Thursday, July 9, 2015

growing...



grow...

 verb \ˈgrō\
: to become larger : to increase in size, amount, etc.
: to become better or improved in some way : to become more developed, mature, etc.
: to become larger and change from being a child to being an adult as time passes : to pass from childhood to adulthood


i could not pass by the above scene without taking a pic and a blog running through my mind...which is rare these days as i'm sure you have noticed.  we have been growing around here lately...

sweet pea has passed the year old mark!  wow!  she is full of giggles, mischief and such a blessing to our family.  she is growing by leaps and bounds in all ways possible.  sweet pea eats like no man's business too.

scout is a tween...sigh.  she is wearing my size in shoes.  seriously...i woke up one morning and she could wear them...i'm like...what happened?!  answer: she grew.

boo is ten. she is maturing quickly as are all the children.  i remember having to rock her so she would take a daily nap.  she's grown way too big for that.

trooper just turned eight.  a big age for a boy.  he is such a helper and hard worker.  our prayer for him is that he grows in wisdom and stature.

as for us adults, we have been growing too...the Lord has been cultivating in us everything healthy...habits, outlooks, discipline and totally getting rid of everything that doesn't need to be in us.

in fact, that's what i thought of when i saw the wheel barrow..."Lord...how much longer will we be hauling junk away from me?"  {it's a metaphor, you know.}  really!  how much can one person grow, change and be molded by the Lord and still live?!?!  well, we're still alive and by all accounts hopefully we aren't the same people we were a year ago.

we are officially in the ministry and we're still figuring that out as we go.  let's just say it didn't come packaged like a box of glazed doughnuts all nice and neat.  no, that would be too easy.  {usually if it's too easy, it's not for me!}

it came packaged like...well, similar to a box of something you weren't sure you wanted to open.  you knew if you did you would never ever regret it but still your flesh was hesitant...those dozen doughnuts on the other table smell soooo good.  and they are in order and you know what to expect from them.  

so we did it!!  we walked away from the doughnuts and chose the high road, the challenging albeit ever so rewarding and blessed way!  we've listened, obeyed and listened some more.  i wish i could tell you more but all in due time.  we're so happy to be in His will and in His time.  

is life {always} easy?

let's just say we best keep the wheel barrow around for a bit longer {like forever!?} because i still have some "things" to haul off!  

oh yes, and the smile sign in the picture...we've been learning to smile as we grow...which is a lot better than a grimace...just ask mountain man.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

adventure or nothing?


i don't know about you but i sure don't want my life to mean nothing.  the more i live the more i realize just how adventurous life can be! and how little i really know.

sweet pea is almost 5 months old...five months! we are all totally enamored by her.  it has been amazing to watch her sisters and brother step up to the plate and help around the house and put the baby's needs above their own!   mountain man and i are so proud of them!

we're going to try our hand at cloth diapering soon {hello adventure!} homemade wet wipes with lavender oil and some other ingredients are aromatic and wonderful!  and talk about economical and natural!

just today scout whipped up a lunch of things from our little homestead.  dandelion and egg salad, simmered green beans, toasted pecans and roasted radish greens...seriously it was amazingly good.  i told her if she kept that up she would be expected to cook everyday...she thinks i'm kidding...wink,wink.

we have been homeschooling using a My Father's World curriculum and busy working on character traits.  as i told the tech at the orthodontist office {boo got her braces off!} right now we are placing a big importance on learning to get along with people, work as a team  and understanding authority.  no thanks on raising really book smart kids who can not deal with conflict or know their place in the world.  i'm not saying book learning is not important but i think you catch my drift.

no doubt sweet pea will be crawling soon.  trooper is on "choking hazard" patrol where he scours the floors for no-no's.  he takes his job in protecting his sister very seriously.  just the other day we were driving down the street with the windows down and he yelled "roll the windows up!"  we all complied wondering what the fuss was and he said while relaxing, "someone was smoking and i didn't want the baby to smell the smoke."

the baby sits on my lap during meal time and chews her imaginary food right along with us.  that means we'll be making homemade baby food in a few more weeks.  she is full of giggles, smiles and everything sweet!  of course, trooper would argue that dirty diapers aren't so sweet...

scout is almost 12...that is an adventure for me in itself.  and this weekend is our 16th wedding anniversary!

our lives are full of adventure and i wouldn't want it any other way!  thank you Lord for our lives, love, family and these sweet children.  and yes, thank you for the adventures!

