Thursday, February 28, 2013

Reading in February

Routine, yes, routine, it's back and I've been enjoying it greatly!  Along with a more regular routine like rhythm to our days time for reading is more readily available.  This month I have finished

Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic
Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Children's Picture 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

and am reading

Because He Loves Me by Elise Fitzpatrick
The Peacemaker
Peacemaking for Families.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You are a Leader

What are you doing to pour into your life and build yourself up to lead in those areas you’re called to lead in? If you can’t think of anything, today’s the day to set a few small goals and start working on them! Crystal Paine, Money Saving Mom

Earlier today while in the post office, I stood uncomfortably.  With only 2 clerks and at least a dozen people in line, a Hispanic couple stood at the counter, trying to submit an application for a U.S. application.

This couple did not appear to know any English, not enough to respond to the official oath, testifying that they are citizens, and everything on the application is true.  In frustration the clerk looked up and asked if there was anyone in the office who could interpret Spanish.

I stood there wrestling with myself.  Spanish was my major in college, but I haven't used it in over 13 years.  I could ask about place of birth and if the things on the application were true, but I held back, disappointed in the fact that my skills were so weak.

Several things like this have happened recently, and reading the above quote has me thinking more seriously about becoming better equipped to live this purposeful life.

*Builder and I have been talking about my returning to college this summer.  I've taken a math placement test and determined where I need to start brushing up on skills to be able to take college Algebra.

*The Peacemaker and other books continue to be with me where ever I go, available to be read when I have the moments.

* Where does one find mentors?  How does one go about seeking mentors?  Those are questions to be pursued.

How about you?  Does the above quote challenge you to set some small goals toward becoming better prepared to lead, to serve, to expand your influence?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sketch Tuesday

It doesn't happen every week anymore, sometimes it might happen once in a month, but Sketch Tuesday is a favorite of mine.
Here is Chica's assignment for this past week.  I love how she threw in a little Spanish vocabulary.  She also approached this sketch using instructions she received in her Art Enrichment Class.
La Bota

Gifts Spoken, Gifts Tucked Quietly Away

While it's been different around here, mostly reviews and simple photographs, life has been happening large and messy and hard and beautiful.  Often, so much truth is flooding my mind, my heart, but sitting here to type it out, to share what grace the Father is showering upon me, doesn't get done.  But today, I'm stepping back into the recording of gracefilled gifts, and maybe that will unlock the word dam of all the goodness filling my head.

 gifts 1-14 in 2013

Grey sweaters and red sparkling scarves
Snow that keeps falling.  All around this dry thirsty area.
A grandchild who is thriving, growing rapidly, taking in all the fresh Momma Milk, grand love and auntie stories
Family to help ~ both ways
Eager students, gulping down new information
Goals within reach
FaceTime calls from a sweet daughter who just wants to know when I’ll be home.
A precious prodigal hungry for family time, soaking up, filling up after the empty years away.
A calling
Builder is home.
Sunlight to read under.
Baby breath on my cheeks.
Sweet time at the changing table when Joyness sees the origami mobile made by her youngest auntie.
Godly women, acknowledging their own brokenness, warmly welcoming the new single momma into the fold.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Giveaway winners

The Winners of the Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical giveaway are survivingateacherssalary at gmail dot com and Chantel.  Emails have been sent.

Thank you for stopping by.

Friday, February 15, 2013

These Moments

{these moments} - A Friday ritual. A couple of photos - capturing precious moments from the week.  Simple, special, extraordinary moments to pause, savor and remember.

Great Grand Dad

Oldest and Youngest Aunts

linking with Amanda and with Amy

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Because He Loves Me, Spring 2013 Book Study

First the first time in several years "one word" for the year didn't come to me.  As a matter of fact, not one word, nor a few words.  But when I think over the books that I am currently reading there is no doubt that I am being led on down the road by my Saviour.  Time after time I find that what the Spirit is teaching me is brought up in Scripture, in books I am reading, sermons on Sunday and sermons on the radio.  Sometimes I've really thought that God, our pastor, Charles Stanley and my husband have had a conference.

Here I am again.

Because He Love me.

"It's essential for us to think about God's love today because it is only his love that can grant us the joy that will strengthen our hearts, the courage that will embolden us in our fight against sin and the assurance that will enable us to open up our lives to him so that he might deal powerfully with our unbelief and idolatry. 

If we don't consciously live in the light of his love, the gospel will be secondary, virtually meaningless, and Jesus Christ will fade into insignificance.  Our faith will become all about us, our performance, and how we think we're doing, and our transformation will be hindered." Elyse Fitzpatrick in "Because He Loves Me."

I am reading Hind's Feet on High Places and listening to Because He Loves Me.   And I know that another golden thread is being woven into my heart, another transforming work being done upon my mind.

