Tag Archives | Weekly Daybook

The {weekly} Daybook.

It’s Monday!
So glad you dropped by for a moment today.
I hope you’ll enjoy a glimpse into my world
though a few photos and thoughts.


outside my window: and everywhere I go this time of year
in beautiful Pennsylvania, I see glory like this . . .



reading: Mere Christianity
by C.S. Lewis. I don’t know why I’ve waited til now.


these three that are growing up so fast and acting crazy more often than not!
Here they are waiting to be seated at a restaurant.
You can imagine the show they were for the elderly couples waiting in the lobby with us.
I’m always thankful for the adults who are patient with young families like ours . . .
and who can be seen openly gazing and smiling in our direction,
as if they are fondly remembering days with their children and grands.

thinking about this:
I like to think of motherhood as being a secret weapon in God’s army.
While the world often disregards and disrespects a Mother’s work,
she is quietly building, training, strengthening and sharpening future soldiers.
It makes me think of 1 Corinthians 1:25,
because so often His wisdom appears foolish to the world.
I smile all the more when I hear someone think a woman could have
or should have done more with her life than stayed home for her family.
It is all the more gratifying for me to know my work seems foolish to the world!
We are secret weapons- worth more than the world will ever know.”
~Michelle, from Above Rubies


excited about: this beautiful, healthful, refreshing beverage
If it’s this good now, how wonderful it will be on hot & sticky days of summer!
img_6327It’s Good Girl Moonshine taken to another level . . .
Just add fruit {raspberries & strawberries are yum!}
and perhaps sparkling water to the original recipe and you’ll have “Good Girl Sangria”,
and ooh-la-la, a feast for the eyes and the parched tongue!
I wish I’d be so clever as to come up with these variations myself, but I have friends to thank.
One mentioned adding mint leaves too. Ooohh. Doing that *tomorrow*!


remembering: a double date last week with our friends visiting from another state.
Our times with them are rare, so this was a special night for sure!
And, oh, the conversation and laughter reminded me of old times
when our friendships were in their beginning stages . . . some eight+ years ago!
(really?? has it been so long? how can time pass so quickly?)
So grateful for the opportunity to add to the memories!



praying for: my country with renewed fervency
as I am reminded again of how far
we have strayed from the Truth of God and His Word.
And how dearly we are paying for it.
We are free to make our choices,
but we cannot escape the law of Sowing & Reaping.

Gosnell Trials and Boston
have been on my heart constantly these past weeks.
“Oh Lord, have mercy on us.
Oh, please forgive us.
Please. Heal our land.”


using: Lavishmint Daily Moisturizing Lotion
for about two months now and I love it!
It’s made from coconut oil, essential oils,
and other great-for-you ingredients
For more info, reviews, and to purchase
through my affiliate link, click here.


longing: for a visit from my family.
And miracle of miracles, it may actually happen!
Not holding my breath, but perhaps my mother and sister
will pack up their bags and head this way soon.
That would be a very.good.thing.


These two beauties from Dayspring are on sale now!
I love things that bring beauty and remind me of truth
in my home decor and the things I wear.
Dayspring always has a great selection on hand,
and I “wish look” at their things fairly often.
Check out these items and more
from the “Redeemed” Collection.
And this 25% off code: grateful25
is for jewelry purchases through today,
and possibly the end of the month.



planning: a weekend in Cape May with girlfriends from church.
Oh. Yes. Looking forward to it so very much!

needing: to read more on my own and to my children.
We all love it and just need to take more time for it.
Inspired by this visual showing the importance of reading.

wishing: for more baskets in my pantry and around my house
since being inspired with this post on home organization.

dreaming of: enjoying fruit from these trees in several years!
Peaches, Apples. Pears. Oh how long the wait will seem . . .
But you know the old proverb,
“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago,
the next best time is today.”




singing along with: a soundtrack from Sight & Sound Theatre.
Oh people, if you never saw the live performance of Psalms of David,
you missed such a great thing.
If you did see it, you might understand why Phil and I went at least five times each,
and dragged as many unsuspecting relatives and friends there as possible. :)
So last week, a friend from church gave us the CD
and we have been reliving the experience and power of music
and the truth of Scripture all over again!

