Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When Your Heart Is Overwhelmed

Hear my cry, O God;
attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,
when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For thou hast been a shelter for me,
and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever:
I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.
Psalm 61:1-4

The kiddos and I just returned home from the Tuesday night prayer meeting. I feel so blessed to be a part of a church body that prays, teaches only from Scripture, worships and fellowships according to the model given in the Book of Acts. There are waves of uncertainty rocking our heart, our homes and our nation. To know the Truth is to truly be free.

I had such joy on the drive home. But it occurred to me that many people, that many women have no one to pray for them. It ought not to be.

I don't know how this will work. But my thought is to make Tuesday night a Prayer Request Night. Because this is a public blog there needs to be guidelines. These are just first thoughts and are subject to revision. I ask for & value your opinions too. Here is what I'm thinking:

• All prayer requests must be personal (about you or your immediate family). It will be tempting to pray for your Aunt Mabel's, bestfriend's, hairdresser's, dog's vet who broke his leg while skiing. But you can pray for other people. I want to pray for you.

• For privacy, and knowing that the Lord knows the details of your situation, try to make your request as... specifically vague as possible? I know that makes no grammatical sense but stick with me for a minute. An example would be... instead of praying that your teenage son wouldn't answer back and disrespect you, you could ask that your son would walk uprightly and that his speech would glorify God. The purpose being not to bad-mouth or put anyone in a bad light in a public forum but to ask God to work in your heart and the hearts of your family members.

• The prayer requests should be submitted in the comments section so others can pray as led. It will also make giving an update/praise report easy since you could pop back into the same post and add a new comment.

Does this make sense? Is it crazy to try to do an incredibly personal thing via a blog? It's worth a try though, don't you think?

So, consider this our first Tuesday Night prayer. Each week for, let's say one month, I'll post a verse and invite you to share a request. If it works, we'll continue as the Lord leads. If it doesn't work, I'll continue to ask the Lord for wisdom, guidance, and direction.

Deal?

p.s. I've changed the format for comments in order to make it easier to post a comment. No more word verification and no being directed to a different page. The comments section will appear right after the post with a little white box. Just type and go...hope that helps.



Monday, September 29, 2008

In No Particular Order

There were at least 16 people (including us) at dinner the other night.
I, of course, being so discombobulated did not think to bring my camera.

Thankfully Kathy brought hers and emailed me pics today! Yea :)


Yes, that is a lightsaber you see. We are still very Star Wars crazy over here.



Steve and Papa humoring us.

{{{{Hi Papa (me waving)}}}}}
I would wave to Steve but I don't think he's devotee of The "Mash." hee hee

I think everyone else was outside since it was soooo nice that evening.

rrrrriiiiiinnnnnnngggggg

Oh, that's the bell. Recess is over, time for school.

(we don't really have a bell)

(we're not really at a recess either...the kids were super tired and are just getting up and eating breakfast--it almost 11am)

I on the other hand, have cleaned our bathroom, stripped our bed and started the sheets, removed the screen from our bedroom window that had bird poopy on it, washed the screen, washed the window, vacuumed our bedroom and here I am, you know, goofing around some more.

Wow, this is the most random post.

I think I'll eat some breakfast, drink some coffee and try to get my act together.

Toodles


Sunday, September 28, 2008

For You


I saw this in one of my files and thought I'd "pick it" for you.

Have a wonderful day!!


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Love Covers Over A Multitude of Sin

That's what I whispered in Nana's ear. I owe her BIG TIME!

We, collectively, invited friends from church over for dinner.
But since the requested (by David) specialties (Chicken Curry) are cooked by Nana & Papa,they were taking care of the cooking.

Since they were cooking, we planned on eating at their house.

I offered to make pies for dessert since I figured I was getting off easy. You know, no cooking or cleaning for company.

(Buckle your seat belts 'cause I'm changing direction for a minute. I hope you don't suffer from motion sickness.)

I've had a really, really busy week. Plus, I've been going to bed way too late (my own fault-no excuses).

So today was the first day I really felt was a down day for me.

After breakfast I started fooling around with Mishmash.
The sidebars were driving me crazy.
Everything was getting all cluttered and fryin' my brain.

(Hold on, hard right turn.)

We've had some additional expenses recently so I've been trying to pinch our pennies and not spend money on non-essential items.
Which is a good thing right?

So I have some free stuff I downloaded from Two Peas in a Bucket that I thought I would use to make "buttons" on my sidebar. Every time I venture over to Rocks In My Dryer or Life with My 3 Boybarians, I want to clean up my act. And I decided today was going to be the day.

This is what the free label looked like:



Using Photoshop, I simply filled in the middle with things like "Places I Go, People I See" for the links page, etc.

Each one used a different font. It was simple and didn't take a long time.

I finished up around 10:45 am and called The Captain over to ask his opinion.

