Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Picture Journal


 Just a quick, snap chat type journal today.

 This morning, Olivia steals my coffee.





Gabe steals my heart...again.



Olivia steals a hat and shoes.



 This afternoon, the neighbors come for a visit.



Jim becomes discontent with being Caucasian.



We have popcorn for dinner.



Live
Laugh
Love.

Then do it all over again tomorrow.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Vintage Quilt


She hand stitched it in the 40's,
by hand. 
 Quilted it, by hand... 
all 10,000 pieces.



 After she had passed on, her daughter gave it to my mom, 
and now the old  quilt was being passed on to me.


"It has lived in two log cabins since the 40's", mom said, unwrapping the bundle,
 "and I think it belongs in your log house now."  
My heart quickened when I saw it.


I knew I would lay it on the piano, a place it will be seen and admired...
but at that moment, I had no idea what would happen
 as I rest  my eyes upon it while I sit in the rocker by the fire.



The old quilt speaks to me. 

What can be accomplished,
it asks,
 when a person takes one small thing and adds to it?

 Bits of scraps seem to lecture me of the faithfulness in little,
when added and multiplied,
 can become something awesome.
It could be anything:  savings, time, discipling...
oh there are so many facets the analogy could take.

 The diminutive pieces of the vintage quilt are singing to me of kind words, 
when repeated over and over become a heap..
a heap to heal, 
to strengthen,
 to encourage.


Just imagining the quilter taking such pains with bits
 that most people would toss away as uselessly small
 inspires me
to courageously tackle that difficulty that lies before me
one tiny step at a time. 
 Yes, it must have taken great courage to begin such a project.

 She must have had a great amount of patience and perseverance as well. 
 The quilt speaks of character, 
giant character
 hidden in a kind old woman who didn't look very extraordinary....
but she was.


As much as the world screams and rages at us to be significant,
 the quilt whispers to me to be faithful in the small things, 
to live humbly and quietly,
yet with great courage..
 like the quilter.

"And do not be weary in well doing
 for in due season you shall reap
 if you faint not."  
Gal. 6:9

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Elk In Our Yard

It is quite cold again this morning at our log house in the woods.
My thermometer said 11 degrees outside, 
which is, by the way,
 warmer than yesterday. 

With clear skies, the sun is up sparkling on the snow.  
Dazzling.



  We are a good hour late today getting around,
 breakfast and chores done, schooling started,
 for we had some special visitors in our "yard" early this morning.
They, in their quiet beauty,
 became a simple pleasure that set the tone for the day.







Quietly, we gathered at the window, 
sitting very still, 
and observed 5 elk for about 45 minutes 
while they browsed the trees and brush about 30 feet behind the lodge. 
 They are just gorgeous. 
 No matter how often we see elk and deer, 
I find it ceaselessly amazing to watch them.











Simple things,
 such as watching wildlife, 
are oft times, the best of gifts.

A pleasant way to start the day.



Monday, January 14, 2013

Wood Cook Stove Days



 Outside, the weather has been cold...
in the single digits and teens. 

 Beautiful, 
 but frigid.

 Some don't mind the cold at all, they are well equipped....
Caspian for instance...
 


Or Little Bit here.  
Little Bit has a lotsa warm fuzzy hair to keep him warm 
and adorable as ever.



Inside, 
we have a wood cook stove 
that adds the extra warmth the lodge needs in this kind of weather.
The lodge is so very big, with high ceilings which make it challenging to keep heated.  
In the cold weather, below 20 degrees or so, we really have to keep the cook stove going all day
 for adequate heat through out the house.
Therefore, we are doing a majority of cooking on and in the charming cook stove. 
One can always find tea water, and often some pot of soup or sauce simmering.



Today we are making cheeseburger soup for lunch.
(no recipe, we just made it up)

                         
                        After a while, you get used to the rhythm of stocking the firebox with fuel.
                                                                   This I have enjoyed.
                                          If you a country gal who relishes in those little moments, 
                                                                   like baking by smell, 
                                                          then you know just what I mean.
                                                                                smile.


It has taken me some time to get the hang of kindling a good hot fire
 with a thick coal base
 that will enable me to close up the dampers
 and heat the oven to a cooking temperature.
And, I am still learning how to keep the oven an even temperature while baking. 


