Come out to my garden with me. Mind the mud, we have had a lot of rain lately.
Today I am aerating around my plants a bit. The rain has packed the soil down considerably.
Aerating is basically puncturing the soil with spikes to break up the compacted soil to help the roots of plants better draw in the water and nutrients they need, as well as to encourage roots to go deeper and spread out, and by doing so making the plant grow even bigger and be more fruitful.
In the book of Acts (15:36-16:5), we are told God allowed the ministry of Paul and Barnabas to be divided. As a result Paul continued ministering with Silas and brought in Timothy. They went one way and the ministry God was using Barnabas in went another, allowing each minister to grow and spread roots in different directions.
Often we get nice and comfy where we are and God breaks things up because He knows we are creatures of comfort. We like to feel settled and cozy where we are.
Moving away from the area I grew up in, leaving my church, all my friends and the ministries I was a part of, to a place more than an hour (and what seems like a world) away has been challenging, but has allowed and encouraged me to grow in the Lord. To rely on Him more fully. To turn to Him in prayer more.
I have not post as much as I wanted to this summer. Life has been busy. Between chasing two toddlers (because L is not a baby anymore….sniff, sniff) and trying to do stuff around the house, I have had little time to do much else. I am not going to worry with a picture for this post, I do not think it is very ‘pinnable’.
This is pretty much just an update post for now. I hope to get a couple of other posts up here this week, but we will see. It’s already Wednesday.
We took part in a great choir homecoming celebrating the 20+ years of excellence in ministry of the choir director who ruined most other choirs for me (seriously, he demanded a level of excellence that I have not seen since). What a legacy he has left (and not just the whole ruining other choirs for people). Over 100 current and former choir members took part (not counting the drama participants who returned), It was nice to see so many old friends.
Big news: we have a new freezer and a new (to us) vehicle with air conditioning.
The freezer we got on sale after ours had been struggling for a while. The new one is a chest freezer, which I am still not sure about. There is a lot more room without the shelves, and the energy savings are supposed to be big, but I lost my casserole dish storage….
The vehicle is an SUV instead of a van like we had planned on, but it meets all of our criteria we set out before we left. B is already in love with it. On a recent trip to the pool (after having the car all of three days), he freaked out as we were leaving because someone else in a similar car was driving away (and blocking the view) of our car. He was much relieved to see our car was still there!
It has been hot here the last few weeks. Yesterday and Monday we had heat advisories.
Story time is almost over for the summer.
We have fail miserably at the Strong Family Challenge the last couple of weeks. Though, since we do a lot of this stuff anyway, I do not feel too badly about it. Perhaps we will just pick up where we left off, or do the challenges after we finish the rest.
The littles are up, it’s breakfast time.
Life has been crazy, as it is want to do, so I did not get to post about the last couple of weeks of the challenge.
These two I feel like, as with most of the challenges thus far, we didn’t have to do anything too out of the ordinary. I hope this means we are building s pretty strong family already!
Week 4: Creating or cooking
Create a masterpiece in the kitchen or a family project. You’ll love feeling accomplished together!
We do a lot of projects, and I have a bunch of other crafty things planned for once I get the house in hand. We cook about 98% of our food from scratch, and I try to ‘talk’ the kids through it. Simply narrating what I am doing and why. For this week we made popcorn on the stove (something I have never had much success at!). We planned to watch a movie, so of course we needed popcorn!
The kids loved helping to dump the oil and kernels into the pot. Once they are older they can help shake the pot.
I am trying to make memories in the kitchen, and hopefully they will learn to cook as well! I want to start having them help more in the kitchen. We can use our table to mix things up and they can help measure and pour. They already like to play with a spare pot and spoon while I am cooking supper.
Week 5: Faith
Building a strong spiritual foundation in your child is a beautiful legacy, so this week be intentional about guiding your children spiritually.
This is something I have been passionate about for a long time. Since before kids. Before marriage actually!
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Some of the things we do:
Pray, a lot (you can read more about that in this post).
Read Scriptures together daily. I try to talk about it with them, at 1 and 2 years old it’s a bit rough sometimes, but the important thing is trying.
Make the most of every opportunity. There are so many teachable moments with kids. I daily pray that God would open my eyes to them and give me the words to say to make the most of them.
I plan to write more on Faith at Home in the future.
So, that is all on the challenges for now.
I am really enjoying the Good Morning Girls Study of Proverbs. I want to try to post about that this week, and there are a few other posts I have planned for this week, but we’ll see how it goes. I have a lot I need to do around the house, so I’ll only be writing on breaks and in bits of downtime.
Not directly related to the Strong Family Challenge, but Independence Day was lots of fun. We went to a local fireworks show. There is a mount we sit on, and Daddy tried to teach the kids to roll down the hill. They still preferred to run up and down it! The fireworks were great. there was a storm coming in, so the last bit of the show was sped up, we thought it was the finally, but they had just sped everything up because the finally was sped up as well, and quite over the top. I love fireworks.
I also want to pass along a sense of patriotism to our kids.
That’s just about it for now, I need to get diapers changed and breakfast done.
I have been blessed to take several lovely vacations, though I think my favorite, or the best yet, has been the trip I took with my husband to Europe in 2012.
I was going to pull excerpts from my vacation journal, but it’s 40+ pages typed out, and my “excerpts” ended up around 2500 words… and that was only half of it! But I have decided to go through and post some of it in bits and pieces sometime soon. For now, here are some highlights in a few words, with photos. I may have gone crazy with the photos…..
We got to be in three places at once at Drielandenpunt, where the borders of The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium meet.
We got to go to a Lindts Chocolate Outlet (They had full sized shopping buggies! We just fill a handbasket…).
We got into “the hiding place” at the Corrie Ten Boom house/museum. What an amazing experience. Just to be able to learn about Corrie and drink in the history.
The Keukenhof was amazing. So many flowers and fun things to see. Truly beautiful. We spent a good part of the day there and did not get to see everything!
We toured some fairly fairy-tale-esque castles in Germany.
Waffles, Lace, Chocolate, Frites and amazing architecture in Brussels.
We had a day off before we went to Budapest, Hungary to meet my sweet friend, Magdi who gave us a whirlwind tour of her beautiful home town. We saw almost everything there is to see in Budapest thanks to our lovely guide. It was an amazing city and I hope to go back one day to see more of it and take more time to drink in the history and architecture.
Next we headed to Paris, France. Oh. My. Word. Again, much to see, and while we got to see a lot of it, I would love to go back (I could honestly spend about a week in the Louvre alone!) and see more. Notre Dame, Le Sacre Coeur, The Eiffel Tower (which sparkles every 45 minutes or so at night), The Statue of Liberty (yes, you read that right) and the Louvre were the major sights we saw. I’m sure I am missing some, but hey…
Trying to see ‘her’ was a pain, not really a line, just a very packed in mass of people trying to get closer. Not very enjoyable viewing, however, if you walk across the hall from the room the Mona Lisa is in, you can stare all day at another, just as nice, if not prettier painting by DaVinci. Because no one is looking at it….yeah, I know. Silly.
Okay, so that is a tiny bit about my best vacation. I will have to post more photos from this trip sometime, maybe when I put up my trip journal I’ll link to the album. (If you’d really like to see a bunch of architectural details and more flowers and more art from the Louvre, let me know and I may go ahead and link to them in this post in a bit…)