Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homemaker Does Not Equal Slave

 ."Holy Clean Laundry Batman! That's A Lot of Work!"**

We will be heading home the first weekend of September to visit family and stop off at the school I attended/worked at to see friends and I am nervous...
See, since we moved thing have changed in our lives....I have become a completely different person.

It's very hard to find anything in common with the people I once called friends and now we can see ourselves set apart from our families. It saddens me but at the same time I realize this is what God wants "to leave and cleave" its referred to. And boy did it make a difference in us!

I guess in preparation for the onslaught of probing questions and feminist/cultural ideology I like to kind of dwell on what makes I found some excellent articles and videos this morning that remind me WHY we do the things we do as a family, WHY we set ourselves apart.

I don't know anything about Dr. Steve Haltzman other than he is an author, but I do like this quote I heard on a clip of the Rachael Ray show. The topic was "1950's housewives" and showcases Courtney who blogs at Women Living Well. (check out her site, its wonderful!)

" don't feel like you're slave to a man, you feel like you are the master of your household" Dr. Steve Haltzman.

I really liked his wording and the point he was trying to make. Homemakers like Courtney or I for that matter are NOT SLAVES to our husbands. No where in the Word does God say that we are to be either. We are to be "helpers". It just burns my biscuit when feminists get all frazzled over this Biblical lifestyle and say that we are being "demeaned", "used" that we are "slaves" and "doormats".

Submitting to a husband does not mean that you can't disagree or have an opinion, its all about respect. I KNOW for a fact that I am emotional and fickle, while my husband is level headed and confident. I KNOW that my husband makes wiser decisions that I do, I know that I can be easily misled. "Who says?!" you ask? GOD SAYS, PEOPLE, GOD SAYS. You cannot go over or around the MANY references in scripture pertaining to this God given instruction. SUBMIT.

I feel fulfilled in a homemaker because its my JOB. Just as my husband heads off to work at 6:30 every morning to face long hours filled with toil, I too have a job to do that day. I may not have to punch in and I don't put up with office politics (praise God) but I have a very important job that my husband leaves me to do. I care for our children (read legacy), I run our house and I help build a home and haven so that when he gets done with that job he WANTS to come home.

He does not put me down, order me around or take advantage of me. I feel fulfilled and happy doing the work God has set before me to do.

Wow, I did not realize how worked up over this topic I was...back to our visit.

It's so hard in our society to be a homemaker and not be put down. Especially if you are young and newly married. I feel like homemakers have to be on a constant defensive as to why we chose this as a family and that my husband didn't force me into it. So I will try to be confident during this fun time with family and friends. Most importantly I will lean on my husband and God for support.

How do you tell people when they ask about your decision to stay home? To home school? To not vaccinate? To have home birth?

I feel a series of posts coming on.........

** I usually post photo credits but can't find for the life of me where I got this image, I just know I've had it for a long time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pondering Family Worship

This painting hangs over our dining table

 My husband and I have been discussing daily worship and how it should look for our family. So, to tell you what we currently do:

  • We each read the Bible in the morning separately. He reads his at work during morning break and I read mine before the kids wake up. During this time we read the Proverb of the day (August 1st we read the 1st proverb etc) and then I think it varies daily from that. I also read various books about Biblical womanhood during the week, examples of these are in my sidebar.

  • We pray at the dinner table. We may pray separately throughout the day but its sporadic to say the least.

  • At night we re-read the days proverb together and a psalm. We read a Bible story out of “The Jesus Storybook Bible” by Sally Lloyd-Jones. (I LOVE THIS BOOK!) We’ve also been reading a Christian themed golden book or something similar to the children.

  • After the kids are in bed. Jason and I read aloud to one another from a book we are working on. Right now it’s the 1689 London Baptist confessional and “What is Reformed Theology” by R.C. Sproul. We also read through the Bible, a chapter or so a night. Right now we are in Esther.

