Thursday, December 24, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things.......

Merry Christmas Eve !! I am up alone this morning - a rare treat ;-) I have a freshly ground cup of Jamaica's finest here beside the tree and just wanted to take a minute to wish you the best of the season.
We are having our family meal today around one-ish so I have plenty to do this morning other than coffee drinking and tree gazing, but there was one thing I promised I would do and I strive to keep my word as much as possible.
A few weeks ago I had dinner with the two original "Mama Leisha Girls" to celebrate Jenny's birthday and to exchange our Christmas gifts. We took a road trip to Nashville in November to start our Christmas shopping and had a little too much fun - who knew trying on hats could be so much fun!! I share this picture only because of the fun factor - it certainly isn't to show off how good I look in a hat !!
Forgive me, I digress, it was during this fun filled adventure that I got the idea of what I wanted to do for my girls for Christmas. We looked at several cute aprons and I thought that would be a great thing to build a gift around - so I came home armed with my plan. I found some cute festive aprons and made some homemade goodies to go with, found some monogrammed recipe cards and I was ready. The night we met we opened our gifts from Hannah first - a cookbook, a monogrammed Christmas ornament, Christmas kitchen towels apron!! How fun - I LOVE aprons !! ;-) Next we opened the gifts from Jenny - decorated with a beautiful rhinestoned monogrammed ornament (hmm...) we opened our boxes at the same time and went into fits of laughter - monogrammed aprons !! Well needless to say when they opened the packages from me we were just plain silly- everyone went home with two new aprons !! The best part of course is knowing that we are like minded and obviously know each other pretty well!! Jenny really went above and beyond in her apron giving by having them embroidered - she told me she wanted me to post a picture on my blog of me in my apron so.......notice the "H" over my shoulder.....hmm. Can I tell you how much I love this apron?? I mean it has polka dots for goodness sake - big ones!! And I have to be honest with you y'all - in the midst of all the girlie giggling - I was choked up - I love my girls so much and this apron really blessed me because I felt the love that was put into giving it. Jenny Pooh I will never put this on with out being reminded of how blessed I am to have your friendship!! It is truly an honor to be your "Mama Leisha" - one I pray that I will enjoy for many years to come!!
So a few of my favorite girls - those mentioned here and those who are not - you know who you are and I LOVE YOU SO MUCH - can't imagine where I would be without each and everyone of you!! Thank you for allowing me to be Mama Leisha in your lives (boots and all). The good looking cake I am holding is our dessert today - Italian Creme Cake - another one of my favorite things. And last but not least aprons - did I mention I love aprons!?! This one has one more feature that you MUST see......

a has a ruffle - I am pretty sure it doesn't get any better than that !!

On that ruffly note, I bid you adieu and wish you all the very Merriest of Christmases - hug your loved ones and treasure the moments of memory making - count your blessings and you will feel rich regardless of the recession - The King is still on the thrown!!

Thank You Jesus for all you do in our lives and Happy Birthday Eve - I love You like crazy!!

Learning as I go,


Thursday, December 17, 2009

ADD/ADHD - I have something to say to you.......

OK......I am wound up. It has been a long time brewing but I think I have hit that magic 212 degree number and I am ready to let off some steam - join me won't you ?

I have not spent much time on here discussing the struggles in our home with Wonder Boy and those letters that I have always preferred not to use in connection to my son. First let me say we have no "official" diagnosis - it is unlikely that will ever happen to be honest, I just don't see the need. However, for the sake of quick/concise explanation those letters will help you to better understand where we are.

Now here is my confession - I have been an ostrich. My head has been firmly planted in the sand and I have been unwilling to pull it out and look this problem square in the eye (if the eye would stay still a minute that would be easier, but I'll manage). Well NO MORE - my head is out, I have shaken the sand off my curly locks and I am rolling up my sleeves to deal with the adversary that has intimidated me for way too long !! Can I get an Amen Sister from someone out there - a gal in battle needs a little encouragement I dare say!! By the way have you ever seen an ostrich fight?? I'm just saying......

The purpose of this post is to make myself accountable and transparent even - a scary thing to do - but it is time. I have a loving Father who guides and protects me and I shall not walk in fear of things over which I have no control, in fact, I have gladly turned this over to my Lord in prayer and the answer I have received is that I am to fight - Ephesians 6 equips us with a battle plan. The other thing I am intent on doing by opening myself up here is to shed some light on the darkness - living with the challenges and struggles that we have over the past few years has caused us to stay in the shadows - darkness cannot exist in the light, it is time to expose this to the light and send the darkness packing!!

I have read a little here and there and we have tried various "techniques" over the years to manage the challenges that we have faced. Sadly, I cannot report any great success for the long term. Many things worked well for short periods of time but overall nothing has "stuck". With each failed attempt, I have accused myself of being at fault and failing my son, oh the enemy has been having a hay day with us!! SO......I wanted to take a minute to invite you to join us for the journey that lays ahead. I have no idea what the points of interest will be along the way, but one thing I am pretty certain of is that it will be filled with adventure and intrigue!

