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

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Sickies have come for a visit.

Eventually, I brought out the BIG guns.

Thrifted wool sheep sweater. Bought for .25cents, 5 years ago.

It isn't often that I can use Corynn's hand-me-downs for Andrew, so it's all the more cool when I pull it off.

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Mama envy

No need for mascara here.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Corynn~and all her moods

99.99999% of the time she is animated. Making jokes. Smiling-no, LAUGHING. That contagious giggle. If only I could photograph THAT.

59 % of the time, she is serious. (Yes, I AM homeschooling MATH. Why do you ask??)

(I guess she concentrates doing schoolwork SOMETIMES.)

Always- ALWAYS she is fun to watch.

PS. I surprised even myself by returning a comment in the comment box but still, the fear of nobody checking it haunts me, so I'll refer you to it now. Check the last posts comment box-all you wonderful friends. You delight me and I am incredibly thankful for you all.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

As it should be

Two months and one day, that's how long its been since Adele' found home in my arms, not my womb.

62 nights...that's how many nights I've sung lullabyes, stroking and rocking her as warm milk filled her-nourishing her through the night all the while wondering if she might actually be able to hear my songs and love whispers.

You see...I've held a secret for quite some time. A secret that for a while, I had to clutch and protect, keeping it only for me, so that I might grasp at its truth and understand. The truth had to be worked through before the words would have meaning, before the jumble of thoughts in my head might be strung from my lips into tangible form.

The secret that would divide my lullabyes from comforting my child, that would hinder me from hearing the prayers offered up on the lips of a child-or her understanding my prayers for her. A secret that might separate a darling girl from those around her who can not or try not to understand. One that makes her different, and us as a family. One that might steal from her the whispered "I love you's" that so easily fly from my lips. That she might not HEAR.

When Adele' was born, there was not a thing about her I did not find endearing in every way. Her curled ear was no exception. When her first hearing test failed in that ear, I was assured it could just be because I delivered her SO quickly; her ear probably still had fluid in it, causing her not to respond. I made an appointment for a repeat test a week later. As the days passed, her ear began to uncurl and it even made me sad to see it go, but oddly enough, I noticed it still looked different than her left ear.

Meanwhile, her impending hearing appointment approached and we made our way to the audiologist.

Again, she failed.

Her right ear showed absolutely no response to the little clicking sounds and her left ear responded only about 1/3 of the time. The woman was very kind, but not very encouraging. She spoke about hearing aids for infants (starting at 3 months old!) and of the difficulties we would probably face. My head was spinning, twirling at the possibility of a deaf child. But smile I did, chuckle and laugh to hide the pain, because I had four other small ears to think about.

The screener recommended we go right away to an ear specialist for a more invasive test but I couldn't bear it. I knew another newborn screening would likely prove futile, and only postpone the inevitable, but that was a shred of hope that I clung to with fervency. So, the screener smiled and sent me home after scheduling yet another appointment through tight-lipped, obvious doubt and called after me that I might try banging pots and pans and see if she startled at all.

I came home, laid the children to rest, and then I tested on my own. I waited until she slept and then I banged anything I could. Not a flinch or a blink. I'd clap my hands right beside her ears, and while my hands stung, she slept peacefully. The harder I banged, the more upset I became, until I just broke down-sobs heaving my body and thoughts tormenting my soul. I thought about how she might never know my voice. How every kick in-utero that I thought was in response to my voice, was just a cruel joke. How futile it might be to even bother cooing at her. How would I homeschool a deaf child? Knowing everything from praying at dinner to worshipping at church would be DIFFERENT, harder. That I might never be able to hear her tell stories or sing songs. That I might not be able to soothe and comfort her. These thoughts drove me mad.

Her funny little curled ear, the one that I had found so adorable, now mocked me. I hated it because it might be the reason why she couldn't hear.

But every night as I tucked my swaddled Bunkin into her cradle, I would glance up and there was the writing on the wall, wall promises echoing in my mind. Fearfully and Wonderfully Made...

