Category: Community

Jehovah Jireh

This morning I started to panic again.  I have been doing some work, very fun, exciting work, and it is a paying a bit– enough to cover a few of the past due bills and some necessary items.  But we have plenty of bills that are overdue which means everything is at pay or shut off status and despite God’s obvious provision in the past my brain started thinking again.  So instead of panicking I prayed, and praised God for what He has already done, and then prayed again (I know in my brain that God has and is still providing but every once in a while there is a disconnect in there between that part and the part that buys groceries and pays bills.)

I know God is providing.  I know God is providing.  I know God is providing and am thankful for all He has done.

So anyway, this morning after starting to panic and stopping again I got back to work.   The box art for the card game is sent in and all ready to go so hopefully we are able to move towards printing soon (which is exciting and scary all rolled into one.)  I am also proofing a book while scanning for description for some possible book cover art.  Plus random around the house stuff that needed done.  In the midst of all that I got an email.

A writer friend I had done some website work for in the past and now more recently wanted to know my Paypal address.  This is cool because I finished the work before Christmas and she didn’t have the money then.  Anyway she was able to pay me in full for that job which means that, combined with the work I have been doing (and have gotten promptly paid for) we have enough to pay the most pressing bills and buy a few much needed items.

And so once again God stepped in and took care of things when I couldn’t imagine how He would.  I would so love to be in a place where I didn’t wonder how He could possibly do something because I KNOW HE will I just need the rest of me to know as well.  So praise the Lord for He is awesome!

Work and a Gift

Actually the title should be something about how work is a gift from God, which it is.  How bored we would be and how little enjoyment we would have if we didn’t have something to do with our hands.

I am excited because the Lord has gifted me with several bits of work to do that may lead to other bits of work in a field I adore.  This is especially exciting because it combines skills I have developed over time (which is always nice– I would much rather do that which God has prepared me to do than some random new thing for which I am not designed), books (which if you don’t know already I am passionate about), and creativity (design using Gimp as well as with my pen and paints).

A friend of mine, Grace, owns a small publishing company, Splashdown Books, and was talking about all the work she had to get done this month and I (per usual) volunteered to help.  I got to layout a book cover (which I enjoyed a lot more than designing websites) and got to do a small painting that will be incorporated into the covers for the series.  And then she paid me for my work on the very first night which I was not expecting (like I said I volunteered) and for which I was grateful.  And it looks like she may have other work for me (at the very least the rest of this series which is also exciting, and fun.)

Ever since I was a child and wrote “BCL” in every one of my picture books (B___ Children’s Library) and then proceeded to organize them by author (and type for the non-fiction) I have adored books and wanted to have something to do with them. For a long time I thought I wanted to write and though I do I do not consider myself a “writer”.  I don’t care enough about writing itself to research the best ways to write, writing styles, getting published and all that.  On the other hand I AM passionate about art, a well designed book cover (I will often pick up a book based on a great cover), and encouraging good writers (and there are a lot though there are also a lot of  the other sort of writers out there.)  So it is exciting that God is leading in that direction at this time (I don’t know what He has planned for the future but I am enjoying where I am.)

That, combined with doing the box art for the card game (more art from that over here) is making for a very busy me. The sooner the box art is done, the sooner we can get it published so I am working to get it done quickly, and praying over the work constantly.

Also cool is that Shamus has had several possible offers regarding paying gigs (for both writing and his videos).  We are prayerfully considering each, especially since we are feeling very led to continue in the direction we are going.  He has also been writing about 2,000 words a day on his book, which is coming along nicely.

Finally my mother-in-law showed up with some cash from my father-in-law this morning.  She  said, “He just told me that I was to give this to you kids.”  So that is pretty awesome and appreciated.  Have I mentioned that our families are wonderful and have been such a blessing to us?   Regardless, I will say it now, they are wonderful and a blessing. 🙂  (Later on Rachel came home (she had spent the day helping her grandma and practicing piano at my mother-in-law’s church) she came laden with perishable groceries that my mother-in-law had gotten us: eggs, salad, fruit, and cheese.  Did I mention they are awesome?!

