Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thank Heaven for little Girls!

Our pew at church last Sunday. There were actually 6 little girls, but you can only really see four of them. Wendi is the one closest to the camera. 
I was blessed to have my sister Wendi spend several days with me this past weekend. We had a wonderful time and it was so nice having one my sisters around. We enjoyed doing "girl stuff" like going to fabric and craft stores, having tea and watching girl movies :) Good times!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What will my home be like?

These are just a few of my very rambling thoughts on a subject I've been pondering the last few days. Hopefully you can make heads or tails of it. :)

My parent's home is a very lively, happy, busy, noisy, vibrant and creative place. It is full to the brim with love and energy and grace. When I was still at home we were always trying new things, reading books, discussing and sharing what we were learning, learning new music and working together. Some of us love to write and enjoy editing film for short movies. My parents let us be ourselves and encouraged us to try new things and learn as many skills as we could. As a result, there was always some thing new going on and something happening.
 My parents view hospitality as an outreach to others and as a result, there are always people in and out of their home. They are excited about life, their family and the Lord, and is infectious. There is rarely a dull moment there.
  It was a very exciting place to grow up. You never knew what would happen next. There is always some plan or project (or two or three) in the works.
  That is the lively atmosphere I grew up in. Now I have my own home, and while we don't have children yet, I want that same, happy, vibrant atmosphere in our home. I'm a bit overwhelmed, as I don't know how they did it. I always took it for granted until I grew older and realized that not all homes were like ours.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Peach Cobbler--from scratch

Last summer before I married, my mom and I canned and put up lots of vegetables. Hers were done in quarts, and mine were done in cute little pints. :) I put up mostly squash and green beans, but I also canned 12 quarts of peaches for peach cobblers. This made Jacob very happy and I finally made a cobbler a couple of weeks ago.
11 quarts of peaches, plus a jar of red plum jelly and bread-and-butter pickles

 Having the peaches canned takes so much work out of making a cobbler. All you have to do is open a jar and pour the peaches--syrup and all--into a pie crust.
 Below is the recipe I used. It's easy and fast--especially if you make your pie crust in a mixer. I use my KitchenAid mixer for just about everything.

Pie Crust for (2) 8 or 9 inch crusts:

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. shortening
2 T butter, cut into pieces
5-6 T cold water

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles small peas.
Add water, a little at a time, until ingredients are moistened and dough begins to hold together.
Divide dough in half. Pat each half into a ball and flatten slightly.
 Roll one portion out to use as bottom crust. Place in pie pan, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Set aside. Roll out remaining portion and cut into strips (to be used for the lattice top) OR leave in one piece.
Pour 1 quart of canned peaches  (including all of the syrup) into crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Lay strips of crust across top of pie to form a lattice top, OR place second whole crust on top and cut a few slits in the top. Either way, crimp or flute pie crust edges to seal.
Bake at 425*F for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, June 20, 2011

God the Refuge and Portion of His People

Here's another treasure from my old hymnal. Enjoy!

Loud may the troubled ocean roar;
In sacred peace our souls abide;
While every nation, every shore,
Trembles and dreads the swelling tide.

There is a stream whose gentle flow
Supplies the cit of our God;
Life, love, and joy still gliding through,
And watering our divine abode.

That sacred stream, thine Holy Word,
Supports our faith, our fear controls;
Sweet peace Thy promises afford,
And give new strength to fainting souls.

Zion enjoys her Monarch's love,
Secure against a threatening hour;
Nor can her firm foundation move,
Built on His truth, and armed with power.

~~Isaac Watts

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear Daddy...

Dear Daddy,
This is my first Father's Day to be a married woman. I'm so glad I'll get to be with you on Sunday.
 I am so blessed to have a daddy like you. You have always shown me unconditional love and let me know that you had my best interests at heart. You have always, always sacrificed for your family and put us and our needs above your own.  You sacrificed and worked harder so that Mama could stay home with us, so we could be homeschooled.

