Friday, January 30, 2009

Fireproofing MY Marriage

Tonight is family pizza movie night. Because of my husband's work (long story), we had to be out of the house. So no pizza (who has gluten free pizza in restaurants?). And when we got home, right at bed time for JJ and movie time for the girls, the girls came into my bedroom and waited patiently while I put JJ down for the night.

Then the movie .... Fireproof.

It was interesting to see my oldest daughter's reactions during the movie. She laughed at all the things that make you laugh. And she cried at all the things that made you cry. She cried at the heart ache of divorce. She was joyful over the wife coming to Christ. And at the end of it all, she exclaimed "that was the best movie I have ever seen!"

I have this blog, in which I am as open and honest as I feel that I can be (in order to keep my family safe). Part of that is that I want a searchable record for myself and a record for my children. And part of that is that God might use me to help just one person. I never know because most of the people who read my blog are like me. VERY little time, searching just for something that I might be able to use in my family or home school, but never really having time to comment.

So now I share something I have not shared before now. I feel it is important in order to keep me humble and remember where I have come from, how far God has brought me, and hopefully to fireproof my children in their marriage that they will never have to face what we have.

You see, the movie is very dear to Brian and myself because we have been there. While we agreed before we married that divorce was never an option, separation almost tore us apart.

I was a very selfish person. And being a selfish person I was very lazy. Now I want to make clear that I am STILL selfish AND lazy, but God has done and is still doing a work in me. I have come a long way and have a longer way to go.

LONG story short, I have learned a few things.

First, I learned how to submit to my husband. I had thought I was submissive, and if you had asked Brian if I was submissive, he would have said yes with no reservations. God showed me what it meant to be truly and biblical submissive (and not just submissive according to what other ladies in the church said submission meant). In short, I am not a doormat, and you can search SUBMISSION at the top of the blog to read my views on submission. I am not perfect in this area, and I still daily fall short. But I know now when I am in the wrong. And it honors my husband when I submit fully with all my heart.

It is because I have learned what submission BIBLICALLY means that any of the rest of this makes any sense.

I have learned to met my husband's needs. God created me as a helper, a helpmeet to my husband.

I have learned that my husband NEEDS a clean house. Now you can search my archives and see my daily struggle with keeping a home. My house, while no longer completely messy, is not as clean as it can and SHOULD be for my husband. It did not get messy overnight and it will not get clean overnight. But I make time to not only clean, but get the kids to clean as well. And when we get something clean, we keep it clean. I see progress every day. And I will continue to make progress every day because my husband needs it.

I have also learned that I need to stop being so selfish and make sacrifices for my husband. Part of that means rubbing his feet, and doing so without getting anything in return. Brian has a hernia and several people all reported being able to avoid surgery by reflexology on certain points in the feet. So I have been trying to rub his feet every night. No matter how tired I am. And no matter how I would love for him to rub my feet just once. :)

I have learned to see that my husband shows me love in different ways. I could want something like a foot rub from my husband, but him rubbing my feet is not a way that he would show love to me. Sure, he would do it if I asked him. But I want him to just KNOW what I want. :) I have learned to share my wants/needs with my husband so he can fulfill them (if he is able). And if I do not share those wants/needs with him, I remember that he shows me love in different ways.

I have also learned that being a helpmeet means meeting his needs. I listen more carefully now for the little things he says he wants/needs done. Today, in passing, during the few minutes we actually got to spend together, he mentioned that he needed wool socks washed. In the past, i might have heard that and ignored it (too wrapped up in my selfishness to want to do laundry) or it gone in one ear and out the other (because, again, I would have been too wrapped up in my selfishness). So I did one load of laundry today. One load that will bless my husband when he has wool socks to wear tomorrow.

I also make him lunch now. You see, beforehand I was too lazy to worry about making a lunch for my husband (sounds so bad to say that I know). I would bring out something for the girls to eat, and snack on something myself, but felt it was too much effort to make something for my husband to eat. Because he works from his office, he can't really eat a meal, so I found a use for those Tupperware circle things with all the dividers for different veggies and a dip. I make a dip, put in some veggies, add some other fun finger foods and bring it in for him. He is able to snack all day on things MUCH healthier than candy and cookies.

