Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Plans...

Okay, so I have the best intentions and plans to build our garden. Whether or not it actually happens, we shall see. I think the hardest part for me is that I want to build it NOW, today...but I am thinking...Do we even own a power saw? Or, where do I go to get this stuff? And, do we have the tools I need, and if so, where would I find them in our garage? I guess what I am saying is that I am going to have to have some help on this one. However, Ben is quite busy, working his new job, and then going to work for his dad after he gets off. So, I will either have to get very creative, or...get very creative. Anyhow, here's some helpful articles in case you were planning a garden of your own...:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Little Scary...

Well, today, I was a little overwhelmed by something. I have been learning and hearing more and more about different things surrounding the whole organic food vs. traditional. Shopping at Trader Joe's is great, because they keep their standards really high as far as no artificial ingredients, and no preservatives. Also, all of their dairy products, even if they aren't organic, are from cows that are not treated with the rBST hormones. And I know that it is theory, and no one really knows the answers, but I do find it interesting that the incidence of cancer and other disease are so much higher, and the idea of eating food sprayed with a bunch of chemicals has never really sat well with me anyway. The dilema, however, is cost. We will have to find a balance, because at the rate at which we go through milk, I just can't pay $6.50 a gallon!! But, that is for completely organic milk, so maybe I will just have to stick with hormone free for now. We are going to try to start growing some of our own stuff, but I am nervous since my thumb has never been very green, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I desire to eat well, and even more so, to feed my kids well. I would never knowingly hand them something all covered in chemicals to eat...
Anyway, I thought this article would be interesting for some of you...It's about Monsanto, the company who makes Roundup weed killer. My M-O-M (mother-in-law) alerted me to this company that is basically trying to have the monopoly on crops. And evidently, they are trying to develop seeds that will withstand roundup so they can spray everything with it. Anyway, read away!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day...

Okay, so I was so inspired by Amber's blog about Memorial Day that I thought I would do a puppet show for the kids to teach them about this special day. Whenever we do a puppet show, I do the whole thing, then Emma and Caleb take turns repeating what they liked or remembered from my show. Here was Emma's prayer when she took her turn:

"Dear God, thank you for our mommies and daddies. Thank you for this very special day and for making thank you cards and thank you for this very lovely day."

When I had done my puppet show, I tried to explain what this day was about, and we said a special prayer for the soldiers and their families who were fighting or had fought in the wars so that we could have the special freedoms we have in the United States of America.

They always like me to sing during a puppet show, so I sang "America the Beautiful." Then I thought, this is a perfect opportunity to start teaching them our national anthem. (I mean, they're almost 3 and 4 years old, right?) Well, too bad I could not remember it for the life of me. Eventually, I wound up calling my mom just to get, "Oh, say can you see..." So much for my patriotism. Guess I'll be the one needing a puppet show.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yeah Caleb!!

Well, it is not over yet, by any means...those of you who have potty trained know exactly what I am talking about!! But, Caleb has been wearing underwear and he even wore them today to Life Design. I was very nervous, so much so that I came and took him potty twice during the almost three hours...but he made it! Yeah Caleb!!

God's Goodness...

We were talking about this in Life Design, and the girls said it was worthy of posting. First of all, in my other Wednesday night Bible Study, about discerning the voice of God, we've been learning this week that in order to really hear from God, our desires has to be knowing God, more than hearing from God. So many times, we want to know what God requires of us, like the law, instead of just wanting to know Him, love Him, and then out of that to serve Him. Well, the timing was perfect because this week's Life Design study was about the Greatness of God. And Psalm 145 was perfect as just describing God and his amazing character. I am going to write it out here, just because most of the people reading this won't have time to grab a just read it and take time to think about God, just for who He is:
"I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever.
I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.
Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure his greatness.
Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.
I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
The LORD is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.
All of your works will thank you, LORD, and your faithful followers will praise you.
They will speak of the glory of your kingdom; they will give examples of your power.
They will tell about your mighty deeds and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations.
The LORD always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does.
The LORD helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it.
When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in everything he does; he is filled with kindness.
The LORD is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.
He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
The LORD protects all those who love him, but he destroys the wicked.
I will praise the LORD and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever."

