Friday, December 26, 2008

The Best Christmas Present.....

...came via email from my brother. This is a slide that my nephew performed techno-magic on to get it to computer. I'm in the high chair and since we're dating it circa 1968, I'd be about 4 years old. In the foreground is my favorite Christmas present....that train was metal, had batteries, and moved around on the floor. If it ran into something it would back itself up & keep going. There was a really cool sounding bell too. Happy, happy memories.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Calling Elvis.....

I Christmas-ized my mirror of many colors in an attempt to help it blend in better for the season. What do you think? Are you looking for the sleazy lounge singer too?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Surprise

If you know me at all, you know 2 things about me: that I have been "best friends" with Connie since we were in kindergarten and that Thanksgiving dinner is my absolute favorite meal to prepare and share with family & friends.
As I see it, one of the beauties of the friendship is our flexibility. At times we talk more than once a week and at others we'll go several weeks without communicating. We might send a birthday card a whole month early so that we won't forget to send it, another year we might call a few days late. We both moved away from the small town where we grew up and currently we're a 3-hour drive from each other. The only tradition that is constant between us is that we usually spend Thanksgiving Day together along with our families and whomever else Dr. Love & I invite for the day.
This year, for the first time ever, we opted for her home instead of mine. I made some changes to the logistics of cooking....I prepared the turkey the day before and had Dr. Love do his carving thing so that it could be taken ready to be warmed up in a pan of gravy. Connie baked pies as she always does (hers is the absolute BEST crust you will ever taste!) and we worked on the rest together. We ate leisurely, played cards, discussed her daughter's upcoming wedding plans, spent the night and the next day baked Christmas cookies and did just a small bit of shopping. On Friday evening our men took us for dinner and then Dr. Love & I made our way home. It turned out to be one of our most memorable Thanksgiving days ever and we're thinking of starting a new tradition.
The surprise of the entire day is pictured above. Isn't it gorgeous?!!! Since we've never been much into presents, I was shocked when she brought out a beautiful gift bag complete with tissue paper and inside was this lap quilt that she made for me. I love quilts, especially pieced ones with soft, muted colors surrounded by cream or white. I have never made a quilt myself nor have I ever been willing to purchase one. I love handmade things....the idea that someone uses their creativity and time to make something with me in mind. I love tulips....they are my favorite flowers. And I love my dearest, bestest friend. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful Thursday

This morning I connected with someone with whom I was friends 25 years ago. I was not the person spiritually & emotionally that I am today and it was one of my times of insanity.
As I looked over her information and pictures earlier today, thoughts filled my mind of "what a great boat....I wonder what her home looks like...her spouse.....she's been on television, wow!...her life sure looks exciting...."
A little bit later I sat down in my kitchen to have my quiet time and I was immediately struck with guilt for envying her and had to confess that to my Lord. I'm using Elizabeth George's study of Luke and today was chapter 12. Verses 22-34 really spoke to my heart and I felt as though God had prepared this lesson especially for me on this day. Where my treasure is, there will my heart be also. I know Jesus is my treasure; He is really what I want. How blessed I am to have Him as my provider!
"I'd rather have Jesus than silver or gold. I'd rather have Him than have riches untold. I'd rather have Jesus than houses or land. I'd rather be led by His nail-scarred hand. Than to be the king of a vast domain! Or be held in sin's dread sway. I'd rather have Jesus than anything this world provides today."
Grace & Peace,
Leslie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Best Thrifting Purchase

Yesterday I had a wonderful day up in Northwest Indiana.
Along with pampering myself with a visit to House of Bianco for a haircut by Katrina (thank you Dr. Love for agreeing to that!), I also visited with my friends at Pruzin Brothers, had a great lunch at Panera with B & T and then joined C & J to go thrifting.
The hat pictured was at the Salvation Army. I hesitated to pay $3 for it but then decided that since I will wear it and also use it to decorate--although not on this lamp shade, that's just to position it for the pic--I'd get it. I think I'll wear it tonight for "date night."
After we found all the bargains the van could hold, we headed back to C's where she had a crock pot with stuffed pepper soup and the most awesome corn bread I've ever tasted!
A huge Thank You to all of my friends for your time & fellowship yesterday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Dr. Love!

