Thursday, November 08, 2007

My last post......

Gosh, this is just not easy to do or say. I love blogging and reading other blogs. I've gained insight, learned how to do new things, gotten great recipes, etc., and hopefully, I've been able to share a little inspiration as well. But this nagging voice in my heart will not stay away. It keeps telling me that I spend too much of my precious, limited time here, instead of making my home wonderful for my husband or taking the time to hear my children's hearts each day. I love being able to share a word of encouragement with others and I believe God has allowed me to do so on many occasions online, but I have to make sure first and foremost that my husband and children get my time, my encouragement, and my love. I just haven't done a great job balancing my computer time with my priorities. My children are growing much too fast and I'll have a teenager in just 6 months! My children must know that they do not play second fiddle to whatever momma wants to do, and sadly they have. I've ignored questions from them because I was in the middle of a post. That shouldn't be. This isn't necessarily what I want, but I know that God will bless my obedience in striving to be the best wife and mother I can be. I'm very thankful that God has spoken this to me because it is evidence that He is being a light for my path for the sake of my family.

I thank you all for your precious words of encouragement to me along the way. Without you all, I wouldn't have had the confidence to paint. You all have been a blessing, and I hope to check in with your blogs as time permits.

((Hugs)) and blessings!

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Latest......

I thought this painting would be just precious in a baby girl's nursery! It was a fun piece to do!

I'll be signing off from my blog for a week. Next week is my scheduled week off from school. I'm LOVING my 6 weeks on, 1 week off schedule! I plan on doing something creative with my girls and just enjoying our time together without any diversions. I will also be participating in Susan G. Komen's Race for the Cure on Saturday. It's nice to be a part of such a wonderful cause. I'll be walking the 5K with Meg, my sister-in-law and I'm looking forward to it!

I also want to say that I'm over half way through the book Created to Be His Help Meet. I have to admit that I didn't expect to get much out of it. I've been blessed with a wonderful marriage and I have always adored and loved my husband. So, I went into it thinking that I really didn't need to read it and expected to hate it from what I had heard about it. And though I don't necessarily like the tone of the book at times or all of her ideals, it does make me want to go above and beyond to be pleasing to the dear husband I have. It's really opened my eyes to some things I do and I appreciate that. It's been good for me as I'm always motivated by such books. Many thanks to those that recommended it to me.

See ya in about a week!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Why am I surprised......

I just did a post a few days ago about our changing country and how it is moving further away from the values that reflect a country that is predominantly Christian. If you think I was being extreme, check out this link in the WorldNetDaily that explains the new law that California Governor Schwarzenegger has recently signed. It outlaws terms perceived as negative to 'gays', such as mom or dad. It allows allows boys to use girls restrooms and vice versa and homecoming queens can be boy or girl.

I know we as Christians must strive to be loving and nonjudgmental toward others when we ourselves are flawed. Jesus loved sinners. This is not anything to condemn the people living that lifestyle, but that lifestyle is starting to affect ours. Our "politically correct" country is becoming a hard place to raise a traditional family. That's really sad to me. And just think what this new law will do to churches as they try to teach and preach the Word. Don't you see the consequences of electing the person with the most name recognition without doing your homework on what that person stands for?

Update......just so I'm not guilty of passing misinformation, here is the straightforward information about the bill that the governor passed:
California S.B. 777
Summary: This bill would prohibit instruction or activity or the use of any instructional materials in public schools (or in some cases private schools receiving state financial assistance) that reflects adversely upon any persons because of their sexual orientation or actual or perceived gender. The bill also prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or actual or perceived gender in any program or activity conducted by a school that receives state financial assistance.
Status: Bill was introduced February 23, 2007. It was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 8, 2007. On April 17, 2007, it was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 3-2 vote. On May 10, 2007, the bill was read for a third time, amended, and went back to second reading. On May 24, 2007, the bill passed the Senate by a 23-13 vote.
On June 4, 2007, the bill was referred to the Assembly Committees on the Judiciary and on Education. On June 26, 2007, the bill passed the Judiciary Committee by a 7-3 vote. On July 11, 2007, the bill passed the Education Committee by a 7-3 vote. On September 11, 2007, the Assembly voted 43-32 to pass the bill, and the Senate 21-15 to concur in the Assembly amendments. The bill was sent to the Governor.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Testimony of God's Healing Power

