Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Soap Contest

I hesitate to post this because, frankly, I want to win! However, to be fair, Nan is having a little contest over at Life is Like a Lunchbox where you could win some glorious soap. Go take a peek.

First Day of School

Today was almost a perfect day! Really! Everyone was up and dressed by 7:45. The three oldest children, Kelly and myself all were able to have devotions before we gathered at the table at 8:00 for breakfast with beds all made. We shared what we had learned, had a wonderful prayer time together and a leisurely breakfast. The boys had their stuff by the door the night before, lunches were made on time and theyhad their clothes laid out. We saw these two off on the bus at 8:40, nervous, but looking forward to their day!
After those guys left the rest of us tidied up the kitchen and got ready to start our homeschool day. These are some of the things we did today. Abby and I began a study on Proverbs 31 - she will illustrate the verses and we will, hopefully, end up with a book at the end. The boys did a little math, we worked on French and read the loveliest book, Miss Fannie's Hat. It perfectly illustrated a Godly woman's love for the Lord, what a treat to have 'accidentally' found it at our public library. We took a walk down our driveway (1 mile round trip) for gym class. It was perfect harvest weather. Abby didn't realize how much 'school' she did, she kept wondering when we'd start doing things and I had to explain to her how much we'd already done! We're still waiting for our math books because I ordered the wrong one, which happens to be just right for Sasha. Her English book showed up today so we can begin work on that tomorrow.

Next week we'll begin The Prairie Primer and start reading Little House in the Big Woods, we're going to make butter from start to finish, we are so looking forward to it!
While baby was sleeping we made these! In their former life they were just a plain old notebook and binder, but no longer. Inspired by Ann at Holy Experience we took out some pretty paper, glue and stickers and had ourselves a lovely time making lovely journals to record our days together. I was very taken with Ann's idea to record what we do during the day so I can see where the blank spots are. I still have a notebook that I plan ahead in, writing notes to myself about books to request, events to watch for and so forth. I did a little of that last year with the boys but Ann's suggestions make it much easier to keep it organized and when it's in such a pretty book I can't wait to write in it!

This is the verse I put on the inside front cover, my motto for homeschooling,
"Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants."
Deuteronomy 32:2

And on the front cover, "These are days of miracle and wonder." Paul Simon

The boys' reported a wonderful day at school, enjoying their teachers and classmates. A wonderful day was had by all.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

fresh flowers of August 25

My Hero
copyright 2007, lani wiens
a fresh flowers original

Ever have one of those days where you wish a superhero would come and rescue you? Either that or you could turn into a superhero - personally I would want to be Elasti-girl, she rocks! I love movies where there's a really great hero. Perhaps that's why I enjoy LOTR - there isn't just one hero, there are many. I don't think I've ever met anyone who doesn't like a great good winning over evil tale.

Over the last few weeks I keep hearing that old song, "Holding Out for a Hero", apparently it made a comeback from the eighties thanks to Shrek2 and my kids have been listening to it on YouTube. I couldn't remember all the words so I looked them up on the internet. You may be wondering how I could possibly find a flower in an old song from the eighties, hang with me it will all become clear. Read the lyrics...

Holding Out for a Hero
(Bonnie Tyler)

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the street-wise HerculesTo fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need

I need a hero
I'm holding out for at hero 'till the end of the night
He's gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero 'till the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life
Larger than life

Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There’s someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It’s gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet

Repeat Chorus

Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I could swear there is someone somewhereWatching me
Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approachLike a fire in my blood

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'till the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero
'till the morning lightHe's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life
I need a hero

Don't we all feel this way at one time or another. Whoever wrote this song seemed to be on the verge of grasping something significant. There is someone reaching out for us, there is someone watching us, there is a hero coming to sweep us off our feet. Our wildest fantasty does not even come close to what is currently going on the heavenly realm and what will one day be reality. Check out a few of these scriptures. The first one from Colossians is what got me going on this train of thought as we had our devotions together this morning.

Colossians 1:13 - 14 "For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (NIV)

The Message says it this way, "God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He's set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating."

