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, January 29, 2010

Foto Friday....Learning

So sorry to get the linky up so late today!

I was sorely lacking for inspiration this week-I originally thought it would be very easy to do, since we are homeschoolers after all, but everytime I had an idea it seemed so very...ordinary. Also-I have noticed that my right eye is doing a really bad job at focusing these days (hoping that a new eye prescription will remedy that because if I end up being unable to focus photos I think my world might come crashing down around me. WAaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh. Let's hope for the best; let's think HAPPY THOUGHTS!) I took most of these photos this very morning after noticing most of the photos from this week had been blurry as all get out. Which is why this post is coming up so late. *blush* Again, sorry.

Anywho. LEARNING was the theme last week!

*Brought the camera with us on our weekly library trip. There was an old man sitting in a corner chair with the most fabulously defined wrinkles, gnarled fingers, long-scratchy beard and dark plastic framed glasses. The same man who is there the same time we are every week, who sits in the corner chair completely lost in his book. He would have made for a fabulous picture...but I wasn't brave enough to ask him. I am such a wuss.

* a book. (on a mirror) (book check: the Discoverers)

* this year I am going to try and learn how to do our own taxes. We haven't moved. We don't own anything. We don't have our own business. We aren't sitting on millions of dollars of investments. It SHOULD be easy, right?! yikes

* the Panda. Writing.
Totally unrelated, but funny nevertheless: Grandma stopped by for a visit and was telling a story about her neighbor who had a fire. "The chimney didn't have a proper...." and then she stopped to think about the word to use when Andrew piped up: "A PROPER NOUN!!!" It was too funny.

* A lesson I try to remember daily. I can talk myself blue in the face, but when it comes down to it, the things I am doing are what my children are hearing.

In order to participate in these Foto Friday challenges, you must take a photo (or several) pertaining to the challenge WITHIN the challenge week and post it/them to your blog. When you do, please link back to this blog {you may use the button if you like} so that perhaps we can get lots of participants! (Because, you know, the more the merrier!) Then simply link to your Foto Friday post with Mr. McLinky here so that we all can visit you and compare notes...

For those of you new to this blog (or to Foto Friday's in general), each Friday we get a new photo challenge to work on for the week and we post our photos the next Friday and link back up here. Whatever your skill level, the goal is to get behind your camera and to begin, as you practice, to view subjects in a different light. To extend yourself and your concepts and ideas. To create ART instead of just snapping a picture. And to do it all while having FUN.

This week's Foto Friday challenge is.....


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If I could answer that for you....

"WHY would she DO that to herself?" "Why do THEY do that to themselves!?!?"

If I could answer that question for you.........

I will go through nine months of morning sickness, back aches, and heartburn; I will endure hours of the most intense physical pain in delivery and I will mourn the loss of my high school figure for a cause far greater than sometimes even I imagine.

I bring babies into this world not just for me. But for YOU. I bring babies into this world for this NATION.

I set aside my own hobbies, free time, opportunities for travel, a fatter wallet and my own personal preferences and instead devote every waking moment of every day (and plenty of sleepy moments too) to the committed, consistent training of our children.

I do this because I know that those children will one day be men and women.

I do this, knowing...

We are raising men and women to be freethinkers- questioning information given to them from authority against the true authority of scripture.

We are raising men and women who devote their minds, arms and sweat to beautifying this earth instead of wasting their time and gifts behind a videogame or a television set.

We are raising men and women to cherish old people on their deathbeds and babys in the womb and who will fight to protect the lives of both.

We are raising men and women who will know the rights and freedoms that are ours and who will protect those rights at all costs.

We are raising men and women to respect this earth as the gift that it is and to treat it as such at a time when people don't think twice about tossing soda cans out of car windows or styrofoam burger containers in parks.

We are raising men and women who will value the sanctity of marriage and will lead generations in positive examples.

We are raising men and women to put aside their own selfishnesses and to seek out how to help OTHERS, even at the expense of themselves.

