Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 111

Praise the Lord. I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who have pleasure in them. Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever. He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant. He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy, they are established for ever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant for ever. Holy and terrible is his name! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures for ever!

As we celebrate this day with our family and friends, may we make it our first priority to reflect on God's goodness! Walk outside...look at the beautiful sky...whether it be blue or grey, see the trees, listen to His birds chirping or the crickets singing, leaves falling.

Step back in your house...gaze upon the children, spouse, sister, brother, grandparents,grandchildren God has blessed you with. Give them a hug and let them know of your love........

Now find your Bible, pick it up, and meditate on the words in there. These will be the sweetest of all! You will find God is our peace, hope, faithful to His children, our source of joy and strength, our Redeemer!

May God be glorified in our homes and hearts today!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


In school we are learning about the history of Thanksgiving. We are reading 2 books, "The Mayflower Compact" by Normand Richards and "Pilgrim Stories" by Margaret B. Pumphrey.

Yesterday we re-enacted the trip from England to the "New Colony." We all had a lot of fun. The couch was the ship, the broom was the mast, the girls had pots and spoons to use as kettles to cook, , E was a sailor looking for land. He also played John Howland who fell into the sea and we had to pull up into the boat with rope during the fierce storm. I wanted to take pictures but didn't want to ruin our fun by running to get the camera.

Today, we made "The Mayflower" to play in the bathtub with. Here are a few pictures of the kids making their own "Mayflower."

Elijah working on his boat:

Katie Faith working hard on her "Mayflower":

E working on his project:

Kaylyn working on her "Mayflower":

The end results:

A quick little laugh: Last night as E was excitedly telling AJ his part in the role play, he said, " And Daddy! I was a man who fell over the boat in the storm. His name had something to do with animals. Something about roosters!..." he thinks for a moment..."John Brewster!" The real name he was looking for was John Howland ( William Brewster was another man on the ship). I guess he did kind-of get it right, he did have an animal sound in his name:"Howland" ...a wolf!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tip for Tuesday- Hold On Tight!!!

My Tip for this Tuesday is "Hold on Tight!" to molasses when you take it out of your pantry!
If you don't...and it is in a glass is very messy!

Today as I was talking to a good friend, I dropped my molasses on the floor. Why I have it, I don't know, it has been in there for at least 2 yrs. I probably needed a tbsp. for some recipe I have never made again.

It was about 4:20pm, I just remembered I did not chop and cook my onions for tonights supper, taco soup. So I hurry to get this done while on the phone. Being the wanna-a-be multi-tasker I am not very good at, I went to grab a can of beans for the soup. As I did, down went the big container molasses...all over the floor. If you have never have experienced this, let me tell you it is a big, sticky, stinky, mess, one you don't want when you are behind with supper plans!

With 4 little ones in the house, when there is a CRASH! you automatically here the pitter pattering of the feet running towards you. Joyful noise, yet frightening as you know it could mean more of a mess if they decide to help! :)

My first set of feet I heard coming were Kaylyn' first instinct was to tell her, "STOP! There is a mess and broken glass, I don't want you to get hurt." She left.

As I was beginning my clean up, I started to think of this mess in a spiritual way. I know only the Lord could put this on my heart, at this busy time.

The molasses on the floor was like sin. Dark, messy, smelly, sticky, hard to get clean up.

I called Kaylyn, who is 7, in and said to her, "Kaylyn, I was sitting here cleaning up my mess when I started seeing this molasses mess in a different way. God showed my heart something about it."
She quickly jumped in and said, "Sin."
Me: "What about sin?"
Kaylyn: " It is dark like the sin in our lives."
Me:" That is right!" Surprised she got it so quickly.

I then heard 2 more sets of pitter pattering feet running my way. Instead of rushing them out of the room, I told E amd Katie Faith to sit down, I wanted to tell them something exciting about the mess on the floor.

As my 3 older children sat down with anticipation, I shared with them how this mess was related to us spiritually.

The big glop of molasses on the floor was like our sin. Dark. Our sin is very dark. It keeps us from God. Then I asked them to smell it. They bent down one at a time. I asked if it smelled good or yucky. They said "Yucky!" I explained how our sin is like a bad smell to God ( I am talking to young kids here, remember). "He can can have nothing to do with it. He is holy. He can not be around anything with a 'bad smell' only good smells like the goodness and holiness of Christ."

Next I asked the kids to taste. "Gross!" exclaimed Kaylyn. The other two were a little more intimated to try it. I explained once again, God CAN'T be around gross sin ( the other 2 finally tried it...but they liked it. Hmmm...)!

