"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Friday, April 27, 2012

Queen of the Home 6

"What would be gained to woman's comfort, respectability, or usefulness, or to the welfare of society, and how much would be lost to each, by withdrawing her from her own appropriate sphere, and introducing her to that for which she has no adaptation?
Who, but a few wild visionaries, and rash speculatists, and mistaken advocates of 'women's rights' would take her from the home of her husband, of her children, and of her own heart - to wear out her strength,consume her time, and destroy her feminine excellence - in committee rooms, on platforms, in mechanics' or philosophical institutions?"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Please Pray for Noah

Dear friends,

Little Noah is seriously ill with an infection that is not responding to antibiotics. Read here for an update or use the link on my right sidebar.

Please continue to pray for him and his family. Thank you.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Praising the Good

It's so easy for me to become focused on what my children do wrong..

 - when my five year old forgets to make her bed - again. And I have to remind her again.

 - when my angry boys resort to punching each other, I have to become "judge and jury" to figure out who's right and who's wrong. I have to discipline them and train them in patience and love.

 - when the trash isn't taken out - again, I have to track down the guilty party, make sure he does the job, and train him toward greater responsibility.

But when the bed is made, I barely acknowledge her hard work. When no one is arguing, we manage to get more on our to-do list done. When the trash is taken out, we just put more trash in the trash can.

When things are going well, it's easy for me to forget to give thanks and commend those who are doing well. I have come to realize that I can unintentionally discourage my children when I remember to discipline them, but forget to encourage.

In 1 Peter 2:14, Peter mentions leaders that are sent by God "to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good." The same can be said for us as mothers.

It can be likened to making deposits and withdrawals in a checking account. If we just write checks and never make deposits, the checks we write will bounce. In the same way, if we just correct our children but never encourage them, our discipline efforts will fail.

Personally, I tend to "overdraw" and spot the wrong-doer before I spot the right-doer.  But my children started to change when I started to change. I started to look for what they were doing right. Instead of focusing all my attention on all their wrongdoing, I looked for opportunities to encourage them and bless them when they were doing something good. And that's when things began to change.

That's how the Lord treats me. He doesn't overlook my sin. He keeps His promises and disciplines me (often after much long-suffering and mercy on His part). But He also blesses me when, by His grace, I obey Him. The Scriptures are full of promises of blessing for those who choose to obey Him. And those promises are part of what gives me hope as I persevere in following Him.

Many of you are probably very good at encouraging your children when they do well. For those of you who are like me, I challenge you to spend the next few days catching your children doing good things.

 Conduct an "experiment": Pay attention and grab every opportunity to encourage and bless. Watch your children playing happily together, think about all the chores they do around the house, and appreciate their strong points. Take notes if you have to - I did!  :) And start blessing your children with encouragement.

For example,  words of encouragement: "I love you!" "Look how much you've improved in this area!" "You are such a blessing to me!" "Yay! I saw that! Good job!" "I've noticed that you and   _____ are getting along much better today. God is helping you to be more patient, isn't He?" "Your cheerful attitude is such an encouragement to me."

Physical gestures: A wink across the room, a big smile, a big hug, applause!

Gifts and special events: Sometimes real progress in an area of serious struggle might deserve a special blessing - a special home-baked treat, a favorite dinner, a piece of jewelry, or some other special gift...along with words of love and encouragement.

I'd love to hear about the results of your "experiment".   :)

"..do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."  ~  Ephesians 6:4

Have a blessed day, friends!

linking up this week at Deep Roots at Home

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Dear friends,

While requesting prayer for  Annaleigh's family, I felt compelled to also ask for prayer for a little boy named Noah.  He has been through so much during his short life..and his parents are now facing a big decision. Prayers are coveted for him and his family.

You can read his story here,  or use the link on my right sidebar.

Thank you.

Continue to Pray..

Please continue to pray for Annaleigh's family.  You can read the latest from Rebecca here.

Thank you!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some Thoughts on Feminine Dress

Dear friends,

It's been almost one year since I (and my girls) started wearing skirts full-time. Here's how it all began......

 Last spring, I was really encouraged - and challenged -  by reading Amy's posts @  She Wears Skirts Series, and Caroline's posts @ The Modest Mom.
(You can read my post about skirts here.)

But even before I had stumbled upon  their  blogs,  the Lord had already been dealing with me about what I was wearing, which I call the "The Uniform of the Day" :  jeans and t-shirts.  I knew that, as Christians, we are to be "set apart" from the world (Psalm 4:3) "not conformed" to it (Romans 12:2), and that we were "to keep oneself unspotted" from it (James 1:27).   I had to admit to myself that  what I was wearing was not separate from the world because I looked exactly like almost every other woman when I went out in public. Not only did I consider myself not separated from the world, but I just didn't feel feminine in what I was wearing. However, I  felt very feminine in my Sunday clothes.

As I read the posts in the series, the topic came up at lunch one day. I asked the children, "What's the first thing that pops into your mind when you see a lady in a long skirt?" My then 9 year-old son summed it up well.   His answer was," I would think, 'Wow! There's something different about her!'"

