March 31, 2012

On the Menu (classic post)

For those days when I don't know what to feed my family it is good to remember what Jesus ate:

In the meanwhile his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 

John 4:31-34

(photo from google images)

March 28, 2012

Wondering Wednesday

I wonder...

What I should give my oldest daughter for her birthday? She will be 11 this weekend. 
I want to give her the world.

I wonder...

How and where I lost my camera? I don't think Mr. Santos will let me get another.

I wonder...

How my family is doing? I have a nephew I have never met (on Mr. Santos' side), My aunt is recovering from a stroke, I haven't talked to my uncles since Christmas and of course my mom and Don and sisters and their families...Everyone so far away.  
With all the technology it is still time and face to face that truly brings people together.

I wonder...

If I should buy the new furniture I want...or not?  I keep thinking of  the verse "I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

But then I look at my worn, tattered furniture and the verse flies out the window.  Temptations always around every corner. Lord, help me to do YOUR will.

I wonder...

What Mr. Santos would like for dinner tonight? Fish tacos? Yes, that is what I will make.

I wonder...

How my garden will fare this year?  I plan on putting most of my flowers in pots this year. Last year they were smothered out by all the pumpkin vines.

I wonder...

When the daffodils at the farm will finally bloom?  

I wonder...

How Easter Sunday will be? The girls - My girls, Sophia and Naomi - are going to be baptized that day. I just don't know what to think or do about this. I think I will give them a small gift to commemorate the day.

I wonder...

What sort of gift would be good? Maybe a piece of jewelry or a handkerchief? Any ideas?

I wonder...

So often about my purpose.  What am I doing with my life? Am I making any difference in the world? Does my life glorify God?  Am I doing what He created me for?

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, 
which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

I wonder...

If these children I have been entrusted with are being schooled properly?
Loved enough?

I wonder...

Why there is so much division in the church?  People are sinners.  People are unique.  
Why can't we just get along? 

I wonder...

Does anyone read this blog?

I wonder...

What are you wondering about?

March 26, 2012

Thank you  ~Michele~  for updating our blog.

I really needed a breath of Spring!  We are looking to another week of rain again and it is a nice change for a while.  God bless you for your kindness to The Santos Times.

photo by Sophia, taken last summer.

I can just smell the heat with this picture!

March 24, 2012

Again?! Please Stop Growing!

No sunshine today, grey rainless clouds again, but today is Naomi's birthday! So, out comes the new tablecloth, a happy sea foam green with big, bold, fuchsia hydrangeas.

A bouncy balloon is tied to the happy nine-year old's chair. The table is set with breakfast:  A pot of coffee for Mr. Santos, A pot of tea for me, roasted potatoes, golden yellow scrambled eggs (the last of Penny's), hot steaming beans seasoned with garlic and cumin, warm tortillas and buttered toast, wedges of sweet oranges and crunchy apples.

The blackboard is divided into four cheerful squares, a message from one member of the Times lovingly shared in each one.

A prayer of Thanksgiving is offered for our middle skittle, Naomi, a.k.a., Naomi Baloney.

Mom and Dad are the only ones who eat.  Naomi is busy opening all the handmade cards, many of which have secret messages to decipher - no time for food.  Noah and Sophia are busy with, "What does is say? or "Guess what it means!"  Giggles, Wow!, Cool!


A coveted bandana from brother.

A finger puppet kit from sister.

A yodeling, talking, singing "Jessie" doll  (Toy Story) from Mom and Dad. (some coloring books thrown in for good measure)

Yippees! all around, then they are off to play:

Naomi to yodel and skip with "Jessie", Noah to bounce and jump with the balloon, Sophia to color in the books.

I am glad to see their childlike innocence is still to be enjoyed.  So often these days, children much younger are bored with toys that require imagination.

Thankful, so thankful for this little family.

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. 
Psalm 127:3-5

For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 
Psalm 139:13-14

March 23, 2012

There they Go!

My latin Indiana Jones leading the pack, machete in hand.

