Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

I'm sure that everyone has had days where it seems like for every step forward you take two or three back.

We had some baking to do today, and that didn't start off so well. I assigned my oldest son to make muffins, and one of the twins to make bread. I instructed them, as I always do, NOT to talk or fool around. Every time they do, there are mistakes that are made in the baking. We make our muffins from an "ABC Muffin Mix" recipe I have. The muffin mix is made in a huge bowl and stored for future use. It is 100% whole wheat. There are pages and pages of different muffins to make from this mix. One batch of the mix makes 4 or 5 batches of muffins.

Well, the two bakers were chattering despite my warning. Sure enough, mistakes were made. Soon my son came and said "can I double the recipe? I accidentally doubled the water measurement." I roll my eyes, and point out that he was talking to his sister, and thus, a mistake was made. So, I told him to go ahead and get it all mixed up in a double batch, but then separate the batter into two bowls. One for banana muffins, and one for blueberry muffins. Okay... I figure they are now under control, and the others are doing chores, so I turn to my sewing. Next thing I know my son is back at my elbow saying "there isn't enough mix left" . I tell him to go ahead and make up more. He starts. A few minutes later he is back at my elbow (I have yet to finish one seam by the way). "There isn't any powdered milk." ARGH! Now if I told him once, I told him a hundred times, that when we are ALMOST out of something, to write it on the shopping list on the fridge, or at least tell me so I can do it. The last time we made up the mix was about 2 months ago. All this time we could have picked it up.

By this time I am feeling a little ... unmotherly. The littles were scrapping with each other, the folders of laundry not folding, and now this nonsense in the kitchen. Oh, and that first seam STILL wasn't done! I tell my son to find a substitute in my cookbooks. I then get the littles calmed down, and the folders folding, and sit back down at the sewing machine.

A little while later my son tentatively approaches me saying he can't find any substitute. I tell him to look for some buttermilk powder, which we don't usually keep on hand, but hey, miracles happen, right?

Well, not this time. Nothing. Nada. Zip. I take a deep breath and try not to make a mountain out of a molehill.. but this is getting ridiculous! The folders have finished their task, the dishes are done, and everyone is at a good stopping spot, so I call everyone in the living room for our Proverbs and family Bible reading and prayer time. That went well, and it was good to take a break.

Everyone then disperses for some school work, piano practice, etc. I brainstormed a bit and asked Benjamin if the water was worked into the batter, or just sitting on top. I thought maybe we could drain it off, and just use the equivalent of plain milk instead of the water. He said it was sitting on top, but mixed with the oil he had already added. Hmmm... well, never mind then. He then informs me we are about out of vanilla. NOW he tells me?

I told him to just go ahead and help Caleb with some phonics. Everyone is working along fine now, so I get a little sewing done. Around 11:40 am I went into the kitchen to check and see if the bread was ready to be punched down. Not by a long shot. It hadn't risen at all! I called Elizabeth over and interrogated her. Yup.. she forgot the yeast. Why? Because she was talking. What did I tell her? Don't talk while baking! At this point I am nearly in tears, she IS in tears and Benjamin is very diligently looking down at his math. I gave her the pan of bread dough and told her to throw it out, and start over. What a waste!

I needed some tape for the sewing I was doing. I had to make a one inch seam for a casing, and was marking it on the foot plate with tape since my markings only go up to the standard 6/8 of an inch. I dig around in the junk drawer... no tape. NO TAPE? I just used it the other day. Not only did some child (whose initials are C.P.) use it without permission, but he used it UP and didn't tell me so I could add it to the shopping list. Mind you, the shopping was just done yesterday, so to have all this come up now is irritating me to no end.

By this point my hormones are raging, and I am losing it. I send everyone to their beds until lunch, except Elizabeth, who was working on a new batch of bread. I sit down at the puter just staring at the screen saver. Elizabeth tiptoed in and said "Mama, this is all the yeast we have, is that enough?". Well, what if it isn't? What am I supposed to do? ARGH! It isn't the usual amount we use, but I told her to go ahead and use it. It would still work, just take a little longer.

Nap time didn't go much better. The littles slept, yes, and that is good. I laid down on the couch but was continually interrupted by children who apparently had some sort of death wish today.
"Can I play on the computer?"
"Can I go downstairs to do the rest of my work?"
"Can I write some on my story on the puter?"
Can I.. Can I.. Can I....
Can I take a nap please? Just 15 minutes for crying out loud! I don't say that, but tell them no on all counts and to sit quietly and read for a few minutes. Finally everyone gets the hint and I was just settling down when Jerusha woke up and was crying to get out.

I gave up.

Dale called as he left work and asked if there was anything I needed him to pick up on the way home. As a matter of fact......

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sweet Naamah

"Behold, thou art fair, my beloved, yea, pleasant: also our bed is green." (Song of Solomon 1:16)

These words begin King Solomon's tender expressions of love to his beautiful young wife. Solomon wrote a thousand and five songs (1 Kings 4:32), but apparently this was his favorite, for he called it his "song of songs" (Song 1:1), and it clearly centered on his beloved, whom he called "my sister, my spouse" no less than four times (Song 4:9-12, 5:1), thereby intimating both their spiritual and marital relationship.

Rehoboam was Solomon's only son, as far as recorded, and his mother's name was Naamah (2 Chronicles 12:13), meaning "pleasant". Since he was 41 years old when he inherited Solomon's throne and since Solomon had only reigned 40 years (2 Chronicles 9:30), the marriage of Solomon and Naamah must have been formalized when Solomon was quite young, long before he was married to Pharaoh's daughter or any of his other 700 wives. Naamah was then and always his one real love, in spite of the spiritual defections in old age. His counsel to young men near the end of his life was: "Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days... of thy vanity: (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

Note that Solomon caller "fair" and "beloved" in our text, and then "pleasant". The Hebrew word for "pleasant" is very similar to "Naamah" as though Solomon were calling her by a shortened form of her name as a term of endearment. The same word is occasionally translated "sweet". Naamah was surely a sweet, pleasant maiden, but also a capable woman in mind and heart, fit to become a queen.