As I sat there, with the spoon, slowly scraping it up I explained to them when we trust in Christ and repent of our sins, it doesn't mean we will never sin ( as they know because I sin against them and ask for their forgiveness, yet they know I have a "changed heart").

I explained God works in our hearts and though we still sin, He is "chipping away our sins, like I am slowly scooping up this stuff with a spoon" ...changing us to more and more like Christ. They listened to me intently. I told them we need to seek Christ, have His Word in our hearts.

When I finished, I told them they could go play "garage sale" again.

Then I hear the tiniest feet in the house come pattering up to me. Elijah. Who is 20 months. I greeted him ith a big smile, holding him back from mess I was still cleaning up. I gave him a quick, enthusiatic explanation of what I told the older 3.

Did he understand a word I said? No. Did the others?

I am not sure, but I do know that when you share God's Word it will not come back void. I pray God will open up their young hearts to HIS truth. That they take each moment in their own lives to reflect upon Christ.

I pray they will "Hold Tight" to God's Word, and it will be ever so true in their hearts as it is to AJ's and mine!

Do you struggle with your sin? If not, seek Christ. If you do struggle...Hold tight! God is working in you!

I thank God for this was a good hour of cleanup!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Raining

Almost every morning you can find Kaylyn checking the weather on the computer after breakfast. I will pull up the site and she will tell us what if it is going to rain or not. Lord-willing. When she sees it is in the forecast to rain in 5 days, she will countdown to the day when we will have a rainy day. And if it shows thunderstorms, she anticipates the day even more.

So, when we wake up to a dark, cloudy morning, with rain falling, it is an exciting day. We love the beautiful rain God gives us. I will often see my children standing near a window, gazing out, discussing how God is watering our grass and flowers for us.

Let me ask you. Do you enjoy the rain? When you awake in the morning and see rain falling down, do you murmur what a bad day it is? Have you ever considered how amazing rain can be? The glory it brings to God?

I would like to share the following meditation by John Piper about rain. It is lengthy, but please read all of will make of you think of rain in a way you have may not have considered and known before.

The Great Work of God:Rain
Meditation on Job 5:8-10

But as for me, I would seek God,
And I would place my cause before God;
Who does great and unsearchable things,
Wonders without number.
He gives rain on the earth,
And sends water on the fields.

If you said to someone: "My God great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number," and they responded, "Really? Like what?" would you say, " Like rain"? When I read these verses from Job recently, I felt, at first, the way I did on hearing some bad poetry that went something like this: "Let me suffer, let me die, just to win your hand, and even walk across the land?" Even? I would suffer and die to have your hand, and even walk across the land? As if walking across the land were more sacrificial than dying? This sounded to me like a joke.

But Job is not joking. "God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth." In Job's mind rain really is one of the great, unsearchable wonders that God does. So when I read this a few weeks ago, I resolved not to treat it as meaningless pop musical lyrics. I decided to have a conversation with myself ( Which is what I mean by meditation).

Is rain a great and unsearchable wonder wrought by God? Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come from another source on the fields. From where?

Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea over several hundred miles, and then be poured out on the fields from the sky. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 2,323,200 cubic feet of water, which is 17,377,536 gallons, which is 144,735,360 pounds of water.

That's heavy. So how does it get up in the sky and stay there if it's so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That's a nice word. What's it mean? It means the water stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens.
What's that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That's small.

What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is saltwater. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up millions of pounds of water from the sea, takes out the salt, carries the water ( or whatever it is, when it is not water) for three hundred miles, and then dumps it (now turned into water again) on the farm?

Well, it doesn't dump it. If it dumped millions of pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the millions of pounds of water down in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough from crushing the wheat stalks.

How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh millions of pounds get heavy enough to fall ( if that's the way to ask the question)? Well, it's called coalescence. What's that? It means specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger, and when they are big enough, they fall. Just like that? Well, not exactly, because they would just bounce off each other instead of joining up if there were no electric field present. What? Never mind. Take my word for it.

I think, instead, I will just take Job's word for it. I still don't see why drops ever get to the ground, because if they start falling as soon as they are heavier than the air, they would be to small not to evaporate on the way down. But if they wait to come down, what holds them up till they are big enough not to evaporate? Yes, I am sure there's a name for that too. But I am satisfied for now that, by any name, this is a great and unsearchable thing that God has done. I think I should be thankful-lots more thankful than I am.

Isn't rain amazing!?! As the rain continues to come down upon us this day down here in the south, may we meditate on God and His greatness in the rain.

To God Be the Glory!

This meditation was found in "Taste and See' by John Piper on pages 24-26.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Big "6"

Today is our firstborn son, Caleb, known to most as "E" 6th birthday! So today I want to bring back some pictures and memories of our son.

