Friday, January 29, 2016

Homeschool Field Trip to the Zoo

Yesterday we had a treat. A fun homeschool kid field trip to the Warner Park Zoo. I think there were about 25 of us in all with great thanks to our friend Amy for putting it together, and I promise to TRY and get something together soon too. ;)

I think this was the only shot I have with most of everyone... they scattered quickly. I wish I had been able to get a good picture, but here everyone was looking at the Serval. It's a pretty little thing.

I enjoy some of the local art pieces at the zoo. Here's one of my favorites! It still has lights on it, I can imagine it is very pretty when the sun goes down and the lights come on!
I will admit... I get weepy when I look at incredible animals like this, it's true! He is the work of a wonderful Creator who loves to bless His children. This peacock is one that I think God just said... Let's make this one beautiful, just because. If the colors in his tail were not incredible enough, that blue breast and head is GLORIOUS! WOW. I am amazed.



 Here are the local rascals. Haha... 
 This little goat was basking in the sun, catching a few zzz's. I think he thought it might be easier just to lay against the corn crib rather than get down on the ground to rest... because once you get down, you have to get back up. I know this little guy has been here quite a few years. I'm sure he is feeling his age. 

 Well, the girls climbed up on the rock to get a picture... I think we boys should have a turn too!
 This sweet little girl was a big helper pushing Baby B in his stroller for a while. Such sweet kids... the whole bunch of them. 






 This guy could have had the caption on his cage... The Raccoon... pest to all chicken owners. Ha ha.

 "get that spot right there behind my horn, man"







Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Seasons:Encouragement for Women

I love where we live. We get to experience all four seasons more or less. I am always eager to begin a new season, but I try enjoy the season I am in and appreciate the beauty of that time also. 
Notice I said TRY... 
Sometimes in the thick of almost 100* days you ache for a bit of cool, or in the middle of rain and bits of cold you yearn for sunshine and flowers. 

You understand where I am coming from, I'm sure. 


The same is true in life many times. 

Maybe you are a young woman who aches for the time when you will be married with children and you just wonder when that will finally happen for you... I know this feeling, I was there for a long time. I always knew I wanted to be married with a big family. 
Don't become discontent young woman. Pray! Seek God's plan for you right now. God has purpose for you, right where you are... Use your time of singleness as a time to serve others. Volunteer to help out a young mother who has several littles. Be an extra set of hands for her. Help out in your church in the nursery or preschool. Visit with the elderly and soak up as much wisdom as possible! Help with a food bank and pack boxes for those in need. There are so many things you can do with this time... Enjoy this season and pray, get to know God more. 

Mother of young ones who feels that the weight of the world is on your shoulders, who feels like you are never going to get ahead... Take a breath. This is your season. Young ones grow up rapidly. Right now your time is best spent caring and training and loving and nurturing... and it is a very busy, very exhausting season. I understand... I've been there too. With several young ones underfoot, I know how it can feel to never seem to have a minute to breathe. Right now, my advice is pray, seek God's face and ... 
SLOW.
Enjoy this time. 
You don't have to run and do everything available out there to do.You don't have to feel the need to volunteer for extra projects or tons of playdates. You don't have to exasperate yourself to make this time with your children special. Teach your children contentment (I know this may be a bit hard when so many have so much... but believe you me, it doesn't mean you are missing out) Spend time reading together. Spend time learning together. Spend time outside planting or adventuring in your yard. Spend time working alongside one another and talking. Yes, even when they are little.
 Take them to church and teach them to sit and listen. Even if you have to get up ten times... do it, it's worth it. Because with every time you are teaching that learning to sit and be quite and reverent is important and that going to church is a blessing not a burden. 
Give them responsibilities, expect them to accomplish them. Don't do everything for them. Allow them to work with you and learn to do things. 
Don't use tv or video games and iPhones as constants. I know the deep snare it is for those devices. For adults and kids, alike. It is VERY easy to get hooked.  If your kid can sit and play a game on a device, they can sit and be quiet for a service. Video games should be an occasion.... not a given. Even if you decide to allow it each day, see what is best for your family. Just don't let them become a constant... it is a battle, I know. 
(I am not a stellar parent, nor do I claim to be... I just know the struggle, because I have kids myself)