In my quest for understanding, I have been continually disheartened by the lack of support out there for families walking through this valley. I want to offer to be that kind of place - if you know someone who is going through these kind of struggles in their family - send them a link and ask them to stop by. If we link arms perhaps we can make the road a more direct route for those coming behind us - wouldn't that be awesome? I really don't have a clear plan or direction right now and that is why I wanted to start this now, there are so many families that this issue touches, I would go so far as to say we probably all know someone. The figuring it all out is part of the challenge and journey we take as parents - I will share some of where we have already been and be open and honest about where we are. It is my prayer that this be a blessing to just one ;-)

For today I want to share this.....I stayed up late last night after church to start a book that I have been reluctant to read Ritalin is Not the Answer by David B. Stein. I read only the foreword and first chapter, but have to tell you that my gut instincts about not medicating were so validated that I continually thanked God for his leading on this hot button issue as I read some things I had never really been aware of previously. We have chosen to not medicate, we did considered it very briefly at one point in time, but never had a peace about taking that route. I am so thankful that we listened to the still small voice that was guiding us! I am excited at the prospects of what this book may offer......for now - it's out there and I will keep you posted. Prayers as always are welcomed and please please please - get involved - lets be that example of iron sharpening iron!

Learning as I go,


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fresh Start by Doug Fields

Doug Fields, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church invites us to accept "God's invitation to a great life" in his most recent book Fresh Start, a straightforward honest look at how we struggle in our walk as Christians. Fields hits the hot buttons head on as he honestly examines the places that we find our greatest challenges and through it all offers real life practical ideas to get ourselves "unstuck" and lead us to the fresh start God has for us.

I struggled to get through this book. Fields humor which is a little on the "smart" side was a turn off to me. I wanted to get what he was offering but had a hard time overlooking comments that I felt were not at all appropriate or even border line off color. There was plenty of meat to chew on and for me that was the saving grace. He offers good insight into how we get stuck in destructive cycles and how to work our way out to the freedom God wants us to have. There is a transparency in his writing that made the book very readable despite my struggles.

The practical, step-by-step examinations and solutions that Fields puts on the table are do-able and user friendly to the masses.

He concludes this project with a journal and small group guide to work through the book one chapter at a time - I love this. Many books offer "ideas" with little follow up, Fields delivers the information and gives us legs to walk it out with.

This is a worthwhile read for anyone - we are all stuck and in need of a fresh start in at least one area of our lives!!

Learning as I go,


Friday, November 27, 2009

Meet Annabelle.........

This is Annabelle - a sheep who lives in West Virginia. I have loved Annabelle from afar since I met her online at Chicken in the Road . This is my very favorite blog - I visit it everyday - some of the best things that are made in my kitchen come from Suzanne's blog.
I made her Old Fashioned Cornbread Dressing yesterday and The Principal asked me to make it for a potluck at work in a few weeks - it was that good. SO.....why all the talk about chickens and sheep and cooking ?? Suzanne needs our help......yes......yours and mine. Suzanne is a single mother of 3 who is doing the best she can to live out a simple life in the country (oh....sigh) anyway - she is a writer and her blog is just one way she supports her family - she has entered a contest with SAM-e for a 6 month writing position that will pay well and help her out significantly.
She needs votes - it takes less than 5 once to the site and once when you are there and that's it - done !! You can only vote once a day until December 7th -bookmark her till then -(that's 5 seconds a day for the next 10 days - 50 seconds of your time - less than 1 minute!!)Suzanne is currently about 2000 votes away from 1st place. Suzanne's blog is a joy each day - beautiful pictures, great recipes, hilarious stories - you never know what you are going to get, but it's always good - make her a morning stop like I do when you fire up your computer for the day. The Principal and Wonder Boy are on board with me - won't you join us? Help her out would you please......for me??

There are animals that need her and teenage mouths to feed!! There is nothing in this for me (or you) outside of doing something good - that and being grateful for the wonderful amazing recipes she posts!!! The recipes alone are worth the time!!
Visit her and vote for her just because it feels good to do good!!!
You guys are wonderful and I love you ;-)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Let the Traveling Begin.....

It is time to unveil one of our new favorite homeschool discoveries/activities........Flat Travelers. Birthed out of the book Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown about a young boy who gets squished flat in the night when his big cork bulletin board falls on him, the adventures that follow are what started the Flat Stanley Project. The adventures of these traveling 'flats' have become a wonderful way for the homeschool community to exchange information as kids around the world learn about other places by exchanging 'flats' with other homeschoolers. I found a Yahoo Group for Homeschoolers that was our starting point in this adventure and we have been enjoying it ever since. The idea is to exchange or swap 'flats' with other families who will host your 'flat' while theirs visits you. During the visit which usually lasts 1-2 weeks you take your visiting 'flat' with you as you go through your activities and capture in pictures the things you do with your guest, ideally visiting things unique to your area's geography and history. We have 'Flat Fred' visiting this week from the Yukon and I wish the rain would stop long enough for me to get some pictures of Flat Fred in some Alabama Red Clay - right now it's all mud!! If anyone knows where I can get a shot in some kudzu without a long drive by all means let me know ;-) Yesterday we make a quick trip over to Scottsboro, AL to get a letterbox hidden in the cemetery behind the almost world famous Unclaimed Baggage store (which incidentally is closed on Sunday) and took Flat Fred along for the ride - don't you just love his mohawk ? ;-)

Welcome to the Alabama Fred - where local Christian families spend beautiful Sunday afternoons searching for hidden stuff in grave yards....poor Fred will never be the same - then again he comes from a homeschool household too so it is likely he will understand ;-) When the time comes to send the your visitor back home, the flat is packed up with photos (which can also be emailed if you prefer), goodies from the area - brochures, post cards, magazine, anything of interest and any other kind of fun you wish to include - this part is not necessary - but what kid will not enjoy a little treat from a new friend far away. I am trying to come up with some kind of candy/sweet that says Alabama - no thoughts on that so far - again if you have one please let me know!! Yesterday afternoon we spent about an hour making some new flats to prepare to send out - take a look and see if you can guess who made each one. Now all we have to do is get a logbook ready to send with each one and someone to volunteer to exchange with us and we'll be ready for a new flat traveling adventure!!