Beanie caps on, boots tramping through the woods.  Going on a bear hunt...or a coyote hunt, or a fox hunt.  Going to hunt whatever it was that took and killed our beloved Penny.  Our Penny, who laid a beautiful brown egg for me every morning.

Well, such is the life of chickens.  This is, however, our first loss and the children of the Times are devastated. What else can you do but go on a hunt?

The perfect pancakes I made this morning are forgotten.  I tell ya, I never make perfect pancakes.  I remind them about those wonderful buttery maple treats we enjoyed to try and cheer them up.  They look at me as if I don't get it.

I apologize.  The hunt continues.

March 22, 2012

Tea Time

I am having...

Mandarin Orange Green Tea

(and a small handful of chocolate chips)

I am feeling...

Disorganized. Mr. Santos has been home for a few days and it throws me totally off schedule.  I am also feeling happy.

On my mind...

My family. I love them. I think about them all the time. I miss them.

Tonight, just the Santos five watched a bunch of our favorite performances on the internet.  Some piano/cello concerts, some flamenco guitar, some Cuban favorites.  It was a very enjoyable and peaceful evening at home.

A quote to share...

“Christ is building His kingdom with earth's broken things. Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken, in building their kingdoms; but God is the God of the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth's broken lives, and there is no bruised reed that Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth's saddest failure up to heaven's glory.”

― J.R. Miller

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

March 17, 2012

Classic Post

This is a re-post from last Summer.

I came across it this afternoon and I couldn't believe I wrote it.

Every incident today has been telling me what I am "wearing" (which is NOT pretty).  My response? 
"Uh, No, you are wrong. I am not wearing that!"

Then, I came across this post and WAMMO! Bang! I slammed right into a mirror and saw the truth.

I'm going now...

 to change into something more...

worthy.  God help me.


What are you wearing today?  Would you believe that some of us don't know what we are wearing until someone tells us - shows us?  How do they tell us what we are wearing?  Well...

They fail.


They hurt us.


They say something that we don't want to hear.


We can see what we are wearing.

We are wearing the old man ~ lies, anger, bitterness, malice, evil speakings, envies.

God tells us to put it OFF. (colossians 3)

And put ON the new man ~ bowels of mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering, forgiveness.

He also tells us to put ON ~ above all else ~ charity.

What is charity?  Many, many things. But the first thing is patient.  Charity (love) is patient.  That means it suffers long.  It is long-suffering. (1 Cor 13)

"But I can't be patient!  I've had it up to here!  I can't go on.  I can't take it anymore.  I just need a break!"

You are right. Apart from God, you can do nothing.  But he will give you strength.

"Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;" Colossians 1:11

Look closely at the verse.  What kind of strength?  With all might.  How?  According to his glorious power.  Not your power.  Not the power of positive thinking or deep breathing.  The glorious power of GOD.  For what purpose?  Unto all patience and long-suffering.  God will give you strength to be patient.  To wait.  To suffer if need be (for a long time).  And He will help you to do it joyfully ~ with joyfulness.  You will not wait sadly.  You will not wait angrily.  You will be patient full of JOY.

What are you wearing today?

March 15, 2012

Tea Time and then off to the Laundromat

I am having...

Green tea with a bowl of hot oatmeal.

I'm using my new cup and saucer given as a gift from my Secret Sister.
I like it because it is BIG and holds a lot of tea.

I am feeling...

Amused.  I had several dreams last night about some issues that were weighing heavily on my heart.
In my dreams, everything was "working out" (as only in the dream world they can) but in such a comical way. In fact, I woke myself up with laughing.  I am amused because I see those dreams as a little gift from my Heavenly Father.  He is teaching me to trust him and to give him all my fears and worries.

On my mind...

The heavy rain today.  We are going to the laundry with a big load of every blanket, pillow and sheet in the house.  I was not looking forward to getting in and out of the rain (and mud) with my laundry.
But God, in His Mercy, has allowed the rain to let up.  I better get moving!

He is so kind to me.

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, 
And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Psalm 34:18

A quote to share...

