Thursday, June 30, 2011

Maine ♥

We are in Maine.  Henry and I.  We stopped in RI to see my cousin Sophie and her children.  Hosted by my beautiful Aunt Teresa.  We had a great time with my aunt's family. 

We were able to see the grandparents in Newport on Wednesday morning and hopefully will see the rest of family on our way back through.

Rockport ♥ Belted Galloway.  Love, love, love Rockport.

We went out to breakfast with Molly, Sam, Grammie and mom. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Love, Love, Love Udi’s

Udi's Gluten Free Foods

I haven’t been a big bread eater ever.  But lately I have been craving a good turkey burger.  So my new favorite thing to make is a turkey burger with pan toasted Udi’s bread and garlic mayo.  So good.  I highly recommend it.  Even Dave says it’s good bread which is saying a lot!

Simply Lite sugar free dark chocolate is available at Trader Joe’s and is very good.  It’s low carb, gluten free and dairy free.


Stacey’s lilies. 

Lord willing Henry and I are headed to Rhode Island tomorrow to visit family.  We are looking forward to it.  We haven’t seen everybody since my grandmother’s 80th birthday party last August. 

We will be eating dinner with my Aunt Teresa’s family and hopefully seeing other relatives.  But thanks to my last minute planning  - we will see.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Lot Going On

Well, there’s a lot going on around here.  And then my free time is taken up with Francine River’s the Mark of the Lion Series.  Thanks to my friend Beth for getting me hooked in a big way.  I thought the first book I read of hers, a fiction based on Hosea, was totally fabulous, but this series blows them away!

I didn’t post this when it happened but wanted you all to pray for my mom who shattered her ankle within the last couple of weeks.  It is healing well but she cannot be weight bearing for a while longer (she had surgery soon after the accident due to the severity).

Dave had to have a tooth pulled and an old root canal fixed.  He’s had a major mouth infection and been on pain killers.  Poor guy suffers from teeth issues even though he takes great care of them.  I am praying that his mouth is completely healed like never before with no more pain.

We also found out that Dave needs to change his diet.  It’s funny but not funny.  Dave was making fun of me (us) because of cutting way down on sugar (supposed to be gone) and the refined carbs, beef and dairy.  His doctor told him he can’t have beef anymore or sugar or pasta or bread.  All things most people love.  It does make our  house a little easier to manage.

I mentioned my cousin in an earlier post.  She is a very sweet young woman with two young children.  She just had surgery for cancer.  Please continue to pray for her, her kids and her parents and siblings. 

I have been and will continue to meditate on the Word of God I/we heard over the last week.  It is impossible to put into words the life God has imparted to me.  As Oswald Chambers always puts it is we cannot build a memorial and remain on these mountain top places.  These high points with God are for the majesty of the mundane.  Our daily life.  Thank God that, though we are nobodies, we are God’s best gift because we have something eye has not seen and ear has not heard (Pastor Matti).  We kick the dust off our feet so it doesn’t crowd our souls.  There is so much dust in this world.  Don’t let the dust take you out of your call from God, don’t let the dust take you out of church, kick the dust off your feet.  (thoughts from Pastor Matti).

God has really been speaking to me that He is God.  I know that’s really original, but, come one, do we really act like it all of the time or half of the time or even some of the time for some?  Do I understand that I am a child of the Creator of the Universe?  Do I pray with that power?  I want to think, I want to believe like I am a child of God.  I am not talking perfection.  I am talking expectation on God.  Believing and owning and having the truth He has given me in His Word.  Believing He is able.  Knowing He will.  Not letting my Bible knowledge, my pain from the past, my love for my rights and what I deserve be a cloak to hide me from God and my call (Pastor Schaller).  Bitterness, living in childhood traumas, living in wounds from the past – holding onto all of those (we all have them) is focusing on yourself.  It’s a form of worship (my own words) because those things become the focus of your attention – a high place exalted.  Look unto God. 

