Saturday, September 29, 2007

And now a message from our sponsor

Hello friends and fellow bloggers. This is Paula's husband. Last Thursday morning our young son JJ had great difficulty breathing. Being naturally caring and responsible parents we took him to the nearby hospital. Through a series of issues not related, Paula and JJ are still in the hospital and not scheduled to return until Monday at the very soonest, though it's very likely they may be held until Tuesday or even later.

Giving out any more details would not be prudent at this time; Paula will fill you all in when she returns from the hospital with JJ.

Please pray for guidance and wisdom to be granted to Paula and myself during this difficult time, and lift a special prayer up for poor JJ.

Many thanks and blessings,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


If you are not sure who to vote for in the 2008 election, Jess' blog will help out. :)

Why Does It Seem To Always Boil Down To Finances? :(

Finances have gotten REALLY tight over here. Who or where hasn't it?

I have been working on some ideas for my etsy store. I have also been thankful for my list because last week was our number 29 where we lived on what we had and did not buy anything and just ate out of the pantry again.

I have also thought about doing like Merideth and trying to make some money off a purchase from Goodwill or Salvation Army. But she does give a warning that you need to KNOW the value of something, otherwise you are just wasting time and money. And I don't know much about anything like that. And her latest post is MOST encouraging!

I have also gone through and gathered some items to sell on ebay as well as Craigslist, and hopefully we can make some good money off those.

I recently read about Cash For Books. Cash For Books - We Buy Books & We Pay The Shipping!. If PaperBack Swap is not for you, then check out Cash For Books. They buy books AND pay the shipping! It looks good so far. The recommendation comes from Biblical Womanhood. So far it looks really good. So we will see. I hope to post some books soon and see what they are willing to pay. If it is not worth it, then I will be using my favorite way to save money on books! :D Not only has it saved me money on books (coming up on saving $100 so far!, but it also saves me clutter! I have to get rid of one book before another one comes into the house. :)

So hopefully Cash For Books or PaperBack Swap, one of the two will work for you!! :)

Stupid Dress

Stupid is not a word I really want my girls to use. I am not sure where they heard it (I am sadly guessing it is me). Anyways, I heard MM upstairs yelling and crying and fussing with what I thought was her sister. I get upstairs and here her say "stupid stupid stupid dress!" As soon as I realized she had been fighting with her dress, I had to take a picture. She had some how managed to tie the ribbon part of her dress to the bunk bed ladder!!! LOL!!! My laughter and the camera resulted in her smiling instead of the angry face she just had. LOL!!! She took the dress off after wearing it three days in a row and called it stupid one more time, as if triumphant! :D She has NOT put that dress back on again. Click on the pic for credits.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Another SHOPPEr

SO I admit, I am a little bit envious.

You see, I opened up my own etsy store a few weeks ago. I have been working on a few more things to add, but right now it is just those adorable dress bookmarks/favors. BTW --- we are going to be having another tea - this time a Mommy daughter Autumn tea. I am so excited and will be share details in the future, but I am making harvest dresses as the favors!! I am so excited! Of subject, sorry.

But my friend, Tracy, just opened up her shop and has already sold something!! CONGRATS TRACY! :) And welcome to the world of ETSY!

SHOPPE is an acronym I created to help endorse stay at home mom's who are trying to help with the income in the spirit of the Proverbs 31 woman.
Stewards Helping Other Proverbs 31 Entrepreneurs
I highly encourage you to click on the SHOPPE in the right hand side bar and help support other SHOPPErs. THANK YOU! If you are a SHOPPEr and want to be listed, PLEASE let me know!!

Just 15 Minutes

He was supposed to be home by now. The wife became ever more angry, not only at his tardiness, but as his lack of thoughtfulness to call to let her know he and the children were alright.

She had tried calling the cell phone several times and left several messages as he was not picking up.

"Why doesn't he answer the phone!" she thought, although it was more of an angry exclamation than an actual question.

The wife had been having a bad day, and now it was past time for dinner, the dinner which the husband was supposed to be bringing home, and the kids he didn't take with him were now asking for dinner.

With each phone call she made to the cell phone, she became increasingly mad and increasingly worried.

Finally he called, worried that with so many phone calls to the cell, she was in trouble or something was wrong. He really should know by now that all those phone calls are really because of her worry about him, as well as the underlying tone of "I want you home fast."

He had one more thing to do. It would not take more than 15 minutes before he would be home. The grocery store was his last stop and it was only 3 minutes for their house. Fifteen minutes to check out, load up the few kids he had with him and drive home.

