Merry Christmas, dear friends…
may you all be blessed with quiet moments with Christ, happy laughter with family, and an amazement at the grace that flows down.
Blessings to you, and peace this Christmas.
pausing to count blessings amidst this crazy christmas season and the 13 inches of snow…
108. christmas lights in the living room
109. snow up to my knees
110. the puppy running through the snow… then falling asleep in the livingroom sunshine
111. a snow day after icy roads
112. pasta salad for lunch
113. the trees all outlined with white
Here you are. Wow. It’s been a road, hasn’t it? But just wait a minute- before you hop on that school bus, trek through camp, and start that quilt, I’ve got a few pointers and helpful insights to help you down the road.
First, dear me at age 7, remember a little while ago on the playground? When you were racing Alex Smith to the swings? And you landed belly first on the swing and swung up and over and face planted the pavement? Yep. Remember how you were so mad about it when you parents thought it was funny? Take a breath and relax and know that you will laugh about this one day. You will. You will laugh long and hard. I promise.
And when you start seventh grade, don’t freak out. I know you’re new at being a believer in Christ and that it looks daunting. But breathe a little. Have fun. Enjoy those great plaid skirts while you’ve got the chance. (And oh! You will laugh one day about your hair style back then.)
While we’re on that topic, know that your hair is really pretty. Really. And leaving it down looks way better than trying to pull it tight- all you get is a frizz. Trust me on this one.
Just know that your sisters will become your best friends ever. And that right now, entering jr. high, you don’t have many good friends. Know that by the end of high school, you’ll have a social life so large school hardly fits- and that true, genuine friends, gifts from God, are right around the corner- literally. Your sisters totally ROCK. Even when they drive you nuts. Get to know ‘em.
And one day when you’re finished with high school (yes! You do actually make it!) you will realize just how important it was to start homeschooling (I heard that gasp- don’t freak out- God’s totally got this one, okay?).
Because when you are homeschooled, you’ll meet the people who become the friends to support you through life- true friends that are gifts from God. Believe me- the wait for friendship is SO worth it. Don’t take the first gal who walks through the door- be willing to wait for the people God’s got lined up for your life. It is WELL WORTH IT.
And I know you are still thinking about that word I mentioned (homeschooling! The thought!). Know that your sisters start doing it, and when you step out in a bit of a leap of faith into the unknown world of homeschool, God totally takes care of everything. He’s got you, girl.
Because the year you start homeschooling another crazy thing happens. This little dude with blue eyes steps into your family’s world and life takes off in a totally different direction.
That crazy thing called adoption- you know, the one your parents have been praying about- suddenly starts and boom! you have a little brother. And life gets crazy, time moves fast, and life, to be honest, gets pretty hard for that first few months of life with the boy. Because adjusting is hard- but know that through all of this, God teaches you a lot- like how much your parents love you. And how God is moving you in a different direction. And you know what? it’s OKAY.
Then you’ll move. And graduate. and and and…. there is so much more I’d like to tell you- to encourage you to learn NOW instead of later, but then I suppose I wouldn’t be where I am today. So you know what? Here’s my long letter summed up in a nutshell:
Trust God- not just a little, but totally and fully.
Love your family- they love you.
Be yourself. It’s okay to be yourself. Know that, okay?
And don’t ever ever ever cut your hair short again. :) Just sayin’.
linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky today as we write letters to ourselves as teens. And well, being a teen still, I decided to write this to myself through junior high. Emily is releasing a new book that I am reading and WOW is it powerful. It truly is. I totally encourage you to read it!
Hey there all you wonderful people!
Just wanted to drop you a note to let you know that no, I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth, but rather right into the world of college. :)
I am so thrilled at the opportunity that the Lord blessed me with this fall to attend a Biblically based, Christian college. Through some crazy stories that I may have to tell you later, I landed right in the middle of busy schedules, a new car, and lots of books to read. God has been so incredibly amazing and good to me, and I can hardly wait to start classes today.
