The Best of 2014

the best of 2014

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Things to Read

This month my writing time has been severely limited, however, I’ve managed to snatch a few great reads from fellow bloggers that I want to share with you:

Things to Read

Devotional: God is love — something I truly needed to be reminded of. A new way to look at I Corinthians 13. 

Parenting: Saying No to Your Kids and Fighting the Dragon — This was so, so good. 

Social: Why Humanism Will Not Heal— this blog has caught me tight and convicted me so many times. And this post? Full of truth. 

Modesty: 7 Reasons Why We Don’t Want to Talk About It— there are a lot of blog posts about modesty circling the web right now. This one is well done.

What I’m reading right now:

Do What Jesus Did — so far, an excellent read. I’m very interested in how it will conclude.
Bonhoeffer— I’m working hard to pace myself through this book, taking time to do research and put thought into each section. I love it though and the “reader” part of me just wants to fly through it!

What about you? Have you read a great blog post lately? A good book? Do share!

of autumn

of autumn

Every time I turn around I see a link for a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte. So I gave in and tried it (peer pressure, you know) and now I’m addicted. Had to go buy an extra pumpkin and I’m just waiting for the cream to settle on the top of the quart of milk that I pulled from the tank so I can make truly real whipped cream.

caramel apples

I love caramel apples. I hate trying to eat them. But, oh, are they not the prettiest *fall* thing in the world? So grab some twigs, a few apples and whip up this recipe for caramel that will make your mouth water. (want to be a wee-bit healthier this year? Maybe try this maple syrup and coconut milk caramel. It’s on my to-do list because, well, can you even go wrong with maple and coconut? Exactly.)

Does fall weather make you want to bake? Me too. So I mixed these up yesterday for the men here working.  Pumpkin.  Sweet dough. Cinnamon. Icing. Mmmm, yes. They ate two each, complaining the whole time about me making them gain weight. I told them it’s good to pack on a few pounds for winter- it’ll keep them warm. They all rolled their eyes at me but kept eating…

We still have a month before November {the Thanksgiving month} so there is plenty of time to get ready and make the holiday season lovely. I’m debating between a simple board like this one or a special thanksgiving tree. The boys will love either so it all depends on what space I have available around the house.

There will be many other fun things to do before snow flies. Photo shoots, pressing leaves, creating a candy turkey or two, and painting lace patterns onto pumpkins.

We love to visit the cider mill every year for apple cider slushies and fresh, still-hot apple cider donuts.* We always go look at the waterfall behind the mill and get a few photos on the deck. This photo is from the year I got married. I had a special trip to the mill with all my bridesmaids {I’m right in the middle holding one of the twins.} Since then there have been five more children added to the pack!

* this year, I’m eating gluten-free and cannot indulge. However! Never fear. The wonderful world of Pinterest gifted me with this recipe and I’m going to do my best to try it out.

What about you? Do you have a special autumn tradition?

Close Your Eyes {And See}

(Today for something different, I thought that I’d join in with the community at for  five-minute fridays. She gives a prompt word and bloggers write for five-minutes straight, without editing, whatever comes to mind.  It gives a chance to practice writing, loosen up perfectionism and catch a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the writers- unedited. So, join me today? The prompt word: see.) 

I can hear, today, the whisper that has glanced over my life since the day I surrendered. The call of a God who says:

“now you see through a glass dimly but the day will come…”

The One who opened the eyes of the servant with Elisha in the Old Testament and allowed him to see the legions of heavenly soldiers standing guard over the city. The One who opened the eyes of the blind and freed those trapped in bondage.

This God, this love of mine, who rescued me, spoke into my life and whispers {even now} into my frustrations and fears: Tasha, oh, beloved daughter, close your eyes. Close your eyes and see. See my plans. See my heart. See my love. See that I am in control. Not your circumstances. Not your finances. Not your fears. Me. The Creator and Redeemer of the world.

And I am humbled. My knees tremble and I bow low. A child of dust who hears the voice of God.

Forever grateful for the death of a king that broke the hold of the enemy and tore the curtain in the temple so that I, a lowly sinner, can hear Him personally. And through His voice, the earthly-scales can be ripped free from my eyes and I can learn to see what is real. 

For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [ by God]. I Corinthians 13:12 AMP

for more five-minute friday posts go here. 
my favorite of those I read? This one. 

weekend {5/4}

{something for your devotional time}

This week has been a zinger on the home front. Most days I’ve had at least five kids. Yesterday it crept up to eight. I felt, very personally, the struggle that moms speak of when trying to find devotional time.

So, yesterday, I tried something different! We all did devotions together. Then picked a favorite verse. I happened to have some poster board and sticky letters so we wrote out the verse and then, while they were coloring, I took time to pray and read a bit more!

Here was the outcome! (missing the two babies who were standing in the doorway behind me.)

{something from the kitchen} 

I’ve been a bit boring in the kitchen. Veggie-noodles and chicken with salad most days. Last night my husband pulled out a few packages of venison. (side note: to get the gamey taste out of wild meat, cook it in apple cider vinegar. works wonders!)

But today, oh, today, I have grand plans! I want to start a couple kinds of sauerkraut! Inspired by my friend, Trina’s posts, I’m hoping to have the kids help me shred carrots and cabbage. (And this Mexican kind? I think I will just have to try!)

{something from the craft room}

The kids and I wrote a book. Yes, a book! It was such a blast! I haven’t bound it yet but it was done Tuesday and everyday since they ask, “Pallleeezzzee, can we read the pocketknife book? Paaallleeezzeee, Tasha?!”

Just some card stock that we covered with contact paper and it makes them oh, so happy! 

{something to make you think}

Yesterday was National Day of Prayer. My goal for this period of my life is to be more intentional about my prayer life. I made a Prayer List (just chalkboard paper in a cheap little frame) and was very encouraged by this post on finding time to pray right in the midst. 

{something to make you laugh}

for all you Anne of Green Gables lovers out there… 

{something from the bookshelf}

This week I reviewed the book God Loves Broken People (and those who pretend they’re not) if you haven’t read the review, I encourage to jump on over and enter the giveaway as well! 

weekend {4/13}

{something for your devotional time} 

Have you spent time in worship this week? It’s so easy for me to just blaze through life without stopping. I looked at my guitar at one point and felt sorrow down to my bones that I hadn’t opened it and paused to sing to Him in ages. Let’s worship this coming week? Perhaps starting with this song?

{something from the kitchen}

It has been years since I’ve made it but this week I baked a few loaves of Amish Friendship Bread. Since I don’t eat instant pudding, I just added a bit more sugar and flour to make up for it. Very yummy and a fun tradition.

{something from the craft room}

New storage boxes!

{something to make you think}

What is truth? What are opinions? How do the two connect? In this post, Hold the Truth Tightly and Your Opinions Lightly, we’re reminded of a few good facts.

A friend sent me to this post on dating a few weeks ago. Yes, I’m married. But this is something that every woman should read and act on. 

{something just for fun}

A parable?  A laugh?

weekend {easter edition}

{a few little things to remember}

The “Nonsense” of the Risen Christ

Excavating Resurrection

{a few little things to do with the eggs}

1) Color them, because it’s pretty.

2) Eggshell candles? So cute. 

3) Make your own Resurrection eggs. 

4. Eggshell flowerpots. 

{a pretty little printable for the weekend}

He is Risen printable