Saturday, December 26, 2009

Read the Bible in 90 days

Jeremy and I are doing it. Would you like to join us? This is where we saw the challenge. We are not getting the special bible that she recommends. We are planning to listen to one of the audio bibles we have while reading along in our own bibles. I've never read the bible through in such big chunks before. I'm excited about it!

*NOTE* This post is primarily for accountability. We said it here so now it is officially one of our New Year's Resolutions!

Friday, December 25, 2009

May we not so much seek...

My friend Cindy e-mailed this prayer out on Christmas day. The last part is an especially convicting challenge. May it be so of all of us!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
O God, who makes us glad by the yearly remembrance of the birth of your only
Son Jesus Christ: Grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, so
we may with sure confidence behold him when he shall come to be our Judge;
who lives and reigns with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without
end. Lord, make us instruments of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let us
sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is
darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be
loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning
that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Or...Banana Crunch Cake

If your mushy old bananas would rather be transformed into something with a terrific crumbly topping, Banana Crunch Cake is your recipe.

I got this recipe from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook. My family generally likes white flour in stuff, but they devour this cake.

1 c oat flour (I just grind up some oats in my food processor)
1 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
(Stir these together and then add other ingredients)
1/2 c butter
2/3 c brown sugar
2 eggs
3 bananas (about 1 c mashed)
1/2 c plain yogurt (or sour cream)
1 t vanilla
1/2 c chopped pecans

Mix well and pour into greased 8x8 pan. Then sprinkle on the topping:

3/4 c rolled oats
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 T butter melted
1/4 c chopped pecans
(all mixed together of course)

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until tests done in the middle. Really Yummy!

Banana Bread

It is always fun when you find your version of a classic. I mean the one that you make again and again. The one that your kids will refer to when they say, "My mom's banana bread is yummy." I have been wanting to store my favorites online. What better way than to share them with friends here!

Banana Bread
1 c sugar
1/2 c butter
2 eggs
3 or 4 bananas (about 1 1/2 c mashed)
1/2 c buttermilk (or milk with 1 T vinegar in a pinch)
1 t vanilla
2 1/2 c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda

Mix all ingredients together well and pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans or 24 greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until tests done in the middle (about 20 minutes for muffins).

It is really fun to make with this:

I got my dough wisk from King Arthur Flour. As much as I love my Kitchen Aid mixer, sometimes it is nice to just use your own muscles :0)

Friday, December 11, 2009

New Yummy Cookies

I made these terrific cookies out of my new cookbook and I highly recommend them! They have tons of oats and some pecans in them, they are really tasty, and you can keep a roll in the fridge or freezer and slice and bake them. Really handy!

Monday, December 07, 2009

The Sexton's Meet Pioneer Woman

Well, I rarely tell tales of the Sexton family on this blog. But, since this event has to do with another blogger, I thought you might like to read about it. Tonight we headed over to Borders for Pioneer Woman's book signing. These days there are not many late night outings with all the kids and so we decided that it might be fun to be crazy and stay up a little after their bedtime.



It ended up being a LOT after their bedtime! This picture was taken at 11:15. Jeremy was so sweet and helpful. I really enjoy her blog and use a lot of her yummy recipes and so it was just a fun thing to get to stand in line and wait to meet her and get a signed cookbook. It reminded me of waiting in line for a fun concert, or staying up late for something special when I was a kid. Jeremy helped me with the kids in the children's department for a while and then he had a great idea...he took them to the car to watch a Christmas movie and he read a book while I got to sit and read by myself in line. The boys had a great time, he enjoyed his book, and I enjoyed mine.

When it was almost my turn Jeremy brought the boys in to meet PW. I had told them ahead of time that this nice lady had come up with a lot of yummy recipes that I make for them sometimes. I told them that she homeschools her kiddos too and that she has little boys. I think they were a little bit excited too. And, it was fun for Jeremy to get to see the person that I enjoy reading about.

She was still smiling and so nice after almost 4 solid hours of pictures, signing, and chatting. And there were MANY other people to come after me.

I really love a lot of her recipes. I made Monkey Muffins this morning and they were really great. I have some leftovers of her Creamy Mashed Potatoes and her Chocolate Pie in my fridges. I am making her Lasagna this week for the first time. I made her Fettuccini Alfredofor lunch last week. Her Brisket is the most yummy I have ever had. Her Guacamole is the only one I have ever made at home that I really loved. Her Cinnamon Rolls are delicious. We love Iny's Prune Cake (really...you have to try it!). Her Favorite Christmas Cookies are my new favorites. My Pot Roast is her Pot Roast recipe. Her Steak Bites are amazing. Those are a few of my favorite and a good place for you to start! Print one off and go for it! Or better yet, order her cookbook. It is really fun. It has a lot of her story and stuff about their ranch, and many terrific pictures in it. It is a book and a cookbook all wrapped up in one! Yes, I know what I just said :0)

Lets Keep Christmas Commercialized?

Here is a great article by David Chilton that made me appreciate the commercialized Christmas. Everything is shifting toward simplicity and scaling down, but there are thoughts worth considering on the other side too. Whatever your Christmas looks like, I hope it is a time of rejoicing and thankfulness!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Attack on Christmas

I have not had this happen to me personally, but I have heard of other Christians getting flack about celebrating Christmas. Some say that it began as a pagan holiday, is rooted in Catholic ideas, or is idolatry. Well, I love Christmas and enjoy celebrating the coming of our Lord. I'll point you to this great collection of articles by my former pastor Jeff Meyers, in case you have anyone trying to take the joy out of your Christmas :0)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Slow

Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exaults folly.
Prov 14:29

Friday, November 27, 2009

A New Picture and a Little Update



Well, we are all settled into our house in Atlanta (Powder Spring actually). Life is busy but very fun. Jeremy is getting in a grove and really enjoying pastoring this church. And, I can honestly say that I really enjoy his preaching!

I am still trying to remember where I put everything and enjoying having a bigger kitchen. It is now much easier to let the kids "help" in there.

Aiden is 7, Alex is 5, Riley is 3, Remy is 22 months and I enjoyed taking this week off to just enjoy them. We went for our first walk on the Silver Comet Trail and that was really fun. It is nice to be outside getting fresh air!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving yesterday. As you gear up for Advent and Christmas, may the Lord bless all your hands find to do!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wow.

I can't quit looking at this. Pioneer Woman received it as gift on her book tour. The lady who gave it to her HAND FELTED it to match a picture of PW's dog. I don't have any idea how to hand felt, but it sure looks amazing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On Grace

Here is a neat post about not being so hard on ourselves, and more importantly, not judging everyone around us. This lady talks about homeschooling, but the post really applies to anyone.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Oops!

For those of you that may have wondered what I was posting earlier tonight (now deleted from this blog), here's the explanation:

I accidentally posted all my school records for the last week to this blog. I started another blog simply as a place to keep each day's work recorded. I have liked having it there, in case something happens to my hard copy. But, when I was posting them I realized that I was on the wrong blog. Sorry!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 09, 2009

Worship with little ones...are you missing out?

Here is a terrific article about worshiping with little ones in tow. It sometimes seems like we might be missing out on worship to train and help our little ones do it, but Mr. Wilson encourages us with a different view!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weight of Glory

Well, in the midst of packing with 4 little boys my spirits have not been at their highest :0). But good music sure helps! One terrific song that I wanted to share is Weight of Glory by Jamie Soles. Click here and scroll down to the song Weight of Glory (The entire album has the same name) and you can read the lyrics and listen to a sample. I love the whole album and have most of Jamie's other albums as well. Highly recommended! They made me smile and sing today!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't do everything for your kids...

