Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hymn From the Heart -- There Is a Fountain

I love hymns about the blood. True Christianity is a bloody religion.  An innocent animal shed its blood in the garden of Eden.  Abel's offering was a blood offering.  Right from the start of history, the atonement for sin has been through the blood.  There is a red river running through the entire Bible, a picture of the sinless blood that would one day be shed by the Lord Jesus Christ for the sins of every man, woman, and child.  For four thousand years God's people offered up to him the blood of bulls and of goats, but the day finally came. Because of that great love wherewith he loved us, the Son of God redeemed us sinners from death and hell with his own blood. That blood he shed was the LAST BLOOD the Father would ever require! That fountain of pure, holy blood that ran from his earthly body was the last sacrifice for sins. Even two thousand years later, the blood of Christ has not lost its power. All my sins are under the blood, never to condemn me again.  Yes, I do love to sing about the blood!

There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he,
Wash all my sins away.

E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be 'til I die.

Then in a nobler, sweeter song
I'll sing thy pow'r to save,
When this poor lisping, stamm'ring tongue
Lies silent in the grave.

...the blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from ALL sin

1 John 1:7

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What Are You Going to Do When Your World Falls Apart?

For man also knoweth not his time:
as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare;
so are the sons of men snared in an evil time,
when it falleth suddenly upon them."
Ecclesiastes 9:12

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all, to stand."

Ephesians 6:13

Evil Days

Part of human nature causes us to build our own little worlds. Some people spend their entire lives constructing their worlds, which revolve around themselves. We think we are in control of our lives, circumstances and events. We plan and think that things will turn out a certain way. We never take into consideration the uncertainties of life. We think everything will always be our definition of perfect.

However, the Bible is still true, and the greatest source of information about life. The rain still falls on the just and the unjust. Whether we know it or not, whether we expect it or not, to everyone there comes an Evil Day. The Evil Day is one in which everything we hope for fails. It is when your world falls apart. It is when everything goes wrong, and we think that nothing good will ever happen.

Everyday, thousands experience Evil Days, most of the time the rest of us do not care, just as long as it is not happening to us. But, your Evil Day is coming, too. No amount of plotting, scheming or evading can prevent it from coming to you. It’s arrival is as certain as your death. You cannot avoid it. Most people will experience many Evil Days, some more than others.

What will you do?

Since you know that you will have Evil Days, you must ask yourself, what are you going to do when it comes? What will you do when your world falls apart? What will you do when life doesn’t turn out like you think it should? When your child becomes ill, or even dies. That’s your world falling apart. Your world falls apart when your parents become ill, and die. When a sibling becomes ill, you lose your job, your spouse dies, your spouse leaves you—all of these are examples of one’s world falling apart.

Do not think that it will never happen to you, because it could, and some of it will.

The Evil Day comes and shatters all of your hopes and dreams. It’s never wrong to have these goals, hopes and dreams, but what if something prevents them from becoming a reality? Will you go insane? Will you react foolishly?

What you can do:

Here are some things that you can do to prepare for the Evil Day, and to take you through it.

Get in the Word of God. No other one thing will help you more than this. It will prepare you for it, and it will keep you on the right path when it does come.
Stand. Follow Ephesians 6:13, and stand for something. Stand up for what you believe in; stand up for what is right. Get involved in a cause that is bigger than you or I, and just stand!
Find a strong, Bible-believing church, and stay there. Don’t hop from place to place, find a good one and stay there. When trouble comes, don’t use it as excuse to quit on God, stay in church!
Listen to your pastor. God placed him in that position for a reason. He can help you, if nothing else, through the preaching of the Word of God.
Let God be real to you. Don’t make God some little fairy tale creature that you only believe in when you are sick or in trouble. Have a real, daily relationship with Christ, and follow him.

Reprinted with permission.
(c) 2007 Ray Perdue/Swamp Fox Files
 [The preceding article originally appeared on
The Swamp Fox Files on February 15, 2007.]

