Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What 'cha doing? Wordless Wednesday!


Telemann's Minuet 14
 Pretending to sleep!
 Waiting for a walk!
What are you up to today?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Weekly Passages

This year I decided to try to read through the One Year Bible.  I try to do this every year, and really struggle with keeping up with it.  Every year, I have started strong.  Then I miss a couple weeks, and find myself unable to catch back up.  I will skip ahead to where everyone else is at, missing out on huge chunks of scripture.

I did not want to do this again.  I started a blog.  I needed something to help me keep up with my reading.  It is pathetic, I know.  I wish I could sit here and tell you that the Word of God is so inspiring that I wake up anxious to read whatever it is HE has for me to learn.  But there are days when I am so distracted by my circumstances that I am just not motivated enough to believe He has anything important for me to hear. 

But I am finding that He does have important, inspiring, relevant words for me, everyday.  I do not always find the time to share these words in my blog.  But the last three months have been so rich.  My mind whirls as I read about the Israelites and how they fumble about.  My heart pounds as I listen to the Lord and His deep desire to dwell with His people.  What amazing days those must have been.

Anyway, if you are reading the One Year Bible this year, I would love to hear what you are learning.
You can catch up with us at here! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shepherds, and Pastures, and Cups Overflowing....

When my heart is tipping over with grief, and consumed with worry over the future,
Our gracious Heavenly Father bestows upon me a reminder of His goodness in Psalm 23. 
How could I sit in my angst
when He promises us...
Endless Gifts...

121.  Our own personal shepherd...on duty...24/7

122.  We shall not "lack"...for anything...

123.  green pastures

124.   quiet waters

125.  Our own person tour guide...on duty...24/7
(who stakes HIS own reputation on our ability to navigate life)

126.  no.more.fear

127. guidance and discipline 

128.   A feast in the midst of a battle

129.  overflowing cups

130.  Goodness
Dwelling in His house

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Sensory Giveaway!

Some of you know that one of our yahoos has been diagnosed with a sensory disorder.  Li is our four year old.  She is full of life and teaching us so much.  She is the most energetic kid I have ever met.

She is friendly and outgoing and inventive.  She indulges in all of her senses, from smelling every bottle of shampoo on the drugstore shelf to slowly rubbing lotion up and down, and up and down, and up and down her legs!  She will take enormous amounts of time washing her hands um, arms after playing outside because those bubbles are just too much fun to just wash her hands and rinse them straight down the drain.

Li has a hard time with her senses, too.  She cannot handle bright light.  She frets if she hears a repetitive noise and cannot make it stop.  She has a hard time chewing and swallowing broccoli.  She would rather tuck that green veggie into her cheeks like a chipmunk instead of actually eating it.  She ends up with broccoli juice running down her shirt!  She can be incredibly un-huggable...and yet very huggable at the same time!
Li is not all that excited about wearing jeans.  She spends most of her time in leggings and really cute skirts.
Which is fine with me, because she looks, well, really cute!

Yep, our Li makes life really interesting and really fun. 
Understanding her sensory disorder helps us understand her.

It is always good to connect with others that are struggling with the same issues.  So we have joined a
 SPD blogger network.

Networking is always a good thing, right?

When I was rummaging through my reading this morning, I found that SPD  and Soft Clothing were having a giveaway! 

Check this out:

From the Soft Clothing website:

Soft Clothing for All Children and The SPD Blogger Network are co-sponsoring an incredible Sensory Friendly Spring Giveaway!  2 Grand Prizes will be given (one for boys, one for girls), and will each include the following sensory friendly items, which focus on fine motor development, dramatic play skills, sensory integration, creative expression, auditory exploration, and of course, fun!  Whatever holiday or season your family celebrates, there is something in this stocking for someone you love!

Your Sensory Prizes!

