Sunday, August 31, 2008


I WANT TO KNOW HIM FULLY - the cry of a desperate 8 1/2 year old. I did not do right by her. I taught her to do go, but not how to resist the flesh. I did not teach her to die to self.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Family Fun: Bubble Baths

Tonight, just for the fun of it, and yes it is wasteful, but like the Mastercard commercials is truly PRICELESS...

I put WWWWWWAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYY too many bubbles in the bath! I wish I had a picture, but there was no WAY I was about to take the camera in that room to get wet. LOL!!! But oh, the smiles will warm my heart and be a memory in my eye forever!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Handbook Of Nature Study

I LOVE Charlotte Mason and the more I read about her, them more I really learn towards doing things her way.

If you have always wanted a copy of The Handbook Of Nature Study, but haven't gotten your copy yet, I found a copy FREE ONLINE!! True, it is from 1911, but a LOT of this is still applicable today.

Handbook of Nature Study (1911)

AND I found this AWESOME blog which goes through on how to use it!

The Heart Of The Matter

We have been working a lot more lately on bringing the child to realize their heart behind their actions when disobedient.

But I started thinking, that might be difficult when we focus so much on the ACT rather than the heart.

I get irritated because I am trying to finish up something I am doing and get angry with one of the children because they interrupted me. But their heart was one of sharing. Or I get frustrated with them because in cleaning up the spilled milk on the floor, they leave the wet rag on the wooden floor. When their heart was one of being helpful, and they just forgot to put it away in their excitement.

So I want to start focusing on the heart when they are obedient too. And in praising them, praise the heart behind the matter.

I appreciate your kindness in wanting to share that with mommy, but remember to be patient and not interrupt mommy.

Thank you for your hard work in cleaning up the floor, now remember to be diligent and put the rag where it belongs when you are done. Thanks for being such a hard worker!

I think this will also help develop character in the children. I think it is easy to become prideful when all you are praised for is your work and not the heart behind the work.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Blessing of A Hormonal 8 1/2 yr old!!

I am humbled how God will use my children to teach me and bring me closer to Him.

AA is an 8 1/2 yr old bundle of raging hormones. This has given me a VERY great appreciation for ALL I put my mother through!! LOL!!

But it has also caused AA difficulty. She is scared and unsure why things which came so easily to her before are now difficult for her. I just came from her room where she was crying "I want to be my old self!"

Now in this case, it is a GOOD thing to want to be her old self because her old self was much more kind, loving AND obedient. And it seemed to come easily to her.
But how many times do I wish I could be my old selfish self?

You see, it started because AA was told to take a nap because her lack of self control deemed one necessary. (Hey, MOMMA needs a nap too!) She said "Yes Ma'am" and then began arguing with me, very subtly, to please not have to take a nap.
How many times do I try to argue my way out of doing what He has asked?

We try to have the children focus on their heart behind their actions, so I told her that she needed to look at her heart. She was not in true obedience to Mommy because she was arguing with me about taking a nap. We discussed the rebellion and selfishness in her heart because she was putting her own desires above that of being obedient to Mommy.

She kept saying she was trying and that she wanted to be her old self. I explained that the problem was that she was trying to change herself, but God is the only One who can change us.
I have shared on here time and time again how I am STILL learning to allow God to change me and that I cannot do things in my own strength.

I shared with her how it is when we are weak that He makes us strong. So when we are told to do something, we need to realize when our heart is fighting against it and we need to pray and stop that selfish sin right there before it can go any further.

She could pray "Lord, Momma told me to take a nap and I don't want to. I know that this is wrong and selfish. I pray Lord that You will help me to die to myself and live for You. Help me to be obedient to my Mommy and glorify You Lord."

It was as I was sharing that prayer with her I realized that there are a lot of times when I feel the Lord telling me to do something, and I will not be obedient to Him. I want to blog, or read blogs, or read a book, or find out how the movie ends, or.... the list goes on and on. And instead, I need to stop and pray for God to help me to be obedient to Him. I need to allow myself to be weak in my self so I can be made strong in Him.

I shared that realization with my daughter, and how I was so thankful to God for using HER to teach me. She smiled. And then we prayed together. I cannot express the joy that overcame me as I realized that what had just happened deeply affected AA. I had been praying that God would help me to reach her. I could see that she was struggling, but had no idea what to say to her. Being humbled enough to share my weakness allowed AA to see God's strength. She was touched and this is not something she will easily forget. And I pray it is something she will easily remember to do as needed. Glory be to God!!! :D
Romans 8:25-27

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am posting this here so I will know where it is when I need it:

A Peak Into Homeschooling

My 8yr dd received a WAY COOL ant kit from her Aunt K and Uncle J. We finally got some ants for it, and any homeschooling mom knows what that usually leads to...


