Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blessings Blogfest!!! and Day 365 of 365 Days of Blessings!

Blessings Blogfest is here! It's today!
Time to Share Blessings, and Share Joy!!!

So here's my ten, my ten biggest blessings, the ten best blessings!

1. Jesus, Savior, Messiah, Redeemer.

2. My husband John, and our marriage.

3. My oldest daughter, Anna.

4. My youngest daughter, Trisha.

5. My mom and my dad.

6. My in-laws - all of them.

7. My Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and those close friends that are family friends.

8. Friends.

9. Creation - the world and all that is in it, people, animals, plants, oceans, forests, mountains, rivers - all that God made, and will redeem into His glory someday.

10. Joy, and laughter.

I could go on, and on . . . but I've done some of that already. :-)

How do you feel blessed today? What are your ten biggest and best blessings?

Check out these awesome bloggers that signed up for the Blessings Blogfest:
(They are big blessings too!)

Angie Lofthouse


10 Minutes to Breath


and the mysterious It's My Life . . . whose link I can't seem to follow. If you are the owner of this mysterious blog, please speak up.
Mystery Solved It's My Life is an awesome blog by Keena. Check it out!

Also, Brianna at Pocket Full of Playdough shared some great blessings!

Scripture Blessings:
"If you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be ssaved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you convess and are saved." Romans 10:9-10

Monday, May 30, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Days 362, 363, and 364

Memorial Day and 365 Days of Blessings, Days 362, 363, and 364

Today I'm giving thanks for:

1. Being nearly at my finish line for the 365 Days of Blessings Challenge.

2. Blessings Blogfest - tomorrow!!! Sign up and join us, if you haven't already - just click on the Blessings Blogfest button on the right side of the screen.

3. Getting all or at least most of my clerical errors fixed, and skimming through a year's worth of blessings to do that.

4. Reading through my blessings for the year has been a learning experience for me.

5. All the bloggers who have been with me through this Blessings Challenge this last year. I appreciate all the words of encouragement, and all the shared blessings! Thank you!!!!

6. Planning a two week sabbatical from the internet. I love blogging, I love facebook, but my husband and I have decided to take a two week break from June 1st thru June 14th.

7. I'll be back on June 15th!!!

8. I'll have a poem published on June 15th at Every Day Poets!!!

9. My kids will be finished with school by June 15th!

10. June 15th is a field day.

Ok . . . sorry about the June 15th excitement. It is obviously looming large in my mind as an important date.

In non-June 15th blessings, I'm thankful for:

1. The wonderful bloggers who have signed up for the Blessings Blogfest tomorrow!!! You rock! (And I mean that in a highly complimentary way)

2. Memorial Day is today.

3. My mom and I are gathering flowers from our yards this morning to put by gravesides. Daisies, rhodedendrons, maybe even some appleblossoms will be our fare this morning. We always try to find our flowers, and not buy them. It's a family tradition of sorts, and then we arrange them by our loved ones graves, and scatter a few more by gravesides in the cemetary.

4. Memorial Day is a good day to honor all those who have served in the military, and to honor those who have gone before us in this journey of life.

5. My youngest daughter has birthday invitations already made for her birthday in late July, and has even handed them out. She is very organized.

6. My oldest daughter read yesterday during worship, and did a wonderful job. I'm proud of her for reading, especially since she had to overcome her fear of stumbling over her braces to do it.

7. Blue braces make me smile. I wish there were those kind of color options when I had braces.

8. Monopoly with speed dice makes for a highly charged and fast game.

9. We watched Daddy Day Care last night, and I still love that movie, especially the part when they find out the little boy who they can't understand is speaking Klingon.

10. My husband's love of softball, and the fact that he stays after practice to play ball with the players' kids.

And just for fun, I thought I would throw in 10 Picture Blessings for this year:

1. Skiing

2. Eager to Walk

3. The Kids in Whistler Village

3. My youngest snorkeling (my husband took this shot with an inexpensive underwater camera)

4. My oldest meeting a turtle

5. Going beyond the limits

6. Entering the lava tube caves

7. Life in the crater.

8. One of our new favorite activities (unfortunately, I couldn't find a good still shot, and this is near the end of the day) If I can get my hubby to show me how to grab a "still" off of a video, I might be able to replace it later today.

9. A helping hand

10. Wonderful family

11. Into the adventure

Scripture Blessings:

"Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord." Psalm 89:15

Friday, May 27, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Days 359, 360, and 361

Triple Play Blessings Today!!!

