Friday, April 29, 2016

Highs and Lows

Life has been busy and scattered around here lately, full of some highs and some lows. Life is like that, some days you are on the mountain top and some days you are deep in the valley. 
Thankfully though, none of this is a surprise to God. He knows each and every step we will take before we take it. He is aware of needs even before we need them. So we can totally trust Him with everything. He doesn't promise us to always stay on that mountaintop, but He promises us that He is with us on that mountain and He is with us when we have to cross through that dark valley.

Each night we get to have supper around the table, we have this thing we do... it's called "High and Low" We go around the table and talk about our most favorite part of the day, and if there is a extremely hard part that is our 'low' we can talk about that too. 
In the past we have talked about both when it was our turn, but now we have try to get our minds focused on the high and if the low isn't too big of a deal we just talk about our highs. 

There has been great work going on in the garden, cleaning and rearranging and hopefully soon, maybe even today... some planting.
Since our camping excursion, the kids have been eager to sharpen up their skills. Abram asked to find a youtube video on knife sharpening and so he worked on sharpening his pocket knife and then the kids worked on some of my kitchen knives too. That was a blessing to me! 

The boys wanted to get out in the 'axe-yard' and practice their skills. They are getting so much better already! I've got two fine men in the making. 
And the sweetest sight to see in the evening on my drive home. My little home sweet home with my most favorite people in the whole wide world. The greatest 'high' I can have is being home with my whole family. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Super Simple Fire Starters

When Eli was in scouts he and I made some fire starters for him to take on his first ever campout. He was so excited to come home and tell me that he had won the fire starting challenge! He remembered that experience this past week when we were preparing for our first Trail Life campout and asked if he could make those again!
Being several years older, he gathered the supplies and made them himself. 
It's very simple, but you have to be a bit careful with the hot wax.

Supplies you need are:
Cotton Round facial wipes
Wax paper
Candle wax

Basically, burn the candle long enough that there is enough wax that is liquified on the top then blow out the fire. With your tweezers take one of the cotton rounds and gently lower it down into the wax and coat the outside of the cotton.

Lay each coated pad on the wax paper.

I wish I had pictures of how they are used, but I will explain here.
Gather your wood and tinder and prepare your fire pit. 
Take your fire starter and tear a bit of it so that the cotton is exposed. Lay it down in the fire pit where it can begin to catch the small sticks, leaves, etc on fire and light. 
The cotton will burn and the wax coating will allow the fire starter to burn longer giving the fire more of a chance to get started and stay burning... 

Happy Camping!

Monday, April 25, 2016


Over the weekend we were blessed to be able to attend a campout with our Trail Life and American Heritage Girls Troop. 
The site was BEAUTIFUL! And the fellowship was sweet.
So many good skills learned and shared while we were there. 
The older kids went on a 6.2 mile hike! 
The older boys had salt cured a roast several weeks back and then they cooked it while at the campground. 

Being able to put up your own tent was part of badge requirements. They did exceptionally well! 

This was a precious moment when most of the group was gathered around thanking God for their food and for their time together. 
A neighboring camp that was empty.

Learning the ettiequte of the axe-yard.
While outside I get overwhelmed by God's creation. I am sure I have said it before... One of my favorite verses of my favorite hymns. The second verse of "How Great Thou Art"

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Mr. Steve teaching the boys the make an incredible chili! 
Look at the size of that pot next to Abram! It was HUGE!!!

I'm so thankful for this time that my family got to spend in the great outdoors and can't wait to go again!!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sticks and Stones

There is an old saying...
Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.

We have all heard it, and we may even say it, but I think it far from truth. 

Words can break hearts.
Words can wound spirits.
Words can damage relationships.
Words can hurt. 
Plain and simple.