This article by Mrs G is a terrific reminder to stop doing everything for our kids. The kids are happy to accomplish things, we don't have to do it all alone, and they learn their "life skills." And here is a cute way to do some photo chore cards. I did this when Aiden was little and he loved it. Why am I not doing it right now?!? I'm thankful I was reminded of this and will be putting it back into practice very soon...I hope.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Many Children Saved From Sex Trafficking

This is an article about 52 children being rescued from sex-trafficking. This was part of the Innocence Lost National Initiative. They have rescued nearly 900 children since the Initiative began in 2003. Praise the Lord!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pray for them...

Please pray for this family. The father was just killed in a bicycle accident and he left behind a wife and 7 daughters. They are faithful Christians, but this will be such a difficult time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Want. Need. Wear. Read

I first saw this link over at Simple Mom. What a terrific idea for Christmas gifts! A little direction, variety, and a check to keep things from spinning out of control! Check out Dandee's idea here. I'm not sure if we will do it, but I love the idea!

Ditch a subject you don't like?

I read on the Sonlight forums about a homeschooling mom that really wanted to ditch science with her 10 year old. Well, Colleen had a terrific comment in response:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm of two minds. On the one hand, I certainly don't think doing "formal" science (or not) at age 10 is going to make or break a kid. On the other, I cringe when homeschooling parents jump at the first chance to drop a subject that ~ surprise! ~ happens to be an area s/he doesn't partiularly enjoy. I think it's a cop-out more often than not. I also think homeschooling is a job and dropping part of one's job isn't right, imo. To that end, I'd encourage you to be more diligent about getting to the work set before you, particularly for the sake of your daughter, who considers science a favorite subject. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against interest-led learning. But I doubt much is going to happen based on your track record so I think you should make a pointed effort to keep science at the forefront of your days and apply a dose of stick-to-it-iveness.

Picky Chicken Momma?

This article is TERRIFIC! It describes how we can correct our children while pecking them to death. The alternative is to discipline and encourage them to be more godly at the same time. I don't want to be a picky chicken momma!

The Mother You Want to Be?

Here is a WONDERFUL post about being "the mother we want to be". What if you are not the mother that you wish you were? What do our children really need from us afterall?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Cloistered Homeschool Syndrome

I just read these great articles that I'd like to save here. They are by Michael Pearl and have a great deal to offer. I do not agree with every jot and tittle that the Pearls write, but I did appreciate his perspective on this issue.

Cloistered Homeschool Syndrome
Patriarchal Dysfunctional Families
The Balanced Patriarch

I have not read all of the last one yet.

Learning From Infants

Here is a great article about how children are our examples in the faith. What a great reminder!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shannon Quotes Lewis

Head on over to Shannon's Blog to read a great quote from Mere Christianity. I must finish that book...and about 100 other ones. But really, that one needs to be near the top of the pile.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

TPC Update Quotes

As I have mentioned before, Pastor Lusk sends out some great links and quotes sometimes and I like to post them here to keep track of some of my favorites. Here are two that I liked a lot:

NT Wright on how individuals and churches honor God in everyday life:

You must always come back to prayer, worship, and Bible study. Make sure that Christians are not going hollow in the middle individually or corporately. But, then let it flow out. First, focus on mission. Second, grow leadership. Third, encourage discipleship. Then, act collaboratively. That means the church helps the local education authority, the local housing committee, the police force, whatever it may be. Let’s work with everyone who we can.

Paul Tripp on reconciliation:

The shattered relationship between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit at the cross provides the basis for our reconciliation. No other relationship ever suffered more than what Father, Son, and Holy Spirit endured when Jesus hung on the cross and cried, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ Jesus was willing to be the rejected Son so that our families would know reconciliation. Jesus was willing to become the forsaken friend so that we could have loving friendships. Jesus was willing to be the rejected Lord so that we could live in loving submission to one another. Jesus was willing to be the forsaken brother so that we could have godly relationships. Jesus was willing to be the crucified King so that our communities would experience peace

Friday, October 02, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Easy Peasy Bread in the Food Processor

I made this terrific bread yesterday and it was SO EASY! If you have a food processor, then get it out and make this today! It only has 4 ingredients.

*My personal note* I did not have an instant read thermometer. I just used a meat thermometer and figured it out. I am sure it was not precise, but the bread worked out just fine.

Enjoy!

The Butterfly Circus

CLICK the large box in the bottom right to make it full screen. Otherwise you will be missing part of the picture.



Here is a website with more info about the man with no limbs. He has an amazing story.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Yummy Apple Treat

I just made this Apple Cake in an Iron Skillet for a fun afternoon snack and it sure was yummy! The only bummer is that I did not have any vanilla ice cream to go with it. But, a tall glass of milk was not a bad side kick.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eschatology (study of the end times) affect on parenting

Here is a terrific article about how having an eschatology of hope affects how we look at our job of parenting. We are not fighting a losing battle, but equipping soldiers in Christ's Army! Thanks, Lori!

How to Clean your Bathroom in 3 1/2 minutes!

Should I be embarrassed that this was really inspiring for me? I want to get that handy little toilet brush that she was using.


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Shannon's great post

Here is a great post by my friend Shannon about siblings being friends. I give it a hearty, "AMEN!"

Monday, August 31, 2009

Suffering

Francois Fenelon wrote, "The more we fear to suffer, the more we need to do so." Suffering is part of the Christian life, modeled by Jesus Christ himself, who suffered immeasurable in his service to God.

A quote within a quote from Sacred Marriage

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Perks

Here is a link to a super post about being a stay at home mom. Sometimes there are a lot of tedious tasks that go with the job description, but this post talks about some terrific perks. Take a look!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Marrying Young

Here is a great post at Femina about marring young. I posted a comment and Natalie linked to it, so I thought I might share my thoughts here too. Here is my comment:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My husband and I were 19 and 20 when we got married and I am so glad we did. We have grown up together!

My husband addressed this topic recently and mentioned objection #1 (financial issues). He said that some parents would rather their child struggle with sexual temptation than have any financial struggles. While we both agree that there needs to be a plan financially, it is not the end of the world to have to work hard to make ends meet. I would rather be frugal together than struggle with sexual temptation while trying to wait for cushy finances.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Prayer

In the last six months or so, I have been reminded of the importance of diligent, ongoing prayer (including making time for confession of sin). I have been working on learning how to be a better "pray-er". So, it is especially timely that I should come across these terrific quotes:

John Henry Newman:
Prayer is to the spiritual life what the beating of the pulse and the drawing of the breath are to the life of the body.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Martin Luther:
As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Terry Glaspey:
Prayer is a work to which we must commit ourselves if we are to make sense of our lives in the light of eternity.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I sure love good quotes!

