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Read this book

I finished a book earlier this week that I loved and spoke to me deeply, and I want to share it with you. Let's start with this.

"Yes, the world is broken. But don't be offended by it. Instead, thank God that He's intervened in it, and He's going to restore it to everything it was meant to be. His kingdom is breaking through, bit by bit. Recognize it, and wonder at it.

War is not exceptional; peace is. Worry is not exceptional; trust is. Decay is not exceptional, restoration is. Anger is not exceptional; gratitude is. Selfishness is not exceptional; sacrifice is. Defensiveness is not exceptional; love is.

And judgmentalism is not exceptional...

But grace is.

Recognize our current state, and then replace the shock and anger with gratitude. Someone cuts you off on your commute? Just expect it. No big deal. Let it drop, and then be thankful for the person, that exceptional person, who lets you merge. See the human heart for what it is, adjust expectations, and be grateful…

Just kind of an ordinary summer day

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Today was one of those blissful days where I never had to get in my car to go anywhere. I planned on spending the day catching up with laundry and paying the bills... because I know how to have fun. G. and I did the barn and the birds first thing, then I sat in the sun and had my breakfast outside. This having breakfast outside thing, sitting quietly, watching the trees and the birds while I sip my coffee is one of my very favorite things about summer. Sometimes a child will join me briefly or play beside me while I sit and sip. L. joined me this morning, crushing up some of the wild strawberries in the garden to make 'ink'. (Don't worry, these are not eating strawberries. They are small and bitter. Every year someone tries one hoping that this year they will be sweet, but they never are. L. can make as much ink as she desires.)

One interesting thing that happened this morning was R. decided to play with a toy. I know that this sounds hardly newsworthy, but it actually is.…

How we celebrate Father's Day

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Well, the short story is we don't actually celebrate Father's Day. It's not that my children don't have the most amazing father whom they adore, it's more that when you have three children who share the same birthday on a date that often falls on or very near Father's Day, you celebrate birthdays instead.

B. turned 24 and G. and L. turned 10 on Saturday. We were all able to be together on Sunday, so we had a big birthday celebration. Don't worry about J. I made three different pies for dessert... cherry, peach, and apple. J. loves pie.

Here are pictures of the three different rounds of singing Happy Birthday to each of the birthday children.

B.:







L.:





And G.:





Overcoming the fear of duck eggs

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We have these ducks who lay an egg a day, plus the baby ducks are going to soon be laying eggs. All of this means, we are going to be drowning in duck eggs. We use what we can, but I would love to be able to sell some as well. I find, though, that many people are more than a little hesitant to buy duck eggs, and I can't figure out why, because they're very useful and tasty things.

So, to help people over the duck egg hurdle, I made up a recipe for you... with pictures! Plus, when you have eight dozen duck eggs kicking about the house, you really need to do something with them!

Without further ado, I want to tell you about mini crustless quiches which live in your freezer and are a quick and nutritious breakfast for your hungry hoards. I made two variations today, though I have a couple more I want to try. I started out with bell pepper and pepperoni crustless quiches which are dairy-free because some of my people can't do dairy.

First, because we leave our eggs dirty and o…

Friday bullets, June 14, 2019

We've had two late nights in a row, so I don't know how long this will be.

We think the baby ducks might be starting to lay some eggs. We are finding little white eggs, about the size of a chicken egg, every so often. We don't have chickens who lay white eggs, so they must be from the ducks. Often eggs are smaller when a hen is first starting to lay. Once they get going, though, I'm going to need to create a bigger market for duck eggs. I've done a whole bunch of nothing this week. The weather has been beautiful; the perfect temperature for just sitting outside and enjoying the sun. So that is what I've been doing.H. has totally embraced the reading game this year. She has been dutifully reading and reading and reading. Her card is about one third filled with stickers after just one week. I never am really sure how much she is actually getting out of her silent reading, but all that sitting and staring and sounding out words on her own certainly cannot hurt.TM l…

At least I didn't have to buy the book

You ever have one of those days when you look around your house and are suddenly horrified at the state into which things have fallen? I did that this morning. Piles of things that I had stopped seeing and had become part of the landscape... the Easter center piece on the dining room table complete with dead flowers... I'm pretty sure even the dust bunnies had dust on them. It was bad.

So I spent a good chunk of the day cleaning up and encouraging other people to help out. It felt so good to get the piles of junk lying around put away, to straighten up the furniture and move some things around, to get some of the layers of dust taken care of so people would stop drawing pictures in it. The downstairs living areas actually became a place I wanted to spend time in again rather than a place I walked through quickly because I couldn't stand to be in it.

It's a funny thing about cleaning and making things look nice, it tends to have a domino affect. Not only is the downstairs a…

Knowing how one learns

Nothing like figuring out what you want to do when you grow at age 53, huh?

I would love to become a certified therapeutic riding instructor. I love everything about therapeutic riding, and have loved every minute of volunteering at Horse Power. There are several ways to become certified, and the academic one near me had an information meeting, so I went.

I'm afraid I am too much of an autodidact, even though I loved taking classes when I was younger. Actually, I realize now that what I loved was the learning that happened from taking classes, the papers, projects, exams, not so much. Now, further away from my school years, I find myself even less patient with someone else's learning agenda.

Over the years as I have taught myself various things, I have learned how I learn best. I would happily get any number of advanced degrees in any number of fields if that consisted of giving me a syllabus and resources and letting me take it from there. I'd be more than happy to have a…