Tuesday, May 26, 2015

the post of many pictures




We spent yesterday up north at one of our favorite places. We picnicked twice along the water, and enjoyed an arduous four mile hike through the forest. When I say "enjoyed", I mostly enjoyed it when it was over. We always take the hardest trails. Our kids are pretty much used to it. We've been hiking it since they were able to endure it on their own. Lily only requires a short amount of carrying, but even that distance diminishes every year.

Brad and I really do enjoy it. It's just a really hard climb right from the start. It doesn't level off until about 2/3 of the way in, and this year, well, we were both out of shape. Plus, there was something floating around in the air that was bothering all of us, including Ian who is not prone to allergies. I hiked those trails with a pounding headache and a completely stuffed up nose and ears. Half way through I decided that I either had to push on or they would have to send an ATV out to take me back to the ranger's station, and, well, that would just be mortifying. So I put myself into my "let's kick this trail's butt" zone and we finished it. I can easily walk four miles, but these trails are so much up and down that it honestly feels like you're hiking ten miles. 

But it did feel good to finish. And now I'm motivated to get myself back into some sort of regular work-out schedule that doesn't just include gardening, yard work, and shoveling manure!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Around the corner



Did you ever feel like a change was coming? Something stirring up in the very depths of your soul? Excitement? Anticipation? Maybe even a tinge of fear?

That's the best way to describe how I've been feeling lately. But I'm not scared. I'm not worried. I feel like God is really working in my life, in the life of our little family, and it excites me. We have felt some prompting, some conviction to change some things in our lives. Right now, I feel like that's what I need to focus on ~ these things right here in front of me that God has clearly shown me need taken care of.

And the rest?

Well, we wait. We stay yielded to God and wait for Him to work things out.

I honestly don't know what this all looks like, and that's the part that is really exciting to me. And I know that's grace from God because in and of my own self, I naturally really like to know what's going on, what's about to happen, etc. Not knowing is very anxiety-provoking. But with this? Well, I just have a deep peace. I can wait. I want to wait on Him. I trust Him.

In that waiting, we're living our lives, focusing on Him and the many blessings He's given to us. My boy is becoming a shining star in the kitchen. I started a soup for lunch yesterday, and he asked if he could help. He ended up taking over and made something completely different from what I was going for, but it was one of the most delicious and flavorful soups I've ever had. And I had to take a photo of him sniffing the spices. He must have gotten that from me. That's how I figure out what I want to add to my dishes. I hardly ever follow recipes. Instead, I try to match scents of spices/herbs to what I'm making. I don't know if that makes sense, but this boy of mine seems to have inherited that gene. That delights me and literally made me giggle yesterday when I saw him do it.

We're enjoying the days of less structure. Having finished our official school days, we're enjoying seeing where the day takes us and what we can get into. Actually, that's more of what the kids' days have looked like. Mine have been very full with Bible School preparations, garden preparation, animal needs, and portfolio preparation. Lots of preparation going on in my life right now. I don't see things slowing down until mid-June, but I'm sure there will be something else going on then to keep me busy.

P.S. ~ Thank you for the comments you've been lovingly leaving on my posts. I really do find each one to be such an encouragement and a joy to read!

Monday, May 18, 2015

spring things



So far, my favorite thing about spring has been my quiet time in the morning. Out on the back deck with my mug of steamy coffee. My Bible and my journal. Listening to the beautiful songs of the birds, the clucking of the hens, and the hum of the alpacas. Just taking in all of the beauty around me ~ everything green, everything bright, everything bursting with life. Oh, yes, these moments have been some of my favorite moments of spring.

I've been reading through Hebrews, and it has been such an encouraging read. This morning's reading was chapter 11 which is affectionately dubbed as "the hall of faith." I underlined "by faith" throughout that chapter. This chapter talks about men and women of God who did wonderful things through their faith in God. They were no where near perfect. Their faith was not perfect, but they believed and trusted. I want to live my life completely by faith. Not by sight. Not by my own vision. But I want to live a life that is surrendered fully to God. Oh, I just wish I could explain my excitement of all that God has been revealing to me lately as I've been earnestly seeking Him. I just love Him so much and am so thankful for Him. I honestly don't know how people walk through this life without Him. He is my source of hope and joy and peace.

I almost have all of my raised beds planted. Oh, I feel so behind this year. I just keep tucking plants and seeds in here and there as I find a few spare moments. So far I've planted green onions, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, many divers of peppers, cucumbers, radishes, spinach, chard, kale, and many other greens. The herbs include dill (my favorite!), oregano, cilantro, sage, thyme, mint, parsley, and chives. I think that's all of them! 

We still have to till up our big garden. Brad and my dad have attempted to do that twice, but have had problems with the tiller both times. This past weekend, they realized that the tiller is too small for my dad's new tractor so it looks like we're going to have our neighbor bring his tractor over to till the ground for time's sake. I'm getting a bit anxious. It feels like we're really pushing the planting back from when we normally do it all. I keep reminding myself to just roll with it, as with everything else in life.

I finally finished up the Canyon Shrug after working on it for the last several months. It wasn't a difficult pattern at all! My handiwork time has just been very scarce now that we've focused our efforts to outdoor tasks. I like how comfy and soft it turned out. I might have to make another one in a different color!

Speaking of making handmades, I am really hoping to make Lily a few of these skirts. They're adorable and yet practical for my little rock-collecting girl. I found this pattern on The Purl Bee after seeing several other bloggers talk about it. It looks very easy which is just what I like and need. We also picked out some fabric to make her a couple of pairs of shorts. I have so many good intentions. Now I'm just hoping to actually see at least a couple of them to fruition.