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, June 1, 2007

Scripture and Song

1 Corinthians 13

1Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Wayfaring Stranger

I am a poor wayfaring stranger,

While traveling through this world of woe.
Yet there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright world to which I go.
I’m going there to see my Father;
I’m going there no more to roam.

I’m only going over Jordan,
I’m only going over home.

I know dark clouds will gather round me;
I know my way is rough and steep.
But golden fields lie out before me
Where God’s redeemed shall ever sleep.
I’m going there to see my mother,
She said she’d meet me when I come.


I’ll soon be free from every trial,
My body sleep in the churchyard;
I’ll drop the cross of self denial
And enter on my great reward.
I’m going there to see my Savior,
To sing His praise forevermore.


WAYFARING STRANGER. Arrangement © 1998, Richard W. AdamsThis music may be free­ly re­produced or pub­lished for Christ­ian wor­ship or de­vo­tions,pro­vid­ed it is not al­tered, and this no­tice is on each co­py. All other rights re­served.

Favorite Ingredient Fridays--Freezer Edition--Cookies

Overwhelmed With Joy is the lovely hostess of Favorite Ingredient Fridays, and this week she is hosting the Freezer Edition. Lots of good freezer recipes to be found there this week.

Since my only freezer is the one attached to my refrigerator and since it is the same size of...oh microwave, it doesn't hold much. But we do have a small chest freezer on our wish list. We used to have a large one a long time ago, a hand-me-down that finally died, but while we had it, it was a blessings. So. I do know the value of a freezer.

I was trying to remember something I froze intentionally, besides leftovers, and remembered that I used to double or triple my cookie recipes and freeze the dough. I would defrost it if company was to show up and voila--warm cookies.

Both recipes come from a favorite "church cookbook." I love those tried and true recipes. These recipes are in the original form. Increase them as desired. As a homeschooling mom I know this is a great math exercise!!!

Skippy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon baking powder

Blend together shortening and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars. Cream, add eggs and vanilla. Cream. Blend in flour, soda, salt and baking powder. Mix until smooth. (At this point I would roll into logs and freeze. Take out when needed, defrost and follow the final instructions.) Drop by teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter flavor Crisco
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour
12 ounce bag chocolate chips (I love Ghiardelli)

Cream Crisco, and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. (Here is where you would freeze, and when needed defrost.) Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

I love my Yankee Candles but even my favorite cookie scents can't quite outdo the real thing.

Have a great weekend!!

Just a reminder to let everyone know that next week--June 4-8--I will be giving away 5 new books!! Details for the contest will be up Sunday. Hope to see your name entered!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Book Giveaway

Glass Road Publishing has offered me 5 books to give away on my blog.

We love free books right??

The giveaway will be next week, June 4-8. I will share a review for a different book each day, Monday through Friday of next week. At the end of the week I will draw a name from all the people who entered the giveaway. The winner will receive a copy of each book reviewed. Five new books!

I will post the rules for entering Sunday night, June 3rd. You will have five days to join in next week, so plenty of time. Check back!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Works for Me Wednesday--Vacation at Home

With gas prices through the roof and never enough time it always seems like real vacations are hard to come by for us. One thing we have decided to do this summer is vacation in our city and the neighboring ones.

Be a tourist in your own area!! Get brochures and plan your adventure as you would one five states away.

County fairs, rodeos, art fairs, hiking, fishing and camping in the state parks near you are all good vacations. Shakespeare or ballet or concerts in a local park are usually free or at a much reduced price than in a venue. Amusement parks and water parks are always a fun thing to do. Have you ever been to a horse show? Check and see if there are any locally. Auto races are fun if you like LOUD. History buffs should check and see if there are any small local places—it is amazing the stories that can be learned. And don’t forget your local zoos. Supporting your local zoos helps them to build and grow. Look for upcoming activities and go then or, if you prefer to go during less crowded times, like we do, go on a week day.

Much as my family loves hotels, in my mind there is no place like home and my own sheets and pillows. Saving on travel and lodging could allow you to try a fancier restaurant than you would normally go to.

Vacationing near home works for me.

...She Says With a Sigh and a Limp

After my Sunday Grains of Gratitude post, I managed somehow to acquire a pinched sciatic nerve.

I started out walking like Mrs. H-Wiggins—remember Carol Burnette?

And progressed to a Tim Conway shuffle. Remember his old man to Harvey Korman's serious role?

And finally arrived at today’s gait that resembles Davy Jones. And just complete the picture, I will let you know that my hair, while much darker, even resembles Davy Jones’ just because I’ve been afraid of falling in the shower and therefore it is desperate need of a good wash.

DCG has been very supportive and helpful in allowing me to rest, feeding the children and providing entertainment. But he did have to go to work again today. Boo has been very sympathetic although he has scared me a few times coming up behind me and leaning over the recliner from behind. Roo has been extremely helpful to the limit of his height and truth be told it is the activities that involve bending that are the biggest issue for me.

