Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reading Update ~ The First 6 Months

As with any worthwhile endeavor, one must be purposeful to make time to read good books.  Several years ago I began to realize this and have tried to make sure time to read is built into my days.  This month I am excited to reflect on the books that have passed time with me the first half of 2013.

Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick

The Mine by Henry McIntosh

Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons

Sweet Sanctuary by Kim Vogel Sawyer

In the Presence of My Enemies ~ by Gracia Burnham and Dean Merrill

Tales of the Defended Ones by Beth Guckenberger. 

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Jessica's First Prayer by Hesba

The Promise Box by

The Cat that God Sent by Jim Kraus

Cleaning House, A Mom's 12-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement by Kay Wills Wyma, my response here

The BARE NAKED TRUTH, Dating, Waiting, and God's Purity Plan by Bekah Hamrick Martin, my review here

Sparkly Green Earrings: Catching the Light at Every Turn ~ Melanie Shankle

Children's books
Rock You Tonight by Emily Roussell ~ a sweet story that seems to be written more for the Momma than the little one she may be reading to.

The Three Little Rabbits and the Bake Sale Pie by Nancy Nuce ~ a story that had Mae and I laughing hard at bedtime.  Delightful

Only the Mountains do not Move by Jan Reynolds

Jessica's First Prayer by Hesba Stretton

Because He Loves Me (I listened while driving and reread the chapters on my kindle app)

Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King, Jr

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Speak Life

The message in Thursday's short post was in my email box earlier this week.  A sweet woman who has stepped in as a Godly mentor and encourager sends me messages like this from time to time.  I'm not sure she understands how lifegiving her words are to me.
My own mother has disappeared into the depths of early onset Alzheimer's.  And even before that happened, there was very little "mother to daughter" torch passing.  God brought my mom a long way from the person she was, having grown up in the home that she did.  And she spoke life in the ways that she knew. 

In this season where my mom is close by in a care facility, and we have 3 teen and preteen daughters at home AND our older daughter her daughter live with us, I often feel just swamped.  Linda speaks into this wonderful, hard, good, full crazy life of mine, in simple quiet ways, never asking for a response or reply. 

Each time Linda speaks into my life, a balm is applied.  She didn't wait to be asked, she hasn't asked if it is "okay", she just speaks.

Thank God for this precious older woman.  Linda, since I know that you read this blog from time to time, Thank You.


Friday, June 28, 2013

This Moment ~ Time with Mae

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Last weekend Mae and I had the opportunity to pass about 18 hours together, just the two of us.  We watched a couple "big kid" movies (Captain America and Pirates of the Carribean), went out for dinner and shared our meals, and explored Pier One.  It is very rare for any 2 people in our family to get time like this and I am very thankful.

Thursday, June 27, 2013


"I don't really look to other mothers for validation on how I'm doing as a parent. I look to my children and my husband. If they are generally happy, relaxed, comfortable and engaged, I feel pretty good about how I'm doing....

"If I see signs of frustration or stress or uneasiness in my family, there are alarm bells going off inside me telling me I need to be kinder, pay extra close attention, have more ideas, and offer more options."

—Rippy Dusseldorp

DIAL Giveaway Winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Emails have been sent to the winners of this giveaway.  Thank you for participating!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DIAL Giveway AND More

Dial brand is celebrating 65 years this year and they are giving away a year's supply of Dial Body Wash at their Facebook page.  The contest began at 12:00:00 PM ET on June 11, 2013 and ends on June 26 , 2013. 

4 Free Body Wash coupons to give away, 1 each to 4 different winners
this month.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Black Forest Fire

Black Forest is a close neighbor community to our city, Colorado Springs.  A fire started on Tuesday June 11 in the densely wooded area where many dear friends have made wonderful beautiful homes. 

Wednesday while my daughters were at music lessons, I took a drive to see the fire from a safe distance, and to pray.

What we could see from our neighborhood

The Northern Plume

We found out today that the first home Builder and I had together is destroyed.  I am thankful for the abundance of memories we, our older kids and our extended family have of good times there.

