Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Blessings to all

Just a short post to wish that we all would remember the blessings of 2008 and commit this next year to living every day with God's will as our guide. That every moment would be worship to Him.

Blessings to you all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Survey

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper and wire-edged ribbon
2. Real tree or Artificial? I love real trees, such a yummy smell.
3. When do you put up the tree? Alas, we don't have a tree. (Moving and setting up trees don't mix.)
4. When do you take the tree down? see #3
5. Do you like eggnog? I love to have one glass a year.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably my Anne of Green Gables set.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My daughter. ;D
9. Do You have a nativity scene? Yes. A family we know moved last year and gave us theirs.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Do people email Christmas cards?
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I don't remember an especially bad gifts.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a Wonderful Life
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? December 26
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I remember, but I would if it was new and I was sure that the other person would enjoy it more than me.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? the Mexican fiesta we have every year...and fudge.
16. Lights on the tree? Lots of white one. ;D
17. Favorite Christmas song? Ukrainian Bell Carol
18. Travel for Christmas or stay home? I would love to stay home and have everyone come to me, but as long as we live within driving distance of both our parents, we will be traveling to the Grandparents' homes.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? I'm not sure.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? All day Christmas...see #18
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Impatient people!!!
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Blue and snowflakes.
24. Favorite Christmas dinner? Mexican fiesta!!!!! Taquitos, tamales, Spanish rice...yum-yum!
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Plants and stuff for my new house.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An award that is all me

Back at the end of November I was nominated for an award by one of my favorite blogs, Stop and Smell the Chocolates. It is called the Booklover's Award. (For those of you who know me, this makes no sense at all...*wink, wink*)

The instructions for this award are to find the book closest to you, turn to page 56, and type in the fifth sentence plus a couple more after that.

Since I have been reading through the Anne of Green Gable's series, the closest book to me is, Rilla of Ingleside. So here goes...

None of the Reeses were in khaki. Rilla waned to cry, too--but she would not. What was that horrid old Mrs. Drew saying to mother, in that melancholy whine of hers? "I don't know how you can stand this, Mrs. Blythe. I couldn't if it was my pore boy." And mother--oh, mother could always be depended on! How her grey eyes flashed in her pale face.

If you haven't read this book, it's worth it if you liked Anne of Green Gables, the books or the movies.

As for the 5 people I will pass it on to...

How about anyone who wants to be a part! I just ask that you let me know if you do post on it so I can come and read it. :D

Thanks again, Lisa! (If anyone wants to read her original post, you can do that here.)

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Great Hubby

As part of my campaign to show him just how wonderful I think he is for taking the last 3 days to paint our new home in the perfect collection of colors, I am dedicating this blog entry to my dear Hubby, who is at this very moment, putting the finishing touches on the paint in our new home.

Thank you so much for all the hard work, long hours and heartache (not to mention back aches, shoulder pain, knee pain and any other pain I have missed). It will make my days of standing in the kitchen, making breakfasts, lunches and dinners in the years to come, times to remember why I'm there and who it is all for.

And if that is not enough, just think of how much nicer it will be to eat in a kitchen that is painted daisy yellow instead of blue! I've heard that blue hinders food digestion...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Time to Move Again...


For the fourth time during our year and a half marriage, my husband and I are moving. The difference this time is that we are moving to a home, our first real home; the reason being that this week we bought our first home.

As I am writing this, my husband is painting my new kitchen. This will be the first time since we got married that we have been able to choose our own colors. We will finally have enough room to store things, somewhere for the kids to play in when they get older. It is a blessing we have been waiting forever for.

And yet, even as I am packing for this move, I can't help but think that someday soon, I will be called to a home that I have been waiting for even longer. A home that will all that I have ever wanted or ever could want. One that is more beautiful than my little dream house. One where Someone is waiting for me who is even more wonderful than my husband and daughter, which is saying something.

For someday soon, I will wake up in Heaven with my Jesus. And finally, truly, I will be home for good. And the best part is once I am there, I will never have to move again.

(*Edited to note that the house pictured is alas not mine. I don't have any pictures of our home but that was such a nice one I thought it captured the spirit of our new home.*)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

So, yesterday was family day. My husband and I, along with our daughter, made our rounds to both sets of grandparents for Thanksgiving dinners. Yes you heard me right; we have Thanksgiving dinner twice in the same day. It is a small price to pay to live close to our parents. It means more than plenty of turkey, stuffing, rolls, mashed potatoes and of course my personal favorite...lots of pie, chocolate and pumpkin with the all important mountain of whip cream. After eating two such large meals, I realized that there are both good and bad things about having two Thanksgiving meals while pregnant. (This is not a hasty conclusion, as this is my second year in a row of being pregnant on Thanksgiving.) On the good side, you can eat as much as you like. After all, you only eat part of that sum at each house. This has an added benefit if you are pregnant. (Because then, no one can tell how much you ate, even if they weren't too busy feeling the effects of seconds themselves.) The bad part is that you can't eat very much at one sitting, which is so sad on a day like Thanksgiving.

Apparently, yesterday's running around wasn't enough such youthful people as ourselves, so we spend this morning out shopping Black Friday. I used my time to buy yards and yards of flannel, which was on sale for $1.49 a yard. I will try to post pictures of my shopping trip soon. When all was said and done, I left the store with tons of fabric and 4 1/2 hours of standing in line to my credit. I even made some new friends and met some old ones while doing it. Not bad for a Black Friday!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Call for Help

My husband posted this last night on his blog. It is a call for help from one of our family's favorite bands, the Apologetix. A friend of theirs, named Arron Daniels, because of his diabetes, is facing kidney and liver failure. There is a surgery that his doctor feels could cure him but his insurance won't cover it and the procedure carries a price tag of $17,000.

His church has established a fund to help him and his family pay for the surgery. For all the details and his email in case you would like to write him a note of encouragement, please visit the original post on the Apologetix website.

My youngest brother has diabetes, although it is a different type, so this is an issue close to my heart. Please be in prayer for this man and his family as they are traveling through this time of trial. Thanks!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Reasons to Celebrate in the Face of Disappointment

So, as you may have guessed by the kind of posts on this blog, I was not one of those who voted for our new President-elect. And while I believe that our nation is in for a time of trouble, I was trying to find things or reasons to celebrate. Here is what I have so far. (Please feel free to leave a comment with your suggestions and/or a link to your own list!)

1) There will be no more political ads for at least 2 years, 4 if we are talking to the scale that they have been on for the last few weeks. The ads here have been so mean and so great a number that I had to keep the remote by me at all times so that I could mute them and save my sanity. I was so tired of people imitating candidates, accusing them of every sin in and out of the book and using what they think of as clever quips that I couldn't take listening to even one more. The scariest part is that I think I talked to my TV more in the last two weeks than I talked to my husband. And that was just to the ads!

2) Soon there will be less litter on the sides of the roads. No more signs begging for our votes, promising things no one care or even intends to deliver on. There is one sad note however; some poor souls will have to drive around for the next few years with a defeated candidate's name of the bumper of their car. But hey, at least they have some reason for cheer; there is proof that they didn't vote for the winner.

