Your Mental Garden

Resentment is an ugly thing,

It crowds the roses out;

Keep your mental garden fair,

Put harmful things to rout.


Seed-thoughts that you cultivate

Within your fertile mind,

Bring forth varied blossoms

According to their kind.


Anger, malice, worry, fear,

Are noxious mental seeds;

Quickly rid your mind of them

Before they choke as weeds.


Faith, gentleness, humility,

Truth, patience, selfless love,

Are specimens of seedlings rare,

Approved of God above.


Your mental garden is a place

In which you daily dwell;

Let nothing ugly flourish there,

Safeguard and tend it well.

~Grenville Kleiser


You live with your thoughts—so be careful what they are.  ~Eva Arrington


(Just a poem and a quote that I read this afternoon that encouraged me.)



I sat and watched our little half grown chickens yesterday.  This one is Satin, she belongs to Miss Grace, and is very pretty and soft looking.  I love her green legs.


The half-growns are in their own chicken group and as I watched, one of them decided that it was time for their mid-morning nap.  She made a certain noise and they all went running under the bushes.

These two sat on a branch together, while the others sat down all feathery, to groom and sleep.

Ethan took this chicken picture this morning.  They were under and in a pine tree.

My sister bought Sarah a cute hat and asked me to take some pictures of her in it.

These are from this morning, when the sun shines through the front windows of the house~

We went to the library today.  I asked Grace to keep an eye on Seth while I went to the cookbook section.  

When I came back, I saw this.  I was glad that I had my camera in my purse.

After the library, lunch, and school, I went for a crispy crunchy walk with the boys and Sarah.


The leaves have fallen and make lots of noise as we walk….

The first thing Caleb did when we got to the library was run, wonk his head on the corner of the counter, and fall to the floor crying.  He did it right in front of 2 librarians and no one helped me.  Grace hugged him and I checked to make sure he was okay.  It was a mercy he didn’t do it any harder or there would have been blood everywhere.  The above poem, in the beginning of the post, has helped me get over the *feeling* of not being cared about today, in the library.  Maybe they care, maybe they don’t.  But, my little boy was hurt and no one said a word to him or asked us if he was okay.  I asked for ice and someone walked back to get some, but still…without any concern for the poor boy.  He was crying and holding his eye.  **sigh**

Anyway, he’s okay.

Oh.  Do I have to mention the pot?  Yes, It’s part of his “knight” costume.  I’ll show you the sword later………

Leaves are everywhere, including the stream.  

David jumped off this rock and hurt his foot.  Not too bad, thankfully.



The sword.  This picture was taken by The Knight Himself.  

(The sword is actually the rotissery thingy from our grill.  As soon as we got home, I made The Brave Knight put it back.)

This picture was also taken by The Knight.

Witch hazel.  Every season brings a new discovery around our property.  These trees were right in plain sight but this was the first year I noticed them.

Pretty yellow, isn’t it?  I put Sarah down in the dry leaves so I could pick a couple branches.  They are now in a tall jar of water, on my table.  Along with a candle and a beaver log (a log that has been chewed at both ends by our beaver.)

 ***(the following was added later)***

Sorry for the abrupt ending.  I had to go clean up a mess, which was, in Jacob’s opinion, “worse than poop”.

Stay tuned.



The End.



0 thoughts on “

  1. I had that kind of day yesterday. It was hard too because over the weekend, I had to be by myself with the kids a lot in public. I got some nasty glances, and one person even commented that “that is just TOO many” (in reference to my kids)…I had to laugh though, because I bet they didn’t know I had TWO growing inside instead of ONE! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m thankful for anyone who blesses my children. We know Jesus loves our kids and cares about them; He’s the best.

  2. I need to put that poem somewhere so that I can read it every day.  So true, and timely for me.  Thanks for sharing it!  I am sorry that no one seemed to care at the library.  I have felt that way, and it is very discouraging.  He still makes a handsome knight!  My mom used to have pots like the one on his head when I was a kid.  Your leaves are beautiful and I love Sarah’s new hat!  Aunt Amanda has great fashion sense.  Cute toenails and flip-flops in the crunchy leaves.  Rachel is still wearing flip-flops, but it is too cold for me (not to mention that I can’t stand wearing them anyway)- had to scrape ice off the car this morning.

  3. Oh the bumps and bruises! We were on the opposite end of the spectrum a few weeks ago. We were someplace and Samuel (4) ran into a display and cut his forehead. There were too many people surrounding us making a bigger deal over it than it was. I’m glad everyone is basically okay though!

