Welcome and Blessings!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I have named this blog "Running to the Cross" because that is what I often find myself doing...running to be with my Lord Jesus! I often cover many aspects of life on my blog, as it is my journal. I used to write things down in all sorts of notebooks, but my writings would soon be lost. So I decided that it was time to start a blog and share my thoughts and ideas with others. Many topics you will find here are prayers, homemaking and organization, children and pregnancy, funny stories, and the challenges of parenting and motherhood. If you enjoy my blog and leave me a comment, you are likely to have me visit! I love meeting others and gleaning from the lives of others. May you be blessed! Your friend in Christ, Heather

Monday, April 30, 2007

When Morning Gilds the Skies

When morning gilds the skies,
My heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised;
Alike at work or prayer
To Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Does sadness fill my mind,
A solace here I find:
May Jesus Christ be praised;
Or fades my earthly bliss,
My comfort still is this:
May Jesus Christ be praised.

In heaven's eternal bliss
The loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised;
The powers of darkness fear,
When this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised.

Be this, while life is mine,
My canticle divine,
May Jesus Christ be praised;
Be this th'eternal song,
Through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised. AMEN.

Joseph Barnby, 1838 - 1896

What's For Dinner?

It's Menu Plan Monday again! Have you planned your weekly menu? It only takes a few minutes...
My menu is posted to the right of my blog in the right sidebar section.

Have a GREAT DAY!!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saviour, Like a Shepherd Lead Us

Saviour, like a shepherd lead us,
Much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us,
For our use Thy folds prepare:
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine; do Thou befriend us,
Be the Guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us,
Seek us when we go astray:
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us,
Poor and sinful though we be;
Thou has mercy to relieve us,
Grace to cleanse, and power to free:
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Early let us turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor;
Early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Saviour,
With Thy love our bosoms fill:
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, Blessed Jesus,
Thou hast loved us, love us still.

William B. Bradbury, 1816-1868

Where Am I???

As homeschooling winds down, I speed up...

I am anxious to finish up this school year! My oldest son only has 4 more lessons in Saxon Math 54 to complete. He will finish up on Thursday. Once we are finished with math, I will work with him and my other school age children on Grammar, Bible, History, Science, Reading, Spelling, and Art.

This "new" schedule will begin Friday.

Bible and History will be read aloud. I will probably have them still do some Handwriting, but not to the extent that they have been doing it. We are going to the fun stuff. We have a garden to plan and plant, and we will be planting all the flower beds. I have 8 flower beds...3 smaller beds and 5 larger flower beds.

We will be studying the Egyptians in History, and continuing to read through Genesis for Bible...I will throw in some character training from the New Testament, as well. Reading will be leisurely reading for my oldest son, and reading aloud to mom for my youngest son. Spelling will include pronunciations, vocabulary, adding -s & -ed, writing sentences using the words for the week, and a test at the end that includes sentences. We will be working through Shurley English for Grammar, and Science will include gardening and experiments in the kitchen. Art will be once or twice a week and it will focus on drawing objects, and patterns.

Our school year is scheduled to end on May 30. We will take 2 weeks off and the start all over again (or pick up where we left off). With the baby due at the beginning of September, I must prepare for interruptions so we will be schooling throughout the summer with intermittent breaks.

So if it seems that I have deserted you, my friends, just be patient. Everything will settle down soon and I will be back to regular blogging!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Homeschooling and Family Organizational Charts

I am in the process of transferring all of the charts that I have created to a site at freewebs.com. They will be anything from blank calendars, to task charts, to homeschooling log forms, and other family-type charts.

Please feel free to copy and paste any chart that you might find helpful for your home use.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Little About Me...

Today, I am going to let some "cats out of the bag" so to speak. ;O) After all, we all need to know from time to time that there is a human being behind all of these words. If you would like to read my testimony, you can read it here.

A Look into My Childhood
Well, I must say, not much really happened in my childhood, so to speak. I was an extremely "high needs" baby, I cried for the first six months of my life to no avail. As a toddler, I was very assertive...nobody stepped on my toes without me letting them know it! :OP I carried a pillow around that I sucked on, yes, sucked on...YUCK! Finally my mother took it away, because when an offender stepped on my feelings, I whacked them good and hard with my nasty, wet pillow!

I stayed pretty ornery most of my preschool years. I wouldn't be comforted when my feelings were hurt and I never let anything that anyone said about me bother me, or so that's the impression that I gave. Sometimes, I would just bump into someone just because I was jealous...mostly around the age of 4 or 5, I wasn't very nice sometimes. Thankfully, I grew out of that stage by the time I was in first grade or so...they also spanked you if you were mean when I was in school, so I learned to behave.

As a grade school student, I had several friends...at that time we were all friends. It wasn't until high school that the cliques began. I always tried to be nice, even if not everyone was nice to me. I remember as a freshman in high school, when I was a cheerleader, the first time that I realized that I didn't really fit in with the cheer leading crowd. We were at cheer leading camp, and at that time my mother let me wear make-up. It took me a looooonnnggg time to put on make-up, about 30 minutes at that time. I remember one morning, when several of the other girls were running into my room while I was applying my make-up. Soon I realized that they were timing me! It was a cruel joke, and set me back for a few minutes...but I shook it off, I never let anyone know how I really felt.

Past to Present
High school passed, and I went on to college to earn my degree in art. My first couple of years were my rebellious years, I tried drinking...didn't like it, got involved with someone seriously only to realize that I had made the biggest mistake of my life. God rescued me from that relationship. I was living a lie to others around me, making them think I was just a good "Christian" girl.

