December 24, 2009
December 21, 2009
I picked up this set of blocks at Goodwill a couple nights ago. It was, with tax, $1.08. We have enjoyed it sooo much - just playing and stacking next to the Christmas tree. I don't know what is so special about these blocks, but it seems like you can make ANYTHING with them; they stack so well and they don't fall down. I decided to research how much they were brand new...OH MY GOSH...click here if you are interested in seeing how much I saved by going to my local thrift store. It makes me laugh out loud! Thank you Lord, for good gifts.
EDITED: I just went to the link and the price is no longer listed - it is $179.00 normally. HAHAHA I'm still laughing over my 'steal'
December 20, 2009
December 18, 2009
“Though Christ a thousand times
In Bethlehem be born,
If he’s not born in thee,
Thy soul is still forlorn.
“The cross on Golgotha
Will never save thy soul,
The cross in thine own heart,
Alone can make thee whole.”
December 17, 2009
December 14, 2009
December 13, 2009
Every year at Christmas, some of the ladies in my church take part in a one-year commitment to be a Secret Sister. For one full year we commit to praying for and encouraging our Secret Sister. We give gifts and cards and, most especially, pray for one another. I was extremely blessed by my Secret Sister last year. So many times a card from her would brighten my day; a kind gift would make me SO happy. On my birthday, last month, she bought me CLOTHES. How Fun! She originally got me a cute brown courduroy skirt, but, unfortunately, it didn't fit.
Last night, I exchanged it for the skirt above...isn't it CUTE? I love it because it goes with EVERYthing. It is long enough that I can wear leggings underneath in this cold weather. It is also very slimming...which is always good - doncha think? Today, I wore it with a grey turtleneck sweater, tights, and my red Mary Janes (they have a small heel) In the warmer weather it will look good with a tee shirt and pretty sandals.
Just wanted to share my new favorite thing.
December 12, 2009
Somehow, someway, her chance came. Doesn't it always come? The Bible says, No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. Her temptation came and she succumbed. The pink bubble-gum flavored candy stick - the one with the blue stripes - went into her pocket.
But when would she enjoy her prize? She would need to work out just as many details in order to eat it. The temptation comes easily enough, but with it comes MORE temptations. Only these temptations are different. It seems they cannot be avoided. Now she MUST lie. Now she MUST hide and deceive - deceive not only her mother, but now her sister and brother too. If she didn't, she would get caught.
She hid the prize in her desk. Sometimes she would sneak into her room and lift up her desk to feel under the papers. Yep, it was still there. The smooth, hard bubble gum stick. Oh, she could just taste it. If only she had some free time where she could get away to enjoy it. Occasionally, she would want to tell her sister...but would her sister share her joy or turn her in? Sometimes she would smile thinking of her brother asking for a lick and giving him one...but would they enjoy it knowing it was stolen? The item in her desk consumed her thoughts.
A few days later, I came in to help clean her room. Everything needed to be spotless and in order. Overnight guests would be arriving soon. "Here, let's put this in your desk," I said.
I walked towards the desk with the little book. "NO MOM!" the child shouted. "I have special cards in there for Noah, uh, and uh, I don't want him to see them."
It was too late, the lid was lifted. I was curious. "What special notes, my love?" I lifted the papers to reveal the stolen candy stick.
December 07, 2009
The children memorized their Christmas verses. I organized my purse. We ate chicken soup that I warmed in the crock pot for lunch, and other than that, we were COLD. I have been home for almost two hours now and I still have not removed my coat...Should I go to the farm tomorrow? NAH! Mr. Santos has tomorrow off of school...maybe he wouldn't mind going to the farm alone? We'll see.
I shouldn't complain. Here are some highlights of our December life:
Free Spice Drops for the Shopkeeper
A walk across the farm every morning.
December 05, 2009
The Failure? Mr. Santos was ANGRY at the employees. There were lots of tears, slumped shoulders, and stress. The Fix-it. Twine is ready and available at the shed where the customers can get it easily and Mr. Santos acknowledges the limitations and gifts of the employees.
~Welcome to the Farm~
It is very exciting to the Santos Family Farm Employees when a customer comes in. There is an invisible "bell" at the gate entrance. When a customer drives in the bell goes off. It sounds like three voices yelling "Mom, someone is here, someone is here!" On the first day, maybe the second day too, (it's all such a blur) the children would run out to the customer's car and open their door for them.
