GOD's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
(Psa 32:7 MSG)



years ago I gave birth to this young man...

Happy birthday, Bubba!
So glad God gave us you.
Love you!


one thousand gifts #245-253

So much has happened since I posted my last Multitudes on Mondays, but I'm gonna just jump right in and start adding to my list of gratefulness.

#245 my wonderful husband who loves me no matter the state of our house or my mood!
#246 my firstborn, soon-to-be-12-year-old, son (has it really been 12 years since my due date?!?!)
#247 my funny 5-year-old son-of-my-heart who can't wait for Christmas
#248 anticipation
#249 knowing more what Dad's treatment will be--no surgery, chemo starts wednesday
#250 CaringBridge (you can follow my Dad's CaringBridge site using the name rogerthomas)
#251 the Christmas season
#252 knowing full well I am blessed--even on a day when my washing machine isn't working, my kids won't cooperate, and I'm totally stressed! :)
#253 the Christmas story from God's Word in Luke 2:1-20
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.  (Luke 2:1-20 ESV)
Have a very Merry Christ-mas!  God bless!


Christmas tree proof!

Here's photo proof that our tree is up and decorated!

Merry Christmas!


It's Free Book Friday again!

Well, Christmas is just around the corner...just a couple more weeks!!! 

Amazingly, I got our tree up and the boys and I decorated it last night. I think this has to be some sort of record for me. I'm usually dragging it out the week before (sometimes as late as just a few days before) Christmas.  Of course, I typically leave it up through January then so we can enjoy it for a while.  Anyways, I didn't think to take a picture of it, so I'll have to post one later when I have time.

So I think for today's Free Book Friday {Kindle books} I'll stick with the Christmas theme.  By the way, if you go back to any of my older Free Book Friday posts, be sure to double check the current price of the books you are looking at--many that were free when I recommended them are not free now. 

Okay, first up we have the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens because everyone should read this story sometime.
Here's one with the classic poem:  The Night Before Christmas and Other Popular Stories for Children.
And one mustn't forget O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi.
The next is a book I think might be worth trying by well-known author, Hans Christian Anderson:  A Christmas Greeting.
And we don't want to forget to have a cute Christmas story on hand for the kiddos too:  The Mouse and the Christmas Cake (it's even illustrated!)
A Little Book of Christmas by John Kendrick Bangs has some good reviews.  I'm going to try and find time to read it this Christmas season.
And The Christmas Child by Hesba Stretton may prove to be a good read as well.

And finally, a few stories by contemporary authors:
A Victorian Christmas (Anthology) by Catherine Palmer
One Imperfect Christmas by Myra Johnson
O Little Town: A Novel by Don Reid

As always,
Happy reading!


music therapy

There have been times in my life when music is what keeps me going.  It has helped me deal with depression, anxiety, sadness, and anger.  During the years after birthing my son (Bubba), we tried desperately to get pregnant again.  Despite our efforts and helpful (or not-so-helpful?) doctors, and for reasons still unknown and as of yet unexplained, the Lord has seemed to shut that door.  But during those years of hoping and waiting and praying, one song seemed to comfort my soul:  I Will Rest in You by Jaci Velasquez.  I first heard it on the radio and then found & purchased the CD Streams so I could listen to it over and over again.  I have grieved the loss of my fertility.  I know and trust that His plan is greater than mine and if I had been able to conceive again, we would not have adopted CJ who is such a joy and perfect fit in our family!  God is good ALL the time! 

Another song that has touched me in a special way is Your Hands by JJ Heller.  I know I've blogged about this song a while back, but I still love it.  The reminder that God holds us and carries us through has been and still is such a blessing to me.  And yes, it once again brings me to tears.
"When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands"  [lyric excerpt from Your Hands by JJ Heller]

More recently, with Dad's cancer diagnosis, I've found music once again helping me.  Comforting.  Allowing me to release the tears that have built up...the ones I try to stuff down and keep from surfacing.  So many songs have already been uplifting and/or comforting during this time of uncertainty. (And really all of life is uncertain, isn't it? We just don't realize it until it slaps us in the face.)