Exactly! We are supposed to different from the world - even in how we dress.  And  in our society, with the gender lines blurred, or sometimes non-existent, it's hard to distinguish  male from female these days.

So I found myself looking forward to each new post and loving what I was reading.  And  I felt the Lord tugging on my heart even more. I knew what He was trying to tell me:  make the change..literally - to embrace my femininity, to love being the woman God created me to be..... and to be more modest at the same, (which is a topic for another  post).  : )  The Lord made it very clear to me and I knew what I had to do.
But there was the question about how to afford practically a whole new wardrobe. I had Sunday clothes, but no skirts to wear around the house, or  to run errands, etc. And I would need some shoes, too.  The Lord graciously provided exactly what I needed from thrift stores, and also material to make skirts for me and my girls.

 I must tell you that I  feel much more feminine in a long, flowing skirt than I ever did in a pair of jeans or even capris. And for the record, my hubby says, "Dear, you look really nice" much more now than he ever did when I wore jeans.  :)  My daughters act more feminine in their skirts, too.

 I also find that I can do anything in skirts that I could do in jeans..from cleaning the house to weeding the garden.  My sweet daughter-in-law gave me an apron a couple of years ago, I use it on a daily basis to keep my skirts clean.

So it's been a year since the switch and I have yet to be questioned by family or  friends about why we wear skirts. Maybe it's because they're thinking, "They homeschool and wear skirts. Typical weirdos."  ;) 

There's a quote from Kim Brenneman in her book, "Large Family Logistics" that was a wonderful encouragement to me while switching over to skirts. She said, "Our foremothers settled this land, built houses, planted gardens, and tended animals in long skirts and beautiful dresses. Even their aprons were wonderful to behold! Surely in our day of microwaves, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners, we can do our chores with as much feminine flair as they. Personally, I feel it is uplifting to the spirit to go through each day in womanly attire. Let's dignify our work by dressing appropriately and beautifully for it!"

Now obviously, I realize that there are people who would call me legalistic, but I disagree. I 'm not legalistic.  I'm  liberated  -  in the right sense of the word;  liberated to embrace how the Lord created me - to be a woman, to act like a woman, and to dress like a woman.  

Have a blessed day,

linking up at The Modest Mom
                                                             Deep Roots at Home
                                                            Feminine Friday 
Thanks for reading, friends. And I try to respond to each comment that you leave.   :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Prayer Request

Dear friends,

My friend Rebecca @ Country Mouse Musings is requesting prayer for some friends of hers. Their little girl of 15 months, Annaleigh, went Home to be with Jesus this morning.

Please bring this family before the Throne of grace...for comfort and strength for them. Thank you in advance for all the prayers!

You can read the full story here...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Heaven is a little sweeter

This morning at 3:27, little Annaleigh went to be with Jesus. After a long, hard fight He took her home to be with him.
While it was not the answer that we hoped for, He did answer the part of our prayers that said “Your will be done, Lord.” There were literally thousands praying and fasting for this little girl all over the world. Now she is in the Savior’s arms and sitting on His knee. She is completely healed and whole now.
The following was posted by Annaleigh’s grandfather this morning:
Indecision was upon the countenance of the young mother.....
Should I really let my baby run to him....
His smile lifted as did his hand....
Suffer her to come to me.....
I know it will hurt for you to let her....
But trust me enough allow her to come to me.....
Mom trusted.....
And our Annaleigh stepped from her mother's embrace into His.....
At 3:27 a.m. April 13, 2012 our sweet Annaleigh stepped from our world to His......
And amid tears Mom saw the little brown hand and big smile turn and wave that everything is OK.....
On another day the Mom placed that baby in the room that had gotten her him.....
And processed the questions of the prophet...
Is it well with thee, thy baby and thy household?
She answered , "It is well"....
And then just a moment ago the questions were asked....
Is it well with thee, your household, and your baby....
And gently Mom knew, just at did the the others....
It is well....

Please continue to hold up this family and ask the Lord for strength, comfort, and peace for the long days ahead. We received a call yesterday evening that this family also had a brother-in-law/uncle pass away yesterday evening. Ask that Lord would comfort them and draw them closer together.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Annaleigh update

This is the latest update on little Annaleigh. This is from her grandfather:

Annaleigh is a very sick little girl. Again we thank you for prayers, love, visit, texts, snacks etc

The Weester has been given a 20% survival chance for tonight. Having already endured 45+ minutes of CPR already, the doctors say that they will not resuscitate in the event her little heart stops tonight. They are giving 3 drugs for her heart at maximum levels and much fluids for blood pressure therefore the balance for heart survival is precarious. Should her little heart tire out tonight, then we count that as God's decision to take her.

Should she survive the night, tomorrow's mountain is bigger than tonight's due to Friday being danger day for brain swelling. Our little girl faces a difficult time the next few hours and in all reality, we are already living with extended grace for her life.

Should the Lord decide to take our Annaleigh on to be with him, we are so thankful for the 15 months of joy she brought into our lives. We will never forget the giggles, wiggles, bows and snuggles she brought to our home. We never thought one little girl could brighten up so many days. And who could have known that 100 pictures per day on FaceBook would give here such a celebrity status. The little thing never wore a bow or outfit 2 times, ha. That last remark will get me in trouble.

