December 31, 2008

Waiting for Spring

The snow has melted and we are all ready for Spring - for the flowers to come up and the air to get warmer and the trees to bud. Unfortunately, we still have at least two more months of winter and anything can happen (weatherwise). Isn't that just like life?

O.K. I'm done with this trial. I've learned my lessons and I am ready to move on...but no, we are still in the thick of it with the end (if it is even in sight) is miles away.

Where are you Spring?

My brethren count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4

Whatever you may be facing today - the cold, the grey, the rain, the dark - The Lord is working, always working, that YOU, my friend, would be perfect wanting nothing. Trust in Him.

December 24, 2008

Happy Christmas Eve

The house is clean, the christmas cards have been mailed (albeit a little late) the table is laid out with snack-all-day foods.

A couple plates of Christmas cookies (peanut butter and strawberry shortbread)
A crystal platter with dried fruits and raw nuts
A bowl of peeled pop-in-your-mouth satsuma oranges
A tiny dish of little candies left over from the gingerbread houses
A small cheese platter

There are tamales and pupusas for warming for dinner - easy.

Hopefully the weather won't keep us from church tonight...and friends have invited us over for Christmas dinner tomorrow. We are truly blessed. We even have a box full of presents for the children hiding under my bed...God is so good to us.

I pray that you are full of joy and Peace. I was just thinking about how when Jesus came the angels announced "Peace, good will toward men". How amazing that God has good will towards us...we look around at the rushing or the loneliness of those around us...maybe our own hearts are full of loneliness or fear or anger...God's will is good towards you. He wants Peace for you. That is why He came. That is why we celebrate.

Peace, Good will towards you, Merry Christmas!

December 21, 2008

Little Pink Riding Hood

Mr. Santos went for a drive in the snow - always looking to "conquer" something. Sophia and Noah would not be left behind when there were adventures to be had. So, it was just Me and my Naomi at home. She spent quite a while outside alone. In the quiet snow it was just her and the birds and the crunch of her boots as she made trails. I watched through the window while I wrapped in wax paper some treats that I whipped up for the neighbors. (whew- how bout them w's)

Then, I asked her to go and deliver them to our neighbors. (of course she would be within sight the whole time) She was so excited to do such a big girl thing all by herself.

Doesn't she look so small walking all by herself to make her deliveries?

Naomi was jumping up and down when the family came home. "Guess what I did, Guess what I did! - and all by myself!" She's still glowing from the pleasure of it. It doesn't take much to make her happy.

December 19, 2008

Peace on Earth

"Suffering is having what you don't want or wanting what you don't have." ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Have you ever had one of those days when everything is steely gray? It's not dark, but it's not light. It's cold and you long for cheerful warmth. You have been treated unjustly. You have been hurt. Your fists tighten at your sides, your face scrunches in a scowl, your nerves are on edge and every sound becomes a prick provoking you to rudeness or unkindness.

Suffering. You have what you don't want: the pain of injustice. You want what you don't have: Vengeance or Defense - maybe what is really wanted is affection and acceptance - either way, you don't have it.

What to do?

'God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.' James 4:6,7

What a wonderful time of year it is. CHRISTMAS! A special time to decorate the house, to eat special foods, to give gifts to loved ones - why? Because the creator of the universe humbled himself to become like us. He came to give us life. Ah, but I can't think about JESUS right now - too consumed with my suffering.

'what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?' Mark 8:36

I think what if I did have what I wanted? I could fight for my own way. I could confront or justify my anger and the very least I could let it be known that I am not happy.

'Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16'

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matthew 7:14

If you are suffering right now - do as it says in Hebrews - 'lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.' Hebrews 12:1-4

It could be your mother, your father, your husband, your children - your hurts or your wants...Submit to God. He loves you.

'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace' Isaiah 9:6

This is great news - and while you may have forgotten as I often do - there is an unseen battle we wage. There is an enemy that would have you be distracted with the things of this world.

Don't be distracted. Look unto Jesus.

December 16, 2008

A little paper, a little snow

And you have all you need for happy full days.

Winter fun!
Sophia and Noah slip sliding away - if only you could hear the squeals.

Naomi sliding down the "hill" in our back yard.

