Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22nd - Part Two

I am terrible with a camera.  I never remember to take it with me, but even when I do, I forget to pull it out and both our other computers with all our photographic memories of the last 10 years are on virtual lock down until we can crack their codes... so with that being said:  This is the one post I wish had a thousand pictures on it, but instead -- it will have one.

Mr. Thompson and I are celebrating our 10 year anniversary today... and as he is at work this morning, I am being flooded with thoughts of joy and gratitude and awe, not only for my husband, but of my Great Big God who works everything together for the good of those who love him.

The odds were stacked against us.  There is only ONE thing we had going for us, and that is Jesus.  I think (I could say know) we were the only two people on our wedding day that knew without a doubt (call us naive if you will) that getting married was the one thing we could be sure was the one right decision we would ever make.

And we knew it the next day and everyday since.

For most, the story of two kids knowing each other for the whole of 4 1/2 months on the day they committed themselves to each other, expecting a baby in 7 months, and not having more than "a few dimes" to their names at any given moment... is a recipe for disaster.

I was going to say "on a road less traveled" -- but that's not quite an accurate statement now-a-days... I will say: On a road that is far less appealing yet, for some reason, traveled frequently, I am so thankful that God has shown us His merciful favor and given me the husband of any girls dream.  And I am still in awe, everyday, when I wake up next to the most faithful, sacrificing, loving, beyond respectful, beyond patient, and beyond HANDSOME man that God saw fit to bless the likes of ME with.

Though our life as Mr. and Mrs. Thompson has been pockmarked with hardships... our love has only grown deeper with each trial and the "D-word" has never so much as even been whispered.  No cliche about it.

I am giving all the glory to God!  There is no way that in our falling-short-every-second-of-the-day efforts, that a marriage like ours is possible... even with the most ideal of beginnings -- aside from the strength from Jesus and grace of God.

Courtesy of Ben's phone... we got one picture.

We went to the hills for a night.  The first anniversary we've gotten away for, even if just 30 minutes away, since we only had one sweet baby boy eight years ago.  Now we've got 4 and 3/4 sweet babies, and I never dreamed of a life so hard... nor of a life so fulfilled. 

I love you Ben Thompson.  I thank you for giving me the best 10 years of my life this far and I pray... ohhhh, I pray... for at least 100 more.  I'd still have chosen you in a heart beat and knowing what I know now, it would have been even quicker than that.

December 22nd - Part One

I have two stories to tell this morning:

My four year old jumps on my bed... the first of my children up and the boy that bursts constantly with joy was wanting breakfast.

"Can I make it, Mom?"

We are out of cereal -- as I only buy a few boxes a month strictly for those mornings when making a real (aka: nutritious) breakfast is impossible -- and that is usually the breakfast that he makes himself.

The other children begin stirring and my oldest boy wants to make it, too.  (He's already better at fried eggs than I am!)  So I tell boy 1 and boy 2 that they can make scrambled eggs and toast.  They ask me about every step along the way and it sounds like all is going well in the kitchen.

Enjoying my morning "off", I begin to smell something that isn't the fragrant aroma of gently cooking eggs... I jump up and run to the kitchen just in time stop our eggs from being cooked in blackened butter.  Literally.  He had the bowl of beaten eggs in his grip, readying the bowl to be pour over the pan...  Both looking at me like, "What?  Is something wrong?"

I'm laughing out loud now... but at the time, I pulled the plug on them chefing their own breakfast this morning quicker than a... <I am woefully unable to complete this sentance with anything resembling "wit". If you know of a good "quicker than a..." phrase, please let me share in your wisdom via the comments below!>  Anyway, it was fast!  He's great with a griddle... maybe a few lessons on the stovetop are in order.

We got our breakfast in record time and how could any of us help but smile...

Our tummies were full and our hearts were happy.

Most of all?  Mine. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Make It A Monday

Times of feasting and times of famine.  Such is life.