This first picture is while I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with our "Little One." We did not know if it was a girl or boy. In the picture with me is our Kaylyn, on my lap, and our niece, Gabrielle.
Here I am getting ready to go in for my surgery ( I had a c-section). I look rough, because I was feeling rough. :) It had been a long day. I went in for an appointment in the morning, and due to some concerns my dr at the time had, slow fetal movement and slow growth of the baby,she sent me for an ultrasound. They discovered my fluid was very low and did not think the baby would make it another day in my womb. So here I am hours later, hungry, tired, and anxious, calling my mom to tell her I was going to have the baby.
Our "Little One" was finally born! "It's a boy." But the room was very quiet and people began moving quickly. The dr. kept looking over our baby being checked by the nurses. They got on the phone and asked for more help. My sister-in-law, who is a nurse, looked concerned. AJ looked concerned. I could not see what was going on. I asked if everything was ok. Our son was having problems breathing and they were working on him with much concentration. After what seemed a long time, they said they needed to take him to NICU. They let me have a quick look and whisked him away. Here is a picture of him:
He was 5 pounds and 9 ounces with the length of 17 3/4 inches. A tiny one.

The first picture is a day later, my first time being able to hold our son who had no name yet. The next picture is of a tired daddy and mommy, and our son.
Our son finally got his name in NICU after 7 days. Caleb Michael. We chose Caleb because it means "Faithful Unto God" like a dog is faithful to his master. Our prayer is one day the Lord will save him and he will be faithful to God like his name means.

This is when Kaylyn first met her baby. She could not say "baby" but said "E", which is where he gets his nickname. Maw Maw, the proud great-grandma is excited to see him also.

"E" at 4 months

6 months:

10 months:

11 months:

1 yr:

2 yr:

3 yr:

4 yr:

5 yr:

It was fun going through all the old pictures, seeing how much "E" has grown and changed physically! I pray I will see this much and more change in him spiritually one day!

Mommy Loves You, E!!! Happy 6th Birthday!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Our Snuggle Time

As I mentioned in my previous post, Katie Faith and I were having a "Special Talk" when I asked her what one thing would she want to do on Sat. if she could choose anything. Her response was snuggle with me. So here we are, sitting on our couch, having a little snuggling time with each other.

It was late as we had our birthday party for Kaylyn and E and it took time to clean up, give baths, etc. so we did not take the time I had wanted, only about 5 minutes, but I did want to make sure she knew I listen and take it to heart what she says.
Love You, Katie Bug!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Special Time of Snuggling

With 4 young kids I am raising at once, it is often hard to give each child the needed attention they deserve. I am not saying we should cater to them, but I do feel it is good to let them know that each one of them is important to me. So in our house we have "Special talks". These are not scheduled, nor everyday, but rather a spontaneous thing.

All the kids love their "Special time". It usually lasts 10-15 minutes. The first part of our talks are devoted to talking about whatever the child picks or me asking questions about them. They usually choose animals or what they want to get other family members for Christmas. The last part we spend time on spiritual matters. I will ask them a sin they are struggling with. Most times they will confess right away their struggle. Sometimes I have to remind them of a behaviour they showed that day. I always share a struggle of mine also.

I want my children to know I struggle just like them and how important it is to seek Christ. We discuss the heart issue of the sin, what we can do when we are tempted to commit a sin and in the end, we pray together......these times have become very precious to me as I see how it is growing my relationship with each of them. There are times when they gently remind me to pray because they see me committing the sin I confessed I was struggling with, times when they ask to speak to me privately to confess they are struggling and want me to pray. I pray the Lord will continue to bless our times and I won't ever turn their hearts away from me.

All this to say, I was having a "Special talk" with Katie Faith Tuesday night. I was asking lots of different questions...even if I knew the answer...when I asked her the following:

" Katie Faith, if there was one thing you could do this Sat., whatever it may be, what would you want to do?
Katie Faith looked up at me with a soft smile on her face and said, " Snuggle with you."

My heart melted. She could of picked a number of things she wanted to do, but to know she wanted to snuggle with me! My heart melted.

So tomorrow, even though I am having a birthday party for the two older children and I still have lots to do, I will take time out of my busyness to sit on the couch or go out to my hammock and snuggle with my Katie Bug.

I have a feeling I will enjoy it more than her!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sanford and Son

For the past year I have been collecting items from people, roadsides, and my own house to have a garage sale. Our garage became half full with things stacked up on one another, crammed packed. AJ would occasionally ask if I really thought I could sell this junk, roll his eyes when I would see something on the side of the road that I could sell for $2.00!!! I would tell him, "People buy these things. It may be junk to us but it might be something someone else is looking for." Even the kids would yell out, "Mommy! STOP! There is something in the garbage we could put in our van for the garage sale!!!" What wise children I am raising. :) Well,as our garage became full, AJ was ready for me to have my garage sale to get all my junk out.

