Creating a Simple Mezuzah :: writing on the doorposts

I found it! It survived two years in a box and over fifteen hundred travel miles... the smallest of things can mean so much to one's heart. You see home, isn't home until we hang up our version of the {Mezuzah}. Mezuzah means 'door posts' in Hebrew, and it often contains the portion of Scripture that is referred to as the Shema. See Deuteronomy 6: 4-9 and 11: 13-21.

Our family chose to type up the Scripture referenced above and add the Ten Commandments. Beginning with "I am the LORD your God... " as number one. Then we printed our door post reminder out on card stock and framed it for our wall - near the door. You can also see the Mezuzah my husband purchased when he went to Israel. A trip that changed his life on so many levels...

We are going to hang both, in respect and honor for the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Another reminder of the price Yeshua {Jesus} paid for Redemption. Knowing that what we think and do is so reflective in our relationship with Him.

Simply the Word - written for our going out and our coming in. 

~ Grateful! ~

Again :: another Chapter in my Grace Story

Maybe I should have titled this post with some words about restoration, and gratefulness. But then again may be not... though restoration has been prayed for and of course, restoration has happened.

{because all prayers are answered}

However, most times restoration doesn't always look like... well - exactly like things were, you know where everything goes back to the way it was... He loves us too much to do that.

{and I am most-definitely grateful}

And I have come to a place where I am at peace with how our lives are starting again. Did our lives ever really stop? I know the answer is no, but I also know that all vineyards need pruned and human-ness happens with consequences. Yes. I am {In} Shalom with this next chapter of my Grace Story...

If I told you my story
You would hear Hope that wouldn't let go
And If I told you my story
You would hear Love that never gave up
And if I told you my story
You would hear Life, but it wasn't mine

So here we are. Residing in our first ever big city apartment house, um - yeah... country moves to town! This is 'so not' my style or my roots, but I know it's 'a means to an end'... a resting place to gather strength for the goal. And I know the Hand of my Father was and is in it.

If I should speak then let it be
Of the grace that is greater than all my sin
Of when justice was served and where mercy wins
Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in
Oh to tell you my story is to tell of Him

Y'all a thousand square feet is humongous, when you have lived in roughly three hundred and fifty square feet or less for over two years. This place has a fire place and a balcony... and we are supper excited to walk in this next season. Being intentional and gleaning all we can while we are here. Next month begins my digital camera classes and herbal courses, and we have already started pinning balcony gardens!

If I told you my story
You would hear victory over the enemy
And If I told you my story
You would hear freedom that was won for me
And If I told you my story
You would hear Life overcome the grave

Yes, I am ready. We are ready. Moving forward and living... making a home, picking a college and building relationships. Looking for land within this common wealth, and still singing my Hallelujah!

By the way, about that camper... the home on wheels. I have decided that it's too much for me to deal with right now, and frankly I have learned why I desire a pull behind or tent. 

{saving that for another day}

So it's farewell to the Tipsy Gypsy... and hello to I am looking for a Subaru.

~ Blessings!

* Song lyrics are from My Story by Big Daddy Weave.

21 - Happy Birthday Beautiful - Young Adult & Interview

She turned twenty one today, is it even possible? When I look back over the battles and the victories, I feel like I am going to cry and jump for joy... all at the same time. My daughter, the last of my womb... one of three, beautiful gifts from El Shaddai. 

We have been to the mountain and back... been through the cave, and the storm. And we have come through the other side. Together. Standing for Jesus... Redeemer... Yeshua!

I am grateful.

And I love this young lady...

Mom is always taking blurry - on the spot/no prep shots!

I thought an interview would be fun:

  • Do you prefer writing with a black or blue pen? Black – because it seems more professional and classy. It's more preferable upon the page... 
  • Do you prefer living in the country or the city? Country – but the near a city, as a city has somethings I like too. 
  • If you could learn a new skill what would it be? Art – drawing. Because it would be useful in more than one field. 
  • What is your favorite beverage? Errr – water. Special treat would be a frappe or a healthy soda 
  • Do you prefer peanut butter creamy or crunchy? Either one.

