Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Light


"For with Thee is the fountain of life:
In Thy light shall we see light."

 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Ponderings

Today, Christmas Eve Day, I find myself pondering things.

I wonder, what would have happened, so long ago in that Garden of Gethsemane, as Christ Jesus grappled with His Father......

What would have happened if He had said that day....

"No thanks, Dad, I don't think I'll do it.  Those people aren't worth it and I just don't have time to die for them.  It's too hard".

What would have happened?

The ramifications of this thought are too dire and too depressing for me to entertain.

And so....on this day before Christmas, as a silent and peaceful waiting fills my heart, I want to thank You, Jesus, for that willingness to take hold of the Father's plan for You.  Thank You for embracing the Father's very difficult and very scary will for You.  I pray that I would have that strength to follow Your example and not shirk Your will for me in my fear and mistrust of Your perfect plan.

Today I am so grateful that Jesus, the Christ, the Son of God, the very Word become Flesh, died that cruel, intense, painfully humiliating death, the death of common criminals, just for me.

I'm filled with such joy and such sadness when I wonder if, when He was born to Mary in that stable, did He know? Did He know when He was young that He would be called on to suffer such a grisly and unbearable fate?

I think He did.  After all, He was God, in flesh...."veiled in flesh, the Godhead see! Hail the incarnate diety!"

I think He knew.  With crystal clear clarity.

And He came anyway.

Do you know this Christ of Whom I speak? If you do not...

Seek Him!
Find Him!
He waits for you.....He was born for you and He died for you!

Will you take Him into your heart today?     

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Life


This is a slice of what my life feels like right now.  For all of you readers out there who've been wondering what my brain looks like, here's a visual for you.
Daughter #6, who happens to be three right now, was having a great time that day.  She loves to do crazy things like this and talk to them and rearrange them....

It made me smile.  The sight of this odd jumble of Polly Pockets, animals, and the angel from our Play Mobile Nativity set, seen here without the hair and halo, gave me a great big belly laugh.

I see the joy in this jar.  I see the chaos.  I bet that cat is NOT liking the mix.  I think Barbecue Man, down on the bottom, is having a hard time breathing.

And that, my friends, is how I feel, by turns, these days.  Joyful.  Chaotic.  BEWILDERED.  STUCK.  Learning in the midst of it all.

How was your day?? 

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Lucie Update


I thought it would be fun to do an update on Lucie, something I've never really done before.

I had in my mind, when I was pregnant with her, to keep you all posted about how things were going and then, after she was born, I would be all cute and relevant and post regular, monthly updates about how she was doing and what she was doing and how cute and adorable she was.  I love to read updates like that on the blogs that I read! And well, after I started posting more regularly again....I stopped posting regularly again!

I am making an effort to remedy that.  I want to post every day and include pictures, which I am determined to have interspersed through my posts, like my favorite bloggers do.

So, here's a Lucie update post!

Lucie is 10 months old now.  I know, I can't believe it either!  to me, the time since she was born has flown a lot quicker  than it has with any of my other children.  It seems as I get older, time's wings get swifter.  I don't like it at all!

Where to start? She really has blossomed this month.  She has four teeth, two on the top and two on the bottom, and yes, her smile is the most adorable thing, especially when she wrinkles up her little noses and squints her eyes! Exactly like this picture below!

She looooooves, I mean Loves her sisters big time.  She never wants for people to hold her.  All she has to do is bat her little eyelashes and at least three little mommies come running to hold her!

She weighs about 18 or so pounds and is about 29 inches long,  I think.  I think she's small for her age, compared to other babies we know who are around her age (not that I'm into comparing or anything).  We hardly ever take our kids to the doctor, so I'm not real sure on those stats, but that's what she feels and looks like to me.

She is wearing a size 3 diaper right now, although I was forced, when I went to my local Safeway, to get her a size 4 in a brand that I did NOT want to buy, since they were 6 dollars more than the Fred Meyer diapers I usually buy! But, beggars can't be choosers, and it was 9 o'clock at night when I discovered that we were out of diapers and so,  I had to buy them.  I hate them and will never use them again, if I can help it.  I bet you're dying to know what brand they were, huh? Well, they were Pampers.  Yuck!

She hasn't started crawling yet.  Wait.  What I mean is, she hasn't started crawling in the conventional way yet.......but she does do "The Baby Frog" scoot, as I like to call it.  She will dig her big toes into the floor and pull herself around by her arms, while on her tummy.  It is sooo cute! She looks just like a frog swimming!

If we stand her up against the couch, she cruises along it one way, but she won't come back! If I'm sitting at one end and I stand her up next to me, she'll cruise to the other end of the couch, alllll the way to the end, then she'll look at me as if to say "What now?" It's the funniest thing!

She's eating lots of foods now and is really good at putting stuff in her mouth! She's a human vacuum cleaner! She loves cooked carrots, green beans, noodles, fried potatoes, bananas, peaches, avocados, yogurt, chicken, stew meat...and lots of other stuff too! She will not let me put mashed potatoes or rice of any kind in her mouth.  She won't eat baby food peaches either.  


She takes two naps or so a day.  Her morning nap is her longest and I'm blessed that she sleeps for 3 to 4 hours.  She'll take another nap around 4 or 5 and sleep for about 2 hours.

She is still nursing regularly, about four times a day or so.

She sleeps through the night most nights.  She goes down at about 10 and most nights she sleeps till 4:30 am, then she'll go back to sleep till around 9.  A couple of nights she may wake up at 2:30 and that's when I struggle to be a true Christian!!

She has the bluest eyes I've seen!

She's wearing 12-18 mth clothes, although they're a bit big on her right now, but she has grow room!

She is very, very attached to Mama.  She follows me with her eyes whenever I put her down and walk away or around the room.  Now that she's mobile, she can find me and that's so happy for her! I've never had a baby who's so attached to me.  It's fulfilling and disconcerting at the same time!

I think that's it.  I love her so much.  She fills our lives in ways I never imagined she would.  Everyone loves her around here.  All of the girls are getting really good "babysitting" experience while I do the things I need to do each day.

Thanks for reading!
 

Sisters



My oldest daughter took this picture.

I love it.

It was an unexpected image that she was not trying to catch on film.  She was trying to take a picture of Lucie by the window when Sofia walked in front of the camera just as she pressed the button.

And this is what it turned out like.

These are my two littlest babies.  And this image tears my heart.  One is almost not in that "baby" stage anymore, and thankfully, the other still is!

I'm so glad God has allowed me to have all of these children, and I'm so glad He's blessed me with these

Sisters.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Question for You

Question:

How do you link to your blog on Facebook? I see my friends linking to their blogs, and when I tried to investigate doing it myself, I didn't get anywhere.

So, all of you techie gals out there, please tell me how to do it in your comment, but in English, if you please!

Thanks!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bread

I'm breaking down and posting my bread recipe.

I was terrified of yeast breads for many, many a year.  I had never come across a recipe that took less than three hours for good bread.

Until about a year and a half ago.  I found a recipe on accident and thought it sounded pretty easy.  I adapted it and embellished it a bit.......

It was SO easy!  It blew me away with how easy it was and how few ingredients it called for.  Not only was it easy and cheap, but it was so quick!

So, because I love you all so much, and because I want to spread the loooove to ya'll......

Here's the recipe!

