Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Child Training Tuesdays- Chore Edition- GIve me your ideas

Hey all. I have a busy day today, but today I want to hear about other households, and chores. What kind of chores do your kids do, and how do you handle payments, or do you pay? If you do pay, how do you help them manage their money, or do you just let them spend at will?

If you have a good system, that works for your family....please share it with me. We are in the process of reevaluating our chore/payment system. I would also love to know what you do to keep your kids motivated to do the chores that you have for them!

Blog about this for me...and come back to leave me your link! If you don't want to blog about it, leave me a comment. We need your help, so help us to be encouraged as we work to develop the best chore/payment system that we can for our kids! Thanks all, and God Bless!

Monday, June 29, 2009

4th of July Picture!

I said in my Friend Makin' Monday post that I would put up some of my favorite pictures of 4th of July's. This one is a family classic, of my son (the cool blond on the right) and my nephew, hanging out waiting for the fireworks to start!!
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Friend Makin' Monday- Fourth of July!

Hi all! It's time for a friend making Monday! The theme today is 4th of July! Oooh fun, I thought. I love the 4th of July for many different reasons. First of all, I love our country, and so I really love celebrating it. I also love fireworks, and food, which is the annual crux of Independence Day celebrations for us. Then there are the memories associated with the 4th. The many childhood memories, and the memory of the first full day/date that my hubby and I spent together. It just happened to be the 4th of July! So, needless to say, it's my favorite summer holiday. I also love patriotic music.....The Anthem, Battle Hymn, God Bless America etc... so many of our countries songs are such a great reminder of how God was at the forefront of the minds of the founders of our country (sorry for the runon sentence there). All I can say is God Bless America..land that I love!!! Now here are the questions that are given to answer.....

What are you doing this July 4th?

Well, we don't have any definitive plans yet, but we will definitely hang out with family, eat, and go to the fireworks nearby!! We live the simple life!

What is your favorite dish to pass when attending a 4th of July party or summer barbecue?

My hubby makes awesome grilled chicken, and I personally cannot have a cookout without potato salad, and brownies!

Do you have any July 4th traditions?

That was covered in the previous question. Our traditions include listening to patriotic music as loudly as possible, eating good food, spending time with family, and we always have to go to the fireworks no matter how late the kids stay up!!

Share your favorite July 4th picture.

I will look for my favorite 4th pics, and put them into a seperate post later!!

Finally, here is a fun quiz to test your 4th of July knowlege. Bring your kids around and see how many of them you all can get right. Tell me all about how you all did.

1. How many stars are on the American Flag?
2. What do they stand for?
3. How many stripes are on the flag?
4. What do they stand for?
5. How many stripes are red?
6. The first stripe is which color?
7. Who sewed the American flag?

This quiz was from Shawn, who is hosting Friend Making Monday this week. Hop on over to her place, and join in, and again, God Bless America!

At The Well- Mean Girls

The topic for today, At the Well, is mean girls...be sure to check out the post, and participate!

I remember the mean girls. I grew up with many of them. I don't believe that I, myself was ever a mean girl, but I know there were times when I would say a mean thing. However, growing up in the public school, and in a Christian home, I was many times the victim of mean girls. I was criticized, taunted, and made fun of by many a mean girl ( and boy). I was the goody tooshoos girl that nobody liked. I was the girl that would play with the special ed kids that all the other girls would make fun of, because I liked them better then the mean girls. I wasn't allowed to do the things that the other girls were allowed to do, and that made me very different. The mean girls don't like different.
Now, I'm not trying to pat myself on the back here for not having been one of those mean girls, because for me, it was only by the grace of God that I was raised differently. I had much potential to be a mean girl, based on my personality. And, as I said, I said my share of mean things about people in Junior High and High School myself....things I regret, and have since repented of.
One question that was raised is how do we keep our daughters from becoming the mean girls. Being a mean girl today seems to be even more involved than the mean girls that I remember. Today, the torment through internet, and cell phones, to the point where a young girl loses so much self respect that she will commit suicide! I've heard that even sometimes the "mean girl" mothers get involved, having never gotten over their own mean girl status!
I have three daughters myself, and they all have potential to become one of those awful mean girls, but my line of defense is the Word of God, and modeling a gentle spirit. I feel that the best way to deal with outword actions is to deal with inward attitudes. If my little girls accept Christ and have the Holy Spirit within them, then that is a wonderful first line of defense, but more needs to be done. They need to learn about the humility and caring, and serving that God calls them to. They can learn that best from their mothers. If we fail to teach our daughters the qualities that God wants them to possess, they may never learn it. They may feel a conviction about their attitude, but never really know how they can replace those attitudes with what is good and right. I also feel that when they are little, we mothers need to not allow them to be mean to others, simply believing that that is natural, and they will grow out of it. Girls have a tendency toward meanness, even with their siblings. Let's show them from early on that being mean is not part of what God wants for their lives. Let's teach them the second most important command that God gives us.....love our neighbors as ourselves. If we raise them to be concerned about serving others, and not thinking about themselves, then they will learn to not be mean. If we teach them about 1Corinthians 13, how love is patient, kind, slow to anger, forgiving....they will learn not to be mean.
Of course, there will always be times when we as women will exhibit meanness, if not in person, then in our thoughts. But, we can work on taking those thoughts captive before they overtake us. Our daughters are the next generation of Titus 2 women, and if we are not purposeful, and proactive in teaching them to love, serve, and speak with kindness, then we may find them choosing to be one of those awful mean girls that we all grew up with, or worse yet....a mean girl adult, who has something negative to say about every other women in the church.

