What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, August 29, 2008


Our family date was a total success. Minus the fact that Chinese didn't seem to be on Bunkin's appetite list. It was super fun to see Matt in the middle of a work day and enjoy lunch with him. Lunch hours are not something we are used to. Lunch times up until this point consisted of shoving one's sandwich in one's face while walking to the next cow...and if the cow you were walking past happened to do her business while you were walking past...and if her business splashed up on you- well, then, so be it.

Yeah, I know. Gross.

But all the more reason to celebrate lunchtime now.

Manure-nowhere in sight.

Sitting- not on the move.

An hour- AN HOUR?!?!? What can you possibly do for an HOUR?!?!?

Brown eyes, six of 'em, staring back at me.

Not to mention, this day, something OTHER than a sandwich. Even if it was, on this particular day, Chinese.

PS. We also went to the Discovery Center, had a blast. (Didn't bring my camera out with the exception of taking these two photos of mountain rope climbers. Very proficient, they were.)

The park, a bank, the grocery store, another bank, a craft store, Target, and my sister's house.

From 7:30- 5:30.

And I was exhausted by the end of the day.

When is school going to start so life can slow down ?!?!?
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Thursday, August 28, 2008


On our walks, my children gather treasures by the dress or pockets full. Chubby hands clutch too many rocks, each one picked for it's own uniqueness. Some are loved for their colors, some for their lack; some for their size and strength and some for their teenyness. Sticks and branches are trudged along as walking sticks, or thrown in the air as flagpoles and signals. Feathers-no matter what, are found then floated, caught, and then fly along with the children all the way home. Flowers tuck themselves in hair, or behind ears, or decorate our clothing and rarely are mouths without a stalk of wheat or foxtails.

But never on our walks, do we discover something so pure and beautiful, fragile and intricate as we did the other day stumbling upon the most gorgeous mushroom ever. Two inches or pure ivory-not a blemish or scratch. Sitting proudly, alone in the tall grass, first thought was an ostrich egg. OSTRICH? No. Turkey?! nay.

We lifted it from it's grassy bed and cradled it in our hands. The older, more experienced hands holding gingerly, the younger ones being more flamboyant yet each finger, young and old, marvelling in it's own way, with it's own touch. The deep, recessed grooves so tender and distinguished. The white flesh so perfectly pure and soft. The pattern so intoxicating.

Each took a turn carrying it home, many exclamations made over it the rest of the evening. It became a bird egg, then an eating egg and eventually a vase for fresh flower petal potpourri. It rested on the windowsill next to the childrens' bed for the next two days, fingerprints and markings eventually marring the white flesh with tarnished brown.

Eventually, so brown, we had to throw it away and I mentioned how sad it was we wouldn't still see it's beauty every day.

To which Corynn, more wise than she knows, replies:

"It's okay. Just because it turned brown doesn't mean we still can't enjoy it."

Now, we enjoy it's memory...and look forward to the possibility that we might find another some day.

And that is enough.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Hard Worker

Today we are meeting Matt during his lunch break and going on a family date.

Super excited, all of us.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Taking My Own Advice

I am entering into the 'real' year of homeschooling this year. While still "unofficial" (PA doesn't require official schooling til 8! Wowza!) all the other kids 5 years old are heading toward the nearest school bus, so mine better git herself edjicated now too.

I am kinda freaked out about it. Everyone says that teaching a child to read isn't hard. So-what if I can't do it? I will be a failure in the worst degree. Pathetic. Bury my head in the sand pathetic.

What if I don't have the self-discipline to put her schooling first and it ends up not getting done consistently? Yes-this has been a problem in the past.

What if? What IF? WHAT IF?!?

Here are some thoughts to reign those pesky doubts in: Remember them, Rebecca.

* * Teaching children is a natural extension of parenting...don't make it overly complicated. You won't be perfect. But you can grow and learn, make mistakes and fix them.

* * Don't scare yourelf out of doing it with "what-if's". Rmember, Rebecca? You wanted to learn to sew for years-but never did because "What if?" Then, you made your first little girls' dress and thought- WOW! That was WAY easier than I thought it would be. Same is true with quilting, canning, cooking, crocheting, and photography. You are your own worst enemy. Don't say you can't unless you try.

* * Don't mimic the schools: there is a reason why you want your children to stay out of one.

* * Don't let others dictate how you feel about what you are doing. If noone looks at you funny every now and again, you are doing something wrong. You can't live your life to the glory of God and still please those who don't know Him.

* * The two main objectives for educating in THIS house are to love God and to love learning. These can't be tested on at the end of the week. Think longterm and teach these above all else. Expect not to see results right away.

