Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sharing and Caring

These fall days have been abundantly full to overflowing. 
There is school to be done, 
firewood to get (10 cord!)
hunter's safety to be done for Joe,
canning to be accomplished, 
and a slew of ailing friends to be visited and cared for.  

The Lord is teaching me about caring for our community of friends.
Honestly, I can get so absorbed in my own family life 
that at times the rest of the world can go right on by without me giving a sideways glance.
  After my own illness, I became very aware of just how much a helping hand means 
when you are just unable to manage, 
or how encouraging and helpful a get well card or a meal sent over
   when one is discouraged by illness can be.

The Bible is full of admonishing words to care for one another, 
 bear one another's burdens, show kindness, and to put others above yourself. 
As I prayed about becoming more servant oriented outside my family,
as an extension of our family, the Lord provided abundant opportunities, 
as friend after friend became sick, had surgery, or just needed encouraged. 

 During this time, I have realized how handy it would be
to have some canned chicken stock on hand 
to put together a quick homemade soup 
perfect to take over to a neighbor when they become ill. 

Now every time we cook a bird, I throw the carcass in a bag 
and add to a pile accumulating in the freezer.  
In a few more weeks we will have a nice big batch of stock to be made and canned
 or, more accurately, have Anna can.

The tricky thing about reaching out beyond my 4 walls is keeping life balanced. 
I swing from over doing it, to not doing anything all too quickly. 
But I am determined to keep trying until I find a balance that works. 
As a mom of many, by the time I take care of people and things here at the lodge, 
sharing my time with others basically means that any down time I had is given to them.
  This week rest and margin has been slim. 
Sometimes I think it is just how it needs to be. 
We need to stretch ourselves, to give sacrificially. 
If it is not sacrificial, is it really giving? 
On such occasions, we have the opportunity to walk by faith,
and do what we are led to do even when it doesn't make sense,
 trusting the Lord to take care of us.

"And if you draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; 
then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day:
  And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought,
and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, 
and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." Isaiah 58:10-11.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


On this glorious fall afternoon, I could not help myself,  
I just had to ask Rose to snap some pictures of a certain little blonde whom I think adorable. 
It seems not so long ago that Rose was wearing this Daisy Kingdom dress, 
playing carefree in the yard of our farmhouse,
but in reality, it was over 10 years ago!

"The highest and most desirable state of the soul is to praise God in celebration for being alive."
-Luci Swindoll

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners 
who make our souls blossom"
-Marcel Proust

 After all, one is only 5 once, and that seems to go so fast,
it would be a pity not to enjoy every minute of it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Feminine Modesty

In these days of public undressing, 
it takes a woman of fortitude to go against the grain of the culture 
and dress in a way that is both feminine and modest.
Sometimes, it is nice to know you are not the only ones.  
Or, just nice to see some other ladies ideas in compiling outfits that are lovely.

I thought I would share what we are wearing during these autumn days, 
since feminine modesty is a hot topic. 
 Most all our clothes have been found at thrift stores. 
 Each of us women in our household have our own unique style.  

Anna is a die hard romantic
 I think her goal in dressing each day is to have some bit of lace embellishing a modest outfit. 
She prefers ballet slipper type shoes, and avoids heels, 
because, she says, "being tall is just weird."

I am more traditional, with a bit of that romantic touch.  
My usual "uniform" is a long denim skirt,  black sketchers, and a blouse or pullover top. 
Today, however, I have a tiered skirt that is especially nice for playing on the floor with Olivia.

Rose likes to dress a little more edgy, currently with a hint of Africa.  
She likes the big earrings
layered tops
flip flops with everything, 
and she prefers a long flowy skirt.  
She declined a picture today, 
but here you can see one of the reasons Uganda had such a profound effect on her.

  Bethany is wearing a dress that Nanny made for Rose about 11 years ago.  
I believe it is a Simplicity pattern. 
 I adore such classic dresses that give a little girl that sweet, wholesome appearance...
which is hard to find in retail these days.

