Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Last days of Summer

It is hard to believe that tomorrow is the LAST day of August. Seriously, where has the time gone? Before we know it, it will be FALL! That is one of my most favorite seasons. Of course, living here in Arizona, I have had to adjust my ideals about fall. We don't cool down here during the day until close to the end of October. Our nights cool off and mornings a little earlier, but the days are still warm. We run our cooler until the end of October, sometimes into November. And the leaf color isn't as amazing. The best we get is yellow. But, I still love fall.
Yesterday the girls were desperate to climb a tree. So desperate times call for desperate measures....
I noticed that they were having difficulty getting up, so I suggested they grab the step stool over at the trampoline, and try to get up the tree that way. They took my advice.....
 Here is Miss Angel Cake, the only one to get up in the tree. She is truly the monkey around here. I just love this picture of her!
Our now one year old!
Strawberry Shortcake, and all her 7 years and missing two front teeth!

 Boys.....are they ever clean? Do they ever stay clean? Not around here!
 Gingersnap giving up on trying to climb the tree!
 See all those mosquito bites? They are brutal this time of year! She decided to give it one more shot!
 Now big sister is going to try!
 She decided she'd rather pose for a picture with baby brother!
 This is Huckleberry's favorite thing to do right now. Sit on the trike and go backwards, or get up and push it around. He will push this trike around, but trying to take any steps on his own? Forget about it!
 Sigh....these days are going by too fast. My heart is slowly breaking.....
Yet, what joy they bring all at the same time!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another week done

It feels like time is just flying by around here.  This past week has been extra busy. But, I did finish reading One Thousand Gifts. I have already ordered my very own copy so I can highlight and mark it up and reread it to my heart's content. So good. And I am adding to my list daily. It's been so neat to slow down and be aware. To be watching for the gifts. They are always there, just waiting for our eyes to open up and see them and enjoy them. Here are my next ten.....

25. watching the storm move across the valley
26. skype
27. ice cream
28. laying down after a long day
29. quiet
30. children sleeping
31. clean skin on clean sheets
32. girls singing to their Savior
33. determined one year old
34. planting flowers
35. extra chocolate brownies

This is just a little glimpse into my last week. It feels as though monsoon might be wrapping up. I hope not, but the air feels drier and there aren't as many clouds. But we are trusting God to provide for our harvest. We do have irrigation, but the extra rain is always a blessing, it means smaller pumping costs! School will be starting up full force here soon. I am trying to declutter and simplify our routines so I won't feel quite so overwhelmed! Especially with a toddler on the loose! Life is constantly changing, moving. At times it makes me sad because our kids are growing up way too fast. But on the other hand, I am learning to slow down, to enjoy this time, savor it, and look forward to each new milestone, praying ultimately that they will desire to walk with their Father all the days of their lives. Hope you all have a blessed day!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whimsical Wednesday....

For today......Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Outside my window.....the sun has risen, covering the mountains with a hazy glow. Distant thunder to the southwest, grass extra dewy from a rain we received last night.

I am thinking.....how good my coffee tastes this morning, how much I have to do today.

I am thankful for....a little boy pushing a tractor around on the floor, making "vroom" noises, all the corn I have to cut this morning, a freezer I need to reorganize to make room for it all, sleeping girls back the hall, a hardworkin' man.

From the learning room.....going to cut squares today to teach the girls how to make nine patch pillows

From the kitchen....roast in the crockpot, going to be cutting corn most of the morning

I am reading..... "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp, and starting "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, and am halfway through "Lies Women Believe" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Good stuff.

I am hoping....to get it all done today with a cheerful, loving, kind, patient attitude!

I am hearing....water boiling on the stove, worship music on the computer, a hungry little boy pulling at my dress!

Around the house....I need to vacuum, pick up a gallon of milk to feed our two new hungry kittens, finish mowing, wash my floors....shall I go on? :)

One of my favorite things.....my growing list of 1000 gifts that I started keeping. You should try it. It will instill an ever present attitude of thankfulness.

A few plans for the rest of the week.....cleaning, laundry, schooling, and just LIVING!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing....

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The other evening we lost power. Our lights went off about 7:30. There was a big storm to the west of us. Unfortunately, we never received any rain, but we did enjoy a quiet, simple evening with the kids. At first the kids couldn't understand why we still couldn't watch television, turn on a light, or play on the computer. During these times you realize how co-dependent you have become on technology to "entertain" you. It was actually quite freeing, to just have nothing to do, no other option, but to sit and listen. It's amazing how quiet it is, especially in the country, when there is no humming of electronics in the background. No swamp cooler blowing cool air, no refrigerator running, no dishwasher, nothing. We sat by candlelight, talking, teaching the girls our favorite old hymns. They formed an impromptu band, playing guitar, drums, maracas, and tambourine. We put them to bed by candlelight, whispered prayers, gave kisses, and went back to sit in the quiet. Our windows were open for air flow, and we just sat in silence, hearing the wind rustling the leaves on the trees outside. It was glorious. It was peaceful. We talked about how "back in the day" this is why everyone went to bed early. They couldn't really see to do anything else without straining the eyes! But they took more joy in the simple things of life. The rising of the moon, the stars twinkling out their first hellos of the evening, the crickets calling to one another, the cool breezes of evening, the soft flicker of candlelight. All little gifts that the Lord bestows on us. We should have more evenings like that!
Here are some more of the "gifts" I have seen during this past week......

