Papa-son and Mama-cita's Kiddos

Papa-son and Mama-cita's Kiddos

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Donate Bibles

You may know this already but you can donate Bibles to persecuted Christians at NO cost to you!

So, what are you waiting for?  Go CLICK to send one free Bible!

Thanks for telling me about this, Jenn!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Looking For Baby Items?

Have someone in mind you're hoping to bless with some sweet mommy/baby items that are beautiful, high-quality, functional, and support something meaningful?  May I boldly implore you to check out Already Love You?

Already Love You is the Etsy store our friends have opened to help fund their adoption fund.  Is that not a wonderful idea?!?!

I'm anticipating "needing" some things for our Baby #6 come April!

The First-Ever Whitney All-Family Camping Trip - Part 2

(Why I didn't just publish this 2 months ago when I wrote it is a mystery.  I'm not even bothering with trying to edit/find all my errors.  Time goes too quickly!)

So, where did I leave off from our camping story?  Ah!  Yes!  We had an amazing breakfast prepared by my oh so wonderful hubby-bubby of sausage and soaked pancakes.

The video I wanted to share of William cooking in the rain would not upload.  (Blogger and Mac seem to not work well together.  Or maybe it's just me! And, if one of them must go one day, it will not be our Mac!)  Here's the video (using You Tube):

Did you see his hustle?!?!  What good fun in the outdoors and sweet memories!

Day 2 of the trip found waking to wetness all around but enjoying a spectacular breakfast. After breakfast the rain did begin to slow down.  It was still damp so we opted not to attend the program of events we signed up for through ICHE.  We gave the kids the option and they were cool with just hanging around the campsite, playing in the sand area near the beach and exploring.

By the time breakfast ended and the rain stopped, we had to clean up after breakfast.  Camping is WORK... just like home.  But, with Hubby along for the fun, it certainly wasn't terrible.  In fact, it was oddly fun as we ended up with that outdoorsy mentality of, "Hey, everything's dirty, don't worry about getting it too clean!"
Paloma outside the tent after breakfast.
Notice the winter hat.  It was freezing in the early hours!

Once clean up was done it was almost time to get the fire going again or our lunch would not be ready on time.  Work time again!  The menu?  Hot-off-the-grill ham and cheese sandwiches with tomato!

After lunch Daddy took the bigger kids exploring around on some paths while I kicked back and tried to have a quiet time while the 2 little ones took an afternoon nap.  I think I read all of 3 verses and crashed!  I guess I was a little sleepy!

The naps were short so playtime came quick, especially when the bigger kids arrived with Daddy.  The kids played in sand, pulled Autumn in the wagon, dug an enormous pit near our tent, fished, and even enjoyed swinging on the swings.  Oh, the simple things!

We had dinner with the rest of the ICHE campers so it was an easy night.  Of course, we did end our evening with more S'mores!

Because the sleeping on the ground thing was way more painful than I anticipated, I tried to make it a bit easier by folding a blanket underneath us to give us a bit more relief from those annoying acorns.  I had no idea the acorns would be the least of my problems.

Yes, night two was... LONG.  We survived rain but... would I survive my husband turning into a barbarian?  Let me explain.

I was tossing around a lot trying to get comfortable and stay warm after getting up multiple times for kids being scared and Autumn wanting to eat.  Hey, it is like we're at home after all!  Once the kids were totally down though, I began to hear the wild animals.  Wild animals kinds freak me out.  Especially since the first (and last time!) I went camping with my husband and we were attacked by wild raccoons.  Yes, those crazy raccoons kept pawing at our tent!  It was horrible.

William knew my fear of the wild animals so what does he do?  He decides to go out in dark and mark our territory.  Okay.  So, he relieves himself.  I'm thinking he'll come back in the tent any moment.  Well, next thing I know, I hear him let out a small gasp of momentary pain.  Pops fell into the deep pit the kids dug!