Solomon's song for and about her is an inspired ode to true marital love and thus can even be a figurative testimony to the love the Christ, the "greater than Solomon" for His church.

(Written by Henry M Morris, Ph.D., Days of Praise, September 25, 2008)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday's Doin's

We had a pretty light school load today so we did a little baking for tomorrow. We are making lunch for the crew of a Habitat for Humanity project near us. It happens to be for a family that we are acquaintances with. The husband is interim pastor at a church in the next town over as well, and called to invite us to a "Sinspiration" on Oct. 12th, and asked us to do some special music too that night. It was kind of him to think of us, but that is during our regular service time for Sunday nights, and we won't be able to make it.

Before things really got rolling this morning, Elizabeth volunteered to do Jerusha's hair. It is always fun to see what creations she comes up with for her little sister! Sometimes it is lots of little braids in her hair, sometimes some pretty butterfly clips. Today it was buns. Three of them. Here is a pic of the back of Jerusha's head (who, btw, doesn't cry when Elizabeth does her hair but screams like I'm ripping her arm off when she sees me with a hairbrush):

We have a tradition in our home that whenever we make pancakes, I make a HUGE pancake for daddy. The same is true for making cookies. Here is the "Daddy Cookie" my son Benjamin made while doing a double batch of chocolate Chip cookies (and I've banned him from baking cookies when we are all so hungry! ooooh, they smelled good!):

If you look on the right side of the pic you can see Dale pointing to the cookie. It is sitting on a 9" paper plate. Hope he saved room for dessert!

I also had time to work on my dress, and completed the bodice.. Yay! I started on the skirt but didn't get very far before I had to quit for supper. I have to say, that after getting the bodice done, it feels like the project is almost completed! The skirt should be pretty quick in comparison. I'll post a pic when that is finished.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Up next at the sewing table

I have a boatload of sewing to do in the next few months! Somehow I'm not getting in as much sewing time as I thought I would. I'll just keep plugging along as I can though. Right now I am working on this maternity/nursing dress:

I haven't finished the bodice yet, but here is a close up of the neckline:

After the above is finished, I'll be doing matching church dresses for the girls. Sorry the pic came out so dark! I'll need to enlarge the pattern for the twins. I am appalled at the lack of modest patterns for their age group!

If I have time before baby arrives I'll be making a skirt and matching nursing top from these:

Another skirt and nursing top from these:

This is not to mention the baby quilt I am working on, the pj's I need to make for the boys for Christmas, and the pretty embroidered denim jumpers for the girls for Christmas, and some slips for the girls, the list goes on and on!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


If you love words, you'll like this email my dh sent me. :)

1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
2. A will is a dead giveaway.
3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
4. A backward poet writes inverse.
5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.
7. If you don't pay your exorcist you may be repossessed.
8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.
9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.
10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.
11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.
12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulting in Linoleum Blownapart.
13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
14. Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down under.
15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
16. A calendar's days are numbered.
17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.
18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.
19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.
20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.
21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.
22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.
23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen the mall.
24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine.
25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.
26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.
27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.
29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Bee Unit Study

"We're busy as bees!" My children now know what I mean by this. We started a little unit study on honey bees, using "God's Marvelous Works, Vo. 1" by Rod and Staff as a spring board. Here are some links we looked at as well:


http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/alienempire/multimedia/hive.html (This one has annoying background music, but thankfully they provide a button to terminate it.)

http://www.chabad.org/kids/article_cdo/aid/576042/jewish/Honeybees.htm (This video is about 35 seconds long, so don't plan on popcorn during it!)


I have to type up some questions for them to answer tomorrow after their review reading. And I think I'll try to come up with a nifty craft for them to do. Maybe make a model of a honeycomb?

Friday, September 19, 2008

26 Week Update

I had an appointment on Thursday with my MW. My bp was 110/60, my gain about 1.5 lbs a week (consistant with how it has been the last few months), and baby's heartrate good. I'm feeling plenty movement, no swelling (well, except in one place hehehehehe), and basically feel good though my hips feel like they are starting to loosen up. Seems like that happens earlier every pregnancy!

We talked about how I felt emotionally, too, and threw around a few ideas about inducing as soon as my body is showing signs of readiness. No tomatoes please. In this case, I am all for natural induction, but again, not just anytime. I want my body to be ready.

I did have some bloodwork done, and I'm waiting for the results for that.

My mom is out this weekend on a quickie visit, so it is great to have Memere here to chat with. Of course, the children are thrilled. Now if I can just get those silly songs she is teaching them out of my head...
Does your chewing gum loose its flavor on the bedpost overnight... UGH!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama Article

You know, it really is disturbing how self claimed godly christians are making such an uproar about Sara Palin. Yes, she is a mom who is working in a place of authority. So what? Lots of women, yea, even christian women, work, and have been for decades, working in jobs where they are the authoriy, just as many non-christian women have. When the Bible is speaking of the woman not usurping authority over man, there is a difference. In context, isn't it talking of areas of ministry? If you are in an uproar over Sara Palin, then you better stop shopping at your favorite store, Aldi's, Walmarts, or whereever. Seems like there are lots of women cashiers, supervisers, and managers no matter where you go. They are authority over somebody! Time to get over the current self-righteous finger pointing at Palin, and start earnestly searching out the issues with the PRESIDENTIAL candidates. When you vote, you SHOULD be more interested in what Barak and McCain are up to. Since so many are quoting articles about Palin, I'm posting one about Obama. Come on now America, let's use some good ol' fashioned common sense.