At the end of chapter 1 Elyse Fitzpatrick asks "Do you have any hopes or expectations as you begin this study?"

Right now I am experiencing a bit of breathless wonder that the God of the Universe once is again calling me further upwards.

linking with Ruth and with Joy.


Productive Pursuits ~ A Saturday at Home

Since I turned down several invitations to leave the house today (errands others wanted to do) I've enjoyed this DAY AT HOME.  Games of Dutch Blitz and Battleship have taken place and the hope of starting a new read aloud after dinner has me working to get some things wrapped up...

Home Sewn Nursing Pads ~ Sunshine Princess had her first baby on January 19th.  Nursing is going super well and today we set out to make some cloth nursing pads.   She picked up some cloth diapers at Target and I figure we can make 12 from 3 of the diapers.  This will allow us to set aside the rest for when JoyNess outgrows the ones our sweet neighbor friend lent us.

Another cousin quilt is almost completed, I have to sew the binding on one last side, then hand sew it down on the back side.  This is my favorite of the quilts I have made so far.

Can you believe how cute this is?

Fine Art drawings by cousins on cotton blocks

Good days.

20 Mule Team Borax, a Review and More Pictures

Just in time, our full size box of 20 Mule Team Borax, Detergent Booster and Multipurpose Household Cleaner arrived last month.  A dear friend had shared the newborn cloth diapers that her own sweet grand daughter had outgrown, so we put the Mule Team to work.

The diapers wash up clean, without any odor.  I am enjoying that they are clean, but don't smell like bleach.  Back when we used cloth diapers, bleach was always mixed in.

As we are preparing for a big 3 bathroom remodel, we've set up a simple changing station in our large laundry room. 
There is always a sweet auntie nearby to love on baby after changing.

Do you see that origami animal hanging above baby?  Auntie Chica made an origami animal mobile for her first niece.  It is hanging above the changing station.

I've also been using the 20 Mule Team Borax, Detergent Booster and Multipurpose Household Cleaner around the house.  It is a gentle abrasive for cleaning stubborn stains, works great for cleaning in the bathroom without leaving a chemical smell.

Have you tried 20 Mule Team Borax?  What jobs have you found where it replaces stinky bleach or other chemical cleaners?

Did you know?   20 Mule Team Borax® has been setting the standard in detergent boosting and odor control for over a century, each year brings new cleaning challenges. Face those challenges head on by entering to win our Fresh Year, Fresher Laundry sweepstakes. One grand prize winner will be awarded $1,500, with 171 second place winners receiving a coupon for a free box of Borax.

20 Mule Team Borax, Detergent Booster and Multipurpose Household Cleaner was provided to me by Purex Insiders, in exchange for my honest review.


Friday, February 8, 2013

an Aunt, not an ant

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember

linking with SouleMama and Finer Things Friday

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Goodby to Yesterday, a Review

 I'm so ready for routine and schedules to resume in February.  We didn't intend for our Christmas break to continue on into a Winter Break, but life brought us quite a few changes and challenges and tremendous blessings.  We have stacks of books waiting to be read, and since this book Goodbye to Yesterday is such a little read, I did manage to finish it.  It actually only took a little time one afternoon.

Goodbye to Yesterday by Wanda E. Brunstetter is part 1 of 6 in The Discovery series.  A sweet Amish fiction that reads easily, this story took me away from my own challenges for a little while.

As the story began to unfold and pick up a little speed I was surprised by the abrupt ending.  Just 121 small pages long, the story is to continue in The Silence of Winter in March of this year. 

While I did enjoy the story, that abrupt ending caused me to think about the size of the book.  I've waited a couple of days to write this review because I needed to think it over.  As a family we've read some great read alouds designed to be read daily, with cliff hangers at the end of each day's reading.  This book wasn't written in the same way, but it does seem strange to have a story printed in a short book form, and to have to wait a couple of months for the next segment of the story.  It's really just a little more than a booklet in size. I'm curious to read what others think.

I recived this book in exchange for an honest review from HANDLEBAR -- 207 Reber Street, Suite 100, Wheaton, IL 60187

Monday, February 4, 2013

Mail Call Monday!

We received two letters from Guatemala this past week!

Lesbia wrote in response to some questions we sent her in the fall.  One specific question I had asked her was about her father.  She always asks us to pray for her grandmother, her mother and herself, because they are "all alone."  In this most recent letter from Lesbia, she was more open than ever before.  It seems that we have been granted a level of trust, that I cannot share the letter in full here.  We treasure this letter as an open door to a deeper relationship with this precious girl and to pray more specifically.

Now from Carlos,

We are so blessed by these kids and the relationships that are beginning to grow.   It is our hope that we can travel to Guatemala in 2013 or early 2014 and meet these sweet kids.
If you are interested in pursuing world missions right where you are, visit and look at the work that takes place, in Jesus' name, one child at a time.