As the husband pulled out of the parking lot of the grocery store, he noticed a most horrific accident that had he left 15 minutes sooner, he would have been in. The car was wrapped around and flipped over, and worst of all, there was a limp and unconscious, possibly dead body still in the car.

Sometimes a wife just needs to thank God for a husband who take 15 minutes more to do something and ask God and her husband for forgiveness for her attitude. Those 15 minutes saved my husband's and daughter's lives. This is a true story.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

With Whom Do Your Children Spend Their Time?

Sometimes I am frowned upon by other mothers. I do not allow my children to play unsupervised. I am not the "go play in the basement while Momma fellowships" kind of Momma. I do not even allow the three of my girls to play by themselves. My children are little sinners. And when unsupervised, sin likes to find them out. And I do not want to allow sin to take root in their heart because I was too selfish and wanted some "grown-up" or "me" time.

I am also VERY particular about who I allow my children to be with right now while they are young and impressionable. They are still like wet cement. Anything that happens to them will leave an impression in them. I want their impressions to be things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report and has virtue.

I remember so many times my parents allowed me to chose the friends I hung out with. And I know the struggles I have today as a result of things I learned, heard and did with those "friends." I do not want my children to have the same struggles.

I know that this world is not a perfect world. And there are people in the world that my children will have to encounter that do not love God, and that are not respectful people. And I will train my children on how to show God's love to them. But just as I would not chose them for a friend or to hang out with, I too want to teach my children how to pick wise friendships. Ones that will encourage and edify her and ones that she can help encourage and edify. That is not to say that you cannot share God's love with those whom you would not chose to befriend. Just be wise in whom you spend the majority of your time with. Redeeming their time wisely. Another verse.

A friend of mine has the PERFECT analogy of why it is so important to root our children in the truth of God's word at a young age before allowing them to be exposed to the world.

Bankers, when they are being trained are only trained with real money. They become so familiar with real money that they know exactly how real money sounds, feels, smells and looks. They are not given any counterfeits to work with. Only real, honest, truthful money. When they are released to work in the bank, they are so familiar and rooted in what real money is, that they can quickly and easily spot the counterfeits!

I believe it is the same way with our children. You want your child so rooted in God's word and truth, that when the enemy throws a lie at them, anything contrary to God's word would send off alarms in the child as something that is not true. At that point you can talk to the child about what that lie is, why it is a lie, and end again with God's truth.

Sometimes that means that I lose a possible friendship with another mother. Sometimes it means I am ridiculed by others. But to me, my children are worth it. I do not want to stand one day before God and have to admit that I did not do everything I could to train my children up in the fear and admonition of the Lord.


I thought I would let those of you who are interested in PaperBack Swap, but have not taken the plunge yet know that very soon they will be changing the amount of free credits they give you. Right now, you get three free credits after listing your 9 initial books (remember you DO get credit for each of those nine that are received by other members, so you have a possible 12 credits if all nine of your books are received by other members).

THIS WILL BE CHANGING AS OF OCTOBER 5!! You will have to post 10 initial books and you will only get two free credits (still giving you a possibility of 12 total credits, but you miss out on the extra freebie). So if you have not already signed up, now is a GREAT time to do so! And please do leave my email as the referring email as I do get credit if you join AND post your nine initial books. THANKS TO THE TWO LADIES WHO HAVE DONE THAT!!! :D

Sister Shoebox Swap Goodies!

OH how blessed I was when I got my box last week!! I got so many goodies! And my girls were just as excited about them as I was. First, it arrived in this HUGE box! I thought "That is SOOOOO much bigger than a shoe box! You can fit ten shoeboxes in there!" I was a bit worried as my gift to her just barely fit into ONE shoebox! LOL! But thankfully it was mostly just paper! :)

But under the paper was the most beautiful box! The box was no ordinary shoebox, it was part of the gift!

Here is my montage of goodies! LOOK AT ALL THAT WONDERFUL REFRESHING STUFF!!!

Here are a few close ups.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the tea cup! It makes a wonderful addition to our collection and what a WONDERFUL story we have to tell with it! I have decided to take a picture of each cup and saucer we get and create a small little notebook. Each page will have a picture of the cup and saucer (for identifying purposes) along with the story behind how we got it.

