Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Hiking and Easter

taking a moment to find joy in the little things


Right now is a beautiful time to hike in this area. There are so many wildflowers blooming and it's so much fun seeing them. The following are from a hike we did on Saturday, and it's really just a small sampling of what we saw. I'd hate to bore you with too many...


And then it was Easter. I love how excited my girls egg hunt in the backyard with just the two of them is all the excitement they need.

I ran across and instagrammer who does chalk art with her daughter. The photos they made were so creative and I showed my girls. Almost immediately they set off to work on their own. I love seeing what they come up with. Sydney is the artist and Kayleigh is the model. 


Finally...a pinterest fail! I was trying to make a bunny rabbit face with eggs and bacon but it looks more scary than cute.

My husband turned his upside down and made an egg man.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth....
Genesis 1:1

I absolutely love the earth and all God created. 
I love spending time in nature and soaking in the beauty that surrounds me.

The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, 
the world, and all who live in it...
Psalm 24:1

I love learning about other countries and cultures. 
I feel blessed beyond measure to be connected to my children all over the world.

I am thankful for a creative God....
from the flowers to the animals,
from the people to the landscapes,
from the glory of sunrises and sunsets to the weather systems,
from the mountains to the seas....
and everything in between!

Today on Earth Day, I am reminded that I need to be thankful to God for His creation.
As I revel in the beauty of creation, I will give thanks. 
And I will do my best to be a steward of the earth ~ 
to care for creation in a way that brings glory and honor to the Creator.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Just This....


 I have four child packets for kids in Thailand who are waiting for a sponsor.

Will you be part of their story?

Please leave a comment or email me at fiddlejill(at)gmail(dot)com 
if you are willing to step up and be the friend they need.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday

sharing 5 (not so) random thoughts with you on this Good Friday

In my studies and times of reflection this week, the following thoughts have filled my mind.

1. on betrayal
 "and on the night he was BETRAYED, he broke bread and lifted it up and GAVE THANKS" 
~ 1 Corinthians 11:23-24
As Ann Voskamp says....If Jesus can give thanks in that, I (and you too) can give thanks in everything.

2. more on betrayal
Jesus knew that Judas would betray him. He even knew the price (30 pieces of silver) Judas would receive. But even in the knowing...Jesus calls him friend. He broke bread with him and prayed for him. When the betrayal happened, Jesus went quietly - not full of anger or revenge. 
Can we respond like Jesus when we are betrayed? Can we respond in love?

3. on denial
Peter denied Jesus 3 times.
This same Peter is the one on whom Christ built the early church.
God is good.
When we are weak, He is strong!
(also from She Reads Truth)

4. beautiful, scandalous night
I love the words to this song - the pairing of words that aren't normally paired together to describe a night that is beyond words. (listen to this song HERE - I love the violin in the version by The Choir...)

mountain of mercy
crimson, perpetual tide
wonderful, tragic, mysterious tree
beautiful, scandalous night

5. it is finished
The sacrifice has been made. 
The lamb of God has been slain.
The price has been paid. 
There is NOTHING we can add to what was done at the cross to bring us closer to salvation.

I definitely have more thoughts than those 5, but I'll stop. 
I'd love to hear what you are thinking about this Good Friday.
I'm so humbled and grateful for the sacrifice that was made.

Linking with  Weekend Brew

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week

taking a moment to find joy in the little things

We took our annual trip to the tulip farm this past week. If you are a regular reader here, or follow me on instagram, you've already seen several pictures from this outing. are a few more. At first I was disappointed at how sunny it was, but then I realized how beautiful the tulips looked with the sun shining through them. 

Over the weekend we went for a family hike and the forest was full of spring surprises. I love, love, love the wildflowers that grow here.

As a mom, I love to see my girls getting along and showing each other affection. I caught them holding hands and with their arms around each other on our hike. 

We combined exercise, memory work and language lessons this week! 
Say the first part of the definition of a sentence while doing "superman"....

flip and say the second part while doing "banana" (older girl needs to work on her form)

It's been a busy week - filled with extras because of the time of year. I've always known that saying "yes" to one thing ultimately means you are saying "no" to something else, but I've realized it in a new way this week. I've said "yes" to a lot more time to getting out the front door for walks and runs. I've made it a priority to get out and enjoy the beauty of spring while it's here...but my time for reading has almost disappeared. It looks like we have quite a bit of rain in the forecast again, though, so that will be beneficial to my pile of books waiting to be read. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

the flowers fade and wither....

I need weeks like this...
 a week full of beauty... 
a week to focus on Jesus and his sacrifice... 
a week to focus on loving others... 
a week to lift my hands and believe again...

Earlier today I was thinking I needed Holy Week every week. It's true...I do need to focus on Jesus every single day. But there is something special and sacred about times like advent and lent and Holy Week. If it happened all the time, it would lose it's appeal.

As I walked through the park this week, which is in full bloom, I began to wish the trees were always pink. But then they wouldn't be special and I wouldn't appreciate them as much. This week, I am enjoying a daily stroll through them.

Same with Mt.'s a good thing we can't always see it, because when it appears, it's majestic and beautiful.

And the tulip fields... so pretty. I look forward to them all year.

These things will pass. This season, this holiday, these blooms....they will all pass. Even we will pass.

All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord stands forever. 
I Peter 1:24-25

I'm linking up with Whatever is Lovely at Beauty Observed and Floral Love

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Few Ideas for Holy Week

Here are some of the things we'll be doing this week - to keep our focus on Jesus and his sacrifice for us

daily devotions around our cradle to cross wreath

time for response as we draw and listen to music about God's grace

worship God through song - both listening, singing and playing
the girls will be learning to play "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" on their violin

earn beans by loving God, loving our neighbors and having a good attitude
They can also earn beans by doing acts of kindness (extra chores) and we'll likely have a "bean blitz" every day as part of school. During the "bean blitz", we turn on some music, set a timer for 15-20 minutes and see how much housework we can get done. Then I reward them with extra beans in their jar. These beans will turn into jelly beans on Easter morning.

make and deliver lemon poppyseed bread to our neighbors

learn the story of Jesus' last week through creative means
Ever heard of resurrection eggs? We've never used them until this year. I wanted a creative, fun way to teach my 4-5 year old class at church and had the girls help me put these together. I think the putting them together impacted my girls in a big way. They had fun finding things to represent the parts of the story and can tell the story themselves. 

1. donkey and palm leaves for Palm Sunday  2. silver coins to represent the 30 pieces of silver Judas earned for betraying Jesus.   3. bread and wine (lego) to represent the Last Supper    4. scroll to represent Jesus' prayer in the garden     5. whip to represent Jesus being whipped     6. crown to represent the crown of thorns     7. nails to represent Jesus being nailed to a cross    8. dice to represent the casting of lots    9. spear to represent Jesus being pierced in the side    10. ribbon to represent Jesus being wrapped in linen     11. rock to represent the stone sealing the tomb    12. empty egg to represent and empty tomb

make and deliver a meal to a friend in need

create an Easter garden
This has become a tradition for us. We make one in our yard and roll away the stone on Easter morning.
I've also started make a potted version for our church entrance.

 I even made kid-friendly ones in my 4-5 year old class at church yesterday. 
We used a plastic gladware  container filled with dirt. I planted a pansy and alyssum, used a plastic egg as the tomb and made a cross out of sticks (you could use popsicle sticks).

paint a batch of "spring" rocks for our front garden 
the neighbors and passersby pick them up and take them with them
(we did this last summer and more than 100 rocks were painted and given out)

I'd love to hear what ideas you use to teach your kids about Holy Week....