Thursday, July 13, 2017

Hello FriYay: Week 11

This morning I'm celebrating the fact that this is my SECOND blog post in a week, due to last week's make-up blog on Tuesday.  I mean, I'm not going pro or anything, but this is pretty big time for me, don't you think? 

Side note: how to totally flush your blog stats down the toilet-start only blogging on Fridays.  Or as I like to call it "Fri-YAY!" 

Do people pay attention to their blog stats? I used to. I still check on them, but not as a measure of how well I'm doing. Just out of curiosity. You know what makes this blogging gig feel successful? Because I've certainly thought a lot about not posting at all.  I tend to lean more towards my privacy/INFJ personality lately.  But it's all you lovely people who DO read and comment here or on FB or IG.  Especially those of you who appreciate the rosy lists.  You're the reason I keep coming around here instead of hiding my photos for my eyes only. (lol)
Anyway, off that lovely little tangent and into this past week.  We still haven't had another foster care placement, just in case you're wondering.  We've said "yes" but nothing has worked out so far.  And so we continue to pray and wait, believing that staying in this for the long haul matters so, so much.   

I just can't say enough how heartbroken I have become for these precious children in the foster care system and I've only become aware of the needs in Arkansas.  Never mind the fact that the whole United States is filled with precious foster kiddos.  This fact makes my heart race a little faster and makes me want to scream "do something! Quick, let's help!" in a frenzy.  

There is no quick "fix" for this.  But there are people behind-the-scenes making a difference in foster care and I think they must be angels on earth. 

That's life these days.  It's carrying a permanent heartbreak for foster kids along with HUGE love for my girls and their growing interests, along with thoughts of painting, house projects, photography, and cooking.  Always so many cooking thoughts. 

It's a strange feeling to go from hearing the girls excitement over a mini bag of Cheetos to their excitement over a possible foster brother or sister.  

But friends, I'm convinced this is the good, gritty stuff of life.  This is where I'm finding God more than ever. 

We enjoyed a visit at Grandma and Papaw's this week!  It had been way, way too long since we'd been because they were having some unexpected kitchen issues.  Reunited and it feels so good is what they say.  "They" are right. 
We brought Snickerdoodles to celebrate Papaw's birthday that was earlier in the month.  He is 84 years young. :) 

Papaw got started telling how he asked Grandma to wait for him when he was going away as a young adult.  As he told the story he had to sit with his hand cupped over his mouth and just be quiet for a minute as he teared up.  Then Grandma got teared up too. Just so, so precious.  

These two mean the world to me. 

Papaw and Betsy enjoying a book together! 
And my phone, always in the shot because I'm always listening for a foster care text. 

The passionflowers are back on the fence row!
Google the meaning of these. Trust me. 

One night this week I did some lightning bug spotting/photographing while Brett finished up on the tractor. I was trying to capture several in the frame, with this trail of light like you see.  For now one will do. 

Our girls are certainly country gals!  After Brett baled hay the girls couldn't wait to go play! 
I guess I've been spending a lot of time outdoors in the evenings because another night I went down to the farm and took some shots of the golden hour.  I even have the chigger bites to prove it. 

The golden hour is yet another reason why I adore summer.  Staying outside until at least 9?  Yes, please.  

I picked all of this from the garden one day.  Yep you read right! All in one day.  We will eat all this before it spoils and also share with family and friends.  It's at the point in the summer now where I'm really trying to be creative with those cucumbers and zucchini.  I like to chop them raw, add some peppers and olives, and pour a dressing over them.  Quick and tasty! 
I'm not sure where this painting is going but I like it. 
Betsy is always finding heart rocks for me!  Yet another way she's very much like her mama. 
Breakfast on the porch is our favorite!  I do feel like our porch is never clean though.  So much dog hair and so many bugs.  Just keeping it real.  Doesn't stop us from enjoying it though! 
I'm really enjoying this little part of our house lately!  I took this in the BRIGHT early morning sun which always gives such a harsh look to photos.  But realistic!  That morning sun is fierce!

If you saw my last blog post then you'll know I'm currently loving the zinnias very much.  My little "endurance" flowers.  
(I want this shot printed BIG)
Well friends, what are you up to? 
How's your summer?  Do you have something to look forward to, a book to read, a good meal to cook, a prayer to say? I hope so. 

Here's what I'm looking forward to over the weekend and on into next week: 
Starting a new book
Figuring out how to keep eating a plant-based diet without fainting from need of chips (lol)
Possibly a smallish nap
a DIY slip-n-slide
Decluttering the whole house
Watching Gilmore again because there aren't any good movies out

And my good friends "Chores"...dishes, laundry, gardening, cooking.... :) 

Here's to keeping some room in our hearts for the unimaginable and remembering Jesus loves us! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hello Fri-Yay: Week 10 (on a Tuesday)

Well friends, as I scrawled in a handwritten letter this morning, we live by "better late than never" around our house.  So why not have a Friday post on a Tuesday?  Works for me if it works for you.  Let's just jump right in, shall we? I've been tucking in to the craft room here and there and this particular painting has my complete adoration. Is that wrong to say about your own painting?  Forgive me if so.  You must also doubly forgive me if I already showed you this in last week's post!  My mind is forgetful with these small details lately. 

