Monday, August 29, 2011


"Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law." - Proverbs 29: 18

I am hungry for a fresh word from God.  I want to know Him more.  I do not want to live without restraint.  I want it to be my pleasure to abide in His delight in His thrive in His grace.

"Speak to my heart, Lord Jesus....wonderful words of life!"

"Oh how marvelous, O how wonderful! (and my song shall ever be)
 How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior's love for me!"

"You are the Potter.  I am the clay.  Mold me and make me.  This is what I pray."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kids Say...

Mari Alice: "Ardyn, I believe you said that for my birthday, you would give Heidi and I a massage. You did not. (snarky gaze)"

Luke:  "WHERE'S my Hello-Kitty necklace??"
Ashlin:  "Ba-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!"
Landen:  "Uh... Guys, I think he is serious."

Mari Alice:  "Mom, this has been the best day ever.  Well, except for when we go see Jesus in Heaven...that will be the best best day ever ever.  But today was pretty awesome!"

AND....this just in:

Mari Alice:  "Mom, do any people die when they are young?"

CDJ:  "Yes, honey, we never know when we'll die, so it's important to live fully for God."

Mari Alice:  "Well, you're going to die when you're old."

CDJ:  "Why do you say that?" 
(thinking she just couldn't bear the thought of living w/out me)

Mari Alice:  "You're going to die old because you already ARE old:)"

CDJ:  "WHAT???"

Mari Alice:  "Mom, seriously.  You're 40."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Four Seasons

Around 10am, the girls put on their swim suits and went to play in the sand box on the patio.  It was almost like playing at the beach...bright sunshine, warm breezes, sand in your hoo-ha:)

This afternoon a storm barrelled through our area.  High winds pushed the trees to stretch and sway.  The air was cluttered with falling leaves.  Appropriately, the leaves were even yellow and red from the severe drought.

Tonight as we waited on between church services to pick up the boys, the girls wanted ice cream.  The storm had slightly lowered the outdoor temperature, so with ice cream and a/c, the girls were shivering and begging for the heater.

As Philip works to restore power to several parts of town, it feels like spring...March comes in like a lion?  Definite roaring earlier today...out like a lamb.  I'll have my share of sheep to count as I try to fall asleep alone.

Thank, You, God for this seemingly lengthy day.  Bless all the dear children in thy tender care.  Protect Philip as he works.  Good night:)

Since You Asked

Landen and Luke are attending Texas Early College High School.  Philip and I have spent the last year exploring our options for outsourcing their education.  We felt like it was time for the next step.  Having them out of the house for part of the day would be great for them and good for me and the girls.

Ardyn was discussing the "new deal" with my friend and in my defense, she explained, "My mom is only one woman, you know!"   (This just in...breaking news!)  Philip felt like we were all ready for a change of scenery, and that the girls could greatly benefit from a little more of my concentrated time.

The first day, we proved him right.  Ardyn and Ashlin each played with Elizabeth for 45 minutes each.  That afforded Mari and I an hour and a half for her lessons.  The rest of the time, the little girls played and read and did art.  I was monitoring them while still available for questions from the big girls.  During nap time after lunch, I was able to help the older girls a little more extensively...and quietly:)

We look forward to more lasting benefits emerging from our new normal.  We miss the boys' help and hugs and handsomeness, but we are just fine without the bickering, burping and body slams. you know:)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Every Day's a Holiday with Mari

Last night, Uncle JW came to take Mari Alice out for her special birthday date.  She spent all afternoon getting ready.  She wore her striped sun dress and pink high heels.  She pulled her hair up and tied it with a pink and green ribbon.  When asked if she wanted to go to Chili's, she said "no".  She said it sounded like it might be cold in that place and that the food sounded spicy.

On their ride through town, she told JW she wanted to be a doctor when she grows up.  He asked why.  She said that she wanted to help sick people get better.  He asked what might happen if sick people couldn't get help from a doctor.  She tilted her head down and looked up at him, "Well, that would be no bueno!!"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to School

The boys attended their first day of TECHS.  They were minimally nervous and displayed it in different ways.  Landen kept asking if he could put the girls in the car - even though classes didn't start for almost an hour.  Luke kept brushing his hair over.  I was excited.

Once we dropped them off, the girls and I returned home to start our own set of lessons.  With a little teamwork, we were able to finish each girl's assignments except for seat work and read-alones before we drove to pick up the boys.

As per their verbal assessments, school went fine.  Luke's only concern was that tomorrow he "definitely needs to take a brush and a mirror."  Really?  He did sound happy.  He'll have a cubical to personalize and organize.  Do you think he'll actually hang the mirror on the wall of his work space and store the brush in his pencil cup?

Landen said that just as he entered the building, a visibly nervous girl came up to him.  They had worked together at the fireworks stand this summer.  She said, "You HAVE to let me stand with you because you're the only person I know at this whole school!"  Before he had a chance to embrace his own insecurities, the Lord offered him an opportunity to be secure and allow his newfound confidence to be a blessing to a friend.

