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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

But, thank God! {quote by, Andrew Murray}

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Parents!  The work entrusted to us is holier than we know.  The precious instrument, so delicate, so wonderfully made, so marred by sin already, and so exposed to its power, is of such inconceivable worth.  To take charge of an immortal soul, to train a will for God and eternity, surely we ought to shrink from it.
But we cannot.
If we are parents, the duty is laid upon us.  But, thank God!  Sufficient grace is prepared and promised, too!
If we do but give up our home and our life to God for Him to come in and rule, He will Himself take possession, and by the gentle influence of His Holy Spirit bow their will to Himself.
                             ~Rev. Andrew Murray, 1887, The Children For Christ

My brother, Joel, takes awesome photos with his phone.  He let me "borrow" this one - as I haven't been outdoors in awhile.  We are all still so sick (flu??) here - in our home.  Please pray for us, if you think of it.


*** PS:  The Mugs & Muffins GIVEAWAY ends, tonight!  You still have time to enter...until 10:00 PM, EST.
Update:  Both Caleb and Aubrey were to the doctors yesterday.  Caleb has Strep.  Aubrey just has a bad virus.. the rest of us just need to hang in there and see what happens next.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Daybook in October

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Outside my window...beautiful pink skies, early this morning!  A windy, cooler nip in the air but the sunshine is warm.

I am thinking... I HAVE TO FIND a winter coat for my baby girl.  Her season and size didn't match to her older sister... therefore, I am left wanting for some "clothes" for her.

I am thankful...that overall she, Jayne, has plenty of clothes..as do all of my children.  However, there is that random item or article of clothing here or there that is still in the "need" category.

In the kitchen...breakfast in dribble and drabs.  Not everyone is feeling so hot this morning.

I am wearing...socks!  I almost can't believe it myself.  I don't usually "enjoy" socks..

I am creating...you know what I'm going to say.  More and more and more for the etsy shop.  Orders keep coming in.. ;)

I am going...well, we just did!  My husband and I just signed on with Melaleuca.  Have you ever heard of it?  I'm excited about it.. I've tried some of their products, already, and such and I think it's going to be a good thing in our home.

I am wondering...what for bug is running through our place?  (as of during last night) The kids are all either running temps, or blowing green noses or "tossing their cookies".  NOT FUN!!!!!!!!!!

I am reading...The Little Pilgrim's Progress, by Helen Taylor  to my children, at bedtime.  One or two chapters at a time.  They weren't so sure about it - at first.  But... now, lately... are beginning to engage me; ask questions and you can tell they are "just on the edge of their seat" begging, longing, to know what comes next.

I am hoping... that this book, The Little Pilgrim's Progress, will really impress them.  I so appreciate it's allegory.  I love it, that it is written for them to understand and grasp - even at such young ages.

I am looking forward to...attending the last session of our Ladies Bible Study tomorrow morning, the one on Malachi (with Lisa Harper).  LORD WILLING!  That is, if my kids are well..

I am learning...
 "God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be." ~ Brennan Manning, All is Grace
When I first read that... I realized I certainly didn't know how to accept that or how have it settled in my heart...
I did, however, think about it this way.  I shouldn't have to try to clean myself up before taking a bath.  I mean, we can but why bother?  It just wouldn't make sense. That is the whole purpose of taking a bath. And, so it is with God and his unconditional love. For me!  Why do we/I try to make something more out of his love than what it already is.  As low as we go in our sin and in ourselves... HE HAS GONE DEEPER STILL... to the very depths... even until death itself...to show he loves us.  To the very core.  No conditions attached.

Around the house... laundry and more laundry! Of course! As well as, a sick but sleeping boy on the couch... and little girls with sniffles, hanging on to slight fevers.

I am pondering... This past Saturday was my husband's 40th birthday.  I'm going to brag on him a bit, here, if you don't mind.  I think more than ever... this 40th birthday has become a marked line in the sand of how his life has changed.. for the good and it's all of God's grace!  It's beautiful.  It really is.  I can't wait for the future 40.. (smile!)
I asked him the other night what it would look like to read a letter written to his 25 or even 30 year old self. I think he's pondering this, now, too!

A favorite quote for today... "In the trenches", "in a rut" - you can get out of those.  One day you most likely will. ~ yours truly.

