January 27, 2011

Tea Time

The sky is white (guess that is better than grey) so it is back to our sunny tea table for a lift
Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

I am having...

Ginger peach tea with honey in a Solitary place.  Seeking the Lord and waiting on Him.

I am feeling...

Tired. I have had a non-stop cough for almost a week now.  I haven't slept well for all the "hacking." The air is dry here, so I think that is why I am having a hard time getting rid of it. But God is good because even though my body hurts, my spirit is being renewed. Praise Him!

On my mind...

Mr. Santos. How I love that man! Today, I took time out to write some of the positives about him. This is part of my list:

~ Man of integrity
~ Clean and Orderly
~ Hardworking
~ Generous
~ Handsome
~ Strong Physically
~ Skilled
~ Visionary
~ Funny
~ Seeks a pure life

Doesn't he sound like a dream? So why am I here in this solitary place without him? Pray for us.

A quote to share...

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.  Amen.   Ephesians 3:20

January 22, 2011

Gone for a while. 
Ruth's post says it best.
Hope to see you all again soon.

With love,

Mrs. Santos for The Times.

January 18, 2011

Looking Pretty

"No matter what your size or your nationality or skin color or income, it is possible to dress femininely. Feminine dress transcends borders, language and culture." ~ Lady Lydia

I have this dress in a black and white polka dot. 
It is very comfortable and I'm afraid I wear it too often.
I paid $8.00 for it at the thrift store.

I have this skirt in brown. It looks and feels like suede.  I love wearing it.
I think a pair of cute boots would be great with it.

It was on sale at Christopher and Banks for $8.99

I love this blouse, but I have never seen one to buy. 
Looks like I will have to make it (or beg my mother to make it)
 This is such a cute retro outfit, although I prefer a longer skirt.
  Don't you love the feminine way her hair is done?

A young lady might finish this feminine dress with some fun cowboy boots.
I like this dress above. It seems so "country."

Reminds me of big kitchens and homemade pies.

January 17, 2011

Just a branch

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples John 15:5-8

This morning I laid in bed an extra half hour.  The quilts were soft and weighty and I was so warm.  I took deep breaths of the air coming in through the open window.  The wind blew wildly around the tall firs and spruces.  Then, it rushed inside my bedroom and played with the pages of the calendar on the wall, kissing me on the forehead before dashing back out the window.

Several tree branches were strewn out on the lawn, victims of the heavy wind last night.

Sometimes we get so caught up in living our lives perfectly.  We love God and we want it to be seen in our life.  After all, 'you shall know them by their fruit.'  But let us take heed that we don't think any fruit comes from ourselves.  We are just branches.  Without the vine there is no fruit.

And is it REALLY fruit growing or just a lovely blossom? Fruit is to be harvested and eaten. Fruit is sliced open, crushed, or peeled.  It satisfies hunger.  Does the 'fruit' in your life satisfy the hungry souls around you?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5:22-26

God does not look at the outward man, but the inward. 

My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. Psalm 34:2

January 13, 2011

Tea Time

It is the highlight of my week to visit you all and have tea with you.
If you would like to join us, please visit Ruth. She is our kind hostess and such a lovely lady.

I am having...

My standard Jasmine tea in a big red mug.

I am feeling...

Like the tortoise in the race.  Plodding along not seeing much progress.

On my mind...

Whenever we set out to do something that will bring honor to the Lord, there is bound to be a battle.

Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. Psalm 34:19

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Thank God, there is always a BUT.  But the LORD delivereth him out of them all. But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

A quote to share...

Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings! ~Author Unknown

January 12, 2011

My Best Friend

This is a repost from 2009.  It encouraged me to make some changes for 2011.  I hope it does the same for you.


Is there conflict in The Santos Times? Do we have a curl in our lip or a furrow in our brow? Are we snappy or irritated? Critical or Rude?

If so, you can be sure that around every corner is the unwanted visitor Complain Complain. Yep, that's right. Her first and last name is the same. She loves to visit at mealtime. Oh what a ruckus she makes. The food is never good enough. She hates vegetables. And if by chance we are serving something yummy - something no one would complain about - well, then she complains that someone got more than she did. Complain Complain also likes to show up early in the morning. She hides in the closet or in the dresser drawers. What a sneak! She likes to point out the flaws of all our clothes - the colors, how old and out of style they are, how they make us look fat or frumpy or poor. It's hard to get rid of her once she is in the house. If somehow we can get her away from our clothes she goes into the bathroom. There she stands in the mirror with her arms crossed. Boy, she speaks with such authority: it's hard to remember that her father is the father of lies. She complains about our blemishes, our teeth, our hair, our weight. Complain Complain always brings conflict when she visits.

