Tuesday, May 31, 2011

School For This Week

Remember when I told you we "school" some during the summer.  Well, as we started June of with a bang in many ways I thought I would share with you what that looks like in actuality.  Here is what I got a chance to work on last night sitting out on a clean deck.  We have one of those no maintenance decks and I love it.  But I would call it no paint deck as there is maintenance to it.  I spent 4 hours cleaning it yesterday.  Now it sparkles and I got a nice tan too. 

 6:00  get ready, empty dehumidifier
 6:30  Bible, prayer
 7:00  guitar
 7:30  guitar
 8:00  breakfast, devotion
 8:30  banjo
 9:00  group study
 9:30  group study
10:00  clean
Extra time spent reading books of choice

 6:30  Bible, prayer
 7:00  shower
 7:30  kitchen & get breakfast ready
 8:00  breakfast, devotion
 8:30  clean
 9:00  group study
 9:30  group study
10:00  clean

 7:00  get ready, chickens
 7:30  Bible, prayer
 8:00  breakfast, devotion
 8:30  guitar
 9:00  group study
 9:30  group study
10:00  clean
Extra time spent reading books of choice

 7:00  Bible, prayer
 7:30  get ready, water flower pots on front & back porch
 8:00  breakfast, devotion
 8:30  piano
 9:00  group study
 9:30  group study
10:00  clean
Extra time spent reading books of choice

If we happen to be able to go to the beach or to a friends house those take precedent over the schedule. 

Group study will change weekly.  This week we are doing science.  We will rotate between math, science, history, geography, literature.

Be sure and vote at Circle of Moms!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Hooray the sun is here and man is it going to be HOT, but I am not complaining!  We are also not going to make a trip to the beach today, though that is where I want to be.  It will just be to crowded and I am not ready to be sunburned in all my white places ;)

We are staying home and working.  Remember the new house, the garden, chickens and weeding that has gotten away from me since we have had so many rainy days?  That is what we will be doing especially since Tom is home and willing.  I can use any extra hands I can get! 

There will be grilling of hamburgers, potato salad and good old strawberry pretzel salad.  You know the one.  The one at every pot luck in America.  Here is the recipe for this beautiful Memorial Day.  Celebrate and give thanks always for everything.  God bless!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad
2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons white sugar ( I cut back to 2)

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar (I cut back to 3/4c)
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries


1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2.Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and 3 tablespoons sugar; mix well and press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.

3.Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.

4.In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and 1 cup sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.

5.Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in still frozen strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is about the consistency of egg whites, pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.

Don't forget you can vote every day until June 8th at the Circle of Moms!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Innocent as Doves

Please vote for me here if you enjoy what you read.  You can vote every 24 hours until June 8th.

As I sit here right now and pray God speak the words through me with tact and love I do know this may not be a popular post today.  I haven't even titled it (yet) as I am not sure how He will put down all these thoughts and I want to look back over it and even see something I hadn't thought of by the end.  Let me give you fair warning that there will be illicit material written here today.

It is a Saturday morning cup of coffee in hand (yes decaf and organic fair trade) and I read all my emails, check the weather for the day, hang out in facebook land, check my bank account.  I sigh and think okay what am I going to write about today.  What has happened to me this week besides playing soccer at friends, grocery shopping, school, soap making, the orthodontist.  Whoa the orthodontist!  That's it!

Dalton has had braces on for about 3 years now, long story.  He has a tooth that they are trying to coax little by little so we go every 3 weeks.  Today we are sitting in the office waiting, a mother and child sit next to us and I hear her say to her son who looks like he is maybe 11.  She is telling him, "I mean it, no more swastika's."  I can only imagine what that is all about.  In the back ground is the usual secular music playing.  I can see the eyes rolling now.  I can hear the chants oh my gosh she is that homeschool freak who guards her children's every move.  Poor kids.  I can see behind all that too and I know what is really going on but I won't speak it. 