Find the Man

I love these blog quizzes that serve only to remind me of all my deficiencies.  Here's another one.  I have been informed that in addition to my real age not being my real age, my visual perception is dismal, my memory is impaired, and my hand-eye coordination is substandard,  I have NO right brain!  Half of my mind is just, well, not there.  I knew there was something terribly wrong with my head.  Thanks to this puzzle below, I now know what it is.


This is bizarre - after you find the guy - it's so obvious.. Once you find him - it's embarrassing, and you think, Why didn't I see him immediately?

Doctors have concluded that if you find the man in the coffee beans in 3 seconds, the right half of your brain is better developed than most people.

If you find the man between 3 seconds and 1 minute, the right half of the brain is developed normally.

If you find the man between 1 minute and 3 minutes, then the right half of your brain is functioning slowly and you need to eat more protein

If you have not found the man after 3 minutes, the advice is to look for more of this type of exercise to make that part of the brain stronger!!!

And, yes, the man is really there!!!

It took Booklover all of three seconds to find him, and then she showed me where he is hiding. Why did God make children smarter than their mothers?? I don't think extra protein is going to become my missing lobe...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have You Ever....?

I saw this tag at Scheer Joy Academy, and I was suprised to see all the interesting things I have done! Hmm. I'm not such a dull person, after all!  I never did do the "six random things about me" tag, but this will suffice, I think!  I have to admit, though, some of these things I did a long. time. ago.

Have you ever....?

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang/played a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France -- In the Louvre, right?  I think I have...
20. Slept on an overnight train -- Maybe on my way to the Louvre? LOL.  I don't remember.  Too long ago.
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping  -- I plead the Fifth.
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied -- Yeah, I did once...
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person -- not sure.  It would have been a lifetime ago.
39. Gone rock climbing -- Tried it once.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie -- Does a very minor role in my kids' home video production count? See here. LOL!
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone -- Maybe a toe.  Sure felt like it.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous -- No, but I've seen Don Rickles and Sophia Loren in public... and I "know"  (in the blogging sense of the word) Susan Marlow!
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Made a baby -- lots of them
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ladies' Coffee Hour

Some time ago I wrote about our morning Ladies' Coffee Hour, which is our devotional time in the morning before school starts.  We have continued with it -- hey, I'm doing good.  This is the second thing I have purposed in my heart to do consistenly this year, which I am still doing. (The other is daily exercise.)  Hooray!  The girls and I are reading through the Bible together, sort of skipping through the non-narrative portions, but summarizing them as we go along.  This morning we were in Numbers, which doesn't have a lot of action, but I try to make it thrilling.

After reading the Bible, I read aloud to them from History Stories for Children.  It is below my older girls' level, but big kids aren't too big to learn from a little kids' book.  (Especially when they are weak in history, as you will see.)  Our topic was the US flag, combined with a teeny bit of info about WWI and Armistice Day.  Today's chapter began with a young boy gazing at the flag, thinking about his father who had gone off to France in 1918.  I stopped and asked the girls, "What war was going on in 1918?" 
"...The war of 1812?"  
"Um, no, that was World War I." 
Same child: "Oh yeah.  That is the one where the king and queen of Spain got shot, and everyone got mad and started a war!" 
Now, I am not going to tell you which of my brilliant, super-achiever homeschooled children said these things.  But I WILL tell you that sometimes it is better NOT to have the older children present when trying to teach the younger ones. LOL!  *Sigh*

Next we moved on to a nice picture book by Eve Bunting, How Many Days to America?  A Thanksgiving Story, which is about a Cuban refugee family arriving in America on Thanksgiving Day, with something BIG to be thankful for -- FREEDOM.  We talked about Castro and how all the poor Cubans thought he was going to bring "Change" and prosperity, only to find that Communism was not a good change for the people, after all.

For the past year or more I have been copying and saving good blogposts and articles about femininity, homemaking, goals for girls, courting, etc.  I have been picking one or two of those items from my folder each morning also, and sharing with my daughters what a wonderful privilege and blessing it is to be what God made us to be.  Today we read about the benefits of being a strong woman -- not in the sense of being headstrong/empowered/liberated but in the sense of having strength of character and the ability to be strong and submissive at the same time. Now there's a talent. And hey! There's an idea for my next church ladies' newsletter article... 