"The more we come to our heavenly position the more we find it impossible to allow man-made systems, which divide believers into groups, to operate and govern our lives." T. Austin-Sparks

Please join my friend Ruth and others here for Tea Time

March 13, 2012

Lessons from Pinnochio

The other day the Santos children watched Pinnochio for the first time.  It's amazing, when we are keeping watch, how often we are able to see beautiful applications of God's Word everywhere.

~Lesson one~

Gepetto's wish came true. 

It reminded us of the kindness of God and His promise...

Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

~Lesson two~

Pinnochio was not left to figure out right and wrong on his own.  
He was given a conscience, Jiminy Crickett.

As such, God gives us a conscience and also His creation that we would know the truth.

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. Romans 1:19

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, 
even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Romans 1:20

~Lesson three~

Gepetto sends his beloved Pinnochio away ~ without any protection.  He did not train him in the way he should go. He just sent him out, vulnerable.  Many parents do this unwittingly by sending their children to public school.  Here, in the United States, God is not allowed in the public school, but his enemies are.

The Bible tells us, Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons; Deut 4:9

How can a child keep his or her soul diligently?  They can't. That is why they have parents and why God commands the children to obey their parents.

Train up a child in the way he should go: 
and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Uh, Oh.  Here comes trouble!

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

When I recited those verses to the children they protested.  "But Mom! He tried to get away! Look, they just hooked him with their umbrella and picked him up.  He was kidnapped!"

This is why parents need to be there, to be on guard and to protect.  What are the major influences in your child's life? What kind of music do they listen to?  What kinds of movies do they watch?  Who are their friends?  Do their friends love the Lord?

~Lesson four~

There are consequences for our choices.

"A lie keeps growing and growing until it's as plain as the nose on your face." ~ the blue fairy

For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; 
neither hid, that shall not be known. Luke 12:2

~Lesson five~

God is merciful. He forgives.

Pinnochio needed help.  He was trapped and all his sin was revealed and hindering him.  The blue fairy returned Pinnochio's nose to normal and released him from the cage.  He made foolish choices, but he was saved!  And so, God saves us!

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is 
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23

~Lesson six~

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Romans 6:1-2

Oh No! Pinnochio went again with the ungodly,
doing all manner of wicked and foolish things.  Eventually, he turned into his true character.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, Romans 1:22
Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness 1:24
God gave them up unto vile affections: 1:26
God gave them over to a reprobate mind, 1:28

Poor Pinnochio.  Would he really repent this time? 
Would he choose his father over the pleasures of the world?

Pinnochio becomes a REAL boy! Yeah! 

~ Lesson seven~

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, 
Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: 
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Cor 5:17


And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:    And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  
Deut 6:5-7

(all photos are from Google images - Disney)

March 10, 2012

Happy Saturday - Have some Cake!

I lost my camera. How it could get lost in a tiny 900 sq ft. home with very few hiding places is beyond me. The Lord knows where it is and I trust he will show me soon.

Until then, I am a little sad that I can't show you the picture of...

Warm spotlights shining on a happy row of  7 and 8 year old children.  They smile broadly in their matching black t-shirts, boys with slicked back hair and girls wearing braids. Some with tongues reaching for an ear, they play their violins, squeaking and creaking in unison simple songs like "Mary had a little lamb" or "Hot cross buns."  What sweet bows they made to the applause of proud parents.

Nor can I show you a picture of the yummy cake we enjoyed this afternoon with a pot of tea.  But, I can share the recipe!  I owe this recipe to my dear dear friend, Mrs. R.  I don't know how many times I have made this since she introduced it.  If you like nuts and caramel, you will enjoy this easy cake.

(not my photo, click for credit and another recipe)

2 cups flour
(I'm sure that any flour would work. I use fresh ground wheat)
2 cups sugar
(I usually cut the sugar to 1 and 1/2 cups. Also, I sometimes mix white/brown sugar)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 small cans of mandarin oranges (drained)
(I have used one large can, 15 oz. of mandarins, peaches, or pears - NOT drained with good results)

Mix all ingredients together in one large bowl.  Be sure to break up the fruit so that all the moisture is released.  Pour batter into a greased/floured 9x13 baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees til toothpick comes out clean, 20-30 minutes depending on your oven.

