September 28, 2011

If we would just take time to think

This is a moving documentary that had me in tears and Mr. Santos and I in deep discussion. So many people today, especially young people, believe what they believe without taking time out to know WHY. They don't take time to examine themselves, to think of their future, to think of the consequences of their beliefs.

Please watch this. Please. It is 30 minutes long. It is graphic and not for young children.

Autumn Days are here again!

Sugar Pie Pumpkins growing at the farm 

 A strong cool breeze on a bright Fall day ~ Perfect for picking out some pumpkins! We will be at the farm four days a week soon.
 The sunflowers have bloomed and are starting to droop from the heaviness of their seeds.
 Diamonds on the water.  My God keeps me amply supplied with jewels. 

 These are some happy zinnias!  Wish they were under my window sill rather than the pumpkin patch.

September 27, 2011

His delights

Isn't it fun to make a list of the things we love and enjoy?

Hot showers
Sunshine on the ocean
Pecan pie

I could go on and on.  If you haven't done it in a while, you should try.  Make a list of the things that bring you joy - the things that you are grateful for. Whenever I am grumpy or feeling negative, this little practice is a sure way to help me out of the pit.  Sometimes, I wonder what it is that God loves and enjoys.  I did a quick search through my Bible and this is what I found:

* "he taketh pleasure in them that fear him." Psalm 147:11

* "the prayer of the upright is his delight." Psalm 35:27

* "he taketh pleasure in his people." Psalm 149:4

* "the upright in their way are his delight." Prov 11:20

* He has written a book of remembrance for "them that feared the Lord and thought upon his name." Mal 3:16

* What is very valuable to him?  Jewels? Knowledge? "the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1Peter 3:4

* "I (wisdom) was daily his delight." Prov 8:30

* "A just weight is his delight" Prov 11:1

* "they that deal truly are his delight" Prov 12:22

* A dove descended upon Jesus and there was a voice heard from heaven "This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Mat 3:17

* A thick cloud overshadowed the others and only Jesus was left."This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Mat 17:5

* "they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8:8

* "without faith, it is impossible to please God." Hebrews 11:6

September 26, 2011

Last week of September, 2011

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Outside our window...

Rain. The leaves are changing colors with the coming of least the leaves still left on the trees after this weekend's blustery days.

I am thankful for...

Answered prayers!

I am learning...

that God does not ask us to do what we are unable to do.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me."
Philipians  4:13

this would include being patient, repeating myself for the six billionth time, smiling instead of grinding my teeth, using my calm "I am the mother" voice instead of shouting.  It includes giving mercy and forgiveness.

From the kitchen...

homemade pizza.  What to do with a jar of spaghetti sauce and a pound of sausage but no noodles?  I also sauteed some onions and found a jar of olives.  Didn't I say I was thankful for answered prayer?

I am wearing...

A brown suede skirt and a cranberry sweater.

I am creating...

a "poor man's" recipe book for a friend who just got married.  It is just a compilation of recipes I made up when I have had to streeeetch ingredients to feed a big group or to last until the next shopping day.

I am going...

to finish writing out some pretty snail mail cards to a few friends.

I am remembering...

my munchkins when they were just munchkins.  I have a big box of photos that I have been rummaging through the last few days.

I am reading...

 The book of 1 Samuel every day with the children (still).

Roller Skates, by Ruth Sawyer (with the children)

I am hoping...

that my violin playing will stop sounding like a train wreck SOONER rather than later.  What?  I didn't tell you I was taking lessons with the children?  You should see me next to all these little 6 and 7 year olds in their tiny child size chairs.

I am hearing...

The children playing and happy - so much nicer than the crying and complaining of earlier today.

I'm happy though, because I did not allow all the c's and c's to change my expectations.  I held my ground and won.  My expectations were met, Momma remained "in charge" and peace was restored.  Thank you Lord.

Around the house...

Sophia is making a fort.
Naomi is "spread out" drawing.
Noah is building his own bowling alley.

I'll give them another hour before it's "Clean-up time" for Mr. Santos' homecoming.

One of my favorite things...

warm feet on a cold rainy day.

A few plans for the week:

School, violin lessons, and YEAH, HIP HIP HOORAY, YIPEE, my sister and her family are visiting from California this weekend.  Only a two day visit, but it has been almost three years since I have seen them.

Here are some picture thoughts to share...
I am not ready for rainy days yet...all the lamps on in the middle of the, not yet.  I am not ready.  I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.

September 24, 2011

Dear Followers~

Are you a follower of The Santos Times?  I'm so glad you are! I have been thinking a lot about you.  This is a small blog with only 44 followers.  Some of you are Christians.  Some of you are Muslim.  Some of you are Catholic or Mormon or no religion at all. You come from all over the world to visit our little place.

I just want you to know that I am so happy to share our family times with you.  We are not very exciting or gifted or unique.  Yet, you visit us!  Thank you.

I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you and I pray for you.  God bless you today!  May you have peace in your heart whatever your circumstances are.

