Friday, December 13, 2013

Its almost Christmas time!

Its almost Christmas! Are you ready? Christmas and family traditions can create so many precious memories for kids! I listen to my older ones saying,"Remember when........" with so much fun and enthusiasim and laughter, that it inspires me to do more!

  we always exchange names so that everyone buys something for one person in the family. That is so much fun! It is rewarding for me to see my children love the excitment of keeping a secret and delighting in giving a gift to a family member.

   I have always wanted a nativity set. this year I found one that is child friendly. I love the idea, because I want one that my kids can enjoy, touch and handle without me always cautioning..."Now, don't break that." They don't need a memory like that!

  This one looks really fun. Bright colors and unbreakable! Sorry the picture is blurry, but if you click on the link it will take you to Christian and there will be a better picture!
505386: Tales of Glory Nativity Playset Tales of Glory Nativity Playset
By Cactus Game Design

Tales of Glory Nativity play figure set includes 17 pieces in full color, designed for kids age 3 and up. Experience the true story of the birth of Jesus Christ with detailed people and animal figures, stable, tree and story book in large gift set. Includes Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, 2 angels, three king figures, two shepherds, camel, donkey, two sheep, stable with star, palm tree, and barrel of hay. Child-safe PVC figures fit easily into the hands of small children. Long before Christmas, children can interact with the Bible story of Jesus' birth as described in the Gospels. Endorsed by Focus on the Family.

"A long time ago, the Son of God was sent to Earth to be born as a tiny baby named Jesus. It was a very exciting time!" (Matthew 1:18-25; 2:1-2:23; Luke 2:1-39)

Thursday, November 28, 2013


   There are a lot of things to be thankful for when I stop and think about it. But there are a few things that are looming so big in front of me that its hard to focus. I do love our God. He gives us new mercies every morning. His love for us is bigger than any of us deserve. His plan was never for us to suffer or to be brokenhearted. I know that is true because Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted. To set the captive free and to open the eyes of the blind.

   So I know suffering is not the will of God for us, although he uses it to draw us close to him. To help us see how badly we need him, and that life is so much more than what meets the eye down here. That he has a greater plan for our future. To restore to us what he created in the beginning. No pain, no sickness, no evil and no sin. But perfect joy and peace and fellowship with him.

   Sometimes I don't see things exactly like God does. It feels like he does things that are way wrong. That's because I don't know what he is doing. I don't know what his long term goal is.

  This Thanksgiving brings old pain and new, Last year we lost Tebo in an airplane crash. That was just way too sad. We all really loved him. But a part of me could understand that God was delivering him from all his earthly pain. Even though we really miss him. None of us would really ask for him back knowing how much he struggled and suffered with life as it was here. Well, we would like him back for a visit, if it were possible. One thing I really liked about Tebo was that even in the middle of his pain he still had time for everyone and he loved and cared for each one.

  What happened this year I struggle to reconcile. Why would God take My nephew's fiance? I didn't even know her yet. All I knew was she had a happy face and Justin was happy. He had found the one for him.What does God have in mind? Right now my heart is hurting for him.

  But I know in the center of my being That God is good all the time and all the time God is good.

So I pray that Justin, her family and all the rest of us can find peace in the middle of it all, resting in the fact that God is always absolutely right.What he does is done with amazing love, and that he cries with us knowing that we can't see the reason, and we don't know what he is doing or why.

  I think Heaven responds with great joy when one of God's children comes home. I am experiencing a real life scenario right now....... When our son Luc married Anna, they decided to live where her family lives. We were OK with that. Because we felt they need to be free to make their own decisions. But we missed them. One day Luc was in our lives and suddenly he wasn't. Yes, we had phone calls and all kinds of communication, but we missed him and hoped secretly and sometimes not so secretly that they would come live here someday.