If it's not Complain Complain visiting, then it is her best friend, Dispute-n-Argue. What a nasty character he is! He loves to provoke and upset anything and everyone. Did you know that he is fluent in many languages? Even so, he usually only uses two words: 'Why?' or 'But'.  Oh and how LAZY he is. You never did see anyone as lazy as Dispute-n-Argue. He always has a reason for being unproductive -- It's too hard. It's too expensive. It makes him (or us) tired or sick or dizzy. He is also quite a sneak. It's just when the Santos Times seem happy that Dispute-n-Argue will jump in to make us feel how wrong or foolish we are. Like I said, Dispute-n-Argue loves to provoke.

I don't know how these two get into our house. One of us lets them in and once they get in, it is nearly impossible to get them out. Fortunately, we have a very good friend, a faithful friend, that Complain Complain and Dispute-n-Argue hate. When this friend comes over they usually leave. If they don't leave willingly, he will throw them out for us. He is very strong and capable and so so handsome too. What a wonderful friend he is! His name is Thankful.

He is SUCH a good friend that, recently, we asked him to come and live with us. We have had to make a lot of adjustments to the home in order to make him comfortable - he is quite picky. But for all he does for us, we would gladly do anything to have him around. He makes us all smile, he keeps those bad visitors away, and we are even healthier because of him. We thank God every day for our good and faithful friend Thankful.


Do all things without murmurings and disputings (complaining and arguing): that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Philippians 2:14 -15
(parentheses mine)

Mid-week Daybook

(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Outside my window...

A little girl with pigtails and two missing teeth building an igloo out of the fast melting snow.

I am thankful for...

A warm cozy home on a cold day.

I am learning...

That when we choose to obey God, even when the way seems dark and unpromising, the result is ALWAYS, always, peace and joy.

From the kitchen...

Pot of beans boiling for burritos tonight.  Sweet, buttery banana bread about to come out of the oven. 

I am wearing...

excercise clothes! I better hurry and get dressed!

I am creating...

a habit of excercising every day.  New habits are hard to make. 

I am going...

to do some home making today - cleaning, organizing, cooking, teaching.    

I am remembering...

That I am created by and for God.  What does He want me to do today?

I am reading...

Psalm 34 over and over this week. I want to memorize it.

I am hoping...

to send out our Scripture song CD this week. It was supposed to go in the Christmas cards, but that didn't happen.  I am also hoping that I can be consistent with my children - without anger.  Pray for me.

I am hearing...

The wind blowing through the trees, the sound of the snow melting off the roof and gurgling in the gutter, the children calling to each other outside.

Around the house...

A wet and muddy entry way from the kids coming in and out of the snow.

One of my favorite things...

Waking slowly under the weight and warmth of heavy quilts on a cold morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Practice saying "Yes Lord" to whatever he commands me to do.

 I look forward to the day when those two little words won't hurt so much.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Sophia speeding down the hill before breakfast this morning.

January 10, 2011

Praying for the boss

And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:18

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 1 Cor 11:9

As a wife, I sometimes forget that I am to be my husband's helper and not the other way around. It's his agenda that dictates our day. It's his name we all bear. Today, I am linking up with At the well to fix my heart on Titus 2. Wanna join me?  Click the link below

Praying for Mr. Santos all the time, but paying close attention to the following:

Monday ~ His Work
Tuesday ~ His Integrity
Wednesday ~ His Mind
Thursday ~ His Purpose
Friday ~ His Health
Saturday ~ His Protection
Sunday ~ His Faith

January 09, 2011

Winter Days

 Out for a drive to enjoy New Year's Day.  A view from the bridge we drove over.
 Some views from the trail we walked.

It was very COLD yet pleasant.

 The sunset driving home.  


This is another recent sunset from our front yard.  The day had been very dark with the lamps on all day.  But then the sky lit up with a spectacular display.  Isn't God good how He surprises us with beautiful gifts? 

 This is the view of the sky at the back of the house that same evening.
 The heavens declare the glory of God.
 Gently turning pink, then purple then black as the day ended.

I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:  That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.  Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.  Isaiah 45:5-8

January 08, 2011

chores, chore packs, severity and fun

Do you live by a shedule?

Every day I seem to ask myself these questions: What to do NOW? What comes next? Is having a schedule really that important?

Probably.  I've just never been able to stick to one.  The sun will come out on a grey day and, well, you have to live in the Pacific Northwest to know that one doesn't let a sunny day pass you by.  A friend might call or visit.  The toilet will overflow. Suddenly, I see the neon flashing lights surrounding  THE SCHEDULE screaming that I am off.  Overwhelmed, I end up tossing the schedule out.

