Thursday, April 30, 2009

Art Class

(the shadows are from scanning it to the computer)

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I would like to invent a trap door in the ceiling of my Benjamin's room, just above his crib. It would house dozens of pacifiers.

When the ornery precious babe of mine loses his paci I would press the handy-dandy trapdoor button and ... WALA!

A brand spanking new pacifier would fall like manna from heaven.

Think it would work?

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday Morning Menu (except it's Tuesday)

Look! Two weeks in a row!

Marathon training starts tomorrow as well as the remodel of our back deck.

Cause I am on a roll, ya'll.

Monday - Well, this was yesterday but if you must know we had pizza after Samuel's ball game. The boys at Domino's whipped it up for me.

Tuesday - Chicken Spaghetti & green beans (my chicken spaghetti is a little different because I 86 the pepper & onion and throw in a can of Rotel instead) You will find that the majority of my cooking involves throwing in a can of Rotel.

Wednesday - Breakfast Tacos

Thursday - Beef Stew in the crockpot with cornbread

Friday - Leftovers (we have fellowship group, so we will leave the house right at dinnertime)

Saturday - Baked Potato Bar, Salad

Sunday - Pizza Slider Burgers (this got pushed out last week)

There are a ton of other recipe ideas here at Organizing Junkie's Monday Morning Menu.

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Daily Reading

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Monday, April 27, 2009

Lemon Pound Cake

I know it's time for the menu but my knack for forgetfulness is front & center this Monday so it might be a tad late.

Till then, feel free to enjoy this recipe from Lea Ann (basically my foodie go-to girl). It could easily serve as breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner.

Not that I know from experience or anything.

Lemon Pound Cake

3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
8 oz sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon extract
*zest of one large lemon

Cream butter & sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add vanilla & baking soda. Beat.
Add flour & sour cream alternately. Add lemon extract & zest.

300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours+ until the top is golden & wooden pick comes out clean.

Glaze with powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice (you could bring about a dangerous addiction with this combo)

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Pictures from the Park

Hannah took these pictures last week on the most glorious (almost) summertime day of the year, so far! I love the images that she captures so much, that I am handing the camera to her more and more.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Art class

We started an art class in our home about four weeks ago and it has been so much fun! The kids absolutely love it and our wonderful teacher has done such a great job.

We have about 16 kids total that are split between two age groups. The older class meets for 45-minutes and the younger class meets for 30-minutes.

Here is a little sample of work from a previous week with the listed objectives:

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Morning Menu

I've tried (and failed) to post this before but in an effort to be disciplined I am trying again. Apparently throwing dinner together at 5:07 pm often results in a can, a box, or something from my freezer covered in cheddar cheese.

My family has grown weary of the wide variety.

Here is my first attempt of what I hope will be a weekly menu:

Monday - Salmon Croquettes, Salad (big people) Corn (little people)

Tuesday - Dinner @ Chick-fil-A (Happy Birthday Coleman & Ellerie!)

Wednesday - Spicy Shredded Beef (thanks, Lea Ann!), Rice & Green Beans

Thursday - Fajitas (beef & chicken), Spanish Rice

Friday - Steak, Cowboy Potatoes, Broccoli

Cowboy Potatoes

4-5 pounds potatoes, cut into wedges
1 stick butter, melted
1 medium white onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp salt (I used more)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground oregano

Preheat oven to 350. Coat the potatoes in butter, toss with onion, garlic, and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, and oregano. Place in baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. After 1 hour, remove the foil, and continue cooking for another 30 minutes to achieve a nice color.

Saturday - Forgotten Jambalaya with Rice (this recipe makes a TON of food)

Sunday -Pizza Slider Burgers, Chips & Salsa (Hannah found this recipe and has been begging for it)

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Homeschooling ... Why? The Salt & Light Argument

"We can't be salt and light when we are standing in salt and surrounded by light. I hope my kids learn to stand up for themselves and be different, just as I did. And I also turned out OK... no, not just OK, but blessed! It takes all kinds and all situations. Thank the dear Lord for that."
-comment from my post Homeschooling ... Why?

In reference to the scripture:

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:13-16

This passage is such a wonderful reminder for believers to be different and make a difference in the name of Christ! I know I am given countless opportunities to "let my light shine" and give glory to God. But we must keep in mind that Jesus was giving instruction to His disciples (those who He had both called & equipped) and was not giving instruction to parents on how to instruct their children.

