Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Just a quick stroll outside today....

These tulips are very cheerful!...they make me smile when I go outside .... or come inside....they are right at our front door!

How do think this little lamb will do at the county fair? A grand champion?...well, in our books any how! We will also have two other little lambs that we will be proud of....only because they are the first three lambs that were born right here in our little sheep shed!

These are our grapes...hopefully they will be full of plump fruit in the fall! We like to make our own grape juice - have actually become rather grape juice snobs....The juice is really good made w/ several types of grapes - and we enjoy it hot - like hot apple cider  - when we are making it!

And back inside, these pepper plants are coming along nicely! Zachary is in charge of them/planted them/eats them like candy! He would sometimes prefer them to a cookie! Hopefully they will transplant well, when it gets dry enough to move them outside! He is hoping to have LOTS of peppers!
Hope you have a glorious day in the Lord!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.

Song of Songs 2:10

I hear the voice of my Beloved! He speaks to me! Fair weather is smiling upon the face of the earth, and He does not want me to be spiritually asleep while nature is all around me awaking from her winter's rest. He bids me "Arise," as well He might, for I have been lying long enough among the weeds of worldliness. He is risen, and I am risen in Him; so why should I still cleave to the dust? From lower loves, desires, pursuits, and aspirations, I want to rise to Him.

He calls me by the sweet title "my love" and counts me "beautiful"; this is a good argument for my rising. If He has exalted me and thinks me fair, how can I linger in the tents of wickedness and make my friends in the wrong company? He bids me "Come away"; further and further from everything selfish, groveling, worldly, sinful, He calls me; yes, from the outwardly religious world that doesn't know Him and has no sympathy with the mystery of godliness. "Come away" has no harsh sound to my ear, and what is there to hold me in this wilderness of vanity and sin?

My Lord, I want desperately to come away, but I am held among the thorns and cannot escape from them as I wish. I would, if it were possible, close my eyes and ears and heart to sin. You call me to Yourself by saying, "Come away," and this is indeed a melodious call. To come to You is to come home from exile, to reach the shore out of the raging storm, to finally rest after hard labor, to reach the goal of my desires and the summit of my wishes.

But, Lord, how can a stone rise; how can a lump of clay come away from the horrible pit? Please raise me; draw me by Your grace. Send Your Holy Spirit to kindle sacred flames of love in my heart, and I will continue to rise until one day I will leave life and time behind me and come away indeed.

Just wanted to share these great thoughts! These devotions have been a great blessing to me! Just in case you've never had the privilege of hearing Alistair preach, you may want to listen to some of his sermons! They are very good.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Just today...

Four of my sweet littles are playing legos on the dining room table....

Also in my dining room stands this...

Which is a new addition our family! My sweet friend, who needed to move it out of her home, gave it to me. I think it is beautiful. I love the wavy glass look, the latches, the tongue and groove oak, the chipped paint inside, the solidness of it!... She was told that it is from the 1860ish time period, and that seems to be confirmed by any who've seen it. I'd been looking for a china hutch, but in my home, there isn't much wall space. We have an abundance of windows - for which we are grateful - but that makes finding such pieces of furninture a bit of a challenge. Amazingly, this hutch fit perfectly! Thank you dear friend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"What He Must Be..."

Gregg, having read thru this book already, has begun a morning study w/ our oldest 5 children going thru Voddie Baucham's book, What He Must Be: ...If He Wants to Marry My DaughterIt's a great book that plants the seeds for a multi-generational outlook, as well as preparing daughters and sons for the roles that they will likely assume in the future. It encourages purposefulness and raising the bar when evaluating a suitor.  It also opens the door for some great conversations with your children! It allows them to voice concerns or thoughts that they've had - but just haven't "come up".  We certainly recommend it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lord's Gym

On Friday afternoons, after Tea Time, most of the family heads to the Lord's Gym.  (Gregg, Benj, and Em are employed til after 4:30, so they join us then!)  This is a very interesting place. A church actually meets here, but on Fridays, it is joined by others in the community and is the 3rd largest food distribution place in Clark County.  Beginning at 3:30, produce and bread is handed out to needy families/people. The twins manage the potato and onion bin, James works w/ the fruit, Grace hands out bread, and Z works where ever he is needed in this room. Sarah, Rachel, and Joshua head to the kitchen to help prepare food for the dinner that is served at 6pm.  I must mention that we do NOTHING but show up to help. The work actually begins in the morning and by the time we get there, we are just extra hands. The meal begins w/ prayer, and the gospel is presented at the end of the meal.  During the meal, we help serve the food, gather the trays, (which need to be washed and reused) and begin cleaning the preparation dishes. At this point, we take our family home for a dinner together - pizza/movie night. But the Lord's Gym is still opened! They hand out frozen and canned food after dinner!
It is a ministry that we've enjoyed participating in. For many years, we wanted to do something that our entire family could do together, and this fits the bill well for now. One friend that we met grew up in Scotland. Our children love to visit w/ him. There are many Russian folks there that don't speak English. Benjamin likes the opportunity to try to communicate w/ them, and they appreciate his effort. We've really benefited from participating in this local ministry and have been able to see God working in a way that we've not witnessed first hand before.
What's going on in your neck of the woods?

(I did have some pictures that Eman - our Scottish friend took, but haven't been able to upload them - will try to post them later!)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

About Sour Dough

I recently posted a picture of our sourdough bread. Thought I'd give a bit more info about how we got our starter....

