Monday, June 30, 2008

Testimony

I've been thinking for sometime about sharing my testimony of how I came to Christ, but wasn't sure when I should do it. I was going to share pictures of my home today but I think this is more important and the appropriate time.

As a young child when I was living in the south I heard about Jesus a lot, I guess a given growing up in the Bible Belt. I remember my aunt talking to me about Jesus when I was afraid of the dark. I spent a lot of time with my aunt as my mother was really struggling with alcoholism & my father had gone away for awhile due to the problems my mom was having.

When I was about 5 my dad came back............he saw the life my brother and I were living & decided it wasn't good. He took my brother and I to live up North where he had been living ,without my mother's knowledge or permission. It wasn't long until we were in court , my parent's fighting for custody. My father was awarded custody due to my mom's lifestyle.

My dad had married a women shortly after we started living with him. Life was good as I remember it, much different than what we were used to. Around the age of 9 my stepmother ran into a woman that she had known from years ago. This woman had become a born again Christian and invited us all to church. My step mom & dad didn't go to church with us but allowed us to go. So every Sunday & Wed. evening someone from church would take us to and from church. We were very involved in this church, going on retreats , etc.

I liked going to church but I remember always thinking that their was something unusual about it, even as a child. Often during Sunday morning services there was always the same woman that would stand up in the middle of the service and speak in tongues. Someone told me that was what she was doing. Services at this church always just seemed so loud and chaotic to me, as I was a very shy and reserved child.

When I was about 11 yrs old I went on a retreat with the girl's group I was in at church. It was an enjoyable time, swimming, playing putt putt, etc. In the evening after dinner we would all meet in a great big pavilion for church services. I remember the last night I was there. There was an alter call during that service for those wanting to be saved. It was all a whirlwind of emotion & noise & crying & it also had begun to storm at that point. I remember wanting to go up to the alter but was just too shy & also feeling like I wanted to because that was what everyone else was doing. To be honest I can't remember for sure if I became a Christian that night but I did remember coming home & telling my step mom & dad that I got saved, I don't know that I had a true understanding of it. However after that I do remember my thinking changing. I remember not wanting to talk like the rest of the kids my age did anymore. I wanted to be good.

Time went on and at the age of 13 my step mom & dad divorced. My dad was working second shift and my brother & I were home alone a lot by ourselves, we had stopped going to church. Needless to say being unsupervised we started to go wild......doing whatever we wanted pretty much. We were really heading down the wrong path doing things that were very dangerous & hanging around dangerous individuals. At 15 I met my now husband.....who was 3 years older than me. He surely wasn't an angel but once we started dating he didn't want to live the lifestyle he/we had been living anymore. I met his family and it wasn't long after meeting them I found out his mom was a Christian. The first Christian I had been around since I had stopped going to church. Her and I talked about salvation some and I told her I had been saved as a child. I went to her church often and even sat down with a pastor there and rededicated my life to Christ. Although I had an uneasy feeling about it all because I often doubted that I was saved even as a little child because I wasn't like those people I went to church with years ago. My salvation wasn't some huge emotional conversion......I wasn't jumping up in down in the aisles at church, speaking in tongues, etc. I didn't FEEL different & I still struggled with sin. I didn't have some great spiritual awakening. I was confused. I thought how could I be saved I'm nothing like these other people I had gone to church with as a child or like those that I had been meeting.

More time passed and at 18 my boyfriend and I married. I spent a lot of time regretting and crying over choices I had made in my life as a teenager. I often prayed and asked the Lord to forgive me and save me but I just could never come to a point of peace, believing I was truly saved. I visited different churches but never found one I felt comfortable in. I remember going to church with a friend from high school who had been recently saved. It was a Sunday evening service, so there weren't as many people there as a Sunday morning service. Well people were going up to the front of the church for prayer and I remember the pastor laying his hands on their heads, praying for them and then hitting them in the head ..... one by one they would fall to the floor. Oh my goodness! This was strange to me and I thought if this is what it's like being saved....I must not be saved! Not to mention, I was the only person sitting in the pews, everyone else was in the front of the church. Talk about sticking out like a sore thumb : ) To be honest I thought it was weird and I didn't want any part of it and at the same time I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn't want any part of it. This couldn't be the way a true Christian would think, would they?

I never talked to my husband about my struggles because he wasn't saved. So the years went by and we had children. Life was kind of lonely....I didn't have any friends and I had longed for one good friend that I could spend time with, someone like me, around my age and who had children. I prayed about that and you know the Lord brought me that friend. She was a Christian and an encouragement to me, even though I still doubted my salvation. I had LITTLE FAITH. But something changed that for me.........

In the years shortly after high school, I remember hearing from a childhood friend that had moved to Florida. She was telling me about a friend of ours from school who was only 22 & was diagnosed with melanoma. I was never close to this sick friend & I hadn't seen her or talked to her in a few years. I remember thinking to myself I'm supposedly a Christian even though I don't feel like one half the time, I need to tell her about Jesus because that's what the Bible says I should do. So I sent her a letter in the mail telling her about my salvation and that she can have that too. Boy I kind of felt like a fool/hypocrite, I wasn't qualified to be telling her about Jesus. So I left it at that, I did ask for prayer for her at a church I was visiting at the time.

Some time passed and I hadn't heard anything from her. It was summertime and this friend I told you about( the one the Lord brought to me ) invited me to go with her to the movies and dinner (a girls night out to celebrate her birthday) I hadn't been out with a friend since high school and I never went to the movies. Guess who I ran into at the movie theater? My friend from high school who had been diagnosed with melanoma. I didn't get to talk to her very long but I did ask her if she got my letter, she said she did. She was still struggling with cancer but wasn't feeling sick.