3) And my favorite reason of all; it doesn't matter who is President of our country or leader of any other nation in the world. Jesus is still on the throne where I'm headed. Granted, it doesn't make living here any easier but then again maybe that's the point. After these next four years, maybe heaven will be a more welcomed sight to us than ever before. And maybe, just maybe, we will be more excited about getting there soon. :D

Monday, November 3, 2008

An Excellent Post

(No, I'm not bragging on myself.)

One of my favorite blogs is Domestic Felicity, written by a very dear Jewish woman, whom I admire greatly. Today's post was especially timely for me; for although the examples are talking about men, I think all of us need to be reminded of the great blessing of our calling as wives and mothers. I have been discouraged lately and this post was so encouraging to me. Please stop by and read her post here.

Blessings to you all!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You know someone is a homeschooler when...

Last night we went to my parents house for dinner and to avoid the tricker-treater thing. I was telling a story to my family about something and used the word "rent". My 7 year old brother looks at me in all seriousness and says, "Do you mean "rent" or "rent"? Because there are two meanings. It can mean "to borrow" or "to tear"?" We all just laughed and I wondered how many 7 year olds actually know that there are two meanings for the word "rent". For that matter, how many adults today with our limited, albeit four letter word vocabularies, know that. But that is another post, for another time. No soapboxing today...

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm back...in moderation

So this in my first real blog in about 2 months. I don't really have anything interesting to say but I feel so out of the loop that if I don't start here with a nonsense blog, I won't ever get started again. Alrighty then, here I am.

Due to a very busy last week and a half, I have fallen behind in my chores. (For those who know me, stop snickering. I mean REALLY behind.) My goals for today are to get the 5 loads of laundry washed that I need to have done before tomorrow, fold the 3 that I washed over the weekend and clean my upstairs bathroom that hasn't been cleaned in way too long. I have this habit of wiping it down but not really deep cleaning it and it was long past due for a deep cleaning. (Thankfully guests don't have to venture in to it so no one has complained yet.) So far I have one load washed, the bathroom cleaned and my breakfast eaten. Oh, and I have fed my baby daughter. So I guess that's not to shabby for a Monday morning, right? Just lots and lots more laundry to go...which I should probably get started on before my daughter wakes up...oh, no, is that her I hear upstairs? I'd better hurry! Ciao, friends!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A New Contest



There is a great 100th post/5,000th visitor giveaway going on at Domestically Inclined. Click on either link to enter to win one of three great prizes being given away.

Best wishes to you all!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It is only a season...

Dear Blog readers:
This has been coming for a while, though I have tried to make it work without having to say this. My family is in the middle of a busy time (which I will be blogging about just as soon as I have time) and I must take a short break to focus on my family's needs. This is not, however, the end of my blog and I would encourage you to poke through the archives in the absence of current posts.

Thanks for reading my thoughts, and I hope you will not forget about me during my short hiatus.

Blessings!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Great Ebook Sale!

Have you heard the big news? TODAY ONLY you can get an incredible ebook package from MoneySavingMom.com--over $100 worth of money-saving ebooks, homemaking helps, and encouragement for only $5.97! It is a great savings that she is offering and with prices for groceries and gas so high, who wouldn't want to save some money! Stop on over to her site here and check it out.

What makes this deal so good is that this ebook package includes the ecourse Supermarket Savings 101--this course alone is worth much more than $5.97 and will teach you how to drastically reduce your grocery bill. If high fuel and food costs are discouraging you and leaving you strapped for cash, you definitely need to buy this ecourse. You'll learn how to cut your grocery bill by up to 50% or more and have fun saving money at the same time!

Some of the other highlights include: Tips for Successful Home Management, What to Do While Waiting for Prince Charming, What My Parents Did Right, A Proper Tea and more!

Click Here to read more about this huge sale! Hurry, though, the price goes up tomorrow!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Beautiful Giveaway!

I just found this today, but you have until midnight to enter to win a lovely apron, catch all bag, fabric and cookbook! Visit Sew Take a Hike to enter!!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Frugal Friday: Sailor Showers

When I was a kid, we lived in a desert where water was scarce. We had been in a drought there for as long as I could remember and we had to try to save water where ever we could. One of the ways we learned to do that is to take sailor showers.

The process is very simple; when you are not wetting yourself down or rinsing, turn the water off. It may sound like you are not saving much water but if you consider how much time you spend, standing there with the water on but not using it, I think you will see what a difference this can make. Plus the more people in your home who take showers, the more water you will save.

This process has one other benefit. The less water you use in the shower, the less water your water heater has to heat, thus saving you money on your electricity bill as well!

Blessings to you all as you try to be Frugal!

Frugal Fridays are hosted every Friday by Domestically Inclined. Click here to read this week's Frugal Friday tip!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calling all Wives and Mothers...

There is a new forum for Christian homemakers set up by Mrs. V at Quiet Pleasures of Home . The stated purpose of the site is, "A place to talk about frugality, homeschooling, homechurching, homekeeping, recipes, pantry stocking, & being a Christian wife & mother".

If you would like to join in the conversation, visit The Quiet Pleasures of Home forum!

Blessings!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Makeing Your Home a Haven - July 21, 2008

A Little Beauty



Today's Make Your Home a Haven challenge is finding a way to beautify some part of your home.
I chose to put up some pictures that I have had sitting around, some since January. (I will try to post some pictures later.)

My husband and I are picture addicts. Since we have been married, about 15 months, we have taken over 1500 pictures! (For those of you who are counting that's about 100 a month.) It's a good thing we have a digital camera. So, today to make our home more like a home, I decided to frame a picture of the two of us and one of the three of us and place them around our living room.

I would have loved to do more today, but I am still trying to get our home unpacked. It seems like there is always something that comes up to keep me from getting that done. Then I run in circles, doing tiny bits on ten different projects and accomplish nothing. So today I have set the following goals:

~ Clean both bathrooms (done)

~ Wash towels (half way done, still waiting on the washer to be finished with a load so I can start a new one)

~Complete morning routine (see my morning routine here) and I have added reading to my daughter,today's reading was Exodus 10, all of which is done except that handwashing of dishes, because I have some dishes that must soak first

~Go through craft/sewing/cross-stitching/beading/etc...totes and weed out unnecessary things

I think I just might accomplish all my goals since it is only 10am and I have only a few chores left and then on to the weeding!

Blessings to you all!

Friday, July 18, 2008

One of my favorite hymns

In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
God leads His dear children along;
Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
God leads His dear children along.

Refrain

Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season and all the day long.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along;
Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
God leads His dear children along.

Refrain

Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
God leads His dear children along;
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.

Refrain

Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
God leads His dear children along;
Away up in glory, eternity’s day,
God leads His dear children along.

Refrain

When times are tough and I need to know that God is with me, I sing this song. I am so thankful He is there to lead me along.

(To find lyrics to your favorite hymns, try Hymn Lyrics.org.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Funny or Sacrilegious?

Check out the Apostle's Comedy skit by Ron Pearson. Then let me know what you think. (Just click on the Apostle's clip towards the bottom of the page.)

Here are some of my questions:
Is there such a thing as Christian comedy? Should there be? Is this funny to you? Or somehow sacrilegious? Or could it foster sacrilegious attitudes? I'm just curious what your thoughts are on this.

Thanks in advance to all who comment.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm not so sure about this...

but this just had to be shared!

blog readability test

Never Leave (Movie Trailer)

This is the movie our church is shooting as an outreach. I hope you enjoy it.