And I think what has been the second most important change, only second to biblical submission, and only possible because of God...I smile. It sounds simply enough, but it means SO MUCH to my man. It is a literal NEED for him like breathing and water. And you know what, it has made my husband happier. It makes him secure in our marriage, especially during those times where he has two weeks worth of 17-20 hour workdays. It brings him a little bit of happiness and joy.

Actually all of these things so simple, yet when put together, help me make my marriage fireproof. With God's strength and daily grace, I am reminded of and able to do the simplest of things that didn't used to be so simple.

I won something!

Look what I won!!!! Isn't it ADORABLE!! And she made that out of a hand towel! Now I know to most that seems something VERY simple, but to me, that is amazing creativity! Be sure to check back on her blog as she promised me she was going to do a how-to! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What's In A Flu Shot?

This is funny and sad at the same time. I wish everyone knew the truth about what is put into vaccines.

Monday, January 26, 2009

FREEBIE! Lapbook

WOW! This looks like a GREAT freebie!

Great Inventors Lapbook and Study Guide

You might have to sign up for their newsletter (all free) in order to download the freebie. ALSO, the newsletter will inform you of the WEEKLY freebie that this site gives away, so since it is all free (membership, newsletter, weekly goodies), sign up and enjoy the freebies!!!

Current Web Readings

Freezer Cooking Links
This is a GREAT collection of all sorts of links on freezer cooking!

Napkin Set Tutorial
This is a GREAT two part tutorial (be sure to click on the second part) for napkins and a matching pouch!!

Dare To Make It - Holiday
This is a list of over 100 tutorials for making your own holiday gifts. This list is GREAT and I bet there are several new ideas for you here.

Homemade Lotion Bars
These are GREAT and so easy to make! I have not made them myself, but plan to soon! WITH THE KIDS!! :) That is how easy they are! :) This blog is great and I am really enjoying it! Thanks to Kathy for introducing me to this blog!!! :)

Lat Minute Mexican Beans and Rice
This blog is GREAT if you are wanting to learn more about your health and eat better. It is a weekly read (where I catch up on all the posts from the past week). This recipe looks so good!!

Cheaper to Wash Dishes by Hand or Dishwasher?
Interesting information! :) Good read!

Boxy Bag Tutorial
Oh this is a GREAT tutorial! GREAT pictures. Makes it look so easy that I might actually try this! (Although it scares me to death to do anything like this as I feel I can only sew flat things.) :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Catching Up

It seems that lately I am running around and around, not having any time for much of anything.

Cleaning CLEANING C_L_E_A_N_I_N_G!

Then there is MM. She is having some health issues that we will be seeing the doctor for today. It might be related to JJ's issues. PLEASe pray. I have not dealt with this doctor before and am truly concerned for MM.

I have been keeping up on the girls and their cleaning. I read/heard somewhere that you cannot expect what you do not INspect. So I have been keeping up on their cleaning.

JJ has been INCREDIBLE with helping to clean and keep things clean! Moreso than I remember his sisters being at this age. I think having the example of three sisters and all their doing (plus they like to "teach" JJ to clean) has really been helpful. :)

Schooling has slowed down this week. I plan on taking the weekend to crack down and get some sort of plan! AA has REALLY been enjoying an atlas that we got for Christmas last year. I need to bring down the globe that goes with it so she can SEE where all these places she is reading about are. I also want to start doing Ambleside Oline in order to help me stay focused. And I really want to start using all the freebies I have!! Our homeschool group is doing a lapbooking seminar (where you actually MAKE one, not just hear about it), so I am EXCITED! I have so many FREE lapbook studies that I have not done yet. If there is interest, I will share what I learn. :)

I really need to get back into making menus. I had stopped when I started stockpiling, but now I have SO MUCH STUFF! that I need to go through, see what we have, and make a menu based on that. :)

I have also been learning about reflexology in order tohelp heal my beloved's hernia.

And I need to do gratitude journals for the girls! I have been wanting to do that for some time. I am also thinking of reading The Pineapple Story again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Current Web Readings

Crocheted Sweet Hearts
THESE ARE ADORABLE!!! Imagine making these and then embroidering them with personalized messages "Mommy love you!" "Mommy and Daddy 4 ever!" You could also make several of these and put the letters of the alphabet on them for fun school time with spelling! YOu could even do their name (one letter on each heart) and make garland! Or just make GARLAND! I have been looking for one of these hearts for a long time (at least a FREE pattern). SO THANK YOU!!!

