Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Well, I'm sitting at home relaxing (kind of) with 5/6th of my family at home. I'm still waiting for my 16 year old to get home from a youth retreat and the roads are terrible so I'm not quite fully relaxed. :) I will be once she gets home.

Today, December 31st is a special day for our family. It's the day the final addition to our family was born. My little daughter is 6 years old today! She's what we consider our "bonus baby" since I struggled with infertility for so many years and worked hard for each baby I conceived but this little one seemed to just sneak in and I didn't know about her until I was 10 weeks pregnant. :) She's such an amazing blessing and an absolute cutie pie. I love my Chicky very much and thank God for her daily. Happy birthday Bean!!

In other news, my wonderful Christmas bonus has been spent. I was looking to maybe buy a Kitchen Aid mixer - or some other great thing that I can't afford (my bonus was just shy of $200) but what did I spend it on? A sick 2 lb. rabbit. Yep. Gohan is sick with a double ear and sinus infection and is on antibiotics and a probiotic. Lovely. But hopefully he'll be doing better soon.

Well, I'll finish this post with a wish. I wish you all God's greatest blessings in the new year. I pray that you will seek Him and grow closer to Him each and every day. God is good. He's not only the Creator of the universe but our own Daddy. How wonderful is that?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

SIGH .... Boys

So some of you know that we've had a new happening around the homestead. We've been visited by a teen boy. "Boy" is interested in our 16 year old and told her so about 3 weeks ago when they went into the city with the youth group. I had already told her that he was interested because he came here to watch a movie with her and I saw. Daddy saw too. She denied it and said that they were just friends but we knew better. She came home from the city and told us that he told her that he liked her in Rockefeller Center at the tree - just as it began to snow. :) I asked her if she liked him and she said "I think so." So it began.

Last weekend, we had a group of her friends come over to play games and hang out and hubby and I hung out with them. "Boy" was here too, of course. We had a fun time getting to know everyone (some we knew already, others were newer friends) and when it was time to go, boy asked DH if he could come to his office to speak to him about DD. Uh-oh. So DH borrowed the pastors' gun (the one that goes around to the pastors with daughters when boys start circling) and met with boy on Tuesday. They had a nice talk, boy was very respectful and honest. DH told him that we like him and see no reason to have to use said gun (LOL) but that boy and DD don't know each other that well since they only met 6 weeks ago so while it's not "no", it's "not yet". He asked boy what his parents thought - and they had said the same thing. So now intentions are given, boy and DD are told to wait and continue hanging out and getting to know each other. We'll have boy over a bit, we'll encourage them to get together in a group. And sometime we will have to say "OK" if the interest is still there and we haven't seen anything going on that we don't like. Honestly, this boy is a doll and has done some things that have not been in the spotlight but I've been privvy to that I really respect him for. So this is the first boy who's being given a chance. The other two were shot down hard and fast. LOL

Oh the joys of having daughters. But if boy turns out to be what he seems to be, I'd be happy to let him be a part of my daughter's life. He's a boy I'd be happy to have raised myself. That says a lot because I can be quite critical of other people's kids. I know it's not good but it's who I am. But I like boy. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's almost here!!

Whew!! Christmas certainly has a way of sneaking up on a woman, doesn't it? Of course, if you're like me and a major procrastinator, it's even worse. Right now I'm making my Christmas jam so DH can bring it to church tomorrow to hand out to everyone. Yeah, I could have done this back in November but why do it then and relax instead of doing it last minute? Last minute is SO much more exciting! Atleast it's not midnight like last year! I guess I'm getting better!!

I still also need to finish shopping for the littles (the rest of everyone else is done) and I need to do some cooking for my dad. I usually make up 3-4 recipes and package them in smaller containers so that he can have some good homecooked food that he'd not normally make for himself. He's alone and in his 80s so cooking is not really fun for him. I'll also make a larger meal since my brother and sister-in-law are coming into town with my little nephew and it will be a help to all of them to have a full meal fixed for them.

So tomorrow I'll take DH to bring his car in (needs oil change and inspection) and then head out to finish shopping for the littles. I then have an appointment with my breast surgeon (everything is OK - but I had a severe case of mastitis almost 6 years ago and it damaged some ducts and a lymph node so he's staying on top of that regularly just in case...) and then it looks like I'm seeing the dentist. I hate the dentist. But I haven't been in so long and I have a tooth with a big chunk taken out of it for some reason. I made an appointment for my 16 year old but she's going to be working so I guess it's mine now. :( We'll see how it goes.

Well, if I don't "see" all of you, have a wonderful Christmas! May God bless your family and your time together as you celebrate His birth.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great Book Giveaway!

I'm SO in on this one!! Kingdom People is giving away a set of 10 great books as well as an ESV Study Bible (which my hubby got for Christmas but I'd LOVE one of my own!!). Check it out!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh the (not always) joyful busyness of the season

I always say things will be better next year but they never are. LOL MAN this holiday is crazy! I had a LOT of work this weekend thanks to the play at church. Yesterday I was at church for 8 hours split into 2 different times (came home for that short time to post yesterday). Today I'm trying to work on finishing up school for the week so we can be done by Friday but the kids are just not cooperating. They both are singing Christmas songs right now. LOL I still need to finish my cards, finish shopping, make 3 batches of my Christmas jam, wrap stuff for our staff Christmas party on Thursday, clean the house and set up Christmas at home! We have NOTHING set up yet! I'm hoping to knock that off my list by Wednesday. I can't go to a Christmas party that DH and I were supposed to go to tonight because of no one to watch the kids, and I"m not going to the Woman's Bible Study brunch tomorrow (DH leads worship for them) because I NEED to get school done. SIGH.

K - I think I need to set some realistic goals so I think this week, I will concentrate on:

Finishing school
making jam
getting the packages mailed out that need to go
finishing the cards

I'll have the girls set up the tree and decorate over the next few days so I don't have to worry about that. :) That might help a lot.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sorry I haven't posted - life is busy!!

This week was so busy and this weekend continues to follow the trend. Today I had to be up at church early to work at the "Welcome Center" (where people can come and get info on the church and it's events) and that took me through 2 services (I DID attend one of them however). :) I ended up staying out in the lobby later than I was planning to and couldn't run the projector today because we had a dear lady walk smack dab into the sidelight of the door thinking it was an open door. Poor thing hit hard and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. :( She's over at the hospital now in capable hands. My prayers are with her.

Now I'm home for an hour and just had lunch - then will be heading back up to church for 3:15 for Welcome Center duty again for the last of the plays. Maybe I'll even get a chance to see it tonight!!

So I'm off to peel and chop some veggies to put in the oven on time bake so the roasted veggies will be almost done when we get home. I'll then toss a pork tenderloin in the pan for the last 30 minutes so we can have a nice hot dinner.

I'll try to post a bit more this week. :) Well, that's my plan....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The body - what an amazing piece of artwork handcrafted by God

Wowza is all I can say. I know that the Bodies Exhibit would be too much for some but it was SOOOOO cool to me! Nicole and I walked through so slowly that we got way behind her class. But what an amazing piece of equipment we live in people! To see the circulatory system of the entire body - a REAL circulatory system - AMAZING. The nervous system and brain? GENIUS!!!

What REALLY had us floored was the room with the babies. Babies from 5 weeks (based on 40 weeks so only 3 weeks gestation) to a full term baby. HOW can anyone say that babies are just blobs of tissue??? We saw a baby with spina bifida along with other birth defects and conjoined twins. We saw a baby in the mother's womb - in the mother's whole body. Wow is all I can say.

How anyone can come out of that exhibit and say that we just "happened" or we were formed by "chance" are idiot - or so deeply deceived. All I could say coming out of that exhibit was "Praise God!! You are awesome!!"

Now I want to go back and spend more time. We only had about an hour and a half. I'd want to spend a day seeing it. If you EVER can get to see one of these, GO. You won't regret it.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I'm tired. Don't know why. Could it be the early mornings and late nights over the weekend? Could it be that I'm fighting something? Could it be that I had to try to get a 1500 lb. horse to trot tonight in the freezing cold even though he REALLY didn't feel like it?? Maybe it's a combination of all of it. :D

Tomorrow I'm going with my 16 year old on a field trip! We're going to see the Bodies Exhibit in NYC with her health teacher. I'm SOOOO excited. I'm a geek when it comes to stuff like this - I think that the human body is beyond cool! It's worked out well because my college student doesn't have classes tomorrow (it's a make-up day for emergency closings and we've not had any so .... no school!) so she can watch the littles. I'm going to get to bed early tonight so I have enough time to get ready in the morning then go to NYC!! Woo-hoo!! I'll let you all know how it goes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


We're having our first snow. FINALLY! But this is the earliest we've had measurable snow here on Long Island in a long time. I'm so excited to see how the kids respond in the morning. :D We'll be at church from around 8:30 to 1:30 so they won't be able to play in it right away but they can play afterwards - because it's going to stay cold for a few days. :D How fun!!!