We are raising men and women who will love to learn and will continue to do so, every single day of their lives, and in doing so, never cease to better themselves or those around them.

We are raising men and women to be financially wise, who will save a nation from the wreckage of bankruptcy that is our legacy and their inheritance.

We are raising men and women to be humble enough to know where their goodness comes from and to be thankful to the Only one who gave it to them.

We are raising men and women to be honest and good, in a world that is rampant with lies.

And if we do it right...
and with the promises of God to bless us in our obedience....
we will see our children grow into these men and women, who will have many children of their own...and then their children too will have children and soon.... SOON...

a nation will be renewed and strengthened and a kingdom will be made stronger with the great attributes of the great children that we bore.

The name Newman will not be lost, but will be multiplied greatly, anchored firmly with respect and honor from the daily sacrifices of a man and woman who COULD have traveled the world.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

4 years ago today....and.....Today

As if pink eye wasn't enough, just when that got better, I got a two-day migraine that decided to lay down stakes in my eyeballs. I am feeling MUCH better today though. I went to bed without supper last night but let me tell you~ I SNARFED the leftovers for lunch. yum. *burp*

Because of the pink eye/migraine situation (Pink eye is all gone now, btw) I haven't picked up my camera in...oh....week and a half pry. This, my friends, is astounding for me.

And with no new pictures to post, I am left without inspiration with which to write.

But still, I love my bloggy blog and wouldn't want it to feel abandoned, so I raided my archived photos just so that I could post today.

(I am SO lame.)

These photos were from this day in 2006: those horrible worthless/cheap scanner, pre-digital, pre-fancy-camera days of old.

My goodness, my photos have come along way since the start of this blog. Wow. Makes me feel like deleting all archives up until this past year....

but then, I would miss this darling face.

Trust me, this is the best photo of the bunch. Bunch meaning: first three years of blogging.
Don't even THINK about going back to 2005. That was the day of the crappy-holds only five photos-digital camera days. In fact, I had a BURN crappy digital cameras party that year. If you really want to know, that horrible camera was why I LOATHED digital cameras and why I refused to go the digital route after that awful digital experience way back when. It's a sorry fact, my friends.

Awwww....little Corynn was just so stinkin' precious back then with her flippy little blonde pigtails and her wide open mouthed grin.

I miss that nice bay window that gave such fabulous photo lighting. I would just pull the sheer curtains closed and have at it.

Something else occurs to me: my hair is the exact same length now as it was four years ago! How is that POSSIBLE?!?! I think I might have trimmed my hair four times since then (like 1/2 inch EACH time.) My hair grows at about the same speed as Halley's comet orbits.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pink Eye Protocol

Just wanted to thank everyone for all your great support in my hissy-fit post below.

WHEN I have a truly bad day, I try not to spout of my problems to the world~ I like very much to keep them private. Of course, most bad days I have my soundingboard (Matt) present, too.

I am glad, though, that I had my little hissy-fit here because you all were so supportive and offered some great suggestions: from ice cream to pink eye ! I was surprised at the breast milk idea (and I admit, I laughed at it too because you know it SOUNDS funny!!!) and would have tried it, had my little squirt not mournfully weaned herself BEFORE her first birthday. (Stinker)

After reading that 65% of people given placebo recovered just as well as those given antibiotic in a clinical stufy, I felt pretty safe to do some fiddling.

Matt has struggled with blephritis in the past and was instructed to lube up his eyes with bacitracin every night after washing them with baby soap so I thought about that for myself...then I looked at the bottle and it said KEEP AWAY FROM EYES. Of course, big print like that made me a wee bit nervous. But then I found this site, which confirmed what HE knew and what a few of you knew...that it is actually prescribed at times.

So, I feel confident in my sans-doctor-visit, self-doctoring.

