June 28, 2011


He swaggers in with two thumbs stuck in his pockets and flashes a happy grin.  "Howdy ma'am!" The missing teeth adds to his boyish charm.

I think to myself "here's my boy."  The ensemble is complete. He's got on his coon skin cap with a matching vest, his chaps, the belt with a real leather holster from his Papi Alejandro, and an authentic looking plastic pistol.  I see a skinned up knee through a hole in his jeans.  His other knee is green from the tough work of a child determined to put grass stains on every piece of clothing he owns.

All that boy needs now is a horse.

I turn and look at my little mountain man. "Howdy."

His grin widens.

"I'm gonna eat you up, mountain boy," I say hungrily.

"Aaawww mom! Stop it!"

I put on a pouty face. "Just one little 'bite'?"

Six-year-old Noah rolls his eyes and lets out a long and deep sigh.  Huffing and puffing, he steps toward me to allow me one little "bite."  Greedily, I rub my hands together and laugh a happy "Hehehehehe."  My right hand cups his chin and my left hand crowns the top of his furry capped head.  I smack his pink round cheek with a heavy kiss.  "MMMMWWWAAA!"

Noah immediately wipes the kiss off with a "Yuck!" But, he is smiling. 

Suddenly, he whips out his pistol, aims at the flowers in the vase, with one eye closed he clicks his gun and yells "Bam!"  Then he is off - his bare feet jumping into cowboy boots that are three sizes too big - running to catch his "horse."

He reaches back to align the seat of the hand-me-down-pink-schwinn from his sister.  He talks gently to his "horse."  They've got some 'rustling' to do.  His head and shoulders bend low into the handlebars.  His feet pedal with fury.  The tail of his cap is flying in the wind behind him.  There he goes, riding off into the sunset.  My yummy boy.

Don't you want to "eat him up" too?

June 24, 2011

Weekend Daybook

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Friday, June 24, 2011
Outside our window...

Naomi is sitting on the walkway in front of the door painting - painting rocks, her face, her brother's face (indian war markings), some old toys.

I am thankful for...

The food we eat.  It is so easy to take it for granted.  God is good.

I am learning...

that saying "Thy will be done" is what being a Christian is all about.  Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.

From the kitchen...

I made some bread and cinnamon rolls early this week.  We finished the last loaf today.  I didn't put in enough flour so the loaves were very "airy".  The cinnamon rolls were yummy even though they were made out of the same dough.  But maybe it was the butter cream frosting they were smothered in...ya think?

I am wearing...

My farming clothes ~ A faded long skirt with a cotton tee and soft capri's underneath.  In this way, if I need to gather a big pile of weeds or berries I can just fill up my skirt and walk on...no need to get the wheelbarrow...and I still look like a "lady" with a hoe in my hand.

I am creating...

Not much. But I am memorizing a lot lately...so maybe I could say I'm 'creating' a memory full of Bible verses. 

I am going...

to flirt with Mr. Santos today...see if I can get that man to crack a smile.  Maybe I should get a babysitter too. (wink) 

I am remembering...

When my children were short, fat and edible...now they are tall, skinny, smart, capable kids...oh good they are still kids, still young and needing their momma.  Whew.  They just look big.  Childhood zooms by so fast.
I am reading...

1 Peter from the Bible every day.  It's amazing how the Bible feeds your soul when you meditate on it day and night.  Do you do this?  Or do you read it just to check it off your list?

I am hoping...

to see my family laugh this weekend.  It has been a while since we have laughed together...

Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them. Psalm 126:2

I am hearing...

 funny voices and accents from the children as their stuffed animals are getting involved in all sorts of adventures.

Around the house...

the scent of a burning candle called "ocean flower" and a beautiful boquet of pink peonies in a wide mouth mason jar.  (thank you Nancy)
One of my favorite things...


If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?  Matthew 7:11

A few plans for the weekend:
Grocery shopping and laughing.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

"Farming" - but I usually have my boots on...must've been hot when this picture was taken.  That's me last year, but if you took a shot of me this year, it would look the same. LOL

Our strawberry field last year...this year the plants are more abundant but the berries are smaller.  Hmm.  There's so much to learn!

June 23, 2011

Soul Talk (again)

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.  Psalm 42:5

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Ephesians 5:19

"But God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed."

~ Amy Carmichael

June 22, 2011

To homeschool or not to homeschool?