What perfect timing too. Tomorrow afternoon is our first of 4 Christmas plays at our church. They're always spectatcular programs and I can't wait to see it. I'm not sure if I'm going to go tomorrow or not - because I'm working the "Welcome Center" for the last 2 plays and the 2nd play is the dinner theater that we don't go to. If I can go in for one of the plays next week, then I'll just stay home tomorrow. So we'll see what happens.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wanna see part of my church worship?

My hubby is the worship pastor at our church. He introduced a new song this week - Cannons by Phil Wickham. It's a wonderful song and one that the congregation will begin singing probably this week. We also have a group at our church called "DOZ" or "Daughter's of Zion". They are young girls under 19 years old who dance, use tambourines and streamers/flags/etc. in worship. They don't worship every week with the worship team but numerous times throughout the year. They worshipped Thanksgiving Eve and then 3 of the girls danced this past Sunday to the new song. This was done during the offering time which is a "special music" time - not a normal time for the congregation to sing along in worship but DH had them join in towards the end on the chorus. So, that's the introduction. Here's the video. Oh - one of the girls - the tall blonde - has a broken hand and a bright purple cast on it. She put an ace bandage on it so you can't see it but a few times I noticed she had a hard time with the streamer fan. :) The lyrics are below.

Cannons by Phil Wickham

It’s falling from the clouds
A strange and lovely sound
I hear it in the thunder and rain
It’s ringing in the skies
Like cannons in the night
The music of the universe plays

Singing, You are holy, great and mighty
The moon and the stars declare who You are
I’m so unworthy, but still You love me
Forever my heart will sing of how great You are

Beautiful and free
The song of galaxies
Reaching far beyond the Milky Way
Let’s join in with the sound
Come on let’s sing it out
As the music of the universe plays

All glory, honor, power is Yours, Amen
All glory, honor, power is Yours, Amen
All glory, honor, power is Yours, forever Amen

Friday, November 28, 2008

Williamsburg Inn Turkey Soup

Here's the soup I'm making with the carcass this week. I already made up my stock and it's in the fridge. Looks like we'll have this on Sunday. It's SOOOO yummy and everyone in the family loves it. I hope you enjoy it too!

Williamsburg Inn Turkey Soup
1 turkey carcass
4 quarts water
3 large onions, chopped fine
3 stalks celery, chopped fine
2 large carrots, chopped fine
½ cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 pint half and half
3 cups diced cooked turkey
½ tsp. poultry seasoning if desired
1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
In large kettle, cook turkey carcass with water to make 3 quarts stock. (I cook it with carrots, onions, celery and garlic with peppercorns and thyme). Strain stock, set aside. In saucepan, combine onions, celery, carrots, rice and 1 qt. of the stock. Cook for 20 minutes; set aside. In a large soup kettle, melt butter. Blend in flour and heat until bubbly. Add half and half and remaining 2 qts. Stock to butter/flour mixture gradually; cook and stir until bubbly. Stir in the reserved vegetable mixture, turkey and seasonings to taste. Heat slowly to serving temperature. Yield: 4-4 ½ quarts. (this soup freezes well)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!!

I just want to wish everyone a very blessed Thanksgiving. Let's not ever forget the greatest gift we have ever been given - even more than a country where we can worship God freely - the gift of eternal life and a chance to be a child of the Most High. What an amazing privilege.

Last night, we had our Thanksgiving Eve service and I honestly think it was the best we've ever had. Worship was incredible and the testimonies - well, let's just say that God was so glorified by those testimonies. From the man who was electricuted 2 weeks ago and was able to get up in front of the congregation and praise the Lord that he's here to the mom with her 2 young children who is now away from her abusive husband and safe (he's in prison for 20 years). We heard 2 of the Chinese students who we've been ministering to tell of how they came to this same service a year ago as athiests and this year they are covered by the blood of Jesus and living for Him.

A most amazing part of the service was at the end after we did our offering (which is always collected to split amongst our missionaries). The young mom with the 2 kids spoke of how she's so grateful to God that even though they struggle financially, He's blessed them with a home and a church family. Well, Pastor said that he's never done this before but he felt God's nudge to do this - that the mom and girls would stand in the front of the church and whoever wants to bless them with a financial gift, they can. EVERYONE went forward, hugged this family, prayed with them and gave them money. Understand that there were about 800 people there last night!! This poor woman has been afraid for her and her children's lives for years and now that her husband is in jail (for more than just the domestic violence), and now she's being blessed in such a concrete way. I gotta say, there was not one dry eye in the place. God moved. There's no question.

God is amazing. He's sovereign and the Most High God yet He touches His children with love, grace and mercy. He's interested in each of us and our lives- even the little parts of it. What an amazing privilege.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Why must I buy toys for my kids??

My 8 year old just came into the kitchen while I was cleaning. He had a laundry basket tied to his back. I told him "Put that away and help me to clean up!" to which he replied "But mom! I'm a turtle!!"

So why do I spend money on toys when string and a laundry basket seem to be the in thing today??

LOL - I love their imagination. :D

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Teen Friendships

So I have two teen daughters. My oldest is a freshman in college (still living at home) and the other is 16 and a junior in high school. My 16 year old has a friend that she met in preschool and they've been friends ever since. She goes to our church and her parents have worked for the church. Well, this girl is not always the kind of girl that I want my daughter to emulate but I've seen my daughter being strong and able to see the good and bad alike in others. So we've allowed the friendship to continue - although not too close that they're spending all their time together but they still have a connection.

Unfortunately, this weekend something happened and it's obvious that this other girl does not respect anyone but herself. They went away with the youth group and they roomed together with 2 other girls and my poor daughter, who worked just before and was going to be working right after the trip, couldn't get any sleep because the other girls were acting like 12 year olds. In the little time that my daughter DID sleep, they drew on her face and took pictures - putting them up online. My daughter saw the pictures and IMed her friend asking her to take them down and the "friend" refused saying that my daughter needed to lighten up. She then went on to say nasty things to my daughter about her and her father and I (she's never had good things to say about us). She finally at the end said she'd take the picture off of the internet - but she still hasn't done it a few days later. Other things have gone on (I've typed up a lot and deleted it because I don't really want to pass around gossip) and the bottom line is that my daughter's heart is broken because her "friend" has chosen her own pride and popularity over my daughter. 12 years of a friendship is down the tubes. Dad and I aren't sad over losing this friend necessarily but my heart hurts for her. After she came home from the trip and explained some of what went on to me, I encouraged her to find some better friends - friends who had an obvious relationship with the Lord who would encourage her and pray for her - sharpening her as Christian friends do. She never had that with this friend.


Raising teens is so rewarding and I have not had any of the terrible things happen that people kept warning me about but there's always going to be things out of our control. All we can do is pray that they would be wise in their dealings with others and surround themselves with wisdom rather than fools.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Gotta love my hubby!!!! Yeah he's a pastor but....

He can fix a furnace!!! Woo-hoo!!! We have a large OLD gas furnace. I noticed the last time it got cold that our bedroom was FREEZING and since it ended up warming up, we didn't do anything about it. Well, now it's back to the 40s with snow predicted tonight so it was time to check it out. While he's a pastor, he was an electrical/computer engineer in his former life so he started with his meter trying to figure out what was up. He's never dealt with a furnace before but he figured it was either the thermostat or the circulator pump since the furnace itself was working fine and 2 of the 3 zones worked. So last night he checked it out and figured it was the relay box that powers the pump. This morning he went out to get a new box ($75) and took an hour and a half to install it and make sure it all worked. IT DID!! WE HAVE HEAT!! Woo-hoo!! That would have been hundreds of dollars if we needed to call in the plumber and instead it just cost us $75. Thank you Lord that he was able to do this. :)

So we're set for now. We're praying the furnace makes it through another winter. We were told 8 years ago that it would break any day now. LOL

But BOY did it get cold fast! Saturday was in the mid 60s and today it's in the mid 40s. It should get even colder this week too. Brrrr!! Winter's coming on fast!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A new "Challenge" Recipe

Well, I tried another new recipe that I cut out. It was wonderful because it's a soup in the crockpot AND it had plenty of meat and filling stuff so DH would consider it dinner. Whew!! It was rated a 9.9 by the family because I made the meatballs too big. Next time I'll be sure to make them tiny so that you can eat them easily on the spoon. :)

Italian Wedding Soup
from Family Circle 11/1/08

1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp. plain bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. + 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp + 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp + 1/4 tsp black pepper
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
3 large carrots, chopped
1 small head escarole (8oz.) washed, trimmed and cut into 1/2" strips
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/4 cups acini di pepe pasta

1) In a large bowl, stir together egg, beef, onion, bread crumbs, 1 Tbsp. Parmesan, 1 Tbsp. barsley and 1/4 tsp. each of the salt and pepper. Form into 1" meatballs (about 45) and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate while preparing soup.

2) Combine broth, carrots, escarole and oregano in slow cooker. Gently add meatballs. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Stir in pasta for the last 20 minutes of cooking time. Stir in remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Sprinkle each serving with remaining parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

UPDATE on the messy room

Well, nothing like peer pressure and the need for teens to hang together to be a motivator to clean a room. My 16 year old is a hard worker when she wants to be. Well, she wants to go out with her friends today and she knows that she's grounded until the room is clean. She still has a little more to go but here's where she stands as of first thing this morning (the right side is still my oldest's part of the room and knowing her, I highly doubt she can get it done in time).

