Monday, December 31, 2007

Blogger Friend School #12 Ready Set Goals

This time our assignment is to write out some goals for the new year. These goals can include both personal goals as well as goals for the family. We also should include some sort of reward that goes along with the goals.

Personal goals-
Walk on the treadmill- I mentioned this in my post yesterday, but I want to get off my walking break and get back to my routine. I had been doing a minimum of 5 miles a week since mid August and took a break for the holidays. The reward is that I will feel better and I will reach my goal (I have a tracker on the side of my blog that helps keep me motivated.

Do more in depth Bible study- I borrowed a book from the library by Lisa Whechel titled The Busy Mom's Guide to Bible Study. It seems to go over a lot of the same principles of Bible study that Dan learned in his Biblical Interpretation class. I am hoping it will help me sit down and actually do a Bible study and not just one of those 5 minute 'quiet time' books that so often don't use much Bible in them.

Personal Hobby- In light of the importance of taking time for oneself, I want to really develop one hobby. I have lots of things that interest me but nothing I actually spend time doing. This should help me to unwind and get refocused.

Family Goals-

Develop a better daily schedule- The kids and I have been trying to follow a loose schedule, but have gotten off track with the holidays. Having a schedule will help us to accomplish more each day.

Character training- We have been doing family devotions for the longest. I would really like to add some character training and teaching the importance of prayer. Above all the children need to learn how to apply what they learn to their lives. Its no good doing a family devotion if they don't apply what they learn.

Its hard to come up with too many resolutions when we don't know what the new year entails for us. Dan has been doing therapy for a few months now but is no where near ready to go back to work. We are still waiting to get a hearing for social security disability, and we are still pushing to get his employer to agree to do something for him. The church paid for our bills this last month and we have started cashing in Dan's small 401K to pay these next two month's bills. Someone suggested I return to work (I haven't worked in over 9 years and have no job skills to get any real job). Can anyone tell I am going through a time of being just plain weary of this?

I am sure that the goals I do have will keep us busy for the year. Lots of prayer will definitely be a part of it, that is for sure!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #7

I am a little slow on this one, but I am sure it is good even if its almost a month old. The Charlotte Mason blog carnival was posted on Dec. 7th. If you didn't catch it the first time around, check it out here. The new one is suppose to be out next week, maybe I will be more on top of reading it this time around!

Am I back?

I had not realized that it was so long since I posted until I logged in and saw my last post date! Three weeks is quite awhile to go in between posts. The few people that read my blog probably don't bother checking it anymore.

I believe now that the holidays are over I will be getting back to posting. I haven't been here partly because of being busy and partly because of just not feeling like talking.

I am working on getting stuff reorganized and straightened up after the mess of the holidays. The kids need to get back into a regular routine. Normal schooling needs to be taken up again. I often wonder if the new year spurs so many people on to start fresh because its a new year or because it happens so closely after Christmas when we tend to get everything unorganized and out of whack getting ready for and celebrating the holidays. If you need a little boost for your organizing, check out By Sun and Candlelight to see what she is up to, she always inspires me.

I have been way off on my walking goals. I am suppose to be doing a minimum of 5 miles a week to reach my goal. If I do 13 miles this week then I will actually be where I am suppose to be. However, I really doubt that will happen. At least I can start again and catch up a little at a time.

Anyway, its late and I have lots to do tomorrow. I am going to go chase down the latest Charlotte Mason carnival and then go to bed!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wednesday's Website #9

Are you all busy getting ready for Christmas? We are working on it. Today the older two girls both finished a couple presents they have been working so hard on. They are so excited to have finished. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you have finally finished a project that you have toiled over for so long.

To help you all in your holiday celebrations, here is a site that has all sorts of holiday poems, stories, songs, etc. There are over 250 links to different Christmas poems alone. There is enough there to keep you busy for a long time.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Journals for gifts

I am posting these for someone to see what I did last year as Christmas gifts. These are composition notebooks that I covered and decorated. Each one was themed for the person receiving it. I also put a ribbon between the back cover and the paper that covered it and used that as a bookmark. I attached beads to the end of the ribbon.

My sister loves the beach, so the shell one is hers.

My other sister's says big sister in Chinese. You can see her bookmark hanging down in front of it.

My step-mom likes precious moments so I traced these for her.

The only one I did not get a picture of was my mom's.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (21)

I am determined to actually get this done before dinnertime today. I did my errands early today (Thursday is errand day which is what usually keeps me from posting till later). I was actually done and home by 1.

Today is the day before Daniel's 5th birthday. I thought I would center my list around him- including a few pictures.

1) His energy
2) he is such a boy
3) His competitive nature
4) his big blue eyes
5) his curls (although we usually keep his hair too short for those
6) his smarts- he can already spell a few words, knows most of the alphabet and can do a few other things
7) he calls his sisters 'my girls'
8) his love for his family
9) he helps out around the house
10) his smile
11) his imagination
12) he is good natured
13) his tender heart

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday's Website #8

If you happened by looking for my recommended website of the day, please see this post from the other day. I wanted to get it out sooner so that any crafters looking for Christmas ideas would have more time to get presents made.

Our Decorations

I thought I would share some pictures of our house and how we decorated this year. First off I wanted to start with the tree

Next is the table where the nativity scene is set up. We wont be putting the baby Jesus in until Christmas comes.

This garland is hung on the middle of three beams we have running through the living room.

This is a close up of the Santa candle holder hanging in the middle of the garland. We don't do Santa, but I do like a few of the older more unusual Santas.

This is a shelf that extends into the living room next to our front door. It is actually a planter, but the previous owners put a piece of plywood over the top of the planter and used it as a shelf and we have kept it that way.
That is about it. We don't have a ton of decorations, but we like what we have. I hope you enjoyed my pictures!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Open House

I am participating in the Holiday Homeschool Open House Tiany is hosting over at Less of Me More of Him. I can't really decide what one thing to post on, so I am instead going to post a couple posts on various parts of the holiday and will use this as the post that links to them all.

The first post will be on a couple of traditions we have with our holiday celebrations.

A post I did for Blogger Friends School with my favorite cookie recipe is here.

*NEW* Here are photos of the decorations we have up this year.

I will add a link here to any other Christmas posts I have as I have them.

