Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas and the latest

Much has been going on around here lately. I've just been too busy to sit down and blog about it.

I have started my new job. I went to my bosses house Saturday and trained on actually sending through the credit card and eft/bank billing. I stayed there about 6 1/2 hours. One thing I love about my boss (among many, she's great.) is how she trains. She showed me how at first by telling me what to do and having me do it. Then she let me loose and had me do it myself. She let me make mistakes, so I could go back and correct them and learn from them. I left with tons of knowledge and really being exited about it. I love working on the computers and I love working with numbers, so this is right up my alley. On Monday I went and worked with one of the managers at the gym. She showed me a lot about how they use our system. She was extremely helpful, and that knowledge will definitely help when I'm tryin to figure out a problem in an account. Monday night and Tuesday morning I actually did some work from home. It was so nice. I clocked in and worked until I needed to do something else, then I clocked out when I needed to do something here and went back to working when it was convenient for me. It was great. It won't be like that for everything I do. There will be about 4 days a month that I have to get things done on a certain day by a certain time. I won't be doing any more work until Monday and will go do the second phase of the billing process with my boss again.

While I was at the gym on Monday, my kids were in the childcare area. Well, Mason has some loose teeth. The first one he lost in a totally crazy way, the second one I pulled and the third one he lost at the gym. He was trying to grab a ball and fell and just as he fell Keeli was trying to kick another ball and kicked him in the face. So, he lost his third tooth. He hates to wiggle his teeth or have them pulled. I'm beginning to wonder if something crazy is going to have to happen everytime, to get his teeth out.

I've also been doing a lot of sewing. I made my niece 2 more pillowcase dresses for Christmas. A friend came over and we sewed 4 aprons and I embroidered them with my embroidery machine (that just came home from the shop). I have since made 2 more aprons, embroidered those and 3 of our personal aprons and made wallets for the girls and embroidered those. I have so many other projects that I want to work on. I am going to make my sister-in-law a diaper bag, myself a couple of tote bags (a large one and one the size of the files I sometimes need to carry around with my gym stuff in it), and a wallet to keep up with receipts in my purse. I will try to post pictures after Christmas.

We have had some company over lately. I've had a few friends over during the day and we had a family over for supper one night. That's fun. It's one of my favorite things, it just seems that I rarely have time to do it.

We've also already had Christmas at my mom's. The girls and I each got nice sewing boxes, we were all very exited about. My sister-in -law sells Thirty-One products and she gave the kids cinch sacks with their names on them that we also love. The kids also got some toys that they love and the girls got some long sleeved leotards that they really needed. I gave my parents a collage frames with some of the awesome pictures that we have taken recently. It was a great day.

We still have to do Christmas with my Pappaw's family tomorrow afternoon and Friday morning we will be going to spend some time with Patrick's family. Please pray for that trip, for safety and peacefulness. It is often chaotic there and our beliefs are very different so it is sometimes a bit of a challenge.

On a personal note I want to encourage everyone to spend time this Christmas season really reflecting on all the Lord has done for you. He has really had me in a place of reflection lately and honestly it is overwhelming. I find myself wanting to sob at times, just from feeling so overwhelmed by Him. The idea that he found us, who are so unworthy, worthy enough to do all that He has for us. To deliver us from so many things, to change our family so drastically, to take control of our finances and bless us in such an amazing way, to bring such amazing friends into our lives that truly sharpen us, I could go on and on and on. We serve such an amazing God and I find myself so frustrated by how inadequate I am to be able to truly give Him all of the praise and honor and glory that He sooo deserves.

I pray you all have a truly blessed Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bed and Breakfast Fiasco

I am very behind on my posting, so I'm going to work on updating.

The weekend after we renewed our vows, my brother and sister-in-law kept our kids and we headed to Mentone to stay in a bed and breakfast. We were planning on staying at DeSoto State Park. We have stayed in a Chalet there and I have stayed in the hotel and we were really pleased with both and the prices are great and so is the food. We really love all the scenery there. It is a gorgeous place and it's only about an hour from home. Well, I waited to long to book it and since it was the weekend after thanksgiving there were no rooms left. So, I ended up getting us into this bed and breakfast. The price was significantly higher, but we thought it would be worth it for the experience. Boy were we wrong!

First of all the day after thanksgiving I woke up early and went shopping. Then I headed home to finish packing and take a nap before we left. When I woke up from my nap I felt sick. Then it started raining. We get up the mountain just before dark and the inn was so neat looking from the outside. We had been told that that weekend was the beginning of the festival of lights, well that was a joke. There were hardly any Christmas decorations. So, we head inside the inn and it was freezing in there. I thought it was just because I didn't feel well, but Patrick snuck and checked the thermostat and it was 62* in there and the thermostat was set on 65*. Then we went into our room. It was tiny, but kind of cute and the innkeeper showed us the claw foot tub in the bathroom and it was dirty. Patrick thought it was stained, but I wiped it with my finger nail and it came off. GROSS! Inside the inn looked cluttered, dusty and not vacuumed. There were cheap silk flowers in our room, a very cheap looking comforter on the bed (and a gorgeous quilt folded up at the end of it, you would think they would have used that), a book laying on the bed called "A Secret Affair" and the towels in the bathroom looked like the towels that most of us keep around for spills and such. They were mismatched and had bleach spots on them and such.

The innkeeper had boasted to us about the "full breakfast" that was included. The first morning it was scrambled eggs, a half piece of bacon, grits, a biscuit (which I'm pretty sure was a frozen biscuit) and "orange juice" that tasted exactly like Sunny D and some weird kind of mashed sweet potatoes with black stuff in them that tasted completely burned. The next morning it was some kind of little pancake looking thing made out of the leftover grits (it was actually decent tasting), a leftover biscuit, scrambled eggs, another half piece of bacon and the same weird oj.

The whole time we were there I was getting more and more sick. Patrick watched the Alabama Auburn game while there and I slept on the couch next to him. When we got home I was in the bed for 3 days. On Saturday we went to a couple of flea markets (which weren't very good because of the rain) and an antique. We did eat at a couple of restraunts that we really enjoyed while we were there. Which reminds me one of these restraunts has amazing desserts and they are only open Thursday - Saturday. We ate there Saturday night and when they found out where we were staying they wanted to send some dessert with us, so they wouldn't have to throw it all away. There was hardly anyone else staying at the inn, but we took back 8 huge pieces of cake and two pieces of pie. I took the pie and left a note on the cake. The next morning all of the cake was gone. I'm pretty sure the innkeepers had taken it for themselves instead of sharing it with the guests.

So now for the weirdest thing of all. There was a car there that had the words "Ghosthunter" on the back. Just before we left I overheard one of the innkeepers and this man talking and apparently he and his girlfriend were staying there to try to contact ghosts. Creepy!!!

Anyway, it was such a pitiful trip that it is honestly funny. We will definitely go back to Mentone, but we will not be staying at "The Mentone Inn Bed & Breakfast".

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Heading Back Into the Workforce.....

sort of.

I received an email yesterday morning that actually took me off guard. A previous employer was offering me an oppportunity that most of us stay at home Mom's dream of. A job, workinng completely from home. I was really unsure if this was something that I wanted to take on. Between homeschooling and church we stay pretty busy and I am about to take on more responsibility in one of the departments at church. The interesting thing though is that I have recently been freeing up my schedule more so we could spend more time at home. I emailed her back and asked a few questions and asked her to call me. Within 15 - 20 minutes my phone was ringing and she was giving me all of the details. The company is a local fitness and tanning center. I worked their before as the coordinator over their children's area. I was responsible for all of the employees in the children's area. I took care of the hiring, discipline, scheduling, as well as dealing with parents if necessary. Since I would not be over a department this time I figured it would be less money and really was unsure it was worth it. Well, it isn't less money, it is significantly more money. This can be nothing less than the favor of God. So, I accepted and will be going in to fill out all of my paperwork today. I will be handling the billing for both gyms. I'll take care of running the billing through banks and credit card companies, charging NSF fees to accounts, notifying the office of memberships to cut off and taking care of pre-collection notices. It's expected that this will take me 12-15 hours a week. If at some point and time I decide that I can take on more responsibility, then they may give me more, but onlly if I ask for it. I am very excited about this new opportunity and am so amazed at how it all came to be. This could only be a gift from the Father.