Surely he'll come crawling back into the tent any moment, right?  Nope.  I hear him walking all around the tent.  What on earth?  I get nervous.  What will I do if my husband is attacked by a wild animal?  Then I see fire.   A LARGE fire!  So large our tent is now lit.  My husband went CRAZY.  I unzipped the windowed of the tent to peek out and I see a man I did not recognize.  And he stayed out there for a couple of hours!  Finally I whisper to him, "What are you doing?  You've been out there for hours?!"  He had been unaware of how long!

He comes back in and mumbles something about protecting us using fire.  Well, one thing was for certain, no animals came trotting over to our spot anymore!

The rest of our trip was typical.  Kids playing outside and getting filthy.


Sitting around and marveling at God's creation.

Throwing sticks in the fire.

And then, the inevitable final clean-up and pack up time.  (Note to self: have a plan for this as this wasn't as smooth as set up!  Prepare for the kids to have assigned duties.)  Once in the minivan I made our sandwiches and passed out lunch.  Yay!  No having to stop for and buy junk food!

My verdict?  The Whitney All-Family Camping Trip was a tremendous success.  Looking forward to our next one (most likely late Spring 2011).  Anyone up for joining us?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nine Years... and Counting!

Today my prince and I are celeberating our NINE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  And though we've been apart for many hours, we are so connected and on the same page.  My oh my I love being married to my man!  Apart from my Savior, there is no one I rather spend my time with than my hubby!

In fact, to quickly share a little story from this morning, we were all enjoying some Breakfast Cake at the dining room table when Saraina asks,

"Mommy, why are you the only one that's brown in our family?"

Just a moment later, Joshua pipes in, "Well, why is Daddy the only white one in our family?"

After a few giggles, Daddy replies, you see, "Before Daddy and Mommy got married, Mommy really liked vanilla ice cream and I really liked coffee.  We thought, we should get married because she looks like coffee and I look like vanilla ice cream!"

Then Kadin asks, "Well, what are we?"

Without a hint of confusion or doubt, Saraina answers him, "We're mocha."

Well, my vanilla ice cream shake, I am so thankful to be married to you!  Happy 108 months of marriage!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guess What We're Driving?

We went camping a couple weeks ago and barely fit all our stuff.  We came home knowing we would really be needing a full-size van.  (We were chillin' in a 7-passenger minivan.) No more living the mini-life for us!  William was set on finding and buying one before our big trip east for Christmas.  Cool.  We had a few months to find exactly what we needed.

The Lord worked it much sooner than we anticipated!

What we were looking for was simple.  A good price and good mileage.  That's it.  We are no-frills kinda-peeps so the actual look of the van wasn't a big deal.  (Note: there was one red abd white stripe 1977 van on sale for $1000 that I REALLY didn't want to have to drive.  I do struggle with humility still!)  We had a little disagreement on the size of the van.  I was hoping for a 12 (or special-made) 13-passenger van.  William was set on a 15-passenger.  I was a bit reluctant seeing how we'd only be a family of 8.  But, he was certain and I trusted his conviction that we needed the extra space in the back.

The end of the story is we are now the thankful and utterly amazed owners of a REALLY BIG WHITE 15-PASSENGER VAN (aka truck).
Me driving the van to church after almost crying
trying to back it out of the gate and onto the street!

But that's not it!  Can I tell you how incredibly overwhelmed we are by how kind God has been to us?  We started looking on Monday. Craigslist is our style and only from a private owner.  (William refuses to buy from a dealer.)  We found the van on Thursday morning, contacted the owner and set up for William to check it out the next morning before work.  William had a good feeling about this.  Kinda like he did with the Prism (which is still riding sweet for us!).  He came home and we all piled into the minivan to drive to buy this big beast.

The "new van" as the kids call it, is a 2002 Ford 350 XLT.  It was used by a daycare that went out of business (meaning it had regular 6 month checks) and only had 46K miles!  It's truly newer and younger than our other cars!!!!  Is that not incredible?!

And to show you how the Lord continued to bless us and provide, we sold our minivan the next day in less than 24 hours simply by being parked outside our home (like the Jetta!).  When all the numbers are said and done, we really only paid $4200 cash for our sweet, new ride!