Free Ebook Thriving On Less: Simplifying In A Tough Economy
HT: Junie Moon

Melamine in fish?
Be sure to read the related articles!

Food Industry Challenges That Obama Needs To Address
GREAT video and commentary (text below the video) about how the food in our country contributes to debt and health issues.

Restaurants as well as list of ingredients to look for in order to avoid MSG
I hope that EVERYONE who reads this blog knows about the DANGERS of MSG and how it is hidden in so many foods! We always ask now to see an ingredients list before eating at a restaurant. And a note, while MSG is in the breaded chicken at Chick-Fil-A, the GRILLED chicken at the time of this post does NOT have MSG in it. You can request grilled chicken nuggets in the kids meals. LOVE Chick-Fil-A!!

Interview with an Ex-Vaccine maker
This is EYE OPENING! Just supports why we have chosen not to vaccinate. You MUST be informed and make an INFORMED decision about whether or not to vaccinate your children.

Agave Nectar, Not As Good As We Thought
I was introduced to agave nectar through the raw food movement as an alternative sweetener that did not raise blood sugar levels like honey did. We bought the "raw" form and used it and we loved it. Then a few weeks ago, I read on the herbal forum I am on about how it is no better than corn syrup. It shook me up, but I continued to use agave nectar. This article linked to here is the second article I have read about how it is not as natural of a food as we thought. In fact, I often used agave nectar to replace corn syrup in recipes. After reading the article, I can now see why I was able to. Very interesting (and short) read.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Family Fun?

How sad that this would happen on a day that I normally set aside to share something FUN to do as a family. But this is important.

Please go read this article and then contact Krispy Kreme (link in the article above). They need to hear from PEOPLE. When they don't hear from a certain amount of people, they do nothing. But the higher the number of people who respond, the more likely they are to do something about it.

Then pray. We fought hard as individual states THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE to make sure that our state was one that did NOT allow young girls to have an abortion without informing their parents. If the parents wanted to give that kind of freedom to their child, the could move to another state.

Isn't there something in the constitution that says that the government cannot supersede the laws of the state? Of course everything I learned about the constitution I learned in a public school, so there was a twisted agenda to it. But if I remember correctly, the states, when the constitution was written, was very careful to make CERTAIN that they still had a voice.

I guess for the next few weeks we will be learning about the constitution in our homeschool! :D

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Past Few Day's Doings

I don't know if it's hormones ... or the fact that I really fear losing my husband (I know he's in God's hands, but I am not ready to lose him yet), but the past few days have been very difficult emotionally. I have had sad moments in the past, but having Brian here and kids to care for, I was never really got terribly low. I got up and did what I had to to care for them.

But the day after Brian left (remember he is on a business trip), I was sad. The next day, I was even sadder. And I could feel myself slipping. I spent all day in bed and the kids watched hours of The Magic School Bus.

While I know there are people who have serious medical depression, I know that I am not one of those people. If you are, please seek medical help and know that it is OK to seek medical help when you need it.

So I prayed. I prayed telling God I did not want to be like this this next day. I prayed that God would help give me the motivation to get out of bed and home school the kids. That He would help me to clean the house. No prayer is too small to be lifted up to Him, and thus I fell asleep asking that the next day would be better with His strength.

God is faithful.

First, I received a phone call from a new friend! She was visiting her parents in the Springs, and called in response to an email about possibly getting together. In just a few hours. :) So I got up, showered and got dressed. The kids got ready and off we went. It was a WONDERFUL time and I have such good memories of those few hours together! :) It felt good to see the girls having so much fun! (And her little 1 year old boy happily kicking just like little boys do was a big help too.)

After getting home, my mom called and I had a great talk with her. She seems to always know when I am in need of a call and some laughs and encouragement.

AA finished her reading and copywork.

And I got the counter cleaned off in the kitchen. It was a little thing, but it was a step forward. Some thing was done. Some thing got cleaned. :)

Today, I got several loads of laundry done, the dining room, living room and den areas clean. And dishes are in the washer washing (my nightly servant)! :) The kids were GREAT helpers, each doing their part. And I have created a few new rules that I need to be consistent with and I know that if I do, the kids will finally get to a point where they are cleaning up not only after themselves, but after each other! Watching out for each other AND cleaning's a good thing.

