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I told you I’d be accountable to you who read this blog about spending quality daily time with the Lord, and well, the past three days have been void of that. ¬†ūüė¶ ¬†Let me just tell you , I felt it in a HUGE way. ¬†Things that would normally just annoy me almost devastated me those days. ¬†There was a strength missing (go figure). ¬†Now I have every “right” (excuse) to miss a few days. ¬†The first missed day was when we drove back up north, Friday was a cleaning day, and yesterday was a recovery day from all the travel and cleaning. ¬†But did I manage to eat during the day? ¬†Yes.

Connecting with my Father this morning was the best feeling ever. ¬†Strength really does come when we wait on Him. ¬†All the things that were bogging me down (the dirty house, the destroyed garden, feelings of loneliness) don’t have the better of me anymore. ¬†I know He is my Provider of all things, and in His perfect timing, all things will be restored.

Now that I have strength for this day, it’s time to make breakfast, clean, weed, mulch, launder, and get ready for the 2008/09 home school year! ¬†Blessings to you all!

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On the cusps of watching for the first time last night “The Office” episode where they handed out Dundy awards, ¬†I am now awarded with a Bloggy! ¬†I must say, I think Bloggies are way cooler. Thank you for this great honor, Rissa. ¬†As an¬†amateur¬†blogger, it especially means a lot. ¬†I will forever treasure it in this post. ¬†ūüôā

I would now like to present a Bloggy to Laura. ¬†Her blog is very creative and entertaining. ¬†She has a gift of welding the pen in a creative, entertaining sort of way (I could learn some things from her). ¬†ūüôā

Last year when Levi was three, he was introduced to some unfamiliar foods. He decided to name them:

Slimy Corn: creamed corn

Bugger Noodles: Hamburger Helper

Sloppy Buns:¬†Sloppy Joe’s

When my youngest was presented with a small gift, I let Faith (2) open it for her. ¬†She opened it and found a plush pink poodle rattle, and decided to claim it for her own. ¬†Faithy deemed it was her “noodle.” ¬†She now takes it everywhere we go, and if she asks you to help her find her noodle, you now know what to help her look for.

I will end with a song Faith just sang, “I’ve been dreaming of a true love’s piss…” ¬†Gotta love it! ¬†ūüôā
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Wow. ¬†Two months is a long time. ¬†Long enough for a place to feel like home again. ¬†We’ve been in Orange County since late June, and tomorrow, we make the 9-hour trek back up north. ¬†The only thing that could possibly make the OC feel like home for me is the people I love who live in it. ¬†I have never been a fan of the area. ¬†I don’t like irrigated deserts. ¬†Smog is not my air of choice. ¬†I greatly dislike living in a region where sensuality and materialism permeate. ¬†But somehow, there are some diamonds in the rough. ¬†I have had the privillege to spend precious hours with family and friends whom I cherish. ¬†I’ve enjoyed hearing your hearts and seeing your vision. ¬†Some are on your way to different corners of the earth. ¬†Some are staying put. ¬†This summer will be tucked away in my heart forever.

Today is a day of packing and sentiment. ¬†As I clean the fingerprints from my parents’ sliding glass doors and stuff our clothes into suit cases, I try not to stuff my feelings. ¬†It would be a lot easier to close them off and not deal with the tearing feeling that always pains my heart when it’s time to say goodbye. ¬†It’s especially hard to see my kids’ eyes well up with tears as the ripping begins. ¬†

Thankfully, we have much to look forward to. ¬†We have new friends to reunite with and get to know better. ¬†Although I missed blackberry season, the pears will be ready for harvest, and the walnuts are preparing for their time to be picked. ¬†I get to wake up every morning and laugh at wild turkeys and enjoy the beautiful lake. ¬†The pumpkin sprouts I left should now be huge and speckled with squash. ¬†I get to say goodbye to disposables and return to cloth diapering and line-drying. ¬†It’s back to filling the home with the scent of freshly baked bread from the flour I just milled. It’ll be fun to see jars of kefir lacto-fermenting all in a row on the kitchen counter. ¬†Call it nerdy, but I’m excited to return back to the lifestyle I’ve embraced the past three years.

Now, if I could just combine the two. ¬†I wish I could put all my loved ones in my pocket and take them with me wherever I go. ¬†This trip was a huge reminder of the blessings community can be, and how important it is. ¬†I know it takes time to establish one after a move, and I know we’ll will have one again. ¬†An old Girl Scout song comes to mind, “Make new friends, but keep the old. ¬†One is silver and the other’s gold.” ¬†ūüôā

Well, that was a nice break.  Now that my mind is filled with sweet thoughts of all of you, I will return to my packing duties.
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“Christmas?! ¬†What?! ¬†It’s August for heaven’s sake!” ¬†I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that. ¬†I can’t help it; I have a chronic love for Christmas. ¬†Anticipation is so darn much fun, and finding¬†Organized Christmas¬†(eight years ago) totally feeds that. ¬†It even makes deep cleaning feel festive and exciting. ¬†They encourage keeping a running family wish list year-round so you will be prepared when people ask you what everyone in the family wants.

