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, March 31, 2011

Foto Friday

Well, you might as well know, we Newmans are at the tail end of a very excruciating month and a half as Matt has been away for 5 out of the last six weeks. We kinda, sorta forgot what it was like to have him around~ so he took a week of vacation to remind us. (And to help keep his wife out of the looney bin!) Needless to say, I have had much more important matters to tend to this week than blogging. Did you miss me? Who am I kidding? You probably didn't even notice! I have good news and I have bad news. Bad news is, I am the worlds LAMEST Foto Friday host, without posting any of my own pictures. The good news is: this is the last week that I will have to. Soooo....what is your favorite photo for the week?

And now for my favorites from last week:

Winner #1: The View From Hidden Valley

~ What a fabulous shot of her husband! I love the blurred trees in the background and that he is looking away from the camera with a casual, genuine look on his face. What gal wouldn't love a portrait of their husband like this? It's a treasure, Amy!

Winner #2: A NibNabit Life

~Check out the blurry buzzing wings! Makes me long for those vibrant blooms again! Well done!

Thanks to all who participated last week! It is so fun to visit you all each week!

Next week's challenge is a free for all. If you want a challenge, make one up and go for it! (And I'll use this week to think up a few great challenges for the coming weeks.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Foto Friday

I had hoped to have my computer troubles resolved by today (which is why this post is so late in running...) but alas, t'was not to be. No new photos for me. (SAtleast not today.)

The GOOD NEWS is that I can live vicariously through you! So do me a favor and LINK UP your favorite photo of the week already! :-)

And now...for the winners from last week!

Winner #1: Life in the A-Frame

Truly, an amazing shot! That little frog was so sweet to sit still for a minute to be captured by the camera...and captured it was! The blurred background, the great detail, the awesome subject...the shot is extraordinary!

Winner #2: 6 Kids and a Camera

This poor little sweetling just tugs at my heart. I don't know how she manages to have sparkly eyes and that darlingt little smile with those awful pox...how could she NOT be a favorite?!?


Anyone up for a photo challenge this coming week, how about: SHOES.

(It doesn't have to be ONLY shoes, but should incorporate them somehow. Be creative!)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Rainbow gnomes.

It was a fun project for the kidlets to work on. Just scraps and hot glue.

They were SUPPOSED to be for Valentine's Day but ended up being for a day in late February which we Newmans deemed FRIENDSHIP day.

What? You don't declare random holidays every now and again?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Link Love

A few more lovely links to feast upon.

Methinks this might become a regular occurrence, at least until I get accepted into Pinterest.( I hope, I hope) Maybe once a month or so?

~ These amazing wings are a *VERY* necessary addition to our dress-up bins.

Came across this Canning Blog and here is another. ( For when I have a few spare moments to peruse.)

These birds nest necklaces are amazing, I love them. I remember admiring some like this (with mother of pearl beads) a few years ago and then I must have completely forgot about actually DOING it~ which is why I am enjoying making these LINK LOVE posts. Even better, Corynn could make one for herself right alongside me. Finding projects like that are pretty awesome since the girl basically wants to do everything I do anyway. :-)

If you are one of letter-writing pals, don't be surprised if you find an egg in your mailbox.


I am hoping to do this. Will you join me?


I love tax time. We always get a lovely little refund back around this time...mainly because we are so poor and have so many dependents. ;-)

And every year that money goes into our account and the same thing happens. I call Matt to the computer and say "Lookie HERE!" and he looks at the nifty money in our account and we admire it for a moment, and then~ with the click of a button... it is gone.

One year I used it all for paying off school loans. One year I paid hospital bills. One year I paid off the credit card. One year it was used for moving. Last year, I used it to pay off our car. So it has always went. SO DEPRESSING, but we knew we had to devote that money to getting FREE.

Not so THIS year! This is the FIRST year, in our HISTORY, that our tax money wasn't spoken for before we even got it! What an AMAZING feeling. !!!!!!

Living with a budget, living with *less*, practicing financial self-discipline and struggling to live financially responsible lives is SO worth it.