Don't turn your back on elections because you don't like either candidate. No one said either one was perfect. So, do your part and vote to help make our country better, at least a step better, and don't turn over and face the wall on your bed like the poochie-lipped Ahab.

Vote prayerfully and wisely.

Jack Wheeler is a brilliant man who was the author of Reagan's strategy to break the back of the Soviet Union with the star wars race and expose their inner weakness. For years he wrote a weekly intelligence update that was extremely interesting and well structured and informed. He consults(ed) with several mega corporations on global trends and the future, etc. I think he is in semi-retirement now. He is a true patriot with a no-nonsense approach to everything. He is also a somewhat well known mountain climber and adventurer.

Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler

The O-man, Barack Hussein Obama, is an eloquently tailored empty suit. No resume, no accomplishments, no experience, no original ideas, no understanding of how the economy works, no understanding of how the world works, no balls, nothing but abstract empty rhetoric devoid of real substance.

He has no real identity. He is half-white, which he rejects. The rest of him is mostly Arab, which he hides but is disclosed by his non-African Arabic surname and his Arabic first and middle names as a way to triply proclaim his Arabic parentage to people in Kenya . Only a small part of him is African Black from his Luo grandmother, which he pretends he is exclusively.

What he isn't, not a genetic drop of, is 'African-American,' the descendant of enslaved Africans brought to America chained in slave ships. He hasn't a single ancestor who was a slave. Instead, his Arab ancestors were slave owners. Slave-trading was the main Arab business in East Africa for centuries until the British ended it.

Let that sink in: Obama is not the descendant of slaves, he is the descendant of slave owners. Thus he makes the perfect Liberal Messiah.

It's something Hillary doesn't understand - how some complete neophyte came out of the blue and stole the Dem nomination from her. Obamamania is beyond politics and reason. It is a true religious cult, whose adherents reject Christianity yet still believe in Original Sin, transferring it from the evil of being human to the evil of being white.

Thus Obama has become the white liberals' Christ, offering absolution from the Sin of Being White. There is no reason or logic behind it, no faults or flaws of his can diminish it, no arguments Hillary could make of any kind can be e ffective against it. The absurdity of Hypocrisy Clothed In Human Flesh being their Savior is all the more cause for liberals to worship him: Credo quia absurdum, I believe it because it is absurd.

Thank heavens that the voting majority of Americans remain Christian and are in no desperate need of a phony savior.

His candidacy is ridiculous and should not be taken seriously by any thinking American.

Pass this on to every thinking American you know!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Do You Know What These Symbols Mean?

Quite interesting!

Got This in an email from my dad.

On the rear of the One Dollar bill, you will see two circles. Together, they comprise the Great Seal of the United States .

The First Continental Congress requested that Benjamin Franklin and a group of men come up with a Seal. It took them four years to accomplish this task and another two years to get it approved.

If you look at the left-hand circle, you will see a Pyramid.

Notice the face is lighted, and the western side is dark. This country was just beginning. We had not begun to explore the west or decided what we could do for Western Civilization. The Pyramid is uncapped, again signifying that we were not even close to being finished. Inside the capstone you have the all-seeing eye, an ancient symbol for divinity. It was Franklin 's belief that one man couldn't do it alone, but a group of men, with the help of God, could do anything.

'IN GOD WE TRUST' is on this currency.

The Latin above the pyramid, ANNUIT COEPTIS, means,
'God has favored our undertaking.'
The Latin below the pyramid, NOVUS ORDO SECLORUM, means,
'a new order has begun.'
At the base of the pyramid is the Roman Numeral for 1776. (MDCCLXXVI)

If you look at the right-hand circle, and check it carefully,
you will learn that it is on every National Cemetery in the United States . It is also on the Parade of Flags Walkway at the Bushnell, Florida National Cemetery , and is the centerpiece of most hero's monuments. Slightly modified, it is the seal of the President of the United States , and it is always visible whenever he speaks,
yet very few people know what the symbols mean.

The Bald Eagle was selected as a symbol for victory for two reasons: First, he is not afraid of a storm; he is strong, and he is smart enough to soar above it. Secondly, he wears no material crown. We had just broken from the King of England . Also, notice the shield is unsupported. This country can now stand on its own. At the top of that shield you have a white bar signifying congress, a unifying factor. We were coming together as one nation. In the Eagle's beak you will read, ' E PLURIBUS UNUM' meaning,'one from many.'

Above the Eagle, you have thirteen stars, representing the thirteen original colonies, and any clouds of misunderstanding rolling away.
Again, we were coming together as one.

Notice what the Eagle holds in his talons. He holds an olive branch and arrows. This country wants peace, but we will never be afraid to fight to preserve peace. The Eagle always wants to face the olive branch, but in time of war,his gaze turns toward the arrows.

They say that the number 13 is an unlucky number.
This is almost a worldwide belief. You will usually never see a room numbered 13, or any hotels or motels with a 13th floor. But think about this:

13 original colonies,
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,
13 stripes on our flag,
13 steps on the Pyramid,
13 letters in, 'Annuit Coeptis,'
13 letters in 'E PluribusUnum,'
13 stars above the Eagle,
13 bars on that shield,
13 leaves on the olive branch,
13 fruits,
and if you look closely,
13 arrows.

