Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Never Not Busy

Life always seems pretty busy for me....it could just be I'm not a very good multi tasker & homebody : ) I feel like I've been running so much lately . Sat...I had my daughter's piano recital. I picked up her great grandmother to bring her to the recital and visited with her awhile when I took her back home at her new assisted living apartment. Sunday was church in the morning , home for lunch, and then out Christmas shopping, picked up 2 of my kids from evening church (they spent the afternoon with some friends). Monday was Bible study in the evening, but I had to stop off and get a snack and small gift for the gift exchange we were having. Tues ~ We went and had family pictures taken. Wed. ~ Denist appointment in the morning, grocery shopping since I was out and church in the evening. Today ~ This morning my daughter had piano lessons. I wrapped the majority of the Christmas presents we bought. My kids and I are going to bake some cookies for their teen church outing tomorrow and Sat. Fri ~ Taking my kids to a teen fellowship where they will be having dinner, going Christmas shopping for a needy family at church, then they will be wrapping the presents. Sat ~ I will be taking the kids to Christmas carol with their particular class at church. Sunday is our big church program and I'm sure I'm forgetting something. So that's my busy week. Still have lots of baking to do and some shopping : ) Gotta go and get busy : )

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sickies

I've finally decided we must have a virus going around our house. It seemed to manifest it's self in different ways .....some symptoms very apparent and some so subtle, I didn't even realize it was a symptom. My 2 yeard old dd had diarreha the entire week or so after Thanksgiving.....she then started with the sniffles. About that time my ears started plugging up and my 10 year old dd started complaining about her jaw hurting. Now all of my girls have sniffles and stuffy noses and they did have sore throats. I had the same syptoms including the sore jaw and my tummy has been bothering me off and on all week....feeling the worst today. I just want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. It's hard to be sick this time of year when you have so much to do for the holidays.

If you think of it please pray for us, my 10 year old dd has her piano recital tomorrow. It would be terrible if we were feeling miserable : (

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Traditions

This picture was taken last Christmas morning. My then 1 year old daughter was blowing out the Christ candle to our advent/nativity set. Read below to find out more about our Christmas tradition.
I'm thankful Friday has arrived! It has been a long and busy week. My youngest daughter and oldest son have picked up an intestinal bug of some sort from my brother's family, who stayed with us the week of Thanksgiving. My poor brother started having diarrhea the day he arrived to our home from out of state . His boys had it for the few days before they left to come here.

It's been a week and my 2 year old dd has had it the entire week.....my son has had it for a few days. DD wakes up in the middle of the night with a tummy ache and diarrhea. She's acting okay the rest of the day but it is sad to see her complain of her tummy hurting.


Wednesday I took my 7 year old son to an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist to check his heart murmur. The good news is everything is fine...it's a normal heart murmur. The not so good news is that he had several high blood pressure readings during the visit. The doctor had an echo cardiogram performed because his blood pressure was high. That checked out fine. He ordered a blood test to check his kidneys and a urinalysis.....those checked out fine as well. I have to take him back next month to check his blood pressure again. The nurse said he could just have what they call "white coat" hypertension. The visit with the doctor makes him so nervous that his blood pressure goes up. I'm guessing that's all it is.

Since there are so many negative opinions out there about the "wrong" Christmas traditions that Christian's celebrate, I thought I would share with you what "wrong" traditions we celebrate LOL!
This weekend we are hoping to go and cut down our Christmas tree. We have a horse drawn wagon pull us back to the field of our choice (depending on what type of tree we want) We are given a hand saw to cut down the tree we choose. The wagon picks us back up , bringing our tree along. They wrap it up nicely for us and then we are ready to go.......not before we stop into the heated barn to pay for our tree , enjoy roasting marshmallows for smores, roast hot dogs in the fire place and enjoy hot cocoa, which are all free! It's alot of fun and a cherised family tradition.


We finally started our advent readings last night, only 4 days late...we caught up though . My kids love our advent tradition. We started celebrating advent about 6 years ago. We read a book trilogy written by Arnold Ytreeide. We started with Jotham's Journey the first year, the second year Tabitha's Travel and the third year Batholomew's Passage. We started over again back to Jotham's Journey and are now doing Bartholomew's Passage again.


Each Sunday of advent we light a new candle to our advent/nativity set . The first candle (purple) represents Hope....it reminds us that God's people hoped for a Saviour (Isaiah 9: 2 & 6). The second candle (purple) represents Peace. It reminds us that Jesus came to bring us peace. (Micah) 4:3-4

The third candle (pink) represents Joy....it reminds us of the joy Jesus brings us. (Luke 2:8-11)

The 4th candle(purple) represents Love....it reminds us that God sent Jesus because He loves us. (1 John 4: 7-9)


The last candle(white) we light on Christmas morning. Each Christmas morning before we open gifts, we light that white candle which represents Christ. We are reminded that He is the light of the world. (Luke 2:1-20) We read our last chapter of our advent book and are reminded of what the day is really about. It's really a blessing!


These books are all fictions books that are historically accurate to the time of Jesus's birth. Each book is based on the same thing ,the events that lead up to the birth of Jesus. It is told from 3 different perspectives (characters) They are very action packed /real to life of that time and they keep the kids hanging and excited to listen to the next night's chapter. Following each chapter is a short devotion. I think they are awesome books and would recommend them .


Each new week of advent (Sunday) I let the kids choose a special snack to eat after we read the chapter for that day. We have some Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes for this week. So what are your traditions?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kitchen Floor

Last weekend my dear sweet husband installed a new ceramic tile kitchen floor for me. Below are some photos
This is the before picture. This white linoleum did not work well for us. It stained very easily and always looked dirty. It was very hard to keep clean.

This is my new beautiful ceramic tiled floor ,in the eating area of my kitchen. The trim still has to be put back up.

Here is a closer view of the tile in the other half of my kitchen



Here's a really close up view of the 2x2 center tile. I just thought it was so pretty. It's called autumn bronze. So there you have it a little peek into my home : )



Friday, November 14, 2008

Another Great Article

Here's another great article that expands on my last post, it is written by my friend Rebecca:

