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

Thursday, August 29, 2013

It's Thursday, folks.

 A friend whom I haven't seen for several weeks asked me the other day "Soooo- whatcha been doing this summer?"  I scratched my head and said something like "Well.....canning.  I am sure there has been other stuff...I can't seem to remember it though..."  And we both laughed because she totally *got* it.  I love friends like that.


This week was our LAST WEEK before school starts, and as such I had some mighty high expectations for it.  For example:

~This week was supposed to be my week to plan for the school year and order books. I was determined to begin the year tidily and organized and positively oozing preparedness. 

  I haven't. 

I looked through a few catalogs before happening upon the Rainbow Resource catalog and when my eyes met that monster, I recoiled in fear and ran screaming into the woods.  If you are a homeschooler- you understand.  If you aren't a homeschooler....consider yourself very blessed.  I will spare you the nightmares by not describing to you the terror that monster of a million-page catalog imprints in your soul. 



~This week I was supposed to prepare for my non-twins' birthdays on Monday.  A girl turning double digits and my baby turning *sniff* THREE.   What cake would they like?  What meal?  What gift?  I dunno.  I thought I had time to figure it out.

~This week was supposed to be a week of getting caught up on canning.

And I did get caught up on the tomatoes and cucumbers (for a few days anyway)- I made spaghetti sauce, and gorgeous pineapple salsa and pickle spears and stackers...but just when I was caught up on things for a day or two and could confidently take a day off from preserving in some way, I just HAD to go to an auction and buy some pears and grapes!

I am a glutton for punishment, I know.


 ~This week, the last-week-before-school-starts, we were supposed to soak up the last week of non-school and no set schedule and just.have.fun.  While the kids have been living it up- I have been....well, you know.


I thought I had time to think about all of that...I thought I had time to do it all- but by golly- I just realized that it is THURSDAY, folks!   And the week is practically over!  Where did this week go?

I remember doing things this week....I just don't remember what exactly.

I thought if you were sick to death of canning talk, maybe I could interest you in zinnia photo overkill or a proper pink overload?   

Now that I have overwhelmed you thrice, I am quite sure I have ruined any chance of people visiting this blog.  whoops.

Monday, August 26, 2013

On Stretching (and our weekend)




The last few weeks have been difficult for me.  Not difficult in the getting everything done sort of ways but in the soul-stretching, hidden-down-deep sorts of ways.  Times like these are painful to get through but are more helpful to who you are and who you become than the more prevalent days of ease and joy.  They shape you. They stretch you.  They force you to grow.  It isn't always comfortable, but it is always helpful.   I tell myself this, when struggling through the dark times, over and over again, because I know it is true and because even though I KNOW it's true, I need to encourage myself to BELIEVE that it is true.

It is true.

The hardest things are always the most worthwhile.

On Saturday, I could finally see a silver lining.  Ahhhhhhhhhhh.  It feels good.  Praising God for the long awaited, much anticipated silver-lining.

Thank you to all who gave the Mister and I anniversary well-wishes.  It was a good day, it has been a good 11 years.  May the Lord grant us many more.

Matt showed me he loved me by taking me out to dinner.  On a SATURDAY NIGHT.  This is huge, people, because if there is one thing you must know about my Mattie, it is that he is a homebody and a crowdaphobe.  He hates crowds, he hates waiting in lines, he avoids going uptown like the plaque.  Going uptown on a Saturday NIGHT would be on his never-ever-in-a-million-years list if he didn't happen to be married to me.  SO, we went out on a date uptown on a Saturday night.  (He loves me.)

 Our date went something like this:  Drove to the movie theater to see what was playing.  Nothing worth the ticket price.  Matt came up with the idea of buying a movie and bringing it home to watch.  Okay.  We spent a long time looking and not really finding anything outstanding, so after 15 minutes, we just grabbed one that sounded somewhat interesting and bought it.

Then we decided on a restaurant.  We went.  We left because it was a 25 minute wait.
We decided on another restaurant.  We went.  Too many people outside.
Matt suggested we buy a bag of mozzarella sticks and take them home and pop 'em in the oven.  (He was serious.)
I said absolutely not.
We went to another restaurant.  We got a table.  Ate.  (It was good.)  Talked (It was better!) and on the way out I rang the "Ring if you were happy with your service" bell, just for Matt.  He just LOVES things like that.  You know, things that make people you don't know (!) notice you (!!!).  ;-)

We went home and realized that the movie we had bought was a porno (not really, but pretty darn close!) so we trashed it after watching the first five minutes.  How's that for a good investment?

