Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sewn Pillows to Armholes

This is what Matthew Henry's commentary says (Thanks Dusti for pointing it out!)

As God has promised that when he pours out his Spirit upon his people both their sons and their daughters shall prophesy, so the devil, when he acts as a spirit of lies and falsehood, is so in the mouth not only of false prophets, but of false prophetesses too, and those are the deceivers whom the prophet is here directed to prophesy against; for they are not such despicable enemies to God’s truths as deserve not to be taken notice of, nor yet will either the weakness of their sex excuse their sin or the tenderness and respect that are owing to it exempt them from the reproaches and threatenings of the word of God. No: Son of man, set they face against the daughters of thy people, v. 17. God takes no pleasure in owning them for his people. They are thy people, as Ex. 32:7. The women pretend to a spirit of prophecy, and are in the same song with the men, as Ahab’s prophets were: Go on, and prosper. They prophesy out of their own heart too; they say what comes uppermost and what they know nothing of. Therefore prophesy against them from God’s own mouth. The prophet must set his face against them, and try if they can look him in the face and stand to what they say. Note, When sinners grow very impudent it is time for reprovers to be very bold. Now observe,

I. How the sin of these false prophetesses is described, and what are the particulars of it. 1. They told deliberate lies to those who consulted them, and came to them to be advised, and to be told their fortune: "You do mischief by your lying to my people that hear your lies (v. 19); they come to be told the truth, but you tell them lies; and, because you humour them in their sins, they are willing to hear you.’’ Note, It is ill with those people who can better hear pleasing lies than unpleasing truths; and it is a temptation to those who lie in wait to deceive to tell lies when they find people willing to hear them and to excuse themselves with this, Si populus vult decipi, decipiatur—If the people will be deceived, let them. 2. They profaned the name of God by pretending to have received those lies from him (v. 19): "You pollute my name among my people, and make use of that for the patronising of your lies and the gaining of credit to them.’’ Note, Those greatly pollute God’s holy name that make use of it to give countenance to falsehood and wickedness. Yet this they did for handfuls of barley and pieces of bread. They did it for gain; they cared not what dishonour they did to God’s name by their lying, so they could but make a hand of it for themselves. There is nothing so sacred which men of mercenary spirits, in whom the love of this world reigns, will not profane and prostitute, if they can but get money by the bargain. But they did it for poor gain; if they could get no more for it, rather than break they would sell you a false prophecy that should please you to a nicety for the beggar’s dole, a piece of bread or a handful of barley; and yet that was more than it was worth. Had they asked it as an alms, for God’s sake, surely they might have had it, and God would have been honoured; but, taking it as a fee for a false prophecy, God’s name if polluted, and the smallness of the reward heightens the offence. For a piece of bread that man will transgress, Prov. 28:21. Had their poverty been their temptation to steal, and so to take the name of the Lord in vain, it would not have been nearly so bad as when it tempted them to prophesy lies in his name and so to profane it. 3. They kept people in awe, and terrified them with their pretensions: "You hunt the souls of my people (v. 18), hunt them to make them flee (v. 20), hunt them into gardens (so the margin reads it); you use all the arts you have to court or compel them into those places where you deliver your pretended predictions, or you have got such an influence upon them that you make them do just as you would have them to do, and tyrannise over them.’’ It was indeed the people’s fault that they did regard them, but it was their fault by lies and falsehoods to command that regard; they pretended to save the souls alive that came to them, v. 18. If they would but be hearers of them, and contributors to them, they might be sure of salvation; thus they beguiled unstable souls that had a concern about salvation as their end but did not rightly understand the way, and therefore hearkened to those who were most confident in promising it to them. "But will you pretend to save souls, or secure salvation to your party?’’ Those are justly suspected that make such pretensions. 4. They discouraged those that were honest and good, and encouraged those that were wicked and profane: You slay the souls that should not die, and save those alive that should not live, v. 19. This is explained (v. 22): You have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; because they would not, they durst not, countenance your pretensions, you thundered out the judgments of God against them, to their great grief and trouble; you put them under invidious characters, to make them either despicable or odious to the people, and pretended to do it in God’s name, which made them go many a time with a sad heart; whereas it was the will of God that they should be comforted, and by having respect put upon them should have encouragement given them. But on the other side, and which is still worse, you have strengthened the hands of the wicked and emboldened them to go on in their wicked ways and not to return from them, which was the thing the true prophets with earnestness called them to. "You have promised sinners life in their sinful ways, have told them that they shall have peace though they go on, by which their hands have been strengthened and their hearts hardened.’’ Some think this refers to the severe censures they passed upon those who had already gone into captivity (who were humbled under their affliction, by which their hearts were made sad), and the commendations they gave to those who rebelled against the king of Babylon, who were hardened in their impieties, by which their hands were strengthened; or by their polluting the name of God they saddened the hearts of good people who have a value and veneration for the word of God, and confirmed atheists and infidels in their contempt of divine revelation and furnished them with arguments against it. Note, Those have a great deal to answer for who grieve the spirits, and weaken the hands, of good people, and who gratify the lusts of sinners, and animate them in their opposition to God and religion. Nor can any thing strengthen the hands of sinners more than to tell them that they may be saved in their sins without repentance, or that there may be repentance though they do not return from their wicked ways. 5. They mimicked the true prophets, by giving signs for the illustrating of their false predictions (as Hananiah did, Jer. 28:10), and they were signs agreeable to their sex; they sewed little pillows to the people’s arm-holes, to signify that they might be easy and repose themselves, and needed not be disquieted with the apprehensions of trouble approaching. And they made kerchiefs upon the head of every stature, of persons of every age, young and old, distinguishable by their stature, v. 18. These kerchiefs were badges of liberty or triumph, intimating that they should not only be delivered from the Chaldeans, but be victorious over them. Some think these were some superstitious rites which they used with those to whom they delivered their divinations, preparing them for the reception of them by putting enchanted pillows under their arms and handkerchiefs on their heads, to raise their fancies and their expectations of something great. Or perhaps the expressions are figurative: they did all they could to make people secure, which is signified by laying them easy, and to make people proud, which is signified by dressing them fine with handkerchiefs, perhaps laid or embroidered on their heads.

