Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking to 2010

Another Year Is Dawning

Another year is dawning! Dear Father, let it be,

In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee;

Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting, of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face;
Another year of progress, another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.


Another year of service, of witness for Thy love;

Another year of training for holier work above.
Another year is dawning! Dear Father let it be

On earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.



The end of a year is, for me, a time to look back. What has the Lord done for you this year? Did He answer a long time prayer? Did He bring you through a trail, temptation or valley? Maybe you saw a loved one saved this year.

As I reflect upon the year we started the year out in great joy. We had to wait about a year from a miscarriage until we were blessed with conception in the latter part of '08. We were so happy to be expecting another baby! We saw some new additions to the youth department and continue to see Christian maturity bloom in many of our teens. The Lord is heavily dealing with John's heart for salvation and is beginning to nudge Ethan's heart. We marked one year of using natural medicine. We saw the Lord answer prayer by showing us why I've always had to have c-section births. We were blessed with the birth of Josiah. We saw the Lord bring him through a week-long hospitalization at 7 weeks old. My baby brother moved away from home *sniff* and we're all learning what it is to have a long distance family. And tons and tons more.

Do you want to be more for the Lord in 2010? We all do, of course. What would you like the Lord to do for your family? for you? for your church?

There are many things that I want to see happen in the upcoming year. It's not going to happen by chance. If we want to see God to do great things in 2010 we must ask Him for those things. By "things," I'm not necessarily meaning the tangible or material.

I'm not really a goal setter. I have learned that setting goals make a tremendous difference in how quickly and efficiently things are accomplished. This year I decided to make a 2010 goal list. You may think it's silly or even a bit corny. But here's my reasoning behind it: Year after year I have good intentions to do _________. Stick in that blank nearly anything. But in just a matter a weeks I find myself saying, "Oh yeah, I was going to do _________ this year." By keeping track of what you'd like the Lord to do, your goals won't become an after thought. Accomplishing more for the Lord in 2010 won't happen by happenstance.

Just a few of my 2010 goals are these:

  • See my children saved.
  • More fully devote myself to diligent, structured, Bible study and prayer
  • Work with my grocery budget to be able to afford more organic meat and animal products.
  • Prepare a daily home schedule and stick with it.
  • Set a reasonable time limit for computer and/or blogging. Then carefully monitor time spent on the computer and cumulative time spent on the computer to be sure that I am making the most of each day.
  • Pray more for my husband as he meets the daily stresses of being a small business owner, husband, father and youth director.
  • Use my blog to further uplift the name of Christ and to uplift the believer, and especially to edify the keeper at home.
These are a very very few of the goals I have listed. Under these goals I have how to go about seeing these things accomplished. For example "See my children saved." Under that, I have listed "Spend purposeful and earnest time in prayer for the children," "Be sure that God is at the center of everything that is done at home, school or play," "Provide a spiritual and Christ-centered environment," "Encourage the kids to pray and read their Bibles" and more. Yes, these are things that we already do, but to have them down on paper gives a sense of direction.

Maybe this wouldn't work for you. We're all made differently. I'm hoping that with a more focused sense of direction I'll be able to look back at 2010 and say it was the best year yet!

Happy 2010 to everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December

Well, I didn't post much about home stuff throughout the month of December. It's just such a busy time of the year. So here is a photo walk through of our month.


Here are our teens who participated in our youth Christmas skit...minus one who wouldn't let anyone see him in his costume.


And here they are again letting their true colors show. They're going to KILL me for posting this photo!


We usually do some sort of cookies or other baking project this time of year. This year we made Jesus a birthday cake!


We took the kids to Bellingrath gardens for their lights display. It was very pretty. We wanting to go earlier in the season so that we missed the crowd. We also hoped to go on a Monday (remember, our family's weekend is Sunday and Monday) so that we had less crowd. With the incredible amount of rain we've had we didn't get to go until the 21st. We were still so blessed though because we just beat crowd. As we got in line the line grew by many, many yards. I was so relieved!


Some of the better pictures I took.


The lake behind the Bellingrath home.


Here's a great photo. This is a picture of a proud hunter who killed his first little spike. Yes, HE killed the deer by himself. He'll be good dinner. The deer, that is. Not John. ;-)


Yup, his first kill.

Christmas Eve, spent at my husband's parents' house.


My little cowboys


And my princess.


A princess, of course, needs cowgirl boots.