Our Holiday Traditions

One important to us tradition that we have done the last few years (this is either our third or fourth year) is our Jesse Tree readings. The Bible prophecy stated that the savior would come from the tree of Jesse- Isaiah 11:1: "A shoot will spring forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots." The Jesse tree readings take you from the creation of the world to the birth of the savior and trace the path. More information can be found on the Jesse Tree by searching the internet, but one good place is here.

The Jesse Tree readings usually start the first Sunday in Advent and run till the birth story is read on Christmas day. I have also seen a reading that went two days past Christmas and talked about the flight to Egypt.

Some people make ornaments or other nice symbols to go with their readings. I hope one day to get something made but haven't yet. The first year we did have little paper symbols we glued on a big paper one each night, but haven't done anything with it yet.

Another tradition we have is one that my parents did for us as kids. I carried it through for my kids as well. At first I didn't think it was that big of a deal, but this year my second oldest asked if it was going to happen- so I guess I have to follow through! It simply is that when I put the children's stocking stuff up, I always put an orange in with it. For some reason it seems to be this special thing- even though we have oranges all the time during the winter.

One last tradition I will share is one I don't think I am going to be able to do this year as it involves my sister and she is temporarily living out of state. Life gets hectic and you never seem to be able to get all the baking done that you want to for the holidays. My sister and I started getting together and having a big cookie making day several weeks before Christmas. The first few years we did the cookies from start to finish. Last year (and what worked best) we made the dough and froze it in cookie sized balls. We got a lot more done together then we would have apart.

Great Craft Idea Site

I know Wednesdays I usually give out websites, but today I am giving one a day early. I try to make as many of my Christmas gifts as I can. One of the sites I try to go to is Craftbits. They have not only great holiday ideas, but they also have all kinds of ideas for other holidays, baby showers and more. They also have a newsletter that they can email you that highlights different crafts for the time of year. Most of the site and any contests they host do require membership to access, but membership is free. They not only have craft ideas, but they also have videos, articles and competitions. Maybe you'll find something good to make for Christmas this year!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Our little posse at Thanksgiving

Here is a picture Dan took of the clan on Thanksgiving. Now Lynn, this was one of five tries that he did. It is also the best one, even though Devorah is refusing to smile. Of course what you can't see is me standing behind Daddy picking on him so that they would look at him and smile!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (20)

I am way late on this this week. I didn't post on Thanksgiving because I was spending the day being thankful with the family, but this past Thursday I just plain didn't do it. I have been having such a hard time lately feeling like blogging. Either I have been busy or just have nothing I want to talk about. Anyway, giving thanks does help you realign yourself, give you a better life perspective and realize how good you've got it, so even though I am late its all good.

1) God's timing- a friend once said that God is never late or early but always on time as His time is the right time. I have many times over brought that to mind and used it as a wonderful reminder when I have gotten impatient with things in life.

2) The hard times- it is through them that we grow and mature. I am so glad that God refines us in His fires. It may not be easy, but think of how much better we come out of it in the end.

3) Blogs on the internet- I have gotten so much encouragement from other women and their blogs. God can really use them as a ministry that is for certain.

4) We have the money for our bills again this month- our wonderful church took up an offering last week and had enough collected to pay our bills for the month and maybe get the brakes done on the van (they are needed).

5) That God has given me the abilities to make things. I am making everything for Christmas from what I already have or can get on food stamps. The boys, for example (they are too young to read so I know they wont find out what I am giving them!) are getting scarves from yarn I have or got from my mom.

6) Dan has been doing water therapy on his own at a rec center pool and has felt improvement in his back. He still has a ways to go, but he is being faithful in going to do it.

7) Good friends who want to spend time with us. Two couples at church who we are friends with have both asked us to go to the adults only Christmas dinner this year on them.

8) Parents who watch the children so we can have adult time every once in a while.

9) The baby has been doing really good at going to bed and has been getting longer stretches of sleep at night. He even has managed a few 8 hour spaces between feedings (although he still wakes several times he does go right back to sleep).

10) My sweet Abigail, who turned 7 the Monday before Thanksgiving. She is a real sweetheart and I love her.

11) Our one grocery store also has a gas station. For every $50 you spend in groceries they take .10 off per gallon when you fill up. This last week Sunday we were able to fill up our tank for $1.15. That was about $25 for the tank!

12) That I am home again. We were gone all day today and I had to drive in some pouring down rain so it is good to be home and ready to retire for the night.

13) The city is coming tomorrow to remove the tree that is on our tree lawn. Over the years the electric and phone companies did not do a smart job trimming it and it is not safe in the weight distribution. I will miss the shade in the summer and all, but it is better to take it down then for it to come down on our house or fence. This past year one smaller but good sized branch fell into the middle of the street already.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #6

I sure hope people don't rely on me for their news source, it seems I am always a day late and a dollar short!

Anyway, the latest Charlotte Mason blog carnival was posted on Tuesday. You can find it here, enjoy reading it if you haven't already!

Blogger Friend School #10 Cookie Exchange

In the spirit of Christmas, the BFS assignment this week is all about Christmas cookies and traditions.

I don't know if this is my ultimate favorite cookie for the holidays, but it is one of the really good ones and it has lots of memories behind it.

Chocolate Peanut Cookies

Chocolate dough:
1c flour
3/4c sugar
1t salt
1/2c shortening
1 egg
2oz unsweetened chocolate melted
1t vanilla

Peanut butter dough:
2T flour
1/2c firm packed brown sugar
1/4c creamy peanut butter
2T softened butter

In large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the chocolate cookie dough.

In small bowl combine the ingredients for the peanut butter dough.

Spoon 1t of chocolate dough and 1/2t of peanut butter dough together. Drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Press with a fork dipped in flour.

Bake at 325 for 12-15 minutes. Let cool for a minute before removing from the cookie sheet.

As far as sharing a memory, tradition or story of Chirstmas past, it has a lot to do with the cookie recipe I just shared. The recipe is taken from a book titled Pillsbury's Bake Off Cookie Book (copyright 1967). I still have the very warn out copy of the book that my mom had when we were little girls. One habit she had that I have carried on is to write little notations in her cookbooks next to recipes as she tried them. The recipe I shared up above was first made by mom at Christmas time in 1977- when I would have been two years old. I can go through the book and find a lot of the recipes she used to make during my childhood.

