Jul 22, 2014

WELCOME HOME!!!!!




Four years ago my oldest fell in love with a fine young man, who happened to go to our church and just so happened to be leaving for boot camp.  Our lives became a sudden whirlwind of events, as so often happens with the suddenlies of God.

After a year of long distance courtship, they picked a wedding date.  It was all fast and furious, due to the fact that our fine young man was about to deploy to Qatar. 

A beautiful homemade wedding happened in the beautiful girl's Grandparents garden. The very blessed parents got to keep their first born-homemade daughter for 6 months, whilst her beloved was off serving our country under blistering heat.  

Then...
we took her to the airport and kissed her so-long!
Many tears came, as the troop of us said our so-longs.
We had never been separated for longer than a mission trip or an adoption pick-up...
so this was going to be stepping into new territory for all of us.

Would they come back??  Would they reenlist?  Would we get to grow along side of each other serving God, as the vision her parents had been given so long ago?

Well...
we don't know all the details yet, but we do know that today

TODAY

they will drive up our long gravel driveway and begin to unpack their lives into ours.  We will welcome them back with glee...our homemade and our son-given!  We have moved and rearranged, so they could find a haven beneath our shingles, while they job hunt and prepare for the coming new adventures that God has awaiting for them.

Am I excited?  With tears in my eyes this Mama says, "Oh, yes!!"

Finishing the last minute details of house arranging and then waiting for the gravel to sound the arrival, as they drive the U-haul and tandem vehicles up the long drive and into our arms.



God is so faithful...thank you for sharing my JOY!!

Jul 13, 2014

Honoring Our Airman~ Air Force Tribute!


A Tribute to my Son-in-Love~ JoJo

Today is your 25th birthday and we want to honor you with a post in tribute not only to this milestone birthday, but to your service to our country.  Thank you for saying 'yes' to God, and signing up to protect and serve us (all) in such trying times. 

 We are so proud of you.  

Though you are my son through marriage to my daughter, we love you as if you were always ours.  I think you were our fastest adoption and you slipped right in with such grace among such an unruly tribe as ours. ;-)

Today you are so many miles away, packing up and heading back to the next adventure God has you and our oldest Princess.  Wish we could help you pack up that truck, or help with the driving all your belongings back to home base.  We are excited to chart your adventure with all of the kids, we have a map and a dry marker ready to follow your course!

JoJo,  thank you for serving us these last four years.  This was our first experience with a family member in the service.  Thank you for keeping us so close to you, through the many miles that kept us apart.  You have blessed not only your new Father and Mother-in-Loves, but all the rest of the smaller tribe members as well.  So many big and little faces here adore you, each and everyone can't wait for you to pull up the gravel driveway and cross our threshold.   We can't wait to hug you, to squeeze you tight and to engage the next step of your married adventure with you at close range (temporarily under our eaves). Yeah and you are bringing back our babe with you too!!

This morning I asked God if He would give you a prophetic word (a love note from the Father!)


My son JoJo,
I am glad you said 'Yes' to my call to this four years of Air Force adventure. 
 It has been a 'training' for you.

I have given you a sensitive-tender spirit.  The ground of your heart is form-able in my hands.  You also have the gift of careful listening and a watchfulness that comes from Me.  As you continue to follow Me, these precepts and quiet understandings will grow.  It is how I made you, but you are still in the process of growing into it.  I will continue to build on this, it is a strength from Me.

 I will show you hidden things, things that others will not be aware of.  You will get insight into spiritual matters (knowing hearts of men/people).  You will have an increased level of discernment and I will show you how to take it and apply it for Kingdom business.  

I have made 'openings' for you~  I go before you.  Some of these openings will seem 'odd' to you.  Pray, and the same knowing that came to you as you embarked onto My path for you into the Air Force, will come.  It is not in the figuring, but in the finding and knowing Me.  

I am pleased with you.  I want you to pursue Me with fantastic, unabounding energy- run after Me!  This run will not leave you road weary, but energized.  It will fill you, drive you and complete you.  The course won't always be easy, but you are made (and up for) the challenge.