Please think of those displaced by this fire, at this time about 41,000 people, those who already know they've lost their home  (at least 360 homes have been destroyed, including the homes of several in our homeschool community).  Pray for those caring for the animals that have been displaced, this is also an area full of horse owners and ranches.  Pray for Rain, for the wind to stop and for the safety of the Fire Fighters and Law Enforcement.  Pray for the family and friends of the two who died trying to evacuate.

We will continue to see the goodness in the land of the living.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


About The Bare Naked Truth:"The Truth About Sex and Waiting . . . Uncovered Purity.

"Sex. Boys. Waiting. There's something about those words that makes everything complex in a heartbeat, and raises more questions than answers.  Bekah Hamrick Martin knows the waiting game isn't easy or straight-forward. In The Bare Naked Truth, she lays everything on the table---including some embarrassing moments---as she explores the honest, naked truth behind what God means by purity. With additional entries from popular authors, you'll see the bare naked approach to waiting isn't always easy, but it's worth the risk."

As a mom of daughters age 30, 24, 13, 12 and 11, purity is a topic that is often discussed.  While I appreciate the message Bekah Hamrick Martin shares in The Bare Naked Truth, the difference in personality between the author and myself is pretty extreme and I struggled with the book tremendously. 

That said, I believe that Bekah Hamrick Martin has a wonderful love for young women and desires to reach them with the truth and hope, and with tools to maintain purity of body, mind and spirit.  I'm not sure that I will recommend this book to my younger daughters, but one of my older daughters is going to read it soon, and give me a younger woman's perspective.

This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest opinion by Litfuse Publicity.

Friday, June 7, 2013

This Week, June 2-7

  • In my life this week…
  • We had fun times of fellowship with friend this week.  Our daughters who are in the youth group are finding many opportunities for fun.  During one of these times I was able to slip out for pie & tea with a friend.  Delightful!

  • In our homeschool this week…Mae finished PreAlgebra!! and is in the process of taking the Saxon Placement Test.  She has done very well, and I might even say that Mae is enjoying mathematics, with Life of Fred math.  I feel confident that it is a solid math course, but want to see how what Mae has learned measures up with Saxon math.

  • Each child has a short list of things to complete, and I am pretty sure that tomorrow will be a stopping point for most things.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… This week volunteer works at the Ranch and all three daughters will be working this summer.  There has been a flurry of mending and ironing to get all ready.  We are heading to Denver early Saturday morning.  Builder is coming home for a week!  Actually 9 days.

  • My favorite thing this week was…hearing my daughter open up to me and share a deep hurt.  While it hurts to see her hurt, the fact that she is willing to trust and share with me brings me joy.

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week is probably "seeing the end near."

  • Things I’m working on…Quilts.  My grand nieces cousin quilt is FINISHED as of earlier today.  Next up is sewing the binding on a quilt for my grand daughter, then piecing together her cousin quilt.

  • I’m cooking…  No, I'm not cooking much!  The cooking part of our Meaningful Work summer is going beautifully!
    Taco Potatoes

    Corn Dog Muffins with Fruit Salad and Carrots

  • I’m grateful for…the whispers of my Father in the early morning.  Just this morning His words of peace and encouragement lingered with me all day.

  • I’m praying for…friends who are fighting illness, auto immune type things, safe travel for my Beloved.

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
    First Food

    Read more:

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Learning to Live Well

    Many voices have spoken over the ten years since God did open heart surgery upon me.  A common theme has centered around home and family.  Another, interlocking with home and family is living this one life well.

    About 8 years ago Edith Schaeffer's voice spoke through her books "What is a Family" and "L'Abri", but hearing of the deep philosophy thinking of her husband, Francis, I shied away from his writing.  Awhile back an article, The Unwasted Life, came across my view.

    In this article, which I printed to read and ponder upon, Mr. Schaeffer's words are few and within the grasp of a mind that is too often full of flittering thoughts.  Here are the ingredients, according to The Unwasted Life, for a life well lived.

    • Correct theological position, true Biblical orthodoxy and the purity of the visible church
    • Good intellectual training and comprehension of our own generation.
    • A humble heart, the love of God, a devotional attitude toward God, a daily practice of the reality of God.
    The simplicity of these words make them easy to ponder, allowing them to work upon a heart. 

