Friday, April 24, 2009

A blessing!!

After being encouraged by winning a collection of art work for my home school group last year,
I submitted an essay to apply for another award.
I Just found out that I won!!! I can't wait to share all these great books with our lending library!

NEH, ALA Announce We the People “Picturing America” Bookshelf
The We the People Bookshelf, a collection of classic books for young readers, is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) We the People program, conducted in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office.
A total of 4,000 public and school (K-12) libraries will be selected to receive the “Picturing America” Bookshelf. Awards will be announced in April 2009.
"Picturing America" Collection

If you have a home school group, consider applying for next years grant!

Pictures of our week

Just a few shots of our busy week!
This is a fun way to keep up on the lives of my friend Jennifer who is also posting her week of pictures!

We had our Contenders for the Faith get together on Monday. The little ones decorated cookies while the older boys worked on small engine repair and the older girls worked on quilting.

I got another wool soaker done this week
We all went to the park once or twice!

We spent a lot of time weeding, planting flowers and vegetables this week. This is a HUGE deal to me since I have what my mother calls "the black thumb of death". DH helped me, so she thinks the garden might stand a chance this year!

This picture is Shay Baby's idea of helping me weed. She was rolling around on the ground in her blanket. Very helpful!

The pilot is never cuter to me than when he is planting flowers with the princess!

The boys working hard.

Flower pots galore. I think we have around 10 now!

This is a shot of the herb garden. I will have an abundance of herbs to use fresh and dry soon! Hopefully there will be beautiful blooms filling these pots as well!

Here is a shot of the 2 tiered garden space we have this year. We are planting carrots, broccoli, spinach, beets, pickling cukes, green beans, peas, onions and squash. I started some seeds indoor for watermelon and cantaloupe. Also, some sugar pumpkins for pies and sunflowers in the area below the tiers. Can't wait for the harvest. I plan to do a LOT of canning!Of course we make bread around here...nothing new. I just thought that these little loaves that 3 of my arrows helped me make were so cute!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Birthday fun!

My little Artist just turned 6! He is the type of boy who loves to dig in the dirt and find worms and bugs, I kept teasing him that I was going to make a cake out of dirt and he did not believe me! I had so much fun with this!

He is also a huge animal lover so Grandma surprised him with a hamster that he named "Sunflower"

He is such a sweet boy and I thank God for him. He is tenderhearted and loving and such a blessing to us. He is also the resident comedian!

We had 3 birthdays in February, 3 in March (counting Grandma) and one in April...It seems like every other weekend we have had a birthday party! I am ready for a birthday break. Next up is The Philosopher in July.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Wool Soakers!

I have been cloth diapering for over 11 years now (with the exception of a hiatus with newborn twins) I have become more and more self-sufficient and frugal with it over the years. If you even wondered how much money you can save using cloth diapers, check out this
I started with a diaper service and moved on to washing my own diapers. I had 4 in diapers at one point. Buying disposables or even having a diaper service was out of the question! My favorite diapers are MotherEase one size fits all. They have gotten pretty fancy at ME since I bought mine. They have colors, bamboo diapers and even a new "stay dry" model. I just use the plain unbleached ones. I have to say...I love how cute those colored ones are though! I also like to use Indian prefolds and snappi's. Anyway....

I have always wanted to use wool soakers but they start at $35 and only go up insanely from there. So, I decided to make some. My friend Lanita gave me a great pattern and I got started. I have NO idea why I did not do this sooner. Maybe I have more time to crochet now that I have 7 children...LOL.

The pilot teased me that it too me 2 days to make one soaker, but I think that is pretty good if you consider the homeschooling, baby, toddler, 2 preschoolers and OH yeah...the 3 other children!

If you like it, I can make you one.....only $35 :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Last week in pictures

Date night with mom.

Little chicken in a pot!

PACCAR open house

At the park.

Morning cuddle time. We do it every morning! You should give it a try with your kids!

Luke Warm

Huh? back peddle, back peddle....

It's like I said in my earlier post on talking out of both sides of the mouth!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Apple "pie" for the little ones

I was looking for a way to bless my littles and found this easy recipe.

2 Golden Delicious apples
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Flour for dusting
1 pkg. (7.5 oz.) refrigerated biscuits
some cutie pie helpers. I used an assortment of 2 and 4 year olds.

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel apples; grate them into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. Stir half of cinnamon sugar into grated apples.

2. Roll each biscuit to about a 5″ circle.

Spoon apple mixture onto circles.
Fold circles over and pinch edges to make half-moons. Place on a baking sheet.
3. Brush pies with water and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake 20 minutes.

Talking out both sides of their mouth?

Are we surprised, really? Are we surprised that Rick Warren has apologized to "his gay and lesbian friends" for his former support of prop. 8?

