Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Today's Doings

Our local health food store had their stainless steel water bottles on sale. WOOHOO!! So I bought some. I have been wanting to lose weight (read NEEDING to) and I know a part of that is drinking enough water. Beloved and I have a bet going (reminesent of our dating years where we would make bets of who would do something to the other person like massage the winners feet and then play air hockey). As long as BOTH of us drink the required amount of water (2 liters at this point), then everyone is a winner. Whoever doesn't drink the required amount is the loser. Today is day one. I am the winner. :)

And now to the sad (and a bit scary news). Beloved has an inguinal hernia. My beloved was born with one and had emergency surgery where they promptly removed 6 inches of his colon. Normally, if he had a hernia, it really would not be a big deal (unless it became strangulated). HOWEVER, because this is in the same area he had his previous one, it is likely that the wall is very damaged. :( The surgery becomes more complicated because of this. :( We are going to TRY to do this naturally. Does anyone have any ideas? Prayers are appreciated.

I was VERY blessed to FINALLY have some blessings at the Goodwill the other day. I LOVE to cook in my cast iron. I have always wanted a lid for my oven set, but did not have one. God blessed me not only with a lid, BUT with a matching pan BOTH Griswold!! Yes it is only an 8, but I am STILL over the top about it!! Both are in GREAT condition (was the lid EVER used??) and the pan is WELL seasoned. Thank you Lord for a WONDERFUL blessing!!! And only for $13!!! And no, a Griswold lid does not fight as tightly on a Wagner! LOL!!! :)

Tonight's dinner was AMAZING! Fish (pan fried in olive oil with salt and pepper until flaky - not hardly brown at all). Kale and onions (lightly brown onions in coconut oil in cast iron, fill with kale, cover with your new blessing of a lid and cook until wilted, salt). Radishes and yellow carrots (cooked in ghee until still firm but somewhat brown).

Tomorrow our church is having a prophesy sermon in the evening and following is a party lasting until midnight. I am sure we will be heading home WAY before then, but it should be fun. Beloved is especially interested in the sermon (prophesy is a passion of his). And we will be with friends most all of the day. It is going to be WONDERFUL!

We aren't doing resolutions this year (and while we have TRIED to do them in the past, we never really follow through with them) and we feel GREAT about it. We know their are changes we need to make in our personal lives as well as our family and marriage. But we will make those changes as God leads and allows with prayer and in His timing. :) That said, there are a few things I plan on doing this coming year: learning to be a better keeper at home, go through the catechism, becoming healthier, being a better wife and mom. Pretty vague, I know. LOL!! The first two have more definite plans (post coming on Monday with a freebie for you).

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Movies

I LOVE the movie It's A Wonderful Life. I will admit that I had never seen it until I met my beloved, but it has since become a Christmas tradition to watch the movie at LEAST once (we usually end up watching it more often).

I was excited when it came out on DVD because I wanted extras - lots and lots of extras!! How disappointing that there really was nothing special on there. How wonderful to find an interview with Jimmy Stewart online. Yes, you have to read it, but it is still a WONDERFUL read!!! :)

You can read the online article with Jimmy Stewart for yourself and enjoy!!

I also wanted to mention that I finally got a copy of the movie It Happened On 5th Avenue. I first heard about this movie on Home Living. This movie is going to be a holiday classic in our home along with the above movie. It is sad that this movie (and how many countless others) have been lost because no one cares about them. I hope you get a chance to watch it. It is REALLY cute!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

8 Random Things Tag

Cindy (a dear friend who has a really nice blog which I don't get to read NEARLY as often as I would like, but you should DEFINITELY check it out) has tagged me.

So, 8 random things about myself:

1. I cannot STAND bugs. I have an irrational fear of them. So much so that I have to flush them down the toilet so they will not come back to get revenge on me for trying to kill them.

2. While I loved to read fiction as a child, I rather spend my time reading non-fiction books now. Books that help me be a better wife, mother, and child of God. I do read fiction to the children (Five Little Peppers, etc.). And I am currently reading a favorite that is a fiction book: Stepping Heavenward. If you have never read this book, you must get your hands on a copy!

3. When I eat a Resses Peanut Butter Cup, I have to nibble all around the outside edges first, Then I eat the rest. :D

4. I do not shampoo my hair!

5. I have no decorating style or sense whatsoever. I cannot match colors or fabrics. I leave that up to my beloved!! :D

6. I used to write poetry when I was in college.

7. I was in theatre all through high school. My senior year I was in a play that went all the way to State and won second. I had a minor role (about a 4 minute scene with a short monologue I helped write), but it was moving enough that the judge mentioned me specifically in the critique as being especially moving.

8. I have a problem with pride (see number 7). LOL!!! :)

OK, so I am not sure I even know 8 people who would actually DO this tag. So I am tagging ALL of you!! LOL!! Anyone who reads this and wants to participate, post a link in the comments to your answers! I will visit them all and comment! :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Salvation Has Come To This House

AA, our near 9yr old dd prayed on Christmas Eve to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I think she had always been that way, but I think that this was just the public display for her. None the less, she has been taking this very seriously, and talks now about God has changed her. She remembers vividly what the pastor said about how we can be tempted and I ask your prayers that she will not be tempted now that she has made this public declaration.

This could not have come at a more special time, because on Christmas morning, she was given a new Bible, her very own. Yes, it is purple, her favorite color. Yes, it sparkles and has gems on it. YES, it is a princess Bible. But it is a good one too.

Today she opened it up to read to me and decided she wanted to start with Job.

Job? REALLY God? Don't You want to lead her to start with something more powerful and life changing like any of the letters from Paul, or maybe the Gospel of John?? ANYTHING but Job.

But Job it was to be. And soon I would find out why. After she read the first chapter, I talked to her about finding her OWN personal application (whereas before hand Momma would always talk about the application). I told her how wherever we are in life, God can tell us something different in the Bible, even if it is the same verse, we can get something different out of it each time we read it. What was her personal application from what she read today?

Her answer: To be praise and love God even if He takes everything away from me.

OK sweetie. But what if one of your sisters breaks something of yours? Would you still praise God by being kind and loving to your sisters??

Her answer: Yes, now that I have God in my heart.

Not two minutes later, she was put to the test. She had generously loaned her new wooden doll she got for Christmas to her 5yr old sister (MM) who is sick, to help her feel better. And it broke. AA was SO SAD. But she did not get angry. I talked to her about how sometimes, when we read something in the Bible, we will be tested to see if we are going to be true to follow through with the personal application. I was so proud of her for following through. And thankfully, Daddy said he would be able to fix the doll good as new!

Previously I would have heard yelling and screaming and blaming and crying. Today, I did hear sadness, but I heard love and forgiveness and praises to God as well. I am so thankful to God!

There is a GREAT free sermon by one of my favorite preachers, Dr. S.M. Davis that deals with answering children's questions about salvation. I HIGHLY suggest you go and listen to it (you can also download it to your computer but right clicking "Save As"). This link was sent to me by Dr. Davis (you can join his email list) as a Christmas present, so I am not sure how long the link will be available. Just a little encouragement to get it while you can.

(Side note: As I am writing this, JJ has gotten himself undressed (still has a diaper on YEAH!), brought his baby into the cradle, covered him up with a blanket and is now rocking the baby sining "Rock A Bye Baby". I LOVE IT!)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas

I hope you all had a WONDERFUL Christmas. Our Christmas was WONDERFUL!! And we continue the celebration all through until the new year (why should it only be celebrated one day??)!

We opened gifts from Grandmom and Granddad via web cam (so they could see all the oohhhhs and aaahhhhs). :) Then we continued on and had breakfast as well as our Christmas traditions.

Then we opened the rest of the gifts. JJ was so funny! He kept wanting to open every gift, not understanding that we take turns and not all the gifts are his. :) AA was great as with each new DVD that was opened, her eyes got bigger and brighter and she wanted to watch THAT one instead. :) LOL!!! EE loved the bead kit she got. She immediately went to work making a necklace for herself and a matching one for her doll. MM loved her snowman necklace. She opened it up and made it ALL BY HERSELF! She looked at the instructions and just went for it. She only needed help getting the LAST i bell on because by then, the ribbon was a little frayed and she could not thread it. Then she needed me to tie it so she could wear it. It was PERFECT! I am SO PROUD of her!!!

The oohhhhs and ahhhhs could not stop when we opened the LEGO Indiana Jones PSP2 game!!! WOWZERS!

Then we got the BEST GIFT EVER!!! My BIL married a woman who LOVES learning and knowledge. I must admit that she supports me in homeschooling more than other family members do. And the gift she sent this year will be hard to top!! :) (Kinda like when you go on a family vacation to Disneyland - you just can't do better than that!) No pressure for her though! LOL!! Honestly though, we have always loved her gifts, but this year was AWESOME!

