Saturday, June 26, 2010

Picnic Fun

We were able to use the patio!  Yippee!  So fun to have families over and enjoy our time together talking, eating, laughing, cooking marshmallows, playing volleyball, hiking, laughing, eating yummy desserts and laughing more!  Such great memories with friends!

Addan patiently waiting for the friends to arrive. (or not so patiently at times!  so hard for a little boy to wait!)

Mark surprised me and got me a fountain to get going before the guests arrived!  He's so sweet!  I loved it and the sound of the running water was so peaceful!

Jaime and I chatting while I fed little Isaiah.

The kids had so much fun with the fire.

Climbing the willow tree.  So funny, you can't see them when they get high, you just hear voices.
The Lord has truly blessed us with a wonderful yard, home and dear friends!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grocery Trip

This morning, Luke, Silas and Tim and I went to town to get some groceries and things for our picnic tomorrow.  Every summer we like to have families over for some fun and good memories.  I always have lofty plans of doing it every weekend but the summer slips by and we only end up doing it a couple times.  With softball games on Saturdays, we'd wait for the season to be over and then we're into mid July.   One week in July we're going to ME and another week in Aug we're going to camp with the teens so we thought we'd better just start.  So we asked 7 families from church and only 5 can make it.  (The two invited families that can't come are so much fun so they'll be asked again!!)
While at the grocery store, there was a couple there that I could just tell were Christians.  It's so funny, you can tell just how a couple acts, looks and smiles that they're of the same family.  I kept seeing them and smiling at them.  Finally while we were both grabbing some cheese, I commented to her that her cart was just as full as our's was.  She said, "Yes, I have 3 boys too but they're home and we also have 5 girls!" (Their children were older than ours are,, her oldest is 29 and youngest is 11.)  I said, "Funny, we have 5 more too but they're all boys!"  What a different response from her and her husband,, it wasn't the normal "God bless you!"  or "HOW do you do it????" while eyes bugging.  She was so excited and kept saying how WONDERFUL it was!!!  What a breath of fresh air!  Of course, her next question was if we home schooled.  It ends up, they've heard of our family but couldn't remember where and only live a couple towns away.  What an encouragement!!  At times, with so much negative from the ungodly world, it can seem like we're all alone in this journey but God is SO good to remind me there are other like-minded people, trying to do right and raise God fearing children! 

Luke and Silas were so excited to get the largest watermelon we've ever seen!  They said it'll feed all 26 of us tomorrow!!!  We'll see how it goes :)

They had to get Jordan to carry it in for us,, he's definately the boy's hero besides their father!

This time of year, WalMart carries fireworks.  It's how I make my yard sale spending money.  I grab about 12 boxes and sell them to the boys when I get home.  Of course, I got told I should be just paying Dad back since it's HIS money!  Stink!

Titus commented to me,, "Mom, come see my treasure!"  This is what I saw.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Crafts

During the summer months off from school, I have goals to get lots of crafts done for fall/winter craft sales.  I set a goal to have ten rugs done before October.  Eeeks!  I have one done, another almost done and two just started.  I need to get crocheting!  

First, I cut fabric into 2 inch strips.

Then each strip is sewn together and trimmed.

Then the fun starts,, crocheting and mixing and adding colors.  I love making them.  I find it so relaxing.

The mess can get on my nerves though!

Although I have set the goal for the summer, this is one craft I can continue while schooling.  Helps listening to reading pass more quickly :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Scape Pesto

I saw a recipe for Scape Pesto.  I made pesto last summer with basil and didn't care for it too much, so when I saw this one, I thought I'd give it a try.   I had about 10 scapes left in the garden so got them.  We had grilled chicken, boiled potatoes, and green salad for lunch.  The pesto was so yummy on the potatoes and the chicken was real good dipped in the pesto!  I really liked this recipe!

