1. Homemade Cream Cheese 2. Bag of snacks for chickens 3. Acorn Squash with apples baked inside 4. Princess Grace.  5. Soldier Ryan.  6 -8  Nathan using the leafblower and the guineas seeming to enjoy it.  They didn’t leave him alone while he was blowing leaves.  It was rather comical!


9. some poofy weed thing I think is pretty.  10.  Our Guineas with our neighbor’s guineas.  It was quite a convention.  11.  Spearmint leaves.  12. Grace’s eyes. 13. Staw with soap bubbles in and on it. 14. More pretty weed things.

15 & 16  My friend Faith’s husband took the pictures at the Turkey Trot – before Jen, Faith and I ran.  the last one is me crossing the finish line, 30:35 was my time. 🙂

17 – 19   I have no idea what my boys are doing in these photos, but I was just taking pictures of them while they were at the kitchen sink.  🙂

Recent Happenings

Have you ever had about 5,000 things you want to write about, and because you don’t know where to begin you just don’t do it?  That’s what has been going on with me lately.  I’m not quite sure where to start.

Life has been full lately.  Very full!

Our official last day of school was May 23rd.  We (especially myself) are SOOO glad to be finished!  Technically the kids still have some work in some books they have and will finish them over the summer.  We’ll save those for really rainy days or really really hot days.  Next is getting their portfolios put together and having their evaluations next Tuesday.  I need to get on that soon!

Last Saturday was the start to a very busy, but wonderful weekend!  We’ve had blueberry bushes for YEARS, but nothing has ever grown on them.  They are only just getting big enough really.  Maybe next year.  They are not pictured today.  However, last Saturday we went to a local farm and bought 4 blueberry bushes and 2 of them already have blueberries on them!  I am SO excited! 🙂 

They are now covered with mosquito net and it keeps the chickens and other birds from eating them.

The only bad thing is the chickens like eating the organic acid balancer stuff we put around the plants.  Silly chickens!  They don’t seem bothered by it and it’s hard to keep them out of it.
Before we planted the blueberry bushes we went out and did some running around to some local home stores looking for things we might need for some projects at home.  We didn’t get much, but we did enjoy some ice cream on the way home! 
Sunday we decided to go north to Lake Erie.  It was very hot when we left our house that day.  It stayed hot and sunny for quite a while, but the more north we went the clouds got thicker and darker.

 We continued on our journey anyway and thought we might drive out of the storms, but we did not.  It was a little sad at first, but Eric got the idea of going to Splash Lagoon.  Let me tell you, I enjoyed Splash Lagoon way more than I would have enjoyed the lake.  I just always cringe at swimming in the dirty water with all those fishy creatures.  My favorite part of Splash Lagoon is the Wave Pool.  I laughed hysterically like a kid getting pushed around by the waves.  So much fun!  Being that we swam and enjoyed the water slides I didn’t get any pictures.  I was worried about taking my camera in there.  It was hot and humid and the locker wouldn’t have had room for my camera anyway. 🙂

 While riding north we always pass this place and it always reminds me of the Dead Marshes from the Lord of the Rings movies.  I actually got a pretty good picture of them on Sunday!

On Monday, Memorial Day, we went to our town’s parade.  We always enjoy going!  Love watching the Veterans that sacrificed for our country, fire trucks, old cars, tractors, and the kids scrambling for candy that is thrown all over the place!

Grace’s candy pile and t-shirt.
Other highlights from this week . . .
Tuesday my brother and kiddos stopped by to get some eggs.  It was so nice to see him and talk to him for a while!  We’re both quite busy and don’t get to talk much.  In the afternoon I helped Rose spring clean the last 2 rooms of her house.  We have been working on 2 rooms each week.  I’m sure she appreciates it and she always gets right in on the cleaning!  🙂  I also went for a 1 mile run that day. 
Wednesday was busy, but I can’t remember why. .  . 🙂  Oh wait . . . I got a haircut!  My hair is like a straw factory.  I’m still letting my hair grow out to its natural gray color.  It’s always amazing how SLOW it seems to grow now that I’m not coloring it.  While keeping it blond it always seemed to grow SO fast and was hard to keep up with it. 
Thursday I ran 2 miles in the morning, finished my menu/grocery list, and then went shopping in the afternoon.  It was a very busy day! Took a long time to get everything cleaned up and put away.
Friday, that’s today! It wasn’t that today was really busy.  I went to a friend’s house.  She asked if I could feed her ducks while her family is away on vacation, so she was showing me where to feed them and all that.  Ducks are so cute how they waddle around. If we had a pond or something here I would get a couple.
Before she showed me around we had the most amazing conversation!   She is a woman that loves the Lord and has such a heart for others.  We talked and prayed and I cried my eyes out.   I just love her and am so thankful God brought our paths together. 
Sometimes when someone talks, you just can feel the Lord speaking to you through them.  It happens from time to time – at least it has for me.  That’s how it was today.   We talked of some personal matters that are near to our hearts and how God already knows the outcome to these situations.  She shared an incredible story of how God has moved in her heart and life and how He’s brought healing to her hurt heart.  I have much to think about and pray about and open my heart to God and His Word. 
You can read the Word and pray thoughtlessly.  I’ve done it SO many times.  It’s shameful and sad.  God just wants to talk to me and to listen to me and I’m pretty sure He wants me to just be still and know that He is God.  He has so much work to do in my heart. 
On another Bible topic, my friend Cindy and I FINISHED memorizing and reciting the book of Colossians today!  We’re looking forward to starting James in a month or two here!  I LOVE the book of James, and she and I are both drawn to this book, so it’ll be great to memorize with someone!  Over the summer I’ll be learning verses with my kids (at least that’s the plan) .  I downloaded them from Seeds Family Worship.  That site is full of wonderful things! 
God bless you all that have stuck with this crazy, long post! 🙂
PS.  I have to end this by mentioning that I FINALLY bought a new lens for my camera!  I’m super excited and can hardly wait until my 55-300mm lens gets here!  Yay!

