Wednesday, November 30, 2011

More to Learn from Jesus

“Jesus’ concern was to do the thing that pleased His Father.  If He could at the same time avoid offense, He did that.  If in being obedient, He at times horrified men of high reputation—indeed, of religious reputation—and appeared to be acting contrary to the law of God; He counted it of no consequence.”  
 ~The liberty of obedience p.34

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”  John 6:38

I was just thinking again today about how thankful I am for the Bible.  I can’t even imagine living without it!  We can learn so much from all of the examples set in His word…and most of all, from our Savior Jesus!

As our church has been studying through Matthew, it has been so intriguing to me to see how Jesus dealt with the Jews and religious leaders of the day.  He would word his parables in ways that would not easily offend some, yet He was still setting that example of someone who is “not ashamed of the gospel.”  At times he would simply “say it as it is,” and use what we might think of as rather harsh language.  At other times, He was careful not to get anyone riled up because he knew that it was not yet the right time.  All he cared about was doing what the Father had sent him to do and in the way that would glorify Him.  

It is so freeing when we finally embrace obedience and realize that (1) God is in control (2) He will enable us to do everything he asks of us (3) He will be with us through every step (4) He will be honored and glorified by or obedience (5) He wants the best for us (Even when His is best for us may not be exactly what we had in mind.  His best for many of his followers was/is persecution)

Jesus was perfect in the way he spoke, the words and parables that he used, and the answers that He gave, but yet he did not worry about what people thought of him.  He was God, and yet MANY religious officials took offence at his perfect Biblical stance and teaching.  How much more can I expect that, because of my imperfect sinful state others may disapprove, take offence, or question my very own words and actions?  Sometimes I wonder why I am so surprised when Christian sisters and brothers are taken aback with some of my/our convictions methods or stances.  Sometimes they’re flat-out shocked.  Sometimes, I am afraid of what they will say or think, so I beat around the bush.  How I regret that!  It should be so reliving to be able to say “hey, I’m terribly sorry to scare you guys, but I’m not just making this up… I have based my convictions on the perfect, infallible, inspired Word of God.”  J  

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving!

We had a very fun Thanksgiving here at our place with all of our relatives from Mommy's side of the family.
We ate a lot of good food, as usual! :-)
Mommy's famous apple pie

Meal planning!

No, we don't eat raw turkey :-)  Probably would have been better to take a picture of it cooked.  This guy was 25 lbs!

The "sparkling" drinks that Aunt Kelley always brings are delicious!  

We set up an extra table to fit us all


Caroline making some sauce for the monkey bread.
Here's Daddy cooking up some hash-browns for Thanksgiving breakfast.



I love my Joe!!!!!!!!
After breakfast we went just outside of the sheep's pasture  to shoot some of Uncle Chuck's guns.  I think the sheep were excited to see lots of new people.


Grandpa did some great shooting

And so did Uncle Chuck!

After shooting, we all started getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner.  Grandpa is an amazing chopper.  He helped me chop up all the potatoes!
Those who weren't working in the kitchen sat down for some entertainment.  The boys did some arm wrestling, sit-ups, push-ups  leg raises, and something called they called "the plank."  It was quite an entertaining competition.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ahh...It's That Time of Year


I have a nice little stash of pie pumpkins this year!  
Today I decided to make some pumpkin butter with some of them.  


I always save the pumpkin seeds for toasting.  They're so good!
3 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients.  Spread out on a cookie sheet.
Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes until toasted.  


There are several steps in making pumpkin butter.  First you must steam or bake them to soften, purree them, then put the purree and spices in a crock pot for a looooooong time. 

My Grandpa's favorite breakfast food in the whole wide world Monkey Bread.  We are very excited to have him visiting us since we get to eat monkey bread.  Did I just say that?  LOL  :-)  We're having a wonderful time with Grandpa, and I think he's having a great time relaxing up here for a few days.  
Anyway, this is Monkey Bread :-)  Ewy, gewy, loaf of sugar, butter and refrigerated biscuit dough.  Sounds healthy, huh?!

Benjamin!!!!!


He's so cute, I just can't stand it!  :-)




Friday, November 18, 2011

First Snow!


It came quite a bit earlier than it has in the previous 2 years.  I wonder if we're going to have a very snowy winter this year.  
This is my favorite picture!




I don't think the bees are thrilled with the snow.  I've been keeping my 2 hives well fed :-)
Yes, I lost one hive.  And it's sort of a long story, and a  a horribly tragic one at that.   I think I starved them! :-(  

The Snapdragons don't like the snow very much either.