  4. I remember wondering why people were so polite when I was pregnant and alone, opening doors and such, but would do nothing when I had a stroller with a toddler and a little baby in arms. I fell once in the parking lot while holding the baby and no one helped at all. I took the fall hard to save my little boy, so was pretty skinned up. Ah, well, makes me look to see those who need help. My big boys were always helpful to the other moms with little ones on field trips, and were rewarded with much love from the younger kids. Thank you thank you for the b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l leaf pictures! I love to experience the Fall with you. I am glad you knight is now fine, though sporting a big bruise! His little smile is so cute. Sarah is adorable in that hat! Grace is such a sweet big sis. The leaves look like confetti in that one shot The chickens are amazingly colorful…I like the green legs too. Lord bless you Shanda and your wonderful bunch.

  5. That was a very thought provoking poem. I love it! I too would have been upset that no one seemed to care at the library. It looks like a pretty good bump too! People are so desensitized these days maybe. Can’t wait to hear what’s worse than poop?!?

  6. Oh ouchie!!! It’s hard to believe that no one would come to the aide of a child who hit their head! Your day sounds about like mine, except for the ‘worse than poop’ part. I haven’t gotten that yet thankfully! Thank you for the poem. I read it three times! Just what I needed!

  7. I can relate to the whole library incident. It seems I keep running into situations like that and it’s hard to not get let down or hard hearted about it. thanks for the poem to give me perspective. and thanks for also reminding me that we’re not alone in this journey. it helps to know someone else’s heart feels the same way mine does. One other thing-did you know that witch hazel actually makes a great acne cleanser. that and tea tree oil. just had to mention that in light of your recent post about acne. blessings!

  8. Very nice poem. =)Your property looks so pretty.  Love Sarah’s little hat, she looks so cute!Sorry no one helped you at the library, that’s so discouraging.During one of my pregnancies, I would get dizzy and pass out. Well, I was at the grocery store checking out, and I started to pass out right onto her counter! The girl checking me out kept yelling at me, “Mam, do you want your receipt?”  I didn’t say anything, after a minute I sort of came to and then took my receipt and walked over to a bench to sit down, but wondered, did she not see me fall over her counter? On the flip side, there are a lot of nice people out there too!  It’s always better to have them around when you need someone! Lol.Have a good evening. =)

  9. Love the fall pictures. You live in such a pretty area of the U.S. We switched libraries about a year before we moved away. I had been just ignoring the mean librarians, one of whom like to make snide comments about James, and complain about how many books we checked out, until it got to the point where my kids were noticing how we were being treated and not wanting to go to the library anymore. Our last time there, she kept deliberately taking people ahead of me in line, making me wait extra long. I did eventually call the head librarian and explain our reason for no longer coming, and while she was quite apologetic about it, I was fairly certain that things weren’t going to change in the near future. I know there are wonderful librarians out there, but it does seem like some of them have chosen to fill their mental gardens with resentment and ill will. I thought sometimes of reminding our librarians that if there were no more children, eventually the library would empty out, but I thought better of it.

  10. I’m sitting here laughing (at myself). Oh me, oh my! I’m getting ready to have another surgical procedure on my neck (in the morning). I think I’d be better off if they removed part of my brain – the part that no longer works, anyway!Two times I read your wording wrong.1) I thought you said Grace’s red chicken was named Satan (not Satin). I couldn’t figure out why you would name it such an awful name, but, then again, it *DOES* have green legs . . . 2) When you said Caleb’s sword was from your rotissery thingy from your grill, I thought you said your “rosary thingy from your grill.” Had to look at that one again!!!At least when you mentioned “witch hazel” I knew it was a plant and not a person! Can’t imagine what kind of thoughts I have in my “Mental Garden” – Can you? ROFLOL!!!!!!!

  11. hi shanda…….delightful pictures, thought-provoking words, and true life stories.  all the things i love about your blog!!  i keep saying it, but thanks so much for your blog and all you share.  it’s my very favorite one to visit.  by the way, did you notice pleasantview schoolhouse started blogging again last month?

  12. Did the missing chicken come home? You do have some extra-ordinarily beautiful chickens there. I’m beginning to wonder if your little “farm” could produce anything but beautiful stuff -kids, chickens, leaves, landscape, Mama and Papa — Such a sweet post, Shanda-girl. And I am often aghast at how indifferent people can be to the pain of others. Maybe they just wanted to see how you handled this crisis. People often do that, you know, and it sure is lonely to be on the other end of their watchful eyes. Good girl for redirecting the bad feelings towards something else and good girl for doing a post.Of course, you have us all wondering what could be “worse than poop” so we will be hanging on with bated breath until you come and tell all. Or should we be holding our noses instead of our breath??? Love you!