I have always said to my children, that meanness comes from selfishness, and pride when we don't consider others above ourselves as we should. This is also true of adults. When women have nothing to do but criticize others, even in the church, it comes from their own desires to lift themselves up, and make themselves better than others (I know this, because that is where I am coming from when I criticize others). We adult women can also avoid being mean girl busy bodies, if we too seek to think only of others, and how we can serve. If we are busy serving and loving, we will have no need, no place, and no time for meanness! It's a difficult lesson to learn, but it is one that we desperately need in this time where it is so important that we Christian women reach out to this dark world. If I was an unbeliever, I would not be at all interested in a Christ who's women remind me of those mean girls that I grew up with!

These are my thoughts on mean girls, little and grown. I would love to hear the thoughts of others, and don't forget to go to At the Well, to read more about this.

1Corinthians 13 4-8 Love suffers long, and is kind, love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek it's own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things!

If you are reading this and wondering how you can have the same kind of relationship with God that can change your heart, and can help you to not be a mean girl, then let me know, and I would love to discuss this with you.
God Bless

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Photo Contest to win National Geographic for a year!

This is one of my favorite, Fall in the Midwest pictures. It captures the colors right at their peak, before all the green is completely gone. I also like the way the dark clouds are rolling in. Makes me chilly, just looking at it.

This is our son Owen and the baby hognose snake that he caught a few years back!

Here are the two pictures that I am entering for a neat photography contest that can win you a years subscription to National Geographic, and some Energizer batteries. Check out how you can enter this contest here. I'm not sure if I can enter both pictures, but I saw that a couple of other people did, so I thought I'd give it a shot!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Favorite Family Pictures of the Week

It was a tough choice this week, about which picture I took that was my favorite. I decided to go with two of them. I like the top picture of my oldest at the park. It kind of reminds me of a senior picture. I also realize that I usually choose pics of the little ones, because they are always doing cute things, but I thought this was a nice pic, of him, and I wanted him to be included. Then, I had to include this pic of Audrey and her cousin Rachel. It's not the most professional looking picture or anything, but it really captures these two girls and their personalities!! They are the same age, and they are really good friends (when they are not bossing each other around that is!).

Cap and Trade- Our senators need to hear our voices on this!

Good morning all. I just wanted eveyone to read this. This is important stuff, and if you haven't yet contacted your senator about this, please do. Thanks Jessica for being so diligent in informing other's about what is going on in this country. Check it out here, and then take some time to call your senators. It's important we all be educated, and be active! Check it out here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Loving Your Husband Friday- My Hero

Hi all! I'm loving my husband this morning. Of course I do every morning, but this morning I'm feeling very grateful for His coming to my rescue! I have been having a nasty flare up of my Psoriasis in the last few weeks. I finally got to the point where I can't take it anymore, and I decided to call my dermatologist. and get an appointment so he can prescribe me some of the nasty steroid cream that will help clear this up. Well, I called, and the receptionist promptly told me that there is nothing available until December 2nd!!! What!!?? I couldn't believe that, and I was frustrated at the idea of having to wait that long to do something about this. But, I took the appointment and figured I would talk to my family doc, and see if there was anything he could give me to tide me over. .....for 6 months!! I was feeling quite irritated with this as I know my dermotologists office does a lot of botox and plastic surgery, that kind of thing. I couldn't believe that they would not get me in to see the doc, while all these botox women were getting their appointments.
When I got off the phone, and told Rob, he was upset, and promptly got on the phone with the office, and in a calm manner, managed to get me an appointment for this coming Tuesday!! My hero!!! I felt very loved, for him to care enough to make a stink, and make sure that I was seen, as he knew how badly this flare up has been affecting me (very itchy,and burns). He's my knight in shining armor, and I just wanted to take this day to brag about him a little. He stood up for me, when I didn't have the courage! Now, just so everyone knows two things. He was not beligerant with the lady at all, just insistent. Also, it turns out they do have a seperate appointment list for medical issues, and botox/plastic surgery issues. I was glad to hear that!!

