Monday, September 21, 2009

1000 Gifts: A new beginning

It was a crazy morning.  It started out great... with my quiet time - praying over my family, my husband, our schooling, and just our day in general, then Bible study... finishing up Hebrews chapter 12 ... ironically, (but not so), being encouraged by keeping up with the life race that I'm running... and then life started.  I yelled, really yelled, lost my temper at one of my boys.  Immediately, my tears flowed. Warm streams down my face and the echoing of my words rang in my ears over and over.  It wouldn't stop.  I asked for his forgiveness - but still felt/feel so defeated - remembering that I am sowing seeds that will be producing more than I have sown.  I have been granted forgiveness - however, the seeds are still sown. I am weak in my defeated state.  The easy thing would be to wallow in self-pity and acknowledge my weakness over and over, however, we are called to claim the strength provided only by Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ to accomplish what He has set before us.  It is not of my strength that I can do anything... only by His alone... for when I am weak, then am I strong. What is the best way to remember that I am weak and He is strong?   To praise Him of course... and be thankful for His best gifts. To be reminded regularly that nothing that I have comes from my hand.

I set out on a new journey, one of thankfulness. Praising my Father for His works, gifts, and mercies toward me.  Praising Him for the little things in everyday... where I notice His hand, molding, crafting, and shaping me and those I love.  Here I begin my journey of multitude Monday... posting 1000 gifts chronicled in photo and word... to remember all that I have, for which I am truly grateful!

Thanks Ann and Heather - for encouraging me to remember my Multitude of blessings.

0001.   The gift of Scripture, living and active, sharper than any two-edge sword.


the last few blooms of summer hanging on


0003.  a boy and his rendering of familiar bridge tunnels


0004.  an historic red barn withstanding time


0005.  a fun loving mate who blesses me daily with his laugh


0006.  the reckless abandoned of a 2 1/2 year old boy - ready to conquer anything

0007.  the anticipation of finding some treasure unseen by grown up eyes


0008.  an opportunity to see things slightly differently


0009.  a few moments of peace and quiet

0010.  the kindred spirit of a sweet sister

and the list goes on.....


Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Word from David Jeremiah

Giant-Sized Obstacles: Moses and the Sea Way
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.
Hebrews 11:29

Recommended Reading
James 1:16-20

When Moses found himself trapped between Pharaoh and the Sea, it was the Lord who had led him there. For reasons known only to Himself, God led the Israelites step-by-step into a cul-de-sac where they were suddenly facing Giant Fear. They couldn't get out of their problem, but they could rise above their fears and flex their muscles of faith.
Whenever we find ourselves facing the same giant in a cul-de-sac, our first reaction may be a surge of panic; but we must "stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish" (Exodus 14:13). Realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons known for now only to Himself. The same God who led you in will lead you out. He allows our faith to be tried. Our trials may seem more than we can bear; but Christ can bear them. When we can't fight for ourselves, the battle belongs to Him; and when we can't swim, He will part the waters.

The above devotion is taken straight from David Jeremiah's daily devotional.  You can subscribe to it online at

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A child of the ONE

Yesterday I was having one of THOSE days.  You know the kind... just kind of down in the dumps, not feeling good about myself, wishing I was as talented as (fill in the blank) days.  During a quick chat with my sister I even shed a few tears during my pity party.  Just feeling lost I pushed on through my day until the next activity took over, and I was swept up in the preparation for it.  I had all but pushed the ideas and feelings back into my head - in an attempt to not confront them.  You know, push them down for a while until the feelings rear their ugly heads once again. 

This morning in my quiet time God gently reminded me how precious I am to Him.  It astonished me that He would speak to me so readily.  The GOD of the UNIVERSE... you know, the ONE who created EVERYTHING with a spoken word... except for man whom He formed with His own hands.  The ONE who parted the Red Sea to let His children walk across on dry ground. The ONE who enabled a shepherd boy to slay a giant with one stone from a riverbed. The ONE who saved Noah and his family because of their faithfulness.  The ONE who promised a child to a couple well advanced in years and it came to pass in Isaac. The ONE who sent His only Son into the world as an infant, to lead a perfect life and be the sacrifice for this one and so many others that I might have relationship with the ONE.  I am precious to Him.  He desires relationship with me. 

One of my most recent Bible memory verses was:
How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God!  How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.     Ps 139:17-18.

Obviously, I may need to take to heart and meditate on that one a little more. :)

Thank You God, that You desire a relationship with me.  I am not worthy, but Jesus is.  It is through Him that I come before You.  Help me to remember that I am precious in Your sight, and that is the only thing that is important.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Field Trip - Chippokes Historic Farm and Plantation

On Thursday we packed the van and took off early for a field trip to Chippokes Historic Farm and Plantation. The morning was rainy.  The drops fell steadily the entire drive up to Surry, making me unsure of my choice for the day.  However, when we got there the rain had ceased falling making it the perfect day... the rains kept crowds away so the groups were small... perfect for our first exclusively homeschool field trip.

Chippokes Historic Farm and Plantation is the third oldest English settled plantation in the country and the oldest working farm in the nation.  It's tucked away off major roads, about an hour away from home, but well worth the drive.