The view from my kitchen window - It was too cold for me! :) But at least the kids came in to some warm honey pancakes and hot peppermint tea!

" Winterscapes" - made with contruction paper - what is life without construction paper? :)
Here's Noah shining the flashlight for us. The electricity was out so we made paper chains by candlelight - can't really tell because of the flash of my camera (or my poor picture taking skills).

Other fun paper creations

A few of the 600 trillion snowflakes the kids have made.

December 13, 2008

All I want for Christmas....

I already have.

We've heard and we say "I want my kids to have all the things that I never had growing up." Wow - This hit me big today. I said it to myself, I prayed it and I now see what a blessing it is to be at home with my family. There are times when worry (mostly comparing myself to others) sets in.

With two kids reading and one well on his way to reading I get a little overwhelmed. Now what? Now what do we study? What curriculum? What kinds of lessons should we do? Will they be smart enough? Will the new administration take my kids away like they are doing in Germany - forcing public school on us? Today it hit me that through homeschooling, I CAN give my kids all the things I never had growing up.

With homeschooling I can give them MEMORIES WITH ME. My own mother worked so hard and so often that she isn't even IN most of my childhood memories. (This is not a criticism of her - but a comment of how thankful I am for the opportunity to stay home with my own). I remember classes and teachers and experiencing things I wish I had never experienced - but getting along with my sisters? working with my sisters or my mother? - no - very few memories of that.

I don't want my children to struggle with pride or selfishness or being easily provoked like Mr. Santos and I do. I want them to know how to handle criticism and even hatred by others - basically TO LOVE THEIR NEIGHBOR AS THEMSELVES. This is something they can learn and practice on a daily basis because they are home schooled.

I can give them a FOUNDATION of Biblical knowledge that I never had growing up. Sometimes Sophia will sigh and ask "Why do we always have to find out what the Bible says about it?" I can answer her like Paul tells Timothy because, "from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

What about HOSPITALITY? I was so impressed the other day when a young newlywed couple invited our family (basically strangers to them) over for dinner. It was not a burden or stressful thing at all for them to have a family of five over to their house. It was nothing to cater to children even though they had none. Even knowing what to talk about with strangers was a skill I wanted for my children. The cleanup was a breeze - not a thing to sigh over and keep them from inviting another family over the next week.

The things we want for our children cannot be bought at the mall. They cannot be wrapped up and put under the tree. They have to be lived out and seen day in and day out. We can only give it to them if we spend time with them. So, thank God, we have the privilege to home school and we have God's Word and we have a hardworking, sacrificial Mr. Santos to provide for us.

The next time I am dealing with bickering children, or selfish children, or big messes I hope to remember this: My children are receiving what I never had growing up - training in righteousness.

December 03, 2008

Our Newest Distraction

I wanted a chalkboard. I needed a chalkboard. I tried getting things done with a dry-erase board and somehow ended up with marker all over our walls. Dry erase marker does not come off of walls very well and since we are renting now - I didn't want to deal with that sort of mess. BUT, I also didn't want something ugly and institutional looking either. So I shopped around...What beautiful chalkboards I found!

Isn't this pretty? Only $146.00
This is my favorite - $200.00

This is pretty, but too small - $80.00

As nice as all those are, I had about $20.00 to spend on a chalkboard. I scoured the thrift stores and junk shops with no success, so I decided to make my own. I bought some board, the cheapest, fanciest border I could find and some chalkboard paint. Mr. Santos put it all together for me. When all was said and done, I spent about $30.00, but it is just the right size. I still have the "tweak it - decorate it some more - itch" but it will do for now.

Below is a little video of our Noah writing on the board. Usually, I am the one writing on it and the kids are answering questions...but I think Noah's chubby hands writing his name are so cute. Mr. Santos is in the background studying. If it seems like I am rushing Noah in his writing, I am (smiles). I knew the video of him had to be under one minute long...

Just some more silly santos times.

November 24, 2008

Another special Noah moment...

My four year old, Noah, was jumping on the couch.
"No Way Jose!" I said to him.
I lifted him off to carry him to his room. He put his arms around my neck and his legs around my waist and we snuggled a little as we walked down the hall.

"I love you, Noah."
"I love you too mom." Snuggle Snuggle. "But, please call me Bruce Lee."