Here is my pink-eye protocol:

  • Dispose of contacts (waaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh)
  • Wash eyes with baby soap thoroughly. Use different washclothes for each eye. (I treated my left as though I had it too, in an effort to prevent it from spreading)
  • Hold (again, separate) hot water compresses on eyes throughout the day
  • Before bed, lube up your eyes with Neosporin
  • Change pillowcase every night.
  • Wash hands well throughout the day and avoid touching eyes

I am Day three into the pink eye but immediately after initializing protocol (doesn't this all sound so....technical?!?) my eyes stopped gooping and the pinkish color is almost completely gone.

So, besides not being able to wear make-up due to ointment eyes, squinting into glasses that aren't my current prescription, wearing bent-up, black frames from 15 years ago that are SO not "in" right now, showering and/or dressing blind, and feeling positively hideous right now, I am feeling pretty darn good.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Foto Friday:: REACHING

Last week's challenge was :: REACHING :: and could have been taken literally or figuratively. I knew there would probably be lots of arms/hands since they are what automatically come to mind when I think "reaching", so I told myself I needed to come up with a few ways to portray reaching WITHOUT the use of hands.

But I couldn't resist ONE...especially with all that lovely color (something I am in SORE need of these days). Thanks to the gorgeous cheery colors, this is my favorite of the week.



The inside of a telephone cord spiral. They help you reach things! (So does a telephone by the way.)


This plant is very artsy, if you ask me. It has these long, spindly curls reaching every which way with just few leaves tucked on the end of each. This is how it looked when I received it so I am *PRETTY* sure I haven't killed it.


It would have been interesting to see just how tall I could have made a tower that still allowed a trembling Corynn to balance atop (on tiptoe). But I didn't. See?! I am not THAT mean.

Actually, truth be told, I was a wee bit envious of her teetering. It took everything I had not to add a few objects and then throw her off so I could have a turn. I am SUCH a kid.

Who else was REACHING this week?!?!

This week's challenge is...................

In order to participate in these Foto Friday challenges, you must take a photo (or several) pertaining to the challenge WITHIN the challenge week and post it/them to your blog. When you do, please link back to this blog {you may use the button if you like} so that perhaps we can get lots of participants! (Because, you know, the more the merrier!) Then simply link to your Foto Friday post with Mr. McLinky here so that we all can visit you and compare notes...

For those of you new to this blog (or to Foto Friday's in general), each Friday we get a new photo challenge to work on for the week and we post our photos the next Friday and link back up here. Whatever your skill level, the goal is to get behind your camera and to begin, as you practice, to view subjects in a different light. To extend yourself and your concepts and ideas. To create ART instead of just snapping a picture. And to do it all while having FUN.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm a mean one, Mrs. Grinch

This ain't happy, clappy people.

It has been ONE of those days, let me tell you.

* I spent the wee dark hours of late night working on that very secret, very exciting and way-more-fun-than-deepcleaning project I was alluding to the other day only to discover that thanks to our badly lit house, all the things I was working on are rendered useless. I can't explain it exactly, without giving it away and I DID want to make a grand show of it when I DO give it away....so suffice it to say, I have wasted plenty of money, plenty of time and plenty of supplies on worthlessness. NOT a pleasant feeling, let me just say.

*A certain six-year old wet the bed last night. Ummmm....SIX? How and WHY did THAT happen? So after getting all caught up on laundry yesterday (EVERYTHING) this morning I had to do a load. (Because if you are changing one bed~might as well change them all.)

*I went to the bank today to do our whole "withdrawing money for envelopes" thing-which, due to the nature of the different envelopes having different quantities, requires you to actually GO into the bank and hand them a pretty little note saying how many of each type of bill you need-only to find out that I arrived 5 minutes TOO late. We live in the country, people! The bank is 25 minutes away! I bundled up all the chilluns', loaded 'em in the car and drove down the road only to arrive to a LOCKED door. COME ON!

