Posted in Family, Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: Grateful


Start . . .


ust rambling thoughts here after a busy week . . . of the many things I am grateful for.

Grateful  my 20 year old son who lives two hours from home is feeling better after quite a bout with a flu bug and grateful for his kind landlord who mothered him and made him tea.  It sure helped this mama feel better who was too far away to help him.

Grateful for an algebra teacher that goes above and beyond helping her students, including my daughter, spending hours a week after school tutoring.

Grateful for a can of paint that dresses up a door and makes it look brand new.Granddaughter 7 mo

So very grateful that my dear friend Angie is ok, after being in a serious car accident, that totaled her car.  Though she is sore and hurting, I am grateful  I can pick up the phone and still talk to her.

Do you know how very grateful I am for the sweetest grandbaby ever . . . how my heart just loves her so?

Grateful for the Annie play our youngest two daughters were in, the first time experience, and the so many family and friends that went to see, and encourage them!Play1

Grateful for the continued signs of spring – more flowers, trees budding, baby chicks and lamb growing.

Most of all, grateful God’s renewed strength each and every morning and His continue pursuit of me!

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday: MESS


“What if we simply said, “yes,” right there in the midst of the mess? “

Start . . .


any years ago, over twenty years ago, when I had 5 children under 4.5 years of age, and the two youngest were infant twins, my mom-in-law stopped by unexpectedly.  My house is never as clean as her messiest day – even though I do not know what a messy day in her house looks like! I realized many years ago, I’d never could measure up to her meticulous house cleaning, but when she’d stop by unexpectedly, it sure would make my heart panic and I’d overheat the treadmill with how quickly I could move – kicking things under the couch, into the closet and into the stove.  I’d try to have her detained as long as possible by the entry door.  But before long, she’d see the mess . . . the baby bathtub on the floor, the oven door ajar from all the pots and pans hidden inside, unvacuumed carpets and many smeared windows.  Oh what a mess!  I am sure I heard her thoughts out loud!  But as I was apologizing and still trying to shove things away, she said to me, “I’d rather see a messy house than not giving attention and love to your children.”  With nursing twin daughters, and three boys that were into everything, there were very few dull, uninterrupted moments.

Through the years, the messes change, which not everyone can understand. My husband’s income was more than cut in half, and updates and keeping up with repairs were at a barely-get-by-minimum. Kitchen linoleum so needs to be replaced from getting torn up where it meets the other flooring. Laminate flooring has seen it’s better days of a dozen kids rolling cars, roller skates (which mom was not suppose to see) and moving furniture back and forth over throughout the years. A large bottle of shampoo went down the  carpeted stairs, how many years ago, where the suds never ended, us giving up on that mess too.  Bedrooms have been switched around so many times, trying to accommodate new a child dealing with nightmares still needing to be close to mom and dad, older children moving out and another older child needing more space.  So, for now, some messes just cannot be changed.  

I am thankful for a new can of paint that can spark things up, but it does not always cover up the heart of things that so need to be repaired – that just cannot be.  In the next ten years, I imagine our home will be almost empty, besides the kids and grandkids coming to visit.  We will have time then then to get more repairs and updating done.  Maybe by then we will downsize.  Maybe our hearts will be more into getting the mess of years of accumulations of things downsized as well.  Until then, it’s still homeschooling, teaching a child how to knit, working on scrapbooks, reading stories, trying to make ends meet, and not panicking about messes.

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Posted in Family

Dress-up Mom’s iPhone for Mother’s Day!


ow is the time to look at different craft ideas and special personalized gifts because . . . Mother’s Day is not far away!  The ideas for crafts are endless on Pinterest and the already made items, especially on Etsy are too numerous to count!  So what is one of the hot items for many moms?  How about doing something special for her iPhone?

Wouldn’t she just LOVE a personalized phone iPhone case just for her phone?  iphone caseHow about a monogram iPhone case?  There’s such a variety of ideas on this Etsy site.  I like that some can either have monogram’s on it or full names on it.  Another advantage is that it sure would be identifiable!  This is 3D printed and a full wrap design, so it goes around the sides, top and bottom of the case.  Because it is dyed into the plastic, there’s no worry of it fading, washing off, peeling or even scratching off. How many phone cases have I bought, that in just a matter of weeks has some kind of damage to it from scratching or peeling off. It sounds well worth the investment.  SO, that’s my FIRST hint for Mother’s Day!  🙂  

book caseThen my daughter made this unique iPhone Book Dock and . . . I WANT ONE . . .  ok . . . maybe two!  She teaches on her blog how to make one.  So maybe if she does not make me one, one of her siblings will follow the directions and make me one?!?! (or two?!?!?!) 

