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Friday, May 22, 2015

Life, Lately

*Today my husband works his last day at the job he has held for 9 years. Next week he will be on to bigger and better things. More on that later!

*Becca took her end of year CAT tests. She scored pretty good, except in math. Which just reiterates that we will be continuing math through the summer. One of the many benefits of homeschooling.

I made violet jelly this year. The color is so beautiful. Unfortunately, I think I added too much liquid, which means it didn't jell as much as jelly should. Never fear though, it will be used as a simple syrup in drinks and on ice cream and pancakes. And I'll know to follow directions better next year.   

I also made strawberry rhubarb jam. That turned out perfectly and I can't wait to pull it out this winter and have a taste of spring in my mouth. I'm using our huge excess of rhubarb to make deserts and yumminess. A new favorite is this strawberry rhubarb crisp. We go through a whole dish of it for a snack! 

Joe has been practicing on his new skate board that he received for his 7th birthday. I imagine soon enough he will be doing tricks and turns and ready for the skate park down the street. 

I haven't bought a package of disposable diapers for over two months. Except for a few day trips, she has been solely wearing cloth diapers. It's saving loads of money, is better on her skin, and just makes the clothesline look pretty. I'm so glad for the sunny weather again, too, to catch up on all the laundry. My electric bill is happy as well, going down by $20-$30 now with the clothesline usage. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Food For Thought

A friend shared this thought provoking article on Facebook  yesterday. 

How many of you cringed while reading it, seeing a bit (or a whole lot!) of yourself in the article? 

There does seem to be a double standard for women in relationships. If a man were to belittle a woman for her mistakes it would be considered emotional abuse. If a woman does it we just deem it "nagging" or "that time of the month".

If a man were to slap his wife during a moment of intense disagreement it would be physical abuse. If a woman were to do it to her husband, it would probably be justifiable. 

Nope, Nope, NOPE. Being rude, mean, physical, or just a general unpleasant person goes for both genders. 

The article made me stop and think. It reviled something in my personality that I don't like. I'm off to apologize to my husband. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up

Our weekend started off with a prediction of rain. Which then turned into a prediction of severe storms. Thankfully, we ended up with neither.

Because of that, my cousin's outdoor wedding ended up being a beautiful, dry wedding! I didn't get a photo of the happy bride and groom (such a sweet couple!) but did snap some dance floor photos!
When your uncle asks you to dance...
Our bedroom smells divine with this bouquet of flowers on the dresser. All from around the yard! The first spring flowers are the best!
We have TONS of rhubarb, so Joe set up a little table on the lawn, selling rhubarb for $1 a bag. He made a little money, learned some life lessons (cleaning up the leaves of the rhubarb, setting up his table, taking the money, meeting new people) and had fun on a sunny afternoon. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

What Keeps You Up At Night?

What Keeps You Up At Night by Pete Wilson gives us a clue on "how to find peace while chasing your dreams". 

Courage to do what we were meant to do. We all need that. This book will show us how to trust in God to lead us through our dreams. Because doing what we want/need/dream to do isn't always easy. As a matter of fact, the Bible shows that when we do what God wants is usually when we will face the most opposition in life.

That's scary. 

This book encouraged me to keep chasing my dreams. Whether they are big or small, they are important. God presses certain desires in our heart and we should listen. Trust. Follow. 

Wilson shows us verses on why we should chase our dreams. And then gives us ways to do so with a little more strength and courage than we currently possess. He does so in an interesting and non-preachy way, even though he himself is a preacher. :)

This book was given to me by BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015


The day started off overcast and windy, not to mention quite chilly for the middle of May. So I brought some sunshine indoors with a bouquet of lilacs, the first spring flowers in my yard.
My Grandma had dug three lilac plants from her own yard 8 years ago. For three years they grew, yet wouldn't bloom. The spring after she passed away all three bloomed brilliantly and have prospered since. So having the sight and scent of these lilacs in my living room, as well as the tree (are they lilac trees or bushes?!) outside my kitchen window always remind me of Grandma. 
I received a call this morning from a local greenhouse saying that we had a gift from my mother-in-law for our anniversary. I arrived to find a generous gift certificate. How fitting as Ben and I had just talked about making an "English garden" by our porch. It's all planted now and will look glorious once everything is in full bloom! I went with a purple color scheme so can't wait to see how the different shades pop.

