Saturday, July 30, 2011

A jam of a day!

There are some things in life that bring me the feeling of accomplishment.  Jam is one of those things.

Maybe it's because it last longer then clean dishes do.

Or maybe because it is not a task that can be half done, but demands the start to finish process.

It could also be that taking the produce of the land and making it into tasty treats just feels right.

May I say it always, a gift!

...and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands...
~ Thessalonians 4:11

882.  Brothers content playing together.
883.  Smell of cooking berries.
884.  Washing dishes.
885.  Mason jars.
886.  Popping sounds as jars cool.
887.  An empty sink when all is done.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The gift of no camera

Remember this place:
You got it.  The place where I could either swim across the fishing hole or float across with my sweet Man of the woods.  This past family day, per my suggestion, off we went again.  This time  I started off in the boat and spent the whole trip with Son of Laughter in my lap and my Man of the woods at the other end.  It was one of those trips where I continuously sighed because I had forgotten my camera to help me record those fleeting days.

Here's where it becomes evident that the forgotten camera was a gift.  I was wet, about thigh deep, before I got into the boat.  As the boys fished and we played together I realized that my back was become increasingly wet.  Looking over my shoulder to see what was causing this I realized we were losing air and taking on water.  My strong man the protector chest deep in the middle of the stream blew more air into this tiny raft often to keep us a float enjoying our trip.  So had the camera come along surely I would be mourning as I type.

11 beauts right there!  The smallest 8 inches.  What a day!

And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD; It shall exult in His salvation.
~ Psalm 35;9

849.  Son of Laughter standing in a rubber raft fishing.
850.  Many fish brought in with a bug net and much squeals of joy.
851.  Snake found and watched in the woods.
852.  Many, many fishing line tangles, some having to be cut.

A blast of a day full of many mishaps!

Whenever we can we bring our boys into our ministries.  What better way to teach them to love others then to bring them alongside as we live it out.  Yesterday was one of those days full of the unexpected.  My Strong man the youth director in our church with an extra special place for those who are no longer children and not yet adults.  He takes these life loving people on adventures every other week through the warm summer months.  This week was the ocean, which is adored by our young boys.

To make a long story short let me list off all of the mishaps.  1. A screaming child for hours before this fun outing causing me to forget to finish dressing.  As I arrived at church I realized I was still in my pajama top.  2.  Having planned for last minute teens we had six extra seats for the trip only to have eight last minute kids show up.  3.  A teen who left her inhaler in the van while on a short but difficult hike.  4.  The church van loosing just about all of the breaks at the bottom (Praise the Lord, the bottom) of the mountain.

My Strong man, thankfully, is the youth director at church and has the key to the AWANA closet so while a bright yellow polo shirt isn't at the top of my fashion list I was able to have something comfortable to wear to the ocean.  Actually I quite liked the shirt by the end of trip and was slightly sad to give it back.

Thankfully a mother of two of our teens was able to come along at the last minute so that we didn't have to turn teens away.  This was HUGE!  Almost half of our group had NEVER been to anything church related before.  They know nothing about God and His Son.

Looking back I should have remembered to remind this teen to bring her inhaler it's not out of the ordinary for her to forget.  I'm thankful in some ways that she left it behind.  She is one of the teens that has been adopted as my daughter.  Her and I, with my Son of laughter on my back, hung back and took the hike very slow.  Good times it was.  We talked of nothing, but it was everything.  Relationship building at it's best. 

Lastly at the very bottom of the Mountain we lost the breaks in our church van.  God was involved in the whole thing!  In the moment all we could see was the stopped car just in front of us getting closer and realizing we'd have to go over the curb to avoid it.  Instead we stopped just in front of the curb no damage done to anything.  Then we inched our way into to Bar Harbor to find a place to park and leave the van for the towing service.  God not only had an open parking space for us, but it was also very convenient for the tow truck to get her out of.  Our friends on the hill drove down to meet us with there 15 passenger van so that we could still be home at a reasonable time.  The church leaders made all the phone calls so we could love on those teens and keep the trip running smoothly.  God was good to us!

When I look back on a day like that all I can see is God's control and love in the events of the day.  It reminds me of Isaiah 30:21.