One final word on this - you obviously do not have to be homeschoolers to participate in this - you don't even have to have kids - it's just plain fun regardless of age or educational preference - we highly recommend it and by the way - it's a great accompaniment to letterboxing too!! Does it really get any better than that I ask you??

In this house it seems more and more that it is all about the adventures.....stay tuned - there will be more !!

Learning as I go,


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sweet Memory

The date stamp on the camera is wrong because Wonder Boy wasn't born until 2001 - but when I came across this picture today - I was instantly back on the porch where it was taken and I could smell the sweet rain on the flower with my little wonder he stole my heart, sweet butterball cheeks and all.........

Learning as I go,


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Are you ever going to blog again?

Someone asked this question recently and you know I wasn't entirely sure how to answer it. I was a little worried that Blogger would not accept my sign in and that I would just hear a laughter sound track looping in the background - but nope - it let me in without any guilt or condemnation. Life has been busy, priorities shifted and in the effort to keep my eyes from permanently crossing I have been blog absent. I won't say that I am "officially back" or anything so committed, but I will say that it is likely that I will be around more.....lots of things brewing here in our little world that I suspect I will want/need to share. For now here are a few pictures from our summer......Of course summer would not be summer without Baseball - we were able to take in a Braves game - it was Wonder Boy's first Major League game .......and baseball and dogs.....well that's just like bacon and eggs don't you think ? We have recently discovered the world of Flat Traveling - more on that later ;-) This is Flat Dylan, visiting from Westminster, MD helping us out during Herb Harvest here in Alabama. You have to know that there were some letterboxing adventures thrown in for good never know what you'll see on these outings - huge metal chickens with circulating eyes, Indian carvings in the forest - it's really anybody's guess! A big portion of our time this summer was spent in the garden - oh how we loved it and the fruits of our labors have been awesome. In this picture Wonder Boy is showing off our very first harvest - one radish ;-) And of course being homeschoolers we had to get into some kind of off the wall project......our first batch of soap was overall a success, but there are a few things we need to work on.....good suds and smells great - mmmm lavender Tybee decided it was time to get back down to his fighting weight and took command of the Wii Fit......he really is looking good don't you think ? Every little boy dreams of growing up and becoming President right? Here The Principal, tries out a podium and a beautiful venue for size ;-) And last but not least - Mama Leisha's Pizza Kitchen is now open for business - I did not take the summer off completely - after many failed attempts and nasty "Friday Night Pizzas" I finally tweaked a recipe to what we are now looking forward to each week - the herbs from our garden put it over the edge. That concludes our tour of summer....thanks for hanging in and waiting on us.....please let me know if you are still out there and who knows - maybe I'll get my groove back sooner rather than later.

Learning as I go,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Meeting Jesus.....Again

The journey continues as I participate in Pursuing Wellness with Elisa at Extravagant Grace. Through my study time this week in First Place 4 Health's Begin with Christ, I have spent time getting to know Jesus better. This is what Week 2 looked like or me......

1. What was your take-away for this week's worth of homework?

I feel like I inherited a Big Brother to lean on this week - I have always known that with Jesus I am a co-heir in Christ, but this week that really came alive to me in a new way as I wrote 2 different letters to Jesus in my journal and shared my heart with him as to a big brother ......never had one as an only child and loved the way it feels!!!

2. Did you meet Christ for the first-time?

No Thankfully I met him some time back ;-)

3. Were you introduced to Him from a new perspective?

I was - I have a Big Brother that I didn't have last week ;-)

4. How did the I AM verses and You Are homework change your life this week?

I realized through listing the I Ams and the YOU Ares that I do not allow him to be those things to me and rely on him as fully as I should. HE IS - the Gate, the Good Shepherd, God's son, the Resurrection and the Life, the Way, the True Voice and a King.

Luke 20:9 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

Sweet Jesus, I say......

You are My Brother, My Shield, My Savior, My Help, My Ever Present Friend, My Guide, My Warrior, My Righteousness, My Salvation and The Lover of My Soul

5. Are there any fears or doubts that are keeping you from declaring that Jesus is the Risen Savior?
If there are I am not aware of them ......only resolve to know him more ;-)

Accountability Questions
1. How did you do in terms of your wellness goal from the last week?
It has not been a great week for me in terms of success - I hurt my back on Monday and have not exercised all week because of it. I have a burden on my heart relating to a situation with my son and that has had my spirits low, and if those two things were not enough my crampy, grumpy little friend arrived for a few days as well !! In spite of it all - I ate better this week than what I had been doing and am more aware and tuned in to my health overall.

2. What goal have you set for this coming week?
This week I am claiming this over my life....
Psalm 40: 1-2
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
I know that the enemy works to defeat us before we gain momentum and I think that is part of what has been going on with me this week. I will not allow his shallow schemes to undermined the victory that is already mine in Christ!!!

