Sunday, May 30, 2010

Crop Check

A farmer went out to sow his seed... Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown... The seed is the Word of God. The seed that fell on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the Word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8 - The Parable of the Sower

Friday, May 28, 2010

On the Lake

When I announced we were going to Grandma and Grandpa's house for an afternoon of tubing, there was pandemonium at the farm. Shouting, cheering, and excited rushing to gather swim gear ensued. I smiled. I knew Grandma and Grandpa had gotten a new gigantic tube.

I think they spent more time on the tube than on the dock. Watching them laugh and motion their signal for grandma to take them over waves makes me happy. I loved growing up on the lake, and now my kids love the water too.


Mom said she had perfected tube driving. And she's right. She gets the kids what they want. Waves! A bouncy ride.

Victoria had her first boat ride, wearing a life jacket my sister and I wore as toddlers on this same lake. It's a bit restrictive, but she handled it just fine. We are teaching her early to love the water spray, wind in the face, and soothing lull of the boat motor.

There's really not much better than a hot summer day spent on the water.

At least for this happy lake girl.

Filed Under Grace - May

Prayer is conversation with God.

Sometimes my prayers are pleas for an answer or a result or a change. Sometimes they are just simple thoughts toward Him, not even fully formed, just lingering there in my brain. Today's answer was to one of the latter types of prayers.

As you may have read, Madison earned herself an American Girl doll. With glasses.

She'd not even had her doll a week when I caught her taking it outside. I scolded her, cautioned her that Kit would get dirty, but she stubbornly assured me she would be careful.

That evening, she realized that Kit's glasses were missing. I was mad. She was sad. We knew they were outside, lost in the expanse of grass that makes up our 10 acres of yard. It was hopeless they would ever be found.

To make matters worse, the next day it rained. We didn't try looking, even close to the house. The rain continued for 3 days.

Now, I know these are just doll accessories. But, remember,  a fascination with doll glasses was one of the key things that caused Madison's in-the-store change of mind, and my offer to buy Kit glasses convinced her to stick with her original choice. She could buy a replacement with her own money, but it would be weeks before we made our way that direction again. It's such a small thing, but the doll is special and there was a definite sense of loss.

Finally, the sun came out, and on a whim, I decided to check for the glasses. I headed out to the spot she had been when I warned her to take her doll inside, and began walking slowly, scanning the yard. I thought to the Lord, "I know this is a silly, stupid thing, and maybe she just needs to learn her lesson, but it sure would be nice if I just walked straight to those glasses."

I continued for a few paces, and what do you know, there they were, right in front of me, nestled in the grass!

I raced to the house, where Madison was, told her I'd asked Jesus to help me find Kit's glasses and that He had! She was pretty amazed, and I'm sure she'll never forget that God cares about the little stuff!

She has not taken Kit outside since. Smart girl!

Do you have a big or a little answered prayer? I'd love for you to share it here! Join me as I endeavor to document, and as a result, remember, times of answered prayer.

To read the rules on how to participate, please click the button. I'll have a Linky up and running for the weekend.

I'll make a list of God's gracious dealings, 
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God…
— Compassion lavished, love extravagant…

Isaiah 63:7-8
The Message

Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Capture: Sky

Today's You Capture challenge inspired me to lay on the ground and include the sky in my shots. 

and along the way I discovered a few treasures

in addition to a fly by my chives.

Tomorrow stop by to see my favorite way to enjoy a blue sky.
Have a happy holiday weekend!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Favorite Fingers

Did you miss these eyes?
You're welcome.

Just in case you're wondering, yes, she likes her fingers. All of them. 
I keep telling her that if she makes it a habit, maybe someday
she can earn herself an American Girl doll, just like her cousin.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chasing Sunshine

Two girls and a boy passed their day chasing butterflies (and moths) and sunshine. A butterfly house filled and fluttered with Red Admiral and Cabbage butterflies. Then splashing in the pool they played and rinsed sweat and heat. Back and forth. Nets and noodles. Sun kissed cheeks and sun tired bodies.

Summer commences.

(contented sigh)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring Fun

Hot and muggy.  
while kids make lounge chair forts. 
Like I did when little.
Wet towels.
Sand on floor.
Wet footprints on carpet.
Sunburned cheeks.
Damp seats.

Good day.
Good night.

