Saturday, December 18, 2010

Moving?




So, What's new with you? 


We may be moving.  Again.  (((insert stress-filled sobs here)))

We moved out to our current rental property in April.  We had to move quickly because our previous landlords had sold 1/2 the land we were renting....the 1/2 with out storage shed and chicken coop on it. 
We were blessed to find what we wanted (or thought we wanted), 10 acres with a creek and a 3 bed 2 bath mobile home.  I LOVE the trailer we live in.  However, we discovered soon after moving that the land is useless.  Not only do the contents of our septic system spray over the entire back area through sprinklers but it was also the location of a junk yard.  So goodbye beautiful garden and small collection of livestock we had envisioned. : (

There are other things like the landlords being lazy but we're finding that's more the rule than the exception.  When you fix more of your rental property than the landlords.....be worried. 

Anyways, I knew Jason wasn't content with renting but he's pretty laid back and we were just waiting it out until an opportunity to buy a place came up.  With our credit we're looking at oh, 10 years? (Hey, we were young and stupid, what can we say?)

We did an estimate on our tax return however and saw that Uncle Sam was going to look kindly again on us this year.  : D Even more than last year because now we have tax deduction #2, otherwise known as Mikey. hahaha

So we were planning out the best use of the money we would have at out disposal and then one of us said it.....

"Hey! It would make a nice down payment on a house"

I can't remember which one of us said it, but I remember the look on my husbands face and I knew we were moving. 

My husband and I mesh so well together we honestly don't know where one stops and one begins.  However our personality types differ.  I get excited over things, go overboard, plan everything, and my ideas kind of take on a life of their own.  When this happens I have blinders on and don't really think reasonably.  My husband is different.  He has no blinders.  He can see and weigh possibilities and outcomes.  He also does not usually  get excited about anything. But sometimes, like in this for instance, he does.  And boy did he.

So, in the last 3 days we have looked at 5 or 6 houses. 

And we think we've decided what we're looking for. 

And its completely different than what we thought we wanted.

But the main goal is: to own our own house. 

It's my husbands vision.  And though I don't want to move, my job is to help my husband lead our family where he sees fit. I may not do it perfectly, but I'm going to try my hardest.  I'll keep y'all updated. ; )

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

For Today: The Simple Womans Daybook

Have always wanted to do this, what a good way to keep memories!


FOR TODAY: December 7th, 2010

Outside my window...a few remaining chickens.  Ginger, our great Pyrenees/German shepherd mix, massacred most of them over the past few months.

I am thinking...about Christmas.

I am thankful for...my husband who passed his license test for work, he works so hard to make a good life for us.

From the learning rooms...Jacob is learning his lower case alphabet now.

From the kitchen...blueberry crisp and bean  and cheese burritos.

I am wearing...a blue jean jumper with a red shirt underneath.  yeah, I wear jumpers, what of it?  lol

I am creating...lesson plans for tutoring a girl in English this next semester.

I am going...to take Jason to see a movie in celebration of passing his test.

I am reading..."The Unquenchable Flame" about the Reformation.

I am hoping...everyone can get along while they are at our house for Christmas.

I am hearing...Jacob watching Flushed Away.

Around the house...red bows and evergreen branches everywhere. 

One of my favorite things...cuddling with my 2 boys on the couch in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Cross our fingers to see if Jason got a promotion.  Grocery shopping, church and tutoring.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing..
Jacob looks tired after helping us decorate the Christmas tree. : )


 Hope y'all have a blessed day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Potty Training Update

Okay, so right after I wrote this post about Jacob being late in potty training according to society.....he potty trained in one day. grrrrr.

One Day.

It took 1 day of me setting the timer and making him go in there every 30 minutes.It took a lot of juice and patience and some underwear.  It also took some discipline when he refused to listen and follow directions.  And I went through a lot of skittles when he did go.

One stinkin' day.

*sigh*

So since then he has stayed dry every night except twice, and that was because I gave him juice right before bed. oops.
He is still not wanting to sit and go potty but he's got the standing thing down. 

And now, I'm kind of sad.  Sounds silly but to me this was the last milestone of being a baby....he's no longer a baby.  **tear**

Now for my second one, he love the toilet.....he loves splashing in it, tries to play with the toilet brush and toilet paper....he should potty train easy right?

The New Routine

I think someone's had a little too much coffee, don't you?

You know the routine I've been meaning to start and update y'all on?

I've tried several since then, but all failed (read I failed ).  When Jason and I decided to invite my Memaw to come live with us I knew that a routine was an absolute must.  So, I did something I hadn't tried yet, I talked it over with Jason.  I asked him what was most important to him as far as a clean house.  He gave me a list of 2 things that greatly helped.

1) The walkways clear.  No toys to step over or to stab into the bottom of your bare feet.

2) The kitchen clean.  Not that I ever leave dishes in the sink or anything but.......

This gave me a starting point so, on those days when everything goes wrong, when Jacob has been knocking little Michael around and Michael has been trying to eat things off the floor I know what would make my husband happy when he gets home.

From there we talked about how Memaw would fit into our regular weekly routine, how time I needed to spend with the boys (not just near them, but with them) and how we would spend time together.

I have always struggled with keeping the house clean.  I had the awful habit of ignoring messes and laundry until we had to do a complete house overhaul.  I know this frustrates Jason so I was set to do better. 

We decided Memaw wouldn't change much about our routines. I'll post more about her care and role in the family life later on.

We made some goals for the children including potty training, regular meal times, less tv more one on one play.

Then we turned to the house and after giving me his input Jason left me to figure it out over the next week or so.

So here's the breakdown of our day:

5:30- we're both up and crawling to the coffee pot
We talk and get ready for the day until 6:30 when Jason heads off for work. 
6:30- I start laundry, make my bed and layout what we'll have for supper.
I usually have some time to myself for Bible reading etc until around 7:30 when the tornado known as Jacob wakes from his slumber.
8:00 we all have breakfast and then I wash the dishes
I get the boys cleaned up, teeth brushed and dressed.
Jacob helps me wipe down the guest bathroom (the most often used one)  and then helps me advance the laundry.
About 9:00 I am starting our weekly chores and Jacob watches PBS while Mikey terrorizes everything.
**See weekly chores below**
12:00- lunch and clean up
Michael goes down for a nap, Jacob goes outside to play.
1:00 Jacob comes in and we work on ABC flash cards, coloring, puzzles etc together.
When Mikey wakes up we all read books together. 
In the afternoon I finish up weekly chores, laundry etc.

I start supper early, around 4:00.  We pick the house up at 5:00.  I re-clean and re-clothe the boys, usually by this time they are dirty and 1/2 naked, don't ask me how. It's one of life's mysteries when living with boys.