On a side note I wanted to let you all know what I have done so far about the situation with the girls. First we are going to be minimizing contact with the one who is being intentionally rude to them. I also had some really long conversations with them during the storm the other night. I explained to them that they could not take these things personally because as the Word says "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks". If someone is speaking something ugly to them, then their is probably something ugly in their heart and that is their problem to fix (hopefully with the Lord's help), not ours. I also talked to them about how we(christians) will be known by our fruit and what the fruits of the Spirit are. I told them that if they did not see those fruits in someone then we should probably back away from that friendship. I also told them that they needed to look for those qualities in people and work to get to know people that exhibit them. Lastly, I explained to them that two Christians as friends sharpen each other "like iron sharpens iron". That they needed to be friends with people who were good examples so they could sharpen each other and that when we are friends with people who hurt us we are only allowing ourselves to be dulled by them. I told them that just because someone was not good friend material didn't mean that we shouldn't love them with the love of Christ. I explained that we should be kind to them, that they should see Christ in us and that we should pray for them, we just shouldn't try to be more than aquaintances with them. Those conversations went really well, but I was still feeling very unsure if I was handling it all correctly. So, yesterday afternoon I had to pick up something from the children's pastors (it is a couple) at our main campus and while I was there we had a conversation that was fabulous. It helped so much. Mostly she told me that she felt like I was handling the situation very well and all that we have done so far was putting us on the right track. (She also spoke to the girls, which I think helped a lot as well.) I feel much better about the situation today and just wanted to update you all on where we are with this.

I pray you all have a truly blessed day!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Girls....

If you've ever met my girls then you know that they are very thoughtful, sweet and pretty mild mannered. We definitely have issues at times, but they are usually very minor.

Well, they have never had a lot of friends, largely because in the areas that we have lived and gone to church in and homeschooled in, there just haven't been very many girls their age. When they do get together with other girls, they usually are peacekeepers and prefer that there is no conflict. They try to avoid it at all costs, even sometimes if it means bowing to whatever someone else wants. Well the last couple of years have been very difficult. They have had one "friend" that is just outright rude to them. She's very bossy, creates conflicts, has tried to pit the girls against each other and says hurtful things to them. For instance, my girls recently had their hair cut into styles that they chose. Everyone that has seen it has loved it, but this little girl told one of them that she didn't like her hair and then looked at the other and told her she did like hers. I have really worked on distancing them from this friendship, but there are unavoidable situations where they have to be around this person. Then they made some "friends" that I would call "fairweather friends". They can't decide who they want to be friends with from one minute to the next, as if it's only possible for them to be friends with one person at a time. They are constantly squabbling with someone, not my girls, but usually one of their other friends, so there is often turmoil in the group. Honestly, as a mother, this has been one of the toughest things to deal with.

I'm just tired of this whole situation. We have worked really hard at teaching our girls how to be good friends. We've taught them about treating other people the way they want to be treated and about getting to know the quiet kids as much as the outgoing ones. I even watch them in situations with their friends to see if their are areas they need to work on. It is absolutely unacceptable to me for them to say anything that would be hurtful to someone else. If they did, I would not think it was cute or that it is just a normal girl thing. I cannot for the life of me understand why any of us would stand by and accept that what is normal for the world has to be normal for our children as well. I refuse to accept that girls are just "like that" and allow my girls to develop those traits.

Here are a few words of advice and then I will get off of my soap box. If a behavior is not attractive in your child, it will be even less attractive in them as an adult and you have a much better chance of changing it in them now than you do when they are older. Instead of just disciplining in the moment, try to figure out the heart issue that is causing the unatractive behavior.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I am just feeling a little fed up at the moment and you know how us momma's feel when someone is hurting our children.

(Disclaimer: I by no means think that I have this parenting thing down pat. I make mistakes all the time and run into situations constantly that I don't know what to do with. I've second-guessed many decisions that I have made in the friend and how to be a friend department. It just seems to me that it shouldn't be too much to expect your child to be kind to others. That just seems so fundamental to me, maybe I'm wrong, but this is what's on my heart today.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

First Corinthians Christmas

I recieved this in an email and thought it good (and convicting) enough to pass along.
FIRST CORINTHIANS CHRISTMAS

IF I DECORATE MY HOUSE PERFECTLY WITH PLAID BOWS, STRANDS OF TWINKLINGLIGHTS AND SHINY BALLS,BUT DO NOT SHOW LOVE TO MY FAMILY,I'M JUST ANOTHER DECORATOR.

IF I SLAVE AWAY IN THE KITCHEN,BAKING DOZENS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES,PREPARING GOURMET MEALS,ARRANGING A BEAUTIFULLY ADORNED TABLE ,BUT DO NOT SHOW LOVE TO MY FAMILY,I'M JUST ANOTHER COOK.

IF I WORK AT THE SOUP KITCHEN,CAROL IN THE NURSING HOME ANDGIVE ALL THAT I HAVE TO CHARITY,BUT DO NOT SHOW LOVE TO MY FAMILY,IT PROFITS ME NOTHING.

IF I TRIM THE SPRUCE WITH SHIMMERING ANGELSAND CROCHETED SNOWFLAKES,ATTEND MYRIAD HOLIDAY PARTIESAND SING IN THE CHOIR'S CANTATABUT DO NOT FOCUS ON CHRIST,I HAVE MISSED THE POINT.

LOVE STOPS COOKING TO HUG THE CHILD.
LOVE SETS ASIDE DECORATING TO KISS THE HUSBAND.
LOVE IS KIND, THOUGH HARRIED AND TIRED.
LOVE DOESN'T ENVY ANOTHER'S HOME THAT HAS COORDINATED CHRISTMAS CHINA ANDTABLE LINENS.
LOVE DOESN'T YELL AT THE KIDS TO GET OUT OF THE WAY, BUT IS THANKFUL THEYARE THERE TO BE IN THE WAY.
LOVE DOESN'T GIVE ONLY TO THOSE WHO ARE ABLE TO GIVE IN RETURN BUT REJOICES IN GIVING TO THOSE WHO CAN'T.
LOVE BEARS ALL THINGS,BELIEVES ALL THINGS,HOPES ALL THINGS,ENDURES ALL THINGS.
LOVE NEVER FAILS.
VIDEO GAMES WILL BREAK,PEARL NECKLACES WILL BE LOST,GOLF CLUBS WILL RUST.BUT THE GIFT OF LOVE WILL ENDURE.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sickly...

Ok, sorry I have not been blogging. There really have been things going on around here that are blog worthy, but I have been extremely sick since last Friday and just can't seem to get my thoughts together long enough to type them all out. Today I felt much better, but my kids have started coming down with it. Mason has been very sick today. His fever got up to 102.1 and that is really high for us. We have low normal temps and never run fevers. I can't remember the last time someone here had a temp. Anyway, I promise to update soon.

P.S. Apparently half of the world is sick right now. I highly recommend that you stay home if you can and wash, wash, wash those hands!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vow Renewal

We renewed our vows! We had a very small ceremony at Christ Cove with a very small group of friends and family. There was not a lot of space, so we only invited our immediate families and some friends who were present during some very transitional times in our lives (a marriage retreat, a marriage bible study and Patrick's trip to Mexico). It was great! Pastor Greg "officiated". Before we came out he sort of explained why we were renewing our vows (it was not an anniversary) and let everyone know that we wanted this to be a time of worship and welcomed them to worship with us.

We walked into Rita Springer's "You Are Still Holy". Kelsi and Josh (my 22 yr. old step-son) were first, then Keeli and Mason and then us. Pastor Greg prayed and then we began.

Here is a copy of the wording of the ceremony:

Patrick and Kristie, God has established marriage as the symbol of Christ’s perfect relationship to His Body, the Church.

Ephesians 5: 22-33 says: Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church—His ‘body’ of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy; cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain, wrinkle, or any other blemish—but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body but he feeds and cares for it just as Christ does the church—for we are members of His ‘body’. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Patrick, God has ordained the man as the spiritual head, as the responsible provider, and as the initiator of love in this marriage. By His enablement, your strength must be Kristie’s protection, your character her boast and pride, and you must live so that she will find in you the love for which the heart of a woman truly longs.

Kristie, it is God’s purpose that you be a loving wife, that you respond to Patrick’s love in tenderness with a deep sense of understanding, through great faith in Christ who brought you together. By His enablement you will bring Patrick good and not harm all the days of His life and be a beautiful crown upon his head.

Christian marriage is not living merely for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve God. Seek His kingdom first, and His righteousness, and He will add all other things to you. Do not expect perfection from each other, perfection belongs solely to God. You need not minimize each other’s weaknesses, but always be swift to praise and magnify each other’s strengths and see each other through kind and patient eyes.

