Monday, July 31, 2006

fresh flowers for July 31

copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

Here we are down on the farm. I am perfecting my two finger wave and getting used to continuous gravel road driving again. In our little town most everyone seems to know who I am because of my husband and his family. I, however, at am a loss as to remember who everyone else is. Perhaps by the end of my time here, I'll have them all nailed down.

We have been in a season of preparation for most of the month of July.
  • our home for hospitality
  • our hearts, to better nurture and respond to our children
  • my brain for writing an article
  • moving out to the farm for a month
  • getting business stuff ready for fall
  • working out our financial picture for the next few months
  • music for a video
  • my body for life in general
  • fruit for the winter (canning)
  • chickens and beef
  • vegetables (freezing and canning)
  • jam

There's probably more but I can't think of anymore right now. I feel very in tune with all the little ants that have crossed my floors this summer. One day when I was particularly tired and taking a break on the couch I watched a lone ant carry a tremendous load across my living room floor. It was fascinating. That load was at least twice as big as the ant. It was slow going but that little ant persevered. I hope he got where he was heading.

Sometimes I feel like that little ant, carrying a load that is so huge I can hardly see around it. I meander across the path, unable to see where I am going, losing my way and taking much longer than a straight, clear path would afford. The good news for today is that we have it better than the ants!! Yes sir, we have a God who said He'd carry the burden for us. Isn't that grand?

This God of ours also told us to prepare. We must prepare for His coming, storing up treasure inHeaven for that glorious day when He comes for His bride. Prepare people, store up good things, get your hearts ready. REPENT (there's always something to repent of it seems)!!

This flower is taking on the characteristics of a meandering path. Methinks I'm too tired to write conherently. So I'll leave you with what's there so far and call it a day.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

midnight pilates

I wasn't going to pilates at midnight again but here I am, jogging around the blogging world rather than stretching my core muscles out....oh I go on my quest for a stronger, leaner body.

Monday, July 24, 2006

fresh flowers for July 24

Yours, Mine and Ours
copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original
(co-authored by Kelly Wiens)

I have dreams. My husband has dreams. We have dreams. How can we possibly accomplish all that we dream. In two words or less...we can't. So then, how are these dreams that are so much a part of us going to happen, particularly if we're convinced they are given by the Dreamgiver, Himself? It's not that hard actually, we simply serve someone else's dream. Oh I can hear the HUH? from here!! Seems confusing doesn't it? Seems like a formula destined to failure. Sounds like something completely opposite from all the 'Look our for #1' and 'if you don't take care of yourself no one else will' stuff that we're fed on a continuous basis from our society.

It's actually a very biblical concept. Jesus said, "If you want to be great in my kingdom learn to be the servant of all." and then He proceeded to show them how it was done. To give you a slightly more here and now example, I would like to take you through a week in the life of the Flowerlady and her Musicman.

One week Flowerlady and Musicman set aside time to work on projects around their home. They had a very long list that didn't look possible. They determined that they would do what they could. In their own hearts, without speaking to each other about it, they determined that they wouldn't demand anything of the other so that each could do what was on their list. Flowerlady was working on the basement organization and Musicman was determined to re-build the play structure they'd had to dismantle when they moved. Their hearts were full of joy as they worked each in their own space.

Musicman hit a snag in his plans. He really needed to go and do some work on the church building, it wasn't in the plans for the week, but felt He needed to do it first, so he gave that time to the Lord. God blessed Him for his effort and sent a friend to help him with the play structure for two days. This friend came with extra screws, some essential tools to do the job, strong arms, good ideas and companionship.

Flowerlady ran into problems in the basement, there were things she couldn't lift or move by herself. She had set her heart on having this space all cleaned up and ready for a special crafty day and it didn't seem like that could possibly happen. There were just too many pieces she couldn't do by herself and she wasn't going to take the Musicman away from his project. So she released that dream to the Lord and determined to be content with whatever she could get done. When her Musicman asked how things were coming she let him know that there were a few things that she couldn't move but didn't demand or even ask that he move them. Later on Musicman needed to come in for some piece of the play structure. He remembered the Flowerlady's dilema and moved a few boxes out of the way.

It wasn't long after that, that he had to come back again and felt very convicted to move a few more things around. Then the two of them started working together and it wasn't long before the basement was at a place where the Flowerlady could finish it by herself and the Musicman could go back to his work. Neither one of them would have been able to move those items by themselves, working together was essential.

Later on in the week, Musicman needed to meet a payment deadline for his business and run some errands He had been determined to do this himself and was getting worried that he wouldn't get everything finished on the play structure AND do the errands. The Flowerlady noticed that he was getting a little stressed. She realized that her mission and dream had been accomplished and so she had the time to do the errands. The offer was made and accepted. The payment deadline, the errands and Musicman's birthday gifts were all accomplished in a short time allowing him to keep going on his project.

