Saturday, January 29, 2011

It's This Kind of Day

Someone left a window wide open last night, so it is a bit nippy in here.  For those of you in the northern climes, look at it this way, we are feeling your pain.  A teeny bit. lol.  I love the hearts in my cocoa, don't you?  They are more evidence of my inconsistency with the finances, but hey, this is love.  Love with cocoa, in my favorite cup, love to share with my girls, love to just look at. Or a symbol of it, anyway.  I see love in the background, too.  We used to eat on a two-by-six-foot plastic table.  Love moved a friend to offer us her family's oak dining room table.  After my children leaned on it too heavily and for too long, the top fell right off the pedestal pieces.  Love screwed it back together. :)  I love this table.  Not in the same way I love my husband, of course, but you ladies know what I mean.

It's been a busy few days, as we've had company.  I have always enjoyed my friend in the ministry, Merlynn, but I have a renewed admiration for her.  She is organized, disciplined, thoughtful, and committed to the Lord and her family; what's more, she laughs easily, even at herself! and is fun to be with.  I really must stop taking myself so seriously and learn to laugh more.   I feel refreshed and motivated to clear some of the clutter out of my house, and on a major scale this time.  I prayed this morning for the Lord to help me to be ruthless.  Really I should start with my own stuff, but the girls' closet needs a good going-through.  So do the rest of the closets, and under the beds, and and and.  

And I am going to start T-Tapping today.  I've been saying that for several days, but my motivation went out the door at some point.  Not to mention, I have not had the privacy I need to bounce my flab all over the place for an hour while I learn the workout.  See what I mean about not taking myself so seriously?  But today I am going to do it. Right after... after lunch.  I think.

Well, I am just a ramblin' on, and I need to get to work.  I'm going to remember those little hearts in my cocoa while I patiently teach my children, exercise my unloveable body, and clean ruthlessly. Thank you for your patience.  My blog will be back in business one of these days.  ♥

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I Have Not Seen the Righteous* Forsaken...

...nor his seed begging bread. Psalm 37:25
* I have the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.  It is none of my own doing.  Might write a post on this sometime...

Warning: Disconnected thoughts, bad paragraph construction, incongruous theme to follow.  Musings. Weak conclusion.  Not an essay, by any means. 

It saddened me to see a middle-aged man walking down the highway the other day, with a little cart and two suitcases.  He was clean cut, wearing a nice hat and a button-down shirt.  Obviously he has fallen on hard times, and I just can't imagine what it must be like for him. Okay, he could have been merely walking home from a slumber party, but I doubt it.  He was apparently homeless, but it appeared that he still own his dignity and self-respect. He did not look like the typical homeless person in our area, the dirty, derelict man who must fluff up a piece of hard desert floor for his bed.  I wondered where this man would spend the night. I'm sure that there are many more like him, and sadly, the number is growing.

I wondered where we would go if we lost our home. What would we do? We aren't in danger of losing our home, but still, I wonder. The book of Hebrews says of some of God's people, they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented: (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.  Why?  Why didn't God provide at least the basics for these people who loved him?  Why did he test their faith so rigorously? It is comforting to know, at least, that in their desperation God had not forsaken them.

He is not at fault -- God is always good.  I was jolted into the realization that like a great percentage of Americans, I have an entitlement attitude.  While we are eligible for all sorts of federal aid (the "poverty" level is laughably high), we don't believe America's economy problem can be solved by people who are a part of it.  But in a weak moment I can feel resentful for having to shop for groceries prudently or for having to wait for money to buy a pair of comfortable shoes.

In the old days, parents didn't discuss the finances with their children.  Wise parents still don't.  But I am not always wise. I have to confess, when the kids ask, "Why can't we have _____________?" I often reply that I don't have the money right now, if that is the only reason.  Maybe I shouldn't tell them that. We aren't lacking anything we need, in fact, of the things that really matter, we have more than what 95% of families in America have.  God has really blessed us.  But kids can see the inconsistency of splurging on lemon cremes or ice cream, and saying there's no money for ________________.  If I do tell them there's no money, how do I prevent them from becoming resentful towards God? And if I don't tell them there's no money, how will they know when it is God who has provided our hearts' desire?  How do you handle that question?

Several weeks ago a fellow blogger, sorry, I don't remember who it was, wrote a post about a book, Family Feasts for $75 a Week, by Marilyn Osten. (That's for a family of four.)  The blogger said she had already saved a lot of money by following the ideas in this book, and she had not even read it all.  Being the prudent-wife-wanna-be that I am, I immediately checked the book out at my library and began to read it.  But other than some recipes I might have copied out, the book didn't help me much.  I already implement most of the author's ideas.  Of course you can save a bunch on groceries each month, if you cut out soda and chips and convenience foods and frozen foods and snacks and brand names and meat that costs more than $2 a pound.  I want to know how to save money after you are already doing these things. After questioning the mathematizing money man in residence here, I found we already do eat for about $85 per person per month.   (I need to double-check that calculation.) That also includes our paper goods,  health and beauty items, and cleaning supplies (and chocolate chips -- necessities, you know).  And that's without coupons or Aldi's. But I'm a cheapskate. I want to get out of Wal*Mart for about $50 every two weeks, so I can spend that money elsewhere. 