And having a cleaner house ... for me it's a good thing.

Prayer is so powerful. I am not a prayer warrior. I am honestly surprised that God answers any of my prayers. But I am so thankful that when I do cry out...He **IS** there. Some people might say Christianity is a crutch. I know that I heard that when I first became a Christian, do people even think that anymore? But honestly, HONESTLY, I don't know how I get by a day without Him. Yes, I can (and sadly often DO) go through the day by myself. But those days where I remember to invite Him in are some of my best days.

It is kinda like Disneyland. I go through the day perfectly content making mud pies in the backyard when there is a ticket for me and my family to go and enjoy Disneyland. All I have to do is remember to pick it up. Every day. Sometimes every moment! :D It's a joyful thing, and not a crutch at all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Winner, Training Hearts, and Prayers Needed

Sorry, both Monday's and Tuesday's posts were scheduled.

I have not been doing well Monday and today.

Winner of the contest: Devildog Wife!!! :) That is what I like about DRAWING names instead of number generator. The first comment has a chance to win! (what number generator ever picks number one??) :D Email me privately with an address! (If I have not heard from you, I will email you when **I** am feeling better.)

I have not had a chance to create the next in the Training Hearts series. If anyone interested in those? If not, then I will not worry about posting it. I do these for myself and my children and only post them because I feel they might be helpful to others.

Also, my beloved is in DC for the week (comes back on the 20th -Inauguration Day. PLEASE pray for his safety while up in DC as well as his safe return home. I worry about him being in DC as well as flying during such a time in our nation's history. The security threat is Orange, which is not comforting.

And prayers for me to get better FAST would be good. It is NOT fun being a "single mother" trying to take care of four kids. My oldest, AA (she is about to turn 9 in a few weeks) has been a great helper (getting breakfast for everyone this morning, serving lunch and making sure everyone got down for naps), but **I** am the mommy and I cannot afford a sick day. Not right now.

Our Grocery Bill, Cut In Half

I was about to title this "How I cut my grocery bill in half" but then I thought about it. Did **I** really cut it in half? Or was it by the grace of God being faithful to His servant when she seeked Him? You bet it was!

So how did God guide me in cutting our grocery bill in half?

We buy only organic (unless we just cannot find it and am craving it). We do not do dairy (because of allergies) so I make my own fake milk or we go without. When I was buying milk, it was raw goat or cow milk and through an inexpensive source my friend had. I buy only hormone free, free range meat and eggs (though I would LOVE to do grass fed only, I just cannot find it around here).

I did before and I do now. These things have not changed.

What has changed? We buy a lot more unprocessed (yes, it sounds silly to buy organic processed foods), we make our own cleaning supplies, and we use a deep freezer now. We also eat cheaper. $5 Mom is a GREAT place to start (and she shows you how to modify the recipe to be GF, YEAH!!!). We do a lot of beans and rice meals (we change it up a bit like having cajun or Mexican, it is never just plain). :)

We also stopped eating fake foods (like the soy substitutes for meat). If my husband (who does not really like to eat meat) wants a veggie burger, I make it from scratch (no soy and not fake and not processed).

I was spending over $$$ a month to feed our family of 5 (at the time, we are now 6). NOW, we are a family of six and slowly whittled it down to half that a month! It depends on if I find good enough deals to stock up on or if I have to pay full price for something.

What did God show me?? I was led to three discount grocery stores (one is ALL organic and the other two carry some organic). Ask around. They are there, I promise you, but I never would have found them had I not asked around. I no longer shop at Whole Foods (that was the most expensive). I shop those discount stores and I shop Kroger (King Soopers in my area). Kroger has a LOT of organic products including produce AND I get coupons all the time from them specifically for organic products (even like $2 off $10 of produce). Costco is also great because they sell a lot of organic products too as well as produce. Just yesterday I got organic apples for 62 cents a pound! On sale I am lucky to get them at a dollar a pound!

I shop the farmer's markets in the summer and freeze my food (I have not had to buy onions since July! and I still have lots of organic corn on the cob in the freezer as well as peaches I plan to make a peach pie with soon). I am hoping to do salsa this year (we love salsa).

I also stockpile our food. When there is a great sale (on beans, organic meats, etc.), I buy a LOT and shove it in the freezer (meats) or the pantry. Places like Walmart and Target will give away their frosting buckets in the bakery area for free, just for the asking. These are GREAT for storing grains and dry beans in!!