And how cute is that tag! Looks so vintage! I could not get a good picture of it, sorry. But you get the idea. :)

And I just LOVE that button jar! There is a little strawberry inside (made with matching fabric to the lid). This is just so adorable and I just LOVE it! So do my girls!

And I just LOVE the three heart sachets (they smell SO GOOD) and this little quilt square. They are going in my bathroom (I have a HUGE tub area to hold all my pretty little goodies). I will put the heart sachets in my drawers, and the little quilt will host all my bathroom goodies to use when I take a refreshing bath.

THANK YOU SO MUCH TRACY for all these wonderful gifts. TO see what I gave her, click here.

And thanks so much to Monica and Carrie for hosting this fun fun swap!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday Link Up


There are a lot of tutorials out there right now for fabric shopping bags. THIS BAG is not only beautiful (look at that YUMMY fabric!) but functional as well (love that shopping list and coupons holder!!!). She does not have a tutorial up YET, but hopefully will soon. Keep an eye out!!! :)

While we do not celebrate Halloween, we do like to carve pumpkins. Extreme Pumpkins looks like a great book to see if I can check out of the library!

I know garden planting time is almost over, but I just HAD to share these two posts. Composting and Worm Farming are two things you can do/start ANYTIME of the year. Starting now means rich soil come spring/planting time!!! Of course it is spring right now in Australia where these two posts come from. They are WELL worth the read.

And I am just the tiniest envious of this way cute cherry camper. She said more pics soon, so keep an eye out.

OK, so you know I love the Sew Mama Sew blog. They have a Boy's Clothes Tutorial Round-Up of FREE on-line tutorials for boys clothes!! Now if I could just save up enough money for those adorable patterns they sell!

And I am sure most all of you already know about Kelli's new magazine called Seasonal Delights! And it is FREE right now!! This is a beautiful magazine!
And lastly, I just love these cute little note cards!! I plan on doing these with the kids! (This is a GREAT idea for the letter making part of the TOD-KAH curriculum!) A great way to use up scraps of wrapping paper and/or scrapping paper. :) And while you are there check out the rest of her blog. It is really good!

Monday, September 17, 2007

What Makes You A Christian?

Last night beloved and I were discussing the first chapter of James and started talking about divorce and how sad it was that the divorce rate among "Christians" was quickly becoming greater than that of people who are not "Christians."

He said that if Christians had a lower divorce rate it might actually cause people to stand up and take notice. "Why do most Christian marriages last? What do they have that we don't?"

I told my husband that if they were to do a poll on those who were true, Bible-believing, born-again Christians the statistics would be completely different. For in the circles that I follow, it is very rare to see a woman who has been divorced. They need to poll THOSE Christians. But how to differentiate those Christians from other "Christians" over the phone for a poll would be politically incorrect.

He then asked me "What makes you a Christian?"

And I will ask you that right now. What makes YOU a Christian?

Think about it for a minute and then read on as to my answer.

I answered him "Because I am a follower of Christ."

He said that was the difference right there. Most people would most likely answer "Because I believe in Jesus." Well, scary thought, but even the demons believe but still have a life in the lake of fire.

We are called, as Christians, to be set apart. Yet, are we? What sets us apart? Christian music stations blare music so similar to secular that the only difference is the "repent" message hidden deep within, and sometimes not even that! I am now hearing songs from my youth played on Christian radio stations! Christian stores sell clothing that looks the same, and just as immodest, but with a different message of "repent". Even Christian movies and cartoons .... same style, different message. You can even hear Christian talk shows and youth groups with the same language as the world, but again with a different message. You get the point. And there is not even a difference when it comes to keeping sacred the vows you took before God to love, honor and cherish one another till death do you part?

So why would any non-believer have cause to stand up and take notice of you? What do you have that they don't? With all the mimicry of the world, the Christian does not even have to deny themselves anything! Want to wear a certain style or listen to a certain type of music, but don't want the guilt? Just do it the "Christian" way. What happened to self-denial and the discipline that comes with it? What cause do we have to "die to oneself" when all a "Christian" has to do is turn the corner and there is some other form of worldly mimicry to follow and take the place of the worldly? Jesus then becomes the "get out of hell free" card like in the game of Monopoly. Not a Lord of Life, or King of Kings.

It is so easy to become complacent when there is no self-denial. And then there is no growth.