Here it is:
1 C grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 lb scapes (not sure how much that would be but the 10 I had worked great!)
1/2 C olive oil
Salt to taste (oops, I forgot this!)
Puree scapes and o. oil in blender until smooth.  Stir in cheese, lemon juice and salt.  Serve on bread, crackers or whatever else floats your boat.  SOOOO yummy! 
Another great thing about garlic,, the wonder plant!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Field

Out past our backyard is a path to the field.  It's a fun place for our family.  The boys practice softball, shoot skeet, sled,and play football in the field.  I just went back to bring the crew some watermelon.  Mark and the boys are clearing out more of the outfield to the softball part of the field.  This clearing will also create our heat for the winter.  June is the chainsaw month!  :)   When I went back, I could hear the chainsaws going, the mower going and the 4 wheeler going.  Just the sounds of the chainsaw bring nice feelings and the smell of the fresh cut wood is wonderful!  (Although, when I hear the chainsaw, I also send up lots of prayers for protection!!)

This is the beginning of the field.  We planted the Christmas trees the first year we were here.  Last year we were able to use one of our own!  Such fun!
 Brendan does all our mowing!  What a huge blessing!

This is looking up into the woods from the softball field area.  Mark already fell the trees and now they're cutting them into 8 footers and stacking them.  The younger dudes are clearing the brush.

Jordan and Mark are such a hard working team!

This piece is "junk" wood so it's becoming a fence to mark the home run hits.

Mark and I eating our watermelon together.

Here's our heat for the winter.  We burn about 8 cord of wood each winter (it being our only source of heat).  We're so thankful for the wood right off our land. 

It's a family project.  All the boys help with the process and feel needed in the process.  It's a lesson on working together as a family to meet a need (heat!).  It's gets alot of energy out of their systems and alot of muscles built!  Once the pile is cut into stove lengths, it's stacked into the lean-to awaiting the cold winter air.

Friday, June 18, 2010


When I was pregnant with Addan,  I tried another business venture.  I had a friend who sold garlic.  She made lots of money from it and thought I could do the same thing :)  (She already had a distributor buying her eggs and chicken so garlic was just another thing he bought when it was in season.)  I  had no clue how much to plant, so I asked my friend for 50 lbs to start with.  Fifty pounds was alot to plant!!  Each garlic has about 5-7 cloves and each clove would be a plant to harvest.  Thankfully the boys helped me plant them all.  We were sure sick of planting by the end of that project.  
The garlic was planted in the fall and started to come up early spring.  In about June the scapes appear.  They're in the center of each plant and are curly with a little bud on the end. (My friend was able to sell those too, restaurants use them in their meals.)  This week our garlic scapes were ready.  Here they are in the garden.

Tim went out and picked all these for me.  He has always said he wants to be a farmer, so I always give him the garden jobs.

The first night, I added them to the stir fry meal over rice.  

I chopped them up, they add a mild oniony/garlic taste. Silas eating his.

Today I used up the rest of the scapes.  I fried them up with onions and butter for the sausages.  They were so yummy!

Mark eating his third one!

The garlic business didn't do too well.  They all came in the same month I had Addan.  I remember sitting outside under a tree,  cutting and cutting the garlics off the stalks with Addan in his seat next to me.  It was an overwhelming project!  Then I had them stored all over the porch.  The damp air made them start to get moldy so they had to come inside.  There were just TONS of them!  So I replanted some (enough to feed our family) and gave tons away.  I was able to sell some at a farmer's market in town but didn't end up doing that too long as it was very difficult with a newborn doing the farmer's market.   From that year since, I do about 100 plants for us.  They last all year for us.  

Had to add this little side story about garlic.   My Mom was just in CT for a week visiting her sister.  This is my Aunt Rosie.  Aunt Rosie's daughter Judy, my cousin, is severely handicapped.  She is a year younger than I am.  While Mom was there, Judy was very upset and crying in pain.  The home health aid told my Aunt she thought Judy had an ear infection.  Judy was in pain all day (it's hard to tell what's wrong with Judy as she can't speak).  Finally my Mom suggested to try garlic.  The two of them gave Judy the garlic in her ear, and almost immediately Judy calmed down.  She was soon making her happy noises.  The home health aid commented the next day how much better Judy was and asked what they did!  Garlic,, good ole' garlic!!