Doesn't that sound like a hero to you? Coming in the nick of time, saving you from certain death! Jesus Christ fits the hero described in that song rather well wouldn't you say. You can't get much larger than life than Jesus, but just to make sure he's the guy - he's larger than death, too.

Is he fresh from the fight? I believe He is always interceding for us, surrounding us behind and before. Isaiah 52:12 says, "...for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard." He is there with us in the midst of the turmoil.

If that doesn't get your spine tingling, listen to this description of Jesus from Revelation 19. "I saw heaven stading open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one but himself knows. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the namtions, "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

That's some hero, wouldn't you say? This is such a different picture of Jesus than the mild-mannered, children on his lap guy that we show to all the sunday school kids. I'm glad we have that picture of him, but on days like today I'm glad that I have a hero that is larger than life who is on his way the second I turn my desperate plea to his ear. He fights for me! He sings over me! He will go to war for me! How exciting is that? Jesus is the ultimate hero of all time.

Friday, August 24, 2007


Today is my birthday, when some women hit my age they might declare that this is the last birthday they'll ever have. 39 and holding?

I am a miracle, did you know that. According to the thoughts and whims of men, I should not exist, but God didn't think that and fortunately for me, my parents agreed with him. Let me tell you a little story...

39 years and 9 months ago my mom got pregnant with me. She'd already had three children and a number of miscarriages. After her second child it was recommended that she not have any more children because her womb was very fibrous. She had my brother after that and didn't expect to have any more children. Three years later she was pregnant again but wasn't aware of it. She became ill and had to have an emergency appendectomy.

After she realized she was pregnant the doctors recommended that she terminate the pregnancy due to the high levels of toxins and drugs that were circulating around her body. They were certain that the baby she carried would either die in utero or be severely disabled at the very least. My mom and dad prayed and sought the Lord and decided that if the Lord decided to give them a disabled child then He would also give them the grace they needed to raise that child.

I can't imagine what those months must have been like for my parents. When it came time for my delivery the doctor postponed his trip to visit his dying mother in Scotland, my dad took time off work and was allowed to be in the delivery room, unheard of in those days. They all held their breath and low and behold they had a perfectly healthy baby girl with no birth defects in sight.

After 39 years I'm still healthy physically and in every other way. I know that God chose for me to be on this earth for HIs purposes. What a great gift I've been given and today I give praise to the Lord for protecting me and seeing fit to bring me to this earth. My prayer is that my life would be a beautiful offering to Him in everything I do. He has given me so much!

So, the last birthday for me? No way, I plan to celebrate every year God gives me and anticipate it being better than the last. Happy birthday to me!

Monday, August 20, 2007


I'm amazed lately at how long I go in between posts. I used to post so very regularly but life is just so big and happening that this virtual world doesn't quite get on the priority list for every day anymore. I still enjoy visiting and reading other blogs that encourage and lift up. Just this morning I went over to Sunydazy Days and On the Wings of My Heart and was blessed by both those dear ladies.

I went to visit my mom and dad this week in their new house near my sister. It was a lovely time but seemed a bit frantic with so many kids cruising around. They have such a lovely yard and house to stop in for awhile, God has blessed them indeed.

Yesterday we took the kids that didn't stay at mom and dad's out for supper and then to the drive-in. What fun that was. Kelly ran into an old friend from camp at McDonalds' and we had a wonderful visit together as the kids played. Then at the drive-in our oldest son ran into a friend of his from camp, turned out his dad is a friend of Kelly's, too. We watched Ratatouille - a fun movied but all the scurrying rodents still creeped me out.

Today is quiet and rainy, fixing combines kind of day. I need to start pulling together lesson plans for Abby, figuring out what school supplies I need to buy for the boys and that sort of thing. Seems so quiet with only three kids home, of course one is out with daddy and one is sleeping and one just woke up so it's extra quiet at the moment.

