Weeping Cherries

faith, family, food and frugality

Mother’s Day (a realization) May 14, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 8:47 am

My mother’s day was full of ups and downs.  The morning started sweetly as my 6 year old brought me a present- her favorite necklace, wrapped in a sock and tied with a ribbon.  Then we got ready for church and I wanted just one picture of me with my children before heading out where inevitably their outfits would be pooped on, spilled on, etc…  This is what we got.  Yep, this one picture sums up the day so well.

I had a wonderful time with my husband’s Mom and family after church spoiled by a great meal that Papa Jim made and brought over for us to all eat. (The good)

Then they left and my children fell apart.  More than likely the result of delayed naps and worn out from all their play, I had three screaming little ones and my head started reeling. (The bad)

Then things got ugly.  Because of me and my misplaced expectations.  For some reason, every time Mother’s Day rolls around I get the bee in my bonnet thinking that it will be a day of rest and relaxation.  The reality is, I am still a Mom- even on Mother’s Day.  I realize for some of you this is a pretty obvious revelation but this has been a process for me in seeing my own sin and tendency towards selfishness.  I heard nasty words coming out of my mouth to my husband as I expressed “just for one day, I want to be selfish and go upstairs and take a nap!”  Yes, I said that.  I’m not proud of it.  I needed God’s gentle correction, which I received in the following thought.

Not audibly, mind you but just as clear, “Jen look around you.  Look at what you have, not what you don’t have.  You may not be taking a nap right now but don’t dwell on that.  Dwell on the deeply compassionate heart I put in your daughter that blesses you everyday.  Dwell on the joyful spirit of James that lifts your heart.  Dwell on my generosity in pouring down a double blessing on you with Ruth and Anna.  Dwell on these things and truly celebrate what motherhood is.  A wonderfully messy, sanctifying, challenging, joy-filled, grace-filled blessing.”

The good, the bad, the ugly.  Its all made beautiful in Christ.

I am not a perfect mother.  Mother’s day isn’t about that, thankfully.  It also isn’t a free pass to cease all motherly duties.  In fact, we don’t see a Mother’s day celebration at all in scripture.  This is not to say that celebrating mothers is unbiblical.  I believe God has a special place in his heart for mothers.  I see this in the relationship Jesus had with his earthly mother Mary and His desire to see her cared for when He left this Earth.  This is simply to say that I don’t find anywhere, “One day a year, thou shalt be selfish and it be justified”  It’s still sin.  Even on Mother’s Day.

It just like that picture I wanted.  I wanted my children all smiling looking at the camera, clothes spotless, glad to have their picture taking for Mama.  But what I wanted wouldn’t reflect the reality of our life.  Which is better, because it is real.

On Mother’s Day I wanted a picture perfect day.  Kids smiling, serving me, obeying each command, glad to celebrate their Mama.  But that isn’t our life, and God knows better because that isn’t what I needed yesterday.  I needed to be taught a lesson which is actually a great gift.  Not wrapped in pretty trimmings but just as special as a ribbon tied sock.  🙂


Knowledge and Art (spinoff) May 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 1:13 pm

First, before reading this, go here: http://juliahembreephotography.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/i-am-the-culture/


photo credit: soulshepherding.org

My sister, Julie is an amazingly talented artist.  This is her blog where she recently posted some thoughts on knowledge and art and life.  I commented on it and as I was writing my comment I thought this discussion, of sorts, would make a good spinoff blog post here at weeping cherries.  So, here are my thoughts.  I would love to hear yours!

“Some of my thoughts in no apparent order.  Pertaining to knowledge and is it important to fill ourselves with it just for the sake of knowledge?:  this brings to mind Romans 16:19 for me, “Be excellent at what is good, be innocent of evil”. 

