March 31, 2010

Go and Visit!

One of my favorite websites to visit has been updated - AT LAST. Go and visit and be inspired, provoked, encouraged.

Ladies Against Feminism

Simple Joys

~oOo~

~Toast and Eggs~


On a pretty plate lay a piece of wheat toast with just a smidge of butter. Cover the the bread with thin slices of avocado. Next comes a perfectly fried egg with salsa and feta cheese sprinkled on top. Garnish with sliced oranges and VOILA...a quick-n-yummy lunch...A favorite around the Santos Times.


If you are like Mr. Santos, you will eliminate the toast and serve with corn tortillas and jalapenos.

~oOo~

We had a mama deer and her two fawn visit us today. For breakfast they had new leaves just sprouting on the front blackberry bushes. When Mr. Santos left for school, they easily jumped over all those sharp thorns and hid in the woods.

At lunch time they returned to eat the new leaves off the bushes in the back. I hope they don't get a hunger for my BEEEUUUtiful tulips that are coming up. Red tulips and white roses...is it too late to get some clematis to start climbing and growing?

~oOo~

Last week we celebrated our Naomi Baloney's birthday. She is now seven years old. I miss her. She still rolls herself in a ball and tries to find a sunny spot to curl up in on a cold morning. It's cute how she can get her whole body wrapped up in her night shirt. One day I was moving from stove to sink to fridge with a baby wrapped around my ankle. Today I have a seven year old girl with pigtails and missing teeth who climbs trees and has to be coerced to wear a dress...A seven year old punkin pie with a contagious laugh.

I made her a two layer heart shaped cake - with banana flavored frosting (I didn't care for it, but the kids loved it). We decorated it with strawberries and bananas. Her morning pancakes looked like a flower with orange wedges for petals and raisins for a happy face. She received a balloon and a roll of lifesavers. She wanted to go to the zoo, but considering the lean times we are facing, we made a happy day of it at the pound instead. We looked at all the cats and dogs and the three Santos kids played with the puppies that were up for adoption. Later we shared fries, and root beer floats at the pier. It was a bright sunshiny day and the water was a deep blue.

Naomi was so thankful for this simple celebration - happy with her lifesavers, bouncing her balloon. It was a double blessing for her to come home to presents that were sent from out of town family...clothes and toys and lots of candy.

~oOo~

Tomorrow is my Sophia Lou's birthday. She will be nine. NINE. Sigh. Where does the time go? She wants enchiladas for lunch and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. She will have a fancy fairy crown to wear and her own roll of lifesavers too. We'll see what other special surprises we can come up with.

Has the Santos Times really been this blessed? Nine years with our Sophia? Creative, Determined, Hard working, Compassionate, Strong willed, Sensitive, Beautiful Sophia.

March 25, 2010

Random thoughts

Who wants to be blind? Not me - no one does. But what does it mean to walk by faith and not by sight? I wish I could see everything. I want to see the end of the road. I want to know what's going on. If only I could see answers to my prayers. All this FAITH stuff is hard and heavy.

The Bible says that "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Eph 6:12

But when your troubles always seem to come through one person, this is hard to believe.

If "so-and-so" was out of my life, then it would all be so much easier. We see this person. We see his actions and hear his words. Surely, HE (or she) is the enemy - the in-laws, the neighbor, the boss, even 'the government'...But no, God says that the real fight is not against a person - not against 'flesh and blood.'

Will I believe?

I take a big sigh, settle down in my chair, shoulders slumped. Am I not acting like a child?

A disobedient child? A rebellious child?

The picture is...

I can't see over the edge and my Father says, "Don't go there, trust me." "But I wanna see! I wanna see!" I stomp my foot and glare at my Father. "Let me see!" I demand.

Or maybe the picture is...

"I see it! I see the problem! Just put some more air in the tire and we can keep going." But my Father can see that there is a tiny hole in the tire and that no matter how often I fill it with air, the tire will always flatten. I continue to pump the air in and try to make it on my own...confident in the solutions I come up with.

George MacDonald says "A man's real belief is that which he lives by." The Bible says, "Faith, without works, is dead."

Do I believe in what my Lord tells me? Will I trust Him? If I trust Him, then I should demonstrate it by how I live...right?

