Monday, April 30, 2007

Learning 2 Love - song

I am SO SORRY that I have not been keeping up with these posts. I was obsessed with finding a SONG to help the girls remember. And this song is SO EASY and ADDICTING (to children, Mom will prolly tire of it VERY quickly) that my kids sing it all the time and picked up on it right away.

The 1 Corinthians 13 Song
(sung to the tune: Froggy Went A Courting)

Love is patient Love is kind uh-huh uh-huh
Love does not envy Love does not boast nuh-uh - nuh-uh
It's not puffed up, does not seek it's own
it's not provoked and thinks no evil nuh-uh nuh-uh nuh-uh

Love does not rejoice in iniquity nuh-uh nuh-uh
but Love rejoices in the truth uh-huh uh-huh
Love bears all things believes all things
love hopes all things and endures all things
and Love, it never fails (this is sung instead of the uh-huh part).

I hope you like it. Even the younger children, who can't quite catch on to the words LOVED doing the uh-huh and nuh-huh parts!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

WINNER!! Twitterpated Contest

.. And the winner is.....

LISA from Canada!!! (WOW! I have never shipped anything to Canada before!)

Please email me with your address!
paula aatt paurian doott com

Love for a Father

Today my beloved returns home!!!

The girls awoke and immediately dressed in their prettiest and fanciest of dresses (all without Momma prompting them too). They LOVE their Daddy and anxiously await his return. They want to look beautiful for him.

I had to think about it. You know, I too dress up pretty to look nice for my beloved. I too anxiously await his return and want to look beautiful for him.

I wonder if my children learn love for their Daddy by watching my love for him? Yes, their Daddy loves them, and when someone loves you it is natural to return love for them. But all the extras in the HOWs seem to come across through watching me.

I believe the same is true about our heavenly Father. While "we love Him because He first loved us," I believe while they are young, they learn how to love Him by first watching our love for Him. And just think about how if we knew the day of His return?!?! Would we dress in our fanciest of dresses and look beautiful for Him?

All this time I spend preparing my earthly self for my earthly beloved, yet how much time do I spend preparing my heavenly self for my heavenly Beloved? After all, we are called the bride of Christ. And someday He will return. What things are YOU doing to prepare for your heavenly Beloved's return? And how are you preparing your children to anxiously await His return and be beautiful for Him? (Amazing how convicting this was to me this morning!)

Twitterpated - CONTEST!!!!!

Ah, Spring is in the air. It may have been nice and springy where you are for quite a while now, but here in CO, it is just now starting to REALLY feel like spring. We spent time at the Denver Botanical Gardens yesterday (it was a free day). I highly encourage you to check out your local gardens/museums and find out when they have free days for stuff - especially your state capital.

Remember in Bambi when Spring struck and love was in the air? All the animals became twitterpated.

Well, I know that after several years of marriage (and kids) the twitterpated feeling can sort of dwindle. God has given me a real heart for marriages and wives. I try to help with my weekly Saturday Sweethearts (click on ROMANCE on the left-hand sidebar). But now, I have a goodie that I think will REALLY encourage you to get back that twitterpated feeling!!!

And the best part, all you have to do is introduce yourself!!!! Post a comment to THIS POST saying hi, and where you are from (this can be as specific as your city or as general as what country you are from). Leave a link to your blog (if you have one). If you introduce someone to this blog, tell them to say you sent them, and be entered TWICE! Drawing will be held Saturday (for Saturday Sweethearts Day). The prize? Rekindling The Romance by Dennis and Barbara Rainey!

Please note that this post will remain at the top of the blog for one week until contest is over, scroll down for new additions to the blog. Thank you.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A What a Great Idea - for young girls and GARAGE SALE FINDS!!!

Can I just say I sometimes get very covetous ofRebbecca's Finds??? :) I know I shouldn't, but I do. Bad Paula!!!

Check out this ADORABLE way to give your young lady a kitchenette/grocery store/ etc. etc. ALL IN ONE beautiful ... well... you just HAVE to see it. :)

Ok, and I just HAVE to share my garage sale finds!!! If you share your on your blog or here, comment in the blog and let me know!!!
  • 6 sleeper tent (room for 3 on one side, a common area, and then a room for 3 on the other side) only used ONCE - $15
  • 2 2-3 sleeper tents - both for $5 and only used once
  • Madaline doll and 3 sets of clothes (Madaline brand) in her travel suitcase (holds doll and clothes) $3 (very good shape for doll and clothes but the case is a bit torn)
  • girls twin sized bed with mattress and box springs - $25
  • Ballerina stand and DVD (missing the dance pad that goes with it) $1.50
  • 2 life jackets, swim shoes (barely used), sandals (brand new), children's weaving loom with lots of yarn, sticker maker (with everything but markers), and a nice shirt for me - $6.25
  • pony and nice doll for each for the girls (that's three girls x 1 doll each x 1 pony each) for a total of $.50
  • book Table Talk (in REALLY GOOD SHAPE) - $.25
  • Back massager and heater for chair for hubby - $10
  • free science experiments from a guy who does science shows for the homeschool community (enough for us to have a party with 12 children and do some fun experiments!!! Nancy and Brenda, I will be calling you soon!!!)
YIPPEEE!!! Now we just have to find some good sleeping bags that are rated for 0 degree F. God will provide!!! :)

Finance Sticker

My beloved and I have a sticker on our credit cards / checkbooks / cash envelope that might be beneficial to you too. It was actually my beloved’s idea. He was reading a Larry Burkett book and came across a list of questions you were to ask yourself before every purchase. He thought it would be good to print it out on stickers and place the stickers on every form of payment we have. (We printed them out on labels --- like address labels.)

*Does it enhance God’s work through you?
*Is it a necessity?
*Can you do without it?
*Is it the best possible buy?
*Does it add to your family relationships?
*Will it depreciate quickly?
*Will it require costly upkeep?

I modified it a bit today after reading some decluttering articles.

*Does it enhance God’s work through me?
*Does it add to family relationships?
*Is it a necessity or can I do without it??
*Am I spending money to bring more clutter into our life?
*Is it the best possible buy?
*Will it depreciate quickly or require costly upkeep??
*Is there something I want more than this that I can save this money for?
*Where will this go in my home?

Spending Accountability - Apr 28

A group I am on is doing a spending accountability. These are my goals for the week:

*keep track of what I am spending. We use cash and sometimes I just spend spend spend because it is not all in the separate category envelopes.
*create a budget and STICK TO IT
*spend only what is budgeted and no more. Make do with what I have if I under estimated for the month and then readjust next pay period.
*before going shopping in any store (thrift, grocery, etc.) AND BEFORE GOING GARAGE SAILING! have a list of what items to buy OR a goal in mind. If something is not on the list OR does not fit within the goal, I must call husband before buying (and at that, I must decide if this is something I want enough to disturb my husband at work, something which he doesn't mind, but doesn't necessarily LIKE either). Thankfully hubby and I usually go sailing together so he helps keep me in check, and vice versa. :D
*reprint sticker and READ it before each purchase. (I will put a copy of the questions on the sticker on my blog)
*PRINT THIS OUT AND STICK somewhere where I can read it daily to remind myself of my goals.

Saturday Sweethearts: Remember Me My Love

(To find out more about Saturday Sweethearts and Romancing Your Husband, follow this link.)