We have now trained the employees that some people don't LIKE children. Some people don't like valet tree service. Some people might be on the phone when they drive up to the farm and don't appreciate noses and fingerprints pressed into the glass of their car windows.
We now welcome all our visitors with waves and welcomes from the shop, allowing them time to get out of their car - OR not.
~That's an ugly tree~
A lovely family came in - good friends - and picked out a unique tree. That is what is so wonderful about a tree farm, all the trees are unique. Well, one of the employees commented on it. "That is an ugly tree. It looks like a Charlie Brown Tree. You sure like ugly trees."
Thankfully, these were good friends with a sense of humor. The employees really are so helpful and these little things are funny and no big deal. What IS a big deal is the prideful stress the bosses experience and pass on to the employees. The Failure? Pride. Lack of a sense of humor. Tension. The Fix-it? Relax and smile. What a fix-it. We laugh a lot more and come home much less fatigued.
Well, I could go on and on, but I've got to get breakfast on the table...maybe if I stop blogging I will have time to clean the kitchen before we dash out to the farm. Happy day to you!
November 29, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Outside my window...
A cold grey day, green grass and yellow leaves. The soccer ball waiting to be kicked by the kids. They will bring it to the farm today for fun.
I am thinking...
How much relief a Sigh brings. Maybe it is the oxygen or the time taken out to slow down. I am taking lots of deep breaths this morning...a lot of stress.
I am thankful for...
The Lord, my God, my Friend. He is not ashamed to call me His friend - oh How thankful I am for that. Thank you Lord, for holding my hand and listening to all my woes and for being the lifter of my chin. You are such a WONDERFUL friend.
Sing today the song "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear."
From the learning rooms...
From the kitchen...
A picnic basket to take to the tree farm. PB and J, fresh fruit, almonds and cranberries, and thick macaroons.
A brown skirt, brown tights, little ankle socks that are not the right brown...they either add to the outfit making me look a little hip, or they make me look like a funny lady with no style...can't tell, but I don't want my feet to be cold...brown tee and cardigan...which no one will see under my big coat and a red hoodie to add color.
I am creating...
An environment for my children...a place for them to feel safe and comforted and where they can LEARN.
I am going...
To the tree farm, of course. I am also going to smile and be thankful for this unique opportunity to serve the Lord, even though I would much rather stay home. I am also going to be thankful that I can bring my children with me...that though I will be spending the month working outside the home, it will be with my family...what a blessing.
I am reading...
Romans 12 - over and over and over...Also, Luke 2 - the children will be reciting it at the Christmas program.
I am hoping...
For sunshine. I feel a little down today...But God is so Good...There may be weeping in the night, but Joy comes in the morning.
I am hearing...
The Children loading up the van to go to the farm...better get out there.
Around the house...
The laundry is DONE. Thank you Lord, for small victories.
One of my favorite things...
Going out with my girlfriends and talking with no interruptions.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Work at the tree farm on Monday, then the tree farm on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday we will work at the tree farm, on Thursday we have decided that we will just go to the tree farm, But Friday and Saturday we won't go anywhere else except the tree farm. (smiles)
Here is a picture thought I am sharing:
The view from my Gift Shop Window...That would be my Luigi driving up in the truck.
go http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ to read more "daybooks"
The Beginnings of a transformation starts with Christmas Candy!
There are now Collector Dolls on the top shelf above the candy.
Jewelry, Handmade Cards and wallets, Crocheted Hats and Battery Operated Candles (which so far have been a huge hit)
November 25, 2009
After a long day of hard work, the Santos clan relaxed at the dinner table with some comforting meatball soup.
Noah lifted his spoon to his mouth. He asked, "Does anyone know what 'injured' means?" then slurped his broth loudly.
Sophia blurted out "Yeah, it means 'hurt'".
Naomi echoed, "Yeah, it means you got an owie."
Noah replied, "Nope." He took a bite of meatball. All eyes were fixed on him as we waited for his definition. Confidently, he shared, "It means 'knocked down by a missile.'"
November 21, 2009
"Build it well, whate'er you do;
Build it straight, and strong, and true;
Build it clear, and high, and broad:
Build it for the eye of God.”
