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?".

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Walk After the Rain

Our area got lots of rain the last few weeks.
It rained a steady hard rain all day
Our ride to church was very exciting: roads covered
with water, bridges
being closed, fields flooding
and the wipers flying back and forth over the
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous
seeing the water going over the bridge right next to us.

This morning I went outside to check the peeps.
They were all warm and dry, ready for me to bring them
some feed.

I could hear the stream out back and was
curious to how big it had gotten.
Just three days ago, it was totally dry and just
a path of where it had once run .

Three guys joined me on my walk.

This is the path out to the field.

They stopped and got some milk weed pods to
race down the swollen stream.

The closer we got,
the louder we could hear the water.

"Quick! Grab it!"

Someone slipped when he was
trying to jump across the bridge.

What fun memories made this morning before school.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Son's Gift

Jordan has been working full time since he graduated.
His boss has two houses he's building right now.
One is nearly done and the other is part way
done.  Yesterday the second house was going
to have some cement poured.
Jordan said he'd have to leave a little earlier if it wasn't raining.
When he got up though, it was raining.
 He left without me knowing which house he
was working on.
I'm always curious about where he is each day.
I also like to know where my fella is doing windows
each day.  I guess I like to know
so when I think about them during the day, I can "see"
at least what location it is in my mind.

When Jordan got home yesterday, I began
to ask my normal questions,

"What did you do today?"
"Where were you working?"
"Anything interesting happen?"
"Were all the men working with you today?"
"Did Josh say anything funny today?"

Yesterday Jordan told me he was working at the "new" job.
His boss bought a fixer-upper to resell or rent.
Jordan was there helping gut it out.
He ran back out to his truck and brought in some
paintings he found in the attic.
He asked me if I liked any.
I could tell the way he asked, he was hoping he'd found
me a treasure.
I did like one.
I excitedly ran up the stairs and grabbed a frame.
This past week I was at my parent's.  My
Mom and I went to yard sales the last day.
I saw some frames I really liked at one sale. I hemmed and hawed
(is that how you spell it?)
as I have so many frames saved for the some time I may need them.

One of the frames I got fit the painting perfectly!
I was so excited and I think Jordan was too.

I cleaned up the frame and picture and hung it up.
What fond memories when I see it
in the living room.

I'll always think of Jordan when I see the
picture, knowing he was thinking
of me with his treasure.