Wednesday, September 19, 2012

This Moment of Time

Sleep refuses to come. The thousand thoughts of the last several days toss restlessly through my mind...

No one ever expects to deal with death like this. My husband's dad is dying 2500 miles away. My mom is dying 400 miles away. We've known it was coming but who knew it would come at the same time. My husband returned home late one night from visiting his Dad and we left the next morning to say good-by to my mom.

You think you prepare for death but you can't; not really.

I have wanted for days to write out my thoughts but it is always too jumbled. It feels far too jumbled now but I must . That's just the way I am.

I know the death of a parent is not the same sharp wrenching pain of the loss of a spouse or a child . It is different but it is still somehow a very strange surreal un-moored feeling. The one who gave me birth lies somewhere suspended between time and eternity.

It seems that sudden death would be ever so much easier than this...this waiting...waiting....watching..... hovering...waiting...

It seems we live in a funny little vaccuum of space where nothing is as it seemed before and where everything revolves around a phone call.

Modern medicine has added in it's own complications to whole big picture. More questions, more decisions, ethical wranglings, comfort vs prolonging the inevitable , sustaining life vs delaying death, too many decisions, too many voices, too many opinions...too much to think about .....

Life seems so fragile. It seems so easy to think ,"What is the point?" But then I remember that because of choices my father-in-law made his children will teach their children about God. I know that because of choices my mom made, her approx 100 descendants now, will teach the next generation about God . Only eternity will tell the impact their lives will have. Life is a big responsibility.

Little bits of songs , pictures, happenings of today , of yesterdays, turn round and round my head. "...I know that my Redeemer liveth..., ...Jesus hath risen and man shall die..., and I no more as now shall stand..." Scenes of home, my old upstairs bedroom, Mom's voice, the long lane, the creak of the stairs,long evenings canning and reading with mom and my sisters.

I hear my voice join my siblings in "How Beautiful Heaven must Be", Come Home It's Supper Time", Someday the Silver Cord Will Break, and "Safe In the Arms Of Jesus" . I cry inside as I hear Pop's unforgettable bass join in on "Fear not , O Child, I Will Take Care Of Thee".

How do you watch your Pop tell his wife goodbye every day, lots of times through the day , never knowing when it will really be the final goodbye?

Every turning leaf, every wispy cloud, every crisp Autumn breeze, somehow seems more beautiful than before. Every kiss from my husband, every word from my child , somehow seems to hang suspended in time for a fraction of a second longer than normal.

But all of it somehow seems surreal as you know you stand facing something so much bigger than you; some plan far bigger than time or space.

One thought comes incessantly, I do not know how one lives if he says there is no God.

If I did not believe there was Someone who understood this all, I think I would scream and rage at this huge cosmic plan. If there is not Someone who will one day wipe away the tears and tell the reason why, I would shake my fist at a universe that throws together atoms into human pawns and sits back to let us live , die and decay for no purpose whatsoever.

I know some say the very existence of these seemingly endless ,unanswered questions makes them say there is no god , or rage against him if there is.

But I know. I know in part and sometime I shall know fully. I know man was created for life and fellowship with his Creator and that was ruined for time when man chose evil over good. I know that eternity will tell the story . I know that then we'll know how often a loving Father had to step back and let this whole thing work out to the final victory of good over evil, life over death. I'll understand why He chooses not intervene in the natural course of earthly death.

I don't know how one watches a body fight to live and not realize we were created for life, not death.

I stand in hope that one day I shall see the final victory. "O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?"

I shall one day stand with the One of Eternity and all my questions will be answered

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

The familiar knock came on the bedroom door. Someone neeeded to talk. The teary  voice of our youngest answered our query.

When he entered and came to our bedside, we knew big things were on his mind. He has always thought deeply and asked so many out -of the-blue questions about life and philosophy.

"I just think I need to be saved'. There it was out.

My husband and I both had the same thoughts , I knew.

This child is ...just a child.

I know there are many differing ideas about when a child is ready and they all tumbled through my head. He was not the first to come at the this age ,nor was this the first time he had come.

The first time was several months ago. We talked and determined that he was worried by the sermon and just wanted assurance that he would go to heaven. We prayed with him, told him to keep listening to God and he went merrily on his way.

Should we do the same tonight?

We talked. He was very knowledgable about the whole process , who God is and who he is without God.

He told us he had been doing a lot of thinking and reading. He mentioned that overhearing a conversation by older siblings about their concern for his behavior had bothered him. He mentioned the "Ten Commandment" plaque on the wall.

But after talking awhile my husband still felt some hesitation. He agreed to prayer and thinking it over.

His prayer was simple and sweet. "God, I want to hear You and know it's You and I want to know how to go all the way with You."

My husband and I talked seriously after he left. After eight other children you would think this decision would be easier to truly know how best to lead them through but somehow as always with child-training they each one throw their particular little curve into it.

We rolled over to sleep  trusting ourselves and our child to the wisdom of the Holy Spirit's direction and voice.

.....A knock at the door...

"You know, I just really think I need to take care of it now."

There was no denying that certainty.

He added, "It was a weird thing when I was waiting in the hall and coming into the room, I kept hearing the word, 'someday', 'someday'......I think it was the devil...."

Ah, yes, even a child can know.

Again his prayer was simple , though longer than before. He started " Thank you....God, I pray to be a good soldier for you......I'm sorry.....I pray that I can go all the way with you and never give up......"