*I hopped into the grocery store because I needed some milk, bread and mozzerella (for tomorrow's pizza night) and heavy whipping cream because I decided that in celebration of Matt's homecoming, we would make some homemade icecream. I got the bread and the milk and even the mozzerella but didn't remember until I was nearly home, the heavy whipping cream. The ONE time I don't make a list..... I spent the rest of the car ride TRYING to be convinced to turn around and to drive back 20 minutes to pick some up by the persistent little buggars in the backseat. arg.

*Matt has been doing a FABULOUS job calling me all the time and I love it. But I *HATE* it. I am SO SICK of talking to him through a machine. I am SO sick of sleeping alone. I am SO SICK of inhaling his scent off of a white t-shirt everynight. I want the REAL deal. And I want it N.O.W

*Andrew came downstairs in a ballet costume dress with a PONY tail in his hair today. Enough said.

And finally~

*I discovered that the red and sore eye I had last night, the one that I chalked up to staying up too late all week is actually PINK EYE. How a secluded homeschooling mother gets pink eye I will never know. And oh yeah- I haven't had an eye appointment in years so I don't have a pair of glasses to wear while my eyes heal. And oh yeah. I don't go to the doctors unless I am in the midst of pushing out a child, so I have no doctor to see either. And OH YEAH~ I don't want to wrestle three children in a doctors office all by my lonesome for pink eye while simultaneously exposing them to every disease imaginable while they play with H1N1 toys at a walk-in. (and okay, I am being a BIT melodramatic....but just a bit.) Still, not my idea of a good time. Any home remedies for pink eye? Anyone? ANYONE?!?!

So yeah-this is one night I am going to go to bed early and thank the Lord that the day is over and done with.

Tomorrow, Mattie comes home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Reading List 2010

My "Reading Hopefuls" for the coming year :
(I will be adding to this list as I find books ** recommendations welcome**)

Bread & Butter Journey
by Ann Colver
The Spirit of Loveliness by Emilie Barnes
Stone Crossings: Finding Grace in Hard and Hidden Places by L. L. Barkat
The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer
Rad­i­cal Wom­an­hood: Fem­i­nine Faith in a Fem­i­nist World by Car­olyn McCulley
The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children by Sally Clarkson
Autobiography of George Muller by, you guessed it: George Muller
Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges
Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson Eggerichs
Blessed Are the Hungry by Peter J. Leithart
Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson
Paedofaith by Rich Lusk
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
So Much More by Anna Sofia Botkin; Elizabeth Botkin
Keeping Good Company: A Season-by-Season Collection of Recipes, with Entertaining and Homemaking Ideas by Roxie kelley and friends and Shelly Reeves Smith
The Orchard: A Memoir by Adele Crockett Robertson
The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking by Laurel Robertson
Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell by Leslie Probert and Lisa Harkness
My Mother's Garden by Penelope Hobhouse
No Ordinary Home: The Uncommon Art of Christ Centered Homemaking by Carol Brazzo.
Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule
The Creative Home by Amanda Blake Soule
EXPRESSIONS: Your behind-the-camera guide by Donna Smylie
Living Simply: Choosing Less in a World of More by Joanne Heim
Womanly Dominion: More Than A Gentle and Quiet Spirit by Mark Chanski
Put More Cash in Your Pocket: Turn What You Know into Dough by Loral Langemeier
The Heart of Homeschooling: Teaching and Living what Really Matters by Christopher Klicka
Children Who Do Too Little by Patricia Sprinkle
Your Backyard Herb Garden by Miranda Smith
Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Getting Started in Homeschooling by Mary Pride
The Three R's by Ruth Beechick
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Caldwell Holt
Bread and Board by Robert Farrer Capon
Letters to An American Lady by C.S.Lewis
Common Sense 101 by G.K Chesterton
What's Wrong with the World by G.K.Chesterton
The Transfigured Life by J.R.Miller
In Green Pastures by J.R.Miller
The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Child
A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman
Living With Less So Your Family Has More by Jill and Mark Savage
The Well Ordered Home by Kathleen Tackett


