What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hullo. Remember Me?

After a week of no internet, a weekend of no power, and the busyness of a holiday weekend in May, I have to say I am missing blogging! It's high time I joined the ranks once again. Picasa is about overflowing with blogworthy (and not so blogworthy, but you'll get them anyway) photos right about now.

First of all and most importantly, I want to say~

Thanks to all the wonderfully kind comments on our exciting news post. I was more than a bit intimidated when clicking the "publish" button, knowing that we might very well be written off as cuckoo. I should have known better.

Again, thank you for your encouragement and for your prayers-we are so grateful for them!

Now for our regularly scheduled broadcasting.

Because I have some catching up to do, here is just a BIT of what has been going down...

On his last day of work, we picked Matt up from work and said goodbye to our second vehicle, laptop, cellphone, and all sorts of good gadgets that came with his job. A fair trade. We got McDonalds icecream cones on the way home to celebrate. His first week home was really wonderful. Really REALLY wonderful. He worked pretty tirelessly to get an office made out of the old milkhouse which, had you seen the state of the milkhouse you would know, was a very VERY big job. And always we knew, he was right out by the barn if we wanted him. There were lots of barn visits last week. And there was a good bit of relaxing time too. Just the daily commute to and from his job freed up over two hours of each and every day that just disappeared before.


For about two weeks now it has been hot Hot HOT during the day and rainy, stormy, and gusty with a few hailstones, lightning bolts and house-quaking mixed in. And before that, it was just plain rainy. So my perfectly tended garden in March was....well, not quite perfect anymore. I couldn't even bear to take a before photo it was so depressing.

The weeds had overtaken the garden and could quite easily eat my youngest girl up, they were so tall. I avoided it like the plague, knowing of course, I couldn't avoid it forever. One Saturday I finally forced myself to do it. This was the result:

Not to mention, THIS:

Trick question: am I wearing a white tank top or NOT wearing a white tank top here?

I weeded. And weeded. And weeded. And trimmed around the entire garden with cardboard (SO Lovely to look at!) to keep the weeds from growing around the fence. And once that was done I realized~ Whatdayaknow? Our first lettuce was ready for harvesting! So we did.

And then I trellised the peas that were crying out for mercy in the heat and planted the zucchini and pumpkins, yellow squash and beets, beans and cucumbers, carrots and corn.

Then I admired the strawberries that are looking plump and green and lovely and then finally calmly told my seedlings to wait to be planted because hail was in the forecast. They have thanked me for my forethought many times this past week.

I will be transplanting the seedlings tonight. Ready or not, here they come.


This picture cracks me up. She was chasing her brother and sister around and whoopsie! Her undies fell around her ankles. She laughed and then did it again. And again. And now you know~

my GIRL HAS BEEN WEARING UNDIES FOR ABOUT THREE WEEKS NOW! She has been doing SO good, she even wears them when we go OTHER places. Last Sunday, she wore them to church and that is two hours in the car-and she kept them dry. A few accidents here and there, not the pee kind, but for the most part~ potty trained!

She's growing up....


Speaking of growing up~ this little man is growing up too fast for me. A beard? ALREADY?!?

And time for just one more picture before rest time is over:

My newest 'do.

I found that when my hair is feeling greasy because I haven't washed it~ twisting the sides and drawing it back in a low ponytail are just the ticket. Add some flower barrettes and you might even convince people you were getting all fancy on them. WAY better than my usual ugly, greasehead ponytail. I wore it uptown and every.single.place.I.shopped (even the gas station) someone complimented me on my hair. I laughed inside, wondering what they might think if they actually knew how gross my hair really was.

And yes, showering IS a feat for me. thankyouverymuch.

Now, if you see me with my hair like this, you will know I am a greasehead.

I wonder if I should have posted this after all???

Monday, May 30, 2011

Freezer Paper Stencil Tutorial and my 'Lil Assistant

Freezer paper stenciling. Have you ever tried it?

It is GREAT fun. Super simple. Customizable. And cheap. (There, I said it.) Not to mention, kids are fabulous at it because they can paint right outside the lines and it will still be perfect. My Corynn has made many a freezer paper stencil gift in her day. And she is only 7.

I saw this awesome Assistant shirt on Pinterest a while ago and pinned it for a rainy day. Or in this case, a rainy week.

It just screams REBECCA, does it not?

I just happened to have a few plain white shirts that would work wonderfully for it, so no trips to the store for me.
All you need is some freezer paper (it is shiny on one side), acrylic paint (it is permanent) and fabric to paint. Oh-and an exacto knife sure comes in handy too.

I start out cutting a rectangle of freezer paper to iron onto the INSIDE of my shirt. This protects the back of the shirt from soaking up paint. Iron it shiny side up to the underside of the shirt front. Use your cotton setting and hold for approx. 15 seconds or until the paper has stuck on.

