Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer Day Fun!

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Long Summer Days - 
What to do?  What to do?
At a suggestion by my bloggy friend Kaitlin - while her and I were visiting over the telephone!
A fun treat!  Indeed.

We pulled out equal parts of:
Mixed well.  Divided it among the muffin tin and added a few drops of food coloring to each cup and stirred.
{all in all, I only used a 1/3 cup of each...and it was plenty}

Add in a brush.
A willing heart!
An exuberant heart!
And, we soon were content to create the masterpiece of the moment!

Only to get washed away by the heavy rains that fell later that evening!
Which is why this is such great stuff!!!
They can paint the house... RED!  and it'll get washed off - simply - with water.
I kinda like that.  A lot.

There is always another day to do some more.
Because, I know of two older siblings who felt they missed out on such grandeur...
We'll have to comply and make up another batch, before too long, where we can all join in...and fight over the brush!  eh??   That always happens, doesn't it?

Part of the Summer Days!

Great idea, Kaitlin! 
Thank you...so much.
Friends!  Do me a favor and go say "Hello!" to Kaitlin.  Show her some good ole US of A love.
It's gettin' a little lonely in her parts of Canada, she says. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Splashes of Joy

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It's great being thought of by someone else.  But, what about when it's your turn?  Your turn to bless and encourage and share...?

I like this thought; something I found while reading in my devotional time this morning..and was encouraged by it!
I thought I would share it with you, too!

From Barbara Johnson.
She writes.

"When we do little acts of kindness that make life more bearable for someone else, we are walking in love as the Bible commands us.  One way to do this costs only the sum of a postage stamp, a little paper, and ink.
Every one of us has felt the nudge to write someone a letter or a note.  Many times we don't follow up on it; we tell ourselves it wouldn't matter anyway.  When we think this way, we miss giving and receiving splashes of joy."

How about that?  Are you giving and receiving splashes of joy?  When was the last time you felt this?  When was the last time you spread the love around, like this?

All good questions.  Something to think about.

The only real way to have J O Y... is to put Jesus first, Yourself last and Others in between.

Jesus and others and you.
What a wonderful way to spell JOY.
Jesus and others and you,
In the life of each girl and each boy.
J is for Jesus, for he has first place,
O is for others we meet fact to face,
Y is for you in whatever you do,
Put yourself third, and spell JOY!

((this is just another S.S. song I remember from childhood..))

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Strawberries, Basil and Balsamic Vinegar

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I don't know if this happens for you, or not.  But, for me, spending a good length of consistent time in my kitchen brings on the deep thinking.  
Especially while washing dishes.

Well this morning...after washing dishes... and cleaning up around the kitchen... I pulled out a few berries that needed to get taken care of.  Quick!

I remembered a recipe I thought I'd like to try.

Sliced Strawberries
Balsamic Vinegar

{insert deep thinking mode}

I got to thinking how each one of these ingredients - alone, on their own - hold their own weight.
Each one is unique.

But to marry all of this together?


How often in our interpersonal relationships...
We, the berries, get bruised and cut down and sliced apart?
It happens, sometimes.

Along {may} comes life's trajectories.
Against our will, these things get thrown at us.
Bits and pieces.  Shreds and shards...
They've become apart of us.

In relationships, though, we need one another to sharpen us.
Grow us.
Build us up.
This isn't going to be perfect.  Never meant to!  Never will.
It could be ugly.
Tasting awful.
Expectations revealed... reveal the worst, in us!

Basil and Berries?
Who would think... this?

Balsamic Vinegar?
A splash here, a glug, glug there..
Poured out.
Just enough.

Is Grace always gentle?
Sometimes it hurts.
Sometimes it heals.
{vinegar is known for this..)

In the stir and wake of reality..
This marriage, if you will...
Relationships... with whomever.

Without Jesus..
It's all a mess.  It's unthinkable.

But in the allowing of truth to be revealed..
and we accept our differences; and we're willing to be in the "bowl" together...
I mean, this is life, after all!...

What a beautiful mix.
There can't be a better thing.