Strength and honour are her clothing;
and she shall rejoice in time to come.
Proverbs 31:25

Monday, November 17, 2008

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today, Monday, November 17th, 2008

Outside my window... it is a perfectly lovely day!  Sunny and 59°, very light breeze, aiming for 85° today.

I'm thinking...
I have so much to thank God for. I love my family and my church, and I am grateful for happy hearts in my home.

From the learning rooms...
Monday is our day off.  But we are learning from a great variety of resources: Landmark biographies, Usher's Annals of the World, Greg Landry's Homeschool Science Academy, Robert Krampf science videos, LFBC, foam bathtub letters, Bob Books, Rod and Staff, and our local library.

am thankful for...
not enough things.  Last week I attempted to only thank God in prayer as I took my daily (except for the days when the wind would have blown me into Mexico) two-mile walk. I succeeded for one mile, and then I was back to asking for more!    

From the kitchen...

Monday ~ Wild Rice Soup & Breadsticks
(This is not true.  This is from PlainJane's menu, and we have invited ourselves over to her place for supper.  Wild rice soup is our favorite!)

Tuesday ~  7-Bone Roast in the slow-cooker

Wednesday ~ Spaghetti?
Thursday ~ TBA

Friday ~ TBA
Saturday ~ TBA
Sunday ~ TBA

I am wearing...
western denim skirt, bright pink t-shirt, low cut socks

I am reading...
Psalms; Heidi; going to start two books by Stephanie Reed

I am hoping...
to have a smooth week! 

I am creating...
hee hee. Creating??
am hearing...
Emily jabbering, Amy and Elisabeth playing "photographer" and Tiny Dreams
Around the house ...
Already cleaned the bathroom this morning, woohoo!  Eventually will wipe up the desert that came in with our big winds last week and coated every object in the house.

One of my favorite things...
holding a small hand.   

I am going...
to try to get organized ahead of time for our Thanksgiving trip next week.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
the library, online Greg Landry classes tonight and Wednesday night, hair cut, baking.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

What is Carrotlover saying??

If you would like to join us in The Simple Woman's Daybook, please see our Hostess, Peggy for details.  You may also visit her for the Mr. Linky to many other Simple Women.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hymn From the Heart -- Jesus Paid It ALL

Look at that, two weeks after I decide to do a weekly post, I forget all about it. LOL! Oh well. Just bear with me. You know, "comfort the feeble-minded."

One of my favorite hymns is Jesus Paid It All.  When my babies were, well, babies, I would sing this to them as a lullaby. It was perfect for humming quietly in my alto joyful noise. (Actually, any song sounds better when I "sing" it softly!) And I love the lyrics. They are so simple, and yet profound, making the statement that while I could do nothing at all to merit God's favor, Jesus did everything that was required for my salvation.  He paid my sin debt at Calvary because even in my sins, he loved me! There was nothing left for me to do, but to receive his death in my place. One day I will stand confidently before God with the blood of Jesus as my pass into heaven. For all eternity I will sing the praises of my wonderful Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, for my salvation is in HIM, and not of works, lest any man should boast. What a wonderful salvation!!

    I hear the Savior say
    Thy strength indeed is small
    Child of weakness....watch and pray
    Find in me....thine all in all

    Jesus paid it all
    All to Him I owe
    Sin hath left a crimson stain
    He washed it white as snow

    Lord, now indeed I find
    Thy power and Thine alone
    Can change the leper's spots
    And melt the heart of stone

    For nothing good have I
    Whereby Thy grace to claim
    I'll wash my garments white
    In the blood of Calvary's Lamb

    And when before thy throne
    I stand in Him complete
    "Jesus died my soul to save,"
    My lips shall still repeat.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through him might be saved.