Who am I really to throw cold water on these folks? I suppose if they want to go away from society and "separate" themselves in the name of being godly, let them go. It's their right and freedom to do so. I am sensitive to this whole thing for one reason. I've had cold water thrown on me. You see, I went through the Little House series twice and one phrase kept running through my mind "free and independent". I live on a farm so I thought, I sure would like to be free and independent. I would like to be "self sufficient". After all, who knows what the future holds, wouldn't it be nice to be able to rely on yourself? Well, I started to float away with the ideas. I checked out books on setting up a little "homestead" of our own. Started learning about chickens and how to take care of a cow and milk one and composting and gardens and different survival stuff. I kept it all to myself for a little while and then shared some of my thoughts with my very practical software engineer of a husband. I mention this because he is know Pa Ingalls. He is an engineer - very much a man of modern technology and there is no way on earth I'll be able to change that. He was not the one to throw cold water on my unrealistic dreams though. He patiently listened as I think he knew I would come back to reality on my own. As I read on all this neat stuff (before I ever read my first Christian Homesteading blog or preparedness blog or agrarian blog) I began to realize that we would go into debt just trying to become "self sufficient". It would cost a fortune! Then it started to hit me that there is really no way one can be self reliant if what they have belongs to the bank. If you study the Great Depression, people lost their homes if they didn't own them outright. The best thing to do in a Depression is to be out of debt. How could we do this if we had to take out bank loans to set up a homestead? I threw the cold water on myself. I splashed my face with it real good and woke from my dream of thinking I could somehow become totally independent of modern day ammenitites. I realized that in truth, separatism is not the way Jesus lived. He mingled and reached out to the most unlovely. I think of the City Missions and of missionaries who go into all sorts of impoverished places or for those who go into devastated areas both here and in other parts of the world. That is Jesus to me. Now, perhaps that is putting God in a box and perhaps He does call some to "separate" for the sake of godliness, but I personally don't understand that. But then again, I'll be the first to admit I do not understand the mind of God. For me though, separatism is arrogant and ungodly. How will you be a light to the world if you are off in never, never land living like the Amish? Never mind how you look! How silly you must look to the people of the world in strange looking clothes - they can't relate! There is absolutely no reason a person should have to cover their heads and wear long dresses in order to be modest. We live today - in this culture. You will make far more impact if you live in today and dress modestly using COMMON SENSE! I like dresses very much and I wear them a lot but not because they make me more godly. I happen to feel feminine in them. I would NEVER try to tell someone that I am being obedient by wearing dresses. My hair is long but not because it makes me holier than the lady I sit next to in church that has very short hair. Not at all! How pious I would seem if I ran around with the arrogant attitude that dresses and long hair made me somehow better or more in touch with God than they are. Ok - off on a rabbit trail here but it does all tie into this homestead silliness. These people make themselves spectacles with the idea that they are living the "simple and quiet life". WRONG! Rather, they make bold and prideful statements to the world that their way is better and that they are in obedience to God and everyone else is not. This just makes me mad! But I find that this being mad is cause for repentance. It is not for me to decide what God calls people to and what He doesn't. I guess I just feel that this further divides the Christian Community as a whole. It creates more factions and dissention. Pride is such a clever tool of satan to keep us from having a unified voice up to the Lord. Are we heading for a Great, Great Depression? I don't know. Maybe. Study the last one to get an idea of how we got through it. Unity was a big theme, I tell ya. People pulled together. Roosevelt created labor jobs that didn't pay much but kept the nation fed. True, there was far more agricultural land to support the people but we'll just have to figure ways around that. Victory Gardens...? Perhaps an economic disaster would be a blessing in disguise. Perhpas it would restore some of our traditional values in this country and draw us together to figure out ways to survive. We have too much here and it has caused a lot of havoc. I don't have all the answers but I do know this. I am not called to separate from the world and time in which God has placed me. Rather, I need to be modest in today's culture. I need to be wise in my spending and not go into further debt and seek ways of getting out of it. I need to support the efforts of those whose mission field is to the less fortunate and to those who HELP others by NOT separating themselves from the hurting. I love benevolance. The homesteaders talk of generosity. I guess I don't see it but what do I know? Nothing really. I just can't imagine being able to be very charitable while you spend ALL your time trying to become SELF SUFFICIENT! Self, self, self! Yuk! That is what I have to say about that.If a depression is what it takes to get us back to ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL then I say bring it on!May God have mercy on us and may His will be done.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You have to read this!

Below is an article that a fellow blogging friend wrote. I feel as she does and have tried in the past to get my thoughts out on my blog, but was never quite able. If I could this is exactly how I would have written it.

This was written by my blogging friend Rebecca:



Is our Father not able to care for us even in disaster? One last thing before I go on to my week or so of intense training. I have an opinion I wish to express. It's another one of my rants so bear with.
This "Homesteading" thing. Ok, it could go several ways. Perhaps it's God's way of mobilizing some to set up camp for the rest of us that will need refuge. That is hard to imagine though as there would be A LOT of those needing refuge. I wonder if they would willingly open their homesteads to droves of hungry, frightened people that didn't prepare as they, the homesteaders, did. In truth, the supplies of even the most prepared Christian will run out if they were to share. Or better yet, say you "prepare" yourselves to feed your family for X amount of time if disaster struck. What will you do if your neighbors find out you have and they don't. Are you going to bar your doors and refuse them assistance? Would your little pantry feed your neighborhood? Would Jesus have you to lock your doors, turn out your lights and hunker down with your food source while the people you live around starve? Hmmmm.... Might He have to multiply the loaves and the fishes? Would you trust Him to do that? If you would, honestly would, then can you trust Him to provide even in the most dire of circumstances? I tell you, your pantries, gardens and homesteads will be no safer than any other place if you are even allowed to stay there and your food/water supply will not last indefinately and you sure as shootin' don't want anybody to find out what you have or they'll be on your door step looking for help How would you like that "Prepared Christian"? This is the truth: YOU CAN'T PREPARE for castrophe. You CANNOT rely on yourselves for survival. You know where you'll be heading? Wherever the gov't has you to go, that's where. You'll end up sleeping on a cot with an issued blanket eating whatever is rationed to you, that's what! And you'll be thankful that you are dry and warm and have something to eat and you can know that your Heavenly Father is caring for you - meeting your needs and somehow being glorified in the midst of it all. To the homesteaders: I am so glad that not everyone is like you. I am so glad that there are City Missions that rescue the unfortunate as I may be one someday. I would be grateful for the scenario I described above in the event of "total economic disaster". I will not kid myself into thinking that I can hunker down where I live and not be found here and that I can somehow survive on tree bark and rain water. You have moved away from the cities to homestead and that may be where God has you but don't try to make everyone else feel that they are less faithful to God because they don't go play little house on the prairie. There are people who see the suffering in the cities and stay here to help them! There are people who feel they are called to missionary work both here and abroad and thank goodness for relief workers who go to these war torn countries and to places that are hit with natural disasters. Thank goodness they did not shut themselves up in their own little cozy hovels and say well at least it didn't affect me!
Ok, my blood pressure is a bit up right now.... I need to calm down as I am not doing those things I just mentioned but I am thankful and SUPPORT those who do because that could be me and my family some day. Those who are offering assistance to those who are "deserving" (tornado victims) and "non-deserving" (thieves and drug addicts) alike are being the hands and feet of Jesus. They depend of Him to provide what they need to operate just as we all will if we come to the place where what we now know and find our false security in ceases to exist. I am sick of reading about off the grid and all the silly survival tactics people are out there playing with. Maybe they take it very seriously but I wonder how serious they will take it if they or one of their loved ones comes down with something awful and they have to move back to the city near a hospital where they will have to look a little silly wearing their prairie clothes while their loved ones take advantage of the system that God has allowed us to use for the time complete with running water, electricity and high tech medical care! Thank God for those people who haven't run off to a homestead to figure out a way off the grid. Instead, they devoted their lives to practicing medicine to help heal people taking full advantage of education and opportunity - the same opportunity that homesteaders have come to despise.
Support your local missions to the homeless and down trodden. Support relief efforts for those who go to the places that are devastated. Pray for them and thank God that these faithful people exist and are His hands and feet whether they realize it or not. Thank God that He cares for the afflicted through such efforts and know that if our time comes to need such help He will have selected people to do such works!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Life With Little Ones

This Little House .....I started to answer your question, but it seemed to be getting a little long winded , so I decided to just make it a post : ) This is only my opinion on scheduling small children, every family is different, and has to do what works best for them.

First off, I'm probably not the one to be asking about scheduling small children. LOL! I've never been good at it : ( I feel I have a little different parenting style then most. When I became a parent, I parented the way I did out of instinct(I guess) and survial LOL! I never knew my parenting style had a name but later found out it was called attachment parenting (I think that's what it's called). Although, I do know there are some extreme forms of it, that's not me; however, at least I don't think so.

Strict schedules are not my thing....I can't follow them. I do like having a routine/plan though.....that seems to make the most difference for me. Goodness, I can hardly remember what it was like having two small children. What I remember the most about them being that little was reading to them , making tents out of sheets in the living room, going to the park and for walks,blowing bubbles, going to storytime at the library, etc. I don't remember house work being too much of a struggle. I lived in an apartment....there wasn't a whole lot to clean :) Life seemed alot easier & slower paced then. I miss those times.

I understand the need to get things done and it does need to be done. Just put first things first & that maybe differnt for everyone. For me it's important to have meals planned, kitchen kept up with , so it's clean enough to be able to prepare those meals. I don't know about you , but if we don't eat right or skip meals, it affects us all in a negative way.

Another thing that I really think can mess up how our days go with little ones is the distraction of the TV, phone, and computer. I look back at when my two older children were small & things probably went smoother because I didn't talk on the phone much at all & I didn't have a computer. I kind of have a love hate relationship with the computer. Sometimes I just want to get rid of it althogether.