3. If you want to share, what is your weight loss goal / how much did you lose?
I jumped on the scale this morning, well actually I sort of snuck on it change from last week at all....I am ok with that - it was not a good week and there was no gain.....Next week however it will be a lower number - that is my goal ;-)

By way of quick summary - it has been a lousy week, but I am confident that I am on the path to where I want to be and that keeps me focused on the outcome - good health inside and out. I am thankful for a supportive and encouraging husband who is by my side through it all and that I have everything I need to achieve my goals - victory is a word that God has been whispering to me all year throughout many different situations - this is a victory that will be very sweet!!
If you feel led to add me to your prayers - I would ask that you would join me in petitioning God to give me guidance and direction in dealing with the situation with Wonder Boy that is weighing so heavy on me right now. I had a friend pray for me yesterday and she sought a quick answer and confirmation.....your linking arms would be most appreciated ;-)

Learning as I go,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thank You Father For My Son.......

Laura at hosts a weekly feature called Gratituesday that I have decided it is high time I participated in. I have been blessed in so many areas of my life and truly am grateful for the abundant blessings I have - so here is my first contribution to what I hope will be many Gratituesdays to come ;-)
This morning Wonder Boy is at VBS, it is very quiet here now, but before he left he wanted to read to me......he read 2 books to me , Mama Loves You by Carloine Stutson and Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. I have read both of these to him many many times since he was a wee thing, but now he's a big boy and reading to me - needless to say I slobbered all over myself as he read Love You Forever - that book made me cry before I had a son - now - well - forget it resistance is futile!!
I am so grateful and my heart is filled to overflowing today for all the precious treasures that my Heavenly Father gave me when He blessed me with a son ;-)

Mama most surely does Love You Wonder Boy -
Bushels and Bunches XOXOXOXOX

Learning as I go,

Monday, June 15, 2009

Getting in the Swag.......

Search & Win
Bloggy friends - I have come across something too wonderful to keep to myself.......Have you heard of Swagbucks? Not to be confused with Starbucks, although you can buy Starbucks with Swagbucks ;-) It is a search engine that lets you earn while you search and if you are a seeker of things like I tend to be - this is big news!! You can earn Swagbucks to purchase gift cards for, Starbucks, Target, Barnes & Noble and iTunes just to name a few. There are many other Swagbuck spending options and it is all f-r-e-e ;-) This is the coolest!! I have checked it out before posting here and from every source I have come across this is one of those things that is as good as it sounds.....maybe even better ;-) They really won me over when I came across the Go Green options to earn Swagbucks by recycling old cellphone and video games and game systems!! I signed up last night and have not had much time to do anything yet as I have been cleaning house all day and I have already earned 10 Swagbucks by doing a few quick searches - there are plenty of other ways to earn Swagbucks as well so by all means take a look and see what you can start earning your Swagbucks to save up for !!
If you choose to sign up (and why wouldn't you??) to start earning as you search please do so by following one of the links you find here and send a little Swagbuck love back my way - I am planning on earning curriculum for free!! Maybe even a go - what are you waiting for - get Swagbucking!!!

Learning as I go,


Friday, June 12, 2009

Becoming What We Pursue

Our Pastor did a series a while back on becoming what we behold and though I have looked for my notes - I cannot locate the notebook with the "meat" from that series - it will surface at some point and I will share it with you then ;-) (If you have notes and you know where they are - Buffi?Lisa? - please feel free to help me out with the details I am missing). of the main points he made was essentially that what we "behold" we "become". In thinking about that as I was preparing to start the Pursuing Wellness 12 Week Bible Study at Extravagant Grace I was struck by the thought that what we pursue we become as well. When we pursue laziness and excuses, things of this world, when we put our physical and spiritual needs on the back burner continually to take care of things that are more important we reap the results of those choices and we are ultimately pursuing a life of failure, stress, disappointment and misery. We must seek Him first in all we do and become who He has called us and knit us in our mother's wombs to become !!

I know that my Savior lives and loves me and wants what's best for me - I also know that if I seek Him and His ways that I will find the peace and wholeness that I seek. So the big question for me then becomes why is it so hard to do that consistently for any period of time ? You know what I'm talking about - we start out great and lose our foot hold somewhere along the journey.

I will be posting each Friday about that journey that I am embarking on and keeping myself accountable to you my sweet readers as well as to the other women who are taking the journey with me. I would love for you to join us if you feel led - you can start at any time and jump in as you are ready. If you choose to just observe for now I would ask one thing - I need your encouragement and prayers so if you take the time to read the posts - please please please take the time to leave a comment - it will help tremendously ;-)

I am not ready to publicly post the nasty number on the scale, but I suspect I will be at some point.....just not there yet ;-) I know you understand!!!

It is my prayer that these 12 weeks that lay before me hold some keys that I have been missing (along with my notebook) that will unlock some long unanswered questions about self defeating behaviors and feelings of not being deserving in many areas of my life.

I will warn you now - this may get raw and at times perhaps even a little raunchy - but God can't clean up what is already clean now can He?? So I hope you will hang in there with me and hold my hand a little here and there as I jump into an adventure that I pray takes me to a new level of relationship with the One who made me and a new level of health and vibrancy that I have been missing for too long now.