And now back to work. Trying to finish the final element of the box art before Sabbath so I can touch it up then get it scanned after Sabbath.

And It Continues

A huge Amazon.com box just showed up at our door.  It contained several weeks worth of groceries at least: tuna, olive oil, rice, AND chocolate.  It was a gift from the same friend who sent the green beans which means that she and her husband have just provided all of our families favorite foods (well combined with the blessings we have already received) and enough of the basic things to last us a while.  I am just absolutely amazed and grateful and once again teary-eyed.  (I am not a crier and the daily blessings are making it so I am really no longer going to be able to say that.)

So again, thank you to both of you, and praise the Lord for providing in this beautiful way.

And I REALLY need to start taking photos of all these boxes– our poor delivery dudes.

Blessings Abound

It is so amazing to see all that God is doing (I know I keep saying that but each day He surprises me in a new way.)

Yesterday I was struggling. Money I thought would last longer was gone (some because something hadn’t gone through yet at the bank so we thought we had more than we did) and yet another check that we expected this month isn’t coming until next.  So I was having a hard time trusting– which is silly when you look back over the previous posts and see ALL that God is doing.  I should note here that one of the things we do and which God holds us to is tithe on all income from work.   Often when I forget (especially when I am getting a lot of little jobs) God will withhold blessings as a reminder.  Yesterday morning was one of those times– when, after reading the verse about not withholding good/payment from another I remembered and immediately dealt with the issue.  Yesterday’s struggle was before we tithed and the blessings came after.  (Like I said, God does not deal with each of us the same way.  We firmly believe in tithing but that is because God has impressed this on us since we first married and were living on $10 a week in groceries.)

One of the things I have always had trouble with is recognizing that our God LOVES to do new things.  Very seldom does He deal with a situation in exactly the same way.   He likes to keep us looking to Him, waiting and watching for the next miracle He will perform.  I am not saying He doesn’t allow similar circumstances in people’s lives– He does and often it is encouraging to find out that while you are dealing with something there is someone else out there in the same situation.  However, how He handles that situation changes.  I am always expecting Him to handle the new situation the way He did last time.  For example, if we are short the money for a bill  I will expect Him to provide the money for it in the same way He provided for it the month before.  He has yet to do that.  Though I think our mailman/UPS guy/Fedex dude are beginning to wonder what is going on. 🙂

In the last two days we have had even more amazing blessings:

Yesterday morning the UPS guy showed up (despite the solid ice over everything).  I was expecting some enzymes and coconut oil that I had ordered thanks to a gift of an Amazon gift card last week  and was surprised when he handed me a very heavy box.  When I got it inside I found that it was neither–instead it contained 12 cans of green beans from my best friend from high school.  She is awesome!

At some point in the day yesterday I sent an email to a friend who I had been meaning to get in touch with.  After some back and forth I found out that she was overloaded with some work and I volunteered to help out if I could so she could get it done by the deadline.  I took on the project and got a lot of it done last night and sent it off.  I was surprised to find that she sent me money for my work– enough to pay at least one bill!  YAH!  And thank you!

Also the art work for the box of the card game is moving forward quickly, which is exciting and means that the sooner I get it done, the sooner it can be published, and the sooner we can possibly get some income from that.

This morning I sold another Zazzle product (I only get 10% of the sale but it adds up. :))

Then this afternoon, literally right after I remembered to tithe on the money I earned last night, we got three packages in the mail (our poor postman– he is knocking louder every time and not because we can’t hear him.)  My enzymes and coconut oil came (just as I was almost out of both) AND another package– a huge bag of raw almonds from Anonymous .  I am SO EXCITED!!!!  I am the almond lover in the household (though the kids enjoy almond milk and the baked goods I make from the almond meal.)  So thank you, whoever you are!

