Monthly Archives: April 2007

Sunshine!!!

Even though we had a relatively short winter,  it is so nice to see the sun! It is coming and going, but pretty soon we will not need any heat anymore and we will be suffering from the heat, but for now I am so glad that we have some sun! <p> What a week! Well, a couple of weeks! <p> F.  has an infected tooth and the dentist could get him in on one day this week, but then he could not get it off of work so  he is taking antibiotics and hoping to get in this next week. My cell phone got slightly  damp and I guess it was just enough so it was a sad but fast death for the cell phone. Come to think of it, he may have suffered all night and I did not know it. What a pity!<p> I went to 2 bible studies, a baby shower, and a homeschool planning meeting this week, got the van repaired, caught up on grocery shopping, picked up my broken sewing machine, returned overdue library books, visited the doctor,  plus all the normal stuff of taking care of grandma, teaching school, cooking and cleaning. <p> Our fence has been wonderful!  T. can go out and play for a bit and yet he does not try to get out the window when he is not supposed to now. He does not want to stay out too long as his lovely brothers discovered he is scared of spiders so the mere mention of one, causes him to running shrieking for the house!<p> P. is discovering reading aloud! He has been reading more and more and I got a  fairly easy Dick and Jane book for H. and Paul read the entire thing one night out loud to the other boys! He is  almost done with the R&S set of gingham readers also. They are still a little below his reading level, but  he is  reading for fun, and I am not forcing him! That feels so good! I am working on reading aloud to them also so we started a Sugar Creek Gang book yesterday. I also got a whole stack of Heroes for Young Readers about Gladys Alyward, Eric Liddell and others at the library yesterday!  I wrote out several goals I have before June, one is to compile all the geography and history stuff we learned this year and make a notebook for both of them. I thought that sounds like fun! <p>Well, I need to get to work here! I have a meal to make for a friend.

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Blessings from God

Sometimes when I think of blessings I think of big huge things, but sometimes  I realized they are  not that big! I have been really blessed this week, and you know, it has not been the easiest week! <p>  For one thing, F. had a very important doctors appointment and  we are waiting on our van to be fixed. Car issues give me alot of stress, so believe me, I am having a real test of patience…but through these tests God has been giving me real bits of encouragement! <p. F. got a ride to the doctors visit, we will not know how it went, perhaps  for a long time or never, (S.S is secretive), then I discovered a report that I had gotten 2 weeks ago was due  the next day, I had no choice, but to carefully drive the van across town (watching the fluid levels and temp.) and pray the whole time! The blessing in that was…..well, I prayed the whole time I was driving!<p>  Growing up we listened to alot of Keith Green music, and he was one of the people  that was one of our "heroes" I guess you could say.  I was listening to some of the music, and  read his biography again (I cannot count how many times I have read it) and was struck again with his life! He was only 28 years old when he died, yet God used him in a incredible way. Maybe not all his songs have music I especially like, but his fire and yearning for God really inspired me. I then thought of the why behind it, why did God feel it was his time to go? <p> It did inspire me again as I have always wanted and felt called to be a missionary, but  God so far has called me to be a missionary here at home. They talked in church this morning about Compassion, helping children and I remember this little, happy girl in Bolivia, with sores and filthy dirty and just feeling like I wanted to take her and scrub her up, yet, she was in poverty because of her moms addiction to coca leaves and begging  by the church. i think it is wonderful to help them, I wish i could do it! But it made me think,  there are so many of us with addictions to things, our children are not covered in sores and dirty, but we are addicted to things like our comfort. We are  willing to help the children of other countries, while we ignore those in need in our own family sometimes. Sometimes it is easier to send money off in the mail than help the widow in the church rake her leaves. What about changing diapers? Complaining about the jobs we have as mothers- I have been guilty of complaining about  all the cooking I have to do, the laundry, when I was breastfeeding- how much time it takes, but this right now is my mission field!  It says in the bible how we are worse than infidels if we do not care for our own. I think that extends out to extended family as well, if our parents need help  and we do not offer it, our brothers and sisters, our grandparents. It may be uncomfortable or we may think "We are not called to that ministry!" but we are all called to minister to our families! <p> (I am not  talking about if they are dangerous or bad influence to be around, of course. Just seeing needs like helping clean, even just  visiting) <p>
Well, back to my blessings, yesterday a friend came to help put the fence poles so the boys can play outside safely! What a wonderful thing! Hopefully by the end of this week we will have a safe place! <p> We also got invited over for  lunch after church to their house. It was so refreshing as  many times  people are not used to children or have things for children to do. These people have children and  the boys had a wonderful time playing in the mud, running and jumping and just being happy! It was relaxing! <p> I have just seen how prayers I have been praying this week have been answered even though the really hard things are still there and we didn’t get as much school done last week as we should have. The van still needs fixing, F. is still having some struggles, I have some more bruising to deal with and am wondering if I should go to the doctor, but God is good! He can deal with these issues, He is going to take care of us! <p> We sang "Great is thy faithfulness" this morning and I was reminded of how great His faithfulness is. There are down times, people always are critical or let me down, but God is there even in the hard times! <p> I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!