Yes, Lord!!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The "Home-making" Father

Women are known as the homemakers and I think rightly so, but what about all the "home making" that the dad's do? I thought of that as I was thinking of the normal "mom post' and Father's day.  Home would not be home, Mom would not have a home to make a home ,truly a home, without Dad. I know , of course, there are instances when one spouse has to carry on alone but home in God's plan is Mom and Dad.
I was thinking of the two father's in my life.
 My Pop has always been ...well...just "Pop"! He was never a Dad , he was never a Father. He disliked both of those terms and for some reason neither really suits him. He was and is just "Pop"! For those that know him that explains him!
In fact growing up his own children were not the only ones that called him "Pop". Most of the other young people in the church did , also. I thought perhaps it was because we were a small church and everyone knew each other so well. But as we grew older and had friends visit from out of state and meet him for the first time, soon they all called him Pop too! When several years ago he moved from that church to a new area, everyone again, very quickly just called him ..."Pop"!
He is a one-of-a-kind person! If you ever meet him you'll never forget him.
He worked hard for his family. He worked in the woods most of my growing up years. It was hard , tiring work with hardly ever enough money to stretch far enough, but we made it!
I remember surprises in his lunch pail brought home to show us kids. I remember long winter nights of "Authors", "Aggravation", Probe"and building "Lincoln Log" houses. And stories,...always stories.
He believed in firm discipline and hard work. Many were the times as a child I thought he overdid both! But I'm thankful for the things he taught me.
Today it is just him and Mom left in their home and Pop truly is the homemaker. Mom is bedfast with ALS brought on by Lyme's disease. Pop lovingly cares for her every need! Some one of the family is alwasy there to help but Pop is really the one who does all Mom's care.I thank God for Pop!

I think of my own husband, the Father of our 9 children. Without him our home would not be a home the way it is.
 He is the steadying. He is the anchor.
 He is the one who works tirelessly to provide food and clothing and a roof over our heads. He is the one who fixes the leaky faucets, the screeching vaccuum sweeper, and the door that sticks. He is the one who gets up to check on the bumps in the night.
He is the fun-loving one ; always ready to show the kids something or play with them.
He's a friend to all the kids. He's the hugger and soother for the little ones and the counsellor for the older ones.
He is the one where "the buck stops" . He is the go to man for everyone.
He is the one who leads the family prayer. He is the one who answers their questions about God.
My man, my husband, my children's Dad, is the one behind this "home-maker"! He is the one who holds me up and gets me through the day.
He's the one who encourages me when things are tough and assures me that we'll get through it.
 I grocery shop. I feed him. I wash his clothes .(sometimes he even does that! ) I pick up his dirty socks. I keep the house clean. I listen when he needs to talk and I give input. I "mother" the kids.
It's the man of the house. It's him. It's the father here who provides, the food , the house ,the vehicle, the clothes,even the wash machine!
It's the Father who provides what Mom needs, materially, physically , emotionally and spiritually and to be a homemaker.
It's the Father who is the REAL homemaker!!
Thank you, heavenly Father, for a godly man!

This post is linked at Homemakers by Choice

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Emmaus Road

picture 0013

Luke 24:13-35 "...two of them a village called Emmaus...And they talked together of all the things which had happened....while they communed together...Jesus himself drew near and went with them...."

This is probably my favorite painting. The particular one pictured here is even more special to me because it was my Grandpa's. As a very young child I remember looking deep into it's shady quietness as it hung over my Grandpa's desk. That desk and the corner where it stood was "Grandpa's Space". As a child, that picture drew me in, not only for it's meaning, but also for the glimpse into Grandpa's heart. Why did he choose that picture for over his desk? Grandpa's been gone now for nearly 20 years. I never did ask him and I wish I would have. ...So because of Grandpa it is special to me.
It's appeal for me goes deeper than just Grandpa, though. I have always been intrigued with the story recorded in Luke and I love this depiction of it.
Last night I was looking at this again. It really made think about it in light of the timing of just celebrating the Resurrection. How must it have felt for those men, saddened and bewildered, to talk with Christ? They give us a little glimpse when they say, "Did not our hearts burn within us?" Then immediately they wanted to tell others. Walking and talking with Christ was different than the ordinary walk.
I have also pondered the question of Jesus, "What things?". A young friend made that question even more real to me, when she said that has been a comfort to her. When she is perplexed by all of life's 'things', she likes to imagine Christ asking her that question and inviting her to tell him every little thing, and putting them all into perspective.
It also brings to mind the day my , then 6 yrld, son came to me and wanted me to hear a poem he had made up. His words struck my heart because he had a difficult time with some of his speech, R's in particular, and was often teased because of it. This is what he softly said to me that day-
"On the Damascus road, that was never mowed,
I met God, and He was not odd.
We talked and talked, and I was not mocked,
On the Damascus road, that was never mowed.

His road was the "Damascus"...the men's in Luke was the "Emmaus"..we may be on just any road..and still it is the same. When He comes we do not feel Him strange and He does not make us feel uncomfortable. He just gently says, "Child,tell me about it".......When He comes, wherever we are, let's just tell Him about it... and let Him take it from there......

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Through a Window

It is finally Spring! least Spring-y enough to let me pretend it will last.

We were able to work outside today. As I was working with all the kidlins and hubby, I was reminded of a Spring-time memory that I had recorded a few years ago on my xanga. I want to share it with you!

I named it then "Through a Window". Kinda reminds me of one of my favorite book names "A Window in Thrums" by J.M. Barrie. I like the book but not really as much as I like the name. yeh, I know I'm kinda weird like that. I like Paint color names , too! :)

Anyhow let's take a peek through my window that Spring ....