A verse I have been thinking upon lately would be- Is 55:8-9

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.

On a side note, do you know that the verse just down from those (vs 12) is a really good song as well?

12 “For you will go out with joy
And be led forth with peace;
The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

I learned that song as a child and it was always one of my favorites.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday's Website #7

I have been feeling really not into posting lately. Either I have been busy or just haven't wanted to talk about anything. However, I still will be posting my Wednesday websites and here is this week's- Craftster
Its a forum where people post all sorts of crafts they are making and ideas they have. There is a ton of really neat stuff (and also some not so neat stuff, so browse with caution) and you could easily spend all day looking around.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday's Website #6

I am here and still alive. I have been a little lacking for conversation and too busy to type! Here is the website for the week, actually its two. These are fun ones that you can share with your children.
The first site I just found out about. I found it through someone else's blog, although I can't remember who. I read too many of them I guess! Anyway, its a snowflake making program that is really neat. It folds your paper the way a snowflake paper is suppose to be folded and allows you to make the really intricate snowflakes you always dreamed of making.
The other site is a mad libs type of site. For each story it will make you choose the words needed with drop down menus and you wont see the final story till you are done. It helps the cheating factor that way! I don't know about you, but I always liked these when I was younger.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (20)

Here is my list for the week-

1) God's law for showing us our need for a Savior.

2) God's law for protecting us from the heartbreak that comes with sin.

3) God's love for sending Christ to save us.

4) God's mercy for not letting us get what we deserve.

5) God's tenderness towards us even when we have pushed him and pushed him.

6) God's awesomeness- so awesome he created the world.

7) God's intimacy- he knows every hair on our heads.

8) God's power as he is able to control the wind and the waves and move mountains at his command.

9) God's faithfulness- he will never ever ever turn his back on me.

10) God's holiness- he is so much cleaner and purer and more perfect then we can ever imagine.

11) God's wisdom as he knows what is best for us and will never steer us wrong.

12) God is self-sufficient, I don't have to worry about him being around because he *needs* to, he is here because he *wants* to.

13) He is immutable, never changing, no surprises here. God will always do and be the same no matter what.

Here's the kind of test that I like!

I just took a test to see how intelligent the content of my blog is. And the result is-

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #5

I missed the posting of the new Charlotte Mason blog carnival. For some reason it did not show up at the right spot on the RSS feed. The carnival is being hosted this week by On Our Journey Westward- which happens to be a really good blog to keep an eye on. Here is the link, enjoy!

Blogger Friend School #9 Bountiful Blessings

For this week's assignment, we are suppose to first list three bountiful blessings that the Lord has provided for us. It amazes me that even in the midst of all the junk there is so much to be thankful for.
1) Even though my husband hasn't been able to work for two years now, he is here and his back is improving some (he has been doing his own therapy three days a week at a local pool).
2) We are surrounded by so many family members and friends that love us and care for us.
3) We have six wonderful children who bless my life more then I deserve.
4) My oldest two daughters were baptized two weeks ago (I am hoping to post some pictures here soon).
5) The Lord has found me important enough to him to send his son to die for me.

That's more then three but I usually post a list every Thursday of 13 things I am thankful for, so that is a start to this weeks list. Come back tomorrow and see the other eight.

Next I am suppose to share about our Thanksgiving Celebrations past or present.

My family spends the day with my dad and that side of the family. My dad and step-mom host the meal. I keep saying that maybe I will host it one year, but trying to get everyone in my house and seated at a table scares me off! We usually have the usual foods- turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, etc. Our family is really laid back at most holidays- Christmas is the big one for us.

Here is a picture of me on Thanksgiving 04 pregnant with Timothy- can you tell I get really big with my babies? I wasn't due for another two months!

This is also from 04. This is my dad with Charlotte (my oldest) and Daniel (then my youngest but now the oldest of the three boys).

Last picture to share is from 05. This is my oldest four with their older (and intensely admired) cousin Samael. Timothy was around but at ten months was probably hanging around with mommy.

My verse to share is suppose to remind me of my blessings. The one the girls are memorizing this week is really good at reminding my how much God loves me and cares for me.

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Wednesday's Website #5

I wanted to type this up early so that I can have it on the blog all day on Wednesday instead of posting it right at the end of the day. I know that Thanksgiving is just coming in another week and I hope no one thinks I am rushing things, but I like to plan ahead and thought you might want to also. This website is all about making paper snowflakes and also has a wealth of other information about snowflakes. It might be a good addition to your homeschooling lessons in the next month or so. Even though we still have a week until Thanksgiving, it did snow a few flakes here last week and you know that more is just around the corner!

Monday, November 12, 2007

On the precious gift of life

Another link to check out- a wonderful peace written on life and how it is truly a gift from God. Every day is one more gift he has given us to live. I know several people dealing with life taking diseases and plan on sending them a link to this post.

Veteran's Day

In honor of Veteran's Day I wanted to post a link to this story about one man's realization about his father's service in the military and how important it was. Whatever your feelings about war and its necessity, we are free because of the men and women who have served our country heroically over the last 200+ years. Take the time to thank someone today.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Blogger Friend School #8 Dirty Laundry

This week's assignment is all about laundry- both real and figurative. First I am to share our laundry habits. Then I need to share a piece of my heart that I have either recently struggled to clean up or am currently trying to get right. Last, of course, is a verse- but this one has to pertain to my struggles.

Our laundry is really a lot less then most people we know. We have a front load washer (which holds a lot of clothes) and try to only wash things that are dirty- if you only wore it for a few hours to church on Sunday morning then put it away to wear again. Our pre-puberty children don't need their sheets washed every week as well. Therefore, I manage to do two, sometimes three loads of clothes a week and one or two loads of diapers (family of eight with two in diapers).

The three girls are responsible for stripping beds and taking clothes to the basement where our laundry area is. I sort the clothes between light loads and dark loads. In the summer I line dry the clothes and in the winter I use the dryer. The freshly washed laundry gets brought up to the living room (by me), sorted (by me again) and then I take care of my husband's and my own clothes and the girls take care of everything else. (Except for Daniel's (almost 5) underwear and some rags that Daniel folds himself.) The girls are then to take all the laundry they forlded up to the rooms it belongs in and put it away where it goes. Of course that rule does not get followed by me very well, so while everything else gets put away fairly nicely, my room has clean clothes always waiting to be put away.