I had placed them there in anticipation and excitement for the coming child. Was it any different now? Certainly not. I didn't know back then, that these words were Gods very own comfort to my soul, His reminder to me that HE is the creator and HE has a perfect plan.

I realized that while a lack of hearing might be a hardship-it might also be the means to make Adele's lifestory even more profound. It might be a gift.

Many a tear was shed, but each time I began to fret I reminded myself that, more than anything else---Adele' was HERE. She was with me. I didn't have to say goodbye to her, or watch her die as some mothers have had to live through. I didn't have to mourn her growing old without being able to function in society, as some can not. With each thought, my heart filled with just a bit more thanksgiving until, one day I realized, it was full.

From the first moment my eyes fixed on my Bunkin, I have adored her. Knowing that she might not hear those words from me has only spurred me to show it more often. I don't know of any child who has been more kissed than my Adele'. I hold her with more gentleness than I've ever held a baby and I feel my eyes sparkle all the more when I am with her. I can not look at her without smiling. And her ear? It has been given proper admiration again---and lots of nibbles.

The screener, on that day long ago, said there was a very slim possibility that things could change. She wasn't a very good actress and I knew she really didn't believe it. But I know, that there IS a chance that her ear can hear or be healed. Nothing is impossible with God. I also know, that while it is possible, there might be a very good reason for Adele' to not be able to hear and I will not pretend that I am more wise than God.

It happens, that Adele's most favorite thing is to put her head under my chin and rest it against my neck. She quiets when I sing that way. I don't know if it is my voice that soothes or the vibrations from my neck, but nonetheless, she finds comfort with me. I am able to soothe her with my kisses, and looking at her with the love that I feel for her causes her to smile with such sparkling eyes that my heart just melts. I felt before that I couldn't mother her well, if she couldn't hear me. I know now that this is not true. Because a mother needs only one thing to mother well, LOVE, and I have that in abundance.

This week is her third and final test before it is "insisted" that she see an audiologist. I have prayed many times, too many to count, that she pass this test. That she be able to hear and this all to be a bad dream. But somewhere, somehow, sometime that I can't put my finger on~my prayer has changed to what it ought to have been the whole time.


I can honestly say~no matter what the result~ I will be happy. I will be content. and I will be THANKFUL for the gift of that dear girl.

She is my little Gremlin and she is GOD'S masterpiece.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Thousand Words

This weekend was such fun and the company so great, we are left basking in the memory of it.

My only regret? Only two measly photos to show for it. How I wanted (and hoped) to take lots of pictures of these great people. I realize the only time I really have been taking time to take photos is when I am bored or need a bit of excitement in my life. When excitement is being had, I forget all about the camera. Pity too, this family just happens to be a pretty handsome one at that!

The two measly ones I took are of Greta (the Mama) teaching me how to use my gifted ice cream maker that went from yard sale to sister-in-law to wrapping paper to me, something I've hoped and pined after for such a long time!

The OTHER, just a snapshot of the girls of the family. Three out of eleven?! Kind of outnumbered: but it is QUALITY not quantity, and these girls DEFINITELY win out in the quality department.

Not pictured:

~Two bearded men, working with wood under a canopy of laughter and mutual understanding.

~The gentle, quiet spirit of Megan who adores babies but does it in secret~I caught glimpses of the faces she meant only for them.

~The AMAZINGLY bright and big eyes of Ethan. I've never seen such animation, and all that wrapped up in a small 9 month old body!

~The thicker than thieves friendship between Corynn and Zachary~ I hardly saw the girl the whole TIME!

~The sound of bouncing feet jumping on airmattresses to the tune of blaring geography songs

~Joshs' excitement at SNOW

~Dinner table conversations and laughter

~Joel and his beautiful curly blonde locks and husky two year old voice.

~Record-breaking kitchen cleanup between the fastest washers/dryers/put-awayers I've ever met. I hardly touched a dish the whole weekend!