And Jesus knows.  He was born into the lowly class of carpenters to live the phrase: money can't buy love.  Love is a free gift and one that Jesus was to perfection.  So, while this season is about so much more than how full the space is between the bottom branches of the Christmas tree and the floor, it is inevitable that there is likely something you want, but may not be able to afford.

For me this year, one of those wished-for items was a pretty tree skirt... actually, it's been the last few years.  And not that they are ALL terribly expensive; it was a matter of prioritizing our spending and a new tree skirt has just never made the list.

I saw this on Pinterest:

(Although, I wish I had seen this:)
A new, pretty tree skirt. I could wish forever for a pile of unallocated funds, or I could do what I could do to get what I wanted despite the lack-there-of said funds.  So -- I made it.  With fabric I already had, a glue gun, and a few hours of commitment to the cause. 

The tutorial I used is here.  The tutorial for the second picture is here.  (Both basically the same but the technique is what makes them look different.)

For more of a dramatic ruffle like picture two, I'd gather more of the fabric per ruffle than I did.  But you know, there's always a learning curve the first time around anything.

You may like your tree skirt just fine, but I encourage you... whatever it is you've had your eye on -- if you can't buy it, chances are you can make it.

It may not be full under our tree... a definite famine there by choice, but it sure is pretty.  And we've got lots of love. 

Hearts bursting with it.

Lives living by It.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

O, Christmas Tree

O Christmas Tree : Lyrics

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer's here,
But also when 'tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
From base to summit, gay and bright,
There's only splendor for the sight.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
Thou bidst us true and faithful be,
And trust in God unchangingly.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee! !"

In a season where believers seek to give glory an honor, above all else, to the author of the universe and the Savior of our souls,  some are asking a question...

What is the Christmas tree, really?  Where did it come from?  Pagan or Christian symbol?

I am no scholar, but here is some of what I've found:
  • Many Pagan cultures used to cut boughs of evergreen trees in December, move them into the home or temple, and decorate them. This was to recognize the winter solstice.
  • During the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans did decorate their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of their God, Bacchus.
Fortunately, our modern use of pine trees to celebrate the birth of Jesus (which by the way was not actually on December 25... that is just the day we have chosen to honor his birth) doesn't originate from either of those or any other pagan use of one of God's beautiful creations.

In an article byDr. Richard P. Bucher he points out a few things I never knew about our Christmas tree tradition:
  • Karas (sited reference author) has amply demonstrated that evergreens have been a symbol of rebirth from ancient times. Bringing greenery into one's home, often at the time of the winter solstice, symbolized life in the midst of death in many cultures.14 The Romans decked their homes with evergreens and other greenery during the Kalends of January.15 Living trees were also brought into homes during the old German feast of Yule, which originally was a two-month feast beginning in November. The Yule tree was planted in a tub and brought into the home.16 However, the evidence just does not exist which shows that Christians first used trees at Christmas as a symbol of [the above noted] rebirth, nor that the Christmas tree was a direct descendent of the Yule tree. On the contrary, the evidence that we have points in another direction. The Christmas tree appears to be a descendent of the Paradise tree and the Christmas light of the late Middle Ages.
  • From the eleventh century, religious plays called "mystery plays" became quite popular throughout Europe. These plays were performed outdoors and in churches. One of the most prevalent of these plays was the "Paradise play." The play depicted the story of the creation of Adam and Eve, their sin, and their banishment from Paradise. The play would end with the promise of the coming Savior and His Incarnation (cf. Gen. 3:15). The Paradise play was simple by today's standards. The only prop on stage was the "Paradise tree," a fir tree adorned with apples. From this tree, at the appropriate time in the play, Eve would take the fruit, eat it, and give it to Adam.
  • (...)The tree reminds us of the tree in Eden by which Adam and Eve were overcome and which thrust them into sin. But more importantly, the tree reminds us of the tree by which our sin was overcome, namely the tree upon which Christ Jesus was crucified.  (...)Peter writes, "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed."(...)
Therefore, I do believe that the Christmas tree is a wonderful symbol and reminder of our salvation and forgiveness through Jesus Christ!