What I have read so far :
(by month)

  • A Different Kind of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto (*awesome dawesome book*)
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss (*how a punctuation book can be humorous, I will never know, but L.T. succeeds!)
  • Real Food by Nina Planck (*awesome food information yet it does distastefully ram evolution down your throat.)
  • A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg (not what I expected or hoped for, but has some recipes I look forward to trying out.)
  • Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich
  • The Way Home by Mary Pride
  • Perfect Recipes for Having People Over by Pam Anderson (*great recipes...and a great resource for hospitality)
  • Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder (family read-aloud. We've read it twice. Andrew (3) is enthralled.)

  • All the Way Home by Mary Pride
  • Little House in the Ozarks: A collection of rediscovered writings by Laura Ingalls Wilder (*ok. This is like the 5th time I have read it, but it can't be helped. It is my favorite book of all time! For those of you who know the author from her Little House Series for children/families, this book (despite the title) is not a childrens book but rather a collection of published articles she wrote for newspapers. It covers then-modern issues such as women voting, womanly roles, government, etc.)
  • America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money by Steve Economides
  • The Big Book of Home Learning by Mary Pride **This is more catalog format and was, in my opinion, outdated. Sadly. Because it WOULD have been a wealth of resources.
MAY ::
  • What our Mother's Didn't Tell Us: Why Happiness eludes the modern woman by Danielle Crittenden (my review here)
  • The Wheel on the School by Meindert De Jong (family re-aloud. A story set in a fishing village of Holland where the school children work out ways to bring Storks to their village. Really enjoyed.)
  • Barefoot Contessa at Home by Ina Garten (love this lady. lots)
  • For the Childrens' Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macauley (finally finished. Fabulous book. A MUST read. One of my new favorites)
July ::
  • Home-making by J.R.Miller (in process and already love it. Want Matt and I to read together sometime)
  • The Wedding Photographers Handbook by Bill Hurtel
  • Blue Ribbon Winners: Americas best state fair recipes by Catherine Hanley
  • Step-by-Step Wedding Photography: Techniques for Professional Photographer by Damon Tucci (very helpful book)
  • Charlotte's Web by E.B.White (family read aloud: Andrew's pick (age 4). Classic)
August :: (oops. forgot to record when I finished. So I will likely forget a few...)
  • Sewing Green by Betz White (great projects. Want to do MOST of them. Puppy hat and blanket. Tree branch door windbreaker. Ugh-can't remember them all!)
  • Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex and Brett Harris (phenomenal book. Every teen/preteen should read it. So glad that I did, even though I don't fit into that category.)
September:: (you can tell I had a baby this month...)
  • For the Family's Sake: The Value of Home in Everyone's Life by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay (not as good as For the Childrens' sake, but still good.)
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis (family read aloud)
  • Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling

November ::
  • The Magician's Nephew by C.S.Lewis (family read aloud)

My New House: lovingly constructed???

Andrew built a log cabin homestead yesterday. Barns, sheds, house, chicken yard: the whole nine yards. We decided we ought to take a picture so Papa could see it too.

I was mighty impressed. Partly because he is my boy, partly because he worked on this for over an HOUR steady which to me shows good attention-span and partly because Lincoln logs give me a monstrous headache. I can't do anything worthwhile with the things to save my life.

I guess it doesn't help that we have three different TYPES (the real ones and knock off's) all bought from yardsales. They don't tell you that knock-off's don't actually FIT the real ones, do they? But...that didn't stop my boy so there goes THAT line of reasoning.

I love watching him work because he becomes so serious and concentrates so hard in the midst of a project. Just look at that furrowed brow!

Baby didn't enjoy being held hostage too much, but one of HER favorite things is to knock down anything her brother is working on, so hostage she had to be. Just look at her in the background, positively salivating.