  13. Oh my. What could be “worse than poop?!” Bless you as you mother all the little ones through their head-banging, foot-injuring, sword-wielding escapades. I only have three, but what they don’t get into isn’t worth mentioning!Sarah

  14. Worse than poop? LOL I love it.  I love your chickens, I mean it, I want to come meet them. ๐Ÿ™‚  Poor Caleb, his owie eye…your boys are so adventurous, I love it. ๐Ÿ˜€ 

  15. OH my goodness those green legs are awesome on the chicken!!!Your baby girl is precious, and what a beautiful hat she is wearing. Ugh on the library incident. Our old library (in a different state) was like that, those librarians were some of the coldest, uncaring, unhelpful people I have every met. Thankfully our “new” library, is wonderful.

  16. The close up of Sarah with her hat on stopped my heart ๐Ÿ™‚ She is simply lovely. So sorry about the inconsiderate library people. Love, LOve, LOVE the knight!! He will surely be protecting his precious little  sister when he grows up. 

  17. Oh dear. Not too many messes worse than poop! :-/ Sorry for your little knight’s mishap. I remember once when grocery shopping with my girls, a lady rammed her cart into my youngest and smacked her hard on her tender heel. My poor Abby crumpled to the floor sobbing, and all this lady said was “You were in my way.” WHAT??? WHAT???? My oldest had to hold me back! I was about ready to spring on this mean woman and rip her throat out! LOL! DO. NOT. HURT. MY KIDS. Yeah… God showed me some ugliness in my heart over that incident! It was hard to forgive and let it go. ~~ LOVE little Sarah’s new hat!

  18. I love your posts! I always feel like I go on a journey with you all. So sorry no one showed any concern for your little guy at the library. Glad he was not hurt badly though. I loved his knight outfit! I love the minds of children. Watching a child play would be a great way to write an amazing story!{{{{{{hugs}}}}}

  19. The pic of Sarah in that sweet hat is adorable, but the one of Caleb with the pot on his head (with his battle wound) is priceless!!!! People can be so thoughtless…am sure “they” didn’t intend to seem uncaring….or maybe “they” have never learned how to care. At any rate, you cannot let “them” spoil your attitude with their sour one. I hope “they” witnessed Grace sweetly reading to Seth….that would soften any tough old heart.

  20. Do you think her legs will stay green? It looks so weird in a cool sort of way.Sorry about Caleb’s eye, that must have been so stressful!  When I saw the pot I thought you would be writing about Johnny Appleseed! ๐Ÿ™‚  I think his was cast Iron.  THANK YOU for making him put his sword back..seriously, why do boys have to gravitate to the MOST dangerous thing possible?!

  21. I can’t wait till we see the colors of Fall down here in TX. It hasn’t been quite cool long enough, we need a good cold snap. Loving the pictures and I am so sorry about little Caleb. Sorry you felt like you didn’t get the help you wanted, but praise the Lord God had His angels there to protect your little boy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you have a blessed and happy day. love ya

  22. LOVE the close up picture of Sarah in her beautiful hat!!!  That is magazine cover worthy!  She looks like a doll baby!  Your knight is quiet handsome as well!  We have a couple running around here too.  I am always tickeled by the creative outfits they put together from our costume box.  The library, so sorry!!!  I feel your pain.  It does hurt when you are a caretaker, a giver, one who tends to others so much, and when you experience a need to have no compasion or care does wound our hearts, especially if you are physically or emotionally tired.  A kind word goes a long way!  Thanks for the poem.  I needed to read it today!  The pictures from your walk are beautiful.  Here in PA our trees are full of color and leaves are falling everywhere!!!  Thanks for the picture of witch hazel.  I didn’t know what it looked like.  Glad to know now.  Praying the Lord fill your day with His peace, and that it be a good one!!!  Blessings ~ Deborah

  23. Your post and pictures inspired me to take a walk to the mailbox. (we moved 2 months ago, and our driveway is a half mile long, plus the mailbox is another 1/4 mile up the road). I took my 3 little girls and my camera… maybe a post will result. We survived and I am sorry that it took me until the last warm day off fall to do it!

  24. I feel so many of your photos could be the foundation for children’s stories. An illustrator could take the image of Caleb the knight and make a wonderful picture book about his adventures. And imagine a little book about the “egg” incident…it reminds of the book “If you give a cat a cupcake”!

  25. I have a feeling your Caleb and my Devon would be very good comrades–That would so totally be Devon with the hat and sword, you never know what he will come around wearing next!!!  I would agree that the worse than poop mess was not an easy thing to clean up!!!!     Your fall pictures are so gorgeous!!!!

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