Sunday, May 29, 2011

weekend so far



Friday night was spent rewatching The Secretariat.  The girls and I saw it at the theater awhile back and I just knew honey would LOVE it and he did.  We are suckers for a feel good, underdog wins movie.  By the time it was over we were cheering hysterically pushing for that horse to cross the finish line. 


It's funny how you look at things different a second time.  The first time I was more focused on Penny Tweedy and her desire to keep the family farm.  Her drive to fulfill her dreams.  This time my focus was purely on the horse.  That scene when she whispered to him to "run his race" and then he blew it away by 31 lengths...it was magic!!  This may sound ridiculous speculating on what a horse is thinking, but he didn't have anything to prove.  He was already in the lead...gone!  There was no doubt he was going to win, but something internal pushed him to run his hardest, to finish with everything he had.  He wasn't looking around seeing what any of the other horses were doing;)  He had the finish line in sight and it was spectacular.  Awww so good. 





Saturday we picked up and headed off to do some errands.  The day started off pretty and then it turned.  By the time we were in Michael's there was a tornado warning in effect and then we more or less got stranded in Noodles waiting for the sheets of rain to subside.  The sky was a weird greenish color.  Sirens were blaring.  People were nervously looking out the windows. 


I grew up accustomed to tornado warnings living in Central Illinois.  In the Spring and Summer we had them all the time.  When honey and I were first married tornado's ripped through our town on two consecutive nights.  We've driven through those scenes that you see on t.v. and it's just unbelievable.  But this year the devastation is like nothing before...every day it seems like a new town is wiped away.  So many have lost loved one's and all their earthly possessions.  Every comfort we know in this human life gone.   So as we hunkered in at that Noodles I have to say I felt real fear.  I felt for a split second what those people had to feel in those moments right before the storm hit.  Mine was fleeting however and theirs was a reality.   My heart is broken for them.   I pray that the Lord would meet their every need, comfort them in their loss and restore back to them what was taken.


 


Heading home the sun made an appearance and all seemed right with the world again.  The rain made everything sparkle...looking even greener than before.  My car was finally clean:)





Hope your long weekend is full of good things.  We are having company today.  One of my favorite blogging friends is heading over for lunch with her family.  YAY!!  Then tonight we are going to a gathering at my friend's farm.  One of the most beautiful spots in my world. 


How will you spend your holiday?




Have a blessed day.







WINNERS for the Katie Evans Ebook are:  Mama Monki & Lori @ Wildflowers

Congrats girls!!!


If you didn't win make sure to check out Katie's book here.  If you put FARMGIRL in the code you'll receive $2.00 off!  Get your copy today:)



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Thursday, May 26, 2011

new growth


I woke up this morning emotional.  My first feelings were of complete disgust.  The sun was streaming in my windows though my blinds and it was only 6:00 in the morning! How dare the sun wake me up...ugh!   In the moments that it took me to throw off my covers and stomp to the bathroom my mood mellowed and by the time I got downstairs to make breakfast it had swung all the way over to complete gratitude and joy.



You see I live in the most beautiful spot.  My backyard has the most gorgeous views ever.  Even though our house sits smack in the middle of suburbia, the back of it faces a gorgeous farm and the most beautiful pasture you can imagine.  For this farmgirl is it complete bliss. 




You all know cows are one of my most favorite things in the world, and then with all the rain we've been having it's just utopia.  Everything is growing, thriving. ..bursting with an almost neon color.  Let's just say it isn't lost on me.  I appreciate color SO much.  I crave color.  That's why Winter about does me in.  Months of nothing but grey and white.  It sends shivers down my spine.


Anyway we are in a new season.  One of growth.  That's why Spring is my favorite time of year.  I love the thought of stretching...of digging deeper into the earth and taking root.  I'm going through a similar process.  I'm experiencing my own growth spurt.  It's just in the seedling stage right now.  The seed has been planted and it's all covered with dirt...literally;)  I have no idea what I will become...what the end result will be.  But I'm expected God to bring forth something beautiful.  I'm trusting that even though the process is painful the final outcome will be breathtaking.