* * Learning is lifelong. It doesn't begin and end with a certain "school age". That means: just because Corynn is 'officially school age', don't forget about your two year old Panda traipsing in your shadow. He is a learner too. Don't underestimate him, or devote to him time and attention. And don't forget about yourself- you have a lifetime of learning in store as well.

* * Enjoy yourself. If you do, you know the kids will, and if they do-then you have succeeded.

* * Give it your all, and don't forget the great magnitude of what you are doing. If you remember how important your task is, it will be not so easy to shirk it off on a whim.

* * Throw out the plan sometimes, and embrace the opportunities. Learning and remembering often takes place most often there.

* * Don't forget to glory in God's creation. The world around is the science, biology, chemistry, mathmatics, art, music, literature, and English, history, and bible curriculum that is complete.

* * Lean on God, because you know you just can't do it on your own. Not well. Not at all. He WILL give you all you need to succeed.

* * So much of life is caught, not taught. Be an example to your children, Rebecca! Become better yourself! Live life joyfully, authentically, wholly, and creatively. Be devoted! Don't expect diligence if you can't be it yourself. Be curious! These are the lessons that last a lifetime and are the stones which build a foundation of solid individuals. You are the teacher AND the learner.
You CAN do this, by God's grace. You believe that is what is best for your family. You trust that home educating is what would please God most of all- so trust Him for the grace to get you through it.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

In other news:

You remember my friend Nanci? You know...the one I always gushed about? The one who put up with my shinanigans while teaching me to crochet, and then, dealt with me always hanging around bugging her even after I learned... The one I hated leaving in this move most of all?!?


She started a blog!

Can you believe it? I couldn't! Trust me, I hounded her incessantly about starting one... and now she has!

And she shows off her crafty works-and even gives TUTORIALS! She is an expert seamstress-don't let her tell you otherwise.

She is the greatest mentor ever, and has taught me SO much in regards to homeschooling and life.

You simply. must. go. visit.

Tell her "Hi", welcome her to the blogging community, and then thank her for helping me to become who I am today. She doesn't believe me when I tell her.

Ps. Below is the ONLY photo I was ever allowed to take of her.

Wait. Scratch that. She didn't even know I TOOK that picture....

I love her.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Inch by Inch

Can a woman go mad from lack of creativity?!? I think so. Because I am. And Have been.

How much longer can I take living in dust and grime with absolutely no "pretties" surrounding me?! I go shopping and seriously want to buy the entire store. I stayed at Target for three hours today-just oogling, drooling, and touching the pretty things-and it took every ounce of strength I could muster not to leave having spent our already dwindling savings on stuff we don't need. Just because it was shiny. Or soft. Or pink.

I do have pretty things. I am pretty sure I do. I think I remember having them once... A long time ago.


There are happy times ahead though, at least this is what I tell myself. The Amishmen are through here, even though they are leaving a few "mistakes" (check out the cream colored corner in the photo below) and LOTS of mess behind. We are apparently the cleaning crew, which means that now comes the hard (and sneezy) part.

On Friday the "mens" left for the day and I celebrated their absence by planning a big surprise for Matt, namely: a cleaned, orderly living room complete with fresh flowers. A glimpse of days gone by. How life used to be. I rolled up my sleeves (or would have had it not been 90 degrees) and set to work.

The living room floor took sweeping two times, vacuuming the cracks, and mopping three times before the floor looked nice. This required first moving all the junk, toolboxes, and furniture OUT of the room. The clean floor then called me to bring all the living room furniture in. Vacuumed the sofa and beat all the cushions. Furniture polished and shined the wood. Washed windowsills.

All this for one room! But what a feeling, to sit upon an upholstered, soft, cushy surface once again...a luxery after having only four hard wood chairs or the floor.

Here it is, in all it's glory.

Ignore the lack of curtains, the empty shelving and the peeking other room. Please, and thank you.

Some more reasons to be thankful:

* A hideous stairway turned much less hideous with the placement of a beautiful rug runner. *sigh* Happy thoughts. Happy toes.

* A husband who comes home and sets to work on the outside projects. My how the yard has cleaned up!

* HOT water for showers-we ARE getting up in the world!

* A washer and dryer hooked up-all my own!!!! No more hauling laundry!

And~ a bath tub. Empty and clean.

Just LOOK how clean and white made much less impressive with the lacking 'before' photo. I had convinced myself that I couldn't bare the thought of taking 'before photos' of the house mess and chaos we have been living in-but as soon as I saw this photo I regretted not having one.