Ah well.

Still, I loved our date.  Because it was ours.

The rest of the weekend included a trip to the fair, our first (from our own garden) corn on the cob dinner, lots of gorgeous zinnias, tomato picking, worship, my favorite homemade ice cream to date, tomato sandwiches where tomatoes are as big as the bread they sit on and a TRAMPOLINE given to us by someone who didn't want it anymore!     Matt almost said no about the trampoline, insisting that it will result in broken bones or worse--but eventually gave in because I begged him like a little girl.  (He loves me.)

I only hope it doesn't result in broken bones- or worse- because if it does, He will never ever let me live that down.

Saturday, August 24, 2013


11 years of marriage today.

He is the very best part of me and I am so thankful he is mine.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Helpers- while I harvested basil, they ate onion tops.  They always have onion breath in the summer.
cherry tomatoes.  SO STINKIN' GOOD.

A cucumber is a beautiful thing.

peppers of all sorts

Last week I consolidated all of my canning storage nooks and crannies around the house and cleared out my canning cupboard.  This is what was left from last year.   Then I filled it back up with new goodies!  

Basil by the bowlful.  (Made into pesto for the freezer)

Not sure what's up with all the headless pictures lately.  This is cilantro and Adele' in a stained dress.  That would be lipgloss, by the way.  Mine.
green beans (I froze this particular batch.)

The tomatoes are fitting tables bettter than bowls- it was time to bring out the sawhorse summer kitchen!

We Newmans can really rock some awesome hair.
salsa with a bit of corn.
The kitchen chores don't really stop this time of year.  If it isn't one thing, it's another.  Or more accurately, it is often one thing AND another.  I try to get caught up and then a new harvest rolls in.

I even gave two whole big baskets of cucumbers away just to get to the ones in the garden!  And while I work in the garden I am singing songs that go something like this:

I hear a lot of people talking these days about fall and I just shake my head, willing them to stop.  I didn't get my fill of summer yet.  I wait and I wait for summer to come, and then it comes and it flies by.  But I think, by the time canning season is over, I will happily let the new seasons roll in and the quiet of winter to settle down upon this kitchen.

But not yet.  We haven't cracked open any of our NINE gorgeously huge watermelons yet!  (There WOULD have been ten except one day I saw a large watermelon in the back of Judah's tricycle.  He had picked it and was proudly hauling it around the yard-and though it was a cute sight, it was NOT cool.)

Besides, I have spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove to can and a million cucumbers to pickle.  I wish I knew of something OTHER than pickles to do with cucumbers to preserve them for winter.

 One can only have so many pickles, I think.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Map of Hopestead

The other day the "big kids" (as the little kids call them) decided to make maps.  

Corynn, true to her nature, made a map of a make-believe place and imagined a story to go with it.

Andrew, true to his nature, made a very practical, very realistic map of a very tangible place.  Hopestead.

He said "Hey Mama!  Look at this map I made of our house."  
I said "Oh, that's nice." with a quick glance.

And then I looked, and looked, and I realized everything was in its' proper place and practically even proportionate!  He even included the chicken that was, at the time, running loose- having escaped her cage.  It is that little scribble by the clothesline.  

The cow and pony are further on down the field, so they couldn't be pictured.  (I know this because he apologized for it. ha!)

So here it is- Hopestead.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Christina's Wedding and My Weekend Away


 Well, as you can see~ the wedding was beautiful.    The groom was dashing and the best part was the huge grin he had on his face the ENTIRE TIME.  (I watched him most of all, I think.)  The bride was beautiful. The children were so precious I wanted to steal them.  The bridesmaids, the soloist.  Everything.   I loved the color combination~ it reminded me of the ocean.  The dresses  were of the same color and wispyness of the sea, the white and silver necklaces shined like the pearls of the deep and the sand under your toes and the flowers were the exact color of a summer sunset. Gorgeous.

And did you notice the burlap and blue bottles as centerpieces?  Remind you of anything?  I couldn't believe how positively trendy I had been, all on my own!  I assure you, it was a fluke.

It was a beautiful weekend, visiting with family- and even my parents.  Since they have plenty of young children still and many with 'issues' and I have almost a handful myself- quality time is at a minimum even when we do visit with one another.   It was a sweet, sweet time.  Not having the children all about was very odd at times- especially when I had no plates to serve up at dinner except my own and on Sunday, when I had no knees to squeeze or stinkeyes to glare during the sermon.

It was a relaxing and beautiful weekend- but I am glad to be back among the loud, messy and chaotic of my own Home Sweet Home.