A Snowy Day... or week!

 This week we finally had snow, and I was excited to pull out all of our winter books, and row "A Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats, and "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost and illustrated by Susan Jeffers.  After we read our books and ate our snow ice cream we took our learning outside for a while.  
 We looked at snowflakes on black and brown paper with our magnifying glass.  This was incredible!  I had never taken the time to really look at snowflakes before.  What beautiful creations.  (Incidentally, I had an awkward homeschool mom moment later in the week when I found the magnifying glass tucked into my pocket in the middle of Target.)  :)
 S's sweet face and flushed cheeks all bundled up made his mama smile.
 We walked with our toes pointing out, in, and then just all around.  We also tried to identify some of the tracks that small animal visitors left as well.
 Then we went sledding!  Fast and twirly...
Right into the bushes!

This week was a welcomed reminder that there is so much to learn when we just slow down and cuddle up.  The learning from the manuals was simple and wonderful, and allowed us time to go outside and make some memories too.  It's left my mama heart pondering on where we go from here with our school and how to slow it all down.


Let's Click {jan.20~jan.26}

{Jan. 20}  For Family Home Evening we watched the video from our anniversary, and little V ran off to find a picture on the shelf.  It was on of our wedding pictures, and she recognized it from the video and stood there showing us all.
 {Jan. 21} Snow ice cream with chocolate fudge sauce. Yum!
 {Jan. 22} Baking cranberry bread and cranberry cookies to try and keep the house warm with 18 degree temps outside, and a heater that couldn't keep up.  This was all that was left by the time I thought to take a picture.
 {Jan. 23} Dress up time!  S's bear hat and bear shirt made me giggle.
{Jan. 24} I didn't want to be invasive so I didn't take an action shot.  Sweet E got up from lunch, and I glimpsed her walking past the kitchen reading the scriptures as she traveled.  I hope she'll always have that love for the word of the Lord!
{Jan. 25} A date with my husband grocery shopping and running errands, followed by lunch out as a family.  All courtesy of Grandma!
{Jan. 26} V's path of muffin tins and bread pans.

We finally had snow this week, and took time off from our regular schedule to have some FIAR time, which I hope to share more of later.  The temperatures were frigid so we tried to balance enjoying the snow, and keeping warm and dry.  There was lots of baking, reading, and cuddling under blankets.  That's the kind of week I love!


90 Days in the Bible {Moving, Messes, and Family}

I mentioned earlier this week that I've joined a friend in reading the entire Bible in 90 days.  In the KJV that means 16 pages a day. 

With sixteen pages a day I knew there wouldn't be time for deep reflection on individual verses, and I'm not sure what I expected to get out of it, but I knew that there would be some enlightenment and inspiration.  I was unprepared for what I learned, and for the Lord's perfect timing in the lessons.

Only five days in I had read about messes, lots and lots of messes.  Siblings who couldn't get along, women angry and anxious, infertility, murder, and moving.  So much moving.  And in it all the Lord spoke to my heart. 

He helped me see that our family's aren't ever going to be perfect.  There's never going to be a time when we've "arrived".  It's always going to be messy, even when we're trying our best, because even the Lord's chosen prophets family life was messy.  

We're always going to be strangers, wandering, searching, trying to get to know our neighbors, trying to show them what God looks like through our actions.  Hoping that they will want to become like us as His followers, and that we won't abandon our ways to take on the ways of the world around us. 

But the beautiful part?  The beautiful part is that even in all of their mess the Lord still loved these families whose history we have recorded in scripture.  He still watched over them.  He provided arks, and sacrifices, and food, and clothing, and LOVE.  And in all of my messes He'll do the same thing.  No matter where He sends me, or what mistakes I make, He will still be faithful, and I want to be faithful too.


Let's Click {jan.13-19}

Here are some of our moments for the week that helped remind me to find hope amongst the sometimes messy moments in life.
{Jan. 13}  A spontaneous indoor picnic for lunch.  All they wanted was the warm fresh bread that had just come out of the oven.
{Jan. 14}  Spending moments together listening to a story on CD.
{Jan. 15} Laundry that got washed despite being gone from home for much of the day.  Three days later it was finally folded and put away.
{Jan. 16}  This little guy and his happy face just make me smile!!
 {Jan. 16} Making these muffins AGAIN.  Little V wanted to put the chocolate chips in, and used the one cup measure to add them a dozen at a time.  Finally when the bowl was 3/4 covered with chocolate chips she told me we still didn't have enough. 
 {Jan. 17} Ten years!!  We went out to celebrate after a very difficult day.
{Jan. 19} Day 5 of joining a friend in reading the Bible in 90 days.  Join us?  

This week was hard, and I was woefully unprepared for hard.  We felt the Lord lead us in certain directions only to have the way unexpectedly stopped.  We watched with excruciating grief as dear friends experienced the same unexpected stop in a very different path.  

These moments helped me find little glimmers of hope among the messes of daily life. 


Let's Click {jan. 6~12}

A dear friend has been reminding me that if I don't record my moments somewhere I won't have them to look back on so that I can see the Lord's provision through the good, the bad, and the very ugly.  

There wasn't much from last year that I thought I wanted to remember, but the truth is there is a little bit of God's grace in every day.

I didn't start at the beginning of the week, but here's what we have:
 {Jan.6}  We made these, and my little girl's eyes and heart lit up.  It felt good to create again.  
We're having to much fun using them on the light table for now to make them into sun catchers, but we will soon.
{Jan.7}  After several months I finally finished what has now become a cherished book.  I'm pretty sure that after six renewals the library will be happy to have it back.
 {Jan.8}  The picture doesn't do him justice.  The mess was extraordinary, and up to that point so was the day.  His joy in the mess was my perfect reminder!
{Jan.9} Revisiting one of our favorite curriculum,but without all the extras.  Just cuddling on the couch reading books.
 {Jan.10} These muffins, twice, with chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  Good for breakfast and dinner!
{Jan.11} The last bag of "stuff".  We took a van full of things to the Salvation Army.  It felt good to let go, instead of holding on for dear life.  The stuff just drowns out life.

So my friend, a continent apart you've reached out your hand and given me a way to join you in sharing a little piece of my heart each day, and I'm going to try!



Goodbye 2013

If I had to sum last year up with one picture, it would absolutely be this one. 

Fire seemed to be a theme for us last year. 
We started with a blaze of glory, and the birth of our fourth sweet angel, but even his birth was a refiner's fire.  Our sweet baby and I almost left this world together during his birth.

Shortly there after the Lord lit another match for us, and our life in the military was very suddenly over, and we entered the world of the unemployed.  We also entered the civilian world for the first time in over ten years.  Sometimes the light the Lord gave us was so bright we felt blinded by it, but the truth is, HE IS THE LIGHT AND WE NEVER WALK IN DARKNESS WHEN WE WALK WITH HIM.

We ended the year gathered around the light of the fire in our fireplace as a family, whole, intact, and healing.

With one little match I started that blaze pictured above.  It was so hot you could feel the heat from it over fifty yards away.  We needed to clear debris to start building something new.  It felt good to burn it down and watch it disappear.  Sometimes in life don't we all need to clear out the debris?

The Lord is still leading us like a pillar of fire through the wilderness.  I hope the path is gentler this year.  I hope there aren't burning blazes, but instead candles that we can put in our candlesticks.  I hope this year that we will be filled with hope.


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