Today I'm giving thanks for:

1. This blogging challenge. I've made some clerical errors in my day "count", and I've struggled some days to keep it going, but I am nearing the finish line of this project, and I've learned a great deal about blogging, writing, my faith, and even my own family life through this project.

2. A sweet friend of mine told me yesterday that she's seen my faith stretched and grown by the Lord the last five months as I've coordinated worship and music for our new church. I'm pretty sure anything good is God's work, so Praise God for undeserved growth and sweet friends.

3. Lessons learned.

4. Waking up with a sense of purpose. There are days when my purpose is clear, and the Lord's call on my life is as beautiful as the birds singing their morning songs.

5. Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens. My husband and I actually had this sung at our wedding by a dear friend, despite that it's not really a "wedding" song. I had the Wedding March for my mother-in-law, big flowers for my mom, wore heels for a friend who thought I should (they were kicked off and I went barefoot for the reception so I could dance) but I wouldn't budge on this song. For me, starting a new day, and starting a new life with someone are both good reasons to sing this song.

6. When I heard that song I think of my wedding day, and our 15 year anniversary is "only" three months away. Every day is a good day to be married to my hubby.

7. Easter celebrations are really every day celebrations.

8. Watching the wind ruffle the maple leaves outside our window, wiggle the branches of a pine tree, and run through the bushes.

9. For some reason, I see with fresh eyes all the new leaves on the trees when the wind blows through them. Spring is fully here and summer is coming, even when the skies are partly gray.

10. Every green is different from all the other greens . . . when I look at the trees and the leaves, they all remind me how uniquely God created each of them, and each of us.

11. Memorial Day Weekend is here.

12. Looking forward to putting flowers on gravesides, and hearing the flags snap in the breeze.

13. Thinking of my grandfathers, and how they loved their gardens. One served in the army as a calvary sargeant, retrained as a tank mechanic during WWII, and one was unable to serve due to a disability, but they both loved our country and their gardens.

14. My grandmothers both loved children, and although they didn't serve our country in the military, they served their families daily. We put flowers out for them too.

15. My youngest daughter finished learning about WWII in our homeschool lessons recently, and we were both impressed by the facts that show that everyone in our country served in the war effort in one way or another, whether in uniform, or out of it. The factory work that supported the military, the victory gardens, and the rations were all part of serving our country. We know that it isn't the same to be behind the lines, but we were still impressed by the level of commitment.

16. Coming from a family with physical disabilities has made me aware of those who wish to serve, but can't serve in the regular way. Sometimes I think this is part of my dad's servant heart, and why he has worked so tirelessly for family and friends.

17. My husband's experiences in the Navy were mixed, but full of learning and faith stretching moments. His proudest moment actually came from helping the Whatcom County Sheriff's department find a downed plane in the Puget Sound while he was serving with Mobile Unit 17, the only reserve EOD unit in the 90s.

18. Watching my husband pet our older dog with his sock. We've discoverd he is allergic to dogs, but we aren't going to give them up until they are ready to pass on so he finds creative ways to pet our dogs with towels, gloves, socks, etc protecting his skin.

19. My cat has decided I need to finish this post, so she can get her time. She reminds me that time is flying by and I need to move, or at least stop and pet a cat.

So, quickly, here's the fast list of blessings I'm thankful for:

20. Soft t-shirts.

21. Old Jeans.

22. $5 off coupons for places like the grocery store and Target - places where I actually shop.

23. 13 days left for homeschooling (including today).

24. Three bags of books for the library book sale - I like knowing our old books are going somewhere useful.

25. Having plenty of books left on our groaning bookshelves.

26. My daughters had a "fashionista" day yesterday - dressing up in their sparkliest clothes. They are so beautiful.

27. My youngest daughter has announced that she wants to be an artist now, and only wants to study marine biology for fun! I'm glad because she's been following in step with her oldest sister for years now, and although marine biology is cool, I think she needs to explore her options at the age of 9.

28. My daughters started research for their research papers and we discovered that we have more info about angelfish stored in our heads than they have in our local library system, and we have a pretty decent library system.

29. The internet as a research database . . . or at least Wikipedia.

30. The Lord provides just what we need in all circumstances.

Scripture Blessings:

"The Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Day 358

You're Invited to Join in on the Blessings Blogfest, May 31st. Just one post, just one day! Just 10 blessings! Come share and spread the blessings you've been given! Just one click on the button on the right will take you to the sign up page. Thanks!

