Monday, May 31, 2010

Lessons from my garden

Each day after my early morning walk, I meander around the garden, enjoying the colors and shapes and variety of God's creation. When my youngest granddaughter awakens she and I go outside again and talk about the beautiful things that God has made. She loves the fish in our little pond, and in fact that is one of her first words, "isss........."

This morning I sat down in the rocking chair, and as I looked out I was overcome with one of those rare instances of pure ecstasy. The sun's ray was peeking through the other side of the fence, beckoning me to snap its picture. I was reminded of our Lord Jesus, the Light of the World, the True Light that shines in the darkness, the Light of Glory. I love those precious times when my eyes alone behold that unique something, and I in the quiet of the day experience the pleasure of a timeless truth. My heart was filled with the joy of the Lord. Don't you love those special times?
I was reminded as I looked at the day lilies that Jesus used this sweet flower as a visual lesson for His disciples, when He said to them, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." Matthew 6:33. He used this as an exhortation to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and to give our worries to Him.

The sweet potato vine, I regret to say, is getting holes in it. This evening as I sat in my easy chair by the front window, I was dramatically reminded of the holes we leave in our own lives sometimes. It was very late, and I heard a loud noise in the street. A young man hit a parked truck on the side of the road. He was riding a motorcycle, and as far as I'm concerned, that was hole #1. We ran outside and saw him lying on the street bleeding from his head. Hole #2--no helmet. As we tried to talk to him while we waited for the ambulance, it was pretty obvious that he was at the least inebriated--hole #3.

Sometimes in my own failures to live as I should, leaving holes that need to be fixed, I am so very grateful that in the instant that I recognize it to be true, God has made provision for me to patch up those holes and press on. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 The Lord is in the business of patching holes if only we allow Him in.

Creation has much to teach us about the ways of its Maker.

I'm Linking to:

An Oregon Cottage

A Southern Daydreamer

Always nesting

Heart and Home

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers." Proverbs 17:6


Can you envision a more challenging word? What a responsibility it is to be a role model for those whom God has placed in our care.


My grandparents and my husband's were farmers who worked the soil to provide food for their families. My grandmother married a widower at the age of 16 and instantly became the mother of 2 children. She then had 10 of her own.

My mother and father struggled through the Great Depression and came out on top, later to lose everything. But they kept on going and loved us dearly. My father lost both his legs in two separate train accidents, and I never heard him complain. I was probably 10 years old before I realized he was handicapped!

Family Life
We live in a multi-generational home. Our son-in-law and daughter and their 4 little girls live in the same house with us. We love it! Can you imagine having 4 beautiful girls climb the stairs every evening to hug and kiss you and tell you goodnight and that they love you? Well, we experience that blessing every night. I grew up in a multi-generational family, and my mother lived with my husband and me for 5 years before her death. No regrets. None.

Our Future Generation
Besides my relationship with my Lord Jesus Christ, I can tell you assuredly that my relationship with my family is the greatest blessing in my life. I walk in the footsteps of those who came before me. I am who I am because of God and others whom He placed in my life. And I have a baton to pass as I run the race. My prayer is that the footsteps that our grandchildren follow will be clear, filled with light, and on the straight and narrow path that leads to life everlasting.

Winston Churchill once said, "Never, Never, Never Give Up!" In whatever state your family is, I encourage you to keep placing your feet on a firm foundation, one step at a time. Make those footprints clear. There is always hope.

Hurray for family!
And hurray for you as you work and give yourself to those you love. It's worth all the effort it takes. Blessings and joy to each of you.

I'm linking to:
Reluctant Entertainer
Always Nesting

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Little Seamstress

I have told all the granddaughters that when they turn 8 I will teach them to use the sewing machine. The oldest one took me up on it and was rarin' to go at 8 years old. The next two weren't interested, but I finally caught another little fish! Her first project was pillows for the front porch, and I am so proud of her. She did an excellent job, and what's more, she loved sewing. Yea! She sewed up the first one and we realized we didn't have enough fabric for #2. When we went to JoAnn's for more, it was gone! So we bought a stripe for the back, took the first one apart, and made two pillows. Here they are!

My daughter and I went to my favorite thrift store (by the same name) and I bought these iron chairs for $4.00 each. They had just the perfect amount of rust.

We made seat cushions for them and placed them beside this little item that I found at a garage sale for $8.00.