This video was posted on my online homeschool loop. The video is of a woman named Nancy who nearly died during an emergency c-section of her 4th child. Her baby was delivered with no vital signs. Baby Naomi was quickly revived and put on life support. Nancy's heart arrested three times, she had two blood transfusions and was in a coma for 11 days. She had people around her praying for a miracle. In the end, the doctors were amazed and gave God the credit.
The video is about 5 minutes long, but worth watching......

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lainey's Birthday

Every year it seems I fret over whether or not to have an "official" party when it comes to birthday time. The truth is I'm not a fan of the typical "invite 30 kids kinda party". That stresses me out! I much prefer a few friends and family, but at the same time, I want it to be special for the birthday child.

This year, we skipped the friends altogether because I wasn't sure if everyone would be well enough and I didn't want to make plans and have to cancel. Thankfully, everyone was much improved, so we went bowling and out to eat as a family. It was lots of fun......well not so much for me where the bowling is concerned. I scored a 3-9! Yes a 39!! I have no idea what happened. I love competing and I've always been able to bowl OK. But on this night, I just plain stunk! I was the loser, granted the children had the bumpers up that kept their ball from the gutters. I think I needed to bowl on their lane! In my defense, the first time I threw the ball my wrist felt slightly sprained and it was down hill from there. Britt kept asking me what was wrong as I guttered one ball after another. When we got back in the car, my precious first-born so graciously asked me if I was embarrassed.............

The next day on Lainey's official birthday, we met Britt's mom, step-dad, and sister for lunch out. Over all, Lainey had two days of celebration and absolutely no hassle! It was lovely. Oh, the cupcakes, though they don't look like my inspiration cupcakes, did taste oh-so-yummy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I hope you don't mind.....

the sign in my "yard" for my presidential candidate. For the first time, this next election is important to me. I've decided to do some research on who stands for the things I feel are important. I think that there are a lot of major problems right now in America and it scares me. For a country that vows itself to be predominantly Christian, I'm all too aware of how easily and quietly some of our rights can be taken away. I think I've always felt a sense of protection that I've taken for granted and now I realize that I, "we", have to stand up and have our voices heard. Because you know what, if we don't, these "other" minority groups will, and they are being heard. I never want to turn my blog into anything political and I hate controversy, but I do feel it's my responsibility to take stand up for my beliefs and rights. It sickens me that a school in Maine is making birth control pills accessible to 11 and 12 year old CHILDREN. It sickens me that a 6 week old embryo with a beating heart is considered a choice and not a child. It sickens me that stores and media have stopped saying "Merry Christmas", yet a Musl*m cartoon was pulled from newspapers because some Musl*ms might find it offensive. How are things like this allowed in a country that 80% of it's people say they are Christian? I'm all for freedom of religion and even for having respect for other nationalities and people, but that's not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about our Christian rights in a predominantly Christian country. I have no problem with the Musl*m cartoon being pulled. My problem is that my religion is not always given the same respect and that the laws and rights of our country don't always reflect Christian views.

In many countries even today, Christians are persecuted. It wasn't too long ago that millions of Jews were killed. It seems logical to me that we should be keenly aware of who we allow to have the loudest voice in our country. Right now it may be the voice of g*y rights, but tomorrow, it could be your religious rights or your homeschooling rights or your right to protect your home and family with a firearm.