All I know is that a pile of art is growing in my craft room and I look forward to having a shop update whenever the time feels right.  I would suppose sometime before school starts. 

I am feeling a bit like I already posted these too, but it should be smooth sailing from here on out so stick with me.  Morning time has been so, so pretty on the farm!  Most days the sun comes right up, making me hum "it's another day of sun" from La La land.  Other days the most mysterious fog rolls in and the fairy webs are out in full force.  
Last weekend I decided to have a little movie night.  I've been realizing how much self-care must be a priority for me in order to take care of all the little needs and do it well.  I made the living room extra cozy and set up my laptop on the chair to watch Hidden Figures. It was one of my favorite nights.  
We brought these cherry tomatoes in to ripe and they didn't last long before little hands snatched them and little mouths gobbled them, with only the faintest of red starting to show. 

Judging by the juice dribbling down little chins, I'd say it didn't matter much. 
The zinnia's remain my favorite.  Just today I googled "zinnia flower meaning" and got teary at the response.  Endurance.  That is the meaning for zinnia's.  I am being challenged to endure in several areas of life right now, no wonder these are my favorite! 

If I'm going to learn to endure, I want to do it beautifully like the zinnias do. 

Insert mouth-watering here! 
This time of year is my favorite for a million and one reasons. I'm such a summer gal.  Especially because it means Brett makes his smoked salsa.  These are the veggies prepped and ready to go into the smoker.  There isn't a store-bought salsa around that can touch the flavor of his homemade stuff!
Another joy recently was to celebrate my nephew Luke's one-year birthday! He is such a happy addition to our extended family! 
I have two sisters with several kids each so when we gather for parties there are kiddos everywhere. 

I documented these sweet little drawings I found on the dining room table one day. 

The girls recently helped me make refrigerator pickles because our cucumber harvest is growing by leaps and bounds! We use Shannan Martin's recipe which you can find by googling "Flowerpatch Farmgirl Pickle Recipe." 

Go big or go home they say. This year we went big. We bought a giant pack of fireworks and got together with some other family and friends to shoot them off.  The girls were going WILD with excitement! This was really their first year to see something bigger than a sparkler or little firework.  

Some of these came a little closer to us than we would have liked!  They were also so, so loud! 

This was my favorite part of the night.  My brother-in-law had a lantern you lit and sent up into the sky. 

Magic.  Just simply magical.  We watched this until we couldn't watch it any longer because it was so high in the sky! 

On July 4th we went to do some exploring on the Buffalo River, one of the most gorgeous places ever.  We packed a picnic and had enough time to eat, walk some trails, and splash near the water before big, heavy rains came in. 

We also explored this old homestead.  The girls said this was their favorite part of the trip which isn't surprising considering how much they truly love Little House on the Prairie. 

I took this shot while hiding under a quilt.  I then put my treadmill practice into use and ran to the truck fast, with the camera tucked in the bag and under the quilt.  It started pouring! 
Rain, rain, rain all the way home. 

Does anyone else only feel like fresh, quick meals in the summer? 
I do.  I've had fun experimenting with all of our garden veggies, as well as making hummus, popsicles, new sauces and dressings, and whatever else I can be creative with without hardly turning the oven on.  
These kale/bean/veggie enchiladas with a homemade sauce was SO, so good.  We topped them with avocado and the sauce packed a bit of a hot punch.  The girls ate chicken quesadillas this night (boring) but Brett and I both enjoyed these so much we had them the next day for leftovers. 

Almost nothing makes me happier than fixing a meal that is both extremely healthy and flavorful.  This was a recipe out of one of my cookbooks, although I really just used the recipe as a guide. 

The girls are always picking little flowers for themselves or me. 
Brett and I continue to sit on the back deck in the evenings when he isn't doing hay, or take strolls around the yard.  We may not do a lot of fancy dates but we still have plenty of opportunities for quality time together. 
Mud pies! 
Catching lightning bugs. 
This bulb garden is all Brett's idea! 
Isn't is pretty?! I walk out here often, just to rest my eyes on the pretty flowers.  I also like that this is right by the road and always hope someone else glances over and enjoys the view too.
We have really been thankful to have some rain this summer!

We also visited our local botanical garden with my twin and her kids this past week.  I could stroll through the garden for hours, taking pics here and there.  Although in real life my twin and I were too busy having fun with grown-up conversation and chasing kids. :) 

Well, as I put on Instagram (therosylifeblog) we had our first foster care stay last week.  It was a short placement and so now we're waiting to be needed again for a baby. I could write so much here I don't even know how to write anything at all.  If you think of us and these precious kiddos, will you pray? 

I also just finished reading the most fabulous book called Driving Miss Norma.  It's a must read! 

I'm trying to think how to sum up the rest of our days! Busy with swim lessons, play dates, the library, photography and painting, gardening, hay cutting, staying healthy, and watching and waiting for our next placement.  It's a tricky little season, this one.  It can't be described in a neat package.  Yet there is joy to be found and God to be felt and seen in all the places of life, both big and small.  This is why I keep showing up to my life and to this blog and to my Instagram.  

What is happening in your part of the world?  I hope you have a good book to read, something to look forward to, and a few recipes up your sleeve to try. Sending you much rosiness! 
Blogging tips