A few songs play that I remember and at times my foot is tapping along.  Because I know I am in the world, I know my children also live in the world.  I am not naive.  I know they will always encounter secular music, dress, TV, you name it.  I am not naive.  I also know God has boundaries.  When He came to set us free it wasn't so we can be free to do whatever we want to do!  He came to set us free to the truth.  When He sets us free we can worship Him freely in spirit and truth.  What have you attached to that freedom?  How you dress?  Where you go?  What you watch?  What you listen to?  How you talk?  This could be another Saturday.  Let me transport you back to the orthodontist's office.  Justin Timberlake's song is playing, Future Sex Love Sound.  I told you I am not naive, I live in this world and though I do limit most secular entertainment I do know who and what is out there.  Even as I go try to look up the lyrics to the song my cybersitter blocks the song.  Wait a minute as I turn it off...this is a song I am NOT going to sit and listen to!  This is NOT a song I will sit and let my young men listen to!  This is NOT a song that should be playing in an orthodontist office where the majority of the patients are minors!  This is NOT a song if you are my son's future wife want him to be listening too!  This IS where I draw the line!  I go up to the receptionists desk and quietly and politely say, " this song on the radio is about sex and I have 3 boys sitting here could you turn it or turn it off?"  She says oh and turns the station.  Now it is still secular, it is not much better but I am not naive and I know we have to live in this world.  In a perfect world my child wouldn't have crooked teeth.  Bet you thought I was going to say something else ;)

Yes I am nervous about saying something.  No it is not easy as the room is filled with people who eyeball you and wonder what the big deal is about.  Yes I am wondering in the back of my mind if they will write that in his charts that I asked for the music to be changed.  Dalton walks through the doors, we make another appointment and leave.  Sigh.

There are many other stories like that we have and are encountering.  We have to respond, we can't be lazy in our diligence.  You know from recent posts that my son Bryce loves cars.  There is a generous gentleman we know who loves cars too.  He collects a bag full of magazines and gives them to Bryce.  Bryce knows they will be screened.  You don't understand they have to be.  The whole magazine will be about cars and the last 3 pages will be advertisements for hot girls, sex toys, want ads for men looking for women.  Do I throw the whole thing out?  No, I simply tear out the inappropriate sheets and hand him the magazine.  Does he see me do this?  Yes and I hope when he is an adult he will do the same.

I use to take Dalton to get  his hair cut at a local shop.  We homeshool so I can take him when we are done with school for the day but the schools are still in.  We get in and out quick.  Well, one day they were playing soap operas on the TV.  And not just 1 TV, each station had a mini TV so each client could watch.  So here is a 15 year old watching a soap opera.  I have to say something.  I simply ask them to turn the station and they politely turn the whole thing off.  The next time we went in the new Katy Perry song I Kissed A Girl and Liked It came on.  This is a horrific song!  Dalton was in the chair so he had to endure it but me and the other 2 boys simply walked outside until it was over.  Did we look weird?  I am sure.  Do I care?  No.  Did we go back there?  Never.

Last summer I had plantar fasciitis and had to go to the doctor. The only time I could get in was during a time Tom was at work so the boys went with me.  We sat in the waiting room.  I will give you one guess as to what is on all hospital TVs.????  CNN.  Oh boy.  It was the time they were putting sex education in the school systems starting in kindergarten.  Remember that last year?  Of course they weren't being selective in their speech.  It is a news program most children aren't watching.  I make my way to the front desk and ask if I can change the channel.  The receptionist says sure.  I turn it and am called back.  I am praying the whole time I am back there because I just left my 3 sons sitting in a waiting room where I just turned the station and could not see the reactions.  The boys later tell me the older *cough *cough gentleman hastily marched up to the TV and said what the *** did she do that for?  What did the boys do?  They moved.  They moved to seats that did not face the TV.  Prayer works!  Would they had done that if we hadn't shown them it is worth the risk to try and remain pure?  I am not so sure.  It is so easy to be complacent and rest on that freedom thing.

I sat with them this morning and told them what I was going to blog about.  I asked them what verses in the Bible could they remember or find that tells us how we should conduct our lives.  Here is what they came up with.

Philippians 4:8 (English Standard Version)
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Proverbs 1:10 (English Standard Version)
10My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.

Proverbs 4:24 (English Standard Version)
24Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.

Proverbs 2:11 (English Standard Version)
11 discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,

Proverbs 8:8 (English Standard Version)
8All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.

Proverbs 20:11 (English Standard Version)
11Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
by whether his conduct is pure and upright.

Matthew 10:16 (English Standard Version)
16 "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

In all these thing I am free!

Blog links
Like A Bubbling Brook
Time Warp Wife
Homemaker By Choice
Good Morning Girls
Far Above Rubies
A Wise Woman Build Her Home

Friday, May 27, 2011

Circle of Moms ~ Vote Please

Please take a minute and head over to Circle of Moms and vote for my blog!  Your vote does count.


Hey, why you are here at my blog why not sing up to follow or sign up for email updates ;)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

June special~Soap giveaway for bloggers

Free soap giveaway for bloggers!

