Saturday, October 16, 2010

(Sad! My poor guy appears to be a loner here... but really it just looks that way because he isn't a sweet girly girl who gets excited, squeals with delight and hugs eachother tightly at the thought of getting their picture taken. {smile} )
As homeschoolers, we love to go on field trips whenever possible. Learning from visual and hands-on experiences is so important for kids. They thrive on it! Talking about farms, the way plants grow, and the history of our Thanksgiving holiday celebration are just a few of the topics that come up while on a field trip such as our recent one.

I bet you can't tell what we got all dressed up bundled up for this last week.

It involved tractors, some hay bales, fields and fields of pumpkins gourds and squash and many happy squealing children.

Even my sister and her two kids joined in the bumpy chilly fun.

There we're piles and piles of gourds, squash and pumpkins and gobs of ~sometimes toothless~ smiles.

Pumpkin searching, picking, choosing, carrying, dropping, gnawing(only by my teething youngest, thank goodness) and weighing.

We played make believe, king of the mountain and hide and seek... okay so, my youngest hid and we we're all semi-frantically and momentarily seeking her adventurous fearless little self!

We marveled at how many pumpkins there were to choose from.

I love my second in command's crinkled up nose mischievous face... she's doing it here and it makes me smile!
We have many plans to carve, paint and create with our pumpkins.

But as the Bible so adequately puts it in Proverbs 19:2, "many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails".  We like to live by that slogan, being a little laid back and open to a change in plans... makes for less pressure and stress!

... and with 5 kids and a momentarily high maintenance house, less stress is always desired.
if our treasures are meant to only sit pretty just as is on our front porch, so be it.
We'll enjoy them regardless!

There was one proud Memaw surrounded by her 7 grandchildren. which equals

Hot cocoa and a yummy lunch was in store for our famished selves at Memaw's house afterwards.

And we WERE famished!!

After trudging through fields of vines, making important pumpkin decisions and... ah, who am I kidding, kids are always famished.

I don't believe we had even touched a "pun-kin" yet and kids we're asking about snacks...

My niece, isn't she the cutest 5 year old girl ever?  Her red locks, little voice and small features make her look like a sweet china doll. 

My little 5 year old is pretty darling as well, with her pig tails, curls and sweet personality.

Someone else apparently thought so, too and moved from next to his parents on one side of the hay wagon ALL the way down to her side just so he could sheepishly smile while cozy-ing up next to her.  It was the cutest thing!

My fifth blessing likes to pretend she doesn't see me and the camera.

She likes to play dumb... but I know better.  She's a bright one!

She is already talking up a storm: duck, papa, mama, dada, backpack... pretty much anything you say, she'll try and repeat it... but only if you don't want her to.

There was plenty of climbing, jumping, steering and chewing.

No, not that kind of chewing.

Or the chewing out of anyone for that matter.

Not gum chewing...

but Indian Corn chewing. It's quite desirable among the 1-2 year old range. The more dirt the better!

Many pictures we're taken, here is my beautiful sister and I.

And my wonderful mom, sister and I. 
I don't believe we resemble each other all that much... but if you we're around us long enough it would become obvious that we are related as we seem to say the same thing at the same time and with the same inflection... quite often.  It's almost scary.

We sat on huge wheels.

Attempted to climb things as high as our heads...

And took turns steering a stationary tractor. Such fun for children let me tell you!

Look at that concentration!

Squash safety always comes first... who wants a squashed squash? 

We had a wonderful fall day together at Purdum's produce and farm and look forward to our next seasonal tradition of visiting our local corn maize!
My life, hands and heart are full. I'm so thankful for the many blessings and good things that God has given.  Being a good steward of those things is not easy, but by God's grace we grow daily.  Doing the right thing becomes a little easier and sensitivity to the His Spirit and finding joy and rest in my life's calling starts settling into a comforting normal.
My heart's longing isn't to be comfortable, and surround myself with all uplifting praise from perfect people... my goal is to reach the lost, those hurting souls who aren't easy to love, befriend the lonely, reach out to those who have even caused hurt and pray for everyone.  Jesus was the ultimate example of this.
I'm so thankful for friends, family and the Lord who keep me real and growing!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Goodness... is loving kindness in action.

         And it does not come naturally! My dear children and husband, though wonderful gifts they are and though deeply, deeply in love with them I am, will still on occasion feel like a heavy burden or look like the fiery enemy himself just begging to be smacked, rebuked and shunned... but I am called to love them anyway.  Even when I'm tired, hurt or angry, instead of acting on my superficial feelings I can make a choice to grasp firmly onto the truths of God's Word, putting on the love of Christ, and being bathed in goodness!  Taking care of their needs, loving on them and incredibly finding that my feelings, though slightly slower at jumping onto the kindness band-wagon, begin to follow the Spirit's leading and begin to be transformed.  What a gift I can be as a wife, mother and friend, constantly aware of how I can be of help and laying down my life in service to others.  If only we all had a little more of His attitude, maybe we'd all get a little more of that goodness in return. My heart this morning:

So I've found it is not words that win over
nor mere thoughts of kindness.
At our best we still fall entirely short.
When slanderously provoked,
quietly bearing, waiting;
actively returning blessing for evil
seems much too impossible.
Needy gratifying of the flesh ~versus~ a higher calling to do good;
an unseen spiritual tug-of-war ensues.
It IS possible to "do good to those who hate you."
God's readily available supernatural goodness,
actively permeates ever inch of this world.
We have only to deny self, open our hearts
and let him play beautifully through
the instrument that is our life.

"The supreme test of goodness is not in the greater but in the smaller incidents of our character and practice; not what we are when standing in the searchlight of public scrutiny, but when we reach the firelight flicker of our homes; not what we are when some clarion-call rings through the air, summoning us to fight for life and liberty, but our attitude when we are called to sentry-duty in the grey morning, when the watch-fire is burning low."
-F.B. Meyer