Today I'm giving thanks for these wonderful blessings:

1. Every Day Poets Inspiration Posts. Every Day Poets T for Triolet Post

2. Learning how to write a triolet. What is a triolet? at About.com

3. Writing a triolet, then scrapping it and starting another one.

4. Revising the second triolet, once, twice, three times - good.

5. Taking a crazy leap of courage and submitting the triolet for publication. Who knows, maybe someone other than me will like a triolet about tap dancing?

6. Watching old Sliders episodes on Netflix. Don't ask me why, but I like this show even though I know it was cancelled before it ended properly. As a family we laugh at some of the stuff that goes on, calling Quinn the "next Captain Kirk" for his romantic moments.

7. Waking up to another bright, gorgeous day in the Northwest. I think that's a number of days in a row now . . . well, except for the rain all day on Saturday, but we had to keep our state green sometime, right?

8. After a day of moping (yes, moping) about not being able to walk all week, I pulled out my exercise mat this morning and reintroduced my muscles to a painful variety of leg lifts, core strength exercises, and arm exercises. Tiring, but good stuff.

9. Happy that the swelling on my ankle is so low that only a doc can see it.

10. Only 16 more days left of all day homeschooling!!! Summer will include writing, plus a few math problems, and multiple books of choice equaling a better start for next year.

11. The Lord gives us life.

Scripture Blessings:

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalm 116:11 ESV

Monday, May 23, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Days 357 and 358

You're Invited to Join in on the Blessings Blogfest, May 31st. Just one post, just one day! Just 10 blessings! Come share and spread the blessings you've been given! Just one click on the button on the right will take you to the sign up page. Thanks!

Today I'm giving thanks for two days of blessings:

1. Sunday morning with sun shining in.

2. I like purposely ending some sentences with a preposition - as long as I do it on purpose - it's a poetic rebellion.

3. Giving a Children's Message on Joy.

4. Singing Psalm 118:24.

5. Hearing wonderful announcements in a healthy church.

6. Being a part of a loving congregation.

7. A sermon on the fruits of the Spirit given by a gifted speaker.

8. Freedom to choose the Lord.

9. Time with the dogs outside.

10. A bike ride with family.

11. Softball practice sounds like summer . . . the thwack of the ball in the mitt, the singing "ting" of the bat.

12. Good advice from a friend when I become the first softball injury of the season.

13. Ice.

14. Elevation.

15. Rest.

16. A helpful doctor visit.

17. The generosity of my daughters giving away their polly pockets to the smallest girls of the studio.

18. Beautiful costumes for the dance recital.

19. Friends at dinnertime in the dance studio.

20. The Lord gives us joy in all circumstances when we trust in him.

Scripture Blessings:

“Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous;
it is fitting for the upright to praise him.
Praise the LORD with the harp;
make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre.
Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully, and shout for joy.”
Psalm 33:1-3

“The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.”
Psalm 28:7

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
“This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!” Psalm 118:24

Saturday, May 21, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Day 356

You're Invited to Join in on the Blessings Blogfest, May 31st. Just one post, just one day! Just 10 blessings! Come share and spread the blessings you've been given! Just one click on the button on the right will take you to the sign up page. Thanks!

Today I'm giving thanks for:

1. Getting a payment link for a poem in my inbox. That's a nice piece of e-mail to open first in the morning!

2. Watching my daughters compete in tap just one last time for the competition season. They did great!

3. My daughters received a "third place gold" in their age group, in tap. Yay! (Although this award sounds bigger than it is really . . . we were still excited!)

4. Just being backstage, seeing all these dancers get ready to perform. They are so excited, nervous, and confidant all at the same time.

5. Running into friends at a nearby health food store and restaurant.

6. Going to see a matinee movie.

7. Watching Captian Jack Sparrow in his usual high jinks.

8. The Mermaid and the Priest almost stole the movie from Jack, and I would have liked to know more about both of them. That part of the movie set my imagination adrift, and I had a hard time focusing on the "main" plot, but I like movies that let me imagine.

9. 111 followers - wow. I feel humbled.

10. The Lord is always watching over each of us, in every circumstance, and we are saved from the painful trials of this momentary place (earth) when we turn to him for comfort.

Scripture Blessings:
"We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses." Hebrews 4:15 NKJV

Friday, May 20, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Day 355

Blessings that I'm giving thanks for today:
1. A second day of full blast sunshine with blue skies.