Monday, November 10, 2008

Messiest teen girls' bedroom award

Do we win?? Do we win??
Oh - and that's mostly the better side - the other side on the right of the camera is worse. Don't know how my oldest even FINDS her bed. LOL

Needless to say mom's done. 8PM Saturday night I'm going in with trash bags. I'll clean it MY way. They have been warned - and grounded until then.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Christmas Cards

So I finally started looking for Christmas cards. I found a couple of nice ones at church but I need 4 boxes and they didn't have enough so I figured I'd look online. MAN!! The majority of cards are so WHIMPY!!! "May the wonder of the season light your way this Christmas" is NOT what I want to convey! The One who created the universe came here as a baby for one purpose - to redeem mankind - and we're remembering that amazing day. Can't we get something better than "Happy Holidays"????? I hate Christmas card shopping. I'm so picky. I found one that is OK but I'm not sure if I'll still get it or not....


The internet can be a very crazy world

I've really learned this over the last number of days. I'm just so glad I don't deal with this kind of stuff in real life because, MAN, it's crazy.

First off, a friend was very badly hurt by someone who she thought was a friend but turned out to be a stalking maniac. This poor lady has had to close her blog, remove her name from everywhere on the internet, and even remove a wonderful video of her children praising God. Now she's dealing with some in-real-life problems stemming from this stalker. Unbelievable.

Then I'm on another board - the "crunchy" board we call it around here. Well, apparently I'm being skewered and roasted for my stand on the Word of God against gay marriage and abortion. I feel like a lone dog being attacked by a pack of wolves. I'll never convince them there of the truth but maybe, just maybe, someone who is having their heart warmed by God will see His truth and begin seeking Him. But of course, I'm being judgmental and Jesus would be highly offended. Oh - these are all unbelievers who are telling me how Jesus would feel about me saying sin is sin (and those who know me know that I'm not doing it in a disrespectful or harsh way). I have to laugh because they don't even KNOW Jesus.

Then there's the complete opposite kind of place. In connection with the friend's issue, her stalker joined this place that posted about my friend and posted lies about her. I tried to join the forum so that I could contact someone and ask them to remove the comments. Well, I forgot I joined because I got a hold of them in another way and when I went back, the comments were removed and I just started looking around to see if there were any other comments. I noticed a harsh tone on this forum and made 3 posts myself - two speaking on repentance and one on a harsh comment against someone. Next time I went there, I was banned! LOL I didn't say anything contentious but I guess it was that I asked questions that they didn't like. I'm sure according to them I'm a heretic for whatever reason (I believe the Bible??) What's sad is that this forum is a place where people go from this one man's "church" and for those who listen to his messages online. This man leads not a church but a cult. If you don't believe exactly as they do, you are a heretic and going to hell. They say that they believe in "easy believism" which means that if you believe in Jesus, you are saved. You don't need to repent of your sins or do anything else. That's all well and good - and we know it is by grace that we're saved and not of ourselves - it's not a work - but they apparently don't understand the concept of repentance. Since Scripture tells us over and over again to repent (and Jesus mentions it 16 times in the Gospels), I think that it is an important ingredient in salvation. Is repentance what saves us? No. However when we are saved, it is because God has given us His grace and has drawn us to Him. Because of that, we are able to believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and follow Him. When we follow Jesus, we TURN from the way we were going and that is repentance. Turning towards Christ is to turn FROM our sins. But I was banned for saying that apparently. It's OK because, as I said, this is a cult. He believes that God is the King James Bible based on John 1:1. So he worships a book instead of the One who wrote it. He says that they went soul winning and had over 170 saved yet not one of those people ever get followed up on, not one ends up at their church. Instead he just knows that they're saved because they said a prayer. Too bad these will be the ones standing at the judgment seat saying "Jesus! But that pastor said if we said that prayer, we can get into heaven! I did that!! I didn't know I had to follow you too!!" Sad. Just sad.

So as I said, the internet can be a very crazy world. VERY crazy. There are some absolutely lovely, wonderful people I've met and I'm grateful for the internet that I can meat brothers and sisters in Christ from around the world. But in doing so, you certainly meet a number of weirdos. LOL

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ligon Dunkcan on Praying for President Elect Obama

This is very well worth reading - and I will be printing it out and putting it in my Bible. If any time our president needs prayer, it's now.

Ligon Duncan - Some Initial Thoughts on Praying for President-Elect Obama

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

God is sovereign

"...The God of Scripture is no make-believe monarch, no mere imaginary sovereign, but King of kings, and Lord of lords. 'I know that Thou canst do everything, and that no thought of Thine can be hindered.' (Job 42:2, margin), or, as another translator renders it, 'no purpose of Thine can be frustrated.' All that He has designed He does. All that He has decreed He performs. 'But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased' (Psa. 115:3); and why has He? Because 'there is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord' (Prov. 21:30)."

"The Attributes of God", by Arthur W. Pink


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

John Piper with some good words as we vote today

Well worth watching. Here in America all the talk is about the election. But what does the church need to understand at a time like this? John Piper answers this important question from a biblical perspective: "We don't live for politics," he insists, "we don't base our confidence about the future on whoever gets elected." Click below to watch the entire video.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Inequality of Possessions

There's a great post at Tim Challies' blog today on the idea of inequality of possessions. With the thought of Barak Obama possibly winning the election and promising to equalize wealth for the US citizens, there's some really wise words in his post.

Inequality of Possessions - Tim Challies

Friday, October 31, 2008

One of those days....

Ever have one of those days? Had one on Wednesday so I was happy to be home yesterday. Well, today is another one.

Calgon take me away!!!!!!

Every once-in-a-while, I wonder just why I had kids. LOL

I love them but want to run away from them right now.

Yet I get the joy of going to a harvest party tonight with too many kids along with my own.

I think this means I'm stopping at Starbucks on the way.

I already ate 3 Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Thank heavens for chocolate. :D

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Home sweet home

I have to say, life is busy. I try to be diligent with homeschooling but then life happens and it gets put on the side. Yesterday was such a day. Wednesdays are usually pretty quiet except that I have a new mom's group that I run at church from 1-3PM and then I work at church from 6:40 until around 9PM. So the rest of the day I'm able to do homeschooling and housework. But yesterday I had made an appointment for my son who's been coughing a lot - just like 2 others in our family did last week (DH and my littlest one) but this was not clearing up and getting worse if he exerted himself or went outside so I figured it was time to go in. I figured maybe post nasal drip but I was wrong. Totally wrong. DS has walking pneumonia. Wowza!! So he's now on Zithromax and an inhaler.

So after yesterday's busy day (doctor, barber, church, grocery store, drug store, home, high school, home, church, home), today I'm reveling in staying HOME! I canceled horseback riding because I'd need to take Robby with me and I just don't want him to get exerted any more and the air is pretty chilly AND he's allergic to the horses so I don't think that will help much. DH will be picking up my oldest from the train station and my second daughter will walk to work from school so I don't have to leave until possibly tonight. But that will be OK.

I love staying home. I much prefer to be home all day over doing most anything else. Yeah, after being home for 3 or 4 days, I like to get out but now with a college student, high school student, both of them working jobs, doing stuff at church and doing things with the littles as well as the 2 days of riding means that I have no day to just be home anymore. So I'm savoring today. I'm loving today. I'm thanking God that Robby is fine and getting better and that we all can just stay home.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In honor of Reformation Day - Reformation Study Bible for donation

The dear brothers and sisters at Ligioner Ministries has a great deal going on right now. For any donation to their ministry, they will send you a brand new leather bound ESV Reformation Study Bible. I have this Bible right here next to my computer and I really like it. It's my "home" Bible because it IS a bit big and when carrying a purse and all of the kids' stuff, it gets to be a lot but I've found the study notes to be solid and Biblical and I LOVE the English Standard Version. So head on over and give a donation and get yourself a new Bible. This would make a GREAT gift for someone or just for yourself.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Monday!

So, I turned on the heat and what happened? We had frost on Friday morning - it was FREEZING!!! I drove my high schooler to school so she wouldn't stand at the bus stop with a wet head. Saturday morning? 65 degrees. LOL So the heat hasn't been running since Friday although we're due to drop tomorrow and by Thursday, the high is going to be 48 degrees. That's pretty chilly. But we're ready now. :D

I just finally got DS's winter clothes out so he's all set. I put away all of the summer stuff, organized his winter stuff and I feel really good about that. All I need to do now is to check on winter boots and see if I need to buy any (probably not - we're usually good on this since I buy gender neutral colors for the big girls which then gives us lots for hand-me-downs for the littles. Oh!! I was so happy! I bought the big girls Patagonia fleece coats over the years and I just couldn't find them for the littles. I knew I had each size for them but they were all missing. Well, I found them last week so now the littles have great fall/early winter coats all set. These coats are amazing because they're so well made and very dense so that they're surprisingly warm and cozy. They don't look at all like they've been through 4 kids by the time Joanna is finished with them. I just passed the size 4 to a friend of ours and she was amazed at how good it looked. :) So while they were pricey (around $60 each), when you work it out, it's only $15 per child AND I can pass them on to another family. Not too shabby, huh??