My husband left on a men's retreat on Friday. He left a letter for all of us (to be opened today, Saturday). I also noticed when I went up to bed last night, he had written all over the mirror on my side as well as by the tub. It was sweet to see that remembrance this morning when I woke up. And it will be nice to see when I get ready for bed this evening, and again tomorrow when I wake up.

I began thinking about fun things we could do to remind the other person who much they are loved, even when we have to be apart.

I know my husband goes on several business trips. Some things I have done:
  • written a letter - one for each day he was away
  • written several letters (each letter talked about a certain aspects of his character/role I love - each envelope said "I Love You because..." and on the letter it would continue "you are such a good _______" (fill in the blank with husband, hard worker, provider, leader, etc.). The letter would then talk about what I loved about that characteristic.
  • written two letters. One to be opened when he was really missing me, and one to read when he was needing me.
  • written a letter and then cut it up into a puzzle. Each envelop was labeled for a day he was away and had a piece of the puzzle in it.
  • IM him throughout the day, whenever I am thinking about him (I try to keep it under three times a day, he is working). I also make sure to KISS (keep it short and sweet) and keep it a one liner (again, he is working and should his boss walk by I would not want him to wonder why he was having this long conversation with his wife when he was supposed to be working).
When I have had to leave and he stayed home, some things I have done:
  • Written a letter and put it on his pillow. I sprayed it with my perfume (I highly suggest NOT spraying your letters you sneak into his suitcase with perfume because then his clothes will smell like perfume and his co-workers will tease him - TRUST me, I KNOW this! :D).
  • Laid out a romantic outfit for me to wear the night I return, with a note that says something about how I cannot wait to model this for home. I usually do this on SHORT trips, as making him wait and think about it for a whole week is torture. ;)
  • Make sure I have meals in the fridge or in the freezer for him to serve. I am not the BEST about this, but I do try.
  • Most free e-card companies (my favorite is Dayspring) allow you to set the date when you want the card you make to be sent. A few days before I leave, I create one card (sometimes SEVERAL if I am able to pick the time of day they are delivered) to be sent each day I am away. I try to make these silly and fun and encouraging (as it is difficult taking care of the kids when Momma is away). I usually try not to send these when he is away, only when I am away, as I do not want to distract him at his place of work (which is usually the only time he is both away AND with access to a computer).
Well, I would LOVE to hear any other ideas you have!!! Would you guys be interested in doing a Mr. Linky for this? Would anyone actually do it? Let me know. :)

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

Friday, April 27, 2007


Just a quick update on part of the prayer request from the other day.

God never ceases to amaze me. He is ALWAYS faithful, even when we are not. We don't always get an immediate answer to prayer, but sometimes we do.

Just hours after I asked for prayer, my beloved came to me and told me that God had answered something he was wondering about. God closed a door that we weren't sure if we were to go through it or not.

But please do continue to pray. We still need your prayers. And those of you going through the same thing, I will be praying for you too.

Friday's Fun: Fun Way to Make Ice Cream

A bit a vintageness in the fact you make your own ice cream, but I am not sure they ever would have done things THIS way. :) Although I do think that the game Kick The Can could have easily also made ice cream!! Wonder if the Pioneers or Victorian's ever tried it? :)

FUN way to make your own ice cream (especially for the kids on a hot summer day).

These Play & Freeze Ice Cream Balls can be found at

Why spend $25+ on an Ice Cream Ball maker when you can do it yourself for cheaper??

Permalink to the above picture/article.

I am also curious if the above ball at amazon could be replicated by using a Downey Ball??? Anyone up for trying it and letting us know? :D

Awesome post

Conquering Stuff-Itis

Great article about conquering the wanting to buy everything. :)

On Decluttering

Ok, so this post is like over a year old, however, I look for it constantly and never seem to be able to find it on this blog (must not have moved it over from my other blog). It is LONG, but well worth the read (if I do say so myself). It encourages me and reminds me about decluttering. Something which I really needed reminding of today. This is my post to the MakingItHomeMagazine yahoo group (one of the best groups out there if you ask me).

At the end is a challenge. You were to pick three things not to bring into your home for 21 days. I do not think there is any harm in choosing three things NOT to purchase for 21 days. :) So I am going to do this again. Who's with me? At the end, write in the comments what three things you will not bring into your house for 21 days! :)

-----------Feb 2006-----------
SOOOoooo I think I am finally caught up on the reading for the decluttering challenge.

We are asked to share what we have decluttered. Here is what I took to Goodwill recently:
10 Boxes children’s toys/games (it is amazing how this accumulates, especially during garage sale season)
12 boxes children’s clothes (see note below)
4 boxes books (children and adult)
10 pc set of pans no longer used (the were aluminum and we went to cast iron and steel LONG ago)
2 5 pc. Place settings of china we got for our wedding but have never used and don’t have the money to buy any more place settings, we should have chosen something cheaper instead of $75 a place setting)
4 boxes of my clothes (see note below)
2 bags of stuff from the bathroom never used (see note below)
Plastic children’s outdoor play house (the have plenty of outdoor playstuff that doesn’t kill the grass below)
Some old computer stuff (that my husband decluttered himself! =^) )

Children’s clothes --- this is one of my am addicted to buying things. I see a great deal at a garage sale or thrift store and can’t help myself. I have three girls and LOVE to buy cute dresses to dress them. I also have kept a lot of their clothes to keep passing down (or incase we have another one). But I think it is better to bless others with the clothes rather than hold onto them. I also noticed that I kept buying more and more clothes (not just children’s) because I was not keeping up on the laundry. So I was always running short on clothes because they were always dirty (or washed and dried and sitting in the basket to be folded and put away). Now that I am keeping up with the laundry AND on putting it away once it is dried, I don’t have enough room for all the clothes! LOL! I am keeping ten outfits per child (as I do laundry once a week and that leaves enough clothes to wear an extra outfit a day should it get soiled).

My Clothes --- I read something by Anne Ortlund once about simplifying her wardrobe so that all her clothes matched. 90% of my clothes are blue, brown, black or white. The other 10% is pink or a full dress that doesn’t match anything but is really pretty. I narrowed my wardrobe down to fit into my closet (which is like the closets in apartments --- pretty small). Everything is either hanging, in a small dresser that fits inside my closet (all my shirts are hung on the top area), or in a box (which holds winter/summer clothes interchangeably. And that box is on a shelf in my closet. (I will have to take pictures of this too).

Bathroom stuff --- it is amazing how something gets bought for the bathroom area (toothpaste, soaps, shampoos, etc.) and then get shoved back into the abyss to never been seen again. I was amazed at how much stuff I had that was used a few times and then never used again. I was also amazed to see all the soaps and stuff I had been bought over the years as gifts and just held on to it because it was so pretty or smelled so nice. I don’t know why. So I am resolved not to buy any more bath products (like shampoo or soap) until I have used everything I have already been given. Now of course, I will have to buy a bar for hubby (as I am sure he would not want to smell like roses or peaches).

I notice that while I am decluttering/organizing, I am still holding onto a lot of stuff! I keep rationalizing “I paid good money for that! I am being a good steward by keeping it.” I then resolve to use it, but never do. So now I am really going to USE those things ( the specialty soaps I have been given). And if I can’t use it (or already have something to use instead), I will declutter that item. I was thinking that there are plenty of people out there who could really USE some of this stuff. 4 of the boxes of clothes I am getting rid of are being sent to families in need.

