Sunday, December 30, 2007

Great is Thy faithfulness.....

I am sure most everyone who is a Christian is familiar with the words to that hymn and the verses they are taken from. God's mercies are new every morning. I have found that to be true on a deeper level than ever before. Will there ever be a morning again that I don't wake up and cry? I believe so. What is comforting to me is not that fact that I will be able to cope better, but that God is so much with me NOW when I can't cope very well. He is here now, this morning.. yesterday morning... every morning. Every minute He sees my heart. He truly cares about my heartache. He gives us times of laughter. He gives us the comfort of friends and family. He doesn't take us around the waters, but through the waters, the flood, and the fire.

We hit a milestone... we made it past the funeral and graveside service. There are no words that go far enough to describe the excruciating realization of "finality" when I kissed his casket and put a flower on it... then turned to walk away. I thought the funeral would be the worst... but that was beyond what I had imagined. I know it wasn't really Aaron in that casket.. just a shell his soul lived in for a very short time. I fully understand that. Aaron is rejoicing with Jesus. The point is... God didn't give us a time warp to get past that point. He was there with us. Helped us through it. Sustained us when our own strength failed.

I feel like I am living in a fog now. But I know over time the fog will thin out. Not lift, exactly, but will thin out until a new "normal" is reached. Meanwhile, I am trying to take care of my body, as I have some physical healing to do after what was a taxing birth, emotionally and physically. I have my other 6 children to keep a reality check on everything. It is impossible to be depressed all the time when witnessing their antics. What would I do without them?

Thankfully, I have no bitterness, and pray for that to continue. Babies, children, young toddlers... they are like medicine to my soul. My sister in law brought her 3 month old to the funeral. They had called my dh ahead of time to see if they should. Well, why not? She's my neice, a miracle in herself after being born 8 weeks prematurely. I am happy for them. I don't feel pain when I hold her, or see her. I am just... grateful. No, bitterness is not a problem.

But guilt is. Should I have done something? NOT done something more? Every check up gave me and baby a clean bill of health. There were no warning signals. Nothing. But... did I miss something? What it boils down to, did I cause my own baby's death? That is torturous to me, and my dh and I agreed not to go down that road. It doesn't lead anywhere we want to go. In reality, there was nothing I could have done. We don't know all the facts. There was no problem indicated at anytime.

So, every morning His mercies are new to me. He sustains me when I dissolve into tears. He gave me a dh whose shoulder is always ready to be cried on even at 3 a.m. It is utterly impossible to ignore God's hand in every step of this journey so far. So many things have to come together, or was timed perfectly (what the world calls a "coincidence"), or provisions given. We are blessed and humbled by the outpour of love and prayers from our friends, family, and community, both in real life and online.

Thank you ladies for your support and prayers! It was a pleasure to meet Leah and Heather, and I thank them for making the trip down here for the funeral. Leah printed about a million pages of messages from the ladies from CMOMB. My dh read thru them and cried. I haven't yet... but will be working up the courage to do so soon. Thank you so much!

Oh, one more thing before I end this novel for today. I know some have been asking about sending a monetary gift. Please don't! The Lord has already provided for all the expenses, plus some. The plus some will be going towards a good locket to put a lock of hair in from Aaron. Also, we plan on sending one of our pictures of Aaron to an artist and have a portrait done. For the more immediate furture we will be making a memory box. If ever the children want to be reminded of their baby brother, or see his picture or mementoes, we'll have a special box for his pics, prints, the story of his birth, funeral momentoes, etc. We can just sit down and remember and praise God for being faithful to us in all things.

He doeth all things well.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Will not the Lord of all the earth do right?

Abraham said that in the book of Genesis. We are clinging to that now, and trusting in Him, because truth be known, we don't have the strength to face this. I don't know how to handle this. I don't know how to be "this" kind of mother. I know how to juggle a newborn, homeschooling, and the normal chaos of life. But this? It is staggering.

You have no idea what your prayers mean to us at this time. The wound is raw right now, but I am praying after the funeral tomorrow, then the long healing process can begin.

