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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Anger...

A few weeks back I read an article that dealt with anger. It really spoke to me and I haven't been able to get it out of my head since.

It was called Holes in the Fence. I am going to paraphrase it as best as I remember.

Once there was a boy who struggled greatly with anger. He would get angry at the smallest things, so one day he spoke with his dad about it. His dad pointed him to the fence in the back yard. He told his son that every time he got angry to drive a nail into the fence in the back yard. So that's what the boy did.

Well, the first day the boy drove 36 nails into the fence! It was hard work driving those nails in the fence! However, each day the number of nails that he drove in the fence decreased until one day he didn't need to drive any nails into the fences anymore. He had finally learned to control his anger.

He went and told his dad the news. The news pleased his father, but he wasn't done. He told his son that each day he was able to control his anger to go an pull out a few nails. Pulling out the nails was difficult as well, but eventually the boy pulled them all out of the fence.

As the boy looked at the fence after he had pulled out the last nail he noticed that the fence did not look the same. He went to his dad again somewhat disheartened by the appearance of the fence. And his dad told him this...

The fence will never be the same again, and the same goes for the people you hurt when you were angry. The holes symbolize the hurt you caused others each time that you got angry, they will never be the same again. You can ask their forgiveness and they will probably forgive you, but you cannot change the number of times that you got angry with them and hurt them. The scar remains the same.

So the moral of the story...

Think before you speak. A hurtful word can pierce like a knife and cause a grievous wound. Angry actions or words can and will affect the relationships that we have with others.


Some Scriptures that apply:

Proverbs 15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."

Proverbs 16:32 "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."

Ecclesiastes 7:9 "Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools."

Ephesians 4:31-32
"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you."

Colossians 3:8 "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth."

Colossians 3:21 "Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged."

Blessings!
Heather

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Patience...

As I struggle in the flesh each day, I struggle with being patient. Patient with my children, patient with my husband, patient with God when I am expecting Him to miraculously answer my prayers. Why do I struggle with patience? Am I really so selfish that I struggle in this area? Yes, I am selfish. There, I said it. I am selfish. I need to be more selfless. I need to think of others' needs above mine. I need to stop saying that I need a break. I mean really...that is selfish. Thinking only of what I need. What about my children? Yes, they are selfish, but they are children!

1 Corinthians 13:11 says, "When 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."

My children need me to be selfless! How will they ever learn how to be selfless unless it is demonstrated in the home? With selflessness, however, we must also have the correct attitude. If we are grumbling when we are doing something we consider selfless for our children, are we really being selfless? Absolutely NOT!!! Here comes selfishness marching right back in to our home!

That takes us right back to where we started. Patience is not only a virtue, but it is a heart felt attitude and it walks right along side of selflessness (as does impatience does with selfishness). We find a perfect example of patience in James 1:2-27 (among other things),

2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:
10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.
11 For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
13 ¶ Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
19 ¶ Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Yes, I struggle with patience. Yes, I struggle with selfishness. Yes, I need God in my life. It is my prayer that God will continually change my heart, my attitude, and my life that it may exemplify Christ. My struggles are great, but with God, all things are possible.

Mark 10:27
"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."

May you be blessed this day!
Heather

Busy Life...

Over the next month or so, things are going to be quite busy around here. We are currently finishing up the last couple of weeks of our homeschooling outside. This means that I am not around the computer much. Also once school is done, I have much cleaning and sewing to do before we start up again two weeks later.

The plan is to take a two week break when school is completed (our last day is now June 8). I have been tackling the laundry piles lately, but much still remains undone. I just can't get everything in, everyday, so I am putting blogging aside and focusing on my duties as wife, mother, and teacher.

I have found being outside everyday for school quite refreshing, but also quite challenging. I have many little ones to watch while I am schooling and the trucks that go by make quite a bit of noise. But all in all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors and plan to continue schooling that way throughout the summer...at least in the morning. We are planning to do most of our schooling in the morning so we can beat the heat and keep the shade on the deck. Our deck becomes very sunny in the afternoon.

Anyway, there you have it. Busy life...

I am not sure how often I plan on posting throughout the summer. I will have a better idea once we are finally there! But for now...

Blessings to all my dear readers!!!
Heather (O;

Menu Plan Monday Got Moved to Tuesday This Week!!!


