April 28, 2009

from our weekend


{our 10-yr old’s remnants from sugar cookie making}


{sewing books for Josiah :: “make more Mommy! More please!”} 




{delicious lunches and backyard picnics}

DSC_0019{friends, an evening fire, & great conversation} 

After such a peaceful and full weekend, I was reluctant to start the week and spent yesterday in a bit more of the relaxing mode we enjoyed the previous few days.  But last night I began reviewing THE LIST—the stuff that needs to be done (in my humble opinion) before the baby comes.  So today energy is resurfacing for various tasks as this week I attack, yes attack!, some more spaces here and there in order to simplify & declutter.  Hopefully, I will not be distracted. :)


April 24, 2009

thought to ponder

"True simplicity consists not in the use of particular forms, but in foregoing over-indulgence, in maintaining humility of spirit, and in keeping the material surroundings of our lives directly serviceable to necessary ends, even though these surroundings may be properly characterized by grace, symmetry, and beauty." ~Book of Discipline of the Religious Society of Friends, Adopted by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 1927

Oh, I LOVE this quote!!  I came across it today while searching out a recipe.  I’ll be chewing on this one for a few days.  The weekend holds for us hopefully some simple times, some crafting with the children, dinner with friends—laughter & catching up, lots of sunshine and excellent weather, yard sales, gathering with other believers and naps.  I need naps!

May your weekend be enjoyable.


April 20, 2009

unbroken circle

In the rush of the weekend, him preparing quickly and leaving for one direction, to share a slice of time with other men in our congregation…being renewed spiritually,

and me preparing with haste also for another direction, list in hand marking off tasks as I anticipate a brief pause from daily life to enjoy the rise and fall of instrument sounds,

we both eagerly looked forward to our ‘retreats’, the previous week had offered little for such withdrawal…

and in the passing of time, I forget to mark the day. April 17th.

Not an event to be written on the calendar, just a remembrance in my heart. An anniversary of sorts :: the day he asked me. To marry him. Each year we celebrate in some fashion our wedding date, sometimes with great fanfare and other seasons of life required a far more simple recognition. But April 17th has been my own special observance and I quietly, without really sharing the news, remembered that day many moons ago by wearing only my engagement ring…just for the day.DSC_0007

Through the years I’ve been twice congratulated on my upcoming wedding, only to explain to strangers this silly little ritual of mine, spoken as a passing commitment in the first year of marriage, but actually a practice that stuck. Tears flowed from one cashier, & she behaved as if I had just given over a large sum of money for personal use. Bless her.

So after reconnecting and sharing stories from our times away, I approached the calendar last evening to prepare mentally for the week ahead, make lists and the like. Then only to remember, a few days late.

But no real grief over such a small matter :: I will take today to reminisce, to think back. And for just one day to wear the first part of my love-gift, this unbroken circle of gold.


April 17, 2009

right now…

Today I’m enjoying~

:: this quote read from another blog~

Creativity will broaden, deepen, intensify
your relationship with God.
It can be your most vital, viable, examining experience,
resulting in worship and wonder."

~Ruth Vaughn

:: this piano piece that totally captivated me this week.  true to my nature, I hear it once, did a frantic search for the sheet music, downloaded and began playing…all within 15 minutes. beautiful

SPATTS.Florida 261 :: flowers that once graced our table, no fresh beauty there now, so this picture will have to do

:: sunshine.  oh, sunshine! 

:: a visit this weekend to the symphony!  As a child, our family went several times a year and it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a full orchestra live.  My sister & I go to hear our favorite pianist performing our favorite piano concerto {she had a recording playing during her labor with my nephew!}.

::  cup after cup of hot tea.  yum.

hope your day and weekend is full of lots of good things, laughter and lightness.  enjoy.


April 14, 2009

remembering passover

                   DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0012

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{the helpers, the oldest being out of town :: we missed you Jackie}


 {the fruit of their efforts :: elements to help tell the story}

DSC_0023{a set table prepared & ready :: we’ve had to replace crystal glasses through the years; that’s what yard sales are for!} 



 {a new eager reader this year}

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{praise & worship time :: 1st pic is fuzzy because no one really stayed still long :: sunglasses necessary?  I guess so}

What a great teacher you are God!  Leaving instructions for your people to creatively remember Your actions on their behalf…year after year.  Our norm is to invite several families to participate with us, this year we opted out of that direction.  Just as well since I was sick with a cough & cold all week, ugh.  We’ll see what happens for 2010!


April 13, 2009


This week begins much different than the ending of the last, gratitude rises with each breath of relief as I wonder again at my lack of consistency in trusting this Mighty God :: in leaving it all laying before Him and awaiting His answers.

I am so impatient Lord.
And that response has never proven helpful to my situations, so when will I learn?

I have fluttered between a variety of emotions. True excitement about our future and then a tinge of worry as I wonder how everything will flow together into a rhythm of life that is not chaotic. In the last several days, each of our responsibilities have weighed heavy and felt burdensome to my spirit, much different than the yoke you speak of and that I've experienced.

How will I get it all done? How will everything fit together? Oh, the looming questions on probably every homemaker's heart! And though this question has been faced and fear conquered over many seasons, the last several days...this past week Lord...it seemed too large for me. A strong force of doubt began to shut out Your voice :: I momentarily gave in to the fear.


But Thou Oh Lord are a shield for me, my glory and the lifter of my head. You will not leave me comfortless, and when I ask, wisdom beyond understanding is made available to me. Once again, as I cried out my lament and waited...

YOU became my answer. YOU became my daily bread, the air I breathe :: and in that presence, the opposing emotions began to settle, lose their power over me. Wisdom, strategy for new family patterns & rhythms begin to emerge.  You began to put the pieces of our life together as I released the entire puzzle to you.  And while there are still questions, I will choose to wait on the rest. I will allow You to be enough.