  I chanced to glance out the window, across the tiny stream, to the children's play area under the arbor of plum trees. An old bench sits under the lilac bush.The swing set is bedecked with a red sheet across the support bars of the seesaw. From under the sheet small bare feet and the hemline of a yellow jumper is showing. The sheet trembles......
Wait....I am looking through the window into a grand old hall, the high overhead beams of a towering cathedral ceiling frame a rich wine tapestry sweeping the marble floor of the stage. The curtain trembles....
...then is thrown aside with a dramatic flourish. Poised , there she is.... in a shimmering yellow gown of the finest taffeta with matching slippers. From my vantage point, even outside the window, I can hear the gasp of the audience. She tips her head , smiles, steps out from the curtain, down the step and bows in a dainty curtsy.
Stepping softly, she begins a slow pirouette across the stage. She is speaking now, though I can't catch all the words, I know it is an old tender ballad spoken in tones clear and low. The audience leans in to hear her every word. She is the favorite, the one whom they all have waited to see and hear.
She continues across center stage and seats herself gracefully on a tufted settee under the hanging draperies. Now the sweet low tones of the poetry give way to a song of tinkling bell-like notes. She is singing. Again the people hang on every note....she finishes the song with one last flutelike note....
The spell is broken.... my small barefoot daughter rises from the bench, all make-believe gone and slowly crosses the old bridge across the little stream toward the house. I let out my breath and sigh... then smile..
Oh, for the imagination of a child once again.... for the ability to turn the ordinary in to the extra take a swing, an old sheet , a grassy spot.....and turn it into a place of beauty and for royalty!!!
... Or to take a mop, a tea towel, a livingroom carpet.... and turn it into a place of beauty and peace fit for royalty ... my husband, my children.....
... Oh, for the faith to see that I must take my sin stained weary spirit... my unworthy soul and give it to the One that can turn it into ROYALTY!!!
Lord, give me the heart of a child , able always to see the beauty in the ordinary and imagine the impossible....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Special" Date Night :)

Yesterday afternoon when my husband and I returned home from town, our 13 yrld daughter said she and her two younger siblings wanted to make and serve supper for us.

As she worked in the kitchen, her younger siblings whispered down the hall. At the "appointed time" she told us all was ready and we should wait at the top of the stairway to the basement.
Our young waiter , in black pants, white shirt and tie , appeared and with an elaborate gesture motioned us to follow him down the stairs and into the library.

There we found an alcove formed around the library table with tablecloths and curtains. Behind the curtain was a beautifully set table with silver candlesticks and flowers. Goblets of ice water, placecards and a molded chocolate rose were at both settings. We were seated and after assuring us dinner would be served shortly, he disappeared.
Music began to play in the back ground and a pretty waitress in white ruffled cocktail apron appeared. Pointing to two small bowls , she told us to start with our appetizer and she would be back. The appetizer was apple slices and honey peanutbutter.
The kitchen overhead was full of hurried footsteps and quiet voices. Occasionally footsteps came part way down the stairs, paused and hurried back with a whispered observation.
Soon the waitress appeared with our full plates. Dinner was served. It was delicious; perfectly seasoned pork strips with green pepper and onions served over a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes and topped with a fried egg. (I'm sure this was a spinoff of a recipe older brother brought back from Thailand, usually served over rice) :)

Our waiter appeared to refill our glasses and ask if we would be wanting coffee.
We ate in privacy except for a quick "duck-in" from the waiter who smiled and said to me, "The cook wants to know if you're on a diet." (A little late for that. The plate in front of me was heaped! I assured him I was setting aside any dieting for the evening and to tell the cook the meal was delicious.)
Soon the waiter appeared to take our plates , quickly followed by the waitress with coffee.
They reappeared with Chocolate,Vanilla Ice Cream garnished with chopped peanutbutter cups , piled high in sundae glasses.

After awhile the waiter returned to take our plates .Then the cook with the waiter and waitress all came to our table while the waiter as elaborately as possible around his dancing dimple, told us "We hope you enjoyed your meal and do you have any words for the cook." :) After profusely thanking them,they prepared to leave us. The cook whispered behind her hand,to the waitress "curtsey!" She daintily obeyed and they left our alcove.
Silence ...then the waiter reappeared and told us "You can go upstairs whenever you want to". :)
We left them all a tip and exited our romantic restaurant.
Sometimes you know it's all worth it! :)

This post is linked at Raising Mighty Arrows

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Health Nut???

Coming from a background of great cooking and baking, delectable treats and meals from the kitchen were a requirement for any good little housewife. We were taught at a very young age to take pride in our pies and cookies. We oohed and aahed over the array at a church potluck and exchanged recipes. Every church had their "best cook". Huge, gooey, cinnamon rolls, golden crusted, pies, and perfectly browned, chocolate chip, cookies, were in our DNA. Mounds of perfectly mashed potatoes, creamy corn swimming in butter,or airy melt in your mouth pancakes were what set the "best cook" apart from the rest. This cook was known for her "to-die-for" chicken and that one for her always perfect donuts.