More time went by and I had heard through the grape vine she had opted out of treatments because the only treatments left that MIGHT be able to help her were torture and they kept her states away from her son. Fast forward a few years.........I hadn't heard anything about her and assumed she must have passed away .......I rarely even thought about her anymore. One night as I slept, I dreamt about her. I dreamt we were talking and I asked her if she still had cancer. She said no it was gone...she seemed happy. But I do remember in the dream seeing something strange on her neck. That's all I remember of the dream. The next morning I got up and started about my day, around 10 am the phone rang. It was my friend that lived in Florida( I hadn't spoke to her in long time either) who had told me about our friend having melanoma. She told me that our friend was not doing well, the doctors didn't give her much more time to live....maybe a few weeks. She also told me that this friend wanted to see her friends before she passed on/including me. Oh my goodness I was in awe of what was happening. I had never had God show me things in this way before. I can't help but think he showed me things the way he did out of love and mercy because he knew how LITTLE FAITH I had. How could I doubt Him after this? I knew without a doubt , what God wanted me to do and I couldn't believe he wanted ME to do it. I felt so unqualified..... I was a weak and sinful person with LITTLE FAITH, who doubted her own salvation......how could I lead my dying friend to the Lord?

I talked with the pastor of the church I was visiting at the time. He gave me a Bible to give to her and helped me go over scripture that would show her her need for a savior. He told me he would be praying at that time I was to be there. I have to admit I was scared to death.........would her family throw me out of the room, would she? Well I went to see her. Before her mom left the room to give us some time alone, she warned me not to upset her daughter. Oh boy that scared me even more but I knew what the Lord wanted me to do. It was hard to see her like she was ....very sick, & thin with a cancer growths on her neck . The pressure from the cancer growth was causing her to have vertigo, so she was having a hard time and cried a lot. I told her I wanted to share something with her, I got out the Bible the pastor had given me and I started to read the scripture to her that the pastor had suggested.

I can't remember the exact verse, it may have been " for the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:23.....when I got to the part " the wages of sin is death".....she began to get very upset. I asked her if she wanted me to stop. She said she was just so scared but she wanted me to keep reading. I could see she was hanging on to every word that I read. I told her that Jesus loved her and I knew it because he brought me there to tell her about Him. I asked her if any one had ever sat down and talked to her about Jesus before. She said no but she had received letters from people. We prayed together and she believed on the Lord Jesus that day. I told her it was okay now because when she died she would be with Jesus. She believed it. It was hard for her to get her words out but I knew what she meant when she touched her heart with her hand and said she felt better. She knew she would be in heaven with Him. I believe she was at peace and confident in her salvation. That was the last time I saw her. She went to be with the Lord just 3 days later.

I shared that whole story because I believe that was the point where I no longer doubted my salvation. God showed me that I was no different than this friend , who lived a wild lifestyle, like I had at one point. She had never done anything for the Lord, just like me. She was never good enough , just like me. She was a dirty sinner, just like me but he loved her anyway and wanted her to be with Him, just like He does me.

Conversion/Christianity doesn't have to be an emotionally high spiritual event , like I've seen in the churches I attended as a child and young adult. Although I am grateful for the truth they shared about Jesus Christ ..... I think these type of churches are dangerous, spiritually speaking. They leave people thinking that the Christian life always has to have some emotional/spiritual high & if you aren't experiencing these great things, well there is something wrong with you......you might not even be saved. There are ups and downs in the Christian life. Salvation is not an emotion/ a feeling after you believe . Salvation comes from the simple act of faith in Jesus Christ. All it takes is a LITTLE FAITH to come to the Lord Jesus and to witness HIS MIRACLES . Jesus DOES work around those who have LITTLE FAITH. I believe my testimony is proof of that. I'm just an ordinary and very blemished individual who's faith was not strong & at times is still lacking.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Thrift Shopping

Today I went with a friend to help her move a mattress. It was an unusual day for me because none of my children came with me. Usually every where I go I bring at least one of them along. We stopped at a few thrift shops and I found a few things for my kids. It was nice to have a calm & peaceful shopping trip. My two your old can be very energetic & adventurous and shopping can be a chore that I don't like very much : ) Well any how below are pictures of two of my favorite finds on todays shopping trip.This little capri pants outfit is so cute! You can't tell from the picture but it has little lady bugs on it. My daughter won't be able to wear it until next year but I thought it was a deal at $4.50 & the price tags were still on it from the original buyer.
I couldn't pass this dress up because it is Hello Kitty. My daughter loves Hello Kitty. This dress fits her now as a longer dress but she can wear it I'm sure for another year or more. This was $3.50. It looks brand new!
If you didn't notice I was able to put pictures on my blog because I got a new digital camera yesterday! I'm so happy.....I can't do anything but take pictures.
I'm thinking next week I would like to post pictures of my home but I will just share one new room each day since I have dial up it takes so long sometimes to get pictures on my blog. These two pictures took forever as it was to upload....couldn't imagine how long pictures of a home tour would be.
Have a great weekend!
























Friday, June 27, 2008

What's Wrong With Children's Church & Nurseries?

The discussion of putting your children in the church nursery or children's church has come up on other blogs. Should you or shouldn't you? Some parents feel strongly about keeping their children with them & some not. I can say I lean more toward one that prefers my children to stay with me but I don't practice that 100%. What I would like to do is share my experience on this subject, for what it's worth.... I guess just another opinion : ) I also would like to defend those parents that do chose to send their children to these ministries......yes ministries, that's what they are. I have used/needed to use them. This is my story:

When I began to attend church on a regular basis I had 4 small children ~ ages 7-to a baby. I had several older & more mature Christians as well as some family members that encouraged me to keep my children with me in church. They said the children needed to hear what I was hearing, learn what I was learning, sings hymns to the Lord that I was singing. We needed to be together. I trusted their wisdom. In all honesty, I was never big on putting my children in nursery because they didn't like it, they would just cry and get upset and want to be with mommy. So I didn't put them in there.