Each part plays a role in how we perceive the outcome to be.
Each ingredient left alone is fine.  But together, this is a blend, worth giving an extra chance!

If we throw away and don't use the berries - because of a few bruises and such...
or don't add the basil - because well, who really likes their greens - especially of this kind?
And /or if we fail to add the {balsamic}...
due to it's bitterness; mostly because we're afraid of what it might do...??

Vulnerability to taking the first bite...is often the truest form of trust.
Letting go of ourselves for the betterment of another is simply - hard!
Perception is surprising, don't you think?
What we think may be the best can really be made better still. 

Keep trying!  Keep working on that blend...
Be willing to give and give and give again.

It stands true.
This really is and will become the most beautiful gift two can offer.

Best enjoyed where two or three are gathered...

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Daybook in July

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FOR TODAY  - the third Monday in July

Outside my window... the wash that my hubby hung up, for me, late yesterday afternoon is still hanging on the line... we failed to take it down in time before the evening dew had fallen on it.  

I am thinking...I figured one night, overnight, on the line, can't be all that bad!  I appreciated his help!!

I am thankful... for the (double) Date Night! we had last evening - with two of our dearest friends.  Hence, a late night and not getting the wash down in time.  :)
For sure, this date was needed... and lots of fun!  Dinner, Mini-golf and Ice Cream!!

In the kitchen... coffee!  Always... and home baked cookies, later today!

I am wearing... a brown & ruffly, Sarah Clemens, skirt and red t-shirt

I am creating... another "custom" bag order.  A friend of mine had a rather colorful coat, gifted to her by her now, late husband.  She no longer wears the coat and thought perhaps a bag out of it would be nice.  ** I don't do this for everyone.  And perhaps this bag will have it's own post in due time... stay tuned!

I am going... headed out the door in just a few moments to take the kids off to camp.  They're at the start of their second to last week of camp:  Camp Good News.  Till it's all said and done, they'll have gone to camp six weeks out of the summer!

I am wondering... how the kids will fare this week?  I could tell that the attendance had nearly doubled since the beginning days of camp, several weeks ago.  I told them ... this means, you're going to have make great effort to welcome the "newbies" to the camp.   To still enjoy yourself;  in all the activities and games, but you might have to step back more often and let the others (again, newbies!) have a turn more often.
It may be just me... but I worry.  I worry that they'll forget their manners sometimes.  Being "old hat" and oh so comfortable with the rhythm and routine of "camp life" that they'll forget to be mindful, share and sensitive.  I pray that they'll make friends easy and not just kids that they already know so well...

I am hoping...all in all that they'll have loads of fun!!

I am looking forward to...  My two older kids are also signed up for swimming lessons - which start on Saturday!  I'm glad about this, as it's my husband who has got the ball rolling on this.  I have never taken lessons and what limited "swimming" I have ever done, be it in creeks or murky farm ponds, oh there was an occasional swimming pool (that's what I grew up doing!), but I should have learned somewhere, sometime, something.
 I personally have had too many scary close calls and therefore don't like the water (I'll go in, but don't make me go under!)... Scott, my husband, on the other hand, is a fish!  HE LOVES the water and our 7yr old, Caleb, is right behind him in this... I hope something great will come of swimming lessons.

I am reading...well, you might find this interesting?  Remember my Summer Reading dilemma?  Well, I chose the Jan Karon book (In the Company of Others) to start reading, as my "light" reading.  I literally laughed out loud while reading the first chapter and have been reading it, slowly, ever since.  I'm still plugging away at: A Praying Life.  It's just going to be this way for awhile... and, that's okay!

Oh, I forgot.  Over the weekend my sister, Gladys, gifted me with two "new" cookbooks - as a belated birthday gift!  Of course, I've been thumbing through them, now, too!  These two books are:  A Farmer's Daughter, by Dawn Stoltzfus  *(I follow Dawn's blog) and Homemade Goodness; which is a collection of recipes by various current and former cooks at Bald Eagle Wilderness Boys Camp.    A place where my sister, Gladys, is currently the head cook!

 I'm super excited about both of these cookbooks.  And, I thank her for these gifts!!