Some people have a great deal of trouble looking after their rights, seeing that
no one wrongs them, that they always get proper honour and attention from
others, and that no injustice is ever done to them. We hear echoes of this human striving breaking out from the heart of certain great and splendid pageants, where the grand participants contend for precedence in rank, for degree of nobility, at the table or in the procession. We find it in much lowlier places, in society, and in the common walks, in the clamour for the highest distinction or for honour among men. We are spared all such trouble if we have this law of serving deep in our hearts. Our only care then is that we do not ourselves wrong others, even if they have treated us unjustly or unkindly.
Life does not come to us in lifetimes; it comes only a day at a time. Even tomorrow is never ours till it becomes today, and we have nothing whatever to do with it, but to pass down to it a fair and good inheritance in today’s work well done and today’s life well lived.
It is a blessed secret, this of living by the day. Any one can carry his burden, however heavy, till nightfall. Anyone can do his work, however hard, for one day. Any one can live sweetly, quietly, patiently, lovingly, and purely till the sun goes down. And this is all that life really ever means to us — just one little day. “Do today’s duty, fight today’s temptation, and do not weaken and distract yourself by looking forward to things you cannot see, and could not understand if you saw them.” God gives us nights to shut down the curtain of darkness on our little days. We cannot see beyond, and we ought not to try to see beyond. Short horizons make life easier,and give us one of the blessed secrets of brave, true, holy living.
~J.R. Miller, Secrets of a Beautiful Life 1908
November 17, 2009
After a while, the little boy came in, pushed his hands deep into his pockets, kicked the side of the table, and explained,
"Welp, Mom. Suzie and I had a good long talk. We were 'ruffing' together."
November 15, 2009
I was flipping through the radio the other day and heard someone say..."You should do less listening to your soul and more talking." I didn't hear any more. I think I flipped the channel or the children got my attention. But this thought has stuck with me all week. Talking to your soul? Even here, lean not on your own understanding.
The Bible tells us what to say to our soul.
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God.
Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
Now set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God;
1 Corinthians 15:57
Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
2 Corinthians 2:14
Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
2 Corinthians 9:14
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
1 John 4:4
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
If we have victory over death, do we not have victory over pride? What about irritation or depression? We say such awful things against our God, our friend and saviour, when we say "This is just how I am." This sort of talk is merely us resigning ourselves to SIN. We don't want to change. We don't want to be kind when they are mean to us. We don't want to do our best work, just what will get by.
Today, when he irritates you, pray for him and do something KIND. Today, when they disobey, correct them quietly, firmly, and with a smile. Today, when everything seems overwhelming, remember your God and his Power and that He gives us victory. We don't have to sin, we don't have to languish. We have VICTORY!
SHOUT IT OUT and be thankful.
November 10, 2009
"YOU, CHOSEN ONE, will turn that pile and that stack and those yards into beautiful wreaths. If you make them, they will come. The people will ooh and ah over them, the people will buy them, the people will send their friends to do the same. YOU WILL DO THIS."
She sighed heavily, resenting the voice. She resented the cold. Her fingers were numb. She looked at the branches and all she could see was a fresh smelling pile - a perfect hiding place for spiders and mice.
She sent a prayer up. Like an arrow, it cut through the cloud hovering over her head and lightened the load on her heart. "Help me, Lord."
Determined, she placed the metal ring in the machine and fiddled with some branches. A clip here, a clip there. Bit by bit she lined up the branches, hoping in the end it would look presentable. The rain fell and, in spite of the cold, she continued her work. FINALLY, the last hand of the ring was closed. She hung the wreath up on the nail for inspection. Sadly, the full and floppy mess only slightly resembled a wreath. Another heavy sigh.
"C'mon children, let's go!"
The three children, wet with playing in the rain and branches, piled into the van. She turned the ignition and the heater blasted her with warm air. Yet another heavy sigh. Gently, she rested her head on the steering wheel.
"I can't do this. I have made three floppy wreaths and I can't imagine making any more. I'm cold, I have a thousand other things to do, and I just CAN'T DO THIS!" she prayed.
A still small voice..."My grace is sufficient for you, You can do all things through me who gives you strength. I will never leave you or forsake you. Besides, there is tea and banana bread waiting for you at home...one more wreath."