Even if it means I get excited about $6.00 red shoes because I only ever BUY shoes that are $10.00 or less, or using an envelope system when really I would love to just have a few good doses of "retail therapy", or strictly sticking with a minimal grocery budget when that money is used up before the cart is even half-full every drop of discipline is so worth it to be out from under the pressure of financial despair or even just financial BURDEN.

I wondered if we would ever get here. I doubted that a one income (and a small one at that) family with scads of children (by today's standards) could ever be "on top". But we are getting there!!! Slow and steady. One "good steward moment" at a time.

Next stop: saving for a house.

*We think we can. We think we can. We think we can.*

By God's Grace...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Castoffs and other unblogworthy bits

Well, never did get my 'puter able to allow more data this past weekend and with no way to get it done this week, I guess I will just have to use what data I got if I am to blog. Instead of posting all the about the homemade vanilla extract, seed starting, and other sundry bits of fun/accomplishments happening these days since the accompanying photos have been taken hostage by my camera~ I will blog some photo castoffs and Overlooks hiding out in Picasa since I am in desperate need of a few good late-night diversions. Blog, be ready!

Here are three.

These photos bring to mind three things:

1) The pain of holding a child that large in one hand while trying to take a picture. OW. My arms need some buffing up since I apparently birthed a sumo wrestler.

2) We look alike. I don't care what anybody says. Just look at those noses. Wide set eyes. Receding hairlines. Double chins. Bags under the eyes. He is a little mini me.

3) For a long time I hoped I would have a blue eyed baby. His dark blue didn't last long. His eyes then turned a a similar shade of gray my green/gold eyed girl had for the longest time but clearly that didn't quite finish them off either. I finally realized: It's official~ a brown-eyed boy he is. I am so far outnumbered I think it is about time to surrender.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Foto Friday

Two days ago my computer and I had an emergency meeting where she told me (yes, it is a she) that she was going to blow up if I added even just one more picture onto this computer. I've been eyeballing the "available space" piechart for ages now, so I knew it was coming but blindly hoped for the best. I am rendered useless for any other photo blogging/FOTO Friday entries until my own personal Network man (helps to have a network hubby, no?) can help me give the girl a makeover so we can be friends again. Until then, my camera is racking up pictures in the hundreds. Hopefully, all will be well by the end of the weekend, at which point I will post my Foto Friday contributions, there are several.

In the meantime~ what about YOUR Favorite FOTO for the week?
Anyone seek out some Green in honor of St. Patty Day?
Do remember-you don't HAVE to follow the challenge suggestion. I would love to see some favorites and sneak glimpses of your week that way too!

My two Foto Friday favorites from last week were:

I was excited for the captions challenge and anxiously awaited a few good laughs. What I found in this photo was so much more than I expected, and so different. Really powerful. Really wonderful.

Winner #2: Just Heather

I loved both her entries, (the hat one made me laugh out loud!) but I chose this as the winner because the contrast was so fabulous, the focus was so crisp, and the caption so funny. Sweet!

Thanks to all who participated, I always love to see everyone's contributions!

Next weeks' challenge, for those interested, is....... UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hungry anyone?

I have noticed lately that the only real blogging I do happens to be in Mother Bird style; that is, my posts are just one big regurgitation of all that happens in my life instead of well thought out, deep insights into life as I know it.

The fact that I can't devote time to writing my *real*, life-altering thoughts in any coherent way bothers me more than a little (I HAVE THOUGHTS!!!), but this is the season of my life that I am walking (regurgitating??) in and so I will trudge through with as much grace as incoherent thought (yesterdays breakfast??) can produce.


That whole paragraph was gross.

A few bits from life, these days:

The girl needs some serious help with her spelling, but life skills deserve an A (She remembered the butter!)

These girls are happy to be getting fresh air again these days after being cooped up most of the winter.

So happy, in fact, they lay ostrich eggs in thanks.

The children and I were discussing how possible it is that Noahs three sons filled the earth one lunchtime and to help prove my point, I sketched a 30 second family lineage diagram. Nanny and Poppy proved my point beautifully.

I am not a diehard clothesline hanger. I know (quite a few) people who hang clothes out in winter and let them freeze dry. Not I. Can't make me. But yesterday was nice enough to hang clothes without freezing fingers and it felt nice. Apparently, it was blue day at our house.

