Monday, January 31, 2011

A New Name in Glory

There's a new name written down in glory,
And it's mine,
O yes, it's mine!
And the white-robed angels sing the story,
"A sinner has come home."
For there's a new name written down in glory,
And it's mine,
O yes, it's mine!
With my sins forgiven I am bound
for Heaven,
Nevermore to roam.

Yesterday afternoon, Jordan was singing a hymn.  The words talked about
being saved.
Addan blurted out to me,
"Mom, I'm not saved!"
I asked why he wasn't.
He replied, "Because I haven't prayed yet."
I asked him if he wanted to and he said he did.

I knew my fella had been sharing and sharing with him.
My fella told Addan when he felt ready, to let him know.

So this evening after our family devotions, my fella took
Addan aside and talked with him.

As parents, we've never "pressured" or pushed the
boys to pray for salvation.  We know children will do things
to please their parents or because they see
other children doing it.
We've taught and explained, then when they were "ready," we'd
be happy to lead them.   What a blessing to see
child-like faith!

What joy to hear Addan come to me after praying with my fella
and say, "Mom, I just got saved!"

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lots of Tea

This weekend our church is hosting a Sportsman's Banquet.
I was asked to be in charge of the meal.
I absolutely love doing things like this!

When I asked what the drink on the menu was going to be, I was told iced tea.
BUT not the mix type, they preferred brewed tea.

Yesterday I started that project.
How many gallons of tea do you make for 125 men??

First, pots of water were put on the woodstove to heat up.

Once I got started on the project, I had all kinds of helpers.
First the glass gallon jars were gathered from the basement
and then washed.

Each jar was filled with 13 tea bags.

Little hands removed the paper wrappers.

 Addan helped Titus count to 13 (or close to it) :)

This is such hard work tearing the papers off and not losing
track of how many teabags I put in my jar!

The jars filled with tea bags waited by the sink for the next pot of
hot water.

Then the jars will filled with hot water and sugar to sweeten.
14 gallons of yummy tea are sitting by the door, ready to go to
church tonight.
Such fun memories working together with my little guys!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hat and Sock Cuff

I so enjoy each week joining Ginny on her Yarn Alongs.  It motivates me to get some work done.

This week I finished the hat I started last week. 

Oh the socks!  What a trial!   I started a sock last week (in last week's Yarn Along) and it was such a pain!  I asked a knitting friend and she suggested using different yarn.
So I switched to sport weight yarn.
It's going much better!  (I was using fingering weight and it just seemed so much harder.  The first try I knitted a row with the tail.  The second try I knitted one row backwards.  I finally screamed and quit that wretched sock!!! )   I still can't figure out how to fix a dropped stitch (I think
that's what I'm doing wrong) so I have a little hole in one spot, ugh!  But no way am I starting over :)  These will be for me so I don't care about the little imperfections. 
I WILL finish a pair of socks, even if it makes me grey! :)

Our Pastor gave my fella and I book to read for our Sunday School classes.  My husband teaches the older teen boys and I do the girls.  It's been fun working together like that.  I'm SO excited about this new book.  We may be using it soon for our lessons each week.  It's a very practical book with many helpful lessons geared for their ages.  I'm so thrilled about it.

The other book, The Believer,  I'm still reading for leisure to put me to sleep each night.  I find if I read it helps calm my mind and puts me to sleep.  Although, this week has been rough.  I've been waking up all hours of the night thinking about this weekend.  I'm helping at church with a Sportsman's Dinner and I wake up all hours remembering things I have to remember to do.   Next week will be peaceful sleep again :)  BUT I love it!  I absolutely enjoy this type of work!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

No Thankyou List

James 4:17
Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth
it not, to him it is sin.

Life is back to somewhat a normal routine.
No more travelling, holidays, parties and cookie exchanges.
We ate horrible during the days of Nov-Jan. 
Cakes, candy,chips, dips, sugar and more sugar!

I've been so motivated to get us back on track with our meals.
I've been throwing candy out just about every day.
So much candy is given to the boys.
I've taught them to nicely say, "No thankyou" but I think
that gets hard to do over and over again each week to friends and teachers
at church.  So they bring it home and I've been throwing it out.

Yesterday my Beeyoutiful winter catalog came.  Oh, I love it when it comes!
I took it to bed with me and couldn't wait to jump in.
The very first article was so good!
The author talked about their family's journey into better eating and
thus better health.