 Put your heart in my hand and see my Goodness poured out over your life.

Understanding and Knowledge are my gifts to you-accept them, use them, touch those around you and I do know this will be stretching, however I made you for this purpose.  You will win others to me through relationship-you will speak life to those who don't see the way.  I am The Way-and I will guide you to show them the way.

Son, I love you- follow hard after Me.  It's not about comfort but about coming into my fullness and seeing all I have planned out for you.  The plans are great, the detailing specific~it WILL pour from My heart into yours.

Please son, say 'Yes' again.

Love~
Your Father-in-Heaven


And here are some more for the rest of you to enjoy....















all other photos thanks to my daughter Bella!!
 (good sneaky work helping me with this!)

We love you and glad you are ours...
happy 25th birthday and thanks for keeping the Land of the Free just that!

Jul 4, 2014

To Have Loved and Lost


Oh Trinkilo!  
Sweet Trinkilo.

You showed up as such a surprise at such an unexpected moment.  
A blessing for my soon to be "out of the nest" daughter.  She loved you, you were precious to her.  She cared for you, like I imagine any good mother would.

But we didn't know, nor did we expect that your kitty life would be so short. 

 For the first few weeks you grew up under my roof, as my daughter had.  Then as she packed up her belongings to begin her new life across the country with her beloved Air Force husband.  She packed you up and carried you along with her most valued things.  

I heard how many adventures you had that first year.  How full of life you were and how much more they loved you.  Funny how you think you have hit the love peak, only to find out there is still more to grow in it.  Grow they did.  Grow we all did in love with you. 

 My first little fur grand baby, you will be greatly missed. 

 I will remember you full of life, jumping at the laser dot on the wall, as your Air Force Daddy gave you a bit of exercise in the evening.  I will remember all the photos that I got from your proud Mama, who tried to keep me well posted on your daily doings on McChord Air Force Base in Washington state.

You were loved until your very last here upon this earth.  
You will continue to be loved in our hearts forever.


Jul 1, 2014

A Fun and Educational Learning Program!!!!


Several weeks back, before the finishing of another school year, (end of year 18 of homeschooling!!!)
 I was approached by a team member from K5 Learning to review their online site.  I was excited for the chance, as I was looking for a way to do some review for 4 of my home schooled students.  The site is not just for home schooled children, but for any parent or child who wants to open up to some excellent educational opportunities online, with this very supportive company. 

The site offers reading, math and spelling practice.  I must say that when I tested each of my children, prior to their starting with the program, I felt a little daunted.  My daughter in kindergarten seemed to need more help than I was supposed to be giving.  I am not sure if there was suppose to be audible sound help with the directions, or if there just was a glitch in the system.  I did offer her help in figuring out what needed to be done in each tested area in reading. My daughter turned 6 in early April and was reading at about first grade level in my estimation.  My other 3 students, grade 5 and two 6th graders, managed on their own quite well  in the testing area.

The test results came the next day and we were able to jump into 6 fun-filled weeks of hassle-free extra school! (I didn't tell my kids that it was still 'school,' as they thought it was merely fun!)  The work was challenging enough to hold their interest, but not so difficult that they were discouraged in any of the areas they happily dove into.

 I was encouraged and really was impressed by how the program was set up and how it educated them without their even being aware that learning was going on.  Learning areas included; arithmetic, reading, phonics, spelling, geometry, vocabulary, sight words, math facts, comprehension, money/time and fractions.


Now let me say that my kids don't do a lot of computer stuff before 7th grade.  So this was exciting for them to be able to have a program at their level to be able to attach themselves to.  One that was specific to their level (as I did share their test results with them) and fun enough that it was never a battle for their daily time on the site.


Now this program is intended for grades kindergarten up to the ending of grade 5.  However, my thought was review is always good, and upon testing I learned that my 5th and sixth grader needed some attention in math and in reading comprehension.  (both tested lower than the grade just finished.)  

I contacted the company several times with questions on placement level (for my kindergartner- who they said was at second grade level in all areas).  They were quick to respond and offer me help.  