So for Mother’s Day, us moms can have some pretty well dressed phones!  🙂

Posted in 3 Words, Daily Prompt

The Daily Post: If I Had a Hammer


I had a hammer, it could be dangerous.

If I had a hammer, I might just start knocking some walls down….framed in walls that have remained unfinished for almost ten years.  When death hit, the walls were never completed. It’s an add-on room, with insulation wrappers blowing in the wind, hitting hard on hearts as the sound is a reminder.

hammerIf had a hammer, I would knock down walls, to let light in to a darkened kitchen . . .a wall that keeps the sun from shinning through.  As dishes are washed, that wall lurks there, that cannot be washed away with the suds that go down the drain.  Time cannot heal when there’s vivid reminders, daily.

If I had a hammer, I’d knock the wall of silence down. I’d show you not talking does not take thoughts from our minds. If the wall of silence was knocked down, kindness might prevail, depression could be more understood, different lifestyles could be accepted, two sides of the story accepted as truth as pain makes it’s separate paths and gossip would stop.

If I had a hammer, I’d knock down the wall of ignoring and show you the recovery path is not as low as the grief path, but there’s still pits and stones to stumble on . . . there’s still reminders . . . and there’s still days the sun just does not shine through from the walls of pain blocking it.

If I had a hammer, I’d wish you’d hold it with me, than taking it from me . . . to work together than demolishing the wrong walls that take so long to rebuild.

If I had a hammer,  I might try fixing the walls and frames, the hurts and pains, but only God knows the intentions of hearts, and can fill the voids and heal the wounds that reinfect.

IF I HAD A HAMMER Daily Post Partipant

3 Words   This blog post is participating with 3-Words. Words used are in bold.

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Posted in 3 Words, Wordless Wednesday

{Rarely} Wordless Wednesday ~ Homeschool Spring Day

Mary is not the only one who had a lamb or
took her lamb to school one day!

After our long winter, we need some change of view and some inspirations to stick to our homeschooling.  So today it was outdoors, including the baby lamb being a part of it! The lamb is very social and likes being right by the kids. By all appearance here, it may not seem they did much schoolwork, but they did get it done, eventually! I am wondering what the neighbors thought as they drove by!  SMILE!


♥ ♥ ♥

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Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – “GLUE” for Holy Week Crafts


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e have been doing some crafts this past week for this Holy Week and Resurrection Sunday and the main ingredient we have used to put some things together is GLUE.  In the past we have made Jesus’ tomb but this year, we did it a little different and more detailed.

Remember Jesus ~ made our own garden with glued rocks for tomb and used rye grass and moss, along with sticks from yard.We made Jesus’ garden in this old raised dish.  One of my daughters found moss and we also planted some rye seed which we have had to cut down a couple of times.  Then, we used a lot of hot glue and made a tomb.  It is hard to tell in the picture, but there is an opening. That big rock will be rolled in front of it, and Resurrection Sunday, it will be rolled away! The candles with Jesus carrying the cross was handmade by Ann Voskamp’s son.  

Another Pinterest idea we put together is a decoupage candle with spring flowers and sections from an old songbook with hymns torn out that are typically sung for Easter. Again, lots of glue to put this together.  From a distance, it looks very shinny and not like something that has been well glued with magazine pictures and hymn pages!

vase made into candle by doing decoupage with magazine and hymnal pages

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat.  All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

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Posted in Faith

A Faithful Garden


pring has sprung in most of the US. And while many Northerners may still have frozen ground (and even a bit of snow), people are still anxious to get their thumbs green for the first time in 2014.  Whether you’ve been able to plant year-round or you’re patiently waiting for your inaugural opportunity, this major seasonal shift is a great time to think about how you may want to decorate your garden.  Your home’s outdoor space is the first thing people see, so focus on making the garden decor welcoming, personal, and representative of who you are.

If you are a person of faith, the great outdoors is likely an important reminder of God’s presence.  Consider sprucing up your outdoor space with religious garden décor from St. Patrick’s Guild.  Religious statues make for great garden décor.  St. Francis is a perennially popular garden statue and would be a wonderful nod to your own reverence for animals.  If you are self-deprecating, you might choose a St. Jude garden statue from St. Patrick’s guild – after all, he is the patron saint of lost causes and could be a wonderful guide if you love gardening but struggle to master it!  Many St. Patrick’s Guild customers choose religious angel garden statues.  Angel décor still accentuate your spiritual side, while being more universal than saint statues.