One of my favorite things... hosting my (online) Mugs & Muffins... and having GIVEAWAY's!  Be sure to enter... HERE.  You still have time!!  It's open till Thursday the 31st, closing at 10:00 pm, EST.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Not much left for the month of October... just these next few days, here in the week to finish out the month.

A peek into my day...
a view of our neighbors fence row, every day we drive by..
it makes me smile  - for sure.

Following Peggy, from The Simple Woman's Daybook!

Monday, October 28, 2013

:: Mugs & Muffins :: Taste and See, by Amanda H. :: Think Pink ~ Giveaway! (now CLOSED!)::

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Good Morning, my dear Friends!

Welcome back to Mugs & Muffins on this lovely Monday morning.  We're talking Pink - today.
Ironically, with that, early on this morning I awoke to a full pink sky.

I'm super excited to share with you today... because I'm hopeful that someone will be encouraged and challenged to hold on to HOPE!  True and lasting Hope!
So, I'm so glad you stopped by.

However, I must tell you...what is being shared today is a topic that I am sure was never covered here before on
Treasured Up and Pondered.  

And that is Breast Cancer.

How has Cancer (in general) affected you?  Or, has it?

With October being National Breast Cancer Month and today, being National Breast Cancer Awareness Day... I just felt it to be appropriate to have my dear friend and next door neighbor, Amanda, share today as our guest.  Amanda has a testimony of walking this road with her own Mom - while as a young teenage girl.  But I will let her tell her story...

First, go ahead and grab your mug!  Fill it full to the brim!  The coffee is good this morning!  And while you're at it, take a serving of this delicious Apple Breakfast Cake. (not exactly a muffin, now is it?)

I'm sure you'll most certainly enjoy this, however, I sure do wish I had some whipped cream to pile high on top...for YOU!
I shared the recipe with you on Friday - so hopefully you'll get to try it for real, at your leisure.

Here now is Amanda.  Please!  Please, make her feel welcome..
(The above photo is small, and copyrighted - but at least you know she {Amanda}is for real! :)) ~ Photo Credit: Kevin High Photography - Kevin, is a another local friend of mine/ours.

::Taste and See:: ~ Amanda H.
It is a bit peculiar that it happens to be October 28th today. A day reserved for breast cancer awareness. Ten years ago this very day, October 28, 2003, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was not yet 40 years old, and I the blossoming age of 17. My youngest sibling was only 1. It was shocking, to say the least. I remember crying in fear of the unknown as we were prayed for that evening. When we hear the disgusting cancer word, it’s natural to assume the worse. What would happen? How would we get through this? Would she be o.k.? Many thoughts swirled and tumbled in my mind.

As my family walked out our story, I experienced firsthand the power of the verses in Romans 8:26-28 (KJV).
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Some good I saw right away… most I am more conscious of now, as I look back.

My parents had a renewed love and tenderness towards one another.

When my close friend’s mom was also given the news of breast cancer, my friend cried on my shoulder… and I understood. I knew what she felt. In an even greater way, my mom understood and she journeyed closely with her friend, for she had just walked that road.

I also saw my mom grow much stronger as a wife, mother and friend. Here is a small clip from my journal, the day she came home from the hospital:
‘My mom is amazing. God has been so evident in her. I think I would tend to be selfish if this happened to me… but mom is home and talking, laughing and not a complaint. I am learning more and more what a HUGE blessing I have in my mom – God blessed me so much more than I deserve.’
Ours is a happy ending. The cancer was caught in a very early stage. A little over a month after the diagnosis, my mom received surgery. Everything went remarkably well, and she has been cancer free ever since. I recognize that my mom’s cancer could return any day. Doctors have warned me to start my check-ups earlier than most, because I am now at a greater risk. Thankfully, those thoughts aren’t paralyzing to me.

There is a song, sung by Audrey Assad, that has been floating through my head over and over again the past few days… it goes right along with our story. The line that is most repeated in my mind is this:
When I taste your goodness
I shall not want

A simple thought perhaps, but one that has me bound and stirs my gratefulness. I have tasted of His goodness, time and time again. 
Psalms 34:8 says “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” 
Fear and doubt and trial and temptation come, yet I have His Truth to draw from. I have this life experience that proved this reality; The Lord IS my Shepherd. So, I shall not want.

I know some stories don’t end like ours. Chances are in this world you or someone you know has gone through, is going through or has passed on from breast cancer. I am sorry. I truly wish this were not so. My prayer is that you have tasted of the Lord’s goodness as well. To taste, we first must take. I trust that you have taken of His grace and mercy offered for us through his Son Jesus Christ. We long for that day when all disease and death is wiped away…
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4
In this, we have GREAT hope.