God will lead you into such situations as will bless you and develop your characters as you walk together. He will give you enough tears to keep you tender, enough hurts to keep you compassionate, enough of failure to keep your hands clenched tightly in His, and enough success to make you sure you walk with Him. May you never take each other’s love for granted, but always experience that wonder that exclaims “Out of all this world you have chosen me.” When life is done, may you be found, then as now, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May you ever serve Him happily, faithfully, together until you return to glory or until at last one shall lay the other into His arms.

Will you please, as an expression that your hearts are joined together in love, join hands.

Pastor Greg (to Patrick) – Patrick, this woman whom you hold by the hand is your wife. She has given you one of the most sacred things under Heavan: a woman’s life, and a woman’s love. You may bring her great joy or cause her deep sorrow. It is not what you bring her in a material way that will make true happiness – riches without love are nothing. The gift without the giver is bare. The practice of those virtues as husband that you have shown her in love, will keep her heart won to yours.

Would you repeat after me: (to Patrick)
I promise, before God who brought us together, to love and cherish you, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave Himself for it, to lead you, and share all of life’s experiences with you, by following God through them. That through His grace we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

Pastor Greg (to Kristie) Kristie, this man whom you hold by the hand is your husband. Upon your life, your love, and your devotion he will lean for strength and inspiration. He is going to look to you for encouragement, for cheerfulness, and for confidence. No matter what the world may say or think, people may forget him, lose confidence in him or turn their backs upon him, but you must not. May your life and love be the inspiration that will constantly lead him to greater dependence upon our Lord.

Would you repeat after me:
I promise, before God who brought us together, to love you and to cherish you, to submit myself to you in all things, to honor your goals and dreams and help you to fulfill them and to follow you through all of life’s experiences as you follow God, that through His grace we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.

You both stand before us as children of God, redeemed by Jesus Christ through your trust in Him, and His substitutionary death for your sin. You have recognized that your love for each other is a gift from God. Have you asked God to be the center of your home?

Patrick and Kristie – We have.

Is it your purpose to maintain a home that is truly Christ-centered, where the Word of God is read and obeyed; a home that is welded together by prayer, in which the Holy Spirit is your guide?

Patrick and Kristie – It is.

1 Corinthians 13 says: If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move---without love, I would be no good to anybody! If I gave everything I have to the poor, and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn't love others, I would be of no value whatsoever. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear. It's like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. There are three things that will endure--faith, hope, and love--and the greatest of these is love.

Pastor Greg –(to Patrick and Kristie) Do you pledge that you will work to make your house a home full of love, not only for yourselves but also for others; a place where Christian love is shared?

Patrick and Kristie – We do.

At this point we had Pastor Greg thank each of the people who were present that have poured into us and helped to facilitate the change that has taken place.

After that Patrick stopped him and totally surprised me with a beautiful diamond ring. I was completely speechless.

At the end Pastor Gretchen came up and prayed over me and the wives and Pastor Greg prayed over Patrick. We walked out to Rita Springer's "When I Think About the Lord".

Everyone joined us inside for a super yummy supper of soups and desserts. My sister-in-law and a friend surprised us with a wedding cake (they are sooo sweet).

Then Pastor Greg's son Spencer lead us in an awesome time of worship. Boy is he talented. It was AMAZING!

I will post pictures soon. A super sweet young lady came and took our pics and I don't think I will have the disk until the end of next week.

So, you may be wondering why we renewed our vows, and I would love to tell you. When we married we were truly not living for the Lord and honestly I'm not sure either one of us knew exactly what that meant. We both called ourselves saved because we had both walked down an aisle and been baptized and we both believed that Jesus was our Savior and occasionaly prayed, but we didn't go to church an certainly didn't live lives that were pleasing to the Father. When our girls were born we really had to lean on the Lord and His provision during that time was unbelievable and undeniable. So, we began going to church while they were babies and have been in church ever since, for most of the last 9-10 years. During the first 9 years I dealt with a tremendous amount of bitterness and anxiety. My family truly paid the price for that. Patrick was a good husband, but definitely not a Godly one. About 4 years ago the Lord delivered me from anxiety. Many things lead up to that point, many people planted many seeds that were watered and growing. At that point I really began to yearn for Him and started working really hard a getting to know Him, at living for Him and allowing Him to live through me. I began to work at finding out what a Godly wife really was and what did submission really mean and I began to walk it out. Little by little, baby step by baby step and as I did, the Lord began to do a work in Patrick. Coming to The Rock has really changed everything. The Lord has become so much more tangible to us. Largely because we are seeing Him alive in the people around us. These people are so real. So willing to be honest about their weaknesses, but share with you their victories. We have been taught so much and God has truly changed our household. We just began to really feel that this was something the Lord wanted us to do. To make a vow to each other that was authentic, that expressed what whe truly felt about the kinds of spouses we are called to be. We also felt strongly that we needed to make a covenant with the Lord, vowing to Him to walk out what He has called us to. So that is just what we did and I am so thankful. I hope some of this inspires somebody in some way. We have an awesome Father and if we just trust Him and do what He asks of us, we may go through some tough things, but we will experience that peace that passes all understanding and a joy that is truly unspeakable!

Be Blessed!!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cuss Words ;)

Houston, we have done something right.

So, the other night we were in the van and my kiddos were telling me about a movie (animated, but I can't remember which one) they had seen at their friends house. Mason, my 6 year old, said it was a really good movie and it didn't even have any cuss words in it. That phrase peaked my interest and concerned me. So, I asked him, do you know any cuss words and he said yes. Here is his list. Once he started telling us, he kind of got on a roll and we eventually had to tell him to stop.

1. Shut Up
2. Stupid
3. (This is the worst one of all.) Cr*p (He informed us that he learned that one from Daddy)
4. Dang It (Said he got that one from Daddy, too.)
5. Shoot (Apparently that one is my fault)

The most impressive thing is that my 10 year olds pretty much agreed with that list. Wonder, how long we can get away with this list. A really long time I hope.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No One Else

I hope that it is okay that I reprint this. I received it in an email and really wanted to share it. I think that the heading gives due credit. I believe most Mom's would find this helpful.