Check out my soap blog for rules of entry.

Hurry, it is limited to 8 bars and it is first call.

Rainy Days

One rainy Sunday when I was in the third grade, I picked up a book to look at the pictures and discovered that even though I did not want to, I was reading. I have been a reader ever since.
Beverly Cleary

If you are reading this and you are a blogger don't forget about my soap giveaway here!

It sure has been a rainy spring here in the northwest part of Indiana.  I really don't mind them, rainy days.  Life can be so busy with school, cooking dinner, planning the menu, running to music lessons, the dentist, the orthodontist, church, grocery shopping.  When I get a chance to sit down I sometimes feel guilty that I should be off doing something.  But for some odd reason when it rains and the calmness comes over me and I relax I don't feel guilty.  I think God intends it that way. 

Before you think this is about what electric blanket I used to snuggle up with today it didn't happen.  I did relax though and I am still in my sweat pants, hair undone.  I made ice cream and granola today.  I like to have a stash of snacks ready so we are less likely to crave not so good for you snacks.  I know everyone and their mother has a granola recipe but I am still going to share mine with you.  I hope you will also share yours!

I am fortunate enough to have a friend who runs a food coop.  We order once a month and I keep a stocked pantry with many staples.  Like unsweetened coconut, walnuts and oats.

In a big bowl combine 6 cups rolled oats, 2 cups unsweetened coconut & 2 cups walnut pieces.

I use coconut oil.  You can use canola oil but if you do some research you will find that coconut oil is very good for you.  Add to a saucepan 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/2 cup honey, 2 tsp. cinnamon & 1 tsp. vanilla.  Stir over medium heat until melted and smooth.

Yes, lick the cup!  It's peanut butter for goodness sake.

Heat the oven to 325.  Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and cook for about 50 minutes, stirring every 10.

Tomorrow I will share the past few ice cream recipes we have tried. Without cow's milk ;)
Become a follower and don't miss out.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Get To Know Your Children

If you are reading this and you are a blogger head over to my soap blog for a free bar of soap!

If you ever come across any books by Marilyn Howshall buy them.  They are worth their weight in gold.  She is a homeschool author.  She wrote many booklets on how to teach your children to love learning. While schooling her children she allowed them to find out who they were, what purpose God had for them by learning  how to find the interests of your children.   God does have a purpose for us and I believe He gives us desires that we can use for His pleasure and ours.  I am not talking about sinful desires.  I am talking about those desires to be creative, to be hard working, to be spontaneous, to be thoughtful, such as these.  Marilyn points out in her booklet Get To Know Your Children that we as their parents need to recognize their interests and peculiar traits and allow them to become developed.  To do that we need to give the time needed to focus on each specific area for its development no matter how insignificant it may seem.

One important thing to know is when our children create rough, unpolished projects that is not the object.  Letting them develop the desire to work with their own hands is.  At times I just wanted to talk them out of a certain desire because it took time to help them on my part and even sometimes there were price tags attached.  I had to learn to not count my cost but to see what fruit it may bear if cultivated.  As I look back over our school year that has flown by I took a moment to ponder things in my heart.  That may sound familiar to you if you read a past post of mine about pondering things and what that looks like.  I wanted to know what it looked like for Mary to ponder things in her heart about what God had told her about her having a son, Jesus. 

Here is what cultivating and giving time to my boys looks like.  Even when they should have been doing math instead.
This is Dalton and he is my very hard worker.  He can not stand to be lazy or still.  When they got their first jobs mowing grass he saved up his money and went to Home Depot and spent $200 on tools.  He has better tools then Tom does and we are thankful because now we don't have to buy them, we just borrow them.  He can fix most anything and is very handy at building things.  He is working on our chicken coop.  He built 6 nesting boxes, a perch and a wall between the coop and the storage shed.  All by himself.  I was busy in the house and Tom was at work.  As a matter of fact today is rainy but he is out there fixing up a few other things, because he wants to .  I have not asked any of this from him.  He was just given time to build on his own interests and I believe God leads him and not I.  Which is exactly what I want!  What did this cost me?  A few boxes of screws, some 2X4's, a couple sheets of plywood, a writing lesson here and there.  What have I harvested?  Character.