I try to freshen up and greet Jason at the door, because at this point I look like, well, like I've been at home with 2 small boys whose mission is to make me pull my hair out.
We eat supper at 6:00 and talk for a while.
Family Worship is at 8:00 with bedtime following soon after. 

Weekly chores- I have concentration areas where we clean top to bottom.  Next week I'll post every day what exactly I clean and how I get it done with the youngin's. This will keep me accountable : )

Sunday- The Lord's Day
Monday- Family Day (Jason is off) Errands and Shopping
Tuesday- Living Room and Jason's uniforms
Wednesday- Kitchen and cleaning cloths + regular clothing
Thursday- Bedrooms and sheets, kids clothes
Friday- Bathrooms and towels, whites
Saturday- Chores outside/inside, clean van etc

I'm sure to read that was just thrilling but I figure if I put it down it will help and I need all the help I can get!

Happy Wednesday Everyone! 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Being Thankful That Thanksgiving Wasn't Worse

I could enthrall you with this wonderful tale of visiting family and paint you a beautiful picture of an exquisite Thanksgiving feast.  But it would be a lie.  Norman Rockwell did not have my family in mind when he painted that picture.

On the other hand I could whine about how things didn't go as planned and the family feud that has been going on continues to plague us.  But I won't do that either.

Instead we've chosen to be thankful that our Thanksgiving holiday wasn't worse.  Because often times we forget that yes, it could be worse. 

I am thakful:

1) That we had a safe trip

2) That Jacobs potty training went smoothly even with long car rides and strange surroundings.

3) That my grandmother's niece was happy to take care of her while we stayed at my parents.

4) That Jason's family enjoyed having Thanksgiving at the state park we reserved.

5) For a wonderful understanding husband who sticks beside me in hairy situations.

6) That putting up a Christmas tree with your husband and kids can bring you right out of the grumps.

7) For the FOOD.  That we will be eating for at least a few more days : )

8)  For 2 precious boys who can put smiles on peoples faces even when they are sad or angry.

9)  For bloggs where I can read and write and shut out the worlds problems for a few minutes

10) But most of all I am thankful for a Savior who died for me and my family so that even though we are sinners we may have new life.

This year we are celebrating Advent with the resource found on this lovely blog.  We are choosing this year to count down to what really counts.  We are anxiously looking forward to Christ's coming not the coming of presents.

Dear Lord, Help me remember to cling to You in times of trouble.  Help me to be more Christ-like in my actions. For this coming season,  help me teach my children the true importance of Christmas and thank you for giving us your Son, a true Miracle.   In Jesus' name, Amen.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Devil Doesn't Like Baptisms



We believe that a person's actual salvation does not occur within the waters of the baptistery.
MAR 1:8  I baptize you with water, but he will baptize 
you with the Holy Spirit.
 
We believe that God draws people to him and they are saved by the blood of his Son, Jesus Christ.
ROM 6:3  Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized 
into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

4  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into 
death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the
 dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

  We believe that to be baptized is an act of submission to Christs command.  We also believe it is a public declaration of our new path with God. 
Mathew 28:19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and 
of the Holy Spirit

But although the water doesn't hold any spiritual significance in itself the Devil still does not want baptisms carried out.  I know this because almost everything that could go wrong did the morning of our baptism.

The night before: I managed to burn 3 pie crusts in an attempt to make a pie for church fellowship.  The children would NOT go to sleep.  And though I had everything laid out for the morning 1/2 of it walked away.  Do things without legs run off in your house too?  If you have a toddler just nod "yes". 

1) Jason, being the good hearted man he is, took a call for someone who was trying to get home for Thanksgiving.  So he was out from 8:30 Saturday night to 3:30 Sunday morning. 

2) Sunday morning was one disaster after another: breakfast not happening as planned, couldn't find shoes (even though I had laid everything out the night before), the kids were being difficult to say the least.  Everyone was running behind so we missed Sunday School.

3) Jason wakes up around 9.  I had let him sleep in because his late night.  He woke up sick.  A stomach virus. Bless his heart, I fill him full of medicine and let him take a shower while I wrestle 2 boys into their church clothes and prod my grandmother to hurry.  Jason emerges from the shower and looks.....terrible.  I feel inconvenienced and aggravated. I check myself, why such a hateful attitude on such a glorious day?

I think of Jesus's words "Get behind me Satan.You are a stumbling block to me...." Mathew 16:23 

"Your not whispering in my ear anymore," I say out loud to an empty room.


4) We get in the van, I think to myself that this would be the morning we blow a tire.  No, the tires are fine but the low fuel light comes on as we leave the drive way.  Jason always keeps the van filled but who wants to stop at a gas station at 3 am after working all night? No time for gas now, so we creep to church and promise to fill up on the way home.

Does anyone besides us drive carefully after the fuel light comes on?  Like its going to help. 

But anyway, I digress. 

So we get to church, late for Sunday School but early for service to find out that the tank ( I don't know what its called)  was not filled the day before and had had no time to warm up.   Can we say "brrrr"?

Jason and I just looked at each other.  We were thinking the same thing.  The devil was working overtime. 

Jason mustered his way through everything sick as a dog and exhausted.  I was so nervous I didn't even think the water was cold, now that's nervous people. 

But nothing could keep that moment from being wonderful.  We were surrounded by our church family who feel like just that: a family.  We feel like we've known them for years but have only been attending this church since June. 
We sang  Hallelujah. What a Savior!----(that song gives me goose bumps every time.)
We were publicly and symbolically washed of our sins a representation of what had already occurred in our hearts. 
We took part in the Lord's Supper for the first time. 
We sang Amazing Grace and I tried not to cry. 
We had sweet fellowship with our family. 
Jason, though sick, was so very happy, as was I.

An incredible day in all.  We have many things to be thankful for this week. 

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

God Bless,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baptism

So this Sunday is it...... Jason and I will be Baptized at 25 almost 26 years old. 

Excited? YES

Nervous? YES

But completely and totally in awe of where God has brought us in our lives. 

We are ready to declare publicly what we already know in our hearts: we are children of God, bought with the precious blood of Jesus Christ in order to live for His Glory.  Sola dei Gloria.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Psalm 127 Part 2

Michael and me when he was 2 weeks old
So after my heart was changed and I began seeing children as the blessing they are, we felt God calling us to have another child.  Jason came in from work one day and almost immediately brought up the subject, while I had been thinking about it all that week. 

I became pregnant with Mikey about a month later. 
Mikey was due on this day.....but didn't come until almost 2 weeks later.


While I was pregnant with him God continued to work in our lives and hearts.  We discovered may families, both personally and in blogland, that had many children and welcomed more. We learned from their example that there was more than just seeing children as a blessing.  We were being called to be "fruitful and multiply" to fill our "quivers".  

