December 31, 2011

Something New for New Year's Even

My beloved husband really likes cheesecake.
He doesn't get to have it very often as we seldom order dessert when we are out to eat and the only person to ever bake cheesecake for him is my mother.... until now!

He encouraged me to give it a try, so I did.  Behold!  Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake! 
I had a small slice... I think it's 'okay', but I've never eaten cheesecake before and don't know what to think.  Actually, I have a psychological issue with cold cheese in any form so my taste-buds are probably malfunctioning. :-)  Steve assures me that it is very good!

Happy New Year!

December 7, 2011

A Prayer by Francis of Assissi

I had downloaded a free book for my kindle called "Prayers for Today" and it has many good things in it.  This morning I came across this prayer attributed to Francis of Assissi (1181-1226) and was touched. 
I did pray this and acknowledged before the Throne of Grace that I was not quite sincere in that I do long to be comforted & loved, yet I also know that Christ alone will be the fullest source of those things in my life.
Photo is a rose window in the Church of Santa Chiara, consecrated in 1265,
across the town from Saint Francis Basilica.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace,
That where there is hatred, may I bring love;
That where there is wrong, may I bring a spirit of forgiveness;
That where there is discord, may I bring harmony;
That where there is error, may I bring truth;
That where there is doubt, may I bring faith;
That where there is despair, may I bring hope;
That where there are shadows, may I bring light;
That where there is sadness, may I bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek to comfort, rather than to be comforted;
To understand rather than to be understood;
To love rather than to be loved;
For it is in giving that we are received; 
It is by forgiving that we are forgiven,
And it is by dying that we awaken to eternal life.


November 29, 2011

Late November Morning

It is late November here in NH... a time that should not allow for sitting on the deck swing in your bathrobe in the morning.  Yes... I was doing that this morning.
The kids are not awake yet (more perks of homeschooling!) and I'd gone outside with Piper and just sat for a bit.

Marveling that I could be outside without freezing or being bundled in blankets over my fleece bathrobe. Thankful for warmth.
I looked at the gray clouds rolling across the sky behind the trees - mostly bare of leaves now. Thankful for vision.
Listening to the sounds of the river rushing madly over the falls behind our home. Thankful for hearing.
Watching a neighbor meander down the road with his dog.  Thankful for our home in a good neighborhood.
Seeing a bird flutter to rest on another naked tree (you can barely see him in the center).  Thankful for the creation as a gift.

Pausing to thank God that my children are still upstairs sleeping as the sound of a school bus roared along the road.  Thankful for homeschooling.
Anticipating a day of learning as I look forward to a quilting class this afternoon.  Thankful for Steve thinking it's a worthwhile pursuit of my time and this opportunity.
Seeking clarity from the Lord for concerns that weigh heavy this morning.  Thankful to be able to bring all things to His throne.
Thanking Him for being my Jehovah Shalom (the Lord is Peace), Jehovah Shammah (the Lord is There), and Jehovah Jireh (the Lord shall Provide).

I am most blessed - even in the hard things.

Blessings on the journey~


Being brave - out of my comfort zone - to link up on Emily's 'tuesday's unwrapped'

November 10, 2011


Go here... find your one.  You will be so glad you did... I can pretty much guarantee it.

Compassion Bloggers: Ecuador 2011

November 7, 2011


How might God use you if you let him?
We've seen how... in 3 different places around the globe... in the lives of 3 different children...but most importantly in our own family here.  It's amazing!

And by our sharing about our experience... there are FIVE precious little ones in Honduras who are now sponsored by my totally awesome parents - 5 little people who have an additional/new set of grandparents that have adopted their little hearts and are covering them in prayer.

Are you willing? 
Follow this trip via one or more of the linked blogs you can reach by clicking on the image below... let God use you.  You will be SO blessed!

