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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Phew! Tired.

Woke early. Couldn’t go back to sleep. Grudgingly get up all the while thinking this is what getting old looks like. Cereal and cappuccino. Showing Dancing Daughter how to print borderless when the electric goes out. Decide to waterproof wooden swings and step while still cool. Getting hot quickly. Kids want pool put up. Sigh, a lot of work those cheap blue pools. Kids and I start to put up pool while Hubs weed trims. Pool patched last year but didn’t last. Try to patch again before fill with water. No good. Go purchase newer, supposedly better pool. Putting up newer pool family affair. Hot. Hot. Hot. Getting cranky. Sweet daughter gets cold cloths for everyone’s neck. Ahhhh…for 5 minutes. Sweet daughter gets everyone water. Pool doesn’t fit where old one went. Scout new location. Just want this silly pool up and done. Finally done. No one hurt in the process. Filling with water. One daughter and I go to church to work on a few things. Come home. Pool still filling. Daughter makes supper. Squirrel is to blame for earlier electric outing. One less squirrel in the world. I help other daughter address thank you notes for her graduation party gifts. Done! Relief! Son helps by cleaning up after supper. Sit down for first time today to read. Can’t. Read. Words. Tired. Get up and check on pool. Still filling. Long, long way to go. Can’t believe it is Saturday. Tomorrow is Sunday. Where is the weekend going so quickly? Shut off water going into pool to do laundry. Finish loading dishwasher. Tired but brain won’t stop. Typing blog post. Finished with post and going to take a bath and go to bed! So. Tired.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cookies!!


I tried yet another chocolate chip cookie recipe. Most of us really liked it. One of us thought the ones I "always make" were better. I'll share the recipe and you can tell me what you think!


OUTRAGEOUS CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES


1 c butter (2 sticks)
1 c white sugar
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1 c peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 c quick or regular oats
2 c flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 (12 oz) pkg chocolate chips

Heat over to 350ยบ. Beat butter, sugars, peanut butter, vanilla and eggs until creamy and well blended. Mix in flour, oats, soda and salt. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoons about 2” apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 min or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on pans. Remove cookies from pans to a wire rack. Yield: 4 dz.

Note: Oats can be omitted; add 2/3 c flour if omitting oats.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fun Friday

Found this video online about mommyhood. Can you relate?



Although we do not own or never will own this vehicle (hubs fam is more of a Chrysler fam), this makes me chuckle!! Enjoy.



Have a great weekend, everyone...I'm off to try a new chocolate chip cookie recipe!! ☺

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Deep Roots Like a Stubborn Weed

"I would like to be known as a Christian….not a homeschooler." Came the quiet, gentle reply.

Last November, I stumbled onto a video posted online. Troubled by what I heard, an email was sent out to a couple of friends asking for their thoughts. My first thought after watching the video? And we wonder why homeschoolers get a bad rap! Homeschoolers are walking away from carrying the torch of homeschooling is the gist of the video. It equates the decline of homeschoolers teaching their children at home with the statistic by Barna Research: 80% of churchgoing teens will leave the Christian faith by their 29th birthdays.

First, I personally believe school at home isn’t for everyone. However, one might prayerfully consider this option along with the option to send their children to public or private school. Being obedient to God whichever option He leads a family…not just blindly following the crowd. Just as I don’t want others judging me for teaching at home, I don’t want to judge those who do not.

I am not foolish enough to believe our children will school their children at home. It is a personal decision between God, our children and spouses. I want our children to hear the Shepherd’s voice and obey, no matter my opinion. I refuse to get in the way of them hearing God’s leading. Just because the parents are convicted to school at home, doesn’t mean the children will have the same conviction.

Now, let’s address the 80% walking away from faith. I heard this troublesome statistic a year or two ago. Frankly, it scares me. Are our roots of faith not grounded deep enough so when the storms of life come we topple over? Have we become so desensitized to what is around us that we become toads in the water? Put a toad in water and slowly turn up the heat and before the toad realizes it, the water is boiling. The “world” can creep into our lives so slowly; we do not realize we are creeping closer to the world view instead of the Christian view. I’m not talking legalistic things, I’m talking core values. Knowing the Barna Research statistic convicts me to pray for our children even more.