Let me tell you about the item that has been #1 on my list for the past two years: the Vita-mix. ¬†Making smoothies, hummus, pureed soups, and nut butters is a common¬†occurrence¬†in my kitchen, but these items just don’t get as smooth as store-bought versions when I use my food processor or blender to make them. ¬†The vita-mix would cure that. ¬†I promise I don’t sell these things (but my friend¬†does, if you’re interested ūüôā ), I just wanted to share one of my “favorite things” with you. ¬†Hey, Oprah does it, why can’t I?

So what’s on you’re list? ¬†I’m always on the lookout for cool items that enhance health and beauty in the home. ¬†Or do you not think about such things in August like most normal people?
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Sense I’ve been deprived of tending my garden for the past two months and planting season has basically come to an end in my neck of the woods, I am getting my garden fix by planning for next year’s (Lord willing I get one) garden.

Saturday morning, I stumbled upon a really cool show on PBS called “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home.” ¬†This show made me want a TV again. ¬†He shared garden craft ideas for kids, and some great veggies that I now want to include in my little patch.

Next year, I want to make¬†trellises¬†and teepees out of sticks we can collect this Autumn and tie them together with twine. ¬†We can make these in the Fall so they’ll be ready and waiting for springtime.

I also want to grow gourds.  They grow very quickly which is fun for the kids, and we can make instruments, decorations, bird houses, platters, and seed storage containers out of them.  They even work as a natural pesticide.

The vegetable he highlighted were asparagus beans. They grow up trellices fairly high which can provide a nice, shady natural wall in the summer.  They also render a prolific harvest, and the long, tasty beans can be diagonally sliced and stir fried.

Oh my goodness, I am so excited to dig up some beds and plant seeds! ¬†I guess I have a bit of waiting to do, but in the meantime, I’m gonna pour over seed catalogues (well, websites, but catalogues sound more romantic), plan my garden, and make my wish list.

Do you have a favorite seed company/garden craft/unique plant/etc?  Please, do tell.
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9:00pm:  My 2-year-old has a 102 fever.

11:00pm: I go to bed.

1:00am:  I check the fever, and it broke.

4:00am: My 6-year-old wakes me up with the dreaded whimper, “I think I’m gonna throw up.”

4:15am:  It finally happened (thankfully, in the toilet!)

4:30am: ¬†Jeremy’s alarm goes off and leaves for the airport to get to the Portland event. ¬†My 3-month-old wakes up from the alarm. ¬†I nurse her back to sleep.

5:00am:  My six-year-old wakes back up.  She has thrown up on her pillow.  I get a fresh one and lay her down on the ground with blankets.

7:00am: ¬†I wake up after having a dream about a white wolf and a pack of¬†coyotes¬†in the children’s ministry rooms at church. ¬†Then, I had a dream that I watched a plane crash-land and there were only a few survivors.

8:00am: ¬†I text Jeremy to make sure he’s ok and have a text from an unknown sender asking me to pray for her cousin who had been thrown out of a car and was bleeding in her brain. ¬†My phone dies before I get a reply from Jeremy and I can find out who the text is from. ¬†I remember my phone charger was left in my locked car, and I can’t find the keys.

At this point I realize it’s probably not coincidental that all this happened at once. ¬†I feel under attack. ¬†It is a grave reminder that the “spiritual forces of evil” are constantly at war with the saints. ¬†I begin to think about the importance of His children in prayer and in unity with each other. ¬†I feel the necessity of prayer and my need for spiritual brothers and sisters especially at times like these.¬†

I think it’s time to pray¬†Ephesians 6 over all of us again. ¬†We can be given the weapons to fight the evil one, and it’s so important to remember that we are on the same side. ¬†This battle isn’t against flesh and blood. ¬†We need each other. ¬†We need to bare each other’s burdens. ¬†We need to be in prayer as one. ¬†How astounding it is that we already know we’re on the winning side! ¬†Let’s forgive and forget. ¬†Let’s stand as one in Him, fight the good fight, and spend eternity together with Jesus. ¬†Sounds lovely, don’t you think? ūüôā

PS: My 2-year-old’s fever broke, my six-year-old’s tummy feels fine, I found my keys, and Jeremy made it safely to Portland. ¬†Thank you, Father!
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Contrary to me, hopefully you’re bringing in your garden’s harvest. ¬†Speaking of gardens, I wonder how mine’s doing? ¬†I abandoned it two months ago when we made our journey to the depths of CA, otherwise known as the OC. ¬†We came down for a number of reasons, the biggest one being to get Jer in the recording studio for his next album. ¬†But back to my beloved garden…

I’ve wanted to grow gardens forever, but every year, something keeps me from starting one. ¬†I’ve grown various plants in pots (tomatoes, a few herbs, blueberries…), but my dream is to have huge veggie, tea, and herb gardens, berry patches, and a little fruit and nut orchard.