I simply adore you meu amor!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Finishing Touches





These old canning jars needed
"something" so I filled a few with various dried beans & others with popcorn. Then I cut fabric for the ones without lids. Much better!

My Thrifting Buddies


From our outing last week. Thanks for coming down my friends!

This Week's Menu

Mon--Tacos
Tues--Roasted Chicken w/rice & Green Beans
Wed--Meat Loaf w/Mashed Potatoes & Corn
Thu--Breakfast
Fri--Pulled Pork Sandwiches w/California Veggies
Sat--encore presentations

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween at our Contented Home

For those of you who may not know, the character below is Sonic the Hedgehog. He's a video game character. And the following two pictures are Miss B's take, using Dr. Love as her guinea pig:


And here is one who's not so content. In fact, I can see in her eyes that she's thinking about leaving her own treat in somebody's shoe...


HAPPY HALLOWEEN to all my blogging friends!







Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Birthday!!


Here's a picture from our birthday celebration last night for Miss B and Charlie. Standing with them are their Great-Uncle & Aunt! The distinguished gentleman is my mother's older brother; he and my aunt have been married for 63 years! We were blessed to have them visit with us on their annual journey from Michigan to Arizona.
Also joining in the celebration were a wonderful couple who are both neighbors & friends. After surreptitiously asking Miss B about her salad preferences, Mrs. brought a terrific spinach/mozzarella/tomato salad to add to our dinner of lasagna, italian veggies & italian bread. Banana cake with cream cheese frosting and vanilla ice cream completed the menu. We all enjoyed visiting with one another 'round the table and the kids loved having some of their favorite people celebrate with them.
To Miss B and Charlie: I look forward to each day of this next year to see what growth and change it will bring. You are both truly gifts from God and I love you so very much. I always will, no matter what! * * * Momma

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Random Autumn Day


Here is trusty Jaxs guarding over my mums.
I love this time of year when it's cool out but not really cold (except it was 34 degrees this morning at 7:20!). I love the pumpkins on my neighbors' porches and the rustle of falling leaves and the shouts of the children as they play in them. I love the smell of apple pie baking and the feel of the fireplace when it's lit for the first time. However, I don't love the squirrel or the walnut that he dropped down my vent, thereby blocking it and causing my furnace all sorts of trouble!
Next week Miss B and Charlie will be 14! Sometimes it seems like just yesterday they were toddling around and at other times I can barely remember when they were small. Dr. Love and I were very proud of them this morning when their names' were called for the distinguished honor roll list but we refrained from the cheering and hollering that comes naturally to us--Miss B didn't want to be embarrassed!
And now I'm off the to laundromat to wash a comforter that the cat.......I'll leave the rest of that phrase for you to picture in your own mind.
Leslie

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This & That

Well, Dr. Love is out of town until late tomorrow and while the cat's away.....lol
The kids & I just got back from a great time together. After a 5 pm dinner of tuna casserole (Miss B's request) we set out on a surprise road trip. I told the kids we were going to a "sad" place. Miss B sure knows her Momma 'cause she guessed pretty quickly that we were headed to Happy Hollow Park. I can't believe we've lived here for over a year & this was the first time we visited there! It's an absolutely beautiful place with hollows & dales and trails and wildlife. The colors on the trees were breathtaking! The scent of fall was wonderful! There was a great play area too that the kids weren't too old to make use of! On the way home we stopped off at the Silver Dipper--the pumpkin ice cream is to die for!
The kitchen redecoration is almost complete. I'm considering valances for the windows and we're looking for the perfect ceiling fan/light fixture to replace the one currently over the island. I'll get some pictures posted at some point. But since I think C is the only one who reads this blog anyway and she's coming for a visit very soon, maybe no pics :)
We've started our second 9 weeks of school and parent-teacher conferences are this week, along with 2 half-days. Time seems to pass so quickly, today in the mail I received a Nov. issue of Country Living with Thanksgiving recipes! Before long it'll be Christmas and then we'll be on to 2009.
And since I'm such a hit or miss blogger, it may very well be that long before I post again!
Grace & Peace,
Leslie

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Backsplash Report


Dr. Love is moving right along now that he has the hang of cutting the tiles, applying the mastic & placing them in position. The first picture is an area that is almost done, the second is the master himself at work. Not bad for his first time out the gate!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Progress!