 Her birthday blessing from two years ago...

  • What is your most used emoji? The hysterical laughing one... 
  • Describe yourself, using three words? Quirky, Nerdy, & Relaxed 
  • If you could travel to one place, anywhere in the world - where would it be? Japan - Because I find the Japanese culture very interesting, the country looks beautiful –  and I like the language. 
  • What are four things you would tell yourself at 13? I would tell myself - 1) Stay Focused 2) Be Disciplined 3) Accept Responsibility & 4) Have Determination 
  • Share three pet peeves you have? 1) Nosiness 2) Gossiping and 3) Being Ignored 
  • What is your love language? Not sure, really as more than one apply...

Matcha Frappe - a birthday treat...

  • What is the one thing people misunderstand about you the most? Who I am... 
  • What is your dream job? And why? A cross between a Park Ranger and Author... I like nature, it fits my personality and I enjoy it. I would not have to be around people twenty four seven... and it would give me thinking space. 
  • If you won $1 million tomorrow, what would you do with the money? Pay for College, travel and buy land, pay for violin lessons... Save it and Share it. {BOOK STORE!} 
  • Share five strengths that you have? 1) Flexibility... 2) Patience... 3) Organization... 4) Being quiet... and 5) an easy traveler *Mum is adding humor and walking dictionary ability 
  • What’s the best compliment you ever received? “You have a good head on your shoulders...” & “Your the best side kick – where would Sherlock be without Watson?"
  • What kinds of things bring you the most pleasure now? Privacy, music, reading, writing, art and nature...

  • What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted but still don’t have? Life long friends... 
  • If you could have one super power what would it be and why? Time Travel – Because I could go back and see things, and then to the future too... yeah that is much better than being able to read minds. 
  • What is your favorite animal? I like all animals... and I don't have a favorite. :) 
  • If you could have dinner with one person in history who would it be with? And why? Charles Dickens – because he wrote during an interesting time in history, against various issues and I think it would be an intriguing conversation What would you eat? Japanese Food 
  • What is your favorite instrument? The Violin... 
  • What is your favorite book of the Scriptures? Judges - Why? - Action and Intrigue 
  • What do you see yourself doing in three years? WELL – hopefully: college, violin, learning art and writing a book, being a generally productive person, making money and finding life long friends. 
  • Was this interview hard? Not necessarily, I just wasn't prepared... and now I am stuck in my head. Thinking... 

Twenty one...

All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.
{Isaiah 54:13}

~ Blessings!

November Gratitude Photo Callenge:: day thirty - the middle place

Finally getting around to posting the last part of my November Gratitude Photo Challenge, from Middle Places. It's been a long month...

Before I share my photo, let me share with you a small portion of my middle place... just over two years ago my life took on some major changes, some I have shared... some I will not. One of those changes happened when my husband decided to serve in Israel for three weeks... which meant a resignation of job, relocation of family and many many emotional trials. But it also meant growth.

Then my middle place road led us to nine months of no work for him, and two years of camper living in three states... to have it end, here... with a complete restoration of his job, a new home that does not have wheels, and my family together under one roof... with the fear of the LORD before our eyes.

We are beginning again.

Life learned.

Living forward and embracing this new season with intent and thankfulness. And through it all, my Redeemer has never left me {us} nor forsaken me {us}... middle place or narrow road.

We move in on my husbands birthday, and oh is this going to be joyful! One year, to save for our own house... it truly feels like we are beginning again.

~ Blessings!

