Monday, December 26, 2016

Socks

    Mr. Pepper is my best friend, my dream come true, my knight in shining armor, my prince charming .... you get the drift. When it comes to husbands I am one of the luckiest girls ever.
    There is one itty bitty thing though that is somewhat annoying to me.
    You see, when ever his supply of socks gets down to three pair he will announce he's almost out of socks and will I be doing the laundry soon?
     I have never, in all our years of marriage, ever allowed his clean socks supply to run out, so I've been trying to figure out where his need to panic when his supply dwindles to three pair comes from.
     I've come to the conclusion it must be that either he was a house elf in some previous life and socks are extremely important to him. Or else maybe his mother used to not keep him supplied in socks and he's still scarred from that.
    Since I don't believe in the previous life theory, I guess I'll be going with my second conclusion.
    This year for Christmas I finally did something I should have done years ago. I gave him twenty pairs of socks. May there never be need to panic again.
    Before you feel too badly about his Christmas ... rest assured he was happy to receive all the socks, and he got more thoughtful and fun gifts as well. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Mystery of ....

.... the creepy light bulb.

     The children had already made their way upstairs to bed, while Mr. Pepper and I enjoyed a few minutes watching something on TV yet before we also retired for the night. I can't even remember what it was right now, which kind of proves how worthless TV really is, but I digress.
      Before heading to bed I checked the laundry room and just as I came to the end of the hallway before turning into the laundry room the light turned on. There was no one there!!
     Things like that aren't supposed to happen, especially not in our little farm house.
      I tried to remain calm and walked back to the living room where Mr. Pepper was still relaxing on the couch. He looked up as I entered and immediately saw there was something amiss by the expression on my face.
       "I'm just a little freaked," I admitted and proceeded to tell him what had happened.
        He very sweetly, didn't laugh at my paranoia. Instead he took my hand and together we walked down the hall to the laundry room with the light shining brightly at us.
         Just as we got to the end of the hallway, it flickered off. In the next instant I tore my hand from Mr. Pepper's clasp and flew back to the living room. I'm not in great shape at all, in fact most days the very thought of exercise is exercise enough for me. You'd never have guessed that though as I dashed down the hallway at a speed rivaling that of an Olympic sprinter.
        Mr. Pepper stayed there quite unruffled and discovered the light bulb had not been screwed into the socket tightly enough and somehow the weight of someone walking on our creaky old floor had messed with it's connection.
        I'm happy to report that the mystery of the creepy light bulb was easily solved, and there is nothing weird going on in our house. And I'm once again moving at normal, ladylike speeds throughout the house.

Friday, September 30, 2016

When God Answers

   Before I get into the "meat" of this post, I want to thank every one who joined me in praying for my brother. Thank you! It was encouraging to me and our family.
    With my brother disappearing, and knowing how bad his addiction is I was so concerned that the next time we hear anything it will be from someone telling us we need to make funeral plans.
     I kept praying, ever more earnestly, then in my devotions I read once again how when the disciples had tried casting out a devil and were unable to do so, Jesus told them that, that kind only goes out through fasting and prayer.
     I reached out to a few prayer warrior friends, and we fasted and prayed that God will work in his life. I no longer knew how or what to pray. I found I couldn't even find words, instead I released everything and claimed the verse where God tells us that the Holy Spirit prays for us (Romans 8:26-27)
     Friends, this is where it gets good. So good I'm still overwhelmed.
     Yesterday my brother called. I answered the phone and he asked, "What were you praying to happen to me?"
     "Why do you ask?" I said.
     "I was wanting to go back to my friends, some 1,500 miles away, but when I got half way there I got into the first traffic jam. Finally the traffic started moving but we were sent on a detour. It was sending us back in the direction we had come from. From there it got really weird. Every where I tried to go there were either road blocks, detours, or cops and every single one of them sent me back closer and closer to where I was trying to run away from. I'm giving up, and returning to that place, and get clean."
      So as of last evening he is back there again. I'll continue praying he can stick it out and God uses him for some great purpose in His kingdom.
      I can't quite begin expressing how much this answer to prayer meant to me. Seeing God work in such an obvious way has made me so thankful. More than just for this particular instance, but I'm feeling my faith strengthened, I'm filled with renewed courage and hope to face these coming days even with the world seemingly going crazy. God is still in control, and I am resting in Him.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Roller Coaster