God has also speaking to me to pray more.  Worry less (worry none).  Strive less (strive none).  Do less (for God).  Pray more.  Saturday morning on outreach my husband and William and Henry were knocking on doors.  I stood back and prayed.  “God, this is your weakest saint sending a canon ball to heaven (quote from Pastor Scibelli quoting someone else) asking you to do something great this morning.  Encourage us.  Show us you have a plan in this.  Lead us to someone.”  A few doors down I knocked on a door and a lady came out.  She told me she began a personal relationship with God in December after a very difficult time in her life.  She was watching TV and Christian program came on and something in her couldn’t switch it off.  She received Christ.  She has been watching the program since.  This past week the host told the audience they need to be in a local church to be taught the Word of God and fellowship with other believers.  This woman had no idea where to begin to look.  She prayed on Friday, “Lord, send me someone to invite me to church.”  Within in 24 hours we knocked on the door.  She had tears in her eyes.  She came to church today in Dundalk.  It’s a church plant from our larger church in neighboring area.  My husband was there to sit beside her.  It’s a God thing. 

Thanks Katie for doing this link up!

Love the this Photo


I love this photo for a few reasons:

I love my cousins Annie and Rye so much.

I love I have a photo of me and my Uncle Vick together.  He is such a wonderful man. 

I love that we are having fun in the photo which is something the Pease family is famous for.

AND, I look somewhat normal.

From Victor’s wedding.

Saturday, June 25, 2011



After a week with Henry’s farm withdrawals – we were there today.  Here he his running and dancing for joy.


Our church has outreach on Saturday mornings where we go knocking on doors inviting people to church or street evangelism or many other things.  After a week of our international Convention the house was packed for the after outreach meeting.


A sneak peek of the table I refinished for my mother.  I will do a start to finish post at a later date. 


Here’s when I first started.


Happy Birthday to Dan, my mother’s wonderful husband.  We thank God for your life!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Modern Day Ark

Pretty cool!

Grandma Time


Wednesday night Henry had some Grandma time while daddy and mommy were door greeters at convention.  He always has a lot of fun when Grandma babysits!  Doesn’t he look almost as big as Grandma?

The convention has been going well.  So much I have been meditating on and thinking about.  Just not enough time or energy to write it down when we get home.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oh Man!

Henry’s new line on the way home from convention was, “Oh Man!”  I think it’s because Dave and I say it all the time without thinking about it.  If we drop something – oh man!  Henry just kept saying oh man.  “Oh man, cookie!”   “Oh man, poop!”  He woke up saying it too.


This morning Henry was still sleeping at 8:30 in our bed. Sleeping past 8:30 hasn’t happened in a while.  Notice the dog too?  Yesterday during their nap they were cuddled together but I couldn’t get a photo before Maggie moved.  Oh man!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Siberian Pastor Plays Russian Banjo Equivalent

Siberian Pastor

My friend Patricia recorded this this morning.  I am not sure who the other man is.  I can’t remember what the Russian instrument is called but it’s the equivalent to the American Banjo.

Henry and I spent the morning and part of the afternoon at the convention.  We came home so he would hopefully take a nap.  We will see.

Today is persecution of the church day and we had some time in prayer for all of the persecuted pastors and Christians around the world.

Please pray for someone who just underwent surgery for cancer.  She has two small children and I don’t feel at liberty to disclose details but she and her family need prayer.

Missionary Conference in Full Swing

We are in convention mode here at the Umstead household.  Our church is the home base for missionaries in Africa, Asia, South America, North America, Europe (East and West) and the includes over one hundred countries.  And missionaries are not only sent out from America but from Hungary to Peru and Finland to Turkey and Canada to Africa and Ukraine to Ukraine to name a few.  We all come together for a week to be built up in the Word of God, the work of God, fellowship and food from all over the world.  It’s quite a time. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father’s Day to the Best!

