Thursday, March 29, 2007

Get Your Books Into the Gutter!

RAIN GUTTER that is! :)
No, this is not my basement, but this is an example of what I hope to be doing soon.

My children LOVE books. The first place the beg to goto when we get to Goodwill is the book section. They could spend HOURS there. But I have found at home, that my children have SO MANY books, that they have become overwhelmed and just don't realize WHAT is there. Mostly because they are all shoved together on a shelf, they can't SEE what is there. I notice that when I leave a book or two lying around, one that I want them to read, then they will pick up the book, thinking it is NEW and ask me to read it to them. It is not new, it was just not able to be seen because of the way it was stored.

These rain gutter book shelves are a GREAT way to allow your children to SEE the books they have. You might just notice Junior picking up more and more books to read or ask you to read. I plan on taking a BOOK shelf every month and spreading them out on gutters like this. Then switching out with another shelf and so on and so forth.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Free Easter Notbooking Pages

Here are some free Easter Notebooking Pages. You have to sign up for their newsletter (FREE) in order to get the free pages. But hurry, the FREE part ends at the end of the week. After that, they are available for purchase.

If you sign up for their newsletter you get a FREE download EVERY WEEK!

They also have an Easter Unit Study (not free).

And for those of you who do not celebrate Passover, I HIGHLY encourage you to. It has become my children's FAVORITE celebration. I want to say we celebrate Passover not because it saves us (for we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ). It is AWESOME to see how even in the Passover (celebrated by Jews for years before Christ and even by Christ Himself) all points TO THE CHRIST. I highly suggest you look into getting a Christian version of the Haggadah. They have FREE ONLINE VERSIONS, just google it and find one that fits your family.

There is a Passover and Jesus lesson book at Homeschool E-Store.

And with garden time here, I found Garden Notebook pages as well as a Garden Unit Study.

(I am still working on typing up my Learning 2 Love for the week, if anyone is interested.)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cute Snippets From Daily Life

MM: (very enthusiastically) Mommy, is it real?
Mommy: Is what real?
MM: Is Jesus really coming back?
Mommy: Yes, He is sweetie.
MM: (big smile, jumping up and down, turning around in circles) YEAH!!!!

AA: Mommy, we were watching Charlie Brown study a lot of hard words to spell them and he studied all night and was really tired and then he was spelling all these really hard words and then he came to a word he couldn't spell even though it was the type of dog he had it was the word beagle but it was understandable that he couldn't spell the word beagle because Daddy can't spell it either.
Mommy: (note to self... talk to AA about what a run on sentence is, and fun-lovingly playfully tease beloved about not being able to spell beagle)

MM: (just as excited as can be) Mommy, LOOK! A CROSS!!!
Mommy: Yes it is honey. Do you know what happened on the cross?
MM: Jesus DIED!
Mommy: That's right. Do you know why He died?
MM: Because He had nothing better to do.

Beloved: (singing to the children's church) Peter and John went to pray, they met a lame man on the way, He stuck out his palms and asked for alms and this is what Peter did say......
Beloved: (after song is over) Does anyone know what lame means?
Little Boy: (raises his hand very enthusiastically, the only one with his hand raised, when called on replies) It means boring!

AA (to EE): (mumbles something) Do you know?
EE: No I don't.
AA: Let's ask Daddy. He know EVERYTHING.

Saturday Sweethearts: Doin' It All For My Baby

My husband LOVES to take pictures. He doesn't get much time to, but that doesn't change the fact that he would love to if he had more time.

Lately at work, he has not been able to be as creative as he would like. He shared with me the other night how sad that made him and how he really needs an outlet to be creative.

So I hit the thrift stores in search of props for him to use with his pictures. (You know, like the bunch of flowers and petals they have at Walmart and Kiddie Kandids.)

Then, I put together his make shift studio (which is just PVC pipe and sheets sewn like curtains to go on the PVC pipe). It was taken down shortly before we put our house on the market (August) and just stayed down since the move. I set everything up for him to be able to take pictures this weekend.

I encourage you to think about something that your husband likes to do, but is unable to because of time (or maybe even because of lack of support from you). Think about how you can encourage him in this area and then make a plan to accomplish it.

Maybe he needs more time to be able to do something he loves (like play golf). Let him know that should he want to play golf next weekend, you would make plans with the kids so he could have the free time to play golf. Maybe he would like to paint, encourage him to get out his paints and paint! And of course this is an activity that the kids can get in on too.

Whatever it is he would like to do, think about how you can make it happen and then MAKE A PLAN to make it happen. While it may be true that if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, the same is true for our men. I know that when my beloved is sad, we are all sad. But when he is happy, BOY are we all happy!!! :D

-----
Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Magazine for Girlhood

In Great-Grandmother's day, before "teenagers" and "adolescence," there was
a special time in a girl's life that followed Babyhood and Childhood.
It was the cherished time of Girlhood...


Beautiful Girlhood Magazine

Isn't that just a BEAUTIFUL thought!!! Oh ladies, I highly encourage you to check out the beautiful magazine designed for our daughters and teaching them godly characteristics that will help them not only be a good wife and mother (which we all want for our daughters), but will also help them to be a beautiful woman of the Lord (which I know I sometimes forget about with all the other training I am doing).

Friday's Fun: Vintage Games - Spell Down

Divide your party into two groups (or for homeschooling or family play, just put them in a line or circle). Ahead of time chose several words to use, but don't make them TOO difficult (no more than 8 letters). Instead of one person spelling the word given, each person can only spell one letter. So go around the circle or down the line, each person giving one letter for the word, given in the correct order for the correct spelling.

Should someone give an incorrect letter, a point goes to the other team (or if you are doing homeschool or family fun, have them pay a forfeit - I think a GREAT forfeit for this game is to have the person spell the word BACKWARDS!)

HAVE FUN!!!

I am not really able to think of a way to play this game with young children, so I will give a different variation. NUMBERS!

We have been playing a fun little game as of late. You might remember playing it in school. You count upwards towards the number eight. Beginning with Mommy who says:

I ONE the frog.

Child then says "I TWO the frog." This goes back and forth until the child says "I EIGHT the frog." to which the Mommy acts horribly disgusted "EWWWWWwwww... you ATE the FROG!!!"

My girls could not get enough of this. Playing it all the time, with different words at the end: I 8 the rocket, I 8 the table, I ate the banana, I ate the monkey ....

You get the idea.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Importance of Reading God's Word

If you do nothing else today or this week, you need to READ THIS POST on the importance of reading God's word. It takes less then three minutes of your time, but it is so powerful and convicting (maybe I shouldn't tell you that so you would read it) that you will be so thankful you took the time to read it. It is worded better than anything I could have said on the matter.

Relinquished Life

I am crucified with Christ.” (Galatians 2:20)

No one is ever united with Jesus Christ until he is willing to relinquish not sin only, but his whole way of looking at things. To be born from above of the Spirit of God means that we must let go before we lay hold, and in the first stages it is the relinquishing of all pretense. What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavor, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us. And what does He give in exchange for our sin? Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretense of being any thing, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration.

Then the Spirit of God will show us what further there is to relinquish. There will have to be the relinquishing of my claim to my right to myself in every phase. Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?

