Sunday, March 31, 2013


Did you see that I did a bit of "blogcleaning" around here??

The truth is, I've been wanting to change my background for a very long time, but I didn't know how to do it.  Well, today, Easter Sunday, I decided I was going to figure it out.  So, I set out to do that very thing.

And I did it!

I wanted something lighter and cleaner and cheerful.  I wanted something that would make me smile every time I saw it.  I love trees and I love mushrooms and birdies, so here we are!

It was relatively simple for me and I was so proud of myself for actually figuring out how to do it.  In the past, because I couldn't figure out which gadget to click, my oldest daughter took care of it for me....but I wanted to do it myself this time.

You are probably out there laughing loudly at me for not knowing how to do that.....that's okay.

Now the thing about the background thing is....

Will I remember how to change it the next time I want a new look??

We'll see!

Friday, March 29, 2013


Mellow brown horses
contentedly cropping
sweet, emerald
new spring grass
above it all
the sun,
wrapped in
tender, faded blue
gentle peach
smilingly low
on the horizon.
As the glow
lights to liquid gold
shy, blushing pink,
twilight comes
glad peace
settles over the valley.

leeswords ©2013 

Friday, March 22, 2013


This post is for Erin.  She's my good friend and she wants to know how my husband and I made the decision to have a Big Family.  She was worried that it was too personal of a topic, but it isn't!! And although Erin asked the question, this post is for any of my readers who are curious.  I do use the pronoun "you" frequently, but be assured, I'm speaking to myself here too!! So, in this post I will do my very best to shed light on how our Big Family came about.

I met Dave when I was 15 and he was 20.  We met at church, at youth group where I was heavily involved and he was sort of doing an internship, I guess you could call it youth counseling.  I had noticed him because he played on the worship team and I sang on the worship team, and his playing was just sublime.  It was unique and profound and eloquent.  Oh, and he's really tall and smokin' sexy and his voice was deep and rich and.....and that's another thing that got my attention!

Let's make a long story short, shall we? Besides, this is not a post about how I met my husband!

Fast forward 5 years: Husband and I were now married.  Let it be known that, unbeknownst to me, when my husband was a little boy, he just knew he wanted to have twelve children.  No, that is not a typo and yes, you read that right!! He always wanted to have a Big Family.

I, on the other hand, was sure I was not going to ever get married.  I hated kids and hated babysitting and I wanted to be a Career Woman.  I wanted to get dressed up every morning in nice clothes and do my makeup and go to the office and have a Career.


I became a Christian when I was 13, and two years later I met Dave.

Having kids was not something Husband and I talked about ever during our long dating relationship.  We actually never talked about it, not even when we became engaged or got married.  I never knew that he longed for a Big Family until many years into our marriage. That was probably good, because I probably would have run the other way if I had known about his desires to have a Big Family!! 

I really had no idea what a Big Family looked like.  I was raised by my mother as an only child.  I have a brother who is two years older than me, but we were never close and he hated my guts, so I felt like a loner in the siblings department, and I had never known any Big Families in my younger years.

We really started talking about it when I got pregnant with Samantha when Hannah was 6 months old.  I had been put on the "mini pill" because I was nursing and couldn't take the regular birth control pill.  I immediately began to have severe migraine headaches and, even though I was nursing around the clock, every two hours, I got pregnant.  Let me just say that Around The Clock Nursing is NOT a reliable form of family planning!

In my spare time I had been hearing about how birth control was actually an abortifacient and actually caused your body to abort any fertilized egg that implanted in the lining of your uterus.  Now, I'm passionately pro-life-no-matter-what, and this really trashed me.  We immediately made the decision to not go back on the pill after Samantha was born.

So, how were we going to "space out" our children? How many kids was I willing to "put up with"? I started seriously thinking about these things, and also, a verse in the Bible "magically" came to my attention: 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and lean not on your own understanding,
But in all your ways acknowledge Him
and He will direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

I would read this and not really understand it.  Then one day a friend said to me, "Are you really, in every single area of your life, are you really trusting in the Lord?? Are you really surrendering everything to Him?" And I had to say I wasn't.  