I wonder what God has for us next?  Regardless I am sure it will be awesome because He is!

Novica Giveaway and an Anniversary

You may recall that last year we received a gift certificate for Novica.com in exchange for a review of the products we received (you can read the original post here.) We were all so very blessed by the items we received. Well, this year Novica sent a gift certificate for us and one for me to giveaway to one of my readers.

This is especially exciting because today is our 14 year wedding anniversary and as you probably already know, we have no money for gifts or to do anything special this year. So, after some prayer about the decision we chose to order something we absolutely fell in love with and which we don’t even need (we very seldom splurge on things we don’t need or aren’t at least useful so this is a big deal.) But look at them, aren’t they just absolutely wonderful?
storytime mice

And then we also ordered a set of little cups with lids that are absolutely precious to replace some little Chinese tea cups that were recently broken (about which I was devastated.) I realize these are salt and pepper cups but we got a similar set (with geckos) for my mother-in-law for Christmas and they will work perfectly for our needs– and we all adore the little turtles on the lids.
turtle cups When we get our order I will be sharing lots of photos and a play by play of what we got and what the actual items look like.

We were able to get the total cost, including shipping, enough under the gift certificate plus my Ambassador points (which you get for purchasing items and goes towards your next order) to also donate $2 back to Novica via their New Region Fund, which for me was as exciting as the gift certificate because I love to give and $2 may not be much but every little bit helps as I well know. Or, if you prefer (and if I had the money I would definitely be doing this since I know what it is like to try to live off creativity) you can microfinance an individual artist.

Now it is your turn. What would YOU order if you had a $50 gift certificate and who would you order it for?

I have one $50 gift certificate with which to bless one of you.  the first thing you have to do is go to Novica.com and look around (when choosing make sure to consider the shipping if you don’t want to have to pay extra). There are a lot of different sections on the side including fair trade corporate gifts, green gifts, unique gifts, and our current favorite animal gifts. Make sure you also look across the top because I found that some items listed in one section were missing from another. The jewelry section is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a look regardless. We also really loved the tableware section.  There are tons of great items made by artisans around the world, which is perfect if you have someone who is hard to buy for. Right now Novica’s big focus is on corporate gifts and despite the corporate in corporate gift there are some wonderful things there that would make excellent gifts either to someone you love or for yourself. In fact, if you order before January 31st many of the the items would make perfect valentines gifts.  The Valentine’s Day Gift section is absolutely stunning and if you are like us and don’t really celebrate but see it all around then you might want to get yourself a Valentine’s day present.

You can get up to four entries! Do any (or all) of the four things listed below (though you HAVE to do # 4 to be entered.)

1. Post a link to back to this post on Facebook for one entry.

2. Link back to this post on Twitter for another entry.

3. Link back to this post on your blog for another entry.

4. Leave a comment here telling me where you shared as well as what you would order from Novica.com if you won the gift certificate (and if you want, tell me who it would be for).  This is important, if you don’t come back and tell me I may or may not know that you posted it, so this one is required.

The give-away ends at midnight, Thursday, January 27, 2011 (so you will have time to get your order in before the deadline for Valentine’s day shipping.)

I’ll announce the winner  on Friday.

On the Road Again: part 3

Finally, the rest of the post so I can move on to all the stuff that has been happening since August.

After spending several hours at the Maryland Science Center (and $15 poorer due to the cost of parking), we were off again, this time to spend the night a bloggy friend’s house for the night before heading to another bloggy friend’s house on the way home the next day. I have known Deb for several years now (initially through the web and later through a previous stop on the way home from our semiannual trip to visit another friend.) Her kids are in a similar age range to my own and they all thoroughly enjoy each other.  Also Deb is full of awesome ideas and I love to absorb as much as I can while visiting. 🙂

There was a lot of mommy talk (poor Deb barely got any quiet I am afraid), dress-up and costumes (mostly the girls though they have plenty of awesome boy costumes and the boys got in on it),

Costume
quite a few practical jokes, light-saber and Nerf gun battles galore with some Lego’s thrown in the mix, and of course lots of swimming.
Pool

We had a lovely time and the kids had a hard time leaving.