Join Shannon for more Loving Your Husband Fridays!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Philippians 4:8 Challenge

Check out my post today on whatever is lovely at my homeschool blog, Living Learning and Organizing at Sinai. I would love to have you stop by and share your thoughts with me. Have a Great evening!

Universal Healthcare

Happy Thursday everyone. I wanted everyone to take a minute to read this article on a blog that I follow called MAinfo. Read the article here about President Obama and his admission that he wouldn't want his family to be limited in their healthcare, in the way that he is proposing the rest of America be. Just some food for thought. We really need to be in the know about such things, and not just let our government railroad us! I am personally against universal healthcare, and I won't be offended if you are not, I would only ask that you might read this, and consider....Look into it, and make an informed decision. If you find that you agree with me on this issue, than let's be active in letting those in power know that America does not want this! God's blessings on all of you today!

Slow Cooker Thursday- Hungarian Goulash

I really had to get in on this one. I love cooking with my crockpots. I have three of them, and a pressure cooker, and a roaster. There is nothing better then being able to throw something together in the morning, and not having to worry about the rush at supper time. Here is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes:

Hungarian Goulash

1 ½-2 lbs of stew meat

1 clove of minced garlic

2 TBS flour

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 TBS paprika

¼ tsp. dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 can tomatoes

1 c. sour cream

Place stew meat and garlic in the crock pot. Stir in flour and mix to coat. Add all remaining ingredients except sour cream. Stir well, cover and cook on low for 7 to 10 hours on low or on high for 5-6 hours. Add sour cream about 30 min. before serving and stir in thouroughly. Serve with wide egg noodles, and biscuits and honey and butter.

This is good stuff, and I've been eating it for about as long as I can remember. My mom made it frequently. It is typically more of a fall, winter dish, but it can be enjoyed all year long! This feeds my family of 9, although we typically don't have leftovers like we used to! If you decide to try this, come back and let me know what your family thought of it!

Go here to see more of slow cooker Thursday.... Happy Slow Cooking!

Thousand Words Thursday

A good nap in the middle of all the chaos!!

Visit Cheaper Than Therapy for more Thousand Words Thursday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Philippians 4:8 Challenge- Purity

Head on over to my homeschool blog today for the Philippians 4:8 Challenge, and leave me your thoughts on purity. You can find it here: http://wwwlivelearnorganize.blogspot.com/2009/06/philippians-48-challenge-wednesday.html. Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

An oldie but goodie!

In His Word Wednesday-

II Corinthians 4:8-18 We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body of the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke," we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you.
For all things are for your sakes that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, Even though your outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction , which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Lord, let me always remember that every occurence on this Earth is only temporary, and that you can see deep into my heart, which will carry on for eternity. Let me be mindful of your eternity every day, and be willing to die for you in every sense. Allow me to be renewed by you and not lose heart. Thank you for doing a work in me that will live on forever and ever. Come Lord Jesus...but until you do....use me in mighty ways!

Join Megan for more In His Word Wednesday today!

Child Training Tuesdays- Toddler Edition

I'm looking for mommy's of toddlers today. I personally have had several toddlers. Lily is my 7th toddler. I say 7th, because as most of you know, she is not our 7th child, but we had a foster daughter for 18 months, and she was a toddler. Next year we will be dealing with our 8th toddler. As you all know, toddlers are challenging. If for no other reason then they want to touch and play with everything!! If you have ever had a toddler, you know what I'm talking about! So, how do we train our toddlers, without breaking their spirits?

I have some thoughts that I will share, but I would love to hear what you all think about training toddlers as well. We practice training with our toddlers. We have training sessions in which, the toddler is set up in a room with something that they shouldn't be touching. We know that they are going to touch it (the tv for example), and we are right there, ready to take the time to train. So, I'm sitting there, and Lily (for example) goes for the tv (for the millioneth time). What we will do, is tell her no (to start off with), and when she goes to touch it anyways, we take her little hand, and just give it a quick little thump, along with the word no. There are no angry words or tones here, no slapping, no yelling, just a quick light thump on the hand. The toddler doesn't really get at first what happened, so she will go ahead and touch again. Again, the thump to the hand. She's realizing slowly that there is something about this word no, that makes it uncomfortable for her to touch the tv. It depends on the stubbornness of the child, but she will get the picture after awhile, and learn not to touch the tv. She is also learning that when she is told the word no, it means that if she goes ahead and does it, there will be a consequence.