     Life has been a roller coaster since my last post where I shared how my brother is struggling with addiction, a lot has happened, and yet nothing has changed.
     Seven hours after I posted, my brother called. He said he simply can't continue down the road he is on and wanted to seek help. I was thrilled. After all this time of praying, hoping, and hurting for him, this was a huge answer to prayer.
      He was convinced he can drive himself to the place he had chosen to rehab for the next six months, and thus began the most time consuming trek since the days of the covered wagon. For quite a while we lost all contact with him, but he finally arrived at his destination and got settled in on Thursday.
     Saturday afternoon the phone rang, and it was my brother. Somehow he had managed to get away. Withdrawal had hit hard, and he had been left unsupervised for a little bit, and that was all it took.
     That's the last we have heard from him. As it is right now, no one knows where he is. This sister's heart is hurting so bad.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Brother

   I was nine years old when I became the big sister to a tiny baby brother. He was the sweetest little bundle of joy you ever did meet. I remember rushing home from school every day and running into the house to scoop him up from where ever he was playing. He always seemed just as happy to see me, as I was to see him.
    When he was a toddler we were inseparable. I would read to him, play with him, when it was bedtime I was the one holding his little hand as we walked up the stairs to go to bed. I was the one who fetched him water in the middle of the night, and comforted him when he had a bad dream.
    I loved all my siblings, but somehow there was an extra special bond between the two of us.
    As he grew older, he no longer needed me for drinks in the middle of the night, or to have bad dreams chased away. We were still very close though, but now we talked about books instead of me reading them to him. We loved singing together. We went for hikes in the woods every Sunday afternoon. He helped me with dishes, chattering incessantly the entire time, but I enjoyed it. We played endless games of Scrabble and Uno, just the two of us.
     He was ten when I got married, he was sad, but it wasn't long before he was coming over almost every afternoon to help me in the garden, mow the yard, or on occasion when there was nothing that pressing to do we would pull out a board game. When Mr. Pepper and I welcomed our first son a year later, my brother was thrilled to be an uncle. He continued coming over regularly. I was so thankful for his help baby sitting.
    My parents moved when he was fifteen and we wrote letters every week, and called when we could.
     When he was eighteen he started working for a construction company. While on the job he fell off a roof and broke his skull, his collar bone, and had some other injuries as well. He was in a coma for a week, and when he woke up he was asking for me. When it was time to be released from the hospital he still needed care, and Mr. Pepper and I were glad to provide a room and care for him in our home.
    Due to his serious injuries the doctors had him on strong pain medication. OxyCotin. I was concerned at how long he seemed to be in pain, but was glad the doctors were able to control it. (Oh if only we had known.)
     After four months they no longer prescribed it, and said he was healed. He moved back to his apartment in another state.
     I watched helplessly from the sidelines as he made one wrong choice after the next. Having become dependent on OxyCotin he went searching for something to replace it. He found it in heroin.
     It hurts beyond what I can describe seeing a loved one battle this horrible addiction. He hates it too. I haven't seen him in years, but he still calls occasionally, and we Facebook message every day. And I pray, and pray, and pray that God will heal him of his addiction and spare his life.
     Last week one evening I was very concerned when I noticed he didn't see the messages I sent him. Finally the next afternoon he sent me one, thanking me for praying. He had almost died from an overdose. How he was found and taken to the hospital was nothing short of a miracle.
     When I see Facebook posts of people ranting how addicts should all be left to die, I shed a few tears. It looks different to me as a sister to an addict. I love my brother, I am thankful he wasn't left to die. I want him to be able to beat this addiction and get out of the horrible life he has now. I believe God can, and will work in a big way in his life. I refuse to give up hope, or stop praying.
     When I hear of overdosing episodes I'm moved to compassion, because somewhere out there, there are family members, and loved ones of that person hurting in the sidelines.
      Let's not be so quick to judge and condemn, but stand united in prayer and care against the evils of drugs.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Thoughts on MLM

