Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings, and Suggestions: September 19, 2015

I had a busy Saturday morning going to the Rochester Public Market and the grocery stores getting stocked for tonight's dinner with friends.  Now, I am finally enjoying my "morning" cup of coffee with a fresh cannoli I treated myself to at Market.
Last week, I was out with my sweetheart celebrating our 21st wedding anniversary.  One of the fun things we did was visit a State Park we haven't been to since our dating years.  I am often amazed at the beauty that surrounds us in the state that most outsiders assumed is all skyscrapers, pavement, and hurried people.  (You can read about the rest of our anniversary in Thursday's post)
Now that I have all the necessary ingredients for a yummy dinner, I need to get my house in order and start cooking.  But, that can wait until after my time with you here...and after my cannoli is eaten!


"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers  in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
I Timothy 4:12

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content...and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness."
I Timothy 6:6-8,11b



Children's Book: We Are in a Book!

Just about everything from Mo Willems is brilliant. And funny.  Brilliantly funny.  I must say, at this time we do not actually own any of his books.  But, every time my younger children and I go to Barnes and Noble, we look at this guy's books.  We Are in a Book is my current favorite.  You have to read this with expression.  Warning you,'ll not get through it without stopping to laugh.  And, let's face it, laughing with your kids is necessary.

Good Reads for Adults:  One Thousand Gifts

  It's feeling and smelling like autumn here in Upstate New York.  With that comes pumpkins, corn, scarves, and attitudes of gratitude.  This book is perfect for the season.  I have read it twice, so far, and plan on cracking it open again this week.  Two words I don't use often:  Life changing.

So, we know this guy who ran 6 marathons in 6 continents in 5 days.  Don't believe me?  See it for yourself.

First, watch this.  You might cry.
Then.... this.  You will cry.
Then, watch the song again.
One of my favorites.

So, two years ago some college students released a weather balloon with a GoPro camera attached.  After several minutes soaring above the earth, it crashed into the Grand Canyon.  It was recently retrieved.  Two thoughts:
1.  Amazing footage from the stratosphere.
2.  That is one tough camera!

Well, the cannoli is gone and time is passing.  I pray all have a marvelous weekend.  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

21 years

Wednesday, September 9th was our 21st wedding anniversary.  Back when we first got married, I thought it thoroughly unromantic when couples would just go about their normal, hum-drum lives on their anniversary.  No card, no gift, and no date equated no love in my young mind.

How appalled my 21 year old self would have been to have travelled into the future from September 9, 1994 to September 9, 2015.  She would have seen the couple who got married with stars in their eyes and mush in their hearts living a seemingly ordinary, if not chaotic, life.  She would have seen her aged self sitting on the couch at 9 am with 6 of her 7 children around her each sharing what they got from their Bible reading, singing hymns and reading a Christian hero biography.  A few hours later, she would have seen her true-love walk in the door for lunch, but because her older self was involved with homeschooling, very little would have been said between the two.  Around evening, she would see the entire family get into their huge van and go to church.  She would have seen she and her beloved at the front of the church again, but not as a bride and groom exchanging vows, but standing hand in hand in the midst of their children happily singing hymns with the rest of their loved congregation.  After that, she would have seen a crowd of people back at their yard - some dishing up ice cream from cartons set out in a wagon, some around a campfire, some playing basketball in the dark, and some playing hide and go seek.  An anniversary party?  No...a get-together for some old friends who were leaving town.  She would have seen her 42 year old self across from her 45 year old best friend, not next to him.  She never would have seen a card or gift passed between the two.

How utterly unromantic!!!  How did we get this way?!

But, wait.  If my younger self had looked closer, she would have seen the soft eyes that said so much.  She would have seen the smiles shared quietly.  She may have even seen the card tucked in a book ready to give, but forgotten.

What I realized that day, was not how unromantic our life is, but how our love and romance has brought us to this point. Our  house is full of children, our hearts are full of love for each other and our Lord, our home and yard are often filled with friends we have made along the way, and the ability to share our love and joy with others - children, family and friends.  Oh, our life is far from perfect, but even in the day to day duties, trials, and exhaustion, there is love.