Easy Bread

2 1/2 cups hot water (I just use the hot faucet water; let it get really hot!)
1 TBSP plus 1/2 tsp yeast
2 C whole wheat flour

Place the water in a large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast on top of the water.  Add the two cups of flour and gently stir until the flour is wet.  Don't stir it to death!  Let this sit for 20 minutes.  It will foam up and bubble.  While it sits, grease two loaf pans and get the next ingredients ready......

1/3 C brown sugar or honey
1/3 C olive oil
2 tsp salt
5-6 C wheat flour

 Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Add the sugar or honey, oil and salt to the bubbly flour mixture.  Gradually add the flour, one cup at a time and stir gently.  Keep adding the flour and stirring until the dough looks a bit dry and comes away from the sides of the bowl.  On the surface where you will knead the flour, generously sprinkle extra flour. I knead my bread on a large cutting board surface.  Any surface will work, as long as you have a cup of flour next to you that you can sprinkle on your surface as you knead.  Dump the dough out on your floured surface.  Sprinkle more flour onto the dough.  Knead dough for about 6-10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth, making sure to sprinkle flour onto your surface so that the dough does not stick.  Cut dough in half.  Shape into two loaves.  Place dough into your greased loaf pans.  Place in preheated oven.  Let rise for about 15 minutes, or until dough is about an inch above the top of your pans.  Turn oven up to 350 degrees.  Bake loaves for 25 minutes.

That's IT!!!

Easy cheesy!

Try it and let me know how you like it.  You can combine white flour and wheat flour too.  This makes beautiful mini loaves too, to give as gifts.  You can brush your crusts with butter after they come out of the oven to give it a nice shiny look and make the crust really soft.  Believe me when I say that if I can make this bread, anybody can!

Thank you

Can I just say Thank You?

Thank you all for the comfort of your comments on my last post.

I was made peaceful and the terrible storm inside of me was quieted by the gentle and sure knowledge that so many of you do understand.

And even for those who've never experienced loss like that, you understand too.

I find that that's the beauty of the greater Body of Christ.

I have friends from here to Indiana to Illinois to Texas and everywhere in between.  And I'm so thankful for the Body.

Thanks, you guys, for coming out in droves to offer me your virtual hugs and your words of support, encouragement and all of your myriad ways of just intuitively knowing what I needed that day.  And still need.  And it still evens me out to read all of your words again.

So.

Thank You.

Monday, November 16, 2009

About Me

I saw this fun idea for a post, and, in an effort to lighten the blog up a bit, I decided to post it! It's just a series of questions about every day life.

1.  Cell phone: It's on the top of the couch, right next to me.

2.  Hair: My hair is down today.  I'm still marveling at how awesomely clean my hair feels after changing shampoo! It's the same brand we have used for a long time, just a different formula.  I stood in the shampoo aisle for literally like 20 minutes, looking at all the bottles and reading the backs.  We have lots of oily hair at our house and we had yet to find a shampoo that worked for oily hair.  Lo and behold, there it was, in the big purple bottle, right in front of me! So I switched and loooove it! '

3. Father:  My mother and father were divorced when I was two and my older brother was 4.  My younger brother, who is 16 months younger than me, was 8 months old and went with my father.  I never saw my younger brother again till I was 18.  When I was 16, my mom remarried and I consider him the best, most wonderful man I've ever known.  He is at the top of my list of wonderful people in my life.  He may not be my biological father, but he is my Dad nevertheless.  We will be moving in with them very soon.

4.  Favorite food: This is a no brainer.  I love Mexican food. A lot of people view meat-and-potatoes as their comfort food.  Mexican food is my comfort food.  Any kind.  Homemade guacamole and pico de gallo rock my world.  I also love things like sauerkraut with roast.  Mashed potatoes and gravy are high on my list too.   Greek food makes my eyelashes stand straight up and I dearly wish there was a great greek restaurant here.


5.  Dream from last night:  No idea.

6.  Favorite drink: I love a good blended Big Train.  I also love virgin strawberry daquiris.


7.  Dream/goal:  To bless my family in the highest and best ways possible.  To live out for others to see how faithful God has been to me.


8.  What room am I in?: I'm sitting in my living room in front of big windows, facing my fireplace.


9.  Hobbies: I love making cards.  I adore going on road trips with my family.  I take great pleasure in cooking and baking for my family.  I like to can.  


10.  Fear:  I will always fear, to some extent, losing another baby.


11.  Where do I want to be in 6 years?  Anywhere God wants me to be, but with my family.  I dearly, dearly would love to have more children, so I pray there are more babies in the picture! Seeing my husband working from home composing would be nice.


12.  Where was I last night? Right here, at my home.


13.  Something I am not:  I am not confident.


14.  Muffins: No, thank you.


15.  What is on my wish list? A 15 seat Chevy Express wide axle van.  A big garden.  Security for my family.  For my husband to work from home.  To ensure perfectly matched spouses for my children.


16.  Where did I grow up? I was born in Renton, WA.  We moved to Ellensburg when I was very small and moved from there to Southern California.  I lived in Huntington Beach for 9 1/2 years.  We moved to Corona for a year and a half, then to Irvine for a year and a half.  We moved back to Washington when I was 13.


17.  Last thing I did:  I got dressed.  Yay for me!


18.  What am I wearing? I'm wearing a dark blue, long denim skirt with contrasting stitching at the seams, with a plum colored T shirt and a sage colored light cable knit zip up sweater.  I'm barefooted.


19.  TV? No.  No satellite.  No cable.  Just a VCR and a DVD player.


20.  Pets:  We have an Australian blue heeler named Gracie.  She's 4 years old.  She's marled blue with brown eyes.  We also have a Black Lab puppy named Licorice.  She's 2 years old.  She's Gracie's chew toy.  And, last but not least, we have a black and white cat named Oreo.  He is 4 years old too.  They're all outside pets.


21.  Friends:  I don't have many close friends.  The ones I do have are loyal.  Understanding.  Loving through any fire.  They know my weaknesses and keep me accountable to change.  They are generous and giving.  They are steadfast.


22.  My life: My life is so good it's almost scary.  So beautiful it hurts.


23.  My mood: My mood is pretty low key right now.  I find myself with a tinge of sadness each day.  I notice that I'm a lot more contemplative than I used to be.


24.  My vehicle: We have a 1994 turquoise GMC Safari.  It's a touring edition, so it has trays on the backs of the seats and cubbies and and zipper pouches and cup holders and reading lights.  My husband's work car is a 1987 Pontiac 6000.


25.  What am I NOT wearing? I'm not wearing make up.  I'm not wearing shoes, neither am I wearing socks.  I didn't put perfume on this morning either. Or earrings.


26.  Favorite store: I don't really have a favorite store.  I love love love searching out great thrift stores and shopping second hand.  Wait! I just remembered that I really, really like this store over in the neighboring town across the river called Fringe.  Great vintage clothing!


27.  Favorite color: I have to say my favorite color is chocolate brown, hands down. Buuuuut.....I really adore orange.  And olive green.  And robin's egg blue.  Not all together!!!


28.  When did I last laugh:  Hmmmm, this is a hard one! Ah, last night.  Everyone was being silly here and I had a good belly laugh, which, if I may say, is very healing and lightens the heart.  I recommend laughing regularly.  I wish I laughed more often.


29.  My BFF:  My BFF is my mom.  And my girls.


30.  When did I cry last?  I had a crying jag just two days ago.  When I say "crying jag", I mean the messy, gut wrenching, snot-dripping-out-your-nose crying jags.  I felt even and peaceful afterward.