~The big pan of lasagna they brought WITH THEM, along with lunch for the next day.

~The house, as clean upon leaving as it was upon arriving. Never in all my hostessing have I ever experienced a more "easy keep". Ever.

~ Vibrant Caroline, who can make anyone smile

~Girl talk

~The handcranking of cream by four strong man-arms. Right next to the woodstove.

~Two Mamas, one the wisdom giver, one the happy receiver

~ Tenderhearted Abby, who loves to nurture and serve

~the pleasantness of people who UNDERSTAND

I guess, some of the best pictures are those that reside in the heart...

Not quite through

I *did* however, manage to snap my Dad at his birthday celebration last night. Do NOT ask me how it happened, but somehow the camera made its way into my hands.

It's official; he is loved.

As is this guy: a long lost brother of mine. I hope he sticks around a while this time!

And~during the evening, Miss Adele' had a laughathon with my mom...the best baby giggle instigator this is. Our Bunkin broke her record by being engaged and smiley for FIVE minutes straight. A Bunkin RECORD. She's not even spoiled ME with a record even CLOSE to that!

It was fun to watch. And yes~this little chickie feels the love too.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Nothing says serious

...like a woman with braids, bandana, and apron.

Yep. Whenever I braid and bandana myself, you know I mean business.

What sort of business??! The drippy kind.

Today, among other things~ I am doing a marathon baking/cooking session so as to accomplish as much as I can before our company~so that our time can be spent VISITING and not cooking.

Here is what I hope to accomplish today:

~Make apple butter muffins
~Make double batch of Cheddar Sausage Strata
~Make Hashbrown casserole
~Bake SKOR cake
~Make caramel peach muffins
~Bake Jumbo Molasses cookies
~Make Brownies
~Cook some chicken for Chicken Dinner

As you can see from the looks of my kitchen, I've got a good headstart.

Here's what I've accomplished so far...

~Cooked 1# of bacon
~Cooked 3# sausage
~Baked peach muffins
~Maked Apple Butter muffins
~Made Molasses cookie dough (chilling, as I type)
~Shredded 2# of sharp cheddar
~sliced about a quarter pound of Pepperjack cheese

This is my kitchen in all it's unfinished glory. I could pretend it was just that all the cupboard doors are opened because I am a worker bee today but alas, t'would be a lie. Even to this day only SOME of the cupboard doors are painted, the rest are not and (obviously) none are hung. And the two up top that ARE hung, I'm going to ask Matt to take down. I know I know, make up my mind already.

Just pretend you don't see them. And I hope my guests are gracious enough to do the same....
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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

But a moment

I have but a moment to post this, and in truth not even that. Some very good friends of ours from our OLD home are coming to visit us at our NEW home. We get them for the WHOLE weekend!!! And they just happen to have 11 children. We are so POSITIVELY excited about them coming--but I must say, my head is filled with all the "oh-I wish THIS were done" or "LOOK at THAT! Can I get that finished before they arrive!?!" while at the same time thinking "What in the WORLD am I going to feed them?!?" and "I REALLY wish I had a dishwasher now!"

So-my days are filled with unpacking that LAST straggling box that has been hiding out in the corner, planning some serious meals (and grocery shopping for them! wow!), and trying to get all the household projects done that I can-while also trying to prepare the food ahead of time so that we can spend our time VISITING instead of cooking, all the while keeping up on laundry and all other household issues that will be put on hold once they arrive. Thankfully, they are *good* friends and don't give a lick about curtains not being hung yet. I HOPE.

I am so stinkin' excited I can hardly sit still. Which is good thing, because I really don't have time to. Even still, I did discover this little video clip and did very much enjoy it. Trust me. If I have time to watch it today-YOU do too!

(I discovered this clip originally on the Voddie Baucham Blog)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A glimpse

Every Sabbath, we worship together, offer prayer and thanks and gather round the Table together, joined communally with a FAMILY more vast than we even have eyes to recognize. And when we return home, we gather round the table once more to feast and fellowship, tying cords one strand at a time. Making them stronger. Tighter.

