It’s Not What I Thought It Would Be

by adustyframe ~ October 28th, 2014

My life doesn’t look like what I thought it would. Does yours?

35 years ago, I thought it would be  a fairy tale. I’d be the princess mommy and have lots of sweet little babies all around and everything would be pink and roses and cake all day!

15 years ago, Lee and I were newly (ish)  married and I was hoping I’d get to be a mommy! Things were pretty great. I thought we’d have a houseful of children.

10 years ago, almost to the day Lee checked into the jail. I thought about this the other day and realized it was 10 years. I’m still grappling with all we’ve been through and how it’s changed our lives. But now, I’m thinking about how 10 years went by in the blink of an eye and yet it was the longest years of my life that have completely changed me in good ways and bad ways.

5 years ago, Lee was still incarcerated and I felt like it was never going to be over. A year in prison or jail feels like 5 or more normal years. I knew that a houseful of children was never going to happen.

When Lee came home, I began to think about how my life would look now. I thought about writing the a curriculum that’s been floating around in the back of my mind for ages. I thought that perhaps I’d go back to college and get my master’s degree. I thought that I’d become more involved in ministries. I looked into jail ministry. I thought about a few other ministries that needed helpers.

At first , we needed time to heal. To be honest, there are still times that we just need time to heal. I didn’t jump into any of the things I was thinking about.

And God gave us baby Nathan. I’m so happy and thankful and I’m enjoying how precious and crazy he is. Life with a toddler in the house is crazy and funny to say the least.

Life isn’t what I thought it would be 35, 15, 10, 5, or even 3 years ago. I didn’t think I’d be in my 40′s with a new little guy. I thought I’d have several more children. I thought I’d be busy serving in ministries or doing things perhaps in “bigger” ways than I’m able to do now.

Life isn’t what I thought it would be but life is good.

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9

 

Lizzie

What I’m Struggling With

by adustyframe ~ October 22nd, 2014

When I say “struggle” I don’t mean all out wrestling or emotional pain…just a now and then thing to pray about and deal with.

For the past several months, I’ve been struggling with the fact that our life is boring.

I see people I know doing all sorts of cool things.

*going on hikes

*taking cool trips (even just small cheap trips, I don’t mean big European vacations)

*having cool parties

*hanging out with groups of friends

*doing something every weekend that looks neat

*buying a new house, car, etc

 

I wonder why these things seem to cause me to struggle. I’m really not sure. If we were to be doing all those things, I would be exhausted. I’m not the personality that loves being out of the house running places all day every day.

I don’t even want to do some of the things that I see them doing.

One reason we don’t do those things is that my husband is rarely around and when he is, we rest and have “just us” family time. Another reason (house…) is that we’re working on living within our means and paying off things and being content with the things we have.

Recently, a group of friends shared updates in our lives and I must have been in one of these struggling moments because I said, “Nothing much is going on around here. Basically we’re boring.”

Someone said, “Hey for you boring must sound heavenly right?”

Then I realized that yes for us boring is wonderful. Having a calm quiet peaceful life without  drama, tragedy, trials, crisis, and emergencies is an amazing wonderful shift in our lives and I am going to ask for the Lord’s help to just embrace it.

Honestly, the struggling is/was plain silly because like I said I would be exhausted to always be going and doing stuff…..I don’t even WANT to do all that.

Amazing how our minds and hearts can get away from trusting God and enjoying the life we live when we put our eyes on others. To be clear, no one that I was watching live exciting lives was boasting or trying to make me feel boring! It was just my own silly self!

 

Lizzie

LAUNDRY!

by adustyframe ~ October 20th, 2014

GRRRR……I’ve been annoyed about the laundry lately.

We have so much laundry….and Lee is rarely home.

I’ve read all sorts of ideas to help minimize laundry but it never really seems to work for us.

Once in awhile, I feel overwhelmed about it and then I just try to let it go.
It’s a fact of life–well unless we’re going to all run around nekkid….ha! There’s something no one wants to see!

I think that of course baby makes more laundry. He’s basically a little heathen as far as keeping clothes clean.

Then, we use cloth for napkins, cloth for diapers, cloth for mom (probably didn’t want to know that either), and cloth for cleaning ….so there is always going to be laundry and it’s because of  my choices that we have extra laundry. Pretty silly to allow that to stress me out then huh?

I also remind myself of what my mom used to say, “Laundry means you have a family and you can afford to clothe them.”

A family is what I always wanted and this little dirty munchkin that has added to our laundry pile is so wanted and prayed for that I guess I’m just going to work on being happy about all the laundry!

Lizzie

The Mason Jar~James Russell Lingerfelt~Book Review

by adustyframe ~ October 19th, 2014

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What can I say about this book?

Hmmm…..I loved the cover…..

This book really wasn’t very good. The writing included WAY too man details…for example…one scene describes everything they ate and that they ate at a square table….a square table? The shape of the table usually adds nothing to the story unless one is upping the word count.

As I read, the only thing I wanted to know was why she left. Even that was odd…absolutely no explanation? Her father being so rough with her? Nah….just odd.

