Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'm a Mother to a Seven-Year-Old

To some I guess he's still little, but he just seems so big and growny to me. My John is turning seven! I just can't believe it! Seven things I love about John:

  1. He's big, but not too big to give kisses, hugs and occasionally crawl up into my lap.
  2. Right now, he has an adorable toothless grin!
  3. He is very, very helpful with his older siblings and has a keen eye for their well-being.
  4. He's great at memorizing Scripture.
  5. He's always ready to lend a hand in the house and does it (usually :P ) with a great attitude.
  6. When he does had a bad attitude, he usually can change it into a good attitude all on his own.
  7. He loves to work and is very mechanically inclined for his age.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why You Won't See My Face on Facebook


Facebook and Twitter: if you not on both, you're on one or the other. Do know someone not on them? I can think of a very few people who might not have Facebooks. Other than my husband, I can only positively know of one other family who's not on them: my pastor's family. So what's the big deal, right? My honest opinion is that the entire concept of Facebook is that it would be a lot of fun! Great concept: a one-stop shop to keep up with anyone you've ever known. Is your sixth grade science teacher still teaching? *gasp* You check Facebook and you see that she is, and she hasn't changed her hair style since 1987. What about the kids that you used to ride bikes all over the neighborhood with as a child? Facebook. College study group meetings? Facebook. Want to find out about your favorite author? Facebook. The possibilities are nearly endless.

My personal experience is not with Facebook. I have to begin by saying that I have never had a Facebook account. I have, however, had a MySpace. MySpace had all the abilities listed above. It was a one stop spot to keep up with people I haven't seen in 20 years and people that I just talked to on the phone. And it was really fun ... for a while.

So, I browsed around MySpace finding tons of people that I know or once knew. The first problem I came to was the profile pics. Why do people want to post pictures of themselves scantily dressed or engaged in immorality? Furthermore, why do they think that I want to see it? Yet, I continued to dig through the rubbish to connect with my "friends." Because of many inappropriate things I was needing to shield the computer screen from my kids.

Here's a parenthetical thought: A rule at our house is that if it's not appropriate for the children, it's not appropriate for adults. We must guard our own hearts just as we guard the hearts of those God has entrusted us with. Never will we get to a point to where we can "handle" a certain amount of filth. If the profile pics were not good for the kids, they were not good for me either. As a keeper (guardian) at home, I should have never logged into MySpace again. But I was already too hooked. This networking thing was a whole lot of fun!

As I was saying...my list of "friends" grew. (Yes, I am purposefully and correctly using quotes) I didn't realize how many people I knew. I was friends with some of them honestly, butdidn't I feel popular with the paltry little mock-relationships?
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. -1 John 2:16

Now, at least on MySpace you had the ability to send out bulletins to all your friends. The people with whom I had networked, my "friends, " we not all necessarily people that I truly considered a friend. The people that I can call true and actual friends, excluding family, is probably less than I can count on one hand. The people that were my "friends" were just people who I knew in some manner. Some of those people were lost. Some were saved and not Christ-like. The bulletins that I would sometimes get would be rather tasteless; sometimes they were downright raunchy. The ones that were obviously filthy I would avoid. Others you would have to read to the end to find the vulgarity. The problem with it was that once you'd read the nasty bulletin, the damage to the mind was already done.

My next endeavor was to try to clean up my friends list. Maybe I should limit my friends to my real life friends. Well, that just didn't make sense because I just don't have a lot of true friends! Then I reasoned within my self to conclude that if anyone sent out an ugly bulletin, comment, etc. then I should remove them as a friend. That too posed a problem. I say this not out of piety, but sometimes the things that I see as unbecoming to holiness others see as acceptable. I didn't want to alienate people that I knew that were lost, and I especially didn't want to come off as a hypocrite or "holier-than-thou-art." Furthermore, what of the people who were being advertised as my friends? Most of their MySpace pages had unholy images, music, and language. These people were my friends.

Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

True, most of these people were not close company of mine, but I was allowing wickedness to pervade my mind and home. This was the main drive behind why my husband and I left social networking.

Another thought: You have to very naive to deny that numerous homes and marriages have been destroyed due to a friendship which began innocent and subtle, then grew and eventually overtook the bounds of what is good and right. This was not a problem in our home, but we know that the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. Why would I want to place myself in a place for possible temptation?

Maybe your children are social networking. Facebook is a great harbor for sexual predators. And why not, more than likely they will never get caught. You say you monitor their activity. I challenge that you cannot fully monitor it. You watch every click they make? You sit by them every minute they spend at the computer? Kids can by sly and subtle and can even have an account that you know nothing about.

