July 24, 2010

Papi Alejandro

The Santos Times are on a roller coaster.

~oOo~

Mr. Santos' father died this week. SWOOP! Down at full speed, our stomachs jumping to our throats. The loops, the jerking turns, the emotion...

Death. O death, where is your victory? Where is your sting?

Ah, But there is nothing like death to bring out the hidden character of a man...of men...of all the men and women impacted by The Death.

"Motives" comes to visit. That hidden character. He is very hard to deal with...so cunning and indirect.

"Regrets" comes too. I can't stand her. She whispers and pokes and even yells in your face. I hate how she provokes my man and my family. The only way I can deal with her is to send her away. I do what I can to ensure she never comes knocking again.

The visitors flood in at death. Fear, Pride, Greed, Sadness, Anger, even Hope comes...so many visitors. You want to send them away, but a cloud is hovering...This thick grey cloud called death. If only the sun would shine and the cloud would vanish.

Some of us are able to get out from under the cloud. Joyfully, I can grab the hand of my Shepherd and he leads me to green pastures. There is peace and quiet there. Just Him and me and a table prepared before me in the presence of my enemies. I smile and rest in the safety of my strong Shepherd. How he loves me! How I love Him!

But not all of us are able. I look back over there, under that dark grey cloud. I see my loved one in anguish.

Come! Come with me! Take His hand and we can be together here in this quiet green pasture.

Will he come? Pray he does. Pray they do. Pray.

~oOo~


Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Ex 14:13

Precipitancy (being hasty) cries, "do something. Stir yourself; to stand still and wait, is sheer idleness." We must be doing something at once—we must do it - so we think—instead of looking to the Lord, who will not only do something but will do everything. Presumption boasts, "If the sea be before you, march into it and expect a miracle." But Faith listens neither to Presumption, nor to Despair, nor to Cowardice, nor to Precipitancy, but it hears God say, "Stand still," and immovable as a rock it stands. "Stand still";—keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people
of Israel, "Go forward." ~ Charles Spurgeon

July 17, 2010

Movie Night

We found this movie at the library. What a beautiful film ~ The French countryside in every season, the music, the animals, the FREEDOM of the little girl...this is the stuff of children's (and momma's) dreams.

Watch it ~ for the beauty of God's creation, for the wonder and hope of children, for something lovely to enjoy.

The Fox and the Child

July 15, 2010

Check it out!

On our sidebar you will notice a new link to "Sophia's Picture Thoughts." These are pages of Sophia's photos (age 9)and her little poems. New pages will be added periodically and they will also be updated here and there. We will let you know when there are updates.

Won't you go visit and leave her a sweet comment?

Happy Day to you!

Tea Time



I'm having: Earl grey tea in a dainty blue and white china tea cup.


I'm feeling: Perplexed, but not in despair.

On my mind: How often I do things with "Guilt" as my motivator. Guilt is a hard task master. He makes you tired. "Joy" on the other hand makes you smile and laugh. I like working with her better. Where is she? Where has she been? I think I will invite her over to have tea with us.


A quote to share:

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

~ John 15:10-11

Head on over to Ruth's to join us for Tea Talk

July 13, 2010

Mystery Solved



Every day the children go out to the garden to pick some lettuce for our salad. And every day a little black capped bird flitters and flutters about angrily. There was a nest hidden in the lettuce bed. This was the SECOND nest we had found on the ground. The first one was found under a thorny blackberry branch. Unfortunately, it was discovered by a local dog and destroyed.

"It's a chickadee's nest, Mom." The children insisted.

"Nope. Can't be. Chickadees make their nests at least a meter off the ground."

"It IS, Mom." Look at the eggs. White with brown specks. Look at the nest. Looks exactly like a chickadee nest."

"But why would a chickadee put it's nest in the ground?" Mom wondered.





Then I remembered some pictures Sophia had loaded on her own blog. We went to look at them. It was not a chickadee. After some research we found that this was a Junco. Their eggs look just like chickadee eggs and they make their nests in the ground. Isn't homeschool great?!





(this photo of the eggs is from flikr - all other photos by Sophia Santos, age 9)




And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Genesis 1:20-23

July 11, 2010

Church Picnic

The Lord has truly blessed me. I sing in my heart that song "I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God."

Yesterday, my family enjoyed a summer picnic. It was so relaxing and edifying. All the stresses of life were forgotten for an afternoon as we enjoyed one another, good food and pure conversation. Mr. Santos played horseshoes with the gentlemen, I buzzed about the ladies and the children ran wild playing with sticks and going from picnic to picnic to graze for snacks.

This picnic was different from most picnics I've been to. At this one everyone was of the same mind about a few important things. It was clear that hot weather didn't mean you walk around without any clothes on; that conversation was to be encouraging, to build you up and not tear each other apart; that the Lord is the best topic of conversation or praise.


Everyone set up "camp" in the shade to enjoy their food, family, and people watching.

The beautiful maple tree we sat under to enjoy our picnic ~ it felt so pleasant, cool and safe under those wide branches.

Lots of fun relays for the competitive spirit.



And they're off!


Lining up for the "Big-n-little three legged race". I'm the one with the hat on next to my seven year old sweetheart.

Good Buddies about to play the water balloon toss~a perfect game for a hot day.
only 9 more days till that cute dark-haired boy on the right turns 6 years old.


Our hero and tough man, Mr. Santos in the Tug-o-war contest.


Sophia in the middle ~ participating in one of the relays. "That looks hard to do, Sophia!" "Nah, Mom, it was a piece o' cake!" LOL



Pie Contest~ 27 entries to taste and enjoy! I didn't enter this year...maybe next time. One of the winners was a scrumptious banana cream with a toasted coconut crust...Yum!