A tradition we have is to sit and read the paper together, at times, reading aloud some of the news-and discussing them and at other times, quietly together, but separate, lost in our own printed words. In the beginning, it was Matt and I reading and discussing while the kids ate, swinging legs under the table and giggling and tickling one another with bread-crumbed fingers. But lately, Corynn and Andrew have joined in the conversation. As is natural, the five year old initiates more frequently than the two year old. But both are now capable of pronouncing our new as-of-today Presidents' name. Barack Obama. It is pretty darn cute coming off the lips of babes, who can't properly pronounce simple words like "Kiss"-yet say pronounce something as foreign as Barack Obama impeccably.

Barack Obama. The children know who he is and why he is important. Ask them why he is special and they will say "Because he is the first black President of the United States." Ask them why he needs more prayer than most and they'll say "Because he believes in killing babies."

This day, this important day, I pray especially fervently for our new President. Nothing is impossible with God, not even a heart change for Barack Obama. Barack has the potential to lead us well---if God changes and uses him for His glory. If radical heart surgery is done by the Great Physician.

Speaking of Presidents--a new obsession has formed. Again, with Corynn. and it all began with a Christmas stocking placemat. Every meal Little Miss BEGS to be tested on Presidential stats. The girl is crazy! Here are some of the stats she knows and recites (thanks to the back of the placemat!):

Who the tallest president was
Who the shortest president was
Who the first president to appear on TV was
What presidents appear on Mount Rushmore
The name of the father and son presidents
Who our current president (was)
Who our current president IS today
How many presidents had glasses
How many presidents had blue eyes
How many presidents had beards
How many "Andrews" there were
How Teddy Roosevelt got his name
Which president served two separate terms
and which had the silliest hair (which in her estimation was Martin van Buren)

All these things with no curriculum, no unit study and no "school time". Just an after dinner game that just happens to thrill the girl~like an educational version of Guess Who?!?

I've even learned a thing or two!


A girl with a stocking-cap clad girl of her own. She asked me to take a picture of it.

A boy who loves nothing more than making engine sounds and loading and dumping capret lint, beads, keys, blocks and anything else he can find.

And a snuggly one, who warms me AND my heart while we snuggle.

These are the sights of my every day.

The children playing alone at times, together at others. Asking questions because they want to know the world and all that is in it-right now. BEGGING to hold Adele and being impatient as they wait their turn. Explaining things-of real consequence and sometimes not-but ALWAYS meaningful to the attentive ears and yearning minds of the little bodies. Giggles. Crying. Helping and getting in the way. In the other room or underfoot.

All these things have real beauty. Every day beauty. Beauty everyday.

It's all in the eye of the beholder.

Expounding on the Pantry:

Some questions were asked in regard to my previous post on stocking up and I thought I might as well expound in post form rather than comment form. I hate writing comments back to people because I never know if they actually check back, or if it is a waste of my time.

So~ Here's the scoop...

Thus far, my pantry consists of:

~Bulk spices, oats, flour, sugar, yeast and other baking supplies I happened to stock up on at a Mennonite store when we moved. These things are not packaged to last very long though. I am planning on putting an order into THIS place very soon. Their wheat and oats come in the handy storage bins. Obviously though-this requires a larger monetary investment than just picking up a few things here and there. This is why it is taking me longer.

~Dried bananas and apples. Nary a day has passed that my deydrator has not been working for us. I get TONS of bananas every time I am shopping and dehyrate them. Apples I buy less often because they are a bit more expensive, but still get them because I have discovered the joy of apple cinnamon apple chips. Yum! I'm telling you-these things are DEE-LISH!

~Household necessites. CVS stockups. Shampoo. Toothpaste. Laundry detergent. Toilet paper. ALL good things to have on hand "just in case". While I add things each week, I do ransack this almost each week too.