Please understand I am not saying this to draw attention to myself. I may be a follower of Christ, but I am a poor one at that. I am a sinner who struggles and continues to work daily to die to self and take up my cross. I share this because of the conviction I felt the other night. I so want Christians (myself and my children included) to be and do all God has created us to be and do for His glory. And not to be imitators of the world, but to be imitators of Christ. I want my children to be followers of Christ,

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Winner of Open Heart, Open Home

My girls are so cute every time they get to pick the winner of one of my contests. They get so excited. It was AAs turn to pick. She was so excited for the winner. She is an avid book lover (will sit and let you read to her for hours), so was was very excited that the winner was getting a book.

So, on to the winner...

Gracious Hospitality!! Congrats!!

Thanks to EVERYONE who entered. It really made me so happy that you took the time to enter. :)

I also am adding a link to my post below. When I went to inform Gracious Hospitality of her win, I was able to catch up on her blog and noticed she had the most amazing cabin woods tea!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

MMP - Tea Party: Let Them Eat Cake!

I have had such a BLAST with this series! I hope it blesses you. I know that it has blessed me and helped remind me of some things **I** had forgotten! :) Be sure to scroll down to enter my giveaway from Tuesday!

(Pic of MM - 4yr at our tea. Kale is a wonderful garnish to use to serve salads and beans on - it is so curly, vibrant green and more hearty than lettuce.)

Food prep is another wonderful area to allow the children to participate. Look through tea books from the library and allow the girls to pick out what they would like to have. Keep in mind your theme (or lack of it for simplicity) and remind them of it. Here are some examples from the extravagant and fun to the simple and elegant:

All fans of Anne of Green Gables will remember the infamous Raspberry Cordial! I had always thought "I need to find a recipe for fun it would be!" Well look no further! Recipes for SEVERAL different types of cordial! TOO FUN!!! This would be GREAT with/for the Avonlea Tea Party!!!

When we think of tea, we usually think of pretty pink roses and white everywhere, but what about a lovely fall tea?!?! I just love this! Those girls in warm clothing, the fallen leaves all around! And recipes too! Check it out! :) And check out this wonderful cabin woods tea!!

And I just LOVED this idea of a Sweet Tea. Look at those desserts and those colors! Desserts are really an easy thing for little girls to make. Especially the no bake ones! You can find LOTS of no bake recipes for desserts on the web.

One of the fellow Make Mine Pink Teas had a LOVELY afternoon tea with FRUIT! Check out how beautiful! I love the simple mug o' flowers! TOO CUTE! And what a wonderful idea to serve FRUIT! So many times we try to make things complicated by making mini-this and small that. Give your kids a melon baller and let them go at it! (And for fun, you can cut up a watermelon into a swan or a basket - this is especially great for older girls to try.) This is also the PERFECT theme for those unexpected guests you want to have to tea! Fruit is so easy --- especially strawberries! Why not make up some raw chocolate dip? 1/2 cup raw carob powder to 3/4 cup honey or raw agave nectar and stir. Fill small cups with a small amount of dip for each place setting. This is yummier than you think!

And probably the best and most important tea you can have. This sums it up perfectly!

And I am so thankful I found the Tea Party Girl who teaches you the art and beauty of the afternoon tea. Make sure you have some time (and a cup of tea!) to enjoy this in-depth blog!

And thanks to A Scrapbook of Inspiration for two WONDERFUL links:
Tea Parties For Children (previous link broken, click here for the archive)and Royal Tea Parties For Young Ladies.

And one more on Polite Table Behavior.

And as a favor to all who have joined in the blogsphere on the week of teas (either by hosting or by visiting), The wonderful ladies at What If...? have created a beautiful bookmark for everyone. (Edited note: the link for the bookmark is no longer working)

Thanks SO MUCH to Make Mine Pink for hosting this lovely week of teas!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

MMP - Tea Party: Fancy Hats and White gloves

If you are coming here from the Make Mine Pink blog, WELCOME! I hope you will enjoy tea with me! :) Be sure to see previous posts. This is a week long tea! :) (And a giveaway too! Be sure to enter on Tuesday's post!) I have so enjoyed visiting the other teas!! Some of them are so very elegant while others are just plain FUN!!

Sometimes it is nice to come up with a theme, but it is not always necessary. Sometimes an unexpected guest comes over and you can invite them to tea! :) And without a theme, there is also no pressure on your guest to dress a certain way.

