Walnut Day

Last Saturday, I had just gotten back from my walk and picked up a pen to do some more review editing when my phone rang. It was Dad, asking if I could come with him and the boys to show them where the walnut trees were that my boss had offered to us. Sure! So I grabbed my camera, and soon we were on the way. My only job was to show them the trees, which meant I had enough time to take a few pictures of the workers. (Don’t worry; I did pick up my share of nuts when we went to another friend’s place to get some more!)

Walnut Day 01

While we were waiting to leave, this funny little girl found a ball. She would throw it, then look at me with a huge grin and run to grab and throw it again!

Walnut Day 02

Walnut Day 03

Older brother and youngest brother teamed up for a while, but soon my youngest brother realized picking up walnuts is boring, so he went off to play by himself while most of the rest of us worked.

Walnut Day 04

Little sister was very diligent!

Walnut Day 05

Walnut Day 06

Walnut Day 07

She did stop working to examine some gum tree bark after a while, though.

Walnut Day 08

Little brother climbed the tree!

Walnut Day 09

Walnut Day 10

A tiny portion of the crop.

Walnut Day 11

Walnut Day 12

The sunset last Saturday evening was gorgeous!

You know, while walnut gathering did disrupt my plans for last Saturday, I wouldn’t really have anything different. We had a great time as a family, and we’ll be very thankful for the nuts this winter. We’ve made some good memories. God is so good to us!

The Mystery Object: Can You Help?

One evening this week, my ten year old brother was searching through my sixteen year old brother’s things, trying to find a lost wallet. I don’t know if he ended up finding the wallet or not, but he did discover something fascinating—an old metal thing, with the name “Nat” inscribed on the outside, and a tiny picture of a man on the inside. It is about 15 mm in diameter, so pretty tiny!

Mystery Object 01

There is nothing on the outside edge that would have made it possible to put on a necklace (no little loops or anything), and it wasn’t made to snap onto clothing as a button—we tried that out, and it didn’t work.

Mystery Object 02

I asked my brothers how they had found it, and the older brother said he had seen something shiny in the garden while he was cultivating, and picked it up. It was covered in dirt, so he soaked it in water and then cleaned it off. Afterward, he put it in with his other odds and ends, and forgot about it.

Then our younger brother was looking for his wallet, and found it—and seeing that it was made up of two different pieces, tried to open it! After prying it apart, this is what he found. In an attempt to find out who the man was, the boys popped his picture out to see if there were words underneath, but there were none—and in the process of putting it back in, some of the picture flaked off. They decided we ought to take a photograph of it before it gets any worse!

Mystery Object 03

Have you seen anything like this before? Do you know what it could be? None of us can figure any more out than what has already been stated.

In other news, I’m working on writing a guest post for my cousin Kendra Stamy at A Proverbs 31 Wife. So far, the task has proven challenging, but I’m enjoying it. Lots of interesting thoughts coming out about books and why we read what we read. Praying that I’ll be able to encourage someone through this opportunity! I’ll share the link on here once the post is published.

Also, I’ve been working on memorizing Psalm 67 the last two weeks. So far, so good—almost through the chapter now. I did get a little stuck on verse four, but I think I’m getting it. Just need to remember that verses three and five are exactly the same, and get six and seven down pat yet. I’m getting there!

Memorising Psalm 67:4

I decided to put the verse on my computer desktop until I get it memorized, so I won’t forget to practice it.

I also need to get this month’s newsletter written and sent. AFTER the guest post is written! I need to send out the last giveaway prize today—just heard back from the last winner this morning—and then that job will be done. 🙂 There are a couple other emails related to the giveaway that need replies yet, but they’ll be taken care of soon.

And along with all of that, I’m trying to ignore the insistent summons from a recent fascinating story, The Destiny of a Few by Sarah Holman, to finish reading it. Hey, I just got on Amazon to get a link for you, and I see that the Kindle version is currently free! Get it now if you can! I’m about halfway through the book, and thoroughly enjoying the adventure, even though I don’t completely agree with some of the views put forward in the book. If I can hold out until my work for today is done, then I can indulge in reading. I think.

Hope you’re having a great day, and if you have any ideas about what this mystery object is, my brothers and I would be glad to hear your thoughts.

Why Your Children’s Homemade Videos are Important

Over the years, my siblings and I have made several short videos. Some were serious, others were goofy, and some were a combination. Those videos are precious memories for us to look back on.

One of the short “movies” my brothers and I have made.

I think the main reason homemade videos are important is that they are like time capsules—we were just watching one of the ones we took a year ago, and noticed that the one boy’s voice is a lot deeper now. Not only that, but many of the actors’ personalities show through—which will be fun to see in years to come.