  Thank you for the love you've always shown Mama. There was never a doubt in my mind that y'all were madly in love with each other. Seeing the love y'all share made me crave it and pray for a man like you. You showed me a real picture of what real love--for better and for worse--was. It wasn't shallow or fake. Y'all showed me what a good marriage looks like, and shared with me what y'all had learned together.
  I'm glad you weren't disappointed when I was born a girl, and not a boy like the ultrasound said. Thanks for buying me my first dresses since all the clothes y'all brought to the hospital for Jason Dwayne, not Rebecca Christen.
  Some of my happiest memories when I was a little girl are of you and me together. And some of my best big girl memories are of us, too. I'll never forget trips to the livestock auction, rides in the tractors and combines, rides out to Mata Larga and the Father/Daughter retreats you took me to, and shopping for my wedding shoes.
  Thank you for not always letting me have my way, even when I got mad at you. You kept me from making some mistakes that would have followed me for the rest of my life, and I am so thankful that you stuck to your guns and didn't budge. You kept me safe until I knew for sure what I wanted. Even when we didn't agree, you always let me know that you loved me, and I never doubted that.

Thank you for the love that you have for Jacob. I know it was hard for you to take second place, after being the first man in my life and heart for so many years, but you handled it with grace and let me go.
It means so much to me to see how much you love Jacob and how much you enjoy being with him.
Thank you for the blessing and the affirmation you gave to me (and Jacob) at the wedding.
 I could never have asked for a better Daddy than you have been. I knew you would always rescue me if I needed it. You've been my protector, my guide, teacher, comforter, hero, and one of my very best and closest friends. You showed me what the love of God is like.
I love you so much.

Deep Roots at Home Link Up

Friday, June 10, 2011

Blessed beyond Words!

I am such a blessed woman. Everyday I realize it more.
 I was privileged to be raised in a Christian home by dedicated parents who, despite opposition in the beginning, chose to homeschool my siblings and me. They sacrificed to educate not only our heads and minds, but our hearts as well. Academics were important, but matters of the heart were of even greater importance to them. They wanted us to understand and know why we believed what we believed and from where in Scripture that we drew our beliefs. They taught us that if we honor the Lord and keep His commandments and precepts, that He would always provide for us and keep us safe.
  They protected us from many things until we were old and mature enough to handle and deal with them. No wasn't always my favorite answer and I didn't always understand why they did things the way that they did, but I am so thankful now. I never doubted that they loved me and had my best interest at heart.
 I am blessed with six siblings whom I love very dearly. We have been best friends and I greatly miss being with them. We didn't always get along all of the time but we were (are!)  very close and united in vision and desires for our family and our church.
 Now, as a married woman I am even more overwhelmed by blessings. I have a husband who loves me as Christ loves the Church and constantly gives and sacrifices for me. He places me above everything but God, and I am overwhelmed and amazed by his love for me at times.
 I have awesome in-laws who love me like I was their own daughter.
 Ever since I was little I always wanted to be a mommy and stay at home--just like my mom. I expressed this desire to Jacob in the early days of our courtship and he agreed to it and honored it.
 So we are a single income family. It hasn't been easy, I'll admit, and there have been times when we haven't known where the money was going to come from. But because we have honored the Lord's precepts, He has always-without fail--provided for our every need.
  This week, Jacob showed me again how deep his love for me is. We had a big, beautiful, huge Ford F350 truck and the monthly payments for that truck were almost as big as the truck itself. Instead of insisting that I get a job so we could keep the truck, Jacob sold the truck this week so that I could stay home. Now he is driving my cute little white Chevy Malibu to work.
 Have I mentioned I love my husband?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I have been babysitting quite a bit lately. I greatly enjoy it because it's nice to have little people around again. I've been babysitting since I was fourteen and I've taken care of as many children as eight at a time to only one or two. Interestingly enough, I've found it generally easier to watch several children at once than only one or two. More children tend to keep each other occupied. :)
 Sometimes I keep children at my home and other times I stay with them at their home. I'm finding the latter to be the best option right now.
 Right now my home isn't the most exciting place for little munchkins, unfortunately. It's a very grown up place with lots of breakable things and practically no toys.
  This can help little people get bored very quickly, even if they've brought their own toys. I've observed that  when children get bored they begin to roam and meddle--no matter how well-behaved or well-trained they are. Another thing I've observed about children and meddling and misbehaving is that usually they do it when they want/need attention.
 Children need and thrive on attention. They need you to talk to them and to listen and pay attention when they speak to you. They need to know that they are important to you.. Many times simply stopping what you are doing and giving them attention will deal with the problem.
 A lot of the boredom issue can be avoided by being prepared. Here are some suggestions I've found helpful in babysitting and watching children.