All of the girls were fighting over seeing the ants. Then it was taking TOO LONG for them to burrow into the gel (yeah, GEL ... this was a SPACE ant kit!! I told you it was WAY COOL!) So we head up to see if we can find video on You Tube.

This led to:
watching ants eat dead animals and talking about why it is important ants eat dead things
watching kids be stupid and put their hands in fire ant piles (my daughter is sorry she asked to see that one, and told me to "change the channel!"
watching ants fight each other
watching black widows
watching a black widow fight a scorpion (can you believe the scorpion won?!?! my daughters were all very sad, they did not want anyone to die)
watching a puppy and a lobster
and finally watching what my daughters all ooohhhed and ahhhhed over... baby animals

To which afterwards they were all downstairs again fighting for a view of the ants and wondering why they aren't digging yet. :)

TO which my 8yr dd still exclaimed "this is the best gift ever!" :D I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING!!!

Homeschooling Freebies For The Week

CurrClick has a free weekly download.

Go here and register (it is free)

Sign up for their weekly newsletter to be notified of specials as well as for future notification of the changing link for the weekly freebie.

Then go here to download this week’s freebie - a set of division flashcards

Then just check your email on Monday’s to be notified of the new freebie of the week.
I have gotten some of the coolest freebies from here. :)

This week, they have FOUR EXTRA FREEBIES in their newsletter (I hope that becomes a regular thing):

Butterflies Unit Study

Simple Scissors Practice

Kidzwonder magazine (This is listed under science unit studies and looks so cute!)

Free Sample Dinosaur Days

Summer Fun

Image is clickable

Man, the days of summer are coming to an end. But not before grabbing some GREAT shots of the kids enjoying it!! Hey, if you can't get all four kids faces to look great in a photo, go for the feet, right?!?! :D

Monday, August 25, 2008


Ok, first, look up in the URL! There is now a cute quilted heart there!!!

Thanks to Ayumills for the tutorial on how to do it!!!

The link above also goes to some AWESOME tutorials. LOTS of time to look through. There are some cute sewing projects there too!!

Current Web Readings

Add Grace To Your Budget
I can TOTALLY attest to this! We had no "blow money, as Dave Ramsey calls it, and boy did we stink the first month of our budget. Then we gave ourselves some blow money, and had a much easier time sticking to the budget. Now we not only have blow money, but money we set aside every month in a non-ER fund. This account is for things like needing new tires, going on vacation, great find on a big money need (like a couch), etc.). That was it is like a PRE-ER fund, and can be gotten into for things that are not TRULY emergencies.

This is a GREAT pep-talk about how to simplify your life by utilizing a budget.

Pictures from the Passionate Housewives Tea
OK, so I like to look at pretty things just for fun! Not EVERYTHING has to be educational, right? SOOOOoooo wish I could have been there.

Curriculum for National Parks
HOW COOL!! We LOVE going to National Parks! How great to have premade lessons to go with it!!! :)

Teaching Home Newsletters
I LOVED this magazine. I have several of their back issues. I thought they had gone away, but a lady from my homeschool support group just forwarded me this link! FREE ONLINE NEWSLETTERS!! This magazine is such a great encouragement!

What The Bible Says About Children

Fruit of the Spirit
a beginning collection of ideas for teaching children about the fruits of the Spirit

How To Make Compost
I don't get to read this wonderful blog as much anymore since she changed her feed read to partial instead of full and I miss her posts. But I got a chance to read a few today in catching up. This is a GREAT post!!

Feeling Funky?
A GREAT article for those who are in a "funk." Uses Scripture to refocus! WONDERFULL!!

Scripture Sleuth
A friend told me about these books. These are RIGHT up AA's alley. She LOVES mysteries (like Encyclopedia Brown). There is a sample chapter (each chapter is a mystery to solve and you have to look up scripture to solve it!), I am printing out right now for AA. I hope to get all 5 books in the series. These would be GREAT for car trips!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This is the truth

This video is very powerful, and also VERY true....


Also, just a little plug for a new blog I came across today. She is having a contest and so far I am the only one entered! Check it out at Reflections in the Window

Friday, August 22, 2008

NSM: Update

Well, I made about 40 bucks on a rainy day garage sale (I cannot believe anyone showed up. but I guess when you are desperate for curriculum from homeschooling, you will go out in the pouring rain).

$25 went immediately to getting JJ just some of his speciality foods.

I went and grabbed a small handful of cash to get us through the rest of the month, and hopefully this did it:

$10 shipping to ship off books for PapberBack Swap. What is great is that some of those packages had two books, so I am actually gonna get 10 credits for books! That is about $1 a book!!! SO MUCH CHEAPER than anything else out there (except for garage sales which are really hit and miss with finding the books I TRULY want). If you have not signed up for PapberBack Swap yet, I highly encourage you to do so!!

$35 produce/fruit at farmer's market - this will last us the rest of the month :) (That included $8 for enough of the most delicious organic peaches, enough to make two VERY filled pies!)

