Friday, May 30, 2008

summer fun

Wednesday is 'ferPenBaPins' swim day at our house. The Shea'fer', 'Pen'nel, 'Ba'y, 'Pi'ne, and Steve'ns' all get together to play in the pool.

Ben the fish! He is a great swimmer.

Caden has learned that the pool is so fun!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who I Am...truth!

When I called to the Lord, He answered me;
He made me bold and stouthearted. Psalm 138: 3
(Jen's paraphrase)

Bold: confident, adventurous, free!

Stouthearted: having a stout heart or spirit: courageous!
Stout: strong of character
Heart: one's innermost character, feelings, or inclinations

I am confident, adventurous, free, courageous, and strong in my innermost character, feelings, and inclinations!

The Life and Times....

of the Sheafer Eight!

My husband and I have six children and we home school all of them. It is the season for the pool and play but I want to keep the momentum going! Thus, school does continue. The goal? Complete school work before noon, including reading. This keeps the entire afternoon free for swimming, playing, lounging, etc. We have a pool in our back yard and this is a great motivator for getting 'stuff' done. I look forward to listening to my kiddos read, watching the light bulbs go off in their heads when they 'get' the new math problem, and shuffling through all the teacher papers to grade their worksheets. How great is my life!!!


I am in the season of RE-ARRANGE, RE-ORGANIZE, and RE-ADJUST. I'm working on my 'Life Notebook' and becoming a diligent homemaker/wife/mother. School planning, menu planning, grocery planning, household chores, laundry, errands, library...clean the front porch, clean the back porch...brush my teeth?!?!?! Are you kidding? How am I supposed to get all of this done?

Life Notebook!


Schatzie got into the trash last night. Ugh. She hasn't done this is a long time. My friend, Tracy, told me to put Schatzie IN the trashcan and then laugh at her. Tracy said the humiliation would keep her from doing it again. Well, I did that. It worked! But the tiny chicken scraps (that should have been taken out LAST NIGHT!) were more than little poochy could handle. I'm wondering if another trashcan laugh is in order???


The birds are singing. The house is quiet. The children are all sleeping. Chris has gone to work. It is a quiet time. I'm off to chat with Papa. Have a blessed day!


There ya go. I look into The Life and Times....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


The newest addition to our family...Crush the bearded dragon. Our friends, Chris and Shawn Bay, were his previous owners and they passed him on to us. Very cool!


Our dear friend, Carrol, took this picture of our little pooch. Schatzie is our spoiled dachshund. She is one and a half and we hope to breed her in October. She is a tiny thing, only about seven pounds, and we will be breeding her with a chihuahua to create precious chiweenies (aka Mexican Hot Dogs).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Daily Examen

St. Ignatius Loyola consistently spoke of the value of this spiritual exercise for all believers everywhere. He believed that he received a gift from God that not only enriched his own Christian life but was meant to be shared with others. The gift was a "method," a way to seek and find God in all things and to gain the freedom to let God's will be done on earth. This way of praying allowed Ignatius to discover the voice of God within his own heart and to experience a growth in familiarity with God's will. Jesuits call this prayer their daily examen of consciousness.

1. Thanksgiving: Lord, I realize that all, even myself, is a gift from you.
- Today, for what things am I most grateful?

2. Intention: Lord, open my eyes and ears to be more honest with myself.
- Today, what do I really want for myself?

3. Examination: Lord, show me what has been happening to me and in me this day.
- Today, in what ways have I experienced your love?

4. Contrition: Lord, I am still learning to grow in your love.
- Today, what choices have been inadequate responses to your love?

5. Hope: Lord, let me look with longing toward the future.
- Today, how will I let you lead me to a brighter tomorrow?

What surprised me today?
What inspired me today?
What was life-giving today?
What was life-taking today?
What did I learn about myself today?
What did I discover about God's grace today?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Family Fun

We are a family who loves nature and being outside. My husband and I have hiked in the Appalachian Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and my ideal vacation isn't a fancy resort or a cruise ship... it is a cabin in the woods and hiking trails close by.

That ideal vacation is not reality for us right now, but we have a great home and lots of walking trails. Something we have discovered to really utilize the walking trails and parks in our area is letterboxing.

Letterboxing is an intriguing “treasure hunt” style outdoor activity. Letterboxers hide small, weatherproof boxes in publicly-accessible places (like parks) and post clues to finding the box online on one of several Web sites. However, clues to finding some of the most highly-sought boxes are passed around by word of mouth. There are about 20,000 letterboxes hidden in North America alone. Individual letterboxes usually contain a log book, an often hand-carved rubber stamp and may contain an ink pad. Finders make an imprint of the letterbox's stamp on their personal log book, and leave an imprint of their personal stamp on the letterbox's logbook . (from

We are getting ready to begin our season of letterboxing and, for the first time, we are going to hide one of our own. Why don't you join us? Visit for more info.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Rest of God

~ Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath ~

"If I only had more time," is the mantra of our age. But is this the real problem? Author Mark Buchanan states that what we really need is "the rest of God - the rest God bestows and, with it, that part of Himself we can know only through stillness."

This book seeks to help us receive anew the gift of Sabbath, this day of rest and play and replenishment.

This is what I am currently reading. I'll let you know all about it!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Don't Forget to Play

We're talking about real play: the kind that's spontaneous, unscripted, and has no purpose other than pure enjoyment. "When you play spontaneously, you begin to discover that there's a whole other dimension to life that has nothing to do with tasks or being right or wrong."

~ from an article in Family Fun magazine

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Today is...

the day that the Lord has made.

Emotions are on high, the house is a wreck, the humid air makes everything feel damp to match my mental state.

Yet I will praise my God...Papa. He is in my midst. I choose to live by the truth of who I am in Him and not by my emotions.

Just typing that makes my heart feel lighter and the damp not quite so damp. Amazing how a truth can free you in less than a minute.

It is joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Sunday, May 4, 2008


"I love how God has been changing me one small bit at a time. Sometimes I don't even notice He's doing that until I'm in a situation and I watch myself respond in ways I never would have before. I'm enjoying immensely the {Jen} He is allowing to emerge."

~ from So You Don't Want to go to Church Anymore by Jake Colsen

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Prayer

Papa God, help us to comprehend your love - it surpasses, GOES BEYOND, our knowledge! Without a revelation from You, we won't get it... we won't understand it. I'm excited! I trust You and I know You hear me and You act on my behalf. You want us to know and experience Your love. Thank you!