EVERY gift came from a scientist or naturalist. From Jane Goodal we got a nature notebook (this was one of my fav gifts from her). We got gifts from Tesla and Carver. It was AWESOME! I think my other favorite was the carnivore eating plant kit!!! I have been wanting to buy one for the girls for about a year now!!!! We have bug catching kits (oh the girls cannot WAIT to use this, they LOVE bugs), sun printing kits (the girls will LOVE this!!!) and oh so much more! I am stocked up and STOKED about homeschooling this coming summer!!! (Yes, we homeschool year round, but that allows us to vacation when all the other kids are in school, rates are cheaper and things are not nearly as crowded! It also allows us to take off to be with family or when family comes to visit. It really is nice.)

We had another $15 dollar dinner but this time it cost only about $8 and it was WONDERFUL!!! Roasted organic chicken, sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping (I know, but it is a tradition for Brian), homemade apple fritters (combining Hanukah this year), fried okra, homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce.

The movie of choice for the evening was WALL-E, as this was one that the whole family could watch.

Then to bed, to snuggle under the covers. Off to sleepyland with smiles on the faces of everyone. It was a wonderful day! No rushing. Just simple and sweet. WONDERFUL!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

They Brought Him

I have always thought it interesting the gifts the wise men (notice I did not say THREE wise men, because while there were three gifts, the Bible never actually say HOW MANY MEN there are) chose to give Jesus. There was great meaning behind each gift! Each of the three gifts represented an aspect of who Jesus is and what His mission was to fulfill.

Here are a few articles on the meaning of the three gifts for those who don't already know:
Meaning Behind The Gifts of the Wise Men
Meaning Behind The Gifts of the Magi

Now that I am learning about essential oils, I am learning that Frankincense and Myrrh are known for the peacefulness and joy they bring. How WONDERFUL!!! JESUS BRINGS US PEACE AND JOY!!! How wonderfully fascinating!!!

I find it fascinating that now that I am learning about the essential oils that they STILL fit as gifts to Our King!!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

God Answers Unasked Prayers

This morning, EARLY this morning, my beloved felt and urging to look at a web site that he is in charge of. It is for a VERY small, non-for-profit organization here where we live. It is all about history and keeping the good old days alive and their knowledge passed on.

Sadly, the site had been hacked. EVERYTHING was gone and the passwords were stolen. I am not sure how it happened. I do not even know WHY someone would be so hateful to such a wonderful organization (although admittedly, they were broken into several months ago and over $3000 worth of equipment was stolen). This is so very sad and devastating.

But my beloved had not thought about the site in quite some time. And yet God put it on his heart to check the site this morning.

I love how God will answer our unasked prayers!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Current Web Readings

Kitchen Tip - Washing Dishes With Baking Soda
I quit rinsing dishes before washing MONTHS go and it is amazing how much we save on our water bill!! But there are still a few dishes which have a little bit stuck to them. Usually only one or two dishes. I am going to try this baking soda trick and see if I have to use dish washing powder at all OR if I can just do the baking soda on the dishes and then the vinegar rinse (instead of Jet Dry, we have been using vinegar in the dispenser and it works WONDERFULLY!).

Vegan Baking 101
WONDERFUL list (BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN!) of egg substitutes for baking. She lists different types of subs, what they are good for, what to be aware of...and all from personal experience. I have printed this out for my kitchen!

Christian's Secret to a Happy Life - this is a WONDERFUL classic!
The Book Of Household Management
The Home and it's Management

Combating the "Mom Should Get Out Of The House More" Mentality
I love Jess' blog. I sadly do not get to read it as often as I would like. Life happens and I love it! But this has to be the BEST post on this topic I have read! I have felt this way for a long time. I do agree that we need help and a break, but when I break I want my husband to be the one watching the kids so at least ONE of us is watching the kids). And what about dating your spouse? Brian and I try to do this in the evenings after the kids are in bed. The kids are in bed by 7-8 (depending on if they had naps earlier in the day or not). keeping kids active REALLY help them sleep at night. :) This is a post (and a blog) I highly suggest you read!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

UPDATES on my sister and baby here

GOD IS SO VERY GOOD!! Thank you for ALL your prayers. I am sorry I was not able to update until now. I have not been able to get on the computer (yes, my monday Current Readings are set to post every Monday ahead of time).
Anyways, momma and baby are doing GREAT!!! Baby is completely breathing on his own, and after a few difficult tries is now feeding 100% on breastmilk. Now we just need to make sure he keeps nursing from momma and little baby will be able to come home Christmas day!! Please continue to pray that things will go well. PLEASE pray that my sister will realize the goodness and POWER of God in this little boy's life and hers!! THANK YOU AGAIN for all the prayers!!

UPDATED 11AM Dec 19:
Momma is doing MUCH better. She is able to pump and getting a small amount, so please pray that it will increase. The nurses told her that the colostrum (which comes before the milk) is like vitamin shots for the baby. How wonderful they are so supportive of her breastfeeding!!

Baby is also doing MUCH better!! If things continue the trend that they are, the baby will be able to come home in 4-5 days, or maybe that is a very tired mother's hopeful wishes. Keep praying, he is not out of the woods yet.

I am humbled by your prayers for my sister. Thank you so very VERY much. From both of us. I mentioned to her when I finally got to talk to her (just minutes ago) that she had several people praying for her and for the baby, and it seemed almost like she was going to cry. It is amazing how God works through all our prayers! Thank you again!

December 18th:

Thank you for your continued prayers for my sister and her baby boy! They are very much appreciated.

I will update this post as I get chances. (See my post When It Rains below for why I am unable to update whenever I want).

Momma went through procedure well, and is in recovery.

Baby was born 6lb 11oz. He is currently in the NICU. Baby is having a VERY difficult time breathing. Some sort of emergency procedure is being done to fill his lungs with something. I did not get all the details. Only that my sister got to see him and he was almost convulsing in order to be able to breathe and that was before they told her to leave so they could fill his lungs.

When It Rains...

I am the worst person to make lemonade out of lemons. I don't have the creativity to do it, nor do I have the optimism needed.

My sister is having a baby 5 weeks early, and I cannot be there to help. My mother is calling every so often to keep me updated as well as ask where things are and how to do things. I desperately want to be there to help my mom, but I can't be. I have to be here.

And not because of money mind you. Brian and I feel that there is no amount of money when it comes to health of family. It is MY immediately family...

JJ has scarlet fever. Sounds worse than it is as it is just a version of strep throat. He is sick and miserable and making me miserable. He needs me here (and could not be anywhere near my mom, my sister's daughter or anything like that with a preemie being born). I guess I cannot be too upset. As with the sage remedy, we were able to avoid him going down the path that he was heading down with a respiratory infection. I am thankful for that.

And Brian is getting some cancer screening done tomorrow. It is mostly precautionary as cancer runs in his family BIG time! But the prep for the screening is really hard on him (I know, I have been there before - long story).

I know that God is in control. I know that all things happen for His good and His glory. And I know that I am where God wants me right now. I just wish my flesh wasn't so strong! I want to be cloned three times over, four actually, so I can be there for the girls, for my sister/mom, for my husband and for my son. How to let go and let God?

I think I will coin a new phrase. I have Eveism. You know the kind. Where after Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, God said she would always have a desire to rule and be in charge. I struggle with this, daily. Thinking I know what is best rather than always submitting to God (or my beloved husband). And it makes me miserable. And it makes everyone around me that I love and care for miserable. Because I know what God wants of me, and yet I work against it.

I have been to the place of being in total submission to God and it is a wonderful and happy place. But when it rains, it seems that my Eveism gets worst. I don't want the rain to turn into a storm before I finally break down and submit.

Your prayers for my beloved are appreciated as the prep for the procedure tomorrow is not a pleasant one. And for the doctors to catch ANY signs of possible cancer, if there are any to be found.

Your prayers for my sister are appreciated (she is prepped and waiting at this point) as I know she is scared, tired, and very worried.

Your prayers for her son are appreciated. Five weeks early makes him a tiny little thing. Preemie boys have a MUCH lower survival rate than preemie girls.

Your prayers for JJ are appreciated as he is one active little boy who does not want to rest OR take his medication.

Your prayers for my daughters are appreciated as I do not want them getting sick.

And finally, your prayers for me are appreciated. I am so very very tired and feel overwhelmed at the moment. I need God's strength and peace. And I need to remember and be willing to submit to Him.

Thank you.

Urgent Prayer Request

My sister is going down for an emergency c-section. PLEASE pray. Thank you.