I think the best thing about all of this is my children. The older ones have been there at Whole Foods and now, whenever we do go in there, they are SHOCKED at the prices! :D They get so excited going to the bargain stores and helping me find GOOD wholesome food. They know how to read labels, and they know which brands to get. Through it all, they are learning to be good stewards! AND they are learning how to provide for their family. Even if it is produce they grow themselves (which we are totally gonna try to do this year)! I love seeing how they are learning and they will have a better start in this area than I did.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Current Web Readings

Cat and her Fish crochet pattern
this is TOO CUTE!

Little Baker's SetRavelry link
OH MY GOODNESS!!! She has a bunch of the cutest free patterns!!!

This blog is AWESOME! LOST of great ideas, links and pictures for homeshoolers. WONDERFUL blog that you have to make time for!

Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
This is a GREAT blog I have been really enjoying!!!

The Tribulation and the Church
This booklet was given to me by a close friend. It has opened my eyes and changed the way I think about the tribulation. A good short read. I am thankful God led me to an online version!

What The World Is Coming To
OK, so I have NOT read this yet, but it is another book by the same author (Chuck Smith) as the above booklet. I plan to read this.

GREAT post that is a must read to delve into a whole new way of saving!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Sweethearts: The Love Dare

OK, so who has NOT seen Fireproof the movie yet??? While the acting in this movie is not the best, the lessons learned and sentiment are good.

In the movie, there is The Love Dare. Brian and I bought ourselves this book as a Christmas present. Family Life Today is currently going through the 40 Day Love Dare. You can get email reminders sent directly to your inbox!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Warmest Mittens!!

OK, so I was thumbing through the newest release of Interview Crochet (check your library if you do not have a subscription) and saw the coolest thing I have ever seen.

I had never heard of thrumming, but when I saw Thrummed Mittens (here is the ravelry link), I HAD TO make plans to make them. This is what the pattern says about itself (which is WAY COOL!!!):
Unspun wool is secured to the stitches as they're worked, creating a fleecelike lining on the inside of the mitten and leaving a lovely pattern on the outside. As the mittens are worn, the wool felts, resulting in durable, extremely warm winter outerwear.
Oh I can hardly WAIT to make these!!!

The great thing about Ravelry is you can see what others are doing and SAYING about the pattern! Here is a video that was linked to in the pattern on Ravelry:

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

GIVEAWAY - Alexandra Stoddard - Creating A Beautiful Home

When Meredith talks, every one listens. And when she said that Alexandra Stoddard was an author to hold on to, I have been grabbing everything I can by her. LOL!! So much so that I grabbed TWO of the same book. ANd that means GIVEAWAY!!! :)

Creating A Beautiful Home IS listed on PaperBack Swap (please consider using this link to sign up as I do get a book credit when you join using my email as the referring email and I am in need of some credits, thank you!). I provided the link to the paperback because that is what has the reviews, but I am giving away the hardback.

How to enter? Just leave a comment telling me how you would use the book! If you join up with PaperBack Swap, listing your first ten books and I get a credit for a book, come back here and comment telling me you have joined the wonderful world of getting FREE BOOKS from PaperBack Swap and that will earn you 3 additional entries!

I will accept entries until I pick the winner. :) I will choose a winner Monday, Jan 12 sometime in the morning. Winner will be chosen in a random drawing by one of my daughters. GOOD LUCK!!!

Healing Hernia Naturally Without Surgery

I LOVE how my beloved and I complement each other. And that is also true of google searches. LOL!! Because we both think differently, we use different words for our searches. And while his search only came up with one, very dismal hope for avoiding surgery with an inguinal hernia, my search came up with several. :)

However, because of complications with my beloved's hernia (it is a repeat hernia from when he was born (if that tells you anything about how STRESSED my beloved is about everything :) ).

