Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Snapshot and a Scripture

Luke 2:13-15 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,  
“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”  
When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.”


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Scripture and Snapshot

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2012 by the Numbers



The number of miles we drove (round trip) to visit my family in Pennsylvania for a belated Christmas. It was a wonderful time, with my family there in PA, and my sister and her family from Alaska. We caught up with old friends, visited the PA Farm Show, and had a wonderful time.

While we were there, our youngest son, Wyatt, accepted Christ into his heart. I know the angels rejoiced! Shortly after we returned home Mayda turned 6. Fun times!

The number of doughnuts we made (and ate) on Fat Tuesday or Fastnacht Day. It was a busy month of school and field trips.



The number of row-feet of potatoes we planted. We laid the foundations for a nice garden, planting radishes and lettuce as well. The mild spring meant we were picking produce earlier than ever.
Warm weather meant an outdoor lunch in March!



The number of chicks in our barn in April. We received 100 Cornish cross, and 25 egg layer types in the mail, and then I bought 15 more fryers at the feed store the next week. It was a real adventure! We were in love with all those cute fuzzy butts!



The number of blessings actually counted that month. It was a joy to join other women everywhere counting blessings with Ann Voskamp. Several other times in the year I blogged my blessings as well. So far I've put names on over 432 blessings. What a difference a perspective of Gratitude can bring.

Joy Dare from A Holy Experience:

May Joy Dare Week 1
May Joy Dare Week 2
May Joy Dare Week 3
May Joy Dare Week 4

31 days to Crazy Joy in October:

Counting Gifts in October
October Blessings Pt. 2
October Blessings Pt. 3
October Blessings Pt. 4
October Blessings Pt. 5
October Blessings Pt. 6, and Solomon's Prayer

30 Days of Thankfulness in November

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

holy experience



The number of softball and baseball games attended, plus tournaments. It was the first year for both Tyler and Emma, and we spent about 3  evenings a week driving to games here and in the neighboring towns. We got really good at packing a cooler for supper and finding the best shade. Tyler's team took second place for their club age group. Emma had a blast pitching and found she has a real knack for it. My Dad and brother, Tim, were able to come watch the kids play, so that was really special.



The number of miles to the top of the local landmark, the Scottsbluff National Monument. The cousins and the kids climbed it (with the aged adults huffing and puffing along) the day before Tyler turned 11. We celebrated that with a day swimming at the lake. It was a busy month ending with a trip to visit Ben's folks for a county fair carnival tradition. The carnival is one of our favorite family traditions and when we get home from their fair, ours is just beginning.



This is the number you get when you add homeschoolers to 4-H. The fair is always fun and usually occurs about the same time my garden thinks I should spend 24 hours a day canning produce. Even so, we spent every day of the week at the county fair and the kids had a blast. Tyler and Emma entered photography exhibits this year, in addition to showing rabbits and chickens. Mayda also showed a rabbit for the first time. It was really neat! Emma also turned 10 this month and we celebrated by camping at the lake. I can hardly believe she is in the double digits!
Emma's purple ribbon photo.



The number of students in our homeschool, since Wyatt turned 5 in September. We started back at the books on Labor Day (appropriate, yes?), and the kids have been having fun learning ever since. Wyatt is doing Kindergarten with My Father's World curriculum, and I'm amazed at how much he has soaked up already. The garden was wrapping up early due to the heat and drought, but we did get a second round of lettuce that lasted into October.
first day of school


The number of square feet on the National Geographic Asia Map, which we explored when it came to our town. October was filled with fun school outings, as well as our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.



The number of Van Gogh paintings we visited in person at the Denver Art Museum. It was a wonderful opportunity and we were so thankful to get to go. As for thankfulness, we were also very thankful to spend Thanksgiving with Ben's folks and while there we saw many aunts, uncles, and cousins, as well as his grandma, Beth, who is recovering from hip surgery. We also enjoyed a visit from my folks that month, and my grandma, Bettie, turned 86!