Okay, so areas for improvement. WE NEED TO PRAY MORE! I do believe we are praying, quietly to ourselves throughout the day as it says in 1 Thessolonians to “Pray without ceasing.”But we need to be praying together and often.

THIS is where we need the most work.

As new believers, praying out loud is a very humbling experience. A lot of this stems from not knowing what to do.
So where should we turn? God’s word and we'll be doing just that over the next few days in regards to this very topic. 

I have recently seen a few posts on a family worship area. You can look at them here and here.

Wow. That’s all I can say.

I can certainly see a place for an area like this in our home, somewhere to go to the Lord with purpose to pray and study his Word. We’ll be discussing this more and praying about it to see how we can implement it.

Second, we are going to start working on the catechism. No, it’s not Catholic, that’s what I thought it was. We’ve been doing it at church and it helps. Anything that will help our children learn the truth of the Lord and “write it on the tablet of their hearts” is good for us!

Many people put music into their family worship…….maybe one day? My toddler hates music for some reason but he seems to be warming up to the hymns and worship songs I listen to in the mornings during chore time. They are my way of daily praise, I feel connected this way.
Now, our whole family doing it? One step at a time …

Does anyone have any Bible study book suggestions? Thoughts?
Did any of you struggle with praying out loud when you became believers? Are we just goobers? Okay, don’t answer the last one.

Anyway, I will leave you with the song I am listening to currently. I heard it for the first time at our church and wow….. Enjoy : )

Our Living Areas: Then and Now

 I am again participating in the 4 Moms, 35 Kids Link up.  Be sure to hop on over and take a look at everybody's!

Oh, how I love this living room! My decorating philosophy is along the lines of, "Is it on sale".  So I don't even pretend to know what I am doing.  And with 4 LARGE reptile enclosures and a giant rat and bird care decorating can be difficult in the least. (I'll cover the pets, with close-ups in another post, promise!)
So y'all come on in and take a look around, then we'll go over the good, the bad and the ugly (our old living room).

If I did have an inspiration piece it would be this:

I LOVE THIS PAINTING!  It just speaks to me about trusting God and his plans for us, it tells us that to set ourselves apart from the world is not a bad thing.  It was given to me after a woman I worked with at a school took up a collection while I was pregnant with Jacob. 

The floor is something my husband just started putting in.  When we moved here we discovered the previous renters had dogs. A lot of dogs.  And these dogs obviously didn't want to go outside to go potty. Yuck.
The new floor is easy to keep and was pretty easy for my husband to install, however, it doesn't just "snap together" like the ads me. 
All of our furniture is second hand, it came from various consignment, thrift and overall junk stores.  I made the decision before my oldest reached toddler hood that this is the way to go.  

My dad built the entertainment center and I love the rusitc feel of it.  I chose the fabric, which I love, and behind it are really handy drawers filled with vhs, dvd and video games.   
The corner shelf holds our Bible and whatever we are working on with family worship.  For example right now we are reading "What is Reformed Theology" by R.C. Sproul and the 1689 London Baptist Confessional.  It also keeps my camera and phone in a safe place from sticky hands and a supply of diapers and wipes.  Our wedding, family and baby albums are on the bottom.  The large antique water can holds change.  

Note: we do not have t.v. service.  We only watch movies or play games on this TV, and we like it that way. 

This is Jacob's area.  The table has storage where his puzzles, colors, people box and other such things are. This table is junk more or less and is the only piece of furniture that Jacob can "fix" with his plastic hammer and saw.  Note the marks on the edge there.
That is my piano from when I was Jacob's age!

This is Michael's area and that is my garage-sale-find basket where I keep my books, crosswords, suduko's, lotion etc etc. 
Phew! This is hard work!