31.  The place I go over and over:  I go to Fred Meyer a lot, out of necessity.  It's my favorite grocery shop.  I go to a local resale shop tons, and Goodwill.  And my mom's coffee stand.


32.  Person who emails me regularly:  Nobody really emails me regularly.  


33.  Favorite place to eat:  El Charrito.  Nipp's.  The Mexican restaurant in Leavenworth.  Wait, that's three!!!


So, there you have it.  These were supposed to be one word answers.  HA! You know me.  I am NOT a one word kind of gal!


I'd enjoy reading answers to these questions on your blogs!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Of Pain and Hope.

Janie.

Her name is never far from our lips around here.

We still hold her in our hearts.

Sometimes, when we are all together and everyone has been accounted for, we will look at each other and say....

"Are we missing someone?"

Yes, we are.  Deeply.

Last night I had a mini-meltdown of sorts.  I just have been feeling so sad lately.  Such a deep, weighty, fathomless heartache has come over me, and it feels like it is here to stay some days.  My stomach aches deep down.  I miss feeling joy in the deep breaths I used to be able to take! Lately, it's as though tears are never far off, and I could burst out in sobbing at any moment...

Last night, I finally did.  I allowed the storm of weeping that has been locked in my heart to come out.

Pain. 

God says in His word that He bottles up our tears.....

There are more tears in that bottle today.

I have questions, even after 5 years.  I want to know......

Janie, how can someone who never drew breath outside of the Secret Place and who was here such a short time still affect me so deeply, after all these years?

How come the pain comes, and it hurts like it was yesterday that you flew?


Why do my arms ache to hold you still, when I've held your sisters after you?


Why did God choose me to be your mom? I'm not so strong, not so special, to be able to bear up under this incredible ache which feels ceaseless at times.....

I wonder why I didn't hold her longer.  How my arms ache to feel the slight weight of her.  How my lips long to kiss her just one more time.  How I long to absorb her sweet, newborn smell again! How I long to go back and do it all right this time!

 I wish we had taken more pictures.  I wish we had known about the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep foundation, where professional photographers donate their services on behalf of families who've received a fatal prenatal diagnosis, to come and take pregnancy photographs, and to take photos after the baby is born......I wish I had a beautiful picture to frame, of her precious feet and her perfect hands!

I've always said that this pain is a part of me.  Oh, it doesn't hurt like this all the time.  Still, there are times when it catches me so by surprise that I could still mourn for her like this, after so long......

Pain.

And then.......

I see Lucie.

I think, in a sort of odd way, that Lucie has been my salvation in it all.  Did God know I would need her this year, this 5th anniversary year?

There she is, and she needs me.

Hope. 

When that terrible, intense ache comes, when that yawning, dark chasm opens up again...

Lucie's there. 

I hold her.  I kiss her face and lay my cheek against her downy, soft head.  I breathe in her essence.....

And pain is eased.  The ache leaves.  It's an extraordinary cycle of pain and hope.

Pain and hope.  Intertwined.

Thank You God, for both the pain of Janie and the hope of Lucie.

 

Friday, October 30, 2009

Comments I've Heard As The Mom of a Large Family

*Disclaimer: This post is NOT meant to point fingers or rant at anyone in particular.  Maybe it is a rant, but these words are not meant to hurt, scald, or alienate anyone.  Thank you for understanding.*


The title of this post is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but really, I'm not kidding!

I wanted to write this post because, in times past, we've been showered with all sorts of comments, rejoinders, and sayings that people think are so funny and cute, but we really think they're rude, cruel, perverted, or just plain crass!

I know you may not have noticed, but my husband and I have a lot of children.  Many.  Several.  Half a dozen plus one, here on earth.  We do not subscribe to any particular theory, such as the "Quiver Full" movement, we just want to allow God to choose the size of our family! My husband, as a young man, always used to dream about having 12 kids.  

I want to do a post like this to let you all know something most of you don't know about me.  Getting to this point was not easy for me.  Becoming the Mother of Many has not been an easy, straight, or fun road.  I'll tell you why: As a girl, I didn't dream about getting married.  I never once thought about having kids.  Babies scared me and other kids were brats.  I was the worst babysitter you've ever seen! My mom was a career woman from as early as I can remember.  She'd put nice clothes on and do her hair and makeup every morning, and that's what I wanted too.  I was frightened of men and mistrustful of them all, in general, after having a father who walked out on me when I was two.  Two years old, without a Daddy....

But God works, sometimes against our will, and in every circumstance.  The Word of the Lord will never come back void, and He never breaks His promises.  He quietly stands waiting.  He gently knocks.  He pursues.  For me, He pursued, knocked, and waited for me to surrender my whole self to him for many, many years.  In the area of marriage and family, I was a selfish, sniveling brat who would shout at God with both fists raised.  I was NOT letting Him have my fertility!!!

Once I let Him talk to me and I began to hear His voice, my heart began to be changed.  What I want you to know is, if He can change MY heart, He can change anyone's heart! The thing is, I didn't know I was blind, walking around in the dark.  My eyes had to be opened!


And here I am.

I am the Mother of a large family.  I have been pregnant 10 times.  I have had one stillborn baby, born at almost 27 weeks gestation.  I have had secondary infertility and experienced two miscarriages, one at 8.5 weeks and one at 15 weeks, the last of which almost caused me to bleed to death on my bathroom floor.

I love my life.  I am proud to be known as "that lady with all the kids".  

Just today, while dining with my oldest daughter at a local diner, the waitress thoughtfully cocked her head at me and said, "aren't you the lady with all the kids?".....and usually, this would cause me to bristle or be very cautious....But she smiled and said, "I thought it was you! I thought we were almost even with the amount of kids we have!" She has 6, 2 of which are hers, and 4 of which are her husband's.  Then she said, "and you're married to that Mailman, aren't you?"....Ha!


We get lots of comments.  Almost everywhere we go together we get stares.  We're used to that.

Here are some of the things we hear:


"Do you KNOW how that happens?"
"Man, every time you come in here, our waiting room looks like a nursery or something!"
"Are ALLLLL of these yours?"
"Hmmm, must be something in your water!"
"I'd better not drink the water at YOUR house!"

"Aren't you DONE yet?"
"ALLL of those girls?"
"Poor boy!" (to Russell)
"Your husband must have a good job!"
"Are you going to try till you get another boy?"
"Are you going to have anymore?"
"You must have GREAT pregnancies!"
"Sheesh, I can't even handle the one/two/three that I've got!"
"You're crazy!"

Most of the time, Dave and I can just laugh and shake our heads as these people spout this stuff, right in front of our kids, as the kids stand there embarrassed, with their mouths agape...


I guess I wanted to do this post because I really don't like to hear those things.  I've stopped going to the places whose employees would make comments.  These type of comments stress me out and are embarrassing and hurtful toward my children.


Makes me think about things that the parents of multiples say when I tell them that we have been praying for twins for some time now.  Usually, they say some variation of "You're stinking crazy!" Or, my personal favorite, "I wouldn't wish twins on my worst enemy!", all while their kids stand right there!


I'm a Christian, not Mother Theresa, people! If someone makes a rude comment to me on the size of my family or my "prolific fertility", they risk a snappy rejoinder! 


Once, when someone said "Don't you know HOW that happens?" to me, I shot right back


"I sure do, and man, is it fun! That's WHY we have all these kids!"


