stories of the Mix family lovin' the country life

Saturday, July 30, 2011

You might be a country lady...

You might be a country lady if you have a pair of pretty work boots.

I'm just sayin'....


Hannah Mix

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Side of Missions

There is another side of missionary work, one that only the missionaries and their families see.  It's the mother who is crying in the kitchen but quickly wipes away the tears so her children don't see.  It's the grandfather who tries to explain to his four-year-old granddaughter why he has to go so far away again.  It's the sister who keeps looking at her brother with a mental timeline in her head--he's leaving in four weeks.  It's the college student who can't go home for Christmas.  It's the mother who sees her children leave the nest one by one, not to a place close by, but countries away.  I'm talking about goodbyes.

Today I saw my parents leave again.  I think this is the eleventh time I have said goodbye to them.  It doesn't get easier.  It gets harder every time.  I know they are doing the Lord's work.  I am very happy (and a teeny bit proud) to say my parents are missionaries.  If God called my husband to the mission field, we would be out somewhere too.  I'm just saying that today is a little bit harder. 

I am thankful for the time we had together.  I am so thankful that my parents are obeying God.  I'm also thankful for another chance to teach my children about the Lord.  Abbey knows that Grandma and Grandpa are telling people about Jesus "so they won't be strangers anymore when we go to heaven."  I like that thought.

In two days, they will be home in Hungary.  We will call them on Skype, see them, talk to them; and it will be almost like having them here again.  Almost, but not quite...

Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee;
yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41:10

Hannah Mix

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

 Letters to my children #3

Dear Jonnie-Jon,

You are such a sweet little boy!  Yesterday we worked in the garden.  You were content to just sit in your walker while your sisters and I worked.  Then I laid you on a blanket while I cleaned up the flower bed.  You rolled over to the edge of the blanket and played with the grass.  Thank you for not fussing and crying to be held. 

Last night you woke up crying around 1:30.  As you and I walked around trying to get you back to sleep, you kept saying, "Mum-mum!  Mum-mum!"  I love hearing you say my name!  I love the big smile that lights up your whole face when I talk to you. 

Right now, as I write this, you are sitting on my lap.  You have "helped" me with most of my articles so far.  I've become quite good at typing with one hand!

Now it's time for your nap.  Be a good boy, and go right to sleep!  Mommy loves you very much!

Hannah Mix

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bouquet of (Fruit) Flowers

Need an idea for a potluck or a baby shower?  How about a gift for a friend's birthday?

Doesn't this look yummy?  You can buy fruit bouquets like this for $65 or more, or you can make them yourself.  Here's how I did it for under $15!

You need the following:

1 Cantaloupe
1 pineapple
kabob sticks (I used colorful drink stirrers because they were on clearance.)
wide vase

  • The variety of fruit can be whatever you imagine.  This is just what I used.  You can also use apples.  If you slice them from side to side instead of top to bottom, the core makes a pretty star.
  • Keep a plastic bag (or a big bowl with a lid) nearby with 1/4 lemon juice and 1/4 cup water.  As you cut the fruit, shake it in the bag for a second.  This will keep it fresh.

1.  Cut part of the pineapple and cantaloupe into thin strips.  Use different size cookie cutters to cut them into pretty circles or shapes.  Save one firm circle of pineapple to place at the top of your vase.  This will make a good foundation to hold up your "flowers."

2.  Assemble your flowers.  I put a small fruit on top, then a "flower", then a couple grapes.  Grapes are firm enough that they hold everything up at the end of the stick.

3.  Make the leftover fruit into a pretty fruit salad.  Fill the vase almost full with the fruit mixture.  Fit the pineapple circle on top of the fruit but still below the rim of the vase.

4.  Stick your "flowers" into the pineapple as far as they will go.  You can put in as many "flowers" as you want.  You can even layer them, sticking new "flowers" into the firm parts of the lower "flowers."