There is always a sharp painful disillusionment to go through before we do relinquish. When a man really sees himself as the Lord sees him, it is not the abominable sins of the flesh that shock him, but the awful nature of the pride of his own heart against Jesus Christ. When he sees himself in the light of the Lord, the shame and the horror and the desperate conviction come home.

If you are up against the question of relinquishing, go through the crisis, relinquish all, and God will make you fit for all that He requires of you.

(Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, 49)
Thanks to Christian Research Network for this.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

She works with her hands ...

I am teaching myself to crochet. My sister's mother in law said that the best way to learn was through a booklet, so she gave me a copy of the booklet and away I went. I did a few stitches here and there, but soon put it away in planning for our move to our new house.

Well, spring is in the air, and I was inspired by Rebecca to actually DO something CREATIVE! She has been making the CUTEST things lately. And so I dug out my crochet supplies and started working.
This is actually a pattern for a blanket, but I thought "I need I need something to finish fast and this isn't gonna do that, but HEY, this is looking a little bit like a headband! Instead of doing all 84 rows, I can do a few more and if I were to add elastic to the ends of this, it could be a HEADBAND!!" And thus, my little headbands were born.
The girls absolutely LOVED them and begged Momma to make more and more! :) And the great thing about this is I can customize them to FIT their heads! The ones I have seen in the store just seem too big for them. I am so glad they like their headbands.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Learning 2 Love - Kind

"Love is .... kind" - 1 Corinthians 13: 4

Sorry this late, we have a little sick one over here. :(

So, last week's lesson on patient was VERY difficult, mostly because Momma is so impatient. I wonder if impatience is learned or just part of the fallen nature of man? Hmmm....

This week is Love Is KIND.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines KIND (a) as:

1. Disposed to do good to others, and to make them happy by granting their requests, supplying their wants or assisting them in distress; having tenderness or goodness of nature; benevolent; benignant.

God is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil. Luke 6.

Be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted. Eph.4.

2. Proceeding from tenderness or goodness of heart; benevolent; as a kind act; a kind return of favors.

Since the word benevolent was used TWICE in this definition, I looked up that word too.

BENEV'OLENT, a. [L. benevolens, of bene and volo.]

Having a disposition to do good; possessing love to mankind, and a desire to promote their prosperity and happiness; kind.


I must admit that I really like looking up the definition of these words. For so long, I have just ASSUMED I knew what they meant, but by looking them up, I get a better understanding of the word and how to apply it to my actions! It has probably been the BEST thing I have done. And I would not have done it had I not started a blog and if I was not doing the L2L study with my children.

So I described being kind to my children as doing good to others and trying to make them happy by giving them the BEST and granting their request (in other words, when someone wants to do something or asks you for something, give them your BEST in that).

We talked about ways we could be kind to each other. It is amazing to see how well the children are learning kindness. It seems easier to understand and apply. Maybe that is because their Daddy and I have always tried to be kind to our children and each other.


I must admit that is seems MUCH easier to show kindness to one another than patience. We will have to continue to work on patience throughout ... I was going to say this study, but honestly, I think it is our entire lives! I have already seen a lot of kindness these past two days. I am so thankful for this study! I hope you are being blessed by it as much as I am.

And please feel free to share if you are going through with us and what YOU are doing!! :) I know the picture cards are not the highest quality, but they are helpful to my children as reminders and I pray they are helpful to yours as well. Remember you can right click and save as on the image and print it out on cards for your children.

I think I am going to put a smiley face on each child's card whenever they show love in kindness to one another. They brought happiness to the other person in their kindness, and I think it would be good to have a visual reminder of how happy they have made everyone throughout the week.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Amazing Fun Video

This video was AMAZING and funny. My kids asked to watch it again and again. I am sure you will like it too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY6STzeYBHY&mode=related&search=

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: A Kid Again

WHAT I DID:
I took my husband to an arcade (Jillians or Dave and Busters are good ideas, we went to Jillians because it is non-smoking). We played games, won tickets, and got dinky little toys for the children. Then we went into a candy store and each got a fun candy. I got Razzles (13 Going on 30 is a favorite movie) and hubby got little gummy bears he could feed me.

MY REASON:
I just wanted to do something fun and youthful.

HOW I FELT:
SOOOOOO in love with my husband! I felt like I did when we were dating.

THE OBSTACLES I OVERCAME:
A blizzard was scheduled to arrive that evening, so I was worried about getting stuck in another city or driving in hazardous conditions.

MY HUSBAND'S RESPONSE:
He had a smile all day long.

WHAT I WISH I HAD DONE:
Checked the weather more thoroughly before we left. Thankfully God blessed the day and the weather was beautiful! The blizzard did not arrive until well after we were home and in bed asleep. Which is a good thing because the blizzard was so bad they shut down the highway - there would have been no way for us to get home!!

BUDGET SUGGESTIONS:
I would call ahead to see if they are having any specials. The first time we went, they were having a double up week. They doubled the amount of points on your card if you paid $20 or more for that many points. When we went this time, they had $5 for two hours. You could also goto a local arcade (instead of a big name one). Our local mall arcade has half-price Tuesdays where games are all half-priced. And in a near-by city there is a penny arcade (closed right now because of winter), so check around for arcades in your area.

-----
Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

Friday, March 16, 2007

An Easter Tree

I totally forgot about this! I came across it when I was looking up the recipes on the computer (so I would not have to type them in) for the Resurrection Cookies and Rolls. A little late for this year, but hopefully NEXT year!

Easter Tree

A personal note to all:
The basic idea is to go through the story of the Bible from creation (Genesis 1) to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus - with the final ornament coming after the resurrection - the promise of eternal life with God in heaven at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19).

I highly suggest that you pray to God before starting an Easter tree. Allow God to reveal to you what He wants your tree to look like and which Scriptures to use. Also, work with the children. After you have picked out Scripture ask if they have any ideas on what the ornament could be.

Once they get older, have them create their own Easter tree - searching Scripture and doing one ornament per week and then ornaments for Holy Week. There are several different aspects of the Bible (and Jesus' life, death, and resurrection) that are not mentioned in the list below, but would be a wonderful aspect to study and meditate upon!

(One take on this is to possibly go through and write all the Scriptures dealing with the promises God made - like a mansion for the promise of a mansion with many rooms. You could also have a life of Jesus tree and go through picking out certain events - including parables - from the life of Jesus and create an ornament for each one.)

---------------------------------------

From No Ordinary Home

Easter Trees can seem like a wonderful idea until you sit down to design and create forty individual ornaments! Many families who have adopted the idea started by making one ornament per week for the six weeks of Lent and then added the seven ornaments of Holy Week. Others have done only the Holy Week Ornaments, and still others have done one for each week of Lent and one for Holy Week.

The exciting thing about starting small is that each ornament is given the family's full attention. Every year the family can add new ornaments, and Mom does not need to feel that the producing of Easter tree ornaments has taken over her life!

These are the ornaments I would choose to start and Easter tree the first year.

WEEK ONE
The Fall of Man - Genesis 3. An apple or something to represent Adam and Eve or the serpent.

WEEK TWO
Passover - Exodus 12. A lamb.

WEEK THREE
Samuel anoints David - I Samuel 16. Two beads glued together to form a horn.

WEEK FOUR
The baptism of Jesus - Like 3. A dove.

WEEK FIVE
Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7. A miniature lamp.