I have to say here that thus far in my marriage, I had never heard or read about "quiver full" or trusting the Lord with the size and spacing of my family.  I had never met any big families thus far, but I was agonizing over this "fertility" thing! It was driving me nuts!

After I talked to that friend, I shared with my husband what she said.  I think he had secretly been praying for me through the years, since, by the time Samantha was born we had been married for 5 years.  

My husband knew that God was the author of families and that He filled the womb and my husband always has intrinsically trusted the Lord in every area of his life.  He had good examples of trust and faith and so, it wasn't hard for him.  He had always wanted to live in a Big Family.  He just thought that would be fun, and so, it's what was on his heart.  

So, that's when we really started asking God to choose our family size and the spacing between our children. But still, let me say, I didn't think I could handle twelve children!!

Samantha was 2 when I found that I was pregnant with Sara.  At this point in our marriage, we had sold our first tiny little 800 square foot house that we had lived in since the day after our wedding, and we had moved into a 700 square foot duplex in order to pay off our remaining debt. Let's see: 4 small kids in a two bedroom duplex?  Ummm.  Yep.

We lived in this duplex and it was filthy and gross and small and ugly and rotten and here I am, pregnant with Baby #4 and I'm thinking, how is this going to work?? In retrospect, I ought not to have worried! God had it all written out and I just couldn't see it!

So, I had Sara and when she was 4 weeks old, we saw the house we're now living in and it just happened to have been for sale at the time.  We moved in when Sara was 5 weeks old.

I guess I said all of that to say that trusting the Lord with every single area of your life means trusting Him with your womb too.  It means trusting Him with your thoughts on how many kids you want and how far apart you want them. Trusting the Lord in this area means asking, "how many kids do YOU want us to have, Lord? And how far apart do YOU want them to be?" It means being surrendered to Him, because it is not your will but His.  This took me many, many years to learn.  I still struggle with it.  But it really comes down to being fully His.  

Trusting the Lord with your fertility is very scary, I'm not going to lie.  It is a slippery slope of giving it to Him and then taking it from Him according to how you feel on any given day.  But if we really want to live as He wants us to, we must trust Him in this area.  

I have realized, this far into the game, that if you surrender your womb to Him, He already has a plan for it.  He already has your family and what it looks like mapped out, from the foundations of the world.  Just because you trust Him in this area does not mean that your progeny are going to be as prolific as rabbits.  Trusting Him with your fertility does not mean you are automatically going to be the next Duggar Family Look-Alikes.

Trusting the Lord with your family size simply says:

"Lord, not my will, but Thine."

I know you are probably thinking that you can't handle any more kids or that you are going crazy with the howevermanyyouhaverightnow.....But let me ask you a question: does His grace only extend to certain areas of your lives? Is His strength only good for such-and-such a situation? Does His provision only cover certain things??

Dear one, please believe me, these are all questions and thoughts that I struggle with, day to day! I am not exempt from these thoughts and cares and tug-of-war with the Lord.  

To me, trust looks like surrender for each moment.  If you take this area back from Him one moment, then give it back to Him the next moment, throughout your day.  Surrender is baby steps, I think.  At least it is for me! Whenever I struggle with freaking out about being-pregnant-getting-pregnant-oh-no-I'm-not-pregnant-this-month, I sit down and say:

"Lord, not my will, but Thine."

And I have to do this often.  I've lost count of how many times I've had this conversation with the Lord!

To summarize, my husband does not struggle in this area.  He still wants twelve....and we actually have 14, only they're not here with us physically. We take it month by month.  I have to be brutally honest here and say that my last miscarriage in November really brought me low.  But I have to remember, and I have to say, and I repeat it like a mantra during the deep valley days:

"Lord, not my will, but Thine."