Front Gardens

Mark got me a load of mulch yesterday afternoon, so I have to get it unloaded so he can use his truck.  The trailor is too heavy with the mulch on it, so I've been working all morning on getting it unloaded (he had to take the van today to work).  It's taking alot longer than I hoped because I can never just throw the mulch on.  I must weed and thin out first and one task leads to another :)

I did get the front of the house done.  I made it about 2 feet wider and rebuilt the walls.  Feels so good to finally have that done.  Now I'm onto the gardens along the path down to the house.  Then I want to widen the one side about 6 feet and add more plants.  When I first started these gardens, my Aunt Rosie was here.  I can hear her saying not to plant them too closely because they grow quickly and you'll have to thin them out!  Man, I should of listened better!  So, the  solution is to make MORE gardens and move the plants around again :)

This picture is before I moved the rocks, dug that ground up and weeded it.  Then I put the mulch down and the rocks back.  It's alot of work but I just love doing it!  I find it so satisfying!
Here's my lovely feet with a "mulch flip-flop" tan and a desperate need of new nail polish!

Titus was in the garden getting peas.  Like his "pocket" ?!?!?!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"To know the true state of a nation look at the Church. To know the true state of the Church look at the families who populate her pews. To know the state of her families, look to the fathers who lead them. Destroy the vision of the father and you render impotent the family, thus creating a chain reaction that will spread throughout civilization." -Doug Phillips

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Snow on the Mountain

When we first moved here, there were no gardens.  I was so happy to put new ones in all over the yard.  I got lots of perennials from other people.  One plant I got was snow on the mountain.  It's a great plant and very hardy.  I'm learning now though, don't put it where you don't want it to take over!  It takes over rather quickly and it's roots go all over the place.  I just weeded out a very small area and I'm sweating and tired! 
While I was weeding the plant out, it got me thinking.  This plant is so like alot of areas in our lives, home, churches and country.  Some things start out small and seem ok but it can take over rather quickly.
Mark and I were so burdened this last week about an issue in our lives.  It was getting weighty as we talked and talked about it.  We finally came to the conclusion to address the people we can and then leave the rest to the Lord.  What a peace that is.  Although the circumstances didn't change, we realized the One greater than us has it in control!  Thank the Lord, we can see His hand at work and we can have peace through that!
Now to get the rest of that wretched plant out of the garden and somewhere else where it can grow peacefully and look pretty!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


When the boys were very young, we decided for many reasons not to get them into the whole sports scene.  One reason, I didn't want to be splitting up our time at home and not being able to do my job properly if I was going hither and yon to all these games and practices.  
Our church has a softball team.  This has been a super way for our boys to play sports and us not compromising on our reasons we first agreed to.  The boys have fun, get some competition out of their systems and are able to form bonds with other men from our church.  It's lots of fun to watch too!  

Brendan plays second base, Mark plays first and Jordan covers third.  Hunter plays way out in right field.
Mark at bat here.
Jordan going to second.

Brendan at bat.
The games are at a great field and park.  All the boys love going so it's a great day together.
The boys got me this chair for Mother's Day so I can sit comfortably and watch the games.  I love yelling for my fellas!
the whole team

Friday, June 11, 2010

Redeeming the Time

I read a great article by Steve Maxwell and thought I'd share it with you.  It was of encouragement to me!