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John 3:16-18


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not Homeschool-Challenged Anymore

It's amazing what a difference twenty-four hours can make in the life of a homeschooler, isn't it? After our initial few moments of Mom laying down the law, we had a good day today. Hooray!  Thank you, Lord!  (In Carrotlover's own words, "In math, after I cry and wail and scream a while, it's a lot better.")

Booklover is another one of my math lovers. She occasionally has trouble grasping a new concept, and when that happens, we put the curriculum on hold. Sometimes a math concept just has to be described or explained in different language.  I search my trusty Internet for a solution, and usually I can find one.  A couple of years ago Booklover was having an absolute conniption fit really struggling with two and three-digit division, and we found the answer right here.  The new method, called double division, worked like a dream. Later she was able to do three-digit division the normal way with no problem.

At the end of our first quarter this year, Booklover got into integers.  Subtracting negative integers just did not make sense to her. Again, she had a big huge conniption fit really struggled, so we shelved the math book and went to the Internet.  The solution was math-drills.com.  What a great site!  For FREE, I could print pages and pages of practice problems on integer addition or subtraction, or a combination of the two, or on any other essential math skills. (And keys, too!!)  After using the worksheets for several days Booklover just about had integers mastered.  And then we took a break.  Bad idea.  She forgot it all.  This week we are back to the worksheets. But it's coming back to her now, and soon we will return to our beloved Teaching Textbooks. (No, there is nothing at all wrong with TT.  It is still wonderful great.  I just have one of those kids that likes to make life interesting.)

Once again, I am so thankful we are schooling at home. Nowhere else could we just set the curriculum aside for a while.  After all, the goal is not to finish the book -- the goal is to learn the material! (Wait. Didn't I just tell you yesterday that I don't know how to set goals? I did it!!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Homeschool Challenged.

After taking five weeks off after our first quarter, we reluctantly resumed our school schedule yesterday.  (I use the word "schedule" loosely.)  Back to the grind.  I sooo wish I were one of those teacher-mothers who is organized and far-sighted, goal-oriented and confident. And it would be really nice if my kids loved school.  But I am not, and for the most part, they don't, so here we are, doing the best we can do (???  I don't think that was a totally honest statement) as a homeschool challenged family.  Any alternative would be totally unacceptable, so I am very thankful that for today, we still are at liberty to have our kids at home and to flounder along. Don't get me wrong.  We don't flounder all the time. But when we do, I'm glad we have the liberty to do so.

I am not one bit worried that my girls will not be able to "socialize" properly in the Real World, or that they will be unable to balance a checkbook or live within their means or cook a good meal.  What I worry about is (not really WORRY -- you know what I mean), What kind of memories are they going to have of me, their dear mother?  If I could send them off to school (but I won't), I could be the nice mom who  has had plenty of time to herself all day, keeps a clean house (since I would have time while they are all away), and welcomes them home with warm cookies to reward them for enduring a hard day of socialization. 

INTERRUPTION -- Daughter reading over shoulder guffaws and says, "No way, you would be blogging when we left, and  blogging when we got back!!" I am offended!
  It hope it is obvious to you that that is not true.  When did I last post something here?? Except for that quick little contest entry, it was a week ago. So there.

Getting back to what I was saying. As it is, my brain is hardly functioning.  I am interrupted one zillion times a day.  I am unable to plan, unable to schedule meals, cleaning, or assignments -- not because of the interruptions -- I just don't know how anymore. I can't remember anything that is important.  Much of the time I walk around in a mental fog of laundry, clutter, and dirty dishes. And children vying for my attention.  My teen can run circles around me at the computer and on the piano.  Number two shares with number three all the creativity that I didn't get in the genes.  My five year old beats me hands down at SET. Is this what they are going to remember of their dear mother?  That she was a bit daft, a bit out-of-control, a poor soul who often forgot to take meat our for supper?