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Hey, I just want to say thanks to those of you who faithfully read my blog. I really, really appreciate you so much.  I've "met" some good blogfriends and I'm so grateful that I started blogging, just for that!

I haven't been posting lately, but not for lack of nothing to talk about! I have lots going around in my head, but the question is:

What do YOU want to read about??

If you could leave me a comment telling me what you want to see on the blog or ask me a question or whatever, I'd appreciate it!!

And, Thanks again!!

Friday, March 15, 2013


I wanted to share one of my favorite blogs with you!

Her name is Bambi, and her blog is called "In The Nursery of the Nation".

I've been reading her blog for about a year, and it is so good!

I love it because she challenges.

She's funny.

She has a big family too, and she isn't poor, unfortunate, broken down, used up, wasted, discontent, or a passive participant in her "lot in life".

She's recently been doing a series on large families and some really, really great posts that answer a lot of questions you may have about large families and God's plan and I love it because she bases everything she says out of the pages of Scripture.

One of my most favorite posts she's done lately is "When Mama is Eeyore".


She nailed my toes on this one!

But you know what?? My favorite thing about her is that she is very plain spoken.  She tells it like it is.  She tells the truth, and most of the time, the truth is hard to sugar coat or gloss over!


A lot of her posts remind me that we are to "admonish one another".

This is a very unpopular concept these days in the modern, contemporary church....

But we are, so many times, exhorted to do this in the pages of Scripture.

Here are just a few verses: 

James 5:19
Colossians 3:16
Romans 15:14
Acts 20:31
2 Thessalonians 3:11-15, 5:12-14
Galatians 2:11
2 Timothy 3:16

And, when I did a search online about admonishing one another, this article came up.  I have never seen this site before, but I agree wholeheartedly with this Biblical definition and layout of the concept of admonishment: The Bible Way Online.  Keep in mind that I have never seen the site before but the wisdom found in this article is totally sound and based entirely on Scripture, and  if one sticks to that model, you can never go wrong!

So, go over to Bambi's blog and spend some time reading her marvelous insight!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

40 Things

Just for pure frivolity and fun, here are 40 things that nobody knows about me:

1. I have never been on a roller coaster in my entire life.
2. I have never tried whiskey.
3. I hate corn.
4. I am terrified of going to the dentist.
5. I had serious heart and hernia repair surgery in Seattle when I was 2.
6. I can speak some French
7. I can speak some Spanish.
8. I have never played a musical instrument in my life.
9. I would love to have twins again.
10. I adore my wedding ring set and would be devastated without it.
11. I hate talking on the phone.
12. I struggle with shyness.
13. I do not have a cell phone.
14. I have a small collection of cookbooks that I never use.
15. I love to iron.
16. I am seriously inconsistent.
17. I struggle deeply with laziness.
18. I love to bowl but am rotten, really rotten, at it.
19. I used to wear bifocal glasses. I have neither contacts nor glasses today.
20. I want to take road trips with my family so badly.
21. I despise and cannot tolerate jello or pudding.
22. Loud chewing grosses me out.
23. I adore trees.
24. I think the beach and the Pacific ocean runs in my veins.
25. I have freckles.
26. I have perfect teeth.
27. I've never had braces.
28. I've never had a filling.
29. I have horrendous stretch marks on my tummy.
30. The stretch marks appeared when I was pregnant with twins. I call them "cradle marks" because they look like they cradled my girls.
31. I let my children jump on our old, gross, ugly and broken down couch.
32. I love the show MacGyver. Yes, THAT MacGyver!
33. I hate modern TV shows.
34. I am terrified of escalators.
35. I despise computer and video games.
36. I love Pottery Barn.
37. Fudge is one of my favorite things.
38. I have never watched myself have a baby.
39. I am not an organized, perfect, know-it-all Mama.
40. Having lots of kids is SO not as hard as everyone thinks it is!

Friday, March 8, 2013

More Face

Here's another post about what I do for my face, to make it feel comfortable.  