~Canned goods. Aldi has el cheapo cans of food and each week I just grab a cardboard tray and fill it up with a particular food. 12 cans and because of the tray~they are easy to transport AND easy to stack in the pantry. At Aldi prices, 12 cans ends up being 3-4 dollars. A very SMALL weekly investment, but I am watching the pile grow-and it's a good feeling. In the long run, if food is scarce for any reason and I see my family hungry, lack of money is going to be a sorry excuse-because that is just what it is. Three dollars is worth it in the end.

~Pasta, dried beans and split peas. Shelf-stable cheap things. Two of my favorite words. Oh-yeah-and good for you too.

~Things that have been on sale...and I took advantage. Peanuts were a big post-holiday sale item. Peanuts are also a good, filling, healthy thing to have on hand. Corn Syrup (Don't ask me WHY corn syrup would be marked down 75% after Christmas?!? It stores for AGES. I don't ask questions...I just jump.) Summer Sausage. Chocolate. I HAD several bags of peanut M&M's...but I won't tell you where they went. *blush* All these things are PERKS, adding variety and fun to the cupboard.

Right now~ we can reliably have bread, pasta, Krotenmenspek (not sure how to spell this Dutch meal of Beets and Potatoes), veggies, and lots of soups (for casseroles, stews, or just plain soup) and a few yummy snacks for a while.

While this is a good start (considering this is a very recent decision on our part) we have a tremendous way to go.

My personal goal is to have enough until springtime. About a 3-6 month supply. Since we are somewhat self-reliant and on the way to becoming moreso, I enjoy gardening, canning and so forth. Therefore, I am trying to store things that I won't be preserving LATER on. Once spring and summer comes, I can stock up on things we grow ourselves. I can dehyrate apples that fall from our very own tree. I can preserve our harvest by canning, freezing, drying, and storing cold weather foods. Hopefully, by that time as well, we will be able to have some chickens for eggs and enough money to purchase a beef and dairy cow. Lord willing. Even if we can not at that time have all (or any) animals, because we are able to live off the land through gardening, I am worried less about truly LONG term storage, at least on those things we can do ourselves.

There is still much to do. I have to find a reasonably prices electric grain mill and a Foodsaver vacuum sealer to help me in my efforts. Also~I need to find out if the pressure canner I have actually works.

I also liked this concept (part 3) of planning certain meals and stocking up on those necessary ingredients. Then, it isn't a free for all-and when the time comes, you aren't left with a case of stewed tomatos and nothing else to do with them. Frankly, stewed tomatoes don't sound very appealing to me! This is next on my to-do list.

I am also going to make a spreadsheet that details the item stocked, when it was added and when it expires. Hopefully, this will help with food rotation. We don't have money enough to stock up on food just for it to go bad.

Since this will be my first garden in TWO years~and it now has the added responsibility of feeding us THROUGH wintertime also--I have a LOT of research to do and a lot of PLANNING in preparation for spring.

That is about all I can think of to say, I hope I answered all your questions. If I didn't, just let me know.

Here is my disclaimer~ Only a month or so ago did Matt and I recognize this as a priority in our lives and so, I am JUST starting out on this (very interesting) path. I do not have all the answers. I am much less in the mentoring phase and much MORE in the learning phase. But I'll be happy to walk the path WITH you, and share all that I am learning as I go.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back Door is always open

2009 resolutions.

I've told you the WHYs of my yearly self-inflicted challenges to myself, but the telling took so long I never did get to the WHATs. At least not directly. If you've followed my blog the past week or so and are exceptionally clever, you might have realized that I've alluded to *some* of my goals already. The Book List reveals my value of literature and my hope to further myself BY it in the coming year. The list was created with the hope of staying motivated and with the intention to reevaluate next year. I've also shared how I long for my tongue to be more an instrument and less a weapon, and have written verses that I do hope will encourage me in the coming year, to become more sanctified in that area.