The LIES. The INJUSTICE. The AUDACITY. Do you know what he did? Do you know what he said?

"Faith without works is dead."

I pray for him. I give him something to eat when he is hungry. I give him something to drink when he is thirsty. I forgive. I forgive. I put my trust in God and remember that my fight is not against flesh and blood. The Lord sustains me. I walk by faith, not by sight. Who am I anyway? Just another sinner, just like him...only I have a Redeemer and my redeemer lives. He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way. Wherever I am He is with me and He never leaves me...never.

I take a big sigh and settle down in my chair - Only this I am relaxed. There is peace and rest. I can't see, but He does.

March 23, 2010

Hell

For the one principle of hell is: "I am my own. I am my own king and my
own subject. I am the centre from which go out my thoughts. I am the object and end of my thoughts. My thoughts return back upon me as the alpha and omega of life. My own glory is, and ought to be, my chief care. My ambition is to gather the regards of men to the one centre, myself. My pleasure is my pleasure. My
kingdom is comprised of as many as I can bring to acknowledge my greatness over
them. My judgement is the faultless rule of things. It is my right to have what I desire. The more I am all in all to myself, the greater I am. The less I acknowledge debt or obligation to another, the more I close my eyes to the fact that I did not make myself. The more self-sufficing I feel or imagine myself - the greater I am. I will be free with the freedom that consists in doing whatever I am inclined to do, from wherever my come the inclination. To do my own will so long as I feel anything to be my will, is to be free, is to live."


George MacDonald, Kingship, The Truth in Jesus.

Thankful for the little things

Thankful list for living "small"...

~ It only takes a morning to do spring cleaning on the WHOLE house.

~ I can warm up my towel in the dryer while showering because the machine is in the bathroom.

~ I rarely get behind on my laundry because, if I do, there is no place to brush our teeth.

~ I can have a conversation with my daughter who is in the kitchen while I am in my bedroom.

~ It only takes two minutes for the heater to warm the whole house.

~ Cozy.

~ There are no secrets...I always know what is happening in every corner.

~ We aren't bogged down by owning too much "stuff."

March 22, 2010

Health Links

Sick about the health care issue? We are. Maybe these links can bring some hope for your family.

The insurance or the fine? (common sense article)

Fox News article on how seaweed (the main ingredient in Body Balance) is the key to good health.

Potential insurance alternative.

BE PROACTIVE!

March 17, 2010

An afternoon with a five year old

The sun shone brightly through the window onto the small plate of juicy oranges. His chubby hands grabbed a slippery wedge.


"Oh look, Mom, a lady bug by my orange!"


"Yep, Noah. There's a lady bug."


Our heads bent down low. The ladybug was struggling. The young boy pinched the bug and placed it in his open palm. It lay lifeless, a tiny red and black ball.


"Oh Mom! It's dead!" Mom, not wanting to encourage too much drama said, "Well son, everyone dies eventually."


"Poor little ladybug!" Noah exclaimed.


He walked outside into the sunshine and dug a little hole with his finger. Gently, he placed the ladybug into the hole, covered it with dirt, and patted it down. "Guess we need to have a funeral, Mom."


"O.K."


"I need a rock." He picked up a small rock the size of a quarter and a big crayon. Then he asked, "Mom, How do you spell THE?"


"T-H-E."


"Now, how do you spell ladybug?"


"L-A-D," I began.


"Wait mom, I need a bigger rock." Noah threw the quarter sized rock across the yard and picked up another about the size of a football. "K, Mom. How do you spell it again?"


In his own special scrawl, Noah wrote, "The Ladybug" on the rock and placed it on top of the tiny spot.


We spent the afternoon catching and releasing ladybugs and talking about what would make a good pet in our "no pets allowed" apartment. We scratched off ladybugs because they were so friendly. It was hard not to let them walk all over you and fly away. We checked off birds because we didn't have a good enough cage and the nests around the house are still empty...no new families in residence yet. Hm, what would make a nice pet?


"I know Mom! I'll get a bumblebee for a pet!"


I replied, "Well, Love, I don't think bumblebees like to be petted."


"My bumblebee will like it. His name will be Tom."