Now, two things to keep in mind here. Again, this is a calm, and even cheerful process, if it's done right. Secondly, even very young children need to learn to associate the word no, with physical consequences. As they grow, they will learn that the world comes with physical consequences for not obeying the rules. Some of these consequences are very painful. I don't want my children to have to learn this the hard way. This is one reason why I believe so much in the biblical mandate of spanking. Now, I also believe that there is a wrong and a right way to go about it. But, we are not talking about spanking on these small ones. This is training. You do not want your toddler to grow to think that they can get away with doing what they want. The world will not be so kind to them. You want them to learn boundaries from a young and impressionable age. If they learn the boundaries young, then you can do away with much need for discipline as they get older. Although we believe in spanking, our 11, and 9, and 8 year old children rarely ever have need of one. They were taught when they were very little that there are boundaries and physical consequences. Does this mean they are perfect and never need any form of discipline....no. No training will produce a perfect child, but it will help them learn much more self control, and respect for the rules, than a child who has never been so trained.
These training sessions that I am talking about are about being proactive, not reactive. We as mothers are much more likely to loose our cool with a toddler that we have not trained, because they can often seem very out of control, and it tries our patience. It is much easier to be calm, and give them controlled training sessions when they are small, then to wait until they are a tad older, and you end up snapping at them all the time, because they are continually doing things that they shouldn't. No toddler will be perfect no matter how much training, but believe me, it helps! I know this is true, because we had a foster daughter that we could not do this kind of training with (no physical discipline at all was allowed), and it was often more difficult to handle those toddler issues, when all we could do was seperate her from the situation. I have seen how seperation teaches our children only that they cannot do this thing for a brief amount of time, but they can do it later, once they are back to business. They cannot make the connection. I use seperation (time out) with older children, when I can come in and we can discuss what they did, and why it was not right, and work things out that way. But, for little ones, I haven't found time outs to be at all successful in teaching those children anything.

Most important, is to love, laugh, enjoy your toddler. They need lots of love and attention, and you need to work to keep them safe, but for us, part of keeping them safe in this world, is to effectively train them in boundaries. They need it, and mama's...so do we!

If you have any further thoughts on training toddlers, I would love to hear them. I actually have further thoughts, but I've got myself a toddler, who needs my attention right now, so I will continue this perhaps next week. Please share your thoughts today, either on your blog, and let me know, or here in the comments! Enjoy your toddlers today!!

Today's Challenge- Whatever is Just

Come to my homeschool blog today, to check out the Philippians 4:8 challenge for the day, whatever is just.... I'm hoping to get some thoughts from others! Have a great day. Check it out here: http://wwwlivelearnorganize.blogspot.com/2009/06/philippians-48-challenge-tuesday.html.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Philippians 4:8 challenge Monday- check it out!

I'm talking about whatever is noble... on my homeschool blog today. I hope you will join me in this Philippians 4:8 challenge. Click on the Philippians 4:8 Challenge banner here on the sidebar, if you missed it before, and you want to know more about it. Thanks, and have a great day! Click here to go directly to today's post.

I Hear Faces-Adults-Let's hear it for the Boys

I've always wished that Rob wasn't wearing his sunglasses in this picture, but I love the look on Elias' face. They all love sitting up on his shoulders!! He's big strong daddy!

Check out I Heart Faces for more manly pics!

I Heart Faces- Kids- Let's Hear it for the boys

The theme for this week is Let's hear it for the boys! This one was easy for me, as I have 4 boys, and tons of pictures that have my boys in them! I noticed as I was looking at other entries that most of the pictures are action shots. Well, I could have gone that route....but this is my all time favorite picture of my three oldest boys together! This was taken to be a gift for my uncle who was on his death bed with cancer. We took the picture, framed it, and had it sit next to his hospital bed, shortly before he died. I have always loved this picture. I did realize, though, that I don' t have a good picture of all my boys together (this picture was several years before Elias was born)....every pic I have of all four of them, has at least one girl in it too. So, I'll be working on that. Plus, on my Ethan's birthday (he's the little blond), this picture really captures his love for his older brothers!!
Go to I Heart Faces for more celebration of boys!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Philippians 4:8 Challenge

I just wanted to tell everyone that I am starting something new, starting tomorrow on my homeschool blog. It is a daily challenge based on the verse Philippians 4:8. I hope that you will all hop over and join me on whatever days you feel led to. You can click on the Philippians 4:8 Challenge banner on the sidebar here to find a description of the challenge. You don't have to follow my homeschool blog to be involved! I hope to see you there, starting tomorrow. Prepare to be challenged and refreshed with what God wants us to be using our time and mental energies on.

