Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Snow!

Thought I'd just link to a slideshow of the picasa album I made for snow pictures. We had more snow last night (it was glorious!!) and I got some next shots this morning. I'd click on the slideshow to go see the picasa album if I were you. But I'm a bit biased.

And I'm gonna tell a little story on myself...
Last night, while it was snowing fast and furious, I realized that the chickens needed to be watered. On my way out to the coop, I spotted one of the sleds. And I glanced up at the sledding hill. And after I fed the chickens, I just couldn't help myself. I grabbed the sled, trekked up the hill, and sledded down in the dark... in the falling snow... face first on my tummy. I whooped and hollered all the way down.
It was So. Much. Fun!!

I think snow is one of God's most beautiful and marvelous creations. And I love the way that I feel like a little kid again when it snows.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You know you're a fanatic...

...when you're rolling out dough for noodles, and this:

reminds you of this:

...and you think you're so accomplished. Despite the fact that the shape you were aiming for was a rectangle.

Snow, Glorious Snow!

While the snow was not as deep as the forecast predicted, it has been a beautiful day. Even home educators need snow days sometimes!

Here are a few pictures...

First of all, here's a picture of "our" birds today. I think they liked it that I threw out some ground feed on top of the snow. Most of these birds are juncos, also known as snow birds. They are, for the most part, ground feeders, and they have come south for the winter! You can also see some cardinals, as well as some gold finch, and one purple finch - if you click on the picture to see it up close. Jonathan got this shot through the back door...

The frozen snowy pond:

Around the property:

Stephen loved the snow!

Sledding was hard to catch:

Friday, January 23, 2009

A quote

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.

~John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stephen's Late Christmas

On January 5, I was chatting with Mama via google chat.  She asked how Stephen had liked his Christmas present from them.

*puzzled pause as I tried to remember what they had gotten for him*

*Kodak moment as the light bulb goes on in my head*

*mad dash to the living room to look in the back corner of the boxes of books stacked in the future reading nook*

I sheepishly reported to Mama that I had totally forgotten about Stephen's present hidden away back there, and proceeded to fetch him to open it. 

Present opening is serious business for Stephen.

But he likes them a lot!

New on "Love You Can Eat"

Good Gravy!


Cheesy Chicken Crescent Bake

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


We got some wall decor up this last weekend, and though things are not finished, I thought I'd show you some of my progress. Any suggestions are welcome!

Here are the living rooms walls at this point. The shelf on the right is actually a quilt holder, and will be doing its job as soon as I dig out a quilt for it. My dream is to have at least four quilts made especially for that holder, one for each of the seasons. I'd love to have more than that eventually.
The area rug is a beautiful one that Mama bought for me when they were here in November, from the estate sale of a dear Christian lady we knew in St. Louis who has gone home to Glory.

These next two are of another wall in the living room. It needs some additions, but I'm so thrilled with the job I've done of covering up the thermostat that I have to share them. The nails holding the sandpainting on the shelf need to be replaced with something less conspicuous, don't you think? As you can probably tell, this is going to be a Navajo Wall.

And this is the wall of the fireplace that you see when you're coming down the hall from the Blessings' rooms and the bathroom toward the kitchen/living/dining areas. It's become the Precious Moments gallery. Two of these are my work, one (top right) is that of my beloved sis, Beka.

Worth Reading

Thought provoking post about love and grace.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mistreatment Update

I think I've found the method I'm going to use for pulling my mistreatments back during the day. I tacked the middle of the ribbon on the side and did a simple tie (Jonathan let me know it is officially called a "half hitch" - he's my encyclopedia!) to hold them back.

I actually did a nifty Roman-shade-type-thingy that I liked a lot, but I'll have to save it for a mistreatment that will be stationary.

... and learning how to trust

I've been enjoying listening to some of my older music lately. Last week while I was unpacking/cleaning, I was listening to the first CD I ever purchased - Out of the Grey's first CD. The lyrics to the song Write My Life struck a deep chord with me - they resonate much more deeply with me now than they did when I was fresh out of high school!

