small things

Whatever you do,
do it in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father.
Colossians 3:17

DSC_1605 1

When you arise in the morning,
think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive;
to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love.
Marcus Aurelius

We are currently enjoying a few rare summer days of no outside pressures or activity; no sports, nothing on the calendar for the next two weeks.  The children are wild n’ free and don’t need me whatsoever, and for the last couple of days, my mind went all kinds of “blah”.  A wonderfully delicious blah, (no anxiety! no pressures!) except that I didn’t appreciate it like I should have.  In retrospect, I am sure these sorts of stagnant days serve some sort of healing and function and I can be thankful……however….

When I tried doing even more laundry to give myself a sense of accomplishment; it didn’t work.
I tried watching TV and putting my feet up; it turned my mind even more numb.
I wandered slowly up the stairs to clean Sarah’s room; it took me twice as long as it should have; I felt sad when I cleared out the baby board books to make room for her big girl story books.
I thought about going for a walk in the woods; all I did was look out the window for five minutes, staring off into space.
I took photos of my pretty teenage daughter and her friend; they made cookies and I ate one.  I admit, that was nice.
I tried reading a book; I couldn’t get into any of the ones I tried. blah.
I hugged people (my children) that came around; that was also nice.
I decided to make dinner even though I didn’t feel like it; it was yummy. very blah though. (spaghetti for the 5,000th time)

These activities didn’t help much with chasing away my big stagnant feeling but do you know what did?

waking up to a FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh the possibilities!  The weekend is about to happen and Rich and I can do stuff together!  The two of us.  For two whole entire days.


This week I pulled the first two carrots.  Seth ran over to me to get one.  See him in the black shirt?  He felt he had to rush or maybe a sibling would get to Mom first (it happens).

I love how growing things and having to wait and wait for them to be ready makes the children desire their carrots like nothing else.  (we have a bunch from the store in the fridge, does anyone want to eat THOSE?  only Dave.)


Caleb had a friend over for the day.  They swam in the pond and then caught a chicken.

DSC_1473 1

The children hosted a water balloon fight.  It was rather amusing to see how much effort they put into “strategy”.  After they spent time picking two teams I was waiting on the porch with my camera expecting it to start but they took so long planning, and they spread out so far across the yard, that I never did take photos of the actual battle.



How to prepare beets: begin by washing thoroughly, which is quite satisfying as they are very dirty from the garden.  Then, cut the stems about an inch above the beet.  Trim the main purple stem out of each green; add greens to your next salad or cook like spinach.  Boil beets until soft.  Drain them in the sink into a colander and run under cold water to stop cooking.  Let sit in sink until room temperature, or move colander to counter on a pretty towel.  When cool, skins will slide right off the beets; trim off them stems and root end.  Slice for salads or continue with preparations for a beet recipe (like harvard beets; so good!)


This year we have morning glory vines growing up sunflowers; but I didn’t plant them purposefully, they are last year’s morning glories that went to seed and grew.  A fun garden gift.  I did plant the sunflowers and they are at the stage now where they attract little goldfinches and chickadees.  The prettiest way to feed the birds, I’d say.


While doing some long overdue weeding and watering, I was surprised to see that my hens and chicks plant had blossoms!  Such an admirable sweet, quiet combination of colors, too.


Grace and Jenna, baking cookies yesterday.


They did a great job and talked the entire time.  Sarah loved hanging around them, too.

DSC_1565 1

During my laundry work; MOM OF BOYS, many many boys.


Jacob worked an early shift yesterday and came home with enough time to put his feet up and read (he was very soon sound asleep).


His favorite author is Bernard Cornwell.

My favorite 19 year old boy is Jacob.


The best part of the day;  when Rich gets home, we eat our dinner, and then have a few hours to relax together before bedtime.  He eventually fell asleep right where he was on the couch, with me snuggled up next to him, the boys all around us, and Grace at our feet.

I think one of the best feelings of contentment come at the end of the day when we are surrounded by our children and everyone is happy, productive, and healthy.

Ethan was playing us songs on his phone (he has the best songs), Jacob was composing, and David was watching funny cat videos on youtube.  When Grace joined us I kept looking at her face and thinking how adorable she was.


Last but not least, as you can see, we have a Monarch at the end of its chrysalis stage; it has “turned black” and you can see it’s recognizable monarch wings through it’s clear, shiny casing.  I LOVE the gold details that God placed on the chrysalis.  Beautiful, like fine jewelry, tasteful and simple.


You can see a green one in the background.




Doesn’t it make you smile?


We can do no great things; just small things with great love.  Mother Teresa

8 thoughts on “small things

  1. Often, that feeling at the end of the day when we are done with the day’s work and just at rest with each other, some days, it is how I get through, looking forward to that.

  2. oh i feel the same way about Fridays! All week i do the work of a mother…but the joy of the weekend as a WIFE is like no other! Having my best friend by my side even makes chores more fun! i love the sunflowers and morning glories!

  3. I’m glad you will have a couple of slower weeks. You should be glad you have lots of boys. I have 3 boys, and they are no trouble. The 4 girls seem to have so much drama, even now that they’re 40 and 50. Right now some of them aren’t talking to others. Pray that God will bring forgiveness and love. Thanks.

  4. All these blessings of ‘small things’ are what makes a life full and beautiful, my friend!
    Thank you for sharing your amazing photos, and your beet ‘tips’!
    Have to say, I love me some beets! 🙂
    Bless you, Shanda!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s