Berenstain Bears Blessed are the Peacemakers: Book Review







as i've said before we are big fans of Berenstain Bears books in this family.  we enjoy the characters and the moral of the story is usually always very good.  Mike Berestain {Stan & Jan's son} recently joined the team and they started producing the "Living Lights" series which are Christian stories filled with scriptures. in the back of the book are activities and questions to help bring the message home to young readers.

'Blessed are the Peacemakers' is a story of conflict between the friends of brother and sister bear...and their parents!  as in real life, we may get along with different people or groups but those groups or individuals may not always get alone.  what is to be done?  when scripture is mentioned in this particular story i feel it flows very well.  it does not seem forced at all.  in the end, the bears and their parents learned that: 

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
Matthew 5:9

we enjoy most of the Berestain Bears books and this one is no exception.  i appreciate the authors for turning morals and scriptures into easily understood stories for little hearts. 

thank you to Booksneeze for a free book in exchange for an honest review!!

Friday, August 1, 2014

berenstain bears: God shows the way: book review


we had the chance to recently read The Berenstain Bears God Shows The Way for a review, written by Stan & Jan Berenstain with Mike Berenstain.  It retails for $9.99 and is set to release August 5, 2014.  This book contains three books in 1 hardback I can Read book.  the book is brightly colored and appealing.  the stories included are Faith Gets Us Through, Do Not Fear, God Is Near and Piggy Bank Blessings.

the kids enjoyed the stories for the most part, easy reading for a beginner.

Faith Gets Us Through is about the Bear Scouts going through a cave and one of my kiddos said it was too scary.  from an adults point of view i felt the use of scripture was a bit forced for lack of a better word.  it didn't seem to flow very well.     

in Do Not Fear, God Is Near sister bear remembers to place in trust in God when she is afraid.  again, some of the images may be a bit scary for a sensitive child.  but the point and overall story is well written.

and lastly, in Piggy Bank Blessings sister and brother bear learn to save their money for something special.  the kids enjoyed this story the most.  it was fun to read about other "kids" saving their money.  from an adult's point of view it would have been nice if tithing was mentioned instead of just saving and spending.

overall, the book was informative and entertaining.  the images could be a bit much for some children.  some would not even notice.  i love that many scriptures are used. 

thank you booklook for a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest book review!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

i don't ever exaggerate.

i think it's safe to say i'm exiting the land of sleep deprivation.  the sweet baby is sleeping a little more than five hours straight and then two three hour segments! 

my hat goes off to all mamas with newborns...it is hard work!  it seems i had forgotten all about the...

mental fogginess.  i went to write a check about a week after giving birth and forgot how to spell.  i then had to write a second check to replace the first check. 

how hard it is to simply shower!  {the baby is now on a schedule so i can pencil one in!}

how to communicate with people.  we had a repair person come to the house and after a quick exchange about the baby for some reason they thought the baby was my grandchild.  i quickly corrected their thinking {i think} and then rushed to the mirror to see how much more grey hair giving birth put on my head. 

how to hear people.  the girls and i ventured to a store with the baby when she was about two weeks old.  we had the carrier covered so no one could see in {or share germs}.  as we were walking in i heard the words "baby, trash, throw away."  i looked at the girls thinking surely i had heard wrong but their saucer sized eyes told me differently.  i looked at the stranger and said, "uh...she's a keeper" wondering what in the world was going on.  she then put her arm around me and complained about the lack of maturity in some parents, the world we live in etc.  as she went on her way i was left wondering if i heard her correctly and what just happened.

that everyone ignores you.  why should they pay attention to the parents when there is an adorable baby whose hair stands straight up and smiles?  don't worry we usually get a "oh, hi" after the baby gets her fill of baby talk.

how much laundry one cute little bundle of love can produce.

how heavy their car seat carrier is...my arms will once again be buff in no time!

how the smell of dinner wafting in the air wakes them up just when i'm about to sit down to eat.  

and how much love i can have for our fourth child when i thought my heart was full with #1, #2 and #3.  

wow...

do i really have four children...??  when did that happen?  

it's true, i still had to count how many people we are when we took trooper out to eat for his birthday. 

and i thank the good Lord for them.  each of them is a blessing...each of them is "a keeper!"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

ragamuffin review & giveaway!!


here is a newly released DVD called ragamuffin based on the life of recording artist Rich Mullins.

i had heard a few things about Rich Mullins that peaked my interest over the years so i was excited to learn more about him.  wow.