HOLY WEEK

Sunday: Palm Sunday - Matthew 21. A palm branch.

Monday: Cleansing the temple - Mark 11. A whip.

Tuesday: Jesus anointed - John 12. A small beaded box.

Wednesday: Judas plots - Matthew 26. A bag with silver coins.

Thursday: The Last Supper - Luke 22. A loaf of bread and a cup.

Friday: Crucifixion - Luke 23. A cross.

Saturday: Mystery Saturday - I Peter 3:18-22. No ornament.

Sunday: HE IS RISEN! - Mark 16. A clay tomb - empty.

Monday: The marriage supper of the Lamb - Revelation 19. A place mat with gold silverware.

IF however you want to create an ornament for the entire forty-two days, here are suggestions to get you started.

Day 1: Faith - Matthew 17:20. Have a hallowed out log and bare branch form a tree. Drill a hole in the log and put a mustard seed in it. Place the branch in the hole so that it resembles a small tree.

Day 2: Creation - Genesis 1. A small globe with a dove glued on top.

Day 3: The Fall - Genesis 3. An apple or something to represent Adam and Eve or the serpent.

Day 4: Noah and the Flood - Genesis 6-9. An ark ornament or an animal.

Day 5: Abraham and Sarah - Genesis 12. A picture of an old man and woman or a star ornament to illustrate the covenant.

Day 6: Abraham and Isaac - Genesis 22. Twigs tied together with a plastic knife on top.

Day 7: Jacob and Esau - Genesis 27. An ornament of twins.

Day 8: Jacob's ladder - Genesis 37. A toy fire truck ladder.

Day 9: Joseph - Genesis 37. A coat of many colors.

Day 10: Moses - Exodus 3. A bush.

Day 11: Passover - Exodus 12. A lamb.

Day 12: Ten Commandments - Exodus 20. A cardboard version of the tablets.

Day 13: The Judges - Judges. A courtroom gavel.

Day 14: Israel desires a king - I Samuel 8. A coat-of-arms patch.

Day 15: Samuel anoints David - I Samuel 16. Two beads glued together to form a horn.

Day 16: David as a musician - Psalms. A golden harp.

Day 17: Solomon - I Kings 7-9. A cardboard temple.

Day 18: The Prophets - Jonah. A ceramic whale.

Day 19: Enslavement - II Kings 25. Heavy chain links.

Day 20: Daniel and Lions - Daniel 6. A lion.

Day 21: Nehemiah - Nehemiah 2. A clay wall.

Day 22: 400 years of silence - Between testaments. A scroll with a lock glued on it and a moon hanging from it to signify spiritual night.

Day 23: The annunciation - Luke 1. An angel ornament.

Day 24: The birth of Jesus - Luke 2. A picture of a mother and child.

Day 25: The boyhood of Jesus in Egypt - Matthew 2, Luke 2. A pyramid and palm tree.

Day 26: The baptism of Jesus - Luke 3. A dove.

Day 27: The temptation of Jesus - Luke 4. A snake wrapped around a cactus.

Day 28: The first miracle - John 2. Two wedding rings.

Day 29: Feeding the 5,000 - Matthew 14. A basket with fish in it.

Day 30: Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5-7. A miniature lamp.

Day 31: Do not worry - Matthew 6:26-34. A bird.

Day 32: Woman at the well - John 4. A clay well.

Day 33: Raising of Lazarus - John 11. A clay man wrapped in strips of cotton.

Day 34: Palm Sunday - Matthew 21. A palm branch.

Day 35: Cleansing the temple - Mark 11. A whip.

Day 36: Jesus anointed - John 12. A small beaded box.

Day 37: Judas plots - Matthew 26. A bag with silver coins.

Day 38: The Last Supper - Luke 22. A loaf of bread and a cup.

Day 39: Crucifixion - Luke 23. A cross.

Day 40: Mystery Saturday - I Peter 3:18-22. No ornament.

Day 41: HE IS RISEN! - Mark 16. A clay tomb - empty!

Day 42: The marriage supper of the Lamb - Revelation 19. A place mat with gold silver.

More of Titus 2 - Teaching us to Love Our Children

I have been in prayed about this recently and am thinking of creating another blog devoted JUST to this subject and having a few guest writers on there that I really admire. Would you join me in prayer on this? It would be a big under taking and I want to make sure it is the Lord's will for me and not just something I want to do. Thanks.

So, I found two more writings that I think will encourage us in this area. If you know of any, PLEASE comment and leave a link to the article/blog.

Lessons From A Blue Marker
Part 3 from Titus2Talk's series on Loving Our Children

Friday's Fun: Vintage Games - Unwanted Letter, Omit the E

It seems that all of my Vintage Games have been word related as of late! :) Here is another one. **UPDATED**

Unwanted Letter

Choose an unwanted letter, M for example. Have everyone sit in a circle. Choose someone to ask a question of. The idea is to ask a question which would most logically be answered using the letter M. However, the person answering cannot use that letter.

So, for example, the question asked could be "What day immediately follows Sunday?" (You cannot phrase it "comes after" because Tuesday, Wednesday, etc all come after Sunday.) The asker then begins to count at a reasonable rate to ten (the person is only given ten seconds to answer).

The obvious answer is Monday. However, they have to avoid using the letter M, so they could answer "The day before Tuesday."

The person who was answered the question, now gets to ask the next question.

Anyone who is not able to answer within ten second OR answers using the unwanted letter must either sit out or pay a forfeit.

For fun, you can have three or four letters that are unwanted.

A similar version of this game is called Omit The E, and focuses on just the E. It also would make a great ice breaker when played as guests arrive at your house for a party.

The letter E is considered the most used letter in the alphabet. Questions are asked of each other and the answer cannot have the letter E in it. The question may have E, but the answer may not.

For example, if asked "How are you today?", they cannot respond "I am fine" because fine has the letter E in it. Instead, you could respond "I am all right."

The questioned is given 20 seconds to answer, if they cannot they have to pay a forfeit.

UPDATE:

I was thinking last night of how to play this will younger children (as AA is just learning to spell and the others don't know), and I thought you could omit SOUNDS! So for example, you would omit the mmmmmmmm sound. You could use the same question as above.

Playing these games with my children have been some of the most fun times I have had with them lately. It is so great to see their eyes when it finally CLICKS that they understand HOW the game is played. And they are so easy to play in the car! We are not as close to the grocery store as we were, so playing the game fills the time.

Rebecca asked where I got these games from, they are ALL actual vintage games that were played during the time of Little House on the Prairie and the times of Ebenezer Scrooge!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gardening With Children

Oh I am SO THANKFUL for Nancy! I had a wonderful time of fellowship with her the other day. The weather was beautiful and the children and I were out hiking when we got the call that we could come over and do some gardening stuff with Nancy and her family. As soon as I told my children, MM (3yr, near 4) ran up to a total stranger (a boy no less) and jumped up and down telling him about how we were going to help Mrs. B with her garden! It was so precious.

