Saturday, August 31, 2013

Captain Clint

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He's one happy man!
Mama can't wait to go fishing!
We're still looking for a small canoe we can borrow, rent, or buy.
We need something the boys can handle on their own at our happy place.


Genesis 1:10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Scope of Our Own Sin

We have stiff necks (pride) and resist understanding and admitting the immensity of our own sins. We like to tell ourselves, "Yeah, I sin, but most of what I do is right." or "Yeah, that was sin, but they sinned too." We try to excuse away (justify) our own sins while magnifying the sins of others. We do this so we don't have to deal with our sins.

We are to commanded to love each other a great deal. Instead, we disregard others feelings and frequently say things like, "I don't care..." in regards to other people...the very people we are told to care about as if they were ourselves! "Love thy neighbor as thyself." "I don't care." "Love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, thy soul, and thy mind." "But, they sinned too! They started it!" We sound like Eve in the garden. "It's not my fault!"

If we were to sincerely admit our own faults and request forgiveness to restore our relationships with each other, how much better may the world see Christ in us? Instead, what the world sees is people protecting (serving) their pride while they claim to be serving Christ, but are really serving themselves, all while pointing out the sins of others through the thick forest of their own. God's grace in redeeming us is a bigger gift, a larger miracle, a more incredible mercy when we realize the enormous scope of our own sins and grant others forgiveness for theirs against us.


“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” ― Brennan Manning

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Park...Somewhere

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Bethany is growing up way too quickly!

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Caleb the Conqueror

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just hangin' out

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See the detail on the crab in the last photo.
Emily looks so much like Bethany here.

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Joshua told Amanda to sniff his shoe. He's constantly picking on her now that they are about the same size. 

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Happy Hannah

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The crab is very cool!

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Amanda was game to pose for the picture without makeup and with windblown hair. She rocks!

This was taken on an impromptu excursion to look at a rental. I do not remember exactly where this park is located or what it's name is. I remember a water tower in Kilmarnock being near it though.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Music: Mandisa Dear John (A Prayer for Brothers)


I just heard her interview on KLOVE about her love for her brother and why she wrote this song. There is a prayer hidden under the lyrics. It's a beautiful song!

Article: 18 Successful Home-Schooled Alums

18 Successful Home-Schooled Alums

Can't Fall Asleep? Can't Stay Asleep?


If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, Valerian may help. It has been used through out the ages, and is still widely used around the world today. It is non-addicting and does not leave me feeling sluggish the next morning like over the counter products do. It has also helped relax muscles that have been overworked or injured.

This is based on my own research and experience and does not constitute as professional medical advice. As with any natural substance, do your own research.


I recommend starting with a small dose and working your way up.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Julius Rosenwald High School

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You can learn more about this school at You Need a Schoolhouse.

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Why the holes in the board?!

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Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
    but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Monday, August 26, 2013

We Had a Wonderful Anniversary

Clint's hunting paid off! We had a wonderful 25th anniversary weekend in a very pretty location!

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The house we stayed in is owned by an antiques dealer. I fell in love with this old, worn desk.

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This leather topped table was gorgeous.


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The fireplace was made of oyster shells.
This home had many beautiful features throughout.


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We enjoyed the private pier and the many water activities very much.
We met some nice people and made some new friends.

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We enjoyed the wildlife also.

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This shy couple lived in the boat house.

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We even found the end of the rainbow right where we were staying!
The double rainbow began and ended on the river. Neither of us had ever seen a rainbow with both ends visible before. It was spectacular!

Our Bible verse in our devotional on our anniversary was:


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We could not have asked for a more perfect anniversary!
Thank you to Brandon, Amanda, and Joshua for running the show at home so we could get away!

She Still Gets Tuckered Out

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thoughts on Mothering

When I was a teen and as a young woman, I was continually told "Have your children early and get them grown so you can have your own life!!!"

I am not waiting for for my children to grow up so I can move on to bigger and better things. They are souls God has entrusted to my care and instruction! That's a very big deal! I do not need to gather with other groups of women to have them pat me on the back so I can keep going. God lifts me up and renews my strength each morning. It is in His Presence I am encouraged and motivated. I don't need retreats so I can "find myself." My value is found in being a Child of God. I do not look forward to the day they will leave my home even though I know it is coming. I value and cherish my time with my blessings too much to be eager to see them go. It's a big job, but God says He will do it through me as long as I remain a willing vessel.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

25th Anniversary

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We're on the road again!

It's been 28 years since we started dating in high school.
My beloved and I have been married for 25 years today!!
Our love continues to grow deeper with each passing year.
Any good you see in our marriage and in our lives is due to the Lord's work. To Him belongs all of the glory and honor.

We wanted to do something special, but not be too far away from our children in case they needed us. Since April, Clint has been on a mission searching most of the state for just right place. He rented us a beautiful waterfront home in a historical area on a private cove in Irvington. We'll be making good use of the boat house and pier. We also have plans for a special meal from a wonderfully skilled chef at a renowned restaurant called Nate's Trick Dog

Thank you, Lord for the gift of each other. You knew exactly what we needed in a mate and gave it to us.