II. How the wrath of God against them is expressed. Here is a woe to them (v. 18), and God declares himself against the methods they took to delude and deceive, v. 20. But what course will God take with them? 1. They shall be confounded in their attempts, and shall proceed no further; for (v. 23) you shall see no more vanity nor divine revelations; not that they shall themselves lay down their pretensions in a way of repentance, but when the event gives them the lie they shall be silent for shame; or their fancies and imaginations shall not be disposed to receive impressions which assist them in their divinations as they have been; or they themselves shall be cut off. 2. God’s people shall be delivered out of their hands. When they see themselves deluded by them into a false peace and a fool’s paradise, and that though they would not leave their sin their sin has left them, and they see no more vanity nor divine divinations, they shall turn their back upon them, shall slight their predictions. The righteous shall be no more saddened by them, no, nor the wicked strengthened: The pillows shall be torn from their arms, and the kerchiefs from their heads; the fallacies shall be discovered, their frauds detected, and the people of God shall no more be in their hand, to be hunted as they had been. Note, It is a great mercy to be delivered from a servile regard to, and fear of, those who, under colour of a divine authority, impose upon and tyrannise over the consciences of men, and say to their souls, Bow down, that we may go over. But it is a sore grief to those who delight in such usurpations to have their power broken and the prey delivered; such was the reformation to the church of Rome. And, when God does this, he makes it to appear that he is the Lord, that it is his prerogative to give law to souls.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ezekiel 13:17 - 23 Question

V. 17 "Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them.

v.18 "And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all the armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?"

V. 19 "And will ye pollute me among my peopole for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?"

V. 20 "Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly."

V. 21 "Your kerchiefs also will I tear and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the Lord."

V. 22 "Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:"

V. 23 "Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: andye shall know that I am the Lord."

Okay, I get the gist of this passage. It is a warning to false prophetesses. What I don't get at all is this sewing pillows to armholes. I'm sure I'm not picturing it right, and need to figure out what that custom is. Also the hunting souls to make them fly.. it sounds something like witchcraft to me.

So, I am putting this question out there... What is with the pillows sewn to armholes, and what does it have to do with the souls being hunted and being made to fly? I'm sure it had nothing to do with trying to look like Popeye.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Fruitful Day!

Yup... more blueberries. Today we picked 41.4 lbs! I promised the kids I'd make blueberrie smoothies tonight with supper. The rest will go in the freezer.