Young mother... enjoy your season. It is probably one of the fastest seasons... even though when going through it, it feels never-ending. Pray over these precious ones. Pray even now for the men and women they will become and be consistent. Your work is NOT in vain.
Mother of big kids... 
This is a lovely season. You see your children becoming their own person. They may be big enough to drive, which is incredible and a bit terrifying. But this is what  you have been teaching and training for... To allow that child of yours to venture out a bit and dip their feet in that water. You can't be certain that your child will always do everything you want them to do. But you can pray, you can encourage, you can be consistent in what you do and what you believe. Don't say something and act another. Be real with your kids. When you mess up, admit it, repent and move ahead. Make a valiant effort to do better. They will see that. Give your child an amount of freedom, but don't toss them out to wolves. Just because the state may say a 17/18 year old is an adult, doesn't necessarily mean your job is done, Mom. They still need you to be present and they need to know you and still depend on you. Encourage them to spread their wings. Give them responsibilities and expect them to accomplish those. DON'T DO EVERYTHING for them!!!!!!!! We have far too many young men and women who never want to grow up... and when everything is done for them, and life is constantly easy, well... they don't want to move past that season.
Mother of big kids, this season is new and different, but still very wonderful. Enjoy it too and don't forget to continue to seek the Lord and pray for these wonderful blessings He has given you. 
Maybe your season is different from these I've mentioned... Maybe you don't have any children, maybe you have already raised yours... Friend, don't think for one second that your job is done. You're just in another season. Maybe you have read all this and see that you haven't used your time and enjoyed it... Don't give up. Begin today. Get in God's word. Learn about Him! Give Him your all and joyfully serve in whatever situation you are in.  
Do you desire to have children in your house again? Have you considered foster care? I know in GA there is tremendous need. Have you looked into service projects in your area? Is there a homeless center you can volunteer in? Is there an area in your church that is needing help? Serve! 
We were placed on this earth not to be served, but to serve others. Our Lord and Savior came and He SERVED people... we should too! Shine that light brightly. Whatever season of life you may be in. Serve with joy. Don't feel you can do everything, but do something. 
Mother... serve your family and as you do, teach them that servitude is a blessing and not a burden.

I pray this comes as a blessing to you.



Monday, January 25, 2016

Change...



Change happens, sometimes it is great, sometimes it is trying, but ultimately it happens. We change as we grow and mature. As is with this little space of mine... it sometimes changes too. 
I started blogging a LONG time ago on another platform, so long ago that the platform I used does not exist anymore. The sole purpose of my space was to daily journalize my family and our life. I saw it as a great way to talk about our faith if anyone happened to read it, and if not, it was still an encouragement to me, and it would be there for my kids one day to read. I included different things, recipes that we liked, crafts that I made, family outings, or homeschool events that we experienced. 

I thoroughly enjoy blogging. It is yet another creative outlet for me. Sometimes when talking my tongue trips over my teeth and it doesn't come out just right, and that can happen when typing too. haha. But I seem to be able to get more of my thoughts down when I write them, or type them. 

Some have asked what happened to the blog over Christmas? Why the change of name, etc???

I've told you before that as of right now, the Lord is not leading us to a full-scale farm life. We have many duties and opportunities of service within our church, etc. and it takes up a great deal of our time. We still keep chickens and hopefully will have a few more come spring. We still garden and I still cook a lot of homemade, from scratch meals. We still use herbs and homemade ointments. It's still us... still me.  I just wanted to change back to what I began with... life. Me and my bunch. What my soul purpose is.... living joyfully. Living with a thrill to leave that legacy to my family. Joyfully living for Jesus. That's my goal. 

This blog will most likely not become a hot spot. I highly doubt that crowds of people will yearn to see what I've posted today, but if anything blesses your heart then I will be tickled. If anyone is encouraged in their walk with the Lord, then give Him the praise. 

Hopefully that will clear up any questions that some of you might have. It's still me... just more of what is dearest to me, again. 


Friday, January 22, 2016

Young bakers

I love to encourage my children to get in the kitchen and learn their way around. Girls and boys! They are now getting to the age when I can pretty much turn them loose if they want to try something on their own. Such is the case with the chocolate chip brownie cheesecake above! 
My girls asked one day if they could make a dessert for that night. I told them to go for it and thus we have this beautiful creation you see here!

Here's what they did:
One box of brownie mix (mixed per box instructions) in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate
You could easily substitute Mrs. Mobunny's brownie recipe!
Bake til done but not overly done. 

For the cheesecake:
2 blocks of cream cheese or 16oz
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix well!
Fold in 8 oz whipped cream gently
 (you could use cool whip here, but the girls made their whipped cream)
1 cup mini chocolate chips
Again, fold in gently, you don't want to break down the whipped cream.

Pour this over COMPLETELY cooled brownies

Decorate the top with strawberries, chocolate, or whatever your heart fancies. 

Chill for several hours.

I wish I had a picture of what it looked like on a plate... but well, it didn't last too long. ;)
It was DELICIOUS! 

Welcome your kids in the kitchen, you might be pleasantly surprised with what they come up with!



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Stitches of Love

With February on the horizon, the cold winter settling in, and my family gathered about, I've found myself spending a little time in the evenings stitching while we are watching a bit of The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings Trilogy each night... something we do a couple times a year... 


Thinking of things that are sweet, and lovely and very much Valentiney. 
Yeah, it's a word. ;) 

Pinks, purples, reds...

Greetings

Endearment 

Buttons... I love the buttons!
Of course Valentine's day is just a day to proclaim something that you should say every other day of your life to those you are close to... 
I love you!
 You are special to me.
 I am so thankful you are a part of my life!

