There are two seasonal diversions that can

ease the bite of winter.

One is the January thaw.

The other is the seed catalogues.  Hal Borland


I am not looking at seed catalogues today.  However, we are enjoying a thaw. 

First of all, thank you all so much for caring about me!  All that xanga soup/love sure warmed me up.  I’m feeling somewhat better, but still very tired.  When I’m done writing, I’m going to go lay on the couch.  I did quite a bit this morning; school, dinner (beef stew in the crock pot), cleaning and laundry, and a trip outdoors.  We all went out together for the first time in weeks.

Just getting them out the door was exhausting.  David was flipping around on his head instead of looking for his other boot. . .Grace was shedding tears because the boys were already out and she had two more math problems to do. . .we had to convince Caleb that he really DID want to go out. . . .on and on. 

Eventually the math was done, Caleb was out with big brothers, the boot was found and we all were ready.

The first thing the kids did was run and/or sled right down to the trampoline and take everything off that they just put on; jackets, boots, and socks!  Caleb kept his shoes on, though.  And, he kept hold of Henry the entire time that he bounced. 




After watching them for a few minutes I went for a brief jaunt into the edge of the woods.

One of the things I admire in nature is the peeling bark of trees.  Some caught my eye today and I went over to look closer. . I love the colors, the iridescence, the papery-ness.  The kids know I love it, sometimes they come home with huge lengths of white birch for me. 



“Go–spend hours and days reading his creation!  Let your heart fill to the brim with wonder.  Let your mouth praise the glory of our Creator!”

“The heavens and the earth are given to lift our hearts out of our selfish perspectives and raise them to heights of praise for what our Creator is.”

“Don’t let this world around you squeeze you into buildings or books.  Buildings are good, books are good.  There are times to be in both.  But God created the heavens and the earth to be experienced. . .”

From a book I am reading out loud to Jacob, Boyhood and Beyond, by Bob Schultz


The sound of the stream was like music to my ears.  Last night, when Rich came home, I just had to get outside for some fresh air. . and, even though it was dark out, I made my way down the edge of the woods and just stood and listened to the water for a while.


I also love wind chimes.  I tie them up with bits of ribbon.  Quite often in the midst of my busy days, I go outside for one reason or another (to get the mail, tie up the dog, fill up the feeder, etc) and I hear them and smile.   It’s rewarding to hang up wind chimes.  All mine are down away from the house, because I prefer to hear them from a distance.


After my walk, I watched the kids play some more.  Caleb got too close to the edge of the pond and when Ethan pulled him away, his arm came out of his sleeve.  Then, when he was walking to the house, he slipped and got his hands cold. . . . . . .I noticed his train was missing. . . . .


I asked him, “Where’s Henry?” and he said, “Right there!” 

“Okay, you come with mamma and we’ll go get him and then go inside for some lunch. . . . .”

We held hands and walked off to find Henry together.

It’s a good thing I took him with me, because I don’t think I would have found him myself.


See what I mean? 



I hope you all have a wonderful afternoon! 


0 thoughts on “

  1. The trampoline looks fun. Besides a good game of racquetball, some of the best exercise that I ever got was on one of those contraptions. Was this a Christmas gift for the kids? I am glad Henry was found and that you are on the mend. The stream picture reminds me of the Psalms and the Good Shepherd who leads us to streams of living water. I would probably have a chair down there somewhere.

  2. OmGoodness!  I wouldn’t of been able to find Henry!  I am glad that he was able to remember where he left him!
    Looks like you guys had a wonderful day outside.  I am so glad that you are feeling better. I hope you get your energy back VERY soon. 
    Have a wonderful and restful day!

  3. What a day!  So much fun, though ~ listening to the water flow ~ that always soothes my soul.  Did any of your littles get sick too?  Are you ALL on a soup diet?  LOL!