Psalms 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Friday, August 23, 2013

18 Inch Doll (American Girl, Madame Alexander, My Generation) Patterns and TIps Links



I put these links together for myself and my daughters to use and was asked to share them:













http://www.susankramer.com/dolls10j.html sleeveless jumper pattern

http://www.susankramer.com/dolls9a.html summer cap sleeve dress  links to other patterns at bottom

















Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quite Little Bay

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Soon, this will be our new "happy place!"

Proverbs 14:26 - In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Free Homeschool ID Card

"AlphaCard believes that every student should have a real student ID card, but homeschooled students don’t usually have access to them. We've decided to do something about it by offering homeschooled students FREE professionally printed photo ID cards through the end of September.
There won't be any shipping fees or attempts to sell you anything. As part of our AlphaCard Cares initiative, this is truly a free program with no strings attached that reflects our commitment to giving back to communities in need."http://www.alphacard.com/homeschool-id-cards


Psalm 112 Obey the Lord and Blessings Follow

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Psalm 112
Praise the Lord!
Great blessings belong to those who fear and respect the Lord,
who are happy to do what he commands.
Their descendants will be given power on earth.
Those who do right will be greatly blessed.
Their family will be very rich,
and their goodness will continue forever.
A light shines in the dark for those who are good,
for those who are merciful, kind, and fair.
It is good for people to be kind and generous
and to be fair in business.
Such good people will never fall.
They will always be remembered.
They will not be afraid of bad news.
They remain confident and without fear,
so they defeat their enemies.
They freely give to the poor.
Their goodness will continue forever.
They will be honored with victory.
The wicked become angry when they see this.
They grind their teeth with anger, but then they disappear.
They will never get what they want most.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Article: 7 Marks of a Right Heart Before God

Article: 7 Marks of a Right Heart Before God by J.C. Ryle
"1) A right heart is a NEW heart (Ezek. 36:26). It is not the heart with which a person is born—but another heart put in them by the Holy Spirit. It is a heart which has new tastes, new joys, new sorrows, new desires, new hopes, new fears, new likes, new dislikes. It has new views about the soul, sin, God, Christ, salvation, the Bible, prayer, heaven, hell, the world, and holiness. It is like a farm with a new and good tenant. “Old things are passed away. Behold all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).
2) A right heart is a BROKEN and CONTRITE heart (Psalm 51:17). It is broken off from pride, self-conceit, and self-righteousness. Its former high thoughts of self are cracked, shattered, and shivered to atoms. It thinks itself guilty, unworthy, and corrupt. Its former stubbornness, heaviness, and insensibility have thawed, disappeared, and passed away. It no longer thinks lightly of offending God. It is tender, sensitive, and jealously fearful of running into sin (2 Kings 22:19). It is humble, lowly, and self-abased, and sees in itself no good thing."
Click to read the rest here.

"There are rare Christians whose very presence incites others to be better Christians. I want to be that rare Christian." ~AW Tozer

Monday, August 19, 2013

Poodle and 2 Turtles

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Maggie curiously watching the turtles.

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These two became engaged in a tug of war battle over a tomato!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Hike Through Baylor Park

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A friend of our told us about a new, but still being constructed, park near her place when we visited. You can learn about Baylor Park and download a trail map and park guide with this link: Baylor Park

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If you click the pictures, they will enlarge and you will be able to read them.

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ICE: A Winter Crop = An Early Commodity

Norris Pond, once a very popular destination for many who enjoyed ice skating, was also a valuable source of ice for those who lived in the area up until the 1900's. Prior to having electricity, a common practice of storing ice for use in the warmer months was to store it in the ground or in an ice house. Blocks of ice were cut from the pond, then delivered to homes and businesses, or stored until needed. Evidence of an early ice pit can be seen here. Materials such as straw and sawdust were often used to insulate the layers of ice and walls of the pit.

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This is the old ice pit the community used.
It is much, much larger than the picture shows.
I'd like to see it cleaned out.

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sturdy roots

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wild life

The new park was a little hard to find. It is located behind a small power or pumping station which is near the bridge. It is still under construction and is rugged in places. Some of the trail is brushy and some walking areas are full of roots. At the present time, it is not a place to take those who have difficulty walking. The water views required us to walk through waist high grass, so we skipped those. What we could see of the pond through the brush and tall grasses was algae ridden, but there was a diverse population of creatures to observe. The designated picnic area (no tables yet) did not work for us because it was in a damp depression full of sticks and pine cones. We spread our blanket in a clearing on a hill. There were lots of mimosa trees and butterflies when we visited too. Overall, it was a good way to burn off some of the children's energy and gave us a chance to stretch our legs, but the new park still needs a lot of work to make it more pleasant for visitors. It was a unique opportunity to see a park in its initial stages. We look forward to visiting again to see how the park progresses.