Lyrics like:
“My Deliverer is Coming, my Deliverer is standing by,
He will never break His Promise,
He has Written it upon the Sky . . . ”
“Be strong and take courage, do not fear or be dismayed,
For the Lord will go before you,
And His light will show the way . . . ”
“When others see a Shepherd Boy,
God may see a King.
Even though your life seems filled
With ordinary things.
In just a moment, He can touch you,
and everything will change . . .
When others see a Shepherd Boy,
God may see a King.”

So, simply a warning:
If you stop by our house unexpectedly,
You may find us dancing around the kitchen
and singing at the top of our lungs!


in the kitchen: that good man right there,
along with three eager beavers,
was preparing an espresso for his wife
who had been sending hints that she might need like one. :)


One of my favorite things:
Friendships God has blessed me with in this stage of life.
Real. Honest. Encouraging.
Comfortable enough to drop in on unannounced.


Three proofs that Spring really is here:

img_6241{#1. Children playing outdoors}

img_6264{#2. A trip to the greenhouse for much-loved herbs . . . basil, mint, dill, cilantro, parsley}

img_6268{#3. The guys go fishing. And this year, for the first time, they caught
and we all enjoyed a meal of fish from a Pennsylvania stream.}

Spring has been slow in coming to us this year,
but what a joy it is to finally sit in the sun,
dig in the dirt,
breath in the smell of freshly-cut grass,
eat together on our front porch,
and most of all . . .
to see the children enjoy their new-found freedom
to run and skip and play and imagine for hours on end!

Thank you, God, for this hope-filled, new-life season.

The {weekly} Daybook.

{Except for the fact that this Daybook isn’t exactly
a “weekly” part of my blog anymore,
I still like the format and the way it gives me an opportunity
to share various bits of my life and information with you.}

Outside My Window

Sunshine! I rarely take a sunny day for granted.
I think that means that we’ve had our share of overcast skies this winter.
Maybe every winter? I can’t remember for sure.
I just know that I love the sun!
{Um, did I say the sun was shining?
I guess that was yesterday when I first began writing,
but this is now today, and it’s barely pushing through.
Oh well, one can always hope for tomorrow!}

I am Looking Forward

 . . . to so many things!
I love the hope of spring and summer.
The prospect of sending my children outdoors
for hours of play and life-giving sun rays is cause for great joy.
As are the plans that are stacking up,
with places to go and people to see.

Last summer, except for the week at home and many hours on the lake
with my entire family in Kenora{can you spell F.U.N?},
we were busy with the house, you know,
and therefore all our energy and money was being put into that,
instead of the many little trips that we so love to do.

And this year, though we still have things to finish on the house and property,
which will require more time and resources than we’d like to think about,
we are also so very thankful that we will be able to get away
on little adventures now and then.

A third marathon for Phil . . .
this time in one of the few states that I have not yet visited,
so I am super excited to go,
experience it’s beauty, and check that one off my list!
We also have a couple of weddings to attend,
one being for my very own brother. Woot whew!
And then there is the week of Christian Family Camp in Michigan
that we signed up for many months in advance
because they often have a waiting list . . .

These events are all still quite a ways off . . .
but if a girl has hope,
she can endure and persevere
through the cold winter days still ahead.

I am Thinking

about Heaven.

Yes, thinking about Heaven again.
I don’t know that I really stop, but just a little more heavily again.
Another precious one has moved there.
A little boy from our church family,
about a year older than my own son.
He and his family fought a valiant battle
against neuroblastoma for the past 2 years,
and now, as his mother puts it, he has
“Run into the arms of Jesus.”

Again I am reminded and can certainly feel
that we humans were not created for death.
The pain, the disappointment, the parting.
It’s so final and painful and cruel.
It’s just too much sorrow for a soul to bear!

But thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who has made a way . . .
He has conquered sin and death
and the grave through His death and resurrection.
By His grace and mercy, we can be saved
from the brokenness in our own souls now . . . 
and until He returns for us, our bodies and all creation
groans together for Redemption and wholeness!

I am Thankful

for the girlfriends that God gives to enrich and “beautify” my life!
A week ago a few of us church friends
attended the kick off event for a new, online
women’s magazine called Neighborlies.
{Thanks to the invitation from our mutual friend
Michelle of Italian Lane Photography}




Not only is it wonderful to attend a great event together,
but the conversations that happen on the way to and from,
are pretty much worth the trip in and of themselves. :)

And believe me when I say that rarely do I get out
for a girls’ night out~ever!
Much less twice in less than a week, 
but such was the case this week!
And last night was with my friend Arlyn.

b4856cd4814211e2976e22000a1fbc8d_6 photo

We attended a Concordia College Choir performance in York
because a friend {and sister to my sister in law} is part of that choir.

