Friday, April 29, 2011

Easter Celebrations

This year we read Amon's Adventure, A Family Story for Easter by Arnold Ytreeide, and have enjoyed lighting the candles on our Advent to Lent wreath.  We also hosted the family gathering, and had the delight of all 5 daughters being home for awhile.

What treasure we have in these ladies

Oldest Kelly cousin Amber, and her 2 boys have recently moved to our city and we greatly enjoyed having younger cousins to share the TREASURE EGG adventure with!




These pictures really capture the personalities in our youngest 3 daughters.  They are so much fun to watch!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

When God Created My Toes by Dandi Daley Mackall

This SWEET book arrived in last week's mail.  When GOD Created My Toes, is as I just said, very sweet.  A perfect storytime book to share with the little ones in our lives, as we begin to teach them all about the wonderful GOD who did create us, fearfully and wonderfully, and who loves us tremendously.

There is a lot of rhyming and very vivid illustrations to engage children, and to help encourage conversations about how perfectly God has made us.

Disclosure: I received this book free of charge with the hope that I would share an honest opinion of the book.  This honest opinion is all mine.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sketch Tuesday ~ Something Crafty

There was a fair bit of discussion about this week's topic, but the girls surprised me with their sketches!


Petal Rose

ChicaChica added a bat...the youngest 2 girls just completed a short chapter on bats!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Simply Living, Loving and Counting

507. Daffodils in the neighbor’s yard

508. Tulip greens in our yard

509. Warm evenings to work a bit in the yard

510. An evening visit to the chicken coop. Pretty, colorful birds.

511. Happy helpers who now clean the kitchen, and keep laundry going.

512. Safe travel

513. An exciting summer opportunity.

514. Hints that prayers are being answered.

515. Fellowship

516. Chocolate chip banana waffles

517. Laughter over the “cone of shame”

518. Writing letters

Monday, April 11, 2011

Less Blogging, but Still Counting

In the last month waves of grief from years past hit me low, bending me to my heart's knees.  And then, the death of a dear family member who had been estranged from the family for many years brought gales of grief present.  But my FATHER, He was here, bringing joy in the midst of the mourning.

You see, when drug abuse, alcohol abuse, child abuse, domestic abuse, and divorce ravage a whole generation of a family, lives shatter, the children stagger, scatter.  People who were here then, are absent the next day.  It happened in my family.  In the storms that broke the marriages when i was a young adult, i lost contact with many family members.  Some completely left the family (divorce does that), some of us were simply left in our own wreckage, the pain and repercussions separating us from those we had been so close to.

For many years i've worked through the wreckage of my life, and found precious gems of God's handiwork...mercy, healing, restoration, a good husband, precious children ~ a new family.  And almost, i forgot the missing them part of me.  Those people from where i come from, missing them. 

Uncle Jack, June 1986But then, word came, my uncle died.  The one who taught me to drive. 
The one who traveled with my aunt and cousins to celebrate my high school graduation.  The one who held me when i was 19, unwed, and pregnant and told me "You will be a good mom." 

Yes, Uncle Jack was a very special man in my life.  Then drug addiction stole him from all of us.  And i never saw him again.  Sometimes you really don't know that you have a missing piece of your heart, until the finality of death.

So i traveled last week to honor the him as the man that i knew, and to seize the opportunity to stand next to my cousins, his children.  What i didn't know, was that i was also traveling into the arms of my aunts and my cousins.  Now on the other side of all that brokenness, able to be among the women of my family, embraced and welcomed home.

Uncle Terry, Aunt Cathy, Alayna, Chris, Aunt Nancy, Jenny & Carter, Aunt Mary, Felica & Moi
Joy consumes grief in those moments, humble gratitude.

Counting #483-506

Grace at the end of the day, to know that His mercies will be new in the morning.
An understanding husband
Inexpensive flight to join grieving family and remember a much loved uncle
Good friends to care for my children while I travel quickly
My sister
A flight that puts me back in our airport 10 minutes before Builders flight from a different trip? Joy!
A child praying for my heart to be comforted
Seeing extended family members after so long
Being lovingly embraced back by my aunts
Long lost cousins
The displacement of divorce is washed away
Fresh snow on The mountain.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chica's First Puppet Show!

IMG_0003 (1)Singing God's Praises

IMG_0006King Xerxes

IMG_0002 (2)Haddasa, Queen Esther, played by Chica


Karate Belt Test

Here are a few photos that I snapped on the action setting of my Canon this week, during Petal Rose's Yellow Belt Test...





The photos are a bit grainy.  I am not sure what lighting adjustments I need to make for the excercise setting indoors, but I hope these pictures bring a smile to you as you enjoy our little Warrior Princess, the Defender of Justice.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bad Girls of the Bible, And What We Can Learn from Them by Liz Curtis Higgs ~ A Review

In Bad Girls of the Bible, Liz offers a clear-sighted, life-changing approach to understanding those "other women" in Scripture—Delilah, Jezebel, Rahab, Lot's wife, and six more. Liz combines a contemporary fictional retelling of their stories with a solid, verse-by-verse study of their lives and the lessons we can learn from them.

Whether they were Bad to the Bone, Bad for a Moment, or Bad for a Season, but Not Forever, these infamous sisters show us how not to handle the challenges of life. With trademark humor and heartfelt encouragement, Liz teaches us how to avoid their tragic mistakes and joyfully embrace God's grace.

This book arrived about 2 weeks ago, and i really did think i could read it.  Having been a bad girl who is now saved by grace, and having learned many things the hard way, i thought that i could learn a few lessons from those who have gone before me.  Well, i tried to read it, but honestly, this book is not  for me.

Just recently i shared with a friend why my family won't be attending the really big Easter production in our city...i am very careful about the graphic images that we take in.  And the written images in this book are ones that i simply don't need.  This may be a useful tool for others, but not for me.  While the Bible certainly does mention scandalous behaviors and women, most of the Bible isn't written in an alluringly graphic way.

So, this is my honest non review, of a book that was sent to me by the publisher.  There are many other much more thorough reviews of this book, if you are interested, you can read some of them here.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review as a part of their Blogging for Books program.