It mostly seemed to be an ad for micro-lending in disadvantaged countries. I’m not opposed to that and actually think it’s a great idea….just not something to be included in so much of a story.

So while this book included far too many mundane details a lot was left out. The plot wasn’t really there and the characters were a little shallow and not developed very well. There was also occasions where the paragraph was all past tense and suddenly a sentence in present tense….just not an enjoyable read for me.

The love scenes were “clean” but rather icky-TMI and a little suggestive. I went to his website and read that he hired a best selling Er*tic* (stars to keep people from finding my blog with that word) novelist to edit his book since modern romances are just basically clean er*tic*…..UMMMM I would have liked to have known that before I read his book. Not my type of book, genre, method AT ALL. Explains the weird love scenes. Like I said there was nothing explicit they were just weird.

Even at the end when what happened was painfully obvious it would happen…well it was just so so. Nothing exciting just “bam” it happened and the book ended.

I’m going to include the “about the book” but I personally do not feel it’s anything like a Nicholas Sparks book or that it’s interwoven with Thoreau, etc.

I’m sorry to say that the basic idea of this story sounds wonderful but the book just didn’t click with me at all. I’m also going to say the obvious—no I haven’t ever published a book and I KNOW writing a book is hard hard work. I do however know good books when I read them and since I know sometimes people purchase things based on my recommendations, I will not say a book was great if in my opinion it was not.

If you want to see if anyone else shared my opinion you can check out more reviews at the Litfuse page.

About the book: 

What if your old college roommate called, raving about a book someone sent her, calling it the most beautiful book she’s ever read? “But,” she said, “it’s about you.” The author is your college ex.

In The Mason Jar, Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather’s desk—letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark debutante from Colorado. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.

Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.

A story about a girl who vanished, a former love who wrote a book about her, and a reunion they never imagined.

Written for the bruised and broken, The Mason Jar is an inspirational romance that brings hope to people who have experienced disappointment in life due to separation from loved ones. With a redemptive ending that encourages us to love again and written in the fresh, romantic tones of Nicholas Sparks, The Mason Jar interweaves the imagery of Thoreau with the adventures and climatic family struggles common to Dances with Wolves, A River Runs Through It, and Legends of the Fall.

James Russell Lingerfelt‘s debut novel, The Mason Jar, is hot-off-the-press and causing quite the buzz. It’s even been optioned for a feature film and is in pre-production.

Catch the spark by entering James’ Kindle Fire giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire
  • The Mason Jar by James Russell Lingerfelt

Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 19th. Winner will be announced October 20th at James Russell’s blog, Love Story from the Male Perspective.

 


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Disclosure~I received a copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

Lizzie

Where Treetops Glisten Book Review

by adustyframe ~ October 15th, 2014

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When I said I’d review this book, I’m pretty sure it was the title and topic that reeled me in. But then it sat on my shelf for awhile and I felt like I just didn’t have enough energy to jump into 3 books. I thought it was the typical novella type book….3 different novellas.

Well, this book IS 3 different novellas BUT it’s put together with a great idea.

All the books tell the story of members of the Turner family so each novella has a little different part of the family story. I think it’s a really clever idea for a book.

I enjoyed reading the stories and liked how the authors worked together to keep the details straight. I think that for the Christmas season, this book would be perfect. Each novella doesn’t require much time to read but is enough of a story to feel like you read a good book.

I like the vintage feel and the Christmas setting. All in all a very enjoyable read and a book that you may want to pick up for your Christmas reading pleasure. I think that it would be even better to read it when it’s chilly outside and you’re cuddled under a big blanket sipping something hot!

About the book:

The weight of wartime

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

Check out more reivews at the Litfuse page.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in order to provide a review. All opinions are my own.

Pin It Lizzie

This & That

by adustyframe ~ October 13th, 2014

There’s nothing too exciting going on around here.

I’ve been feeling tired and behind since we got home from vacation, but this week I “sort of” feel like perhaps I’m getting back on track.

I haven’t been exercising–not good.

I am enjoying the sunshine this morning.

Lee is on the road. James is in school and busy being a teenager. Nathan is the cutest little cutie pie ever and we are so in love. He keeps us laughing. He’s morphed into a crazy baby though. He is into everything!

I want to get to the pumpkin patch one of these days and get some cute photos.

I have a huge pile of dishes in the sink so I better get off this computer!
What about you? Anything going on?

Lizzie

Autumn Pork Roast

by adustyframe ~ October 9th, 2014

The other day, I was watching a local cooking show and she made this pork roast that sounds delish!

We make pork roasts very rarely, but this sounded so good, I went to the store and bought all the ingredients and it’s cooking today.

1 pork roast

1 onion, chopped

2 c. apple cider or juice

2-3 apples, sliced

 

Place all in crockpot and cook 8 (ish) hours.

I also added some garlic cloves~we’re going to eat it with twice baked potatoes, butternut squash and salad.

 

**I’ll report back to you to let you know how it was. It smells yummy!

Report :)~Ok it was very yummy. The apples and onions cooked down and made a chunky applesauce that we ate with the meat. For leftovers, it seemed a bit dry. I think for leftovers, mix it with BBQ sauce and put it on buns with cheddar? That would be yummy!