Enjoy your tree with all the trimmings... just remember The One and The Gift it represents!

Merry CHRISTmas!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Lesson From 100 Years Ago - Wild Wednesday

I have died a thousand deaths at the sound of a knock at the door.

And even as I write this, I've got yesterday's mascara bleeding with my attempt of last nights sleep, my bathroom isn't clean, and there is no fresh coffee brewing... oh, and there is laundry that needs folding on my couch.  So by all means stay away.

Have we become so deluded with ourselves and absorbed with our pride?  Yes.  Yes we have.

In the days of ol', they had their share of hardships, but they did get somethings very right.

(Google image)

Hospitality.  Relationships. 

Pop-ins were the norm and living together (community-wise) was expected.  Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were a given and all the merrier if someone unexpected showed up.  There were still dishes that needed done, bathrooms that needed cleaning and coffee that needed brewing... there was grace offered by friends when they showed up to something resembling chaos.  After all, in the between of spontaneous joys, there is a whole lot of living.  Especially in this humble home of six, soon-to-be seven.

In today's race of measuring up, we rush and stretch and bend and close our eyes.  We die a thousand deaths at the ring of a phone or, heaven forbid, the unexpected sound of the doorbell.  Is it the subconscious thought, "Who wants more of me now?"  Our homes and our heads are in constant turmoil... our children, alone, hunger for food and for time devoted to more than glances and shoulder brushes.  And now we have to make room for more?

Maybe it's actually a case of making room for less...  less idleness.  Less meaningless.  Less apathy.

Less dreaming and more doing.

Less Facebook and Pinterest - More folding clothes and preparing my day.

Less texting - More intentional, meaningful, human contact....  Realness.

So no more dying... Duties and messes and kids in all their wonder are a given, but despite them, my doors - my coffee pot - my fridge, even! - is always open.

Come and make my day.


Wild Wednesday Returns --

Make someone's day.  Open your home this week.  MAKE THE TIME.  It does not need to be fancy in the least, but do make it special.

It can be as elaborate as a 5 course meal with fancy linens and a violinist... or for the more simple-minded like myself, a pot of coffee or a fresh quart of chai concentrate and maybe some muffins or cookies.  Or for dudes: some cans of mountain dew and a bag of chips...

Whatever shape it takes, it's the intention and relationship that is at the heart of it.  If you burn your cookies... that's all the better!  You are a fallable human and there are no fronts or pride you need to hold on to.  Open your home... and you just might find your heart opening too!

Remember it's about being real.  This isn't a time to showcase your biggest and best and get caught up in keeping up.  They have a daughter who won a talent contest (maybe it was even 10 years ago!)?  That is great!  Really great. ---->  .

So, off you go!  Make it happen!  You'll be blessed because of it.

*I do love hearing from you!  If you take on this weeks challenge, comment back and let me know... how'd it go?  What did you do?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Calm

It is Christmastime.

Amidst the bustle of days and days, there is a driving need for time and peace. Slow down the frantic to see the King of Glory in everyday. In every minute.

Eligh twirls to The First Noel played by a children's toy... like that moment.

But neccessary life?

Errands and lessons and groceries and visits with friends.  Housekeeping and quiet-times and getting presentable-looking.  Schooling and meal-creating and time to just be.

In-between that which must be done there ARE -- precious moments.

Oh, beware my time-wasters.  Joy-killers.  Life-suckers.
... I attempt. I'll call it intention. (Here are seven ways to help ensure your ability to see those moments in your day.  And tomorrow.)

Live unharried to see the sweet moment recurring this day.  To see the opportunities to make someone else's day... to reach beyond and reach through and affect their eternity.  Becuase Jesus came. The infinite God made small babe. Christmas. The one  Precious Moment offered you and me.