I try to write a rhyme
To reveal my feelings inside
I search with every word
To find the perfect line
But just like a little child
I hide behind a clever line
You take the pencil
I've been holding much too tight

And I'm watching
You write my life, Lord
I'm seeing Your hand in all I am
I'm watching You write my life
And learning how to trust

I struggle every day
To finish this my own way
Then try to scribble out
The pain of my mistakes
But You take my hand in time
And You paint a simple line
Erasing each mistake
The pages come alive

And I'm watching
You write my life, Lord
I'm seeing Your hand in all I am
I'm watching You write my life
As only You, only You can
Oh I'm watching
You write my life, Lord
And telling the story of Your love
I'm watching You write my life
And learning how to trust

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mistreatment Alert!

Today, I put up my second mistreatment - and the first that I think I like.

We have two big beautiful windows on the front of our house, in our newly mostly-finished bedroom (you can see them nekkid in this post). They've been covered with a hot pink blanket since we started sleeping in our new place (really! since late November), but they haven't been at the top of the priority list. Well, today, I unpacked my tubs of sewing and crafting stuff and found a huge piece of lightweight denim that I discovered would work for these windows.

So, after my first round of throwing together a mistreatment, I realized that my perfectionist tendencies were going to drive me mad if I didn't do something to try and make sure this was going to be relatively straight and even. So measured the windows, marked 1.5" out to either side, and marked a line above the window with the level so that my perfectionist self could live with it. Okay, I also marked the middle, and the mid-way point on each side. I'm trying to relax, alright??

I took my material in to the table, folded it over a foot and put a few safety pins in so that I knew it would be mostly even. Also, on one piece, the end was not cut evenly. I folded it so that it would be even on the fold, then marked the fabric at ~12" so that I would know where to pin it. I also marked the middle and mid-points on each side on the fabric (where it wouldn't show when I put it up).

Then I took the material back to the window and tossed a bunch of upholstery tacks in my mouth. I simply tacked the material up so that the folded over part would hang down and be a "valance." This part was super easy and really, I could've done it without all the prep work... but like I said, I'm still growing.

Here's how the mistreatments turned out:

Now, these windows do need to be able to be covered completely for privacy's sake, but I want to actually see out of them during the day. I need light! And, I'll admit, they're a little dark and not very colorful. So, for now, I've cut some ribbon and tied them in the middle. The ribbon can easily be untied.

I'm not entirely sure of how they look being tied in the middle though. What do you think? Any suggestions?

And yes, the windows will eventually be finished with trim.  I'll probably need to move these at that time, but that's ok.

Monday, January 12, 2009


"The shortest way to do many things is to do one at a time."
Samuel Smiles

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

In Case You Missed It

I just have to make sure that you see this lovely picture of my beloved Papa and Mama.


I have at last uploaded some pictures from December to my Picasa albums. Click on the slideshows to see them individually, etc.

The Byrd Visit:

The Bloom Visit - did I even mention this?!? It was such a treat to have John and Ruth in town for a couple days! We ate together and played Rage at the chapel on Saturday night Dec. 20th, then on Sunday John shared about Immanuel Mission as well as sharing a very challenging and encouraging message about being a Refresher. They joined us for lunch on Sunday and visited some more before heading in to St. Louis. We were so blessed to have them with us - they have been such an important part of our lives over the years, and they are refreshing people!

Christmas Day:

And New Year's Eve at Believers Bible Chapel:

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Byrd Visit

When we abruptly went off line in mid-December, some of our favorite Byrds had just gotten into town. Actually, Beka and The Cousins were on their way to Kansas City for a visit with family there. We enjoyed having Papa and Mama with us on Thursday and Friday, and Beka and the kids got back to our area on Saturday evening. We treasured every moment until they left on Tuesday morning!