Everywhere I turn these days, it seems there is encouragement to "Go Green" and conserve our natural resources. I believe the Lord Jesus would have us to be good stewards of the world He has given us. Yet, it would seem that many have joined the frenzy with less than stellar motives. I've seen store ads take advantage of people stating many crazy "Go Green" reasons to purchase their products when a logical evaluation of those reasons showed there was likely little real benefit to the environment. When we stay in a hotel, there is usually a note to "save our environment" by not having the towels washed daily. While it is most certainly true that not washing towels every day will have a positive impact on the environment, the reality is that this saves the hotel great amounts of time and money in the housekeeping staff and laundry. Could it be that the hotel is all too happy to "Go Green," but mainly because it benefits their pocketbooks? There are good things to conserve on, and others that mean little. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
With all the "Green Craze," I'm very surprised no one has sought to promote conservation of our most precious resource. How could it have been overlooked? As a matter of fact, if anything, there seems to be a promotion to squander this most valuable resource, and it is the one resource that is one hundred percent non-renewable! Once you use it, it is gone forever. On top of that, it is the most priceless, precious resource we have. Have you guessed what the resource might be? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
I'm convinced that if there ever was a campaign worth championing, conservation of time through its wise usage is the one. I suppose that anyone who has been to one of our conferences or read any of our books would say we have flown this banner and rallied to support this cause since the inception of Titus2. Not only must we as parents embrace the need to treasure our time, but it is something we want to teach our children. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
In order to help our children learn to value time, we as their parents, must first model for them how precious time is to us. Our example shouts even louder than any words that we speak. What is our attitude about our time? Do we see time as the most limited and priceless resource we have on earth to be used only as the Lord Jesus directs? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
If we don't treasure our time, we will be likely to waste it. "See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil" (Ephesians 5:15-16). The Holy Spirit, through Paul, is commanding us to buy up the opportunity to use our time for good. If we do nothing with our time, it slips through our fingers like sand with nothing beneficial to show for it. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
We model to our children our value of time by how we use our time – first with our Lord, then with our spouses, next with our children, and finally with others. How a person uses his time shows others his value of it. Compare the following two passages of Scripture. "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:1-3). "And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:19-21). Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Colossians 3 begins with "If ye then be risen with Christ" which means, are you saved and do you have a mindset toward eternity? Believers, who have a correct view on life, know they are only on this earth for a short time and desire to use their time as the Lord directs. However, the carnal uses his time for things of the flesh. In setting his affection on things above, the believer loves God's Word and makes it a priority to read it. He knows the Bible sharpens and empowers him so he avoids sin and can be used of the Lord. Sadly, I speak to many professing believers who have time for many other things each day but no time for reading God's Word. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
The Luke 12 passage shows us those who are carnally minded are focused on having a good time on earth. They are not valuing their limited time as a great treasure. They are pleasure and entertainment minded much like the one who is not rich toward God. This world is all they have to look forward to; and therefore, they are making the best of it while they are alive. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Christians are to have a mindset of being pilgrims. This world is just something we are passing through. "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation" (1 Peter 2:11-12). Tick, tick, tick, tick.
We are to be on guard against those things that will steal our time away from the good works on which God would have us spend our time. It is as if we knew we were to catch a plane to heaven, but we didn't know when the plane was leaving. We would only be given an hour to dash for the airport once the call came for us. So in the meantime, we wanted to be careful to use every minute wisely because we didn't know how many more minutes we had left. Yet, Satan desires that we spend our time on things that have no eternal value. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey" (Matthew 25:14-15). We all have twenty-four hours to make available to our Lord. However, we each have varying abilities, which will affect what we have to show for how we spent our time. Will we give Him everything or just what is left over? Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Do each of us spend time with our wife and value each minute of that time? A wife is our helpmeet, but we are called to lay down our lives for them. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it" (Ephesians 5:25). Do we delight in time with that special one God has given us? Do we spend time as needed on the things she needs done, or do they seem as impositions? May we cherish each minute we have as we serve together with our wife. There is coming a day when one of us will go to be with the Lord, and she might be first. Live each day with her as if it could be the last. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
Dads often think their primary job in life is to bring home a paycheck. However the Spirit directs otherwise through Paul, "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord" (Ephesians 6:4). Raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord is our vital priority, and that will take enormous amounts of time. The Lord says He will provide for the family's material needs, "Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" (Matthew 6:31). Yes, we are to work, but as we spend our time in the ways the Lord directs, He will provide for the family. The minutes are ticking away while our children are in our homes. Each minute is precious and is important in shaping their lives. We will have no regrets if we are zealous that our time is used in obedience to the Lord Jesus. Tick, tick, tick, tick.
However there is a gluttony of things to do that waste time – there is no eternal benefit to them. "But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken" (Matthew 24:48-49). Fun seems to be the idol of today, and our great treasure – time – is sacrificed on the altar to this idol. May we treasure our time because there is a point when it is gone. Tick, tick . . . . . . . . .
"But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matthew 6:20-21).