Certain lyrics in songs I'm currently listening to have taken on a completely new meaning for me from what they did just a couple weeks ago.

The song Move by Mercy Me--one of our favorites here--is so much more than just a fun song.  Take time to really listen to the lyrics. 
"This hurt is getting heavy
But I'm not about to cave
Everything is about to change
There's gonna be brighter days
I just might bend but I won't break
As long as I can see Your face

When life won't play along
And right keeps going wrong
And I can't seem to find my way
I know where I am found
So I won't let it drag me down
Oh, I'll keep dancing anyway"  [lyric excerpt from Move by Mercy Me]

Another song, From This One Place by Sara Groves, has taken on new meaning for me.  I recommended this song to a friend just a few weeks ago after she shared with me that a few different people in her life had recently lost a relative to cancer. {She herself lost her mother to cancer a few years ago, so she knows and understands the pain of that loss.} It's the tough stuff of life. I never dreamed I'd be needing this song's message to help me through the same sort of dark valley so soon myself.

"I don't know what's making me so afraid
tiny cloud over my head
heavy and grey with a hint of dread
I don't like to feel this way

take me back to a window seat
with clouds beneath my feet

from this one place I can't see very far
in this one moment I'm square in the dark
these are the things I will trust in my heart
you can see something else
something else"  [lyric excerpt from From This One Place by Sara Groves]

I don't know about you, but I'm sure thankful that God can see "something else."  That He "knows the plans [He] has for [me/us]" and that they are "plans to give you a hope and a future." {Jeremiah 29:11}

As Thanksgiving approaches, know that I am thankful for those of you who will walk through this valley with me and my family. Your prayers and support are a huge blessing and I thank God for you.

Have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving.


one thousand gifts #238-244

Well, if you happened to read my post last Friday, then you already know that my Dad has been diagnosed with cancer.  Today he is getting a MRI scan and a PET/CT scan so the doctors can know exactly what they're dealing with and what the best treatment plan will be.  By tomorrow they should have at least figured out if the cancer can be removed surgically or not.  The mass they found is in Dad's right lung, so we are praying that it's only in the one place and not affecting any other organs.  Strange in a way to be praying that he can have surgery, but the chances of the cancer returning after treatment are greater if they cannot physically remove the mass. 

{Please, Lord--Let them be able to surgically remove that mass!} 

Your prayers are a blessing and are much appreciated as we walk through this valley.  Thank you.

Now to continue with my Multitudes on Mondays.  It's especially good to remember our blessings in these "times that try the soul." 

#238  laughter
#239  music.  specifically songs that touch my soul in a special way just when i need a reminder that God loves me and he "can see something else" even when all is darkness to me.  (thanks, Sara Groves, for writing "From This One Place." i love it!)
#240  friends
#241  prayers...and pray-ers!
#242  good doctors and specialists
#243  special housing for Mom & Dad (and/or us too if Dad has surgery) that is close to the hospital and not super-expensive.
#244  Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through [Christ] who gives me strength."  And yes, even dealing with cancer falls under the term all

I think that's  all for today.  I will probably update as I can (or as I feel the need to vent).
Thanks for taking the time to read today's post.

If you're interested in learning more about One Thousand Gifts and Multitudes on Mondays just click on the banner below. 


my regularly scheduled Free Book Fridays will resume next week...maybe.

There's a lot going on in my life right now.  My dad has been diagnosed with cancer which means a bit of waiting and praying in between the tests/scans they need to do.  My husband has been hired to a new position at work (starting beginning of next year) which will be a bit of added stress for him as he's learning what exactly that will entail--not to mention the fact that he has to finish up some of his own current projects too!  Top that off with trying to homeschool my two boys, housework, and making items for my Etsy shop and/or for those who have contacted me with orders...well, life's just a bit crazy right now! 