Now for the dirty laundry of my heart. I have been thinking a lot lately about forgiveness and what that really entails. I had always assumed that I had forgiven people for hurts they have done to me but I wonder if sometimes I have let things fade from memory but not really addressed the hurt that was caused by the offense.

If you cannot talk about something ten years after it happens without feeling a sense of bitterness towards the person who wronged you, is that forgiveness? Should you feel any sort of resentment or uneasiness around them?

Then there is the trust issue- if you have forgiven someone, how do you balance forgiveness with the lack of trust you have in them afterwards? Can you forgive without reopening yourself up for them to hurt you again? Is there room in forgiveness for letting someone work their way back to level ground with you?

I found a really good series of radio transcripts by Nancy Leigh DeMoss that deal with this very issue. I heard the one on the radio and plan to listen to the others soon.

My verse is- Colossians 3:13
13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (19)

This week I have 13 Bible verses I am thankful for. I pondered if I should type out each verse or just put the references. Then I figured who would actually look up each verse if I don't post it on the list? So here they are in their entirety:

1) Philippians 4:11-12
11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

2)Philippians 4:18-19
18I have received full payment and even more; I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

3)Ephesians 5:15-16
15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

4) Ephesians 3:17-19
17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

5)Ephesians 4:4-6
4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

6)Ephesians 2:4-7
4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

7) Galatians 5:22-23
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

8)Galatians 5:1
1It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

9)John 8:32
32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

10)Psalm 121
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?

2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;

4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;

6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;

8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

11)Psalm 55:22
22 Cast your cares on the LORD
and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous fall.

12)Psalm 34:4-7
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

13)Job 19:25
25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Wednesday's Website #4

I was listening to Nancy Leigh DeMoss yesterday morning and her radio show was on forgiveness and forbearance. It was a really good show and was part of a series she is doing on the subject. I thought I would share a recommendation o read the transcripts. Then I remembered what a great website she has and thought I would share it as my highlighted website of the week. Read some of her radio archives or read up on some of the many topics she has articles on. No matter what you read on her site it will bless you immensely.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Consumer Math- practical application

Last month I wrote about the importance of teaching our children consumer math. I followed up that post with another one concerning what should be covered when we teach them consumer math. Today I checked out Jamin's blog and she was showing off her 13yo son's lapbook all about money and finances. Not only did she show all the topics he covered, but she also mentioned about how the lapbook was put together from free resources she found at Homeschool Helper (a site I highlighted with a previous Wednesday Website post).

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Blogger Friend School #7 Pumpkin Party

After a few weeks off, we are returning to Blogger Friends School (it was fall break!) This week for our assignment we are suppose to share a pumpkin related activity. Mine will be two really tasty recipes that we have tried and really like around here.

The first recipe is from Tammy's Recipes. If you haven't checked out her site you should. It has a wealth of information on it (and she is from here in northern Ohio as well!). The recipe we tried is Pumpkin Butterscotch Muffins.

18 muffins

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 3/4 cups pumpkin
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 cups nuts, optional
2 cups butterscotch chips/morsels

1. Combine all dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, eggs, and oil. Mix until smooth. Add nuts if desired and the butterscotch chips.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until done.

The other recipe is a bit less healthy, I found this one on

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake


  • 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla just until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.
  3. Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.
  4. Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Allow to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.

Now for a verse that has spoken to me lately. That would be a scripture that was read on Sunday in our worship time at church.

1 Chronicles 16:8-10
8 Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.
9Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
10Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.

Wednesday's Website #3

I almost forgot about posting a website today. The site I have for you can be a messy one. It also is a great learning experience for the children as well as a wonderful way to spend time with them. And of course, after my post about my new stove, I must also say that it is a great way to get to know your kitchen appliances better!
Without further adieu, here it is-
Kids Cooking Activities
Not only does this site have recipes that are geared towards children, they also have a newsletter, lists of age appropriate kitchen tasks, food facts and lot of other neat stuff. Check it out then get the kids and hit the kitchen!

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #4

The new Charlotte Mason Carnival was published yesterday. (I am a little slow!) Come read it at Dewey's Treehouse. These carnivals are a great way to stay inspired on the homeschooling path. I am enjoying reading about everyone and how they incorporate the CM method into their schooldays. The next one will be at one of the blogs I read on a regular basis, On Our Journey Westward. Check out her site now and you'll find a lot of other neat stuff- then come back in two weeks and read her CM carnival posting.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Baking on the Brain

Last week Sunday my dad and stepmom took me out to eat for my birthday. Afterwards they wanted to stop at Best Buy for something. They lead me over to the appliance section and down a row of stoves. Then they turned around and asked me which of two stoves did I want. I got a new stove for my birthday.

To understand what this means to me you would have to know my old stove. The pilot lights never stay lit. The oven door wont shut all the way. The hinge to the one side of the oven door is completely busted. The heat in the oven is distributed unevenly which means food has to be rotated. The sides of the stove and the top of the front where the handles are gets very hot when the oven is on and can burn you.

How much do I appreciate my new stove? Today marks a week since it was delivered. In the last week I have made- cookies, cheesecake, muffins (twice), quiche, a casserole, pineapple coffee cake, two scone cakes and overnight french toast. (That's all that I can remember.) I don't normally bake like this either.

To let you all share in the thrill, I thought I would share a few recipes I made today. I have had these recipes for years but never actually made them. I really like the almond, as did most of the kids, but the apple is really good as well.

