Thursday, December 1, 2011


One thing I love about this time of year,
is all the memories!

I put up our Christmas decorations Monday.
It was a big job.
Usually Jordan does that for me the day after Thanksgiving.
I would go out shopping with my Aunt, sister,
and Mom and it would all be up
when we got back.
This year was different in many ways.
We, for the first time, didn't have Thankgiving here.
This year we went to Maine and celebrated
with Mark's parents.
It was a nice change.

Jordan also started working full time this year
so he wouldn't have had time to put them up, unless
he did them on Saturday.

Anyway, I ended up putting them up without much help
(although some tried!).

Each box I opened, memories came pouring out.

Painted gourds by my sister,
village pieces I've gathered over the years.
Many, many nativities- some made,
some given and some gathered from family and friends.

This is one of the nativities my father gave me.

I got the trees last year at an antique store with my Mom.
I love how they go with the wise men.


I got this snowglobe while out with some friends in Maine.
We had just moved there and we went out to eat with
a couple from the church.
This one always reminds me of that night.


Every year since it entered our home, this one has
been watched and touched endlessly!

There are four wisemen that circle
the manger scene.

The boys like to collect nut crackers.
These are some of them on the piano.


And this is the window over the kitchen sink.
Some of my favorites are here.

Snowmen I got on an outing with my Mom,
pine trees and a glass bird from friends from church
and other snowmen from our years in Maine.

One Christmas, I was out shopping with my sister.
She liked this ornament so I got
it for her.
Only, some how it got broken.
I glued to back together but didn't end up
giving it to her.
So now it sets by one of Addan's
lost teeth.
I think of her when I see it.

Tonight we start a new memory.
The guys have been so excited to start it!

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Scrap Metal

Jordan took a load of scrap metal down
to the scrap yard Saturday morning.

Our property is about 30 acres.  It's in the shape
of a rectangle, the longer sides being the back
of the land and along the road front.
Way out back, along the edge of the land
is tons of junk.
All kinds of trash!
Old shoes, bottles, tires, and lots of metal.
Washing machines, refrigerators, tons of
car pieces and even way up, on the top of the
hill in the corner of the land, is an old school

Jordan has been talking to his coworkers about
the scrap yard.  The men all gather
metal scraps for some extra money.
So he tried it this past Saturday. 

The scrap yard closed at 11:30am, and it
was 11 when he called, so he quickly loaded some brothers
 and headed down.
God is so good, the place is quite close by,
about 15 minutes away, on back roads.

When he got home, his younger brothers ran
inside, excited to tell us how much money
Jordan got! 
"He got a FIFTY dollar bill!"
They were so excited.
He actually got $56.
When Jordan came in, he opened my fella's
drawer in the kitchen and put the money inside.
I asked why he was putting it there.
He said it was Dad's since it's on his land.
My fella heard and told him to keep it, but he wouldn't.
So he kept the $6 for gas and we put
the rest of the money towards a mission's
trip the oldest two and my fella
are taking in January.

Well, this little trip, totaling $56 has stirred
up alot of commotion!
I can hear bangs of metal being thrown
around when I step outside.
Piles and wheel barrel loads of metal
are being pulled from the woods.

Stories of all that is found is excitedly told too!
Two car hoods, a Mustang hubcap, a
round washing machine, a huge ice
chest, car engines and tons of other metal objects.

Today Hunter had me take him down and bring
his finds to the scrap yard.
(This was NOT my thing, I could not back the trailor
up into this tiny spot where we were to unload!
Thankfully one of the workers did it for me.)
Hunter made $67 today.

Brendan is loading the trailor for the next
trip to be taken.
He's being a little more particular.
He's trying to find only aluminum, as you get more per
pound.  He checks with a magnet.

It's nice to have our land cleaned up
and a way for the boys to make some spending money.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Trap

Today was a laid back Saturday.
We were all home most of the day together.
This evening, we were gathering cards
to play a game.
From somewhere, a mouse trap ended up
on the table.
Luke began setting and snapping it shut with
a pencil, card or other object.
Jordan challenged Luke to set it off with his finger.

