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, February 27, 2009

Hello. My name is Rebecca and I have entirely too little time to be doing this-but here goes anyway.

I've done it.

For months and months I've wondered how I could try out making some revenue on blogging, or in the very least, participate in giveaways that require a blog post without filling up our families' memory-box blog with silly things not related at all to our family.

Today, I came across three opportunities that required blogging about a product and I thought, "Well, if ever I were to do it, now is the time!"

And so, Fluffernutter was born. A place where I will blog about giveaways, product reviews, allow advertisements.

And because I think it is sinful to post without photos, I will include photos of generic things like flowers and birds and so forth here-or the product that is being reviewed. And maybe, just maybe, I can score us a few goodies and some chinking change for our curriculum costs envelope! (Yep, I'm a Dave Ramsey fan! hehehe)
Go check it out here:
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Seeds and Spring

I've seen many a blue JAY in my lifetime, but never a bluebird (and I've seen me some birds!!!). UNTIL, that is, I heard the call and saw a blue flutter onto our very own branch upon our very own tree right out of our very own kitchen window.

Each birdsong heard gives me a moments pause. "It is coming!" their high pitched twitters call.

The sun, its rays less pure and more golden, looks and touches with more warmth. A warm, low "It's coming" is heard as it kisses my cheek.

Even the creek babbles in anticipation. "It's coming! It's COMING!" the bubbly cry sputters as it races down the hill to spread the news.

Green heads burst from their frozen brown beds and bound toward their new life in happy relief, "Coming, it is! We feel it!"

And bodies, from homes of every kind, unfurl, uncurl, and crawl out into the sunshine, stretching heavenward and breathing deep. Inhaling calm, after such a long time of protecting from the harsh. We know it. We feel it. It IS coming.

SPRING is drawing near and the world is in a tizzy preparing for that great day!

I too, sit inside with windows open for just a FEW minutes, letting breezes fly into and freshen my home before the cool breeze, preparing for warmed soil and sun. For Springs arrival and the grand reception I'd like to offer her.

After two years of not being able to plant, again I get to till and toil in life-feeding earth. Two years worth of yearning makes the anticipation and planning twice as sweet and twice as exciting.

Oh, the many hours I've enjoyed flipping through seed catalog. How wonderful it felt to place my order and fork over money set aside in white envelope labeled "GARDEN!"

Our very own place, one that Lord willing will someday be ours PERMANENTLY, now has opportunity to plant and plant the many beautiful perennials and fruits that I've dreamed of for so, so very many years.

But alas.

White envelope with many days of scrimping stretches only so far.

The "pretties" I long for will have to be found in the little yellows flowers of pumpkin plants and zucchini, the purple fireworks of chive flowers, the bright shiny reds of tomato and the greens---OH, the GREENS! EVERYWHERE!

I tried where ever possible to order Heirloom seeds so that I might save their babies to plant new, rather than continue ordering and ordering. This way, perhaps NEXT year, envelope might pay for some of those fragrant, superfluous beauties! ;-) I also sought out good storers for my first attempt at root cellaring.

Here is the order, eagerly anticipated and cause for many a good day (and even night) dream. The (H) refers to Heirloom.

(H) Top Crop Green Beans
(H) Kentucky Wonderwax pole beans
(H) Cylindra Beets
(H) Lutz Green Leaf Beets
Brussel Sprouts~ Bubbles Hybrid
(H) Giant Pascal Celery
(H) Chicago Pickling Cucumber
California White GARLIC
Sweet Basil
(H) Progress #9 Garden Pea
(H) Extra Early Little Marvel Garden Pea
Wando Green Pea
Green Arrow Green Pea
(H) Mammoth Melting Sugar Snow Peas
(H) Chinese Giant Bell Peppers
Early Spanish Peanuts
Early Jalepeno
Banana Bill Hybrid Pepper
Kennebec Potato
(H) Ground Cherry Tomatoes
Summer Squash Medly
(H) Burgess Buttercup
Waltham Butternut Squash
Ghost Rider Pumpkin
Ebony Acorn

Matt had previously ordered seeds for:
(These are all heirloom, I think...)