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    Community ~ 1000 Graces in 2013

    In different seasons of life anger is an unwelcome presence in life.  It seems to be passed from generation to generation just like flat feet and curled toes.

    At times conversing over the phone with the miles stretched between us the isolated distance carries a panic as we talk over yard work, budget and youthful struggles. 

    Seeing the fingerprint of generations upon our kids without the lens of amazing grace can suck the hope right out of a conversation.

    We tumble down a spiral and grasp for answers, help wanted requests shooting upwards.  Are we wise enough or do we need someone with more education, letters behind a name?

    Sometimes professional help is what is needed.  But what if more often, it is the wise words from a listening friend?

    Experiencing life within a fellowship of believers in our community is another grace discovered.

    Great counsel can come from the friend with a listening ear.  Life lived in community can make molehills out of mountains.

    Giving thanks for community such as this.

    graces from 151-165

      Hope that the angry person will come to know and believe the love of God
      Gratitude for the tears that spilled today from my eyes, softening my heart

      Hope springing from the conversation with Peggy.  She has so much common wisdom to share.

      Time to read the Scriptures with precious one and to pray with her

      A letter written and sent to encourage several years ago, pulled out for me to read  

      Girls up all night talking

      Inspiration and wisdom shared with me, just before it is needed.

      Chubby baby girl blowing raspberries All. The. Time.

      My dad answering my question with a story that allows me into his time in Vietnam in 1968

    Tell me, are you part of a thriving lifegiving community?  What are the ingredients that you find there?

    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    This Week ~ May 26-June 1

  • In my life this week…A lot of thinking and research has been done.  This afternoon I meet with a friend who has been using for years the materials I am considering for next year. 

  • My children have worked on their "meaningful work" projects pretty well.  The vegetable garden is planted, but still needs quite a bit weeding.  Pretty flowers were planted in hanging baskets for the front porch and I have been enjoying their sweet scent.

      Strawberry plants are on the way and we will need to finish prepping that garden bed this weekend.

  • In our homeschool this week…We are enjoying the excitement of finishing this year's schooling, one subject at a time.  One child has work until June 7th, the other two until June 14.  Physical Science was completed on Wednesday, with 1 high school credit granted from this 8th grade year! 

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…If your 10 year old wants to revisit and discover some picture books, savor that sweet time on the sofa!  This week we read Warm as Wool and Duchess Bakes a Cake and had a great time.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…June 1 is the Walk for Life in our area.  We will be meeting up with many people from our congregation as well as other friends.  Our 12 year old daughter is running in the 5K while the rest of us do the 2 mile walk.  If you are interested in supporting LIFE, you can help us reach our goal here.  Earlier in the month I shared why Life Network is supported by our family.

  • My favorite thing this week was…Reading with Chica, how I miss those "rowing" days.  She and I talked about how in just 3 years JoyNess will be "3" and Chica will be 13.  Maybe Chica will "row" with JoyNess then!

  • Things I’m working on…My grand niece's cousin quilt will, hopefully, be tied tonight during a movie.  JoyNess's crib quilt just needs the binding tacked.  And Chica needs some sleep shorts so I dug out a couple of patterns and pulled out a couple stashed fabrics.

  • I’m cooking…actually I'm not!  As part of our meaningful work summer, tonight is Petal Rose's turn to cook.  She has taco potatoes on the menu.  The recipe is from this book.

  • I’m grateful for…how Builder continues to seek to be connected to us each day, despite the many miles between us.  He sent us these pictures during the week. 

    This is a Great Horned Owl nest in this tree.
  • I’m praying for…wisdom and trust today.  Yesterday there was another attempted abduction of a girl in our ciy.  It prompted another talk with my daughters today about the reality of evil even in our neighborhood and how each time I say "yes" or "no" it is after prayerful consideration of safety parameters.  The balance of granting freedom to my growing children and allowing them the opportunity to practice safety and discernment has me on my knees.

  • I enjoyed a fun time with my kids this week by…watching a new movie with a big bowl of popcorn.

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…Beyond the Book Report
  • A  quote to share (silly, serious or both!)… 

  • “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” Frederick Douglass

    Read more here.