I will try to continue updating my Multitudes on Mondays and Free Book Fridays when I can, but I hope you understand if I don't get around to blogging every week, especially in the near future.

Anyways, today I decided to forgo putting together a new Free Book Fridays list and instead I'd like to share with you my Etsy Treasury I put together for November.  I'm sure you've still got plenty of reading options still, but just in case you've missed my previous posts and would like to see my recommendations for free eBooks (specifically ones for Kindle) check out this link right HERE.

A November collection.

It's cold here in Northern Minnesota. So I've found some items that would warm a person up...or at least give you a warm fuzzy feeling! Enjoy!


one thousand gifts #227-237

more "multitudes on mondays"

#227 answered prayers (Husband will be starting a new job at the beginning of next year--same place, new  position)
#228 peace that passes understanding
#229 new yarn to work with
#230 Sunday afternoons visiting Grandpa and Grandma (my mom and dad)
#231 a 5-year-old who is learning his ABCs:  last night he wanted the "Blue U's" and we didn't know what he was talking about until he showed me the box of Fruity Pebbles...did you know the U in Fruity is BLUE? funny kid.  but at least i know he knows the letter U!
#232 crafting fun:  i've seen a variety of "family rules" signs on Pinterest and Etsy so i decided to make my own.  i had an old canvas, bought adhesive vinyl letters from wal-mart that didn't really stick to the canvas, and used mod-podge to seal them in place.  (now i just need one of those metal picture hangers for it so it doesn't fall off the wall in the middle of the night again.  i tried to hang it with Command Picture Hanging Strips--i love 'em since most of our walls are lath and plaster--but they canvas didn't stay stuck to the strips. it could be that it was too heavy and i should have used 4 instead of just 2, but i think i'll get the hardware hangers next just to be sure.)
#233 finding a way to make housework a little more fun
#234 waking up before my alarm (this rarely happens)
#235 plastic mattress cover for nighttime potty training.  (and wondering why we didn't get one sooner!!!)
#236 more free books on my Kindle...check out my Free Book Fridays to learn more!
#237 faith.  hebrews 11:1
#238 hope. jeremiah 29:11
#239 love.  1 corinthians 13

if you're interested in learning more about multitudes on mondays just click on the banner below. 


Happy 11-11-11!

It's Friday again (already!) and time for me to share a few more books you can get for your Kindle absolutely FREE!   So are you enjoying my Free Books Fridays?  I hope so!

Anyways, on with today's list.  I'll try and keep it short this time. 

Are you like me--a cookbook collector?  I have so many!  Well, if you or someone you love does a lot of baking or cooking, you probably have heard of Gooseberry Patch. My sister-in-law, Annie, introduced me to Gooseberry Patch cookbooks years ago. 

Funny thing:  I've given Gooseberry Patch cookbooks as gifts, but I don't own any myself!  Well, anyways, Gooseberry Patch has published a few e-recipe-books for Kindle and in the past 8 months I've collected a half dozen or so of these free e-cookbooks already.  There's a new one available now:  Circle of Friends Cookbook--25 Savory Pie Recipes. I know my family likes chicken pot pies, so I'm definitely going to check out the recipes in this little eBook too! 

(Edit:  I just learned via the Gooseberry Patch website that these downloads are actually CHAPTERS in the Circle of Friends Cookbook!  If you don't have a Kindle yet but still want the recipes, go HERE and you'll be able to download all SEVEN chapters to your computer instead.)