We had been willing to give our whole lives to God, every little detail.......except for this one.  We foolishly questioned him:

Do we have the money, the room, the experience?  Shouldn't we space them out?

It wasn't until a few months ago that we submitted to God's will and let him have power over this matter.  I can't say it was an easy decision, we are doubting sinners, often unwilling to trust in God's planning, in his divine wisdom. 

Children are a heritage from the LORD,
   offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
   are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
   whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
   when they contend with their opponents in court. Psalm 127:3-5

Now, I am often surprised at myself, how much I am looking forward to another pregnancy, even so soon, even with the memory of birth kind of fresh on my mind : )
---------------------------------------------------------

You probably noticed I did not use the term "quiverfull".  Currently (and this may change as we grow in the word) we believe this is a man made term for a biblical principle.  We don't need a catchy term for following God's will in any other circumstance and we don't believe this is an exception. Also, the theme of bearing children for the glory of God is echoed throughout the Bible again and again, we must look at it all as a whole, not just one well known verse. 

Let me also say that I don't judge.  Are you "quiverfull", awesome!  Are you not? Okay : )  I believe that I am a sinner and although I have been saved by the blood of Christ and we (my husband and I) have the responsibility to make decisions in light of scripture, we DO NOT have the foresight, divine knowledge etc to judge anyone's choice.  To do so, we believe, would be foolish.  So while I'll debate the issue with you on why we feel its a biblical matter,  We won't dare tell you your way is wrong.  (Except in the case of abortion, and then oh, believe me, I Will tell you). 

I write this here for ourselves, to look back and see where God led us, not to make anyone feel bad.  I hope that if anything its an encouragement : )

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Psalm 127 Part 1





Jason and I had discussed having children before we were married and we decided that we wanted to have a few but only when we were "ready". What is that?  How can you be "ready" for children?  

We had been married a year and had our own house when I found out I was pregnant with Jacob, most of our family and friends were less than thrilled. 

"Can y'all afford a baby? Their so expensive!"

"You've only been married a year!"  "You need more time to get to know each other"

"You'll never finish college now"

"You've ruined your life"

Now, we weren't unmarried teenagers mind you.  We were married 21 year old adults with a house and good jobs.  They acted as if I had been diagnosed with cancer, there was no hallmark brand happy tears and excitement.  We had committed a serious mistake, according to them, by becoming pregnant before the age of 30. 

Feathers became ruffled again when I did in fact quit my job and school to stay home.  But we promised that we wouldn't let "the kid" get in the way of anything else. 

I would like to say that when Jacob was born I fell immediately in love and overwhelmed with joy but while I was happy, I didn't find joy in my Son until he was almost 18 months.  Because I chose to see him as the world did, a mistake, a hindrance, a burden.  A tax write off, but nothing more. 

When God started working in my heart I saw what I was doing, I was ashamed and I sought forgiveness; from God, from my husband and from Jacob. 

My life is so full now.  Full of joy and happiness, and although there are hard times, I remember that my children were gifts.  Gifts that I should never take for granted.  More tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

EMERGENCY: AMAZON BOYCOTT

****UPDATE*** November 11, 2010, they had removed this book.  Yay!  But there are others, click on this link for more info


I didn't want to believe it when I heard it but I looked it up and its true. 

Amazon.com is allowing the sale of a book called:
"The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure"

(I won't dare link to it from my blog, but you can do a search for it if you need confirmation)

I am in still in shock, yet seething with anger.  Adventure of a Somewhat Crunchy Mama is calling for a boycott and I am right behind her.  

PLEASE take the time to let Amazon know what you think of this. We MUST protect our children, we Must take a stand.

Just Random Thoughts

I never thought I would enjoy mopping or any type of housekeeping.  BUT I DO.

Looking forward to Thanksgiving in the Monahans Sandhills.  Soooo excited that everyone else liked the idea too.  : )  Sure sliding down a sand dune on a huge frisbee may seem out of the ordinary for Thanksgiving but it beats the afternoon of football, turkey and naps that we have to look forward to usually. 

I want need this book.  Taking donations now.  LOL Just kidding.......sort of.

I have been putting off trying this recipe but I am determined to do it today.  Should have done it yesterday since it was Tomato Tuesday (more on that later) but ya know.......life happens. 

Jacob was punished after he hit Michael with a toy and caused a small gash beside his eye yesterday. Mikey was not amused, there were tears.......but then he wanted to wrestle Jacob. *sigh*  Am I right to assume this will be a regular occurrence?

Is leaving a potty chair in the living room when company comes a faux pas? I mean we are potty training right now. 

Promise I'll post something more worthwhile tomorrow but this is all I had in me for today. : )

God Bless,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Shhhhh! Don't tell the Potty Police.....

Sorry Danny, the peer pressure isn't working, we are not done with diapers.

but my 3 YEAR OLD ISN'T POTTY TRAINED YET!!!!

Jacob turned 3 in September and I awaited that birthday with fear.  Why?  Because he was not yet using the potty on a regular basis, he was still in diapers.

I felt ashamed.  

How awful of a mother was I if I couldn't even potty train him?  I mean they all say that that is the magical cut off point for potty training right?  I know some of them say 2 years and some even 1 year, but I had already passed those dates. What would they think?

His 3rd birthday arrived and I felt as if the Potty Police would show up at any moment.  I had concocted them in my head, can't you see them too?  Little black and white squad cars with toilets painted on the side.  They would show up and tsk- tsk me for not being more diligent, for not using the right methods, for not buying the right Car undies so Jacob would feel like going.

But the day of his birthday came and went.  There were no Potty Police at my door and they were strangely silent. 

It got me to thinking  how important potty training by a certain age is in respect to the whole of life.  Hmmm. 

Am I the only one who has noticed that the world does not come crashing down when your child doesn't crawl by this time or feed themselves by that time.  They keep living, things keep moving and eventually most children reach their milestones in their own good time. 

And before you think I am naive let me assure you that I do realize sometimes a child can be so sheltered and, quite frankly spoiled, that they don't reach milestones because they aren't allowed to.  But that is not what I am talking about here. 

I am talking about how we feel so pressured to do things by the book, because Dr. Phil said, because that doctor in that magazine says to get your child checked out immediately if they can't clap by 6 months or whatever it is.  Are we seriously training our children by their standards??

I would have loved Jacob to be potty trained as soon as he could walk, and I don't doubt that his trouble in this area was a combination of his development and my training. 

So he's still wearing diapers at 3 years old..........what of it?  He does go to the potty quite frequently and even manages by himself most of the time.  I see progress, but I also see forgetfulness, both on his part and mine. 

So to all who are afraid of the Potty Police or the Binky Brigade or whoever, remember how insignificant most of these things really are.  Concentrate on the important things like the health and well-being of your family.  Where is your child's heart?  Does he/she realize how amazing God is? THAT is an important question.  .
Read Generation Cedars amazing article here on that subject

PSSSSTTTT.....Have any potty training tips, tricks, hints......want to come do it for me??  I Heart Comments!

