Friday, January 31, 2014

Playing in the DIRT!

Yes, in the summer time I allow my kids to play in the dirt,
it is messy, and gross-that is to me, but my children love it!
And in the winter I allow them to play in the dirt too!

In my article called, "Let it SNOW!" 
I explained how we play in the 'snow' all year 'round.
Well, we play in the 'dirt' all year 'round too,
only this dirt is COFFEE! 

Over the years I have been given or have obtained coffee that I would never brew
 and so years ago I decided to let the kids play with it pretending that it was dirt. 

All you need:
- a few trays
- a zip-lock bag filled with cars, dump trucks and some men
- and a container full of un-brewed coffee grinds.

And stand back and watch them imagine!

So simple and yet so treasured!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let it SNOW!

 This is an Ellie Original!
While baking one day, and having little ones running a muck
 in, around and through my legs I came up with GENIUS!
(Any time, all year round and especially when 
you have A-LOT of cooking or baking to do ;)

This is all you need:
-A couple of trays, 
-a large ziplock bag filled with cars, trucks, trains (you name it)
-and a container of flour.

Easy enough to store-right?

Here are my trays.
You can find them in any gardening section of local stores.

Here is my bag of cars and stuff.
(I had the same bag of cars, trucks, trains, little men etc. for years.
They only come out to play with the 'snow.'

Then, open the container filled with flour,

dump into the trays annnnnd...

Let them PLAY!!!

I have at times put on their "Adventures in Odyssey' cds, books on tape, or
 Bible songs for their listening pleasure.
Most of the time I keep the room quiet so they are free to imagine!

You can even give them 
and allow them to build 'snowmen!'
(My sister-in-law came up with that!)

So, there you have it!
An amazing time of play- using the good, old noggin'
 to come up with very clever stories.

***Just a note of warning:
 Be prepared for your child to get some flour on the table, the floor and themselves, but what is that compared to a great time, and mommy getting some much needed quiet to get the cooking done?!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Parenting: My Hope is in God Alone

Just when I think, "I have no idea what I am doing,"
I get a letter from my son.
I've asked God, "How am I doing?" when I feel like I've really messed things up and it always amazes me that I'll find a card, or a note placed on my pillow or tucked into my Bible from one of my children. These cards are dear to me because I believe that the Holy Spirit prompted my child to write it. It's God's answer to me. Believe me some of the little notes have not always been as uplifting as the one below, but they keep me humble, on my knees in either thanksgiving or repentance.

The cover picture is of him running to into my arms.
(The sun is smiling).

"Dear Mommy,
I love you soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much. Thank you for looking out for me. Especially when I am scared and you come and when I am hurt you come to me. And thank you for making breakfast, lunch and dinner. And thank you for homeschooling me. And well, there are alot of things to be thankful for. And I'm sorry for fighting with you about what's best for me. But your what's best for me. You are the best mom I could ever have. I love you.
love, Joseph."

I'm not a perfect mom. I fail my own expectations all the time and many times I feel so ill-equipped. But I have to believe, each day, God knew what He was doing when He gave me six beautiful children. I am daily surrendering my life to God, and that includes surrendering my motherhood to Him too.
Many people ask me,
"How do you do it?"
My answer:
My hope is in God alone.
I rely on God tirelessly. I know that on my own I would have no idea how to raise my children. With the love my Heavenly Father has shown me, the mercy He has bestowed on me, and the wisdom through the Holy Spirit I have been shown how to love my little ones and loving them...well, that is the number one thing I am called to do.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Downton Abbey: The, 'Take You into My Heart,' Scene

Yes, I am a Downton Abbey fan, and I know that doesn't make me unique because I don't know many who are not. Those of us who follow the show either love the time in which is based, their accents, the dresses, the music, the formality, the drama, the romance or all of the above and for just one hour each week we love to jump back to a simpler time.