The number of Christmas cards I bought back in January, but didn't get mailed until the week of Christmas... without even a letter inside. Procrastination at its best. I think I was just enjoying the Christmas season so thoroughly I didn't want to sit down and get them done! But we did get a lovely picture to put in, thanks to my sister Jessica, who was visiting from PA this month. We also enjoyed a Christmas program at church, where Emma was able to play Mary. We can hardly believe how the year has flown, and have innumerable blessings to count as we look around us.  More numbers I suppose. ;)


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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

DIY Wire Christmas Wreath Base

Ever wonder how to make a Christmas wreath from fresh greens without having to shell out $6 for a wire wreath base from the craft store?

All you need is:

  • a wire hanger, 
  • and a length of baling wire, 
  • some wire snips 
  • and a pair of pliers. 

First, bend the coat-hanger into a circle, and turn the hook perpendicular to the hoop. Then cut a length of bailing wire to form a loop about 4 inches wider than the hanger. You can cut it a bit long for the next step...

Join the bailing wire at the "neck" of the hanger, by bending over and then twisting backwards.  Then cut about four 5" pieces of baling wire to wrap at intervals around the hoop to ensure it holds the correct spacing all the way around. 

All that's left is to stop by your local Christmas tree lot and buy up all the lower branch trimmings. 




Thrive @ Home Link-Up

Thursday, December 13, 2012

meeting new friends!

I am connecting up with all my new friends on the TOS CREW, and I encourage you to as well.

If you want to follow the Crew on Twitter, here's a link to our crew group feed:
This makes it so you can follow all of the members with one subscription, or go to the member list to follow each one. :)

Here are a few new ones I've "followed" this week. It is definitely not everyone, but a start. If they had a blog button, I grabbed it. :)





Life at Rossmont

 Bow of Bronze

Krazy Kuehner Days




Shepherding Kind Hearts

Ok, I'm out of time for today, but there are a LOT more crew members to visit! I'll be sharing more soon, but this was a taste to get you linked up. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Highlights of the High Plains

A morning sunrise, with the bluffs and hills in the distance.


Stopped on the way to town so a cattle drive could cross the road.


Swirling winds made a cornhusk bed for Buck overnight.


Monday, December 10, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It's starting too look like Christmas here. Still no snow, but the lights are up, and the tree is decorated. I've made up several fresh wreaths, and the smell of pine that comes from them is intoxicating. :) But truly, Christmas is not something we unpack from a box of decorations. It's not something we bake with sugar and sprinkles. It is a GIFT.

It is the reminder of God gift, Christ, and in Him, Salvation. So in this season of giving, we give, of ourselves, of our talents, of our time. We are endeavoring to show that to our kids. I want them to see past the mall santa, and the toy commercials, and get into the spirit of giving...

So this year we participated in Operation Christmas Child. Wyatt exclaimed as we walked out, "When will I get a shoebox?" I am reminded that this self-centeredness comes very naturally, and that it will take lot of practice for my 5 year old to see beyond his own wants, to the needs of others.

Proverbs 22:6
"Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it."

This week we went shopping and made little care packages for some missionaries our church supports. Wyatt was a little less self centered when we talked about what to send the missionary boys who were his age. He began to get excited about thinking of giving them joy. Of course, my favorite part of that project was the look on the face of the clerk at our tiny post office when I said I had packages for Germany, Slovenia, and Peru!

Emma and Mayda shared their talents in the Christmas program at church. Emma was thrilled to portray Mary, and to sing a solo. Mayda was terrified to have a short line to recite, but she memorized it and did very well. Wyatt was a shepherd  and Tyler was (for the very first time) too old to be in the program. That made me feel a bit old! Sharing our talents for the Lord is always a pleasure.

That afternoon we headed to the Christmas party at the nursing home where my grandma lives. Singing and laughing with the residents there, I was SO thankful to see how comfortable my kids were with loving and serving them. They were certainly more comfortable with the sweet lady whose dentures came popping out as she sang than they were with the "Santa" who showed up and wanted to talk to them. Wyatt hid under his chair at that point. hehehe!

Then we went back to grandma's room to help with her Christmas cards, but had to pause to step out into the hall and enjoy the carolers who come through. This is what Christmas is all about. Taking a moment to give of yourself, of your talents and gifts, and to share! I hope we can keep it going all through the year. :)

"What if December looked different this year?
What if we all just
Give this Christmas away
If there's love in your heart
Don't let it stay there
Give this Christmas away
And your life will be changed
By the gift you receive
When you give this Christmas away"
-Matthew West

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