She talked about an easy way to start. Read ingredient labels.  It may be easy to
find these bad
ingredients but you'd be suprised at how many products
we regularly eat that
these are in.  The boys have learned to read ingredient labels and warn me when
the BAD things are in them!

The list is:
* MSG (monosodium glutamate and all its secret cousins
like yeast extract, autolyzed or hydrolyzed soy protein, spice extract, to name a few)

* Nitrates or nitrites

*High fructose corn syrup

*Artificial colors

*The massive list of preservatives

*Soy products (this one is on my own list)

Pretty much everything not made by scratch has one or many of these in them.
I just checked our ketchup bottle, it has high fructose corn syrup.  BAD! 
Shame on me and we use alot of ketchup!

This is one of my huge goals this year.   I want to make all our own tomato
products from tomatoes I grow.  Salsa, sauces, ketchup, pizza sauce, etc.

This past week, I got together with two of my friends and we
discussed our garden plans and ideas.
It was so fun sitting with all our seed catalogs and comparing veges
we hoped to grow and stock our shelves with.
I said I want to grow 50 tomato plants.
I found a tomato seed that said they all yield at the same time. That would be
convenient, all the tomatoes ripe and ready at once.  Oh, but all the work
at once too!

 It made us all 
 laugh, my 50 plants and ALL the tomatoes I'd be processing!
Oh, to have Amish friends and can together like they do.

Life is fun with the journey of taking care of our health.  I know
most of the foods we eat are due to my cooking and preparing.  I want
to do right by our family.

I've heard so many say flippantly that they want to eat and enjoy it. They
don't care what it does to their body.
Life is short so why not enjoy my food?!

The problem with that is that is DOES affect those around us.  Our children, grandchildren
and others.  When we eat unhealthy, we usually leave this world with a struggle.
Someone is going to have to tend to us while we're sick and dying.
I want to die from just old age.  No struggle.  Just peacefully die in my sleep.
There's no guarantee for this but I want to do my best to take care of
myself and our  family so we can serve the Lord to our fullest with good health!

I Corinthians 6:19 &20
What!  Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which
is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in
your spirit, which are God's.

Monday, January 24, 2011

"Free" Heat

This morning, when I finally pulled myself out of the covers to brave the chilly air,
the thermometer read -4 degrees.
Thankfully my fella loaded up the stove before he left.  It didn't feel
too cold in here.  I did keep my 3 layers on, which helped.

The thermometer above is outside the kitchen window.
This was taken at noon.  It's not supposed to get out of the teens today.
Yikes, that's cold!

 This morning, Timothy bundled up, ran down and fed and
 watered his chickens.
Shortly after, he ran down again to gather some eggs
for Jordan.  He wanted some eggs when he got  home from work.
They were already beginning to freeze.

Not even Boomer likes to be out in this cold.  He
normally is an outside dog and prefers to be out.  But even he can't
stand to be out in this cold.

Days like today, I'm especially thankful for our "free" heat!
We're able to get wood to heat us all winter long right off our own land.
This is such a blessing in so many ways!

The boys have learned to work hard gathering, cutting, splitting and hauling
it to the lean-to and then to the house.

We don't have a heat bill.

Cozy memories are made gathering around the woodstove.
Titus and Addan run next to the woodstove right from their baths.
They'll be huddled close together, each wrapped in their towel, talking away
to eachother while warming and drying themselves off.

Wet snowsuits, hats and mittens are dried off for their next use
by the stove.

Even cooking can be done on the woodstove.

I love wood heat!

What a tremendous blessing the woodstove is!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jordan's New Ruffle

I got Jordan some of those things that you put
under the bed legs to raise the bed.
Extra space is always a blessing in our home!
This way he could store more things under his bed.

This made the box spring look extra hideous.
But the floor underneath his bed got cleaned and vaccumed!
I got the idea to make a bed ruffle.
I've never done this before so I was clueless.

I started a quilt for him and never finished so I got that fabric and
cut it into squares.  This fabric
is also the fabric I used to make his curtains so
it was nice that it would match.

A friend I saw this summer gave me lots of fabric too. 
I was able to use a bunch of that.
Thankyou Mercy!

Jordan helped me iron and cut the big pieces once they
were sewn.

It was fun working with Jordan.

The real fun part was putting it on his bed!

Jordan spends lots of time on his bed.  Reading,  practising guitar and wrestling
with Titus.  I like it higher and it's new "ruffle."

This was Titus this morning.  He looked
so cozy!  Had to take some pictures.
Notice the little scratches.  They're from running into
prickers while sledding.
The life of a little boy :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Sister's Prayers

It's always the simple, unexpected things in my life that make me smile.