I am a sucker for tags. SOMEBODY LIKES ME! LOL!! :)

So here is the tag from a fellow sister in Christ. Find the fourth folder and pick the fourth picture and tell four things about the photo.
1. The fourth photo folder on my computer is the "Photo Booth" folder which stores all pictures taken with the Photo Booth program on my Mac. The program allows you to choose from one of several options which distorts the picture, each in a different way. I am not sure which distortion was used on this picture.
2. The girls LOVE to use Photo Booth. It is a privilege! :) They usually say "Momma, can we play silly faces?" Then they take a hundred pictures, each vying for camera space, and all while laughing and making silly faces themselves (which come out even sillier by the distortion from the program).
3. The three in the picture are JJ, AA (sitting up) and EE (head leaning in).
4. The picture was taken in my bed.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane! This was taken at the beginning of the year! :D LOL!!

Printable Holiday Gift Tags

These gift tag templates are not your ordinary gift tag templates! You can put PICTURES inside of them making them personal! Grab them while you can! WAY cute!!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Unrighteous Anger? And A Prayer Request

The Bible tells us to be angry, and sin not. Jesus got angry and threw tables upside down in the temple. I was listening to a sermon by Dr. S.M. Davis. He said that if you feel that you have righteous anger, then you have the time to pray about it and see if God wants you to be angry. THEN, If God says "yep, I want you to be angry and take action on this" THEN you may be angry and take action in anger. LOL! By then, most of the time, the anger is gone. MOst likely because it was unrighteous to begin with.

I must admit that I have some unrighteous anger right now. My sister is preggers with her second child (a boy). She is not due until Jan 20, so your prayers for her are appreciated. She went into contractions last night and was admitted to the hospital today where they have been administering drugs all day to prevent the contractions. As of this posting, she has not had the baby and will be in the hospital overnight for monitoring (and maybe more drugs).

I love my sister appreciate your prayers for her and the baby's safety.

So what does all this have to do with unrighteous anger?

My sister is not a Christian. Neither is my mother. Neither is anyone else she has informed about this. I keep hearing/seeing "sending good thoughts your way" and "lift up some good thoughts for her!" And what should happen should the baby and momma be just fine thanks to the PRAYERS that my family and prayer chain are lifting up for her? NOTHING?!?! God does not get glory from her or all the others who sent "good thoughts."

I must admit that I am struggling with this. I desperately want my sister and the baby to be OK. But I want God to get the glory for it when they are OK.

Maybe it is a righteous anger after all. I mean, if God is not getting the glory for His work, isn't that something to be angry about? I guess I need to pray about it and get back to you! LOL!!! :D Either way, please do be in prayer for my sister and her baby.

I am not sure how many of you know, but my sister had a horrible time trying to conceive both of her children. Took her three years of trying to conceive her first. Took 2 1/2 to conceive her second. And this will be her last (due to medical procedure being done after the birth by scheduled c-section (supposed to be Jan 09, 2009). My sister LOVES this baby boy and would be devastated if anything should happened. Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recent Doings

I have been doing a lot of research on herbs and now, aromatherapy and essential oils. It is funny (sad really) how I will hear of a remedy and think to myself "HOW SILLY! There is no way that would work!" So I wait months even years before trying it (and usually only trying it in desperation) only to find that it works and I wish I would have tried it when I first heard about it.

I have also been busy trying to keep warm! Usually, when it is extremely cold, we stay indoors. But the other night my beloved wanted to go shopping. It was 12 below zero with the windchill. And that was when we went into the store, while it was still daylight outside! I have no idea what it was when we left, way after dark! LOL!! I must admit, that with the thermostat at 60, it was really chili in our room (which still has wooden windows). I tripled the comforters! I made sure to check on the children before turning it (the temperature on the thermometer read -3 and there was frost on the windows on the inside panes in the rooms least used. LOL! BRRRRrrrrr!

We will finally get back into the homeschool routine tomorrow. WHEW! This sickness, I think, is finally kicked out. Although I do ask prayers for JJ. He was very lethargic today, and totally uncharacteristic of himself. I am a bit worried, especially since we no longer have a pediatrician (LONG story). And if you feel led, please pray that God would lead us to a good pediatrician, who is willing to take over a case in the middle of it as well as be supportive of our desire to do more natural ways of healing rather than always just start drugs.

We made mailboxes out of used cereal boxes so the girls are encouraged to WRITE! LOL!! EE LOVES to write, but AA hates it. But she LOVES to give and get mail. SO I am hopeful that writing and receiving mail will encourage her. She is too much of a perfectionist and hates her handwriting. I am hoping that she will see she CAN improve in time with PRACTICE! LOL!! I can say it all I want, but she needs to SEE it for herself. :)

Well, that's about it for now. Off to prepare for Christmas and birthday parties!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Current Web Readings

Cast Iron info
This site has GREAT info on caring for and using cast iron. There is even info AND a video about how to cook eggs in cast iron!!! AND THEY DON'T STICK!!! :)

Ringlets in Long hair:
Curl Hair
Bun and Hair Ringlets
Bobby Pins and Rags

Winter Composting

50 Must Read Blogs for the Conscientious Organic Shopper (this blog is liberal, just a warning).

Buy Nothing Christmas - Gift Ideas
While I have not had a chance to review the WHOLE site, what I have seen so far, I really like!!

What Would You Like To Give
Looking for a last minute gift idea that keeps on giving? This is a WONDERFUL idea!

How TO Eat Better And Avoid The Industrial Diet, by MIchael Pollan
This is an author you will want to read every one of his books. Do a search on You Tube for him and watch and learn some good stuff. And this article is just as good!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday Sweethearts: Links O' Love

Questions For A Godly Wife

99 Ways To Daily Show Love To Your Husband

And my all time FAVORITE thing I did for Brian at Christmas time during our first year of marriage (which would be so FUN to get the girls in on and do it again this year):
Christmas Love

Husbands Love Praise and Adoration - LOVING this blog!!!

Supporting Your Husband During Hard Times - this post is REALLY REALLY good. Even if things are not tough right now PLEASE read this post so you have this in your mind for if a hard time should hit again (even just your beloved having a difficult day at work). - TOTALLY loving this blog!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Today's Doings

I have been sick in bed today. This meant that the children watched educational and "Jesus" videos. AA also read the Bible to us. And they all had time to play on the computer, "something educational and not just fun please" I asked them. I am so glad my girls understand sign language, because my voice was nil for most of the day.

This allowed me to spend several hours on the computer doing research and learning from a sweet friend of mine who is an encyclopedia of knowledge (and is so kind to answer all my questions, even when it is the bazillionth time I have asked it)!

The tea I mentioned yesterday worked SO WELL on JJ. There is also a runny nose cure that really worked too. It has been WONDERFUL! The runny nose cure was more palatable than the decoction. I will now be keeping sage on in stock in my pantry!

We are watching a fun Christmas movie, The Bishop's Wife (old time black and white original, not the remake) tonight for our pizza (well, tonight it was soup because of all the illness here) movie night.

I have forgotten to have the girls start grateful/thanksgiving journals. I really want them to start that, and I want to start that myself too.
So because I am truly thankful, three things I am thankful for:
My children's health. Even though they get sick every now and then, they have always gotten better. Some children have deadly diseases that have no cure.
My friend, Brenda who is an inspiration and encouragement to me.
My mom. I miss her so much. I love her so much. And I am so very thankful for all she has done for and continues to do for me and my family.

Free Nativity Lapbook

Free Nativity Lapbook


from The Old School House

Family Fun: Names of Jesus Garland

When I saw this in Monica's store, I really REALLY wanted one. But finances are EXTREMELY tight, so I had hopes that there would be a tutorial on her blog. I never got around to searching her blog for it until today.

Names of Jesus Garland Tutorial


This is going to make a WONDERFUL family fun time!!

I think it would also be fun to make these into ornaments to hang on the tree. We can always use more ways of pointing the children (and others) to Christ this time of year. Or even wrap the garland around the tree! :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Proverbs With The Children - Today's Doings

I think it was Large Family Logistics where I first learned of reading the Proverbs of the Day to the children during their naptime. They have a yahoo list which sends out reminders like Flylady, but these are godly oriented for keeping the children and home. I have TRULY been enjoying the reminders!!! :)

I had heard of doing a proverb a day where there are 31 proverbs and 30/31 days in the month so read the corresponding chapter to the corresponding date. But I had never thought of doing this with the children. I cannot tell you the difference it is making in my children! It is so wonderful, right before naps/quiet time, to see each of the children get their Bible to follow along. They ask questions (today was what does THAT mean, talking about Proverbs 22). And God always speaks to my heart during this time. And I share with the children what God is teaching me PERSONALLY and how the word is for THEM personally.

Today I had music playing in the background. It was instrumental. When Jingle Bells came on, JJ (only 2 1/2yr now mind you) started singing! "Unggle Ells, Uggle Ells, Unggle Ells..." over and over again. It was the CUTEST thing! And I was TOTALLY impressed by his ability to recognize the song (as it was instrumental). Honestly, I would never have known what he was singing if the song wasn't playing in the background.