I didn’t really know what to expect,
but the whole evening was beautiful
and only a few minutes into it, 
I began to wish
{apart from the nice evening out with a girlfriend}
that I would have brought my whole family with me.
They would have enjoyed it!

The vocal and musical talent of the group was superb.
I brought the very meaningful printed lyrics home with me
and plan to ponder them more

as we carry on through this Lenten season and look forward
to Good Friday-Passover/Easter/Resurrection Sunday in the coming weeks.

I also have to put a plug in here for my THM book club girls.
Some are old friends and some are new,
and though I don’t have a picture of us all together~yet,
I must say that they are a fun group and so encouraging to me
as we read, learn, and share ideas and experiences
with healthy living, exercise, and weight loss.
Did I mention that they’re sometimes hilarious?? :)

I am Listening

to chapters of the Bible daily at this wonderful little link

Phil & I, along with others from our church have committed together
to read the Bible through this year.
I have done it before, but it had been a while,
so though it is a large amount to read each day,
I am enjoying the large, grand picture approach to Bible intake again.

At times when I get behind,
I love to play the story-type Old Testament books
and listen to chapters at a time as I work
in the kitchen or fold laundry.
Other times, though I’m sitting with Bible in hand,
I still enjoy having the audio playing as I read along
using this excellent online resource,
Several versions of the Bible are offered,
as well as a dramatized reading.


In the Kitchen

Monday was a busy day in the kitchen as I prepared several meals . . .
Mashed Potatoes & Meatloaf & Steamed Veggies & Salad & Cookies,
to deliver with love to the neighbors, plus an extra pan of enchiladas for their freezer.

At home we ate the same meal for dinner,
and the next night shared our big portion of enchiladas & rice & salad
with my a few of Phil’s siblings and a bunch of Dietrich’s little cousins.

Since then, the kitchen has been a little quieter
but every day finds me happily, gratefully preparing something
delicious and satisfying and sometimes new
as I continue to read and experiment with recipes
in the Trim, Healthy Mama book.

On Tuesday morning I tried “Coconut Porridge”,
which to my taste buds was oh so good
and reminded me a little of the cream of wheat
that I really liked when I was growing up.

This morning I made Quinoa Porridge,
with hemp seeds on top,
~for added happiness in life. :)
It was my first experience with eating quinoa
in a sweet form, although I have made it often in savory form.
It was really good and something I will certainly make again!

One of my favorite things still, is a large, colorful salad,
topped with a bit of cheese and creamy dressing,
and a beautiful piece of fried salmon.


Oh the satisfying flavors for the palette!

Time does not allow me here,
but I would love to tell you all the health benefits
of the above mentioned foods!
God has created amazing grains, nuts, seeds and more . . .
and when I’m so wrapped up in my unhealthy
all-American diet, I certainly don’t take the time
to eat and appreciate the food treasures He has given.

But when I step back from the processed and refined foods,
I have a whole new appreciation for whole-food eating.

He really is a giver of good gifts~in all areas of life!

One of my Favorite Things


The Covenant love of God through Christ which I continue to learn about
from Bible Study teacher, Yvonne Pratt.

Christ’s deep love for his bride as described in the Song of Songs
in a teaching series by Nancy L. DeMoss.

And too, the covenant love & commitment & oneness
that I am so blessed to experience on earth with my husband.

A picture


The laundry room sink was one of the things
that I had a strong opinion about
as we were building and designing this house.
There were many types of sinks & laundry tubs I knew I didn’t want,
either from past experience or seeing them in other laundry rooms.
My wish was a small, but deep sink.
And that’s what the man brought home for me.
I love it!
And so does the girl.
It’s the perfect size for the occasional wash off
or full blown bath when coming in from the muddy outdoors,
spilling a quart of maple syrup all over your body,
or the rare, but occasional potty accident.

So yes, I love the sink and the girl. :)


The {weekly} Daybook.

Outside my window . . .

