This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Friday, March 9, 2007

It Is Well With My Soul

Words: Horatio G Spafford
Music: Phillip P. Bliss

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Philippians 4: 4-19

4Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

5Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

6Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

14Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

15Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.

16For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.

17Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.

18But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.

19But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

More Reading

Besides reading aloud to my boys they have been returning the favor and reading aloud to me. This has been a great relief to my throat sometimes and a really good skill for the boys to learn.

Not by nature a patient person, I have usually just borne the brunt of all read alouds by my choice. I get fidgety over stumbled on words and mispronunciations. Well, it was time to get over my weirdness and let the boys have a stab at it. Roo and I have actually been taking turns at reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets at his request. I am glad I’ve read it before because we pause often for much laughing at all the mishaps and go off on tangents and bunny-trails asking lots of questions. But he’s having a great time and I am impressed with his improved inflection and animated reading.

Boo is reading at least one if not two books to us each day. Usually a Dr. Seuss and a DK Level 1 Reader. This child will most likely grow up to be an actor. There has been no need to suggest a variety of “voices” or variations in voice. Boo is an entertainer. He may be moving up to Level 2 readers by the end of next week. This from the child who “can’t read.” Gotta love it.

The only pitfall to having your child read to you, is if you are tired you might find the tables turned and you might get a little to cozy and find yourself nodding off…


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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Read to Me 2007 Mission

I think we have been doing a fair job of increasing our reading. I have tried to read to each boy separately and to both of them together. I have also tried to have them listen to some of each other’s selections. Not a shocker that this has had mixed reception.

Boo just cannot get into Johnny Tremain and I am not really surprised. Roo and I went ahead and added Johnny along with The Chamber of Secrets. Once you get started, it just seems to be an easier thing to add just a little more. Roo on the other hand seems to really be enjoying Johnny. Let me just say here, so far the old Disney movie version of Johnny Tremain is a pale comparison to the book. (Why is that not surprising??) It is no wonder the book is a Newberry Medal award winner. We have had the opportunity to talk about apprentices and how they would have lived back then. There has been character traits to discuss--namely Johnny's pride. There are more characters than the movie had and each brings so much to the story. I am glad we are reading this book.

Boo is sitting through Chamber of Secrets, although I really never intended that book for him. But with the deal the movies would be watched with me after reading the book—Boo came along for the ride. It is hard to keep a second child as innocent as the first one was. Oh well…not worth a battle.

Roo has been listening to the James Herriot’s Treasury for Children. At first it was my suggestion, and I got the withering, “Oh, Mom!” But after the first two pages he was re-hooked and is enjoying them a second time around, for I read them to him when he was younger. This is one of my personal favorites and sentimental me gets a little teary reading some of the sweet tales.

Peter Pan—once again, Disney disappoints in comparison to the book. Is there a "Peter" movie out there that is truer to the book? I must admit to being caught off guard by a few words from Barrie that I wasn’t expecting and sometimes his humor is a bit off color, but we’ve enjoyed it immensely.

Two books we read this week that I highly recommend: The Quiltmaker’s Gift and The Quiltmaker’s Journey by Jeff Brumbeau. The illustrations by Gail de Marcken are breathtaking and both boys have really responded to the message of the story. These are beautiful books and as soon as life gets back to a manageable mess, I intend on purchasing these for our personal library. If anyone is a quilt maker themselves there are companion books about the quilts in the artwork for the books. There is a website with information and activities.

Go visit Jennifer at Snapshot and check out who’s reading out loud to their children. Her Read to Me 2007 Mission is going throught the 19th of March.

Right after that Katrina at Callapidder Days is hosting a Spring Reading Thing. She will be putting up more informations soon. Get some reading lists made up and join!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday

I have a friend who is an inspired hostess. She can make a quiet dinner for two, she can host a cocktail party for her significant others sophisticated friends, she can do dinner for the girls, she can feed my children and entertain them. She is the “hostess with the mostest.”

Me…not so much.

When I have company for dinner I hate to spend time in the kitchen after the guests arrive. I inevitably forget to put something in the sauce or overcook the meat. I get distracted. Also high on my obsessive list is worrying about food allergies. We have several friends who are allergic or who choose not to eat certain foods for other reasons.

What I have found works for me is to have a buffet where the guest becomes responsible for the contents of their meal. My three favorite company meals have become—make your own pizza, soup and sandwich or build your own tacos.

Pizza involves just having toppings available in bowls, having small crusts ready and waiting in small pie tins. A couple different sauces (jar sauce is fine), three kinds of cheese, a couple meat choices, plenty of veggies and everyone should find something to eat.

Build your own tacos is much the same, I usually offer chicken, beef and beans, with lots of veggies and cheese.