We're living in a time that we can't trust what the media tells us. We can't always trust what politicians tell us either. Who knows what is the right thing to do about the war? What about the border? Do you want your tax dollars paying for illegal immigrants? They do. When so many Americans have no health care, our tax dollars are being poured out left and right. Do you know what on? I confess, that I don't. I have no idea. I've been bored with politics and I confess to changing the TV channel when talk of the war, the economy, our security, the Middle East, Russia, China, etc., because quite frankly, it scares me and I would rather pretend there is no problem. But lately, something has stirred in me and I feel I must stop turning a blind eye to these things. But first I have to pray for wisdom and get educated. Only God can guide me through all the mud and muck that pollutes truth.

You can't read a history book without seeing how a major empire or world power came crashing down.....time after time. Take the Roman Empire for one time, the emperors of Rome were called "The Rulers of the Whole World". The Roman empire was large and prosperous. Times were good. But they had a problem....they were too large and the army couldn't protect their borders. Sound familiar?

The United States is still a young country and it is vulnerable. We can't falsely assume we are safe. Our country, our leaders, and other countries need prayer and action. I want to feel peace in the fact that God is in control and is pleased with our nation. Do you think He would be pleased with the United States of America today? Have you read in the Bible how God allows hardships and suffering to befall on His people who have turned to their wicked ways? I'm not trying to scare or depress anyone, but I do hope to stir your spirit and cause you to seek God and truth on the matter.

I ask that you all join me in keeping your eyes open to current affairs. Research the candidates and decide which one most closely aligns with your beliefs and values. I know none will be perfect, but I know that some are better than others. It's my prayer that Christians will take it seriously and make our voices heard. Pray that God will direct this country to His chosen leader.....a leader that will make decisions with God's leading, wisdom, and conviction.

Right now, my candidate of choice is Mike Huckabee, who is slowly but surely, climbing in the polls. He was a minister turned Governor of Arkansas and he seems to be a man of integrity. I will be watching him and all the candidates closely as the debates are aired. I want to know what it is that I will be voting for. And I vow not to focus solely on this election, as it's important at the local level too. Let's let our voices be heard. We can't be so afraid of offending that we sit back and fail to take action. There is one religious group (and you know who I'm talking about), who would love to take over America and the rest of the world, that is not afraid to die for their faith. The least we can do is to pray, be informed, and vote!

Click here to read more about Mike Huckabee in a recent report in Newsweek.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Home-made Play-doh Again

I've posted before about how much I love home-made play-doh, especially when it is still warm. The kids will play with it for hours.

A few days ago, Jenn at Classless and Lovin' It posted a recipe for pumpkin pie play-doh and I knew I just had to make it.

Yesterday was the day. It was rainy and gloomy.....the makings of a perfect play-doh day.

Luke helped me cook it, and he was thrilled to do so. He normally doesn't get to spend too much time in the kitchen with me since he has three older sisters who get to fill that spot when I need a helping hand.

Of course, having a toddler in the kitchen did create a bit more of a mess than normal, but I guess that's just part of letting go and having fun!

The dough smelled WONDERFUL! The kids loved it! We pulled out butter knives, a rolling pin, and cookie cutters and they went to town. Since then, they have gotten it out two more times and are at this minute playing with it at the table.

Here's the recipe:
Pumpkin Pie Playdough
What You Need:
* 5 1/2 Cups Flour
* 2 Cups Salt
* 8 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 3/4 Cups Oil
* 1 (1 1/2 ounces) container pumpkin pie spice
* Orange Food Coloring (2 parts yellow, 1 part red)
* 4 Cups Water

What You Do:
1. Mix all ingredients together
2. Cook and stir over medium heat until all lumps disappear.
3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it is smooth.
4. Store in airtight container.

My only advice when cooking it concerns step lumps never disappeared at that stage. I just cooked it until it held it's shape and then I took it out and kneaded it slightly. I quickly divided it off and let the kids finish kneading it while it was still warm. The amount of dough this makes was perfect for my four kids. Everyone got a nice sized lump of play-doh.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Easy Enchiladas

This recipe came from a friend several years ago and has remained in my menu rotation sense then. It's an easy and quick dinner and even freezes well. Last night, I made a double batch and stuck one in my freezer to enjoy at a later date.

