Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Fun

Continuing with our summer fun list - we had a blast at VBS! Wow, what an amazing program Answers in Genesis has provided for our children! {Flashlight day was especially fun!}

We made blizzards for the First Day of Summer! And, we've also been to the water park! This was a first for us and super fun! {I did not take my good camera, so just a few pix}

Hope you're all continuing to have lots of summer fun! By the time this posts, we'll be in Colorado {Lord willing!} so lots more fun coming up!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What do you want to make today?

At Ann's suggestion, I listened to this commencement address while finishing up the kitchen. The question, "What do you want to make today?" is a powerful one and one that we could spend our lives answering.

My answer for today and many days: beauty.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ever a Student

I've been thinking lately about how much I want to maximize this time I have with my children and to be reminded that I am still learning myself. I printed out some great things to read from Doorposts and Seeds Family Worship to steep myself in while on our trip. Have you come across any great reads lately for investing in our families?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chore Checklist

Lately, this 2-hour House Cleaning Checklist from Money Saving Mom has been a help and blessing! My girls have even caught on and Emily loves to check things off the list! What is working for you right now?

Monday, June 25, 2012


Saturday just before lunch, I finished the kitchen! I've had the cabinets all painted for a couple of weeks - but still needed to do the top clear coat. I had set a goal of finishing this project before we left for Colorado and we're on the road this morning! Just squeaked in, but I'm so glad it is done!!! See the nice beadboard my Dad put up for me?! I painted it one shade darker than the cabinets and love that it has a little aged look to it. Such an improvement from the thin board that was there before!

See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Beauty: Light

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When Beauty Surprises

 I run outside for what I plan to be two minutes to grab some quick pictures of my beads shared yesterday. As I step under the grape arbor and am snapping a few photos - there is a rustling and whoosh over my head as a bird leaves the grape vines.

It is a mama Cardinal and I am instantly hoping there is a nest and that it has eggs in it and that I might be able to get a peek!

I spy the nest directly over my head where there is NO way I could see into the nest. 
Emily brings a stool and it does nothing to get me closer to seeing inside.
So, I go for the ladder.
The poor mama is in the nearby blueberry patch chirping something fierce at me and all the while I am hurrying as I really want a peek and a glimpse of this pure unadulterated beauty that has surprised me on a summer Saturday evening.

Ladder set up, rising up rungs, I catch my breath and there is the beauty that has surprised me.
Three perfect and beautiful eggs snuggled up in a perfect nest.
What a lovely place for a nest Mrs. Cardinal - you have a true eye for beauty!
I scurried down and let Emily climb up to see as well before hurrying in to put the poor dear out of her fear and panic. 

Beauty does surprise us sometimes. 
I wasn't headed outside on a hunt for a nest. Or even looking for beauty - but it found me and it overwhelms my finite mind when I think of all the hidden beauty that no one ever sees.
Yet, it is still His Creation and it praises Him!

I could have just heard the mama bird fly off and seen there was a nest and not embraced the beauty of the moment. Yes, it was more trouble to get out the ladder, I was concerned for worrying the mama and trying to hurry!

But, I let beauty find me today and I followed it for the pure joy of experiencing it.

Will you let beauty find you today?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When Beauty is Humbling

A few months ago, I enjoyed reading Kisses From Katie and was so inspired by this one young woman and all that she is undertaking for the Kingdom! 

One of the things she has gotten in place is that some of the local women are making jewelery and the money earned helps feed children plus employ a hard-working mother. 
That is beauty.

At the time, all the jewelery was sold out and I've checked several times since then. 
What a terrific "problem" {blessing!} to have! 
I checked again recently and there were some bracelets ~ so I hurried to order one for myself and a few for gifts. What a gift of beauty to be able to give to two at once - first to the one who made it, second to the one who receives it. A win-win.