It also really hit me about what you said about those decluttering shows. I would watch and think “I would NEVER want to be in that position and have them decide what I keep or don’t.” But what you said hit me --- that they take thirty minutes to decide their whole room. I spend WAY too much time deciding over an item. I started thinking “what would my basement look like if I really took a timer, set it for thirty minutes and then decided what to keep and what to not and when the timer went off, if I had not gotten to it yet, it was gone?” I am VERY tempted to do this (as I really do hold on to too much stuff), but I know hubby would not go for it. But it does help me to realize that I am wasting so much time of my STUFF --- if I am not cleaning it, I am thinking about it (to declutter or not to declutter).

So on the topic of three things to no longer bring into this house (at least for 21 days):
  1. clothing for the children
  2. books
  3. bargain finds (I buy most anything and everything if it is pretty or what I think is useful if I can get it at a bargain)

I know this was long, but it was helpful to me to get it all out. I hope it was helpful to someone else.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Must Read

I can so relate to Jess' wish for her son. It is the same desire for my children. That my daughter's would not just be saved, but have a passion, love and devotion to the Lord. It is a must read.

Prayer Needed for my Beloved and Me

My beloved is at a crossroads in his life. He needs wisdom and direction from the Lord. His Mr. Visionary is really wanting to come out, but has been so trampled in the past by his family, and the workplace (and unfortunately, in the past I have played a part in the squishing) that he doesn’t have confidence.

I really TRULY believe that he can do whatever he wants (he has been talking about a few things). It would be hard financially as well as physically and emotionally. Yet, if the Lord is truly leading him in a certain direction (which we are not sure of yet and are asking prayer for), then it could be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things he has ever done. And yet the Lord might have him do nothing because that would glorify Him more. We just are not sure.

PLEASE pray for him. That the Lord would give him direction, peace, and confidence to “prepare for rain” if you know what I mean (if you have not yet seen the movie Facing The Giants, I highly suggest you do).

And then I need prayer myself. To be supportive and understanding. To know when and what to speak and to know when to be supportive through silence.

Thank you for your continuing prayers on this.

Fun Way To Warm Up on a Cold Day

So with the unexpected blizzard the other day, I finally got up the courage to do something I have always wanted to do. Bake bread with the kids. But not just any old bread. Bread that they made - and this was NOT your ordinary bread!!!

Of course we tied everything into homeschooling. Math - measuring, fractions, etc. Science - yeast interacts with sugar, baking, etc. Art - manipulating a medium.

It was a great way to warm up the house (oven on warming up and warming the house while the kids knead and shape the dough). And a great way to forget how bitterly COLD it was outside!

I wish I had taken pictures, but I could not find my camera, and they worked too hard not to eat them fresh out of the oven. We used a no rise dough recipe so they could eat it right after making and baking it.

AA made a six legged spider. Time for more homeschooling: spider have eight legs AND most have at least eight eyes AND on average every person will swallow eight spiders in their lifetime (cross my heart, and hope it doesn't happen to me I tell you the truth - just google it!).

EE made the cutest turtle. And MM made a huge hand which swelled up like it had been stung by a bee while it was cooking in the oven. Oh I wish I could have recorded the giggles there for you!!! Then all the girls helped to make snakes (which were the bread sticks we used for dinner). It was so much fun! And they baked so easily on cookie sheets and pizza stones!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mother Hen

We were trying to get pictures of the girls in their ponchos for their grandmom. She made them for the girls two Christmases ago and has asked for another picture of the girls wearing them. Good thing that my girls really liked them enough to hold onto them!! :) The puff pom poms are gone, but everything else is still in tack.

I saw this picture my beloved took of me with the girls and thought I looked like a mother hen with her little baby chicks. And thus this layout was created. (You can see me wearing my shawl, which I have since given to my oldest, AA because it seems to fit her better and she really REALLY likes it.) Note to self - must lose weight...must lose a lot of weight.

You can see the credits as well as journaling at my online scrapbook at Digital Scrapbook Artisan Guild. (whooppss ... that date is supposed to be April 2007, not 2006) I don't think I have talked much about them, so let me give a plug for them right now. :D The owner/creator is a DEAR friend of mine named Debb. She is a very godly woman whom I wished lived close enough that I could just sit at her feet and learn! She has three almost grown boys and I just pray my children come out loving God as much as hers do (too bad her boys are not a bit younger, we might revert back to arranged marriages! LOL!).

The designers are WONDERFUL!! I believe most if not all are also godly Christian women. It is amazing how many Christian women are at DSAG!! And for less than $6 a month membership (you do not have to have a member ship to go there, but membership does have it's perks) you get access to members only forums, an AMAZING monthly kit (which comes with a template in it), and a FREE mini-class!!! And trust me, this mini class could EASILY be a full blown $30 class!!! There is so much there! I have paid $30 for a class that had less info than what I am getting in this mini-class (which you can take without being a member for I believe less than $8).

Ok, plug over. Those of you into digital scrapbooking, I highly encourage you to check them out. It will be well worth it.

Choosing the Higher Ground

Sometimes I feel like such a hypocrite! I want my children to do one thing, the RIGHT thing, and yet when I am faced with the same opportunity, my selfishness rears it's ugly head.

I LOVE Newman's Own Organics Wintergreen Mints. I know we are not supposed to love things, but these are GOOD! And unfortunately a rare treat.

So my daughter is looking for a crayon and comes across the mints. I pick them up and open them up to see if there are any left. Five mints left. Enough for each of the girls and myself.

Oh, but I really did NOT want to give my girls the mints.

A selfish mother will raise up kids who are selfish. No matter how many times she tries to TELL them what is right, they will see and learn from her behavior. It is amazing how much you learn about dying to self once you are a parent.

So I reached in to give AA a mint, and thoughtful one she is, she asked for a mint for each of her sisters. So there go three mints, in the hands of a smiling little girl who is learning and seeing that selflessness blesses others so much more than selfishness. Now if only I can remember that so that it become second nature instead of a forced act. :) And I need to remember to have patience with my children while they mentally sort through the act of selflessness, just as I just did. May it become second nature for us all. :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Remembering the HEART

I am so glad we went grocery shopping yesterday. A winter storm hit with little to no warning, and it is cold and nasty outside.

When we got home, EE and AA ran inside. I didn't see MM, so I thought she had too (as she usually does). I grabbed some groceries, and came inside. When I went back out for MORE groceries, I ran into MM, who had the BIGGEST grin on her face. She was carrying a bag. A bag of groceries that were supposed to stay in the car so we had snacks for the children in case we ever got stuck somewhere or were running late and not able to get home to eat.

So I swept up MM AND the bag and twirled them both around and gave her lots of praises for such a good job helping Momma bringing in the groceries ... and without even being asked to! We giggled and put away the groceries together.

You see, even though the actions of bringing in a bag that was supposed to stay in the car was wrong, the heart ... OH HER PRECIOUS HEART behind it ... was to please Momma.

How many times have my children done something and I looked at their actions instead of their heart? How many times have I stomped on their heart because their actions were "not thoughtful" and were inconvenient to me? I hope this was one of a MILLION times where I remember to build up my daughter instead of tearing her down because I looked at her heart rather than her actions.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Celebrating Your Children

(click here to see full image as well as journaling and credits)

I love this kit by Stacey! I was so glad to be able to use it (it was PERFECT -as all her kits are - for me and these pictures).