  Now that hope is becoming reality. We wait with great excitement and joy and anticipation for their arrival. I am so happy! I feel like dancing! The joy of being together is incredible! But a part of me feels sad....I feel for Anna's family. Because they have to say goodbye. They have to let go. They won't be together anymore. I think God feels that way too. I think he sympathizes with our pain.

Friday, November 1, 2013


One of my precious family memories. A friend posted this on FB and I didn't have the actual video file, so I am just posting the link. This was taken during our church's Minneapolis Street Ministries With Gerald and Marion K. Before our two oldest married and left home.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Power That Works in Us

   Have you ever felt defeated and wondered why you continually succumb to the same issues in your life?

We all struggle with that because we are human.........That's where Jesus comes in.......

   I remember the day clearly when the light turned on for me. I was sitting at the computer. (Probably mistake number one). My young children were doing the typical. Bugging each other, scrapping about this minor thing or the next. It irritated me. Why not just get along and do what the knew they should be doing?

   As that flood of irritation welled up in my heart. I realized once again that it had been happening a lot lately. I was giving in to frustration and I didn't like it, and I asked  God why, right then and there. Why, if I am a new creature in Christ do I not have power over my feelings?

 Here is what God whispered to my heart. "Because you are not listening for my voice. Because you are listening to the loud yelling voice of your own passions instead. Listen for my voice, it is so soft that you have to stop, put your own emotions on hold and listen. I will speak peace into your heart. Just stop, wait and listen." The sound of his voice in my heart was sweet, so full of peace and love. As I stopped to listen, the irritation and frustration just disappeared and his peace flowed over my innermost being like warm honey.

  Later I found the answer in his word. Romans 6:12-19
     Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.   And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.   For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

    What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!   Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?   But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered.   And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.   I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.

In other words, I am a slave to whom I yield myself to. Whether its right or wrong. 

And then later I noticed Romans 7:24 
  O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?  I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

 With my mind I serve the law of God,........I know in my mind what is right. Its a clear case of mind over matter.....with my flesh I serve the law of sin. So,....if I listen to the law of God that is in my mind then I don't come under the law of sin in my flesh. But wait a minute. Where does the power come from?.......

Jesus said in John 15 
   Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
   “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Jesus said without him I can do nothing. That simple statement has been proven true over and over in my life. Both ways. I can relate to you time and again when I yielded to the voice of my flesh and did it all wrong and then time and again after I learned that priceless secret, of listening to Jesus whisper peace in my heart and through him and his ability, I got it right!  

There still remained one question, that I had asked in my heart many times. How do I abide in Christ? How do I receive this power? How do I get the many marvelous things he has promised me? How do they become more than mere words on the pages of my Bible? The promises in his word have become alive to me and entered into my heart in reality because I have chosen to believe them. Jesus works in us when we believe. Every word becomes vibrantly true.

God's word is true whether we believe it or not. But they become true in us, when we believe.

Ephesians 3
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the
power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Duffer, The Cat

  You have to meet Duffer to really appreciate him. He is a young grey male cat. We don't have him because we need him. He's just here because he has PERSONALITY.

  We had no intention of keeping any cats from our first litter. I was simply going to raise them until they could make it on their own and then give them away. Imagine what it is like with 5 kittens underfoot! You can't even walk without tripping.

 With five kittens in the litter, all solid grey or grey Tabby, they just kind of blend into one identity. Besides I wasn't paying attention. 'Til one day!....

On this particular day they were all in the house and all underfoot. When all at once I notice this one little grey kitten come bouncing up to me and sliding to a stop right at my feet. Well, he got my attention. I reached down and picked him up, and that little creature had a motor going at top speed. It was almost like he picked me! I lost my heart to him, right there.

  I said, "You little Duffer, who do you think you are anyway."
But that did it. I was a goner. He was going to stay, and he had a name from that day forth. DUFFER!

  Now that he is pretty close to full grown, he has committed some crimes that get him booted out of the house on a regular basis. Such as stealing food that does not belong to him and jumping on counters like his mother before him was much to well mannered to even think of doing.