His sisters were out on an adventure. They returned just then with a bouquet of weeds and flowers and a small "box-cage." It was a box with a lid that closed, only it was made out of chicken wire, so it resembled a cage: the perfect home for a bumblebee according to all the children. Naomi painted it red and Sophia provided the flowers.

Then, just like that, a giant...yes a giant...bumblebee came buzzing about.


"Hi Tom. I've been waiting for you!" said Noah. Sophia went running about, afraid of being stung. Naomi jumped up and down saying "Catch it, Noah, Catch it!"


The life of a five year old...so simple.

March 14, 2010

The Middle Skittle...again

Oldest one: "Is that a bald eagle on the top of that tree?"

Middle Skittle: "No. It's just a branch. I already sol through the bilookulers."

Do you eat Real Food?

Here's another reason why shopping at the grocery store is not the best place to get your food.

The FDA has done a recall on many many "foods" that contain an ingredient (an ingredient which is not a food) called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein. This ingredient was contaminated with Salmonella and possibly E. Coli.

Check your fridge and your pantry for these items and toss them out.

March 09, 2010

Loving advice from an older woman

The aged women likewise, that [they be] in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. Titus 2:3-5


Join Victoria Botkin as she discusses subjects such as woman's great power, sinful tendencies, obedience vs. submission, independence vs. submission, freedom vs. submission, beauty, dress, makeup, respect, women's rights, hospitality, speaking words of life, managing with grace, pitfalls of perfectionism in homemaking, Hollywood expectations, trials, trust, and cultivating personality.

Click HERE to listen to the Question and Answer session - so good! Click HERE to register.

March 08, 2010

Daybook

(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


FOR TODAY

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Outside my window...

Tire marks from a door to door salesman - He was selling frozen steaks and fish. Guess what? I used to have the same job years ago...lol. He was asking for $150.00 a box. Yikes. I suppose that's why we're a beans and rice kind of family.

I am thinking...

Being thankful is an uphill attitude and complaining is all downhill.


I am thankful for...

Body Balance. Every one on the planet needs it.

From the learning rooms...


Two new scripture songs that we made up.
Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they which love thy law and nothing shall offend them." and Philippians 4:8 "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."


From the kitchen...

Blueberry muffins and protein drinks.

I am wearing...

My BEEEEUUUtiful basket weave shawl. It is so warm and comfortable. There is a seam on each side to allow for "sleeves" and I feel so feminine whenever I wear it.

I am creating...

Outdoor furniture...well, not creating it, but trying to make it look presentable. I bought, over the weekend, a wicker seating set: A love seat, two big arm chairs, a coffee table and a side table...all for $15.00.

Mr. Santos wasn't too happy about it...as they aren't in very good condition. But I am re-wrapping some of the ends. A couple cans of spray paint will make them look wonderful...A shabby chic kinda wonderful. I love them.
I am going...


to distribute more flyers this week for the farm. We would love to see more people come out to pick daffodils.

I am remembering...

That my girl's birthdays are coming up soon...I wonder how we will celebrate this year?


I am reading...

The Bible...and skimming two George MacDonald books from the library. "The Truth in Jesus" and "Your Life in Christ." They are so heavy duty, I am trying to see which one I want to invest in. It takes time to chew on the words he writes, but it always does me good to do so.

I am hoping...

to sell some daffodils.

I am hearing...

Christmas music. LOL. The kids have it playing in their room right now...why I don't know. Maybe because of the rumors that it may snow around here today or tomorrow.

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire."
Around the house...

the family. I am so happy to home school my children. I think my life would feel very empty if I sent them away every day. So I have one boy playing with his toys waiting for me to finish this post so that we can do something together and two girls building a fort...The oldest one taking breaks to do this or that as she wants...the younger one focused so intently on her play, I don't think she would hear me if I called her. FREEDOM.

One of my favorite things...

Meatballs and mashed potatoes.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Spread the word about the farm and then hang out at the farm...Wednesday through Saturday. Once there, we will paint rocks and do school and take walks and count daffodils. There is a chance we may even SELL daffodils...God willing.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Mr. Santos' favorite bed. See this post for an explanation.

March 07, 2010

It's all Naomi's fault

The other night Naomi built two small beds with the dining room chairs. She put the piano bench in the middle and decorated her 'night stand' with a lamp and books and all sorts of doodads and hoo haws. She even slept the night on one of them.

