Sunday, February 28, 2021

Saturday Musings (Feb 27)

 It's a grayish day. The sun almost shines through but the clouds persist. The cold, cold winter has ceased to trouble us for awhile. I love the warmer air! It makes me think of life. The cold is like death. 

Sitting here, holding a sleeping baby, I will write while I have the opportunity. What else is Google docs for? 

My days feel unproductive many times. The to-do list remains undone. But baby care wasn't on the list. Yet it is the most important thing I could be doing. 

Diana enjoys "helping me" do whatever I'm doing. She is very interactive, very sociable, most content to be with someone. 

But it must be someone she's comfortable with. If you respect her, she'll warm up to you pretty soon. If you try to force yourself on her, you're a marked person. 

All that to say, she sticks quite closely to Mama during the day. I try not to carry her around too much, though she begs to be held. She's a solid chunk and my back protests the abuse. 

She's using more words. She loves to eat. When she has eaten up her portion, she'll hold up her bowl and say, "Mo". When I'm preparing a snack for her, cheese slices, apple slices, or whatever, she'll ask to have it in a bowl by just saying, "Bowl." 

She loves I Spy books and will let you know she wants to look at one by saying/asking, "By?" (“Spy?”) Coming near the woodstove or oven, seeing steaming food or drink, she says, "Hot!" For some reason, she loves to find pictures of owls in books. Often when she's looking at a book she'll be asking "owl?" It's amazing how many books actually do have at least one picture of an owl. 

Thomas has been suffering this past week from wounds received when a garage door spring let loose unexpectedly. He got a nasty whack and cut on his hand/ arm. His chest also got a beating and he's been dealing with bruises. His left hand has not been very useful, though only bruised as far as we know. Not broken. Matthew, Melvin, and Christopher have been doing the door work while Thomas supervises. 

On the days when Melvin is at home, he spends a lot of time pruning trees. It’s one of his favorite things to do! He's experimenting with grafting fruit trees this year. A number of citrus and avocado trees are growing in our house, which he started from seeds. I think he needs to build a conservatory. 

Speaking of citrus, we've been enjoying delicious oranges and grapefruit from California this winter. We just got our second order of two cases of grapefruit and one case of oranges. Hearing one of the ladies at church say she makes concentrate from lemons and freezes it, I also ordered a case of those. Fresh tasting lemonade in the summer will be awesome. 

That is as far as my musings went on this Saturday afternoon. I'll be back at a later date.


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Stephen's Wedding

 November 14 was the big day for our son Stephen and his sweetheart, MaryBeth Miller. They worked together at Penn Valley Christian Retreat and learned to know each other quite well. It didn't take them very long to decide they wanted to spend their lives together.

Photography doesn't rank high on my to-do list when I'm around people. MaryBeth's sister-in-law asked if she could get a picture of the couple before the wedding because she thought she'll not get one if she doesn't do it then. I decided that was a good idea and followed suit!

A lot of guests were missing because of corona virus making its rounds. My parents were unable to attend and we missed their presence. Thankfully I was over it myself, having been sick for over two weeks and barely back to normal before the wedding.

I'll include a few pictures from the reception and a few that Stephen sent to me. Also a link to the live-streamed service.

Bridal table (unoccupied/no flowers)

Table for the Schwartz kin

Bridal party, honorary couples and getaway vehicle

MaryBeth and her sisters (yes, she is a twin)

MaryBeth's family

You know who 😀

Click here for the link to the service. Some of the video will be silent.

What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Mark 10:9

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Taco Seasoning Recipe

There are many easy ways to make your own seasonings. One of them is Taco Seasoning. 

Here's the recipe I use. 

2 Tablespoons onion powder

3 Tablespoons chili powder

2 Tablespoons ground cumin

2 Tablespoons salt (I forgot to include that in the photo) 

1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes

1 Tablespoon garlic powder (or granulated garlic) 

1 Tablespoon oregano

These are all dried herbs and spices. Mix them well. It's enough to fill a small (or medium) spice can, like mine in the photo. I use one Tablespoon of this mix in place of one packet of taco seasoning. 

Now, go make yourself some! 😀

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Are You Afraid?

 The world is in chaos. The country of the United States of America is fast crumbling. Moral decay is not only permitted by law but is celebrated publicly. Riots are not squelched. Law and order are not upheld and people actually want the police force to be banished. Many of our "rights" have been taken away. Do these things cause your heart to fear?

