Friday, May 30, 2008
Oh I want these so badly. They are, or were, right in our price range at around $50 at least until the end of today. I had dh's permission to buy them. I had visions of sitting my children down and watching them as a family. Dh and I are concerned and passionate right now about passing on our vision of multi generational faithfulness to our children right now. What a great resource.
Then came the phone call. $1800 to rebuild our transmission on our only working car.
Dh never said after the phone call that I could not go ahead and order. Even he admitted that if I were to go ahead and order it would be ok. BUT I knew that this was my submission without manipulation test. I knew he was stressing about the van. I knew it was going to put a financial strain on us. I knew I could wait and ask for the DVDs for Christmas. Who knows maybe VF will put them on sale again.
I DID IT! I said no, I will just wait. What a great feeling knowing that I was truly submissive. I'm sure later on today or tomorrow I will slip and fall again. I think though with every victory, small though it may be we gain ground. We gain insight and wisdom.
Thank you, Lord for the strength to not give into my wants and desires when I know its not the best thing for my family.
I am not bragging on myself. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.... I just want others to see that God is always faithful to strengthen us if we are willing to step out in faith. I struggle daily with being submissive and obedient not only to my sweet Dh but to my Lord.
Hang in there, my sisters! God sees your struggles. He hears your cries! He will strengthen you!
Alas, my camera and computer are not cooperating with one another. I was going to go to Walmart and just make a disk but DH asked me to let him tinker with it awhile longer. Longer being the key word!! LOL
SO! I just decided to show you other people's gardens. Gardens I can only dream about because I am a long way from the gardener who designed these gardens. Right now I'm just praying that I can get a few vegetables to prove to myself I can do it. I planted zucchini and cucumbers for goodness sake. You know the kind of vegetables "real" gardeners are afraid of because of the high yield?
Right now I have a lot of green in my garden. Its a good thing. I have something growing on one of my plants that has the potential to be either squash or a disease that will kill the plant. Ho-hum. We are praying it's squash! Although at least one of my kids is busy praying it's a disease!! She hates squash! Who can hate the nutty sweet flavor of yellow squash?? Weirdo!
Now for my expert advice. Pay close attention for this epiphany!
Label your garden so you know what you planted where. Yep! I have no clue what each little box contains. The sad part is I planted some basil. I have about three plants that could possibly be the basil. Of course what if I pick the basil leaves and it turns out it was really the pepper plant? *Sigh* I just have to wait and pray something appears. :)
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Everywhere I turn homeschool families are adopting from other countries. That's great! I have dreams of adopting from China someday. However, many homeschool families are turned off of foster care because in most states you can not homeschool foster children.
I know some people don't think this is a big deal, but after dealing with the foster care system and my children in public school I won't be doing that again. I had no say in their education. My five year old turned into a different child. My 8 year old was humiliated and taught things contrary to our beliefs and values. God willing I will not send any of my children to public school again.
What would it be like to a child who has been shipped around to different homes or ripped out of their home to be sent off to school while the other children of the home stay home with mom all day? It seems like it would be heartbreaking and isolating to that child.
I just heard recently that they are trying to have all foster children sent to daycare or preschool a few days a week whether someone can be home with them or not. These are children in desperate need of some bonding and we are to cart them off. The excuse is so they can be visible. Well, I had workers at my house every week. Not to mention Guardian Ad Litems and case managers. Then there were all the mandatory therapy visits. Not to mention visitations with families. There are children very visible, but they are still being abused. In my time as a foster parent I met foster families who could care less about these kids. They saw it as doing a favor. The children were never part of their families. I asked one worker about it and she sighed and said they had had other reports on this one particular family but nothing substantiated. How did going to school protect these kids?
What makes me sad is these families have a strong vision of family. They truly believe children are a blessing from the Lord and they want to add to their families through adoption. I think DCF is really missing out on a host of GREAT families because of the homeschool rule. Do I think that only homeschool families love children and would be great families? NO! But I think that homeschool families who love children would be a huge asset to the state.
A lot of these children are behind academically. Wouldn't it be great to have the one on one time a parent at home could offer through homeschool? My 11 year old just finished up her third grade math book, because when she came home two years ago she was so far behind we had to do second grade all over. Part of this is because in her short 8 years of life my child had no less than 5 schools. All that by 2nd grade. She never had a chance to excel. When we brought her home changes started instantly.
I don't know what it would take to have the state see homeschool foster/adopt families as a good thing. I want to foster again. I would love to. We had thought we found a way by only taking in kids 2 and younger, but if they are going to make us put them in day care they can hang that up.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
This week I am going to finish my projects in the kitchen with plenty of pictures to share.