Dressing feminine and modest is a fun adventure for each of us girls here. 
 We enjoy  helping one another come up with outfits that attain our individual look,
 using our creativity, and
hunting in thrift stores for something that is "me." 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Back to Full Speed

Well Hello! 
I am finally back to full speed, thank the Lord! 
And my, we have been busy.
  After two months of not doing anything, 
I am gung ho to clean, organize, move furniture, school, bake, write.....
Last weekend Rose, Bethany, Olivia and I attended my cousins wedding.

Olivia was basking in all the attention at the wedding.

The lavendar in full bloom filled the air with its heavenly aroma.

 The ferry ride on our way home.

  Meanwhile, the guys were here cutting wood for what experts are saying
is going to be a very cold bitter winter.  
Sounds romantic,
but only if there is plenty of firewood.

This week we are taking off of school to do our fall cleaning.  
This we started on the third floor and are working our way down. 
The boys room got a makeover, some new organization, 
and some "super cool" soldier stuff from a dear friend to make their room awesome,
although it is one of the only unfinished rooms left in the house.
Next the kids bathroom is getting refitted with a dresser, a new towel bar,
and some other organizational goodies, mostly baskets at this point. 
It also, is unfinished, but hopefully not for long.  
Anna has declared that if we buy her a bucket of mud she will tape and texture it. 
Love that girl! 
Right now she is making her first Rhubarb pie with rhubarb from her garden.

Living in a log home means that twice a year we need to vacuum and wipe down all the logs, because they get soooo dusty. 
Many hands make light work, so every one gets in on the job.
  Pie is the perfect bribery for rewarding good workers.

It feels absolutely wonderful to have all my energy back and be able to run the household again! 
Fall is an energetic time for me.  
Something about the crisp air,
the coming of winter just around the corner, 
and yet a still warm sun on my back, 
fills me with inspiration and motivation to be productive. 
I am relishing these last days of open windows,
laundry hung out on the line,
long walks through the woods, and good health!

"Home is where the strong cords of commitment
bind hearts together with the closest ties of love."
-The Blessings of Family and Home

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Family Life and Smiles

 I just thought they were so cute, I had to snap a picture.
I said, "Gabe, are you going to wash too?"
He said, "Alright."
.. .and began scrubbing his face with the cloth and soapy water from the bucket.
  I just love 2 year olds!

 This, I did NOT find so cute.

She is not content to pull herself up to stand, she must climb as well.
Nanny says it is justice met out and the sins of the mother passed on to the children.
No wonder her hair is white.  Sorry Mom!

Daddy is having fun.

Here is daddy's new shirt.

He's all set now!

I love my family.  We have fun.  
They put up with me, I put up with them.  
They help me, we help each other. 
Lately, they have helped me a great deal tending to the crawling, climbing baby
and taking care of the housework.  
Yesterday, Ben (7) vacuumed my bedroom and bathroom
and gave me a great big hug when he was done. 
He likes to show off his muscles and strength when he hugs 
-almost knocked Grammy over the other day. 
  Bethany is 5, and has taken up helping Joe with the breakfast dishes.
  For the most part, they have been happy to pitch in and help,
and I am so very grateful!

 Since Rose is now home from Uganda,
she has been cooking us yummy African style meals complete with delicious Chapatis!
We have a new favorite family meal now.

Anna is currently  off to Colorado at a Summit worldview/apologetics camp for two weeks.
My how we miss her, especially Gabe- he is very attached.

John is busy fighting wild fires.  We hardly ever see him. 
He and his crew are like Superman, 
saving the community from impending danger as they run from spot fire to fire working day and night.

Brian works in the office three days a week and from his home office three days a week.  
For a break in studying, he can be seen packing a load of laundry out to hang on the line,
stirring soup for lunch, or wrestling with the children as he passes by.  
I am sure his example is why the children are so willing to serve.

For some reason, I just cannot seem to get my energy back after my illness,
 and am still struggling to get through each day.
 It helps so much to have the family pitching in,
and to take a few moments to just have fun and laugh.

  It is good medicine!

Living Counter Cultural: Femininity

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