Friday, June 26, 2009

New Tradition

For a long time, my brother Dalen kept saying he wants to do "an Isaac breakfast"... cook a bunch of the family favorites that we grew up with for a big breakfast smorgasboard. Well, he finally decided to do it on Father's Day! There were huckleberry pancakes with homemade syrup...

Liver and onions...

Pan fried brook trout caught in the clear streams of North Idaho...

Venison smokies...

There was also braunsweiger (liver sausage, we call it) for with the pancakes, orange juice and grape juice.

It was wonderful! (Especially since all I had to bring was home canned grape juice! I did flip a few pancakes too. :)
Last, but definitely not least, as a Father's Day surprise for the guys, my sister Monica made her much-sought-after eclairs. One for each of us, two each for the "dads".

Needless to say, we decided we need to make this a tradition!
(Hungry, anyone?!)
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Stone Laying Resumed

A week and a half ago, we got going on laying more stone on the house. Abe intended to work on it himself, along with Joe, but the corn needed cultivated and that can't wait! Now it's second cutting hay that needs cut and baled, so it may be another week or so before he gets his hands in the mud. Joe has steadily been working away on it... It is quite a process.

I have been "rock hunting". I feel like I've been thru the "bushes and the brambles" but not "where the rabbits wouldn't go"! Yesterday the girls and I were down in the creek, which they heartily approved of, beings it was HOT!
Before we started putting stones on the house, rocks were rocks. But I have learned to appreciate them a lot more! They are like snowflakes! "What!" you ask? Yes, they remind me of snowflakes, there are no two alike! Some are so pretty and some are nondescript, but they serve to showcase the pretty ones even more.

Somehow, handling these stones keeps working a deeper appreciation for God, in me. What a Creator, Designer, Builder He is!

Years ago in Idaho, I admired a small house sided with stone. I always thought of it as a "stone cottage". I loved it, it seemed like such an enduring shelter. I never dreamt...

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
Even those unconscious, un-named desires...
Like a never-ending romance, I find God more delightful all the time.
It seems too, He takes delight in our delight.
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The other evening I noticed this tree...

I was struck by the way it has been ravished... the elements have taken their toll. At some point, it has been wounded to the core.
It's heartwood has been exposed.

But it is still a thing of beauty... a testimony to endurance.

With it's scars very evident, it still lives and glorifies.

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree..."
Jeremiah 17:5-8
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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day to You!

Dear Dad,
I hardly know how to put into words what I would like to say... words hardly do justice to the enormity of thought and feeling sometimes. I just want you to know, your legacy lives on! I have never known anyone that demonstrated more deeply and closely the heart of Christ, to me. I keep discovering more truths that I was introduced to by you, they ministered to me then, but it was only a shadow of the reality you were experiencing and walking in. I now know some of why you wept, I weep too. You saw Him in His glory.
Thank you, Dad, for every valley you walked thru with patience. You pioneered paths for us to follow. They led me out of the mainstream, but then that's where God keeps meeting me and coming near. Thank you for never settling for second best, for insisting that the only tree we should be eating from is the Tree of Life!
Thank you for little things like York mint patties. God still sees to them for me, in ways more wondrous than I can hardly grasp.
Because of you, I have a richer view of who my heavenly Father is. Sometimes as I catch on to a new (to me) facet of who God is and how He works, I then see... "Why, He's just like Dad!" but I know it's actually the other way around... you just followed in His footsteps and loved us like He does. I'm forever grateful, to you, Dad, and to You, Abba!
Happy Father's Day to both of you!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Whatever You're Doing (Something Heavenly)

Now that I have caught up on posting pictures and everyday happenings, I have yet to address all the goings on in my mind and heart the last couple weeks. There are key thoughts that I have gleaned here and there that are going round and round... There are a number of songs that I have been listening to over and over. I'll start with one of them. I'd like to dedicate this to all of you who seek for something more, some thing or some one to make all of your life worth while, your trials worth enduring...
"Whatever You're Doing" by Sanctus Real
"It's time for healing - time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time to make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone - Time to begin again
Re-evaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow Your will
Or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is You want from me
I give everything - I
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
But I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time to face up - Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to release all my held back tears
Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life - something heavenly

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos, but now I can see
This something, bigger than me
Larger than life - something heavenly"

I read something about freedom and independence that got me thinking about how they are not the same thing.
Gleaned from "The Crown of Eden" by Thomas Williams...
"Freedom is precious indeed, and every person is right to desire it. We desire independence because our pride resists authority."
In a nutshell, what I am learning to be true in my experience is that there is great freedom in dependence! Think of this baby here... totally dependent, by taking thought she cannot add one ounce or inch to her size! She is free of care... just like we can be if and when we choose utter dependence in our Father who created us, who clothes the daisies (lilies) and feeds the birds. He will "ripen" each of our lives into what He created us to be, as we surrender... whatever He's doing inside of us!

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Hadassah's Projects

Hadassah loves to draw and make things. She's been in a real streak lately... She comes to me and requests things like - fluff, empty toilet paper rolls, etc. I am learning to provide her with the requested items and sit back and watch! (Feel free to click on any of these pictures to see them larger so you can see the detail she puts into them.) These are all things she decides to do on her own. I have craft books - they just sit on the shelf. In this household - who needs them?! This first picture she calls"
"The Hundred Acre Wood"

This one is pretty self explanatory... by the way, she calls the person on the bottom left, generally known as the "cashier" the "payer". :) When asked where she learned how to draw this, she said she saw how to draw the shopping carts in a "Clifford" book.