Through out the day, many of the young people played music and sang...here a group of beautiful women sings "leaning on the everlasting arms" Whatsoever ye do do as unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

July 09, 2010

Art ~ some of my favorites

Stan Miller
I could stare at this forever.
Wish I could show you some of the portraits he has done.


The knitting lesson ~ Eugene de Blaas

This man used color in such a wonderful way...always draws you into his paintings with color. I love the little girl with her small hands and childlike posture, so perfectly proportioned. If I was there I would say "what a fine job you are doing little one!" Doesn't her teacher looked pleased with her progress also?


Eugene de Blaas ~ The little girl is waiting so expectantly for a piece of fruit. Reminds me of my own little ones when they have to share something. How does she walk in those shoes?

Eugene de Blaas

Look at her steadying hand on the wall. This crumbling brick wall is in many of his paintings. Maybe it was part of his own courtyard. There are those shoes again! Wonder what she is thinking about? Or maybe she is not thinking so much as observing.


Eugene de Blaas ~ How beautiful!


Hans Gude ~ I love the scope of this painting and the way the light shines on the water. Such a peaceful painting.


Ivan Aivazovsky ~ See the yellow cloud? Of course you do. Doesn't it make you want to know what is on the other side of that far mountain? Can the man in the boat see it? There is light shining on his face.


July 08, 2010

Djeet?


David Loftus, photos
What's for dinner after a HOT HOT day at the farm?
Cold cherries, juicy watermelon and vanilla ice cream topped fresh blueberry sauce. Iced Peppermint Tea to drink. Sweet, Sweet and Refreshing!

July 07, 2010

Tough times?

God's desire for us is not that we would just know him in theory, but to REALLY know him.


And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 1 Cor 15:49
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor 3:18


It is one thing to know God is our strong tower, but another thing to have the flood waters rising all around. It looks as if you will drown because there is no where to go. You run to God, the last resort and find that it is TRUE, God is a strong tower in time of trouble.

Life is hard. The Bible tells us that in this life we will have tribulation, but to take courage because Jesus has overcome the world. It's in the furnace that the impurities come to the surface and then they can be removed.

Are there people in your life who treat you unjustly or cruelly? There are in my life. Sometimes I pray that God would get them out of my life, that calamity would befall them, that they would see how horrible and cruel they are...

But still they remain. Still they provoke and intrude upon me. And through it all ~ all these years ~ I have been able to see that my struggle is not so much with them as with the hatred and bitterness in my own heart. I like to hate these people. I have long logical lists of why they should be destroyed.

God is intimately acquainted with all my ways. He knows all about my struggles ~ not just with these people, but with raising my children and managing our meager budget.

Through all of this I turn to God. He is my strength. He is my provider. He is wisdom and understanding and light when all around me is dark and confusing. The tough times show me his greatness and my weakness.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 2 Cor 4:6-9


For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Cor 4:16-18


Tough Times? Take courage. God wants to show you what a Great and Mighty God He is...for you.

July 04, 2010

Sing with me

Kindra Clineff - allposters


A typical Seattle 4th of July ~ grey, rainy and cold. BUT, the candles are lit, the house is clean, and I am lounging on this 'day of rest' with a cup of tea enjoying art books and a favorite song.


Won't you pour yourself a cup of tea (or lemonade if you are enjoying the sunshine somewhere other than here) and listen to it with my family and me?


click on


~ A Favorite Song~




Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 150


(Today at church we were blessed by this song and the scripture reading too...I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.)

July 02, 2010

Key to fighting fights


Children bickering again. Momma ready to pull out her hair. Looking in the rear view mirror at three dark haired littles with scowls on their faces.


"Do you know that the Bible has a question for you?" Momma asks.


In unison "It does?"


"Yes, the Bible asks you 'What causes you to fight?' and did you know the Bible answers the question for you?"


The scowls were gone, but there was no answer.


"It says you fight because you WANT." (james 4:1)


Brother thinks of how he wants sister to stop calling him a sissy. Sister thinks of how she wants brother to give her back the pencil. Oldest thinks of how she wants little sister to help clean up.


Wanting, always wanting.


There is a thirty minute drive ahead. Momma glances in the rear view mirror again. Scowls are back. Arms are crossed. Wants not met. Fighting and Bickering about to begin again.


"So, if the fighting is going to stop, you have to stop wanting," Momma begins her lecture. "This is a hard thing to do. But there is a magic weapon. It is a key. A special key. All you have to do is put it in your heart, turn it, and all your wants go away. Then you won't want to fight anymore!"


The children looked at their momma in the mirror with renewed interest.


"A magic key?" Naomi asked.


"Yep, baby ~ a magic key. Do you know what it is called?" Momma replied.


The children replied one by one with a "No."


Momma had a proposition. "I'll tell you what! You three think about it and we'll see if you can figure out the key's name before we get home."


All disputes forgotten, they began the guessing game. The answers were right out of a Sunday School dream. 'Jesus!' 'Faith!' 'Self-Control!' etc. But no one had the right answer.


Occasionally, Momma would give hints. "Sometimes, you have to turn the key in your heart many times ~ like the key on a music box ~ but you can be sure that your wants will leave every time."


The thirty minutes passed and the car drove up the road to the little blue apartment. Momma was disappointed that the children hadn't guessed correctly. How had they missed this lesson? But she hoped that the guessing game would help them remember and apply God's Truth to their life.


"The name of the magic key is "THANKFULNESS". If you take time to be thankful, it is much easier to send your wants away. Let's practice!"


Brother gave thanks for all that he liked about his sister. This made him able to forgive. Sister gave thanks that there were other pens and pencils to be had and that she had plenty to share. Oldest gave thanks for the littles and for the things she owned. Wants melted away and a new lesson was learned.

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