Another little blessing was that the proprietor was impressed by our childrens' picking and offered them to help pick for wages! Dh and I will talk/pray it over. If we do, it will just be the older three. Whether or not we allow them, it was a nice compliment.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mommy Monday

Do you ever have those days when all you do is be "mommy". I mean the fire putter outter, referee, crack the whip, discipline, all day type of mommy. Not the fun parts of being mommy.

That is what today was like for the most part here. It started first thing, when I made the call for breakfast. The meal was ready and on the table, and where was everyone? I had to call 3 or four times! You'd think they would be hungry. This has been going on a lot lately. They complain of being hungry, then when a meal is ready I have to practically drag them to the table, even though they enjoy the foods prepared. What is up with that?

After breakfast I set everyone to chores... some making muffins, some mixing up bread, some tidying up bedrooms, and one to wash dishes. I did laundry, worked on this week's menu, and took care of Jerusha.

First problem.. no hot water. Okay.. I clamored down the cellar steps and hit the reset on the heater. Lately it has been tripping off a lot. Then after I hung up a load of laundry I went down to the basement to work on some clothes sorting. I wasn't down there two minutes when I heard chaos up where I left order, and more importantly, ORDERS. Up the steps to straighten them all out. Check the laundry. Noticed the washer isn't washing as fast as it normally does. Probably the screen in back for the water hose needs cleaning out. Oh well... I'll ask Dale to do that. He has the big muscles to move the washer. For now, I decided to just put up with a sluggish filling each time.

Back down the stairs, and THUMP BUMP BANG etc from over my head. Back up the stairs. Discipline meted out, instructions given... this was repeated until I gave up on working in the basement. Which means, I left a huge mess from the sorting process.

Meanwhile, I have to say, the girls got their chores done, their room picked up, and played with Jerusha. The dishwasher was STILL washing dishes, and the muffin maker found out we didn't have near enough muffin cups so I told him to make loaves of sweet bread with the remainder batter. He did, and it got baking, and smelled good. OH yeah, I discovered that when the whole wheat bread was ready to be made into loaves, the pans still had hot banana bread in them. Ugh! Several loads of laundry later and several "encouragements" to the slackers, I realized it is lunchtime and I have accomplished NOTHING yet.

Nothing but being a Mommy.

Yes, sometimes our job isn't very glamorous, is it? Sometimes just being engaged in hot and heavy child training can wear us out, can't it?

This afternoon was a little better. The girls showed themselves faithful. I gave them each a portion in the garden to weed. They were done, and able to play in the water. The boys... well, they pouted, dillydallied, found every reason to stop for "just a moment", i.e. bathroom breaks, drink of water, oh I need a garden rake, etc. They never did get to play in the water. They did finally finish up though, a little while before Dale got home and were able to help him unload from shopping. As if the dragging of the feet weren't enough, there was bickering, sniping, tattletaling, you name it. I eyeballed the roll of duct tape with malevolent intentions.

Instead of doing something that wouldn't exactly warm the heart of Mother Goose, I stayed inside with the littles and sewed. I got the top to a crib quilt done, and decided to start another one with the fabric I had leftover. Once I get them quilted I'll post pics.

Anyway, this was a glimpse of real life in the Beehive today! Right now all the buzzing is ceased, and it is quiet and peaceful. Thank the Lord!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Excellent new crock pot recipe!

This dish was called "Crockpot King Ranch Chicken". It was delicious! It is very decidedly Tex-mex style, but not too much. I got the recipe from

Here is what it looked like in the crock pot:

Here it is dished up with some green beans picked fresh from our garden:

The recipe is simple.

3-4C. cooked, diced chicken
1 pkg. (10 - 12) flour tortillas
1 med. onion, chopped
2 (10 oz) cream of chicken soup
1 can (1 C.) tomatoes & chilies
4 TBSP. quick acting tapioca
4 C. grated cheddar cheese

In a large bowl mix chicken, soup, tomatoes, chilies and tapioca. Rip 2-3 tortillas into pieces and line the bottom of a 5 quart crockpot. Add 1/3 of the chicken mixture; top with 1/3 of onion and cheese. Repeat layers or tortillas, chicken mixture, onion and cheese two more times. Cover; cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3 hours. For a smaller 3 quart crockpot, make half the recipe. This a good take in dish or potluck.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pregnancy update

Yesterday afternoon I had an appointment with my MW. She ended up coming here for a home visit since she was doing one practically down the road from us! That was fun.