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

I want to be His delight and make Him smile because I finally "get it".


Learning as I go,


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Crackers at Our House

Our dinners lately have been light and easy as it has been getting hot and we have been enjoying what I would call "Summer Buffet Meals" - they are mainly an assortment of goodies - nothing too filling and everyone helps themselves. I made some salmon spread and tabbouleh (with parsley, fresh mint and lemon balm from our garden...yum!!!) this week and we had watermelon, strawberries, olives, hoop cheese from a trip to Tennessee's Amish area recently and assorted veggies with homemade Ranch Dip. Add in some pita bread and tortilla chips and you have a feast fit for any appetite. Last night I still had plenty of tabbouleh and salmon spread and I had some twice baked potatoes in the freezer that I made a big batch of a few weeks ago but I had no more pita bread and was not in the mood for tortilla chips so I took a trip over to visit Laura at Heavenly Homemakers as I remembered seeing some kind of cracker recipe on her blog a while back. I found this recipe for Crispy Cheese Crackers and Wonder Boy and I set about our mission.........
I love using cookie cutters to make things more fun ;-) These were very easy to make - the hardest part was doing it with the cookies cutters rather than cutting the crackers in squares from a rolled out sheet of dough as the recipes instructs (I have a hard time ever following a recipe exactly) - in other words not hard at all ;-) They were quite good, for our tastes I would add more cheese next time - we are pretty cheesy folks in this house. They were healthy and easy and not over time consuming - win, win and win.

Learning as I go,


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Don't put all your eggs in one nest.......

It's a sad day at our house.........this morning as The Principal was having his quiet time and morning coffee on the back patio, he noticed the door to the Bluebird house sticking out a little at the bottom......he walked to the back of the yard to investigate and what he found has brought the Happy Dance to a screeching halt ..........We have no idea who the culprit was and our hope now is that Momma Bluebird has at least one more egg left to lay......look at poor Papa Bluebird this morning on the fence......

he looks a little blue don't you think?

Learning as I go,


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wonder Boy is Blogging....

Hey Y'all.......just wanted to take a minute to let you know that we officially have Wonder Boy up and running with a blog of his own. The Adventures of Wonder Boy is going to be part of our curriculum for 3rd grade as we begin learning computer and creative writing skills. Stop by and leave him a comment, he will be thrilled ;-)
Learning as I go,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Happy Dance.....4 Egg that is !!

A gentle spring rain fell tonight as we enjoyed dinner on the patio beneath the ceiling fan ........ a wonderful meal of buttermilk cornbread, pinto beans, potato salad, fresh sliced cucumbers and of course sweet tea. The good life doesn't get much gooder than that or so we thought ....a stroll to the back of the yard after we ate revealed a reason to re-vamp the happy dance just a little.....Let the 4 Egg Happy Dance commence !!! Is it just me or did the blue get bluer since yesterday ?

Be like the bluebird who never is blue,
For he knows from his upbringing what singing can do

- Cole Porter, Be Like the Bluebird, 1934
Learning as I go,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Real Estate is for the Birds.......

For several springs now we have watched the bluebird house at that back corner of our yard become home to several different birds, but not a single bluebird has even flown near it....till this year. We were thrilled to see Mr. & Mrs. Bluebird hanging around and checking out the real estate. The Principal especially likes bluebirds - we all have our favorites I think. We have been so excited to watch them flying around and perching on the fence nearby until along came Mr. Mockingbird, running them off every time they got close to their potential abode !! Come on Mr. Meany - you can't even fit through the front door......back off and let the sweet blue couple about their business......for days now we have been on heightened bird alert and mockingbird patrol. We were away for a few days on a camping/letterboxing trip and noticed that Mr. & Mrs. Bluebird were now the ones doing the chasing. It got us thinking that we may have missed something while we were away so, while we were out working in the garden this afternoon we decided to take a peek in the bird house and look what we found...........
....... truly a sight to behold -we are doing the 3 egg happy dance......join us won't you ? Mr. & Mrs. Bluebird will hereafter be known as Mommy & Daddy Blue- take that Mr. Meany Mockingbird !! Blue has never been so beautiful ;-) The 3 egg happy dance continues.......stay tuned ;-)

Learning as I go,

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Remembering Shiloh.....and wondering.....

In April 1862 over two days of what is known as the bloodiest battle in US history up to that time, nearly 24,000 men were killed wounded or missing on the battlefields at Shiloh.
As The Principal, Wonder Boy and I walked through Shiloh National Cemetery located at the battleground site yesterday I was struck by the incredible sacrifices made by these Americans for their country. Having been born and raised in Canada, this is not something that I grew up around and quite honestly it chokes me up every time. This country is so rich in heritage and history and it is an honorable and godly heritage and history. What really weighed on me yesterday as I walked through this place where time stands just a little still was this......what would these soldiers who gave their lives for love of country think if they could see what is going on in modern day America?
I can only imagine what heaviness it would bring to their hearts to see the recklessness in which our nation functions on so many levels. Unborn babies dying, drugs rampantly taking lives, marriages dissolving in record numbers, families being redefined in ways that God never intended, hatred insidiously infecting how we treat each other and families trading time with each other for time surfing the web to feed addictions or pursue activities that are not at all family oriented. Can you imagine how devastating it would be to them to see what we have done with the country that they fought and in many cases died for ? Now I understand that this was a civil war and that even in that there was in fighting, but none the less it made me reflect and where my thoughts took me made me wonder......have we advanced or retreated ? For though we clearly have moved forward in many areas in our advancement have we been blinded? Fooled? I for one think yes, without question. If we look at the simple lives that people lived in 1860's we can see that much of what I listed as modern day "life" was not even something that polite, well mannered people would have spoken of in those days.
We have come a long way and we have an even longer way to go to get back to the values that were the very fabric of the lives surrendered on the battlefields of war in a time before the minds of a nation were polluted, poisoned, diseased and deceived.
2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
God Forgive us and God Bless America !!
Learning as I go,

