A Grateful Heart

Happy Friday to you, friends! What a lovely autumn day it is at our place. Jack and I enjoyed our first outdoor hike of the week this morning and it was *bliss!* We have a fresh skiff of snow in the mountains surrounding our homestead and there was just the right amount of nip in the air. Ahhh.

The goats kept watch over our hike as they often do. Though Matilda merely looked to see if I was bringing her an apple... I wasn't (for once!) so she lost interest and went back to leisurely chewing her cud while lounging in the morning sunshine.

As Jack and I hiked amidst all of that goodness, I listened to a Paul Washer sermon that was very bold in its teachings on the home and so encouraging to me as a wife and a stay-at-homestead mama of many.

Just this week, one of our daughters was met with such a look of bewilderment by a co-worker that couldn't fathom that our girl's primary life goal is to serve the Lord... and that "all she wants to do" is to someday get married and have a family of her own.

And it thrills my mama heart that this smart and capable daughter of ours who could probably be absolutely anything she fancies to be in this modern world desires a role and a lifestyle that is traditional and important and valued far above rubies.

How lovely that there are still ladies (of all ages) that see the worth in what the world often mocks, yes? Praise the Lord.

Speaking of lovely, I thought the hillside next to our stretch of creek was stunning with its fall colors! The low-lying bushes and grasses turn such a rich shade of red this time of the year... and the yellows and greens and browns against that big blue sky... wow!

If you wanted to find me this week... chances are, I was in the kitchen. Busy, busy but in a happy, homemade, slow way. Making soup, baking bread, shredding enormous zucchini, processing apples.

My children and I worked together and got all of the apples peeled and sliced. I made loads of applesauce and we packed freezer bags to the brim with ready-to-use slices. It was a good time of togetherness and what a blessing to have a freezer shelf loaded down with a bounty of home processed fruit.

Re-stocking our food storage has been on my mind. And thanks to these apples, I am off to a good start with that project. For free!

Our friends let us pick the apples from their trees so all it cost us for about three-hundred pounds of organic fruit was some time. {smile}

My cat Ruby has the right idea. Time to rest and recharge after all of that kitchen work!

Here are a few more snippets from my ongoing gratitude list today~

:: A surprise discovery. We were walking along the creekside trail and happened upon a pile of bear scat dotted with chokecherry seeds. A black bear had wandered that way (likely during the night) and left behind evidence of its visit. Such a neat thing to find on our property!

:: My changing style. I took out *all* of my piercings! Oh, how exciting it was to get them... I got my nose pierced for my dear hubby's 50th birthday a year and a half ago, and I liked it so much that I ended up getting several piercings in my ears and another in my nose over the following months.

It was fun, I really enjoyed having them... they were an expression of confidence and bravery, and a real boost to my growth in self-acceptance when I needed one. I'm glad I got them.

But lately those piercings weren't seeming like "me" as much. And I am *all* about authenticity! I thought about taking them out, I prayed about it. The other night, one of them fell out in my sleep and rather than putting the one back in, I decided it was time to take all of them out. So I did.

I was afraid I would regret my decision. That I would miss them. But I don't, not a bit. Sleeping is easier, hugging is easier, playing with Jack is easier, even hooping is easier without having to worry about hitting my ears.

So I went from lots of earrings and two nose rings to none at all. Just a bunch of closing piercings that are barely noticeable already. What a change!

:: Hand-me-downs. I was given four boxes of canning jars this week! Such good timing with all of those apples in the house.

:: Movies. Ordinarily, I don't take the time to watch the movies that only interest me in our family. But lately, I asked myself... "Why not?" So, I have been choosing a movie that I want to see and watching it in pieces when I get a chance... ten minutes here, twenty minutes there. It takes a few days, sometimes a week, but what a treat!

Last week, I watched Fiddler on the Roof (1971). I loved it and I would love to sew some dresses for myself in the styles that the daughters wore... so cute! This week, I am watching The Phantom of the Opera (2004). So far, so good!

Well, my bread is almost done baking and I would love to venture outdoors to enjoy some of the late afternoon sunshine with my crew before I get the family fun night pizza underway. I was going to make another apple cake today, but I forgot to leave a bag of slices out of the freezer so I decided to choose *popcorn* for our family fun night dessert. Yay!

Thanks for coming by my blog today, and for your visits to this one and this one, too. I hope you have a lovely weekend where you are.


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