Blessings!

My first award!

I am so excited! One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates just nominated me for my first award! Thank you so much, Lisa!



Now here are the rules as I understand them. In accepting this prestigious ;) award, you really should follow these rules:
1. Put the logo on your blog. (Of course!)
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you. (And you should visit her blog too!)
3. You must nominate 7 fellow bloggers for this award. (I've wanted to do this ever since I started blogging!)
4. Add links to the recipients. (Again...of course)
5. Leave a comment so the recipients know they have received an award. (I just hope they will enjoy this as much as I am.)

So without further ado, here are my chosen 7 fellow bloggers:
1) Stephen at Stephen Hardy's Blog
2) Tara at Patience is a Virtue
3) Mrs. Anna T at Domestic Felicity
4) Mrs. V at Quiet Pleasures of Home
5) Michelle at By His Grace and For His Glory
6) Lady at Domestically Inclined
7) You (if you are reading this, please take this chance to be awarded!)

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Giveaway that Truly Sucks!

Sarah Mae at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee has announced a giveaway that any mother would like to win; a 100th Anniversary Hoover Wind Tunnel Bagged Vacuum Cleaner!!! So pop on over and enter to win. Who knows maybe your summer will be cleaner than you thought!

Great Summer Giveaway!

I found a great giveaway from Monica at The Homespun Heart, a $120 gift card to Lands' End. Their clothing is very high quality and it has been on my mom's shopping list for a long time. Click on over to their site and check out what they have to offer, then head on over to The Homespun Heart to enter to win!

(A special thanks to Heather at More Than Survival for the tip!)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Prison Alert

For those of you who have visited my blog before, you may notice a new icon on the sidebar. When you click on it, it will take you directly to the Prisoner Alert website. What this site does is give us a way to encourage our brothers and sisters who are imprisoned for their faith. We can write letters to them as well as email government officials, subscribe to email alerts, and email all this information to your family and friends.

When Paul was in prison in Rome, he wrote to the Church at Colosse: "Remember my bonds." (Colossians 4:18) It is easy to let the enemy convince us that we are all alone, especially when we are locked up away from the rest of the world. I pray with God's help, that we will be a strong voice reminding our brothers and sisters that they are in our prayers and God will never forget them or leave them alone. (Hebrews 13:5)

Blessings!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

God's prayers are not our prayers

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been reading Green Leaf in Drought by Isobel Kuhn. It is the story of Arthur and Wilda Mathews, missionaries with OMF (formerly China Inland Mission). In telling the story of particularly difficult time of trial, she quotes Luke 22:31&32a , And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not...


I was pondering this and how we don't pray the way that Jesus did. If it were our prayer quoted in Luke, it would probably sound somethings like this, "But I have prayed for you that Satan would leave you alone and that you would have a smooth road ahead of you." Since Jesus is our model and we are supposed to pray as he prayed, I think we should take our cue from this verse. We need to pray that we will not be shaken by the sifting, not that God will keep Satan from trying to sift us. We must stop praying for an easy road and start praying that whatever God sends our way would be met by his strength and a firm faith that he will get us through it. We must remember that God's ways are higher than ours and his goal for us is not smooth sailing but that we draw daily closer to him, regardless of circumstances.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Making Your Home a Haven-July 7, 2008

I have been praying about how to make the most of my time during the day. This is a problem for me because I get easily distracted from the task at hand and that I get interrupted frequently as I am trying to get my home in order. I find myself doing 15 different projects during the day but completing none of them. Then I'm left at the end of the day wondering where all my time went. I first had to identify why. Well the truth is there are many reasons, but the main ones are that I just don't stay on task well and that I have a little baby who has various needs through out the day and I can't always make her time frames meet mine.

Then this morning God gave me a revelation. (For those of you who have been doing this for a while, this post will probably disappoint you, since you have more than likely already figured this out.) I don't have to do each chore at one time. I just have to do what I can, when I can. Kind of like the old saying, How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. And that is how, at least for now I have work towards making my home a haven, one little piece at a time.

For those of you who were wondering about this, yes it took me about four tries to get this posted, in between interruptions. But using my new method, I did finally get it done. I guess I'm like the tortoise in the old story; slow and steady wins the race.

To read other's stories, visit Biblical Womanhood's Making Your Home a Haven Monday.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Frugal Friday Tip - July 4, 2008

I'm sure I am not the first to think of this but maybe I won't be the last!

As a way to save money, I have been using hankies around the house instead of Kleenex. I still keep a box handy in every room for company but this is one small way that I can keep costs down.

How do you keep ahead of the rising costs?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Since we will be traveling to see both sets of parents tomorrow, I am taking this moment to wish you all a happy 4th!

I posted this link back in December but now is a good time to remind everyone about it. Please take a moment this weekend to thank our troops who are right now, making sure we have the freedom and the right to celebrate our nation's independence. And don't forget to pray for their protection and safety. We owe them at least that much.

Blessings!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Thoughts for today

I was reading two Isobel Kuhn books this morning and I wanted to share a quote from each with you.

"In a young man's Bible were found these words: 'Wanted: wicks to burn out for Christ. Oil and light furnished free.'" ~Children of the Hills

______________________________________________________

"God does not waste suffering, nor does He discipline out of caprice. If He plough, it is because He purposes a crop."~J. Oswald Sanders in the Forward to Green Leaf in Drought

______________________________________________________

Just as a side note, the title of the later book comes from Jeremiah 17:7-8. I made these my meditation verses of the day.

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit."

Blessings!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Home as a Haven-June 30, 2008

Today's Post from Biblical Womanhood tackles bathrooms and a verse to meditate on while making our homes a haven.

For my reading today, I am meditating on Deuteronomy 6:7. I wanted to know what and how I am supposed to teach my child the things of the Lord. Here is what I learned:

1) To " teach them diligently" means "to implant by repeated statement or admonition; teach persistently and earnestly " or "to cause to accept a belief or idea through repetition" (Webster's Dictionary). We are to repeat the words of the Lord constantly to our children, not just once a day or a week but consistently throughout our day.

2) Talking can include speaking, conversing, commanding, warning, and singing. There are so many ways we can teach our children the word, and I love that singing is included there.


Just this one verse was enough for this mother to ponder today.

________________________________________________________

Now, on to the bathrooms.

First, I have a confession to make; I love cleaning bathrooms. I know I am probably one of only two or three out there that do but there it is. But sometimes I don't have time to do it. There are other things and people demanding my time. So to save time between major cleanings, after my morning shower, I pick up all the things on the counter that have been left out since the morning before. Then I take a wipe (I like the Clorox wipes) and wipe down the sink and toilet. Finally, I check the trash, making sure that all the trash is picked up (it doesn't always make it to the trash can) and there is no "diaper odor" trying to escape and kill the family. Now my bathroom is clean and ready for a day's use!

Blessings to you all and have a great day making your home a haven too!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Ehart who won the copy of The Scarlet Pimpernel!

And thank you to all of you who entered. It is always great to learn more about those who read my blog! And who knows, maybe you will win next time!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Last Chance!

Today is the last day to enter to win your own copy of the Scarlet Pimpernel. Tomorrow I will announce the winner. Don't forget to check back to see if you are the lucky new owner of this classic novel!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Great Giveaway!!