So anyway I chose to keep them with me after listening to others advice/encouragement on the subject. My 3 older children all did well in church, were never difficult, but the baby on the other hand was not, especially the older he got. It was okay for awhile though because I had family there to help (my husband did not attend church with me at this time) . If I needed to step out with the baby they were there to help by supervising the other children. It all worked out quite well until...........................these family members found a new church to go to.

I didn't go with them to the new church for a few reasons , one being that my husband didn't want me to. He didn't go to church with me but didn't mind me going , so I decided to just stay put. So there I was every Sunday/Wed. sitting in the pews with 4 little ones. The littlest a toddler by this time became more & more difficult and disruptive during church. I would have to walk out with him often and was leaving my 3 other children sitting in the pews by themselves. I wouldn't take them all out with me everytime the little one would get rowdy, could you imagine the disruptiveness that would cause : )

My toddler wouldn't go in the nursery, he would get so upset. One time I put him in there and when one of the nursery workers had turned her back for a second to help another child he had opened the door and went running down the hall to the sanctuary. She caught him just as he opened the door to the sanctuary. So I'm sure you could see my dilema. Sit out in the hallway with my little one while my 3 older children sat in the church service by themselves, unsupervised.

I became more & more discouraged and frustrated....leaving church in tears because I couldn't handle the situation myself & I wasn't hearing the service........I just wanted to stop going & I think I did for awhile. So that's when I decided to put my children in children's church.....and the good thing was that my toddler was comfortable going with his older siblings to children's church & behaved because it was geared toward children. This wasn't the normal practice, most children his age went to the nursery.

Every family has a different situation or circumstances and it's not "a one size fits all " solution or choice . It doesn't make you less Godly or less loved by God or less of a parent if your children go to nursery/children's church. If you find yourself in a similar situation be encouraged and don't give up : )

Swimming & Cleaning & Horses Oh My!

Yesterday the kids had their first full & warm day of swimming in the pool. Unfortunatley they got a sunburn. My youngest sun had a rough night, not being able to sleep because of it. We were suppose to go to a picnic today but decided not to so they could stay out of the sun . I spent my day doing some usual cleaning. I mopped the kitchen floor , laundry room floor , & the 1/2 bathroom off of the laundry room . I had to use bleach water as it was pretty bad. I usually use vinegar and water (my MIL taught me this, so I've been doing it since we were first married 16 years ago). I also wiped down the stove, refrigerator,dishwasher, washer, dryer and the wall in the hallway (it was pretty bad) with vinegar & water. I cleaned the toilet in the 1/2 bath (that's never a fun job but somebody has to do it). I made dinner, we actually ate early : ) then we went to my son's baseball game. We came home and watched an episode of Daniel Boone. We've watched every episode of season 2 and picked up Season One when we were at the library this week. I would have preferred to watch them in order but they didn't have season one checked in the first time around.

On a funny note.....I had to stop typing because when I looked out the window the neighbor's horse (across the road) was running through our front yard! It looks so strange to see such a big animal running toward your house. Well anyway the horse went back home. This isn't the first time the he's done this. I think he must just want to come over and play with the kids or the dogs : )

I should get going.....my plans for today are to go to the drug store and find something for my kids' sunburn. This Banana Boat aloe vera gel doesn't seem to be helping. I would also like to rearrange my bedroom placing our bed on the wall by the windows....hopefully we can feel the cool breeze a little better. I would like to take a look at digital cameras too....it would have been great to take a picture of that horse running through our yard : )

Have a great weekend!

Our Favorite Potato Salad

I've been making potato salad more often now that the hot weather is here. I would prefer ice cream for dinner but I guess that wouldn't be too healthy . Although we have been known from time to time to eat ice cream for dinner : ) Well anyway I found this potato salad recipe in Taste of Home. I changed it a little to fit our tastes:

Dilly Potato Salad

5# red potatoes( cut into cubes , boiled and cooled)
5 hard boiled eggs chopped
1 cup chopped kosher dill pickles
a handful or so of sliced green onions
2-3 stalks of celery chopped
3/4 cups mayo
3/4 cups sour cream
1 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
paprika

Mix all together, sprinkle with paprika and chill.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Are you an excellent wife?

I took this test that I found over at Amy's Place . Apparently I'm a very superior wife according to my test result : ) I scored a 96! I'm going to take it again with my husband present, so he can help me. I'm sure he has a better idea of what kind of wife I am : )

Not to much going on.......

just the usual : ) Yesterday was fairly busy. We went to the library so my children could pick their prizes for the time they've spent reading. Even my two year old got a prize (a bug tatoo)....for me reading to her. My 7 yr old son who has been the most enthusiastic about the program recieved a free Wendy's jr. frosty coupon and chose a prize from the prize box ( a butterfly net) ....my 9 yr old daughter got a frosty coupon too. We have some errands to run in town today, so I think will stop and get our frosties.

Yesterday I got the opportunity to visit with a friend that I don't get to see often. She asked me if I would like to fill out an application for a personal reference for her son. He needed a reference for a local mission based college program that he is hoping to attend in the fall. I hope it all works for him, he's expressed a desire to be a missionary ever since I've known him (11 years old). His mom very recently stumbled upon (the Lord brought it to her) this program . The Lord will provide the means/the grace for whatever it is He wants us to do. This young man's life is a perfect example of that......it's been neat to see.

Well that's it for today. I have some errands to run as well as take my daughter to her ballet class. Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The funny things kids say & do

I wanted to share a few funny things my kids have done and said recently.

