Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Radical obedience to Christ is not easy...

...It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And He is more than enough for us."

“The modern-day gospel says, 'God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved.' Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, 'You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, & in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.” 

~David Platt

I encourage you...even if you have read the above them again. (Watch David Platt on youtube...he has some great sermons to watch!) Chew on them a bit. Let their meaning sink deep and then if you don't already....get into God's Word *every*single*day*! So many Christians don't read their Bible daily. This is a tragedy. How can we know the God we love so much if we don't read His Word? We need Him. He is our only hope.

If you are not a believer but like to visit here...please realize your need for a Savior. We are all wicked and terribly imperfect next to a holy, just God. We are in rebellion against Him. But God...our good, loving, gracious Creator took on human form in His Son, Jesus Christ, and lead a perfect life in our place! He then sacrificed Himself to *pay* for our sins against God! He suffered, bled and died (although completely innocent) on a cross. We must repent of our sins and trust in Christ as our Savior. He is the *only* way to the Father. I encourage you to watch: Are You a Good Person? My greatest prayer is that you will come to know Christ as your Savior...and live a life of love and obedience to Him! our home...

Madelyn and Jaxson worked on making envelopes and custom wax seals...

I have kept busy with my housework and exercise...

Making rolls for supper (I believe these were for chipped steak sandwiches one evening)...

I have been taking full advantage of the glorious sunshine the Lord supplies!

...It's so wonderful to save money and put to good use the environment the Lord provides!

My hosta have been growing...quickly! They are just sprouting out everywhere...and growing daily! It's great!!!

Monday was our last day of homeschool co-op for the school year. We'll get to see everyone in a few months when the new school year it's only good-bye for a little while! We shared a nice picnic with friends (got some sun on my arms and face) and the children played with friends (as we were at a park where they could play ball, use playground equipment etc. There were children everywhere!!). The Lord has provided us with a beautiful day each year for that picnic...even if it was predicted to rain! We are always so grateful!

Chris likes to try out recipes from time to time. Madelyn and I are the main cooks in this household but Chris likes to make some new things too sometimes! He likes to watch Kent Rollins cook and ordered his recipe book...

He made sourdough starter from it...

...and he made these great sourdough "biscuits" that were kinda like dinner rolls. I don't normally eat much bread...but I tried one of these when it was warm and it was so good! :)

I've gotta go! Lots of things to accomplish today! I hope your week is going well and thanks, so much, for stopping by today!


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

"And the Spring arose on the garden fair...

...Like the Spirit of love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest."

~Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Complete Poems

We have been so busy enjoying and using this beautiful spring weather! I thought we may never make it through that long and tedious winter....but here we are ~ spring at last! The birds are singing, the sun is shining and smiles are abounding! It's so much easier to be cheerful when the weather is so delightful, don't you think? 

We've been washing siding (from mildew that can grow during those cold months), mowing the lawn (which grows so quickly!), hanging out loads and loads of clothes on the lines, and doing all of the normal housework! The children are finishing up their school year (they have their required days in but we are finishing up some lessons I want to get done with them). 

Madelyn has been working for Chris's parents, doing childcare at the Y, and babysitting infant twins and a toddler for a friend of mine! X works at my dad's garage a lot and helps Pa down at the meat market (he especially loves to mow on the tractor!). Jaxson just bought a digital camera (with his own money that he had saved) and has been trying out a lot of stop-animation with his Legos! It's so bittersweet to watch my children grow, mature and change! I sure miss them being little ~ but oh the joy in seeing how the Lord uses the gifts He has given them! 

Today is another beautiful day...the sun is shining and the temperature is so comfortable! I've already been to the gym for my daily workout and took Xavier to my dad's body shop/garage to work for the day. Laundry is out on the lines, dishes have been washed and I've been working at mowing the lawn. It seems so much easier to get tasks done when the sun is shining! :)

I'm looking forward to getting into the gardens. I know many people have things already planted...I haven't started yet though. I also can't wait until we can go to our favorite local greenhouse to get flowers to plant around the house! I'm afraid we could still have a frost so I hate to get all the flowers out too early!

 We will be working on projects on our home through the summer. The porch needs finished and Chris would like to work on/finish putting siding on the dormers of the house! We've been working at cleaning out and organizing our garage as well! What a great feeling it is to declutter and get things organized!

I've been continuing on my health/weightloss journey! I exercise daily (cardio as well as weight lifting) and track my food intake. I am lower in weight now than when I got married! I'm almost at the weight I was when I graduated high school! It feels good to be more fit! I have more energy and definitely feel more feminine! If you desire to lose weight....or just get more fit...I definitely recommend first watching what you eat! That's the most important part. It's *so* easy to consume more calories than you think you are!