Before I share my thoughts today, let me direct you to a post I wrote several years ago at the beginning of Hannah's 6th grade year. I think it will reveal a very different perspective of my convictions at that time.

In all honesty, it is hard to not argue with myself at this point ;) What I know is that God completely purposed the time that my children spent in public school and I have no fear or remorse about that decision. Because of the blessing homeschooling has been to our family I cannot help but be a bit sad about the time that I missed with my girls when they were younger but it has made me all the more grateful for now.

One of the things I said in that post was, "Lord, if it be your will then please use this child and her love for you ..." and "When confronted with worldly issues and situations that are so completely outside of your plan may she be an example of a holy choice ..."

That was my earnest plea.

But. God made a solid revelation in our life during that year and made it clear that it was absolutely outside of His will for our children to remain in public school. For the reasons I have stated in previous posts about our first mandate to teach the word of God and provide biblical training throughout their day, it was also made clear that our children were not yet missionaries.

One of the conversations I distinctly remember having with Hannah was about "minding her business". There were situations that would arise in middle school that did not directly concern her and so her father and I were quick to remind her that if it did not involve her then she needed to stay silent and bring her concerns to us.

Because that is what scripture says, right? "Thou shall shut your mouth when you see injustice and you shall turn your head when you hear blasphemous talk".

Well, not exactly ;) But we had a child here that we needed to keep safe. That last thing we wanted was for her to stick her nose into a situation where the Lord's name was being used in vain or where a child was being picked on. I mean for goodness sakes that would make her a target! Basically when confronted with "worldly issues" we were asking her to go the way of the world in an effort to keep her out of harm's way.

Another example of how a child may be unready for the work of "difference-maker" is the one that Carolyn Mahaney uses in her book, GirlTalk. She shared about a time in their life when their daughter Kristin entered private school after several years of being homeschooled. The agreement was that she would be a "difference-maker". Here is a passage from the book:

"Outwardly she was a "good" kid, even an exemplary one. She wasn't deceptive or openly rebellious. She worked hard at school and didn't hang out with the wrong crowd. She did all the "right" things. Yet she remained silent when she should have graciously confronted the ungodliness of her classmates. She was tolerant of sin in her own life and the lives of others. We didn't observe a passion for god. She also failed to show consistent love for home and family, one of the foremost characteristics of biblical womanhood. Though subtle, these were serious concerns."

The Mahaney's made the decision to bring their daughter home and "lead, train, and discipline for the purpose of holiness." That may not be the necessary action for all children but we feel like it is the best place for our children in this season of their life.

My point? It can be a difficult thing to establish whether or not a child is ready for the work of missions, especially in the extremely hostile conditions of a public school. The bottom line is I (her mother) cannot call Hannah (or any of my children) into the mission field. That is a call from God and Him alone.

Until that day I will spend our days equipping and training ... anticipating their readiness and looking for the fruit that will confirm. The reality is, I could spend this time equipping and training and seeking obedience and find the fruit to be absent.

While I grieve this thought, I also recognize that obedience before the Lord is what I am seeking.

My Obedience.

God alone will do the work in their hearts, bringing about fruit, guiding them in obedience, and preparing them to share the gospel and give glory to Him!

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Great Post & Discussion

Samuel & Hayden ages 4 & 3

Connie at Smockity Frocks has linked to a wonderful discussion about boys. Read through her post but also the different links to Cindy at Dominion Family.

Raising sons is such a great blessing but also comes with such great responsibility. As their mother I try to be mindful of the goal of raising men even when they are still such young boys.

Just the other day we had a fabulous discussion about bugs and bringing them to a timely demise and with some level of bravery (even if it involves one of his boots and a paper towel). I have given him the ultimate authority over unwelcome critters and reminded him that we (his sisters & I) are in need of his services. He is our little man after all ;)

I love reading through the discussions in the comment section, so don't miss those. Not having friends nearby with older boys it is encouraging to hear the advice of the momma's who are raising sons and it helps to be reminded that it is a "good" thing for my boy to HI-YA! his way through life.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Precious Quilt

Sweet Lydia made this blanket for Benjamin and I cannot believe I have not posted about it sooner. I actually found a post in my drafts but I never had a picture to put with it, so it was forgotten.