Actually, it's quite easy to catch your own sour dough starter. Mix about 1 cup of water and 2 cups of flour in a non metal bowl, cover loosely w/ a light towel (and possibly a rubber band) and sit the bowl outside on your porch. (The towel is just to keep critters isn't necessary!) (I use this container, bought at my local Cash and Carry.) Check it every day or so, and if you begin to see bubbles, you've caught something! I would add a cup of water and about 1.5-2 cups of flour to feed it. If your container gets too full, pour some out and then feed it. I actually caught my yeast in my kitchen....don't know what that says about my kitchen...maybe I should've left that part out! I believe that if you use some rye flour in the beginning, the yeast seems to like it a bit better, and you may catch something more quickly. When my starter was starting, I used strictly freshly milled whole wheat flour.

 When you are sure you have a good bubbly mixture bring it inside and use it/refrigerate it. If you like the way it smells, you will like the flavor. There are numerous recipes on the internet calling for sourdough starter. You can see if something looks interesting and give it a try. We sort of wing it w/ recipes - We've made homemade bread most of my married life, so I have a feel for what I need to add. When we make waffles, I just pour some starter in a bowl (can be metal at this point - just not for the starter you are saving!) add a couple of eggs, a bit of salt, sugar, milk and flour til it has the consistency I want. Then I feed the remainder w/ 3 cups of water, 1 Tablespoon of salt, and 7 cups of flour. You may have to adjust your amounts recognizing that I am cooking for a family of 12. I may keep larger amts on hand than you would have to.

 I have no experience w/ storing the starter. Ours is continually on the kitchen counter because we use it and feed it just about every day. I think when you use it, you feed the remainder and let it sit out for a day before refrigerating it. Make certain after feeding it that you have a container large enough for it to takes hours for it to finish rising, so don't be fooled if in an hour, it hasn't increased in volume. When it flattens off, it  is time to go in the refrigerator - I think.....

I would like to recommend a book called Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day. I was able to check it out from our library. It has a recipe for a general dough. This dough can sit in your refrigerator for some time and is relatively ready to be used. The longer it is in your fridge, the more of a sour tendency it has (even though it was made using commercial yeast) This is a convenient and unintimidating way to have homemade bread.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Sour Dough

We have a sourdough starter that actually began it's existence with freshly milled whole wheat flour. It tasted delicious! However, in the course of events...the grain mill died....and now it must be contented to live on unbleached white flour. We like it either way. We have sourdough bread or waffles or pancakes several times a week. I have one daughter that doesn't like bread....(have no idea where she came from!), but, she suffers through. My littles (twinkles and Z) LOVE to dip their bread in vinegar and oil..though it has been confessed that they don't really care too much for the oil!
I think it may be snack time....

Monday, April 11, 2011

The LOVE of God

As we were hiking under the beautiful California sky, Rachel and I were singing some of our favorite hymns. (Singing and hiking is not as easy as it used to be....better start adhering to my exercise program!) We looked up at the vast expanse of sky, which, in our neck of the woods is all clouds as of yet, and were reminded of our family's chosen homeschool hymn. I would love to share the words here - we are especially appreciative of the truth of the third verse.

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.


O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.


Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.


Hop Skip and a Jump and Back Again!

On Thursday, Gregg and I, along with Rachel and Zachary took a quick jaunt down to the San Francisco Bay area (600 miles away). Gregg's parents and sister live there, and it was time for a visit - that and a great rental car deal ($45 for the four days!) spurred us on! We listened to a Ranger's Apprentice book on the way down - The Ruins of Gorlan, and on the way home, G.A. Henty's Cat of Bubastes.

For those of you who live in a climate similar to the Pacific Northwest, I would like to tell you that the sun really does exist! I get to feeling like I'm in the "under world" from the Silver Chair about this time of year and begin to wonder if the sky is really blue and the sun really shines! I have pictures to prove it!

We went hiking to Tennessee Beach

Saw this bobcat - it was 50 feet from us! Fortunately, it was apparently used to being around people...seemed rather bored by us!

Gregg, Rachel and Z climbed to the top of this steep hill and took this picture of us (his mom and sister and I) down on the beach.

And this picture of Rachel and Z from their new perch!

We also wandered around the city - you know, pier 39, fisherman's wharf, Ghiradelli Square,

looked at cable cars

Lombard Street

 and walked on the Golden Gate Bridge. It is such a great place to visit!

But, alas, I must concur witht the poet,

".....Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Random Facts

My daughter tagged me...I think she's trying to improve my internet bloggy skills, w/ this award in which I am required to give 7 random facts about myself.  Thanks, Sarah! I'll give it a go.....

1) I am the fourth of five daughters. And though we are not Jewish, we LOVED to watch Fiddler on the Roof  - for many reasons, one of which was the comraderie we felt w/ having 5 daughters in our family and no sons.

2) I played the alto saxophone....emphasis on the played. I still have it....not sure why.

3) We had a miniature schnauzer when I was growing up. His name was Professor. I don't remember him barking as much as the miniature schnauzer we now have.

4) By the time I graduated from high school, I had lived in 4 different states, (Utah, Michigan, W. Va, and Texas) and 6 different houses.

5) We live in a beautiful house of which about half is an addition that is still floorless, i.e., we have just the sub-flooring down. We have painted it brown and it looks like bonded leather to me. I like it....temporarily, anyways!

6) I have a degree in mathematics, but my husband is MUCH better w/ numbers than I am! ( I love the abstract stuff - you know, NON-euclidean geometries etc....)

7)When I'm asked what my favorite book is (not counting the obvious choice of the Bible) the first book that comes to mind is a little book called, "The Invisible Woman". It is a quick read - you should check it out!

So now, I have the privilege of tagging someone...and

Pam from Where Your Treasure Is ...I'd love to know some random facts about you!