"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Monday, March 18, 2013

it must have been the 4-leaf clover

I must have the luck of the Irish.  The Leprechauns brought a surprise to our door this weekend!  I'm busy recouping.  Talk to you later!

Blessings, Debbie

Saturday, March 16, 2013

stand firm

Therefore my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.  1 Corinthians 15:58

Joining Spiritual Sundays
Blessings, Debbie

Friday, March 15, 2013

a tisket a tasket

Baskets.  I've always had an affinity for baskets and have many knocking around the house.  I love the texture of the weave.  I love the natural color.  I love that they serve a function (and a very important one in this house where we have STUFF).  I could go on but that's not where I'm going today.  Last weekend I found myself sharing with friends that I'm having a 'funny' moment in my life where my focus and ability seem impaired.  After decades of doing what needs doing and loving every minute of it I now can't seem to handle much.  I'll rephrase.  I'm handling much but I'm cruising on auto pilot.  Not the auto pilot that has you yawning and relaxing as you gently move from one place to the next but the auto pilot that is going faster than you are comfortable with and you are flying at a speed (it's still the same mph?) that leaves you dizzy when you stop.  What has this to do with baskets?  Well, in sharing with said friends I likened my load to what you can carry in a basket.  I feel tremendous guilt daily when I consider what I used to do (enjoy) when my olders were youngers.  We're only talking a couple of years ago here yet sometimes it seems forever.  Here comes the analogy.  Stick with me if you will.  :)

'Way back' in 2010 I carried a great big 'basket' filled with all the wonderful things that come with motherhood. There were family and friends, meetings, teen activities and then of course the constant whir of the younger girls.  There was planning and teaching and decorating and cooking and baking and gardening and telephoning and visiting.  I still do all of this but it used to be that it was easily balanced.  I  proudly carried my big basket everywhere with the greatest ease flexing my muscles all the while.  Over the last couple of years my basket has been shrinking.  Suddenly I find that the one I am choosing is itty-bitty.  I can only fit so many important things in my tiny basket and yet it feels... so much heavier!  Often I don't even want to carry it myself.. I want someone else to carry it for me!  This has been so strange.  So there you have it.  That's my analogy in a nutshell basket.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.    Mathew 11:28-30

Perhaps this means that some of what is in the basket doesn't need to be there at all.  Perhaps my load will be lighter when I put in only what should be in.  Perhaps I shouldn't proudly flex my muscles but allow Him to help me carry it.  I know all of this so why am I so stiff-necked?!

Blessings,  Debbie

Thursday, March 14, 2013

a true story!

; )  a true story
Debbie Penington

From murky blue and gray to black 
It pulled away and then rushed back
Pounding rocks and tickling toes, across the sand.. I watched it go!

I gave a giggle then ran a-wry 
wanting to keep my tootsies dry
It grabbed my ankles and would Not. Let. Go.  Ack! Shackled by the undertow

Oh, what to do could this be true?  
I was whisked into the ocean blue
First bobbed and lolled then tossed a-shore, I awoke in Anderson's fairy lore

For as I tried to stand I'd fail 
Crippled by.. my mermaid's tail?!
And that is how (now I regale), I came to rest beside the whale.

A silly pair beached near the waves, he wanted back in and I wanted.. legs!

  Blessings, Debbie

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

a 'little' salt spray

... and there it was, right where I left it ~ some things you can just count on, you know?

Blessings, Debbie

Friday, March 8, 2013

the lure of the ocean

I'm off for a much anticipated weekend at the beautiful Oregon coast.  Most of my bests will be with me and how wonderful is that?  Of course my favorite people in all the world will be here holding down the home front so that I can go galavanting for which I am truly grateful!  I've packed this cute little free pattern along with some scrap yarn.  I'm throwing in some muslin, embroidery floss and hoop.. and of course I will have my Bible and my camera..  Deep breathed sigh.. eyes closed.. smile..  See you Monday!

Blessings, Debbie  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

a rainy day post

What was I thinking waiting to take pictures of my current knit.  The sun has been either full faced or at least peeking for days.. up until today.  It's nasty out there.  I thought, "hmmm, terrible lighting.  Perhaps the interest of outside will help."  I positioned everything as best I could (seams are not sewn and buttons are still unattached) where we would stay dry beneath the giant fir tree.  

The sweater is no further along than it was in this post.  I detoured to make the hat (from Last Minute Knitted Gifts) and to choose buttons, reminding myself that this set was indeed going to be feminine before the tedium of seam stitching.  The color in these photos (or should I say lack of color) is atrocious, I think that the deep olive shows better in the link.  This is going to look just beautiful with the shoes that Erin made.  I'll convince her to let me post them soon since she hasn't posted in months.  I also have in mind a block print t-shirt using one of the stamps I carved last year paired with a simple skirt pattern I've been waiting to try...  oh yes, this is just as much fun as I knew it would be.  Praise for grands!

I'm sharing 2 books today.  Rudyard Kipling is our current author study and Kim was the suggested title.  It's not an easy read aloud for the funky English that is spoken and the book is mostly dialogue.  I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do it justice but the girls don't seem to have any trouble following.  They do in fact beg me to keep going when I think I'm finished.  Is this a recommend?  If I were just reading it myself I would say, "eh" but the girls are really enjoying it.  There you go.