And finally, if you notice the arrangement of the 13 stars in the right-hand circle you will see that they are arranged as a Star of David. This was ordered by George Washington who, when he asked Hayim Solomon, a wealthy Philadelphia Jew, what he would like as a personal reward for his services to the Continental Army, Solomon said he wanted nothing for himself but that he would like something for his people. The Star of David was the result. Few people know that it was Solomon who saved the Army through his financial contributions but died a pauper.

Why don't you know this? Why don't our children know this, or the history teachers know this? Too many veterans have given up too much to ever let the meaning fade. Many veterans remember coming home to an America that didn't care. Too many veterans never came home at all. It is a shame and a pity.

Why not do a little histoy of the dollar bill with your children? What a great springboard into other areas for study!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Appreciating What God Has Made

I like to go for a walk in the early evening after Dale gets home from work. I almost always take one of the children with me. It is very pleasant one on one time, and refreshing to get out for some fresh air. We talk of many things from serious to light banter. Elizabeth has taken telling me about whatever book she is reading.. almost word for word! It takes the entire walk usually, but enjoy listening to her lively rendition of her current reading. Esther chats very happily and is a pleasant conversationalist. Benjamin rattles on about whatever project he wants to tackle next, and it is interesting to me to get a look into his engineer's mind. Josiah just started walking with me this fall, and he usually holds my hand and is very wide-eyed about everything we see. The two littles are not part of this ritual yet, but will be in a few years when they can keep up.

With each of the children I point out different things as we walk. One day it may be the sound of the crickets, or the cows mooing in the distance. Soon the geese will be flying south, the sound of which always calms my soul with the pleasant expectation of winter coming. Right now fall wildflowers are showing off their beauty. Elizabeth's favorite thing to do is to pick a bouquet. I know, some would classify them as "weeds", but to be honest, I think they are beautiful. No one can compare to God's creativity in shape, color and texture.

We are starting to see more leaves turning and falling. A few days ago I heard a squirrel running through the trees. It was the first I had heard one this year because of the crackling of the leaves on the ground. The air is cooler, and drying out, and smells cleaner and crisper. Today Josiah and I saw an all orange caterpillar. I wished I had the camera with me to take a pic, or something to carry it in. I have seen the orange ones with black on them, but this one was completely orange.

It isn't summer, so we can't "stop and smell the roses" but there is much to observe in these weeks of late summer turning to fall. Is it any wonder that after each day of creation God said that it was good?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Nature Walk Today

I didn't think we would be able to do this today when I first got up because of the weather. However, during our Proverbs reading and prayer time the sun came out, and stayed out long enough for us to enjoy some time outside.

This first pic is a tiny white flower I haven't positively identified yet. I *think* it may be a variety of pepperweed.

This spider tickled Caleb's fancy. Sorry for the blurriness! I was trying to get a pic of it while it was moving.

There was a little cluster of these mushrooms at the edge of our yard.

Jerusha in the meantime found this rock and wanted to display it.

The ever popular goldenrod, blooming in abundance right now in our area.

We have lots of these common chicories along the roads right now.

Esther found this catapillar and found out it was and American Dagger Moth. Gnarly looking, if you ask me.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Shoe string budget provided by the Lord

All the families I know love a good deal, and need to live frugally. I love it when the Lord provides and seeing His hand work in our family's provision. Today, after the normal Saturday morning chaos of piano lessons, basic cleaning, and Dale and one of the children going soul winning, we had a quick lunch, then went off for some errands.

First and foremost... we went out for ice cream! I had promised the children if they could each recite to me Psalm 136 then we would take them out today. They have been working hard on it, and last night all the readers recited it very well.

Then we went to the thrift store. We bought 8 pairs of shoes, a pair of jeans, a Motherhood nursing top, and two books.

Then we went to a local grocery to pick up some meat, fruit, coffee, tea, baby aspirin, and dish detergent.

What did this outting cost us? A whopping $21.91. That's it.. for everything. How, do you ask? I'm glad you did. We were given some certificates for the ice cream, and basically got all of them free. We were given a gift card for the grocery store, and didn't pay a dime there. Our only "expense" was for the finds at the thrift store.

We came home and made pizza for supper. One sheet cheese pizza, one sheet pepperoni, and one round veggie. I have to honestly say that not only is it MUCH cheaper making it ourselves, but it is better quality than any I have had from the store, or in any resteraunt. Kudos to the chefs!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hands on Friday

I try to make Fridays here more of a hands on type of day for school than the rest of the week. By the end of the week we are all ready for something fun, and attention spans seem noticably decreased. Here are some examples of what we do, especially on Fridays. The first pic is of pincushions Esther and Elizabeth have been making. A simple little project that helps teach good straight stitching by hand.

Here is a pic of Elizabeth tracing and cutting out a petal for an applique sunflower wall hanging we are just starting.

Esther is cutting out her fair share of petals here too. We used a few different shades of gold and yellow from scraps I had on hand.

We also did some baking today... whole wheat bread, banana bread, and chocolate chip cookies.

In our Sunflower/Van Gogh unit study, we have been looking at different pictures online that Van Gogh painted. I never realized what a short, but turbulent life he had. He did over 1500 paintings in 3 years, and only sold one! Of course now, you would have to pay in the millions to get any of his works. I found a printable black and white outline mock up of Vincent Van Gogh's "Flower Beds of Holland" for the children to color in, in similiar style as the original. Caleb was the only one finished with his today. The others are taking longer, which is fine.

This next pic wasn't part of school, but I forgot to post it earlier. It is another baby quilt made from the same fabric as the last one. I just need to make the label for it, then it will be on its way to a new home... Just the quilt. Jerusha stays here. :)

Here are some links we have been using lately for our art studies:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Don't forget to fly your American flag today!

(Well, you should everyday, but today especially.)

