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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Missing Out

For the past several weeks, I have been in my usual spring cleaning frenzy. While finishing up with our school year, I tried to get in a little spring cleaning each day.

Our home  became chaotic. I became grouchy. And the children became stressed.

I had finally had enough. The children? Enough! So we left all the cleaning supplies where they were, I grabbed my camera to capture the moments,  and we went outside to enjoy the day.  I would have missed out on so much if I would have sent them outside without me.

I would have missed out on my boys playing tag in the hayfield...

And a wrestling match in the front yard...

I would have missed seeing my youngest daughters dancing in the sun...

And watching them run through the hay...

I would have missed out on helping them make clover/honeysuckle "crowns"...

And ending the day on a very happy note...  :)

Young mothers, please take the time to enjoy your children. With two grown children, I am speaking from experience by saying, "The days are long, but the years are short." Once these years are gone, you will never get them back.  Soak up every moment!

I hope you have a blessing-filled day!

linking up @ Raising Mighty Arrows
                       Our Simple Country Life

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Queen of the Home {8}

"Whatever happened to home being the center of the family, a haven of refreshment, a thriving metropolis of productivity?
Instead, we have elaborate McMansions that are devoid of life.
They might look pretty to the observer (thanks to hired maids and interior decorators), 
but they are usually houses, not homes.
They sit there empty and lifeless while the occupants live a hectic, frenetic, 100-mile-an-hour life in the fast lane - trying to get ahead, trying to get to the top of the corporate ladder, trying to squish in as many activities as can possibly be had outside the home.
We don't have to follow along in this madness. Our families deserve something better - they deserve a beautiful, welcoming home which is the heart of the family.. and center for outreach to the world.
Maybe our home isn't furnished very expensively
and maybe it isn't very big,
but we can do our best to recapture the nobility and rightful place of home in our society, beginning with our own home."
 ~ Chrystal Paine

Friday, May 25, 2012

National Food Holidays

 Happy National Brown-Bag-It Day, everyone!!  No, I'm not joking.

Today really is National Brown-Bag-It Day! And did you know that there's a national food holiday for almost every day of the year?

For example, January 16th is National Fig Newton Day.

March 29th is National Turkey Neck Soup Day. ( Ick.)

July 18th is National Caviar Day.  (Another ick.)

September 14th is National Cream-filled Donut Day. (Now that's more like it.)

And  November 6th is National Nachos Day,  just to name a few.

We have had so much fun with this! My children especially love knowing which food holiday their birthday is on.  :)
Now, we don't "observe" all these holidays, but we do as many as we can. And my children love looking at the list (which I print for the current month and post it in the school room), and seeing which food is being honored on that day.

So how did I land the info about  all these holidays? A friend of mine gave the website for it.

It's www.statesymbolsusa.org/National_Symbols/American_Hollidays.html

Once you're there, scroll down to "American Food Holidays", and there's where you'll find the list.

Happy homeschooling!

linking up at Hip Homeschool Hop

Monday, May 21, 2012

Some Thoughts on Modesty

Ahhh....spring. Flowers are blooming. Leaves on the trees are coming out. Birds are chirping. Garden work is beginning. Women are prancing around in public barely dressed.  That's not a typo, by the way.

Because it appears that the onset of warm weather seems to give people (especially women) the license to wear as little material as possible, as tight as possible, while showing as much skin as possible.  Sometimes I wish I didn't have to take my children out in public at all..to protect their eyes and innocence for as long as possible.

Maybe many of these people I see out in public aren't even  Christians, which explains their behavior. As my hubby says, "Dear, if they're not believers, then they're acting exactly like they're supposed to."

But what about Christians...women, in particular? Do we have a dress code?

And  how did this all begin in the first place?  Jeff Pollard, author of The Public Undressing of America , says that what was illegal in clothing 100 years ago, and would cause your arrest, is now popular  and accepted everywhere - even in churches. His book is excellent and I highly recommend it. He believes that the modern-day trend of immodest clothing began years ago...with swimwear.

For example, in the 1890's, swimwear was modified street clothing
                                  1910: arms were exposed
                                  1920's: legs and backs were exposed
                                  1930's: cleavage was exposed and men began to swim bare-chested
                                  1935: two-piece bathing suits appeared with a small break break between upper and lower half
                                  1940's: new fabrics appeared which hugged the body
                                  1960's: navels were exposed

Today, if you have been to your local public pool or if you've been to the beach, you will notice that anything goes.  (Which is why we, as a family, don't go to either place.)

But it apparently doesn't stop at the pool or the beach. I have been in Walmart and seen women exposing just as much cleavage as any swimsuit.  Shorts that are so short, there's very little left to the imagination. Bellies are on display.  Again, anything goes.

So back to the dress code question. Does Scripture give instructions for modest dress? Of course. We're probably all familiar with  1 Timothy 2: 9 &10 and 1 Peter 3: 3 - 6. These passages very clearly teach that Christian women should dress in a modest manner, as it says in 1 Timothy 2:10, "..which is proper for women professing godliness.... with good works." So, according to that verse, a Christian woman's heart will dictate her wardrobe and appearance. Maturity in heart = modesty in dress.