Monday, October 26, 2009

Ode to Fall

I love Fall.

Fall is my favorite season, by far.  

I love the bracing snap of pristine, cold days.  The foggy mornings are so peaceful and as I look out the window of my home, I'm glad for the reassuring closeness of my house, and my fireplace whose flames comfort me.  The exquisite colors and elegance of the trees decked out in magnificent garments takes my breath away every time I leave the house and drive anywhere.  I love the familiarity of old sweaters taken out again and worn, like old friends and dear companions.  I look forward to the fresh picked crispness of homegrown apples and the spicy, benevolent pumpkin goodies that come out of my oven on these sweet days.  The smell of the loamy, earthy leaves as they slowly melt and fade into the soil is the perfect foil for the rich, drifting scent of wood smoke from so many random chimneys.  

I grew up in Orange County, CA, and I never knew there were such things as different seasons.  I'd never known the patter of rain on the roof or the lacy whiteness of frost on the eaves.  I just didn't know the poetry and poignancy of each different, starkly defined season! I'd never seen a vividly colored tree or the flutter of golden leaves floating softly on the wind.  I thought all the world was blue sky and palm trees and beaches.....

Until I moved to the Pacific Northwest.

And I so thank God that I ended up here.  I'm thankful and I remember the joy of learning that indeed, there were seasons, and that each one was different and appealing in their own ways.  I remember the first golden tree I saw, and how I marveled at its gaudy, brilliant leaves.  There was nothing shy about that tree! And thus began my love affair with all things Autumnal.

I would love to have Fall all year 'round......

What's your favorite season and why?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Followers!

My stars!

I actually have TWO followers!!

It's actually quite gladdening to have followers.

So this post is a nod to those two out there who follow my blog.

Thanks for caring about what I write.

Even if you're lurkers, it still made me smile to see that I had two of you out there!

In other news....


I'm working on posting more often....I'm working on balancing this need to blog with the rest of my life that needs to be attended to first.

And oh, I'm working on remembering that I set out to make bread this afternoon, and the start is still on my counter!

See what happens? Forgetting to do that moreimportantthing because I'm on the computer??

Do you have trouble with this too??

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sleep


See the moon!
How it sparkles
on the water so fair!
Rest, my little one,
drift off without a care.

The beams
how they glitter
and shine so bright.
Close your eyes
I'll be here
to watch through the night.

Sweet dreams, tiny one
is what I pray for you.
Snuggle down, cuddle up,
till the morn
is fresh and new.

And the moon, all the while
will smile and play,
ever steady
always waiting
for the sun to warm the day.

Baby love, don't you fret
for the Lord He holds you tight.
Close your eyes
and do not fear,
for the Lamb of God is light!

The sun and the moon
they dance at His command,
so sleep on , dear heart,
He cradles you in His hand.


Copyright 2009 by leeswords.

Dedicated to Lucie Lynn Gilchrist on October 2, 2009.  Written at Willow Grove Beach.  Photo of Lucie courtesy of Emily Heinl.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What Am I Doing Wednesday

Today I....


~got those apples made into Caramel Apple Butter.  My house smells fan-TASTIC!

~found out that, to mail my son's package First Class, would cost $70!!! Um, methinks we are not going that route!

~am feeling really tired and rundown and am giving myself permission to be lazy.


~have talked to Mother twice.

~taught Fourth Daughter how to count by 5's.


~have only checked in on Facebook twice!

~have fed Seventh Daughter three times.


~brought my favorite blankie out to the living room with me and bundled up in it this morning.

~did language with Second Daughter.


~answered baking questions for Oldest Daughter.

~admonished Fourth Daughter to stay on task and stay focused no less than three times.

~took Third Daughter on a short errand.

~made pumpkin biscuits for breakfast.

~Helped Sixth Daughter pick a miniature punk-pin out front.

~meditated on the Word.

~washed two loads of laundry.

~read a couple of blogs.

~cleaned up the kitchen.

~made Husband lunch and made his breakfast.

~Prayed with Husband.

~watched Second Daughter do a beautiful job teaching her three younger sisters.  She really is a super teacher.

~eaten once.  Had a 4 oz Big Train.

Okay.  That's some of what my day looked like.....and it's not over yet!

I love my life!!!!!!!!  

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Good Day

It's been a good day today....a day filled with all the sounds of my family, and to me, that's a good day!

Here are some of the things that I've heard today:

The rush of the shower as children got clean.

The cooing of a content, joyful baby as she claps, dances, and plays the piano.

The impromptu, beautifully soft singing of girls at the table listening to Steven Curtis Chapman. Earnest voices raised in song is quite pleasing.

The fresh, sweet sounds of little women playing a very elaborate game of dolls.

The bright ring of the phone announcing that Daddy was calling.

The deep, smooth murmur of Russell's voice as he read to Sofia in the other room.

The low, dulcet tones of my Sofia as she leans into me, cozy and snuggled, and tells me she loves me.

The trilling of the oven timer telling me the apple pies are done.

What did you hear today?

Friday, September 25, 2009

This IS The Right Blog!

Hey, My blog changed her "clothes"!

I just got a wild hair and decided to see if I could do some cleaning up and switching around on here.....

And, on Melissa's blog, over at A Familiar Path, she talked about doing things that scared her, and doing one thing every day that scared you.

Trying new things scares me to death.

And I did it!!!

I figured it out all by myself...And that's big doin's for this fraidy-cat girl!

How do you like it?




Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Sunday So Far

This was on Renata's blog, and since I think Renata is totally charming and really like her, I thought I would inject some charm into my blog by copying, really stealing, her recent post!

Outside my window........It's a bit chilly, misty, a touch of fog this morning.

I am thankful for......I have to pick just one thing?? Okay, what's been on my heart for the past couple of days is that I am incredibly thankful for the health of my children.

From the schoolroom......nothing today. It's Sunday, and my husband has declared Sundays to be a day of rest around here.

From the kitchen.....I've got loads of canning to do. Pickles and more salsa. I have apples to peel and can. I need to make bread. Husband says I'm not canning or making bread today. What to do??

I am wearing......My black cotton skirt, the shirt I slept in, and my purple hoodie. Hair's in a bun. I need a shower!

I am creating......Right now, I'm thinking about making up folding cards to start off a new scripture memory program. The folding card will sit in the middle of the dining room table with the scripture on it that we're learning. It's a great idea. Also, I really want to finish Russell's scrapbook. And I recently adapted a brownie recipe, really totally changed it, and my husband, who would rather have anything else than brownies, pronounced the brownies the best he's ever eaten. Now that's kudos!

I am going.......Nowhere today. But next month we have a highly anticipated day trip to Seattle planned, as well as a day trip to a waterfront town across the river with my folks. And I'm going to be my mom's guest at the wedding of a gal who works for her. It's supposed to be really fancy, what to wear???

I am reading.......A few different things right now, according to my mood. I'm reading These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon for about the 5th time. I hear the Lord when I read Jan Karon. I used to keep a notebook and pen next to me when I read her, because so many things she wrote would touch my heart, and even after reading each of her books about 5 times each, they still speak to me. I'm also reading Sally Clarkson's The Mission of Motherhood. I keep a highlighter nearby with this one. I read it when my kids were younger and I thought that I wanted to read it again to see if I gleaned anything different than the first go-round. I highly recommend Sally Clarkson. And, last but not least, I'm reading The Pearls of Lutra from the Redwall Series by Brian Jaques. He's a great writer too, more for fun, and since my son wanted to read the Redwall series, and I like to preview all of the stuff my kids read, I'm reading the series too, but I'm behind!