We, as parents, have enough to deal with. Our children will have times of doubt, questioning and frustration. But if our children are rooted deeply in the saving soil of Christ, then the little and big storms of life will still find them grounded deeply. Let’s join together praying our children have roots like the deep, stubborn weeds we can’t seem to get out of our garden!!! ☺

Friday, May 14, 2010

Giving & Gifts...oh, my!

I clicked on over to author, home-teaching-mom, Jody Hedlund's blog today. It was like she has been in my house for the last three weeks! You see, we've been battling illness after illness. We've taught our children to share, but come on, this is ridiculous!!

Jody had a great post today and since I'm fairly new to this bloggy world, I think it is okay to copy and paste a portion of it as long as I link it back to her and encourage you to go read it in its entirety. So after you read below...go over to her bloggy home!


I had a painful sore throat that lingered for weeks. I was exhausted. My children had one illness after another—croup, bronchitis, the stomach flu, high fevers, sinus infection. They only had to be in the same room with each other and the germs would jump with glee off one child and run over the next. All of this within six weeks.

I was on the phone cancelling yet another activity when my friend said, “I’m bringing you a meal and I won’t take no for an answer.”

I stammered, “Oh, I think we’ll be okay—“

“I’ll be over this afternoon. ”

Later she delivered a huge pan of Mexican lasagna, homemade applesauce, and freshly baked blueberry muffins and cookies. And to top it off, she’d stopped by Dairy Queen and picked up small blizzards for each of us.

As I spread out the meal on the table, my daughters looked at everything in amazement and said, “That was really nice of her to give us a meal like this. We’ll need to give her a meal sometime in return.”

“Yes, we can do that,” I started. But then I realized I had a teachable moment not just for my daughters but for myself too. “Actually, Mrs. M. gave us this wonderful meal without expecting anything in return. She wanted to do it because her gift is showing mercy to those in need.”

“Just like your gift is writing?”

“Yes. And when we’re using talents to serve others, we enjoy doing it without thought of reward or payback from others.”

My friend used her gift sacrificially in a way that said, “I want to give to you, not from what I can gain, but because I truly care about you.”

What a great lesson Jody taught her children! Hubs and I have always told our kids never to expect anything in return (including $$) when you are helping someone out. We joke about maybe that is the reason we aren't wealthy people!! ☺

I always felt bad when I would hear of someone taking a meal to a family in crisis when that thought had never even crossed my mind. I need to remind myself that everyone is gifted differently. Because I actually feel guilty I didn't think of it or do it. But it doesn't mean God doesn't nudge me to write the family an email, send a card or pick up the phone and call. I need to stop comparing myself to others. God knows what He is doing when He hands us Spiritual gifts!! ☺

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Just because...

Just because I'm a sucker for a beautiful melody and voices. Enjoy!



And just because I love the movement and fun of this dance. It just makes me smile. Enjoy!
***For some reason, you can't see the entire screen on this post...if you click on the bottom right of the screen, it will take you directly to youtube and you can see the entire screen there.....they dance off the screen on this blog at times***

Monday, May 10, 2010

Believe In God vs. Believe God

During Sunday School a few weeks ago, I was struck by a comment made by a class member. She said she was working on believing God. She believes in God but has discovered a difference between believing in and believing God. I put that thought on a shelf in my brain to dust off later after class.

And, boy, have I dusted off that statement all week. Yes, I believe in God. But do I truely believe God? Does believing God require more faith and trust in what God's Word says? Believing everything and clinging to everything in His Word. To really believe God...what does that encompass?

I've been a Christian for many, many years. But, honestly, I've never thought of belief this way before....that there is a difference. As some of you know, 2010 has not been the most wonderful year for me and my family. And people have said, "God will work things out." Yes, I believe in that (there is that word again) but have I really believed God in that statement? Those are things only I can answer through a lot of soul searching and Bible searching.