Ladies, I see you here and it means SO MUCH to me. Melissa, thank you for you wonderful support, and in a few days I would like to get in touch with you.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you, and let me just say, that the Lord IS faithful. He has humbled us with the outpouring of love by the members in our church, community, our friends and family... it has been just so amazing. I will be posting the birth story soon, but just so everyone knows the basics, Aaron Gabriel was born at home, already in the presence of the Lord, Dec. 25th, 5:20pm. He was perfectly formed. Just beautiful. The cord was fine, placenta... etc. We still have no answer as to what happened so suddenly, and know we probably never will. Once I get my thoughts in order, I will share our story, but for now, we request your prayers.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holy Brethren

I love hymns. So many of them are chock full of good doctrine, uplifting words, strong melodies without any off beats, and praise to our Lord. There are thousands of them, many that have fallen out of use, much to our shame. Here is one that probably almost everyone is familiar with, no matter what their denomination:

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee,
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
Which wert and art, and evermore shalt be.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Tho' the darkness hide Thee,
Tho' the eyes of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
Only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Holy, Holy, Holy! merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!

This wonderful hymn was written by Reginald Heber in western England. He was vicar there in his family's church from 1807 to 1823. Heber was said to be an "uncommon man", born into a family of wealth and culture, but he gave his life to the service of God in England and far away in India, in response to his long standing interest in missions.

This powerful, majestic hymn takes it's meaning from Isaiah 6, and Revelation 4. Holy. What is holy? Well, it just so happens that I read some about that this morning with my morning devotions. Now ain't that a "coincidence" ?

The following is taken from the Days of Praise, Dec. 22, 2007, by Dr. Henry H. Morris.

"I charge you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the holy brethren" (1 Thessalonians 5:27).

There is probably no word more misused - even abused - than the word "holy." In our day and age, it usually conjures up and image of sanctimoniousness, or even hyposcrisy, and thus often becomes a term of snide ridicule.

Nevertheless, it is a Biblical term of highest significance, most often used in connection with God Himself, the Holy Spirit. Since it is also used in connection with things ("the holy place," as in Hebrews 9:12), it does not in itself necessarily have a moral connotation. Its basic meaning is evidently "set apart" and can refer either to people or objects that have been dedicated to God and His service.

Christians are all "holy brethren" in this sense, regardless of their individual behavior. They are all also called "saints" (same word as "holy" in the greek - e.g., 1 Corinthians 1:2, even though many of the "saints" at Corinth were far from Christlike in their actions).

By all means, however, we who are called "holy brethren" ought to try, by God's grace, to bring honor to such a name, rather than ridicule. "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to Him that appointed Him" (Hebrews 3:1,2).

The term "saints", or "holy brethren", applies both to men and women, of course, adn to believers of Old Testament times as well as New Testament. Peter, for example, mentions the "holy women" who honored and served the Lord "in the old time" (1 Peter 3:5) and also the "holy men of God" through whom God gave the Old Testament Scriptures (2 Peter 1:21). The eternal admonition of God to all believers of every age is "Be ye holy; for I am holy" (1 Peter 1:16).

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Word and the Spirit

The following was what I read with my morning devotions, taken from the Days of Praise publications:

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (1 Corinthians 2:12).

How is it that some people can read a Biblical passage and find it either tedious, confusing, or even foolish, whereas others will receive great understanding and blessing from the very same passage? The answer is that the first group are animated only by the spirit of the world, "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (Ephesians 2:2), whereas the others are indwelt by the Spirit of God, having received the Holy Spirit when they trusted Christ for forgiveness and salvation.

It was, after all, the Holy Spirit who inspired the Scriptures to begin with. "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). "All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God" (2 Timothy 3:16), that is, "God-breathed," where the "breath of God" is none other than the "Spirit of God." Concerning his own divinely inspired writings, Paul said: "We speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth" (1 Corninthians 2:13).

Likewise it is the same Spirit indwelling each believer who illumines, and confirms, and applies His own Scripture to the individual Christian who reads of hears them. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians2:14). On the other hand, Jesus promised His disciples that "when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).

This He does through the Scriptures He inspired, with blessings abundant as we study them prayerfully and with believing and obedient hearts.

Typos are mine, the rest belongs to Dr. Henry H. Morris, Days of Praise.