It was a plant stand that came in two pieces, so I put some marbles from Dollar Tree inside the base and then put a glass table top that we already had between the base and the vase. Cute table, huh?

After a hard day's sewing my little seamstress and I decided to go outside and have a cup of tea at our new table and chairs covered oh-so-sweetly.

The Lord really knew what He was doing when He gave me grandkids. They are some of my favorite things. Is there a blog for favorite things?

I'm linking to:
A Hodgepodge Life

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Contending with the Grandkids

Just a peek at one spot in my garden

I went to church this morning for prayer time before Sunday School, and the mold was so strong that I couldn't stay. I'm very allergic to mold, and our church tends to get moldy and musty when it rains. I just got over an allergy attack from the mold at church, so I decided to come home, sit in the garden, and listen to my favorite preacher, Dr. Voddie Baucham. He spoke on the book of Jude and "Contending for the Faith." Interestingly, as I walked and prayed early this morning, I was almost overwhelmed with the sense of responsibility that I believe God has given me to encourage the grandchildren in the faith.

Well, the Indian in the background is contending, anyway!

Contending for the faith

Dr. Baucham talked about tolerance and the fact that so many do not tolerate intolerance. Well, if one doesn't tolerate intolerance, doesn't that by definition make him intolerant? Therefore, we must choose what we will and will not tolerate. I desire for my grandchildren to be intolerant of anything in their own lives but following Christ and the principles of the Word of God, at the same time being tolerant of others' freedom to do otherwise. Now, I'm not saying that I think others are right on this issue, only that they have a right to disagree. I want my precious grandchildren to understand and contend for the faith, being willing to let people know that they believe the Bible, and to let them know why they believe it. (Look at the bottom of this post to see why I believe the Bible.) Yes, I want them to share the faith that is worth contending for.

Why I choose to believe the Bible
I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents, written by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. It records supernatural events that took place to fulfill specific prophecies, thus validating the claim that the Bible is divine, rather than human in origin. (And by the way, I am a living testimony to the power of this Book!)
Dr. Voddie Baucham
on 2 Pet.1:16-21

I'm linking this post to:
Grace Alone

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Boys and Manners and the Sand Hill Crane

My sister lives in Florida and has two Sand Hill Cranes that have been coming to her home for years. When their food is not out in the mornings, they go to the window and peck on it! One day I wrote a story for the grandkids about manners and the Sand Hill Cranes. I think it had a pretty good object lesson, because my oldest grandson said, "Uh-oh!" when I read it to them. Enjoy!

Aunt Betty’s Cranes

Abigail and Noah were as excited as they could be. They were going on a trip to Florida to see Aunt Betty and Uncle Tommy, some of their favorite people. The two children packed their bags with cool summer clothes, not forgetting their swim suits and goggles. The beach was calling them!

They ran to the car as fast as their happy bodies would take them. Noah, being older and faster, was the first to the car. Abigail was close behind. Noah threw open the door and jumped in, almost knocking Abigail down. “Sorry!” he said as he slid into the most comfortable seat. He could hardly wait until he got to Aunt Betty’s house. But the trip was long and the children began to get tired and grumpy. Abigail wanted the water first. Noah wanted to watch his movie first. Abigail was uncomfortable and stretched her body over into Noah’s seat. Yes, it was going to be a very long trip.

The car finally pulled into Uncle Tommy and Aunt Betty’s house. Noah crawled across Abigail and almost fell out in his excitement to see them. He hugged them and ran into the house, picking out the bed he wanted to sleep in. “Wow! This bed is right by the window where I can see the golf course,” he said to himself. He set down his suitcase and went outside.

“Abigail, come here!” Noah called. “You won’t believe these big birds! I’ve never seen anything like this before. “Aunt Betty walked outside and explained to them that they were Sand Hill Cranes, and they had been coming to her house for many years. Each morning she put out food for them, and if she didn’t, they would peck on her window, letting her know that they were hungry.

The two children sat outside and watched the cranes most of the day. When it was time to eat, the male crane stood guard a few feet away and allowed the female to eat her meal in peace. Afterward, the female stepped aside and stood guard while the male ate his food. They seemed to always be looking out for one another, and Mr. Crane always showed thoughtfulness to Mrs. Crane. What a gentleman he was! After a full day of eating and playing at Aunt Betty’s house, the two cranes walked to one end of the golf course, flapped their wings, and flew off straight down the golf course to their nests. What a day it had been! Noah and Abigail were tired and hungry and they went inside to eat their dinner.