Friday, May 21, 2010

White Bean Dip

This recipe is posted in honor of Lisa, who keeps asking me for this recipe, but actually has it in her own Flat Belly Diet Book, and remembering our recent picnic under the crab apple tree munching on Food Should Taste Good (yes, that's the brand) whole grain chips and this dip....Lisa- the beans I used for our picnic are in caps.  Love you girl!

...And in memory of a lovely mother daughter picnic at the MN Landscape Arboretum last night in which I fixed the ladies in my family a fabulous meal, if I do say so myself, which included this dip. :) Although, I forgot my camera which I had remembered to charge. Go figure. All those lovely flowers....sigh. I guess I'll go drown my sorrows with this dip. Ha!

White Bean Dip

1 can (or 1 1/2 cups) cannellini, NAVY, or great northern beans, rinsed and drained.
1 large clove garlic
1 T lemon juice
2 t white wine vinegar
2 springs flat leaf Italian parsley (or 2 T dried)
2 Basil leaves (or 1 t dried)
1 t Dijon mustard
1/4 t dried oregano
red pepper flakes

Puree above in food processor

add and puree again:
3/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Good with whole grain chips, veggies....these are my favorite!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

All Grown Up Like

Robb was gone last week for a men's conference. Our time without him was busy. But I like it that way. Makes the time go by faster until my favorite guy is home.

Saturday night Mitchell had a birthday party sleepover, Madison had her first sleepover, and Megan had a friend sleep over here at our house. As a result, Sunday morning was quiet. Weirdly quiet. Megan didn't know what to do with herself without a brother teasing her and a sister to help with fashion advice.

So we straightened her hair. 

She loved it. 

And I realized my girl is growing up mighty fast!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fruiveggie Smoothie

My freezer is full of all kinds of stuff. A little baggie of over-ripe banana, gallon bags of frozen tomatoes, some shredded carrot left over from making wild rice soup. Tonight, while my kids clamored for a snack and I pondered the healthfulness of their dinner (pancakes) and how to get some nutrients into them, I made use of all those little bags of what-not cluttering my fridge. I threw it in the blender and viola....a V8 Splash inspired smoothie.

 1 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen shredded carrots
1/2 cup frozen tomato chunks
enough orange juice so it is easily blended. Blend until smooth.

Serve to unsuspecting children.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

She Made Cookies

A mother's fears haunt me. Am I doing enough, teaching enough, modeling well? Am I equipping my children with the necessary tools for future success? Those fears nag. Not always. But often.

And then my nine year old daughter makes cookies. All by herself. Perfect little ones. She's careful and precise and doesn't burn a one. She even successfully doubles the recipe.

As I munch on a dainty morsel, so cute, it nestles on the rim of my garage sale find saucer,

I know I can't do and be everything she needs me to be. I'll teach her what I know and when I lose my patience and take it out on her, I'll apologize, and start with fresh resolve to die to self. Again. And the One I trust her to will fill the gaps because she is His and I am His and He is our God.

And at least she knows how to make cookies.

Unwrapping the gift of cookies I didn't have to make for Tuesdays Unwrapped:

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Doll I'll Never Admit is Better, Pt. 3-ish

Remember this? When I went on and on about a silly doll? And then that very same month when I made a  promise to my daughter and made plans to break my own rule again?

The time finally came, the stars aligned, or whatever, Madison's finger dried out, and my sister and her little one packed into our filthy van (because I'm pretty sure I heard Victoria beg to join all the girls,) and our vehicle headed in the direction of the big city. Or at least the biggest Mall in America.

The girls had talked about which doll Madison would choose. Megan had picked one that looked like her. Would Madison decide on Julie or Kit?

We arrived at little girl heaven. Madison flitted like a bee from display to display and after much scrutiny, picked Molly.



That' not what we talked about! She doesn't look anything like Molly! At this revelation and change in plans, I did not resort to meddling and manipulation. Rather, I lovingly encouraged and guided Madison to make a better choice. A cuter choice. A different choice.

Or not.

What had made her change her mind? If it was the glasses, could we buy a pair for, say, Kit?

"No." Said she, with confidence, and not a little defiant shake of the head.

If it was the fact that we already had the Molly movie, would buying the Kit movie change her mind?

"No." Again. Same stubborn shake of head.

"Nothing you say can make me change my mind. I've made up my mind. Now, let's go buy it already, mom."

