January 13, 2011

a new home for this journal

for all who have come across these pages,

ramblings of this servant's heart,

you are invited to continue the journey

at our new home.

I'll look for you there.

January 10, 2011


A few random thoughts today....

:: last week the whole family experienced some level of the first cold/flu of the season.  We were to start back to school, but days filled with fevers simply led us to take all things slowly--back on track this week!

:: my January goals are also dragging though I've gathered up items to list for sale.  

:: the blog is undergoing some changes this week, so if I'm not around much, no worries!  If all goes well, the design and content will be tweaked a little--exciting!

:: a few tea party napkins started last summer in need of finishing (a certain little girl would be most happy).  They've found their way into my 'to create' pile.

Whatever the week has brought you so far, I hope it's been good!



January 5, 2011


pausing today to give thanks....

for a toddler's smile and sloppy kisses

our son's pursuit of reading and writing skills (very intent this child)

our third girl's desire to create (so like her Mama she is!)

for a twelve-year old's efforts in study

watching the growth in our young adult daughter

being graced with her little guy's focused, yet sweet, personality.

In all this, Lord...I feebly attempt to give you praise.  Though a woman of words, combining 26 letters to share my heart with you often fails to express my gratitude.

So simply...

thank you.

photo credit


January 2, 2011

moving into 2011

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm not one for resolutions and such, but I am goal oriented and a lover of lists.  So, it's exciting to be participating in a new venture!

Listing out THREE goals to meet every 30 days.  Each month, choosing three attainable goals and getting them done.  Yes, I like that.

There's a community feel to the project as others join in to encourage.  Overall, a great idea!

So, here are my goals for the month of January ~
:: get back on track with green smoothies daily (holiday feasting caused this to fall by the wayside; that's okay, but time to regroup!)

:: use the time budget I created with Tell Your Time (the goal is to be consistent, not perfect.  we will have days where flexibility is required)

:: list my 'to sell' items in the basement on craigslist (if I do not sell them in January, then I will give them away)



December 30, 2010

time in the Big Apple

Christmas break has included some serious down time for this Mama {a much appreciated gift of time from my spouse!}....

So I journeyed upstate a bit to visit my sister in the big city of New York, taking in some rest and relaxation and the sites of bustling life in a metropolitan area.  

~ cooped up for a morning in her apartment, I enjoyed the treats this gracious sibling of mine provided!

~ hot tea and good books, a great combination

~ perusing through her many cookbooks!

 ~ naturally there were many options of international food, Peruvian and Cuban were our cuisines of choice.

A relaxing set of days!


December 21, 2010

the beauty of Christmas

There are some who are cynical about this season,

pointing fingers and questioning the generosity of others :: wondering if it's temporary or if after the tinsel a giving spirit will continue.

Yes, it's true.  Some may forget and in the next 11 months choose to withhold funds, time, or focus from those in need.

I am more encouraged however by those who have chosen to participate now and for whom this is a lifestyle.  Stories of how families and individuals are reaching out have so blessed me in the last few weeks! 

Some are making commitments of finances, supporting with currency.

Others I see volunteering and stretching their time budget further.

Still others are carving out space in their hearts and homes for hospitality, renewed to give afresh in this way.

All distrubuting kindness, hope, love and encouragement to another.  And I pause to praise.  Truly this is how our Lord intended it to be?

In the rest of this week...

...and in the weeks beyond, be encouraged.  Watch for displays of giving, and rejoice!

photo credit

December 17, 2010

fun for the season :: homemade for teachers

If there's anyone who deserves some holiday cheer & appreciation, it's the many teachers, coaches, helpers, etc. who work with children throughout the year!  Hats off to these amazing individuals who pour their hearts out and somehow wrangle an often large group into learning; whether it be math, language, dance, music or another pursuit.

While we base our educational studies from home, our children are involved in various activities or classes during the week.  We decided this year to make a brown sugar body scrub as gifts, seeing that most of these teachers are women!  A quick & easy (and delicious smelling) project.