November Grattitude Photo Challenge :: day twenty two thru twenty nine

This month {and photo} challenge is almost over, Thanksgiving came and went... and we are still living in a middle place. And I am still choosing to see the blessings in the day to day, the small and the big... and hopefully remembering to praise Him daily. Out Loud!

day twenty two: a tradition

potato latkes

day twenty three: a detail

I tried to capture the detail in it's wings...

day twenty four: a distraction

Not all distractions are bad, but this one however was negative in cause... photo includes my whole food choices for fighting a severe cold in our family. Garlic, Onion, Ginger and Turmeric...

day twenty five: a life changing book


 A copied photo from a previous post, this book is worth reading again and again... it has changed my life drastically and would recommend it all!

day twenty six: a perspective

view of her shogi lined up

day twenty seven: a convenience

Okay - ten organic mango's for four dollars! Convenient and Frugal...

day twenty eight: a shelter & day twenty nine: an activity

He is my shelter... My Redeemer, Yeshua {Jesus}! The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... and this is also my photo for an activity... drawing.

I hoped to have had more time in taking photo's... but right now, it is what it is. And I am okay with that... my last photo will on 'a middle place'... till then, thank you for stopping.

~ Blessings!

Sweet Potato Biscuits :: new traditions

I am interrupting the photo challenge to bring you a wonderful recipe that is new to our family... Sweet Potato Biscuits. This year, we were invited to share in a Thanksgiving Dinner with some new friends, and one of their traditions are these tasty little gems.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

5 cups flour
5 t baking powder
1 stick butter
3 cups cooked and mashed sweet potato

Directions: blend the first three ingredients, in a large bowl, using a pastry blend. Then add the three cups of mashed, cooled, sweet potatoes and mix well with your hands. Shape into biscuits, about one inch think and place on baking sheet. With side touching.

Bake at 425 for 15 to 20 minutes, until done. Remove from baking sheet and serve slightly warm with lots of butter...

These will definitely be added to our family recipe binder!

~ Blessings!

November Gratitude Photo Challenge :: Day sixteen thru twenty one

Thanksgiving is almost here. I can hardly believe how fast the seasons are passing by... how eager my heart is to get into a place that is not leveled by jacks & tires. How strong this desire is to make a home, and keep it. Yes, I am almost willing to say 'tiny houses are over rated' and so is living in a camper full time, but I won't stay there... gratitude is my focus right now.

Instead I will share the next challenge photos in my list:

day sixteen: an observation - snapping shots for the photo challenge, including the reflection of the side mirror.

day seventeen: a difficulty - Henry and the Great Society - finding the balance is often difficult, however I am grateful for the little reminders of why we have made the choices we have made... and the reasons we are planning the things we are planning. This book made tears arise...

day eighteen: something old - my purse. A resale find and worn to nubs. I am on the look out for a replacement, so grateful the bottom does not have holes.

day nineteen: a food - okay okay, personally - chocolate is not a 'food' and honestly neither is coffee. But it is a yummy treat for an afternoon Sabbath drive in the country.

day twenty: a time of day - a slight cheat, I took two shots at the same time... afternoon Sabbath drive in the country.

day twenty one: a physical feature - {grrr} I dislike taking photos of myself... so this one was hard. But it's my jaw/cheek... real life candid shot in the dark hall, while cooking lentil tacos.

~ Blessings!

November Gratitude Photo Challenge :: day eleven thru fifteen

I have one photo collage to share, gratitude in snap shots... captured. This creation covers the next five days of topics... and because I am in the middle of living this challenge, I made it easy on myself.

day eleven: something natural ~ upper corner, my husband and I went on a much needed walk together and he pointed out this lovely fungus to me. I am still trying to identify it...

day twelve/thirteen: unanswered prayer/answered prayer ~ side, map... this shot was taken when we were in route to look a suitable place to live, which as of this posting - remains an unanswered prayer. It's also the shot I will use for my answered prayer. Because it means my husband was offered the position... something we have been waiting for... for two years.

day fourteen/fifteen: a blessing/a written word ~ simply stated, my family is a huge blessing and I enjoy letting them know... grateful to be a wife, and a mother... sharing little notes.

~ Blessings!

P.S. The reason I decided to make it easy on myself is because we are in the middle of helping a family with their bulk food store, getting established in a new state and dealing with what I suspect is a case of atypical "walking" pneumonia. I hope to share somethings that I have learned and tried after we get a little more settled.

