February 28, 2011


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The Last Day of February! Can you believe it? Why is it that time goes by so fast?

Outside my window...

Cold Fresh Air!

I am thankful for...

my mother and 3 sisters.  Another question for you.  How can five women be so alike and so different at the same time?

I am learning...

that perseverance encourages other people.  This has been inspiring for me.  MY perseverance can influence others.  Your perseverance influences me.

From the kitchen...

Beef stew in the crock pot.

I am wearing...

A grey, pleated dress.  I'm wearing it dressed "down" - with a black sweater, tights and clogs.  But it does dress Up well with heels, grey nylons and pearls.

I am creating...

a space in my shed for storing food.  I've been picking up an extra bag of beans or a few cans of this and that.  The cost of food keeps going up and up and I feel a need to prepare for "hard times"

I am going...

to do some visiting with friends.  The children and I are looking forward to a full week.

I am remembering...

That God sees me.  (Gen 16:13)  He is intimately acquainted with all my ways. (Psalm 139)  Not just the ways of everyone in the world, but MY ways...the hidden, the secret, the personal. 

I am reading...

Revelation (we are studying it in church), Cunning Workmen by Isabella Alden (with the children), and Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

I am hoping...

to learn more about PRACTICAL ways to respect my husband.  Just doing what he says doesn't always get the message across.  Maybe because there are times when even though I might be sitting down on the outside, on the inside I am standing up.  Lord, help me. Older women? Are you out there?  Will you teach me?

I am hearing...

Sophia read "Sugar Creek Gang" to her siblings ~ part of home school.

Around the house...

Piled up laundry and dishes.  Our Septic is awaiting repair so our water usage has been limited.  Thankfully, it will be done today and there will be no more restrictions.  Did I mention that I am thankful for water...for running water, for indoor plumbing?

One of my favorite things...

a long hot shower

A few plans for the rest of the week:

housework catch-up and visiting with friends.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

A slice of a yummy quiche I made the other day. 
Pour over a pie crust a mixture of:
shredded potatoe, chopped ham, shredded chedder/parmesan cheese, diced jalepenos and a few beaten eggs.
Delicious with a spicy kick.
Have a wonderful week!

February 26, 2011

Tea Time

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

I am having...

Earl Grey tea and TWO slices of the wheat bread I made yesterday, toasted and slathered in butter.  What a treat!

I am feeling...

Relaxed.  The house is clean and warm and a stack of magazines are calling my name.  Wish you were here.  It is much more fun to share a mag with friends.  To say, "Oh, Look at this lovely kitchen"  or "Listen to this quote."  I guess that is why some of us blog.

On my mind...

The "Septic Guy" is coming this afternoon.  There is a terrible odor outside.  This is one of the few times that I am glad we are just renters.  Still, I wonder what is in store?  No flushing, laundry, or dishwashing until he arrives.

link to share...

Rather than a quote, just wanted to share a link to a very beautiful tea table.  It is a High Tea Link Party.  My Sophia and I spent some "lovey time" (her love language is 'quality time') looking at all the table settings and judging them.  How we love a beautiful table setting, but the ones with food scored the highest.

  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend.  Thanks for having tea with me.

Oh, forgot to share a picture of my new tea pot.  I have been through so many over the years.  I don't know why I can't keep them around.  Guess we are just a little rough with our pots at the Times.
I like the fresh color and it holds lots of tea.  We use it for every meal.

February 25, 2011

It doesn't matter what he did.  It doesn't matter what he said.  Your long list of his faults and your suffering does not matter when you stand before God.

But, I was in pain!

But, I was offended!

But, it isn't fair!

What he did was wrong!

Don't you see? I am left with nothing! He took it all!

~Dear One, Beautiful Beloved~

God knows your pain.

He knows the injustice.  He can heal you, defend you, protect you, and provide for you.

Will you let Him?

As long as you take matters in your own hands, demanding your rights and judging your offender, you remain on the throne.  This is idolatry.  You are playing Ultimate Judge.  What good is your judgement?  What good does it bring

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. James 3:14-18

Let God take care of you.

But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Luke 6:35-36

February 23, 2011

God put us together, little one.

I didn't choose these children.  They just came to me this way ~ looking the way they look, full of strengths and weaknesses that I did not choose.

Well, they didn't choose me either.  They are stuck with me.  I'm the one they get, whether they like it or not,  to provide for them the nurturing, education and love they need.  Is it enough?  God knew all about my weaknesses before He sent them to live with me.  Am I the only one who thinks that parenting is the hardest job in the world?

I know these children are not robots.  I cannot program them to do and be what I want.  So why, after all these years, does their uniqueness still surprise me?  Their WILL.  It is so strong!  What a fierce desire for independence they have!  I see how they struggle.  I see how challenging it is for them to be under authority.