2. My kids playing outside for long periods of time.

3. My husband having an extra day off from work - Or at least from his desk job.

4. My husband fixed the lawn mower, cleaned up part of the yard, and fixed the older car so it doesn't make that shrill grinding noise.

5. My kids and I finished our lessons, even though the sunlight was tempting.

6. We are counting down our days to the end of our main homeschool lesson days. Just 18 days left, or 14 actual days not including the trip day, the two test days, and the field day. Wow.

7. Tomorrow is my daughters' last dance competition of the season. They have to be up, costumed (with scary makeup), and at the competition by 8:10 a.m. - tomorrow will be an interesting morning.

8. I finished the Shakespeare grades, the letters for the students' families and their certificates of completion and got them all in the mail today. For some reason, getting to the post office or even a mail stop is challenging for me, so I'm proud of myself when I remember to stop there on a round of errands.

9. Putting money in the bank, and getting the groceries into the fridge.

10. My kids made dinner, reminiscing about their favorite restaurant in Hilo, Big Island, Hawai'i. We had burger rice bowls with fresh onions and hot sauce. I had a quinoa bowl with the burger, onion and hot sauce. Yum!

11. Having a discussion about Genesis, the Fall, and whether or not all people until Noah were vegetarians . . . an interesting discussion based on Biblical scriptures and conjecture. But hey, I would rather be discussing the Bible than say . . . the news.

12. God is awesome!!!

Scripture Blessings:
"Build yourself up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life." Jude 1:20-21 ESV

Thursday, May 19, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Days 352, 353, and 354

1. Making goals.

2. Deciding not to wait to start working on those goals.

3. Walking as fast as possible for 45-60 minutes.

4. Getting ready for The Sound to Narrows.

5. Signing up for You Go Girl! - a half marathon.

6. Seeing the end of the homeschool year in sight, and making all the adjustments to our schedule to meet that goal.

7. Planning a pretend trip to a surprise location for our Wednesday Family co-op group.

8. Planning a field day.

9. Getting 8 very opinionated kids to agree on a basic plot-line for a group skit. They all are sure that they each have the best idea. I love their confidence, but I'm glad they were willing to work together.

10. Practicing the skit once through with only one heated discussion breaking out "on stage."

11. Learning how to direct a group of kids in one direction while still giving them most of the creative decision making.

12. Little devotional books like Moments of Peace for the Morning.

13. "God has given you Jerichos as well - strongholds that you've wanted to conquer. You trust God's promises but you're exhausted from a long march. This morning, you must shout. Loudly proclaim that God has fulfilled his pledge. Express your faith that the march is nearly done - that triumph is already yours." - from Moments of Peace for the Morning My caveat would be that the Lord has triumphed.

14. Resources.

15. People who step up and do more than expected in times of need.

16. Books, and websites where information is found easily.

17. Handy notepads for jotting down notes - whether they are fancy or plain, they help me get through the day and keep track of the jobs I need to get done.

18. Writing every day.

19. Reading through my writing class anthology one more time. I was so blessed to have those students.

20. My daughters wrote the first paragraph of a more formal narrative essay yesterday. I felt like I was pulling teeth, but they finally settled in and wrote it. Today, we're onto the second paragraph.

21. A really cool art project at our Wednesday co-op yesterday: marbled art. We put a piece of paper in a shirt box, then dabbed small paint globs onto the paper. After that we put a marble in the box, and tipped the box back and forth, rolling the marble through the paint and all over the paper. The kids had a great time, and I am impressed yet again by the ingenuity of our art expert mom.

22. Fun science experiments that teach about water tension.

23. The kids learned a little more Latin, while I sat outside in the sun. Sweet deal.

24. A bird bath that my youngest daughter made for me in our Monday co-op Spanish class.

25. A whale of an artwork hanging from our chandelier in the dining room.

26. One of my friends commenting - "your house looks like a school and playground."

27. Being content with being casual and kid friendly.

28. Working with my husband on worship and music for our church.

29. Having a great group of team facilitators and leaders for our church.

30. Knowing that God's timing is always right.

Scripture Blessings:
"'Not by might or power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty."
Zechariah 4:6

Monday, May 16, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Days 346, 347, 348, 349, 350, and 351

Whew! It's been a week - of sickness, health, busy-ness, fun, exhaustion, rest, and even a little hard work.

So, today, I'm finally taking a moment, and giving thanks for all these blessings:

1. Spelling, Math and Writing were done every day, even on my sickest of sick days. My kids were really great about getting those basics done.