Saturday night, we had seafood chowder for dinner, at the special request of Beka and Ethan. Seafood chowder became something of a hobby (obsession?) for Jonathan and I this last year, and Beka and Ethan were eager to taste the fruits of our experimentation. I think they liked it! I'm working on cutting down the recipe to a reasonable size so that I can post it on Love You Can Eat. For now, here's a teaser...

Sunday morning at chapel we got to show off Beka and The Cousins; then Sunday evening we also got to show off Papa and Mama (they went to meeting in St. Louis in the morning). We don't usually have a Sunday evening meeting, but Dec. 14th was our Christmas Supper and Program. It was neat to have some of the Byrds with us for this special evening. One of the highlights from the Christmas program (at what would generally be considered a pretty conservative church) was the Henkel twins playing their electric guitars. They played their own arrangement of a couple of Christmas classics. I couldn't get the video upload to work, or I would share it with you.

As always, it was such a joy to see our kiddos enjoying their time with their cousins. The deep down, soul-satisfying kind of joy. My brother and I didn't have cousins our ages with whom we could really fellowship, and it is a delight to my heart to see my children play with Ethan, Isaiah, Abigail, and Chloe.

I haven't done a good job of capturing the "little moments" in this post, but I'm so thankful that Papa and Mama came to visit, and that Beka decided to come as well with The Cousins. I wish Eric could have pulled away from work and come, but we are all so thankful for the time we had together. And I'm thankful that they didn't let the possibility (which turned into the reality) of them getting sick from our leftover germs keep them from coming!

Here are some more pictures (you can click on the slideshow to get to the pictures individually/download the full sized files, etc):

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Barak's Babies

Barak bought some guinea pigs back in August for his latest business venture. I think I neglected to post pictures of Crickets (the girl) and Curly (the boy) at the time. But I have a picture now! Crickets had a fine batch of babies on New Year's Day - four of them! They are very adorable, don't you think?

They will be up for sale in about six weeks. In the meantime they are being held and loved on and will be extremely friendly little pets.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Look

For those of you who use a reader, you might want to actually visit the blog. I put a new look up the other day - what do you think?

16 Things

I was tagged for this "16 Things" meme on Facebook, and thought I would re-post my 16 things here. Consider yourself tagged!

Here are the Rules I received when tagged: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 or more people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you. And if you've haven't been tagged, do it anyway!

Preface to my 16 things... I have recently been blessed to reconnect with some dear friends from my early years staffing at Kansas Bible Camp. Dear friends with whom I have been out of contact for many many years. In light of that, my 16 things are going to be focused on a recap of the last 16 or so years of my life. If you already know all this stuff, feel free to skip this note, but I'm guessing there will be some new info for everyone.

1. I am a believer in God the Creator as He reveals Himself in the Bible - saved by grace, through faith in the precious blood of Jesus. I'm not very concerned with what I call "boxes" - the constructs that we create so that God seems comfortable and tame to us. I am learning to seek Him in His word, and finding that He is faithful to reveal Himself.

2. I graduated from Blue Ridge Christian School in 1991. Shortly thereafter, my friend Mike and I went on a double date with my brother Eric and one of my best friends, Rebekah. It was such a blessing to gain her as my sister in 1994.

3. I played hopscotch through four years of college: 1st year - Emmaus Bible College in Dubuque, IA; 2nd year - Longview Community College in KC; 3rd year - Hutchinson Community College in Hutch, KS (see #3); 4th year - back to Emmaus. Due to the hopscotch, four years did not equal a degree, but I learned a great deal!

4. Since the early 1980's Kansas Bible Camp has been a tremendous part of my life. We started going there for Papa to speak (not sure when that first happened) at kids camps; I staffed there every summer from 1986 to 1995; Jonathan and I lived there for most of 1998 (our daughter Elanor was born in the upstairs apartment); and most importantly, God has used KBC in many ways in my personal growth and relationship with Him.

