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

Its a pink contest

Its a Dyson vacuum give away. The ladies at 5 Minutes for Mom have a pink Dyson vacuum they are giving away to one lucky winner. We are talking a $400 value and its pink to support breast cancer research. There are roughly 1200 entries so far, so its a long shot. But its worth the try, right?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (13)

Here is this weeks list of things I am thankful for, short and sweet:

1) challenges

2) growth

3) learning

4) changes

5) education

6) experiences

7) trust

8) security

9) supply

10) chastening

11) God's view

12) God's plan

13) God's patience

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blogger Friend School #3 Alphabet Me

This weeks assignment is to use the alphabet and for each letter find one word that describes either you or something important to you. I had a hard time with this. First off I had to make sure not to bring up all kinds of negative words to describe myself. Then I kept trying to think of only adjectives and nothing else. Then I had to fill in all the letters I had left after all my brainstorming. So here it is-

B- busy
C- creativity
P- private

R- redeemed
S- simple
T- trying
W- walking

A verse that has spoken to me this week-

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)

5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Charlotte Mason blog carnival

There is a new blog carnival out there that I am really excited about. Its the Charlotte Mason Education blog carnival and its first edition was published today. For those who don't know about blog carnivals, you can visit the host's blog and they will have links to all sorts of other people's blog entries on the subject of the carnival- in this case its all on the Charlotte Mason method of learning. I had heard last week that this carnival was starting up. I am looking forward to checking out some of the articles. Care to join me?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Baby Dedications

Today at church we had our youngest son dedicated. Basically that means we stood before the church and vowed to do our best at raising Ben in the fear of the Lord, to teach him the scriptures and pray for him consistently. The pastor then dedicated Ben to God and had the congregation promise to help us in our task. He then finished with having everyone pray over us and the two other couples who dedicated their babies.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Intentional Living

I remember one time hearing a phrase that has stuck with me all this time. "Are you living life, or is life living you?" Over the last week or so I have really been mulling over that one a lot. I have to confess, I spend most of my life flying by the seat of my pants. I don't get nearly anything done and it seems like I am always chasing things- whether it be the clock or my two year old.

I believe that intentional living comes with more discipline then I have been using. Yet on the other hand it comes when you are less bound by rules. By that I mean you can't live life if you lack the discipline to limit yourself on the computer time or to go to bed decently so that you are fresh and ready for a new day. On the other hand, you are too rigid in your schedule if you can't take the time to have an experience on the spur of the moment. You also need to roll with the punches to a certain extent.

Anyway, I need to get to bed. I am resisting the urge to check everyones' blogs (sorry guys!) and going upstairs. I will explore this more later.

Arrgh! Mate

Over the last two weeks we have been doing some slow progress working on a lapbook about pirates. Well one of the branches of our county library hosted a pirate day. So, we surprised the children by taking them to it. (Danny took Tim-2yo with him somewhere else.) They got to meet Captain Jack Sparrow. They went on a treasure hunt (they did the same one three or four times). They attended a class on piratey stuff where Cap'n Jack taught them pirate words and the history behind pirating. They learned the parts of a ship, colored pictures and made a pirate out of construction paper. They all decided that it was a good surprise.
I just wish the pictures had come out a little clearer.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Blogger Friend School #2 Sweet Dreams

Last week in the assignment for BFS we told of our dream location for blogging. This week we are suppose to turn that dream towards reality a little and try to make your current blogging location a little more like our dream. That is a little hard with my picture last week being of a beach area in Taiwan. However, I can clean up my blogging area (also known as my bill paying desk, my schoolwork planning desk, my general paper collecting site, etc.) and make it a little more cozy with stuff around it to remind me of my dream site. Of course that means I would have to clean. And I don't do that very well. If you keep up on my blog you know that I did NOT enter a contest on organizing your desk as I thought I would never get it done in the five days she gave to submit your desk for the competition. So I am going to have to work on things over the next day or so and get my computer area into a bit of a nicer setup. Hopefully I can come back and finish this post with some neat pictures of my new blogging spot.

Okay, it is Friday and I frankly don't have any progress made on the desk. Well, I wouldn't say *no* progress, I did remove all the papers except the ones I need to deal with asap. All the rest of the papers are sitting in a heap on the floor *next* to my desk. That being said I am going to paint a word picture of my new blogging spot for you as I am not brave enough to let you see my total lack of organization.

I am going to get out my fall candles I mentioned them in a recent post here) and have one burn while I type. I am also going to start drinking tea again (I go in spurts from none to four cups a day) or some other warm drinks. I will continue to work on the clutter as we all know how much better we work in a nice organized environment. As it gets colder I will also be adding a nice blanket to the mix as we keep the heat low in our house and it gets nippy. Its much nicer when you are cozied up under a blanket.

A verse that is on my heart is- Proverbs 28:13-14

13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD,
but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A recipe we love

I don't know about you, but it is hard to find a huge variety of bean recipes we will eat. We do like a few things (and we like them a lot)- refried beans, bean soup, etc. This however is one that we all really like and as I made it yesterday I thought I would share it here. Make sure you make the sauce as it is really simple but is perfect with the beans.