"Watch, it's easy!"
Jordan said as he carefully set it off and
we watched nervously.

Luke reset it, with his older brothers challenging
him to touch it.
Luke would very cautiously start to touch it,
with them coaxing him to touch it.

it would go off with them yelling, "Chicken!"
as he set it off with his pencil again.

Jordan set it and touched it ever
so quickly again, making me get so nervous!

This would cause Luke to again, reset it and try to
muster up some courage.
I got so nervous watching Luke, I had to leave the room.

Boys are very strange creatures!
This to me was torture, yet the competitive
nature and being challenged by
your brothers was enough to
make you stick your finger onto a loaded trap.

Luke never set it off with his finger.
Maybe some time he'll be brave enough to
conquer the trap and then challenge
his younger brothers.

What fun memories we made as
we sat watching the antics, nervously
laughing at Luke!
There's a clown in every family, can you
guess who our's is???

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple War

A couple weeks ago, the boys
and I joined my parents on our annual vacation
at Shiloh camp ground on Hatch Lake, NY.

Mark, Jordan, Uncle Al, Aunt Rosie,
Uncle Rich and Judy joined us too
later in the week.

It's always a highlight of the year for us.

The last day we were there, Dave,
the camp director
took us all hiking over the many acres
of woods to find apples.
We filled bags, coolers, buckets and pockets
with the many apples.

I spent many days putting the apples
away in the freezer and in jars on the shelves.

There were still 3 buckets on the back porch today.
I went outside and tossed one at Tim up by the shed.
That was all it took, a full hour long
apple war broke out.

"Teams" were formed, Luke and I together against
Brendan, Tim, Silas and Addan.

Luke and I were at a disadvantage of throwing up hill.
I used my hood for protection.

Hunter came and went as it was lunch time and food
seemed more important than dodging
fast whizzing apples.

What a fun lunch break!
Be sure to wear protection if you drop by for lunch :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting Ready for Spring

This is the view from out the window above
the sink. 

I am so thankful for a window above the sink!
I often find myself just going to the window
and looking out.
Other times I'm there for the not so fun job of
conqering the pile of pots and pans
but being able to view the garden while I work is
so nice!

This little spot in front of the fence is
a perfect spot for herbs.
I used oodles of herbs this late summer while
making sauce.  It was handy having the boys
run down to the garden  and grab some but it would
of been better if the herbs were
closer to the house.

I also love, love, love tulips!
They bring so much sunshine and bright color in the
I grabbed a pack of 30 bulbs the last time I was
out shopping but they've been sitting
on the counter waiting for me to plant them.

Tim is a morning person.
He gets up with Mark, makes his breakfast
and then does school all by himself.
Tim is a very pokey person so I think he likes
the quiet and being able to set his own pace
to do things.

This morning, he finished school early so I gave him
the job of planting my tulips.
He enjoyed this job and did a great job.

It's such a blessing having so many different personalities
 in our home.
Now when the snow has melted and the days
begin to get warmer and the tulips
are in full bloom, I'll
think of Tim and remember his hard work for me.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Life Verse

Do you have a life verse?
I've often thought about that for myself.
What is my life verse?

The last few years, I Corinthians 10:31 has been
a verse I've thought about alot.
It gives me encouragement when I don't feel
like doing something.

"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink,
or whatsoever ye do,
do ALL to the glory of God."

The emphasis on "all" is mine.

Having eight sons and no daughters can get
overwhelming at times.
I try real hard not to focus on that or look
at other families that have daughters to help.

For awhile, we were watching the Duggar's shows.
They're a great family and a great testimony.
At times, though, I found myself comparing our lives.
This was VERY wrong of me!!!
It was mainly in one area of my life.

I often feel like my whole life is just doing this one thing
and I get little breaks from it to do other things.
Of course, that's not true but some times it
sure feels that way!!

Then I'd watch the Duggar's show or I read in her
book that she doesn't even do this job!
She has a daughter or two who do ALL this job for her!
Man, talk about nice!
(oops, my bad attitude is coming out! Sorry.)

