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 23, 2007

Psalm 66

1 Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

2 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

3 Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

4 All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

5 Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

6 He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

7 He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

8 O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:

9 Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

Prayer Requests

Please lift up little Sarah's (In the Midst of It) little Addison. This little girl is a fighter, but I am sure they will take every prayer offered. Her Grammy has details.

Also pray for Jenna's (A Joyful Journey) nephew. I cannot fathom what these parents or Sarah and Chris are going through, but I am moved.

~Blessings~

There is an positive update on Sarah's blog tonight that was great to hear.

Continuing to pray for both these families.


New update at Jenna's! Her nephew is at home. Look at the Wednesday note on this post.

Addison is improving but not ready to go home yet and she and Sarah are waiting in the hospital still. Keep praying.

Favorite Ingredients Friday--Sour Cream Banana Bars

Sour Cream Banana Bars


Overwhelmed with Joy hosts Favorite Ingredients Friday. I have always been a little hesitant to join over there because I just have not been making anything good—or rather, anything that required a recipe.

I love new recipes. I have a library of recipe books, but I have been very lazy about utilizing them. I am admitting here that one of my goals for 2007 was to try a new recipe every week. So…March is almost over and I must admit. I have failed. So…with that said I am going to start fresh and learn from these ladies and share the recipes I know to be tried and true. Thanks OWJ for hosting this! Just the gentle nudge I needed.

This week I did bake Sour Cream Banana Bars. I had bananas that were turning and these are always favorites. I will own up to the fact that I vary the recipe each time I make it depending on what I have and mood. But here is the base form:

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla (I am pretty liberal)
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 mashed bananas
1 cup chocolate chips (again I like a lot)
1 cup sour cream

Cream sugar and butter. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mixing completely. Add mashed bananas and sour cream.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes/or until a toothpick comes clean from the center. I use a 9X13 glass baking dish. I got the recipe from my dad but when he bakes these he uses cupcake pans and the “Honey check and see if the muffins are done.” method. Works for him.

You could substitute nuts for the chocolate—but why anyone wouldn’t want another shot of chocolate in there day is beyond me. I suppose you could add nuts and cut back on the chocolate or just add nuts and leave the chocolate alone. I am partial to Ghirardelli dark, semi-sweet, but if you have a preference for something else you just go ahead and use that.

Off to visit these inspiring cooks!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Reading Thing 2007


Katrina over at Callapiddar Days is hosting the Spring Reading Thing—I just love that title. No nonsense. Someone asks, “Whatcha doing??” The simple answer, “The Spring Reading Thing!” It’s in Spring, I am reading, it is one of those “things.” It runs from March 21 to June 21 so make your list and join.

My trouble is that I start books and get sidetracked…by other books, and, well…yeah homeschool and running the boys to basketball and ballet and other fun stuff like laundry and dishes. So I start these books and then I come back and sit down with intentions to finish and many times I don’t. So who’s going to come make sure I stay focused??

Perhaps having a plan is exactly what I need and I am going to try so here is my list:

Fiction

The Jesus Incident by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom (I am reading this with a friend of mine, another mom who has boys that dance, so often we have our little book club while we sit and wait.)

The Ill Earth War by Stephen R Donaldson second in the Lord Foul’s Bane--The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series. This is sometimes painful reading. Like watching an accident happen, but then seeing hope and faith in the chaos.

The Crossing Places by Kevin Crossley-Holland. This is the second in a trilogy. It follows The Seeing Stone. Reading is upper level juvenile/young adult fiction. The first was well done and I expect the books to follow be the same. It is an interesting take on the King Arthur story.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini Just because I've been wanting too.

The Princeling and the Oak Apple by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. There are 29 books in this series and while I will allow it is not the height of literature it is fascinating historical fiction. Not for everyone, due to some explicit content.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon because I have been told I should.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I have wanted to read this forever and have not seen the movie—once I read the book then I will see the movie.

The Forest House by Marion Bradley Zimmer. This is a pre-prequel to the Mists of Avalon which I loved. Another Arthurian story.

Non fiction
Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I. Am. Going. To Finish. This teeney tiny little book if it takes every ounce of energy I have to keep it in my hand. I think I am the only person who this is not a favorite.

Sprititual Direction by Henry Nouwen

Healing ADD by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.

Scattered by Gabor Mate, also ADD related reading.

The Unprocessed Child (a reread) by Valerie Fitzenreiter. It is an unschooling book I read before and need to read again. I didn’t agree with everything she had to say the first time but it was an eye opening book. Much like the John Holt approach.

Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Eastern Orthodox Theology by Daniel B. Clendenin

In His Steps by Charles Sheldon

Read Alouds with the boys will include Stuart Little, E.B. White, Little House, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Heidi Johanna Spyri, Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry and then we will see what comes. We did the Read to Me Mission 2007 with Jennifer at Snapshot and plan to continue with some better habits we worked on.