5.  Fill out any empty spots with a single small fruit on a stick.  Be sure to use a grape underneath so it doesn't slide down the stick.

6.  Tie a pretty ribbon around the vase.  You'll want to keep it refrigerated until you eat it (or give it away).  The lemon juice will ensure that it doesn't turn brown or wilt.

7.  Enjoy the leftovers!  I had about a gallon left that wouldn't fit in the vase.  Yum!
Hannah Mix

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Have you ever noticed how life seems to come in stages?  There's the "little-child" stage, that early part of our childhood before we learn about the difficulties of life.  There's the "end-of-life" stage, when the virtuous woman is surrounded by "the fruit of her hands" and "her own works" are praising her.  In between, there are various other stages in which we are supposed to be growing more and more into the person God wants us to be. 

Most of the time, this growth is achieved gradually through reading the Bible, studying its truths, and praying to the Lord.  However, our biggest growth seems to occur during tragedies, those life-shattering crisises that sometimes interrupt our day-to-day routine.

As we emerge from this pain, we find ourselves in a new stage.  Our perspective has been changed.  We are less concerned about the petty things of life.  Having gone through that trial, we have matured.  We are more appreciate of the blessings and joys that we still have.  We have been forced to lean more on the Lord, and our faith has been strengthened.

This weekend a friend of mine has gone into a stage that very few women her age experience.  She lost both of her children in a car accident.  As she is lying in her own hospital bed in ICU today, I am praying for her to feel God's presence holding her up.  She, her husband, and their families will undoubtedly emerge much stronger from this trial.  As time goes on, part of her will always bear the scar from this pain.  It will be a token of honor.  She is becoming the woman God wants her to be.

 "Wherein ye greatly rejoice,
 though now for a season, if need be,
ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:   
That the trial of your faith,
being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire,
might be found unto praise and honour and glory
at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
1 Peter 1:6-7

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. 
Psalm 61:1-4

Dear readers, please pray for a friend of mine.  She is going through overwhelming loss right now even as her own body is in need of healing.  My heart aches for her.

Hannah Mix

Friday, July 22, 2011

 Putting Down Roots

[Excuse me while I wipe the garden dirt off my hands.  There, that's better.]  It's growing season!  I love this time of year when you can finally see the results of all that hard work you did during the spring.  Although it's not quite harvest time yet, there is the promise of harvest coming as the plants get bigger and start to flower.  One of my plants, though, a spinach plant, is not doing too well.  I bought this little kit at a dollar store.  The package said you could "grow your own salad right in your window."  I tried it, but the tray was too shallow, and all the plants died.  This spinach survived,but not very well.  Look at it, the poor thing!

On the other hand, look at this plant!  I planted this spinach in my garden, where the roots have grown big enough to support the plant.  It looks good enough to eat...and we will!

Sometimes we hesitate to put down our own roots.  Maybe part of the time we wish we were somewhere else, we are afraid of getting hurt, afraid of getting too busy, or afraid of being taken advantage of.  These are genuine fears.  However, if our fears are keeping us from growing, then we are like the pathetic spinach.

Love the people God has placed in your life.  Help someone who will not be able to help you in return.  Invite another mother over to your house.  Stay after church a bit longer and fellowship with other Christians.  Do something unexpected for a lady in your neighborhood.  Take your children to visit someone at a retirement center.  Be generous with your time, not to the point of making your family suffer, but enough to encourage someone else.  The more you focus on helping others, the deeper your own roots will grow in the place God has planted you.

Another way to put down roots is by accepting help.  This is a hard thing for me, but sometimes other people can be a real blessing.  We lose out if we refuse.  One of the things that helped me to learn this was when I had a miscarriage a few years ago.  Something about the universality of pain and the mutual understanding of mothers everywhere who have lost a child this way really brings people closer.  Again, when I had some problems during my pregancy with Jonathan, I was forced to "need help."  I was able to strengthen the ties with my sisters in Christ who were so willing to help me. 