We are all so very hard on ourselves most of the time, the extra sharp, harsh words are usually something we may be thinking of anyways, and our greatest fears are unleashed and that is a hard thing to deal with. A fountain of fear and failure comes flooding into your mind and it is a detriment to your spirit. 
I remember this one thing that was said to me when I was a young woman, it cut me to the core... when I get down, and low... those words that wounded me want to rise up and rip me to shreds. 

Friend, that is of the enemy. He wants to wound you and make you feel inadequate and damage any good relationship you have. He wants to tear families apart. He wants to break your spirit and keep your joy for himself. 

The Bible says...

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

It is extremely important to gain control of our tongue and of what we say and what we think. There is great power in words.

Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 16:24

Words can do all the damage as we have seen... but words can also heal the spirit and strengthen the person!

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

Consider your words before you say them. There is great power in the tongue.

But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
Colossians 3:8

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
Proverbs 12:25

Even when speaking the truth, please take into consideration how you say it. Don't speak in harshness or hastiness. Be deliberate of what you say, be aware of the words you speak.

So as you go about your day and you have situations that are difficult...
 and we know that they will come...
Realize that your words can either help or hinder. 
Your words can heal or break.
Your words can be a ray of hope or the last straw...

Words are powerful.
Use them with utmost care.

Especially and most importantly to those who you love.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Herbs and Such

I'm really tickled over the herbs that have returned for me this year. I usually plant herbs every year, but sometimes they don't take and I end up having to get another start and try again. Even with mint, who everyone says is so invasive! 

Well, this year, I can see what they are talking about! I have a HUGE patch of chocolate mint (above pic) but I am so excited to see it! I love to fix pots of herbs and share with others and use them, so the more the merrier! 

This is the first time I have had a successful sage plant. So I was surprised to see the blooms! I quickly started researching to see if they should stay or go, but come to find out, you do WANT to leave the blooms because bees LOVE them, and we need bees, friends! 
Bee good to the bees. ;)
Peppermint! Yay! TWO mints are back! Peppermint is one of my favorites!
Aren't those sage blossoms beautiful? I'm looking forward to seeing just what the flowers look like!
No surprise here, we are adding and taking away from the garden. Shannon made me a couple of beds last year that were so wide my short, stubby arms couldn't reach across them. haha
So, he and Abram spent a little time taking them apart last week and making me a taller, and thinner raised bed. Hooray! My family is such a blessing to me!
And I couldn't help but snap a picture at this Coreopsis. I adore yellow... and these little yellow blooms are so pretty.

I have this rose bush that I planted the same time as one I gave to my mother. Her's is triple the size of mine, but mine seems to finally be hitting a growth spurt. :)

I am so excited about the warmer weather. I love getting out in my garden and herb beds and seeing things come alive! I hope you are enjoying these warmer days too!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stitching for friends

Sometimes creativity gets pushed to the back burner... even when you LOVE to create and LOVE to take something as simple as yarn and by maneuvering and manipulating that yarn you create something unique and beautiful. It's so satisfying and just makes you smile. 

But even with all that love, we sometimes get so busy that one thing we really love gets pushed aside for a little time. 
But then when you do finally set aside a little dollop of time, boy oh boy... it's like being with an old friend who you have missed terribly. It's a sweet, sweet reunion.
There has been some changes in my family schedule as well as a terrible two weeks of the flu making its way though each member of the family. So creating beautiful things was not on my radar for several weeks.  But then thankfully sickness moves over and after many days of trying to play catch up... a day or two of cold, rainy weather came through and we couldn't be outside...
I began to get itchy fingers that needed to feel yarn in my hands again. To feel the rhythmic movements of my hook and yarn. It's such a good thing.

I'm thankful for moments of creativity, even if I am creating for others it is a joyful time. 

I hope you carve out a few minutes for something you thoroughly enjoy as well.
Have a beautiful day!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Not perfect, but wonderful

I don't have a lot of words today... but just a heart full of gratitude and thankfulness. 
God is good. 
Life is not perfect, but it is wonderful.