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. Psalm 1:1-2

June 20, 2011

Summer Day

Is it ok to have a day like this? Am I going to wake up tomorrow and find out there were a thousand things I was supposed to do and forgot?

Woke at a reasonable hour ~ as in, when I was ready to get up and not any sooner.

Cleaned the house.

Ate breakfast of yogurt and granola and read my Bible.

Then listened to a "bible study on tape" while the children and I put together a puzzle.

Lunch was grilled ham and cheese

Later took a leisurely drive to the farm where we picked some strawberries.  Left the weeds to themselves. They seem to like it out there and today I just didn't feel like disturbing them.

Came home to enjoy some pineapple coconut sorbet and

Work on the Bible Bee for a bit.

Put some leftover pilaf, steak bites and beans in a pot with some water and seasoning for soup.  Served it with corn chips. A warm, and satisfying meal to offer my man.

and now we are going to watch the conclusion of the movie "Moses" with Ben Kingsley.

I'm living a life of leisure today

June 18, 2011

Tickle away the Anger

Training our children does not have to be drudgery!  Sure, it is endless.  Sure, it is hard work.  But it can be fun and it can be joyful!

Read how this momma trains her daughter not to be angry...HERE.

Noah with his favorite "Tickle Monster"...Grandpa!  Happy Father's Day to the handsomest grandpa around.

June 16, 2011

Do you have your tea?

I am having...

A cup of hot water with lemon and raw honey.  It is soothing on my sore throat.
I am feeling...

A sense of urgency.  To watch, to be ready, to be sober, in order to be able to stand.

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Ephesians 5:15

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.  1Peter 4:7

On my mind...

How wonderful it is to be disillusioned!

Definition of illusion

~ noun

1. something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality.
2. the state or condition of being deceived; misapprehension.

Definition of disillusioned 

~ noun

2. a freeing or a being freed from illusion or conviction; disenchantment

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32

A quote to share...

"God wants us disillusioned about our spouse, our job, our children.  Can I shock you enough to say that God wants us disillusioned about himself? It's true.  How many Christians really know God as He really is?

Some people believe God is hard, harsh, legalistic, full of rules rules rules.  God says "That's not me. I want you disillusioned about that."

Some people think God is some fairy-god mother in the sky, or magic genie, like santa clause or the tooth fairy.  God says,  "I want you disillusioned about that, that's not me."

Some people think God is the cross, pain, suffering, suffering and suffering.  Some think that with God you will never have any pain, no sorrow, no sadness.  God says, "That's not me. I want you disillusioned about that."

God wants us disillusioned so that we can know him as he really is and love him as he is."

~ Janice McBride, Dealing with disappointment (3tape series)

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1Cor 13:12

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

June 13, 2011

What is your favorite food?

I used to day dream about having my own cook.  OK, I still day dream about having my own cook. I imagine myself saying "Cook, there will be five additional guests joining us tonight.  We would like to eat around six and Mr. Santos has requested an apple tart for dessert.  I'll be outside painting pictures with the children if you need me." 

Hahaha.  Well, it's no secret that I do not enjoy cooking.  But, I do it anyway because it is a surefire way of pleasing my family and being a help to my husband.  There's nothing like a six year old boy with no front teeth grinning from ear to ear over something you have made yourself; or, hearing your daughters say, "when I grow up, I'm going to make this every day."  This is truly amazing, especially because when I got married, I knew how to make scrambled eggs and boil water.  That's it.  Well, I think I was able to make a pot of rice too - but not without it sticking to the pot. 

However, cooking three meals a day for many years teaches you a few things.  I now can make several meals that taste reasonably OK, my rice never sticks to the pot and I even make my own bread.  I confess, however, I prefer a nice store-bought loaf of sourdough over my homemade bread any day.

I am teaching my kids to cook so that they won't struggle the way I did in my early years.

One meal that Sophia, age ten, makes (and we enjoy this at least once a week) is enchilada casserole. 


(all items are approximate)

2+ cups of cooked beans with some of the liquid
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of salsa (or about a cup of homemade salsa, pureed)
2 cups frozen kernel corn

3 cups shredded cheese
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

18 corn tortillas

1 can sliced black olives OR
1/2 cup chopped green onions OR


In a 9x13 pan soak the tortillas in very warm water.  While the tortillas are soaking, put together in a bowl the beans, sauces and corn. Grate the cheese.  Empty the water from the pan and layer six tortillas across the bottom. Top with 1/3 of bean mixture, 1/3 of grated cheddar and 1/3 of the crumbled feta. Layer another 6 tortillas and repeat.  On the top Layer sprinkle the olives and onions.  Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly - about 35 minutes.  We usually eat this with a raw cabbage salad and sour cream.  Mr. Santos adds extra jalapenos as is his custom.