K: "I don't like it."

Me: "What don't you like about it."

K: "I don't know. I just don't like it."

Sigh.

Honestly, I didn't love them but I thought they were okay especially considering they were free.

I hopped on Two Peas and found the crumpled up note paper thingies you see to the right*.

(Buckled? Holding on? Good, another hard right.)

Our computer is old and tired and incredibly slooooow. So running applications like Photoshop requires patience. Our internet access is getting slower by the day so downloading graphics also requires patience.

But I had my espresso and I was still in my comfy jammies so I was good to go.

I downloaded the new graphics and started playing in Photoshop. I haven't done that in a while. I really enjoy playing in PS. I would have enjoyed it more with a faster computer but I was still having fun.

I got up periodically and did a few things. I chatted with Mamahollioni and Julie C..But for the most part I just sat at the computer all day.

I did get interrupted occasionally with questions like, "What time is everyone coming over tonight?"

"I don't know. 7pm-ish? After David gets done with his bible study."

I wasn't cooking and it wasn't at our house. I wasn't too worried about it.

I was almost done with the sidebars when The Captain informed me he was going upstairs to shower.

"Great! I'll shower after you. I should be ready in plenty of time.
I'm almost done."

A few minutes later, in walks Nana.

N: "Did you make the pies?"

Uh-oh

Me: "What time is it?!"

N: "6 o'clock."

Me: (very lamely) "I forgot. You said you bought that pumpkin pie at Costco. I must have unchecked it from my brain. I'm sorry Nana."

As we're sitting there, in the front room, I hear voices and see shadows on our porch.

Me: (panicky) "Are people here?!"

I hear her say 'Yes' as I'm running out of the front room into the downstairs bathroom.
It's 6 o'clock in the evening, we're having dinner next door and me?

Oh, I am still in my PAJAMAS.

Who could it be? I thought everyone was coming after the study.

Uh-oh.

I forgot to give the new, later time to the other couple because I didn't think they were going to make it. The voice I heard, over my wildly beating heart, while hiding in my downstairs bathroom was the voice of Jim.

Who is Jim you ask?

Just a friend of the family.
And you know, our...uh,

PASTOR.

It's 6 o'clock in the evening, I'm in my jammies, hiding in the bathroom from our pastor.

(We've made enough hard right turns, we're back to the beginning.)

My sweet, precious little Nana answered the door and totally covered for me!

"Oh, we're having dinner next door. Let's go over there! There's nothing going on over here. Lainie just ran upstairs for a minute. She'll be right over."

Oh, thank you Nana! Bless your sweet little gracious heart.

I threw on some clothes, slapped on some make-up and headed next door.

As soon as I came in, I whispered in Nana's ear, "Love covers over a multitude of sin. I owe you big time."

To which she replied, "I've never seen you run so fast!"

By the way, dinner was great.

(Hi Kathy!!! {{{waving}}})

Edited to add: * I have changed the design yet again and the note thingies are no longer here-- in case you were looking

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shofar So Good

Our next feast celebration is coming up. Rosh HaShanah or Feast of Trumpets is the Jewish New Year and the first of the Fall Feasts. I get to wake up the kiddos every morning for ten days with a blast of our "shofar" and this reading:

"Awake, you that are sleepy, and ponder your deeds;
remember your Creator and go to Him for forgiveness.
Don't be like those who miss reality in their hunt after shadows,
and waste your years in seeking after vain things
which can neither profit or deliver.

Look well to your souls and consider your deeds;
let each one of you forsake His evil ways and thoughts,
and return unto the Lord,
so that He may have mercy on you."

From Mishneh Torah by Moses Maimonides
Printed in Celebrating Biblical Feasts by Marth Zimmerman

Rosh Hashanah is a call to wake-up spiritually. The Hebrew 4 Christians site has more information if you're interested and you can hear a real shofar. It's beautiful!

Here the kids are making their shofars. Although after hearing the haunting, timeless sound of a real shofar these were a little bit of a let down. Leisl wants a real one--soon! I better work on the cardio so I can blow it! hee hee














Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.
Eph 5:14


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Books of the Bible

In addition to a variety of verses and passages, this year we are assigned to memorize the books of the Bible.
Since all three kiddos already know the books of the Bible I thought I would reinforce the spelling of books of the Bible.

I picked up some of these plastic letters and they've been able to practice their spelling this way.



I've also had Kurt use these letters to spell out his spelling words this week.

Guess what?

He got 100%!

He missed two words on his first try of Lesson 1's list and one word on his first try of Lesson 2's list.

This week he got Lesson 3's words the first time out.
He was very excited :)
He gave himself a check mark, smiley face, star and wrote 100 % on his little white board.

Too cute!


Do you have one of these at home?



There is a certain someone in our house that can never finish
his (hint, hint) drink.

