He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young. ~Isaiah 40:11
"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest. " ~ Thomas Moore
"Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality." ~ Beatrix Potter
"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. " ~ C.S. Lewis "The secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life, and in elevating them to art." ~William Morris
"I have no faith in that woman who talks of grace and glory abroad, and uses no soap and water at home. Let the buttons be on the shirts, let the children's socks be mended, let the roast mutton be done to a turn, let the house be as neat as a new pin, and the home be as happy as home can be."
I love recording memories in this blog...then I make each year into a blog book (when I can afford it...I am a little behind in publishing some of the years). It's my way of "scrapbooking". There are so many beautiful things that I never want to forget...
Xavier's lego creations (that he was quite proud of)...
Madelyn and Jaxson
Visits with my sister and nieces...
Jaxson, Xavier and Dinah
Eloise, Madelyn and Dinah
Xavier, Eloise and Dinah
Xavier and Jaxson
Dinah, Eloise and Jaxson
Dinah meets *Uncle Si*...
Visiting at my dad's garage (Dinah was getting sleepy)...
The sleepy girl with her Madelyn...
I am quite sure there isn't any picture left that can top that level of cuteness...so I'll leave it with that. :) My face will match hers in this pic, in a few hours. It's time to prepare supper now though! Thank you for taking the time to share in my memory-keeping!
I am so excited to share with you all that I am reaching one of my goals. When I started spinning a year and a half ago I made a goal to one day become a spin instructor (as well as lose weight). I lost the weight (although I still have more I'd like to lose) and right now, I am in the midst of classes to become a certified spin instructor at our local Y! I am over the moon! By the grace of God I am getting healthier all the time and doing things I never imagined I would. It is *such* a blessing! Praise God from Whom *all* blessings flow!
It takes prayer, a conscious decision to exercise and choose the right foods, and lots of hard work. I find that being healthy isn't just about being *thin*...it's about honoring God in the choices I make. I still have pounds to lose but crossing this mini-finish line is so exciting to me! :)
For fun, you can see how I organize my gym bag HERE.
For Valentine's Day this year we did a simple day of schooling. The children learned about the history of Valentine's Day, the history of chocolate and how to make chocolate. They played some Valentine games and made Valentine cookies.
The day was busy....we had to run to Walmart (although I am not a huge fan of the place), to the bank, to my dad's garage (where I clean the waiting room, bathroom and break room), and then out to my aunt and uncle's house to feed their goats (they are away to attend their daughter's wedding in AZ. The rest of us are watching it while it streams online this Sunday evening. :)
Chris and I didn't do anything that would be called "special" but while he was at work (my dad's garage) and I was cleaning, we stole some kisses from each other when we passed. :) He has been super busy with work....lots of tow jobs to do in this crazy snowy weather (we have *such* an abundance this year!). The children (Madelyn especially) wanted to make us a special candlelit dinner but it just wasn't going to work, so the kids and I played some games here at home while we waited for Chris to get home.
After spin class early this morning, I came home and took a shower, got dressed then went up and slipped into bed with Chris. We spent time just snuggling and talking and it was extremely nice...I love those moments (and it was very much needed as we seem like we are oft times running in different directions). I am also so thankful for that time together because ever since then, my dad and Chris have been out doing wrecker/tow calls all day. Chris just stopped to get the skidder and put on some overalls and give me a long hug and kiss (which I savored).
Unfortunately, we are running extremely low on wood for our outdoor wood stove. We planned on getting more wood split and stacked today...but he has been too busy. It makes me so nervous to get so low with wood but Chris prayed with me and when he gets home from all these tow calls we'll work together to get as much wood as we can today. Although tomorrow is the Lord's day, we may need to work on getting more wood split and stacked after church. It simply must be done. Then....although we'll probably be late....we are to attend Chris's brother's 30th birthday tonight.
Whew....it just feels good to type all that...just to "get it out". :)
So although Chris and I didn't do gifts for each other for Valentine's Day, I *do* want to share what my children got me (yes...they bought their mama gifts...isn't that sweet?). They work by doing jobs for people (mostly my parents) and earn their own money. My mom took Xavier shopping (at his request) and he went to a jewelry store and bought me this beautiful necklace with his *own* money...
My mom told me that the people at the jewelry store just loved that he was doing this for me and they added a rose and small box of chocolates for free! (Since I don't eat sugar, I let Jaxson have my chocolates!)...
In the photo below I am wearing the necklace that X got me as well as earrings that Madelyn bought me for V-day!...
I continually told them that they didn't need to spend their money on me...but they insisted and just glowed as I cried with gratitude! :) They made this mama feel special (not that it takes *gifts* to do that...but it was more the fact that they earned this money and chose to buy something for me than themselves. Their kindness gave me such joy!).
I really must run....the children and I need to go feed the goats (as I mentioned about above).
Here is a great recipe I found and tweaked to my own liking (and to be Trim Healthy Mama friendly)! I hope you will try it out and let me know what you think!
Cheesy Stuffed Meatballs ~ S
You will need:
2 lbs. ground beef
2 T olive oil
garlic, salt and pepper to taste
1 T worcestershire sauce
Joseph's pita (ground up in a food processor to make bread crumbs)
mozzarella cheese (cubed and grated)
on plan/no sugar sauce (I used Walmart brand pizza sauce)
Put your ground beef into a large bowl. Add egg, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, and pita crumbs and mix it all together with hands.
Make good sized meatballs...adding a cube of mozzarella cheese inside the middle of each and covering to seal. Place on greased baking sheet and cover each with a couple tablespoons of sauce. Bake at 400* for 35 minutes (or until meatballs are cooked through).
For the last 5 minutes or so, sprinkle grated mozzarella on each meatball and let melt while in the oven.