Beyond religious garden statues, garden stepping stones from St. Patrick’s Guild are a great choice if you want spiritual decorations with a lower profile.  Religious stepping stones for the garden can pay homage to your ethnic heritage (Celtic stepping stones are the most common) or they may depict an angel or other religious figure.  St. Patrick’s Guild also offers stepping stones that can honor lost family members or friends.   You may also like to select stepping stones with a spiritual quote.  Or mix and match all types!  Customers at St. Patrick’s Guild appreciate that stepping stones also serve the important practical purpose of guiding garden visitors along a marked path – rather than through precious flowers or plants!

If you have enough garden-level décor or you prefer to fill your ground with only living things, you can still bring a level of interest and a depth of color to your outdoor space with a religious suncatcher in your window.  With the flowers, plants, and food down below and the suncatcher displayed in a nearby window, there will be a sense of comprehensiveness to your outdoor décor planning and choices.  St. Patrick’s Guild carries more than 50 spiritual suncatchers to enhance your garden décor.  The fantastic thing about suncatchers is that they also bring life and color inside.  You may want a spiritual suncatcher that features the same lovely flowers as those in your garden, or perhaps a religious quote or bible verse is more your style.

Again, rejoice, because spring has sprung!  It is a universally lovely time (if a bit muddy!) so revel in the joy by planning your garden décor so you can enjoy it for the entirety of spring, summer and fall.

About the Author:  Jessica Haas’ family has owned and operated St. Patrick’s Guild since 1949.  One of the nation’s finest purveyors of Christian and inspirational gifts! Join in the conversation on Facebook.

Posted in 3 Words, Wordless Wednesday

{Not Really A} Wordless Wednesday – Spring Lamb

“Lilly” – Our Spring Lamb

This little lamb has been getting MUCH attention! It’s a good teaching example to our children as well, with her coming this Holy Week, in relating to the Passover Lamb which was the animal the Israelites used as a sacrifice.  They had to kill a young male lamb without any blemish and put it’s blood on the tops and sides of their door frame. When God saw the lamb’s blood on the door frame, He would “pass over” that home and not take their firstborn son, which was the last plague against Pharaoh.  (Read the full story here) We no longer have to follow this ritual of sacrificing a lamb, because Jesus Himself “is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) who went willingly to allow Himself be the sacrifice as His blood was spilled on a cross for us.  


♥ ♥ ♥

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Posted in 3 Words, INSPIRE ME MONDAY

Inspire Me Monday – Spring Cleaning & Organization


 think spring is finally here OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAeven though it did not always feel like it during our kids’ spring break. We got 7 baby chicks to add to our chicken flock and  a baby lamb may soon be included. We have started some tomato plants and they are poking their little heads up. And, we have been “weeding” – in the house. We are going through clothes and kitchen cupboards and donating a lot. I got a free quart of paint to paint our front door (waiting for a warmer sunny day) and paint for another room.  Yes, I am inspired with spring! What about you?

Pin Cozi Sweepstakes!One thing that helps me with organization and to help keep on top of things, is the Cozi Calendar app. Have any of you used this?  It is great for to do lists, grocery lists and calendars.  Probably one of the best parts is you can link up with family members so you know what each other is doing. This is great for husbands and wives along with teenage kids when they have sports, and after school activities. Right now two of our girls are in a play and they have practices.  It’s a lot to keep track of – who is doing what, when and where.  On Pinterest there are such great ideas on how to use the Cozi Calendar which sure helps to inspire organization!  The neat thing is right now Cozi has a sweepstakes going on to win an Amazon gift card by by following Cozi’s Pinterest and re-pinning a pin.  What a great way to be inspired for organization and possibly win a gift card! 

My dear friend Hannah wrote such an inspiring blog post onWhat am I wearing?”  There’s so much in this blog post that spoke to my heart – from wearing depression to[choosing] to wake up each morning and thank the Lord for a new day and then slide into my side of the yoke.”  It’s a must read!

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Posted in Family

Information Article: Finding the Best Translation Service


an you imagine traveling on a business trip to another country and not being able to communicate effectively? I doubt the biggest business deal of the company’s history would take place!  A promising career advancement is not probable either.  A business deal cannot just be done online with a simple click of a button to translate and then e-mail it or fax it over to another country. However, there is hope and a wise decision can be made.

A translation service is a must and definitely something to do some serious research on. Translating is not just a matter of knowing the language but also being specialized in various fields. Documents, such as legal papers, require in depth knowledge to properly transcribe to another language. Depending on the area of business, it is important to see what the area of expertise is for the translation service.  Do they have experts for legal translations, financial, medical and/or pharmaceutical?  What about various types of technical translations such as engineering, patent, IT or website?  For some business transactions even Braille or sign language translation is something to seriously consider.