And eternity awaits.  Remember this each day and in-between what must be done... there is awe

Slowness to rush through and miss it.  It is in the effort of calm and intent these days -- the expectation of something sweet...

Kisses for mama.  Dances for Eligh.

(Google images)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Farmhouse life...

We wake up to a chill in the air.

Oh, for the boy that is not yet a man, keeping his family warm.  He slides from his bed, hazy, I am sure.  Throws on his boots and coat and heads out to the white of the frigid morning.  The outdoor wood stove needs filling and The Man is gone to work for hours already.

That kind of farmhouse living.

I had visions of fences, a welcoming drive, a few cows, a herd of chickens and a real homesteaders spirit.  Children building and milking and making.

But this is the life we are living...
We opt for days we can do. Days that include: homeschooling and Internet, whole foods cooking and store bought food, trips to town and a debit card, evenings with our family and movies on Netflix.  Children play in a child's paradise and with a Wii.  Chores, yet don't be surprised if you stop by to a home in chaos.  Time in the hard copy Word and stops by an inspirational blog or two. 
Though, family... working together for the good of each other.

 It may not be the thrashing and grinding of our own home-grown wheat, but the principles remains the same:

wonder, sacrifice, effort, grace, love, service.


Reassessing to live today.  It's not a three week project -- a fleeting finishing... it's the project of a lifetime that will take our lifetime. 

Moving beyond the renovation.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Of Days Gone By

Yep.  The big ol ugly ??? (whatever it was) is going, going...


Grandma Snyder canned our pears for us this year...  xoxo

A slight problem with venting your dyer INTO your house.

Doesn't look like much to be proud of, but that is how we heat our house.  A little vent cover would do nicely here... yes?

Tea time with my girls...

 Paper scrap creations

Reading and more reading.


I love Christmas and that guy. 

And am so thankful for these people that God has given to me!

 Time for sledding...

Time for Jesus with our Daily Advent devotion -- The Jesse Tree

In three months there has been a little more progress... but a lot more life.

Days go by...

(And as soon as we can find our SD card (grrr)... there will be pictures of curtains and a Christmas tree and other curtains that don't cover windows...)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In the Beat of a Heart

Here we are, now on the brink of Autumn.

Not for even a moment does life grant us a stand still.  And as much as I know life  must be on the move, I, almost daily, try my best to freeze frame my favorite sights and sounds of the day.  Those priceless moments with my gifts from God. Though, I can't recall them even five minutes later, I hope the Lord is preserving them in my mind for precious recollections down the road.

I look forward to holding our newest gift for the first time -- March can't come soon enough. But from the same place in my heart, as I watched my three-year-old walk away, obediently to bed last night... oh, my heart...  someday, sooner than I wish it, my little boy will be a great big man.  No longer with the greatest little boy's belly laugh that I've ever heard... though, I reckon it will just be the greatest great big man's belly laugh I've ever heard.

I look so forward to being old with my husband... but what about when it finally hits us that we are getting old too?  When we look back on how many Autumn's of our life together have passed?  When the day arrives that our children start off on their own journey's apart from us?  A lifetime lived in but the beat of a heart. What a life we will have lived together, Lord willing.

 (I so completely adore that man the Lord made for me.)

"I look forward to each new season with the anticipation of what it will hold. But as I go, I can’t help but look over my shoulder with the warmest sentiments toward the season I am leaving behind." -Stacie at Beautiful Things

My sentiments exactly.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

12 weeks.

It is all His grace that has given me twelve weeks.

...and all the more grace when I make it to thirteen.

My dearest friends...

We are having another baby

-Nevermind the tired Sunday afternoon appearance!-

What could be more "100 Years Ago" than having a baby...
Well, that is, having a baby the way we have babies.

At home
 with an experienced midwife.

It has been hard for me to tell people.  I'd much rather wait until I was 20 weeks for the majority of the world to know, but as it is, I already look... well, I don't know how far along I look exactly, but --people are starting to talk...

So there it is.  I've told.