It is a simple truth, that the Word of God is "alive". You may read through the Bible, but does that mean you stop? Of course not. I find guidance and learn more every time I read through the Bible. Or rather, the Holy Spirit opens my eyes to new things. It is called "growing". Heeding what you read is called "obeying". I know some may say that "personal devotions" is an old fashioned idea, and that God surely understands if we don't have time for it, etc. But honestly, I can't agree with that. New babies, crisis, busy times, vacation... they should all find us with time with our Lord on a daily basis.. basking in His word, learning, being taught by the Holy Spirit, being refreshed. Personally, if I don't get that time in early, before I start the work of the day, it just seems like many other things go wrong. I don't like giving satan a toe-hold first thing in the morning. Of course, if you aren't a child of God, than much of the Bible won't be interesting to you, and you won't have a hunger or thirst for it. That is easily remedied. We are in a season that we celebrate the birth of our Savior. But it doesn't stop there. He lived 33 years, and died but then rose again! That is the glory, the victory! If He hadn't raised Himself from the dead 3 days later, then there would be no celebration. If you haven't, ponder these things, but not too long. None of us are guarenteed a tomorrow. Proverbs says, that our lives are like a vapor, that vanisheth away. Decide today, right now, to repent of your sins, turn to the Savior, and accept His gift, the greatest gift... to you. Eternal life with Him in heaven, and a more abundant life here on earth.

Great Expectations.. in nursing nightgowns.

Well, these didn't come out exactly as planned. If I had to do them over again, I would make some more adjustments to the patterns I used. However, they are serviceable, and neat, and I am satisfied. Using 45 inch wide isntead of 60 inch made a big difference. If I had to do it over, I would fodl the front in half, then cut it out twice on the grainline, instead of once on the fold, then attach the two halves together to get the full front, with a seam down the front, if that makes any sense. That way, there will be much more fulness for the pleats over the nursing openings. At any rate, I combined an Elizabeth Lee Pattern #104 and See $ Sew B4903. I liked the yoke on the See & Sew better. Oh, something else... if you want "pooofier" sleeves, use the Elizabeth Lee sleeves, not the See and Sew like I did. Anyway, here are my No-Nonsense, No-Frills nursing gowns. :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Wow... I can't believe a week has passed!

It has been busy here as usual. Schoolwork, chores, laundry, all the everyday stuff keeps us hopping from one thing to the other. We have been doing some special baking too, which included gingerbread men, cut out cookies, and candy cane cookies.

We had fun decorating the Gingerbread men, and eating them too!

Here are some candy cane cookies I made yesterday.. they are fun, taste pepperminty, but are somewhat tedious in construction.

And last but not least, the TREE!!! We had fun decorating it. Dh said that it looks like Charlie Brown helped him pick it out. He and one of the twins, Elizabeth, went and cut it down last Saturday. I think it is beautiful. :)

We did have something of a modern day convenience strike this week. On Monday, our interenet and phone went down in the afternoon. They got that fixed Tuesday, and no sooner did that get squared away, then the dryer started acting up so we couldn't use it. I am thankful my dh is moderately mechanically minded. He took apart the dryer last night, and found that it was a simple fix.. the bearings needed oiling. We are grateful that it was something we could take care of immediately, without cost. The dryer is only a couple years old, so we were frustrated to be having any difficulties with it. At any rate, it has been humming along peacefully all day.

I spent the evening until VERY late wrapping presents. I'm still not done! Our children's are done, and a few other family members. I still have to do the church family's , plus we are waiting on a couple shipments to come in. Obviously, I can't do those until I have them. If this baby comes on schedule, it could very well be that dh will end up taking over the wrapping department. Fine with me! LOL.

I am hoping to finish up two flannel nursing nightgowns before the baby arrives, but other than that, all is in readiness. We are just waiting now, keeping busy, and trusting in the Lord's timing.

Ya'll have a blessed day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

NOT Scrooge anymore! Woohoo!

Okay, I finally did a LITTLE decorating. Not a whole lot, but enough to give the illusion that I at least tried. The only other thing I really want to do is get a tree up. Usually Dh and my oldest Ds go out and cut one down to bring home. Anyway, here are some pics of what I have done:

This is the center peice I made. The table cloth is one my grandmother made when she was a young wife, I think about 40 years ago or more. It is totally hand embroidered. Here is a close up of one of the designs:

Here is a patchwork tablecloth I made several years ago. It is on our little work table in the middle of our kitchen.