Lizzie

A Man Lives Here

by adustyframe ~ October 5th, 2014

I often say to myself, “As many things as I pick up and always put right where they belong, you’d think my house would be spotless.” It doesn’t seem to matter that I deal with the mail daily…that I hang up the diaper bag every time we come in the house….that I keep laundry picked up…..(insert all housekeeping chores). There is always always always stuff around the house and stuff that needs to be put away.

There’s always clutter and piles and dirt.  A lot of that is because our house is very small and we just don’t have good places for everything. Some of it is because we live here and I’m the only one who seems to notice the messes.

Today, Lee got home after we left for church. We couldn’t wait to get home and see him. After we had lunch, I was walking through the house and saw this.

 

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I wasn’t annoyed, I just sighed and went to pick up another pile of stuff.  Then I stopped and got my camera. If you’ve ever read my post “A Man Does Not Live Here”, you read about the clues to show there is no man living in our house if you looked closely enough.

“Hey!” I thought, “a man lives here.” and then I smiled. I thought about it for quite awhile this afternoon. Just a simple pile of clutter–my husband’s jacket and my sweater but it’s so much more than that.

It means he’s home with us. It means it’s behind us. It means we made it. And for us to make it is so much more than I can put in those 3 little words.

Thank you, God for man clutter in my house. It means a man lives here.

Lizzie

School

by adustyframe ~ October 3rd, 2014

We’re finally underway with school this year. Since we were going on vacation at the end of August, I wasn’t interested in getting started and coming back to pick up where we left off so we just started when we got home. It was about a week later than we usually start but that’s ok.

This year, James is learning about WWI. Right now he’s reading a “Horrible Histories” book on WWI. It’s a little bit of easing into the subject. Then he’s moving on to an Uncle Eric by Maybury book about the war. He’s reading the early 1900′s chapters in This Country Of Ours as well.

We may move on to the depression and WWII depending on how long that takes him.

For science, we’re doing Apologia general science for Jr High. It’s a LOT of reading, so I’m reading and quizzing him as we go.

Math is Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra. He had to do a few review lessons from level 7 so he’ll just be starting this next week. I realized that we can have more than one student, and I’m considering doing the lessons myself. My math skills pretty much are non-existent once algebra starts.

For Bible, he’s reading Not a Fan for teens, Scripture reading his youth group assigns, and I have piles of other studies and books. Not sure where he’ll go next. I plan for him to read about missionaries and great Christians too. I need to pick out some passages for him to memorize asap.

Spelling is still Spelling Wisdom from Simply Charlotte Mason…we’re just plunking along.

Geography–learning Canadian provinces then onto to Central American and possibly South America. We’re using outline maps and it’s kind of fun to see him progress in being able to fill them in.

We’re working through Fallacy Detective. I’m learning stuff too! I hear terms used in debates and discussions but don’t really know what they’re talking about. Now we’ll know!

Grammar—well I still need to decide. I’m leaning toward Analytical Grammar, but I didn’t order it! I need to get cracking on that.

Biography–George Washington Carver right now, Condaleeza Rice, and Ben Carson are next on the agenda. Sometimes biographies overlap with history but if it’s strictly during the time period of history, I count it for history. For example, when we get to WWII and I have him read one about Winston Churchill, I’ll just count that in the history slot and he may be reading another biography.

I’m probably missing something but I’m fairly happy with the plans for the year.

I was a hardcore Ambleside mom, but we hit a point where it just was not working for either of us. Now I pull things together myself. I still lean heavily toward Charlotte Mason and living books. I just don’t follow a prescribed schedule. I decided that I don’t have time for books that both of us hate! Good challenging books are always what I want to include, but it doesn’t have to be boring both of us to tears!

I look through Ambleside’s lists, Simply Charlotte Mason’s lists, Sonlight’s lists, Classical Conversations lists, as well as asking for recommendations from my well read friends. It’s working for us and there’s a lot more joy in our homeschool.

Lizzie

Doin’ some Cooking!

by adustyframe ~ September 29th, 2014

James really enjoyed this granola but I haven’t made it for a long time. I bought all the ingredients and today made a batch and 1/2. MMMMM it’s so good!

I started another batch of kefir for baby. I used to make it and drink it all the time but it seems I’ve gotten a bit lazy over this past year! I’m not sure if my grains will revive or not. I had them in the fridge for a long time. Thankfully, I have a friend who makes kefir with the same grains I have so I can get some from her if mine don’t “wake up”.

With winter coming, I want to do all I can to pump up our immune systems and homemade kefir is way better than store bought for that purpose–more strains of good bacteria. I did buy a bottle at Aldis last week and the baby has been enjoying it. He calls it his “moodie” (smoothie).

How is my foray into emeals?

Well, I seem to have gotten a bit lazy……I haven’t printed or looked at or followed a menu in months. I was thinking today that I really do need to get back to it. The good news is that they’re all in a file in my email box for the day that I choose to get back to using them.

Have you been cooking anything lately?

 

Lizzie