Don't let exercise scare you! Don't be intimidated! Go out for a walk...pick up your pace and go further each time! Go to the gym and use the elliptical (it's much nicer on the joints)! Don't be intimated by anyone else that is there! You are there to get healthy ~ that's what is important! Try water aerobics if you have bad joints. Or take a class while you are there! Just get moving! Actually, I have found that friends at the gym are some of the most encouraging and supportive people when helping you reach your goals! :o)

You don't want to be vain or make your body an idol (so we shouldn't be obsessive about our appearance) ~ however, taking care of ourselves glorifies the Lord. Being a glutton does not honor God. It is so easy to be gluttonous, unfortunately. You have to take an active stand against it. You have to be conscious of what you eat and how much of it....just like we have to be careful and conscious of what we say and if our words honor the Lord. Everything we do comes from the heart. If you truly want to honor will make the effort to do so in every way (in eating, speaking, thinking, actions, etc).

I kind of went on a little longer on that than I expected....but I just want to encourage anyone out there who wants to get healthy but just feels stuck. I must admit to you...I feel prettier (even without make up)...because I just feel like I *look* healthier and when my husband looks at me ~ he makes me feel attractive! You don't have to be a certain weight to be attractive....that's not my point at all. There are so many people of so many sizes that are truly lovely. But I think one truly does just feel better overall when you feel fit and healthy! :) I have rambled on long enough. I have things to do so I really must go. Here are some photos from around the house lately that I thought I would like to share...

Last night was Taco Tuesday at our house! Madelyn and Jaxson especially *love* when we have a taco night!

In the kitchen as evening sets in....

 I hope you are enjoying this beautiful spring weather as well! I hope you find encouragement when you stop by here! It is my prayer that you are in God's Word daily and in constant prayer with Him. May He be the true source of all joy in your life. May all you do and say be to glorify Him!

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.

He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah

~Psalm 62:5-8


Monday, April 30, 2018

This is how we roll...

Our church goes rollerskating together once a year. It's the only time we go (although we should go more because we have so much fun!). Chris and I never fall...our children on the other hand...oh my! Each year they get a little better....but it never fails ~ they end up with bruised knees and have a hard time walking for a few days after! 

I just have some fun pictures to share. I didn't take any pictures of these are just some of my loves! 

Madelyn is there in the pink below talking with family friends (and that is one of her best friends in the blue shirt) and my hubby is to the right in the green...

The pictures are blurry for the most part because of the movement and less-than-great lighting!

 I caught Jaxson for a picture while he paused to catch his breath!



There's Xavier in the black shirt and in the pink to his left is Madelyn...

I did lots of skating too...I even ended up with a blood blister on my toe! Ouch! We had a lot of fun! I think Chris and I were among the oldest out there ~ most of the other adults were too afraid to fall! ;) Funny how we can have so much fun just skating in circles...around and around! Hahaha! We have fun and always look forward to it when the annual skate date arrives! :)

Today has been a *busy* was the last class day (for this school year) for the homeschool co-op we are a part of. It was a *long* day and I am absolutely exhausted! What I really want to do it take a nap....but I need to hang out some laundry (as the day is gorgeous and perfect for line drying some clothes) and then head into the gym for a workout. Not sure if anyone will show up for my spin class tonight. Class numbers dwindle when the weather is wonderful because people would rather be outside than in! So I'll do a workout before my scheduled spin class....then if no one shows up I'll be able to come home and spend the evening with my family!

I hope you all have a lovely week!
I'll leave you with a fantastic, thought-provoking quote by Matt Chandler to chew on when you go!
Thanks so much for dropping by!


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Home Happiness

~J.R. Miller

It is my great prayer that I fill my home with light, joy, blessing and inspiration! I love that quote above by J.R. Miller. I love a lot of things he said actually! :) You'll find his quotes in many of my blog posts over the years (sometimes used more than once!). In the photo above you'll see flowers from Papa Bull's funeral that were given to a few of us girls/grandkids. I almost didn't make it to his funeral....

Resurrection Day didn't turn out as I had planned. I woke up in the wee hours with a stomach bug (but since no one else in my family got sick I think it may have been something I had of the pieces of lettuce I ate the night before tasted just awful and I believe may have been the culprit!). Since I was sick I didn't get to go to church or any of the family meals/get togethers unfortunately! I was thoroughly disappointed but didn't have a choice in the matter! Papa Bull's funeral was Monday and I praise God that I felt better and was able to go. I needed to be there for Chris...and I am so glad I could be. It was a long, exhausting, emotional day....but it was good. :)

We've still been experiencing winter weather in Western Pennsylvania! It is seriously depressing! I am thankful that I exercise daily as that keeps my spirits up! I was really excited though when last weekend we had a couple warm days in the 70's! I had the windows open and the laundry out on the lines! We spent time outside cleaning leaves out of garden beds and tidying up outside! It was absolutely glorious! :)

 Sunshine! Glorious sunshine!