Bryce!  My most of time jolly, happy, go lucky fella.  A few years ago he started checking out books from the library on guns, war & cars.  Yes he is all boy.  He would read them cover to cover and retain all of it.  We all call him the walking library on those subjects.  He asked me last year if he could start detailing cars.  I was very hesitant.  I thought about a 12 year old taking the responsibility if he happened to scratch a car or use a wrong product.  Mind you he was already detailing our vehicles.I just didn't give him to much of an answer or hope.  Then our neighbor that they had been mowing for a couple of years asked him to detail his car.  His cherished, never driven in the rain car, a mustang.  Bryce was on cloud nine let me tell you!  Tom had said he could, I was nervous but you know what?  He did a great job and the guy appreciated giving a young man the chance to learn.  This year he asked if he could hand out a few flyers.  Again I was hesitant but Tom allowed it.  He took him down to the local restaurant and body shop.  So far this spring he has detailed 4 vehicles!  He spends his money on car supplies.  Something I want to say, "oh just save it" to.  But he is willing to go where God leads his desires.  I am thankful for that.  What does it cost me?  A few extra bucks for new car scent spray as a thank you for cleaning my van, a few extra prayers when he has strangers vehicles in his care.  What have I harvested?  Character.

Here is Chandler, the one who wants to do everything his brothers are doing or have done.  He is my sweet child.  The one who still sits by me in church and holds my hand or lays his head on my shoulder.  He is 11 and not to many young men still do that at that age.  I am proud that he is still tender that way.  We are still working on his desires.  We know he is a great organizer!  Once we were visiting our youth pastor for a game night and all the kids were downstairs playing.  After a bit they all came up and called us down to look at how Chandler had organized the toys in the basement!  He also likes to rearrange his room monthly.  I mean bed, dresser and all.  He's kinda funny that way, tee hee. He also likes to get in my spice cabinet and rearrange, which secretly I don't like.  It's that whole my kitchen thing, some of you will get that ;)  The last thing he spent his money on is what you see here.  He is taking off the old paint on his bike and repainting it.  Bought new grips for the handle bars and new tires for the rims.  What does it cost me?  Sadness as I think about him growing up so fast, a can of paint or two because he is running low on cash.  What have I harvested?  Character.

I love them, but mostly I love God for leading them and giving them desires.  I am thankful for God leading me to let go and trust their desires to God.

Please consider following this blog if you have enjoyed reading it.  Thanks!






Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer break. Do or don't?

This is a picture I took looking out from a museum in Chicago last summer.  Last summer I did the good mom thing.  You know, that one time in your life you get a good idea and actually follow through with it.  Now first of all I really don't mean the "good mom" thing.  I really try not to get hung up on that and guilt.  Try being the key word, it takes effort and Satan is sly in that area.

What I did was plan a field trip once a week somewhere.  I sent an email out inviting all our friends and the ones who could come did, when they could.  Each week it was different friends along.  It really was a good summer. 

This summer...we bought a house in August.  We also put in a huge garden, planted strawberries & blueberries, 2 apple trees, have sweeping gorgeous landscaping, and bought 20 chickens.  Top that with wanting to paint the remaining rooms in the house, change the carpet, sew new curtains for each room.  Oh there goes the "good woman" thing through my head.  I kid.

Now I am going to switch gears here after roughly 3 paragraphs and talk school, homeschool.  And I do spell it homeschool because it is one word and idea for me and it is in the dictionary that way!  Each year of school is different for us.  When we first began like most we took off the 3 or so months called summer.  Then the boys got older and me too.  Spring rolled around every year like clock work and we became restless.  I wanted to get out and garden the boys wanted to get out and play in the hose.  So we changed the way we do our school breaks.  The way I am going to tell you we do it is really just so I can have a grand post on a Saturday morning while the kids are enjoying a lazy morning playing Wii.  Take what seems good to you, think it over and use it if it will help.  If it won't and you just don't do it that way consider it a dose of good old medicine, a good chuckle.

When "school" stops we normally don't.  They still practice their musical instrument the same amount of time.  They still read their Bible and have time with God in quiet.  They still read a book just now they may be able to choose it if I allow it ;)  Free choice gotta love it.  Finally they will continue to do a math lesson everyday.  They will be done by 10 at the latest and there is still a daily routine.  Their whole lives they will have a daily routine.  I hope it always includes God, music and reading for pleasure.  We may or may not do a unit study together.  I have Answers in Genesis Pilgrim's Progress unit study that I have set out the past 4 years, maybe we will get to it.  We do take off music and math in July because that is when we take our 2 week vacation and after a 2 week break away from the garden it takes 2 weeks to get the weeds back in check.

That is what we do.  What works for you?

Link ups

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My second born's new blog

Bryce my car guy has started a new business and a new blog.  Stop by to learn a few things and support a young man! 