And then ...occasionally...there was the health nut. You could pick out their contribution to the potluck. It was that bowl of dried apples, that plate of dry mounded looking things called cookies, or that crockpot of some unidentifiable vegetable soup.
That's what "healthy" cooking was.
O, yeh , sure we all tried to fix a balanced meal: meat, starch, vegetable, fruit and...sweet! We were good cooks, you know. We take care of our families with well rounded meals three times a day.
And then...somewhere, sometime, something begins to happen. For the truly wise woman, she begins to really think about what health means and that maybe, just maybe, it is different than she always supposed. Maybe, just maybe, she shouldn't be so quick to scorn those dried up little mounds passed off as cookies!
Somewhere along the line that happened to me and I started to change our family's eating style. I started to rethink the cups and cups of white sugar in my favorite cookie recipe, the white flour in that perfect loaf of bread, the airy "nothingness" of that beautifully fried donut and the loaded carbs in those "best of the best" mashed potatoes.
BUT...I refused to believe I had to settle for dried apples and cookies that tasted like cardboard! So the process has been a loooonng one!
Recently, I've renewed the effort to provide my family with truly healthy foods and treats which also satisfy my "DNA"! :)
Articles like this one fuel the effort
And, I'm proud to link to my daughter's new blog who is on her own journey for perfectly, delicious, good for you, cooking and baking!!!
Here's to happy baking and cooking to a new breed of "health nuts"!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Jesus Knows Just What I Need

My sister related a precious story to me that happened Saturday evening at my Mom's.

My Mom was "diagnosed" over 6 yrs ago with an incurable, terminal, motor neuron problem of undetermined cause or name. Within the last year we have come to understand that it was most likely Lyme disease left untreated. They began to call it Lou Gehrigs a year ago.
About 3 yrs ago she lost her ability to communicate verbally and this past summer became unable to type or write or eat.
She has been bedridden for the last few months.

In the Spring of 2011 Drs. told us to expect her to be gone by Fall '11, then changed it to Christmas, then said she could not make it to her 70th birthday Feb 20, 2012.

The process has been long, drawn out, and full of challenges, difficulties and emotions. One of the hardest to deal with has been the difficulty of communciation, expecially because it is evident that her mind and ability to comprehend has been largely unaffected.
She is no longer able to make any signs except occasionally to wiggle her toe in answer to a question.
My Dad does most of her care. Hospice nurses and we, children and grandchildren take up the extra. Someone of the family is there all the time.

This past weekend 5 of my siblings, and several of the in-laws and grandchildren were there. My niece who lives about 450 miles away wanted to show Grandma her new baby and the others had various other reasons.

Saturday evening as they sat and visited around Mom's bed , she became increasingly agitated , trying to communicate something to them. They tried and tried but were unable to determine what it was. My dad finally gave up in weariness as my sisters still struggled to understand.

It was then that my 13yrld nephew stepped over quietly to his Mom and asked if he could sing a song for Grandma. When he was told to go ahead, he slipped from the room to where the shelf where Mom's hymnals are kept and returned with it open to his selection. He stepped to the side of Grandma's bed and began to sing...

My Jesus knows when I am Lonely             
He knows each pain, He sees each tear
He understands each lonely heartache
He understands because He cares
My Jesus knows just what I need
Oh yes! He knows just what I need
He satisfies and every need supplies
Yes, He knows just what I need

My Jesus knows when I am burdened
He knows how much my heart can bear
He lifts me up when I am sinking
And brings me joy beyond compare

When other friends seem to forget me
When skies are dark, when hope is gone
By faith I feel His arms around me
And hear Him say, "You're not alone"
My Jesus knows just what I need
Oh yes! He knows just what I need
He satisfies and every need supplies
Yes, He knows just what I need

He satisfies and every need supplies
Yes, He knows just what I need

When he began to sing, Mom quieted and long before he finished all stanzas, every adult in the room was in tears.

Yes, My Jesus knows just what I need , what anyone needs, even when know one else can understand.

A little child shall lead them.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Improvising for Decorating Dilemmas

Moving into a new house always creates new decorating fun and challenges.
The deocrating is especially sticky if you are on a limited budget and can't just go buy some new curtains or decor. Making do with what you have on hand is always a fun challenge to me!
     With this most recent move, I was faced with many such challenges!
Three of which I will address here....
(1) The master bedroom is big but it also has 3 BIG windows so a place to put the bed became an instance "head scratcher" . The situation is made more more difficult because my husband has a very large desk/hutch that needs to go in the bedroom also. The only solution came in putting the bed under the smallest window. I dislike beds under windows! But as our bed does not have a headboard (never really got the money and the "find" to coincide) it was low enough to fit and looked passable temporarily..
(2) Dilemma #2 is caused by those same 3 big windows. I have never had that many of that size to contend with, so do not have matching curtains for that.
(3) A huge mirror that is a prize possession of mine usually has hung above a mantel or the piano. There is no mantel in this house and the only spot for the piano was on a basement family room wall that is concrete. So hanging the mirror became an issue.
      We searched the house for another spot for the mirror. There were four options that presented themselves as big enough but three were immediately ruled out because of conflicting decor or furniture. We settled on the entry hall but as it is quite narrow the mirror, instead of enlarging it , only seemed to close it in more.
      Roaming throught the house , thinking, thinking, and looking through my curtain stash, thinking, thinking; I came up with an idea!
        If  I can somehow come up with a window treatment that doubles as a headboard or bed treatment, then the other window treatments do not have to match, just coordinate! So I only have to have two matching curtain set ups!
       This is the finished product (well as soon as hubby fixes my attempt at hanging the rod,) :)

I combined a long ,cream, lace ,scarf with a smaller, red, valance/panel combo curtain and propped the mirror on the windowsill! Voila! I like it!!
   And THREE decorating dilemmas solved in ONE, I like that, too!! :)

This post is linked at
Feminine Adventures

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Little Child...Big questions

His little voice was teary and very serious. He had some very hard questions for Daddy.