We have had rain!!
If you’re from the area, you’ll know that we haven’t had rain to speak of in almost 2 months.
Once or twice we got a small sprinkling~just enough to settle dust.
But this time, literally just hours after the final two windows
and final piece of siding
and last shingle were put in place on our house
. . . the wonderful, earth refreshing, life-giving rains came down!
We have been so blessed to not have any wood or inside materials touched by rain.
And that’s saying a lot with the slow progress of the past several weeks!

And it’s as Phil said a few nights ago,
God is so merciful to, once again, send rain!
Whenever we go through a short time of “drought”,
we really become aware of God’s complete control of
the weather that makes our lives and countryside either
lush & fertile or dry & barren.

I am thinking . . .

back to last week and the good times we enjoyed.
On Friday evening a friend of mine from NY came to visit us.
She and I met about 9 years ago when she was just 12 and I was, hmmm, 21, I think.
I was the team leader of a girls group at a conference our families attended,
and she was the eldest girl on my team.
We’ve written back and forth through the years~sometimes sporadically and at times more faithfully.
Sometime within the last half year I invited her to come visit, and she agreed!
It was so good to meet JoHanna again and to get to know her as a young woman,
and not just a girl of 12 anymore!
Amazingly, {maybe that’s why we kept writing through the years?} we are a lot alike
and have many background similarities.
Whatever the case, I enjoyed our time together tremendously.
On Saturday morning my MIL kept my children for several hours
while JoHanna and I shopped a local skirt shop, kitchen store,
and then ate lunch at Panera.


I am learning . . .

 that I need to include my eldest child in helping me around the house even more than I have!
He can do such a good job and be a great help
when I just take the time to instruct him or allow him the opportunity to TRY.
This morning I was vacuuming cobwebs {with my Dyson~favorite vacuum EVER!}
and wiping down a few walls and the dirty leather couch
{with my NORWEX rag, of course!!}
Come back in a day or two for a Norwex rag giveaway,
but sorry, I haven’t contacted Dyson about a vacuum giveaway just yet. :(
So where was I?? Oh yes, talking about my son . . .
Since he wanted to get involved, I told him that he was responsible for his bedroom . . .
and so he picked up and vacuumed it quite nicely.
He was so energized and wanted to keep working when it was time to stop for lunch .

My second child, on the other hand, still needs some help in order to BE a help.
While trying to be helpful this morning too,
she placed a smaller trash can inside the kitchen garbage can
and shoved the whole lot into the kitchen closet where it {the kitchen garbage} belongs.
And then later when I told her to take an item to the freezer room, she marched it off to the hall closet.
I seriously don’t remember D being like this . . .
But C??? She does such random things and you’re never quite sure if she’s gonna “get it”
when you give instructions. A little “blondeness” going on, I think. :)

Either way, helping makes them happy.
So that counts for something.


I am creating . . .

and collecting a stack of pictures and notes and magazine pages
to try to gather my thoughts and ideas on what I’d like to see incorporated
into the walls and ceilings and floors and paint
and all the other decor for our house when that phase of the work begins.
It’s fun!
It’s a “happy thing” I save for doing when the little are asleep. :)
And then every now and then I run things by Phil
to make sure that I’m staying on track
and incorporating things that we both like.


I am hearing . . .

 happy voices of my children playing outside . . .
which reminds me of our sweet family time together last Sunday Night
on the Pinnacle overlook of the Susquahanna River.

I’ve probably mentioned it before,
but it’s true and deserves mentioning again:
One of the things that I loved about the Mr. back in our courtship days
was his energy and love for adventure and exploring.
And over the past 6 years it hasn’t diminished at all that I can tell!
He love to take us places here and there and everywhere.
One such beautiful spot is this lovely little park along the river.
{Go here for last year’s visit to the park.}

. . . on the edge of the world . . .

. . .  16 months old~the sweetest age ever . . .

. . . she cracks herself up, not to mention all the rest of us . . .

she looks like me . . . she looks like him

the “healthiest” dogs I could find,
and trust me, I went to many-a-store over the course of several weeks
before landing on these no-filler, no preservatives,
no color, or artificial flavor, HFCS-free, all-beef Hebrew National franks.
{Never mind that they’re wrapped in an all-white bun.
Ya win some, ya lose some.} 😉

This picture just makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.

