Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Day Fun!

This Moment, an answer to prayer and a delight to mom and kids alike!

Our sweet exchange student arrived late Sunday night with snow sputtering just a bit.  Tuesday morning there was enough snow on the streets to cause a 2 hour delay.  Today we woke to enough snow for a SNOW DAY for the exchange students, although the regular students have an online instruction day.

These three cuties headed to the park and 2 hours later I had to drag them home to eat and dry off.  What a treat to have a rare Colorado snow day where there is enough to really play in, and have our newest friend here to enjoy it with us.

Linking with Soulemama

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Unstoppable, updated review

This book, UNSTOPPABLE by Nick Vujicic, is an encouraging read.  Not only does Nick share the wisdom he has gleaned from his own struggles and victories, but he also share numerous stories of the struggles and victories of other people.  With each victory experienced after heartache and struggles, Nick is an example of one who believes every life is a gift from God, and a gift to be lived to the fullest.

He says, "God finds ways for us to use bad things for a good purpose."  This sentence hit home for me.  There have been some bad things in my life, and it's been difficult to believe that God will make something good out of them.  But, allowing God to show me how to use the bad things for a good purpose.  That makes more sense.

If you are looking for an inspiration read, this book is a bit long, but definitely inspiring.  Here is a link to the first chapter of the book if you would like a little sample.

How Nick met his wife is found in Chapter 3 (you can read that here) and I love how he uses his experience to encourage those who feel unlovely, unwanted.  Probably most of us have experienced those feelings, but for some people, life has dealt hard blows and feeling unlovely, unwanted are not just a passing emotion.  Nick is a wonderful gift from and for God's glory, using his life to encourage others.

this review was originally posted in Feb 2013, and is updated here

"I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.".

Bible Stories for the Little Princess

"Dear God, Thank You for making me so special.  I love the way You created me!  Amen."

"You were created in God's image!  Look in the mirror and thank God for making you."

Don't all of us mommas and grandmothers hope to know the sweet girls we love grow up knowing that each is made unique and special?  What a wonderful thing to plant the seeds of knowing she was planned for and made, and to see each of  those young ladies grow loving they way she is created.

This is just one of the prayers and jewel truths written into Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess by Sheri Rose Shepherd.  This book title caught my eye recently and I requested it from the Tyndale Blog Network. The book is a gentle introduction to God's Word for the very young, and I will enjoy sharing with it with my grandchildren.  My youngest daughter will probably spend a little time reading through it as well, although she tells me it is for "little kids."  Oh to be 11, still loving to play, but also stretching into bigger ways.

The illustrations by Shelley Dieterichs are charming and simple.  There are children in the illustrations with diverse features, which I do appreciate.  Bible Stories for His Beautiful Princess is a sweet gentle introduction for to God's Word for the little girl.

Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review..

Monday, January 27, 2014

Daybook, January 27


Outside my window…Sunshine making it's way through the grey sky, a dusting of snow that is quickly melting.  A little earlier, 2 squirrels enjoying a feast from our compost.

I am thinking…how very brave our young exchange student is, to travel so far from home at such a fresh young age.

I am thankful…cozy sweaters and warm tea on this very chilly day.

In the kitchen…more broth making is happening, chicken soup for dinner, maybe another loaf of banana bread for an after school snack

I am creating…another Scripture memory book, a pretty gratitude journal to replace the look of the composition notebook.

I am mixing together... Non toxic All Purpose Cleaner, well actually, Chica mixed it together.

I am going…to be dropping off and picking up a student everyday for the next 10 days.  That is something I haven't done since our 25 yo was a junior in high school.

I am wondering…how it will work out for this precious 12 year old exchange student.

I am reading…Perfectly Unique by Annie Downs, The Giver by Lois Lowry and What to Wear To the War by Warren W Wiersbe.  A post with my thoughts after reading Torches of Joy was written this weekend.

I am hoping…that Builder's next job brings him home, but where ever work takes him we want to be under the same roof again.

I am looking forward to…these next 10 days with Sophie, getting to know her, giving her a comfortable place to learn, process and grow

Around the house…the signs of life, but also a little less clutter as we continue to pull out those things we no longer use, need, nor love.

A quote for today… "this is one thing I can give–myself. I cannot fix the past. I cannot take away the pain. But I can make the present a little easier."     emily t. wierenga.

A few plans for the rest of the week…a fairly normal rhythm but with the addition of the twice daily run to the nearby middle school.  Eye exams, someone may be getting contacts!  and someone else may be getting stronger bifocals.  Saturday one of my kiddos is participating in a Bible Quiz event, then we hope to head to the mountains with Sophie.