This was the week (along with next) I was supposed to be doing deep cleaning and possibly furniture rearranging. I don’t see that happening today, tomorrow or the next day. The boys were supposed to receive their summer haircuts from me yesterday, and that didn’t happen. (They're not complaining.) I have a feeling that once again life is going to get in the way of my plans.

It has been no secret that I lack in the organizing department. I am the Fly Lady Flunkie. My Menu Plan Monday was disrupted by my aches and pains (Woe is me) and once again we seem to be involved in the haphazard, seat of the pants, slap some duct tape, tar and baling wire approach to life around here. I do think I will be able to work on some planning for school and scheduling of next fall semester. But if I go to all that work I want to be able to follow my plan for once.

What advice can all of you smart readers give me here? How do you survive illnesses, surprise situations and just life in general? How do you have schedules and stick to them amid all the chaos? Can you still be flexible? (My flexibility is a bit limited today, but usually I pride myself on it.)

Give me some hope and good ideas.

I wouldn't mind a bottle of Motrin and my heating pad too, if you don't mind. Sigh...

The Hurried Child--Growing Up Too Fast Too Soon

by David Elkind, Ph. D.

A book review

As a homeschooling parent I have acknowledged one benefit I find in homeschooling is that I can control (to an extent) how fast my children grow up. While at activities the boys participate in with other children not homeschooled, I am amazed at the adult content of these public and private schooled children’s speech and actions. Even more amazing to me are their parents’, “Whatcha gonna do?” attitudes; as in “Whatcha gonna do? They all have girlfriends at 10 nowadays.” Ummmm….Really??? Or “Well they are going to turn 16 and then we will have to let them drive.” Really???? Wow. I beg to differ.

The Hurried Child is not a homeschool book. I don’t believe the concept of homeschooling is even discussed in it. What the book is, is a commentary on the phenomenon our society has created by being in a hurry and hurrying our children.

“Although the pressure to get things done more quickly and efficiently has positive benefits—it has made us the most innovative society on earth—it has its drawbacks, such as producing impatience. For all our technological finesse and sophisticated fa├žade, we are a people who cannot—will not—wait. Compulsive about punctuality and using our time most efficiently,we become surly when forced to relax and wait our turn.” Ch. 10, p. 204

The notion that “earlier is better” pervades our society. Children are expected to read, write, and participate skillfully in sports and the arts earlier, possibly without the benefit of enjoyment. Schools have too much in the way of administration and not enough in the way of teachers who deal directly with students. Decisions about our children’s educations are dictated by the bottom line and reports and not the reality of what is happening to each individual child. We compare our schools and children to foreign models without taking into account that our society is fundamentally different and does not provide the same support system as those societies we wish to emulate. We fail to look at the consequences of the foreign models and the outcomes, failures and damages that those models create. Schools hurry through the labeling and assigning process and children who have different learning styles are often quickly labeled “learning disabled” and the chance to remove that tag from a child is rarely presented.

As a society we have allowed the television to come into our homes and dictate what our children are exposed to, without taking into account if our children are physically, mentally and emotionally ready to be bombarded with the ideas and images that are fired rapidly at the child.

Even children’s literature addresses more adult content and current events than formerly, and while that in itself may not be a bad thing, the manner in which these topics are addressed and followed up on can impact and stress our children, causing them to feel pushed forward before they are ready.

With the average parent working more and having less time to pre-approve music, computer games (educational or otherwise), a movie, television show, or book our children are allowed access to more than they have been in the past, without the consideration of whether or not the individual child is ready for it.

Elkind discusses several psychology theories of development and applies them to the reality of today’s child growing up in a world that is constantly on fast forward. Parents are more stressed and expect more from children. And he is not saying that responsibility is bad for children. But he does consider if a child should be responsible for the care and welfare of many things including being a support to a parent.

The effect of absentee parents, either missing due to work or work related travel, divorce, illness or death is a stress that caused children to hurry and grow up faster. Hurried parents are absent even when they are present and can cause a sense of insecurity in children. Hurried children, stressed children are tired children and their energy reserves are often depleted. Physical and emotional health and therefore performance in school and in relationships suffer.

Short-term affects of hurrying include illness, depression, falling behind, acting out, drinking and drug use. Long-term affect of hurrying may not be realized until years later. Whether a child is allowed to hurry or is demanded by circumstance to hurry the results are usually that areas of growth are left unfinished, foundations are shaky and problems will occur.

I don’t know that I learned many new ideas from The Hurried Child, but felt that many of my opinions were validated by Dr. Elkind’s work. The first half of the book was anecdotal and there for a bit easier to read. The second half involved more applied research and was a bit heavy with technical theories—not a read for before bedtime for me. But overall a thoughtful, well researched and relevant book.

The Hurried Child was NOT on my Spring Reading Thing list, but was definitely worth fitting in.

Time Travel Tuesday

I have pondered what I wanted to do for Annie’s TTT and decided to copy Coach Jenny who copied Irritable Mother and I see Barbara H. did the same thing too. My TTT will be about the first “date” with my husband. Which really was more of a spur of the moment, inevitable collision. A happy one to be sure, but it was not a well pondered out thing.