  4. Hi Shandra, This comment is a little late. No one commented about Caleb’s little feet. I also notice beautiful little feet. Mine have been deformed since I was seven years old. That is about 57 years now. So when I see children with feet like Caleb’s, I am so glad for them. Someday I will have beautiful feet again, although I never think of my feet in that way. That will just be an extra undeserved blessing. Albert

  5. You are a blessing….the music, the pictures, the discription of the children and sights….it is all so lovely to me.  My David is reading on the other computer and always laughs and has fun catching up with you all.  We did some school, are now going to clean for homegroup here tonight , then finish school later because it involves watching a movie and taking notes   Glad you are better…hope your afternoon is restful. Jenny

  6. Ah fresh air and sunshine. That always helps me feel better. Try to get some rest and get back to 100%. Poor Henry. Good thing he knew where to look. It would have taken me till spring to find him!HugsMelody L

  7. Thank you for sharing your cozy pictures, Shanda.  I feel more at peace just looking at them.  🙂  I’m happy to read that you are feeling better.  It has been very warm in Michigan also!  We actually hit 65° and all of our snow melted!  I think we are forecasted for more on Friday, though.  Nature is such a treasure to enjoy, no matter what the weather.  And your lovely site and pics help remind me of that.  Be blessed!

  8. I’m glad you’re feeling better!  I got your letter yesterday (THANK YOU!!!), and I sent one off to you today.  My hubby just left with the three oldest, and they won’t be back until tomorrow night- dentist appointments in the big city.  Your pictures are great- it must have felt good to get outside.  No January thaw here, in case you were wondering.

  9. We are having a January thaw too, the weather here was warm the last two days. I enjoy listening to the snow melt and drip…its so peaceful. Your kiddies looked like they were really enjoying their trampoline. You are truly blessed to have made the decision to homeschool, you will never miss out on anything…Have a super great night and hope you have some time for rest…Lisa

  10. Glad you are feeling better!
    You made me think of when I was a little girl, our neighbor had a white birch and I loved to peel it.   Thanks for the memory!!!!

  11. I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better. Continue to rest though and don’t do too much. I enjoyed seeing your pictures. I love the sounds of a stream and windchimes. 🙂

  12. I think I’m finally caught up on reading your blog!  It stinks to be out for a month!  I’ve missed SO much.  It was a nice time, sitting here, eating my homemade apple pie and reading about what’s going on in Shanda’s world.  Tears came to my eyes multiple times…be sure of that!  You know what I would really love?  Just to come stay at your house for a couple of days and drink in your memories with you–it seems like such a peaceful place with the ponds and creek and the cozy house.  I so wanted to send you a Christmas card.  I wish I had gotten around to cards this year, but the ice storm really threw me off!!!  I didn’t get to do a lot of what I planned to do.  It’s alright, though.  I hope to write soon.  Take care, friend.

  13. LOL, Oh Shanda I don’t know how you do it all AND still take pictures.I think the Lord helps us in ways we don’t even realize.I know His creation certainly revives you!

  14. Oh, my — I’m glad you’re beginning to feel better — and that you found Henry!  We have just had 3 back-to-back rainstorms — I hope they don’t turn into nasty winter storms for you as they come across the country, but it sure was nice to have some rain here!

  15. Aw. That is cute that your youngest one held on to his train the whole time on the trampoline, and then took to help him find it. Wow! He burried Henry in the sand. He’s a niffty lil guy!
    Comment back,

  16. I hope that you get some of your energy back, it’s so hard sometimes to get back into things (especially with cleaning house chores and laundry looming) Beautiful photos! I need to take a good walk in the woods, but the rain won’t let me today. Hugs and thanks again for the great advice, it’s been a wonderful week of growing in the Lord!

  17. I enjoyed reading the parts from the book after your telling me about it earlier.  I can see what you mean about getting as much out of it as Jacob did.  It would pull me outside as well.
    I have wanted chimes for a long time now, and am sure I would be the same way (wanting them at a distance).
    Very cute about Calebs’ train, glad you found it for him, you should have a few back ups of the same train, just in case! LOL!

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