I know this is way off from what this blog is about, but I also use this blog to FIND stuff that I know I researched. (That is the GREAT thing about Blogger blogs, that search bar in the upper left hand corner wil search ONLY the blog you are currently reading, so if you were to search right now, you would search only my blog!) :) LOL! So this is here to help me remember and maybe, just maybe, it can help someone else out there (husband or wife who is searching for her husband).
REALLY GOOD STUFF from PEOPLE who have healed their own hernias
If you can only read one page, this one is GOOD!!
Also talks about reflexology (the site above does too)
Some guy's journey/diary through healing his own hernia
Natural Healing Info on inguinal hernia
Says NOT to put heat on area. Hmmm... Maybe we try a cold comfrey poultice??
(Comfrey is known as the "knitting" herb. It is used to repair skin cuts as well as heal broken bones.)
Scroll down – says healable and to avoid surgery unless in pain
I will need to research this herb mentioned – sounds like it could be helpful

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

No More Thrift Store Items for 12 years and younger

No more clothes. No more toys. Not at any second hand shoppe (unless they try to get around it like one lady commented in a post from Like Merchant Ships in which they put "For Adult Use Only" sign near the toys and get away with it LOL!)

Many etsy stores will have to find something else to sell or stop selling entirely. And many of our favorite cloth diaper making mommy sites will be closing their doors or limiting products.

And what about garage sales or craigslist? Who knows? It is too soon to tell (or understand the new law as it is written).

WHAT am I talking about?

No More Thrift Store Kid Stuff
Shopping For Used Children's CLothes Could Get a Lot Harder

I REALLY liked what Meredith wrote. It is a VERY Proverbs 31 approach to the whole crisis.

I have the solution. It might take a while for it to catch on. It is not a new idea, but it is a long forgotten one by many.

What a WONDERFUL time to use this opportunity to unite and get back to the fellowship that we used to have as a community in the "good ole days!"

Where Mrs. Baker has older daughters who have outgrown their clothing and they get passed on in love to the mother down the street.

Where Mrs. Steele passes toys that have been outgrown to the boys next door.

Where children gather to go fishing or apple picking or get lost in a book rather than wasting away indoors.

Where neighbors gather for dances and parties rather than steeling away indoors and not making friends.

Where children gather together as a family while Dad tells stories or all work on a puzzle together or play a game together.

Where boys whittle wooden whistles and girls bake pies or sew dresses for their dolls.

Where you bring all your used clothing to one spot, as does every one else, and then take what you need.

I have always wanted to learn sewing, this would be a great time to get sewing bees going where the older Titus 2 women come over and give lessons. It is a great way to learn how to sew AND to minister to the older women who are not valued as they should be in today's society.

Even the husbands can have wood-making "bees" where they learn to make toys and share their tools.

This is a time for Christians and neighbors to unite and get to know one another AND each other's needs. To acquire some of those Proverbs 31 qualities we always have wanted to have, but never took the time to learn and practice them:
seeking wool and flax, working willingly with our hands, girding ourself with strength, holding the spindle and distaff, extending our hands to the poor and reaching out to the needy, not being afraid of the snow, clothing our children, rejoicing in the time to come, opening our mouths with wisdom and speaking in kindness, and finally no more eating the bread of idleness!

Just IMAGINE the possibilities! Imagine how many could be reached for the Lord, sharing His name through it all. The lost and downtrodden see our peace, join in the sharing, and in turn, Jesus is shared with them. IMAGINE the example set for our children - sharing their everything and finding new ways to enjoy God's creation and outdoors rather than watching TV or playing video games. IMAGINE the creativity that seems so rare today that used to be so vibrant and alive and growing - it is a gift from the Lord that gets tossed aside because of convenience, a convenience that is soon to be lost.

And this is just the beginning...

To God be the glory.

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Beginnings on Monday's

Every Monday, God willing, I will be doing something new for the week.

The first thing will be the Training Hearts Teaching Minds book. I am SO HAPPY I got this as a Christmas present from my beloved. I have been wanting to do this for a few months now, ever since I heard about it.

What I am doing is creating flash type cards to go along with the study. On the front, it has the question from the catechism as well as the Bible verses for the week (from the book). On the back, the children will WRITE the answer out (hence why the cards are kinda BIG). :) If we do one a week, it will take two weeks to go through the whole book. I plan on being as faithful as I can (might skip for family vacation). This is the biggest time commitment I have ever made to studying something. :)

The weekly studies are REALLY short and should not take more than about 15 minutes each day to go through. I am SUPER excited about this!!! There is a short reading for each day to go along with the Bible verse that helps explain it and has WONDERFUL word pictures! I highly suggest getting the book.