Last night after church, a dear friend said she
had something for me.
She gave this picture to me.

I commented how much I liked it and asked if she framed it.
(She has signed the back so I was curious if she had framed it).

She started to explain that it was her Mom's.  Then
she started to just cry and cry.

Her Mom had a step-sister.  The two sisters were not allowed
to be with eachother while they were growing up.
One sister lived in CA and the other in NY.
She explained how the two tried to be close
through correspondence.
My friend's Mom loved her sister and it broke
her heart to not be close to her.
She said she loved her sister and prayed for her and loved her
Then my friend cried and she felt that way about me.
She loved me  and prayed for me!
I was so humbled and honored she'd feel that way
for me!
I was totally shocked and started to cry with her.
What a sweet, precious memory she shared with ME!

I hung it over my dresser.  When I see it I'll think of a
dear friend that is praying for me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goals and Socks


I've been thinking alot about setting some goals for this year.

So I got my devotion journal out and wrote them down so I'd
remember them.

Some are pretty basic,
some are lofty,
and some are just basic reminders.

Here is my list on the book I'm reading now. 

I also started another hat.   I'm not sure what it is with me and
hats.  I love making them!
Maybe because they are easy enough for me and I
can finish them.
I have a poncho started for myself and it seems
so huge a project that it's not motivating for me to work on.
BUT it's super easy so it's a project I can take when I don't 
have to pay attention to what I'm doing.

This is one of the things on my list of goals.


One of the whole reasons I started to knit was to knit a pair of socks.
I love socks! 
One of my favorite kinds is the mismatched socks I got 
while on vacation in Maine.
The socks were so fun and had such super fun colors.
I instantly fell in love with them and knew I had to learn to knit
so I could knit some instead of buy them! 

I've been reading and reading the books over and over again.
I've watched lessons on Youtube.
Yikes, it still seems so overwhelming to me.
A gusset,  a heel, connecting the sides, ribbing.
Makes me shy away and just read about it.

BUT last night I got the yarn and needles out and cast on the
64 stitches.
I did two rows this morning while Addan read his words.

(He's been the hardest one to teach to read so far!  He just can't
seem to get the short e sound.  He says the short a sound instead.
Practise, practise, practise!)

I sure hope this is one of the goals I'll be able to master this year!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Planning and Work

Our church gave out calendars for the whole year.
This created talk and planning in our own home.  We know we want to have a
get-together to celebrate Jordan finishing his schooling this spring.

The church directory, our address book and a notepad were brought out.
We know how we to have it~ a short time of sharing by his Pastor, Grandfathers (if
they both can come) and then my fella.  Then sharing, eating and games.

So the first thing was who to invite.  We want this to be a special time for Jordan
so just the men who had a part of his life and their families are the ones who
were added to the list.

This was such a blessing!  So many men the Lord has blessed Jordan with.
As we talked over each person, Jordan would comment on what that man has done
for or with him.  He commented on more than one man that he considers his friend.

Some new names have been mentioned in our home lately.  These are the
men Jordan works with each day.



This new oppurtunity for both Jordan and Brendan has been such a HUGE
answer to our prayers!  We knew Jordan had a natural
 interest in working
with his hands and building.  The contractor's name was mentioned often
how it would be so great if Jordan could learn from him. 
God has worked
it all out and Jordan's learning so much.

Each day he gets home, I ask him what he did that day.
Today he helped hang the siding on the outside of the house.
Yesterday he was hanging the dry wall.

The days they work all day, a lunch is brought with them.  I asked them where they all eat.
The last time they all sat in the basement together eating and sharing
funny stories.  Jordan and Brendan come home retelling the stories to us.
What a great time of building memories with other Christian men.

They have also started playing basketball with some men associated
through my fella's school where he teaches.
Other men teachers, a Pastor from a local church and other
men.  Great to see the boys develop friendships and spread their
wings .  God is so good!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Magnet and a Wooden Box

For some reason, I like to organize and tidy the home on Mondays.

Maybe because the weekend is always so busy and we're not home much
on Sundays.  I'm not sure, but it seems to be that way with me.

I've been doing laundry all day today.  I cleaned
off the dryer top.  It seems to become a catch-all for the pantry/laundry
room.  It was piled high with all kinds of clutter.

Now it's nice and tidy (well, almost!).

These are some of the things laying on the dryer next to the washers.

A book of matches~ found in a boy's pocket.  Must of been building a fire
out by his fort or maybe for burning the boxes in the burn pit.