For these easy beef enchiladas you will need:
1 1/2 pounds of ground beef
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese (divided)
6-7 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 4.5 oz can of diced(or chopped) green chiles (no need to drain)
1 10 3/4 oz. can of cream of chicken soup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 X 13 casserole dish. Brown the ground beef and add the chili powder. When cooked, drain the fat and add in 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and stir. Fill each tortillas with about 3-4 heaping tablespoons of the beef mixture, roll up, and place in the dish like this.....

Next, mix the sour cream, chiles, and cream of chicken soup together in a bowl. Pour on top of the enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for 25 minutes and enjoy! It's not too spicy and my whole family loves it. Let me know if you give it a try!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Birthday Time!

My baby girl turns 7 on Friday! It's amazing to see her with no front teeth and to realize how quickly she is growing up!

Since our family has been under-the-weather, we will not be doing a big party with friends. Instead, we plan on taking the kids bowling Friday afternoon and out to eat if everyone feels well.

Lainey says she prefers that I make her a cake instead of buying one, so I started browsing my favorite cake site called, Pink Cake Box. Her cakes and cupcakes are AMAZING!! I only wished I lived in her area so I could try one personally! But, I'll have to settle for the inspiration I get when I see her gorgeous creations. I could only dream of creating cakes like that! Of course, since it will just be us for Lainey's birthday, nothing elaborate is called for. So, I'm going to be making those adorable cupcakes with the swirled dollop of icing. Mine will be the simple version! She has a recipe for her cream cheese frosting, so that's the icing going on top our my cupcakes!

Another site I found last night while cruising the Pink Cake Box is Cupcakes Take the Cake. They have pictures of all kinds of cupcake creations which may give some of you do-it-your-selfers such as myself, some great ideas! Enjoy viewing these fun sites!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Recommended Cleaning Product

I'm not usually one to promote a certain brand of something, but this is the new all-purpose cleaning product that I bought recently. A friend recommended "Fabuloso" to me after her cleaning service used it. She said her house smelled delicious!!

And so does mine now! I'm telling you, it smells so yummy that I've cleaned every surface of my house! I even felt motivated enough to entirely clean out my refrigerator and freezer! The product (I bought the fruity green kind) doesn't have that mediciny cleaner smell, and it doesn't have to be rinsed.

I googled to see if there were any health risks involved with this cleaner and the only thing I found over and over again is that many people have mistaken it for a sports drink based on the look and smell. It will not kill you, but it could make you sick! They've recently changed the packaging a bit and added a child-proof top.

If you need a little cleaning motivation, try one of these Fabuloso cleaners. The purple and the green are my favorites! I found it at Wally World and it's relatively inexpensive. Now is a great time to do some deep cleaning since Thanksgiving is a mere 5 weeks away! The holidays are quickly approaching us!! And no, I'm not getting paid to advertise for them! I've just enjoyed the product and wanted to share!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Over the river and through the woods.....

to Grandmother's house we go! That song played over and over in my head as we traveled the dizzying curves and hills and crossed numerous rivers to get to my mom's house in Nashville. The scenery was gorgeous! I only wished I had gotten a picture of all of it. Here's a pic of the Tennessee River as we crossed it........

And this is the view outside my mom's house. When she said she lived on the river, I didn't think she meant ON the river! Boy, she has no yard, just a steep embankment to the Cumberland River. The view is gorgeous though! Luke couldn't take a nap for fear that every noise he heard was a boat he might be missing! .......................

Even though Lainey and Luke felt under the weather, we managed to have a great time. Luke did NOT want to come home and wanted to go back to the Opry Mills Mall!