As far as schooling, we got nothing done today. :( Well, I guess that is not totally true as we did watch some Signing Time videos we checked out from the library. They learned some new signs. But with JJ and EE both being sick and AA just having gotten over being sick, I was busy today. And the kids were busy coughing and sleeping. :)

I have learned that you can put tea tree oil in a diffuser to help purify the air (good to do when there is sickness in the house). And gargling with apple cider vinegar will help kill strep in the throat. I have learned that sage is good for cold/flu and respiratory illnesses. And here is hoping that the decoction I am making will help JJ.

Hidden Freebie on Behemoth

I am so LOVING Behemoth by Vision Forum! I found a hidden freebie on there. In addition to the daily freebie, there is a FREE MOVIE!

When you goto the main page, after loging in (it is free to join, but you do have to give your credit card info - I have been a member for over a month now and have never been charged as long as I am getting freebies), click on MOVIES (it is on the left hand side).

There you will see a movie called WILDER CAVE for a price of $0.00. When you add it to your cart, it will say FREE in your cart!! :) It is a pretty big download, and I have NOT seen the movie yet. But I love the books written by the director.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today's Doings - Hodge Podge

I took my mom to the airport today for her to fly back home to be with Dad. My heart always breaks a little when she leaves. I miss her so much. However, I know that the Lord wants us here right now, and my parents will not leave Texas. Partly because they love it there, and partly because my sister and her husband live there.

It was hard on all of us to say goodbye, but especially my oldest, AA (near 9yr). We had a long talk about how we need to be where God wants us to be and when she gets married, she will need to live where God wants her and her husband to be. I will admit that it does make things a bit difficult when Brian and I need some alone time. Or someone to watch the kids in an emergency.

After dropping my mom off, I was able to drop by a dear dear friend for a visit. I had not planned on staying, but her warm and inviting hospitality welcomed our whole family (for over two hours)! :D Her family is so wonderful! Her oldest took to JJ and watching after him. Her youngest son took to the girls and got them all making books! :D Thus allowing my friend and me to fellowship. She is a VERY relaxed homeschooler and has always encouraged me.

Her words of advice:
TEACH IN CONTEXT. I have always heard that you use real life to teach. And I am pretty good with that. Teaching in context is new to me. And it really opened up my eyes on more ways to teach.

She also encouraged me to play post office with the girls. I have always had them "write" letters, but those letters are usually pictures. Now that they are of writing age, they REALLY should be writing. So instead of just saying to write a letter, let them address it, stamp it, and mail it off as well. I know my girls and I know that if they knew they could address the envelope themselves, they would most definitely WRITE a letter! :)

I was also reminded of a number exercise which I hope to do with the girls sometime this week. We were talking about numbers and she went to look for something but could not find it. When she was describing what it was, it sounded similar to making things out of numbers. I hope to make a book, one page for each number, for the girls to work on. :)

She also talked about playing restaurant where you have the menu, they come and take an order, tally up the order and exchange money. MUCH more "in context" than just a worksheet!! :)

She also brought out and shared a book by Dinah Zike called Big Book of Books. This book looks SO COOL!!! I will have to see if I can check it out from the library!! :)

Brian bought the book Teaching Hearts, Training Minds. The author takes one question from the Westminster Shorter Catechism and spends a whole week on each question/answer, giving Biblical references and explanations as well as word pictures to help make personal application and understanding. Each day has a VERY short meditation (nor more than 3 paragraphs in most cases) to go through with the children (or for yourself). I got a copy through the library through ILL.

I like what he says in the introduction. After talking about the importance of teaching doctrine, and how, sadly, most churches, especially the youth departments, have replaced teaching substantial truth of doctrine with entertainment he says:
"Even where teaching the Bible to children is a priority, teaching Bible doctrine seldom is. Children hear the same Bible stories repeatedly, almost always as moral lessons on how to behave. Typical Sunday school lessons reduce Bible stories to moral tales much like Aesop's fables. The focus is on the human being in the story, who becomes its main character. So the teacher comes to the end and conclude, 'And you must be like David and God will bless you,' or 'You must not act as Ahab did or you will find trouble.'... Children seldom learn to see that God Himself is the main character of every Bible story. They do not learn to ask about each account they read, 'What does this story tell me about God?' They never learn to read all the biblical narratives in the light of God's overall purpose to redeem a people for Himself. All they learn is: Be good and God blesses; be bad, and He does not."
The author then goes on to say how sad it is that we are not equipping our children in the foundations of doctrinal truth. That when adults are being asked simple questions based on doctrine, they stumble for the answers. Whereas if they had been taught the catechism, they would have a doctrinal response ready.

I pictured Jay Leno asking questions like "When was the War of 1812?" and no one having a correct answer. How really silly those people look when simple questions are asked of them and they cannot answer. And how silly we as proclaimed Christians must look when we cannot answer simple questions about what we believe.

There is nothing wrong with teaching memorization. I mean, think about it. The things you remember best from your childhood are the things you memorized. The "ABC" song, common nursery rhymes, the small handfull of BIble verses like John 3:16. I want my children (and honestly myself) to be ready with an answer.

Seeing Past Santa

This story and picture say it all...
Santa Claus

Monday, December 8, 2008

Current Web Readings

Abundance Out Of Simplicity
A wonderful post on Christmas. I really like this idea. HT: Like Merchant Ships

Doing Your Husband Good Day 2
I have truly been enjoying this series. But I did want to comment on something said in the beginning of this post. I LOVE how she points out that it is not for us to look to our husband to lighten our load, but to take it to the Lord and allow Him to lighten it for us. BEAUTIFULLY put!!!

Jesse Tree
I was amazed to hear my beloved talking about this idea as if it was his own. LOL! Honestly he does come up with the BEST ideas. Unfortunately, sometimes, someone else had already come up with it first. So next year we might be doing a Jesse Tree! :) This is one of the best articles with LOTS of links, from a blog I just happen to love! (Please be in prayer for Monica and her family, she has recently found out her father has cancer.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's A Sad Sad Day

My beloved is in DC for the week (coming home tomorrow) and recently saw a billboard on the bus that goes all too well with my post the other day on why we don't do the Santa thing.

First they take the Christ out of Christmas....

then they stop saying Christmas all together......

and now, why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness sake.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Family Fun: Best Kept Secret

You are at the doctors and waiting and waiting and WAITING and the kids start getting antsy. What do you do? Bring out FINGER PUPPETS!!!

Fairy Tale Finger Puppets are so CUTE and they fit neatly into a ziploc baggie which can fit into a purse/diaper bag very easily. And because they are something that is only brought out for those special occasional (like waiting in an ER for HOURS), it will keep the kids quite entertained (either when you do a show, they do a show, or you do a show together).

And yes, I discovered the pattern at Ravelry.

You can search Ravelry for finger puppets and find all SORTS of cute ideas! There is even a John McCain and an Obama finger puppet! LOL!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Laughter Does A Heart Good - Today's Doings

My mom is here. She got here yesterday. Day four of my daughter's illness. AA has "the worst illness EVER!" I must admit that normally when my kids get sick (which honestly is pretty rare), they usually get over it within three days (with the prayer and herbs and all). This time, I could not get rid of it. And my poor baby was MISERABLE.

But today, today she was finally better. Once I found out she had strep, something I had as a kid but never had to deal with as a mom, I found out what to do for her (gargling with apple cider vinegar, high doses of Vitamin C, grapefruit seed extract, immune support herbs and essential oils, and an herbalbiotic) and she started getting better immediately (thanks Brenda!). And today she was almost back to her old self (but very very tired).

So with being sick, I am putting on a movie (sometimes two a day) to keep her from being bored while I have been keeping the other kids in a separate room - which has payed off because THANKFULLY God has spared them and none of the other children have gotten sick. JJ gave me a bit of a scare when he got a little bit of a fever and his cry sounded like he might have have a sore throat. But his strep culture came back negative. Not to mention the fact that he is acting normal - eating and drinking well not to mention PLAYING joyfully and LAUGHING!!!

Oh how I LOVE to hear my children laugh. And today, my mom was able to watch the movie with AA (It's A Wonderful Life). And I got to hear MY MOM LAUGH. Yes, that is a big deal. My mom, while not a overly serious person, she does not have a lot of joy. Smiles, but no laughter. To to hear her laugh, a laugh that comes from deep down inside, was wonderful! It was amazing how even her laughter made me feel so good and warm inside.

I wonder if my laughter, my JOY, is as important to my children? Sometimes I can be WAY too serious. I have a lot of my mother in me. And a lot of that seriousness, worry wartness that my mom has in her mad me so sad as a child. I never really thought about that until now. And now that I am a Christian (my mom is not), I should not worry. I mean the Bible tells us over and over and OVER again not to worry. And to have joy. My lack of joy and laughter...my worrying and being too serious is a HORRIBLE example to my children of how God wants us to live. I mean, my goodness, if I thought that was what being a Christian was like, I would want no part of it!