Spinach and Mustard Spinach
St. Valery Carrot
Australian Brown Onion
Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage
White Box Radish
Minnesota Midget Cantaloupe
Tendersweet Yellow Watermelon
Sugarbaby Watermelon
Boule d'Or Melon
Gentlemans Corn
Bride Corn
Calypso Bean
Jacob Cattle Bean
Painted Pony Bean
Sunray Tomato
Stupice Tomato

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I feel compelled to actually use VOCABULARY instead of just posting redundant photographs all the time. I think it's time to "use my words".


When I was pregnant with baby #2, knowing the little being inside would eventually take up residence OUTSIDE of the serene, solitary womb-home and come into the loud, boisterous real-life world (with a SISTER!), I worried and fretted about how to ensure that my children would grow up to be friends. When said baby turned out to be a wee little Panda-boy, I worried even more, knowing that boys and girls just don't share the same thoughts, interests and mindsets.

HOW could I encourage their relationship to be close without sacrificing their differences and individuality? God made boys and girls different, and rightly so. They ARE different and are HERE to fulfill different purposes.

I have a special bond with my boychild, but I will not (cannot) allow him to become a Mama's boy. Why? Because Mama's boys are not what God intended for men to be, and eventually (even though often without our notice) they DO grow up. Boys need to be encouraged to become strong men and leaders. The Lord knows we need more of those! He can't be that if he is coddled.

In the same respect, I want my daughter to be raised to value her femininity and find not only contentment in her God-given roles, but happiness. She, as a young lady (and she puffs with pride everytime Papa calls her that), needs to be prepared for a life of service. Because that is what the life of a wife and mother IS.

Now, don't get me wrong: I was an upside-down-hangin', haymow jumpin' girl who could tackle the best of them, but I knew (and valued) my God-given role as a someday woman. My lanky legs could race (and beat) just about anyone, but from the time I could speak, when asked what I wanted to be in life, my answer was always "A mother. To A DOZEN children!" ;-)

Boys and girls need different things out of life, need to be treated differently... I am reminded more so every single day that I parent both genders.

So how does one foster a close relationship with children who have entirely different frameworks?

Wellll, since I am the ultimate authority, here is what I suggest....

(I hope you know that the above sentence was said in absolute sarcasm...)

Here are some of the things that have worked for us:

* Don't wait for playdates. WHO NEEDS 'EM?!? I'm not a fan of playdates anyway, for various reasons (don't get me started), but your children don't need to rely on "outside friends" to have fun. Stress the gift of them being together and they'll soon see it for themselves.

* Refer to them as friends. If a child is leaving their brother/sister out of the fun, I remind them that their sibling is their best friend, and that a having a brother or sister to play with ALL the time is God's gift to them.

* Encourage your child to participate in the other childs' interests. Andrew has a doll and Corynn plays with trucks. They play these things, not because it particularly interests them, but because they want to PLAY with each other and share in each others' lives.

* Sharing a room. I'll forever be a fan of sharing rooms, while they are little anyway. It is great fun (and at times a bother) to hear them chatting to each other or singing songs after lights are out. They wouldn't be nearly as close if they didn't live CLOSE in proximity to one another all the time.

*Along those same lines, homeschooling really builds the opportunity for close ties because again, they are sharing most of their time with one another instead of a classroom full of OTHER kids. Let's face it, unless they are twins, siblings often don't go to school "together" anymore. Long gone are the days of the one room schoolhouse.

* Boys need respect and need to feel respected. We tell Corynn often to be respectful to her brother. That means not talking down to him and always speaking respectfully. (This is good training ground for respecting husbands.)

*Girls tend to need more tenderness, so Andrew understands that he must be more gentle with his sisters. He can rough-house all he wants with Matt, but sisters should be treated with care. (Again, I hope that I am helping to raise up a tender husband for one of your daughters out there! hehehe)

* Don't compare your children to their siblings in a negative way. "Well, JOHNNY does SO and so. WHY can't you be more like HIM?!?!" Yikes. That is BAD news. Doing so will only add a hearty measure of resentment toward one another.

* Likewise, when the inevitable argument eventually breaks out-listen to BOTH sides of the story and don't automatically assume the responsible party. There are two sides to every story and each should be given equal attention.

And probably the biggest:

**** There is a zero-tolerance in our home for mocking or name calling. Simply is not tolerated, under any circumstances. The children can speak kindly or not at all.

