Day to Day Adventure: 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What is important right now?

One thing I ask from the LORD,  this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.

For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent 
and set me high upon a rock.

Psalm 27:4-5

What would you ask of God if you could just ask for one thing? 

That is such a hard question.

Events in my life lately have been prodding me to look at my life.  Really look hard.

We do not know the number of our days.  We can only be thankful for this minute, this hour that He’s granted us.

Between the doctor visits, multiple phone calls & texts, rearranging of schedules, desperate laundry loads I have been seeking what is most important.  I ask God to point me in that direction each morning as I start my day.  Here is what I’ve gravitated towards.

1.  Kiss my husband he might not be there tomorrow.

2.  Squeeze my children in tight hugs so they know I love them each day.  Even(especially) the big ones.

3.  Pray often.  Pray about everything.  Pray until you can’t stay awake.

4.  Forget the rest.  Do maintenance as you walk through the day.  Right now a to-do list is laughable.  Interruptions, sadness, naps all take priority over the rest.

I don’t dwell in the house of the Lord.  He dwells in me and allows me to gaze on His beauty and seek him each day.

My life is not beautiful right now.  It is a mess.  Fatigue and general inability to think has become my “normal.”

But I know He is beautiful and he is walking me through(okay carrying me) this season.  I don’t know the answer to the question.  More than half the time I don’t even know the question.

But I know he will keep me safe.  I can rest in him as I know he is holding me, molding me, shaping me as my family does the hard things that must be done.

I wouldn’t have chosen this adventure(nightmare) that we are on but I can choose where I turn for strength and wisdom.  I want to bring glory to him through my actions & words.

Thank you Lord for pointing me towards the most important things each day.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Inexpensive Getaway

Many years ago a group of girl friends would get together and scrapbook the pictures and memories of our families.

A couple of hours just wasn’t worth dragging everything out so our goal was to have an overnight crop.

We tried hotels—too expensive & no room to spread out

We tried homes—not far enough away & not enough room

Then 5 years ago we found the perfect solution.

We rented a church camp!  We run away on Friday & come home on Sunday.  We share the cost of the camp and everyone contributes to the food so the cost is kept to a minimum!  This past weekend was the biggest number we’ve had—23!!!

I love this group and I am so grateful for their involvement in my life.  There is so much history & friendship that tie us together.


We had a much needed time of laughter, teasing & talking.  They really took care of me this weekend.  

If you have a group of friends that you love & you like to get away.  I recommend renting a nearby church camp. 

The one we use has such a peace about it that it has become a sanctuary for several of us.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Loving when it hurts

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

So what do you do?  Someone who you love dearly turns on you. 

They do not even realize that they have changed.  How do you handle it?

I am watching this play out in a family members life. 

I am called to encourage, listen & build up in this situation.

It is easy to fear.

It is easy to be dismayed.

Weakness begins to feel like the normal

(Stress & no sleep will do that to you)

Thank goodness that God knew it would all happen from the beginning.


I’m so grateful that I can lay this burden in God’s hands. 

His hands are so steady and strong.  Unlike mine.

His help is daily and even minute by minute. 

It comes in all forms.

Children who understand.  Husband who supports. 

Friends who pray constantly.

Even when I can’t.

Walking this road isn’t easy but I am not alone.


Friday, September 30, 2011

Time with Away

Once a year my sweet husband has to go somewhere to attend continuing education. 


We figured out 8 years ago that this is a much better trip for him if I tag along.  We’ve gone to lots of places. 


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Hilton Head


but my favorite


is the Outer Banks, NC


One of the reasons that we do this every year is we were VERY young when we married and we didn’t take much of a honeymoon. 


These trips are our on going honeymoon.  I love being able to spend several days just hanging out together.  We plan, dream, relax and just enjoy being together.  This may not be possible every year but I am so thankful that God has blessed us with another trip this year.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When Life Falls Apart


“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18



Some days I just wonder what I am supposed to be doing as I live this life of mine.  Sometimes I think I have it figured out .  I should never think that.  If I think that then it seems the next instant things change and what I was just doing is no longer what I need to be doing.

10 days ago my world shifted and things are no longer as they were.  If I am not posting on here as much it is because I have been handed a new situation to understand and work through. 

I am praising God for the above verse today.  Even NOT knowing or even having a small inkling of what wisdom I am going to need in the future, I can KNOW exactly what God’s will is for me.

REJOICE ALWAYS  As if rejoicing wasn’t hard enough, but to do it always.  I am not a rejoicer.  I tend to be grumpy in the mornings, moody at noon & something different the rest of the day.  There are so many things I am thankful for in this life I live.  But rejoicing?  Still working on that one.  Always?  Yep that is a work in progress.  I find it very interesting that rejoicing comes even before praying.  Maybe it is a challenge to do the hardest things first.  I tell my kids that a lot.


PRAY WITHOUT CEASING Okay this one isn’t so hard.  I do a lot of praying.  As I do dishes, as I mow, as I look for the answer to some problem.  I am so glad that I can take every single worry or care that I have to the ONE who can handle it.  Even when life falls apart.  He is there to hold me up.  Even when the anchors that I have known all my life shift, He doesn’t.  I find such peace and reassurance in that fact alone.


GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES I am thankful.  I know that my whole life and everything in it belong to God.  Jesus saved me and I know that he holds my past, present & future in his hand.  The reality is that some circumstances are beyond difficult.  How do I thank him for that?  I try to find the lesson that is in it for me to learn.  I pray that my eyes are open to the growing he wants me to do.  I don’t have to like it but I am trying . . . attempting to be thankful that he loves me enough to mold me and shape me in to the woman he wants me to be.