With as dry of skin as I have, it often used to feel very uncomfortable and tight and flaky and soak up every available drop of moisture.  

I have tried so, so many cleansers and moisturizers on the market that target dry skin, from cheap to expensive, to no avail.  They never delivered on their grand claims that 'this one' was just like a drink of water, or 'this one' would keep my face hydrated all day, or 'this one' would take care of all that dry skin.

Until two years ago!

Two years ago, my dreams came true!

Two years ago, at the end of the line when it came to my face, I discovered:


Yes to Carrots Cream Cleanser!

It really, really does do what it says.  It removes my eye makeup, yet it's gentle.  It's rich and thick and so hydrating.  Contrary to the name, it doesn't smell like carrots at all.  It has a nice smell, and the fragrance doesn't bother my skin.  This stuff is a miracle in a tube!! And if I use it every single day, the large tube lasts for at least 6 months.  I think it was no more than $14.

I also discovered: 

Yes to Carrots Daily Moisturizing Cream.

Oh, it's truly a drink of water for my thirsty skin! It really does moisturize my skin.  It actually delivers moisture all day! I don't use foundation, but I do use Bare Minerals face powder and it can be drying, but on top of this moisturizer, my skin doesn't get dry at all anymore.  It's a thick moisturizer meant for those with dry skin.  I've been using it for two years now and I just simply won't use anything else.  It's so good for my skin too, since there isn't anything funky or weird or harmful in these products.  The moisturizer cream is usually around $10 and lasts for over 6 months also, since you only have to use a tiny bit because it's so rich and creamy.

A little extra tip for you:

Sometimes, if my skin feels really, really dry and tight, I get a tablespoon of brown sugar and mix it a bit with my cleanser. I don't mix it to much or to vigorously, as I don't want the brown sugar crystals to dissolve before I use it on my face.  I scrub my face with the brown sugar/carrots cleanser and it does wonders to remove the dead skin and roughness! I can't even calculate how much money this has saved me on buying expensive scrubs and sloughers! And I can't even calculate how much this costs, because what does a tablespoon of brown sugar cost?? 

So now you can see some more of what I do for my skin.  I actually ran into an old friend from over 20 years ago whom I used to work with, and she said she couldn't believe how well my skin looked for my age! She said I didn't even have any wrinkles!! She said I looked great.  And gals, let me tell you a bit of a secret: I haven't used sunscreen for more than 25 years!!!  I don't have fair skin at all, it's more of a light tan/ peachy color.......And she said my skin looked great......bless her heart!!

What cleansing and moisturizing products do you love??

Monday, March 4, 2013


Today I'd like to share with you a cheap, easy way to help your face look its best.

Let the record show that I have very, very dry skin and often my skin looks dull and bored because it's so dry and there is often a build up of dead skin on my face.  

I've tried a lot of store-bought, prepared remedies for my skin, to no avail, and I was frustrated with their lack of deliverance on their claim to help my dry, dead skin. I hated how they all made my face feel, and I didn't like the cocktail of ingredients in them.  I always ended up with burning, itching, red skin.  And the price tags on most of them were way too expensive!

So one day, in desperation, and because it was a really hot day that day, I took the plain yogurt out of the fridge and slathered it all over my face and neck.

Before you think I am going mad, let me tell you that I had read the ingredients on the face preparations that I had used in the past and they all had one common ingredient: synthetic lactic acid.

Plain yogurt has an enormously high content of naturally occurring lactic acid.

I had read that lactic acid really helps gently eat up dead and dull skin.

I pulled my hair up into a clip and pinned my bangs back and then slathered a couple of generous tablespoons of Nancy's Honey Yogurt on my face and neck.  I was very, very liberal.  I even put it in my eyelids and got some in my eyes.  I just used my fingers.  There was no special tool I had to buy to apply the yogurt.

I made sure my whole face and neck were all white with the yogurt.  I left it on for at least 15 minutes.  My face got a bit tight as the yogurt dried.  Because my skin is so dry, by the time 15 minutes was up and the yogurt was all dry, I could see almost no visible yogurt on my face.