If you have a moment, pop on over to Life is Like A Box of Chocolates...: It's My 500th Post!! to congratulate her on her 5ooth post and enter to win $5.oo Starbucks gift card and a box of chocolates! Now that celebrating in style!

(I am indebted to Lisa@Stop and Smell the Chocolates for word of this contest.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Home as a Haven Monday

I came across this Making Your Home a Haven Monday today and decided that now was my time to join.

As recommended, I will start at the very beginning. My morning routine is this:
1) Get up, fed and change my daughter
2) Take a shower
3) Start a load of laundry
4) Clean up dishes (load dishwasher and hand wash what is needed)
5) Read Bible and eat breakfast (feed body and soul all at once)

This way I have a good start on my daily chores. The hardest part for me is getting up in the first place. Once I'm awake, I'm usually okay, unless I have had a particularly late night or something, which is probably why God gave me a beautiful daughter with such a sunny smile so early in the morning.

Now, on with the challenge...

First, Refresh Your Spirit (5 minutes)

I read Philemon this morning. I haven't read it in a while. I love reading through Paul's letters and seeing the names he mentions. Each one represents a person with a life story, even if all they have in the Bible is a greeting from Paul. One of my favorite names is Apphia. The only time she is mentioned in the Bible is in Philemon 2, "And to our beloved Apphia". She is the Lord's beloved. She is dear to Him and He knows her story, from beginning to end. And I love the meaning too, "fruitful". She was fruitful for the service of the Lord. Oh, that He will make me fruitful in His service too!

Some people speculate that she was the wife of Philemon, and maybe she was, but God loved her even if no one else ever did. And I love that.


Second, Take Time to Plan (5 minutes)

My to-do list for the day is as follows:
1) Wash 3 more loads of laundry
2) Write a grocery list for tomorrow
3) Unpack more books
4) Make dinner
5) Fold laundry and put it away before Baby's bed time.
6) Organize the laundry area

As for what I am making for dinner... I'm thinking Hamburger Stroganoff and peas sounds yummy!

Third, Do Something! (15 minutes or so)
Today's challenge is to clean up the laundry room. Since I haven't done that yet, I think I will take that challenge. I will post pictures later so y'all can see the transformation! Once that is done, maybe laundry won't be such a chore!

Here is the laundry before:

And after:

While I was at it, I clean the adjoining bathroom too. Before:

And after:

Blessings, dear ladies!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Contest of My Own...

Oh, okay, so I am being optimistic and thinking that I will get more than one or two entries...but I just passed two milestones on my blog, my 50th post and 1,000 visitor and I want to celebrate! I debated long and hard about what to give away as a prize. I decided on one of my favorite books of all time, The Scarlet Pimpernel. (If you follow the link, you can read the first few pages on Google Books.) It is a beautiful hardcover edition complete with ribbon marker. I know you will love it!

Here is how the contest works...
~Leave a comment on this post, telling me something about yourself. It could be your favorite book, color, music, Bible verse, or something about your children, your husband, your home, anything that will say something about you.
~You must also leave a way for me to contact you; a blog link or email your email address to me so I will know it is you. I would hate to see you miss out just because I couldn't get in contact with you.

The drawing will be held on June 28, 2008. I will draw out a name and send off the prize to the lucky winner!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Coming Soon...

There is a contest on the horizon. What would be the best prize??? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Hard Hitting Truth

This is the direction our country is headed. We are often too willing to blindly follow anyone who promises us freedom and change, whether he or she is a pastor or politician.

I found this this morning on Slice of Laodicea. To read the article in its entirety, click on the link above.

"There’s lots of dialogue going on this days. Evangelical leaders met with Barack Obama this week to dialogue some more. They haven’t figured out what aborted babies in America already know—that Obama supports the right to slaughter preborn babies in the womb and those out of the womb who manage to survive a induced labor abortion. Obama twice voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in the state of Illinois. This bill was supposed to allow babies to live who managed to survive an abortion procedure, and it was introduced after nurses like Jill Stanek protested having to watch little babies die on dirty laundry carts after failed hospital abortions. Jill recalls holding one such down’s syndrome baby for 45 minutes because nobody else would hold him while he died. They had put the infant on a cart in a laundry room to die. This, Barack Obama supports and it’s on the record in the state of Illinois...

These evangelical leaders like T.D. Jakes, who said he had goosebumps when Obama got the nomination, should be forced to watch what Jill Stanek did, holding a baby that had been murdered at his mother’s request, all because he had down’s syndrome. They should have to watch the movie Hard Truth and see what America’s idolatry of choice has brought us. 50 million dead human beings and counting. The irony is, rather than stand up for human life in this election, many evangelicals (a predicted 40%) will help facilitate the election of one who has a track record on child killing that is so extreme the Washington Post even comments on it.

The worshippers of Molech used to toss their infants into the fire as a sacrifice to their god. The Lord despised these pagan practices and the murder of innocents. Today’s Americans sacrifice their children on the altar to the god of convenience. It isn’t done in public places on high altars. It is done in clinics, as a medical “procedure”, far away from the public view. The bodies of these babies are incinerated and the smoke goes up from the chimneys of these death camps daily in our country. God sees the smoke and ashes of these human sacrifices that ascends before Him and He is judging it. The blood of these babies cries out, and God hears it."


All that evil needs to prosper is for good men to do nothing. It's time to stop sitting by; it is time to stand!

Etsy Store

Since I am so new to the blogging world and with a new baby, I don't have time to keep up on all the latest things. My mother-in-law at Domestically Inclined is hosting my crochet baby hats on her Etsy site.

Feel free to hop on over there and take a look. I can make them in any size up to 3 years old. If you like them but the colors aren't right, I can make them in any color that they make yarn in! I also have made some for infant boys in the past, same basic pattern but without the bows and flowers.

I hope you enjoy looking at them. Maybe they will give you some new ideas for yourself!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Food Around the World

I am indebted again to Jessica at Making Home for this list. Click here to see what it costs for a week's worth of food around the world; every where from Germany at $500 a week to the Breidjing Camp (Sudanese refugees in Chad) at $1.23 a week for food! (Watch too, the size of the family they are feeding.)

Where do you fit in?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Prayer

Here is a link for which I am indebted to Making Home. It contains an interview with Pastor Voddie Baucham. I would encourage you to read the whole interview but I wanted to share how his church deals with prayer. If you are like me, some times prayer can seem overwhelming, with so many people who needed to be lifted up. This has helped me see that you can make time for all those who need prayer, by being organized. (That is not to say that you should not be flexable; if God is laying some one on your heart, stop and pray for that person.)

First, we start off our service by praying through what we call our "prayergram," which is divided into four categories:

* Pray for one another, for James commands us. So we have five families listed there that we're praying for, for that week.
* Pray for kings and those in authority, so Paul tells us and Timothy. And so we pray for one local and one state and one national leader every week.
* Pray that the Lord of the harvest would send forth labors. So we pray for one unreached people group every week.
* And then pray for those who shepherd and feed the flocks. So we pray for our elders every week.


I hope it helps you too. To read the rest of the article, click here.

Moving: Before and Midway to After

A couple of weeks ago, Domestically Inclined posted before and after pictures of a cleaning project. Here, we are in the middle of a move, so I thought I would share before and after pictures from that. The trouble is that I still haven't finished so they will be more before and midway pictures. Enjoy!