I need to laugh more. It will do my children's hearts good. And it will do my heart good as well. I think I might live longer too or something to that effect. :D But most importantly, it will be a godly example to my children of how God wants us to live.

Why We Don't Do The Santa Thing

With all the talk about Santa on the boards I belong to, I thought I would share about why we don't do Santa. PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I am not writing this to condemn anyone for doing the Santa thing. What you do in your own house is between you and God. And our reasons for doing what we are does not mean that your children don't do the same things or have a love for God that is unshakeable. This is just our reasoning behind why we told our children there is no such thing as Santa.

My beloved and I decided long before we had kids that we would not do the Santa thing. We did not want our children to believe in a being and then when told he wasn't real would have difficulty believing in the supreme being, Jesus Christ. Not that ALL children who believed in Santa struggle with this. But we did not want to give one ounce of doubt to our children. We want them to know that what we tell them is true. Jesus is true.

We also do not want tour children to learn that it is OK to lie. The Bible tells us not to lie, yet we excuse this lie because it is fun. There are millions of wonderful ways to have fun with the children without having to lie to them. I guess I just cannot bring myself to lie to my children. I don’t want to teach my children what is not true. I want them to believe in what is real.

Santa is a liar and does not keep His word. I was a bad little girl most of the time growing up. Yet Santa always brought me what I wanted. Doing that teaches children that if you are not good and don't live right you will STILL get gifts. So when they grow up and are told to live right and be good, but then they continue to live in sin, they are expecting God to bless them anyway. And it doesn't happen like that! So they can easily fall into believing that Christ is not real or if He is, they want nothing to do with Him because they have a false belief about who He is and how He is. God does NOT lie. And God DOES keep His word.

Ask any child (well, not mine, they would get it wrong) a question about Santa and they can answer it. Start singing a Christmas song about him and children chime right in, knowing all the words! We want our children's head filled with scripture and facts about Jesus and the Bible. I LOVE when I start singing a hymn of praise and our children chime right in! Even little JJ at only 2 1/2 LOVES to sing praises with us!

I have heard the argument that Santa just stems from St. Nicholas who was a good and righteous man who gave and we can learn about giving from him. While Santa does stem from St. Nicholas, you CAN learn about St. Nicolas and what he did WIITHOUT doing the Santa thing. My children know about St. Nicolas and what he has done. And we talk about that is where Santa came from. But they know that St. Nicolas is dead and Santa is not a real person.

We talk about other martyrs (like Jim Elliot) and defenders of the faith (like Corrie Ten Boom) and what they have done, and we can do things because we have been inspired by them. But only St. Nicolas has a fake being personified after him that has so much in common with Jesus that it is no reason people feel they don’t need Jesus.

It is amazing how much Santa and Jesus have in common.

They both are eternal (when was Santa born? Will he ever die?).
They are both all knowing (he sees you when you’re sleeping, when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good).
They both you want to do right (so be good for goodness sake – be good because Santa is watching you).
They both grant petitions and desires. (I got everything I asked Santa for! Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you.)
They both have power over the natural elements in the universe. (how can Santa walk through walls or slip down chimneys?)
They are not bound by time. (he can go to every house in the globe in one night.)
They both have supernatural bodies (how can Santa eat so many cookies in one night and not explode?!?!)
They are both worshiped (there are songs written about him, poems written about him, books written about him...)
They are both believed in and defended, worshiped and adored (how dare you say he is not real!)
They are both praised for their coming (they lined the road singing his praises and welcoming him)
They are both sinless (would he kill anyone? Does he curse and swear? Does he do anything wrong? He would never do anything he is not supposed to do).
They are both omnipresent (no matter where you are, there he is)
They both have a list of who is naughty and who is nice (is your name written in the Book of Life?)

And people wonder why no one believes in Jesus. Maybe that is because they already have a false God in Santa.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I posted about how Focus on the Family is encouraging people not to buy gifts from stores that are not acknowledging Christmas you can read the post here as well as follow a link to find out which stores are "naughty" and which stores are "nice." (Sorry, could not resist!)

Meredithfound a gem of a video (below) which has an equally valid mindset:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

FREE TODAY ONLY - MUST have resource for parents!

Well, maybe tomorrow too. I am not sure how the freebies work on Behemoth yet. Anyways, I recently listened to this sermon on What To Expect From A 12 Year Old by Dr. S.M. Davis. It is amazing and I only wish that I had listened to it sooner. This is a MUST have and it is absolutely FREE!!

Click on this link for Behemoth, log in (or create a free account if you do not already have one), and then form the main page you can click on the freebie!! :)

This is a newer version of the sermon I heard. It is REALLY good (yes, it is playing in the background as I am typing - always trying to listen to good sermons, and I have not heard something from Dr. S.M. Davis I have not liked yet). :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Help a Christian Homeschooling Mom AND get a GREAT gift for teh Christian Princess in your life!

A sweet friend of mine has the most BEAUTIFUL singing voice! She has put together a beautiful song for the little Christian princess in your life!! She is a homeschooling mom, and as with all of us, finances are tight right now. They really could use your support and what better way to spend your money on Christmas gifts than by helping another homeschool mom?? :)

You can listen to a sample and even personalize it for your little girl!

A Princess After All

Tell her Paula sent you over. It will make her smile! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Oh where oh where did I read it? Something about how when we do not give thanks to God, we cannot truly be happy because ... something about selfishness and unhappiness. Oh well. I will see if I can find it and write it here as eloquently as that person did (I am pretty sure it was a book I have as I have had little to no time on the computer).

We have been busy busy BUSY getting our house ready for Thanksgiving (we had a family over who also stayed the night with us) as well as ready for my mother's arrival in just a few days now!

My mom is not a Christian. Yet she has one of the most servant hearts I have ever witnessed. And since I grew up never having to do any housework, my house has sadly always shown that I do not know how to be a keeper at home. And so when my mom comes to visit, she always spend so much time cleaning my house for me. I am so thankful that I recently learned the importance of cleaning. This visit will be one where she can ENJOY us. There will still be dishes for her to do (after every meal) and laundry for her to help with (as the kids go through clothes daily), and if there wasn't, that servant spirit in her might drive her crazy. LOL!

It feels so GOOD to have the house clean! And to know that this time is different. This time it will only continue to get cleaner as we continue to declutter. I feel like I have finally been set free!

Which brings me back to thankfulness (see, I do have a point here). :)

We have been given so much. True, a lot of it is junk. We have not been very good stewards of the money God has given us. We spent money on lots of little things at garage sales and the house has become overrun with things. And so have our hearts. I especially notice it in the children (funny how our sin always seems worse on someone else). :) They have so much that they don't know what it means to be thankful.

I want to start gratitude journals for each of the girls. At the end of the day, before our family evenings start, we will write for a few minutes in our journals. Each sentence will start "I am thankful to God for..." and then they can fill in the rest. I want them to learn not just to be thankful, but WHO to be thankful to. I want them to know that EVERY good gift comes from the Father above.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Current Readings

Rethinking Christmas Traditions
This blog is one I like to visit when I have spare time and I am SO EXCITED about this new series she is doing. I am thinking this is just the first post of MANY!! Be sure to click on CHRISTMAS in my topics to find out what other great ideas there are for SAVING money this Christmas!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Sweethearts: Keep It Clean

I was recently at a friend's house. We left and she cut our visit short saying she had to clean. I commented that her house was spotless. It was already clean. She laughed and said that she has learned after 13 years of marriage that this is what her husband NEEDS.

I found it interesting she used the word "need." You see, my husband has only recently in our last year of marriage complained of my attempt at keeping house. I never had to clean growing up, and yet, when we got married, I refused to allow my beloved to clean because I felt that was my responsibility.

Well I was (am still am in many ways) HORRIBLE at keeping house. I have piles of things here and there. I try with the best of intentions to make sure there are no dishes in the sink when I go to bed at night, but two days later there are dishes not only in the sink, but piled so high that they are overflowing onto the counter and being left at the table and piling up there too!

So I start a plan to make sure the girls keep things clean. A plan to make sure I keep things clean. But the girls and I always fall behind. And honestly, it is my fault.

But lately, I have felt convicted that I NEED to keep the house clean, for my beloved. It is something HE needs. The master bedroom is now almost all furniture and clothing and IT FEELS GREAT!!! The girls are really like the PEGS system for helping to remind them to keep things clean and when THEY keep things clean, it is easier for ME to keep things clean.

