Monday, September 29, 2008

Not His ways.

I have to smile. Yesterday while at Costco a friend and I talked about wanting to live a life of purpose. Here is my day.

I need to get up and go walk with Wendi. Don't want her to wait on me.
I need coffee.
Cereal of muffins for breakfast?
I wonder if Emma has made her lunch yet?
Ron needs to get going.
Are they done with their dishes?
I think I need a second cup.
I need to make new play-dough. Maybe orange for October.
I need to go downstairs to get Ella some puzzles to work.
The dryer turned off. I need to move that load of laundry.
Look at all those socks.
Why did I come down here? Oh, yeah, puzzles.
I need to dust that.
When did Eli vacuum?
That glass needs to go upstairs.
What should I make for lunch?
Can lights or a fixture?
What shade of brown for downstairs?
When is the sheet rock guy going to be here?
If Sally rides 3.5 miles one way how long did she ride all together?
Put more slant into your letters.
Time to read.
Eden, practice your spelling words.
Eli, quit tossing the football in the house.
I need to take the hamburger out of the freezer.
Eden take the little girls outside.
I need to fold that laundry.
That water needs to go in the fridge.
It smells like sheet rock mud.
I need to go get Emma and take her to teach her piano lesson.
Em, did you have a good day at class?
Eli, get ready for football.
Eden, get ready to go with dad.
I would like to check email and blogs...
I need to gather the library items. The videos are due back tomorrow.
Ooo, tomatoes still coming from the garden.
The counters need to be wiped down.
Emma, watch the girls while I go get Eli.
No, Eli, no slurpee. No Mountain Dew. No Pepsi. Water or milk.
Girls into the tub. Wash with soap. All crevasses.
Ella to bed. One Fish, two fish.
Yes, Evie, you can have ice cream.
Only one bowl, Ev. Let's read Pet Show and A Letter for Amy.
Emma, quit texting. That's enough for tonight.
Did you all brush your teeth? With toothpaste?
I love you.

This was not what I was referring to yesterday in my conversation. Isn't there a verse about His ways not being our ways?

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw (Time Mag 8/08) with Rick Warren , Rick said:

People ask me, What is the purpose of life? And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.

I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.

We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.

Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.

The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.

God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.

We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.
That's why we're called human being, not human doings.

Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD
Painful moments, Trust God
Every moment, THANK GOD

Monday Menus and a give away

Not only are there hundreds of menus to look at today over at The Organizing Junkie today there is also a give away!!!

Monday: Tacos
Tuesday: Fish and chips
Wednesday: Church dinner
Thursday: Broccoli Quiche
Friday: Chicken Cacciatore (we didn't have this last week)

We are also working hard to finish the bathroom this week. Hopefully it will be painted by week end and we will have a functioning facility ;o) It is hard to share a bathroom with a teenager ;o)

We are also starting to fir in the basement and tile. Whew! Thank goodness my dad has been such a big help this week. It has been hard to keep up on laundry, schooling, meals and parenting all while trying to work on the house.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend update

We have been crazy busy around the house this week. It is either feast or famine when we work on the house. Apparently we don't understand the concept of 'slow and steady wins the race'.

My dad took some time off to help with the bathroom remodel which was so nice. The sheet rock guys come tomorrow to tape and mud and then hopefully texture on Tuesday. What started as just new wallpaper is now replacing everything but the toilet. And that is only because we replaced that a few years ago. I picked out the paint colors and a new light fixture. In the end I will have a beautiful updated bathroom and a fabulous walk in closet.