I believe that when it come to knowledge simply for the sake of knowledge we will eventually come to the same conclusion Solomon did in that it is meaningless as it has no purpose beyond our own vanity.  Knowledge, however, for the sake of God’s glory- a beautiful thing.  So, what makes knowledge for the sake of God’s glory different?  I believe knowledge for God’s glory is understanding of “what is good”.  A deep wisdom in things pertaining to God’s righteousness and what He calls holy.  This is vastly different than soaking up the culture and all it has to offer in the ways of “knowledge”.  God’s Word tells us to be innocent of that which God calls evil.  At times I think Christians, myself included, fool ourselves into thinking it is necessary to ponder into all different avenues of thought in the name of being “relevant”.  In truth, we would be much better off being naive in such things. 

When I think about art, I think about a natural overflow of the heart conveyed by different mediums.  This brings to mind the verse, “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”.  Granted, it is referring to communicating through speech here but I believe the principle can apply to what we are speaking of with art.  I do not believe that a great artist is one who possesses vast knowledge, or great skill- though he may.  I believe the best artists for God’s glory possess a pure heart.  The closest example that I can think of in scripture that we have of an artist, I believe to be David.  A man after God’s own heart.  David’s heart was like God’s.  In some ways all of our hearts are like God’s as He created us in His image and His likeness.  Therefore, I believe we are all capable of creating art and beauty.  Some, however; have a natural gifting in this area like I believe David did.  Any art worth making glorifies the ultimate creator.  It would stand to reason then that when an artist’s heart is filled with the things of God and is like God’s own heart, the overflow of it would speak deeply to our hearts longing for Him.  This is why I believe an artists first and only muse should be our Lord and Savior. Their first priority, pleading with the Spirit to mold their heart into one that would spill over with God’s likeness. 

This is the only knowledge worth possessing.

This is the art that will really move the human soul.

This is to be our greatest love.”


Spring at Weeping Cherries April 17, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 4:27 pm

Happy Spring to You!

Here is a photo post so you can see what we have going on around here:


We got a family (new to us) piano and Ara began taking lessons.  She loves to teach her friend Sophie and brother her new songs!


We learned about herbs with our friend Mason and planted this year’s herb garden.



Learned about propagating herbs and have been layering and dividing until now the 8×8 bed looks like this:


We studied wildflowers and then took a nature hike with Nana,


and speaking of Nana, my older two got to go to Silver Dollar City on a trip with Nana and Papa!


Let’s see, what else??? We made our first batch of Apple Mint Tea of the season


and Anna and Ruth learned to read


 Just Kidding!  But aren’t they cute with their books?!

Ara has been hooping

James loves all things turtles

And the girls especially like barrel rolling and squealing!

We had a wonderful Easter and got to see the kids’ great grandparents for brunch!

The kids weren’t crazy about pictures but they loved seeing Grandma and Grandpa Great and Gigi!

My beautiful Ara

Mama’s handsome boy

Mama’s sweet Ruth (I think)

And Mama’s sweet Anna

I hope your Spring has been wonderful too!


Mason Jar Monday February 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 10:30 am

Oh my goodness!  I came across these DIY mason jar votives and they are beautiful.  I don’t know that I would even use them as votives, I think I would rather stuff them full of spring wildflowers but that’s just me.  The end result is the same beautiful, fabric lined jars.  So, head over there today to whip up a great mason jar craft that has the spring fever in me in full force!


Grand Intentions and The New Normal February 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 12:15 pm

So I had grand intentions of, at the very least, relaunching Mason Jar Monday and What’s Cookin’ Wednesday. Then my twins started teething… They are now the proud owners of two (2 each) very tiny, shiny, white teeth poking through their tender gums which they worked (and cried) very hard on.
I was talking with the ladies that I meet with for prayer about how in life, often, we are just waiting for that next milestone. My friend Crystal is awaiting the birth of her second little one and I, well, I keep thinking that I can’t wait for things to get back to normal. As in organized, less chaos, more time for homeschool, less time up in the nights, and feeling a little more sane. My friend Katie said something awhile back though that I recalled as we were discussing these things and her words popped into my head, “Jen, I think this IS the new normal for us”. Hmm… I think she’s right. Crazy is my new normal and you know what? I am starting to think it might be an even better place to be at then I was before. Certainly, in terms of our family growing with two new bundles of sweetness- it is a better place; but even the insanity and daily crying out to God for a less fuzzy brain is a better place to be because it is bringing me into a place of constant communication with Him. That is a place I want to be. Sometimes, pretwins, I had the tendency to think I had things figured out. To rely on my own abilities and strengths. My weaknesses and inadequacies were still there, to be sure, but they weren’t ever present before my eyes the way they are now.