And you know what, my beloved is HAPPIER! He wants to be home. He has always wanted to be with us, his family. But now, now he wants to be HOME too. :) It is wonderful. I never would have known that a clean house would have made such a difference in my beloved. It is a motivation to keep it this way. And motivation for the kids to keep it this way too. :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Three's Company ... Today's Doings

Since we did not have school yesterday (field trip), and my beloved has all next week off, AND we are having a family over for Thanksgiving AND my mom will be here just days afterwards .... there was no school today either in order to prepare and clean the house.

I have noticed that my children LOVE to be around others. They will talk your ear off if given the chance (thankfully the ladies at the nursing home LOVED having their ears talked off yesterday). They quite regularly talk Daddy's ear off! LOL!!

Someone mentioned a fear that they are not getting enough attention at home for them to be so needy of it from others. That was REALLY hard on me and has affected me for quite some time. I even asked a friend about it.

My children have individual date nights with Daddy and Mommy Daughter time. I spend alone time with each of the children, and they spend a LOT of time playing and enjoying each other. I do think though, that being in a larger family, they LOVE the company. They LOVE talking and interacting with others.

In fact, I noticed that they work BETTER in cleaning up when someone else is there with them. Not just Mommy supervising, but even each other, working together. They love to be social and interact with SOMEONE. :)

I know for myself, that I am a HUGE people person. I LOVE to be with and talk with others. And I especially LOVE being with my kids. I miss the NOISE when they are silent for too long. I love to hear them laughing. I love to hear them all talking at once in excitement as they each talk about what cereal they want, and would you please pass the milk. I love the clamor of everyone talking and getting dishes set on the table to start dinner. I love the business and gathering of our family. But yes, I also love seeing them SLEEP, or all sitting down reading quietly. Just don't stay quiet too long my little ones! Momma LOVES interacting with you!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today's Doings

Today was a no school day. We met at a friend's house with several other girls the same age (5-8yr) and made cArds to bring to a local nursing home.

We went during the lunch time to hand out the cards. So we went from table to table talking, saying "Happy Thanksgiving" and shaking hands. Sadly, we had not made enough cards and a few went back to their room cardless. I will make sure next time to have extra cards that my girls made at home so we do NOT run out.

JJ was of course a HUGE hit with EVERYONE, even the older men! Most surprising was EE. She was SO talkative to EVERYONE! She was curtsying to all and listening and responding to everyone. She liked it so much, she wants to go back!!! I LOVE it! I think we are going to try to find a regular time to go. It was really nice for the girls to be with older women. I want them to have respect for their elders. EE was having so much fun that we were actually the last to leave! All the other moms and girls had left. LOL!!

Then it was shopping day. We got some good deals which was GREAT! But it took a long time, so by the time we got home, it was time to make dinner and head to bed. The children were all so well behaved. It was a good day today.

Merry WHAT??

It seems to come sooner and sooner every year. November barely begins and EVERYWHERE there is Christmas. Our Hobby Lobby is even in the process of marking down all fall and Thanksgiving items 60% off in order to make room for more Christmas stuff.

And yet, while every store in most every nation celebrates December 25th, more and more stores are removing the REASON. "Happy Holidays" ring through the stores with a "Don't wish anyone a Merry Christmas or lose your job!"

Wether you are a Christian or not, the reason the stores LOVES this time of year is for one and one reason alone - the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It brings the stores BILLIONS of dollars. Yet most fail to recognize WHY we celebrate at all.

Focus on the Family has started a campaign to find out which stores will wish you a Merry Christmas, which use it sparingly, and which stores are abhorrently opposed to Christmas (though will be more than happy to take your money for the season).

You can find the list here. It will be changing with updates regularly (so they said on the broadcast from Tuesday). I highly encourage you to print it out and bring it with you and not spend a dime in the stores that are so abhorrently opposed to Christmas. Spend your money and show your thanks to those stores who are willing to acknowledge what the season is about. (Be sure to watch the Merry Tossmass 2008 video while there!)

I want my children to not be afraid to wish others a Merry Christmas. I saw last year that my oldest, who is a little more observant of things, was reserved in wishing others a Merry Christmas. She even told her sister, who had just very enthusiastically wished someone a Merry Christmas, that we should not say that. OH how my heart broke. Of course I explained things to her, and we still need to talk about how we need to be a light in this ever growing darker world. But I think that this is a time for us to be a GREAT example to our children. Talking to them about WHY we are shopping at certain stores and not shopping at others. And what a great way to help our children focus on the meaning of the season by shopping at stores that acknowledge it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Looking Forward to Christmas

It has always been tradition in our family (well, Brian and us) to not start playing Christmas carols until the day after Thanksgiving. (I believe his family is the same way, and we never played much music in our house, I cannot recall listening to Christmas carols except for Christmas morning.) But this year is different. Brian has already requested to bring out the Christmas CD's (and movies). I even notice that Christian radio stations are playing the music earlier than normal.

I cannot say why the Christian radio stations are doing it, but I know why Brian is doing it. We need something bright and hopeful to look forward to and celebrate.

The economy is in a major slump. Finances are tight for us (and everyone). Our house has depreciated so much in value that we are unsure how long we will have to live here before it gets back up to what we paid for it. We will soon have a new president who is the most pro-killing-babies (he used the word baby when talking about abortions) in history. We even got a letter from HSLDA (a legal organization which protects homeschoolers and their rights) warning of the troubles which are to come if Obama gets his way with international law (and the lose of parental rights nationwide). Not to mention what kind of laws he might try to pass regarding education.

I can see why so many people are depressed these days! I am so thankful that I have a God who is the same today as he was the day before the election, the day before the economy took a turn for the worse, the day after we bought our house. There is so much joy to be had in Him, that it seems so silly to be sad and depressed about anything.

I was reading a quote from a doctor during the late 1800's. He saw a lot of death. He was a STRONG Christian. He said that he never saw a worldly Christian pass peacefully and joyfully into death.

He went on to talk about how they clung to life. Their focus was/is in the wrong place. And I can see why the people of today are getting so depressed. Their focus is in the wrong place. Just like Peter was able to walk on water as long as he was focused on Christ. But when he took his eyes of Christ, and put it on the circumstances around him, he began to sink. Now I will admit that I can at times (most times) be a worldly Christian. I like things. I like to buy things. I hold onto things.

But God is changing me. I have learned SO MUCH in recent months. I am growing in my walk with Him (rather than being stagnant). I am learning to stop thinking things through so much and start praying things through instead. I am learning to seek God about purchases rather than frivolously spending money. And I am learning to use what I have and being a good steward of it. And I am learning, most importantly of all, to keep my eyes on Christ. I am so looking forward to Christmas this year too! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CUTE free crochet castle pattern

Complete with prince, princes, horse and dragon!!

Ravelry link
Link to pattern

I thought of you Rebecca when I saw this!!!

Idle Hands Be Gone (Today's Doings)

Today was a field trip. First, we bought food to bring to the local Rescue Mission (and got a free meal for every 2 cans of non-perishables we brought in). Then we went to a local Christian organization that helps end poverty in the name of Christ. It was awesome and really made an impact on the kids.

My broken toe has been hurting more than normal. I did press myself this weekend in cleaning, so that might have something to do with it. I really want to clean the house before my mom arrives in three weeks.

It has been SOOOO nice not having idle hands!!! I never realized just how much time I had been wasting on the computer until I put the computer in a room of the house that was not so easily accessible. I have been able to make more potholders (Ravelry Link). I just LOVE these potholders!!!! And my new FAVORITE thing (that I have been waiting for my camera card so I can take pictures for you, but feel I just HAVE to share with you NOW) are TAWASHIES!

So what are tawashies? TO WASHI the dishes of course!!! But seriously. These things are GREAT!! There is a VERY simple pattern out there for a spiral scrubbie (ravelry link to mine with notes, and a direct link to pdf). These things may look like they don't work, but they DO!! Incredibly well!! I love these things!! And they work up so fast and easy!! They use so little yarn! These things have been GREAT on my cast iron! I use it on my pizza stone and my one piece of coveted Le Creuset (which I got at an estate sale for $15!). ALL with FANTASTIC results! I use it on the counter, tile, and bathroom - these things are THE BEST! When they need cleaning, I throw them all (but the special one for cast iron that sometimes gets really greasy) in the washing machine! The cast iron, greasy one, I throw in the dishwasher, or because these are so fast and easy to make, I just throw it out and make a new one. They also worked GREAT on baked on grease (with little soap or water). In fact, they are so loved in Japan because they do work so well with little soap and need little water!

I am currently taking pre-orders (yes, I will be selling these beauties for those who don't want to make them) in fantastic autumn colors or Christmas green and red and gold. 3 for $8 (that includes shipping). Just let me know your color preference in the comments, how many you are wanting (in sets of three please) as well as your email. It will NOT be published. :)

I have also had time to READ! I LOVE to read!!! I am currently reading Stepping Heavenward (which I got FREE on Paperback Swap) as well as a little booklet a friend loaned me called The Tribulation and The Church. I am am also able to read my Bible more, which is WONDERFUL!!! And most importantly of all, I am enjoying my children more. We are doing even more together. And it is wonderful!

