Animal Crackers

Monday, March 26, 2012

Our great friends the Doughty's recently made a trip to Texas for the San Antonio Independant Film Festival......while they were there, they did some souvenier shopping and brought Isaac and Josh home these:

"Texas" animal crackers!  The boys were thrilled.

Cuteness did I end up with such cute brothers?  Can't believe this little guy is about to turn five!

I ask Isaac and Josh probably twenty times a day, "Why are you so cute?" And they say "Because God made me that way."  And then I come with a follow up question, "Why did He make you that way?"
"Because He loves me!"  *Sigh*  I love these little guys.

Joshua pointing to his "fave-it".

What they got.....

....and, what I got.

Yes, big sis was lucky to even get their rejected crumbs.  But it was something anyway.....

My blog will be slightly quiet here the next week or so as my Dad, brother, and I head to Nebraska for a week-long trip!  Won't be blogging while I'm there, so you all will just have to live without me....:-)

And yes, I realize that my blog header is still from Christmas.  How embarrassing.  I need to purchase more blog space because as of now they won't allow me to upload any more pictures.  So when I have the time to take care of that little chore, maybe this blog will actually look normal.  :-)


One Thousand Gifts

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Have any of you ever read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp?

I hadn't.  I had heard of it and had it on my "to read" list........was even thinking about asking my mom for it for my birthday coming up.   Was telling her one day how I'd heard it was supposed to be really good and I definitely wanted to get my hands on a copy. 

That very same day, a very sweet friend emailed me and told me she felt God nudging her to send me this book.   And several days later, it arrived in the mail.....along with a beatiful scarf (ya'll know how much I love scarves, right?) and some yummy chocolates.  What a blessing! 

 The book and the scarf....unfortunately the chocolates were no longer around to be in the picture. :-)

So I've been devouring this book.  And getting quite a lot out of it.  I almost feel like I'm reading this woman's journal....listening to her thoughts.  I thought I'd share a few snatches from the book that have been meaningful to me so far:

"The act of naming grace moments, this list of God's gifts, moves beyond the shopping list variety of prayer and into the other side.  The other side of prayer, the interior of His throne room, the inner walls of His powerful, love-beating heart.  The list is God's list, the pulse of His love......this dare to write down one thousand things I love, it really is a dare to name all the ways that God loves me."

"They say time is money, but that's not true.  Time is life.  And if I want the fullest life, I need to find fullest time.....the busyness of your life leaving little room for the source of your life....God gives us time.  And who has time for God?"

That chapter I'm on right now is called "A Sanctuary of Time".  I am resounding with every word on each page.  Life gets busy, SO the midst of the piles of dishes and the screaming toddlers and the laundry stacked the ceiling, the part time job and the Chemistry waiting to be studied, the bathroom a wreck and everything else.......I've got to learn to just stop.  To stop and just thank God for what He's given me.  Amidst the chaos of life, the troubles and difficulties and rough spots....

I must learn to thank Him for everything.  Because He truly loves me.   I can't get so caught up in the daily grind that I miss all the thousands of "small" gifts He gives me, every day.

(And, by the way, in case you were wondering, I would highly recommend this book.:-)


Brothers, Jonah, and pullups

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Spring is definitely here.  It is so nice and warm now! 

 Yes, Isaac looks a little, uh, disturbed here.  I was having a hard time trying to get him to actually smile.  It's because he didn't want to pose with me.  He wanted to pose with big bro David!

 And here are the results!!  This picture would have been perfect if David's eyes had been open.  However it was too priceless not to post.  Isaac and David have a very close bond ~ Isaac looks up to David so much and is always wanting to play with him. 

 So special!

Isaac and Josh also have a close bond.  Right now they are learning how to do "family service" - our word for chores.  I had them sweep the kitchen floor together the other day, and heard the phrase "No, these MY crumbs!" being said on the verge of tears from Josh.  Fighting over crumbs!  It's good to know that I have a little brother so passionate about house chores!  May this continue!

They are quite into the story of Jonah right now.  At dinner tonight, as we were discussing what story we were going to read before bedtime (Mom and Dad went out on a date, leaving me to do the bedtime routine!), Joshua suggested Jonah.  "How 'bout Jonah? It's my favorite.

And then we went on to discuss the different types of pullups Mama buys.   Isaac chimed in that the orange was his favorite, while Joshua's is always green.  And then they wanted to know did Rachel used to wear pullups too?  Green ones?  They thought it was hysterical when I told them I used to wear pink pullups when I was little. 

Ah, they joys of toddlerhood.  What would my life be without them?


A Goat Birth

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Since I don't have my goatie-pies any more.....some dear friends invited me to come over and watch their incredible milker and humungously pregnant goat Ruby, give birth a few days ago! 

 Rachael the girl and Ruby the goat await the painful and (for me, usually) heart-stopping event.  Look how wide she is!  There was a reason for that wideness...........