Long story short, everything seems fine, which I'm thankful for. I am about 18 weeks now. I *think* I may have even felt some movement yesterday morning, but it was so brief an vague that I'm really not sure. LOL. You'd think after 7 babies I would be better at this!

She did say that I seemed a little small, (which I could have kissed her for LOL)and asked if I thought I was gaining weight (My scale is broken so we didn't do a weight check). I assured her I was. I can tell by the way my clothes are starting to not fit the way they did. My appetite has been coming back this week, so I am sure by our next visit she'll be able to see a big difference. I usually "pop" out between the 4th and 5th month.

We never got a reading on the baby's heart rate, though we heard it. My dh called it "drive by beatings". The scenario went something like this: MW goo's me up and slaps the Doppler on. Hunts for a few seconds. Then we hear the baby's heartbeat just long enough to recognize it is strong and about as fast as it should be. Before we can get a count the baby kicks (yes, we heard the kicking) against the Doppler and dives. MW goo's me up some more, goes after the baby. We hear the heart rate just long enough to recognize it is strong and and at the rate it should be. Before we can get a count, baby kicks and moves. This went on for about 15 minutes. I heard enough of "drive by beating" and kicking by that time to be reassured, and so was the MW. This sort of hide and seek from baby is NOT unusual for us at all at this stage. My babies like to play, I guess. :)

So, after my appointment with the midwife we went out on our date. We dropped a van load of stuff off at Salvation Army. I can't believe how much we got rid of and it doesn't even look like I made a dent in the basement! Where DID all the junk come from, anyway? I some of it is people just dropping off their junk thinking "Oh the pastor has a big family, he can probably use this stuff." I actually had one of our neighbors once say to us "I'm cleaning out my garage so I can pass a bunch of stuff over to you." The proper etiquette is to say "Thank you" then try to give it away as quickly as possible after we get it. Of course, part of the problem with cleaning and organizing the basement is that to clean up a mess like that you end up making a bigger mess. At first. The next thing I plan on tackling is the extra bedding and clothes. That is going to take a while!

After Salvation Army we went to Friendly's for dinner. We were both starving. Did I mention my appetite was coming back? I got the clam boat basket, and dh got the fishamijig platter. Yes, it is really called that. We split a sundae for dessert. We ordered it with one of their new flavor, Mud Crash Pie. It is coffee ice cream with expresso flavored chip, and chocolate chips. We had three toppings on it, whipped cream and two maraschino cherries. It was very good, and very naughty, and we enjoyed every bite.

After eating we went to Walmarts and got some stuff for VBS, and supplies for starting up school. I wasn't planning on the school stuff, but they were having a big sale and we took full advantage of it. Oh, I am pleased to say, I also started a little bit of Christmas shopping. Not much, but enough so I can say I started. LOL. I hate leaving all until the last minute. And it is easier to pay for things over time than all at once. A good way to avoid debt at Christmas, by the way.

Today, our garden gets priority. I sent my oldest ds out on a recognizance (or however you spell it) mission. The green beans are ready to be picked, so that is the chore today, and then freezing them. I am also washing bedding, and Lord willing, working on that baby quilt for a bit. That will be my reward for getting beans in the freezer!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Girls' Nightgowns

Isn't that a boring title to this post? I am just too tired to come up with anything creative tonight. The last couple days I have been dragging tired. I work in the morning, then lay down for naptime, and read in the afternoon, get supper ready, read and snuggle with dh, then that is it for me. I am able to drink water with chlorophyll in it now, so I should perk up soon.

Here are the twins:

And here is Jerusha posing so prettily:

Tomorrow is a busy day here for us. Possibly a play date in the morning, then in the afternoon a pastor's wife friend of mine is coming over with her children. I will start teaching them piano (3 of them.. whew!) and she is tutoring Esther and then babysitting while I go to my midwife appoint, and dh and I eat out and run some errands. One of our stops is the Salvation Army where we are dropping off quite a load of stuff from starting to clean in the basement this week. Also, we are going to pick up some craft stuff for our VBS which starts August 8th. I am sure I will be exhausted by bedtime!