It brings great fear to my heart! I won't fault you if you feel fear.

This fear causes me to search for answers. We know that the Word of God tells us that the spirit of fear does not come from God. If it isn't from God, where is it from? From our enemy, of course! 

Reading great books, especially true stories of how God works in the lives of real people helps to bring clarity in these times. Read "The Hiding Place" to see how God worked in Corrie ten Boom's life. She was faithful in doing God's will, living the Christian life in perilous times. Even though most of her family lost their lives because of their faithfulness, Corrie also learned to know God's faithfulness to her and her family through it all. This story brings me courage. It doesn't mean I won't face hard things. It means God will be faithful and I can trust Him through any and every circumstance.

I love to think how true and dependable the Word of God is. If we believe it and obey it, there is peace. There is unity. It is the only thing that will bring people together in true unity. We can make excuses why we shouldn't obey certain scriptures but if that is our premise for life, we will be unpeaceful. 

I recently read the book Report for Duty. It is the story of a young man who had to report for duty during war but he believed God's Word where it says we are to love. How can we love and kill people simultaneously? It is impossible. He remained true to the Word and was mocked and tortured. He eventually died because of the treatment he received. 

This story challenged me in a new way because of the whole quarantine/mask wearing scenario unfolding around me. I believe God's Word to be true when He tells us to obey governors. Many around me are quoting scripture, saying we belong to a different kingdom and we ought to obey God rather than men therefore we don't need to do what our governors tell us. These scriptures jar in my head. What kingdom are you from, that says we disobey God's command to obey governors? What does obeying God rather than men, have to do with this situation? That is for times when man's commands contradict God's laws. 

In Report for Duty, these same scriptures were quoted but they brought hardship, not ease, to the young man. He said he was from a different kingdom and could not participate in war. He obeyed every ridiculous command he was given as long as it wasn't contradictory to his belief in scripture. It just seems so puny to hear people around me trying to get out of mask wearing by quoting these scriptures. How does God look at such things? 

Honestly, I don't think mask wearing is helpful in the least. But I believe we are to obey governors if they ask us to do so. The way I obey those in authority over me will be the way my children respond to authority. 

Thinking about Corrie ten Boom made me remember how she said Americans are not prepared to suffer. That was at least 30 years ago. How much more are we unprepared today?! Here is a letter Corrie wrote that speaks truth to my heart. I often wonder about the teaching on the "rapture". It always feels like false teaching to me, but who am I to question learned pastors?

It is refreshing to read the letter she wrote. She says the Word of God is our anchor for troubled times. We need to systematically read and memorize it to be prepared for tribulation. We also need to keep an appointed time to spend in prayer daily. This is something I fail in! Let's not think we will always have the easy life we enjoy now. Let us prepare our hearts to suffer, even while we enjoy the blessings God is giving us today. 

A few months ago I read the scripture where Jesus told John's disciples what all He was doing. He said, "the poor have the gospel preached to them". That has been in my heart and mind ever since. How much can change for the poor when the gospel is preached to them! 

Death of a Saloon by Pablo Yoder tells the story of a family who was entrenched in drunkenness and immorality. Then the gospel was preached to them and they believed. The family was transformed from godlessness into people of the Word. They took the Word into their hearts and believed it. 

Those are some of my thoughts today. Here is a quote the pastor shared at our church today... 

"The greatest miracle you will ever see is a changed life." Merle Burkholder

God is still in the business of miracles! I am so thankful that He never changes! I want to share a few more quotes from Corrie ten Boom. They are so refreshing!

“If God has shown us bad times ahead, it's enough for me that He knows about them. That's why He sometimes shows us things, you know - to tell us that this too is in His hands.”

“There is no panic in Heaven! God has no problems, only plans.”

“There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - let us pray that we may always know it!”

“Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings...It's something we make inside ourselves.”

“Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden.”

“In darkness God's truth shines most clear.”

Be refreshed by God's Word today and "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hello, hello!

5 months
Y'all! Baby brain is a real thing! I don't know how mothers who have multiple children survive. Wait! I do have multiple children. Hmm...

Diana is now five months older than she was when I last wrote anything. I find my mental abilities returning, slowly but surely. Many times I'm writing things in my head but don't have the means to actually write them.