Compassion Bloggers: Ecuador 2011

Blessings on the journey~

October 18, 2011

Braiding Bread

A while ago I found this lovely post at Good (Cheap) Eats, with an embedded tutorial video.  Sometimes these things are strange (not this site personally - but in general), but this was short and easy to follow - perfectly helpful!
I've made Challah Bread before and even attempted to braid the loaves, but they often come out lopsided and strange looking.  Which doesn't impact the taste at all, but I like pretty bread. :-)
So I decided to try this new recipe and follow the video directions and see how it would come out.

 Here is the bread prior to baking.

The braiding wasn't difficult and it seemed to come out pretty even.  I brushed the top with a egg white wash prior to baking.
Here is the finished bread.

Given that egg bread is pretty dense and has a fair amount of sugar in it, I categorize this as a 'sweet' bread.  I cut this round into quarters and then sliced it to make french toast for dinner one night.  Marvelous!

Blessings on the journey,

September 26, 2011

Link Love

This post from Teri Lynn was awesome!

September 10, 2011

Their New Normal

Their New Normal

This is a post from Shaun Groves about two amazing ladies he's traveled with on the aforementioned Compassion blogger trips.
I am praying that *when* God allows me, and our family, to travel someplace outside our ordinary life here ... that it will be amazing and the exact time that God has enormous plans to turn our lives upside down, inside out, and radically alter our perception how we live our faith for His glory.

And all those friends who know of my irrational fear of traveling anywhere that there is not a Dunkin Donuts should be in complete awe that I used the word *when* in this post!

September 8, 2011

Third World Symphony and Compassion

Over a year ago I stumbled on a blogger trip sponsored by Compassion International.  Basically they choose a handful of bloggers - take them someplace in the world to witness what Compassion does first hand and let them share their experiences with their readers.  Pretty cool.  Pretty radical.
You can't know how someone will react to what they see.  You can't know what someone will write in response to what they experience.  But from what I've seen over the last year or so, it's pretty phenomenal how God is using this specific means to reach people to expose them to a way they can be Jesus' hands and feet in releasing children from poverty through sponsorship with Compassion.
I know - we are part of it now.  And because we are part of it, my parents are now part of it. And only God knows for sure where it will all go further from our two homes and the handful of kids we sponsor between us.
Anyway - on that first trip, and the ones since then that I've followed, there is this guy - well sometimes more than just one guy - but this particular guy is unique.  His name is Shaun Groves and he is pretty interesting and talented and funny... and best of all, he really shares his heart for God and these kids in amazing ways.  The fact that he is a home schooling Dad gives him extra points too. :-)
I started reading his blog.  He makes me really think, he cracks me up a lot - he has kids, he is genuine in his faith and honest beyond belief about his life, struggles, and what God has done and is doing with him and his family.   It's a peek into someone's real Christian life... and I'm just nosey enough to be fascinated.
A while back Shaun put out this idea of making an album and invited his readers to support his project financially - for our efforts (and prayers) we would get a free album!  Woohoo!  Who doesn't love to be part of something really cool and out of the ordinary like a music album?  And get free music?  Add the extra "hoo!" and count us in!

Shaun Groves Third World Symphony iTunes-banner-125x1

Shaun's new album Third World Symphony arrived the day before Hurricane Irene was set to hit New England and J promptly ripped it into iTunes for our listening pleasure.  It is completely awesome!
Even the 13 year old agrees!  She loves this album and is hoping that Shaun may eventually make some sheet music available to aspiring musicians who live in our house (J-girl plays piano and B-boy is learning to play guitar) *hint*hint* (just in case Shaun actually sees this - which I doubt - but you never know what God can do on the internet! *S*)
Now Shaun is doing a blog tour with video clips, Q&A interviews and various other cool stuff.  I follow him on facebook and have been reading all sorts of neat blogs because of this 'tour'.   There are some pretty cool and creative people on this web-thing.  And the really amazing thing is reading the hearts of all these people that have been touched by Shaun's music and his heart and  his work with Compassion International.  All these stories of how God is working around the world just blow me away!
People - ordinary people.  Moms with minivans and sticky counters, people with little to spare in their budget and people with more, guys with kids and without, people with words and stories and hearts that God is using - changing the world, reaching the world for Christ.  It's amazing, humbling, and almost too exciting to be able to wrap words around.
Shaun's music on this album, Third World Symphony, is so real.  It is music that has looked into the eyes of hurting and hungry people.  It is cries and praise to the only One who can save (John 3:16-17), the One who is the giver of every good gift (James 1:17), the One who never wastes anything (John 6:12). 
You should go to his album website HERE and listen to the music... buy a copy... let God use these amazing songs to change you in some small way. 