Have a blessed day.

 







**Don't forget to sign up for the Katie Evan's ebook give-away.**

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Katie Evans GIVE-AWAY time!!!!



Hi sweet friends.  Sorry I've been a little absent lately.  I have so many plates a spinnin' right now.  Stuff that I'm not at liberty to talk about yet.  It's killing me, really it is.  I'm an open door, you all know that, so to keep my thoughts all bundled up inside is just not a healthy thing for me:)  I have about a dozen blog posts written up in my mind, but they'll just have to wait for another day.


So in the meanwhile let's do a give-away!!!  I was lucky enough to stumble across a blog recently that showcases beautiful photography.  You know I was all over that.  I love looking at pictures and this gal wrote an ebook on how to take them.  SCORE!







As I was looking through her beautiful book it struck me that I could have just bought this book instead of signing up for my $240 class last winter.  It had everything that I learned in a very simple straight forward, easy to understand manner.  It's perfect for someone who just splurged on that fancy camera and doesn't have a clue what to do with it;) 






Isn't her work gorgeous??





Miss Katie Evans has kindly offered to give-away two of her ebooks to my readers!!!!  To enter just leave me a comment telling me your favorite photography blog to read.  If you don't have one just leave me a regular ole' comment I won't be picky:)  So share away!  I'll announce the winner on Sunday.






Oh and if you can't wait until Sunday go here and snatch up your very own copy now!  It's electronic so you'll get immediate satisfaction.  LOVE THAT!   Make sure to type in FARMGIRL for the code and you will receive $2.00 off your order. 










Have a blessed day.









All photographs courtesy of Katie Evans.
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Sunday, May 22, 2011

a divine appointment


I just had the most glorious weekend.  I wish I could have taken each one of you with me to experience God's presence in such a big way.  Beth Moore came to Minneapolis!  To say that seeing her in person was a blessing is just a slight understatement.  I've been taking her bible studies for years now and the way God uses her in all her confessed brokenness...well it just moves me. 




We (Alicia from La Famille and my girlfriends from bible study) got there early and ran through the halls to grab our seats.  That felt a little weird to do, but it was necessary.  It filled in soooo fast and we just had to be up close and personal.




And up close and personal we were!  I knew I'd love her in person, but I mean I really loved her in person.  Why can't she be my next door neighbor??  I think every woman in the room felt that way.  She's just such a spit fire..with her cute little accent and her quirky funny ways.  She's so down to earth and the thing I love most is that she wants no recognition.  She directs all the praise to where it belongs...the Lord. 





She had a couple of girls from the audience come up on stage and she did their hair.  It was hilarious. Have to admit I was wishing I was getting my hair braided by Beth Moore.  I love how she weaves tangible real life stories to get her thoughts across.  It made a memory that's for sure. 




I've talked to you before about how hungry I am for God's presence and to feel His anointing in worship.  So to be standing in a room with 4,300 woman all worshiping in one accord...singing at the top of our lungs, hands raised...well it was just a beautiful thing.  I feel so full and overflowing right now.  I wish I could just bottle it up and sip from it throughout all my days.





During intermission they had scriptures flashing on the screen and I thought I'd just share some of God's promises with you. They are so powerful.


Her theme this weekend was about being UNtangled.  She was playing off the movie Tangled.  Remember that one...the cartoon about Rapunzel?  So smart to do that because it really put a mental picture in my mind of how wrapped up in warped thinking we can become. 




I'm sure each one of us took away something different, but for me the points that spoke to my heart were about having impure motives, holding a grudge and distractions.


Uh did God tell her my inner most thoughts....seriously it was like ouch God that's buried deep in there.  Stuff that's kind of hidden and yet you won't let me hide.  You know in order for me to run this race and finish for you I have to be set free.  That means I can't do things my way.  I can't have that little bit of sin hiding in my closet.  I have to have pure motives and get rid of the junk.