November Gratitude Photo Challenge :: day six thru ten

Its interesting to see how fast a life can change... or when {Providence} brings your life full circle. In healing patterns and growth ~ I mean. We have been in Kentucky for only three days and a lot has happened. And nothing has happened... as if nothing ever really happens.

day six: a need

praise music and the WORD

day seven: a surprise

That there is my dad, my biological father, he and my mom divorced when I was young. I can count on one hand the number times I have seen him since that divorce. {Minus two} Until last year... in less than a year he has had two heart surgeries, and we are talking... he made my family hamburgers before we left. It sure is interesting how {Providence} brings healing patterns.

day eight: something big

I really dislike big city driving, but if I am required to drive it... I prefer driving them in the evening. This here is Louisville... in a blur. And we are almost there...

day nine: something small

can you seen the web between the saw teeth?

day ten: an ability

Capturing my current knitting project, because sadly I have not touched it in a quite a few weeks. So this may encourage me to pick it up again... even if its only for a few rows. Wash clothes for the camper... or maybe our next 'living' space. {?}

~ Blessings!

November Gratitude Photo Challenge :: day four & five

Have you ever been in the midst of something so unplanned... that a response of I don't know was the best you could offer them. I have... and in some ways I still am. If some one asked me 'what do you plan to do'... two years ago when my husband left for Israel... or 'how are you going live'...  when my husband went seven months with no job or 'where are you going to live'... when we faced semi displacement a little over a month ago... my response was I don't know... but I know who does and it will work out.

Please don't take this as I never lack faith or struggle with periods of doubt, are you kidding... I am human. And I have had some messy melt downs... true story. But I am a daughter of the star breather. {STAR BREATHER} A redeemed child of the Most High and He knows every hair on my head... every thought or intent, every fear or insecurity and every dream and hope. And He chose to die for me anyway... how do you capture that?

day four: something beautiful

day five: a luxury

How do I capture the gratitude of my soul, for a love like that. Of all the ways He has provided for every need... and yes, sometimes want. How do I say thank you Yeshua... enough? With enough gratitude contained in the words... I just don't know.

~ Blessings!

November Gratitude Photo Challenge :: day two & three

As you can see... I have a new blog template. YAY! Please bare with me as I work out my kinks and have a moment to take a better side bar shot. In the mean time here's two days of photo challenge participation...

day two: a gift

Fermented Lavender & Hibiscus Kombucha... need I say more. :) {thank you husband}

day three: a friend

Her name is Jennifer... and the first two words that come to mind when I think of her are Southern and Laughter. She introduced me to creek stompin', and chicken & waffles. And though I have not known her for years and years, some times it sure feels like it. I had to request a selfie from her for the photo challenge as we are some miles apart... but not for long! :)

~ Blessings!

November Gratitude Photo Challenge: day one

Better late than never - they say. I say I need this right now... something to focus on, okay one more way to capture the gratitude, to focus on the gratitude. One more way to praise my Redeemer... one more way to capture this beautiful, crazy grace needed, truth loving life of mine. So I am participating in the November Gratitude Photo Challenge, inspired by Middle Places - but with a little personal tweaking.

And yes, I am a year late... and I am okay with that:

Day 1: a person you see daily

 Summertown - 2015

October - 2016

October - 2016 "being funny"

Today - 2016

And even though I see her every day, there was a time when... now I am just Grateful. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob... the Holy One, Yeshua {Jesus} continue to be an ever present reality in your life. May you walk in blessings, in spirit and in truth... and may what 'the canker worm' has stolen be restored and you live this life abundantly for Him. You are a special treasure... 

Love ~ Mum

P.S. thank you for letting me take your photos on the fly, with my camera phone and not the 'good' camera. :) Real life y'all!

On the road again... & no I am not a tumble weed

It's true. We are moving again. This time we are heading to Kentucky, and at this juncture I think it's safe to say with concrete consensus that our desire to travel is at an all time low. Yeah - we use to enjoy vacations, road trips, field trips and some of us have even enjoyed an over seas trip. But three moves in just over two years is getting a little stressful. To say the least...