May we never forget. May we never stop praying.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Quiet Time - Part 2

Myth #2: "It isn't quantity, its quality."

Have you ever noticed that every mother's Bible comes equipped with an invisible button so no matter what time you open it to read there is sudden a child or two or more that are suddenly at your elbow or needs attention? I've also noticed this same phenomenon with my pillow and babies. As soon as my head hit the pillow and I start to fall asleep the baby awakes. But that is off the subject.

I am sure you have heard the opening quote many times. For a while the trend was to use it for child rearing. It doesn't matter how much time you spend with your child/spouse/Lord as long as the time is packed full of quality. Not sure what the exact parameters are supposed to be for "quality" but I imagine it is something along the lines of uninterrupted time when you can concentrate.

As far as how it applies to Quiet Time, or Personal Devotions, or whatever your term for it is, I would say "yes.. and no." Nice muddy answer, eh? Have a little time is better than NO time, absolutely. But the fast paced society that we live in promotes the quick and instant gratification of tasks or events. So now, there are all manner of "Bibles" with titles akin to: "The 5 minute devotional Bible" or the "Busy teenagers 10 minute devotional Bible" etc. Let's see, we can spend all manner of time in front of a computer, or reading, or watching T.V., or on any number other things, but we can't afford maybe a half an hour a day for our Savior? All we can eke out is 5 minutes? or 15? And maybe a quickie prayer?

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Doing your own personal Bible reading helps you to grow spiritually. It helps to give you a knowledge of the whole Bible, a broad base of contextual knowledge. Not that you know everything, but the more you read, the more you have to fall back on. With that knowledge you can discern when something isn't right. Again, this doesn't come from a quick reading, or once through the Bible. It develops over time, with consistent reading and studying of the Word. What is amazing to me is even after years of reading through the Bible over and over again, there is so much that still jumps out at me, or new things the Lord shows me at times. It seems like the more I get into the Bible, the more I realize I don't really know that much! It is wonderful to find those nuggets that you'd never thought were there in the midst of the books of Chronicles.

The word study implies a prolonged perusal. To study something, you wouldn't spend just 5 minutes a day, or once a week on it. When officials are learning to recognize counterfeit money, they don't look at the fake currency. They study minutely the real deal, so that anything that is counterfeit will be recognized immediately.

Psalm 40:8 "I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart." How can the law (God's word) be in your heart if you don't know what it says? Memorizing Scripture takes time.

Psalm 94:12 "Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law;" Did you catch that? BLESSED is the man who is chastened and taught out of God's word. Blessed basically means happy. I cannot tell how many times in my personal time of reading the Lord has smote my heart over something and chastised and taught me from His Word. Did I resent it? No, I was happy! It is precious to have the Lord love us like that.

Psalm 119:18 "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wonderous things out of thy law." Oh how we should pray that before we read! Some truths remain hidden until God judges is ready to receive them.

Colossians 3:16a "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;" Have you ever noticed the longer you let a tea bag steep in hot water the stronger the taste is? The more we are in the Word, the more godly wisdom we will have. Again, this isn't something that happens overnight, but over time with consistency.

Many of the hymns reflect the principle of spending time with God. For example, "Take Time to Be Holy" from Leviticus 20:7; My Quiet Time (By Ron and Shelly Hamilton) from Matthew 6:6, 2 Kings 4:33; "Be Still and Know", Psalm 46:10 "Sweet Hour of Prayer" Acts 3:1. Many of the Psalms refer to prayer. "Standing on the Promises", 2 Peter 1:4. It is hard to stand on the promises when you don't even know what they are. Ephesians 6 refers to the Armor of God. The sword, the only offensive weapon you have, is the Word of God. Is your sword sharp or dull? Do you know how to wield it? If you strike at the enemy, would you be in more danger of hurting yourself or him? Fencing is a fine art, takes much time and practice. Learning how to combat with a sword takes much time and practice as well. You have to be familiar with it's length, it weight, it's heft, so to speak. It must be used as an extension of your body, not a separate entity.

Myth #3: "I don't want to neglect my family." Seriously, I heard this from a lady who usually strikes me as very wise and godly. My jaw about hit the floor. I was thinking about this statement, trying to figure out where she was coming from on it. She has a large family, with older children up in their late teens, down to baby age.

I'm not saying that you forsake your family every time you have the notion to do anything for the Lord. What I am saying, is that having a regular time everyday to do your own reading and praying won't hurt them. In fact, it will be a benefit for them. Why not train your children to be quiet while you do your reading? In our house, the rule is simple. If someone is doing their devotions, you be quiet. Are they always perfect at that? No, but it is what we strive for. Surely your family, who has you for 24 hours a day, can be trained to be respectful enough for God's Word to allow you to get in say, a half hour of Bible reading and personal time with the Lord?

Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This verse is used for child training principles.. mostly behavior. I have never heard anyone apply it to Personal Devotions. My children usually see me doing my Bible reading in the morning. The ones that can read are trained to do their Bible reading as soon as they get up, before they do anything else. Usually our times coincide, so it isn't a problem, and usually we are up earlier than the littles. However, sometimes they are up earlier, and get it done before I do. Do they fool around and play and make it impossible for me to do my reading? No. They have been trained (the readers) to be respectful. They will read or start their schoolwork. The littles are still be trained, but progress is being made. The point is this, they see that Bible reading is important to me, and it is training them a certain mindset towards the Word of God. "More is caught than taught" is how the saying goes.

Deuteronomy 6:7 "And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." I have heard this verses, and others similar to it, in reference to homeschooling, which is actually taking it out of context. However, it is talking about God's law, His Holy World, which at that time consisted of only what He had told Moses up to that point. Are we so quick to jump on the "oh see, we are supposed to teach IN THINE HOUSE..." for schooling and ignore the real meaning? What about putting God first? What about teaching them the importance of time with Him? The reason we have a generation of Christians who don't make that a high priority is because the example was never set, or taught.