At the first hesitant words, Daddy stopped what he was doing at the desk and took him on his lap. He is almost getting too big. His legs dangle on the ground. He is 9.

"Dad, how do you know if you want to be a Christian for the right reason? " His words kinda tumbled and jumbled from there. His thoughts were difficult for him to form.

Paraphrased something like this, "I don't really intentionally do wrong things. But I do wrong things sometimes. Does that mean I will go to hell? I don't want to go to Hell . I want to go to Heaven. But I don't know if being afraid of going to Hell is a reason to be a christian."

Wise little man.

Mommy had stopped on the stairs at the first words and came back to join the conversation somewhere in the middle there. This was going to be an important conversation.

My husband gently , slowly, explained salvation, discipleship, love and fear ,  motivations and convictions with him. Big concepts, are sometimes hard to put into words clearly enough for such important questions in one so young.

It was one of those moments when you know the gravity of your responsibility of training this little one for life, for God , for eternity.

Big questions; Hard questions; Wise questions. Thank you , Lord for your infinitely, gentle, leading of your little ones.

Questions....questions that a lot of us adults need to ponder long and hard ourselves.

Are we a Christian for the right reasons?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Moving and Normalcy

      I have been unable to post for awhile since we have been moving.
I wonder each time we move , "How in the world do we accumulate so much stuff!?"
      This time had it's own little challenges ,moving belongings for 11 people with 3 of them missing. The eldest daughter married and moved away and couldn't take all of her things. The eldest son is away working for 6mos. so most of his stuff is still here. The second oldest son, is overseas for 6mos in missions. Most of his stuff was boxed up before he left , but we still needed to move the boxes!
      Added to the mix was about a foot of snow, a steep winding driveway and a broken snow plow. Needless to say putting on tire chains every time in and out was NO fun!.
       As I posted before, my clothes washer and my Bosch mixer gave out also! It has been one of those times you just close your mind and focus on the task at hand. It will somehow get done . It always does.
      When my mixer gave out I declared we would just buy bread until the move is over as I did not want to mess with making it by hand. We did buy a few loaves but........for me bread baking is normalcy. The smell is "home". The kneading and forming it are therapeutic. So.....I just did a couple small batches in my KitchenAid. :)

Soon I hope to be back to normal ( whatever that is)! :)

Friday, February 10, 2012


Ok, I saw it once too often....
The video circulating through facebook of the dad who found the disrespectful letter about her parents on his 15yrld daughter's facebook. I am not posting the link because of the bad language on it.
The Dad proceeds to make a video and posts it on his daughter's wall of him reading the letter and addressing her issues and her subsequent punishment.
He takes issue with her foul language ; which he should. He reprimands her disrespect; which he should. He sets her straight on her viewpoint of her "unfair" life; which he should. He addresses her lack of appreciation for what he has done for her; which he should. And he clearly lays out punishment ; which he should.
When I saw it , it had over 6800 comments on it. I scrolled down quite a way and couldn't find one single one that disagreed with him. They applauded his "tough love" parenting, his being "willing to stand up", his "not taking it anymore off a spoiled brat daughter". They said more parents should parent this way then we wouldn't have kids who think they're entitled to everything and are lazy and disrespectful. And on and on....applauding his parenting.
Might sound good if that was really what it is, but it's not.
Let me address his "parenting"--
How is public punishment and humiliation any way to show your love and respect for your daughter.
He addresses her in the same tone of disrespect she uses.
He uses the same kind of language she uses.
He says that at 15 she should be out of the house holding down a job and boasts how he had left home by that age and was taking care of himself.
When he's done telling her how he feels , he stands up walks to her laptop and proceeds to put 7 bullets into it. Enunciating as he does so what this particular bullet is in response to, throwing in one as he says his wife asked him to.
Then he sits down and says he hopes all the kids who thought she was so cool can see this and he hopes parents will stand up and put boots ** ***** kids' *** for doing things like this and not take the **** **** off their kids anymore.
Really? Are you serious? That's good parenting?
No wonder the daughter has no respect. No wonder the daughter uses bad language. No wonder the daughter won't let her parents have her password and posts bad letters about them.
The problem here started long before this episode.
What happened to "Fathers provoke not your children to wrath"? What happened to " train up a child in the way he should go".
I'm all for good old-fashioned discipline. I often implement grounding and taking away privileges. There is definitely a place for tough love. I agree children of today are spoiled. I agree parents shouldn't take disrespect.
But I will not agree with punishment that is disrespectful and done in an ungodly manner. That will not reap the outcome we are looking for in our children!
Our children's training is a sacred trust. We must go with God and walk in His way to do it!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years ago,today, morning dawned with a beautiful baby girl for our family! After losing 3 babies in the early stages of pregnancy and two deliveries with complications , the 9mos. prior to that were spent in a lot of prayer. We were blessed with only 7hrs of labor and no complications!
She joined two brothers 4 and 2 who were as delighted with her as we were. At last we had our tiny girl. At 7lbs and 13 oz , she was much smaller than her two brothers.
She was an excellent baby, She slept through the night after 4mos and you could just lay her down anywhere in the middle of anything and she would go to sleep! She crawled late becasue she had a difficult time figuring out how to get her knees up under her. many times we laughed at her little push-ups trying to get herself going. She went quickly from crawling to walking and walked at 10 mos.
She grew to be chubby short little toddler . Mommy had so much fun dressing her!
She quickly became my helper , as 6 more difficult pregnancies and 6 more babies entered the family in the next 10 yrs.
She learned housekeeping at a young age and became a better housekeeper than her mommy.
Throughout the years sometimes our relationship was a bit rocky. She liked cleaning and sewing-- Mom liked baking and cooking. She loved crafts--mom hated crafts. She loved bright , splashy colors-- Mom stuck to more muted tones and patterns. She could sit for hours writing stories and poems-- Mom didn't have the patience and aptitude for either. She was shy and aloof as a child and effervescently, outgoing as a teenager--Mom would have preferred it the other way around.
If Mom would have been wiser, much wiser so many years ago, things would have gone easier.
Then suddenly.... or probably not so suddenly really.... it just seemed that way.. somewhere in her mid-late teens....
We became FRIENDS....good friends! :)
Her chatter turned into long talks with mom. We discussed everything and anything. I sought her advice on decorating the house, arranging the furniture, and dressing styles. She learned to cook and bake. She was amazing at it! She was creative, talented,  and gifted in nearly every aspect of managing a home and a whole lot of delightful "extra- ciricular" activities to accent those skills.
She was/is what a mother wants...a godly, beautiful, talented daughter!
Then suddenly.....or probably not so suddenly just seemed that way...
She was courting....she was married....she was gone.....
She found a young man whom we love. She was a beautiful bride.
But she moved 2500 miles away...
I miss her...we miss her...
Happy Birthday, Vonda LaRose!!!!!!!! Thank You, God for my Daughter!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be a post wth pictures and no words. Well, as anyone who knows me would tell you, "wordlessness" is hard for me. :)