I really love how many classic books are free for Kindle.  There's some really good literature out there!  One of Bubba's favorite books is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll;  he has read it several times.  And he's also enjoyed its sequel, Through the Looking Glass.  Both are now on my Kindle.  Bubba will be so happy! {smile}

Another of Bubba's faves is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.  This book was one of our "read-alouds" when Bubba was in Kindergarten as part of Sonlight's Core K (now Core A).  He's gone back and reread it several times since then. CJ will be in Core K/A next year, so it'll be nice to have it on my Kindle too. Several other Oz-related books by L. Frank Baum are also available. Just click on the link and you'll see just how many there are!

Have a wonderful weekend!
And as always, happy reading!


Free Book Friday!

Last week I started something new--Free Book Fridays!  So if you missed it, go ahead and check out this post first, then come on back and you can continue reading today's post too!

{Clicking the links in today's post will open a new window for you. I prefer tabs, but at least you won't have to use the back button to find my blog again!}

This week I planned to focus on Popular Classics, but I think I might throw in a few current ones too since there are a few new ones available now.

First up on today's list I'll start with one of my all-time favorite authors, Jane Austen.  Several of her books are available for Kindle.  Here's a few to get you started:   Emma,  Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility.  I haven't read these on my Kindle yet, so I don't know if there are any issues with the way they have been formatted, but I know they're all great books!

Next is another favorite author of mine, L. M. Montgomery (or Lucy Maud Montgomery).  Although I haven't found Anne of Green Gables for free yet, there are several other books you can get now including Chronicles of Avonlea & Further Chronicles of Avonlea, The Story Girl & The Golden Road, and Kilmeny of the Orchard. I've started Chronicles, but really haven't read these on my Kindle either.

This year I started reading the Sherlock Holmes series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  I will put links to the free copies here, but with this disclaimer:  the images (pictures, graphics) are missing.  I, thankfully, am married to a Sherlock fan who has the complete Sherlock 2-volume hardcover set, so when necessary, I would just grab the {rather large} books and see what the missing image was.  Since the images are rather crucial to the story, I would not recommend these unless you have the paper books as well.  Instead, I would recommend purchasing the Kindle versions with images that are included if you want to only read these on your Kindle.  But here are the free ones if you still want them:  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Valley of Fear, and The Sign of the Four.

My husband is currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas when he has a chance to use my Kindle.

And my almost-12-year-old son is reading Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift when Mommy lets him use the Kindle.

The next few I haven't even downloaded to my Kindle yet!  I just "ordered" them today (which is actually Thursday as I'm writing this up a day early) but I'll get them when I'm done writing this and turn on my Kindle's WiFi.

Holy Bible, GOD'S WORD Translation.

A Measure of Mercy (Home to Blessing Series #1) by Lauraine Snelling. (Lauraine Snelling is a well-known Christian historical fiction author.  I'm sure this will be a good book even though I haven't read it yet!)

Kisses for Lula by Samatha Mackintosh.

Fuse of Armageddon by Sigmund Brouwer and Hank Hanegraff.  (I've read Sigmund Brouwer's Robot Wars Series and enjoyed his writing so hopefully this will be a good read as well!)

Well, that should keep you busy for a while. 
Enjoy your free books!  I know I will!
Happy reading!


one thousand gifts #212-226

continuing where i left off a few weeks ago...

#212 autumn
#213 weekends away
#214 mall shopping (something I don't get a chance to do often!)
#215 new clothes
#216 crab legs dinner at Red Lobster
#217 a compliment from someone you don't know
#218 addiction:  Pinterest
#219 time to knit
#220 books
#221 even better--free books! :)
#222 smiles
#223 laughter
#224 having a craft in mind and finding the supplies for making it
#225 a wake-up light to get me up in the morning (should have had one YEARS ago!!!! love it!)
#226 my newest CD:  Fireflies and Songs by Sara Groves

that's all for today.  see you next week! 


Free Book Friday! {for Kindle}

If you've been following my blog, you may remember that I got my Kindle as a Valentine's Day gift from my hubby. So that means I've had my Kindle about 8 months.  And did you know I haven't purchased a single book or anything for it?  It's true!  We haven't spent a dime beyond the initial Kindle purchase.  At least, not yet.  And I've got hundreds--yes, you read that right--of books already!  Plus a few games too. All for FREE!