If you put your family before God, it is idolatry, plain and simple.
Exodus 20:3 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." That is pretty clear, I am sure. This may be the going trend, but it is NOT godly to skip church to do something with your family. It is not godly to skip devotions because of your family. Again, I am not saying that your devotions should take all day, but you should strive to have a regular time each and every day.

To close out this little study I am going to put a disclaimer in here. You'll notice I never said what part of the day to have your regular time. That is between you and God, and what works for your schedule the best. Right now, for *me* is first thing in the morning, early as I can manage to get up and still be conscience. There are seasons in life when this changes. When my dh worked nights my schedule was different. With a new baby in the house, things tend to be a little discombobulated for a time. There are also times when it just doesn't happen... sickness, or a family tragedy, for example. I can understand that.

What the whole point of this study is to show that there should be a normal time we have set apart for personal time with the Lord. You love your dh (at least I hope you do!) and you wouldn't ignore him for several days because you were too busy. How much more should we love our Heavenly Bridegroom? Would you eat only once or twice a week? Or spend 5 minutes a day eating?

I encourage you to start today in making a godly habit of spending quiet time with Lord each and every day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Apron and Apron Pattern giveaway!

I don't know about you all, but I love aprons! Here is the link for a giveaway contest.


Have fun! Definately go to Lori's site (link to her site in the site to the link above) and window shop at least! Beautiful workmanship.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just a couple of pics

Little girls will mamas be.... Elizabeth was carrying her doll around like they do in some countries this morning. She went through breakfast, chores, schoolwork like this. It was so cute!

Later in the afternoon after they had been outside for a while they brought me in this bouquet of wildflowers:

Pregnancy update

I hit the 24 week mark! The baby is moving plenty, and for the first time I felt the movement on the outside. I probably could have felt it before, but hadn't tried it. Saturday evening I was in bed writing in my journal, and I had my arm across my tummy. While I was writing I keep thinking I was seeing my pj's move out of the corner of my eye. I shifted my arm a bit to the suspected spot and sure enough I felt a series of strong little kicks against it. Dale was in the shower or I would have called him to come in and enjoy it too.

I have yet to get out my maternity clothes. That isn't as impressive as it sounds. Fact is I lost a lot of weight after Aaron, so most of my clothes have plenty of room. I will be getting out a few things that I have this week, simultaneously sorting through my regular clothes. Time for a declutter!

Anyway, Dale took this belly shot for me last night after church while I was still all gussied up:

As this baby grows it is harder to remain in a nuetral zone emotionally. I go from thinking "I can't go through this again" to feeling so much joy. I am continually on edge, but strangely, I am getting used to that feeling. I have resigned myself to feeling that way until the baby is born, and from what I have learned, that is normal for someone in our situation.

I have done nothing to prepare for this baby. Usually I make some new nursing wear, or baby stuff, but honestly, I just can't do that right now. Thankfully, we have plenty so if I never get around to it during pregnancy, the baby will be well provided for anyway. I can get by on what I have for nursing, as well. I have a new pattern I DO want to sew up though, "Catherine's Choice". It is a maternity/ nursing pattern. I have the fabric too, for it already. Like I said, I have been hesitant to do much so far. I think in my mind I remember all the getting ready for Aaron, and I just don't want to go through that and get my hopes up too high, if that makes any sense. I'm not trying to sound morbid, really.. just honest. I had given almost all the things I prepared for Aaron (nursing nightgowns, boppy, some baby outfits, etc) to a friend of mine who had a baby boy in January. She told me after she found out I was pregnant again to let her know when we would be in the neighborhood and she'd be happy to return all of it to me. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Everything I gave her was because it reminded me of Aaron.. all specifically for him. The only thing I kept that was specifically for him was a baby quilt a friend of mine made. At this point, we have no immediate plans to go up that way, but will be when we get apples in a month or two. So, I can think about it. The practical side of me says "take it back, it will save some money, and besides, it isn't like you ever used the stuff for Aaron, in fact it will be more like a hand-me-down since she used the stuff for her baby." It doesn't seem so bad in that light, but knowing that I had originally made and obtained those things specifically for Aaron is like opening a wound.

Meanwhile, there is much to do here at home, and the busier I keep, the better I do, unless I get overtired. I still have not found a way to reconcile grieving with rejoicing in this matter. I enjoy the times of great joy, and get through the edgy times as best as I can with the Lord's help.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

These Things

As part of my personal quiet time, along with my Bible reading, I read a little publication put out by the Institute of Creation Research called Days of Praise. They are nice little snippets of devotionals. I don't recommend that being the ONLY reading you do, but it is interesting many times. Anyway, wanted to share this passage by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D:

"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:8)

In this first chapter of Peter's last epistle, he refers to "these thing"(one word in the Greek) no less than six times. That they are extremely important things is evident from our test, but if these things are lacking, one is spiritually blind and has forgotten what Christ did for him in salvation (v.9). However, if he does "these things," he will never fall (v.10).

What then are the things which Peter stresses so urgently? Verse 8 makes it obvious that they constitute dimply the hierarchical catalog of Christian attributes listed in verse 6 and 7 - that is, faith, virtue (strength of character), knowledge, temperance (self control), patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity (unselfish love).

The same word is used in verse 4, where it explains how we are enabled to acquire these traits of Christian character. "Whereby we are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ['by these things'] ye might be partakers of the divine nature."