And to say that I absolutely love the confrontations between the Dowager Duchess and anyone with whom she speaks would be nothing new to anyone either. The Dowager Duchess is by far the most outspoken, opinionated, stubborn, yet truly wise older woman that I have ever witnessed. I just about sit on the edge of my seat every time she walks into a room. So many times her wisdom benefited her family. She helped William and Daisy to be married, she saved the marriage of Lord and Lady Grantham after Sybil died. She helped Ethel, the maid, acquire a position away from scandal and closer to her child. She encouraged Edith after being left at the altar and honestly, the list could go on and on, but one conversation that has touched me to the heart did not take place with Violet and another, but rather between Mr. Mason and Daisy.

Mr. Mason, William- the footman's father, had invited Daisy, the kitchen maid, to his home on the farm. She had no idea why he sent for her. She didn't know him and felt uncomfortable with the idea of being a part of his life.

The scene begins with Mr. Mason serving tea and special treats. Daisy sat down and he began to serve her.

Daisy: "You shouldn't have gone to all this trouble. Not for me. "
(As I heard her words my heart understood her meaning, for those very words would have passed over my lips too. I have felt for years, "I don't deserve you putting yourself out for me. I don't deserve the fuss of a cup of tea, or cakes. I don't deserve your kindness" from anyone).

Mr. Mason's response: "Not when you're the nearest thing to a child of mine left on earth."
(He's giving her his best because he sees her as his own- his daughter. That's how he treats his daughter- giving her the best of what he had and serving her).

Daisy: "But I don't deserve it."

Mr. Mason: "Without you I'd have no one to pray for."
(I teared-up when I heard those words. How tender. How perfect. She is someone for him to pray for. He loves her and thinks about her, and he prays for her).

This next line gets me every time-

Mr. Mason:
So, will you be my daughter?
Let me take you into my heart?
Make you special?

(How I have always longed to hear those words from my own father. For him to want me to be a part of his life, his heart. To be made special by him).

Mr. Mason continues: "You have parents of your own of course..."

Daisy: "I haven't got any parents. Not like that. I've never been special to anyone."
(Daisy recognizes right away that Mr. Mason is being more loving to her than even her very own family. And that is exactly how I would have responded- 'I haven't got any parents-not like that- I've never been special to them.').

Mr. Mason: "Except William."

Daisy: "That's right. I was only ever special to William. I never thought of it like that before."

Mr. Mason: "Now, you're special to me."

When I heard those words, tears quietly rolled down my cheek. I realized, long ago, that although my earthly father has abandoned me, my Father in heaven sees me and thinks I'm special. I am special to God. It was good to be reminded.

There was a time that I was not my Heavenly Father's daughter, yet He yearned for me. He wanted me to be His daughter. My own parents didn't and don't want me, but God does.  I'm His daughter now. I'm His daughter because when God asked me,
"Will you be my daughter?"
Will you let me take you into my heart?
Make you special?"  
I answered, "YES." And just as Daisy went to Mr. Mason as an orphan, and came away from her time with him as a true daughter,
 I am a true daughter of my Father in Heaven.

I don't know how I would have gotten over the trauma of being abandoned by my earthly father and mother had it not been for the love, acceptance and adoption by my Heavenly Father.

"For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory." (Romans 8:14-17 NIV)

"Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -"  (John 1:12)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Ornaments for SALE!

I posted an article in early December about my "Jesus Loves"...Ornaments" I made for my family and have had an overwhelming response! I knew I loved them, but did not know that so many of you would too! I have since learned that many of my readers do not know how to Cross-Stitch -making it impossible for them to make their own personalized Jesus Loves...ornaments for their families.

So, if you would like to have one OR a set, please contact me!
I would love to make them for you! 
The cost: $6.00
 You can have one personalized  with your name,
a friend's name or family member's name.

a family name!

I made this one for my son this year.

You can choose which frame you would like to have
your personalized "Jesus Loves..." ornament in!

Order them now and have it for Christmas 2014!!!
(For Local orders only- will not ship orders, sorry).