Naomi is always 'redoing' her room with little changes. I have encouraged her to be thankful for what she has, but we also have fun looking at other beds. One of our favorite things is to borrow decorating books from the library and admire the different rooms.

But bedrooms are our favorites.




This is a beautiful bedroom I once stayed in at the Elderberry House. (a gift many years ago) It was luxurious and beautiful. Behind that wooden door is a large bathroom with a whirlpool tub and across from the bed is a private balcony overlooking a lush garden. AAHH...maybe someday if I am ever a millionaire, I might be able to stay there again.

The rest of the pictures are some of the favorites of us Santos Girls...Which one is your favorite?













What is your story?

Bless├Ęd assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Refrain

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.

Refrain

Perfect submission, all is at rest
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.



We sang this song today in church. What a sermon it was to me.

March 05, 2010

Back at the Farm







All pictures are from allposters.com


Aren't these such SUNNY flowers? I never really appreciated them before...I'm more of a tulip fan, but now I think they are so lovely...especially with a bright blue sky, some happy honey bees buzzing about, and warm sunshine.

The Santos Clan is back to spending our days at the farm. This time around, we are selling U-Pick Daffodils. We only planted 5000 bulbs, so our farm is small, but it is still fun to walk through the rows of flowers.
Near the field, we have a fun place set up to paint rocks and pictures. Then, inside the shop, there is pretty yellow ribbon to wrap around the flowers and colorful candies and lollipops in old fashioned glass jars.
I can't think of a more wonderful way to help support the family.
~oOo~
The girls ran around the farm like they hadn't been outside forever. At the end of the day they were brown and dusty from playing "Kestinopia" (I have no idea where they came up with the name) It's a make-believe land of adventure that they throw themselves into with every speck of their imagination...and they never tire of it.
Noah, on the other hand does tire of it. Maybe because he needs a boy to play with. He often left the game to come and get a sandwich or beg for a gum drop from the shop.
As the afternoon wore on he got very tired. We went out to the van. The back seat was removed so the kids could lie down for a nap. He rested with a sandwich while I told him stories of brave Bible heroes...David and Goliath, Gideon, Joshua. Such a yummy time...peanut butter sandwiches, warm sunshine on a cool day, and a sweet boy asking for another story.
I'm so thankful for these days when my children can run free and happy and my young boy enjoys his momma. We are truly blessed.

March 01, 2010

Unseen Suffering

This is a post from February of last year. I am so thankful to say that a year later I am very willing to fight with the Lord's weapons rather than my own. I only wish it didn't take me so long to get there. I hope you will be encouraged. Peace does come when we obey.




Been in constant struggles over here at the Santos Times. Nothing tangible - no surgeries, no car accidents, no sickness, no financial stresses (even with dealing with unemployment - God provides our daily needs), no death, no emergencies. Yet there are constant struggles over here at the Santos Times.
Lightning strikes. Thunder booms. Torrential Rains. Bombs explode. Buildings and bridges collapse. But it is all unseen. We suffer through it. There are sleepless nights and tears and fear and what are we really suffering from?
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Ephesians 6:12
Sometimes the lightning strikes with unkind words shouted in pride. Thunder booms with constant criticism. Torrential rains fall with complaining and ungrateful attitudes. Mud and floods and mess left in the wake. The bombs explode when bitterness is passed from one person to the next. All that was built up - all the bridges built with the fun we had the moment before collapsing with the harshness, or the pettiness, or the prideful unthankful attitudes.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Somebody has to be willing to fight this battle with the right weapons. Somebody. Who? Well, him of course. Or her. Definitely them. It's all their fault didn't you know?
In the middle of the night there is a still small voice. There is a pull.
But it is not fair Lord! Why me? Why am I always the one to have to lay it all down? I don't like your weapons...I like mine. I like my words and my facial expressions. I like the way I can retaliate with my body language or my quick tongue.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 8:13
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, [and] hating one another. Titus 3:3
Sure the weapons feed my flesh, but I don't like the emptiness it leaves me with. The heartburn. I want the peace, the joy.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22
This war WILL end. Let me take up your weapons, thank you for providing them. Thy word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. Help us. Help me. Thank you that we can come to you to find grace in our time of need.

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