So I had to change my focus.
I think about each person in our family as I do it.
Thinking and praying for them.
Or I'd remember the cause for using the item.

This is the task I'm talking about

The lovely task of keeping up with the laundry!

So I try to recruit help when I can but most days
the help is gone to work.
I'm noticing as the boys get older, they're home
less and less and I'm back to having
a house filled with young boys.

While I fold the table clothes,
I think of the fun memories we made
eating supper outside.
Hearing the young boys yell,
"Dad, we're eating out here!
Come! See.", as
he pulled up the driveway from work.

Things become a matter of focus for me.
Am I doing the task at hand to get it done,
am I having a bad attitude,
or can I do this to the glory of God?

I'm so thankful for God's Word and how it encourages me-
even with Monday's laundry!

It's so nice to look down the hall and see this.

An empty hamper!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Fighting and Bad Attitudes

Only by pride cometh contention
Proverbs 13:10

The blog world can paint a very pretty of
our homes.
You can't hear the quarreling and pride
that is in the home at times.
Our home is NO exception! 
There is often arguing, voices raised and
mean spirits. 
It is nothing to be proud of but a very
sad truth when dealing with sinful people.

My fella is often quoting the above verse in Proverbs.
It helps to see the root of most issues: pride!
Pride is a very wicked and gross sin.
Sadly, it's in our home.

The other night was a very vivid example.

My fella and I went out to eat and run a couple
of errands for youth group.
When we came home, you could hear
arguing and demanding of rights.
"It's MY turn!"
"You're so selfish!"
"It's NOT fair!!!"
(Boy, do I hate that one!  What in life is fair?  Who says
anyone has a right of things being fair!?!?!")

 A few years ago, the boys put all their Christmas 
 gift cards together
and bought a Wii.
We thought it would be a good break for long winter
days or when we go out.
The time on the Wii is very monitored so when they
get to play, it's very exciting to them.

So, as we walked in the door and could see the
arguing was due to who's time it was to play
and who gets to go next, etc and etc,
my fella shut it down and said NO MORE!!!
He told them no more Wii until they
together could sit down and write
down their commitments of using the Wii
together with a God-honoring spirit.

Last night the boys had their meeting.
My fella and I sat in the living room talking and
I could hear them discussing their
rules together.
It was SO cute.
Jordan wrote down the rules they together agreed upon.
Titus was quick to put all his advice in.
Then together they prayed to be
sensitive and do right.
It blessed my heart to see their spirits
and willingness to do this together.

We'll see how it works.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Wonderful Heritage

Children's children
are the crown
of old men.
Proverbs 17:6

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wormpit, Wood and WOW!

This afternoon I was canning some more sauce
when Tim came excitedly into the kitchen.
He exclaimed that he fixed his fishing pole for
our Shiloh trip.

Every fall we go with my parents for a week
to Hatch Lake in NY.
It's one of our favorite vacations
(my favorite!!!).

Together we decided we should build a wormpit
to build up the supply of worms
to bring fishing with us.

I cleaned up the kitchen and headed out to help
It's a gorgeous day:  sunny with a gentle breeze.
This is just perfect weather!

We got our bucket to house our worms and
started digging up some dirt.
I went to my garden and cleared out a spot.
It was the old bean patch.
I turned over the dirt and grabbed any worms I spotted.

Right next to the rows of beans, I planted some gourds.
This was a new gourd variety to me.
I love planting gourds.  They're easy and so
fun to watch grow.

This summer totally passed me by and I didn't look at the
gourd plants since they were baby plants.
I strolled over to the plants and was totally
amazed by what I saw!

These are the other gourds I have growing for my
sister.  I enjoyed
watching these
grow right along
the tomatoes plants.She does some
great painting
and ornament making with them.

But these I found today just totally wowed me!!!

Look how big this one is!  Mind you, I wasn't
"blessed" with tiny feet.  I have size 10 feet.

These gourds are huge!  Maybe Tonya will have to make
bowls or basket type things out of these.
She's very creative so it'll be fun to see what she
does with them.

It'll also be fun to see how many are out there.

The woodpile is coming along nicely.
Now I need to go get some carrots to go with supper.