$25 for more of JJ's speciality foods.

I also grabbed money for the glasses we will be needing to buy AA tomorrow. :(

Fun For Nothin'


This is SO GREAT I had to share it RIGHT NOW!

Fun For Nothin'

An on going challenge THAT YOU MUST CHECK OUT!! This is a GREAT way to share and get ideas for having fun with your children without things like TV, lots of money or other material things. Jumping rope and spitting watermelon seeds are the kind of things you will find here!! I LOVE THIS! AND what a GREAT way to share two passions - enjoying my children AND photography (check out the Flickr Group)!

Here is a slideshow of pictures from there (you can also always scroll down to the bottom of this blog and see the same slideshow which is updated as pictures are added):

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Fear Factor for Kids

Image is clickable

I LOVE this picture of JJ! We enjoyed some of the last of the days of summer here (yes, autumn comes quickly in Colorado and the days of summer are too short). I showed JJ just ONCe how to drink out of a water bottle and he picked up on it right away! Look at those lips - perfect placement!!! Too bad there is not a drinking water Olympics, my JJ would win for best lip placement in the 2yr old category! LOL!!

But MAN, look at those floaties in the water!! LOL!! My husband commented that it was fear factor for kids drinking water like that! I thought it was so cute he said that and so ICK JJ drank that!! UGH! :D

Thursday, August 21, 2008

CommonPlace Books

Commonplace Book Tutorial
I am playing catch-up on one of my favorite blogs. This is a GREAT idea to make for the kids to carry around with them. She also shares how she is currently using them.

These are such a great idea! I hope to make one for each of the girls AND myself included. We will see. It seems I am great at making plans, but not so great at following through. I need to make a plan to help me follow through on my plans. LOL!!!

Teaching Your Child To Read

My children have always had their nose in a book. Even JJ at 2 sees his sisters with their noses in books and they puts his nose in a book. LOL!!! I have read to them from birth on. I still read to them and plan to still read to them as long as they will allow me. :)

Getting my degree in education is good in some things, and bad in others. It has put a strong conviction in me never to allow my children in public school (I have seen the behind the scenes and it is not pretty). That is a GOOD thing. But it has also put a push in me that I want to push my children to do more and more at younger and younger ages.

I have shared before about how I felt it was important to wait to teach my children to read. This goes against everything I learned in college. One of the reasons I believed it was the right thing to do. ;) I had a friend, Lisa, whom I greatly admired how she was raising her kids. AA was just a baby at the time. And I asked Lisa a ton of questions. She just smiled and told me that I should read the Raymond Moore books and should start with Better Late Than Early.

This book really changed me and my outlook on teaching my children.

It was not easy to fight what had been instilled in me by my parents (who asked weekly since AA was 3 years old if she could read yet), instilled in me by college (children need to be reading at the earliest age possible), what my husband believed (who felt pressured because his sister's autistic son could read fully by the age of 3 but could not comprehend any of it), and what the world was pushing (pumping lessons into the womb to start reaching the child before he is even born).

I have shared how it was only a few months ago that AA (now 8 1/2 yrs) began reading. As she was growing up, I would read to her frequently. We had a library of books in the basement that she would pick books from. She slept with books. And always pretended to read them. When she wanted to do some reading lessons, I would pull out the book and we would do the lesson (sometimes 2 or 3 at a time because she wanted more). There would be weeks and sometimes MONTHS between lessons. I never pushed it.

Finally a few months ago she picked up a 230 page book and read it front to back with hardly stopping! And now, she is reading Pilgrim's Progress!

An excerpt from what she read today:

Christian: And who was he who bade him cease?
Faithful: I did not know Him at first,but as He went by, I saw the nail holes in His hands and knew He was our Lord.
Christian: he that overtook you was Moses, he spares none and shows no mercy to those who transgress the law.

WOW! And when we ask her to tell us what is happening in the story, she is able to tell us with FULL COMPREHENSION!! With words like bade and transgress.

I write this as ENCOURAGEMENT to wait and let children read when they want to. Be it three years old or eight years old, it is wonderful to wait until the CHILD is ready. AA now LOVES to read. She is even teaching herself some math by reading books! She shocked me the other day when she said that 3 bunches for $10 meant that each bunch was $3.33!!! It took her a little bit of time. You could see the wheels in that brain crunching!! But she did get it. And OH HOW WONDERFUL the light in her eyes when she realized she figured out the answer, before she even spoke it I knew by the look in her eyes she got it right! I asked her where she learned to do that and she said some book I had bought at a garage sale!!! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Praying the Psalms

If you have never heard of Voddie Bauchman, you are missing out!! You can google "Voddie Bachman" and "aduio" and find lots of FREE online talkings he has given. He even has his own You Tube station! (So does Vision Forum by the way!)