I could lie and say the kids book case doesn't always look like this, but for honesty sake I'll tell you that this is it 99% of the time.  Hey, at least he got them back on the shelves right? The basket holds the flashlight (you have to have a good flashlight when living in the country!), incoming mail and what have you. The top of the lit display cabinet showcases my wedding bouquet (it was fake), cake topper, Jason's corsage and pictures etc. 

Our pets (more on the in another post) and a lovely clock Jason found in Midland, where we used to live, when he worked for the landfill.  He used to find the coolest stuff out there.  And yes, I cleaned it. ; ) Behind that curtain are more toys, educational things and cobwebs so we won't be peaking under there right now. 

Okay, so you have something to compare to, this is our old living room:
3/4 of the living room at Christmas, I was like 15 months pregnant. ; )  

Later, Jacob rode his Christmas present through the other 1/4 of our living room.  

Impressive? Thought not. What was really cool was when you got 1/2 way across the floor you could slide to the front door because the floor dipped so badly. It was even more fun in socks. ; )

Hope y'all enjoyed, see you next time and don't forget to visit the other moms!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

WFMW: Swiffer Refills the Cheap Way

Ok, I am sure many of you out there in blog land have already thought of this, but I came upon an amazing (at least to me it was) discovery yesterday.


Has anyone noticed how expensive those little over-glorified paper towels are? Yeah, I could make 2 meals for the kind of $$$$ and it takes me 2 or 3 just to get the floor semi- clean after the toddler demolition crew a.k.a. my 3 year old gets done playing.

So after careful inspection of the Swiffer device I came up with the following:

This is a blue shop towel I cut into thirds and attached 1/3 of it to my swiffer.  It is thin enough to push down into those little grabber thingys (hey, you try to think of a better term) and its rough enough to really scrub the floor. 
I then just sprayed it with a multi-purpose all natural cleaner and away I went.  It not only held up better, it cleaned better. 
When I was done I just threw it in the laundry. How easy is that? 
I plan on making some vinegar/water cleaner to use, but right now, this is what works for me.

Do y'all have any other ideas on how to improve it? Have y'all done this before?

I completely forgot to link up last Wednesday's WFMW so here it is.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Because Of Who You Are

A friend quoted the following scripture to me (emphasis is mine):

Ephesians 2: 4-10 4But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

It made me think of this song and thought I would post it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

OOPS......Thursday Posting Mix Up

If you're looking for my Thursday 5 Moms, 35 kids post it is here

Blogger and I had a fight, the post got put in the wrong spot......You know how it goes. = )

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Re-using Containers

I've been putting off posting this for a couple of reasons.  First, I'm horrible at taking pictures!  Second, I was trying to avoid any controversy.  So here is my tip and then I'll tell you about the controversy.

I love being able to re-use things!  Not only are you recycling and therefore caring for the Earth that God entrusted us with, but you get twice the return on the item.  In other words, you've used it once and then you use it again for something else. That equals saving money!

Whenever I empty out a container of any kind I look at it and think........and yes that usually hurts. ; )
I think about the following:

1) Is this container a good sturdy container?
2) Has this container been contaminated so that I need to toss it i.e. been used with raw meet or chemicals?
3) Do I have a foreseeable need for a container of this size and make?

Examples of containers would be laundry detergent boxes, gallon bags used for freezer storage, pringles cans, oatmeal cans, butter tubs (and plastic tubs that are similar) and finally Formula cans.
Okay, so this is where the controversy comes in: I use formula.  There I said it..... 

Some of you may think I'm silly for thinking that is a big deal, but in certain circles, especially whose blogs I read, Formula = evil.  So before we go any further I would like to clear a few things up:
- I am fully aware of the goodness of nursing (better for baby, prevents all kinds of problems with the mom)
- I am aware that formula is not ideal and that its expensive
- I have had problems nursing (I'll post about it sometime) so that is why I use formula
- My babies go on table food and whole milk asap

I know that everyone does things different and that's great!  I am feeding my children right?  That is the ultimate goal, isn't it?  Then we shouldn't quibble over how, when and what.  