Meanwhile, my next sewing project is a baby quilt. I ordered my new free motion quilting foot today, so I am hoping to get the top pieced, and the quilt sandwiched and basted so when the foot comes in I can start quilting it on the machine right away. After that I am messing around with a pattern to make a maternity/nursing modest swim suit. I priced a maternity one and it was $85!!!!! I thought, "I can do better than that." I got the material on ebay, and I am adapting an Elizabeth Lee slip pattern of all things. Will post a pic if it comes out satisfactorily. Also on my list is finishing a couple of UFO's. All that on top of more blueberry picking next week, and getting ready for school to start on the 11th, and more cleaning in the basement, and some special guests coming over the next two weekends.

Too bad there is nothing to do around here. ;)

Monday, July 21, 2008


That would be 25.3 lbs of freshly picked and washed blueberries, minus some, as I allowed all the children to have a small sampling of the fruit if their labors. ;)

Good news on the garden front.. looks like almost all the corn will make a recovery! Now if they will just bear well. We haven't had good success with corn since we moved here. Every year I try a way to enhance the soil. This fall I am taking more desperate measures if the corn fails again.

I am hoping we can pick more blueberries later this week. The bushes looked like they needed some ripening time. Oh, and no, these aren't from our bushes. There is a little farm not too far from us we go to.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gardens and Yardwork

Guess what? We got our first picking of green beans on Saturday! It wasn't enough to freeze, but enough to make a big green bean salad for our fellowship dinner today at church. I had to wing it, as tomorrow is shopping day, and we are running out of most of the basics like margarine, or sugar, that sort of thing. What I did was wash and cut up the green beans, about 4 carrots, 1 big tomato. The colors looked very appealing (no, I didn't even think of taking a pic!). I marinated it overnight in italian dressing. Gave it a final stir today before serving! There is nothing like fresh, raw, tastey veggies from the garden! I have about 2 1/2 more rows that are still flowering. Most likely they will be ready to pick and freeze the week of VBS. Seems like every year they are!

The tomato plants look healthy, but their growth seems to be stunted right now. I am hoping today's rain will help them and our squash plants.

Speaking of the rain today, it came in the form of a very severe thunderboomer. In fact, we had some very high winds that actually moved our little blow up pool, though there was water in it! Also, it flattened our corn and sunflower plants! Yikes! We are hoping when the sun comes out they might stand again. If they don't, then that may be it for a large portion of our garden. I will have to go out and check it tomorrow.

Dh tried to mow the lawn, which is looking like a meadow, yesterday, but the belt on the rider mower broke. Now we have to wait for that part to come in. Not wanting to not get any of it done, he got out the push mower, but that wasn't working right either. He did manage to get around the church cut nicely, but our yard... well, lets just say if the kids lay down in the grass they totally disappear! It doesn't seem to bother them.

We have some "wild" black caps growing at the back of our property and started picking them. We only got about a cup and half, but we dutifully washed them and put them in the freezer, hoping to add enough to make a batch of jam eventually. There is quite a bit of growth around the bushes, and I am wondering if I can cut it back a bit to allow more sunlight to get in. Maybe they will yeild better next year if I do that.

Meanwhile, the weeds continue to do their thing, and we are trying to keep ahead of them best we can. The memorial garden and walkway at church need some weeding. My strength is limited, but we are doing the best we can. I have hopes that next summer I'll be able to do more. I am already tentatively planning what I want to do with the garden for next year. This fall we are going to haul some manure to spread on the garden, cover it with leaves, and let it mulch down over the fall and winter, and early spring. Our soil just seems to be lacking in nutrients, even though we added some stuff to it when we planted.

Oh, the cardboard we put down was "okay" but I wouldn't do it again. It choked out our potato plants. It did fine between the green beans, carrots and the like, however. However, I have all these wonderful helpers and if we each take a couple rows a day, we can keep up pretty well without the carboard. I would like to try putting in strawberry plants for next year too. Ambitious, aren't I?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Prophecy Tidbit from Psalm 22

I love it that even if you read the Bible everyday, you never know everything. The Holy Spirit teaches us constantly, showing us what we need to know when we need to know it. Some things we may not be able to understand now, but will be able to say, in 6 months. Then our spiritual eyes are opened and we learn something new.

I had one of those "light bulb" moments this week while attending VBS. It came from Psalm 22. I have read that Psalm dozens of times, at least, and I never really understood this one fact until this week. It made me appreciate the perfectness of God's Word even more.

Psalm 22:1 "My God, my God, why host thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the worlds of my roaring?"

Psalm 22:14 "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels."