I have been holding on to some old hurts and some resentment with people.  And just when I think I've let it go and become free from the knots and entanglement something comes up and I'm back tied up worse than before.  I feel like I'm drowning and won't ever be set free from the crashing waves going over and over me pushing me down. 



How can I be used by you and VICTORIOUS in this life when I allow Satan and my flesh to keep pushing me down??  Are you holding a grudge?  Throw off those people you are carrying on your back and run the race.  Let them go!  MOVE ON!!!!!






Then she talked about distraction.  One of her points was if destruction fails to entangle us, distraction will do it's best.  She mentioned her phone and how she has a blog, twitter and two email accounts that all come into her phone.  And I'm sitting there thinking yes...YES!  That's ME!  I am a slave to my phone.  I am constantly checking it, refreshing my comments, responding to emails, reading blogs.  All these things are a part of life it seems now with the social connections we have in this day, but it is a HUGE distraction.



As much as I love being plugged in and connected to people it can keep me from doing other things that are vital to whom I am as a Child of God. It's pretty hard to listen to the Lord or meditate on His word when we are constantly distracted. It really is the perfect weapon for the enemy to use. It seems harmless enough. But we have SADD...spiritual attention deficit disorder.






I know for me personally when I am alone sometimes I don't know what to do with myself. For instance if I was at an airport or out to lunch by myself...my phone would be right by my side keeping me company. When was the last time I was alone with my thoughts and allowed the Lord to speak to me without any interruptions?? Needless to say this part of her message pierced my heart. I knew I was off balance, but having the Lord use her to bring it to my attention was the big red waving flag I needed. I don't want to be entangled. I want to be free to move...to be used.  How and in whatever way He sees fit.  




Months ago I was invited to sell my stuff at the Na-da farm sale, and for some reason I just didn't have peace about going. It agonized me honestly. Such a great sale and some of my friends were going, but that reassurance never came and so I reluctantly said no. Now I know why.  God had another appointment for me. I was supposed to be in this place on this weekend to hear this message. Thank you LORD!  You are always faithful.








Have a blessed day.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

random kindness



It's finally happened.  Spring has sprung in Minnesota!!!  The trees have all broken forth with their leaves, and the blooms are making their appearance.  It's almost like they are showing off now.  See...look what we can do:) 


Up here in the cold tundra we don't take this stuff lightly.  There is snow on the ground for approximately 6 months out of the year, so when the day finally comes to be outside we are SOOOO on it:)  Kids I haven't seen, because they've been holed up all winter, emerge from their houses and it appears they've grown a foot.  It's surreal.





With the blossoms seem to come a happier population too.  I notice more smiles and eye contact.  It's just a better place to live when the thaw comes.  There really isn't a more beautiful place than Spring/Summer in Minnesota.  It's breathtaking. 


Okay so I was out and about today taking it all in.   One of my errands involved going to the post office, which I do just about every day because of Etsy.  Because of my frequent trips it has become my personal mission to make the mail lady like me.  She's a tough cookie.  I try friendly banter and casual conversation.  She rarely ever smiles or joins in much, but it's finally starting to work and I think I may have broken through.  I got a smile today.  Not sure if it was the beautiful weather or my sunny disposition that did it but she was friendly...and it made my day:) 






While I was in the post office an older gentleman needed a stamp and only had a $50 bill.  The mail lady said something to him like you're going to break a $50 for a stamp?  And without thinking about it I just bought him a stamp.  It was no big deal, it was only 42 cents.  Well you would think I just pushed him out of the way of a moving truck or something.  He grabbed me and gave me a big hug and just went on and on about how generous I was.


As he walked away it occurred to me how hungry people are for any act of random kindness.  That 42 cents meant a great deal to him, but yet monetarily it meant so little to me.  It kind of fueled me up a bit and made me want to go around blessing people.  It takes so little.  Maybe holding a door open, watering a neighbor's plants, or asking someone how their day is going etc...  Wouldn't it be fun to just try and find someone to bless every single day?  Nothing...not even a beautiful Spring day can make you feel warmer.