In one that was recently spoken at a homeschooling conference, he mentioned that his family, will at times, read a Psalm and pray through it. I have never heard this before. And the timing could not have been better as Psalms in the book of the Bible I am currently in (yes, STILL in). :)

I am not sure how he does his, and I am sure I could google and find out how others do it. But I was so encouraged by what I came across today during my Bible time that I just had to share.

I am feeling very overwhelmed and stressed right now due to my husband's work and the possible loss of his job. (Your prayers are greatly appreciated.) I am trying to be strong for Brian and the kids.

Anyways, I have been pouring myself into Scripture lately and am realizing it is only through HIS strength that anything can be done. I think the day I finally get that and it STICKS is the day the His work will be completed in me and He will take me home!! LOL!!

I thought you would like to hear my prayer today, based on the Psalm I read today. Psalm 143

Hear my prayer, O LORD,
Give ear to my supplications!
In Your faithfulness answer me,
And in Your righteousness.
My spirit is overwhelmed within me,
my heart is distressed
Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness
for in You I do trust.
Cause me to know the way
in which I should walk
for I lift up my soul to You
Teach me to do Your will
for You are my God.
In Jesus' high and mighty name, Amen.

I am not sure if I did it right, but the peace the immediately filled me afterwards is joy unspeakable! So I wanted to share this little peak into my prayer closet in hopes of encouraging you as well.

Cleaning Plan

OH I LOVE THIS!! I just found a list of decluttering/cleaning by month. She took her home, divided it into twelve zones, and spent a whole month in each zone. Each zone gets a thorough decluttering, cleaning and sprucing up (paint and the like).

I LOVE this idea!!!

Since August is a pretty busy month for us, I will start in September. I will admit I am kind of sad I did not see this and start in the NEW year, so that by Christmas my house will be all nice and done.

Thankfully because beloved requested it, we have done a lot of decluttering. Over 1/4 of our stuff went into the garage for the garage sale (which will have to wait until this weekend because last weekend it poured rain!). But I still like the idea of being able to do paint touch ups and the like.

AND once it is clean, it will stay clean. OH how I want that to happen so desperately. And I believe it can once the clutter is gone. It is amazing how much time I spend cleaning clutter!

September --- laundry room/coat and cleaning closets

October --- main gathering room

November --- dining room/main bathroom (get this done BEFORE Thanksgiving)

December --- guest room/guest bathroom

January --- kid's bathroom

February --- living room

March --- library/basement

April --- garage

May --- Boy's room

June --- Girl's room

July --- kitchen

August --- master bedroom and bath

I put the rooms and kitchen in warmer months in case we paint we can open windows

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I am really needing some points at Paperback Swap so I can get me some more free books. SO, what I have seen others do in the same situation is have a contest! WHAT ELSE?!?!?!


Just goto Paperback Swap and take a look around at what books are available! Some books you might want, but might not be available because everyone wants them. :) SO look around and find one that is available.

Come back here and post the title of the book in the comments section. I will draw a winner one week from today, next Tuesday. This post will stay at the top until the drawing.

And if you do like what you see, please do consider joining PaperBack Swap. It has been a WONDERFUL way for our family to declutter books that we no longer want (or will never read) and get books FOR FREE that we want and will use! :)I have saved over $160!

Even if you were to get a book you wanted for one cent on someplace like or, you would have to pay $3.75+ for shipping. With Paperback Swap, if you were to ship one of your books (or even just buy a book credit), you would pay less than $3!! I have never paid more than $3 to ship one of my books (shipping your book gets you one credit). Each book credit gets you one free book. AND WHEN YOU JOIN AND POST 10 BOOKS you get 2 FREE BOOKS just for posting your ten! Then, if each of your books is shipped and received, that is a possibility of TWELVE FREE BOOKS!!

I do hope you will look around and post a book in the comments section. Maybe you are learning about weather. Search for weather and find a book you think your kids would like. Maybe you have a favorite author, or a homeschool book (like Home Grown Kids) that you have been wanting. This is your chance to get a book of YOUR CHOOSING for FREE!!!

Current Web Readings

Thus Ends Western Civilization
It is a sad sad day where REAL historical figures like Cleopatra and Winston Churchill are thought of as fictional characters created for movies and FICTIONAL characters like Sherlock Holmes are thought of to have once been a real person. Yet that is where public education has gotten us. As Voddie Bauchman says "if you continue to send your kids to Caesar for their education, they will come home Romans!"

Do You Speak Casserole?"
A WONDERFUL post on delivering comfort in times of need. LOVE the picture (I am such a visual person and really need PICTURES WITH words to understand. HT: Like Merchant Ships

The Truth About Vanilla
Is your vanilla real or made from wood. SERIOUSLY!! Here is what a friend of mine uses (Everlasting Vanilla) and she LOVES it. IT really does last forever. We will be doing the same thing!!

Springy Flower Pot Desserts
Check this out while it is still spring! These are so fun and cute! I thought of you Rebecca when I saw these!!!

