Archive for the ‘From a friend’s blog’ Category

Give Me Five Monday is Back!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Give Me 5 Monday logo

The Give Me 5 meme is back! The question for today is:

Give Me Five words that describe your blog!

  • Occasional
  • Family
  • Positive
  • Photos
  • Christian

Hostess Becca says this about the meme:

The ‘Give Me Five’ Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here’s how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
Sign up for weekly reminder emails @


Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I found this meme over at 4EverMom’s blog, and decided to play along. If this catches your fancy, please play, too!

What’s your favorite day of summer (June 1-Sept 1)?

Well, our wedding anniversary is July 3rd, so that’s a favorite day for us as a couple.

July 4th is a favorite family day, as we enjoy going to a local park for a concert, and then watching the firework displays.

What’s your favorite indoor activity during summer?

Firstly, I enjoy getting the house clean and organized, with the children’s help.

After that, we often enjoy relaxing together watching a funny or slightly romantic movie.

Favorite outdoor activity?

Close to home, I enjoy going for a walk, preferably with some of the children.

Further away from home, we are enjoying sailing in our 12-foot Pelican sailboat. I am solely a passenger, but it’s still a lot of fun.

The pool or the beach?

Usually we have a pool in the backyard, for quick refreshing dips. The beaches around here are rocky, so No to the beach.

Have you ever camped in a tent during the summer heat?

It is rarely hot here in the Pacific Northwest, even in the summer. The closest we came to camping during a summer was staying in a yurt along the Oregon coast. That was quite enjoyable, but the weather was a bit chilly, not hot!

Popsicles or ice cream?

Definitely ice cream!

What flavor?

Vanilla in first place, followed by intense chocolate, then by coffee flavored.

Do you help in your church’s VBS?

Our church takes a break from Sunday school during the summer, so NO.

Do you get bored during summer?

No way. I appreciate the extra time to get cleaning done, and do special things with the family. I also do more reading than during the school year.

Are you going anywhere this summer?

We will do the ‘staycation’ idea this summer, such as going sailing locally, and visiting with friends who don’t live too far away.

Is summer your favorite season?

Autumn is my favorite season, but I appreciate summer’s warmth and relaxed pace.

Aussie Teenage Song Video

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

My blogging friend Linda (Remote Treechanger), who lives in Australia, posted this “Aussie Teenage Song video” on her blog.

Do you know any U.S. teenagers who converse in this manner? I’m thankful my kiddos include me in their conversations.

Eight Things

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I saw this meme over at 4everMom’s blog. She also included the category 8 Shows I Watch on TV, but I don’t watch TV. That’s a good thing, since I spend plenty of time relaxing online as it is!


8 Things I’m Looking Forward To:

  1. More time to clean the house during the summer.
  2. More time to prepare meals during the summer.
  3. Being warm during the summer. It seemed like a long winter this year!
  4. Attending a Quince anos party for the first time.
  5. Going sailing in my husband’s little 12 foot Pelican sailboat, strictly as a passenger, though. And, please let it be on a lake, not the sound.
  6. The children’s help during the summer to declutter the house a bit more.
  7. I hope we can afford to travel to California to visit Grampa and Gramma Taron this summer.
  8. Someday, somehow, I want to sew or purchase new curtains for the house.


8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Worked at the middle school from 9am until 1pm.
  2. Grabbed a quick lunch at home and visited with my husband.
  3. Drove to Lynden to pick up my mom from her home to take her for a doctor visit.
  4. Did some shopping for my mom, and grocery shopping for us.
  5. Did a Simple Woman’s blog post, after not writing on my blog for a while.
  6. Played Lexulous, a Scrabble-take off, on Facebook.
  7. Prepared yummy hamburgers for dinner, which Rick cooked on the barbeque. Yum!
  8. Did my usual stretching exercises before bed.