Have you ever heard of an MMORPG? I have had some dealings with them. Some have likened Facebook to an MMORPG. Why? Because on Facebook you can be whomever you want.

We have had multiple incidences at our house where we received a phone call along the lines of, "Do you know what ______ said on her Facebook?" Sometimes people take the gossip approach; sometimes they take the "spiritual" approach: "I know he's your youth and I know preach against this sort of thing, but I thought you needed to know what was said on Facebook." My husband, in his husbandly wisdom, easily combats this nonsense with, "How do you know he said it?" The person replied confusedly, "Uhhh...it was posted right there on his Facebook." Jeremy: "And...? You didn't hear it come from his mouth. You didn't see his handwriting. What if his account was hacked? What if someone logged onto his account without him knowing? Why don't you just settle it all with a simple call or email?" That turns people off real quick-like.

It's said that Facebook is social, but I contend that it is antisocial. Just with so many other things today it gives a shallow fa├žade of connection with others. You can have empty connections that make you feel like you have friends. When in fact, you have no idea about the lives of your "friends." What became so wrong with having original conversation with people? What about an email? What happened to the days of "Hey? How's life's treating you?"

If you have a Facebook, that is certainly your prerogative. Of course, I don't think that if you have a Facebook that you're a wicked sinner and all that jazz. My convictions are my own as I walk in my Christian life and what you do is your own business. But I see this phenomenon, this FAD, and I see how it is destroying and hurting so many and thought I'd share my thoughts on it.

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. -1Timothy 5:14

http://benatlas.com/2009/09/how-twitter-and-facebook-are-antisocial/
http://www.redandblack.com/2008/10/15/facebook-actually-anti-social/
My brother also wrote up his thoughts on social networking. Scroll down to the subtitle "Likes and Dislikes in the 'New Internet'"
http://www.bigmalletman.com/weblog/?p=520
I'm hesitant to link to this YouTube video because there is come brief, written, not spoken profanity. It is made to be comical, but it also has a lot of truth to it. Watch it if you want, but ye be warned.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFKHaFJzUb4

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do You See What I See?

My husband is telling me that I need to post, so here's a quick one. Only 10 days ago we had accumulating snowfall, right? I noticed this which I saw Sunday when we returned home from church:

It's a Florida thing, I guess. Snowfall one week, lower 70's the next! Spring is trying to make her debut for this year, and personally I welcome some warmth. Have there been signs of warmer weather in your hometown? Below are the tiniest budding leaves on our crab apple tree.


And since it was a bit warmer yesterday, Lydia was able to try out a spring dress that she was given for her birthday. I looooove this dress!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lots to Post!

This post will probably take me the majority of the day to complete, so I better get started!

I really should have uploaded some of our snow pictures by now, but I haven't. I did get the little movie my husband took with his iPhone. It's so funny because ANY time that he has a video camera, he just has to commentate. He sent me a ton of other movies too. Maybe I'll get those up. The snow was really exciting. It really doesn't snow here often. The last time we had any accumulating snowfall was 14 years ago. I didn't even live here then and wasn't married yet. The last time I personally got to enjoy any snowfall was 17 years ago and I was only 13! My kids really loved it. John and Ethan will remember. I don't think that Lydia will, and I know that Josiah won't. LOL!

Here, a bit before noon, it was coming down pretty good. Unfortunately, it didn't last long.
A close-up of snowfall on the van.

Then it started sticking. The kids were excited.
Then a friend of mine from church brought her kids up to my house. She lives about 20 or so miles south and it wasn't snowing there. When she arrived, we piled up into our cars and went a bit north of my husbands shop (where the video from the last post was made). There was a whole lot of snow there!
We went a bit farther down the road to this big field. Lots of people there! You can't tell it, but the big snow man is actually a snow PIG!!!!! If you click you can sort of tell. I laughed and laughed.

Speaking of snow, I also learned (being a mother and housekeeper) that snow is some kind of MESSY! I mean that was such a slushy mess. I had to keep a towel by the back door to keep the kids from slipping down. Then bundle the kids up and unbundle them, bundle and unbundle, bundle and unbundle. Which, mind you, isn't easy since we just don't have super warm clothes. I was so blessed in that my boys had their quilted hunting coveralls and waterproof hunting boots. But Lydia, bless her heart, had nothing! Cotton tights under cotton stretch pants under a long skirt, then shirt over shirt over sweater and that was about all she had. She doesn't even own a pair of mittens! Josiah really doesn't have anything except a blanket. It's fun for a while, but it would be okay if it didn't snow for another decade!