Now as their Mama and teacher, I was aware of some of their weak areas already.  We had set to a plan of more summer reading and continuing in last years math for extra help in the summer months.  This program was perfect for the first part of our expedition in learning. it touched on many things we had covered, but some that were brand spanking new to them that their DVD math program had not yet begun to teach.  When new concepts came, they pressed in and 'got it.' 

 Yah!!

My kids thoroughly enjoyed their daily time in the program.  Each segment gets rewarded with some fun games in between lessons.  They never had to be prodded to sit and do any of the sections of  K5 Learning.  They quickly learned that the game area was just within reach if they continued to the end of each learning segment. They looked forward to it and spent many hours over our 6 week trial 'having at it.'

The weeks went by quickly, as time always seems to do and we were sad to see our trial come to an end.  I must say that while each child had their turn and happily memorized their individual username and password, the other 3 would often gather around silently watching what the program would offer them that time.  It really was like when you turn on a light in the dark and all the moths and such come to the area to see what all the excitement is about. Hee-hee.  

The program has you set up the child with a username and password, which they use to enter into the site.  Also you set up a parents access area, so you can check on progress and see both the strengths and weaknesses of the program.  It is done very clearly and easy for any parent to be able to access their students work.  You can try a trial too!

I will happily link you to the site and let you read the specifics yourself- K5 Learning.  I did not receive any payment for the review, other than a 6 week free trial subscription and an agreement to post an honest review.  I have been offered a $25 referral program reward, if anyone signs up through this post and lists me as their reason for wanting to try the program!


My review is honest and I hope it may help you in finding a great educational opportunity!
Have a great  learning filled summer friends!

I'll leave you with these heartfelt words from my 6 year old daughter, when asked what she thought of K5 Learning,
 "Oh, I loved it Mama!" 
 "Getting the frogs into the spaceship was so fun!" 
"Thanks for letting me do it Mama!"




Jun 26, 2014

When a Life is Broken



When a Life is Broken

Deep stuff to think about.  It could be talking about any of us, or perhaps all of us.  
So what is the point.  'When a life is broken', okay, it's kind of a cliff hanger.  Then what?
Does the story end in tragedy or is there a happy ending?

Well, it depends.  

It depends on "who" is writing your story.  If you're the pull yourself up by the boot straps kind, maybe you can muster a happy ending to your life story.Maybe, but probably not. If you have struggled and found yourself on a constant down winding path, then perhaps you can't see how it could end well.  Perhaps you've even lost hope in the fact of a turn around to your story.

Let me interject something that might be worth chewing on;
"Who is writing your story?"

 Did you know you have other options, you don't have to continue trying to write your own story.

"What are you talking about Kimmie?" you may very well be asking at this point.

Well, I am firmly stating that if you aren't happy with either your past story, present story or maybe even future story's outlook, then maybe you ought to ponder what I am going to say.

Life is short.  This is the only shot at life you are going to get.  It's a one time deal.  Does that make you begin to sweat considering the current situation of your life.  Well, if it does, even slightly, than may I offer something that will radically change your story.  

If you know me or read this old blog you will know that I am a "Jesus girl."  

Jesus is your answer.  He is the answer to everything and it is pretty easy.  
Let me walk you through it in a few simple steps.

1.  We aren't perfect (not even close)
The Bible tells us that all of us (ALL) are sinners.

2.  We can't get our story right in the end without an intervention by God.

3.  No matter how hard we try "ain't nothing gonna fix our troubles but Jesus."

How can we connect with Jesus so he can write our story  (or rewrite our story!!! imagine that!!)

1.  Tell him you realize you are a sinner.

2.  Ask him to forgive you of your sins (past screw ups).

3.  Invite him into your life. (Let him write your story...make him Lord over your life.)

Okay that sounds fairly easy...what else Kimmie?

(ask him to help you find a church that will help you grow in your faith!)

(again,  ask him to come and help you understand and apply it)

3.  Connect at church...don't just show up- make yourself available to be known.  
Slipping in and out isn't going to help you.  Opening yourself up and allowing others in certainly will.