When these things characterize our lives, we become nothing less than Christlike. He, in His humanity, was all these things as he shared our nature, and we have become partakers of His divine nature when we manifest them.

The wonderful thing is that they are all mediated to us through the gracious promises of the Word of God. God promises, we believe, and then receive! There is an effectual promise for the achievement of each stage in the growth of a Christlike character. Indeed, as Peter had already said by way of introduction, "his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3).

I hope the above is a blessing to you today!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pre-Publication Promotional by Urban Homemaker

The Riches and Treasure of Home

OH Droooling over this here! If you like Victorian type of decor and ambiance, this book is for you, from what I can tell.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sunflowers and Van Gogh Unit Study

This is just a little taste of what we get into sometimes in our unit studies. I love sunflowers! They are so cheerful and elegant and stately. Here are some pics of us measuring and investigating one of our talest sunflowers from the garden.
Here the children are measuring the height of the sunflower, the width of the stem, the width of the flower, and the width of the leaves.

They each had a turn carrying the sunflower and were suprised at how heavy it was. Caleb is shown here pickign it up:

This is a picture from part of the garden. At least the sunflowers flourished, even if almost everything else failed! LOL. Doesn't the site of them just lift your heart and spirits?

Our next Home Ec. project is making a sunflower wall hanging, which I am in the midst of designing. It will be appliqued and a verse will be embroidered on it. Also, here are some link we found useful in our studies so far:




Who says learning can't be fun? :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quiet Time Part 1- answers to a couple questions

Before I start with the second myth, I just want to answer a couple of questions one commenter had. I'm not going to make a habit of this, as my time at the puter is limited. I encourage each and every one to study for themselves like the Bereans. Pray. Listen to what God has to say to you.

Kris, I hope you are reading this, because this is for you. :) She asked what Bible verses can I give that talk specifically about quiet time? Well, like other modern christian vernacular, you won't find the actual words "quiet time" in the Bible. We also don't find "rapture" or "trinity", by the way. How do we base our knowledge on these things? Context, and reading and studying the Bible, basing what learn. The Bible has many principles that we get from reading it cover to cover. I already listed a few verses that talk about spending time in the Word (according to John 1:1 the Word is God and was present in the beginning of creation, now that is something to meditate on!) When we are in the Word, we are indeed spending time with our Lord, sitting at His feet, if you will. To me, this seems a simple context. But just as an experiment, I asked my children (the ones who can read) why we do Bible reading each day, privately? What they didn't say was "because you and Daddy tell us to." What they did contribute was the following:

Matthew 6:6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Well, if being in your closet with the door shut isn't private, I don't know what is.

Romans 12:1 "I bessech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
1 Corinthians 6:19 "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" My oldest son expounded on those two verses a bit. What he was getting at is that reading your Bible, praying is a good way to examine yourself and to keep your temple clean. It is also how we communicate with God. We talk to Him in prayer, and He talks to us through His Word.

Psalm 18:1 "I will love thee, O Lord, my strength." One of my dd's pointed this verse out saying that if we love God, we will want to spend time with Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" I think this is obvious. Another dd pointed out that there is a time for everything, including time for private devotions.

Some of the discussion I had with them wandered a bit, even mentioning how the Anabaptists HAD to memorize lots of scripture because of the persecution and tribulations they were under. My 7 yo son mentioned that the reading of the Bible and praying strengthens our hearts in the Lord, prepares us for whatever comes our way in life. My dd then pointed out that we need refilling everyday to keep ourselves built up.

Some other verses that talk about God's Holy Word.. well, all of Psalm 19, Psalm 37:31, Psalm 19:7-10, 1 Timothy 4:15-16, John 15:4-5 for example.

Another question was asked about what Scripture I can use to back up the claim that if we don't have quiet time then we are letting the ball drop. I already answered that in quoting James 4:17. That is clear enough.

Another question was made asking what Scripture I can use to back up my claim that my model of quiet time is the right one? Well, I never made that claim, in fact I never said what model of quiet time we were espousing. I purposely left that area blank because of exactly that accusation. That is another part of the devotional that I will address very soon.

I pray that you will find this devotional on quiet time a blessing. Personally, I love getting into the Word, though my time is limited. It is exciting to me how something I've read many times before can suddenly jump out at me! God knows what we need to know and when we need to know it. Isn't He wonderful?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quiet Time - Part 1

This is a topic that has been on my heart for a long time, and at the risk of sounding preachy or self-righteous, I am going to address it. I have seen this subject become much abused over the last 18 years plus, since I was saved, and like all things that are pure, good, lovely, etc., the devil seems to have yet another stronghold in the circles of Christianity.

I am talking about personal time with the Lord. Private devotions. Whatever you call it, it is that time when you spend your own time reading the Bible and praying. Daily. That is a fundamental block in a Christian's walk with God. You cannot be godly without spending time with God. You cannot grow if you don't eat. But I am getting ahead of myself here.

Myth #1:"You don't have to feel guilty about not having a regular time to read your Bible and pray."

This is very popular trend right now. I have been amazed, astonished, and greatly disappointed at the number of "experts" that say this. Especially those addressing mothers. Mothers, if anyone, need that time desperately! I know, because I am one. :) The going philosophy is (and yes, it is a philosophy, because it certainly isn't biblical) that if you have children, then its okay if you don't have a regular time with the Lord. Show me the verse that exempts mothers from their responsibility in any area of the christian walk. Did anyone say it was going to be easy? Of course not.