I washed the yogurt off with a wash rag and some warm water. Then I moisturized with my favorite face cream.

When I looked in the mirror after washing it all off, my face seriously looked brighter.  It felt soft as a baby's bum.  Seriously, my skin looked new.

And now I use the yogurt mask at least twice or three times a month.  There are no safety precautions because it's natural. It won't hurt your skin or sting it or make it itch or burn or turn red.  It isn't harsh or harmful at all.  

I only use Nancy's yogurt, and I buy the large 64 oz container for less than $6.  The only ingredients in it are milk, nonfat dry milk and honey.  Nancy's is made in Springfield, Oregon, at Springfield Creamery, which is not a super long way from me. I've tried other, cheaper yogurts and they just don't work as well or feel as good as Nancy's.

As an added bonus, God created honey to be a natural anti-bacterial, and it's also a natural moisture giver for your skin.

This treatment feels so wonderful on a really hot day in the summer.  If you live in an area which is very hot or humid in the summer, then I would recommend this facial mask for you.

So there you have it, my less-than-$6 facial!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Here's a small look at what I'm currently, right this minute, doing:

Drinking: I'm currently drinking a glass of water.  I know, you waited and waited for a new post from me, just to learn that!!

Listening to: I'm currently listening to the sounds of my girls stirring in their beds, waking up. I can hear Russell, sleeping heavily, even at this hour.  I can hear the fan in my room that creates soothing, white noise so that Pennie sleeps better.  I'll be waking everyone up pretty soon to get ready for church.

Wanting: I'm currently wanting all of the cute little Gymboree outfits for Pennie, who currently has almost NO clothing, on my eBay Watch List.  eBay is the place where I have gotten almost all of my Gymboree outfits.  I'm kind of a Gymboree freak, and I like outfits.  I'm currently starting to match Lucie and Pennie's outfits, just because I think it is absolutely adorable! I'm also wanting to go back to Tar-jay for another shopping trip because I absolutely LOVE their everyday cardigans and their everyday V-neck shirts.

Looking forward to: I'm currently looking forward to my husband's day off on Thursday, so we can go to the Big City and get some stuff we've had our eye on for quite some time now.  Whether it will be a Whole Family Trip or a Date Trip, we will see.....I'm SO excited, either way!!

Reading: Okay, my son recently started reading Clive Cussler books.  He writes spy novels with the same main character.  When I read the first two books, I was hooked and thought he was a fabulous author.  But now, on my third book, I'm starting to not want to read him anymore.  I'm really strict about what I read, according to 'whatever is pure, noble, true, just, excellent, praiseworthy, virtuous and lovely....' and I'm becoming more strict as I begin to understand more what this verse means.  I want to honor the Lord in everything I do, so I'm kind of leaning away from Clive Cussler. In addition, I'm also reading "So Much More" by Anna-Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin.  It's a book for young ladies about Biblical ways to conduct yourself and I try to read a chapter to the girls every night.  Also, Lucie, Pennie and I are currently loving "Little Blue Truck" books by Alice Schertle and "Walter the Baker" by...hmm...I can't find the book and I forgot the author!! 

Watching: As a family, we're currently trying to watch a documentary called "World War Two in HD".  With just the girls in the family, we just got done with BBC's "Wives and Daughters", which we girls absolutely LOVED! 

Feeling: I'm currently feeling glad that it's Sunday and we get an entire day to relax with Daddy.  I'm wondering if I'll be staying home from church with Sofia today due to a bad cold that's just now easing its hold on her. 

Hoping: I'm currently hoping and praying for a couple of dear friends who are pregnant, one who is 5 months and one who just found out, who have experienced much loss in their pregnancy journeys.  I'm hoping that God sees fit to allow these babies to live in their parents' arms.  I'm also hoping that we may someday be blessed with another baby too.

So there you have it! All of the "currentlies" in my life! Now it's your turn! What are you currently doing?