Monday, April 30, 2012


A postcard sized paper that simply said “Encouragram”; notes for the ladies to write to each other as the weekend went on.  Each lady had her own envelope that was decorated with ribbon, flowers, and jewels. 

We printed off 300.  I was pretty sure that was a bit of over kill.  By Sunday morning we were searching for more paper...
Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
~ Proverbs16:24

2123.  300 encouragrams used up in two days.
2124.  Women to put time and creativity into the envelopes to show the ladies they are special.
2125.  Watching the ladies write notes of love to each other.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Once there was a brave boy...

Just after his Momma returned from a three day conference his Daddy had to go out of state for his own conference.  So the boy, his Momma, and his little brother all headed to the mountains of Maine.  Everyday they spent time with friends and family enjoying every minute of it, but what they looked forward to most was the night they would sleep at a hotel.  Each one of them longed to see Daddy who would arrive in the night.

Momma's Pop and good friend came to spend the evening with them.  They had great fun eating out and spending hours in the pool.  When bed time came they requested a lullaby, sinking slowly into a sleep covered in love. 

Shortly after an awful noise began with lights flashing.  There was only a pause long enough for a machine voice to say, "If the alarm continues after this message is finished please exit the building."  So the Momma in her pajamas threw on some shoes told Man of the woods to get up and put his pants on while she grabbed her purse and small laughter, with a blanket to cover up his naked body. 

Man of the woods obeyed straight away immediately alert, held her hand and quickly walked down six flights of stairs in his bare feet.  When at the bottom he climbed on his Momma's back and bravely held on tight as she carried both boys across the parking lot to the car where they could seek shelter from the bitter wind. 

They bravely watched the fire trucks come and unload all the heros.  It was then that Man of the woods realized his favorite blanket was still in the room.  With a quivering lip and big eyes he asked if his blanket was going to burn up.  But when his Momma asked him not to think about it until we knew what was wrong he face grew strong with a manly, "Okay".

When people started pouring back into the building the brave boy walked in his bare feet back in holding his Mommas hand while she stopped the fireman to make sure all was well.  Even strangers saw how brave he was and told him what a good job he did.

By the time they returned to there room everybody was wide awake so they ordered some fun shows on the TV and waited for Daddy to arrive to tell him the story of the brave boy.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
~ James 4:14a

Gifts #, I have no idea where I am...
~A brave boy who obeyed and chose to be brave instead of scared.
~A boy who didn't complain when his toes were cold.
~Man of the woods to accept that if his blanket burned it would be okay.
~Man of the woods to stay strong while I gave extra attention to his brother.
~Laughter who didn't cry at all, but let me take him outside naked and put him in his own seat in the car.
~Extra cuddles with my boys as we watched PBS until midnight.
~A good God who protected us and our things.
~Strong Man's plane arriving late so he didn't arrive at the hotel as the place was swarming with fireman and cold people out in the parking lot; he was free of the fear only a husband and Daddy can have about there family.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Our toilet broke...O Darn...

Of all the cabins the we only had one teeny tiny problem, our toilet didn't flush.  So we were upgraded to this:

Now the other cabins were cozy, warm, and simply invited you to connect with those around you.

When we moved into this one, we had a little more space to have visitors.  It was nice Saturday to have people always in our space as they pleased to be.  It was nice to have some time where they came to us.  For the most part it was just to say hello and can I do your nails.

Not a very deep post for today.  I'm still processing all the blessings and lessons I learned over this weekend.  More to come...

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
~ Ephesians 3:20-21

Gifts to come...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

An overview

The weekend has begun.  No I don't have a free second to myself let alone an internet conection to blog, but I do have Strong man and some pictures of the prep work.

We have three goals for this weekend.
1.  Each persons worth can only be found in God; He values you. "A good women is hard to find she is worth more then Diamonds." ~ Proverbs 31:10 (The message)
2.  They are not alone.  We want both the mothers and the daughters to know they don't have to walk this path alone.
3.  Practical ways of protecting there worth, by abstaing from wrothless relationship.

This weekend we will celebrate the mother daughter relationships with lots of pampering. 

We will celebrate the gift of friends, with campfires and cabin time.

We will celebrate God through music, teaching and learning.

We will celebrate the ability to leave as different people; ladies with more value than anything on earth.

This weekend we will celebrate Grace & Love, the two greatest gifts wrapped into one: Jesus.

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:20

Gifts to come...Thanks for praying us through this weekend.

Friday, April 20, 2012

EFA 2.9

Simple family day traditions:

Little boy love!

2077.  Simple traditions
2078.  Praying with my boys.
2079.  Little hearts wanting to help.
2080.  Building relationships with the servers.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The calm before the...craziness...

Yes craziness.  No, not a storm.  How can all the goodness to come be called a storm?  It's all a gift begging for a thank you.

In less then forty-eight hours I'll be at the conference center getting each ladies room ready, with chocolate on the pillows and all...I can't wait to share all the surprises we have in store for the ladies.  After they all arrive I will share the details.  It's going to be a good weekend.  These ladies will know they are valued.