     Multi level marketing. We've all heard of it, I'm sure. Unless you happen to be a lot luckier than I have been.
     I have no problem with the concept, and having people earn money that way, but as a business, it's not for me.
     There are some companies that I actually love the products they have, but again, turning it into a business isn't for me. I'll tell you a little bit about why I came to that.
     Over the course of the past ten years I have watched a disturbing trend among friends that chose to make multi level marketing their profession.
     It started with family. My brother-in-law and his wife found ReLiv and their life became crazy. Instead of focusing on what used to be their main source of income they threw their whole effort into marketing, traveling all over the U.S. to make their dreams come true. They were successful, but at the expense of their family life. Their five children spent the majority of their life staying with other people while Dad and Mom were out selling ReLiv. Conversations became excruciatingly boring around them because all they could think about was ReLiv, therefore it was all they could talk about.
     Next a friend found Arbonne. We used to have basically everything in common. Both homeschooling our four children, both sharing the same view on life. It was good. Her venture into marketing Arbonne started innocently enough. She had been introduced to the products, and really loved them, and then she set her eyes on the money possibilities and everything else went downhill from there. Traveling to promote the products became her goal. Sure she got her new cars, and cashed huge bonuses, but at what expense? Her Facebook that used to be so interesting became an advertising platform, her ready sense of humor got traded in for conversations about the products, and saddest of all .... her children are now being sent to public school because Arbonne is taking all her time and she doesn't want to sacrifice it for what she used to consider being so very important, her children.
       Next up is another good friend I have. Her world changed when she was introduced to Plexus. Again, as with the previous two, it has become all consuming. As she travels everywhere to talk about the products. Her Facebook has switched to talking about it, instead of delightful snippets of her life. I'm watching quietly as her husband and six children are getting less and less of her time while she pursues the business with unwavering focus.
    The list could go on to include others that did Melaleuca , Herbalife, and Conklin.
    There are products from some of these companies that I actually like, but no amount of money is worth sacrificing my family. I'll use what I want, but promoting, recruiting, and pouring my life into it, is not for me.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Liebster Award

How fun to open my email this morning and seeing that I had received the Liebster Award from Little Bits of Lovely. Thank-you, Miss Lovely!


Apparently, even though I don't do the greatest job at updating regularly it still has a few regular readers. Thank-you to all of you who stick around.

Part of the requirements for accepting the award is answering a list of questions she created.

1.  What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
Most of the time the funny part applies later instead of while it's happening. Take for example a few things I shared on my blog. Privacy Invaded and Pathetic.

2. What is your dream job and why?
I'm blessed to be able to do my dream job. Being wife and a stay at home, homeschooling mother has made my dreams come true.

 3. What is your favorite movie and why?
The Princess Diary. Mostly because it's one that my daughters really enjoy, but the story and great acting is also a plus.

 4. Would you rather be as tall as you are wide, or as wide as you are tall? Why?
There's no way I would want to be as wide as I'm tall. I wouldn't be able to do anything or go anywhere if that were the case. Being as tall as I'm wide, now that could be fun if I wanted to play hide and seek, but quite horrifying if a dog came after me.

 5. Have you ever been on a real adventure? If so, what happened?
I was lost in the woods, once upon a time. I suppose that qualifies as an adventure even though it wasn't an enjoyable one.

 6. Olives or mushrooms?
Both please.

 7. What is your favorite scent?
I always love the air after a nice rain.

 8. If you could have your dream vacation where would it be, and why?
My dream vacation would be taking six weeks to explore the western states. Seeing the well known places as well as the more hidden gems.

 9. Gloves or mittens? Why?
Gloves, because I like being able to move my fingers freely. I never did enjoy the trapped, almost claustrophobic feeling involved with wearing mittens as a child.

 10. What is your favorite season and why?
Winter. I love the scenery when everything is covered in a blanket of white. I like that there's no humidity. The coziness of home, and all the winter projects I get to enjoy.

 11. Who is your favorite celebrity and why?
I don't know. I'm too focused on my own life and the lives of my family that I really don't have time to focus on having a favorite celebrity.

Stage two ..... I'm supposed to share 11 random facts about me.

1. I'm a morning person, and a night owl. I'm always ready to start my day really early, and at the same time I'm never ready to go to bed at night.
2. I enjoy taking pictures.
3. I don't like soda, of any kind. I would much rather drink water.
4. I have a hard time remembering my nieces and nephews birthdays.
5. I enjoy cooking and baking.
6. I once won a recipe contest.
7. I love homeschooling our children.
8. I'm somewhat of an introvert. I have no problem talking if it's one on one, but am often quiet and more reserved in group settings.
9. I value friendships.
10. I quite often find myself doing things that aren't really up my alley, because it's something my children are interested in.
11. I can read really fast.

(These are the rules you need to follow for accepting the Liebster Award.)
  • Thank the person that nominated you, and post a link to their blog in your post. ~ Check!
  •   Display the award on your blog - by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a "Widget" or a "Gadget." ~ Check!
  • Answer 11 questions about yourself which will be provided by the person that nominated you. ~ Check! 
  • Provide 11 random facts about yourself. ~ Check!
  •   Nominate 5-11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, that have less than 1,000 followers. Coming up.
  • Create a new list of 11 questions for the nominees to answer. Coming up.
I'm nominating the following blogs:

Cranberry Morning

A Fly on Our (Chicken Coop) Wall

Pines Upon the Hilltop

Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Liberty or Death

The Simple Life of a Queen

Here are the questions to answer if you accept the award.