Steve Maxwell

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Memory Skirt

I've gotten my crafts out for the summer months!  What a mess it sure makes but I love having more time to sew and craft.  I've made a couple skirts in the last week too.  I got a new pattern and couldn't wait to try it.  While I've been cutting out the skirt pieces, I was also making crafts to sell in the fall.  I've noticed a new buzz word (maybe it's not new and I've just noticed it!),, it's recycle. 

I was given a huge bag of clothes recently for the boys and there were about 30 pieces of clothing.  They didn't fit Mark and the boys don't like them.  So it got me thinking.  I know,, I can make recycled handkerchiefs out of them!  Perfect!  The craft fair is around Christmas time so that would be a good man's gift.  So I began cutting big squares out of the garments but had pieces left over.  I didn't just want to throw them out. 

At this time too, I took all our summer clothes out.  There were dress shirts that Titus grew out of.  It hit me,  I'll make a skirt out of the leftover handkerchief pieces and their dress shirts.  A couple of the shirts were passed down through many of the boys,  so they had lots of memories.  (The car fabric in the piles of squares brings lots of memories.  Tim loved that shirt!)

The first skirt I did was a sample to see what size to make.  I still haven't gotten out of the mind set that I'm not having any more babies and don't need to make things to fit after I have a baby.  The first skirt I did was too big but I just wore a loose top to cover the falling down waist line :) 

I love it,, it was so fun to make!  
The memory skirt took a bit longer.  I sewed each square together and then all the rows.  It was so fun!  I absolutely enjoy piecing.  The least favorite part is putting in the zipper.  But I did it and love it!  I'm going to wear it tonight to church (we're having special meetings all week).  Fun having the boys little shirts all around me!

Can you guess what the many items given to us were that I cut up to make the handkerchiefs from?  :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

17 years with Jordan

Mark and I married in August of 1992.  We lived outside of Washington, DC in Alexandria, VA.  Life was so sweet and it became even better.  For my Birthday in Sept, Mark gave me a pregnancy test and it was positive!  Yippee!  A baby!  Of course, the pregnancy was without some dark days for me.  Morning sickness hit hard.  I remember feeling like a barfing, wet rag most days!  I felt sad being a newly wed and feeling so sick!  But that passed.  Then we were called from the doctors to come in for a "special" appointment.  One of the tests given came back with the results that our baby would have down-syndrome.  We were given a card with a phone number that could end that pregnancy!  Such shocking news and then to be told how to murder our baby!  No way!  We'd love our baby regardless of it not being perfect in the doctor's eyes.  Of course, after more testing,  things looked "normal".  I can't imagine the thought of Jordan being carried by a woman where murder is ok if the baby doesn't reach the parent's desires.  How sad!

Well, Jordan began the trend of late babies for me.  He was due on May 22nd but we were induced later.  After many LONG hours in the hospital, he made his grand entry on June 9, 1993.  What a joy he's been ever since!
We were told many times, by many "encouraging" people to just wait,, those teen years are a night mare!  We still haven't gotten to that stage and so enjoy our teens! (Thankyou Lord!!!)  Now the other dreaded news about how much boys eat has been VERY accurate!!!
Jordan has many godly people in his life.  The biggest example to him is father!  I'm so thankful for the boy's Dad!  Mark has been very sacrificial with his life and always does things with the boys in mind.  I've heard him many times say he did or didn't do things to be a godly example to our boys!  He works hard, practices what he preaches and is very loving!  He's learned to play softball to play with them.  He gave up singing in the choir to lead youth group to be with them (choir practice is at the same time) and has done SO many other things to be the godly leader to them!  I'm soooo thankful for him!
Jordan also has godly relatives.  He has two Grandfathers in Christian work and a great Uncle who has invested tons of time in him.  He's so blessed!

Jordan also has many close brothers.  During Jordan's years, he's seen many changes in our lives (moves from Virginia to Michigan to Maryland to Maine to PA) and has seen many brothers born into our home.  He's a great example to them and loves them dearly.  

I'm so thankful for our first born and how the Lord has blessed us with him!