<---Somewhere along here, I found Christ, or He found me--->

I repented and soon met my husband. He, too, had his mistakes which only helped our relationship. Our eyes were opened to the lies about relationships; like it was okay to kiss, hold hands, and go out alone on dates because that didn't lead to anything...we knew better, and we didn't allow it in our relationship until we were betrothed. Even then, we were very careful so that we didn't taint our relationship before marriage.

I graduated from college, and he stayed another year. That was the hardest year of our lives! We had established, in college, daily devotions and prayer time--together--apart, we lost all of that. Exactly one year after we met, September 16, 1995, he proposed. I was awestruck! I thought we were going to wait a couple of years to marry, but he proposed early! I was thrilled and of course, I said "YES!!!"

Marriage was a new experience, we had our trials and soon learned that we were expecting! Our first son arrived in July of 1997, our second in January of 1999....then my first devastating miscarriage on December 22, 1999,.... a precious daughter in October of 2000,.... another miscarriage on June 3, 2001...., another precious daughter in March of 2002, another daughter July of 2003, another daughter in June of 2005,....an ectopic pregnancy that left me with one ovary and tube on August 4, 2006..., and now we are expecting another baby in September.

Throughout almost 11 years of marriage we have moved 4 times. Our 3rd move, moving us about 1000 miles from ALL family (for a job). It is difficult to not have my mother here, but it has been a good learning experience for me.

My Struggles
As a Christian, a wife and a mother of many trades, I have a great many struggles.

~I struggle with perfectionism, I want things perfect when I am having company over, especially my in laws. The ongoing joke around here (that my husband tells) is that his mother gives the white glove a white glove test! As I have written before, I can't have things perfect, not with 6 (going on 7) children. I have had to let go of some of the expectations that I have set for myself. I know that I have always said that I won't let what others think of me or say about me bother me, but I am bothered when a close family member doesn't accept my inability to be organized like them.

~I struggle with being even-tempered with my children, especially when I am a hormonal pregnant lady! I yell, and I have to ask forgiveness. I get angry, and I have to ask forgiveness.
I am always asking the forgiveness of my children.

~If you haven't figured it out yet, I am NOT a calm individual. I am the high-strung yappy dog that jumps up and down! Although I am not a dog lover, I am dog tolerant. When I am under pressure to get things cleaned up for company, I am nervous, irritable and running circles around everybody! I am high energy...when put under pressure.

~I am stubborn. I love to sew and often will make something for someone at the last minute. I will stay up until it is done. It is a pet peeve of my husband's, but he has accepted it somewhat...he does the very same thing with his job.

~I try to be submissive to my husband. I am NOT by any means perfect in this area, but I hold a high regard for honoring our husbands, they are the head of us just as Christ is the head of the church. I love my husband very much, and I will try to do what he asks even if it didn't set well with me when he first asked...I know that I need to change my attitude, so by God's grace and help, I do.

~I struggle in the area of keeping things clean all the time, I can't do it. I have tried. I was successful for a few years (before I had six children) and after my 5th child was born, I was no longer able to keep up. I want to be a good steward, I want to have a clean and tidy house, but it only stays clean for a while...so I must work on maintaining.

~I love to sew, like I said before. I am a creative person and I go through these spells where I must sew myself or someone else a new garment. I know this is not the "season of life" to sew, but I have to sometimes. It calms and relaxes me, and when I am unsuccessful in all other areas of life, I am successful in sewing.

~I love being pregnant! Even though pregnancy leaves me fatigued and sometimes in pain...I get those horrible round ligament pains that last for about 45 minutes. Labor is even better than pregnancy, not only is there a little gift at the end, but it is exhilarating for me. I want to have as many children as God will give us, although I struggle in the area of parenting, I LOVE my children!!!

~ I refuse to say negative things about others that might hurt them. I know how it feels. Even if I am down, I will never, ever go public with negative feelings. That's just not me. I am blunt, but I try to my best ability to be lovingly blunt.

~I am not perfect. I have the same negative feelings that others have. I struggle with sin, and I am constantly praying for forgiveness. I don't keep a perfect house, and I don't eat the perfect diet. I try to stay thin and attractive to my husband, but I am not one who gets sickly looking, or extremely thin. But, I am human and I am covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.

So there you have it, a little or a LOT about me...depends if you see the cup half empty or half full!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, April 23, 2007

What's For Dinner?

It's Menu Plan Monday again! What are you having for dinner this week? If you would like to join us please go to Laura's Blog to join. A few minutes today will be a week's worth of planned out blessings!

My Menu is posted in the right hand column.

Need a recipe? Just leave me a comment...I will find it and post it!


Friday, April 20, 2007

I Believe in the Power of Prayer!

Updated: AWESTRUCK AGAIN!!! God is faithful!!! Candy's son is home again safely in the arms of his loving parents!!! ALL PRAISE AND GLORY BE TO GOD!!!!!

Please join us today as we lift up a Sweet Sister in Christ, Candy at Keeping the Home. You can read more about her situation on her blog.

I believe in the power of prayer, we are praying today for Candy, but just yesterday...a prayer was answered for Amy at Blessed Motherhood....