2. Friends of ours had the girls over for an afternoon of homeschool science experiments, art projects, and fun!

3. I had total quiet for nearly five hours. Even my dogs and cat were quiet.

4. I finally realized that I needed to cancel a meeting I had planned. And the world didn't end.

5. Many people in our new church have leadership abilities.

6. When I felt well enough, I was able to get a few things done.

7. When my friends read my e-mails and saw that I was a little "out of it" with my facts, they were gentle about telling me that maybe . . . I should just rest.

8. The sun came out and brightened up our house, thanks to all our awesome windows.

9. Mint tea.

10. Ginger tea.

11. Forgiving blogging friends - I mention this, since I just accidentally posted this post without being finished - really, I tried to push the Save button.

12. A feel better Friday!

13. Deciding to go to a movie on Friday night with my family.

14. Thor had a plot!

15. Thor was fun to watch, and was directed well.

16. Thor ended differently than I expected, and I still liked it.

17. Finding that lost library book and getting it turned in . . . a week late.

18. Getting our house vacuumed.

19. My kids cleaned their room on Saturday!

20. I worked all week (in the "good" moments) on my Writers' Workship class anthology.

21. Learning how to use a Publisher program.

22. Getting help from a nice lady in the print shop at Office Depot.

23. My daughters and my husband played softball in our yard on Saturday in the bright sunshine.

24. My youngest daughter planted her new plants in the garden.

25. When the rain came down on Saturday night, I woke and listened to the drumming on the roof, and I felt . . . content. Not upset by the rain, but content with the sound of it.

26. When I woke up and the rain was still pouring down, I still took my dogs for a short walk in the rain, and listened to all those sounds. In the Northwest, while walking in the rain on a Sunday morning, it sounds like I'm walking in the midst of a stream, with the water pattering and chuckling over leaves, and splishing into puddles.

27. Sunday morning worship, regular style, was sweet. I haven't been to a "regular" worship in a month. We've either been traveling, or having special Sundays.

28. A quadruple message on Sunday morning from three great worship leaders.

29. We had message on Today being the day that the Lord has made, from our worship leader.

30. We had a message on prayer from our speaker for the Children's message.

31. We had a message from a man who returned from Costa Rica . . . to be aware of the gifts of relationships and the blessings around us. If we feel lonely, visit someone lonelier. If we are hungry, feed someone hungrier. When we share our blessings, we receive. That isn't the fullness of his message, but a part of it.

32. We had a message on the true meaning of fellowship from our speaker, and retired missionary Pat Lelvis.

33. We have a great Praise Team leader, who happens to be 17. A young man with a faithful heart.

34. Our "usual" praise team leader is taking a break to teach a class on spritual warfare. He is a strong faithful family man blessed with wisdom.

35. We have an amazing team of leaders who step forward every Sunday to serve in worship, and leaders who serve throughout the week.

36. A conversation about shoes at the dance studio. Can we wear our daughters' shoes?

37. Learning new patterns of tap steps in the adult tap class.

38. I love how tap challenges both the body, and the mind.

39. New haircuts for summer.

40. A young woman, one of the "older" dancers, has gone from waist length hair to shoulder length hair with layers, and she looks suddenly more sophisticated, preparing to go tour with a professional dance company in Italy.

41. Conversations about books, and heavy bookshelves.

42. Favorite kids books, and having kids that are ok with reading at their grade level, way above it, and then below it.

43. Knowing that those favorite kid books will be read again and again and again. And then again to children and grandchildren.

44. Tne end of the school year for Harbor Christian Homeschool Co-op. It is bittersweet, but yet wonderful.

45. Celebrating the end of the year with my writing class, and seeing them dig into their anthologies with interest. I passed them out, and the whole room got quiet as they read their own and their classmates entries.

46. Celebrating the end of the year with my Shakespeare class. We played the "Who Am I?" review game, watched "Omelette" the Veggie Tales re-take of Hamlet, and enjoyed some good conversation about plays and movies.

47. Enjoying those last conversations in the parent cafe at our co-op.

48. Receiving amazing thank you cards and sweet gifts from my students.

49. Handing out candy . . . I admit, it's fun.

50. Seeing my oldest daughter's team in Chemistry class Jeopardy get some great points, and answer some tough questions. They didn't win, but they were a close second this last time.

51. Excitement about classes for next year . . . and this is the end of this year.

52. Looking over my class lists for next year, and getting excited about the students I'll have, even as I know I'll miss the ones I have this year.