Quickly Noah scrambled out of my arms and proceeded to "HIYAH!" all the way to bed.

What a boy.

November 04, 2008

My Daybook

FOR TODAY November 4, 2008
I am thinking...
Who will win?
I am thankful for...
God's Sovereignty - no matter what.
From the kitchen...
Potato soup - a new frugal favorite - only $5.00 or so for a big pot of soup - serves my whole family a couple of bowls - three for Mr. Santos.
I am wearing...
Jeans, checked shirt and hooded sweatshirt, tennis, hair in a braid and my hoop earrings.
I am creating...
Leaf collages with Sophia for the fall
I am going...
to visit friends and do some thrift shopping today.
I am reading...
blogs about today - a momentous day.
I am hoping...
That no matter what happens, the CHURCH would seek to live holy lives and to stand firm in their faith. If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and PRAY and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2Chron 7:14
I am hearing...
the dishwasher, the washing machine, the kids doing their math lessons with Dad
Around the house...
Things are buzzing. Grandparents are on their way from California for a nine day visit to our tiny house. They will get our room and we will sleep with the kids in their room.
One of my favorite things...
Family visits full of long talks and debates and food and memories.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Family time - serving my mom and step-dad and continuing the studies with Mr. Santos as he prepares for a couple tests and job interviews
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

October 31, 2008

A Tribute

She listened long and thoughtfully when I had problems to pour out. She never criticized me. She laughed at me or with me when I was being too serious or dramatic. She let me live with her during my tempestuous twenties. She fed me when I was broke. She counseled me when I was scared and lonely or confused. She let me "teach" her when I had all the answers. She hosted holidays at her house. She reached out to her neighbors and to my friends. She gave gifts to my children and treated them like her own. She was happy with my happiness and sad when I was sad. She was gentle. She was a cheerleader - for us all. She loved my husband with kindess and respect. She was faithful to our Lord. She was my Auntie Nina.

October 21, 2008

Meeting Strangers

I was the only person not related. Brenda had invited her parents, her husbands parents, and her sister who brought her husband and his three daughters. With a few more kids, that made fifteen people there - not counting me. It wasn't Christmas. Just a movie night - and my suggestion. We were together to eat a bunch of raw food and watch the movie "Food Matters". After the movie, I would show them the product Body Balance.

I met Emily right away. She was wrapped up in a grey hooded sweatshirt. I never did get to see her hair - just her smile. She talked a lot and I remember her lips were full and her skin was clear. Eleven years old.

Michaela was playing with her cousins. I didn't meet her. She did, however, lay at my feet during the whole movie. I had to get up a couple times for this or that so I stepped over her body. We smiled at each other. Ten years old.

Katelyn was the oldest. Thirteen. She wore dark eye liner. She came into the kitchen where I was and bit into a cucumber slice. I made some joke about raw food and she laughed. I looked deep in her eyes and felt a desire to hug her. Instead, I smiled. We didn't know each other. She was thirteen. One doesn't just HUG a stranger.

Leonard and Sabrina. They lived in Graham. Wow, we almost moved to Graham. How was it over there? We talked about the commute and what they did for a living. Hard working people. Leonard (whom everyone called Lenny) spent most of the evening with his girls. He had his arms around one or the other. Sabrina, the step-mom and Brenda's sweet sister, hugged people a lot. Maybe it wouldn't have been weird for me to hug Katelyn.

How lovely to see another family interact! There were lots of smiles and pats on the back. Talk about tomatoes and fruit trees...canning. Hugs and jokes. Everyone ate up the refreshments I brought. I was glad since I was the outsider.

We put the movie in. I thanked Ron and Brenda for hosting the movie night and for everyone taking time out to watch it.

It's strange now looking back. The movie night had been postponed for Leonard and Sabrina. They couldn't make it the week before. Had we not delayed the event, I would never have met them and their three daughters. I would never have looked into some dark lined eyes or met a man with two stud earrings who loved his daughters. I would never have met Sabrina before...before the...

I left early, leaving the family to enjoy the rest of the evening. I would follow up later with those interested in Body Balance. It was late and I prayed for safety for the way home. I remember thinking about Leonard and Sabrina - They would probably spend the night at Brenda's. If they didn't spend the night then they would have a long drive home. What a family - to drive almost two hours just to see a movie about nutrition - to spend time together. This made me miss my own family in California. I missed them knowing that they were gathered together at the hospital dealing with the grief of losing Auntie Nina.