My Chicken Noodle Soup

Here is my chicken noodle soup recipe. Tom and the boys love it and I dream of one day calling it Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup.

Buy a whole chicken from an Amish farmer. Put it in a pot of boiling water, about 12 cups or to cover it. Add some dry herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes by the cap full and salt & pepper. When the chicken is done pull it out and let it cool. Keep the water boiling and add about 8 carrots sliced into rounds, 1 huge onion diced and 3 ribs of celery diced. Cook until soft. In a cast iron skillet saute in butter 12 oz of sliced mushrooms. When they are done add to it a big splash of lemon juice. Now add this to the soup. Pull apart the chicken into bit size chunks, add to soup. I buy frozen noodles I think they are Reames brand. They are in the frozen food section and they are like homemade noodles. Thick and chewy. Add these the last few minutes of cook time. I also do one more thing. You may be asking yourself where is the garlic? I chop up about 5 big cloves and add it right before ladling so that you get all the nice raw benefits and salty taste.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Why bother with handmade soap? Is it really better for you?

Have you ever tried a bar of old-fashioned handmade soap? Are you worried you will burn your skin or have scaly itchy dry skin when you hear of lye in handmade soap? Well, let me ease your fears and tell you exactly what real handmade soap is. Soap can not be made without lye. Oils and lye mix in a process called saponification resulting in soap. The soap cures for 24 hours and is ready to cut and there are then no traces of lye left. Soap is cured depending on the soap maker between 3-6 weeks. This lets the soap rest and harden. The longer it sets the harder and milder it becomes.
Now that is the short of it but there are many different oils and additives you can put into your soap. I basically use 5 ORGANIC oils, olive, coconut, sunflower, sweet almond & palm. The basic additives I use are ORGANIC cocoa butter, raw unfiltered Indiana honey, ORGANIC fresh ground oats, poppy seeds, and 100 % pure essential oils. I have made a bar of blueberry that is from a fragrance oil.

There are many differences in handmade soap and store bought soap. Handmade soap has tons of natural glycerin in it. Factory soap makers take the glycerin out to make lotions and skin creams which is why after a shower using store bought soap you have to put on lotion! Handmade soap leaves all the good stuff in it. Handmade soap uses no chemicals or detergents. Factory soap is mostly detergent and adds so many chemicals you would have to put each one into the Environmental Working Group database to find out the danger of each ingredient. Which is what I have done for you.

If you take a stroll down a Wal-Mart isle you will find many selections of bar soap. Dove, Olay, Ivory, Caress, Yardley of London, Camay, Canus Goat’s Milk, Tone, the options keep going. EWG rated all these soaps based on the ingredients in them. The scale ratings are 0-2 as low hazard, 3-6 moderate hazard and 7-10 high hazard. Now you understand we are rating hazardous to our health people!
Lever rates an 8
Olay rates a 6
Everyone else rates a 5

What are the ingredients that are hazardous? Let’s look at some.
Lever 2000 ingredient list from packaging:

We will look at just a couple of these ingredients. The fragrance used could cause neurotoxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity at a level of 8 on a scale of 0-10.

The synthetic form of Vitamin A which is retinyl palmitate has been shown to cause cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), biochemical or cellular level changes. Again at a risk level of 8 on a scale of 0-10.

Now are you going to get cancer from using these products? Maybe we should be asking another question. Are you okay with moderately risking your health ever single time you shower?
I also looked up some soap companies with a rating of 0 and 1. I also listed if they were organic (OG) and the price per bar and ounce.

By Valenti True Castile right near here in Shamburg, IL (Chicago) rates a 0 at $7 for a 5oz bar/OG
Kiss My Face rates a 0 at $3.99 for an 8 oz bar NOT OG
Trader Joes Oatmeal & Honey rates a 0
Coastal Creations Oatmeal which is the face bar I use to use rates a 0 and is now $9 per 3.5oz and is NOT OG
Aubrey Organics Evening Primrose rates a 0 at $5.95 for a 4 oz bar and the only OG ingredient is the evening primrose oil!
Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint rates a 1 at $4.49 for a 5oz bar/OG

We personally test our soaps on ourselves so we know it will be gentle to your skin. We also put in each ingredient at the EWG database and our soap rates a 0. You can also feel good about buying a bar because each recipe is thought out and each oil has different health benefits. Each bar is hand cut, weighed, stamped and wrapped. You are buying the best product we can provide for the best possible price.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Farewell to Soup...you will be missed

Last week the weather here was 89 and sunny! Today it is rainy and 39! That's Indiana for ya and the forcast is rainy and 50 for the next 8 days. So when life throws you lemons you make lemonade.