There are several more things that I have prepared for and begun working towards this coming year. Many of them will be highlighted here in the very near future. One of which I will share now. Anyone who checks my Mattie's (more sporatically published) blog might know what is coming.

One of our goals for the coming year is to become more...prepared. And by doing so, less DEPENDENT. "Prepared for what?" you ask. WHATEVER. A large snowstorm. A month without very much cashflow. An economic collapse. You name it. Whatever the reason and for whatever length of time, we realize we are ill-prepared in any (and every) way to deal with poor circumstances appropriately.

I've just finished reading a bunch of Dave Ramsey books (the Christian financial guru) and even HE suggests being prepared in the cash realm with a $1,000.00 emergency fund. I agree...and would expound on that notion to include other areas of life also.

Our goal in 2009 (which, in effect, is MY responsibility) is to get necessities stored and a pantry stockpiled; Matt calls it "food insurance". The idea is to be PREPARED so we don't depend on (or burden others by the need for) charity or kindnesses of others if/when it really matters. No, I'm not suggesting you get together five years worth of food and hoard it in your basement. Not at all. While it would be wonderfully handy for an emergency situation like power outtages and so forth, stocking a cupboard makes sense for a number of other reasons to.

1) Unexpected company. We are called to be hospitable and charitable and I fear a lack of preparedness has, in the past, hindered me from fulfilling that duty. How many times have I opted not to invite people over because the grocery budget was too tight that week? That would be far less likely, if you have a running supply.

2) Stockpiling allows you to spend money on sale items ONCE and then not worry about them for a while. (Read: stock up on things when they are on sale) I have already found this to encourage real savings in the food department. For example: a few weeks ago Walmart had Chex cereal for $1.66 a box. I had a ton of Chex coupons for $1.00 off a box. I stocked up on tons of cereal and didn't have to pay full price for cereal for a LONG time! I saved myself money as I was able to not purchase cereal until it was on sale again.

3) It also gives you peace of mind-knowing that your family is cared for in times of crisis. I know how many people are losing their jobs these days. I read in December alone it was 500,000! That's alot of people. I don't want to take Matt's job for granted and I don't want to be panicked and afraid if something like that happens to us too. It is just WISE to plan and prepare for meeting the needs of your household-in good times and bad. The Proverbs 31 woman was not afraid for her household when the snow came , and neither shall I be.

Not knowing where to begin, or the first thing about stockpiling food, I went blog-scouting (something I try to avoid at all costs because I just can't afford to find any more wonderful blogs to follow!) and found a few that I have found very helpful. And yes. I now follow them. These two blogs: Safely Gathered In and Preparedness Brings Peace have both been incredibly helpful to me. Both, I believe, are written from Seventh Day Adventists which I certainly do not ascribe to, but they offer a wealth of information on food storage. That is, after all, their name of the game. I think it would be imprudent to disregard the good that can be learned from them, just because of their beliefs. After all, no matter what your religious background or denomination~yours is not perfect and we all have differing gifts. It is WISE for us to learn from the gifts of others so that we too, might grow in those areas that do not come naturally to ourselves.

Anyway. This is a tremendously long post-bunny trailed it, I guess.

Basically, what I am saying is this:

One of my goals for the coming year, is to start a PANTRY.

To that end, I have been on the lookout for some opportunities to stockpile while not breaking the bank. Coincidentally, I've found after-Christmas to be the perfect time! Hickory Farms, producer of those delicious meat smoked sausage logs that sell at Christmas~ happened to be packing up the week I went to the mall to use up a giftcard. Their meat rolls were 80% off. Perfectly wonderful summer sausage marked down to under $2.00 a roll! They are good for almost a YEAR. So, I stockpiled. And let me tell you: $14.00 bought me a LOT of delicious summer sausage! I don't know about the electricity going out or food shortages-but I DO know that those will be some welcome treats sometime in the future!

I have also found that stockpiling has required some creativity. Thinking outside of the box. Prime example---yesterday.

