Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Blooms - Flowers bigger than your hand!

Look at this beauty!  This dinner plate hibiscus plant has a distinctly tropical feel. 


Now, look how big it is.  It is as big as my sister-in-law's hand!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday - Special Day

Well friends, today marks a very special blog day.  This is my 100th post.  I am having so much fun documenting our lives with this little blog.  I am finding that it is giving me an outlet for creativity that I crave.  There is something about writing down words and taking pictures that just fuels me.

Thank you so much for looking into our lives and sharing with us.  It is such a joy to have a reminder right here of how blessed we are.  I have appreciated every sweet comment that has encouraged me along the way.  Thank you so much for reading. 

Since it is my habit to focus on a Bible verse on Wednesday, I am reflecting today on the verse that gave me the inspiration for this blog.  

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The dishes were done!

One of the greatest gifts a home cook can receive is the lovely gift of clean dishes.  Yesterday, after dinner, I went outside with the big boys to weed the front flower bed.  I came in thinking that the dishes ought to be next on my list.  I was dreading the thought, but low and behold, when I rounded the corner I saw the most beautiful sight a home cook can see.  My sweet hubby was standing there washing the dishes!  So, instead of spending the next thirty minutes in the kitchen, I got to play with the baby.  Thank you sweetie for that fantastic gift.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Sweetness of Sunday Afternoon

Sunday afternoon . . . yes, I know that it's Monday, but yesterday was Sunday, and it is the sweetness of Sunday afternoon that prepares me to face Monday.   Back to Sunday afternoon . . . Sunday afternoon we walk back in the house from church.  The whirl of getting out of bed early, rushing through breakfast and preparing for church is behind us.  We carry with us the peace from attending our Sunday School and church service.  We begin the reassuring pattern that guides many Sunday afternoons.

We settle down to a quickly prepared lunch (it's already past lunchtime) consisting of peanut butter and jelly, leftovers, or the occasional special treat of deli-turkey & cheese sandwiches (yes, deli-meat is an occasional treat in this house).  Then, the kids play on the floor or lounge on the couch.  The baby plays and walks from Mommy to Daddy to be reassured that he is no longer in the nursery.  I (might) put a load of dishes in the dishwasher. 

Now comes the best part of the day . . . nap time.  Mommy (me) or Daddy (my hubby) puts the baby (a.k.a. Little Man) down for a nap.  One or more of the boys might take a forced rest because of the early wake up time that morning.  I almost always lay down for a little while.  If I'm really lucky, I might get snuggle time with one of the boys who were forced to take a "rest".  Sleep may or may not happen, but it is not the sleep that is important.  It is the rest.  The quiet.  The contemplation.  After a little rest, the big boys (that includes Daddy) often take time to play the Wii, watch sports or even a movie.  I might read. 

Then, we contemplate dinner.  It is always light . . . no big Sunday family dinner traditions here.  Yesterday, we had salad topped with leftover chicken from the night before, homemade biscuits with homemade peach jam that Brian's mom made and grapes.  After dinner, the rest of Sunday afternoon  leads into preparation time for Monday.  The evening often includes dish duty, vacuuming, thinking through the week and spending a few more moments together.  But, it is the sweetness of Sunday afternoon that really prepares me for the week!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Morning Praise- It's Me

Standing In The Need Of Prayer
It's me, it's me, it's me oh Lord,
Standin' in the need of prayer.
It's me, it's me, it's me oh Lord,
Standin' in the need of prayer.

Not my mother (not my father),
But it's me oh Lord,
Standin' in the need of prayer.
Not my brother (not my sister),
But it's me oh Lord,
Standin' in the need of prayer.

~Author Unknown

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Brother in the Middle takes a leap!

Brother in the Middle is learning to swim this summer, thanks to his Aunt.  He got to jump off the diving board without floaties for the first time this week.  Then, two days later, he swam the whole length of the pool.  Good job, Brother!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Blooms

These are a few more of my Savvy Sister-in-Law's lovely blooms.





Thursday, July 21, 2011

Boys and Blueberries

The boys and I went blueberry picking on Saturday. They had a great time searching for berries to fill their buckets.  Mmmm . . . . blueberries.

Big Brother serches for berries.


Brother in the Middle does his part, too.


Don't want to miss any.


I wonder, are there more berries in the bucket or the tummy?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday -

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world."
~ 1 John 4:4 (KJV)

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Promise Produce

I am waiting . . . not so patiently.  The spring produce is exhausted.  The lettuce has a few tiny new leaves that can be picked, but then they are done.  The snow peas had one last gift for us Saturday, then I pulled up the plants.  They need to be pulled to give the squash more light, since they are no longer producing in this heat.  I am waiting for the summer produce to finally ripen.  It is there, growing, and I am highly anticipating the coming of the summer veggies.  These pictures are from last week, so they are a little bigger now.

I confess, I've never grown cabbage before.  Big Brother wanted to grow this.  When do you pick it?  Any tips would be helpful.

The little grape tomatoes are turning red now.  Any day, they will be ready to  pick.  I can't wait!

I used some of this amazing Basil in tomato sauce last week.  The extra leaves are sitting in a cup on the kitchen counter, giving off it's spicy aroma every time I brush up against it.