Honey Almond Scone Cake

3T better butter (50/50 mix of butter and extra virgin olive oil- can use just butter)
1t almond extract
3T honey
2 large egg whites ( used one egg)
3/4c flour
1/4c oat bran
1t baking powder
1/8t salt
1/4c buttermilk (I used kefir)
2T honey
1/4t almond extract
3T unblanched sliced almonds

Beat together butter, almond extract and honey. Beat in egg whites. Mix dry together and and add to butter mixture along with buttermilk beating till blended. Pour into greased 8" round pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Combine honey with almond extract and spread over top
of warm cake. Sprinkle with the almonds. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Apple Scone Cake

3T better butter (50/50 mix of butter and extra virgin olive oil, use just butter if you want)
1t vanilla extract
3T honey
2 large egg whites (I used one egg)
3/4c flour
1/4c oat bran
1t baking powder
1/4t cinnamon
1/8t salt
1/4c buttermilk (I used kefir)
1 large apple peeled and sliced thin
1 1/2T sugar
1/4t cinnamon

Beat together egg white, butter, vanilla and honey. In separate bowl combine dry ingredients and add to the wet ones with the buttermilk beating until blended. Fold in apples. Bake in 8" round cake pan at 350 for 20 minutes. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over top of cake.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Old fashioned Story Time

I don't know how many know the name Garrison Keller, but when I was growing up my dad listened to his radio show every week. He told stories about a little fictional town and the people there.

Recently I read two books that really reminded me of Garrison Keeler and his stories. The books here Hometown Tales and Porch Talk by Philip Gulley. Gulley is a Quaker preacher in smalltown Indiana. He has a radio show on one of his local radio stations and posted stories in his church's newsletter. Someone asked him to publish those stories and the result has been 11 books.

The stories are short, simple, poignant, funny and thoughtful. The books are a quick read and very enjoyable.

I let my dad borrow the one book and he thoroughly enjoyed it as well.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Have you heard about this movie? It is called Bella and it is opening in theaters this weekend. I just listened to the director and lead actor as they talked on Family Life Today's daily radio show. These men are very upstanding believers who are trying to bring a message to the world. Family Life Today is highly recommending this movie and after all I have seen about it I think it looks very promising with a very pro-life message. If the opening weekend is good then more movie theaters will carry the movie and it will reach more people. Check out the article, listen to the broadcast and visit the movie's website. Then go see what looks to be a very promising film.

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (17)

Last night as I was going to bed, the dishwasher was running and the washer was on timer to run later in the night. That meant I would be waking up to clean dishes and clean diapers. It brought me to the awareness of how thankful I am for modern conveniences. Here is my list of all I am thankful for-

1) washer
2) dishwasher
3) stove (may I add my *new* stove with working hinges on the oven door, thank you dad!)
4) blender (love those smoothies!)
5) running water in the house
6) toilets
7) computers and the internet
8) automobiles
9) cameras (can you imagine not having *any* pictures of your children as they grow up?)
10) microwaves
11) modern medicine- it may have its issues, but its better then leeches, right?
12) sound systems- I know an awful lot of our congregation would not be able to hear pastor preach without it
13) refrigerator

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wednesday's Website #2

This week its a relaxing fun site to browse while sipping your hot tea (or latte if that's your pleasure). To copy their welcome page at Old Fashioned Living, -

You'll find down to earth crafts, recipes, gardening advice and family activities plus tips on keeping your family history and teaching your kids and grandkids about the generations that came before them. We hope you'll brew a cup of tea and stay awhile!

One of my favorite areas is the tea time section. not only does it have great ideas for tea time treats or themes for tea time, it also covers other items necessary for tea time like children's manners.

With the holiday season looming so closely, check out the Holiday Page with all sorts of ideas- recipes, gifts, crafts, etc.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Paper Chains for the Holidays

I was reading someone's blog and she was talking about how they made a paper chain to count down the holidays with. I was struck with an idea of my own that is a little twist on the paper chain decoration thing. Every day leading up to Thanksgiving- start around the first day of school- you have the family come up with one thing they are thankful for. You write that item on a paper strip and attach it to your paper chain. By Thanksgiving you have a nice long chain that you can use to decorate for Christmas and you have also spent the couple of months leading up to Thanksgiving focusing on everything you are thankful for.

Consumer Math- What to Teach

I am writing this as a follow up to my last post on how important it is to teach our children consumer math. I wanted to talk about what we should be teaching our children so that they have a good knowledge of consumer math.

The way I see it, consumer math covers the following areas-
1) Handling money: counting, making change, etc.
2) Handling a bank account: how to write a check, deposit money, balance a checkbook, etc.
3) Shopping common sense: comparison shopping, spending where it counts (I might pinch pennies on generic food, but buying cheap tires for my vehicle does not add up to savings) figuring % off, taxes, etc.
4) Basic savings: interest, compound interest, importance of savings, short term and long term savings
5) Budgeting: how to set up a budget, needs vs. wants
6) Taxes: figuring tax on shopping trips, different types of taxes, basic tax filing, exemptions
7) Credit: how credit cards work, loans and interest, credit scores

I am sure their are other areas, but that is what I can think of now. However, I don't think the teaching begins and ends with the practical aspects. I think its also necessary to teach them the wisdom behind good finances. There is an importance to living within your needs, making wise decisions with your money and the use of discipline and self control. America has become such a consumer oriented spendthrift society- if you want it now then buy it now, don't worry about how to pay for it and forget saving for the future. Our children need to see that it is irresponsible to just spend money without a real plan involved. You need to think about what you are doing and why you are doing it.

More importantly though, as Christians we need to teach our children the proper view of money. Everything we have (everything that exists) belongs to God. It is up to God to give you whatever money He desires for you to use. If everything belongs to God then He should be in charge of how it is spent, not us. We should be giving more of God's money back to Him for His use (i.e. tithing, giving to missionaries, etc.). We should be asking God what He wants us to spend money on. We should learn to keep a biblical worldview of our finances and how we handle money.

Later I will post a little on how to teach our children consumer math.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Consumer Math

My husband and I had a conversation the other day. That conversation prompted me to write this post. Dan had been watching a television show where they discussed with two couples their financial problems and how to work through them. What he shared with me had me amazed.

Both of the couples had ample money incoming. The money they had would more then meet their needs. The problem lay in the fact that they just spent and spent without regards to how much they had coming in. The one lady bought herself and her children all new clothing every three months and tried to justify it by selling their old clothes in a yard sale. The other couple had two Lexus cars. Neither couple understood how they got into the mess they were in.

My question is this- does anyone teach real consumer math anymore? I asked my 8yo daughter a question- 'Should you buy a $400 toy if you only have $300 in the bank? What if you put it on a credit card?' Even she knew that you shouldn't be buying what you don't have money for. Why is this such a hard concept for so many adults these days? Where did the line get crossed between buying all we want and living within our means? It seems that people these days have no concept of self control and budgeting your money. We want it all and want it now. Affluence has run amuck.