4.  Pray.  
God is listening and wants to hear you, meet you, talk to you and for you to get to know his voice.


As you do these things, guess what...He begins to rewrite your story.  You move on to a new chapter with new adventures.  It won't always be easy, but HE will be with you. This is the life of faith, a walk of trust and love. Not love like you have ever known, but a powerful love that comes through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Jesus brings you into God's family and promises you a hope and a future!

  You can count on him and trust him.  He will never leave you or forsake you.  

Hope this helps you. 

 Praying for God to help you release your life story to Him. 
 It will be the best decision you will EVER make.  

Jun 23, 2014

A Love Note



Quite often I think of something that would be interesting to share, but life jumps in the way and perhaps lack of motivation, somehow my thoughts never quite land as I would like here.  Really I blame my Kindle that my husband bought me two years ago...seems she keeps me from the computer where I use to blog regularly. That and my Pinterest addiction.

Summer is officially here and hopefully more time for this mama to share her thoughts with you.  

At the moment I am up to my neck in yard work.  We hit a streak of rain and I kind of stopped gardening stuff to maintain house stuff.  Throw in having the last three rooms of our first floor wood floors being refinished, well you have another reason no blogging occurred.  Hmm.  

The floors look amazing and we are currently on the search for some larger area carpets.  I searched several non-carpeting stores with no luck (Home Depot, HomeGoods...).  

Well actually I thought I had some, but then after we carted home three new rugs, we quickly decided they were totally not the right size or color and had to be returned.  So back they went and the search for a 5 by 7 rug and a 10 by 12 rug and then an 8  by 10 rug are in order.  Hmm, and a runner to go along the hallway with that 5 by 7 rug.  

I really would love to find wool rugs, as I find them to hold up under our "destructive" living ways so much better.  Also dark and lots of colors seem to hide so much of life that occurs here.  Now you'd think I was asking for the moon, really.  It just isn't that easy. 

 My Knight is telling me to try some online carpet sites, but this little housewife is a tad leery.  I have the same problem with ordering books (curriculum for our home school) without first fingering through them, sniffing their pages (okay, maybe only the old ones I buy) and seeing if it will work for us.  The thought of not touching a rug or feeling the density of the pile just sends shiver-me-timbers down my spine.  But post this posting, I am going to see what my dear Knight has bookmarked for me to peruse.  

He says that the shipping is free, as is the returns on these sites he has found.  I just imagine me carting all these rugs back to the post office (which is near Timbuktu in correlation to our home) and trying to jam them back into some cardboard tube.  Did I mention that I can't fold sheets?  Well, maybe the flat ones, but never the fitted. (and yes, I did bookmark on Pinterest what the secret to folding them is, but honestly, it still, no matter how I try to tilt my head and figure out what all those steps mean, doesn't quite happen as the picture shows.)

Perhaps this will go differently than I am painting it for you, guess we will see.

How are you doing?  Are you up to your neck in projects?

I always imagine summer to be filled with lazy days and reading tons of books that don't seem to manage my attention any other season.  

The littlest Princess has a stack of laundry that looks more like a mountain than a mere load to be put away.  So I am off to do that first. Did I mention that Princess Mercy loves to wear all her clothes and that she had on 4 different outfits just today.  She is very passionate about dressing and what she should be seen in at any given moment. (sounds like a photo shoot opportunity and a blog post!!)  I am sure someday it will bring a huge smile to my face, but for tonight I am not quite dancing at the thought of getting it folded and put away.

Princess Mercy did say she would help me, in that cute 6 year old voice.  She said, "Mama I am going to put my pajamas on and then we can get to work."  As I finished drying the dinner dishes with the older girls, I saw her in a 5th outfit (that wasn't pj's) and saw her slip quickly out the front door to the soccer field that is our front yard at the moment.  It's World Cup time and the children here are out trying their skills in between popping on the tellie to see who won, who lost and who perhaps will be the ultimate winner of it all.

Okay, I let her slip past, because I was avoiding it too.  But now I must tend to it, or it just might ruin my hope of reading my library book tomorrow.