Oh well.  If I am sacrificing my mind, it is for a good cause. Right?  Say I'm right.  I know I'm right.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power,
and of love,
and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Rare Thursday Evening Ramble

The girls and I are home from church tonight, due to colds coming and going.  Normally if I had one with a cold, we'd go anyway and stay away from the little kids and the older people. But since all four of the girls are in one stage or another of some sort of virus, I decided it would be irresponsible to spread four times the germs around the church.  We have a small church family, and we really don't like to have people out for sickness for weeks at a time!  Oh, and yes.  We have church on Thursdays, not on your traditional Wednesday evening.  That was decided before we got here five years ago, and it works to our advantage on those occasions when we want to go see my parents for a few days.

Anyway, three of the sickies are listening to their daddy on a CD, starting a new weekly series on the book of Revelation. Monocogman has not taught Revelation here, and he has a refreshing approach to a sometimes difficult study.  Actually, Revelation is not that hard to understand; people just find it hard to believe.  Every time I read through it, I am excited to think (and know) that we are living in the days prior to the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Certainly the signs of the times are all around us.  By the way, Monocogman is doing a great job on his new blog, keeping with his theme (the theme being ONE) in each post.! Go check it out.

Daughter #1 is rapidly whacking away at her computer keyboard (she heard the lesson from Revelation last Sunday already), and oh good! I see she is writing a new entry.  Did I tell you?  Alizona was recently asked to author the Animal Facts column for the HSB kids' blog, The Backyard!  She spent hours one day doing research and writing entries ahead of time, and she LOVED  learning that way!  Only because it wasn't required for school.  When I suggested doing a history research project she made a face.  But she did say she LOVED learning about animals on her own.  Now if I can only get her interested in chemistry or history or some other high school subject that way.  She is very savvy with computer technology, given the opportunity to do something with her knowledge.  For some reason -- ?? beats me -- Alizona has been very interested lately in learning the Linux OS, and this week she figured out on her own how to download it to a "live" CD and run if from there, rather than from her computer. (I'm certain I am messing up the terminology. Sorry, dear.)  If you know anything about Linux, or if you are a computer geek, she would love to hear from you.  I have no clue.  She will spend as much time as I will give her, telling me all the ins and outs of this Kubuntu or whatever, and it's like she is speaking a foreign language to me.  I pray the Lord would lead guide her interests and talents to the things that she can use for this glory (and maybe a teeny bit of income) down the road.

In other news, we tried a new oatmeal raisin cookie recipe yesterday, one that calls for a yellow cake mix.  Those cookies are half gone already (what do you expect in a family of six that is very communistic when it comes to goodies?) ... very yummy.  However they are not your traditional oatmeal raisin cookie, and this week I am particularly fond of tradition.  I'm kind of longing for a traditional Thanksgiving, which this one is not going to be.  One side of our family does everything very traditionally -- fall centerpiece, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, the whole kaboodle. The main player on the other side doesn't care for turkey, so I believe we are having lasagna, or something else that will be equally delicious but not traditional.  And, a picnic, not a big sit-down dinner in the dining room. Now, I am not grumbling about this -- it is fun to be with my family, and this is one of the rare times we siblings are all able to get together. ...But in my own immediate family, this one right here, we keep so few traditions.  (I can't even think of any.)  I really want to establish Thanksgiving Day as a special time around the Lord and all his goodness.  Which it should be anyway, but how that turns out depends a lot on the company we keep on that day. You know how it is. And somehow it's just not the same if we do the traditional meal on Friday.  Mom...?  Next year we might be staying home...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Month in Review

For the past few weeks we have been taking a break from school to enjoy the nice fall weather here in the desert.  As it so happens, the weather has not really cooperated with us until just this week, but we have had some nice time off anyway. I can tell when the break time is over by the number of times I hear, "I'm bored," and we'll be back to the grind soon.  Maybe tomorrow.

Here is our month in pictures:

We celebrated another birthday:

Went to the zoo:

Climbed a mountain pass
(that's our house down there in the valley, waaaay in the distance):

Did some art:

Found a gold mine:

Played "Button Baptist Church":

Made a day-trip to Mexico
(I forgot to take pics over the border.  Here are some cotton bales on the way):

Blessed the house of God:

Watched a cooking class (more on that at Alizona's):

AND, we even got in some socialization!

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