We don't do much for 'celebrating' usually... we normally make a good meal and a dessert, most often something with chocolate and strawberries. But having a few sweet lovey touches around the home? Well, that is always a welcome sight. 


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Beautiful Mess

Last night as I was dragging out bits of this and that for my latest 'creative outlet'.
I looked at all my stuff. 
To some... it may look like a big ole pile of trash.

*A yard sale train case that kinda has a funky smell
*A rusty pie plate
*Piles of embroidery hoops that have been accumulated from here, there, and yonder
*Scraps of fabric that I can look at and remember... "Oh! I made a skirt with that, or an apron with this, or this was part of that quilt"
*Embroidery floss that is decades old and mismatched buttons a-plenty.

But when I look at it, I smile.
Because in all the bits and bobbles, I see potential. I see beauty. I see opportunity! I see creations! I see the value of it all!

Which got me to thinking.

Looking at me, you probably see me like that. 

Thinning hair

A forgetful brain

Overweight body

Wrinkled skin

A flawed life

Stained clothes (usually)

All the bits and bobbles of a mess. 

But... you know what? 

God sees all that mess, and I feel certain He sees potential.
I feel certain when He sees me, He sees worth.
I think He might even see me as 'A beautiful mess'
Cause He knows all my flaws and shortcomings.
He sees all my strengths and abilities.
He sees my lack of faith sometimes
He sees my heart ache for someones needs...
He knows me, warts and all.

That's me, a beautiful mess in my Creator's eyes. 

He sees you too.

We can't hide our struggles from Him and honestly, we shouldn't want to. Don't you think the ONE who created us and this beautiful world can help us overcome these things which so often make us feel like big ole failures? 

So embrace that beautiful mess of yourself. Ask the Lord to guide your steps. Ask Him to give you wisdom on those issues that you are struggling SO severely with (I know you have them, I do too). Ask Him to make you into the person HE wants you to be. 

And He will. 
Day by day.
Moment by moment.

Sometimes...
Struggle by struggle.

He will be making you. 

Those times of fire that you may be going through, they are times of refinement. Those mountains you are climbing, He's there with you, strengthening you with each step. Those celebrations, He's there... He's cheering the loudest. 

Do you understand where I am coming from? 

If not, let me ask this...
Do you know the Lord?
Do you know that He loves you?
Do you know that He came and lived a sinless life, died, and was raised again?

He is real. 
He is ready to hear from you.

Have you realized that you need a Savior?
Call out to Him!
Let Him know that you realize you are a sinner.
Let Him know that you know you need a Savior!
Believe on Him!
Confess your sins, repent from them.

Ask HIM to be the Lord of your life.


The Bible is clear:

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 3:23

That is why we NEED a Savior!

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:9

If you need someone to pray with you, I'd gladly do it.
Please feel free to email me.
My email is on the left side toward the top of the side bar. 
Look for the little envelope!
If you don't see it, it is 
joyfullychas at g mail dot com

May God use this beautiful mess of His (me) and may His love reach out across this incredibly wide web and may your heart be touched.

XOXOXOXO


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Throwback to Christmas past

I was cleaning up a bit of old stuff off my blog and I ran across these pictures that I made a post about, but never published it.  
It was one that was from Christmas 2014.
My friend, Ann who is insanely talented and one of my very first homeschooling mom friends made the pillow below. 
I loved it so much, I wanted to make one for my parents and in-laws with their grandkids hands...
Albeit my kids are not that small anymore, I thought it was a sweet idea and I love how it turned out.
I wanted the 'tree of hands' against a blue background, and obviously, the more children... the taller the tree! Ann's pillow turned into more of a rectangle, where mine is a bit more squared.

It's so soft and all my texture loving kids loved running their hands across the stitches.

Thank you for the wonderful idea, Ann! 

Have a blessed day friends!


Monday, January 18, 2016

God is still good...

You want to know something, you probably already know it, but I just wanted to tell you this morning.
When life is hard...
God is still good.

When life seems unsure...
God is still good.

When blessings abound...
God is still good.

When the road is rocky...
God is still good.

When your heart hurts...
God is still good. 

When things are beautiful...
God is still good. 
There are days when we feel that we are on top of the world and everything is right in it... on those days, we need to PRAISE HIM, because we have NOTHING without Him.

There are days when we feel that we are forgotten, or heartbroken, or we just don't understand...
on those days, we need to THANK HIM, because HE knows us and our needs better than we know ourselves.
There are days when the month and the money don't add up and there are huge mountains looming over...  on those days we need to RELY ON HIM! He is ABLE! He is the PROVIDER!
On the days we feel lonely, we need to remember there is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother and we need to LEAN on HIM! He will hold you up! He will strengthen your heart!
Friend, know that Jesus is there. I don't know what you are going through. We are all facing battles that we sometimes don't understand, that we wonder.... WHY? 
We only see a tiny smidgen of the big picture. We can only see the here and now. The LORD knows tomorrow. Trust HIM with it. 

Look up... He is there. 
Fall on your knees and cry out to Him, He is listening.
If you need a prayer partner, I am here.