In case you wanted to follow along, here is a copy of the cards. There are FOUR per page (I have three girls that will be going through it and one for myself). Since the book is well known amoung large families I expect they will be printing out at least one maybe two copies. :) Click and then save as to print. :)

So the second thing I will be doing is from a book I recently got for free through my FAVORITE place to get books now, Paperback Swap!! :) Please do consider signing up through my link. I get a free book credit when you sign up and list your books to start swapping. I need more book credits!!! :D

ANYWAYS, I got the book Queen of the Castle. I believe I first heard about this book from Crystal. Anyways, it has 52 weeks (just one year) of "encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker." Boy that fits me to a T in all three areas! LOL!!!

I am not sure what I will be posting about these as I do them, but I do plan to chart SOME sort of progress in becoming a better keeper at home. :)

Current Web Readings

The Most Delicious Way To Eat An Oreo
While we don't eat Oreos very often anymore (those things are SOOOOOOO BAD for you), this is how I have eaten mine since an accidental discovery when I was 12 years old. But I had always done it by hand (very VERY messy, but so worth it!) ! LOVE the knife idea! Also, the keys she mentions are MUSTS: it MUST be an Oreo - I have tried all the other versions and it just DOESN'T work the same; you must wait until there are no more bubbles. Bubbles?? What am I talking about?? Click, only if you dare!! (Warning: if you have made any resolutions about eating healthy or losing weight in the new year avoid the temptation to click. Once you eat Oreos this way, there is no going back!!!!!) :D
HT: Ship Full O' Pirates

Some GREAT ideas for traveling with lots of littles:
Part 1
Part 2

Soup Parties
What a GREAT idea!! Reminds me of stone soup! :)

With my children's reaction to dairy, I have been researching how to make my own ghee. Ghee is a lactose and casein free version of butter. It is super healthy for you AND has a higher smoking point than regular butter. The only BAD thing to doing it at home, is that you have to be VERY VERY VERY careful to remove ALL the milk solids in order to ensure that it is TRULY lactose and casein free. Clarified butter should be almost clear with a yellow tint - see throughish - until it solidifies. Here are some links:
Video on How To Make Ghee
How To Make Ghee great pictures and a tip about salt on this page
Illustrated Step-by-step on making clarified butter BEAUTIFUL end result
Pictures of Good Ghee

Friday, January 2, 2009

Are You Ready?

Our pastor the other night talked about prophecy and the coming year. It is very real what is going on in the world around us. And what is so exciting is that what is happening now, and what will happen, has all been foretold in the Bible.
This video was shown after worship and before the pastor started his sermon (PLEASE watch the following video):

VERY powerful. I had to find the video on You Tube (thanks Babe for finding it for me - LOVE that man of mine!). One thing I noticed as I was perusing the related videos. There are a LOT of people who are seeing the SAME SIGNS and KNOW that it is pointing to something. But instead of seeing it pointing to the return of Christ, they see it as pointing to a myriad of things. Everything from the end of the world to aliens taking over.

If they could just look and SEE that this was ALL foretold of THOUSANDS of years ago (even before Christ!) in the Bible. Why won't they believe?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

One Thousand Gifts

At a time where most people are reflecting on what they want to change about themselves or things they would have done differently, there are a few who are counting their blessings.

From One Thousand Gifts:
I am seeing things I have never seen before, atuned and aware of this constant, endless stream of gifts from His hand. I am one waking from slumber....from the stupor of indifference and ignorance. I have sight, fresh and keen---the world is new and full of His gifts.

Too often I miss Him, oblivious, blind. I don't see all the good things that He is giving me, gracing me with, brushing my life with. True, He is everywhere, always. But maybe, before The Gift List, I thought of Him as further off, not so close. When I started to see all the things that I love bestowed upon me, I started to see Him as near, present, everywhere, showering me with good things. Seeing the things I love all around me gives me eyes to see that I am loved, that He loves me.

I do encourage you to Holy Experience.

Here are a few from mine:
#1 The smile on my beloved's face.
#2 The sun setting over the mountains.
#3 White snowflakes that always remind me my sins, though they were like scarlet, are as white as snow.
#4 How ticklish my 5 year old, and how she always lets me tickle her.
#5 The word "Mommy" and how it stirs my heart.
#6 Hymns.
#7 My beloved's gentle hands.
#8 Growing a life inside me.
#9 Nursing that life.
#10 The smell of fresh air.