The rest of the story I heard from a friend. It was also on the news. Leonard and Sabrina did not spend the night at Brenda's. They drove home. They went to sleep. There was an explosion heard. A fire. The parents got out. Lenny was on the ladder trying to get to the girls when the fire department got there. The flames were too high - too hot. The roof collapsed. The girls could not be saved. They were lost. Gone.

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, REDEEMING THE TIME. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. Col 4:2-6

I don't understand all this.

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1Peter 3:15

Dear Lord,

Please comfort this family. Please provide for their needs and draw them unto yourself. Help them in their time of need. Help them to see you as their Rock, thier Redeemer, their high tower. Help us to have wisdom and discernment in ministering to them. Give them Hope, Lord.

October 19, 2008

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

We sang this hymn today at church and what a wonderful song it is! The end of the chorus really hit me hard. All other ground is sinking sand. What other ground? What do I stand on that I think might hold me up? My family? My friends? My ideas or politics? All my skills or my job? Our savings or good credit? HA!

All of this is sinking sand.

Today, my auntie Nina is slowly slipping into eternity. What glory awaits her.

Even my little hope in THIS day is sinking sand. It will be over soon, gone. All our days just a vapor.

My chin is lifted. My shoulders are straightened. I stand firm - watching. There is solid ground and the Lord tells me time and time again that I can trust Him.

There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 1Samuel 2:2
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:2

October 13, 2008

My Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, October 13, 2008...
Outside My Window...
The lawn is mowed and the leaves are falling almost like rain
I am thinking...
Of how amazing it can be to have JOY is such uncertain times.
I am thankful for...
My Great and Loving God. How He can continue with me - with all my failures and faults - yet He is faithful to complete what He has started in me. He never leaves me or forsakes me. Thank you Lord!
From the kitchen...
Bean sprouts out of my ears
I am wearing...
jeans, red/white checked button up shirt with a white cardigan sweater, pearl earrings and tennis shoes
I am creating...
a chalkboard! My inspiration comes from a chalkboard from the Old Victorian Trading Co. - but it is far too the kids and I are making our own.
I am going...
to the store to buy chalkboard paint
I am reading...
research on TruBoost and the affects of stress on the adrenals - doesn't that sound interesting? LOL
I am hoping...
to find something to do with all these bean sprouts before they spoil
I am hearing...
The Trumpet Swan read by EB White himself
Around the house...
A pile of bills to mail out and folded laundry to put away
One of my favorite things...
A super frugal deal
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
A visit with friends, Bible reading, letters to write, school, bulbs to plant.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing

Listening to "The Trumpet Swan"

October 06, 2008

Thirst no more

The believer is not the man whose days are weary for want of comfort, and whose nights are long from absence of heart-cheering thought, for he finds in religion such a spring of joy, such a fountain of consolation, that he is content and happy. Put him in a dungeon and he will find good company; place him in a barren wilderness, he will eat the bread of heaven; drive him away from friendship, he will meet the "friend that sticketh closer than a brother." Blast all his gourds, and he will find shadow beneath the Rock of Ages; sap the foundation of his earthly hopes, but his heart will still be fixed, trusting in the Lord.

The true saint is so completely satisfied with the all-sufficiency of Jesus that he thirsts no more—except it be for deeper draughts of the living fountain.

~Charles Spurgeon (oct. 6 morning devotion)

September 30, 2008

"You cannot make your own heart beat."

We watched these two videos and afterwards Sophia (age 7) asked "I wonder how I can make God smile?" What a great question!

September 29, 2008

My Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, September 29, 2008
Outside My Window...

It is a sunny day. The children have finished school and are riding their bikes around. Earlier they were having a picnic in one of their many hideouts. It's nice to see them safe and 'free'

I am thinking...

It is a beautiful day, and wondering what you (my friends) are doing now.

I am thankful for...

Body Balance. Luis got sick this weekend so we doubled him and the kids up on nutrition and garlic. It is so nice to know what to do when it comes to illness in the family. Give your body what it needs and it will heal itself.

From the kitchen...