Noah ran to the sink and washed his hands, in a big hurry to get to the meal line. As he pushed his way ahead of Abigail, he was reminded of the thoughtful crane and how he always allowed the female to go first. “Here, Abigail, get in line ahead of me. I want you to go first. It seems that I have been so excited to be here that I have forgotten that a gentleman always thinks about the needs of a lady first. I am so happy that we came to Uncle Tommy and Aunt Betty’s house. I have learned an important lesson from the Sand hill Cranes. They keep the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ I’m sorry that I have been thinking of myself so much. Please, tonight I want you to take the bed that is by the window.”

Have you ever written stories for your children or grandchildren? They love the personal stories and always want them re-read. It's a great way to teach without preaching. You know, our greatest Storyteller was the Lord Jesus Himself.
Be blessed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Boys and Manners #2

I love gardening, but any of you who garden know that it is a time-consuming endeavor. As I have been digging in the dirt, much has come to mind concerning the training of little boys--and girls, for that matter. But since we are presently discussing little boys, we will apply our "flower counsel" to them.

Some flowers take much time and cultivation in order to grow into beautiful treasures of joy to the beholder. Roses love sunshine and epsom salts and deadheading. Sometimes they get black spot that has to be treated. My lantanas, once they are established, just go crazy and grow and grow. But they need tender loving care to begin with. Wildflowers, on the other hand, pop up whenever and wherever they want, leaving us to wonder how God could grace us sinful creatures with such beauty. Then there is the stubborn mondo grass that comes up and blooms with only God's assistance. Even when you think you have carefully pulled it all up it surprises you once again, giving you the undeniable sense that nothing can deter it.

So how are boys like flowers? We have already discussed the exhausting task of teaching line by line and precept by precept--over and over and over again. They too must be cultivated. Interestingly, they need lots of sunshine, too. Sometimes they may even need some epsom salts. I think it can be used as a laxative! (Don't quote me on that.) And deadheading? Well, sometimes they are deadheads and definitely need it trained out of them!

Seriously, it seems that some boys--very few of them, I have observed--are like the wildflowers or the often abused mondo grass. They just seem to grow up with an innate understanding of what to do and how to do it. Our "adopted" grandson Kevin is an example. He lives with his dad who works long hours, rarely sees his mom who lives in an altogether different country, and yet he is the ultimate gentleman. He pitches in to help anytime he is around. He takes the baby or the little ones and plays with them in order to relieve my daughter. His manners are impeccable. Kevin--a much appreciated but rare wildflower.

Some are like the lantana, which takes tender loving care as a new young plant, but once it is nourished it just takes off. What nice plants those are! A few short years of training those boys and you have a true gentleman. But don't get your hopes up yet!

Most, it seems, are more like the roses. They just take lots of care. Every year as they grow up, they need to be fertilized with the Truth and with encouragement to do what is right. They need the sunshine of love and the trimming back of discipleship. When the black spots of sin show up and they are acting like little jerks instead of little gentlemen, they need a treatment in discipline. Oh, but it's worth it! What a sweet smelling savor is a man who has been shone the tender love of a mother and father and grandparents who insist that he be a prize winning specimen.

Enough of my philosophizing today. May you be blessed beyond measure as you bring up those boys.
I'm linking up to:
A Southern Daydreamer

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Boys and Manners

"A man's manners are a mirror in which he shows his portrait."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I didn't say, did I, that I was going to discuss perfection in boys? I certainly hope not. If I did, I can promise you that I am fighting a losing battle. It ain't happenin'....girls, on the other hand........just joking!

Boys and manners.
Is that an oxymoron? I don't really think it has to be. Boys are boys, now, but they can be taught. It just takes all of your effort for the rest of your life with them. By the time they move off on their own, surely your prayers and your tenacity will have had a positive effect. Of course you will be totally exhausted, taking the next several years to recuperate. That's assuming that grandsons don't come along too soon. If so, just be ready to give all of your expert advice to the mom and dad. (You do know what an expert is, don't you? An ex is a has been and a spurt is a leaky faucet.) I know, that has nothing to do with anything. But besides that, you will be determined to try to overcome all the perceived failures on your part to properly train the sons that God gave you, so you will just dive in with both feet and a staunch determination to do it right this time with your almost perfect-save-manners grandson.