I usually write each of my children a letter for their birthday. I write a little bit about how they are (like how MM still runs up and jumps into my arms after she wakes up from her nap). And I write a little bit about how I see them developing (like how MM is just now starting to understand about how Jesus really did come back from the dead). And I write a little bit about what I am praying for them (certain character traits, a godly husband, a deep love for the Lord). Sure, sometimes the letters (especially the praying part) may be the same, but that will just show them my resolve in consistently praying for them. :)

This once a year ritual has really helped me to take the time to focus on each child individually, and to think about what I truly love about them. What about them makes me smile? What about them makes me happy to be their mommy?

This is especially important (and HELPFUL) to me, the older my children get - when the questioning turns to what could be rebellion, and their sincerity turns into what could be manipulation. And especially in the business of life, it is very easy to forget what a blessing this child is. That God gave them to ME (and my beloved of course) to train up for Him. He gives us His BEST, and He gave me this child, so this child must be what is BEST for me (although I admit it is hard to see the other way around at times that I am what is best for my children, especially when I falter and yell at them).

So anyways, I just want to encourage you to take some time to write your child a letter and let them know how much you love them. I will read the letter to her on her birthday and then put it in her scrapbook (on an adjoining page).

And you don't have to do this JUST for the birthday (although that seems to be the best time for me to remember). Children LOVE to get mail. Write a short card to your child and send it off in the mail. You could even just slip it into the mailbox for them to get in the morning. Just something small to let them know how much you love them is SO BIG to them! My daughters still have birthday cards from years back, and each my husband and I wrote like two sentences each in them. But they love hearing it again and again how much we love them.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: I Remember When...

Sorry about the unannounced day away yesterday. My beloved surprised me by taking the day off. You see, 14 years ago, on April 20th, we had our first date. Now of course, it is difficult to explain to our children about how we dated, but they will be doing something different (we are teaching them about courtship). But that is another blog entry. This is about my beloved and me.

We usually celebrate every April 20th and celebrate our friendship and the "fun" side of our relationship (while our anniversary is more for the romantic and commitment part of our marriage).

IF I remember correctly, men really need a friend in their wives. Something in the Five Needs A Man Has. (Anyone know WHAT I am talking about?) I know that my husband has mentioned time and time again, whenever I ask him, that the friendship part of our marriage is so important to him. And while I constantly try to do something friendship wise and fun in our relationship it was nice to take that time to just remember our early dating years.

So I encourage you to remember what made you say the first "yes" to your beloved? What made you go out with him, or continue to develop a closer friendship with him? Maybe you could write him a letter that talks about that time. Or better yet, write a STORY of how you two met!!! Oh how wonderfully romantic. What made the girl (you) fall for him (your beloved)? It would be a wonderful keepsake for your children!

And try to make a plan of something FUN to do with your beloved that will show him that the friendship side of your marriage is still there. My husband TRULY is my BEST friend.

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

(and for those of you looking for a SCF update, I finished the hat, it looks awful so NO PICTURES! It was really easy to do, but I just don't know HOW to do it :( Gotta find a different project and then try my hand at the hat again in a few months)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Teaching Children Instrument Sounds

Teach your children the different sounds in the orchestra! I have not explored everything on this site, so I would go through it first, or WITH your child. But it looks really cool!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Enjoying the Children

"The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing.
But in our culture we apply for a curse and reject blessings.
Something is wrong with this picture."
Doug Phillips

You know SOMETHING is wrong when you look down at the precious baby you are holding and really find JOY in him and realize that it has been a LONG TIME since you have felt that way.

Now don't get me wrong. I coo and giggle. I play peek-a-boo and patty cake. I do whatever I can to elicit a smile from my little guy. But today, when I got face to face with him, and we rubbed noses together, the feeling of warmth that filled my heart was something I realized had not been as present as it should be.

It seems I have gotten so wrapped up in the day to day things (schooling, cleaning, cooking, crafts, reading, etc.) that I was not taking the time to really SAVOR my time with my children.

You know how to savor. It is what you do when you take a bite of a rich and creamy decadent dessert. Your keep it in your mouth for a few moments before chewing EVER SO SLOWLY. You allow every taste bud absorb the flavor. Every bit of flavor (the vanilla, the chocolate, the hint of strawberry or mint). Then you go back for another bite and replay the whole thing over and over again. And all the while MMMMMmmmmmmmmm'n and aaaahhhhhhhhh'n talking about how great this tastes. And how you wish you could have this every day.

Should we find more pleasure in a dessert than our own children? YIKES! I am going to try to find at last five minutes a day to spend with each child in a joyful way. Savoring them and this time completely.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wonderful Music

I have been playing this over and over again for four days now, and it is so wonderful to hear my 5 yr old walking around the house singing "Only Jesus." I must admit that is one of my favorite songs off this CD!!! It has been very comforting this past week!
Sovereign Grace

Look in the upper right hand corner, and click on "SOVEREIGN GRACE RADIO."

HT (does that stand for hat tip of heaps of thanks?) to This One's For the Girls for the link about Sovereign Grace Music.

Who Is Raising Your Children

Great Article:
Who Is Raising Your Children?

Since this goes in line with things I have been thinking/reading lately, I thought I would share.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lessons From Strangers

I seem to have the weirdest run ins with strangers. I had another one two weeks ago that I thought nothing of until yesterday morning at church.

Let me back track to that meeting. You see, I was in a public restroom washing my hands when a woman comes in and puts some Balmex out on the counter and tells me to put some on my lips. I am a BIG germaphobic, so I politely declined.

She then said, "No, you say 'Thank you Ma'am' and put some on your lips." To which I laughed and replied "No thank you Ma'am." I hope I wasn't being derogatory, as I was trying to be sincere.

She then said "We could use more kindness of strangers in this world today." I nodded in agreement and that was that. She put her Balmex back in her purse and left.

So what does all this have to do with a morning in church?

Well, we were rushed for getting out for church, and I did not get to eat breakfast. The girls had eaten a small breakfast, but were still hungry. I had grabbed bars for them, but nothing for myself. As we arrived at church and sat down at the table (we worship in the cafe because that is the only place they allow you to worship as a family at the church we attend, they are not allowed in the main sanctuary), my beloved gave bars to the girls and then took out some cheesy crackers.

Now you have to understand, I REALLY don't like these cheesey crackers.

As he took them out, he had a BIG smile on his face "And in case YOU are hungry, I brought these for you."

OH honey, I thought, how many times I have told you I don't like these?!?!?!

I politely declined. He looked a little hurt. Then he opened up the crackers and placed them before me. Remember the HEART behind your beloved's actions!!!

So I smiled at my beloved, thanked him for his thoughtfulness (we need more kindness in this world) in providing for my needs, and ate the crackers. And you know what? Those crackers didn't taste NEARLY as bad as I remember! Although maybe some of the sweet thoughts I was having about my beloved (and him about me) made those crackers taste so sweet! :D And I was able to bless my beloved by my actions ... my REaction to his blessing me.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My Shawl

Well, here is the finished shawl I mentioned I finished. This picture was taken while my husband was learning about his new position in the company.