I know exactly how they feel.

The Bible says, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

Sometimes I erroneously think that one day I will arrive.  I imagine that one day I will not struggle with the lust of the flesh,  the lust of the eyes or the pride of life.  One day I will be humble.  I won't have any fleshly urges, nor will I want anything because I will be perfectly content.  HA!

According to this verse, as long as I am living in the world there will ALWAYS be these struggles. 

So, again, why do I think that my children should have arrived by now?  The Christian life is one of overcoming.  It is a daily adventure.  Lord, help me to be patient and loving with my children. 

~ Mothers the World Needs ~

"Mothers with courage; mothers who pray,
These are the kind the world needs today.

Mother who think, who study and plan;
Mothers who laugh as much as they can,

Having the gift that is better than money--
The habit of seeing that some things are funny.

Mothers whose faith never wavers or falters;
Mothers whose spirits the world never alters;

Loving the right and scorning the wrong;
Facing the problems of life with a song.

Mothers whose bravery transcends their fears;
Winning the battle with patience and tears;

Never submitting to weakness or sin---
Storming heaven's gates till the children are in.

Mothers heroic, not guilty of whining;
Hands graced with service and faces with shining.

Mothers of purity, virtue and faith,
Steadfast in life and triumphant in death;

Looking beyond the dark pathway of sorrow,
Seeking a home in God's joyous tomorrow,

Leading the children; pointing the way---
These are the mothers, the world needs today!

-Kathryn Blackburn Peck

I read this poem the other day at "A Wise Woman Builds her home"

February 21, 2011

Monday Musings

 Yesterday was cold but sunny, so we went for a Sunday drive to visit the river.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Psalm 1:1-3

Naomi Baloney

 Mr. Santos impressing me by  throwing rocks.  He's so cool.  I love to watch him skip stones.  He knows that his "stone skipping skills" always bring a smile to my face and a kiss to his cheek.

It was a lovely day.


The children have gone to run errands with Mr. Santos.  It was a little too quiet here.  So, I turned on my handy dandy Audio Bible and ORGANIZED.  On the agenda - Declutter the children's room today.  You wouldn't believe what I found in their toyboxes!  But all is clean and tidy now.

 Noah sleeps on top, the girls sleep on the bottom. 

There used to be a curtain hanging in front of the closet.  Unfortunately, the curtain rod broke and I have not replaced it yet.  Do you think it would look less "cluttery" with a curtain?

Now, should I organize my room next or just take a nap? 

February 17, 2011

Tea Time

Aren't these sweeties adorable? Did you have tea parties when you were young?
Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

I am having...

Ginger peach tea while I wait for Mr. Santos to come home for dinner.  Chicken soup is simmering on the stove.

I am feeling...

Cold.  Thankful.  Contemplative.
On my mind...

Sophia's first Spelling Bee, tomorrow.  I remember my first spelling bee.  I was nine years old.  I lost on the first word.  I don't remember the word, but it started with a CH and I said K.  Oh, how devastated I was.  All my dreams of spelling bee superstardom down the tubes.  I cried all the way home from school. 

I told Sophia, "no matter what, we are getting a treat afterwards, so lets just have fun!"
A quote to share...

You are either a mission field or a missionary.
~ J. McBride

February 16, 2011

Delivered to the Tormentors, I needed to forgive

Nothing pleased her more than to sit in her winged back chair and look at her stained glass window.  Like a large cut ruby,  she enjoyed the way the sun shone through and danced around the room making little rainbows upon the furniture.  To show off the window in its full glory, the front room was always immaculate.  And for the young woman, looking out through that beautiful piece of art could make even the greyest of days seem pleasant.

But one day, that beauty came crashing in around her.  An irresponsible neighbor boy sent his baseball smashing through the window.  All of the etch work and colored glass completely shattered.  She dropped to her knees devastated by the damage.


Have you ever been hurt like that? It may not be a shattered window, but rather, a shattered heart.  Someone's words or actions damaged you and made a big mess.

Who will clean the mess?
Who will fix the damage?
What if the damage can never be repaired?

How do you forgive?

The worst question of all.  What if the person who did the damage doesn't care?  or even worse than that...What if that person is glad for the damage in your life?

Then what?

Do you forgive them?  Should you forgive them?


Like anyone else, I have been hurt before.  Many times.  I'm a Christian, so of course I knew that I needed to forgive.  And I did, or so I thought.

The Lord, the revealer of secrets (Phil 3:15) showed me that I was merely taking all of the debts that people owed me ~ the damages done through words or actions over the years ~ and put them on my husband.  I figured he could pay their debts and I would get what I want.  I was not forgiving anyone.  I just transferred their debts to another account.