We are often blessed by the grace of other families who share their bounty and their good deals with us. That is the hand of God in our lives, and we are very grateful. While it is a huge blessing to receive, it is more blessed to give, Jesus said. Truly I would like to experience more often the blessing of giving.  (I need to think outside the box about what we can give.)  Maybe God knows that if the tables were turned, if we were the ones with plenty, we would just hoard it. I don't know.  The prosperity of fools shall destroy them; that's Bible, but if you don't believe it, just read some follow-up stories on people who have won the lottery. We don't want that, of course.

There is a certain, balanced grace necessary to being the one who is always on the receiving end.  It requires a lot of humility, a trait that I am not over-endowed with. (God is still teaching me, after many years.) It requires a constant reminder to self that I must not come to expect these blessings, or to feel entitled to them, or feel resentful when those blessings drop off, because that entitlement attitude is covetous and ungrateful. The grace of receiving teaches me that I should tell only my heavenly Father what my needs are, and be careful not to drop hints elsewhere. It demands that I live my moments in gratitude to my Saviour, who provides our needs and even our wants through the hands of others. And it requires that I not neglect to show my appreciation to those whose hands he has used. 

...I hope I am learning these things, and that I am learning to be content with the goodness God has shown me.  It is good, after all, just to know him!  He is the bread of life, and he is satisfying. :)

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD,
and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high:
To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning,
and thy faithfulness every night,
Psalm 92:1,2

Friday, January 14, 2011

No Bible No Breakfast Graphics

Sadly, I received only TWO entries for my No Bible No Breakfast graphics contest.  However, both the entries I received were very creative!!  I should never have called this a contest.  I should have known I am too soft to choose a winner. I like them both!

From Ryan:

And from Alison:

I will have to alternate designs on my sidebar.  If you would like to lift one for your own sidebar, please save the photo to your own photo storage site.  Please don't hotlink.

Many thanks to both contestants for your time and talent, and for your patience with me!

Friday, January 7, 2011

December 2010 in Review

After doing too much thinking and not enough doing, I did finally get to work on my ladies' newsletter and got it on the table at church by Sunday morning. Whew.  That one was really hanging over my head.  It would really help if I would learn to use a good publishing program, but for years I have just stumbled through all the formatting stuff on my ancient MS Word program. I'll have to put either "learn Word" on my list of to-do's, or save up for the new MS Word, which I hear is wonderful.  ...Eh. There are other things I'd rather save for. and besides, then I would have to start learning all over again!  (Oh wait.  I think I see where my kids are getting their school attitude.)

December has been a month of fierce Fast Scrabble games. What a great game to get kids spelling and increasing their vocabulary!  Emily can now hold her own against the rest of us.  As a matter of fact, she came in first place last night, much to her delight.

This was another birthday month for us.  All my girls have fall/winter birthdays, so they come all at once, then we get a nice long break from celebrations. :)  Elisabeth turned 11, and only a year late it hit me that she is no longer in the single digits!  I'm kind of slow.
Betsy and Daddy had their annual birthday girl date, out for lunch at a REAL restaurant (never McDonalds!) and mini-golfing.
My husband really isn't this short.  Or maybe Betsy really isn't this tall?  I'm confused. One of them is either on their knees or on a stool!  This child is my quiet one.  She grows and discovers and learns without telling anyone, and suddenly you discover she has a new passion or talent, or a lovely character trait is blossoming before your eyes.  Betsy recently discovered crepes in library book.  That would be "kreps", not "krEEps"., as it is often pronounced in my house. Now she is our French breakfast cook. :)

We had quite a bit of home ec going on last month, not even planned.  I love it when things just happen right.  You saw Emily's bread.  That was a result of her Christian Light science unit on how bread gets to our table.  But she is quite a spontaneous cook, and she also fed us cinnamon rolls and a wonderful salad.  Homemaker in training, yes!

A bit of critical thinking going on below:

My 100% right brain child continued to make dolly stuff for her sisters.  I think this became a teeny apron or a shirt or something.  
Amy got the new Adobe Photoshop 9 as an early birthday gift, and she is doing some amazing things with it.  Have you seen her photo blog?  This is one of my favorite shots, full of reminiscing for me:
Now if I can just get this daughter to give as much time and effort to the academics, we'll be doing great!  (She is using her right-brained-ness as an excuse. Right brainers can't do algebra. Right? See Post Traumatic Algebra Disorder.)  *mom rolls eyes*  This requires some critical thinking, comparing this theory against the Bible.  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Even algebra.  The theory is false.