1. If you could have chosen your own name, would it be the same one you have?
2. What is your favorite song?
3. Can you play any musical instruments? What?
4. Do you have a favorite go to recipe for busy days?
5. Would you hang windchimes on your porch?
6. What is your favorite flower?
7. What is your idea of a perfect weekend?
8. Have you ever watched The Hobbit?
9. Do you go to see movies or wait until they're on TV?
10. Do you enjoy sports?
11. What's your favorite outdoor activity?

Monday, May 2, 2016

XYZ .... Wrapping it Up

      It shouldn't come as a surprise that I dropped the ball in finishing out the A-Z challenge.

      I'm doing my own version today, in taking liberties with the final three letters.

      X- for the cross where Jesus paid our sins.
      Y- for saying yes to His forgiveness, love, and mercy.
      Z - for the zeal with which I want to live my life as we're marching to Zion.

And for the final song ..... such sweet innocence .... such a great message. Still wiping tears here.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What a Friend we Have in Jesus

      The words of this song are so meaningful. Another favorite, for sure.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Victory In Jesus

     Another one of my all time favorite hymns. This one is done in more of a bluegrass version, which I like occasionally.



Monday, April 25, 2016

Under His Wings

     I was looking for the old hymn, "Under His Wings," but all the renditions I found didn't do the song justice.
    Then I stumbled upon this song. The lyrics are different, but I really enjoyed it.
     Today you get to enjoy some new to me music, with me.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus

     I've always loved the old hymns, but occasionally something will happen that makes one even more dear. Ten years ago, Mr. Pepper and I were facing huge challenges in our life. Everything seemed to be turned upside down and inside out. All we had was our Jesus, and each other.
     This song became very dear to us and we would sing it together every day, the words speaking to our very soul.
      Time moves on, things change, and life doesn't always overwhelm, but the things we learned going through that time and this precious song will stay with us always.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Softly and Tenderly

     Another one of my mother's favorite songs. Somehow the hymns you hear your mother singing while you're growing up, really stick to you. And might I say become more precious as time passes.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Rock of Ages

     I loved this song long before I understood what the words were saying.
     It was one of my mother's favorites and she would sing it as she worked around the house when my siblings and I were growing up.
    Now that I understand the message in the song I love it even more.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Quest

      When we began our homeschool journey, I found I really enjoyed learning new things along side our children.
       I loved poring over homeschool curriculum catalogs and choosing the best curriculum that worked with each child's individual learning style.
      We enjoyed adding lapbooks and unit studies, to persue various topics we were interested in learning more about.
      Currently I'm on a quest to create the perfect geography/culture studies for our next school year. My starting point is the curriculum I purchased, but I want to add so much more. Dig deeper into the cultures and places we're studying. I'm pulling together a book list to be read for each country, food we want to try, crafts to make, and simply exploring facts a lot deeper than any curriculum provides.
      It's labor intensive, but it's a quest I've really been enjoying.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Post Featuring "P" Words

    I try not to panic as I silently clutch the armrests of the passenger seat where I'm sitting, praying without ceasing that we'll reach our destination unscathed while trying to appear calm so as not to put added pressure on the young driver.
    Having a teenager practice his driving skills with me as the teacher had never been something I wanted to do. But guess what, I'm doing it.
     Mr. Pepper wanted to go pick up a load of things tonight that we need for our big project here at home, and asked our oldest son if he would like to go along. All I had to do was have him at his workplace a little before quitting time.
     With a learner's permit burning a hole through his wallet, our son jumps at any chance possible to get behind the wheel, and poor me gets stuck in the passenger seat.
     Really, he's not a bad driver. I have hopes that with a little more practice he will be able to ace his driving test with flying colors. In the meantime, I keep hoping Mr. Pepper will be able to take over the teaching responsibility.

Monday, April 18, 2016

One Day

      Another one of my favorite songs, that has also become one of our children's favorites. Our daughters especially can often be heard singing this around the house as they're doing their chores.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Nearer my God to Thee

      Another one of the hymns I love is, Nearer my God to Thee. Though for some reason after having watched the Titanic movie, when ever I hear or sing it, I now have to think of the scene where the violinists were playing away as the ship was sinking.


Friday, April 15, 2016

My Everything

    I think it's becoming evident that I really like music by Owl City, since this is the third appearance of one of his songs during this A-Z challenge.