We also replaced a window in the front of the house. The window we had was 30+ years old. It was aluminum and did not open. In the winter it would sweat horribly (and grow mold), and in the spring and fall you couldn't open it for ventilation. We bought this one a year ago on a great deal from Lowe's, I think we paid $25. If someone special orders a window and then decides they no longer want it you can get a great deal like that. This is also true for other big ticket items like washers, refrigerators, vanities, mirrors etc. You just have to keep your eyes open, time it right or buy for the future. Or have your dad work there. ;o)

I also finished sealing the walls in the basement. The walls are cinder block and have occasionally leaked. We have a footing that wraps the end of the basement that is about 3 1/2 feet tall and 2 feet wide so we are going to tile that. Again my dad got a great deal on tile. I think he paid like .18 per 18" tile. It was such a blessing to find tile that was a neutral color at a great price. They are discontinuing this tile. We are still scraping the carpet residue off the cement floor down there and hope to paint it with an epoxy to put the game tables on. Emma (14) got all excited last night when she could visualize a fun place to hang out with her friends.

On a side note, Eden (10) was throwing up all night last night. She has some sort of bug. She and a friend drank water out of someones fountain in their yard yesterday and I am hoping it is not from that. She seems to be doing better this morning but I am going to keep her home from church to keep an eye on her.

Have a great Sunday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Family Driven Faith

I just finished this book last night. Loved it! Here is a little bit:
More teens are turning away from the faith than ever before: it is estimated that 75 to 88% of Christian teens walk away from Christianity by the end of their freshman year of college. Something must be done. Family Driven Faith equips Christian parents with the tools they need to raise children biblically in a post-Christian, anti-family society. Voddie Baucham, who with his wife has overcome a multi-generational legacy of broken and dysfunctional homes, shows that God has not left us alone in raising godly children. He has given us timeless precepts and principles for multi-generational faithfulness, especially in Deuteronomy 6. God's simple command to Moses to teach the Word diligently to the children of Israel serves as the foundation of Family Driven Faith.
I would love to give you bits and pieces of what I thought was so great but frankly there is just too much. Ron and I were reading this together but I sped on ahead of him because I was so excited and encouraged by what I read. After being involved with youth ministry for the past 10 years I can say that what Dr. Baucham talks about with the state of the family and youth of today is completely true and accurate. I pray that as a people of faith we wake up and do something about it before it is too late.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Menus & starting the week

Wow, almost one o'clock in the afternoon and I am just now getting around to posting the menus.
Monday: Fall Harvest Chowder
Tuesday: Breakfast w/ Green Chile Cheese bake
Wednesday: Church dinner
Thursday: Taco soup or Mexican Chicken Chowder
Friday: Spaghetti or Chicken Cacciatore

Be sure to check out other menus @ Laura's Where they are doing a special Family Favorite Addition.
Here is a new family favorite:
Fall Harvest Chowder (slow cooker)
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
4 C water
1 C carrots
1 C diced celery
1 C cubed potato
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatos
1 can (8 oz) tomato puree
1 t. salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4t crushed bay leaf
1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high

I started the day off taking Eden (10) to the dentist with a broken tooth. As the dentist looked at it and her chart he told me we were supposed to put a crown on that tooth two years ago. I was feeling like a neglectful parent, I don't remember this at all. I asked him to remind me of the date. Late November 2006. That was two weeks before we traveled to China. The next six months were a fog. Thank goodness for grace. She is scheduled to get a crown the middle of Oct.

Ron took Emma (14) to class this morning early because she had school pics, only to find out pics are next week. Argh.

But...dinner is in the crock-pot so the afternoon is looking up. Whew.

I tried a new recipe this morning for breakfast.

Omelets to go

6 eggs
1 1/2 c ham chopped
1/4 c shredded cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs
3T melted butter
1 T onion finly chopped

Beat eggs til foamy. Add remaining ingredients. Pour into greased muffin tins.
Bake @ 375 for 20-25 minutes
Ron and I thought these were yummy. The kids thought they were just OK. I was looking for something new to do in the mornings that was a little different, yet easy.

We are continuing the work on the bathroom. I keep saying 'I only wanted new wallpaper', but here we are now replacing everything but the toilet. My dad is taking some time off this week to help put it all back together. We are hoping to have it textured on Friday, but there is a lot to do between here and there.