Last weekend, I was visiting with a friend and we were talking about our Kindles and what we like to read, etc. When I told her that everything I have on my Kindle was free, she asked if I could send her some book suggestions once in a while. 
Well, because of that conversation, I've decided to try a weekly "Free Book Fridays" on my blog.  I'm sure I won't get to it every week...if you've been following my "Multitudes on Mondays" you know I don't always have time to blog.  But I'll try and do this on a relatively regular basis for my friend (and others) who may be interested. 

I ♥ Kindle!

So if you have a Kindle {or an iPad, laptop, or other device with a Kindle ebook reader/app} then I hope to point you in the direction of some of the currently FREE books that are available--ones that either sound good to me or that I've already read and enjoyed.  I'm not going to write book reviews for every book--at least that's not my plan.  I'm just going to make a list and it will be up to you to check them out and decide which ones you'd like.  {And if you don't have an ebook reader, you can always check with your public library for a paper copy instead!}

Oh, and another thing:  I read a variety of book styles/genres.  But the majority--by far--of books fall into the Christian fiction category.  Just so you know what to {mostly} expect.  

Before I start my first list, if you want to check out the entire list yourself, the Kindle eBooks FREE COLLECTIONS on Amazon.com is where you want to go.  From that page, you can choose either "limited time promotional offers" or "most popular classics." 

Okay!  So this first book on my list is the first Kindle book I checked out from my public library (I love that our library system is so up-to-date even though we're a small town and not near a large city!)  Embers of Love by Tracie Peterson

Maid to Match by Deeanne Gist is one that I'm currently reading. 

If you're looking for a Bible to read on your Kindle, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version and The Holy Bible: HCSB Digital Text Edition are both good free ones for Kindle.

I'm so excited that they're offering Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos for free again!  This is one of the first books I read on my Kindle (actually read it out loud so my husband could enjoy the story with me). We both really enjoyed it.  I like the author's sense of humor as well as his take on our tendency to make Jesus fit our needs/desires instead of seeking who He really is.

Invisible (Ivy Malone Mystery Series #1) by Lorena McCourtney is a funny little mystery story.

And Stuck in the Middle (Sister-to-Sister, Book 1) by Virginia Smith is another one I liked.

If you like fantasy stories, you may enjoy The Golden Acorn (The Adventures of Jack Brenin) by Catherine Cooper.  It's supposedly written for kids (very reminiscent of the Harry Potter series as far as genre goes).  Although I liked it myself, I don't think I'll let my almost-12-year-old read it quite yet.  Of course, the same thing goes for Harry Potter, so maybe that's just me.

Light of Eidon (Legends of the Guardian-King, Book 1) by Karen Hancock is an excellent book that I already owned a paper copy of before I got my Kindle. In fact, the entire series is one of my faves!  So I was pretty excited to have a free copy of the first book for my Kindle.

Of course, there are many more free books available for Kindle--and quite a few of them even look like good reads. But today's list are all current limited-time offers that I've already read (except for the one I'm currently reading but it's pretty good so far).  I think that's a good place to start.

Don't forget--these ebooks might not be free for very long.  So get 'em while you can!

Happy reading!


one thousand gifts #206-211

206. beautiful fall weather
207. the first night of Bubba's last year of Awana (our club only goes through 6th grade)
208. cheering on the Panthers as they played another good soccer game (even though Bubba’s team lost)
Bubba's the 2nd kid from the right (in the white & black)
209. a new furry friend who just showed up on CJ’s birthday—she’s a beautiful calico, very scrawny, but extremely friendly.  we haven’t seen her in the neighborhood before, so are thinking she was dropped off at the corner near our house.  if she is someone else’s cat, i hope they don’t mind that she seems to have adopted us!
"our" new kitty--Bubba named her Stacie
210. celebrating CJ’s 5th birthday with family
the birthday boy
opening gifts
211. corn maze fun

castke themed maze with 2 scavenger hunt-type games for the kids to play

which path to take? 