     Encouraging and uplifting, this song always has me praising our God.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lord I Need You

    If there were a theme song to my life, this one would certainly qualify. Not a day goes by that I don't find myself singing or humming it.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Kitchen

     Our kitchen, though tiny, seems to be the heart of our home.

     It is here where I cook several meals a day to feed our family. Where my daughters and I work side by side as I teach them everything I know about cooking and baking.

     It's where we gather around the table to enjoy family dinner every night. Talking and laughing together as we enjoy our meal.

     Many, many memories have been made in our kitchen, memories I will always treasure.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Just as I Am

   I love this song, especially the newer version that now includes a chorus.

    It used to be heard it often at altar calls in church. I don't hear it often at our church, but I still love it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

In Christ Alone

   Another one of my favorite hymns. I really like Owl City, which is why I chose his version of the song to share today.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

How Deep the Father's Love for Us

I don't know how it started, but somehow we have a Sunday morning ritual where we always listen to this song while I make breakfast.

The words never grow old, and they never fail to strike me with a deep sense of awe and gratefulness for the love God has shown toward us.


Friday, April 8, 2016

God's Perfect Lamb

     Though I really love this song I had a hard time finding a video that does it justice. The best one was performed by a homeschool group, but I didn't quite want to share it here without those children's parent's permission.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

For the Beauty of the Earth

    One of the first songs I learned to sing as a little girl, right after Jesus Loves Me, was, For the Beauty of the Earth.
     It brings back many fond memories of singing with my mother.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Each Day I'll do a Golden Deed

   A number of years ago Mr. Pepper and I visited a little Mennonite church. It was an interesting experience, and quite different from the type of churches we were used to. Part of what has stuck to me the most from that experience, is their singing. Lovely acappella.

    Today I'm sharing a video of the Calvary Mennonite group singing Each Day I'll do a Golden Deed.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Down to the River

     I have always loved the sweet voice of Alison Krauss, and her version of Down to the River is my favorite.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Coloring Song

    It would appear that I have a theme after all, revolving around songs I like. Rest assured, that's not the case. Though I have quite a few songs I'll be sharing, there will be days when I do other posts.

     Up today is the Coloring Song by Petra. The children and I have enjoyed this song ever since they were itty bitty little munchkins in Sunday School.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Before the Throne of God Above

    I heard this song for the first time seven years ago when a friend had come over for the day and introduced me to a new blog. It just so happened that on that day the blogger had chosen to post one of her favorite songs by Selah.
     I listened to it over and over, allowing the words to sink into my soul. It has been one of my favorite songs since that day.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Amazing Grace

     When I signed up for the A-Z challenge, I had a specific theme in mind that I would be sticking to for the entire month. However as I started writing up the posts I found that I was getting really bored with the topic. So instead of sticking to a single topic, I will be winging it day by day. Flying by the seat of my pants if you will.

     Up for today, as I dive into the challenge, I'm sharing my favorite version of Amazing Grace. I love their voices, and there is something about nine, fresh-faced girls in white dresses, singing sweetly about amazing grace that keep me coming back to listen to them again and again.


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Outdoor Wednesday

 
Joining in with the rest of the Outdoor Wednesday group today. You can find them here.
 
 
We're still enjoying snow in our little neck of the woods.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Privacy Invaded

     I have a decided aversion to public restrooms, and try to avoid them as much as possible. Every once in a while though I have no choice, but to use one.
     Yesterday, at church, I was faced with no other choice. I bravely opened the door and immediately went to the far end of the stalls and crept into the door closing it behind me.
    The door gives about the same amount of privacy of a hospital gown. I didn't have any scotch tape in my purse to fasten some toilet paper over the gaping crack on the right side of the door so I tried my best to simply ignore it.
     A little later the door opened and I could hear the sound of little feet approaching. They entered the stall right next to me and after some considerable grunting I heard the lock close on the door. A little later the toilet flushed and some more grunting ensued, and finally the little girl simply scooted out under the door leaving it locked.
     Vigorous hand washing followed and then it was time for primping in front of the mirror that was hanging on the wall directly outside my door. I had full view of the goings on from where I was sitting.
     I was surprised that this little girl was in here by herself. She appeared to be barely three years old. I watched in consternation as she grabbed both sides of the mirror and yanked at it. I was sure the whole thing would come crashing down on top of her. A few seconds later the door opened. "Barbara Grace!" a no nonsense voice said .... that belonged to a man. "Get over here right now!"
     Little Miss Barbara Grace ignored him and yanked at the mirror again. He marched in swiftly and grabbed her up in his arms, but not before our eyes met through that awful crack at the side of the door.

    I think  I may need therapy.