Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter Woes and A Very Cold Nose

Well, it is warmer out. That's nice. But the snow is back too. Tomorrow will probably be a snow day and somewhere somehow we established that any snow days the schools get, we get too. When they were little, I could lie to er, not inform them that buses weren't running and they didn't know the difference, but now they check, themselves. Ah well. We got lots of schooling in today. The pile of books in the living room attests to that...and we even got in a nice long hike. It was one of those perfect homeschool days when everyone is in a good mood (despite slight colds) and the pencils are sharp and the brains are too!

We are reading several good books together, Richard Wurmbrand's 'Tortured For Christ' and 'Hearts of Iron, Feet of Clay' by Gary Inrig.

 I love the sounds of the boys voices too as they do their own Bible study before bed. I resist the urge to jump in and help so the theology is sometimes a little slanted but I can redirect that later on. We are given such a gift to be able to teach our children, but we need to give them plenty of time to be taught by the Holy Spirit too. I encourage lots of independent Bible reading. It amazes me, sometimes, what God lays on their tender hearts.

Anyhow, today was a blast, one of those "This is why I homeschool' days, and we capped it off with some outdoor fun.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

To Sell or Not to Sell....

Our house is for sale...nothing new. It has been for sale several times during the last few years and this time it has been on the market over a year. It is clean, in good repair, lots of deal. Last weekend we even had a serious buyer, no word back.

It makes me think. I love(ed) it here. It has been home to us for almost seven years. I have raised these last two boys here for most of their lives. It is where the grandchildren expect to find us. I have watched two of our three married children leave this home. I have watched a boy go off to college. I know the neighbors and they are great....just the kind of neighbors you want, friendly but not in your business, good for a chat, a walk, and all amiable. I have my routes to town and know the timing of them well. I love the woods behind our house, the large lawn, the perennial dominated flower beds. These rooms around me are dear and I have cleaning them down to a science.

There is however, this lurking desire to go somewhere smaller, closer to town. And we can't exactly agree on where....which doesn't matter anyway since the house is not sold.

This morning I was reading a devotional by Elisabeth Elliott. She points out that God will not put us in a position where we have to make decisions that contradict His will in our lives. I believe that.

Family Room


Family room fireplace

Cupboards in kitchen

Dining room

Entrance way

Living room

Girls room

Upstairs bathroom

Boy's room


Main floor bathroom


Our room
So here we are. I believe in a God that knows the future, that holds me in the palm of His hand. So I will continue to love it here as long as we are here...and trust that when it is time to go, I will be ready.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January Days...

These four little faces are a wonderful part of our lives.

The birds come, and I get so I know which is which by actions and appearance

A little warmth on a chilly day

Two little cousins

Turkeys in the back yard using the path my hubby snowblowed.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Washed Away..

I kneel here at midnight on my kitchen floor, the smell of Pinesol strong in my nostrils, hands dripping cleaner and the warm water.  I think of floors I have washed, so many.  I have good new mops and I don't need to kneel here, but I pray as I clean, wiping in small round circles. Two good reasons to be here on my knees. The dirt wipes away; cocoa stains, boot prints, pasta sauce, a muddy footprint, and the grime of many feet walking. Sin gets wiped away in confession; harsh words, uncompleted tasks, small untruths. Clean.

 I tire of cleaning floors, but Jesus never tires of cleaning me, making me the pure vessel He desires.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


A new year! Clean, as fresh as the new fallen snow outside my patio door...and as far as snow goes, there is enough of it. It fell all through Christmas, covering grass still green from a lovely fall. It fell the week of New Year's and it is falling again. The banks are piled high, my shovels disappear under forts and tunnels, the eaves on the front of our house are sagging. Going out to the shed to feed our rabbit is like a wilderness journey. Almost a trip you have to pack for. The birds huddle at the feeder.  Do I like it? You bet I do. We stay-at-home moms don't have far to go. I can stay in as long as I like except for maybe the occasional trek for groceries.

There is bread baking in the kitchen. The tea is hot and there are Christmas goodies still in the freezer. (How did that happen?) I have good books to read and there are still two snow loving boys living here, who tromp in and out in a wide array of scarves, mitts and toques. My husband works away at his computer, updating his music program and while the boys are out, the quiet tic tic of computer keys blends with the clocks in our house, rhythmic....steady.

I love September, my birth month and all things fall, but January runs a close second. Homeschooling starts again after a long break, there are cold bright sunny days and snow filled gray days but somewhere spring begins to call softly. My house plants lean toward the sun a little more, the sky occasionally colors a bright blue that we have not seen since summer.

We accomplish so much in these winter months. Our table is usually strewn with books, our kitchen, home to so many science experiments and projects. There is no rush to get ready for Christmas, no need to go anywhere, just read and draw and learn. Oh, we go sledding and we visit friends, but only if we want to. It is a lovely relaxed time that I have always enjoyed. And the days are getting longer...we start our cloud charts again, watching the shapes and forms scuttle across the sky. We collect containers for our spring seedlings. I clean closets and sort books and toys. I guess January is a month for us to turn inward in our thinking and take care of the details close to home.

Well, that brings another thought to mind. January is also the month I take a long hard look at where I am in my walk with the Lord. I print off new Bible reading charts, decide which books I should read this year, set new goals for my personal relationship with God, look at how I should be training up my children in the things of God....and those are the details close to home. Like the time and care I put into my house and family, I also need to put the same time and care into my inner self, the part of me that communes with God. If I want to get all the other areas of my life in order, I need to start here first.

Happy new year to all of you. May this be a year that changes you, draws you closer to God, teaches you new things, stretches you. May you look back on it in 2014 and say, "That was a year well done."