 Puffy Easter Basket (Chick) Pottery Barn Kids (boys prize)
Puffy Easter Basket (Rabbit) from Pottery Barn Kids (girls prize)
"I'll Tell You Why I Can't Wear Those Clothes," by Noreen O'Sullivan
Soft Seamless Sock 2-pack
Vestibular Wedge
Sensory Body Sock
Alex Toys Monster Bubbles
Alex Toys Sack Racing: Frog and Monkey 
Squiglet Fidget Bracelets 
One complete Springy Soft look for girls OR
One complete Springy Soft look for boys
Go check it out! 
I am hoping to share more about our adventure with Li here on our blog.  If you have a child with sensory disorder, please leave a comment!  I would love to hear your stories! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Under the Trellis- March

The weather is finally starting to warm up!

The Yahoos have been out everyday, playing under the trellis!

I wonder how different this will look in a month!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Twelve Years Ago Today...

 12 years ago today...
 a sweet, amazing young lady did a very brave thing...she chose to let go of the tiny little baby girl God has given her. This baby girl she had nourished, looked after, and protected inside of her for nine months...The baby girl she had struggled to give birth to (for a good 19 hours!) The baby girl she had snuggled with, slept with, breastfed, and watched over for the first 2 weeks of her life... This God-fearing, creative, nurturing soul took that baby girl and placed her into my arms, and asked me to be her momma...
12 years ago today!
On that day...12 years ago, Jeff and I were at a christening for our niece. She was 3 months old, and our hearts were breaking. You see, we had been told, 2 weeks earlier, that the baby girl we thought might be coming home, was going home with her birth mama. We were heart broken...and the last thing we wanted to do was go to a christening for the first baby girl in our family!
But we went, and shared that special time with our family. We were so at peace, we knew that our little niece was such a wonderful gift to us all. We left that evening, went home and settled down in our jammies...ready to snuggle up and relax after such a hard day.
The phone rang. We knew it was our social worker from the agency. She had planned to call us that night, just to check in with us both and see how we were doing after going through a "change of heart." Jeff answered the phone in the kitchen. I grabbed the extension in the bedroom. We met each other in the hall as she started to talk.
"Well," she said, "I am glad you are both there. I need you to get in the car and drive down here. You need to come right away. Do not stop for anything, we have everything you need. Your baby girl is waiting for you to take her home!"
Jeff looked at me, tears in his eyes. His dream of a baby girl had just come true.
"Well," he said, "Could we put our clothes on first?"
The baby girl we thought we had lost was placed into my arms that night. She looked right at me, as though she knew she was right where she belonged. Her birth mama tells me when she saw the look on Mac's face; she knew she had made the right decision. She knew that Mac belonged with us.
So today we praise God for Mac's birth mama, and the amazing gift she brought into our life 12 years ago. We praise Him for the courage she has and the complete, unconditional love she gives to Mac, our other daughters and to us. What a privilege, what an honor to know her. And I pray everyday; I might be as courageous and loving as she.

Just a note:  This is a re post from a few years ago.  Mac's birth mom is still very much a loving amazing example to us all.  We adore her and thank God for her everyday.  Mac is so very much like her birth mother, and we praise God for the striking resemblance, both physically, and spiritually. They love the same things, experience life in the same ways, and even use the same words!  Knowing Mac''s birth mama has helped us understand who Mac is!  What a glorious gift adoption is!  People say how blessed Mac is to be a part of our family, but we believe we are abundantly blessed to have her for a daughter, and her birth family as a part of our family!
12 years ago we began a glorious journey with the arrival of our Mac!  God has since added three more to the mix!  What a blessing and privilege to have our little ones with us!  We praise the Lord every day for them!

