One September Day

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My Comfort Zone

Smiling, yet not saying any thing to someone I pass. Talking is such an effort sometimes!

Knowing someone is struggling with loneliness, and praying for them. That's enough, right?
Letting someone else be the one to put the grocery cart away in the parking lot.

Making a single batch of cookies or muffins,( not double,) because - hey - it is a miracle I have time for MY family. Right?

Sending a card to someone in the hospital. They are probably getting too many visitors as it is.
( And what about that GERM thing!?)

Spending some time on the phone with someone that really needs to talk is too hard- look around,, life is swirling around me!
Another mom is having a hard time - do I really have time to make her a meal, and stop to talk?

Going out of the way to stop and get my husband his special coffee - no... he knows how busy I am ,, (and that the baby is crying in the backseat. )

Does any of this sound familiar to you?
I am constantly challenged to get out of my COMFORT ZONE. We all have them. And in a lot of different ways.

We were created not for ourselves. Not for our own glory or self-satisfaction.
When did we start thinking that way? It is amazing to me when I sit back and realize just how quickly I have fallen back into that self-induced comfort zone.
Shame on me.
Yes, it is easier for me to just share a smile ( and for some of us, even that is hard!),,,, rather than take a minute to care about the other person. Who knows why God had your paths cross that minute... maybe they need you to show them a bit of friendliness?

Making a meal, muffins, or cookies,,, make a double batch! Take them to a neighbor, or a friend that you know in your heart is struggling. I often will pray and ask the Lord to lay someone upon my heart that could use encouraging. Be prepared - there are many!!

Sending a card to someone spontaneously is a true gift. WHO doesn't like friendly mail? Those colored envelopes that bring cheer, rather than bills, or news of doom?!

Ever visit someone in the hospital. Ignore that fallacy that they are getting too many visitors. Most times this is very untrue. The hospital is a very lonely, depressing place, and not conducive to true healing. That comes from within - give that gift to others regularly.

This comfort zone thing can get kind down right UNCOMFORTABLE thinking about can't it?

Picture this - A mom of nine children locked in the bathroom, or sitting on a bundled pack of paper towels from SAMS, hiding in the pantry,,, trying to find a quiet place to talk on the phone to someone who really needs to talk! Yep- This is not comfortable- life is swirling around me,, but there are certain phone calls that you just don't ignore for the sake of convenience. Be there for someone this week - all they may need is to talk.

Going out of the way at Church/ or the Office to talk to someone new? Phssawww! This is a hard one for some. I know. Try it,, introduce yourself, and let them know that you just wanted to say hi, and that it was nice to see them. This is not artificial - this is a genuine act of selflessness!

My comfort zone is always changing. I am always challenged. Isn't that what growing is about?

Some things are easier for some than others. Find your comfort zone this week, and step out of it.

Step out far. And don't go back.
We reap what we sow.
Galatians 6: 9 & 10 -

"And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
Take a minute and enjoy the comfort of this quiet place.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My heart is breaking...

I am so sad.

Life has its ups and downs. We all feel them. Some more than others.
Ever have moments when you are TRULY made aware of just how good your life really is going, when you see another one of God's Children suffering so. Just so badly that you feel it through your day, and carry it to the Lord with such pain for them?

This week, I ran into a friend from school that I see off and on. She and I are the type of friends that it seems life has never moved past the moment we last saw each other, and we are able to "pick up" where we left off the last time we talked. She has such a sweet spirit, and I have always been able to feel at "home" when talking with her.
She and I were chatting, and she told me that a classmate-friend of ours was dying of brain cancer.



Can this be?

This friend, whom she was telling me about, is someone I love. Someone I have invited to Church, visited at her home, and prayed with over troubled pregnancies.
A friend I have not seen in two years.

She was diagnosed with brain cancer two years ago, Christmas Eve.

She had moved. I lost track of her, and she was suffering. Alone. While watching her own father, sister and mother also struggle with Cancer also.
She has two beautiful, young boys. The boys I prayed over , as she carried them.

She is now at home, dying. I didn't know. She has only days left now. Literally.
I am so grieved.
My mind has been wrapped around this for days now, praying, pleading.

Our daily trials seem so trivial in the face of another's suffering.
I have felt this before. Been reminded of this many times.