The boys have already spent the morning sledding down our hill.  They don't mind that we only have about a quarter inch of snow; to them it's just as slippery as 3 inches I suppose. :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Colonial Women


The women of Colonial times have always fascinated me.  I love reading about all of the things that they could do, would do, and happily did as homemakers.  Their tasks were greater, more time-consuming and often times more difficult than they are today, and yet, the women that I read about where happy and contented.  They were blessed to be doing the job that God had given them to do.  (Before the feminist movement.) They didn’t have the money to hire a maid and a nanny and a cook to do their job for them, or a government to feed their family.  If they didn’t work diligently in the home, the family would not thrive.  We have much to learn from these women, don’t we?!  
Recently I finished a book called “Passionate Housewives Desperate for God.”  In a few words, I was extremely very impressed with it and the points that the authors brought to light.  Here is one of the passages that I enjoyed:

Woman’s Life in Colonial Days By Carl Holiday 1922
“There is decided tendency among modern housewives to take a hostile view of the ever recurring task of preparing food for the family; but if these housewives were compelled suddenly to revert to the method and mount of cooking of colonial days, there would be universal rebellion…
We must remember…that the greater part of all food consumed in a family was prepared through it’s every stage by that family.  No factory-canned goods, no ready-to-warm soups, no evaporated fruits, no potted meats stood upon the grocer’s shelves as a very present help in time of need.  On the farm or plantation and even in the smaller towns the meat was raised, slaughtered and cured at home, the wheat, oats, and corn grown, threshed and frequently made into flour and meal by the family, the fruit dried or preserved by the housewife…
And yet with such cumbersome utensils, the good wives of all the colonies prepared meals that would drive the modern cook to distraction…To be a housewife in colonial days evidently required the strength of Hercules, the skill of Tubal Cain, and the patience of Job.”  

So what’s our excuse?  We complain that it takes so much time to prepare meals, yet we have freezers, food processors, electric beaters, and stoves.  We sigh over the mounds of laundry that never seem to end, yet we don’t have to boil a cauldron of water, scald our hands to scrub the clothes, then squeeze out the excess liquid by hand before hanging everything to dry.  We don’t have to heat heavy irons on a hot stove or make homemade starch for shirts and colors, either.  Oh and don’t forget that the colonial women who did this were hospitable women, constantly welcoming people into their homes and making meals stretch to fit them all.”  

I find myself thinking about the economy and wondering how long it will take America to be essentially “starting from scratch.”  I think it’s exciting. :-) Call me crazy, but I sort of like the idea of heating irons on the stove and boiling water for washing clothes.  At least, I know that I could MAKE myself enjoy it if that sort of primitive lifestyle became a reality someday.  I wouldn’t have any reason to complain about not having enough time for this, because I read my history and see that women have cooked meals over campfires and have sewn the family’s clothes together (by hand!)  for centuries.  Before computers. And Blogs. And Facebook. And Twitter.  And Texting.  And ______________. (fill in the blank with your social networking addiction) Funny coming from me, who posts something every couple days, I know. :-)  But it’s been interesting for me to note that the only reason I have time for blogging right now, is because of all the handy-dandy new inventions that make life easier and less time-consuming. And don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for (some of) those gadgets.  But in a way, as much as a person might have a stroke at the thought of not having every modern gadget and do-hicky, very little of those things are essential to your well-being, and blogging definitely isn’t as good a use of my time as washing the family’s laundry if it must be done by hand.  It’s all a matter of one’s priorities, methinks.  I think I should have been born in the 1700’s, but that was not God’s plan…so I’m perfectly ok with that :) 

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For your thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”  
   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Today's Events & "Away for the Day" Cookin' ;-)

Today Daddy went to Seattle with Kyle for a business trip.  He'll be back sometime tomorrow, which leaves less time for us girls to get our silly selves into trouble. LOL
Today I have the privilege of taking the girls to their piano and violin lessons, as Mommy is out Christmas shopping and errand running in town.  I'm glad I can do some chauffeuring now...It's so nice to be useful! :)
Speaking of lessons, Caroline's piano playing is AMAZING.  We're so blessed to hear her playing every day.  She has been practicing and playing some really neat ones...like the theme song off of the newer version of Pride and Prejudice.

Today Valerie and Victoria have been diligently working on addressing and stamping envelopes for our Christmas cards.  It must be winter.  The house is pretty cold this morning, but why spend money on heating when you have big warm fluffy coats!  Valerie did eventually figure out how to get our stove going.  It takes it a little while to warm up though :)

Joe drew me a picture of our house.   I loved the picture, but was more thrilled by the fact that he spelled his name with all of the 3 letters in the proper order, none of which were backwards...and he even wrote his age.  (And the number 5 is a little tough for a little boy to draw ya know!)

OK!  Recipe Time!!!
This is a good meal for a day when you're not going to be home in the afternoon, but have time in the morning to get things ready.  Actually, if your chicken is defrosted (ours is always frozen since we buy bulk) this is one of the quickest meals you could make!  And it's very good too!