I am so privileged to share this journey of parenting Henry with my husband.  He is a patient, loving, devoted, and gentle father to our son. He often just stares at Henry out of love and awe that we have been entrusted by God to care for someone so adorable, smart and sometimes naughty.  It truly is extraordinary and so is Dave.  I can’t thank God enough for the father Dave is.  Thank you, honey!  Henry, Maggie and I love you with all of our beings.  You are the best!

Beech Hill 070

Friday, June 17, 2011

Shaved Bald and a breath of Chicken Poop


Getting ready to take a dip in the pool with a family of almost 11 and 13 if you count the grandparents that live with them!  So much fun for Stacey, Henry and me! (While Maggie was home silently suffering with her stroke on Tuesday).


Mr. running pants was chasing after the other kids, the dogs and the really cool kid-sized four wheeler!


Here he is with no hair thanks to his mother!  You can check previous posts for the hair cut nightmare.  Thanks to my friend Beth for saving the day and evening out his hair cut.  Yes, it was so bad we had to shave it all off!


Cutie cuteness.


Checking out the goggles.


This week has flown by!



Another little love bug.  He didn’t want us to leave.


An older brother.  Henry loved watching this one wrestle with one of the other older boys in the pool.


Serious about driving Uncle Johnny’s tractor this morning.  We spent the whole day on the farm and someone fell asleep quite quickly this evening.


Another turn on the tractor.



And, there’s nothing like a tractor ride after lounging at your very own pool (bucket) at your country, country club on the farm.  Plenty of pigs, chickens, horses (when you’re really brave), dogs, toys, tractors, water and dirt.  What more could a little boy ask for?  And your great aunt even lets you have an egg to throw every once in a while.  Oh yeah, there are plenty of people to entertain.


After taking a ride in the old Lincoln minus AC on a 90 degree day with my back stuck to the leather seats and warm, heavy air blowing in my face, I was reminded of my summer days not so long ago.  And picking up eggs with a child in one hand, sweat dripping off my body, chickens pecking my toe nails and breathing in clouds of chicken poop dust, I was also reminded of manual labor.  Not a natural birth but naturally working your butt off.  Hot summer days with all dryers running full blast, mountains of laundry so high it made an Alaskan snow bank look like an ant hill (now that’s a major exaggeration but it certainly felt like it).  Just as we made a dent in it (we as in Dave, Whitney, Angela and our eastern European Angels and I) a load as big as the most massive pile of laundry your house has ever created multiplied by 5,000 (another exaggeration) was dropped off due in the morning.  Then we (Dave or I) in the heat of the day would load all of the clean hotel and restaurant laundry into the truck.  Do drop offs and pick ups.  Climb two levels of a fire escape with clean laundry.  Now this was quite dangerous and painful on a good day.  Now imagine torrential down pours or your feet so sweaty in flip-flops that you are losing your balance.  Then imagine garbage bag size canvas bags filled to the brim with heavy sheets and wet towels.  Now imagine carrying those down the fire escape and across the employee parking lot because there was never a place to park right by the long walk way to the fire escape.  Yeah, I carried those bags that were larger than I am and weighed half my weight sometimes.  But most of the time I made sure no one was looking and dropped those babies down three stories.  Uh-ha.  Yup.  That was my solution to our pick up problems at that particular inn.  Then I would hustle on over to the local yacht service business on the harbor and pick up some boat laundry.  Sometimes dropping it off it would be low tide and getting it down a steep incline to the float where the boat was without dropping it in the harbor was a skill one had to attain quickly.  There was always a balance, a physical balance but also a balance of looking somewhat normal as I was the business owner without sweating so badly it looked like I just went swimming.  And looking capable enough but almost slightly pathetic in case there was someone nearby who might take mercy on me for being female.  There was always the balance of being polite to the twenty something male employees for guiding me to the correct place but not wanting to kill them for never offering to help lug 300 pounds of laundry.  It’s amazing what a little chicken poop and manual labor can do for bringing back memories.  We did have lots of fun doing this even though it was a challenge on a daily basis.

Start to Finish…


Purchased at Goodwill for $35. 


I cleaned it and took out all the drawers.