Oh and can I just say that you all blessed me so much with the birthday wishes.  My life is so much sweeter because you are in it:)  Thank you!!!!







Have a blessed day.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

birthday wish

I turned 38 today.  God personally showered me with the most glorious weather.  The birds were chirping.  The air was crisp, yet warm.  It was perfect.  I had breakfast with a precious friend and she blessed me with a few little somethin' somethin's that made me sob one second and then laugh out loud the next.   Don't you love it when people know you so well that they nail gifts.  That in itself is an art form.  Anyway it was a good day.  I feel so blessed.




With every birthday that comes I think of the obvious.  How my body and skin are changing...how time just keeps marching on.  My mom recently told me that I need to start using eye cream.  I smile with my eyes and definitely have the lines to show for it.  It didn't offend me.  She wasn't trying to criticize.  I know she's just telling me something I should be doing...taking care of myself.  Just like I would instruct my girlies to brush their teeth or put on deodorant.  The body needs maintenance and so it goes.



For Valentine's day this year Honey out did himself and gave me the best gift EVER...a spa gift certificate.  Today was the perfect day to cash it in.  As the sweet spa lady was buffing and polishing my skin...sloughing off the old dead cells and making me glow all fresh and renewed, it made me think about the Lord.  I love how He looks at our heart and the beauty that lies there.  I love that in His eyes we are not aging...that we are beautiful from the inside out. 


If anything this year I want my heart, my soul, my mind to be renewed.  That is where I feel like I'm worn and tired.  I want to radiate and sparkle from that inner place.  The place that won't ever wrinkle, sag or die.  I think the only way that happens is to find daily renewal not in lotions and potions, but in reading His word...drawing close in prayer, listening and obeying His commands.  That's what I really need.  That's what will make me really glow...some good old fashioned God time:)





Have a blessed day.


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Saturday, May 14, 2011

keeping secrets



Is anyone else a little miffed at Blogger right now?  My where's the sign post was removed and then added back without all of your beautiful comments.  I've been doing this for almost three years now and that's a first.  Of course it would come at a time when I needed to reread those comments over and over again.  Thank you so much for those words of encouragement and the scriptures, stories and prayers.  I just love you all so much! 


I'm relieved to say we finally came to a decision.  It was the hardest one we've made together as a family.  It came down to a hand vote and a tail wag:)  But unfortunately I have a gag order and can't talk about it for a while.  So y'all are just going to have to do some of your own waiting to hear the details!!





As far as another secret I've been keeping.  A while back Romantic Homes asked me to submit pics of my house.  I was like WHAT?  Seriously?????  Never thought in a million years that would happen. The gal who asked me was on deadline, then the photos I sent were the wrong size and then I never heard another word from her, so I had no idea if it was going to happen or not.  BUT low and behold I slowly started hearing from a few of you and then finally got my hands on my own copy.





There's my green truck,  my dad's look a-like lunch pail and my bedroom vanity...all on page 12!  I almost feel famous...almost;)  Tricia from A Rosy Note (a fellow Minnesotan) made the mag too:)  So congrats Tricia!  We can bask in our 15 milliseconds of fame together. 





Have a blessed day.









The green truck was purchased at the Carver Occasional Sales (Mustard Moon) and the lunch pail at (Seasons in Carver). 
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

where's the sign??


The past few days are a blur.  We have literally found ourselves in a maze of trees.  Trees representing complete and utter confusion.  Have you ever prayed for something...only to have it start to move in that direction and then you don't know if you want it at all??  Is it fear holding you back...lack of faith?  Is it just emotion??


I know confusion isn't from the Lord.  It's always been our heart's desire to be in God's will and to follow the path He has for us.  But what if sometimes that path is really hard to make out.  What if sometimes the answers that you are looking for just don't come?  How do you know which way to go?  Where's the burning bush?  The angel in white...telling you just what to do.   We need answers.  A sign...something.



 

We have a big decision to make.  One that will change our paths.  Please pray for us. 