Now, if you would all pray that I would learn how to park it parallel to our garage, that would be very kind!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The First-Ever Whitney All-Family Camping Trip - Part 1

We did it.

We went camping.  All of us.  Together.  In a tent.  And we loved it!

We planned.  We practiced setting it up.  We waterproofed our gear.  We made adjustments.  We made stuff.  We compromised.  We made more adjustments.  We packed and loaded it up and left!
Here's one of the practice runs in our wild-looking backyard.

The drive to the site was about 2.5 hours long.  We had lots of screaming and crying.  Unhappy Autumn and Miserable Paloma.  We arrived and had a fairly secluded spot.  Pops mentioned the screaming baby who could possibly keep other campers up at night and I think that really helped!  This was one of those spots that you had to walk to.  Not far, but far enough when you've got to haul your stuff along with 5 kids that can't really pull any weight just yet.
Here's Daddy running with the cart to unload all our stuff.

Setting up our temporary home away from home was a breeze, thanks to Pops' dry runs at home.

People laughed when they saw how big it was but with 2 adults, one pack-n-play, and four kids in sleeping bags, we needed the space!  The kids were so happy to finally arrive!


Our first meal was italian sausages (for Papa and Mama!) and nitrate free, uncured hot dogs (for the kids) with a side of campside fried potatoes and zucchini (from our garden) with diced onion.  DELICIOUS!!!!  (Since being pregnant, I can't get enough meat/protein!)  And the little leftovers of potatoes and zucchini went right into the fire to minimize trash!  Love it!

One of our compromises was a treat of smores.  You know, all the bad for you stuff, nothing homemade.  This was Joshua favorite part of the trip!  He and Daddy sitting in the dark by the fire after all the others were already in their sleeping bags.  (Oh- in case you're interested, Pops wanted a dessert he could bake/cook in our cast-iron dutch oven but I had a hard time planning for something like that!  Ideas?  Let me know!)
S'more face Saraina
Shocked Joshua intrigued by something.

So, bedtime arrives.  Autumn went down well, the bigger kiddos did okay.  Pops and I laid down and shortly after I heard a rumble.  I quickly say, "Is that thunder?"  It was around 9 or 9:15pm.  We were exhausted but we knew day two of our trip would be a travesty if our junk all over the campsite got wet.  So, out we went and in came all our stuff that shouldn't get wet (like our cast-iron pots and pans).  We had no other tarps to keep the firewood dry so we put the kids plastic square table over it, hoping we'd be able to make breakfast in in the morning.
Autumn somewhere under those warm blankets in her pack-n-play.
Paloma and Saraina and Kadin still snoozing in the early morning.
Joshua just waking up.
Papa and Mama's sleeping section.  No pads or air mattress.  PAINFUL!
Note: bring a rake to clear tent area of acorns and sticks before setting up the tent!

No rain comes.  We wake the bigger kids to have them go potty.  (NOTE:  this the ESSENTIAL for me if I ever go camping, especially being pregnant and needing to use the "facilities" often.)  Pops thought I was out of my mind when I asked him about 2 weeks before our trip to make a potty for me using the 5-gallon empty coconut oil bucket.  I had him cut a large hole in the lid for the potty seat and then doubled plastic bags and secured them to the buscket prior to snapping the lid on.  Voila!  A sturdy, clean, and available potty for us to use when needed!

The potty worked like a charm.  And then we went back to sleep.  And around midnight, the rain came.  And came.  And came.  It got much colder but we were fairly warm until Joshua woke up to tell me his blanket was wet.  Wet?  Pee or rain?  Rain.  Water was collecting under the tarp in certain places.  Out Daddy went to check the tent.  It rained a lot and for HOURS.

Morning comes early in the wild and this morning we woke to wetness all around.  Daddy was up and out of the tent right away.  His mind was on FIRE.  He had to get a fire going and keep it going.  I was thankful I packed rainyday toys, just in case.
Paloma and Autumn played well as Daddy prepared breakfast
and the bigger kids and I played  a matching game.