As the cold weather came back in I found myself wanting soup. I realized that soon we will be in the middle of summer and eating garden fresh tomatoes with basil and mozzarella, Romaine & spinach salads, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Soon we will not be thinking of soup and I really, really like soup. So this week while we can enjoy soup we will be savoring chicken noodle soup, tomato bisque and others.

I am also hosting a blog hop! What is your favorite soup? Recipe?

Bloggers make a post on your blog come back here and leave a link. Non-bloggers feel free to leave a comment below. I simply ask that you leave a link back to my blog. I will leave it open until next Sunday. Let's have fun!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Speaking Blessings

What is it about looking at a sunrise or sunset?  When you look at one you are fixed on the light, right?  How it warms the world and brings to life color that is already there it just needs the light to shine on it.  Breathtaking.

Last year I did a blessing study.  I didn't use a certain book though I did listen to several podcasts by Nancy Leigh Demoss.  I just sat down each day and looked up all forms of the word blessing.  You can be a blessing, you are blessed, we can ask for a blessing and you can impart a blessing.  I especially liked the imparting a blessing as I am raising 3 young men I thought that was key for me at the time.  In Deut. 31-34 Moses was shown the Promised Land and God told him that the Israelites would worship other gods and that they would turn away from God Most High.  Moses didn't despair.  I think he probably assumed they would with their history, don't you.  He didn't moan out in frustration about them never getting it.  Moses put his trust in knowing who God was.  He trusted Him to send a Saviour, He promised. 

Moses came down off the mountain after seeing and hearing all this.  What did Moses do?  He blessed the people.  He spoke words of truth and hope.

2 Cor. 13:12 says, Great one another with a  consecrated kiss.
1 Peter 4:9 says, Offer hospitality to one another.

So what does this look like in our house?  Breakfast time is our morning devotion.  We take a book of the Bible and read a chapter a day until we are done.  We talk about the meaning of the chapter and how we can apply that in different areas.  When we are done and have prayed I will take a portion of the reading, cup both of my hands on a child's face, speak a blessing and kiss their forehead. 

Why?  Well, it is like prayer.  The more you do it the easier it becomes (in a way, you know what I mean).  I also want that kind of language to be familiar to me and I want the boys to be familiar with me saying it.  And, and I want God to work in their lives!

So while reading a section of scripture a blessing might look like this. 
1 Sam. 2:26 May God bless you so you grow in stature and favor with Him and men.

1 Sam. 3:10 May God bless you so that when He speaks you are able to say, speak Lord for your servant is listening.

Hebrews 13:21 May God bless you by equipping you with everything good that you may need to do His will.

1 John 1 May you walk in God's truth today.

May God bless you as you seek to learn His way for you.  And take comfort that He promised He will finish the good work He starts in our children.

Click here for blog hop
Also linked to
Linked here too


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Want to know the future?

Isaiah 45:11

Thus saith the LORD, the HOLY ONE of Israel, and his MAKER, Ask ME of things to come concerning MY sons, and concerning the work of MY hands command ye ME.
(emphasis mine)

There is NO god besides God.  If anything is to be done He is the only one to do.  Go to Him. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lemon Lime Popsicles

Wow!  These past few days have been so nice.  Today however it was hot.  89 degrees!  When you go right into those kinds of temps when you are use to 50 you notice.  The humidity makes you work slower.  The heat makes your mind dream about ice cream.  Well mine does!  Today we got alot done.  I have three awesome hard working young men.  I have one, 15 who out works me.  He divided and transplanted 20 hostas today by himself.  God bless that boy.  He sure blesses me.  The other two were busy making a make shift pen for the 20 chicks to free range before the coop is done.  And since we saw a HUGE raccoon the other night at the bird feeder we will make it extra secure.  I think we will be buying a gun soon.  And don't even send me hate mail.  After raising 20 chicks from day olds, cleaning their box every week, buying food, paying the electric bill for the heat lamp to run 24/7 & hand petting them I will do what ever it takes to get rid of predators.  No guilt. 

I also made popsicles!

Lemon Lime popsicles
juice 4 lemons & 5 limes
add about 1 1/2 c rice milk
about 1/2 c honey
Blend in a blender and add a good handful of ice.  You can just drink this and I did what was left over after making 6 popsicles.  So refreshing on a day like today.