So as you live where God has planted you, don't be afraid to put down your roots.  You will be a stronger, happier person!

Hannah Mix

P.S.  Here are some things heard at our house today:

"No, we don't tap the baby's head with our cups!"

"No, we don't poke the baby's head with our chins!"


Poor little Jonathan!  He's sleeping now.  He had a rough morning with his two-year-old sister that just wanted to play...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Letters to my children #2

Dear Elizabeth,
You are such a trooper! You aren't afraid of anything! We have gone swimming several times this week. You look so cute in your swimming outfit that has a lifejacket built in. You slide your little floatie around your chest, and you just paddle all over the water. You learned to kick your legs and turn yourself in circles. You love to jump into the water. You really brought a lot of smiles to us this week.

I hope you continue to be this confident throughout your life. Some people allow fear to keep them from accomplishing everything that they could. Remember this, that God will always help you to do what He tells you to do.

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13


Hannah Mix

A Five-Year-Old Sinner

Tonight I was awakened by a big (and loud) thunderstorm.  As I was lying in bed trying to go back to sleep, I remembered back to a similar night was I was a little girl.

I was five years old when it happened.  I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep.  I had been taught about salvation at home and at church.  A few days earlier, I had come to understand that I was lost.  I was a little five-year-old sinner, just like everyone else in this world.  I knew Jesus had died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin, but unless I accepted Him, I would be eternally lost and not be allowed into Heaven.  I knew all of this; and as I lay in my bunkbed twenty-three years ago, I finally prayed and asked Jesus to forgive my sin and save my soul.

What a wonderful thing God did for me!  I could never be good enough to deserve Heaven!  Yet God loved me so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross in my place!  Now when God looks at me, He doesn't see my sin.  He sees the righteousness of Jesus!

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life".
John 3:16

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved."
Romans 10:9

"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
Romans 10:13

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Signature Kitchen

I've heard it said that every woman should have a signature scent. Well, I'm not much of a perfume person, but I do like having "signatures" in my kitchen.  These are special things that make a kitchen, well, special.  Here are a few of my favorite things in my kitchen.

Flowers in a vase are very pretty, but they are so magazine-ey.  I like the country look of a canning jar.  It doesn't have to be flowers.  It can be vines, little pine branches in winter, or clippings of a berry bush.  I use a pint-size mason jar, so I keep the flowers small. 

I vary this by the time of day--fast, happy music when I'm cleaning or when we're getting ready for church (fast music really does make us get ready faster), soft classical music during nap time or quiet time, and pretty love songs when my honey is coming home from work. During meals, I like to play soft music without any words, so we can hear each other talk. 

At night, after the dishes are done, I like to light a candle and turn off the kitchen lights.  It's a symbol that my work is done for the day, and now I can relax and enjoy my family.  To me, it means "everything's all right at the Mix house."

Sometimes we don't notice some of our signatures.

We received this plaque as a wedding gift, and I hung it in our first apartment.  I didn't really think about it after that, until, a few years later, my husband told me that he really loves seeing this plaque.  It reminds him of the very first time he came home from work after we were married.  I had been working all day to get our little apartment decorated.  This plaque was the first thing he noticed when he came home that night. It reminds him how happy he is that I am a part of his life.  Now this is one of my most treasured possessions, because of what it means to my husband.

Other signatures may not be so nice.  A dear friend of mine once told me, "It would be nice if you could get rid of those shelves.  They collect so much clutter."

Oops!  Isn't that embarrassing?  I got used to seeing it this way, and I didn't even notice it anymore. Now I try to pay more attention to these shelves.  I don't want clutter to be something people remember about my kitchen.

My last signature I going to show you is influenced by my mom.  When I was growing up, she cooked in cast iron skillets a lot.  She made all of us kids firm believers that food tastes so much better when it's cooked in cast iron.  I have these pans hanging on my wall as a link to my mom and my growing-up days.