Are we shocked that he is now saying that he never supported a constitutional amendment that would overturn gay marriage in California?
What is happening in our country?

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4

A recent discussion on this issue with a group of my friends yielded some strong comments on the deplorable condition of today's church, and rightly so. There was also the comment made that "I don't think we can label ALL churches this way though." again, rightly so. Or, is it?
I am sure that there are some great churches out there. I happen to LOVE our home church experience and the families involved. Yes, I am sure that there are some "conventional" churches somewhere that are not "that way" meaning, the way described in 2 Tim 4:3-4.
However. In response to that, I have to say that the churches that I have experienced have been that way.

Let's set aside the issue of gay marriage for the moment. After all, we should not even be debating this...seriously, we know better. Why is it that issues like gay marriage are overtaking our laws, belief systems and churches when we KNOW better?

It is because "church" is that way.

Yes, we are accumulating teachers in accordance with our own desires and turning our ears from the truth.
Consider for a moment issues like allowing God to plan our family size, homeschooling and being a helpmeet to our husbands. They are biblical, no?
Yet, how many churches preach that message? Oh sure, you may get the pastor who gets "radical" for a few Sundays a year and talks about the importance of those things, but the fruit is not there.

Satan has done a great job at getting us to worship at the alter of SELF. We are so devoted to this that we will not accept messages that lean to much away from that. That does not go alone with our own desires.

The message that is being preached, no matter how thinly veneered as otherwise, is the doctrine of self fulfilment. Women are encouraged in words and by example to "serve the Lord" in the marketplace and in the church. Fashion and external appearances are highly valued instead of the beauty of a quiet spirit yielded to God. Babies and children are discouraged, but if you do have one or two, it is advisable to place them in daycare/school/church nursery as soon as possible so that the business of self can be attended to. Need to have that "ME" time.

Women are spending their days in activities that can be called inane in the least and blasphemous at the worst. Working hard on planning the next ladies "ministry" event (bowling, scrap booking, movie night?) for the church, tanning, going to the gym, lunch with the ladies, bible study and pick up a pizza on the way home for dinner. OK, that may not reflect all of our lives (though I personally know of women, even pastor's wives for whom that is a reality) So what is Satan encouraging the rest of us to do with our time?

What about the incredible burdens we are heaping on mom's at home, especially those hard working, homeschooling mom's of little one? To have the perfectly maintained home, all decked out for a photo shoot with House Beautiful at any moment?

Gourmet meals, perfectly manicured lawns and flawlessly organized homeschool curriculum designed to produce perfectly flawless students? Not close? How about the pressure to have the cookie cutter children who are seen but not heard? How about the pressure to follow complicated, legalistic approaches to child discipline? Not to mention the endless expectation to make sure everyone knows how "holy" and righteous our families appear to the watching circle of friends and advisor despite the fact that mom, dad and the kids are hanging on by a thread to their sanity?

The pressure builds. The mom is too exhausted, stressed out and wrung out to attend to the real needs of her husband and children, not to mention the needs of those outside the home. The church will endorse the idea that mom needs a break and insist that serving our husband and children is abusive to the women or at least woefully outdated.

Forget about her being able to see what is happening in the world and pray!

What is this really accomplishing? Another kowtow to the alter of SELF.

Why would we make ourselves so miserable chasing after these false ideas if we were really all about self? Wouldn't it be easier to be the mom who gets the tan and the massage? (um, DUH)

Instead, we can hold on to our piety and know that we are really serving the Lord as reflected in our perfectly manicured lawn or alphabetically organized cupboards. But, are we? Are we not also accumulating those (people, ideas, things) who would tickle our ears to our own desires? Do these things not only serve self, pride, ego?

Instead of "slaving" away on things that do not matter on the other side of eternity should we not focus on what really matters now? Loving your husband and children does not mean being Marta Stewart. (BTW, was she named prophetically or WHAT?)

If we are too stressed out by our tasks of no importance to give our husband respect and minister to his needs or to sit in the grass and pick dandelions with our children what good is it anyway?

What in the world does this have to do with gay marriage, or Rick Warren or if churches are that way or not?

I do have a point.

The point is that we are being distracted to such a degree that we do not even notice the temperature rising. Like the proverbial frog in the pot, we are in danger of being boiled to death. Another year spent being exhausted and stressed out chasing the wind and we don't notice the churches insistence that our children be separated from us and encouraged to play video games during kid's church.

We don't bat an eye at the admonishment to be tolerant to the degree that the pastor of a HUGE church is apologizing to gay's and lesbians for biblical truths. In the name of love and acceptance, of course. After all, we don't want to appear unloving now do we? We do not notice the poor and needy among us both physically and emotionally desperate who need our care. We can't see that we are

Be careful, the temperature is rising around us, we need to choose to be either hot or cold.

