Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Hand Lettered Love

Natalie, who is now 13 years old, has worked diligently to become quite skilled at hand lettering.  She loves to doodle and read.  When you put those things together, you get a love for beautifully written words.  She enjoys lettering meaningful scripture and also great quotes.

With the holiday season upon us, Natalie has decided to turn her hobby into a small business.  She is offering her hand-lettering services for a small fee, and I will also be posting some of her work for sale here.  If you are interested in having her letter something special for you, or for a gift, please let us know.  We will mail the completed project to you in time for holiday gift-giving! 

Here is an example of her work...she does some simple black and white lettering, but also uses quality watercolors to enhance some of her work as well.  I know I am partial, but I think she does an amazing job! 

My Soul Finds Rest In God Alone

Have a quote or scripture you would like to see? Contact us by commenting here, or send and email to:


Sunday, November 6, 2016


With it being election year, we are constantly bombarded with political opinions.  Everyone feels bold and thinks that spewing hatred on social media will somehow win over or convince their 'friends' so that their candidate will win.  I am not on Facebook, but sometimes troll on Nathaniel's account in order to see what's going on out there in the world.  Honestly, I am so thankful that I don't have Facebook.  What a way to be continually frustrated, jealous, and discontent with life!  Seriously!  Between this, and all of the people re-connecting with old flames and then leaving their spouses, I think I am better off without it.  I've always said that I should have been born as Ma Ingalls, and she didn't worry with Facebook, so why should I!  Ha!

Anyway, this post isn't really about Facebook.  It's about my citizenship.  I'm a registered voter.  In fact, I turned 18 my senior year of high school and I remember how excited I was that I could register and cast my very first vote in an official election.  I thought I had arrived!  I continue to try to make solid, educated choices when I cast my ballot in an election, whether it be a local race or a vote for a presidential candidate.  I've long said, though, that sometimes choosing who to vote for is like picking your favorite mosquito out of the swarm.  There aren't any good choices. 

I've been shocked at all of the hatred and mud being slung in the current presidential race.  Sadly, I'm not talking about the hatred that the candidates are throwing at each other.  That is what I have come to expect from any candidate.  But the shock has been to watch and read as Christians, those who wear the name of Christ, say terrible and awful things with great gusto, justification, and confidence. 

Here's the truth for me.  Folks, I don't ever want to ruin my testimony for Christ because I feel the need to speak harshly in order to support or oppose a candidate in an election.  I love America, but the bottom line is, my citizenship lies elsewhere.  I am a child of the King, and my citizenship is in Heaven.  I am only passing through here, and while I love this country and all that it was founded upon many years ago, my freedom is in Christ alone.  I believe with all of my heart that God will fulfill His plan for me no matter who wins the election. I've said to others in recent weeks that it isn't about a donkey (Democrats) or an elephant (Republicans).  For me, it is all about a lamb.  THE Lamb.  Jesus Christ.  Maybe I should have a t-shirt made!  Who wants to hook me up?  Ha!

So there it is.  The National Anthem brings me to tears often, but even more-so do songs like Amazing Grace and It Is Well With My Soul.  Because it is.  My life is filled with amazing grace, and it truly is well with my soul.

So what about you?  Are you more concerned with a donkey, and elephant, or The Lamb?  Choose wisely, your life really does depend on it.

But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.
--Philippians 3:20-21 (MSG)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Favorite Book Characters

Recently, the kids enjoyed dressing up as some of their favorite book characters.  They both love to read, and enjoy the adventures they take with the characters in the books.  Natalie has recently been re-reading the Little House on the Prairie series.  She read them years ago, but has especially enjoyed reading them again, and viewing them through a different lens as a teen.  Levi has finally embraced reading, and is enjoying the Harry Potter series, along with other quality books I have helped him to choose. :)

Levi as Harry

Natalie as Laura Ingalls Wilder

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

When Life Seems Ever-Changing

---I know.  It has been too long.  And how dare I leave the last post as the one with all of the *ahem* awkward potty humor?  Seriously, I should be punished.  Someone please send me to my room for some quiet time and a nap.  PLEASE?!---

But back to the post.

Isn't it true that things often don't end up the way we expect them to?  How often do you think you know how things are going to go, only to discover that there are changes, kinks in the plan, surprises?  Sometimes it even feels as though nothing goes as you expected it to.  We've all been there at some point in our lives, yes? And if you haven't, well...just give it time.

Such has been life here on the homestead.  We've had plenty of normal, and also, plenty of not-what-we-expected.  It's just life, I suppose, but it does keep me from writing here.  Time runs away from me, and since I am now forty *cough-cough*, it is running faster than I can keep up.  Who am I kidding, I've never been a runner.