Just this morning my 2 year old daughter did the funniest thing. I have to give you a little background information first. Yesterday I was reading some toddler books to her, that I had just gotten from the library. The one book was Baby Signs. I was showing her the different signs and what they mean. We came to the sign for the word "more". I told her that when she wants more to eat of something she can make that sign & tell me what it is that she wants more of.....example....like if she wants another popcicle (her current favorite thing to eat)

Well first thing this morning before she even had breakfast, she comes up to me doing the more sign and added the little word pop ~ pop (her word for popcicle) to the end! LOL! Of course I made her eat breakfast first and then she had a popcicle.

Another funny thing my youngest son said recently:

We had an older couple from church over for our weekly Bible Study. I was telling them about how on the way to church we drive past a bar(saloon). Well just 2 days prior on a Sunday when we went past the bar we were shocked to see that it had burnt to the ground......fire trucks still on the scence. The older gentlman made the comment that maybe God had enough of that place and did away with it. My son very innocently spoke up in agreement and said " That song we sing at church says that Jesus tore the bars away." LOL! Oh that was so funny! There is some great truth in that even if he was a little confused about what bars we were talking about.

Well that's it for today. I think I'm going to try to do the blogging thing in the morning & see how it goes.

Monday, June 23, 2008

My Day

My second daughter woke up this morning with a swollen and goopy eye. She had complained that it was bothering her yesterday, but it looked fine. As well as a puffy eye, she had a stuffy nose. She hasn't been feeling well this past week. It started off with a sore throat , then a tummy ache, & then the eye problem & a slight fever. I had been giving her this product by Herbs for Kids for a few days. Her throat did stop hurting but then she ended up with these other symptoms.

I called my husband at work and asked him if I should take her to the doctor. He thought it was a good idea. The doctor checked her out ... she has a sinus infection that spread to her eye. I was suprised about the sinus infection because she had no symptoms of her nose being stuffy or plugged untill this morning.......hmmmm... it makes me wonder if it's just a virus. Well anyway the doctor gave me some prescriptions for her and hopefully she will be feeling back to herself soon.


On another note....I've enjoyed blogging but I often go back & forth about continuing. It can be a time consuming & addictive hobby. When I don't have a blog I'm much less likely to be spending too much time on the computer.....so it will be something I will have to consider giving up...when life get's busy again with homeschooling. I read a great post about blogging here. Hurry though if you would like to read it because she will be deleting her blog in the next few days.

How do you fit blogging/reading blogs into your shedule without allowing it to become addictive?

The Duties Of Parents

Last week when I was going through some boxes in my bedroom closet I came across a short little book that I bought several years ago called "The Duties Of Parents". I figured I would start reading through it as I don't remember anything about it. I came across some words that J.C. Ryle wrote that really stuck out and convicted my spirit. Mind you this was written in 1888 but seems as if it could have been written for today. This is what he wrote " We live in days when there is a mighty zeal for education in every quarter. We are told of new systems and new books for the young of every description. And still for all this, the vast majority of children are manifestly not trained in the way they should go, for when they grow up to man's estate, they do not walk with God."

I'm guilty! In my experience as a homeschooling parent I too have had much "zeal" for all the "new systems" & "new books" of every description for my children's homeschool education but have put "trained in the way they should go, so they would walk with God" to the wayside. As homeschoolers we are bombarded with a wide variety of educational products/methods for our children. This has gotten me to thinking....... God did not lead us to homeschooling so our children could have a better education or so they could be smarter than every other kid their age. He didn't lead us to homeschooling because we are some how more spiritually enlightened or more Godly than everyone else......or just because it's what everyone else is doing these days. No, it was so we as parents could train them up in the way they should go.........so they will walk with God! He led us to homeschooling.....I believe in His mercy. He knows how easily we& our children are prone to wander and be distracted by life in this world. What better way to train our children in the way they should go but under the protective "umbrella" of parental authority.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

No church today

We were all ready to go to church when two of my children said they didn't feel good....tummy aches : ( So I guess we won't be going. I was looking foward to going as these were the things that were going to be taught:

God Promises His Sovereign Control
1 Corinthians 10:13, God will not allow you to be tempted/tested beyond what you are able.

God Promises His Presence
Hebrews 13:5, God Himself has said, "I will never leave you, nor will I ever forsake you." So that we may confindently say, "The Lord is my helper! I will not be afraid! What can man do to me?"

God Promises His Grace
2 Corinthians 12:9, The Lord said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness."

God Promises an Incomparable, Eternal Glory
Romans 8:18, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

God Promises the Victory
John 16:33, Jesus said to His disciples, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."



Well I think I will run out and pick up some paint samples for the girls' room . I think I will cordinate the colors like this website showed . Both girls like the idea of the blue color for the sky with white clouds painted overtop & the bottom part of the wall a soft pink color. I'm not the artistic type but I'm going to take a stab at painting the clouds myself. I found a few websites that give what seems like easy instructions on sponge painting clouds. So will see. If I ever get a new digital camera....I would like to do a before and after picture of the room. Maybe I'll take pictures with my regular camera & scan them onto my computer.



Have a blessed day!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

This & That

We've been out and about since about 9:00 this morning. My youngest son had a baseball game. It was quite an eventful game.......the coach of the other team started arguing with my son's coach. It wasn't as loud as some other arguments I've seen coaches get into but then again I've never seen coaches for 7 & 8 year old boys get into an argument over the rules.

When we got home the water hauling service was there putting the water in our pool. My kids ran and put their swimming suits on as soon as he left. The water was a bit cold (about 57 degrees) but they didn't care they jumped right in : ) & today wasn't a particularly warm day....alot of overcast.