Monday, May 11, 2009

Spiritual Space

Today At the Well we are getting into each other's space, sharing with our sisters the details of the spaces where we spend our quiet time. A veritable tour of Spiritual Spaces if you will. Make yourself at home and allow me to give you a peek into where I spend my time with Father God, my entrance to the Secret Place. Several years after moving into our home we talked about the fact that we never used the room that was designated as the dining room - the location is lacking to be useful as a dining room and because we have a good sized eat in we found that we seldom used this room so we made the decision to re purpose it and make it our "study". We gave the room a paint job and bought new furniture and it has become our favorite room in the house. This is where we now pray, read, talk, play board games and we do most of our read alouds for school here as well. This is where I come each morning to sit in "my chair" to read and pray.
The cushions get relocated and I sit with my feet on the ottoman or criss-crossed with a pillow on my lap as a make shift desk while I journal. I have everything I need within reach or quick access in the room.
On the end table beside me I house everything I need to use during this quiet time each morning. In my stack of books this morning I have my well loved bible, my journal, my prayer journal, Becoming the woman I want to be by Donna Partow, The Love Dare and my cute Dollar Tree pink and green flowered composition book that is my surrogate brain - this is where I keep up with myself. I remember some years ago my Pastor's wife sharing about how the enemy would try to distract her when she was praying or reading her bible and she decided to turn him into her secretary - she would jot down each interruption and she said by the time she finished her quiet time she often had her to do list completed for the day. I loved this idea because I am so very easily distracted when I pray and so have adopted the idea and used it ever since - cute notebooks make it that much more appealing - don't you know that every time I make a note in my cute book the enemy cringes!!! On the lower shelf is a box of tissue which I can reach with a quick grab of my right hand without even looking ;-) On the floor in front of the end table is a basket which holds devotionals and notepads, extra pencils, pens just kind of back up stuff - the odd random magazine , that kind of thing and then the orange binder is where I keep my lists and schedules, this is my attempt at a more organized life - I keep it handy for the same reason I keep the cute notebook - works well ;-)
The there is my laptop, just in case I need to resource something online - which you will notice today is placed on a lap desk which was a sweet gift from Wonder Boy and The Principal for Mother's Day yesterday - I am sitting in my chair using it right now as I work on this post and it is working out great!!! Thanks guys ;-)

Finally is the corner is our bookcase which holds all manner of resources and delights. We keep the books we are currently reading as well as those that we access on an ongoing basis here. It's filled to the brim as you can see - I love books!!
That concludes my tour - thank you for visiting I hope you enjoyed yourself - please come back again anytime - I love having guests too!!
Learning as I go,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Challenging Moms in May

In my continuing adventures poking around blog land, I found recently discovered a wonderful blog Extravagant Grace. eLisa is hosting a 28 day challenge this month for us Moms, based on The Love Dare principles to do a dare a day for 28 days challenging us to love our children in ways that bring the glory to our Father. I know I can benefit from the challenge and I am sure Wonder Boy (if he knew about it) would agree whole heartedly!! I am a few days last getting started, but I am operating on the premise that everything comes right on time - so join me won't you ? I dare you!!
Learning as I go,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Who Am I ??

Is that a loaded question or what?? I try daily to figure it out!! The Principal probably ponders it about his bride from time to time to I imagine ;-) Well ladies and gentlemen - today at The Well the plan is to get to know each other better - this is my contribution. For those coming from The Well - welcome - pull up a chair and make yourself at home - I'm Leisha, wife to The Principal and Homeschooling Mom to Wonder Boy who just turned 8 years old this past Friday. For those who frequent here from other parts you know the drill and may know some of the things that I am about to share but I hope that you too will learn some new things about me - and for that matter - take a few minutes to visit The Well and make some new friends too , from what I can gather they are a wonderful bunch of gals and so far none have bitten ;-)

So here now without further adieu in no particular order is a little bit of who I am.......