So I worked out most of my menu for the week and I think this is it:

Monday - Crockpot pulled pork, rolls, cole slaw and carrot sticks
Tuesday - Roast beef quesadillas, salad
Wednesday - Cranberry, chicken and pear salad (we call this "good salad" - it's yummy
Thursday - Cranberry pork roast in the crockpot, rice, broccoli
Friday - Harvest Party at church - AND it's Robby's birthday!! He'll be 8!
Saturday - Family dinner for Robby - roast chicken, mashed potatoes, peas, salad, rolls
Sunday - Chicken soup, homemade bread, salad

We'll see how well I can stick to the menu. LOL

Oh - If anyone can tell me how to put the Organized Junkie "Menu Monday" thingie on my blog, I'd be forever grateful. :D

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One vote

Well worth taking 4 minutes to watch

click here

I crumbled ....

The heat is on. It was 56 in the house this morning when I got up. When the car was warmer this morning than the house, then it's time to turn it on. I pushed it to 64 but then turned it back down to 62. It's comfortable.

Whew. Thank God for furnaces!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kicking and screaming but I think I have to give in

OK - I admit it - I'm COOOOLLLLLDDDDD!!!!!! Today is 50 degrees outside and my house is 59 right now. I'm freezing. I wanted to hold off until next week before I turn on the heat but I think I'm going to have to fold. My nose is froze, my toes are froze, my ears are froze... (think 101 Dalmations). My fingers aren't even working properly! I went to church before and it's so nice and toasty there. LOL

So I think I just may fold and turn on the furnace. Maybe I'll start the pilot light this afternoon.

OH! Yesterday the house was freezing too and I decided to make a huge pot of stew for dinner and have my dad over. It's one of our new favorite recipes because it has such a great flavor from the balsamic vinegar! Try it out!

Beef Barley Stew
From Allrecipes

1 lb. Beef stew meat, cut into ½” pieces
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Salt
¾ tsp. Dried thyme
¼ tsp. Pepper
1/3 cup uncooked medium pearl barley
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold water
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
minced fresh parsley

1. In a dutch oven, cook beef in oil until meat is no longer pink. Add the carrots, onion, celery and garlic; cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, stewed tomatoes, water, wine, broth, bay leaves, salt, thyme and pepper.
2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add barley; cover and simmer 45 minutes longer or until barley and meat are tender.
Combine flour and cold water until smooth. Gradually stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Discard bay leaves. Stir in balsamic vinegar just before serving. Sprinkle each serving with parsley if desired.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Ten good things about the economic crisis

Check out Lydia's blog at

The Purple Cellar

I thought this was good. :)

Sickie Sunday

Well, it seems that the fall colds have hit our house. DH wasn't feeling well last night (went to bed early and felt lousy) and I think he'll end up at the doctor's tomorrow with a possible bronchitis. That's not good because of his severe asthma so he's back on his inhaler. Oh - and today is his birthday. :(

But this morning, he got up and got himself ready for church after I had told the woman who is kind of the "producer" of the Sunday service (bad term but she makes sure the lights are being done right, runs the projector in the first service and generally makes sure that the service runs smoothly - she does this all at the behest of the senior pastor) that Bob is not sure what he's doing this morning. Fortunately there's another worship team playing today and he had no other responsibilities so if he had to stay home, today would have been the day to do it. But he got up, showered and made it for the first service. I had taken the teens up earlier since their DOZ worship team is dancing in the service and they have to be there at 8 for a 9AM service start.

So now it was me and the littles home. DS got up early as he usually does and I hopped in the shower. Usually DD gets up a little later - she's not as much of an early bird as DS but at 9:45, I finally went in to wake her up since we need to leave at 10:15 or so. She had a hard time waking up but that's OK. But then she coughed. Croup. Great. Suddenly the phone rang and it just happened to be DH calling to ask if I could bring him a granola bar or something - but I told him that I think I'll just keep the kids home. I know DD just has a cold but she's run down (you can see it in her face) and there's no reason to get everyone else sick if I don't need to. So he'll tell the service "producer" that I can't make it in today to run the projector for the second service. That means I lose 2 hours of work time this week but that's OK. We'll just take it easy, I'll do my own Bible study this morning and I'll do a little lesson with the kids in a little while.

Gotta love kids. They make sure that the best laid plans get creamed every once-in-a-while. LOL

Saturday, October 18, 2008

2 Driving teens????

Oh heavens - help us. My second daughter drove for the first time today. SHUDDER She did really well, though but it's still SOOO scary to allow a child to drive a 2,000+ lb. machine that can kill someone or atleast take a lot of your money away from you. LOL My oldest has her license but she's not driving on her own just yet because she's not ready. Now my second has started and I'm back in the passenger seat with my heart in my throat. Honestly? Give me a house full of 2 year olds. I've mastered that age - been through it 4 times. That's easy. Teaching your kid to drive? NOT!!! LOL

Oh and guess what my 16 year old got up today (at 10:30) and suddenly screamed? "OH NO!!! THE PSAT!!!!!" Yep - she forgot that it was at 8AM this morning. This was her only opportunity to take it. SIGH Now we have to figure out what to do. I think there's a way to write to the College Board and do something else to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship contest. "Ya know, hon. THAT is why we have a CALENDAR!!"

Oh, life is never dull.

Finally, tomorrow is my DH's birthday! Happy Birthday sweetheart!! I love you SOOO much!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Icky migraine today but a great recipe!! LOL

OK - So a front is coming through, AF is visiting and I probably didn't drink enough water yesterday. So all that equals waking up with a migraine today. I'm going to take it easy and probably even cancel my riding today (even though Whirl was SO good on Tuesday and I'd hate for him to miss another training session - oh well) since my balance and vision are off. :( Thank God for crockpots because I had planned a pot roast for dinner tonight anyway so dinner is in the pot cooking away. No need to worry about it later. I just will peel some potatoes and make mashed potatoes and use one of those great SteamFresh veggies that just nuke up really fast. :)

OK - So my challenge last week (or was it the week before?? Don't remember) was to try a new recipe this week. Since then I tried 3 new recipes and here's the verdict:

Beef Burgundy
- not bad, not the best. Won't make it again
Poulet d'Artichoke - yummy casserole, easy to make, little ones didn't like it
Caramel Apple Pork Chops - absolutely scrumptious and I'm SOOOO glad that I tripled the sauce ingredients. I had a lot of pork chops (8 pieces) and we loved the topping so much. I used fresh Cortland apples from the orchard and I need to get more of these so I can make the sauce to put over vanilla ice cream. It was like an apple pie filling on the chops! YUM!! So here's the recipe as I got it:

(from Allrecipes)
4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced
3 Tbsp. pecans (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Place a medium dish in the oven to warm.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done. Transfer to the warm dish, and keep warm in the preheated oven.
3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in the preheated oven.
4. Continue cooking sauce uncovered in skillet, until thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

OK - for what I ended up doing with the recipe:

I had bone-in pork chops so I just browned them in the pan with the oil and then put them in a 350 degree oven to finish cooking (about an additional 20 minutes).

I tripled the sauce recipe and used 5 large Cortland apples (although I ate the last quarter before I had gotten it sliced - those things are yummy!). I didn't put them over the chops until I was serving them. OH - and I totally forgot the pecans. I had bought them - but forgot to use them. LOL I'm sure that they would have been yummy with this. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"Christian" blogs

I've been surfing some blogs and websites today and I have to say that some of them saddened me greatly. Some are so filled with hate and outright sin that it shocks me that they can still post about their relationship with the Lord. In one, a woman was angry that someone else asked for a recipe because she'd most probably claim it as her own. So the woman purposely was trying to mislead the other woman - then finally when "forced" to give her recipe, she lied and left out a few key ingredients so this woman couldn't bring it to a gathering that they were both at and claim it as her own. This woman was gleeful that it turned out gross but then was angry because some of the women thought it was her own dish that she brought rather than this "wicked crone". (yes, that's a direct quote).

On another blog, there were some very hateful words against Clay Aiken who came "out" in a magazine that he is, in fact, gay. Yeah - that's no surprise for those of us who have watched him but this woman had never seen him - just his picture. She said basically that she could have told anyone he's gay just by looking at his picture. Hmmm - that's interesting. Now, Clay Aiken small and has finer features than say, Vin Diesel, but there are a lot of straight men with similar features. So she can tell that someone is living a sinful lifestyle by looking on the outward appearance in a photograph? Then she went on to say some very coarse things about him. Now I certainly don't condone homosexuality and have helped to counsel someone out of that lifestyle but calling them names is not going to help. Truth will but truth with grace. Truth with love. Truth like Jesus told the truth.

SIGH. What ever happened to the fruits of the Spirit? Love? Joy?? Peace?? Self-control?? Kindness?? I guess you don't need them when you don't feel like it.

I have a few verses to speak to this issue:

Philipians 2:3 "Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves."

James 3:13-18 "13Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace."