I'm going to be teaching a women's sunday school class this fall. I've never done that before and I'm really looking forward to it. We're going to look at the lies and traps we let ourselves get sucked into and discover the way out - through developing our secret place, listening to God and hearing what He has to say about who we are and what He thinks of us. Since this is a big issue for me, I'm looking forward to what God will teach me through this...and hopefully a few other women will get blessed through it, too.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

check this out

The Battle for the Toy Box Contest!I entered the Battle for the Toy Box Contest on the HSB Company Porch. I hope to win over $100 worth of, Tales of Glory, Bible-based toysfrom one2believe!!


Today has been a wearisome day. Too late to bed the night before. Too much bickering. Too many objects thrown. Too much non-compliance. Too much attitude.

I have truly thankful that the Lord chose to give us the six beautiful children we have but some days it all just seems like a little too much for these weak and weary bones to handle. So I need to remember some things that I can be thankful about.

** I have an amazing, wonderful, supportive husband that realized that mama was on the edge and needed some help today and let me go have a nap.

** When my children are grown they should have good skills for dealing with difficult and hard to live with people (we have one son that has ADHD, ODD/CD, and significant learning disablities, another who is three and EXTREMELY active and hard-headed).

** A wonderful couple came over last night to watch our six kids so we could go on a date.

** We are never, ever bored.

** I'm thankful that I have my curriculum picked and ordered for this year... I can hardly wait until it comes.

** I'm thankful that there is a secret place I can go when I just can't take one more spoon hurtling across the table. In that secret place I can rant and rave and no one gets hurt. In that secret place I can ask for wisdom and it will be given to me. In my secret place there is peace and rest. I am thankful that God is teaching me how to cultivate a secret place for without it I would surely die.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Getting REady for School

VBS is over, harvest is well underway and the start of school is only three weeks away. We are an eclectic family and aren't hard and fast to one way of educating our children. We have home-schooled, public schooled and used a separte stream school - French immersion. As each school year comes we seek the Lord as to what would be best for each child as each is an individual with their own needs.

This year our oldest three boys will all be going to public school. Josiah isn't too excited about it, especially since we found a great curriculum that he would have loved to work through based on the Chronicles of Narnia while browsing for materials for his sister.

We are going to be homeschooling Abby for the first time this fall. She has been in French immersion and they don't offer that anywhere in our new school division. We purchased Rosetta Stone material and got a bunch of reading material in French from her old school so we are going to give it a go. Yesterday I started wading through the decision making process of what material we would actually use for the rest of her studies. It was so much fun to talk with her and find out what she's interested in. I think we are going to have a lot of fun. We'll be doing some unit studies so that her little brothers can join in when they are both home.

I so love home-school and I so appreciate the work that the public school has been doing with my son who has learning disablities. Our all-encompassing stance makes us a little odd in eyes of both camps but we're okay with that, we will follow the path that the Lord leads us on.

In the next couple of weeks we'll get to go shopping for school supplies, I love that part of the whole process. New pencils, backpacks and running shoes...YEAH!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Life happenings

At long last a new post has arrived (warning it is very long to make up for not posting for however long it has been since I last posted - if you read fast you should make it to the end before the music stops). Why may you ask has it been so long? Okay you probably aren't asking and probably don't care but I'll tell you anyway. We've been doing this thing called life, it gets a little busy now and then.

We had our fabulous family reunion and had heaps of fun. The weather was atrociously hot. Since we don't have air conditioning we did the next best thing...go over to people's homes that do! As well, we bought a ridiculously long roll of plastic and made a slip and slide out of the hill outside our house. What fun, I'll be posting pictures of that later. I learned important lessons from that experience.

1. A great idea only becomes great when acted upon. We've talked about doing it and then actually did, and everyone had a great time.

2. A t-shirt and shorts is not a good thing to try sliding you don't exactly slide but come to a painful and grinding halt immediately after take-off which results in bruised ribs. I will not mention who learned this valuable lesson.

What else have we done? Oh yes, we moved my parents out of their home in the city and sent them packing off to the country. While my husband and son carried boxes I got to visit with a dear friend whom I haven't seen in months, what a lovely time that was.

Then we had a beach day/bbq/worship night with the youth and young adults. This, too, was a great time and more valuable lessons were learned.