This, I am told is the house :

This, I am told, is the barn :

Let's see that again:

Hmmmm.....is it me or is there something WRONG with this picture?!?

Maybe he is thinking this through....

Nah. He WANTS his mother to live roof and wall-less. He WANTS his chickens to live like royalty. Sheesh. "After Olll that I do, after Oll I have done..." (name that movie)

One other thing I learn from these photos: poor waif needed a haircut like last MONTH.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hmmmm....I wonder what it could be....

Since I deep-cleaned the entire house the last time Matt went away for a week (just two weeks ago) and it worked splendidly well to distract me in those wee lonely night hours, I decided I ought to think of a project to tackle this week too. But the house is already deep-cleaned. So NOW what?


I can tell you, this week's project is WAY more fun than deep-cleaning.

I am very excited to share it with you, but since it isn't quite *ready* yet, I will just tease you a bit.

Clue # 1:
My Christmas present from my parents: my Oma's old sewing box. Hmmmm...I wonder what could be inside???!?!?!?

Clue #2:

Clue #3:

and Clue # 4:

and okay, you got me...Clue #4 wasn't actually a clue at all. I just had to post it because my hubby is a hottie (stealing a word from high school) and I am suffering from hottie-withdrawal right now.


And yes, Mattie would kill me for posting this picture on my blog. IF he were home to do it. IF being the operative word. I anticipate a good tackle when he gets home though.

I am actually really looking forward to it. :-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Why does it feel like someone is watching me?

Miss Adele' has been uncharacteristically fussy lately...and exceptionally clingy toward me. Not sure what her deal is-maybe something physical like teething or maybe something emotional-like she is heading into the Mama stage or something. Who knows.

I can't say that I mind it too much. I love cuddly babies and I love to feel loved. But SOMETIMES, I just have work to do! :-)

The other morning, while the older two chilluns were upstairs playing and the baby was playing in the schoolroom I decided to pop myself into the shower for a quick bit o' clean.

I hadn't even taken off my clothes before I heard Adele' crying and crawling toward the bathroom door. HEAVEN FORBID I LEAVE THE ROOM SHE IS IN!!!! I figured Corynn would come get her like she always does--that girl comes running if Adele' so much as breaths the wrong way.

Apparently, I hadn't latched the door properly because Adele' crawled right in and pulled back first the fabric shower curtain and then the plastic liner.

And she stood there. WATCHING me. the entire time I showered.

First of all~ can I just say how WEIRD it is to know eyes are on you while you are showering??! I don't CARE if those eyes are only a year old. It is weird.

Second of all~water was pouring all over her and she didn't CARE. She was dripping wet by the time I was done, from head to toe.


When I had a boatload of dishes to do the other day and the children were outside playing, I turned on some music to get motivated and dunked my hands in. Within seconds Adele had come over to me, crawled up the back of my legs~holding the backs of my pants while crying to be picked up. Of course, I couldn't do that. But she wouldn't stop.

So I plopped her on the counter next to me.

No-I didn't have a special seat to plop her in. I didn't tie her down. I plopped her there as one last attempt before laying her down to sleep. (Again.)

She just sat there-watching me. Staring at me. She didn't move. She didn't make any noise. Just watched.

Hey-works for me.

I washed out a straw and she chomped on that for a while. But she stayed up there the entire time I cleaned the kitchen. For a GOOD 20 minutes or so.

It's nice to feel loved.

Multitude Monday: The HAVE NOTS

Sitting here all by my lonesome, in the darkness of before dawn and in the quiet of slumbering children: I had to wave my husband off for ANOTHER week away. I barely made it through two weeks ago and so it seems pretty much impossible to endure another week as a single Mama. So I have sat, having a little pity party on me for the last few minutes and toying with the idea of just not participating in Multitude Monday since there seemed so little to be thankful for....or at least, too hard to search for.

A major have-not this week is my husband. And that just happens to be the worst have-not EVER. But that got me to thinking about all the other have-nots that I don't have.