Amy, at Blessed Motherhood said,

"Thank you, thank you, thank you for the prayers. We had our trial today, and it went a lot better than I thought it would. The judge was interested in the charts I put together about gardening from recycled materials and that the items in question were not junk. He was also sympathetic when I started to cry when questioned as to why the lot had been untouched for 18 months (my dad is my gardening partner on that, hopefully one day building a house on that very spot, and he was injured in an industrial explosion in September 2005. He was life-flighted to a burn unit and spent considerable time there. Then we got the notices from zoning that they were taking us to court, so we thought we weren't allowed to touch anything because it was evidence, then my dad had an emergency triple bypass. Having to talk about that just broke me). I went through the photos the prosecutor provided and explained what each items was going to be used for. And the judge decided to have another conference in August so I could show that the items were being used, since I now know I can go down there and work. It wasn't a 'win' for anyone because it is not over yet, but the trustees were completely sure they were going to be given permission today to go down there and haul out everything they deemed to be junk (and Mr. Mc- said "Everything down here is junk. Every last bit of it has to be removed"). But mostly my prayers were answered, that

1. The name of God was not tarnished by my presence. I felt God guiding me and giving me the words to say (Mark 13:11),

2. I did not embarrass my husband. It worried me that I would give the impression that I was running the family, but because the lot is in my name and I was working it with my dad, it seemed reasonable for me to present the case

3. God did not allow these men, who have openly ridiculed Christians, to gain a victory over me that they could use to further slander the name of Jesus (Psalm 35:19-20)

Afterward, even as I was embarrassed for crying and knowing that it still wasn't over, I was able to rejoice in the Lord and his faithfulness to me.

Now that this struggle is out of the spotlight until August, I can concentrate on getting myself taken care of. I am considering getting a second opinion on the breast mass rather than just go right to surgery, especially since I did not feel this surgeon took my wishes seriously when I asked for a specific test because of my own concerns about the extent of the painful area. And because so many have been praying for me and are confident that I will be healed, I do not want to go get so drastic so fast, as the surgery feels to be.

And then we get to concentrate on the blessed adoption of our littlest two. God has carried me through this month of horrors, even though I couldn't feel Him at times...."

My response to Amy:

"…I am once again, humbled….God has shown His faithfulness once more and has shown us the importance of prayer.

I am still awestruck from my experience this summer with my ectopic pregnancy and how God miraculously worked in that situation. We were very unsure about the surgery (of removing the ovary and tube) for fear of causing a life to end…and when the doctor called me with the pathology report, he said that they didn’t find a baby anywhere. The baby must have fallen off outside of the tube and got “absorbed” back into my body…Prayer changes things, God has proven that many a time."

GOD answers prayers, this is proof that He does. We cried out for Amy, and He listened, and He answered in His perfect timing. Now we must again cry out for Candy, He WILL hear us, and He WILL answer in His perfect timing.

Please join us as we pray today. Pray that Candy and her family will once again be reunited as a family, Lord willing. Pray that the judge will see things in their favor, and pray this experience for their son will open his eyes to his parent's love for him.


In Christ Alone,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Frank Talk to Women by Bettie Need

This is an article that has truly blessed me. I am reprinting it with the permission of Bettie Need, the author. I hope it blesses you as much as it has blessed me! ~Heather

A Frank Talk to Women

By Bettie Need

Our family believes in the power of prayer. My mother and father prayed for us each day. As a child, I saw my parents on their knees daily in their room, praying for me, for my siblings, for the church, and for the world. It is good to pray for our children— this we should do. In a passage about praying for others, the Bible says in James 5:13-20: The effectual fer­vent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

A good example of a father praying for his children is found in the book of Job, chapter 1:1-5: Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job con­tinually.

It is our privilege to pray. But does God always hear our prayers? I John 5:14-21: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

But in Psalm 66:18, David says. If I regard iniq­uity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. This is also the Word of God!

When we pray, we pray in vain if we regard iniq­uity or sin in our hearts. God will not hear us. Perhaps you will say, “But we are all sinners!” Psalm 66:18 does not say, If I have sin... David himself was a man who sinned many times, but he did not hide his sin. He repented, confessed his sin, and God forgave him. David states: If I regard iniquity…

The dictionary defines: “regard: v. 1 consider in a particular way. 2 gaze at in a specified fashion. 3 ar­chaic pay attention to. n. I heed or concern: she res­cued him without regard for herself. 2 high opinion; esteem. - (regards) best wishes (used especially at the end of letters). 3 a steady look.”

Spurgeon comments on Verse 18:

If I regard iniquity in my heart. If, having seen it to be there, I continue to gaze upon it without aversion; if I cherish it, have a side glance of love toward it, excuse it, and palliate it;

The Lord will not hear me. How can he? Can I desire him to connive at my sin, and accept me while I wil­lfully cling to any evil way? Nothing hinders prayer like iniquity harboured in the breast; as with Cain, so with us, sin lieth at the door, and blocks the passage. If thou listen to the devil, God will not listen to thee. If you refuse to hear God’s commands, he will surely refuse to hear thy prayers. An imperfect petition God will hear for Christ’s sake, but not one which is will­fully miswritten by a traitor’s hand. For God to ac­cept our devotions, while we are delighting in sin, would be to make himself the God of hypocrites, which is a fitter name for Satan than for the Holy One of Israel.

How do we regard something? Do we put it in a special place of honor? Do we hide it so no one will see it? Do we refuse to let it go? What is that secret sin we cherish so dearly? Is there an area of disobe­dience that is hindering our prayers? What idols do we excuse in our lives?

There are many areas of disobedience in all of us, but I would like to point out one particular area that seems insignificant— childbearing. God’s first com­mand to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply. How many times have we heard even Chris­tians saying this about their children: “Oh, that one was not planned; that one was a mistake.” How do our children feel when they hear that? They were not wanted. Their parents did not plan to have them. Oh, they were not aborted, but they are nevertheless an inconvenience.

Because our hearts are idolatrous, we are not obedient to God’s commands. We prefer to obey God partly: have one or two children, but plan when it is convenient, and stop when it is convenient to us. (In Brazil, even the newspapers point out the over­whelming number of Caesarian births, due to a woman’s desire to have a baby when she wants it, without the labor pains! And it was also reported that women limited the number of babies because they were concerned about their figures being ruined by pregnancy.)