A picture to share....

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Torches of Joy

I use Grammarly's plagerism checker because it is important to share what I have to tell, not what others have said!

Torches of Joy by John Dekker with Lois Neely is the story of the early mission work of John and Helen Dekker in the 1960s.  The couple traveled to the Indonesian island of Irian Jaya where they lived and ministered for 21 years.  Beyond being the story of the mission work to the Dani people, this book has several points of applications for Christians.

The Dekkers sought to share the Gospel and disciple new believers without imposing their cultural traditions upon the Dani people.  They also worked to equip and encourage the new believers to grow and take leadership of their local churches.  Equipping national pastors is a very important task, one that I learned about in the church we currently attend. Our own pastor travels internationally to train and encourage national pastors through expository teaching of the Bible.

On a recent Wednesday evening the leader of our T&T girls read a story during the large group time, The Pineapple Story.   The application of the story was to ponder our own “pineapple” or “rights”, and how our rights may be hindering the Gospel.   As I completed reading Torches of Joy that idea grew ten fold.  Reading how the Dani believers became missionaries to other peoples groups, fierce murderous, even cannibal tribes and gave up much more than their comforts, but even the right to life if that is what it took to share the hope of Christ.

This story has given me some good things to ponder.  Where my "rights" may be getting in the way of sharing hope, love, peace with the people around me is on my mind!  Reading biographies and missionary stories is a great way to experience life in a different time, different place.  The stories also become mentors, prompting us to explore ideas and think about our own lives.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

This Moment

This Moment 

an errand not completed
 but the time not wasted
as we soaked in 
the beauty of a favorite place
the ranch

linking with Amanda

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Just Write {2} QUIET

Today I had about 55 minutes of unplanned time.  There is usually a list right by my side directing my next move, but not today due to a few things being up in the air.   After dropping my daughter off for her 1 hour English class I drove away feeling tired, thinking a Starbucks would be in order.  Turning onto the road where the closest Starbucks could be found I decided that a slice of pizza would be so much better.  There is a Marco's Pizza in that area.

What a treat, a slice of pepperoni pizza, an ice cold root beer, and QUIET.  There was a nice big table by the sunny window so I took it and sat down with pizza, root beer, my spiral notebook and my phone/kindle app.

Forty five minutes of weekly goal checking, eating and reading an ebook was like  mini retreat.  For most of the time there were not even any other people in the shop.  My phone did not ring or beep.  No one asked me a question.  Quiet.  It still strikes me funny that although there was some fun cheery music playing it still seemed....quiet.


linking with the Extraordinary Ordinary

Monday, January 20, 2014

Simple Woman's Day Book ~ January 20

Outside my window…now, blue sky, but earlier, beautiful puffy pink clouds splayed across the sky above the mountains.

I am pondering... these words "But failure is a handy proxy. It’s a side effect. If you’re trying new things, and those new things are outside of your comfort zone, you’ll end up failing at some of them.  When you fail, you can learn. And when you don’t fail, by definition: you’ve succeeded! At that thing! That was kind of big and unknown and a bit scary!"  Read the whole blog post here

I am thankful… for straight forward preaching our pastor shared this weekend.  He put words to thoughts I had been trying to share with my daughters recently.

In the kitchen… we have more broth cooling.  I am enjoying in this new addition to our weekend routines, cooking several chickens (this weekend actually the 13 pound turkey I pulled from the freezer), freezing the meat and brewing broth.  

I am praying…for a family in our congregation, their little one was born at 32 weeks due to "mom's" preclampsia

I am reading… Torches of Joy by John Dekker, Perfectly Unique by Annie Downs, "if" by Amy Carmichael

I am hoping… that God opens the door for our family to be reunited, Builder's work has had him travelling for about 7 years.  We are longing to be together under one roof.

I am looking forward to… the arrival of our new exchange student, next weekend

I am creating...  Scripture Memory Books 

I am learning… to perfect "cheesecake"  The annual fundraiser for our youth group is "Souper Sunday"  The men make soup to sell by the bowl and the women make cakes & pies to auction off.  It is loads of fun and this year I want to contribute a gluten free lemon cheesecake.  I just need to learn how to get it out of the pan more smotthly.

Around the house… new family pictures and some family art have been hung

A quote for today… being "pro-life," it's not just about a political issue. It's a world's a life-view. It's a way of looking at each human life that transcends culture, class, race, age and opinion.