Haitian Rice and Beans

1/3c oil
1c chopped onion
4-5 cloves garlic (or 1/2t powder)
1 1/2c raw rice
3c liquid (juice from beans plus water)
2c cooked beans
3 whole cloves or 1/4t ground cloves
2t thyme
1t salt
1t pepper
1/4t chili powder

Heat oil in pan and saute onion and garlic. Add rice and cook till rice looks white. Add rest of ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer till rice is tender and liquid absorbed. While cooking make sauce.

Sauce for Red Beans and Rice

2T oil
1 medium onion in chunks
1/2c green pepper chunks
3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1 medium tomato coarsely chopped It says to peel it but I never do)
3T tomato paste
1/2t thyme
1/8t chili powder
2 cubes chicken bouillon crushed
1/4t black pepper

Heat oil and cook onions, peppers and garlic till tender crisp. Add everything else and simmer till veggies are done and flavors are melded. You can add chicken or beef if desired.


Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (12)

This weeks installment of my thankful thirteen-

1) God's wisdom

2) His strength

3) His perfect timing

4) He never gives us more then He can pull us through

5) His renewal

6) His peace

7) His comfort

8) His love

9) His joy

10) His healing

11) His understanding

12) His energy (He never gets tired or needs a nap!)

13) His perfect parenting/discipline

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Book Review -Leaving the Left

I finished a book yesterday. Its far from reading a book a week like I had planned, it took me three weeks to read this one. Of course I did read two teen fiction books as well, previewing them to see if the girls could read them.
This time I read "Leaving the Left." Its a book written by a guy who use to be a left-winger but has since abandoned their platform. In the book he goes through different areas where the left took its ideas way too far, to the point where he couldn't endorse it anymore. He talks about feminism, equal opportunity, eminent domain, abortion, Clinton's perjury, fatherhood and a few others. If you have any interest in politics you might enjoy this book.

Fall is coming

For those of you who live in the deep south (Lynn!) this post is not for you and you can feel free to just skip it. For those of you who live in normal areas of the world and experience all four seasons I think you will get more from what I have to say.
Last night the low reached the lowest it has been since early June. I think fall has arrived. I now feel like I can really attend to the children's schoolwork. I hate to make them do school stuff in the house when the sun is shining bright and the temps are warm.
I have been wanting to make chili for weeks now but didn't think that anyone wanted to eat something like that when it was 85 in the house. Now we are actually shutting windows and putting socks on (well the kids and I are, Dan is still in shorts because, well because he's Dan and he wears shorts till the snow hits).
Its a little early yet but I am going to be getting out my fall candles soon. I don't have many seasonal items but I do have my pumpkin pie spice and my candy corn candles. I know Indian summer will come soon as well so I am not breaking out the heavy winter clothes yet.

Another Day

I was going to post today, honest. I was working on something about a Bible passage I read the other day. But alas, here it is 30 minutes after putting the baby to bed for the night and he is awake and whining again. I'm just going to bed. Goodnight all!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Another Sunday Missed

Yesterday I missed church again. This last year has been rather hard on us when it comes to missing church. It use to be that we only missed church for the birth of a child. In the last 10 months we (mostly meaning me and at least one child) have missed church for the following reasons-

chicken pox: we discovered on Christmas of last year that Daniel had chicken pox and two of his sisters followed suite. Then after missing several weeks of church (with all the children staying home because we didn't know if the others were contagious yet not showing symptoms yet) the night before we were to go back to church the other two children came down with the pox. It was then Dan graciously said that he would stay home with the sickies and I could go to church with the others.

Ben's birth- Ben was born on a Friday night so we missed one week of church with him.

In June Danny was hit by a car on a Sat. night and we were up till 4am so we missed church again.

mastitis- I had a horrible case of it at the end of July where I could hardly stand up straight. It started Saturday night and went through Sunday before I felt half myself again.

Three weeks ago I missed church because some children were sick.

This week I missed church because Daniel is having stomach problems.

That is all I can think of but there are probably a few more I missed. That makes two months of Sundays out of the last 10 months. Of course if you ask me how many sermons I have heard in the weeks I *have* gone to church and the number would not be very high. It seems I am always missing a lot of the sermons anymore.

Mothers seem all too often to lay aside their spiritual walk in order to take care of the more demanding needs of the house and family. It is important that we take the time to strengthen our relationships with the Father and to grow in our faith.

It is also a good example to our little ones if they see momma immersed in the scriptures. Of course I wrestle with that as I usually find the most opportune time to have a quiet time is when the children are all asleep- if they can't see me then how is it helping to set a good example?

I have not been very up on reading scripture for myself. I was doing one book but didn't find it to be very good truthfully. The lady who put the devotions together would use one scripture verse to go with her five paragraphs of thoughts and a lot of the time the verse really didn't have a lot to do with the topic she was writing on. Some of them could have applied if they were taken at face value completely out of context.

I do have scripture time with the family and with the husband but that isn't the same as spending one on one time with God alone. I need to find something to use to help me in this area.