Saturday Steps of Faith

Deuteronomy 7:9 Therefore know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;

Are you believing God's promises today? Do you believe that He is faithful? I believe today that if I love the Lord and keep His commandments, that He will be faithful to me.

When my mom passed away suddenly last year, He was still being faithful to me! When our foster daughter left us after we were in the process of adopting her.....He was still faithful.

Now, when my dad is suffering through cancer treatments and we don't know how long he will be with us.....God is still my faithful God. He never leaves us or forsakes us...He is faithful for a thousand generations (that's a lot of generations). If you love Him, He is faithful. Believe this with me today, as I have seen it in my own life, and in the lives of others close to me.

Join Lisa here at Passionate Pursuit, for more of God's promises today.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Loving Your Husband Friday

Yesterday I spent almost the entire day alone with my husband. That was the first time we had been alone together like that in many months. It was such a nice day. It was strange though. We quickly realized, that we barely knew what to talk about. It is hard to reconnect sometimes when you go for a long time just being mom and dad, and not cultivating the husband and wife relationship. It made us realize how important it is that we take steps to cultivate our relationship more, even if we can't find time to be alone. Our relationship has to come first, not just for us, but for our kids. It's easy to forget this in the busyness of life and raising kids. I'm fortunate that I have a husband that is concerned about this, and wants to take steps to make sure that our relationship stays strong. I am truly blessed!!
I hope that you all out there will do the same. Take the time to do things that will cultivate your relationship with your husband....find ways to maintain your friendship, and your intimacy. Read a good marriage book (together)...or look up scripture together about marriage, to remew your marital vision. Someday the kids will be gone, and you will have to remember how to relate to each other! I'm hoping those will be good years together, instead of years in which we are just going our seperate ways....as I sometimes see with retired couples. I hope that we are still friends who enjoy each other's company. I believe that in order for that to happen, we have to work on it now! Remember, love is a choice that we make, and it takes hard work to keep that love strong and growing.
For more Loving Your Husband Fridays.....join Shannon by clicking the banner above!

Thousand Word Thursday

This picture is of my son Riley at Christmas time. I think it speaks for itself. Visit Cheaper Than Therapy for more Thousand Word Thursday.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I haven't had a little one yet that isn't fascinated with the water fountain, and who hasn't almost drowned themselves with one!

See Kai Run Shoe Giveaway!

Hey everyone, Megan has another great giveaway going on, and you could win a brand new pair of shoes for one of your little ones from a company called See Kai Run. Check it out if you have kids who could use FREE shoes that are comfy too!

In His Word Wednesday- Kindness

Ephesians 4:29 -32 Let no corrupt word proceed from out of your mouth, but what is good for neccessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Just recently I got myself involved in commenting on someones blog in which the women involved were cursing, swearing, and trying to tear each other to bits over what the woman said on her blog. It was a debate over what's harder, working at home, working outside the home, or just being a stay at home mom like myself. Admittedly, my first reaction was to be upset, and want to calmly put some of these ladies in their place. However, these verses came to my mind. Now, these verses are written for believers, as unbelievers do not have the Holy Spirit within them. So, although I can't hold an ubelieving woman under the same standard as myself...for me it is essential that I choose my words and my attitudes in kindness. I carefully, and kindly presented my opinion. This is often easier said than done, with our children, our husbands, our friends, and other mothers that we connect with through our blogs. It also includes what we post on our blogs, or what we say when we meet with other women. Do we speak with bitterness when we talk to our mommy friends about our husbands? Do we have wrath towards our children when we talk about them? It is my conviction this morning that I want to put all these things away from me. I would like you ladies to hold me accountable for my blog, or if you know me personally, for the things that I speak to others about. I want to be one who speaks in kindness about all things, and to all people, and put any other attitudes away from myself. If you see something that I post, or a comment that I make that doesn't sound kind, let me know. If you ever hear me degrade my husband or my children, or speak unkindly about anyone, let me know. I want to be kind, so that I don't offend the Holy Spirit within me. Thanks for listening to my heart this morning, and head on over to Focusing on the Bible, Family, and the Great Deals for more In His Word Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Great Giveaway!! I Spy Books

I came across a new great giveaway that I had to get in on. My kids would love the I Spy Books. That's right up their alley. Check it out if you think your kids would benefit from them! Click here to check it out. This is a great site too!

