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

Friday, July 31, 2015

awaken and try :: five minute friday and tuesday @ ten

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It's 5:30 AM.
I awaken to the feeling of a hand on the small of my back.
The alarm is screaming.  It's time to wake up and face the day.
I've had a busy week.  Canning pickles and relish.  Freezing green beans... plus, so much more busy activity.  I'm tired.  Is it really time to get up?

Once downstairs...I can see the humidity for the day has already settled in, across the fields.  It's raring to go!  Full-bore.  And, I'm not.
I pack my hubby's lunch and wish him well - off to a day of work he goes.  I step outdoors and assess my 'gardens' and I see the weeds sure do love this oppression.  Hmmm.  Interesting.

I think back to the hand at the small of my back.  Though gentle and assuring - it never quite reached it's way into my heart.  It seems as if my heart is shrouded by a thick blanket of mundane and ordinary.  Heavy and thick.  That can't-breathe kind of feeling.  Weeds?!

I try.
I wish it to go away.  I pray it to go and settle elsewhere.
Maybe it will.
Tomorrow is another day.

Lamentation chapter 3 reminds me
The mercies of the Lord are new every morning.

Although, I can wallow in my feelings... and they're not always upbeat.
I must remember this.
It is because of God's great love that I am not consumed (or overwhelmed) by trial.
His mercies are new.

Lord, awaken me to know this.  To understand.
However only little I can try.  Amen!

****
This post has been linked with this week's Five Minute Friday, and the word prompt: try.  As well as, with Tuesday @ Ten , and the word prompt: awaken.

Thank you for reading!!

May you have a blessed and wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

rethink it and go for it anyway

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****
The story behind the photo...

It was one of those moments... outdoors with the camera... and the sun was shining bright behind me. VERY bright.  I noticed two moths flying around the garden area and of course the beetles, they're everywhere.  Too many.

I love playing with the macro settings on this camera, yet I couldn't see a thing -due to the sun-glare in my frame, from over my shoulder. This was going to be, pretty much, a shot in the dark.  :) Thought maybe I could get something for this week's challenge  But, you know... every time I came near, these moths would fly off.  Basically, becoming impatient and discouraged... I nearly gave up.

Instead.

I opted to try; to just position the camera toward what and where I thought these two moths had finally settled down (perhaps having a conversation?) and yes, I had thought of this quote-prompt, for this week.  Wondering, how could I make this work.
"Oh what if I fall?"
"Oh but my darling, what if you fly?"
                  - Erin Hanson
Lo and behold, in the frame - there sat a beetle!  Giving his bit of sage advice and encouragement to the moth as it appears she is about to go off the edge in a full-fledged fail ... or flight? Her beetle-bud encourages... and cheers her on!!

Perfect!!

I guess you could say the quote was true for me - too!  Reminiscent in the fact that I questioned myself..."what if I fall. What if I fail?"  - No... the reality was..."What if you actually get a decent shot? - even if it was in the dark!!"  The challenge was to rethink this whole thing and go for it anyway.  You'll never know - unless you try.

This is true for many areas in life - outside of photography skills... for sure!!  And, if you're not sure you believe me - go ahead and hop on over to Kaitlin's blog.  Her post today - hits home.  Hard.  Basically, saying the same thing as I on this very topic.  However, her words are epic and her photo is simply beautiful.   Encouraging all the way.

*** linking with this week's quote prompt for Homemaker Design's - Whimsy Wednesday Weekly Challenge

Monday, July 27, 2015

Deep Breathe

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It is often life's smallest pleasures and gentlest joys
that make the biggest and most lasting difference.
~ unknown

I love how the weekends roll into a slow and steady stop and it's time to settle in from the day...to start a new week!

Pictures can only tell so much.  And, there is no way to capture - truly - all of its goodness.

Like... I missed photos of working together in the garden, up at my aunt's place - gathering harvest, picnicking at the park and swimming at its pool.  Sleeping in our new tent -in the backyard.
Homemade waffles and ice cream for Sunday dinner.  And, working together to help Grandma Susie unload her car from her recent trip to NY, via the use of our big red wagon.  Welcome home, Grandma!!
Another favorite moment is hearing the request for family devotions, by the kiddos (making sure it happens); sitting around God's Word and talking through the devotional (using Keys for Kids) - relating it the sermon from earlier in the day.