I really REALLY liked this type of crochet. The pattern was not only easy to follow, but it was easy to pick up whenever I left off to care or play with the children. And it went REALLY fast!!!

A couple of things I learned. First, the instructions that the pattern gave for 3dc mesh (a separate link ON the page to print) were VERY easy to follow. It starts with the long side because it is easier to decrease than to increase. And it really was (just simple slip stitches)! Also, make sure you recount EVERYTHING, especially before you tie off to start a new skien. I had forgotten this step and realized that I had forgotten to do one full square in the main heart!!! Thankfully, because it was an empty square that should have been solid, I was able to SOMEWHAT easily fill it in with a double crochet (tying on, doing a double crochet and then tying off again. You honestly can only tell when you look REALLY really close! I was pretty proud of myself!!

Other times, I thought I had done it right, but I messed up like three rows back (thankfully near the bottom of the shawl- which is the pointy end). I cannot stress enough making sure to recount!! :)

So onto my next project. A sun hat!
Here is a better picture than what the pattern is. If I was just going by the picture on the pattern, I would not make it. But the picture of the pink and white hat is TOO CUTE!!! Now I had a feeling I could do the shawl (a combo of cross-stitch and crochet - too fun!), but I may actually be getting in over my head on this one!!!

We will see. I am not much in the crocheting mood lately. I really need to get out of this funk I am in. I am reading through Romans right now (Jess goes through a book a month and it is SO ENCOURAGING to read the Bible this way! Check out her sidebar to see what book she is currently in.) and that is really helping.

Mish Mash

I am not sure of where the saying "when it rains it pours" comes from, or even if it can be backed Scripturally, but right now, it feels like it is pouring.

First, as you know, I have shared in the past that my beloved's creativity is not being encouraged at work. And the little bit of creativity he was able to do at work was taken away from him on Friday. It was very distressing to him. I remember growing up, when my dad was put in a position at work where he was not happy. My mother and my sister and I were miserable because he was miserable. I pray that God will help my beloved not feel so discouraged. And I pray God will give me the wisdom as to how to help the Mr. Visionary (the creative part) in my beloved.

Secondly, it seems that my father's health is getting worse (so I guess when I said it didn't involve health in my post on Friday, that wasn't TOTALLY true, it just didn't involve my immediate family's health).

My parents don't tell me much because they don't wish to worry me (which they don't realize makes me worry even more because I never know when something will happen). I am not sure if he has been officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's yet, but he has been undergoing testing for it, and his behavior and memory are just not what they used to be. Not to mention the fact that he has some problem with his blood and clotting (he has had this problem since he was young, but now that he is older it is really bad, and we worry about a stroke). He is also losing his eye sight, which thankfully seems to be only in one eye and not both.

I am very thankful for my children who seem to constantly bring smiles to my face lately. And for good friends who have brought times of refreshment from thinking and worrying about all of this with their visit this weekend (you know who you are!).

Friday, April 13, 2007

New Layout - Happiness

This layout can be seen at Digital Scrapbook Artisan Guild for credits as well as journaling and close ups. It was fun seeing Baby JJ clap at seeing the layout.

How ironic that just hours after finishing a layout entitled "Happiness" we would receive news that would bring us sadness. I know that God can use this trial we are about to go through for His glory, but I am scared. I will try to blog about it on Monday. I am not sure I will be blogging this weekend. And if I do, it will be to share about the shawl I finished. Your prayers for peace and wisdom are appreciated. (this has nothing to do with life and death or health, just so you don't freak out or anything) :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Who's Influencing Your Children?

So often we worry about the ungodliness in the outside world and how it will affect our children. So we shelter them a bit - keeping them with us at all times and being very selective about the friends they hang out with. Which is really good. We want their influences to be good and godly ones.

And yet the BIGGEST influence to our children is NOT outside influences. It is Y-O-U! And depending on how your walk is with the Lord, the ungodliness in you.

Think about it.

Is your child's lack of patience with their siblings or you a reflection of your lack of patience with them or your spouse? Is their lack of deep and abiding love of their heavenly Father a reflection of your lack of a deep and abiding relationship with the Lord?

I know of a family whose parents were very particular about their friends. Yet because they wanted to witness to those in prison, their children were constantly around convicts. Yet because of who their parents were, the children grew up emulating the parents (strong faith in the Lord, etc.).

Just some convictions I felt recently as I try to seek the Lord on bringing my children closer to Him.

Easter Tomb

I know, a few days late, but maybe for NEXT easter.

Making The Tomb

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What Has Happened To My Children?

"The rod and rebuke give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother."
Proverbs 29:15

I cannot begin to tell you about what I have witnessed in my kids today. All day today I have heard nothing but compliments, sharing, kindness, giving, unselfishness, obedience...I could go on and on. And all of this has happened today with NO PRODDING or reminders on my part.

Now don't get me wrong. My kids are GREAT kids. And ask anyone and they will tell you I have great kids. But sometimes they have their days. And BOY do they have their days. But every once in a while, and I notice it happening more and more frequently, my kids will have a day like today.

And I pray, with all my heart, that this is just a tiny glimpse of how they will be when they are all grown. Full of the love and joy of the Lord. His grace and love and joy overflowing in their heats, actions and smiles.

It all started a few days ago. My husband and I decided that we needed to be a bit more firm in our discipline and TRAINING with the girls. We had really slacked off and was lecturing them more than training them. So in order to train them, I had to make sure I was spending more time with them. A LOT more time with them.

I caught every wrong behavior, and trainned them on the proper way to behave. I caught every good behavior and encouraged more. This is something that cannot happen when the children are shoved down in the basement so momma can just have a break (or not have to see the mess they make). We played together, a LOT. I read more to them than the typical story in the evening. We also talked a lot. But we played what THEY wanted to play, read what THEY wanted to read and talked about what THEY wanted to talk about.

And I began to see fruit last evening. After another full day of togetherness, I said it was time for dinner. In otherwords, we need to MAKE dinner. I asked MM (3yr) to clear the table, which she did speedily and perfectly! She then SET the table without being asked! EE (5yr) tidied up from our playing, and then got out the condiments for our dinner. She then asked what else she could do to help! AA (7yr) almost made dinner by herself!!! She opened up the can of refried beans, emptied them into a bowl and spooned them down to look like they had not just come out of a can. Then she shredded the cheese into a bowl. All I had to do was take the frozen veggies and heat them up. Dinner was ready, and it happened so fast and so smoothly, it was wonderful.

And it just continued on into today! After MM came down, she noticed cheese on her plate (cheese is a special treat around here). She picked it up and said "Thank you for the cheese Momma!" WOW!!! And throughout the day I have heard lots of unprompted giving and sharing. Lots of thank yous without being reminded.

Oh my heart is so blessed it is about to burst!!!

I had to think about what was different. I always encouraged my kids to be kind. I always ... but wait. I just THOUGHT I was always there to catch bad behavior and train them in proper behavior. I just thought I always was here to encourage them when they were being kind. But truth was, they were sometimes left to themselves. To play quietly in the basement while Momma took care of something. To stay in the living room watching a video while Momma took care of something. All the somethings I was taking care of did not allow me to give my full attention to the children. Bad behavior slipped by without rod and rebuke. Good behavior went unnoticed so much the children only did it when reminded rather than from a heart for it. And they didn't truly have Momma's heart and devotion.