My tip for the day
Go to and order the e-book "100 Important Things Your Boys Need to Know: A Homeschooler's Guide to Boys and Manners." It's $14.95 and I think well worth it. That's 2 tickets to the movies or one cheap meal out. If you don't want to do that, I will probably critique much of it, but I really think that if you have a boy, you will love it. It is full of practical advice and poems and quotes and stories about boys who needed to learn manners. It has many other helps, as well. I sent the link to all my girls encouraging them to get it as a resource.
Be blessed as you delve into the joys of doing what is right and good for those you love most. Hard work does pay off!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Boys vs. Girls

The Psalmist said, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward." (Psalm 127:3.)

And one of the greatest rewards of children is grandchildren. As a grandmother of 12, I sense great reward and a grave responsibility towards the care of those precious ones God has blessed me with. I've talked , and will likely discuss more in depth, about the tea parties that I have with the granddaughters. The one above was a "prairie tea party." Don't they look gorgeous and feminine? They used their best tea party manners, as they always do at tea parties. The goal is to see them do this all the time! Now let's look at what boys do:

You guessed it; that's a frog! Those boys played with that poor frog until it was dead. (Now if one of the girls had played with the frog until it died, she would have cried her little heart out. Oh, yes. The girls do play with frogs. They name them Susie, Samantha, Jenny, Marguerite.......notice anything about the names? Yep! They are always girls.) Oh, they also would have had a funeral, buried it, and said a prayer over it. Then they would have made a lovely cross for it's grave marker.

But the boys? They just say, "Oops, that's too bad," and go off looking for some other poor miserable creature. Could it be that boys really are made of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails?
I am going to blog for a few days about teaching manners to little boys. Hopefully it will be beneficial to someone. Perhaps my daughters of boys will read it, anyway. They can critique me. Let me know what you think as I expand this over the next few days, okay?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Special time on the porch with Lil

Today was the day for the oldest to have special "mommy time" with her mom. My daughter tries to do that once a week with each of her two oldest daughters while the younger ones rest. I enjoyed some special time with the second oldest. We went first to JoAnn's, where she picked out the fabric for cushions for the iron chairs that we bought for $4.99 at a thrift store. "I like that fabric. Good job, Lil!" Then we went to the back porch and sat in the rockers and drank strawberry/banana/blueberry smoothies. Twice while we were sitting there, she said "we have such a beautiful garden." That's why I like to have grandkids. They make me feel so happy. There's nothing better than a lazy afternoon on the porch and the blessed enjoyment of a precious little girl.

I'm linking up to Fireflies and Jellybeans:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My life verses are Philippians 4:6-7
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Today I need that reminder! I spent way too much time last night fretting over this blog. I really haven't figured out how to do this yet, and yesterday's blog looked horrible. I just fretted and fretted over it and even spent this morning bummed out. That is ridiculous! What if I never learn how to do it? That's okay! God may have something completely different in mind for me. Well, I know He has many things for me. I have a husband, 2 daughters, a son, and 12 grandkids to care for. And believe me, that's a ministry! I finally came to the conclusion that I am not going to let this rule my life. Just because everyone else that I know can do this easily doesn't mean that I can. (I guess I exaggerated a little bit--not everyone else--but my 14 year old granddaughter can.) If I can do it, I will. If I can't, I won't, and that's that!

Anyway, I bought this lovely tray for $2.oo at a thrift store in Dayton, Tennessee, last weekend when we were on our trip. My daughter did a little research and found that it is a paint by number. How cute is that? The tea cup came from a garage sale and the tea set from another thrift store. I think I paid a dollar for the tea cup and about $6.00 for the tea set.

My heart is to teach my granddaughters through the monthly tea parties how to be ladies, how to use good etiquette, how to show true friendship, and many other virtues that behoove godly young women. The cute tray will be a good addition to our stash of tea party supplies.

Have a blessed week!

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Trip with 8 Grandkids

There is no place on earth as beautiful as the mountains in Springtime unless there's a lake sitting lazily between the mountains. Last week we and about 60 other folks from our church enjoyed visiting such a lovely place. Drive down the road with me to the lakeside cabin. In the mornings one may walk outside to the neighing of the horses in the yard or drinking from the lake--or even on the front porch!

The children ran and played from daylight till dark. All but Maggie.
She just hung out with the teenagers, who were more than happy to accommodate her.