Winter is in full swing here.  We are completely acclimated to the freezing cold western AZ winter weather, and have broken out the boots, tights, mittens, long underwear, and electric blankets. Years ago I met a woman from La Paz, Baja California, who told me that in their 60 degree winter they wore mittens down there.  I laughed at her.  Now you are laughing at me. Winter is winter, no matter where you are in the northern hemisphere.

After growing Emily's bangs out for months, I cut them.  Now I remember why we grew them out.  *Child says, "I told you so."* Children are so wise.

A rare photo of Amy. Even more rare to have Em and Ame in the same photo. I can't decide if this photo is supposed to be horizontal or vertical.

Fried bananas with cinnamon and sugar. Sometime you have to use your imagination when there's "nothing to eat".  At least she didn't add tuna to it.

My dad's birthday was a great excuse for my brothers and our families to get together again.  We braved the cold weather, driving across the desert to be with loved ones. We have made this trip many times, but this was the first time we saw a real mirage.  Sooo cool!  Wish we had photos.  Do mirages photograph?

I always have such good intentions not to spend any extra money while we are at my folks', but be real.  This is California we are talking about. There are STORES there, and so many things to do!  Really, I did mean to stay home, but there was a school supply place I had to see, and a mall, and our favorite shoe warehouse...

not to mention a wonderful library,

 AND, the highlight of this trip, the ICE RINK! (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)

Poor kids.  I had them dressed for a blizzard, but they were stripped down to normal clothing in no time.  All four of them were so excited to do this for the first time, and then Emily came down with the flu the night before!  Such sadness.  I stayed home with the sickie, but their daddy braved the ice and wowed his kids with a few old tricks, and he didn't even hurt himself. :)  As they were getting ready to go to the rink, my dad and I were talking about the birds in the tree in his backyard.  Suddenly he garbled and stuttered and said, "Stomach".  That was totally unrelated to our conversation!  He garbled some more and then said clearly, "I can't talk!"  I sent him and Mom to the ER pronto.  Sure enough, Dad had had a TIA, or mini-stroke.  That was a good scare.  Apparently it stressed me more than I thought, because that afternoon I had my first-ever insulin  reaction in thirty years, that resulted in me losing consciousness. Now I understand how diabetics can fall asleep at the wheel...  Thankfully Emily was barely conscious herself, with fever, so she didn't have to deal with a mommy emergency.  And Dad is now fine. God is good!

Braving the elements again, we set off for home early in the morning.  Do you see that snow?  So pretty. From a distance. :)

December was a pretty normal month for school.  I am still playing the role of cheerleader and schoolmarm, second-guessing myself on curriculum choices, and contemplating radical unschooling.  But we did that all summer... 

Christmas activity is conspicuously missing, I know.  We don't observe Christmas.  Baptists never did until relatively recent history, and well, we just know too much to celebrate it with a clean conscience.  We're peculiar, but we're confidently at peace with God over it.  :)

Our 2011 calendar is beginning to fill, but if I tell you our plans there will be nothing to tell later!  Happy New Year a bit late, everyone!

Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, 
who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
 He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes. 
He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold? 
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: 
he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
Psalm 147:7,8,16,17,18

Whew, now I can cross this off my to-do list!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Check This Out

There is some talk in the air (again) about tax breaks or subsidies for homeschoolers.  Sounds good, doesn't it?  


Pay close attention to these fine ladies who are up on the liberty-grabbing activities going on in Washington.

Consent of the Governed: Say NO THANKS To Federal Tax Breaks For Homeschoolers

Spunky Homeschool: Homeschoolers and Tax Breaks

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Now THIS Is School

How I Made Bread
One day my mommy and I made a loaf of  bread.  We   put  milk  or water,  sugar,  salt,  oil,  flour, and yeast into a bowl.  Then we were ready to mix everything together. We kneaded the dough for 10 minutes.   We let the dough rise. When  the dough was  done rising, we punched it about four to five times to get most of  the  air  out   of  it.  Then we let it rise again. When it was done rising we pre-heated the oven for 375 degrees. While  the oven was pre-heating, we shaped the dough so that it would fit into the pan. When the oven beeped we stuck the bread in for thirty-five minutes.  After it was done, we let it cool. And we enjoyed it a lot!!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Graphics Contest

Okay, y'all, we need a No Bible, No Breakfast graphic, one of those little doohickeys you can add to your sidebar if you want.  I don't know the first thing about doing nice graphics.  All I'd come up with is something like this:

Boooring.  So I am having a just for fun contest.  To enter, email your graphic to me at sallys (dot) j mail (no spaces) at yahoo (dot) com. It must include the words No Bible No Breakfast, and Job 23:12, I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Contest ends at midnight on Friday, January 7th.  The winner gets a great big THANK YOU, a pat on the back, and public recognition on this blog.  The winning graphic will be available to everyone in the blogosphere.

... OR, maybe I will just post all the entries here for all to choose from. Do I hear a second? Objections?  (We are learning about parliamentary procedure.)   :)

A Great Start to the New Year

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth;
but thou shalt meditate therein day and night,
that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:
for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous,
and then thou shalt have good success.
Joshua 1:8 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...