5. Jonathan and I were married on September 23, 1995. When we were younger, we both had a list of people we *knew* we would never marry. Jonathan's was two people long, and I was one of them. My list was only one person - Jonathan! God has such a sense of humor, as well as wisdom far beyond ours. I'm so very thankful for the man that He has given me.

6. Jonathan and I have been blessed with 7 beautiful children. Davey (12), Barak (11), Elanor (10), Josiah (9), Kate (7), Grace (5), and Stephen (19 months). They are a joy, a challenge, a delight, a daily opportunity for learning.

7. I have one brother, Eric. He is a doctor (Internal Medicine), and has a practice in Hendersonville, NC. He is married to my beautiful friend Beka, and they have four children whom I adore - Ethan, Isaiah, Abigail, and Chloe.

8. Papa and Mama are living in Franklin, NC, about and hour and a half from Eric and Beka. They moved down to NC several years ago to care for G'pa and G'ma. G'pa and G'ma both passed away last fall, and Papa and Mama are waiting on the Lord as they seek to figure out what He has for them next. They are the youngest folks their age I know, and two of our dearest friends!

9. Jonathan and I have lived in 9 houses in our 13 years of marriage. We lived in/around Hutchinson, KS for the first five years (5 houses). We have lived in the St. Louis area since 2000, and just moved to our fourth house in Missouri. We currently are renting from some friends - a lovely house on 10 gorgeous acres (with a creek, pond, chicken coop, and lots of room to roam).

10. 6 of our 7 children were born with a Certified Professional Midwife in a home environment. Katie (baby #5) was born in a hospital here in Missouri. That experience (while miraculous and full of blessings) impacted us so deeply that we returned to Kansas for the birth of our last two babies to in order to welcome them in a home setting with a legal midwife (see #11).

11. We moved to Missouri knowing that the practice of midwifery was included in the statutory definition of the practice of medicine, and was therefore a felony offense In Missouri (hence, the birth in the hospital). We have been very involved in Friends of Missouri Midwives since shortly after we moved, working to increase healthy birth options for families in Missouri. I have served as vice-president and president of FoMM. This past June, families across Missouri were thrilled when the Missouri Supreme Court ruled to uphold a new statute legalizing Certified Professional Midwives in Missouri. Jonathan and I love knowing that if the Lord blesses us with any more children, we will have the option of working with a legal midwife right here in Missouri!

12. As you might guess from #'s 10 and 11, birth is a big deal to me. I am amazed and fascinated by the wonder of God's creation in this area. I truly believe that the process of carrying and birthing a baby is one of the most sacred and precious gifts God has given women.

13. God has been teaching me a great deal about grace lately. His grace to me, His grace through me to others, etc. More on this will likely be coming out in my blog over the next year or so. Speaking of which...

14. I'm a blogger. I find blogging to be a blessing for several reasons - it helps me record what is going on with my family; it is a processing tool; it is a way to encourage and bless others; it is fun! I also love to read the blogs of others, but have come to depend on my Google Reader to keep from from spending hours and hours browsing blogs. If you're interested in reading me, my blog is at

15. Perfectionism is a character issue that I am actively working on overcoming. I tend toward that crippling kind of perfectionism that doesn't do something at all because it might not be perfect. I'm learning to cut myself and those around me some slack.

16. I'm extremely eclectic. I appreciate many kinds of music; I enjoy a wide variety of genres and authors; I have friends from a large spectrum of beliefs, cultures, politics; I like a blend of architecture and design styles; etc. There are things about me which most folks would find contradictory - like the fact that I wear a covering on my head most of the time... and I plan to get a tattoo soon. I believe that it is vital to live a life of obedience to God. And He's showing me that obedience to Him is not about conforming to a set of rules/boxes/man-made traditions. It's all about Him, and He's much bigger than we tend to acknowledge. What He has to say about Himself is very clear and easily accessible in His Word, the Bible.