Here is what I left at the end of June (pathetic that I took pictures of my plants, I know, but what’s even more pathetic is I’m posting them! ¬†What can I say, I even love tiny gardens!):

 

Our little starts

Our little starts in April

 

(

We had to leave our sunflowers right as they started budding! ūüė¶

 

Blooming Zucchinis (I wonder how they tasted)  Waaaa!

Blooming Zucchinis (I wonder how they tasted) Waaaa!

Muskmelons

 

My son's "candy corn"

My son's "candy corn"

We also have tomatoes, bell peppers, oregano, blueberries in a pot, and a lime tree, but I sadly have no pictures of them. ¬†ūüôā

My house-sitting BIL has given word of my sunflowers: they have already bloomed and are now drooping. ¬†ūüė¶

I suppose this is entry one of my new garden journal.  It can only grow from here!  Hehe.

PS: Here’s a picture of one of the many sunflower fields we passed driving down the 5:


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I have a confession to make. ¬†Although I spend some individual time with the Lord every day, it has not always been quality time. ¬†It sometimes slips into my to-do list and out of relationship.¬†¬†It’s so easy to find excuses to try and justify reasons why I didn’t get around to special time with God on certain days. ¬†Living a “full orbed” spiritual walk is something I have been growing in over the years, and “practicing the Presence” has been life-changing, but I sometimes use these life methods as excuses for my¬†inconsistent personal connections with God. ¬†I’ve even been told by church leaders that I’m in a season of raising little kids and my devotional life will come back in due time. ¬†Friends, that is a load of crap.

Lately, I have felt conviction and a sense of urgency to step it up in this area of my life. ¬†It is a must¬†that I am daily studying the Word, supplicating, and waiting on the Lord. ¬†I want to know Him more. ¬†I’m after a deeper relationship with Him. ¬†Some might think keeping it a daily practice no matter what is legalistic, but I figure if it is, then so is drinking water every day. ¬†Just as my physical body needs hydration every day to stay alive, my spirit needs to be sustained by one-on-one time with my heavenly Father every day. ¬†When it doesn’t happen, I start to wither away, sometimes unknowingly for a while. ¬†Just as I can find time to feed and give drink to my body, I can find time to nourish my spirit as well, and if I don’t, my priorities are¬†devastatingly¬†askew.

My flesh likes to tell me that spending time alone with the Lord is a drag because it means getting my mind off myself and my to-do list. ¬†It slows down my production for the day. ¬† I could get a head start on the laundry or house cleaning before the kids get up instead of praying and waiting. ¬†Or maybe I could pray and wait¬†while I clean and kill two birds with one stone, because I’m not sure how I’m going to find the time to get everything done. ¬†Besides, I am really just too tired to have the ability to even make a real connection with God. ¬†EXUSES!¬†

I will now be held accountable by you who read this that I will daily¬†spend time in the Word and contemplating it, in prayer, and (the most challenging thing for me) in waiting on the Lord. ¬†I will not put a time limit on it, because I feel that would be legalistic. ¬†Vision is found in Him. ¬†Contentedness is found only in Him. ¬†Salvation is found in Him alone. ¬†I know I will lose my way if I do not study the map and communicate with the Navigator. ¬†I know I will starve if I don’t daily take bread. ¬†It’s always there for the taking, it’s up to me to¬†pursue¬†it, in times of consolation and desolation.
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This tale is not one I am¬†privileged¬†to take credit for. ¬†I am merely a humble scribe, penning the legendary adventures of a super hero created by my four-year-old son over the past two years. ¬†This is his story…

One¬†ordinary¬†day on the planet earth, humans were walking around, doing what humans do, when one day, a man who went by the name of Ho-Jon¬†spontaneously¬†transformed to the super hero we know today as Whoa-Jon. ¬†Whoa-Jon currently resides on Whoa-Jon’s planet, Majawa, which is farther than Pluto, and he travels to earth in his Foosha Foosha, which is a rocket ship.

Dressed in white with a green cape, Whoa-Jon rids planet earth of every villain four-year-old boys come in contact with.  Whoa-Jon is smarter than Hacker, stronger than Syndrome and his omnidroid, and faster than Pharaoh and his pursuing army.

Sometimes, four-year-old boys think a little too highly of Whoa-Jon and decide he is cooler than God. ¬†Whoa-Jon’s powers can apparently change and it was¬†originally¬†thought that God’s powers stay the same, but after a bit of talking things through with their mommies, four-year-old boys realized God is actually cooler.

But the story does not end here.  Whoa-Jon has teamed up with Thunder-Lightning Girl and Super Squirt.  The terrific trio have many adventures together and will be documented as they continue to unfurl.
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Drought weights the trees, and from the farmhouse eaves
The locust, pulse-beat of the summer day,
Throbs; and the lane, that shambles under leaves
Limp with the heat‚Äďa league of rutty way ‚Äď
Is lost in dust; and sultry scents of hay
Breathe from the panting meadows heaped with sheaves.

‚Äď from "The Rain-Crow" by Madison Cawein (1865 ‚Äď 1914)

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