 The first of THREE boys to say hello to the world!  So cute!  I love the little airplane ears Oberhaslis have.

 Bethany with the first little stinker.  All dried off and full of yummy milk.

 For being all boys, they sure managed to be cute!  All baby goats are adoreable, in my opinion.  It's just the boys that get rather - um, unmanageable as adults.   But you'd never know it from this picture.  :-)  Look at that little guy!

 Two down, one to go.  The girls were sure that the last one was a doe......until the said-girl got dried off and let everyone know otherwise.  "Rosie" became "Roger"....or whatever they decided to name the former girl!

I had a great time getting to watch Ruby's brought back great memories of my own little herd.  Another testimony to the awesomeness of God's creation!


Hard Stuff

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Been thinking about hardships recently.  Just tough circumstances in life.  I wanted to share with you something I read this morning that struck a chord with me.

"And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."
Deuteronomy 8:2

God led Israel, even though they felt as if they were "wandering".  He let them wander; yet it wasn't out of His control.  He allowed it.  He led them through a difficult time for a reason.  A purpose.

Of course, Israel was in sin, so the forty years of wandering was to allow the older doubting generation to die off, per God's command.  That's the extent that I ever thought.  But this verse really gives a different perspective on the whole thing, something I never saw before.

The wandering, the waiting, the difficult season of monotenous travel day after day, the hardship, it was all for a distinct purpose

To humble and test them.  To make them realize, "I can't do this thing called 'life' on my own.  I need God."  To show them that they couldn't just hop on over to the Promised Land and do their own thing. 

"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
Deuteronomy 8:3

God actually allowed His people to go hungry, to be desperate, to be at the end of their ropes.  To be so utterly needy that they would look to Him, their God. 

I've heard it said that "when you're at rock bottom, the only place to look is up."

When I'm at my wit's end, totally at a loss as to what to do, helpless to really change my seemingly hopeless situation, that's when He comes in.  And changes everything.

It's when I realize I'm utterly unable to fix what's wrong, to somehow 'overcome' the hardships in my life, that I realize He can.  And I'm to look to Him for absolutely everything.

God stripped away His people's ability to find food.  He allowed them to panic, to realize "I need help!".  And then He provided manna for them.  To make them realize that they were completely dependant on Him for even their daily meals - how much more so, life?

And what about that second part, the testing?  Why were they being tested? 

"To know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not."

Difficulties often reveal a person's true colors.  What you really think, what you truly believe in your heart.  What your deepest convictions are.  Because when the rug gets pulled out from beneath us, and our secure little world is altered, we grab for what we think will hold us up. 

Desperate circumstances call for desperate measures. (Little House, anyone?)

And what we "grab" as our life-saver shows what we truly believe, deep down.  Am I depending on things, people, or a comfortable situation to keep me afloat?  Is it a reputation, or where I live? 

So do we view difficult circumstances as life-shattering, the worst that could ever happen to me, woe is the day of my birth (I've been reading Job lately), how am I ever going to be happy again, etc...

Or will we view them as an oppertunity to grow closer to our Saviour?  To nestle a litle deeper into His arms and get to know His heart better? 

I want it to be a chance to realize that I am totally dependent on God for every little thing.  An oppertunity to step back and see that I can't just blindly march through the desert and chart out my own map and figure things out. 

Because, as God put it so well in Deuteronomy,
"man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."

I don't live based on my circumstances, how comfortable or right everything seems.

We're to depend on our Saviour for every. Little. Thing. 
Every single day.


Guest Post ~ Fresh Modesty

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am SUPER excited to share with you an interview I did with Miss Olivia from Fresh Modesty

I have stalked her blog for over a year now and always find it inspiring to see what she posts.  Olivia is a fashion enthusiast and has great tastes for what looks cute AND modest at the same time.  I love the slogan she has posted on her sidebar:  Dress outside the box, but inside His book!

It's the outside the box part that gets me most of the time.  Trying to get out of the eternal denim-skirt and tee shirt rut can be challenging.  Nothing wrong with ruts, if ya like them......but I truly love variety and I think as young ladies, we have a duty to dress in a way that says to the world, "God has made me a woman, and I LOVE it!"  Dressing with elegance and taste is something I'm trying to work on. 

But Olivia seems to already have that down.  Seriously.  :-) So, without further ado, here is the interview!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  You were homeschooled, right?
Yes, I have been homeschooled my whole life. I'm 19 and moved from a northern neighborhood to a home in the southern boonies about 2 years ago. That event has changed me more than I have cared to admit, but I love it out here and I wouldn't change it for anything. I am a thankful Christian, the oldest of 6 siblings, short, love hard work, have many fashion pet peeves, and am in love with mud. :D

 When and how did you become interested into making modesty fashionable?