God Bless,

Friday, November 5, 2010

Discipline

In my last post I talked about how we don't discipline Jacob for "bouncing off the walls" because we thought we we were frustrating him.  After reading back over the post I was afraid that I made it sound as if we don't discipline him at all and oh, its just the opposite. However, we realize that leaving him idle creates problems.

Our beliefs on the subject:
1) We believe that children are born sinful.  Anyone who has watched a toddler for very long should realize this!
2)  We believe that God has entrusted us with raising our children to know His word and to worship him.
3)  We believe in not sparing the rod.  But we also understand that we must consider "their frame" in this.

Background information:  We listened to the world when deciding how to train and discipline Jacob, instead of trusting in God and his clear outline for it in the Bible.  We didn't adopt a biblical view of child training and discipline until Jacob was 2. That is toooo late!  It's more work to start when they first become defiant but we can already see the fruit of our efforts in our youngest.

So, I could go on about methods and what works but seeing as how we are behind in this I would rather point you to the resources that helped us get our feet firmly planted in biblical discipline, child training, and discipleship. 

1) The Bible
  
2)Great series on child training.   She has 4 youngins' and an outlook on child training taken directly from        God's word.  There are 8 parts so be sure to start at Part 1.

3)  On training babies.  http://inashoe.com - Search for Blanket Training

4) Taking babies AND children into church. For those who attend a family integrated, for those who don't read this about WHY family integrated is a good choice for the family.

5) Books
      Shepherding a Childs Heart by Ted Tripp
      Standing on the Promises by Douglas Wilson
      Christian Living in the Home by Jay E. Adams
     
6) This video/audio series is great.

I hope that these links help anyone who is struggling in this area.  Also, if y'all know of any good resources feel free to leave me a comment.  I will take all the help I can get!

God Bless,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Children and Chores

Doing the Laundry early in the morning, doesn't he look excited?  lol

It wasn't long before I realized I had to do something about Jacob.  More specifically his ability to turn into a wild-eyed heathen at the first sign of boredom.  And no I didn't medicate him, don't even get me started on that topic. 

I tried to entertain him, which was my first mistake.  I would pull out all the stops; toys, games and yes even TV, (SHHHH.....don't tell anyone!) all in the name of me being able to get some housework done and dinner on the table. 

Without, what I would call, formal child training, as in my mother teaching me or having the advantage of younger siblings or babysitting, I was at whits end.  Discipline didn't seem to be effective; Jason and I felt that we were only discouraging him. 

Then, one day ,in the middle of a bout of morning sickness, while cleaning the bathroom and trying to keep Jacob from literally bouncing off the walls I handed him the toilet brush, "Scrub!" I said.  He looked at me and smiled as if he held in his hand the most wonderful thing in the world.  He was 18 months when he found joy in scrubbing the toilet with the toilet brush. 

The merits of this were 3 fold:
1) It kept him "entertained" or busy.  Idle hands for Jacob lead to mischief LOTS of mischief.

2) It gave him a sense of satisfaction that you would not believe.  He bragged for days about cleaning that toilet!  He wanted to clean it everyday.

3) My toilet stayed clean : )  Seriously, it was a huge help to have him so willing and able to do this small task when I spent my time laying on the couch in morning sickness agony. 

His list of things he "could do" grew.  By the time he was 2 1/2 he was helping with more house and yard work than most teenagers I knew.
Doing dishes.  More like playing int he bubbles. : )
Currently at the age of 3 he successfully completes the following tasks:

Daily
-Meal time
  - sets dishes and silverware on table
  - helps clear table and wipes it down
  -occasionally helps wash dishes
-Laundry
     -brings the laundry basket (clothes are sorted into different baskets)
     -loads the washer and pours in the soap I've measured up for him
     -Starts the washer (i set the dial for him)
     - when the washer is through I toss the wet clothes onto the dryer door and he pushes them inside, adds
        a dryer sheet and hits the on button.
 - Living Areas
     - dusts everything with a feather duster
     - vacuums couch and carpet in bedrooms
-Picks up all of his toys and puts them up properly
-helps me make the beds
- throws things away
-picks up the yard
With his dad
-feeds the dogs and chickens and collects eggs (this is one we are currently working on)
- helps take out trash
-hands Daddy tools and puts them back etc

 (I believe there are more, I just can't think of them right now, its become like second nature)

Hmmmm.....it sounds like he does everything doesn't it?  Honestly he only does one major chore a day and then we work on everything else together. (I.E. I'm cleaning the bathroom mirrors while he wipes down the counters)  And trust me, I don't make him do it really.  He volunteers, begs and pleads.  He was made to work, to accomplish, to conquer, as are all boys I believe.

When I wanted him to hep me with something I start by showing him how I do it.  Then, I let him help with one small part of it.  For example, to start with the would only push the clothes into the dryer, the next time I let him do that and add the dryer sheet, the next time he pushed the button.  If he has difficulty I gently guide him, but I am lucky in the fact that he picks new skills up relatively easy like his Father.

If he didn't seem interested I would go ahead and start the task and he would come running over to help.  Very few times has he done this, he usually has to remind me to advance the laundry.  : )

I hope that I am teaching him responsibility and life skills he can use.  I hope that he is feeling accomplished in a job well done. I hope that I am teaching him that as a family we all work together to help each other and it is not all about "me, me, me!" as our culture would have us believe.

  I plan to continue with this practice for my second youngin' Michael.  I believe this will also help develop teamwork skills and camaraderie when brothers begin to work side by side.

This is a great link I found of a list of chores by age.  I can pretty much check off everything for the 3 year old category. 

So, in closing, don't feel discouraged when you feel like the toys need to be put away and your toddler, YES your TODDLER, should help you with something.  It may take you twice as long but the rewards are enormous.  Especially, if you have a ball of boy dynamite on your hands : )
After a hard morning, nothing like crackers, puzzles and a nap

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So, what IS going on with us?

*Sorry about the really long post, I'll have some shorter ones coming up : )*

My grandmother on my Dad's side, Memaw, lived BY HERSELF from the time she divorced in the 50's  until she was about 97 when she moved in with my parents. She had taken ill and was sent to a hospital where they said she was too old to operate on and we were pretty much told just to wait for her to die. 

My dad and I went and picked her up and brought her to their house.  Since my husband and I lived next door and I had experience in the area, I cared for her.  She was bedridden, diabetic and on a liquid diet.  It was hard and I am ashamed of how much I complained now, not to her but to everyone else. But to the amazement of us, the aide I hired to help and especially the "experts" my grandmother became well again.  She now walks, unassisted, waits on herself and generally requires little to no help for daily tasks.  Everything looked good as the aide took over all responsibility and my husband and I moved here to Waco.