I'm finally starting to see some payoff to the work I've been doing in my kitchen. I spent a couple of weeks pulling wallpaper (sometimes 2 layers), spackling holes & trying to smooth out old walls. Then I needed 10 days devoted to only MOPS so the kitchen sat waiting. I just finished the first coat on 1/2 of the room and had to get it posted!
After a short break, I'll be on to the other half, where I'm "tissuing" the walls. I promise to post the end results when I get there!
Oh, and don't be alarmed by the ceiling. Tim knows my propensity to "kiss" the ceiling when I paint so he's waiting to paint it until I'm done with my color!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

URGENT Need for Prayer

Dr. Love and I have friends who are missionaries in their own country of India. This morning we received the following email. Please add your prayers to ours for our dear brothers & sisters!

Our ministry team from Orissa called me a couple of hours back. Kindly note the following:

1. We have two children's homes (Bethlehem & Siloam) in Orissa - the fanatics came today and asked our houseparents to shut the homes and send back kids within 24 hours. There are 28 kids in these two homes. All bigger Christian orphanages are already closed in the state. Our kids come from 3 days walking distance - from remote villages. Normally they walk a day and rest in a village then start walking the next day and rest in a village and start again the third day to get home. We gave permission to the houseparents ( Solomon and Sumantho are leaders who graduated from Logos) to send back kids immediately. Please pray for their safety and protection.

2. We have 25 churches in remote villages in Orissa. Pullo Majhi who is a Logos graduate is the ministry coordinator for church planting. We couldn't get in touch with him. Our understanding is that most of the Christians are hiding in jungles for last three days since persecution intensified. They are hiding in forests without food. Only 1.5 % Christians in Orissa. Please pray for them.

3. One of Logos students Sukanth is in tears because his parents and relatives left the village to hid in jungles because of Hindu militant attacks. They had to run away last December when persecution became severe. They came back to the village only a couple of months back. His parents are old. Please pray for him and his relatives.

Couple of Christians are burnt alive in Orissa. Please pray for those who are in great sorrow.

Our hearts go after our fellow Christians. Please join us in prayer for them. We are conducting special prayers in Logos College and in our churches for our brethren.

Thanks for joining us in prayer.
Abraham

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Adventures in Mothering....

...is the MOPS theme for this year and I am so happy that the fall semester is about to start! Some of you may be thinking, and even be bold enough to ask "Leslie, what's the deal? You don't have preschoolers--unless there is other news you still need to share! What does MOPS have to do with you?"
Well, I am honored and thrilled and so very excited to be a part of the MOPS steering team at Faith! After a brief hiatus from MOPS when my term ended at Bethel and after our move last summer, I was able to return to MOPS last fall, taking care of 12-23 month olds. This year I get to head up the child care. This gives me a chance to again be stretched by God and pushed outside of my comfort zone. I know that He will use this to grow me in my relationship with Him and I have to admit I'm also a bit scared because I know from experience that spiritual growth is almost messy for me. I am priveleged to have the opportunity to be able to develop relationships with the other steering ladies as God uses us all.
Now here's a prayer request: We are desperately seeking more workers and I know that God will provide them, but I'd like Him to move at my speed, not His. So, please pray that I will learn what He has for me (patience? courage to call people I don't know? better reliance on Him?) and also that He will give us the workers needed. And while you're at it, pray that He will use this ministry to reach Lafayette/West Lafayette Moms who need Him.
Grace & Peace,
Leslie

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Playmates are gone.

