Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"Let me never be ashamed...

...of the truth of the gospel, 
that I may bear its reproach, vindicate it, see Jesus as its essence, 
know in it the power of the Spirit...

...Let the weeds that grow in my soul be cut at their roots; 
Grant me to know that I truly live only when I live to thee, 
that all else is trifling.
Thy presence alone can make me holy, devout, strong and happy. 
Abide in me, gracious God."

~parts of a Puritan Prayer ~ from the book: The Valley of Vision

"Christian marriage is designed to portray to the world an image of the bond between believers and Christ......A Biblical wife submits to her husband because she desires to live according to God's will - not because her husband is a perfect leader."

~quotes from the book: On the Other Side of the Garden by Virginia Ruth Fugate

Alongside my daily Bible reading...I am reading a few other books. It drives me crazy that I am reading 4+ books at a time....but yet, I get so anxious to start one I can't help it! A couple I have been reading and would like to recommend to you are the ones I linked to (and quoted) above.

The Valley of Vision is a "collection of Purtian Prayers and Devotions". It helps facilitate prayer and often says how I feel with much better words! I know my Lord doesn't require me to be eloquent in my speech...I pray in my own words as well. But the prayers in this book are truly beautiful and really help me to lay my heart before God!

On the Other Side of the Garden is a beautiful book on Biblical Womanhood. It is convicting and encouraging! Be ready to underline or highlight as you read it because there is a lot of great info in there to soak up!

I've also been reading "Growing Deep in the Christian Life" by Chuck Swindoll. It's a really good book so far too. I think I am halfway through it.

I really wish I could just stay focused on one book. I am so frustrated with myself to have so many being read at once. Oh well! I am thankful for the truth and wisdom I am getting from each one! :)

I would love to know if you have read any of these books or maybe what you are reading currently?
I hope your week is absolutely lovely!


Friday, September 15, 2017

Organizing in the Kitchen!

Hello friends! :) Thanks for visiting me here today! We've had a busy week and I bet you have too! We've been doing normal homeschooling, cleaning, laundry, cooking, running errands, teaching spin class, groceries etc. All the things that must get done!

While the children work independently on their schooling, I like to take the time to organize if I can! I found a couple lazy susans at Aldi while getting groceries earlier this week! They were a great price and they worked perfectly for where I wanted to use them!

I used them in my spice cupboard so that it made items more accessible in there! No more knocking things over when you had to reach in the back to get them! :)

I like to keep my kitchen tidy through the I am often washing dishes (the children put them away), wiping the counters and putting dishes in the dishwasher. I also organized in our island yesterday but didn't take any pictures! It's not overly exciting...but knowing it is more organized than it was before makes me happy! :)

Jaxson has been drawing (as usual) and his creations keep getting better and better! It is so exciting to watch the gift God has given him improve!

Mickey likes to be close to us at *all* times. Here he is sleeping in a chair that is in the corner of the dining room (while everyone is doing school in there!). As soon as I walk off to do the laundry or wash the dishes...he is stuck to me like glue! If I sit down, he is on my lap. I am *not* complaining though! I love it! :)

The older two children are out and about...busy helping others (which brings *such* joy to me!)...Jaxson is here with me. Chris got home from work just a bit ago and is now outside working on a chicken coop for my mom. She needed a new one and was going to try and build it herself....but my sweet husband said he would do it! If you follow me on Instagram (link in sidebar) you can see a photo of it! :)

I need to get supper started (my stomach is a rumblin'). I also want to go out and sit on my back porch in one of the rocking chairs and visit with Chris while he works! So I am getting off this computer! ;o) Have a great weekend! Thanks for dropping by!


Friday, September 8, 2017

What's Cookin'?

So, I've noticed I've gotten into a rut of making a lot of the same meals week after week. I decided to buckle down a bit with my meal planning and try some different recipes!

I've made broccoli cheese soup before but not in quite a while. So this is what we had for supper Wednesday evening! (We went to a picnic Monday evening and had BLTs on Tuesday night!).