Her oldest daughter showed us how to make potting holders out of newspaper (so we can start our seedlings and then transplant them RIGHT into the garden in the newspaper). If you search the web for an origami pen box (or something similar) then make it much bigger (about 1/4 of a sheet of newspaper), you will have a good size. Here are a few pictures:











Nancy is one of those ladies who you just want to sit at her feet all day and learn! And when she makes a book recommendation, you don't check it out for yourself first and then buy it, you just BUY it and know it is good. I had to wait to post this till I had gone to PaperBack Swap and gotten my copies (or at least put them on my wishlist!). :)

So both are by the same author. If you love daisy crowns, rosebud necklaces, hollyhock dolls and other garden crafts that one might see in the days of Little House on the Prairie, or if you just want to involve your kids more in nature and gardening, these two books are a MUST have!

First up is Sunflower Houses by Sharon Lovejoy. The pictures are beautiful and it has the most AMAZING things in it! Imagine a circle garden that is actually a clock! Certain flowers do certain things at certain times of day! Find out which ones sleep at 3pm and which ones bloom at 2am!! How about a great way to teach the ABC's? A garden where each flower is a letter of the alphabet. Oh I could go on and on! And of course, it tells you how to make the most beautiful sunflower houses and those little garden crafts mentioned above!!

Second is Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots by Sharon Lovejoy. Wow oh Wow oh WOW!!! The pictures are wonderful! And so many wonderful activities to do with your children in the garden!! Fun fun fun fun FUN!!!!

I was able to check out the above books from my library while waiting to get them for free. :) If your library does not have them, you should ask your librarian about the InterLibrary Loan. This is where you can get library books from other libraries (even out of state) at no cost to you.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Beyond Survival

Keeping house, housekeeping, home making, homekeeping ... whatever you want to call it, it seems there are few of us who know how to do it and how to do it well. That would be ME. :)

My bookshelf is LINED with books on cleaning and decluttering and how to clean. And now my RSS feed reader is full of those blogs too. I admit that I am one who would rather READ about cleaning than actually do it. But there is so much more I want. Not just for myself and my family, but for my girls.

And one of my favorites blogs (Large Family Logistics) is addressing that. Now don't let the name scare you. The information gleaned within those pages are just as wonderful for a mom of one as for a mom of twenty. :)

Right now she is doing a series on Beyond Survival. She already has seven posts in the series:
What's for Supper?
Morning Routine
Evening Routine
Afternoon Chore Time
Meals
Self
Laundry

I so want my homekeeping skills to be more than just survival. I don't want my house just to be clean, I want it to be a home...a haven for my family. I don't want to do just what is minimal in order to have a clean house. I want to go beyond survival, into beauty.

Cooking to Teach and Celebrate Easter

These are two things we do every year for Easter. Most people know about the Easter Story Cookies, but few know about the Resurrection Rolls that follow.

I remember two years ago when our oldest was making the rolls. She would go through each of the steps, preparing Jesus body for burial. Then when they were eating the rolls, it made more of an impact at how empty they were (compared to the cookies), because they had put "Jesus" in the "tomb" and now he was gone.

The rolls are a bit too sweet for a dinner roll, so we usually eat them as a snack while waiting for our traditional Easter dinner. And while there is not as much Scripture involved in making the rolls (which is why we also do the cookies and do them BEFORE we do the rolls), they do have more of an impact, especially when they children help.

Easter Story Cookies
Ingredients
· 1 cup whole pecans
· 1 teaspoon vinegar
· 3 egg whites
· pinch salt
· 1 cup sugar
· zipper baggie
· wooden spoon
· tape
· and most important of all "THE WORD OF GOD" Bible

Preheat oven to 300 F.

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break
into small pieces.

- Explain- that after Jesus was arrested. He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.

- Read John 19:1-3. [1] Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. [2] The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe [3] and went up to him again and again, saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face.

Let each child smell the vinegar.
Put 1 teaspoon vinegar into mixing bowl.

- Explain - that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink.

- Read John 19:28-30 [28] Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." [29] A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips. [30] When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Add egg whites to vinegar.
Eggs represent life.

- Explain - that Jesus gave His life to give us life.

- Read John 10:10-11 [10] The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. [11] "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.
Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.

- Explain - that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.

- Read Luke 23:27 - A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.
Add 1 cup sugar.

- Explain- that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.

- Read Psalm 34:8 - Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
and
John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.

- Explain - that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.

- Read Isaiah 1:18 - "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
and
John 3:1-3. [1] Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. [2] He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." [3] In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

Fold in broken nuts.
Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.

- Explain- that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.

- Read Matthew 27: 57- 60 [57] As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. [58] Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. [59] Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, [60] and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.

- Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.

- Read Matthew 27: 65 - 66 [65] "Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." [66] So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

GO TO BED:

- Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

- Read John 16:20 -I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
and
John 16: 22 - So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.

Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.

The cookies are hollow!

On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

- Read - Matthew 28:1-9 [1]After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. [2] There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. [3] His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. [4] The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. [5] The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. [6] He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. [7] Then go quickly and tell his disciples: `He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you." [8] So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. [9] Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.

Resurrection Rolls

Ingredients:
· 3/4 cup warm water
· 1 large egg
· 3 cups flour
· 1 teaspoon salt
· 3 Tablespoons sugar
· 6 Tablespoons butter
· 3 Tablespoons dry milk
· 1-1/2 teaspoon yeast
· 1/2 cup butter
· 1 cup sugar
· 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
· 24 marshmallows

Combine first 8 ingredients (combine wet first, dry separately, then combine together. Let rise till double. Divide into 24 balls and flatten.

Mix sugar and cinnamon together.

Read Matthew 27:57-61

1. Give each child a marshmallow. This represents Jesus.
2. Have him/her dip the marshmallow in melted butter. This represents the oils of embalming.
3. Now dip the buttered marshmallow in the cinnamon and sugar which represents the spices used to anoint the body.
4. Then wrap up the coated marshmallow tightly in the flattened ball. This represents the wrapping of Jesus' body after death and being placed in the tomb.
5. Place rolls in a large greased pan and allow to rise till double - approx. 35 min. (Jesus was in tomb for three days before rising.)
6. Place in a 375 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.

Rolls should be completely empty when cooled...like the empty tomb.

There is an easier version out there using crescent rolls from the refrigerated section of your grocer instead of made from scratch as the one above is. Replace first 8 ingredients and first step with the crescent rolls.


Now read Matthew 28:5-8

Explain: At the tomb, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary saw an angel, who told them not to be afraid. No one had taken Jesus' body, but He Had risen from the dead! The angel told the women to go and tell the disciples what they had seen, that Jesus had risen from the dead. They were so excited, they ran all the way home to tell the disciples the good news! He is risen from the dead! Alleluia!

After that Jesus appeared in person to Peter, then to the 12 disciples and after that, to more than 500 people. Jesus' appearance to eyewitnesses, those who saw Him with their own eyes, would give support and prove that Jesus rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

By rising from the dead, Jesus proved once and for all that He was the Messiah, the Savior of the World, the Chosen One, and the Lamb of God. By dying on the cross and rising from the dead, Jesus did what no other had ever done before. As both God and man, He overcame sin, death, and hell. And now because of what Jesus has done, these things no longer have any power over those who believe in Jesus and allow His Spirit to lead and direct them. Rather than being slaves to sin and death, Christians ( those who love and believe in Jesus) are free to obey God and do good ( Romans 6:17-18). The Bible says in John 8:36, "If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."