we made it!

king of the hay stack in mid-jump

we're ready for the hayride

Hope you all have had a "gift" filled week too! 


one thousand gifts #198-205

Sorry I missed last week's multitudes.  I forgot to do it during the day last Monday and then {for anyone who doesn't know already} I ended up in the ER that evening for a couple hours with a very painful kidney stone.  Ugh.  I hope I never experience that again! 

I'm a day late this week with my multitudes too.  I seem to have a difficulty with time management of my home school, soccer practices and games, not to mention life in general.  But I have hope that it'll get better after our soccer season's done in just a few weeks and that I can stay "on task" myself a bit better as well.

198.  my parents who happened to have just returned from their 2-week vacation only to have me ditch my eldest son at soccer practice and come to their house because I was feeling so miserable and didn't know what was going on.  they took care of me, picked up the kid from soccer practice, ended up keeping both boys overnight and dad also drove me to the ER.  Did I mention how thankful I was that they were home?!?
199.  emergency room nurses and a nice doctor too.
200.  morphine. 
201.  having my first CT scan--very interesting despite the morphine-dulled pain!
202.  passing that kidney stone quickly!  thankfully it was a pretty small one.
203.  a sweet offer from another soccer mom to pick up my kid for the soccer game (but since I was all better, I took him myself so I could watch him play)
204.  Bubba's soccer team's first win of the season on Thursday!  good job Panthers!
205.  changing leaf colors--autumn in the air

I'm sure I've forgotten something, but that's all I can think of at the moment and we really need to get started with our homeschool work today!

Have a great Tuesday!


one thousand gifts #179-197

here's installment #14 of my multitudes on mondays

179. first week of {home}school
my boys--1st day of {home}school
"show me your silly!"
180. great curriculum for bubba--Sonlight's Core F & Science F too!
181. time each day to teach cj too
182. finally having a school schedule and finding that it really helps!
183. one hour of quiet time &/or nap time for both the kids and myself each school day after lunch
184. bubba’s first soccer game of the season—it was a tie! 
185. the Pack winning their first game of the season!  Go Packers!
186. getting to watch the game at my parent’s house (even tho they’re on vacation!)
187. a really good Beth Moore simulcast on Saturday.
188. friends
189. "scientific" fasting
190. natural weight loss
191. water
192. also smart water :)
193. reading books that help us want to eat healthier and make healthier choices
194. remembrance of 9/11
195. the blessing the new memorial in nyc is--and will be--to the families who lost loved ones there
196. resting all day Sunday
197. naps


one thousand gifts #171-178

This coming weekend (Labor Day weekend) I'm planning on having a rummage sale.  Which means this week I'm busy labeling the items I've already boxed up and maybe sorting through more boxes of junk and adding a few more things too!  So that's why this week's Multitudes is a day late.  I was so busy yesterday I didn't even turn on my computer!

So without further ado, my multitudes list continues.
171. babysitting my neighbor's little guy for a little bit one morning and a good visit with her that day too!
 172. "charlie" and "lola" the new flutterbys

 173. a bohemian waxwing (we think) eating chokecherries in the backyard
174. box day!  (i.e. getting our new curriculum for this fall)
175. getting ready for a new school year
176. beautiful weather
177. bubba doing his best for the local Bible bee competition
178. getting up early to go for a walk with my hubby

And that's all for now!
See ya again next week!


another blessed monday

continuing my weekly gratitude. 
there's so much to be thankful for. 

159. video proof that i'm not the only knitter obsessively in love with their yarns! (this really made me giggle this morning!)

