Sunday, December 1, 2019

Still Feeling Thankful

I hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving! I hope your heart is just overflowing with thankfulness to our Creator God who made everything for us and who sent His Son Jesus to redeem us and give us hope and peace.

We were blessed to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with many of our family and a friend joining us. It was a day of singing of Thanks to the Giver of ALL good gifts, sharing what we are thankful for, preparing and enjoying an abundance of good food, games, laughter, a new baby and lots of love.

Heidi and Lars (niece and nephew) spent a few nights with us before Thanksgiving and the day before we were doing our normal song of the morning (we are just working our way through a hymn book) and our song was one of Thanksgiving. We had fun singing it together and then I suggested to Jonathan that he video it (as he loves to do that anyway) so that I could share it in celebration of Thanksgiving. Here it is, I hope it blesses you some way....

On Thanksgiving Jonathan did some more videoing and here is his compilation of Thanksgiving day. This was taken before the game playing began and before we actually dug into all the food that was prepared (including 15 pies! We did not eat them all. :-) )

 We had a lovely group of 22 people - but one was not yet a month old so she didn't do much eating.

These 3 boys make our lives much fuller. We feel so blessed to have these three nephews living close by and bringing so many smiles to our faces. Candles are for blowing out, are they not?

Speaking of blessings.... Parents/Grandparents that we get to see often, work together with and serve God with in His church. God is so good!
 A game we enjoy is one called the game of "Things". It takes some fun thinking.

 Some of our yummy pies. Though the meal was at our house I by no means did all the work. Everybody pitched in to make things, clean up and do all the work. It makes holidays pretty easy.

 Hanging out and visiting or singing is always fun too.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Sing to the Lord with Thanksgiving!

I just finished reading through the Psalms and was really blessed by some of the verses in chapter 147. I want to share them with you.....

"Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of stars and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make music to our God on the harp.
He covers the sky with clouds;
He supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills.
He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of a man;
the Lord delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love."
Psalm:147: 1,3-11

I find it pretty cool to observe in these words just how observant and concerned God is about everything going on in our world - He takes care of the brokenhearted, He knows everything about every star (that are countless to us), he provides for all the cattle and listens to each little raven when it says it is hungry. 

 He supplies us with everything that we need. How can we not praise Him and thank Him?

God made the horse to run well and he made our legs to work in amazing ways. We can look at either Man or Horse when they race and be completely impressed and realize just how amazing God's work is but that is not what is truly important to God. What he really wants - far beyond us having a strong body - is that we would fear Him and hope in Him.

The idea of fearing God may not be a super popular one right now but it is vitally important. He asks it of us. He loves us and gives us everything that we need but we are asked to fear him. To believe Him and His word and to believe that He is good and merciful but that He is also just and we need to obey. When we choose to do that it is not a horrible, stifling place to be but rather a place of rest and hope. It is a place of fellowship with our Creator God who is full of unfailing love.

  I hope that you have found the joy in fearing and hoping in God.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Plump "New" Pillows

    We own quite a few pillows. One (or so) for each of us of course and then we like to have some for the large groups of company we sometimes host as well. Many of our pillows looked like they have seen better days but as I am not fond of either just throwing things out or going shopping for new things I tried to figure out a plan to remedy the problem. 

I collected our ugly pillows and the ones that were in the wrong shape. First step was to wash them with hot water and send them through the dryer. Then I cut off the old cover and pulled the batting so that they were all fluffed up and in good shape.

   I had been looking in my cloth stash for fabric that would work well for covering them when I remembered that we had an excess of pillowcases anyway. So I took pillow cases that were not part of a set and I turned them inside out and sewed them about an inch and a half smaller on each seam. I cut the excess off and then I turned them right side out again and stuffed the naked pillow in and then I sewed the end up. TA-dah! a lovely "new" pillow.

  They look so much better now and for those that like fluffy pillows they will like their feel better too. Unfortunately I rather like a flat one and now I going to have to work at getting it back to the way I like it. But I do feel so much better about putting these on the beds of company.

    It was a very satisfying project to use things that I already had on hand to fix up items in our house. I just thought I would share the idea in case it was useful for anyone.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Life Lately

 What is going on in you all's lives? Life sure keeps moving on and changing around here - it is fun but it sure does feel like you need to be on your toes and aware so you don't miss something!