I'm so thankful that God allowed us the opportunity to be a small part of this project.  We all have a part to play in the symphony that God is writing. 
What is your part?

August 19, 2011

Birthday Lunch Baking

I had a request for something specific for the birthday boy's dinner yesterday but it was not really a 'dinner' per se, so what is a mom to do?  Make it for lunch instead!
B is a lover of bread-sticks so I opted to make cheese stuff garlic bread-sticks for his lunch yesterday.

And what is better with cheese stuff garlic bread-sticks than Mom's first ever attempt at home-made tomato sauce?

I know this is all very silly - but B really appreciated it and it was very yummy!

Blessings on the journey friends~

August 18, 2011

Another Birthday

This time is my youngest child... who has some how, in just a blink, become a young man.
At around a year old he was just adorable

and oh so BUSY! 

And today he is twelve!  A young man. Smart and strong, kind and loving.  Still very busy!  Learning, growing and in training to be the man God has planned for him to be....  and making his mama so proud of him!

Handsome like his Dad! :-)

Happy birthday my son!
May you always be blessed on the journey God has marked for you!

“‘“The LORD bless you
   and keep you;
 the LORD make his face shine upon you
   and be gracious to you;
 the LORD turn his face toward you
   and give you peace.”’ 
~Numbers 6:24-26

August 14, 2011

Waiting for Change & Contentment

I wait all year for scenes like this...
Fall is my favorite season.  I love the cool nights with the warmish days, the vibrant and glorious colors, the baking, the sweaters & jeans, the Deerfield Fair day with family & friends... everything.
So now we are into August and summer seems to have flown by, yet I am ready for the next thing.  J and I are pretty well ready to start school, though B refuses to consider it until after his birthday (and really who can blame him?).
Of course change is often very messy.  Such as several days of upheaval, noise, and sawdust to have a new floor put in - but it's OH so pretty!

Very worth it...don't you think?

Life and it's many changes can be hard.  Exciting. Frustrating. Nerve-wracking. Difficult. And I usually like to say I don't like change... unless it is my idea.
Yet it feels like so much in life is waiting for the next thing, the next stage, the next project to be done. 
Am I content? 
I'm reading a devotional book about contentment right now.  It's a marvelous reminder that contentment comes when I am focused on Christ and His purposes for my life.  When I hand over the reins to the One with the true plan and best ideas for my life (which is NOT me by the way!).  I find when I practice this discipline in my day-to-day life, there is less frustration and less waiting.
When I truly try to live the life each day that God allows.  The one with His priorities instead of my 'to-do' lists.  The one with people and service and love and grace flowing through and swirling around.  The days with music and smiles and sometimes tears as well.
I. am. content.
That is not all to say that life is all butterflies and rainbows and little birds singing in the tree outside my window.  In actuality the birds outside the window at 4:30 am are really dreadfully annoying, and the dog hair is threatening to take over the downstairs, the dishes and laundry always need doing, etc.  But this is all part of the music of our lives here.  It's real.  A dear friend once said it is job security. :-)
My only true security is in Christ and leaning into Him for strength and grace for each day.... even the really tough days... that is contentment.  And for this and so much more... I am thankful.

August 2, 2011

I want one of these

I want one of these... it's from the same place my birthday gift was from.  The Adopt Shoppe

Photo credit We are THAT Family blog

July 29, 2011

New Study

Some friends invited me to join them in a new Bible study and it is interesting and enlightening so far.