Simple Tips For Living On Little
GREAT post with SIMPLE things you can do. You don't have to do them all. Just pick one and START! :)

How To Make Natural Cleaners Work Better
GREAT stuff here!!!

Christmas Crafting Pt. 1
With a list as AMAZING as this is, you will not run out of ideas for presents (year round, not just Christmas) for kids. I cannot believe there will be a PART TWO with all she listed here!!! WOW!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

NSM: Update

Confession time: I almost dipped into money meant for our emergency fund. :(

I had the money from a check cashed at one bank to put in the ER fund which is held at a different bank. NORMALLY I cash the check and deposit at the same bank the ER fund is held at. But this time, with gas prices the way they are, I cashed at the bank closest to the grocery store, and planned to take the ER fund money to the other bank when I took JJ to therapy (as it was on the way).

I had taken beloved to a doctor appointment, and while he was in, I decided to drive around a bit to keep the kids happy while waiting in the car. I came across an estate sale. I only had a small amount of money on hand for beloveds doctor appointment co-pay and some cash. And I thought "I have the ER fund money I can use and just repay myself back after payday." And I went into the sale.

With this being No Spend Month I should not have even gone INTO the estate sale!

It wasn't until later that day I realized that I had already deposited the cash into the ER fund. But it is scary to think how addicted I am to saving money that I would have used money meant for our ER fund to do it.

I have always said that I believe that if God truly wanted us to have something, then He would provide it for us. And if it was on sale, and the sale ended THAT DAY, and we wanted to pray and wait on it, then God would either provide it at the sale price the next day (if He wanted us to have it), OR provide the extra money to pay full price for it (again, if He wanted us to have it).

But my thoughts proved different. I was willing to dip into the ER fund cash I had in my pocket by rationalizing that I would replace it. Would not God provide everything we needed within the means we had available (without me having to dip into my ER fund)? Estate sale or not?!

I have learned a valuable lesson. It is worth the extra little bit of money on gas to make sure the ER fund money gets deposited right away. I do not have the self-control at this time to not spend it if I have it.

Previous balance: $209

$32.50 homeschooling supplies and dresses for the girls. A DEAR friend was having a garage sale and how could I resist! I have been dying to get my hands on some of her books!!! :)

$40 gas. I had to do it. with therapies and all I need gas in the car. :(

$35 Beloved's birthday party and fun. It was TOTALLY worth it! :)

$ 71. Beloved really wanted some fruit around the house for snacks for him and for the girls, and we were craving hot dogs and of course had to get all the fixins. AND the scratch and dent (SND) grocery store finally had some gluten free cereals in, so I HAD to stock up. Normally they are an average of $4, and the SND has them for $1.50!!

$20 co-pay for beloved. SO THANKFUL I finally got him to goto the doctor!!

$4 at the estate sale (bought a tea set for $2 to resale at the garage sale for $10, and bought a hair cutting set, but it did not come with directions, so that may have been a waste of $2 :( )

$6.50 garage sale supplies (signs and such).

-------Out of money for NSM. :(

We will be having a garage sale this weekend and that is the only money I plan on using for the rest of the month. We are pretty stockpiled now. I think I did not plan on such good deals for stockpiling (as there was NOTHING really last month, all my stockpiling from last month was all mostly slightly discounted stuff). But this month there were some GREAT deep discounts. And having children with special diets (gluten free), if I am ever gonna have a break from making stuff from scratch, I have to stockpile when given the chance.

And NSM has made me realize just how addicted I am to spending to save. No more garage sales for me for the rest of the month! Only selling my OWN stuff!!! :) I guess that is one good thing about having a garage sale, you MAKE money instead of spending it! :) Normally I hate having garage sales because I am stuck at home and "missing out."

But I am realizing that I am trusting more on myself to provide for our needs rather than God who is the ultimate Provider and would not provide anything we don't need (I can just imagine how much CLEANER and decluttered my house would be if I relied totally on God to provide!). It is a very powerful realization. And leads me to much prayer.

**After I wrote this, we ended up having to pay $135 for a visit to the eye doctor for AA. She has a focusing problem, is far sighted and has a stigmatism. :( It is a good thing we went in when we did. The doctor feels that most everything can be corrected, except the stigmatism. The eye is growing and changing from birth to age 10-12. Anytime during that time, one is able to help change the growth of the eye. After that time period, it is too late. The damage has basically been done. VERY interesting to hear all he had to say. The doctor is VERY passionate about EVERY child getting regular eye exams. I just wish we had the money to. Thankfully this money came out of a new expense account we created for such a time as this so we did NOT have to pull money out of our ER fund!!! :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Child Who Prays

We have always prayed with our children. Before every meal. Before bedtime. When we see an accident or hear a siren. When the children are scared or hurt. When we see a beautiful sunset. When we lose something. When God helps us find it. We pray.