Brazil is not the only country where women are afraid of having babies— a young mother I overheard told her friend she would never have another baby because she could not stand to go through labor again. Others have used inadequate finances to justify limit­ing children. Many limit their children because they want more time to do things without the encumbrances of children— “It’s so hard to find a decent babysitter!” Basically, we are selfish to the core!

Many Christians speak out against abortion, many pray that God would put a stop to it; yet Christians are setting examples of disobedience in limiting their families. The world is watching to see if they can find an honest person, a person who lives what he speaks. Our own children do not hear what we say because they know, more than others, that we live a lie: our God is not the God of creation, but the god of our own desires. We know God’s commands, but we do not obey them, because to obey would cost us things we cherish and regard. Will God answer our prayers for our nation to stop abortion, if we regard the sin of selfishness and lack of trust in God’s provision for families?

The Lord himself tells us:

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate. (Psalms 127:3.) Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall he as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel. (Psalms 128:6.)

Let us believe and obey God, that we may see godly offspring in our land and our prayers be heard.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Does HELP MEET Mean to You?

What does HELP MEET mean to you? I encourage you to try your hand at making this your own. I would love to know if you step up to the challenge!


Edited: Thanks Linda, I changed it to be the proper term... ;O)

Home Management Binder, Online

For those of you who may be wondering, I am currently working on a Home Management Binder, Online.

So far I have posted my current schedule, a few miscellaneous lists (grocery & things to remember), home remedies revised, a recipe for Homemade Baby Wipes, and a list of posts that I will be working on. Please come by and see, post your comments, and any questions you may have!


Monday, April 16, 2007

Macaroni Salad: 2 Ways

Rona asked for this recipe, so here it is! Note: I usually don't measure ingredients, these measurements will be educated guesses! ;o)

Mayonnaise Macaroni Salad

Mix together:
1/2 pound dry macaroni cooked al dente
3-6 hard boiled eggs, cubed
1/2 cup shredded carrot (optional)
1/2 cup chopped celery (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)

Dressing, mix together:
1/2-1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing (Miracle Whip)
1-2 Tablespoons vinegar
2-4 Tablespoons water (maybe more)
1-2 Tablespoons sugar
1-2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish (optional)

Finally mix everything together and you have a macaroni salad... A yummy addition to this salad would be crumbled bacon on top, but it's your choice, so enjoy!

Macaroni Salad with an Italian dressing:

1/2 pound bow tie pasta, curly pasta, or pasta of your choice cooked al dente
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can navy beans, drained
1/2 - 1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 -1 cup chopped broccoli
1/4 -1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup cubed cheese
1/2 cup pepperoni
1/4 cup parmesan and/or romano cheese

Mix together and pour on 8 oz of your favorite Italian salad dressing. You can also add onions, green, red or yellow peppers, and cubed ham.

Another option is to leave the pepperoni and pasta out, add some green leaf lettuce, and grilled chicken and you have a healthier version of the same thing!

Happy Cooking!

Menu Plan Monday

It's Menu Plan Monday again. What's on your menu this week?
If you would like to join us, please click here to get to Laura's blog.

If you are looking for my menu, it is posted on the right sidebar of my blog!


A Funny Story...

We have been very busy this weekend, actually since Friday. A family at our church just had a baby boy, and we took a meal over to them on Friday. I got to hold their teeny tiny little baby boy for a very long time! My baby girl is now 22 months old, so it has been a while since I have gotten to hold a newborn. I am sooo ready to have my baby, but I will just have to wait until the end of August or the beginning of September.

A Funny Story...

Saturday we made a trip into Walmart. We needed diapers and my 5-year-old daughter had some birthday money to spend. Instead of staying home, like I usually do, I decided that maybe I should go this time, so we took the whole family.

When we go to Walmart as a family, we always get two shopping carts and put the youngest two in the seats of the carts. So as we were walking through Walmart's frozen food section, a couple ladies were crossing over to another section. I stopped and let them pass, then I caught up with my husband and the rest of the children.

As I hurried to catch up, I heard them say,
"She's pregnant!"
"No, she's not pregnant..."
"Yes, she IS pregnant!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I am...she is pregnant!"

I smiled and said to myself, "Yes, I'm pregnant." I was quite humored by their conversation.

It's funny that people have such a reaction to a large family. Funny thing is, I really don't feel that our family is that large. Yes, we have six children and we are expecting our seventh, but I still don't feel like it is very large. Maybe that is my large family thinking...we have always said that we will take 10 children if the good Lord gives them to us. Now we are saying that 10 or more would be fine, as well...seeing that I have had 10 pregnancies in 10 years.

Another dear friend of mine had the same experience in the hospital when she was delivering her seventh child. The attending nurse couldn't believe that she had seven children all by the same man!

I am honored to go places with my family, whether other people's reactions are good or bad. God has greatly blessed our family. I may not see our family as a large family, but I do see our blessings as a great many blessings.

Have a blessed day, today!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Company's coming: Does Everything Have to Be PERFECT?

When you are planning for company, does everything have to be perfect? Of course, you want to have a delicious meal, dress nicely, and have a joyful countenance. But what about everything else? Do you stress and pressure yourself about having the entire house in perfect order? Is that even possible? (To have it in perfect order, that is.)

Here are a few questions you must ask yourself when you are planning to have company:

  1. Why are they coming over?
  2. Is it a business or personal relationship?
  3. Are they family? church family?
These are all questions we must consider, because who is coming over and why they are coming over can make a huge difference.

Why are they coming over?
Are you having a realtor come over to look at your house? If so, it must be spick and span...how do you expect to sell your home if it is a mess when the realtor comes over? I don't necessarily consider a realtor company, but you may.