 First time outside and the girls loved it.  They laid in the sun and stretched out their wings.  Ate bugs and dandelions.

Here is my herb garden, it's right out my back kitchen door.  If you can imagine, it was FULL of weeds.  I didn't have plant markers so I rummaged through my desk drawers.  Colored pencils!  You know you have 3 sets of them.  Really, what is it about a new pack of colored pencils even though you already have a pack at home that rarely get used?  Crayons too, my boys have just gotten older.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Farfalle with Corn, Asparagus and Jalapeno

I love pasta.  Do you?  I checked out from the library Scott Conant's New Italian Cooking.  There are only a few recipes I will try in it.  This is one of them and we all loved it.  I served it with a huge salad with an Asian dressing, cranberries & sliced almonds.  After working outside in the flower beds today I feel real good about serving this healthy meal.  Don't you just love hard work, good food and warm sunny days?

Farfalle with Corn, Asparagus and Jalapeno
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil then add 1 lb farfalle pasta and boil until almost al dente.  Save 1 cup of pasta water and drain the rest.

In the meantime add to a skillet with olive oil, 1 red onion diced and 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno.  Cook until tender about 5 minutes.  Add about 2 cups frozen corn and let cook until warm.  Add 1 lb small diced asparagus and cook until crisp tender. 

When everything is done combine the pasta, pasta water and veggies in a skillet and warm through.  Salt and pepper.

Angela's Asian Dressing
1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c Bragg's or other soy sauce
2 tbsp honey

Mix together in a mason jar with a fork.  Pour over salad.

Strictly Homemade

Love Letters from our Father

Isaiah 43:1

But know thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

Isaiah 43:4

Because you are precious in my eyes,
and honored, and I love you,
I give men in return for you
peoples in exchange for your life.

Isaiah 43:25

I, I am he
who blots out your transgressions for
my own sake,
and I will not remember your sins.

I think it is so humbling to think that He remembers our sins no more not for our own sake but for HIS.  So He can have a relationship with us He blots them out.  He makes all the sacrifices for relationship.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Homemade Soap Giveaway

As you may know I have found a new hobby, soap making.  To help me keep track of sells I started a soap blog.  To let you know what varieties are for sell. 

Wanna know the rules for the soap giveaway?  Well head on over and check out the rules.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Mixed salad with strawberries, walnuts, goat cheese

Before I get to the delicious healthy recipe let me ask you a question.  How many times have you thrown away a head of organic romaine lettuce?  I mean, after you find and pay a little more for a nice head of romaine lettuce doesn't it just hurt to throw it away after it has set in the fridge a few days to long and it turns brown and mushy?  According to Myra Goodman from Earthbound Farms there is a right way to store lettuce.  And since she is the founder and owner of organic lettuce I will take her advice. 

To extend the life of leafy greens, wash them and spin them dry to remove all the moisture.  If you plan on using the lettuce within the day leave them in the spinner.  Otherwise, place the greens in a plastic bag and add a sheet of paper towel, which will absorb any residual moisture.  Store in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.  The greens should stay fresh for up to a week.

Took several batches but these are those 2 romaine, red leaf, green leaf and 2 Boston lettuce I bought earlier today.

I huge bowl for tonight and another 2 bags for later this week.

Mixed LettuceSalad with Strawberries, Walnuts and Goat Cheese
1 quart of organic strawberries, washed & sliced
Mixed organic lettuce, washed & dried
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Mix everything in a big bowl.  Make dressing and mix that to coat.

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
10 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

Weekly Menu Plan

I love to cook.  I love to go to the library and check out 10 new cookbooks at one time, make some hot tea, sit on the couch all night while the boys watch a movie and just salivate.  I mean make a menu plan and shopping list.  Sometimes I wonder if loving to cook is a curse.  I can't be satisfied with just making 10 good meals over and over again.  I think I should be able to though.  So I have picked out several recipes I hope to make regulars. We'll see?!

Thursday ~ Tangy Carrot Chowder (actually made this twice this past week)
Friday ~ Salad with strawberries, walnuts & goat cheese, baked hamburger patty
Saturday ~ Pizza out with dad
Sunday ~ picnic with friends in the park and KFC fried chicken (yeah so what) baked potato salad, corn and a pineapple upside down cake
Monday ~ Farfalle with corn, asparagus and jalapeno
Tuesday ~ Chicken and green olive enchiladas, Chili rice
Wednesday ~ Saigon Carmel Chicken, Jicama & orange salad
Thursday ~ Penne with chickpeas and rosemary, corn

What are your go to meals?