There’s something about capturing the sounds, looks and individualities of our family now—when it seems so ordinary—and re-watching it down the road a bit. We can enjoy the present and each other’s company more, knowing that in a few more years it will probably be completely different again.

Videos are important ways to keep alive memories of the past. I hope my brothers and I can make many more in the years to come.

Take time, if you possibly can, to video your children. Or—better yet—let them get behind the lenses and do it themselves. Even if the results are shaky and of not much substance, they’re still priceless.

Hold tight to the sound of the music of living,
Happy songs from the laughter of children at play,
Hold them near, while they’re here, and don’t wait for tomorrow,
To look back and wish for today….

How do you preserve your homemade videos? An online service, your hard drive, cds, or something else?

Five Healthy Ways to Develop Relationships

It’s hard to develop relationships with the little ones. As a big sister, there are times when I have little ones around me and they are—simply—getting in the way. Admit it—you probably have times like that, too. Then we’re expected to remember that we were once that age? Really, how hard does the job have to be?

When I was around seven years old, my then recently-married aunt and uncle came to spend a few days with us. At the time, my uncle’s family was living on our farm as well, and so when they came, our two families plus our visitors took a trip north to some sand dunes bordering several near-by lakes.

Five Ways to Develop Healthy Relationships

Courtesy of Pixabay/Unsplash | License: CC0 1.0

There were many fascinating things about the dunes, but one of the things I remember clearly was after we walked over the dunes to where they touched one of the lakes.

We played along the shore for a little while, but it was time to head back for lunch. My aunt and uncle took off before me, along with a few cousins. By the time I realized they were going and I was left behind, they were already quite a distance away. Dad and some of the other adults were still at the beach, but I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my aunt—who I had rarely seen, since she had been living with another aunt before her marriage.

I took off running after them, slipping and almost falling in the soft sand, calling for them to stop and wait for me. They didn’t seem to hear, and I got desperate. Eventually, I realized my floundering was useless, and I had to go back with my dad instead of spending the time with my aunt that I knew my cousins were enjoying.

It was traumatic, as a little girl, to realize I was being left behind . . . left out. I don’t think that it actually hurt me in the end, but it is something that I’ll always remember about that visit.

I understand that we can’t always incorporate the little guys into our lives. Sometimes, we have to tell them “Sorry, but I’m busy right now.” Even when they sweetly offer to make us an (imaginary) cup of chai. Whenever possible, though, I believe we should try to get them involved in what we’re doing.

Recently, I was reading a great book named Elsie Dinsmore. While I was enjoying the story, I noticed several fascinating things in the events depicted in the story—things that directly impact how we develop relationships with little children.

There were three things, in particular, that stuck out to me.

(But I’ll put in an extra two, because they’re also very important.)

  1. If you correct someone, never leave them in disgrace or questioning whether you still love them or not. Horace Dinsmore—Elsie’s father—is always correcting her. While she willingly complies to all his wishes that do not violate her conscience, he sometimes makes her wonder if, under all his sternness, he really loves her at all. Through his actions, he makes himself almost a tyrant in her life—even though she loves him dearly.
  2. Hear the other side of the story before you make any decisions. Several times, Mr. Dinsmore is very displeased with things Elsie has done—whether out of ignorance or other people just making it look like she’s done wrong, when she’s actually in the right. Several times, he makes harsh decisions and punishments without hearing the whole story.
  3. Make your decisions based on what the Bible says, not on your wants. Dinsmore is not a Christian, so many of his decisions are made without the wisdom of the Bible. If he had allowed Biblical standards to rule in his life, his relationship with Elsie would have been much better—and happier—for both of them.
  4. Don’t leave them out. Sometimes, you have to stay behind and help them, even though it means you might miss out on something. It’s a hard decision, but almost always—in the end—it is the best. It’s better to look back and say “I did miss that, but look at the relationship building I had there!” than to say, “I wish . . . .”
  5. Play along. For most of us as children, imagination was a huge part of our daily life. We made up our own friends, imagined our own families, lived our own imaginary lives. And when the “grown-ups” joined in, it only increased the fun. Don’t hinder the games they try to play with you—whether they’re “cooking” you a meal, “chasing” your cows into the field, or “hunting” for you, try to play along and encourage them—they’ll find it a lot more fun, and you’ll enjoy it, too!

Taking time for the little ones is often hard to do. It takes much patience and understanding, but eventually it is attainable. Look back to your childhood, and see how much it meant to you for an adult to leave the adult world and be a bit of a child again. There were special memories made, weren’t there? Take that experience and apply it to the little ones around you today—they’ll love you for it, and you will get beautiful memories in return.

Even if all they want to do is make you a cup of chai out of dead poplar leaves, let them. They’ll love you for your participation.

Question: What is one way you took time to develop relationships with the children in your life today? If you haven’t yet, what are some ways you could?