If you are just having a friends or family over, are they coming to see you or your house? You can make your home comfortable without it being perfect. Okay, you have a few toys out, a basket or two of laundry out, a few books out of place...are you going to enjoy yourself less if you house isn't perfect? Trust me, they will understand...especially if you have several small children. Afterall, they came to see you, RIGHT? They didn't come to inspect your home.

Is it a business or personal relationship?
This is a very important question to ask yourself. We have already discussed personal relationships: friends and family.

But what about business relationships? If your husband is having someone over to discuss business, someone like a client, try to make sure everything is clean...now, they are not coming over to see your clean house, either. But you should try to make a good impression for your husband, make sure the rooms that they will be in are clean. If they are eating with you, your kitchen or dining room should appear clean (not obviously a mess, that is), the same thing goes for your living room or office, and obviously the bathroom. If you have to take and stash some things away in a spare room or closet, that's okay. They are not doing a home inspection.

Just remember, don't stress...if they are human they will understand if things are not perfectly in order.

Are they family? church family?

Now our families usually know what state our home will be in when they come over, especially if they come unexpectedly, but again they are coming to visit with YOU! If things aren't perfect, no problem.

Trying to keep on top of things is important, but so are the relationships that you have with your children and family. If you are constantly nagging your children about cleanliness and yet your are not spending any quality time with them, how do you expect to have a good parent/child relationship. Now I am not saying to just let your house go and be a mess, but what I am saying is spending time with your children is more important than having a perfectly clean house. You can have a morning and afternoon clean-up time with your children, afterall you are teaching them life skills and they should help...they are members of the family and each member has a responsibility, but perfection isn't necessary.

Having church families over regularly is important as well. Showing hospitality is a way to reach out to church families and to get to know each other on a more personal level. They are your brothers and sisters in Christ. It also gives your children some time for socialization with other Christian families.

Now, does your house have to be perfect for church family? Let me ask you one question, did they come over to see how clean your house is? NO! They came over for Christian fellowship, they came to see you and your family, not your house! If you wait until your house is perfectly clean to show hospitality to your church family, you will never have anyone over. I know, because I have six children and my house is NEVER perfectly clean. I try to make sure things are comfortably clean...ie.: there may be extra things on the shelves, toys on the floor, books out of place, laundry baskets in the bathroom...it's not perfect, and until my children are older and there are no toddlers and preschoolers to drag things out, it won't be a perfect example of orderliness.

One thing that has stuck in my mind is something that Mrs. Jennie Chancey's (of LAF) mother told me once, and that is: "If you are coming over to see my house, make an appointment. If you are coming over to visit, come on over!"

What a statement! I have had a different attitude about hospitality ever since! Thanks, Mrs. N!


This article was inspired by an article that was written by Mama at Mamas Thoughts and Questions.

Homeschool Week, Day 4

Nothing too exciting today.

4th Grader:

  • Math: Saxon Math 54, Lesson 129-Dividing by Two-Digit Numbers, Part 1
  • Handwriting: Keach's catechism: Question 20. Did all mankind fall in Adam's first transgression? He is writing the supporting scripture: Romans 5:12, 18, 19
  • Spelling: Write out words for new spelling list.
  • Reading/History: He did today's reading yesterday.
2nd Grader:
  • Reading/Phonics: Lesson 90 & 91 in Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
  • Math: Worksheets.
  • Handwriting: Donna Youngs cursive handwriting worksheets.
Life Lessons for Today:
  • I had some more help from church today...Lesson learned: the Church caring for the members of its Body. (Christ is the Head, the members are the Body.)
  • Both of the boys are playing a chess game on the computer, right now: Logic.
  • Later on today, they are supposed to go and help our landlord plant trees for his mini-nursery: Science.
  • My oldest son also was able to see one of our cats having kittens today: Animal Life.
Our focus for May, when my oldest son is done with Math 54, will be on science (gardening, insect life, etc.), art (drawing nature, science journal, and design), grammar (Shurley English--we have had a break from it, it will basically replace the time we are spending in math), Bible/History (starting at Cain & Abel). Many days will be spent under the shade tree at the back of the property...we will be doing most of our lessons outside in May.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Homeschool Week, Day 3

Today was a bit tougher, as expected. However, we did complete our lessons for today.

We began our day with our 5-year-old daughter running out the door at 6:00 a.m. My husband and I were lying in bed trying to wake up as we were listening to her running back and forth in the house (probably getting dressed, putting her shoes on and a sweater). When I heard the front door open and shut, I sprang out of bed faster than usual frantically looking for something to wear and shoes for my feet.

When I bolted outside, I couldn't find my daughter anywhere, but I wasn't thinking. Just yesterday she discovered that she likes kittens, we have four 4 1/2 week old kittens in our garage. I looked everywhere but the garage. My husband came out and found her right away...in the garage. ;OP She was only out there for 5 minutes, but she was cold because she wasn't properly dressed. So she and dad cuddled on the couch with a blanket until she was warm again.

I sat in the rocking chair for a while, still dazed at the haphazard way that I was awakened. Finally, once I was fully recovered from the incident, I fixed breakfast for my husband and children. After I ate a bite, I had my oldest daughter unload the dishwasher so I could load it up again. These days, I have been running the dishwasher twice a day.

Once morning clean-up was done, we began a trying day of school.