Yummy warm smells. We picked some apples from the side of the road so there is a big pot cooking for applesauce. The rest we will juice.

I am wearing...

jeans, striped tee, slipper socks, hair rolled up in a bun.

I am creating...

an updated resume for Luigi (aka Mr. Santos)

I am going...

for a walk with the kids after this post. One of the joys of being a homeschooling mom.

I am reading...

Bonny's Big Day by James Herriot to the kids and Chicken Tractor by Andy Lee for me

I am hoping...

Luigi is feeling O.K. He had a sore throat and fever all day Sunday.

I am hearing...

The occassional banging, and tapping out of tunes from the piano. Thanks to some generous friends, we finally got the piano home.

Around the house...

steamy windows from the applesauce and rays of sunshine. I love this little place.

One of my favorite things...

Mr. Santos laughing at an old episode of Andy Griffith. You should see how he cracks just makes you smile.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Another dentist appointment, library run, school, school, and school.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

The kids enjoying the view out at Seabeck.

September 22, 2008

My Daybook

FOR TODAY Monday, September 22, 2008
Outside My Window...

Are cedars and hemlocks, maples and spruces...trees trees trees. I love it. I love the sound they make when the wind blows and the fluttering of the birds flying from branch to branch.

I am thinking...

of my Grandma Betty. She used to brush my hair so hard and pull it back in such a tight pony tail that my eyes would slant. "Mom, your hurting me!" my Naomi shouts when I brush her hair. I tell her, "Have I ever told you what it was like when your great grandma would brush my hair?...the tangles are forgotten and she rushes to the mirror to see if her eyes are slanted too...I miss my Grandma Betty.

I am thankful for...

a new day. God's mercies are new every wonderful. The sin and mistakes of yesterday are in the past...a chance to start fresh. Praise the Lord.

From the kitchen...

is the smell of fish. Mr. Santos bar-b-qued a whole fish yesterday (head, tail and all - that's his favorite way) He and the kids had a late night snack of that fish...licking their lips and sucking the bones...yuck. But all of them loved it...and the plate of scales and bones were left in the kitchen for me to clean up...the smell lingers.

I am wearing...

the same clothes I wore yesterday...he he...a black skirt, a multi-colored striped sweater and black flats.

I am creating...

Nothing...I know what I will do...I will write a letter to my Grandma Betty.

I am going...

to take the kids to visit some new puppies this week.

I am reading...

The Psalms

I am hoping...

that the kids and I will memorize two new Bible verses this week. We like to make up songs with I am hoping we come up with a good tune.

I am hearing...

the silence of living in the more morning sirens, traffic and garbage trucks. Wow.

Around the house...

are the patterns of the vacuum cleaner. We are constantly vacuuming around here...we are wood floor kinda we are ever and always staying on top of the dust and stains of the carpeting.

One of my favorite things...

Noah marching through the house singing in his 'manly' voice..."Three boys, strong boys, trusted God, made a choice!" (a song about Shadrach, Meshach and Abedneggo in the fiery furnace) When he sings that song, I always have to scoop him up and kiss his neck.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Puppies, letters, make a bulletin board, and plan out our first lap books for the year.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

My funny Sophia cracking herself up. She has lost a few teeth and I am so thankful. It makes her look younger. I am always telling her that no one in this house is allowed to grow older than seven years old...last year I said six and the year before I said five. Sometimes I wish my babies would stay babies.

September 08, 2008

My Daybook

FOR TODAY , Monday, September 8, 2008
Outside My Window...

Ripening tomatoes! The season started late here and it looks like it may end late too...if the sunshine holds out for a few more days I may have a big basket of red ripe tomatoes. Our first harvest!

I am thinking...

Of a movie Mr. Santos and I watched last night...the first half of Les Miserables. We ended right in the middle - after he turned himself in as a convict...and I keep thinking, 'the consequences for doing what is right are sometimes severe.' How much evil is done in the name of justice!

I am thankful for...

Our time at church yesterday. What a good message about the Glory of God in our lives.

From the kitchen...

Chocolate peanut butter balls (using raw cacao, coconut and chopped walnuts), Pineapple spears, grapes, tomatoes with shitake/sesame vinagarette and cayenne pepper, strawberry/banana/spinach smoothies. Easy 'on the go' foods for a day of hard work. We will be taking a couple more loads to our new home.

