Monday, December 31, 2007


* Another post taken from the archives of way back in the day, a whole 1 1/2 years ago. :)

The more God changes me (and He's done a whole whack of changing in this girl) the more I feel alienated from everyone around me. I will admit, embarrassingly so, that I do not really have any relationship on any level with a professing non-Christian. It's hard to when I'm always home with the kids or grocery shopping, not really a whole lot of time to make new friends. I do have 4 little people in my charge that I am responsible for disciplining to the end that they will know Christ one day, but outside of my little sphere I am not witnessing. That has got to change!
But I have also been on the other end and had many unsaved people I spent time with. My hubby and I spent lots of time just being around unsaved people over the past few years while he was pastoring and I didn't really notice that it made much difference to them and it certainly wasn't a good environment for the kids to be in. The times when we had opportunity to speak about Christ with them was usually one on one, helping them out with fix-it jobs, giving them drives into town, having them over for coffee etc. The times we 'hung out' with them on their own turf was a completely different story. Nobody was interested in listening to 'God talk'. They were drinking, listening to ungodly music, smoking, horrible language, and the stories they like to tell are not worthy of the "whatsoever things are pure" verse. After many years of trying to meet them on their own ground we realized that wasn't what God had purposed for us to do. He wants us to bring them out of it, not get in there with them.
And lets face it, if we were truly living the sold-out kind of Christianity that God calls us to they wouldn't want us around. "What fellowship has light with darkness"? Yes, Jesus spent time with sinners but He used every single opportunity with them to witness and lead them to Himself. Let's be honest, how many times have we as Christians sat down and really shared Christ with our unsaved friends? Not just a "I go to church on Sundays, would you like to go with me?", or "I'm praying for you", or even a "Jesus died for you". Do we take every opportunity to speak about Christ or are we talking about how much we love shopping or the latest movie we watched?
I'm not saying we have to walk around yelling on the street corners that people need to get saved, but I do mean that we do not live with eternity in mind. These people are going to hell, how can we be best buddies with someone who is going in the complete opposite direction as us? We should desire to 'spend' less time with them and desire to 'use' the times we have with them more wisely. God doesn't bring unsaved people across our path so we can have lots of friends, there's a much bigger picture here. He brings them to us so we can lead them to Him. That's very difficult to do when we do everything they do and go everywhere they go and look no different than them. If that is the case why would they think they have to change, if we're good they must be good?
I believe from reading about how the disciples were treated that when we are living for the Lord and we meet people, the will either be drawn to us because they want what we have or they will shun us because we aren't like them and we make them feel uncomfortable.
I am so thankful for my life. This new thought sprouts from an invitation my sister & I had from our new neighbors to their 'house-warming' party. We have enjoyed talking to them a bit and getting to know them over the past 2 weeks, they are nice people. But when we were invited to come over today I had forgotten that we were not going to a church function. Since we moved from Ontario I haven't really spent very much time around unsaved people and I had a wake up call all over again. I will not say any more about those we met and spent a whole 1/2 hour with this afternoon but I will say this: I am so thankful for my saved family. I am so thankful for my church family. I am so thankful that we know how to have fun without alcohol. I am so thankful we have 4 kids. (apparently it's 'sick' to have a lot of kids, as we were told today) I am so thankful that the women we spend time with know how much skin should be covered when in company with anyone other than their husband.
I found out that there are things that we have in common with the unsaved. We all eat, drink, work, and play, but we do those things completely differently. I must ask why anyone who is truly saved would want to spend time in the company of those who are not. They don't listen to good music, they like to go places that are ungodly, they think kids are baggage, they don't care about anything we should care about. If anything, spending time with unsaved people pulls us away from everything that's worth anything.
I think I'll just avoid communing with unsaved people and just keep chatting with them and throwing out the seeds God wants me to plant along the way. I am so glad I'm saved and I'm so sad that these people have no idea what they are missing out on.
When we get together with other Christians we get so excited. I know what I will see before it even starts. There will be my whole family there. Dad, Mom, all the sisters and cousins running around. A whole bunch of church family coming with a snack or two and lots of smiles. Probably a hug or two going around and punch bowls being filled a number of times over. Kids climbing in the fences and adults actually having conversations with the children from time to time. Women by the sink doing up some dishes. You may here a 'God has been so good!' or "I'll be praying for you." here and there. I can say all that, but there's nothing to describe the whole overtone of an event with a bunch of other Christians. There's just something special about it and I'm glad I can be part of it.
Keep near the cross.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Friendly Pop Quiz :)

One of our family gifts under the tree this year was a pack of Bible quiz cards. Hubby went through a bunch of them a couple nights ago before the chillins went to bed. I was surprised when the kids new many of the answers, and I was excited that I knew many of the ones they didn't. This book review Bible reading pays off in many different ways you know, you can look so Bible savvy when these quiz cards show up. :) And so now I pass on a few questions to you fellow readers. See how many of these you can answer (without looking it up!). They are all taken from books of the Bible we've read but in no particular order :)

1. What did the Israelite spies sent into Canaan bring back?
2. What creature ate the vine that gave shade to Jonah?
3. Who threshed wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites?
4. Where were Abraham's family living when they first set out for Canaan?
5. Where did Sarah's slave girl, Hagar, come from?
6. Where did Moses flee to escape the death penalty after killing an Egyptian?
7. Where was the burning bush?
8. Who held up Moses' arms so that the Israelites could defeat the Amalekites in battle?
9. How many sons did Moses and his wife, Zipporah, have?
10. What were their names?
11. Where did the feeding of the 5000 take place?
12. Which disciple did the boy go up to with his food?
13. Where did Jesus tell his disciples to stay after his resurrection?
14. What were the tongues of fire a symbol of?
15. Which king believed in the God who had saved Daniel from the lions?
16. Who visited King Solomon with a caravan of camels carrying precious gifts?
17. Whose clothes were made out of camel's hair?
18. Which Canaanite commander did a woman kill with a tent peg?
19. Who rewarded Mordecai by letting him ride through the city on the king's own horse?
and finally,
20. What did Samson tie to the tails of 300 foxes?

If you don't know the answers to many of these take heart, I didn't either. :) But what is truly exciting is that I knew what story they were asking about and knew which book to look it up in if I had to. So even if we don't remember exact names at this point, we are doing well if we know more answers to these than we would have a year ago. Let me know how you think you did and I'd love to hear that someone actually got %100.
Once we go through more of the cards here at home I'll post some more questions for ya'll. :)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Book Review Friday Returns :)

Okay, so I learned something these past couple of weeks. I need Book Review Friday! Without that accountability I totally lost the gumption to keep reading by the end of the holiday stretch. So whether you all are in on it or not, I must do it for me. If you are new to the whole idea please check it all out here:
  • Book Review Friday

  • One thing I noticed in Exodus as I was reading a while ago was how quickly the Israelites turned away from God. They were saved from being slaves in Egypt and saw miraculous things happen by God's hand on their behalf. As soon as Moses left them to go commune with the Lord they all melted their jewelery and started worshipping a golden calf and doing perfectly wicked things. Just like that! No backsliding bit by bit, they went full throttle into major sin. We can do the same thing. It scares me that I can not only become complacent in my walk with the Lord, but I can actually desire and enjoy sin, and become that way overnight.
    When given their freedom the Israelites showed their true colours. As soon as they were on their own and the accountability of Moses was gone we see where their hearts really were the whole time. God can show us the true state of ourselves in the same way. I cancelled the book reviews for a short time and already started finding reasons that I couldn't fit reading in each day. I'm not proud of it. It's just one small/big step in the completely wrong direction.
    And so with that all said I reinstate Book Review Friday and call on all ladies out there to join in. It's worth it.

    For the next week I'll try to start things up where we should be (not where I actually am). How about Exodus chapters 35-40 until Jan 4th? I'll read through the chapters I missed to catch up and not miss exactly what's going on. :) I'm really looking forward to getting back to the basics and I really hope there are others out there who want to do the same. :) :)
    Besides, when I told my hubby a couple weeks ago that I was considering doing away with the book review, my blog.... everything, he told me that really wasn't a good idea. I wasn't expecting him to encourage me to keep blogging, but since I always try to be oh-so-submissive I'll keep things going here at Watch the Sky. :)

    Let's do another head count and see just who is joining us so far in this new year coming up with our weekly readings. Leave a comment if you're up for being a part of book review Friday, whether you have a blog to post your review or not does not matter, just let us all know if you are actually reading. :)

    Hope you all had a merry Christmas and are encouraged for the new year to come!

    Wednesday, December 26, 2007

    Braggin on my men.

    Merry Christmas again. Although things are still pretty busy around here I have to take a minute to let you all see what I was given for Christmas. You see, I had this dream of the perfect coffee table for us. It would be large and have a built in puzzle table. That was all I needed to say and for the past month hubby & my oldest son have been puttering away out in the barn. This is what they came up with....