So thus it began, last Thursday I began dragging all my "junk" out from the garage to our carport with the help of my good friend, Julie, and her son, Jonathon. We worked all afternoon into the late night setting up all of our things to prepare for the next morning. Jonathon would say, "There's more in the garage?" sighing at the thought of how much we had. (Thanks Jonathon for all of your hard work and perseverance in helping move everything). Before bed that night, I prayed the Lord would bless me with $300.00 and then fell asleep.

Friday morning:
I open up our gates at 7 am in the freezing weather of 46 degrees with a windchill of 36! 36 degrees! Brrrrrr! What was I thinking?!? People slowly began coming in buying a few things here and there. As the morning progressed, more people came, with some making big purchases. Julie and I stayed busy, but perhaps not as much as AJ who was supervising the kids, getting drinks, fixing lunch, cleaning up juice spills, breaking up arguments here and there, running to the store, answering questions people had about electronics, and so on. We could not have held a garage sale without the help of AJ, who is always willing to help. (Thanks MY Man for your time and sacrifice on your day off!) As Friday came to a close, we had sold a lot but still had a lot left. My neighbor also asked if she could add some items ( which turned out to be quite a lot) for the sale Sat. I gladly said "yes" and so she began bringing her things over.
That night before bed, AJ commented," Do you remember that show 'Sanford and Son'? He was a junk collector. He would always say,' One mans junk, another man's treasure!' Then at once we both began to hum the theme song to the show and began laughing.

Sat. morning:
Once again it was cold. I bundled up again (AJ said I looked like a homeless bag lady because I did not match...but I didn't care...I was warm). People came, Julie and I stayed busy, with help from Jonathan again, writing down what each sold, exchanging money, etc.

At our slow times, Julie and I enjoyed each others fellowship, discussing everything from children, church,, vaccinations, to many other "rabbit chasing" conversations. We are known for doing this. Right Julie?!? ( notice Jonathan in the background, unfortunately this is the only picture we have of him)

At one time, I had the grand idea of "dressing up" and dance to the tune of "Sanford and Son". It took a little convincing of me to get Julie to do this, but after much begging, she agreed and AJ got us on video. I tried to upload it several times but could not figure it out.

During the garage sale, Kaylyn baked some brownies, with the help of her daddy, and sold them to our customers. This was her first experience selling something. It was good for her as she had to look and talk to people she did not know. It took a little coaching from me, and help with the exchange of money, but she did well. I wish we had a picture of her, she looked sweet but nervous. In the end, she made $7.40! I am proud of her "hard" efforts in this.

At the end of the day, after much cleanup, I sat down to count our money to see what we had made. And the verdict was......not have to wait...I have something I want to confess first, A prayer I did not pray because lack of faith.

You see, faith in God to do something is an area I don't usually struggle with. But this time it was. Remember how I said I prayed to God to make $300.00? Well, I did this, but in my heart I desired $500.00. I did not want to pray for this amount because I was not sure I would have enough items to sell to reach $500.00. So I prayed to God what I thought I could possibly make. $300.00.
At the end of the day, after counting what the Lord had given me, the Lord so graciously reminded me of my lack of faith. I was convicted and repented to God. He also showed me, in my weakness, He was going to bless me. Because I deserve it? No way! Because of my hard work? No. Because GOD IS MERCIFUL and full of compassion. In spite of my lack of faith, He wanted to show me HE still loves me and wanted to bless me because HE IS GOOD! It had nothing to do with me, it was all GOD.

So the final amount I made was...drum roll please...$664.00. But wait! God was not done blessing me! After counting up the money, we were $31.00 over. So I split the money between Julie and I. Which brought my total to $679.50. Again, wait, God was not finished there! The next morning, I was about to leave for church when I saw my neighbor. Remember she had put some items in the garage sale? Well, I went to grab her money and hand it to her and she told me to keep it. After some arguing back and forth, I accepted it, realizing the Lord was blessing me again.
And so, the final total of my garage sale is: $732.50.

With this total, we plan to put it in a special savings account to begin saving towards moving to the country, a vision we have for our family.

Remember when I said AJ did not think my "junk" would sell? Well, he has now created me a place in the garage to place other peoples "treasure" until I can have anther garage sale.

Well, this is the end of my garage sale adventure, I pray you learn from my experience to have faith in God in ALL experiences as I have.