But then it slowed down and stopped.  And because I was keeping an eye on Autumn and Paloma, Pops had to make breakfast solo, for the most part.  He whipped up my soaked pancakes and some maple syrup breakfast patties (compromise food!) and then... when he was almost finished... it poured down on us.  Back in the tent, except for Daddy cooking still.

Check out this video of Daddy working it in the rain!

(Problem uploading video!  Sorry.)

Here's a picture of crazy Daddy drying off his shirt by the fire.  Later on he tried to do the same thing with his sneakers when he realized they were BURNING!

That was the BEST breakfast!  Because we had to run in the tent, we ended up making a pancake sausage sandwich which was DELICIOUS!!!!  And no need for silverware!

So, we made it through our first night of camping in the rain and God even provided a fire for us the next day as the wood under that little plastic table kept most the wood dry!

More to come... Part 2 to come soon!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Could I Be the First Black Amish Person?

Pops and I watched a documentary last night.  We had been on a kick of watching weird-o documentaries and other things on Netflix that I can't quite describe easily.  But, gardening seemed to take us away from that.

Anyway, the video we *saw* last night was about the Amish.  (Note:  SAW does not mean that I actually saw and heard everything.  I fell asleep countless times as is my family trait from the Tomlinson side.)  My take away... can I be the first black Amish person?

Seriously, laugh all you want, we really have this growing desire to live more like them.  Of course, most of this started from our day trip to that IN Amish farm to pick up our 36 (butchered that morning, raised the right way) Amish chicken.  The family we purchased them from were so incredibly welcoming and generous!  Watching the older 2 girls help their mother sort and bag our chickens was amazing!  They worked efficiently, together, and without grumbling though it was messy work... but oddly not smelly!

Anyway, the video was very interesting.  What most attracts me to their lifestyle is their deliberateness in what they do and (what I view as) their seemingly one track mind.

Though we may not "get" why they live like they do, they are deliberate in why they live like they do.  There is a clear purpose.  And it seems they desire to live how they do to bring God glory.  I so respect that.  It seems like they've gone to ultra extremes to not be conformed to the world but to be closer to the Lord.

The Amish are often thought to be legalistic but I find their lifestyle so freeing!  Probably because sometime between living on Hermitage Avenue in the city and on Stratford Way in Frederick, I Iost any fashion-sense I had.  And I got tired of all the expensive chemicals I had to put in my hair to make my hair seem like it's not Black hair!  Ridiculous!  But, so the norm.  Trust me, since I went au naturale, I walk into a room and it seems my hair proceeds me.  I find eyes drawn to my hair because it's so big and different.  If only I could wear one of those Amish white hats or bonnet thing!

People think the clothes of the Amish are boring, I find them low maintenance and reasonable.  How cool that the dresses the girls wear are pretty much all the same and modest.  No worry about wearing a extra shirt underneath or will someone see something if I bend over.  Urgh.  Give me an Amish dress anytime!  (My birthday is in October!!!)

William's been talking about "getting off the electric grid" for a while.  And, honestly, I'm not sure he's joking!  He has been inquiring about an interracial Amish community.  Not online, obviously.  He seems ready to join.

Last weekend, instead of using our Weber charcoal grill, he got some stones and bricks and made a fire pit!  But, then he gerry-rigged this set-up so that we could grill on the grate of the Weber grill and could still put a big cast iron pot right in the wood underneath!
I made homemade spaghetti sauce (using tomatoes from our garden for the sauce) in the pot and he grilled the best hamburgers on top along with another cast iron pot filled with grilled "fried" potatoes.  We just may be one step closer to getting off the grid after all!

But, he does keep asking me, "So, do you think the Amish use toilet paper?"

I keep assuring him that Cloth Family Wipes are totally easy to use and clean.  If only he'd try...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Being Pregnant

... is kind of normal for me.  But, pregnancy is also such a miracle.  The normal is I generally know what to expect as far as my body goes.  That's also where the miracle shows itself.  Being pregnant, for me, is a season of needing God more but knowing His intimate care even more.