  • If possible, take them outside to play or go for a walk. This helps them burn off energy and get exercise. If you want, you can turn it into something educational by making it a nature walk. You can observe and talk about different bugs and plants you see.
  • Crayons, coloring books and just good 'ole plain paper can keep children occupied for a while--especially if you sit down and color with them. I remember when I was small how much fun it was to have a "big person" color with me. It was so much more fun than doing it alone. Making a card for Grandma (or whoever) from construction paper and glue is lots of fun. If you have safety scissors, most kids enjoy just cutting out shapes and gluing them onto paper.
  • I try to always have a "fun" snack or meal planned. Usually what makes it "fun" is that I let the kids help me prepare it. Cookies are fast and easy and something children love to help make.
     Make eating fun! :) Picnics are awesome, if the weather allows. One thing I did when I was younger and babysitting was to play restaurant at mealtime. You can let an older sibling be the "waiter" or "waitress" and have them take the "drink orders". You can even let the kids make "menus" to use. Kids love doing that kind of stuff.
      One time I was babysitting for a family and the mother had set out Ramen noodles for lunch. They had a low coffee table and we decided to play "Japanese" restaurant for lunch. The kids all put on kimonos (bathrobes!) and we ate lunch sitting on pillows around the coffee table.They had so much fun that for the next several times I came we had to play Japanese restaurant for lunch.
  • I realize that you can't always stop your world and play when you are babysitting children in your home. If I have kids in my home and I have things to do (such as laundry) I try to let them help me. Little kids usually find it very fun to fold wash cloths and pair socks. By doing it together, they are kept busy and you are able to get things accomplished. Children love to help and feel like they are a part of what you are doing. (Be sure to thank and praise them for helping you.)
  • I generally try to use videos as a last resort only. They do work well at naptime to help little ones settle down, but I try to use them only when necessary.
 I hope these suggestions help you the next time you are blessed to have little ones around. The main thing is to enjoy them and have fun. :)

EOA Link-up #17

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another Blog Party !

What are two songs that describe you?
All I Do is Dream of You--by Michael Buble' and Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Callait.

What do you most fear? Rattlesnakes

What color(s) dominate(s) your wardrobe? Pinks, browns, and blacks.

How do you normally do you hair? I usually always wear it up in a bun. My hair is almost to m knees so I keep it up out of the way.

Do you prefer milkshakes or smoothies?Hmmmm...hard choice....it depends on the day. Today it would be a milkshake.

Do you like the color pink? I LOOOOOOOVE the color pink!!!! I am a very pink oriented person :) I lived in a pink room for the last 15 years of my life :)

What is your favorite flower? Definitely roses, then hydrangea.

How many states have you been to? Several....California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas :) Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Baltimore, Virginia, Washington DC.... and several in Mexico, my favorites being Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco and Vera Cruz.

What is your favorite thing about June? Campmeeting :)
Describe your "dream wedding location.Since I'm already married, I don't really have a dream location. I was married where I always wanted to be married--in the church where my parents married 25 years ago. It was lovely :)

Be Still

"Stand still," my soul, for so your Lord commands:
E'en when your way seems blocked, leave it in His wise hands,
His arm is mighty to divide the wave.
"Stand still," my soul, "stand still," and you will see
How God can work the "impossible" for thee,
For with a great deliverance He does save.

Be not impatient, but in stillness stand,
Even when surrounded on every hand,
In ways your spirit does not comprehend.
God cannot clear your way till you are still,
That He may work in you His blessed will,
And all your heart and will to Him do bend.

"Be still," my soul, for just when you are still,
Can God reveal Himself to you; until
Though you His love and light and life can freely flow;
In stillness God can work through you and reach
The souls around you. He then though you can teach
His lessons, and His power in weakness show.

"Be still"--a deeper step in faith and rest.
"Be still and know" your Father does know best
The way to lead His child to that land,
A "summer" land, where quiet waters flow;
Where longing souls are satisfied, and "know
Their God", and praise for that He has planned.

~from Streams in the Desert, June 20