Have a great Monday.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


The other day I bought a magazine because it had a great haircut. I know that this could very well qualify me as shallow. I am always on the lookout for a great new cut and have a library of hair magazines to prove it. The mag is called Baby Couture (Josie Bissett's hair on the cover made me buy the mag). It is mainly about what is hot for babies, and I mean extreme luxury. It had famous people and their babies modeling clothes and other baby items. "So and So wearing Such and Such", Crazy. I can't believe how much people are willing to pay to dress their babies. Absolutely nuts. And how much better are their strollers compared to mine? It is just a stroller! Anybody have some hand-me-downs they are willing to hand over?

It made me think about what a friend of ours said recently as he has been dealing with his daughter in the hospital for the past four weeks. He said 'God is more concerned about my character than my comfort'. Lord, let me be concerned about my character too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Perfectionism and legacies

I started a new book this weekend; Building Her House by Nancy Wilson. It has many short essays on family, marriage, mothering and attitudes. It is a pretty light and encouraging read. One of the essays that I read made the statement that
'God is perfect, but not a perfectionist'. Perfectionism is man's invention.
This goes right along with what God has been revealing to me or teaching me about our home. Not the remodeling part although it could certainly apply here too. But more on the heart of the home. A week or so ago I saw a video of Voddie Bauchum and his wife Bridget. It is 14 minutes long, but very powerful...It is titled Leaving a Legacy. (sorry, I couldn't post the video here)

When he talked about family worship being more about doing it, setting aside time to honor God, not necessarily the content, but just doing it, that really spoke to me. I get so caught up in thinking things need to look a certain way that I miss the point. So this goes back to God is perfect, not a perfectionist. For me this has been quite freeing. Do what I know God wants me to do, and trust Him to fill in the gaps. Our family is going on three weeks of having a daily family worship, before we have been hit and miss. Sometimes more miss than hit. It has been great to have a casual time in the mornings, no pressure, no outline, just focusing on God's Word and plan for our family. I don't say this to give glory to us, it is all God, working it out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Menus & jewels

What is up with the weather? I am wanting to use my crock pot, but the weather man says to expect temps in the 90s. It is the middle of September. Isn't it supposed to be in the 70s and 80s?

Monday: Chicken salad on croissants
Tuesday: Oriental chicken salad
Wednesday: Church dinner
Thursday: Quiche and salad
Friday: Fajitas
Head on over to Laura's for more menu ideas.

This morning in my time with the Lord He reaffirmed the importance of being with Him.
In Proverbs 31 one quality towers head and shoulders above the rest. One quality makes her value "more precious than jewels" and that is her spiritual life. Proverbs 31:30 says 'Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised'. another version says 'worshipfully fears the Lord'.
In other words she worshiped God and put Him at the top of her priority list.

I don't want God to be just one of my priorities, I want Him to be THE top priority.

Have a great Monday!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

We're home!

We had a fabulous time away in the mountains. I thought about posting a picture of our time away but thought it might bore you all. Puzzles, reading, napping, sleeping late, watching movies, and taking a drive through the forest don't make for exciting photo ops. I am back and feel quite refreshed thank you very much. We should do that more often. I am ready to start the busy week! Bring it on!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


The family is off for a few days of R&R. What I am most looking forward to is no cell service, not for me because rarely do I get calls on my phone, but for my hubby. You would think he was a doctor or at least a government official the way his phone rings. Sometimes I wish he had one of those messages that says 'If this is a true medical spiritual emergency, stay on the line and we will be right with you, if not please call back during regular working hours.' I hope you know I am mostly just kidding.

I have a crate packed with cookbooks to go through (I bought some new recipe cards yesterday), magazines I have not had the chance to read yet (including a new hair magazine), a new book, and several board games to play. I will throw in a few movies to watch and it should all make for a perfect long weekend.

We are hoping to do some hiking and pick up some peaches for homemade peach ice cream.