The other book is one that I've read before and am re-reading.  Passionate Housewives Desperate For God by Staci McDonald and Jenny Chancey is a politically incorrect book about the joy of being a supportive wife who values her place in her home and in the life of her husband.  Sometimes the message of the world gets loud and I need to close my ears and curl up with a like-minded author.  That's what this book is for me.  A reminder that the message of Truth drowns out the deception of worldly thinking.

Blessings, Debbie

Sunday, March 3, 2013

this and that and a bit more for fun

It's getting late and since I wasn't clever enough to take pictures when the sun was shining (so beautifully and fully I might add) I'm defaulting to the dreaded pictureless post once again.  I actually think it shows a great deal of growth on my part if you don't mind me tooting my own horn for a moment.  I remember in my seventh grade creative writing class being handed our first assignment.  Write a poem.  No rules.  Whatever comes to your mind, suits your fancy, floats your boat.  How open ended is that?  It took me the entire period to come up with this classic:

Pencil erect
Staring at an empty page
Wonders what to write

I wasn't proud when I turned it in, nor was I proud when it was featured in our classes end of the year publication.  I just thought this would give you an idea of how 'clever' I am when faced with a blank page, hence my need for photos!

This morning we girls played hooky from church.  Our fellowship was meeting in a home up the hill about 20 miles and we had allowed the girls to accept an ice skating invitation for early afternoon.  Rather than all of us having to leave early, Larry went as our home's representative leaving the girls and I to watch the live service from Hillary's church online.  Unfortunately we had trouble getting it to load so we defaulted to a Nancy Leigh DeMoss audio series we've been listening to on Modesty.  This led to some very good conversation and may I just say here that I am so thankful for God's word.  I'm thankful for how He cares for us with His instruction that not only brings honor and glory to Himself but provides us with the tools we need to live a peaceful and joyful life.  It was a good morning.

Erin and Audrey came back from skating positively beaming.  Apparently one of the women who went with the group is amazing on the ice and gave the girls some wonderful instruction.  Now they are dying to go back, "so we won't forget everything!"

I just got off of the phone with Cory and he is beginning to feel better which is such a relief.  It's hard to be mama bear over the mountain when one of your cubs is sick.. I don't care how old he is! 

Phoebe lives in Orange County California.. so remember the time difference if the screen is dark!  :)

Well, I just had an idea..  a picture of the computer screen will turn out just fine in this (lack of) lighting and I wanted to give you all (especially you home school moms) a link to this site that Audrey and I found yesterday morning.  Last fall we spent time watching a live cam on an eagle's nest (thanks again Donna). This spring, that camera isn't active because the eagles didn't lay eggs so there is nothing going on right now. In our desperation we began a search for something else and found Phoebe.  Phoebe has what is now a 3 day old chick and by the time you check this out her second egg should have hatched.  Have fun!!

Updated Tuesday March 13th:  It's been determined that the second egg wasn't viable and won't hatch. :(  But the first chick is doing well!  It's hard to get perspective when watching Phoebe but the egg is smaller than 1/2".  It's been compared to a tic tac and the nest is about the size of half a walnut shell.  If you click on the photo link at the top of the cam page and scroll to the bottom photo you will see just how tiny everything you are looking at actually is.

Blessings, Debbie     

Saturday, March 2, 2013

circus maximus?

This morning grandma came back to go through her pictures again (slowly this time).  After our first viewing the girls and I watched this 3 part DVD segment on Rome.  It was full of excellent information and we found ourselves wanting to see the pictures again now that we had more understanding.  I highly recommend the videos for informative, fast moving images and info.  We look forward to watching Turkey, Greece and Asia minor next week.

After lunch grandma went home and we were off to our Friday Science class.  This was my week to lead the experiment for module 10 in this book demonstrating Newton's third law of motion ~ For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  We put a cup of vinegar in a 2 liter pop bottle, laid it on its side and carefully slipped a thin foil 'boat' holding 2 teaspoons of baking soda inside. Next we corked it, then gave it a little shake, laid it back down on pencil 'rollers' and stood back.  Success! Oh how I do love a successful science experiment.  I'm always on pins and needles until we get the proper result.  I apologized to the mother who's head the cork whizzed by and then told the kids that if they wanted to take everything outside (it was 60 degrees today!) they could do it again.  They did.. again and again.

The girls are back from the birthday party and the 'killer' has been identified and apprehended.  I'm happy to report that Cat Levens the lion tamer and Ricky Mammal the menagerie man are now sleeping the sleep of the innocent upstairs in their own beds.  What a relief. 

Blessings, Debbie

Friday, March 1, 2013

a stylish welcome for our 'wind'some travelers

What?  Willows, you've returned home without accepting our invitation to tea?  You'd think that after traveling 'round the world, just one more jaunt to Oregon could have been arranged.  Ah well, how about we do this kinda virtual like?

That was simply divine.  Wish you were here!  (You too Pom Pom)...

Blessings, Debbie's gals and friends

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