There was a  lot of emotional turmoil, building back home, which I conveniently ignored.  Old family rifts began to widen and I felt no real need to step in.  Memaw and I had never been close.  I shamefully admit, I turned away from what was going on instead of trying to help. 

 The problems grew.  It was no longer a matter of hurt feelings but of dangerous actions almost 3 years later when I finally realized on a visit that something had to be done, but what? 

A nursing home is a last option in our family, not the first.  And while they are sometimes needed they are often overused.  Much like our government run schools and daycares, nursing homes are where we seem to place our "burdens" when they are an inconvenience for us.

With my Dad being an only child we were out of options.  And that is when God said, " YOU".   It just popped into my head one day, I had always skirted around the possibility.  I had excuses:  I have 2 children to care for, I live too far away, I wouldn't know what to do......blah blah blah.  Jonah had excuses too, but God didn't want to hear them either. 

I went to the word:

But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. 1 Timothy 5: 4

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. 1 Timothy 5:8



It was like I knew that everything would work out, at least for a time.  That this is what I had to do, at least for now. 

I mean, I had taken care of a paralyzed diabetic man my junior and senior year of high school. I had take care of her when she was in far worse shape. I had received my Certified Nurse Training the summer before my senior year.We had the space for her, and I had the time, I'm really not that busy in the day. 

I tentatively brought the subject up to my husband and after careful thought and consideration decided it was the best thing we could do, without nagging or pushing from me.  He said "It's not the easy thing but its the right thing".    I love my husband : )

I asked Memaw about it, she said yes she would move in with us but.......it would cause problems in the family. And boy did it. 

I won't go into all of the details, this is far too public of a venue for such conversations.  Suffice it to say I came out of the discussion with my mother broken hearted, it took almost a month to fully deal with what was said, and I'll never "get over it". But I have found forgiveness for her and pray, that's all we can do in a difficult situation, right? PRAY. 

My dad agreed to move her down here so 1 week later she arrived with a flatbed trailer full of furniture, keepsakes and clothing. 

Before their arrival I spent the time busily preparing her room.  I moved the boys into the smaller room since all they do is sleep in their bedroom and this way she could have the large room at the end of the house. I used my old bed from my childhood and fixed it up with bedding and a window treatment.  I picked a shower chair and sprayer up for her and my husband set them up along with building a hand rail on our rental house. We set up a TV service, a phone line and a medical alarm for her. 

When the flurry of moving had come and gone our every day routines resumed and my dad went home.  She attended church for really the first time in 3 years that Sunday with us.  And even though she is Methodist and we are Reformed Baptist she LOVED it. 

So shortly after Memaw moved in with us she celebrated her 100th birthday on October 6th.   What a blessing.

It's been a little over a month and things have been uneventful, for this I give Thanks. Not only are things going well but we are finding that we are more alike than we had been led to believe. 

I know no matter how difficult it may become that God will lead us and though it may not be where we think we ought to be headed The Good Shepherd knows best.  Praise be to God.



Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Camping Trip Recap and Park Review




Well.....it wasn't the worst camping trip. 

My husband and I have decided that we definitely need to go camping more than once a year.  We used to love to go camping and seem to keep putting it off.  Not only is it good for us but we believe it will create a lasting impression on our boys.  They will (hopefully) develop a love of nature and an understanding of why we should preserve God's wonderful creations.



So lets first go over our Camping Style:
We believe if you bring a TV, Satelite Dish or computer, you are NOT camping.  However, we are not so basic that we don't enjoy bathrooms within walking distance : ) We usually opt for walk-in tent sites, which are not on the road and do not have electricity.  We want great views and wildlife viewing opportunities.  Historical markers, buildings or museums are a huge plus.  We love to camping in the winter and fall because cold = no bugs or other campers : )

For this trip we decided on Davy Crockett National Forest.  We usually choose a state park but we wanted something different and neither of us had ever been through the Piney Woods of Texas. We also wanted a camp fire and National Forest's don't mind you collecting downed wood, the state parks?  It's usually a fine just to look at their sticks wrong.

So first, I'll give a review of the park:

Pros: 
1) The trees were nice
2) Not crowded
3) ummmmm......

Cons
1) Park service failed to mention that the concession stand was closed that rents the canoes etc

2) Out of envelopes to drop payment, also leaves you with no proof you payed

3) We saw more wildlife in the local gas station bathroom than in the actual park

4) BUSY highway within a stones throw, LOUD trucks going by all night long.....

5) the early 1900's saw mill ruins are surrounded with bathrooms, roads, a playground and a highway.  It kind of loses the feel that way. 

The cons were accompanied by our lack of practice in camping to make a worse experience.  We only brought one lantern. ONE.  What were we thinking?  And though you are allowed to gather firewood in the park its best to do that in daylight.  Its very difficult to find adequate firewood with a flashlight. (Mental Note: Arrive at park sooner.)
Also, tip for the park: Don't provide restrooms if you are not going to clean them.

We also had child training issues to work through which as most of you know, is exhausting. More on that later.

Overall, we were let down by the experience so much we opted to drive another hour farther east to take a look at the Angelina National Forest.  At the forest's center is the Sam Rayburn Reservoir, which is HUGE. They offer a variety of campsites from plush campsites with boat ramps to backwoods primitive (which is what we like).   The areas we were interested in were the Boykin Springs and the Bouton Lake camping areas.

WOW.  We decided we are going here next for sure. 

- Remote camp sites CHECK. 15 mile drive down a gravel road through wilderness.
- Restrooms close by CHECK.
- Wildlife CHECK
- Beautiful views CHECK.
- Historical sites. CHECK CHECK.  Early 1900's sawmill, mostly still intact (though its' covered in graffiti)

And its only 3 hours from our home.  A close by town, Lufkin even has a little zoo.

So now we're looking at going about every other month on a little weekend excursion.  Angelina is our first destination but then there are so many State Parks to branch out into, like Fort Boggy, a promising looking one.

So overall I give Davy Crockett National Forrest: * * two stars.  But we're optimistic. : )


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

*REVISED* The Sabbath

I found an answer to my struggle with the Sabbath via John MacArthur.I believe I was being a little like the pharisees on the subject, so afraid to not do enough, I was doing to much.  Not only that I was misunderstanding it's purpose for us since we have been saved through Christ. 

I would encourage everyone to peruse his web page for great biblical insight.  Here are the links to his sermon on the subject: 

Understanding the Sabbath 
Why Sunday is the Lord's Day






"Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you" 
Deuteronomy 5:12

So, Jason and I have been discussing the Sabbath lately.  The topic really took center stage this past Sunday when 3 out of 5 of us were not feeling well and we missed attending church.  The question was.....So what do we do now?  It was still the sabbath, a holy day, shouldn't we do something ...special? 