Above was before we thickened it a bit. Below is the finished product! Everyone enjoyed it!

 One thing I want to add....I may have posted this before (I don't remember) but one thing I *always* do when I am cooking or baking is to clean up as I go! It is a *must* for me! I constantly wipe counters, put compost in the bowl, throw away trash and wash dishes. This helps so that when I am finished cooking ~ I don't then have to spend another 15 minutes cleaning it all up! Often, I can wash dishes or be wiping counters while something is simmering etc. I even do this while crafting or anything else I may do....I keep things around me cleaned up. I don't leave trash lay around and just generally keep things tidy! It really helps so that things don't get so overwhelming! :)

After making the broccoli cheese soup all I had left to wash was the crock pot I used to keep it warm until Chris got home from work that evening (he was running late). Everything else was washed and tidy as I went...

 Last night I made a chicken pot pie! It was good! It was supposed to be in a pie plate but I didn't feel that would be big enough for our whole I added more veggies to the recipe and then put it in this deeper dish. I had to use extra crust too. Everyone enjoyed it...even my boys! They don't usually like peas (neither do I) and they ate it all right up!! (and there were a ton of peas in there!!!). Success!

And before I go...I just wanted to share our new faucet quickly! Our old one was broken and driving me crazy! The top would fly off when you turned the water on and just needed replacing! Chris gave me permission to get a new one! I was looking at them online and kept asking his opinion...but he kept telling me to get whatever one I wanted! :) So I found one (it arrived in the mail yesterday) ~ and despite him having a long work day yesterday....after supper he put it in for me! I was so excited! :)

It works wonderfully! It's funny how such little things like a faucet can really make me smile! :)

A friend came over to visit for a bit yesterday. It was wonderful~ although a bit chilly outside we both dressed appropriately and sat in the rockers on my back porch! We had a lovely time visiting (and rocking away)!

Do you have any favorite meals you have tried lately? Do you ever find you get in a rut with your meal planning? Please tell me I am not the only one! :) Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a truly wonderful weekend! If you live in Florida or Texas please know that my family and I have been praying for you!


Friday, September 1, 2017

A Little Rearranging Indoors (Plus Other Fun Photos!)

You may remember that our piano used to be in our dining room. It's been there for years. I didn't mind it there...but because it stuck out so far from the wall ~ I had to move the table over a bit....which meant it wasn't centered under the light and ceiling fan. It always drove me a bit crazy... I decided it was time for a change! The kiddos happily took a little break from their schoolwork to give me a hand! So we moved some book cases and things ~ and then moved the piano into the computer room (our old living room).

Yes, the walls in this room still need redone. They need holes mudded and sanded...and just some overall TLC. Then they need painted ~ as does the ceiling. It will happen one day, Lord willing.

 Here's a look at the corner that the piano used to be in (below). It really frees up the area and allows the dining table to be in the middle of the room!

Some other fun photos from around the house...

Mickey sleeping with his baby...

I am totally getting into the fall spirit....burning fall scented candles...

 I've done some decorating out-of-doors as well. I have some things on the front porch too! :) I just didn't photograph it!

A look in my planner at what I have been up to lately...

Thank you, everyone, for all the thoughtful comments you made about my new porch and rocking chairs! It is very exciting to see all these things happening around here. We do things on our own, without debt...which means slowly and when we have the extra money. Chris and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage this month. So, although that is a small amount of time in light of eternity....for me that is almost half of my lifetime! We still have siding to put up on the dormers and front of the house and more renovations that need completed. Each time we get something more matter how gives us such a sense of satisfaction and joy! :)

Don't worry though....we definitely know these are just earthly things. Our true joy comes from Christ. In light of projects mean nothing. But in caring for our home and renovating things that need it ~ (and doing so without debt) is being responsible for the things the Lord has given us. :) I just don't want anyone to think that my love for home and our renovations is too much of a love for the world and the things in it. The Lord just gave me a love for beauty, coziness, and warmth. I get joy out of homemaking (and homekeeping) ~ caring for my home and family! :)

I am helping my Mother-in-Love at a local Farmer's Market this afternoon! :) I hope you all have a lovely, joy-filled weekend!