A squeegie rubber~ My fella must of changed his blade to get
the windows squeaky clean.

A blue policeman~ a little treasure that must of fallen out a pocket.

Long, strong magnet~  This is actually  my  "tool".  Often I find little bb's
at the bottom of the washing machine.  The bb's fit right into the little
drain holes in the bottom.  I tried and tried to grab them and get them out but that
was much too difficult for my fingers.  This magnet gets them out with one quick
swipe around the bottom  of the washer.

Bullet shell~  memories of the last time we shot the targets together.

Hair Clippers~  these are used often in our home so they are right
where they are easy to find!

Oh, the treasures and reminders of the boys in my life!

From cleaning the dryer off, I reorganized one of the school shelves.
Addan was reading his list of words to me while I tidied up and restocked the shelf.

The wooden box holding the supplies has fond memories
My Grandmother had two hip surgeries, so getting in and out of her car was difficult.
My Grandfather would put a box by the door for her to stand on
so she could get in the car easier.
This is the box he used.  It looks real old and I love knowing it was
from them.

All the pencils and glues were in one big plastic tub.  It was all organized and I
knew where the stuff was but it looked sloppy.
I love seeing the room more tidy,,, for some reason it makes me feel calm when
my house is neat.

Memories while cleaning and organizing are such sweet treats to a
hum-drum job!

I'm linking today with Susan,Rory and Tiff.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rollerskating, Snow and Games

 This past Monday, six of the boys and I went to my parent's to go rollerskating with
them and their church.
Jordan and Brendan had to stay home to work. 
This was the first trip to leave them home with them driving themselves
to work each day.  That was in the back of my mind each day.
I prayed for them each time I thought of it.  This is a whole new
part of parenting and it's kind of nerve-wracking.
I didn't fret much as they were babies; I find myself
"worrying" more as they drive around.
So many seasons of life.

"Quick, a picture with the Grandparents before we leave to skate!"

On our way, we stopped at my sister's for lunch.  Violet came
back with us to my parent's and then we met up with my sister at the
rink.  The cousins like every second they can get together!

Grandpa, Violet and Luke

A quick snack in the food area.

Titus and Levi are such cute buddies!

As soon as we got there, Titus wanted to skate. 
He quickly got his skates on and off he went.

Clang, clang, clang as the boys ran around the edge.
It was more of a run than a slide in the skates.
Such great fun together!
"Titus, wait for me!"

  God is so good to give me a sister
who is also one of my most bestest friends!  What
a true blessing!!!
She makes me laugh.  She's so funny!

The whole gang doing silly faces.

We were going to come home Wednesday morning but we got snowed in!
Such coziness, sitting by the fire watching the snow fall.

Grandpa shoveling the driveway while Addan and Titus sledded.

My Mom loves games!  She will play just about
any game.
Here she is playing Qwirkle with Tim and Addan.
We played Dominoes, cards, Rummikub over and over!
Such fun times, every second making memories.

We safely arrived home Thursday.
So good to come home to all my sweet guys.
Jordan and Brendan had the house spotless.
My fella made supper.
Brendan had ALL the laundry caught up (including folded and put away!)

Life is good! :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Skating by Candle Light

Because yesterday was the day Jordan and Brendan worked all day, the boys went skating
in the dark last night.

J and B just had their skates sharpened so they were so anxious
to try them out.  The first day with sharp skates and they're not home.
That's ok, we'll get all our flash lights, our glowing ball and candles.

I ran down to see how it was going.
I remember a time in my life when I would of been the one skating!
My childhood home in CT had 3 little ponds.
I spent hours and hours on that ice!  I loved to skate.
As soon as I got off the school bus, my skates were on and I
was gliding across the ice.

When I look out and see the boys skating, I remember those times.
I would love to skate with them but fear and household duties
limit that.
I'm so afraid to fall and break an arm or worse.
It takes so much time to bundle up and get those skates on so I rarely join them.

Maybe tomorrow, since there's no school.

My fella and I took a quick walk to the end of the road while the
boys skated and played hockey.
Kind of cozy walking in the dark, snow falling and hearing the muffled voices of the
boys and skates swooshing on the ice.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's Inevitable

Maybe it's the new year.   Maybe it's hearing about resolutions.  Maybe it's hormones.
I'm not sure
But I've noticed alot of change in our lives lately.
Some I like, some I have to accept.

Both Jordan and Brendan got glasses this past year.
They both started college courses.
They both have their own vehicles.
They both got jobs outside the home.
They both shave!
Ugh, they're growing up!  It happened sooooo quickly!