Next, cut out your design. I freehanded mine but you can trace or print out designs too.

Be sure to save those little pieces from the inside of your design-you'll be needing those!

Iron your stencil onto the front side of your shirt, shiny side down for 15 seconds. The heat adheres the shiny side to the fabric until you gently pull it apart. Position any small pieces from the inside of your design and iron them down too.

Now you are ready to paint~

Paint your design using acrylic paint or fabric paint. (It may take a few coats to really coat well.) Let dry.

Once dry, you can pull the freezer paper carefully away from the design. (It peels right off.) This is the fun part, I think. If your design has little pieces, tweezers may help pull them up.

Set the design with an iron by ironing for 20 seconds again.

I also added words to the shirt, so I quickly cut out a paper box template just so my letters would be uniform. I used fabric paint for this, making it super easy.

And TA-DA! You are done and your 'lil assistant is properly uniformed. ;-)

Oh Happy Day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Foto Friday

My computer hasn't been working properly all week (which was sad because I had so many posts I wanted to share this week!) and when Matt finally got it back up and running, storms came thundering in and knocked our electricity (along with three surrounding towns) out.

After 14 hours of fretting over the freezers, not flushing the toilet and drinking stored-for-emergencies water, it is finally back on! Good news is---pizza and movie night was a-go!

But the thunder is still rumbling and lightning is lighting up the sky again, so I restocked the stored-for-emergencies water we used up and am hoping to get this post published before the borrowed time I am using up runs out. Which means~ no picture for ME today!

How about you? Better late than never?

And because I had already uploaded last weeks' favorites before all this nonsense started~ the winners from last week:

Winner #1: A Nibnabit Life

Winner #2: Hearts In Service

In case you want some inspiration for this coming week~ how about the challenge WIND?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I just noticed that I didn't post any winners of the Foto Friday contributions on Fridays post! So sorry!

I could have just let it go-but then I wouldn't have been able to share these bits of GORGEOUSNESS. And that would have been just downright tragic.

Just take a gander:

Winner #1: All things Under the Son

Winner #2: Memories by Miranda

Both could very easily pass as Postcards, wouldn't you say? Thanks for sharing your bits of beauty with me each Friday. I enjoy it so much!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Starting Fresh

I mentioned last week that I was happy about something life-altering happening that very week. Friday, to be exact. Although it didn't really FEEL like anything had happened until.....today.

We are starting out on a very new path; one built upon faith and persevered with prayer.

While happy (ecstatic, thrilled, joyful!) is at the height of my emotions right now I am also a wee bit nervous, worried, and a tad bit terrified. It seems a dichotomy. But isn't a life drawn closer to God one to rejoice over? And isn't stepping out in blind faith almost always terribly hard to do?

Faith is easy when it is lived out day to day, in the comfortable silence of contentment. It is easy to be faithful when that faithfulness adds nothing to your life but joy and happiness. Yet faith is more potent, holds more power, in those moments where your soul is most vulnerable.

We never truly have control of our lives. We, rightly, plan our childrens' weddings and stock our retirement funds, we have children assuming we will be the ones to raise them and yet at a moment they can be taken away from us or us from them. But we still act as if we control tomorrow and trust that all will go relatively smoothly and according to plan. But what if faith requires of you to not be able to see into the future at all, to step out in blind obedience? What if it requires you to live a life that is utterly outrageous to the world? Homeschooling? Bearing CHILDREN? Celebrating a monogomous marriage of 60 years?!?

What about considering the state of your family and your duties under God of more importance than anything, including a paycheck?

What if God takes you to a place where your faith adds hardship, not ease, to your life? What if, living in faith, means giving up some comfort, some peace, some stability for a while but promises you JOY in their stead?

These are the questions we have been seriously wrestling with for over a year now. We are used to living a life separate. We chose an entirely foreign setup for education. The only time we give a thought to pregnancy is when SURPRISE, we ARE! (we aren't.) We are the black sheep of the Reformed churches, welcoming our children to partake of the Lords supper. We travel over an hour to church on Sundays. We don't have cable or any channels at all, actually.

MADNESS, every bit of it.

But all of these things have been relatively simple choices to make and to live with because we know exactly where those choices will lead us.

When Matt took this job, he took a drastic pay cut but did so happily in order to be with our family more, live nearer to our parents, and worship in a church that we felt was most God-honoring. But time went on and work would take him away from home more and more until he was hardly home at all. In March, after being away from home 5 out of 6 consecutive weeks and being scheduled to go away again just one week later, it was blatantly clear that something had to change.

How could he do the most IMPORTANT thing in life, the thing he is most CALLED to do, without being here to do it? How can he lead a family who he doesn't see?

In our minds, in our hearts, in our LIVES....something had to change.