There is this mama, for those of you who are thinking,
"Well, that's just nuts!!  5??" that says,

"If you think my hands are full... you should see my heart."

I love that.

My difficulty with telling people so early stems from five years ago...

I lost two babies (separate pregnancies) about that long ago, both at the 2nd trimester mark (which is what I've hit today, although it appears as if the professionals have moved that mark to 13 weeks...), but since have had two healthy births.  However, even those last two pregnancies were troubled in those transitional weeks from the 1st to 2nd trimester, which contributes to my hesitation to let the world know, for fear that I may have to un-let the world and then some know only weeks later.

This one is the smoothest of the three, but I've been so deeply scarred and conditioned for trouble and dooms-day events, that it is making it difficult to relax and enjoy, while not the morning sickness, the knowledge that there is a precious little life, now around three inches from crown to rump, growing inside me.

I do have one consolation. 

 The Lord has given our baby a name.


I take that as a promise of God that my baby will be given life.

And not only that, but that he, or maybe she, has a clear and defined purpose for his life.

I began jotting down names that popped in my head as soon as we found out we were having another baby.  And as experience has proven, Ben and I have a slightly differing preference for names. 

This time he said, "I don't care what the name is as much as I care that it means something."

Probably because our girls names are picked out of thin air just because "I like it!"  So, I thought that before I go any further with the list making, I should make sure of what the names-so-far mean so as not to have a child whose name means, "beast" or "..." well, I can't think of some of the other's I've come across now... I am pregnant remember?  On #5 no less... I have no mind left at this point!!

Anyway!  Point being... I had one boys name on the list, first and middle, along with four girl firsts and middles (girls have always been so much easier for us to agree on!).  I started looking them up.

(Actual names will be revealed later -- these are just the meanings)

Boy: First -  Light  Middle-  White

Girl #1: First- Protected by God (Is he trying to tell me something here?)  Middle-  shining brightly with light
Girl #2: First-  Light  Middle-  Light
Girl #3: First-  Light  Middle-  Light
Girl #4:  First-  Light  Middle- Jewel (and who here knows that precious jewels are nothing with out light?)

So our baby was named.  We (I) stopped looking there.  His or her name is on this list.  We don't know boy or girl yet, nor will we until the birth.  But the Lord gave me a verse for our, presently 3 inch long, Light.

Isaiah 42:6-7 
 I, the LORD, have called You in righteousness,
And will hold Your hand;
I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the Gentiles,  
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.

I think our baby is just fine.

  Armfuls of gratitude to the Giver of Grace

and Life.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Sweet Jesus... He Loves Me All the Same

Last week was a tough week.

... Last year has been a tough year.

I had some real self-pity goin' on when I said, "I know you are God and all, but...

 I don't like you right now."

This morning in church I was thinking about the cross and His gift to me, and I couldn't believe I had so recently said that.  However, I continued:

Forgive me, Jesus.
I am so weary.
I am so hungry.
I know my walk with you is my responsibility... but it's a the Mojave out here!
Not to mention how hard life has turned out to be...
[Remember the good ol' days?]
We had time.
I knew Your presence.
All was right.
Please return Your hand of blessing on our family.

As if His hand had ever left us. 

I am such an Israelite.

                     Complain.  Whine.  Create for myself.

He reminded me of a passage I had just read on Friday.  In passing, I read a portion of Scripture (Luke 17-  See what the Lord can recall to you if you just take it in??)

   “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep.
Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field,
‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 
Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink;
after that you may eat and drink’? 
Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 
So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say,

We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

God is a great giver -- it is not our right to receive.

Will I only offer praises to him in the times of abundance and apparent blessing?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Fruits

The cherries have come and gone within 3 days of ripening -- between us and the birds there is not a single cherry left to behold on any of our five cherry trees.  There were three more boats (like the one on top) but already had them pitted before it dawned on me to snap a picture!

