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Monday, November 23, 2015

Keep Searching

33 degrees means drip, drip, dripping. Nature is decorating my house today.
I love my mama and sisters. Even if one is covering herself with a coat and one seems to be seeing Jesus at the moment this picture was snapped (my sister Rachel is going to kill me!). Such a fun day with us 6 girls and Tim Hawkins.
I laughed almost two hours straight at Tim's comedy. We were only about 8 rows from the front so it was great to see him so up close and personal!

Laughter was some of the best medicine for me this month. November and December are hard months when you are missing someone, especially someone who loved the holidays so much.
  During this month of Thanksgiving, I've been searching each day for the things I'm thankful for. Some days can be harder than others to have a positive attitude. But still I search...

Glittering icicles.

A girls night out.


 Least you think I'm implying that it's a simple thing, I'm not. There are days when my sorrow, my struggles, my grey clouds can be overwhelming. They can be so heavy. Tiresome. Burdensome.

We all have those days, but I know you grieving mama's know even more so what I am speaking of. Keep searching...even if it's just a

Soft Kleenex.

A fluffy blanket.

One swift happy memory.

It all counts. It is the little things, after all.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Beauty of Its Own

The view from my bedroom window.

 This tree is always one of the first things I see upon waking. Glorious flowers adorn it for a week in spring, green foliage with bird song in summer, browns and golds in autumn, and now the contrast of red berries against the pure white snow.

How beautiful - each season has a beauty all its own. Just like the seasons in our life.

 "He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Snow? Yes, Please!

This is the weather prediction for Friday evening.
Yes, we are in that possible 10" band. The first snow fall of the season tends to freak a lot of people out, which is strange because we live in Iowa. We should be used to snow, people

While I will be making a run to the grocery store tomorrow, it won't be to stock up on milk and bread, but rather to do my regular grocery shopping. Which will probably be a bad thing, amiss the people who are stocking up on bread and milk (and usually toilet paper) but also the two day sale that starts tomorrow as well. Opps, bad timing.

I'll admit that I'm kind of hoping that we do get this amount of snow. Not for my hubby, who will have to move snow at work (and probably at home - I think it's time to give that job to the kids though!). But for a fun snowed in Friday night. Christmas movies with my family, popcorn and eggnog, cracker and cheese platter, fresh fruit. 

Snuggling under quilts.

The first snowfall.

Candles illuminating our space.

It truly is the little things.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Life, Lately

This has been our weather the last several days. Damp, chilly, grey. Gloomy is the perfect word for it.
I kind of like it. It's giving us a chance to tuck in and be. A sort of cocoon to keep us indoors and slow down. There is a chance of snow flurries later this week and the kids are excited about that.

I'm excited about a small Thanksgiving break from school next week! For holidays we typically follow the school's schedule on breaks so we will have just a two day school week next week. 

We've only missed a couple days of school so far this year, less than the school has already had with teacher in-service days so we are on track.  

But I am so ready for a small break to rest and recoup. I think I'm looking forward to it more than the kids even! Homeschooling is a full-time job when it's mixed with mothering, homemaking, and life.

Speaking of Thanksgiving break - can you believe that Thanksgiving is so near?! I'm looking forward to spending time with family and then celebrating a joyous Advent season. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me

I ordered Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me by Lorilee Craker because I am a big Anne fan. I let it sit on my desk for quite awhile though, expecting it to speak more to the heart of orphans than anyone else.

How wrong I was. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down. While part of the premise of this book is about Lorilee's, her daughter Phoebe's, and Anne's story of being an orphan and adopted, it is so much more. Craker seamlessly wove in bits of all three of their lives together and I felt as this was as much a devotional as it was a memoir.

Anne quotes, the back history of  Lucy Maud Montgomery (how did I not know that she herself was essentially an orphan after her father so much as abandoned her after her mother died?), and words of wisdom make this book enlightening as well as endearing. 

Chapters such as "Vanquishing Josie Pye" (don't we all have a Josie Pye in our life?!) and "Twenty Pounds of Brown Sugar and a Garden Rake" (all about Matthew Cuthbert and the "fathers" in our life - such a sweet chapter!). Each and every chapter spoke to me and I already look forward to reading through this book again - I savored so many of the descriptions and 'yummy' words.

While this book would be terrific for anyone adopted, anyone who has adopted, or anyone who has given a child up for adoption, or anyone who loves Anne, there is so much more to this book. As the subtitle reads, this book is about "What my favorite book taught me about grace, belonging & the orphan in us all". 

This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 16, 2015


 I didn't plan to write about the *red cups*. Because really more people are outraged about the outrage. Uhm, because there doesn't seem to be an outrage in the first place.

A couple people complained. Then it was blown out of portion. I'd almost like to think that Starbucks started this debate themselves as a genius marketing ploy. Because the *red cups* are now everywhere. You can't get away from them!
Sadly, it probably really was someone who got a bee in their bonnet and complained about a non-issue. Then it went viral. 

Seriously, not a single one of my Christians friends were upset about the cups.

I did see a lot of people use this as a way to bash Christians. Yes, really. There is a war on religion and these things fuel the fire.Instead of realizing seeing the irony of the situation (the fact that there is no situation) some different type of ignorance was brought up.



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hands Free Life

Hands Free Life by Rachel Macy Stafford is a needed book in such a busy and plugged in world.

We all yearn to look back to find we lived a life of significance. But is it even possible anymore? Considering the amount of distraction and pressure that exists in society today, living a fulfilling life may seem like an unachievable dream. But it is not—not with the nine habits outlined in this book.

It's not so much about unplugging from screen time but rather plugging into life. What I really took away from this book, and it is something that I've come to realize fully these past few years, is that we need to be completely present for our children and families and that it is our children that will teach us the real meaning of life.

The best part is that this book teaches kindness and empathy. And how to pass those traits onto our children (or learn them from them). 

The "Hands Free Life Daily Declaration" throughout the chapters are encouraging and also words to mediate on. One is:

"Today when someone messes up, I will not keep track. Today when someone spills, I will not let out an exasperated sigh. Today I will meet blunders with "Everybody makes mistakes" or "That happens to me." Today I will take a page from the book of kindness and compassion. Today I will be the giver of second chances, the give of hugs, the giver of grace not just for those in my path but also for myself. And something tells me that my day will be better because of it."

It took me several weeks to get through this book. Not because I didn't enjoy it but rather because I wanted to savor each chapter.

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



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