I am hoping.......To be moved out to my folks's property by the end of next month. I'm hoping to sell some things on eBay, if we can just get them listed. That way we'll have a bit of spending money for our day trips next month. I'm hoping that my husband doesn't implode, with all of the cares and concerns on his shoulders right now. I pray daily that God would give him very broad and strong shoulders to handle it all.

I am hearing.......The tick of the clock above the fireplace. Hannah clearing her throat in her bed. Licorice (the black lab) barking out back. The fans whirring in the rooms. My refrigerator and the sounds it makes. Lucie just got up, and I'm hearing her yawn and her tiny squeals.

Around the house.......Most everyone's still abed, except Sofia, Sara, and Lucie. There's straight, gleaming lines of innumerable empty canning jars on my dining room table, along with leaves we collected yesterday at a really great park next to my mom's espresso stand up north. There's a brand new, not even opened yet, box of Crayolas on the chalkboard rack. The violin is sitting on the coffee table in the living room. Sofia's bundled up in her Ducky Blankie on the couch. Sara's holding Lucie for me while I finish this post......Yes, it does look like I neglect my baby in favor of posting!

One of my favorite things......Mornings like this. The fog is increasing and I'm bundled up in a blankie too!

A few plans for the rest of the day........None. I'm a bit panicked about this! What will I do?? We'll see....

A picture of one of these thoughts.......Sorry. I know ya'll think posts are so boring without photos. So do I. But I just spent forever going through the pictures on this laptop and I couldn't find one to enhance this post. Plus, I can't figure out how to stagger my pictures throughout my posts. They always end up at the top of my posts. I can't seem to get them anywhere else. So there isn't a photo for one of my thoughts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Fricasee....

Woah.

That's a gross and unusual title for this post!

Sorry for the radio silence lately. Our laptop is NOT doing well and my Husband spent like two days on the phone with Apple people to try and fix it. It's not totally fixed yet.....bear with me!

Today I thought I'd be random and just post whatever is on my mind. It's like me! I'm random like that.

I'm wearing my first Maxi dress. Zoiks! It's a long one and it has straps and a plunging neckline, but I'm wearing a nursing tank with it. It zips up the side and is shirred in the back. Very comfie, for a 92 degree day! It's orange, blue and white. Why yes, I do look like an oversized art deco painting! Thank you for noticing!

Lucie is 7 months old now. She is waking up between like 2:30 and 3:30 AM these days. I am still convinced that God is still God at that hour. Even after less than 4 hours of sleep. I think she's cutting more teeth. That's what happens when you even LOOK like you're bragging to anyone who will listen that your baby sleeps through the night! Note to self: Don't brag!!

Everyone here is really growing up and looking way older than the last time I looked at them. Especially Samantha. She'll be 11 in three months and she looks way older. I can see shades of the woman that each of my girls will become. Yes, I do need a Kleenex. Or a whole box. Thank you.

Russell is trying diligently to get off the paint that is on my scraper that I use in my kitchen for everything, but that he used to scrape the paint off of our kitchen cupboards after paint remover was applied to them. It isn't looking like the paint is going to come off. And the cupboards? Still off. Still sitting out in the garage. Yep.

Potluck at a local park this weekend with lots of people we haven't seen in years. We went to church with lots of these people years ago, and we thought it would be a good idea to get together. It should be lots of fun. Me and Russell are going out to sit at the site of said potluck from 8:30 am to 11 am, to ensure no marauders steal the spot! Should be fun.

I think we're going to go to Seattle for a day with the whole family to celebrate our 16th anniversary, which is coming up soon! I'm so. So. SOOOOO excited! I have a desire to go to Pike Place Market and just spend the time with my family!

My heart aches for my Janie today. Yes. Even after 5 years. And no, I guess one doesn't just "get over it" after a while. It's like having a quilt that is in disrepair and you go to the fabric store and get new fabric. Then you tear out that block that is ruined and sew the new fabric in. The fabric you chose is beautiful but you always remember what that other fabric looked like. You never forget that other fabric, but the new fabric in your quilt becomes soft and familiar after many washings. Janie is woven carefully into the fabric of my life. I will never forget.

I'm waiting for my lunch to get done. I can't wait! It's cod in a foil packet (en papillote) cooked in the oven. I hope it's good, cause I'm absolutely starving! Drinking a Big Train, in the meantime.

My dear MIL's sister asked me if I had seen the movie "Julie and Julia" yet, owing to my love of cooking, and I haven't. I rarely see movies because I just don't think there are any out there that are worth the money. I've never gone to a movie by myself. I'm thinking of going to this movie. Has anyone out there seen it, and do you recommend it??

Okay, is that enough for you? I could go on......I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Motherhood, For Better or Worse

I'm stealing the idea for this post from a couple of other gals whose blogs I really like reading. One of them lives in Minnesota, and one lives in Arkansas, and I'm sure neither one of them knows that little-ol'-me reads their blogs!

I've been a mom for almost 15 years. Wow. That's a long time doing something that I never, even in my wildest, most vivid, most lofty imaginings, ever thought I'd be doing. I want to let you all in on the things that are EASIER about motherhood than I thought they'd be, and the things that are HARDER about motherhood than I thought they'd be. Here goes:

The Easier things:

  • Childbirth. Yeah, I said it, and I've never even had an epidural either! I'm too scared of the needle to get one. Without doubt or question, each and every one of my labors have been off-the-charts easy. Yet, I still fear labor and delivery, every time. I know, I'm mental. The labor and delivery part is easy-peasy. It's the aftermath that nearly kills me. I'm a bleeder. Near catastrophic bleeder. I almost died after I had Samantha, back in 1998. Yet I chose to do it again. After that near-catastrophy, Dr W made extensive notes on my chart, and we knew what to expect ever after that. So I never worried again about afterwards. It still stinks to lose nearly half of your blood in a matter of minutes though....But I'll do labor and delivery any time of day, any time God wants me to.
  • Nursing. With the exception of the fiasco with trying to nurse Russell, nursing has been easy-breezy for me. And the reason I think this is is because I have prayed about nursing each time. I pray that it would go easy for me, and that Baby is born nursing well. This has been the case 6 out of 7 times for me. Hannah, my first born girl, was born trying desperately to shove her little paws in her mouth. She knew what to do from the get go. I feel incredibly blessed, and I do recognize how blessed I am with nursing. I'd love to help other mamas in that area some day.
  • Having more than three kids. Having more than three kids has been soooo much easier than everyone thinks it is! The reason is that my husband and I have worked hard to try and train each child up to have discipline and a helpful nature. That is the key if you are going to have kids! And another reason it's easy to have more than three is because the first kids grow up and get older and put into practice all that we've taught them all these years!
  • Living in a small house. Living in a small house with a very large family is lots easier than I ever thought it would be. I like our small quarters because it forces us to be creative and hardnosed about what we keep and where we keep it. We presently have 9 people, including two adults, one teenager, two pre-teens, and several young children, in a 1296 square foot space. All the girls sleep in one room, with the exception of Lucie, and she sleeps in our room in her crib. Russell has his own room. We love always knowing where each other is, and we love our cozy space. Though some well meaning individuals think we need a bigger house, and in theory, it sounds good, we would sure miss our small space!
  • Homeschooling older kids. Homeschooling older kids is so much easier because they are self taught, and they actually want to help teach the younger kids! Even Hannah wants to get in on the teaching. I told my two older girls that they could pick two days a week which they wanted me to teach the younger girls, then they could teach the rest of the time. I think Samantha, girl number two, particularly likes it. Get your older kids in on teaching the younger ones! Give them a rough outline on what you'd like done, then let them go. You'll be pleasantly surprised at their resourcefulness and at the turn around they will make in other areas that were once maybe quite difficult as your older ones get a feeling of increased responsibility and importance.
Now, the things that are harder:

  • Finding enough energy to meet the demands of each day. This is my eternal struggle. I never seem to have enough energy to keep up with my day. I have some physical issues that we aren't sure what they are yet, and just the sheer activity that goes on in this house day to day, truthfully, I have not the faintest, foggiest, slightest notion of how I've been able to keep up! Oh. Wait. Yes I do! I know How! It's Jesus Christ, and the utter faithfulness of my Father, which gets me through. He is my strength. He is my reason for doing what I do. He is everything to me. Praise You, Father!
  • Having a Boy. There. I said it. I absolutely adore my Boy. He is above and beyond, without question, one of the most fabulous young men I know. But he's, well, he's a B O Y. Are you following me here?? I'm not sure how to DO a boy. But praise God, I have his dad to lean on. My boy is not hard, by any stretch of the imagination. He is just different than me. Different personality. Different make up. With the wisdom from God, I'm learning how to parent a Boy Teenager.
  • Having this much love in my heart. It sounds weird, but I kid you not, some days, my heart is so full that it nearly bursts. I am an intensely emotive person, and I have such deep feelings for these kids! Nobody told me it was going to be like this. It's both good and bad. I sometimes cry over silly stuff, and the fact that they're growing up way too fast for me is almost my undoing. I am having a hard time letting go and letting them experience things. I have never. EVER. Experienced feelings like this. And they just get stronger with every baby that God gives us. God is all wise and He knew that I needed to be a mama, even if I didn't know. He is my Help, and my soother.
That's all I can think of for now. I'm sure that's enough!! I'd like to read your better-and-worse posts!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

~~Silly girls. Kellie, 6 and Sofia, 3 act like themselves.

~~I'm waiting for everyone to get up and grace me with their presence.

~~ It's Sunday and Daddy's HOME! I don't have to wake him up this morning. He needs to catch up on his sleep and Sundays is the day he does it.

~~Read Balancing The Sword last night while we were eating. It was a good discussion of manna and trust.

~~Watched the Walton's last night after Bible time. Mama was nodding off and it was only 9 pm!

~~Lucie fell asleep on Daddy last night during family time. So cute.

~~Craving peaches and whipped cream right now.....weird.

~~Going to my folks' place tomorrow. Dave's off and we have lots of work to do to be able to move in this fall.

~~Going to try a new leave in hair conditioner. My hair can get dry and frizzy. Hope it helps. It's called Aussie Leave in and you spray it in and leave it.

~~I have things to list on eBay but every time I try to find the pics on Dave's Mac, I can't find them! Nothing is labeled very well on there, and I don't know if they're on the laptop......

~~I really want to have a more interesting blog, but as I said in the above sentence, I can't find any pictures to post! It's a confused jumble to me and I always have to go through hundreds of meaningless pictures to get to the ones I want.

~~I started taking iron supplements again yesterday. Ferrous Gluconate. I have very, very poor, very weak blood due to an iron storage problem. I think it's already helping!

~~We have a small pumpkin patch out below our front window, and Sofia, who's 3, came in the other day and said "Mama, dose punkpins are cute and soft". Couldn't have said it any better myself!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Words on Wednesday

I'm meditating today on poverty.....

The poverty-stricken soul.

Let me explain what this group of words mean to me.

I read this morning, in my devotional time, about the poor in spirit whom Jesus spoke of in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. My mind and spirit were opened up and I was enlightened to think on this concept in a new, fresh way. And so, I wanted to share with you who read my blog, for this is really the core reason why I blog.

I always thought that Jesus was addressing those who were poor in material possessions in this verse. I thought that those who were poor and needy Christians would receive the Kingdom of Heaven by virtue of their simple, utilitarian lifestyles, because, doesn't it make sense that, if you have less materially, as a Christian, then isn't it easier to be used by God? So went my immature, rather unenlightened reasoning....

Until the Lord caused my eyes to be opened to some truths that He wanted to show me.

Yes, the Lord was talking about the poor, but what did the word "poor" really mean? I wanted to know, so I went on a search.

I looked up Matthew 5:3 in my favorite online concordance and searched out the word "poor". What I found flummoxed me.

The word "poor" in the Greek language is "ptochos". These are the definitions for the word that my concordance gave:

1) reduced to beggary, begging, asking alms. 2) lowly, afflicted, destitute of the Christian virtues and eternal riches. 3) helpless, powerless to accomplish an end. 4) poor, needy. 5) lacking in everything as respects the spirit....

Helpless, powerless to accomplish an end.

"Poor" comes from the word "ptosso", which means "to crouch".

When I found out where the word "poor" came from, this verse made more sense to me than it ever has before.

To crouch. This brings to my mind an image of a beggar, hunkered down, hunched, dirty, bedraggled, at the end of himself as he crouches at the gates. Utterly forsaken by those around him, with nowhere else to go and completely out of options.

We must first recognize the utter poverty of our own souls before we can have any kind of true relationship with Him. We must first become like this beggar, because it is the poverty-stricken soul that comes crouching, hobbling, to the Gates of Heaven that is the soul most willing, most able, to be molded and shaped and used. It is this kind of soul that Jesus wishes for us to have.

Jesus Christ Himself tells us, in Luke 18:25, that indeed it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into Heaven. I know this verse speaks of the rich young ruler who had all he could ever want or desire materially, but to me, this verse speaks of a soul which has grown fat, lazy and lackadaisical.

And so, I pray that my soul would never grow like the rich young ruler who went away from Jesus that day sad and very troubled in his spirit! May we all be like the beggar, soiled, disarranged, out of order, running broken to Jesus, so that He can clean, arrange, and put into His order our souls.

Copyright 2009 by leeswords. Please do not reproduce these or any other copyrighted material from leeswords in any form or fashion without first obtaining permission from the author. Thank you.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tasty Tuesday

Here's a recipe I think you guys will really like.

I know, I said I was going to post regularly.

I also said I was going to post recipes regularly.

Well, I haven't.

I guess you could say my brain is constipated!

Anyway, let's get on with the recipe, shall we??

This is my favorite marinade. It's great on chicken especially. I like to grill the chicken on my family size Lean Mean Grilling Machine, or the outdoor grill....

Awesome Asian Marinade

1 C soy sauce
1/3 C brown sugar
1/4 C fresh lime juice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and squished
1/2 C white wine or zinfandel
2 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
4 Tbsp olive oil
6 chicken breasts or steaks.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl with tall sides. Whisk together well. Place meat into a resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over meat. This is best when the meat marinates overnight. Drain and discard marinade. Grill meat till done and juices run clear or till steaks are desired doneness.

I love to serve this with brown rice. Sometimes I save some of the marinade out before I pour it over the meat and warm it so that we can drizzle it over the rice.

