Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I was in the basement doing laundry, wearing my sweats with holes in them and a baggy t-shirt. I shook my disheveled hair out of my face and looked up the stairs to see Malachi standing at the top in the basement doorway.

"Hello, princess!" he called down cheerfully.

And for a brief moment I remembered: yes, I am a princess.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lord's Day Quote

"Learn the divine skill of making God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, he can be to thee instead of all."

---C.H. Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Lily!

On this day, five years ago, my precious daughter Lily made her appearance into this family. She brings so much beauty to the Gardner family. I, too often, am impatient with her as she does those little things that five-year-olds do and I've been praying that I would be able to stop being so frantic and take the time to see what she sees in the world.

Being Lily's mommy is a sanctifying experience because our personalities are so similar, (read that: she gets her emotional state from her mommy) but she has an artist's heart and I'm so proud to share that with her.

Father of Lights, from whom came this lovely little girl, thank you for the grave responsibility and the great joy of having Lily as our daughter. Give us grace to raise her well.

Happy Birthday, Lily!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Kids Really Do Say The Cutest Things

Last night the children were being less than obedient for bedtime. After hearing quite a bit of bouncing and giggling going on upstairs, Joshua headed up to discipline the rowdy kids. He caught Malachi being rather rambunctious and asked him: "Didn't I tell you to be quiet?"

"Well," Malachi answered with a thoughtful look on his face, "I was trying to be quiet but... something went wrong."

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Captured Light

It's been my goal of late to develop my talents as a portrait artist. I'd like to offer my services at very low cost to families who can't necessarily afford to get a professional portrait taken. I still have a long way to go in improving my skills, but I'm enjoying practicing right now. You can view my portfolio here:

Captured Light Portraiture

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thinking of Seth

"There's many a man has more hair than wit."

---William Shakespeare

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's Time To Grill!

This recipe looks so good, I just have to share it: Grilled Pound Cake with Warm Berry Sauce

There are several grilled desserts that I want to try. I think that's my goal for this summer. Getting better at making delectably sweet foods without dying in an overheated kitchen sounds like an honorable goal to me.

Here's another one that looks good:
Barbequed Pineapple (I don't see how you could go wrong when you combine pinapple, rum and fire.)

Has anyone else experimented with grilling sweet stuff?

Monday, April 14, 2008

More Cuteness

Have You Ever Seen Anything Quite So Cute?

Happy Birthday, Crystal!

I've been rather blessed in the siblings that God has given to me. I have siblings that were born into this family and siblings that married into it (yes, that's right- they chose to join this crazy crowd!) My first sibling-by-marriage was Crystal.

It was tough getting used to having to share my big brother with someone else. Seth was my property (or so I thought) until Crystal came along. She stole my brother away from me and made his eyes go all "googly" and starcrossed. But as their marriage grew, I saw what true love looked liked and I saw what I wanted when I got married.

I saw Crystal learn to submit herself to her husband and I saw her help him and work with him in his endeavors. I saw that Seth's goals were Crystal's goals and if he failed in some way, then she felt the failure. And when he succeeded then she was rejoicing and celebrating with him. I saw her give of herself without asking for anything in return. I saw her striving to raise Godly children and I saw her reach out to the hurting people around her.

I saw all these things over the years of knowing Crystal and I see them all more than ever today.

Crystal, thank you for being my big sister. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Quote

"The common mercies we enjoy all sing of love, just as the sea-shell, when we put it to our ears, whispers of the deep sea whence it came; but if we desire to hear the ocean itself, we must not look at every-day blessings, but at the transactions of the crucifixion."
----Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

From One Ragamuffin to Another

A new book recently came my way- The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning. (Yes, this was the book that inspired the naming of Rich Mullins' band.) I've heard some not so great things about Mr. Manning, but I was so moved by his intro into the book, that I wanted to share it. I haven't decided if I'll continue reading this book, but I am glad I read this beginning:

"This book is not for the super-spiritual.
It is not for the muscular Christians who have made John Wayne and not Jesus their hero.
It is not for academicians who would imprison Jesus in the ivory tower of exegesis.
It is not for the noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into a naked appeal to emotion.
It is not for Alleluia Christians who live only on the mountaintop and have never visited the valley of desolation.
It is not for the fearless and tearless.
It is not for red-hot zealots who boast with the rich young ruler of the gospels: "All these commandments I have kept from my youth."
It is not for the complacent, hoisting over their shoulder a tote bag of honors, diplomas, and good works actually believing that have it made.
It is not for legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus.

If anyone is still reading along, The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up and burnt-out.
It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other.
It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don't have it altogether and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.
It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.
It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents.
It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay.
It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God.
It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags."

Great words, right? Now go back and read it again and this time, whenever he says "this book" or "The Ragamuffin Gospel" replace it with "The Gospel of Jesus."

That's me he's talking about. And you. I'm a ragamuffin Christian. I don't have it all together. I don't know what I'm talking about most of the time. I'd much rather do things my way than obey my God. And this gospel is for me.

"This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief."


Monday, April 07, 2008

A (Convicting) Quote

"At this very moment you and I are either committing [selfishness], or about to commit it, or repenting it."
---C.S. Lewis

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Because of time constraints and a chronic case of RLS (Real Life Syndrome) I've decided to no longer keep up my Dash of This, Smidgen of That blog. I'll leave it there so you (and I) can access the archives and I'll post any useful tips and ideas on this blog.

To that end:
I've discovered a wonderful cleaning tips website. I was thrilled to find this. I hope it helps you, too!

Homeschooler Humor

How does a homeschooler change a lightbulb?

First, mom checks three books on electricity out of the library, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life.

Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles.

Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for $1.99 and pay with a five dollar bill.

On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Abraham Lincoln, as his picture is on the five dollar bill.

Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed.

And there is light