My mother-in-law sent us the most wonderful fleece blanket for Benjamin that we love and he buries his face in it every night ;) but I was still in search for something that was big enough and not fleece for the months when things got warmer. A lightweight quilt was ideal but all the ones I found were too bulky, especially the one that came with his bedding.

The girls and I fell in love with rag quilt purses a few months ago and at the same time I fell in love with the rag quilts too! (My friend Sophia can make these purses! I'll post some pics of ours later)

I started perusing the web and in the meantime Lydia just so happened to post about making her first. I chatted with her about what I was looking for and she made my quilt!

I absolutely love it and my girls want their own :) Lydia has considered taking orders and so if you guys love them too, please make a visit to her blog, Seasons, and tell her! You can use pieces that are special or sentimental and mix out colors to match your bedding. My friend, Tiff, has these quilts for her kids and they hold up wonderfully.

Lydia, I am so glad to have gotten to know you here in the blog world and since we don't live too far from one another, I know it won't be long until we meet face-to-face!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Homeschooling ... Why (continued)

I received a comment a few days ago from a post that I wrote two years ago. While I fully expected to receive debate when I wrote the original post I was somewhat surprised to get the comment. I welcome the point of view and it has given me an opportunity to share my heart on this subject.

Here is her comment from my post, Homeschooling ... Why?

Hmmmmm... interesting argument. But you do realize that you have put everyone who does not homeschool into the category of not doing right by their kids, and not following scripture. Taking our kids out of public schools does little to help the situation. We can't be salt and light when we are standing in salt and surrounded by light. I hope my kids learn to stand up for themselves and be different, just as I did. And I also turned out OK... no, not just OK, but blessed! It takes all kinds and all situations. Thank the dear Lord for that. Just some food for thought...

I'll take this bit by bit:

"But you do realize that you have put everyone who does not homeschool into the category of not doing right by their kids, and not following scripture."

I read and then reread (a few times) my post so that I could be certain in saying that I never put anyone else into categories. While I know that when others choose differently it can spur our conscience into questioning (if they don't have a TV then they think I am wrong if I have a TV?) But, if your own decision is well-grounded and you are confident that it is in accordance with scripture, then there should be no insecurity.

By the way ... we have a TV ... shhh ...

I agree with with this statement:

"Taking our kids out of public school does little to help the situation".

If my desire was to help the public school system it would be detrimental for me to remove them. Most certainly. As a matter of fact, I spent many years on the other side of this argument trying to make valid this very point.

It was by God's grace that I came to realize that my obligation was not to the system or even to the children who attend public school. Raising my children while being obedient to the Lord set up different standards than those which I had previously used.

The cultural measure of academics and socialization paled in comparison to the measures set forth in scripture. As I wrote in my previous post,
"I believe that my responsibility to teach my children doesn't end when they are five. I believe it is a biblical mandate to teach your children the Word of God ... above everything else. Everything. Not one thing should take precedence. Not socialization, not high level trigonometry, and not my freedom. Once I surrendered to that truth there came a realization that I could not possibly adhere to this teaching with such time constraints and outside influence. Public education would not work for me. Ever again."
It was clear that in order for me to obey God in the raising of my children, I (the momma of: Hannah, Emma, Samuel, Benjamin and baby Voiles #5) could not do it that way any longer.

My dearest friend, L, has her children in public school. We have had countless discussions about this topic.

Have mercy.

She believes all the same things that I do. She agrees with what I have written about the biblical mandate for teaching God's word. However, she also believes that she is called to keep her children in public school. She has been called to the same standard of accountability to scripture and obedience to God and yet the means to that end are different.

Admittedly this was difficult for me at first and my zeal was more than obnoxious ;)

By God's grace I am reminded of God's grace.

In order to keep this short, I will address the further points from the comment in a post for tomorrow. Through writing I have shared convictions that the Lord has impressed in my life. Through reading the convictions of others I have learned so much and sought Him in the areas that were not clear.

Homeschooling is most certainly an area that was unclear for me and I am grateful for those who were willing to share their convictions, even when I was not yet ready to make that leap.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Why Men Shouldn't Take Messages

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I tried to upload just a couple of pictures but I just can't do it. Here is a plethora of photos from our Easter weekend.

Easter Party at church on Saturday

Easter Morning

After Church

Taken with the camera timer!

Lest you think we take perfect pictures, I give you ...
The Outtakes:

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! Resurrection Sunday is the truly the most important reason to celebrate.

He is risen!

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