Living Loving Learning

Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Faith and Sight

In Scripture Thoughts on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm

What are you looking at? 

Your checkbook?

Your health?

Your disobedient children (or spouse)?

Your fading hope in dreams that may never come true?

All the pieces of your life that seem scattered and disconnected and falling apart? 

Stop right now!

Faith believes God no matter what….it doesn’t go by sight or discouraging reports.  Faith = taking hold of Christ, keeping hold, and not letting go.  It’s putting your hope and trust in the truth of His Word, and then walking it out.

Whatever the circumstances of your life, keep praying, keep holding on.

Pray prevailing…He’s listening even when it doesn’t seem like it.

He knows.


Give Me Your Light

In Family, Homeschooling on Monday, April 27, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Our son, Kody, recently completed a music innovations class offered by Paul and Jennifer Colley at their recording studio in Oklahoma City. 

The class came along at a time we were praying for more open doors and opportunities for Kody’s abilities.  Amazing how that happens, huh?  You’d think Someone was guiding and directing us!

This is a song he wrote and recorded during the class.

Enjoy the audio,  “Give Me Your Light”. (he especially likes the guitar solo towards the end of the song)




We’re Having a Son!!

In Family on Sunday, April 26, 2009 at 9:22 pm

While this blog should be about the amazing running feats accomplished by Ali, (5K) Abbi, (13.1 miles) Cody, Anna (26.2 miles each!) and many others of our friends Sunday at the Memorial Marathon, that news actually took back-seat to this news!

Yep, we’re adding another member to the ManyMeadows!  Abbi made it 19 and Cody Light, who will be our fourth son-in-love, will make us a 20-member family!   (Ck out these heart-warming shots)

We couldn’t have chosen a better-suited man for our daughter Anna.  He came and asked Dirk’s and my permission to marry Anna about 3 weeks ago.  It was a sweet and blessed time. He had already planned on asking her after their run….and he did….and she said, “Yes!”

They’re looking at a July or August wedding!  Guess what we’ll all be busy doing in the next three months?  (And, we have Andrew and Abbi’s wedding on May 29!)  Fun!!



Garden and Gallery

In Gardening on Friday, April 24, 2009 at 6:22 am

Even  with the recent cold snap, the lettuce spinach and  swiss chard are coming in nicely.  We’ll be picking by next week if these temps keep up!blog-310

The tomatoes are growing!



See the bloom forming?




One that didn’t make it.  I’m guessing a cut-worm.




We like to grow our tomatoes vertically, by weaving the vines in and out of the fencing.


Some of the blooms around the ManyMeadows.










Fresh is best!  A little olive oil, some fresh rosemary, a couple of microwave minutes.  Yum!



You have plenty of time to get some things growing.  Start with a couple of tomato plants and a couple of peppers.  Place them in a sunny bed with your flowers, or put them in large pots on the patio.  You’ll be glad you did!

We’ll be at the OK Memorial Marathon Sunday morning watching Anna, Cody Light, Ali and Abbi and other friends cross the finish line.  Then we have an “After Marathon Celebration Party” (otherwise known as a junk-food fest) here at our house.  Wish the runners luck!!


Dissolving Mountains – an update on Erin

In Family on Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Erin’s bloodwork came back and it’s still inconclusive.  No chicken pox antibodies showing up.  Her OB is sending her to a pathologist (Dr. Stanley) to have further tests. 

And in the midst of all the questions and confusion, she has no fear.  Her faith holds strong.  She shared some thoughts with me today and I encouraged her to write them down and share with you.  Amazing….truly amazing.  It’ll blow you away.

Her faith has said to that mountain of fear, “Go throw yourself into the sea” (Mark 11:23).  And in that sea, (the Living Water) that mountain is dissolved in the depths of His Truth.  It’s gone!

What mountain do you need to dissolve in the Truth of His Word?


God’s Thoughts on Our Thoughts

In Scripture Thoughts on Monday, April 20, 2009 at 9:23 pm

“I think if I sat down with a psychologist and told him my thoughts, he’d say there is something really wrong with me”.

I’ve heard this statement more than once recently.  It just makes me smile. See?  I think we all feel this way at one time or another, or maybe even quite often.  We think our thoughts are weird and “off-the-wall”.  We think we’re extreme.  We think we’re losing it.

Here are a few of God’s thoughts on our thoughts:

for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts        I Chronicles 28:9

No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit.  And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. II Cor 2:11-12

You will keep in perfect peace
      all who trust in you,
      all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 

It looks to me that as our thoughts mesh with His thoughts our minds will be healthy and secure.




God, You Know

In Family, Scripture Thoughts on Sunday, April 19, 2009 at 8:39 pm

Last Thursday, Erin came over to show me her rash.  “Mom, I think I have chicken pox.” 

Now, that’s not a normal thing to hear from your 30-year-old child.  Even if she is the oldest of our seven children AND NONE OF THEM EVER HAD CHICKEN POX! 

Yes, they all were exposed plenty of times.  And when the immunization came out later in the 1990’s, the three youngest had the immunization. 

