Wednesday, December 30, 2009
We have dealt with so much sadness this year, but God has always been good and faithful and my trust in Him is ever growing.
Here is something I have been pondering lately:
Do you think that the people who lived through the real Depression laugh at us and our whining over this "depression"? I mean really?
Saturday, December 19, 2009
When we left off Roy and I were beginning to look into fostercare as a way to start our family. We took the classes filled out all the paperwork and waited a year and a half for them to complete our file. Agency changes, new regulations, loss of fingerprints. Everyday there was another reason our file had not been approved yet. I was getting more and more frustrated. Especially because DCF choose at this time to start a campaign to get more foster parents. Every where I turned there were impassioned pleas for one to open their home for these children. I was fingerprinted five times because of errors and time lapses. I was pretty sure I was getting ready to be called into Secret Service to protect the President. I know I had the clearance for it. In December of 2003 Roy and I looked at each other and said that it was time for me to come home from work. It was a very difficult decision for him to make. We'd bought a house earlier that year using both our incomes. We were already living above our financial means. It meant a lot of sudden changes in both of our lives.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
In my Bible study this week I was asked to focus on Psalm 124.
This Psalm which I can't paste onto my blog for some reason talks about what would have happened if God had not been on our side. The author of the Bible study then asked us to think about what our lives could have been like. As I pictured the life I had mapped out I see God's hand in so many ways.
I always knew I wanted a big family with lots of children. I also knew I wanted to be a stay at home mom. There is where who I am today collided with who I could have been.
You see I never even thought about raising my kids in a different way. I had a vague idea of what my marriage would look like, but not what it could be. Home was not a huge priority for me.
I was raised in a Christian family. Surrounded by men and women of the faith. We went to church every Sunday, faithful attenders of Sunday school. My brother and I even spent time in a Christian school. We said grace like a good Christian family. We attended Wednesday night prayer meeting. I spent plenty of time on youth outings, even when I did not want to go.
My mom, bless her heart, was the Provider for our home because my dad was disabled.
I do not complain about my childhood. It is what it is and it was happy. I was loved and cared for. I was given many opportunities.
In 2000 my dreams began to be realized beyong my imagination. I married Roy. Of course God was still working on me. Boy, did He have a lot of work to do. Still does. :) Of course being married I had to have a nice apartment. Not something we could afford on just my husband's salary. So I went to work about a month after we got married. I was also on the pill because of course no one wants to get pregnant that first year or so everyone I knew told me. Oh, the sorrow I have felt over both of those choices. Funny thing, while my husband supported those choices had I been willing to open my eyes and see what God was trying to show me Roy would have been open to those as well.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
So much done and I even snuck in some homeschooling. I am hoping to sneak in a little more before dinner. I pulled everything out of my pantry to reorganize it and as soon as I finish my snack I am off to do that. We were just going to have yogurt and cheese cubes for lunch, but in cleaning out my pantry I found a box of noodles and some spaghetti sauce. I added some stewed tomatoes to bulk the sauce up because lets face it one jar is not gonna feed this family. LOL Lunch was served. It sure was a lot better than yogurt and cheese cubes. :)
I have planned and replanned my shopping list and will be heading to the store early, early, early tomorrow morning. It's the shortest list I have ever seen, but thanks to Costco I don't need a whole lot. Though DH is jonesing to go back to Costco for some reason. I'm trying to put it off until we go over to that side of town next week for Christmas shopping.
Today was a beautiful day here. Sunny and breezy. If FL was always like this I could live with it. :) We took time out from our chores and school work to just go for a walk. The kids had a good time. When we got home we flung open the windows. As the day wore on though it got colder and colder. So eventually the windows were closed but it sure smelled nice as the house was airing out.
I still have plenty to do between now and Saturday evening, but I just keep doing one thing at a time. One of the things that was really bugging me was the disorganization in the kitchen. It looked awful to me. So that has been what I have been working on the last few days. I am decluttering and shifting stuff around. It's starting to look better.
Another thing was our homeschool bookshelf. With just a little reorganizing it looks like a whole new bookshelf. LOL
In a Bible study I am doing the author asked you to imagine who you would be if Jesus had not transformed your life. She did not mean from when you got saved, but from when He yanked you out of who you thought you were going to be and made you who He wanted you to be. I don't know if that makes sense to you, but it really made sense to me.