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Frugal Friday- Frugal tortilla soup

I made this quick tortilla soup that I really like and it is cheap! if you grow your own tomatoes and cilantro, it can be pennies!

In the blender grind 2-3 c. stewed tomatoes or canned whole tomatoes, 1/2 onion, 2 cloves garlic and blend until smooth. Pour into sauce pan and add 2 c. chicken broth, 1 t. cumin, 1 T. california chili powder, 3-4 springs of cilantro and simmer for 15 minutes.

You can serve this with all sorts of add-ins and toppings or eat with just some cheese on top. Some of the toppings I like is whole kernel corn, cheese and torn corn tortillas. You can also put avacado, sour cream, diced cooked chicken, rice, chips or whatever! It is really good and filling!

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Encouraging listening

 I have been working on listening to edifying things  every day more as i have fallen behind in this and am hoping that it will remind me to keep my heart where it is supposed to be. <p> Yesterday I was sewing and listened to Revive our Hearts.
She was talking about being in a desert which was really encouraging! Follow the link to read a transcript!
<p> This morning I listened to Crystal’s podcast which is about 15 min long so it is short to listen to, but so encouraging to listen to a young REAL mom talk about  submission and obedience, organizing and scheduling  in her  cheerful, down to earth sort of way! Biblical Womanhood Podcast

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Are we meant to be islands? (My bible study today)

I have been thinking over the past while about how  many christians are willing to be islands in their christian life. <p> Do you think we are meant to be that way?  I look at the bible  and our examples that we read about there.  It was just making me think because   I see many people who do not think we need other christians.  We think we can be islands in our family, keeping to ourselves because we do not trust others. <p> I   was pondering one of my favorite verses: John 15:13-15 <p> Greater Love has no man then this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends if you whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants: for the servant  knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father i have made known to you. <p>
I know this talking about the beautiful relationship between Jesus and  his disciples and I believe extends to us, but I think that  it is also a picture  of the beauty of relationships protrayed by Jesus and the disciples. <p>
Then I look  later of how the disciples continued that with others<p> Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostle doctrine and fellowship and in breaking for  bread, and in prayers. <p> Acts 2:26 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. <p>
I know that  this  was a different time and century, but I  think that we can learn some from this. They  were living according to the doctrine of the apostles, they went to temple together, and ate together in different people’s houses.  <p> When we lived close to other christian families I saw  how close you can get to one another. Your children can almost become like their children, you get close even though it does not mean there are not problems. <p> Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was  multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.<p> I think it is funny as I often think of them  as being above reproach, yet here  it does not say they were not guilty of this!!! They were just people with problems and some major ones in the different churches we read about. <p> So, I wonder why we think that we do not need each other anymore? Is it because we  think we are better than most? We do not want to be tainted or  we are not worthy to  be with other christians? <p> I found this though  in Hebrews, which I know gets used alot by people who want  people to come to church to make them feel guilty, or at least some of the people I was around!!! <p> Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. <p>
There are all kinds of verses in the bible that I found that were really interesting! it make me see how the relationships were very important in the bible as I studied. <p> We are not islands, we are to depend on one another and exhort one another in love.<p>(Hebrews 3:13, 1 Th. 5:14)<p>
this last verse which I thought was good to close with<p> 1 Thess. 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.<p>

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Baby Dedications

Today my cousin’s baby was dedicated to the Lord, which was really neat to see.