It's hard to believe that the summer has gone by so quickly and today is the first day of school!
We spent last week we making the kids get up earlier in the morning in preparation for the start of school, registering them & checking out their new school building as well as shopping for supplies and clothes. We got in some extra swimming and had friends spend the night. We also introduced a couple of their church friends to Deep River Water Park up in Merrillville. Ten days ago I would have said that we weren't ready to go back but then the inevitable bickering set in a week ago and this morning both Miss B and Charlie were ready to head out.
The start of school means a shift change for me. Instead of "working" summer hours from 8-5, my kids need me first thing in the morning and then again from 4pm until bedtime. I'm free during the day to start & finish projects and to eat or not. So this morning I tackled some wallpaper removal in the kitchen and now I'm headed for the grocery store without someone who wants to add items to my cart.
I have to say that I miss them. I miss them foraging in the kitchen and whooping it up in the pool. I miss having Miss B grabbing for the phone when it rings as I hate answering the phone myself and she does love it so. I miss Charlie's funny comments.
But as much as I miss them I am excited for this new school year and the joys and trials it will bring. I look forward to seeing how God will continue to grow them and make them into what He wants them to be.
Come home soon my jr. highers, so we can "hang!"

Monday, August 4, 2008

#1 Son

He called! Seen here, the most handsome-est man I've ever seen next to his Papa is our oldest son "Dover." He's lived in Orange County, CA for like, forever (something like 9 years). One more semester to go at CSULB and he's loaded it full. We're hoping to get him home for Christmas. Miss B says he'd better come!
We love you #1 Son!



Friday, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

We're Off!

Tomorrow morning we'll load up the van and head for God's country.....UpNorth Michigan. We're looking forward to checking out the Gaylord EV Free Church on Sunday and then fishing, jet-skiing, touring the historic areas of Mackinaw City, visiting the Sleeping Bear Dunes area and relaxing together.


So don't look for any of my sporadic posts this next week. I'm sure we'll take lots of pictures and, if there's anything of interest, I'll post them when we're settled back in here in wonderful West Lafayette.

See ya' next week!

Leslie

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Year Milestone

The last two weeks have been full of memories for us. Not only did we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, this time of year also marks when we moved out of our home in Crown Point, were "homeless" for a few days, closed on our home here and then took possession and moved in. Those first few days are still a blur of unpacking, meeting all our friendly and gracious neighbors, trying to keep the kids occupied, getting the cats used to their new place and finding our way around the new town. We went on vacation shortly after that and it seemed very odd on our way home when we passed the Crown Point exit and still had an hour + to get home.

When school started in mid-August this still didn't feel "normal" for us and I, especially, had a bad time those first few days (and weeks) that the kids were gone all day. Eventually we had some visits from old friends, started getting things on the walls, began attending a local church instead of driving back to Crown Point and started to settle in.

Fast-forward to Thanksgiving. We had a mix of family, childhood friends, Crown Point friends and new church friends in for Thanksgiving dinner and when it was all over, I remarked to Dr. Love that for the first time I felt as though I lived here.

At Christmas time I enjoyed seeing how our "old" decorations fit into the new home and also scoped out Goodwill for additional items. We loved serving in the Living Nativity presentation and attending the Christmas Eve service at our new church. We had friends in over New Year's and that helped solidify us here as well.

The new year brought additional chances to get involved at the kid's school and new serving opportunities at church. Miss B and I joined the choir for the annual Passion Play in April and ended up staying in choir regularly.

Over spring break we were back in NorthWest Indiana to visit and Charlie was asked what he missed about our old home/city. He replied "really, nothing." That was a huge blessing to this Momma's heart! This past week Miss B, out of the blue, said that she really likes her school and doesn't miss Crown Point at all. She did say that she misses her old youth pastor & group (I think she always will, it's really an exceptional program!).

I am highly resistant to change of any kind, whether my brand of laundry detergent or to move away from the house that I love & the geographical area that I've been in for 20+ years. So it was with great joy when last week Dr. Love mentioned moving upon retirement and my first thought and response what "WHAT?!!!!! Leave this wonderful home and great neighborhood and excellent church? You've got to be kidding!"

I titled this blog "Contented in West Lafayette" because when I first started it, that was what I was praying for....that God would make me content here. This post now is all about how He has answered that prayer.

Grace and Peace,
Leslie

Friday, June 27, 2008

5th Anniversary



video

Friday was our 5th wedding anniversary! This little video was waiting outside our bedroom door when we woke up. I love how they're trying to be all serious and then Charlie sniggers at the end.