My bundled up bundle of joy.


Ride on, buddy!


Roller skating...or attempting it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sushi!

So, I've been on this quest to make miso soup. It is a difficult task since the nearest Asian market is about 50 miles away. I went to Publix and hoped that they would have some of the things I needed there. Alas, all they had was tofu. They did have a pack of stuff labeled "sushi seaweed," which is sort of vague. I thought maybe it'll work for the kombu I need to make dashi. Well, it of course wouldn't. Now I have a pack of nori in my pantry and I'm thinking "what am I going to do with this?!" Well, I also have about 3 cups of rice in my fridge and you guessed it!


Unfortunately it's a tiny picture. I took it with my cell phone since my hubby-wubby took the camera to work today. I looked around the house to try to find something to go in my sushi. All I could find was carrot and salmon. The vinegar I used was white balsamic...an Italian vinegar. So it's Italian-American sushi, I guess. It tastes pretty good. I tried to get the roll good and tight, but that's hard. Maybe if I had a makisu it could be easier. Anyway, thought I'd share my yummies with everyone!

And perhaps this endeavor was partly inspired by Mrs. Happy Hermit! ;-)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Button

Photobucket

I wanted to draw your attention to a new button I've added. Here you will be able to read the story of a little girl that has always been dear to my heart, Olivia. Her mother is a friend of mine who is always an encouragement in the Lord. I'll let you read the story yourself, but please remember to pray for this little blessing.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Daily Funnies

You know you're living rural when...

... you see a loose donkey at the end of the driveway!

And then you see him get escorted home by police.


If you click to enlarge, you'll see the donkey being led by the driver of the utility truck and a police squad car following behind.

I had the greatest laugh out of this. Want another laugh?

Last night we had our church ladies go out Christmas caroling. As we got out at a house here was a man walking down the street. He was listening to some sort of English-speaking music on a radio (you'll understand in a minute) He was obviously not of Hispanic descent, but when I cheerfully told him, "Hi! How are you?" He stuttered back, "Uhh... Err... No, uhh, no ah-blow Es-pan-yole ... uhh ... Een-glase. (As in a really bad Spanish accent: No hablo Español ... Inglés) So, I didn't miss a beat and replied, "Ah, lo siento, Señior! Buenas noches!" Then he looked at me almost scared and picked up the pace of his walking. I have no idea what it was all about, but he very obviously fake Spanish accent was so absolutely hilarious to me that I thought I'd share.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Pictures









Saturday, December 5, 2009

Science Project

As we have been learning about the senses that God gave us to learn about our world, I thought this would make a great science project:

"Chemical" Apple Pie

  • 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 25 buttery round crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (225 degrees C).
  2. Roll out pastry and set aside. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan.
  3. In a small bowl mix together sugar and cream of tartar. Add mixture to boiling water. Stir, then add crackers, one at a time. Boil for 3 minutes, but do not stir.
  4. Pour cracker mixture into pastry-lined pie pan. Sprinkle crackers with cinnamon and dot with butter or margarine. Cover with top pastry. Seal edges and cut steam vents in top.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. May need to cover top pastry partway through baking to prevent overbrowning.
Which is a strange name if you think about it. My brother, a chemist, would quickly inform everyone that every apple pie is a chemical apple pie because everything is chemicals. B ut whatever. The pie has no apples, but it tastes like apple pie. Okay, not the best apple pie, but it's close. Recipe is taken from allrecipes.com.

Looks like apple pie...


Still looks like apple pie...


But how does it taste?


Well, we did have one fan of it.

Hooray for homeschool!

Friday, December 4, 2009

I'm Cold!

But these should help me to warm up...

Apple cinnamon muffin and chamomile lemongrass tea!

I was going to get brave and show before and after pictures of my project yesterday: cleaning the oven and microwave. But the before was really bad, embarrassing even, so I chickened out! ;o) I can't stand either of the two jobs. My pastor's wife told me a great trick for the microwave though. Many of you probably already know this one, because she thought I was nuts for not doing this already. Take a big, very microwave safe bowl and fill it about 3/4 full with water. Turn the microwave on high for about 5 minutes. If your microwave is only mildly dirty, at this point you can just wipe out the yuckies. If your microwave is like mine, then let the hot water stand in the microwave for 10 minutes and repeat. Keep this up until the yuckies wipe off. The steam will loosen the splattered on food!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've made a post about home stuff. Like Kimberly said, "It's the most busiest time of the year!" Well, if you've been a long time reader of my blog, and you have a great memory, you may remember our "classroom pet" we got last year. Well, he kicked the bucket Sunday. It was really bad. You could tell he was dying. If you've ever seen a fish die, you know what I mean. I couldn't stand it and Jeremy gave him a proper fish funeral. There was only a toilet-bowl side service. :-P

So, John noticed first that the fish was gone and asked, "Hey, where is the fish?" Dad replied, "He died." So John looked thoughtful for a bit and asked, "Did he have X's over his eyes?"