4th grader's completed work:

  • History/Reading: Finished PYRAMIDS book.
  • Handwriting: Keach's catechism and supporting scripture.
  • Math: Saxon Math 54, Lesson 128: new concept learned was reducing fractions.
  • Spelling Test for 15 words
  • History: 3-D Encarta Tour of the Abu Simbel, 1250 B.C.--Ramses II's temple on the Nile.
2nd grader's completed work:
  • Math: One addition worksheet and one worksheet on telling time.
  • Handwriting: B's & P's; H's & lowercase letters.
  • Reading: Lesson 90 in Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
  • History: 3-D Encarta Tour of the Abu Simbel, 1250 B.C.--Ramses II's temple on the Nile.
I printed up some worksheets on letters and simple addition for my daughter (kindergarten), she has been working on that today. She also unloaded the dishwasher for me again this afternoon.

Our cleaning isn't quite done yet as we have a huge tent in our living room that our children built out of chairs, couch cushions and comforters! Unfortunately it is raining outside and chilly...not the kind of weather to play in.

So there you have it, so far...another day in our homeschooling adventures!

Happy Wednesday! Everything is downhill from here!

I am humbled today...

I just visited Tiany's blog and I learned that Heather over a Especially Heather has a brain tumor. I have no words to say except to please pray...


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

With Each Little Kick...

With each little kick,
I say a prayer in my heart
that you, my friend, will be blessed.

With each little kick,
I am reminded of those
whose hearts long for a child.

With each little kick,
I am reminded of the blessing
you really are, little one.

With each little kick,
I am reminded of those
who have their little blessings no longer.

With each little kick,
my heart cries for those
who have empty arms.

With each little kick,
I am reminded of each blessing
that I have held in my arms.

With each little kick,
I am reminded of God's love
and blessings that He has bestowed upon me.

With each little kick,
I long for a prayer that I have said
to be miraculously answered.

With each little kick,
I am reminded of you, my friend...
yes, you my friend...
I have said a prayer for you today.

May you be richly blessed today from our Heavenly Father above.

This poem inspired by the little one, that I have yet to meet, who has began to kick me from time to time...I pray that if it be your desire to have a little one, that God will bless and fill your arms with joy!

Written from my heart...

Homeschool Week, Day 2

In my last post, I gave no introduction as to why I was writing about my homeschooling day, so here it is.

Candy over at Keeping the Home has asked her readers to post what they are doing in school this week. So here I am again today, posting about our homeschool day.

Today was pretty much a repeat of yesterday. I have been sick so we have gone to a shortened version of homeschooling until I am completely well again.

Today's Homeschooling Day:

4th grader

  • Saxon Math 54, Lesson 127: In this lesson he learned about multiplying fractions, and the rest was review.
  • Handwriting: Keach's catechism and supporting Scripture: He has been working through Keach's catechism, writing the questions and answers, and following up with supporting scriptures for each question & answer. He writes this in cursive and usually writes a whole page worth without skipping lines.
  • Spelling: Just reviewing words for the upcoming test.
  • Reading/History: He is still reading about pyramids, a book called PYRAMID by David Macaulay.
2nd grader
  • Handwriting: He uses Donna Young's cursive handwriting exercises. Today he worked on his cursive M & N.
  • Reading: He is reading through Teaching Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Today he did 2 lessons, Lessons 87 & 88.
  • Math: He completed 3 third grade worksheets, 2 on fractions and one on the multiplication table.
When we were finished with schooling, we cleaned the first floor. My oldest daughter unloaded the dishwasher. We cleaned all the floors which included the kitchen, living room, kid's living room and the bathroom. We sorted the laundry into baskets, and cleaned the downstairs vanity, sinks & toilet. We then vacuumed the carpeted floors--just the middles, and swept the bathroom & kitchen floors. This part of schooling is called life lessons. We learn to be clean and organized.

The children did so well today that they were rewarded with some free time, and my oldest daughter got to go somewhere by herself with dad.

Creamy potato soup is cooking on the stove and bread is baking in the oven. We will be having pumpkin streusel muffins for dessert. YUM!!!

NOTE: This is not a typical day, most days are chaotic and overwhelming. I also had help from the same friend (from church) that came over yesterday. She & her husband ate dinner with us last evening and will be eating with us again tonight. She has really been a tremendous help to me this week.

I am so glad she was here to help this morning, as I was once again plagued with a sinus headache and I had to crash on the couch for a couple hours this morning. If she would have not been here, we would have been behind on EVERYTHING!!!

God has been so good to me in these trying days of sickness. I am very thankful to my Heavenly Father and I give Him all the credit.


Have a wonderful rest of the day!

Monday, April 9, 2007

Homeschool Week, Day 1

Unfortunately, today didn't go as planned...I ended up with one of my famous migraine headaches (from a sinus infection). However, I was blessed with helpers from church. I had someone here to help with my children and someone here to help with the work that I am behind on since I have been sick with what seems to be a sinus infection. God is good!

Here is what my children did:

4th grader

  • Saxon Math 54, lesson 126
  • Spelling-writing sentences for his spelling words (15), we use the Natural Speller for activities & word lists.
  • Handwriting-Keach's catechism & supporting Scripture
  • Reading-Book about pyramids in ancient Egypt.
2nd grader
  • Handwriting-Donna Young's cursive handwriting worksheets.
  • Math-free worksheets from another site (on Homeschooling Helps link list): He has already completed Saxon Math 2 for second grade so we are filling in with free printable worksheets until we purchase Saxon Math 3.
  • Reading-We are going through Teaching Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons.
I didn't work with my Kindergartner due to my headache, nor did I work with the other children. My daughter (kindergarten) is learning homemaking skills by helping to fold laundry and unload the dishwasher. She also changes diapers, clears and wipes the table and cleans up the floors when asked. She also uses the cursive handwriting sheets from Donna Young's site. She has been copying everything that she can all year long (words from cereal boxes, etc.).

My 5 year old and 3 year old are always writing letters, coloring and drawing. My youngest (almost 2) is learning how to repeat words. She can identify most of the parts of her face and she can follow simple instructions.