   Though I think it would be fun to write many individual posts on different subjects that hasn't been happening very well here lately so this will be a post of many different things that are going on in our lives. A few snapshots of how God has been blessing us..... I wish I could share real snapshots on more of them but my picture taking has been almost non-existent lately so for the most part I'll have to use words.

 A major part of our lives lately has been our involvement in Community Theater. Way back in August Aaron, Megan and I tried out for the Musical "Annie" (Little Orphan Annie). We were picked- Megan as one of the main orphans, Aaron gets to play numerous roles: Dog Catcher, Cordell Hull (A Cabinet member), Secret Service and even Santa Claus. That one is rather funny to us as that is a fairy tale that we have generally avoided in our house. I was chosen to be Mrs. Pugh the cook in Mr. Warbucks' mansion. I also get to play a homeless person in Hooverville. I had not been very acquainted with this musical but we watched it (on Youtube) before trying out. After watching it I discovered that there was quite a bit of swearing in it. I didn't want to be in something like that so I asked the directors about that and they said they wouldn't be leaving that in. For the most part they have done as they said but unfortunately in a couple of places I guess they thought it was part of the story to leave it. For the most part I find the script very interesting and full of true historical details. That is of course up my alley. It isn't perfect but life generally isn't.
 We have generally practiced 3 times a week and we open in 2 weeks. This has been more challenging (I was especially surprised for how I have been challenged musically) and more fun than I expected. It has been fun to better get to know the people in Theater. The kids have done other productions but this was the first one for me.

My Mother-in-law has been able to move into her new house across the street from us this week and that is exciting! After my Father-in-law passed on in December she decided to sell their house and buy the lot across from us and put a house there. She ended up buying a modular home and then has had a garage built onto it. She house sold in June and so a little before that we got her moved over to our place. Most of her stuff went in storage but she had a little camper trailer and a big van with a bed and stuff in it and so she camped out here. She did camp out for much of the summer just using our laundry and bathroom but ended up moving into the house in the last couple of months. I have enjoyed our times of music together (she loves music as much as I do) and our times of spiritual discussions. There also have been challenges with adding a very opinionated person to our quite opinionated household and patience with each other as we dealt with schedules that didn't jibe real well.  As our family works towards having less stuff (still very much a work in progress) I unfortunately think we have a harder time dealing with other people's stuff. Having a lot of stuff added to our household was actually one of the most challenging things for us and we were happy to help her get it moved to her new house. It is going to be so nice and handy to have her just across the road from us, God really blessed in that! One of the things that I especially love about Sharyl is the way she enjoys a good adventure. When I ask her if she wants to go berry picking or take a hike to look for wild foods or anything of that nature - her eyes will light up and if at all possible she will say "yes" and off we will go. Now that Mara is gone from home and as the others get older and move away I will especially be appreciating Sharyl's willingness to go adventuring with me.

New Babies have been a fun part of our life lately. In just a little over a week 3 new babies were born in our church group. One of them is my niece! So we have been working on taking meals and organizing meals and are working to organize a party to celebrate. Babies are such a blessing. For two of the moms their last birth had not gone very well and it was such a blessing that this time it went really well and quite fast. God is so good! The picture above is of Megan with her cousins - Buirlen and Beulah. It is fun that these 3 new babies from church all have middle names that are plants: Ivy, Magnolia and Rose.

Dizziness has been something I have been dealing with lately. It does seem to be getting better so I am pretty thankful about that. Some mornings in the last couple of weeks I would try to get up and just have to lay right back down because I couldn't manage to be up. Sometimes I would just have to steady myself, sometimes I would feel very much like I was going to faint and sometimes I would feel like vomiting. Anyway some days it would last almost all day and then some nights it would be really bad as I would lie down in bed. When I wasn't dizzy I often felt cloudy. Today has been a really good day and I am hoping I am on the mend. I have seen the chiropractor about it and taken some blood tests. It possibly is low blood pressure - we don't know for sure. If it persists much longer I will probably go to a regular doctor about it. Not feeling good is hard but I honestly think it is good for me sometimes. It leaves me feeling much more thankful for the days that I do feel good and it leaves me feeling more sympathy and compassion for others that have physical struggles. I know this has given me much more understanding for some of what Mara has gone through with her health struggles - which praise God seem to be not bothering her so much anymore!!!