I thought it was a neat exercise. It made me really grateful for who He has led me to be.
I will talk some more about that in my next post.
What did He "yank" you from? Who would you have been?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Is it this tastefully decorated room with the patterns? The beautiful arrangements? The coordination?
Monday, November 30, 2009
Well I'm back. But this time I'm dragging my kids with me. My two oldest girls do the dishes so I will show them how to shine the sink. We are blessing our home today and I assigned each kid and myself one chore from the list.
For the zone cleaning today which was hotspot cleaning in the living room I assigned hotspots from top to bottom til I ran out. Starting with myself.
We will also spend 15m in a room a piece today to declutter.
If I divy up the work then I don't think it all has to be done and in a certain way.
Weird? I know. That's how I hop.
My 15 minutes will be working towards finishing up decorations. I planned two of those and two other 15 minutes for our bedroom.
We'll see how it goes.
Floors are being finished up here this week and we have a party on Saturday that Dhs family is all coming over for. They have not really seen our home in awhile and I am really working hard to make sure that it's nice and clean and inviting. My sister in law is crockpotting a roast for Saturday and I think I will do the same. Just to make sure we have enough. I need to make sure we have enough seats and pretty up the dining room and kitchen. It's in honor of my Mother in laws birthday and I want it to be nice.
On top of all that I really need to bust some homeschooling out this week. We ended up taking off last week except for one day and I have to bust a move to make sure we make our January goal.
Breakfast - pancakes and eggs
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Right now we are listening to Christmas music sung by Harry Connick Jr. I like the way he sounds kind of old school.
It's funny as I reminisce about Christmas' past. I remember the first couple of years how fancy our Christmas tree and decorations were. I had a whole red and gold theme going on and blue and silver. Now as I look at my Christmas tree filled top to bottom with snowmen, teddy bears, trains, and all other sorts of plastic doo dads I have to smile. How I used to long for children to celebrate the holiday with. I love the cluster of ornaments at the bottom from Jonathan.
I love the poinsettia arrangements stuck in the gaps by the girls who declared it just lovely.
Tacky has not entered into any of their vocabularies yet. :)
My girls all talked tonight about their future homes and families. What they would do to celebrate the season. I heard a lot of fairy tale dreams. Husbands who enjoyed Christmas as much as they do. Perfect children who knew how to decorate a tree. Quiet times spent admiring the tree and the true meaning of Christmas. As my oldest daughter and I chatted about Christmas and her ideals I told her to hold loosely to her dreams.
When we first married I had many ideas of what Christmas with my husband would look like. Imagine my disappointment when I spent those first few married years shopping alone, decorating alone, and pretty much all the romantic Christmas notions I had were shot to pieces.
My husband just does not enjoy Christmas. Decorations aren't important to him. He could care less about picking out gifts. Usually I am sent off to buy my own presents.
I'm not complaining. Oh I did the first year. I even let his attitude towards Christmas affect mine. I got to where I did not like Christmas anymore. As a matter of fact I am just slipping out of that funk this year. We have reached some compromise. He does shop with me now. We make it a date. He helped decorate the tree this year because I was sick today.
I shared with my young daughter tonight that if her husband does not share her enthusiasm for Christmas that it's ok. She can still enjoy the holiday. Make it something special for him.
I love hearing my girls talk about their future homes and families. I don't squash their hopes and dreams, but sometimes we do have talks about real expectations. Who knows if they are even listening. I know what the stars in our eyes can do to our perceptions. LOL But I figure as their mom it does fall to me to disciple them in this area.
I was so selfish as a new wife. I was used to stomping my foot and getting my way. Ohh the fights we had those first few years of marriage. All because of my unreasonable expectations. Fortunately I married a strong man who knew not to give in to me. That has been a huge source of maturity for me. Having someone finally tell me,"No." I hope the same for my girls. A man who loves them enough to stand firm when he needs to. I also hope they are a bit more mature heading into marriage than I was. :)
Well I need to get busy getting school ready for tomorrow.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
and really connect as a family. As the kids get older this gets to be more and more important. It's so easy to loose track of family during this busy season.