  The other day as I was walking to my van to leave on some errands he met me again with his motor at full blast. I picked him up and gave him a hug and told him. "Duffer, if you weren't such a sweetheart you wouldn't be here."

My daughter says the moral of the story a get liked a lot better that way in spite of your faults.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Love your own Man

  Did you ever buy something and then look at your neighbors to see if yours was good enough?

  We bought a different van recently. After pouring over Craig's list for weeks, and making a couple dry runs, we went through several turns and bends in the road.Maybe we should spend more so we could get a better one. Everything we looked at was so rusty and used beyond where we wanted to go. Maybe we were expecting too much for the money.We finally decided we were not going for more money. We would use what God gave us and trust him for the right van.

  A couple days later we were sitting in the van we knew was right for us. The price was right, it drove great and the interior was beautiful.It did have some rust. So now we have our van and I thank God for it. But I find myself still looking as I drive past dealerships. Is there a van still out there that can beat ours?

  There is a certain amount of us females out there that treat our man like that. Is there a better one out there?

  I'd like to challenge us women to STOP THAT!

  Be content with your man!.......There is a lot of potential in your man. If you can stop trying to conform him into the image you have in your mind. Let him be who he is, and LOVE HIM! There is a 99% chance that you will be surprised beyond your dreams. The man you are looking for is the man you married to begin with.God created men to be in charge and women to be their helpers. When we woman start questioning and thinking that we have the answers and our ideas would work a whole lot better, or we feel like we are spiritually ahead, then we are no longer filling our God given role as helper and most of the time we put our men in shut down mode, because they were not created to be our helper. When we take leadership, chances are our men won't and then they aren't filling their role but neither are we.

  God's word says we need to be taught to love our man. which means it doesn't come automatically. We all mess up, but we need to do it.The Greek word for love in Titus 2, where it says we need to be taught to love our husbands, means a friendship love. So we need to be their friend!

   We all have our hopes and dreams and are so hurt when they don't happen, and we think our husband are such jerks! But the truth is, what we really want, we really can have. If we just LOVE OUR MAN!

  I don't know if one size fits all or not, but I will tell you bits and pieces of my story. But before I go on , let me say first that you really need to connect with God. God is the only one that knows what steps you need to take that are unique to your situation.But I will share with you the steps he led me through.

  The first step was I had to stop trying to change him and make him into someone he isn't.I had this way of measuring him up against some men that I had on a higher more "godly" plateau. I repented before God and then I went to my man and I told him I was sorry. I told him that from that day forward I was going to let him be himself. We were both relieved. Whew! What a relief, I didn't have to constantly try to make other people think he was exactly what I or they wanted him to be. I was so tremendously freed, and I was excited to see who he really was! The thing that gave me the most peace was that I knew God wanted me to release him from my expectations and I knew that God would take charge.I found it wasn't my job to conform him into any image.That is what God does, and he conforms him into the image of Christ.

   The next thing I learned was to smile at him. A LOT! I learned that your man loves your smile. Okay, so now I just took a lot of pressure off my man and I am smiling at him a lot! How is he going to react to that? He is going to LOVE ME! That is exactly what happened! He loves me! He calls me a jewel. He tells me not only privately but also publicly that I am the best woman in the world for him. That makes me feel special. It fills that spot in my heart that is meant just for him and it spills over with joy. It fills me up with delight makes me feel like dancing!

  That kind of relationship is so much more valuable to me than having my own way and getting things going just the way I expect them to. Because God did not create me to be the head cheese. He created me to be the helper of my man. That doesn't mean that he doesn't listen to my ideas. The truth is he is much more open to my ideas because I am on his team.

  Let me warn you though, every man has his "no fly zone". If you find yourself flying into that zone, pull the rudder hard and bank out of there as fast as you can.

  Josh Turner sings a song, Will you go with me girl?,I don't know the motivation behind that song, but when I apply it through the eyes of a man with his wife it really has a message. He talks about her commitment to him, and asks a question that I think every man really wants to know of his wife. Will you go with me, even if I don't know where I am going?