All respectable clothing is the fruit of a godly heart. But there's also a flip side to that. Proverbs 7:10 describes a woman  dressed in "the attire of a harlot".

Our clothing sends a message whether we realize it or not.   I am not suggesting that we go back to Little House on the Prairie days (although I love the way the ladies dressed back then!).

I am simply saying that as Christians, we need to be careful of how we dress - for 2 reasons:

1. As mentioned above,  Scripture commands it.

2. Also, so that we will not cause our brothers in Christ to stumble.  Men are visual. That's how God created them. Dressing to show off our bodies or to attract men's eyes is wrong, and a stumbling block to them.

The word "modest" in 1 Timothy 2 : 9 means "not attracting attention to oneself".  Do we dress to attract the eyes of others? Or do we cover our bodies properly and reserve them for the eyes of our husbands only?

I realize that each one of us has our own idea of what modesty is. And I have some guideline for  myself...

...for shirts and dresses: no see-through or skin-tight material. For all other shirts and dresses, I do the "bend over test: I put  it on and bend over in front of the mirror. If I can see down that shirt (or dress), then so can everyone else when I bend over. So I  put on a cami  underneath, or I don't wear it at all.

...for skirts and dresses (length): I put it on, sit down, and cross my legs. If I can do that without pulling and yanking to hide my thighs, then I wear it. If not, I don't. But I prefer long skirts, so I hardly ever have a problem with the length.

...no tank tops for me:  I don't like the clingy material they're made out of and I don't like having to continually hide my bra straps under the tank top. 

What about you, dear readers...what are your thoughts on modesty? Do you have guidelines for what you wear/don't wear? I'd love to hear from you. :)

Instead of dressing to attract the eyes of others, may we "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24), bringing glory and honor to our Heavenly Father.


2 Corinthians 6:17 :  "Therefore  'Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord.' "

linking up with The Modest Mom
                           Deep Roots at Home
                           Feminine Friday
                           Growing Home 
                           Cornerstone Confessions
                           Raising Arrows


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Praising the Good (follow-up)

 Last month I wrote a post about praising the good in our children. The Lord has been helping me to see the good in my children, and to stop focusing so much on the bad.  And I always keep my "list" handy should I start focusing on the negatives.  :)

You have heard from me, and now it's time for me to hear from you.....

Have you noticed a change in your children since you started praising the good?

Did you make a literal list or a mental list?

Has the atmosphere of your home changed for the better?

 Now that it's been a few weeks, I would love to hear about the results of your "experiment".  :)

Have  a blessed day, friends!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

Here's a photo of our furry family member, Kim, who is obviously having a very stressful day.  ;)

Hope this brings a smile to you as you start your day!  :)


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Possum Pie

Ever heard of Possum Pie? (No, it doesn't contain roadkill - lol)

It's a family favorite at our house, even though the children gave me the typical oh-no-mom-is-making-something-weird-again look the first time I made it.

Once your family realizes that there's no possum in it, it will be a family favorite at your house, too.  :)

Here's the recipe...

2 pkgs. (3 oz. each)  cream cheese (softened)
3/4 c. powdered sugar
Mix these ingredients well and put in a 9" graham cracker crust

Sprinkle with 1/4 c. chopped pecans.

Next, combine 1/3 c. instant chocolate pudding mix, 1/4 c. instant vanilla pudding mix,  2 c. cold milk, and 3/4 t. vanilla extract in a bowl. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Spoon over pecans/cream cheese mixture.

Chill for at least 2 hours.  Top with 1/2 c. whipping cream (whipped) and sugar to taste. Garnish with powdered cocoa or pecan halves. 8 servings.

Have a blessed day, friends!

linking up this week @ http://time-warp-wife.blogspot.com


Dear friends,

Please pray for Noah. He has to have surgery this morning. It is (hopefully) going to be outpatient, but it could be an overnight stay, if necessary.

Read the full update here, or use the link on my right sidebar.

Thank you!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Sacred Trust

"O dear mothers, you have a sacred trust reposed in you by God!
He hath in effect said to you, 'Take this child and nurse him for Me, and I will give thee wages.'
You are called to equip the future man of God, that he may thoroughly furnished unto every good work.
 If God spares you, you may live to hear that pretty boy speak to thousands, and you will have the sweet reflection in your heart that the quiet teachings of the nursery led the man to love his God and serve Him.
Those who think that a woman detained at home by her little family is doing nothing, think the reverse of what is true. Scarcely can the godly mother quit her home for a place of worship;
but dream not that she is lost to the work of the church; far from it, she is doing the best possible service for her Lord.
Mothers, the godly training of your offspring is your first and most pressing duty."
~  Charles Spurgeon
Happy Mother's Day, friends!

Friday, May 11, 2012

From Surviving to Thriving

"If you really want to stop just surviving motherhood, you have to find meaning in motherhood that transcends the day to day-ness of your life.  Cooking and cleaning have to stop being tiresome chores, naughtiness has to stop being a personal offense, and the needs of your family have to stop being interruptions to your day.