Friday, November 27, 2009
I am headed out to Target in just a little bit for a few things for Roy and I want to cash in on one of the deals today if they still have any. Five dollar pajama sets. Yes! My kids all need new pajamas and robes. My friend said they still have some at the Target in the next town which is the one I will go to. It's usually not crowded during the holiday season. The rest of the Christmas shopping will be done next week with Roy. I am pretty excited about it. I can't think of a better way to spend the day than alone with my honey.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
So today I am making fruit salad, oatmeal cookies and a turtle pumpkin pie. It's a new recipe I am trying. I might pick up a pumpkin pie just to be on the safe side. :)
Tomorrow I will get up early and crockpot green beans and corn, roast carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower, and bake a sweet potato casserole.
I love to cook for the holidays.
Saturday evening we will be going to the Light Parade on the River here in our town. People decorate their boats and then float up and down the river. It's a lot of fun. Especially when the weather cooperates and it's nice and chilly. :)
One day next week Dh and I will drop the kids off at my mom's early and then we will get most of our Christmas shopping done. I was going to go online and do it all, but the prospect of a day out with my honey was more than I could fathom. So our excuse is Christmas shopping. I can't wait. Hopefully since we are going early in the month on a weekday it won't be to bad.
In just a few days we will be celebrating my mother in laws birthday here at my house. Roy's sisters are coming so it will be a fun time. I'm not sure of the menu as his sisters want to plan all that. My plan is to put up our fall decorations tomorrow evening and pull out our Christmas decorations. I will decorate through the weekend and be ready for the party next Saturday.
I think I might plan a birthday party for myself this year as well. I have been wanting to have a night of desserts and games for all of our friends. I might just do that on my birthday which falls two days after Christmas.
Our anniversary falls on December 15 and Roy and I are looking into affordable options for a fun time. I am continually amazed at how our budget is met every month and even stretched to allow some fun things. God is awesome!
Lots of fun and exciting things going on in these next two months. I love the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But I also enjoy the coziness and togetherness that this holiday season invites.
One night we will turn on the AC and have a fire in our Florida fireplace. It's tradition. LOL
Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
So enjoy the colors of fall!
A cute story about that tablecloth. I have been wanting it ever since I first laid eyes on it. Imagine an orange plaid tablecloth! All of my favorite things. Well, I could never find one to fit my table. I have two folding tables put together making one LARGE table. I found this in the clearance isle on Friday and called DH to make sure it would fit. He advised me to get two but I could only find the one. So I resigned myself to picking up the two orange solid color table cloths. As I trekked back through the store my eye fell on a second orange plaid tablecloth. Could it be the right size?? I rushed over to check and IT WAS! I was so happy. I ran to the check out with my purchases forgetting to remove the solid colored tablecloths. Thankfully they were on sale as well.
I love fall!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Here is it boys and girls.
Living In the End Times.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I am so excited for him. He has a new body and is dancing with Jesus, my uncle, my dad, my other grandaddy, and his brothers and sisters who have gone on before.
My granny is devastated. Please pray for her. She suffers from Anxiety attacks and depression and this will be a hard road for her.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
10Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
11For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Are we supposed to be sitting in churches, building bigger churches, and relying on the preacher to save all the heathens? Once again these are just thoughts I have been having. I am starting to think that churches should be training grounds. Training for the saints to go out and deliver the message of Jesus Christ. To minister to the lost. To offer a cup of water to the thirsty.
So much of what is offered up on Sunday mornings lately is just barely milk.
I actually know a few strong Christians who just choose to gather at home for home meeting instead of corporate worship because the churches they have tried are so watery. I am not advocating that as the best idea either. I'm just wondering if the church should not be used more for teaching and training the Christians to go out into the world. Just a thought.
As far as the verses I mentioned in the beginning that's a whole other thought process. It kind of reminds me of the different denominations. In the New Testament when the preachers came they came to a gathering somewhere in the city. Not to three of four different gatherings. Can you imagine the impact the church could make on this world if we set aside our doctrinal differences and just acted like we all served the same God and were all saved through Christ? I think much of the war that we face with the world would be won in that one change.