This is my living room right after we moved in. But unfortunately this was only 1/2 of the stuff that we needed to move in.


This was about 2 weeks later. Most of the first round was gone but all this sprung up to take it's place.


This is how it looks today, about 3 weeks after the previous photo. All I can say is it's getting there...I think.

Just for fun, I thought I would throw in the same progression in my kitchen. There at least it is looking like a home rather than a storage unit.

Beginning of May...

Mid May...

Now in mid June...

(After looking at this photos myself, I don't know if you can really see the progress in the kitchen...oh, well!)

I hope you enjoyed the journey. I will continue to update my progress. If nothing else, it will be a good motivator if I know I have to show you all. :D

Blessings!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Barnes and Noble Gay Porn Hits 11-Year-Old in the Face

I found this on Slice of Laodicea. It shouldn't surprise me just how sick our world has become, but it still does. How long until we stand up and say, "No more!"

"Brannon Howse’s trip to a Barnes and Noble with his 11-year-old son got ugly when a book display near the check-outs featured a coffee table sized full-color book of homosexuals engaging in sodomy. There’s a time for anger, friends, and that time came a long while ago."

Click here to read the rest of the post.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hilarious Latin Bumber Sticker

In college, I was a Latin minor. This means two things; first, I'm a Geek (capital G and all!) and second, I find humor in the oddest things. I hope you enjoy my kind of humor...or at least you are willing to humor me.

I found this on Fun Latin. If you are a Latin Geek, leave me a comment, will you?

Si hoc adfixum in obice legere potes, et liberaliter educatus et nimis propinquus ades.

(Translation: If you can read this bumper sticker, you are both very well educated and much too close.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

This was just what I needed today

This morning while I was feeding my daughter, my dad called to tell me that my uncle, who had been fighting a very aggressive form of cancer, died this morning. While I am so thankful that he is now free and rejoicing with Jesus, I am also sad to have lost him. So when I came across this video, it was a welcome reminder that God knows what it feels like to watch someone suffer and die. Thank you Lord for letting me rest in your arms and cry a little on your shoulder.

Simply Heartbreaking

This is truly one of the most heartbreaking stories I have ever heard. Do not be deceived my dear friends, do not believe the lies of the enemy. Nothing is or can be more important than the mission God gave us as women; to be godly wives and mothers. I am indebted to Maiden Waiting for Her Beloved for bring this article to my attention. You may find the original here: I faked infertility to keep my career.

"My career has always been my first love, but when I was 31 I agreed to marry a lovely man that I had been seeing for several years.

Sam was really keen to have children straight away but I was focussed on my job and doing really well so I managed to convince him to wait a few years. He kept bringing up the topic and, although I was still not interested, I eventually agreed to start trying for a family.

I started taking folic acid and calcium and stopped drinking alcohol. But secretly I kept taking the pill. I felt terrible but I knew that if I got pregnant now I would lose my job, I figured this was the best way to keep everyone happy. Besides, by this time I was still only 34 and figured that I still had plenty of time to have children later, when I had achieved what I wanted at work.

Sam was so excited, he started buying little present for our 'baby' and spent time researching the best cots, car seats and carriers. I felt bad but I'd just been promoted again and was able to throw myself into work and forget about my lie.

Each month when I got my period Sam was so sad, and I had to pretend to be too. He'd cook me special meals full of baby-making vitamins and burn oils that supposedly promoted fertility. After a year of "unsuccessful attempts" Sam suggested seeing a fertility specialist. I put it off as long as I could but eventually I had to agree to go along.

I felt sick sitting in a waiting room surrounding by hopeful looking couples waiting nervously. I had to lie to the doctor and undergo a series of tests. When I couldn't take it anymore I broke down and cried to Sam that all the testing was too intrusive and made me feel like a failure. I was consumed by guilt. As always, Sam was so wonderful and supportive, I hated lying to him.

By this time Sam has spent loads of money on all kinds of "natural treatments" and with the stress of it all, along with me working longer and longer hours at work, we began to fight. Sam resented me spending so much time at work and putting extra stress on my body. Gradually we stopped fighting and gave up on the idea of a baby of our own.

Today I am 46 and have pretty much missed out on my chance to have children. It hurts me to watch the sad look on Sam's face when he plays with our friends' children. And it hurts me even more to watch the sympathetic look that my poor childless husband gives me; misinterpreting my guilt for the pain of being unable to give him what he wanted.

No job is that important. If only I'd realised this 10 years ago."

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blue Bonnet Soap


Take a quick skip over to The Rustic Cottage and enter to win a bar of her Blue Bonnet Soap. While you are there, take a look at her Etsy shoppe to see all the other wonderful bath products she sells.

CFI

God has given me a burden for persecuted Christians around the world and for those who do not know Him at all. When I was 18 I started a prayer group at church to pray for those who were suffering for Christ. Now I have this blog and I would like to share with you two organizations that I support, whose mission is to help those who are suffering, with or without Jesus.

The first one is Christian Freedom International. They are based in Michigan and they have many outreaches to the people of Asia. Their mission statement reads, "Remembering the Persecuted. The work of Christian Freedom International centers around the words of Hebrews 13:3: “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”"

Here are just some of the ways you can help support our brothers and sisters in Christ:

Child Sponsorship

Buying Handcrafts

Money for Bibles

You can click here to see a list of the other ministries you can be a part of.

I have added a link to Christian Freedom International's site on my blog roll. From there you can subscribe to their email updates or feed updates to keep up to speed on what is going on in the world.

I would encourage you to get involved in any way that God leads you to. Whatever He will let us do, we should be running to do it.

God bless!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

News from Rick Warren and Tony Blair

Tony Blair, in his new roll with the U.N. has joined Rick Warren in trying to develop a one world religion. Follow the two links below to read more about the new "Faith Foundation" and ask yourself what is their foundation built on?

Tony Blair's new idea

Tony Blair's Bid to be a Faith Leader (a Washington Post article.)

It makes you wonder, who will join the enemies of Christ next?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

On Politics

I found this post just yesterday on Your Sacred Calling. I thought with the upcoming election, you all might want to know just what one of the candidates, Senator Barak Obama, thinks about children. I can only pray that he hasn't called his own daughters "punishments". Maybe they are only a punishment if you don't want them. I hope and pray that God will continue to have mercy on our land.

(Warning: this blog entry contains details about partial birth abortions. It is rather graphic about how the procedure works. If you have a weak stomach, please use caution when reading it.)

Today's Ponderings

Yesterday I had a visit from a single friend whom I met in college. She was telling me that she was bored and having a hard time trying to fill in her days, when she's not working. At the time, I chuckled and said that I had the opposite problem. I had too much to do each day to stack it all in. As I was washing yet more laundry and dishes today, I started thinking about just how different my life is now from what it was 2 or 3 years ago.

Over the past few weeks, I have been watching a TV show that I started watching when I was in college. Back then, I would rent episodes from the video store and watch up to 8 episodes in a single day. What else did I have to do during those weeks when homework was scarce? Now I watch as much of an episode as I can while nursing or unpacking boxes, stopping as soon as my daughter drifts off to sleep so I can run to the chores I can't do while she's awake.