    The best part about it is that it didn't cost a cent. Hubby just used old barn boards and leftover stuff from our almost 200 year old home. I love it. The picture is awful and doesn't show just how nice it is. My son was the one who built the puzzle shelf that so neatly slides in under the top to hide when we're not working on it. Mr.Man-let-me-tell-you, it's cool. :)

    Another bit of news that I know you will all be so impressed with is that we didn't spend any money we didn't have this Christmas. It meant we couldn't do a few things that we normally would do, but we made it without bringing out the Visa. Woo Hoo! I would have failed the test big time, but hubby said a big fat 'NO!' when I was tempted to falter. :) Good thing. I feel better knowing that we pulled it off for the first time ever.

    I'm off to clean up a bit and maybe find time to sit down beside my new table with a cup of hot apple cider in the new dishes I was given. Love Christmas! :)

    Monday, December 24, 2007

    Merry Christmas!

    It's finally here. My kids are saying over and over again how they can't believe it's here already. Tell me about it. But I think I'm ready. I'll spend today making a couple pies and those great peanut butter balls. I'll take care of the last of the gifts for the family, and then big time clean up time. I just can't stand the thought of tomorrow with dust or dirt anywhere and I simply must change all the bedding. Not sure why that's an issue for Christmas this year but it is. Gotta have fresh bedding for Christmas eve ya know.
    I'll leave you with a couple pic's from our little Christmasy neck of the woods. And you all make sure you have a great day with family and friends tomorrow always remembering that it's because of God's perfect Son, Jesus Christ, that we have this wonderful time of year. Merry Christmas!

    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Go outside..... please.

    The kids are so excited to have a white Christmas. Totally white. (Watch, it'll rain hard and warm up big time tomorrow.) They are so looking forward to sliding at Grampie & Grammie's place on Christmas day. But of course we don't wait for that special day to take advantage of the cool weather. This mean mommy makes her kids go outside to play every afternoon. I don't really have to tell the older 3 to go out but little #4 would prefer the warm indoors to a winter wonderland. I don't blame him, I would too. But I'm following in my mothers footprints and sending them out. I now know why she wouldn't let us come in for a long time when we were kids playing in the snow.
    "Hey mom, I'm coming in now."
    "No you're not."
    Out we go again to dig yet another tunnel in a snowbank.
    Moms are smart. :)

    Here are my 4 explorers today. We'll try to forget about the part when they were all walking back to the house and #4 decides it would be more advantageous to sit down in the snow and scream, yell, and cry about not being able to catch up to the others. Loved that part. Loved it SO much.

    Monday, December 17, 2007

    A bit of Christmas music for ya'll

    Found this video today on another blog. Love it. You'll love it too. Honest!!! :)

    Sparrow's Nest Cookie Exchange

    Over at the
  • Sparrow's Nest
  • Mrs.Wilt is hosting a Christmas cookie exchange. I love cookies!? :) And just because I do love treats so much I'll put in two recipes. Woo hoo!

    Graham Cracker Squares
    1 Cup Shortening
    1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
    2 Tbsp Cocoa
    1 Egg
    1 tsp Vanilla
    30 Graham crackers broken into quarter size pieces

    In medium saucepan, whisk together egg and brown sugar.
    Whisk in cocoa and vanilla.
    Add shortening and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
    Boil 1 minute. Immediately pour over graham wafers.
    Put in 8x8 pan. Press down slightly to smooth top.

    1 Cup Icing Sugar
    2 Tbsp Flour
    1 1/2 Tbsp Cocoa
    1 Tbsp Vanilla
    Lump of Butter
    1/4 tsp Salt

    Mix with milk to make icing and spread over top of graham wafer mixture.
    Put in fridge 1 hour or more to set.

    * I must say it is very important to mix the egg with the sugar, cocoa and vanilla before heating!

    Peanut Butter Balls
    We love baking with peanut butter and this is so easy and tasty it's scary. No actual 'baking' involved. :)
    All you need:

    1 Cup Peanut butter
    1 Cup Icing sugar
    1 Cup Rice Krispies
    1/4 Cup Butter softened

    Mix the butter with the peanut butter and add the icing sugar.
    Add the Rice Krispies and mix all up.
    Roll into 1 inch balls and then roll in icing sugar to coat.

    Another option if you don't mind a little mess is to melt milk chocolate chips and use spoons to dip and cover peanut butter balls and let harden on wax paper. That's the way I usually do them. These never last long around the kids and have become an expected holiday treat. Just remember that you may need to store them in the fridge for a while so they don't get too soft. All thanks to Grandma for this recipe.

    Make that 3 recipes. :)
    Melt in your mouth Shortbread
    You may think you have the best shortbread recipe in the world, and I don't mean to be rude, but you don't. If you want total melt-in-your-mouth shortbread, just like the olden days, then we've got the recipe for you just in time for the holidays. It is pictured just under those yummy peanut butter balls on the cute snowman plate.
    I took a whole big tin of this to a little gathering in Ontario and didn't get to bring a speck of it home. Everyone wanted to know who brought the shortbread and where the recipe was.
    And believe me, you have to use your hands to do all the mixing. It really does make a difference. Once I was so energetic I mixed it for 20 minutes instead of 10 and it was even better.
    Another must with the recipe is to use Splenda whether you need to or not. Using regular sugar just ruins it for some reason.

    1 lb Butter, softened
    1 pkg Rice Flour
    1 Cup Splenda white sugar
    3 1/2 -3/4 Cup All purpose flour

    Mix all together with hands only 10 - 15 minutes at least. (The longer you mix it the better it is.)
    Make into 1 ball and roll out to 1/2" thickness on floured area.
    Cut into bars (just like you were cutting squares to serve) and place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
    Bake at 225 F for about 40 min. Until top is dry and dusty. (It's hard to tell until you've done it once. Just brush it with your finger to see if it's dusty or damp.) It's another one of those times when you take it out when you think they aren't quite done.
    Place on cooling rack and taste test as soon as your lips won't get burned. :)


    Friday, December 14, 2007

    As little hearts ponder.

    Warning** The following post is a reprint from back in the day, like last year.**
    My daughter was quite deceived as to the man's work ethic.
    It was just me and her waiting in the van for the rest of the family to come out of Canadian Tire (hubby's favourite store) and there wasn't anything to do. I had already put all the garbage in a bag, cleaned out my purse and organized a few things, then a man came out to gather the carts for the nearby grocery store. My daughter's comment had something to do with his hard work and I refrained from saying something to the effect of, " He's a lazy idiot is what he is" and tried to find a more suitable way of explaining that she was entirely wrong. Then, because I was feeling perky & organized and ready to take on the world, I figured why not bring up the subject of who she should marry. Boy, did that get her thinking.
    My little girl is a very serious little girl, if you knew her well you would know that. She's shy and squishes up her nose if you talk to her and she can be very silly. But, I knew if I brought something like this up she will mull it over time and time again and take it all very seriously.
    So we studied that man and how hard he really was working. She started noticing he didn't care about how quickly he got his job done (he was taking his sweet time that's for sure), and how many trips in and out of the store it took him to get the very few carts all put back in order. I started explaining to her about how she needs to study boys like that over the years to know what they are really like so that when she is all grown up and ready to get married she will know if the man will take care of her or not.
    We talked about how if a boy works really hard at his job (& quickly), whether he enjoys it or not, then he will be the type of man that will work hard to take care of you and provide for the family. If he is very kind & caring to his mom, sisters, and other girls, then he will be kind and caring as a husband.
    We also talked about being the kind of woman that a man like that would want. That part was a little humbling. I had to tell her we would learn together to be like that because I had a lot to learn too. I couldn't say like it says in Prov.23:26 " give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways".
    And of course, I realized once again the huge job in front of me of raising 3 boys to be the kind of men that will be 'that good husband'. Oh my, I could get tired just thinking about it. It's terrifying! But one thing at a time. I had a little talk with my little girl and she has another 11 years (at least) to ponder on a few things, and learn to become a psychologist when it comes to finding the perfect man.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2007

    Gotta be one to know.

    There was one day I wished I weighed a bit more, or was at least 6 months pregnant. Because I'm as skinny as a rake and very un-pregnant I was called upon to ignore my fears and fix the dryer. Yep, I was scared. You see, the dryer won't budge from it's place in it's closet in the bathroom. Just enough space for it.... and me apparently.