The closest I've come to living by a schedule is to have A LIST.  Mr. Santos usually adds to the list at his whim.  My job is to prioritize the list and check it off everyday.  Sounds easy enough.  Except that Mr. Santos sees cleaning the house as one item on the list rather than 10-20 items like I do.  It's taken a while to adjust attitudes and expectations.

Chores aren't just a big deal because of THE LIST.  They are necessary to training our children to be responsible and diligent.

Luke 16:10  He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much:

It is to love our children to take the time to train properly.  It doesn't happen overnight.

I say, "No toys on the floor."  To a child, that means the toys go on the dresser, the bed, the window sill, etc. Anywhere but the floor.

So, I adjust my words.  "All the toys go into the toy box."  This could also be translated by a child as "Everything goes into the toy box, including dirty clothes, trash and books."

When this happens, it is not the time for anger. It is the time to laugh, to enjoy the simplicity of children and to offer them patient and kind training.  I have learned this the hard way.  Anger has been my knee jerk reaction.  I was not trained in housekeeping and the concept of training another person was absolutely foreign.

One thing that brought about efficiency and happy attitudes at The Santos Times were Chore Packs.  We got the idea from the Maxwell family.

Each child had a pack that they clipped onto their shirt or dress in the morning.  A chore pack contains a stack of cards.  One chore is written on each card with the details on the back.  For instance, one of Sophia's cards was BATHROOM. The back of the card read: clean counters, wipe mirror, sweep floor, arrange the towels, etc.  When each card was completed, it would be put to the back of the pack and the next card done.  The last "chore" to land on was BREAKFAST.  Breakfast was at 8:30. 

WOW! The kids loved their chore packs.  Sophia liked waking up late and seeing how fast she could get her chore pack done.  Naomi liked waking up early and having guilt-free play time before breakfast.  Noah liked the independence. He didn't have to ask sister or mom what to do next.

Chore packs lasted through most of tree season.  How did such a great system disintegrate?

1) We did our chores at night, rather than the morning, to get to the farm on time.
2) The chore packs broke from constant use (and playing with).
3) The cards would get rearranged and, even with numbering them, took too much effort to put them in order again.

We may go back to chore packs.  It doesn't seem needful right now. But I am thankful for what I learned.

~ Knowing what's expected makes life run smoothly
~ Each member of The Santos Times works differently
~ Nagging is not required to get children to do their work
~ Children like to know they are FINISHED with work.  Seeing the end motivates them.

~ Severity and fun ~

But what if there is a job that requires team effort?  Say, a giant mess made by all the children?  How do we get it all cleaned up properly and timely?

Bickering was rampant and mess was left undone because of "Not Me" and "Not Mine" who apparently also lived in the house. 

Sometimes Severity is called upon to get things done. The children have come to fear MY BAG, and I am thankful for such a trusty friend.  My Bag picks up everything that is not properly put away and takes it to the garbage dump...no mercy.  My Bag doesn't care if it is a favorite t-shirt or an heirloom sent from Grandma.  If it is an item truly loved, it will be put away properly.  Severe, I know, but also effective.

Thankfully, it is not always severe around the Times.  We also have lots of fun.  For community messes, I choose a secret item, write it down, and then say "GO!" Everyone rushes around putting things away properly and quickly. They must work quickly because whoever puts away the secret item wins a prize (usually a small piece of candy).  I like this game because sometimes the secret item will be a button in the corner.  It is not revealed until everything is spotless.  Also, I like to hear "I'll put that away" rather than "That's not mine, you do it."

Tell me.  Do you have any thoughts on chores, chore packs, severity and fun?

January 06, 2011

Tea Time

google image. On this wet grey day, I thought this would be a great place to have tea.
Wonder how that chandelier is hanging?
Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

I am having...

Body Balance (aloe vera and sea vegetable drink) in a dainty blue and white tea cup.  It is my foundational nutrition.  So many people have been sick and I have been a bit tired and gloomy lately.  Was thinking it would be good to get some "reinforcements" in.
I am feeling...

Unmotivated, but I am trying to be faithful in the little things.  My list is not long these days and maybe that is making me feel a little lazy.  Perhaps I am not unmotivated...just relaxed. 

On my mind...

Mr. Santos.  I wonder if he thinks of me as often as I think of him?  Most likely not, LOL.  He's always been a man with a mission.  Perhaps I will make him some pumpkin cookies today.
A quote to share...(a few, rather)

Observe the obedience of Jesus to the Father. He did not give the commands, he obeyed them.

It was not for our understanding, but our will, that Christ came.

Sadly, there are those who would have us love Christ for protecting us from God, instead of leading us to God-the one home of safety. They imagine justice and love dwelling in eternal opposition in the bosom of eternal unity.

~ George MacDonald (1824-1905)
I thought that last quote was interesting and true.  Jesus didn't come to save us from God.  For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son.


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