The problem with this was two fold.  First, Mr. Santos didn't know he was responsible for the debts of every offense ever committed against me.  How could he?  I wasn't even aware of this habit of mine until recently.  Second, he had his own offenses against me that needed to be paid.

On the outside, I looked good and even sounded good.  But there was a root of bitterness growing beneath the surface.  And it was going deeper and deeper with every passing day of unforgiveness. 


Oh No! The boy dropped his mitt and ran to his neighbors house.  The front door was ajar so he walked into the room and saw the woman on her knees.  She was covering her face with her apron, crying.

The boy felt miserable.  He immediately got the broom from the kitchen and started cleaning the damage while at the same time apologizing profusely.  "I'll work hard to pay you ma'am, even if it takes my whole life!"

But she knew that he could never replace the window.  It was an original piece of art.  In the woman's opinion, it was irreplaceable and he could never make enough money to pay for it.  However, the woman could see that the boy was clearly sorry for what he had done.  She gently put her arm on his shoulder and said, "The damage is done, my boy.  I forgive you.  Go in peace." 

He left relieved of his debt.  But had she really forgiven?  Had his debt been paid?  Forgiveness means that you pay YOURSELF, the debt that is owed to you.

The woman never replaced her window.  She could have put plain glass in its place.  But that window was so precious to her.  She just couldn't let it go.  Instead, she left the jagged broken remnants in place and covered the hole with a big ugly piece of cardboard.  It was a daily reminder of her loss.  Occasionally, she would cry about it.  Sometimes, she would slam her fist down hard because of it.  Eventually, she got used to it and lived with it for years.  Her life was forever changed.  No longer did she have guests over for tea.  No longer did the light shine into her room.  No longer did she enjoy her home.

She lived a life of torment.  That is what Jesus warns us of in the Parable of the unforgiving servant.  And that is what happened to me.  God, in His perfect judgement, turned me over to the tormentors.


I was always struggling with a bad temper.  I was so often offended, so often provoked.  If only he would...  If only they would...  If only I could have... But no.  I never got what I wanted.  Thankfulness was a great friend during these times.  I would have days of peace here and there, but they became few and far between as the roots of bitterness went down deeper.  One day, I realized that I was waking up provoked.  It had become almost a constant state of being.  Forgiveness was what I needed.

The Bible says that a root of bitterness defiles many (Hebrews 12:15)  My children were suffering ~ especially my daughters ~ as I've seen them follow in my grumpy footsteps.  My marriage was suffering.  I was suffering, but it was their fault.  That is how a bitter person thinks.  She blames others for her shortcomings.

God had a wonderful promise for me.  He wanted me to be rooted and grounded in LOVE. (Ephesians 3:17)  He wanted me know the HEIGHT, the DEPTH, the WIDTH, the BREADTH of His love for me.  He wanted me to be filled with the fullness of God, of HIMSELF.  What an awesome gift.  But I was unable to receive it.

In order for me to receive this wonderful gift all the bitter roots needed to be pulled up.  He was going to chop down that ugly tree, pull up all its tangled mass of roots and in it's place there would be a deep pit.  What would I plant in its place?

I had a choice.  God never forces us to forgive.  As his daughter (I have been born again) He would chastise me so that I may partake in his holiness.

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Hebrews 12:11

Oh how I wanted that fruit of righteousness!  Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.

What would I plant?  A still small voice speaks to my heart. "For whatsoever a man soweth that will he also reap."  "And let us not grow weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

The woman with the window needed to forgive, not for the sake of the boy, but for her own sake.  I needed to forgive, not for the sake of my offenders, but for my own sake.

God forgave me ~ for his own sake.

 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.  Isaiah 43:25 

February 14, 2011

Valentine Gifts (updated)


Chicken and Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Green salad
Pineapple Upside-down cake for dessert

~Evening Plans~

Snuggle on the couch with three beautiful children and my latin lover to watch the next episode of Lark Rise to Candleford.

~Gifts to enjoy~

A warm house
No fear
No hunger
No thirst
Running Water
Nice clothes
Good shoes
Sweet treats

~True Love~

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:4-8

 Happy Valentines Day

*** A big storm came in knocking out the power.  We ended up eating take-out and sitting around a glowing propane heater until we fell asleep.  Still managed to get the cake out of the oven before the outage and it was a pleasant time with lots to be thankful for. ***

February 12, 2011

Interrupted by parenting?

In my kingdom there shall be no parenting on family vacation days, or when I am reading the paper on my iPad, or after ten o’clock at night, or during a good meal, or . . . I could go on. And when I’m angry about interruptions to my kingdom plan, there are four things I tend to do.