But, each and every time, I thank the Lord for the life He has given me, and ask him to forgive me for my selfishness when I do grumble or complain.
Please pray for my friend - and her boys.

Each minute is a gift- not worth wasting time wishing we had a different life.
Please pray. Her name is Neva.

Life is a gift. Thank God for yours today.

Let the Fun Begin!

Went to the Swim Park Today!

Kids had a blast, and I had a blast!
( Guess that could have been one sentence!)
Had to stop for an ice cream cone on the way home, right?

Maryahna was infatuated with the water dripping from her suit! Yesss.. it was WATER!! Heehee!

Time for the "meltdown".. err.. I mean... time to go home!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sweet Surprises

If you enjoy jotting down your special memories, be sure to visit Lynnette, here. It is a fantastic way to journal and remember some of the moments that define our days.
Isn't summer fun? There are so many wonderful activities that we do together, and I find that each year brings another set of summer-filled memories to cherish.
Yesterday, we embarked on our Strawberry Picking adventure. And, an adventure it WAS!

The local berries had some frost damage and so we searched out the nearest berry farm, and it was about 45 minutes away. I decided to google this farm to get a map for directions.. and it was waaayyy out in the middle of no where.
But, hey, I am always up for a fun drive. So, away we went!
Ha! Ha! We got a "little" lost, but we made it. ( no GPS in this girls life! - just good ole' sense of direction!)
This Strawberry farm was nestled on a back country road, with beautiful fields full of organic produce,,and not just strawberries!
After everyone unloaded and found their buckets in the van,, we found the perfect spot to pick.
It was so cute - The sign upon entering the fields said. RULE: Children MUST eat many berries!! I LOVE that!

Right in the MIDDLE of this huge strawberry field, I saw a gift that God had planted there just for me that day! A single spot of beautiful daises were growing towards the Heaven's and had my name written all over them. Daisies being my favorite flower, I naturally took a picture of this special gift, and will share it with you today. My gift to you!!
After berry picking, Sarah asked to drive on the way back, because she now has her permit. THIS was our second adventure!! We made it back, and then decided to have a picnic lunch at the lake, and it was beautiful!
The wind kept the warm air manageable, and it tired out the little ones so wonderfully!
I decided to make a strawberry pie with some of our berries , and we had that after dinner.
Here are some pictures of our memorable afternoon. Next month -Blueberries!!

WHAT will I do with THIS hair!!

Baby Ava's pudgy hand found the sweet berries!

Poor Eden - The Sun was a LITTLE bright while I was taking this picture!

Sam's favorite food in the whole world is strawberries! He picked a whole bucket, and ate half of it on the way home!

My gift from God- All alone, right in the middle of a Strawberry Patch!


Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Oldest Daughter Turns 16 Today!

I can hardly believe this day is here. Honestly.
Typical Mother comment, I know,, but it seems like it was just yesterday that I held my beautiful baby girl in my arms as she was born.
She was 9 #'s 3 oz. and so full of life.
She still is the "life" of our home today.
If I were to ask any one that knows my Sarah to describe her in one word, here would be a few choices that we might hear:
Fun, Crazy, Silly, Daring, Frank/Blunt, Tenacious, Creative, and did I say FUN?
When Sarah was born, she was only content sleeping on her daddy's chest for endless months.
I have many pictures of her sound asleep there, with both daddy, and baby girl resting peacefully.

She is # 2 in the line-up, yet the oldest girl.
Oldest daughters of a large family carry a heavier responsibility, and she has carried it well - and although it is not her natural bent to be domesticated and a Keeper at Home, she follows thru and is very capable of running our home without me.

I am sharing some pictures on this very special day - June 18, 2009 - Sarah's 16th Birthday.
I love you Sarah. Your smile and fun-filled spirit will always be a bright spot in our lives.
Your daring, yet, sometimes -hazardous - to - your- health ( a.k.a. broken bones..) experiences will always keep us on our toes.
Your Spiritual Walk is exciting to watch, and we know how much you love the Lord.
Your special times with your younger siblings will always be a special memory for them, and for us.
We pray that you will be sensitive to staying close to God's Word, and the principles that He sets out for you.
Psalms 16:11 -
"Thou will show me the path of life; in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand is pleasures forevermore."
This is your life verse, and will be with you always.
Keep smiling , and sharing your love for life wherever you are. Let your light shine!