I went to the mailbox the other day to find this:

...which always gets my heart skipping a beat

and inside was THIS:

(canvaspeople are ALWAYS having free canvas deals...)

...which makes me happy because the family photo we HAD on our wall was this:

...and last time I checked we had twice as many children.

Matt was in Reno all last week and while I worried sick about him every second, I learned a few things too:

  • stamping blank envelopes and stuffing them in his suitcase makes it 20 times more likely that he *might* write you a real, bonafide letter.
  • said letter will take over a week to arrive
  • but said letter, when opened will elicit tears. And laughter. And necessitate reading 5 more times before bedtime.
  • two words can make all the difference in the world.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Just Because....

... eyelashes like that just need to be admired.

... the gaping wide mouth and the surprised wide eyes are THE classic Judah expression

... I have no restraint when it comes to sharing pictures of this boy.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hello Foto Friday!

Don't have much time today as there are about 100 different things going on in my kitchen right this very minute so I am gonna make things QUICK. (As quick as long-winded me CAN.) SEE?!? I can't help myself! ugh.

Time to share your favorite photo of the week! Did you participate in the challenge? It was CAPTIONED.

It really stinks that I didn't get a chance to do this challenge. I was REALLY REALLY excited about it. Like alot alot.

So I leave you with my favorite photo of the week instead. Not only is it a re-run, but I just posted it YESTERDAY.


Next week, if you are up for a challenge is GREEN. (Hey, it will be St. Pattys Day people. I HAD to do it.)

My favorite contributions from last week~

#1~ Our Peculiar Lives
Steam. LOOK at that beautiful steam! I think steam is incredibly challenging to capture well. But she nailed it! That deserves some serious KUDOS!

#2~ Full of Grace
Oh boy. I love chocolate. And this shot of brownies is amazing, is it not? The chocolate chips are crisply focused, have depth, have awesome light and well, are chocolate.

Congratulations gals and thanks to all who participated!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shakespeare, on Love

I am trying to convince myself that~

“Absence doth sharpen love, presence strengthens it; the one brings fuel, the other blows it till it burns clear.”

But all I really feel is~

“Absence from those we love is self from self - a deadly banishment.”

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

10 cent show

Two Christmases ago I challenged myself to a 100% homemade holiday and boy, was it fun. I shared most of the gifts I made to give but one I left out was the gift I made for my own children. It might of had something to do with the fact that I waited until the VERY.END. to finish them, or perhaps it was the holiday rush, or maybe the gazillions of photos I had to post of everything else that pushed this to the wayside but it got overlooked.

They loved it then, and two years later they still love it. The children had it out today playing with it, the room was actually bright enough for decent pictures, and I figured now was as good a time as any to finally show it.

I hung a curtain rod in the door way and made curtains from some fabric I had on hand. The blue ones just fasten with curtain clips the lower one is actually on a spring rod.

The curtain rod near the ceiling stays up and out of sight all the time and everything else can be put up in seconds and put away without cluttering things up when not in use. My kinda setup.

My childrens' clothing actually hurts my eyes in these pictures. Wow. We are just a bunch of fashionistas over here. Don't hate.

I also made some puppets out of felt, styrofoam, pantyhose, and lots of bits and pieces. We had finished reading Peter Pan and the children were on a Pan kick, so those were the puppets I made.



My favorite thing about Michael is the button bum I gave him. No one can see it but me, but so what.

Do remember, please, that these four have played and fought and flown for two years now, so if their hair is skewed and their clothes a bit ruffled, it is merely a sign that they are well loved.

We happened to already have pirate puppets so I never made those, but wish I would have anyway. They would have been fun.

I also made a Tinkerbell in wee felt folk marionette fashion with a clay sculpted head and wool roving hair. But...um....she long since met her evil fate, no matter how many 'I DO believe in Faeries" were spoken, which is sortof a good thing since she was pretty scary anyway. (Faeries shouldn't illicit nightmares and the poor thing did just that...)

No one quite knows if it is more fun to be on the puppeteering end or the spectating end.

So there you have it.

My children DID get a Christmas present two years ago and they are *still* enjoying it. Can't say that about too many childrens' gifts.