Smaller chunks of wood are used for a hot fire.
  Small logs have not burned well for us.

The boys are sure getting good exercise keeping the firewood split for the cook stove.

Now, I know it will be cold in the morning,
 so I like to have the wood all ready and inside,
 making the warming up of the lodge quicker, and....my cup of coffee prepared sooner.



The wood cook stove has been a real blessing, adding cozy warmth to our country home.
Now that we are using it every day, I cannot imagine life without it.
Today, as I look at the thermometer that reads 16 degrees,
the wood cook stove is going on my Thankful list, 
right after I have a bowl of that soup.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Lovely Rose


I have a daughter that one does not often see or hear about.

Part of the reason she is rarely seen here
 is because she is the one behind the camera a good deal of the time,
 the one responsible for all of the really good photos you see here. 

 Rose is a talented young lady. 
 Not quite 18, she exhibits a heart for ministering to others 
and a depth of spiritual understanding that leaves her set apart, 
which is the very name she choose for her blog
 that features her adventures in Uganda Africa,
  her amazing photography, 
and a pure heart that loves the Lord.



Rose is an enthusiastic, self motivated, inspired soul.  
Encouraging others, especially those who are feeling down
 is the pulse of her heart. 
She is also hugely creative, making her the best babysitter around.  
She is currently finishing up her high school career
 and looking at launching a business in photography.  
A very capable gal,
 Rose can be found tromping through the woods with rifle or camera, 
playing the guitar at church, 
organizing a bake sale to help fund a friend's mission trip, 
(and she bakes really, really well)
helping mama with the housework, cooking, or children, 
and chatting with friends via facebook.


I  enjoy talking with Rose,
 be it silly things that make us laugh till we cry,
 or long talks of deep spiritual things.  
We have become good friends. 
 She is a lovely soul...
A rose just begun to bloom.


In the summer of 2011, Rose spent two months in Uganda, Africa, 
and it has left an indelible imprint on her life. 
I believe Africa will always be apart of her and what she does.  


Here is her blog Go on and take a look. 
 May you be encouraged and inspired there.
I know I am.




Monday, January 7, 2013

Dinosaurs and Birthdays


The last week and a half have been quiet, uneventful days,
 full of cuddling sick children, doctoring and trying to make comfortable those little ones,
 and bigger ones too, who have succumbed to strep throat. 

 In the midst of all this, Gabe had a birthday. 
 The little tiger is already 4 years old! 
 I was just explaining to a friend the other night
 how we decided to take the children window shopping before Christmas 
so that grandma would know what she wanted to get them, 
and also, we would have an idea of what Gabe would like for his birthday. 
 We did this, because the children, especially the younger ones, don't get out much.
  When we asked Gabe what he wanted for a birthday gift, 
he said, " a dinosaur!" 
 Well, he already has 47 dinosaurs, I said..
( a later count revealed that he actually only has 43).
  I thought that perhaps he doesn't know any better...
he doesn't know the scope of toys that are out there...
so we took them window shopping.
 In the middle of my explanation,
 he says, "Mama, mama...We should make window- shopping 
 BUYING- shopping!"

That one is going in my book of quotes.
  I love this age.
Smile.



 After hours looking at the seemingly endless variety of toys for his age, in two toy stores, 
guess what he liked.... 



The day of the Birthday celebration came. 
He was in great suspense.  
The anticipation of what was in those packages had his eyes shining, 
and fairly squealing when they were opened.





After the birthday, more children fell sick.
  So we had lots of lap time,
 lots of reading aloud
 or listening to audio books while coloring
 or cuddling with kittens.








Olivia has taken an interest in drawing.
Since her siblings all seem absorbed in drawing a good deal of the time,
this is a natural reaction, 
and a cute one to boot.
Most of her attempts so far look like amoeba.
smile.







  Gabe is feeling much better today, as is Bethany. 
He is back at his play, 
and it is looking like a bad day for
Tigger. 



But not in the mind of a 4 yr old. 
Today,  Piglet and Tigger are Ninja's with super powers.....


I know you've heard it before, but I will go ahead and say it again:
I love this age!