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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Space of Their Own

When we were at Faith's Lodge everyone was drawn to the art room. Crafts were at the ready, paint and brushes were accessible for ease of use. Having it there, right at your fingertips, makes creation flow.

So I decided when we returned home that we would have a little corner of our own and got to work creating a space that is open to the kids. As long as they clean up their mess when finished they are free to use whatever, whenever, if it's on/in this desk. 
Like moths to a flame they flocked. 

Amy got her paint on.

Joe and Amy worked with markers and stickers.

While Becca said the desk is too small for her she loves the ease of grabbing an art medium and running to her room to create.

I look forward to switching up the crafts on the table. Letting the kids explore with clay, watercolors, pencils, beads, and more.  Watching the budding artists emerge.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mind of Her Own

 Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t. But when the George Foreman grill fell out of the pantry onto her head, resulting in a bump and a mighty case of amnesia, Louisa’s life takes a turn for the unexpected. Who was this Collin fellow, claiming she was his wife? And whose kids are those? Her name couldn’t be Louisa. Why, she was the renowned romance writer Jazz Sweet, not a Midwestern mom of three.

It's hard to know how to review Mind of Her Own by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer. On one hand, it's a "Christian romance", but except for some common cliche's, it was not 'roll your eyes' predictable.

On the other hand, I really didn't like the character who Louisa turned into. Jazz Sweet seems awfully selfish, an example is when her husband decides to take a weekend away for them to get to know each other better and she asks the desk clerk for a room of her own and disappears into herself. Why did she even go on the weekend away then...and make not one point of connecting with her husband? It's hard to know how to rate a book when you don't connect, nor like, the main character.

With that said, this was a very quick read. I read it within a Sunday afternoon and it kept me entertained. I was able to escape the humid Iowa weather and live in this book for a few hours. That, to me, screams a good book. This would make the perfect beach, air plane, or "need to escape my life for a moment" book. 

This book was given to me by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Got Tea?

With paring down my grocery budget budget, I've been buying a lot in bulk. Not bulk as in Sam's Club, but bulk purchases when I find good sales, awesome clearance, or in this case, lots of goodies on the Amish bent and dent shelves.

With winter coming up (seriously, I can't even...but think about it...Christmas is just 5 months away!!!) one can never have enough tea. 

We are big tea drinkers in this house. Finding boxes of organic tea bags for just 40 cents a box is a killer deal. This box is arranged two boxes deep, so that is at least 30 boxes of tea. And if there is still some left on the shelf the next time I go I will be grabbing more.

Now to just find a place to store all these...

Friday, July 24, 2015


Being gone for 5 days in July means returning to a bounty in the garden (as well as a bounty of weeds!). 

It's amazing just how quickly things can grow and change in the garden.
Look at the giant cucumber! It was as long as Amy's legs! It actually still tasted good too, no bitterness or giant seeds in it.

One night I tried to make as much of our meal out of the garden as possible. I ended up with:

*Open face bagel sandwiches. They were whole wheat bagels, a slice of tomato (from the garden), bacon, and cheese.
*Green beans and onions (from the garden) and bacon

*Cucumber and green pepper (from the garden) salad


That is a summertime meal! Yummy! 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I *Heart* U

When for too long I don't go deep enough into the woods to see them, they begin to enter my dreams. Yes, there they are, in the pinewoods of my inner life. I want to live a life full of modesty and praise. Each hoof of each animal makes the sign of a heart as it touches then lifts away from the ground. Unless you believe that heaven is very near, how will you find it? Their eyes are pools in which one would be content, on any summer afternoon, to swim away through the door of the world. Then, love and its blessing. Then: heaven. 
~Mary Oliver "The Faces of Deer"
(Above photo was taken right next to Jacob's headstone.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


What kind of wings will they be? 

Ostrich wings...which are flightless? 

Active soaring wings which are long and narrow, allowing birds to soar for a long time, like a sea gull?

Passive soaring wings that allow the bird to catch vertical columns of hot air called "thermals" and rise higher in the air, like an eagle?

Elliptical wings are good for short bursts of high speed, like a crow or robin?

High-speed wings are long and thin, but not nearly as long as birds with active soaring wings. As the name suggests, birds with this wing type are incredibly fast, but unlike those with elliptical wings, these birds can maintain their speed for a while, like a duck or falcon?

All so much alike, yet all so very different. 

Monday, July 20, 2015


We spent the last 5 days at Faith's Lodge in Wisconsin, a place for families who have lost children can go to get some healing.
It is such a secluded, peaceful place.
We immediately clicked with the other families. These people get us. These people are us. Amazingly, for the first several days all the other families lost boys; all at the ages of 8 or 9. This grouping wasn't planned that way. Later on a couple who had lost twins at the age of 21 weeks arrived. We were able to see grief from another perspective as well. 
It was startling, walking to the bridge where hundreds of painted rocks were, each representing a child lost. Suddenly overwhelming, a graveyard of sadness. But then...the bright colors, the children's names, the expressions of love...knowing each of these mourned after children has bloomed in Heaven. How colorful, how sweet it must be with each of them there... 

Waiting for us. 


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