53. Pizza day at co-op. We bring our own, and the whole place smells heavenly.

54. Knowing that I'm not the only one with food intolerances.

55. My daughters are dancing to parts of Singing in the Rain for this year's end of the year production (recital).

56. Simplified costumes for this year.

57. One last dance competition is coming this weekend and we are looking forward to it with a calm kind of excitement.

58. Fun stuff to read, see, and listen to on the internet. (Sorry that I can't name them all)

59. Angie Lofthouse's Story Brierly's Lilies hosted at Wordplay, Swordplay this past week has resonated in my mind for a few days now. I highly recommend it.

60. The Lord provides me with rest, with encouragement, and with peace.

Scripture Blessings:
"The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
Psalm 23

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blessings Blogfest Invitation


You're invited to join in on the Blessings Blogfest! Just click on the link on the right to sign up! It's just one day. Just one post.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, 344 and 345

365 Days of Blessings, Days 344 and 345
Today, out of all the amazing blessings that God has showered down on us, I'm giving thanks for these:

1. On Mother's Day, our church did something a little different for worship.

2. On Mother's Day, our whole church congregation embraced doing something a little different with enthusiasm.

3. On Mother's Day, we were all given special clothes to wear. And guess what, they were white! If that sounds like something out of the Bible, check out Matthew 22 and the parable of the wedding banquet.

4. On Mother's Day, we read about Jesus feeding the hungry multitudes that followed him with five loaves of bread and two fish - check out Matthew 14 and Matthew 15.

5. On Mother's Day, our congregation swelled from 120 to 150, and we packed 10,120 meals for hungry children with help from Children of the Nations.

6. Every person from age three to age ninety-three could help with the meal packing. There was a job for everyone.

7. It only took us 45 minutes to pack those 10,120 meals.

8. Each meal feeds six people.

9. Packing food for the hungry makes me think about how often I take food for granted.

10. This video from Children of the Nations:

Feed a child. Change a life. from Children of the Nations on Vimeo.

11. Children Of The Nations' website at Children Of The Nations

12. A comfy couch for a sick day. Or as I like to call it as a homeschooling mom - the Command Comfy Couch for a sick homeschool mom.

13. A wonderful pastel crazy quilt that my grandma made 25 years ago. It's old, and worn, and in some places threadbare, but I love it.

14. My kids are helpful when I'm sick.

15. My cat warmed my feet today.

16. My older dog tried to climb up on the couch and comfort me - she didn't fit, and so she just leaned.

17. My kids were very good about getting some of their lessons done, even when I was sleeping.

18. I let my kids play games . . . the beauty of homeschooling is that we can just spread out the lessons as needed.

19. My husband took our girls to dance classes.

20. The Lord gives me rest.

Scripture Blessings:
"The Lord is my Shepherd,
I shall not want."
Psalm 23:1

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day, and 365 Days of Blessings, Days 340, 341, 342, and 343

Mother's Day and 365 Days of Blessings, Days 340 thru 343 - all in one theme

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Mom's Day Blessings, from my Mom:
1. My mom taught me how to love, even when love is hard.

2. My mom has always talked to me like I matter.

3. My mom has always expected me to be great, and brags about me, even when I don't feel like I've done anything to brag about.

4. My mom always has time for conversation.

5. My mom read to me every night, from fun books and the Bible, when I was growing up.

6. My mom (and Dad) always had a big good night hug for me.

7. My mom has a wonderful laugh.

8. My mom likes to give. She's a generous lady with her time and her talents.

9. My mom loves to walk, to play, and to have adventures. She stops to smell the flowers, wonder at the plants, and look to the horizon. She likes to have family vacations, and explore the world with family.

10. My mom loves the Lord, and her journey of faith has influenced my own.

Mom's Day Blessings, from my Mom-in-law:

1. She gave birth to my husband, and raised him through all the tough times . . . like when he kicked the preacher, bit the principal, set off the fire alarm at church, continued to put objects in the electrical sockets, took apart her sewing machine, and put artwork on her walls.

2. She encouraged my husband's talents by letting him tinker in the garage. He was known as John "Clink-clink" Martinson because of the sounds coming of their garage.

3. She let him have freedom when he needed it, by letting him ride around the neighborhood on his very own dirtbike. She had courage.

4. She kissed his cheeks, gave him hugs, and showed him how to treat others with love and affection.

5. She taught him how to ski, and gave him a love of the snow.

6. She took him and his siblings with her on vacations, even if it meant being embarassed by the fact that he wore his baseball cap everywhere they went in Europe when he was 14.