No One Else Named Mom
Kari Lewis
Home School Enrichment
She looked directly at me, talking intently. I felt increasingly uncomfortable and distracted. The baby in her arms was fussing loudly and batting at her face. She deftly darted her head around to miss the most direct slaps from his tiny hand and talked on. Her 3-year-old was pulling on her skirt and calling to her loudly. Still she talked on. Her 5-year-old was out of her range of sight and hearing, doing who knows what. Still she talked on.
I tried to see if I could help the 3-year-old with something. He glared at me and kept tugging on his mom. Still she talked on. I smiled at her baby and offered him his pacifier, to no avail. Still she talked on, the conversation frequently punctuated by her exasperatedly saying a child’s name, trying to get one or the other to settle down. But it didn’t work. It never worked.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t the only time this scene played out over the years. As my friend’s children got older, they did more and more audacious things trying for Mom’s attention—all while she talked on, doing her own thing.
There was nothing wrong with the things my friend talked about. She was a Christian lady who wanted to make a difference in the world around her. She loved to minister to others and share her knowledge and godly insight on things such as her ministries in the church, why homeschooling was important, abortion/pro-life issues, healthy eating, creation vs. evolution, and a host of other truly vital, important topics.
Though there was nothing inherently wrong with the things my friend talked about or the ministries and activities she was involved in, something nonetheless was terribly wrong.
What was wrong in my friend’s life? She was living out a proper, Godly focus at an improper season of life! She desired to be used by God, but failed to see that her most important ministry at this stage of her life (and for many years to come) was her home and her children—not the church or the world. The right thing at the wrong time equals the wrong thing!
Tragically, my friend’s heart was not truly and fully at home with her children. Yes, she was bodily at home much of the time, she talked to her children about the Lord, she homeschooled and used Christian curriculum, and she and her family were faithful church members—present every time the doors were open. But her feelings of joy and self-worth were derived from ministering to others, not from raising her children. Her children knew it and responded in kind. Home was chaotic and miserable.
I wish I could say her family has had a happy ending, but they haven’t—at least not yet. In the grace, mercy and love of God, they still may; but during the 25 years we’ve known them, things have gone from bad to worse.
There have been broken relationships and confusion in abundance. The parents love the Lord and are worried, perplexed, and even ashamed.
Most of us have my friend’s problem to some degree or another. We all want significance or acceptance, and we have a natural tendency toward selfishness. We have hopes, dreams or plans, whether that means we want to do something big and important like reaching a whole continent for the Lord, or whether that means our greatest desire is to take a nap this afternoon
If we’re truthful, most of us would admit that occasionally we have a teensy-weensy tendency, no matter what we say with our mouths to the contrary, to feel that children are messy, noisy distractions to be endured during our quest for “meaning” or “life” as we want it to be. (Was that said too honestly for our comfort, or did I pretty much hit the nail on the head? Ouch!)
But how does God parent us? Is He distant and involved in His own thing? Do we have to pester or become obnoxious to get His attention? Is He concerned with mature Christians rather than new Christians (older, more “useful” children rather than younger children)? Is He touched by our infirmities? Does He stick closer than a brother? Did He die for us?!
A slight rewording of John 15:13 may be helpful for us Christian moms: “Greater love hath no mom than this, that a mom lay down her life for her family.” Laying down our lives doesn’t sound fun, but Jesus said that whoever loses his life for God’s sake finds it—and the life we find in Him is abundant! What perspective, hope and blessing!
Matthew 18:10 says, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Wouldn’t it please God and show Him that we don’t despise our little ones—no matter how old they are—if our faces and hearts were easily and freely beheld by our children? Motherhood is time consuming; it takes vast effort, thought, care, creativity, and selflessness to be done well—but the blessings of fulfilling that high calling are well worth every sacrifice!
The world and even the church clamor after us about this activity, that cause, or this ministry. Often these activities are worthwhile and God-centered. As Christians, we may be interested and want to be involved—other times we’re made to feel that we just don’t measure up if we don’t get involved. However, we need to prayerfully and carefully determine God’s will for our families. We don’t want to sacrifice His best for something that is only good!
Our ministries and mission fields are in our homes and children. Our highest calling is in the baby that cried off and on last night seemingly just because he loves to hear his voice reverberate through the quiet house. It is in our 3-year-old when she asks her trillionth “why” question of the morning. It is in our 6-year-old as he uproariously spouts off yet another knock-knock joke. It is in our 10-year-old as he struggles with math. Our ministry continues to be vastly important throughout the pre-teen years and beyond, as our children’s natural talents and bents for the future become more apparent, needing more specific prayer, affirmation and direction. Our ministry is in continually learning to know and read our children correctly so we are able to address their heart issues. The heart is vastly more important than outward actions, but takes considerably more prayer, time and effort to see and address properly.
Our ministry is learning to take immense pleasure in being with our children, laughing, working, talking, praying, learning and playing—no matter how old or young they are. The other stuff of life doesn’t matter nearly as much—others are out there doing those things.
My dad once shared a poem with me written by Charlotte Fiske Bates. I’ve never forgotten it:
Duties are pressing upon me,And the time for work is brief,What if with purblind vision,I neglect the very chief?What if I do with ardorWhat a thousand could maybe,And leave undone foreverWhat was meant for only me?

A Missionary Family In Need

P, just went on and returned from a mission trip about a month ago. They were in and around Cuetzelan, Mexico. There are two missionary families there. One of which came to our church and preached. He and his family have been missionaries for quite some time and there finances are fairly stable. They have many faithful financial backers.

The other family is in the opposite situation. They have only been missionaries for a few years and some of the churches that were backing them stopped, when gas prices began to escelate so much. I'm sure this was because the people at their churches were not giving as much. Anyway, this family has 4 children and really need help in the area of finances. All of the guys gave him money before they came home, but we would really like to do more. I'm trying to come up with ways of raising funds for them so that we can help them in a big way. Please let me know if you are interested in helping them with a one time gift or monthly support and I will get you the information you need, also please let me know if you have some fundraising ideas.

Thanks and be blessed!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dogs!!!

What in the world would possess a dog that we have had for 3 years and has never been a real problem to start pooping in our house the last few weeks and to decide in one day that peeing on beds is a good idea? We got home today and discovered that one of them had peed on my bed and now at 4:00 A.M. my girls come down because one of them just peed on their bed. I am disgusted! Nastiness!!! Looks like somebody is going to be in the crate everytime we go somewhere and every night. UGHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I want to start by reminding/encouraging everyone to go out and vote.

Now, for the good stuff. The Lord has really been laying the word TRUST on my heart lately. So, we are learning about trust in our house. If you feel like there are some areas of fear in your children, I encourage you to work diligently with them on that. I spoke with my children very vaguely about how things in the coming times could be difficult and how we cannot be assured of the Lord's protection/provision if we are allowing fear to keep us in bondage, to keep us from walking out His will for us. We studied about Ruth and how she was King David's great-grandmother and in the lineage of Jesus and how important it was that she made the decisions that she made, even though they weren't easy things to do. She had enough faith and trust in the Lord to step out of her comfort zone, to become a lower class citizen in a land she didn't know, among people that she didn't know. Pretty amazing stuff.

I just want to encourage everyone to get in the Word.

Before you vote check this out:
Proverbs 3:5-6 In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
He will show you who to vote for.

Consider why you are voting for the candidate you have chosen. Are you being selfish?
James 3:16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
If you are voting out of selfishness, out of your own wants and desires, If you are voting purely for economic purposes then the Word clearly says that you will find disorder and every evil practice.

And lastly I want to add that He is in control. He knows what is going on and what is to come.
Daniel 2:20-22
“ Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, For wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, And light dwells with Him.
The Word says that He changes the times, He removes kings and raises up kings, He knows what is in the darkness and He is where the light is. Sometimes things have to happen that don't line up with what we think should happen in order for His will to be done.

I don't know what is going to happen today. I know what I want to happen, but above all I know this: God is in control. He has made us many promises and I choose to rest on those promises and trust Him.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blackout

I also just received this email. Worth forwarding along!


BLACK OUT


On October 29th Barack Obama has purchased prime time on CBS and NBC to talk to the American people. Please join with us in turning off your television sets during this prime time speech to express our belief that elections should not be "bought" with money from the Hollywood elites andForeign funds that have no place in American politics. Please pass this onTo all your friends and relatives - let's make our voices heard - let's see how many people we can reach with our message. Remember turn off your television sets on October 29th beginning at 8:00PM (EST) for 30 minutes!!! Thanks and keep it going.

Who Would Jesus Vote For?

I just received this in an email. I hope that whoever wrote it to begin with intended for it to be shared.

This is the best political advice I have received.
WHO WOULD JESUS VOTE FOR?

1. Jesus would not vote according to his "pocketbook." 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

2. Jesus is Pro Life. Jeremiah 1:5 Before you were formed in the body of your mother I had knowledge of you, and before your birth I made you holy... Matthew 19:14 But Jesus said, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

3. Jesus is not tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle. Romans 1:27-28 And in the same way the men gave up the natural use of the woman and were burning in their desire for one another, men doing shame with men, and getting in their bodies the right reward of their evil-doing. And because they had not the mind to keep God in their knowledge, God gave them up to an evil mind, to do those things which are not right...

4. Jesus would not vote for anyone who has interests in other religions besides Christianity. John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

5. Jesus is against welfare (the church should provide for people's needs). 2 Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

6. Jesus is pro Israel . Nehemiah 13:2 Because they did not give the children of Israel bread and water when they came to them, but got Balaam to put a curse on them: though the curse was turned into a blessing by our God. Genesis 12:2-3 I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you and make your name great. You will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you.???

7. Jesus knows who really controls the economy. Matthew 6:31-34 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

8. Jesus is not worried about social security or the stock market. Matthew 6:19-20 Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

It all comes down to this. We need God in America again. Our economy, our children, our marriages, etc. need healing. While neither candidate looks to be a strong Christian candidate - as a nation which one will lead us closer to God and not farther away?

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

As Christians, who we vote for does matter to God!

Romans 14:11-12 As surely as I live,' says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

I'm a Christian and I approve of this message

Saturday, October 25, 2008

God is sooooo good.....

The Lord is doing some amazing things in our lives right now. We are about to head out to my nieces birthday party. It's a 2 hour drive and they are an hour ahead, so a 10:00 party means we have to leave very early to get there. So, I don't have time to go into much detail right now, but I will try to post more later.