It’s so us and our stage of life right now.
The stair-step ages, the cuteness.
But also the “I can dress myself” era
where a child will pull anything together and call it an outfit,
much to the the embarrassment of his mother, and even the father!
Phil said to me on this very night,
“D would look even cuter if he’d have nice clothes.”
I said in frustration and a don’t-blame-me-for-not-going-shopping-for-him voice,
{I have sometimes been guilty of not really having nice-in-husband’s-eyes-clothes on hand for the boy.}
“He does have nice clothes. He just doesn’t wear them!!”
I often lack the energy for an argument about clothing,
and really, except for the sake of my own pride,
does it matter that we don’t look all put-together when we go shopping or to the park?
Now sometimes I just put my foot right down and TELL him he must wear or not wear a particular item.
But then if you had seen me at Target the other day
with D in brown sports pants, a red “Little Heartbreaker” shirt,
BRIGHT green socks tucked into nice casual shoes,
you might have wondered if he truly {to borrow my friend Clarita’s phrase}
‘belonged to someone that cared.’
Oh, and this will really make you wonder about me!!
Would you believe that I thought I had the girls in matching clothes all day long
until I took this picture in the evening and realized that, oops, nope, they weren’t matching!!
Not even at church that morning!!
In our mad rush {and I DO mean mad} to get to the early service,
I grabbed what I thought were their matching outfits.
Oh my.
Sometimes you just have to laugh at yourself.
And I did. I was cracking up.
Oh yes, and the camo shirt pulled up to scratch . . .
remaining chicken pox scabs or something . . .
perfect for this photo.

And then there’s us!

Sometimes MAD,
Sometimes OUT of sorts

{And I’ll take the blame for  any recent episode
that may or may not have involved a certain decision regarding
the exterior color of our house.
Folks have warned us that building a house can be stressful.
So, we do have our homegroup praying for us in these matters! :)}


I am going . . .

 to the polls to vote today.
To all my PA friends, have you been there yet?

Around the house . . .

Which house? Ha! Guess I get to pick from two for the next months.
Progress on the new house went extremely fast
in those first several weeks of digging out, pouring basement walls
and then framing it all up!
But now, things are s.l.o.w.l.y. crawling along.
Sometimes I just go down to look at it
to walk through the rooms and dream about moving in.
Our little family was down there the other evening,
Phil & I sitting on a stack of leftover something or other
while the kids ran wild.
It was so peaceful and lovely.
A little more of a view than our current spot
so we’re able to enjoy sunrises and sunsets a little more.
Husband thinks there’s an eagle’s nest behind our new place somewhere
and occasionally we see a wood duck flying hither and yon.
Something about the spot is just a bit more out in the open
yet just a little more “woodsy” because of the larger wooded & unpopulated area behind us.
I’m quite sure we’re going to love it.

the house is sided . . . the little mudroom is waiting for stucco
. . . and the geo-thermal heating system is in the ground.
{and don’t look now, but I think the red shorts and camo shirt survived Sunday night at the park
and made it all the way into Monday Morning down at the house.
What can I say? Hopefully this means less laundry??}


I am thankful for . . .

 real letters and handwritten cards in the mail
finding a starbucks gift card in an old jacket pocket {with a few $$ left on it!}
phone calls from my mother dear
spring flowers popping up everywhere
lattes over ice
grocery bargains such as:
organic potatoes . . . 10 lb bag for $1.49
Delicious grapefruits 10/$1.00
Onion & ‘Everything’ Bagels 6/$1.00
Grapes & Bananas .39/lb
The handbells choir at our church.
Herbs growing on my window sil. #theymakemehappy
Winning this in a giveaway from Dayspring
The anticipation of meeting with {in}courage women on Saturday


In the kitchen . . .

 it’s been a quiet day.
we kept eating/cooking really easy today.
fruit & muffins for breakfast
{a bagel-egg sandwich for Phil}
ham & cheese sandwiches for lunch, and more fruit.
nuts for snacks inbetween.
and fish for supper at my inlaws.
Yay, I’m excited!!
I so OFTEN miss the fresh fish so readily available in my hometown of Kenora, Ontario,
and though these fish will be deep sea fish . . .
they are fresh and I’m sure they will be DELICIOUS!


One of my favorite things . . .
Seeing new pics of my pu-RESH-us, sweet, adorable, most squishable little niece ever!
I haven’t met her yet! Have had to depend on pics posted to FB by her mother so far.


A picture . . .

 Old chairs.
Should I keep them and use them?
{they sit comfortably!}
Sell them?
Paint them?
Give them to you?
I found four of them in an old shed.



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