 I am  also trying to read a book called The Spiritual Man by
Watchman Nee.  Not a particularly light read, but one that I am currently fascinated by in learning about soul and Spirit. He uses the word, "soulish" which I had never heard termed before.  Interesting and amazing how God works it in after He has opened it to you.

Love to YOU...hope you'll drop me a line or two back...I could use a few love notes!

Jun 8, 2014

Do You Need Prayer?


Could you use a friend, someone to stand with you and lift up your heart concern to God?
I'd love to join you in that!  Please leave your need and together we can carry your burden and lay it before Jesus.

Hope your well ~ May God bless you today!

May 22, 2014

Making A Fortress


How often in life do we put walls up, trying to protect our hearts. It might begin as a mini-fortress of self protection, but it ends up being more like a prison that we are entrapped in.

  How often do we forget that we put those walls up.  We then begin to wonder why life isn't going so well. The fortress of our heart can be penetrated.  The fortress can be removed, but not in our own strength.

I challenge you today to give your heart a good checking.  See if you don't have protective walls in place that need to be taken down.  If after you ask God to search you, you discover that indeed there are 'walls' that need to be removed, then ask God to forgive you and help you to break them down.

Originally the box we put our self in seems like such a great idea, but walls always manage to keep out so many other things, besides the things that were hurting us.  They keep out people who might just be the one God sent to minister to our lives.  They keep out blessings that are trying to reach us, but can't because the walls divide us from them.  They keep out God's joy, which indeed is our strength, because walls or things that keep us separated don't allow joy to rule or reign. 

 His strength (and joy) come as we trust Him.  As we open up our hearts (and fortress) before Him and allow Him to bring us to new understanding of where our strength and protection must come from.  If we chose to be our own fortress, He will allow us that option, but it means that we forgo His strength and joy.

As children we enjoy a mini-fortress made of cardboard and paint, but as children- sons and daughters of the Most High God, we must realize that this is not the way in which we should live our lives out as His children.  

May today be the day that God helps you to break free and live with a new sense of joy and strength in Him.
After all the Word says that no weapon formed against us can prosper,
 I double dog dare you to let the 'fortress go!'


May 9, 2014

When Life is Hard..."Don't Quit"

Don't Quit

 When things go wrong as they sometimes will, 
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit-
Rest if you must, but don't quit.

Life is strange with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about,
When he might have won if he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than-
it seems to a fair and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so afar,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit,-
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.

Author unknown


I hope this give someone some encouragement today.

Here's what God's Word has to say about giving up...

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. 
 Do not be frightened, do not be dismayed, 
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Matthew 11:28

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 

Psalm 37:24

Though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.


Don't Quit.  Fight the good fight.  If you are feeling overwhelmed and tired, take some time to rest.  Bow your head now and tell the Lord how you are feeling.  Ask Him to help you, to bring you strength and courage to continue on.  Ask Him for rest for your body and soul.  

Don't Quit.  If you need prayer, I'd love to stand with you.  

Quitting isn't a good solution.  It won't solve the problem(s).  The best way is to come to Him.  Lean on Him.  Ask Him for wisdom.  Invite Him into the situation and then give Him room to move in it.

May your heart find strength in knowing you are not alone and that God cares about you.

Apr 30, 2014

Thoughts on Peace and an Announcement


 This is a picture of our kitchen 
(which currently is in process of being rejuvenated.
  We are having the kitchen floors refinished! 
Which comes with much noise, dust and drastic living environment sacrifices. 
 We are banned from the kitchen, pantry and laundry area for the next week.  
Conditions are cramped,
 but the spirit is joyful,
 as with God all things are indeed possible!)

 I share this picture today, as our home is a place of great 'peace'.  Peace doesn't come easily or cheaply.  I find having it be a place of peace and refuge (from the world) comes at the price of making Jesus Lord of each day. 
 It is a commitment that takes sacrifice and commitment.

Lyndon B. Johnson
The Vantage Point:  Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969.
No man should think peace comes easily.  Peace does not come by merely wanting it, or shouting for it, or marching down Main Street for it.  Peace is built brick by brick, mortared by the stubborn effort and the total energy and imagination of able and dedicated men.  And it is built in the living faith that, in the end, man can and will master his own destiny.