Due to the busyness of our weekend, Menu Plan Monday was moved to today!!! Sunday evening a family from church called us up and invited us over for dinner. At their request, I didn't bring anything! They provided all the food!!! YUM!!! We had an enjoyable visit (as did the children) and a delicious meal from the grill!!!

Here is What's For Dinner:

  • Monday: Picnic Dinner at friend's home.
  • Tuesday: Sloppy Joes on rolls, potato salad, veggies.
  • Wednesday: Pizza, salad, breadsticks.
  • Thursday: Breaded chicken sandwiches, raw veggie or salad.
  • Friday: Mexican Mess...enchiladas, tacos, burritos, nachos.
  • Saturday: BBQ beef, rolls, salad or veggies.
  • Sunday: Crockpot baked beans, salad or dessert.
Maybe you are thinking that it is too late to join...Not so!!! Join us over at Laura's blog, if you would like, and you can also visit some other peoples blogs for ideas!

Have a great day!
Blessings!
Heather

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Scripture (and song) in My Heart Today...

"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."
"Cast me not away from thy presense; and take not thy holy spirit from me."
"Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation: and uphold me with thy free spirit."

Psalm 51:10-12


Another Soaked Flour Bread Recipe...Dairy Free!!!

My daughter has food allergies, mainly dairy. If she eats anything with dairy in it without her allergy medicine, she gets very sick...mainly vomiting and diarrhea. If you take a drop of milk and rub it on her skin, she breaks out in hives. Many have asked me if it is just an intolerance to dairy. The answer, NO. I have had to explain to them what her symptoms are and also tell them that she has been to an allergist who confirmed out suspicions. (They did a skin test, she tested positive for allergies to milk--all milk, & milk products--and egg whites.)

Sometimes she can eat a "mystery" food, one that we are unaware of that has dairy in it, and anywhere from 15 minutes to 6 hours later she is throwing up.

A friend of mine gave me a Soaked Flour Bread Recipe WITHOUT Dairy, so I thought that I might share it...

Soaked Floured Bread Recipe...Dairy Free:

Mix:

  • 6 cups freshly milled flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 T lemon juice OR vinegar
Let mixture sit up to 24 hours, overnight works well, covered with plastic wrap or a damp cloth.

Mix:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 T yeast
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Let sit 5-10 minutes. Then mix:
  • 1/3 cup honey or molasses
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 T dough enhancer
Mix honey mixture with yeast mixture and then into fermented flour mixture. Knead 8-10 minutes until blisters form using additional flour sparingly. Try to keep it at about 1 more cup of flour, will need more on humid days.

Bake at 350°F 20-30 minutes until medium dark brown.

Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2007

She is DEFINITELY better!!!! And an Update...

My youngest daughter is feeling much better!!! I am very thankful for all of your prayers and to God's steadfast answer to them!!! Yesterday she began eating better again and she began to have more wet diapers. I have not had to change a yucky diaper since Wednesday, so the diarrhea is gone, too!!! PTL!!!

On a different note...
School has been very busy for us. I am pushing to get finished by June 8...I had to take another day off this week to care of my sick daughter, but since she is better we are again chugging along. The days are getting warmer and we have been having school outside every day!!! We have been having school out on our deck. It is shady in the morning so we are trying to get out there earlier so we can be outside for school the entire time, unfortunately we live on a busy 2 way highway so it can be noisy at times (and stinky when the tractors and feed trucks go by with dead cattle and manure).

I am looking forward to the two weeks or so that we plan to take off. Then, when school starts again, I will probably start out with a 4 day school week, or a 4 days on, 1 day off, and 5 days on type routine. I don't want to get too away from school though, or I will struggle at the "beginning" of the school year. I figure if we never really stop schooling in the summer, that it will be easier for us in the long run.

Well, I'm off again...things have been extremely busy and eventually I hope to post some more inspiring articles, but right now things are just a little too chaotic around here to concentrate.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!!!
Blessings!
Heather

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I think my daughter is on the mend...

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!!!!

Right after I posted yesterday, she started to seem to get a little better. She got up around noon and ate a little plain pasta and kept that down. She stayed awake until about 2:30 p.m. and then laid down to take a little siesta. When she woke up, I gave her a little more plain pasta & a banana and then she was ready to go play outside.