She smiled, got out of the van, and went to stand in "her spot." She made a fourth wreath. Now this one looked round at least. In fact, with a few pine cones tucked here and there, someone might even buy it. She clapped her hands with joy.
Happily, she lifted the wreath off the nail, but one, then two, then twenty little sprigs of pine fell away from the wreath. Her shoulders slumped as she was left with what could only be called "The Charlie Brown wreath."
SIGH! Well, we will try again tomorrow. Only 15 more days till "Opening Day" at the tree farm.
November 09, 2009
It was Great Fun!
November 05, 2009
Upstairs, is another storm. The brows furrowed, the fists shut tight, the teeth clenched. She is fighting her will. "O.K. Mom." That's all she has to say. No, not with a sneer. No, not with a stamped foot. Just a peaceful "O.K. Mom." The storm rages.
I hold my head in my hands. My heart is heavy for the souls of my children. How do I lead these little ones?
How does the Lord lead me?
If ye love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: vs 21
Jesus answered..."But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do." John 14:31
I trust in the Lord with all my heart, and lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways I acknowledge him and he makes my paths straight.
"Come this way."
"Don't do that."
My will stands up, slams down the fist, "I object! NO! I will go left!" A storm rages, loud, fierce and scary.
"Give it away."
My will quietly questions, "Yeah, but..." "What about...?" "It's mine..." The wind comes up, the sky darkens, the thunder crashes.
Whom do I love more? The Lord God or myself?
If I give her what she wants will she be O.K.? Where do I draw the line? Are my expectations too high? What does she want? She wants her will at all times. She wants to question and argue. She wants to prove that she can see things more clearly than Mom. No, I cannot give her what she wants. It is dangerous out there. "My son hear the instruction of your father and do not forsake the law of your mother" Proverbs 1:8
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, v22
God didn't force them to obey. Eventually, he let them have their way.
Wherefore God also gave them up...gave them up to what?
He gave them up to uncleanness (vs 24) to vile affections (vs 26) to a reprobate mind (vs 28) NO! I don't want that...for myself or my children.
Lord, please don't give me up to my own will. Help me to be more like you, more like your Son, Jesus, who did and does only Your will. Help me to be diligent and patient and kind to my children and not to give them up to their will - at least not yet, while they are still in my care, while they are still young enough to train. Show me how to love them, that we would enjoy one another. Please calm the storms in our hearts and in our home. Thank you for the storm outside. Your Word says that you ride on the wings of the wind...even in all that 'gloominess' you are there. You are in control. Thank you.
November 02, 2009
I am hearing...
Around the house...
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:
Here is a picture thought I am sharing…
October 29, 2009
We just have to share that after one WHOLE year of corresponding back and forth, back and forth, back and forth with the I.R.S. ~ we have finally reached a resolution in our tax audit. They have reversed all the charges. YIPEE! YAHOO! and HIP HIP HOORAY!
Praise the Lord with me and Thank Him for His Wonderful Mercies! Thank you also for all of your prayers for us.
October 28, 2009
Nevertheless he regarded their affliction, when he heard their cry; and he remembered for them his covenant, and repented according to the multitude of his mercies. Psalm 106:44-45
October 26, 2009
A picture thought I am sharing:
I can dream, can't I?
October 24, 2009
October 23, 2009
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them And walk among [them]. I will be their God, And they shall be My people." Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty." 2 Cor 6:14-18
October 22, 2009
~ Be thankful.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
October 20, 2009
Marian called it Roxaboxen. (She always knew the name of everything.) There across the road, it looked like any rocky hill -- nothing but sand and rocks, some old wooden boxes, cactus and greasewood and thorny ocotillo -- but it was a special place: a sparkling world of jeweled homes, streets edged with the whitest stones, and two ice cream shops. (from Roxaboxen)
Below is a little video I took of Naomi Baloney and her big giant mess. It looked like any mess -- pillows and blankets and books tossed all about --but it was a special boat: full of every modern convenience, floating, and useful for hauling in the days catch of fish. I don't like my voice in the video. I think I sound condescending to my baby girl, but she was so cute and excited about her mess that I decided to post it anyway.
Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! ~Dr. Seuss