Amen!!  This gives me goosebumps!  Love that song!!  And, yes!  Are we holding on to this great HOPE? I trust you are. I know, I am.

Thank you, so much, Amanda, for being so willing to share this testimony  with us, today.  Your story was so encouraging, and brought me to tears when I first read it.  It's a very brave thing to do to talk about feelings and memories and hurts like this... but in doing so is when and how some things like this can continue to heal...our hearts!   I love your Mom, Mary! and I am so grateful to God that I have the privilege of being her friend as well as yours. Actually, with your whole family.  I'm so grateful to God that - at least this point in life and hopefully for the rest of her life - that your mom is healed.

God is so good!
:: Giveaway :: Think Pink! (Officially CLOSED!)

Interestingly - Amanda is also a Tupperware Consultant.  October was a great month for specials, especially pink ones. ;)  We chose this Pinkalicious One Touch® Reminder Canister Set as our awesome giveaway for this post.  This is no longer available online through Tupperware.  So, to enter to win...

Please share in the comments your words of encouragement to either Amanda or her mom.  Feel free to share your own testimonies or experiences.  How has cancer affected your life...?  Or, any other thoughts, quotes or Scripture you would like to share...as a means of encouragement.

Each comment, here or on Facebook, counts as an entry for the drawing.  The giveaway is open for the rest of the month - October 31st, 10:00 PM, EST!  And, the winner will be selected using the random number generator and announced after that.  This is open to the US and Canada Only.  Please be sure to include your name and a way I can contact you if you do not have your own blog. 

If you do not wish to be entered into the drawing, but would still like to comment- please say so!

That is all for today.  Thank you so much for coming out to Treasured Up and Pondered!  I hope you feel a tighter tug on your heart to be mindful of those still in the thick of this dreadful and scary time - breast cancer.  I know I will...and do.  If you are currently walking this road... know that you are not alone.  Many are here to wrap their arms around you and walk alongside..

Can I encourage you, though... to get your screenings done.  I did.  I got my baseline mammogram done at/around my 40th birthday.  I guess you could say that, my Mammogram was a gift to myself.  {A Mammogram}is honestly not as dreadful as one might think.  It's so important to do.  If only more folks would pay closer attention to their breasts (men and women alike) - and all for the right reasons.  You know what I mean?  In reading up on this I realize, I admit, I still don't think I'm as informed nearly as much as I could or should be.

Be proactive, get it done for you!!  and your family.  

God bless..  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Apple Breakfast Cake

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Apple Breakfast Cake
4-5  apples, pared and sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Put pared apples in 9" pan.  Top with with sugar and cinnamon mixture.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
Beat batter until fluffy.  Spread over apples.  Top with chopped nuts (opt.)  Bake at 350* for 55 minutes.
Yield: 6-8 servings

Please come back on Monday morning... for our next Mugs & Muffins and Giveaway!

Have a wonderful weekend!!
Psst.  Tomorrow (Saturday) is my hubby's 40th birthday.  We'll be off with family for the day..
but if you wish, take a few minutes to wish him some sort of Birthday Blessing!  I know he'll appreciate it. ;)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's always up to you..

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Between the house and the store there are little pockets of happiness.  A bird, a garden...a child's smile... 
Recognize them or ignore them.  It's always up to you.  ~ Pam Brown

At a loss as to what photos to include today... these were in draft... so I thought to use them up.  Taken at the end of the summer..

So, it's up to you.  Do you take the time to SLOW and notice all the little, but important and special, things along the way?  I realize, I do this too...somewhat.
I get it honestly, I suppose.  My Mother taught me to notice.  To this day she still does.  We might be driving along somewhere together, talking, and she annoyingly distractedly interrupts the conversation to point something out.

I'm glad she does.  It is certainly a Gift!  to take in, and notice, all that the GIVER bestows to us..  I find myself doing the very same thing (now) with my own children.  Here are just a few of our collection; out of our pockets of happiness...

Little birds huddled side by side on the wires above..  
The V-shape in the skies as the "trumpets of the air" fly on..
Crunchy red leaves skittering down across the path - while taking a stroll..
The friendly wave of a dog's tail..
The smell in the air..is different!

even this

When we replace the dew drops for clothespins - as we hang out the clothes..