Parents need to make sure that their children know consumer math. I am not just talking about how to buy stuff or how to pay your taxes. I mean running a household, balancing a checkbook (I can't believe the number of people I know who never balance their checkbook!), banking, investing, everything having to do with money and everyday living. I heard once of someone whose children, upon reaching their upper teen years, where given the family finances and had to run them for a year. The child would have to pay all bills, balance the checkbook, make financial decisions, etc. The children did make mistakes, but the mistakes were less costly then they could have been if the child was running his own finances without any knowledge behind him. I am not so sure I could hand over control like that, but the concept definitely would make a lasting impression on the children.

The government is having this huge debate about the privatization of Social Security. I am all for it, any time we decrease the impact the government has on our lives, the better it is. However, when I see how badly so many people handle their money, the last thing they need is to be given complete control of their retirement funds. I sure hope it will be a well thought out process if it does happen.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (17)

Well, nothing has changed here, but my mood has improved. Here is our list this week:

1) My children have plenty of clothes to keep them warm this winter (I know that for a fact as I have spent the last few days pulling out all the winter clothes and washing what needed to be cleaned. Six kids worth of clothes plus four of the kids moved up a size!)

2) For the children who wear those clothes.

3) My husband's determination to keep going- no matter how much junk happens or how much I bug him. :)

4) God's tenderness

5) spell check (I really don't like to misspell words so I am thankful for every red line under each word I need to correct)

6) My family's support (especially my parents)

7) My church family

8) God's renewal

9) Our freedom to worship, homeschool, etc. America isn't perfect but we are afforded many freedoms others don't have.

10) All my children are well and healthy (we just finished up the last well check apt. today as we made the rounds).

11) Good sleep- Ben actually gave me six hours straight last night! The question now is- why do I feel so dead tired still?

12) My three girls' thoughtfulness

13) For our van not needing any repairs while we don't have the funds (it does need brakes sometime soon, but that isn't immediate)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wednesday's Website #1

I had been thinking for the last few months (not constantly, just popped into my mind every here and now) that every Wednesday I want to highlight a new website. I thought that way I can share with others my rather impressive collection of bookmarks and by looking at them to find one to post about I will also remind myself of all the treasures there are out there that I forget to use.

Today I am posting a website I just found out about. Homeschool Helper is a website where you can find *free* ideas for unit studies, notebooking, lap books, character studies and some other categories. From just scanning over the site I think it is going to come in real handy. In the lap booking area they not only have all sorts of subjects to lapbook about, but they also have a long list of templates to use in creating your lap book. (For more info on lap booking see this really informative site or check out Just Call Me Jammin's blog archives.) This site will definitely be helpful in our homeschooling efforts.

So, there is my first Website Wednesday post. Come back next week to read about another one!

The Dangers of HFCS

I have read a lot about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and how bad it is for your health. Lindsey at Enjoy the Journey did a series recently on eating healthier. She spent a little time addressing the HFCS issue. Most recently though I read this article at the Weston A Price Foundation and it really has inspired me to try to eliminate most HFCS out of our diets.

I have been trying to get a hold of our eating habits as it is. We use to eat a bit healthier but slowly over the course of a few years we have really let things slip. I have a grain mill and use to make all our bread but haven't done that in a long time. I still do grind my flour for all other baking, but haven't made bread in quite awhile. As my life has gotten busier with so many little ones and a husband at home I have resorted to a lot of convenient not so healthy food choices. I think its time to start pulling things back towards the other direction.

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #3

The newest Charlotte Mason blog carnival is up, check it out. I scanned over it and can't wait to read some of the entries. I think this CM carnival will really help me keep inspired in my homeschooling.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sunday afternoon

I thought I would share a little of what we did after church today. Our church hosted its very own car show. Local car enthusiasts will come to your location and pay a few dollars entry fee so that they can park their old car and hang out with other car enthusiasts and their old cars.

The youth had a stand with hot dogs and bakery they sold to raise money for a youth event.
The kids had fun looking at all of the old cars. We had a good time and there was a great turnout. I heard there were at least 80 cars that showed up. Hopefully we can do it again next year.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (16)

I want to say off the bat that I really don't *feel* like giving thanks much today (although yesterday was worse, I'm doing better now then I was). Difficult decisions loom with Dan's health and work situation and all paths seem dismal. Therefore I am looking forward to this list as I know when you get your eyes off your circumstances and look up things look better.

1) After getting rather overwhelmed with the junk of life yesterday I took the kids to hear the band my dad is in. They sang quite a few really good praise songs that I like and my heart was lifted when I left.

2) Tim (age 2 3/4) is showing more interest in potty stuff. Hes still a ways off, but we are making progress.

3) The Bible where God so graciously left us His word to help guide us and lift us up.

4) Isaiah 40:31
But they who wait upon the Lord will get new strength. They will rise up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weak.

5) CALLING OUT TO YOU by Tommy Walker
Lord You have told us, Lord You have promised that if Your
people would pray
That You would hear from heaven, You would send your mercy
And touch us with Your strong healing Hand
So we’re calling out to You, crying out to You
Forgive us of our sin, heal our land
As we seek Your holy face, turn from all our wicked ways
Hear from heaven even now as we pray

6) Romans 5:3-5
3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

7) A good support system

8) The freedom to homeschool

9) My family is all alive, well and healthy.

10) For another day

11) Being chosen by God to be the one honored enough to watch these six children as they grow, discover and learn.

12) A husband who loves and supports me.

13) That my husband and I share a common goal in Christ.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Its okay to have a bad day.

I hope this is coherent enough. I am falling asleep at the computer (good thing I'm not driving!) Its something I wanted to get written though. I have a few more posts to follow this that tie in with it. They can wait till later, I'm going to bed!

Have you ever read through the book of Psalms? I love that God felt it necessary to include such real honest heart searching as are included in some of the Psalms.

Psalm 143
7 Hurry to answer me, O Lord! My spirit is becoming weak! Do not hide Your face from me, or I will become like those who go down to the grave.