    It doesn't matter if you 'know' that being a mom is a big lesson in unselfishness, you have to become one to really know what that means. Motherhood has been one of the biggest struggles in my life thus far. The dryer incident being one of the latest trifles to deal with. I love motherhood but it's hard work. Sometimes it calls me totally out of my comfort zone. I'm claustrophobic. So me having to hang upside down in a very small space to fix the dryer while hubby handed tools down to me and explained each step clearly to this dyslexic momma took my breath away a few times. I actually was too panicky to scream most of the time. (Maybe this isn't the best example to give for unselfishness, after all I really wanted to have a dryer back again. But it's the only one I have a picture for.:)

    It all starts when you bring that little cutie home and there are no more nurses to take care of it while you rest. It's all up to you. You have discovered a totally new level of tiredness and wonder if you will ever feel perky again. But even then you just don't really get it. I think you need to have at least 2 or three children before you really understand. Having a newborn to feed and diaper and hold and feed and diaper and hold and feed and diaper and hold, along with those other little kids that are old enough to walk around and get into things, and ask a million questions before lunch, and start potty training .... that's when you start to see that this is going to cost you something. It's going to cost you yourself.

    My dream growing up was to get married young and have lots of kids and be the perfect family. Me in my apron getting gorgeous tasty meals ready, my kids all freshly bathed and in spiffy outfits waiting for daddy to arrive home for supper. Of course I would always be the epitome of patience and love ruling my little ones with tender correction. Oh yeah, that's me. Whatever. I did get married young, I did have a few kids, I do bath them, we do our best to find spiffy outfits at Frenchy's..... ummm as for the meals, I try to enjoy cooking. Patience, love, and tenderness are slowly becoming part of my life. All this after 9 years of having children to care for.

    Big lessons come in ordinary experiences. Just learning to say 'no' to my wants and tend to my families needs instead is a lifelong thing. Most women today, including Christian women, have been brainwashed into thinking they aren't doing anything important if they just stay home and take care of house & home. We're told that you aren't living up to your full potential if a women chooses to hold her family more important than a career. Well ya know what!?!? It takes a whole lot more strength to stay home and stick it out than to escape from our responsibility and spend most of our time away from it. When you stay home you see all the housework that needs to be done and kept up with, you see more of your children and start noticing how much work there is to do with their character and attitudes. Because everyone is home most of the time it creates more housework, and naturally more cooking because there are 3 meals to make and then 3 meals to clean up after. Then we have to fit half a day of schoolwork into the mix and the list goes on and on. Do I sound like I'm complaining? I'm not. I love it. But a lot of my days I start out thinking I'm really not up to the challenge. I'm tired and just want to sleep in, I don't want to make lunch, I'd rather check my email or go visit someone for a cup of tea. I don't want to make sure there is a clean bathroom for everyone to use in the morning. But thats when I pray and the Lord reminds me that this life isn't about all the 'I's', it's all about Him. This is the task He has called me to. This is the life He has blessed me with. Those tired days are the days He will give me supernatural strength for.

    I wouldn't trade it for anything. Well, I might trade it for a bigger closet for the washer & dryer. :)

    Saturday, December 8, 2007

    92 year old says "No" to theif!

    My mother was telling me about a story she heard. I looked it up and thought I'd pass it along to you. I still want to read my Bible everyday and underlining it when I'm 92. And I want the courage to witness to the very people that put my life in danger too. Check out the video to see what I'm talking about. :)
  • News clip
  • Wednesday, December 5, 2007

    The best turkey ever!!

    I thought I'd pass along the perfect turkey recipe from Smockity Frocks. She claims that your meal will turn out perfect every time.
  • Here's hoping!
  • I haven't tried it yet but it sounds really good. Check it out and let me know what you think. I'll be giving it a try over the holidays myself. :)

    Friday, November 30, 2007


    First things first, we'll be reading Exodus chapters 16-20 for the next week. I love Exodus. :)

    And as for my review, I just can't do it. I want to and I am loving Exodus as are the kids, but I just don't have the time to write and re-write a review to try to get it to say what I want it to say. I was just a little stressed yesterday and today over the fact that life was busy and I was tired with so much to do, my review being one of them. I've had to start crossing things off my list of things I thought had to get done. I just realized that for the month of December it would be advantageous to slack off on my blog and reviews a bit so I can be less stressed over the holidays with my family. Yes, even something as simple as a Book Review can be enough to stress me out.

    So, I'm still going to post what book and chapters we're reading each Friday if you are still doing it with us, I just won't be adding a full review. I'll just be keeping the regular notes with paper and pen. I'll even still add Mr.Linky in case any of you have a review to post because I could almost always make time to read them!! :)

    I know you all are very busy as well. The month of December brings on extra pressures and lots of good times. Enjoy them, and I don't think it is too early to start wishing you a Merry Christmas!!! :)

    Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    New Links

    While hubby is chatting away on the phone after a hard days work I am updating my links. I've wanted to for a long time. So take a look and there might be something of interest to you. I've placed them under "Check these out".
    I've been checking out ideas for Christmas trimmings since we are without those. On the Christmas craft site there are some very inexpensive ways to deck our halls this year, I just have to get up the gumption to get crafty. That really doesn't happen very often! And there are some great looking treats I'll want to try as well.
    Now it's beddy-bye time and I've got a pillow calling my name. :)

    Being frugal.

    I'm cheap, I admit it. Living on one income and having 4 growing children make it hard to keep the bills down. They need to eat, wear clothes, and be warm in the house. There are some things you just can't avoid that cost money, but it's all in how we go about meeting those needs that make it possible to still live cheaply. I'm one of those people who kind of rolled their eyes when someone said they just didn't have enough money for the bare necessities. After all, those same people ate out more than we do (that would be 2 or 3 times a year for us and a couple times a month for them), they bought chips and pop and other treats, they had a second vehicle, a cell phone, satellite TV, paid for child care, had call display and everything else going on the phone, had new clothes more than we do (that would be a couple shirts a year for me & the kids and a couple shirts, pants, coat etc, a month for them). Oh yeah, I knew what their problem was!!!

    Now all my wisdom has come back on me. We are needing to be much more careful as the kids get older and grocery bills go up, they grow out of their clothes, and need glasses replaced and stuff, and school books don't grow on trees for the home schooled family ya know! Also the money from the government starts dropping just when the kids are up-ing their costs. I could sit around and bemoan the fact that we aren't living high off the hog, or I could get serious about it and start doing all those things I would have loved to suggest to all those poor poor people who owned cell phones and a couple cars and new clothes......

    So here is what we've done. Slowly we've been working away at cutting costs and I'm giving the list of things to you. I would LOVE to hear any suggestions of yours to add to these. If it wasn't for doing all these things we just couldn't afford to live as we do.

    * We do not use the Visa anymore.

    * Using wood for heat. It really is the cheapest. Hubby even ordered the logs (they are much cheaper than having it split for you) and cut them up and chopped them by hand to save some money.

    * I cook mostly from scratch. The more processed it is, the less likely it is that I will buy it. Hubby has been known to come home with 16 litres of ice cream from time to time though. I'm serious. :) I also go over all my flyers and shop around to get things a few cents cheaper.

    * Our garden has produced lots of good stuff for us that is now in our freezer and will help with the grocery bill all winter.

    * We cut down our gas bill by not going out very much. This bill is still crazy high but I don't see how we could cut it down much more.

    * I cut all of our hair. My kids don't know what it is like to go to a hair salon. That's a lot of money saved if you can live with how you make yourself look. By me not going to my regular salon for a trim once a month I am saving $396 a year! (But there's still a chance I might get desperate soon). :)

    * We don't eat out. We get a pizza maybe twice a year and go for Chinese food once or twice a year for a very special treat. My how the kids think it's cool to go out like that!

    * Vacations are non-existent for awhile. At least until we are in a better position financially. All of our vacation-y kind of fun will have to happen close to home and we'll just hope people are able to come see us.

    * I don't go shopping. I don't even bother looking at things unless they are in a grocery store or I know exactly what I am looking for elsewhere. If I go I'll just be too tempted to bring home everything I love, and I usually love everything!

    * Hubby cancelled his cell phone.

    * Hubby cancelled all of our extra features on our home phone. I thought I would die without call display but I'm fine. I don't answer the phone during school hours and let the answering machine do it's job.

    By just cancelling those last two things we are saving over $500 a year!!!!!!

    * We use those energy saving light bulbs.

    * We use a cash system. I have envelopes for groceries, gas, diabetic supplies etc.. and it's easier to keep track of how much you have. You always know whether you have the money for something or not because you can see just how many 20's are at your disposal.

    * This one made me sad. I cancelled my Typepad blog and saved myself a few dollars by going with Blogger which is free.

    * I love this one. We buy all the kids clothing from Frenchy's. We really cannot afford to buy their clothes anywhere else. I can't remember the last time I bought something brand new. (actually I did buy Katie a pair of shoes a couple months ago at Zellers, whoops!) And (gasp!) I even buy presents at Frenchy's on occasion. I found a great Father's Day gift for last year and both of my niece's b-day presents. I got all three of them for less than $5!!

    Well, that's all I can think of for now. Now it's your turn to roll your eyes at me because you know exactly what my problem is, and give me your ideas, I will be very grateful!