So just a heads up that things are still going to be kind of quiet around here as I adjust and secure schedules and get into the swing of college.
I also am not sure if you knew, but I am currently involved in a wonderful Minnesota photo contest that has been going on for over a year now through our local broadcasting station. There are some incredibly photos of the state I call home that will inspire and stretch the imagination of new photographers. To take a look, click here! Also, my pictures (which are in the running for being published in their next book) can be found here. Many of them you will probably recognize from my blog, as I often posted here before loading them to the contests.
May your Fall season be blessed!
This year we (accidentally) planted a bunch of sunflowers near the gate to our chicken pen. Well, actually, the birds planted them by throwing the seeds off of the feeder nearby. Near mid July they peaked in gorgeousness, and we had a beautiful view!
The sunflowers brought our homestead more than just a cheery view- they also brought back the honey bees! Our entire family was so excited to see all of the bees buzzing around our sunflowers. We were a bit discouraged (and nervous) last year when we didn’t see any kind of bee buzzing through our gardens. This year, though, the flowers were teeming with bees! I am so grateful that the Lord blessed us again with bees!
I was also surprised to learn that not only bees pollenate flowers and vegetable gardens. Did you know that hornets (those nasty little buggers) can do the same? I still dislike them, but hey, at least they are good for something!
May you be blessed!
This desert has quickly become one of my family’s all time favorites, as it takes 15 minutes to make and tastes so good.
Not only are these bars fast, easy, gluten free, and so deliciously wonderful, they also aren’t that bad for you.
Instead of using marshmallows, you use brown rice syrup. This is a simple, healthy way to get the great stickiness you love in rice crispies without the sugar.
And instead of plain rice crispies, try brown rice crisps (we like Barbara’s brand). They don’t taste any different than the regular kind, and are better for you to boot!
Here’s how you make them:
You will need these ingredients:
- Brown rice syrup
- peanut butter (the non refrigerated kind works best)
- brown rice crisps
- chocolate chips
First, place a medium sized pot onto the stove. Scoop a bit more than 1/3 cup of brown rice syrup into the pan along with 1/3 cup peanut butter, 1 tsp. of vanilla, and a pinch or two of salt.
Warm on medium heat and stir until smooth, soft, and well blended.
Add 3 cups of the brown rice crispies, and stir well. Remove from heat.
Once the crisps are well covered in the peanut butter mix, stir in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
Press mixture into an 8”x8” pan, and let cool for a few minutes in the fridge.
Wa-la! One tasty, chocolatey, gooey, sorta healthy and gluten free dessert!
Oh what a thrilling couple of weeks!
The play my family is currently a part of has launched into its dress rehearsals, and we are busy finishing up costumes and laughing hard and enjoying 2 whole weeks with some of the most amazing, God-glorifying people around.
We do have a few prayer requests (and praises!) as we go into performance week if you wouldn’t mind lifting us up?
- Praise! All costumes are nearly finished! Sets are almost done!
- Praise for the hard work of our director! She has been incredible these last weeks, and amidst joy, minor complications, the heat, and 35 cast members, has shone the Light of Christ every day. Please lift her up as we enter performance week!
- Prayer for the audience to be receptive and awakened to the sweet gospel of Christ that is so clearly presented in the production. Also, please pray for the audience’s endurance in the heat of July.
Thank you, friends!
May you have a wonderfully blessed week!
I am so thrilled to tell you that construction has begun next door! The lot sold a month ago, and our family was a bit bummed to be losing the open grass next door, but on meeting the new owners, we realized how totally amazing it is going to be having them for neighbors, as they are super sweet people.
As the machines rolled in, Mom ran up to get R out of bed. Here’s a picture of him last night, but I thought it pretty much depicted his face on seeing the diggers this morning. :)
He is so thrilled that a “Snort” (from Dr. Seuss’ Are You My Mother? book) has begun to dig out the hole for the foundation.