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And here it comes

I just realized the title of this blog post can apply to two things that are on my mind. The first being the economy and how it's affecting us and also the fall season coming on. :)

The economy - MAN, people are scared, aren't they? It seems that so many are seeing things in a way that they never did - especially in this area. I live in a pretty affluent place and most people drive big cars, live in big houses, have housekeepers and everything they want. Now they're complaining about how they have no money anymore. It's an interesting thing to watch.

We have lost money. Yeah, it's all on paper but even that is enough to make you get a tear in your eye thinking what that money would do if it was actually yours and you had it. LOL But instead, it's just numbers on a piece of paper right now. We can't touch it until years from now so I'm sure that we will be OK. What's tougher was the discussion that Pastor had with the staff this week. All discretionary spending is done at church right now. The next step if we find giving dropping off is that all staff will get a 10% cut in pay. That's gonna hurt us a bit. But I know we'll do OK. My oldest is now doing her work study AND working at the local grocery store so and the second daughter (16) is waiting to hear back about her job there too. So with both girls gainfully employed, they can now cover their own clothing, extras and parties rather than us having to pay for all of that. I'll still give them things here and there but it will be a huge burden to not have to clothe the two of them! LOL God will get us through. Even if we have to sell the house and move to a less expensive house, that's OK. We're willing to sell off the boat (which is completely paid for and we don't pay anything on it since it's my IL's Christmas gift to us each year - to pay for the boat expenses), and whatever else we need to in order to make it. But I have faith that God will provide what we need - and maybe a little of what we want too. We've been through tough times before and we'll do it again.

Then there's the season. It's fall here on Long Island and we just took down our large awning outside and started winterizing things. I'm cleaning out the basement so I can start hanging the clothes down there when we start up the furnace. It's a tiny basement with a big furnace so it runs around 85 degrees down there all winter long. Hanging a load of clothes means it's dry in 6-8 hours down there! Why not utilize the heat we have and dry clothes without the dryer??!! :) I'm going to shop around this week for firewood since we're low and I'm thinking it's going to be a tough winter (horses have their winter coats a full 2 months early this year and we've not seen that in about 12 years) and fires are wonderful when it's cold out. The place where we got fire wood last year is now running $239 a cord plus delivery and that's just sick. I'm not paying that kind of money for wood! So I need to check around and see what else I can find instead. But I think with everything else, we're set. Oh wait! I just realized I should check the kids' boot situation. Hmmm....

So it should prove to be an interesting fall/winter.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This week's plan:

Monday - Burgers on the grill, corn, potato salad
Tuesday - Beef Burgundy, wide egg noodles, salad (new recipe)
Wednesday - Cranberry, Pear and Chicken Salad, popovers
Thursday - Poulet D'Artichoke, rice, broccoli (trying new recipe that I saved from 2001)
Friday - Leftovers (have homeschool group til 4:30 and then small group at 7:30)
Saturday - Caramel Apple Pork Chops, steamed carrots, roasted potatoes (yet another new recipe!)
Sunday - Taco Soup in the crockpot, salad

OK - To give you an idea how my plans changed this past week, here's my last week's plan and the actual meals we ate:

Sunday - we ended up doing take-out - salad and burgers. YUM!
Monday - Wine-braised Italian Sausages and salad
Tuesday - Oven roasted pork tenderloin with herb sauce and roasted veggies
Wednesday - We'll be eating at the ILs
Thursday - Tacos, salad
Friday - Leftovers or Ravioli along with broccoli ended up eating out
Saturday - Cranberry Chicken Salad, bread was given sauce and meatballs on Friday so used that instead with spaghetti and salad
Sunday - Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy had Chinese instead

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Jesus" music - I'm so glad it's changed...

I just hope this doesn't get stuck in your mind like it has mine...

The Blessing of "Stepping In"

On Friday, we had our homeschool group and I was just kind of walking around talking to some of the moms and helping with any of the issues that come up on our first day. There was a wedding that was going to happen Saturday that one of our men was going to do some cooking for so he was in the kitchen preparing to make sauce for pasta and meatballs. I walked in to say "Hi" to him and he was trying to peel a ton of garlic but didn't know the "trick" of smacking it with the side of a knife to make it easy to peel. So I washed up, took a head of garlic and helped him to peel all of it and it only took a few minutes (would have taken him MUCH longer at the rate he was going not to mention now there were 2 working on it and not just one). We had a nice visit while doing this and I also helped him to cut up the herbs he was using and open the cans of tomatoes (4 cases of canned tomatoes!). Then I was called away so that's all I was able to help with.

When I came back later that evening, he had everything done and was cleaning up so while waiting for my daughter, I helped with that too. It was just natural to step in rather than standing and watching him do it all and I'd hope that if it were me, someone would help me too. Well, he told me he had something for me - a huge tray of meatballs and sauce! It was huge! I took it home, gave some to my dad for HIS dinner and we had a hearty spaghetti and meatball dinner last night - thanks to Mr. Kelly.

We shouldn't expect rewards when we help others - and I certainly was not expecting anything on Friday. I was doing it because I like it, I wanted to help and it gave he and I some time to chat. But the extra blessing of dinner was wonderful! But may I always be willing to step in where needed - not for the reward - but for the fact that there is a job that needs to be done and I was available to do it. May I always be be sensitive to where something needs to be done and not be so busy that I can't do it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Recipe Challenge

OK - I'm straightening up my "pile" in the kitchen (come on, admit it, you have one too) and I'm finding a bunch of recipes I've pulled out of magazines - or even the whole magazine with recipes marked! So I took the recipes and put them in my "to try" pile which is now getting to be a whole shelf in my cabinet. Uh-oh!! I think it's time to try some of these out.

So my challenge to myself and everyone here is to try a new recipe over the next week and atleast 3 over the month of October. I'd love for you to tell me the recipe then try it - and report back as to whether if it were good or not. If it's good, we must have the recipe too. :)

So, I'm going to try a beef burgundy from the Ladies Home Journal Family Favorites Cookbook (one of those little thin cookbooks they stuff in the plastic sleeve they ship the magazine in). It looks simple, hearty and oh, so yummy for fall! I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Letter to Sandi

Sandi's note to Candy:

I am depressed, but I am saved also. My trouble is my DH is saved but does not do what i s required from a husband. For 10 years he has been talking about doing everything for the lord, but his actions do not correlate with his words. The man is supposed to be the leader AND provider of his family. Yet, his job situation does not provide adequately for my family of six. The bills barely get paid, and my growing children are often hungry. We can't afford doctor or dental visits so I have to try to diagnose the children myself and make homemade cures if they are afflicted with something. I pray to be relieved of financial have the ability to feed,cloth,buy shoes,and take care of them medically without feeling I am "splurging" to cover their basic needs. Ten years is a LONG time to wait for my husband to provide this. He is talented in many areas and could get a steady job that would ease our money issues, but I am beginning to wonder if he is just too selfish. So, while sit and I pray for deliverance from my husband's apathetic interpretations of his christian duties I am making a sparse lunch for my 4 children as he is eating out at Taco Bell. Depressed? YES!

Dear Sandi -

I am so sorry that you are struggling right now and I can hear your frustration in your note. It is so difficult when circumstances seem so difficult and we are at the end of our ropes to figure out how to get out of the hole we're in. But there is one thing I want to let you know that may be of help to you. You cannot change your husband. Whether he's the most amazing man or the poorest of wretches, there is nothing YOU can do to make him a better husband, father or man of God. Not one Scripture tells us to do anything to make another person better - all we can do is deal with ourselves and our own hearts in the matter. So here's my advice to you:

1) Pray. There are a number of issues to pray for that I see in your note. One is that God would speak to your own heart and help you to find joy in all of your circumstances. Read Philippians 4:11-13 which reads "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. " Remember that Paul had gone though some extreme life circumstances yet still chose to be content. It's a hard thing when we are pressed on all sides but when you find your joy in the Lord through whatever may come, I think you will find that your responses to the hardship will be very different. In addition, you are teaching your children the same lesson because they learn from example before they can ever learn from words.

Secondly pray for your husband. I do not know your husband and all I can get from your note is one side. I do not know the struggles he has or his heart in this matter but that's OK. God does. Pray for him for wisdom, for clarity, for a heart that is given over completely to the Lord. Pray that he would have other men in his life to feed into him who can sharpen him in his walk with the Lord. I know nothing of being a man or being the head of a home but I can safely say that it must be a very difficult position to be in. Not all men are wise in their leading but there's nothing we can do to change that - other than beseech their Creator. He can do great things when we step out of the way and allow Him free access to our husbands.

Lastly, pray for your circumstances. Pray that God would allow you to be able to provide for your family with the resources you have. Pray that God would bless your work as a wife and would multiply your food and your resources like He mulitiplied the oil of the widow to be able to feed your family and to keep them healthy.

2) Spend time in the Word. Make sure that YOU are seeking the Lord in all that you do and that you are seeking His voice each day. My recommendation to you would be to read Philippians for the entire month of October - it's an amazing book of Scripture that deals with much of what you're going through. Meditate on God's Word. Memorize portions of Scripture so that you can hide it in your heart and play those words over and over again rather than the words in your head saying "If only...."