More Pro-Life News

I'm not sure if you can access this link, if you are not on Facebook, but if you are please check this out, it describes the Freedom of Choice Act, and a bill that was passed by the House, and is on it's way to the Senate, that will promote abortion overseas. Hillary Clinton says that this should be a goal of our country. If you are concerned about pro-life issues, or just want to know more, read about this group, and scroll down to where you can send a quick email to your senator to oppose this bill, and the Freedom of Choice Act. It's so important that we have a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Also, if you are unsure about how our president views abortion, because you have heard different things, please read here, the statements that he made during his campaign, from his own website.
You will often see me discuss pro-life issues on my blog, because the issue is dear to my heart, and I want people to be educated about what is happening in our country. However, if you have a differing opinion, and would like to discuss it in a calm and nonoffensive manner, then feel free to comment, or send me an email. I will be happy to discuss with anyone why I believe so strongly the way that I do about the lives of the unborn. Thanks and God Bless!

Great Giveaway

Hi all! Rich Gifts is doing a blog makeover giveaway, and I'm personally excited about it. If you are looking to spruce up your blog a bit, head on over and check it out. It ends of Friday! Click here to read more about how you can enter!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Child Training Tuesday- Listen In

It's Tuesday again, and time for Child Training Tuesdays. Now, last night I confessed in my Friend Making Monday, that I sometimes tune out my children with my mp3 player while I'm doing my daily chores. Although I don't always do this, it is a bad habit of mine in the mornings, while I am doing laundry or working in the kitchen. Writing this confession, reminded me of something very important in child training, listening. Now, I don't think it is always such a bad thing to listen to some music while working, or to have a little bit of time, where your kids need to not bother you, however, it is also of utmost importance that we listen when our children talk to us.

Now, some of my children talk a lot. They will talk and talk without saying anything of any real value. I think many kids are like that. This is why we mothers are often tempted to want to tune them out. But, I have found that we have to be careful not to miss the things that are really on their minds.

For example, my son Ethan is going to be 8 on the 22nd. He is my quiet kid. While his older brothers, and his younger sisters tend to talk just to hear themselves talk a lot of the time, he will often not have a whole lot to say. Because of this, we often have to wonder what is on his mind. He is a tremendously intelligent kid, but most people don't realize it, because he doesn't share his thoughts terribly often, and he has only recently started being able to handle conversations with people outside of his family.

The other day, I was putting clothes away in my bedroom, and Ethan wandered in. I think he was supposed to be doing some chores of his own, but somehow I had the werewithal, to let him come in and sit on the bed rather than kicking him out. I was glad that I did, because after awhile of just sitting there, he started talking. He talked about missing his grandma, and Haylie (who had been our foster daughter for 18 mos, before she had to leave us), and then about how he hoped that Grandpa wouldn't die. We talked for quite awhile, and I was so glad that instead of tuning him out, or kicking him out to go do his chores, I stopped to listen to what he had to say. I was able to discuss things with him that I never would have, if I hadn't taken the time to listen. I remembered through this incident that sometimes, even for my kids who talk all the time, that if we take the time to really listen, then we won't miss the really important stuff.

This is an important aspect of child training, on many levels. For one, we are teaching them that it's important to listen to others, the same way that our heavenly Father listens to us. Also, that we value the things that they have to say, and that we value them. This helps us to have their hearts, and let's them know that they can trust us to be there for them.

Believe me, I know how hard it can be sometimes to listen to our children, when it often seems that they say so many things that aren't valuable. But, we need to learn to be diligent in being ready to hear the things that are on their hearts (which for me might mean, no mp3 while I'm working). There is a time too, I think for teaching our children to use their words more wisely, and there are several Proverbs that can be used in those ends, but in the event, that they are ready to share their hearts, let's be ready to listen and respond!!

Thanks for listening to me today, and I hope that you all will participate and share with me your thoughts, ideas, stories, and wisdom in the area of child training. Is there a book that is helping you, or a specific passage of the Bible? Share it today. If you blog about it, please link back to me, and stop by to let me know. If you want to just leave me a comment, that would be great too. Have a great day, and keep those ears open!

Friend Making Monday

Hi all. Kasey at All that is Good, came up with this, and it sounded like fun to me. The theme for this week was confessions. So...here goes.
1) I sometimes listen to my mp3 player, just to tune out my kids while I am working on something. ( I feel really bad about this one!)
2) I occassionally eat the candy (chocolate) that my kids get from AWANA, before they have a chance to. Not all of it, just a piece or two. ( ok, I feel bad about this one too!)
3) I am a little afraid to walk outside by myself at night, even in my own driveway.
4) Although I'm touched when someone asks me how I'm doing, I never know how to respond, because if I'm doing badly, do they really want to know about it?
5) Every once in awhile, I will pretend that I can't smell the dirty diaper in the hopes that someone else will change it. (ok, now I fear that everyone will think, what kind of mother am I?)
Ok, that's all I can handle of that for one night. I hope someone will ease my pain, by leaving me a comment saying..."hey, I've done that too!"
Good night, and remember, it feels good to confess to each other, and realize that we all have our weaknesses, but there is also a God who is waiting to hear from us tonight, and pour out our indescretions to Him as well. He longs to forgive! Good night!