Today my heart meditating on "walking in the Spirit." I was reading Galatians this morning and read these Scriptures:

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? -Galatians 3:3

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. -Galatians 5:16

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. -Galatians 5:25

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. -Galatians 6:1

I think of all the times that I am impatient, unhappy, discontented, and the like. Here we see that walking in the Spirit will keep my from fulfilling the lust of the flesh. Thank God for a completed Word that teaches us and speaks to our hearts!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Footage

video

Just a snippet that my husband took with his iPhone. Okay, so it's not exactly in Florida like you may think. It's from my husband's work in Alabama, but it's only 6 1/2 miles from home, as the crow flies.

SNOW!!!!!!!!!

I CAN'T BELIEVE IT'S SNOWING IN NORTHWEST FLORIDA RIGHT NOW!!!!!

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Death of Street Preachers

Among Christians, even fundamental Christians, there can often be a disdain for those sharing the gospel in the streets of America. By some its seen as people just shouting at cars. Some see it as a waste of time. I personally love the entire concept of street preaching. I roll down my windows when I see a man preaching at a busy intersection. I hope that the light is long. The Lord taught in a parable to go out into the highways and bring them in:

Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. -Luke 14:23

Did Jesus mean to go into the literal highways? Well, since I believe the Bible is literal and is not an allegory, I'd say yes.

I'm getting off topic. I was listening to Cross Talk on Rejoice Radio today and was disturbed to learn about 2 men, street preachers, being shot to death for sharing the gospel in Boynton Beach, Florida. What stunned me about it was that I had not heard about it. You see, I keep up with current events. I follow the news through various sources: radio, internet, television. This was not headline news. Isn't it the very picture of the world today? 2 young preachers shot for proclaiming the gospel and it's brushed under the rug; a nut-case kills an abortion "doctor" and you never hear the end of it.

Oh, and did you hear about the earthquake in northern Illinois. "Earthquakes in divers places," folks. It's not going to be long until I have my second wedding! ;-P

I have to add also that the man talking on the radio show was asked, "Wouldn't this be considered a 'hate crime?'" He replied, "No, it couldn't be a hate crime because it was committed against a Christian."

Lentil Casserole

As requested! ;-D

Lentil Casserole (tweaked from a cookbook I have here at home)

  • 1 1/4 c uncooked dry lentils (I use brown)
  • approx 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms (whatever you like, button or portobella work well)
  • 2 tbsp AP flour
  • 1 1/2 beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire (or if you love the stuff like I do then 2 or 3 tbsps)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 c Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
Preheat to 400

Boil lentils in just enough water to cover. Don't cook them all the way through. You want to cook them very "al dente" because they're going to finish cooking in the oven. I think that 7-10 minutes will do it nicely. Don't add too much water. You want most of it to cook out.

Sweat onion and garlic in olive oil. When they are nearly done add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown and shrink. Sprinkle with flour and cook for a minute or two longer until the mixture looks thick and coated.

Add the mushroom mixture to the lentils which should be finished cooking by now. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups broth, depending on how much water you have left from the lentils cooking. Add Worcestershire, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cook together until just heated and pour into 13 x 9 casserole dish. Top with Parmesan cheese and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is thoroughly browned. Top with diced tomatoes.

This recipe yields just a little more than my family of 5 can eat, when eaten as a main course. I have added more lentils and not had to change any of the other ingredients and it turn out just as good. It's a good vegetarian meal for a meat eater!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - February 9, 2010

For today: February 9, 2010

Outside my window...cold, wet, slightly windy, cloudy and altogether yucky!

I am thinking...of my brother who is 29 today.

I am thankful for...a joyful heart. Having genuine joy is a place that I struggle. I am thankful that God through prayer has richly helped me to be a joyful mother of children (Ps 113:9)

From the learning rooms...the children zipped through school today which was a great blessing to me as our house is in need of some attention!

From the kitchen...we were blessed with an unexpected dinner guest in our home yesterday and I was very pleased that I had made plenty of red beans and rice!

  • Tuesday - lentil casserole (nice vegetarian meal, very filling)
  • Wednesday - chili
  • Thursday - leftovers
  • Friday - lasagna
  • Saturday - (looks like I accidentally skipped it when I made the menu this week...oops!)
  • Sunday - dinner at church
I am wearing...long sleeved teal shirt, black corduroy skirt with bright knee-high socks and tennis shoes

I am creating...still working on this skirt and blouse for me and having trouble finding time to work on it.