Mellow March Moon

O LORD, our Lord,
         How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
         Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
    From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
         Because of Your adversaries,
         To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
    When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
         The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
    What is man that You take thought of him,
         And the son of man that You care for him?
   Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
         And You crown him with glory and majesty!
    You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
         You have put all things under his feet,
    All sheep and oxen,
         And also the beasts of the field,
   The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
         Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
    O LORD, our Lord,
         How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8

Thousand Endless Gifts

111.  Mellow March Moons...the work of HIS fingers

112.  silent soulful midnight sky 

113. embracing branches

114.  whispers long into the night

115.  dreaming with my favorite dreamer

116.  yahoo's rhythmic breathing

117.  murmers of Neverland

118.  sweaty faces

119.  tiny feet from beneath the sheets

120.  kneading purring feline paws 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Homemade Verses the National Leading Brand!

Last year I discovered homemade laundry detergent.  We were on a play date and our friends were doing laundry.  Their home smelled so good.  She was using her homemade soap to do the laundry.  Yeppers...oh, and did it smell goooood.  
She assured me that it was much cheaper and worked just as well.

Then my Funny Frugal Farmer Friend started telling me about her laundry detergent.  She had a couple different recipes.  We decided to try one.  We went out and bought all the ingredients.  We went back and forth on the size of the bucket we needed, and settled on a five gallon one.  Then everything sat in a pile on the kitchen counter for a few weeks. It's just the way things work around here sometimes!

Mac came home from co-op one day all excited.  They needed to put together a science experiment. 
Mac wanted to test laundry detergent!  She wanted to see if the National Leading Brand worked better than the homemade stuff we were hoping to make!
This is what she came up with!  She used three brand new cotton t-shirts. 
She placed four different stains on each shirt:
Cran-Lemonade Drink,
Hot Chocolate!
One shirt she washed in the National Leading Brand.  She washed another in a homemade detergent. 
She also washed a third shirt in water...nothing added. 
For our blog we will just focus on the homemade detergent and the National Leading Brand.

Homemade before
Homemade After
National Leading Brand Before:

National Leading Brand After
It may be a bit difficult to see in the pics, but the homemade definitely removed the stains better.  We were shocked and delighted all at once!  If you are interested in trying the homemade detergent yourself, you will find the recipe at Household Cents!

Monday, March 14, 2011

First signs of Spring...

We usually think of a few robins flying about.
Or crocus peeking through the snow.
But for us, it is a sure sign of spring when the yahoos pull out their favorite vehicles
and start racing around the front sidewalk.
There may be bits of snow on the cold ground,
but that will not stop them!

Thousand Endless Gifts!

101.  yahoos on rollerblades and scooters

102.  Li shouting that she has seen Gypsy!
(another sure sign of spring)

103.  tiny baby feet

104.  tiny baby socks

105.  darkness coming an hour later

106.  Words that are hard to hear but challenge the heart

107.  Hershey's Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Eggs!

108.  giggling with a co-worker

109.  mint green, pale blue, lilac, yellow and pink!

110.  Jelly Bellys!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Philippians 4:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Thousand Endless Gifts

91. old love letters

92.  old pictures

93.  musing over memories

94.  DC Talk

95.  the hard stuff that draws them in, instead of pushing them away.
(why are we so afraid of the hard stuff?)

96.  tears and repentance...and a new heart

97. my dear sisters in Christ

98.  the unique and gentle voice of a dear friend, and her love for my children

99.  Mae's arm wrapped around mine

100.  we are at a hundred, and there are so many more!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shiny New Knobs

I have been wanting one of  these...
for a very long time.
I know it looks like your general run-of-the-mill stove top.

And it is.

But this is what we have been using for the last 10 years.
OK, I will admit that when we first moved in,
there were actually four knobs where the wrench is currently...

Eventually, each knob split in two, and we would have to accommodate the knobless spots...
with the leftover knobs.
Until there was only one knob left.
It bit the dust TWO summers ago.
Yep, been using that wrench for two years.

Now I must admit that I do not do much of the cooking around here,
because my wrists and fingers just do not work real well.
Slicing and dicing just are not my thing.
So there were many, many days, when the wrench would be busy...
wrenching other things, and Jeff would just use his FINGERS to start the stove.

A couple weeks ago he discovered his fingers were just not that...

I have to admit.

Shiny thick new knobs really turn me on.