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...
Do not return evil for evil. Hard to learn. Pop quizzes at every turn.

From the kitchen...

A picnic basket to take to the tree farm. PB and J, fresh fruit, almonds and cranberries, and thick macaroons.

I am wearing...

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 to read more "daybooks"

The Gift Shop

Well, The Santos Family U-Pick Farm is officially open. We opened the day after Thanksgiving and it has been nothing I expected. So many new experiences and thoughts to share...but for now, here is the transformation of the shop.

The shop BEFORE we decorated for the season.

The Beginnings of a transformation starts with Christmas Candy!

The back wall with candy to sell. Button Candy, Candy Sticks, Spice Drops and Twirly Pops.
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)

Body Balance and Good News stuff - some Bibles and tracts.

Here's the rocker I sit in when I have a chance, if I have a chance.

Ornaments and Toys.

Handmade aprons, soaps, ornaments, jams and jellies.
The inventory is already changing here and there with lots of shuffling around. For such a tiny place, I am constantly moving and working, organizing and cleaning. The children are helpful. We try to keep the fire going and the music playing when people come in. Sometimes it feels like "playing store" and other times it is so much work I just want to go home...
Mr. Santos has been working hard selling trees to wholesalers and getting the property looking good. He has also picked up the slack on the wreath making...YEAH! His wreaths are perfect of course. We'll keep you posted as the season continues.
Yesterday, we had a lull in business and I sat down in the rocker by the fire. The children pulled up their stools and we read some stories from the Bible. It was so nice. The story was about Elisha and God's great protection. I have really had to be DILIGENT to find - no - to MAKE time to meditate on God's Word. It's easy, when you are in the middle of a thousand things to forget...but we mustn't. Take time to remember, to spend time with your creator today.

November 25, 2009

More of our favorite "Noah-isms"

Pride of Parenthood
by Norman Rockwell
(one of my favorite artists)

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.'"

Of course.

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

The neighbors dog, Suzie, was yelping. Noah assumed she was calling him. He stepped out onto the back porch and yelped with her for about five minutes. Back and forth, they sounded off. It was hard to tell which yelp belonged to a five year old and which yelp belonged to a big brown dog.

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

Someone to talk to

"You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." ~ C.S. Lewis

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;

Victory in Jesus

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
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

Mount Everest

It was cold. The rain pounded on the roof of the little shop. There was only one small place to stand amidst all the branches - right in front of the wreath making table. How did this happen? It came on so suddenly. There she stood, a mountain of branches behind her, a stack of metal rings on the table, and yards of red ribbon waiting to be turned into bows. An expectation hovered over her head casting a shadow on her countenance. It hovered and spoke in a booming, commanding voice.

"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 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

Take Care of Yourself

I hope you all are staying well this Fall and also as we move into winter. We don't have a television so we miss out on a lot of the hype that is out there - I'm so glad for that. While we were on our little holiday we saw, on television, a lot of hype about The Flu. Wow.

This is what we are doing to keep all those winter sicknesses at bay (Lord willing):

Get plenty of fresh air

Limit meat, dairy and processed food

Get plenty of rest

Supplement with vitamins and minerals

Drink fresh ginger tea often

and finally Exercise - your body and your soul

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16

But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1Timothy 4:7-8

Even the Lord God 'exercises'. (of course the meaning of the word is different as God does not need to improve or strengthen himself)

But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 9:24

A quick holiday

My Mom and my Don came up to spend a week with us. They reserved a week at one of their timeshares - just forty minutes from our home in Discovery Bay. We had a beautiful and peaceful visit. Driving up to their condominium unit, Noah said, "Mom, I thought California was a lot farther away." (smiles)
This is the view from our deck in the morning. It would have been so nice to eat breakfast out there, but it was raining and cold. Guess we will have to go back again, lol. We still enjoyed the view, though.

The calm after the storm. See the lone fisherman on the dock? It was so quiet when I took this picture. The only sound was a few chirping birds. The day before the wind roared loudly.

We spent the one stormy day watching some divers. We watched the whole process as they put on their gear. It took about 45 minutes to get all that stuff on. And then they were gone...under the deep.

They came back an hour later with a big bag of crabs and a giant starfish.

We felt we had to get a little taste of the storm too. This picture doesn't really show how the wind is blowing hard, but it was. There was a little boat hitched to the dock behind the children and the wind tore off it's roof as if it was irritated by the looks of it. I guess it was a little irritating, such a flimsy floppy roof it was.

The quiet warm glow of the fire back at 'home'.

Naomi and Mr. Santos having fun in the *indoor heated pool* while the cold rain fell outside.

It was Great Fun!

The girls were SO excited to have their own beds - it was like living in "a castle" they said. Plus, they had their own view of the moon shining on the water each night.
Thank you Mom and Don for giving us your love and time. We miss you so much! and had a great time.

November 05, 2009

Stormy Day

Here I sit, the wind howling, the waves crashing, the trees bending in the storm. The fire crackles in the fireplace.

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.

"Turn right."
"O.K. Lord."
"Come this way."
"Yes, Lord"
"Don't do that."
"O.K. Lord."

My will stands up, slams down the fist, "I object! NO! I will go left!" A storm rages, loud, fierce and scary.

"Forgive him."
"O.K. Lord"
"Give it away."
"Yes, Lord"
"Tell them"
"O.K. Lord"

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?

Psalm 106:15 "And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul."

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

Romans 1

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

Monday Daybook

(click on icon if you want to participate in the daybook meme)


November 2, 2009

Outside my window...

A bright grey morning. The pumpkins are wet with the morning dew, the yard is COVERED with yellow and brown leaves, the grass is green and too tall.
I am thinking...

of Malachi 3:6 "I am the Lord, I change not" God's will for us never changes and will never is the culture that moves us to think this way and that way.
Be not conformed to this world, but be ye TRANSFORMED by the renewing of your mind...we can't do this until we present our bodies to him...So much to think on with this...

I am thankful for...

The songs that rise up in my heart. They make me bounce around the house.
"Sing unto the Lord a new song, sing unto the Lord all the earth!"

From the kitchen...
Chicken - my frugal staple. One baked chicked gives me meat for quesadillas or burritos, appetizers, soup, and sandwiches.
I am wearing...

A green and brown plaid skirt - which you have all seen in past pics of me - with a white shirt, brown cardigan, brown tights and brown mary janes.
I am creating...

fresh wreaths. I want to have a bunch made and ready by opening day at our tree I have some votive candles I need to figure out what to do with...IDEAS? Please let me know.
I am going...
to spend the week at Discovery Bay with my parents and my children.
I am reading...

Ephesians and Hebrews

From the school room...

No "school" this week. We will be doing crafts and making cookies and walking on the beach looking for critters.

I am hoping...

To have a restful and happy week with my family.

I am hearing...

the children begging Sophia for more honey in their oatmeal.

Around the house...

vases of fresh flowers ~ a gift from my mother. She just loves me so much.
One of my favorite things...

colorful fall leaves against the backdrop of a bright blue sky.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:

Help Mr. Santos with some of his school work, relaxing at Discovery Bay, and maybe (if my 'gals' come through) a midweek ladies luncheon.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

Vintage Santos girls just a few months before Noah was born...aren't they so LITTLE? This proves we have always loved the beach ~ even in the fall and winter ~ the air is so clean and fresh.


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