Psalm 22:16 "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet."

Psalm 22:17 "I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me."

Psalm 22:18 "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."

Those are just a few of the verses from this prophetic Psalm. I realize that most Christians, as well as myself, can discern right away that David is talking about the crucifixion of Jesus here, inspired by God Himself. That is somewhat basic, I understand. But what didn't hit home for me until this week was this amazing fact:

Psalm 22, and the prophecy of crucifixion, was written about 1,000 years before crucifixion was ever done! It was unheard of back in David's day!

Just another example of how God's word is perfect, written by Holy men of God, and He instructed them!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Boys' Swim "Shorts"

Here is the pic as promised!

I used a simple PJ bottom pattern and just shortened the legs a little for ease in the water.

Working on next: girls' nightgowns. Whew!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Lazy Days of Summer...


Where did that saying come from anyway? LOL. We have been keeping busy here with all the normal chores in a household of 8. I am starting to feel much better and thus I am trying to tackle some projects that have gotten left behind over the last several months.

Sewing... well, you know I finished the girls' swim dresses and bloomers. Tuesday I finished the boys' swim "short". I will post a pic of them soon. I let them pick out their own fabric, fair warning. ;) Today I cut out 3 nighties from some fabric that a friend of mine gave me. It is a somewhat slippery so I am hoping they will go together easier than I am fearing. After the nighties are done, I'll post a pick. I also have a pile of mending to do. After the girls' nightgowns, I have some quilting to catch up on, unless I think of anything else pressing that is behind and needing to be done first.

Health... Elizabeth caught a good old-fashioned summer cold and was kind enough to share it with me. Sore throat, stuffy nose, all that good stuff. I have a toothache and went into the dentist today to have it checked out and he said that he couldn't see anything on my teeth, but my gums were really inflamed. So I am using a warm water and salt solution several times a day, and hopefully that will help. If it doesn't, I'll be calling him back. Of course, it would be easier to see if I could get an Xray, but being pregnant, that is a no-no.

Fun in the sun.... we have been enjoying the water slide and little blow up pool. Also, earlier this week we went to a friend's house who has a big above ground pool. We appreciated that, and enjoyed the fellowship. This week we have been going to a VBS at a church nearby. I love the approach they have! They have their fellowship hall set up with many "tents" like a OT Jerusalem marketplace. The pastor is dressed up as a Rabbi, and there are some roman centurians walking about. Each group is labelled with a tribe name like "Judah" or "Issachar" or "Asher". They have a tent for herbs, a tent for pottery making, a tent for carpentry, a candy shop, a bakery, and a synagogue. They do things at each tent. Oh, outside they have a little "barnyard" and someone brings a couple animals each day. One day was a rooster and chicks, the next was a goat and a calf. They are bringing a pony a couple days this week. In the middle of the marketplace they have "Jacob's Well" and a blind woman. The girl has a blind fold on and really can't see, so she is learning how to get around. The only thing we haven't been pleased with is that they don't use KJV, and the music is canned, Jewish sounding, but with a strong beat that is way too contemporary for the time frame. I forgot, each day, the tribe sends two helpers up to the bakery and they help make bread for snack time. They are small little rolls, that they flatten and dip in cinnamon sugar. It is delicious!

Near future projects... getting the school books rotated and supplies organized. We start officially the second full week of August, which really isn't that far away. Also, I want to be hoeing out the basement "excess household inventory" (aka... JUNK). I am working on a little devotional about quiet time with the Lord as well, and will be posting that in parts here.

That is what we have been up too, and hopefully will be up to!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bathing Beauties

I finished the girls' swim dresses this week. Next up is some modest swim bottoms for the boys.

Below is a pic of the bloomers that go with the swim dresses. Jerusha has some too, but she had enough of the photo op and ran off.

I made a simple A-line dress for the girls, with the bloomers, and I used a poly/cotton blend. My original plan was to use lycra, but that wasn't an option this time around. It doesn't seem to make any difference. They love the dresses and playing in the water either way!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Animal Trivia

Did you know that a giraffe and a mouse have the same amount of neck bones?

(this was compliments of Elizabeth who was reading from a science book on animals while in the parking lot of Aldi. )

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Man Made Statue of Liberty

Human Statue of Liberty

It's amazing that this photo taken 90 years ago still exists!

And now someone has put it online for all of us to see.
This INCREDIBLE picture was taken In 1918.