Sanded down the top with an electric sander with some pretty gritty paper because the glossy stain was tough to get through.


Removed the hardware.


I stained the top with a walnut paste.  It’s so NICE!  I primed the rest and painted with Valspar’s delicate white.


Then I distressed with some gritty sand paper by hand.  And put the original hardware back on.  It was my first project and now I’m hooked!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Annual Women’s Missionary Tea

For some reason I have never attended this annual event.  Probably always timing.  So glad I made it this year.  I felt like I was walking ten feet off the ground when I walked out of the door this evening. 

The night’s d├ęcor was dressed up women from all of the world in hats and fascinators.  Thanks to my friend Holly I was able to add to my attire a trivet.  Yes, we taped her trivet to my head band and it was a hit!  There were also dainty tea cups and many more beautiful decorations.

Three lovely missionary ladies were highlighted tonight – An American serving in Romania, a French lady serving in Zambia (go Sarah!) and a Fin serving in the far east.

“Where God takes us is for our growth” Sarah Tanguay.  There were so many great nuggets to take away tonight.  I enjoyed each person thoughts.

Pastor Schaller spoke on Song of Solomon 3:1 - 4.  He opened it by having us share with a neighbor what offends us.  Then he went into novice traits of an believer:

1.  The number one novice trait is to be easily offended.  Am I easily offended?

2.  Number two was wanting to retaliate when people are cruel to me.

3. Easily disturbed by the details of life and the trouble we have with people.

Wow!  Such good thoughts for meditation.

When I get offended it’s a good indicator of something wrong inside of me.  I can be hurt, but I know the One who loves me & I love Him.

There are times when I don’t find God – that can be good for me.  Some times when it seems as though my very needs are not being met. 

Add to your faith knowledge – feed your faith not your problems.

What am I seeking when I am offended?  Am I seeking justice, solutions?  “SEEK ME” God says!

If I am offended just move on.  Learn to leave some things alone.  Seek Him and you shall find Him, then you shall have a message to share.

Those are some notes from this evening.

Our driveway this morning.

Gluten Free, Oat Free, Milk Free No-Bake Cookies

It's been on my mind to experiment on a new kind of no-bake cookie (cookie made from cocoa powder, milk, butter, sugar, oats, peanut butter and vanilla).

I am attempting to create a casein free, gluten free cookie with a lower glycemic index.  So, today was my first shot.

I cut the recipe in half and used:

1/4 cup of rice milk
1/4 cup of butter (butter is very, very low if any casein, so it's usually okay for those allergic to dairy)
1 cup of coconut crystals
2 Tablespoons of baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Heat in medium saucepan over a medium heat

When it starts to boil add:
1/4 cup of peanut butter (or however much you want).  I used a no sugar Trader Joe's Organic Crunchy
Quinoa Flakes - I mix in until the mixture is very thick, not running but not too dry
I also added a handful of sesame seeds just for fun

After it's mixed together, form cookies on a plate or aluminum foil with a tablespoon.

Refrigerate to cool and harden.

Coconut Crystals do not taste like coconut and are great for diabetics and those on a low glycemic index.
Quinoa is a grain or seed highest in protein and is not a gluten. 

Her Come Back


Maggie in all of her glory – on “her” couch.  This is just an hour or so after she got home from an overnight stay in the animal hospital and a possible stroke.


The hydrangea bush outside of  our house this morning with Henry’s new tricycle I carried 1/2 mile in the night after I found it in a “free” pile from a neighborhood yard sale during a night-time walk.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Living He Loved Me

Casting Crowns… this song is always in my head.

Maggie Came Home–Thank You, God

Maggie came home tonight like nothing ever happened.  Her same old self.  The vet had told us that she could be off for a while and may not ever be the same.  I am so thankful that God answers prayers!

Earlier today I was on a walk to the park with Henry in the stroller.  Henry said, “Momma, Maggie?’  Wondering where she was.  He did the same thing a few times after that.  I am so happy his little partner in crime is back home.