Monday, August 28, 2017

Rocking Chairs


For years, I have wanted a porch on our home. This year, it came to fruition! Chris, our boys, our Brother-in-Love, and sometimes his boys all helped to make it a reality (as you may have read in previous posts)! I have always said how (Lord willing) I would love to one day be able to sit in rockers on my porch ~ watching my children (or grandchildren one day) with my husband! 

Chris knew this dream of mine...and for my birthday ordered handmade Amish rockers for me! Aren't they just perfect!? I am a firm believer that every porch needs at least one rocking chair! For the icing on the cake ~ my parents ordered me (for my birthday) a side table to match! It hasn't arrived yet but when it does, it will go right between the chairs! I am so thrilled! I love things that make my home more *homey*. 

The days are cooler now...Fall is setting in! It is wonderful to sit out in one of the rocking chairs to spend time in God's Word...

I have, admittedly, begun getting out my fall scented candles to burn and a few outdoor decor items! I don't have a lot of things to decorate the porch with right will probably take time to accumulate things (years even) ~ so this year the decorations may be minimal. I have a couple mums out right now (bought at ALDI ~ I love the prices there!). I also have my pumpkins growing in the garden that will make things fall-ish looking on my porch! :o)

I love the outdoor/rustic look of these rocking chairs. They are also super comfortable! My husband blessed me immensely by getting these for my birthday! My porch feels complete now! :) Of course, it still needs stained (probably next year) and the ceiling needs finished but for now, it's perfect and I am truly enjoying it! It's funny how something that may seem insignificant to some is so sweet to me! A simple country porch with rocking chairs ~ a dream come true for this country girl!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes and well wishes for my ankle healing. My ankle is still sore but hopefully doing ok. I am going to try and teach a cycling (spin) class tonight...we'll see how it goes!

When someone leaves a question in the comments, I never know the best way to answer the comments? By email (if I have it?)? I don't want people to think I am ignoring them! What do you think is the best way?

Thanks for stopping by to share in my excitement with me! :)
Hope you all have a great week!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Celebrating 36 Years!

Xavier surprised me by changing the light board from his name to mine. :)

Hello friends! I wasn't going to do a birthday it isn't necessary to draw attention to myself...and truly, it is just another day. However, I realized that celebrating birthdays isn't really about *us* anyway. It brings glory to the Father. I praise Him for another year on this earth. I didn't bring myself to life 36 years ago. I was thought of and planned before the beginning of time. I am His and He brought me into this world (using my parents!). I am not exceptional in an of myself. I am flawed, imperfect and unimportant. However, He has redeemed me from my old self. He has made me good. He has saved me from the sin which enslaves. He determines the numbers of days....or years...I am on this earth. So ~ today (and every day) is a day for me to praise the Lord for the time He has given me here. I praise Him for the good, the bad and everything in between!

We have nothing major planned for today. Schooling, housework and the normal day-to-dayness that happens around here. I *am* doing a little more sitting today than normal. Yesterday, while out for a run with Mickey (our cocker spaniel) I sprained my ankle. It is swollen, stiff and painful. I am hoping it is only a grade 1 sprain (quicker healing time). It makes walking difficult and obviously, no exercise is allowed for now. I also got stung by a bee yesterday...on the calf of the opposite leg! Goodness! I thought about going to bed early yesterday as it just didn't seem to be a day I was suppose to be up and about!

The weather has gotten a touch cooler the past couple of days...with temperatures in the 70's. It is wonderfully comfortable (and a lot of time has been enjoyed out on our new back porch!). I absolutely love fall but I'm not sure I am totally ready for it to arrive yet. I guess I don't really have a choice in the matter, eh? ;)

I'm just adding a few photos from around the house to this post. Mostly pictures from the living room. I've added a few things decor-wise and have done some tweaking here and there. It's not finished completely but it's coming together! It's a much darker room...being at the back of the house and now with the porch blocking some of the light that did come in.