As we finish up basic math and the like, we will be delving into grammar, science, history and Bible history more thoroughly. We will be schooling through the summer since the baby is due in September.

I hope to have a better day tomorrow!

Have You Planned Your Menu for the Week?

It's Menu Plan Monday again! Spending 20 minutes today planning your weekly menu will save you a week's worth of headaches! Here is the link to officially join!

My plan is posted to the right of my blog, join me and many others and YOU WILL BE BLESSED!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Do You Believe in Prayer?

As a child, I had the mind of a child, the heart of a child, and I believed that God could answer my prayers. I don't know when I truly became a child of God, but I know that He answered my prayers.

One of the first prayers that I remember was when I asked God to take away my bad dreams. I was about 12 years old then, and I was having frightening dreams that seemed real to me. I sometimes feared going to sleep because of my dreams. But I believed that God could take away my bad dreams, so I earnestly prayed to God and asked Him to take them away...and He did. He really did take away my bad dreams. To this day, I find myself amazed at the answered prayer. He heard my prayer and answered.

And as I said in my last post, God also helped my dad to stop smoking. I prayed for my dad to stop smoking and one day, he finally did. God answered my prayer.

As a young adult, I found myself in many different situations, God was always there protecting me. He kept me safe as I drove to and from work at 3 a.m. I would pray all the way home that I would not fall asleep at the wheel, and God would answer.

I was always concerned with how I would pay for college and He provided a way for me to get through college, debt free.

He answered my prayer for a husband. A husband I could pray with, a husband I could talk to about anything, a husband that would protect me and never desert me, a husband that could sing...yes sing, and many other things.

When it came time for my husband and I to marry, He answered my prayer to marry sooner than later. We needed to be married, so I prayed and God answered.

God has answered my prayers about children. God would open my heart to more children, I'd prayerfully request another, and God would bless. He also showed me my selfishness in my miscarriages. I would feel overwhelmed with so many children, yet God showed me through each miscarriage that I was being selfish. Losing that child, would open my heart to another and I realized that feeling overwhelmed with a bundle in my arms was much better that grieving over empty arms.

As we have made a transition from employers to self-employment, I have found myself much in prayer. When money was a problem, a prayer was said, and God answered just in time. In my unbelief I have suffered, but in my belief that God WOULD take care of us, I have found myself blessed.

God answers prayers. If He hasn't answered your prayer, believe. Believe that He CAN answer your prayer, believe that He CAN change circumstances, believe that He WILL answer in His perfect time. But another thing to consider is to end your prayers saying, "but do according to Your will, Lord."

..."do according to Your will, Lord."

Do you believe in prayer?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Let Go, and Let God...

What does this phrase mean or say to you?

Let go and let God...

To me it says, give it ALL to God. Not just part of it, ALL of it. Whatever it is...give it to Him! Do you think that passing something over to God is forgetting about it? NO!!! Absolutely not! It is simply releasing yourself from a burden upon your heart and trusting that God will take care of it. Maybe He will answer your prayers today, maybe next week, maybe next year... I do know one thing, He will answer in His perfect timing and according to His will.

God...Answering Prayers.
I remember many years ago, when I was yet a child, and I prayed that God would help my father to stop smoking. I prayed and I prayed. Over a year later, He answered. He helped my dad to stop smoking. He smoked for 20 years, my mother prayed for him for years, and one day....way down the road, God answered. I can look back and know that it was all God's doing. I let go and let God...

Another Example of God's Mighty Works...
I was so blessed yesterday while conversing with my midwife. I had asked her some questions about infertility because I have several friends who have been experiencing this problem. She told me that there were really no answers, but she told me a story of a dear woman, we will call her Ann, who desperately wanted a child. Ann had been to the doctor about the problem several times and finally he told her that she would NEVER have children. Others had advised her that she just had to RELAX and then she would get pregnant. Ann thought she was relaxing, but her heart still ached with the emptiness she felt with no child.

So she began to pursue adoption, they were just about ready to proceed with an adoption when once again she was disappointed, the adoption fell through. Ann and her husband soon found another child to adopt, a child from China so they proceeded with the adoption and were successful. Ann was thrilled, and then she received a call from the adoption agency again. Another child, domestic, was being put up for adoption. The agency called to tell her that if she wanted to see her baby born, then she should get to the hospital right now! So she and her husband hurried to the hospital, and Ann was handed her new baby girl. God is so amazing! The children they adopted were within 3 months of one another! Ann was thinking a boy and a girl, PERFECT!

But this is not the end. Ann later found out that she, yes SHE was PREGNANT! The doctor said it was impossible, but God had other plans and He blessed! Ann was overjoyed she now had 3 children 1 1/2 years and younger...she was a busy, but blessed mommy.

A year later Ann found out that she was pregnant again...another miracle! She delivered another healthy baby and then the adoption agency called again. The birth mother of the (domestic) child they had adopted had requested that Ann and her husband be the adoptive parents of her 2nd child as well!

Just a few years earlier, Ann was desperate for a child. Now in just 3 1/2 years, God has given her 5 children (all under the age of 3 1/2).

God hears our prayers. He listen and He discerns. He looks at our hearts and the hearts of our spouses. He looks for contentment with what you already have.

I know, many times, that I have found myself discontent with what God has given me. I have looked around and said, "But you gave so & so this, I am just as good as them. Why can't I have what they have?" When I finally accept the wonderful things that God has given me, and find myself content with them...then and only then does God shower blessings upon me. He gives me what my heart was longing for.

Have you, "Let go, and let God?"

May you be blessed as God speaks to your heart today!


Will it ever go away?