In the smidget of time that I have available this morning on my husband’s day off I will do my very best to write and cue up some scheduled blog posts so that you have something to read around here. In the meantime, feel free to search my archives and thank you for the grace you give me when I am much less frequently on here because, well, life happens. I am making my way through responding to comments and emails sent to me the past six months or so that I am behind on so you may have replies soon to things you forgot you even asked because its been so long :). Have a super rest of your week and know that I do appreciate all the letters and comments even though I am not quick in responding.



Nursing Help January 19, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 7:37 am

Alright, Blogosphere friends, I need help!  I am hoping that among my reader base there are some experienced nursing Mamas out there who can help me out.  I need troubleshooting. The last couple weeks the girls have been eating like crazy and have become very fussy. I know it isn’t a milk supply issue as their weight gain is above average for twins, right on track for singles and they have an enormous amount of wet and dirty diapers. I should say upfront my typical nursing style is on demand as needed but from the beginning they have tended to eat in three hour intervals since they were in the NICU for a bit and that is what they had them doing. They are 5 months old now and the doctor advised me to start solids with oatmeal cereal even though for the other kids I waited longer- twins has been a bit different ballgame. So, I have been giving them oatmeal at 6:30 pm before the bedtime routines start and then a very full nursing at 8:30 to make sure they get the fatty hind milk and not just the watery fore milk. They have fresh diapers and are put down to bed. From there I charted last night’s activity as I thought, just maybe, in my sleep blurriness I was feeling like I was getting up with them more than I really was. Unfortunately, my foggy memory was accurate and they are eating about 8-10 times in the 10-12 hours they sleep. Maybe from looking at this you could give me some ideas to try? I do not have grandiose ideas of sleeping through the night- just a manageable amount of sleep for a functioning Mama. So, fed and to bed at 8:30, Anna wakes at 11 pm eats on right side, then I change her diaper and feed her more on the right side to give her the hind milk, then back to bed. Ruth wakes at 11:30 eats on the left side and falls asleep. Anna wakes at 2:15 am, eats on the right side and falls asleep. Ruth wakes at 4 am, eats on the left side and falls asleep. Anna wakes at 4:20, finishes on the left side from what Ruth didn’t eat and then nurses on the right side and falls asleep. Then Ruth wakes up again at 5:15 am finishes on the right side, falls asleep but not before her crying has woken my older two kiddos up and we are up for the day… I walk through most days in a fog. If I stop for even a moment to eat or nurse I am nodding off. Any help would be appreciated. Oh, and I should mention that I try all other things before nursing at night: pacifier, rocking, check diaper, etc. but if I let them cry any length of time everyone wakes up and then I have to get four kids back to sleep- not fun. Thanks for any ideas!  These two cuties thank you as well.


Happy Birthday Mama! January 13, 2012

Filed under: Family — Jen @ 1:21 am

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
– Tenneva Jordan

It is through raising my children that I have come to some small understanding of what it may have been like for my mother to have raised me.   My Mama used to joke that she hoped I would have a child just like myself to raise so I would “get it”… Well, I had Aralyn Elizabeth.  I both laugh and cry when I hear myself come out of my sweet baby girl’s mouth but laughing or crying, I always appreciate my Mama more.  I am quite certain that I may have been THE challenge of my mother’s lifetime.  A bundle of energy and nerves wrapped in stubbornness and sprinkled with sass and ‘creativity’ and not always the good kind :).  How my Mama still has no visible gray hairs is beyond me!  But I am grateful everyday that she did not give up on me.  I am hopeful everyday that I can somehow repay her efforts.  I am blessed everyday as I watch her in her now role as ‘Mimi’ to my children.  Today, on her birthday I wish her every kind of happiness and many more years of the same.  Happy Birthday Mama, I love you.