All of this... could have been included here.

The bonds of family-ties are ever growing, deepening; maturing, and it's been fun (wonderful) to find the rhythm that make it flow so well.

A deep-breathe sort of moment.
God is so good!  I give Him all the praise.

Home to me is laughter...
Kisses on my cheek when they're least expected;
Glances filled with gladness;
The happiness in knowing
I'm a portion of
My family's fulfillment.
Home to me... is love!
~ June Brown Harris
****
Now.. this morning... I'm off to tackling green beans and the abundance of cucumbers (turning into our favorite pickle relish, as well as, old-fashioned bread and butter pickles)

Happy Monday!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Baked Oatmeal - a healthier version

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Our family loves Baked Oatmeal.  In fact.  I make it nearly every Sunday morning - for breakfast.  And, it's great warmed up as leftovers a couple of days later.  My kids will pretty near fight over who will get the leftovers, if they're aren't enough for everyone to have a small bowl.  It's that good!
So, obviously I've talked about this before.  And, have even shared the recipe before.  See this link!
3 cups quick oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted (1/2 c. canola oil can be used, instead)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup milk
**chopped nuts are optional

Mix all ingredients together and pour into an 8"x 8" baking dish.  Bake at 350* for 25 minutes.
***

So - how did I make this recipe any healthier?  Here is what I did.

I exchanged the butter for coconut oil.  BINGO!! Which.. I know... is probably something I should do more of and like as in - yesterday!!  I hear all the time about coconut oil (In everything. For everything.) and yet... this was my first time of trying it out on my family.  Honest confession.
I also added 2 tsp. ground flaxseed (could use - way more - per preference)
and, I definitely added the chopped nuts.

Half of my family likes blueberries with their oatmeal.  So - I just added a few frozen berries to one side of the dish - and everyone was kept happy.  :)

Now.. I'm sure I'm not the only one who makes their baked oatmeal this *new* way. So, that said... I would be interested in hearing of other ways you take this original recipe and kick it up a notch.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Whimsy Wednesday Weekly Challenge

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In loving support of my friend, Kaitlin, and her pose of a weekly challenge.  I present... my take on this particular challenge.
The prompt for this week came from Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

You know.  So many times. Life is really out of our control.  We can try to manage it all on our own. But, ultimately... He{God!}really is at the center of it all.  We'll have our highs and our lows; our up's and downs.
Yet, somehow this escapes our minds... in the immediate moments, doesn't it?  We forget that we are not the ones who make things happen.

I appreciate this reminder in Scripture.  The reminder of who we are.  Who we need to rely on. And the what that will happen when we do.


***
I know Kaitlin would appreciate to see and have more participation...in this challenge.
Please check out her blog for details...

Pass the word along.  Maybe you know of someone else - who would also be interested in joining along!  The more the merrier...I would say.
(Can you tell I'm just trying to help my friend?)

Oh.. and she has a really great post prompt for next week.  Kaitlin sure knows how to stretch... the creative abilities. :)  WOW!!

***

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Faith Walk

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You gotta love this photo!  It doesn't really go with the post and yet, in some ways it does.  I just had to share!

Have you ever participated in what is called a faith-fall?
I have.

If you're not sure what that is or what it looks like... let me try to describe it to you.
In my particular, first-hand experience - I was at a church/school function where we did a couple of different group activities to try and emphasize what would be called faith in action.

For the one... the faith-fall... there was a stage, and down on the floor at the edge of the stage were two lines of people, facing one another.  Three or four people in each line.  They stood with their arms held out in front of them - creating a "net".  The object was for the one person on the stage to face away from them, with eyes closed and to cross his/her arms in front of themselves (so as not to flail and possibly cause injury to either themselves or the others) and when they were ready... they were to just fall backwards into the arms of the folks waiting below.  