I would love to be of more help but I guess I can't. I just know when I look back at the time when my older children were younger, I don't remember much about the house work. If I do it's thoughts of regret. One time in particular that comes to mind, was when my daughter was a month old. It was the night before Thanksgiving & I made the mistake of taking the entire Thanksgiving preparations on my shoulders. It just happened that my usually very content baby cried & cried and wanted to be held, while I was trying to prepare things for the next day. I remember becoming frustrated with her and just having a bad attitude. I stayed up into the wee hours of the night finishing what needed to be done. Sure the meal was nice and the house was clean but all I remember was her little cries that I became so frustrated with & that makes me sad that I reacted that way.

Take life with little ones a little slower & just enjoy it.....before you know it they will be more independent and able to do things for themselves.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Heart of the King is in God's Hand

I have had several days to let the election results sink in. I was initially disappointed with the outcome, but after really letting God's truths fill my mind, that disappointment has past. God is in control, who am I to question His authority! He knows what He's doing. So any concerns I might have should be lifted up to God in prayer.


"The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will" Proverbs 21: 1

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Defeated?

I have to say I'm dissappointed and a little worried that Barack Hussein Obama is now our president. What does this mean for us now? What does the future hold? I've heard so many speculations, some very frightening, but yet I still have hope because I know God is Sovereign and I'm trusting in his truths. His truths (His word) as Christians should give us hope & peace. We should know that we have not been defeated, that God has not been defeated.

"There is no authority except that which God has established . The authorities that exist have been established by God.......For [ the ruler] is God's servant to do you good." Rom. 13:1 &4

God is wise beyond measure & sovereign , EVEN when He permits rulers to go against his revealed will . I have to admit I cringe when I see all the Obama supporters celebrating over his victory. It's difficult as humans to understand/accept that, but we are not God & not everything is for us to understand. I found the following quote from a timely Bible study book that I am reading (Trusting God ~ Even when Life Hurts) to be encouraging " And we should remember that God works in history from an eternal perspective, whereas we tend to view the outworking of history from a temporal perspective" This should give us hope that there is a bigger picture, although we may not see it all clearly right now, God does, and He is in control of it!

So what do we do now? Do we just sit back passively and say "what will be will be" because God is in control. No, we pray and I believe that those prayers should be as Paul says in 1 Timothy 2: 1-3 " I urge you , first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God's mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our savior."

The verses below really encouraged me because I believe it reveals the greatness , power, and control that God has over rulers. I hope it brings you encouragement as well." He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff." Isaiah 40:23-24
Evil will not prevail!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Precious Little Children

This past Halloween season my 2 year old daughter, poor thing,was scared on several occasions when we were shopping at Walmart.......when she saw the scary decorations & costumes in the store. So much so it brought her to tears ; however, she was a little light in that same store. Let me tell you how...........

Recently, as we were shopping and without me prompting her, she loudly started singing " The B-I-B-L-E.....that's the book for me!" as we walked up and down the aisles . It was so precious! I guess she told them : ) What a wonderful example even a litte 2 year old child can be for Jesus!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween?

We don't celebrate Halloween. We used to & stopped about 8 years ago. I had other Christians telling me I shouldn't do it & I use to be so easily persuaded by them. I wanted to "look" like a good Christian & do the right thing. I started researching for myself and reading things on the internet about it and decided I shouldn't be participating in it. I have to admit I think I nagged my husband so much about not celebrating it, that he caved in and agreed we wouldn't let the kids trick or treat anymore. I shouldn't have done that.

Now that some time has past I'm not so against the trick or treating part of it anymore. I even asked my husband this year if we should let the kids go trick or treating. My 7 year old seems to think he's missing out on something and has asked to go. Suprisingly my husband truly felt they weren't missing out on anything and didn't think they should. I left it at that.

Another thing, we live in a rural area,where it's not really conducive to trick or treating. People don't trick or treat out here. I'm not real big on taking candy from complete strangers either. My poor little 2 year old has been frightened by Halloween decorations/costumes in the store & it makes me feel so bad for her. When that happens I just get angry that we can't even go to the store without her having to exposed to that & then I start to hate everything about Halloween. I figure their are just more cons than pros to participating, that it just seems best for our family to not participate at all.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Party Preparations

My daughter will be turning the big 13 next week , so we will be having a party for her to celebrate . I'm excited for her because she has met several girls from church that she has become friends with & they are going to come to the party. We had some very difficult things happen with some so called friends last year but God has been so good to us by bringing other Christian friends into our lives & our children's lives. I feel like I've been able to put the events of last year completely behind us & have been able to start over. This party is a good start : )

So any way back to the party. We will have the following menu: pizza, a slush punch, chips & pretzels, veggies & dip, a cake or trifle , some chocolates & candy.

Games & activities will be : Some sort of craft...such as jewelry making, Apples to Apples, & Catch Phrase Jr.


We are going to JoAnne Fabrics today & see what fun craft idea we can come up with while we are there. Well I must be off to get my busy day started : ) Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just a few thougts

Prepare, stock up on food & supplies, the end is near! This is all I've been reading in blogland lately! I have to admit I find it a little disheartening. I began to question why I'm not seeing something they all are. Why isn't the Lord urging me to stockpile? Am I just one of those delusional Christians? It seems to me that some of these Christian bloggers are acting as if they have some insight that the rest of us don't. As if they are above simple Chrtistian thinking.......walking by faith & trusting in God's sovereignty. Is God not in control anymore? Did He not say he would take care of our needs? These feeble attempts to prepare yourself for the end times seem so silly when you compare them to the greatness & power of almighty God! He is completely aware & in control of life's events.

"Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows." Matt. 10 : 29-31

Friday, October 10, 2008

What's New In Our Life

We've been our usual busy here lately, with the normal daily stuff.....homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, etc. There has also been some really exciting stuff going on as well! I first need to give you a little background information, so you can have a better understand of why this is so exciting to us. My husband has worked as framer for 20 years, building new homes. Ever since we've been married he has had plenty of steady work....I rarely remember the home building industry being slow, even in the winter time. As many of you know the housing market has been BAD for 3-4 years now. Many people are trying to sell there homes but no one is buying, especially newly constructed homes. The home remodeling world hasn't been real steady either because people are being so cautious with their money , as well as just not being able to afford the luxary of remodeling, due to the high cost of gas & food. So that leaves my husband without a whole lot of work. These past years have been more difficult than normal for us, just as I'm sure it has been for many, but God has been gracious to us and has provided our needs & even some of our wants.

Every where you look there is talk of how bad things are economically and how bad things are going to get, that's why what I have to share is truly a miracle in our lives. The church we've been going to for almost the past 4 years, the church where my husband was led to the Lord, is finally able to build a church building. After reviewing several other bids & praying , the church building committee awarded the job of building the church to my husband! Glory to God for His loving care for us!

There will now be a visible sign of a church in our communtiy, now that the building is going up! May the Lord draw people into our church where the Gospel can be heard.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What Does Your Name Mean?

Today in our homeschooling we talked about the name Jesus meaning "the Lord saves" . We also decided to find out what our names mean. I knew what most of my childrens' names meant because I named them : ) So without sharing our names ( I like to be more anonymous on my blog) here are the meanings of all of our first & middle names.

My husband ~ first name ~ God is gracious~ middle name ~ God is gracious bald (the kids thought that was pretty funny)

Me ~ first name ~ wisdom ~ middle name ~ lily

ds ~first name ~ God is gracious - Who is like God ~ middle name ~ of Scottish origin

dd ~ first name ~ Who is like God ~ middle name ~ Curtis' territory or short nose

dd~ first name ~ Admirable & beautiful ~ middle name ~ meaning Hope

ds ~ first name ~ Bringer of Light ~ middle name ~ God has heard

dd ~ first name ~ Seen by Yahweh ~ middle name ~ trust believe

So what does your name mean?