15. delightful giggle of girls playing with their dad
16. a long drive home with a friend
17. corn on the cob
18. bread baking
19. hummingbirds darting and playing
20.an evening lit by candlelight
21. singing favorite hymns
22. "I love yous" whispered in the dark
23. eating the corner brownies
24. stillness of early morning

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Last night I put in a request to my public library to hold Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts. I will hopefully have it in my hands by Friday. I cannot wait to read it. I discovered her blog a couple of months ago, and have been so blessed by it. God has granted her an amazing gift! And so, I thought I would link up to her post, and add my things for the month of August, so far, that I am thankful for....

1. smell of coffee brewing in the morning
2. pages of my Bible turning
3. a well worn, well loved book
4. little girls laughing together
5. sleeping next to him
6. sheets hanging on the line
7. curtains fluttering in the breeze
8. pattering of hands and knees as baby crawls
9. cool mornings
10. chattering toddler
11. rainbow in the sky, just when I need a reminder
12. rain soaked earth
13. answered prayer-a quick response no matter how feebly prayed
14. beautiful worship music on a cloudy morning

It's been a great practice, every morning, to sit and think about something I am thankful for. There are so many little ways in which God tells us He loves us everyday. No matter the day, He is there, telling us He loves us, drawing us close to Him. We just have to open our eyes to see it.

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Friday, August 12, 2011


Sometimes I worry. I know I am not supposed to, but it sneaks up on me. Invades my thoughts. Causes my heart to beat faster, I become frustrated and snappish at my kids. I start to ask internally why my husband can't have a "regular" job. And then God reminds me He is Here. Right now. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow. FOREVER. And He knows my circumstances. He knows what I am fretting about.
Being grain farmers means we have a lot of money out and don't make any until harvest. Which is at the end of the year. Which can feel like a veeerrryyy long time away. We do double crop so we have money coming in from our oat hay to help hold us over until we harvest our corn. However, we don't always get paid in a timely manner. So I was kind of feeling the crunch on Monday. Big time. We had some big bills due, and I was feeling anxious about how we would pay for them.
At the start of our school morning, we always read a chapter out of the Bible and then take turns praying. I always close the prayer time, and while I closed our prayer time on Monday, I prayed and asked the Lord to please stir in our oat's buyer the need to pay us for our hay. I didn't really think much about it again, because, lets face it, when you are homeschooling three busy little girls, your mind can't really wander too far!
We finished school, and while I finished getting lunch ready, I asked the girls to go to the mailbox and get our mail. I watched them come in the door and I saw a big envelope. I picked it up and it felt thick!! Which meant there were a lot of weight slips in there. Which meant we were getting paid a sizable amount. I fell to my knees right there in the kitchen and tears came to my eyes. Not even three hours after I prayed that halfhearted, feeble prayer, God answered. I am so not worthy. Not even to kiss the sandals on His feet.
God doesn't always answer in as swift a manner. But He is certainly able. So why am I surprised when He does? Do I not believe He hears me the first time I ask? And when He takes longer to answer, does that mean He doesn't care as much, or isn't listening? Absolutely not. All I can say is God is Sovereign. He is all-knowing. Sometimes it takes longer to have our prayers answered because we need to grow in faith. Or there is something that we need to get right in our relationship with God that is hindering a move of God in our lives. And sometimes God likes to show off, and knock our socks off.  He likes to remind us Who He is. And I am so thankful that I belong to Him. I just wanted to share this little testimony. No matter what you may be waiting on God for, don't ever doubt that He doesn't love you, that He isn't listening, and that He won't move on your behalf.  He will. Because He said so.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Year Older

Yesterday, August 5th, was my baby's FIRST birthday! I can't believe how fast this year has gone. I can still remember a lot of the details of his birth. I even made steak for lunch yesterday, and as I was getting lunch remembered, that after I had Landon, my husband's mom sent lunch up for us, and it was steak! Anyway, here is a little parade of pictures of Huckleberry through this first year of his life.....

Last evening we had a little birthday party for Huckleberry with the family......
We started singing Happy Birthday to him, and he didn't seem to sure.
I thought he might actually start to cry!

Tentatively taking his first bite....

All the girl cousins eating together!

I think he's happy it's his birthday!

Now he's startng to loosen up...

Enjoying getting his picture taken

What a ham!

In other news, Strawberry Shortcake has now lost her front top tooth! Daddy pulled it out with pliers this morning. That is her preferred method of extraction! Yes, life can get some what crazy around here!

Hope you all have a great weekend!