This afternoon, the boys and I made our own laundry detergent.  The last batch we made was our first attempt, lasting us 3 months!  Today everything went much more smoothly and it was nice to create with the hoolies.  I've been so into the conference anything that requires clean up is out.  We've done lots of park time, a few play dates, showers just for fun, and yes lots of TV time.  A season for everything right?

Our only find of the day: A dead frog.
Strong man will be out of town for the week, an excuse for the boys and I to spend a week in my childhood town.  It'll be good to see lots of family to visit friends that really are family but have no expectations of me, and just be in the mountains of Maine.

Even with life as busy as it's been we've still made time to hold on tight to each other.  Over the weekend we headed to the city forest.  An easy walk but lots of just us time.

Man of the woods:  I think I found a dinosaur fossil!!
As I love the snow cleansing the dead earth I love to see life come out of death:

There is an appointed time for everything.  And there is a time for every event under heaven--A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

2070.  Sunny, cool spring days.
2071.  The birth of nature.
2071.  Walks in the woods.
2072.  Little boys wanting to explore every puddle and stream.
2073.  Laughter insisting on walking on the ice and then falling.
2074.  Laughter warning me to use great caution as I tip toe across the frozen snow for just the right picture.
2075.  Man of the woods on the look out for dinosaur fossils.
2076.  Being in the woods with my family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The spiritual world & our conference

In the past weeks I've been reminded that the spiritual world is real.  As I prepare for this conference, I prepare to talk of relationships.  I'll speak of the worst kinds and of the best kinds.  Unfortunately I know the extremes of both. 

As I've spent over two months working out my sessions, I keep coming back to that word; relationship.  I've spent time pouring over scripture I've learned much and been encouraged to keep on keeping on.

In the past few weeks my closest relationships have had a lot of tension.  It wasn't until a jr. high-ish fight with Strong man last week that I began to look at things from a spiritual standpoint.  What better way to defeat me then to send all of my relationships into a spiral spin just before I go teach 35 women about relationships!

Interesting enough as all this had just come into focus my Shepherd pointed out this verse from Acts during his teaching this past Sunday;  This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.  But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.(Acts 13:7b-8).

I'd appreciate your prayers as my partner and I go into this weekend.  Pray that the opposition will be held off for us and the women who hear us.  That the Holy Spirit may have much freedom to work without hindrances.

Here are some amazing ways we have already been blessed:

2061.  We've had an over abundance of financial support to the point that we've told people to stop giving.
2062.  Many are already holding this conference up in prayer daily.
2063.  We've asked different women to be in prayer for a specific girl and they are taking it very seriously.
2064.  We've had many volunteer to cook, help put the material together, & buy supplies.
2065.  A church of 200 people has made this conference there own, the entire church has been involved in someway.
2066.  Every bed is full, but we did not end up needing to search for extra corners to sleep people.
2067.  The teaching times have come together beautifully.
2068.  Almost all of the supplies cost less then they should have, everything purchased was a deal, but all of it quality; exactly what we had in mind.
2069.  The conference center its self invites rest and spiritual searching.  It asks for quiet, but deep conversations.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Writing to all the world

As I open my computer I feel as though I've entered a prison cell.  A place where no light shines, I'm only able to feel the cold, hard dirt on my toes, hearing the drip, drip, drip, of the water, and smelling the stench of death.  It is suffocating.

I was naive to think that while I had my heart and struggles open to the world that still this place was entirely mine.  I've come to realize that whenever you let someone in, a bit of it becomes there's.  It's true for me.  I have one blog I read daily, it's the place I always go to be reminded that my boys are just normal lively boys.  It's become apart of me, by helping me draw the balance between boy and crazy.  Another place I go often brings rest to my soul.  Even as the web page is opening I can feel my chest lighten.  A piece of each has become mine.  In the same way I'm realizing that this space here is not only mine but that of any who stop by.  A memory made, a lesson learned, a bit of walking together, a cup of tea shared.  In minutes it's gone from mine to ours.

I will turn no one away, therefore I am writing to all the world...

...That's a weight on my shoulders...

I talk often of the dirty parts of life, the parts we all share yet never mention.  Without the ugly, Grace can't be seen.  They go hand in hand.  After all if there were no wrongs then there is no need for Grace. 

I think over time as I learn to write to the world while staying true to my purpose the prison cell will fade and the meadow with spring flowers will shine through.  I will have walked a little longer, hopefully to be more refined; a better student of Jesus.

Now to Him who is able to to far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen
~ Ephesians 3:20-21

2057.  Time
2058.  The unmovable Grace of God.
2059.  Seasons to stop and evaluate the heart.
2060.  Knowing your purpose and fighting to live it out.

Friday, April 13, 2012


The sun is shining, the birds are singing and all three of my men are napping.  I can thinking of nothing better then to sit slowly eating away at the last of the brownies.  As if 150 calories isn't enough I added fluff and caramel to this lovely batch.  Oh the deliciousness!!! (Put half the brownie mix in the pan, drizzle the caramel sauce and fluff on then cover with the other half of the mix.  Bake as normal, and wow is it melt in your mouth good!!)

If only this could became and everyday habit.  Life would be perfect!