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  1. It would be lovely to have the energy level and stamina that I had in my 20s and 30s.
  2. Someday I would like to get back into practicing a musical instrument. I especially enjoy acoustic guitar and soprano recorder. I no longer have the breath for French horn or flute.
  3. I would like to get back into sewing, too. One problem is that I prefer to move around rather than sit. Guess that means I won’t get back into doing embroidery.
  4. I would like to work outside more. I’m focusing on doing inside work first.
  5. It’s difficult to think of things I “wish” I could do, since I am so very privileged to have already received the desires of my heart: a godly husband, and nine children who love the Lord. I have as well God’s assurance in Romans 8:28 that all things work together for good to those who love Him.
  6. I wish to be a useful, compassionate person for as long as God grants me life.
  7. I wish to be a good gramma who doesn’t butt into her grown kids’ lives too much, but just enough so they know that I care about them.
  8. I wish to see all our kids make wise, godly decisions as to whom they marry.


I realize that my “wish I could do” list changed to a “thankful for” and “looking forward to” list, but that’s what you get.


How about you? Would you like to participate in the Eight Things meme?

Living the Balanced Life

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

One blog I enjoy reading is Octamom: The Musings of a Mother to a Multitude. She asked last Monday that her readers write about:

That elusive fulcrum between the duties and responsibilities of life in tandem with the relationships and experiences that make our lives worth living. That attempt to keep all the little boxes of life stuff in perfect sequence and harmony, creating an equilibrium between the obligations and amusements in life.

I clearly have no answers. I’m just trying to get my laundry caught up while occasionally exercising my brain. But I would love to hear your thoughts on the balanced life, where you struggle, where you succeed, what you’ve learned along the way. Write a post on this topic and put the url of that post and your name in the Mister Linky’s box below and leave your gems of wisdom in the comment line. I want to know how you manage the trapeze!

Once you write about Balance on your blog, kindly sign Mr. Linky over at Octamom’s blog so others can read what you have to say.

From reading such books at the Little House on the Prairie Books and even from talking with my grandmother and older friends, I realize that the activities of each day, week and season used to be clearly spelled out. A typical week might mean:

  • Laundry on Monday
  • Ironing on Tuesday
  • Baking on Wednesday
  • Housecleaning on Thursday
  • Bathing on Saturday
  • Day of rest on Sunday

Each season had its particular work as well, such as planting the garden in spring, weeding the garden spring and summer, harvesting the produce summer and autumn, and then canning and drying the produce at season’s end. Animals were slaughtered when it was cold enough outside to keep the meat frozen over winter, or else the meat was canned.

This work required much more physical labor than we currently expect. For example, the old wringer washing machine might be on the back porch. Water would be pumped outside, and brought in to fill the large kettles where it was heated on the wood-burning stove. Perhaps the soap for washing the laundry was made at home, too. The water would then be poured into the washer. I remember my grandmother saying something about doing the least soiled laundry first, reusing the water, and moving on to the more heavily soiled items. Water was wrung out of the sopping laundry after rinsing it, and then of course the laundry was hung on the line to dry.

One of my older friends, who grew up in the backwoods of Minnesota in a lumber camp environment, told me that people had a lot less clothing back then. They would hang it up to “air out” after wearing it, until it absolutely required washing. As far as bathing went, too, this was a lot of work. She told me that people just could not be as clean as they are now. The standard of cleanliness was a lot lower. It had to be.

These activities, plus the daily need to heat the home and put food on the table, left people dead tired at the end of the day. As far as recreation was concerned, we read of needlework being done to decorate home items, perhaps whittling being done, or a book being read aloud to the family at the end of the day. On very special occasions, there would be get-togethers to help someone raise a barn or harvest a crop. There might be church socials or harvest dinners. All in all, though, it seemed that the focus was on doing necessary work when it needed to be done.

At the current time, in affluent countries such as the United States, we have the assistance of electrical appliances do our laundry, do our dishes, and assist us with many other chores as well. We have indoor plumbing, and water heaters. We can, with relative ease, keep ourselves and our homes much cleaner than could have been imagined a few generations ago, even with the utmost labor and even the help of servants.