But....this is my kind of wordless.....

We are in the process of moving ...


                my washer broke down
       my Bosch mixer.....looks like we will be buying bread during this move.:(
       there are .....NO words...

It's a little difficult to find the "Orchids"  today....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

He's Just a Little Green (and yellow)Turtle

Simply Saturday

He's just a little green (and yellow)glass turtle. He is just big enough to hold a 4" flower pot or candle. He has survived 3 household moves. He really has never even made it to the "perfect" spot in a delightful herb garden for which I first invisioned him.
He was just sitting in the middle of a whole bunch of random glass stuff on a secondhand store shelf when I first saw him. He was a castoff. He never made it to someone else's "perfect" spot and they (perhaps wiser than I )decided it was time for him to go.
So there he sat.
I stopped.
He smiled.
Now really that is where he's special. If you see his smile you can't resist him. So he went home with me. He has sat and smiled ever since. It really doesn't matter how he gets pushed around he still smiles.
Today he got pushed from his windowsill and...he broke...
As always when one of the children break something, I tried not to make a big deal about it. He was after all just a little green glass turtle.
But....then .... Over my protesting, my husband stopped his work on taxes, pulled out the super glue and painstakingly glued all the pieces back together.
I really won't mind the cracks you can still see, when he is tucked into that "perfect" spot . And those cracks will always remind me of a very dear man who knew what that little glass turtle had some how came to mean to me . It would be hard for me to even tell you. It really is rather dificult to explain , but with a true friend , I didn't need to. He knew.
And the little green (and yellow)glass turtle...he still smiles.....and my heart smiles with him.

Mom's Menu: Spanish Rice, Tossed Salad, Applesauce, Biscuits w/ honey

Monday, January 30, 2012

If I could change the world, I would.

If I could take away the hurt, I would.

If I could take away the questions, I would.

If I could take away the sorrow, I would.

If I could make everyone smile , I would.

If I could give everyone food, I would.

If I could show everyone love , I would.

If I could give everyone hope , I would.,

If I could take away the pain, the hurt, the sorrow, for one, would I?

If I could give hope, a smile, food, love, to one, would I?

Why don't I??

It starts with one reaching out to one.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

Simply Saturday

Most of these today from the men in my life :)
A gift from my 12yrld(now16) son . A Howard Miller he found at a thrift sotre and got it running again---

 A Christmas gift from my eldest son this year for my snow man collection
 Brought back for me, by my second son , when he was 17, from a missions trip with the Tarahumara Indians in Copper Canyon Mexico. Real hammered copper
 The vase a  Christmas gift from my youngest son  then 6 (now 9). The table scarf brought back from Cambodia 3yrs ago by oldest son
 Handmade for me for a Birthday gift by my then 11yrld son (now 16)

 A favorite spot under the stairs
 Oil on velvet from the Navajo Indians on our honeymoon 26 yrs ago.

 The vase a  Christmas gift from my oldest son

Simple ordinary...........special

Mom's menu: Supper made by the 13 yrld daughter, Meatloaf, Italian seasoned Fried Potatos, Tossed Salad