A few quotes I found in Sacred Marriage...
~~~~~~~~~~~
John Owens:
The person who understands the evil in his own hear is the only person who is useful, fruitful, and solid in his beliefs and obedience. Others only delude themselves and thus upset families, churches, and all other relationships. In their self-pride and judgment of others, they show great inconsistency.
~~~~~~~~~~~
J.C. Ryle:
What is the reason that some believers are so much brighter and holier that others? I believe the difference, in 19 cases out of 20, arises from different habits about private prayer. I believe that those who are not eminently holy pray little, and those who are eminently holy pray much.
~~~~~~~~~~~
Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III:
Marriage requires a radical commitment to love our spouses as they are, while longing for them to become what they are not yet. Every marriage moves either toward enhancing one another's glory or toward degrading each other.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some great marriage quotes...

Thanks to Pastor Lusk for these quotes...

Gary Thomas:

A good marriage is not something you find, it’s something you work for. It takes struggle. You must crucify your selfishness. You must at times confront, and at other times confess. The practice of forgiveness is essential….

Christianity does not direct us to focus on finding the right person; it calls us to become the right person…

~~~~~~~~~~~~

James Whitehead:

In our marriage we tell the next generation what sex and marriage and fidelity look like to Christians. We are prophets, for better and for worse, of the future of Christian marriage.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elton Trueblood:

[Family life] has no magic about it. The family can be the scene of wonderful affection and it can also be the scene of debasing friction. The family…is our fairest ideal, but it does not come without effort. Family solidarity takes hard work, much imagination, and constant self-criticism on the part of all the members of the sacred circle. A successful marriage is not one in which two people, beautifully matched, find each other and get along happily ever after because of this initial matching. It is instead a system by means of which persons who are sinful and contentious are so caught by a dream bigger than themselves that they work throughout the years, in spite of repeated disappointment, to make the dream come true.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Little School Update

I have moved a few things around a bit in our schooling and thought I would make a "little" post about it. I promise, it won't be out of control like that last one about school was!

We are now in a groove so that on a "normal day" we are done with school by 12:00. I LOVE THIS! I am doing Kindergarten with Alex (which amounts to teaching him to read, a math workbook, and lots of real books) and 1st grade with Aiden.

For Aiden I started using The Story of the World for history and I like it a lot! I still use Sonlight too, and have found that they compliment each other very well. So, the short list of Aiden's first grade is (times are approximate:0)

Leading Little Ones to God (10 minutes- all 4 kids together)

Sing the Word: A New Commandment (Scripture Memory CD- 5 minutes-sing once well and then dance)

Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading
(20 minutes)

Singapore Math (15 minutes)

First Language Lessons (10 minutes)

The Complete Writer (15 minutes)

Story of the World Volume 1
and Activity Book (20 minutes-I read a short section while the 3 big kids color a page from the activity book that goes with my reading. I also try to do some of the extra activities in the afternoons sometimes)

Sonlight Core 1-World History part 1 (20 minutes- I just read the books to them. I save the read aloud chapter books to read to them before bed. They love that!)

Daily Geography (5 minutes)

Italics Handwriting (5 minutes)

Misc Art and Music stuff (going on here and there throughout the week)

How to be a Good Wife

I was looking at some books in the thrift store last week and I came across a book entitled How to Get Your Husband to Talk to You. Well, Jeremy is very sweet about making time to talk to me and is a great listener, but I picked it up anyway to read the blurb on the back. One little section said this:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Develop thicker skin. (This alone is worth the price of the book. It will be your husband's favorite thing you've ever done...well almost!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
That made me shell out the $2.75 for the book and I am so glad that I did. I think the book should actually be called How to be an Amazing Christian Wife! It is chock full of short little chapters (1-3 pages) on different ways to be a blessing to your husband and just be a better christian woman. These authors do not beat around the bush. We are responsible for every look, tone, and word that we use. By making those things positive and kind (instead of frustrated or cold) it lifts a burden off of our husbands and they begin to feel closer to us and...talk.

I highly recommend this book. If you are in a happy marriage or a struggling marriage there is something here for you. And, the short chapters makes it very "mom friendly". Just read a few pages when you have time. There are some cheap used ones on Amazon. I will leave you with the content of one of the chapters.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chapter 41 Introduce Mystique

Just saying the word leaves you with a sense of wonder, doesn't it? A woman of mystique is a rarity, and certainly a bit of mystery surrounds the few who possess this quality. Nothing will quite get your husbands attention or cause him to want to talk to like this will.

A woman of mystique has an allure, and aura that's hard to define. She is open and warm and conducts herself with dignity and poise. She exudes a quiet confidence that isn't dependent on others' thoughts or opinions of her. She seems to know who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. She is positive and accepting of herself and others. Discipline, which often sounds boring and staid, is a cornerstone of her life. Yet she's not rigid or legalistic.

There is a fragrance about this woman that draws you to her. she seems to understand that people talk about what's important to them. Perhaps it is the way that she listens and responds. She has a way of making you feel singled out and special and responds in a manner that is uplifting and encouraging.

She has an unmistakable presence yet isn't brazen or provocative. Her beauty goes beyond the clothes she wears or the accessories that accompany them. A complete lady in every way, you sense by the way that she throws back her head and laughs that there is another side to her that is reserved for a select few.

She is a walking juxtaposition. She seems to be make of tenderness and steel at the same time. She exhibits graciousness at every turn yet is firm in her resolve and is uncompromising. She is not oblivious to problems, nor does she bury her head in the sand. She maintains a calm assurance that all will be well. She doesn't wring her hands in the face of adversity but has an abiding faith that comforts all around her.

Is she perfect? No. Is she fallible? Absolutely. Does she allow herself to be vulnerable? Of course. Does she err? No doubt. But at her core is a woman who wants to please God. This is what makes up the warp and woof of her life, and what sets her apart from those women who simply reflect worldly mystique.

While the daily rut of life can be the comfortable path to take, the magnetism and attraction that once was characteristic of your marriage can be slowly leached a way. Allowing God into your life, and the process of growth as you walk with him, will revitalize and renew you and refresh your marriage. This won't happen all at once, because it is a process that occurs over time as a woman allows God more and more control of her life. When a woman reflects God in her life, her husband may be changed without her every saying a word. This is a work of God. And she will experience a brightened countenance and a richer walk as she journeys through life with the One who made her.

Begin today to become a woman of mystique. Pray, hope, have faith, love. Place your hope and confidence in God, and become the woman he meant for you to become. This will undoubtedly pique your husband's interest, and he will wonder what's happening to you-and he will be thrilled to find out!

I needed this!

I was just telling Jeremy that I needed some fun ideas for things to do with the boys inside. My creative juices were just not flowing! Well, I found this great article in my Google Reader this morning and it is just what the Dr ordered. I hope it helps you out today too! It is 20 Indoor Activities for Kids- besides TV. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Funny Riley


Tonight Riley was throwing a basketball up in the air (a few inches) and then catching it again. He said, “I’m able to do that! I’m a teenager!!” He is 3.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday



Happy 31st Birthday to a husband who makes his wife (and kids :0) very happy! I am so thankful that you are mine.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

An "interesting" thought

Click here to read the full article. What follows is a little tidbit, the the entire short article is worth your time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of the challenges my wife and I faced in our marriage centered around ice cube trays. Lisa rarely filled them back up, so when I pulled out a tray it might have just two or three ice cubes left. This frustrated me no end. So one time when my wife was talking romantically, telling me she would love me forever, I replied, “I don’t need you to love me forever. I need you to love me for seven seconds.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked.

“Well, I timed how long it takes to fill the ice cube trays and put them in the freezer, and that’s about seven seconds..”

The next morning, however, it dawned on me while I was praying that if it takes my wife just seven seconds to fill the ice cube trays, how long does it take me? Seven seconds, naturally. And the question I believe God placed in my heart was piercing: Is my love so shallow that I would seriously resent my wife putting me out for seven seconds’ worth of work? After all of her love and commitment to me, am I so spiritually immature that I grow angry at seven extra seconds of lost labor?