Dr. Love took the day off and we spent the day in Northwest Indiana. We stopped by our previous church and were able to see some old friends there. Then we took in a movie, had dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse and went to Costco. You might think that's not romantic but it was exactly what both of us wanted to do. We had kicked around the idea of going to Lake Michigan for the sunset, etc... but in the end I didn't want to be driving home that late all sandy. On Saturday we slept really late, went out for sushi and then spent twilight in our backyard hammock watching Momma Wren feed her babies and reminiscing about the last few years. All in all it was a wonderful weekend.

I am so blessed by God and thankful to have Dr. Love for my husband!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Miss B Goes to Camp (while Momma bites her nails)


Here are Miss B and her roomie for the week at Purdue. They're at a technology-based camp for girls that is targeted to their grade range.
I must admit that I was more than a little nervous about dropping her off someplace other than with her friends at church camp but Dr. Love has driven this current camp gig and I do trust his judgement.
Since she called last night both after dinner and just before bed, then again this morning after breakfast, I am much assured. I am still praying for spiritual, emotional and mental protection for her but I feel secure knowing Him who holds her in His hands.

Psalm 19

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Belated Telling of the First Week of Summer Vacation

The kids & I spent the first week of summer vacation visiting our dear friend Aunt Joe in Adams-Friendship, Wisconsin. We took along Miss B.'s best friend Mimi Flope. This picture is from our climb up 300+ steps at the Roche a Cree State Park just a few miles north of Aunt Joe's home.
Other activities included making stepping stones for our pool pathway, cooking together, riding the Ducks (take a closer look at Charlie's shirt), playing the game "Apples to Apples" and fishing in the pond under Aunt Joe's catch & release program.
Thank you Aunt Joe for your hospitality!

Tuesdays For Timothy Moms V (on a Thursday)

To find out more about Tuesdays for Timothy Moms, pop over to Sheila's blog Timothy Moms to find out more.



This week, Sheila asked us to post our meditations on this passage:

If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:7-11)

I was thinking about this again this morning as I woke for the day. Yesterday I had to take Miss B. to task over her attitude in general and a couple of other small things that I had been letting slide. Does God do that with us? Does He give me the chance to realize the rabbit trail I've headed down before chastening me back to His perfect path? Does He delight in the sweet fellowship that comes after my change of heart?
I believe that as parents, we have a unique view into God's own heart. He is our perfect Father, never making mistakes, never growling at us because He's had a bad day, never putting His own desires above our best. He always has time to sit with us. His laundry is always done, His meals for us always prepared on time. His patience never fails.
So the current result of all my ruminations is a committment to strive to be more Godly in my own parenting. If my teens drive me crazy sometimes, how must He feel about me?
Grace & Peace,
Leslie

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aren't They Gorgeous?!

Miss B. (in the middle) was able to reconnect with some friends from up north last week. This picture is from their adventure at our local mall. I escorted them and then, after handing them the spare cell phone and establishing a check-back in person time, sent them off by themselves.
They are beautiful inside as well and the potential that I see in them just stuns me.
Here is their big purchase:

and the shirts they decorated.


It almost makes me want to be 13 again. Okay, not really.
Leslie

If A Tree Falls in West Lafayette.....




...and you're home at the time, does it make a sound? Actually, we were heading to the "safe" place in the house as Dr. Love determined that we should due to the ugly winds that were kicking up. It sounded as though some branches were falling; nothing new-we always get that when it rains hard here. The wind, either straight-line or a microburst, lasted only 70 seconds or so and we were shocked to find this tree had fallen from the back yard across the garage and over the front porch!
We are extremely thankful that God seemingly "placed" the tree where it fell. It missed coming down on the sunroom & pool. There are a few minor holes in the roof, a damaged gutter and a bit of structural damage in the attic. There is no damage at all to the interior of our home or to our vehicles!
Praise HIM from whom all blessing flow!



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesdays For Timothy Moms IV

This week's question for Timothy Moms is : "What of God's word has really spoken to you lately? Is there a verse or section of scripture that you heard or read recently that really grabbed you, something that you'd say were words God was commanding YOU (like Deut.6:6 says)? If there is a verse or passage, how can you talk of it with your kids (or grandkids), at whatever ages they are right now?"