I guess if you wanted to really test your faith.  You could have chosen to lie underneath the outstretched arms as someone fell... and pray to God they didn't drop the person and he or she land right on you.

Anyway.
We all had to take our turns... as a group.  And, this wasn't easy.  It honestly took courage.  For me, at least. Trust.  Believing that these folks were going to be there for me when I fell.

That was so many years ago and to this day I can still remember "the feeling".  
The moment of waver.  The decision to take action.
The taking of a deep breath and letting go - falling, falling, falling.  
Granted I didn't have to fall far.  But when you really can't see - what is about to come.  And you have to go - not knowing??

Oh friend... this is faith!!

A faith walk of sorts.  Going - not knowing.

This makes me think of another little quote that I have hand written into the side margin of my Bible.
I read it often because it so encouraging.

Doubt sees the obstacles, 
Faith sees the way.
Doubt see the darkest night,
Faith sees the day.
Doubt dreads to take a step,
Faith soars on high.
Doubt questions, "who believes?",
Faith answers, "I".
~ Author Unknown
***
In some ways... that little act that I just described us students doing.. was like a picture of when faith literally falls and fails.  Be encouraged.  Instead, remember - faith calls us to rise.  And to take comfort in the arms that hold us up  and that call us onward and upward to trust.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Quotidian

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Quotidian: daily, usual, or customary;
everyday; ordinary; commonplace.
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Haven't done one of these themes in a while and so today seemed like a perfect day and way to catch you up on our lives over the past couple of days.  The Quotidian was first introduced to me through HERE.  I enjoy the granted permission to join along -whenever I can.

This little reminder to speak life needs to be "right here"... daily in my face. :)
I don't know if that is true for you - but for me?  Yes!!


The sharing of produce and flowers is always a favorite... around here.
As well... fresh cookies baked in prep for another week of Good News Camp! 
The kids are so loving their time at (day) camp!
I wish I had more photos of this... oh well.
Aubrey in a Noah's Ark skit.
While the kiddos are in camp (this will be their final week)...Jayne enjoys visiting over at Grandma's.  You can see her through the window (below) ...knocking so patiently.  However, this week Grandma is away again, this week, visiting family and friends - this time in NY.  Last week she was in VA.
We were asked to keep an eye on her porch plants and pick her flowers.  To enjoy!! :)

We miss Grandma Susie!


The weather has been interesting, lately.  Lots of storms and heavy rains.  As well, heat and high humidity.
It doesn't stop me - too much from still hanging the laundry.  Though, I will say. its a little tougher to dry when it's all humid - like this.  I know - we'll certainly be seeing more of the Queen Anne's lace - as the days get warmer, too!  Ahh... summer!
I think we've each had a teeny, tiny scoop of ice cream almost every night - last week.  I just love this photo of my youngest... stretching her little tongue into that cone as far as she can reach.


Along with the hot weather and such came a much needed haircut and style.
 It sure does feel good.

Feeling brave the other day... I stopped by a little stand out in the front of someone's house where advertised was: Honeysuckle Jelly.  $4.00 a half pint seemed a fair price...for someone else's hard work and efforts.  She also had a red beet and raspberry preserve for sale.  I felt torn.
I settled on the honeysuckle.  It reminded me of a friend of mine from VA.  How she talks of making this - from time to time.


Yumm!!  I'm glad I purchased this.   It's become a sweet addition to a hot buttered piece of toast or english muffin.  Nice little breakfast.   

Speaking of breakfast.  Stay tuned for a new-to-me, "healthy version" of baked oatmeal.  Baked Oatmeal is a familiar dish.  One I make almost every Sunday morning.  My family seemed to really enjoy the changes I made this past week. The picture is here, below.   I'll probably be making this into it's own post in the near future - just so that I can share the recipe.


***
So there you have it.
Little bit of catch-up, from the past couple of days...in photos!

Happy Monday to all!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Whimsy Wednesday - weekly challenge

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Here is a little something new and fun to think about doing - in getting some creative juices flowing!

My dear blogging friend, Kaitlin, whom you've all met recently with my most recent Mugs & Muffins, is hosting a  New Weekly Challenge!!  Which she is entitling:  Whimsy Wednesday!