It was Thursday night. The Flowerlady had a regular commitment to quilt with her girlfriends on Thursday evenings. When she saw that the Musicman was behind on his project she willingly gave up her quilting night so that he could keep working and not have to stop to look after the children. However, because she served the Musicman's need to do the errands and pay the bill, he was able to keep working. He came in for supper and announced that he would be done shortly and that she would be able to go after all. He was satisified with his accomplishemnt and spent a lovely evening with the children while the Flowerlady went to meet with her friends. And they lived happily ever after........for that evening anyway. And that is just the beginning of this story.

Sometimes we figure we need to do OUR thing or OUR thing will not happen because somebody else's thing is happening instead. We are learning that when we serve someone else, what we desire seems to rise out of nowhere and come to fruition. It is how Jesus lived his life, and how we want to live ours. That does not give us license to use other people to climb our way over their hurting dreams to reach our own. Oh no, that is not the way of love. Our own dreams must be given up to the Dreamgiver who will blow on those cold embers and bring them to life at the proper time. Submit to [or serve] one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21) That means, "I will come under you and lift you up knowing that in due time, the Lord will bring someone under me to lift me up. He is the lifter of my head - not me.

Galatians 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens for this way you'll fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 5:13 "You my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love."

Musicman Note: Sometimes we as men think that because we are the head of our home and our wives are supposed to submit to us that our wives exist solely to help us fulfill our dreams. The verse from Ephesians 5, submit to each other out of reverance for Christ helps us remember that we are to mutually serve or submit to each other because we have a common head in Christ who gives dreams and visions to both equally. For my wife's dreams to come to fruition I must lay my life down, my ambitions, my current goals as I hear the Lord say, "Serve your wife now in what SHE is doing and trust ME to help you get your dream done on time."

Sunday, July 23, 2006


My goodness, almost a whole week without posting, something is quite possibly wrong with me. No, not really, just busy being a domestic wonder woman. I've been canning fruit, making jam and killing chickens - preparing for winter, just like all the pretty little ants running through my kitchen. My precious boy turned 4 today so we had to have a party, his first one, very low key - went to a near by body of water with a friend or two and stayed cool and ate cake. I'm sure there are flowers growing in there somewhere but right now I'm really too tired to go searching for them.

My actual flower gardens are looking pretty scary. It's been so hot everything is wilting, including me!! My vegetable garden is looking fabulicious, however. We've eaten lettuce, beans and peas out of there...yum, yum!! My poor house on the other hand has been sadly neglected and must come back into order tomorrow.

I also have to find my post about the new superhero I created...she's called Domestic Diva.........and I don't know where I put her.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Quilting Questions

I am SOOOO excited. I get to combine to of my passions into one! Writing and quilting and I would like your help whether you're a quilter or not.

I'm looking for thoughts on quilts and quilting. I'm writing an article on quilting for a new magazine that's coming out in the fall and would like answers to the following questions:

What does a quilt say to you?

Why bother quilting anyway?

I'd like lots of comments to draw on so please pass this on or post a link, thanks!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

the holiday is over

okay, my little holiday is over (sigh) was really nice having my husband and kids around doing family things. Lounging, reading till my eyes fell out and trying not to cook too much. Here's how it looked, not that you're all that interested but for posterity I'll tell ya anyway. At least Wanda will know what we did while she was reading all my glorious books...

* Kelly and the boys came home from their camping trip with healthy tans and had lots of fun.
* We went to the University to gander at the dinosaur skeletons, geodes and fish. We had a picnic and had foot races in the bowl on the spot where Kelly and I met. My little girl is fast!!
* Waterpark in the back yard, thanks to my smart, tall, dark and handsome man. Then to the Diefenbaker Center to see an exhibit Mennonites in Saskatchewan - very neat to show the kids some of our history.
* Daddy and mommy get to go on a date while friends come to watch the kids - we go the art gallery and then have delightful snacks while the rain pours down. We take ourselves to the library and read right there - so quiet without the children.
* Clean like crazy. Go to the library for a music/story/puppet thingy. Then home to make supper for our friends coming from Winnipeg. Such a good visit. reading
* Saturday - off to Kinsmen park to play in the water after chasing the dogs around for awhile. So much fun. Then home to jump on the trampoline (yes I did Holly, with the necessary precautions taken of course), have a fire and enjoy the evening together. reading lots
* worship with the family, birthday party with friends and then home, listening to the children play, reading more.

Oh yeah, lots of sitting around and reading, gotta love that. I think I read 4 novels in about 6 days......crazy........lazy holidays.