September 22, 2011

A sunrise

Ah! Sweet Satisfaction!  I am sitting at the dining room table enjoying a lovely cup of jasmine tea.  The house is spotlessly clean.  All the counters are cleared of clutter.  There is nothing on the vacuumed floors.  The pillows are plumped and the bookshelf is straightened out.  Yes.  It all looks clean and orderly.  Even the laundry is caught up and put away. There is nothing out of its place.

I sigh with satisfaction and sip on my tea.

Proudly, I think "It's not very hard to keep my house clean. I don't know why other people struggle so much."

Slowly, the morning sun rises shining through the dining room window and over the kitchen sink.

I sit up suddenly.  What is this?!  The light, a beautiful morning sunrise, is illuminating ugliness in my home!

A thick layer of dust covers the oven hood.  The back splash is covered with shiny grease spots.  The morning light reveals stains and dirt and hidden spills all over the cupboard doors of the kitchen.  The satisfaction I previously felt, fizzles away, especially with the revelation of piles of crumbs under my stove and fridge.

Shadows from fingerprints on the window glass dot my dining room table.  What used to seem so spotless seems so dirty now.

I am humbled. I thought my house was clean.  I am afraid to walk into the other rooms to see what the sunrise has revealed.  Dare I walk into the bathroom?  My bedroom? I can imagine the dust covering my dresser and the mirror.  I wonder why I can't see it at other times of the day?

I have a choice.

~  I can pretend that what the sun revealed is not really there.  In an hour or so the light will not be so direct.  The dirt and dust will be hidden again.  Better than that, I could just close the blinds.  I could shut out the light and not see any of the dirt.


~  I can admit the truth. My house is not clean but I will do nothing about it.


~  I can get to work to remove the dirt. No sitting down with prideful satisfaction as if I have arrived. No rest.


There is another light besides sunlight...there is SONlight: the light of Jesus Christ.

And there is another chance to choose.

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19

No rest, I live remembering...

"not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Philipians 3:12

But when will I get to rest?  When will I get to sigh with satisfaction that the work is done?

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Phil 1:6

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 1 Thess 4:16

And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. Revelation 21:23

September 19, 2011

What are You doing today?

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Outside our window...

Cold Sunshine, Dew on the grass, A chicken named Biscuit pecking at her oats.

I am thankful for...

beautiful sweaters I bought at the thrift store and a plaid skirt I bought new (but on sale).

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Matthew 6:28-30

I am learning...

That when I obey the Lord, I learn more wonderful things about him.  And what a wonder He is!  Just wondering about him is NOT good enough anymore...I want to know. So, I guess that means more obedience.

From the kitchen...

Do I have to go in there today?    Why do we have to eat so many times in the day?  A handful of nuts, a bite of an apple...that's good enough for me!

Unfortunately, this is not good enough for Mr. Santos and three growing children.

Well, whatever comes out of that place, I do have some puff pastry and some apples.  An apple tart will make things special, don't you think?  Plus, it only takes 5 minutes to put together. 

I am wearing...

One of my "new" warm and cozy on this chilly day.

I am creating...

a routine.  This is the third week.  It is a miracle.  I'm not chained to my routine...but it has brought stability to the Santos Times.  

I am going...

to a baby shower this week.  I love baby showers.  And this one is going to be so fun because the baby is already born.  Lots of cooing and ahhing over the little one.  Lots of pink this and pink that, food and laughter and women chatting away...can't wait!

I am remembering...

My son last night nibbling his crackers into animal shapes, then using them as actors in his little plays.  Childhood passes so quickly.

I am reading...

 The book of 1 Samuel every day with the children.

"Woah! Really?" was the reaction to chapter 2 verse 21. "And the Lord visited Hannah..."

"Mom, could He visit us?"  You can imagine the great conversation that came out of that.

I am hoping...

To speak with a soft voice and kind words today.  I have been convicted of my sharp tongue and critical ways.  Oh, it has been heavy!

 God is so good to have mercy on me.  Please pray for me.  I must completely retrain myself.  Pray that I would have new phrases for the same trials that come up every day.  You know the ones: complaining, whining, arguing, ungratefulness.  This is the stuff of wifing and parenting.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26

I am hearing...

The timer ticking away.  Without it, Noah would never finish his math.

Around the house...

Beautiful red roses given as a gift from some friends we had over for dinner.

One of my favorite things...

Milk chocolate with almonds

A few plans for the week:

School, violin lessons, a baby shower, listen to a visiting Bible Teacher.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

Sunflowers growing at the farm.

September 18, 2011

Isn't He Wonderful?

I have so much on my heart, so much in my mind and I just want to write it down.  How full of joy my heart is, how full of hope!  That God could save me!

I was in the pit!  I was lost! I was hopeless!  Worse than that, I was a wretch...No. I AM a wretch.  But God has changed me so that I can stand in his presence. I have been forgiven of my sin.

Ha ha ha ha ha.  Ha ha ha ha ha.  The Lord has put laughter in my mouth.  He has filled my life with good things. Oh Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Better than a vacation.

Better than a remodel.

Better than a wonderful meal.

Better than a good marriage.

Better than a quiver of children.

Better than a best friend.