"in the end it won't matter if you have a few scars, but it will matter if you didn't LIVE." ~Rich Mullins

what would make a recording artist donate most of his earnings to churches and charity?  why was he never married?  what was in his heart to write   songs that touched so many people?

rich was raised on a farm and of course was expected by his father to take it over one day.  that was not what the Lord had planned for him however and the dad had a hard time accepting that.  in fact, he was downright mean.  as a child he tried to conform to what his dad expected but it didn't work.  he was an artistic genius.

rich never heard or felt that his dad loved him so how could he accept the love of his Abba Father in heaven? 

he was broken.  he was tired of hypocrisy in the church.  he wanted to be himself.  he was a struggling addict.  yes, that's right. he had some issues to work through.  he was lonely.  

one things stand true.  God uses broken people.  he uses their hurts and experiences to bless and help others.  rich mullins is no different.  

do you assume that once an artist makes it to nashville all their heartache and troubles disappear?  no...they follow them and multiply.

this is a raw and honest movie about rich mullins and the process of healing he went through.  he stood up for what he believed even when the crowd or even his producers were opposed. 

and it was the love of others that showed him the love of His Father. 

this is a great movie and will definitely give you points to ponder.  mountain man and i enjoyed it greatly.  it is a bit dramatic with mild language, alcoholism and his mean father so it may not be suitable for your children.

and now...you have a chance to win a free copy of the movie ragamuffin!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

thank you flyby promotions for a copy of ragamuffin DVD in exchange for my honest review!

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
 

Friday, July 4, 2014

happy*4th


well...let's just say having a baby will certainly shake up your world!  sleep?  who needs it!  our new little princess has us all in love.  at just about 6 weeks old she is changing and growing keeping us all on our toes.  her smiles are the best!

she's had so many visitors and a friend of mine had meals delivered to us for two weeks after her birth...that was a huge blessing! her and the ladies at her church along with some friends of mine really showed us God's love in action! 

our lives have been busy and this weekend is no exception.  trooper is turning 7 {by the way, since he was the baby of the family with a real baby around it makes him seem HUGE!}  we ventured out to eat and the staff gave him an 'ol yee-haw along with a brownie & ice cream.


we have a trip to the lake planned and also a wedding this weekend...the girls are playing amazing grace.  see...i told ya...who needs sleep?!


boo turned 9 not too long ago.  she is an amazing big sister.  we are so proud of all of the sibs...the care and love they show their baby sister is precious!  we are blessed beyond measure!

happy 4th!
 
 

 

Monday, June 2, 2014

she is here!

that's right...we have a sweet baby girl perfect in every way!  

she was born at home with the help of an amazing midwife and mountain man {don't know what i'd do without him!}.  weighing 8 1/2 pounds she arrived early on a morning last week. the sibs woke up and there she was!!  i won't lie, it was a challenging experience but beautiful all the way. i thank the Lord for his strength and endurance that i so readily relied on.  i am still processing everything that happened...birth is a miracle, plain as that!

she loves cuddles and her siblings are just plum in love.  i have to shoo them away quite often so the sweet bundle can rest without having three pairs of eyes staring at her.

i am fully aware that you all want to see a picture {this is a blog after all} but for some reason my instincts are to protect this bundle...this is the internet after all.  i don't know if our blog will go private or what in the future but i thank you for your understanding.  i've made friends with many of y'all and if you'd like a peek just email me and i'll try to send you a pic quick as a wink.  

thank you for your thoughts, support and prayers!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

the baby will "bee" here soon!


picture from last week: 40 weeks prego.  gained roughly 32 pounds.  this week: still very prego. 

the nursery area is ready.  the daddy & sibs are ready.  the birthing kit is ready.  family and friends are ready.  and the mama? i'm sure most of you can imagine.  

but, all in the Lord's time...He knows when He wants this sweet pea's birthday.



we have roughly 8,000 - 10,000 new friends.  the kids decorated the bee hive and it's now full of activity!!  these bees are friendly {just don't mess with them} and should produce honey next year.  it is in a place where we can keep on eye on things but not too close to the house...safety first after all.


and here is part of one of the gardens.  it was so peaceful to go out and water this morning while drinking my morning tea.  mountain man and the kids have worked very hard in it this year while i have supervised...wink, wink.  we're eating asparagus, strawberries and lettuce at the moment fresh from the soil.  looking forward to canning lots of green beans and having fresh tomatoes for all the wonderful summer tomato concoctions.

that's it in a nutshell.  i'm sure our home will be a beehive of activity soon when sweet pea arrives!!  maybe i should take a nap while i can!

love y'all!