May 24, 2016

Thankfulness to Chew On



Thanksgiving is an underrated spiritual discipline.  Being thankful stops you in your tracks and
forces you to rest in the midst of your "doings" to reflect on God's absolute goodness. It changes the atmosphere and invites the Holy Spirit into the moment. Thanksgiving gives eyes to see and a heart that is open to receive from Him. Thanksgiving is a practice we need to embrace.

 We need to be constantly aware of His workings, constantly casting up thanksgiving and praise to Him. We need to acknowledge His work, His goodness and our desperate need of Him.  A thankful heart is rooted in the reality of His goodness and presence. 

Thank you Lord for this day.  Thank you Father for giving me this day to submit my life into your hands.  Help me to walk in gratitude to You this day and let it open the door of my heart to Your presence.

Come Holy Spirit come!


 


Apr 28, 2016

Extension Homeschool class (high school)


My seventeen year old daughter decided to tag along with her eldest sister to a cake decorating class.  She has been practicing with frosting, fondant and gum paste in these two 4 week sessions. They found the classes at our local fabric craft center. I think this one was her first with just frosting, she has made several over these past few weeks. 
 
They both enjoyed trying new things in the decorating cakes world.  And it was super nice to have my married daughter make an effort to spend time with her younger sister.  Mentoring is huge, never mind friendship between sisters!

We are proud of her and happy to help her make way for another frosting design session.

Hard work, but somebody has to eat the cake.
 
 


Apr 2, 2016

The Winner of Happy Beach CD!


A rainy day here and plenty of volunteers to pick the winner of Perry Springman's cd, 


 With eyes closed and papers mixed about...
the winner is...


(without a doubt...
because 4 children felt the need to try their hand at picking the winner,
 post the winner already being picked...and each picked....)







Congratulations Pam. 

 I will send your information along to Perry so he can send you a copy of his cd. 
 Please feel free to post about it!  

And to those of you who didn't win...I still highly recommend this album, it is joy filled and well loved by all ages in our house!

Mar 20, 2016

Natural Hair and Adoption


We joke that she has enough hair for at least two people.  Her older Ethiopian sister has said she herself has enough for maybe three people.  It certainly is a mane of glory.  This mama has gotten good at natural hair care, though she grew up only knowing how to care for her own hair type which certainly was not African in any way shape or form. Braids yes, french braids sure, but cornrows or box braids, um no-sir-ree.

God is full of surprises.  He brings you places that you'd never imagine.  I never imagined I would be the mother of two Ethiopian daughters and that they would have enough hair to make tons and tons of box row braids when one sets about to.  I never realized my fingers would move so quickly at parting with a rat tail comb and finding just the right product to make their hair soft and protected.  Or that a hair style could take a couple of hours to complete, never mind undoing it several weeks later.

Rarely do I keep Princess Mercy's hair down (unbraided). I have learned that it quickly shrinks up and tangles and leads to tears and long careful sessions of trying to coax the hair out of knots and nests. A battleground that this mama knows to avoid.  But sometimes this little one just wants a day of freedom and wants to take the risk of a few hours without it being styled.  It always must go into a protective hairstyle by bedtime, which means twists or lose braids, followed by a silk cap to sleep in.

Curly, kinky, beautiful African hair. I smile because I trusted Him enough to say yes. Yes to two beautiful daughters who are so different from me.  He knows how to make it all happen.  My non-African friends ask me 'Who does their hair?'  I smile and I say 'Just me.'  They tip their head and ask me how I know how to do all these things,  that are foreign to so many light skinned mamas.  I grin and explain that what God calls you to, that He enables you to walk in it.  His call, His leading, His help and my following.  

Life is good. Isn't she cute?

And hey..put your name down for my giveaway!  
Time is running short and you'll be so blessed if you are the one who gets picked.  
I think this little one will love to write names down and put them into a basket and draw out the winner.  
We need more names...so please sign up. 
 I am sure you will enjoy it, or can find someone who would love it.

Mar 15, 2016

The Moose!

The Moose

One day I was driving along with my husband on a weekend getaway in New Hampshire, and low and behold there is a moose munching away in a field alongside the road. I was so excited I nearly jumped out of the car.  All weekend I had been asking where were all the animals, we had ventured off snowmobiling and hadn't seen nary a creature.  Just a minute before I had asked God, 'Why no animals?' and bam,
 'moose to order!'

 Now I know a few things about moose, one being to stay away from them. However, I needed to get a picture of her (him?) while the getting was good.  How often does one see a moose?  I needed proof and a little time to use my new camera on the capture of proof, that we had seen this grass munching, frozen faced moose.