Our library offers a summer reading program that will pick up at the end of May and run into the last weeks in August so the boys will be participating in that and while I will “guide” their selections, I will let them make the decision to read what they want in that. We tried to participate with that last year, but really fell down on the job. Summer Intensives and the annual County Fair week during "Camp Grandmarama" and the pool, just allowed us to be lazy and make excuses. At the end of the summer the boys were disappointed they didn’t finish as well as they planned, but the life lessons were valuable.

Thanks to Katrina for hosting this and I am looking forward to peeking at everyone else’s lists.

Frogs In My Food

Someone is going to Google looking for "recipes with frog" and be severely disappointed. Sorry in advance if this is you.

This is possibly one of my favorite times of year. Our family does things a little different than many Christian households. One thing is that we do not celebrate “Easter.” Now before you string me up, write hateful comments or dismiss me as a total lost soul, hear me out. We do not celebrate “Easter,” however we do celebrate the sacrifice of death and the RESURRECTION of our LORD. We also celebrate Passover. Why? Because Jesus did. Sometime we call Him Jesus, sometimes we call Him Yeshua, sometime Y’shua. So if you are with me so far let’s go for the fun stuff first.

Yesterday the boys and I started preparing for our Passover that will be in a couple weeks. I am so excited when the calendars align—Julian, Georgian, and Jewish. This year Orthodox Pascha, and Easter are the same, if I am not mistaken. Passover falls a few days before. I have to tell you that it troubles and confuses me when Passover comes after these two. I know the whys of this happening. I am just saying it is bothersome. To me.

In preparation for this we start studying things like Salvation. And why Jesus had to die for our sins. We study about the sacrifices and what they meant then and what they mean to us. We also study about the Children of Israel who were in Egypt. We study about their captivity and their freedom for bondage. We study about the plagues that GOD sent upon Egypt. Each year it looks a little different. But something we started last year got carried over to this year.

The Ten Plagues Adventure.

Now there were ten and I am dividing this up over this week and next. Monday through Friday each week. Yesterday we started with the blood in the water. The Nile turned to blood, the water in all of Egypt turned to blood. I am not quite so dramatic as to make everything red—but I made up a concoction of juice and ginger ale that Boo was okay with but Roo really didn’t like. So we talked about what the people must have thought about and how thirsty they would be. It was an okay lesson.

Today was the fun. Today was the plague of frogs. I raided Boo’s zoo animal boxes and snitched borrowed all the plastic frogs I could find. There were frogs in the bed, the food, the toothbrushes the computer, the water, the school work—there were a lot of frogs. It was so much fun to watch them run and find new ones. To find them on grapes, on cake. Daddy even found one in his pillow (he was tired so…not as funny as I had hoped). There was a frog in the bathroom tissue.


Lots of fun. But we have to remember that the real thing wasn’t fun.

Tomorrow we will come up with lice, then flies and so on…

At supper we studied about what the plagues meant to the Egyptians. What I learned this year was the plagues were meant to oppose what the Egyptians held as idols or gods. Just a couple of examples: the first plague—water into blood; this I think affected me the most. The Egyptians saw the Nile as life-giving. But the Egyptians killed innocent Hebrew baby boys by throwing them into the Nile. The Nile was filled with blood. (Metaphorically speaking I realize.) But from the place they once drew life sustaining water they could only draw blood. How appropriate. The second plague—frogs were a symbol of Isis, the goddess of fertility. What happened when all these frogs died??? They were confronted with death. I am thinking dead frogs don’t smell so good. Each plague put God against what the Egyptians believed. Very powerful stuff. We talked about the first six plagues tonight. We will continue with this and more over the time between now and Passover.

We talked about magic. This is a topic at our house right now. We talked about Pharaoh’s magicians. They tried to change the laws of nature. Laws of how God made earth. All and all a satisfactory discussion.

I use a couple sources for my Biblical Holidays and one is A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays by Robin Sampson & Linda Pierce. Barney Kasden’s God’s Appointed Times and God’s Appointed Customs have been very helpful too.

I use the Biblical Holidays more as a homeschool tool because that is what it is created for. There is a website that accompanies the book. Not an inexpensive book but we have used it often and for the last four years. I have not even scratched the surface of. To learn more about Passover and how it applies to Christians today you can visit here. You can learn more about the Ten Plagues Adventure here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday




Not anything extremely creative this week for Wednesday. Just some activities and coloring pages that we have found to be incredibly enJOYable. Some are really geared for the tiny tots and some are very appropriate for older elementary. In fact I know some older elementary children who are not too cool for coloring. Actually coloring is still one of my most favorite activities. Even before I had children I kept stock in crayons and coloring books. And, no, they weren't to share with friends who had children. I was very selfish but I am over that now. My children have their own colors and they can keep their mitts off I mean share mine if they ask. nice. and it's the second Tuesday of the third May of the year. Ahem...I digress