The soup and sandwich meals have been really nice for early meals. Chili, chicken noodle and some other family favorite or a vegetarian soup make for easy do ahead and keep warm in a crockpot. Sandwich fixings can be as simple as meats and cheeses or as complicated as you like. I am a plain sort of gal and prefer to keep it simple.

Feel welcome to come have a meal at my house. Don’t look for crystal and silver. Be prepared to make yourself at home. Don’t mind the dog and the boys. Don’t be afraid to take as much of what you want and if you pass on something it surely won’t make me feel bad. Put your feet up and get comfy and I will too and we will have a relaxing time.

“Make your own___” buffets—Works for me!
For lots of other great tips, tricks and recipes check out more Works for Me Wednesdays at Shannon’s blog, Rocks in My Dryer. This week is a kitchen themed carnival.

Wordless Wednesday

The view from Grandpa & Grandma's porch...

Visit more Wordless Wednesday participants. The variety of photographs is entertaining and inspiring.

Birthday Card

Showing off a recent birthday card for a friend. Torn mulberry paper, some rubberstamps and some cardstock with a piece of paper that has sunset colors on it. Could you guess this is my beach loving friend?

I've been slow on the card making lately. Hopefully this will get me jump-started again.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Recommended Read--My Sisi

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Where was I when this book came out three years ago? Probably digging my way back out of PPD and unpacking. Well I finally caught up to it and it was worth the read.

The book is based on a young girl named Anna who is asking for medical emancipation from her parents. Her sister has a rare form of leukemia and Anna has donated stem cells , bone marrow, and lymphocytes since she was very young. In fact her birth was orchestrated to provide the cord blood for her sister. Now her sister needs a kidney…

The story is told from every participants view and while that could have gotten messy Picoult handled it with relative ease and even went so far as to change fonts with the changing voices. A nice touch that eases the leap from character to character. Picoult’s players are easy to form relationships with and understand. It is not hard to put one’s self in their shoes. In fact that becomes an issue—who will you side with?

The book addresses questions of morality and justice. Medical advancements and technologies are examined. The fine line balance of just day to day living in the middle of a crisis is tangible.

It took me all of two evenings, interruptions for snacks and suppers and baths included, to finish the book. It is not a hard read but it is challenging emotionally and ethically.

Worth the read.

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Menu Plan Monday

This week I thought it might be nice to join Laura over at I'm an Organizing Junkie. If ever there was someone who needs organized it's me and Laura has all sorts of organized entertainment at her blog. Very pretty space too! I thought I could maybe slide into this organizing in the menu department without stress so here we go...

Monday’s Menu Plan
Monday—Meatloaf, Au Gratin Potatoes, green beans
Tuesday—make your own pizza
Wednesday— chicken strips, rice, salad, carrots
Thursday—goulash and doo doo bread
Friday—grilled chicken, bread, salad, mixed veg

Since we're working off a pretty tight budget (another lesson to learn) everything is already in the pantry. I am making myself do a pantry challenge on top of some organizing. For those who are wondering, "What the heck is "doo-doo" bread?" Well, let me tell you. It is frozen bread dough, thawed and cut into about a doughnut sized piece that is fried. Oh, yes--we are the height of health around here sometimes. My dad used to call it "Poor Man's Bread." My mother called it "Dough Dobbers." But my DarlingCaveGeek (DCG) had to go and call it "Doo-Doo Bread." So who do you think my sweet, innocent, little sons copied...Yup their Daddy.

There are several other ladies who visit Menu Plan Monday to share menu ideas. Some of them even share some great recipes!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

I found this last week at Overwhelmed with Joy’s blogsite and thought it was a wonderful way to start the week. The originator of this meme is Christine over at Brady’s Bunch. Both ladies have beautiful blogs. Check them out!

Grains of Gratitude is a way to start the week with five things you are grateful for. Here we go:

I am grateful that my family went to church together last night. For possibly the first time in two years. All four of us. We haven’t had a church home in over four years so this was a big deal. I don’t know that this is where we will land—but we needed to go to God’s House for a bit. We’ve invited Him here in our home and He has met us, but there is something about returning the favor.

For the blessing of my sweet family, I am grateful. My husband (my DarlingCaveGeek) who is trying to be the anchor during this rough time and my precious boys who have given us motivation to keep moving forward.

I am grateful for my sister who has allowed me to say incredibly weird and stupid things on the phone just to vent and not told me how off-base I was. She is my twin—four and a half years younger, who is smarter, better looking and more mature.

For the friends the LORD has put in my life, I am grateful. There are friends who have been around for years and there are new people who have been willing to come alongside and listen and share their journeys and give me encouragement that I have so desperately needed, especially these last weeks.

And most of all, I am grateful to my Father in heaven who has held us in His mighty hand, who has reminded me that my focus must be on Him and the prize and not the trappings of earth.

What are you grateful for?

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

3Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

4There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

5God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

6The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

7The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

8Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

9He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.

10Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

11The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.