And it occurred to me: sometimes, Have-NOT's are reason enough to be thankful.

So my gratitude list this week is for that which I DON'T have.....and here goes.


  • the job of unearthing buried bodies in a devastated land
  • the mourning of my husband, mother, child, friend
  • the torture and fear of my child stolen from me or lost
  • a child on the brink of death or in the midst of life-threatening conditions
  • the taste of concrete powder in my mouth and muddying my eyes
  • to worry about where food will come to feed my children
  • a home, destroyed
  • to sleep outside, with no protection
  • chaos and confusion at every turn
  • an insatiable thirst-but no water anywhere
  • to feel turmoil, sadness and despair from the moment I wake up to the time my eyes force themselves closed.
These are the things that people in Haiti have been dealing with for almost a week.


  • a husband who must come home and tearfully explain how he lost his job
  • bills coming in which we can not pay
  • to wonder where the money will come from to buy food or pay rent
  • to seek outside work to help my husband support our family
  • to sell all that we own in order to make ends meet
  • to hit the pavement in search of too-few jobs available
  • the need to rush to find somewhere to live
  • to depend on the support of soup kitchens or charities
  • to go to sleep desperate and wake up the same
These are the things many people throughout our nation are dealing with.

I Have NOT::

  • the pain of a husband with wandering eyes
  • the struggles of a broken marriage
  • the responsibility of kissing my child each night, wondering if he will live to see tomorrow or succumb to his cancer
  • a car broken down
  • to deal with rebellious teenagers
  • the need for a wheelchair
  • to clean out what is left of a home, burned down
  • blindness or deafness or brain malfunctions to make life more difficult
These are all things that are happening to friends of mine.

On this quiet, lonely Monday morning....I am thankful for all that I DON'T have.

Thank you, Lord.

Gifts numbered 301 to 328 blessedly UNaccounted for.

What are YOU thankful for????

holy experience

Friday, January 15, 2010

Foto Friday: SNOW

Last week's photo challenge was SNOW ....and let me tell you~ I wasn't feelin' it.

Snow and I don't get along too well these days. SO, you will see from the photos I post that I didn't try too awful hard to think out of the box on this one (tsk, tsk)...unless of course, you think dunking a finger in snow is an especially thoughtful and unique concept. :-)

Here are my contributions:

Apparently, the snow caught this truck driver off-guard. Hopefully, he will get a plow out soon....

I went for a walk one day hoping for something snowy and substantial to photograph. I was by myself when I noticed this remote part of a creekbed. Too far for our animals and children's tracks....yet completely laden with tracks and traces of animals that have been lurking quietly around.

It is awe-inspiring to think how small your life really is in the grand scheme of things.

I tried the "maple syrup on snow turns to candy" experiment and it failed miserably. It just absorbed right into the snow. Turns out it is not syrup you pour on snow but a mixture of molasses and brown sugar (thank you Little House Cookbook). We will try it again sometime. In the meantime, the children say SOMETIMES yellow snow can be DELICIOUS!!!

And for all those folks who don't see a flake of snow the whole winter long, I wanted to encourage you all to think outside the proverbial box. I created gigundo snowflakes from popsicle sticks and hung them from the ceiling.

Now THIS is my kind of snow!


Andrew is the bell jingler to get baby to look my way and Corynn is the baby spotter. The snowflakes are hung with fishing line and tape (they are very lightweight).

Check out some other SNOW entries:

In order to participate in these Foto Friday challenges, you must take a photo (or several) pertaining to the challenge WITHIN the challenge week and post it/them to your blog. When you do, please link back to this blog {you may use the button if you like} so that perhaps we can get lots of participants! (Because, you know, the more the merrier!) Then simply link to your Foto Friday post with Mr. McLinky here so that we all can visit you and compare notes...