    Friday, November 23, 2007

    Book Review Friday: Exodus 6-10

    First things first, we'll be moving along to chapters 11-15 until next Friday. I know that there are still ladies that are doing this reading but not many reviews. I'm not here to put a guilt trip on you over the lack of names on Mr.Linky, it really doesn't matter whether there are reviews for everyone else to read,that's not the point. The fact is I really really really hope you are writing down somewhere what God shows you in the scripture you read. We miss so much by neglecting that. So please ladies keep on reading and learning and writing. Whether you have a blog to post it on, or a handy notebook to help you concentrate and remember all that you see as you read, keep writing. :)

    As for Exodus 6-10. I am no scholar and I know there are many very mature Christians out there who would disagree but...... I really don't understand how anyone could read these chapters and not see 'election' written all over the place. It's totally a black & white issue to me. But I'm willing to be shown if it isn't. Like I said, I'm no scholar. :)
    The fact that God made a covenant with the Israelites way back when and chose them as His special people would be enough to convince me. They were no more deserving than the guys next door. They were sinful humans who God had mercy on. They didn't choose God, God chose them. But the BIG thing was reading over and over about how God hardened Pharaoh's heart. God hardened Pharaoh's heart! Pharaoh really didn't have a choice in the matter from what I can tell.
    "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt." 7:3
    "Go in to Pharaoh; for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him, and that you may tell in the hearing of your son and your son's son the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the Lord." 10:1-3

    And it always comes back to giving God glory.

    Seeing how this bit of history unravels and the fact that God so blatantly chooses some people to bless and others to harden against Himself makes one like me overcome with thankfulness that I am not Pharaoh! It's not that I don't deserve all that the Egyptians got, I do, I really do. I deserve for God to show His judgments in my life. But God chose me to be one of the ones who saw who He is by blessing me instead of through His judgements. I don't understand why but it certainly brings a deeper meaning to the word thankful. I was completely dead in my sins, even at that tender age of 5 or 6, and God chose to open my eyes and give me life. I am totally & completely dependant on Him and could not of understood to even make a choice for eternity had He not worked in my heart in the first place. God is in complete control of everything, including my salvation.
    "I will take you as My people and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." 6:7

    From now on every time I hear the stories of people like the Egyptians in the scriptures I hope it makes me thankful instead of self-righteous. God's mercy is great, and I'm just another Pharaoh that God took pity on. Please God, don't every harden my heart towards you!!

    Okay, now if anyone had a review to post here is Mr.Linky for you. We would all love to read them no matter how long or short. :)

    Thursday, November 22, 2007

    Fall Pumpkin Squares

    Really, this recipe is more like a cake than bars. These are delicious whether you use pumpkin or squash but my favourite so far is using our very own squash from our very own garden to make this wonderful cake. I've got a pan in the oven as I type this. YUM!!!

    In bowl sift together: (I don't have a sifter big enough so I just use a whisk to stir it. No baking soda clumps!)
    2 Cups Flour
    2 tsp Cinnamon
    1 tsp Baking Soda
    1 tsp Salt

    In large bowl mix:
    1 Cup Oil
    2 Cups Sugar
    4 Eggs
    1 tsp Vanilla
    2 Cups Cooked Pumpkin or Squash

    Mix dry ingredients into the wet and pour into 9x13 pan.
    Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean). It took all of the 30 minutes for mine to be done.

    2 to 2 3/4 Cups Icing Sugar
    8 to 11 oz Cream Cheese softened
    3/4 Cup Butter
    2 tsp Vanilla

    Spread on cooled pumpkin squares. Keep refrigerated.

    Enjoy! I know we're going to love dessert tonight.

    Thanksgiving Forecast

    Thanksgiving is long gone for us Canadian folks but since the US is celebrating here's a little something I found on
  • Buffaloes & Butterfly Wings
  • for all you anyway. It's cute and I laughed. (If anyone knows how I can add the link in Blogger without it seperating itself like that please let me know!)

    Thanksgiving Forecast:
    Turkeys will thaw in the morning, then warm in the oven to an afternoon high near 190F. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or cold shoulder.
    During the late afternoon and evening, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey, causing an accumulation of one to two inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other. Please pass the gravy. A weight watch and indigestion warning have been issued for the entire area, with increased stuffiness around the beltway.
    During the evening, the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers, dropping to a low of 34 degrees F in the refrigerator. Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday, high pressure to eat sandwiches will be established.
    Flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50 percent chance of scattered soup late in the day. We expect a warming trend where soup develops.
    By early next week, eating pressure will be low as the only wish left will be the bone.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you American folk out there! :)

    Friday, November 16, 2007

    Book Review Friday: Exodus

    First things first, we'll be reading Exodus chapters 6-10 until next Friday. It's proving to be a great book so join in if you aren't already with us! :)

    Exodus is nothing like I remember from my Sunday school classes as a child. My how all those facts of the story of Moses got mixed up and lost their meaning. One of the most amazing stories I've ever read and one of the most amazing women I've ever heard of is right here in these first couple chapters of Exodus, and I still don't even know the lady's name!! All we know is that she was a Levi and gave birth to a son and did all she could in very hard times. I'm a mom, so her predicament really stood out to me big-time this week. After you have your own little baby to hold the words 'giving them up' take on a deeper and more difficult meaning.

    I likened this mommy's predicament to situations we could face today. What if I was faced with the choice of either trying to hide my child in the safety of his home until he was finally found out and then killed in a few days, months... years maybe, or handing him over to the very people who were seeking to kill him in hopes that they would have a little compassion? It was highly probable that if mom let her cutie little abandoned baby pass by Pharaoh's daughter that a woman's heart would take over and be drawn to taking care of it. But, who could guarantee that Pharaoh would allow for such a thing and not just kill it right away?!
    And if her plan worked out and baby was accepted, how would it feel to give your baby up to be raised in the midst of a false religion? You would know they would grow up learning about and taking part in the evil that Egypt was involved in. I couldn't have done it and up until this week I would have thought it wrong to do anything of the sort.
    In talking about it with hubby I started to realize that everything isn't always the same with God. In each situation He is working something different. It's not that things are black & white all the time. It all comes down to how much faith you have in God. Do I believe that God is God? Although we are human and constantly think that much depends on us, from reading scripture we realize that it's not true at all. Moses would have been fine and God would have worked His purposes through him whether mommy was good at hiding him or not, whether he was placed in a river or not, whether Pharaoh's daughter found him or not. It's just that this woman did as best she could as long as she could and then just trusted God to handle it. And we get to see her example and take heart in the here and now.
    I need to work hard while my children are with me doing all I can to make them safe and then ready to take on the world when the Lord brings that time around. The tremendous sacrifice that this woman made is shocking to me. But look at all that God did through Moses for years and years. All the amazing things he was able to witness by God's hand through the years. All the people he lead and the difference God made through him. Moses story all started with his mom who had a big faith in her God. I like her. I like her a lot!
    Throughout the whole 5 chapters the fact of just how powerful and in charge God is becomes a major part of the whole story. There are many points to ponder, it's just that I've taken up most of my time thinking of that one. I loved the whole thing and can't wait to read more but I don't have time to type any more about 1-5. I'll just go read any reviews that show up on Mr.Linky. :)

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Sleeping Cowpoke

    Cowboys are supposed to sleep with one eye open... unless of course they're just too tired. Then mom can watch out for bad guys until nap time is over.

    Another good quote.

    I read this quote last night and loved it. (Not sure who to give credit to for it though.) I have been reminded lately by everything I read and hear that we just don't live like God is God. We should be shaking in our boots each day, praying that we live the way God wants us to. He has struck men dead and brought down whole nations for smaller sins than I have committed. I have a much higher goal each day than just continuing my own comfort & happiness. There is a holy God behind the visible that wants me to "Give all He asks: take all He promises."
    Strive to be one of those - so few - who walk the earth with ever-present consciousness - all mornings, middays, star-times - that the unknown which men call heaven is "close behind the visible scene of things."
    So I'll try to live today for the invisible. :)

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Put up with me please :)

    Over the next day or two I will be adding a bunch of my older posts to my blog here. Blogger would not let me do any importing so I'll just do it all the slow and monotonous way. :) So unless you are new here none of these posts will be new to you. But of course you are all welcome to read them as many times as you want to. :)

    Trust the instruments???

    Now, what's a girl to do when yet another warning light comes on in the van? Since we got our van a few years ago we've had a couple lights pop up. First it was the engine light. We thought that to be a pretty serious one and had it checked out. Just a wiring glitch, ignore it. Okay, but what if the engine has big-time problems someday and we wouldn't know? No answer for that one.
    Then a little while later the brake light came on. We didn't bother getting it checked, hubby thought they were okay. Ignore that one too. The third warning was the telling us there was a door ajar somewhere. We spent a few minutes slamming every door and finally decided to ignore that one too.
    Well, tonight the 'light' light came on. Apparently there is a light out somewhere. I didn't even bother to check. It's probably just a stupid wiring glitch again.
    All this to say.... If you see a woman driving a navy blue van erratically, it's probably because the engine died, her brakes quit as she was speeding down the road trying to get her door closed, all while she couldn't see where she was going because the lights went out.
    If I get a vote,(which I doubt), I say to get the wiring fixed or sell the van and let someone else worry about it.

