Wednesday, February 29, 2012

a new magazine

I have been blog friends with Amanda Blake Soule over at her blog Soulemama for several  years now.  Long enough to congratulate her family when three our of five of her children have been welcomed into this world, support her through her publishing two books, a move to their dream farm and now so excitedly unveiling a magazine.

"Taproot  is a collection of curated stories written by and for people living fully and digging deeper; people who are interested in deepening their connections to their families, communities, and themselves as they strive to live locally and closer to the ground. In all the very different ways that manifests from family to family and home to home, at taproot, we hope to find the connecting thread that binds us together.  Right now it is available for a "founders subscription" for $25 a year or $47 for two years. Go take a peek, I think you will be happy that you did." Amanda Blake Soule

Happy Wednesday to you! We are gearing up for piano and drum lessons and later Youth Church (Generation Impact) and cleaning, schooling and cooking in between.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Hello Monday :: coffee with the girls

There was confusion about meeting up with a friend for coffee and a phone call saying we will need to postpone. My girls overheard and said "coffee date!"

They brought their Kindle Fires and I brought my gardening book.

Mugs of hot decaf with french vanilla creamer, adorable company and wifi. ;o)

Great start to a day


Happy Monday to You!

Friday, February 24, 2012

This Moment :: one of my treasures

~ :: this moment :: ~

a Friday ritual, a single photo, no words, a moment I want to pause and remember from this week.

For more "this moments" head over to SouleMama

Hope your day is great!


Thursday, February 23, 2012

agape :: quilts & casseroles

while building the fire this morning i read an article in the newspaper about four neighbors who make quilts for people who are very ill. it all started with one of the ladies being very ill in the hospital for 5 weeks. She said that even though she felt surrounded by people she still felt alone because none of them shared her illness. She wanted to do something to help others feel cared for and started sewing the quilts, soon she was joined by her neighbors too.

i think this is how all great things person has an experience and doesnt want others to experience it so they do something. like me and the playtoys at the apartment building after living in some areas like it when I was a child.

last night at Youth Church we celebrated our Associate Pastor's birthday that is today. He does amazing things to support the youth in our church and runs the AWANA program and much more. we wanted to bless him.
Everyone knows that youth have no money so the gift was small, but the card was large. posterboard sized large. wink. we could have tried to get together a card and big present and stressed out about it because we thought it needed to be perfect. we didnt...we did what we could and he was blessed.

things dont need to be perfect to bless others...we need to remember that.
Southern Living Mag image

while making my family dinner I also made two smaller dinners of the casserole. at first I thought "why am I doing this? It isnt very much." That is where we go wrong when we do things. We think we have to do great things to bless others. both recipients of the small casseroles loved them.

So....we need to stop thinking that things have to be big or perfect before we can do something right?
we do out of love and it is enough.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hello Monday

cold misty rain morning
quiet house & dirty dishes
a whole day with my kiddos

planning a nourishing comfort food day after a busy weekend
hot cup of coffee with coconut milk and french vanilla creamer
eggs fresh from the chicken coop

What are you saying hello to this fine day?

Friday, February 17, 2012

This Moment ~ Hannah tracking a raccoon

~ :: this moment :: ~

a Friday ritual, a single photo, no words, a moment I want to pause and remember from this week.

For more "this moments" head over to SouleMama

Hope your day is great!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

agape :: soup

agape...strange word right?
the meaning described over at Wikipedia is: the term necessarily extends to the love of one’s fellow man

about a month ago I heard about a book called One Thousand Gifts

To sum it up it is about finding things to be thankful in your everyday. 
*the sun streaming across the floor
*children laughing in the other room
*hot soup for dinner

to be thankful causes something to rise up in us to ward off the criticism, hopelessness, apathy and other emotions that many feel.

I have been giving thankfulness a lot of thought. Are people ungrateful on purpose or has our society just forgotten how to be thankful? In our busy strive-for-it society can people really slow down and give thanks for the small everyday things?

I didn't a few years ago. I was too worried about how I was going to pay my bills and the emotional wellness of my children after the divorce of their dad and I. Well, I did find a journal recently that had a few pages of things I was thankful for from that time period recently. I guess I was never good at journaling anyhow. ~wink

In looking back though I can see a shift since that time-frame. As life multiplied one hundred-fold in busyness for me as a single mother I had to slow down somehow. Taking notice of things and being grateful does slows down time and all the worries fade. It helps a momma to be present with her children when so many other things pull her thoughts all day and night. Bringing ourselves to the very moment we are in is a huge gift to us and others around us.

The next step for me since I have learned how to walk in thankfulness is to reach out to others. I am still a single parent, but don't stigmatize me. Even single parents can help others. ~wink

A way that my family has given out for a long time is when we make a pot of soup we always take a hot bowl to a neighbor. When I first started doing it, it was a little awkward feeling. Now it just feels like breathing. In our society where it is full of hustle and bustle and is not so personal anymore a hot bowl of soup delivered just because really touches hearts. How can we know how that neighbor's day has went? I have found after delivering bowl after bowl that it is always right when needed most.

soup doesn't only nourish the comforts the soul.