I was doing my CVS routine when I noticed all the Christmas items were 90% off. 90%!!!! I swooned. Nearly fainted with my good fortune! There, up on the top shelf, were these brown Santa MONSTROSITIES made from Hollow Chocolate marked $5.99. I crossed my eyes and imaged a foot long chocolate Santa being given to me. Then I imagined sending $6.00 on a foot long chocolate Santa. But I couldn't. I couldn't even IMAGINE it. People actually BUY this stuff?!?! Frankly, my kids might fly to the moon if they consumed so much chocolate. And I would never spend $6.00 bucks on CHOCOLATE for heavens sake.


90% off?!?!

Gears started turning. Smoke poured from my ears. (Almost.) Then a light flickered above my head and I promptly loaded the cart with as many as would fit. Five. WHY?!

What in the WORLD was I going to do with FIVE chocolate Santas as large as a ruler?

Why, I was going to let the children smash them to smithereens, of course!!!

Not intending, for FINGERS to also be a part of that equation...

And who knew--I'd actually capture it (or the quick Panda reaction TO it) on a photo?!?

Meanwhile, Little Miss pounds away, totally oblivious to the finger smashing the had given.

Okay. Bunny trail again. Point is~ because I was thinking "outside the box", I figured a way to get five quart-sized bags of chocolate chunks for just .59 cents a piece. And those quart-sized bags have WAY more chunks then the Hershey's Chocolate Chunks bags that sell for over $2.00 a piece thankyouverymuch.

It's turning out, that this pantry business is not only "not as hard as I thought" but also, kind of FUN.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A first

Yesterday was a big day for our Adele.

The long awaited, much anticipated "REAL" smile!

And after waiting a month and a half, I can say with great enthusiasm:

What a JOY it is!

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Choice Silver and Apples of Gold

Mouth opens in haste; words uttered without care, without thought. "I'm RIGHT. They need to understand!" Pride. Self-defense. Anger.

How easy it is to become angry when unkindness is directed at you! How easy it is to form rebuttals of mind and have them spill from you in the heat of the moment. To pay evil for evil. To fight for your honor in haste, so that it might not be lost. Only to realize deep regret afterward?

Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him.

How many times this past year did I feel the anguish of a tongue ill-used? Countless. How many prayers were offered up that my tongue might be reigned in and gentleness flow from it? How many times did I ache with my own utter inability? My own enslavement.


Listen to HIM and the heart words He gives you.

What are the motives behind a hasty retort?

To protect your honor? To HIM be all the glory and honor.

To return evil for evil? The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.

To have the last word? In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.

Because you are so wise? The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.


Quiet your heart so that you might hear.

The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Be sure that your words are not self-gratifying, but God-glorifying.

The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord; but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

And then, after the quiet study of your own intentions and the prayerful seeking of a god-glorifying response, you must discern how best to convey the message.

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

A soft answer turneth away wrath:but grievous words stir up anger.

Perhaps so many recent opportunities have arisen in my life that require type to be lived out in life not simply on computer screen because the Lord wants me to practice up.

To bridle my tongue and polish my heart.

So that one day, I will find joy in unexpected places. Places where it has never before been found. My mouth.

A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in season, how good it is!

My Book List~ 2009

So often I find or hear about books worth reading and make a mental note of them, only to forget about them when it counts! Enough already! I've learned from my mistakes~and so, I've decided to write all the books I discover and hope to read this year in ONE particular spot. I'll post a link to this blog in my sidebar, for easy access.

And while I'm at it, I'll record what books I have read. Since I've never done anything like this before, I wonder how many books I'll get through by years end?