Even though all that is true, we are actually looking forward to this move. Because it means we are making a course correction for our family and moving... forward. And moving forward is always exciting... sometimes you have to come back to the beginning to find the right direction again.

 ~ Blessings!

Creating Frugal Furnishings for the Camper :: the sweater blanket

Here's a sneak peak on the color scheme for our motor home, completely inspired by Pinterest and frugality. The entire project was free, except for my time of course. The sweaters vary in weight and texture, but each block is approximately six by six square. This project is also very forgiving... and it's a good thing.

Being my first attempt at sewing a knit project of this size, I guess my best advice would be - one: pin, pin, pin, and I am not talking about Pinterest here. :) Second: I think some sort of fusible edging would help keep your blocks nice and straight. Making the sewing a lot less frustrating...

The back of the blanket is lined with a deep grey flannel, and finished with tie offs and a blanket stitch in white along the entire outer edge. It's heavy enough to keep you warm, but light enough to allow for easy movements. And I really like the look of the different textures...

You can find some great instructions out there too, and now that I have made one I have requests for a couple more. That's the way it goes... {smile} - seriously though it was a fun project and one that will add charm to our little home on wheels.

~ Blessings!

Shared With: Strangers and Pilgrims/The Art of Homemaking Monday's

Motor-home Make-over :: over cab rebuild

Even with much on my mind, I wanted to get some sort of update shared... currently our would be stuff hauler/short term home for relocation purposes is now our full time living space. And necessity - always brings to mind what is truly important, by night one it was clearly evident that the over cab bed, or the lack there of, needed to be addressed.

We had spent one afternoon gutting the over cab, just prior to our full time living in it, right down to the metal... the entire bed frame, base and window supports were rotten and growing some sort of fungus in a couple places.

Needless to say, everything had to go:

I was able to glean the needed one by twos and one by fours to rebuild the bed frame, which now sits two inches up off the metal “floor”. Sure, we lost two inches of space, but in my opinion gained something far easier to deal with should we spring another leak. Let's face it, it's a 1976 – it's not going to last forever:

In keeping with 'frugality and function' most of our make over supplies have been reused. I already mentioned the gleaned supplies above, and the rest of the items we needed were purchased from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Except the wood for the bed base which was gifted to us. Making the total cost of the over cab frame, bed and window supports a total $3.52.

There's still work to be done with the over cab, but at least we now have a bed in place to sleep on and as your looking over the photos, please keep in mind that I never professed to be a carpenter.

Herbalist maybe, carpenter... not so much. 

~ Blessings!

* We did not fully realize the amount of water damage that was done to the motor-home when we purchased it. However, I am not afraid of hard work and learning as I go... and some things just need to be ripped out by the root. Rotting wood and fungus being one of them...  the entire cab will be painted with mold inhibitor primer before it is finished. 

Preparations for Fall :: a life collection

It's about there... being fall. My absolute favorite time of year! I really enjoy the cooling days and nights, the colors beginning to turn and that over whelming feeling to 'squirrel' things away for the winter. But these days have me bouncing from one project to another, leaving me little time for online visits and in depth fall preparations at all.

And when I am searching the web...  it's all about RV remodel. I know, a girl has to do what a girl has to do, but secretly I would rather be canning veggies or milking goats... however, in all honesty, I am squeaking a few fall::ish preps in here and there. Helping me to stay seasonal and in fair weather.

There's the Seed Harvest:

It's Calendula! We could not let these little gems go forsaken, so in a hurry I snipped them from our plants at the community garden and I plan to sort them... soon. I would like to send you to visit a lovely blog, where JES shares about Calendula and a whole more! You will not be disappointed...

The Latest Issue of The Biblical Herbal:

(see side bar for affiliate link ~ if your interested)

I really like the cover, and the inside pages are filled with wonderful {quality} herbal goodness... I am currently on page 4. Did you know that anyone who purchases the Fall Issue receives a free bonus, it's an 11-page pdf created by contributing herbalist Rosanna King - a Herbal Menstruum Guide: Preferred alcohol concentration of menstruums for extracting over two hundred herbs.