So what about you? Does the statement "there is a difference in believing in God and believing God" make you sit back and ponder, also? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there.
I hope your day is special!!!
May your little ones make a you a lovely gift
(or mess in the kitchen!! ☺).
And, may your older children remember it is Mother's Day!! ☺

Mother's Day is a bag of mixed emotions for me. In some ways I think it is a hyped-up day. In other ways, I think it is nice to be recognized. I also know for some it can be a day of painful memories...the child a couple prayer for and never happens, a woman who has just lost a baby, a single woman who fears she'll never be a mom. Or like me and my hubs, this day reminds you that your mom is no longer on this earth.

Some years it doesn't faze me. Other years I just cry. I cry because I miss her. I cry because I'm jealous that people older than us still have their moms. (I know that makes me look bad but it is sadly true) I cry because our children do not have a grandma (on either side). I guess that is what hurts the most--our children not experiencing how great it is to have a grandma. My mom has been in Heaven for almost 11 years, my hubs mom, almost 3 (or is it 4?) years. Life goes on and it does get better. The pain lessen but it is there. And there is always the knowledge that we will be reunited one day. That brings a smile to my face.

There are older women who I look up to now. I listen and try to glean wisdom from them. While they will never replace my mom, it is nice to know others can become "mom-like" to me. And that makes me feel good.

Here is a poem my SIL sent to my brother on facebook.

"If roses grow in heaven, Lord please pick a bunch for me, place them in my mother's arms and tell her they're from me. Tell her I love her and miss her, and when she turns to smile place a kiss upon her cheek. Hold her for a while because remembering her is easy, I do it everyday but there is an ache within my heart that will never go away.
Mom, I love and miss you."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Graduation Blessing

Our first born graduated this past Saturday. Since we teach at home, there wasn't a big ceremony. She had the choice to participate in a graduation cermony with other area home taught seniors but declined. I felt like we needed something to mark this milestone. The solution? We invited family members to attend a short program before her party began. I read the following, watched a special surprise video by her writing mentor and friend, and watched Sarah's life in pictures and songs via a picture slide show.

If you know me, you know I'm a crier. I am happy to report I read the following blessing without a tear falling. Impressive, I know! Enjoy.

Sarah,

Your dad and I are so proud of you. Your passion for writing and your desire to help others feel beautiful both on the inside and out are beautiful. Most importantly, we have been privileged to witness your spiritual growth and love of God.

I clearly remember my reaction to your announcement of wanting to become a cosmetologist. On the outside, I remained calm. On the inside, my voice was saying, “What? What about writing? What about all that money we are spending on 2 years of Christian Writers’ Guild courses?” I, instead, said, "I thought you were going to college for writing." When you explained why you wanted to explore this career path, I started to understand. However, it wasn’t until I was talking with a friend I truly understood. Her reaction? “What a great ministry.” She further explained people seem to open up to their stylist when sitting in the chair and how the light of Jesus will shine through you. Sarah, may you ask for guidance and God’s words each day. May you truly bless others by listening.

God has kissed you with a gift of writing. As you already know, there will be times of joy and excitement. Remember to thank God for His provision. At times, you will be overwhelmed. Fear and doubt sneak in. Always seek God first. Remember He is the one who has called you. He will never leave you. There will be days of crying out to Him. In the midst of your cries, listen. Listen carefully and be obedient. He will always guide you. Sarah, may you always seek God’s words in your writing. May you continually use those words to uplift others and to worship and glorify the Maker of Words.

One day we are sitting in a rocking chair softly singing you back to sleep. The next thing we know, you’re an adult. Today, you fly as you were meant to fly…with God as your guide.

May God richly bless you, Sarah, as you take this world on with Him. May you always seek Him in everything you do. May your words, both spoken and written, be forever beautiful and worshipful to Him. And always, always, dance only for Him and with Him.

We love you.

Mom & Dad

May 1, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Opportunity For Another Story

"All stories, even the ones we love,
must eventually come to an end and
when they do, it's only an opportunity
for another story to begin."
~Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium


Another story now begins.