Carrying another life inside you is pretty remarkable.  I marvel that God created women to do that.  Yet it only points to how He carries us perfectly, without incident, and nourishes us with exactly what we need, when we need, in the way we need it!

So, you may think it old hat for someone to be pregnant... again... but it never is.

And for this pregnancy, my hope is that I will NOT once be embarrassed by someone else's look of disgust or disappoval regarding "all our kids."  They... all SIX of my WhitneyKiddos babies... are gifts from God, my Father.  And I know He only gives GOOD and PERFECT gifts!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Adventure Continues... (LONG!)

I've been absent from the blog world.  Not really checking my normal circuit of blogs either.  Been absorbed in... real life right here on the corner.

Here are some things we've been spending time doing here on our corner...

~ Working the Garden - This year's garden was greatly expanded since we're such experts on how to grow things (!).  Our yield has been enough to get us lately to keep us from our weekly walk to the Farmer's Market.  That means we've saved ~$20 a week on having our own  organic veggies.  We planted broccoli, green beans, butternut squash, cantaloupe, pumpkin, tomatoes (2 kinds), bell peppers, banana peppers, cascablanca peppers, potatoes, basil, zucchini, cucumber, carrots, kale, and peas.  Hmmm, wonder if I missed something.  We also made our own compost area to throw all our scraps and WOW!  That is so nice!  Seriously, used coffee grinds, eggs shells, veggie ends and peels really do decrease trash.  But now it's building up our soil!  Oh- for the record, I don't do much labor outside. I did in the beginning, prior to the mosquitoes coming out in full force!  I'm the brains and Papa-son is the brawn in our gardening efforts.

~ Continuing our No Processed Foods Stretch - We have been eating pretty healthful, though admittedly boring foods.  Oddly, the kids don't EVER ask for a snack and if they do get a snack of carrots or apple slices they gobble it up joyfully!  Because we don't have junk in the house, those late night craving we get end up being a slice of homemade bread with butter or peanut butter.  For treats, the kids get homemade ice cream since we got one of these off of Ebay recently.  (SOOOO delicious!  Especially with homemade vanilla!!!!)  We are marveling and praising God that both boys have had NO reactions to organic peanut butter and farm fresh eggs!  What a blessing!  Oh- and William and I both slimmed down (without trying, we don't believe in dieting!) considerably.  Yay for health!

~ Forging Ahead in our Wisdom 356 - Since attending the ICHE Convention back in June, William and I are PUMPED and ever so committed to train up our kiddos in the Lord.  (Ever heard Voddie Baucham??!!!)  We were freshly reminded that homeschooling for the Christian parent is mainly (or should mainly be) about discipleship.  I found a curriculum/program really fits us well.  We like basic, no bells and whistles, We're doing Spell to Write and Read which addresses so many of the holes I had in "regular" phonics programs I used as a teacher.  We're also using Cursive First along with it and I'm amazed at how Joshua has been improving at his reversal of b and d since making the switch.  We still have a long way to go though!  But, for me, having all the kids (minus Autumn!) on the carpet going over our phonograms is so nice!

~ Battling Skunks and Fighting for Joy - So, we've got skunk issues.  In fact, last night one sprayed right outside our bedroom windows and I had to fight vomitting.  William has become psycho about "killing the beasts."  One night Kadin spied one from his window (though he should've been sleeping) and Joshua ran downstairs to tell us.  We saw it outside the schoolroom window and in no time flat Pops was out after it trying to kill it!  Another time he saw it next to our garden and got a big stone and tagged it!  Of course, the skunk lifted it's tail as Pops ran to the garage and thankfully it didn't catch him.  William did catch one in a squirrel trap though.  Of course, I didn't realize where the trap was set up and I decide to check on the garden only to see a black and white tail moving side to side.  I high-tailed it out of there.  I don't mess around with wildlife like that.  All the skunk business and our heavily trafficked corner make us anxious to move at times.  But, we must remember, God has been so good to us and given us WAY more than we deserve!