Dinner didn't stay down, but I think she ate the wrong things and maybe too much. She was eating her plain pasta, but was complaining that she wanted chips and turkey bacon. She didn't eat her chip, but did eat a small piece of turkey bacon. Her tummy said, "NO!!!" and then she was done.

This morning she when she woke up she had diarrhea again (so she had to have a bath), but she has eaten and is still walking around. I expect her to probably lay down for a morning nap again and then an afternoon nap. I have a pallet made up for her in the living room floor so she can lay down anytime she likes.

I guess she just has a stomach virus and not rotavirus. I am keeping her diet strict and simple. Hopefully she will continue to feel better. She has lost some weight, but once she is completely better I am sure that she will put it back on. It is just so hard with little ones. I always forget these childhood viruses.

Again, THANKS FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!!
Blessings!
Heather

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Please Pray...

My youngest daughter (almost 2) has been sick. She has a virus with throwing up and diarrhea. She has had this since Sunday. She was able to eat and drink most of Sunday, but since then has been throwing up everything that she takes in (just about). She doesn't seem to be dehydrated. I am thinking that she might have rotavirus...but she has not been anywhere to be exposed to it.

She has been very weak and lethargic. She spent most of the day yesterday sleeping and is doing much the same today. I have been in constant prayer for her since she has been sick. PLEASE PRAY FOR HER!!!

Tearfully & Prayerfully,
Heather

Monday, May 21, 2007

Homemade Italian Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef, turkey, sausage, or combination
  • 3 slices bread, crumbled OR 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp pizza seasoning
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup water (or milk...we have one with dairy allergies)
  • 2 eggs

Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl & mix together with hands. Roll into balls & place on cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with no-stick spray. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

NOTE: If you are using all sausage, use less garlic salt.

Enjoy!!!

Stromboli Recipe

Yes, Amy (Mother of Many), I will share my recipe. (O;
Sorry, no pictures.

Although Stromboli is different around the United States, I will share the recipe that you would find in a Pizza joint where I live. (O;

First you start out with a pizza crust recipe (or your standard homemade bread recipe). It has to be one from fresh...you can buy bread dough in the refrigerated or frozed section of your local grocery store, as well.

(Stromboli Dough): 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

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). Keep adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead the dough into a soft smooth elastic ball. Let rise in your bowl or on a floured surface until double in size (about an hour). To keep the dough from sticking to the bowl either sprinkle flour on it or add a little oil.

When your dough is ready, divide it into three pieces and roll out as you would a pizza crust. Put your "pizza crust" on a greased pizza pan, add toppings* to half of the circle, then mozzerella cheese. Fold over crust & roll edge and seal as you go. My Stromboli is not rolled, it is folded into a half circle. Cut long slashes from center to edge, then brush entire crust with melted butter or margarine and sprinkle with garlic salt (you can also sprinkle with parmesan cheese). Bake in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes.

*Toppings can be anything that you like. We usually make a meat Stromboli with pepperoni, sausage, ham, salami, or Buffalo chicken, etc. You can also add your favorite veggies. But DON'T put any sauce in the Stromboli...this is ONLY toppings and cheese. Also the mozzerella cheese needs to go on the top of the meat, not the bottom!!!

While your Stromboli is cooking you can heat up a jar of spaghetti sauce or make your own. Here is my recipe for making your own:

Sauce Recipe:

  • One 26 oz. can tomato puree
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1 - 1 1/2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic salt
I make my sauce "kid friendly" with no chunks. This sauce is best when it has time to simmer for about an hour. If you are sensitive to spices, you can use 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of each instead. I like mine a little spicy and have had to tone it down for my family...you may need to tone yours down even more than mine!

Serve your freshly baked Stromboli with your dipping sauce and your favorite sides!!!
Enjoy!!!

Heather

Menu Plan Monday


Yes it is here again!!! Join us over at Laura's blog and save time and money!

I will post this week's menu here and also in my sidebar!!!

  • Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs, homemade rolls, steamed broccoli.
  • Tuesday: BBQ chicken on rolls, cauliflower & broccoli salad, chips.
  • Wednesday: Leftovers or Quick & Easy Meal.
  • Thursday: Roast beef, potatoes & carrots, green beans, homemade rolls.
  • Friday: Pizza and/or Stromboli, salad, & bread sticks.
  • Saturday: BBQ beef, rolls, salad or veggies.
  • Sunday: Sub-Sandwiches, chips and salad.
Sorry! No pictures...I can never get my hands on the digital camera!!! (O;

Blessings!
Heather

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Banana Bread or Muffins

In a large mixing bowl, cream together:

  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
Then add:
  • 3 T milk with 1/2 t vinegar to sour (I use soy milk, & vinegar to sour)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t vanilla
Mix together & add to mixture:
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/2 t baking soda
Mix together & add to mixture:
  • 1 3/4 - 2 cups flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1/2 t salt
Mix well. Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves or pour into greased muffin tins. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 40 minutes (or 20 minutes for muffins) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

In large mixing bowl, mix together:

  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar ( I use raw sugar)
  • 3/4 cup oil (canola, vegetable, etc.)
In separate container, mix together dry ingredients:
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t baking soda
Now add dry ingredients to wet ingredients alternating with:
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I use soy milk...dairy allergies, or you can use water)
Once ingredients are mixed, pour into greased muffin tins, then mix together:
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (I use raw sugar)
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup flour
Cut 2-3 T butter or margarine into dry mixture & sprinkle 1/2 t onto each muffin. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Mini muffins will take less time.

This is a very large recipe. For me, it usually makes 24 muffins and one 8-9 inch cake (pan is greased and floured). It could probably be poured into a bread pan as well.

Maintaining the Clean Areas...



Well, so far I have been able to keep my girls' room cleaned. This week I have worked on maintaining their room so that it stays clean. I also organized their bedroom with baskets to make it easier to clean.

Here is what I have in those baskets:

  1. Bags: diaper bags, back packs, purses.
  2. Stuffed animals.
  3. Doll clothes: brushes, hair accessories, doll shoes.
  4. Baby dolls.
  5. Miscellaneous plastic toys.
  6. Bucket for legos.
  7. Bag for plastic animals.
I used an assortment of different containers and laundry baskets, just what I had around the house. It has made cleaning a cinch.

And today I am glad I picked up their room...Why? you ask? Well, we have kittens...four 9-week-old kittens and my DD loves the kittens sooooo much that sometimes she sneaks them up to her room!!!

Now, today I didn't find a kitten, per se...I found evidence that the kitten had been there. Yep! You guessed it! The sweet precious little kitten used the girls' bedroom floor for a litter box...and I got to clean it up! YUCK! Thankfully I am past the stage of getting sick every time I see or smell something that nasty.

So if you have been thinking about trying to maintain your cleaned rooms, don't think twice...JUST DO IT!!! For you may find some yucky surprises if you don't!!! (O;

I am trying to laugh about the story...but it hasn't hit my funny bone yet!
Blessings!
Heather

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Weekly Schedule of Household Duties

A dear sister in Christ wrote this up for me a couple years ago. She is the mother of 10 children and the pastor's wife. It was a blessing to me, I hope it blesses you too!

“To every thing, there is a season; a time to every purpose under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

Monday – Wash clothes. Catch the laundry that accumulated Friday – Sunday—Stains on clothing won’t set, “Sunday clothes” will be cleaned early in the week.

Tuesday – Iron the clothing washed yesterday & make sure all clean, folded clothes are put away from yesterday’s wash. Mend some.

Wednesday – Clean the upstairs bedrooms and schoolroom, being on the lookout for dirty laundry. At least change pillowcases weekly, if not sheets. Vacuum, dust, take down cobwebs, sort clothes drawers if needed—each week do one “special extra”. That could be sort boys drawers, or girls, or parents, or do windows, polish furniture, etc.

*Some time in April & October you’ll need to change over clothes winter/summer.

Thursday – Today you can do up the laundry you found in cleaning the upstairs and what accumulated since Monday’s wash. Aim to fold and put away the laundry you wash too. Now you’re done with laundry for the week and it can be off the mind till next week!!!

Friday – Today is the day for weekly cleaning of the downstairs—common living areas. Take down cobwebs, dust, and vacuum, straighten, wash kitchen floor, clean the bathrooms—it’s a heavier cleaning day “soap and water scrubbing day.” Wash the kitchen floor when the children nap or after they are in bed at night.

Saturday – Time to cook and bake for the Sabbath, finish up on odd jobs, straighten house so presentable for Sunday, Saturday night baths. Lay out church clothes (get a head start for the Sabbath to be more peaceable in the morning).