Children who feel belittled by another will obviously not have a good relationship with the offender. I know I wouldn't want to have a relationship with someone who constantly belittles me or mocks me. I won't expect from my children what I don't expect from myself.

Your home ought to be a safe haven for those you love, and the "Haven" comes not in the form of bricks and mortar but in the presence of those who love you and have your best interest at heart.

Now, if you'll excuse me...is that a squabble I hear ?!? ;-)

It's rest time...

which means blog-time in this neck of the woods. It's either now or midnight. And frankly, I'll be five shades to the wind by that point.

The other day I walked into the living room to see THIS. NOT at rest time. Or at least, not at REAL rest time. My childer-two foraged around for ALL their children (obviously, entirely too many) and gave EACH of their children a stuffed animal (and the older ones books!) and tucked them in all soundly and went to bed because "we needed resting up a bit".

Can you count how many sleeping babies there are in this picture?!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Three's company

As many times as I post photos of all three children together, one might assume I say something like "Hey kids, I want to get a picture of you all together!"

Au contraire!

These moments are all the spontaneous outpourings of pleading children "Can I hold the baby, PLEASE?!?!" All. day. long. And obviously, of children who love each other.

I don't know why, after all these times, I still feel amazed at these little moments I walk into.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Splittin' Wood

Since we got our woodstove, which *still* seems surreal to me, we have had to split wood every other weekend in order to have supply enough to burn for two weeks.

Now, anyone with half a brain knows that seasoned wood is best to burn in your woodstove, and those who are wise split a years supply of wood the season BEFORE you need it, so it can properly "cure".

But WE, on the other hand, had opportunity to get a woodstove and install it (along with a chimney) only a month before winter hit hard-so, obviously, we didn't have the luxury of working ahead.

We don't burn "green wood" (that's a no-no): it has been cut for a long time (logs cut into workable "chunks") but the splitting of the wood from "chunks" into pieces is a rather long process, and requires more than just a one-time work day. Especially to heat this monstrosity of a house.

So, as I was saying, Matt heads out there every other weekend to restock our wood supply. Sometimes, his dad helps him. Other times, I do. But the hardest worker is always Matt.

The wood splitter is actually a makeshift Mcgyver contraption using a lawn mower engine and a hyrdaulic pump. For the record, I just IM'ed Matt at work to ask what the "pump thingie" was. (just keepin' it real, folks)

Sometimes you get a stubborn log and Matt, with his strong Man-arms has to show it a thing or two.

Oh yeah! You TELL 'em Mattie!

And sure enough~ he gets that piece of wood to submit to him, right and proper.

But most of the time it works splittingly well. (Ha! I crack myself up!) HA HA! CRACK myself up! hehe


Now MY job, is to "catch" the pieces that are split and toss them into the bucket of the tractor.

Which is on par to working your obliques, your abdominals, shoulders, back, triceps, biceps and...well-a fully body workout. In my opinion, anyway.

SOMETIMES, my job is to keep the large halves that need to be cut again from falling to the ground. Because that would hurt! and my toesies and I have a special relationship.

After the bucket is loaded full up, Matt hops on the tractor and heads to dump the load into the truck.

Now would be a good time to mention that we own neither the tractor nor the truck nor the woodsplitter. Matt's parents graciously let us use them. So~you KNOW what Matt dreams about at night.

See?! He's trying to butter me up...

When he sees it just doesn't work, he gets his head back in the game and gets the load dumped and sets the tractor up again.

Oh~ you are saying "Ah. That isn't all that much work." I hear ya people and I have to say- "IT SHO' IS!" Because that tractor bucket gets filled up 4/5 times for a small load and more than that for a large load. That's a lot of wood to be chuckin', thankyouverymuch.
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Me, dressed in Matt's warm and comfy coveralls and Shamik, my devoted Siamese from way back in the days of middle school. (He's not only still kicking, but no worse for the wear!)

I began the morning dreading wood-splitting time. Whenever I split wood, I am sore for the rest of the night.

But as we were splitting wood, it suddenly dawned on me I was enjoying myself. Just being NEAR Matt does that to me.

THEN, it occurred to me, that in the not so distant future, my young son will be old enough to take my place as Matt's wood-splitting sidekick, and THAT realization sort of made me sad.