~ A Possible Final Run - For those of you who didn't hear, we are expecting another Whitney Kiddos to join the gang in mid-April 2011!  We are thrilled!  And the kiddos are too!  They are already talking about what the "boy" will be named.  When I told my mother she excitedly said, "Maybe you'll have twins and end up with 7 like my mother!?"  Maybe.  We'll keep everyone posted.  William and I (William even more so than I!) would prefer to have a homebirth this round.  We meet with a potential midwife next week to check her out and see if it would be a good move for us.

Ever-so-much to be in prayer for, eh?  But, thankfully, our Great God isn't surprised by any of these things.  And He so delights when we trust Him by actively petitioning him.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

If the Shoe Fits

Here's a snapshot of what I see often in our adventures.

Various shoes, various sizes.  All piled on top of one another and generally in the same (oddly, correct!) location.

Just messy looking.

Quite messy looking.

Yet I've realized that somewhere along the way on this adventure, I made the decision that it just doesn't matter that much.  The mess isn't THAT big of a deal.

I imagine to some the picture would seem quite chaotic and bothersome.  But to me, in this moment, I see a lot that is just "right."

I see evidences of lots of fun activity.
I see the emphasis on more important matters.
I see togetherness.
I see quiet exhaustion.
I see purposeful decisions to bring God glory.
I see trust in the only wise God.
I see His undeserved kindness... to me...

So, I guess the shoes here do fit!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spring 2010

For the 2 people who may see this, the Whitney Adventure is still in progress.  I know.  I am the worst blogger out there.  I'm a crummy writer that is inconsistent and can't even find a decent picture to post every now and then.

Oooo, the truth feels good!  Very freeing indeed.

So, this Spring is quickly coming to an end and I have done miserably at keeping up-to-date with any of my blogs but... I'm making time for a quick rundown of our adventure tales.  Enjoy.

~ Planted our garden.  We're growing (or killing, depending on how you look at it) spinach, tomatoes, cantaloupe, butternut squash, pumpkin, basil, potatoes, green beans, and broccoli.  Will be planting radish and peas in the next month or so.  And for the record, this garden is kicking our behinds!

~ Massive ant problem in garden.  Dilemma.  Don't want to use chemicals.  Decide to use an orange cocktail of sorts.  Looks crazy (but what doesn't around here?) but it works.

~ Pile kids up and drive 45 minutes west to pick up 1/2 a cow (1/4 beef for us and a 1/4 beef for a friend).  THAT was a crazy day.

~ Take over the food co-op as a friend moved out of state.  Unloaded over $600 worth of grain, oil, dried fruit, beans and the like when the truck dropped off the goods from our 1st order.  (And no, this was not $600 worth of food for us alone - it was ~7 people!)

~ Freezer breaks.

~ Get new-used freezer off Craiglist for $50.  But, just big enough to hold our beef and a bit more.  Need another one.

~ Weekly trips to a friend's farm for our weekly supply of milk and eggs.  Pops won't drink anything else and the eggs are AMAZING!

~ Find new freezer.  Gigantic freezer.  So large I can lay down in it!  Papa-son had to saw a bit of the wood shelf off in the garage to get it to fit.  Story has it that the previous owner had 3 ice cream trucks and used this to hold his goods.

~ Autumn slept through the night... once.  But, hey.  THAT is progress.  That was my first time sleeping through the night in 8 months.

~ This weekend our whole crew is taking the drive to experience an Amish farm in IN.  No, we're not looking for a black and white Amish community.  We're buying 36 free-range Amish chicken.

So.... that's it for us.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let Us Pray

Romans 16:17-18 says,

I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions
and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught:
avoid them.
For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites,
and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

AVOID THEM.  Oooo, that's good for me to hear this morning on our National Day of Prayer.

My take-away is simply, beware of focusing on things that are not THE MAIN THING: the Gospel.  As we pray today, let us all pray according to THE MAIN THING.  May we all be reminded throughout the day what THE MAIN THING is.

