Friday, June 19, 2020

This Blessed Life

I haven't known what to share in this spot. For several weeks I wanted to just listen, choosing to stay off almost all news and social media, and look for some wise Christians who understand race issues because they live it daily, and listen to them. 

Meanwhile, life at my house has been full. I love the long days of June. It is almost startling how many hours we have in a day when we don't have schoolwork to accomplish. We've been sewing dresses for my brother's wedding, painting and replacing flooring, and spending hours out doors. 

Here is a glimpse of the last month.

I love how boredom sparks creativity. My son spent hours shaping a bow from a few simple materials. Sadly, it cracked after a few uses, but now he knows how to make the next one better.

The girls did a bedroom makeover, painting the walls and rearranging furniture. My brother-in-law helped pull out the old carpets and install vinyl flooring. I love the final result, but in the middle of the project, when it accidentally became a much bigger project than expected, I wondered why I wasn't content with forty-year-old carpet. But when several men interrupted their Friday morning to come to my rescue, I was reminded of how blessed I am with support.

The boys' room got the same flooring with a lot less drama. 

In the last ten years, our pasture has grown up into an impossible jungle of honeysuckle and briers. In 2017, Ed set the goal of getting some goats to work on clearing the undergrowth. Of course, the summer of 2017 held different plans. Since we were forced to stay home this spring, my boys thought it would be the perfect time to get goats, especially since my brother is staying here and could help. 

A friend lent us three goats, another brother gave us electric fencing, and Project Goat began. Each week we move the fencing to another spot in the pasture. My brother has to use the chainsaw just to make a spot to place the fencing. 

But in that one week, these three goats can eat it bare. It is amazing at how they clear out the brambles and grapevines. I'm seeing parts of the pasture that have been buried in undergrowth for years.

A sultry afternoon is a chance to take our dog swimming in a nearby creek.

My six-year-old learned to ride a bike.

If you are a long-time reader, you might remember our frequent bike rides on the C&O Canal towpath in 2015 and 2016. We had spent many Saturday and Sunday evenings biking sections with the goal of some day completing the whole route. It had been four years since we biked the towpath, and it was such fun to go back. There is just nothing like biking along a quiet river on a summer evening.

Added fun to the towpath is the many caves to explore along the river.

My oldest had turned sixteen just after everything had closed down this spring. Finally, two months later, the offices reopened she was able to get her permit. When she drove home I thought I might not survive teaching six children how to drive, but she caught on quickly. I might enjoy riding in the passenger seat again.

Early May was so cold that many of our strawberries were frozen. But to my surprise, we are still getting a nice amount of berries.

We served another community cookout. This time restrictions were lifted enough that we could enjoy sitting with our neighbors and listening to their stories. 

The scooter gang who did our meal deliveries at the community cookout.

We visited some parks that had not been to for years. This one holds so many memories to me, but my children could not remember being there. We made new memories by fishing, catching salamanders, and grilling soft pretzels.

However crazy life may be in the world, if you have little girls who giggle contagiously at the simplest joys, your life is blessed.


  1. What a sweet family you have. Reading this post made me smile. I hope you all continue to have a wonderful summer. :)

  2. How lovely to read this, Gina. I am so pleased that you are finding so much joy in life as the news from the US always seems so depressing. Thankfully we haven't heard so much about it this past week here in Australia. Having giggly little girls is indeed a real blessing.

  3. the warmfireplaceJune 20, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    We have goats and they clear the land wonderfully, we were overgrown with brambles, its amazing what they can eat through. Children have an amazing way of finding joy in the most simplest of things. Keep you all in prayer. Sue x

  4. I so enjoyed reading this post Gina. Life is indeed stressful for everyone right now and the distressing news here in the U.S. just breaks my heart. For the past few weeks I have avoided the news and have tried to spend more time in prayer and BIble reading, trying to glean how the Lord wishes me to relate to others and show love to EVERYONE right now.
    WIshing you and your sweet family many blessings this summer.
    PS-Those goats are so sweet looking but I know from experience how mischievious they can be. :-)

  5. Wow it looks like the restrictions are quite a bit less there than here. So neat that you got goats! I saw the quilts on the boy's bed. I want to make one and so does my daughter. What did you do for the backing? Does it have a middle layer? We were given some jeans and quite a few of them contain spandex or other fibers in the fabric, not just 100% cotton. Do you know if we can use those also or does it have to be just 100% cotton denim?

    1. Many years ago, I did a tutorial on these same denim quilts. You can find it here.
      I think that jeans with spandex will work fine. They just won't give the ragged look as much.

    2. thank you!

  6. Way to go Cheyenne!! Your 6 year old is riding a bike..and goats goats �� I love goats glad things are going well for you and the kids❤️

  7. Your "everyday life" posts are some of my favorites. I get SO many good ideas from your wonderful family! Thank you, and please keep sharing these awesome posts!!!

  8. I love just watching my granddaughter (age four) playing with the kittens, and my grandson (age 1 1/2) feeding animal crackers to the goats. Watching children is a gift from God. Simple things equal great joy.

  9. It is so nice to hear from you Gina. Indeed God has blessed you in many ways. I love the peace among this chaos you found. It speaks volumes. Congratulations to your oldest daughter and 6yr old. It is so neat to see your sons creativity.

  10. Those goats sound like eating machines. How do people ever find enough for them to eat. (You can tell this is a city girl asking.)
    A new drive in the family. My oh my, that increases a mom's prayer life for sure! haha I so remember.............
    So happy to see all of you enjoying the summer things that are simple but fun.
    Are you growing a garden this summer?
    So glad I figure out how to comment again. Not so computer saavy.
    Blessings to you and your family, Gina.

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