There is also a new park being constructed in nearby Mathews County called Fort Nonsense Historical Park. It's at the corner of John Clayton and Windsor Road, but at this time is not open to visitors.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Biggest Crab

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We found this huge crab at a playground during our travels this summer.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Organized Help

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I was wondering what was holding their interest so long.

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They color sorted my pins!

1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 

Article: Potential Cure of Alzheimers

"The research team revealed that as the brain ages, C1q accumulates around the brain’s synapses – contact points that connect the brain’s nerve cells to one another.  Rather than being naturally cleared by the brain, the C1q sticks, making these synapses vulnerable to destruction from the brain’s immune cells.

“We think people have the ordering backwards,” Barres said.  “We believe the complement turns on first and starts to kill synapses.  If that’s true, the implication is we just need to block this complement cascade to treat Alzheimer’s.”
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/08/14/potential-cure-for-alzheimers-scientists-identify-new-culprit-behind/



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sleepy Em

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They play so hard trying to keep up with the middles. I love it when the littles fall asleep on the couch. It's even better when they are in my arms!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Final Barn Swallow Update

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After losing three chicks to the heat, I was hoping the swallow hen could keep her other two alive. It didn't work out that way. A few weeks ago, I was outside when one of the chicks decided to try to fly. It didn't get far and landed on our deck. It was immediately grabbed by a lightning quick cat! The cat grabbed it and ran out of reach under our deck. There was nothing I could do to help the poor creature. When that one started crying out, the other flew from the nest and landed hard on the deck! It must have been worn out or very afraid because it couldn't take off again.

I was able to rescue it before the cats got to it, but it was a close call! While we had named the two remaining chicks in the nest, we ended up calling the sole survivor "Chip." "Chip, chip, chip!" is the sound it made. 

I have been trained to feed baby birds and have done this quite a bit in the past. Previous experience told me this fledgling only needed a little time to gain in strength. I also knew the parents would hang around for it. We let the little one practice flying in a room of our home. Once it was able to circle the room a few times without resting and could accurately reach high places we knew Chip would be beyond the cats' reach.

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When I knew she was ready, I asked my family to round up the cats. Then, I took Chip outside and got it to perch on my finger. Its parents heard and came to sit on the wire near us. I lifted Chip up as high as I could. The baby bird sat there while it oriented itself and then flew to the parents who were calling. Oh, the JOYFUL chirping of the reunion was wonderful to hear! They were so happy to have their baby back!

I have never seen a fledgling being taught by its parents before. As Chip learned to fly in the big world, they flew under her. One was on each side and directly below her wings. When Chip would get tired and dip, they would chirp encouragingly and the fledgling would pull up higher. They circled over my head a few times while doing this and then flew off. I figured that was the end of our swallow guests.


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I see Chip and the parent birds every day now. They seem thankful for the help. Sometimes a swallow will fly low over me chirping happily. Sometimes they sit on the wire and chirp at me for a while, or they will fly around in the front yard until I walk outside and say hi to them. I can rest in the hammock, and they will sit there and watch me. Other times, I can go outside and call "Chip, chip, chip!" and they come from wherever they are and circle around a few times. 

One day this week, Chip came back and spent about forty five minutes sitting on the power line watching me grill food for our family. I'd talk to Chip, and Chip would chirp back at me. I've also noticed the birds seem to recognize the sound of our car coming home. I knew our dogs could hear it long before our human ears could, but it seems the wildlife pay attention to that too.

I will miss the barn swallows when they leave this fall, but will look forward to their return every spring. If God allows, I will be outside next spring when the swallows return saying "Chip, chip, chip!" From start to finish, the swallows have been a very neat experience and an encouraging reminder of God's love. 

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Chip (bottom) and her parents sitting on the line over the deck.

http://contentmentacres.blogspot.com/2014/04/barn-swallows.html

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This is How We Approach Most Things

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There's no team like Team Family!


Rain soaked ground combined with heavy winds nearly toppled our old pear tree. This pear tree has survived many fires, a few brackish floods, and a few hurricanes.

 Brandon helped when he got home shortly after this picture was taken. I got the water and the fertilizer to help the tree through any shock.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.

Monday, August 12, 2013

He Adapted and Overcame

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Having no sisters, Clint admitted he was a little nervous about having a daughter when Amanda came along.

I think he's done quite well being a daddy to four daughters!


And now, he says "Having daughters is cool!"



Car Show

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in the library parking lot off Main Street
(across from DAV Thrift Store)
every Friday
April through October
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Everyone is Significant

"During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz.  I breezed through the questions until I read the last one:  "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"  Surely this was a joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name?  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.  Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade.  "Absolutely," the professor said.  "In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello."  I've never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy." -Joann C. Jones

Everyone is significant to God, and if we are following His example, they should be significant to us too.


Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Out the Door

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Joshua is picking on Caleb while Caleb prays he doesn't drop him.
Bethany is helping while I warn Joshua not to accidentally hurt Caleb.
"You know how Mama Bear wakes up when one of her cubs are hurt."

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Psalm 25: 4-5