The sad answer was, “Yes, I am that immature.”

(I skipped a bit at this point for brevity)

With this new approach to marriage, instead of blaming Lisa for failing to refill the ice cube trays, I could see this “intrusion on my time” as a divine spotlight on my own selfishness, a God-given gift designed to mold me into the image of His beloved Son.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ouch!

The Mystery of Marriage

I mentioned The Mystery of Marriage a while back. Well, I just finished it and I have to say I was not disappointed! It was terrific! It is not so much a how to manual or full of *advice*, but rather a book that fleshes out all that marriage IS. I highly recommend this book. I will be posting more quotes soon, but for now I will leave you with this:

pg 153
Rightness, whenever it seeks to dominate, becomes wrongness, no matter how right it may be.

So we give in to God because he is strong and good, and we give in to others because they are weak and sinful (me here: he explained earlier that they NEED our love and support), and in the final analysis there are only two parites to whom we must not give in, and those two are ourselves and the Devil.

We're back!





We are back from a two week trip to Missouri. It was very fun and full! I was in Southwest Missouri with the kids (seeing family) and Jeremy was 3 hours away in St Louis most of the time. He has spent the last semester learning Hebrew. He tested out and got 6 hours of Seminary credit (96% on the test!). Way to go honey!

He also took a week long class at Covenant Seminary and so my friend Meredith drove back to Birmingham with me. We are at the St Louis Zoo in the picture above.

The family picture was taken at a family wedding. The Superman picture was taken in Metropolis, IL; The Home of Superman! The boys were pretty pumped about that one.

It's nice to be back home!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Can't we all just get along?

I found this quote over at Femina and I thought it worth posting here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“There is a day coming, and it cannot be far from us, in which we shall meet lovingly in heaven, and sit at one feast: full fruition of God shall be the feast, and peace and love the sweet music that shall sound to it; and what folly it is for us to fight here who shall feast there!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Guacamole

Here is a terrific recipe for guacamole. I have never had mine come out *just right*, but this one sure did. Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Beef Brisket

I made Pioneer Woman's Beef Brisket tonight and my husband said it is the best meat he has ever had in his life. I think he was really hungry at the time too so that helped that compliment along:0) But, this recipe is great, feeds a lot of people, is very easy, and does not require much last minute attention.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

You are what you eat?

An apple a day...

makes you a Super Hero!

I don't know what they ate here...

but it made them silly!

Cupcakes make you...

cute when you put the liner on your head!

Hard to be a Housewife?

It can be crazy being a stay at home mom sometimes, but we have to admit, we've got it pretty good. Check out this job description of a housewife from the middle ages. I found it in Archers, Alchemists, and 98 Other Medieval Jobs You Might Have Loved or Loathed. Thanks Lori for giving it to me!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Housewife
You get up before sunrise to prepare meals, work with the men in the field, grow and harvest vegetables, gather wild nuts and berries,store food for winter, spin wool into yarn, weave cloth and make clothes for the family, milk the cow, make butter and cheese, gather eggs, clean house, collect the family's urine to sell to the tanner, nurse the baby, carry water, brew ale, make candles, and drop into bed with it's too dark to do anything more. You don't have time or energy to play with the children; you need them to help as soon as they can walk and talk. Sounds horrible, doesn't it? But hard physical work can be very satisfying and the housewife's tasks were often enjoyable in themselves. People today do many of the same things as hobbies. The housewife of the Middle Ages had no let-up, though. Her successes and failures affected the whole family.

The Mystery of Marriage

In the following quote from The Mystery of Marriage Mike Mason draws out the beauty of how marriage is the ultimate example of "iron sharpening iron."
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What is most unique about the tenacious fidelity of marriage is that it allows for such a really brutal amount of "sharpening" to take place, yet in the gentlest way imaginable. Who ever heard of being sharpened against a warm, familiar body of loved flesh? Only the Lord could have devised such an awesomely tender and heartwarming means for men and women to be made into swords. Yet for all its gentleness, marriage is still a fire and a sword itself, a fire which brands, and a sword which inflicts a wound far deeper than any arrow of Cupid. For it is a wound in a person's pride, in a place which cannot be healed, and from the moment a man and woman first stand transfixed in one another's light they will begin to feel this wound of marriage opening up in them. The Lord God made woman out of part of man's side and closed up the place with flesh, but in marriage He reopens this empty, aching place in man and begins the process of putting the woman back again, if not literally IN the side, then certainly AT it: permanently there, intrusively there, a sudden lifelong resident of a space which until that point the man will have considered to be his own private territory, even his own body. But it marriage he will cleave to the woman, and the woman to him, the way his own flesh cleaves to his own bones.

Just so, says the Lord, do I Myself desire to invade your deepest privacy, binding you to Me all your life long and even into eternity with cords of blood.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Ducks and Moms

I posted a link to this article a while back, but I just had to "re-post" it. The article is called What a Mother Must Sacrifice. What a great picture and challenge for all of us moms.

Organizing Life

Simple Mom had a great post entitled Steps for Organizing...Life. I highly recommend it! It is so hard to stay on top of it all; especially with some little ones underfoot. This post gives some great tips and a place to jump in and get started.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Grief Observed

My good friend Lori has a wonderful way with words and she KNOWS her books! Here is a link to her post, but I copied a bit of it here.
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A Grief Observed

C.S. Lewis's true love came to him late in life in the person of Joy Gresham and though they had only been married for 4 years when she lost her battle with cancer, he was deeply and permanently affected. Only the hardest of hearts could not be moved by the thoughts and emotions he conveys in this brief journal. Though it's brevity makes for a quick and easy read, it is nevertheless a profound and soul-stirring account of one man's journey of faith through a dark valley.

*Brandy here...this is where the quote from the book begins.

Feelings, and feelings, and feelings. Let me try thinking instead. From the rational point of view, what new factor had H.'s death introduced into the problem of the universe? What grounds has it given me for doubting all that I believe? I knew already that these things, and worse, happened daily. I would have said that I had taken them into account. I had been warned - I had warned myself - not to reckon on worldly happiness. We were even promised sufferings. They were a part of the program. We were even told, "Blessed are they that mourn," and I accepted it. I've got nothing that I hadn't bargained for. Of course it is different when the thing happens to oneself, not to others, and in reality, not in imagination. Yes; but should it, for a sane man, make quite such a difference as this? No. And it wouldn't for a man whose faith and whose concern for other people's sorrows had been real concern. The case is too plain. If my house has collapsed at one blow, that is because it was a house of cards. The faith which "took these things into account" was not faith but imagination. The taking them into account was not real sympathy. If I had really cared, as I thought I did, about the sorrows of the world, I should not have been so overwhelmed when my own sorrow came. It has been an imaginary faith playing with innocuous concerns labelled "Illness," "Pain," "Death," and "Loneliness." I thought I trusted the rope until it mattered to me whether it would bear me. Now it matters, and I find I didn't.
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*Brandy again. This made me think of another article I read recently (I can't remember where) about doing battle with our tears. The writer said that too often we cry for ourselves, but God gave us tears to cry for others. We are to feel others pain and cry out to God to hear and answer. Abortion. Murder. Rape. Persecution. The scriptures talk about "crying out to the Lord" and Him hearing and answering. May we truly feel and enter into the pain of others. Then when our own troubles come we will be more prepared, having truly carried the burdens of others who have gone before us.