I know it's a lot of reading, but isn't is amazing? This is our God!! Okay, so back to the point...
The question in our study: If God has proved His goodness over and over again, why do we find ourselves waiting for His goodness to run out?
Well, there are many answers...but mine was because OUR goodness always runs out. No matter how hard I try to be a good wife, a good mom, a good housekeeper...I do well for a while, and then I run out!! But God's goodness has no end, it is not like ours.
So last night, the kids were getting into trouble. Emma just would not be quiet and go to bed, so yes, I told her that if she didn't quiet down I would take her night light. And she didn't, so I did. I know, even I felt bad as she was screaming and crying. But she settled down and went to sleep. Then about midnight, I hear her wake up and start crying. I go in to see what is wrong, and she tells me, "I don't want it to be dark!!" In my mind I am thinking, "Seriously? This is about the night light!!" But, I told her that she chose not to be obedient, blah blah blah. Then I leave the room. Noah wakes up, so I go get him and start feeding him. And it occurs to me, that God absolutely has consequences for disobedience, but His goodness to us still continues. He does not leave us crying in our consequences with no comfort, or no hope. So, I get Noah back to sleep and I go in and pray with Emma, that God's angels would come and watch over her, and help her to not be afraid even though it is dark, and to help her to make a better choice the next time Mommy asks her to be quiet.
God's goodness does not run out...And even though mine does, I am looking to Him, knowing that His goodness will go the distance.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Heart of a Child...

Emma got some money for her birthday. $4.00, one for every year old she is. She hasn't really had money before, except for small amounts. Anyway, I told her that I was going to put her dollars away, to keep them safe, and that we could talk later about how we use our money. She had a lot of questions about this statement, so I explained (thinking that it would be quick, and we would revisit it later) that the first thing we do when we get money is give some of it back to God. This peaked the kids' interest. (The kids' answers are in quotes)
"Where is God?"
Well, he is in Heaven.
"Yeah, and Jesus is in heaven, because Jesus is alive."
Yes, you are right!
"Well, if God is in heaven, then how can we give him money?"
Oh my...well, there are different ways that we can give money to God. One way is to give money to the church, and then they use it to help send people to places where no one has heard about Jesus yet, or they use it to pay for the people who work at the church and help people. Another way is to give the money to people who don't have any food to eat, or clothes to wear, and that way we can help them.
Then my precious daughter looks at her $4.00 and tells me,
"Mommy, I will give two of my dollars to God and to the people who need help. And then I will have two dollars to keep."
I told her that her heart is so very precious to God at that moment, and that He is so pleased. I also say that we can talk more about the money later, because she can choose to save it, or choose to spend it, etc.
"Oh mommy, I will spend it on a treat!"
Well, you can do that, because it's your money!
"Yes, and there will be one dollar for me and one for Caleb."
Oh honey, you can spend both dollars on you because it was your birthday money.
"Yeah, but I just want to spend some on Caleb."

The really sad thing to me, is that I had already calculated 10 percent, and was trying to figure out how to explain THAT. And in the process, I overlooked the most important things. My daughter's heart didn't need percentages or explanations of mathematical concepts...she just wanted to know what would make God happy.

"I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven." Matthew 18:3
"Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children." Matthew 19:14

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Oh yes...

Well, it wouldn't be complete if I didn't post about our garage sale endeavors. Not much this weekend, however, Ben was thinking about how he will probably be having surgery and will need to do some physical therapy afterwards. He saw a Total Gym on craigslist for $100, but of course, we don't have $100!! SO, this morning, the first garage sale I went to guessed it!! A Total Gym for $10. Yes, that's right, one less zero makes a big difference!! You see, I think God has a wonderful sense of humor, and I am very much a thankful elephant for this find!
P.S. Yes, we did go to the Young Life sale, but we got there late, I think...

God's Provision..The Saga Continues!