Sunday – A day of REST! With everything from the week behind you, you can focus on worship & find the home at rest in the afternoon and evening. The home is also prepared for hospitality.

***Do daily “morning work” up first, then focus on that one task for the day! When tomorrow comes, you can think on that day’s work, but for now, just focus on today.

***If school day, do school first, the cleaning jobs in the late afternoon. Laundry can be fit in before or after school depending on what works.

~~~Written by Linda

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Homeschooling Goals for the End of the Year

Grammar: Shurley English

Bible: Read through Genesis & character training from the New Testament

History: Studying the Egyptians, reading aloud.

Science: gardening and experiments in the kitchen, reading aloud.

Reading: fiction for 4th grader, reading aloud for 2nd grader

Spelling: pronunciations, vocabulary, adding -s & -ed, writing sentences using the words for the week, and a test at the end that includes sentences

Art: drawing objects, and patterns

Handwriting: letters, notes to grandparents, practice

Since this blog is like my journal, I thought I would post our goals for the end of the school year. I have a tendency of losing papers (or them getting thrown away) and forgetting things. I have a copy of this on Microsoft Word, but it is easier to just look here for it instead of printing it up every time.

Tapes and CD's Concerning Modesty and Purity in Dress

Beth has asked a good question, "Regarding the purity in dress sermon..from where did it come from?" (her words, not mine).

My friend, whom I spoke of in the previous post "I've Been Tagged," passed along a tape to me on the purity in dress after she shared her convictions with me about dressing modestly. I remembered the speaker's name and did an online search for these sermon tapes. I am not sure that I found the exact one that I listened to, but I did find several tapes concerning this issue by the same ministry.

Here is the link for messages concerning modest dress: Charity Gospel Tape Ministries. I think the one I listened to was Purity in Clothing, but I am quite sure the one I listened to was by Denny Kenaston...this one is by Rick Leibee. Regardless, these messages will bless your heart!

There are now several messages dealing with modesty. As I was searching, I found several other messages concerning church and family as well. I believe that all tapes (and maybe CDs) are free to the public. All you do is request the tape, and they will send it to you free of charge, or you can listen to it via MP3.

Beth, thanks for asking!!!

Blessings!
Heather

Monday, May 14, 2007

I have been TAGGED!!!



8 Random Things About Me:

  1. I have light/medium brown hair, brown eyes and fair skin with yellow undertones. (my hair looks really dark in the picture...I guess it is the shadows of the trees.)
  2. I have worn dresses only since 2001 when a friend of mine shared her convictions about modest dress and gave me a sermon tape on the Purity of Dress. To read more about this, go here.
  3. I was one of 3 children in my family (2 girls and 1 boy).
  4. I have six children (almost 7) and I have no clue sometimes about how to manage a home with so many young ones.
  5. My husband and I met in college on September 16, 1994 and were married on June 15, 1996. I love my husband!
  6. I love to experiment with recipes in the kitchen.
  7. I am an artist. I used to throw pots on the pottery wheel and wouldn't mind to have a pottery wheel of my own someday. I also can paint, draw, weave, and sew.
  8. I am a born-again, Bible- believing Christian. I cannot pinpoint the day of my conversion, I just know that I belong to Christ. Read my testimony here.
I already posted this on Candy's site. However, I was tagged by Mama. If you read this, TAG!!! You're IT!!!!!! Please let me know if you step up to the challenge! I love getting to know my readers. (O;

Blessings!
Heather

Anti-Procrastination Week: How did I really DO???

If you look at my list you will see that I didn't get everything done. I found it impossible to clean my entire house in one week. However, I am not disheartened by it. I am merely motivated to keep the areas that I got cleaned maintained. ;O)

We have a very large home (we rent). It fits our family well, but it can be a challenge to keep clean. We have 5 bedrooms, one that is used for the office; 2 very large bathrooms; 2 living areas, one of which is very large (in my opinion); a medium sized eat-in kitchen (small for our family); and a laundry room that seems small because we also have an upright freezer and a side by side refrigerator in it with the washer and dryer. Yes, my house can get very messy sometimes.