Now I gotta snap into super organizer mode to get an article written and get ourselves and our house ready for us to temporarily move to the farm (temporary as in about a month's worth of move) for harvest..........but first, what to have for supper

Thursday, July 13, 2006

fresh flowers for July 14

Committment - The Up Side
copyright 2006, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

Seems to me that the only committment people aren't too scared to try is a new hair colour and for some even that is pushing it. I thought it might be a good idea to talk about the positive side of committment. Especially since I just made a committment to myself and to my friend. It isn't a big committment in the grand scheme of things but for me, personally, it will most likely pay off big time if I keep my committment.

I, Lani Wiens, have committed to exercise, can you imagine, yet another thing most of us aren't really very eager to sign up for. I know it isn't earth shattering but it's big for me. My dear friend forced herself into my living room, pilates CD in hand and made me go through this thing (very gently and lovingly of course). She told me I should commit to at least twice a week and then work my way up to a bigger committment. However, I know myself, if I don't stick that 20 minute workout into my daily routine it will not happen at all! So far, so good, it's been four whole days that I've managed to do it. My stomach muscles aren't sure what hit them. My foot that's been sore since I had Elizabeth is noticeably improved. Tada! There is the moral of this story.

Commitment can pay off long term (I may have stomach muscles that work again one day) and have immediate - my foot, (though possibly painful - did I mention my stomach muscles) good effects at the same time. Committment takes work. There's no way to make that any prettier. That CD won't do me an ounce of good unless I get down on the floor and do the work. I can live with it for as long as I want. I can even listen to it or watch my daughter do it (who needs no help with her stomach muscles) and it still won't have any lasting effect on me. I must jump in and do the work in order to enjoy the payoff.

Committment in my marriage is the same way. It can be painful at times. It takes work to make something of this relationship. But the truth is, God brought my husband and I together for a purpose that is beyond ourselves. At the risk of sounding egotistical, He has made us a gift to the world (the same is true for you). If we renege on our committment the extent of that will never be realized. If we stick with our committment we will be a blessing to our children, they will learn what it means to be committed and will most likely become committed people. The world will be a better place by six more committed people. That's a pretty good dividend and incentive for us.

Committment to the spiritual family I am a part of works the same way. The gifts that God has placed in me will never be fully realized if I am not fully known by the spiritual family that I adhere to. To be fully known takes committment to live in that community no matter what. There was a time when we left that community, we broke that committment and we can still feel the effects of it many years later. By the same token, as we get to know others we can help them realize their giftings and callings. We grow community through committment.

Committment is a good thing. Sure it's scary and there's some hard work involved but it's worth it. If you're still not convinced look at the ultimate long term perspective of God's committment to you and I personally. His committment to us allows us to continue breathing and blinking. His committment came at great personal sacrifice (most do). His committment to us will ensure that there is something for us beyond the grave. His committment to saving as many as possible keeps Him from judging us all right this second and gives us a chance to get some things right.

Like I said, committment is a good thing. Let it grow in your garden. Cultivate it and you will reap a good reward.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Glorious Weekend

My crafty weekend is officially over. My boys are all home and I'm thrilled to see them. They're all tanned and sparkly eyed with their adventures. My weekend was a little quieter but oh so good. I wish I had the pictures developed already but I don't. So here are a few highlights:

1. My friend Holly and her little girl slept over on Friday night so we had a little picnic in the living room and told the little girls stories about themselves from when they were babes.

2. I did shrink art with the girls so that they could make bracelets for their friends the next day.

3. Saturday morning, the ladies begin to come.

4. I get to help my friend Audrey with her quilting project.

5. So many fun friends trickle through throughout the day. Over a dozen people came throughout the day!

6. The little girls carried our welcome sign out to the sidewalk to make sure everyone saw it. We put Ecc 3:1 - "There is a time for EVERY purpose under heaven." on it and made sure that the boys knew they could only enter if they were bringing treats!

7. So much laughter, discussion of women things. Projects taking shape a little at a time. Clothing passed along. Shared wisdom and help. Snacks. Fruit and cheese shish-ka-bobs!

8. I even got the valance for my living room finished.

On Sunday Marilee picked us up for church and then we went to her place for a delightful lunch. Then it was home for quiet space. Just us three girls. Abby and I started in on her hugs and kisses quilt. that little six year old has perseverance she cut out all of the 50 some applique pieces while I cut the backgrounds. She learned how to iron and faithfully pressed all the background fabric and then applied the appliques.

We read lots of "I Spy" books and other stories. We all slept in the same room. This morning my dear friend came to teach us how to do a stretching and strengthening excercise - pilates style. Lovely. Today we hung out and kept working on her quilt. I napped.