{note: thanks to my mom for pointing out that you can put your e-mail address in to receive notification when jewelry is in stock again}

Mine came quickly and packaged so beautifully - truly a lovely gift.

 This colorful beauty got me to thinking and thinking deep.
What are the lives like of the dear women who made this beauty for me to enjoy?
What kind of beauty is available for them?

Perhaps some of the beauty for them is being given purpose, opportunity to create, to have work, to create beauty for others. 

Those of you who are beauty-seekers and beauty-lovers like me know there is a real beauty in making beauty for others.

Yet, it humbles me to feel the weight of the beads on my wrist and realize how very rich I really am.
The many colors go with everything and isn't that just like beauty? It goes with everything?
Every season, every mood, every situation - beauty lifts the heart if even for a moment.

I want to picture the dark ebony fingers that have carefully touched these beads before I did. 
To see the face of the one who envisioned this beauty before it came to be and helped to make it a reality. My heart swells with the idea of what it would be like to bring beauty to her life. 
So I remember that in the only way I can, I have.

 I love and appreciate and will enjoy her beauty.

That, is the true gift of beauty to the one who makes beauty. 
Let her make it, love it for her, appreciate it for her and enjoy it for her ~ for in seeing these things, the beauty begins to multiply.

I mentioned above the word humbled.
Speaking of humble, this is something God is working on in me right now. I've had a long-standing struggle with pride - yet I see the beauty in broken-ness and humility. 
I don't want a false humility or even a humility that I realize ~ but a God-given humble spirit.
It's something I'm asking Him for right now.

Has beauty ever humbled you?
What are you asking God to do in your heart right now?

PS: I just got a message yesterday that there is a small stock in the Amazina store right now if any of you are interested!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beauty: Something Old, New, Borrowed, Blue

I had a fun opportunity of helping at a wedding a couple of weeks ago!
It was held at a place I'd never been - and I enjoyed the beauty!
I'm sure you won't have trouble picking out something old, new, borrowed and blue ...

Beauty is really on my mind and heart right now - I am craving it. So be watching for more ~

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bonus Winners!

My mistake is going to work out to your bonus! I just re-read the e-mail from Moody Publishers and saw that I am able to give away two copies of Together and Parenting with Scripture!!! Yippee!

So, the bonus winners are:

Together: Angie C.
Parenting with Scripture: Katie

Bookworm Party

I've been collecting ideas on Pinterest for celebrating summer reading! Our sign up day got moved several times due to sickness and when we were feeling cooped up and tiring of all the laying around and not feeling good - we had to go out for an appointment and decided to stop by the library on the way home.

This party did not go as I had planned - yet, I think fun was still had. I'd hoped to have it outside {raining}, hoped to have more time {phone calls} and hoped to be more relaxed {sickness stresses me and so do messes, see below} and then sweet Emily said what fun she had and thanked me for the effort :)

Flowers from a friends farm, mini water bottles with bookish words on them like summer, fun, story, adventure, book, read, etc... inspired by these.

 We surrounded ourselves with a quilt, pillows and stacks and stacks of library books!

Then, I pulled out Bookworm Dessert! 
Could not be any easier to make - spoon choc pudding into a cup and top with crushed cookies {I used fudge filled so they would not add any white!} and insert a gummy worm!
Containers were found on clearance at Michael's last summer!

We made little bookworms out of construction paper circles I had pre-cut. This gave me the idea.

I surprised each of them with a new book {and bookmark} to *keep* from PaperBackSwap - have you discovered yet how wonderful this resource is? {referral credit anyone?}

Samuel received Old, New, Red, Blue!
Rachel received Little Miss Sunshine!
Emily received Meet Molly!

Another little treat - printable found here.

Of course, we read books! And, had fun drawing from what we'd read! Print this garland here.

Just keeping it real! 
This is how the party area looked when we were done. {sigh}
But, when it's a mess - it usually means fun was had!

Have you signed up for the Summer Reading Program at your library yet?