It’s nice and cool this morning.  I just waved Rich down the road. . .we got to sit together on the porch this morning before he had to leave for work.  I read my Bible and we watched the birds and squirrels having their morning exercise.  We saw a bright red cardinal, which sang to us it’s morning praise, and a cat bird which perched near us, a small frisky red squirrel performing daring feats in the trees.  Rich walked the dog, like he does every morning.  The construction workers are already here, and are hammering away on the garage. 

I am happy and feeling refreshed because of a good night’s sleep.  I am a morning person, for sure.

Last night Rich had to go to Costco and he took all the kids with him!!!  I got to stay here and read a book.  I did NOTHING but read and it was very relaxing.  I had ordered an LM Montgomery journal (Vol. 1) off of ebay and it came yesterday so I dove right into that.  Rich came home with a lot of snacks for me.  I get queasy if I don’t keep food in my stomach so I’m very thankful for the things he brought home~dried fruit, little packs of crackers, granola bars, etc.

When he got home he put the kids to bed and we watched a Columbo mystery on netflix while munching on dried fruit.

I got up this morning and realized that I never put the leftover spaghetti and meatballs away after dinner.  It’s all wasted.  I hate wasting food. . . . .Rich forgave me though. 

I just read all the comments from yesterday’s post.  They were all wonderful but I feel like I need to say once again that THE QUESTIONS ARE NOT FROM ME.  They are questions that are messaged to me from women through xanga and I post them ~ I leave off names so we can have privacy.  Sorry for the confusion.  I’ll have to make that more clear next Monday, which reminds me, if anyone can think of an edifying question please send it my way.

So, here are some random pictures from the last few weeks~


I don’t know what I was thinking. . . .I left Caleb alone to paint and this is what I came back to.  He said he was covered “in chocolate”.  I still think he’s handsome, even with brown paint on his face.  And arms.  Hands.  Shirt.


My one and only girl usually does whatever her brothers do.  One thing she has no desire to do is FISH.  She just quietly stands and watches.  I haven’t seen her even touch a pole. ~


The 3 older children and I went for a walk a week ago.  The woods are a place of refuge for me.  My eyes actually relax from what I see.  I love how HUGE the woods are ~ with the tall tall trees, but also how small it is ~ with an entire world of small creatures and plants under our feet.  The air is different in the forest, the smells are different.  It’s a peaceful place.


I love to see the dappled sunlight.  The darkness of the trees and the brightness of the sun shining through.~



The convenient trail has been made by mountain bikers

~we usually all find a good walking stick~



We enjoy coming across mushrooms. . . .I’ve taught the kids, without even trying, to get excited about them.  Rich and I walked with the children on Sunday and Ethan found all different kinds.  Small, dark brown ones, and one that had a white stem and a red top.  I found some the other day that were tiny and completely red~ as red as a wild strawberry.  I wished I had a mushroom book!  I would never ever eat any of them, but it would be neat to identify them all.


The underneath is so lovely and cream-colored, and delicate. . . .


The boys walk and talk together “along the way”. . .as I hope they do, all through life.  Sometimes they even walk so close that E will put his hand on Jacob’s back for a moment as they talk.  Just a moment, they don’t even notice, but I do.  “I ponder those moments in my heart.”  The brotherly love between these two boys is such a blessing to me.  They were born just a year and 2 months apart and have been together ever since.



Jacob was impressed with how tall the grass was.  He took a piece home with him to show his Dad.  It shrunk as it dried.


Grace in motion. . . . . .


I say ~ she’s as cute as a button!  Do you know, she’s the only one in our family with those brown eyes?  She gets them from her Grandma (Rich’s mom). 

She is a HAPPY GIRL.


Last but not least, for my bird loving friends~

 A nest of fat baby birds   I was thrilled to discover this.  I believe they are Baltimore Orioles~

The next time I visited the nest, they were all gone.


I hope you enjoyed the random photos and the walk in the woods.  Remember to take time today to meditate on the BIGNESS of our God.  Look at the things He has created!  If you picked one creature to study it would give you enough to praise God all day long! 

Love and Hugs to you my dear friends~ Shanda


0 thoughts on “

  1. Caleb looks like he had fun painting… even if he did make a gigantic mess. I’m sure that was fun to clean up. How nice of Rich to take all of the kids to Costco. I’m sure that is not a fun excursion for you to do with all of them.