For those of you new to this blog (or to Foto Friday's in general), each Friday we get a new photo challenge to work on for the week and we post our photos the next Friday and link back up here. Whatever your skill level, the goal is to get behind your camera and to begin, as you practice, to view subjects in a different light. To extend yourself and your concepts and ideas. To create ART instead of just snapping a picture. And to do it all while having FUN.

This week's challenge is much less tangible:

the theme is ::REACHING::

I look forward to seeing your many interpretations of that!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An outting

Winter complicates a lot of things one of which, I am finding out, is animal chores.

Outdoor livestock of any kind and the caring for them takes on a whole new level of diligence in the winter.

Partly because it is so gosh darn difficult to pull yourself out of a nice, warm home and into frigid weather and partly because...you have to do it ALL. THE. TIME.

Animals need to be checked on more often, fed more often and their water needs to be constantly available to them all the time because these are the things that help them retain their heat.

Can I just say keeping water available around this time of year is pretty hard. In single/teen digits, before you put the newly poured water down it has already started turning into ice. Blah. Blech. No FUN.

It's like getting ready to run a race and realizing your shoe laces are tied together just as the whistle blows.

And in the case of chickens: here's a hint for you: eggs freeze. You have to be sure to gather them soon after they are laid (which by the way is not coming as readily now since the chickens are having a not-enough-daylight/too-cold egg strike) lest the the eggs freeze, expand and break their shells.

So-you have to leave your nice warm home, put on all your arctic gear, head out with water for dog. Chickens. Calf. Break up ice in water containers of dog. chickens. calf. Feed dog. Chickens. Calf. Gather chicken eggs (NOT dog or calf ones mind you)

Then do it all again.

You know what REALLY bothers me about it all, though? Those pitiful looks those animals give me to make me aware of their intolerance to being holed up in a stuffy old chicken house or barn.
Again, in the case of the chickens~ they flock to the door and stare longingly (albeit beadily) out the door...WAITING for me to open up so I can feed them and anticipating the moment they can bolt out the door. Unfortunately for them, I have already by now closed the other door that leads outside the chicken house so they are good and stuck. Once one nearly took out my head (not kidding. and NOT exaggerating.)

I always try to assure them that it is for their own good. That they wouldn't, in fact, like to scratch around in tons of cold snow, that the ground would be too hard for anything productive to come from it, and that 9 degrees is awful cold without a wind break and shelter. I try to convince them they ought to be thanking me but instead they peck my boots and blow dust in my eyes.

Today was a more mild day and I felt bad for the crazy things (they really do look pitiful when they want to) so I let them out for some fresh air.

Following is the story of what happens when penned up chickens are liberated in winter:

They FLY to the doorway all ready to run out and start scratching up dirt and earthworms only to discover an odd blanket of some bizarre white substance. They don't know what it is---but it doesn't look friendly. Especially to their bone-naked legs.

They stare wondering what to do. Wait. Wait. Then the leader makes the final decision to move forward, regardless of outcome.

Others follow. Some, eagerly, as if it was their own idea. Others~not so much.

"You mean, I have to step in THAT?!?!?"

They make their way to the only place that isn't covered in snow~under the turkey run~making sure not to step on any snow during their trek.

They discover that the dirt (being protected from the elements) is nicely loosened and dry, just as they had left it those lovely green days of yester...month.

So they do what any sane chicken would do~they start to take a dirt bath!! Peck, scratch, shake bum. Push, poof wings, settle in.

Oddly, it reminds me a lot of my nightly routine with my down pillow.

Ooooh, yeah! World peace! Inner purpose! Amazing what bathing in dirt can do, isn't it?

They start to really get into it and the dust, it is just a'flyin.

But they don't REALLY get into it until you start seeing chickens going upside down...

and when they start twisting into pretzels and becoming unrecognizable~you know it is time to give them their privacy because you won't be getting them out of that stupor of ecstasy any time soon.

I have never in my life seen a more contented, satisfied chicken.