2046.  Hot brownies straight from the oven.
2047.  A husband who will divulge in this goodness with me.
2048.  Friends to share it with.
2049.  Spring days perfect for sweatshirts.
2050.  Extended play dates, just because it's been a while.
2051.  My bestie best, compliments me well, learning to see through another set of eyes.
2052.  Over hearing the two year olds talk and play together.
2053.  Cribbage the game of choice here in Maine.
2054.  Laughing so hard tears are flowing over the small things.
2055.  Learning new rules to a game I've played since childhood.
2056.  Still skunking my bestie, not that I'm rubbing it in or anything.;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Each day is a journey

Isn't that the way, life always changing.  Our timing never quite right.

Yesterday I woke up to the whispers of Laughter, "Momma, I love you more.  No, I love you more."  With some gentle kisses covering my face.  To live forever with two year old hands holding my face, simply lavishing love into my ears and onto my skin.  What could go wrong when the day starts like that.  Sweet rest to my soul.

But shortly after the same sweet mouth was saying nasty things, "nah nah nanah nah" or "Here brother you can have this" only to yank it away just after his brother said thank you and was about to take it.  I had my first melt down since moving in.  As soon as Strong man walked through the door I was in bed.

That's how it is, each day a new day.  Each day a new path.  Some paths are rocky while some are smooth. 

I so often forget, each day I'm handed only what God wants me to have.  All of it is good.  All of it has purpose.  All of it will change me.

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.  You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
~ James 4:14

2038.  Little boy hands gently holding my face.
2039.  Waking up to whispers of I love you from my son's two year old voice.
2040.  I have two boy children.
2041.  Bad days to show me how far I've come in such a short time.
2042.  A husband to let me crash, but not let me wallow.  He's able to find the balance.
2043.  TV days.  Lots of cuddles.
2044.  Stories of whales and doughnuts, a diving board for imaginations to run wild.
2045.  Easy dinners.

Monday, April 9, 2012

More then me...

I used to think that all my babies needed was there Momma and Daddy too but understood somebody had to put food on the table.  Aaahhh, how pride always comes before a fall.  Since I have learned that really if all they ever got was me, they'd be pretty messed up people.  Having only been trained to think like I do, they'd probably end up pretty narrow minded; only able to think the way I have taught them. 

So when friends offer to come play with the boys so I can have a few hours to do things.  I just about always take them up on it.  Or if I'm feeling a bit stressed because I have more to do then I have time I don't hesitate to ask for help. It's been good from pride.

So in realizing the conference was just under two weeks away I called in Mimi an adopted Grammy to the boys.

It was so good to come home and see my youngest cuddled up sleeping in her oldest daughter's arms as she worked out her math problems.

To see Man of the woods playing with her grandson.

To see them all so comfortable in my home.

 To have my boys little love tanks over flowing.

2030.  Little boy energy.
2031.  A nice breakfast with one of my "daughters".
2032.  Some time to sit just with my conference thoughts and plan.
2033.  The awe I have that I get to teach about Grace, my most favorite thing in all the world.
2034.  Friends at home in my home.
2035.  A community of people to teach my boys God's love.
2036.  A hubby to drive me home in the rain so I didn't have to walk.
2037.  A quiet afternoon studying the Bible.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

I love to give gifts and having a blast finding ways to give to others.  Our biggest goal is to love our neighbors into loving Jesus or at least to begin wondering about Him.  We don't talk about the Easter bunny, but we still do the Easter stuff.  This year we colored eggs to give away:

Then we made some yummy bread to go along with the eggs and in each card we wrote my egg salad recipe.  Nothing special just a fun way gift my bread.  This weekend we all were sporting bands in support of Momma's two burnt fingers:

We also were graced with the presence of my baby brother Eph.  A good man he's become playing board games with the hoolies that love him so much.  Laughter wanting to be like him asking if when he can ride a motorcycle when his big, Just like Uncle Eph.

We all rolled out of bed just before dawn hoping to see the sunrise at the sunrise service, but we only got to see a gorgeous moon.  The best part of the the church stuff a small boy understood how much Jesus loved him and decided to accept His love too!!! 

Had lunch with Strong man's 90 year old grampy (aka old grandpa, by the littles).  It was good to be with family.

Lastly when the boys woke up after napping the afternoon away they found a jar of jelly beans at there seat on the table:

Way back when Lent first started we began working on these jars.  Each color represents something they can earn.  For example the yellow ones represent kindness.  Anytime they show kindness they get a bean in there jar.  The white at the top though they weren't able to earn.  White represents grace, a gift that can't be earned.  Last they saw of the jars the were mostly full, but today the were completely filled; learning grace.

And that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
~ 1 Corinthians 15:4

2020.  Family activities around the table.
2021.  Time with my Little brother.
2022.  Watching my boys love him.
2023.  Boys with great attitudes even though it was cold and early.
2024.  Aunt's to buy them handsome Easter outfits.
2025.  A praying Sunday school.
2026.  An excited church about the risen Lord.
2027.  Relaxed lunch with Family.
2028.  Long naps on snowy days.
2029.  The free gift of salvation; life with a Hope.