I am wearing...

A white dress with my old red and white button-up shirt over - sleeves rolled to the elbow. Red slip-on flats. Hair in a french braid.

I am creating...

A list of names for people who need our new address and phone number.

I am going...

To a couple carpet stores today. There is carpeting in the dining room (ridiculous idea) so I need a good 'hide all' carpet to put under the table.

I am reading...

Teacher guides and reading lists to get ready for school to start. We are late with all the moving and Santos Times events.

I am hoping...

To get some help moving our Washer and piano soon. Mr. Santos said we could bring the piano if I could figure out how to help him move I am hoping...

I am hearing...

The sound of the dishwasher. Maybe I will go turn on Fernando's the only CD I have left here. Everything else is at the new house.

Around the house...

It is big and empty. Most of the furniture has been moved or sold. The kids run around in all the space. Moving from 2700 sq feet to 900 sq feet...this place seems like a mansion.

One of my favorite things...

Naomi's laugh. It is so contagious.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Loads to the thrift store, dentist appt. for the kids, Final MFTH Bible study this week, final loads to the new house. We plan on being there 'for real' this week.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

August 25, 2008

My Daybook

FOR TODAY, August 25, 2008

Outside My Window...

It is dark. It is a cold and early morning (4:30 a.m.) Mr. Santos has left for work and I am blogging when it won't distract from my day.

I am thinking...

of two things. First, my mind and heart are full of people I want to pray for. Do you ever wake up in the morning with people on your mind? or wake from a dream and feel like you spent lots of time with certain friends or family that maybe you haven't seen for a while? I makes me want to pray for them. The other thing I keep thinking of is two words to a verse I read in Proverbs yesterday...Buy Truth. I know the Lord wants to teach me something about this.

I am thankful for...

My husband. No matter what our differences or struggles may be, he is faithful to get up and leave the warmth of this house in the dark early morning to go out and provide for us.

From the kitchen...

Hot and fresh blueberry muffins (planned) for breakfast...when I am done with this post. I want the smell to wake the kids.

I am wearing...
purple pajamas and my hair looks like Medusa.

I am creating...
sachets for our drawers with the lavender we brought home last weekend.

I am going...
to the chiropractor this morning and to pick up more boxes for moving.

I am reading...
decorating magazines from the library on how to deal with small spaces. Our new home is a wee little place, but these mags are getting me excited.

I am hoping...
everything I want to bring to our new home will fit.

I am hearing...
nothing...except the still small voice to pray for those people on my mind.

Around the house...
a mess from leftover forts and sachet projects. Monday morning! No more rest, time to work!

One of my favorite things...
A restful weekend, which I had. Thank you Lord.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Packing, cleaning, packing, packing, cleaning, packing and cleaning, oh and packing.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
just a pic from my computer - don't have the credits, even though it is still dark and grey outside this is what the morning feels like to me.

August 22, 2008

Does Love Multi-task?

I love to multi-task. I think it is wonderful that I can wash a load of clothes, and a load of dishes at the same time. Dinner is simmering in the crock pot and I can iron or make beds while I talk to my sister long distance. I can do five things at once. The kids come in with a question and with the wave of my hand or a quick scribble written on a note I have done six things at once. Wow. No wonder I get so much done. Life is great!

Yeah, right.

So, why at the end of the day do I feel like I have been so busy? So exhausted? Shouldn't all this multi-tasking give me more free time?

And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." Mark 12:29-31

And so what is Love? How are we to love the Lord and our neighbor (which of course includes our husband and children)?

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Cor 13:4-7

Love suffers long: Holding a sick or tired child until he is comforted. Pulling the knot out of her sewing project for the umteenth time - with a smile. Listening to his plans for that broken down tractor with all his talk about pneumatics and hydraulics and electronics etc.

And is kind: Teaching good manners by example rather than a bark "Stop talking with your mouth full!" "Do you need help with your bed?" Rather than "Clean your room!"

Love does not envy: Being thankful for the house or the car and the family you have.

Love does not parade itself: I don't have to strive to be "perfect."

Is not puffed up: I can offer compassion to my children when they sin or fail. My expectation of others will not be so high.