Our actual anniversary was spent concentrating on other while being aware of each other's presence. 

Not completely resigned to neglecting our special day, we made plans to spend the entire day together the following Saturday.  I got up and dressed, did my hair and makeup and tried to look practical enough for hiking, but cute enough for a day with my sweetheart.  He tells me he loves me with or without makeup, etc., but I think the fact that I make the effort makes him feel pretty good. ;)

How wonderful it was to get away for 16+ hours and drive and explore beautiful areas around us like we used to do in our early days.  We had a rough plan of what we were going to do but left enough flexibility in there for spontaneity.  There were times of much conversation and times of much silence and, in both, we felt very comfortable and happy.  We walked in pouring down rain wearing tacky plastic ponchos - something I never would have done while we were dating.  Yet, after 21 years of marriage, never once did I worry about what he thought because he is the one person in my life that sees beyond the wet hair, ugly attire, and blotchy makeup (as well as a lot of character flaws) and still loves me.

Saturday was spent concentrating on one another while putting others aside for a bit.  We came home after a day of sun, rain, and long drives happy we had spent it together.  So very much like our life.

Looking on it all, our love has become like that walk in the rain on Saturday.  We have many sunny days when we are looking and feeling our best and have time to really talk and enjoy one another.  However, some days, we get rained on with responisiblities, schedules, sickness, trials.  We don't look so good, we are covered in dirt (literal and figurative), and we are passing each other by.  However, we know that the sun will come out again and that we will be able to replace the nasty poncho with our dress up clothes. The hair will be combed, the face cleaned and (in my case) the makeup done. We know we will dry off and reconnect.

In short, we walk hand in hand in all the elements of life, loving each other all the while.  This is romance.

Not sure what my 21 year old bridal self would have thought, but this 42 year old wife is happy and satisfied.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings, and Suggestions: September 5, 2015

Good afternoon!!!  I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning fellowshipping around a campfire and then had some errands to run; therefore, I am writing my Saturday morning post when it is almost noon.  
The kids and I began doing a bit of school this past week.  While it wasn't a full load, I will say it was a successful week.  I am looking forward to getting into it full-swing this week.
Walking in the store today, I saw apples and apple cider at the entrance.  Even though it is so humid outside that you break a sweat just sitting, there is no doubt autumn is right around the corner.  I LOVE this time of year - hot apple cider, wagon rides, campfires, pumpkins, crunchy leaves, and beautiful colors.  Makes me truly love New York!
Right now, be blessed, edified, and smile.  I promised you some videos this week....and I came through.  Enjoy!


Keep thy heart with all diligence: for out of it are the issues of life.
Proverbs 4:23

But as teaching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another...And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you..."
I Thessalonians 4:9,11 
 (perfect verses for the beginning of our homeschool year!)



Laura Holt and her husband Stephen are missionaries to Sierra Leone - one of the most areas most plagued by ebola over the last year.  Due to the disease, Laura came home in August of 2014, but Stephen has remained in Sierra Leone ministering to those around him risking his health and life to minister to those dying physically and spiritually.  Stephen and Laura are modern-day missionary heroes and at Gather the Fragments you can read the ponderings of this dear missionary wife.  
(The blog is a portion of their entire website, so feel free to check out their ministry while you're there.)

Children's Literature: Lentil

Robert McCloskey is one of my favorite children's authors.  His drawings and stories are real enough to be believable, but fiction enough to be fun.  This is the story of a boy who couldn't carry a tune through song, but through constant practice, he mastered the harmonica.  How he used his talent to save the pride of his town will make you smile....hey, it made sour Old Sneep smile! ;)

Good reads for Adults:  Peace Like a River

My brother gave me this book and it sat on my shelf for so long I forgot it was there.  Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.  When I finished it, I gave it to my teenagers to read.  This was Leif Enger's first book and it topped the charts...and for good reason.  It's the sometimes-sweet, sometimes-sad, sometimes-unbelievable, most usually gripping tale of a seemingly ordinary family in which quiet miracles often happen in the midst of their biggest trial.  