Your ears will hear a word behind you; "This is the way, walk in it, whenever you turn to the right or the left.

865.  Boulder hopping hikes with my Son of Laughter on my back.
866.  Wild blueberries.
867.  Sounds of enjoyment coming from my pack as I pass the berries back.
868.  My boys excitement over the view, the rocks, and fungus.
869.  The joy "green" rocks brings to my Man of the woods.
870.  My boys beginning to see the small things with wonder.
871.  Being with my "daughters".
872.  Van brakes working until the bottom of the mountain.
873.  God quickly saying yes to our prayer for an easy parking space.
874.  My strong man thinking me helpful even though I don't get it.
875.  Friend on the hill giving us a her time and van to help brings us home.
876.  Holding hands with my Son of Laughter.
877.  Son of Laughter loved window shopping with the girls.
878.  Holding my Son of Laughter's hand just as i did when he learned to walk only now as he learned to walk on boulders.
879.  Oceans
880.  God's vastness.
881.  Son of Laughter's giggle of achievement.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coffee and cupcakes

There are some that come into my life and I know they are a gift to me.  It reminds me of two friends from the deep past.  One the son of a king, the other a shepherd boy (1 Samuel, if your interested in the whole story, chapter 18 for these more specific thoughts).  My Missionary sister-in-law is like that for me.  We met just days before my wedding.  She flew over seas to attend.  We were instant friends.  In many ways I give credit to the foreign missions, a life style we both have lived.  However the more I know her the more I think she's just a gift.

Last night we sat down in an almost empty restaurant with a very friendly waitress, enjoying some tasty cupcakes and warm coffee.  We talked.  We talked for hours.  First me as she wanted to know about my depression and those two precious nephews of hers.  Second of her life.  Both of us currently living on the same soil, only a days drive away.  Now very different lives, callings, fulfillment's. 

It's beautiful.  A Joy.  A pure gift really.

That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.
Psalm 26:7

844.  Coffee & cupcakes.
845.  Conversation that pauses for months without a beat skipped.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A small victory

This drawing hangs on my bathroom door, my "breakdown" room.  It's there so that as I go in I can remember that I am loved and I need to continuously accept this into my life.  I need to accept it like one who' gushing blood to the point of death would accept a transfusion.  I desperately need this flowing through my life veins.  Not only through but also out of my life to those precious men that love me as there queen. 

In the near past I would see this sign through tears daily if not more often.  This is where the victory has come in.  It's been a week since I last saw the sign with tears in my eyes.  Now as I spot this poorly drawn picture I smile at the reminder.  Still starving for more, but isn't that healthy, can one ever have enough of God's beautiful Grace while on this diseased earth?

Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted.
~ Proverbs 3:34

832.  A week without tears.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

It's in the blood

Fishing runs deep in the Hill Defenders blood.  As the season for black flies has gone, it was time for an introduction to the youngest of the clan.

As I was stopping midway into the brook to take this snap shot a spider, the size of a coffee mug, decided my leg would be a nice resting spot. That was until I screamed and began the rest of the way across the brook trying to escape giant sized Spidey.  Having gotten a safe distance away from him I began keeping an eye out.  Of course I did not want to entertain him again, but a photo would have been nice.

As we guessed our fearless son of Laughter loved every minute of the trip.  Even when Daddy was armpit deep in the broke.
That is when I opted to climb aboard ship with my Man of the woods rather then swim down stream.

At one point it was easier to use an old tree as a balance beam with my son on my back then walk through the brush.

A great first experience.

You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.
~ Exodus 34:21

778.  Quick fishing trip.
779.  Raft for my man of the woods to play in.
780.  One on one time with each of my small boys.
781.  Fishing as a family, with an Uncle and Grandpa.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another day in the neighborhood

Usually if we're home for the day as Daddy leaves for work my two littles and I snuggle down to watch some kind of cartoon.  I'll be honest here I do this with purely selfish motives.  We do this so I can drink a cup of coffee along side peace.  However often times, such as today, I end up wearing my coffee because the boys feel the overpowering urge to give me a tackle hug.  Even though I have told them a gazillion times to warn me before the hug if I have coffee in my hand, they always forget and immediately repent of there boyish love that I don't have the heart to discipline.