I hope everyone has an amazingly blessed day!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Kaitlyn

I just finished making part of my nieces birthday gift. This is my first attempt at something like this and I think it turned out pretty well. I think I will definitely do it again. In case you can't see it well, it is a pink University of Alabama fabric.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Public Blog

I have set my blog back to public. I briefly set it to private so that I could talk about P's trip without advertising to the world that we were home without him. I have however changed most of my posts to include only initials of the names of my family. So here is what they are:
Husband = P or Hubby
1st born twin girl = KH
2nd born twin girl = KG
son = M

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are You a Titus 2 woman

Last night at M&M's Pastor Gretchen mentioned women mentoring other women and I recalled something that I had learned at our homeschool Mom's retreat last year. Our theme was Titus 2 and someone mentioned that at the time Titus was written the life expectancy was very low (20-40). So most of us would already be considered "older" women, by those standards.

So, the question that I began to ask myself, that maybe others should as as well is this: "Am I sitting around waiting for some more mature woman to come pour into me, because I feel so dry, or am I digging into the Word and abiding in the Lord to quench my thirst, so that I can pour into others? The gist of it is this, are most of my thoughts about me and what other people could be doing for me, or about others and what I could be doing for them?"

Created to Be His Help Meet~Chapter 1

I just started reading Created to Be His Helpmeet and thought I would share my notes from each chapter. They may seem rather random, but that's the kind of note taker that I am and I will be typing this exactly as I have it written.

~Regardless of what kind of person you have been in the past, with instructions from God's word, you can become a heavenly sent gift bride. You can still be your man's dream come true and in the process your dreams will come true also.

~A man who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor with God. Proverbs 18:22

~You were created to make him complete.

~If God created a special woman perfectly suited to be my husband's helper, would I be that woman?

~When you are a helper to your husband, you are a helper to Christ.
When you obey your husband, you obey God.
When you honor your husband, you honor God.
The degree to which you reverance your husband is the degree to which
you reverance your Creator.
As we serve our husbands, we serve God.
When you dishonor your husband, you dishonor God.

~ Who said anything about what your husband deserves?

~ It is better that the job be done poorly by your husband, than to be done well by you.

~ His place of authority does not make him better, it simply means that we are here to help him do his job better.

~If he can trust you he will make you his closest advisor, his confidante, etc.

~ A perfect help meets readiness to please motivates her to look around and see things she knows her husband would like to see done and do them.

~Meet-suited, suitable, proper, due, useful
A helper suitable
A helper suited to him
A proper helper
A useful helper
The helper that is due him

~ Virtue-a virtuous woman is far above rubies Proverbs 31:10
Graciousness - a gracious woman retains honor Proverbs 11:16
Wisdom - she opens her mouth with wisdom Proverbs 31:26
Prudence-a prudent wife is from the Lord Proverbs 19:14
(Prudent=discreet )
Goodness=Virtue

~A good help meet has a passion to be of service, first to her husband and children, then to others.

Mexico - Tuesday

I talked to P last night and things are about the same. He didn't sound very good, but he said he was just tired, wet and cold. They had just been caught in a torential downpour and it was about 10:30p.m. and the climate is fairly cool there. My brother said that two people in the villages came to know the Lord yesterday. They expect to have a more laid back day today and get a little more much needed rest. It's so hard not being able to talk to him, but right now when he calls we are spending about $1.49 a minute on our cell phone. I dread seeing the bill at the end of the month. I miss him so much, but we were busy yesterday and that helped. We will be pretty busy the next few days, so maybe it will get a little easier. Please continue to pray.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Mexico - Monday

So, it's 11:20 p.m. and I just talked to P for the first time since 5:30 yesterday. We talked for a total of probably no more than 5 minutes. My sister-in-law is still waiting to hear from my brother. Apparently the guys got up this morning at 4:30 and did not get back in until around 11:00 tonight. P said that they hiked down into a valley and visited some villages today. They will be getting up at 4:30 again tomorrow, but he is unsure of what their schedule will be. I asked him how they are eating and he said sparsely. Some meals they are eating well and others not so well. He said that he is totally exhausted. They will be fasting breakfast and lunch tomorrow. Sometimes he has trouble with his blood sugar when he doesn't eat well, so please be praying about that. He did say that some things got changed in their schedule so they may not be as busy on Wednesday as they thought and we may have a little more time to talk to him.

On the homefront the kids seem to be doing well. I am having a pretty tough time. I miss my husband soooooo much. It seems like he has been gone a really long time already. Please continue to pray for the mission team and their families.
Thanks!

Mexico - Sunday

Well, it looks like we will be talking to our spouses very, very little. I did not hear from P Saturday night. A couple of wives spoke to their husbands but for only one or two minutes. Yesterday he called me around 4:30 and I missed the call. I was sick over it, but he called me back an hour later. He talked to me and the children and we were on the phone less than 10 minutes. My brother called my sister-in-law last night and they were only able to talk for 5 minutes. So far the only way that they are calling is by cell phone and only one of their cell phones work down there, so everyone is borrowing another guys phone to talk. It's hard to glean much info about what is going on when you can barely talk to anyone. What I know so far is that they had probably the most laid back day that they are going to have yesterday. They went to one church. P said that their were about 75 people there and that Britt said there were more Indians there than usual. Which is good, because that is who they are desiring to minister to the most. They were also able to go to the market a couple of times yesterday. I think some of them did a little souvenir shopping. They were able to get in bed at a somewhat decent time, but had to be up by 4:30 this morning. As I understand it they will have to be up by 4:30 every morning. They will go to 3 churches everyday and will be walking most everywhere they go. They were told to wear waterproof shoes and bring rain gear, so they will be out in the elements. They were told that their would be a phone that they could use and they could also email. I suspect that being men, none of them have asked about that yet. Hopefully someone will today. That way all of them will not be relying on one phone to contact home, although as busy as they are going to be they still probably will not be able to talk to us for very long. They will be fasting Tuesday and Thursday, some of us have discussed fasting on thosed days as well. Please pray for strength, energy and endurance for them. Pray for peace in each of their homes and especially that they would reach many and God's will would be done.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Past Few Days

.....have been very emotional ones. Starting with the emotion that came with our church family praying over the mission team and their families. Then it's just been a whirlwind of emotion, thinking about missing each other, thinking about the unknown, worrying(only slightly) and wondering, and being excited, and getting prepared. Needless to say we are all a bit raw right now, but in such a good way. I could see before he even left, God at work in my husband. I have seen lessons that my children are learning as a result of their Daddy's obedience. I am so proud of him. You would have to know him as well as I do to understand how difficult this must be for him. He doesn't do change, he's a creature of habit and leaving the country for the mission field is not one of his habits. My children gave him letters that they had written and we had a sweet time of prayer before he left. We held hands and each of us prayed for his safety and the people that they will be reaching out to. It was another very emotional time for all of us.

I've done well so far. Being without him is very hard for me. This is the first time that he has been away when I didn't know when he was going to call me or even when I couldn't just pick up the phone and call him. Usually when he is gone he calls me at bedtime and we talk until we're sleepy. It may seem silly, but after 13 years I'm so thankful that we still feel this way about each other. I can think of a million cliches that would describe the way we feel, but the best explanation is that we are one. He completes me and when he is gone, I feel exposed, incomplete, unsettled. I miss him terribly already, but I am so thankful that God chose him for this, that He has been preparing him and He is going to use him. I'm so thankful that Patrick was willing to be obedient even when it was hard for him to be, and I'm thankful that he wants to be used while he's there, but also wants to glean everything that he possibly can.

Please pray for their safety and that they will reach many for the kingdom.
Thank you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Teaching the Books of the Bible

I found a great resource for teaching your children the books of the Bible. Mine already know a song for the New Testament, but we needed an Old Testament song. The girls are really big enough to learn them without a song, so this is most helpful for Mason. Anyway, just thought I would share it.

Books of the Bible Memory Helps

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Prayer for Mexico

Tonight we had such a sweet time of prayer over the men that are leaving for Mexico on Saturday. The people of our church laid hands on the men and prayed over them and our families. Pastor Greg went to each man personally and prayed over them. It's always so obvious that he hears from the Lord. What he had to say to P was so relevant and so much of it matched what we have been praying for the trip and our lives. Pastor Greg also asked the church to remember the families and check up on us while our husbands are away. It was so powerful. Please continue to pray. The men will leave this Saturday and return the following Saturday, we will be able to post very little, but I will update you all as I can.

I do think I will make my blog temporarily private.

Great Quote

"Jesus did not promise to change the circumstances around us. He promised great peace and pure joy to those who would learn to believe that God actually controls all things."
~Corrie Ten Boom

****************************************************
I posted the above quote earlier today, then tonight Pastor Greg said something that I think goes along well with this one, so I thought I would share it.