  That was one more concept that I had to get into me head and heart. Taught to me by God himself, through his Holy Spirit and with the help of some human teachers! Thank God for some of those faithful ones! I needed to learn and apply the fact that I would love my husband through anything he leads me through.Even if he makes wrong moves and mistakes that end up taking us through painful events. That love was applied to my heart by God himself. I love my husband. And yes, we have crashed, more than once. But God always picks us up again and gives us grace and strength and the power to go on. God has also given me the greatest gift I ever could have found through the lessons learned and one of the "crashes" we went through.Because of his work in my husband's heart and he in turn taught to me. But that is a story for another time....

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Inner Circle

   One night I had a dream, actually it was a nightmare. I dreamed another woman was trying to get too close to my husband.It was heartbreaking and in my dream I stood up to her. I told her," Around me there is a bubble, and my husband is inside of that circle. Its a place that only he and I share. Get out of my space."

   I know we have probably all had dreams like that. The world is full of opportunities to get our subconscious mind to produce a dream like that.I woke up, I didn't think too much about it, other than thinking what a brilliant thing that was I told her. I wonder if I could have ever thought of something like that when I was awake!

  I craned my neck to look at the clock and realized it was nearly time to get up. I thought of the day ahead. I thought of reading my Bible, and I thought about my computer. The things I can do on it are endless.

   Then it hit me......Jesus has a circle around him too, and I am in it. He is jealous over me too. He doesn't want to share that space with any invaders either. My computer has its place. But not in the early morning hour that belongs to me and Jesus.I respect the space of my LORD JESUS. I will honor his space around me and rejoice in it.

   I am not a huge believer in dreams and visions. In fact I am quite practical. I believe it, IF I can find it in the Bible.
But I do think there was a practical lesson in that one for me.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

He that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing!

  Sixteen years ago I thought it would be a miracle if there was ever any females in our family other than me.But God has lots of surprises for us. He knows the end from the beginning. Most of the time I fret about nothing. I don't think I am the only one in the human race that acts that way. In the course of the next 10 years we had two daughters. But not only that......our two oldest sons both got married the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013. Now we have two more females in the family! Somehow I never thought of that back when I had 4 boys in a row!
  Matt met Kaitlyn when we visited at her church maybe three years ago now. I never dreamed another female would be added to our family as a result of that visit. Kaitlyn came up to me after church and introduced herself and I thought what a nice friendly girl! But it never crossed my mind that one day she would be my daughter-in-law!

  Matt joined Facebook, just so he could get to know Kaitlyn, :) Oh boy, now the secret is out! Maybe some other people do that too! After praying about it a lot, he finally got up the nerve to call her Dad. It seemed kind of amazing to us that her Dad wasn't surprised. God was working it all out behind the scenes. God is good at that. He does it all the time. I personally think that is one of God's more pleasant jobs. I think he really enjoys it.

  So here they are from the beginning of getting to know each other, to becoming husband and wife.

                       from this    

 Engagement picture

 Their wedding day

 Our family


On their honeymoon

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


We all need a little help with organization....Well at least some of us do!Here is a system for getting those little feet and hands to do some constructive activities, instead of destroying your house they can help you keep it in shape. Really sometimes all we need is a little help.

>Easy Peasy Chores @ You can also get a Home school addition

Friday, July 19, 2013

Repurposing a short jean skirt

   I had A Lot of fun with this. My daughter needed some different skirts and so I went thrift store sale-ing. They really didn't have anything I liked. All of them were way to short. I decided to get short ones and add a couple layers to lengthen them. But after I was home I figured out this one was to small.

  I don't have pictures of every step because I never think of doing that until I'm all done. But I ended up adding a slightly flared strip into the side to make the waist bigger and then added 2 more layers. I kind of like the end result. It looks sorta vintage!