We have all heard it. Love to a child is spelled T-I-M-E. And it is not just time doing what Momma wants. Do what your children want. Do they want to bake a cake for Daddy? GO FOR IT! Maybe they want to go bug hunting or hiking. JUST DO IT!

I so want to encourage you not to leave your children to themselves, but to take the time to show them you love them. Do what THEY want to do. It won't kill you, despite what you feel or think, and might even foster a better attitude in your child. Something which just might give you a glimpse of the Father working in their lives. Sure, it might be a sacrifice (of selfish behavior in my case), but that is the only thing it costs me. HOWEVER, not taking the time to show my children love will most likely cause me a lot of pain and suffering in the future when I question "why doesn't my child want to be with me?" or "why does my child not love God like he should? I want to look back with no regrets. Knowing I gave it my ALL and I gave it my BEST when it came to my children.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


First, there is a free ebook you simply MUST grab! The people who do the homeschool radio show liked this book so much they bought the rights to it JUST so they could give it to everyone for FREE!

Front Porch Attitude

Again, it is only fee til the end of April, so grab it now, before you forget!

Also, do you remember that shawl I told you about? The one with the hearts I was going to make for myself? It is finished!!!! And it looks so great!!! This was done with 3dc filet crochet, and I must admit I LOVE this kind of crochet! It was so easy to leave it unfinished in a spot instead of having to finish a row, because you know how momma can be easily interrupted by children wanting to PLAY!!!

I was easily able to find my spot and continue where I left off. I won't talk TOO much about it here because I will save that for Sew Crafty Friday.

And I just have to comment on playing video games. My husband bought a two player video game where you HAVE to work TOGETHER to accomplish ANYTHING in the game. This is difficult to do with the litter ones, but our oldest is actually able to do it! It has been fun playing with her. Especially when I sneak math in! We learned about fractions today and also subtraction! And we are learning team work (jump together to the left on the count of three, you jump on the box and I'll jump on this box and we will go up at the same time). It is so FUN!! Momma has to watch it though. I became VERY addicted to video games growing up.

I also had to say that even though I am not commenting, I am reading most of your blogs. Some of you I don't know you are reading me, so speak up so I can add your blog to my list!! :)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Garden Notebook Pages

The garden notebook pages I talked about a few weeks back are now FREE THIS WEEK ONLY! Be sure to grab them, and sign up for the newsletter and get FREE homeschool items EVERY week!!!

Ramblings on faith and eternity and my children

Have you ever noticed that your faults tend to become your children's faults?

I admit I have very little faith. I know God CAN do it, but never truly believe He WILL do it. I pray all the time with my children (whenever a toy has been lost, or an owie has occurred, or whenever one of them is sick). But then they see my panic whenever I lose something or whenever my babies are sick... they SEE my lack of faith.

I especially see it in our oldest (7yrs now). She is at that age where she can recognize fakeness. It is not that I am trying to be fake. I know God can do it. I guess my self-image prevents me from believing God cares enough about this small little thing to actually DO it.

Yet His word tells me that He knows the number of hairs on my head. That he provides exceedingly and abundantly above all I ask or think. This lets me know He cares about the smallest of details.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

I need to read the Bible a whole lot more. It is way too important and time is too short for me not to show my kids the importance of His word.

Yesterday when we were reading the Bible for Easter (how come we only read the Bible as a family on holidays? that needs to change), my beloved read about how the woman poured oil over Jesus' head, which Jesus said was in preperation for His burial. He mentioned that Jesus knows our hearts, and said he thought that this woman believed Jesus when He said He was going to die. Something that not even His closest of friends and disciples really believed or understood. And yet this woman, believing Him, poured oil over His head in preperation for His burial.

My daughter asked shortly after that if they could look for eggs now. My beloved's and my soul felt singed at that. It was as if we both knew, at that same moment, just how close we can come to losing her soul. This lead to a very long lecture about how important God's word is... yadda yadda yadda.

About 10 minutes into the lecture (I told you it was a lecture), it struck me that everything we were saying to her was lip service. We KNEW what we were saying was true, but we had not been LIVING it. We need to SHOW her how important God's word is by giving it ample time in our day. By reading it and living it. His word is the standard by which we should be living our lives, and yet how little we (and our children) KNOW His word.

We need to show the grace that God talks about in His word. We need to show the love and kindness God tells us to in His word. If I want my children to abide in Him, I MUST abide in His first.

My children's eternity is at stake. I feel a heavy burden at this moment. Everything else seems like vanity (the scrapbooking, the crochet, the pretty Easter dresses...). The only things that matters is the eternal, my children's souls. And yet how to do it with the love and grace of the Lord so it is real, and not done just out of fear.

I want my children to know and LOVE God. Yes, we are told to fear Him, but I don't want that to be their motivating factor. Fear is NOT love, and the greatest commandment is to LOVE God.

I feel so helpless right now. Am I the only one who feels or has ever felt this way?

The L2L that we have been doing has been helping them to love each other, but how do you teach your children to love God? How do you foster a personal relationship between your children and God? And how do you stop worrying about their eternity?

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Saturday Sweethearts: Chcolate Bdy Pnt

(Two days late, but still fun none the less.)

Chcolate Bdy Pnt Recipe
by Michael Webb

Chcolate Bdy Pnt can be LOTS of fun. You can buy it online or even in some stores but you can also make it at home. The recipe is surprisingly simple.

1 and 1/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups chcolate chips

In a saucepan, slowly heat the cream until it comes to a boil (constantly stir it so it does not burn on the bottom). You can also boil it in a glass bowl in the microwave.

When the cream begins to rise in the pan, take it off the stove and pour it over the chcolate chips that you have placed in a glass bowl. Use a whisk and stir until smooth).

Not only can you use this chcolate to pnt one anothers body, you can also dip in fruit, marshmallows, pretzels, cake or other food to feed one another.

Please make sure the chcolate has cooled completely before using.

Personal note:
I took out some of the vowels from the title so as to avoid unwanted guests to my site.

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

Friday, April 6, 2007

Passover, Good Friday and Happy Easter

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say REJOICE!"

We just finished up our celebration of Passover. We celebrate it three days before Easter just as Jesus would have. (ALthough I guess TECHNICALLY we should have celebrated it tomorrow if we were doing it JUST as Jesus did...hmmmm... God knows our heart and motive. :) ) We know it is not for salvation (that is by faith through Jesus and NOT of works), but it is such a fun way to celebrate and remember what God has done for us, His people, and how even THEN He foretold of Jesus' coming and the world salvation through Him.

My husband has Good Friday off. I remember when I was growing up, going into the Catholic church and seeing the state of Jesus on the cross covered up and thinking "there is no good on good Friday." I never understood it until I became saved (about 14 years ago now - oh man I feel OLD).

Because my husband has the day off, we are just going to enjoy the time together as a FAMILY. Oh how nice it is to have HIM! Two days a week are just NOT enough. We need MORE three day weekends! SO no posts from Friday on (although I highly encourage you to head over to Sew Craft Friday at Waiting For Him - it is for ALL crafts, not just sewing! So I expect to see your in progress work there Rebecca! :D ). And I will see you again on Monday.