We are just amazed at how God continues to provide and take care of us. I don't know if any of you know this, but Ben has had three knee surgeries...two on the left knee (one to repair the meniscus in his knee, the second to remove the damaged part) and then about two and a half years ago, he had a meniscus repair surgery on his right knee. Well, Thursday night Ben went to play softball with the church big deal, just some fun. When he was up to bat, he swung to hit the ball, and felt something funny. When he then went to run to first base, he knew it was bad because his joint locked and he couldn't straighten his right knee. So, he hopped to first base, and then got a runner. As he hopped off the field, I knee it was fact, I could pretty much tell from the look on his face that it meant surgery. But, there were a few things that made it a little more scary. The first is that we have no health insurance, and so all those bills would be our responsibility. The second is that he is supposed to start his new job a week from Monday and he can't even walk. So, I jogged home to get the car and picked him up to go home. I just decided that the best we can do is to pray for God to heal him, at least enough so that he can go to work because, well, we need him to.
Friday, we spent a good portion of the day at the emergency room, just trying to figure out what to do about his knee. The doctor forgot about us in the E.R. (he came back after about an hour and half and said he forgot us...), but then was very nice to us! He basically said that Ben will probably need surgery, however, there's no way to know without an MRI. But, he also said that the knee will relax, and he should be able to function fairly well in the next couple of days. So, hopefully we can just wait this week until we have health insurance, then figure out the whole surgery situation. And, for now, he is up and about, with a knee brace, just a little slower than normal. But, it looks like he'll be able to go back to work on Monday (yeah God!). After the E.R., we went to Trader Joe's for groceries. While I was in the store, Ben sat out in the car and was watching a movie on the DVD player. I ended up being in there longer than I yeah, you guessed it, when we went to start the car, the battery was dead. At this point, you really just have to laugh. But, thankfully, Ryan (Ben's brother) was on his way home from work, and we were on the way. So he stopped and jumped the car for us, and we made it home. God continues to provide and be faithful and we are okay. Yeah God!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Are you grumpy?

In our house, we end up spending a lot of time talking about our attitudes. Caleb found a great way to lighten the mood when someone is acting grumpy (or even just to have fun). He says, "Are you grumpy? Are YOU grumpy?" Usually laughing, tickling, and other smiles follow. So, this morning, Ben said to Caleb, "Are you grumpy, are YOU grumpy?"
Caleb's response: "No, I'm a thankful elephant!!"

On that note, we have two books from a series, which has been discontinued. They're neat, though, because they're about the fruit of the Spirit. Anyway, the one about God's goodness ends like this:

So, when I feel grumpy-growly
Here's exactly how I pray
God please remove my badness
And let your goodness stay.

So, we use that prayer to combat grumpy growlies around here. Besides, it is much more fun for everyone involved to be a thankful elephant.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Garage Sales are GREAT!

So, I have still been looking for a dresser, and of course, that is not what I found. What I did find:
A brand new stainless steel tea kettle, $5.00
A skate board for Caleb, $3.00, and one for cousin Ethan (last name NASH) with NASH in letters on the front ($5.00)
A tea set for Emma, $4.00
A beautiful silver plated teapot, cream, sugar, and platter...was for Emma, until I found the other one, then became MOMMY'S treasure...$7.00
Gotta love it.
There was a really neat Family Festival at Libbey Park on Saturday, so we took the kids. Everything was free, they had tons of activities, and the kids got free helmets and toothbrushes. They even got to play at the park and see lots of friends. At dinner time, we were all saying what we were thankful for. What won? The skateboard, the tea set, and oh yes, the new toothbrushes. Life is good. (Daddy being home got honorable mention)

More from my Bible Study...

We are still doing our study on Discerning God's Voice...which by the way, I recommend to anyone, it is published by LifeWay, and written by Priscilla Shirer. Anyway, this week is about the voice of the Holy Spirit, and I just loved this verse and wanted to share:
"They said to one another, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?'" Luke 24:32
You know that feeling, like your heart is burning within you, either because you've just seen something about God, or made a connection you've never made before? Or because you know the Spirit is leading you to do something, and maybe it seems a little odd, but you just feel your heart burning, giving some seemingly mundane task (call your friend, give her a hug, etc...) a sense of urgency, as if you were being compelled??
Yes, I remember that feeling, and perhaps I have not been so quick to recognize it as of late, but I can't wait...
Now if only I could quiet my mouth long enough to open my ears, and recognize the burning in my heart....
"Speak, your servant is listening..." 1 Samuel 3:10b
From our Bible Reading last night:
"The LORD is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken. Your throne, O LORD, has stood from time immemorial. You yourself are from the everlasting past...Mightier than the violent raging of the seas, mightier than the breakers on the shore--the LORD above is mightier than these! Your royal laws cannot be changed. Your reign, O LORD, is holy forever and ever."
Psalm 93

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Too many words...