My etsy shop has been doing well. It has been picking up in sales lately which is a blessing! :) I don't make a huge income from it as some do but it's a little extra which is always nice to have!

I should go ice my ankle again (Mickey will jump up with me and lay on me while I do. He is such a great snuggler!). It's funny ~ this morning Chris said to me that he has almost been married to me for half my life. In a year or two ~ that will be true! :o) I definitely got the better end of that deal! He doesn't think so....but I *know* so!

As always, I appreciate you dropping by! I have some great things I have been reading recently and have wanted to share...but alas, my book is upstairs and with a bum ankle..the steps aren't fun right now. Hopefully I will be able to share some sweet nuggets of goodness I have been reading soon!

Have a wonderful rest of your week!
With warm wishes,

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our New Back Porch!

Chris and our Brother-in-Law worked and worked and basically finished our back porch. There are still a few things left to finish (like the underside of the porch ceiling and the steps)....but is done. :) I love it and can't wait to get it furnished and decorated (lightly).

Right now, there's just some odds and ends on there ~ but I hope to get a couple rocking chairs at some point...and get the rest of the porch cleaned off.

Those piles are wood are leftovers from the pieces of wood they cut. They were there when I took these pictures but Chris and the children got them all cleaned up last night. :)

I am looking forward to sharing photos with you once the porch has its final touches. Also, as you can see in the picture pumpkin vines are crazy. I have four big pumpkins growing!!! :) It's the first time I have grown pumpkins! I definitely know they need *much* more room to grow next time! :)

I hope you are having a great week! Thanks so much for visiting me here today!
Until next time, Lord willing...


Saturday, August 12, 2017

My Heart is Full

My Xavier turns 14 today....yes, fourteen! I can hardly even bear to type that out! How has he grown so much, so quickly? The picture above was taken this morning and just doesn't do him justice. He's such handsome fella. The photo is a bit blurry (but when I used the flash it was just *too* bright).

He'll be getting a haircut later from his dad. Right now he is riding his four-wheeler (an older one that he saved up to buy). He has worked at my dad's garage most of the summer. He has learned a lot and will continue to learn over the years. I believe that is the profession he wants to go it is perfect for him to be learning a lot early! :)

We are so thankful that the Lord blessed us with Xavier. He adds so much to our family and we love him so much. I am sure he will enjoy today to the we are starting our homeschool year on Monday and I think out of all my children, X is the least excited! Ha! :) 

Below are some photos of our days as of late...

Above, Madelyn is feeding Porky...Pa's calf. And below is a picture of her in a shirt my aunt got her for her 16th birthday. I thought she looked absolutely adorable and took a picture!

Mickey...going for a ride with me...

As I mentioned before....we are starting our homeschool year on Monday ~ so organizing and planning have been happening around here!

 Although I am not wishing summer has been cooler lately so I couldn't help but burn some fall candles. Fall scents are my absolute favorite!

Canning peaches....

Cash (who has been tolerating Mickey now ~ yahoo! I wouldn't say they are *friends*...but there is no real fear of them attacking each other either! Whew!)...

My new back porch is about finished! I will share pictures soon! The only bad thing is that it makes the living room a lot darker. I figure it's just another reason to burn some candles! ;o)

We have definitely been keeping busy around here....I think I canned over 50+ quarts of green beans and have done some peaches as well. My corn *has* now started to grow....quite late though so I don't think I will get any edible corn from the plants. My pumpkins are growing beautifully that is exciting! :)

In addition to gardening/harvesting, I have been teaching spin, organizing/cleaning the house, cooking a lot (especially when family comes over to help work on the back porch), school planning, mowing and the like! Whoever called them "lazy days of summer" must have had servants to do all their work! haha! There is definitely no laziness around these parts! :o)

Thank you so much for visiting today!
I hope your weekend is absolutely lovely!