But it is oh so FUN to dress up! I love to collect fancy hats. You can find them at almost any thrift store. They are a bit more difficult to find at garage sales, but I have found a few. Fancy hats are so much fun! We wear them all the time (not just at our tea parties). Collecting them allows me to pick and choose which one to wear and which one to share! Imagine the fun your guests will have being able to pick a nice fancy hat to wear! While straw hats are nice, they seem to attract little feet which step on and break them easily. I highly encourage you to search out the fabric/ribbon/crocheted ones. There are also lots of free patterns on the web for you to make your own hat. (Pic of AA - 7yr)

You can also find those old bridesmaid dresses that no one ever got to wear again. Maybe you can fit in one or one of your guests can. But you can also allow your girls to wear them! And if you are a good seamstress (or know someone who is), you can alter the dress or make a new one! One of my friends has a daughter who made a dress for her sister using the skirt of one of these fancy dresses!

You can also find white gloves at most dollar stores now. I got a pair for each of my girls at the dollar store.

Of course, dressing up for tea is nice, but not if it is going to make your guests uncomfortable! Know who you are inviting and if they are the kind of person who would have the attire to dress up. And if not, then offer to let them borrow one of your dresses/hats, again, only if you know it will not offend them.

The main point of all this is not to show off. In fact, this can be used as an opportunity to teach them that beauty is the hidden person of the heart and not the outward adorning. But it is a good thing, especially in this day and age, to "walk feminine, talk feminine, smile and beguile feminine". In other words, it is important for our girls to LEARN TO BE FEMININE! And not just feminine, but modestly feminine - they need to learn to be ladies.

My girls get enough roughing around gardening, climbing trees, camping, hiking and the like. Dressing up for a tea party is a wonderful time/way to remind them of their femininity. And what a wonderful time to treat those shut-ins and elderly like ladies too. So even if you don't have the fancy dress, fancy hat and white gloves...encourage your girls and guests to dress up. Even if it is just for the party. :)

Tomorrow: Let Them Eat Cake!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

MMP - Tea Party: Decorations and Favors

If you are coming here from the Make Mine Pink blog, WELCOME! I hope you will enjoy tea with me! :) Be sure to see Monday and Tuesdays post. This is a week long tea! :)

So many times when I used to think of a tea party, I used to think of all the pretty decorations. But don't think that has to break the bank. The best way I have found to decorate inexpensively is to allow your daughters to do it.

First, they need the practice. What better way for your child to learn than to do it herself? One day she will have a home of her own and need to know how to decorate it. And secondly, you have no idea how many nice and pretty things you have lying around the house that the girls have a way of finding that you never knew you had (or even thought was pretty) until you let three little girls go searching. LOL! :D

Allow her to pick out the flowers (real or silk) for the centerpiece and help her to arrange them. Talk about how you don't want the flowers too high because you want to be able to see each other across the table, so a small, basket full would be perfect. Maybe you can even look through a book at the library on flower arranging.

We recently bought a HUGE bag of silk flowers at a thrift store. We put them all in basket and allow the children to pull out for them and decorate up the table for tea or dinner. Here is the centerpiece we used for our tea. It was arranged by AA (7yr).

Once, when the repair man came over, my daughter covered the table in her favorite bed sheet, took a cup of water and cut flowers from the backyard and placed them in the cup. All for the repair man! LOL!!

Did she just say favorite bed sheet?

Yes, I did just say favorite bed sheet. :D Allow her to take her favorite bed sheet and use it for a cloth covering for the table. If it gets tea on it, it can be washed! And if nothing else, you can always buy another sheet. But the training and keeping your daughter's heart here is more important than the cost of any sheet.

Try not to limit your child here too much. Remember, the point is not to be perfect, the point is to encourage, teach and train her. Are you training her that perfection is more important than people? While we want it to look nice, and we want our children to do their best, perfection is not what we are aiming for. We are aiming to teach our children to do their best for God. And if my daughter sees God's beauty in the rosey bed sheets, and spreads it out smoothly on the table, accompanied by a small cup of flowers and does it to the best of her ability with the heart of a servant ... goal attained.

You can also encourage them to MAKE the decorations. Maybe they can make a nice quilt to cover the table, or crochet doilies to put under the sandwiches. Even those paper circles intertwined with one another strung up across the ceiling can be pretty AND make your child feel happy she accomplished and participated in something so beautiful.

White "Christmas" lights are a wonderful way to light up and bring ambiance to your party without a lot of cost (or the fire hazard of candles and children). You can always find these really cheap at the after Christmas sales (and sometimes even garage sales).