Serve with your favorite non-starchy veggie (I love steamed broccoli with butter and some cheddar cheese!).
I would love to hear if you try this and what you think of it! My family loved it! :)
So, as we endure this bitterly cold winter weather (with piles and piles of snow) I thought maybe doing some spring knitting would warm me up and help me remember that spring is on its way! I used the patterns from the Garden Dishcloths to Knit (Leisure Arts #3934)
book from amazon.
So far I have made the frog, butterfly, birdhouse and bee skep. Currently, I am working on a sunflower! I just love how fun and easy (and quick) these are to knit up!
I think the Leisure Arts-Color-Splash Dishcloths book looks like a lot of fun too! Dishcloths are so fun to knit because they are quick little projects that are useful and make great gifts too! :)
What projects (knitting or otherwise) have *you* been working on?
Hope your week is going well! Thank you for visiting me!
You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again.
~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762
El and Dinah (and their mama too!) came for a visit one day this past week! We loved having them here! Unfortunately, sweet little Dinah-girl took a tumble on the floor between my dining room and kitchen (there is a small lip on the floor that she has walked over many, many times with no trouble before...but that day, she caught her toe and fell forward). It was so sad to see her hurt. You can read more about it (and see photos) HERE.
My sister ran into the store...I took these photos while she was gone. Xavier went with her which is why he is not in the pictures!
Creative play is like a spring that bubbles up from deep within a child.
Eloise's hat I made her previously...hanging with her coat in the dining room...
I love these little people; and it is not a slight thing when they,
who are so fresh from God, love us.
~Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop
I so enjoy having nieces and nephews! Oh how they add to the joys in our family! I can't imagine life without them!
***I don't always include photos of all my nieces and nephews because I don't have permission to post the pics on the web...and I don't want to do that if their parents are not comfortable with it. :) My sister has a blog and I know it is okay with her to post photos...so thus you get to see an awful lot of my nieces!
Hope your February is warmer than mine is here in PA! :)
My Jaxson loves to make things. All three of my children do honestly...each in different ways. Madelyn loves to do *any* crafting...paper/jewelry/painting/sewing/knitting etc. Xavier loves to *build*...he likes to use tools and wood (or anything he can find) and put something useful together. Jaxson loves to use his imagination and recreate things he loves out of paper.
He made a hobbit house out of paper and I helped him decorate it with a cobblestone walkway, flowers, bushes and a window.
He made the hobbit hole so you can flip the top over and look inside. We only worked on decorating the outside though, this time.
Then he was determined to make Smaug (the dragon in The Hobbit movies). He made the body while I quickly made up a head for our dragon...
A completed fire-breathing Smaug...with moving wings and everything!
We both loved spending this time together. It was just a simple time of crafting but Jaxson thanked me for doing it with him. That made my heart happy. It's so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the days....making sure our schoolwork gets finished and the home tidied. There are errands to run and chores to do....but it is really so enjoyable to slow down...put all other things aside and just spend simple time doing something with your children. It will truly be time you treasure!
It's Sunday and normally, I would be at church already with my family. However, today I stayed home...I'm just not feeling 100% today and needed some down time. I am not going without a sermon today though...for I am listening to Voddie Baucham's newest sermon: HERE. I also plan on listening to John Piper's sermon: Don't waste your life. I will miss seeing my church family today...I truly adore them all. Corporate worship is beautiful as well as the fellowship with other believers.
I must admit though....winter makes me want to hunker down (even more than usual) and not leave the house. I think I could just hibernate. And yet, at the same time, watching the snow delicately fall outside... there is beauty in it. It gives a sense of peace and comfort...and brings out praise for God's beautiful creation...and gratitude for the warm home He has given us.
I pray your Lord's Day is full of love, grace, joy, peace and most of all....Him.
“Christ did not die to forgive sinners who go on treasuring anything above seeing and savoring God. And people who would be happy in heaven if Christ were not there, will not be there. The gospel is not a way to get people to heaven; it is a way to get people to God. It's a way of overcoming every obstacle to everlasting joy in God. If we don't want God above all things, we have not been converted by the gospel.”
Today I am recovering from one of "those" days that I had yesterday. You know, the ones where you are reminded how imperfect and selfish you truly are...? Everything just seemed to go "wrong" yesterday and I was quite glad when I could slip into my fleece sheets and quilts and call it a night.
I kept praying, "Lord, what are you trying to teach me?"...and I think it was many things...first of all being my weakness and His strength. I learned humility as I apologized to my husband and children for being so grumpy. And...the truth is that we live in an imperfect world of trials and tribulations (of all sizes) and we need to learn how to deal with those in a godly way. Bad days point me to His Word and remind me how much I need Him and His truth.
It's been a busy day with spin early this morning, schoolwork, some housework and then visiting with my sister and her girls. I think this evening will focus on rest. I have some knitting to work on...with the foot of snow outside, I am quite happy to curl up in a chair with an afghan to work on my knitting and watch a movie tonight. This past week has been busy (and my Chris has been so busy working his normal job plus helping at his family's meat market since his dad had to get his appendix removed unexpectedly this week...Poor guy hasn't had much of a break lately...plus, our wood supply is running dangerously low so this weekend will have time spent out splitting and stacking. I'm so thankful for his heart and work ethic!)
Tea time for Madelyn and Jaxson...
Xavier practicing his banjo...
Some of my recent reading...
Are you learning some things lately? If you want to, I would be so glad to read what the Lord has been teaching you lately as well....whether in the comments or email! It's always a joy to hear from you. I hope that if you are having as much snow as we are here in PA that you are staying warm and cozy indoors (and bundled up well when going out!). Have a good weekend friends!