Okay, now that I've stepped down off of my soapbox.  Here are some ideas for these containers.

Oatmeal cans- not only are they great for your kids to play with in their play kitchens but they can hold many items. Jacob has several filled with his play kitchen food.  I've used them to hold dry beans and rice.

Butter tubs are great for leftovers but can hold lots of other things as well.  Why spend the money on expensive name-brand plastic containers with lids? We are fond of cottage cheese, if you can't tell. = )

Leftovers and premade meals
Pet Rat Food

Last, but not least, is my favorite The Formula Container.  They are sturdy, different sizes and seal really well.  Just rip off the label and let your imagination run wild.  = )

Before and After

toys, especially the kind that seem to get under my feet
Rice/Beans etc

And this is kind of an idea I had for Christmas:

Photo Credit

I'm thinking of wrapping the lid separate than the canister and then adding a nice bow.  I could fill it with different Christmas goodies layers with tissue paper? Just an idea I'll have to play around with. = )

This is my list, but their are so many other things you could do with used containers.  I'd love to hear your ideas!

God Bless,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Our Kitchen and Dining: Then and Now

I am linking up with the 5 Mom's, 35 Kids open house.  I love this series, y'all need to follow along!

So this is our lovely new rent house (it's really a trailer, but I'm not into labels lol).  I should have posted this picture last Thursday but I am behind, as usual.

Home Sweet Home

The ducks,geese and chickens are here to greet you!
My "puppy", her paws are on my shoulders

Here is my wonderful, awe-inspiring kitchen. I took a picture on a regular day, you know I'm keeping it real. = )  The 2 aquariums hold geckos and in between them are my cookbooks, household notebook and Jacob's home school basket. 

I am so proud of this kitchen/dining area.  Its open, full of storage and easy to maintain.

Old Renters left table and hutch, I have mixed feelings.
 I even had space for both of my deep freezes that hold our 1/4 of a cow and all of my freezer meals. The large built in hutch makes a fabulous pantry. Oh, look! This dining room came with a baby! 

For a comparison and for the future when we look back and laugh.  Here is the house we lived in before this one.
Humble? Yes.  Structurally sound? Kind of.  Our only choice after the business went kaput? Bingo!
But I loved my little house.  Who wouldn't after living in a warehouse for 3 months. But God taught me humility and to be truly thankful for even the smallest blessings. 

This is my old kitchen, can you see why I am so enthusiastic about my new one?

My egg collector, fought off a goose with that shovel to get that egg, he was proud.

When I say small I mean it, it was the back porch at one time. You can't see the small apartment stove next to the fridge but suffice it to say I couldn't bake a large pizza in it.  The counter to your right was the only counter space available. The louvered door was not storage, it was the hot water heater.  And I am pressed up against the sink wedged in between the washer and dryer.  It was small

Our old dining room.  The door to the left was the coat closet my husband turned into a lovely pantry for me. This is another view of the room .

You can see the door to the kitchen here and the only heater in the house. There is my desk and some more reptile habitats, you can read more about them here. I'm the one that looks like I'll pop out another human being at any second.  = )

I show you these old pictures (does 7 months count as old?) because I want everyone to know why I am sooo thankful for what I have now.  When my ambition got the best of me God showed me that just because I don't have granite countertops or the newest kitchen gadget I could still be happy.  In fact, we were a happier, closer knit family at that house than we ever were before we moved there.

I thank God every day for the blessing he has provided for our family and for the things we have now. I remind myself with these pictures so that I won't fall into the trap of "If I went to work, we could have more stuff" "If we made more money, we would be happier". God taught me a great many lessons, but that one is by far the most poignant in my life.

I'll probably continue posting and linking up with this series.  I'll also continue posting more pictures of our old place, it's nice to look back and see where we came from.  Hope y'all don't mind?