Daddy filled up the kids sandbox. Which makes them very happy!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Five Years in Heaven

Five Years in Heaven by John Schlimm was like spending five hours in heaven.

I received the book in the mail today and immediately flipped it open to read the prelude. It sucked me in and before I knew it I had finished the book within five hours (I have children so was not able to read straight through...supper, bath time, and the like happened in between the chapters!). 

"FIVE YEARS IN HEAVEN is an inspirational memoir about a young man at a crossroads in his life who returns to his small hometown and forms an unlikely and mutually enriching friendship with an 87-year-old nun and artist."

I'm rarely ever as focused on a non-fiction book as I was with this one. I could not put it down. I almost wish I had, as I could have prolonged the "visits" with John and Sister Augustine and had something to look forward to reading tomorrow!

Sister Augustine reminds me so much of my Grandma who passed away 5 years ago. The wisdom, the truth, the goodness that she showered upon others. While it is obviously a very Christian book, it is not preachy at all and I feel that anyone, from any walk of faith, would find this sweet woman enduring and this friendship meant to be. So much wisdom can be gleaned from this book.

I wish I could have met Sister Augustine. Yet Schlimm makes it seem as though I have. He brings her whole personality, her whole soul, out through the pages. Sometimes while reading I felt as though I was actually observing their conversation from a corner of the room they were in.

This is a story of friendship. Of faith. Of love. Of hope. Of life. If only we could all be so lucky to have a Sister Augustine in our life.

This will be a book that I will read again, especially on a day that I need some encouragement and wisdom. Another book that makes it to my bookshelves (a rare occurrence, it must be a five star book for me to keep it!). 

This book was given to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day

As I write this, 30 minutes before Mother's Day 2015, I settle down after a long day of festivities. My little Joe turned 7 today.
I recall his birth like it was yesterday. I remember that little toddler I called "the energizer bunny" because he never stopped moving. Climbing. Getting into things.

He's my still very, incredibly active boy. He has the energy of 10 rambunctious puppies all bundled together. I love him for it. He keeps me on my toes.

He is a wise old soul at times, saying things that you wouldn't expect to come out of a six seven year old's mouth. Other times he is a comedian. His little personality is shaping up to be a fun one. This boy is going to be filled with love and laughter as an adult, I can see it now.

Happy birthday to my sweet Joe! 

While we celebrated the birthday of my third child today, tomorrow I shall celebrate all four of my children. They made me a mother. They made my life complete. They make life worth it.

 “Sometimes when you pick up your child you can feel the map of your own bones beneath your hands, or smell the scent of your skin in the nape of his neck. This is the most extraordinary thing about motherhood - finding a piece of yourself separate and apart that all the same you could not live without.”
Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match

It can also be a sorrowful day. I will be missing Jacob greatly, as it's hard to be a mother to four when there are only three in your arms.
I know for others Mother's Day can be a difficult day when it is the one thing they long for, yet the one thing that remains elusive, if not impossible. That, too, is a great loss.

To my own mama, I love you, I love you, I love you. This had to have been written about you:

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said. "You're doing a lot of fiddling around on this one."

And God said, "Have you read the specs on this order?" She has to be completely washable, but not plastic. Have 180 moveable parts...all replaceable. Run on black coffee and leftovers. Have a lap that disappears when she stands up. A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair. And six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said. "Six pairs of hands.... no way."

It's not the hands that are causing me problems," God remarked, "it's the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."

That's on the standard model?" asked the angel. God nodded.

One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, 'What are you kids doing in there?' when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn't but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. 'I understand and I love you' without so much as uttering a word."

God," said the angel touching his sleeve gently, "Get some rest tomorrow...."

I can't," said God, "I'm so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick...can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger...and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It's too soft," she sighed.

But tough!" said God excitedly. "You can imagine what this mother can do or endure."

Can it think?"

Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model."

It's not a leak," said the Lord, "It's a tear."

What's it for?"

It's for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride."

You are a genius, " said the angel.

Somberly, God said, "I didn't put it there.”
Erma Bombeck, When God Created Mothers



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