    Gimme Gimme never gets..... or do they?

    Everyone is raising money these days. I enjoy giving money to a worthy cause. Missions, Diabetes Assoc., Compassion Canada, etc. But whoever started the whole "Sponsor me so we can go on a cool class trip." or "Would you buy some apples so our scouts group can do some cool stuff." or even "I want to play sports but don't have the money, could you sponsor me a few dollars?". Where did that whole mentality come from??? There was a response in our home for times like this. Dad always said "Go pick apples!". Does no one know the meaning of the word 'work' anymore. If you need money, get a job. Simple. Don't go around begging loot off of others so you can pursue a fun past time. If you want to play hockey you will have to get a job to pay for all the gear, ice time, weekends away, dentist's visits etc. That's just the way it is, or should be. If your scouts or Brownies group want to go camping and do neat projects, then all those little girls and guys should be filing into those apple orchards and getting to work.
    Or, if this mentality is truly acceptable can I run with it in my own personal endeavors???? You see, I really want to have more flowers. I would love my dooryard to be full of wonderful colorful blooms. The fact is it's just too expensive to go crazy at the local garden centre so could you sponsor me? I really am excited about it and I would water and weed them each day, I just need $150 or so. I might even become famous and be in a magazine someday. Do you want to be in on the deal?
    Or how about scrapbooking. It's my passion. I have some great ideas for a whole new page to work on. If you could sponsor me $60 I'm sure I could do a great job. Would you like to be part of my creative hobby in a financial way?
    Doesn't really make sense but that's what kids are being taught to do. Everything they want handed to them and they grow up thinking they deserve for people to hand their money over anytime they feel a need to do something new but don't want to dig into their own pockets to do it. I've got 3 words for all of them, "Go pick apples!". :)

    I love to simplify.

    I love simplification. We really do have too much. Too much stuff. When it comes to toys, our house it too full! Today it seemed that everyone wanted the toy the other person had. Nothing was fair. No one wanted to share. So I quickly came up with a plan. Boy, it's a good one. :) I packed every single toy away. The only thing I left out was the box of lego. There's enough of that to keep 4 chillins busy I think.
    We had some crying and pouting as I packed it all in my wonderful Rubbermaid bins but I was unmoved. Vicous I know. I want us to learn to comunicate kindly to each other. No more grabbing, mean looks.. or whatever else they do that they shouldn't. If we take away all the toys they have nothing left to play with but each other and (in my plan anyway) learn to get along. There are other benefits as well. There aren't a million distractions all over the floor, the apartment stays much neater and I don't have to deal with the arguing over toys all day.
    For a while after I packed everything up the kids walked around like lost puppies. I then suggested to them to play 'otters' like the cousins did the other day. Well, that seemed to spark something. They didn't play otters but they made boats from cushions and from there turned into beavers building dams. We ( I should say, they) had chicken fights and played a couple crazy games of hide and seek. At one point there was a game of Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe tag going on around the van.
    By the time we sat down at supper everyone was getting along. They talked together more and also had conversations with me more than usual.
    At supper I told them to tell Daddy what they had been doing all day. One started to say, "Well, it wasn't any fun without toys!", but the eldest cut her off and said, "Yes it was! We had the best time ever!".
    I am looking forward to tomorrow to see what great strides we make towards having fun together.
    As I was reading a story to the kids before bed I was assured that it was a good thing I had done. People have too much nowadays and it makes us greedy and unthankful. The story was about a family building their one room home on the Prairie. Here's what was going on 'way back when'"
    ...they had time to make a wooden door. Ma could hardly wait to have it fastened in the doorway. "It'll be so nice having a real door," she said. "And if we could just have a wooden floor-why then I reckon I'd have nothing more to wish for. Do you think we could?" she asked Pa.

    I'm sure we can survive without a few toys around. And do it quite satisfactorily I'm sure. At least I'm loving it so far and it appears the kids are far happier and it's only been a few hours. The imagination is a grand thing.

    Want to be like Elijah!

    I do want to pass along another quote I found. I thought it fell into the Proverbs 25:11 category. "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
    I love the "Streams in the Desert" book that mom gave me a couple years ago. As per usual with all my books this one has many things underlined. The past few pages of it has been on prayer. Doing it more, deeper... then yesterday this was part of the reading....

    "We cannot create the wind or set it in motion, but we can set our sails to catch it when it comes; we cannot make the electricity, but we can stretch the wire along upon which it is to run and do its work; we cannot, in a word, control the Spirit, but we can so place ourselves before the Lord, and so do the things He has bidden us do, that we will come under the influence and power of His mighty breath.

    Now here's my favourite part...

    "Cannot the same wonders be done now as of old? Where is the God of Elijah?
    He is waiting for Elijah to call on Him."

    That makes me excited and sad all at the same time. What have I missed on the journey so far because I haven't taken more time to talk to the Lord? And it's exciting because my journey isn't over yet and you just never know what may be in store when I get on my knees.

    Scripture Reference Book

    A few years ago I was given a copy of this book and right away thought it was great. Though it says 'For Counseling Women', I know this book to be of value to moms. It gives a list of subjects including things like abortion, death, fear, marriage, temptation, unsaved spouse and includes 75 topics in all. Under each topic you find simply scripture dealing specifically with that subject. No ramblings from an author on their opinion on the matter, just verses. It's nice to be able to look up quickly what verses you need to help explain something to your children. Of course, that's for people like me who don't have the whole bible memorized and ready for all those deep questions kids have.
    It is available at
  • CBD
  • . But if you live close enough you are welcome to pop in and borrow it. :)

    Friday, November 9, 2007

    Book Review Friday: Colossians

    First things first, let's read Exodus 1-5 for the next week. It will take us 8 weeks to get through the whole book with reading 5 chapters each week. :)

    I really really really liked Colossians. It's right up there with one of my favourite books to do a review on, but I'm afraid I won't do it justice to how it spoke to me this week. There was a bang!! in the very first chapter. This is one of those oh-so-good but oh-so-hard verses, "that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;" 1:10,11.
    Now pretend you are having a hard time wanting to do the right thing. A very hard time. In fact you just don't know if you can keep doing the right thing and remain sane. I've been there before and those feelings come and go sometimes. Reading these verses at a time like that is both bad and good. It's bad because you realize you have to keep doing the right thing anyway, and good because of that verse 11. 'strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;" All within the time it takes to read 2 verses my heart can go from the depths of despair (I just can't keep trying to please Him!!!), to realizing that He is the one giving the strength to do it. It's totally supernatural!!! And the thing is that when I do what this verse says and trust God to give me the grace to handle anything that comes my way there really is peace and, believe it or not, joy! Though I was surprised to find out that the 'joy' mentioned isn't a bubbly happy kind of outlook on life. It's more of a quiet understanding and contentment knowing that God is in control and you have a much greater closeness to Him because of your present circumstances.
    How can I expect to live life constantly hoping for my own happiness in my own way when I was created for another purpose? "All things were created through Him and for Him" 1:16. For Him, we were created for Him. I have to keep eternity in mind. No matter what He plans for my life and all that I may have to deal with there is a much greater purpose than what I can see. Many times I am completely blind to all that He is doing and I only see either problem days or those good days and just put one foot in front of the other, discouraged or with a spring in my step. When my focus shifts from the problems or being happy to trusting God and what He is doing, that calmness and joy comes.
    Practically speaking verses 3:17 & 3:23 show me what I need to do to stay on the right path. "And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." "And whatever you do, do it heartily , as to the Lord and not to men," Pretty self-explanatory verses. They should convict us all in many areas of our lives. If I started taking notes of just how I spent my time in 5 minute segments each day all day long, I would probably be shocked at my misuse of the time God gave me, and just how many things I did that I couldn't really do 'in His name'.

    Anyway, I didn't mean to make this long. I need to get some shut eye before my little chillins are awake and rarin to go for another whole 12 hours! I'm going to need some of that 'might' and a little of that 'glorious power' before 6am tomorrow! :)

    Well, here's Mr.Linky. Please link your review if you did one and I'll love reading them tomorrow. I'm sorry I didn't get my review done until such a late hour. Sometimes life just doesn't work out the way one would expect. :)
    If you are new to the whole Book Review Friday thing just check it out, the links to the info are on my sidebar. We'd love to see a new name pop up!

    Wednesday, November 7, 2007

    A quote to get me going today...

