Friday, November 30, 2007


Jeremy and I have moved 7 times in our 9 1/2 years of marriage. In two weeks we move again, but this time it is into our very first house! We are so excited!

Through these moves I have gleaned from the knowledge of others and ended up with a few helpful tips. Hopefully they will save you some grief during your next move. I will just post a few that I think are really useful (because I need to go do some packing!).

*Buy a different color of post-it for each room. Keep a master list so you keep the colors straight. When you pack a box for a room stick a post-it of the appropriate color on it. When you get to your destination stick tons of the appropriate color by the door to each room. Your moving helpers will be able to look for the color and drop the box in the right room. Make sure to put a piece of clear packing tape over the post-it, but before you do that...

*Write a few key things that are in the box on the post-it. Don't get to detailed and waste time.

*Write a number from 1 -100 on the post-it based on how soon you will need to open that box when you arrive. You can use a number more than once. The idea is to help you prioritize when unpacking...if you go into a room start with the lower numbers and you will find the stuff that you thought you would need soonest. The higher numbers can wait. Now don't forget to put that clear packing tape over the post-it.

*Moving is a GREAT time to clean out and pare down. IF YOU DON'T LOVE IT DON'T MOVE IT! Having extra stuff that you don't care about clutters up your house and your life. You have to take time away from your family to take care of that stuff. Get rid of it. Do this as you are packing and again as you unpack.

*We knew that we were going to be moving a good bit so we bought some Rubbermaid totes a few moves ago. They have been great. They stack away easily when not in use and are great for organizing kids clothes (the clothes not being used right now). They stack up great in a moving van. You get the idea. We still have to round up a few boxes since we have acquired more stuff. But not near as many.

*Use all of your towels, washcloths, blankets, etc. to pad your stuff inside boxes.

*Use paper plates between your breakable plates. When you arrive just stack up the paper plates again and use them to eat on.

*Use tons of paper towels to wrap glasses and other breakables. When you arrive, have a bin to put all the paper towels in. You can use them as you clean for the first few weeks or months and not be out any money!

*Keep a folder of all info about your move. Every time you schedule a utility to be turned on or off print off a confirmation and keep it all together in your folder. Do this with your mail forwarding too.

For more info look at She has a whole section devoted to moving here.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Great Quote

Well, this is straight from someone else's blog, but I did not want to risk you missing it by only putting the link. This describes the kind of woman I want to be...

William Wilberforce writing about his wife:

“I believe her to be a real Christian,” he wrote, “affectionate, sensible, rational in habits, moderate in desires and pursuits, capable of bearing prosperity without intoxication, and adversity without repining.”

Friday, November 23, 2007

Favorite Christmas Books...

Well, these are my favorite Christmas books having to do with the warm and fuzzy side of Christmas. I will have to have another post at another time to mention books about the theology of Christmas.

Book Recommendation #1: Unplug the Christmas Machine. I first heard about this book in the Complete Tightwad Gazette (another favorite book of mine). It is a great book about how to really enjoy the season and do what is most important to you and your family. It has a lot of very practical suggestions and even a few recipes. You can get a used copy for $2.50 plus shipping on Amazon. It will change the way you think about the season.

Book Recommendation #2: The Twelve Blessings of Christmas. This is one of those coffee table books that is inpsiring just to look at. But, it is more than just pretty artwork. It has some really fun ideas and yummy simple recipes. A few years ago I gave a few copies as gifts. There are used copies of this one for 89 cents plus shipping on Amazon. I hope you like these as much as I do.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Rainy-Day Blues

Below I am going to print an article found in Building Her House by Nancy Wilson. I really loved the book and would recommend it!