What kinds of "signatures" do you have in your kitchen?  I'd love to hear your ideas!

P.S.  Don't forget about the giveaway!  See my previous post for details!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's time for some fun!!!

Who wants to win a prize? 
My friend Maria at is a missionary wife and mother in Jamaica.  She has a wonderful online store full of beautiful necklaces she makes with local beads and such.  You can visit her store by clicking here or by clicking the little picture on the side of my blog where it says Mango Market Place.  You can win something from her store in a drawing on August 1.

Here's how to play (and you must have a US address please):

1.  Be a follower, one that I can see on the side of my blog (one entry)
2.  Blog about this giveaway (one entry)
3.  Post about this on facebook with a link back here (one entry)
4.  Add my button to your blog (one entry)
5.  Refer someone else to become a follower (two entries!!)
6.  Visit Maria's store and "like" her shop on facebook (two entries!!)
7.  Visit Maria's store and "heart" it for your etsy account (two entries!!)

Please leave a comment telling me what you did so I can give you the correct number of entries!

The winner will be announced on August 1!

My heart is so heavy today for two girls who used to be students of mine.  Both of them lost their mothers this year.  As I pray for these girls and their families, I am reminded of the brevity of all of our lives.  What will I leave for my children?  I want to leave them with pictures of me, letters from me.  I want them to have visual reminders of how much I loved them.  I want them to remember that I loved God.  I want them to always know that God is with them, loving them and comforting them.  Mothers, let's work on those picture albums and memory books.  If this year was going to be your last, how would you spend it?

Hannah Mix

Monday, July 11, 2011

Letters to my children #1

Dear Abbey,
You were such a good helper today. I was so proud of you when you played nicely today with your sister. You spread three blankets on the grass, carried milk and cheese outside, and had a tea party with Elizabeth. Later when I was rocking Jonathan in Daddy's chair, you climbed up next to me and sat on the armrest so you could be close to me. I am glad you still want to be close to me.

You made me smile today. We had this cute conversation:
You: “Mommy, I know your name. Daddy calls you Hannah.”
Me: “Yes, that's right.”
You: “Your name is Hannah Albert Mix [your baby brother's middle name is Albert].”
Me: “No, my name is Hannah Rachelle Mix.”
You: “What are the letters in your name?”
Me: “H-A-N-N-A-H.”
You: “But I want you to have the same letters as me.”

I love you so much, Abbey. I am blessed to have you for a daughter.


Hannah Mix

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I haven't written anything yet this week, and I'll tell you why. My parents are here!!!!! My mom and dad are missionaries who live in Hungary, but this week they are at our house!!!!! We have been having so much fun just talking together and drinking lots of coffee. Of course, Mom needed to go to WalMart (it's tradition), and my girls wanted a tea party with Grandma, so obviously we've been busy! Lizzie, my morning child, loves waking up with Grandpa while he reads his Bible. Abbey loves having Grandma read to her during the day. Jonathan babbles away at anyone who talks to him. All in all, it's been a fun, and very full, week.

I started reading a book my mom found at Goodwill called Speed Cleaning by Jeff Campbell and the Clean Team. I'm only a few chapters in, but I did learn something new. He recommends using an apron to store your cleaning supplies in while you work. Maybe I'm just weird, but that sounds like the coolest idea! I never thought of that. Does anyone do that? It makes sense that it would save time, since a person would not need to keep walking back to the cabinet to get another tool or cleaner. I think I'm going to try it. I'll let you know how it goes.

Abbey is on a corn syrup-free diet for three weeks, and guess what? I've lost 4 pounds in the last ten days! I didn't think I ate that much corn syrup, but—surprise! My goal of cooking from scratch and eating as much as I can from my garden is going well, too. Maybe that is part of the reason I have lost weight, too. All I know is that I am pretty happy about it.

Enjoy another summery day, everyone! Love your children, and make someone extra happy today!

Hannah Mix