This challenge is one with photos and words... and I love it!

However, I do not want to be the only one participating in her challenge... and, I don't think I will be... I'm just saying.  I would like to pass the invite on to you, for you to join  along!!  Kaitlin is truly hoping for some new faces to join along in this challenge.   She even shares a tutorial on how to do it, if your interested and or need some assistance.

Every Wednesday she will post a NEW quote-prompt and all of her details are mentioned here...so, please!  Please, check it out!!

This is what I came up with.


This photo, I share today, came out of the quote prompt she suggested last Wednesday!  And - I'll link my post to hers, for today, and get my new prompt for next week -Wednesday!

Ready to roll...?


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Random Bits and Pieces, with an updated progress report with Bags by Bevy!

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Like Mother.  Like Daughters!
In many ways I hope this is true.  That the positive will far outweigh the negative.


***
My Zinnia's are in full bloom.  We picked our first bouquet, of our very best zinnias to send next-door to our neighbor, friend and the kids' Aunt Kels.  My sister-in-law. :)
I love tucking fresh dill into the vase to give it some feathery flair. :)


I say of our very best flowers because we ALL OF A SUDDEN we've had a serious infestation of Japanese Beetles.
They are really chewing up the zinnia, green beans and the marigold I have planted.  What is nice... is that the beans are blooming and these are just for "fun".  The kiddo's love to go running by and pick a handful of green beans to munch on while playing.
As far as ridding of the beetles... well...
I have the bucket of soapy water standing by.  And - we just handpick them off as we can.  Unless you know of another way - I'm all ears.

I'll have more green beans to pick. later this week - up at my Aunt Mary's place!  Same as last year.  It sounds like there will be an abundance.

I may even offer some up to several who need. :)

***
At the end of this post,  the other day, I talked about needing to finish up some sewing.  If you're curious - I thought you might be wondering how that all fared...?

If you recall... I had two Clothespin Bags to finish hand embroidery on.  The results of that; one was chosen and the other is now in my etsy shop! :)  This is the one that was chosen.  You'll have vist my etsy shop to see the other one that is now listed.


:: For the Love of Laundry ::
Clothespin Bag
Sold to Gail R.

I also had an order for 12 Tea Wallets to made.  Those are also finished and in the mail to lady who ordered those.  Here is a sampling photo of what they all were.  She requested them to be in earthy tones... but left it up to me to "do my thing".
:: Tea Wallet ::
holds two tea bags 
total of 12 sold to Rebekah S.

I also mentioned that I had another bag request, to come - and that that was to be decided upon that same evening.  Well... rather than me making another... the friend decided to go ahead and buy a bag off of my site, instead.

Nice!!

:: Travelling On ::
Overnight Bag 
Sold to Robin M.

I am so glad this bag has travelled on. It was one of my favorites.  I love the way it turned out.  But - it had been in my shop for awhile and I'm glad to see it go to someone who now loves it as much as I.

All of these sewing projects were to be done on or before the 18th!  I really feel grateful to have all of these orders behind me.  One of the things that helped was that my husband and son were on a Cub Adventure Camp Trip for most of the week, last week.  And, another thing or two that really helped was that my middle daughter was at GOOD NEWS CAMP (day camp) all week.  As well, one of the days, in the afternoon, my youngest went to visit Grandma Rhoda - and so that freed me up to really concentrate on these orders and get them knocked out so easily!

****

Guess what I'll be wrapping up this week?  The finishing touches to the "rearrange" upstairs.  There are a few drawers and bins that need to be gone through and switched out.  And - then it's DONE!!!!!!!

And... green beans!  Did I mention them already.. Yes, I did.  I'll have them coming out of my ears before I know it. That'll probably be Thursday and Friday.

My two older kids will be at Good News Camp this week and next.  This week were bringing along my niece and nephew... its fun to have them join us.

Oh --- and one more thing to be thinking about.  A Family Reunion (this will its 71st year of gathering)...and I need to think about food prep for that, as well as games for the littles!! :)

I told you this post would a bunch of bits and pieces.  I hope you enjoyed!
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