 Here is a side view so you can see the flare on the strip in the side. I did end up putting a dart at the waist because I initially got it too big.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


We went camping the 2nd weekend in June. Mosquitos were so horrible that we ended up using our free motel night on Sat night. What a blessed relief. But we did have fun and were blessed!

How can I get it all Done?

Since the beginning of the year I have been part of a book study on FB. We are going through Large Family Logistics by Kim Brenneman. It is a basic how-to manual. One I would have loved to have years ago when I had lots of littles. Growing up as a youngest child doesn't always equip you with everything you need to know and I needed lots of help in management. This book is GREAT for that. It could also be renamed the House Keeping book for Dummies. Written from a Christian perspective, lots of good food for thought and help, from attitude to the nuts and bolts of living and getting it all done.

In Chapter 6: Where does the time go?, she suggests writing down everything you do in a days time. As it happens. I knew that would be to much for me. I would never get anything done because I would be to distracted by writing things down. So I came up with an alternative that I liked better. Every hour I wrote down what I had just accomplished. It was so much easier. I am attaching that form for you in pdf, for you to try and see if it works for you.

554784: Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family
By Kim Brenneman / The Vision Forum, Inc

Flip open this book and discover encouragement on every page. . .even if you only have a few precious seconds! If you're looking for a structured time of evaluating and improving your family logistics, start at the beginning and read your way through; if you want to start on a particular subject, jump right to the chapter that speaks to you! Part one covers the philosophical grounds for homemaking and childrearing, the Proverbs 31 woman, making goals, systems, self-discipline, work ethic, rejecting me-centeredness, and other reflective aspects of being a SAHM; part two focuses on all those nitty-gritty particulars of laundry, deep cleaning, gardening, tea parties, crafts, worship, feast night, meal planning, pregnancy, and much more. 320 pages, softcover. 8.5" x 11".

Thursday, March 28, 2013


Swans in a lake 

I can't believe how busy this winter has been and how little time I have spent here! Even though I love the snow here in the great NORTH! I am also very delighted to see little signs of spring. Not only is the snow vanishing daily, but the Sand Hill Cranes are back and I suppose we will soon see Robins as well.

My mind is being drawn to SPRING CLEANING. I am ready to wash away the grime that goes with heating with wood. I also have dreams of turning my old dilapidated hutch into a unique COFFEE STATION! Of course when I start thinking that way it also snowballs into bigger plans like a fresh coat of paint and new color for my cupboards. Hopefully that won't include the walls!

House cleaning equipment
I will try to post a link for a pdf checklist for spring cleaning using my favorite cleaning products. All natural, green and not harmful for your children. They can help you clean and you don't have to worry about chemicals.  You need to be a member if you want to get the best price on these cleaning products. Membership is sometimes as low as 1.00. 

 Melaleuca Foundation orphan at Santa Lucia

Another great thing about this company is they support an orphanage in Quito, Ecuador.Here is a link to info on that........

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas at Home

  We spent Christmas Day at my brother Darwin's house. At home as a family we had a gift exchange on the 23rd after church. We don't go super elaborate with gifts. It's more of an opportunity for the children to have the fun of shopping for or making something for one of their siblings. We try to avoid the gimme, gimmes and focus more on the givie, givies. I had fun making a doll house for Merry Grace from binders. I took a few photos to share with you all.
I downloaded free scrap booking pages for the background, including the brick for the chimney. The windows, kitchen and dining room pics came out of a Better Homes & Gardens magazine. The picture on the wall of the horses came from a friend on FB who posts horse art quite frequently.Oh, and the mounted deer is one that our son Mark shot. I just took a pic of it and printed it off. Then I Modge Podged everything.

The stand, I made from a lid from a jar of Jelly , a plastic 3 legged thing that keeps the lid of a carry out pizza from squashing the pizza and an empty spool. All hot glued together and painted black. The doily is a mini paper snowflake also Modge Podged right onto the stand. The lamp.....I should let you guess..... its made out of a chess piece and a lid from a ketchup bottle.