Oh, c'mon!!!! Tell me this video doesn't make you smile!!!!  

Maybe you've seen this before?  Watch it again.

Celebrating Labor Day weekend?  Here's why.
(Interesting that today is September 5th.)

Wishing you all a very happy Labor Day weekend.  Let's squeeze all we can out of this last official weekend of summer!  See you next week!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings, and Suggestions: August 29, 2015

Well, it's the last Saturday of August and the Saturday before we begin our schooling (hopefully).  Summer break is drawing to a close and it's time to get back into the routine - including here on the blog.  I have missed my visits with you on Saturdays and hope to be back here more regularly for our Saturday morning coffee (or afternoon tea, or evening dessert - depending on our schedules).
This week, our first-born daughter began college classes and she will officially begin her Senior year on the home-front this week.  I am only teaching 6 children as our graduate continues to work his current job and look for new employment.  Some days, I feel very old.  Other days, I feel satisfied and blessed. 
It's been such a crazy summer that I have had little time to organize our school books, so that is on the agenda for today.  I am looking forward to a Saturday at home just doing much-needed household chores and being with my kids.
If you are beginning school this week, or already have, whether it's homeschool or not, know that I am saying a prayer for you & your children today.  May the following scripture, sayings and suggestions bless you on your way....


"And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
...for ye serve the Lord Christ."
Colossians 3:17, 23, 24

"Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."
Proverbes 16:3



Blog:  Reaping in Joy.  

Sweet Molly Little went home to heaven on May 24.  This has been a summer of sorrow for her family, but they continue to hold tight to God and trust Him.  I cannot tell you the blessing and encouragement her mother has been to my soul these past 14 months.  But, you can experience the blessing over at her blog, Reaping in Joy.  Read her latest post and then get to really know her heart by taking the time to read through all of her past posts throughout this week.  You'll walk away grateful for what God has given you and trusting Him just a little more.

My husband and I don't really believe dating is a good idea...not in the modern sense of the word.  We truly believe that our children ought to date only someone they intend to marry.  Casual romances and the dating games create insecurities, don't encourage healthy friendships, put on undo pressure, and cause much heartbreak unnecessarily.  But, is the conservative courtship process the best approach?  I read this article about a year ago and it still has me thinking.  Our older children are quickly approaching the age where we will need to make some decisions...Lord, help!

I have read this book several time to my young children.  In fact, I think we actually own the book - if I could just find it.  Anyway, I had never heard of the determined Louis Bleriot and his history-making flight across the English Channel until I first read this picture book about 12 years ago.  Currently, I am reading one of the first accounts of Lindbergh's historic flight and Bleriot is mentioned several times, which brought this book to mind.  It's a fun, well-written, beautifully illustrated biography that your children will enjoy over and over again.

The title basically gives you the idea.  This book is the fantastic autobiography of Lopez Lomong, Olympic runner.  How God miraculously saved him from death after being captured by rebel soldiers when he was 6 years old, how he survived the refugee camp for 10 years in Kenya and how he was chosen to come to America will amaze you.  And, that's just the beginning of how God has blessed this young man and his life.  

Ernie Pyle was a phenomenal writer.  I read one of his books earlier this summer and learned more about America's soldiers in World War II than I ever learned before through his poignant and real style.  This article about the death of an Army Captain is a prime example of Pyle's exemplary writing.  Grab a will move you to tears.

Lots of reading recommended for you today, but I suppose that is appropriate for the approaching school year.   I will be on the look-out for some cool photos and videos for next week.  Until then, may the Lord bless you abundantly!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Michael's Graduation

It's been over two months since our first-born graduated high school.  It's been three months since he finished his courses and began to work full-time.  His childhood passed quickly.  His young adulthood is moving even faster.

May 30, 2015.  The day our son, our oldest child, donned his blue cap and gown with the green and black tassel, and walked down the aisle of our church to receive his diploma.