Many cars passed us in our 15 minutes of trying to get close enough to said moose, without becoming an aggravation to it or accidentally freezing to death.  My brave husband got out of the car with me and we slowly crept down a ramp to a ledge that would get me close enough to pop off a few pictures.Yeah, that is love.  No one else seemed to care about us or this moose, they just flew by, as we nearly froze to death trying to get her to smile 
(I mean not kill us).

The moose immediately popped up from eating and gave me the eye.  She was a good 50 feet from us, but she was letting me know that she saw us and we better not try anything.   We definitely didn't try anything, but she wasn't convinced.  She couldn't take her eyes off of me, I felt loved.

We told her she was lovely and thanked her for the photo shoot before carefully climbing back up to the car.  My hands were frozen and I was sure that fur must be the way to go, as my new friend wasn't even shivering.  

She is pretty cute isn't she?

and speaking of cute and lovely...
If you have another second~ pop on over
 and sign up for my giveway!

 

Mar 6, 2016

Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway!

Welcome to the Giveaway ...

Happy Beach by Perry Springman


I am so very happy to be able to share a review for a brand spanking new
 children's cd, 
 Happy Beach!

 Perry Springman, the cd artist, contacted me and asked if I would be willing to do a review for him.  He asked me simply to listen to his new children's album, Happy Beach, and give my honest opinion of it.  He is looking for a way to move among the homeschooling community and get the word out that his new cd is available.  Of course it is not just for homeschoolers...read on! And for the record, I feel blessed to be able to help Perry get this out to the world!

Honestly, Happy Beach is a great compilation of music.  It gets you moving, swaying, humming, laughing and I think to limit it to a certain audience (yes, it was aimed at a children's audience), is selling it short. Who doesn't need a dance party at fingertips reach?  After all, most would agree that I am well beyond childhood, but I found myself leaving the cd in the player when I was running errands without children (gasp, without children?  How can this be?  And gasp again, you were listening to a children's cd?)  Yes, truth is, it really brightened my heart.  I found myself laughing and smiling even though we had already listened to the cd through multiple times.

This would be great for children's ministries, a great birthday present or gift for children.  I could see it being incorporated into a Vacation Bible School for churches that don't want to buy a packaged product, but are creative enough to put together their own or want some background music, or perhaps even a children's exercise class that is looking for upbeat get-your-heart-pumping kind of music.  But I think if you are a child at heart that this is a fun way to brighten any day. 

 The songs are wholesome and have many helps for those who have opportunity to reach out and touch a child's heart.  If you read the words to these songs, you have a great jumping point to conversations;

  • Thankfulness,
  •  Friendship
  •  How come or why questions that children often ask,
  •  Neatness/tidiness, 
  • Behavior, 
  • Exercise,
  • Celebrating life and choosing joy,
  •  Loving others,
  •  Loving and respecting parents...
I guess I have made my point.

 This family cd could really be a helpful tool for:

parents,
 mentors,
 teachers,
 librarians,
 or grandparents
 in reaching children's hearts.

I was thinking this cd is not only wholesome and fun loving, but how creative and clever the lyrics are.  The song, The 3 Minute Clean-Up, made me think, 'Why didn't I think of this?'  The songs vary in tempo and style. I began to think, "Hey, I could clean the house to this.  Or, if I am needing to change the atmosphere of our home, this would be a great way to do it. And what a sweet lullaby."

I think Perry is super talented and that we will be hearing more from him in the future.  His vocals are creative and he shows multiple abilities with instruments (both guitar and ukulele). The team he has assembled really put out an awesome album. And Perry Springman's cd cover is adorable!


 And it's not just me who thinks so, all of my kids listened.  They all had their favorite songs on the cd.  My older ones loved Chimichanga, my youngest loved Why Does the World Have Slivers?, My Ukulele reminded all of us of music we had listened to with a folksy edge to it, anyone remember Raffi?



This is Perry's 11th recording, but his first children's CD.  The album was produced by 4-time Grammy winner Mark Heimermann.  (Michael W. Smith, dcTalk, The Newsboys...)  Immediately upon a few correspondences back and forth, I already loved Perry's heart.  

This album is FUN!  I don't just mean for children, I mean all of us thought it was fun.  I kept imagining myself throwing it on and making housecleaning a fun dance worthy event.  We giggled and laughed out loud throughout the 10 songs.  The music is catchy and you find yourself swaying back and forth as you listen to Happy Beach!

Now Perry said he'd be happy to give away a cd to one of you...so if you leave me contact information in this blog post...on Saturday, April 2nd I will announce the blessed winner. Please make sure I can contact you and that you are not set on 'no contact' in your profile setting.  Leave a comment on this post and if you need to leave an email address feel free to use my email link in the sidebar.