"God wants to teach us self-control when we are in the midst of situations where we have no control."
~Pastor Greg Devries

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

This Weeks Happenings

We are having an interesting week around here. Financial Peace classes were canceled for Monday night, there is nothing scheduled for Tuesday night and we are on fall break from co-op this week, so our schedule for the week has been much lighter than usual. We are spending our time (mostly in our pajamas) doing schoolwork, catching up on housework and enjoying spending time with P while we prepare him for his trip. I have mixed emotions about the coming week. I know I will miss him terribly and I'm definitely praying for his safety and ours while he is away, but I'm also so excited about what the Lord is going to do in Mexico. I can't wait for him to return and tell me all about what he experienced and how God moved while they were there. Seems silly to be anticipating his return before he has even left. The kids and I are planning on getting lots of stuff done around the house while he is away, so he can come home and really relax. I also think we will be spending a lot of time with my sister-in-law next week. My brother is heading to Mexico as well and she will probably be staying with us a lot of the week. I also think that we will be going out Friday night with some really special friends of ours to see "Fireproof", I'm looking forward to that. We haven't been to the movies together in ages. Oh, and on the school front I have been convicted about how little Bible I was integrating into our days, so we are now doing devotions (this month on attitude), reading a story from our Eggermeier's(sp?) book and the scripture that goes along with it, memorizing books of the Bible, some verses, 1st catechisms and having prayer and sometimes worship time. We are also reading from "The Book of Virtues" right now from the chapter on self-discipline. I had forgotten how much we enjoyed that time when we were doing it before and we are all glad to be back on the right track. We will probably be adding some nighttime reading of the new testament (right now we are in the OT in the mornings) and starting a character training curriculum as a family in the evenings. It's called "The Narrow Way" and it's published by Pearables. I hope you all have a blessed week. Please be praying for the team as they prepare to head to Mexico.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Scripture Memory For Children

As a child I always struggled with memorization. I don't want my kids to have the same struggles and I really want the Word to be hidden in their hearts. So, we use the scripture memory method suggested at Simply Charlotte Mason. At first it may seem a bit complicated, but once you make your box you will understand and it has been extremely effective. I love that it continues to review past verses for a very long time. I have been looking for a list of suggested verses to learn. I found one today that I think is a great resource. It has them listed in age groups, but I will tell you that Mason learns most of what my girls are learning and he is 4 grades behind them. Just thought I would share this Parent Handbook for Scripture Memory with everyone. Hope you find it useful.

Monday, September 29, 2008

They're Not Little Girls Anymore

My girls are growing up. I have had to have a couple of uncomfortable discussions with them. The first one was probably a year or so ago and was not too bad, kind of funny even. The 2nd one was last night and it was pretty uncomfortable, but it lead into a discussion about them becoming godly women, wives and mothers. It was really sweet. We all cried. I love them tremendously and though it's hard to watch them become young ladies and eventually women and wives and mothers. I'm so proud of them, as uncomfortable as those discussions are, I'm glad they learned it all from me and not some teacher at school or an early bloomer friend. I'm glad they know how all of this crazy stuff that happens to us is part of God's plan to grow them into who He is calling them to be, and I'm thankful for the memories that those discussions have created.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Prayer Guide for the Election

I received this prayer guide in an email from a yahoo group that I am in. I'm not sure who originally published it, but it's definitely worth sharing.

Prayer Guide for the Presidential Election

It is critical that Christians pray for the coming
presidential election. There is amazing power in united prayer.
PLEASE PRINT OUT THIS PRAYER GUIDEAND PRAY DAILY UNTIL THE ELECTION.
Pray with others whenever possible. The power of prayer can overcome
any obstacle or ungodly influence and, indeed,do great things! Please
forward this to every Christian you know.


09/26 - 10/02
II Kings 13:16 - Pray that the Lord would put His hands on the man of
His choice for president (and his team) and guide them in this
election.

10/03 - 10/09
Proverbs 1:5-6 - Pray that God's man will listen with discernment,
add to his knowledge, and receive wise counsel in this campaign.

10/10- 10/16
John 16:33 - Pray that the man of God's choice would be given wisdom
and ability from the Lord to overcome any obstacle or difficulty
during this campaign.

10/17- 10/23
Acts 17:30 - Pray for repentance for yourself and for our nation.

10/24-10/30
Luke 12:54-57 - Pray that God's man and our nation will be discerning
and do what is right.

10/31- 11/06
Phil. 4:13 - Pray that the Lord's choice for President will have
special strength and unusual ability from God.

11/07-11/11
Habakkuk 1:5 and 3:2 - Pray that the Lord would do something that
would utterly amaze us and give His servant victory.

During the days of Nov. 7 - 11, be encouraged to set aside a time of
fasting during these days to commit this election to the Lord in whom
we put our trust. Acts 14:23

Remember 2 Chronicle 7:14: 'If my people who are called by my name,
will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their
wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.'

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Servanthood

This is a post I've been thinking on for a while. I'm not sure it's for anyone else as much as it is for me, but I'm gonna share it here anyway.

Lately I've been feeling very burdened by all that we do at church. Sometimes I feel like it is taking over our lives. So, Patrick and I began to pray about what I should give up. The answer that we both got was choir. I had a little bit of a hard time with that because, to be honest, in my flesh it was my favorite. I love to sing. I always have, but the truth of the matter is that it was taking away from our time at home together and just because I'm not in choir, doesn't mean I can't sing. I'm always going to sing, in the sanctuary at church, in the car, in the shower, with my children, when I'm alone, etc.

So, here's the lesson that the Lord is teaching me:
My heart is truly to serve. It always has been. I've always been the type to never want to accept help, but always willing to freely give it. Here's the thing though, I can't do it begrudgingly. I've got to start doing it with a right heart. I'm not doing the stuff at church that I consider to be an extreme amount of fun. Honestly, I looked forward to the day that all my kids moved out of Little Praisers, so I wouldn't have to be back there. But, the Lord had different plans. We work back there now, more than we did when Mason was in there. Why? Because, we prayed and asked the Lord to show us what was the biggest need in our church, because that's where we wanted to serve. So, here we are in Little Praisers 3 (and sometimes more) times a month. Then He lays it on our hearts to work with the older children as well, so now we're in Kids Quest once a month. I do a lot of cooking for the church as well and to be honest, cooking is not my favorite thing, I don't totally dislike it, but it is definitely not what I would call fun, but that's another need that, fun or not, I can help to meet.

We're always talking about the church body, and I've come to the conclusion, that I want our family to be a vital body part, and that means obedience and sacrifice. It means laying ourselves down and being willing to do things that are outside of our comfort zone and that don't seem fun. I have always told my children, it isn't true obedience if you are not doing it with a right heart. Honestly, my heart has not been right. I've felt burdened and tired and just wanted to throw in the towel. I'm definitely praying and I'm going to be really working on being joyful, because truthfully, I am thankful that He finds me worthy to be used.

Pastor Greg has spoken about the Word saying "you reap what you sow" and I had always thought of that in terms of bad stuff, if you treat someone badly then someone will treat you badly, that kind of thing. He pointed out that also means the good stuff. He even went as far as to say, that if you have a need, then sow that need. If you need help cleaning your house, help someone clean theirs. If you need help with your children, help someone with theirs. If you need help with your yard work, help someone with theirs, you get the picture. Well, the really neat thing that we have noticed is, although I'm not good at asking for or accepting help, since we have been serving as much as we are, we have not had a need that has gone unmet. People are constantly offering to help with things we need and often insisting. It's amazing.

I am so thankful that the Lord has sent us to this church. We have grown tremendously since we've been there. I have learned that if I want the church to be all that the Lord desires it to be, then I must be willing to do whatever He desires me to do.

I would encourage you to ask yourself, what part of the body are you, if it's not as big a part as you think it should be then ask the Lord where you are most needed and be willing to sacrifice and do something that isn't normally your cup of tea. You will be blessed for it.

Have an amazing day!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kids Pics 9-16-08

I got some great pics of the kids and have had a horible time posting them here. I think it's a problem with my internet. Hopefully, this one will load ok. If not the pictures are on my facebook page. The quality of this video is not great and this was not my song preferance, but this was the only one of the ones I did that I could get to load. You may want to pause the music player at the bottom before you play the video.