We took a week off of homeschooling to get it cleaned. I could not have gotten it cleaned if I had spent the week homeschooling, as well. So instead of finishing up this year on May 30, we will finish on June 6. That is fine with me because we are schooling year round this time.

Anyway, enough jibber-jabber. WHAT DID I GET DONE????

  1. I completely cleaned and organized the girls' room. I also vacuumed under all the beds and washed all the sheets & comforters.
  2. I completely cleaned and organized the boys' room (with the exception of their dresser drawers). I vacuumed their room and washed all the sheets & comforters.
  3. I completely cleaned and organized the tiny guest room, closet included. I also vacuumed.
  4. I did several loads of laundry, more than I can count...which got folded and put away.
  5. We cleaned and vacuumed our living areas, which are cleaned daily anyway.
  6. I cleaned the kitchen which is also done daily. I didn't thoroughly clean our living areas and kitchen. There was just not enough time. But they get cleaned enough that I didn't stress to much about these areas.
  7. I cleaned the downstairs bathroom. This is another room that gets done regularly.
  8. I didn't get the master bedroom cleaned, but I did get the sheets and comforter washed.
  9. I got almost all of my flowers planted (except for about 8).
  10. I DID NOT PROCRASTINATE!!!!!!
I am elated after a week of cleaning. I am also exhausted, but I am glad I was able to clean my house!!! I didn't think that I could wait until the official end of the school year to clean it. It was becoming overbearing. But I think the most important thing that I have learned is now that it is clean, maintain it...keep it clean.

If you joined me during Anti-Procrastination Week, I would love to know what you got accomplished.

Blessings!
Heather



Menu Plan Monday!!!


It is here again and we HAVE a plan!!! How about you? It takes about 20 minutes to plan what could be a week's worth of worrying. Planning your menu saves time and money. Plan it right and you can add in those leftovers that you didn't eat last week!!!

If you would like to join us this week, pop over to Laura's blog to sign up!!!

To find my menu plan, look in the right sidebar!!! (O;

Have a great day!!!
Heather

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A very QUICK post....

I know that I said that I wasn't going to post this week, but...

I am so thrilled to say that I found my "magic" cure for my round ligament pains....BANANAS!!!

Yes, you heard it here!!!! Bananas. My body must have been low on potassium, because immediately after I began eating 1-2 bananas a day my round ligament pains now only feel like pinches. I have had several days of wonderful sleep. I have slept so well that I wake up at six feeling refreshed. I am still tired throughout the day, due to anemia, but I am not experiencing pain like I was before!

I found out about bananas (or potassium) helping with muscle cramps when talking to my neighbor and I am so glad I did.

I am still struggling with my energy levels, but the pain is gone. I have not used the heating pad since I have been eating my bananas!!!

Blessings!
Heather

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Menu Plan Monday!!!


To view my menu plans, look in the right sidebar!!! Join us at Laura's blog!!!
Blessings!
Heather

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

I just received a phone call from my mother and she had some devastating news. My cousin and his wife were expecting twins, two weeks after me, and she called to tell me that my cousin's wife went into labor and delivered the twins last night. However, at 20 weeks, the twins were too small to survive. Now instead of planning for the expected arrival of twins, they are planning funerals. Please pray for them as they cope with the loss of their baby boys.

Also, my brother and his wife are expecting twins (two weeks after me as well). My sister-in-law's parents are both dying with cancer. This has been a devastating blow for my SIL as she only has known of her mother's cancer for about 2 weeks. And to top it all off, my brother just lost his job...all prayers are greatly coveted right now.

Prayerfully & Tearfully,
Heather

Catching Up...

Update: If you are wondering what I have gotten done, I change the color and cross off each item on my list when it is completed. Every day I am a little step closer to being done.

I am not doing an Emergency Cleaning here, this is a thorough cleaning (like washing laundry & putting away, vacuuming edge to edge when a room has been cleaned--except under the beds in some rooms, organizing toys into baskets, cleaning out and reorganizing closets, dusting, washing all sheets in every room, etc.).


I have company coming over next weekend, so today I am spending the day catching up. I don't know if I will be able to accomplish all that I have listed, but I will continue to work on it throughout the next week. All blogging will be set aside...I will update as I get rooms done, but as for more than that, I will not be around.