The Continuing Tomato Harvest:

To me the tomato speaks for it's self. Indigo Blush. Two Bites. Now added to my list of things I would like to grow each year...

And Sukkot:

A very bad picture of our sukkah. Yes, it's made out of popsicle sticks and yes, that 'person' is made from a clothes pin... and yes, there really is a miniature paper chain hanging in there. It's what we can do in this season.

Finally, the Motor-home Remodel:

Alright, that might not be a fall::ish preparation. But it is something that we have been doing... okay it's been something that we have been working on a LOT. The hubby, half of which you see in this photo... is attempting to remove a piece of particle board. Sawing one inch at a time... by hand.

It took him almost an hour to remove one board.

One large board.

The good news. The motor home is completely gutted, and rebuilding has commenced. I hope to take better photos soon and share... until then:

~  Blessed Fall Y'all!

P.S. There was also a wedding anniversary, with a date night and special dessert the day of. Sixteen years... where has the time gone! Thank you Father in Heaven, for my husband. Thank you...

Motor-home Make-over :: the introduction

So there I was. Yeah, most of my relatives always begin a story that way... but to be truthful, it should begin with so there we were. On our way to a much loved hiking trail, when my husband glances over at me with the 'I wonder if she saw it' look in his eyes. Which I had not. Until... I saw his 'I wonder if she saw it' look... then I quickly turned my head to see what I could have possibly missed.

There she sat. In hideous orange... nineteen seventies burnt orange, but with a shine of  'best offer' across her window that looked like diamonds. I returned my eyes upon my husband, and judging by the quick dive across two lanes, up through the parking lot and settling right next her... he knew exactly what I was thinking... and within the hour we became owners of a 1976 Tioga motor home.

On the surface... she appeared sturdy, a little beaten up - but not bad for her age. She is strong in motor, mostly held together at the seams. Great tires. Perfect widows for maximum light, so you don't have that 'I live in a tin can' feeling... and a nice floor plan.

However, once we started to get to her - we discovered... she has issues. Not so many that it's hopeless... but if we don't deal with them now, they may lead to her demise... mostly likely at seventy miles an hour and six hundred miles away from point a.

So begins the process of making her over. And to start we removed just about every thing on the inside, including the rotten wood... cutting out the bad all the way to the frame. Dare I say root. This included the removal of the stove, fridge, sink and bathroom... except for the shower, which will become a storage closet.

All over head cabinets are gone, as well as the water tank and a good portion of the over cab will need to be removed. The floors were taken back all the way to sub floor, and each ceiling vent and window are undergoing examination. This may become our home for a year and I want no staple unchecked...

Have we ever renovated a RV before? Nope. Never. Don't you think you are in over head? Oh most likely... but it's kind of like the time my uncle pushed me of the diving board. He knew I could swim, he spent hours teaching me the basics, and he knew that is was fear that kept me back. So he pushed me off... and guess what. He was right... and I have loved the water ever since.

What's the worst that can happen? Time and money, I know. But just think of the education we are receiving... honestly, you should see the faces I get when I am standing in conversation about chassis, rv roofing materials and mold inhibitors. But between the Makita impact driver, my remaining teachable and Providence I have peace about this adventure, and I am looking forward to the experience.

If you are interested, I invite you to read along. And if you have renovated a camper before and have wisdom to share I would welcome it. Below is a list of what's most pressing to take care of next and the cost {not counting time} of the project thus far, prior to those things being taken care of.

What's Up Next:
  • finish over cab, window and vent check with removal of wood as needed.
  • rebuild the back, lower section of the camper... primarily the corners.
  • add supports for the roof, and reseal the whole thing.
  • remove old corner seals, replace and re-secure.
  • rebuild the remaining areas where wood removal took place.
  • removal of wall surfaces and take care of any protruding staples, nails or screws. 
  • clean and paint the entire interior with mold and mildew primer.

Project Budget to Date: this includes the cost of the motor home, landfill run, gas and any other purchases made for the initial work that was shared above: $1,120.00 rounded

~ Blessings!