SLOW-ing to see what otherwise might get ignored.

We're filling our pockets - full!!  Do you want to join us?  It's (always) up to you..

Monday, October 21, 2013

I don't have to do nothin'....

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You know...I got to pondering this today.  I don't have to do nothin'.

I don't have to be a wife, a mother, a friend, a sister, a church-goer.
A pray-er, a singer, a cook, a dish-washer, a laundress...

I don't have to do or be a lot of things.

 I get to.

Today, that makes me happy and keeps me humble when I think about it.

More than how are you blessed, is the question of how are you a blessing?

You know, you don't have to...

You get to.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Friday's Finds :: Out the back door..

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Taking the time to read a book to any and all who'll listen...

What a fun find upon peaking out the back door.
I love that I captured this moment...with the little
sisters and neighbors.

In the meantime..
I found a few moments, yesterday afternoon, to put together a pair of (girl) Homespun Baby! shoes for Caleb's schoolteacher...as a gift.  Her last day is today - as she is planning on taking Maternity Leave for the rest of the year!  Her baby girl is due to arrive in a week or two..
 A new teacher will be replacing her...not new to the school but new to teaching.  I'm just a little nervous..
But I sure do appreciate all that Caleb's teacher has done to get him off to a great start.

Please join us in prayer for any and all new adjustments, to be made - all around.

That is it for my Friday's Finds - today!

Thank you for stopping by.  I greatly appreciate you as my reader(s).

Have yourself a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My New Mantra..{and prayer request!}

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Whatever you do, 
Start it well,
And carry it through.

Does anyone else have trouble with this thing of "sticking to task"..?
We're working on this with one of our children and while it's ongoing... I feel it and see it {this issue}in myself that I am not too far different.
I found this little quote/saying, today, and I think it's my new mantra..

In reflecting, I feel it's a great reminder and make this my prayer.
It doesn't mean that it has to be "perfect" in it's end... just that whatever it is, that's at hand, that it was started well and finished well.

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10 KJV

Monday, October 14, 2013

Did you know that..?

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 October is National Popcorn Poppin' Month

By the photo(s), you know where I'm headed with this... (smile!) and tell me, how much do you love that red October sky??

Our son, Caleb - just joined Scouts.  He was so "shocked" and excited (as you can see!) when we bought him his uniform and that I, Mom, had sewn on all his badges..

He would be super excited to pass on the information to you if you would be so inclined to get in on the popcorn fund-raiser that is currently going on this month.  Hope you don't mind..

If you're interested in supporting Scouting (specifically Caleb's) you can click HERE
(on a side note, there have been some that cannot or do not eat popcorn and have enjoyed sending the popcorn to our troops, yes our military troops, through the site)

Message me if questions or what not, and I will ask 'the scout'. BTW he says "your not buying popcorn, your investing in scouting", and he adds... THANK YOU!!

Last date order can be placed is 10/25/2013

In other news..

It is a busy Monday around here, today.  We had an absolute lovely weekend, this past weekend... which, I cannot wait to tell you more about.  I'm waiting for photos from two of my friends - because (ahem!) someone didn't have their camera along, for the ride. :(

Back to this busy Monday.
Caleb had off of school today - but Aubrey did not.  So - there will be a couple of quick Doctor appointments this morning (while she is there) and by the end of the day I'll have had
a total of seven kids running around...plus a few neighbors. :)
I wanted to bless a friend today by watching her four children - giving her a day to herself.  I hope she gets to "play"...doing something special "just for her".  As a busy mom - she needs a day off once in awhile.  Like today!

Laundry is flying on the line...
and more grape tomatoes have been picked.

Today is and will be a good day!!

Maybe we'll end it with a big bowl of buttery popcorn, the girls and I, as Dad and Caleb are off to a scout meeting... sound like a great idea?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday's Finds :: Our Tomato Story

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I mentioned, back in September, that I should tell you about this one lone tomato plant we have.
Here we go.
Back in the spring, I discovered this teeny, tiny volunteer tomato plant in my one flower bed.

Bummer, I thought I had a photo of it... but you do know what young tomato plants look like, I suppose. ;)

Anyway.  I knew I didn't want it to stay there - so I moved it out.

I decided to move it out a little further into the yard, into an old "rotted" tree stump that was level to the ground.  It obviously LOVED that mulch-like soil... because, it took off like crazy.  When I first planted it - the plant looked quite lost in this "hole" of dirt.  You only knew it was there because of the cage.