I look at my sister. We roll our eyes. Do we let her make this foolish, fashion-less choice, on this last minute whim?

I envision a moment in the near future when she realizes Molly's wardrobe is not quite as cute as another's. Do I risk that amount of money, with the possibility of the doll being scorned and tossed aside later?

I reluctantly follow a Molly toting Madison to the check out line.

"Oh, look!" I see a display of accessories, conveniently displayed for last-minute buyer whims.

"Purple glasses!"

"Madison, if you get Kit, I'll buy these glasses for you, and they will even match her outfit! They're so cute!"

She checks them out.

"OK!" she agrees cheerfully.

And off she trots with Megan to exchange the box holding Molly for a box with Kit.

Whew. That was close.

Am I sorry I manipulated and bribed my daughter to buy what I esteemed to be the cuter doll?
Nope, not at all. Not me!

With relief, we all went to lunch at the American Girl Bistro and everyone lived happily ever after.

We borrowed a friend for Victoria, but she wasn't interested.

(And, in the end, Madison picked the brown glasses, 
not the purple, and I didn't even try to change her mind.)
The end.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Where, Oh where?

Where'd we go today?
Shhhh, Facebook friends.


That last one pretty much gives it away...

More on Monday. See you then!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

School in the Summer?

So, we home school. You knew that, right?

Yesterday, a package came in the mail. I've been planning our summer curriculum, because, yes, we do school in the summer. But not full fledged, math, language arts, spelling, history, science, handwriting, art, full schedule kind of school. I'm not a glutton for punishment.

We choose to do science in the summer. And any smart homeschooling family would too. After all, you can't really do bark rubbings, leaf comparisons and worm habitats when it's -20 F outside and the ground is covered in two feet of snow, now, can you?

Yes, I am brilliant. We do science in the summer.

So I've been trying to decide what books to use. What to do. We already went through my favorite-so-far elementary science book. Considering God's Creation. Seriously. Every project fits into a three ring binder. That was awesome considering my aversion toward a house cluttered by a gazillion messy, ugly kid creations and my abhorrence for Sunday School papers. Yes, I love those three ring binders.

But we finished it. So now what?

I considered Apologia. My younger sisters loved that curriculum. And it even has an elementary series now. But after careful consideration, and the advice of friends who have used it, I decided to hold off. Maybe next year.

             Then I found this.                                                                      And this.

And a book of nature crafts in my bookshelf that I must have picked up at a garage sale last year.

So we are going to have fun learning about bugs and animals this summer. With a few creative and messy projects (to be done outside, duh) thrown in. Our garden will serve as a wealth of education as well.

I am convinced that the best thing I can do for my kids education is to cultivate a love of learning. And I think these books will do the trick.

Even if you don't home school, (and I'm not being compensated to say this) these are still great books to add to your library. Last night, we read two chapter of Mrs. Gatty's book and we learned about butterflies and ants. My children loved the stories and wanted me to keep reading.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My Me Time

(cell phone pic)

We've been under the weather around here for almost 5 days. Robb and I have been, anyway. The kids are fine. Fine enough to think they run the house while the adults in the family nap and go to bed at 8:30pm. Unfortunately, school has taken second place to my rest. But we homeschool, so we can stretch it out until the end of June if need be, right? HA! Notsomuch.

A friend texted yesterday and asked about setting up a park playdate, and though I knew maybe I shouldn't because of how I've been feeling, achy joints and all, I couldn't say no. I checked the weather forecast and today was to be the nicest day for the next week. Around here, we soak up the sun as often as we can.

So we packed up and headed out to our favorite park. I'd made iced tea, but had no ice, so we detoured to McDonalds to pick up a cup of ice. And while we were there, who could resist a Frappe? Not me! I found my me time, just like the commercial promised. :)

No, really, my happy place was lounging on a cozy blanket and chatting with my friend, while the kids ran around under the warm sun. I think I even got a sunburn. I'm gonna burn these bugs right out me. 

Frappes, friends and freckles. Wonderful gifts.

I don't think it's necessary to say, but I will anyway. I am not being compensated for this post. I paid for my Mc Frappe with my own money. 
Just in case anyone cares. ;)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday Evening Blog Post

It's that time of the month again....

NO, not that, silly!

It's time to share you're favorite blog post over at Elizabeth Esther's Saturday Evening Blog Post.

Head on over and check out what I shared. And have a great Saturday!