 A little announcement:  (a review I will be doing)

 Recently I was given the opportunity to try out an educational program for 6 weeks, in exchange for an honest review.  It couldn't have come at a better time, as my kindergartener, Princess Mercy, has zipped through this year's curriculum and now has extra time during our school day.  I am eager to plug her into this learning program and then share with you my viewpoint on it.  The program looks very promising in regards to valuable learning opportunities.



Plus I love the opportunity to review products!!  Bring it on!!

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students. I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program. If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

Apr 13, 2014

Believing God in Dry Times


Believing God in Dry Times...or when you find yourself in the furnace!

I have found myself in a dry season.
A dry season that came in the midst of a trial.

  It has been a hard long journey this past year, but instead of quitting my faith (which crossed my mind several times during this time), I pressed in to the Word.  Though God seemed so very far away and the Word I read didn't seem to have any life to it, still I devoted myself to sticking to reading the Bible and praying.  Most times the prayer was mingled with tears, which seemed to only go as far as my shirt, but I would remind myself that He holds all of our tears in a jar.  

It was a hard time.  Especially hard, as we had a wayward child.  If you've ever had one you will know that it is draining, exhausting, frustrating and really can suck the life right out of you.  I was greatly saddened, but I pressed in harder.  I prayed and fasted for a long time.  In the natural not much changed, but God works in ways we can't always see.  He is a supernatural God after all!

In the hard time I decided to not go by my feelings, which can be such liars, but to continue to do what I knew was right in the eyes of God.  I read and prayed, even when my heart doubted the point to it.  I went sleepless nights to hold on tighter to our child through prayer.  We didn't see much change, or not in ways we hoped, but He was moving.  He is always moving, always active, always busy, He never sleeps or slumbers.  He doesn't leave us or forsake us, no matter what our silly thoughts might mutter to us at such times.

He began to bring in others to pray and fast with me.  It brought me to tears, as in the trial I found myself so lonely and without much friend support.  It was if He had cleared away to make it just Him and me.  Even when it seemed like it was just me, it really truly wasn't.  He surrounded me by some very strong women, who prayed and fasted for 30 days for our family.  30 days can you imagine?

Why am I writing this today?  Well, because He spoke to my heart today in a way that made me understand that He didn't leave me or forsake me
 (or mine).  

I was gardening, doing some much needed spring cleaning.  We began planting seeds today, with anticipation of a harvest in 59 days (peas).  I had been pondering not attempting another garden, as it is so much work and quite honestly doesn't really reap that much of a harvest on our property.  As I was again pondering if we should use a local space that we discovered last year, that was far more promising,
 the Lord spoke to my heart.

He said, "Why would you want to sow your seed elsewhere? This is what I have given you and here it is where you are to sow.  You have no idea what we have been sowing.  But the harvest I have prepared is not one you are seeing or feeling in your life.  It is coming and you will harvest all you have sewn with Me."  

I thought what have I sewn Lord?  He showed me all of my children.  They are my field.  He has brought them and planted them in my garden.  He has tilled them into my heart through adoption.  He has helped me have the strength to pull the weeds that have popped up, sometime weeds that were totally underground and festering in massive quantity, looking to destroy my beautiful garden.  But He didn't allow it.  He showed us the evil weeds.  He gave us the strength to speak to the weeds and tell them to go.  We began to rip out, as each became apparent to us.  We cried as we ripped at them, as it felt like our very hearts were being ripped from us as well. We got all we could see and then we fell into a heap waiting on God.  

We were spent.  We have been spent.  Spent, but not out of the gardening business.

We have been waiting.  We never stopped tending this garden.  But today I realized that like Adam, I am a gardener.  I need to embrace the gardening as though it was a gift from my Father.  I need to not grumble about the weeds.  Weeds come, we need to keep an eye open to them and a heart prepared to deal with each that tries to emerge its ugly head. Sin is never pleasant, nor rebellion, but God never quits on us. Never.

 I have had a change of heart today and am thanking God for 
 Lighting His Fire again in my heart.

Praising Him.

Sharing is what friends do.


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