  2. I always love randomness…those pictures of Caleb with the paint are adorable…my youngest is sitting on my lap and he said “oh wow!” when he saw the pictures….I’m pretty sure he was thinking of all the fun he and Caleb could have together. πŸ˜‰
    Have a wonderful day my friend! You are in my prayers today. =)

  3. Oh my goodness, Shanda ~ the oriole nest!!!  What a treat!  I think I would have stayed in that spot all day and probably shot a couple hundred photos!  Wondering if it is actually a Baltimore or another type of oriole.  Did you notice if the male had a black head?

  4. So true!  I love all these pictures.  I love the woods too and there is something about open fields.  I was just talking to Jeremy the other day about that.  We went for one of our little drives on some roads we never have been on and I kept on pointing and going “Aaaawh” at these fields.  It got me thinking of the hill and how many of the things I enjoy and find relaxing were from my life on the hill.  Those times are treasure to me.  You are a treasure to me.  Have a great day and say hello to all the kids, uncluding the one within you.  Love, Lish

  5. Love the white mushroom.
    I was thinking about responding to the older lady question, but everything I would have written – was written. 
    One of my all-time favorite quotes on keeping love alive came from Ann Landers when a woman wrote it that she can’t stand having her husband around the house now that he is retired.  This quote summarizes Ann’s answer:  You can’t expect to live in a mansion if you have accumulated only enough lumber for a shack.

  6. Wow how was that cleaning up Caleb?   Your pictures are very good.   My kids all have brown eyes to, after their father:)   That is some tall grass.   That is nice that Rich took the kids away like that.   And you got to read your new book:)

  7. You have such a beautiful family and such an amazing view of life; I always feel refreshed and encouraged after reading your posts and looking at yuour lovely photos – thanks for taking the time to share

  8. Hey good morning I am glad to learn all of these questions about what to do when the children are grown are not yours…LOL. I miss you we should get together today??? 

  9. This post was soooo wonderful and relaxing; it made me feel as though I was walking through the woods with you all. The pictures of the nature and kids were really special, and Shanda, you look beautiful and like you are just one of the kids. I’m glad to hear Rich is taking such good care of you! What you said about him bringing home snacks for you brought back memories of my husband doing the same thing for me earlier in my pregnancy…so sweet.Like the other readers, I always enjoy the “older lady” questions and answers on Mondays, and yesterday was one of my favorites!

  10. I love the woods also. Me and my husband are always taking walks and riding are quad through are favorite wooded places. I love that no matter how hot it is outside when you take a walk through the woods it is so cool and refreshing. Your children have such a beautiful and loving spirit. You can see it, in how they look in all the wonderful pictures that you take of them. I also really liked the pictures of the Baltimore Orioles. We have them around here, but I have never seen a nest of them. It so interesting how it hangs like a basket. God bless

  11. P.S. I like what you mentioned about recording the mushrooms you see. I’ve always wanted to make field guides of plants and birds with my own kids some day. Science education at its best (and most fun!)

  12. It’s very cool here this morning too. . . a rare treat in these parts during July.  I sat outside alone as my hubby had gone on to work, but that was nice in itself. . .listening to the birds, watching the breeze blow through the trees in the woods behind us, drinking coffee, reading scripture and praying, getting my heart and body ready for the day.  My littles were still sleeping (late thankfully) but are now up and watching Clifford so I need to go fix b’fast—

  13. Caleb is looking TOO big.  He’s beginning to resemble his older brothers now.  I wonder if it is cool here…somehow, I doubt it.  Dave let me sleep in a little this morning.  It has been such a treat!  I still need some coffee.  Sam is pushing trains, and Maryn is watching PBS.  I’m going to put on my breakfast music and drink my coffee and read a bit.  I hope your day is pleasant and that you feel okay.  Hugs to you, friend!  Oh, and the cookies were phenomenal (even with Butter Crisco!)…so soft and flavorful!!!

  14. What a blessing to have those woods so close by. We have a little bit of woods in the back of our house, though they need trails cut in them. We love watching all the birds and wildlife that comes to our backyard though. Hey, how is your garden doing? What do you have planted?

  15. Thank you for the encouragement in this post today! I so needed it!!! What a blessing it was to go on the walk through the woods with you and your little ones! (getting bigger!!) Grace is a dumpling! She is as cute as a button for sure! That is so sweet about the boys!! My boys are 10 months apart and I do treasure those moments when they seem to be ONE! WOW! COVERED IN CHOCOLATE! Haha! What a cutie! Thank you for sharing! My spirits have been lifted!