Better than good health.

Better than all the riches in the world.

Knowing the God of the Universe.  Knowing Him is true riches.  What does it profit a man to gain the WHOLE world and yet lose his soul?

September 12, 2011

Questions a Christian should ask

Being a Christian means making Jesus Christ Lord of my life.

It doesn't mean going to church.  It doesn't mean wearing dresses and home schooling my children.  

It is being a follower of Jesus Christ.  You know, like follow the leader.  In his steps.  Copying.  It is a unique relationship.  Like a marriage, I get a husband, he gets a bride.  He paid for me. He bought me. I belong to him.  And now...NOW what?  Now he is getting me ready.  Ready for the wedding feast. 

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Eph 5:25-27

The longer I know the Lord, the more amazing this relationship becomes.

First, Jesus was sent by God to get me ~  1John 4:10

Second, Jesus came willingly to do what God asked Him to do ~ everything his Father asked him to do.  Remember when Mary and Joseph were looking for him in the caravan? (Luke 2) Even as a child he was "about his father's business."

Then, instead of condemning me, knowing all my sin, he paid my debt.  The wages of sin is death.  I earned my wages.  That is what is owed to me.  But instead of paying what I am due, He took it and gave me a gift instead.  The gift of eternal Life. Oh Jesus, how wonderful you are!

Finally, He lives not just with me, but in me.  He is now Lord of my life.

But is he?  Really?  Do I allow him to be?

If this is His life, if I have really given it to him, then how does my life demonstrate it?

This is his face.  Does it smile or frown at the children?  Jesus said "suffer the little children to come unto me."  These are his hands.  Are they doing God's work or my own pleasure?  These are his feet.  Are they going or staying where he wants them to go? 
What about my ears?  What am I listening to...does Jesus want to hear it?
What about my eyes?  Does Jesus want to see it?

Do I do what Jesus wants only when I am "able?"  If I have enough time, strength, money?  What if He wants me to do something that seems impossible?  It may be impossible for me...but nothing is impossible for him.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.  2 Cor 12:9

Is Jesus really Lord of my life?

September 06, 2011

First September daybook

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Outside our window...

Early sunshiny morning.  It is very cool and crisp, but this afternoon promises to be warm.

I am thankful for...


Have you ever thought what a wonderful thing that is?  How it can get a person through the darkest time?

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus' blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus' name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
all other ground is sinking sand;
all other ground is sinking sand.

I am learning...

That though I have called myself a sinner in the past, I have not often believed it.  If I did, how could I be as prideful and judgemental as I've been?  All that pride came from a heart that really believed she was a pretty good person deserving of good and fair treatment - certainly not death or hell. 

From the kitchen...

a crock pot roast, since we will be out at the lake today.
I am wearing...

A knee length turquoise skirt with a white tee-shirt and flip flops.

I am creating...

a schedule for a new school year.

I am going...

to pick more strawberries today.  God is so good.

This is what we picked three days ago.  We are hoping for the same amount today.  Isn't God so good to us?  

I am remembering...

the fun weekend my children had. Mr. Santos took Noah camping and panning for gold. They had a great adventure. A day later he took all the children to the river for more.

enjoying a campfire at home with me. 
I am reading...

Fascinating Womanhood...still and I am still enjoying it and hating it at the same time. It is due back at the library today, so I guess I will have to buy it.  It is such a valuable resource for learning how to be truly feminine.

I am hoping...

to order the history and science books I finally decided's only September!

I am hearing...

my children coughing.  All three of them woke up with a cold this morning. Ginger tea on it's way! And lots of Body Balance too!
I wonder if we should stay home from the lake?  Only, when we are outdoors they seem to suffer so much less from coughing and congestion.

Around the house...

The children are busy bees doing their chores.

One of my favorite things...

A clean shed!  Now I have a great place to store all those pumpkins and potatoes from the garden.

A few plans for the week:

Iron out most of the kinks of our new schedule and enjoy every last drop of sunshine.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...

 Our pet chicken "Biscuit" about to gobble some blackberries.

 Who else is in the doll house?

September 01, 2011

Sit with me! Have some tea

Please join my dear friend Ruth and others HERE for more Tea Time

I am having...

Lemon Ginger Tea.  It is warm and soothing. 

Having it in a cobalt blue mug.  And there is more in a plain porcelain tea pot when our cups are empty.  So drink up!
I am feeling...


On my mind...

So many things - happy things, sad things, serious and tragic things.
A milestone to share... 

I gave Sophia her first pair of earrings last weekend.

They were a gift to her to celebrate being in the Bible Bee.  She memorized about 100 verses. The goal was to memorize 250 verses.  But 100 is still quite an accomplishment!  And her father and I are more than proud of her.  She ranked number 205 out of 639 children in her division. (7-10 years old)

Isn't she lovely? I am already missing her as I see her changing from a child into a young lady.


Her sister, Naomi, threw a little party for her - decorating the table and even doing all of the food herself.

 Those square things are graham crackers with waffle pieces and peanut butter.  You can have them with or without pickles.  (he he)

Thanks NeNe for a fun party!


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