Pizza Crust Recipe

Angela ..... I wanted you to know I got your comment & I emailed you the pizza crust recipe. I hope you got it : )

Friday, September 26, 2008

Old Time Remedy

Thank you for your prayers.....I'm feeling better today. We are getting ready to start our school day. I've got a chicken simmering in a pot to make a stock for chicken soup , that we will be having for dinner tonight. Chicken soup was a part of my meal plan for the week, before I knew I would not be feeling well. I'm glad for that.

Homemade chicken soup really is one of those old time remedies that works when you are ill. "Chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds, repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine. It heals the nerves , improves digestion, reduces allergies, relaxes and gives strength"........... according to the book" Ageless Remedies from Mother's Kitchen".

I have been making my own chicken soup for years now but put more of an emphasis on doing it since I first read Nourishing Traditions cookbook 7 years ago.

So here's how I make it.

1.Rinse one whole chicken (free range is best, but I usually can't afford it so I just use a regular ole store bought chicken)

2. Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper, put in a big pot cover completely with cold water. Add a tablespoon or 2 of vinegar. Let stand for 3o min. to an hour. The vinegar pulls the calcium & other minerals out of the bones of the chicken...making the broth more nutritious. I don't always add the vinegar, depending on my mood, it sometimes seems to give the broth a different taste. Today I left the vinegar out. Next throw in an onion.

3. Bring to a boil and skim the foam that comes to the top.

4. Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 6 to 24 hours. The longer you simmer it the stronger and more flavorful the broth.

5. Remove chicken from broth & let cool. Strain the broth

6. Add chopped celery & carrots to broth....simmer until tender. Add some of the cooked chicken. If I'm not able to simmer the chicken very long I like to add a few Herb ox chicken bouillon cubes for flavor, otherwise I just add salt .

7. Add cooked pasta ..... Such as Tinkyada fettucine, Glutino Fusilli, or some cooked brown rice.

8. Sprinkle in a little dried or fresh parsley & enjoy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sick Day

The younger children and I took the day off of school. Last night I began to not feel well. I don't think it was anything I ate but more of some stressful things that occured yesterday. It had to do with our family problems (problems with my husband's family). There was an unpleasant situation that occured but in some sense a good opportunity to head in the direction of reconciliation. Any prayers offered up concerning this matter & me not feeling well would be appreciated greatly.

I guess I must hold my stress down in my gut or maybe just that being my weak spot , it is easily irritated. I spent alot of time last night just trying to relax, praying for the Lord's mercy , taking deep breaths, drinking some chamomile tea and lying on a heating pad.

I have some lemon balm in the garden, my daughter picked some for me this afternoon and I think I will make some tea with it. Lemon Balm is good for stressed intestions : ) I did just eat some scrambled eggs and toast & I'm starting to not feel to well.....I 'm going go.

Thank you for any prayers!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Learning About the Great Depression

Ever since we started watching " The Waltons" on DVD I have been very interested in learning more about the Great Depression Era. I remember watching and enjoying the show as a child but I didn't realize it was about life during The Depression.

I've found a few non fiction books at the library about the GD, one in particular, that is rather heart wrenching called "Children of the Great Depression" There are many pictures of the suffering children. It makes me realize how good we do have it now, even those that are considered poor. I would like to find some cook books as well ,so I can show my children how people ate during that time . Maybe will learn a thing or two : )

I'm so very thankful that we have many conveniences these days & I'm not saying I would like to go back in time. However, there is something fascinating to me about working hard for our basic needs , growing our own food & preserving it, making our own clothes, making do with what we have or doing without. It seems although in many ways the advancement of technology has helped us , it seems to have taken something from us as well. I can't say for sure what that is, maybe it's a satisfaction or contentment with the simple things, a greater connection to family & home and where we come from.......a strong sense of faith and trust in Our Lord?

I know " The Waltons" is just a Hollywood version of life during that time but it truly captures the essence of what's most important in life, even during the hard times. Call me sentimental but every time I watch the show, I'm always on the verge of tears : ) I've been so fascinated with the show that I'm going to start reading Earl Hamner's book Spencer's Mountain. His writings are about his life growing up in the Virginia mountains during the Great Depression & the show "The Waltons" is based on those writings.

Friday, September 19, 2008

No Place Like Home

After the week I had it was wonderful to wake up this morning and be reminded that there will be no homeschooling today! It's supposed to be a beautiful day....so I think we will spend as much time as possible outside. I thought I would clean the outside of my windows & the inside on a rainy day. Looking out clean sparkling windows at the autumn scenery has always been one of my favorite things. It brings back memories of our first house. My husband built it and I helped where I could. I remember it was October of 1997 and we were finishing up the house and getting ready to move in. I enthusiastically cleaned those windows and remember how spectacular the autumn trees looked out those crystal clear windows that surrounded our little house in the woods. Those are fond memories I have of that house that I still miss sometimes, 2 and a half years after moving from it.

We lived there 9 years but for some reason it seemed much longer......like a lifetime. I suppose it could be because it was our first home that we bought. We had 2 small children (2 & 3 years) when we moved in. When we moved out we had 5 children, two of which were born in our bedroom of that home.

There is so much I would like to do to this house to make it feel as homey as that place did. We are getting there, but money is always an issue : ) So I thought a cheap inexpensive way to get there would be to make my windows sparkling clean to view the beautiful land God has blessed us with in this home.

Change is hard sometimes but God is in control. I can't help but think that even though God blesses us with so much ,like our homes, He allows change, like a move, so we don't get too comfortable in this life. He wants our desire and main focus to be on our heavenly home : )

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tired Today

I'm so tired today and it's making our homeschooling day difficult! What do the rest of you do when your day isn't going as you would like? My daughter is struggling right now with some of her writing. I want to tell her to set it aside but it will put her behind, especially if we don't get right back on it, after a short break. Personally when I set things aside I tend to not go back to it. It's easy to forget when you have a busy household. I also don't want her to think that when she doesn't "get" or like something that it's okay to just give up or not do it, but it wears my patience thin to try to get her to think or understand or work harder, when she is so cleary frustrated or is determined to not try. However, looking at the big picture........ is this one little writing lesson going to make much of a difference ? Probably not........maybe I'm expecting to much out of her.

What do you do when you have days like this .....I have more of them then I care to talk about : )

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Have To Remind Myself......

..................that this is the day that the Lord hath made, I will rejoice and be glad in it......even if it is Monday : ) Our school days can be a challenge, even if it's not a Monday, but add Monday, a high energy 7 year old son and a potty training 2 1/2 year old to the mix and well let's say it's not always that fun.

My 7 year old son is very intelligent but has a hard time sitting still and paying attention to what he needs to be hearing & doing......today was very much like that : ) So I'm grateful we were able to end the day with something enjoyable for him, reading the book How to Make an Apple Pie and See The World & then making an apple pie , following the recipe at the end of the story. As I was helping my son make the pie, my 2 year old daughter had to go potty, so I had my 10 year old run her to the bathroom. She made it, no accidents : ) We reward her with two M n Ms for her effort. It sounds strange but I keep the M n Ms in a cupboard, up high, in my bathroom. So my 10 year old daughter asked if she could get 2 M n Ms for her sister......I said yes. Well I needed to take a bathroom break myself....... I left my 7 year old son telling him to wash off the apples, so we could peel them. I know that's strange, they are going to be peeled so why wash them off?.....I like to be cautious.
Well when I went into the bathroom I discovered my 10 year old daughter cleaning up M n Ms that she had dropped , that had scattered all over the floor and into the shower! My 2 year old was frantically picking them up off the floor and the shower and eating them as fast as she could : ) Oh what joy! One good thing about this happening is that when my daughter was cleaning the M n Ms out of the shower she found my earring , that I lost this morning and couldn't find : )
When I went back into the kitchen my 7 year old son told me he had washed them off. I looked at the apples where I left them on the counter. I told him they didn't looked washed off...they weren't even wet. He said no he washed of the apple peelers that we were going to use to peel the apples : ) Hmmmmm....see what I mean?
I have to laugh, another time recently, my husband told our 7 year old son to go change his clothes. He disappears for awhile , comes back with the same clothes on. My husband asked him what he was doing and why he hadn't changed his clothes? My son responded "Oh! I thought you told me to go wash my toes!" That was what he was doing, washing his toes : ) He didn't question at all why his dad would ask him to go wash his toes! LOL!
The Pie We Made Today

Friday, September 12, 2008

Finished Up Our First Week of School

Today marked the end of our first full week of formal homeschooling. Over all it went really well.....it really helps following the plan that I am. I've changed some of the curriculum I'm using, one being Math. A friend lent me a Bob Jones Algebra 1 book for my 9th grade son. I was going to use Saxon but she offered it and it was a blessing to not have to buy it. I was going to use Abeka math with my younger children but decided to go with Modern Curriculum Press. I thought Abeka's math was too advanced and above what my fourth grader is able to do right now. I already had the 4th grade teacher's manual for Modern Curriulum Press. We used their math curriculum several years back .....that was the year we used Christian Liberty Press's curriculum suggestions. So all I had to buy was the workbooks. I don't need a teacher's manual for 2nd grade.