Does not behave rudely: I use my words and facial expressions to show love and not disgust.

Is not provoked: Taking time to train or discipline instead of getting frustrated because of interruptions or conflict. Walking away from rudeness instead of retaliating with the same.

Thinks no evil: Not participating in gossip. Being careful what I watch and allow my children to watch. Making plans for love rather than revenge.

Does not rejoice in iniquity: Caring for those who are wronged - even if I believe they "deserved" it.

Rejoices in the truth: Happy and bold about the truth - taking time to share it with others.

Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things: How can I even come close to doing this when I am trying to "kill five to six birds with one stone?"

Who has time for Love when there is so much to do? Maybe instead of planning more love into my day, I should plan my day around love. Every thing may take a bit longer...but maybe there will be less complaining that way. Maybe at the end of the day I will have good stories to share and remember and not just a checked-off list. Maybe my children will listen when I say something instead of tuning me out (as I so often do to them). It seems to me that to be able to love one must FOCUS. I have to put my energy and even HOPE into what I do and say each day. This is love.

No. Love does not multi-task. Love does the next thing at a time.

August 19, 2008

Homeschool in the Northwest

These are some delightful books we have read about berry picking. But you can't just read about berry picking...especially here in the Northwest.

'plink, plink' went the blueberries into Naomi's bucket
Mr. Santos could not be pulled away from those bushes :)
Can I make a pie now Mom?
The clan right before a thunderstorm rolled in. Time to stop picking! AAAAWWW Mom!
We brought home some sweet smelling lavender too!

August 13, 2008

Agenda 21

Kelly over at Generation Cedar has been doing a great series on "America - What is Happening to us?"

Here is a video clip that she included. It is very informative. Remember that this is nothing new. But we must be aware and not lazy in our Christianity. God bless you good today.

Mrs. Santos


Mom : "Hey girls where is your brother?"

Girls in unison: "I don't know"

Mom: "Nooooaaaah! Come and eat breeeeeakfast!"

There was no answer. Mom started to wonder...Noah never misses a meal and he always Runs...we're talking herd of elephants RUNS to breakfast. The girls started calling out. "Nooooaaah!" and looking around. Little Naomi - our mother hen - started to worry. "Where is he?!" Upstairs, downstairs, under the sign of him.

I walked to the laundry room. Hmmm. The door to the basement is unlocked. I open the door and see the door to the back yard is cracked open. Cold air is coming in the house. Oh my gosh. It is only 6:45 in the morning...did anyone go out?, I didn't go out...Dear Lord

My mind instantly races...did someone get in and take my baby?

Morning adventures..."I was just going to get a bear, mom."

August 12, 2008

My Daybook

FOR TODAY Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Outside My Window...

It is a grey overcast day and one bright pink gladiola has bloomed

I am thinking...

I don't know what to make for dinner and I have two loads of laundry to fold.

I am thankful for...

My husband and my children and their good health

From the kitchen...

We ate cream cheese sandwiches with homemade blackberry "jam". We picked the blackberries on our walk yesterday.

I am wearing...

Navy blue capris with a lime green tee shirt

I am creating...

a huge pile of stuff to sell at this weekend in a yard sale

I am going...

to finish folding clothes when I am done posting here

I am reading...

The freedom series by R. Lagerquist and my Bible

I am hoping...

to figure out what to make for dinner soon

I am hearing...

the kids playing nicely without bickering (at last)

Around the house...

A quick mopping up to do in the kitchen, laundry to be folded and children are playing.

One of my favorite things...

A cup of tea with toast and a copy of Victoria Magazine

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

A visit with friends, follow-up on a couple BB customers, pick up new bunk beds, sand and prep picnic table for a new stain.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

These kids don't need much to have fun...what blessings.

August 08, 2008

Summertime at Home Sweet Home

So, how has your Summer been so far? Has it been as restful as ours? Normally, we spend most of our Summer at the beach or the lake or the river or SOMEWHERE. But with the latest belt tightening days in the Santos family we have chosen to stay home. Little did we know that a couple of months into the Summer we would be so relaxed and enjoying our time together. Staying home really is such a pleasure.

Endless Rock Painting to line the garden boxes.

Sprinkler fun on a hot day.

Making Bread and other treats.