Imagine: Cardboard. Sawdust. Steel buckets and old waxrings for toilets. Random broom handles. Screws. Nuts. Bolts. Plumbing pipe. Tape-new and used. Dirt. Stones. and Wood. The junk filled the tub up completely.

Believe it or not: I tackled this bathroom as soon as I was done the living room. And then, I practically went comatose.

Now let's see: only 5 more rooms to go...
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And just for the sake of Panda expressions...

Proof is in the pudding...our son is a scumbag.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Well Balanced

Today's lunch.

Tasty, juicy luscious peach.

Extra sharp cheddar and my new addiction: Toasteds crackers. Look-some are "wheat". That makes them healthier, right?

And yes-there are candy corns. And yes: the bright orange bits of pure sugar are out of proportion to the rest of the meal.

And yes-those ARE Pringles crumbs by the peach-but I only had five. I swear.

I guess I should mention the chocolate pudding I ate afterwards too. Just keepin' things real.

I'm all about a well-balanced healthful diet. Fruit. Grains. Dairy. Candycorn. I should be a dietician.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Moment

Matt is working late tonight, so late that the children have already been tucked into bed and are snoring sleepily in the next room.

I thought it a perfect opportunity to get a headstart on posting the many photos I've had looming in Picasa since this move had first begun.

Headstart I did, for I have worked my way up to this point-not down; headlights just lit the driveway and I am nearly caught up.

Enjoy this entourage.

Sigh. Now, to untwist my pretzel legs. Sitting crosslegged for two hours is never good to do.

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Putting in Roots

We've rented all our married lives, and all our married lives I have tried to fight the discontent of not being able to be 'permanently' and 'deeply' rooted in the land, without ability to plant orchards or have the joy of perennials. Though even now we are renting, it is with the intent to purchase and so, we rejoice and celebrate and trust God for our future here.

To mark the beginning of this new life, to commemorate the roots that we are firmly laying down, and to remember the youngness of our children as we settle them into this new lifestyle, I bought a perennial for each in our family thus far.

A permanent fixture to our yard, these are the celebrations of Lord-willing, many summers worth of watching blossoms unfold; a yearly reminder of the past-and the future.

Matt's was chosen for it's color and interest, not it's name. Lucifer's Everglaze?! A fitting name for him?! ha!

Corynn and I have similar tastes, yet the pink hydrangea was too expensive for our wallets. Grandma got it as an early birthday gift.

Andrew got the blue and purple delphinium-one of my wedding flowers.

I took a photo of the children next to their plants, knowing that in years to come they will be pleasant remembrances to their smallness at this time. One day, my Panda will tower above the delphinium, not the other way around.

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Bunkin's yarrow and my Pinky Winky (snowball bush) were both short-lived. Deer had them for dessert with a kind thank-you and a slurp of the lips, the very first night they were planted. It was a devastating blow-especially my Pinky Winky...

There are still a few lower leaves on each, dare I hope for a comeback next season?!?

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Weights and Measures

My leanings thus far have been toward Corynn-child, (I am working my way UP not down...) and I find that the portraits of Panda's life are much more sparse. Let me rectify the situation with these few bits of randomness, with a bear as the subject.

A riding pony, at Nanny's house

A whirligig that apparently is a witch's broom-or so I am told if I understand "itch boom" properly.


Every morning, he is filthy. Every afternoon he is too. Every evening, I can barely recognize him. Moments after a bath, the shadows of grime attach themselves to him again. This boy is a dirt magnet, and this home is quite conducive to it right now. It doesn't stop my incessant hugs and kisses though.
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And not the pretty kind either...
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Faster than a speeding bullet

The move here must have been at the pivotal time in the life of our Little Miss to give her the impetus to graduate from "little miss" into a "Bigger Little Miss".

One such advancement: no training wheels.

It all started when she got more and more daring with the training wheels-flying down the drive, turning circles flawlessly and standing up while riding. Eventually it was clear to all that the training wheels were just getting in the way.

She begged for three nights to have them taken off, but we were reluctant, knowing it would probably be a hard adjustment with many falls.

Boy, were we wrong.

(the look she gives here is priceless...she feels Papa's absence, yet, she is still going. Look at the excitement -and shock- written all over her face!)

Papa pushed and helped for about 15 minutes and she had already begun to take off for a few pushes.

After 30 minutes of practice and perseverence, she was zooming just as fast as she had WITH the training wheels.

"Aren't you proud that I can ride without training wheels?!?!" she would ask.

Of course we were. We were also floored that she mastered the bicycle so quickly. Must admit-she didn't get that from me.

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