After awhile they got out of the pool and we all got ready and went to Lowes to pick up a few things. We needed some paint to paint the pool deck and while we were there I looked at wall paper borders for my daughters' bedroom. They really like horses so they found this very cute border. We still have to choose paint colors. The border will be at chair rail level with a different color above and a different color below. I can't wait to get it done.......I've been wanting to work on the girls' room since we moved here 2 1/2 yrs ago.

When we got home from Lowes I made a quick taco salad dinner, the kids hurried & helped clean up the dinner dishes and were back in their swim suits headed for the pool. They didn't get to stay in the water to long as it started storm : ( but there's always tomorrow.

Well I'm going to get of the computer soon, make a cup of chamomile tea and spend the rest of the evening with my family.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Morning Sickness

I'm not currently pregnant but was just discussing with grace and peace to you the unpleasant & much dreaded morning sickness. I've always heard that morning sickness was a good sign that all is going well with the pregnancy ..........let me tell you though it doesn't feel like it when you are going through it. I remember it all to well from my last pregnancy 3 years ago.

I had bad morning sickness with my first child but it lasted only 12 weeks and actually tapered off after the 8th week. With my second and 3rd pregnancies I had minimal morning sickness. My 4th pregnancy wasn't as bad as my first but it wasn't as easy as my second & third. Let me tell ya though, my last pregnancy left me with a terrible amount of morning sickness that lasted 16 weeks + but in all honesty I had stomach/intestional issues the entire pregnancy. I told my husband several times that whole pregnancy that I was never doing it again : ) Well once she was born & I saw her little face I thought to myself how could I have ever complained.....she was perfect and well worth the difficulty.

I am apprehensive of another pregnancy , even though I would love to have another child. I'm not sure what will happen but in the mean time , just in case, I'm working on trying to be healthier......eating properly, getting exercise (daily walks, while the weather is nice) and taking supplements.
The two things I'm taking are Milk Thistle & Freeda's High Potency Multi -Vitamin
Iron Free Quintabs. According to Shonda Parker's book "The Naturally Healthy Pregnancy", milk thistle is a must for women who have suffered with morning sickness in prior pregnancies. She has had great experience with it and had zero morning sickness with at least one of her pregnancies after taking it daily for several months prior to conception. Milk thistle is a liver supporting herb. If our livers aren't functioning well it will affect us in other ways. It really does make sense.....are liver's filters out all the toxins....if it is over loaded (as it would be normally in early pregnancy) it would be wise to help it out. So I'm taking 2 a day as a precaution.......maybe it will help if I have any future pregnancies.

Freeda vitamins are super hypoallergenic supplements. I have a gluten sensitivity so it's important I take a good vitamin like this one. I choose the iron free because iron is tough on your liver and should not be taken unless it is really needed. I have taken cheapo synthetic forms of iron as well as Hemagenics by Metagenics (these are high quality supplements that you can only get through a health care provider). I got it through my midwife. She said she had never had any of her clients have a difficult time taking them. WELL....they didn't work for me......they made me sick to my stomach. So I just try to avoid iron all together and get it from foods.

What were your morning sickness experiences & remedies or preventatives. Please share : )

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How do I Manage Things?

A fellow blogger asked me how I managed things with 5 children. I told her in our home, daily chores for the children are a MUST. I tell my children they are very much a part of this family and an important part at that and their help is needed. That's just the way it is. They aren't perfect....they do have to reminded to do their chores but we do have a chore chart that they have to follow . The older 4 children each do one of the chores listed below daily. By the end of the week everyone has done everything on the list.



1. Straighten & vacuum living room & load and run dishwasher



2. Straighten & wipe counters, stove, & table, sweep kitchen floor



3. Straighten & vacuum computer room, piano room & hallway



4. Straighten kids bathroom , sweep if needed, wipe counter, sink, clean mirror if needed,

5. Straighten shoes & sweep the entry way if needed, put all clean dishes away.



The older 4 do all of their own laundry & keep their rooms clean. I do have to help my 7 yr old some.....because he tries to rush through it & doesn't do it properly but he's learning. My 2 yr old doesn't really do chores( She usually just leaves a path of destruction behind her : ) But she is learning. I try to have her help me with cleaning and she really likes it....asking for more to do.



I do most of the cleaning which consists of mopping the floors, cleaning the 2 ~ 1/2 bathrooms, dusting, wiping down the appliances, etc. The kids do have their own bathroom....sometimes they clean it, sometimes I do it and sometimes we work on it together. We don't follow a strict time schedule .......they do know for example though that if there is a dirty kitchen, stuff strewn all over the counters, a sink full of dishes, and clean dishes in the dishwasher that need to be put away.........it's not likely I'm going to be able to make dinner in that mess : ) Speaking of dinner my girls & sometimes my boys are almost always helping in someway to prepare dinner. Just recently I was out somewhere, running late. I called home and asked my husband to tell the girls to make the fried fish for dinner because if they waited for me to get home, dinner would be late. The knew exactly what to do because I taught them to help.



We just went grocery shopping today & they even help with that. I gave my 14 yr old son half of the grocery list and he got all of those groceries. They help with every aspect of shopping. It's so funny just about everytime we shop a cashier comments on how helpful my kids are. Putting the groceries on the conveyor belt, loading the bags in the cart etc. As I write this it reminds me that I need to let them know how important and helpful they are.



One of the most important things I've learned having a larger than normal family (or just having kids in general) is that even though my God given job is to serve my family, it is not my job to be their servants. Trying to be a supermom , doing everthing myself around the house without expecting the childrn to help out doesn't make me a good mom, it only makes me an exhausted & burnt out mom with selfish children that don't know how to do anything for themselves.

Unbeeeeelievable!

Isn't this just want you would want for your precious little infant daughter?