Rainy-Day Blues by Nancy Wilson

Okay, so it's a gray day. It's drizzling outside or maybe it's even pouring rain. Maybe it's one of those days where it feels like it might rain any minute. And, I'm not talking about those glorious summer thunderstorms that are so exciting to watch from the window, but rather just a muggy, bleak, very wet day. Whatever the case, it's easy to let the drizzle creep inside. The kids are a little whiny. Nobody will eat their breakfast. Squabbles are lurking, and the atmosphere is heavy with foreboding-this will be a day of dreariness. Mom may even be a little irritable. Let's face it-everyone has days like this. And when you are a mom at home with little ones, you need to be prepared to fend off the drizzle and keep it outside. After all, God made the rain and it's good, but it doesn't belong in the house. In other words, God doesn't want his children to be drooping and moping around, rain or not.

Some people love rainy, gray weather; it makes them feel cozy and snug when it's raining outside. But for most of us, bad weather brings our spirits down while sunshine lifts them up. We feel naturally more motivated, more cheerful, and more energetic when there is blue sky. But God has told us to take heed to our spirit. We have to be alert to those things that affect us, and we have to learn how to overcome the things that tend to make us feel crabby. And moms in particular need to learn how to shepherd all the little people in the house by keeping the rain outside.

The first thing of course is to know your own frame. If you are no affected in any way by the weather, then you have a head start. And if a rainy day doesn't bring any blues to your house, then you can skip the rest of this article. Or maybe other things bring the dampness in: Dad's gone on a business trip, the grandparents just left after a wonderful visit, everyone has the flu, or maybe it's just letdown after Christmas or a birthday. Whatever the case, Mom needs to keep her own spirit in order before she can manage the kids.

Next, it is essential to know your own children. Moms really have a part in shaping their children's dispositions. The way you react to the weather teaches your children to do the same. We are creatures and not blocks of wood. The world around us affects us. We have to learn to apply wisdom in every situation and not "spiritualize" every temptation. Sometimes we need to overcome temptation by prayer and receiving grace; other times we need to put on some cheery music, open the curtains, and make a pot of coffee. God has given us the blessing of food when we are hungry, Advil when we have a headache, and Starbucks when we need a serious perk-up. We should avail ourselves of these blessings with gratitude to God our Creator, and not think we are somehow being unspiritual if we look to His creation for help and comfort.

Moms can minister to their children in similar ways. If everyone is droopy and cross, Mom may need to get creative to steer things in a more cheerful direction. First, you need to be cheerful yourself. Put some chocolate syrup in the kids' milk for breakfast-that's starting out on the right foot. Let them stay in their jammies a little longer than usual and make them a fort out of blankets in the living room. Pull out the dress-up box or the rainy-day coloring books. Bake some cookies. Be extravagant with the bubble bath and float a bowl of fruit loops in the tub with them. Make or buy some new Play-Doh and get out the cookie cutters. Use the red napkins at dinner. Put some flowers on the table. You get the idea-sometimes all that's needed is a little comfort and playfulness.

This might be fine and good with little kids, but what about the school-age kids? True, they still need to go to school or hit the books at home. But you can send them out the door cheerfully with a good breakfast and a jolly hug. And if you are schooling the kids at home, you can still light the candles and make their studies bright and pleasant by having a happy countenance and demeanor yourself. Bring them a snack or a cup of cocoa for a break. Read some poetry together. Go for a walk in the rain. Let them stomp in the puddles. Get soaked.

We know that only the Spirit of God can bring real joy and happiness to our souls. but when we find that joy challenged by dreary circumstances, we have an obligation to overcome it with a wisdom grounded in faith. "Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" (Ps. 144:15). As God's people we want to lay aside the hindrances of sin and take James's (5:13) advice: "Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms."

Put away any murmuring about the weather. It is unworthy of a Christian and a waste of time. Not only that, but it is a setup for other sins like laziness, self-pity, or envy. It only makes things worse, it distracts us away from our God-given duties, and it is mighty unproductive. Rather, we should ask God to stir up our hearts to joy and thanksgiving. This pleases him and blesses us. Ask Him to help you manage your household joyfully. And when rain brings a case of the blues, break out the good spirits and glad comfort, and let the kids slosh around in it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Your Child's Heart

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If you don't have Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp order it today! I first read this book when one of our pastors recommended it many years ago. I did not have kids then, but I bought a copy and read it while I was pregnant. Now that I have 4 kids (well, one is still in utero), I am rereading it and getting even more out of it. Granted, I can only comment on the part about kids 5 and under.

