Thursday, July 14, 2016

June Happenings

In no particular order....

Praying for and sending our youth off on a mission trip!  Son C is in the bright yellow shorts.

Pool fun with friends.

Our day camp counselor daughter on "wacky Wednesday."

Two of our boys went to a conference style christian camp for a week.

They had a marvelous time in every way, and I have seen spiritual fruit in their lives since they got back.   Thankful for all the ways God teaches and grows my kids in their faith!

Vacation Bible School week at church....the VBS worship band included four of our children!  Two guitarists, one keyboardist, and a singer (daughter H's legs can be seen on the far left, so she is in the picture, too!)

This year we all worked at VBS except.....

for Little Man, who went as a VBS camper for the last time.

Fourth of July at our family cottage (son L and daughter G).

Mind reading.

First, second, and third cousins!

Love to hear son G's drumming!

Concert in the park with friends.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Happy Place

Yes, a garden.  MY garden!!

I have long loved gardening, but we let our garden go to weeds about 4-5 years ago because it was just in the not as important category while all of our energy went to growing children.  This year I felt that I had the energy to maintain a vegetable garden again, and I am so glad!

I neglected to take a "before" picture, which is too bad because this would look much more impressive if you knew what we were starting with, but imagine the entire 14' by 14' plot covered in weeds that went to my knees or higher, while a little 18" chicken wire fence around the perimeter was all broken and trampled down.

We rented a roto tiller and broke up the soil really good.  Then we began the hard shovel work.  Pulling weeds, turning over the soil, amending it, "stirring" it....all had to happen before we could plant.  We also dug holes for these green metal posts and put in a new 4' tall fence around the whole perimeter so we could better protect our lovely garden from animals.  We ultimately planted corn, zucchini squash, yellow squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, and green beans.

So after weeks of intermittent work, here is my garden:

We planted both seeds and little starters.  The children wanted to try sweet corn this year, so we have a little corn section that grew from seeds!  The corn plants are thriving.  It's almost like we can see them grow before our eyes.

I made signs for the garden from our surplus of red bricks (wrote on them with permanent marker).

The yellow squash plant grew so fast it covered its sign!

Here is "tomato row" in the back.

One of our three pepper plants.

Our watermelon plant is growing slowly but hanging in there!

Look at our cute little lettuce plants!  They and the onions were the last things to get planted from seeds just a couple weeks ago, so they will take a while to mature.

Right by our back door is our little herb garden, with basil, rosemary, oregano, and parsley.

And today..... (drum roll please)..... was our very first harvest of one yellow squash!

"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."   ~  John Muir

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I didn't know.....

...that on the same day I last posted, June 23, my sweet husband had lost his job and spent the day at the public library, marking time until he could ride the bus home as usual because he didn't want to tell me over the phone.  :(

The company said that they were "reorganizing" his department and his position, along with several others in his department, had been "eliminated."  And just like that we were unemployed again!

I didn't know.  My husband didn't know.  But God knew. And nothing else that I know to be true and real changed that day except my husband's job status.  I am so thankful that God is still God, He is still in control, and His Word is still a lamp to our feet and a light to our path.

We had to spend a few days processing our emotions and grieving, because it was so unexpected and my husband LOVED his job.  I was overwhelmed with sadness for him.  After that period of processing, my husband spent several days re-writing his resume.  That was finished two days ago so his job hunt is now in full swing.

Meanwhile, *I* decided to deep clean and tidy up our "castle" in an effort to encourage my husband (and me!) and to show him appreciation for what his hard work has afforded us.  Our daily life, as you know, is somewhat chaotic.  Hence a lot of little daily chores just don't happen. Our home was in serious need of some tender loving FREE care. :)

I swapped out our two couches and rearranged the family room furniture to make the room seem larger.  In the process I cleaned every nook and cranny, and found new homes for all the junk that had collected in the corners.

Here is one corner of our family room BEFORE:

And the same corner AFTER:

Another corner BEFORE:

And that same corner AFTER:


And the same corner AFTER:

And finally, the mantel BEFORE:

And AFTER moving things in from another room:

I love the family picture and the great reminder to pray!

 So now I am motivated to keep this deep cleaning and organizing thing going in other rooms in our home.  Sometimes the world beats us down, but home should be a place that comforts and lifts us up. Please pray with us for a new job for my husband soon, and that in the meantime we will wait expectantly, work diligently, and trust faithfully.