When I was still in college, I would go anytime I liked to get my nails manicured, my hair cut and dyed, or to watch a movie at the theater. Now I feel blessed on the days I actually have the time to curl my hair rather than pull it up in to a clip and move on. Gone are the days of manicures and dyeing my hair (even if my husband liked it as many different colors as I used to try).

I would call all my friends in a single day sometimes, trying to find some one to hang out with me. Now I have my beautiful daughter to talk to all day long and my husband to hang out with and watch movies with all the time, no phone call necessary.

I used to grab whatever was easy to make from the grocery store; frozen dinners, nutrition bars, maybe a banana sometimes. Every once in a while I would cook a dinner for myself and eat it...by myself. Now I have the time to cook healthy and tasty food and best of all, someone to enjoy it with me.

I used to look for anyway that I could find to get out of my house, both when I was in college and when I was living at home with my family; not because I didn't like my roommate or my family but because it made me feel even more alone than when I was all by myself. Now, there is no place on earth that I want to be more than my home. When friends want to get together, I would rather have them here for a movie or a cup of tea than being out and about town. Here in my home, I have all I have ever wanted; a husband who loves me and a daughter of my very own. Who could ask for anything more of this life we have on earth?

In college, all I could think about was wanted to get married and have a family of my own. When I graduated, I realized that Jesus was who I really wanted. I needed Him and I would have everything my heart desired, because He would mold me to be more like Him and my desires would change to become His desires. And in doing that, He gave me all these things. And I just wanted to say thanks to Him today.

Psalm 146:1 Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pictures from England and Scotland 2006

For those of you who have enjoyed my pictures of England and Scotland, I put together this slideshow. Please feel free to leave a comment about any of them, especially if you have been there too or if you want to know where any of the photographs were taken.

Humbling

Every once in a while someone will tell you some thing that you already knew but you hadn't really put into words. Today was one of those for me. I want to thank her for giving me the prod. I am humbled and ashamed of myself and I hope that this post will be an encouragement to others, who like me, need a little friendly encouragement from time to time. You can read the blog here.

Aprons are lovely!

I found this blog just the other day and wanted to share with you the aprons her daughter makes. They are called Olivia's Vintage Spring Collection.

There is just something about wearing an apron. My mother-in-law and I were talking about this just the other day. It helps you focus on your task at hand. It gives you some where to put little things as you are picking up the house. And best of all, it makes you feel like a little girl again, playing dress up. :D

Anyway stop by and see Olivia's lovely collection of aprons and be inspired!

Monday, May 19, 2008

And the winner is...

It is no surprise to me that on this quiz,

I am Elizabeth Bennet!


Take the Quiz here!



Who are you? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, May 16, 2008

More pictures from my trip to England

I love a good photograph. Now I am by no means an expert but I love to try to take a photo that means something or show beauty. I am going to take some time in the next few days to share some with you.


This first one is from Surrey near a little town called West Byfleet. About the only thing there is a train stop. I only know of it because living there is a kindly family who housed myself and my travel companion when we were there in the Summer of 2006. They were a large Christian family whose hospitality made me so much at home.


This one always reminds me of the Resurrection. The empty cross in the sunrise...just as my Savior was no longer nailed to that cross or even in a tomb, so this grave is empty of the soul that once was a part of what is now buried there.


I love fog. There is something so connected to the past in it. Almost as if you have been transported to some time long ago and now you have a choice to make; do you live there, buried in the stories of once upon a time and the land of legends or do you brake through the mists of days past and once again see the light of reality.

I think that is why I love England so much. It is surrounded by the fog of the past I love so much. It is a beautiful place for the imagination.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My Favorite Tea

Here is my first post for the Tea Blog-a-thon! I hope you enjoy this post. To read more of them, click here.


I have been wanting to talk about this for a while so here is my best tea story and it comes from the land of tea and crumpets, England.

I was in England in the summer of 2006 on a scholarship from my University. And while in my favorite place while I was there, the Cotswolds, in a little hamlet called Moreton-in-Marsh, I happened upon a small church which was celebrating it's yearly flower festival.

After viewing all the lovely flowers I found they were selling cups of tea for 50p. I asked for a cup. It was the most heavenly tea I had ever drank. Before this trip, I was not a tea fan, now it is one of my most favorite things in the world.

The very sweet lady, who made that delicious cup of tea, came and talked to me about a quarter of an hour, then offered me a second cup at no charge. How could I possibly say no to that! I ended up spending an hour talking about the Lord, England and America with her and I will never forget what a wonderful hour it was.


Post Script: The picture at the top of my blog is the place where I stayed while in Moreton-in-Marsh, Tree Tops Bed and Breakfast.

A Sweet Story


I was reading Your Sacred Calling today. It is not often in our fallen world that we heard such wonderful stories. Too often we focus on the bad things; all the horrible event on the news. I hope this story will give hope to those young ladies waiting for the man God has chosen for them. And be a reminder of what a precious gift God has already given those of us who are married. Click here to read the story.

Blessings!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reflections on Mother's Day

Yesterday was my first Mother's Day. I never before understood why mothers said that having their children with them was the best Mother's Day gift ever. Now I know why. To be able to spend the day with my husband and our baby girl, I was overcome with the realization of what a great blessing the Lord gave to us when He gave us our daughter. She is an amazing reminder to me of just how much God loves us and longs to hold us close. I understand in a much deeper way, how protective He feels towards us and that through all the things that happen in our lives, He is right there with us and allows them for His good purpose.

I know that my earthly love and care for my child is nothing compared to what God has done for all of us, but it helps me grow a little bit closer to Him and understand His wondrous works just a little more. These things are truly a beautiful glimpse of the Lord I serve is and how much He loves you and me.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To my mom and my mother-in-law

Happy Mother's Day!

To my Mom:You are an inspiration to me and I know that any time I need to talk or I need advice on being a mommy, you are only a phone call or IM away. Thank you for always being there.

To my Mom-in-law:I am one of those blessed to have two moms not just a mother in law. We have become so close in these past few years and I am so thankful to have you in my life.

Happy Mother's Day

To all mothers:

First, a Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there, especially those who are first time moms like me. This is our first mother's day and no matter what happens between us and our children in the future, even if they die before us, we will be mothers until we die. It is not a job you can give up and a good mother won't try. Yes, there will be days when you want nothing more that 10 minutes without questions about when lunch will be served or can they go play with their friends or do they have to take a bath again. But really, in light of the fact that they will some day leave you to become parents themselves, wouldn't it be better to just smile and say, "Lunch will be at noon, same as always. You can play when your chores are done. And yes, when you are that dirty and covered in mud, you must take another bath." Just remember that some day, they won't be there to pester you anymore. We moms, tired as we are, soon forget that time passes so quickly. We are caught in the moment and don't look to see where the path is headed. We should take the time to listen to our moms, grandmas or friends who have grown children. They can tell us all the things they regret. It will help us have a little more patience with our little ones, when we stop to see the big picture.

If any of us has struggled in the past with our perspective, remember that today is a new day and God wants us to heed the words in Philippians 3:13-14, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." We are called to be mothers and we must press on even when we fail. Our Lord will give us all we need to fulfill the calling He has given us.

So enjoy this Mothers Day. And be encouraged, no matter what you children do, their children will probably do the same. After all, what else is the Mothers Curse for?