Last, but certainly not least. Would any Christmas decor be complete without the mistletoe? It is my favorite place to meet up with my dh. :) It is hung in the big doorway between our kitchen in living room. I very purposely put it in a high traffic area. Hehehehehe.

So there we have it... a very moderate decorating spree, but I am happy with it. Like I said, the only other thing I would really want to do is a tree. The children have been asking "when? when?" and I keep deferring them to Daddy. We all look forward to an evening spent together decorating the tree, listening to Christmas music, and eating popcorn.

Getting organized

I spent this morning getting baby's stuff organized. The baby will have a small "nursery" area in our room for a while. Here is the Before picture:

Here is the "after" picture (please excuse the top of Jerusha's head! LOL):

I had a reality check after it was done. It suddenly hit me how close to having this baby we are! I admit I got a lump in my throat as I was laying out baby's first outfit... a nice warm set of pj's, and blankets, and the like. It won't be long!

Warm for the winter

Here are Esther and Elizabeth in their new flannel nightgowns. I had been working on them for a while, but got sidetracked with Thanksgiving, and some Christmas shopping, applesauce making, etc. I finally decided that I was going to finish them this week, Lord willing! Excuse the girls' messy hair, they had just gotten out of the tub and then I made them do some modeling. :) The next day I cut out a couple of flannel nursing nightgowns for myself, and boy did my back hurt after that! I promptly decided... NO MORE CUTTING OUT until after this baby is born. I am thinking my nursing nightgowns won't be done before the baby is born, but that is okay. I can make do until I complete them. After that, I have a couple quilts I want to finish.. yeah right, like I'll have time with a new baby in the house! LOL.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hello, My name is Scrooge

I am so ashamed to admit that I have done NOTHING towards decorating for Christmas yet! This is usally a time of year I LOVE to decorate like crazy. Lots of greenery, and bows and the like. I go for the Americana type look. Normally by the first week of December we are decorated, and doing fun crafts and baking and just plain enjoying the season. I even have a cute little light up village I set up on top of the piano with fake snow every year.

Not this year.

What have I done? Well, not a whole lot. No decorating. No tree.. yet. I have gotten about 95% of the shopping done, but hardly any of it is wrapped. Crafts? Nope. Special baking? Not really. We did make some cut out cookies Saturday. I did the cutting out as the children were all busy helping stack wood and stuff. I about killed my back doing it. They are in the freezer now, and we'll decorate them next weekend for our fellowship dinner at church.

Okay, I have had Christmas music playing in the house since the day after Thanksgiving, doesn't that count?

Why haven't I done much? Well, I just haven't had the energy to do it! We certainly will not be decorating full tilt like we normally do, but there are a few easy things I can do. I have a couple of nice holiday tableclothes, centerpieces, and some hangy thingies I can put up easily enough. The wrapping... well, dh can do it if I don't get to it.

Also my focus has been on getting ready for the baby. We have everything we need, but it isn't as organized as I would like. Still, if the baby came tonight, no problem. We have everything we need for the little sweetie and for Mama. It is just a waiting game now.

So, I feel like Scrooge, but not energetic enough to do anything about it. LOL.

Ya'll have a blessed evening!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Playing Catch-up

It has been busy here, and I have been very very slow moving, unmotivated, tired, etc. All the good stuff you can expect with less than two weeks to go until the baby is due. I am not sleeping well at night at all, which of course makes the days even worse. With Christmas and the baby's due date upon us here, I feel a little overwhelmed. I haven't even done my usual decorating yet! I feel like such a Scrooge!

Tuesday I had an ultrasound done to make sure the placenta wasn't over my c/s scare. It is about as far away from it as it can get, thankfully. Baby is going to be big, probably between 9 and 10 lbs, I am guessing, but that is normal for us. Baby looks good, I am good, no complaints really. It is just a waiting game at this point.

Dh is almost done with fixing the baby's dresser so we can get all the baby stuff organized instead of just thrown in a basket in our room. We still need to set up the portacrib. I have to say, despite that, even if the baby decided to make an appearance tonight, I wouldn't mind. We do have everything we need, even if it is organized to suit Martha Stewart. I am looking forward to meeting this little blessing of ours. The children are getting more excited every day, it seems. They like to talk to my tummy when they go by, or when they are kissing me goodnight, or whenever it suits them. It is very cute!