1. If you don't want to hurt yourself on a tube ride, don't get on in the first place!
2. Don't go tubing in the late afternoon after the wind's picked up a little and there have been a lot of other boats on the makes things a little choppy.
3. It is very difficult to get back on a tube once you've been flung off in the middle of the lake.
4. Being the new person on the block can garner you crazy initiation type rides, designed to fling you off in the middle of the lake.
5. It is a good idea to let go gracefully when you feel like you're being stretched out on a rack and your shorts feel like they just might fall off.
6. Your arms will hurt for days afterward, stirring for any length of time will be painful.

And then...our dear friends came to spend the week of DVBS with us. I will mention now that they have 5 kids. Add that to our 6 and you have 11 kids and after the other daddy left 3 adults - 1 of whom headed out to the field early in the morning and came home early the next morning, so he doesn't really count. Make it 11 kids and 2 moms - the odds are not in our favor. HOWEVER, we have survived and had fun doing it. Somehighlights of our week. . .

1. Late night snackies after everyone is finally in bed, sleeping and the temperature has dropped to a comfortable level.
2. Going to the ladies time out every morning without any of our children in sight for at least 3 mornings - fun crafts, great desserts and excellent video speakers every day.
3. Going for slurpee runs.
4. Reading "Hank the Cowdog" book to the boys every evening - if you've never read one, you should, they are very funny.
5. Setting up the slip and slide (make sure your kids wear clothes that cover their bodies completely the next few days afterward or someone might think you are beating them)
6. Sending the four oldest boys off on their bikes for a grand adventure that kept them away from home for a good three hours.
7. The birth of new kittens. (whom the mommy moved after everyone kept bugging her and now we can't find them)
8. Watching our oldest sons parade around in their underwear every night of which we will post pictures if they do not immediately go to bed and quit reading over our shoulders. These pictures are not pretty - viewer discretion advised - GO TO BED!!!!!!!!!!
9. Watching Holly fall asleep watching a movie.
10. Folding approximately 17 loads of laundry in three days.
11. Watching Elizabeth play in the mud puddle.
12. Combining our first field (yes harvest is in full swing)
13. Taking my first farm wife meal out to my husband all by myself and not getting lost!
14. Visiting with Sonya, Kelly's younger sister who also was staying for the week with her three little ones (not here, that would have been really nuts)
15, A lovely evening stroll that turned into a panicked run as Abby came running down the road yelling, "Mommy, mommy!" As I ran toward her thinking the worst she finally shouts, "Can we give Elizabeth a bath?" Be still my beating heart.
16. The flooding of our steps, entrance and animal food bin by three little boys with a dangerous hose.
17. Leaving Sam behind because we forgot to count heads.
18. Picking up boys along the side of the road on our way into town. They didn't quite make it all the way there after they decided to walk in.
19. The garden did not stop for VBS and we had to take care of apples and beans in the midst of all this.
20. A disgusting science experiment that is currently sitting on our counter. How gross will a bag of buns in really hot weather get? We're gonna find out...
21. Test driving 2 three year olds at VBS - it didn't work.
22. Setting up my new laptop in the boys room so that they could watch Pirates 2 in "secret".
23. The scent of body spray all over the basement. and rotten eggs in the kitchen.
24. Did we mention the loads of towels? There have been at least 2 more since that last entry.
25. Remarkable amounts of fruit, cereal, meat, ice cream and cold cuts consumed.
26. Daily runs to the grocery store.
27. Loud meals that got louder every day.
28. All the kids have been out on the combine with Kelly at least once.
29. There is a lot of life going on here right now and as we all now, life is messy and tiring! but it sure is fun...and did I mention messy.
30. Following a standard bedtime routine every night made bedtime remarkably easy for 2 of us trying to get 11 kids down.
31. Shared chores made meal time preparation and clean up much easier and the kids didn't even complain a whole lot. (Each of our kids has a corresponding 'twin' in CWG's family - except for Elizabeth whose twin is on her way - we'll just say that in faith, why mess with a good pattern - so they just doubled up on their chores.)

That's probably enough for now. We've had fun and it's almost over. Why were they here? Because we wanted them of course! And CWG was doing some work in their house that was easier to do without 'help'. See his blog for some pics of what he was up to.