Thank You!

Thank you to Megan, for the nomination for the Kreativ Blogger award! This is my first nomination, and I'm honored! I'm supposed to turn around and nominate 7 people for the award, then they should pass it on to 7 others! My nominations are:

1. Shannnon at The Peer Review.

2. Sarah at God's not Finished With us Yet.

3. Sweet Serendipity

4. Wendy at On the Front Porch.

5.Genesa at I want to Be like you.

6. Sarah at 8 Muddy Boots.

7. Brenda at The Tie That Binds Us.

So, those are my 7 nominations. It was a hard decision, and I hate to leave anyone out, but I don't want to break the rules.....so I will have to save the other many blogs that I find creative for another day.

Now, I am also supposed to give you 7 things that you might not know about me...

1. My hubby is 7 years older than me.
2. I was a foster parent for a year and a half.
3. My sixth pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.
4. I played the violin for twelve years, and am attempting to pick it up again.
5. My favorite dessert is cheescake!
6. I'm afraid of spiders
7. My hubby and I had only known each other for 3 months when we got engaged.

So, everyone that I nominate needs to nominate 7 people, link to them in your post, thank the person that nominated you, and then leave them a comment telling them that they were nominated. Oh, and don't forget to include in your post, 7 things about yourself, and to copy the award picture into your post!

Thanks again Megan for the nomination, and I look forward to seeing what everyone else has to say about themselves!! What fun!


Click here if you are concerned about the nomination of judge Sotomayor to the Supreme court. I was made aware of this petition from the pro-life blogs! If you are concerned about our freedoms, and the cause of life, please take a few minutes to sign it. Sotomayor believes that it is her job to make laws from the bench. We should not have a Supreme Court justice who believes that. Thanks all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Heart Faces- Adults

This is my entry for this weeks I Heart Faces, adults. This picture was taken at a historical reenactment of the Revolutionary period. The boys especially enjoyed that day, because they demonstrated how to shoot the muskets!
Click here at , to see more I Heart Faces about this weeks challenge!

I Heart Faces- Kids

This week for I heart faces, the challenge is Sepia tone.
This is one of my favorite pictures of Audrey, that I fixed up with Sepia tone. I love the sweetness of her face in this pic! Check this link out to see more I Heart Faces- Kids.

Small Town Snapshot Sunday- Middlebury, IN

For this weeks Small Town Snaphot Sunday, I want to introduce everyone to a small town in Indiana, called Middlebury. The pictures you will see are from the "hot spot" in Middlebury. This town is nestled in Amish Country, and this restaurant draws people from all over. It's a family style, Amish cooking kind of place. There is also a gift shop, and a country bakery. There are a couple other buildings on the property where you can explore the simpler life. The food is amazingly good, and the service is always friendly. The name of the restaurant is Essenhaus, and if you are ever in Middlebury, IN, I highly recommend trying it.. Yummy! It's always been a family favorite of my side of the family. Be careful of the buggies though :-)!

Entrance to the bakery
front entrance

inside the gift shop area. Yep...my hubby and older kids!

Advertisement for the shops that are seperate from the restaurant!

My little Lillian enjoying her meal. The food is delicious for all ages!

I hope you enjoyed my small town for this week. I know I did, and now I'm hungry! Don't forget to join Wendy, On the Front Porch, for more Small Town snapshots.

Awesome Laundry System Giveaway

All you mothers like me with laudry woes are going to want to check this out. Megan at Focusing on the Bible.... has a giveaway going on for this awesome Complete Laundry Sytem. Megan said it works great, and it sounds like a huge money saver, especially for a family like ours!! Click the link above and check it out! I'm personally hoping for a win on this one :-)!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Favorite Family Picture of the Week

I didn't take as many pictures this week as I normally do, but after looking over the ones I did take, I think this one has to be my favorite. This was at the outdoor service that our church had last Sunday night. I put Janie down on the blanket, and the blanket was no match for her!! She was all over the place. Elias kept trying to pull the blanket back into shape, and he thought it was funny that she kept rolling all over again! He loves his baby sister.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Family Fun Friday