So this will be my Happy Easter post. Our Happy Resurrection Day. We will be doing Resurrection Cookies and Rolls (see my Easter link in the sidebar for recipes - FROM SCRATCH). I hope you all take time to really emphasis the wonderful miracle in Jesus' death and resurrection. We should celebrate it EVERYDAY, but sometimes, and I think this is why God institute the Holy Days, sometimes we really need time to focus deeply and meditate and CELEBRATE the specific things God has done for us.

The picture above is our dinning table (with my "new" hutch in the background - I will have to post about the blessings in this picture another day). Adorned with a WHITE table cloth, Easter lilies (I cannot believe I didn't kill them with the black thumb I have, and three buds flowering - one pointing to each girls seat at the table), and our Passover Goblets. It really looks so much more beautiful in person than in the picture!

Enjoy Jesus and all He has done for you in His death and resurrection - today and everyday. Blessings to all of you - whom I consider dear DEAR friends.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Sew Crafty

I made a shawl and matching scrunchie for my daughter. (This is for SEW CRAFT FRIDAY at Waiting For Him. Head over and post your in-progress pictures of whatever YOU are working on.)
The shawl is actually folded in half (the top of the picture is also the top of the shawl). It was too big to fit across my dining table. As you can see, I have not sewn in the ends yet. You should be able to click on the picture to see the detail. She loves it. You should have heard all the oooooohhhhhsss and aaaaahhhhhhhsss and how beeeaaaauuuuuutifuls coming from my daughters as I was making this!!! :D

I am such a proud Momma. These are only TWO of all the pictures I took of my beautiful precious EE..
This was REALLY simple. It was all chain stitches, slip stitches and double crochet (maybe a single crochet too?). You started at the bottom, and then just added more and more until you had a HUGE triangle! Even the scrunchie was pretty simple. The only difficulty I had to get over was dc inside the ponytail holder. It was more difficult than I thought (even though I had no problem dc inside loops on the shawl! LOL!).

This is my second and third project since completing the headbands. It was REALLY fun and quick to do.

I got the pattern from this book:
CROCHET by Jane Davis.

I REALLY like this book! It explains all of the stitches in easy to understand words and pictures (am I the only one who learns better from a child's instructional book than from an adult's instructional book?). And the projects go from easy (chain stitch only shoe laces) and get a little more stitches added and a little more technique added as you go through each project in the book. Each new project builds on the techniques you learned in the previous project. VERY nice!

My next project is one for myself. (Although if it gets TOO difficult, I might have to thrown in some stuff for the girls, or switch to a more simple shawl for myself at first and come back to this one later.) It is THIS shawl. EEK! Be sure to click on the link or the picture to see all the pictures of this shawl (I especially love the edging on this!). I am going to at least try. I may have to give up and get some more crochet in under my belt before I am able to actually DO this one. I will admit that I found a video in the library that explains and shows this VERY simply! Makes it easy to learn (at least it LOOKS easy). And since I love to cross-stitch, I think I will be able to do this OK.

I have learned recently, that when it comes to books (and my addiction to books), that a lot of stuff can now be found for FREE on the web or in the library. This pattern for the shawl I am making for myself is an online pattern. Whereas before I really started becoming frugal, I would rationalize buying a book with the pattern for fifty cents. But now, I see I can be even MORE frugal and can save money getting things FREE online rather than buying a book and using only ONE pattern. (Or even wasting a credit from PaperBack Swap to get this pattern.) :) And the stuff I made for the girls (that book I may actually Paperback Swap so I have it for the TOD-KAH curriculum), was made in enough time (one week) that I am able to make it and get the book back to the library.

I am learning that when it comes to crafts, recipes, directions and how-to's, for the most part, you can save money (even if the book only costs $.50) by looking it up online or in a book at the library. Save your money for those simply MUST HAVE books (like the old time recipe books where everything -even the tomato sauce- is from scratch and the books that you just can't find online - like raising godly children and girls who are helpmeets and boys who are godly men/leaders).

I also wanted to mention a newsletter for your kids that has crafts for them to do (including crochet!). It is called By Kids 4 Kids. It is free to subscribe. Looks SEW FUN! (hahaha - get it?? SEW fun?!?! :D )

Tee-hee I just have to add that baby JJ has commandeered the scrunchie as his own and is LOVING playing with it! LOL!!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Don't Fall

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take head lest he fall."
1 Corinthians 10:12

Our pastor once said that you should never say that you don't have a problem with a certain sin, because sure enough, as soon as you do, you have opened yourself up to falling straight into that sin. I am pretty sure we were in the book of Galatians at the time (referring to considering yourself when correcting someone lest you fall into that same sin for which you are correcting someone else).

And I can attest to that principle on more than one occasion. The most recent being after a conversation a friend and I had. She is a good friend who helps hold me accountable for being a good wife and mother. She was concerned about something I had recently shared on my blog about teasing my beloved about not being able to spell beagle.

I assured her that I knew my beloved well enough to know when I could tease and when not to tease. Teasing him about spelling beagle led to giggles from both of us and a time of close bonding (which I was pretty sure it would).

HOWEVER (and it seems that there is always an HOWEVER when we are open to the Lord and His teachings)...

The other day my husband shared about how he had put a towel next to the bath for me. You see, after being married for almost 11 years, I finally have a house with a BATH for MOMMA! :) While I was content in the old house without one, my beloved has been so over joyed that our new house has one, and frequently encourages me to make up for lost bath time! :)

So I finally got to take yet ANOTHER bath, and afterwards reached for the towel that my beloved had so thoughtfully set beside the tub for me. He walked in and I jokingly flirtatiously teased him about how I knew the reason he picked that towel was because it was the shortest one so it would cover less of me (more for him to see).

The look of pain in my beloveds eyes was like a dagger. I had hurt him and I didn't know how. I thought I was being flirtatious (after all, I had just previous announced I knew when I could playfully tease my beloved and when I shouldn't). And here I was, in another OFG (opportunity for growth).

He was hurt because I had not seen his heart behind it. He replied, sheepishly, "No, I picked that towel for you because it was the softest."

You see, earlier that day my husband was getting out towels for the children after their bath and came across that towel and thought "this is so soft, I bet Paula would really like the feel of this after a nice hot bath."

I think what I am going to take away from this is that it is always better NOT to tease (even in a flirtatious way) so that I make sure NEVER to tease when I think I can, and really can't. That way I am ALWAYS honoring to my beloved. I need to look for the GOOD in whatever he is doing. The good in the towel was the thoughtfulness of giving me the softest towel we had. The good in him sharing with AA that he could not spell beagle was to encourage her that we all have areas of weaknesses and we should not make fun of others for that shortcoming.

Looking back with fresh eyes, I can see several areas where I could have totally blessed my beloved's socks off by seeing the good in what he had done rather than teasing him about it. There are PLENTY of other times for laughter and bonding and closeness. And it should never again be at something which inadvertently might be at his expense.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Learning 2 Love - Does Not Envy

"Love...does not envy." 1 Corinthians 13:4

We spent last week going over Love is Patient and Love is Kind. It has actually been REALLY GOOD! No more whining! Whenever a child shows a lack of patience or kindness, I simply ask them if they are being (patient/kind) and they simply respond no! VERY RARELY will I hear "but she ....", which used to be a common phrase in our house. (Reminds me of Adam and Eve - "It was the woman YOU gave me that gave me the apple.") It seems the BUT's have no place where LOVE is concerned.