Sunday, September 14, 2008

2 week menu and groceries

I am trying to be frugal with our grocery budget, since we are doing Financial Peace. Some friends expressed interest in how I managed the amount for this 2 week period (that is how often we get paid), so I thought I would share it. It's kind of lengthy.

Here is our supper menu for the next 2 weeks. I already had most of the meat. Breakfast will be cereal, waffles, muffins, cinnamon rolls, pop tarts and hot cereal (whatever is in the cabinet). Lunches will be sandwiches, soups and leftovers. We will repeat some meals, but no one here seems to mind that. Keep in mind that we already had most of the meat in the freezer. We will be using deer (I pay $35 - $55 per dear depending on the size. A small dear is usually about 2 Wal-Mart bags full of meat and a larger one will be 3 or so.), ham that my Mom bought on sale and gave to us and chicken that I bought when it was on sale and put it in the freezer. I usually pay about $.99 lb. For split chicken breasts. The veggies are probably already in our freezer, but I will be going to Southern Family Market to buy frozen vegetables 10 for $10.00 and buy one get one free salads for around $3.50.

Spaghetti
Baked potatoes w/ cheese and sour cream
Sloppy Joes with potato wedges
Chicken n dumplings
Grilled deer tenderloin, salad and homemade bread
Country fried steak, Mashed potatoes and black eyed peas
Ham and veggies
Tacos
Stroganoff (Hamburger Helper)
Baked potatoes with sour cream, cheese and chili
Spaghetti
Chicken sandwiches and potato wedges
Chicken n dumplings (possibly with veggies)
Ham and veggies

Below is my grocery list for this two weeks. I bought all of this at Wal-Mart and price matched some of it. So, if you see another grocery stores name, I got Wal-Mart to give me their price :
Milk 2 @ 3.38 each Kroger = 6.76
Frozen Biscuits 2.98
Progresso Soup 2@ 1.50 = 3.00 - .50 coupon = 2.50
Chex Mix .99 Walgreens with .50 off coupon, total 0.49
Nature Valley Granolas 2 @ 1.98 – 1.00 coupons= 2.96
Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls 1.58-.30 coupon = 1.28
Martha White muffins x2@ .84 -.50 coupon= 1.18
Pure life water 12 pack 2.50-1.00 coupon= 1.50
Soft & hard taco shells (2 separate packs) 1.16+1.66-1.00 coupon = 1.82
Hormel Complete Meal ( santa fe chicken and rice)2.00 - .75 coupon=1.25
Dinty Moore stew 2 @ 1.42 = 2.84 – 1.00 coupon = 1.84
2 Knorr rice(Mushroom & Broccoli & Cheese Rice)2@ .98= 1.96-.60 coupon= 1.36
Zatarains 2 boxes of red beans and rice 2 x 1.36 = 2.72 - .75 coupon= 1.97
Eggs 1 ½ dozen 2.38
Bread 2 loaves 2 x .84 = 1.68
Hamburger buns 2 packs 2x 1.13= 2.26
Sloppy Joe Sauce 0.86
Frozen Potato Wedges 1.93
Spaghetti Sauce 2 jars 2 x 1.00= 2.00
Large Pack Spaghetti Noodles 1.32
Head of Lettuce 1.28
Cheddar Cheese 2.46
Stroganoff 2 boxes .96 x 2 = 1.92
Malto Meals Cereal (like honey nut cheerios) 4.48
Frozen Waffles 1.16
Pop tarts 1.74
Sour Cream 16 oz. 1.58
Banquet Frozen Chicken Patties 3.98
Snack crackers :cheese 0.97
Peanut butter 0.97
Tomatoes Piggly Wiggly 1.67 lbs x .99 per lb. = 1.65
Sweet Onions Piggly Wiggly 1.64 lbs x .59 per lb. = 0.97
Sweet Potatoes Piggly Wiggly 2.65 lbs x .69 per lb. = 1.83
Hazelnut coffee beans 3.68
2 Gogurt Jolts 2.28 each -1.00 coupon = 4.56
Tea bags 2 boxes 1.00 each = 2.00
Boxed Chicken Broth 1.48
1 lb. Sliced smoked ham 3.98-.50 coupon = 3.48
Chicken noodle soup 2 x .58 = 1.16
Pringles 1.00
Borden cheese slices 2.50
Sour Cream and onion chips 1.79
Butterball turkey Cajun lunchmeat (8 oz.) 2.98 -1.00 coupon = 1.98
Potatoes 5 lbs. 4.47

Subtotal 93.41
Tax @ 8 % 7.47 Total 100.88

If I didn't note a brand name then I probably bought the store brand. I hope this wasn’t too confusing and maybe someone will find it helpful. Maybe we could give each other inexpensive (somewhat healthy) meal ideas.

Added : It looks like it didn't transfer in list form, so if you want me to send it as a word document leave me a comment with your email address and I will email it to you.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Now I get it!

Ok, so now I fully understand why the Lord had me step-down from my much loved choir. I just received an email stating that they will be singing every Sunday from now on. That never would have worked for me. That means practice every Thursday night and getting to church an hour and fifteen minutes early every Sunday. God is so faithful. He new as always exactly what I needed. I would have been totally stressed about trying to manage that.

Downgraded Television

Well, we downgraded our dish programming today. My reasons are somewhat different than my hubby's. We both (thanks to Dave Ramsey) want to save money, so that's why he agreed to this. It was hard for him because he is a huge NASCAR fan and will miss seeing some of his races. Although, I suspect we'll just stay at my mom's a little longer on those Sundays. I have felt for some time that the television was stealing our time (more like we were giving it away freely). So, I'm a little bummed because of course we lost almost every channel that I watch (there were only about 3 or 4), but we did cut our bill in half. The kids still have some channels they like. They don't watch too much TV, but this will lessen it even more and the channels they are left with work for me: Hallmark, Discovery kids, TBN (for Christian children's programming), kidtunes, TVLand and a few Nickelodeons. Thy watch Hallmark more than anything else because it shows Little House on the Prairie. I guess I said all that to say I'm a little sad to see it go, but I pray that we will accomplish more around the house as a result and spend more quality time together as a family and with the Lord. Who knows maybe this will eventually lead to getting rid of cable all together.

Upcoming Mexico Missions Trip




Some people from our church are going on a mission trip to Mexico.

When they were announcing the trip one Sunday, I felt like the Lord said that my husband would be going. Now, you kind of have to know him, but he's never been on a mission trip before. He is very much a family man and will usually only do something if we can all do it together. He also rarely takes off of work. He doesn't get very many days off and there are only three people in his division and he is the field supervisor, so if he's gone, he gets really behind. Anyway, I still just knew he was supposed to go. We have a very good friend that P has really connected with that is heading up the trip and every time he would talk to Patrick about the trip he would say when we go to Mexico, like P was planning to go, but he still wasn't on board.

I finally told him one day what I felt the Lord had spoken to me and asked him to be praying about it. He said he would, but was very unsure, it still wasn't something he thought he was supposed to do largely because he couldn't imagine where we would come up with $1250 for the trip. Long story short, we very unexpectedly received a check for almost exactly the amount he needed. That (and a few people confirming it with him) was enough for him to realize he is supposed to go to Mexico. They will be leaving for Mexico on October the 11th and will return on the 18th. Our church is collecting money to take Spanish bibles with them, the goal is 1,000 bibles.

So, I tell you all of this to ask you to pray. Please pray for their trip, pray that we will receive enough money for the bibles and pray that everyone receives their passports on time.

Thanks and be blessed!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Crazy weekend

Well, Friday was nutty after the freezer incident.
I woke up pretty early and got a few things accomplished. We had a meeting to be at by 10:00 and at 8:45 I went into the laundry room where I found that the freezer door had been left open all night. The floor was a mess and half the food was thawed. I cleaned up the floor, then went through everything in the freezer. About half of the contents had to be thrown away or cooked and re-frozen.

I was 10 minutes late for my meeting. It was a good meeting though. It was KG's reevaluation meeting for speech (for her Auditory Processing Issues). She has recently been retested and did so well that she no longer qualifies for speech. We are very excited. The only frustrating thing is having the teacher and vice-principal tell me over and over again how if I ever change my mind about homeschooling they would love to have my kids in their class. They say that every time we go there. I'm glad we don't have to go anymore.

We left the meeting and went to Wal-Mart to get a few things we were out of and some other stuff to prepare for the big cooking night to come. Right after we got there one of the kids knocked light bulbs of in the floor and broke one (very unlike my kids, don't know what would possess them to lean up against an end cap full of light bulbs). So, I had to go find an associate to let them know what happened before we could finish our shopping.