I love you sweet daughter of mine. I am so truly thankful for the moment in time that God decided you would be on loan to us.
Your help and perserverance in a large family, with a lot of responsibility is so truly appreciated.
I can't wait to see what you will do for GOD!

Sarah, Sam and Maryahana

A Special Night with Curlers to sleep on- this didn't last for long!

Sarah's Creative Side

A Sweet Reminder of how much time has gone By.

Sarah and Baby Sister - Ava

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Amish Country

I am posting my Wednesday Memory a little later than I would like, but life has a way of interrupting and prioritizing itself before my blog. Thats ok.
My blogging CHUM Lynnette, has created this weekly idea of sharing our memories, and I have thoroughly enjoyed this Walk Down Memory Lane.
Stop and visit Lynnette sometime here.

Because of the cost of traveling with a larger family, we have done our best to find closer places to travel to and make some fun family memories.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania - AMISH Country - has now become an Annual trip for our family.
It is about 4 hours away, and we love visiting some place new while there each time.
One of our absolute favorite stops while in Lancaster is here ! Check it out!

The Lion and The Lamb~

This famous Theatre in Lancaster, has now, also built another theater in Branson, MO. Maybe you live close enough to one of these to visit?

If you ever have the opportunity to see one of their productions - based on Biblical accounts - Don't miss out! The whole family will love it!

In addition to seeing a show while away, we also visit some wonderful Amish shops, eat some amazing food, relax at a family resort - talking and walking and sharing.

I think this is one of our favorite places to re-visit because of the simplicity of life. The quiet, and peace we find on our trips there probably have more to do with our time away as a family, and the things that we focus on while we are there.... Each other..

Daddy and Samuel - 1 year ago

What could be better?

Lydia and Leah.. a special pose for the Camera Happy Mommy!

Pond at Willow Valley Resort


Thursday, June 11, 2009

My 100 Random Things Post-FINALLY!!!