Here are some other foods we enjoy:

This is quite a treat since we rarely eat meat, and Mr. Santos LOVES it.  Again, I serve this with a raw cabbage salad sprinkled with feta cheese and warm corn tortillas.  If we have guests, I will add some rice or beans.

Everyone at the Santos Times loves these wonderful muffins.  I make them with a mini-muffin pan so that they seem more like fat cookies.  In fact, Mr. Santos even requested that I make a couple batches for him to take to work.  As everyone knows at the Santos Times, you have ARRIVED if Mr. Santos requests to take something to work.  (note: I skip the butter topping at the end of this recipe.)

 This is my Summer candy.
One of our favorite snacks is organic fuji apples with peanut butter.

June 12, 2011

He holds me closely to his side

I woke this morning heavy laden. My head was pounding from a head cold, but that wasn't my problem.  It was the false accusations I've been enduring lately.  It was the attacks on my character.  It was the anger at the injustice of the "wicked" spreading themselves out like a big tree with their prideful ways.

Lord! It is not true! It is not fair!

Then I hear a still small voice speak to my heart: "The Lord shall  fight for you and you will hold your peace." Ex 14:14
I stop clenching my fists and relax. It takes a while, but finally I submit to the Lord, trusting that He will take care of me.  Again, a still small voice "For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully, for what glory is it, if, when you are buffeted for your faults you take it patiently? but if, when you do well and suffer for it, you take it patiently, this is acceptable to God."

I sigh deeply.  The pressure in my body releases a bit.  His kind voice speaks to me again. "For, Laura, even hereunto were you called." 1Peter 2:19-21

I yield, "Yes, Lord."

Still sick and congested, I get up to get into the shower.  I am glad to follow my Lord, but I feel so lonely at times.  Quick, unwanted thoughts enter my mind...I miss romance, a kiss, a hug, affection...the longing leaves an ache in my heart.

Maybe I just need a vacation.  Perhaps I will take my daughter shopping today.  No.

I remember that God is my expectation.  I am the bride of Christ and one day I will stand before him with every desire on earth fulfilled.  "For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell."

I am reminded that the way I live tells what I truly believe.  Do I truly believe that in Christ all fullness dwells? Or, do I believe that the things of this world will satisfy me more?

The warm water runs and I am thankful for such a luxury ~ a long, warm shower.

Then, the lover of my soul speaks to my heart again.  A song He sings me.  I haven't heard the song for quite some time.  It comforts me like nothing else so far this morning.  I begin to sing with Him and I sense the oneness between us "me abiding in Him and Him abiding in me."

He will be my guide, hold me closely to His side.  I smile, I am loved and cared for.  O taste and see that the Lord is good!  Here is the song that still sings in my heart today.  I hope it blesses you for God so loved the WORLD (that includes you) that he gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

June 07, 2011

Psalm 23:2

This is Number 4 in the series "The Lord is my Shepherd" by Janice McBride

Several years ago I spent about four to six weeks each year ministering in churches in Scotland, the land of my birth. Words cannot describe the incredible rugged beauty of the Scottish highlands.  When I look at the tall mountains, I think of the power and majesty of my God. When I see the beauty of the hills and pastures covered in lush, green grass and the countless sheep, I think of the 23rd Psalm.

The sheep are not anxious or fearful about their needs. They do not worry about a place to live or food to eat or what to wear. They are content with the provision of their shepherd. God, through the shepherd, has provided them a beautiful, large home of valleys, hills and mountains. God created them. He provides plenty of food for them to eat. He also chose their clothes, a coat that grows thicker and warmer as the weather
changes and gets colder. The shepherd removes it in the summer because it is too hot and too heavy.

It is incredible to see how many spiritual lessons we can learn through sheep and God’s provision for them. Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) reads, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Beloved, if God provides daily for the sheep, we can rest in the assurance that He will supply all our needs. Christ died for us while we were sinners.  He will not desert us now that we are His children.