I ordered Sequential Spelling for my 4th and 7th grader.......I did not like the looks of it at all, once I was able to hold it in my hands and really look at. I returned it and I'm going to order Building Spelling Skills by Christian Liberty Press. I really like the books they offer. They really seem to have a heart/ministry for providing afforable Christian curriculum.

It seems my posts are totally centered around homeschooling....I guess because that's been my life these past weeks........ getting ready for it and now starting it : )

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Blessings of the Seasons

When August was winding down I found myself feeling a bit down...... thinking about how the bright, warm, and sunny days would soon just be a memory. No more carefree summer days, where all you have to do is slip on a pair of sandals and walk out into the brightly colored world, and instantly feel rejuvenated. No more that I would get to see my kids' rosy colored cheeks and golden highlighted hair, proof of the joyful days they spent outside swimming and running barefoot through the grass.......a whole year would have to pass to enjoy these little things again.
It wouldn't be long before the trees were bare and gray.........but then I began to see the suddle signs of the coming season. The leaves on the trees started to change, the nights began to get a little cooler, the little pumpkins in our garden ripened. Then my thoughts shifted .....to the reminder of the hope ahead...... the many blessings that the autumn time brings. The brightly colored trees, pumpkins, apples, and winter squash.....the smell of the autumn air. My gloom began to disappear & I have begun to look foward to autumn & winter.

I think of all the baking and cooking I can do. Apple & pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, bowls of warm and soothing soup for those cold days, Thanksgiving & family, Christmas time with all the festivities and twinkling lights, going as a family to choose and cut down our Christmas tree, the smell of pine in our living room from the freshly cut tree ..................... the reminder of Christ's humble birth.

The cold winter days where you cuddle up on the couch with your little ones and big ones : ) .....reading a story and enjoying a cup of chamomile tea, a cozy fire in the fireplace, warm comforting foods. The joy of taking the kids to the sledding hill and knowing you have a warm and comfortable home to come home to . Then when the winter seems to loose it's luster ....... there is the hope of Spring. Buds on the trees, brightly colored flowers begin to bloom, the grass begins to come alive to a brilliant green and before you know it the carefree days of summer have arrived again. God is good! Look at all the wonderful things He has given us.....how He has provided & the hope and blessings He brings with each new season : )

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How I Plan My Days

I've never been one to keep or follow a schedule, with blocks of time set aside for this or for that . I would say that I follow a basic routine or plan. My days are not all the same and I'm still trying to iron out a few details to make them work for us.

Three of my children are doing My Father's World unit study, so there are several subjects that they all must do together. So we do all of the same subjects at the same time, in order. If one of the kids finishes one of their subjects before the others are done, they take a break and wait until everyone is ready to go on to the next subject. So on most days this is the order in which we do things:

We've eaten breakfast, got dressed, and have done basic morning chores by roughly 9 am, sometimes a little earlier, sometimes a little later. Then we start school.
1. Bible
2. Lang. Arts
3. Math ( I give them an hour to do this. If they are close to being done after an hour I just go ahead and let them finish even though the hours is up. If they aren't close to being done, I will have them set it aside and they can do it when all other subjects are finished. I haven't had this happen yet...but that will be my plan of action when it does happen.
4. Spelling
5. English
6. Geography
7. Science
8. Music/Art
9. Reading .... they are required to do a half an hour.

Today , however, my daughter has ballet class at noon & we have Bible club in the evening....it makes for a hectic day. I dont like Wed...... my daughter agreed, even though she loves her ballet class, Wed. are a very busy and tiring day. So my plan for that day will have to change a little. This is what it will look like:

1. Bible
2. Geography (after the group geography lesson is done, they 15 minutes of book basket time. This is time looking through/reading library books that are geography related)
3. Science
4. Music/Art
These 4 subjects all get done first because my kids are doing the same thing. I don't want the others to have to fall behind in this area just because their sister has a ballet class. After those subjects are done they start working on the subjects that they can do on their own. If my daughter has time before ballet class to get them done, then she does, otherwise it's "homework", so to speak.

So that's it, my day, nothing fancy. As far as cleaning....I have a very basic routine plan for that, but I don't always follow it & just clean when I have a free moment.

Fantastic Field Trip

Yesterday we went on a field trip with other homeschoolers in our church. We had a wonderful time visiting the home of President Garfield.....the 20th president. I grew up in the same town as this home but never visited it : ( Boy was I missing out. It was a beautiful home and a very informative tour . Truly, this is a magnificient piece of history to have. Everything has been well preserved and the majority of the artifacts in the home were the actual property of President Garfield & his family....right down to the piano that he bought his daughter for her 13th birthday.

President Garfield was only president for 6 months when he was assasinated. Shortly after his death his wife added a beautiful memorial library filled with his books and other belongings.........including a funeral wreath that was sent to his family by Queen Elizabeth after his death in 1881. My 13 year old daughter made the comment that she would just have loved to been able to open up those books in his library and look at them. There were thousands !

I wish I could have taken pictures of the inside of the house, but they would not allow it.....it was amazing! In the dining room of the house there was a fireplace with beautiful handpainted tiles. The tiles were painted by President Garfield's wife and five children. They were a talented family because the paintings were beautiful. Mind you the children ranged in age from 7 - 17 yrs when the tiles were painted.
A back view of the home

Here's a front/side view of the house that my son took out the window of our van as we were leaving.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Animal Sound Markers

For those that asked.........I bought the Color Start Farm Animal markers that make animal sounds, at Walmart for about 4 or 5 dollars. They are the Roseart brand. Crayola also has a similar marker, that is more expensive. I will say the caps are a little difficult to get on & off, but we have lots of hands here to help when that happens : )

First Day of School

Today was our first day of homeschool for the new school year and it went fairly well. I had been very enthusiastic about starting until yeterday when some newer family problems developed. I tend to dwell on things and let it ruin my day, but God was gracious and intervened, allowing our day to be a pleasant & joyful one : ) Thank you Carrie for your prayers!

My 2 and a half year old daughter was pretty funny to watch today. I bought her several new things to keep her occupied during the homeschool day. She made sure she went to the home school closet and tried out ALL of her new stuff : ) I think I'm going to have to rotate some of the stuff, so she doesn't get bored : )
I got her a Play Dough Beach Creations bucket, the cutest little chunky markers that encourage her to put the lids back on because they make animals sounds when she does. I got her My Little Pony Memory game, crayons, paper, Hello Kitty coloring book, glue stick, & paper, and Mrs. Potato Head.

As my children were practicing their handwriting skills/cursive, I included her in homeschooling by printing out a handwriting worksheet with the first letter of her name , that she could trace. I'm not expecting her to be able to trace it but thought it would just be away for her to recognize the first letter of her name. I think I will just print out a sheet with the letters of her name, so she will get use to how it's spelled. I found a great website where you can make your own handwriting worksheets, using any letters you like. It's called the Amazing Handwriting Worksheet Maker .

I also have to recommend Apologia's Physical Science on CD ROM. My son who is in the 9th grade is enjoying it tremendously!