100 Random, Strange, Amusing, and Interesting things About Me - you may/ or may Not Want to Know:

1.I was born in the same month as my name.
2.I am the oldest child in my family.
3.My favorite color is yellow. Always has been.
4.I do not like lights on during the day.
5.One of the first things I do in the morning is open my blinds and curtains. I need sunshine.
6.The nails on my little fingers grow faster than my other nails. ( cannot believe the things we blog about!)
7.I accepted the Lord as My Savior when I was 12.
8.# 8 is my favorite #.
9.When I was a child - I lived in my roller-skates.
10.I really like to change the furniture in my home around. Did this as a kid in my own room as well.
11.Love to study natural/holistic health, and alternative treatments.
12.I am very sensitive to temperature. In the winter I am freezing, and in the summer I am sweltering.
13.I either HAVE to have ice in my drink, or I only want tepid water. No in between.
14.I love daises - we had them in our wedding.
15.I hate ferrets. ( sorry, ferret owners/lovers)
16.I have a hard time sleeping without a fan. Bad, bad, bad habit.
17.I have had 15 pregnancies, ( one set of twins,) and have 9 living children.
18.I loved school as a child.
19.I loved going to the lake as a child, and fishing.
20.I hate nail -biting.
21.My parents were divorced when I was 10 years old.
22.I attended public school until 9th grade.
23.I love oatmeal and buttered toast, blueberry pancakes, and really green, crunchy salads.
24.I love chick-flicks, 24, and Survivor.
25.I color my hair - it would be gray if I didn't.
26.I love classical music. Brandenburg Concertos are one of my favorites.
27.I would live in flip-flops of I could.
28.The Ocean is one my most favorite places to be.
29.I use to put other last names after my first name as a kid, to see what married name I would prefer. Never expected a three-syllable last name.
30.Gee, after writing # 29, I believe I really have a little
31.I had to take Algebra twice when I was in school.
32.I wanted to be a writer/ and a teacher when I was growing up. Guess I am a blogging/homeschooling mom.
33.I always said I would not get married until I was 28. Didn't happen that way. 18!!!
34.I do not drink soda.
35.I love to burn candles.
36.Absolutely love button-up cardigan sweaters! In any color! I wear them a lot.
37.I really cannot stand Science-Fiction.
38.I always dreamed of having a large porch with rockers, and am so thankful for the one I have.
39.My husband and I built our home.
40.I took Latin in High School.
41.I have delivered two of my children at home. Great experience.
42.I make/bake almost everything from scratch. It is actually hard for me to buy any thing in a box.
43.My first job was at a fast -food chain.
44.I received the Happy-Gram Awards in my elementary grades. Surprise!! (Heehee)
45.Swimming is not enjoyable to me. I only get in the pool to cool off.
46.I have two brothers, one step-sister and one step-brother.
47. I am married to a contractor.
48. I was engaged three months after meeting my husband on a blind - date.
49.Laziness grates on me.
50.Daisies are my favorite flower. I even had them in my wedding.
51.I love teaching children.
52.My great x's 7 grand-father came over on the Mayflower, fell over board, and was saved!!
53.I am always chewing gum.
54.I only wear small jewelry. My mom and my daughter love the larger, bolder colors/styles.
55.My daughter has two different colored eyes.
56.The same daughter only has one kidney.
57.I am not athletic at all. I pretend that I could be. Heehee.
58.Reading/writing is my escape.
59.Iced Caramel Lattes are a part of my weekly survival.
60.I love to observe people. Craziest thing, I know.
61.I never thought as a child that I would have a large family. Actually, never gave it any thought.
62. Attempt to live every day for the Lord.
63.Love hardwood floors.
64.Have tried every vacuum out there - if you really want to know my favorite, don't be afraid to ask.
65.Have learned that my trials changed my life for the better in so many ways.
66.Almost signed up for Survivor 5 years ago. Crazy- I know.
67.Still miss my sweet babies that are with the Lord. They were so precious.
68.I see my weaknesses more and more as I get older.
69.My dogs name is Flag. (We got him on Memorial Day!) (No making fun!!! - Poor dog.)
70.I didn't start wearing make-up until I was 30.
71.My eyelashes on my right side are blond, and on the left they are darker brown.
72.Love stripes, polka-dots and brighter colors on my children, but not myself.
73.I took ballet from age 4 to age 10. Loved it.. and still do.
74.Would love to take ball-room, swing, and hip-hoop dance lessons some day.
75.Will be married 20 years this year. ( 2009)
76.I am an extremely empathetic person. Sometimes too much.
77.Have an Iodine allergy.
78.Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite football team. No rhyme or reason here.
79.I live in a very beautiful part of the United States.
80.Snow is not my friend.
81.I have supersonic hearing. It is annoying, yet helpful.
82.Honestly, I do not like handling coins. They are so dirty. ( another OCB thing, I know.)
83.My mom has a beautiful singing voice. She sang on stage for many years as I grew up.
84.Dream of someday have a beautiful picture taken of my children.
85.My husband can find four-leaf clovers without any trouble. It is kinda weird, yet amazing to me.
86.I never understood making lists like this, until, I thought about it going into my journals for my children. Aren't you glad you get this little peek into my strange life?
87.The Bobbsey Twins Books were my favorite growing up.
88.Love a french-manicure. ( although, the only ones I have ever had were by moi'!)
89.I use to have an obsession with holding the TV controller when we had TV. Gone are those days with Teenagers in the house.
90.I have always loved Birch Trees. Had one growing up, and would peel the white bark off. Now, find out it is bad for the tree. Still love them.
91.I love color. Every room in my home is a different color. Not one wall is white.
92.Love to visit schools, Churches, and teach the Bible to young children.
93. I love to find people with the genuine gift of encouragement.
94. Admire those that live what they expect out of others.
95.Really, really do not like beets and liver.
96.Live in the woods, and never want to leave the country.
97.Have the best family in the world! ( It's ok if you disagree with this one.)
98.Purposely do not listen to talk radio.
99.Have learned to make the most of every day. The Lord has entrusted me with so much.
100.Did I mention that I do not like my feet? (lol- like this is really important!)