And everyone loves to take home a little gift, aka favors. My girls LOVE to give gifts to people who come to our house. They will actually fill up a small brown bag of items for our guest to take home with them. All things of their own, or things they have made. My daughter is currently learning to crochet and practiced her chain stitch by making necklaces for everyone. It was really nice! I still have mine (and my mom's). LOL!! :)

Also, it is so fun to create place settings!

For our place cards, we made these adorable crocheted dress bookmarks and printed out names and made them into scrolls (if my handwriting were better we would have hand written them). A place setting AND a favor in one! And about the elderly guest who can no longer read? Put a small magnet on the back for her fridge!

Don't know how to crochet and want some of these for your tea party? Just ask! I will be happy to do a custom order! Or check out my store to see if I have any in stock.

I hope you are enjoying this series as much as I am. It was truly a joy to do this with my girls and I love teaching them through something so fun and feminine. And I am so enjoying it with you!

Tomorrow: Fancy Hats and White Gloves

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MMP - Tea Party: Hospitali-tea :)

If you are coming here from the Make Mine Pink blog, WELCOME! I hope you will enjoy tea with me! :)

Hospitality is a Christian virtue that has been all but forgotten.

"For many people, hospitality is practiced only to meet their own social needs. Sometimes it is a self-glorifying show to impress other's with one's home or entertainment skills. In contrast, Christian hospitality is humble, sacrificial service." - Alexander Strauch

I love the definition of hospitality. I love using the 1828 version of the Webster's Dictionary. Most all of it's definitions are defined by Scripture.

HOSPITAL'ITY, n. [L. hospitalitas.] The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in what we think hospitality is, that we give our children the wrong impression. I know that I grew up thinking hospitality was only acceptable if the house was spotless and you knew everyone coming and you only invited the right kind of people. And of course came the praises with showing off your house and collection of board games. And even then, hospitality was reserved for special occasions: birthday and holidays.

Now that I know that is not the kind of hospitality God wants me to show, it is my pleasure to show my daughters how God would have us be hospitable to one another. For in doing so, you might be entertaining angels...

Don't just invite kids to your tea party! While an all kid tea party is sweet and fun, there are plenty of shut-ins, widows, and elderly who would be so glad to come to your daughter's tea party! They need the love of Christ shown to them just as much as the little children do.

And don't allow a house that is in less than perfect condition keep you from hospitality! You can keep the tea to one room in your house that you clean. OR you can host the party on the front porch. OH how I wish we would bring back the front porch! Grab one of those tables you always see at garage sales for $1 (the round ones with three legs). Cover and bring out your chairs! :) You can also have it in your garden or in the backyard. (I will talk more about decorating tomorrow.)

I think a tea party is a wonderful way for children to learn to show Christian hospitality.

  • Make sure to watch your guests cup to see if they need a refill/top off.
  • Ask them about themselves and talk very little about your own self. (If you need help with this, as we all must learn before we can teach, allow your children to see you take interest in the lives of others. A great book to help you is 201 Great Questions by Jerry D. Jones.)
  • Serve others before yourself.
  • Respect your elders and respect others.
  • Give glory and honor to God for His blessings (instead of taking credit for them yourself).
I so hope that you will take the time to plan a tea party with your girls and invite an elderly woman from church (or maybe an elderly neighbor that doesn't get out much).

Again, we cannot teach our daughters something we do not ourselves know. I was never taught hospitality. But here are a few books that will help teach you so you can teach your daughters:

The Hospitality Commands by Alexander Strauch
The Personal Touch: Encouraging Others Through Hospitality by Crabb
L'Abri by Edith Schaeffer
Hospitality With Confidence by Pittman
We Didn't Know They Were Angels: Hospitality Even When It's Inconvenient by Doris Greig
Be My Guest by Vivian Anderson Hall

AND one of my favorite
Open Heart, Open Home by Mains
I am giving away a copy of this wonderful book. To be entered, simply comment on this post that you want to be entered. Advertise on your blog, and get a second entry! Winner to be announced Saturday morning/afternoon. Entries accepted until winner announced.

Tomorrow: Decorating

Monday, September 10, 2007

MMP - Tea Party: The Cups and Saucers

I am so excited for a full week of tea parties!!!!

If you are coming here from the Make Mine Pink blog, WELCOME! I hope you will enjoy tea with me! :)

I am not sure what the others are doing, but being a mom of three little girls (and one boy who I am sure will get dragged into tea parties and dress-up by his sisters despite his protest), I am taking a different approach to the tea party. I hope you will indulge me.