1. I tend to turn a God-given moment of ministry into a moment of anger.

2. I do this because I have personalized what is not personal. (Before we left for the amusement park that day, my children didn’t plot to drive me crazy in the parking lot.)

3. Because I have personalized what is not personal, I am adversarial in my response. (It’s not me acting for my children, but acting against them because they are in the way of what I want.)

4. So I end up settling for situational solutions that don’t really get to the heart of the matter. (I bark and order, I instill guilt, I threaten a punishment and walk away, and my children are utterly unchanged by the encounter.)

There is a better way.  Read the rest of the article here...

February 08, 2011


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Tuesday February 8, 2011

Outside my window...

It is dark.  The neighbors cars are in their driveways since it is the end of the day.  My tulips are starting to poke out in the flower bed...I can't wait to see some COLOR!

I am thankful for...

my shoes

I am learning...

about forgiveness and the sometimes severe consequences that naturally occur when we don't forgive.

From the kitchen...

Just finished enchiladas for dinner.  I will probably make a quiche for breakfast tomorrow. 

I am wearing...

my hair in a gibson tuck with a silver jewelled clip.  It's my new "fast hairdo"

I am creating...

a cover for our Scripture CD.  I don't know what I am doing and it is very hard. I might just give it up and send out our CD without a cover. 

I am going...

to finish filing our taxes this week.  What a job! Thank God for Turbo Tax.   

I am remembering...

That I need to follow up on my jury duty summons.  It seems that I am summoned twice a year.

I am reading...

the Psalms and Proverbs every day.  Today is the eighth, so in order to get through them all each month I have to read every 30th Psalm.  That means Psalm 8, 38, 68, 98, 128 and Proverbs 8.  Tomorrow I will read Psalm 9, 39, 69, 129 and Proverbs 9.  A friend recommended this "system" and it has been a great blessing.

I am hoping...

My Lifeforce order comes in the morning.  I stocked up on some VitaliC and I am looking forward to flooding my family with nutrition to keep the flu and all the other illnesses far from the Santos Times.

I am hearing...

"Adventures in Odyssey" playing on radio.

Around the house...

Dinner dishes to wash, Children listening to the radio while drawing, lamps lit and the smell of a "hazelnut cream" candle burning.

One of my favorite things...

fudge - coconut fudge - have you ever tried it? Mr. Santos brought some home a few days ago and it was DIVINE.

A few plans for the rest of the week:

computer work, menu plan, grocery shopping, taxes, Love my husband, Love my children, Keep my home, Listen to my friends, love my neighbor.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Sophia took this picture of "Harry," the squirrel that visits our back door every morning and eats peanuts from Mr. Santos' hand.  He's pretty quick.  I think Sophia (age 9) is turning into quite a photographer.  In fact, I don't take pictures anymore...it's her job now.

February 07, 2011

Glad to be home from a solitary place

If you have been around The Santos Times for a while, you may have noticed that the author is stubborn and it takes her a long time to learn her lessons.

This is not something I am proud of.  Nor, am I content to continue in this way.  I want to be a woman who learns QUICKLY.  Praise the Lord that He is changing me.

But learning is not enough...

Reading 2 Timothy, I was recently convicted of being a "silly woman," - ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  The truth is I have been struggling with some 'same ole, same ole' sin in my life and not achieving victory. 

It hasn't been all bad.  I enjoy a wonderful relationship with a Great and Mighty God.  Gently and patiently, He has been chastising me and teaching me His ways.  I have been learning.  But that's where it has stopped.  I write in my journal, or on this blog the wonderful things I have learned and then I continue on in my own will, my own ways.

Day by day I have been living out Jeremiah 7:23-24

"But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

Finally, tired of going backward, tired of not knowing which way to go.  I cried out to God.  I was ready to go forward to walk, not just look at, but walk in the ways that God has commanded.

 I packed up the children and got in the van and headed out to a Solitary place to seek the Lord.

Thank you Sophia for taking some pictures of our trip.

Pretty solitary, huh?  But God is with us wherever we are...even in the desert.

Our river view.

This was where the children slept.  My bed was across from theirs.

We ended up staying for nearly two weeks.
I learned a lot and I am applying what I learn and, as a consequence, learning even more.  What to do with all this stuff I'm learning?  Blog, of course.

So, I'll be back.  I am praying about what I should and shouldn't share.  I can't wait to catch up with all of YOUR blogs too.  I have missed you and your edifying influence in my life.

February 01, 2011

The children recorded a CD with 14 songs.  They are all original tunes and the songs are from the KJV.  If you would like a copy we would be happy to send you one FREE.  Just e-mail me your address and look for it in the mail.  God Bless you.

Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against thee, Psalm 119:11


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