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's a lonely world in here

Due to moves beyond our control, I have been without blogging for about a month now.

I am so excited to finally be able to blog and communicate with the outside world that I am breaking with tradition and blogging today about absolutely nothing a.k.a. my feelings.

Normally I trying to make my blogs meaningful, encouraging or at least humorous. Today, this blog is for me. I am reveling in a moment of happiness that I am no longer cut off from the world outside; limited to outside contact through only my cell phone, the evening news, and an occasional radio broadcast when driving in the car. No, now I have the world at my finger tips. I can talk for hours, blog at will and never again miss a news story. I have the whole world at my finger tips and I can have it all. Except peace and quiet, for some one will see me online and want to talk while I really should be cooking dinner. Or efficiency, because I will find someone out there that I haven't talked to in years and forget all about the laundry that has been stacking up in my dryer for a week already. Or time with my family because I'm busy trying to catch up with all the other blogs I read. But hey, I need the time to escape, right?

Now, before I get comments about what I just said, I am only half serious.

Blogging isn't all bad. Not having it for so long made me realized that I missed talking to people. But also that I need to keep it from consuming all my time. My daughter is already 3 months old. If I get too busy blogging, she'll be 3 years and I won't remember any of it.

But for as much time as I can get, I am going to enjoy blogging. I just hope I can remember everything I've learned this past month...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another California Homeschooling Update

This is from an email sent out by HSLDA.

Court of Appeal Grants Petition for Re-hearing

On March 25, the California Court of Appeal granted a motion for
rehearing in the 'In re Rachel L.' case--the controversial decision
which purported to ban all homeschooling in that state unless the
parents held a teaching license qualifying them to teach in public
schools.

The automatic effect of granting this motion is that the prior opinion
is vacated and is no longer binding on any one, including the parties
in the case.

The Court of Appeal has solicited a number of public school
establishment organizations to submit amicus briefs including the
California Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department
of Education, the Los Angeles Unified School District, and three
California teacher unions. The court also granted permission to
Sunland Christian School to file an amicus brief. The order also
indicates that it will consider amicus applications from other groups.


Home School Legal Defense Association will seek permission to file
such an amicus brief and will coordinate efforts with a number of
organizations interesting in filing briefs to support the right of
parents to homeschool their children in California.

"This is a great first step," said Michael Farris, chairman of HSLDA.
"We are very glad that this case will be reheard and that this opinion
has been vacated, but there is no guarantee as to what the ultimate
outcome will be. This case remains our top priority," he added.


Click here for a link to the story on HSLDA's website.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Isn't it funny!

I know it's been said before but girls grow up very often thinking their mom's are crazy. I loved my mom and still do but there were times growing up that I thought she had walked away from all reason. She seemed so dogmatic about anything and everything that concerned my brother or I. Now that I'm a mom, I think she's the sanest person I know.

So, in honor of my mom, who does actually read this blog, here is a note about just one of those things that I have changed my tune on so far...meaning that I'm sure there will be many more revelations in the coming months and years.

My mom has always been the letter writing type, especially when it comes to homeschooling issues. While I have always wanted to homeschool my children someday, until my little one came, I wasn't the type to ask anyone to join me in that support. Now that my baby's future education is being threatened, I will stop at nothing to get the word out. I am willing to risk alienating friends even to make sure that I will have the freedom to choose the manner of my child's education.

Just goes to show how little you know until you walk in their shoes.

I couldn't have said it better myself

I am indebted to A Wise Woman for bringing this video to my attention. It is well worth the 2 minutes to watch it.



Enough said.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

An Update on a Time to Take Action...

The California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell has now stated regarding the Feb. 28 count decision, “I have reviewed this case, and I want to assure parents that chose to homeschool that California Department of Education policy will not change in any way as a result of this ruling. Parents still have the right to homeschool in our state."

To read the complete story, click here .

Let this be a lesson to all of us to continue to stand up for our freedoms and the freedoms of those who are too young to speak for themselves.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time to Take Action

"A California Court of Appeal recently decided that homeschooling is illegal in California unless a parent is a certified teacher.

The case arose in a confidential juvenile court proceeding. The family was represented by court-appointed attorneys and HSLDA did not become aware of the case until the Court of Appeal case was published on February 28, 2008.

The Court could have restricted its decision to the facts before it, but instead, it issued a broad ruling that effectively outlaws home education in California. The Court also certified its decision for publication, which means that the decision can now be cited as legal authority by all other courts in California.

The family and their California counsel are planning to appeal to the Supreme Court of California, which could result in reversal.

Another option to keep homeschooling free in California is to petition the Supreme Court of California to “depublish” the opinion. If the opinion is “depublished” then it cannot be used by other California courts and this threat to homeschool freedom will be neutralized for other California homeschoolers.

HSLDA will be formally petitioning the California Supreme Court to depublish the opinion. We would like to show that many other people, both in California and across the country, care deeply about homeschool freedom in California."

Please take this opportunity to stand up for the freedom to chose how your children are educated, whether you live in California or not. You can sign the petition to request the depublishing of California Court Case in re Rachel L here .

Don't wait to stand up until they are knocking at your door.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Inspiration

I found this quote on someone else's blog (to read the whole post, visit here .) I wanted to share this inspirational and encouraging thought with all of you.

May the Lord help me to live this way each day.


"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble." C. Spurgeon


Who knew?

So I have made an important discovery; that a surprisingly large part of the process of being a new mother is putting together what seems like a hundred pieces of new furniture, toys and gadgets. There are cribs, playpens, carriers, car seats, bouncy chairs and I'm sure I have only begun to scratch the surface. And each one of these wonderful "mother's helpers" has a 25 page instruction booklet that is just as easy to read as can be...as long as you don't try to make the pictures match the written instructions.

But by far my favorite one so far is the wrap. Now I was expecting something that would wrap around me. I wasn't expecting a fabric boa constrictor. A warning to those with claustrophobia; beware! What you are about to read is about as comfortable as walking through a turn-of-the-century mine.

First you start by unwrapping it from the plastic packaging...and unwrapping...and unwrapping. I began to wonder if I was going to discover an ancient mummy inside all of that material. But thankfully I finally reached the center. Then comes my favorite part; in order to use the wrap, you have to watch an instructional video. Yes, there are written instructions for one way to use the wrap but that only works for an older baby and besides, there are 4 other ways to put your baby in, all depending on the baby's size and what you find more comfortable. Who knew there were so many choices in the world!

Once you have unwound it, you start the process of re-winding it, around yourself. You start with it around your stomach (which, as a side note, really helps hold in that after baby tummy paunch.) Then you cross it over your back and cross again over your chest but under the piece over your stomach. (Another side note, once you are done wrapping, you won’t have a baby tummy paunch but you will have one made out of yards and yards of knit fabric.) Once you have that base, you finish by wrapping it around and around your stomach until you run out of fabric, then you cinch it up by winding it around 2 rings. This results in you feeling like the afore mentioned boa constrictor has made you its next meal.

My mom told me when I was a baby there were only three options: a baby carrier that would be uncomfortable to carry a lightweight doll in, much less a 10 lbs baby, use your arms and pray you don’t wear out half way through or call for back up. Ah, what a difference about 30 years makes!

