Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Pray for a speedy recovery!
Monday, February 26, 2007
What a weekend we have had! Ice storms, stomach flu, runny noses, coughing, more snow to shovel, fevers, several power outages and did I mention lots of coughing, occasional moans from the two adults, several games of Clue and Sorry and lots of this was accomplished.
With all that, I think secretly aside from not feeling well, we all wish we could stay in this place a little longer. The kids wanted the power to stay off so that we could continue to play and read by oil lamp and candles. The days are long and uninterrupted by schedules and we are enjoying being together.
Amazingly, it is Monday and I have a plan for the week of what to prepare for my family. Last week, I was planning to make the Swiss Chicken Bake and I had mistakenly taken out a bag of chicken wings from the freezer instead of chicken breasts, so we had barbeque wings. So, I am going to try the recipe this week.
Monday: Swiss Chicken Bake and salad
Tuesday edited: We have been invited out yippee!
Tacos will have to wait :)
Wednesday Potato Soup with baked bread
Thursday Chuck Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Veggies
Friday Pizza Night
Saturday Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken, garlic bread and salad
Sunday Chili and Corn Bread
For more great menu plans go to Organized Junkie
Friday, February 23, 2007
It's my turn now. I have a head cold. All day I have felt achy and kept the box of Kleenex close by. My little guy seems to be feeling a little better.
All week I have wanted to write a post for this. Some of my favorite words are "Mommy...will you please read to me?" My older three kids are very independent readers. I remember when my oldest daughter was a toddler lying on my bed with a stack of books reading together for what seemed liked hours. We read many of the Golden Books over and over that by the time she was three she had most of them completely memorized. She is now fifteen years old and I still find her most nights with the light in her room peeking into the hallway as she is curled up in her bed with a book.
Her goal over the next month is to finish reading For Young Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. and Passion and Purity by Elizabeth Elliot. She is also reading this book for a school project.
My eleven year old daughter is currently reading Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. I would like to see her finish the book in the next month. A couple nights a week we will lay down on her bed and she will read to me.
My ten year old son has always enjoyed reading. He is thoroughly enjoying these books at school and his goal is to finish Pilgrim's Progress by Paul Bunyan at home.
When each of my children have been in Kindergarten I have taken the school year and read all of the classics in the curriculum Five in a Row. I homeschooled my two girls in Kindergarten and used this as part of our curriculum.
My six year old son, who is in Kindergarten this year has been enjoying our journey through these wonderful classics. We read one book for five days in a row. Over the next four weeks I hope to read these favorites with him. The Story about Ping, Make Way for Ducklings, A New Coat for Anna, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Katy and the Big Snow . Over the years I have collected many of these classics for my own library of children's literature.
I try and spend fifteen minutes everyday reading board books with my two year old. I have noticed he is slowly sitting for longer periods of times. I also have a Before Five in a Row curriculum which has classics for younger children. I am going to read Caps for Sale over the next several weeks in addition to the board books about God, animals, and shapes. Each day I will read as much of the book as he will sit for. I have noticed that these books are so well written that my kids want to stay and hear the whole story. Another favorite classic that I read to him at nap time is Goodnight Moon. This has been a favorite for all.
These are my goals for each of my individual children in addition to their Bible reading using the youth and children's Life Journal.
Now, for our family read aloud. My husband reads to the kids one or two nights during the week. He will have devotions right before dinner with the kids and than immediately after dinner they will gather together with pillows spread out over the floor and he will read to them. He is currently in the middle of reading Mystery of the Island Jungle by Lee Roddy. This was an old book we have had on our shelf for many years. It is an adventurous book in which a young boy learns important truths about depending on God and facing tough times instead of running from them. Their goal is to finish the book over the next four weeks.
Thank you Jennifer for hosting this. Writing my goals down will help me to stick with our plan. For more great ideas in reading to your children go to Snapshot.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
For those of you who asked, Here he is with his first big boy hair cut and "no" I don't have any regrets. As much as I loved his curls, his long hair was constantly in his eyes. He sat in the chair so sweetly. And "no" I didn't cry and "yes" I saved several curls.
The poor guy has not felt good the last three days. He saw the doctor today and has ear infections in both ears. No wonder he hasn't slept well for two nights (and neither has mom) He fell asleep tonight around six thirty and woke up about an hour ago. I am getting ready to put him back to bed. I pray he sleeps tonight. I have the "newborn" baby fog and I am ready for a full night's sleep.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
"Those who read fast reap no more advantage than a bee would by only skimming over the surface of the flower, instead of waiting to penetrate into it, and extract its sweets."