This is only the beginning of the fruit -- literally, and figuratively.  Along with the impending apples, pears, apricots (16 trees worth! Yikes!), peaches, and plums... I have a feeling (well, it's more than a feeling... it's more of a well known fact) that God is working out a bountiful harvest of good fruit in our lives through this whole ordeal.

Through missed deadlines, a caved in old well, months of staring at what lay before us in disbelief, and now, leaking water lines...  Somehow, miraculously, we've made it beyond "our current situation" every time. 

I can't wait for this season of work and toil (granted there will always be work to do...) to be over and revel in our task completed.
When we can sit on our front porch, (with it's screens replaced and the current caving in flooring redone) holding hands, and watch our children play; as now, we send them out to play so we can work.  Or, maybe even play with them
When we drive up to the house and expell a sigh of relief rather than a sigh of grief.

When I can answer the door to internet providers and book salesmen, etc... to see them smiling with enthusiasm at their prospective work rather than a grimace at what they may see when the door is opened to them.

One situation beyond the next, beyond the next, beyond... and we'll be there, Lord willing.

When all who enter our home find that is a home of peace and refuge and encouragement and


My new blogger friend, Carrie,  just posted a beautiful letter that she wants to leave for the new owners of her home when they move... It is what I want to be able to say about this home -- with the obvious details appropriately changed to better reflect our home... Read her letter here.  (If you are so inclined, please be sure to "follow" her blog as she is quite honest and inspirational with an unabashed love for Jesus!  Something refreshing about that, isn't there?)

Yes, God is up to something here... and he only gives good gifts!

"For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks,
 the door will be opened.
You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 
Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 
 So, if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him."  Matthew 7:8-11 NLT

Well, I am currently sitting on the middle of my bed... that is in the middle of our room... because the walls need touching up... so we can put it back together... I should get on that. 

I also have to finish my cherries.

The work really never ends does it?

Oh, the joy of it all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Along the Way

Time is just time right?  What is three weeks or three months?  We missed our mark by a long shot - but are not giving up.  We are still not there, but getting closer everyday.

Here's a picture journal of what's happened in the last two-and-a-half months:

Here are what a few holed under the kitchen cabinets were patches with --

 Love it!  March 31, 1915 -
 My sister and her husband have come twice to help for days at a time... leaps and bounds always happen with their help!  Thanks Charlie and Bek!

 Our cabinet transformation kit- 

 "Poor boys" for dinner -

 Our little out-doorsy girl...
 The beginning of the bathroom transformation -
 Halfway there -
 Where there once was a door -

 Drilling for gold... er... water... might as well be gold, as far as I am concerned!

 Jamie saved the day with his master-sheetrocker abilites -
No more chimney access -

 Texturing the portion of wall that needed replaced -
 Sonny boy helping to paint his room -

 Ceiling before... you'll like the after, but I'm not posting that quite yet -
 The ninja is the best part of this picture, obviously, but you may also want to take a gander at the raw floor here -
 This is where our Little spends much of her time -
 The pond around the corner.  Fishing for Jordan's birthday -
 and Jordan didn't even catch one!
 Our kids absolutely LOVE it here.  Exploration - investigation - something is always captivating them -
 This is just cute -
 Notice the floor - Yes.  It is done.
 We even have some basic furniture in to make our time here more pleasant -
 She's a bendy girl, but the real object of this photo is the old barnwood used to patch the floor where the wall once was -

We have water to the house... if you turn on the pump, run down watch the pressure gauge, run back up and turn it off, then run in the house and use whatever water is needed for the moment (aka flush the toilet, etc...) since we currently have leaks in the system.  Hoping for that to be done this week...

I smile at that thought.  How many hopes for weeks have come and gone?

Days, weeks, months, years... lifetimes. 

This is what we are doing with ours.

Serving Jesus
 Raisin' a bunch of kids
 Taking on projects that teach us, grow us, and benefit us
Loving what we've got
Enjoying all of this life together.

In a modern way, taking us back to 100 years ago.