Sunday, August 31, 2014

Images of Summer

 “I have way too much time on my hands these days.”

 -Said no Mother EVER!!

"What is life?  It is the flash of a firefly in the night"


"Life is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
 It is the little shadow which runs across
 the grass and loses itself in the sunset."

 -- Crowfoot the Indian

"There is more to life than Increasing Its Speed."

 - Gandhi

I will never regret a n afternoon
picnicing with children" - Dawn

"We had mighty good weather
as a general thing, and nothing ever happened
to us at all."

- Mark Twain

"There is absolutely no reason for being rushed
along with the rush!
 Everybody should be free to go very slowly."

Robert Frost

"Life, itself is the proper binge."

-Julia Childs
And when the rain beats against my window pane,
I'll think of summer days again,
and dream of you..."

-Chad Jeremy

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Need a Pick Me Up??

Accentuate the Positive
Latch onto the affirmative
Re-gain Peace of mind

I Have a little index card with the above three points
written on it in my silverware drawer
for when I have "one of THOSE" days.
Sometimes I need to be reminded how to
"Set My Affections on Things Above"
(Colossians 3:2and 3).

Just thought it might bless others,
& wanted to share this!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Bliss: Paradise Reclaimed

My Bliss is reading in the Garden...  barefooted, swinging on the swing in the backyard watching the children make fairy forts, and sipping Iced Lemonade with fresh mint garnishes. 


I find myself acting more like a child in these settings, feeling carefree and relaxed.  I call this feeling "Bliss,"  and my summer is full of it. 

It is in the Summer Season that my hankering for the casual lifestyle is strongest, but I also delight in the pretty. 



My cottage fresh style is never so carefree as in Summer, with fresh flowers straight from the garden, white tablecloths, with white sparkly lights, and candles on the picnic table on the back deck. 

I find it exciting to drift beautifully into well-mannered "rooms" in my garden during the sultry evening hours of summer. 

Of course, there is the Play Room in the middle of the Grassy Knoll of the Back Yard,
which is always abuzz with crazy activity

Making Little Forts out of the Bushes in the Back Yard

Children making forts and decorating them with flowers

This was the front porch including a "Weather Station"

Decorating with Rose of Sharon Blooms
Playing "House"

Picnics in the Sun

Memories are made of this...

“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the Whole and Hidden Heart of your life, because in the last analysis, all moments are Key Moments, and Life itself Is Grace.”

-Frederico Bucherno, 1854


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Work Ethic: How to Pass It On

As children get older, it's important to discuss the meaning and purpose of diligent efforts. Make it clear that jobs are not done for drudgery's sake, but to create value, make a profit, or serve people, or even a greater good. Kids need to learn that there is a purpose to all of this -- that doing a job well makes one a better person and enhances character and value in others’ eyes, and in God’s eyes. One way parents can start this discussion with their kids is by sharing their own work experiences -- good and bad -- and talk about the lessons learned and how they were shaped by those experiences.  If parents can show kids how work contributes to the family's well-being, children will be more positive about chores

My Mother made a to-do list of daily or weekly household jobs and posted it on the Kitchen wall.  We did not have choices, we HAD to do what was assigned, or there would be a price to pay.  In our home, we don't let the kids opt out. But giving kids a choice of chores does help make work more tolerable.  Adding incentives can sometimes actually make work fun.
Contests –( i.e.,  for Fastest Room-Cleaner or Best at Vacuuming) -- get kids more involved, as do rewards.  Going out to a favorite park or restaurant, renting a movie, or inviting friends for sleepovers are just a few ways that parents can reward hard work.
In real life, work isn't always fun -- sometimes the boss isn't fair, customers are rude, and hours at work seem to drag by. Expect kids to complain a bit about their jobs. Let them vent -- in fact, encourage it. After all, adults sometimes gripe about their jobs too. But be ready to offer encouragement, and let the children know that hard work isn’t always supposed to be great fun, or even enjoyable, although it can be enjoyable!
Kids learn good work habits when the parents walk the walk. That means showing kids that work is part of a balanced, healthy life. For example, in our family, we have taken on second jobs, worked overtime, and even worked for free at times in our lives.  Our son has observed these times, and has discovered that doing extra work to get ahead sometimes can be beneficial, if it does not take priority over the family consistently.  We talk regularly about chosing a career or life work that you love.  We talk about education, earning potential in certain jobs, and about improving your life through work choices.  We are sure to emphasize that it is NOT always about making The Most Money, or about Buying Things.  But the fact is that at least one person in our son’s future family will need to earn an income, so we want him to be clear on the options. 

Kids will not always do their tasks well. But we muxt resist the urge to step in and take over. If the child fails to water the plant, it may be helpful in the longrun to let it wilt. If children have trouble on a job (or even get fired)  because they fail to show up on time or do the job correctly, don't make excuses for them. Let them learn that their actions or inactions have consequences. Talk about what happened, and ask them what they can do to keep from repeating the mistake.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Books I am currently Reading

"Managers of their Schools " by Steve and Teri Maxwell

"Journeys in Faithfulness" by Sarah Clarks
Mary and Martha. Mary, mother of Jesus. Their stories reveal how Almighty God can reach into the life of an ordinary girl and, through her love and obedience, bring His beauty and grace to bear in this world. Celebrate the sacrifice and courage that made these women the heroines they are with this collection of inspirational stories and devotions. In Journeys of Faithfulness, author Sarah Clarkson explores their paths of faith while challenging today's young woman to reach higher and go deeper in her relationship with Jesus Christ by choosing well and staying the course in her walk with God. A wonderful gift for mothers and their daughters! Recommended for ages 12 and up.

The Book of Acts

And Here is one for summer reading:

Godly, children's reading books can be hard to find, but your search is over. The Moody Family Series are fiction books about a homeschool family. Each book is a wonderful read that will leave you anticipating the sequel!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ordinary Moments

 "What's the most important thing about being a leader?" I ask, continuing a conversation I started in the car earlier today.

We're in the Garden, watering. 

Kimba  looks up, eyes shining blue against the Azure August sky.

"Being able to tell people the right thing to do, you know, like the God thing to do" he says.

Well, yes, I think to myself.  I think he's got something there. 

Stealing Precious Moments...

Lord, teach me to embrace wild-eyed days like this with your gentle grace
 and understanding
that you ordain every step of my path and moment of my day.
Help me to set aside the anxiousness and
 falling into a frenzy
 and the stress that results from leaning on myself
 and not You.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Tapestry of Our Lives

Today I am most thankful for our romantic and comfortable home.  Our home ignites in my feelings of the familiar, memories of times past, and joy. 
A romantic home is full of color, love and laughter.

  It's freshly picked fragrant flowers, plates of food piled high, glasses of home-brewed tea, and lovely music on the stereo.

  I love roaring fires in the winter, doors flung open on warm sultry summer days-- a house for all seasons in my dream.

 I love colorful fabrics framing my windows with views of the garden, paths outside lined with pots full of fresh herbs and blooms, scented roses billowing over fences...
And there's nothing better than waking up to the aroma of fresh coffee, toast, and bacon served on delicate painted china, and sinking into soft, sumptuous sofas to nap and while away the day surrounded by patterned pillows.
I love HOME!