Addan's learning to read. 
Only one left to teach to read.

Preparations are already being started for Jordan's graduation ceremony and party.

I'm starting a new Sunday School class.  I've taught the 2 and 3 year olds for a few years now. 
It was a very comfortable class for me.
I've been asked to teach older teen girls. Yikes, that's NOT comfortable for me.

And the worst change I've noticed is I'm losing my organized, calm, rational part of my brain.
I think when I turned the dreaded 40,
some of it left!

Yesterday was a cruel reminder.

Wednesday is music lesson day/grocery shopping day.

We left the house on time! Yeah!
I dropped Jordan off with the other 3 for piano lessons.  (Jordan and Brendan alternate weeks to add Luke to the lesson day, two hours is long enough
to have 4 Philbrick boys in her house!)

When I dropped them off for piano, I wrote the check for their lessons and realized it was the last check!
Ugh!  It was the first week of the month, so I had to
pay Jordan's guitar teacher too.

After I dropped Jordan off,  I headed to town to drop Brendan off.
Mark was removing the Christmas paintings on all the shop windows.
The town hires him to remove them.  He needed Brendan's help to get them done quicker.
I then headed to the bank to deposit Jordan's check and get him some cash.
I also withdrew money from the ATM machine for guitar lessons.

I then went back to get Jordan.
I dropped him off for guitar lessons and went to WalMart and Tractor Supply (chicken feed).

Jordan was done, got him and went to Aldi's.
While ringing up the huge cart of groceries, I grabbed my bank card and started to slide it in the machine.
I was thinking, I don't remember when the looks of the card changed...
and then it hit me.  It was the WRONG card!
The right card was gone!!! 
Man,  my nerves started to fly!!  Where was my card???
Oh no!!  I left it in the bank machine!

I quickly ran ouside, borrowed Jordan's cash (so thankful for "loaded" sons!), and
paid for the groceries!

I then had to run back to the bank.  This was SO stressful because we had to leave 45 minutes
earlier for church that night, to stop and pick up Brendan's new glasses.
I knew I was already pressed for time and now my air-headedness was making me run back to the bank.

I ran into the bank and asked the teller if she could get it.
She looked so annoyed. I'm sure she was wondering how someone could be SO stupid to
forget their card in the machine!
After filling out paperwork, I finally left for home with groceries, my bank card, and some of my brain
still in tact.

I frantically made supper and we left on time!  Wow!  But man, was it ever stressful!
Brendan got his new glasses and was so amazed at how his 
"new" world looks! 

I sure hope this is the worst it's going to get!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Yarn Along

I finished it yesterday!
I had an audience as I worked.

"What IS she doing?"
"Is that a leg?"
"Where's the face, Mom?"

Soon a doll appeared.

"Who is THAT for?"

I wasn't too thrilled with the top of the head.  (I did do something wrong and know for next time) :)

But it was fun and I'm looking forward to his wife/sister being complete.

I also crocheted a hat my niece Kati taught me.  This is after the third attempt.  It still is a little too big but I know how to do it all by myself now :)
(I had too keep asking Kati along the way.)

I have three small guys in line for their new hat to be made.

As you can see, I'm still reading the same book.  I only read one chapter at night (when I can stay awake) or read it in the morning, if I didn't make it through the whole chapter the night before.  So this one has been slow going.

My days are so busy and have many other things to do that are more important, so for this stage in life,
I limit my "fun" reading time.
I love to read fiction but it can use way too much of my time.
So while my days are still filled with housework and schooling, I set boundaries
on my reading time.

This book has been rather interesting.
  If it's based on facts,, there are some strange people out there!  :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Wintery Wonderland Writings

While were in snowy Maine, I couldn't stop taking pictures of the woods and snow.
  It was so gorgeous.

I knew exactly what I was going to do with all these fun shots.

My Mother-in-law loves Maine. 
She talks like a Main-ah.
She loves the seasons of Maine, but especially the snow of winter!
If they're calling for snow, she hopes for the most!

This was taken of Mom and Dad in 1997
when it stormed while we were
with them for Christmas.

I got my card supplies out this evening and the photos of the
snowy loveliness. 

My mother-in-law is also one of the few people that still writes letters
to her friends.  So I knew what to do just for her.

She will love that the pictures are of Maine but better yet, they
 are of her woods! 

I made a set of 12 cards.  Some are stamped with a saying or verse and some are blank.
Next month is her Birthday.
I just wish I could be there to see her open them.