Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

As little children we would dream of Christmas morn
Of all the gifts and toys we knew we’d find
But we never realized a baby born one blessed night
Gave us the greatest gift of our lives

We were the reason that He gave His life
We were the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live

As the years went by we learned more about gifts
The giving of ourselves and what that means
On a dark and cloudy day a man hung crying in the rain
All because of love
All because of love

We were the reason that He gave His life
We were the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live

I finally found the reason for living
It’s in giving every part of my heart to Him
And all that I do every word that I say
I’ll be giving my all just for Him, for Him

We are the reason that He gave His life
We are the reason that He suffered and died
To a world that was lost He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


"Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the Lord?'
Or may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God."
Proverbs 30:8-9

"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed of hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:11-13

I don't think there are very many people out there right now who aren't tightening their financial belts or cutting back. Washington sure seems to be wringing its collective hands, afraid that Americans will stop spending or (*shudder*) stop charging. Well maybe they should worry because I think we have all woken up from our spending stupor and realized that we're only hurting ourselves with more debt and spending.

This post wasn't meant to be a political statement. I just wanted to share that if you are cutting back, waaaay back, you are not alone. If you have always been frugal and lived on little, now you have a lot more company!!

We pray and we trust God to provide. God DOES provide for His people. Once He does provide, it is important that we live within that provision. This is a lesson that I am still learning!! Too often I have tried to live "over and above" that provision. I might not spend it on myself, but usually on my children. So I have to realize that when I do that I am saying to my children through my actions that what God provides is not enough.

I would love if you all would share things that you might be doing to save money and live within your means! And with your permission, I'll bring them up from the comments to the blog.

Here are just a couple of things I am doing now.

It's too cold for a clothes line so between my drying rack and hangers/curtain rods I can dry one load a day around the house. So, if I keep up with the laundry and don't get behind I can save some money on the electric bill.

Other ways I save electricity are:
~The kids have electric blankets (their rooms have electric heat) so we can keep their heat in their rooms relatively low.
~I am the electric police constantly shutting off things that don't need to be on, unplugging things not in use, and reminding the kids to do the same.
~Trying to group my cooking/baking together so I am not constantly cooling and heating up the oven.
~Using crock pot and microwave whenever possible.

Another way I save is on our grocery bill. After losing lots of money through food spoilage during the recent ice storm I am not stocking up on items that are perishable. Rather, on the days where Robin works in the office, he picks up what we need for a few days at a time at the grocery store on his way home (which he passes to get home). Knowing we can shop every couple of days actually helps me to buy less because I know if it doesn't work out he is going again in a couple of days. I work from menus and plans so that I am not buying stuff no one will eat.

My grocery list starts with: What do I have already? Can I get creative and last a couple more days? Then: What is on sale? The stores in my area have their sale flyers online. Does yours? Do a web search and you might be surprised!!

Oh and speaking of groceries, have you checked to see if there is an "Angel Food Ministries" distribution center in your area? Again do a web search on it. One of my goals is to call the one in my area. Their packages looked good and the prices are great! You do not need to be in a certain financial brackett. It is meant to simply help you save money!

What other ways do you save money on groceries?

This morning we had granola made up and biscuits to have with jelly. This is because when I did my cupboard search I came up with those ingredients. Yesterday I made omelets with whatever I could come up with to put in them. I came up with turkey bacon, salsa and mozarella. They were really quite good!

The Granola above was just:

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup coconut (we didn't use this because we didn't have any, so we reduced the syrup/honey to 1/6 cup of each)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup cooking oil
Bake at 300* F for 30-35 minutes. The trick to awesome granola is to stir or flip every 10 min. Don't make so much that it is not flat on the pan (if you like it nice and crunchy.
Also you need the oats and the oil. For the honey/syrup you can use all honey or all syrup or even brown sugar. Whatever you have is great! For the nuts you just use what you have or like. Granola is forgiving. Throw in whatever you have!

For the biscuits I use a totally easy drop biscuit recipe. I bet you can find one online. If you want my recipe, feel free to ask.

In what ways are you saving money??

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Tree Fun!

Last week we finally got to put up our Christmas tree! I think this is the latest we have ever put it up. Christian's birthday is Dec. 3rd and we normally put it up right after his party but this year the ice storm got in our way. So, the joy was doubled from the waiting!

When Robin brought home the tree and put it up we all laughed til we cried. Poor Robin! We weren't trying to insult his tree but it looked so round, like a ball and it just cracked us up!! That's the thing with real trees. They are not all uniform and straight. Each year the tree is a new adventure!

The kids take turns putting our "Bear Angel" on the tree. This year it was Christian's turn. This requires getting on daddy's shoulders to reach. That's the fun part!

We make sure to take a picture so that we can remember whose turn it is the next year! It took several tries this year because there was just one weak branch sticking up in the middle of our *tree ball*. Poor Robin, his back was ready to break it took so long to get that angel on right!!