With more free time, we now have higher expectations for other areas of our lives:

  • The children need to participate in a variety of sporting events and lessons.
  • We need to attend concerts, go to movies, and go out to eat, perhaps frequently.
  • We need to go on at least yearly vacations, visit historic locations, or simply travel to take in the beauty of the countryside.
  • We need to participate in book discussion groups, go to the gym to exercise, and take painting lessons.

In a very real sense, we are charting new territory. We no longer have the stability of long-established daily and seasonal routines upon which to rely. We have more time. We have more resources. We are assailed with sometimes overwhelming input about what comprises The Balanced Life, the good life, the worthwhile life. If you don’t really know the guidelines, it’s difficult to know how you’re doing. Many homemakers are overwhelmed with feelings of guilt and insufficiency.

I’ll talk more about this in another post. Why not join in and give your thoughts on this subject as well?

The Sisterhood Award

Saturday, April 11th, 2009


Earlier this week I received The Sisterhood Award from my blogging friend Vivian of My Cards & More. Before presenting this award to some of her friends, Vivian said:

It is amazing how we can open our world to others in our world…we don’t see them, know how they look, where they work…but we are drawn to them by this force of likeness and many times “sister hood”. I do not have a big drawing on my site…but I am sure drawn to others. I will add a few names of ladies I visit; I hope they will be as blessed as I.

The rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link the person from whom you received your award. So here are my self-proclaimed cyber sisters:
(Vivian then lists her nominees.)

Thank you, Vivian! I certainly feel sisterhood with you, too. I admire your creativity, enjoy reading about family doings, and am edified by your love for the Savior. I thankfully accept this award.

First, I offer my disclaimers:

  1. If I visit your blog, hopefully leaving a comment now and then, I love you, too! I’m only supposed to list ten blogs, though, for this award. Let’s start with these ladies. Visit them. You’ll be glad you did!
  2. This award is for cyber friends. I have loads of friends at church whose blogs I follow, and family blogs I follow, too. Just so you know.

Here, then, are my nominees for The Sisterhood Award:

  1. Sarah of Coffee at the Cabin. I believe I met Sarah through The Simple Woman’s Daybook meme. She is a dedicated home school mom, a Christian sister, and an excellent writer.
  2. Susie of Susiej has such an interesting blog, full of variety. Susie writes for a newspaper in her home state, so it’s an understatement to say she writes well. On her blog you will find the home for the Give What You Grow endeavor, a sort of Victory Garden thing.
  3. Grace of Sandier Pastures
    or Desert Living Dubai Style makes you want to visit Dubai, with her stories and photography. She includes family stories, as well as give-aways.
  4. SusanB of A Life of Grace
    is a Christian sister who humbles me with her loving spirit. We met through The Simple Woman’s Daybook. Susan is uplifting, loving and encouraging to me.
  5. Tamy of 3 Sides of Crazy
    is the most bundle-of-energy person and blogger I know! On her blog, you will read of the on-going remodeling of the 100+ year old home she and her husband are doing, recipes she is creating, give-aways and memes. Whew!
  6. Mom24 of 4everMom tells of family life in Ohio, with an honest look at life’s ups and downs, and a spirit of making the best of things in these difficult times. Her family is Jewish/Christian, which also puts an interesting spin on things.
  7. Linda of Remote Treechanger
    is a busy, back-to-basics gal living in a remote area of Australia. Linda recently graced me with the Lemonade Award (as in, When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!) which I have not yet passed on. Thank you, Linda! You will learn a lot about life in Linda’s corner of the world from reading her blog. Also, Linda has friends all over the world whose blogs are also well worth reading.
  8. Barbara of A Day in My Life
    is also a friend met through The Simple Woman’s Daybook. She and her husband have three very musical boys, and do some interesting traveling together. I simply enjoy her blog. Oh! I forgot to mention that Barbara is an excellent scrapbooker, for all you enthusiasts out there.
  9. Storyteller of Small Reflections. This friend, who prefers to remain “a nonny mouse” as she would say, is a busy retired teacher in Southern California. Her blog specialties are wonderful, inspiring quotes, collected over a lifetime, an upbeat attitude, and lots of photography which make you want to move to her locale!
  10. Melanie of New Creation Cottage is one of the cheeriest gals I know on the internet. She is a hospice nurse who has this to say about her life: “In all times, the good and the bad, Jesus has been at my side.” Melanie is an encouragement to me, too.