My goals tonight are to work on some sewing, then after the children are in bed to work on wrapping some Christmas presents that are hiding in our room. I won't get them all done tonight, but I can make a good dent in it. Thankfully, if I don't get them done before baby arrives, Dh CAN take over, though it isn't his favorite job. ;)

The sewing I have to do is to finish four flannel nightgowns.. two for each of the twins. They aren't for Christmas... just because they need them. I will post some pics when ( and if) I ever get them done. For me to NOT want to sew is sooooo strange. Like my mom said... you'd think I was at the end of a pregnancy or something!

Ya'll have a blessed evening!

Having Technical difficulties...

Bear with us here. I tried adding a Haloscan "Recent Comment" thingie and I haven't been able to get it to work. After following steps in a support email, I somehow managed to erase all the comments that were made! My appologies to everyone! I have sent another email off to support team and hopefully we will be able to get this all figured out soon.

Monday, December 3, 2007

For those born from 1929 to 1979

Another good email from my Dad had the enclosed in it:

Those Born 1920-1979 READ TO THE BOTTOM FOR QUOTE OF THE MONTH BY JAY LENO. IF YOU DON'T READ ANYTHING ELSE---VERY WELL STATED TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930's, 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's!! First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants &children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread , and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING! We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes. No video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD's, no surround-sound or CD's, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms....... WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them! Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Imagine that!! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! If YOU are one of them... CONGRATULATIONS! You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated so much of our lives

for our own good . While you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave (and lucky) their parents were. Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?! The quote of the month is by Jay Leno:

'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let it snow, Let it snow,Let it snow!

We are experiencing our first real snow of the season. We have had flurries off and on all day, though the accumulation hsn't been more than a dusting. Still, there is a very light coat of snow over things that make it look very wintery, and very pleasant, I might add, though my Snow Bird dad might disagree. I imagine he is glad he is down south now! This pic was taken early this morning, though it looks like night. We were taking it through the window so it did some weirdo stuff to the lighting and reflection, but you still get the idea... SNOW!!!!

Of course, it is impossible to feel anything but cozy when it is snowing without, and warm withing from the woodstove. Dh and children have been stacking but not all of it is going to fit inside, so Dh is fixing up some pallettes next to the house for the extra wood. We'll get it stacked and covered with tarps, and use it up as we need to. Here is a pic of the woodstove we have been blessed with, and someof the wood we have been stacking.

Next projects on the list for the family is to prepare for Christmas, and of course the baby! Both will hopefully keep me busy enough to keep from getting too restless these last two or three weeks.

Friday, November 30, 2007

End of another busy week


The applesauce is done! Yippeee! We actually got it done yesterday. Today we did some detail cleaning in the kitchen, packed up the canning stuff, and got it put away. then, as per Dh's instructions I took a nap this afternoon and just took it easy. I feel well rested now, and ready to start the next round of projects, which is wrapping Christmas presents, and getting some sewing done before baby arrives. There is still some shopping left to be done, but the majority of it is over. Dh is also fixing a small dresser for the baby's stuff, so when he is done with that we will set up a small nursery area in our room... portacrib, dresser, birthing supplies, that sort of thing.

School this week was very basic, as the children were wonderful helpers! They did all the running up and down stairs to get jars and lids, and helped wash apples, and were general gophers. My oldest son loved using hte Squeezo machine, and ended up doing most of it. Dh helped with the cleanup at night. It was truly a group effort, and I am so thankful for my good helpers!

We also got our second load of wood the other day. More stacking ahead! The woodstove is working out wonderfully. We have been using it for 4+ weeks, and the furnace hasn't run for anything but domestic water. It is already showing a huge savings for heat. What we have should be enough to get us through the winter. The temperatures here are such that it doesn't take much to heat the house, especially with wood. We'll see how we do when it gets colder. There may be times overnight when the woodstove doesn't keep up and the furnace will run, but even so, we'll still save a lot on the fuel bill supplementing with the woodstove.

Well, I can smell supper cooking.. I have some pork chops, squash, and potatoes in the oven baking. I am sure dh will be looking to eat soon, so I better go get some of my good helpers to set the table.

Ya'll have a blessed evening!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Interesting Statistics

Sobering Statistics:

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of the U.S. involvement in Iraq, here is a sobering statistic: There has been a monthly average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq theatre of operations during the last 22 months, and a total of 2,867 deaths. That gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers. The firearm death rate in Washington D.C. is 80.6 per 100,000 persons for the same period. That means that you are about 25% more likely to be shot and killed in the U.S. Capital than you are in Iraq.