I was especially happy because for so many years they lived very far away and I was able to be at her wedding (even though it was a 24 hour drive from here where they used to be), then at her sons birth and seeing him dedicated was just really nice that they are close here and we are able to see them more.

I think only one of the boys had a formal dedication and even today it was so neat how the baby was calm and attentive. I remember H. calming all down and cooing during the prayer!

Another family announced they were having their 6th baby and it made me think about the blessing of children! Sometimes when I am in the middle of all the housework, schoolwork and cooking along with breaking up fights it seems like i start to wonder “why?” and these little things remind me!

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Stopping to think

What a novel idea!!

I am sitting here feeling pretty terrible with the blessing of cramps, bloating and all the lovely things that come with the once a month visitor and trying to collect my thoughts into something legible!

I get asked alot what keeps me busy, I only have 4 children so I should not be too busy, right? I do not work outside my home so I should have lots of extra time….right?

I have a hard time explaining to people that basic things do keep me fairly busy!

True, I do not not try to keep up with laundry, cooking, cleaning, bathing and work outside the home, and some days feel like I fail miserably at even those things, but I have a full time job that many people work everyday getting paid to do. I teach school to the children while I am doing the housework, prepare their lunch (no one packs it for them….I wonder why not?= ) get them clean clothes, try to figure out how one went to bed with hair and woke up without a good chunk in the front, and all the other fun things there enter in.

I made cinnamon rolls this last week when I was half asleep! Yeah…..life has been a bit interesting and tiring for me lately. I either end up so tired I cannot keep my eyes open at the wrong time (when the boys are needing help to get ready for bed) or wide awake at 11:30 pm and wanting to sleep, but it is finally quiet!

So, here I am stopping to think and wondering what it is I stay busy with? What do you think it is? I can understand, I mean when I had one child it was alot of work, two was actuallyeasier, three I felt like I was missing an arm (and used my skirt as an extra one…), four, I feel like I am getting the hang of things sometimes and other times….well, we won’t go there!

But you know, maybe that is the same way people look at me who have 6-8 children is the way I felt growing up with 10 siblings when we met a family with only 4 children, I mean what did they mean they had alot to do?

So, I guess the lesson is everyone’s shoes is equally hard for each of us and we should not think that it is easy because they only have one child or harder because they have 6 because by that time usually you have older ones too and it may actually be easier!

So, there is some weird PMS thinking from my day! Hope you all have a good day and much less painful than me!

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Book Review; A Valley of Betrayal by Tricia Goyer

A Valley of Betrayal <p>
By Tricia Goyer

(The Chronicles of the Spanish Civil War)<p>
Young and  excited  and a bit naive, we meet Sophie in the beginning of this book. She  is so in love and excited to  be married and carrying a beautiful blue dress for her wedding.  She ends up finding herself  without her luggage (having to leave it behind) in the middle of war zones, posing as a reporter in order to
get to her dear Michael. <p>  There is always a hint of mystery through the book that makes you wonder about the different characters as to whether they are good or bad or can they be both? <p>
I have never read about this time period in history, and because I love history,  it caught my attention and made me both horrified  by the tragedy of war and interested to find out in what way the characters fit in. <p> War is horrible. This book clearly can make you see the horror of that. <p>There are many characters in the book besides our main ones, that you find yourself empathizing with them all.  There is  African American man who comes from  Chicago to fight,  a young man and his friend Phillip- Phillip’s friend seems to think it all a game and tragically discovers how that was not true. The  young Nazi pilot, the journalist, the priest, young Maria and many others besides Sophie and Michael will capture your hearts and attention to  discover a new part of history you probably have not read about.  <p> Tricia Goyer has a way of putting onto paper words that tug at your heart like a excellent artist would with a painting!  This is not your normal novel, it is a historical account of  people’s lives and fight for survival during wartime that not  just the people of Spain experienced, but Americans as well. <p> Since it is set in a war zone, there is the talk of bombs,  the severely injured and dying men, women and children so it is probably not a book for younger readers.  There is some romance and talk of a young woman getting pregnant when they were not married also, but this is for sure not the focus of the book, it is more real life  kind of romance.  <p> One thing that struck me was  Sophie’s blue dress which she carries all over with her, she eventually tears it up to use for bandages  to save people’s lives. it showed me  how  something that can be so important to you, can  simply fade in comparision in some cases!<p>
The book is available to purchase at most of your local Christian bookstores and also online at  Amazon<p>
You may also want to read on Tricia’s various blogs about upcoming books or the ones she has written in the past. <p>Tricia’s website <p>
Tricia’s blog