There is always a minuscule amount of fluid in a glass/cup in the 'frig.


It really doesn't matter how much I pour out.
There always seem to enough left over to save for later
i.e. pour down the sink.


Just wondering if anyone else had one of these at home...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Rubik's Cube and Faith

The year:1980
The fashion: long, skinny scarves
The fad: Rubik's Cube

Fast-forward to last week. My children were/are completely enamored of the Rubik's Cube.
So much so that Briggita wanted one for her birthday last week.
Thankfully, she received two.

I haven't had to do the whole, "Everybody take turns" drill in years! Now, since we have two, everyone has ample opportunity to fry their brain cells (including Mom, Dad and yes, Nana too).

But before we owned our own, there were a few kids at church that had them and our children were able to try puzzle solving.

Our resident smarty-pants Leisl was gleaming with joy as she turned the Cube towards me and said, "Look how close I am!"

It looked like this:

She had two squares left on one side and she was very excited.

Now, keep in mind, she knows me and was not at all offended or bothered by what I said.

I looked at it and said, "No you're not. Not even close babe."

Unfortunately, the other people standing around don't know me that well and, from the gasps, think I'm a bit hard of heart.

But later I explained to Leisl a little secret of the Rubik's Cube.

The center doesn't change. Only the outsides can be rotated.

I told her that she could have worked on that puzzle for the rest of her natural life and still not gotten that side to be all white because the center was red. It was the "red" side.

As I was drawing this out on the white board, it hit me.

That center square is like our heart. The other squares are the external attitudes, attributes and accomplishments that other people see. We can work for our whole natural life on getting the outer squares in order and still completely miss the mark. Every part can be in place but if our center is wrong our "puzzle" will never be complete.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you:
and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh,
and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

In this passage, Ezekiel reveals God's desire for the children of Israel, as well as the Christian believer that is grafted into the family of God. God's desire is that we have a new spirit, specifically His Holy Spirit, and a new heart, His heart, to replace our hard, sinful heart.

Once our heart, the center is correct, God goes about His business of perfecting the outer squares of our lives practically so that they match the perfection of our heart positionally.

Once we have Romans 10:9'd it, God sees us as perfect and holy. Our center square is "right."
The remainder of our walk with the Lord is us being perfected in a practical way so that our outer matches our inner man (woman).

Why?

1 Peter 1:15-16 tells us,
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

Light has no fellowship with darkness, holiness can have no fellowship with impurity, and God, Jesus the Christ, who is Light and who is Holy, desires to have fellowship with us, an unholy, sinful people. He cannot be anything other than what He is so He transforms us to be like Him.

My journey with the Lord is not yet finished but I have learned that when I am operating with the right "center" square-cooperating with the work of the Lord and abiding in Him, everything falls into place. Even though things may feel a bit mixed-up, my heart has peace and joy.

The bible says,

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2

In other words,
be encouraged saints of God,

one day soon, our puzzle will be complete.



Sunday, September 21, 2008

One more thing...

Okay, I promise this is the last post on Noah.

Tonight after church, Julie C, Kathy and I were chatting. Kathy and I were telling Julie that I was able to walk Kathy through our measurements of Noah's Ark when she came over last night.

I was telling them how the kids weren't real excited about the activity before we did it.
You know, Noah-been there, done that.

Well, after we measured it out the kids were amazed that he did it in only 120 years.
No Home Depot to cut the wood, no power tools, and no help for many years (until his sons were old enough to help).

Kathy says, "Well yeah all that but what about the fact that he was just OLD!"

I said, "Ah, he wasn't old! You know 900 is the new 650."

Hahaha hee hee hee hee hahaha*snort* (oops sorry) hee hee hee

I'm probably the only one that thinks that is funny.
But I cracked myself up.

(I'm easily amused remember)




Week 2: Highlights

This week, besides the core subjects, we studied the creation of Adam and Eve, The Fall, and Cain and Abel. Here are notebooking samples and an update of our timeline.

Our 2nd grader:



3rd grader:



She's so cute! She wrote "cheribun" instead of "cherubim."


And 6th grader:




Finally, the timeline:



More on Noah

On Friday we measured out Noah's Ark.

Before we did that, we read about the purpose of the ark in The Victor Journey through the Bible. To quote, "The ark had one purpose-a floating refuge for Noah, his family, and the animals during the months of the Flood. It had no sails, no oars, and no other way to power it. It had no way for Noah or his family to navigate it toward any certain place. All movement was in the hands of God.

Noah and his family within the ark are excellent examples of people totally committed to God's direction. Once in the ark, they depended completely on God to take them wherever He chose, for as long as He chose, and as fast as He chose."

The Lord quietly convicted my heart that I am not always content to trust the direction He leads my life. Measuring the ark showed me just how huge, how vast the ark was and that as He was the only one capable of closing the door, He is the one only capable of navigating it safely.