I have been sick now for a week. I know that colds hang on longer than most things, but usually I don't feel this poorly for this long. I am not trying to complain...I just want to get better.

Here are my symptoms:

  • greenish-yellow nasal discharge
  • severe pain in my left cheek upon waking
  • headache
  • sinus pressure
  • cough
  • hoarseness
  • can't sleep because when I lay down, the pain in my cheek bothers me and causes a headache
  • I can't smell anything, not even a stinky diaper!
Here is what I am currently taking (I am 18 weeks pregnant):
  • fenugreek & thyme combo for sinus pressure, it thins the mucous
  • garlic, a natural antibiotic
  • Ester C, better than Vitamin C because of the way it digests, it is a free-radical fighter
  • 2 Acetameniphen & 1 Ibuprofen every 4-5 hours, I am aware of the danger of IB, but the pain won't go away without it; my midwife was okay with it
  • Echinacea & Elderberry tea, organic; also has other organic ingredients all safe for pregnancy
If you are reading this and have any other suggestions, please feel free to give them! I am trying not to go to the doctor, but I will if these symptoms persist for too long. I think it may be a sinus infection.

This is my prayer:
LORD, make me well again,
give me strength to heal,
comfort me in my pain,
make me whole again.

I trust your will, O LORD,
I know you can do all things,
Your love surrounds me still,
Give me patience, I know you will.

Thank you LORD, I know you heard me and I know you will answer in your perfect time.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Homemade Hamburger Rolls

Mercy, I will not only tell you how I make my homemade hamburger buns...I'll give you the recipe and in the process...give it to everyone else!

Note: These are standard white flour rolls, they can be made with whole wheat flour, but are best with freshly milled whole wheat flour. When I use freshly milled flour, I add 2 T of wheat gluten to improve the texture...it is NOT necessary but optional.

My Basic Bread Recipe
2 cups warm water
2 Tablespoons yeast
1/2 cup sugar (I use raw sugar)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup oil (I use canola)
5-6 cups bread flour (white, wheat OR a combination)
*optional 2 Tablespoons wheat gluten FOR ALL WHEAT FLOUR

Instructions: In large mixing bowl add first 5 ingredients & mix well. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until yeast is proofed and dissolved. Then add 4 cups of flour & mix with a hand mixer (or your Standing Kitchen Aide mixer). When the dough becomes a smooth batter begin adding more flour, a little at a time. By now you will have to mix with wooden spoon by hand (or you can continue to mix in your Kitchen Aide mixer adding 1/2 cup flour at a time). Eventually the dough will become somewhat stiff but pliable, you then turn it out onto a well floured surface and begin kneading it. You will keep adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky.

Knead the dough into a soft smooth elastic ball. You can leave it on your flour surface and cover with a towel to let set for about an hour until it is double in size OR you can add a tablespoon of oil to the bowl that you mixed it up in and drop it in there covering the dough with the oil, then covering the bowl with a piece of waxed paper & a towel. Again let rise for about an hour or until double in size.

When your dough is ready, you can make it into loaves, rolls, cinnamon rolls, pizza crust, bread sticks, Stromboli or whatever you like. If you are not ready to do anything with the dough, punch it down & let it rise again. But in very warm weather, you must be careful. If your dough gets too warm, it will not perform to your satisfaction.

This recipe will make 2 Large loaves of bread or 3 small loaves, several rolls, 3 pizza crusts or Strombolis, etc.

Directions for making Hamburger Rolls:
Divide your dough into two equal sections, lay one aside. Then get out your rolling pin and roll out your dough on a well floured surface until it is about 1/2 -3/4 inch thick. Then take you good old biscuit cutter and cut into circles! Place rolls on lightly sprayed cookie sheet about 1-2 inches apart. Let rise until double (30 minutes -1 hour). Bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. When they are done, you can lightly butter tops, but this is just optional. Once they are cool, slice in half for a delicious hamburger or deli sandwich.

This recipe is not as nutritious as the soaked bread recipes, but it is delicious and easy!


Note to Self...

As a wife I have certain things that I need to do first thing, this also goes for being a mother. I am feeling better after my weekend battle with the cold, cough & fever, however I am desperately behind in my work. My husband was not able to take over my work while I was sick, so I am beginning today with a list. The first things that I need to REMEMBER to tackle this morning (maybe I should of said today) (O= :

  1. Fold clothes in dryer, & dry clothes in washer.
  2. Lay out hamburger for dinner.
  3. Have older children unload dishwasher first thing this morning.
  4. Load dishwasher as soon as they are done.
  5. Have a before homeschooling speed clean on the floors.
  6. One thing that I didn't mention was washing the clothes that my husband needs for a meeting tonight, they are washed & in the dryer. YEAH!!!
Edited: Things in red are completed.

Short lists are better than no lists. I did not include a devotional time, however reading my Bible is an important time in my day. I don't always read first thing in the morning, maybe I should start...

More Editing to say: I thought I felt better, but when I awoke this morning I felt as if someone hit me in the face with a 2x4 (due to sinus pressure & pain)...called my midwife, she said to breathe some steam from a boiling pot of water, I did that and took some pain medicine and feel much better. Hopefully it will last! I'm praying for continued relief!


Monday, April 2, 2007

Menu Plan Monday Challenge

If you haven't started planning your weekly menu yet, you might want to reconsider. Remember, it only takes about 20 minutes of planning. Trust me, a menu plan is much better than a week's worth of unplanned headaches.

I am following along with Laura's blog, you have to "rejoin" each week, but she has many great ideas for menu plans. Not only that, but if you are lacking inspiration you can view what other's are having for dinner as well.

I post my menu plans on the right side of my blog each week. I usually update my plans on Monday. If you like the challenge, go for it! You will be blessed!