 From there we head outside to play in the water, blow bubbles, ride bikes, whatever the day brings.  Adventure has been calling us all day and we have bravely answered the call.  First by battling chalk monsters and hungry dinosaurs in our driveway.

Followed by catching a dirty, nasty looking beetle that both boys were convinced was a bee.  Even with this strong conviction of there's they continued to hold this bug. (This made me wonder if they even hear my advice on bees, and what they would do if they had the chance to catch one.)

 Off to the park we walked.  Only a ten minute walk, but always a fun one.  Usually the only time they look for me is when they want to swing, but this day was different.  More adventure is what they heard in those four small ears.  The picnic table became a massive sea boat that rocked in the gusty winds and crashed into the high waves.  Only to have my Man of the woods protect us from the sea dragon.  All the while my son of laughter was catching us some fish.
We were interrupted by Time and forced to leave our ship.  Our adventure continued.  We hiked through the forest of shade, crossed deep rivers and pushed through the Rockies, and Volcano Mountains (leaving those innocent by standers on the front porches in belly laughs as we went).

 A joy to be the Momma of two hoolies full of adventure!

Praise Him sun and moon; praise Him all stars of light!
~Psalm 148:3

801.  Man of the woods telling me repeatedly, "You're so cuddly today." as he covers me with hugs.
802.  Tackle hugs.
803.  Chalk monsters drawn and valiantly faught.
804.  Bugs found.
805.  Family walks.
806.  Big imaginations.
807.  Our life bringing belly laughs and smiles to those that catch a glimpse.
808.  Pop tarts and bananas for supper.
809.  Worm soup and blueberry mud pie.
810.  heartfelt laughs as my three men play together.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The joy of gardens

It doesn't matter if it's the "flowy" kind, as my son of Laughter says, or the eatable kind, it's all brings joy.

Maybe because even though we tend the garden each day, it really has nothing to do with us.

There are so many factors that we do not have the power to manage.

Sun, temperature, bugs, drought; all of which we can not control.

Yet it grows.

Every bit of it pointing to the Maker of the vast heavens and the secretive earth.

A gift!

By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.  He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deeps in storehouses.  let all the ear fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.  For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded and it stood fast.
~ Psalm 33:6-9

795.  Dreaming of large gardens with my friend on the hill.
798.  Gardens of all kinds.
799.  Watching all creation grow. 

Another word for relationship

Bond a connection between two or more things or in this case two or more people. 
Super glue is only effective if the dirt and junk is cleaned out of the cracks and hard to reach places.

The glues needs to be pushed deep into those knocks and crannies so it will have a lasting hold.

I'm finding that to be true of bonds of the emotional kind.

Friendship in not merely having coffee with a person, but allowing them to help carry our troubles along the way.

The best way to bond is to simply live ALL of life together; the nitty gritty right beside the glorious.

Two are better than one because the have a good return for their labor.  for if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.  But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

791.  Spending the day with my Beloved friend and her hoolies.
792.  Emotional bonds.
793.  Dreaming of living life with friends.
794.  Sharing values with others.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


This is the most difficult task I have ever taken on.

Some days I wonder what it is that God sees in me that I could possibly give to them.

I trip and often fall. Still in my failures I am doing my best to love 'em in every moment.

I openly talk about my broken imperfections.

For now that's all I have to give. 

I think it is enough.

Save Your people and bless Your inheritance; Be their Shepherd also, and carry them forever.
~ Psalm 28:9

778.  Fishing trips with lots of action.
779.  Raft for my Man of the woods to play in.
780.  One on one time with both of my littles.
781.  Fishing as a family with a favorite Uncle and Grandpa along.
782.  Strong man to rescue my Man of the woods and I as we have a battle of the wills.
784.  Littlest boy asking God to see more airplanes.--God answering yes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

More like this

Sit tight through the short commercial for K-love, it's worth the wait.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Diving in

I know I've been kind of quiet this past week or maybe longer.  Who pays attention to time midsummer?  If anything I try to avoid time to slow the pace of things or at least that's what I tell myself.  In all honesty I haven't known what to write.  My search for Eucharist and freedom of sadness has taken me places.  Places I never thought I would need to revisit.