Here is my task list so far...

  1. Wash girl's sheets, hang out to dry, make beds.
  2. Clean girl's room & vacuum. Phew!!!
  3. Fold laundry in baskets.
  4. Wash our sheets & guest room sheets, hang out to dry.
  5. Wash our comforter & guest room comforter, hang out to dry.
  6. Make our bed & guest room bed.
  7. Clean my room--ran out of time, just closed door.
  8. Clean guest room & vacuum.
  9. Clean upstairs bathroom--ran out of time, company is using downstairs bathroom.
  10. Scrub bathtub & toilets.
  11. Wash boys' sheets, comforters, hang out to dry.
  12. Make boys' beds.
  13. Clean boys room & vacuum.
  14. Vacuum all rooms when they are done.
  15. Clean living areas (2) daily. S-S-M-T-W-R-F
  16. Clean kitchen.
  17. Mop kitchen floor.
  18. Clean downstairs bathroom.
  19. Clean laundry room--ran out of time, just closed door.
  20. Clean stairwell to office--ran out of time.
  21. Clean office, if time--no time.
  22. Plan menu--Monday.
  23. Get groceries--Saturday (5/5/07).
  24. Finish planting marigolds, petunias, & other flowers--planted all but 8 or so--I had 4 flats of flowers to plant.
  25. Load and Run dishwasher daily. S-S-M-T-W-R-F
  26. Sweep & Mop kitchen again--swept, no time to mop.
All prayers are appreciated as I have not been feeling my best and I tend to stress when I have company coming over.

Blessings!
Heather

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Encouraged, but Discouraged...

I have recently read so many wonderful posts about organizing and cleaning the home, they are encouraging and challenging. I often am motivated to spring to action and get going BUT my body just won't go. I really didn't think that the anemia was affecting me too much, until today. I feel like I ran into a brick wall. I am extremely fatigued, but sometimes that happens when the children and I leave the house like for my midwife appointment or church. Daddy comes along for church, but I usually go to my midwife appointments with the children only.

My brain is going 90 to nothing on all the things that need to be done, and all the ideas that keep pouring into my head, but my body just won't go. And when it does go (my body that is), I am woke up at 3 or 4 in the morning by excruciating round ligament pains....no, these aren't contractions, I'm sure of that. My uterus is relaxed, but the baby's head seems to be pushing on one round ligament or the other (they are on the left side or right side). I often venture downstairs in the dark hunched over to sit or lay down on the couch with a heating pad. Once the heating pad does its job, I eventually fall asleep. Usually after 30 to 45 minutes of constant pain. I probably have these round ligament pains because I have had so many babies.

So for now, I guess a little at a time is better than nothing. My children also are responsible for cleaning up the floors (family and kid's living room). It's amazing how quick they can do it, too. Especially when they want something!!! ;O)

My oldest daughter unloads the dishwasher, and my younger daughters like to fold wash clothes and such. It will be exciting to see them grow up! Four daughters in a row blossoming right before my eyes!!! I am looking forward to teaching them how to sew and cook.

Anyway, enough rambling for now!!! The dishwasher cries out to be loaded and the laundry cries out to be washed, and dinner started!!! ;O)

Blessings!
Heather

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Preggy Update!!!

For those of you who are wondering (thanks Mama for asking)...I am right on target for size. I have gained 20 pounds so far....YIKES!!! And the baby's heartbeat was 140 beats per minute. Can you guess what we are having??? I have NO clue.

I do know that when my midwife was trying to get a heartbeat the baby was wiggling around and kicking so much that you couldn't hear the heartbeat due to the the fact that the baby's kicks were amplified in the doppler.

Although I am anemic, so I need to take my alfalfa tablets, Liquid Chlorophyll by Nature's Way, and take 1 T of Blackstrap Molasses morning and evening. Vitamin C is also important in helping me to absorb the iron in the natural supplements that I need to take. Other things that can help are stinging nettle, barley green powder in juice (I prefer orange juice), and red raspberry leaf tea.

The anemia could explain some of the fatigue that I have been feeling.

Other than that, everything is going great!!! ;OD

I am getting anxious, but I know that things will go fast SO I will just be patient and wait!

Blessings!
Heather

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

I Will Forget This if I don't Post it

I have an appointment with my midwife today (Wednesday) after lunch!!!