Visiting friends

Though I suspect poor Deb, who keeps a gorgeous, amazingly decorated, (and CLEAN) house despite having 4 kids and has an awful lot on her plate, was ready for a break.  And isn’t this a beautiful picture  of her and her youngest (okay, not a great picture but I love the mommy love going on in it.)  So thank you again, Deb, for opening your home to us and your wonderful hospitality.  You were such a blessing to us (and my house loves you– you are such an inspiration and it is much better organized and all those little things that I put off have happened since our last visit.  I swear, one of these days I am going to kidnap you so you can help me make my house look nice.)

Visiting friends

We then hopped in the car (it melting out and the one downside of our lovely, wonderful, blessing of a Toyota Sienna is that the air conditioning is meh if anything so 100 degrees was a bit much.)  We headed north, back to PA, were we spent several wonderful hours visiting this wonderful family (I have known Beth online for as long as I have known Deb but as they only just moved to PA from Tennessee and I have never been to Tennessee  this was our first time meeting. )

We spent so much time busy and talking and talking and talking, well, we forgot to take pictures.  Where Deb is an inspiration (I always come home full of awesome ideas and my house spends the next month getting much more organized :)), Beth is a kindred spirit.  So mostly we talked books, books, art, books, books, kids, books, books, Christianity, books, cooking, books, unschooling, books, and possibly, books.  Her oldest gave his Lego collection over to Issac for the day (who relished some much needed alone time playing), the girls hit it off like that (and are bugging and bugging for another visit), and all the kids headed down to the creek for a long wade and some crayfish catching.  I came home with several amazing books to read (Nourishing Traditions I bought myself having seen it at Beth’s and discussed it with her), Restoration: Returning the Torah of God to the Disciples of Jesus she gave me (it has changed our lives and our relationship with God– heartily recommend it), plus a creation dinosaur book (Dinosaurs by Design) that we didn’t have for Essie to read due to her sudden fascination with all things dinosaur (we had this one and this one.  Oh, and she sent me home with some raw milk, which we tried, love, (can DRINK!!!), and which immediately spawned a search for a raw milk producer in the area (52 minutes away is the closest but what a blessing!)  I can’t wait to go back and pick her brain about a multitude of things (and as I mentioned my oldest especially reminds me daily that we need to go back for a visit..  Of course now that both families have weekly activities it has been tricky to find the time but God’s timing is perfect and I am looking forward to the next visit (and can’t wait till they can get here to visit us!)

I’m that Mom

Joining in on an awesome, impromptu blog carnival over here.

(I am deliberately not reading everyone else’s until I have finished writing mine, except for the 2 I saw that made me realize that this is a cool thing that I actually want to join in on because I suspect a lot of us overlap and I want to share who I am without worrying about that it may be a “YEAH, ME TOO.”)

I am that mom who, when the kids ask if we can please go visit our friends 5 hours away tomorrow, says yes, starts packing, and goes.
Rachel and Kayla

I am that mom who upon finding out the the oldest’s best friend (who lives 2 days away) might be able to come stay for a week says YES.

I am that mom who on 4th of July goes fireworks chasing with the kids, driving all over tarnation looking at everyone’s awesome displays,  instead of taking them to sit in a huge crowd and watching one display.

Fireworks

I am that mom who would rather take the kids to the pond to swim or sit and watch hours upon hours of anime, Dr. Who, favorite movies, or As Time Goes By with the crazy, wonderful kids than worry about what the neighbors think of her children’s nearly dead flower/veggie garden and too tall grass.
I am that mom who when the kids decide to build a tent/tree house/whatever in the back yard says nothing or helps them find the needed materials, knowing that again the neighbors will wonder about the people next door ruining the view from their perfect yards.