What else is going on...hmm. We had some pretty nasty weather last night. That's not exactly exciting news, but was actually worse than Ida was a few weeks ago. Check out what happened to my beautiful Bradford Pear tree!!

After the rain leaves, it's supposed to actually be cold. Shocker...like, just under freezing. I may have to get out my long sleeves!

I showed Ethan the tree this morning and he said, "Mom! It blowded over!" When I showed Lydia, she says, "It's okay Mom. It duss needs some tape awound it."

I still have a great bunch of helpers with Josiah. I don't feel too comfortable with Ethan carrying him around, but he's great at holding him, as you can see.


On the other hand, John is very confident with him. He loves babies. He would sit and entertain Josiah all day long if he could. It would not surprise me if he had a whole slew of children. He tells me, "I want to have as many kids as the Duggars!"


Josiah had such a pile of hair, but after his hospital stay, it all fell out. Guess that was one of the side effects of his antibiotics. I don't think I mentioned that we've been battling eczema since his hospitalization too. We started him on Body Balance, as Ethan does for his eczema. But whereas Ethan's eczema is from allergies, Josiah's is from medicine. Trace minerals are always good, especially since his were probably wiped out. Body Balance is great for trace minerals. We also put him on a pro-biotic since antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad. Also, we've been using a omega 3-6-9 blend. His skin looks very much better, although it still flares up. I think we're on the road to recovery with it. My pediatrician asked about the eczema and offered a prescription of Aclovate, which a quickly declined. She did not at all discourage me from using natural medicine. I love her to pieces!

Oh and a tea tree shampoo has cleared up his ugly cradle cap!


My little toddler is quickly coming to the 3 year old mark. She is such a joy. I would love to have another girl, but we will see. People have been asking me how many children are we going to have. I had an exceptionally difficult time recovering from Josiah's surgery. I asked my doctor about it and she said that it was probably from scar tissue, which is expected with 4 c-sections. The Lord knows my heart and that I would love to have a whole house full of children, but we'll have to see how my body holds up.


My sweet husband brought me home a couple of presents last week. I got him to model this one for me. Yes, that is a pink chainsaw on the front. What did you expect from a guy that sells small engine products? Last time he ordered from Stihl, he saw these ladies' shirts and ordered me this one and another one. You might think it's funny, but I really like them.

The community Christmas parade is this weekend. The church is entering a float as we did last year. We actually took first place last year. I really would love to go, but the high that day is only supposed to be 56 with blustery winds, and I don't see getting a little one out in that chill.

How about this for good news:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: -Philippians 1:6

How wonderful the grace of God that we can even have confidence in the fact that we do not have to perform good works on our own. I've tried to "do good" all on my own and failed. Instead, God will just do all the work by performing a good work on the inside first. Then, of course, what ever is inside will come out all by itself. Just thought I'd share my encouragement for today.

Guess that is enough catching up for now!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Oh, I bought a can of pumpkin to make a pumpkin roll. I only needed about 2/3 cup, and had tons left over. I searched out my recipe book and found these beauties!


Pumpkin Oat Muffins

  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c old fashion oats
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 c honey
  • 1/3 c apple juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp old fashion oats, as garnish
Grease or line 12 muffin cups. Combine flour, 1/2 c oats, nuts, spices, leaveners, and salt in large mixing bowl. In medium mixing bowl, mix together pumpkin, honey, juice, eggs and oil. Add to flour mixture and mix until just blended. Do not overmix. It's okay to have small dry spots. Evenly divide among the muffin cups and garnish with remaining oats. Bake at 375 for 23-27 minutes. I always use whole spices when possible (and if I can afford them!) so for pumpkin pie spice you can use 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground clove or allspice and 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Or, if you're like me, go heavy on the nutmeg.

They are so good...and did you notice they are sugar free?