Copyright 2005 leeswords

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stars

I sat at the fire last night
and looked up at the sky
in its night clothes,
and I,
with soft wonder,
never cease to marvel
at the magnificent display
of God's splendor.

I never grow tired
of setting my eyes upon
the Lord's handiwork,
everywhere in evidence,
diverse
a reflection of
the facets of Him.

The stars here
wink and glimmer
as a hundred fold gems
cast about
on the finest black velvet.
So many!
Uncountable!

I sigh,
I rest,
and I know
that I too am
His handiwork,

And though
I measure small
against the vast reaches
of endless sky.....

Use me
I know He can.
Want me
I know He does.
Love me
Oh yes!
More than
each star jewel

And I
here
feel small
no more.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mountains

If I always choose the easy way, asking God for peaceful valleys, will I ever see God's power displayed to enable me to take a mountain?

This question blindsided me from my morning devotion this morning. Hmmm....It wasn't phrased as a question. It was an all-out challenge, which I generally do not do well with. But this day the Lord has been asking me this allllllllllll day.

Scary.

I do pray for peaceful valleys and calm waters all the time. I don't like change, shakings, rough paths! I don't know HOW to mountain climb. I like comfort. Dare I say that I LIKE my complacency?

I've been feeling challenged by God lately. I sense that there is an event or series of events coming into our lives, and I feel woefully inadequate for them. I know I'm not perfect, not qualified, not able, not ready.....not, not, NOT......

The thing is is that He doesn't want me to be ready, or qualified, or perfect, or able!

WHAT???

The Lord spoke to me and showed me that I have this complex, which probably every one of my dear friends has known forever, and this complex is that I feel like I constantly have to be perfect and excellent and wonderful all the time. I have this driving need to be above and beyond perfect. The June Cleaver mom and wife.

And what is so great is that yesterday the Lord spoke to me and told me that He doesn't want me to be any of those things. He showed me that all of the Heroes of Faith in the Bible were just ordinary, every day people. Flawed people. Not perfect. Not leaders.

He chose them because they were surrendered to Him. God can work with people who are flawed and chipped and torn and inadequate!

What a revelation to this tired soul!

He WANTS me imperfect. He WANTS me inadequate. He wants me to not be perfectly equipped.....

So He can do all of those things in me! He wants to work those things in me!

My spirit leaps for joy!

I've always thought He can only use me if I do this and this and that and oh, do that and oh, one more thing, you have to have this and that and that.........whew!

I finally realize the lie that I have been laboring under all of these years, and I'm on the cusp of finding out how to be used by my Father just as I am!

What great news to a heart that wants so badly to be used by God!

So, I ask for mountains with the full knowledge that I don't have to know how to climb them, for He will show me how along the way! I'll be mountain climbing under a mantle of peace and protection, being born on angel's wings lest I dash my foot against a stone (Psalm 91)

I now try to glory in my weaknesses and my challenges, knowing that's right where He wants me so that He can use me!

I'm becoming free!


Friday, July 31, 2009

Always, Sometimes, Never.....

This is a fun idea for a post that I got from another gal I read frequently. I'm actually a lurker on her blog and I was lurking today and saw this post, so I decided to do it here!


I always.......

1) Say "Be careful" to Dave when he leaves for work in the mornings. Every. Single. Day. I seldom forget, but if I do, I always call him right away and tell him. A ritual. My day feels incomplete if I don't do this.

2) Put socks on my feet after my shower.

3) Pray together with my husband before work.

4) Have a cup of chamomile tea before bed. Double bag. Helps me sleep.

I sometimes......

1) Hose off out back in the hose, but it has to be REALLY hot, like 100 degrees or more, for me to do this. It was upwards of 105 earlier this week, and you can guess where I was!

2) Love fries and fry sauce from Nipp's. Has to be Nipp's sauce. YUM!

3) Call my husband during the day just to hear his voice. His voice restores evenness to what can be an off-kilter day.

4) Write in my journal. I love journaling and it ebbs and flows in my life. I've kept most of my journals in my hope chest for my girls. If I can help my kids make sense of God through my struggles and triumphs along my road, I'll be glad.

I never.....

1) Look at my wedding pictures. Most of them are just awful and it makes me wish so badly that we had spent the money on a good photographer. This is one of my regrets from my wedding and I do carry it to this day. I told my girls to please spend the money on a fabulous photographer. When I see other people's smashing wedding photos, I'm just sad.

2) Have watched myself give birth. Only reason: queasy stomach! The closest I came to seeing one of my babies being born is with Kellie, who's 6. She was breech and Dr W attempted to turn her three times. Yes, the third time was a charm, and he broke my water right away and sat me straight up in the bed, as though I was on a chair, so she couldn't turn again. He told us she could still turn breech till I was dilated to 5 cm. She was born and I looked down right after pushing her out and there she was! She was right between my legs and she was all blue......My nurse told me to take a deep breath, as she was still connected by the cord, and she pinked up!! It was pretty cool to see oxygen flow through my baby's body like that. Neat.

3) Never really liked alcoholic beverages. But I have had them in the form of beer (gag!) and a strawberry daquiri once in a pink moon. I prefer daquiris virgin.

4) Would get a tattoo.

Okay, consider yourself tagged if you're reading this! It was fun and I can't wait to read ya'lls posts!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Prove Me Now

"My child, I still have windows in Heaven. They are yet in service. The bolts slide as easily as of old. The hinges have not grown rusty. I would rather fling them open, and pour forth, than keep them shut and hold back. I opened them for Moses and the sea parted. I opened them for Joshua and Jordan rolled back. I opened them for Gideon and hosts fled. I will open them for you~if you will only let Me. On this side of the windows Heaven is the same rich storehouse as of old. The fountains and streams still overflow. The treasure rooms are still bursting with gifts. The lack is not on My side. It is on yours. I am waiting. Prove Me know. Fulfill the conditions on your part. Bring in the tithes. Give Me a chance."


From Streams in the Desert by Mrs. Charles E Cowman

Sunday, July 26, 2009

5 New Things I'm Loving Right Now

Laura had this idea up on her blog one day, and I decided to join in too!

Here are 5 new things I'm using that I now love:

1) Purely Decadent Ice Cream made with coconut milk. O my lands, people, this stuff is truly the best ice cream I have ever had, hands down. A little background info on me: I used to be an ice cream connoisseur, and ice cream was my favorite treat. Fast forward many years, and I found out I was lactose intolerant! You girls out there who love ice cream, imagine how you would feel if you found out that you couldn't eat ice cream anymore. Yep. That was me. So for the past four years I've had to abstain from ice cream and most dairy totally. I've tried Rice Dream. In a word, yuck. I'd never even consider soy. But I was happy and okay with my lack of ice cream. I was walking by the freezer in my favorite store when I spotted this stuff. I decided to try it and am soooo glad I did. A bit pricey at $5.39 a pint, but I hardly ever indulge, so it's worth it to me. Mint Chip is divine, so creamy and rich and minty, with a slight coconut blush at the finish, but they also have coconut and dark chocolate. You can bet your bippy that I'm going to try both flavors too!

2) Yogurt and coconut oil for my face. Crow's feet: gone. Smile lines: sayonara. Rough, dry skin: au revoir.

3) My new QuietSeries 200 Maytag Legacy Series dishwasher! Folks, we've been without a dishwasher for about a year. We're fixin' to rent out our house and we needed a dishwasher. I made my case for this one to The Mailman and won! Need I say more?