Wednesday nights have been so amazing, we are continuing our Bible Study on hearing God's Voice...the current six-week session is on Discerning the Voice of God. It is basically all about the Holy Spirit, and His work in our lives. The only problem (well, it is actually a good thing, not a problem) is that the more you learn about the Holy Spirit, it seems that the more aware of Him you are. And one of His jobs is to convict us of sin. So, I guess it would seem natural that today I am a bit discouraged, frustrated even, with myself. Why can't I get it right?? I am most frustrated with my mouth. It seems to get the best of me, and runs off ahead of my mind, leaving me speaking before I have really thought. Now, I don't mean that I am necessarily even saying bad things. Just too many!! Information that is not needed, words that are unnecessary. It is hard, because when you spend all your time with tiny people, and then the door opens for you to have a conversation with an adult, well, it can be a little exciting. But, in my specific situation, I have heard the voice of God's Holy Spirit, and I must admit, I was wrong. I said too much. I used too many words, and perhaps information that was not necessary or beneficial.
"Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut." Proverbs 10:19 NLT
Thank you God, for choosing to speak to me, and for making me aware of an area in my life that is not pleasing to you. It just feels good to hear your voice, even if it is to convict!! Change me Lord, place a guard on my lips so that I may only speak what is beneficial and necessary. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord.
"A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent." Proverbs 17:27-28
Yes, this verse was in our Bible reading last night. You'd think I would have gotten the message, but I'm still working on it...

"Monster Mom" Days...

Well, at our Life Design Bible Study, we were talking about having "monster mom" know, the days when you are more easily frustrated, impatient, and just in general more like a monster than a mom. Now, I am definitely not saying that this is the way to go, just acknowledging that we all, in our sinful selves, have those not-so-good days. So, I thought this article was fitting, and very helpful...It always amazes me how it always comes back to keeping in step with the Spirit. The Lord gives us everything we need to avoid these monster mom days, and yet it requires us to choose to submit to the Spirit, MOMENT by MOMENT. I haven't mastered it by any means, so I thought this article was helpful.
The article is called 5 Steps to Preparedness

Monday, May 07, 2007


So, I had a couple of people ask about pictures for the dresser we haven't started yet. I just wanted to say that I haven't yet figure out pictures, and how to have them. So, I may need help with that....

More Garage Sales, Moving AGAIN, and a Last-Minute Birthday

So, we were searching for a dresser for the kids room, and maybe one for our room. No such luck, but that is usually the way it goes with garage don't find what you do need, and you find what you don't necessarily need. But, we got a great sand and water table for $8, with all the know, those fishing poles and fish from Lakeshore, and some other sharks, fish, and things to float. The kids love it!! We also got a Childcraft wooden lego table, you know, the one that stores all the Legos inside, and has the lego top for $20. So, the kids are enjoying it, and as most of you know, I needed Emma's bookcase as clothes storage, so we haven't started repainting or stenciling yet.

We moved again. I had never moved in my life until I got married...which was almost 7 and a half years ago now. In that time, we have now moved for the seventh time. So there you go, you'd think we would be really good at it by now, but I am not sure we are. We are almost settled, but in general it will take a while I am sure. However, all I can say is that I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the way our Lord has provided. Everything has been taken care of...we have a place to live, we have phone service and now internet as of today, and even brand new trash cans because the old ones were really gross, and I figured if we have to pay for trash service I might as well ask for new ones. And they granted my request. So thank you God, for your incredible work on our behalf. Thank you friends and family for your prayers and tears, and for rejoicing with us.

So, we had some family over yesterday for a last minute celebration of Emma's 4th birthday. Caleb's favorite part, "Uh, blowing cakes?" So hey, I only came close to tears once, and that was as Emma was eating her birthday cake, and I was overwhelmed that she is four now...She's growing up and I can't stop it, but I just want to hold her and love her...

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Moving away from the materialism!!

Okay, so with the whole bookcase situation with Emma, we stumbled upon an idea that I thought worthy of the blog!! We decided that instead of the normal commercialism that surrounds birthdays and all other present-getting events, that Emma's birthday present will be the bookcase. Well, the present is to do a project, either with Mommy or Daddy, or both. But this year, we happened to already have the project. Next year, we will start early before her birthday arrives. We will garage sale, and treasure hunt, until we find just the right project. So, for her bookcase, I got the paint, and some stencils to put her name and some other decorations on it, and she will get to work on that with me.
For Caleb, we thought that since he loves to help, fix, and build, that he and Daddy will go and choose some wood and build something very basic, like a stool or something. And his present will be to work on a project with Daddy, or Mommy, or both. And so, this year, we will begin a hopefully wonderful tradition in which we can work together to accomplish something, and perhaps that will be even better than Dora, or Disney princesses, or even Spiderman. And, as I realized last night, this will be a wonderful opportunity for me to begin learning to let go, and let Emma or Caleb do things as they want to, even if they "mess it up" according to my sometimes unreasonable standards. I'll let you know how it goes!!