What are you doing for your quiet time?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Some really great giveaways

There are a few contests I thought I would let everyone know about.

HsKube's Haven at Home is giving away a really neat art bundle. Colored pencils, sketch pad, etc. Charlotte would love those if I didn't keep them for myself (unfortunately she would probably use them more then I would). This one ends the 8th.

Then, My God Given Mission Field is celebrating her 2 year blogging anniversary by giving away a year's subscription to The Old Schoolhouse magazine. This contest goes until the 18th.


Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (11)

In sticking with the five senses theme (last week was sounds I am thankful for) I am going to do a list of smells I am thankful for:

1) Lilacs and lavendar

2) A baby (unless the diaper needs changing!)

3) Sauteed garlic and onions

4) Rain

5) Pine trees

6) The ocean

7) Danny's cologne (Aspen)

8) I forgot a good flower- Jasmine

9) Coffee

10) Freshly baked cookies (or pie, brownies, anything sweet and fattening!)

11) Fires/wood burning

12) Summertime grilling

13) Mint

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Blogger Friend School Assignment 1

I signed up to join this years session of the Blogger Friend School at Training Hearts. Every week we will have an assignment to post to our blog. This week being the first week is a get to know you time. Here is my assignment-

Why I blog- I have only been blogging since the beginning of June of this year. The reason why I have a blog is to help keep my sanity! I wanted someplace I could go to record my thoughts and be like a sanctuary so to speak. If you want to read my first post, it explains things better.

My dream place to blog- I think the best place I could be to blog would be somewhere quiet and secluded, away from interruptions. Of course then I wouldn't have anything to write about, would I? I have heard of people who take a once a year hiatus to spend time with God, journal and reflect. That would be a wonderful thing. Someplace out around nature- either by the ocean or near an incredible garden with a waterfall.

When I blog- I usually manage to spend time blogging in the evenings after the kids go to bed. However even that is not too easy as the baby likes to stay up till at least 11pm and by that point I am ready for bed myself. Sometimes I start a post earlier in the day and type a little every so often till I finish it up. Whenever I can find the time!

My favorite drink- I usually drink water only as I have a hard time trying to get in all the water I need but when I do have something else I like Silk brand coffee flavored soy milk. Any coffee type stuff I drink must have more 'cream' and sugar then coffee.

My favorite book- I read a lot of books- well as much as I can -but to say I have a favorite would be hard. Of course that doesn't include the Bible! I guess the favorite out of the last few months would be the books Eragon and Eldest (the first two of a trilogy).

My favorite dessert- Does this include things I can currently eat or if I was dreaming? I love very dark (85% cocoa) chocolate but haven't had any chocolate in over 1 1/2 years. I also really like cheesecake but recently discovered I am lactose intolerant. So, lately I have resorted to making peanut butter squares without the chocolate (its like eatting the inside of a Reese's cup).

My favorite inspiring scripture for my life- To limit it down to one verse would be hard as there are just so many of them that speak to me-each one at a different time. However, one I have been mulling over and thinking on a lot lately is- Romans 5:3-5
3Not only so, but we[a] 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.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I'm a nice blogger!

Lynn at One Way or Another nominated me for a Nice Matters Award! As it is my first award I am rather touched. Not only that, but she said some really sweet words about me. Thank you Lynn!

This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends & those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.

1) Seeking Rest in the Ancient Paths is a good read. She has a good blog for reading while curled up with a cup of tea.

2) Just Call Me Jamin always finds great homeschool ideas to write about and her lapbook ideas are great. She also has a great sense of humor.

3) Large Family Mothering always gives me a little bit of inspiration. If she can seem so relaxed and at ease with life when she has 14 then I can do it with 6!

4) A Walk Through the Valley is where I got the idea to start doing my Thursday Thankful Thirteen. She has a Mr. Linky in her post every Thursday if you want to join in.

5) Angel's of Heart has a nice blog. She actually has a theme for the posts each day of the week. I should try something like that- it might help my creative juices flow more (I work better with some sort of guidelines).

Well that is 5 awards. I would have 7 only Lynn already nominated Hilda and I can't nominate Lynn as she gave me the award. Alright, tomorrow I will let everyone know of their new awards. Right now I have to deal with a youngin that is awfully happy and much more awake then I would like him to be right now!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Nothing much

I am still here, its just I have been either busy or brain dead the last few days. I really have not much I feel like typing now but thought it would be good to post something so that you all don't feel like I have completely abandoned the blogosphere.
In the mornings when I go to wake the girls up I often take the baby in with me. Each time I pick a girl to lay the baby next to in bed. As soon as she realizes that her little brother is next to her she snuggles up with him.
One morning I laid the baby next to Devorah and as she snuggled up to him she called him her 'little Smuckers.' When I questioned her about why she called him that (after all naming someone after a jelly company is not very endearing in my mind). Well her reply was 'yeah smuckers, it has to be good.'
A few days earlier Devorah had asked me if smuckers was a word. I told her yes it was a jelly company and their motto was Smuckers, it has to be good. I guess she decided that applied quite nicely to her brother and has called him Smuckers several times since.