Good evening everyone. I got started a little late on this post tonight. We spent the day with family today.
Due to finances, and having to stick close to home to take care of my dad, we haven't been able to get out much or do anything fancy this summer, so we have worked on our own homeade fun. I will post a picture later, but Rob has made a mini baseball diamond in the backyard for the kids. They are loving it, and wanting to play out there all the time now. Sometimes...in fact, I would say, often, the best kind of family fun, is the homeade kind that you create for your own families. Think of ways today that you can create fun for your family. Fun doesn't have to cost money, or be technologically involved. I think my kids appreciate those little homeade fun things that we create for the family, far more than the video games, or the trips to the movies or even the park. Those things are fun, and our family does those things too, but I wonder if they really create the same kind of lasting memories that playing baseball as a family in our own homeade baseball diamond will! What kind of things do you do with your kids for family fun? I'd love to hear about it, even if it isn't homeade. There are lots of ways that we can enjoy our kids and families!

Loving Your Husband Friday

Today is Friday, where Shannon at the Peer Review encourages us to find ways and things that we love about our husband. This week I've been thinking about 1Corinthians 13. This gives us the definition of love. We need to remember that love is not a feeling, it's an action. It's the things that we do to show love that count.
1Corinthians 13 talks about being slow to anger....I've not been thinking so much about anger this week, but irritation. When summer comes it is often a transition for all of us. He is off his normal routine, and we are adjusting to having daddy home all day every day. It's easy to get irritated with him, for little things. It's ironic, because I so look forward to having him home all the time, but then I find myself feeling irritated at the little things he might do, that drive me nuts.
So, this week, I am focusing on being slow to irritation with my husband. Not letting those little things get to me, and just enjoying the time that we have. He's a great and thoughtful husband, and those are the things that I need to focus on during this summer....not the little irritations, that can spoil our time together, and cause me to flounder in my actions of love! Let's all be slow to anger/irritation with our husbands, and I think we will find that God's ways our better than ours in our marriages. After all, God did create marriage, and the guidelines for our love, so I tend to think He knows best!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cancer organization- Check it out and Pray!

Hi all. I wanted to pass along a post from a blog that I saw this evening. Please read it and consider prayer for this organization and the people they serve. Cancer is such a life altering disease, and it comes with so much suffering. My dad has been doing pretty well. With 6 weeks of chemo and 3 days of radiation, he's still hanging in there. He has not been sick so far, and his energy level is still mostly up. So that has been a blessing. After the 5 weeks of radiation are complete, then he will wait two weeks before getting an MRI. The MRI will tell us whether or not they can attempt to go in and take the cancer out.
This organization is doing a wonderful service for those who are suffering physically, financially, and spiritually in this awful fight that they are thrust into! Not everyone does so well in this fight as my dad has. I am completely convinced that his doing so well is because he has so many people praying for him. So, check out the site, and take a few moments to pray! Thanks all!

Thousand Words Thursday

Cheaper Than Therapy

This is one of my alltime favorite, picture is worth a thousand words kind of pictures of our kids!! I hope you enjoy it. Please click on the banner above for more Thousand Words Thursdays, or visit Sweet Serendipity, for her link up!

Pro LIfe- Action Needed

Good morning all. I wanted to pass on a message that my sister-in-law forwarded to me this morning. If pro-life issues are a burden of yours, as they are mine, please take the time to read this, and most importantly, take the time to act on it. Our future generations are depending on us to defend them, for they cannot defend themselves!! Click here to read the news and what you can do about it. Thanks for your support for the unborn, and God Bless!

I wanted to add this too. Click here to Conservative Mama's sight, to read this disturbing story....and pray!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Documentary of a Tantrum

The other day we took the kids to Fernwood, a nature preserve, and one of our family favorite spots. It was not Lillians best day. I was taking pictures that day, and I just had to document this colossal fit that she threw. Now, my disclaimer is here, that we don't condone tantrums, and we don't let them go on and on without discipline of some form, as was the case this day.....but keep in mind also, that this really made me crack up in private, and probably a couple of times in front of her. First of all....check out the juice that she had spilled all over herself before we got there. That made it particularaly hard not to laugh about her tantrums. So, I titled this...documentary of a tantrum. Grab your toddler and enjoy my trip down tantrum lane!....

Not letting her into the elevator with me....she had to go with Daddy!
This is the first time I told her to stay with me.

Nope, she wasn't allowed to go over there either.....

This picture above is Lily saying...."no mommy"

Still crying...

She's crying in this one too, I told her to come back here....

Yep.....crying in close up.....

I'm sure everyone out there feels so sorry for my baby!! Ah....the sinful nature, and one tired little girl!