drew books, as they had two of the mysteries in each book!  Well, I went through these books in about a week!  My mom couldn't keep me in reading material.

As series that I loved from my girlhood were the "All Of A Kind Family", by Sydney Taylor.  I just loved reading about this Jewish family, with all the sisters!  I learned so much about the different holidays, too.


Now, in my adulthood, I adore Jane Austen.  I have read Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Emma.  I am also working on Persuasion.

The last year or two I have started to read many of the different authors who have written "sequels" to these books.  Many are very well done and some are very risque - I am sure Miss Jane wouldn't approve!  I mean really do we need to read about Darcy and Lizzie's marital relations?

A few of the authors I would recommend are Joan Aiken, Amanda Grange, Pamela Aiden, Rebecca Anne Collins.  Some of these are written as from the man's view point as in Amanda Granges' books of diaries by Mr. Darcy, Capt. Wentworth, Mr. Knightley, and Edmund Bertram.  Pamela Aiden has a 3 book series from Mr. Darcy's point of view and it is excellent!

I also love to read Lori Wick, I think "Pretense" and "Bamboo and Lace" are especially great!  Dee Hendersons' "O'Malley" series is a favorite, as is her "Uncommon Heros" series.

I often will reread favorites!  A new series that Miss Paula sent me is the Lake Emily series by Tracie DePree - these are so engaging!  I will definately reread these, maybe this summer!

I love sharing my favorites with my girls....the young ones will be getting the All Of A Kind Family (I found a great source for it) and my older girls read much of what I do.  I am careful with what I read - and careful about what I allow my kids to read.  

Thanks Miss Paula, this was fun!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Titus 2 Blog Party - Motherhood!

God placed a desire for motherhood on my heart when I was just a young girl.  My life goals were always to be a wife and mother!  All through my youth and young adulthood I was surrounded children, but always someone else's.  I longed for them. I feared that I would never get married!  I was 23.  That was the year I met my husband at Bible College and the rest as they say is history.  

I would have loved to have children right away - however we were counseled to use birth control - "you need time to get to know each other and adjust to marriage."  These were sincere godly people so we listened.  I just need to insert here that if you don't know your future spouse by the time you marry, something is wrong!  Even if you get pregnant on your honeymoon, it will be nearly 10 months before the wee baby arrives!  Okay, back to my story.

I felt that somehow my wanting to have was wrong somehow, as everything in our culture said "no!"  I had been encouraged by some that God is the one who opens and closes the womb, but the ingrained message of culture took precedence.

We were the parents of three young children, and already receiving comments, when God changed our hearts and brought us to the place where we were open to receiving any children he chose to send to us.  We now have 6 children ages nearly 20 to 3 years old.  What a joy they are.

I have not always loved my children well.  I have been selfish, and self-centered.  I have demanded time for me!  But God, in His wisdom has used my desire for mothering to sharpen me and turn my heart to my children! 

I can think of no greater task, no more important role than that of a mother.  I am the molder of my children.  I am their primary influencer as we home educate and spend so much time together.

I have seen my children's hearts turn toward me as well.  We are close and good friends together.  I enjoy my children!  

Don't think that it is always rosy at our house.  Sometimes I am grumpy and selfish, sometimes they are.  Their characters are still being molded into His likeness, and so is mine.  However, I wouldn't trade my life as their mother for anything.

One day my dearest ones will be married and parents - how I look forward to this!  The joy of seeing another generation of Christ followers!

I guess that is the biggest change in our lives, our focus is one of multi-generational faithfulness and not living for the moment.  This has helped me to keep my eyes on the goal, while I wipe noses and change diapers, while I get up early with younger ones and stay up late with the older ones.

It is hard work, the hardest, but it is the best.  The greatest job a woman could have.  I count myself privileged to be the mother of these wonderful people.





Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Godly Wife

That is the topic today for the Titus Two Blog Party...

My journey to being a godly wife started when I married and realized that I was not a very godly wife!  I wanted to be, but our personalities are different and I often wrongly thought "I" knew what was best and that is what we should do! ouch...

Neither of us is perfect, but I really had a heart to honor God by honoring my husband. The Lord graciously showed me in that in the area of submission, my submitting to my husband is really an issue of trusting God.  That when I submitted to my husband I was actually showing that I trusted God to work through my husband for my good.

When I began to put this into practice, submission, like love is a choice, my husband became the leader I had wanted him to be.  When I stopped trying to lead, God moved my husband to do it.  I have seen this in many areas.

This lead me to desire to grow in other areas.  I love to dress femininely for my husband, make sure he has meals to eat that he enjoys, I love to make sure he has coffee, even though I don't touch the stuff!

I have made the choice to not talk badly about my husband.  I don't join in men bashing sessions either! I teach my children to love and to honor their dad, and they do!

These things have caused my husband to desire to lead our family and to work hard on our behalf!

I am so grateful to the Lord for His guidance and correction.  I am thankful for the husband he gave me, I am a fortunate woman.



Monday, March 2, 2009

Titus 2 Blog Party

She Looketh Well is hosting a blog party!  What a great opportunity to meet new people!

Welcome to my blog.  I started blogging as a way to connect with likeminded people and to offer encouragement, friendship and hospitality.  I hope you find all three here.

My name is Deanna and I have been married for 21 years.  We have 6 children, ages almost 20 to age 3, and we welcome all that the Lord wants to give us.  We home educate and are a part of a family integrated church fellowship!

I am happy to serve my family here at home, and happy to serve the Lord where He guides.  One of the outside things I do is lead a homeschool co-op of 56 families!  I love to encourage women either in their roles as wives and mothers or as homeschool moms!

I hope you enjoy spending time here at my blog!

Home-Making On Purpose

I am posting a link here to a blog called "The Common Room."  She has a really good post about, well, Home-Making on Purpose.


Looking Forward To Spring

I try to be a person who is not always looking to the next season....I try to be content with each season, even winter which seems determined to hang on 'til the last moment!

We are experiencing a Nor'easter today.  Even the dogs didn't want to stay out long this morning.  Signs that spring is on the way have been around, but March has come in like a lion!

I am taking  The Inspired Room 's Melissa up on her challenge to write a list of things we are looking forward to about Spring.

So without further ado, my list:

1. Blue sky and sunshine.

2. Signs of life in my gardens.

3. Color!

4. My husband will be home recovering from hip replacement and it will be a treat to have him around so much!

5. We will be finishing up school for the year.

6. Being able to go outside without a coat.

7. Grilling!

8. Getting our veggie garden laid out!

9. Easter!

10. Little girls in sweet pink Easter dresses.

11. Lots of family birthdays!

12. Our homeschool convention, so much fun!

13.  Airing out the house after winter....love it.

What are you looking forward to?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Farmchicks Are Having A Giveaway!

It's a surprise gift.  I would say hurry over to enter, but then there would be more people than the 184 who entered before me!  hee hee!

I don't usually win these things, although I did win the lovely Jane Austen Cards from the The Barefoot Mama!

Click here to enter!