This one is : "The Jungle"

This one is a finger puppet. We go through lots of tape around here!

Well, I have posted a lot of things I was meaning to get around to the last few weeks. While waiting for things to load, etc. I did actually put a Peach Cheesecake together. It is cooling in the fridge...
I have a lot of stuff here by Hadassah, but she is just one of the four who keep me entertained. Earlier, Chloe and Hadassah were saying they have headaches. I was a bit dubious about Chloe having one, she likes Tylenol. She insisted she has a headache. She said, "I feel it in my mind." :) She says interesting things.
This spring once she said to me: "I can't wait to get grown up."
Me: "Why, what will you do?"
Chloe: "Wash dishes, clean the floor, cook the stuff. I would still play with stuff. Drive too."
Then as an afterthought... "I would also like to water the plants."
How's that for the dreams of a certain 4 year old!
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Six Year Old Creativity

What does one do with paper, glue, straws, scissors, a hole punch and miniature bricks...

Why, make a fruit stand, of course!

Recently while in a Goodwill store, we added to our Little Peoples collection. The girls call this one "Farmer Girl". It came with a barn and horses and these baskets of apples, carrots, etc. I suggested they could have a fruit stand, never knowing that Hadassah would take it quite seriously. Later she told me what she figured out she needed to "make" her fruit stand. The day we helped at the real produce stand, she was anxious to get home and make it. Here's what she came up with, all on her own!
We have these miniature bricks...and straws worked quite nicely for poles. She punched holes in the paper on all 4 corners, but had to figure out a way to keep the paper from sliding down...

More paper and a glue stick solved that...

Now "Farmer Girl" has a place to display her wares, thanks to Hadassah!
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Daisy Chains

Somehow my childhood passed by without ever learning how to make a daisy chain. I remember trying to braid them together and it never worked to my satisfaction. My girls, however, had the privilege of being taught how to, by a young friend. They, in turn, taught me. They can spend long amounts of time, making chains with clover blossoms, daisys, and last fall, Damaris even did it with fallen leaves, to my delight! Lovely swags can be hung or draped anywhere!

What a lovely way to spend time! What goes through their minds while their hands are occupied with such a task?

Six year old hands...

Consider the daisies...

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My "Produce"

It is interesting to see how each one's interests develope, how they grow... What will my little garden grow into? A red pepper is much sweeter that a green one, why woudn't it be?! It is riper! What is God's plan to "ripen" me into? And each one of these children?...I trust He will equip each of them for what He has in store.
We didn't bring chairs along to the produce stand, but watermelons worked nicely for the little ones!

Like I previously said, Devereaux really likes the peaches! Damaris likes to read!

This picture reflects each one... Chloe and Abi love the fine dust on the hard packed dirt. They scooped it into piles, sifted it between their fingers, and generally got dirty. Hadassah made daisy chains, Damaris read, Devereaux...ate! :)

A gift from one of my girls...

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Produce, anyone?

I just can't resist posting a few pictures of the bounty that John has been bringing up from the south. It's so lovely to have fresh produce a bit earlier than our gardens here. Steamed red potatoes, so quick and yummy with butter, salt and pepper...

We like to eat cucumber fact we like to have a peeler and salt shaker along and we are in business!

Sweet onions, particularly Vidalias! We are learning to enjoy them on their own. Stick a chunk on a kabob on the grill...

Has anyone ever made a Peach Cheesecake? In the same way that folks like a cheesecake with cherry pie filling on top, try peaches! You might never go back to cherries!
Make a glaze with 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 2& 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch. Cook 'til it thickens, then while still hot, add 3 tablespoons orange jello. Cool and add cut up, fresh peaches. Top your favorite cheesecake recipe with this!
(No, don't use peach jello, I discovered quite by accident that orange makes it way better.)

Hmmm... right about now, it might be a good idea to quit blogging and go guessed it...Peach Cheesecake!
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Summer is Here!

Summer seems to finally be here! It's official now, because we've tasted it!
Abe's brother John, each summer, runs a little roadside produce stand along State Route 39. We have a little piece of property that is easy access, so it works out good. Growing or selling produce is what the Mast family grew up doing, so it's kind of in their blood, so to speak. (Abe's Dad and two other of his brothers also sell produce, only in North Carolina.)
Anyway, we like to help out when the need, or opportunity, arises. My Mom watches the stand for Johnny off and on thru the week. My sis, Paula, and her kids help as needed, too. Last week we went down to help unload a load fresh in from South Carolina. Oh, those peaches!!! Picked tree ripe the morning before... and I do mean tree ripe!!! After helping unload watermelons and cantelope, when my back was turned, Uncle Johnny was endearing himself to my girls! Abigail had streams of juice all the way to her toes! She hasn't figured out the need to lean out!

Chloe tells me she "especially likes the skin".

Due to modern methods of doing laundry, we didn't even end up with any stains!

Devereaux (John's son, age 6) ate peaches straight time!
The kids all love hanging out down there. There is a spring where water runs year round out of the bank. There are crawdads to be found... Damaris really likes helping with the customers. Hopefully helping out there will give opportunity to learn making change, handling money, being less shy, etc. She also likes to refill displays, which is a big help when it gets busy.
If you live in Holmes County, Ohio, this is just east of West Holmes High School. Stop by and sample a melon...or a peach!
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