This question has really caused a conviction in my heart. I have to be honest and admit that I haven't been reading my Bible as I should. And since school is out for the summer and the kids and I traveled to Wisconsin last week, and also because Dr. Love is on vacation this week and we're busily trying to get the landscaping around the pool finished, we've not had our family devotions either :(
So I am purposing today to stop neglecting my own Bible reading time and to remind my family to do the same. Thank you Sheila!

Grace and Peace, Leslie


If you'd like to take part in Tuesdays for Timothy Moms, pop over to Sheila's blog Timothy Moms to find out more.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Hot Date!



Here are Dr. Love and I all dressed up and headed for the Techpoint Mira Awards Gala held at the Indiana Rooftop Ballroom in Indy. (from their website....."The Mira Awards Gala is the largest technology awards program in the state, growing in scope and attendance each year since its inception.") Dr. Love attended because several of the companies he mentors were up for awards.

The whole things was a new experience for me on two counts. This was the first work-related dinner that I have attended with my handsome hubby (although I did attend a press release a month or so ago when a gracious lady donated $3 million towards a new incubator building and even met & chatted with her!) and also my first ever "black tie optional" event.

The other "new" part was that I didn't purchase new clothes for the evening. As part of my determination to "be content with what I have" I put a lot of thought and prayer into finding something appropriate already hanging in my closet. And this is where I need to tell you that I am all about buying a new outfit!! It was very hard for me to change my thinking since event=new. But I really have been cognizent lately of God's resources and how He wants them used. I'm not at all saying that I couldn't buy a new dress if I'd needed it, but truthfully I didn't really need a dress that I'd only wear once. So, upon my dear friend Cheryl's outstanding advice, I chose the classic black skirt (leftover from my working days), black lace top, party shoes from several Christmases past and a wrap I picked up from a clearance table 2 years ago and hadn't used yet (but it was just so pretty, originally $160 marked down to $9.99!).

Now here's the best part. I felt better about how I was dressed and appeared than perhaps I ever have! I believe that God allowed those feelings due to my choice to honor Him from the beginning. And Dr. Love was pretty happy too.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Spring!

This lily-of-the-valley has traveled around quite a bit. They started out as my grandmother's (whom I never met) and when my Dad sold his home I dug them up and transplanted them. They've survived three moves and also wintered in Wisconsin one year when I lived in an apartment. Next to tulips, these are my favorite flowers.


The previous owners did quite a bit of landscaping. Isn't this gorgeous?!


The birds keep this little area along my back fence line busy all day!



Here is trusty Jacks guarding my front porch.


I really like the snail shape of these begonia leaves!


Guiniviere is the newest additon to my menagerie.


This bleeding heart perennial is another part of my Mother's Day gift.

Next to fall, Spring is my favorite season. I love to see everything come back to life and I enjoy the aromas and sounds. It also reminds me of the hope of eternal life. Isn't God good?!

Tuesdays For Timothy Moms III

First of all, if you've never accesssed the Timothy Moms blogspot, you can do so here (after you read my post, of course): http://timothymoms.blogspot.com/



Today we're discussing Psalm 144 and how it relates to our children.

"Blessed be the Lord, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;

My lovingkindness and my fortress, my sronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in whom I take refuge, who subdues my people under me.

O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that you think of him?

Man is like a mere breath; his days are like a passing shadow,

Bow Your heavens, O Lord, and come down; touch the mountains that they may smoke.

Flash forth lightning and scatter them; send our Your arrows and confuse them.

Stretch forth Your hand from on high; rescue me and deliver me out of great waters,out of the hand of aliens.

Whose mouth speak deceit, and who right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

I will sing a new song to You, O God; upon a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You,

Who gives salvation to kings, who rescues David His servant from the evil sword.

Rescue me and deliver me out of the hand of aliens, whose mouth speaks deceit and whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

Let our sons in their youth be as grown-up plants, and our daughters as corner pillars fashioned as for a palace;

Let our garners be full, furnishing every kind of produce, and our flocks bring fourth thousands and ten thousands in our fields;

Let our cattle bear without mishap and without loss, Let there be no outcry in our streets!