Okay what's next , lingerie?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Top 10 Summer Plans

Summertime always brings back good memories of my childhood. We didn't have much money growing up, some would even say we were poor, or at least by America's standards. We grew up in an apartment complex but my family always made the most of what we had to work with. We always did something fun that was free or inexpensive.

Now that I have a family of my own the dynamics of our family are different, so it's not as easy for us to go and do some of the things we did growing up. I have 5 children.....even the inexpensive fun can be expensive with 5 children. We also live way out in the country, which we all love but it just doesn't make it easy when you have to drive far to go anywhere. So these are a few of the things we will do to occupy are free summertime:

1. We invested in a pool. We will spend most of our time in this.....hoping to invite friends to come over and keep cool with us. We will just enjoy playing in the yard, walking through the woods, catching fireflies by night and roasting marshmallows over the campfire.

2.Both of my boys play baseball, so that keeps us busy week nights.

3.We planted a very large garden....as long as it does well I will have a few things to preserve. Freezer Coleslaw, Kosher Dill Pickles, Jalapeno Poppers, green beans as well as sugar snaps peas to freeze. We also planted little pumpkins that I hope to make pumpkin pies with and the rest of the vegetables we'll just eat throughout the growing season.

4.I would like to go strawberry picking sometime very soon and make some freezer jam. Around the 4th of July we hope to blueberry pick like we did last year and freeze those as well as eating them.

5.We go to the library once a week...my children signed up for the reading program. For a set amount of hours that they read they get a prize. We went yesterday and the kids collected some of their prizes. For my 12 &14 yr old in addition to having small prizes they collect (candy bars etc.) they collect book bucks as well. They use these at an end of the summer library party where they get to bid on bigger things....such as books, an MP3 player, etc.

6. Occasional picnics during the day with church family.

7. We do have a drive-in movie theater very close by. We usually go once during the summer season. It's way less expensive than going to the regular theater. So depending on what's playing we will go there once this summer.

8. We have some very nice bike trails nearby that we enjoyed riding on last summer....we hope to do that again, as a family. The one bike trail we ride on is right next to a park that has several lakes to fish in as well as picnic areas. It's a beautiful park!

9. If we can afford it we will plan a trip to the zoo.

10. We will do some homeschooling. I like to take more of a break in the summer from homeschooling but we thought this summer we would study some American history. There is a homeschooling lending library in our area. It was one great mom's idea to start it! I'm going to borrow Drive Thru History America.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Seasons at Home

Seasons at Home is a new magazine that I have enjoyed reading. I was given the opportunity to share my home birth story, which was published in the Spring issue. So far there have been two issues published.....the Holiday Issue 2007, that came out in the fall and the Spring issue 20008. If you are able go take a look and show your support of this ministry (encouraging homemakers) by subscribing to this magazine.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Globe Trotter

Our pool (the Globe Trotter) has arrived! Well actually the replacement parts for the pool. It's a 12x24 above ground pool very similar to this one . We had some trouble getting it here.....several of the trucking services said they wouldn't service our area, so it's been all over the globe, just trying to find someone that would deliver it to us.

Well it's finally here and the kids are sooooo excited! God has been good to us. No, a pool is not a need but the Lord has given this gift to us anyway. There's a cute little story behind getting this pool. It all started over a year ago when I was getting my boys' haircut at the little country barbershop. The owner who also is the only barber there had told me he was wanting to get rid of his pool. He bought it new over 20 years ago for about $8000. Well his children are all grown and he has no use for the pool anymore. Fast foward to April of this year. My husband and I had been discussing getting a pool for the backyard with money from our tax stimulus payment. I remembered the barber wanting to get rid of his......so I gave him a call. He said he had already promised to sell it for $200 to a man from his church. The man was supposed to come take it down this past fall but didn't. He told him he would come in the Spring. I told the barber to keep us in mind if this other person changed his mind. I broke the sad news to the kids but I told them to start praying because if the Lord wants us to have this pool it will be ours. I know they had been praying about it because I saw it written down in my 9 yr old daughter's notebook to pray about it. Well.......in May I got a phone call from the barber and he said the pool was ours if we still wanted it because the other man changed his mind.

The pool did need some parts replaced and some scrubbing : ) We were able to use all the (all in great shape) aluminum decking, railing, as well as plumbing, filter, anchors for the walls, ladders, solar covers and a few others things . We had to replace the walls, liner, and pump. The grand total to replace these items was $1400 and we now have a brand new pool! Not bad considering it cost $8000 new . We are so thrilled! My husband is outside putting the walls up right now. Maybe it will be ready to be filled with water this weekend : )









Saturday, June 14, 2008

Father's Day Plans

We haven't quite decided what we will do to celebrate Father's Day tomorrow. I suppose whatever my husband feels like doing : ) My father may come over and we will have a simple cookout with hot dogs, baked beans, and potato salad.

This year the kids and I tried to make this father's day extra special for their dad/my husband because he works so hard to provide a comfortable life and home for us. God was good to me when he gave me my husband.

One of the special things that my 14 year old son and I did for him was to make him a movie. We used pictures that we've taken over the years, set to music for a slide show. It turned out so nice! I love the things this new computer can do. Well anyway we were so impatient we had to give it to him today so he could watch it. He liked it so much that he cried. I knew he would because he's that kind of guy....he loves his family so much.

Besides the movie the kids bought him gifts with money that they earned. They bought him oreos, 2 king size Snicker bars (his favorite), pencils and erasers for his business, swimming trunks, a pair of nice shorts, and a tackle box for his fishing stuff. I bought 2 nice shirts for him to wear to church. One was actually a two piece shirt set, that I found on clearance for $4.99. Great deal!

So what are your plans for Father's day? It's important to teach kids that their dad is important and should be respected . There are many little ways to show him, without even spending money.