However, we will only obey God if we listen to the Holy Spirit our helper. He enables believers in Jesus to do the right thing. It is important that we read the Bible (God's Word) because one of the ways the Holy Spirit helps us obey God is by reminding us of what He says to us in His Word. God's Spirit will never go against his Word. In fact, when we read God's Word, we are listening to the Holy Spirit. Of course, you won't always do the right thing; the Bible says this ) 1 John 1:5-10). But that is why we need to continue to confess our sins knowing that God forgives us, based on what Jesus did on the cross. This is also a reason we need to spend time with other believers in Christ so they can encourage us in our faith.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bragging About My Beloved!!!

OK, I am just so proud of my beloved right now I just have to brag! One of his photos was chosen to be on DCGuide.com!!!

Check it out!
http://www.dcguide.com/attractions/museums/united-states-holocaust-memorial-museum.html

Here is the original (along with other photos he has done).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paurian/361204590/in/set-72057594079445293/

Just a side note about DC, this is a WONDERFUL place to visit! It is very family friendly and most everything to do there (except eat and sleep) are FREE! The Smithsonian Museums are free, even the zoo is free! My children (ages 6yr, 4yr and 2yr at the time) really enjoyed it. Their only disappointment was not being able to see the President.

Mr. President, if you are reading this, you have three very HUGE fans who would love to meet you in person!! (Well, 5 if you count the parents :) ).

Titus 2 and Loving Our Children

In a recent post, I cried out for a blog that talked about loving our children. I came across this two part post (Part I Part II) this evening which talks about this very thing.

I also want to point out that this is a subject which really needs to be talked about! I am very thankful to have a Titus 2 woman in my life. But even there, I sometimes fear talking about loving my children.

Why is there such fear in admitting that we need help in this area? God would not have called for a teaching in this area if we had it all together in this area and didn't need help.

I think part of it is a fear of not looking good. No one likes to be looked down upon. Especially for something that is SUPPOSED to be natural! It's easy to love that brand new baby who needs you and loves you unconditionally. But the two year old who is throwing yet another temper tantrum, or the 4 year old who really should be potty trained by now is not as easy to love. That is when a choice is made to love them. And some days it's just not that easy! And that is a difficult thing to admit.

I mean, if my house is messy, I can admit that without fear (for the most part) because we all have difficulty keeping house, right? But mention that I am losing patience with my kids and really need some help loving them today and BAM! What's wrong with you? All of the sudden I have the plague and people are running from me like crazy!

It is OK to admit that we fall in this area! And it is OK to encourage other mothers in this area even when you don't have it all together! HOW can we strengthen one another in this area if no one is willing to talk about it? Whether it be admitting that there is a problem or encouraging a mother who is just so plain tired and feels worthless because she yelled at her kids yet again, let's talk!

Please tell me I am not alone in this. And let us encourage one another.

I will admit that our first day with the Love Is Patient lesson has been very hard on me. I did not realize how frequently I lose my patience with the children. I do need to train them not to point it out to me the way they are (I swear I heard it at least 10 times today from each of my children at least once, "Mommy you need to be more patient with me."). But at least they are learning what patient means. :) Now that they know what it means, I should see them apply it more often, right? :)

Oh Lord, please give me patience with my children. And with my husband. I know my lack of patience permeates every aspect of my life. Help me to be a better mother tomorrow. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Homemade FLOAM

I have been wanting to buy some FLOAM for a while now, but just cannot bring myself to pay for it! Cindy to the rescue! Here is her recipe for FLOAM (combining two recipes). THANK YOU CINDY!

Learning 2 Love: Patient

"Love is patient..." 1 Corinthians 13:4

So this week begins our Learning to Love series (L2L). We begin with LOVE IS PATIENT.

I looked up the definition of PATIENT in the Websters 1828 Dictionary:

PATIENT, a. pa'shent. [L. patiens.]

1. Having the quality of enduring evils without murmuring or fretfulness; sustaining afflictions of body or mind with fortitude, calmness or christian submission to the divine will; as a patient person, or a person of patient temper. It is followed by of before the evil endured; as patient of labor or pain; patient of heat or cold.
2. Not easily provoked; calm under the sufferance of injuries or offenses; not revengeful.

Be patient towards all men. 1 Thess.5.
3. Persevering; constant in pursuit or exertion; calmly diligent.

Whatever I have done is due to patient thought.
4. Not hasty; not over eager or impetuous; waiting or expecting with calmness or without discontent.

Not patient to expect the turns of fate.

So I began to think of a word picture that my children could associate with this definition. At first, I thought of a clock, but that picture doesn't really relate to the definition.

So, I chose a glass of water. I poured water into a glass and set it on the table. I asked the children to describe the glass. We talked about how "calm" the water was. How pretty the water was when it was calm in the sunlight.

Then I began to bang the table (gently of course) and asked the children what was happening to the water. We talked about how me banging on the table was like when one of your sisters yells at you or whenever one of your sisters takes your toy. All it took was a little jolt and the water was no longer "calm" it was easily agitated. This is the OPPOSITE of patient.

I stopped banging on the table and the water went back to being "calm." We talked about how we need to always stay calm and patient, even when there are little agitations all around us.

I know this is prolly not the BEST word picture, but it has been helpful. If you can think of a better one, PLEASE do share! I want this to be the BEST for ALL of us. I will put up another picture that we can share. If you want to print out the above picture, just right click and "Save As" and then you can print out as many as you want for each of your children. I printed the definition on the back. not that they can read yet, but it is still nice to have there.

I printed out the above card and will put a hole in the corner to put on a lanyard for the children to wear around their neck so that they can always be carrying this word picture around with them to remind them all week of how love is patient.

So today, already, I have seen how I need to be more patient towards my children. It is really convicting when you are trying to teach your children to be patient with one another as a show of love towards one another and yet you are not patient with them. EE has even started apologizing for not being patient whenever she is impatient with her sisters.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: Pot of Gold

End of the Rainbow
by Stephanie Altmiller
http://www.TheRomantic.com/

When my honey came home for St. Patrick's Day, he found a giant paper shamrock taped to the front door. The shamrock read, *The day I found you was lucky indeed. At the end of the rainbow awaits a grand treasure.* When he opened the door, there was a rainbow ribbon tied to the doorknob that led him all thorough the house and finally up the stairs.

At the end of the *rainbow* was a *pot of gold*. I had filled a small plastic cauldron (left-over from Halloween) with chocolate gold coins and some small paper coins that I had cut out of colored paper. I had written on each of the paper coins something that I treasure about my honey and our relationship. I included a note in the pot that read *You are worth more than a pot of gold. You alone are what I treasure most in life.*

-=-=-=-=-
Personal note: if you are like me, you expected the WIFE to be at the end of the rainbow! =^) Why not dress up in something spicy (or better yet, dress DOWN to nothing at all) and be waiting for hubby at the end of the rainbow!! Also, to save on cost, make your own gold coins out of yellow construction paper. Write something what you treasure about your honey on each paper coin.