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday

Have you ever been to a bent-n-dent store? That is the name often given a salvage/discount grocery store.
As our family has been in the business for several years, either operating a store or distributorship, I would like to give my readers a brief overview of really what they are all about .
        The concept is a win/win situation in a world of careless waste and rising prices.
Everyday thousands of grocery shoppers sigh upon entering their favorite store and finding the price of their favorite brand has risen once again. And everyday in the back warehouse of those same stores hundreds of dollars worth of product is being thrown away or sent out to reclamation centers. (A very small amount is sometimes donated to a local food bank)
     That is where the slavage food industry steps in. The food going to the reclamation centers is a small portion of what it could actually be but at least it is a start.
From those centers it is boxed and sent out to small salvage stores across the states. Salvage grocery stores have only recently began to catch on in the West though they have been going strong in the eastern states for many years.
    The product carried at these stores can be anything you would find in a regular grocery. It can be product that has been somehow damaged, e.g. dented cans, torn or smashed boxes, or that is close-dated or out-dated. Often though it has simply nothing wrong with it! It is shelf pulls : out of season, change of product brand, brand price change for a pre-priced item, or if the big store simply decided it was not making them enough money anymore. There is also product that is totally fine but if a case of jam , for instance, has one broken jar the big name groceries stores do not want to take the time to deal with the mess and sent it out!
    You and I are paying for the flagrant waste everytime we grocery shop because waste results in higher prices to offset costs!!
    In a reputable salvage store (more on that later) the product is carefully examined for integrity of contents. Is the can dented enought to compromise the seal? Has the inner package been torn? Is the product truly past the "safe content" date?  Most dates are simply an approximate "best by" date and have very little to do with whether or not the food is actually safe to eat. Exceptions would be fresh or refrigerated meats and dairy . And most of those if frozen by the "eat or freeze' date can be safely eaten for a long time .
     A careful shopper can save big at these stores!! An average price for a can of cream of mushroom soup is 69-79 cents, a box of name brand cereal 1.99, a pound of Starbucks coffee for 4-5 dollars, a bottle of mayonaise for a 1.69-1.89, candy bars 4 for a dollar, most spices 79-99 cents, Rice-a Roni for 69 cents, health and beauty products usually 50-70% normal price the list could go on and on!
     I do want to point out for the health minded shopper or the "from scratch" cook these stores often do not carry staples such as flour and sugar. Those packages are often too torn to safely resell the product. And they also do not always have on hand the "health food alternatives" because the supply for that is not nearly so plentiful. The key is check there FIRST because if and when they do you will save a LOT on specialty products!
   Most of these stores are small family operations so if you shop often enough to can establish a good relationship with the owners and often find out when they expect to get in another shipment of the kind of  product you want . Be there that day before it's gone! The best goes quickly to shoppers smart enought to figure that out. Just a caution , sometimes it is impossible for the store owner to know when a shipment will be in or what is on it. Do not be a brat about  demanding "just what you want".
   You will find a lot of the stores, especially those operated by the Mennonite and Amish, also carry a side line of bulk foods and specialty meats and cheeses. These may not always be cheaper (though usually the meats and cheeses are compared to big name stores) but usually they are  a superior, premium quality product.
     A word about the "reputable" stores I mentioned earlier-- there are people in this industry to try to milk it as in anything. They do not care about their product or you and are just trying to make as much money as possible by not having to throw out any product they receive. To better understand why , let me explain that this reclamation grocery comes "as-is " . It takes a LOT of work and time to sort it, clean it, check for safety,  or retape a box . So get to know the owners so you will feel assured that the food is clean and safe. You can usually tell when you walk through the door . If the store looks and smells clean and neat , the product is usually also carefully taken care of.
    Interestingly, a lot of the stores are owned and operated by christian families who have seen a need to offest waste and provide an income for their families where the family can work together.
  Just a few shots of our store behind the scenes when we were operating one.
             A LOT of work sorting and stocking......

                       .....often led to silliness and a need for a break :)

                           You never know what you might find in a box

                      The cardboard crew after loading the truck
 A look inside our current distribution... since moving to this house the living  and dining rooms become a staging place for boxes...not always fun ... but it works for now

    We buy  reclamation direct from regular grocery suppliers and distribute to salvage stores. It is a lot of loading and unloading, sorting ,  and counting. Most of what we deal in is snack foods.

When you shop a salvage store you save BIG for your family, you save our landfills and you do just a small part at least to combat America's wastefulness! Find a store in your area and check it out!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sunday Menu

Sunday dinner is fairly traditional around here. Some variation of Roast Beef, Pork , Ham or Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, w/ gravy, hot veggie, salad, dinner rolls and whatever dessert strikes me on Sat. prep time!

This past Sunday my 13 yrld daughter and I were playing around with taking pics of dinner. So just thought I'd share a few,.

Call it "Any Sunday at the Household of Orchids and Laundry" :)

This Sunday's menu was
This Sunday's menu was Roast Pork w/ Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes w/Pork gravy, German Green Beans, Tossed Salad, Apple Pecan Crumble w/ Vanilla Ice cream

                              German Green Beans
(or sometimes called Amish Green Beans, our favorite preparation for canned beans)

Two cans or 1 qt Green Beans (drained)
1/4 c. butter
1/3 c. diced onion
3 T. vinegar
1/4 c. Brown sugar
1/8 tsp black pepper
dash of salt

Saute onions briefly with butter in skillet. Add green beans. Drizzle with vinegar, Stir through quickly. Sprinkle with br sugar , pepper and salt. Stir. Simmer until all liquid is gone, stirring occasionally.
Feel free to adjust to your tastes! :) I never measure ....:)

Enjoyed "sharing" dinner with you!

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Just pondering today...not sure it is a really cohesive thought....

Is  expressing our most intimate experiences with God in public format , good or bad?

When we blurt about for any or all to hear and/or read of our most private moments with Him, I think it somehow mars the special relationship as much as it would if I would blat everything precious and private in my relationship with my husband.

Somehow it seems like the world's philosophy of "free love" and "open relationship" has begun to creep into our union with God. Nothing is sacred anymore.

Along with that and perhaps more at the heart of my ponderings is the "new-fangled" way of expressing that.

Somehow all this trying to make God so "human" ,so "just my favorite bud", so "warm fuzzy" disturbs me....

Am I the old-fashioned one? Am I too stuck in "King James" as they say?

I am all for a very real , intimate, breathing, living, relationship with God that goes way beyond the sterility of most just "church" experience, but ......somehow some of what this has become bothers me.