The first two are from one of my most favorite authors--Jan Brett. I adore her stories and her art. Here is a chance to add something if you are reading her stories to your children.

http://www.janbrett.com/activities_pages_artwork.htm
http://www.janbrett.com/activities_pages.htm

This site was surprising when I found it. I love Celestial Seasonings' tea. They have coloring pages! Drink some tea and color. They also have a catalog. I am going to order from there first chance I get.
http://www.celestialseasonings.com/art-inspiration/coloring-pages.html

Definitely a homeschool mom's help, but a public or private school family would find some cool things for reports and projects!
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/artists/coloring/

Bible Kids Funzone...just what it says.
http://biblekidsfunzone.com/color/colortemindexlist.html

Maps for Geography. Pretty much any country you need they have an outline map for.
http://geography.about.com/library/blank/blxindex.htm

I know there are so many more sites out there for free coloring pages and homeschool helps. These are just a few that "works for me!"

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. There will be so many wonderful tips from really smart ladies.

Wordless Wednesday

OKAPI

Check out more wonderful Wordless Wednesdays.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

Oh, I am just not feeling creative!! I made up my menu but I reserve every right to go visit all the creative ladies posting their menus at Laura’s I Am an Organizing Junkie blogsite. When I go visit them I know I will find many more creative ideas for this week. But this is where the menu sits as of this morning:

Grilled Chicken steamed rice and carrots
Grilled hamburgers chips and veg
Rotisserie chicken from Sams
Chicken strips and salad and rice
Enchilada casserole both chicken and beef

The weather is supposed to warm back up and as long as it is not pouring I am sure I can convince DCG DarlingCaveGeek to grill for me. That will be a bonus—grilled food just tastes so wonderful. And he always mans the grill. What a guy.

Ballet is back in session so our time in the evenings is limited and that would be why I am stopping at Sam’s for a rotisserie chicken. I have to say I cannot buy an uncooked chicken for what I pay for a finished one there. They are under $5 and everyone eats it. Therefore no waste. I am pretty insistent on the fact that I don’t care how inexpensive/cheap a meal is—if half gets thrown in the trash it is wasteful and expensive. So if it is gone, gone, gone my conscience is clear.

Apparently I am not the only one lacking in creativity when it comes to menu planning as shown by this article. I think perhaps I should suggest they go visit Laura’s Menu Plan Monday and get some new ideas with me!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Grains of Gratitude


Sunday’s Grains of Gratitude was started by Christine over at Brady’s Bunch. Christine shares her incredible Brady and her whole family over there. It is a beautiful blog and is really such a positive read. For Grains of Gratitude all you have to do is list five things you are grateful for.

This week I need to share that I am grateful for news we received about my mom’s cancer. She has battled colon cancer for over two years and has had metastases in her lungs. While the colon seemed to respond to some treatments, the areas in the lungs have not. We all are grateful that this last round of chemo appears to have decreased the size of the cancer in her lungs. Praise the LORD. She is a fighter and a prayer warrior, my mom is.

Since we are on the topic of my mom I will add I am grateful for her and my dad, that they will be entering their 44th year of marriage later this year and they are still demonstrating the marriage vows. Better—worse, sickness—health, you know which ones. They’ve been there and done that and while they’re not perfect, they’ve set a great example.

I am grateful for my two guys who aren’t yet to big to snuggle on Mommy’s lap so far. My day would not be complete without at least one huggle.

I am thankful that I have this cold. Am I strange or what??? Well if the worst thing I can say is that I have this confounded cold, then, well…I am pretty blessed. I am just saying.

And I am very grateful that my husband has started a new job. I am (I think) over my brattyness and can see the gift that we were given. I should really say “gifts” because there have been emotional and spiritual gifts—intangible bounty that mean so much. I still won’t answer whether this is a good job. Really, ask me in five years. And I’ve been asked if DCG (DarlingCaveGeek) likes the new job. My answer? I don’t care if he likes it. I care if they like him. (Exagerating—but still…it is a J-O-B.)

Thank you LORD for your provision in my life.
What are you grateful for?

P.S.

Amy over at Amy’s Random Thoughts has a cool contest going. She is asking very thought provoking questions. But the coolest part is that when someone posts a response she is asking that they also post what they are grateful for. Way to go Amy. I already blew the thankful part in one of my posts—but it is fun and thought provoking. Amy awarded me with her blog of the day status (Thanks Amy! ) and I was going to post that in my Grains of Gratitude, but it looked just so NOT HUMBLE and so VERY PRIDEFUL that I thought I shouldn’t. So I posted it lower. ‘Coz I’m so very much not about me. BWWwwaaaahhahahaha.

Welcome to all of Amy’s friends who have visited & left lovely comments.

Go visit Amy. Amy and her husband Michael are wading through the adoption process and will be welcoming a child into their home. I am praying for them and their new child that they are holding in their hearts.