God says that we can test Him and see that He is good. I haven't tested Him, but I have watched. We cannot out-give His goodness for us. Cannot.

Hope your day is full of thankfulness and peace.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

:: right now ::

Two sheet tents in the living room with two little girls in them.

chicken breast sizzling on the stovetop in the kitchen

hot coffee creamed up with coconut milk in a mug next to me

teen daughter yelling her goodbyes as she is leaving the house

sweet yellow dog laying at my feet

:: later ::

music lessons today for four kids from a sweet lady

dishes clean in the cupboards

finding out more information about graduating with my B.A. degree this June

moving more dirt to the garden

painting more kilz on old sills -- weeeeeeee! love freshly painted windowsills

walking outside and smelling the springlike air with my children

heading in town to hang out with some super cool kids at our youth church Generation Impact (GI)



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day...
the day of love.

ways to show love are immeasurable::

smile at a stranger
give a kind response when it is difficult
clean up after yourself (that is a momma's wish!)
write a note of sweetness to someone you appreciate
pray for others

love yourself


Monday, February 13, 2012

breakfast and sharpening knifes

On her last visit my momma taught me an easy way to sharpen a straight-edged knife...
go to your cupboard take out a coffee cup or another ceramic dish that has a raised edge at the bottom of it where isn't any glazing...
put a little water on it and run the edge of one of the sides of the knife blade pulling it toward you several times...
flip the knife blade over and run that side pushing away from you.

tada! sharp knife :o)

Can ya tell I ate steak and sunny side up eggs this a.m? yum! and with a sharp knife too :o)

I found that I would rather buy a roast and cut thin breakfast steaks from it than yo pay for it to be cut packaged that way by someone else. love saving money!

And the eggs...the girls (chickens) are picking up speed with eggs being laid. Loving not having to add eggs to the grocery list anymore. We are getting enough to last a day at this point for our breakfasts. I am sure that Zack would love full production for his egg salad sandwiches though. hehe


Hope your day is a GREAT one!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

dreaming of spring

The day before last was sunny and spring-like. I fed the horse some baby carrots for a treat in my morning chores and headed to the chicken coop to let them out of their house. Owen the cat called to me to lay down in the warm grass and scratch his tubby tummy and who am I to object? wink

After laying down with Owen on the grass carpet, I realized then that it had been way too long since I have taken a moment. A moment to just breath and watch around me.

Chickens scratching in their yard.
Blue Jays cawing at them to share their food.
Chickadees flitting from tree to tree and
cloud wisps drifting lazily across the sky with no me at that moment.

I scratched the tubby tummy of Owen and continued on to see what other wonders were about. I took a walk through the wintered-over garden. Walking about pulling up tomato stakes and small branches that were used to stake out peas. Taking a good hard look at this garden that is about ready to head into only its second year .... and with so many expectations from me for it.

I dug around for a bit and then talked to my oldest daughter on the phone for a bit. Sophie and Hannah joined me and seeing me hoeing at the ground said that they would like a try in their own sections. short-lived and comical was the 3 or 4 passes that they made with the hoe. very comical.

Zack saw me struggling to free rhubarb out of a tire that had grown too small for it and came to my rescue. Some of the roots were around 3 inches in diameter and were all intertwined. I would say its time to transplant don't you?

The dreaming of what goes where in the garden has begun! It's time to pull out the heirloom seed catalog again and order the seeds that I circled in the cold, dark winter days.

Are you dreaming of Spring?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

labor of love

Evidence below of part of my absence for so many months. My beloved home had a transformation. I loved it before it's make-over, but now....oh the happiness and gratitude I feel every time I drive up. I call the color "God's Glory" because that is what it reminds me of...all warm, regal, a shining reminder of His power, faithfulness and love.

I like t think that Lewis and Carol who lovingly tended this home and its property for many, many years would love the changes too. Enjoy your tour and see ya at the end ;o)

The house was an incredible amount of work and decisions in the midst of it. Did you know that decisions reduce your glucose levels? Really, I have been learning about that in college. When people were in studies and had to make decisions that were hard and took willpower then it left them with less willpower to make other choices or handle stress after it. hmmmmm...explains a lot for me. hehe

It was a joy to work with Miller Tile and Construction though. Don Sr and Don Jr are quite the all around awesome contractors and wonderful around family living. No questionable language or attitudes coming from these guys. We miss them around here.

USDA (my loan holders) said the whole exterior had to come off and so it did. phew! Much of the pilings (upright beams) under the house had to be replaced, new electric panel, some new wiring, rock and topsoil shoveled around the whole exterior of the house and on and on.

I am still reminding myself that it is done and I can r.e.s.t.

I love it! When weather warms up a little and I have the inside a bit more organized then I am going to finish up the kitchen. Building an island, laying tiles and making cabinet doors and drawers and painting cabinets that are already here.

the labor of love huh?