I have also been doing a laundry in pictures post for the past week and into this week that I will be sharing. Prepare to be horrified! :)
My first attempt at square foot gardening is going better than I expected. I do have one big tip on what not to do. I will share that with pictures this week as well. I still have not had any harvest from my endeavor but it looks real pretty. :)
I will be tackling my sewing/crafts area this week and keeping track with pictures to share. I have been praying and praying for creativity in that area as I have a limited space to work with. I am trying to get it all organized this week so we can start sewing and other crafts next week. More to come on that as well.
Next week I am starting a Home Economics course. I am doing Future Christian Homemakers with Karly. We will also be starting the book Raising Maidens of Virtue. I will be using the Pearables Quiet Arts Home Economics Level 1 with Tamara and Kelsie and possibly a little friend. I am looking at getting the books What the Bible Says About Being A Girl for the younger girls as well. For Adrian I am using a new series from Pearables called The Christian Gentleman's Series Lessons in Responsibility for Boys level 1. I will be getting the books What the Bible Says About Being A Boy for him. I will also be taking pictures of this so that should be fun! :)
Friday, May 23, 2008
I will admit. I covet a porch. In my dreams my new house will have a beautiful screened in back patio and a big front porch. These outside areas will be extensions of my home. A place to kick back and enjoy the spring breeze. A place to have our morning devotions. A place to nap even.
I am going to make my dreams come true a little bit. Probably next month we will be investing in a nice wooden swing to go in the back yard. I envision taking a child out there after dinner and just swinging and talking. Just the two of us. Of pouring big glasses of sweet tea and sitting outside with DH after the children are in bed. Maybe taking some cushions and curling up out there on a lazy Sunday afternoon to read a book.
There are so many possibilities. I used to have a swing. It rusted and started falling apart. It was a cheapy one. DH and I decided we would like a nice one.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Fast forward to this year. Same conference, but here in town. NO excuse for 25 people to not sign up. Dh reluctantly agreed to let me pre order tickets again.
Dh said I could pre order the tickets, but I knew he did not really want me to. I begged, I promised...I did not deliver.
God, made a way that we will not be hit hard with the extra expense of these tickets, but the money could have been used towards improvements on the home.
I strive to be submissive. I need to learn to not be manipulative.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Stop by her blog and check out her latest post on mothering. See, I call her friend, but really I only use her for her good advice. ;)
* Link the person who tagged you.
* Mention the rules in your blog.
* Tell about six unspectacular quirks of yours.
* Tag a new set of six following bloggers by linking them:
* Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.
Six unspectacular quirks I have lurking just beyond my computer monitor:
1. I must chew gum, if I see it. DH hides any gum because if I see it no matter where or when I will pop a piece in my mouth. Right now 5 minutes before dinner I have a fresh piece in my mouth because I saw it in the drawer....
2. I like to peel Elmer's glue off of my hands. Sometimes I put the glue on on purpose just to peel it off. Please don't run! I only do it occasionly I promise.
3. I will randomly write words I hear. If I have a piece of paper and pen in front of me I might copy our whole conversation with a word here or there.
4. I can't leave anyone out. Even a lady I am not supposed to hang out with. If she shows up at a resaurant I will pull a chair up and beg her to sit with us instead of by herself.
5. I sometimes burst into song in the middle of conversations. They may be real songs or made up songs. It drives Dh insane.
6. I am deathly afraid of looking stupid in public. If we pull into a parking lot and have to do a three point turn to get out of it, I will hide under the seat!! Yes, I think that looks stupid on me....I am a dork. I admit it!
7. I have to add this one because its just funny.
I am scared of policemen. We have a guy at church. Nice, sweet, funny...he is a policeman. After knowing him for about two years....I can now say hi and maybe smile. If one is behind me in traffic I will freak out. In a restaurant. I can't look at him.
Now, because I don't follow the rules..I am not going to tag anyone. But please, if you would like to participate, leave a comment and let me know.
Here is the recipe.
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red pepper, seeded, small diced
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons (about 3 cloves) chopped garlic
1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce
I served this with yellow rice and mixed greens. I don't know if any of you have tried the Glory brand greens, but they are the best greens I have ever had!! Even DH likes them and he is a bona fide Yankee!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat and add the peppers, onions and garlic. Saute until just soft, remove to a plate and cool.
When the peppers and onions are cool, combine all of the remaining ingredients together except for the marinara. Pack the meat mixture into an oiled loaf pan, if you do not have a loaf pan, form the meat mixture into a loaf shape on an oiled oven tray or baking dish. Top with the marinara making sure to spread evenly over the top.