Sum Sum Summertime!




I can see "future men" in these little guys!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to deal with Immodesty

Here is an interesting post about how to deal with immodestly dressed women in the church. There are some interesting thoughts here. I especially appreciated her pointing out that sometimes the one critiquing the inappropriately dressed has a bigger problem...compulsively pointing out others faults!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No suffering?

Here is an interesting post about how we Sanitize the Suffering out of our Lives.

Streams in the Desert

I have been meaning to type some of these wonderful words out for quite some time. Streams in the Desert has been around for while and I came across a large print edition at the thrift store. I am so glad I snatched it up because it is full of rich little lessons based on the scriptures. Here are a few little snippets:
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What Jesus gathered into his life from His prayers we can never know; but this we do know, that the prayerless life is a powerless life. A prayerless life may be a noisy life, and fuss around a great deal; but such a life is far removed from Him who, by day and night, prayed to God.
Part of June 6th entry
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The strength of the vessel can be demonstrated only by the hurricane, and the power of the gospel can be fully shown only when the Christian is subjected to some fiery trial. If God would make manifest the fact that "He giveth songs in the night," He must first make it night. William Taylor
Part of June 7th with scripture reference from Job 35:10

Neat little story

My good friend Jennifer shared a bit about her trip to visit her mom in PA. This little story was touching to me and I thought you might like to hear it. May we all be like this generous man~
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I took mom on an errand to pick up some planting flowers from a local family-run greenhouse one afternoon. The man who owns the place was so respectful of Mom. He asked about her family, and he listened with great interest to her answers about all her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren as they walked around his greenhouse choosing what she would buy. When it came time to pay, she pulled out $30, and he only let her pay $10. He said, “I’ve had a good year, and I’ve learned that giving a little comes back 10,000 times.” So we left with $30 worth of flowers for $10 and a feeling of God’s blessing. The greenhouse man also kept telling Mom how glad he was she would plant and enjoy the flowers. It turns out this same man had once come to visit mom last year when she was sick and the furnace was broken. He spent several hours there working on the furnace, and wouldn’t let her pay him. So it made me glad to see that God had placed such a generous person in Mom’s path who understands what it means to love your neighbor or to care for the widows among you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Our Homeschooling Curriculum

I said a while back that I wanted to type out all we are using this year for school. I wanted to do this for my own record and, since I always enjoy reading what other people are doing, I thought someone might like to see our plan. There is nothing "polished" about this post, but here it is :0)

We have Aiden (6) in 1st grade, Alex (almost 5) dabbling in Kindergarten, Riley (3) reading along, and Remy (16 months) getting into everything and making things interesting. I wrapped up Aiden's kindergarten in May. Since we were finally in a groove and were excited to receive our new materials we just kept right on going and started 1st grade. I take a week or two off when we need to for travel or just a break. But, I am glad that we kept going because when we move to Atlanta it will be nice to be able to take some time off since we will be ahead. A note about Alex: he says that he wants to do school, but he is just going to be 5 in August. If at any point he starts thinking school is yucky then we'll wait for official Kindergarten to be a year from now. I will probably continue to teach him how to read, but I am not going to push him on the other stuff. I like my boys to have plenty of time to run around and spend the day making mud pies before they have to settle into a school routine until they are 18. Aiden turned 6 just after we started his Kindergarten and I will likely wait with the others, too.

Our school schedule goes something like this:

We read the bible lesson for the day during breakfast. We just started doing this recently and I like it a lot. I clean up from breakfast and the boys get dressed and brush their teeth. I pick up a bit while they play around and get some energy out. I play the scripture memory song while they dance around and sing.

I put Remy down for a nap and read a few books to Riley (3) while Aiden and Alex play downstairs. Then I read a few books to Alex (4) and do his reading lesson while Riley and Aiden play downstairs. Finally I read a few books to Aiden (6), do his math lesson, and his reading lesson while Alex and Riley play downstairs. This is the toughest time because Riley and Alex fight more when it is their turn to be together. I frequently have to holler down to them and tell them to play apart from one another so I can finish with Aiden. When I say read a few books to each boy above I mean that I read anything they choose (unless it is too long). This is just a time to have with each one (on their terms) to start the day off right. I think it has really helped Riley (3) since I have started doing it this way. He gets time with mom first thing!

At this point I get all three big boys on the couch (Remy is still sleeping) and we read our Sonlight books all together. Even Riley (3) likes them. I do let him get down if the reading gets too long. The boys can hold something if they need to fiddle a bit, but I try to encourage them to stay still and pay attention.

After we finish reading I let them play a bit, get lunch, get Remy up, and we all eat. Then everyone washes up and plays a few more minutes while I clean up from lunch. At about 1:00 the three big boys all have rest time. Riley goes to sleep and the other two can look at books, play with legos, use the art bag or something like that. Remy is about to go to one nap so then they will all 4 be down at once! That will be a nice little breather in the middle of the day :0)

After about a hour of rest time I get Aiden up and do his Language Lessons or Writing (depending on the day), and handwriting. When rest time is over I do any art or music I have left to do. Remy goes down for his 2nd nap at 3:00 and the rest of the day is free until it's time to pick up before dinner. We are usually doing the last bit of school around 3:00, but it is very spread out during the day. None of it is in long stretches.

As for the materials we use...

We have followed The Well Trained Mind a good bit in the language arts. I initially thought it was a bit more rigid than I wanted to be. However, the more I looked at it the more I liked it. It is very flexible, customizable, and fun! But, the main reason I like it is that it is very thorough while remaining all the things I just said. I have used the book as a helpful guide instead of trying to do every single thing it suggests. It is a terrific resource and very user friendly. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Reading: The Ordinary Parents Guide to Teaching Reading I had this book early on and I ended up selling it and using Sing Spell Read and Write. I am glad I did that because it was really fun for the boys in learning letter sounds and blending. But once Aiden knew those things he got really tired of all the workbook pages in SSRW. He just did not need THAT much practice. And, he had trouble writing as much as that curriculum required. I did not want to hold back his reading while waiting for his motor skills to catch up. So, once he was reading three letter words pretty well, I switched back to OPGTR and I have loved it! It is short and sweet and full of meaty lessons. Everything you need is right in that book. And, Aiden loves it, too!

Language Arts: First Language Lessons. Again, I did not know what I thought about this when I first looked at it because it is so scripted. But, it is so easy to make it conversational and customize it. I have loved this book. Each lesson takes about 10-15 minutes and introduces them to parts of speech, punctuation, memorization, narration, etc.

Writing: Writing with Ease: The Complete Writer. Now this is a workbook that goes with a hardback book by the same name. The hardback book has all that you need for writing lessons for 1-4 grade. I recommend reading the intro material in that book to "get on the same page" as Susan Wise Bauer about writing instruction and see where she is headed. But, after I read that, I have not picked up the hardback book since. The workbook is meant to be all you need to follow the instructions in the hardback book. It provides passages to narrate and use as copywork. It has the instructions for each lesson right in the workbook. It truly stands alone. The reason I love this writing program is that it requires very little writing! The author explains that a big part of writing is being able to summarize the thoughts in your head and know the mechanics of writing. Once you can do those things you are able to focus on content more. So, these lessons are full of narration that the parent copies down for the child, and copywork that is very short. The idea is to train them in the art of writing, not have them write a ton at this age.