-----
Remember, THESE ARE IDEAS FOR YOU (not your husband). YOU are to romance your husband! I was inspired to do these Saturday Sweethearts based on a book called Romancing Your Husband by Debra White Smith. PLEASE get a hold of this book and read it. It is a really good book and will really change your life. :)

Proverbs 31 Woman Challenge

Thanks so much to Katherine for pointing out this GREAT post on the Proverbs 31 Woman Challenge!!! She will be starting the challenge soon. See how you can join her HERE! Oh what FUN!!! If you stop by, be sure to tell her Paula sent you over. :)

Oh wait, is changing and molding ourselves to be more how God would have us be supposed to be fun? Hmmm... SURE!!! Why not?!?! :^)

Proverbs 31 Braclet

Check out this CUTE bracelet!!! So prefect for your little girl. I just think this is too precious! What a WONDERFUL way to get more scripture into our children. And it is only ten dollars! Thanks to Sparrow's Nest for sharing this.

Speaking of Sparrow's Nest, she is currently discussing the Proverbs 31 woman. I highly encourage you to head over to her blog and check it out. VERY good stuff!!! :)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Building Strong Relationships With Your Children

I am so blessed and amazed by God right now. This adventure with the last few posts, I was wondering if I should have posted (whenever I don't get comments, or I post on something that might be controversial, I question whether I should have posted or not).
And then I get this in my email from Doorposts:

We would like to pass on to you some encouragement from Scripture on the importance of building strong relationships with your children, and some practical ideas for encouraging those relationships. Here it is!

www.doorposts.net/free_resources/building_relationships.pdf

Thank you Lord. :)

Where are all the Titus 2 Women?

We've all prolly been there at one time or another, if we are honest with one another.
I'm tired. I can't handle one more temper tantrum or act of defiance.
It seems I am always cleaning up after someone.
I don't want to be a mom anymore.

It's times like this we really need those Titus 2 women to come along side us and teach us how to love our children. Most of us are first generation Christians and/or homeschoolers. Most of us had parents who raised us by sending us off to another person's care (day care or public school). And even while home with them, they always seemed so busy doing their own things there was little time for us. So we never learned how to love our children from them.

So how do we love our children? And why are older women instructed in God's Word to teach younger women this? How do we CHOOSE to love our children? There are plenty of web sites and blogs out there that help us to be better keepers at home, disciplining our children, homeschooling our children, etc. But I have yet to find one to help encourage a mother to love her children.

ARE YOU OUT THERE?

A few come close, with a post every now and then about enjoying our children and doing things with them. Or some encouragement that "this too shall pass." But I have yet to find one devoted to teaching us to love our children. Love them even when we don't feel like loving them. Loving our children when we just don't feel we have anymore left in us. How to choose to love our children. And yet I fear, if we don't teach this generation to love their children, there will be little hope.

These three remain: faith, hope and charity, the greatest of these is charity.

Love. LOVE. Why is it so difficult to love our children? Why do I have to fight the thoughts of ME time, children are brats, and other SELFISHNESS? Why does the world bombard stay at home moms with thoughts of me time and finding worth outside the home? Even in Christian circles, women are encouraged to find their worth in ministry. What happened to the family being a ministry? What happened to ministering to my CHILDREN first and foremost? For in ministering to them, I am raising up arrows for the Lord who can then reach much more than I ever could as one. Look at John Wesley. Look at his Momma! Look at Titus. His mother and grandmother are mentioned in the Bible for teaching him the Scriptures from his youth!

And why are we scared to talk about this? Is there shame in admitting weakness in this area? I think because of all the sister bashing, there is. But we should be able to admit freely, and without fear, our shortcomings in this area. In our weakness He is made strong!

I am really excited about going through 1 Corinthians 13. I am realizing that this is not a definition of love, it is an application of love! And I am hoping that it will help all of us (myself included) who deal with times like mentioned at the beginning of this letter to love our children (even when it is difficult). It started at as an exercise to teach my children to love one another, but I think it will also help me in this area (as well as in the area of my marriage - which I am always striving to improve - good is good, but best is better). ;)
Now please don't miss the point of this post. Yes, I agree, all moms sometimes need some down time. And it is good to have things we enjoy in our life (like scrapbooking, crochet and sewing). It is even nice to take a scented bath and just relax and enjoy ourselves. But it should not be because we need to escape our children. It is at times like that we need to choose to love them.

And I am curious about you mom's of ones. Do you go through the same feelings, emotions and difficulties as this?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Sibling Rivalry

Throughout Scripture, God frequently refers to believers as brothers (and sisters). Just do a bible search for the word BROTHER or SISTER (there but less frequently). We are to love others as our brothers.

Fast forward to today. It is very rare to see BROTHERLY love. Of course there were problems in Biblical times too (just look at Jospeh). But it seems that it is even more abundant today. Just look inside any window in any house and you will most likely seem SOME sort of bickering going on among siblings.

And I have to wonder if our lack of love and respect for each other as siblings translates as a lack of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ as adults. Just pop into most any yahoo group and you will see what I mean. Sisters in Christ tearing each other down rather than building each other up. I have left many a yahoo group because of that very thing. It burdened and grieved my heart to stay there.

So what can we do? We can pray for revival (but revival starts with US right, that won't change anyone else). We can point out each others sins (and cause more bickering). Or we can start with a NEW generation.

OUR CHILDREN.

I looked up the word "sibling rivalry" in the Websters 1828 dictionary and it was NOT THERE! One of the things I love about that version of the dictionary is it uses scripture to define most all of it's words. So I looked up "rivalry" it said:
Competition; a strife or effort to obtain an object which another is pursuing; as rivalry in love; or an endeavor to equal or surpass another in some excellence; emulation; as rivalry for superiority at the bar or in the senate.
I had always thought rivalry was fighting, not competition! So my children are competing, for what? For my time, love and attention?

I have noticed that in families where the mom and dad spend lots of time with their children (after all, love to a child is spelled T-I-M-E), that there is not nearly as much sibling rivalry as those where the parents spend more time doing their own things.

I think it is sad today that there are few Titus 2 women around. It is hard to find an older lady today who is willing to teach younger women to be chaste, good, discrete, keepers at home, to be obedient to their husbands, to love their husbands and to ... what ... LOVE THEIR CHILDREN.

Why would we need to be taught to love our children? Especially women. After all, isn't it in nature to nurture? Well, I think that after a while, the world's voice starts to speak louder than our spirit. "They are pains." "They take you away from doing the things you want to." We need to be reminded that our children ARE blessings (not curses)! The Word of God tells us it is so! And we need to CHOOSE to love them!

So I think the change really DOES have to start with us, as mothers, choosing to LOVE our children. When we love them, we are an EXAMPLE of LOVE to them. How can we expect them to be loving if they don't have an example in us?

Be the example for them. TRAIN them. When there is rivalry, don't tell them to figure it out themselves! (That is like me getting in an airplane and being told to take off fly to New York and land - I have had no training and have no idea HOW to do it.) SHOW THEM! (See link for chart from Doorposts below for a start.) They really don't know how to handle conflict. They don't know how to ask for forgiveness. And they don't know how to forgive. They need to be encouraged and shown. And one day, it will be second nature to them. But they need to be trained first.

If you have not heard of Doorposts they are an EXCELLENT organization. They have a free chart on peacemaking in the home. It is a miniature chart, but a good start for those of us who don't have the money to buy the large one yet. (They also have other free charts and checklists that I encourage you to check out.)

For the next few weeks, I have decided we are going to go through 1 Corinthians 13. Each aspect of love will be written on a large sheet of paper and put on our fridge. We will talk all about that aspect for the rest of the week.