I have not been able to find a word picture on the computer yet for ENVY. If anyone knows of one, please let me know. Right now, the past few days I have been catching them in the ACT of being envious and talking about it. It has been really good as envy seems to be more rampant in our house than a lack of patience!

It is amazing how easily the children are beginning to understand and APPLY what they are learning.

Let's look at the definition of ENVY.

EN'VY, v.t. [L. invideo, in and video, to see against, that is, to look with enmity.]
1. To feel uneasiness, mortification or discontent, at the sight of superior excellence, reputation or happiness enjoyed by another; to repine at another's prosperity; to fret or grieve one's self at the real or supposed superiority of another, and to hate him on that account.

Envy not thou the oppressor. Prov.3.

Whoever envies another, confesses his superiority.

2. To grudge; to withhold maliciously.

To envy at, used by authors formerly, is now obsolete.

Who would envy at the prosperity of the wicked?

It also says that ENVY is a noun (whereas the above definition is a verb).

EN'VY, n. Pain, uneasiness, mortification or discontent excited by the sight of another's superiority or success, accompanied with some degree of hatred or malignity, and often or usually with a desire or an effort to depreciate the person, and with pleasure in seeing him depressed. Envy springs from pride, ambition or love, mortified that another has obtained what one has a strong desire to possess.

I have talked about what envy means, but without the picture card, I was worried they would not understand. But catching them in the act of being envious and letting them know they are being envious has been helpful to them.

And I actually put my children in a position where they have a choice to be envious or not.

I read somewhere about a mother who made sure that her children did not always get the same thing at the same time. If she had a cookie, she didn't break it into even pieces so each child got a piece, she gave it to one child. In doing so, she raised some of the most UNselfish children. I must admit that I thought she was crazy. But her children never whined "that's not fair!" Because she would always remind them that they were right, life is not fair. And when it is not, you have a choice on how to behave. You can behave selfishly, or biblically. It was her job to train them to react biblically, so she allowed them to be put in positions where they would have to make a choice.

So this week, I remembered those words of that mother and allowed my children to be put in positions where they would have to make a choice. I am so glad that after three weeks of intensive training on LOVE, that they are responding faster when corrected. And often, I hear them correct themselves!!! And more and more frequently, I am seeing them chose the biblical behavior before even having to be reminded!

Now, being the prideful mother I am, I am so tempted to say "See what I have done!" But let me remind you (and myself) that I have these faults just as badly as the children, if not more so! It is all done by the glory and GRACE of the Lord in SPITE of me!! Lord, please continue to work in my children AND IN ME!


Biblical Womanhood has a PODCAST!!! So totally cool! Check it out! Definitely worth listening to.

Which brings me to my question. I asked Crystal, and hopefully she will have some answers, but wanted to pose the question to my two or three faithful readers out there. :)

I would LOVE to listen to all these WONDERFUL podcasts out there, but wonder HOW you find the time? How can you care and play and enjoy your children and listen to so many podcasts? I have enough difficulty keeping up with the many wonderful blogs out there. I have heard that you can have it playing in the background while playing with the children, but obviously they have not been around my kids. They laughter and squeals overpower the volume of the podcast and I don’t get to hear and apply very much of what I am hearing.

Do you schedule in time to listen to your podcasts? Do you have some sort of quiet time for the children while the podcast is playing in the background? Or do you put on headphones and walk around listening to the iPod while the children do coloring or play outside?

I hope this is coming across with the heart that it is written. I sincerely want to know as I would LOVE to take advantage of podcasts. I just have never been able to make it work in the past.

How do you listen to your favorite podcasts? What are your favorite podcasts? Share them in the comments below! THANKS!


Just a quick note to let you know about a new favorite page of mine. It has been a fav for a while, and I am actually surprised I have not shared it before now.

Like Merchant Ships

This site really is very nice. I love reading about her frugalness, her finds and what she does with them. If you like authors like Tasha Tudor and Alexandra Stoddard... if you like blogs like Biblical Womanhood, Frugal Upstate, and Renaissance and you will really enjoy Like Merchant Ships!

Frgualness (and frugal alert)

First the alert (so those who don't care to read what I wrote below can just have the alert). The Dollar Tree has children's t-shirts from HANES! They have an X over the brand name, but it sure is there! I grabbed a few to make T-Shirt dresses from (google T-Shirt dress for a free pattern, or search through my sidebar under SEWING).

Also, God willing, update to L2L series later today.

OK, so I usually do NOT shop at the Dollar Store. It was WAY too easy for me to spend money like crazy there. IT'S ONLY A DOLLAR I rationalize to myself and before I know it, I have spent more than I should have. And I also had the mentality that there is really nothing but junk there. And no way would I be caught buying FOOD of all things at the Dollar Store!

Thank God for bringing Carrie into my life! She lives frugally and bought some of the Hunt's Pasta Sauce from the Dollar Store and gave me some. And you know what.... it was ORGANIC and it was GOOOOOOOOOOOOD!

So yesterday I got up the courage to check out the Dollar Store. I was actually looking for a dress for my daughter's doll, but ended up buying a lot of gardening and outdoor stuff for the kids to do/play. And then I headed to the food section. They had the Hunt's Organic Pasta Sauce (traditional, mushroom and meat). They had Bumble Bee Chicken Salad (which I had recently paid almost $3 for at Safeway). Some jellies that were made with all natural ingredients. And some apple juice! I also got the T-shirts mentioned above.

I also wanted to encourage you to ask your neighbors about their trash. Yes you heard right, their TRASH!

The other day as I was heading out to pick up a freecycle find, I noticed my neighbor had a ton of garbage bags out. I stopped and asked her what was in them, and she said boy clothes and toys that were going to Goodwill, but I was welcome to rummage through and take what I wanted!!!

I got a all wooden toy box (huge enough for my three year old to sleep in!), lots of boy clothes and toys, a microwave, a huge decorative painting, a hand held dust buster, wool sweaters for me, and a plastic drawer organizer! Not only that, but later she had more stuff to give away, and rather than call or donate to Goodwill she came to my house! Another bag of boy clothes and a toddler car seat!!! WOOHOO!!!!

All this to say that it does not hurt to ask your neighbors about their trash.

Some other things I have gotten: a NordicTrack, a sewing machine, a child's bike, a guitar, a HUGE TV (that lasted for several more years) just to name a few.

And you have to check out this CUTE article written by a WONDERFUL blog I love to read about a trash to treasure find her SON made. Dumpster Art. This is a GREAT idea and wonderful for homsechoolers too!!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Going Ons

Sorry about my unannounced mini-sabbatical last week. So much going on over here and I only posted twice (and then not on the weekend). I have so much to share about some things God has put on my heart, and I hope you will be blessed by it! But right now, I am headed off to bed. :) It has been a long and WONDERFUL day today!

But before I go, just a cute little bit of what my oldest has said this week...

AA (7yo): Daddy, who is in that picture?
Daddy: That is you when you were two years old.
AA: Hmmmm... I don't remember those shoes.

AA: Would you like me to show you how to spell your ABC's??
EE: Sure!
AA: (entering on the Speak and Spell we just found at Goodwill - anyone remember those? - so you hear the letters A - B - C - S.)
Mommy: (laughs)
AA: What is so funny?
Mommy: You are right, I never thought about it but that IS how you spell your ABC's!!!!