It's 18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge in Iowa.


What a priceless gift from our Grandfathers...

Along For the Ride baby wearing contest

Win the Essential Babywearing Stash from Along for the Ride (one Beco Butterfly, one Hotsling baby pouch, one BabyHawk Mei Tai, one Zolowear Ring Sling, and one Gypsy Mama Wrap)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dried Bean Salad

We tried this last night and it was a hit. Fair warning, it is quite filling! We had a ton left over.

You can use lentils, kidney, navy, lima, or miniature edible soybeans, cooked or canned. We used white beans, cooked, and well drained. And I about doubled the recipe.

2 1/2 C. canned or cooked beans

Combine with:
about 1/4 C. French or Thousand Island dressing
A pinch of curry powder or 1/4 C. chopped gherkins or pearl onions.

(I also added some chopped green pepper and tomatoes.)

Serve on lettuce leaves, or plain.
Garnish top with chopped parsley, or chopped chives or grated onions. (I skipped that part.)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Did You Know?

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks and backyard barbecues across the country.
– In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation was 2.5 million.
– On July 4, 2008, the nation's population will be 304 million.

Fourth of July Cookouts
– The chance that the hot dogs and pork sausages consumed on the Fourth of July originated in Iowa are more than 1 in 4. The Hawkeye State was home to 17.6 million market hogs and pigs on March 1, 2008. This represents more than one-fourth of the nation's total. North Carolina (9 million) and Minnesota (6.7 million) were the runners-up.
– The total production of cattle and calves in Texas in 2007 is 6.8 billion pounds. Chances are good that the beef hot dogs, steaks and burgers on your backyard grill came from the Lone Star State, which accounted for about one-sixth of the nation's total production. And if the beef did not come from Texas, it very well may have come from Nebraska (4.7 billion pounds) or Kansas (4.1 billion pounds).
– There are six states in which the revenue from broiler chickens was $1 billion or greater between December 2006 and November 2007. There is a good chance that one of these states – Georgia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi or Texas – is the source of your barbecued chicken.
– About 4 in 10 are the odds that your side dish of baked beans originated from North Dakota, which produced 42 percent of the nation's dry, edible beans in 2007. Another popular Fourth of July side dish is corn on the cob. Florida, California, Georgia and New York together accounted for 60 percent of the sweet corn produced nationally in 2007.
– Potato salad and potato chips are popular food items at Fourth of July barbecues. More than half (52 percent) of the nation's spuds were produced in Idaho or Washington state in 2007.
– More than three-fourths amount of the nation's head lettuce production in 2007 that came from California. This lettuce may end up in your salad or on your burger.
– Nearly 3 in 4 chances that the fresh tomatoes in your salad came from Florida or California, which combined accounted for 73 percent of U.S. tomato production last year. The ketchup on your burger or hot dog probably came from California, which accounted for 96 percent of processed tomato production in 2007.
– Georgia is the state that led the nation in watermelon production last year (1 billion pounds). Other leading producers of this popular Fourth of July dessert included California, Florida and Texas, each with more than 400 million pounds.
– More than 74 million Americans said they have taken part in a barbecue during the previous year. It's probably safe to assume a lot of these events took place on Independence Day.

The value of fireworks imported from China in 2007 amounts to $207 million, representing the bulk of all U.S. fireworks imported ($217 million). U.S. exports of fireworks, by comparison, came to just $14.9 million in 2007, with Japan purchasing more than any other country ($3.8 million).
– The U.S. manufacturers' shipments of fireworks in 2002 values up to $17.3 million.
– In 2007, $4.7 million was the dollar value of U.S. imports of American flags. The vast majority of this amount ($4.3 million) was for U.S. flags made in China.
– $2.4 million was the dollar value of U.S. flags exported in 2007. Mexico was the leading customer, purchasing $1.2 million worth.
– The annual dollar value of shipments of fabricated flags, banners and similar emblems by the nation's manufacturers was $349.2 million, according to the latest published economic census data.