We celebrated my dad's birthday earlier this week! My sister and her family (that's her hubby in the blue Bills shirt there!) were able to travel to be there too ~ so that was really great (especially since I had to miss seeing them on Resurrection Sunday!).

 Just a few random photos to share from lately...

My boys (aren't they getting so big!?) and me (after taking them to their music lessons one day)....

Me getting to snuggle this cutie-patootie (my nephew Dusty ~ who is now 9 months old and, everywhere! Ack!)...

Supper one evening was homemade sausage gravy and biscuits (Yum! It's one of my favorites....but I refrained and ate a healthy substitute instead)...

We're rounding up the end of our homeschool year. I plan each Friday for the week ahead. I used to leave it until Sunday and then I always felt crunched to get it planned out in time. My friend told me she planned every Friday and a light bulb came on above my head! Why didn't *I* think of that!? It made great sense and works so much better! My weekends feel so much less stressed knowing that is out of the way! :)

Madelyn made rolls for hamburgers for supper one night... don't they look good!? She is going to be one prepared wife! My girl can cook, bake and clean! I'm so proud of the woman she is becoming! The Lord is so good! :)

I gotta run! I knew it had been a while since I posted and I wanted to do so while I had a chance! I'm super excited as a friend from high school is in town so she and I are going to get to visit for a few hours! I haven't seen her in years and years! :) It'll be fun to catch up! I am going to have some lunch and then go pick her up!

I hope you all had a lovely Resurrection Sunday and that your weeks have been filled to the brim with joy and all things done to God's glory! If you're struggling with this "Narnia Weather" (always winter) like I am....hang in there friends! Spring is a comin'!!! Before long we will be busy in our gardens and ready for the heat to cool off! ;)


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Sunshine Through My Windows

My dishwasher is broken. Although I already hand wash many of our dishes (I don't like putting plastic items in the dishwasher...nor my pots and pans, wooden spoons, cast iron etc.) I did love to put silverware in well as plates, bowls and glasses. We will be having someone look at it soon. But right now, we are focusing on Resurrection Day as well as a funeral for Chris's grandpa.

Papa Bull (an endearing term Madelyn started when she was little as she tried to say Grandpa Bill ~ which fit him perfectly as he was quite a stubborn man!) passed the other day. It was only a matter of time as his health has been declining over the years. There is a sadness over it....and yet we all feel it to be a blessing as well. He went peacefully. His daughters were constantly by his side....but when they both went home to shower and clean up for a few minutes...he passed while they were away! He was a rough, tough logger in his younger years (who my husband said you would never hear complain about pain or anything!) and waiting until he was alone to die seemed like something he would do!

The viewing and funeral will be Monday. So things will be busy for us the next few days. I must admit, I look forward to the joy of Resurrection Day ~ the celebration of our Lord's rising from the dead as well as Monday when we will reminisce about Papa Bull; all the loving fond memories!

It's cold outside today....but the sun is shining gorgeously through the windows of my home! Despite the cold, I find such enjoyment from the beautiful sunshine! :) It really uplifts the spirits! Xavier is here at home with me. Chris is working an auction a short drive away (as our Brother-in-Love ~ aka:Chris's best bud ~ is an auctioneer). Madelyn is painting chicken coops at a friend's house...and Jaxson is with my mom. They made pies yesterday (Jax loves to make pie and he's good at it too!) and I am not sure what they are doing today!

I went to the gym this morning...then came home to shower and eat. I have been doing dishes (as is quite obvious by my first picture! haha!) and laundry to get my day going. I need to make rolls for a meal with family tomorrow and get some other things checked off my to-do list!

Aren't the flowers in my photos above beautiful? My aunt gave them to me! I had them in the living room but the sun doesn't shine in there so I brought them into the kitchen to get a good ol' dose of sunshine! The bouquet is full of tulips, daffodils and hyacinth! Flowers make me happy and I am so excited for spring to really arrive! Laundry drying out on the lines, mowing, gardening, planting flowers and enjoying the sunshine! I think the bitterly cold winters we have in PA most years really help me to appreciate the spring and summer weather! :) 

I am making some lunch right now and need to continue on with my day! I hope your weekend is quite lovely! I pray you are able to enjoy your Lord's Day/ Resurrection Sunday as we celebrate our Lord's rising from the dead! What a Savior we have!

Romans 6:4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him.

1Corinthians 15:3-5 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,  and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.” 

~ Charles Coulson