Our Jesse Tree

This is going to be a very short post but I had to share this photo. This is OUR Jesse Tree. It kind of reminds me of a Charlie Brown type tree but I have a feeling that 4 weeks from now I am going to shed a tear when I have to take it all down.

I do apologize for the quality of the photo. The only working camera we have is our cell phones. So, once again I am NOT letting my perfection get in my way. This is the photo for now….hope you can see the hope I feel in these branches.

Love and blessings to you!
Jen

Advent……and a Jesse Tree

Thanksgiving has passed and Advent is almost upon us. I have never really known what that word Advent means but I intend to find out this year. A new tradition of ours – A Jesse Tree Advent Devotional. We have found the branches to create our tree from a neighbors clippings waiting to be tossed out with the trash. I found a wide mouthed but skinny necked vase, with a red bow to use as the planter. Leftover white batting will fill the empty space in the vase and tomorrow we begin to learn of Advent and Jesse and His family tree.

I am so excited to take the kids on this journey and learn with them along the way. I have the first 10 days or so printed out and I will pray over them and for them. May God lead me on the way to find the true understanding of Advent.

And so I continue to count my gifts…..1000 Gifts
#71 A neighbors cutting can be our branches
#72 a new life for a long forgotten vase
#73 The red ribbon tied and ready to go
#74 White batting to fill the empty space and helping me give up on perfect
#75 THIS project to getting stopped by my perfectionism

Blessing and love to you! Thank for you stopping by!

Jen

Patience is not my best trait

I am not a patient person by design. I have always had a good deal of patience when it comes to my children but when it comes to things I want or think that God might want for me – not so much. Maybe none of us are patient by design but being patient is one area of my life that I have got to learn to hand fully over to God. And over the last few years God has given me plenty of opportunity to hand it over and try to learn. I now understand that patience while waiting on God’s perfect timing develops strength. I have to trust Him more than myself. I learn that every time I wish for the waiting to end, I should stop and pray. Give God just a few moments of me and it helps me focus on being fully dependent on Him. I have learned that God’s timing is perfect, mine is not. God’s perfect timing has a reason and sometimes I just need to wait out what I think is His will for me for the perfect time for the plan to come together. I have learned that sometimes I have to be patient and wait for Him because He needs time to show me that what I am wanting or wishing for isn’t the right thing or part of His will.

Right now, I feel like I am in a time of pause. I need to wait and be patient. There might be some big things on our horizon and if it is meant to be then I need to let it go and Let God take care of it. In the meantime that means a lot of hurry up and wait. Be patient. Ugh! Not the easiest thing for me to do. So…here I vent and spout and probably make no sense at all. That is OK. I am learning that blogging needs to not be about me or the possible 2 or 3 people who might read. I need it to be about Him, all the time…..So Lord I am trying to wait, listen for your calling and be patient. Thank you for grace while I wait.

I am here, just waiting and being patient. If you too are in a time of waiting and testing of your patience I would love to hear about it. How do you wait? How patient are you? Is it easy for you to be patient or are you like me and want to just shove everyone else out of the way and get it taken care of?

Be Fully Thankful

This year I have so much to be thankful for. We are able to live in a nice home, God provides just enough and we are all healthy and well. Sure, I could dream and wish for “stuff” but this year I am learning on counting all gifts, big and small as blessings and be thankful for what I have already. God knows exactly what I need and He makes sure I have it at this time it is needed. I am so very Thankful that God wants to know me, to be an active part of my life. I am so Thankful that I am finally learning to let Him be in charge, to show me the way.
I am Thankful for my loving, hardworking husband who supports me in all things I try. I am Thankful for my family near and far. I am Thankful for my co-op friends and life I am building in Boise.

This Thanksgiving season I am fully Thankful for all I have.

How is Homeschooling going?

I cannot believe that we have been a homeschooling family for over 4 months already! The time is flying by. We will be taking this Thanksgiving week off and I thought this would be a great time to take inventory and give an overview of what we are doing, and the places that we are finding our inspirations.