Katie could hardly stay away from the farm animals. There were turkeys, hens, emus, goats, and lambs.

Abigail just liked to smile a lot.

Lilly liked to climb trees--and there were plenty to climb!

I don't think Rachael knew quite what to do with that horse, do you?

Noah caught the fish that everyone else was trying to catch but couldn't. Yes, he was proud!

At night we sang gospel music, told stories, and enjoyed the beauty of God's creation. Haley played her violin--well, her fiddle. I'm so proud of her ability to play by ear. I never could.

Leaving was difficult. Katie wanted to stay at "Design", but all good things must come to an end. If you get a chance, go to Cedine's website at Their ministry is vital and vibrant. It blesses our hearts. And may God bless your heart, too!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No garden is as beautiful as one with a baby in it!

Now don't tell me there's a better helper anywhere. I've tried, and I just can't find one! All gardeners need to love to dig in the dirt, and this little gardener truly does!

Each morning we go out to the fish pond and look for the fishies. She looks and looks, and sometimes they are right there at the top, swimming around like they would love to jump into the garden and play with her. Other mornings they are deep in the pond, and she searches with all her might but just can't find them. So we walk around the garden for awhile and then go back inside for breakfast.

We love our garden. It's such a happy place. We sit in the rockers on the porch and admire our work, or we wander and look. The weeds like the garden, too, but not as much as Maggie and I do.

Wouldn't you love to have seen Eden?

I'm linking to:
Reluctant Entertainer

A Southern Daydreamer Outdoor Wednesday

A tablescape with the grandkids

Have you ever tried to set a beautiful table with a 3 year old helping? Needless to say, it's a challenge. But I think it's so good for them to start early. Today the 7 year old and the 3 year old helped. Tonight my daughter is cooking chicken with brie and spinach with tomato orzo, so I thought that we needed to really doll up the table. (We are a multi-generational household; read about it on her blog

Lilly helped cut the flowers and folded the napkins. Can you guess what Lilly's favorite flowers are? No... not roses. Katie helped set the table. I love my helpers!

This is my favorite china, Portmerion's "The Botanic Garden." The pieces have all sorts of different flowers on them. You might notice that the teacups don't match. I have teacups for all of the 9 granddaughters. Katie loves her blue flowered one and really doesn't want anyone else to use it. I can understand; it might get broken!

Moms and grandmothers alike, I encourage you to spend quality (which means quantity also) time with your kiddos. I promise it has great value--for them and for you!

A quote that I really like:

If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one. There is no fun for old people like it! ~Hannah Whithall Smith

All in all, I think we girls did a pretty good job, dont you? Blessings!

I'm linking to:

A Stroll Thru Life

Lady Katherine Tea Parlor Tea Time Tuesday:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Where do the kids go after church is over?

Well, we have a country church in the city. We meet in an old meat packing plant converted into a church building. The roof leaks when it rains really hard. We have a volleyball/basketball/badminton court, a fellowship hall, a playground with swings and a clubhouse, and a barn behind the buildings. Well over half of the church is kids and teens, and we love children! The most interesting thing that we have is a chicken coop in the barn. It's a great teaching tool for these citified children. It has even been a good one for me! I once asked my mother if cows had horns. She laughed.......I don't know why! Today it seemed that everyone was out in the barn looking at the chickens. I don't blame them. I was out there, too! Just look at these little chicks.

I'm reminded how God says that He cares for us like a mother hen cares for her chicks. This hen has tirelessly nurtured those little chicks, and those little ones are so knit to that chicken! Oh, that we would learn the lesson of dependence on our Father from those baby chicks!

Under His Wings by William O. Cushing

Under His wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepens and tempests are wild,
Still I can trust Him; I know He will keep me,
He has redeemed me, and I am His child.


Under His wings, under His wings,
Who from His love can sever?
Under His wings my soul shall abide,
Safely abide forever.

Under His wings, what a refuge in sorrow!
How the heart yearningly turns to His rest!
Often when earth has no balm for my healing,
There I find comfort, and there I am blessed.


Under His wings, oh, what precious enjoyment!
There will I hide till life’s trials are o’er;
Sheltered, protected, no evil can harm me,
Resting in Jesus, I’m safe evermore.

My prayer is that just as these little chicks rest under the mother's wings, you will abide under the wings of your Heavenly Father. Have a blessed day!