And we do this with them from the moment they are conceived, through their birth, and throughout their life.

And in all this time, I have never seen my children pray at such an early age. Usually about 3 or so they will start praying. Once they have full sentences and can run a few of them together.

But JJ, our son, is praying right now. Even though he cannot speak. He will put his tiny little hands together, bow his head and pray. Without us asking him to. He repeats the words!! It is wonderful and truly amazing! Oh JJ, how I pray that you will ALWAYS be a man for God, on your knees.

Mommy: Father God
JJ: aher od
Mommy: we praise Your name
JJ: aise name
Mommy: thank you for this day
JJ: ank you iz ay
Mommy: bless this food
JJ: ess iz food
Mommy: Bring us health and strength
JJ: ng lth rngth
Mommy: in the name of Jesus we pray
JJ: Jezus e ray
Mommy: Amen
JJ: MEN!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Good Enough??

I laughed so hard when I watched this video! Of course the kids wanted to watch it too. It really made an impact on them.

HT: Your Sacred Calling

Bless The Lord

Am I the only one who has questioned what it means to bless the Lord? I am in the book of Psalms and over and over again it tells us to bless the name of the Lord. I always thought it was the Lord who blessed US.

So I am thinking about it and I get this picture of my kids doing something that really blesses me. And I have to think is it the same thing? Are there things that I do here that blesses God. It is hard to believe that the sinner that I am can do anything that would bless God.

But my kids are little sinners too, are they not? :) And yet, there are still things they do and say that really blesses me and makes my heart overflow with joy. Cannot I then do the same to my heavenly Father?

Just thinking about things I can do and say that will bless Him in my life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Current Web Readings

How To Make Butter With Kids 
so FUN!!! WONDERFUL thing to do while reading the Little House on the Prairie books! I know in ONE of them it talks about making butter. :)

How To Make a One Pot Herb Garden
I LOVE this idea!!! :)

The Family Together In God's Presence
A really good and convicting read.

Creating Closet Bliss
I really like this way of cleaning out the closet! HT: Small Notebook

Grocery Shopping In Simplicity

Homeschooling - less is more
OH THIS IS THE PERFECT POST for EVERY homeschooling mom to read. ESPECIALLY those who are just about to begin homeschooling.

Cooking Clubs
My mom used to do something similar when I was a child. Only they would meet to EAT and not cook for each other. LOL!! I love this idea, but with JJ's health issues, something like this would only be an option with other moms of kids with terrible food allergies.

Blogs For Homeschool Dads
GREAT list of links for blogs for dads to read by a well trusted blogging Momma.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Update on No Poo

This is the glass jar I keep our vinegar rinse in. It is calendula flowers, rosemary and chamomile flowers in apple cider vinegar (redheads can add rose hips instead of rosemary). I keep it here steeping in the windowsill which gets plenty of sun. :)  I drain out some, straining the herbs, into the pouring container (pictured below).  I got this container for a quarter at a garage sale. :) It takes 4 weeks to steep till done, but I continue to let it steep until it is completely gone. I will start another one when this one is half done.

I mentioned a while back about our No Poo adventure. I thought I would give an update.

First of all, you need to know that I used to have the THICKEST hair on earth. I began losing it by the handfuls after my second was born and I tried everything to get my hair to stop falling out. Nothing worked. Well this no poo thing is WORKING! My hair is still falling out a little bit, but not by the handfuls anymore!! :) In fact it feels a little bit thicker than normal!!!

I have also noticed that my hair is nice and soft and smooth. Even Brian commented on how soft my hair was. I used to have to add lots of stuff in order for my hair to feel soft. It was always frizzy and flyaway. Lately it has been much easier to manage.

My grey hair (I have been doing rosemary infusions as well as rosemary infused apple cider vinegar) is also not as coarse as it usually is. It is normally VERY coarse and wirey (is that a word?). But since going no poo, my grey hair is not only not as wirey (a comment made by my beloved, so it is not just me), but it has also reduced in numbers! I would say that the hair that was grey has been reduced by about 30%!! And that is only after one month!!! :)

I am unsure if the grey will ever completely be covered/blended back into my hair, but even to just reduce it naturally is WONDERFUL!

I also stopped shampooing my 2nd daughter's hair. I have noticed that her hair no longer gets tangles!! I am going to start doing the other girl's hair with the apple cider vinegar rinse and see if they have the same results!

A quick link on all your could ever want to know about going no poo.

This is the pouring container I use for the vinegar rinse. After straining the herbal rinse into the jar (see how LITTLE is in there?), I add hot water (which comes out from the tap as I am waiting for the water to get hot enough, I probably should use filtered water, but I am not too particular). Because my hair is oily, I use a 1:4 part ratio (one part rinse, 4 parts hot water). For the girls it is a 1:6 ratio. I also got this container at a garage sale for a quarter! :) The book is Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss (GOOD STUFF!). I got it FREE through Paperback Swap! It is my bathtub reading material.  And notice the box in the back? I got that in an online swap!! :) It is full of fun bath frills for me to be able to relax. :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Looking Up

Click image to view text and credits.