The first couple of months were hard. We were so used to going to school and felt like we needed to make school at home look and feel like school at…well, public school. Some days were OK, and some were not. Some days we worked our way through workbooks and printables. We took trips to the library but it was more so that we could get out of the house. We tried doing something new every few days and while we were learning we were not having a good time. I had so much information at my fingertips and I wasn’t sorting it out or using it at all. There were tears over handwritting, over math, over tears.

Then in October I decided we had to make some changes. I had been hearing about Charlotte Mason and I decided to check into it more. I spent many hours learning about Miss Mason and her beliefs and views on education. I spent more hours in prayer asking for guidance and clarity about which direction we needed to go. I knew what we had been doing was not working and felt like this style was going to be a good fit for our family.

We are now 5 weeks in and there are no more tears. We have a routine that we follow and very clear understanding on what is required as far as attitude, methods and quality of work. While we are not doing as many subjects as I would like each week the things that we are doing are being done “Right away, all the way and with a happy heart”. School is fun again and I think that we are all learning! I know it will take at least a full year before we are going to be able to see any real fruits of our labor.

I am sure I will be writing more about the methods that are working and I’ll be sharing where I am finding the best free curriculum that money can buy *wink wink*

Thanks for checking in!
Blessings!

Jen

Remember

A few days ago was 5 minute Friday over at The Gypsy Mama. For my first time ever I thought I’d participate. So today I write for 5 minutes, uninterrupted and without editing or judgement ( I hope). I am very nervous but need to give it a go. Oh…and yes I know it’s not Friday but I’m just now getting around it it. We have had a jam packed weekend!

GO!

I remember when I was small and my parents told me they were going to get divorced. I was sad and did not understand at all. It is one of my earliest memories

I remember when I was about 8 my best friend and I got matching Schwinn bikes for Easter. They were blue and seemed so big at the time. My friend’s name was Jennifer as well and she crashed her’s into the street sign post on our first run down the hill to the cul-de-sac.

I remember a couple of years later when I fell off of that same bike and broke my first bone. It was the collarbone and hurt….I had to wear a very uncomfortable brace for months it seemed.

I remember when I was in highschool and I thought I knew it all. I was going to marry young, start a family and live happily ever after.

I remember the being in college and thinking I didn’t need the education and chose to just start my professional life. While it was rewarding and I met life long friends, it probably was not the wisest choice I’d ever make.

I remember the day I realized I had been living for all of the wrong reasons….

STOP

There it is, my first 5 minute Friday..on a Monday no less.

Blessings and Hugs
Jen

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

I first made these last year and they were a HUGE hit with our family. I made them today for the first time this season and wanted to share them with you. I found the original recipe here.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground
    cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of
    butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to
    butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on
    cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
  4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners’ sugar, milk, 1
    tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed,
    to achieve drizzling consistency.

An Audience of One

I really want to be a good blogger. I don’t know why. I’m drawn to it, I’ve been working at this for years now in fits and spurts. I do well for awhile but then I give up because I know I have no audience. Recently it was a topic on other blogs I frequent would bloggers keep blogging if they knew know one was reading. And the resounding answer was yes. They would keep doing it if it helped even one person. Changed their life somehow and made a difference. Just one person would be enough because you never know who that one person could be or how their life might go a different day if you didn’t have a message for them on the very day they needed it most.

This got me to thinking about the One who always has a message for me. Some days I need it more than others. Some days I honestly don’t want to hear the message being sent.  However but know that I must keep my ears and my heart open and be willing to respond to what I hear. Can you image if we went to the Throne one day and God said…. “Sorry. I got nothin’ today! Maybe try again tomorrow, or next week, or in a month. Actually it might be more like 6 months before I get around to having anything worthwhile to say.”
I know for me I would be devastated, dumbstruck and speechless. I would not know where to turn or what to do next. I doubt I will never have that kind of an impact in the Blogosphere but since I am still drawn to blogging I am going to try to be OK with an audience of One. Maybe that One is the One who I go to when I need a message the most.

So thank you my blog readers, if you are out there. And if not, then that is OK too. Thank you Lord for this computer to type on, these hands that still work and the brain that can string a bunch of sentences together into something that might halfway make a little bit of sense.

Hugs and Love
Jen