~ Madame Jeanne Guyon ~
I have truly selected someone else's words today which so beautifully describe what I hope someday may depict my own life when it comes to the word of God. I often struggle for the right words to say or write. I know them in my heart, I have experienced it in my life, but it just doesn't seem to come out as I would hope. But I do hear and feel the music and will continue to sing the song. This most thought provoking quote was at the end of our bible study this morning for our Tuesday morning study at church. I have been meditating on it all week.
"There is a difference between memorizing Scripture and thinking biblically. There's a difference between knowing the words and experiencing their meaning. There is a difference between having sentences embedded in your head and having their impact embedded in your heart. There is a difference between "doing Christianity" and being a Christian. You can memorize all of the words, but if you've forgotten the music you still won't be able to sing the song." Tim Hansel
For more In "Other" Words go to Laurel Wreath
Monday, February 19, 2007
Here is my menu plan for this week. I've always liked having a plan, but I do not serve the plan, but the plan should always serve me. A menu plan always makes my weeks go much smoother. Last week, many of the meals I had planned worked well with my busy schedule. I had three slow-cooker meals that I was able to prepare in the morning and therefore my entire afternoon and evening was free to take care of other things and still have time to sit down at the table as a family and enjoy the fellowship of one another. This week I have a short menu plan since I am not sure yet what our weekend plans will be. Note: Last Friday I did not prepare my enchiladas since my husband went out of town, so since I already have the ingredients I am serving them this week. And normally, Tuesday is Mexican Night, but since I have a busy day on Tuesday, I am serving the enchiladas with home made refried beans tonight. shhh...my husband will be so happy!!
Monday: Enchiladas with rice and Beans
Tuesday: Swiss Chicken Bake and salad
(simple new recipe from An ordinary mom)
Wednesday: Breaded Shrimp, potatoes and cream corn
Thursday: Beef Stroganoff over rice and steamed veggies
For more great Menu's and new recipe ideas go to Organized Junkie
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Jennifer at Snapshot had posted this and I thought I would try it. Random words from a month of blogging! I was pleased to see God, heart, journal, life, and love as some of the larger words. I don't know if those words found most in your blog come out larger or if it is all random? Anyhow, I love words and this is definitely a very cool word picture! Go to Snapshirts.com to make your own.
Friday, February 16, 2007
I started off writing posts based on the book, Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney, which I was reading along with several other ladies who no longer lived near me. Once we finished the book together I never expected to continue to have anything to post. But I continued through the holidays writing thoughts about Thanksgiving and Christmas and found a great deal of enjoyment in writing and reading other blogs.
Several friends are faithful readers and have encouraged me greatly! I know in real-life several other wonderful women who write blogs and I find those blogs as some of my absolute favorites, since I know who they are. I have two friends who inspire and encourage me with their emails and comments to go on even though they do not write their own blog.
With all that said, one of the things I did not expect in writing this blog was to have any one reading it beyond maybe a few people I told about it. I have been amazed by those who 1)either have personally told me they read this little itty bitty corner of my world. 2) perfect strangers who read here and 3) blogs which I have come to enjoy and read several times a week myself.
Like everything in my life I hope to always glorify God with this little itty bitty corner of my world. Today I received an email from a long time friend who has been reading and asked if I would write more about being a Godly woman, wife, mom, and if I would speak of some of the demands of being a Pastor's wife. I was humbled by her request, because it is something I would have looked to her for in recent years. I emailed her back and said, "I would try."
Today I wanted to say thank you to some of my new friends in this blogging world who have also greatly encouraged me by their kind words and comments. Today, Jennifer at Snapshot listed me as a new read for her. Thank you Jennifer! Most of you leave wonderful comments, but Susanne at Living to tell the Story is one of the most gracious commenter I have seen. If you think you have written something really bad or just plain boring, she will find something good in it. Her blog is a very warm and friendly place. Thank you Susanne! Kelly at A Spacious Place and Kim at Lifesong are two of the first blogs I began visiting regularly and I can't even remember how I came across them. They both are extremely inspirational. They have since received new blog designs which are beautiful. Thank you Kelly and Kim! Two of my newest reads have been Cyndi at One Day More and Deidre at For Such A Time As This. Cyndi has blessed me with her posts and her comments. I only wish I could sit down and have coffee with her. I sense we could talk for hours. Deidre has written some beautiful and very well written posts. Today she shares part II of a beautiful post titled: Not My Plan. Please go read this most beautiful post on God's sovereign and loving hand in her life. Her blog is beautiful!