3) Take your focus off of your husband and your circumstances and keep them on the Lord. Don't look at others thinking "Well they have ..." or comparing yourself to others. I know it's hard but when you do this, you are looking at worldly measures and not the absolute measures of God. Prosperity and success are not in this world - nor is our comfort.

4) Practical stuff:

a) Sit down and figure out the budget with your DH if he's willing. See what you absolutely have to spend and stay within the budget. Of course this is depending on your husband and if he chooses not to do this, you need to abide by that. But understand your finances and work within them.

b) Learn skills to save money on your groceries, clothing and medical. I'm sure you're already doing this but step it up a notch if you need to. I don't know if you've got $20 to spend on groceries a week or $200 but learn how to save as best you can. Yeah, you might have very little and maybe not even enough to spend on food for your family. I know women who literally haven't had a penny to spend on food. Look to help from your church and other local churches in the area and, if necessary, look to something like foodstamps for a time. I'm not one to be big on government hand-outs but they're there for a reason and we've paid into them. If you absolutely have nothing on your table for your family, then look into it. Just a warning though. If you do get the government involved, they will make you get a job outside the home and that may not be what you or your husband wants you to do. So the foodstamps is an absolute last resort, IMO.
For clothing, befriend people and ask them for hand-me-downs. "Oh I love what Johnny wears - he always looks so nice. If you ever have any clothes that he's outgrown, I'd be more than happy to give them a new home." is not a terrible thing to do (I've done it myself). If you can afford it, shop cheap. If you can't afford anything, you'll need to do your best to find very inexpensive or free clothing. Garage sales and the Salvation Army are good places to find inexpensive clothes. I've also heard of many women being happy to ship a box of clothes to someone they know online when the request comes in on a board or though a blog. Sometimes we need to get creative.
Look into possible state insurance. I know New York State has something called Child Health Plus and it's an insurance through the state that provides insurance to the uninsured. It is VERY cost effective and covers not only medical but vision and dental. It's very generous in it's guidelines so that it's free to many people and even when there IS a portion that you have to pay, it's VERY little (like $5-50 a month) with a per-family cap. See if your state has anything like that.

I do pray for you, dear sister Sandi. You are at a place of pain right now but part of that pain is your own heart view of your circumstances. Seek the Lord - call on Him while He is near. Do not let your heart be troubled. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. He is faithful and will supply all your needs - your true needs in this life. If you do happen to read this, I would really love for you to get a hold of me. I'd love to be able to speak to you and pray for you knowing a bit more of who you are. But if not, God knows you and can still answer my prayers. We serve an awesome God.

Love, your sister in Christ,

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Joining in the Menu Madness

I know I'm late - we're already 3 meals into the week but I'll still try. LOL

My menu for this week:

Sunday - we ended up doing take-out - salad and burgers. YUM!
Monday - Wine-braised Italian Sausages and salad
Tuesday - Oven roasted pork tenderloin with herb sauce and roasted veggies
Wednesday - We'll be eating at the ILs
Thursday - Tacos, salad
Friday - Leftovers or Ravioli along with broccoli
Saturday - Cranberry Chicken Salad, bread
Sunday - Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy

Matthew 18, blogging style

Well, I'd rather not post this post but I feel I must. It's been a situation going on for a couple of days and thanks to new developments, this is the only way I have left to finish out the conflict.

Candy is a blogger that many women follow. She has had some good things to say and some not so good things, IMO. I've been mostly reading her blog posts which in and of themselves seem OK but recently I've been reading her comments section too. I wish I had been following them all along.

Recently Candy wrote a post about depression and a reader of hers wrote a cry of help to her. This is the post:

I am depressed, but I am saved also. My trouble is my DH is saved but does not do what i s required from a husband. For 10 years he has been talking about doing everything for the lord, but his actions do not correlate with his words. The man is supposed to be the leader AND provider of his family. Yet, his job situation does not provide adequately for my family of six. The bills barely get paid, and my growing children are often hungry. We can't afford doctor or dental visits so I have to try to diagnose the children myself and make homemade cures if they are afflicted with something. I pray to be relieved of financial have the ability to feed,cloth,buy shoes,and take care of them medically without feeling I am "splurging" to cover their basic needs. Ten years is a LONG time to wait for my husband to provide this. He is talented in many areas and could get a steady job that would ease our money issues, but I am beginning to wonder if he is just too selfish. So, while sit and I pray for deliverance from my husband's apathetic interpretations of his christian duties I am making a sparse lunch for my 4 children as he is eating out at Taco Bell. Depressed? YES!

This poor woman (and if anyone knows how I can get in touch with her, I'd love to be able to give her some counsel. My heart goes out to her and her situation...) came to Candy, a woman who has become a teacher and mentor online, to speak of her experiences. Is her focus wrong? Yes. It is. But this woman needs to be taught what God wants of her, how leaving her husband in God's hands is what He desires and she needs one-on-one mentoring, atleast for a a time. So what was Candy's response?

Oh Sandi, your poor, poor husband. Is this how you treat him? You shouldn't talk down on him to other people. Proverbs 31:26 says that "she openeth her mouth in kindness."

Your words were not kind towards your husband, they were those of the contentious, or odious woman.

Proverbs 31:11-12:

" 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."

You are not doing your husband good this way, and speaking and thinking of your husband this way does not allow his heart to trust in you.

Sandi, you are spoiled. You have a roof over your head. You have food in your pantry, you have clothes on your back. There are ladies your age in other countries that live in a one-room house, with a dirt floor. They don't have any of the conveniences you do.

You can't buy much food? Then buy better food. A pound of black beans costs around a dollar. A pound of lentils, split peas, and pintos are even cheaper.

Legumes mixed with brown rice is some of the most filling, delicious (if you cook it right) and healthy foods you and your children can eat.

10# of potatoes costs around 3 dollars. At stores like Aldi's you can get celery and carrots for just .99 cents.

If your situation is really dire, then visit a food bank for help. Your local church will help direct you to a food bank.

Don't have nice clothes for your children? Then visit Good Will, or sew some yourself.

You envy your husband for eating at Taco Bell? Poor man! Why aren't you packing healthy lunches for him to eat instead?

Can't afford dental and healthcare? Then pinch those pennies, and put your trust in God. Feed your children right, and you won't need a lot of dental and healthcare. One of my children recently came back from a dental checkup, and he had no cavities. In fact, none of my children have EVER had any cavities, and I plan on keeping it that way.

I believe your husband is trying hard to be a good Christian, but his helpmeet (you) are letting him down. He may just be where God wants him to be right now. Maybe the situation will become more dire before it gets better. Maybe there is a lesson here for YOU to learn - not him.

Wow. Talk about giving advice with a baseball bat! Yes, I've been trained in Nouthetic Counseling which is a counseling that is not like the world's "I'm OK, you're OK" kind of stuff but it tells a counselee what they NEED to hear in order to get through their situation. But this advice that Candy gave is harsh, unBiblical and does not show forth ANY fruits of the Spirit. "Contentious, odious, spoiled" are terms that she is using to label this woman (yes, that's called name-calling in most circles". She knows nothing of what this woman has written and rather than getting into this woman's life and being a woman as Titus 2 says - one who teaches the younger women to love their husbands. Or even saying "Honey - I'm sorry I don't have time to help you through this but I think your focus might have been taken off of God and put on your husband. I'd recommend you find someone close to you who can work through this with you. I'll be praying for you and your husband." would be more helpful than the cyber smack-down she gave instead.

Since I know of atleast one woman who was greatly hurt by her words, I felt led to speak to Candy as per Matthew 18. I don't have any other way to contact her other than by comments and I know they are moderated so she'd read it before it was posted. My comment to her was:

Candy, what you have written is not very helpful, IMO. Instead of constructive criticism, you attack a suffering woman. God does not call us to do this. Yes, we must speak the truth, but truth in LOVE. There is a way to speak the truth without tearing another person down and a way to do it that can damage a person beyond repair.

There are those readers who are in situations that are very much like Sandi's and what you have said is not helpful. I know someone who had $50 to buy food. $50 for 6 months for a family with growing children. Yeah, they had food - but they were subsisting on third world country food - rice or oatmeal for every meal. Cast off veggies from the market. Brown rice? That would be a luxury because brown rice is way more expensive than white. Beans? No longer an option because that $50 is long spent. Food pantries only give so much and when you don't even have oil left in the house, it makes it hard to cook anything. Oh - and don't forget that if they have no money for food, chances are they have no money for gas to get to the grocery store, food pantry or even to the government office for food stamps. No money means no money.

Medical care and dental care is not always dependent on "good food". I have 4 children and 2 have great teeth and 2 have terrible teeth. We've done it all - costing lots of money. We eat extremely healthy, they get regular dental care and yet we still have dealt with problems that, without insurance, would cost us thousands of dollars. My kids are extremely healthy but there are still times that we need to see a doctor for whatever reason and it has nothing to do with their diet. Besides, eating rice and oatmeal with cast-off veggies is not enough to be able to keep a healthy body. That's a fact. The lack of vitamins would be very drastic and can cause problems in and of itself.