We turned to the bible starting with the ten commandments and then as we were reading Isaiah, where we are doing our daily readings, we discovered the following:

13(A) "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
   from doing your pleasure[a] on my holy day,
and call the Sabbath a delight
   and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
   or seeking(B) your own pleasure,[b] or talking idly;[c]
14then you shall take delight in the LORD,
   (C) and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;[d]
(D) I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
   (E) for the mouth of the LORD has spoken."  Isaiah 58:13-14

This verse spoke volumes to us about the importance of keeping Sunday holy in faith to God.
 
But the answer as to how we go about it still eludes us.  We set Sunday up as special by having the meals prepared on Saturday and the housework/chores done.  And of course we have church and fellowship in the mornings, we've also been wanting to attend Sunday school.  But what about when we get home?  Or on days we can't make it to church?  We have our nightly devotions, so that won't change but what else?

We know that we aren't to work or to do things for ourselves but for the Lord.  Besides worship Him and having a day of rest we were thinking we should make a point to perform an act of kindness or generosity.  Perhaps we could take a meal to someone, make a call or pay a visit?  Another idea we had would be to catch up on our reading of books on theology or listening to sermons from pastors we like. 
 
What do y'all do special on Sunday?  Do you have any ideas, or verses in the Bible pertaining to this?


Hope y'all all have a blessed week!








Saturday, October 9, 2010

Do You Know What Your Church Stands For?



If we only follow the Ten Commandments when it is convenient for us, where are we spiritually?

As a culture we’ve already surrounded ourselves with “graven images”, they are plugged in in our living rooms, sitting in our garages, hanging in our closets, filling our bank accounts.

Adultery is accepted if you are lonely, or if your partner doesn’t meet up to your expectations.

Lying and stealing can slide if they are for your benefit.

Honor your father and mother went out the window a long time ago, you only have to walk through wal-mart to see that.

And murder? It’s committed every day in “clinics” because its convenient, its for the health of the mother, to carry on with the “mistake” would look bad to those around us.

And if the world can overlook the commandments why not the church?

The purpose of the church is to not be accepted! Jesus Christ, who we have taken as our Lord and Savior was not accepted. He said we would be hated as followers of him.

18"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18-19

Researching various religions out of curiosity I came upon this website. I won’t name the religion but suffice it to say it is not the one I follow. It states the following on its stance about abortion:

"..we recognize tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion, and in such cases we support the legal option of abortion under proper medical procedures."

‘justify abortion” = justify murder

Those words send chills up my spine. Where is the biblical reference for this? Where did God say “go forth and multiply” unless its not convenient?

I don’t believe there was an asterisk at the end of Thou Shalt Not Murder saying *unless its an unborn child you don’t want.

How arrogant can we be to say that we created that life? We can’t create life any more than we can make our own hearts beat. (That is a partial quote from this video of an ABORTION SURVIVOR)


How can we call ourselves Christian yet spit in the face of Christ himself.

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

That statement should make your heart ache with guilt.

By turning our backs on the law that God wrote with his own hand, by turning our backs on the vile murder being committed in our own backyards and then allowing the church to support it, we are driving the nails into his hands ourselves.

I encourage you today to read your church covenant and constitution. Read where your church stands on issues such as abortion and homosexuality. Where do they find their biblical proof? Is it single verses taken at random or is it read in the context? Is it pulled out or are they reading into it?

The Big One: Can you account for what you believe to God when you see him?

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Mathew 12:36

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tough Topics: Submission Part 3

I've been putting this post off, unsure of how I should finish it.  But any conclusion is better than not having one right?  I encourage you to read Created to be His Helpmeet and The Excellent Wife and Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.  The authors not only have more experience but can say it a lot better than I ever can.  

So, how was I going to put this thing called "submission" into effect?  That was the tough question I had to ponder.

First things first, I let my husband be the leader of our family.

Sounds simple enough, but how many of us really do it?  I was willing to let my husband "lead" if he was leading the way I thought he should.  I was quick to criticize and judge.
I won't lie, this first step, the step of letting go was.......hard

Everything in my sinful nature screamed, "No! Don't do it! He doesn't know what he's doing! He will take advantage of the situation! You'll be a doormat!"

Doormat.  How I hate that term.  And I hate it because I've heard it so often.

As in, "She doesn't stand up to her husband. She's just a doormat."

Please don't confuse following your husband's lead with pretending your husband is God.  That is not what submission is about.  God is God. He is over you and your husband.  You must follow God first and then the husband he has given you to follow.  In matters that are apparently against God, who do you follow?  God, people, you follow God!

Okay, I got off on a little bit of a tangent.  Ahem. Sorry, back to your regularly scheduled post............


I believe the problem many of us have with trusting our husbands to lead our family does not lie with our husbands but our seeming inability to trust God.  Letting God be Lord over every aspect of your life is something that is not only best for you but required by the Word.

It all boils down to: Do you trust God?  The answer can not be "Yes, but......" or "Yes except for...."  Not to say that at times it won't be a struggle, I fail at putting all my trust in God quite frequently, but He's always there to remind me that He is Lord.

Do you allow God to be the Lord of your life?  That is what submission is all about.


Sorry I rushed through this post, I had imagined something far more detailed.  Perhaps I'll revisit the subject with more tips on how to actually show honor to our husbands.  Right now my mind is full of other topics:  child discipline, elder care, sacrificing for others, and the most wonderful.....baptism.  How gracious is the Lord that He called my husband and I to follow him mostly at the same time.  how wonderful that we are to be baptized, a physical sign of the washing of our sins by the grace of Jesus Christ.  "Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, the od who is our salvation" Psalms 68:19

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I'm Back....

sort of....

I just felt the need to write, felt the need to get it out.

The big news?
My grandmother, who will turn 100 years old October 10th, is coming to live with us.  

God slapped me upside the head last week and told me to quit being selfish.  (I paraphrase of course).
I believe I am doing what He wants, what He wanted me to do all along.  It's amazing how selective our hearing can be, like little children.  When God gives us good things we take them readily but when He wants us to take on a tough task or stand for what is right......we start humming and covering our ears. 

How often do we turn away from what is right and ignore the wrong for our own comfort? How often do we not approach people in the wrong for fear of hurting their feelings? Or for fear we will sever relationships and be hurt ourselves? I know I am guilty. Most of us are to some degree I'm sure. 

Above all else, I hope God's will is done and not my own. (as someone wise reminded me the other day ; )

I'll share more of my story later on.  Just wanted to write what was on my mind and heart today. 

 Thank you so much for all of your comments! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hold Everything, Stop the Press!


Here I had a series of posts going and life got in the way!