In a small saucepan bring to a boil while stirring constantly

Brown sugar
cream (or milk or half/half)

Pour this over entire cake while it is still hot.  This is a very sweet and rich cake.  We enjoy it with a cup of hot green tea or a glass of raw milk.  QUITE a treat!  Mr. Santos enjoys it with coffee.

March 09, 2012

Diminishing numbers

The children were doing their math this morning.  Little did I know that this simple thing would cause bells to ring, sun to shine, doors to open.

I leaned over her shoulder to check her work.  The exercise was to put several random numbers in order beginning with the least and continuing with the greatest.  That's when it happened.  Suddenly, the verses in the Bible that say...

"And, behold, there are last which shall be first, 
and there are first which shall be last."
Matt 20:16

became clear to me.

I saw myself as number 465,329,752 and I needed to get down to number 1 in order to get to the top.  That meant I would have to subtract - subtract a whole lot - to get down to number 1.

What could I give up?

Everything. Every selfish thing or motive in my life.  The biggest piece. Being right all the time. My own comforts for the comforts of others.  Even my reputation for the sake of the gospel.  I needed to get rid of all these excess "numbers", trusting that this world is not my home, but seeking first the Kingdom of God.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: 
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
Matt 16:25

There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: 
there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. 
Proverbs 13:7

Think about it.

March 06, 2012

A Beautiful Day!

(click on the icon for more daybook fun)


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Outside our window...

Bright sunshine and Snow melting off the tall pines.

Yesterday was a bright Spring-like day. The children played all day outside. It was quite a surprise to wake up to snow this morning.  It will melt by this afternoon.

I am thankful...

for the sunshine. It's happy reflection off the snow brightens this little cottage.

I am wearing...

Light blue cotton pants with a matching t-shirt and a thick navy sweater. These are my "pj's".  I have messy chores and exercising on the to do list.  Plus, they are so cozy on this quiet day at home.

From the kitchen...

I burned breakfast.  Thankfully, we weren't in a hurry, so I just dumped it out and started over.

But I did feel bad for wasting food because I was distracted with other things.

eggs, ham and havarti on a croissant with orange wedges and tea.

Sophia said about such a breakfast, "Is it someone's birthday?"

I am learning...

that the flesh will always want to be pleased and it just gets worse as I get older.  As long as I am breathing I will crave the foods I shouldn't eat, want to stay in bed on a cold day, etc.  I cannot think that one day this body will not want to be pleased because I have arrived spiritually.  That will only happen when I see Jesus and He changes me.

You don't have a soul. You are a soul.  You have a body. ~ C.S. Lewis

A quote to share...

"The realm of God is not going to be refined self, reformed self, or any kind of patching up of self. It is going to be none of self, and ALL of Christ." - T. Austin-Sparks

I am creating...

A blog post about Pinocchio

I am going...

to drop off our library books today

I am remembering...

The flirtatious call I got from Mr. Santos yesterday.

Spring was in the air, I guess.  I am still smiling from his remarks.

I am reading...

This and that with the children, my Bible, The Family by J.R. Miller, and my favorite blogs.

I am hoping...

for healing. (still)  God knows the details.

Around the house...

Bright sunshine illuminating all the dust.  The vacuum ready to suck up winter cobwebs.  A stack of pots and pans in the dining room.  They have been removed from the cupboard to make way for a mouse trap. YIKES!

One of my favorite things...

A good laugh...the kind that brings tears.

Evidence that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

A few plans for the week:

Ice Skating!
1st Violin Concert!
Ladies Bible Study! (one of my favorite monthly events)

Hugs and kisses all around for the Santos Times.

The recent tornadoes another reminder that life (and it's simple pleasures and predictability) is short.

Here is a picture thought to share...

A picture Sophia took in our back yard.  Snow melting on the pines this morning.


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