7. She blessed my marriage with her son.

8. She took time to get to know me when my husband and I were engaged.

9. She treats me with love and kindness.

10. She has shown me how courage, determination, and perseverance can get a person through serious illness, and beyond it. She also knows how to laugh, even in the toughest times.

Mom's Day Blessings - from my husband:
1. My husband came with me to 12 hours of Natural Birth Instruction, twice.

2. My husband sat with me through a 27 hour labor, which started out as home in the hopes for a natural home birth, and ended in the hospital with a c-section. He stood by me, encouraged me, and protected me through all of that time.

3. My husband took two weeks off from work when our first child was born so he could help with her care, with the laundry, with the cooking, and the housework.

4. My husband, due to experience taking care of his oldest niece, knew more about babies than I did when our first was born. He showed me how to diaper, burp, and carry our baby more efficiently, comfortably and sweetly.

5. My husband taught both of our children to be comfortable in the kitchen, the garage, the house, on skis and in the water.

6. My husband encouraged me when I wanted to try home natural birth one more time. We labored together for sixteen hours, and when it came time for me to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency c-section, he was a pillar of strength, making sure our oldest daughter was cared for, and getting to the hospital before the ambulance did (the ambulance drivers took the wrong turn).

7. My husband took a week off work to help me transition to caring for two daughters, and to help with all the household stuff.

8. My husband stayed up nights with our daughters when they needed it as infants and toddlers, giving me breaks when I was exhausted.

9. My husband takes his role as a Dad very seriously, but with humor too. He knows how to make us all laugh.

10. My husband has made my mother's days full of joy.

Mother's Day Blessings - from my daughters:

1. My oldest daughter has plans to help me with all the meals today.

2. My youngest has been hard at work on a hand-made craft for me for a couple of days now, keeping me out of her room. I can't wait to see it.

3. My oldest daughter has a wonderful, quirky imagination.

4. My youngest daughter has a sense of fairness, and kindness. She tries to make sure that everyone is treated with kindness and respect.

5. My oldest daughter has confidence in any social situation. If there is laughter, she laughing. If there is an argument, she makes peace. If there is a rollicking conversation going on, she takes part.

6. My youngest daughter has confidence with most outdoor sports. If it's a rock, she can climb it. If there is water, she can swim it. If there is a mountain, she can ski it.

7. My oldest daughter challenges me to step out of any shyness I may have, and just enjoy people.

8. My youngest daughter challenge me to step out of any fears I have of heights or depths, and just climb, swim, or ski.

9. My oldest daughter is a morning cuddler.

10. My youngest daughter is a night-time cuddler.

Between the two of them, I get hugged all day.

Scripture Blessings:

"Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." Exodus 20:12

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Days 337, 338, and 339

Please sign up for the Blessings Blogfest on May 31st!
It's not that hard. Just one day, 10 blessings listed in one post. Sign up at:

Blessings Blogfest or follow the link on the right side of my page.

We're sharing blessings, and spreading joy!

As you may have noticed my count for the days is followed by a question mark. Why? Because I am in the midst of housekeeping, and realized that I am off on my blessings count of days. I'm in the midst of September of last year, trying to clean up my miscount there, and I'll be moving through the months, a little at a time, to make sense of my clerical errors. Hopefully I'll have it all straightened out soon.

For now, I'm giving thanks for these blessings, three days worth:

1. Sunny days in the Northwest.

2. Bird song from the Northwest - it's different and more "homey" for me than the bird song in Hawaii.

3. The smell of Northwest green.

4. A beautiful sunset, Northwest style, with the sun sinking beyond the tree branches in a cloud streaked sky.

5. Creating the Blessings Blogfest link made me learn some new skills.

6. Watching my two daughters read their American Girl magazine together on the couch.

7. A Dandelion bouquet in a vase.

8. Bluebells.

9. This awesome Easter Video

10. Blessings from a plane crash:

11. Back to homeschool, and staying strong in the midst of kids complaints - do we really have to do math today? Yes, we do.

12. Journal writing from our trip, for narrative essay writing at home!

13. Great research subjects: Manta Rays, Galapagos sharks, and Green Sea Turtles. Personal experience, and live interviews with people who see these amazing creatures every day are great ways to start a research subject.