During the graduation ceremony, each graduate has a 2-minute slideshow.  Two minutes to see my son's 17 years flash before my eyes.  He had music from the Pirates of the Caribbean - powerful, strong, victorious.  Seemed appropriate.  We then walked up on to the stage where my husband gave Michael his diploma and said a few words with me speaking after him.  Then Michael, who despises public speaking, said a few words - quite eloquently, I may add.  When he finished, we sat down.

That is when I cried.  Not hard.  Not long.  But the tears flowed.  I wasn't sad…on the contrary, I am excited that our son is growing up and becoming a fine young man.  Maybe that's why I cried.

Michael and I learned to do this thing called "home school" together.  I made so many mistakes.  I messed up a lot.  He was patient, forgiving and - though I had my doubts many a time that he would - he persevered and finished.  Often I wondered if he would come out on the other side able to stay afloat in this world.

Would he be employable?  

Would he be a hard worker?  

Would he follow God?

He's been finished for 3 months.  He's been employed that entire time.  He is liked at work and comes home exhausted after working 10-11 hours, but happy.  His co-workers know he is a Christian.  He reads his Bible before going to work and keeps on coming to church.  He's excited about our Bible conference this week.

I know it's just the beginning, but so far, we have a re-sounding "YES" to all three of my questions.  So far, his first steps into the great big world have been successful and strong.  

I failed more times than I can remember in Michael's day to day schooling.  I let too much time go before checking his work.  I yelled, often.  I thought about giving up.  I could have done more.  I could have prayed more.  Yet, when I prayed and wept before the Lord spread out on my bed totally spent and at my wit's end, God heard me.  He heard this weak, pathetic mother and He kept my son on the course.  I gave up long ago.  I knew I wouldn't be able to get my son to the end, but God had to.  Whatever Michael is today that is good, is God's work.  All I did was hand Michael to Him.

That, I believe, is why I cried on Michael's graduation day.  Because Michael finishing school, working hard, following the Lord and still loving me is a picture of God's grace. 

I am proud of my son for finishing school, even when he didn't want to.  I am proud of the man he is becoming.  I take no credit….it's all because of God and His grace.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

In Remembrance….

Today we are remember Lillian Judith Joy Robinson.  It was one year ago that she was birthed into this world…four days after her soul flew to heaven.  Rather than trying to feebly put my thoughts and heart into words, I am asking you to go over to my daughter's blog and read the beautiful letter she wrote this morning.  

Thank you to those who have prayed for the Robinson family these last 365 days.  Please continue.  They have cried much this past year, but have smiled more.  They have grieved - and continue to grieve - with grace.  We have a blessed hope, even with tears streaming down.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Scripture, Sayings and Suggestions: April 25, 2015

I am happy to say that I have been gradually recovering this week from the flu that began two weeks ago today.  I am still easily tired and coughing quite a bit during the day, but I cleaned my kitchen this morning, ran errands, and have made dinner a few times this week.  God is good!  And, to make me feel even better, while we had snow for two days this week, the weather forecast for the next 10 days seems to say that Spring is here to stay in Upstate New York. 




"And now…sad news…"The passing of Jonathan Crombie.  

Oh my goodness…Kermit lives!!!  It's the discovery of a new frog species with an uncanny resemblance to our Muppet-friend.  "It's not easy being green."

All of God's creatures have a bad day!

Now, two more children's books recommendations!

This was my favorite book growing up, so I guess the story of this little guy would make it to my Top 5 list.  (Do I have over 5 books in my Top 5 list???)  Back in the day, they called him Poky.  Today, they would say this puppy has ADD.

I absolutely LOVE this story of a bunch of kids and animals tagging along with Mr. Gumpy for a ride in his car.  I love the use of onamonapia while it begins to rain and the group has to push the car out.  My favorite word in the book: Petrol!!  Sounds so European and cultured while reading a fun book. ;) 

Now I am off to do some fun shopping on this beautiful sunny day!!  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!