Who needs TV when there’s diggers and Bobcats to be seen out your sliding glass door??
Stay cool today, friends!
When we moved into our house nearly a year and a half ago, every single wall was either a neutral beige color or a simple brown. This was a bit of a change. The house we moved from in the city was many times more colorful than the beige: we had purple, blue, orange, green, and pink on the main level, and blue and brown in the basement. My mom and dad worked really hard when we moved in to get some color back into our home. So far, we’ve done two bedrooms, the kitchen, and the staircase walls all in some beautiful colors. I came home from play practice to find a beautiful surprise and a very happy mom.
An orange laundry room! How amazing is this??
My dad rocks- he put up shelves and painted while we were all running around that morning.
Now, the laundry room is not only much much sweeter, but thoroughly functional as well!
We hung a 2” wooden dowel along the hooks on the shelves, making more space for us to hang dry our clothes. It looks so charming!
We are all just a tad bit in love with the laundry room right now :)
and how could you not be? :)
This year, my sisters and I have the privilege of being a part of another Grace Farm Theater production!We are beyond thrilled to be a part of another great play with 30 God-honoring and joyful people.
Last year’s production of “The Hiding Place” was phenomenally awesome. We had a lot of fun (as you can probably tell by the picture :) ) and the Lord was glorified through it all, and we were so grateful for how He orchestrated the whole thing.
This year we look forward to seeing God at work again through our production of “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” This play is a bit more difficult, and has lots of scene changes and costumes. We are all looking forward to the challenge of playing people like Charity, Joy, Anger, and Intolerance.
The performances are in mid-July, and we as a cast are so anxious to see how it will all turn out.
We would appreciate your prayers for us this summer as well: prayers for God to be glorified, patience, joy in all weather :) and friendships to grow.
Thank you so much, dear friends! I can’t wait to share the stories of how God worked through the play with you all!
May you be blessed this beautiful day!
Life has picked up as summer starts to roll into our life full force, and I am so excited to see what adventures God is going to take us on this summer!
Our first weekend in June was spent moving lots of plants, adding some details onto the chicken run, playing in the garden, and lots of bike rides on the cool afternoons.
Dad and Ruthie have been hard at work these past few days putting the pretty new roof onto the chicken run. We had a long week of hard rain that nearly turned our chickens into ducks, and they decided that it would be a good investment to put a roof onto the run. It’s hard to see on the pictures, but the roof is slanted so that the water runs off and not into the run. And do you see the new vent on the back door of the coop? Yep! Those gals needed a bit more air on the warm nights (and cool ones) so after some Pinterest inspiration, my dad put in a vent on the back door! I thought it was perfectly genius of them.
Those sweet faces we love so much are still keeping us hopping- especially that little white one :) You can read more about our latest escaped with Piper the puppy here. She recently discovered that we do live on a pond, and decided to try it out. My oh my was she a mess! It was very funny to watch her get hosed off afterwards though- her face just glared at us, and I could see that she was rethinking the pond jump.
The drills haven’t been the only machines hard at work these past few days. Our sewing center was recently rediscovered as all three of us gals plunged headfirst into some exciting spring projects. Lillie (who just recently started a new blog! did you know? she’s going to let you know about some great books she’s been reading: the Hobbit, some Historical Fiction, and some great funny reads too! Check it out over here!) made a purse out of fat quarters and it turned out so cute that the Ruthie decided to make one too while Lillie makes another one for Mom.
While my sisters are cranking out some darling purses, I’ve started another quilt! I am very excited, as this is the first quilt in which I’ve used triangles to make wonky stars. (isn’t wonky a fun word? :) )
I found precut squares by Moda fabrics at my local (Christian!) quilt store, and am so excited by the sheep, chickens, and flowers that I could hardly stand it. I am using the pattern called Starry Eyed off of the Moda Fabrics blog, Moda Bake Shop.
Hooray for spring!
More news to come later this week as our neighborhood starts to fill up!