He is after all a Holy God. One whom Moses needed to take off his shoes to approach. One who's face we are not even able to see because of it's glory.

The fact that HE, My Creator, My God desires me as His child is awesomely wonderful . That He says we can call Him, Abba, Father, is absolutely precious. That His son has told us we are no longer servants but friends is a beautiful sustaining truth and reality.

But does that all mean that I need to be trying to always think of him as a "man" as just like me? Jesus became as flesh, as human, while here on earth. That was a dramatic change for Him. That was not who He was before nor who He is now.

When I see people trying to make things from scripture or their relationship with Him fit into the same type of relationship I would have with my  "coffee pal" that bothers me.

Am I the weird one?

Thursday, January 19, 2012


When I peruse other blogs I find all manner of delightful , cutesy ,widgets, gadgets, pictures, and links. I find blogs on any subject under the sun; homemaking, homeschooling, politics, religion, homesteading, gardening, sewing, scrapbooking, child training, ministry, witchcraft, household hints,baking, cooking, canning ,travel, home business, cake decorating, floral arranging and on and on it goes.

After awhile I begin to feel very ordinary.

I feel uninspired.

Instead of getting tips and how-tos, I shake my head and wonder how you ever find time to do all that and blog about it too.

I feel like a very ordinary housekeeper, mom and wife.

I feel average. Average cook, average baker, average seamstress, average homeschool teacher, average wife etc etc....nothing extra-ordinary.

And I wonder how does one go from doing to talking about doing and showing others how to do. And I wonder how one feels like they have the answers enough to make how-to videos for others.

So I wonder, perhaps, the problem lies in my view of myself. Should I feel bold enough to blog a lot of "how-tos".....

If you want to talk kids.. I have 9.
If you want to talk homeschooling...I have for 10 yrs.
If you want to talk cooking...I was raised in a family of 11 and have a family of 11 so I of necessity have homecooked since I have no idea how old....I was also raised in a family who owned a catering business so I've cooked for thousands.
If you want to talk folks were of the mind "get all you can, can all you get..." and we put up 1500-2000 qts of everything imaginable every year and I now can for my own family.
If you want to talk baking....the family I was raised in also operated a bakery so I have baked since before I can remember and now bake all my own bread and any goodies or what not.
If you want to talk sewing ...I sewed my first dress by myself at 12.
If you want to talk home family owned and operated home businesses all mym life and my hubby and I have owned several since we've been married.

The list could go on and on....but what would be the point...?

I still wonder how I would be able to feel that is note-worthy enough to make a how-to blog about. I wonder how many of these blogs are more about bragging than simply sharing hints and helps.

But then I wonder if there is another side.....

 I wonder why I feel so average. Certainly, some of it is because when you come from a big family and have a big family you become very self-sufficient and "can-do" and "make-do" and a lot of these things are just ordinary life.

But......I think again and I think perhaps I shouldn't feel so ordinary, so average. Maybe I should feel more talented, more skilled, more capable....maybe I shouldn't take myself and my life experiences so much for granted .

Maybe...just maybe....I should thank God for all that life experiences have taught me and maybe.... just maybe I should feel more confident of myself ...
And maybe...just maybe there is someone that I, "little ole , ordinary me"...could help....

Mom's menu- Beef Rice Pilaf, Corn, Applesauce

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Looking Back

In looking through some old posts ,I found this one from my xanga page 5 yrs ago today! :)

"So...I'm a Liberal...."
As my hubby said near the end of this conversation "You never know what may spark a heated discussion in this household".
The breakfast discussion began with a description by hubby of what "water intoxication" really is. It seems he was adding to an earlier discussion between himself and the boys. Well, it seemed rather off the wall to me, so I asked for the reason behind this subject. It turns out that some 28 yr old mother is dead because some radio station instigated a contest to win a playstation. The rules were "who can drink the most water without using the restroom". Well this lady drank, drank, too much got a headache, went home , was later found dead of "water intoxication". Sad story. But here's where the debate around here began...
I said " I'll bet that radio station gets sued, how stupid!" (Let me insert here I most definitely do not advocate suing) immediately my dear eldest two sons wanted to know why I thought that radio station should be in any way responsible. I tried to explain that while I didn't necessarily feel they were responsible, that was a very irresponsible contest, and therefore I'm sure some lawyer somewhere would agee with me and a suit is likely to be the outcome. Well... they proclaimed me a "ravin liberal". As they say " that's the problem with everybody now a days . No one takes responsibility for their own mistakes. She didn't have to drink so much. Ok, I agree but I still say the radio station should feel somewhat responsible.
The conversation continued with a lot of different scenarios that someone could dream up for contests and whether or not they should be called irresponsible for doing so. Mom again made an unpopular observation that anyone using the airwaves should feel responsible for what they fed into peoples brains. There's a lot of ignorant, undisciplined people out there that don't think for themselves. Well.... I was further proclaimed a liberal and they even started quoting Rush " hey, they can reach up and turn the dial".
We finally reached some agreement on the fact that before God anyone definitely has a moral responsibility for any thing he feeds into someones ear.
We also agree that definitely the lady is the one ultimately rsponsible for her own folly. As I said before I do not agree with all this suing. This world be a much beter place if everyone wasn't so quick to blame others for their problems. But..... I still contend this particular radio station should be held somewhat responsible for such a stupid contest.... Ok, so I'm a "ravin' liberal".....

Moms Menu- Fried Eggs, "Cinnamon Roll" Broiled English Muffins, Milk