Monday, September 16, 2019

Mid September Weekending

"Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We will get there someday." A.A.Milne Winnie-the-Pooh

My whole house is ~Autumn~ now  - - - except for my baking center. It's the first autumn with a baking center so I want to get it just right and am not quite sure what I'll do - - - so for now it still looks like this - - - all vintage and pretty.

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I love this cookbook but I think I'll change it out for an autumn one.

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I'll keep all of the vintage pyrex and all of the potholders my little girls made me.

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Maybe swap the cherry pie for apple...

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Maybe change the cake stands... hummmmm

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I love when Sunday I am home alllllllllll day. Love it.

I don't love that Abigail had a fever and was sick all day Sunday {and Monday}

I cooked and baked a ton on Sunday.

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no sugar (sweetened only with banana) oat flour muffins.

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Abigail soup was simmering.

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Sipping on apple crisp tea.

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I make these every weekend for Anna and I - perfect addition to our lunch boxes. No sugar bars with good things like chia seeds and only dates to sweeten.

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It was a fallish {because of all of the baking} weekend.

And so that made it a good one.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Making It a Welcome Home

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I am quite certain that one of the things my girls will remember is how our home felt.

There are so many parts that can be.

Words. Those are possibly the most important part. Kindness, genuine interest, a soft answer, time for lots of words and talking.

The way I arrange and decorate and make our home look. That is is a part of it too.

And making it welcome to come home to.

This little garden path, under the arbor is how Abigail comes home. Anna did too, years ago. This is from years ago when the girls were planting the flowers that grew up the arbor.

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The path had gotten overgrown and the ground muddy. The garden gate didn't work well and the whole area was just awful.

So the last week of summer, back in August, Scott and Abigail worked to spruce it up. They dug and got new gravel. They widened the path and made it a happy place to come home to.

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Down the path, through the backyard, up to the porch, and through the back door. Welcome home my girls, welcome home.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Servant Motherhood Moments.

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I've come to appreciate the importance of the many thousands of routine moments in a mother's life, for it is in these moments that real greatness tends to be taught and caught. It's the way I respond to my daughters in everyday moments that gives me the best chance of winning their hearts. If I have integrity and patience in the small moments of life that are so important to my girls, and if I approach them with a servant's heart then I have a far better chance of influencing them in the larger and more critical areas of life.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Early September Weekending

Perfectly perfect fall weather -- the best time of year! It's turned alright! The sun and the shadows are different than they are in the summer. There is a chill in the morning air as I head out on my morning walks. It gets dark sooner in the evening. And my baking center beckons to me all day long.

This weekend flew by -- but I got a bunch done for school. I am loving my new plan -- working really hard planning on Saturday mornings - plan, plan, plan. Scott came into school with me to hang some letters. We were there only 35 minutes but I got all set up and ready for the week.

Friday evening

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Saturday morning

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Saturday afternoon

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Sunday morning

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Sunday afternoon

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Sunday evening

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This is our first full week of school -- wish me luck!


Friday, September 6, 2019

Back to School Blessing 2019

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This is one very special evening for my family. Years ago God placed on our hearts a need to start off the school year together with a purpose -- a theme -- a link to Him. And so the Back to School Blessing began.

2018 is here

2017 is here

2016 is here

2015 is here

This year was my favorite. It's really hard to put into words. I'll do the best I can to show how my heart feels from our evening last night.

The stars were ordered way ahead of time and Scott and I both wanted our dinner to be on our new porch. It's been in a different place every year -- part of what makes it special is the location.

The menu was picked earlier that week and I had a huge pot of sauce on the stove simmering since the morning. My mom's sauce recipe is the best -- it tastes like home to me.

I started the dessert when the sauce was simmering.

This cooler first of September called for a fall dessert.

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Cranberry Apple Crisp from Susan Branch --

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The blessing is of course the most important part but the food is really really important to me.

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On the porch I set up the table and added the flowers.

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On one of the many extra grocery runs that day Scott brought home these amazing sunflowers that brought such sunshine to the space!

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I don't let the girls see the room once I start setting up -- this is where they entered and what they saw.

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After the food was done, the dessert cooling, and everything set up -- the guests, our precious daughters arrived!

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We took a few family pictures before dinner.

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Daddy and his girls --

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Mama and her girls --

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And one with the tree I love so much

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We ate the most amazing baked ziti with warmed extra sauce on the side, yummy bread and butter -- such comfort fall food.

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The leaves were starting to turn and were just what we needed to look out and see.

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After lingering over dinner it was time for the girls to open their stars!

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I love that from where we sat we could see the stars from past years hanging in the dining room window.

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Since we had every color of the rainbow it was time for some clear stars and they were spectacular.

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Anna Jiang Qian 2019-2020 11th grade

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Abigail Mei 2019-2020 7th grade

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We came back into the porch after capturing the stars in the last of the sunlight. Time for dishing out dessert and pouring tea.

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And now the blessing.

Our family verse -- guiding principle for the year is from Proverbs 16:3

Roll your works upon the Lord {commit and trust wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will and} so shall your plans be established and succeed.

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It is truly impossible to fit into words how the next hour and a half went on that porch. The air was cool. The girls were attentive and the Holy Spirit was with Scott and I as we spoke. Oh how I wanted to record our talk and the deep conversation that followed after sharing this verse with the girls, but I just couldn't. I didn't even want to move to take a picture. (I did take just a few) but it felt like we were on holy ground.

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  • I read the verse very slowly several times 
  • I shared how God showed this verse to me in my quiet time over the summer and how I brought it to daddy as an idea
  • In the same summer God was showing Scott (not the same verse) but relating to it how we can come up higher this school year as a family -- God fit it all together so well 
  • I shared that when we tell the Lord in prayer what is going on {roll your works upon the Lord} and we "give" {commit them wholly to Him} and trust our works {our plans} to Him - -He will cause our thoughts to become agreeable to His will and our plans will succeed. 
  • I shared how it's almost like a bridge: one side is that we tell our plans, give our days to the Lord and trust him. On the other side of the bridge is that our plans will be established and succeed. The bridge that gets us from one side to the other is that He causes our thoughts to become agreeable to Him. 
  • I love how practical Scott made it for our family. Our "works" are the moment by moment decisions we make all day long. From choosing to do homework instead of being on the phone etc. 
  • We talked a long time how this verse applies to each of us. We talked about Scott and his now {second year as principal of the middle school} and how over last year he needed to go through the process of trusting God -- it was a long process. 
  • We talked about Anna and how this verse relates to walking with God toward the right college He would have her in.  
  • We talked about Abigail and how the verse relates to 6th grade and 7th grade
  • We talked about how God led me suddenly back into teaching but that it was God's plan all along and how He prepared me daily in my small literacy tutoring position I did part time for 3 years. How it looked like suddenly back into the classroom but really it was this verse. 
  • We talked about how we trusted God and His plan when I left teaching and stayed home for 13 years. 
  • Each day that we trust in God in the little things and choose to listen to the Holy Spirit He is causing our thoughts to line up with His plan for our life and there we find ourselves on the other side of the bridge where our plans are established and succeed.
  • It was such a beautiful, beautiful conversation and we talked until late in the evening. 

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Our life is hard and messy {just like all families} but when we choose to put God first and teach the Word in to our children it makes us stronger. There is nothing I love more than this precious family of mine. Not one little thing.