That was enough to make me be a bit more thankful for the season of life we are in presently. We are shouldering all the work ourselves, and that is hard...but we are doing it together and that makes it worthwhile.

Not to mention, when I collapsed into bed with aching abs, back and shoulders--I knew I could actually say I had exercised without meaning too. And you know, I LIVE for those moments! :-)
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As if that weren't enough

Later that night...

a bonfire was born.

The children eagerly followed Mattie outside, bundled as quickly as they could and left me to prepare dinner in the quietness of an empty house. Baby swung contentedly in the living room, candles flickered in the dining room while the sound of boiling water melding with Beethoven and Tchaikovsky.

After rubbing circles with my finger for eye holes, I would steal occasional glances from the steamed kitchen windows to keep eyes on my lovelies. Even without the eyeholes, vague orange shapes would flicker through the translucent haze.

Torched were the many fallen trees branches, brush, and weeds that were cluttering one of the only flat areas of land close to the house. There is much more to do, but my! what a difference a few hours of work can make!

My hope is to use this spot for my garden. A perfect spot, sandwiched between creek and apple tree and just down the embankment from the patio porch, where I can sip my sweet tea and write letters all the while enjoying the view of my hard work.

Many a deer (and even a bear) were spotted in this area, so a good fence will be a must. But deer, I'm afraid, are rampant all over the property, so this area I suppose will be as good as any.

Is there anything more wonderful than the sight of a strong, able man with an ax?!?! I think not.

And a boy with mismatched mittens. Not because he doesn't know how to match, mind you, but because he's a little lost kitten who can't seem to keep track of both mittens at the same time.

I love that my children can be witness to the warm, sparking orange flames of a bonfire on a chilly February evening as they work alongside their Papa. I'm ever so thankful for that.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pal 'O Mine

32 hearts taped to a mirror, each holding another happy bit of love

Bits of paper and glue, drawings and haphazardly folded "envelopes" shoved into my fists over twenty times in a day.

Butterflies and snails with lollipops (you can eat WITHOUT asking first!!!) sitting patiently at the table for the children to come down for breakfast.

Heart shaped cheese on a plate of Papa-made breakast.

Everyone. Wearing. Red.

No presents. No poems. No flowers. Just us, together.

That was our Valentine's Day.

Resting from the day before:

when we celebrated our love in a different way....

The old geezer turned 32 this past weekend.

Pretty handsome for an OLD guy...wouldn't ya say?

As is customary with old fogies all set in their ways: the man requested a white cake with peanut butter frosting. Since he has requested this cake EVERY year since we've been married, I'm running out of ways to decorate the dumb thing! But, tasted good anyway.

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Gifts of Love

Things received in exchange for bits of paper then brought back home in bags are far less superior (in our home) to those that are created with love. In the latter case, the wrapped package is not the only gift, but presents alongside are the thoughts behind it, the time spent creating, and the anticipation in exchanging those personalized bits of love.

To me, there is no greater gift than the gift of time. A gift that cost moments, not pennies, is the most cherished of all.

Many moments were spent on Papa this birthday.

Plump Panda fingers, that lose more baby-clumsiness each and every day worked meticulously to string beads onto a keychain. Picking only the ones he thought Papa would like best. When I suggested a striped one, saying "oh-I bet Papa would like THAT one too!" he promptly filled an entire side with it.

And a peacock proud girl~who cleverly made a popup card, and a bookmark with the note PAPA LOVES BOOKS on a side all topped off with a blue ribbon. And then created a handful of valentines to be SURE he got the message that she loved him.

The children contemplated what Papa would love, made their gifts, wrapped them, hid them and eventually presented them. All by themselves.

While the little ones worked, I wrapped my gift to Papa with love moments too, as I prepared a feast, for my king. Ham and Cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots, corn spoonbread, homecanned applesauce, artisan bread and Maple Syrup Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting.

I took this photo at the END of our meal~so yeah, I was a little overzealous!

Many moments, devoted happily to a most beloved man and wrapped in love.

(He did get a brought-home-in-bags gift too, one that he's been wanting for a while.
A harmonica and how-to-play book; the sounds of which, intermingled with giggles and song, filled these four walls gaily until children begrudgingly plunked their way up to bed.)
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Friday, February 13, 2009

My Favorite Day

32 years ago, two pound squaloring boy followed on the heel of two pound "big brother" while Plans were set into motion.
The beginning of a changed world.