*I am a child of the Most High King
*I am an only child to my earthly parents - I have never met my earthly father and have been out of contact with my mom for several years now ( that's a whole series of posts)
*I love the rain and a good thunder storm is a wonderful thing - I find the rain romantic and poetic and love how God nourishes the earth by providing it
*I grind our flour and make our own bread and am continually striving to provide my family with healthy whole foods the way God created them
*I have been making yogurt for my family since the first of the year and will likely never buy store bought again
*I love to find ways to save money and be a good steward of the resources and provision which we are blessed with
*I don't sing well but I love to sing
*I took piano lessons as a child and don't remember much - I am hoping that some of it comes back to me as Wonder Boy begins lessons
*My favorite color is red
*My favorite perfume is Angel by Thierry Mugler - I know it has to smell like this in heaven - The Principal loves it too ;-)
*I married my prince- he is my best friend and truly the one that God had for me
*I have been married before - Wonder Boy is the blessing from that marriage - and a little wisdom too I suspect
*I like myself a little more with each passing year
*I want to write more
*I love books, reading them, having them around me and collecting them
*I have been blessed with a good portion of silly
*I have always wanted a Papillon but have never had the extra $600 + to own one
*I miss my Grandmother more as I age and wish she was here to teach me many things
*If I could have one wish granted it would be to be living on a small farm and spending my days growing closer to God as I care for my family
*I love aprons
*I enjoy old black and white and western movies
*I love being a homeschooling mom and being home to be constantly learning to be the wife that The Principal deserves
*After many many years of taking my coffee with cream and sugar I now drink it black
*I have to watch the amount of time I spend online reading blogs - hours get snatched away too easily sometimes
*I love trivia games
*I am planning on working toward getting better organized before we begin 3rd grade ( any wisdom or helpful resources are most welcomed!!)
* My favorite scripture is Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God
*I would love to go to Italy and Greece
*I love words
*I want to learn to sew more usefully, quilt, paint beautifully
*I love to listen to podcasts when I drive
*I love to cook
*I love to make people laugh
*I don't have to shave my legs often they just aren't hairy - I know I know....just lucky ;-)
*I count my friendships as blessings
*Frogs make me smile
*I have been delivered from an unnatural dependency to shoulder pads - PTL
*I am ticklish
*I love the smell of skunk
*I love to letterbox
*I want to be who God has called me to be so that I can truly say that is Who I Am !!
Hope you learned something - I would love to hear your reaction - please let me know you came by ;-)
Learning as I go,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Becoming Mama Leisha

Today At the Well they are talking about mentoring in the spirit of Titus 2 and it made me think about a phone call recently from a sweet younger of who have fondly become known as my "Mama Leisha Girls". Our lives have been busy and we have not had much opportunity to spend time together in the last few years so in a quick catch up call after seeing each other at a function earlier that evening at church we talked briefly. Her life has recently taken a new direction and she is walking out a dream in faith and I was telling her how I am so proud of her and that I get amazed when I look back and she how she has grown. God is doing beautiful things in her and the fruit is a joy to see. She mentioned something about me and my "Mama Leisha" calling - this has been an ongoing grin/smirk/giggle for several years now, the thing about it it really does seem to be more than a grin/smirk/giggle. She has called me Mama Leisha for most of the time we have known each other, but said she always felt that I was too young to be called "Mama" (I told you she was a sweet friend) however, she said that the last few years have changed me as I have walked the path from a full time working Mom to a full time homeschooling Mom - she says I have gained wisdom and grown into the "Mama Mantle" that God has placed on my life. WOW - can I just tell you how that humbled me?? I love and value this young woman of God and consider it an honor that she would see those things in!!??

God can use anyone ......and He does, because as I look around my life, there are a few handfuls of young ladies in my life who come to me for advice, counsel, friendship and yes....mentoring. Some want to know more about being a Mom, some about being a wife and others about walking with the Father - none of these things do I feel qualified or worthy to advise them on - but God continues to deliver them to my doorstep so I press forward in obedience and honor to Him regardless of my shortcomings - He is sufficient and He dwells in me - so I am enough in Him. We can always be sure that we are doing what is pleasing and honoring to Him if only we will tunr it over to Him - keep our hands off of it and allow Him to be the Potter - He creates more beautiful works than we could ever even imagine.

I have a sweet friend who comes for coffee each Tuesday morning before she goes to school (sadly that is about to end and we are going to have to find another time), I have another dear and yes, younger friend who phones me on her way to work once or twice a week so we can catch up and I can get my steel toed boots out for her when she needs them - she tells me I am the only one who can get away with that. Then there is my sweet sweet original Mama Leisha girl who lost her precious Mother to breast cancer several years after the Mama Leisha jokes began and who now just this past weekend introduced me to someone as her "Mama Friend" (I am 12 years older). There is my beautiful 2nd Mama Leisha Girl, who touched my heart when she asked me to be a bridesmaid last July- telling me that she could not imagine walking down the aisle without her "Mama Leisha" and Iwas stretched beyond belief and as I spent time with the other 11 beautiful, thin under 30 gals in the bridal party for 2 days - did I mention I was stretched there ;-) !! What started as a joke in a hospital ER because of a confused nurse has grown and become what I really believe is God calling.....I am honored and humbled and blessed beyond words by the love and friendship of these young women who trust me to mentor them and guide them as they encounter life. So as they continue to come into my life, my prayer is that the Lord will continue to grow me up and use me to minister to them and mentor them as he sees fit.

I have come from much brokenness and God is so graciously allowing me to use that brokenness to bless others. A pastor friend of mine once told me when I shared some of my testimony with her that people trust people who walk with a limp. I have found this to be so comforting and so very true. Thank You Father, in you all things do come together for the good of those who love you.

Girls - you know who you are - I love you and thank you for the abundant blessings you give me by allowing me to be a part of your lives and watching you grow and mature in who our Awesome Father has called you to be - thank you for sharing a part of your journey with me !! I can't tell you how much I love you and how grateful I am that God chose to deliver you to my doorstep!!