Leftovers...How do YOU use them?


Here's the scenario:
You go looking for something in your refrigerator and all you find is "science experiments" that weren't intended to be so. You have so many leftovers in the refrigerator that you really don't want to cook, but nobody wants to eat the leftovers SO you take the time to make something new only to find that you are putting THOSE leftovers in the refrigerator, too!!!

A Solution?
Meal planning can be a task...especially if you "feel" like their is nothing to fix OR you are overwhelmed with leftovers that NOBODY will eat.

If this is YOUR problem...then I may have a solution for you.

Here is what I do. First I look at what I fixed the week before. I don't really like to repeat things every week, but pizza is one thing that is a guaranteed sell at my table. So pizza is repeated almost weekly.

A look back at last week's menu:
Sunday--> Sloppy Joes, baked beans (for church dinner)
Monday-->Sloppy Joes, baked beans, chips, sliced tomatoes and pickles
Tuesday-->Spaghetti & meatballs with marinara sauce, broccoli
Wednesday-->Kentucky Fried chicken (couldn't do the pizza that was planned)
Thursday-->
Breakfast: pancakes, bacon, eggs
Friday-->Cheese, Pepperoni & Hotwing pizza with breadsticks
Saturday-->
Hamburgers & hotdogs on grill, sliced tomatoes, chips & dip, pickles
Sunday-->Roast beef, potatoes, carrots, green beans, homemade rolls

As you can see already, the leftovers that we had from Sunday's menu (the church dinner) got served on Monday. Since there are so many choices at a Fellowship meal, we don't "feel" like we are even eating leftovers.

Tuesday's menu, spaghetti and meatballs, was something from scratch, but the sauce was leftover, therefore I made something "new" out of our leftovers.

Wednesday's meal doesn't really "count," but we ate the leftovers for lunch the next day and they were very much enjoyed!

Thursday, my quick and easy day, ended up being a little more complicated, BUT I was able to serve the leftover bacon and pancakes for breakfast the next day...I made a little French toast to go along with the pancakes and bacon and everybody left the breakfast table completely satisfied.

Friday's meal was completely from scratch, but Saturday was a day that I needed to rest and having the leftover pizza in the refrigerator made an easy lunch for my husband.

Saturday was also a meal that I had to "cook," but since we have been using up our leftovers I have had to cook from time to time. The goal here is not to never have to cook, the goal is to eliminate wasted food.

Sunday's meal--roast beef, potatoes, carrots, green beans, and homemade rolls--was eaten this evening, but NOT in the same form it was originally. Today I sliced up the leftover roast beef into very thin slices, smothered it in BBQ sauce, baked it until it was heated through, and served it on rolls. The leftover potatoes from Sunday's meal were made into potato salad, and the leftover green beans were reheated.

Now these are just a few examples, but I have many more....
Taco meat--use it for a quick and easy chili, a Mexican casserole, taco salad, burritos, enchiladas, a layered bean dip, tamale pie, Mexican pizza, beef and cheese quesadillas, chili con queso, chili mac, or just freeze the meat and use it the next time you have tacos.
Roasted, boiled, or baked potatoes--these can be cut up into a potato salad, used for mashed potatoes, vegetable soup, creamy potato soup, cheesy potato casserole, fried for home fries, used for a hash (like roast beef hash), or cut up and put in a meat pie.
Meatballs--reuse for meatball sandwiches, Swedish meatballs with noodles, a meat pie, minestrone soup, or freeze and use them the next time you have spaghetti and meatballs.
Ham--reuse for ham salad, cube and add to your cheesy potato bake, cut it up small and add to you creamy potato soup, dice up and use on pizza or Stromboli, slice into thin slices and BBQ, add to your baked beans, green beans, or ham and beans, process in food processor and make ham loaf, add it to fried rice, or chop up and add to your eggs.
Meatloaf is great on a sandwich cold the next day for lunch.
Cooked Spaghetti--reuse for chicken noodle soup, baked spaghetti with marinara, spaghetti Alfredo, warm sesame chicken salad, Italian tomatoes with chicken, broccoli & spaghetti, buttered garlic noodles, or deep fry the spaghetti up to make your own Chinese noodles.
Cooked macaroni--reuse for chicken or beef & noodles, macaroni and cheese, macaroni salad, buttered garlic noodles, marinara & noodles, add to veggie soup or tomato soup, cheesy chicken and broccoli bake, beef Stroganoff, Swedish meatballs with noodles, pour Alfredo sauce over these, or serve them plain to your children who like them.

These are just a few ways to reuse leftovers, I am sure I have more and I will post them as I have time.

Blessings!
Heather