God Bless,

Grocery Shopping and Freezer Cooking

My Prep Chef and Official Taste Tester

I was doing this month's inventory and making my shopping/meal list and it hit me "I really need to get back into freezer cooking." So of course I hopped on over to Fish Mama's blog and was filled with new love for once a month cooking.

I can't tell you how helpful it was to have meals in the freezer when we had to move suddenly.  I can only imagine how helpful they would have been if I had discovered this technique while throwing my guts up facing a serious few months of morning sickness with this last pregnancy. 

I've already discussed the way I spread "Freezer Cooking Day" into a Freezer Cooking week so that I am less stressed.With my husband having 4 days off this weekend its the perfect time to get back into bulk cooking.   I'm sure he's looking forward to me dragging him through 3-4 stores for our monthly groceries and then watching the kids while I destroy the kitchen, er, I mean cook ahead a bunch of meals.  He's a great husband like that = )

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

I'll do separate posts for my inventory/shopping system and then chronicle the cooking day via pictures etc.  If you want a background on my budget and meal planning you can see it here.  Some things have changed but overall I stick to what is written there.  I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to hear if y'all freezer cook or what other methods you use to get dinner on the table easily.  = )

God Bless,

Monday, August 9, 2010


Okay, let me preface this post with saying:

I PROMISE that my boys own clothing.  In fact that have tons of clothing.  But, as you will see in the pictures below, they will usually just walk around in diapers.  Why?  Because we keep the thermostat set on 80 degrees in our house.  This cuts down on electric bills and we're just used to it because at the old house we had one window unit and it was a record breaking summer.  However, we are enjoying our new central a/c, promise = )

Want to know how to make it in Texas without any kind of a/c? Check out Kim's tips here.  They live near San Antonio (south texas) and have NO air conditioning whatsoever.  She is proof that you can get by without a lot of things that you think you need = )

"Look Mama! That baby in the mirror is sooo funny!"

Batman takes everything seriously,

especially cookies and milk!

Sunday morning baths, Jacob always helps out with Mikey.

That's all for now but you can count on more posts of cuteness at a later date. = )  Okay, just 2 more, I call these "Nap Time"

Y'all have a great day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

An Award... For ME????!

The sweet lady at Stairstep Boys gave me an award!!!

Ok, now that I have picked me jaw up off the floor, I would like to thank God, my first grade teacher Mrs. Mills, coffee………

Seriously, I think that is so sweet and such an honor that people with such awesome, inspiring blogs take the time to read my scribbles. (Since its electronic are they still scribbles?)

So when you get an award you are supposed to:

1)acknowledge the award
2)tell 7 things about myself
3)and pass it on!

The Seven Things

1)At one time I knew all of the scientific names for every common (and some not so common) reptile pets. Pogona vitteceps, anyone?

2)I never used to wear dresses but I do all the time now, and love it!

3)I almost finished my degree to be a teacher but Hated College

4) I own 2 rifles, and a shotgun and used to be a pretty good shot when I practiced.

5) I never knew how to cook until I got married and taught myself. You can have pity on
my poor husband = (

6) Can’t believe I’m admitting this one but…..I used to dress gothic and was into Wicca in high school. How scary is that?

7)And…..I guess another animal one….When we traveled and sold pets at trade shows I wore an 8 foot albino Burmese python wrapped around me. You can see a picture here of when she was smaller. = )

And now to pass it along.Congrats y'all!  Your blogs rock!


Our Meanwhile Ranch

Thy Hand Hath Provided

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I Would Like to Thank.....(The books that got me from there to here)

I was asked recently about what kinds of books I read and in particular, which ones “recovered me from feminism”. (Hi Tess!) = D

And it got me to thinking about it a great deal.

It has been hard for me so far to nail down an exact turning point where I drew the line and said I was going to be “this way” instead of “that way”. I can map out the road that led me to it but the pinnacle of the change eludes me.