Dress up and play acting with buddies. Noah was a sharp-shooting fireman. Go figure.

Thrift Shopping! My new juicer for $4.00 (only juices carrots well, but that's o.k. for now - until I get my Champion juicer)

Picking and enjoying the fresh fruits of the season - YUMMY Rainier Cherries in our nephews back yard.

Swinging in the hammock

Hope you are also having a restful Summer enjoying each new day for what it has to offer. Every good and perfect gift is from the Lord.

July 28, 2008

Monday Meditation

There is a beautiful song that Fernando Ortega sings called Give me Jesus.

In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise
In the morning, when I rise, give me Jesus
Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, You can have all this world, But give me Jesus

When I am alone
When I am alone
When I am alone, give me Jesus
Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus, You can have all this world, But give me Jesus

When I come to die
When I come to die
When I come to die, give me Jesus
Give me Jesus, Give me Jesus,

You can have all this world,
You can have all this world,
You can have all this world, But give me Jesus
I find this a beautiful song to listen to and it helps me to set my perspective for the day or for the week...but it is also hard to sing along least honestly. If I was honest, I would sing: In the morning when I rise give me peace and quiet or give me a productive day. I would sing, When I am alone give me good friends or a good time or distraction. I would sing, When I come to die give me glory and let me be remembered for all the good things I did.

I'm not saying these wants are wrong or that God does not want us to want these things or even that He does not want to give us these things. I am just saying that if I was honest, I could not sing wholeheartedly,

You can have all this world, But give me Jesus.

It is good for us to be honest with ourselves. Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip Heb 2:1 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2 What if you could sing those words truely - What kind of person would you be?

I immediately think of Jesus in the boat with his disciples...sleeping in the midst of a storm. No fear, no worry, no irritation or anger at his circumstances. Asleep. A quiet heart.
Elisabeth Elliot writes
God came down and lived in this same world as a man. He showed us how to live in this world with all its vicissitudes and necessities, that we might be changed - not into an angel or a storybook princess - not wafted into another world, but changed into saints in this world. The secret is Christ in me not me in a different set of circumstances.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. John 15:4
What do we really want? As Christians, we must keep this in front of us, to have our affections set on the things above. So many good things we want can become idols - perfectly clean homes, perfectly obedient children, perfectly outlined lives. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; ... and covetousness, which is idolatry: Col 3:5

But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had
well-nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the

They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like
other men. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart
could wish.

Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
then I understood their end.

Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my
reins. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.
Nevertheless I am continually with thee; thou hast held me by my right hand.
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon the earth that I
desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength
of my heart, and my portion forever. (parts of Psalm 73).
So, Mission Monday. Sing with me, You can have all this world, Give me Jesus. and see how it plays out in your life. I am confident you will be a blessing to others.

July 23, 2008


Once upon a time, there were two little girls sitting at the table having tea. They shared their plans for the day and for their little families which consisted of two dolls a stuffed rabbit and a toy horse.

Sophia: "And will you be sending your children to public school?" as she tips her tea cup back, pinky finger held high.

Naomi: "Oh No! I will never send my children to public school! They will most definitely be homeless!"

Sophia age 7, Naomi Baloney age 5

July 08, 2008

Choose ye this day...

This morning I woke up full of worry and angst. Moving. It's just such a big deal no matter how often you do it. I should have known though...I went to bed full of worry. Fret not, it leads only to evil...

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: Psalm 42:5

I think of Abraham...Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: Genesis 12:1

We are taught to pray...Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...and so that's where my worry lies. I have my plans. I cannot see God's plans. Yes, I believe that His plans for me are for good and not for evil to give me a future and a hope...but...

I am a child holding my Father's hand. He leads me down a path while I tug just a little, hanging back...looking over my shoulder...looking at the other paths...pointing.
"I wanna go there," I say.
"No. Let's go this way." He pulls me gently towards him.
"But, I wanna go that way. Look at that! I see good friends over there! There's nice stuff over there. Please. Pleeeeease! Can we go there?"
"No. I want you to go this way."

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. I Corinthians 2:9

Will I trust Him today? Will I demand my own way? Oh Lord, How I love you. Let's go where you want to take me. I am scared, please hold my hand a little tighter. Thank you.

Mrs. Santos


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