So happy to see our van drive up. My 10 year old looks taller and considerably browner for his week at camp and being dad's right hand man this week-end. He loved his week at camp and though he was full of his stories he remembered to ask me what crafty things I had done and complimented me on it when I showed it to him. I love that boy. I missed him so much. Glad to have him home....

Feeling refreshed and ready to get back to family life.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Okay, it has officially begun.............a girlie weekend!!!!!! I'm not quite sure what to do with myself. Big girl is out playing with her friend that's sleeping over. Little girl is sleeping. I am not being asked for anything, nobody is saying, "Are you done on the computer yet?" No one is fighting, crying or spilling anything. It's shockingly quiet. I can hear the hum of the fan and the computer.

My big boy is done camp today. Tornadoes are touching down near the camp. That's not great. Boy #2 is not excited about their camping trip cause he's scared to death, he'll get over it as soon as they can light a fire somewhere!

This almost feels like a little freedom, I could get giddy, it may go to my head...I can now go and tidy up all my hotspots with the hope that they may stay clear until Monday. If they don't there's only me and my girl to blame.

Crafty weekend here we come!!!

Birthdays, Progress, Stitches

Here is my sweet little angel under a gorgeous quilt that my momma made for her before we knew she was a SHE! Our play structure is up and the kids can play on it! Needs paint and a few adjustments but it's good to go for the moment. Right now, I gotta go make breakfast in bed for my 36 year old husband! It's his birthday today!! This evening he heads out with the boys on their annual camping trip. The girls and I are having a crafty weekend. My little angel is soooooooooooooooo excited to do crafts with mom all weekend. And she gets her stitches out of her knee today.............all 14 of them.........she's thrilled about that, too. She'll be free to swim again.

Gotta go stir those eggs!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Progress Report - Day 3

At the end of Day 3, we are hot and tired! BUT....

Our basement is looking mighty fine. The main part has only 2 boxes left to unpack, the laundry area still needs quite a bit of organization but it's getting better, too!
The canning jars are on the canning jar shelf and not in boxes.
The coolers have found a happy home.
I sorted all the little boxes of sundry toy parts that have been plaguing me and all those toys are happily stored in shelving units in the basement - you can't even see them when you go down!
I found my shoes!!! My favorite pair of comfy shoes have been missing since we moved.
The deck is fixed, no more holes to fall in.
Laundry is very under control.

Organization is a good thing!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


So here's what we've been able to accomplish so far!!!

Two platforms with a bridge in between are up!
The cold storage room is ready for receiving canning!
The floor in our daughter's closet is finished.
A shelving unit went into her room after a major decluttering and cleaning took place.
We found the girlie's summer clothes.
We found the little boy's summer clothes.
We uncovered the bikes in the garage.
The lost garage keys were found!!
5 baskets of laundry were folded.
The upstairs got vacuumed.
The lawn is mowed.
Our cash flow planning is back up and running (took a horrible hiatus after E. showed up) - very bad to live with no cash flow plan when you are finally used to one, very stressful.

More to come...........wish we had a digital camera and we could visualize this process for you!

Monday, July 03, 2006


We are on holidays. Not the kind where you go away to some exotic place, just stayin' in our own back yard, literally. Our back yard is nasty and in need of great help. THat's our mission for this week...

We will, if the Lord allows:

1. re-invent our play structure (it's all in pieces)
2. build a wood crib for all the piles of firewood floating around the yard
3. consolidate all the piles of firewood into the woodcrib
4. borrow a working lawnmower and mow the grass
5. fill in all the holes that our boys have dug
6. haul in sand or some other substance for the play area
7. paint the garden fence
8. re-build the fire pit
9. lay down a walkway from the deck to the back fence
10. fix the deck

However, we don't want to be working the whole time!! We intend to have fun with friends and family, too.

We've already celebrated Canada Day with our dear friends, took in the fireworks and have shared a fireside with more of our spiritual family while fighting off mosquitoes and eating s'mores. I"m so glad to have my husband home during the day. I'm very spoiled. He's worked out of our house for most of our married life, but when May comes, he dons his painting cap and heads out the door most days. I miss him dreadfully and so do the kids, so we're just tickled to have his hairy face here each day!

My big boy is at camp for the week...I miss him already!
I'm hoping to do some sewing this week...spend time at the pool and help in the yard.

I think I'll find a different kind of tea to drink each day. Today's tea, kids tea, Tutti Frutti. Very pretty color. The leaves are really pretty, too. No caffiene. And tastes...fruity!! Heard of a new way to make ginger tea that I'm gonna have to try so that's going on my list...

mmmmmmmmm..........more restful around if only we could find the garage keys!!