Bake for approximately 50 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees F in the middle of the meatloaf. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
We all enjoyed this meal. Even the kids enjoyed it. Of course my kids eat just about anything.
Dh is seriously threatening to get cable. He is so in love with all these new meals. :)
Monday, May 12, 2008
Lori, at Beyond the Garden, left a comment the other day. Then she tagged me. I spent some time over at her beautiful blog and enjoyed it. Stop by if you have a moment.
Directions:1. Write the title to your ‘memoir’ using 6 words
2. Post it on your blog
3. Link to the person that tagged you.
4. Tag five more blogs
Serving God And Family At Home
Ok not the best title, but it is what I am striving to be about.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Whether you have no children or 5 children it is still rough when your arms ache to hold a baby, but your womb stays empty.
Rejoice my sisters, because: He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. Psalm 113:9
Friday, May 9, 2008
Last night we had BBQ chicken sandwiches and cheese fries.
For the BBQ chicken sandwiches I put some olive oil in a skillet and heated it up. I then sauteed onions, garlic and shredded carrots. When they were tender I added leftover cooked chopped chicken. I poured honey BBQ sauce and Sticky Fingers Sweet Carolina BBQ sauce over it all and continued to heat it up.
Meanwhile, DH used seasoning salt and seasoned the french fries. He cooked them in the oven until done. He then transferred them to a big bowl covering each layer with shredded cheddar.
When the fries came out of the oven I buttered the rolls and placed them face down on a pan. I cooked them at about 350 degrees for 4 minutes. Perfectly toasted.
To assemble the sandwiches we placed a few spoon fulls of BBQ chicken mixture on the roll and topped with shredded cheddar.
Check out more frugal tips at Frugal Fridays at Mrs. Crystal's blog.
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The reason I am drawn to this is because I am wondering if more women out there aren't trying to find some reason for coming home. Are they trying to define a Keeper At Home? Can you believe I actually heard a preacher not to long ago say, "I think its good for a woman to be home. Of course some are called to work, but I think it is important to stay home and care for your children. I don't have any scripture to back that up." WHAT?! Does he not read the Bible. Titus 2:4-5 spells it out right there... "keepers at home."
I am not going to look down on a woman who does not stay home, but for a preacher to say that there is not Biblical data to back up a mom at home struck me as insane. Who better to stay home and care for a home or children than the one God gave the home and children to?
I am still so very selfish. I find it hard sometimes to get through the day with small children and a home that constantly needs tending. But see, God has a plan for me. Right now it involved ministering to these children. I am called to be a living sacrifice. To take up my cross and follow Jesus. Sometimes that means doing things we don't want to do. Sometimes I don't want to get up in the morning and fix breakfast. Sometimes, I want to spend more time on the computer and not start school. But then I remember Jesus did not want to get on the cross. He did it for me and I do those things for Him.
I have an end mark in sight. I have a vision of children who will walk in the truth. Children raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Children who will not depart. If I am with them everyday I can see areas that they need training and discipline in. I can see when sin is in their little lives. I can teach them how to repent and turn away from ungodliness. If I were at an office all day, how could I see those things clearly?
I have a goal of a home that is a safe haven. A refuge from the evil of the world. In my prayer journal lately I have been asking God for spiritual protection over our home. I pray that no evil enters our home. That I will always be on guard to fight the evil from entering our home. I believe that's a job I have as keeper of the home. To guard against evil. Imagine a home so full of God's grace and peace. Where no evil lurks. How much stronger would our families be when walking out the front door?
For all of you searching for reasons to stay home or wondering what are these crazies talking about? I ask you to study and pray. I am not perfect. My house is a disaster. I yell way too much. My baby is in danger of running our home some days. I am tired and send the children to some meaningless play some days. But in the end, God does bless me. He blesses me with little moments of contentment when my 2 year old climbs in my lap. When my 11 year old saunters into the kitchen to chat while I make dinner. When my 6 year old says she can't wait to be a mommy. When my 8 year old tells me her children will NOT go to school because she will homeschool. When my 5 year old kills the monster for me. When I hear my children in earnest conversation about Jesus loving them. God makes it all worth it. :)
Here is the recipe:
Chipotle Cashew Chicken with Brown Rice
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
See this recipe on air Friday Mar. 07 at 2:30 PM ET/PT.
