Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Well, I *try* not to steal too many ideas from others, but I just couldn't resist this one. Amy just had a little chat with us last night, and I loved it! Sometimes I just want to sit and chat over a hot cup of tea, or, like yesterday, a tall glass of sweet tea! Sometimes I'll sit down at the computer to "just check a few things," and half an hour later I'm still there because I get so caught up in checking to see how all of my "friends" are doing. Amy has such beautiful pictures of their spring all abloom. We here in Up North Michigan are still waiting, though we do have a few daffodils and tulips blooming. Don't you just love to see the apple trees and the weeping cherries in bloom? They are so beautiful!

The two boys and I have spent the last two evenings raking and working in the backyard. You see, somehow, we never get around to raking in the fall when you're supposed to rake and generally clean up the yard. Winter tends to take us off guard every year and before we know it, the snow has blanketed the yard in white and we can no longer see the mess that we left, so we just leave it for the spring! Terrible, isn't it? Slowly but surely the yard work is getting done, and my arms and shoulders are sooo sore, but it feels fantastic!

A couple of weeks ago we went on the Senior Trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I didn't really take very many pictures because we were so busy with the baby and the "children" :), but I did take a select few.
I often allow myself to dream of simpler times--I know there was a lot more work involved in day-to-day living as far as laundry and cooking, etc. but I just mean the fact that there so few things that pulled at folks from the outside. Not such a push to do more outside of the home. We were in Cade's Cove, and there was a little house with a view.....
I can just picture my children running through that yard with the cows lowing in the background and the creek babbling (yes, there is a creek running through the left-hand side) and the mill grinding corn, which it was doing the day we visited. And my garden growing in the corner. We don't have a very big yard here, and it has been increasingly harder to be able to grow anything. I'm trying to think of who I can beg, borrow, or steal a plot of ground from, but so far I've come up empty. Maybe at church tonight I'll look around and see who might like to share their earth. ;) I have a friend that I know would do it, but she lives about an hour away, so...I think that's a little too far to keep up with weeding and so forth.
Do you drool over your flower and seed catalogs like I do? They start pouring in around January, and I safely hoard them in a drawer and pull them out and dream about what I would order if I could order anything and everything I wanted. And then I take the $25 gift certificate that they give me and order exactly $25 for free, which has really added up over the years. Last year a woman knocked on my door simply to tell me that she loves walking by my front garden every day because it's so beautiful! What deep contentment I feel when I'm pulling weeds in my flowers. This year, though, we are starting from scratch on a certain tree. We had some kind of ornamental crab that a dear friend pruned to death because she hated it, so we decided to just pull it out altogether and replace it. I'm just not sure that the replacement survived our very long, very cold winter, so I may have to replace it again. We'll see.
Tyler is 12 1/2 months old now, and I am thoroughly enjoying his babyhood. He still does not crawl, but he is getting around quite well by scootching around on his bottom. It's the funniest thing--I wish you all could see it.

Life is just so very good. God has truly blessed all of us, hasn't He? Whatever our situation in life at this very moment, we can see the evidence of His hand in all of it. Even when things don't seem to be going our way, there is a purpose. Press on. Don't give up. Persevere. Joy does come in the morning. And so do new flowers. And dew. And sunlight. And fresh starts.

I am in the planning stages of summer vacation already. I love the planning and preparation of things. Chad and I are planning a few days of vacation--just the two of us--and we have been planning. Yesterday we purchased the airfare and reserved a rental car. I'm so excited; I'm as giddy as a school girl! Then I am planning how to keep my children from forgetting everything they have learned this school year. Last year I purchased summer workbooks from Sam's Club that really seemed to help. Elisabeth told me this morning that she enjoyed doing her book and that she felt like she was several steps ahead of the other students when she went back to school in the fall.

Speaking of Elisabeth, she is turning 12 next month and officially entering the youth group, something that I'm not sure I'm terribly excited about. Chad and I have already decided that one of us will be chaperoning any activity that she attends!

Well, I guess this one-sided chat has lasted long enough. I would love to hear from you--find out what you are doing and thinking. I can tell that many people regularly check my blog, but I don't know who most of you are because you don't comment. Maybe you don't know how, or maybe you're just too busy--you just check the blog and go. Whatever your case may be, I would relish and cherish a comment from you. You are all important to me and keep me blogging!

Enjoy your day today--it's the only day you have!


  1. Good Morning! I guess I am one of your "ghost" visitors. :D I enjoy your blog and love to see how things are going in Michigan. You have a beautiful family and I love to read about families who share our values. Thanks for blogging! Love, Jennie (Nesbitt) Walter

  2. Mrs. Vest, I do enjoy reading your blog, and I check it regularly. Your posts always seem very positive and encouraging to me.

    I am the oldest of 9 girls. You may know my Mom, Karen (Sanders) Cooper. I am 19, and my sisters are Meagan(18), Krissy(16), Erin(10), Heather(9), Laura(7), Kara(5), Leah(4), and Analise(2).

    Thanks for blogging!
    Autumn Cooper

  3. Amanda, I sure love to keep up with the family. I'm so happy you and Chad will be able to get away together. Where you goin? Keep up the blogging. DAD

  4. Hello from ohio! I just read your last 3 posts,you are soo good at writing,i wish i could put my thoughts down like you do. Carrie said you had a good trip,Im glad, I prayed for you everyday ,I know having the baby with you wasnt easy! It was nice to be able to spend alittle time with you while you were here,I wish we could have all 4 sat down and just had some good fellowship..maybe sometime!

  5. Amanda, hearing you talk of gardening sounds exactly like the conversation I had with Kevin last night. We've yet to have our "own" place...and there is such a strong longing in my heart to have a garden and plant flowers. It's always been there, but I bury it, because it's just not time to pursue that dream. After being on deputation for over 3 years, and living in other people's homes...I REALLY REALLY...just want to settle down and plant some tomatoes!! I love reading your blog too...I check it regularly. On my blog, I've noticed a lot of people when they leave my blog, go to yours!!
    Amy Arthur


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