I would love to hear from those who read and don't regularly comment. Are there things that could be shared on this blog or by others that may encourage you? If so, would you share as my friend has. Thank you!
Thursday, February 15, 2007
"What does the cross show us? What do we see when our eyes are opened? We see that our sins are laid on Jesus, and that His righteousness is placed on us. Jesus had legions of angels available, which could have been an overwhelming defense. Nobody could have done Him any harm without His allowing it, but He did not use His defense. Through His obedience, He made His defense available to us."
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Philippians 2:8
"The blood of Jesus Christ has great power! There is perhaps not a phrase in the Bible that is so full of secret truths as "the blood of Jesus." It is the secret of His Incarnation, when Jesus took our flesh and blood; the secret of His obedience unto death, when He gave His life at the Cross of Calvary; the secret of His love that went beyond all understanding when He bought us with His blood; the secret of the enemy and the secret of our eternal salvation."
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
We are urgent about the body; He is about the soul. We call for present comforts; He considers our everlasting rest. And therefore when He sends not the very things we ask, He hears us by sending greater than we can
ask or think. Richard CecilI picture a stack of papers piled at the corner of my desk a bit tattered and yellowed from their stay, although unattractive by nature they represent the many unanswered prayers through the years. There have been so many
things I have declared that "I needed or desired" and pleaded with the Lord to allow these events or things in my life. Several things come to my mind, but one stands out. A few years ago my oldest daughter had participated in a drama performance group through the school she was attending at the time. There was a selection process for the following year in which several students were selected to go on and work with a group which would perform in area schools and so on. Everything in the natural mind would have expected my daughter to be selected, but God did not bring what we asked. He did not answer my prayers for my daughter. Instead the words, "He hears us by sending greater than we can ask or think" were lived out before me in the next few months. In the moment, I did not understand why. I prayed with my daughter as she cried and felt a bit betrayed not by God, but by the director and leader of this group. In her natural mind she had worked hard and in every way should have been selected. But neither of us knew what God's plans were at the moment.
Over the next couple of months as the Lord began to open the door for our move across the country we began to see God's gracious and loving hand in our lives. My husband, my daughter, and I all knew had she been selected for this group our hearts may not have been open to His plans. Even my daughter proclaimed God's goodness in her life allowing her heart to be open to the change that was approaching. At a time in a young person's life when most would agree that a major move would be detrimental, she welcomed God's plan.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Again, the image of several pieces of paper stacked at the corner of my desk and what they represent, reminds me of God's loving and sovereign hand in my own life. There are a few new pieces of paper at the top of the stack. There are still many that have been there for years. At times, I feel the need to deal with these on my own, but than I remember the words of Psalm 77:11-19
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.
You with your arm redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen.
I desire God's footprints throughout my life, those unseen places which only He knows what is needed and what will bring about His eternal plans for my life.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11
For more "In Other Words" visit Joy in the Morning
Monday, February 12, 2007
This is my first Menu Plan Monday. Like most of you I find that if I don't plan for the week, I end up scrambling from day to day trying to figure out what to serve my family.
For several years I have used a 30 day menu plan with approximately 20 meals that I try and rotate. Every month I try and add two to three new recipes and remove any that weren't working for us. Planning ahead also forces me to shop in advance and have extra ingredients on hand for unexpected visitors etc. Ideally, I like to shop only once a month for all my staple items for my planned meals, and then shop once a week for the fresh ingredients. This greatly reduces my grocery bill when I stick with this plan. I am able to better take advantage of sale items and other specials when I have a plan.
I have also tried to have a cooking day once a month in which I will cook several pounds of boneless chicken and freeze in 2 to 3 cup portions for several dishes. I also have a few casseroles that freeze nicely.
The family meal time is one of the most important times of our day during the week. I try and create an atmosphere in which we truly "come to the table". Tuesday is usually our Mexican theme night. Friday nights we sometimes have carpet picnics depending on what I am serving. Occasionally, we have "table talks", play a simple game while eating or a family favorite is having each child share about their day. And now that our children are getting older we have added devotions right before the meal. Our two year old is the only one I serve ahead of time so that he remains quiet while daddy is reading and sharing. Some evenings everything goes nicely as planned and other times it is chaotic. Perfection is not the goal in my planning, but to create an environment in which my children can experience the love of family as well as receive both spiritual and physical nourishment.