    "Christian wives and mothers need to awaken to the need for personal holiness and obedience. Let us receive criticism for our faithfulness and fruitfulness and count it all joy; but if we receive it for our unfaithfulness and fruitlessness, then we deserve everything we get and probably more.... If our marriages are not in order, if our children are disobedient, or our homes a wreck, then we give the gospel of Jesus Christ a black eye. Criticism from the outside should be a result of our godly behavior, not our sinfulness." `Nancy Wilson

    Boy, do I have a lot of work to do today, tomorrow, and every day for the rest of my life!!! At some point I hope the right thing to do will come naturally.

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    Wish Lists.

    I would love to have
  • this new book
  • !! All of us moms need encouragement and this book just seems like it would be that! Check it out for yourself and you may be just as tempted as I am to order it for myself and not wait to see if hubby will remember in time for Christmas. :)

    What is Book Review Friday?

    Book review friday is just a bit of an encouragment for all of us busy ladies to get a little deeper into the Word of God. Join us each Friday as we read through a certain book of the Bible each day for a whole week. Even if you don't read it every day you still learn so much and it helps to start a great habit. Each Friday you can put what you've learned in the past week on your own blog and use Mr. Linky right here at 'Run the Earth, Watch the Sky', so it's available to all of us involved, and we can be an encouragement to each other. When you have it in mind that you will be giving a little write up on what you learned or loved in the book you read that week, it helps you to avoid reading your Bible just for the sake of reading. I pray this will be fun and a help in our quest to 'keep our minds on things above'.
    Remember to run the earth and watch the sky!

    Friday, November 2, 2007

    Book Review Friday: Titus

    Edited to add my review....
    First things first, if you'd like to join up with us we'll be reading the good old book of Colossians until next Friday. I was a little surprised to find that we haven't read it already. If you've been with us from the beginning you have read 28 books! Actually you have done more than just read them, you've gotten to know the Word so much better than you had before. And so we'll just keep running with the idea and get to know Colossians this week too. :)

    My review will have to wait until this evening. We have a birthday to celebrate and homeschool group stuff all on the same day. Exciting times. :) I'll be back later to say what was in my brain this week because of Titus. For now you can add your own review to Mr.Linky for the other Book Review ladies to read. Have a great day & I'll see ya later.

    Okay, I'm back now to write my not-so-deep review. It may not be anything new but it was a great help to me this week. It's all about focusing for me. That is a constant struggle, to stay focused on the right things. Every time someone mentions Titus the first verses I think of are from the first part of chapter 2. It talks to the older women and younger and what they are supposed to do and how they are to act. I love that it is so black and white. I need that. If you are young, married, or have children your life's work is laid out for you pretty clear. So my 'job from God' is to love my family, be godly and take care of my home. It sounds so simple but it's so desperately hard!!! All week long that simple statement about loving my family were constantly in my head and reprimanding many of the activities I chose throughout of the day. Many times I caught myself being selfish and wanting 'me time' when my family needed the mom up and ready for them. I caught myself letting them take care of themselves a little too much. Just because they can do it doesn't mean they should or that mommy can't be there with them for that quality time. I found myself making mommy too busy and unable to relax and enjoy fun times as a family because I was lazy earlier in the day and didn't work while I had the chance.
    That 'loving' entails so much too, not just having fun and hugs and kisses. I need to be on top of 4 children's attitudes 24 hours a day and be looking deep into their hearts to be watching for where work needs to be done. Loving means teaching and training too.
    This is just a snippet of what I've been thinking through. It's not deep but it's sooooo important. I want to be that woman of character that can be the example for my children to follow. I want to be aware of my own faults and be asking the Lord to change me, and I want to be aware of just what kind of kids my kids are so that I can be asking the Lord to give wisdom in how to train them.
    As for Loving my husband, I need work. Being married has been the hardest thing I/we have ever done. Seriously, if it wasn't for the Lord I have no idea where we would be right now. I'm so glad the icky years are over now but even though our marriage has changed from night to day in the past few years, I/we still need work. But every marriage takes work, eh?! It's not all fun and games. :) It's books like Titus that remind me of what I am to be along my journey in these relationships. And for that I am thankful.
    And another not so deep thing I had running through my brain was from 3:8 where it says, "...that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men." Just a little reminder from Paul to do the right thing, all the time. It's worth it.

    So that's where I'll stop. If you endured my ramblings that were not so thought out but thought of a lot this week, hats off to you. :) Now I'll be waiting to see if a review makes it to Mr.Linky soon. :)

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    Works for me Wednesday: No tape measure - No problem!

    It's a good idea to always have a small tape measure in your purse. You just never know when you'll need it. Yard sales and second hand stores have cool desks or sofas or pictures or.... well lots of cool stuff. The problem is that sometimes you just don't know if it's going to fit when you get it back home. My hubby taught me this trusty trick many years ago and I have used it time and time again.

    Just measure your hand span and then you always have a ruler with you. Mine just happens to be 8 inches. So when I want to know how tall a dresser is, whether that inseam is long enough for me to bother trying them on, or if that rug is just going to be a few inches too short, I just measure how many hand-spans it is and count by 8's. I've used this trusty tool when buying my children clothing by just measuring (with my hand) their inseam before I leave the house for our used clothing place. It really does work for me and I'm sure it will work for you! :)

    Tuesday, October 30, 2007

    Mom in Training

    Yep, I'm reprinting this post from way back, like, 1 1/2 years ago! Reading in Titus this week with Book Review Friday (see sidebar) has brought the 'younger women loving their children' verse to mind a lot lately.
    Here's a picture of my little Lone Ranger to go along with my thoughts. This is my eldest who has to deal with most of our parenting mistakes, because... well, he's the oldest. Poor guy.

    Anyway, here's what I said then and am saying again now. :)

    I am terrified to be in charge of teaching and training my children. That feeling is probably healthy considering it makes a parent very careful about how their children are raised. I desire for my children to have a heart for God. To make Him the central focus in everything they will ever do for the rest of their lives. I want them to know the scriptures inside and out. I want them to live out what the scriptures say with confidence. To have such faith in their God that they will obey Him without question, at any cost.
    Many people think I go a little overboard on some issues. But what others thought and believed won't matter in a thousand years. Let them think what they will. I have more important things to be attending to. I want to please God. What will matter for all the rest of eternity is whether we raised our children to glorify God or not. That is the issue.
    This terrifies me because I have had yet another realization of what this truly means. It calls for much on my part. It is a huge order. I have begun to ask the Lord each day to put in me the desire that he wants a mother to have. When you ask a question like this of God you have to be ready to get your answer and work hard.
    Each day I noticed more and more the things that I had been missing out on before. All those missed opportunities to help mold and shape their little hearts to be open to the things of God. Chances to give a verse and teach them true wisdom. Chances to get involved in their lives on a deeper level. Chances to gain their affection and trust. Chances to point them to Christ.
    Though some may think that sheltering my children from many outside influences such as reading material, movies, even other children, is actually going to work against what I want to accomplish, I stand firm on my convictions. The stakes are too high. Why would I want to mar their chances of purity at such a young and impressionable age? I definitely want them to be able to live as 'wise as serpents' in this evil world, but they are in training session right now.
    A wise mother watches for glimpses into their child's soul each day. From that you gain an understanding of where they are spiritually and what they can handle and where they need further training.
    I am thankful for mothers who have gone before that we can gain wisdom from. I watch them and learn. Sometimes I learn what I need to do and from others I learn what not to do. Either way, I am thankful for their examples.
    This past week I realized that I just wasn't getting the 'mother' thing and started with a simple prayer. "Lord, help me know what I am supposed to do as a mother." But a simple prayer like this forces you on your knees more and more as you realize how inadequate you are for the job God has called you to. You also get excited to see results that only He can make happen.
    It really is amazing what you learn and how much you can grow in a short time when you stay home and start pouring your heart into what counts.

    Monday, October 29, 2007


    Folks, this is scary! Many people out there do not think it necessary to home school. It is!
  • Read this
  • and don't think that we aren't affected by it. Children who attend any school whether in the US or Canada are dealing with these things everyday AND it will come to this before long right where we live. It's just that these new laws are so blatantly evil it should give us a wake up call before it's too late with our own children. They're kids, they aren't strong enough to handle it, (and light bulb moment here) neither are we as their parents. These are scary times and Christians need to start studying, praying, and getting into action.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Book Review Friday: Zephaniah

    First things first, let's move on to Titus for the next week. It's a super short one but I'm sure we'll find it super good! :)

    I liked reading Zephaniah a lot this week. I had a hard time grasping just exactly what this prophet was saying. (By the way, I think it's exciting that I know now who a few of the prophets were since we've been reading these books together. I wouldn't of had a clue before who was or wasn't. Oh yes, we're learning lots!). I'm thinking that he's warning about the Lord returning and them not being ready because of the sin they are living in. The people are called to repentance and they are told about the judgements to come if they do not repent and escape them. It ends with explaining the blessings of being one found faithful and hidden safe in Christ when the judgements come. I think. Much of it I cannot figure into this equation because I really have no clue what is really being said.

