Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Busyness continues

Last week my friend and I went strawberry picking. Last year the crop was terrible. This year there is abundance, and there was hardly anyone in the strawberry patch. Soon we were the only ones in the strawberries. We found a corner of the field that hadn't been touched and started working. It didn't take long for the kids and I to pick 68 pounds! I don't remember ever seeing such good picking since I was a kid and lived on the west side of Washington in a climate where strawberries thrive.

My friend is getting married in late summer. She is so excited. She has had to wait a long time to find the right guy. She and her finance are both tight financially and their parents aren't able to help much either. She was really worried about how she was going to pay for a dress. Then at a garage sale, there it was, sealed in a white box, a gorgeous white dress. It has lots of beads, and pretty details, and an 8 foot train full of beads and cut out lace. And you won't believe this, but it fits her perfectly! Nothing needs to be altered. Nothing. Even the beaded slippers fit her perfectly. The price? $30! There was another dress she liked at the bridal ship better, but if God gives you a dress that fits perfectly, I think you'd better wear it. I just love how God is taking care of all her needs!

Over Memorial Day weekend dad and mom visited. Dad and my husband built a structure on our deck and put shade cloth over the top so we can eat outside more often through the summer. We had company over this weekend on a day when the rest of the deck was too hot to touch. Everyone was cool and comfortable under the shade cloth. We should have made one of these years ago!

Some of you might remember that my mom was really sick about a year and a half ago and came and stayed at our house for three months. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. I made her green smoothies and other nutritious foods and she got well and was able to go back home. Still she never got back up to her previous level of health. We felt like we were loosing her. She wasn't doing well when she visited at the end of May. I was thinking about her symptoms and then thought of the gluten intolerance that I have. I did some Google searches to learn if gluten can be connected to neurological and brain issues. Sure enough it can, and the gene I carry (given to me by my mom and dad) is more likely to effect the nervous system and the brain then the intestines. In fact, most people that carry this gene marker don't have flattened villi in their intestines! Very interesting. I shared what I was discovering with mom and she is finally willing to try eating gluten free. I sent her home with a pile of my recipes. The good news is that my sister emailed and said that she is doing better then she has in two years! Praise God! Mom is even excited about going camping with us this summer! Maybe one of the reasons mom got better when she was with us when she was so sick was because she was living in a gluten free house for those three months. We are getting quite hopeful that mom is going to have some healthy retirement years yet.

Sorry for no pictures. I thought it would be better to post something quickly, then to not post at all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

School is Out

It was really sad to lose my caterpillar family, but not near as sad as what other people are experiencing around the world with loss of homes and family members in Burma, flooding in some places, drought in others. My heart goes out to these people. It has put my loss in perspective. And I'm forgiving the neighbor man. He must have thought he was doing us a good thing. He didn't know what he was really doing.

The high today is around 46 degrees. Fahrenheit! Last night it snowed at my friend's house, just up the hill, and it was still snowing when I talked to her on the phone later in the morning. It is raining and windy here, and just a few days until the first day of summer.

We have finished up homeschool for the school year and it's time for a new schedule. Forest is going to keep reading all summer. Emily Rose has lots of fun learning projects she is itching to do. I'm convicted that we need more of God in our life, more of the Bible and more time for prayer. So we are trying having worship three times a day. Daniel prayed three times a day. The Bible says we should pray continually. But I have found that if we don't have time set aside for the family to come together before God, we don't do it. Honestly, we were struggling to make it once a day, which didn't make me happy. I think our sights are set so low, so I've raised them here and are worshiping together three times a day. I think it is having a good effect too. There isn't so much time between times of prayer. We are praying more for each other, the struggles of the day, our character flaws, for more of the Holy Spirit, and for other people in need. It is a good thing. We are singing more in the day too. That is also a good thing.

Here's our schedule/framework for the day, in case it might be of help to someone else. I don't like to plan it too tight the whole day through. We need time every day that is flexible. We may get off the time a little bit, but we still follow through the order of events. There are three times a day to get back on track.

5:30 Mama's up for personal time with God; shower, dress
6:30 Kids are up. Forest starts breakfast. Emily Rose has personal time with God.
6:45 Mama to the kitchen. Emily Rose empties dishwasher.
7:00 Breakfast with family
7:30 Family Worship.
8:00 Emily Rose piano practice. Forest and Mama clean the kitchen.
8:45 Mama and kids go for a walk
9:30 Studies: Forest - Reading and phonics, Emily Rose study of choice
10:30 Activity time: Projects/play/service/usefulness
11:30 Lunch preparation. Mama and kids. Clean as you go.
12:00 Lunch. Wipe table. Dish in Dishwasher so not much cleaning is needed.
12:30 Worship.
1:15 Cleaning projects/laundry/other cleaning
2:00 Yard and garden work, if needed
2:30 Activity time: projects/play/service/usefulness
5:00 Supper preparation. Forest Empties dishwasher.
5:30 supper
6:00 Mama and Emily Rose clean the kitchen - everything! Shiny!
6:30 Play/projects/service/activities
8:00 Worship
8:45 Kids in bed. Tuck ins and prayer.
9:00 Forest asleep. Emily Rose lesson study. Parents in bedroom.