We are well into our sixth year of homeschooling, and every year there are changes.  Just when I think we have things down, and know what our rhythm is, there are twists and turns.  Along with the new, and harder curriculum (Natalie is now an 8th grader!) comes other things.  This school year (since September) has been peppered with many doctor appointments and tests for me.  I have some damage to my throat/voice that we have now decided is from a rare type of reflux that I was having no symptoms for until June.  I have had scopes and tests and studies, accompanied by the bills that go with them, ugh.  I have what I hope will be a final appointment next week, and then we will have a definitive plan to move forward and solve the problem.  I just want relief from the near-constant discomfort, and I NEED to be able to sing again.  I've been very limited, and even when I do sing, it is pretty uncomfortable for several days afterwards.  As a vocalist, this must be fixed.  I'm trusting that it will be, and I'm hoping it will be sooner rather than later.  Pray with us for this?

So needless to say, with all of the unexpected's, we are a little behind where I would like to be for school.  BUT, that is the beauty of home education, right?  We can be a bit behind, and then we can catch up or even get ahead if we want to.  We can follow the ebb and flow of life, and accomplish what needs to get done, all the while learning to work together, care for one another, and laugh along the way.  The most important things I can teach my children are life skills, and how to love others.  How to reach out to the broken and the lonely, how to root for the underdog, how to trust Jesus in ALL THINGS, and how to share Jesus with those around us.  To me, this is much more important than math or science or spelling.  Don't get me wrong, we see great value in those things and study them here in our homeschool, but FIRST comes our Christian walk.  Heaven is more important than college or career.  Truth.

Fall is supposedly here on the Homestead.  We have yet to feel it, but the calendar declares that is is fall, and so we trust it is coming...eventually.  We anxiously await the turning leaves, brisk mornings, and wearing our scarves and boots.  Even the seasons change in their own time, and are not forced to follow rules and calendars.  They, too, can be unexpected and ever-changing, just like this life we live.

There are lots of projects going around here, between our farm and my parents' farm across the way.  Working some more on my dad's new barn, planning a new entry for our place because of crazy road construction, keeping the grasses mowed and the bushes trimmed, and always trying to catch the elusive bobcat that likes to feast on our chickens.  (We have seen him, but have yet to be able to catch him.)  Winter is the quiet time on the farm, without gardens to tend and other outdoor things to maintain.  It is a time for reflection and then a time to renew our energies and plans for the next year of growth and work on the farm.  We look forward to time indoors, complete with yummy smelling oils diffusing, cozy blankets, and curling up on the couches with good books.

More change has come our way, as we have begun attending a new church gathering.  Truth be told, as with many changes in life, it has not been an easy one.  Being welcomed is one thing, but being included and accepted is a whole different thing.  Maneuvering that as an adult can be a challenge, but walking teens and tweens through it can be downright painful  The pain is real, the tears they fall. We are growing as a family through the challenges.  We are learning life lessons.  And we are learning that things aren't always what you expect them to be.  For me personally, I am seeing that there are some beliefs that I hold dear to my heart.  I believe that God put them there, and they are precious to me.  But because they are non-salvation issues, and we were not finding them at any of the congregations we attended, I thought I had to let them go a bit.  The truth is, through the struggles at our new church home, I am seeing more and more that God blessed me immensely with those beliefs, and that I should not let go of them.  I know it seems vague, but I just don't want to call out things, or stir up debates here.  I need this to continue to be a place where I can share my heart sometimes, and so I am choosing not to go into specifics.  If you really want to know, email me! ;)  Sometimes things just don't go the way you expect, but we trust God.  Our hope is found not in earthly things, or people, or even congregations.  Our hope is Jesus Christ.  He is the ONE that matters.

Just as life is always changing, so are my sweet kids.  Natalie is a teen, and is growing into a beautiful, smart, funny young lady.  We share lots of laughter, which I treasure in my heart.  Just a few weeks ago, she chose to be baptized.  It was a day of JOY for us!  Knowing she has chosen to follow Christ all the days of her life, well, there is nothing better.

Natalie's Baptism September 22, 2016

These two share a special bond.

The JOY of new life!


Levi is a tween and is maturing before our very eyes.  His dedication to daily scripture reading both morning and evening make my mommy heart smile.  He is smart, and so very witty, just like Nathaniel.  He loves to build and create, and continues to have an amazing imagination.  He is a delight.

These two are my heart!

Nathaniel still loves his work, which is a blessing, and of course I am happy to be juggling all things related to our home.  Spending my days with the kids is fun (most of the time), and I wouldn't trade this job for anything in the world.  It takes great sacrifice, especially financially, for me to be at home with them.  I don't take that for granted, not for one second.  And when I have crazy ideas and schemes, everyone usually follows along.  Ha!

He loves me!

Yes, life is ever-changing.  The weather, the schedule, church homes, attitudes, and even your underwear will all change, some more often than others.  Ha!  Sometimes we feel in control of those changes, and other times, it seems as though everything just swirls around us.  Either way, we can always rest easy.  There is One who never changes.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  Nothing surprises Him.  He knows what the day holds for us before we even get out of bed.  And thankfully He holds the day.  He holds us.  Jesus Christ, the solid rock on which we stand.  Trust Him.  Be still...  

The Jones Family 2016