I was in a Park City, Utah Albertson's grocery store and picked up a sack of nuts: chipotle coated raw cashews. They were gone before I made it to the check-out. I paid for the empty bag and immediately wrote this recipe based on the ingredients of those nuts. This may look like Chinese Take-Out but the maple, chipotle flavor makes for a North-Western American surprise! Leave the nuts raw - they taste buttery and extra sweet. Toasting will develop a deeper flavor, but the sweet butter nuts have a unique texture when eaten raw.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion,
1/4 onion finely chopped,
3/4 thinly sliced
2 cups quick cooking brown rice
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds chicken meat: tenders, boneless, skinless breasts or boneless, skinless thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick)
2 to 3 tablespoons tamari dark soy sauce, eyeball it
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
10 to 12 water chestnuts, whole
1 cup frozen green peas
3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo (2 peppers and their sauce), available in cans on the international foods aisle or substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin, a palm full
2 to 3 tablespoons honey,
2 healthy drizzles 1/4 to 1/3 cup real maple syrup, eyeball it
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley leaves, your preference
1 cup raw cashews
In a medium pot over medium heat combine 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts into oil, add in the chopped onion, cook 2 minutes, then add rice and cook 3 minutes more. Add stock and cover the pot. Raise heat to bring stock to a rapid boil. Once the stock boils, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 17-18 minutes.
While rice cooks, make the chicken. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan, then the chicken. Season the chicken with grill seasoning. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with soy sauce then move off to one side of the pan. Add the remaining onions, garlic and peppers. Cook 2 to 3 minutes then add water chest nuts and green peas and mix vegetables and meat together. Add the chipotles and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the mixture with honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add in the chopped cilantro or parsley and the cashew nuts.
Top rice with cashew chicken and serve.
Lets see, what did I change? I don't use instant anything hardly, so I had to cook up my rice ahead of time. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs, they were cheaper than the breasts and wow the flavor was awesome. I am not sure what "glaze the mixture" means so I just stirred the honey and maple syrup in at the end of cooking. I used Montreal Chicken Seasoning. And I roughly chopped the water chestnuts, instead of leaving whole. Everything else I kept the same. The kids and DH loved it.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday morning was my weekly Bible study. We are studying A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. It is a wonderful study. She uses a lot of scripture and it's exciting to see what she pulls from it each week.
Tuesday night I had my last homeschooling Mom's meeting for the school year. We have a dinner out planned next month, a co-op planning meeting in July and then we start back up in August. So I guess I won't miss anyone. LOL.
Today was our co-op end of the year party. We had a Mexican fiesta. It was a lot of fun with a pinata for each age group. That was cute. I have to say I loved co-op but Im glad it's over. I really needed the break. God's working on me right now in a few areas and co-op is one of them. I am planning to go back next year as of right now, but I need to see some changes in my life first. I plan to spend this summer becoming more disciplined and following a better schedule.
The girls have a few more dance lessons on Wed night before we break for the summer. Kelsie moved up to the bigger girls class but she still preforms with the younger kids because that's a smaller class. She is doing great. I am so proud of her and can't believe how grown up she is getting.
The rest of this week is not as bad. We have Life Group tomorrow night, but that's it. I have Thursday and Friday free. WooHoo. I am going to use those two days to go over some corrections and confusion with Karly and Kelsie on their school work.
Next week I believe is almost completely free and clear except for Bible study...that will be nice. :)
This was so yummy. I threw it together before I left to pick up Dh. The house smelled yummy when we walked in! All I had to do was boil the noodles and throw them in the completed project.
I was at a Mom's Homeschool meeting so Dh served it up with the fresh grated Parmesean. MMM!
Super Quick Minestrone
Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello
1 cup (4 ounces) tubetti pasta, or other small pasta shape
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 3 pieces
6 medium garlic cloves, each cut in 1/2 lengthwise
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions (2 small onions)
1 cup small-diced celery (2 medium stalks)
1 cup small-diced carrots (2 to 3 medium carrots)
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary or thyme leaves
1 (14-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
4 cups small-diced zucchini (green/yellow) (5 small zucchini)
2 cups small-diced, peeled russet potatoes (1 large russet)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer the pasta to a baking sheet. Toss the pasta with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the chicken stock.
In another large saucepan over high heat, heat 1/4 cup oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the pancetta and cook until it begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to brown, about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until the vegetables are soft, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent browning. Add the chopped herbs. Raise the heat to high. Add the beans, tomatoes, zucchini, and potatoes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then bring it down to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes, skimming any foam off the top of the soup. Season generously with pepper. Add salt, to taste. Just a few minutes before serving, add the cooked tubetti pasta. Serve warm with Parmesan and olive oil passed at the table.
Cooking notes: Add the cooked pasta just before serving. If it sits in the soup too long, it develops a flabby texture. Tubetti (little hollow tubes) are the classic pasta for minestrone, but you could substitute another small shape of pasta.
Recipe SummaryDifficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Yield: 8 to 10 servings