These were our first three beauties..

By and by, more tomatoes came along...

and then, more and more and more.

Soon, we were giving them away to folks all over the place.
I can't tell you how many pints of grape tomatoes we have gathered and have given away.
As well, I'm so grateful that my children will eat them - like candy!

If I would have only known or thought about it a bit more... I would have staked this grape tomato plant up a little taller and a lot more sturdier.  We now have "runner" vines -  running all over the place.  And, as you can tell, I need to get out there and pick a few more!  Obviously..
Obviously, I'm actually looking for recipes with how else to use up these things.
You're favorite thing to do with grape tomatoes is.... ??
Help me out.  Please?

And soon twill be the end of our Tomato Story...unless frost gets to it first.

I wonder what will happen next season?

How is that for a Friday Finds?

Enjoy your weekend!!
It might be a rainy one - around here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This I'm pondering today..

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Smiling is infectious -- you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling, too.
I passed around the corner, and someone saw my grin --
When he smiled, I had realized I had passed it on to him. 
I thought about that smile, then I realized its worth, 
A single smile, just like mine, could travel around the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected --
Let's start an epidemic - quick - and get the world infected!
                                                                       ~ Author Unknown
God gives us the face, but we choose the expression.

Monday, October 7, 2013

:: New Day ::

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"This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good.
What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.
When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it.
I want it to be gain not loss, good not evil, success not failure, in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it."

~ author unknown

Coming off of a very busy weekend, I'm hoping/praying that today, this week, will dawn new.

However, I do have something very exciting to share with you.. something that happened *New* over the weekend.

Our six year old son, Caleb, accepted Jesus into his heart yesterday.  Praise the Lord!  When he told me about it - I probed around a bit, to be sure, he understood what he was talking about.  I asked him when and how and with a Mother's intuition I had wondered why he was particularly so quiet and pondering something yesterday.   He was very specific (and, I was correct..) and cute - in his own way - by saying, "Mom, this is our secret".  I quickly assured him that "NO!".  "No way, this is something to tell and shout about and especially tell Daddy... " and we reviewed Bible verses and songs that talk about receiving Jesus in our hearts...and we prayed together.

I thank God..

Because I know he was wrestling here of late.  I would so often pray that the day would come when his little heart would be regenerated.  Made new!  Today, honestly,  I struggle for faith to believe that this is indeed REAL.. and I realize that he is truly an infant all over again.  Yet, I'm pretty sure he understands...

I shared my own story of coming to faith in Jesus..as a young gal about 8 years old.

and, I shared that every. single. day.  I still need Jesus' power and forgiveness and love to walk this road. My prayers and encouragement to my son have taken on a whole new depth and a whole new meaning.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone the new has come!  ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What a friend we have...

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       What a friend we have in Jesus, 
all our sins and griefs to bear! 
What a privilege to carry 
everything to God in prayer! 
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear, 
all because we do not carry 
everything to God in prayer. 

Have we trials and temptations? 
Is there trouble anywhere? 
We should never be discouraged; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Can we find a friend so faithful 
who will all our sorrows share? 
Jesus knows our every weakness; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 

Are we weak and heavy laden, 
cumbered with a load of care? 
Precious Savior, still our refuge; 
take it to the Lord in prayer. 
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee? 
Take it to the Lord in prayer! 
In his arms he'll take and shield thee; 
thou wilt find a solace there.

You know the words to this hymn, as well as I.  But.. throughout this morning and this early afternoon  - these words, they have riveted me.  Carried me..and comforted.

It's interesting!

Over the past couple of days I've been at Church for Sunday Morning service; in a Ladies Bible Study; in a small group discussion; in regular interaction with friends... and the topic of conversation?  It's about prayer!

Sometimes, I don't feel like I really have that great of a prayer life.  Know what I'm saying?  You might feel the same way at times about yourself...if you're honest.

Even there... "Jesus knows our every weakness".

Oh, that so encourages me - today!!

What a friend we have in Jesus..
:: photo borrowed from my brother! with permission.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In the Morning, when I rise... (give me Jesus)

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When we stop the mad rush,
when we say no to some of our many responsibilities 
and take the time to come quietly into God's presence, then,
in that simple, quiet moment
He will breathe His peace into our hearts.
 ~ Ellyn Sanna

Sipping coffee... and pondering this, this morning.
Praying through.  And, seeking to apply..
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