Upon careful thought and consideration the only thing that I could come up with was a book. Well, The Book, The Holy Bible. I don’t want to risk sounding cliché but I remember when it happened.

When you read About Me you see that we, or more accurately, I had got us into quite a pickle trying to get our business to work. We lived in our shop, so to lose our business meant we were losing our home. We were devastated. I asked God for help which I had done many times before but this time I opened my heart. And most who are followers of Christ probably know what I mean. As much as our culture doesn’t like the word I submitted myself to God.
Tearfully, I opened the Bible.

For the first time in my life that Bible spoke to me. See, its not just about reading a book, if your heart is open and you have submitted your will to the Lord the Bible will speak to you. The words lept of the pages and into my heart. Everywhere I turned I could see a clear and definite path for my life and I wasn’t on it.
My ambition had gotten me far but I had forgotten to ask for direction and was going the opposite way. It reminds me to ask God daily to give me direction.
The most poignant thing that I gathered from that random Bible reading were the following verses:

Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. (Eph. 5:22-24)

1Pe 3:1 In like manner, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, even if any obey not the word, they may without the word be gained by the behavior of their wives;

Let the husband render unto the wife her due: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power over her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power over his own body, but the wife. 1Co 7:3-4

I saw that I was not letting my husband lead me. The good little feminist I was, I was forging ahead and trying to lead him with disastrous results.

The next thing that really changed my outlook and my faith was the following blog:

Especially this article

I hasten to cite a mere blog as a driving influence but this woman is a Titus 2 woman if I ever saw one. She walks the walk and talks the talk. She convicted me as an anti-feminist as I realized through her example and the examples of others which she provided, that having it “all” would not make me happy. I learned that by submitting the the Lord I must also submit to my husband. And believe me, that was hard to swallow. But more on that in another post.

Through reading this blog and implementing many of the virtues I saw her portray (after looking through the Word and verifying them through scripture), I came upon book references and began to order them from Amazon.

The 1st most important one would be Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God. Beautifully written and full of scripture references, it addresses what the average housewife needs to know about the evils of feminism that we don’t even realize are there.

The 2nd book was The Excellent Wife., another great title about God’s plan for wives and mothers.

And the 3rd book was Becoming God’s True Woman.

We’ve also read the following list:

Family Driven Faith
The Fruit of Her Hands
Standing on the Promises
The Man in the Mirror
Shepherding a Child’s Heart.
Raising Godly Tomatoes.
Christian Living in the Home

There are so many more I would like to read but haven’t gotten around to it, namely the Pearl’s books Created to be His Helpmeet and To Train the Up.

I have hesitated on these because of the large amount of controversy surrounding them. I have heard many good things though and would love to hear y’alls input.

What books have convicted y’all in the ways of patriarchy, anti-feminism, biblical discipline or overall Christian living? I would love to hear!

God Bless,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cleaning Re-Schedule

Just when I think that I'm getting this housekeeping thing down I have to take apart my schedule and re-organize it. grrrr
So far I do my cleaning in one day and spread my laundry out over a week. The rest of the week I don't do much other than play with the kids. While that's fun and all, I'm really not happy with myself killing myself that one day a week to get the house all spic and span.
Soooo....I've been talking with Jason on what he thinks I need to work on more around the house and how I could better manage my time. I found some great websites to use as well.

Large Family Logistics

Why am I sharing all of this? I NEED YOUR HELP! How do y'all schedule your cleaning. Do you clean everything once a week or break it up by day? Most of the tips on the blogs I read are for large families with able bodied children and I need some tips for when your doing it all by your lonesome. (Jacob does have chores but that's for another post)

Speaking of other posts, I have some neat things to share so those should be coming up soon:
- Ways to recycle things
-Cleaning schedule (if I can figure it out)
- Choosing A pet for your family (from my experience running a pet business)
- Discipline (expect a huge post on this one!)

Can't wait to hear y'alls input!

God Bless,