I thought that this broken mind of mine was a long term side effect from some past prescription.  Those nasty pills may have brought my sadness to the surface, but life is deep.  When I dive in with eyes wide open allowing myself to see the whole past I see the darkness haunting me for as long as I can remember.  Maybe it started sixteen days after my second birthday.  The day I lost the title of Big Sister.  The day I became an only child once again.  Maybe it came on any other day.  I don't know.

One thing I do know as I sift and search the depths is that in all of my muck I am able to see God's clear Grace.  It is beautiful.

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
~ Psalm 34:18

761.  My Creator always near by.
762.  The Maker of the heavens and the earth insanely in love with my broken soul.
763.  Crystal clear Grace.

Monday, July 4, 2011

All good mothers know...'s important to take time for themselves.

That's just what my childhood friend and I did.  We left the kiddos with our amazing hubbies and off we went for two nights and three days of relaxation!

The only things on our agendas were lots of time in the hotel pool and pedicures.

We ate like queens.  Greek one night.  Lobster for lunch.  And Japanese courtesy of my Pop who just happened to be in the next town over.  Not to mention lots of snacks in between.

We had some grey clouds that were supposed to burn off but end up dumping water instead so I now have this amazing umbrella, and we also had wet car seats.

We got stuck in the rain again, with my handy dandy umbrella in the car not with me.  Oops.  Luckily we were were able to wait it out at Cracker Barrel listening to the rain, rocking in the awesome rocking chairs and playing checkers.  Which I pitifully lost at.

Of course we found gifts for our loved ones.  My man of the woods reminded me before I left that he would be good and his favorite color was green.

My son of laughter loves babies and loves pretending he's a daddy.  He was excited to have his very own baby.

I said, "Oh that I had wings like a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest."
~ Psalm 55:6

729.  A gift of travel sized q-tips.
730.  Safety driving.
731.  Sister allowing me to use her discount.
732.  Nice comfy hotel.
733.  Heated, people-less, pool.
734.  Comfortable weather.
735.  Gym to use.
736.  Late, late night talks with my childhood friend.
737.  Feeling good, not sore after biking and running 8 miles in the gym.
738.  Torrential rain.
739.  Afternoon at the spa.
740.  Japanese dinner and ice cream.
741.  Evan later night conversation with childhood friend.
742.  Fresh strawberries picked with love.
743.  Able to get "un"-lost in a new city.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The first of many?

One of the mornings I was away, my young man of the woods turned to his Daddy with a sly look on his face to ask, "Did you find marbles in your bad last night, Daddy?"  Grumbling back playfully, my strong man replied with, "Yes, I did and I didn't like it because it's very hard to sleep with marbles in your bed."  My young son then confessed he had put them there all the while falling into a deep fit of laughter!

The beginnings of a prankster?  I think so!

746.  Husband with a good sense of humor.
747.  Boy who's learning to understand time.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Settling, something I'm not used to.

I have sat trying to give an update of my fragile state of mind, but as I type, looking at the different medications I see hopelessness.  Hopelessness in the medications.  The Doc. has decided it's best to settle with the side effects that are annoying rather then continue to mess with the ones that are a bit more dangerous.  Such as this past trial; by day three I spent over thirteen hours trying to convince my heart that as I lived doing my normal low key things it did not need to pound as if I were running a marathon that I had not trained for.  So here I am settling. 

Settling, something I despise.

As hopeless as the next six months look as far as medication goes.  My mood and control of my mood is doing exceptionally well.  I can even feel again.  I can feel love, joy, grace, and I don't feel guilt over everything that happens when I'm in the room.  That is beautiful.

Not only can I feel but so can my boys.  They are not just hearing the words, "I love you" or "Yes, I want to play with you" from this Momma, but I can tell they see it in my eyes too.  I know this from the extra hugs, and I love yous that are given to me each day.  This makes settling worth it all.

For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name.
~ Psalm 33:21

726.  Man of the woods asking, "Momma do you know how much I love you?"
746.  I'm able to see that my trust and hope shouldn't be placed in my medications.