A few plans for the rest of the week… a normal school week with  few evening activities.  One of my kiddos starts back to college classes this week so we have a little schedule change to adjust to.

A picture thought...  
Northern Flicker, Chetwynd BC, 2010

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Review - The Truth About the Lordship of CHRIST

The Lordship of Christ by John MacArthur

"Becoming a Christian means being sick of your sin, longing for forgiveness and rescue from present evil and future hell, and affirming your commitment to the Lordship of Christ to the point where you are willing to forsake everything. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it isn't just holding up your hand or walking down an aisle and saying, 'I love Jesus.'" ―John MacArthur
Best-selling author and pastor John MacArthur brings his deep knowledge of Scripture to this foundational subject. Step by step, he walks through the impact of God's sovereignty, our submission, the characteristics of holy living, and our assurance of salvation. MacArthur makes the case that the Christian life is full and rich―but not easy. It requires sacrifice, perseverance, and transformation in the ongoing process of becoming more like Christ. And it is absolutely worth the cost.
The Truth About Series For decades, MacArthur has encouraged countless Christians to develop a deeper understanding of the Bible and a greater respect for God's truth. In The Truth About Series, he now gathers his landmark teachings about core aspects of the Christian faith in one place. These powerful books are designed to give readers a focused experience that centers on God's character and how it applies to their daily walk of faith.
  I have read slowly through this book, while reading many others during this time.  It is a wonderful thing to me how in different seasons the books I read help to take the layers off a topic I am investigating or learning about.
Christ is the Lord and everything is his.
While I do not doubt the Lordship of Christ at all, I am actually completely at peace and blessed by the knowledge that He indeed is Christ, this book is an excellent tool for thoroughly examining the question of lordship.
MacArthur's use of Biblical text throughout the book give good support for the claims he makes in this book.  And the reader can surely understand the correct response needed from a Follower of Christ.
This book is a good addition to the reading list of one desiring to grow in understanding of the Lordship of Christ, or in the ability to communicate the topic Biblically.
This book was given to me by Book Sneeze in exchange for my opinions.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Daybook ~ January 14, 2014

FOR TODAY, Tuesday January 14

Outside my window…it is still dark, but I see the lights of down town.  My weather app says we have a 40% chance of snow this morning.  Since I can see the lights clearly I am guessing the weather app is just joking.

I am thinking… about who I am in Christ as I prepare Sunday School lessons from Perfectly Unique by Annie Downs

I am thankful… for life.  My mother and my father in law each have a form of dementia or Alzheimers and are in facilities due to the way they each act out.  Just this week I was given a reminder in the midst of my discouragement and struggle with the loss of loved ones to dementia.  Life is precious and is God's.  I can choose to be thankful for my mother's life and my father in law's life, even now.

In the kitchen…a big load of clean dishes drying, crockpot cooking black & white beans and 11 meals in the freezer as we inch our way to 24 by Feb.  I took a break from meal and broth making yesterday evening and made a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough.  Baked 2 pans worth and popped the rest into the freezer as cookie balls.  We'll be able to pull out a dozen or so when we want or need a quick batch of cookies.

I am creating…a cousin quilt for a new little one in the family.  I was able to sew for about 2 hours on Saturday and pieced all but the last row of blocks.  Hopefully in the next week I'll find another couple of hours to finish piecing and maybe sandwich the batting.

I am going… to enrichment class registration today.  The spring semester begins in mid February, but registration, training and orientation all take place over the next couple of weeks.

I am reading… Twice Freed and Perfectly Unique.

I am looking forward to…Builder arriving home for a few days; the arrival of Sophie, our Chinese exchange student.  She is to arrive in 2 weeks!

I am learning… a tremendous amount as I prepare and teach middle school girls on Sunday mornings

Around the house…humidifiers and cough medicine, ginger root & essential oils, nursing sick tummies and nasty coughs away.

A favorite quote for today…"Make ready for the Christ, Whose smile, like lightning, sets free the song of everlasting glory that now sleeps in your paper flesh, like dynamite.  ~ Thomas Merton

A few plans for the rest of the week…we register for our co-op classes this week.  Piano lesson resume after a 3 week break and my Beloved comes home for the weekend.  I have left the folding table out in the living room with some sewing to be able to sit down for 15 minutes here and there, hopefully to mend, refashion and piece together a few different things.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Capturing Essence

 A little lingering of the Christmas holiday season as my youngest two spent a morning building the gingerbread house and tree, while I worked on school plans, new year's goals and food preparations for the now and busy season ahead.