Learning as I go,
(Mama) Leisha

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Frugal Romance

The Principal and I recently celebrated our 4th Anniversary - wow - what a whirlwind 4 years it has been. When we married I was a full-time working Mom preparing my 3 year old to start school the following year. Thank goodness God is so gentle and has such a wonderful sense of humor and timing for, if not for those things we certainly would not be where we are today - it is as always by His Grace Alone that we are who we are and doing what we are doing. I am now a full-time homeschooling Mom learning to care for family and home in ways I had no knowledge of a few short years ago - Thank You Abba Father !!!
In light of the changes that we have made in our day to day circumstances, many other changes have followed both out of need and desire. One of the things that I try to do as much as I possibly can is continue to "earn" an income at home by being a good steward of the provision with which we are blessed. There are so many ways that I have learned to make money go further (future post perhaps?) and some of them I wouldn't change now even if there was an endless supply of money. The Principal earns a good living and I feel it is my responsibility to put the deserved value on his hard work by not spending it carelessly....SO....with that in mind I approached our anniversary with the best of intentions and rather than focus on what could I buy him I focused on what could Igive him. Take these ideas and use them as you wish - it is my prayer that they inspire you to romantic genius!!This year I found myself thinking back to so many moments of our trip to Jamaica where we were married barefoot on the beach and so decided to go with the "Jamaica" theme for showing my sweetheart how much he means to me on this anniversary. The Principal wakes the roosters in the morning so I knew he would be up before me - after he was sleeping sweetly the night before I snuck into our bathroom where I had all the "props" stashed and set the scene for the morning. I gathered together a thank you card that had a wedding picture on the beach, a conch shell with a great story (for another time), a bathing suit wrap and hat I wore, sand and shells from the beach where we were married and our wedding rings. I set it all up in our bathroom by draping the wrap over the counter top and making a display of sorts - this was what he would be greeted with at he started the day - it was a huge hit by the way - he loved it and it set the tone for a wonderful day of romance. We made arrangements for Wonder Boy for the day and after getting him situated, we hit the road to do what we love and do best....letterbox and adventure!! We drove to a town a few hours away where there were several letterboxes that we had not yet found and enjoyed the day hiking and exploring - it was a crisp sunny day and we we had the best time. We decided to fore go the pricey restaurant meal instead deciding on a wonderful gourmet pizza at home while we relaxed by the fire. I made the best pizza I have ever made with authentic Italian type dough purchased from the deli counter at Whole Foods Market, topped with prosciutto and fresh basil and thinly sliced Roma tomatoes - it was divine - and only a fraction of what a dinner out would have cost! After dinner we exchanged small gifts and just hung out and talked in the comfort of our living room, in our comfy clothes without interruption from wait staff or child - it was heavenly.
This is the card I made for The Principal (I now make all the cards I give to both The Principal and Wonder Boy because well....they love them and I have issues with Hallmark (yet another post) and it's hard to find cards made by anyone else.
By the way - as an aside - Wonder Boy was so taken by all my plans he worked one up of his own - the morning of our anniversary he presented a gift to The Principal and I that he had put together himself. It was a beautifully wrapped ;-) journal with 2 pens - one red and one blue(so we could each have our own color to use) for us to write love notes to each other in, with a note from Wonder Boy written on the inside cover wishing us Happy Anniversary - how's that for homeschooling ? Not too mention precious!! Just to let you know - we keep it on the dresser in our closet and I usually read a note/leave a note when I am putting socks and t-shirts has turned out to be such a sweet sweet gift.
Let me share one last thing with you....the box. I bought this beautiful wooden box on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off several years ago now and filled it with 365 notes of love, thoughts, memories and thank yous to give The Principal for Christmas. I have since filled it for different occasions when it is empty - The Principal takes a note our randomly each morning before leaving for work and keeps it in his pocket to glance at throughout the day. I re-stocked the box for our anniversary - it had been sitting empty a while - I feel like a better wife when the box is filled ;-) I keep an excel file on my laptop and add things as they come to mind so that when the box needs filling I have something to print off, trim and fold. The Principal tells me this is easily one of the best gifts he has ever received. Different colored paper makes me happy......
I hope a peek into our romance will give you some inspiration to look outside the "norm" and return to the joy of gift giving with creativity inspired by love - really and truly you will save some money, but more importantly you will be beautifully packaging up the real gift that we all want don't think it gets any more priceless than that !

Learning as I go,


Thursday, April 2, 2009

I can't believe I made butter !!!

It's getting scary at my house.....I am spending more and more time in the kitchen and becoming braver in my "I can make that myself" thinking. As a direct result of this ever growing "Kitchen Power" ......I made butter !! Real butter from real milk - how cool is that ? The Principal just smiles and shakes his head at my culinary adventures - but I know he secretly digs it! He told me a while back that he never would have thought he would marry a "root hugger" but now that he now finds himself married to one and loving it. He is a "root hugger" too - he just needs a little more coaxing than I did. Wonder Boy is right there with us asking what can be recycled and continually coming up with incredibly complex and random ways to re-purpose items that have reached the end of their intended life.

As a family we are learning and growing in our desire to become more self sufficient and live a more sustainable lifestyle - what we have fondly come to call our "root hugger" ways ;-) I am defintely the ring leader in many areas but I am not alone. Stay tuned, I have vegetable rennet in the fridge for cheesemaking and I'm not afraid to use it......oh and then there is the rain barrel adventure - it's raining now and we are loving it - but more on that later ;-)

Learning as I go,


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