This is a baby asparagus that I thought was a gonner.  I had given up hope of it sprouting, so I planted lettuce and broccoli over top it.  Yet, here it is, springing up along side the second leaves of the lettuce plant.  I hope that in years to come, it will feed my family over and over!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Un-Birthday Bash Fun

The kiddos had such fun at the "Un-Birthday Bash" that I had to save a special post to share the kids' pictures!  These are some of my favorite shots.  They enjoyed making decorations, playing octopus tag, popping shaving cream filled balloons, pinning the decoration on the cake, a water balloon toss, water balloon fights,  a silly string fight, two pinatas, swimming, pizza and cake that finished the day!  What a fantastic party! 

There is shaving cream inside that balloon.
The object is to pop it.


If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!

Success, and oh what a mess!
(Brotherly love can take many forms.)

 
Sit on it, and you'll pop it!

 
Come on Big Brother, you can "pin the decoration on the cake"!

Little Man found his newest best friend.

Line up for a water balloon toss!

 
"Upside-Down Baby Cake"

Silly String War!
Oh, what a mess.

Even more mess.

Can I have one, too?

"I'll get you, my pretty!"
(When he did get hold of it, who do you think he threw it at?)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Alive Forevermore!

Alive, alive, alive forevermore.
My Jesus is alive, alive forevermore.
Alive, alive, alive forevermore.
My Jesus is alive.

Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah.
My Jesus is alive forevermore.
Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah.
My Jesus is alive.
~by Unlisted

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Blooms - Summer Time Show

My Pink Coneflowers

I had no idea that Mexican Hyssop would grow to such heights as mine has.


My Marigolds got a late start, but they're catching up.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Very Happy Un-Birthday, To You

Yesterday was a big day.  We celebrated 22 childrens' un-birthdays.  My savvy sister-in-law organized a huge party, and we had a blast.  The preparations took her a lot of time, and we appreciate all the work. 
-
What's a party without balloons?

Who doesn't love a good gift exchange?

The kids started the day by decorating their goody bags.

Un-birthday or birthday, there must be cake.

Even the lamp joined in with a "costume"!

Silly string fun was highly anticipated.

The pool looked so inviting in the hot sun.

How long does it take to fill a cooler of water balloons?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday - Jesus, Children and Weed Pulling

What goes together like peaches and cream, strawberries and chocolate or kings and queens?  Why of course, it must be Jesus, children and weed pulling!  You might say that it is not an obvious combination.  I will explain my logic, and maybe you'll see the beauty of the combination too.

The Bible tells us that we should always teach our children about God's word.  Deuteronomy 11:19 tells us, "You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."  That one verse covers the entirety of my day, from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed.  So, in my understanding, that means that I should weave teaching my children godly principles throughout my entire day.  This would include the time that we spend doing daily chores, like weeding.

Now, I happen to be big on including my children in the daily chores. They help me with most of the chores around the house. That includes weeding. I was thinking about the weeding that needed to be worked on this morning and began dreading the chore. Then I remembered that one of the greatest moments of my parenting "career" occured while weeding the garden last year.

Last year, my two oldest boys and I were weeding one very rogue flower bed. Brother in the Middle was tired of weeding, and he began digging with a garden spade. I almost chastized him for not pulling more weeds, then I remembered that he was just four. Just as my thoughts were passing through, he opened up about his thoughts.

He asked why Jesus died on the cross. The amazing thing was, Big Brother immediately explained the plan of salvation. We sat there weeding and talking about the greatest sacrifice ever made. Through the course of the conversation, Brother in the Middle decided to accept the Lord as his Savior.

So there you have it. Jesus, children and weed pulling. Could it happen at the swing set? At bed time? In the car? Yes, yes and yes. The thing is, we never know when, so we must be ready at all times. We must be sharing with them. Next time I see a little weed, I am going to put aside the grumbling and remember that it might just be an oppurtunity!

See that little weed?  I was too prideful to post this photo last
Friday because of it.  Today, it seems the obvious choice!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Mine"

My husband is so fine;
I'm oh, so glad he's mine.

Just on a whim,
I stopped to drop
This little line for him.

My husband is divine,
And, oh, I'm glad he's mine.


















My hubby and with our youngest (over a year ago).

Monday, July 11, 2011

True Blue You

Sometimes
  when
    you're
      quite
        blue,
And
  don't
    know
      what
         to do,
Loved
  ones
     that
        are
          true,
Will
  help
    you
      to
        review,
And
  see
    things
      all
        anew.
They
  are
    only a
      small
        few,
With
  such
    love
      so
        true.
That's
  why
    I'm
      thankful
        for
          you!

     

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Words To Live By Wednesday - No Complaining, Please!

Oh my, what a challenge.  I'd say it's a challenge for my children, but in truth, it's an even bigger challenge for me. 

" Do all things without complaining and disputing . . . "
~Philippians 2:14

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Have you laughed today?

Laughter.  I'm not talking about a little giggle or a nervous twitter.  I'm talking about that deep down, reach for your hanky to wipe your eyes, belly hurts from laughing too long kind of laugh laugh.  That kind of laugh is like a medicine that can boost you like nothing bottled ever could.  Laughter is the best medicine.  When you laugh, really laugh, it spills out joy and happiness from your insides.  The effect is contagious.  It spreads and infects those around you, so share a laugh today.  When was the last time you really laughed?

 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence

Because they stood up to fight,
and they sacrificed for right.

Because of the choices they made,
with honor their lives laid.

Because they still do,
Stand up for me and you.


























~Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Fourth_of_July_fireworks_behind_the_Washington_Monument%2C_1986.jpg

Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Blooms

Summer is officially here and with it come lazy, hazy days. Spring flowers have faded and the summer charm is on.

My mom's "little boy".

 Bee Balm with a view.


I love the look of Ivy growing up a tree.
This one looks over my parents' expansive lawn.