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Frugal Friday- Celebrating cheaply

Yesterday was our 10th anniversary!

We have done a variety of things on our anniversary because we have been on a tight budget for the last 10 years!

I found out that it does not always have to be really expensive to go out to dinner. Last night we were able to go out to dinner and paid $13 for our dinner with the tip as because it was our anniversary the one dinner was free!

Check around local places to see if they offer specials on birthdays, anniversaries and others!

Our first anniversary, we celebrated by going to a park and BBQ’ing steaks and had strawberries and cream cheese!

Another time we decided to take $20 and go to the grocery store and buy food that we liked and went home to eat a pretty weird assortment, but it was fun!!!

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It has been 10 years…..

It has been 10 years since our wedding! I have to say this has been one of the nicest anniversaries  I have ever had.  It just seems like… it has been such a fast 10 years with so many things that happened! I was thinking of some of the things I have done in the past 10 years or that I have experienced. Here are just a few highlights!<p>

  1. What it is like to live in a foreign culture (1997) I married a Russian, what did I expect?<p>
  2. Being pregnant at the same time as your mom!(1997)
  3. I learned what it was like to have a colicky baby 24/7 and how helpless you can feel when your baby is sick  (1998)<p>
  4. Having a brother who is younger than his nephew and niece (1999)<p>
  5. I was in my first car accident-  rolled our van in fog (1999)<p>
  6. There are people in America that go hungry (2000)<p>
  7. What it was like to have a broken bone (2000)<p>
  8. How  to cook, clean, eat sleep, live without modern conveniences like water, roads, beds, heat and other such things…..Rubber boots  became my main choice of footwear and mud on your clothes was not something you could worry about! (1999)<p>
  9. Remembering to not forget anything outside that could make a bear stick around and waking up to see he left us "gifts" behind to let us know he was by our front step!!! (2001)<p>
  10. I had a recipe published in a Taste of Home magazine- Cranberry Slush Punch<p>
  11. I requested Lemon Poppy Seed recipes from Taste of Home and received 1000’s!!! (Need any? 2000)<p>
  12. I decided that being grown up means that you pretend you are, because no one really feels grown up, they just pretend they do……<p>
  13. I discovered what fast labor was like- 1 hour 45 minutes is a little too hard on a body (2002)<p>
  14. I learned not to judge people with mental illnesses. There is not an easy fix, answer or prayer that can make it all go away. <p>
  15. I learned how to have a baby without my husband (2004)<p>
  16. I learned that God can do amazing things with not much to work with! He provided us with food, paid bills and everything we ever needed, not usually early, but right one time! (2004)<p>
  17. I learned how to serve others in volunteering.  <p>
  18. Most of all I learned that hard times can really make you Bitter or Better, as my mom always said. We have to take the experiences we have and let them shape us. I found that people when faced with someone with hard experiences tend to pull away and go to be with the "happy" people because it is too hard and they are afraid it may rub off.  I want to look beyond that in the next years of our marriage. I want to let the hard things build me and the good times multiply! <p>

God bless you all in your marriages! I pray that you can take each day one step at a time!

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