I am that mom who runs outside with the kids in the pouring rain to look for rainbows.
rainbow


I am that mom who, when the kids find their long lost roller blades and ask if they can go somewhere to roller blade, suggests they roller blade in the house on our fake hard wood floors and allow them to continue to wear them for everything for the next week.


I am that mom who lets her kids turn her entire kitchen into a restaurant for days at a time and play with their food.
Larry the Cucumber

I am that mom who, when her son asks to take all the blankets from all over the house and use them to jump on, says yes.

I am that mom who takes a camera wherever her kids go and takes pictures of all the awesome things they do.


Super straw

I am that mom who, when her kids want to mow the grass says yes and then says nothing about the stripes of extra tall grass left behind and the odd, rather like a maze, style of cutting grass her oldest prefers.

I am that mom who, when a kid says “come see this cool thing” stops what she is doing to go see (and it always IS really cool!)

green

I am that mom who realizes that her middle child loves the stage and when she asks signs her up and takes her to a performing arts camp the very next week.

I am that mom who still loses her cool, who still gets frustrated when the kids have totally trashed the place (not a problem) and then don’t clean it up (a problem), who has bad days and does not cope so well when the kids are fighting, again.
Issac room

I am that mom who still has a long way to go but loves where her kids are exactly where they are regardless of the stage they are in, loves being with them, and thinks they are totally awesome and fun.
Alameda Park 2010
Yes, this is an extended version, I got started and kept going (which anyone who knows me in person knows this is VERY typical.)

What we are doing

Monica asked What are you doing this week? in her All I want to say that won’t fit on Twitter post and since I have some new photos, am trying to share more often, and since I have to open her site in Google to comment because for some reason I can’t comment on her site in Opera, I thought I would share my answer here and then link to her post so you too can answer her question.

Swimming
This morning we decided to head to the pond early since it is supposed to get up to 90-something (which it did and it is HOT here). Plus I needed borrow my dad’s camera to take some quality photos of a commission for a client. My camera is stupid and slightly broken (dust or some-such on the lens causing all sorts of trouble which is sad because I LOVED that camera) though it still works it doesn’t work for high end photos for digital commissions.

So we went and the kids swam and I took photos of the painting. Then, because I already had it out with my sd card in I took some higher quality photos of the kids than I have been able to take for a while.

Swimming

After an hour of the kids swimming (with me taking pictures) the girls decided it was time for lunch and Issac decided to hang out with Pappap for the rest of the day. Now they are having a Dr. Who marathon– the whole series from the beginning (new Dr. Who) up until they run out on Netflix download play.

Swimming

Meanwhile I am waiting (stupid holiday weekend) for a new camera to come in the mail (need it for upcoming projects) and praying that it will suit (it was only $60 so I am nervous).

Swimming

I edited the painting photos for website use and sent that out, uploaded all the pictures of my crazy big kids, and now am pondering a website design I am supposed to be working on.
Finished Simming and Heading Home

As far as the rest of the week goes?  Who knows.  I like living day to day and hate schedules of any sort.  Hopefully this week will include getting a new camera, getting the prototype of the game I am working on, working on the website that I am supposed to be doing,.  As far as the kids go– probably lots of swimming, hopefully some cleaning up, most likely some camping out , and very likely lots of chatting on Skype with friends.

Christian Unschoolers link up


So Lauren over at Sparkling Adventures has decided that enough is enough and is asking that Christian Unschoolers who blog share their link on her site so we can all find each other. The problem with that is finding other Christian unschoolers who blog so they can add their link. 🙂 So, as she says:

Are you a Christian? Do you homeschool your children without following a set curriculum? Do you disciple your children instead of schooling them? Do you identify as a Christian unschooler?

If so, we’d love to get to know you! Please add your name and website homepage to the link list below and grab the Christian Unschoolers button to share on your own site!

So, if this is you then head over and join the list at Sparkling Adventures: Christian Unschoolers link up