Okay, the rule the ornament...then...


smile for mom's camera...

It came out blurry, but here they are in front of our finished product...

Awww, they DO love each other, what a blessing!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

So Thankful for Electricity!

I am so thankful for electricity and it will be my favorite Christmas present of 2008! Due to an ice storm that coated everything with an inch of ice, we went 5 days without it! Despite the hardship of keeping the house warm, we managed to live life and have some fun along the way. We played games, reconnected with each other, and Rachel learned to play a song on the guitar (thanks to Tyler). We also got to spend some fun time with others who gathered at church for a warm meal.

Here is how we heated water for hot cocoa on day 1!

Nothing stops the hardcore homeschoolers from doing their schoolwork. I kept hearing, "Mom didn't we read about a guy who went blind from reading by candlelight?" LOL!

You see the dog was the smart one and knew to reserve the spot in front of the space heater!

The kids had a campout in the livingroom. It was way too cold upstairs for sleeping!

Finally, the dog lost his beloved spot to the kids. :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I've been kinda quiet...

I have been kind of quiet here on my blog. Sometimes I just feel that way. Lately I have been reading "Lies Women Believe" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. God has used this book to bring out many areas in my life that need to change. There are habits that need to stop, other habits that need to start. I need to live more contentedly, more leaning minute by minute on the Savior.

All this makes me a bit pensive and not so "wordy." :)

On the *everyday side* of life I am looking so forward to our Christmas break. Robin has next week off and we will do lots of school work and I will love having two teachers! He'll teach High School with Tyler. I'll teach 5th and 6th grade only. YAY!

Then over Christmas break I'll spend some time planning out January, grading what we have done and tucking subject samples into portfolio notebooks. We'll be start some new things. Tyler will be doing a new curriculum by IEW on Literary Analysis. Christian and Rachel we do some IEW for writing skills. We'll also move from our study of the Middle Ages and move into the Renaissance. I plan to get Tyler two other new books: "Do Hard Things" and "Created for Work".

Somewhere in there we will have great fun celebrating Christmas!!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Happy 12th Birthday, Christian!!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday...

dear Christian!

Happy Birthday...

to you!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Time at Home

I've had some nice time at home during the Thanksgiving Holiday. It feels good! I love, love, love to be home especially when the weather grows cold. I also love doing homey things like cooking and knitting and sewing and decorating. :) I did start some knitting. I am making some dishcloths with the "Grandma's Favorite" pattern. I'll show them another day, maybe tomorrow. Perhaps I'll get going again on my Monthly Knit Along group and catch up; ya never know!

Today it snowed a little. There was great excitement and shouting throughout the house when the discovery was made. It is gone now but here it *was*:

I also did a little cooking with leftovers. I made mini turkey pies. Robin made up some pie crust (his comes out so good!) for me. I just put it in muffin pans and then added leftovers dollop by dollop.

I used turkey, mashed potato, carrots, dressing and a dollop of gravy in each.


These are going in a freezer bag and in the freezer for lunches. Tomorrow we'll make turkey wraps. We make homemade tortilla shells and put in the leftovers. Robin likes to also add cranberry sauce in these. When done they'll also go in the freezer for lunches or quick meals. I'd also like to make soup.

What do you do with your leftovers?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Afternoon...

Happy Sunday! It's a cozy afternoon...a good time for hot cocoa and a blanket...or maybe that's just me! I actually baked something yesterday. It really shouldn't be that surprising but I haven't been baking as much lately. It'll pick up more though with the cooler weather. Yesterday I made streusal swirl cake and banana bread.

Today Robin and Rachel decided to try making homemade pasta. We don't have a pasta machine so they had to do it the old fashioned way. We use a dowel for a rolling pin. Rachel ended up taking over the project and she is doing a great job! All those homemade burrito shells we have had her roll out have really given her some skills!

Okay now this next picture is just strange. Tyler was doing the dishes and being a young man of 15, it seemed only natural to throw (yes I said THROW) the bowl up on top of the frig. See how it landed?? What talent!!! HAHA!

For the rest of the day I'll be correcting school papers from last week and getting everyone's lesson plans ready for this week. I have really had a hard time keeping up this year. I hate to have the kids ask "what's next" and I am saying "Ummmmm, let me see..." I'd much rather say, "Just check your schedule. It's right there for you!!"

What are you doing today? Did you get to go to church today? I did and the sermon was on was a good ouch though!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Proud vs. Humble

(clipart is from

I am reading Nancy Leigh DeMoss's book called "Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them Free." Oh what a GREAT book! It really makes you stop and think.