So many people think that Christians don't have any troubles, that their lives suddenly become perfect once they accept Christ. There are a lot of Christian churches who think you have to be perfect and not experience hardships if you are saved.

Psalm 6
3 My soul is in great suffering. But You, O Lord, how long?
4 Return, O Lord. Set my soul free. Save me because of Your loving-kindness.
5 No one remembers You when he is dead. Who gives You praise from the grave?
6 I am tired of crying inside myself. All night long my pillow is wet with tears. I flood my bed with them.
7 My eye has grown weak with sorrow. It has grown old because of all who hate me.

One look at the Psalms shows us that it is not necessary to have a perfect life- nor is it necessary to act like you do. God expects and wants your total honesty with him. He knows life is hard and wants you to talk with Him about it. He is your best friend and your Father. We need to be open and honest with Him.

Psalm 88
3 For my soul is filled with troubles. And my life comes near the grave.
4 I am added among those who go down into the deep hole. I am like a man without strength.
5 I am left among the dead, like those who have been killed and lie in the grave, whom You remember no more. They are cut off from Your help.
6 You have put me in the deepest hole, in a dark and deep place.
7 Your anger has rested upon me. And You have troubled me with all Your waves.
8 You have taken my good friends far from me. You have made me hated by them. I am shut in and cannot go out.
9 My eyes have become weak because of trouble. I have called to You every day, O Lord. I have spread out my hands to You.

However, we also see in the Psalms that the writers did not stay in their pits. They were down and in the dumps, they knew to cry out to God. The situation may not have changed, but their perspective and emotions did. They remembered where their strength was found.

Psalm 119
81 My soul becomes weak with desire for Your saving power, but I have put my hope in Your Word.

I have bad days, days I really just want to crawl back in bed- days when I feel like I am in a dark room with no doors. Those days will come, when Satan is working at you, slowly chipping away trying to destroy you. But, no matter how many chisel marks he makes, he can't put a dent in your foundation. If your life is settled firmly on the foundation of Christ, then even in those bad days you will still know deep down the truth has not changed and God will carry you through. You may struggle and question, but in the end you know that you know God will pull you through.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #2

I missed the posting of the second Charlotte Mason blog carnival. I just found the link so I thought I would post it.

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (15)

This week I have 13 things about autumn I am thankful for.

1) The leaves- of course! The colors are incredible.

2) A break in the heat of summer. I like summer, but I always welcome the cooler warmth of fall.

3) The smell of cool air and fallen leaves.

4) The taste of a fall Ohio apple. Starting in Oct. they start carrying locally grown apples in the grocery store. Washington apples have nothing on Ohio's!

5) Apple cider- try cooking oatmeal with apple cider instead of water, some apple chunks and cinnamon.

6) Pumpkin- cheesecake, rolls, scones

7) I look at fall as the quiet place of rest after the trials by fire (summer). After God has let you go through a real trial he sometimes gives you a peaceful place of rest- to me that is what autumn is.

8) The colors- not just the leaves but all the autumn colors.

9) Thanksgiving

10) bonfires

11) That the cold weather kills off all the mosquitoes

12) Watching all the animals get ready for winter.

13) The slower pace.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Blogger Friend School #5 Say it in Signs

This is creative blogging assignment but hopefully it will help offer help to some newer bloggers still trying to learn “how” to add pictures to their blogs and also help learn your classmates names to easily identify them… and it’s just FUN!

The Assignment this week it to use your Blog Name (or your own pen/real name) and create signs. There are two ways to do this and you can do one or both ways.

1. Visit Image Chef ( and create some free cute signs. The easiest way to explain this is follow the templates — choose, customize (type in name), and then Preview. Once you see the design, right click and SAVE to your computer.

* Now once you saved it to your computer….. you will need to upload it to an image host like OR These are both FREE photo hosting sites that you can create an account, upload your pictures, and they will give you links to your pictures that you can use to upload to your blog.

AND/OR you can be really creative and create your own signs, take digital pictures and share them. (Examples….Refrigerator Magnets, Shaving Cream, Frosting, etc.)

I did a different sign for each part of my name so that I could try to use a picture that reflects each word. I do think that I might go out and do a picture version sometime, but this will do for now.

Beach custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more - - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

2. Share a special verse!

Psalm 127:1 1
Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders work for nothing. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the men who watch over it stay awake for nothing. (New Life Version)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Where do you draw the line?

This will be a quick post as I am falling asleep and really need to just go to bed. I was wanting input on something I have been thinking about. When we bought our home we stayed in this neighborhood because we felt that God had led us here to be a witness to the people around us. We live in the inner city and there are next to no churches in the area and those who know Christ are definitely few. We had thought that one day God would have us start a church or something. Dan had been taking classes through our denomination to be a pastor but that ended when he hurt his back. With no money for classes and not being able to sit at the computer long enough to get anything done he had to step back from all of that. Now we don't know what God has in store for us.

We bought a house in a neighborhood that was so-so because we were wanting to make an impact. Now we don't know where we are going with that and the once okay neighborhood is now rapidly falling downhill. Once I would have walked around our neighborhood but now don't feel it is safe to go walking alone in the daytime. We have at least seven abandoned houses on our one block alone. We suspect that our former neighbor (he just moved recently) was breeding his pit bulls to fight. There was a raid on a drug house seven houses down and there is another suspected drug house across the street from that. We get emails notifying us when a sex offender moves within a mile of our house and it has been updating at least once if not twice a week lately.

All of that to say this- when do you draw a line between telling others about Christ and shining for him and the safety of your family? Is it ever okay to say that your family comes before the Great Commission? We are suppose to die to self and sacrifice for the gospel- but what does that really mean? I don't see us moving anytime soon, these are just the questions I have sometimes. I know some people say that when you have children they are your top ministry priority and nothing should take you from that mission field. On the other hand, although you don't want to expose them to any danger unnecessarily, you also should be putting top priority on following God and the Gospel. Many people in other nations are loosing their children's lives because they wont back down from the gospel's truth. I heard of a Christian pastor in a Muslim who wouldn't denounce Christ and had to watch his family die from disease because no one would give him the meds he needed for them.

I know Paul mentioned that it would be easier to serve the Gospel if you weren't married as marriage divides your loyalties. I truly think having children complicates that more then marriage does. Having your mate die for your faith seems an easier price then to watch your children suffer.