Conclusion: The U.S. should pull out of Washington.

Just Do It!

No, this isn't a Nike add.

I think all of us have tasks that we tend to, well, procrastinate about. Right now one of my biggest jobs that I put off is the ironing. The slight bending over, the heat, the standing up for that length of time, all get to me right now. Excusable, some would say, this close to the end of a pregnancy, but nontheless, I felt convicted about it for a couple weeks now. The basket I keep for ironing was full, and we were doing the very bare minimum just for Sunday's. Now with 8 people, that can add up.

The last couple weeks have been so busy here that I felt comfortable ignoring that basket in the corner of my room. But as I eyed it over the last couple days, I just knew I was going to have to deal with it sooner than later. Monday and Tuesday I had the excuse of doing applesauce. But today, we are taking a day off from canning since we have church tonight. I believe the Lord prompted me to think.. "this is the day I am going to catch up on the ironing!". Now, after I had my cup of java this morning, I was actually looking forward to conquering the Mt. St. Iron. Now that HAD to be from the Lord. So, while I assigned sundry chores to the children, I got at it. I wasn't sure if I would finish all the basket load, but I did, with the Lord's help. My back hurts, my hips hurt, and I am HOT, but it is caught up and that is a satisfying feeling. With pinafore dresses for all three girls, a kazillion dress shirts, and a couple of dresses for me all neat and tidy, ready for use, hanging in the closets... I am thankful that job is done.

Procrastination can be in any task that is put off just because we don't want to do it. What is your least favorite job, that tends to get pushed aside? My encouragement to you today is:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The applesauce factory is up and running!

I hope you all had a blessed holiday! Thanksgiving wasvery nice here, and relaxing for me since I kept getting shoo'd out of the kitchen to go and rest. At 36 plus weeks preggers I am very slow moving and must look a little rickety when I walk. LOL... at any rate, less than four weeks to go, and I have several projects I want to get done before the baby arrives.

One is our applesauce. We have 7 bushels of apples to do up... well, HAD seven bushels. Yesterday and today we have busily jumping right in and trying to do 2 bushels a day, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and the last one on Friday.

If you are doing more than a bushel of apples, I highly reccomend using a Squeezo machine. It is somewhat of a pain to clean, but so worth it in the time you save in making the applesauce! Here is a pic of ours, all shiney and clean before we ran two bushels of apples thru it today.

The next thing we do, is wash all the apples... I have lots of little washers to help out with this step. For some reason they all like to do it.

Then there is the cooking down, which doesn't really take that long, especially with Mac's (our favorite). After they are washed I cut the apples in fourths, removing any bad spots if neccessary, and throw them in the pot. After they are cooked, we put them thru the Sqeezo, and it removes stems, seeds, and skin. We end up with some nice, thick, nutritious applesauce.

Then, of course, time for the Squeezo to do its job:

And the yummy results....

Yesterday we did 31 quarts of applesauce. They all sealed, except for one quart, which we put out of its misery at breakfast this morning. One more pic.. not of applesauce, but of a blessing from the Lord this morning:

It was much prettier in real life, but I ran outside, well, waddled outside to get this pic. It was a blessed reminder of God's love and promises to us.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Does this make your blood boil?

This should. It is against everything Americans are for. I read somewhere that the problem wasn't so much about vaxing, as about truancy. If that is so, then why the forced vaccinations? At gunpoint??? Puhleeze. Whether or not you are for vaxing, you should be for freedom of choice as a parent. The state should not be able to force you to do any kind of medical procedure, and in most states, that is the law, including MD. So, why is this being allowed? If the issue is truancy, why are parents being threatened at gunpoint with jailtime, and their children being vaxed against the parent's wishes/religious beliefs? Even if it was truancy, so what? Shouldn't parent's be allowed the choice of whether or not their children go to public school, without hassle? What is the purpose of all the paperwork anyway?

The bottom line is that the school systems, the medical community don't care about you or your children. It is all about the $$. The more children in public school, the more federal funding they have. The more people that vax their children, the more money the "Big Pharm" will make.