Math: Singapore Math We started off with Math U See but it was not working for us. I know many families that love it and I thought I would, but Singapore has been just what we were looking for. It is very good at teaching how math applies to life. Singapore teaches each concept from many angles so there is a thorough understanding before moving on. It does not have tons of drill so we may need to supplement with flashcards, but I really love this math program.

I have mentioned Sonlight, but I have not really explained what it is. Sonlight is a terrific company that uses real books (not text books). They publish an instructor guide that organizes all the books so that they flow in order through history or through a certain subject. They pick the best of the best literature and weave it all together to make a curriculum. I just buy their "Core" package which includes their instructors guide and all the books you will need. I love that most of what I am buying is books to fill our kids shelves for years to come. The core I get has history, geography, read aloud books, and some age appropriate readers. One of the great things about this is that there is a wide range of ages that can use each core. When I read the Sonlight part of Aiden's 1st grade, Alex and Riley pile on and get involved too. Look here to see the books we are using right now. Click "View 37 items included with this package" on that page and it will list every book. *Note* They use usborne books and so I have to go through and draw a bit of clothing on some of the people! Also, they have an interesting article with 27 reasons NOT to buy Sonlight here.

Bible: Leading Little Ones to God This is the recommendation from Sonlight for 1st grade and it is excellent. It is very readable and tackles some very hard topics. The music CD is Sing the Word! A New Commandment and has scripture set to music word for word from different translations (depending on what worked for each song). The music is fun and catchy and I love it. There was one for Kindergarten called Sing the Word from A to Z that we liked a lot too.

Handwriting: Italics This is a new one for me, but I am really enjoying it. It is fairly easy for the little ones to write and the transition from print to cursive is the easiest around. My handwriting leaves much to be desired so I started with book E and am trying to get better!

Art: Come Look With Me This is a series that has famous paintings in big color prints and asks engaging questions of the kids. They have been great conversations starters. I do one page of this on Monday afternoon. We just look at the picture on the couch and I casually ask them the questions. Then there is a paragraph that tells about the picture and the artist.

Also, Discovering Great Artists I have not started using it yet. Check it out though. It is a great idea and easy to use.

For music I have just been trying to play an hour or two of classical music on Tuesday afternoon (or more if I remember!). I just got Simply Music for Aiden. He would like to learn the violin and the piano, but we are going to start on the piano and then add the violin a little later. This kid likes music!

Science. Exploring Creation with Astronomy We are not using this yet either. I have read some to the boys and they did like it. But, I felt that we had a full plate and wanted to wait at least until the fall to start using this. I also got this kit that has everything you need for all the experiments. Very helpful!

Lastly, I put a cooking category on my planning sheet. I want to let each boy help me (by himself) while I cook or bake something once per week. I don't get it done every week, but at least it is on my sheet, staring me in the face :0)

I try to get all our school done if 4 days. I do not get every single thing done every day. If that happens I just erase it and write in on the next day. It is not the end of the world. I try to be disciplined, but not stressed out about school. I want to have a routine and teach the kids that they have to do certain things, but I also want them to see me being flexible.



Here is a picture of one week's planning sheet. I try to fill one of these out on Friday or Saturday for the next week. I change it during the week, but it is nice to start off with a plan. As I mentioned above, Sonlight sends me an instructor's guide with everything printed on it. But, I found that when I used that it was hard for me to organize my other things on the sheet. So I use their outline, hand copy it to a blank page, and write my other categories on it. I will talk about filing another day!

I hope some of this has been helpful! It was nice for me to get it out of my head and in print. Thanks for indulging me and enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Some othe great quotes

The ladies in our church are reading The Power of a Woman's Words. I have to say that it has been really great and given me a lot to apply to my own life! Here are a few quotes nestled in that I liked a lot...

page 102: Alice Miller has a good rule of thumb for correction: "If it is very painful for you to criticize your friends you are safe in doing it. But if you take the slightest pleasure in it, that is the time to hold your tongue."

page 103: The philosopher Goethe remarked, "One has only to grow older to become more tolerant. I see no fault that I might not have committed myself."

So true...and convicting

A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another's.

-Jean Paul Richter

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

What do you do to your husband?

I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.

~Charles Schwab

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Snopes Anyone?

I love Snopes. I use it every time I get an e-mail that I am not sure about. Well, here is the story behind Snopes...who runs it and how they do it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

My Child's Salvation

My friend Shannon wrote a terrific post that I just had to link to. She calls it Faith of a Reformed Child. This is a great little summary of how we view our children's salvation.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Day In The Life

Here is a great article about a "Day in the Life" of Susan Wise Bauer as she homeschools her kids. It is funny and encouraging. There are links at the top to other similar articles when her kids where different ages.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Be Mindful of the Other Mothers

We are thankful for mothers who
allow sticky fingers and fistfuls of clover
let chocolate fingers go everywhere
celebrate beating on pots and pans
tickle and encourage puddle jumping

We are mindful for mothers who
look at photographers behind barbed wire,
can’t buy their children new shoes
have nightmares in the daytime
who are not spoiled by anyone

We are thankful for mothers who
have endless supplies of Band-aids
handle tantrums with grace
give gentle reminders that dirty clothes do not go under the bed
always have time for an extra hug and kiss

We are mindful for mothers who
live in an X-rated world
don’t have rooms to tidy up
live with real monsters
will eat anything

We are thankful for mothers who
endure homework and deadlines
spend frugally
dry tears and make us laugh
make even the smallest things seem special

We are mindful for mothers who
have never seen the dentist
go to bed hungry
cry themselves to sleep
inhale and exhale, numb the whole time

We are thankful for mothers who
read to us in silly voices
sing loudly and off key
carry us when we are tired
protect us from strangers

We are mindful for mothers who
don’t have a place to call home
can’t buy their daughter a prom dress
walk or ride the bus every day to get to work
are born in places where conditions are tragic

We are thankful for mothers who
teach us that our body is a temple
give us freedom to express ourselves
help us see that death is the other side of life
allow us to absorb gratitude as a habit

We are mindful for mothers who
never give up, no matter what
hold their own hands when there is nothing else
don’t get a second chance
hold their heads higher to be closer to heaven


I came across this poem here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Vaccines?

What do you all think of this? We have vaccinated our kids, but I ask for them not to get any in the hospital. I wait until they are a month or two old to start them (just to let them get beefed up a bit first). This video did make me ask some of those old questions again. It may be that for 99% of children it all works out fine. Vaccines have helped save many children from diseases that used to be common and devastating. But I wonder how common things like this are. Any thoughts?

Appreciation For Dirty Socks

I am fully convinced that we need to teach our kids how to pick up after themselves and have good habits. However, I just got the following quote from a Sonlight e-mail and I needed to hear this today:0)
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Cherish the Opportunity You Have to Serve Your Family

Note: Today is laundry day, and as I fold the seemingly endless mountain, I can't help but remember all the time I have wasted over the last 25 years, resenting the dirt, noise and chaos that my kids have brought into my life.

You see, next week I will drive my son to the airport and put him on a plane to Germany. For two years. As I put yet another pair of stinky socks in the washer, I realize what I would give to be able to keep doing his laundry.

I know we need to teach our kids to pick up after themselves, cook, and basically help around the house, but I know, at least for me, I often spent more time resenting the fact that things didn't get done, the way I thought they should get done, when I thought they should be done, than it would have taken me to just do them. Once I let that resentment go, and realized that this was an opportunity to serve my family, I became a much happier person.