Upon arrival we parked in a separate area down the road from the actual center.  Lining the gravel road were tractors of all kinds from all eras.  A tractor pulling a trailor awaited us for a ride to the center.  We rode down the gravel road, circled the old sawmill that is still in use, and then made our way to start our field trip. 
The theme of the day: Chores on the Farm a hundred years ago.  Kids had the opportunity to participate in the chores that kids were expected to do on the farm.  Our first in the rotation was caring for the animals.  Our group met over by the pen which included a donkey named Jack, several sheep, and goats with their kids.  The kids were able to stand on an elevated stand that allowed them the ability to see the animals and touch them over the split rail fence.  Chops and Monkey were right up front as they were the smallest in the group.  Chopsy asked a few questions regarding anatomy... embarrassing for momma... oh well... the gal must have known it was coming because she answered the question and kept rolling with the information. You gotta love my 2 year old.  Sheesh!

Station number two was hopping back onto the tractor and taking a riding tour of the grounds.  We rode up to see the mansion which included a separate building for the kitchen as was customary for that time.   We saw the barn and silo, a small vegetable garden with a fence made from long sticks and branches woven together.  Another farm house sat on the property along the banks of the river, while cattle grazed in a nearby field.  The tractor brought us back to the parking lot and ready for our third station. 

Caring for the chickens was our third session.  The guy who led this session was great.  He explained to the kids that he woke up and was at the farm at 4 am to feed the chickens and collect the eggs.  The boys both had an opportunity to feed the chickens, and then Monkey followed the teacher, Rudy, into the hen house to gather eggs with the rest of the kids.  All of the kids gathered eggs, placed them in a basket,  and then washed their eggs in soap and water.   Rudy talked about the differences of fresh eggs from a farm verses eggs from the grocery store.  Monkey loved it.

The bell rang signaling the change of session, and we were off to learn about kitchens 100 years ago.  We learned that ovens and stoves didn't have knobs, but the wood burning heated the top. The amount of heat you needed determined where you placed your pots or kettles on the stove.  We made butter from cream by turning a butter churn after seeing many other tools that were used in the kitchen in years past.  At the end of the entire day we tasted the butter that we made spread on saltines.  Yummy!

Monkey's favorite session was on Old Timey Games.  A park ranger explained that children not only had chores that they were required to do, but also had time to play.  Even back then parents knew that play was a part of learning.   She showed us games like marbles, cup and ball, a die made from horn, and also a game called graces.  She showed us an actual hornbook that was made from a horn and explained that it was passed down to younger children after the lessons were memorized. 
The students split up into groups of two and played graces after learning about it. We learned that it was improper for boys to play this game, but they were permitted to play if a girl was playing with them.  The object was to take your knitting needs, cross them inside your embroidery hoop, and then fling the hoop into the air.  Your partner's job was to catch the hoop with her needles.  Monkey partnered up with a really sweet girl, I would guess she was about 11 or 12 years old.  She was really good with him.  He had a blast. 

Lastly, Monkey ran his first relay race.  Dan, our instructor, mentioned it would not be uncommon for a child to fetch water from the well as soon as they were strong enough to carry a bucket.  So, the kids participated in a water relay, fetching water from one tub and pouring it into a bucket that sat in front of each team.  They ran the relay 3 times.   What fun!


And what day would be complete without a sweet treat from the Farm Store? 
We headed back to the van to eat our picnic lunch (thanks Daddy!) and had some time to run around, explore the machines, and just enjoy the day.  We can't wait to go back again to learn more! 
As we pulled away the rains came back.  We listened to our book on ipod.  Chopsy snoozed. And we headed back to our modern comforts of home. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Last week during school we learned about flowers in science. The curriculum material suggested I buy a rose and have "the student take it apart." We did better than that. We live in a city with a great botanical garden.. or beetanical garden - as Chopsy likes to call it. What's even better is that we have a free membership because my mother-in-law works there.

Friday morning I packed a picnic lunch, ran some errands, and then by 11 we were at the gardens to investigate. We gazed at flowers and insects doing just what God had ordained them to do. Bumble bees danced from flower to flower not even noticing our presence. Butterflies floated on the warm summer breeze. A butterfly mistook my Monkey for a flower in the Butterfly Garden, landing on him for just a few moments and then fluttering away. There were caterpillars, eggs, butterflies galore there. We walked all around the garden until our tummies grumbled with hunger for some yummy treats. After playing in the children's garden under the fountains we headed to the parking lot to change clothes and then sit on the hill to watch the planes take off from the local airport while enjoying our favorite lunches. Flowers, water play, bugs, lunches, watching planes take off, and just the opportunity to spend time with my two precious blessings! What could be better!

Monkey and Chops crossing the bridge into the garden.

What boy can resist throwing rocks into a fountain?

A bumble bee busy at work

Even the sky displayed God's splendor

A secret resting place under a huge Magnolia tree. Monkey found it.
It was unseen from the walk - just goes to show it pays to explore!

Playing in the fountains at the children's garden.


Careful steps!

And one last look...until the next time.