Have a blessed day.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

Hawaii on a budget



Realistically we never thought we'd go to Hawaii.  It seemed like something only rich people did. It's extravagant...how in the world would we ever afford to go there once...let alone twice!  Well when Honey's dad died we made kind of an unspoken decision to just go for things in life.  It is so short and the kids will only be little once, so let's not put things off.  


With that in mind we started researching and found that Costco travel had really good rates.  Because honey is in the tax business we always end up taking a vacation in late April...which happens to be in the off season.  Low and behold it's not much more than any other vacation.  So we started planning.


By the way I tried snorkeling (which was really brave for me) and hated it!  Probably had something to do with panicking with my face under water...gasping for air and then gagging on salt water.  Not the most enjoyable experience in the world...but hey I tried it:)






We always go for a condo versus a resort because for one it's cheaper and we love the idea of having our own bedroom.  I'm just sayin' privacy is nice;)  And condo's always come with a kitchen, which in my opinion is a must.  Food in Hawaii is really pricey!!  It's sickening actually.  So the first thing we do is head to Costco or find a local's grocery store way off the beaten path and stock up on things for breakfast and usually lunch.  Dinner we splurge and eat out.





For some reason this time we had trouble finding food we liked.  Restaurants are few and far between.  The resorts have them, but you are going to pay out the nose.  We finally stumbled onto a great little Mexican place in the town of Waikoloa Village called Chica's. 


This gal is Nickie and she became a very familiar face by the end of the week.  She actually gave us some free sour cream...score!  She liked us so much that she had us email pics of our visit to Chica's for a local commercial they are putting together.  Wouldn't that be the coolest thing evah?!!!  We could be celebrities in Hawaii...ha!







Even though we don't stay at resorts we LOVE visiting them.  The best time is right at sunset.  They always blow this horn thing and you can hear luau's going on in the distance.  The view is perfect and if you want to save money you could eat at the food court before and then just get dessert to split and have the experience for much cheaper!



 


The sunsets on the Big Island were beyond gorgeous!  It was postcard perfect every night.  I asked one of our waiter's if he ever got sick of them, and he nodded his head YES!  He said it's the same thing every single night.  That is SO hard to believe...but I guess it could happen. 






One day we visited the outdoor market in Kona.  This is a great place to buy fruits and vegetables for much cheaper than you could get at the store.  Oh and the variety is unbelievable.  I didn't even know what half of the stuff was!  We also got a few little trinkets for the girls to give their friends when they got home.  Little friendship bracelets etc....for like a buck a piece.  Much less expensive than one of the souvenir places.




We spent Easter in Hawaii.  I grand dreams of finding a church on the beach or at least watching the sunrise.  Neither happened.  We did however dye Easter eggs and I had the forethought to bring a little Easter surprise for the girls.  Being flexible is part of vacationing.  For me that's hard because I'm a planner.  I usually have a whole itinerary mapped out, but this time we didn't and it was actually nice.  I need to remember that for next time:)






At home we eat healthy most of the time, but on vacation that's all out the window.  I think one day I had pop tarts, donuts, brownies, cookies AND ice cream!  Okay maybe that's a little excessive, but for this sugarholic it is a vacation from the norm and oh so fun:)









Ahhhh sweet memories:)




As far as shopping goes we love the store Cinnamon Girl!  It's just this sweet little boutique...I think they have one on every island.  LOVED this hat, but of course it was like $100, so a picture will do instead.  We bought a lot of souvenir type stuff last year so this year we didn't take home very much. 



The girls were in heaven when we found a store that had hula Barbie clothes.  Needless to say they can now have their own luau's in Minnesota:)




I took almost 900 pictures.  For me it's just a way of capturing every single memory I can.  That is the best souvenir of all right? 




It was incredible.  It really was.  I'm so thankful we've been able to share these experiences with the girls.  I know they won't forget...and if they do I'll be able to remind them with all those pics:)

 



It was a blessing to go and a blessing to come home.  Nothing like a trip to make you appreciate your own bed and the smell of your house.  Thanks for coming along with us:)   






Have a blessed day.





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