So that's it for today.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

In Need Of Prayer

If anyone that reads here feels led, I ask you lift our family up in prayer. It's not an emergency or anything of that sort, just some on going extended family problems. Somethings developed yesterday & today that only added insult to injury & has left me tearful and discouraged.

It's strange how family, even when they are Christians can cause us the most pain and hurt........it's not always those on the outside. I know it's just the problem of sin and no one is immune to committing it or feeling the affects of it, even when we know Christ, but still the same it's stings and it hurts.

I had someone tell me today that the older you get the thicker your skin gets and these things don't bother you as much. I don't feel that way at all! My skin seems to be getting thinner and thinner , because these things bother me more than ever.

So if you feel led please say a quick prayer for our family problems.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Preparing

This entire weekend we've been busy preparing......preparing for winter, by splitting and stacking firewood. I'm glad to tell you that it's all done. We all worked together, each having a job to do. The kids worked especially hard. I'm so proud of them : ) I was jokin with my husband ...telling him that just him and I will have to do all this work by ourselves someday......when the kids are grown and have families of there own.

I also prepared over the weekend for the coming homeschool year. I ordered the rest of our books & started organizing what we already have. My dear sweet husband, after a little whining on my part ; ), hung up some wire shelving (that I forgot we had left over, from our previous home) in our hall coat closet. We now have a very organized place to keep homeschool stuff. I have found that half of the battle of keeping your homeschool day running smoothly is ORGANIZATION. Being able to find things when you need them.

This afternoon I went to Walmart and bought most of the school supplies we will be needing. Below are some before and after pictures of our homeschooling closet.
The closet before the shelves were hung

After the shelves were hung.

I bought these cute little crates for 97 cents. The kids have their own colored pencils, markers, etc. in those crates. This is some of the homeschooling stuff, not all of it.
My oldest child has the top shelve & it goes on down the line in order of age, my youngest having the bottom shelf. The drawers on the floor of the closet keep supplies that all of the children will be using as well as the core books for My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures.

You have no idea how glad I am to have this all organized, even though the rest of my house is a wreck right now : ) The walls could be falling down around this closet but at least were ready for school!!!! LOL!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting Ready for Winter

The weather is beginning to change here, cooler nights, shorter days & leaves changing colors.....a sure sign of autumn. Before we know it will be winter. Which will bring with it snow and cold winds. Time to think about how we will keep warm :)
We heat our home with a wood burning furnace and need lots of wood to do it. The Lord blessed us with lots of wood. My husband helped clear trees off of property that was getting ready for a build.
The wood will need severals months to dry out to be used for fire wood. We our a little behind on getting it split & dryed for the winter. So my husband borrowed a log splitter to get busy splitting : ) We will be working on that this weekend. Splitting and stacking the wood in our wood shed and some in our basement where it can dry. This evening we worked on it some. Below is a picutre of my son being taught how to operate the log splitter. We are thankful to have all of this fire wood. We will be heating our house this winter for FREE!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What Translation of the Bible is the Right One?

Are you ever confused by what Bible translation you should be reading? Do you get discouraged when others say " only read KJV" but you are unfamiliar with the language of that time and reading it can sometimes be confusing.

I personally like to read several translations. I love the poetic beauty of the KJV but I like being able to read translations such as the NLT or NIV because it is written in a modern way of speaking.... that is easier for me to understand, without having to first untie my tongue : )

Below is a link to a great audio sermon. It is the 5th sermon in a 5 part series on the English translation of the Bible. I've only listened to the last so far. Please try to listen if you ever struggle with what Bible version you should read or if you are of the opinion "KJV Only"............may you be blessed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cup of Tea

Someone shared this with me today. It gave me a good chuckle. Probably because I could picture my 2 yr old daughter doing this & I cold imagine my husband overlooking such a "minor detail" ....that as a mom , I wouldn't : )


One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favourite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought Daddy a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.

My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.

Then she says, (as only a mother would know... :)' Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?'

Not Much To Say

For awhile it seemed I had much to talk about...something everyday. Lately, I guess I just don't have much to say : ) Not that I am doing nothing...... I am getting ready for the school year but not much to write about just yet.

I have plans to either have my son build a big book shelf ( for his homeschooling) or have my husband add some shelves to a hallway closet, where we can house all of our homeschooling books & supplies. My son is really wanting to build something, so a bookshelf would be great because it's really needed.

Well that's it for today. I'm trying to organize our office area...it's out of control with papers , etc.

I'll post when I can , until then......blessings to you!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Our Home School Year

I still have books to order for our coming school year, which we will start after Labor day, Lord willing. We decided to try out My Father's World unit study & here it is. I ordered this way back in May/June
This is My Father's World basic package for "Exploring Countries and Cultures"
I will be using this mainly with my 2nd grader, 4th grader, and 7th grader, although my 9th grader will be participating some. There is always something new to learn and even though he will be starting the 9th grade I'm sure there is something he will glean from this study.
This is the rest of what we will be doing...it does not include reading lists. I usually just let my children read books that they are interested in ,with my approval of course. My Father's World has an extensive reading list as well.
9th ~
Applications of Grammar Book 3
Streams of Civilization Vol. 1 (history)
All Through The Ages ~ Literature Guide to History
Saxon Algebra 1
Apologia Physical Science CD Rom version
God's World News (magazine subscription)
7th ~
Applications of Grammar , Book 1
Sequential Spelling
Saxon math 7/6
God's World News
All Through the Ages
4th
Intermediate Language Lessons
Sequential Spelling
Abeka Math
God's World News
All Through the Ages
2nd
Spelling By Sound and Structure (phonics review)
Abeka Math
Rod & Staff 2nd grade English
All Through the Ages
****All Through the Ages****
This is a great resource. You pick a time period & under each time period there is an extensive list of great books to read by grade levels.
2 1/2 yr old
I will be getting her some puzzles, crayons, paper, etc & keeping them in a small RubberMaid container (on top of the fridge) for school time only : )
I think that's about it...I don't think I forgot anything : )

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Now that summer is winding down I find myself scurrying to get those summer projects done. Yesterday my older children and I spent the whole day painting my daughters' bedroom. In the evening I helped my husband hang the border. When we moved in this house 2 1/2 years ago we worked on the boys bedroom first ,because , to put it bluntly it was ugly & not at all masculine: ) The girls room was fine but not their own style, so it was time to get to work. Here's some pictures :





My girls picked out this border because they love horses! It was hard to match the paint to the border, but this is what the girls liked. It's bright, pretty, & PINK : )


The sky blue/green color on the top of the wall is supposed to be the sky. I still have to paint some clouds & stencil some bumble bees, dragonflies, & butterflies on it. That will be a weekend project, but the good thing is , the big project of painting & hanging the border is done. Nothing matches in the room now, but eventually I will get some matching quilts for the girls. In the middle of the two beds is my 2 yr old daughter's transition bed . We've tried periodically to get her to sleep in with her big sisters. We use these mats that fold up into chairs for her to sleep on. She loved sleeping in her newly decorated room last night : )

Is This Making You Hungry?


Doesn't this look good? It was! I have not found a good tasting gluten free pizza crust recipe since going gluten free, until I found this one on Ginger Lemon Girl's blog. I made it over the weekend and it was a big hit with my family. So if you are looking for a healthier alternative to frozen or take out pizza......you should try this quick & easy recipe, even if you don't eat gluten free.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Getting Close To That Time of Year

The homeschooling year is right around the corner for us. We will most likely start our year after Labor Day. Life will be getting busier again. I'm not really one that likes to follow a more rigid schedule but it looks like I may have to, with 5 children, who are becoming more & more active. This is what my week will look like, not counting our daily homeschooling & cooking & bumps in the road {emphasis added}

Mon. ~ So far this day seems to be clear of outside activities. I may make this the day I clean the kitchen, family room, half bath, and laundry room area of my home. Yeah! A day to stay home : )

Tues. ~ Guitar lessons for my son in the afternoon & Bible Study group at our home in the evening.

Wed. ~ Ballet classes in the afternoon & Bible classes at church in the evening.