It was a brain fog kind of week, but this morning, a clear head has returned.  This new year is wonderfully exciting me as I anticipate the whole lot of LIFE ahead.

"This Moment" captures for me the essence of the past week, although it looks simpler, prettier and less messy than the hours actually were.  Linking with Amanda

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Daybook, January 7 2014

Outside my window…a cold night, but not quite as cold as it has been

I am thinking…how nice it is to have 4 meals of the 24 freezer meals by Feb 1 goal, in the freezer.  Our home school co-op starts up mid February and for 12 weeks after Tuesday & Wednesday are crazy busy days.  These 24 meals will help us avoid the drive through temptation at the end of the day when I am worn out.  We also have minestrone soup for tomorrow and a little less than 1/2 gallon chicken broth to make another soup later in the week.

I am thankful…for so many things tonight.  Esp the helping hands of my two youngest, tackling a thorough cleaning of the dining room and kitchen this evening.  Dishes, flat surfaces wiped down, floors swept and mopped.  Very nice way to wrap up all the food prep we've worked on today.

In the kitchen…one of my sweet daughters has been sick with a nasty cold virus since Sunday morning.  That afternoon I cooked 3 chickens and boiled the bones for broth.  We've had chicken noodle soup, and minestrone soup from the broth.  There is enough left over soup for lunch tomorrow and enough broth for another soup later in the week.  Cooking 2 or 3 chickens on Sunday afternoon might become a regular thing for the rest of the winter.  It provides meat and broth for many meals during the week.

I am going…to meet with 2 women from our church on Friday afternoon.  We are planning Sunday School lessons and service projects for our middle school and high school girls.

I am reading…The Lordship of Christ by MacArthur and Twice Freed by Patricia St John.  A couple of weeks ago I asked one of my daughters for book recommendations.  Her eyes lit up and she ran off!  When she returned she had a stack of her favorite books.  I choose Twice Freed from the stack as I have seen her reading it on many occasions.  Asking for book recommendations from my daughters is one of the things I am doing to be intentional about connecting with them.  The rest of the books in this photo are the titles I hope to read this month.

I am looking forward to…Saturday!  I am really hoping (and planning) to sew all afternoon.

I am studying... peacemaking and I John.  I have had The Peacemaker by Sande since early last year.  And my memory work plan for this season is from 1 John so I decided to also spend some time in deeper study of that book.

A quote for today... "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much." Mother from Man of the Family by Ralph Moody.

Around the house…a lot of clutter right now.  We are all trying to get back into the swing of routine, but there are still items from traveling that need to be put away.  Again, looking forward to Saturday i am hoping to see sunshine and warmer temperatures so I can take the most of the clutter out to the garage and shed.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Another day of trying to get organized and ready before we start back to school on Thursday.

A picture from the day...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Just Write {001}

The first full week of 2014 has begun and with it goals and hopes and relief even, that 2013, the year of FULL, HARD and GOOD has passed.

My goal setting is completed and I am pretty excited about the simple and specific goals for this year.  Writing is high on my list of goals so tonight I decided, to just write.

As is becoming a tradition, my Beloved was home for the week of Christmas, and we ladies headed to my Dad's place to spend New Year's week with my Dad, my Sister and her family.  Sweet times of refreshment and also growing insight & gratitude.

Learning how to use my new camera ~ lighting & buttons...

The way the calendar falls this time around, I had penciled in a school start day for TODAY but this morning, to sighs of relief all around, the decision was made to start back on Thursday.  That gives me a couple days of prep time and putting the house back in order from all the holiday hoopla, crashed computer, curriculum tweaking & travel messes.  Not really messes, but the suitcases go behind the tubs of Christmas decorations.  We pulled out the suitcases as we put away the Christmas tubs. Now the tubs will have to be pulled out to put the suitcases away.  No one was feeling that ambitious today! 

The magic box that will take my 11 month, 26 day old Dell Computer to the hospital is due any day and Miss Sunshine has taught me about External Hard Drives.  What an amazing little tool this black box of terabytes is!  Thankfully we haven't lost any thing, although my goals were sketched out in a spiral notebook last week because I was very afraid of loosing everything.  BUT the Terabyte holder?  Wow.  I've figured out how to have iTunes on only 1 computer and have any computer available to the kids without thinking about which one has my files.

What a ramble post this is, but maybe letting these words splash the page will allow for some deeper thoughts to settle in and develop.

linking with extraordinary ordinary