I don't know what floods are in my future but I do know that I can trust that I am sealed in the safety and refuge of Jesus and He will lead me to the places I am supposed to go. I can also trust that I will land on the mountaintop of His promise, into His very presence.



Saturday, September 20, 2008

Going Frugal!


I'm relatively new to the Blogosphere.
I regularly read a few blogs and I occasionally visit a few more.
I've noticed that a lot of Christian, home school, mommy blogs are also Frugal Blogger blogs.

I'm not naturally frugal.

My mother is not naturally frugal.

But we don't like to waste things either. It's very strange.

Anyway, this is a very long introduction merely to say I've done something rather extreme for me, frugally speaking.

Last Saturday, I whipped up a batch of homemade laundry detergent.

I didn't say anything then because I wanted to use it first and see how I liked it.

I'm sold.

With so many of us having allergies and the price of detergent getting crazy in my opinion, I went for it. I love it!

Our clothes (The Captain especially noticed it on our sheets) feel really, really clean. There's no coating on them. They smell nice and fresh without being overly perfumed.

I found the recipe on this site and here is the step-by-step how to.

Take a bar of Zote soap (*** 6/09 I just tried Fels Naptha-- love the smell... but I didn't think it cleaned as well as the Zote)


(which I found in the laundry aisle at Target for, get this, $.97).

Grate 1/3 of a bar per batch of detergent.




Put it into a pot with approx. 3 pints of water and heat it on very low heat until it dissolves.

This is what it looks like at first-


And here it is after it dissolves (approx. 10 mins)-

I LOVE that it's pink!

While you're heating it up, measure out 1/2 C of Borax (available everywhere-I picked mine up at Target for $2.59 per 55 oz box).


and 1/2 C of Washing Soda-not Baking Soda (found at Fred Meyer for $3.19 per 55 oz box).


Mix these dry ingredients together well to make a nice texture later.

Make sure you break-up the Borax which has a tendency to clump.

Add those two ingredients to the dissolved Zote soap (or Fels Naptha) and stir until it thickens (just a few minutes).


Remove from heat.

Put 1 quart of hot tap water into a bucket, add soap mixture and mix stir.

Fill the bucket up until there is about 2 gallons total. Stir again.

Then let it sit for 24 hours.

It will be a fun, funky goop.

Since I have a bad shoulder and avoid lifting and pouring as much as possible, I transferred goop to plastic, lidded, shoe bins.

I use a 1/2 C scoop to measure it into the washer.


Most people use a funnel and pour into an empty detergent bottle to reuse it.

The scoop has worked out great and my shoulder is very happy.

I also added 20 drops of Tangerine essential oil that I found on sale at Whole Foods.
Essential oils can be very expensive but because you use so little they last a very long time.
This step is totally optional.

I haven't finished an entire batch yet but I am keeping track of how many loads I get out of one.
From what I've heard, you can get around 34 loads of laundry from one batch.

**edited to add: we washed 80 loads with this first batch**

I don't know if you've been doing the math on this but according to my calculations one batch of detergent is costing us $.71 not including the essential oil*, water and electricity to heat the water.

$.71 per batch or $.02 a load! **edited to add: it ends up at less than $.01 per load**

Double check me on this.
1/3 of a $.97 Zote bar = $.32 per batch
1/2 C of Borax ($2.59/76 oz box)=$.14 per batch
1/2 C of Washing Soda ($3.19/55 oz box)= $.25 per batch

I come up with $.71 and a half an hour of time to make detergent for approximately 34 loads of laundry.

Because of preference, I used to buy All detergent (the small and mighty kind because of Mr. Shoulder Problem) for $3.99 on sale. $4.something not on sale. One bottle would wash 28-32 loads of laundry. Let's say it's 32 loads and I get the detergent always on sale.

I am going to assume we wash 32 loads per month for one year. That's one bottle of detergent a month or $47.88 per year.

Since I'm not going to make a partial batch of detergent, I am going to compare the above to making 12 batches of detergent for the year at $.71/batch or $8.52/year.

That is a savings of $39.36 over the year, minimally.

Like I said, I'm sold.

[edited to add: I forgot to mention, the formula is virtually no suds so it's perfect for "he" machines.]

I'm also collecting "recipes" for home made cleaning solutions.
I think I'm going to dig this Frugal thing.

*The oil was on sale for $7.99 for a 5 ml bottle. I used twenty drops and I can't even tell since the bottle still looks full. I'll try to measure it out. Maybe 20 drops is 1/16 to 1/8 of a teaspoon (5ml is one teaspoon).
That would be $.50 to $1.00 added to the cost per batch.

I'm still saving!

**I no longer add oil to detergent. Our clothes just smell really clean and not perfume-y Occasionally, I'll add some diluted essential oil to the rinse cup as a final rinse**


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