NEW Awesome way of getting GOOD Christian materials (and FREEBIES TOO!!!!)

For those of you who have not yet heard (although I am sure everyone has by now), Vision Forum has a new way to buy Christian media (books, CD's, videos, etc.). It is Behemoth and it is WONDERFUL!!!

They have new freebies EVERY DAY that they are giving away! You DO have to enter your credit card to become a member (though membership is free) and I have been a member for two weeks now (only getting the freebies thus far) and have not had a charge on my card.

So head over and get some AWESOME and good Biblical teaching, for FREE. And the prices there are AWESOME!! I just wish I had the money to spend. :) Gotta save up! There are some things I am REALLY wanting. I LOVE Vision Forums products!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Current Web Readings

I have been so busy with my Today's Doings and not being idle with my hands, not to mention the fact that I do not have easy access to the laptop anymore (moved it out of our bedroom), I have been getting so much done and have NO READINGS! LOL!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Sweethearts: Snack Time

My beloved works from home. And sometimes, that means working through lunch. But that doesn't mean he doesn't get hungry. And sadly, he usually snacks on sweets.

So the other day I noticed one of those Tupperware snack trays (you know the one where you put carrot sticks, celery sticks and other veggies and then have a dip in the center). I cannot bring myself to get rid of it because we do use it prolly once a year (if that).

So I thought what better way to make sure my beloved is snacking on healthy things than to fill this up with healthy snacks!

You can also do this for your beloved if he comes home from work and has to work late, or if you are going to be gone for the day with the kids and knows he is apt to snack.

Some ideas (besides the already known veggies and dip):
Bread cubes and dip (can be olive oil and herbs or a creamy cheese dip)
Cheese squares
hard boiled eggs
mini muffins

Can you think of other ideas?? I want to keep this fresh for my beloved.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today's Doings (and a bit on what I want for my children)

I hope that most of you were able to attend the second day of the Mother/Daughter conference. I know that yesterday I was incredibly blessed by the speakers!!

School: Bible, Hymn (Amazing Grace), History, Math, Reading, Writing

What I did: I added more books to my Library Thing (see left hand sidebar near the bottom), organized more books, cleared out several things from the Master Bedroom (per my plan, but I realize now that with my broken toe, I cannot do as much as I would like as quickly as I would like, so hopefully by Thanksgiving our Master Bedroom will be only furniture and clothing.) I also did two loads of laundry (hanging one to dry overnight).

It feels so good cleaning and getting things down to necessities. It also helps me realize just how much wasteful spending I have done on things that were NOT needed. It is so neat to see this rubbing off on the girls. AA told me today that when she gets married and has her own house she is only going to bring into it things that are needed. I told her a few wants were OK, but that it is good to focus mostly on needs. :) I have told all of my girls that I want so much more for them than what I have. Not material wise, but spiritually. I want them to be good keepers at home. I want them to go into marriage knowing how to keep a home and not struggle like I have (and do).

I must admit that I get so angry with moms that say "someday I hope you have a kid just like you!" They say it in frustration because their child has been a frustration to them. I think EVERY GOOD mother would want MORE for their children. That they would want the BEST for their children. I pray for my grandchildren. I pray that they will learn to follow and love the Lord from the EARLIEST age possible (which means that prayerfully, they will never have a child that gives them the grief that I sometimes get and that I KNOW I gave my own mother).

I was reading a really good article that talks about how now America has become a country in which Christians need to be missionaries. We can no longer just live and not let others know about Jesus.

I remember when I first became a Christian. I was a freshman in college. I met a most amazing man (my now husband) who, though life was treating him horribly, spoke about hope and joy. It took almost one full year of fighting (yes FIGHTING - I thought I WAS a Christian, after all, I was born in America) before I came to know the truth. God was VERY gracious to me, and I asked Brian to pray with me to accept the Lord as my God and Savior. I gave my heart and life to Him (although I know that I do not do Him justice with it, sinful creature that I am). My happiest day without the Lord is equivalent to my saddest day WITH Him. I can have joy in the sorrow and peace in storms. Do I still struggle with faith and trust.. oh yeah.

But I want MORE for my children. I want them to struggle now, in a safe environment, so that they can be strong and mighty arrows for Jesus as they grow and meet others. Others who do not know the saving grace (and peace and JOY) of a personal relationship with Jesus. I want to be a light so they can burn even BRIGHTER than I do.

This world is so lost. This past election was a huge wake-up call for both Brian and myself. And I agree with the author in the article linked above. We can no longer live like we are in a Christian country blessed by God (like it was when our founding fathers wrote and signed the constitution of the United States). While our country is not impoverished like some third world countries (at least not yet), we are living in the same spiritually impoverished circumstances.

I remember reading about missionaries who had a zeal for God. Going into third world countries and spreading the gospel and leading others to Christ. They would (and many did) die in order to save just one person. While it is not that bad here (yet), it is amazing the vileness that comes toward me for just mentioning Jesus. And it will only get worse. I want my children to be steadfast, standing on Jesus as the solid rock, so that when the nasty attitude towards Christians becomes even worse, they will be able to stand strong and firm and be a light in such a dark dark world.

I am sorry to go on and on. Although I am pretty sure that very few of you actually read all of this. My blog is for me and my children, and if there is anyone out there who is reading and blessed by anything I have to share, then to God be the glory. I just felt I needed to write this down for my children's sake. Thanks for letting me ramble.

Girlhood Conference

Well bummer of bummers. They changed from talkshoe (a format that a person with a Mac can use) to a different format that is not Mac compatible. :( So I will not be able to participate today. BUT YOU CAN (if you don't use a Mac).

Here is the url:
Mother Daughter Conference
Name of Room: Girlhood Talks
Password: chatnow  

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Today's Doings

Well, today (and tomorrow) I am taking part in a teleconference on raising daughters. I will **TRY** to put up the link tomorrow morning (it starts at 9CT) if I get a hold of it (it is not the same as today's was). So today was "movie and exploration day" for school. I got movie days in public school, why can't they kids have movie day at home school? :D

But I did manage to run some errands (which includes FINALLY mailing off my mother/daughter swap package to my partner), get two loads of laundry done and organize some more books (adding them to my Library Thing (see left hand column, somewhere near the bottom). As far as wanting to get things done in the bedroom, I DID NOT FORGET!! :) I removed some of my crochet items and yarn and sewing things. I also moved the computer out of the bedroom. I think that will be a big help in getting things done AND give me less time on the computer (which I really should take). Now to goto bed and put my foot up because my toe is REALLY hurting. :(

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today's Doings

I find it difficult to just sit in front of the computer anymore. I don't like having idle hands! Even though I am reading and learning, I find so much more joy in DOING! And there is just something less idle about reading an actual book than reading blogs/articles on the computer.

School: Bible, Math, Writing, Reading (and reading and reading and ... LOL!!!)

What I did today: I have been working on trying to teach AA to crochet. She just can't do it. Knitting is no problem for her, but crocheting is a bit difficult. I did three loads of laundry. I have been listening to an audio book It's All Too Much that I believe I first heard about on The Homespun Heart. I made a plan for the Master Bedroom which I hope to start implementing tomorrow and be done by the end of the week. Of course, there will still need to be fine tuning (like getting rid of clothes that no longer fit and such), but there will be only clothing and furniture in the master bedroom by the end of the week (hopefully Friday, but maybe not until Saturday). And of course I got more crocheting in. I made and gave gifts to the closest neighbors. More on that to come. :)

Fingerless Gloves

I must say I never understood WHY people would make these things? I mean, isn't the point of making a GLOVE to keep warm?

Well, now I understand! Keeping the wrist and arm warm is so important!! It does help keep you warm!

I am SO LOVING Ravelry. If you have not signed up yet, it is FREE and SO TOTALLY WORTH the wait (yes, there is a short waiting period to get in. MUCH shorter than when I joined, I had to wait months!)

Anyways, I came across the most ADORABLE wristies (Ravelry link) for children while on there. There is a group called One Skein Crochet that has some GREAT projects! I found this one on there.

So many plans, so many CUTE projects. Now it is just a matter of DOING it. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Today's Doings

I hate noticed that the more I do, the more I want to do.

School: Bible, Hymn (Amazing Grace), Math, Science, Writing, Reading

What I did: 4 loads of laundry and then I 90% reorganized and 90% decluttered one room in the house - the TV room. I brought up a bookcase from the basement (umm... what to do with the massive books that WERE on there will have to be thought about later, much much later) and put the movies, CDs, DVDs and so forth on it. It was GREAT to be able to see all the DVD's we have (we have a lot of educational DVD's that we have not been able to watch because we did not know we had them). :) AND it was nice being able to see all the CD's we have (I have a lot of CD's)!