I grew up in poverty. I know hunger. I know the lack of proper clothing and holes in my shoes. For many years after I had food to eat, clothes to wear, and a home to live in, I still had a fear of poverty. Even as a young believer, I battled this fear, but God’s amazing grace brought deliverance and healing as I daily spent time reading the Bible and getting to know Jesus, the Shepherd of my soul.

Part of my healing came as I meditated on Matthew 6:25-34. This scripture told me not to be concerned about my food; that if God provides for the birds, I can trust Him to feed me. If God clothed the lilies of the field, I can trust Him to clothe me.

I teach God’s Word throughout the U.S. and in other countries. I meet a lot of people who are hurt, confused, angry, bitter and disillusioned with God because He does not supply all their wants.

Nowhere in God’s Word does He promise to supply our wants. He created us. He knows His plan
for our lives. He knows all of our needs. He is not raising spoiled, selfish, me-centered, demanding children. He is training and maturing a people whose lives will glorify Him and draw many to faith in Jesus Christ.

Anxious believers, can I speak to you? Please trust God. He will supply all of your needs. And nonbelievers, today would be a good day to surrender your life to the lordship of Jesus Christ. I can promise you that He will provide all of your needs. His Word promises us that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He knows our needs more than we do, and He is faithful to provide. Trusting in God’s Provision “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” (Psalm 23:2 NKJV)

— Janice McBride

June 03, 2011

Weekend Daybook

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Friday, June 3, 2011
Outside our window...

Bright, yellow, warm, lemony, beaming, sunshine! YEAH!
I am thankful for...

This day! God's mercies are new every morning!

I am learning...

The rewards and gifts that God gives far outweigh anything he requires of us.  Be ye holy as I am holy, he says...Take up your cross and follow me...Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice...All of this can sound so scary, so heavy, so hard.  It is hard, but the REWARDS people.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good!"

From the kitchen...

All things easy peasy.  Monday was a holiday here in the states.  I spent the whole afternoon cooking.  It wasn't planned, but the house was clean and I didn't feel like doing anything else so I thought I would make a couple batches of meatballs.  That turned into, "Well, I might as well put together a quiche since the oven is on." By the end of the day, I had made four dozen pecan pie muffins, two trays of meatballs, a quiche, a big pot of beans, a big pot of rice, and a tri-tip roast. All week it has been so easy just to warm things up or make an easy meal from the "fixin's."  What a blessing! I might turn this into a habit.
I am wearing...

A light cotton tee with a denim skirt and sandals.  I have my enormous sun bonnet and boots by the door to take with me to the farm this afternoon.
I am creating...

A routine with my children for the summer.  It goes a little like this: Get up, do chores, eat breakfast, Bible study, Read-alouds, Math, Break for lunch, afternoon ~ as God leads.  Yesterday, we invited a friend over  for scripture memory and hymns instead of math.  But still, all our "work" was done before lunch.  Makes for a great day with a lot more accomplished. 

I am going...

To the farm this afternoon where we will:  pull weeds, take walks, pull weeds, enjoy the blue sky, pull weeds, get a tan and pull weeds. 

I am remembering...
My family in California...my aunties, my uncles, my cousins, my grandma, my mother and step-father, my sisters and their husbands, my nieces, my nephews. I wish for a family reunion!

I am reading...

1 Peter from the Bible every day. (it is Sophia's Bible Bee book that she has to memorize), The life of David Livingstone, (Noah loves the adventures in Africa, especially the fight with the lion) and Rose Cottage (sweet story about some mice that "watch over" some children named Arthur and Lucy)
I am hoping...

To find a couple nice tops for some A D O R A B L E skirts I received from a friend.

I am hearing...

The cheers of the children outside.  Noah can now ride a two-wheeler bike and it is very exciting.

Around the house...

All is spotless as we are about to walk out the door to the farm.  Sunshine diamonds are hanging on the trees outside.  Maybe we will cut some branches to bring into the house.
One of my favorite things...
My husband's heavy hand on my knee when we are driving in the car together.  I belong to him.
A few plans for the weekend:
Didn't I tell ya?  Mr. Santos has to work overtime so it is up to the children and me to tend to the farm and it's berries.  We will be pulling weeds till they decide it isn't worth the trouble to come up anymore.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

 The big hat I wear at the farm.  It's on a little crooked...that would be me though...always a little off in the fashion department.
The beautiful blue sky the Lord has blessed us with today...not a cloud in sight. 


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