This has been planned since April and I am so looking forward to it. We almost had to cancel and give into football, but God was gracious and relieved us of having to make that hard call. Have a great weekend! I will see you next week! I am sure to have great menus after looking through all those cookbooks from the library. ;o)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Unfaithful and wicked

Do you ever feel like there is an endless abundance of the work that God needs to do in your life? Just when you think God has finished a certain work...there is another...right there waiting in the His perfect timing to begin the process of refining. But sometimes the work that needs to be done comes in clumps. Several things come to the surface all at once, or maybe in a series of revelations.

It was a dry Summer. And I am not talking about the weather. I am referring to several areas in my life, but I want to talk about spiritually today. It was just a dry season. Granted there were a few times of rain, but mainly dry. Parched. Thirsty. My attitude contributed greatly to the lack of rainfall.

So, now it is almost fall and the seasons are changing not only in the climate outside, but inside my heart also. And it has nothing to do with me. God chooses to speak even in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water. Again, it has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with Him and His faithfulness to me, the unfaithful, the fickle, the temperamental, the wicked.

Like Lori, God spoke to me on Sunday. And has continued yesterday and today. I feel the cool breeze of the Spirit. My hubby really spoke to my heart in Sunday night's sermon when he talked about pouring ourselves into our relationship with God and letting everything else fall into place. That if our relationship with God is right, all other relationships and such will naturally fall into place, or at least my heart will be in the right place.

Then Monday morning during my quiet time I read
Despite our extraordinary calling-to experience God's love and to love Him in return-we fill our lives with idols. Given the greatest invitation in the universe, we treat it as an obligation that we might be able to squeeze in around our other interest. Could anything be more ludicrous? The infinate, holy, jealous merciful, mighty, Ancient of Days makes a straight path for us into His heart of passion, and our response is so often to say, "We'll see; I've got some other things I'd like to do, too." The angels must be astonished at the squandering of such an opportunity.
Journey Magazine
Did I just not finish a bible study on No More Idols? Apparently I am just like the children of Israel.

Is it just with me or does God work in themes in your life too? Then later in the day I read from Girl Talk:

If our pastor, whom God has called and gifted to preach, spends many hours studying God’s Word to share it with us, shouldn’t we be humble and diligent to review and apply that truth?
Ouch. Rarely, and I mean really rarely, do I look over my notes from Sunday. In fact I have got in a bad habit of not even taking notes on Sunday morning. Instead going into the service not even expecting God to show up. That my friends is pride, not humility. Thought I would just point that out to you in case you didn't catch it.

So, here I am again. In a place of renewal of my heart. Checking my heart attitude. Not merely going through the motions, but looking and expecting God to show up. Pouring myself into my relationship with Him. And watching as everything else will be just fine, because my heart will rest in Him and Him alone. What continues to amaze me is that God chooses to pursue me, in spite of me. I would have written me off long ago. Voddie says it best...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Monday Menus

I am going to try something new this month (starting next week ;o)). I was reading my new Gooseberry Patch cookbook that I picked up this week at Costco and it suggested to give each day of the week a theme. I had read this before from Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary (check out her other ideas for meal planning on her side bar). I am thinking this will help simplify my meal planning. The thought is to give each day a theme of something that your family enjoys. For us it will be Mexican, Italian, Breakfast, Soup & Salad (or sandwich) and I am still thinking on the other two, maybe a casserole night? We always have dinner at church on Wed nights so that makes only 6 I need to figure out. Sunday night will definitely be something in the crock-pot since we are at church all afternoon. Emma has started a cooking class and is required to make 3 meals a week for her family; a breakfast, lunch and a dinner, so I am trying to help her come up with good and easy meals to make.

The weather and our schedules are changing a little. Football, church, school and lessons are all in full swing. We really try to make eating dinner as a family a priority but Monday and Wednesday nights are impossible. Monday will be crock-pot night and Wednesday we eat at church.