I went to write another post today and just couldn't, my mind is elsewhere. 

I have a feeling the next few days, weeks, months are going to be different.  There are decisions to be made for our family (between us and parents and grandparents) that have been put off for far too long.  There are things transpiring that will change relationships, change living styles, change everything.

Have you ever felt called to do something?

I have, I believe I was called to have children.  I felt and still feel like bearing and raising children for the glory of God is my purpose in life.

This calling I am facing now is different, way different.  But none the less the idea has plagued me for almost 2 years, slowly eating away.  I would push it to the back of my mind and say "its too hard"  and "I can't do that"! But like Jonah, I believe the will of God will be done whether I'm on board willingly or have to be drug, kicking and screaming (or swallowed by a fish) to do it! 



I apologize for being so cryptic but I don't want to put the cart before the horse, let the cat out of the bag, etc

Needless to say, posting will probably end for quite a while if this "calling" does come to pass.  We have planning, discussing and most importantly, PRAYER to occupy our time.  All the while I will have to keep myself in check, be sure that I am putting God's wishes and those of my husband before my own.  *sigh*

Side note:  I have ABSOLUTELY LOVED all of your comments!  So many of you have inspired me through your blogs and your comments to mine.  I will miss that and promise to return, just not sure when.  Thank you so much for brightening my day, Love you and Lord be with you!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tough Topics: Submission Part 2

Often used as a symbol of feminism, poor Rosie.


To recap:  I was going over the evils of feminism and how it has affected me as it has many of other women.  This is more about my story and some example about how we are choosing to live apart from God's word.

Now, I don't think I ever chose feminism.  Until the last year or so I never saw it's subtleties all around us.  TV and radio are givens, but what about your church? What about that seemingly harmless "Christian" film you just watched? 

"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12: 2

When searching for a church the hardest hurdle we faced as a family was finding a church that stood apart.  They all bragged on their extravagant buildings and many programs.  None bragged on their close knit fellowship and how they believed in the infallible word of God.  None bragged on how they follow the mandates in 1 Timothy on how to find a suitable pastor/elders.  What we tended to find in many churches was that they used the bible as sort of a loose guideline.

It was subject to their interpretation and that is dangerous folks. 

Afterall, after being barraged with the "values" of the world day in and day out, we believe ourselves to be righteous enough to use the scripture how we see fit?

 One of the main examples I would like to point to with this is 1 Timothy: (strangely enough this was part of our pastors message this past Sunday and this post was thought up before then)

Chapter 2 Verse 11-
 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission.
I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived and became a sinner. 


I'm not really sure how much more plain this could be.  So how is it that women feel they can become preachers, pastors, bishops and ministers?  How do we approve of this? 


Society tells us to bar women from occupations, even that of pastor, is "wrong".   Who should we be listening to?  The Word of God of our culture?  It's as simple as that to me.

This is just one of the many examples of how we can bring what we have learned outside the church into it

I like this passage because Paul also gives us the reason we should not teach in the church.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived and became a sinner. a

I don't know about anyone else but I know in my heart that this one is true.  I know that women, including myself, tend to be sinful, manipulative and deceiving.  I used to play the feminist part very well--treating my husband as incompetent and manipulating him with my emotions when I could not have my way. 

I saw it happen every day in the house I grew up, in the school where I worked.  Professing Christian women laying out their game plan on how they were going to deceive their husband into doing something they wanted that weekend.  We would all laugh and wait for Monday when we got to hear how it turned out.  The woman would return a conquering hero after she used tears or even full blown tantrums to get what she wanted.  And then why was it a shock when that woman came crying to us not a year later about her husband filing for divorce? 


Every day I thank God that he showed me the error of my ways before I tore down my house with my own hands. 

I pushed my husband to move, I begged him to let me spend a little more money to make our business a real success.  I cried when he wouldn't let me do something, I gave him the silent treatment when he stood firm.  A man can only take so much, and our husbands want to see us happy above all else.  So against his better judgment he let me have my way.  We went into debt, moved the business..........and failed miserably. 

There is no doubt in my mind that God let everything take place so that I could learn my lesson. Sometimes he has to tear us down to build us up.  He used this opportunity to open my heart to His Word.  Now that I was away from all of the feminist influences telling me to control my husband, to make decisions, I was free to see where God wanted me.  Tucked safely under Jason's arm. 

My husband is incredibly intelligent and has a great head on his shoulders.  He is slow to make decisions but only because he thinks through everything carefully.  He got us out of the pickle we were in, he paid our debt, he forgave me in the blink of an eye and has never held it against me. 

God was working a change in me and Jason could see it, I wasn't the same.  It was as if a blindfold had been removed.  It was painfully apparent that I had been lied to by everyone.  My family, friends, the media, the few churches I had attended.... they were all telling me the same thing.  Not only was I supposedly in charge of my husband, I was in charge of my own life, not God, not the creator.  Just me.   I was the King of the Hill (or queen rather) and let me tell you, that is a lonely place to be.

Satan's plan was obviously working.  Not only in the world, but in each and every woman.  The enemy gave us what we wanted, power and vanity.  We were ignoring our Father and taking a big ol' bite of the apple. Now, we must face the consequences of our decisions.

So, I could see submission was what God wanted, but I still had questions.  How do I go about this?  Does this mean I have to be a doormat with out an opinion?  What about the husbands out there that aren't good to their wives? 

I'll cover what I discovered in the next post:Part 3.





*Along with the Bible, during this time I read many books and blogs that helped.  Feel free to check out my sidebar and blog roll for a listing.* 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tough Topics: Submission Part 1

Okay, lets just put it out there, shall we?  If you want to ruffle some feathers at your next dinner party just throw out this statement "Wives submit to your husband's as to the Lord". Eph 5:22 And then duck and run......you will no longer be popular; not just in the local school or at the office, but the church.  This will be a series of posts about my background in feminism, the why of submission and ,the hardest part, the how.  All my opinions, backed up with what I have read in scripture.  Don't take my word for it, BYOB (Bring Your Own Bible).
"Hmmm.....submission....that's a toughie!"
My grandmother will be 100 years old next month and she is the most loyal feminist "Christian" I know.  Feminism didn't start at some bra burning, it started long before in a beautiful garden....(Gen 3:4)
Since then the feminist movement raged through history and the word "submit" in relation of a wife to her husband has joined ranks with many other 4 letter words in our culture.  The terminology is not cool, politically correct or even accepted as decent. 

Why, to reaffirm God's word through Paul by quoting Ephesians 5:22**** will get you everything but a pat on the back.  Funny looks, hateful words and such are the least of your problems.  Think how many pastors have lost their jobs for simply standing by God on the subject!  How sad is it that our culture is dictating what our pastors teach in place of our God.   No wonder so many people today (I used to be one of them) think Christianity is phony baloney.  When the church resembles the world what's the big deal of getting up early on Sunday morning to watch what you've been looking at all week?