Well, until I was 13, it didn't really "click" that if you wanted to look nice, you had to put effort into your outfits, hair, hygiene, ect. Also around that time, I was introduced to the idea of modesty and not just doing it because my parents made me. I've always loved being creative and have watched way too much QVC (you know, the shopping channel) in my day, so the combination of all that just kind of worked itself out! I started my fashion blog shortly after I turned 16, hoping to share what I was learning with others.

What are some fashion tips you could give us, (i.e. what makes an outfit "work", hairstyle ideas, etc.)

Hair is important. What good does a cute outfit do if your hair looks like a rat's nest or a wild waterfall? Or worse- a slicked back ponytail so tight your hairline is completely visible? God calls our hair beautiful, good, so don't neglect it! Volume, practicality, and flatteringness are fundamental.

Proportion. Flowy top or flowy skirt, but not both. Little hair, little earrings. Big hair, big earrings (some exceptions apply for that one...) My rule of thumb is basically, make sure your outfits are tight around your hips. Flowy shirts need belted, skirts should be fitted, etc. Tank tops help sooo much with this, since you can stay modest, but smooth. :)

 How do you go about finding cute clothes that are also modest?

There are a ton of super cute, modest clothes online, if you're willing to pay. I'm not, and so Goodwill and my sewing machine are my best friends. I make a lot of my skirts, and alter most of my shirts at least a little by taking in the sides, etc. Clearance racks are also awesome! When I'm out shopping, I make sure my attitude is, "How can I make these things modest?" rather than "This is such a waste of time! There's nothing here I would be caught dead in." So, I look at what the store mannequins are wearing (at kind of conservative stores like JCPenny's and Sears), and try to find elements I can duplicate modestly. Thankfully layering is still really big, so that helps. :)

 How do you balance being "into" fashion and realizing that inner beauty is what truly counts?

It's a hard thing. But, for me personally, if I want inner beauty, I need to not covet. Keeping up with the latest trends and looking at fashion blogs that focus on those trends is not good for me. I'm naturally very observant about these trends, so I don't need to spend time reading about the details. I think a classy, timeless look is really a key factor of being modest- you can be completely covered, but still immodest by showing off brand names or crazy trends. A smile is your prettiest accessory! And a gentle and quiet spirit is better than a flattering outfit.
(Note:  Love, love, love this outfit.  Boots are great!)
Skirts, pants, or both? Why?

I'm a 85% skirts girl. I have a policy of trying to wear skirts whenever I'm out of the house, especially when I'm running errands- I feel it is a bigger witness and gives me more opportunity to talk to people, since they often compliment my long skirts. But, I live on a "farm", so sometimes wearing pants is much more practical... like when me and my sister were climbing all over scaffolding re-staining our house last fall. :P If I'm working around guys, I try to wear a tunic top that keeps me modest and from always fooling with my jeans as I bend over and stuff. Sometimes in the evening I'll throw on a pair of jeans to be warmer as I sit and blog. :D

I love looking at your blogs for outfit ideas, plus just inspiration to be more creative with how I dress.  Keep up the great work!  Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

Thank you for the opportunity to do this, Rachel! I can't think of much else to say, except keep on fighting the good fight! I'd love it if your readers would stop by my blogs and say hi! Modesty is so important, but so is remembering that we are girls for a reason, and we should love dressing up. :D

Comment and let me know what your thoughts are on the subject of modest fashion!  And here's the link to her blog again, Fresh Modesty.


How I Re-used My Old Jeans

Friday, March 2, 2012

I recently re-painted a large wall in our house......I didn't have any designated "paint clothes" on hand like I used to, so I just used the pair of jeans that I liked the least.  A bit worn out, not the fit I like, etc.  And though I tried valiantly not to get paint on them......the inevitable happened.  Just a few tiny blotches of creamy white paint on the left leg.  Not too bad, but noticable enough to say that my days of wearing them were over.

I had another skirt which I really liked, but didn't wear very often because the waist band was kind of funky.  It was a drawstring, and it sort of reminded me of an "old grandma" kind of skirt.  (Absolutely NO offense to grandma's out there - I will wear your style one day, however right now I am only eighteen!!! )

So I decided to combine the two into something that I liked and could wear.

Chop off the pant legs to right below the zipper.....

....chop off the waistband......

and voila!  A new skirt.

I have had this blue and brown ribbon lying around for so long, I was excited when I found I could use it as as belt on this skirt!  I don't normally wear my shirts tucked in, but for this skirt I thought it "worked" because of the cute ribbon.

 I love it!

I thought since I was posting about my outfit I'd post about my hair as well.  I've been trying to branch out on hairstyles recently because I get in SUCH a rut.  Not a bad thing, but variety is nice.

So, what do you think?


Does my skirt look weird, like a pair of pants chopped off with a skirt plastered to the bottom?  Or is it cute?  Okay?  Or just so-so?  Tell me what you think.


About This Blog

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will
make your paths straight."

Proverbs 3:5-6

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