** As a side note:  Homemade Goodness is recently hot off the press, available, for sale with the proceeds going to benefit this Boys Camp.  Check it out!  Actually, you might have to contact that camp directly for a sale to be completed... I can't find anything online about it, as of yet!

UPDATE:  I found an email address for orders to be placed:  homemadegoodness4u@gmail.com

I am learning...in bits and pieces... what flexibility is all about.  Don't ask me much about it... I might snap! ;) Or, get too bent out of shape!  lol.

I'm also learning... enjoying... my kids enthusiasm towards things in nature whether in the sky or on earth. Have you ever seen an upside down rainbow?  We have... just the other evening.  Daddy got called away from his study hour with questions out the whazoo of how and why and what would cause "that!"?
I was all ears..

Around the house... catching up from the weekend... I'm sure.  I do have to get that wash down and bake those cookies.. there might be some dinner to cook for, a watermelon to cut up and a bed to sleep in tonight.  I'm tired!  and it's only mid-morning...

I am pondering...the health benefit of Colloidal Silver.  As it pertains to me having/had Lyme Disease, in the last year and what seems like forever... Plantar Warts, on my feet.  Someone sent me information on it... and I'm really, really intrigued.  I would like to be free of this stuff..

A favorite quote for today...  "I Passed!"  
Something my hubby said to me, over the phone this morning... as another part of his schooling is behind us. There is more to go.  But, each time I hear those words... I'm so giddy with excitement for his successes.  Thank you, Lord!!

A few (not just one) of my favorite things... listening to my baby (soon-to-be) three years of age, playing the game Candy Land with her siblings or (older!) friends.  Seeing her toes curl, in concentration - at watering flowers.  Picking off a few handfuls of green beans...
Again, hearing my kids exclaim over things they see or hear, etc.

A few plans for the rest of the week: in no particular order.  Swimming lessons, dentist appointments, Scout meetings (for my son and hubby), lunch dates with a few friends (on separate days), caregroup social, a memorial service (if I go!), and  my Mother-in-law, Susie Mom,  is planning to come for a few days...overlapping some of these other things.  

A peek into my day...

Something's missing.  Must have been that needed article of clothing..snatched off the line last evening!!  I think it was me..
How do you like our creativity when we've run out of line for the load?

Enjoy, your day!  Thanks for reading along.. 
 Joining up, today, with Peggy from The Simple Woman's Daybook... and you can too!

Welcome to...

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Minute Friday :: Bloom

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Taking 5 minutes and writing raw and real.  Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker and Five Minute Friday!
See all the details HERE - and you're welcome to join in, as well.

Today's prompt is:  Bloom

:: go ::
It's always neat to see a relationship grow, a friendship blossom and bloom.
However, sometimes the overwhelming sense of life isn't conducive to its potential.
If you know what I mean?
Life happens.
There's a fade.
A waning.
Sometimes these blooms aren't bright enough? or healthy? or happy?
Is is always due to the 'outside' circumstances and situations that alter this?

I think it's deeper than that.

Underneath the surface, what can't be seen, is really the telltale of what bloom will look like as it grows...

Where are you plugging in at?
Who are you drawing from?
Is it a rich reward that is being sought after?

We all know about roots.
It's really and truly the source that feeds those roots that will allow the bloom, any bloom, to flourish and multiply.  In the most beautiful of ways...or not!

I wonder if you would agree.  We have a choice.

A choice in how we're going to bloom.

(How can five minutes go by so quickly? I wonder...)
Just to add here, yet.  I am encouraged by a few verses in Psalm 18, that read...

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out  of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy. from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in my day of disaster, but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

and another several verses from...
Jeremiah 17: 5-10
I'm hoping you'll find a few extra minutes to read this portion of Scripture, as well.  These verses couldn't say it any better. (of course, it's God's Word!)  But... they, interestingly enough, are really what I was trying to say - to get across in my five minutes of .... whatever you want to call it. :)

Let your roots run deep.  For surely then will you be in a state of healthful beauty {and bloom}!

Thank you, for reading along today!

May you have a wonderful weekend!!  And, God bless...
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