I want to let my stance be known about the topic, because saying you're a follower of Jesus Christ does not mean that you believe in a wife submitting (even though it should).  While I may not be as well spoken as most of the anti-feminist bloggers out there (Stacy McDonald, and the many contributors of Ladies Against Feminism, just to name a couple)  I will take a stab at it, so let me start with a story....

Once upon a time..I was a feminist.  I feel like I am at one of those AA meetings.

"Hello, My name is Melodie Holder and I am (was) a feminist."

I was brought up believing that the key to a woman's happiness was choosing her own path in life.  Marriage and children were like a ball and chain dragging you down....slowing your ascent of the corporate ladder. Feminism has two basic principles 1) Women are god's 2) Men are scum.   

I was not just a passive feminist, oh-no.  I bought the whole bit, hook-line-and sinker.  I was pro-choice (read pro-murder), I believed men were dumb and should be manipulated.  I believed abstinence was a silly and overrated concept.  I believed I was in control of my life because I was a woman.......because some men in suits said I had the right to vote, the right to choose, the right to be free of men.....

Anyone who has walked down this road knows that its is not freedom, this lifestyle-these beliefs are a prison.  You are angry at the world because you have been taught that it is against you, that men are out to get you and force you into marriage with the cooking and cleaning and baby raising.  The churches (most) echo the culture to pull in more members, more $$$.  It's sad but undeniable.

The true, awe-inspiring power of God is that His Word, His Truth cut through all of the politically correct, satan inspired mumbo-jumbo.  Through everything wrong that I believed, everything evil that I held dear--His light found me.  And I became new again.


Part 2 coming soon

**** Lest you think I am taking this "out of context" please consider the following:
Ephesians 5:22
Corinthians 11:3
Titus 2:5
Genesis 3:16
Feel free to read the entire chapter around those verses, it supports the verse.  The verses are not taken our of context. Can you list any more?





Hello?! Is anyone still there?  Come on....I didn't scare you off yet did I? : )

Friday, September 10, 2010

I'm done fiddling.....promise.

I am, really.

I won't mess with my blog anymore.....until after Thanksgiving.  : )

I just needed a change. Fall is in the air!

Can't you smell it?  

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Over the River and Through the Woods.......


….To Grandma’s house we go!”  Except to get to the grandmas house we have to drive 5 hours, across Texas without an a/c in our van, to a place filled with sand, sparse vegetation and high winds….yuck.

Calling his "GiGi" to let her know we are on our way

This post was written before our trip but I didn't get to post it : ) so now that we're back....here it is.   

We will be leaving Friday at around 5:30am, the weather will be nice and cool then.  So this week is preparation for our trip.  Yes, it takes me that long to get everything organized.  We usually follow a set pattern when we are ready to go on an overnight trip and it usually follows these guidelines:

5 days in advance

We get the house ready by doing any monthly maintenance we need to do.  Nothing worse than coming back home late one night and having to fix something we should have already done.  In the summer this is simple, changing the a/c filter etc.  In winter if we miss wrapping pipes etc, we could have a problem on our hands when we get back.
This includes getting things set up for our animals.  We feed the reptiles weekly so we bulk them up good at this time and then feed them when we get back.  (we’re never gone more than 4-5 days) We set up auto-water systems for chickens and dogs as well, we don’t want them running out of water in the middle of the day.
 Then, we meet with the pet sitter.  At this house we have  kindly neighbors.  Where we used to live it was hard to get pet sitting companies to even drive in the neighborhood simply because of the color of the skin of most of the residents (rolling my eyes).  People can be so stupid. 
If they looked past the neighborhood demographics they wouldn’t step foot in our house.  “Don’t worry the 10 foot python is in a locked habitat”  “Y’all said you would care for “any animal”.  *sigh*

3-4 days in advance

I clean the house.  Now that I have implemented my new schedule the house stays pretty clean but I make sure all of the cleaning and laundry is caught up.  I also use this time to print out our packing check list, trip itenerary, any maps we need etc.  I put everything into a folder for easy access.  I also start using my freezer meals at this time.  Less cleanup at meal time and little brain power to put a meal together. : )

2 days in advance

I run any last minute errands.  I go to the bank, pick up last minute things to take on the trip.  Since we are a one car household, I clean out the van on this day since I have it all day after taking my husband to work.  I also try to go ahead and put things in the van that I know we’ll need like our ice chest etc.  I also refill our “emergency kit” for the kids.  This has a change of clothes, diapers, wipes, and an (empty) extra bottle and sippy cup.  My husband checks all of the fluids, tire pressures and makes sure the jumper cables and tools are still in there.  He also checks our “van kit” which has things like jumper cables, flashlight, fluids etc. 


Father and son checking the van...How cute!


The day before

I spend all day packing.  With only 2 children taking me all day I can only imagine if we have more! : )
And really it doesn’t have to take all day but I try to take my time and go through checklists ( I LOVE checklists) to make sure we don’t forget anything.  After packing everything we go ahead and load the van the night before our trip which saves hassle the next morning.  I set the coffee pot up and make breakfast-to-go like muffins or burritos.  We keep our toiletry bag in the bathroom so that in the morning, when we’re done brushing our teeth etc, we just toss everything in there and take it to the van. 

The boys share a suitcase on wheels for their clothing and then I have their drinks/snacks in a small cooler.  Jacob gets to pack 1 small backpack with books and toys. That's what we used to do.  This trip I implemented yet another "kit" in the way of a box between the boys seats that holds a permanent collection of colors, paper, books and other assorted toys.    Both grandmas keep a supply of toys on hand and if we’re going camping etc Jacob busy’s himself with his environment. 

My husband usually gets gas after work so we don’t have to start in the morning.

That leaves departure day stress free.  We get dressed, throw last minute toiletries into our bag and head out to the van. 

While traveling Jacob entertains himself with things in his back pack box or he takes a nap.  Lately he’s started talking to us and we have conversations about where we are going and what’s going by outside our windows.  Spotting different color cars is a favorite little boy past time.

Mikey sleeps mostly.  We stop as little as possible.  It seems harder to get them back in the van if we get them out.  And leaving so early they sleep a lot and we arrive before lunch. 

What do y’all do special to get ready for a trip?  How do you pack for or entertain he kids?
Believe me, it took us A LOT  of trips to get it down this smooth.
See y’all when we get back!

We had a lovely trip.  It couldn't have gone smoother.  We were sick the week before but were all well for the trip, the van held out, the pet sitter did a fabulous job, Jacob had a wonderful birthday and there were no knock-down drag-out fights between family members......who could ask for more! Praise God for his many blessings!

My baby boy turns 3 September 18th.  My, how time has flown.....