So our first one will be LOVE IS PATIENT. We will talk all about patience and practice applying patience with each other. And I will be the model. I will show my children patience (oh Lord give me patience and give it to me now). :) When they lack patience with each other, we will talk about how they can show patience. And when they show patience, they will be reminded what a great job they are doing applying God's word. Maybe every time they show the aspect we are working on (Patience this coming week), we will put a token in a jar. At the end of the week, we will take the tokens and goto a local amusement park and play or buy some ice cream, bring it home and have Sundaes! I will prolly start on Monday, give me time to write up some stuff, post stuff around the house.

I imagine a church of believers in the future who truly do love each other as brothers and sisters in Christ because they learned at an early age how to love their own brothers and sisters at home.

Aprons For Adoption

A Christian family is wanting to adopt a child and is selling aprons to raise the money needed to adopt. Please check out Aprons For Adoption if you are interested in helping.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Lactose Intollerant Christians

So timely (with my recent posts)!

Jess has a WONDERFUL post on her blog that I highly encourage you to head over and read! I consider her a lactose intolerant sister in Christ! :) She is a meat eater and I have been so encouraged by her Bible reading!! She picks a book a month and reads through it, chewing the meat out of it! :) I have never thought of studying the Word this way and have been so blessed by it! This month she is studying through the book of Proverbs. Since there are 31 books that means one chapter a day! It is not too late to play catch up! :)

And should you be late in this, remember that you can do this YEARLY! I have read a Proverbs a day (according to the day of the month) for months now and it has been such a blessing!!!

Adorable Handmade Dress


Isn't this the MOST ADORABLE dress you have seen? ALL handmade (Rebecca, you simply MUST take pictures and WRITE as you go along so we can recreate these gems you make!) from WINDOW VALENCES! Can you believe it? Check it out!

Works For Me: Easy and Fast Slimming Dinners

A little bit of this
and a little bit of that,

eating all the leftovers

can make a momma
F_A_T
!

I cannot tell you how many times I eat a spoonful or two (or more) of SOMETHING left in the pan because I don't want to waste food, and it is too small to make another meal out of. I also cannot tell you how many POUNDS I have put on as a result of trying not to waste food! It is not only unhealthy, but also unsightly (those flabby thighs do nothing for my figure!).

So what's a girl to do? I could learn to cook ONLY what my family would eat and nothing more, but their appetites vary from meal to meal and from day to day. And more than not, I would end up with hungry little children who whine and complain (and wake up EARLY in the morning because of a hungry tummy).

I remember reading in an Amish cookbook about a woman who kept a clear Tupperware like container in her freezer where she dumped all the leftovers (including the one or two spoonfuls) and at the end of the week, made a soup/stew.

The idea of that sounded DISGUSTING to me at first. Mexican food from Monday night mixed with Indian food from Wednesday night mixed with Italian from Thursday?!?! NO THANK YOU!

However, when my husband heard the idea HE LOVED IT. A few days after Christmas, when we were sick of turkey and had tons of leftovers, he stuck EVERYTHING (and I do mean everything: stuffing, turkey, mashed potatoes EVEN THE CRANBERRY SAUCE) in the crockpot, added some chicken broth and set it to go. I will admit, that was some of the BEST eatin' I have ever had!

So I started trying it. Whenever a meal is finished, I take the leftovers and put them in a container in the fridge. Monday through Thursday I do this. I have found the secret to making ANYTHING taste REALLY GOOD together (and I do mean lip smacking can't believe I didn't do this earlier GOOD) is to add chicken broth and sautéed onions. So Friday morning, after breakfast, I sauté some onions (I like to make them a little brown). I scrape them into the crockpot, add my container of leftovers, my chicken broth and set to go. Dinner time everyone comes running!

If you do not have a crockpot, you can STILL do this and make a casserole! Add some breadcrumbs on top to help soak up some of the broth, sprinkle cheese on top shortly before serving and once brown,... YUMMO! Dinner is served.

A quick and easy meal that will help you slim down because you are not eating all those leftovers by yourself. Try it. I am sure you will like it. You just have to get over your fear of mixing foods (like I did). Last Friday literally was Spaghetti and sauce, corn, (Italian) a little bit of left over curried vegetables (Indian), Mexican vegetables (like vegetarian taco meat), refried beans, black beans, and hot sauce (Mexican). This was SO GOOD! We served it on top of corn chips with salsa and shredded cheese with lettuce. My daughter said it was so yummy I needed to write down the recipe so we could have it again. LOL!

Works For Me Wednesday is a creation of Rocks in My Dryer.

Why We Homeschool

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

More on Beth Moore and Contemplative Prayer (What it is and what's wrong with it)

You can read Part 1 here.

The purpose of me sharing this with you is not to defame Beth Moore. I am not saying that we should or should not use other women to help us in our Bible studies (although the two comments that follow this post are so right when it says that we do get the best "gems" when we mine God's word for ourselves and allow Him to speak to us directly).

The purpose of these past two posts is to share with you what contemplative prayer is and how easily one can be deceived into thinking it is Christian, and also to be aware that Christian speakers (Beth Moore for example) that we admire and follow are also falling into this belief of contemplative prayer as being godly. And that is something we should be aware of. I am not saying not to listen to or watch Beth Moore anymore. Only to be aware that she believes in CP and that CP is not of God.

I am posting this in a DIFFERENT post so that those who wish not to discuss this further can just skip over this post.

I think the question about Beth Moore is why she spoke in a DVD (Be Still DVD) that supports contemplative prayer if she says she does not support contemplative prayer.

Through the wonderful power of the internet, when sometimes things really do stick around forever even though you wished they would disappear, I was able to find the original statement made by Beth Moore AFTER the video Be Still DVD was published:

Official Statement from Beth Moore

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Recently I was interviewed for a program on prayer in which I was asked certain questions without any knowledge of what other participants would say or share. Since its release, I've been baffled by some inquiries into whether or not I am a proponent of approaches to prayer with overtones of Eastern meditation. Not only is my answer no, the thought never even occurred to me. I'm a Southern Baptist, for crying out loud! I'm afraid I have to convey the full extent of my ignorance when I tell you with stark honesty that I wasn't even aware of the controversy. I am not involved in any kind of emergent church movement or any kind of mystical prayer movement. Seeing people come to know Christ Jesus through the study of His Word is the only movement I'm part of. I thought I was simply one of a number of people who were being interviewed about approaches to prayer. I also thought that our different approaches would be part of what made the program interesting. In no way did it ever occur to me that each participant would be seen as part of the same movement.

I was told that I was asked to participate because I'd written Praying God's Word. I'm not sure you'd find anything further from a mystical, almost out-of-body prayer experience I'm being asked if I support. If I have participated in something unsound, it was hugely accidental and I ask your forgiveness. Nothing could be further from my desire. I have shared platforms with other speakers and teachers a number of times. My frustration is that any of us would be at a loss to take responsibility for every point of doctrine the others hold. I humble myself before you and ask that you would please hold me responsible for my words and answers only and, even then, please keep in mind that editors can use bits and pieces of interviews to convey something the interviewee might not have intended to say. Here's what I intended to say: pray, pray, and pray some more and learn how to listen for God's response.