Here is what I hope to serve my family this week all of which are part of my 30 day plan.
Monday: Spaghetti with meatballs, Salad and garlic bread
Tuesday: Taco Soup, Chips and salsa
Wednesday: Chicken Packets, corn and red potatoes
Thursday: Roast Beef and Gravy and Steamed Veggies
Friday: Enchiladas with rice and beans
Saturday: Super simple Beef Stew with homemade biscuits
Sunday: Lasagna with salad and cheese bread
For more menus and great recipe ideas go to Organizing Junkie
Friday, February 09, 2007
I am from black tops and side walks, from Disneyland to Knott's Berry Farm.
I am from the small stucco house at the end of a cul-de-sac, the smell of chlorine, block wall fences and Ford trucks.
I am from green grass throughout the year, sandy beaches, palm trees, Santa Ana winds and snow capped mountains.
I am from Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa, Norwegian Lefse and homemade cinnamon rolls, from Ron and Blanche and a man named Jim.
I am from bus rides down Brookhurst street straight to Huntington Beach and summer visits with my aunt and uncle, their eight kids, barbeque's in the backyard, kick the can and hide-n-seek.
From Santa Claus and and the little song, "My mother said if I'd be good, she send me to the store"
I am from Jesus becoming Savior, a small church on the corner and Calvary Chapel concerts.
I am from the sunshine state, an accountant, beautiful wood work, and simple family meals around the kitchen table.
From the love of antiques, all things old, doll collections, cowboy boots and western wear, Johnny Cash and Engelbert Humperdinck, Mano's Pizza, Squirt and RC Cola.
I am from the stories of growing up in Wyoming, or the small town of Keokuk, and the Grandma retired in Santa Monica who raised five boys by herself.
The beauty in this little exercise is that no matter where "I am from", I am most importantly a daughter of the Most High God.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Luke 21:33
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Now for the actual post I had planned for today. I moved to 9721 Kennelly Lane right before the 4th grade and lived there until I was married. My family has now lived in this house for over 35 years and they are getting ready to put it on the market. My parents have already purchased a new home in another state and are in the final stages of their move.
Don't misunderstand me I am very happy for them. God has truly provided for their desire at this season of life. But I am extremely sentimental over certain things and this is one of them. I know it is just a house, but it is filled with so many memories. The address, phone number, and even a few neighbors have remained the same for 35 years. This past summer after spending nearly two weeks visitng and knowing this was probably my last time at the house, I found myself nearly out of breath trying to keep myself from breaking down and weeping upon leaving. I had awoke early the morning of our departure and spent some time with the Lord. I walked through the rooms quietly in the stillness of the morning while everyone else slept. Growing up the house was about 1400 sqaure feet, and later my parents added an additional 500.
Looking at the tiny room in the middle of the hallway which once graced yellow and lime green walls, the bathroom in which I first learned about make-up and other girly things, the place on the floor where I would lay for what seemed like hours talking on the phone to friends because the phone was connected to the wall all just seemed to take place moments before. The first time my husband came to the door, the place he asked my dad if he could marry me, the mark on the steps where we once sat and talked and even the place in front where we always parked our car when visiting all were etched in my mind. Even my children have spent many days and years running through Grandma's house, watching their favorite movie in what she called the "sanctuary", eating at the counter, taking baths in their deep kitchen sink, and of course summertime literally living in their swimming pool, except for eating and sleeping.
I realize as I boarded the plane later that morning to come home, that I hold the memories, not the house. The memories will go where I go and are locked in my heart. After all, home is truly where my heart is. I will miss going to 9721, but there are new memories to be made at their new home and for this I am very thankful!
yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James 4:14
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
"I long to worship Jesus with the heart of a child, in a state of pure and true adoration. Yet so many things of the world cloud my thoughts and pull on my heart until it's no longer just a girl in the arms of the Father"
~ Darlene Schacht ~
"The Mom Complex"
When all of my children were babies there was a point in their growth that the safety of my arms securely wrapped around them could no longer keep them in my grasp. There was a point in which the noises in the room would slowly pull at their senses away from my loving touch and caress. They wanted to stay curled up against me, but the distractions were great and would slowly overtake them.
Then suddenly, without warning my babies would be back in my arms. And often if someone or something tried to remove them they would refuse. They were firmly fixed in place or steadfast about their position.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast,because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
I long to worship with pure adoration like the heart of a child. But I am more like one of my own babies when I am standing before Him worshiping. My eyes are closed, my heart and mind are purely focused on Him. But then, slowly I open my eyes and begin to look away, notice those around me, my mind begins to wander, and before I know it I am as far away from the security of His presence without ever leaving the room.