Mattie~ you are a world changer.

Each day of your life has been lived according to God's purpose for you and you are bringing glory to His name.

In your arms, you hold power. The power to raise up an army to call upon God's name. Three soldiers you lead and direct, yet with the compassion and gentleness of your own Father.

God has priviledged me to be recipient of your tenderness, to shine at your many successes, to lean on your strength, to look toward you for direction, to trust in your wisdom...to witness and share your life in a way no other can.

Every day of our walk together has been one of joy. Every day that you have lived, even before I met you I count joy-because it was those days that led you to me. And every day left that we have together, I joyfully look forward to, knowing that each day with you is MY gift.

This day, those 32 years past is my favorite day. Because on that day, even while I was yet unborn, a most special gift was given to the world, and to me.


Four hearts beat at home for you.
Eight eyes look up to you.
Forty fingers are eager to do your bidding.
Countless prayers are given in Thanksgiving for you.

Live your life Mattie, and live it well. You are His glory and mine.

Happy Birthday, my love
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Because you asked...

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Several of you have asked about an update on Adele's hearing test, which suprises me. In a good way. It still amazes me, four years later, that my blog can be considered interesting by anyone other than me-and that people actually KNOW about my life and want to take part in it. So, thank you~ for remembering and knowing those things that have been happening in my life and being interested. It is a really nice feeling.

Last Monday, ironically the week that Matt was away, Adele' had her third hearing test. Besides a momentary blip of response in her right ear, there was nothing. That little blip, though, was greeted with such enthusiasm by the screener that for a brief moment my hopes went up-only to be shattered by the sheepish response of the screener that "oh. Oops. I THOUGHT the ear was responding but the machine must have been responding to an electrical charge or something. These things happen from time to time." The poor girl felt bad about getting me all fired up just to let me down again so there are no hard feelings. It wasn't as if she was dashing my hopes on PURPOSE, she was genuinely excited when she thought that it was actual ear response.

Truth is, I had mentally prepared myself for the fact that she would fail again so I was better able to react in a positive way. I praise God for that, especially with Matt being away and all.

On the 24th, Adele' will go to a bonafide audiologist to have more extensive testing done. It is a lengthier test, will require more from her, and instead of cute little earcups being stuck to her head, little devices will be placed inside her ear. A bit more invasive and bothersome, so I am really not looking forward to it. The test though, will give us a much better idea of how "bad" her right ear is and how "good" her left ear is.

Hearing aids are incredibly expensive, especially considering Adele' would need several in her lifetime as she outgrows them. I don't know that this would be an option for us. I don't know all the options or the extent of them and I am trying not to make up hypothetical solutions until I know just exactly what might be required. So-I await this testing with anticipation (though not eager) and pray fervently that whatever the outcome, we will be given the wisdom and means to make the right decisions concerning our wee one.

She deserves the best, that's for sure.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Little Miss: Usually not a math fan, now LOVES math when it comes in the form of candy hearts. and REAL Coins. and her own Puppy/Kitty Calendar. And her new most favoritist thing to read is~ riddles! Short enough not to be frustrating, and funny enough to keep her itching for more. Still, Mama-read stories win out every time from the stories she reads herself.

She now puts her own clean clothes away-and often begs to do Adele's things also. This turns out to be a tremendous help to me, since I only have to lug Matt's clothing and mine back upstairs.

She wakes up every morning to give Papa a hug and kiss goodbye. No matter how early.

The Panda: Has been in big boy undies for about a month now and even wears big boy britches to BED. How cool is THAT?!?

Is a very creative draw-er and an even more dramatic explainer of his drawings. Someday I will have to videotape it. Every time he explains a drawing he cracks me up.

Can count up to 30?!?! I know not how.

Follows me down to the woodstove every single time I have to feed it.

Bunkin: is now a THUMB sucker?!? I don't know how or why-but by golly...she's hooked! I've never had one of those and find it all-together endearing. And for about four days I haven't heard a peep from her.

Has moved beyond the smiling phase and on a good day~even gives one hearty chuckle. She is also googling a fair amount, and I caught it on tape. Forthcoming. ;-)

Has the cutest little pout mouth. EVER.
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