    Despite the fact that I have no sweet clue with much of it but find it terribly interesting I was convicted with a few verses. The first being, "I will search Jerusalem with lamps, And punish the men Who are settled in complacency. Who say in their heart, The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.' 1:12 Complacency is one of the major sins in the Church and in the individual Christian life these days, and apparently always has been. When life just continues on day after day with the same routine it's so easy to drift off into la la land spiritually. I am that one that starts thinking (without really thinking about it) that God is in neutral mode. He wouldn't do anything drastic in my life- I'm not that bad that He would have to deal with me! Big mistake. That was exactly who this prophet was talking to. That's how these people were summed up at the first but as we read through we see that there are other names for 'the complacent ones'. Names like, 'rebellious' 'polluted' 'insolent' 'treacherous', to name just a few. To God these sins are one and the same. It's scary for me to think that I am actually doing damage to God's purpose in my life by just not caring enough.

    In chapter 3: 3-5 it explains the wickedness found in the people. All of this is carrying on day after day with people not really thinking about what they are doing and all the while, "The Lord is righteous in her midst," He's right there seeing it all and being perfect waiting for the time to act. And the kicker- "But the unjust knows no shame". Although we know He is righteous and He's there somewhere, we don't really care and we just keep going right along. Shameless!

    I do not want to be part of the pollution problem. I'll be asking the Lord what is polluting my life and I'll need to pray for strength to do something about it too. It's all about being ready and chasing life, as my little logo up there at the top of my blog says. Live with purpose- God's purpose.

    So even though some was confusing God still got some major points through to this brain of mine. Now I'll wait to see what God put on all your brains this week. Let's fill up Mr.Linky ladies! :)

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    I'm not ignoring you :)

    I keep forgetting to mention to anyone who cares that my computer is acting up. For some reason it won't let me leave comments anywhere, including my own blog. Slightly annoying. :( In fact I am not able to scroll down to read comments that might be left there for me. Not sure what the problem is and not patient enough to figure it out.
    Hey Laurie, I really hope that you are feeling better! :( That cutie little baby will be here before you know it! :) We are reading Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is a total tongue twister for me and if I'm tired it just gets worse. The kids don't seem to mind, though the eldest is the only one who understands any of it. I think they would be happy if I read the dictionary, just as long as I was reading to them. :) I've had to skip a few things. It's had a few choice words and a little mature subject matter dealing with violence that I've skipped, but just short bits and pieces. You may not have a problem with it though. I think I'll skip the Prince and the Pauper for a bit if it is old english. My brain needs a break. :)
    As for the comments ladies, I am reading the usual blogs and enjoying them all. I'm just not able to say hello to you there.

    The facebook fiend.

    I canceled my facebook account today for the last time. I will never return. I loved being able to get in touch with a few people that I had lost somewhere along the way in the past 12 years though. Facebook really could have been a great tool for keeping in touch with some great people but..... there are just too many disadvantages to surfing around on it. Here are a few that I have had to deal with in my time on it:
    1) The ads are horrid!! HORRID!!! There are absolute vile adds that appear on the sidebar every time you enter a new page. (If you don't think they are vile your conscience has been seared.) I don't want to worry about my kids seeing half-dressed (if we're lucky) women while mommy shows them the newest pic's of her friends. And I figure if I have to warn my husband not to get a facebook account because of it, it's not good for anyone including myself to bother with.

    2)At first, months ago, it became a great time waster. It is easy to become addicted and then our first priorities as wives & moms suddenly take second place to a computer screen. You really don't realize how much time goes by as you are typing and clicking away.

    3)You can't control what your friends have on their own facebook walls and stuff. I went on to say hello to a friend and see some pic's and was greeted by a cartoon that will forever make me want to be sick to my stomach. Vile, that's all I'll say.

    4) Also, pictures are not the only problem. The language is awful. What is disappointing is that I saw the language and rude pictures on some of my Christian friends facebooks.

    I began yesterday to go through thinking I would just delete all my friends that had things that I found objectionable. It bothered me so much just checking each one out and seeing if they were 'clean' or not that I just gave up and decided it wasn't worth trying. Seriously, it shouldn't have taken me this long to figure it out, I know.
    I'm going back to good old fashioned email and my favourite, Kodak Gallery. We love pictures and send out lots of them through that.
    What bothers me about facebook is that there are so many Christians (just like me) on there and they are seeing the same stuff that I do. Does anyone else think this is just plain wrong??? Maybe you think I'm just old fashioned and need to get a grip but I'm just saying it like I see it. We got rid of the TV so that we didn't have to see stuff like that, why would I subject myself to this nasty stuff if I don't have to. One of our latest readings in Book Review Friday helped me in my decision to deactivate my account. "(for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)" 2 Pet 2:8
    Anyone want to help me out? I can't seem to find that verse I know that says "I shall set no wicked thing before my eyes". Where is that???

    So I'll go the old fashioned way from now on - email, to keep in contact with those great friends I found on facebook. Maybe they'll change things and it will be clean someday and safe for me to join again.... what are the chances?? :(

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    Produce :)

    We are so excited to give you the latest news from the Elson's chicken ranch! We collected our first eggs this week!!! Our eldest has had the job of caring for the chickens since they were chicks. He was so excited and in such a rush to get back to the house with the two eggs he found that one was lost along the way. Everyone wanted a turn holding the the egg that did make it, and just stared at it for a long time. If you'd like to take your own loooong look here ya go...

    Impressive eh?! Yep, we're pleased and looking forward to the day when we see 23 fresh eggs in the coop waiting for us. Woo Hoo!!

    Saturday, October 20, 2007

    Results of building Rome in a day.

    I didn't do too bad. I always want to get more accomplished than I actually see completed at the end of the day, but here is my list of what I can remember doing in my 12 hours today:
    Sweep & tidy sunporch
    Rearrange kitchen
    Move dishes & appliances into their new home :)
    Fed my chillins breakfast, lunch, & supper
    Washed a wall
    Cleaned bathroom
    4 loads of laundry washed, dried, put away
    Washed and set out winter gloves n' such
    Read to my youngest
    Did a puzzle with my youngest
    Watered my plants
    Moved dress up clothes to their new bin
    Tidied & swept upstairs
    Moved school books & supplies to their new home
    Picked out everyone's church clothes & ironed them
    Read a BRF post (thanks Barb!)
    Bathed children before bed
    Had a visit with Grampie & Grammie
    Read a chapter of 'Kidnapped' to the children
    Made hubby's lunch for work tomorrow
    And thankfully last night I worked out the lesson plan for each of the children's schooling next week and I don't have to do that now.

    Maybe that's a normal day for you but it's more than has been done here all in one day since mid-September. I love seeing things get done. But now it's time to chillax and say hello to hubby.

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    Book Review Friday: 2 Peter

    Edited to add my review :)

    First things first, lets read the book of Zephaniah this next week. Why not!?! :)
    So read it through each day and more if you like until next Friday and we'll all write something we learned or loved from it. I'm thinking we'll all learn something since most, if not all, haven't read it before. Exciting eh!?

    Some weeks I come away from my reading a little frustrated and this was one of those weeks. I just couldn't understand stuff. It wasn't a long book and it doesn't seem like a terribly hard one either but I'm just running into a brick wall for the most part. Nothing came together except for a thought on brotherly kindness and love.

    The most confusing was 1:5-9. Where Peter talked about adding virtue and knowledge, self-control and perseverance and godliness. And then brotherly kindness and love. If I lack these things I'm blind and shortsighted and living as if I'm not saved! I'm stumped. Maybe that is my clue with this book. I have a lot of soul searching to do. I am feeling very shortsighted this week and reading through that list, and seeing all the ones that don't apply to me, I can understand why I'm having a hard time. God has many ways of teaching lessons and maybe this is one.

    The one verse that I really did get was 2:8 "(for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)". How can we expect to be anything but spiritually messed up if we allow our lives to be surrounded by things that aren't glorifying to God?! Many of us have those 'strange wives' that Anne wrote about so well a couple weeks ago. We need to be in the world but not of it.

    Anyway, that's my review. Late & lame. What can you do though. I learned a bit of a lesson this week, I have A LOT to learn and I'm missing out on A LOT. But that's good right, it's all part of the journey. :) Whenever another review pops up here I'll be quite excited.
    Have a great weekend. I'm planning to have another 'Build Rome in a Day' day here. Lots to get done. Since apple picking started many things have fallen behind and I'm going to do my best to deal with them all in a 12 hour period. In the words of Bob the builder, "Can we do it? Yes we can!!"

    If you don't usually read your Bible or can't seem to make it a habit why don't you come along for the ride on BRF and try it out? The info for it is up in my sidebar to explain what we're all about.

    Tuesday, October 16, 2007

    So long apple buckets & bins!

    We will no longer be taking the morning trek to the apple orchards this year. It's officially over, not becuase of a lack of apples to pick but because at some point homeschooling children need to be be homeschooled. Mother also need to catch up on laundry piles and the usual chaos in her home.