Henry and I were watching when Dave pulled in after work and after picking up the dog.  It was so nice to see Maggie walk through the front door after being carried out the night before.  She soaked up the special attention she was getting and was pushing the limits for extra food!  I would have easily given in and fed her more because I am a wimp.  But Dave kept reminding me she just got over a stomach issue that possibly caused a stroke, so just simmer down with the overfeeding.  It ministers to me more than to the dog to over feed her. Kind of funny.

Pictures of the beast are coming soon.


Our home inspection went very well.  Thank God the inspector was very thorough and on task the entire time because I was not!  I had a lovely time chatting with the elderly woman (while Lisa, my realtor, watched my child!) who currently owns the home.  It amazes me how behind each door there are so many stories.  People living amazing lives just next door or are going through so much and we never know.  The owner joined the foreign service just after she graduated college and just after WWII.  She was stationed in the former Yugoslavia.  She met her husband there who was in the US Air force and had also been a hand held radio operator during the war.  Because she worked for the Embassy she was not permitted to travel much.  She said it was very, very poor.  I can’t even imagine.  She and her husband returned to America or maybe he became her husband when they returned.  He was born and raised in NYC and she was born on the west coast and had lived in Chicago and Tennessee.  They settled in New York where he worked for Sylvania back when they were making TV's.  The plant was shut down and the husband got a job as an engineer (radio?) in Baltimore.  They raised their four kids in this house – three girls and one boy.  I am not sure when the husband died but they had just begun to enjoy traveling together on faraway vacations they hadn’t been able to take with a large family.  I am not sure how long it has been since her husband passed away, but this gal gets around.  She has three sisters – all still living – and they meet each other all over the country.  They recently took a trip to Portland, OR.  And I think some must be pushing 90.  It was very encouraging a lot of fun to hear about this woman’s life.  You just never know who is behind an ordinary door.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Thank God for My Husband

Our poor baby dog was so sick today.  She had diarrhea this morning and was in bed all day.  I thought from stomach issues.  When I got home with Dave this evening, she could barely walk and basically sat down and didn’t move.  Her eyes were flickering and she had no balance.  We had a minor freak out trying to figure out where to take her.  I actually just took Henry in the other room and prayed to God (literally).  Dave is so strong and I am so thankful for him.  He loves her so much.  He carried her out to the car and drove her to the animal hospital.  I could just pray.

So, we are praying she had a stroke that she will recover from.  The vet said that he thinks it is a stroke and most dogs recover very well.  That’s our continued prayer.  And we are believing God for it.

march 24 2009 002

Our Maggie is only six years old.

Dedicate Myself

Monday, June 13, 2011

Big Mistake... Big!

Well, I make mistakes all day every day.  But this one was big...  I usually use scissors to cut Henry's hair.  Dave suggested awhile ago to use his electric razor.  I did and it's bad.  I should have had some training on settings before I attempted.  Now my little man will be without hair for a little while and it makes me want to bawl.  Mostly because he loves to twirl his own hair when he's tired.  I am sad he won't have any hair to twirl and I traumatized him with and electric razor.
I feel too bad to take photos of it.  Thank God he's a boy and hair grows quickly.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

End of May–Beginning of June–Family

henry and mom

Henry with mom at the Out of Town Guests’ Dinner at Mary Pine’s house.  Two nights before Chelsea and Victor’s wedding.

daves family

We finally got to see Tom and Colby after so many years (Dave’s sister’s husband and son).  Henry loved, loved, loved playing with his cousin Colby! 


Henry wanted to hang out with his cool cousin Colby the whole time!

bluegrass band

The bluegrass band at Johnny & Stacey’s for a farm event and my grandfather’s birthday.  They were excellent!

henry showing off

Henry showing off for the crowd!

henrys swimming pool

Henry’s pool membership at Aunt Stace’s.

too cute

Henry running around naked on the farm.  His little bum is so cute.


The table I am refinishing for my mother for a very late mother’s day gift!