Rest assured I have been greatly helped by this experience and will be more careful in the future. Thank you not only for your concern but for the accountability. I want very much to be a solid servant of God and His Word. I want to keep growing in Christ. In that process, I am more than willing to receive sound correction. I am honored to serve you.

In Christ's Name,
Beth Moore


When she sent out the retraction above, people applauded her and sighed a sigh of relief that she did not support such a thing, for everything else she teaches is so right on. The DVD quotes contemplative prayer throughout. The question then becomes WHY did she retract her statement? If she did not support contemplative prayer, why would she retract the above statement and now support the DVD??

Also, a few of her more recent books are now quoting authors of contemplative prayer, commenting that their books are some of the best and most powerful she has read.

Again, it is something to be aware of and research more. Contemplative prayer is not of God.

What is contemplative prayer and what is wrong with it?

Contemplative prayer is basically (big time paraphrasing) emptying your mind, completely, in order to be able to hear god. And this god is an all inclusive god, not the God of Abraham Issac and Jacob. Jesus gave us the example of how to pray when He gave us what is called The Lord's Prayer (Our Father who art in heaven...). We were never taught any of these eastern philosophies of emptying the mind and centering ones self in order to be able to hear God. I don't know of a single prophet, judge or other man in the Bible who did this to hear from God. In fact, in the OT, when the Israelites had left Egypt and thought that God should speak to them and not just Moses, they had to go through several days of cleaning themselves before God spoke to them directly (which if you remember was too powerful for most all of them and they begged God to speak only to Moses from now on). And God spoke to Samuel in his sleep (and he thought it was Eli calling him).

I believe we do need to be still and know He is God. But there is a difference between being still and KNOWING He is God and emptying your mind and centering yourself to HEAR from God.

I will post two quotes from one of the pages I read which sums it up beautifully:
Christian prayer should be taught as it is modeled in the Bible, particularly in the New Testament. Some key passages include: Matt. 5:43-45 (pray for our enemies); Matt. 6:6 (pray without showing off); Matt. 6:9-13 (the Lord's Prayer); Matt. 7:6 (do not pray with repetitions); Matt. 9:38 (pray for God to send workers into His harvest); Matt. 21:22 and James 1:6 (pray in faith); Lk. 18:1-8 (pray/petition without losing heart); ask in the name of Christ (Jn 16:23-24); Rom. 8:25-27 (the Holy Spirit prays for us when we do not know how to pray); 1 Cor. 14:15 (pray with the spirit and with the mind); 1 Thess. 5:17 (pray without ceasing - not mindlessly, but having an attitude of prayer and being in the Lord in all things); and James 5:14-16 (pray for the sick). Our prayers are to make use of words and thought.
And:

CP is a misnomer, since it is neither contemplation nor prayer as found in the Bible. We should be wary of any instruction that advises us to:

  • Breathe a certain way before or during prayer
  • Maintain a certain posture or bodily position
  • Repeat a word or phrase, even if it's from the Bible, or use a word or phrase to stay "focused"
  • Go beyond thinking or thought
  • To turn inward in order to find or be with God
  • Be in silence in order to truly pray
  • Believe that CP is true prayer

One more link to check out (although you can google this topic and get lots of info):
http://www.haloscan.com/tb/emergentno/114925486059350076/

My Husband's Covering and Beth Moore

I remember when I first heard Beth Moore speak. I was ignited and shared with my husband, but he said that I should not listen to her speak anymore. I couldn't understand why as everything she said seemed Biblical to me.

I admit that I was angry at first. I finally find a woman whose words ignite me on fire for the Lord, and he says not to listen to her or read her books. I didn't know why, and to be honest, neither did my husband. He said he just had a bad feeling about her. Since when do MEN get the feelings? That is MY department, right? Well now, over a year later, I know why.

My husband and I believe that there are plenty of other GOOD teachers/speakers/authors out there that whenever one subcomes to teaching something that is not of God, we feel fine in no longer being fed by that teacher/speaker/author.

I was recently warned about a new movement called contemplative prayer, and learned that Beth Moore subscribes to and supports this belief. Aren't you thankful that God gives us our husbands as our protective covering?! :)

Here is a blurb from the blog This Ones For The Girls with links that I highly encourage you to check it out, especially if you are like me and had never heard of this before. We need to be armed sisters.
Contemplative Prayer: Christians-- be discerning! If you're not familiar with this new fad/heresy here are a few links to go and click around on: Don Whitney does an excellent book review on the best-selling, Oprah endorsed book called "The Secret." Many other "big names" in evangelical Christianity are jumping on the Contemplative bandwagon. David Jeremiah and Beth Moore to name a few. I am shaking my head in sadness.
(NOTE: a friend just informed me that the Beth Moore link above might not be giving everyone the whole story. If you scan down in the article and do not see the chapter entitled BETH MOORE AND CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER then please comment or email me and I will get you the full article where she quotes founder of the contemplative movement in her books saying that they are some of the best material she has read. Again, as with ALL things, read with prayer and discernment. I share this information with so you can make an informed decision, I am not trying to persuade anyone to believe anything NOR am I trying to defame anyone. As with ALL THINGS, we should lift this up in prayer. I share this about Beth Moore, not to make you stop listening to her, but to let you know that there is a side of her to be aware of.)

I just want to put a little plug here for Nancy Leigh DeMoss at Revive Our Hearts. She has become my favorite speaker/author. They have a radio show you can listen to every day for free online (or your local station might carry it). And they have a podcast of the program as well. She also has a 30 day Husband Encouragement that I highly encourage YOU to check out as well as other free downloads. :) And her WONDERFUL book Biblical Womanhood in the Home is free online (for a limited time)! You will NOT be disappointed by Nancy's work! :)

Oh and a little tip, if you have a Mardel bookstore in your area, if you look in their discounted books, you can sometimes get Nancy's stuff at a REALLY good price! I paid $2 for my copy of Biblical Womanhood in the Home. I also got her Lies Women Believe book and workbook for $2 each!

Part 2 More on Beth Moore, her statement of retraction, removing her support of the DVD, which she later retracted and endorsed the DVD again, and what is contemplative prayer and what is wrong with it Part 2

Monday, March 5, 2007

Trashy Parenting

Oh I love the title of Rocks in My Dryer's newest post Trashy Parenting.

Here is just a blurb:
And then, in a rare moment of inspired parenting, I made a deal with them. "You can keep each of these things, but you have to spend 30 minutes playing with that item, and that item alone, tomorrow."

There were looks of bewilderment all around, while they tried to imagine what they could do with a headless action figure for half an hour. "If it's fun enough to keep, it's fun enough to play with for 30 minutes," I explained.

And wonder of wonders, the WHOLE BOX went into the trash, without argument. Can it be that I've finally found a way to inspire them to throw things away? I'm filing this one away to use again.
Oh too funny. I love this idea of what to say when they want to keep everything! I know that for myself, every Sunday (when we remember) we have the children each get rid of one (or more) toys. Makes it easier for them (sometimes) then giving way a lot of stuff at once. And since we are working on decluttering ONE (or more) things a day, it shows the children that we are in a constant need of re-evaluating what we own.

Hopefully, one day we will reach a point where we are content with all we have. If we truly NEED something, that is the only time we will buy it, and when we do, we will get rid of something(s) in order to make new room for it. And the wants will be far and few between and will mostly be things that attribute value to our lives (through beauty and godliness).