Such a Sad Day

Our hen, Eisenhower, was killed this evening by a red-tailed hawk.
My children are taking the loss pretty hard.
It’s hard to know how to comfort them over the loss of a chicken.
Sounds silly in the whole scheme of life, but they are very mournful.
It breaks my heart that they are so sad and 
tomorrow will be a rough day.  
Ours is only a minor loss, especially after reading
my friend Kristin’s post this evening.  Please pray for her
family at the time of their loss.
My heart is heavy for Kristin and her family
and also for my children and their broken hearts.
These are hard eucharisteos.
I’ve read of these in One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
What is  Eucharisteo? Ann writes,
“The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks.
But there is more, and I read it. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Joy. Ah…yes. I might be needing me some of that. That might be what the quest for more is all about–that which Augustine claimed, “Without exception…all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is joy.”
May we learn this joy through these rough times.
Joy in loss.

Surprise Visitor!

This was this morning before we started our schooling.
Fun with chickens, as always.
 We had a surprise visitor today.  
Becky, Eric’s cousin, stopped by for a bit!
**I must amend this, Becky and I have been good friends,
almost sisters really, for longer than I’ve known my husband.**
She’s busy getting ready for a trip.
More on that in a minute. 🙂
She had fun bouncing around with the kiddos for a bit.
 They enjoyed jumping on the trampoline.
I decided to stick my camera in the enclosure and
get some fun shots.
This one is a good sample. 🙂
  Becky here (holding our Henny Penny) is going away.
She is currently raising money for a missions trip to 
Malawi, Africa for the next year. 
It’s exciting to see how God is moving her to serve Him overseas!
Please pray for her as she is raising the needed funds.  
She currently has about a half year of funds raised.
She’s not sure exactly what she’ll be doing, BUT she’ll 
be there to do whatever is needed. 
Prayers are much appreciated!

Another Update on Lori!

Praise the Lord she went home earlier today!  It’s amazing and I’m so happy for her!  I’m sure she still has a long road on her recovery, but she had her major surgery on Tuesday and she has gone home today, Thursday!

God is so good and I’m quite excited to share this news!

Thanks again, everyone, that has been praying for her!

Update on Lori

Lori came through her surgery yesterday and was good.  She did have some reactions to some medication, but they got all that sorted out and her husband said that she slept for 12 hours last night.

This morning she was sitting up a little and they gave her benadryl (I think to help with some of the medicine issues she experienced after waking up).  They were waiting for the surgical team to come by and evaluate her and were expecting her to start on clear fluids today.

Continue praying for her as she recovers and I will update her condition as I learn it.

Thank you, everyone, for praying for her!

Prayer Request

This is my sister/friend, Lori and I at Christmas ’09.
Please pray for Lori tomorrow (4-19-11).
She has been battling Ulcerative Colitis for quite a while now.
I want to say almost a year.
It has been a long hard period of time in her life and
they’ve tried many treatments to help it go away, but
the time has finally come for her to have the problem removed.
It’s going to be life-saving, life-changing surgery, but
I got a message from her on facebook this evening and 
she is at the point where she is excited to have this surgery
so she can have a normal life again.  
Please pray for the doctors as they perform the operation
and for her recovery from the surgery and all the 
adjustments she’ll be making afterwards. 
Thank you so much for the prayers!

Her surgery is delayed until tomorrow morning, but do
continue praying for her!

Great Time with a Great Friend!

Yesterday I got to visit a dear friend of mine.
Life has been busy for both of us and we haven’t seen each other in a very long time.
Thankfully facebook and emails and letter writing has enabled us to stay in touch
through the years.

Grace and Ruthie had a great time together!
Ruthie is adorable and Grace enjoyed spending time with her.

Theresa is a little sweetheart. I did get to hog her some.
I miss that age! If only I could shrink one of my kids for a few days. 🙂

I’ve been blessed to know Tricia since way back in 1989/1990 school
year at Homeacre Christian Academy (the school we graduated from).
She graduated a couple years before I did, but we did get to know each
other in those couple years. Way back in the day I was a good letter writer.
That would be with paper and pen. 🙂 We stayed in touch some that way.
She was excellent at remembering birthdays and always sent a card.
I was not.
Anyway, God has richly blessed her life and I’m so thankful have visited Tricia and her cute little girls yesterday. It was great to hold her babies and see all the wonderful things God has been doing in her life these years! I’m thankful for a sweet friend like Tricia!