I know God has things to teach me through this study and I continue to pray that my heart & eyes are open and that I'm ready to learn, more importantly - that I'm ready to be changed.
Blessings on the journey~

June 12, 2011


Today was the first Sunday since Mother's Day (5/8) that I've gotten to be in worship service.  I didn't realize how badly I'd missed it ... until I started singing.. and my heart wanted to burst with joy at be able to sing praises to my Lord with my church family.

This song really sums it up.

June 11, 2011

Birthday Beach Day

Yesterday was Steve's birthday. 
The kids and I got new shirts to help celebrate the awesomeness of the man God has given us in him.

He took the day off of work and we headed out to Hampton for the day to play.  It was an awesome day!

I only look tall because I was the only one in shoes and the wind was blowing my hair UP all day. But yes... the kids really are almost as tall as us already!

We had a fabulous time and the sun came out shortly after that photo was taken.  Everyone but me is sporting strips of sunburn in various locations to prove it.

June 5, 2011


May you all enjoy a day of joy & peace on this Sunday.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
~ Ephesians 2:13

Blessings on the journey~

Photo credit Steve Wolfe

May 31, 2011

Another Addition to Our Family

Guess what happened today?
God did something cool! He does that all the time - everywhere - every moment.  But today He did something cool HERE at my house, for us.
There is a Compassion Blogger Trip going on right now in the Philippines.
Compassion Bloggers: Philippines 2011

I am already a regular reader of a few of the bloggers on this trip, so I thought that was pretty cool when I found out they were going on a trip with Shaun Groves to spread the word about Compassion International.  I've followed two prior trips like this, one to Kenya & one to Guatemala and as a result we sponsor two children through Compassion.  Get it?  2 trips = 2 kids that God has given to our hearts.  Makes sense right?
Fred is our first sponsored child and he was chosen after many tears over blog posts and quite a bit of time poring over photos and bios on the Compassion site.  He has grown a lot since the first photo we had of him!

Next came Blanca in Guatemala whom we only were blessed to sponsor for a brief time as she left the program due to school pressures.

Then God sent us Fernando - in a part of the world where Christianity is beyond a minority.  He is the same age as B and we hope that they will eventually become friends & pen-pals.

So... to the cool thing God did today for us.
I've been reading posts and trying to not get too involved... I've been feeling a bit maxed out emotionally lately and was afraid of the raw feeling of life in places of desperate need that is always right at the surface of these blogger trips. 
You try and keep arms-length when you read posts like this, and this, and this.  I dare you!

I'd already been feeling God tugging me about sponsoring a third child - a girl - J's age (like Blanca had been).  We have three kids at home, we should have three kids out there.  Makes sense in my head & heart.  But I've been putting that feeling aside - not wanting to stretch the budget a bit more just yet.

Today's mail brought an envelope from Compassion with a letter that told me how they have over 1,900 older children waiting for sponsors - and their definition of 'older' means 10 years old or more.  Not exactly OLD.  Seems lots of people - bless their generous hearts - are taken with the photos of little ones, and no one faults them one bit!  They are some cuties!  But the older kids are often overlooked.  Compassion serves these kids amazingly and you can read more in Shaun's post here.

So on a whim (who knew God used whims?), I clicked over to the Compassion site and did a quick search (female, waiting more than 6 months for a sponsor, birthday in the same month & year as J).  Nothing too demanding, didn't choose a country or anything other than those 3 criteria.  Guess how many girls popped onto my screen?

Just. this. one. 
Isn't she beautiful?
Her name is Diosenie.  She lives in the Philippines.  Right where those amazing bloggers are traveling this week.  I know that isn't a coincidence.

So that is my really cool thing that God did today.  Won't you prayerfully consider sponsoring a child in Jesus' name?  There is a special one that God has chosen for you.  I just know it.

Blessings on the journey,

May 27, 2011

A Long Weekend

It is a long weekend here. 
       4 days of no paid work or plans written in ink. 
Days to squint in the sun as you lie around doing nothing much of anything.
The "to do" lists may have some things marked off or they may be untouched as we hang out, play and enjoy the sunshine.
After day 1, it's shaping up to be a great weekend of 'nothing much' and it is all very good.

Blessings on the journey~