4) Another new household addition: my brand new Moen gooseneck water faucet in the kitchen. Nice.

5) Mesh feeders for Lucie made by Munchkin. I got these at Target after reading Kelly's Korner and seeing that she used these for Harper. Who says you can't teach an old mom new tricks? So I went out and bought some and oh, how Lucie loves to have bananas and watermelon in these babies! And how Mama loves the fact that there is no possible way she can choke on food anymore! I wish they had come out with these oh, about 14 years ago! The clean up is easy and the handle is also cushy so she can use it as a teether too. Love these!

There you have it, gals. Now go post lists of your own!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Recipe for Y'all

Okay, today is the Inaugural Day for my recipe posts!

I thought I'd give you some of my recipes that I've created. I love throwing together my own recipes. By posting them here, it will force me to think up some really catchy names for them! Try this one out and let me know how you like it!

Green Chili Toasts
These taste really great with taco soup!

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (don't use low fat or fat free, yuck!)
1 can chopped green chilis
2 tsps garlic powder, or 1 smashed garlic clove
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
Bread slices or round toasts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first 4 ingredients in small mixing bowl. Mix very well. You can adjust the garlic to your taste, but we like this with lots of garlic. Line a baking sheet with foil. Spread each piece of bread with a generous amount of the mayo mixture. Lay on baking sheet and bake in oven for about 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly.

Some side notes on this recipe:
This recipe was created on the fly when we were invited somewhere and I had nothing to bring. I looked in my pantry and found all of this stuff, threw it together, and was sure everyone would hate it! I was scared to tell anyone that I had made them! We took it to our gathering and everyone loved it. I came home with an empty plate, much to my utter surprise! I usually get the round bread slices on the day old bread rack at our Fred Meyer or Kroger. If you can't find round bread slices, just get a baguette and slice it yourself, or use French bread. Play around with the shredded cheese too. Pepper jack would be good if you were going to serve these with taco soup. Sharp cheddar is good if you were to serve these with wine.

Copyright 2006 leeswords

Monday, July 13, 2009

Poised

This is my Hannah.
She is poised on the brink of turning 12.
She is not a little girl anymore.
She is changing and maturing, metamorphosising into a tremendous young woman.

These facts confront me every day. It is not easy for me to raise an almost-12-year-old. I must raise her, as the firstborn girl in our family, with responsibility and confidence and grace, things which I was not raised with. I must shepherd her heart and shape it, without breaking it or hurting her. These things are of the utmost importance to me, and cannot be underestimated with this particular canvas that the Lord has given me.

Hannah was born confident. She has a natural grace.

I have to say, out of all my 6 daughters, she is the least like me.

I don't know how to raise her and shepherd her on my own.

But God, in His infinite wisdom, saw fit to give me this girl. He knew, in His sovereignty, who she would be. He wanted me to be her mom. I am continually astounded, humbled, and blessed, and yes, even afraid, that God would love me so much and trust me to participate in the rendering of this beautiful work in progress that is Hannah.

She is different from me in a myriad of ways. She has a large, generous heart. She is a natural athlete and excels in almost every sport she tries. She is an excellent natural artist, gifted by God. She loves the outdoors and she longs for the time when she can spend her time outside.

She is my right-hand girl......

I'm trying to walk with her down the road she is on right now. She is on the very cusp of womanhood. She is poised to enter in to the tremendous years of what is so right about being a young adult and being raised correctly....

But I still struggle. The simple fact that she is so different than me causes me no end of fear. Fear that I will crush her, fear that I can't bend, fear that the best of me won't be found in her....

And I crave a mentor, one who has walked where I walk. I pray for a mom who has successfully raised a daughter with the same principles we have. I know God hears my heart.....

So, I thank my Father every day for gifting me with this beautiful, wonderful gift whose laughter delights me and whose life I get the privilege to see unfold.

I remain humbled, in awe, astonished and amazed by....

My Hannah.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yams

Okay, I'm convinced!

I'm going out and getting some yams, sweet potatoes, whatever...

There's one problem: I've no idea how to eat them or cook them or what to do with them!!

I truly would love to have multiples, so.....

Help me out here and give me some good recipes and ways to eat yams!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

36 Random Facts About Me

I wanted to do something lighter today in the post department, so here are 36 things you never knew about me, regardless of whether you want to know them or not!!

1. I was born in Renton, WA, and lived in Ellensburg for a couple of years. We moved to CA when I was two.

2. I went to three different schools for 6th grade.

3. When we got to Castle Rock and I started going to school there in the 8th grade, I discovered that all of the things they were teaching I had already learned two years prior!

4. I used to have sandy blonde hair. For real!

5. Russell almost died when he was born. He was 5 weeks early and barely breathing when he was born, and the Life Flight was standing by in case they needed to take him to a better hospital. He spent two weeks in the NICU.

6. I love vinegar.

7. I do not like to kiss my husband after he has eaten.

8. I had heart surgery and surgery to repair herniated ovaries when I was 20 months old. I had a valve in my heart that wouldn't close. My mom tells me it was the scariest time in her life.

9. Due to the herniated ovaries mentioned in #8, the doctors told me there wasn't a big chance of me having kids. I love it when God confounds people who think they have all the answers!

10. I've never had a margarita in my life, nor a pina colada. Am I missing anything?

11. Dave's dad came to our church during a youth night. I was on the worship team that night and his dad looked up there and said to him, "you ought to ask that girl out."

12. I've been to Mexico on missions trips twice.

13. I've always wanted to be the singing voice of a character in an animated film.

14. I haven't dyed my hair in about 6 years.

15. I do not play any musical instruments and think that people who are talented musicians are totally gifted by God.

16. I'm not good at baking pies, or any dessert, for that matter. It's something I need to work on, as I live in a family which loves and thrives on goodies.

17. I never went to college.

18. I've always wanted to write a book.

19. I accepted the Lord into my heart when I was 13 years old.

20. I had never seen snow and didn't even know what it was before moving to WA.

21. I'm the first girl my husband ever kissed. Let me tell you, the first time he ever kissed me I saw stars and fireworks and thought I was having an out-of-body experience! It was and continues to be the best kissing I've ever had!!!!!!

22. I've been told that I have someone who looks like me running around in my town. I've never seen this person.

23. I'm the middle child of three, and I have two brothers, one of which I was separated from when he was 16 months old. Our mom and dad divorced and our dad took him with him. He is 16 months younger than me and we did not get to grow up together.

24. My two oldest daughters are also 16 months apart.

25. Are you tired of this yet???

26. I love to do dishes.

27. I love pencils, paper, index cards, stationery, nice journals......

28. The only reason I looked forward to the start of each new school year was because I'd get new paper and school supplies!!

29. I am terrible, terrible, terrible at math and always have been, since like kindergarten.

30. I still have all of my wisdom teeth.

31. I hate the taste of beer but drink it occasionally to up my milk supply. Beer is made with hops which, stimulate milk production in lactating mothers.

32. I pray a lot that God would bless us with twins.

33. Strawberries are my favorite fruit.

34. I hate wire hangers!

35. I hate boxes of any kind. Crackers, chips, baking goods, they all go in containers as soon as they pass my threshold. I'm a container gal!

36. I hardly ever chew gum, but my favorite gum is Trident Bubble Gum flavor.

If you've read this far, you really are true friends! Thanks for hanging in there with me. Now you know tons of useless facts about me!