Monday, March 31, 2008

What Makes YOU Smile?

Michelle has posted a fun question and it even comes with a prize! I actually had to give this one some thought - not that I don't smile, I do, but I wanted to post something that was real and made me smile on the inside, you know - one of those smiles from the heart. I was looking through my pics and found this one. It's the entrance to our gated community.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I will share my Thankful Thursday with a photo...

Thank you, Lord, for my Mother's daily presence in the lives of my children. Each day she teaches them something new. Her love for learning overflows into the lives of my children and I'm so very grateful for such a rich, meaningful, relationship she has with them.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

As we reflect on Holy Week, I'm always brought to tears as I remember God's sacrifice for me, a sinner. The older I get, the reality of God's amazing grace becomes more concrete in my heart. - Probably because, for a number of years, I tried so hard to be "holy", or "good", - "perfect" - and failed. I don't think we'll ever be able to fathom God's grace until we've tried hard to be sinless. Then - we know. We are truly a people in need of a Saviour. Only by the power of His spirit are we able to "be" anything. "Apart from Him we can do nothing." I am thankful to truly know Him. Nothing on earth compares.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Gift of Friendship

Yesterday, I received a special gift - an afternoon with one of my most favorite friends. My heart leaped for joy as she headed out here knowing what blessing awaited. This morning, as I reflect on the gift of genuine friendship, my heart is overflowing. You know, in life there are very few genuine friends. My mother has used the term "fair weather friends" all my life, and now that I'm an adult I, most assuredly, know the fullness of that term. O how I pray I am a real friend to those who cross my path.

Pinecone Bird Feeders

It's a gorgeous day in East Texas and we've been out basking in it. We went for a nature walk to check on a bird's nest we discovered the other day. Sarah determined it was an old one so we decided to snatch it for a collection we're starting. As we walked, we decided to make pinecone bird feeders when we got back. I took a few pictures for fun and thought I'd share the process. So many of us with older ones can tend to focus so much of our time on academics, schedules, and for some even college fills our spare time, but don't forget the little ones if you still have some. We made these all the time when Sarah and Douglas were younger - not so much with Laura. She kept saying over and over...

"THIS is F-U-N!".


Here's what you need:

Peanut Butter (creamy or crunchy), birdseed, pinecones, string or yarn, a pan, and a rubber spatula.

First, tie the string to the top of the pinecone.

Pour some birdseed into a pan (or bowl).

Using a rubber spatula, spread the peanut butter all over a pinecone. Don't worry about getting it into every crevice, just give it a good coating.

Next, roll the pinecone into the birdseed. I usually take some in my hand and press the seed into the pinecone making sure it's completely covered.

And there you have it! Pinecone Bird Feeders.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Go Ye Therefore"

I just discovered that we have two sets of friends spreading the Gospel in Africa. Our dear friends from church will actually be returning today from Liberia after a month-long medical/teaching mission, and I've recently learned of another family with whom we used to worship and attended an indescribable Sunday School class together several years ago. Time passes so quickly and our paths haven't crossed in recent years but nevertheless the Barret Family is our family in Christ and it's been such a blessing to learn of how God is using their family in a mighty way. Because I know their hearts, reading the blog entries have brought me to tears several times. If you're looking for a blessing that transcends the everydayness of life, visit the Barret's blog. You'll live on a higher plane today, for sure.

The Barret Family in Uganda

"Go ye therefore, making disciples of all nations..."

Matthew 28: 19-20

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mud, Baby Chicks, & Chocolate Cake

Well it's raining again. I won't mull over it, you can see from my last post what I think about it. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm thankful. It's so good for our garden, the flowers, "God's Creation" as I've always explained to the kids. It's just the m-u-d. Ug....Last Friday, I got ready to attend the second study of The Truth Project, went to town to get the kids a pizza and got stuck in my own driveway. Once I got to the pizza place, I discovered this plastic-shield-bumper type thing had cracked in half and I'd lost part of it somewhere along the way. Anyway it wasn't all that bad, I was able to get out myself, but the entire 17-1800 ft. of driveway (which BTW is mostly a pig trail) was a complete mud bog. Since I'd already seen the first 4-5 lessons of The Truth Project, I decided I'd just stay home. Yes, it was THAT bad. Phillip wouldn't come home until the wee hours of Saturday morning and I'd be stuck - literally and figuratively - walking home in the dark - and mud.


Saturday, while Phillip was sleeping, I decided to do something fun with the kids - get baby chicks. Though it may be a bit premature, as Phillip's promotion isn't official (thus having us home more on a consistent basis), we thought just a few would be easy to give away if the future held more traveling. Over the years we've truly enjoyed chicks and this time is absolutely no exception. I've realized that Laura probably doesn't remember much about having farm animals in the past so this is a real treat for her.

"No, we don't eat chocolate cake around here, why do you ask?"

Friday, March 07, 2008

Snow - In Texas

Everyone's talking about it. First it was going to be a major winter blast, then not so big, then we woke to blowing snow. The ground was already slushy so we're in the thick of mud, mud, and more mud around here. The last two years, I've lived in a mostly concrete environment so all this red goop is getting a bit old. Nevertheless, we were out in the muck this morning. These Texans never pass up the chance to trape around in snow - even if it's more muddy slush than the pristine dry stuff we experienced in Montana. There's such beauty in the white stuff - some sort of hush - some sense of peace. ~ The big kids are playing Monopoly and Laura is waiting (not so patiently) for me to play Sorry with her.

The pics below are of our plum trees with frozen blossoms. I still have hope that some will make it, but we won't have the bumper crop I'd hoped for. Plum jelly is a favorite around here.

I'll close with a quote from Laura. As she excitedly frolicked in the muddy snow - trying to catch snowflakes with her tongue, with bated breath she sadly exclaimed....

"Oh Mom, all our Daffofils don't deserve this!!"