PS. Obviously this will not include the hundreds of childrens' books I go through a month... :-)

~ . ~ . ~ . ~

Books I've read thus far:


  • The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  • Financial Peace, Revisited by Dave Ramsey (though these two were technically read in December, I'm counting them!)
  • More than Enough by Dave Ramsey
  • Proverbs for Parenting by Barbara Decker
  • On The Way Home by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  • The Great Depression Dennis Nichi, Book Editor
  • The self-sufficient life and how to live it : the complete back-to-basics guide by John Seymour
  • L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer
  • The encyclopedia of country living by Carla Emery (not word for word)
  • Root cellaring : natural cold storage of fruits & vegetables by Mike Bubel **
  • The How and Why of Homeschooling by Ray Ballmann
  • The Vegetable Gardener's Handbook by Edward C. Smith **
  • From the Potting Shed by Stephanie Donaldson
  • The Summer Book by Susan Branch
  • Lois Burpee's Gardener's Companion and Cookbook by Lois Burpee **
  • Carrots love Tomatoes and Roses love Garlic byLouise Riotte
  • Amy Butler's little stitches for little ones : 20 keepsake sewing projects for baby and mom by Butler, Amy.
  • The Barefoot Contessa cookbook by Ina Garten
  • American country living : canning and preserving : techniques, recipes, uses, and more by Linda Ferrari
  • The Seasonal Hearth by Hechtlinger, Adelaide
  • Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol
  • Mrs. Dunwoody's excellent instructions for homekeeping : timeless wisdom and practical advice by Mrs. Dunwoody
  • Simple Gifts to Stitch: 30 Elegant and Easy Projects (Paperback)
    by Jocelyn Worrall
  • Baby Gifts: Simple Heirlooms to Make and Give by Ethel Brennan and Laurie Frankel
  • Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
  • Sew Pretty Homestyle by Tone Finnanger
*Oops. I forgot to update during July, August, and September (though I didn't read much because of all the gardening/canning chores.) Here are a few that I recall:

  • Barnyard in Your Backyard: A Beginner's Gui... by Gail Damerow
  • Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners by Suzanne Ashworth
  • Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing by Anna Maria Horner
  • The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home by Jane Brocket
  • Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: by Gail Damerow
  • Easy Homeschooling Companion: Exhortation, Encouragement and More Easy Ideas by Lorraine Curry


  • Teach Anyone to Read: The No-nonsense Guide by Ph.D. Lillie Pope (this had helpful charts in the back)
  • Get Ready to Read: A Practical Guide for Teaching Young Children at Home and in School by Toni S. Gould and Jo Fahrenkopf (I didn't find this helpful at all.)

  • Mommy, Teach Me to Read by Barbara Curtis *
  • The New Answers Book by Ken Ham *
  • A Different Kind of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto *
  • Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle (*pretty berets)
  • Stitched in time : memory-keeping projects to sew and share from the creator of Posie gets cozy by Paulson, Alicia.
  • Sew darn cute : 30 sweet & simple projects to sew & embellish by Ryan, Jenny
  • The New Answers Book by Ken Ham
  • The Moment it Clicks by Joe McNally
  • Last Minute Christmas Gifts by Carol Taylor

Books I'd like to read (in 2009 and beyond!)

Bread & Butter Journey by Ann Colver
A different Kind of Teacher by John Taylor Gatto
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
Home-making by J. R. Miller
The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children by Sally Clarkson
For the Family's Sake: The Value of Home in Everyone's Life by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
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
BALL Complete Book of Home Preserving by Judi Kingry
No Ordinary Home: The Uncommon Art of Christ-Centered Homemaking by Carol Brazo
The Family by J. R. Miller
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.

Buried Treasure

Bits of creation

Traveling ocean

Hunted treasures shared

all wrapped and tucked carefully within each other

so that we too, might experience the vastness and majesty of it all.

Michelle~ a bonafide letter is forthcoming but I had to thank you for shared treasures. Ironically, we've been studying underwater creatures and only the day before our mailbox burst, we sat enthralled, watching the movie DEEP BLUE.

Not a single one broke with your delicate wrapping and each one unwrapped brought gasps of delight.

And now, we enjoy our piece of summertime through snow covered glass

and we remember our dear friends though many miles separate us.