That is the question I think we ask during our times of worry, of anxiety, of doubt.  Will He be enough?  Will my Lord take care of me and the situation before me?  You are here Lord…right?

It was the battle of Abraham as he wondered & worried about the promise made and his lack of a child to carry out the vision…

of prophets like Jeremiah and Elijah as they were disregarded and rejected for doing what God had required of them…

of Hannah who pleaded with her God about the desires of her heart…

of Mary who must have been truly shaken up by her angelic encounter, trusting & yet perhaps wondering how it would all work out.

Scripture give us many clues into the hearts of those who struggled in this area and we can read of Moses, King David, Queen Esther, and on…

Each and every time, He answered.  In His own way, in His own time, He assured each heart of His presence and an awareness of all that lay before them.  So, we can release any anxiety into these hands…and wait on HIM.

photo credit


April 8, 2009

visual homemaking journal

Finally.  After about only several years of trying to discover which method of organization would work for me in helping to bring calm to the chaos--where to place & record all of my note-taking, menu-planning, random thoughts of things to be done, upcoming events to prepare for, funnies out of my babes’ mouths~you get the picture--

I finally have found restA visual home journal.


Though started in the fall, I didn’t want to post until there was a strong conviction that it would actually work for me.  See, I’ve tried a w-i-d-e variety of ‘helps’.  It finally dawned on me that while my main mode is to be organized and to have a place for everything {not that it stays there always}, I did not enjoy a rigid system of organizing my days & weeks.  Electronic or computerized helps?  Nope, didn’t click with me.  Making lists on paper was preferred, but where to put all of those pieces of paper & post-it notes?

We have a family calendar with wide spaces, enough for writing down appointments & places to be when.  And I definitely have a way of keeping track of homeschool records & papers.  Almost everything else now goes into the home journal~and what fun it has been!


This method first appealed to me because of another problem I faced~where to put the various magazine pages that found their way into a stash of ‘pictures that I love’.  Now, I happily tear, cut & paste them into a notebook :: a notebook that holds my church to-do lists, my random doodles (or my children’s), home life to-do lists, cards to send, birthdays to plan, craft ideas, quotes I don’t want to forget…oh, just about whatever!  For some this could seem too random & unorganized.  I understand, but it’s simply how my mind works.

And, since I have a huge need to create on a regular basis, this organizational tool feeds that appetite when there is not time for other crafting or new-recipe-trying.  Really, just tear & paste!  Quick and simple.




May2007 062:: we say good-bye to a dear friend I’ve mentioned here in this space several times.  Annette, you now enjoy the splendors of heaven


148.  for a woman of God who influenced my own spiritual walk, encouraged me to be authentic, even in this fishbowl life that is ours

149.  the opportunity to see in your home & in your life hospitality in action—consistently opening your doors and heart to others

150.  great recipes!  I copied several out of your cookbooks, the bread pudding is a fave of my husband’s; we’ll eat it in the future & remember good times

151.  and just the reminder from watching you that life was meant to be lived to the fullest.  so what if the dishes didn’t get done or the family room is a bit messy, invite that friend over anyway; spend lavish time with my children, nurture my relationship with my spouse, even when it’s hard; love God, His people and His house.

what a legacy you have left, Annette.  Thank you.


{photo of Annette & her husband Scott taken May 2007, before cancer diagnosis, our last visit as families}


April 2, 2009

let’s swap recipes

Recipe Box Swap happening today!  It’s all about PASTA.  I’ve posted this one before, it’s a light pasta dish perfect for spring & summer meals.

Spinach Chicken Salad

5 cups cubed, cook chicken (about 3 breast pieces)

2 c. grapes, halved (red makes it pretty)

1 c. snow peas

2 c. torn spinach

2-1/2 sliced celery

7 oz. corkscrew pasta, cooked and drained

1/2 lg. cucumber, sliced

3 green onions, sliced


1/2 cup of your favorite oil (veg, olive, canola, etc)

1/4 c. sugar or use a sugar substitute

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. lemon juice

2 TBsp. fresh parsley

Mix everything for the salad. Add the dressing to the salad a few minutes before eating it so the sugar has time to dissolve. Enjoy!


April 1, 2009

preparing our hearts


{repost from the archives}

Oh Lord, I still cannot fathom or understand the breadth and width of your sacrifice.

When my mind tries to grasp the infinite measure of your love, I am captivated by this one thought: it is impossible to understand.

So I simply believe that it’s true. That you, the Holy and Blameless One, because of such a great love came here among us and lived in the finite constraints of human flesh and emotions.

And died and rose again. For His glory. For humanity.

Thank You, my friend. Thank You.


Preparations for celebrating Easter week are off to a start around here. This year I want to focus with the children on the generosity of God. That the Father would give His Son as a sacrifice is huge!, a very big gift to us. So we too must be generous, sharing & giving to others :: we’re brainstorming ideas of how to demonstrate that; this list, also in my side bar as ‘acts of kindness’ has been helpful.

I like the book, The First Easter, for young ones.

This site has lots of ideas for celebrating in various ways each day from Palm Sunday to Easter morning. Devotions for families, craft ideas, and much more.

Our family pauses on Maundy Thursday (the Last Supper) to celebrate with a Seder meal~a highly sensory & hands-on retelling of the first Passover and then rejoicing in the coming of the Messiah to earth {a viewpoint that we have added}. This is a treasured family tradition and as the children have grown, they are able to help prepare the food—yes! For the younger two in our home, I’m reading The Story of Passover in preparation.

Whatever your family or individual traditions are, elaborate meals or simple recognition of the season…pause & take time to know more of Him. To see afresh with new spiritual eyes, the gift that is Jesus!

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