    We really have had a good run in the orchards this season though. We were able to do a bit better than last year and it was great to see the improvement in how the children worked themselves from one year to the next. I am looking forward to the day when my children are self motivated teens excited about another chance at some good honest work, with that good ol' honest pay of course. :) We have a ways to go since mommy was harping on them constantly that our boss doesn't pay us to chase mice and watch geese fly over his orchard, or climb his trees or rest in their shade!

    Anyway, in the past couple of weeks it has been hard to 'keep house' and school has had to take a back seat to bigger and better things. But now those bigger and better things are at an end and I AM SO EXCITED TO GET UP TOMORROW AND HAVE A DAY AT HOME! What is even more exciting is that my house is almost in a state of order now. My mom showed up while my children were eating their supper at 7pm (that's what kind of a day it was) and saw the mess and immediatley took to the dishes, and sweeping, and folding laundry and I know not what. I bathed children and vacuumed and by the time she left and hour later my house was looking so much better. And as it usually does, my mind was clearing just as fast as the mess was dealt with by mom.

    So now it's off to bed for this gal. I'll be reading 2 Peter before my light goes out and I hope all you BRF ladies have read it today as well. :)

    I'll leave you with a picture of something I will not be seeing until September next year. :) :) It's the view from the part of the orchard where we first started picking a few weeks ago.

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Book Review Friday: 1Peter

    Edited to add my review :)

    First things first, we'll read 2 Peter until next Friday.

    Reading 1 Peter was great! I loved it and could spend another week or two here very easily. There were a few places that I didn't quite understand but overall I think I began to grasp what Peter was writing about here. At first I thought it was all about our conduct as Christians but realized after a number of readings that it goes deeper than that. It's about our attitudes that foster our conduct. If we say that we are Christians than how we live will give evidence either for or against that claim. This book is all about being serious about it.

    It doesn't take a brain scientist to see that Christianity has many problems these days. We are more caught up with our music and fashion and a whole lot of entertainment than anything else. Peter was reminding the early Christians of the dangers of being caught up in the things we have been saved from. Wherever our hearts are will show up in how we live. Why do we allow our hearts to be held by such frivolous things around us if we can experience something so much greater?!?

    The hardest things I found to read were about having a sincere love for the brethern (1:22), being submissive to my masters whether they be harsh or not (2:18), being submissive to my husband (3:1), refraining my tongue from evil (3:10), and rejoicing when I partake in Christ's sufferings (4:13). But it all comes back to living my life according to the grace that was bestowed on me. I was bought with a price but do I live like I have a master? What attitudes am I fostering in this little heart of mine? What do I fill it up with day by day, moment by moment? What do I allow my eyes to see, my ears to hear, my time to be taken up with? So many of my efforts, actions,and words are lost for all eternity because I did not have my heart in the right place.

    When I am careful to fill my mind with Scripture and take the time to be in prayer with my God, not only does the sincere love, submission, control of the tongue, and sufferring become easier, they become an all-consuming joy. I know this because I have experienced it before. It really does happen, I want it to happen again. I do know that prayer is the only thing that changes me. I've tried so many times to rally myself and be a better person only to realize once again I've goofed and it's impossible. God changes the heart, the attitudes, I just have to be willing and ask Him too.

    First things first with this though, are you really saved??? "If indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious"(2:3) you could have no doubt. But if there is not a drastic difference in the way you live your life and how your unsaved family or friends live theirs, you either need to repent and get saved or you need to repent and get serious about your life in Christ!
    Now I'm off to read your reviews. I'm so excited!! I hope someone touched on 2:9. I love that verse but can't put my finger on why enough to write someting down. :)

    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Happy Thanksgiving !

    We had a nice thanksgiving, how about you? :)

    Sunday, October 7, 2007

    Brilliance Not Required!

    (Reposting this tidbit from my Jan/06 archives)

    "What we have lacked in money and brilliance, we have tried to make up in service." These are the words of Laura Ingalls Wilder's grandparents and once again I have found hope in a simple statement. I am so glad that we cannot find anywhere in scripture where the Lord requires us to be brilliant so as to be used by Him. If that were the case all hope would be lost in my case. There is nothing that I have ever read in the Bible to even remotely allude to the fact that smart people are more successful than the academically challenged, in a spiritual sense. But I guess it's all in our definition of success. According to the worlds standards I will never be successful. I, a stay-at-home homeschooling mom that graduated from high school with poor grades and only 1 year of Bible college after that. In the way of brain power I do not have much to recommend myself. All of my teachers will attest to that fact. Yet good grades don't come into play in the scriptures in measuring success. I see things like "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." and "A woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised". It's a blessing to be able to read scripture and understand and be able to apply it to my life even though I couldn't make out heads or tails in English classes in school. The Holy Spirit reveals things that are supernaturally understood and I count it a tremendous privilege that the Lord chooses to work in and through people as lowly as me as well as those who have a great mind for earthly knowledge. I want my children to excel in their school work and reach far beyond my humble capabilities but... they're true success when all is said and done will be judged by God not by the local school board. God will want to see a young man or woman who is completely surrendered to Him and serving Him with their whole heart. I want to be the kind of parent that gives them a thirst for knowledge but also a tremendous thirst for service to their God. That's a tall order and a much harder one than just teaching them to read and say their times tables, but it will count for eternity. So what I lack in brilliance (& money) I will seek to make up for in service. It's worth more in the long run anyway. :)

    Saturday, October 6, 2007

    Hooray for me!!!

    If you check my Ezra review you'll see good 'ol Mr.Linky himself down there. I figured it out and it really wasn't complicated. I'm so glad.

    Friday, October 5, 2007

    Book Review Friday: Ezra

    If you are annoyed by the lateness of BRF showing up please see previous post for a really good excuse as to why it's late. Thanks so much. :)

    First things first, let's read.... ummmmm.... how about 1 Peter this week? Sounds good to me! :) It's much shorter than Ezra so there should be no problem in getting it all figured out within the 7 days, right? :)

    As for Ezra, I could do with another month on that book. I loved it and I'm not even really sure why yet. Maybe it's the oncoming cold in my head blocking all good sense. I will attempt to put just a portion of what struck me from the reading this past week.

    It's really late and I desperately need to get to bed so I'll keep this short yet again. I'll just deal with good ol' Ezra himself right now. The very first verse that stood out to me was 7:10
    "For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Isreal."
    Can I put my own name in that verse??? 'For Shannon had prepared her heart to seek the law of the Lord and to do it.' I'd like to think so, but I know better. It's a great story to read about other people way back when, but when the Lord starts making it personal in my own heart, it becomes more than just biblical history, I start to get convicted.

    I have failed in the past to purpose to do the right thing no matter what. Then I read about all these captives that realized they were living in sin and then they seek to make it right. They've been living with the Canaanites, the Hittites, and all those other 'ites' for a long time. They would have been quite comfortable in their sin by now. I find it very exciting that they all were convicted and repented and sought to put away their sinful life. It would not have been an easy task.

    God was very gracious to them, and it is a reminder to me that I have that same God and need to be thankful. The thing that keeps me from being thankful is pride. Someone who is proud cannot be truly thankful I think, that's coming from someone who finds it a great struggle. :( We really do have a patient and gracious God, but we must remember to fear Him.
    "Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel assembled to me, because the transgression of those who had been carried away captive," 9:4
    Have you ever trembled from your fear of the Lord. If we are not driven out of Love to obedience then the knowlege of who God truly is should be enough to keep us on the straight and narrow. But, it is true that we have lost our reverance for God and what He has called us to. We spend our time trying to figure out how much we can get away with and still carry the name Christian, or we spiritualize our own wants and somehow make ourselves believe they are actually God's will for us. I consider 9:8 a warning for us as well. If we take the time to ponder where our fluffy Christianity is taking us today these words will hold much meaning and urge us to quickly repent and get moving for the Glory of God, not our own happiness.
    "And now for a little while grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes and give us a measure of revival in our bondage." That's what we need, revival! As Christians most of us are so caught up in living for ourselves we have no idea we're in bondage. In fact, we're quite happy to carry on as we are. Meanwhile God and His temple are being ignored and left in ruins. I need to get serious and see what needs to be done to repair that foundation that was talked about in chapter 3. Once the proper foundation is laid then the Lord can get to work on the rest and make a temple to glorify Himself in.

    Well, it's time for bed. That's all I'll say for a review. I could go on and on about so many other things! I hope to see some reviews to see what you all found for yourselves. :)
    I'm so sorry that I don't have a Mr.Linky for you all. I'm having a hard time setting it up for this blog (story of my life). If you have a review please leave a comment so that people can find it and I'll see what I can do to make Mr.Linky and Mr.Blogger get along. :)

    Meanwhile have a great Thanksgiving weekend!!