Monday: Fall Harvest Chowder
Tuesday: Hot Chicken Sandwiches
Wednesday: Roast beef & Mashed potatoes (church meal)
Thursday: Spaghetti, salad & bread
Friday: Roast beef sandwiches (thank you Tricia)
Saturday: Chicken soup

Fall Harvest Chowder (slow cooker)
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 C chopped onion
4 C water
1 C carrots
1 C diced celery
1 C cubed potato
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatos
1 can (8 oz) tomato puree
1 t. salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4t crushed bay leaf
1 1/2 t Italian seasoning
6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high

Hot Chicken Sandwiches (Gooseberry Patch Taste of Autumn)
2 1/2 - 3lbs chicken
6T butter
6T flour
1t salt
1/8 pepper
1/2c celery thinly sliced
12 sandwich buns
Boil chicken for1 hour. Reserve 2 1/2 c broth. Allow chicken to cook; remove skin & bones, shred meat. Melt butter in a sauce pan; whisk flour until smooth. Blend over low heat. Stir in broth, boil 1 min. Add salt, pepper. Stir in celery & chicken. Heat thoroughly; serve on toasted buns.

Home Sanctuary

From the number of comments that I have received, both on and offline, we all want our homes to be a place of simplicity and sanctuary. Take a look at Websters definitions:

Sanctuary: 1. A holy or sacred place, esp. one devoted tot he worship of a deity. 2. The most sacred part of a place in a sacred structure; esp. the part of a church where the principal altar is situated. 3. A place of refuge: a wildlife sanctuary. 4. Immunity from the law or punishment.

Simplicity: the state of being simple; freedom from complexity or difficulty. 2. Freedom from ornament or ostentation.

That sounds so wonderful doesn't it. But there is a little fact that makes this so hard. Our lives are complex and difficult. So how do we create simplicity and sanctuary in the middle of complexity and difficulty? I think this looks different to each family. What may be simple to my family may be crazy complicated to yours and vice versa.

If you have not already met Rachel Anne @ Home Sanctuary head over and be blessed. Mon - Fri she posts a little thing for you to do to create sanctuary in your home. She even makes it fun by giving you points each day. Keep track of your points and you will have a chance to win a great prize at the end of the month. How fun is that? When I follow along with Rachel Anne I always feel like at least once a day I have done something to create a little sanctuary.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Planning menus and lessons

This has been a fun weekend getting everything ready for the next school year. Pencils are sharpened, notebooks ready, books checked out. I AM READY, I hope the kids are!

We went to the library last week and I checked out Gooseberry Patch A Taste of Autumn (check out their website for a free recipe each week.) I copied lots of fun new recipes like Hot Chicken Sandwiches, Schoolhouse Cookie Bars, and Potato Quiche. I hope to try these when the weather cools off a bit more.

This week is easy to plan for with three meals I don't have to cook!

Monday: Labor Day BBQ @ the in-laws
Tuesday: Either Tacos or Taco Soup depending on weather
Wednesday: Church dinner
Thursday: Church Block Party (hot dogs)
Friday: Fajitas

I am really excited to start the school year this week. We are starting some new things that I hope will be fun and educational for all the kids. First we are trying Total Language Plus. The kids will do spelling, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing all pulled from a piece of quality literature that they are reading. Emma (14) is reading Pride and Prejudice, Eli (12) A Cricket in Times Square, and Eden (10) The Courage of Sarah Noble. they will also be decoding scripture for grammar. Emma will have a 5 page research paper to write as well as a paper on character study, and an analysis paper of the book. Evie (7) is doing a literature unit on Ezra Jack Keats. This unit study is new to me also so we will see how it goes.

We are also going to start notebooking for history and geography. I think this is a great way for the kids to have a hands on approach and hopefully take a couple subjects they are not so crazy about and make them more interesting.

Have a great Labor Day Holiday with your family!