I don't know just some thoughts I had.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I started a new Beth Moore Bible study this week called Stepping Up. It really promises to be a cool shower in this heat!
Anyway, my papa has been facing kidney dysfunction for a few years now. Recently it got bad enough they started him on dialysis. Well his body is rejecting the dialysis in a major way. Major. We think it might have even caused mini strokes. Today they stopped all treatment and moved him to hospice. I personally don't expect him to live through the week. He is not lucid and is very agitated and hostile. The hospice nurse said that might clear up some tomorrow so that's actually my prayer right now. At least enough for us to tell him, "See ya later, papa!" (Because the joy is that some of my family will see him later in heaven!)
The rest of my prayer is for his family. A wife of over 60 years. Five living children. Seven living grandchildren. Twelve great grandchildren. And one brand new great great grandson. Please remember us in prayer as we prepare for this transition.
Monday, October 26, 2009
I have been eating up these videos lately. She has even more at her website Greenlitebites. Some great cooking videos with Ryan and they are always taste testing new fruits. It gave me some great ideas for not only cooking with my big kids (ONE AT A TIME!) but also with little Jonathan.
I hope you enjoy.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
We plan to have a functional farm to help feed these boarders and others. We would require most people staying with us to help out around the farm. I would love to have a huge farm table that everyone was welcomed around. Or if they wanted to eat in their cottage that would be fine as well.
Dh has lots of plans for recreation areas on our property and we both have major visions of hospitality.
This is what we are striving for as we watch our finances and save where we can.
But what can we do right now?
Friday, October 23, 2009
I'll be the first to admit there have been times I have walked away from my Bible reading and daily prayer time. I just did not want to be friends anymore. But as I look back through my prayer journal I see that when I came back I came back broken and repentant. I found God waiting for me with arms held out. I would just cling to His awesome grace and mercy for a time, then something would happen and I would sulk off again.
But something else was happening. I was noticing that we had food to eat, money to pay our bills and a few extras. I noticed that each trial brought me to a new place with God. The Bible became more than just a daily reading to me. It became a lifeline between me and God. My spirit was confirmed and convicted appropriately as I read through the crinkly onion skin pages.
Through it all life began to really make sense. Make sense in the way that I realized this world is so very temporary.
I realized that I was reading my Bible and praying as a ritual to get me through the day. Surely if I read my Bible and jot down my thoughts to God then my day will go smoothly. No. What I found was that on days that did not go smoothly if I spent some time with the Lord I could handle it better.
There is no promise of happiness and comfort. Only of peace and joy. Two very different things.
Peace in the midst of discomfort because I know God is by my side perhaps even carrying me through. Joy in the midst of unhappiness because I know that this too shall pass. Joy because Jesus is my heart and soul not this world and her pleasures.
The girls and I are keeping gratitude journals. Each morning we write five things we are thankful for and each night before bed we write five more things. We plan to share these with the family on New Years Eve.
Do I know for sure that 2010 will be a better year? No. I sure hope it will be, but the one thing I do know for sure is that God will never leave me nor forsake me.
Right after we started the gratitude journals I read these verses in Psalms 77.
Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth [his] promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
And I said, This [is] my infirmity: [but I will remember] the years of the right hand of the most High.
I will remember the works of the LORD: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.
I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.
Thy way, O God, [is] in the sanctuary: who [is so] great a God as [our] God?
Thou [art] the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.
Thou hast with [thine] arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
When I think God has forgotten me or is just cutting me off I can go back to my gratitude journal and realize that He has given me so much more than I deserve.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Of course I am practicing contentment. I am freshening up my home and filling it with the great scents and colors of fall. I am thankful for the humble home God has so graciously blessed us with. But somehow I think dreaming of a more colorful world is not taboo.
I am still stocking my freezer full of yummy goodies. I have three bags of beef stew. Three pans of chili chicken mac, and four pans of beef and macaroni. I made a huge batch of chicken and rice that turned out way too dry. We are eating that this week for lunch three times and dinner at least twice. I did not want to save it for later. LOL Tomorrow or Monday I have chicken noodle soup to make. I might even try canning that. I look around my stocked pantry and freezer and it too makes me excited about fall. Storing up for the winter and all!