Thurs. ~ Piano lessons in the morning. It seems like we were doing something else on Thurs. last year, except I don't remember what it was : ) I think it was a second ballet class, that we dropped.

Fri. ~ So far no outside activites. This day I will use to clean the rest of my house. I don't want to have to spend the weekend cleaning if I can help it. My youngest son might be signing up for a class & that maybe adding another activity to our day.

Sat. ~ Is usually a day to do something as a family or get projects done at home.

Sun. ~ We go to church in the morning & often have family visit on this day.

I don't really have a specific day to grocery shop. I will have to use one of the days that I don't have an outside activity, for that. I can use that day for our weekly library visits as well.

I'm really not very good at juggling a larger than normal family but I am trying to do the best I can without driving myself crazy : ) This might not seem like a very busy schedule to some of you, but it is to me. I'm NOT a good multi tasker : ) People ask me if I'm involved in a homeschool group.........I laugh.....when do I have the time? I wonder where blogging will fit in? I may just have to update once a week or less. So if you are wondering where I've gone you'll know : )

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Finished Blanket

Today 3 of my children & I made this fleece blanket that requires no sewing. It goes rather quickly when you have help. It took us an hour from start to finish. This is for a new little baby girl that was born last week , to a couple that is a part of our church family.

It is summer & she won't be needing it for awhile but here in the Northen United States, it gets down right cold, especially when the lake affect snow hits us from the Great Lakes. A warm fleece blanket is a must : )
This is the front of the blanket....isn't so cute & bright & cheery

This is the back side of the blanket. The pinks & black cordinate well with the front.
I used a yard and half of each fabric to make it. It's nice because a baby won't grow out of it quickly, since it's larger than most baby blankets. My daughter is 2 1/2 & still drags her blanket around , especially for cuddle time on the couch.


Saturday, August 16, 2008

What I've Been Doing

Yesterday we spent a few hours at the park, taking pictures of my oldest son for a yearly school picture. I finally got some great shots. I went to Walmart last night & printed out the rest of the pictures & bought a few more frames. I hung up all 5 picutures, that I took of my children, on our family room wall. They look so nice & I'm really happy with how they turned out & I saved some money too. They look just as nice if not nicer than something that would have been professionally done, at least I think so : )

While I was at Walmart I picked out some fleece fabric to make a no sew blanket for a friend that had her second baby this week. I was so excited for her, hearing about the arrival of her baby. Her first child was in a breech postion & just wouldn't pudge. So a c-section was needed. With her second baby, thankfully the baby turned into the head down position, although her doctor was giving her to her due date to go into labor or it would be a repeat c-section. It is not safe to induce a labor after a c-section, so that was not an option for her. I was overjoyed to hear she gave birth on her due date after a rather short labor. God had answered their prayers in the way they had hoped. It was definately His doing....I know very few women that have their babies on their due dates ; )

Well when I get the blanket done I will post a picture....it's the cutest fabric : )

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Slowing Down

I guess my blogging is slowing down....I don't really have much to write about. My mind has been preoccupied with some thoughts/worries, that I've been slowly giving to the Lord. I've also been making more of an effort to study/read God's word these past few days. I know that reading it doesn't take away my problems or worries but it makes my burdens a little lighter knowing I can go to the Lord & be comforted through His word & talking with Him through prayer.

Lately I have been so overwhelmed by the difficulties I see so many going through. Not only do I feel compassion for them but it also causes me to worry for my own family & their well being. These worries & people, I know I just need to give to the Lord in prayer, as soon as they come to my mind.

If your interested here is a 2008 Bible Reading Plan, to print off & keep handy in your Bible. It's what I've been using for personal Bible time. I've been doing my daily readings in the evening, when I go to bed. Although, I think I'm going to split it up & do half of it in the morning before I get out of bed & the other half in the evening when I get into bed. I have to do it this way. It seems it's just never quiet enough to do it any other time : )

Here is a verse that I'm going to work on quoting during the day when I feel tempted to yell at or have an unpleasant tone/words with my kids. I think I will have them work on it as well.....they can use pretty unpleasant words with each other as well.

Proverbs 16:24 ~ Pleasant words are a honeycomb
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Well I'm gonna go and bake some cookies.

Have a Spirit led day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Home Birth Post

I'm not trying to beat this subject into the ground. It's actually kind of funny.... I rarely even talk about home birth to anyone. Since I put up my first post on home birth a few days ago I've come across different sources on the Internet that speak of it in a negative light.

First let me say I'm not a die hard homebirther ( one that's cramming it down every one's throat or expecting that everyone should be doing it or there is just something wrong with them.) Both of my homebirths went well & were a blessing to me. I chose to homebirth because I feel that was God's plan/will for me. I don't necessarily believe that it will always be in His plans for me for every birth. I will seek His will about it if I ever conceive another child. Certainly there can be risks in birth whether it be in the hospital or home, but there are precautions that can be taken, as well. My last hospital birth, there were complications, that were brought on by interventions that were not needed.

I have been blessed by good home birth experiences/outcomes, but I wouldn't say that's my motivation/reasoning to birthing at home......to have a "good birth experience". My reasoning is to try to avoid complications. When I gave birth in the hospital it was so hard to just let things happen without interference. It was difficult to relax & not be distracted & I certainly was not encouraged to do things naturally. I found labor much easier to work with and tolerable when I could just relax & be left alone in my own home....not having to think about constantly timing contractions , making sure they were close enough together to leave for the hospital, or worrying about leaving to soon or to late to get there or thinking about where the kids were gonna go, etc. At home.......I could just let it happen. Most of the time when you let nature takes its course in birth..... the least likely complications will occur . Certainly there are times intervention is needed when natural labor is not going as it should or there are other health complications in mother & baby.

It would be nice to have a middle ground in maternity care but it seems to not be there, at least not for me, in my area. Many women have the option of birthing centers. I think that's a wonderful option, because most of the time you know in that setting your wishes/desires will be honored. The problem for me is I don't have a birth center anywhere near me. ....only for the amish & they won't let me birth there I've already asked , before I sought out homebirth : )

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mondays & Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

Today is kind of a blah day. Probably because it's Monday. I always have a hard time getting motivated on Mondays, especially after this weekend, we had such a nice time. I've not done much of anything today, except spend to much time on the computer : )

This morning I looked in the freezer & cupboards to figure out what I was going to make for dinner tonight. Now that's sort of a fun challenge when your cupboards & freezer are bare : ) I did find 2 # of ground beef. I originally thought I would make homemade sloppy joes with some green beans from the garden as a side dish. When I went out to the garden to pick the beans ,much to my surprise, I discovered that I had several small heads of cabbage. It's surprise because most of this garden season, the plants looked wilted & dry and had tons of little holes in the leaves . I suppose all this rain we've had this past weekend brought them back to life. I'd totally given up on them....they didn't even exist to me. : )

So now my dinner plans changed.......I decided to make cabbage rolls instead. I followed a basic recipe I found online but used what I liked & what I had on hand. I sprinkled some Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning on the ground beef, added 2/3 cups brown rice and 4 eggs. I put a little of the meat mixture (my girls helped)into the cup of the cabbage leaf, rolled it up and put it into a butter baking dish. I then sprinkled some more of the Weber seasoning on top of the rolls, poured a jar of Ragu traditional sauce mixed with some water over top & put it in the oven @ 350. It smells wonderful as it baking right now. I think I might go make some cornbread/muffins to go with it.

Have a good evening

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homebirth

I don't talk about my experience with homebirth on here very often. Mostly because I don't want to come across in a way that would discourage someone that might not have that option or that doesn't feel safe/comfortable with it. Sometimes I fear I may come across as prideful, this I want to avoid as well. I have ladies tell me that they are amazed I could have a baby at home without pain relief. In my experience the 2 homebirths I have had, have been easier than the 3 hospital births I have had. Two in which I had epidurals. I don't believe for a minute that if you have a homebirth it makes you more favored by God, smarter or more informed.....it's just a different choice that I believe God can & does use to strengthen one's faith & trust in Him. He may choose other avenues for you, but this is what he chose for me.