Luke could have spent all of his time here! You can see Lainey with her new "Build-A-Bear". They all made one on Friday night, except Luke. He was too grouchy from being sick and on medication. The poor thing happened to be standing in the way when the lady was stuffing Madeline's animal. She accidentally lost her gripe on the animal and the stuffing flew (quite forcibly) all in Luke's face. He started to cry and had that fiber stuff all in his eyelashes and mouth! I can tell you that that didn't help his mood any! I never could talk him into going back to get him one!

We ate dinner at the aquarium restaurant (not sure of the name). It was a cool place where salt water aquariums filled with sharks, eels, and all kinds of fish surround you for your viewing pleasure while you dine. The kids loved it.

Can you see my little man staring at the fish tanks? I didn't use a flash since we were in a restaurant. He was mesmerized.

I have a few more pictures I'll share tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

See ya on Monday!

I took Luke to the doctor this morning after he woke up at 4:30 a.m. still running fever and with a croupy sounding cough. He has the typical upper respiratory infection with perhaps a touch of bronchitis. We got some meds and are praying that he'll feel much better tomorrow.

Our trip is still on and all the children are thrilled to be going to Grandmother's house. We will leave bright and early in the morning and will enjoy a scenic four hour drive through the woods . We're very much looking forward to the get-a-way and I truly appreciate your prayers concerning Luke!

A friend of mine sent the following inspirational cartoon in an email this week, and I wanted to leave you with this until I return on Monday. Have a blessed weekend!

Awesome!! We complain about the cross we bear but don't realize it is preparing us for the dip in the road that God can see and we can't.

Whatever your cross, whatever your pain, there will always be sunshine, after the rain....

Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall; But God's always ready, to answer your call....

He knows every heartache, sees every tear, a word from His lips, can calm every fear...

Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night, But suddenly vanish, in dawn's early light...

The Savior is waiting, somewhere above, to give you His grace, and send you His love...

My children are rarely sick.....

but when they do get sick, it's often when we have something great planned.

This coming weekend, we have planned to go see my mom in Nashville. I've never been to her Nashville house and I've posted before that it's been since December 2003 since I've been to her Kentucky home. Part of the reasoning is that my mom and step-dad have a nut business and they travel a lot and, they have a booth in the Opery Mills Mall in Nashville that keeps them busy. But this weekend was finally free for her and my step-dad is out of state (that's a good thing ;0), but I'll spare you the details of that).

So, the plans have been set, Cooper is scheduled to be boarded and neutered on Friday, Britt requested Friday off, and.........

Luke woke up this morning with a 102 degree fever and is lying in my arms, sluggish, as I type!

I know God has ways of protecting us and leading us and who am I to stand in the way of His plans? But if you think of it, would you please pray with me that if it is OK with Him, that we would be able to take our quick trip to Nashville, have our little picnic on the Natchez Trace, and visit my mom this weekend with well children? I really want to go. But more than that, I want my babies to feel good.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Absence Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Britt had to go out of town for two days and since he has been gone, I've been working to make his arrival back home a pleasure for him. You see, his "love language" is acts of service. Mine is not! :0) He shows love by doing for others, but according to the Five Love Languages book, he also feels loved when others serve him. My love language is quality time, so I'm filled to the brim just being with him. But I have to remember to go out of my way to fill his love bank with his love language. If you haven't read that book yet, I highly recommend it!

Yesterday and today, in between our school time, I've been working to make sure this house is sparkling. I'm a slob.....there, I said it! I get in these creative modes, whether it's painting or scrapbooking, and I get so focused on that, that I don't tidy up along the way. Things get cluttered quickly. My laundry room/scrapbook room was a MESS! Yesterday, I emptied it out, moved another table in there, and brought everything back in neatly. Our room also got freshened up (it was a wreck from getting ready for a clothing consignment show) and today I'll work on the school room and kitchen. I bought a new floor cleaner that smells heavenly, so I can't wait to mop! Huh? Did I just say that? LOL

Britt is such a server, that he often does laundry and dishes without me even saying a word. I don't want him to arrive home and feel a need to lift a finger. He is so precious though......he told me last night on the phone that he hoped I wasn't doing too much. He said he doesn't want me working harder in his absence than when he is home (am I blessed or what!). If he only knew how much easier it is when I'm working out of love and out of missing him. I used to hate when he had to go away. Now, it just feels like an opportunity to show him love through his dominate love language. It gives me a few days to get order returned to the house and I know it will mean something to him.