I am going...Wednesday night to church, Thursday to piano and visitation in the evening, maybe Saturday to my mom's (maybe that's why I didn't plan a meal for Saturday night) and of course Sunday to church.

I am reading...I spent a lot of time this morning just meditating on Psalm 40:17: But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.

I am hoping (praying)...for my oldest. For a very long time the Lord had been dealing heavily with his heart for salvation. There are just some parts about salvation that he just doesn't understand. It's a constant prayer of mine.

I am hearing...Lydia is jabbering to herself about something. Josiah is napping and the older boys are off with Paw-paw, so all is mostly quiet.

Around the house...as I mentioned I need some housework to be done. Especially with the bathrooms and floors.

One of my favorite things...seeing people accept Christ as saviour. It was a tremendous blessing to see a teenager dear to my heart accept Christ Sunday night. Thank God that He is so merciful and loving!

A few plans for the rest of the week...other than the plans that I've already mentioned, probably make some more baby food later this week. I can't think of much else.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

You know you're really getting big when...

you lose your first tooth!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Someone's Turning Three!

The big birthday girl is Lydia! Stealing Tammy's idea she does with birthdays, here three things I love about Lydia:

  1. The way that you squeeze extra hard when you hug Mom.
  2. Your ballet dancing in the living room to which you even provide your own music. (even though you look like a frog with a dislocated leg when you dance ballet)
  3. That you love to go to "Sunday Class" instead of Sunday School.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

posting...

Don't you hate it when you get together this really great, informative blog post and then you can't publish it for whatever reason?

Spent all morning brainstorming a great post on marriage and divorce, then spent 20 minutes or so typing it out only to find out that my two main examples weren't going to work for the topic. Yes, I could find different examples, but alas, who has time? LOL

Sigh...so here's my post... ;-P ...my post on nothing. Maybe it was good for a laugh?

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Armour of God

Our newest Scripture memory verses, Ephesians 6:11-18:
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

To introduce the new passage, we usually take some time discussing what they mean. So I start asking a few questions. This answer really stands out:

"Ethan, why would a soldier need to wear armour?"
"To pu-tect people from killing you and to keep you safe."

Amazing is the wisdom that can come from the mouth of a 5 year old! God doesn't put rules and restrictions on us just to put a damper on our "fun." Just as Ethan said, we have a true enemy from which we need protecting. Satan is truly a roaring lion and he wants nothing more than to ruin the lives of every one of God's children.

Hope this blessed you as it did Momma!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Let's Make Baby Food!

So let's make baby food! Making your own has major advantages. Ones that come first to my mind are these:

Here at home we rarely boil vegetables. We boil firm legumes and potatoes if they're going to end up as mashed potatoes. That's pretty much it. Steaming is nutritionally superior to boiling because fewer enzymes are destroyed by the cooking process. Not to mention that the flavor is a million times better than boiled.

Another reason I like to make my own is that you save a ton. Have you priced baby food. Isn't it ridiculous that a tiny jar of baby food can cost sometimes 79 cents?!

Also, I can make the baby food appropriate for my child's development. If he can manage thicker or chunky feeds, then I can make them as such.

Here's another. I believe that homemade baby food just "sticks" longer. It takes less food and it's more satisfying. Maybe because store bought food is watered down too much? Who knows, but its still my observation.

So here goes...Elizabeth makes baby food.


Here we have 1 pound of sweet peas and the steamer basket that came with my pots and pans. I didn't have this for a long time and just used one of those collapsible steamer baskets.


Bring the steaming water to a boil and add your veggies. Here they are steaming away. I steam vegetables until they are just tender.


When they are done, the color should still be nice and vibrant. You'd never see color like that in canned vegetables. And off to the food processor they go.


Here I added about 3/4 cup of the steam water. Cooking still damages the food and lets some of the nutrition down into the steam water. So why not use it and the vitamins I've lost to add back to the baby food? I let it spin for a while and it's still pretty goopy for my little beginner.


This is a bit better. I think I added nearly 2 cups of water. It's more thick than store bought, but thin enough that he should like it.


Now off to any containers I can scrounge up.


My progress for the day: 3 jars of sweet potatoes, 6 jars of peas and 7 jars of green beans. Each of them are labeled for contents and date. They won't be in the freezer long, but I just want to be sure that I use up the old food if I happen to make any more.

This food was made at a total cost of about $2.30 and took me about 40 to make, minus cleanup. Store bought equivalent price is about $12.

Guess it's safe to say that I earned ten dollars an hour.