So I guess my point of bringing homebirth up on my blog now is to encourage & to say that it is only by God's grace & mercy that I have accomplished something that some people can't believe can be done. If you only knew me years ago, if you only knew my intermost thoughts, you would understand what a great work God has done in me. He has given me strength & courage to do things I would have never imagined that I could ever do........one being homebirth. So I will try to give you a brief look into my homebirths & how God brought me to the decision to homebirth.

Ten years ago yesterday I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Right after the birth I had some complications...one being hemorrhaging. The events of this birth left me weak & unhappy. Now,I know birth can't always be as we wish it to be & it's often not picture perfect, but I truly believe that the complications I had were due to unnecessary interventions that I approved of. It was a little ironic that when I started asking questions, so I could avoid a repeat experience like the one I had.....medical records seemed to not mention anything about what occurred. I WAS NOT looking to sue, I just wanted to try to avoid those complications for any future births, if possible.

When my daughter was 6 weeks old I began meeting several ladies who had homebirths. I was even invited to a meeting about birth choices. There I met my future midwife. She ended up giving me lots of info about homebirth, that I read over repeatedly. I showed it to my husband & prayerfully considered it for any future births. Much to my surprise my husband , who was not a Christian at the time approved of a homebirth. God is sovereign & in control even when you have an unsaved husband.

When my daughter was 20 months old I discovered I was pregnant with my 4th child. It wasn't the easiest pregnancy & I began to have my doubts about a homebirth , after negative comments from friends & family. But when I sought God, He encouraged me through His Word & gave me this verse " So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised." Hebrews 10 :35 ~ 36. So I continued on with the decision to have a homebirth. I'm so glad I did because it was a very wonderful birth. I wasn't convinced I was in labor until about an hour and half before my son was born. I was able to labor in the privacy of my own home, just my husband & kids present, although the kids had gone to bed by the time labor had picked up. When the midwife arrived I was completely dilated & my 9# son was born 15 min. after her arrival.

My 5th birth, my second homebirth was a bit different because she was a surprise breech, things were happening so fast, but God was in control. You can read about her birth here in the Spring Issue of Seasons at Home magazine. I certainly would not want to repeat another breech birth, if I can help it. I don't know what my choice would be if it were to happen again. I would consider a hospital birth, as I know there can be risks/complications involved in a breech birth,(especially with footling), although my daughter had none. I most definately would handle things differently, possibly even requesting an ultrasound the very last week of pregnancy, because I believe that's when she turned. I never had any of my babies do that, so I disregarded what I was feeling physically.


A Note to Readers/Visitors to My Blog

According to my live traffic feeder, I have people reading from all over, not too many leave comments though : ) Please feel free to leave a comment, it gives me a chance to see who's reading & come visit your blog as well. Although I don't have the time to read everyone's blog......... I do like to return the favor & have the opportunity to read & comment on whoever's reading mine.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Gone Fishing



Our 5 on the fishing pier.


The kids have just settled into bed after having two fun filled days. It was such a nice weekend ...I feel so blessed. Our weekend of fun started around 6:00 Friday evening when we arrived at our local county fair. We rode rides, ate fair food, drank fresh squeezed lemonade & spent quite a bit of time in the horse barns . My kids got a chance to pet and sit on a beautiful Pinto horse named Warrior. My girls really would love a horse, but for now we will just have to admire them at the fair, and pray about the possibility of getting one sometime in the future.

We were having so much fun at the fair, we didn't leave until the fair closed at midnight! I just wish we would have been able to go earlier in the day & stay til midnight, so we would have had a chance to see all the exhibits & animals.



First thing this morning my daughter opened her birthday gifts. Watching her open her gifts was pure bliss. From birth she has had such a gentle & sensitive spirit. When she opened her first gift....the sterling silver horse necklace , her face just lit up & both my husband and I thought she was going to cry....she was overjoyed : ) So my sweet little baby girl who was born with a head full of black hair is now 10!

After she opened her gifts we mostly lounged around the house...doing some light chores & laundry. Around 4pm we decided to head out to Walmart to get a fishing license & some picnic food. We went to one of our favorite parks, that's hidden away back in the woods. It has some nice lakes to fish in. It is a private & secluded park that also has a great bike trail along side of it. We enjoyed a picnic dinner near the water & some fishing. The only one that caught a fish was my 2 year old dd (actually me, although she was trying to fish helping me hold onto the rod). I don't think she quite understood the concept of fishing because when I told her she caught a fish & I started to reel it in, she started to panic. Once she saw the little sun fish....she started to protest....." I don't want fish!, I don't fish!, I don't want fish!" It was a little bit sad but a little bit cute/funny to see her reaction. She eventually calmed down when we made a big deal about her catching a fish . I think it especially helped when her big brother gave her a high five : 0 )

We left the park around 8:00 pm , just before the storms arrived. When we got home we had cake and ice cream & just spent the rest of the evening relaxing. What a nice time we had!

Friday, August 8, 2008

My Daughter's Birthday Cake

Here's my Betty Crocker Bake n Fill Pans.
I made a Brownie Peanut Butter cake for my daughter's 10th birthday tomorrow. I 've not had good results making my own gluten free brownies or cake, so I buy this brownie mix for $2.98 a box at Super Walmart. It tastes just like regular brownies & this is actually cheap for a boxed gluten free mix. I've seen them anywhere from $4.00 on up to $6.00 a box.
I mixed two boxes & poured it into the dome pan as well as the regular cake pan. After it baked I let it cool for an hour in the pan, before I carefully removed it. I then filled the cavity of the dome shaped cake with a peanut butter filling which consists of ~ 8 oz cream cheese, 1 cup peanut butter, & 1/2 cup powdered sugar. I then layed the flat cake on the dome shaped cake to cover the peanut butter filled cavity. Here's the end results


Doesn't it look cute with the foal on the top? I found it for a few dollars at Tractor Supply. I just ran it through the dishwasher first. The frosting I made for this cake was a recipe from my original 1950's Betty Crocker cookbook. There's no reason to ever buy the canned frosting again when this is so easy to make & so good! Here's the recipe:

Glossy Chocolate Icing:

Melt:
4 TB shortening & 4 squares unsweetened chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave.

Beat in:

2 2/3 cups sifted powdered sugar. (My sifter doesn't work all that great...it just gets clogged up with the sugar. I just used a metal strainer with very small holes. I pour the sugar in the strainer and gently shake the sugar into a bowl)
1/4 tsp salt
6 TB milk
1 1/4 tsp. vanilla

Beat with electric mixer until smooth and glossy and thick enough to spread.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Resisting the Temptation to Sin

My husband and I have Bible study with another couple once a week. I'm excited about the study we are currently working on. It is about the temptation to sin. I thought I would try to briefly go over what we have learned about resisting the temptation to sin . I guess I never really thought about the many ways God has given us , to escape the temptation to sin.

1. The Holy Spirit ~ If we are born again believers in Christ we have the Holy Spirit as our helper. " But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." Galations 5 :16 ~ Daily seek God's will for your life & let the Holy Spirit guide you.

2. Scripture ~ Jesus used Scripture to fight off Satan's temptations (Matthew 4).....we can do the same. Memorizing & quoting/praying Scripture that pertain to areas of sin that you struggle with is a great place to start. I certainly have areas I need to work on. I need to work on scripture memorization as well.

3. Prayer ~ When Jesus teaches us about prayer in Matthew 6: 5-15, He specifically says " And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil." We can ask Him to help us to resist sin.

4. A proper fear of God ~ Proverbs 16:6 "By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil." A proper fear of God would look like this.... reverance for Him, fear of offending Him, and a fear of the consequences of your sin.

5. Run from Sin ~ Genisis 39:12 " She caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside." If you struggle with a certain sin & you can help it , don't put yourself in a position that would tempt you to commit that sin. Run from it.

6. A Christian Friend ~ Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10 " Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up." A Christian friend can pray for you and check on how you are doing spiritually & encourage.