So today, I'm blessed as I prepare for his homecoming and, I'm enjoying the process! Now, I had better go get busy again as my time is nearly up!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Madeline's Baptism

Madeline's baptism went very well! She eagerly volunteered to go first, and we were so proud of and for her! She was very excited to finally make her public confession of faith! It was a special day indeed!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Bible Study is Off!

I will not be doing the Helpmeet study......well not with the group anyway. The lady leading the group called today and said that they are having trouble getting the books in time, so the study is off. She hoped that everyone that signed up would be able to join in with another study.

I can't tell y'all the relief I felt and I'm not exactly sure why. I knew after the first meeting, that something wasn't right in my spirit about it, but I tried to trust God on the matter. I was so sure that there was something to be gained from it! I guess I'll read it on my own some day soon. I'm really surprised that it ended like this though!

Changing the subject a bit, my daughter Madeline (age 9) will be baptized tomorrow! We are all looking forward to the special moment when she publicily acknowledges that Christ is her Saviour!

I pray you all are having a blessed weekend!

Talk to you on Monday!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

This and That

Good morning everyone!

This is just a post to fill you in on various little things.

First, several of you have asked what kind of camera I bought.......I got a Canon Powershot S5 IS digital camera. It came last Friday, and I'm still trying to get it figured out! It has many settings and is a little more technical than I bargained for! :0) I'm enjoying it though! This is one of the first pictures I took from it! 6 months old Cooper......

I also wanted to share this new painting I did several weeks ago. It's done on three 6 X 6 inch canvases. I plan to get it listed on Etsy some time this week.

I started my Helpmeet Bible study last night. I'm really hoping that the class will be a good thing. Right now I have a little apprehension. I have such a blessed marriage and though I know there is always room for improvement, I felt a little out of place last night. It was a small class (5 people counting the facilitator and me) and I'm the only stay-at-home mom. I guess the selfish part of me was hoping for more common ground, but I'm prayerfully hopeful that God will reveal great things to me through this study. As a side note, the Conversation Peace study was PACKED! I just have to trust that God lead me to the right study!

And lastly, I posted last week or so that I had started back my exercise regimen after a small hiatus. I have a 5K in 23 days so I've really been motivated to push myself to run. My friend Jill used to run a lot and is also on a venture to get back in shape. She has been meeting me at the track and, thankfully, she really pushes me to go the distance! The first night we met, we ran 1 mile (and that was a stretch for me!) and walked about 6. My legs were sore for several days! A few nights later, we met again and we ran 1-1/2 miles and walked about 6. Then on Tuesday night of this week, we ran 2 straight miles and walked about 3-4 miles. I was excited that we are continuing to increase the time we run. She even made me run faster as we neared the end......even though she clearly could see that I was hyperventilating! LOL Now I need to get one more mile in and I'll be able to run the entire 5K. I know it's going to take some pain to get there, but I also know it will be rewarding! I've said this before, but it does make running and walking so much easier when you have a partner! I'm blessed to have three consistent ones-Meg, my sister-in-love who got me off the couch, my husband who will walk with me several times a week, and Jill.

My brother and Meg are currently in the air traveling to Italy today with her family who happens to be Italian! Some time this week, they will be in Rome and Venice and will be standing in the Sistine Chapel looking at the works of Michelangelo!! I can't imagine and I'm tickled for them that they have this opportunity to go back to see where they (well, actually Meg, not my brother) came from. If you think of it, please pray for safety for them and for their family (some of which left babies and children back here at home).

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New Releases

New items have been added to my shop! These are some of my favorites yet! You can see closer up pictures there.