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Walk to Remember

I love Wednesdays. It brings to the forefront of my mind many memories, and the day to recount and share them with my blogging friends. My great, blogging chum, Lynnette, began this great idea of sharing on Wednesdays. If you visit her at,
you can read her Wednesday Memories, and many others as well.
Thanks Lynnette, for this fun celebration!
My Memory today is current. not a past time, not in the recesses of my memory. Current, as in a memory made yesterday.
Yesterday was a long and very busy day. ( But, as I blogged about yesterday, it was FUN!)
The evening had was quickly approaching and I found myself eating dinner at 8 p.m. and getting kids to bed later than usual.
It was 8:30, and because we have day light hours longer now, I decided to head out on a walk. The baby was in bed, and the kids were in jammies. Dan arrived home from a late night on the job, and so we headed off on the country road together.
This was a blessing in itself. We never have this opportunity. I LOVE to go walking, and usually have to go alone. Or, at least, the dog and I. This was much better,, although, the dog DID go too.
We had some nice chats about our days, and saw people we knew. The road was quiet, the air was quiet, and it was such a walk to remember.
If you know me by now, you would know that it had to end on a fun note.
We were half way home, and he was being "pokey-slow!"
I decided to tease him, pick up the pace and start a little jog. I was wearing a skirt, and sneaks, and knew that it would be rather challenging. But, hey! I am always up for a challenge!
It was hilarious... the jog turned into him coming up behind me at a faster pace, and it turned into an all out running race - right out in the middle of the road.
Me, my husband, the dog, my skirt and sneaks, and US!!!
We raced the rest of the way home like that,( not a small feat!).. and I felt like a kid again.
I am sure that we were a sight, but, honestly,, I wouldn't have changed a thing!
This will be a memory my heart will remember.
A "race" to remember!


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Could be more Fun Than This?

Honestly - Every Occupation has its ups & downs- But, I truly do not think that any thing could top the gamut of FUN that a MOM gets to experience ! I am always amazed when I sit down at the end of the day ( errr, I mean collapse).. and I think about what I experienced .

For example -


A simple jump in the "bus" and run down the road to Grandma's House, turned into -pulling over and changing the baby's messy diaper that had "gotten out of control" ( I will spare you the details),, and the creative way I had to handle it,,, being that I was only running down the road for blueberries, minus a packed diaper bag... it was interesting to say the least. Not to mention, it took about 15 minutes to run a 5 minute blueberry -borrowing errand!

OHHH,,, I can't forget the moment I discovered my 2 year old Shirley Temple strolling around the yard barefoot ( typical fashion for this carefree soul), holding in her hands 10 ( TEN -I SAID),, Dum-Dum Lollipops in her hands. Assorted colors and flavors -ALL unwrapped, arranged like a bouquet of flowers in her hand..,, sweetly licking the handful..all as ONE sucker! It was probably a good moment of teaching and correction, but, alas, I saw it as a great photo-op moment; Seized the fun, and made her pose in various positions for her "dumm-Dumm" Lollipop Picture. It was Sight,, and it was "SWEET!"

But, I know there is no fun in finding that two of our baby chickies ( out of 50) had "passed on," and the sad emotions from crying children were dealt with and we are moving on, hence still taking care of 48 little peeps,, food, water, and care three times a day.

I would be remiss to forget to mention the bee sting under a toe-nail for one of the kids, a bon-fire all day for the Old-tattered swing set/ play house that we decided needed to be dismantled at 10 p.m. last night, administering Annual School testing to my homeschooled children, ( being sure they are filling in all of those answer circles, while nursing a baby, and making the yummy blueberry muffins..)

The challenge of persuading 4 year old Sam to release his fading Lightning Bugs from their quart jar home ( after being held all night in bed,, keeping Sam company and delighted),,was exactly that - CHALLENGING. I was able to help him understand that we would be able to catch some more tonight for him to sleep with, and he settled for that. Honestly - this was priceless.

Following this release of the lightning -bugs ( which aren't so appealling in daylight, by the way), we were able to bad-aid some boo-boo's, get some much needed snacks, and put the potty-training on a shelf for another day!

THIS WAS ALL BEFORE 11 in the morning!

What could be more fun than this?

And I mean this from the bottom of my heart.
Motherhood is challenging, time-consuming, exhausting some days, but truly - it can be fun!

Now we are off to weed the garden, head to soccer practice, run to the store to get a new "Chicken light," work on U.S. History while at the Soccer field waiting, run Teens to their evening jobs, and maybe eat dinner in there somewhere!

All the while ( this is definitely a country slang-term), singing with psalms, and hymns and praise to the Lord for His goodness.

Remembering -

Psalms 118:24 -

"This is the day that the Lord has made, we will REJOICE and be glad in it!"

( This is our family verse. Some days it truly is a challenge to practice the rejoicing part of that verse, but all in all ... What could be more fun than this?)