Matt has been wanting to work for himself for quite a while and began thinking very seriously about it for over a year now, with me always encouraging him to make the leap. He is so intelligent and respected, such a hard worker and so incredibly skilled. I knew back then (and know now) that anything he sets his mind to will be a success. But it always came back to fear.

Maybe it wasn't a fabulous paycheck, but it is a regular one.

The economy is in the pot and jobs are already scarce...we ought to be thankful for a job, not thinking of quitting one.

There are plenty of mouths to feed and hollow legs sitting around the table three times a day and all are dependent upon him.

And the most poisonous of all: what if I FAIL?

So month after month we counted joy in all things, even while being apart and we prayed.

Meanwhile, I worked tirelessly at home to free us completely from debt and clear as many potential burdens as possible- paying in cash for Judah's birth, paying off our car, and setting aside money enough to live on for a while and to start a business whenever Matt was ready to make the plunge. Not to mention feeding, butchering and filling three freezers with livestock to eat in the lean times, whenever they might come.

And here they are!

Friday was his LAST day of working for someone else.

Not many people think we are making a wise move~ quitting a reliable, stable job to embark on a journey into the unknown. We are doing so, however, because we want to give God glory through our family, that we might fulfill the most important calling we have: to live our lives for Christ and to lead our family in His ways.

Let me be clear~I am not suggesting that all people who are employed are somehow not bringing glory to God or that we are somehow more holy than 9 to 5ers~just that living our lives and raising our children for God's glory hasn't been easy for us these last few years and we want to change that. A business of his own, Lord willing, is a great way to do just that.

Starting a new business and embarking on your own is a difficult decision to make, let alone in a time where our nation is fumbling around for a foothold in so many different areas.

We would covet any prayers you would be willing to offer up on our behalf: specifically, that the Lord bless and strengthen our family during this transitional time, drawing us closer to Him, that He provides for our needs and grants us wisdom and perseverance, that He bless Matt for his efforts for our family (and for Him) and that we endure the inevitable hardships and pitfalls with grace.

Today was the first day of the rest of our lives...


(and yes, I know how to spell photo.)

Wanna share your favorite photo of the week?

Or maybe a few shots of last weeks' challenge BEAUTY IN THE UGLY?

I took pictures of ripped up lace, aluminum foil, a few messy craft projects and even CRUMBS on a pan in an effort to get something beautiful out of ugly and, well, it didn't work. AT. ALL.

Then, I was out doing chores this morning and lamenting over the overgrown yard full of wet, pitiful looking dandelion heads and it all came together from there. I love it when that happens.

Here is some BEAUTY in the ugly~

We have a wee little pushmower and a HUGE yard that needs to be split into fifths and those portions rotated in order to get it all done. Basically, we have to mow a bit every day and by the end of the week we need to start again. Well, it has been raining for about a week now making mowing impossible and grass/weeds shoot up. I hate to think of all the dandelion seeds sown this week. argh.

While I was out, this little guy came to say hello.

He was a super fellow and let me get a picture of him hopping away.

And this lady? Well, only a mother could love a face like that...but she does give us the most beautiful seafoam green eggs. She happens to be my favorite of the bunch.

Can't wait to see your contributions!

If you are looking for some inspiration for this week, how about using the theme GROW?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


The season is always short-lived: they, donning their tender and fragile blue for a short rendezvous with spring and us, gathering them about us in a mad fury to soak up that loveliness every moment we can.

We can not tiptoe through the tulips but we can play among the bluebells.

And there is always nectar sipping.

We had vases next to bedstands, vases on coffee tables, vases on dinner tables, vases on desks, vases in the kitchen, vases on the piano, vases in the office and vases on the patio.

And what a happy predicament to be in, when we had run plum out of vases.

True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by.
E. S. Bouton

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We have been doing a lot of fun things lately and then, because there are so many pictures involved in blogging said fun thing and so little time to blog, I set fun-thing-blogging aside opting instead to blog one or two pictures of something simple, like a flower. :-)

Wow, was that a run-on.

One such "fun thing" was going to the circus with some friends. I had never been to a circus before (so it stands to reason my children hadn't either) and it was a pretty great experience. The whole day was a double feature really, since us grown-ups had gone on a (first ever!) double date the night before including dinner and the theater. No great pictures from that night though, tsk tsk.

Back to the circus....

There were elephants, showgirls, and dancing poodles that tickled little girls' fancies.

There was magic and intrigue.

There were tightrope walking tigers, clowns and sky jumpers.





There was a snack filled intermission and light necklace/wand paraphernalia that was snuck in under the radar.

And then. AND THEN.

The most jaw-dropping, death-defying stunt of the night. A human cannonball.

Fear gripped us all.

The audience was struck dumb with amazement at the perilous feat.

The rest of the afternoon we had stars in our eyes..

and attempted...

feats all our own.