In Matthew 18:3. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:13-14
These verses reminds me of the value Jesus placed on the little children. It is their heart and faith that we are instructed to become like. It is pure, simple and uncomplicated
For more In Other Words visit here
Friday, February 02, 2007
The past week or so I have felt the mental, emotional, and spiritual demands of being a mom. The very thought of being someones "mom" has brought me to tears. The love that these children give me in spite of who I am, or what I have done, or what I continue to do and say is so remarkable. A child's love is so pure, genuine, forgiving, and perfectly wonderful. They love their mamas and trust them immeasurably. I believe God created us this way.
Learning to trust God with these lives He has so lovingly entrusted to me is one of the hardest things I have had to do.
I know I am not alone. We all dream of our children growing up happy, successful, beautiful, loving and as God honoring and fearing adults.
I know I am not alone. We all start out in this mothering role with hopes and dreams of our little guys doing well in school, playing sports, revealing wonderful talents and gifts right from the start.
I know I am not alone. I have been through the ballet classes, gymnastics meets, baseball games, and auditions to see all the parading mommies hoping their special child will be the "One". The "one" who shines above the rest, who is selected as the best, or who remains first through the test.
But what do we do as moms when our little "one" is not the best or doesn't' stand out among the rest? Or maybe doesn't even come close? How do we pray? As a mom in the midst of it, it is sometimes difficult to see that God's plans are always the best. We pray the scripture that says, "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." But we hurt as our child hurts. We cry as our child crys or walks away after being told they aren't the best. We hold on to the promises God has given to us as moms and for our children.
edited: (I removed my daughter's photo)
My eleven year old daughter, Kelsey, said to me the other day as we were discussing some of the difficulty she was having with her school work, "why didn't God give me better brains?" I have to tell you that at that very moment I did not have an answer. In my weariness, I could not bring up any great spiritual wisdom from anywhere within me. As she began to cry and say, "mom, I have struggled in 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade..and so on", I began to weep with her. I wanted and still do so badly to fix this. I want to do something. I wanted to take away the memory of the struggle and replace it with beautiful memories of fun and success. But I can't. My husband and I have prayed for this little girl, looked at everything prayerfully in her little life, we have sought the extra academic help and so on. But as a mama, it is so difficult to bear. I know I am not alone. I want God's best for my child.
As I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning and taking care of things in my home, I prayed for this girl. I prayed for wisdom. I prayed against the standards the world as set up and labeled "successful" in my daughter's life. I thanked the Lord for giving me this child (I had a difficult and scary pregnancy). I thanked the Lord that she is fearfully and wonderfully made just as God had fashioned her before the foundations of the earth. I recalled and prayed many of the promises he has given me for her and through some of the challenges we have already faced and His faithfulness in it all.
And than this morning in my in-box was the most beautiful words of encouragement from the only person who I had mentioned this little conversation to. A gentle and wonderful reminder from the Lord. Here is some of what she said in part as she has explained her own daughter's struggles in school. I have to tell you before you read this that I know her daughter and she is truly a remarkable, beautiful, and extremely talented young woman of God.
I have had so many talks with her over the years to help her see that the brains aren't what God wanted her to excel at- that it could have very well gotten in the way of His plans if she was straight A and locked into that. She has a boldness and a love to share her faith that has born fruit in junior high, high school, college, Australia, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, and now Kenya. And school was hard for her. Sunday she will sing of her Lord in front of maybe 6,000 people. Not because she did well in school. God has great plans for Kelsey. She is fearfully and WONDERFULLY made to bring glory to God. Keep cheering her on, Momma. You were chosen to be her mommy and so get out your pom-poms and go at it!
Words cannot express my appreciation to this dear friend. She may never understand what "new" life her words gave to this weary mom. A mom who wants only what God has planned for her little girl. But I think she does know for she has prayed and watched God do this for not just one girl, but two, and one more who is still on her way. And of course I won't forget the three sons, one son-in-law, one daughter-in-law and six (almost seven) grandkids.
So I am off to make poms poms in my heart and cheer this girl to the finish.
I have never won anything, but I rarely if ever enter contests or other things like this. But this jewelry is so cute and I know someone who would love this necklace so I thought I would join in on the contest fun at 5Minutes4Mom.