What is GREAT about having done this is that now we can see EVERYTHING and go through and declutter even more! Getting rid of DVD's and CD's we don't watch or care for any more. It will also allow us to enjoy what we DO have. ALSO, I brought up books that deal with games and FAMILY time. So that way we can have NON-TV stuff in the same area. :)

Current Web Readings

Those of you lucky (yes, I said LUCKY) enough to live near a kudzu plant, here are a few links that might be of interest to you:
Kudzu - the new biodiseal fuel
Article including how to make kudzu root starch
The Book of Kudzu
You Tube Video How to Make Kudzu Blossom Jelly
Kudzu World

I need to remember to check this out:
Mallowmallow Smores (that was an old lin, this is the new link - to ANYONE reading. I am unable to find a copy of his book for sale ANYWHERE! Can you help me find a copy?

Hadriness Zone Changes
A video showing how the hardiness zones have CHANGED (yes, your zone might not be what it was ten years ago).

Create A Thankfulness Calendar for November
I LOVE THIS IDEA!!! I just wish I had read about it sooner. But there is no time like the present to start! Maybe even continue it all the way to Christmas! I know that sometimes in the hustle of the holiday it is hard to take time to rest in Him and give thanks! :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Today's Doings

School: Bible, Hymn (I'll Fly Away), History/Christian Biographies (George Muller), Math, Art, Home Economics, Writing, Reading

I feel bad because I did not get much done today. Because of my over-doing it yesterday (thinking because my toe felt better, I could catch up on all that had NOT been done), I have been having to take pain meds (I HATE having to take pain meds) since 2AM. :(

But I did manage to have a LOT of tying strings with the kids today!!! :D LOTS of giggles and tickles and smiles. JJ put on a puppet show (and everytime he made the cow growl, all of us girls screamed and huddled together, which only made him smile bigger and bigger). AA is making a doll house from old cereal boxes. And we are planning an old fashioned knitting bee at our house for next week on Friday.

I made my bed, caught up on some reading, folded the laundry I hung up yesterday and put it away, made dinner (all from things I already had in my pantry), and I tidied JJ's room (this HAS to be kept up because of his reactive airway disease). I also got some crocheting done and am SO EXCITED to share with you (in a future post, this project NEEDS pictures) all about what I am crocheting! These things are FABULOUS! SO quick and easy to make and SO USEFUL!!! I just love 'em!

Things I am thankful for:
How BEAUTIFUL my girls sound when they sing together! I think it is more a heart thing because I know they will never sell get any recording contracts (if you know what I mean). :D
JJ LOVES to sing. It was so cute hearing him try to sing along this morning during hymn time!!!
That I have a foot. Even though I never knew the FIERY pain of a broken toe could be so debilitating, I am thankful I still have a foot!

To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate

I will start by saying that I know that this is a VERY personal decision. I know several people who vaccinate out of fear because they know someone or there is someone in the family who got a horrible disease that COULD be prevented with the vaccine.

I will say that the decision to (or not to) vaccinate should NEVER be made out of fear. You need to do your research.

That being said, there is a brand new forum where people on BOTH sides calmly debate the issue. And parents were able to ask questions.

Rather than pointing you to the forum, I am point you to the post where I learned about the forum.

Where To Begin

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today's Doings

Not that I will do this EVERY day, but for now and hopefully more frequently than once I week, I want to write a short post about what I did during the day. Hopefully to come with pictures in the future.

School: Bible, hymns (I'll Fly Away), Catechism, copywork, history (election), reading
School is cut short due to MM being sick and needing LOTS of Mommy time
Encouraged the girls in cleaning kitchen (they did a REALLY good job, I am so proud of them!)
Girls wrote letters and did art
I cleaned up part of the closet, hung my clothes and organized all my sweaters, did two loads of laundry (hanging one to dry), organized the entire pantry, changed the menu for the week to fit to use what we already had in pantry, organized two sets of cupboards, did the dishes, cleaned the sink and then had to stop because I was not taking care of my broken toe and it was now hurting

Things I am thankful for:
I have four beautiful children whose smiles brighten my every day
I have a Lord who is still on the throne!
I did something today!


I have come to the conclusion that the reason that I read and read and READ so many blogs is because I fear that I cannot do it. In reading about the life that I HOPE to live (more simple, hand making more things, gardening, preserving, etc.), I wonder where the time is. Where does it go? And then I realize that I am keeping myself from having the time because I spend so much time reading about it instead of doing it. I am afraid to fail.

I keep rationalizing that I need to read more and more and MORE about it. Saturating myself with knowledge before I jump in and do it. But in doing so, I realize that there is always one more thing to read and one more thing to learn. And nothing ever gets done, and a sort of depression seeps in. Not because I envy the life of others, but because I know, deep down inside, that I am preventing myself from having that life.

It is always one more thing. I need to know more, have more, read more. Where is the contentment and PEACE in that? My God is a God of peace and contentment. Whenever those two elements are missing in my life, it should be a little... no BLARING alarm that I am NOT right with God.

Honestly HE should be my ALL IN ALL. I should be seeking Him daily as to what He would have me do today. And yet, in an effort to try to do what **I think** would please and honor Him, I do not consult Him on the matter.

And I can see the effect this is having on my kids. They are like me, really wanting to do something, but never doing it. There is lots of talk about it, and even looking through books to learn more about it. But then nothing comes of it. And I know that I can see my oldest two getting deeply frustrated when things do not go their way. And I sit them down and comfort them and talk with them. That is their blaring alarm from God that they need to stop and pray and follow Him.

I can tell that my talks are helping because I do hear them suggesting to ME that I should pray more often. LOL! But it is always easier to see the speck in someone else's eye than the log in one's own eye. They do forget to stop and pray themselves. But prayerfully in reminding me, they will learn from me, and listen when Mommy reminds THEM. :)

I need to DO more and stop worry and going over everything in my head. If I am afraid to make mistakes, my children will grow up learning to be afraid to make mistakes. And as the THINKERS I am trying to raise them to be, they have to learn to LEARN from their mistakes (which cannot happen if they never make any). And it would be SO MUCH BETTER for them to make mistakes NOW, in a safe environment where they can be trained, than to get out into the world, and make mistakes and be bashed for them.

And to place a desire in my children's hearts (and mine) to seek Him. Not just daily prayers of praise and thanks to Him. Not just prayers asking for help and protection and guidance. But prayers in which we SEEK Him. Seek His will for each one of us each day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

PLEASE GO VOTE! (Updated with video and prayer)

PLEASE do NOT forget to vote!!!!

(video below, this will really help give you peace on a day like today, I got it in the mail from a friend)

A prayer for the election.

But I think this VERY POWERFUL prayer by Daniel is so very powerful, even for today. PLEASE take time to read it:

In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the lineage of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans— in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years specified by the word of the LORD through Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the LORD my God, and made confession, and said,

“O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You.

“O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws, which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yes, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and has departed so as not to obey Your voice; therefore the curse and the oath written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have been poured out on us, because we have sinned against Him. And He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing upon us a great disaster; for under the whole heaven such has never been done as what has been done to Jerusalem.

“As it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come upon us; yet we have not made our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities and understand Your truth. Therefore the LORD has kept the disaster in mind, and brought it upon us; for the LORD our God is righteous in all the works which He does, though we have not obeyed His voice. And now, O Lord our God, who brought Your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and made Yourself a name, as it is this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly!

“O Lord, according to all Your righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from Your city Jerusalem, Your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and Your people are a reproach to all those around us. Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications, and for the Lord’s sake cause Your face to shine on Your sanctuary, which is desolate. O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies. O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

Monday, November 3, 2008

Job Jars

I saw a post about Job Jars on Tip Junkie about a month ago and wanted to do it!

You see, I have been struggling with schedules. I cannot ever seem to make them stick.

But I was recently encouraged by Crystal with getting 5 things done, the same things done, everyday by a certain time. I CAN DO THAT! THE KIDS CAN DO THAT!

So I combined the two, and put 5 sticks into each jar with 5 things the girls were to do.

It did not work.

Firstly, the jars we used we cans and NOT see through (I am thinking that would make a BIG difference). And secondly, I am just NOT motivated/with it enough to remind them to get their things done.

We got a PEGS system which a friend found at a GARAGE SALE of all places for $10! It is the smaller board, and I am not certain it has EVERYTHING. But it has a LOT. I just need to put it all together and put it UP so the kids can SEE IT and remind THEMSELVES to do it. PLUS, this is MUCH easier for me to see and see if a child has done something.

So now I finally have the motivation to get this thing UP and working so that things will be going in time for Thanksgiving. Right before my mother is scheduled to arrive. Maybe this time the house will be so clean, she will have nothing to do but sit back, relax and enjoy her grandchildren!!! :)