Background…I was the manager of a store in a mall. My future husband was one of my employees. We were both 28 (our birthdays are ten days apart). I really, really loved to go dancing. My sister (who was also my roommate) and I went often to a country bar and boot scooted and waltzed and socialized.

Well…my adorable employee and I had sparks flying between us from moment one (not professional, to be sure) and while I usually closed the store, I was not scheduled to on that particular evening and had plans to go dancing. He was not the cowboy type (more of a GQ dressing guy) but on my way out that evening I suggested he come over to the club and meet us (not unusual—anyone who worked with me was always welcome to join) and he said that finances were a bit tight and maybe some other time. Well I had gone home and changed and told my sister we were stopping back at my store and I ran in and threw some $$ at him and said he had no excuse. (Kind of forward, wasn’t I??)

So shortly after 9 p.m. DCG showed up to my favorite country & western dance spot with dress pants, dress shirt, suspenders and a tie. He danced with not only with me but all my friends who were quite entertained to teach him to two-step. But after a particular slow song it was just him and me.

Less than six roller coaster months later we were married, and almost fifteen years later we still two-step in the living room much to our sons’ entertainment.

Come to think of it, we haven’t done that in a while. When I get over the gimpies we’ll have to give it a whirl again.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Grains of Gratitude

What to say, where to start?

Today I think it is only fitting to express my gratitude for the men and women who are fighting for our country. They may not be fighting on our soil (praise God, may it always remain so!) but they are fighting for us. They and those who have fought before them allow us to worry over silly and trivial things, like whether Rosie said something stupid today and why she has a wife, or whether we should buy Pepsi or Coca-Cola or what’s on sale at Hobby Lobby (my personal trivial concern). Whether or not you support the current politicians in office or the government at all, whether or not you agree with any agendas those people over there are allowing us the freedom to make those choices.

Along those lines I am grateful to the families of those soldiers who stay behind and do without their father/mother/sister/brother/child/relative that is so very precious and important to them. The ones who are faithful. Because lately I have heard some heart-wrenching stories of soldiers coming home to nothing, not only personal financial issues caused by jobs not still being there or debts being pushed, but of coming home to no family, no one waiting, desertion of the most personal level. So for every faithful family member I am grateful.

I am grateful for abundance. It is pretty obvious if you walk into my house there is abundance here. This may not be a pretty neighborhood. My heart is really aching for a home in a better area and some privacy, but I am already blessed with abundance of love from my husband and children. I am blessed with having to choose what we will have for dinner, which book I will read next, which shirt I want to wear tomorrow and what shoes I feel like wearing.

My parents visited this weekend and I am grateful for the opportunity for my children to see their grandparents, to show off in their element. I was grateful that they got to create some memories. I am grateful that my mother was feeling up to the ride, that she is walking and getting around without the wheelchair and that we found a few things that appealed to her tastebuds, as the chemo has made eating pretty unenjoyable. I am grateful that my dad was up for the drive, even though he really doesn't like driving in the city.

I am grateful for a husband who helps me with entertaining guests, even when he has to make an extra trip into work at midnight on a Saturday for “scheduled maintenance” and doesn’t get home until the wee hours of Sunday and then helps some more. And I am still grateful for this job, even though it requires goofy things like “maintenance” to be scheduled when there are the fewest users on the system. Because it wasn’t so long ago that we didn’t have the job to be grateful for.

Praying you have a week filled with things to be grateful for. Blessings to Christine at Brady’s Bunch for starting Grains of Gratitude.

What are you grateful for??

Spring Reading Thing Update

Alright, I really am not good at following a list. I get distracted easily and I have been distracted. There is less than a month left in the Spring Reading Thing hosted by Katrina over at Callapidder Days and I am wondering just what will really get accomplished.

I have ten books!! left to go. TEN!!! But I also have read five that weren’t on the list and am half-way through a sixth and seventh not on the list. Plus two more that are on the list. Plus the stack that is by the chair. I am sorely tempted to take the whole lot back to the library and start over.

Books Read On the List
The Ill-Earth War
The Princeling
The Age of Innocence
The Oak Apple

Healing ADD

Books Read NOT On the List
The Black Pearl
The Virgin’s Lover
The Open Door
The Long Shadow

Reading Right Now
The Hurried Child
The Unprocessed Child
The Chevalier

On the List But Not Read
The Crossing Places
The Forest House
The Jesus Incident
Practicing the Presence of God
Spiritual Direction
Eastern Orthodox Christianity

Eastern Orthodox Theology
In His Steps

The same situation has occurred in reading with the boys. Bunny trails and distractions have added to what we’ve read, but the list is only one lighter…

On the List and Done
Misty of Chincoteague

On the List and Not Done
Stuart Little
Little House

Done But Not on the List
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
Smokey the Cowhorse
Alice in Wonderland

Sigh…some habits are hard to break.
We shall see where I stand in a less than a month.

Just a note to let everyone know that during the week of June 4-8 (next week) I am scheduled to give away 5 new books provided by Glass Road Public Relations!! Check back then to see what books are being given away.