The book is great at balancing outward obedience with what is going on in your child's heart. We must lovingly, diligently, and patiently train their little hearts to be oriented toward God. Tedd Trip uses the diagram above as a very helpful illustration. Our kids caught right on when we showed it to them. "Inside the circle you are promised blessing. If you leave the circle, I have to save you and help restore you to the place that God has promised you blessing and life." We discipline our children as servants of the Lord. The goal is not to humiliate them or make them pay for embarassing us but to teach them about repentance and forgiveness.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Crazy Cough Tip

If you or a child has a cough that won't quit, give this a try. Rub a generous amount of Vicks VapoRub on the bottom of their feet and then put socks on them. I am not sure why, but it has helped with some pretty persistant coughs in our house. My Grandma always said that if she was stuck on a deserted island and could only have one medication with her she would pick Vicks Vaporub.

Sunday, November 04, 2007


This is a great blog post about the whole Dumbledore accouncement. And since I am talking Harry Potter, I just have to say that I absolutely LOVED the way the whole series ended. I could not have imagined it being any better.

Cancer Prevention

We as Christian women do not want to be fearful of disease or consumed with thoughts about how to prevent every disease we hear about. But, there is definitely nothing wrong with doing what we can to prevent disease in ourselves and those we care for. I would say it is good stewardship of that which God has given us. My Grandma was diagnosed with Breast Cancer recently and I looked and looked for a book that used natural medicine and diet IN CONJUNCTION with medical treatment. Such a book is rare indeed. Many medical books don't say diet can help very much and the books that are primarily diet related make the doctors sound like idiots. I wanted some balance. Well, I feel like I have found it. How to Prevent and Treat Cancer with Natural Medicine by Dr Murray has been a great source of balanced information while my Grandma battled cancer and now as another good friend of mine has been diagnosed. It has 3 sections: 1.Prevention 2.Treating Cancer with Natural Medicine 3. Minimizing Side Effects While Receiving Radiation and Chemo. I wanted to give you a few tips from that book for preventing cancer. He fleshes each one out quite a bit in the book. But, to keep it are his "7 Key Principles of the Cancer Prevention Diet"...

1. Eat a "rainbow" assortment of fruits and vegetables.
2. Reduce exposure to pesticides.
3. Reduce intake of meat and other animal foods.
4. Eat the right type of fats by increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Avoid high calorie, low-nutrient foods such as junk foods, candy, and soft drinks.
6. Keep salt intake low, potassium intake high.
7. Choose foods that help your body detoxify and eliminate waste.

Now, right off the bat I would like to say that we have a theology of feasting that allows me to enjoy all of God's good gifts to us with thanksgiving. Even junk food and candy bars! But, it is helpful to know what things are particularly good to avoid so that we can minimize them when possible. I am not organized enough right now to incorporate all 7 of these into our lifestyle, nor would I want to be too obsessive about obeying them. But, they are still a helpful starting point as you and I try to live a healthier life.

Friday, November 02, 2007


This is a short, but very potent blog entry about why we as Christians should NEVER complain. Anyone want to say "ouch" with me?

Birthday Pics



As promised, here are a few pictures from Aiden's birthday party. I love the first one because it captures what kind of dad Jeremy is. He really delights in his boys and I sure love him for it! Aiden is working on his handwriting and beginning reading this year and so he wanted and "A" in "A"iden...for his birthday. His aunt Becky came through with a really fun cake! She just started selling cakes in Springfield, MO and is doing a GREAT job! You name it, she can put it on a cake.
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Harley Halloweeners




Check out our cool little biker dudes!

Also, I have been on vacation to see family in Missouri for the last week. Once I crawl out from under the pile of laundry that we just unloaded, I will post some of the helpful things I have come across lately. I have been on a Nancy Wilson kick and she has loads of great things to say.
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