So, these are my nominees. I do hope you all will accept this award. It will be fun to find out who you nominate in turn. And, Thank you again, Vivian!

Blogging This and That

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

This poor blog! I have not been posting very often, and I’m trying to figure out why. I think there is not just one cause, but a number of them, that have contributed to this sorry state of affairs.

  1. Like almost everyone out there, real life has been keeping me busier than usual.
  2. I have been conscientious about doing work in the here-and-now before doing this lovely creative work of writing a blog post.
  3. We have had so much sickness this winter/spring season. This means extra cleaning and laundry, or just not being able to do as much if I am the sickie.
  4. I think I got burned out doing the blog everyday thing with Blog 365 and just wanted to know that I really am not obligated to blog every day.
  5. For recreation, I have been spending more time on Facebook, keeping track of what friends are up to, and playing word games, and spending less time blogging. (If you are on Facebook, and especially if you enjoy playing Scrabble-type games, please add me as a friend!)
  6. Ever since the camera that I was comfortable using drowned in a lake (sigh!), my supply of pictures has decreased dramatically. We have only an old, persnickety, unreliable camera. My husband does know how to make it behave, so I must ask him to snap some photos for me. Without photos, I can’t participate in Wordful Wednesday or Photostory Friday, two of my favorites.

Well, there are lots of things I want to blog about, so, since I started this post with a list, I’ll continue in that manner. At least I can check back to this post to remind myself what to write about later!

  1. I need a picture of the designer laptop bag that I received today from If you want to know what it looks like, go to their website and look for MS1412 Messenger Bag. Mine is the one with stripes. Founders and designers of the bags, Emily and Helena McHugh, provided this lovely item as a ‘Giveaway’ on my friend Grace’s blog, Sandier Pastures: Desert Living, Dubai Style. I still cannot believe that I won this lovely laptop bag. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Grace!
  2. Some pictures of the seeds sprouting on our living room window ledge need to be taken and posted. I told my friend Susiej, who sent me the seeds so that I could plant a Victory Garden of sorts, that I would do that. My husband is the one with the green thumb, so he is doing this project. If you are interested, you can also join the effort to grow a garden for your family’s use, and give the remainder to your local food bank. Susie is sponsoring this project.
  3. My blogging friend Linda of Remote Treechanger, nominated me for an award that I would like to accept. Linda lives in a remote area of Australia, and has interesting tales to tell of living simply in an area where you cannot just run to the store for everything. She reads and recommends interesting blogs from all over the world, so do check her out if you would like to peek at everyday life in other countries.
  4. I want to do some creative writing again. A poem is percolating somewhere, I just know it. I think it needs a digital photo for inspiration (hint, hint!).

Since I’m too tired to stay awake much longer, I bid you adieu! Thanks for stopping by for a virtual visit!

Wordful Wednesday – a Seedy Prize

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Wordful Wednesday is hosted by Angie of SevEn cLoWn CirCuS

This week for Wordful Wednesday I just have to share about a wonderful gift I won from my blogging pal, SusieJ.

Last month, Susie had a drawing for $10 worth of seeds from the W. Atlee Burpee Co. The packet includes:

  1. Bush snap beans
  2. Bibb lettuce
  3. Bell peppers
  4. Big Top carrots, which grow up to 8″ long
  5. Super Snappy garden peas
  6. Steak sandwich tomatoes, which produce 10 ounce fruits

Of course to go with my prize seeds I went out and purchased a seed starting tray and some Seed Starting Jiffy Mix. I know the perfect place in the house for this project. By Friday I should have a picture of our living room bay window, transformed into a seed starting station, for Photostory Friday!