One year I printed this poem out and lightly stamped each of my 4 little ones footprint on top of the poem. I framed it in a nice frame and we presented it to him on Father's Day. He liked it very much!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Getting to know me

A friend sent this to me. So here's a little about me:

1. WHAT IS YOUR OCCUPATION? mother, doctor, chef, maid, teacher.........shall I go on?
2. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR SOCKS RIGHT NOW? none....I'm barefoot
3. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? A Daniel Boone episode in the backgound. My son found season 2 of the show on DVD at the library.
4. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? fish, asparagus, and macaroni salad
5. CAN YOU DRIVE A STICK SHIFT? no
6. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU SPOKE TO ON THE PHONE? Sue
7. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? yes! She's a lady who has been through alot and has a big heart because of it.
8. HOW OLD ARE YOU TODAY? 34
9. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? none really, except for my sons' baseball games
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DRINK? water and sometimes sprite
11. HAVE YOU EVER DYED YOUR HAIR? once when I was 14
12. FAVORITE FOOD? I don't know....I go through phases....right now it's fried fish
13. WHAT WAS THE LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? I think it was "Elizabeth", not sure though
14 WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR? I don't know.....I guess Christmas or my kids birthdays
15. HOW DO YOU VENT ANGER? yell, cry, have a heart to heart talk with my husband or friends, pray
16. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? A secret dollhouse
17. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SEASON? I don't know I like certain things about each
18. CHERRIES OR BLUEBERRIES? I like both the same
19. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? In a house in the country with my husband , 5 children, 4 dogs and 1 cat.
2o. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I was on the verge yesterday but a real cry a month ago.
21. WHAT IS ON THE FLOOR OF YOUR CLOSET? Too many things to list
22. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? went to my son's baseball game
23. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? God, my husband, my kids (they inspire me to want to learn), books, blogs and friends
24. WHAT ARE YOU MOST AFRAID OF? loosing family
25. PLAIN, CHEESE, OR SPICY HAMBURGERS? cheese
26. FAVORITE DOG BREED? siberian husky
27. FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK? Friday
28. HOW MANY PROVINCES/STATES HAVE YOU LIVED IN? 3 born & lived in New York , North Carolina and Ohio

I'd love to know you a little better, so share with me a little about you.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baby Shower Gift

This is a picture of a gift "basket" I put together for a baby shower. You can't tell from the picture but it's a baby bath tub filled with all kinds of goodies that pertain to bath & bed time. Jammies, stuffed animals, betime stories, bath toys, baby soap, etc.

The thing haniging out of the tub with baseballs, footballs, soccer balls on it is a baby/toddler hooded bath towel. I handmake them for friends that have just had babies and would like to start selling them. I have one that I just made and would like to get a picture of it up on my blog but my camera is not working right now. Hopefully I can get a picture up soon. They are just adorable and so much nicer than those thin hooded baby towels that you buy at the store.

Well, that's it for today I have alot to do. Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Fun & Easy Homeschooling

Homeschooling can be a very expensive and time consuming endeavor. So I like to find ways to make it work very smoothly , efficiently, and inexpensively. Well this past year I found an inexpensive and fun way to teach history, through a great resource called " All Through the Ages". It is a history through literature guide. History is taught in chronological order, starting with Creation and ending with the Modern Era. For each era there is a suggested list of books to read under these grade levels : 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12. There is also a list of books for all ages, that can be read aloud. Under each grade level there are book titles for the following categories : overview of the era, specific events, historical fiction, literature, biographies, and culture. There are also book lists for geographical history ( by country), history of science & math, history of arts, as well as great books of civilization & Christian tradition.

This has been a great tool for us! We've read through books on the new world/ colonization and the colonial wars. My children so far have enjoyed the colonial war era best. My 7 yr old son has read books on Daniel Boone. My 12 old daughter as read the book Wilderness Wife, the biography of Rebecca Boone, (Daniel's wife). My 9 yr old daughter has read a historical fiction book called Hitty: Her First Hundred Years. My 14 yr old son has read a book called Bulletproof George Washington. These are all books we've found easily at the library.

When we were at the library last week my 7 yr old son found Season 2 of Daniel Boone on DVD. So every evening he excitedly asks to watch an episode. Even my two year old will ask "Daniel Boone?" All of the children seem to be enjoying it. What a fun way to learn!

Generally speaking , I have come to a place of peace about homeschooling, besides the occasional doubts. In my heart I've always been a more relaxed homeschooler, feeling in my element teaching my children by doing, seeing, reading good books, unit studies etc. At the same time I felt this pressure to be doing prepackaged curriculum to make sure they were on the ball academically. Don't get me wrong it's important to know math, reading, and writing but it doesn't have to be done to someone else's standards. Homeschooling can be fun, not dry and boring. You can be creative and come up with your own ideas and plans. I truly believe that God gives each homeschooling mother creative thinking when it comes to homeschooling. I believe it's the Lord's gentle leading. " He will feed his flock like a shepard. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young." Isaiah 40: 11. I love this verse it's such a good reminder that we don't have to do it all on our own, there is a better way..... with the Lord's help.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Weekly Meal Plan and what do you spend on groceries?

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. I usually plan out a weeks worth of meals and try to make most of my meals from scratch , sometimes buying extra of this or that , gives us more than a weeks worth of meals, like I did this week. Of course some of the other items like TP last longer than a week. I usually focus mostly on dinners when I'm meal planning, allowing simple meals for lunch and breakfast, such as eggs and toast, cereal, P&jelly and other sandwiches as well as dinner left overs. Below is my weekly dinner plan as well as my grocery shopping list. This will feed 3 adults (my brother is staying with us & eats with us when he's not working) 2 boys ~ 14 & 7, that eat like adults : ) 3 girls ages 12, 9, & 2 .