I just wanted to remind those of you who are still in the middle of all the mess that one day those precious mess-makers will be gone. Live your life today so that, one day, in the future, you can look back and not have regrets. When you fold those socks, remind yourself that someday, those socks won't be there. And be grateful for the time you do have with your little ones. — Brenda in GA

Monday, May 18, 2009

My 3 big boys



I just had to share this sweet picture with you. It doesn't get much better than this.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pioneer Woman's Lodge

Anyone who would like to take a little tour of Pioneer Woman's Lodge...look here at Pastor Ryan's blog. It is fun to see a little more of where she is working when she creates some of her yummy food!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Sunrise

This is by Jeremy Weese, a student at Covenant Theological Seminary:

A friend recently asked me how I live in a world, in a life that is punctuated by suffering, failure and pain. (I was injured in a fall when I was fourteen, which left me paralyzed from the waist down). I thought a while about it, and responded simply, “The sunrise.”

Click here to read the rest of his answer.

*This blog is from our old church in St Louis. Pastor Lee has a lot of great things to say here!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Toy Experiment

I have been trudging along with Simple Mom as she has been spring cleaning. Every day she links over to Mandi at Organizing Your Way who fleshes things out a bit. Well, OYW had some great tips for toys and I liked this one a lot...
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Conduct Your Own Toy Experiment

Marci from Overcoming Busy conducted “The Great Toy Experiment” at Christmas time. She packed up most of her kids toys and created an art room for them instead, keeping out just a few favorite toys. To her surprise, her children barely even noticed the change, and the struggle she expected over her decision to minimize the toy clutter never happened. To this day, her kids play better without the toys that had been cluttering their home before.

Consider taking a more drastic approach to the toy clutter and packing up many of the toys to be stored in the basement. There may be a few you need to pull back out, but maybe your kids will surprise you too and play better with less.
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I have been paring down a lot in the toy department, but I think I am going to give "The Experiment" a try.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Diet of Rice?

Check out this short little story about a guy and his new bride. What do you think he should do? *Make sure to read it to the end...

In Memory of Jeffrey

We have been praying for my friend Lori as her brother has fought cancer for the last 8 months. He went to be with the Lord a few days ago. His mother made this beautiful tribute to remember him. I thought I would share it with you here. Please pray for his family. He leaves behind a wife and three young children.

Pondering Death...

Here is an excellent post by my friend Anna. It is a bit of a book review and also a little devotional in itself.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Reversal

Here is a quote from this Washington Post article (I did not read the whole article):
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Parents lack confidence in their instincts and in their judgment. Previous generations had no trouble making hard and fast rules. Parents in those days looked like and conducted themselves as adults and role models; kids and teenagers wanted to grow up and get the perks of adult life as soon as possible. Therapists see the inverse today. There are lots of parents who are uncomfortable with their grownup role and want to be young again; their kids don’t want to grow up, or wish to postpone it as long as possible.
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I originally saw the link here and the post here.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Are You Lady Like?

Here is a great one on How to be a Lady. I like this blog a lot.

Girls and Friends

Here is a great one over at Femina about when friendships are headed in the wrong direction. There is a lot of great advice here!

Timberdoodle and Motherhood

I get e-mails from timberdoodle from time to time. They always have something worth reading. Here is the text from one I got today.

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Dear Friends, (and moms in particular),

May is the month in which we celebrate the role of motherhood. While cards and TV ads are extolling the virtues of moms, and it is tempting to bask in this annual adulation, instead consider the question, "Why do you love your children?"

God's Love for the Jewish nation
Recently our family listened to a sermon by Tim Keller explaining Deuteronomy 7, wherein God declares His love for the Jewish nation. He does this not because of what they had done, but because of who He is, graciously keeping His promise to a thousand generations.

A Mom's Love for all her children
Do your children have that same assurance of your love? Would you dare to ask them to list the reasons that you love them? Trust me, you want to fail that test. The longer the list, the more you as a mom have to work on. You should shudder if they list anything to do with appearance, abilities, or even attitudes.

Why should we love our children, then? Because God has divinely created the parent-child relationship for our good and His glory. Our children need to know that nothing they do will make us love them more, and we, as moms, need to be sure that is true.

It may be easier to love the beautiful, talented, precocious child, but in many cases it is only because of the glory that child brings us. Harder to love are the misfits, the difficult, the flawed; but these are the very ones that God can use to sanctify us and make us more like Himself.

What if you find yourself struggling to love the unlovely? Ask God to give you His eyes, to see your child as His instrument, specifically and supernaturally created to make you more like Him.

A Child's assurance of love
Then, when your child asks you why you love him, free him from the burden of his looks, skills, accomplishments, or character; these are things that are subject to change. Instead give him the assurance that you love him simply because he is a gift from God; he is your child, and that is a relationship that will never be altered.

May you "know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge" so that you can reflect it in ever increasing purity to your children,

Timberdoodle co
www.timberdoodle.com
1510 E Spencer Lake Rd
Shelton, WA 98584
800-478-0672

Bible Study Guide

The Bible Study Guide looks like a neat option for Sunday School, home-schoolers, or families trying to go through the bible with children. I have not used it, but may check it out for next year.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Many EC's

Here is a post entitled "Lots of Kids and Extra-Curriculars: A Guide To Managing It All". The author has 5 children and shares some good tips!

Hilarious!

This made me smile and laugh! My friend Carmen showed it to me. This is all in good humor...just laughing about the differences between men and women and all the cliches floating around about relationships.

Homeschooling..coming soon

For any one interested (and for me to have it all written down) I am working on compiling a nice little post about what I have used for homeschooling Aiden. I think I needed to mention it so that I would actually get it done...

Cute Play Kitchen

For those of you with little girls...check out this cute little play kitchen on sale.

Spring Cleaning Day One

Here is your master plan for day one. It is a really easy one.

"The goal is to quickly sweep through your home, throw away trash, and toss items you no longer need or want into a box for later. And that’s basically it - a project that should only take about two hours max (more or less, depending on the size of your home)."

This Spring Cleaning is meant for normal people who have a life to keep up with. You can do it!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Great Luther Quote

My friend Anna, posted this quote on her blog. Thanks Anna!

"This life therefore is not righteousness, but growth in righteousness, not health, but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it, the process is not yet finished, but it is going on, this is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified."

~Martin Luther

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Simple Mom is having a Spring Cleaning Party. I'm in. Care to join us?

Riley's Hebrew Alphabet

Jeremy is learning Hebrew right now and so he taught the alphabet to the boys. Here is Riley (almost 3).

Great Parenting Post

I just read such an encouraging and challenging post! My good friend Lori posted some very helpful things about parenting. Here is a little snippet:

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4. Rebuke them and restrain them. Keep up so much authority that your word may be law unto them. Nevertheless, do not let your authority be strained with such harshness and fierceness as may discourage your children. Our authority should be so tempered with kindness, meekness and loving tenderness that our children may fear us with delight, and see that we love them with as much delight. Mercy must be joined with severity.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

50 Great Frugal Tips

Take a look here for 50 terrific frugal tips. Take a look here if you want to see some of the best posts by that same blogger.

A Good Challenge

My good friend Jennifer wrote a great post over on her blog that I'd like to share with you. It is an honest and challenging account of trying to "fit in" bible study and prayer. I'm right there with her. Thanks Jennifer!

Nifty Kaboost

This Kaboost looks like a cool idea.

NT Wright on Easter

Here is another great quote that I stole from Pastor Lusk. This is Bishop NT Wright talking about Easter.