Here’s the hard part….Erin is 12-13 weeks pregnant.  She gets her blood results back today telling us for sure whether or not she has chicken pox.  Her doctor was honest and clinical about the risks to the baby from the virus.  And Web MD isn’t favorable at all.

It has my mother-heart wondering, why now?

But, Erin shared with me yesterday that she took a long walk and cried and prayed.  The only prayer she could pray was “God, You know,  You know.”

 And she rests in that.  

 Her hope and faith is not in what the doctor says or doesn’t say, and it certainly isn’t in Web MD.

 Her hope is in God alone.  He knows.

 Whatever you are facing, no matter what anyone says…..God knows.  Take a lesson from Erin’s faith today……I am.  ~Robin


She sent me this post this evening:


You know those times when you are going through something super hard and you just don’t know what to do?  Your mind won’t settle down, you know you should be in the Word and praying like crazy, but frankly you can hardly make yourself function.  What do you do at times like this?
I had moments like this over the weekend as I was faced with hard and bizarre circumstances.  I kept thinking where’s that book that tells me step-by-step how to act and what to do when you possibly have the chicken pox (at 30 years old, pregnant with my third child, of all things), and the chance that my unborn child may come into this world scarred, handicapped, or with mental retardation.  Where in the heck am I supposed to get answers?
Well, for me, when my mind won’t settle down I need to get my endorphins going and this means some sort of exercise for me.  I went on a 4-mile power/prayer walk and even though I tried hard to pray, about all I could get to was, “God . . . you know.”  And really I kept repeating that phrase over and over for the 45 minutes that I walked.
I came home and sat down with my Bible and just chose a Proverb.  I really wasn’t getting anything out of it until I read Proverbs 16:20b “Things work out when you trust in God”. (The Message)  I closed my Bible.  That is all I need to know.  I prayed that God would keep that verse in my head all day, and He did.
He was able to calm my mind by me just praying, “God . . . you know.”  And He would answer, “Things work out when you trust in Me.”  And that’s all I needed.  I truly believe this.
What do you do when things seem out of control?


Asparagus Tips and Tomato Time

In Gardening on Thursday, April 16, 2009 at 8:33 pm

We’re just beginning to get a bit of asparagus each day.  And asparagus is one of the ManyMeadows’ favorites.


Whether you grow it, or buy it, the very best way to store fresh asparagus is upright, in a glass with a few inches of water, in the refrigerator.


If you purchase it, look for the bunch with the least shriveled ends.  When you get home, trim the ends, and place the bunch immediately in the glass of water. 


It will keep for several days this way!


For us, asparagus goes in salad, pizza, and stir-fry, even omelets.  Or we steam it in the microwave with a tablespoon of water until tender-crisp and bright green.   Or drizzle it with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse salt, and put it on the grill.  Yum!

Do you like asparagus?


Time to get those tomatoes into the soil (or containers, if you plan to have a patio garden.)  Just be ready to protect them from the brutal winds until they are more acclimated.  I plant mine next to a fence and grow them vertically, weaving the vines between the wire fence.  You can also use a large cage for support.

Today, I planted some squash seeds and some kohlrabi, hoping to take advantage of our expected rain this weekend.

It’s also time to get the green beans and cucumbers in.  Peppers prefer a little warmer nights than we’re having. 

Flowers can go in now too. 

Do you plan on growing some vegetables?  Have you already planted flowers? 




Give it Up!

In Lifestyle on Wednesday, April 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm

If you know anything about my story, you know I am SUPER frugal.  Read here to get the full scoop.


There are a lot of things I have been willing to give up in order to meet our goals of building a dream house.  As Dave Ramsey says, “Live like no one else now, so you can really live like no one else later.”


Maybe with this current economy you have had to let some things go as well.


Here’s some things I gave up during our last 5 years of extreme savings:


A big house

Cable TV

Gourmet coffee

Ready-made and packaged foods

The latest fashions

Brand name products


Here’s some things that I consider splurges that I’m just not willing to let go of (unless I really had to):


Coffee creamer

Brand name dishwasher soap (I hate spots!)

Healthy foods (lean meats, LOTS of fruits and vegetables, nuts and occasionally fish)


What have you given up (or thought of recently that you should give up) for helping you get in a better financial situation?


What are some splurges you just can’t live without that you allow for in the budget?





Sell Something!

In Lifestyle on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Recently, Dave Ramsey spoke at on getting out of debt.  He suggested one strategy for a quick start is to sell something.  We’d like to increase our cash-flow around here and we have a few things to sell:


*a nice beginner drum set (Pacific) $550

*a US Kids youth golf club set (really nice) w bag $125

*2005 Ford Ranger pickup (57K) $9900

*1989 Ford F-250 pickup (117K) $3000

*AND GET THIS!  Dirk is selling his 2006 Honda VTX-1300 motorcycle with LOTS of extras!! ($7750)


So?  What do you have to sell?  List it with a contact e-mail.  Who knows? One of our readers might see it and drop you a line!