I want to share ways to have fun tea parties with your children, teaching them grace and responsibility, without breaking the bank! :)

First, you need to have the tea set! :)

I used to buy all the plastic tea party sets. And while those are cute and fine, I really started feeling like I wanted MORE for my daughters. The plastic tea sets were played with a lot at first, but even with my encouragement, the tea parties waned and I found myself looking for something more. Especially after reading this article about teaching responsibility using a real tea set.

What better way to train up your daughter to have a proper tea party than with a proper tea set?! :)

Now I am not saying to go out and buy a tea set. That would be way too expensive. And who says that it all has to match perfectly? A friend of my mother's has a different cup and saucer for each guest at her table. Having tea with her was so fun! There was a story behind each place setting! It was so fun to hear the stories behind each tea cup as we drank tea!

So what I have started doing is shopping for tea cups and saucers with my girls. They are only 7yr, 5yr and 4 yr, but it is so FUN to see them get so excited about tea cups! We mostly shop garage sales, thrift stores and recently I started taking my oldest to the antique stores. I can just imagine a few years from now, all us girls sitting around the table drinking tea and talking about how much fun we had buying such and such cup at the antique store! :)

I know that it is also scary to allow your children to hold REAL cups and saucers (compared to plastic), but I cannot tell you the pride and joy they have on their face as they accomplish holding and having tea like a Mommy!! And they are being trained to be responsible young ladies.

So even if you do not have a tea set passed down to you from your grandma, or an expensive set you bought, remember you can still have a very beautiful (though very shabby chic) tea set one cup and saucer at a time. :)

Tomorrow: Teaching Our Daughters Hospitali-TEA! :)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Free Stuff For Moms and Kids

Sorry no Family Fun (click on sidebar for JUST FOR FUN for ideas) or Saturday Sweethearts (click on sidebar ROMANCE for ideas). Hopefully I will get back to those next week.

Those of you who read my blog know I LOVE FREE stuff!

First there was FREE BOOKS via PaperBack Swap.

Now, using the same sort of program, there is FREE STUFF for moms and kids via Kizoodle!

AND if you sign up using my referral code, you get 2 EXTRA FREE CREDITS!!! A nice incentive to remember to use my referral code. :)


You get 5 free credits just for signing up. The two extra for using my referral code brings you up to SEVEN CREDITS! :)

I have a few toys that did not sell in the last garage sale that I could use this for. And the great thing about it, is you don't get just one credit per item (like with PaperBack Swap. You decide what your item is worth and get that many credits!! :) Check it out. And please be sure to use my referral code!!! I only wish someone had referred ME so I could have gotten an extra two free credits!!! :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Yesterday's Doctor Visit And Where To Go From Here

The doctor was WONDERFUL with baby JJ!! Checked him from head to toe. And even told me that he was doing well developmentally as well as nutritionally (as far as he could tell, there are certain signs of malnutrition and JJ showed the opposite of those signs).

We do not immunize, which the doctor said was a good thing because it allows us to rule that out immediately as there are so many bad things (formaldehyde, etc.) in immunizations that could be the culprit and could have made things worse (most of his patients are autistic children).

Now to the bad news, some thing is keeping baby JJ from growing. He is 16 months and 16 pounds. He is a tiny little thing and at this point we just have no clue as to why.

And that means a massive blood test. His veins are so tiny that they might collapse if his blood is not drawn perfectly. AND they need a large amount of blood to run all the tests needed. And because his veins are so tiny, it is best to do it all at once than come back again and again. SOOOOOoooooo, if you could PLEASE PRAY that we are able to find someone who has experience drawing blood from TINY babies. We appreciate it.

The good things about the blood test for allergies compared to the scratch test (which I went through several times growing up) are several:

Firstly, you don't have a baby with an itchy back who doesn't understand why his back itches and is miserable and crying.

Secondly, the scratch test (where they prick/scratch sections all over your back, apply small amounts of irritants to each prick and then wait for a reaction) really only tests your sensitivity to a small degree. The blood test can not only find what you are truly allergic to, but can find out what you are allergic to that you might not show an immediate reaction to (you remember the baby food books told you when introducing a new food wait 3-5 days for a reaction, well the blood tests finds out what those 3-5 day ones are).

Thirdly, you can be sensitive to something, but your reaction would not be physical, but emotional. Moms who have kids with gluten sensitivities (like two of my children do) KNOW that a certain food can make your child completely irritable and hyper.