I never realized just how small my girls were until I saw this picture EE took of me. The angle of her looking up at me to be able to take my picture really hit me. I always thinking of them as SO BIG when they are really just so SMALL!!

It really makes me want to take some more time to truly treasure this time while I have it. I know they grow up fast. I have seen it (having four children, you look at your youngest and then at your oldest and you see it!) and been told it by COUNTLESS well meaning women whose children are grown and gone.

It was just very powerful to me to see how small my girls are. I guess it just gave me a realization just how fragile they are.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Sweethearts: Follow The Nose

OH I laughed so hard I cried when I read this. So I share it here. What a wonderful reminder to allow your marriage to be full of JOY!

Just Follow My Nose

Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday's Fun: Enjoying Raw Cookie Dough

Click to enlarge and for credits.
Want to know how I made the layout? There is a wonderful tutorial in the newest issue of
The Artisan Notebook

This was about 6 months after JJ was released from the hospital. It was so good seeing him eat so well and so happily! 

I know that my girls love not only helping in the kitchen, but licking the spatula, scraping the bowl (not with their hands like JJ is in the picture - too CUTE!) with spoons and the like. Sometimes it is easy to be the adult and forget the fun I had as kid licking the spatula. So tonight we make cookies (gluten free and egg free) and everyone enjoys being a kid (me too!) :) Who knows, maybe we will add some small raw cookie cough balls to the ice cream! There is a benefit to so many allergies you know, no raw egg!! :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I must be doing SOMETHING right...

That was the original title of this post. 

While all three girls are playing with playdough at the table, I overheard EE (6yr) say, "I have something to say. I am sorry for losing my temper with you AA, do you forgive me?"

My heart was touched and blessed. And so I came up to write just a short blurb to remember this moment.

But as I typed out the title, I was so convicted about the heart of PRIDE I had towards this moment. As if **I** was the one doing something right, when in fact, it is my daughter who had done something right.

I am nothing and can do nothing except through Christ who strengthens me. It is Him who has touched my daughter and His work in her heart that has caused this wonderful moment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NSM: How's It Going

So far, for No Spend Month, I have spent:

$10 on food to donate to the homeschool fair (good deal since what was left over got to be brought home and fed to my family as a nice little snack!)

$33 on new shoes for JJ. Now that he is growing, he finally needing new shoes. Of course this prolly could have waited if he had not lost one of his shoes. We looked EVERYWHERE! It is GONE! I think he threw it out the window of the car while we were driving.

And what a temptation shopping at the mall is!! Who puts chocolate covered strawberries (yummo!) in the children's shoe section?!?! And Vera Bradley was having a 50% off sale!! I will admit I did look! But I was good and did not buy!

$48 diapers. This might have been able to wait too, except for the fact that the diapers were half off!! I was not looking for this bargain, but with the fact that JJ is not even near being potty trained, and the prices of diapers keep rising, I had to stockpile. I did not take as much as I wanted though, I was good.
$209 left

I am frustrated that I have so little left and we have not even gone a week into this. Thankfully I have a lot of food already stockpiled. I might have to double the $250 used by Small Notebook to $500 instead of the $300 I had originally set out to spend. We will see. I am going to try my best to keep the spending under $300. This is much harder than originally thought!

I know beloved's birthday is this weekend and he has taken work off (a 4 day weekend) in order to celebrate. So I am not sure what money he plans on spending there. I know one of the days he wants to spend taking pictures (free except for the gas to get there). Another day he wants to go out to eat. All 6 of us.

It is also frustrating that the month we decide to do this, we have extra bills. I guess that is a good thing since we will have extra money to put towards the bills. But I was really hoping to put money into the ER fund.

I was reading a blog the other day where this family is trying to save 100 Dollars A Day in order to have $36,500 in savings by the end of the year. When you read her getting started post, you will realize that it is not as difficult as it sounds. :)

So I started thinking about it. I wonder if we really could do it. I mean, if we really changed the way we lived. I know we definitely could if we had not moved into this house. Our new house payment is stupidly three times what we were paying. We did it before our Dave Ramsey introduction, before our son's health issues and while in a mindset of needing more room and not thinking how can we make this house fit our needs.

I will have to think more about it and talk to beloved about it. I do know that this No Spend Month thing has really got me thinking about money and spending and SAVING in a whole new way. Which I think, if I am not mistaken, is the main purpose of No Spend Month.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I can hardly believe a year has passed since Jewel said she would be leaving the blogsphere. But she is back!!! :)

Go and give her a hearty welcome back dear friend and enjoy her posts and grow in the Lord!
Eyes of Wonder

Elements of Time

I LOVE going to Living Historical Ranches. It is a dream of mine to actually STAY on a working ranch near Williamsburg (learning to hand quilt, milk cows, get eggs in the morning and all that FUN STUFF!!) while visiting the living ranches there. Anyways, my girls LOVE saying "the old time way" whenever there is anything from before 1930. :) They are too cute. Here is EE doing laundry "the old time way."