I came home and laid down for about 30 minutes, then spent the evening prepping, cooking and eating. My neighbor did come over and eat with us and we enjoyed having her.

Saturday we had to go to a birthday party for my good friends children. It was lots of fun. Just before we left my cousin called and offered to keep my children overnight so that P and I could go out for our anniversary (It was on Labor Day. We celebrated 13 years). So, getting everyone ready for that made us a little late for the birthday. When Mason got out of the pool I realized how horrible his hair looked, so we stopped at the barber before we dropped the kids off. We came home to get ready to go out to dinner and it was all we could do not to take a nap. We have decided much to our dismay that we really have become an old tired married couple. We fought the urge to take a nap and headed to town. We had sushi at I Love Sushi. Then we went to PetSmart (the dogs, for the first time ever, have fleas!!) and to Wal-Mart again.

Sunday, we got up and picked up the kids and my cousin's son and headed to church. We were in the service through worship and then headed into Kids Quest. We stayed after service to help the children's leader with his kids during a meeting. Then we headed home, had leftovers for lunch, had a budgeting meeting for FPU, cooked the last of the freezer food and had my cousins over for supper.

The freezer thing was truly a fiasco, but I kept my cool and honestly there were some positives. We got to enjoy some company while sharing our food and I did a bit of experimenting and found a good way to grill deer tenderloin and cooked duck for the first time. Everything turned out really well, but it definitely made for a crazy weekend and I am surely tired.

I hope you all had a great weekend as well, be blessed this week!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ready to SCREAM!!!


Popsicles.
I no longer like popsicles.
As of this moment I'm not sure if I'll ever buy popsicles again.
"Why", you ask.
Because, the quest for popsicles is the reason that my upright freezer's door got left open all night and half of our food is thawed. Which means, I will spend most of my day cooking in order to salvage about half of our meat.
Very, very, unhappy Mama.


I love my children, I love my children, I love my children............................

No More Choir.......

..........for now anyway.

Well, obviously my schedule has been way too full. I've been overwhelmed and deprived of much needed family and hubby time. The Lord has called us to branch out into helping with a different ministry at church and to be honest I have just had way to much on my plate. 3 times in Little Praisers a month, 1 time in Kids Quest, M&M's, meals for Journey, Financial Peace Classes, baking for Outreach and Choir with practices, along with all of our homeschool related activities, is just more than this mama can handle right now. So after much discussion with my husband and both of us praying about it, I have stepped down from choir for a season. I am also going to be trying to get more help with meals for Journey and we are patiently waiting on the Lord to send more help in Little Praisers so that we can slowly be released from there (we no longer have children in there and we know that the Lord is calling us to work with the older children and to be involved in children's outreach). Maybe after all those other things happen and Financial Peace is over I will be able to pick choir back up.

I must say that I was sad about this decision, but after it was made I felt much relief. It was so nice to be home with my family last night and to know it wouldn't be the only night this week that we were all here together.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Veep


Isn't that the weirdest thing to call a vice presidential nominee?

Anyway, I just finished watching Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention and I just wanted to say....... she seems pretty awesome.

Lookout Democrats, somebodie's Mama is after you!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

FPU Overload

Well, we just completed our 3rd class of Financial Peace and to be honest, I'm not feeling so peaceful. This seems like such a daunting task. So many things that I've kind of done in my head and alone for so many years, I know have to put all on paper and try to make my husband understand the method for my madness. If any of you have done and follow the Financial Peace Plan, will you please let me know a few things:
- What you found the most difficult.
- What worked for you?
- What didn't work for you?
- Your best FPU advice.

Thanks!

Bock-Bock-Begockkkkkk

Just in case any of you have been wondering why I'm running around like a chicken with my head of lately. I thought I would share my schedule with you.

Monday - Financeal Peace Class 6:30 (for 11 more weeks)
Tuesday -2nd M&M's (our women's time of fellowship and Bible Study)
4th prepare and serve a meal for Journey (same as above for men)
Wednesday - States and Capitals class for the girls 1:00
Church 6:30 (twice a month in Little Praisers/nursery
so we need to be there by 6:00)
(We have a field trip on the 4th Wednesday of this month.)
Thursday - Co-Op 8:30 to 12:15
Dance 1:15
1st and 3rd- choir 7:00
(I try to run my errands in town on this day as well)
Friday - usually free to stay home or have a day with friends
(this month I have a meeting on the first Friday)
Saturday - usually family day or work around the house
(this month we have 4 birthdays and a wedding)
Sunday - church at 10:30
(1st Sunday at 9:15 for choir and helping in KidsQuest
3rd Sunday 10:00 coordinate in Little Praisers)
We also usually eat lunch at my mom's, so we are gone most of
the day.
Oh, and just a reminder, if we don't have anything scheduled during the day, we are schooling.

So, there is my crazy, crazy schedule. I can't complain, too much though. I surely know people who are gone more than we are. It just bothers me a little because I like to be home and keep things caught up around here and I enjoy spending time with my friends and it seems that there is barely time for either. So, if you are my friend, please don't feel neglected I still love you dearly, I'm just sooooo busy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ballerinas


The girls are set to begin ballet classes next week. We went dancewear shopping yesterday. We came home and fixed their hair and put on "stage" make-up for their Daddy to see. They were beautiful (as always).

Adding a Few More

1962



1976
(The year I was born.)

1984
(My hair was big in the nineties, but it was never this big.)


1986
(If I really had this hair I'm not so sure I'd be smiling about it.)
Okay, unless I decide or find the time to dig through pics and yearbook my husband, I am done with the yearbooking stuff.



Monday, August 25, 2008

I Yearbooked Myself

1966

1968



1974
(This is my kids favorite)


1992
(I did look a lot like this then.)



1996
(The kids like this one, too. Why, I have no idea.)






I don't have the link at the moment. But, just search for yearbook yourself.

Let me know if you do it so I can laugh at yours, too.







Friday, August 22, 2008

Free Grammar and Writing Workbook

I may have posted about this when I posted what we are doing this year, but I thought it deserved it's very own post.

My girls were very behind on their writing skills. I needed something that would brush them up on grammar (although, I do think that you get most of the grammar that you actually need from this workbook), but would especially teach them good sentence and paragraph structure and how to get their ideas on paper in a way that makes sense to whoever reads it. I was completely willing to purchase a Language program. I had narrowed it down to Abeka or Bob Jones. Then I happened upon this free online (printable) grammar and writing handbook from Scott Foresman. Since I actually know some homeschoolers that use Scott Foresman (and know it is used in public schools as well) I decided that we had nothing to lose by trying. So, we began to use it this summer. You only have to do one side of one worksheet per day, or you could arrange it however would fit your schedule. My girls are doing 4 pages a day, so that they can catch up to the level that they need to be working. Anyway, I am extremely pleased with it. The girls seem to enjoy doing it. Kelsi has done about 90 pages and Keeli has done around 70 and I have already seen a drastic improvement. Try it, you just might really like it!

Scott Foresman Grammar and Writing


I'm beginning to think that with a little effort on the teacher's part, you actually could homeschool your child for FREE!

AAA

I found a couple of neat links for math and spelling. I pretty much found them by accident. I wanted to find a list of what you should learn each year of math. With your help your children could essentially use either of these as their curriculum for math and spelling (for free I might add) or you could just use them when they need a little practice.

AAAKNOW (Math)

AAASPELLING

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bible Drive-thru

Okay. I found another really great link. A woman has written devotions for children and put them on blogger. She works her way through many books of the Bible. If you use them I would suggest starting in January (when she started posting). She also has them divided into topics on her sidebar. Enjoy!

Bible Drive-Thru

Learn To Read Links

I'm in the process of doing a good bit of web searching. I'm just searching for sites that might help us in various areas. I have found a couple of really good reading sites.

Succeed To Read This site helps you learn to teach your child to read. It teaches you step by step. There are some neat games to play to help your child. I think I will be using some of these methods with Mason. There is also a cute game to play to improve short term memory. So, I will probably try that game out with Keeli, I think it may help some of her processing issues.

Starfall This site has tons of activities, games, etc. That aid tremendously in teaching your child to read.

I hope that someone else finds these helpful. I'll be adding links to other sites that I find helpful.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Freebies

I found another cool website with lots of ideas to learn things for free online. There's even some things for the grown-up like language courses. Check it out.

FreelyEducate