The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Things Which Are Not Seen

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm usual Irish breakfast tea in my Portmeirion teacup.

I'm feeling...tired but good!  I just came in from tending my vegetable garden.  I picked a nice handful of snap peas, plus some cayenne and jalapeƱo peppers.  I also chopped down all of my oregano--you should see my kitchen counter, overflowing with fragrant herbs!

My honey leading family devotions
On my the de-cluttering I've been doing the past few days!  It feels so good to end up with two paper bags full of junk recycling paper, one recycling bin full of cardboard, a box and a bag of items for Goodwill, a stack of games/puzzles/curriculum to sell, and a clean closet!  (This will be a near-future post...)

I'm also excited about a mini bluegrass "jam" tomorrow night with friends and family, the Independence Day weekend, our church Independence Day celebration on Monday.  Oh, and then there is my to-do list!  BUT--yep, and it's a big one--today is my beloved's BIRTHDAY!  He is 47 on this wonderful summer day.  I love him.  Simple.  :)

I leave you with...a section of Scripture from 2 Corinthians that caught my heart this morning as I contemplated the state of our country--its politics, its moral decline, its financial chaos, its hedonistic culture.  It's so easy to look at all these aspects and become discouraged.

What will become of America?  I don't know.  I don't know God's plans for our nation; but He does.  And I'm not supposed to be looking at all this "stuff" around me, anyway!  This is not my home; I am a citizen of another kingdom, glorious and pure.  That is where my eyes are supposed to be fixed.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.  For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NASB  [emphasis mine]

Yucca bloom from my back yard

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another Awesome Game!

Danny had his wisdom teeth removed a week ago last Friday, so he has been taking it easy lately.  Due to "dry socket" horror stories, we're pretty paranoid about wisdom tooth recovery, and it has rubbed off on Danny.  No bouncing, jarring movement for him!

Since he wasn't up to attending church that Sunday, I stayed home with him to keep him company and to minister to him if he needed anything.  Danny is a doer, so he was pretty bored just sitting around.  Watch a movie, read books, yeah, that's all fine, but he needs to do stuff.

He was bored enough on Sunday that he agreed to play Scrabble with me.  Which is really neat on two fronts:  one--that he actually wanted to play a game he's not really good at, and two--he loves me enough to be willing to be potentially creamed in the game.  :)

At one point, he had the following letters on his rack:  Q  U  I  I  I  I  O

At another point, he placed six tiles and picked six more:  T  T  T  I  I  I

What a challenge!  He had the Q tile, but I picked every other high-point tile!  And our scores weren't lopsided, either, which is always nice--and which makes for a potentially high-scoring game.  Which we had!

I didn't make the below shot "pretty" by clearing off the countertop area.  It reflects our everyday living, complete with medication, crumbs, a used butter knife, and green garden twine.  :)

And our score?  See below.  I thought I'd never see an 800 game in my lifetime, and then I had a 900 game in May, and an 800 game in June!!

Below is the cleaned-up version of our countertop, and the game with all those wonderful words.  We learned some new ones (as per the Scrabble dictionary, which sometimes allows words I object to)--braza and dup being the most interesting ones.  Both Danny and I had seven-tile words:  revision (Danny) and dinkiest (me on my first turn).

I love Scrabble!

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Meandering Around My Home

When I typed "around my home" in the above title, I meant it literally.  I walked around my home with my camera, with the goal being to share my tour with you!

Inspired by my friend Lori and her June garden tour post, I took my camera on my wandering tour.  As a side note, visit Lori's blog to read her "Friday Farm Girls" posts.  They will surely bless you!

Now, I must say that I'm not a gardener by nature.  I plant flowers and things, and if they survive from year to year, I keep them.  If they die, well then--I don't!!  ;)

I actually made two tours of my yard areas--one with my regular lens and one with my macro lens.  Today's tour will give you an overview of our little corner of the world.

The Front Yard

The front of our house, complete with Suburban in the driveway

We have a pie-shaped wedge of property, with the point at the back end of the back yard.  So our front walkway is really wide, and our front yard has lots of space that I don't know what to do with.

The guys recently dug out the below patch of grass, mounded up all our extra dirt and compost, set the rocks up there, and helped me transplant flowers from my original front yard garden in the photo above (just above the "anne" in my watermark).  Some of the tall heliopsis in the back is still wilted, but it's a hardy plant and I'll just cut it off.  It'll come back next year.

And this is the original front yard garden from which we transplanted the above flowers.  It looks a little bare, and I still have to rake out the pile of dirt the guys dumped into it.  It contains blue oat grass (one of my favorites but it is dying), beard-tongue, daisies, and threadleaf coreopsis (the yellow flowers in the front left).  There are a few daffodil leaves still standing as well.

Threadleaf coreopsis

Beyond the above garden, at the far edge of the fence, I dug out a little corner and planted some astilbe.  Thomas mowed over it once a few weeks ago, but it is coming back, and even has some peach-colored blooms on it.

Completing my front yard garden tour is my porch garden below.

This is the very first garden that graced my new home.  When we moved here 13 years ago, it was filled with nice, green sod.  It was the best grass on our entire 1/3 acre of lawn!  Year after year, I envisioned a garden here, until about six years ago the dream materialzied.  I had had several years of chronic pain, and after I underwent surgery to attempt to alleviate it, my dear friend and heart-sister Dee came over and almost single-handedly dug out the sod.  All the boys replanted it in other parts of the yard, and Dee and I went shopping with some extra money Fernando had given me.