The cast of characters:

Brown Sugar Body Scrub
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/2 to 1 ounce oil (sunflower, almond are good choices)
1/2 TBsp kaolin or white china clay (we ordered ours from Mountain Rose Herbs)
1/2 TBsp honey
2 drops of essential oil (we used lavender)

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and spoon into a jar.  Oil will settle on top, just stir before use.  To use, gently massage scrub in circular motions over body and then rinse with warm water.  Do not use on the face.  Makes 4 oz.

Our containers were bought off eBay several years ago :: just plastic 4 oz containers.  Mountain Rose carries a variety of jars and such as well as crafters on Etsy (which, if you haven't been here...grab a cup of coffee or tea and visit a while)!

A simple label with a Christmas sticker and instructions from the recipe above completed our gifts.  We then used tissue paper, some sprinkles of shredded paper and a bit of gold cord to wrap up these treats!

Simple, quick and not too difficult for even the youngest of gift givers!



December 15, 2010

easy peasy pie crust 'cookies'

True confessions are in order today.  Deep breath...inhale...exhale...okay, here we go:

I really do not enjoy baking cookies.

Yes, yes, I find the art of cooking in general to be a solace; and muffins, breads and the like are at the top of my baking list.  But cookies?  Not so much.  Only if I'm truly inspired.

With the holidays of course comes the expectation that whipping up these delectable treats takes priority on the to-do list.  There are plans next week for gingerbread cookies as this endevour succeeded last year. 

But until then, I've discovered an idea to keep my children happy (taming the Mom, when are we going to bake cookies!? question) and to keep me sane and happy as well.  Which is on the top of the priority list around here.  Want to know my secret?

Pie Crust.

To be more precise :: make 'cookies' out of pie crust.

And I'm not even talking about homemade.  Just the plain old two-per-package, rolled-up, store-bought pie crust.  I bring them to room temperature, let the kiddos unroll and break out the cookie cutters. 

I can almost hear the Hallelujah chorus being sung.  Seriously.  This idea is such a winner around here!

Easy Peasy.

After cutting out shapes, brush the 'cookies' with some melted butter.....

Sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar or plain sugar.  We used vanilla bean cane sugar (a delicious gift from upstate, thanks Grandad!)......

Bake at 425 degrees for 12-14 minutes and...

...voila!  Cookies! (sort of).

We eat these with ice cream or sherbert, but think of the possibilities!
  • top a pie crust cookie with fruit salad and drizzle with maple syrup
  • drizzle with melted white, dark or milk chocolate
  • add warm pie filling on top and add whipped cream

Yum!  Best of all, my children are satisfied until our real cookie baking session!  Yes.



December 13, 2010

fun for the season :: popcorn & cranberry garland


As usual, there’s a need for me to prioritize the many ideas I had for crafts & projects this Christmas!  Naturally, the ratio of little ones to Mama definitely determines what those projects will be.  Ahem.  Additionally this year, our geography curriculum calls for many cultural celebrations of the Christmas season.


We have lots of plans, but they are not too complicated (at least I hope not)!

Cranberry and popcorn garlands were simple enough.  I heard that day-old popcorn works better than freshly popped (which we used) as it’s a little stiffer.  We also chose dental floss as a stronger & easier to work with alternative to thread.  For younger children, a tapestry needle is bigger and more blunt…and hopefully lessens the chance of pricking fingers!


An easy project and treat for the birds!


December 10, 2010

watch for the light today


“What we are in fact celebrating is the awe-inspiring humility of God,

and no amount of familiarity with the trappings of Christmas should ever blind us

to it’s quiet but explosive significance…”

excerpt from Watch for the Light :: Readings for Advent and Christmas


Today, choose beyond the glitter of the temporary

to view the eternal.

Emmanuel, God with us,

has COME.


photo credit



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