Do you ever have a hard time setting that time aside each day to spend with God, in His Word and in Prayer? I'll be honest and say that I do. Nancy shares this verse in her book and I am going to post this right where I can see it each day for it now has new meaning to me:

"But he gives us more grace. That is why the Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'" James 4:6

In her book, Nancy points out that when you neglect to spend time with God each day, reading His Word the Bible and spending time in prayer that what you are saying is that you don't need Him, His wisdom and His strength to get through a day. That is pride.

The verse above tells us that God opposes the proud. So, when I have *one of those days* where nothing gets done and everything goes wrong, where the more I work the more behind I get, and I haven't spent time with God as my 1rst priority, perhaps He is opposing me due to my pride!

That exhortation has really helped me to put first things first. And when I do I am so blessed...really blessed because it humbles me and reminds me that I need the Lord's strength. According to James 4:6, God gives grace to the humble!

Humble is good! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful Thursday!

Today is Thankful Thursday. What are you thankful for today?

I am thankful for:

1. My family.
2. My home.
3. My church (No, really...I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my church!)
4. I get to be home with my children and serving my family every day.
5. My husband's job (though it is very stressful it is a great provision).
6. Our dog, Dash, who gives us countless hours of entertainment!
7. Winter is coming and this year I am really looking forward to the extra time at home winter brings!
8. My kids' kids have really great friends.
9. Vehicles that get us around.
10.Ministry opportunities galore.

Well, that's my Top 10! :)

I can feel myself winding down and preparing for winter's pace. I love to be home when it is cold. I really don't like getting in a cold car and being cold. But I love being warm and cozy and looking out at cold. :)We'll likely dress a little warmer and keep the house cooler this year, but it will still be quite nice. We'll sip hot cocoa and wrap in blankets and watch a nice movie or read good books...

In the winter we seem to spend more time together as a family and more time developing indoor hobbies. I have my winter sports of course: knitting and quilting and this year I'll add chicken scratch which is an easy and pretty embroidery method. Yeah, that's my idea of winter sports...hee, hee. Winter is the time all these crafts show up on my blog. The kids love to sled and ice skate. It's time to get the skates out and see what fits everyone.

I'll spend lots of time praying about, thinking about and planning the Children's Ministries at church. It will be good to have that time. Right now the Children's Ministry is running like a freight train so I am planning on the fly but soon there will be that time. Next year we are planning a couple of evangelistic kids' clubs for summer. You see our teens go to Raleigh, N.C. and work for Mission Raleigh one week out of the summer. They do Kids Clubs down there. This year they'll do them in Maine first! We'll let others in the church join in too. Then after the Neighborhood clubs we'll invite all those kids and everyone we can invite to the *traditional VBS* at the church. I can't wait!! It's going to be GREAT!!

Lot's to do, lot's to do! How about you...what are you thankful for today? What keeps you busy in the winter??

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Today is the Day"~A Little Lincoln Brewster to Start the Day!

I`m casting my cares aside
I`m leaving my past behind
I`m setting my heart and mind on You

I`m reaching my hand to Yours
Believing there`s so much more
Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say
Today is the day

I putting my fears aside
I`m leaving my doubts behind
I`m giving my hopes and dreams to You

I`m reaching my hand to Yours
Believing there`s so much more
Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say
Today is the day

I will stand upon Your truth.
(I will stand upon Your truth)
And all my days I`ll live for You
(And all my days I`ll live for You)

Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
Today is the day You have made
I will rejoice and be glad in it
And I won`t worry about tomorrow
I`m trusting in what You say
Today is the day

Friday, November 07, 2008

Catching My Breath

Boy it has been awhile since I have blogged. We have been so busy!! Church life is hopping which is a good thing. I love, love, love my church! It is the church I always wished existed and it is just 10 short minutes from my house! Gone are the days when a child tries to get out of going by feigning a stomach ache. Now all we hear is, "C'mon mom and dad we don't want to be late!!" How cool is THAT?

Recently we had a "Trunk or Treat" outreach. Let's face it, people are out in droves on October 31rst. So we could not help but take advantage of that opportunity. About 20 of us decorated our car trunks to hand out candy. We also handed out gospel tracs and information about our Children's Ministries. It was such fun to love on those kids and enjoy them being there. There were all happy faces that night. It was also a great opportunity for my kids to be involved in outreach.

Here is our trunk close up:

As you can see we did "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." Here is the kids with the trunk: :)

Here is one of our favorite people at church. He is an elder and is also a "Kids for Christ" (Children's Church) teacher. He loves kids and it shows. My kids are just crazy about him.

So that's a little peak in what has been consuming my time as I was one of the people doing the planning. Our church has been growing so fast that I am spending alot of my time on the "Children's Director" stuff. But it is all good and great fun!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fabulous Fall!

When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come

Longing just to bring
something that's of worth
That will bless your heart

I'll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required

You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus

I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus

King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve

Though I'm weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath

I'll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required

You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart

I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You
It's all about You, Jesus

I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
It's all about you

It's all about you, Jesus