Pasta w/ spagetthi sauce & meatballs & salad
Grilled hamburgers w/ homemade potato salad
Fried breaded catfish w/ sauteed asparagas
Grilled Marinated Chicken with salad/french fries
Sandwiches w/ homemade pasta salad
Grilled Hot dogs w/ baked beans & sugar snap peas
Tacos/Salad with corn chips and salsa

Grocery list

1# hard salami $4.61
1# bologna 3.28
1# roasted turkey 5.98
bag of romaine lettuce 3.18 (walmart was out of heads of Romaine and other lettuces)
1 head of iceburg lettuce 1.44 (that's the only lettuce they had besides the bagged)
3# red grapes 3.18
32 oz. bag baby carrots 2.98
2 bags frozen sugar snap peas 1.94 each
bag frozen sweet peas .87
5# red potatoes 2.87
celery 1.48
green onion 1.18
3# asparagus ( I won't even put the price, let's just say I won't be buying it at that price again)
1# ground mild Italian sausage 2.98
Family size chicken breast 13.98
2# ground round 7.48
2- 5 gallon refills of reverse osmosis water 1.85 ea.
2 packs hot dogs 1.50 ea.
3# ground turkey 1.88 lb.
sour cream 1.68
large jar kosher dill pickles 5.86
1# butter 2.68
larger block of sharp cheddar 3.98
24 slices cheese ( like Kraft but walmart brand) 2.84
2 pack cheddar cheese slices 2.22 ea.
16- small containers Yoplait yogurt .58 ea.
spaghetti .92
2 dozen eggs 1.28 ea.
2 gallons milk 2.50 ea.
1 box cereal 2.04
1 box pumpkin flax granola 2.98
family size fritos 3.98
family size cheetos 3.98
cornmeal 1.18
salsa 3.28
large jar ragu 3.82
2 cans baked beans 1.25 ea.
taco shells 1.14
big bag frozen french fries 3.32
ketchup 2.12
2 packs dry ranch mix ( for pasta salad) 1.32 ea.
box of 100 popcicles 3.96
can of black olives 1.16
peanut butter 3.58
parmesan cheese 2.57
Italian salad dressing 1.58
ranch salad dressing 1.46
bag of sugar 2.12
2 packs hamburger buns 1.13 ea.
2 packs hot dog buns (can't remember had to go to another store Walmart was out of them)
5 loaves of bread (1.34 for wheat , 1.13 for white)
supermega pack of diapers (Parent's Choice) 10.56
dishwasher detergent 2.72
2 - 9 packs Charmin ( I'm picky about TP) 5.00 ea.
fabric softner sheets .96
napkins 1.64
bleach 1.28
bathing suit for my daughter 8.64
2# brown rice pasta (from another store) 6.00

Grand total is about $228.00

So what do you spend on groceries?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Taking it Easy

I woke up not feeling to well today.....a little sick to my stomach. I' m glad I got some cleaning done yesterday, that I was going to hold off until today. I got the kitchen floor mopped and cleaned up the entry way to our house. At the time, we are not using our front door because the steps to it need to be rebuilt. So the only way into our house is from the garage. Yesterday I cleaned it up first by having the children put away all of their unused shoes and winter boots. I swept the landing and steps very well, scrubbed down the door, washed the rugs , and washed down the steps. It looks much more presentable. I hate having it be such a mess because that's the first thing you see in order to get into our house. Well anyway that's it for today, I'm just going to take it easy in the house today, keeping cool in the air conditioning and hopefully feeling back to normal.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Big and the Little

It's been awhile since I've posted anything on my blog. Actually I deleted and started over back in March, shortly after my computer bit the dust. God provided us a brand new computer through the generosity of my dad. I'm so greatful! I never realized how much we used it for homeschooling.

Lately it has been so neat to see how the Lord is so concerned with all aspects of our life........the big and the little. The past several months I've been looking into next year's homeschool studies. I have to admit I been causing myself a lot of stress thinking about it, but after being tired of the burden of worry and realization of the lack of control I had with certain issues ( like lack of money for curriculum) I've been taking these concerns to the Lord and He is helping. Below are some of those concerns and how the Lord has provided that need or has encouraged my spirit.



For several months I've been looking into using My Father's World curriculum. The high school curriculum, although it looks wonderful is way to expensive for us. After reviewing all the items I would need ( I'll get to that next) to make this curriculum work for my 2nd, 4th, and 7th grader I decided I would like to use it. The Lord provided the money through our Stimulas Tax Payment!

One of the items I needed to adapt this study for my 7th grader was a subscription to God's World News. Not quite a month ago I received in the mail info about subscribing to this magazine, and I never requested it! Right around the same time I went to a homeschool tea at the house of one of the ladies that I go to church with. She had no idea I was interested in this magazine which makes it all the more amazing that she started telling us about it. She also mentioned that if we wanted to subscribe as a group & got 7 or more subscriptions sent to her home, a single subscription would be $8.25 instead of $21.95! God just made it more affordable! There are different subsriptions for different grade levels. So I can now get a subscription for each of my children for about the same price as 1 subscription would have cost, not to metion the subscription for my 7th grader is for grades 6-9. I can now adapt this curriculum for my high schooler (9th grader) too.

After ordering My Father's World curriculum (Exploring Countries and Cultures) and getting it a few days ago, I was reviewing the material that should be gathered to have handy....pens, pencils, notebooks, colored pencils, old National Geographic magazines , etc. Yesterday when the children and I were visting their great grandmother I noticed a National Geographic magazine lying on her coffee table. I asked her if she had any past issues she would like to part with. She told me she just recently subscribed to the magazine and when she did she also got us a subscription! She had no idea I would be interested in this magazine but God did! He cares about all areas and aspects of our lives. The big and the little. He is good!