Standardized Translation Lifecycle

Besides having qualified translators, it’s also just as important to have excellent proofreaders and editors along with quality assurance, prompt translation delivery and reliable feedback and follow-up.  It is also of great importance to check into the translation services privacy and security, to make sure all transactions take place in a secure place so no business and personal information is exposed.

When a business depends on out-of-country business transactions to take place, finding the best qualifying, trustworthy translation service is a must.

Posted in Books

Celebrating World Book Day


very April 23 since 1995, people all over the world gather to promote and celebrate the joys of reading and writing literature. This is World Book Day, a yearly event organized and promoted by UNESCO to encourage reading for pleasure around the world. Though people of all ages are encouraged to participate, World Book Day is geared especially towards children and young people, encouraging them to develop a good relationship with books and good reading habits that they will then carry into adulthood.

Significance of the Date

April 23 is WORLD BOOK DAY! What are you reading? What's your favorite childhood book?

The date of April 23 was chosen because it coincides with several important dates in literary history. William Shakespeare was born on April 23 in 1564, and he died on the same date half a century later in 1616. April 23 is also the anniversary of the Miguel de Cervantes and Garcilaso de la Vega, a 17th century Spanish writer who also served as a chronicler of Spanish presence in Peru. The French novelist Maurice Duron, Colombian short story author Manuel Mejía Vallejo, and the Icelandic poet and novelist Halldór Laxness were also all born on April 23. This makes the day uniquely suited to represent writers from all over the world.

History of World Book Day

World Book Day was established in 1995. It is not an official holiday in any of the many countries in which it is celebrated, but it was conceived as a global initiative to be celebrated all around the world at the same time. UNESCO, the education and cultural outreach branch of the United Nations organized World Book Day. Each year, UNESCO chooses a city around the globe to serve as the World Book Capital City for that year. Madrid, Alexandria, New Deli, Montreal, Bagota, and Amsterdam are some of the cities chosen as past capitals. Capital Cities receive backing from UNESCO so they can put on more ambitious events.

Events Around the World

World Book Day events are generally left open for libraries, schools, and community organizations to put together themselves. Book fairs are common, as are costume contests where children dress as their favorite literary characters. A few cities host more ambitious annual events to celebrate their own literary traditions. In Spain, many cities organize public  “readathons” of the full text of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote. This is an ambitious undertaking, as the full text of the novel takes around two days of continual reading to complete. The Don Quixote Prize for Spanish literature is also awarded on this day. Similarly, pubs and other public spots in Ireland hold readings of James Joyce’s Ulysses, and people organize Ulysses tours, where participants visit all the locations around Dublin that are mentioned in the novel. In the United Kingdom, World Book Day is celebrated with the publication of a series of £1 books for children. These inexpensive books include many of the most popular titles for kids and make booksets for classrooms more easily accessible for schoolchildren in the country.

With so many distractions in modern life, it is easy to forget the pleasure of immersing yourself in a good book. World Book Day serves as an important reminder of the joy of reading.

Presented By Book Pal

Posted in Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday ~ PAINT ~ (& braggin’ mama time!)


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his week’s word, PAINT, I am going to use as my “braggin’ mama update”!  🙂  With having children that are great artists, I could brag just about every day with something new to show off.  At the beginning of the week, to give my bored daughter (14) something to do while she is on spring break, I told her I really wanted her to paint me something for our kitchen wall . . .  something springy, especially since it has seemed forever to get spring to arrive here! In a matter of a few hours, she blessed me with this painting:

Spring Bunch Painting

She has another floral painting she is working on too!  

My 22 year old daughter used acrylic paints to make this painting as a gift for me.  It’s of an old tractor that died in our backyard and stayed for years, parked under an apple tree.


But now this older daughter and her husband have bought a house and are transforming it. What wonders paint can do!  Look at these cupboards and walls!


These painting projects have gotten me motivated.  I hope to soon paint our front door and then go from there!  🙂

. . . Finish

fiveWe write for five minutes flat. 
All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).

No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar,
font, or punctuation.

Unscripted. Unedited. Real.


Throwback Thursday


ometimes when we go through rough times, it is easy to focus on all the bad of it.  Yesterday our 17 year old daughter had her bi-yearly check-up and despite all she has had to go through with three open heart surgeries, she is an amazing testament of how God brings the good out of the bad. When doctors at first said she may not make it a week, a month . . .  if she makes it to her first birthday, etc.  Now she is doing amazingly well.  We are so very thankful.

So Throwback Thursday from 2001 –
four years after her first two open heart surgeries.

Jessica 2001 2 001a

Jessica 2014

3 Words