This give-away is part of Susie’s effort to encourage folks to take charge of their grocery bills by growing their own fresh produce, as much as possible. Further, she is encouraging us to donate any surplus produce to our local food banks. If you would like to broadcast this effort, just grab a button from Susie’s blog, then blog about it, and grow your garden!

Thank you, Susie, for the seeds. I’m very excited to get started. Usually, we purchase seedlings to plant in the garden, but I think I can do this!




Introduction for Titus 2 Blog Party

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

First of all I would like to thank Michelle of She Looketh Well… for hostessing the Titus 2 Blog Party. Head on over to Michelle’s blog for instructions if this looks like something you might be interested in doing.

Hello! My name is Joyce. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog as you ‘make the rounds’ during the Titus 2 Blog Party. This is my first time participating in a virtual party. If you were here in my home I would offer you some coffee or tea and a homemade goodie, then we could sit down and get some serious visiting done!

I think I’ll start by quoting Titus 2:1-5, since the party is centered around these thoughts:

  1. But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
  2. That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
  3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
  4. That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
  5. To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

I agree with what God’s Word says here. Loving one’s husband and children doesn’t ‘come naturally,’ yet it is a worthy and a necessary goal.

I would also say that Titus 2 is NOT a ‘To Do’ list that I just set my mind to, and then do. Just as Jesus Christ came to save sinners, He came to sanctify sinners. I can’t begin with Christ and go on by my own ‘fantastic’ will power. No such thing!

I think the main theme of my life as a Christian woman is that life is not about me; it’s about Christ. As it says in Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

As for the stats, here are a few:

  1. My husband and I have nine children. We love ’em, and have, imperfectly, brought them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
  2. I am amazed that I still have so much to learn about being a loving, selfless person, even though this is one of my main goals.
  3. I genuinely enjoy being a wife and mother. Always have. I have difficulty understanding those who find being a ‘stay-at-home mom’ a less than desirable vocation.
  4. We have home schooled, Christian schooled, and public schooled our youngun’s.

I hope that’s sufficient for an intro. We’ll see what happens next with this.


Titus 2 Blog Party

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

The following is the invitation to the Titus 2 Blog Party being hosted by Michelle of She Looketh Well…


I found out about this ‘party’ through my blogging friend Linda at Remote Treechanger. Thank you, Linda.

Are you a younger woman?

Newly married?

A mama with little children?


Are you an ‘older’ woman?

Married for years?

Children all grown?


Are you somewhere in the middle?

Some ‘littles’ and some ‘bigs’


Are you a single woman?

Young or old?


Maybe you are unable to have children?

Maybe a widow?

(I hope I didn’t exclude anyone 😉

What is the point to all the questions?

I just wanted to make it clear that each and every one of you are invited to the Titus 2 blog party!


There have been some questions about who the party is really for. My desire in hostessing this party is really for any Christian woman, regardless of her season in life, to gather in one place, to get to know one another, to encourage each other, and I guess, to get some of the lesser known blogs, or newer blogs noticed. I thought a party would be a great way to do it. I have ‘stumbled’ across so many precious Godly women’s blogs that are maybe new or virtually unknown.

So, in answer to the questions, it is for all of you!


Please accept this invitation.

Put the party button on your blog.

Write an invitation post (this one is a lovely example)

Encourage others to invite their readers.

Then be sure and link your blog up the week of the party!

Don’t forget the prize giveaway.

Its the perfect gift for any woman.

Who doesn’t love a giveaway?!!

Please feel free to ask any questions you might have.

(Oh, and leave a comment when you have put the button on your blog, I love to go see it!)

She Looketh Well . . . Blog