My favorite vegetable store show and tell

Today was my shopping day and since we were in Cedar Lake for music this morning I made a special trip to Produce Depot in Dyer.  Besides Whole Foods, and really I don't do to much fruit and vegetable shopping there, it's to expensive and I am finding they aren't carrying to many organic veggies there lately???  I stock up on other things there.  But wait a minute I was talking about Produce Depot.  I love this store.  The owners are supper nice and very accommodating.  Want a 25lb bag of organic juicing carrots?  They can get it.  Want a case of honey crisp apples?  They can get that too.  They make fresh bread daily with no preservatives, smoothies that can be made conventionally or organically, homemade soup. 

As I am driving home a post from a friend ran through my mind.  She had done the Walgreen thing.  I am not sure how it works but she got a ton of "stuff" for really cheap.  So I thought I would show you what I got today.  My food budget is $125 weekly and that includes paper products and dish soaps.  With a family of 5 and we try and eat organic as much as possible it is really hard.  Okay so I also have another $100 I spend at a dry food co-op monthly but still.  So how do I do it and not clip coupons?  First of all we buy a 1/2 of a cow.  We grow a lot of our own vegetables and freeze them.  We take advantage of local fruit in season and freeze that too.  Then we do our shopping. 

Today I stopped at Produce Depot, Costco and Walmart.  I spent more than usual because we were out of everything.  I really haven't been grocery shopping in a few weeks. 

Produce Depot $62.64

2 jalapeno peppers
5 red delicious apples (organic)
3 green peppers (organic)
5 red pears (organic)
2 mangos
2 green onion bunches (organic)
3 red onions
huge bag of limes
6 lemons (organic)
2 5 # bags of apples (organic)
2 5 # bags of potatoes (organic)
bunch of bananas
strawberries (organic)
2 bunches of asparagus
7 naval oranges
2 Boston lettuce (pesticide free)
red leaf lettuce (organic)
green leaf lettuce (organic)
2 romaine (organic)

I wish I could buy everything organic but I just can't.  There are some things I simply won't buy unless they are like apples, strawberries, corn, spinach & celery.  Here is a list of the Dirty Dozen in pesticide rankings.


Domestic blueberries
Sweet bell peppers
Spinach, kale and collard greens
Imported grapes

The Clean 15

Sweet corn
Sweet peas
Kiwi fruit
Sweet potatoes
Sweet onions

You'll notice that one of the things I won't buy unless organic is corn.  Yet it is on the clean 15 list.  Why?Corn is typically not a scale tipper when it comes to pesticide residues. But, take into account that 75- 90% of all domestic corn has been genetically-modified, that the average American eats 11 pounds of it, that most cooking oils include corn oil, and that most everything is sweetened with corn syrup, and suddenly, buying organic corn and corn products, makes more than a little sense. Eat local organic corn in season and freeze some for later, or, leave some kernels to dry, and plant them in the spring.  Buying organic corn is the only way to be sure the corn has not been genetically modified besides growing it yourself.

Hope this has been helpful.  Happy shopping!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Beautiful, Beautiful

This weekend I went on a woman's retreat with some women from our homeshool co-op. The speakers were wonderful. So many stories of God's grace. So many dead lives changed to alive ones.

I have only been to a handful of retreats. For me, women's retreats are similar to child birth. Quite painful. You know how God erases the full extent of that pain until you are on the birthing table again. Well, I forgot how much I really don't enjoy retreats. I don't enjoy being shown my problems. I don't enjoy going to those hurtful places when I have nicely folded them and tucked them under the bed for the winter. Those places you thought you had dealt with but really, really you haven't. Those wounds that are 26 years old and have never been shared.

I have never been so secretly happy to go home. Then that touch of love from Him. My youngest son plays the piano and he is rather good. My favorite song is Beautiful, beautiful so he asked me to buy it for him last week. In one week he learned it. On his own! He is only 11! As I walk in the kitchen he starts to play it. That was God's kiss to me today.
Thank you Father that you NEVER condemn but you ALWAYS love your children.  Even when it hurts.

Album: My Paper Heart  Artist: Francesca Battistelli

Don’t know how it is You looked at me
And saw the person that I could be
Awakening my heart
Breaking through the dark
Suddenly Your grace


Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so
Beautiful, beautiful
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so
Beautiful, beautiful

Now there’s a joy inside I can’t contain
But even perfect days can end in rain
And though it’s pouring down
I see You through the clouds
Shining on my face


I have come undone
But I have just begun
Changing by Your grace