Time for we Americans to wake up, and take notice of what is going on with our so-called rights. How long before those gestapo tactics are in YOUR state, in YOUR hometown? I dare say our forefathers are rolling over in their graves.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving.. well, a couple days early.

We are about to enter what I call "crunch time" for Thanksgiving. Tonight we clean the rec area, and tidy the guest room and bathroom downstairs. Tomorrow I need to cook squash, make dinner rolls, and we will be cleaning the upstairs.

Today we had school, and I finished my stepmother's quilt, and our deacon came over to put in the registers in the floor so the heat from the wood stove would filter up better. Persnonally, I think it is plenty warm enough, but dh says that is because I am so preggers. He says that I am not cool enough unless everyone else is turning blue. Hardy har har. Anyway, I am glad the registers got put in today and not tomorrow during our cleaning spree.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Looking forward into this week

What a busy week we have! With Thanksgiving on Thursday, and schoolwork, and cleaning, and finishing up a quilt, and doing some Christmas wrapping, and preparing for our big meal, I am finding the next few days already filled to the brim. I am already praying for the Lord to give me the strength I need. Nothing is really "stressful" just I am moving slower and need to rest more. Only about 4 more weeks until our newest blessing's arrival, and I am very much looking forward to it.

I have made a general "to do" list for the next few days but still need to figure out what needs to be which day, and how best to delegate to my helpers.

Oh, and last night when we left church we were greeted by snow! It was falling softly through the air, and I must say very pretty. It only amounted to a dusting overnight, but with the sun shining on it this morning, it is quite lovely.

Alas for real life.. children are up and about, and there is laundry to start, breakfast to get, etc. etc. You all have a blessed and peaceful day!

"Your" social security

My Dad sent this to me in an email. I found it most interesting.

Your Social Security
Just in case some of you young & older ones didn't know this It's easily checked out, if you don't believe it. Be sure and show it to your kids. They need a little history lesson on what's what and it doesn't matter whether you are Democrat of Republican. Facts are Facts!!!

Our Social Security:
Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, introduced the Social Security (FICA) Program. He promised:
1.) That participation in the Program would be Completely voluntary.
2.) That the participants would only have to pay 1% of the first $1,400 of their annual Incomes into the Program
3.) That the money the participants elected to put Into the Program would be deductible from their income for tax purposes each year
4.) That the money the participants put into the Independent "Trust Fund" rather than into the General operating fund, and therefore, would only be used to fund the Social Security Retirement Program, and no other Government program, and
5.) That the annuity payments to the retirees Would never be taxed as income.

Since many of us have paid into FICA for years and aren now receiving a Social Security check every month --and then finding that we are getting taxed on 85% ofThe money we paid to the Federal government to "put Away" -- you may be interested in the following:
Q: Which Political Party took Social Security from the Independent "Trust Fund" and put it into the General fund so that Congress could spend it?
A: It was Lyndon Johnson and the democratically Controlled House and Senate

Q: Which Political Party eliminated the income tax Deduction for Social Security (FICA) withholding ?
A: The Democratic Party.

Q: Which Political Party started taxing Social Security annuities ?
A: The Democratic Party, with Al Gore casting the "tie-breaking" deciding vote as President of the Senate, while he was Vice President of the US .

Q: Which Political Party decided to start giving Annuity payments to immigrants? AND MY FAVORITE :
A: That's right! Jimmy Carter and the Democratic Party. Immigrants moved into this country, and at age 65, began to receive Social Security payments! The Democratic Party gave these payments to them, even though they never paid a dime into it! Then, after violating the original contract (FICA), the Democrats turn around and tell you that the Republicans want to take your Social Security away! And the worst part about it is uninformed citizens believe it! If enough people receive this, maybe a seed of awareness will be planted and maybe changes will evolve. Maybe not, some Democrats are awfully sure of what isn't so. But it's worth a try.

Actions speak louder than bumper stickers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Busy as a beehive... so what else is new?