Elements of Time - Artisan Notebook Challenge
Click for credits as to make larger

Monday, August 4, 2008

Current Web Readings

Mood Changers For Kids
GREAT ideas for fun things to do with the kids whenever then seem like EVERYONE needs a break!

100 Things To Do During A Money Free Weekend
What PERFECT TIMING with the No Spend Month we are doing!!! HT: Small Notebook

Monica is doing a week long posting on simplifying life. I know that with all the decluttering we are doing, life will be much more simpler!

Goodbye Clutter
Another timely post!!!

Simplifying - Surrounding Yourself with Quality
This post also comes are a great time! Quality verses quantity. GOOD POST! HT: Small Notebook

30 Ways To Make Your Life More Simple
I printed out this list and want to try to do one a day during the month of August

House Cleaning

My house is a mess, AGAIN! It seems that no matter how many times I clean it and get the kids into cleaning their zone, we all fall by the wayside, and the house becomes a total mess again. It does seem especially difficult now that JJ has therapy TWICE a week (instead of once every other week).

I think we have all heard it by now. it takes 30 days to form a habit. Well, I am going to get the children AND myself into the habit of keeping this house clean.

Yes, I just said keeping it clean. Meaning that for my 12 year anniversary, instead of celebrating with romance and twitterpations, we all cleaned house.

I will write more later on how to get into the habit of cleaning. At least, what we are going to do and see if it works. I will write more on that later.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Forever Sweethearts: Forever I Do

Tomorrow, August 3, my beloved and I will have been married for 12 years! WOOHOO! Two years ago, before all the medical issues with JJ, I held a contest where other people scrapped my wedding photos. I never got the album finished or printed, so now that things are finally going well, I am finishing it up to print it out!

Here are some layouts I did:
(Click images for credits and to enlarge)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Answered Prayer

I becomes to easy to forget when God answers a prayer. Even the smallest of ones. ESPECIALLY the smallest of ones.

So I am starting a new label. Everytime God answers a prayer, I am going to blog about it, no matter how small or meanial it may seem. That way I can look back on my blog and see all the times God answered my prayers.

Of course God has answered several more before this, including sparing the life of our son. But I will just start with today. Today God answered two prayers.

The first prayer God answered is one that I had prayed a lot in the past, but had forgotten to until recently. I started praying again a few days ago for God to cause my beloved to be praised in the gates. He does not get a lot of praise from co-workers. It is something he really needs. Well not only did a co-worker praise him BUT praised him before others in the company! It was an overabundant answer to prayer! I am so thankful to God for answering my prayer above what I asked for!!!

The second one may seem small, but yesterday there were no discounted bananas. I am in charge of bringing a fruit salad for several ladies at the Homeschool Fair tomorrow and needed bananas. So I prayed that God would provide some discounted bananas today (as the rest of the fruit had been donated by other members in the group). Sure enough, there were four bunches of discounted bananas when I went in tonight! Praise God!!! I am so thankful!!!

August, No Spend Month (NSM)

Well, I must admit that this is NOT the best time for **ME** to do this. We have a lot of wants that are pretty close to needs. But seeing there is a need for us to start putting more money into the ER fund (we have a potential emergency coming up). AND we ended up spending on the credit card last month (ICK!). So inspired by Small Notebook's No Spend Month of July, we are going to attempt a No Spend Month for August. This will be a bit difficult as our anniversary is this month, not to mention my husband's birthday AND two other events (which escape me at the moment).

She was very vague in her rules, (there are bills to pay of course). We usually have $600 to spend on groceries/vitamins for our family (JJ requires a lot of special foods and supplements. But as she allotted herself $250 to spend, we will allot ourselves $300 to spend. That is for gas (normally we spend $160 a month on gas) and EVERYTHING!

In order to keep us from spending on the credit card (now and forever!), we will be wrapping them up in gift wrap. And maybe wrapping in duct tape. This will help us to ONLY use the card in an absolute emergency (we are stuck in a different town and need a hotel for the night type ER, end up in the hospital for any reason, etc.).

I must admit this will be REALLY HARD for me as this is usually the last month of garage sales. But seeing as there is nothing we really NEED, I will most likely not be saleing this month. We will be having our own sales instead. Every Friday and/or Saturday that I can, I will be having a sale. This will help declutter the house (in case we have to move), as well as bring in some extra income. I am SO THANKFUL that I did the extreme frugality exercise recently. That will really help. All future posts about this will have NSM in the title (so you can skip those if you are not interested).