Thank You, God, for a good first day.  May we continue to learn to seek You first...

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, August 22, 2011...

Outside my window...
a bright sunshiny day filled with promise and possibility:)

I am remembering...
so many of those pivotal moments in life...where an interaction or a conversation changed my perspective...where a challenge or a failure strengthened my resolve...where a blessing or an achievement bolstered my confidence.

I am thankful for...
my weekend away.  Philip arranged for the "perfect getaway" and then facilitated 3 straight days of fun and frolic for the kids.  I returned to a happy family and a clean home.  I'm also thankful for Kathy.  She is simply the best.  She and Philip were equally committed to my overall comfort and good throughout the weekend.  I couldn't hope for more.

I am creating...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Happy Shnappy

Monday was a day of trouble,
Though redeemed by a true friend.

Tuesday dragged - too many thoughts,
Pensive journeys never end.

Wednesday started early,
Activities and errands, hurry, rush!

Thursday demanded more "to-do"
Voices in and around must hush!

Friday promises fresh new mercies,
Rest, retreat, no work, all fun.

Saturday will be even more relaxing
And with my thirties, I'll be done.

Thank You, Lord for today.  Thank you for this week.  I hear You loud and clear.  Forgive me where I've failed to be available to take full advantage of all You offer me each day.  I'm a VERY slow learner.  Thank You for Your promises!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Psalm for Sunday


Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?
   A Psalm of David.
O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;

in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change; who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Shelf Life

"Shelf Life" has returned to the bottom of this page.  Cute, huh?  I love this little gadget.  I only have a couple books that I'm "planning" to read.  I need more ideas.  It's too scary and time-consuming to venture too far away from the cave.  Send me your recommendations, please!

And in the rut I call "my faves", we CONTINUE to find....

Favorite Children's Book: "The Mitten" by Jan Brett.  Favorite Devotional: "Moments with the Savior" by Ken Gire.  Favorite (and darn near only Fiction I've ever read): "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers.  Favorite Parenting Book: "Creative Correction" by Lisa Whelchel

What's the best thing you've read lately? 
What book wins the prize for being read over and over again? 
What book was the biggest let-down according to cultural buzz? 
If you were to write a book of memoirs, what should the title be?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Crazy Mess

On days like this, I try to talk myself out of blogging.  "Girl, folks don't be needin' to know all that crazy mess!" 

I started this blogspot for me.  To keep a grateful, joyful perspective.  I have never been dishonest here.  Though I am a  conservative person by nature, I really try to be open and transparent.

But sometimes my summations can have a bit of a glow that may not have been so apparent in real life.  Philip calls it my "little blog spin".  One time he read something I wrote about him.  He said, "That's awesome, and I know you're tying to show honor and respect, but I'm not sure you always feel that way about me." 

Well, of course I don't ALWAYS feel that way. 

Monday, August 08, 2011

Movie Nite

We watched Soul Surfer with the fam tonight.  What a great movie!  I absolutely enjoy Helen Hunt...Mad About You anyone??  And Dennis Quaid is a cutie...Philip has authorized a tiny little crush:)  The guy from Hercules, Carrie Underwood, and the girl from Winn Dixie complete the familiar cast.   

The girls wondered why "everyone is so immodest".  I explained that in Hawaii, the weather is always conducive to swimming.  Honestly, the athleticism and hang ten culture whittled away a layer of my typically strict standard against bare midriffs.  Nothing in Bethany Hamilton's demeanor indicated that she was trying to bring attention to her body.  It's hard to explain.  Her conservative spirit --or the actress's portrayal of her conservative spirit --trumped any liberality of wardrobe.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Psalm for Sunday

Psalm 8

1O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.

3When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him,   and the son of man that you care for him? 5Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

6You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,
7all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

9O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Weather or Not He is Faithful

My sweet neighbor likes to talk about the weather. She has a rain gauge and she is not ashamed to discuss it.  She is constantly making commentary on our need for rain, or rejoicing in a measurable shower. 

Sometimes I smirk to myself that she seems so pleased with a condition that simply threatens my convenience and slows my progress.

Why am I not concerned when it's dry?  Why am I bothered and not grateful when it rains? I'm not trying to grow anything. I have low-maintenance shrubs and otherwise no vegetation to speak of. She has rose bushes, pear trees, and many other flowering plants. The beauty of her blooms depends greatly upon the weather.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Piecing it Together

Last week was my baby brother's 24th birthday. Just as I was brainstorming gift ideas, I noticed the pile of t-shirts he left on my sewing table. The collection represented high school and college life and were too special to be given away.

I sketched out a template on paper, penciled in the color initials to achieve balance and contrast, then started cutting up tees. I machine stitched the patterned pieces together. For the back, I used full size quilt batting and a gray jersey flat sheet.

I started the project on Monday morning and made the finishing stitches on Tuesday morning, then washed it and dried it with two snuggle sheets. It's certainly not perfect, but it is handsome, sharp, and cool...well, warm I guess, super soft and sweetly sentimental. Just like JW:)