Patriotic-Sounding Names
– The number of places nationwide with "liberty" in their name is 31. The most populous one as of July 1, 2006, is Liberty, Mo. (29,581). Iowa, with four, has more of these places than any other state: Libertyville, New Liberty, North Liberty and West Liberty.
*Thirty-one places are named "eagle" – after the majestic bird that serves as our national symbol. (Places include cities, towns, villages and census-designated places.) The most populous such place is Eagle Pass, Texas, with 26,401 residents.
*Twelve places have "independence" in their name. The most populous of these is Independence, Mo., with 109,400 residents.
*Nine places adopted the name "freedom." Freedom, Calif., with 6,000 residents, has the largest population among these.
*There is one place named "patriot" – Patriot, Ind., with a population of 192.
And what could be more fitting than spending the Fourth of July in a place called "America"? There are five such places in the country, with the most populous being American Fork, Utah, population 25,596.

The British are Coming!
– The dollar value of trade last year between the United States and the United Kingdom was $107.2 billion, making the British, our adversary in 1776, our sixth-leading trading partner today.

(Thank you to the Census Beaureu for this interesting trivia information with which we can now impress others at the Independence Day picnics, parades, fireworks, and family get togethers. )

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Did You Know…Independence Day Should Actually Be July 2?

Washington, DC… America's revolutionary Charter of Freedom, the Declaration of Independence is a document upon which our nation's founding principles were established. The National Archives will celebrate the 229th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. The theme of this year's annual program is "Declaration Days: National Archives Family Weekend 4th of July Celebration." The two day-long program will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by Operation Iraqi Freedom wounded veterans from Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and exciting free family activities and entertainment for all ages. History lovers young and old can view the newly-restored Declaration of Independence, and speak with actors playing those who signed this important document! All programs are free, open to the public, and take place at the National Archives Building on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW.
The Declaration of Independence set the course for our nation on a journey of freedom, which also led this historic document on its own journey. For example, did you know….:

Who Authored the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, which was then edited by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Jefferson took their edits and incorporated them into what would become the version finally adopted.

Independence Day Should Have Been July 2 –July 2, 1776 is the day that the Continental Congress actually voted for independence. John Adams, in his writings, even noted that July 2 would be remembered in the annals of American history and would be marked with fireworks and celebrations. The written Declaration of Independence was dated July 4 but wasn't actually signed until August 2. Fifty-six delegates eventually signed the document, although all were not present on that day in August.

Who Signed and In What Order? –John Hancock signed first, with a large hand right in the middle because he was the President of the Congress. The others signed by state delegation, beginning in the upper right in one column, and then proceeding in five other columns, arranged from the northernmost state (New Hampshire) to the southernmost (Georgia).

Who Signed Last? It is believed Thomas McKean of Delaware was the last person to sign. When Congress authorized the printing of an official copy with the names attached in January 1777, McKean's name was not included. He signed after that date, or the printer made a mistake by omitting him.

On The Road Again – The Declaration of Independence spent many years on the road. After the signing ceremony on August 2, it was most likely filed in Philadelphia. On December 12, threatened by the British, Congress adjourned and reconvened 8 days later in Baltimore, MD, where the document remained until its return to Philadelphia in March of 1777. In the years to follow, it traveled widely with the Continental Congress throughout the Northeast, then moving to Washington, DC in 1800. In 1814, again threatened by war, it was moved to an unused gristmill in Virginia for protection. On August 24, as the British burned the White House, it was moved to Leesburg, VA until September, when it returned to the nation's capital. With the exception of a trip to Philadelphia for the Centennial and to Fort Knox during World War II, it has remained there ever since.

If By Land or By Sea – The document has also experienced many modes of travel. Initially, like other parchment documents of the time, the Declaration was probably stored in a rolled format. Each time the document was used, it would have been unrolled and re-rolled. It likely traveled by light wagon and by horseback with the Continental Congress it its early years. When it was first brought to Washington, it traveled by boat, down the Delaware River and Bay, out into the ocean, into the Chesapeake Bay, and up the Potomac to the new capital city. During World War II, it was moved by Pullman train to Louisville, KY and transferred under armed guard to Fort Knox for safety and protection.

Line of Descent – Actress Reese Witherspoon is a direct descendant of John Witherspoon, one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. John Witherspoon is pictured in a Barry Faulkner Mural, entitled "The Declaration of Independence," which illustrates 28 delegates to the Continental Congress of 1776. This newly restored mural is hanging in the Rotunda of the National Archives.

Visit for a complete schedule and updated information on all National Archives.

(The above was copied from the National Archives)

Now, if you made it through that little history lesson, here is a coloring page for you:

Signing of the Declaration of Independence coloring page