I don't see this woman as being spoiled. I see her as being at a point where she is opening up about her struggle to a woman who has a lot of great information on the Bible and homemaking and she was looking for some Godly advice. But what she got was a slap in the face instead, IMO. Jesus made sure He spoke the truth but in a way that the person didn't feel slapped down and I think it's important to counsel the same way. "I see your struggle and I hear your frustration. Let's look at what YOU can do to help the situation since we can't do anything about your hubby." then go into what she can do including building her husband up, prayer and trying to work on HER heart to try to deal with her depression would have been much more appropriate than the attack on her. There is so much to say to this woman that could have helped her to improve her outlook on things and to give her more constructive information that what you gave.

Please realize the outreach you have at your site and use it wisely.

Proverbs 25:11-12 tells us "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear

I spoke to her as a sister in Christ and in a way that I'd like to be addressed if I were in the other position. The post was not posted but some others were, so I posted a comment asking if Candy had gotten my comment and she said she hadn't. Fortunately, I save copies of things like this so I reposted it. She still didn't post it and I had to ask her again about it. She finally posted:

Okay Ann - I got it. I dind't publish it, because what you said just isn't true. If you re-read what I wrote, I didn't attack her at all. As Tracy saw, I was offering tips to help her. I also did not once tear her down.

I honestly can say that this woman is either delusional or not telling the truth because the "tear down" is right in there clearly - in her own words. Not one of the things she said were encouraging, teaching, building up or anything. In response to this, I posted to her:

I'm sorry you cannot see the truth Candy. I know of a number of women who read that comment and were really hurt. Seriously hurt by what you said. Realize words are powerful. I'd just ask that you pray and seek the Lord in the manner that you use your words and see if they manifest the fruits of the Spirit. Calling her selfish and pitying her husband was not helpful at all. I'm afraid that you have damaged some women badly and God will call you accountable for that.

So, what is her response? She banned me from commenting on her blog. Instead of dealing with this in a Godly manner, she banned me and will no longer allow me to speak to her.

Matthew 18 reads: Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

I have gone to Candy in private. I have gone to Candy with others (another woman also addressed this with Candy - and I know others have) and now I am bringing it to the only "church" that I know of that we are both a party of - the online community. I know I have limited readers, and I don't know how many read Candy's blog, but I am going to follow Scripture none-the-less. I am bringing this before you and I am now going to treat Candy as a heathen - as the Strongs defines it "savouring of the nature of pagans, alien to the worship of the true God, heathenish".

Monday, September 29, 2008


Of course at this time of year, there's a lot of discussion on Halloween. I found a good article last year and had to search to find it this year. The link is (it's a PDF so if you're like me, you might want to know before it crashes your computer) here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

You know they've got cabin fever when....

You know they have cabin fever when they just about knock over the china cabinet! Yeah, 2 teenagers and 2 early elementary school aged kids can play together very nicely but when they've been inside for 3 days due to the rain, it's best to send them outside when the rain breaks. LOL I just chased the 4 of them outside so that the clean house can atleast stay clean for a LITTLE bit when DH comes home. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

In light of some things that I've been reading recently...

I've been seeing some pretty sad things recently - words that have hurt people. I just went to the Desiring God blog and saw this and really appreciated it. It's from Sinclair Ferguson. I think I may just need to print this out and put it over my kitchen sink.

During his message last night at the Desiring God Conference on the Power of Words, Sinclair Ferguson shared a list of 20 resolutions from the book of James for how to control the tongue.

1. I resolve to ask God for wisdom to speak out of a single-minded devotion to him. (1:5)

2. I resolve to boast only in the exultation I receive in Jesus Christ and also in the humiliation I receive for Jesus Christ. (1:9-10)

3. I resolve to set a watch over my mouth. (1:13)

4. I resolve to be constantly quick to hear and slow to speak. (1:19)

5. I resolve to learn the gospel way of speaking to both rich and poor. (2:1-4)

6. I resolve to speak in the present consciousness of my final judgment. (2:12)

7. I resolve never to stand on anyone’s face with the words I employ. (2:16)

8. I resolve never to claim as reality in my life what I do not truly experience. (3:14)

9. I resolve to resist quarrelsome words as evidence of a bad heart that needs to be mortified. (4:1)

10. I resolve never to speak decided evil against another out of a heart of antagonism. (4:11)

11. I resolve never to boast in anything but what I will accomplish. (4:13)

12. I resolve to speak as one subject to the providences of God. (4:15)

13. I resolve never to grumble. The judge is at the door. (5:9)

14. I resolve never to allow anything but total integrity in everything I say. (5:12)

15. I resolve to speak to God in prayer whenever I suffer. (5:13)

16. I resolve to sing praises to God whenever I’m cheerful. (5:14)

17. I resolve to ask for the prayers of others when I’m in need. (5:14)

18. I resolve to confess it whenever I have failed. (5:15)

19. I resolve to pray with others for one another whenever I am together with them. (5:15)

20. I resolve to speak words of restoration when I see another wander. (5:19)

From Desiring God blog

Life without hubby for the weekend

So DH is away on the men's retreat from church. He left later yesterday morning and will be back by dinner time tomorrow night. I love my hubby and love when he's around but there's something...I don't know...more low key when he's not home? I'm not worried about what he's doing or what he needs - I can focus on the kids and the house and let some things go. :) So today is cleaning day since it's raining and icky out and tonight's dinner is simple. I'm going to go out later and get a video for the kids and I to watch (probably Star Wars - the original one - since my college student daughter has that as an assignment for a class) and some ice cream to munch. Tomorrow will be church and afterwards, we'll do some more straightening up to be sure that everything is nice for when DH comes home. To come home from a men's retreat where he's working for much of the weekend (worship pastors work on retreats - LOL) to a clean house, happy kids and a nice dinner on the table is the best way for me to bless him right now. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm so bad at blogging

Seriously - I never know what to type. LOL

Well, my oldest has settled in well at college and is even getting used to the commute. My second daughter is sick for the first time this year. May this not be a foreshadowing of what's to come. Last year she was out a LOT. Homeschooling is getting settled in and we're getting into the swing of things. It's September and the boat should be out of the water (well, it's not coming out of the water this year but it will go to the dock for the winter) the weekend of Halloween or the next one (not sure which). DH is out racing right now in the Commodore's Cup with sonny-boy (the almost 8 year old). I hope they do well but looking at the trees, I'm not sure they're able to race without any wind.

I'm so excited because hubby said that November will be "fix this dump" month!! That means we can get some things done around here. I want to paint and redecorate the den (get new flooring and change out the wall art), declutter and do a deep cleaning. I need to get things done for winter soon - order more firewood, get the chimney cleaned, take out the air conditioner from the living room and clean out the garage so we can finally fit DH's car in there again. I'd LOVE to get rid of about 1/2 the stuff we own because it's just overwhelming here. We have way too much stuff. We're so blessed and I don't feel like we're being good stewards of things at this point. SIGH

Oh - I started a new mom's group at church again. I had started one about 3 years ago and it was great and now seemed about time to get a new one going again. It's time for the moms of babies under a year to get together and support each other - and maybe get some ideas of things that can help them through their struggles. I also find I can use it to catch the bad ideas that might be roaming around - like the hyper scheduling that one mama had done (ummm - baby is crying at 2 hours because he's going through a growth spurt and by MAKING him wait for 3.5 hours means that you're not meeting his actual physical needs). I have 4 mamas so far and I know there are a few others who want to come but haven't been able to make it yet. I remember those early months with my firstborn and a group like this would have been a great blessing. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The short but eventful life of Ike - in pictures

These are AMAZING photos. They're big but oh-so worth it.

My prayers are with all of those who's lives have been touched by Ike.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In rememberance 9/11/01

I just want to take this post to remember all of those who lost their lives 7 years ago today. Living within an hour of Ground Zero gave us a different perspective that fateful day and I still remember the fear we had not knowing what was happening in our world. My thoughts are with the families of all of the victims and those who survived the attacks. I'm teaching my children what happened since Robby was only 11 months and Joanna wasn't even born yet. My older girls remember all too well what happened. That was a day when many of us lost our innocence to terror.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Blog on Sarah Palin

Here's a blog that I read and agree with pretty much most of the time. :) He's got some good words on the VP candidate.

Tim Challies

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Need a new bag?

OK - I'm a bag freak. I LOVE new bags. I'm a sucker for a cute one. :)

So go on over to to enter a great contest for a new bag! Ooh yea!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Update and my thoughts on our trip

OK - so DH's leg is healing nicely. It was SO hard to keep him down this weekend. The doctor told him to keep his leg elevated and to lay low until he saw him again and DH was going CRAZY. He was antsy about sitting at home and really wanted to go out to the boat to "rest" but I knew if he went out, he'd want to take the boat somewhere - and that is not keeping his leg elevated and laying low. He saw both the doctor and surgeon yesterday and had the drain removed and both said he's doing great. He sees the doctor again on Friday and the surgeon next week to get the "all clear" but atleast he's no longer restricted on activity. So DH is no longer cranky. LOL

Lauren did well with school and dealing with the train/bus. It's a bit of a pain because the train and bus schedule don't work out really well so she's having to take the 6:51 train in the morning to catch the 7:46 bus to get to the campus. The next bus after that is 9AM which is when her first class starts 4 days a week so she's having to get to school an hour early. It's not terrible once school is underway because I told her that this way she can get a bite to eat and do some schoolwork. What was NOT good today was doing all of this transportation - and getting to her ONE class that she has today and having a professor walk in at 9:10 to say that the professor of that class can't make it today and class is canceled. Yeah - we're going to have to see if she can have the professor e-mail her if he's not going to show on the day she only has that one class.