I thank the Lord for this fellowship of people who offer love and care unreservedly. Thanks to everyone for prayers offered on behalf of our sweet Annaleigh and family


Please hold Annaleigh up in prayer. She is the 15 month old daughter of a friend of ours. She drowned yesterday afternoon and was placed on a respirator yesterday after they found a faint pulse. She is on full life support now and has undergone a blood transfusion. There was some seizure activity through the night as well. An EKG revealed little or no activity.The doctors have given the family no hope, but we serve a God who heals. Nothing is too hard for God.
Above all, please ask that His will be done in this situation. I’ll give updates as I receive them.

Annaleigh and her mommy Redonia

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Elmer and His Girl

Hi everyone,

I just have to share this funny photo with you. I walked into our henhouse a few nights ago to check on our "girls" , and this is how I  found our rooster, Elmer, and one of our Black Australorp hens..

I hope this gives you a smile to start your day.  :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Lilac Muffins

One of my favorite things about spring is breathing in the lovely fragrance of lilacs.

Unfortunately,  we had to do some major pruning on our lilac bush last fall because some type of disease had almost killed it. So, when I wanted to make Lilac Muffins last week, I wondered where I would get the blossoms.

No problem. My sweet mom had just what I needed.  And since I wanted to surprise my children with something new (again!!), I began my lilac-muffin-making adventure in secret - while they were playing with Legos.

But it's hard to keep a secret in this house, especially when the "secret" is baking in the oven, and giving off a wonderful aroma.  :)   So, gradually they wandered into the kitchen, following their noses to the source of whatever it was that smelled so delicious.

When I told them what I was baking, they gave each other the oh-no-mom-is-making-something-weird-again look. 

But when it came time to eat the "weird stuff",  there were very few left-overs. :)

So here's what you will need:

 1 cup of lilac blossoms and buds, rinsed and all green pieces removed. Set aside.

Mix the following in a large bowl : 1/2 c. butter, softened,   1/2 c. sugar,  1 egg,  and   1 c. milk.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine:  2 c. flour,  3 t. baking powder,  and  1/2 t. salt.  Add to above ingredients, and mix well.  Then gently fold in lilacs.

Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 for 25 - 30 minutes.

Cool on wire racks, and glaze, if desired. I used a glaze of powdered sugar and milk.

Here's how they looked without the glaze...

...and with the glaze and a  lilac blossom for a garnish.

For more muffins recipes, head over to my friend, Lisa's blog @ Happy In Dole Valley.  She does a muffin post every Monday and you will love all her recipes. But be warned: you will become completely ravenous looking at the photos of all those delicious muffins!

Happy muffin making!

linking up this week @ Deep Roots At Home

Saturday, April 7, 2012

He Is Risen!

"But the angel answered and said to the women, 
'Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.
He is not here, for He is risen, as He said.' "
 - Matthew 28:5-6

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Redbud Jelly

Last year about this time , or a little later, I was in the midst of a jelly-making frenzy.

I made Rose Petal JellyHoneysuckle Jelly, and Lavender Jelly,   But I never got around to making the one I really wanted to try: Redbud Jelly.

 So I made up my mind to give it a try this spring. And it's as delicious - and beautiful -  as I hope it would be. Although the Redbud is a member of the pea family, I promise the jelly does not taste like peas. ;) So if you have Redbud trees in your neck of the woods, give this recipe a try.

Redbud Jelly

Gather 4 c. Redbud blossoms, rinse them slightly, and place them in a heat-proof dish. 
Cover the blossoms with 4 cups boiling water. Cover the dish with a tight-fitting lid.
Let stand 24 hours.
Strain out flowers and squeeze out excess moisture to make 4 cups. You might have to add a little more water to make 4 cups.
Pour liquid into Dutch oven, and add 2 pkgs. powdered pectin and 8 T. lemon juice.
Bring to a boil.
Add 8 c. sugar all at once.
Return to boil and boil hard for one minute.
Ladle into clean jelly jars. 
Skim the foam.
Wipe rims and adjust lids and rings.
Process 10 minutes in a hot water bath.
Makes 8-10 jars.

And here's how mine turned out.....
Have a blessed day, friends!

linking up @ Deep Roots At Home
                       Raising Mighty Arrows
                                          A Wise Woman

Monday, April 2, 2012

Queen of the Home 5

"The Bible gives her place of majesty and dignity in the domestic circle - the heart of her husband and the heart of her family.
It is the female supremacy of that domain, where love, tenderness, refinement, thought, and tender feeling preside.
It is the privilege of making her husband happy and honored, and her sons and daughters the ornaments of human society.
It is the sphere of piety, prudence, diligence, in the domestic station, and a holy and devout life.
It is the sphere that was occupied by Hannah, the mother of Samuel;
by Elizabeth, the mother of John;
by Eunice, the mother of Timothy,
and by Mary, the mother of Jesus.
It is the respect and esteem of mankind."

-  John Angell James

Have a blessed day, friends!