Last week Aaron celebrated his 16th birthday. He has been getting very into Mountain biking in the last couple of years and so I said I would take him somewhere fun to go Mtn biking for his birthday. I did also have wedding flowers to do that weekend so it couldn't be very far away. Our neighbors (who are avid mtn. bikers) told us about a neat new trail in Cohasset, MN called Tioga Mountian Bike Trail. That was only a little over an hour away. So last Saturday Aaron, Megan and I headed over there and my sister Martha and her family joined us there (it was kind of in between our homes). It was a gorgeous day, there were lots of trails for different abilities and they had a lot of fun elements. Aaron and Lars (my nephew) biked nearly the whole time were were there (over 5 hours) and the rest of us biked some. We didn't have enough mountain bikes for all of us so we had to take turns and most of us didn't have the stamina to do it all day anyway. I was really thankful that my dizziness of the morning had passed by the time we got over there - doing curvy, narrow trails on hillsides with bumps would have been not so fun to do while dizzy. Aaron had a wonderful day! He had ordered a new to him bike just before this and had been excited to use it but when it came the frame was cracked. That was a big disappointment but with some help from Grandpa we found a welder that was able to fix it on Friday and it worked great for this outing. We were super thankful! He didn't charge that much either.
Megan and I have been trying to do more art lately. We are setting aside time each Thursday to work on it. Currently we are doing a History, Writing and Art book which is fun. We will try other things after that. Art is something Megan really loves and I want to encourage her to improve in it. I have decided when it comes to having color in her art she tends to be rather impressionistic.

  Anyway, that is a bit of our life. What is going on with yours?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

This is My Father's World Music Video

On Tuesday of last week we had a beautiful sunny day (following quite a number that were rainy and cool) and Jonathan said it was time to go shoot a music video. Filming is something that he is really into and he had wanted to us to work on a song to record. I had chosen "This is My Father's World" as I love the words and the tune. Aaron unfortunately wasn't very fond of it (too slow!) and that shows a bit in the video. We had recorded the audio of the song a couple weeks prior and then added the video last week. I hope you enjoy it.

Here are some behind the scenes pictures....
 Our friend Will came to help with the filming. He is from our homeschool group and he and Jonathan have done quite a lot of filming together and really enjoy it.
 We needed to know our positions just right, to get the lighting just so and so many other details.
 So many things go into filming that I have never thought about when you see movies/ ads/ whatever by others but when you do it yourself you surely find out!
 It was still a bit chilly but Megan thought bare feet would be the best look.
 We filmed in my parents pasture so while Aaron had some downtime he went and found one of their old bikes and had fun figuring out a mountain bike course.
They have a pipeline in their pasture so it makes for a nice open space. It is lovely!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Fabulous Fall

 I love that God created different seasons for us to enjoy and I am particularly fond of Fall. I love the bright, sunny, blue sky days but I also love those rainy and cool days and even the bits of snow (which we did experience this last week) that make me enjoy the coziness of home - sitting by the fireplace, working on a sewing project or doing some baking. The colors of fall are so fun as well. I thought I would share some pictures of what Fall is looking like around here....

I have developed a new recipe for Apple, Rhubarb, Strawberry (those we froze earlier in the year and I am pulling out to use now) Jam that has turned out wonderfully both times I made it.
 Field corn from our garden drying on the wall while decorating our dining room.
 The dehydrator has done a lot of humming this season while drying us a nice supply of apples. They are yummy! Last year I bought an Excalibur dehydrator as the old one was literally falling apart. I am loving the new one!
 Candle making! It all started with Megan making a doll (that needed to be waxed) and ended up with this. So fun! It will also be fun to use them.
 A fall mantle! I was able to rescue the marigolds from the garden after we had gotten snow on Friday. I was so happy that they were still okay. We didn't get any frost until Friday which is amazingly late.
 Orange roses - leftover from a wedding. I am loving them.
 Since the garden outside is going "to bed" I decided to bring some of it inside - to our bedroom. I like it!
 Roasted fall veggies!
 This past weekend's bridal bouquet. With acorns! :-)

I hope you are having a lovely fall!


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