I am so thankful to be able to see this new doctor and get this test done. It will allow me to know for certain what foods baby JJ can NOT have, so I can avoid those. But just as important is to know what foods he CAN have so I can add more foods to his diet (without fear) that will possibly help to bulk him up.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

His Mercy Is Never Ending

I am so amazed at how wonderful God is to me. I can forget my quiet time with Him and put Him on the back burner (sadly so). And yet He still loves and cares for me. His mercy is NEVER ENDING! Amen and AMEN!

As you know, Baby JJ had a severe allergic reaction recently. He has been throwing up foods for a while now and had two other reactions (not nearly as severe as this last). There is a doctor here that is an answer to prayer. But the soonest opening they had was Oct 30. I grabbed it knowing that I knew God wanted baby JJ to be seen sooner. So I prayed.

I am so thankful for God blessing my life with children. I never knew what it really meant to be on my knees until God gave me children. Either I am convicted through them, or praying for them.

"Lord, if it is your will, allow JJ to get an appointment sooner than Oct 30. You know how urgent I feel this is. Give me peace to accept the time of the appointment and wisdom to do what I need to until that time."

Not five minutes later, we received a call saying they had a cancellation and would we be able to come in TOMORROW at 9AM!!!

I leave you with this thought which was posed to me today:
Do you have God just for your salvation, or do you have Him for your Lord? Are you surrendered to Him truly and fully?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tuesday Link Up

What Mom does NOT know the brothers who do the blog The Rebelution?!?!?! LOL!! They have a blog that talks more about Huckabee and a GREAT VIDEO that you must see (even if you THINK you know who you want to vote for (this is aimed at other Republicans who might be voting for RP).

The importance of holding to the BIBLE as the only standard when raising our children said better than I ever could.

HT: Making It Home

I am so thankful to the Lord that He has blessed us not only with one, but four beautiful and health children. I know that there are some out there that are unable to have children (a painful subject that I do not even know how to begin to broach). But maybe this song can help.

HT: Making It Home

Looking for a gift for a new (or second or third time) mom? A new mom might not realize the GENIUS in burp cloths, but the seasoned mom will thank you again and again!!! And so will the new mom once she realizes how wonderful these are! OK, so enough said. Go check it out! there is a video to show you how they work.

With all the canning go on (and yes, even my HUSBAND has just finished canning), you might be interested in knowing that there is a pectin that allows you to make jam using LESS SUGAR! You can read more about that from The Family Homestead Makes Jam. Pictures of the Orchard Butter (YUMMO) that my beloved made to come!!!

Oh this is TOO COOL! Old Time Cookbook For Girls from the Gutenberg Project!!!

HT: Unfolding Grace

I came across this site which is very interesting. It is the story about one woman's journey to find out more about fashion and why women kill themselves for it AND does it even matter? She made herself a dress (yes, there is a pattern) and wore the same dress 365 days - one full year (and if you are wondering - like I did - yes, she washed it). :) Very interesting read. (And if you are wondering, yes, I saved the pattern - I am a free pattern junkie!)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: Friendly Encouters

It is so important to my husband that he and I are friends. Of course, he is my best friend, and I can say that with all honesty. But to him, friendship is more than just being able to open up and share your inner most self. It is DOING things.

After this past week of frustration with the court case and baby JJ and his allergic reaction to eggs, I really wanted to do something fun with one of my friends. She had invited me to go to the waterpark with her (I do not get to waterparks very often because my husband does NOT like waterparks). I thought it was a great idea!!

But my husband had other things in mind. He wanted to go to the State Fair. And he wants to go to a local Apple Orchard (a family tradition for 9 years). Now to ME, the farm is open many more weeks and the State Fair is open a few more days, but the waterpark closes this weekend.

But my husband shared how he really wanted to be with me and our family. What woman in her right mind can resist THAT? :D So instead of pouting about not going to the waterpark, I get on my knees and thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful husband. A man who loves to spend time with me and his family.

This is just one instance of a time when my husband wanted to do something "friendly" like with me. It speaks his love language, and anytime I can fulfill a love language, I do my best to.

What is something "friendly" that your husband likes to do?Does he like to go hiking or camping? Maybe he wants to go to the baseball game? While it may not be your cup of tea, I guarantee you it will be worth it for you to find out what he likes and then make his interests your own. You never day you might find your husband just taking interest in one of YOUR interests because he sees how much FUN it is to take interest in your spouses interests!!! :) But even if he doesn't, at least you will be spending more time together. :)

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. :)