Whew! What a day it has been. We have been busy since we got up. We had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, then stripped all the beds and created a nice mountain of laundry to deal with. After sundry distractions, one of the girls and I left to do some shopping and dh and the other set up to stack wood. We were blessed by a delivery of about 7 1/2 face cords of seasoned, cut and split wood from the church. We have been trying to get it stacked inside as much as possible. When I say "we" I mean dh and children. At 35 weeks preggers, I'm not carting much wood around. :)

For those who don't know, we were blessed to have the woodstove and new chimney installed a few weeks ago. It has been wonderful to have wood heat again! I'll have to post a pic here of the stove. It was given to us, from a friend. It had been stored for a couple years, and was very rusty. My oldest ds went at it with a steel brush, got all the rust off, then dh painted it. It looks brand new! We have set it up in the basement (finished), and have a little reading/rec area down there now. It is quite cozy!

Anyway, when I got back from shopping, my back hurt, I had ligaments hurting, and I was SO tired! It was after 2, so my dd and I had a quick lunch then I laid down on the couch for a little bit. She made some bread (see pic above) for me. At 9 years old, she can do way more in the kitchen than I could when I first got married! My oldest son also loves to cook, and made the cake for my dh's bday, which we are celebrating tomorrow.

Dh left to go calling, and I wrapped his bday presents. When he got back, he and some of the children continued stacking. I worked on some quilting. I am so thankful for machine quilting! I would never get this quilt done in time otherwise. This one HAS to be done before my dad and stepmom get out here Wednesday night. Whew!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Lydia's Quilt

Here is a quilt I made for my neice, Lydia, who was born 8 weeks prematurely. Many, many prayers have been said on her behalf, and the Lord has graciously allowed her to leave the hospital with her mom and dad, much ealier than expected. She is such a cutie!

Let's see if I can do this trick!

Here is a wall hanging I just completed for my dad for his birthday. Let's hope he doesn't visit my blog before he gets his gift! :)

Today's ramblings and introduction

Well, here it goes. I just wanted to do a little introduction, then I guess I will jump right in.

I have 6 children, with number 7 due around Dec. 21st. Their ages range from 11 down to almost 3. My dh and I have been married for 16 1/2 years, and I can say without exaggeration that every year gets better. My dh is my best friend, and also happens to be my pastor. :)

We are a conservative family, trying to live simply, though life has a way of getting complicated in a hurry. We are enjoying homeschooling our children, training them, loving them, and bringing them up in the admonition of the Lord to the best of our ability.

Let's get a few things straight right now, things that are of interest in different Christians circles. While I don't have a problem with those that differ with us on these things, I think I will just go through a litany of "religious practices" so you know where we stand. Why we stand where we do I will get to at later dates.

We wear dresses and skirts. We do not headcover, but dh prefers long hair on us gals. I do not use cloth diapers at present, but have in the past. We joyously celebrate Christmas, but don't do Satan Claus. We do not partake of Jewish feasts as outlined in the OT; we are Gentiles, saved by grace. I do not think celebrating the Jewish feasts are sinful, nor do I think they make you closer to the Lord, or mare spiritual than those who don't. I love homeschooling. I do shop at Walmarts. I use only the KJV and believe it to be an accurate translation that God preserved for us. I believe all other versions are not God's preserved Word, because if they were translated from the Wescott and Hort, that means they were translated by unregenerate men. We do not approve of CCM at all in any form. I believe children are a blessing and not a curse, but also a lot of work. I fly the flag with pride, and am very glad to be an American, though I know the morals of the country need help. I believe in voting. I believe in supporting our troops, and yes, I think we are doing the right thing in Iraq, and fully believe if we just pull out of there suddenly there will be a repeat of the aftermath of the same in Vietnam. I don't think Bush should have ever been impeached, and think that if you don't liekt he leadership, or support our troops, or speak english as your primary language, or pay taxes, then you should excercise some of the freedoms you are enjoying at our expense and move out of the country. I like migrants should earn their own living and not use us as a hammock. I think they should pay taxes, and speak our language, and also pledge allegiance to the AMERICAN flag. If they are living in our country, they should abide by our rules and loyalties. If they don't like that, they are welcome to leave.

Okay... enough of that. That covers all the basics I think. LOL. Again, those are our beliefs, but if you don't agree, then that is fine. I should point out now that there is no debating here about any of the above.

On our agenda for today is the regular Friday routines... school, chores, laundry, and I have some sewing to do, that I need to get done before next Wednesday. Oh, and I need to start the crock pot for supper!

Praying for you all to have a peaceful and blessed day in the Lord!

I have finally taken the plunge!

Bear with me as I try and get this all set up. I have NO clue what I am doing! LOL. I will be learning as I go here. :)