160. a few more days of yard and house help from my parents! i can now sit on the porch and see down the road instead of having the view blocked by brush!  and except for needing to go through boxes and weed out stuff, the house is in much better shape! thanks again, mom and dad!

161. the beginning of soccer practices for our homeschool team

162. needing new soccer cleats for Bubba and finding it's cheaper/easier to order online.

163. getting a good quality pair of cleats that fit right and are here before the second practice of the season!  yes!

164. walking a 5K. not because i really wanted to. but thankful that i can.

165. sore legs (from walking a 5K without training at all). but the pain is good--it reminds me i should be more active on a regular basis.

166. beautiful words and photos combine causing me to stop and ponder at A Holy Experience

167. a really good cup of tea this morning (in lieu of my daily cup of "coffee" since i drank the last of it yesterday and haven't been to the store for more)

168. a morning to myself while the kiddos are fishing with Grandpa and Grandma

169. improved homeschool laws in minnesota  (it doesn't change a lot for me, but i do believe it's a good change nonetheless!)

170. mentally preparing myself for the upcoming school year.  i've purchased our next year's curriculum and am considering what i need to accomplish in the next 10 months with both boys.

Are you interested in blogging your own Multitudes on Mondays?  Click on the banner below to learn more about how to join in and you'll get to read a really wonderful blog too!


one thousand gifts

my weekly list of gratefulness continued:

149. once again, i'm super-thankful for my parents!  this time, instead of childcare, they spent 4 days this past week helping us out with some much needed house and yard work. 

150. grandma (my mom) helping me clear out the excess junk from our porches and collect-all rooms.

151. grandpa (my dad) working with bubba's help to clear some brush for T who plans to build a fort-jungle gym-playset for the boys. 

152. grandpa teaching bubba the basics of driving.  they use the pickup to pull out the brush by the roots (attaching them to chains).  now bubba knows how to drive forward and back as needed and grandpa doesn't have to keep climbing in and out of the truck.

153. our 11-year-old learning to drive a little!

154. sorting through bins and boxes; throwing away garbage, organizing keepsakes and mementos, and putting the rest in boxes so I can either sell or donate it.

155. finally having the local Salvation Army rep come pick up our old-but-still-in-relatively-good-condition queen mattress that was just taking up space and in the way!

156. having a porch that we can use for more than storage!  it's so nice to sit out there and read, knit, or play!

157. coffee--specifically my daily morning cup of Hills Bros. Cappaccino (french vanilla flavor!)  YUM! 

158. FABULOUS photos taken by Sarah a couple weeks ago!  Sarah blogged about it here--isn't she a hoot?! anyways, i just got my gallery link for Beyond Ordinary Photography and i can tell you it's going to be tough to choose which ones we'll want to get prints of--they're all so beautiful!  (and that's from someone who hates having her photo taken!!!!)  so happy!


more to be grateful for

Showing gratitude.  Being thankful. Counting my blessings.

142. an "Awesome!" week of VBS according to Bubba
GO FISH VBS at FBC--Bubba's the one touching his hat
 143. fun Go Fish music at VBS all week (If you haven't heard of Go Fish, go HERE!)
 In case anyone reading this is wondering...our church used Go Fish's "Backstage with the Bible" VBS curriculum this year and it's a great choice!!!
144. a quick weekend knit and a new hat for me as a result! sorry...no photos. but it's really cute and looks quite nice on me!  :)
145. enough leftover yarn to make myself a new pair of fingerless mitts too!  at least, I hope so!
146. finding this adorable apple basket at the local consignment shop (my first time in there but it won't be my last!) i love that it matches my KitchenAid mixer perfectly! 
(lemons and limes not included)
147. (mostly) finishing up our American History Core for school (we still have some read-alouds left, but history is done until next school year...in 4 weeks!
148. shopping for curriculum...time to decide what to use this fall!

And that's this week's installment...come back next Monday for more!

Interested in starting your own Multitudes on Mondays post?  Click on the banner below to learn more about it!