So, while on our boat trip, we had an experience that made me think some things through and wanted to blog on it. We went to Mystic Seaport over the last weekend and we met up with some others that we know from our yacht club the second day we were there. We all tied up to the same dock so Bob and I and the two girls went and helped them all pull in and tie up - 3 boats in all. 1 of the boats was the same as ours and the owners are pretty experienced as are their children so they were easy to put in but the other 2 couples are newer to boating/cruising. We got the one boat in while the other boat putted around waiting for everyone to help and when we got them in, the husband said to me "Thanks SO much for your help. My wife knows NOTHING about any of this and has no desire to learn so it's hard to do it by myself."

I thought about what he said for the rest of the day and though about our last 17 years of boating. I had no idea anything about boating before we got our first boat in 1991 but I learned pretty quickly because my husband needed help if this was going to work. He has learned to do a lot of things on his own because he likes to take the boat out by himself, but with our help, he's able to do a lot more and have an easier time of it. If I had never learned to do things on the boat and do them well, quickly and without thought, his job would be MUCH tougher and it would possibly even put us and the boat in danger at times.

I realized that this translates to a marriage relationship really well. How many women just don't want to learn to be a helper to their husband because it's beneath them or it's just not what they want to do? How much does that limit what our own husbands can do in their own God given roles and jobs? If I didn't learn to be careful with money, would my husband have to give up the ministry because he can't support us? If I didn't learn to cook and keep home, would he be able to focus on God's calling for him? I can see that it would not only be limiting and/or damaging to the husband but the whole family as well!

Even in the same way, it can apply to husbands. If a husband does not want to learn a skill to get a good job, how limiting is that to his family? Is he crippling his children in seeing a father who is motivated, hardworking and diligent? Is he causing his wife to struggle with fear and trusting the Lord?

I can see that by learning all we can about our jobs and roles, then we not only are blessed by being in the will of God but we also bless our spouse and family in being able to go farther than we ever could without that knowledge. This makes me want to do some MORE learning on becoming a woman who has a heart for the Lord and her family. To learn to be more careful with my time and my money. To learn to be a Titus 2 woman and to find more wisdom in the Word that I can pass on to other younger moms and wives.

Learning to tie a rope may be a small thing but in being able to secure a boat quickly and easily so as to bring the family into port safely is much bigger than you think. Cleaning the bathroom may be a small thing but having a haven for our children and our husbands is much bigger than we think.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Sorry I've been MIA. Many of you know we were away on vacation on the boat and we had a wonderful time. We went to Connecticut and Rhode Island and got to see some great sites including the battleship Massachusetts, Mystic Seaport and Block Island, RI. The only problem is that we came home with DH having a massive infection in his leg and so we've been dealing with that for the last few days. He ended up at the surgeons who cut open the leg to drain it and now he has quite a slice in his leg with a gauze drain in it. Poor guy gets SOOOO ooged out when he looks at it and each time I need to change the dressing to let him soak it, he gets all lightheaded.

I thought of a blog entry that I'll put up in the next day or so - once things settle down here. 2 weeks of being on a boat with 6 people results in a LOT of laundry and junk being unloaded and dumped in the house. Also my oldest starts college on Monday and homeschooling starts in just a week and I need to get ready! So it's going to be pretty busy for a bit. But I promise to post soon. :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Total epiphany!

OK - I just had a moment where something just totally made sense to me and it's really interesting. Just before my shower this morning (about 30 minutes ago), I watched Good Morning America and their interview with Steven Curtis Chapman and his family - the first interview since the death of his 5 year old daughter. While I'm sure they edited out most of their discussion about God what stood out was that through their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they know that there is more to this life than the here and now. They look forward to the day when they will dance and sing with their little princess again but know that she is with her heavenly Father. They know that what we do here has an eternal significance.

Then I was listening to the TV on behind me. The children are watching Handy Manney on Playhouse Disney but there was a commercial that was on speaking about "What can we do for the earth?" It hit me just then. The focus and energy spent on the environment by so many is their own way to try to make a difference eternally. Well, we know it's not really eternal but they look for some significance beyond themselves and some way to make a difference when they're gone. If they can even do a few things to decrease the amount of trash, the amount of pollution, the number of trees killed or the endangered species saved, they've made a difference.

As Christians, we know that there is a God - a Creator of this universe. We know that when people die without a Savior, they will go to hell. As believers, we should be as militant and diligent as the environmentalists - and make the idea of spreading the Gospel as common as recycling. There are people saving the trees and the piping plover (a small shore bird that is endangered and makes it's home on Long Island), when so many souls are lost. We are ALL looking to leave a mark behind us when we leave. Will my mark be a clean earth (which is important too - don't get me wrong) or will it be hearts made clean by the blood of the Lamb through my life and testimony? It's not enough just to live your testimony but to give it too. One person recycling is not going to save the planet so there is a huge push to make it known by advertising and media - to make it appealing and to make it a personal mission. In the same way, just me living like a Christian is important but I also need to be able to SHARE Christ and His sacrifice for the lives of those around me. It's going to be easy to remember this idea because of the plethora of information on the environment that is out there - from the news and papers to the internet and just general discussion. Hearts are crying out for significance - how much more significant can it be than to turn your heart to the Lord?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Who is Jesus?

OK - I'm so not a political person. I wish I didn't have to get involved at ALL in politics but because of my right to vote, I do try to stay on top enough to be able to give an educated vote when the time comes. Of course we have a presidential election coming up and we're hearing all sorts of dirt on both candidates. I will say that I'm a Republican but Barack Obama has had quite a bit of press in the past - good and bad - and I've heard claims about how he's a "Christian". I've also seen his church and his pastor and obviously have not been too impressed but I never was able to understand his beliefs in claiming to be a "Christian" but now I do. And it's not good. Here is a link to a blog from a woman who used to be the religion reporter for the Chicago Sun Times. She interviewed Mr. Obama back in 2004 and the interview is very telling. It's a very interesting read.

If you can't handle reading white letters on a black background (I know many can't), here's the same interview on another site - which is very anti-Obama but it's a clearer read. I like to try to get information like this closest to the original as possible so that's why I have the first link. :)

I found the interview to be very sad. I now understand Mr. Obama - and he's lost. Truly lost. :(

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Parenting and discipline

Today was a day at church that was BUSY!! We have VBS this week includes 450 kids and about 150 workers - all of whom I feed for the 5 days this next week. So we were up at church all day and since I woke up really early to a thunderstorm and needing to close the windows, I'm shot! But a couple of things happened today that made up the bulk of the conversations in my family during all of this.

First off, there was a little girl at church who was in the VBS singers group - a group of the little kids who will help to lead the singing each day. My two little ones are in it and my 16 year old went over to high five everyone. She got through the first row then got to the 2nd row where a little girl was sitting talking to another child. She saw Nicole coming and when Nicole got to her, she just stuck out her tongue and folded her arms!! VERY snotty attitude. I've seen this little girl do a number of rude things to other kids and it makes me sad for her, her parents and other kids around her.

Then there was a group of rowdy boys who were running around with a toy gun. It WAS raining outside and they were stuck at church all day so I know they were going buggy but they didn't need to almost knock over a group of people as they ran. They came into "my" kitchen, drank the remainder of the iced tea for the workers (it was getting later so I let them) and then they started shooting the brand new ceiling with the toy gun (that shot suction cup "arrows") just when pastor walked in. He spoke to them and they were actually a little disrespectful to him - enough to that if it were my child, I would have spanked them.

It makes me sad that there are children who seem to not be taught basic manners anymore. These are also children that I've seen be VERY disrespectful to their own parents and the parents not say a THING to them. My 16 year old was saying how she's seen it a lot too and questioned if parents see what's happening or not. I honestly don't know. Do they see it or not? Do they see it and ignore it? Do they see it and don't know how to deal with it? One thing I've learned through raising my 4 kids is that it's very important to have a "vision" for your kids. I'm not talking about seeing them as doctors or teachers but to see what quality you want them to be when they grow up. First and foremost, I want my kids to have a relationship with the Lord, but after that, I really want my kids to be respectful and polite so that's a large focus here. I don't let my kids get away with disrespect or rudeness - not that I spank them every time it happens or punish them but we certainly address it and punish when necessary. It's important enough for me to spend time on this and I can see in my 16 and 18 year olds, it's working. Hey - I can see it in my 5 and 7 year olds too!

I'm certainly not a perfect parent and I've made my mistakes (plenty of them) but this is an area I feel really strongly about and I see that there are benefits paid in being diligent in discipling (not just disciplining) your kids. Know what the goal is and work towards it and you just might be able to get there! LOL!! The Bible says "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he." (Proverbs 29:18) God has given US the vision of becoming more Christlike and so we can know if we're being successful or not and keep a focus. It's the same with raising our children.