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N. T. Wright (wow, just wow – these are some the best words ever written on Easter):

Without Easter, Calvary was just another political execution of a failed Messiah.

Without Easter, the world is trapped between the shoulder shrug of the cynic, the fantasy of the escapist, and the tanks of the the tyrant.

Without Easter, there is no reason to suppose that good will triumph over evil, that love will win over hatred, that life will win over death.

But with Easter we have hope; because hope depends on love; and love has become human and has died, and is no alive for evermore, and holds the keys of Death and Hades. It is because of him that we know--we don't just hope, we know--that God will wipe away all tears from all eyes.

And in that knowledge we find ourselves to be Sunday people, called to live in a world of Fridays.

In that knowledge we know ourselves to be Easter people, called to minister to a world full of Calvary's. In that knowledge we find that the hand that dries our tears passes the cloth on to us, and bids us to follow him, to go to dry one another's tears.

The Lamb calls us to follow him wherever he goes; into the dark places of the world, the dark places of our hearts, the places where tears blot out the sunlight....and he bids us shine his morning light into the darkness, and share his ministry of wiping away the tears.

And as we worship, and adore, and follow the lamb, we join, already, in the song of Revelation 5.11-14, the song that one day the trees and the mountains and the whales and the waterfalls--the whole world, reborn on Easter morning--will sing with us:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain...
to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength
and honour and glory and blessing!

To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honour and glory and power
forever and ever, Amen.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thanks Dolly

I saw this on Dolly's Blog and loved it! I hope it makes you smile :0)

Cracking Twigs

I came a cross a helpful string of posts on Empowered Traditionalist. Here is the intro:
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Though it was an unusual question, I understood it immediately: “How does a woman appropriately, biblically, humbly, and submissively go about ‘cracking the twigs and stirring the leaves?’ A friend of mine said that it seems like girls end up ‘breaking logs and throwing leaves’ too vigorously at times.”

This woman was not referring to any hiking or forestry activity. She had heard a quote read at a Christian singles conference and she, like several other women, had written me to ask how to apply it. First, some background. The quote read at this conference was from the outstanding book, Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart, by John Ensor:

Brothers, it falls to us to be the initial risk takers in matters of the heart. Headship means being the one to go ahead and ask. It is ours as men to suffer the embarrassment of rejection if need be. It is our role to initiate. Get to it right merrily. We are the hunters. They are the quarry. It is for men to strike out into the forest and look. It is for women to crack the twigs and stir the leaves so we know where to find them.
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This is a 4 part series. I have not read it all, but the parts I did read looked really great!

Monday, April 13, 2009

What an Easter Witness

This video is of my friend Dolly's father. He is in the hospital having some serious heart issues. I just had to share this video of him in the hospital singing hymns on Easter morning. I want to be a person who sings hymns in the hospital. What a witness and what a way to reach for the comfort and blessings that God provides! Please pray for him with me.

Cheap or Free Toys

Simple mom posted 11 Cheap or Free Toys for Young Children. Check it out :0)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Family Rituals

Here is an article about starting some really SIMPLE, EASY family rituals. We have pizza movie night every Thursday night with the boys, but I loved her idea about breaking out a board game after the kids are in bed. What great fun!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Feminine in Jeans

Here are some really fun ways to add a little feminine flair to your outfit when you are wearing jeans. I liked this a lot :0) I got this one at Anna's blog too!

Fast Easy Ways to Fix YOUR Hair

Here is a neat little article with 17 ways to fix your hair in less than 10 minutes. I found this on Anna's blog.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

God's Creation is Amazing!

This video has an AMAZING shot of an octopus going from camouflage to bright white right before your eyes. That part is at 4 minutes and 30 seconds of the video, but I thought the whole thing was pretty neat.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Organized Closets

I can't remember if I have posted this here before. Just in case, here is a terrific article on maintaining a good balance between tidiness and a healthy amount of chaos. Afterall, we don't want tidy unhappy houses do we?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Wonderful

This article over at Femina is so wonderful that I had to link to it here. I think I need to reread this one often.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Abortionist turns Pro-life

Here is an interesting article about an abortionist that turned pro-life after having nightmares. May Obama have nightmares as well. We pray that God will use whatever it takes to change Obama's heart.

Red Envelope Day

Red Envelope Day. Get a red envelope (or better yet, LOTS of them). You can buy them at Kinkos, or at party supply stores. On the front, address it to

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington , D.C. 20500

On the back, write the following message.
"This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion.
It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world."

We will mail the envelopes out March 31st, 2009.

Put it in the mail, and send it. Then forward this event to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died [in the U.S.] before having a chance to live.

It may seem that those who believe abortion is wrong are in a minority. It may seem like we have no voice and it's shameful to even bring it up. Let us show our President and the world that the voices of those of us who do not believe abortion is acceptable are not silent and must be heard.

Together we can change the heart of The President and save the lives of millions of children.I just bought some red envelopes and printed the info on them myself. Even if you mailed them out on April 1st it would be just fine.

I know of some other people personally that are participating. Let's send a message together.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun for Dolly

My boys and I read the following poem recently and they have asked me to read it again and again. I thought of my friend Dolly (because her blog is called The Dolly *Mama*). Today is her birthday!

The Llama Who Had No Pajama

The llama who had no pajama
Was troubled and terribly sad
When it became known that he had outgrown
Every pair of pajamas he had;
And he tearfully said to his mama
In a voice that was deep with despair:
O llamaly mama
I need a pajama
Or what in the world will I wear?
Or what in the world,
In the wumberly world,
In the wumberly world will I wear?

The llama who had no pajama
Looked up at the evening sky.
It will soon, he said, be time for bed
And all will be sleeping but I.
And all will be sleeping but I, but I,
And all will be sleeping but I.
For how can a llama go bare to bed,
The little pajamaless llama said,
When the rest of the world,
Of the wumberly world,
Are all wearing pretty pajamas?

The poor little llama's sad mama
Got out her needle and thread.
I'll try to enlarge your pajama,
The llama's sad mama said.
And she stitched and she sewed those pajamas
Till she ran out of plum-colored thread,
But they still were too small for the llama.
O what will we do? Mama said.
For you must have a pair of pajamas
As you cannot go naked to bed;
But where in the world,
In the wumberly world,
Will we find you a pair of pajamas?

They looked in each nook and each cranny;
They looked on each hillock and mound;
But though they saw bathrobes and bonnets,
Pajamas were not to be found.
The clock struck a quarter to seven.
The llama lay down on the ground.
I know I won't sleep, he sniffed sadly,
And his nose made a staying-up sound.

But he did sleep. He dozed off at seven,
And he slept for the rest of the night;
And when he woke up in the morning
To his mama he said with delight:
What a wonderful sleep I've been sleeping all night!
My head feels so clear and my eyes fell so bright.
When we looked for pajamas, how foolish we were.
Why, I sleep so much better in nothing but fun!
It fits me so nicely; it's light as the air;
It's the practical thing for a llama to wear.
And since goats don't wear coats
And doves don't wear gloves
And cocks don't wear socks
And bats don't wear hats,
Well, why in the world,
In the wumberly works,
Should llamas be wearing pajamas?

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Wasn't that fun? Now, I will end with their new favorite poem (as of yesterday):

Hippopotamus

How far from human beauty
Is the hairless hippopotamus
With such a square enormous head
And such a heavy botamus.

*Oh they LOVE this one!

These poems are from the book The Llama Who Had No Pajama by Mary Ann Hoberman.