Monterey Ranch Chicken
1 C. Bread crumbs
1 C. shredded cheese (you can use whatever type of cheese you'd like to, I think!)
1 package ranch dressing mix
6 chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 C. milk

Combine first 3 ingredients. Dip chicken in milk, and roll in mixture.  
Bake @ 350 for 40-45 minutes.

Twice Baked Potatoes 
4 lrg baking potatoes ~ bake for an hour
fry 8 slices of bacon

Combine:
1 C. Sour cream'
1/2 C. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 C. cheddar cheese
4 chopped green onions or chives
Scoop pulp out of the potatoes that you have baked for an hour.  (Be sure to leave some walls on the potato skins, or you'll be disappointed with the messy results :)  Mix the pulp with the above ingredients, and fill the empty potato shells with the mixture.  Sprinkle on some cheese and crumble the bacon over the top.
Refrigerate until you're ready to bake them
Bake @ 350 for 15 minutes.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Crazy About the Holidays Craft Show

Yesterday I did a craft show at the SWW Fairgrounds in Chehalis.  I was really thinking that this could be one of my best shows yet...unfortunately; I was rather disappointed at the end of the [long] day. :-(  But Mommy and I had a good time overall…and it’s always interesting getting to know the ladies in the booths around us.  Seems like they are usually all such sweet folks, and often times they’re the type who are lonely and just want someone to talk to!  So, all in all, it wasn’t a terrible experience…(“Better than a sharp stick in the eye.” as Daddy would say.)   But since it was such a bad day for sales, I won’t be going back next year, that’s for sure.  Except maybe to look around.  There were some interesting sights…I like to look at the things people make and try to sell.  Not because I want to buy the stuff, but because it gives me ideas of things I could make.  So now you know how non-creative I am.  I just steal other people’s brilliant ideas. :-)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

;-)



In a Democracy, two wolves and a sheep vote on what's for dinner. In a Constitutional Republic, the wolves cannot vote on dinner and the sheep are well armed.  J 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Benjamin

It's hard to read when you have the cutest baby in the world smacking his tiny little hands down on your book. 
The only thing to do is play along :-)

Eventually he'll settle down and try to read the book too.  :-)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Timmy's Papers

We're still working on our "letter forming."  
 Timmy is learning, but I think it will be helpful to get him some better kindergarten-type
 lined paper to help him align  his letters correctly. 


These were "a piece of cake" (in his own words) for Timmy. 
 I need to write out some harder problems for him!
Good job T!

Timmy did both letters and numbers in this dot-to-dot...he did it perfectly and stated that it was waaaay too easy.
In, that case, I'll find a much harder one and he'll probably wish he didn't say that! :-)

This is actually a picture that our little artist Joe drew for me...it's me and Timmy reading the "Bob" books.
Joe even drew the characters Sam and Mat on the pages to look exactly like what is pictured in the books. 
Wow Joe!

"School" With Timmy and Joe

I have recently taken a job as a substitute teacher J  No, no, not in a school.  Unless you consider our house a school….which, technically, it is, since one of the definitions of school is “an institution for educating children.”  I think that describes the home perfectly! 

Of course, I have always been of the opinion that all of us “older children” in the house have been, whether we realize it or not, teaching our little brothers.  It has been interesting to see how Timmy and Joe are such ‘copycats’ of their parents and elder sibling’s language and behaviors.  I consider it a privilege to get to, in a more formal way, help my little brothers learn to read, write, and work on their basic mathematics.  I could go on and on about how cute they are and how much fun we’ve been having…but I’ll save it for later!  

 I am certain it isn’t only Timmy and Joe who are learning, it is me as well!  It has been fun to remember certain methods and/or programs, techniques, and teaching tools that either drove me nuts or worked well for me.  Of course, the boys may have a completely different way of thinking and learning than I did.  I am excited to start seeing the uniqueness of each boy’s learning style in comparison with the rest of “us kids.”  

Anyhow, I decided to start scanning some of the papers that I have had Timmy and Joe write on…they will be fun for us to look back on when they get older. J

So, here are some of Joe's papers~
Joe working on his numbers. 
The very last line is what Joe did without tracing!

Joe is our resident artist.  He drew this picture for me.  Maybe some of you can tell, it is all about how one of my honey bees stung him.  Gotta love it!

Joe was writing his name backwards for a long time. 
I was wondering if he is dyslexic or something, (see the drawing above with his name backwards) but I think that (maybe!) he has finally figured it out!

You're thinking...
"What is that?"
The boys have started finding papers or books on the table and copying the words they read onto another piece of paper.  Noticeably, some of it is very unintelligible, but overall I think it's good practice. :-)

Dot-to-dot has, thus far, served as a helpful and fun tool to get Joe to learn his numbers.