How blessed are the people who are so situated; how blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!"



I am struck mostly by verses 2&3....God is my shield and He in whom I can take refuge. There are many times when I beat myself up over my past sins...my own poor life choices and how my children have been effected by them. I take refuge in knowing that God is sovereign over their lives as well as my own. He loves them and watches out for them. He plots their courses and will see them through as they traverse this life. Blessed be the Lord!

On another note, tomorrow is the kid's schools' academic awards night. Now when I was growing up, if the school held something on a Wednesday night I automatically knew that I wouldn't be able to attend because "church was more important than school." I remember being disappointed that I couldn't be in the Christmas program, etc... because of church, so I have never held to that (although church is more important than sports or other clubs). This morning I mentioned to my children about tomorrow's awards and their reactions were immediate and emphatic "You mean I won't get to go to youth group?" "I don't want to miss choir practice!" So I'm hoping that the school will mail their awards. How can I argue with teens that want to be at church?!

Grace and Peace,
Leslie

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tuesdays For Timothy Moms II

Our meme this week is a prayer for our children and/or for our mothering skills.

My current prayer is for my daughter. There are days that she is the most loving, thoughtful person who has ever lived and then there are the others..... And we seem to be in the midst of a whole lot of others!

I'm asking God to develop in me the patience needed to love her and be nice to her even when she's not so sweet and cuddly. After all, isn't that how God loves me?! I'm also asking Him to continue to protect her mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually and to keep her heart His.

I rest in the knowledge that I can trust His sovereignty and love for her!

Grace & Peace,
Leslie

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Pool is Open!


For those of you who are asking "Is it really that much warmer in West Lafayette than it is in Crown Point?" The answer is No! The air temperature was 70 and the water temp was 65. That didn't stop the kids from getting in as soon as the steps to the promised pool were put in place. After half an hour or so they decided to get out and wait for warmer weather.
We still have lots of landscaping to do....come on down & lend a hand--the water's fine!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesdays for Timothy Moms

First, let me say that I think this meme is a great idea! Already I've gotten ideas and been convicted of my failure to teach my children when God provides an ideal moment.

For our family devotions, we're studying the book of Matthew. We started the book last August on the first day of school (my 13-year old girl/boy twins attend public middle school). My husband leads us (Thank you Lord, for a husband who is willing to be the spiritual servant-leader that you desire all men to be!) and we just go through verse-by-verse, sometimes section-by-section.

This morning we were at the end of Matthew 21 where Jesus is talking to the Pharisees: giving them the parable of the tenants and telling them that the Kingdom of Heaven will be taken away from them and given to those who will produce fruit. This is also the section where He quotes from Psalm 118 that "the stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone."

Last year my son did his 5th grade state report on the state of Pennsylvania and one of the things he learned was that PA is called the keystone state because it was at the center and held all the other states (at that time) together. My husband asked the kids the definition of a corner/capstone and the boy jumped right in about PA and then we were able to discuss building our lives on the cornerstone of Jesus and finishing it with Him as the capstone.

We also talked about the vineyard, what it was at the time that Jesus was talking to the Pharisees and what the vineyard could be today.....the earth and taking care of it (tied into Earth Day).....the kids themselves being the vineyard and my husband & I raising & teaching them. And that someday when they have children it will be their responsibility to be the tenants and take care of what God gives them.

Undoubtedly, this was one of our better family devotions discussions, and just in time for this meme posting. If you have regular family devotions....keep it up! We've been doing them for about 5 years now and have seen a ton of spiritual growth in our children as a result. If you're not doing them, please consider starting-even just once a week could make a difference! If you need help with how, let me know!

Grace and peace,
Leslie

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My First Post

Well, dinner is over, the kitchen is cleaned up, Dr. Love (my husband for those of you who aren't aware of his nickname) is helping "the boy" with his communications homework while "the girl" watches Wheel of Fortune. And here I sit in the office playing with the way this site looks and writing my first blog. I certainly hope that I will be more inspired in the future!