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realise that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." Revelation 3:15-17

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter is almost here, wow..this past year went fast. Even though it may not yet look like it, Spring is upon us! I love the Spring, I love to see the flowers and trees in bloom. I love to smell the fresh cut grass and see the sunshine peeking through these steel Washington skies again, be it ever so briefly!

This year, Spring and Easter are especially meaningful to me. After having just walked through the hardest 2 years of my life fraught with turmoil, loss and stress that I feared would crush me...I am now standing on the other side blinking in the dawning light of my Jesus. Sorrow may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Amen. And what a sweet joy it is.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
2 Cor 4:8-10
We have been talking a lot about the blessings that have come out this past season. Not only have the Pilot and I both seen a richer depth to our walks with Jesus, but we were given an amazing gift in the midst of our trial. It is awesome to see my DH swell up with love and tenderness as we talk about the beautiful blessing of our newest baby and it brought tears to my eyes to hear him tell me that he would not trade one thing we have lost for the incredible privilege of having this baby in our lives. Every moment of that dark night of the soul was necessary to develop us into just who God wants us to be, for these incredible children, for our own growth and for the glory of our God.

I can say that I am thankful for my recent trials, but only just recently! I could not say that while I was in the middle of them. I can say to those who may be right where we were...hang on, God is with you even if you can't see that right now.

I believe there that God is in control. Not that I have it all down yet, not that I am walking in perfectly surrendered faith....but I am seeing more and more that even when things seem dark, God has an incredible plan for it all!

I pray that you all get a glimpse of God's unending love for you as you celebrate the resurrection with your families this week! Alleluia, He is risen!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The joys of Parfait

Homeschool Geography fair

My kids did such a great job researching, preparing and presenting their projects! I am so proud of them, and so thankful for a great homeschool group to share these slices of life with!

The Composer chose to study the state of Georgia. He made Brunswick stew to share with everyone. His daddy is from Brunswick, so that was fun.

The Philosopher chose to study Brazil. He did a demonstration of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with his father. Hence the GI he is wearing! My men all study BJJ together.

Getting daddy in "the mount".

The Artist chose to study Italy, mainly because that is where Ferrari's come from! He also made a dessert called Zuppa Inglese for everyone to share. Yummy.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Why We Need the Parental Rights Amendment

If you have not checked into what is happening in this area of our constitutional rights, please do so today!

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Eighty years ago the Supreme Court declared that “the child is not the mere creature of the State; those who nurture him and direct his destiny have the right, coupled with the high duty, to recognize and prepare him for additional obligations.” Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925).
Thirty years ago the Court continued this line of reasoning with the pronouncement that the “primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate as an enduring American tradition.” Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972).

Yet in 2000, when the State of Washington gave any person the ability to override a good parent’s decision about visitation by simply claiming that it would be “best” for children to allow the third-party to have visitation rights, in the Supreme Court:

· There were six separate opinions and none reached a five-vote majority
· Justice Thomas was the only Justice to clearly state that parental rights receive the same high legal standard of protection as other fundamental rights
· Justice Scalia held that parents have no constitutionally protected rights whatsoever

Support for a high-view of parental rights has been seriously undermined by the current Court.

As a consequence, numerous lower federal courts refuse to treat parental rights as deserving of protection as a fundamental right.

At the same time, America is poised to adopt the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. President Obama supports this treaty. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a leading advocate of this treaty for over twenty years. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has “promised” that this treaty will be ratified during this term of Congress.

If this treaty is ratified:

· The laws of all 50 states on children and parents would be superseded by this international law by virtue of a specific provision of the US Constitution which expressly declares treaties to be supreme over state law. Virtually all law on children and parents is state law.
· Good parents would no longer be entitled to the legal presumption that they act in the best interests of their children. Instead, the government would have the authority to overrule all parents on any decision concerning the child if the government believed it could make a better decision.
· Parents could no longer spank their children.
· Children would have the legal right to choose their own religion. Parents would be permitted only to give advice.
· America would be under a binding legal obligation to massively increase its federal spending on children’s programs.

The only kind of law that can override a treaty is the Constitution of the United States. State laws or state constitutions cannot override treaties. There is no guarantee that federal statutes could override treaties—moreover, we enter a binding legal promise to obey a treaty when we ratify it. America should not promise to obey a treaty and then claim it is appropriate to obey the treaty only when we want to. America of all nations must respect the rule of law.

There is only one possible solution for the eroding support for parental rights in the Supreme Court that can also stop the encroachment of international law.

We need to place the time-honored test of parental rights, as recognized by the Supreme Court for over seventy years, into the explicit text of the Constitution.

We cannot wait until our rights are formally demolished. We must act now to stop international law and protect these two key principles:

· Fit parents should be allowed to direct the upbringing of their children.
· American legislators, not international tribunals, should make the public policy for America on families and children.

If you believe these two principles, become a supporter of parental rights by signing the online petition.