You have been entrusted with tomorrow’s fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers.  You have been entrusted with the next generation of believers, the future servants of our Lord and Savior, the Light-bearers and Truth-speakers of tomorrow.  They just happen to bundled up in little, foolish, needing-to-be-honed packages you get to unwrap!"

~Amy at Raising Arrows

Have a blessed day, friends!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Took His Hand And Followed

With Mother's Day just a few days away,  I decided to share some encouraging poems every day til then. I pray that you will be encouraged in your God-ordained role as a mother and keeper of the home.

                                             My dishes went unwashed today,
                                                          I didn't make the bed,
                                                   I took his hand and followed
                                                 Where his eager footsteps led.

                                               Oh yes, we went adventuring,
                                                          My little son and I...
                                                Exploring all the great outdoors
                                                      Beneath the summer sky

                                              We waded in a crystal stream,
                                              We wandered through a wood...
                                              My kitchen wasn't swept today
                                                   But life was gay and good.

                                       We found a cool, sun-dappled glade
                                           And now my small son knows
                                       How Mother Bunny hides her nest,
                                         Where jack-in-the-pulpit grows.

                                     We watched a robin feed her young,
                                                 We climbed a sunlit hill...
                                  Saw cloud-sheep scamper through the sky,
                                                     We plucked a daffodil.

                                             That my house was neglected,
                                               That I didn't brush the stairs,
                                          In twenty years, no one on earth
                                                  Will know, or even care.

                                          But that I've helped my little boy
                                                   To noble manhood grow,
                                     In twenty years, the whole wide world
                                              May look and see and know.

                                                       ~Mrs. Roy L. Peifer

Have a blessed day, friends!

For more encouraging quotes and poems, please visit my friend Valerie, @ Quotes For A Mother's Heart

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First I'll Be a Mother

Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there,
Ours boasts it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere.

For smears on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors,
I should apologize I guess,
For toys strewn on the floor.
But I sat down with the children,
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I am forced to choose,
The one job or the other,
I'd like to cook, and clean, and scrub,
But first I'll be a MOTHER.

~Author Unknown
Have a blessed day, friends!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Joyful Mother

Our society doesn't necessarily make us feel that motherhood is a joy.  Comments from strangers that I sure have my hands full don't always spark joy in my heart. They are right - I do have my hands full.

It isn't always easy, and is most often challenging. People frequently question our family size and wonder why I would want to have my children home with me all day.

Inevitably August comes, and I begin to hear familiar comments from mothers about how happy  they are that their children are going back to school. They certainly don't seem very joyful about spending the summer with their children.

But I suffer from the same problem - lack of joy. I know how easy it is to get caught up in the nitty gritty details of everyday life and miss all the joy that my children bring to my life.

Instead, I should count it a blessing that my children are underfoot all day and I can see everything  that happens as they grow.

I can be happy that when my teenager has a problem that needs to be talked about, I am right there for them..to listen and give counsel.

Or when my 10-year-old has a question about the Lord, he will come to me for the answer.

Or when my toddler falls down and scrapes her knee, I am the one who will hold her and comfort her.

Friends, we should realize the magnitude of the ministry the Lord has given us in training our children at home. And our joy should be in simply being there each day to train our children - not in achieving some high standard of performance each day... and not in doing all the tasks we think we must do.

True joy comes when we realize that we are right where God has placed us - in  the center of His will and in the heart of our home...caring for our husband, children, and our home. True joy is accepting God's best for us.

"He makes the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise the Lord!"  -  Psalm 113:9

I hope your day is joy-filled!

linking up at The Modest Mom
                       Deep Roots at Home
                       Each Card Tells a Story

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Queen of the Home {7}

"But may not woman, in every way in her power - benefit society by her talents and influence?
Certainly, in every legitimate way. Her sphere is clearly assigned to her by God....
Woman can be spared from the lecturer's chair, the platform of general convocation, and the scene of public business;
but she cannot be spared from the hearth of her husband and the circle of her children!
Substitutes can be found for her in the one, but not in the other.
In the bosom of domestic privacy she fulfills with truest dignity and faithfulness the first and highest obligations of her sex."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Update on Noah

Dear friends,

Noah has improved and is now stable!  Go here for an update.

Thanks so much for your prayers! Please continue to pray..

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Tea Party With My Children

Every now and then my children and I have a tea party. Yes..you read that right. I said, "my children"; not just "my girls".  My boys love the parties as much as my girls.

Some of you might wonder why  boys would want to have a tea party. Simple: wherever  there's food,  you'll find my boys.  :)

Even if they have to use their very best manners...and even if they have to dress up in their Sunday best.

Here are some photos of our latest tea party..

The dishes are ready.....

The Russian teacakes are ready.....(yes! we use real food!)

Time to eat!

And by the way, we drink milk instead of tea.  :)

Tea parties are a fun way to reinforce table manners -  and make memories with your children at  the same time.

Have a blessed day, friends!

linking up at Deep Roots at Home