  16. There’s so much to comment on I don’t know where to start.  Thank you for the birds…they look perfect.  I just love the way you choose to take pictures.  I don’t know what it’s called but when you either take them from under or straight on or with a lot of detail or simple.  You always choose the right way.  Taking in God’s creation is always an amazing thing.  Mushrooms, leaves, children, blades of grass…they all show His handiwork.  It’s good to train the eye and the heart to look for God in everything.  He’s always there and that’s a comfort.  Thank you Shanda.  Enjoy your day today!

  17. what a wonderland you have there! the green is so… dreamy green to us πŸ™‚ beautiful girl indeed you have, and I think it’s lovely how she goes with the flow of the boys… she would do well to marry into a family of lots of boys πŸ˜‰ she’ll know the ropes well. — I’ve the opposite of you — all brown eyed boys and blue eyed girls. Isn’t it fun to see how the Lord creates us and brings in those genes from all over ~:)Blessings and keep those snacks in you πŸ™‚ ~ may you feel good and strong in the midst of this pregnancy. I’m headed out with the kiddos. I do think our two crews would have such fun exploring God’s world together — can you imagine eight boys?! what fun fun fun…

  18. Beautiful post!  I love picturing you and Rich on the porch, watching the bird and squirrels.  Caleb is looking so big and old!  I thought he was David at first.  You have such a sweet, loving family!  Grace is a cutie for sure!  The woods are delightful- so calm and refreshing.  I’m off to go clean the old house and make trips to the second hand store to get rid of STUFF!!  Have a wonderful day!

  19. Between the pictures, the music and the journaling…I think I’m feeling as relaxed as refreshed as did on your nature walk! Thanks for letting me tag along. πŸ™‚

  20. I love the closeup of Caleb’s face…..he is soooo handsome! He looks like he is going to be in a play and be some cute little elf from the forest.   Again, thanks for sharing pictures both in words and in images of your beautiful life….so lovely.  The woods, your children, and the nest are all so wonderful. I love how you focus on the different children and have these wonderful images of them. Hope you feel better each day….glad you know to keep those snacks in you….have you tried dried ginger?  Helpful with that tummy! It will be fun to see you “blossom”
      I think you have Comstocks “Handbook of Nature” ?  There is a good section in there on mushrooms and fungi which would get you started on learning more.  As a homeschooler I also want to recommend the Young explorer series by Jeannie Fulbright that is published by Apologia.  Esp. the one “Exploring creation with Botany”.  You could do science with all the kids together and they keep nature journals. I love the journal my David made….all the picutes he drew and things we learned about plants. 
    Lord bless you and your family! Jenny

  21. Shanda, I am constantly amazed at how fast your children are growing. Caleb has already made the transformation from baby to little boy. He is a cutie!
    I also enjoy all your pictures. I don’t know that I would actually stop to look at mushrooms but seeing them through your eyes they are beautiful.

  22. Good to hear from you today! Have a good evening! {the pitcher wasn’t lost on me, either. : P}
    ~~ whatever!

  23. Hi there.  Just doing some much needed catching up!  Looks like I’m just in time for the great news of another baby.  Congratulations!  The pics of your family are beautiful…as always.  Best wishes with your pregnancy!

  24. I love to see the sunshine through the trees in the woods too.   I love walking in our woods early in the morning  — I have some new bird pictures I’ll post after this week is over and I’m not so busy getting ready for my parents’ anniversary party. 
    Mushrooms/Toadstools always remind me of our youngest son as he loved mushrooms when he was little and he and a friend decided to eat some that they found in the yard one day — we caught them and took them to the emergency room where they were given syrup of epicac to bring whatever they ate (could have been toadstools) back up and I’m not sure he even likes mushrooms today!!

  25. nothing like being at home by YOURSELF to feel refreshed and energized – usually we have to LEAVE to have that alone time. how nice to have it in our own comfort zone!! yay to your honey for being so sweet to you – and snacks too!! double yay!! πŸ™‚ keep little one happy w/ those healthy snacks.. :)love the shot of the shadow on the tree – looks like a giant flower. very cool.and your Grace – there’s something about her.. she just SHINES!. she’s a child i’d love to know – you can tell by her face she’s a genuine sweetheart – a reflection of mommy, i’m sure. i’m rooting for a baby sister for her! πŸ˜‰

  26. Glorious photos once again. Golden moments indeed. Honey, were you  filled with this level of reflection and deep wonder while carrying your boys? Were you more so with Miss Gracie? Hmmmm, she pondered.

  27. You have such a beautiful family!  What a blessing~
    Is the woods on your property or adjacent?  You do have a wonderful place for your family to grow ~

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