First, we drew out a plan and planned the color scheme.  We read plant books and picked out flowers by color and size.  The plants I ended up choosing were different from the plan, but the colors were the same, and Dee taught me so much about how to plan a garden.  What a gift I received from my friend!  Below, my rocking chair from Cracker Barrel now sits on the porch.  (Ignore the dirt.)

The view as I sit in my chair.  :)

The Back Yard

I will show you my back yard in (mostly) pictures.  First, I step out onto the stoop from our kitchen door onto our patio, and look from right to left across the yard.

See those raised beds for vegetables?  That's where I spend most of my summer yard time.  :)

I'm standing south of my veggies in the photo above.  If I turn 180 degrees, there is a spot that will one day be very special.  It is my back yard flower garden spot, started and worked on throughout the years of chronic pain, and then neglected over the last three or so years.  We had enough money to buy some edging brick, but I never finished it.  I went back once to buy a bunch more brick, but they had changed the size!  So now I'm not sure what to do with the edging, or with all those bricks.

The (mostly) finished part does look pretty--Fernando bought me a garden bench one year.

The view from my bench is not too bad--lots of weeds, though there are a few flowers managing to survive.  I think I'll keep those.

I couldn't resist--one macro shot of a weed in my back yard garden

It used to be a sun-filled garden, but with the maple tree's growth, it has turned into a shady spot.

One day I'll have me a pretty back yard garden spot where I can sit and read my Bible or daydream.  One day, when life slows down.  :)

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tea Talk -- And This I Pray

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm Rishi blueberry rooibos tea.  I found this tea at Whole Foods, and it is one of my favorites.  Every time I open my cabinet, I can smell its fruity fragrance, even though it's sealed with both an inner seal and a lid!  Mmm.

Rooibos in my Pfaltzgraff tea cup and saucer

I'm feeling...okay!  My back is a little sore; I think it's from bowling a few days ago.  We sure had fun with myself, three guys, and their Grandpa and Grandma.  We also ate ribs for dinner, with my homemade barbecue sauce (I'm still perfecting the recipe and should have a revised one to post soon).

On my mind...for this week, I'm thinking about a possible "internship" for Danny with an orthopedic surgeon.  We had been given the name of a surgeon a few months ago, and then that name popped up again in conversation at our homeschool convention.  We'll see where that goes.  I also have several items on my to-do list that NEED to get done.  Plus, I'm seriously itching to de-clutter and clean, but I have to do everything else first!

I leave you with...a prayer that Paul and Timothy prayed for the Christians in Philippi.  Today it is my prayer for you.  :)

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 NASB

Threadleaf coreopsis in my new front garden

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Well, it's done.  Danny has graduated our homeschool high school.  It has been an amazing journey, filled with prayer, love, giggles, prayer, terror (he "ran away" from home when he was three), surprises, laughter, prayer.  It has been pure joy to see my little boy growing up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

June 12 was the official ceremony and celebration.  I'm waiting for my brother to get our "official" graduation images (both Fernando and I were on stage with Danny to present his diploma); however, I will share below some special images of the day.

Mr. Storm, one of our church elders, gave the commencement speech

Six of the eleven homeschool graduates

Beautiful and delicious, too!  (made by homeschool graduate Keren N.)

A quick side visit to several kiddos--yep, I'm drawn to them like a magnet!!

And finally, Danny's graduation display, reflecting his years growing up in our family.  We wanted to include photos of not only him, but of his brothers and family.  After all, he did not grow up alone!

Thank You, Lord, for the amazing, incredible blessing of DANNY.  :)

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

It Takes Work

We had some beautiful days last week, and on one in particular, we I decided to transplant the overgrown flowers into a new garden.  The guys had dug it out, piled up the dirt and compost, and re-placed the rocks on top of the dirt.

They worked hard to get all of the plants into the new garden.  Well, almost all.  The flowers had multiplied so much over the last few years that I had a lot of clumps with nowhere to plant them.  I'm glad I saved all those plastic flower pots from the store!!  A lady stopped by a few hours after we had placed all the flowers at the curb with a sign.  She happily took them all.

The flowers look a bit wilted, but most of them have survived--they're even blooming!  There are two or three clumps of heliopsis that are still wilted and may die.  But they will come back next year!

My pretty beard tongue blooms in purple and pink.  It loves this garden and I love it!

Like me, Danny enjoys playing with the hose.  :)

Isn't water such fun?  :)

Garden is planted, tools are clean, guys did a ton of work.  Happy day!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tea Talk -- Whom Have I in Heaven?

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm usual morning drink, Trader Joe's Irish breakfast tea in my Vero Beach cup from Portmeirion.  What a fun website to browse and dream through!

I'm feeling...just fine and dandy!

On my a to-do list a mile long.  I wanted to be able to relax this week, but I've been GOING every day with no chance to cross things off my list, or even to do laundry!  My goal is to post this post, do laundry, then tackle that list.

I leave you with...Scripture that my husband read out loud the other morning.  We used to sing a chorus in our former church with these lyrics, and it has been lilting through my head the past few days.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.
But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.
Psalm 73:25-28 NASB

Daisies in my back yard

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