James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

That is a verse parents love to quote to their children, but it applies to adults as well. Perhaps the reason you feel guilty for not having your time with the Lord is because you are sinning? It is a good thing to be able to feel guilt, as that is one way the Lord uses the Holy Spirit to bring us to Him. Guilt lets us know when we have crossed the line, so to speak. Now, you can follow the line of thinking that you "don't have to feel guilty" because in this country, we don't like discomfort of any kind. You can ignore the guilt, or reason it away with worldly philosophy, until your heart is hardened on that point. Satan will love that. He will have one area of your life, and then go for another, so on and so on.

I know there are times when life has an emergency, or some crisis that alters our general routines, but that is covered in a different part of this little devotional. My point is that you absolutely should have a regular habit of having time with the Lord. If we miss and we feel that sweet tug from the Lord, don't ignore it, or reason it away, or try to justify it. That is the Lord talking to you! How precious! If you don't have a regular time with the Lord, then I pray you do feel guilty and that is nags you until you yield to Him in this matter.

That last myth runs somewhat into Myth #2:"It's quality, not quantity." I will be addressing that next.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 " For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;"

Well, how do you learn about God? How do you learn how to conduct yourself as a Christian? Look at verse 11: "And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;"

2 Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the world of truth." Study takes time. It takes diligence. It takes a regularity of habit. You can't learn to rightly divide the word of truth if you aren't reading it on a regular basis.

1 Kings 19:12 "And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice." I am sure most of us are familiar with this part of Elijah's life. I'm also sure you have heard the application of God's still, small voice. Was it because God couldn't be heard in the earthquake or in the fire? No. He wanted Elijah to quiet himself before his Lord.

That is what having personal time with the Lord can do. In the midst of chaos in our life, it can calm us, focus our thought on Him, the One who we should be turning to at every crossroads. The One we should be praising at all time. If we don't make the effort to meet with Him everyday, then there is no spiritual centering of ourselves to focus on the Lord, His Word, to equip us with whatever the day brings forth.

Ephesians 6:13-17 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: "

I don't care how many times those verses are used.. they are true and right. God's Word doesn't change, and neither should we. You can't quench the fiery darts of the wicked without faith. You can't grow in faith if you aren't being fed spiritually through His Word. Interestingly enough, the Bible is the only offensive weapon listed in our spiritual ware fare attire. Do you want to wield the sword with skill, or like a clumsy oaf, who is more likely to harm himself instead of putting up a strong offense?

Mothers, this is especially important for us. We are raising little warriors for the Lord. If we are to protect them from the world, we have to have this armor on, and have it on correctly. We have to know how to refute the devil with the Word of God. Our children need us to be able to quench any fiery darts aimed their way, until they can handle the wolves themselves. We need the armor on to protect ourselves too from worldly lusts, covetousness, and longings.

So, should we feel guilty if we aren't having regular time with the Lord? I not only say we should, but if you don't feel guilty, then I would be nervous about the absence of guilt. Don't harden your heart in this area, and God will surely bless you for it.

Interesting note as I close here: One of my dd's mentioned to me just the other day while we were out for a walk that she has noticed how much better the day seems to go when she is sure to start out the day with prayer and Bible reading. She is 10.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good Fellowship

This past weekend we were blessed to have stay at our house a missionary family getting ready to go to England. They have 8 lovely children, ages 17 down to 4 1/2 months.

They were just passing through our area on their way home from several weeks of meetings. We were very glad to put them up for a couple nights, and frankly wish it was more! This is the same family we had for our missionary conference back in March. Now, it isn't easy travelling with a large family, homeschooling, and keeping up with ministry schedules, facing opposition (you wouldn't believe the nonsense some churches put them through!), so if you think of it, pray for the Rooney's. They still need support to get to the field to which God has called them.

Monday night was... busy...packed... fun... not sure how do describe it! A pastor friend and his family stopped by "for just a few minutes" to test drive our SUV. His little Escort gave up the ghost last week, and between their school schedules and his work schedules, they really do need two vehicles. Now this pastor is a big guy... and picturing him getting out of a little Escort tickled our fancy. Getting in and out with ease from our SUV tickled his fancy. So, the Lord laid an amount on our hearts to ask them, which *just happened* to be the same exact amount they were afraid to ask us, so after they both test drove it, they agreed to purchase it from us. That is an answer to prayer as we are putting the money toward a bigger van. We are just plain outgrowing our vehicles! It will also give the the money to get my dh's VW back on the road, and that will save a lot in gas going back and forth to work.

Anyway, this stopping by for "just a few minutes" turned into several hours, and they ended up staying for supper. I was glad for all the good fellowship going on! We had 18 children tearing around the yard (well, not the baby, the adults were passing her around), and 6 measly adults. We were clearly outnumbered! LOL. At supper I asked the pastor and his family to stay, cautiously eyeballing my one crock pot full of king ranch chicken (recipe doubled, but still!). I couldn't ignore the tug of hospitality, but I was praying "Lord.. make this food go around!". We had peas and lots of banana bread, and ice cream for dessert. We had just enough for everyone to have a nice plate full of food. No, we didn't have 12 baskets left over, but that is fine. I just wanted enough to go around!

I wish now I had gotten a picture of our very cram-jammed kitchen while we were all eating. Yes, we all actually had a place to sit! Talk about close fellowship! Even if I thought of it, I don't think I could have gotten through the kitchen from my perch to where the camera was in the living room.

Now some ladies may say "Oh you poor thing! all those people!" Nonononono... I loved it. It was a blessing to be an oasis for the missionaries and extend the hand of fellowship to another pastor and his family. Was it a lot of work? Yes, of course, but I did have help. Was I tired at night? Of course! I'm not superbaptisthomeschoolingwoman for crying out loud. I slept like a rock. The Rooney's had to leave today, and we spent the morning doing some tidying up, washing bedding and towels, and some schoolwork. Strange to say.. the house seems too quiet, even with our children tearing around.