14. Science with our Wednesday Homeschool friends!

15. Art with our Wednesday homeschool friends!

16. Plotting a skit with nine very excited and enthusiastic homeschool kids.

17. Time to sit and play in the sunshine.

18. Hanging out with church friends at a pizza place.

19. Hearing that my husband is spoken of highly by a teenage boy that went on a ski and snowboarding trip with us.

20. One of my friends kept telling me yesterday that I am glowing with my tan from Hawaii . . . thanks, friend! I feel more relaxed, and happy, and I'm glad it shows.

21. The comforts of home.

22. My usual tea.

23. Writing, and writing, and writing more.

24. Writing a love poem. It doesn't happen often.

25. Revising and Re-writing The Crystal Sword. I just re-wrote four pages, chopped three, and gave myself a good place to start again tomorrow. I even killed off a few characters, or at least made them "missing in action." And I'm happy about it because I feel like I finally made some progress in tightening the storyline.

26. Giving my character some anger issues and a more complicated past has made me like her more as a main character. She's much more "real" now, and less cardboard cut out hero material.

27. Writing for an hour and a half and totally loving every moment of it, losing track of the time.

28. Being challenged by The Guide to Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Philip Athans to write more complex, layered fantasy fiction. The cover art on this book nearly made me ignore it completely, but I'm glad I opened it up and found the treasure inside.

29. Reading two new favorites in the last two weeks: Ranger's Apprentice, Book 10:The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan, and The Young Samurai:Way of the Warrior by Christ Bradford. I'll probably posting a more full review of both in the next few days. I'm still reading the Ranger's Apprentice book. I know it's the last book in the series, and I'm savoring it because I don't want it to end.

30. There is a time for everything, and enough time.

Scripture Blessings:

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blessings Blogfest

To celebrate the end of my 365 Days of Blessings Challenge, I would like to invite you all to participate in a:

Blessings Blogfest!

Here's out it works:
Sign up for the Blogfest. Put a cool picture link on your blog, and on May 31st, write up 10 blessings for the day! Then visit other bloggers, and see their lists of blessings! Let's share our blessings, and spread the joy!

Monday, May 2, 2011

365 Days of Blessings, Days 335 and 336

In the midst of vacation, and the A to Z Challenge, I realized something . . . I've gotten off count for my Days of Blessings. I should be on Day 337, or so . . . so what happened? Did I skip several days? (fixed it since I wrote this)

Not being sure, I decided to start walking through my older posts and figure this dilemma out. So far, I've found miscounted days like Day 67, followed by Day 67. What? Basically I repeated numbers and lost count of which day I was on in the Challenge. Oops. So, I'll be going through my old posts, day by day, to figure out where I've miscounted, and if I've skipped any days. It's kind of embarassing to admit to such simple clerical errors, but I'm going to find them all and fix them by the end of the challenge.

So, on with the housecleaning! On-line and at home!

Blessings for today (and yesterday too):

1. One last day of Boogie boarding at the beach on Maui! Fun, sun, sand, and warm water! Plus, family!!!

2. One last shave ice, in the perfect combination of flavors: coconut, banana, and passionfruit! Yum!

3. One last shave ice that my youngest daughter loves: lemon lime, and one last smoothie that my oldest daughter loves: Mango, Strawberry, Banana.

4. My husband finally found the Hawaiian shirt he was looking for at an ABC store.

5. A wooden surfboard bookmark - that's my kind of souvenier.

6. Writing lesson plans on a plane flight.

7. My daughters getting out their homework for co-op on the plane with no prompting for me.

8. My daughters sharing their Sign Language and Latin homework with each other, and helping each other review.

9. A 11 year old sitting behind us practicing her Spanish for her co-op.

10. Homecoming hugs from Grandparents, dogs, and even our cat.

11. Waking up to teach Writing and Shakespeare!

12. Lots of caffeinated tea.

13. Getting a second wind partly through the morning.

14. Realizing that I had come to the end of my lesson plans for the day, and having my students suggest a review game for Shakespeare. I am so thankful for that.

15. Homeschool co-op yearbooks are in, and they are sweet.

16. Class lists were posted today for next year.

17. Having students signed up for the classes I'll teach next year.

18. Only two more weeks of co-op, and I'm going to miss some of my students. They have been so wonderful!!!

19. My daughters excited enthusiasm for class this afternoon. They stayed home and slept in, and then went to co-op in the afternoon with my husband, who stayed home from work today.

20. Finishing my blessings post in a super short amount of time . . . so many blessings to count, and not enough time.

21. The Lord has the whole world in His hands.

Scripture Blessings:

"The heavens declare the glory of God,
the skies proclaim the work of His hands."
Psalm 19:1