So where do you think the line should be drawn?

Monday, October 1, 2007

Blogger Friend School #4 Panning for Gold

The Internet offers a lot of treasures! Being a Blogger Friend is all about sharing our treasures. The assignment this week is to share your Internet treasures. Take this list and add your “golden” treasured sites so that we may all share the wealth.

~First place you look for a book to buy-- ISBN.NU- compares prices at different sellers

~Homeschool site full of information that you use regularly-- Old Fashioned Education

~Site that offers Homeschool Freebies-- Homechool Estore -new freebie each week

~Site that offers any kind of Freebies-- Twisted Branches

~A blog to read that is always full of humor-- Mommy to My Six Pack

~A blog to read that is always full of useful information-- Just Call Me Jamin

~A blog to visit because it is eye appealing and easy to read-- One Way or Another

~A blog that you read because it inspires you to be a better homeschooling mom-- Lady of Virtue

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (14)

Instead of a list of 13 things I am thankful for, I wanted to do something a little different today. I have refrained from sharing about part of my life here on my blog as I didn't want people to think I was asking for help. I struggled with how I could be real on my blog but yet not seem like I was looking for help. So, I just kept it all quite, only mentioning just briefly once or twice what has been happening. Today I am changing all of that with my thankful post.

Today I am getting ready to pay our bills and am quite thankful for every bill I am paying. In Nov of 05, while working, my husband slipped on some snow and fell- injuring his back. He herniated a disc in his back and has been in quite a bit of pain ever since. Over the course of a year he received some treatment and therapy while on worker's comp. October 18th of last year his employer decided his injuries would not heal sufficiently to return to work there but were not bad enough to keep him from finding a job and they cut his worker's comp pay. Needless to say, he cannot work.

Over the course of the last year we have lived without a paycheck or regular income of any sort. We have had a little money come in from here or there (tax return, unused vacation pay) but a good portion of it has been from God blessing us through the generosity of others.

We have managed to pay 12 house payments, 12 phone bills, 12 months worth of utility bills as well as insurance and gas for the van. We have not put any of it on our credit cards and we have not been delinquent with anything. We had a wonderful Christmas -due to many loving friends I think the kids had more presents last year then they do on a normal year! In reality we can see the hand of God over the course of the full two years we have dealt with all of this. Many times over the first year God supplied for a need even before we knew we had the need. But this past year has definitely been more then incredible.

Can I say how it happened? Not in my wildest dreams. It amazes me how God stretches a dollar to cover things. I find myself relating really well to the widow with the jar of oil that never ran out. It is with much gratitude to God that I pay our bills as it is all because of Him I am able to do so.

So this Thursday there will be no list of 13 things I am thankful for. Instead there will be one very grateful heart for the last 12 months during which God has moved mightily.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Are You Infectious?

Our neighbor has a friend that often comes by for visits. You know when Sterling is around because he laughs a lot and his is a laugh that is unmistakable. Its also one of those laughs that make you want to join in the merriment, even when you don't know what he's laughing at.

One night as we were doing our devotions with the children, I heard Sterling laughing next door. He almost made me start laughing right in the middle of Dan reading the Bible. Then I started thinking. Aren't we, as Christians, suppose to have that same infectious response from others? Shouldn't we inspire others with our behavior? Whether its spurring other believers on in their faith or getting non-believers to a point of wanting what they see in our lives, isn't that part of the goal for our lives?

So I ask you- how infectious are you?

Little something to lift your soul

I was reading a post from someone who was in a funk about something. She had come to the realization that she needed to just praise God through and in spite of the circumstances around her. I know how true that concept can be. I thought I would post a song here that helps me to do just that. The group is Mary Mary and the song is Shackles

In the corners of mind
I just can't seem to find a reason to believe
That I can break free
Cause you see I have been down for so long
Feel like the hope is gone
But as I lift my hands, I understand
That I should praise you through my circumstance

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I'm gonna praise you
I'm gonna praise you

Everything that could go wrong
All went wrong at one time
So much pressure fell on me
I thought I was gonna lose my mind
But I know you wanna see
If I will hold on through these trials
But I need you to lift this load
Cause I can't take it anymore

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I'm gonna praise you
I'm gonna praise you

Been through the fire and the rain
Bound in every kind of way
But God has broken every chain
So let me go right now

Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I just wanna praise you
I just wanna praise you
You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
And I'm gonna praise you
I'm gonna praise you

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Anyone like football?

I want to say up front that I am not a huge football fan.. Yes, I watch it some and I do know the teams, basic rules, and who won the Superbowl. I do that for my husband though. I follow it enough to keep up with Danny's interests.
Having said that I wanted to share about a book I just finished. Quiet Strength is authored by Tony Dungy, the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts football team. For those who really don't know football, they won the Superbowl this last Jan. Coach Dungy is a very strong Christian and his remarks after winning the Superbowl reflected that fact. This book is his memoirs, a look back at his life and how his faith has helped him through.
I first borrowed the book from the library because my husband said that it would probably be a good read. Danny is not a reader but highly respects Coach Dungy and knew that a book authored by him would be worth checking out. Because I will read almost any book recommended to me I figured I would go ahead and check it out.
Before I get to the book I will say that before I got a chance to read Quiet Strength (I had to finish another book) my nonreader husband read it cover to cover in three days. I highly recommend this book for any husband who likes sports and is interested in gaining wisdom from a strong fellow believer in Christ.
Having said that you obviously know now that I thought the book was very good. I learned a lot of lessons from what I read. Even when he wasn't talking about something that directly related to my life I still gleaned something out of it that I could use with me. I really like that Coach Dungy emphasized family over work as well as the fact that coaching a team to the Superbowl may be a goal but its just a step along a greater journey of life and is not the end of the journey. The man coaches well and deserves the respect of all of those around him in the sport. With so much junk going on in sports it is good to see such a positive role model.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Poem to share

My daughter posted an acrostic poem on her blog which used her name as the starting letters for each line of the poem. She got me thinking and I came up with my own version-

Keep on striving
After the prize
Theres a light at the end
Hope never dies
arth is not my home
Redeemed and secure
I am not my own
Never left alone
Encouraged, I persevere