Thinking about mothers with multiple children... usually they have a daughter or two to take over when Mom can't think. I told my sister there are times when I'm in a half-awake state that I think, "Mama will take care of it." Then I'm wide awake and realizing I AM Mama and there's no one to take my place!
Our sons do well with helping around the house but there are some things that are solely mine to do. I thought I would train a couple of them this past school year to do the meal planning and grocery shopping but we didn't get very far.
She sits here contentedly while Matthew plays.
It makes me nervous.
I've been hiring my nieces to help me one day a week and that really gives me a boost. They got seven meals in the freezer on Saturday and now I'm free to write a little. 
It has been so long since I've written about life here at the Lapps that I hardly knew where to start. That is why I ramble a bit here. I'm getting started. I'm hoping to write more regularly again but don't hold me to it.
Diana is here beside me in her highchair, devouring cold, canned green beans. It is so good to see her enjoying good food. She had a half banana earlier and then a scrambled egg. She still nurses a few times a day. 
I learned, from a mother of many, to give baby as many finger foods as possible. That cuts down on the time I need to spend feeding her. I cut bananas into little pieces, cut up eggs and beans (or any food that is possible to eat with fingers) and she feeds them to herself from off the table. It is so handy!

It also keeps her entertained and cuts down on the amount she eats. When I would mash her food and spoon feed her she seemed to have no stop button. I just had to decide when it was enough.
The guys all do their own laundry. I do Thomas' & mine, Diana's and the dress clothes and that's about all I can handle. Of course, there are the dish towels, blankets and etc that need washing as well, and I take care of those.
Christopher turns 15 this month and he is taking his turn on the job a bit more this summer. When Melvin is home, he works on the gardening and if Christopher is here he helps Melvin some. Otherwise, he mows lawn, takes out trash, helps with kitchen work, does animal chores or works on any of his multiple personal interests. Today I have him installing a new (used) dishwasher that I hope will save me even more time.

Our other dishwasher quit functioning well, some months ago. Some days it feels as if I spend most of the day in the kitchen. I finally figured out a way to include Diana. She can stand on a chair beside me while I wash dishes. I put another chair (back) beside her to safely pen her in.

Enough rambling for one day. Till next time....

P.S. If you receive this by email, try replying to the email. I might get your reply. 
6 months

7 months

Picture of me & my brother 😀 (Picture of a picture)


8 months (she made the mess!)

9 months (she loves being outdoors)

See the mischief in those eyes?

Getting into things

Eating fresh strawberries
Strawberry face

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Diana Grace

She's here! 
Squeaky new

 Diana Grace because she came to us through Divine grace. We feel like she is a miracle from heaven in a special way and the grace of God has been guiding and will continue to guide her life for His purpose.

With Cousin Cecelia

Oh yes, she's five months old already! And where has the time gone? Obviously it's been a whole new learning curve for this old, new mama. It's not quite as easy as when I was younger but in some ways it's easier. 

When I am weary I have a husband and sons who look after baby while I take a nap or just sleep later in the morning. I try to keep food prepared so that they can easily get their own breakfast. Usually there are enough leftovers on hand to make lunch packing simple as well.

Right now Christopher has Diana outside in the stroller so I think I'll go take a nap and write more later. I just needed to get a start back here in some small way.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Tired Day, New Things

I was startled to realize it was nearly 11 AM when I finally got out of bed this morning! I could just hardly wake up. And 
I've been dragging along all day. 

I've gotten a few loads of laundry done. Yay! The washer is back in service and doing a good job. I washed my hair. This task gets harder the more "unbendable" I become. 
I LOVE line-dried bed sheets!
Thomas & Melvin went to install a couple doors in Oakland, MD. Christopher is having a hard day. He's not feeling very well and isn't getting much done either. 

Yesterday we purchased a "new" car and repaired our van. The van has had a black hood and bumper for about four years now. Ever since one of the boys rear ended someone. Recently the black bumper was broken by hitting a small animal and needed to be repaired before it would pass inspection. 
I went searching for a "before" picture of the van and this is the best I could do.
The body shop said if we sand the hood they'll shoot some primer on it. So now the new bumper is white and the hood is once again white. 
The car was a $500 deal (Honda Accord) that we couldn't let pass. We've been wanting a little car that's automatic for this mama to run around with. We want to get rid of a couple other vehicles. The car needs some body work and painting but otherwise seems in good condition.

If you need a faith booster check out this video. A 23 year old and 21 year old coping with five children ages 2 and under. Cheerfully, with faith in God.