But after all this, I have learned at least one benefit of all these "helpers"; you learn to be really thankful for simple things like staying home, where you don't need a wrap to carry your baby in and grandparents, who don't require a 25 page instruction manual to get to help out with the baby. That, I think, is real mother’s helper.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A Short Break

For those of you who have read my blog in the past, I apologize for the break in posts. Our baby girl arrived at the end of January, earlier than expected, and I have spent all my time adjusting to the wonder of being a mother.

In the last month since our daughter was born, I have realized again that God's ways are higher than mine. I, like pretty much every other mother in the world, expected to have a perfectly healthy baby. God had a 6 day stay in the hospital planned for us. God used that time to remind me that my whole life, I have had plans or ideas of how my life should be. I thought I should get married at 18. God knew that wouldn't work for us and made me wait until I was almost 27. He always has a reason for what He does in our lives, even if we don’t like His timing.

Even more importantly, I have learned that waiting has made me so much more thankful for what God chooses to bless me with and when He chooses to bless me. If I had gotten married at 18, I wouldn't have appreciated the way I do now, what a blessing marriage is. The years of waiting have made my husband even more precious to me. The same is true of being a mother; I realize now just what a blessing children are. And if I would have been able to keep my baby at home from day one, I wouldn't have learned to enjoy every time I get to feed her, even at 4 in the morning or just sit and look at her face without having to visit the NICU to do it.

I can be slow sometimes, but I am learning to look at what is happening in my life as I think God does; as lessons to point me towards Him and remind me to be thankful for every moment and every blessing He gives to me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Encouragement for Today

It is easy in our world to become discouraged in our work at home. There are so many things we are told we could or should be doing and yet we remain here, where God has called us to be, keeping our homes, loving our husbands and children, serving the Lord on the home front.


This problem seems to grow, especially this time of year, when housewives are prone to get "cabin fever". All you can think of are the days when you could walk out of your house without having to call some one to dig you out first. And you start to feel like the walls are closing in around you.

But I have a confession to make; I love the snow. And since this is the first year since I was 17 that I don't have to drive in the snow to get to work or school, it is even more beautiful to me. I love days where all you do is snuggle down with a cup of hot tea or chocolate, a blanket and a good book. Today in fact is one of those days.

And as I was snuggled in safe and sound, I started thinking about Psalm91:1-2. These verses say:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress:
my God; in him will I trust.


And as I was thinking about them, I realized that that is why I like snow so much. I feel like I'm in a "secret place...under the shadow of the Almighty." I am protected, loved, surrounded by the security and peace, knowing that God has me right next to Him and He is watching out for me.

So next time you are feeling overwhelmed by the walls closing in around you, whether they be made of snow or wood or anything else, think of God's love and how He will let nothing choke you or hurt you or come between Him and you. He is our security and He wants to protect those He loves. Rest in Him and He will give you peace and rest.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Politics

With all of the hype buzzing around us concerning the upcoming election, I found this blog a refreshing perspective on what is really important for us to remember. Not only now when there is a change coming in our nation's leadership, but always. I hope you are as encouraged by it as I was. And may God's will be done in our nation again.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Thoughts on Ephesians 5:15-16

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Ephesians 5:15-16


When I read these verses just the other day, I started wondering what some of these words really meant. So, I went to Blue Letter Bible and this is what I found.

To walk circumspectly means to walk “carefully” or “diligently” or “perfectly”. We need to watch our step at all times, making sure we are doing what God would have us to do.

Redeeming means “to buy up for oneself’” or “buying up the opportunity”; in other words, it means taking every chance you get to use your time for the Lord. “Time” here simply means “the opportune or seasonable time”. We are not to waste our lives, not just as a whole but in each and every part of it. Our pursuit should be to find every opportunity possible to use our time wisely and for the glory of our Lord.

This does not mean that you are wasting time unless you are at church or on the mission field every minute of every day. For some of us who work at home, taking time to teach our children the things of the Lord is one way to redeem our time. Or maybe we are making our homes a place of peace and rest for our husbands; that can be redeeming the time. But some of us may not have a husband or children of our own yet. Are we making the most of the times God gives us to minister, both in our homes and out; whether we live with family or roommates? At school, at church, at work, anywhere that God has you right now? God calls each of us to make the most of what time He has given us. He knows where He has placed you and why He has you there. As His servants, our job is to make sure we are fulfilling that purpose, remaining devoted to seizing every opportunity we can of doing good and pointing others to Jesus.

The word “evil” in this verse means “full of labours, annoyances, hardships”. Jesus told us in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” We know that our lives as Christians are going to have, not “might” or “maybe”, but will have hardships, troubles, annoyances, and labours. We can’t escape them. But we are told that we need to make the most of the time God gives each one of us here on this earth. Our responsibility is not to get out of trials or to make the easier, but to use the time as we are going through them, to benefit God’s Kingdom. We are here to bring Him glory, honor and praise, both in word and in deed.

So let us be encouraged to start now looking for ways to make the most of our time here. Our time is short and full of trouble; let’s start taking those opportunities to do the will of the Father. Let us watch our steps; each move we make, each word we speak, each thought we have with a focus on pleasing our Lord. What a blessing to our Saviour, if we are willing to do as He has asked us to!

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Essence of Servanthood

The story of the Lawrenson family has hit me hard today. (For more about them, see the post below, Faith in Action.) Being almost 34 weeks along our own little blessing, I can't imagine what it must be like to have to watch our baby, covered in plastic tubing and casings, and not even be able to touch him or her with my own hands.

So much of our lives we spend focused on things, even those who are not materialistic about their stuff. But think about how much of our time and effort we spend thinking about hanging out with our friends, going to school or work, cleaning our homes and apartments, busing our children from one activity to another, all those little chores that fill each day. And to a certain extent, we need to do those things. Maybe we do too many of them, or maybe we let them consume our thoughts but that doesn't mean that they don't need to get done. But do we take the same care in planning time for the other things the Lord would have us be about?

Now if you are a wife and a mother, for example, part of what God would have doing is caring for your family; making meals, cleaning, loving, disciplining, etc...But do you take the time to spend caring for the Lord? Do you reach out to those God places in your way? Do you, even in the middle of your busy life or in your hour of pain and need, take the time to minister to those who are also hurting around you? I know I have a hard time with that. When I am in pain or things are particularly rough, my first thought is taking my own needs to the Lord. And I should. But sometimes I forget that if I will focus on others, my pain will lessen and I will be better off for having helped someone else instead of wallowing in my despair.

That is the essence of servanthood, to which we are all called. A servant isn't asked if this is a convenient time to serve, he is given a job to do and told to complete it. By focusing on myself, I open wide the door to self pity and I become useless to the Lord. If I will stay focused on Jesus and the work He has for me to do each day, I will be joyful in the knowledge that I am a useful servant in the Hands of God.

Faith in Action

Too often we take a stand with our words but are unwilling or unable to continue once the pressure really starts. This family is an example of true faith; being willing to stake your all on Christ and what He demands of each of us as believers in a time of trial.

The first blog is written by a husband, whose wife and baby girl are fighting, even now, for life. The second is written by his father.

Nathan's Blog
Rick's Blog

Please remember this family in your prayers. And I pray that they will be a light and symbol of hope to the world and all of us who call ourselves Christians.

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