This is straight from the heart.  Many of our families adventures are fun.  Many are silly.  This one is not.  I may be able to share more later but if not I will be here trying to walk this path that is in front of me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

At the beach

Things I am/am not doing this week

I am not . . . .

10.  Wearing shoes.  If you know me I pretty much wear my sandals or tennis shoes 24/7.  I hate walking on grit & often on our hard wood there is grit.  But this week my sandals are in a corner unless we run to the grocery store because it is the last time I will get to go barefoot comfortably this year.

9.  Doing dishes.  We are staying in a house where there are lots of dishes & pans to cook in.  So well the dishes are sitting in the sink or by the sink for several meals before someone does them.

8.  Watching my kids.  I love them.  They are with me 24/7 at home.  We do everything together.  School, meals, chores etc.  But one time a year my hubby steals me away for a week alone.  We leave them in good hands(Thank God for Grandma’s).

7.  Coupon shopping.  Nope didn’t even bring them with me.

I am . . . .

6.  Reading.  My sister loaned me her Kindle and I’ve been loading free books on my iphone for a few weeks.

5.  Sitting.  It feels like loafing but I prefer to think of it as recharging my batteries.


4.  Watching.  I love the ocean and I could just watch the waves for hours.


3.  Walking.  Steve & I enjoy walking the beach and looking at little crabs, shells, waves, people etc.  Of course we are barefoot.


2.  Scrapbooking.  Sounds weird doesn’t it?  Well Steve is in class for 3 days of our week away.  So I get to work on a project that hardly ever gets touched at home.  Love that Southwest lets you bring 2 bags for free.

1.  Planning for the year.  It isn’t all fun & relaxing.  Steve & I have found if we relax a couple of days it allows us to then turn our eyes to the future and what God is perhaps asking us to do for the next year.  This can be the most exciting part of the trip as we talk & dream.

Do you ever get to run away with your hubby?  Where do you go and what do(or not do) you do there?


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

High School Science: Biology Daddy Style

Here at the Brush household school is back in full swing.  We are tackling 10th, 8th & 4th grade.  It keeps me hopping! 

A lot of times when people find out that we are homeschooling they ask if we are going to “do high school” at home.  My answer is always the same.  Until God directs us otherwise we will be doing all the years of our children’s schooling at home. 

Is it perfect? NO 

Is it easy?  Not hardly. 

Would I change anything? Um yeah lots but they’d still be home.

(also if I could have a 30 hour day that would be great).

This year Elizabeth gets to tackle biology.  She is enjoying the information.  She likes to learn new concepts.  However she says so far the vocabulary is not her favorite—there is too much of it.  And well . . . experiments?  If she could skip all that dissecting stuff she would be thrilled.

Oldest son, Michael, dissecting a frog

The sciences are one area that I don’t teach in high school.  I also like to learn the concepts and don’t really enjoy the experiments(snicker if you need to).  I am truly blessed to have a husband whose job revolves around animals and surgery.  He is the one who takes care of biology and all those dissections!  This division of labor seems to work for our family & I am truly glad!

We use Apologia Biology for our curriculum and yes we have a microscope.  Any self respecting science loving daddy couldn’t teach without one.

He does a great job.  Our oldest son decided after taking biology he did NOT  want to follow in his fathers footsteps.  Too funny but Steve is still holding out hope for our youngest, Joshua.  He likes to watch surgery videos with Steve(eww) and he’s only 9.

Of course the material is more challenging than in jr high but he makes sure that they know it.  It is fun to step back and watch how he gets it done.  I just like to smile and remember when they were little and did fun things like learn about bones & make paper skeletons. 

Actually I just found this cute picture and had to share it!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Swiss Steak

I am contemplating fall menus.  As the weather cools I add in more soups & stews to replace some of the salads & grilled meat meals(although we continue to do this even when it is cooler).

Our schedule is busier—especially Tuesdays and Thursdays.  When I plan my weekly meals I almost always do a crockpot meal or a freezer meal on those nights.  Check out the recipe tab above to see other recipes that I use frequently!

I am physically exhausted those days and the last thing I need is to cook a meal when I return home after those days.  So my slave works all day for me while I am gone!

As we now have a wonderful abundance of tomatoes in jars I can start to think about soup, chili and the like.  Nothing is better than opening the garage & smelling dinner before I even open the door to the house. MMMmmmm

Tomorrow I will be fixing Swiss Steak—so I don’t have any pictures yet(might be able to update it tomorrow!)   This is one of those recipes I don’t know it came from—maybe from my head!  It has been around a LONG time, maybe even 20 years.   I love it because it turns out perfect every single time and requires very little preparation & the ingredients are super simple.

Swiss Steak--6 servings

1 bag baby carrots or 5 regular carrots peeled & chunked up

1/2 cup onion chopped

8 oz mushrooms

2-3 lbs steak(whatever you have or like), cut in to serving size pieces

32 oz diced tomatoes

Place the ingredients in the crock in the order they are listed. 


Turn the crock on low for 8 hours or high for 4.  We eat this with brown rice & a salad.  Just right!




Caterpillar years

“Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.”


This quote was on this great list of 50 Rules for Dads the other day(#43).  When I read it well. . .it really struck me.  I just sat there for a few minutes thinking of the children I have in my home.  I am blessed to watch daily them unfold their wings. 

It is a thousand little things they do.  

Working hard and doing things without being reminded.

Setting goals and striving for them.

Praying and having the faith to expect results.

Becoming more independent in their school work.

Making meals without my help.


They aren’t flying alone yet, but they are emerging from their cocoons and becoming the men & women that God is shaping them in to becoming.

It is bittersweet. 

When they were little I dreamt of this day. 

But now I look around and see that I am to some extent working myself out of a job.

So as we work, play and live I am striving to enjoy these caterpillar years.  Where change is still occurring but I can see the beauty in the butterfly that is maturing.


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