And for those of you who don't win, but want to purchase Happy Beach, go to www.perryspringman.com  or to Amazon or  to itunes

 And hey
 I bought 3 cd's to give to people I love:

 two for children I know
 and 
one for a man who is not only a child at heart, 
but works at my church leading Sunday School! 

 (and I can't take credit of thinking of Mr. Bob...
my kid's actually thought of it themselves,
 knowing he'd just LOVE IT!)




Thanks so much! 
And feel free to do your part to help Perry!
God loves it when we love each other.

Feb 22, 2016

Bits of Our Home and Life

Hope

 

 

Tobin James in a mood


Stringing popcorn for our tree


Christmas 2015: 'the tree that wouldn't die'

(we just took it down this past Saturday.  it was put up the day after Thanksgiving...it was still drinking water and not dropping needles)

 

tree type:  Concolor Fir 


Princess Mercy about to sing her solo

 

Prince Bonkie Singing worship

 

 A midwinter eve on our deck


In charge of  microphones

 

 The birthday girl


A visit in the barn from Nagybaba


a birthday girl


A youth leader inspiring others to dress-up for the occasion



hanging out at her sister's house



my son-in-love


my baby #1


Okay, this kind of catches us up into the New Year.  Now if only I can keep in the groove.  


Next post will be a cd giveaway...so if you have little people in your life, you might just want to keep checking in so you can be the lucky winner!


And p.s.- another courtship is well underway.  

We love you Adam!

A Day for Love

Dec 27, 2015

Try Organizing This!

Try Organizing this; a family photo shoot with no blinking, cheery faces and just the right fit.
It is no easy task.



The baby's hair has gone wild in this picture. Some appear to be just a head.



Cooperation...well, this might be harder than we first thought.



Your guess is as good as mine.
 Crazy might be our middle name.
 Some of us more than others.


Too bright?  But pretty blue sky, right?


This is sweet, but one child has misbehaving bangs.



We went with this one for this year's Christmas greeting.  I picked this one, as how much longer will I be able to pick up our youngest babe?  
Another reason to keep going to the gym, right.

God has blessed me with such beautiful children.
 Thanks for letting me share them here with you today.

Happy last week of 2015!

Dec 17, 2015

When Christmas Seems Dark


A thought came to my heart as I was spending time with God.  I am learning to listen ever so carefully to what He is speaking to my heart.  I am asking Him to allow me to grow in this area, as it is a gift that I must confess that I buried for a good portion of my Christian walk.

May this bless your heart as you walk out today and the days that are coming, that draw us into celebrating the joy of our Savior, Jesus, being born in a dark and cold stable.  He came into the dark world to bring us Light and Hope.   May it fill you today my friend.

A song of David

The Lord is my shepherd.

I will always have everything I need.

He gives me green pastures to lie in. 

He leads me by calm pools of water.

He restores my strength.

He leads me on right paths to show me He is good.

Even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave,

I will not be afraid of any danger, because You are with me.

Your rod and staff comfort me.

You prepared a meal for me in front of my enemies.

You welcomed me as an honored guest.

My cup is full and spilling over.

Your goodness and mercy will be with me all of my life,

and I will live in the Lord's house a long, long time.

 

Psalm 23 
Easy-to-Read Version. 


The only thing I would add is that a long, long time isn't the true translation...
slip in the word 'forever' and now we are talking truth.


I am praying for you.  ((hug))

 

Dec 11, 2015

Bittersweet's Embrace



For those of you who are struggling.  

My heart is praying for you now.  Please stop and talk to God about it.  He loves you and cares for you.  He hasn't left you and never will. I pray you find comfort in his arms and that the lies of the enemy will be silenced.

Asking Him for love to flood your spirit and heart and peace to rule your mind.
 


Dec 3, 2015

Shopping at D & D Market




Nothing says Christmas (or any holiday) in our house, 
unless it has some purchases from this little Italian market on Franklin Avenue in Hartford.




This shop has such a warm and friendly atmosphere. You always feel welcomed and treated like visiting family.  My husband is the third generation to carry on the holiday traditions in venturing to this store for our antipasto.  Our children now get to come, one at a time, on the adventure- fourth generation!  For those who are serious in the kitchen in our home, this is a real treat.  So many good things to choose from and really we bring so many wonderful goodies of all kinds home with us. Our cart doth overflow!


Old world charm and Italian love all rolled up into one sweet little market! 

We love you D & D, don't ever change!



Buon Natale

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