How is your garden coming?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Old Maple

Our property had two nice trees out back
when we bought this land.
We built our patio out back,
knowing the two trees would help shade the area.

Two years ago, we noticed our maple started to die.
One side of the tree died first and then the next
year the other half started to die.
This year it was totally dead.
It was so sad, it was also the
tree that the boys liked to climb and swing from.

This is my new breakfast and coffee break spot.

I could see the ole maple while sipping my coffee.

This is the view I'd see while sipping.  The maple tree is beyond
the garden, right over the fence.

This past week, my fella started the project of cutting it down.
It'll keep us warm this winter.

It became a family affair.
Everyone was out watching as the tree got cut.

Finally after much cutting and persuading, the ole tree came down.

She didn't come down quite where was planned.
We're so very thankful for God's protection on our family
as we do projects together like this.

On another note.
Our area here has been hit by terrible flooding.
My fella hasn't had school for the last two days as his
school building was  flooded and roads around
the school have been washed out.

Two towns where he does windows were under water.
One shop owner has three places where he does their windows.
of those was a furniture shop and another a carpet store.
My fella's been doing their windows for years.
The shop was under 8 feet of water.
So sad to think of all the damage around us!

Yesterday Jordan and the crew he works with helped
a local farmer who was touched by the flooding.
His milk barn was flooded badly so he had to
move his milk cows to another farm to be milked.
The crew helped load the cows into trucks, unload the cows,
milk them and then move them to another
farm where they'll be kept until the
original farmer's farm is back in shape.
It was interesting hearing Jordan tell the story of all the
work involved and how the cows were all very
nervous about being moved so much.

I'm so thankful to be in a community that Jordan can have
a part in helping others in need.  This farmer has given us
meat in the past.
  When Jordan got to the farm, the farmer
asked Jordan who he was.  Jordan told him who he was
and the farmer said something to the affect, "Oh, a Philbrick boy."

It touches my heart to see how the Lord uses our family
to help those around us.  What a joy to begin to see our
"arrows" go out from us and hit the mark with helping
and blessing others.

"As arrows are in the hand of a mighty
man; so are children
of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver
full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but
they shall speak
with the enemies in the gate."
Psalm 127:4 and 5

Friday, September 9, 2011

Science and Grammar

This is our 14th year of home schooling
our boys.
I can not believe how quickly this time has flown.
It hardly seems that so many years
have passed since I was sitting in our little
school room in Maryland
teaching Jordan to read.
Now Jordan is working full time building
homes with a crew.
This is also the last time I'll teach one of
the boys to read.

He woke up real early and excited to start school!

It's sad but also very fulfilling to know when I hear
them reading, it's from time we spent together.

This year, I wanted to get a science curriculum that
we all enjoyed.  In the past, their science
involved many different experiments and things
we didn't have in the home.
It got frustrating for the boy trying to do the experiment
and for me as I often didn't feel prepared
for the task at hand.
And then, it would be increasingly frustrating
if all the boys had different experiments each week.

So I searched and researched for a science that
we could do together and one that didn't
require too many supplies.

I love this year's course.
I know the boys are enjoying it too and that
makes all the differnce in our day.
When I call them all for their science,  three excited boys come
running to the table (literally!).
I've heard them say it's their favorite subject too,
which brings a smile to my heart.

This project was showing the four seasons.
We glued the "frames" and added four trees.
Each tree was decorated to show the four seasons.

I also use this time to do our grammar together.
I'm sure they're all getting it and the grading
and checking is done together.
I'm doing Tim, Luke and Silas together.
It's a fourth grade course.
I wasn't too sure about Tim getting it as it's a grade above him.

Yesterday I gave them a quiz on the prepostions, subject
and verb of each sentence. 
Tim was the last one done with the quiz
(he's very methodical and pokey),
but he got a perfect score.  I don't really care about the
score but just that is shows he understands so far.

It has been so much nicer to have these two subjects
together.  It's six less individual books I have
to check each day.
But better yet, it's building great times together
and they love this learning time.
I actually hear, "How much longer until
science and grammar, Mom?".