Sorry to be so focused on Romans (can you tell I'm hanging out in this book lately?!?) but this is a good summary of what THE MAIN THING is for me:

Romans 5:6, 8 (emphasis mine) which says:

For while we were still weak, at the right time
Christ died for the ungodly...
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners

So, let us pray today as we remember that CHRIST DIED FOR US.  Yes, Christ died for MY sins.  That certainly is motivation enough for me to pray fervently for the Gospel of Christ to go forth for His glory alone!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Peace... in Believing

Chewing on this verse today:

May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and
peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
you may abound in hope.
~ Romans 15:13

That verse was helpful to me when I was pregnant with Paloma.  As a result, we gave her the middle name Joy.  But, today the Lord has me holding on to "peace in believing."

Oooo... I love that verse.  I love that TRUTH.  I can have PEACE... this day... as I believe.

What am I believing?

I'm believing God to work a miracle by drawing hearts to Him.  Not too hard for the God who created them, eh?  I'm praying for the salvation of some near and dear people to my heart.  And my faith is growing.  By His Spirit I am abounding in hope right now.

Lord, You know the exact situation I'm thinking of and You desire for those persons to be saved as well.  In fact, You care more about their souls than I. Thank You for the joy I have because I know You!  Grant that to ones on my heart and mind...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Food, Inc.

Have you seen the documentary Food Inc.?  Well, we did.  Back in January... and it (along with other things) had us change quite a bit about how we eat around here.

Anyway, in case you're wanting to watch it FREE, PBS has it streaming til Wednesday, April 28th at midnight.  And if you do see it, please tell me what you thought!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Post for the Mothers Out There

I read this post earlier and found myself crying at the end.  So kind of God to use other believers to enourage us in our roles...

... for He cares about our little ones, eh?

Yes, He cares about their souls... and our souls... and we should too!

Chow.  Off to focus on some souls!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coveting... and Laundry

Back at our old church in MD I remember hearing at message by one of our pastors where he shared a helpful parenting strategy when at the mall with his kids.  He would prepare his kids for the many unhelpful things they would see by telling them to turn off their "I wanters."  Love, love that!  And I've used it since then... mostly for myself!

We recently had some work done on our basement and the whole process has reminded me of how prone my heart is to wander as I battle with discontentment.  I find my "I wanter" is often ON even when I am surrounded by abundant blessings.

Can you relate?

This was our basement laundry area BEFORE anything was done:

Yep.  And that is where I went to do my laundry for 3 years.  (Do notice the new washer, though, my Pops got me around Christmas!)  But, truly, at least I HAD a place to do laundry in my own home that I had at my disposal ANYTIME I needed it.  While I didn't like that the walls were covered in mold, the concrete floor was often damp and the kids couldn't come down making me make multiple trips to deal with what happens when Mommy was not upstairs, it was still a functional laundry room.  More than I deserved.

Enter my man - again!  Yep.  He made up his mind to get some work done in our basement to make it a bit easier for me.  His grand plan: add a full bathroom and make a real laundry room with walls and hook up our 2nd washer (the old one the new washer replaced) so I could do more in less time.  Well, if you're anything like me, you couldn't see any of THAT happening in THAT space.

Well, though we went over our anticipated budget, this is what happened.  We had our laundry area moved to the space you come to just as you enter the basement.  Lots of plumbing work.  Lots of de-molding work.  Lots of waterproofing work.

After that, Pops called in some other guys to turn it into "a room."

Did you see the light from the new windows?!?!  What a difference!  And we decided to go with walls that don't go all the way up so as to make it still very "open" and not cut off all the light to the rest of the basement.  Plus, once the play/lounge area is created I can still keep an eye on things while doing laundry!

Next came the floor and ceiling!!!!

And some paint...

And to finish it off...

Oh- and so what that our 2nd washer decided to "die" upon completion of this project!  I suppose we'll find another $50 one from Craigslist one of these days!  Hey, it lasted us 3 years!  Not bad for $50!

Thank You, Lord, for helping me see that I often sin in discontentment and allow the desires of this world overpower what You are calling me to and what You have graciously given me.  I trust Your grace will help me fight this area of sin and truly be joyful as I recall Your kindness to me.  May I not shake my fist at You when I have laundry to do... especially when I do it in such luxury!