August 27, 2007

Challah Bread

Someone asked for the recipes of all the food I'm making for our Biblical Feast Sept. 14. Well, I don't really have any recipes except for the bread and dessert, and I'm still playing around with the dessert. I just wing it and know what tastes good on the other foods. I wanted to post pictures of my bread that I made last week. It's a six strand braid and really neat looking. Since it is so traditional, I really wanted to make this way of braiding work. I found directions for it here.

This is the first loaf- it braided just right, but still not the 'football' shape I wanted. It's all in how you taper the ends of each piece of dough. I forgot to take a picture of the second one that did turn our like it was supposed to before it was baked.

Here's the same loaf after it's baked. I brushed it with egg and sprinkled it with poppy seeds.

And here is the one that did what I wanted- tapered at the ends and fatter in the middle. I want it to look just right because it will be the centerpiece of each table. Now I only have to make about 6 more!!!

This is the recipe I used for these two loaves. I found it at
2 1/2 cups warm water (110
degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup honey
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tablespoon salt
8 cups unbleached all-purpose
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over barely warm water. Beat in honey, oil, 2 eggs, and salt. Add the flour one cup at a time, beating after each addition, graduating to kneading with hands as dough thickens. Knead until smooth and elastic and no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Cover with a damp clean cloth and let rise for 1 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
2. Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto floured board. Divide in half and knead each half for five minutes or so, adding flour as needed to keep from getting sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll into long snake about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Pinch the ends of the three snakes together firmly and braid from middle. Either leave as braid or form into a round braided loaf by bringing ends together, curving braid into a circle, pinch ends together. Grease two baking trays and place finished braid or round on each. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4. Beat the remaining egg and brush a generous amount over each braid. Sprinkle with poppy seeds if desired.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.

August 26, 2007

My Husband's Response to my anonymous comment

In response to Anonymous' comment: My wife (anneatheart) and girls are the greatest blessings God has given me. If anyone is dependent, it's me. I have a college degree and work hard to be what God has created me for. To first Love my God and listen and obey him, Love my wife and children and be the provider and protector of my family. Take that away from a man and you strip him of his masculinity. But I am dependent on my wife. She is the blood and life of our household. she keeps our home running when things get tough. She takes care of our children in sickness and in health, works hard with her hands, mind and soul to make our dwellings pleasant, clean and a great place we can call home. Overall I would say she has the profession that takes more than a few years of schooling to learn. She's been working on her "degree" for over 6 years now and has been getting better at it every day. My girls are not poor, but rather the richest little ladies I know of. My beautiful wife is teaching, no showing them from her life how to learn, behave, respect and love their peers, parents and most importantly their awesome God. She is teaching them the knowledge and principles of a loving God and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray that my girls will grow up to be just like their sweet mother, dependent on a loving Godly husband, who also depends on them. That is how God designed it. For a man and woman to come together for life, depending on each other and God in the roles God has given them. God is the head of the church, who the husbands can and need to depend on. In the same manner husbands are the head of the homes, who the wives should be able depend on. Again the parents are the head of the family in which the children depend on. EVERYONE depends and yields to someone. IF you don't believe me, don't yield to your boss and see how long you last. If a job has to have this sort of hierarchy, how much more the home to be successful.

My Sunday

Sundays are a busy day for us.

I woke up before 7am- my arms were sore from the painting :( I got up, made some coffee (by the way I drink decaf only) and set out some frozen pancakes I had made earlier in the week. Then I did some computer stuff for a bit.

A little before 8am I drank some coffee and defrosted the pancakes. I got the older girls up- oh yea, Leiah had a poop blowout! It wasn't too bad though. I got their rears cleaned up and at the table to eat pancakes (the overnight soaked ones with bananas mixed in) with good quality maple syrup, bananas and milk. (Horizon whole, that stuff is GOOD!)

I got Sarah and put her in the highchair. She was crabby at first and just stared at her food for awhile, but then started eating. My poor husband got paged for work AGAIN- he's been up and working early every single morning this week. After we all ate, I cleaned up and got the girls in their church dresses. Then I brushed and fixed their hair and let them watch a Praise baby DVD. Hubby was trying to pick out the music for worship, eat, and work on his laptop at the same time. LOL

I went to get dressed and fixed up. Then I started gathering play clothes to change into after church and packing the diaper bag. Dh finally got finished eating and working and went to get dressed. We got everyone in the car and ran out of gas...almost, the light was on. Luckily we live in town and the gas station is pretty close. We were running late too.

We arrive at church, scramble in while everyone is talking to us and giving hugs. We have a very small church with a lot of older people, and they love to give my kids treats, mostly gum. So, as soon as we get in there they take off running for the treats. Sarah usually finds the playroom. I get everyone settled on our pew with my mom and friend, while I go up to my keyboard synthesiser and my husband plays the guitar. We both sing- he leads, I back up. We also have a drummer and another back up singer and today we had a bass guitar player. (we never know who will be there or what kind of musicians we'll have- unfortunately people aren't always reliable) We never get to practice, yet the Holy Spirit guides our fingers and makes it sound good. It is the heart that matters.

Worship and offering time. Then the sermon. Sarah was terribly crabby- I could not get her settled down no matter what. I guess she was just tired or her teeth were hurting. Anyways, it was time to leave- my older two ride with my mom to her house. We're having grilled hamburgers over there.

We change into play clothes and eat lunch. Then we clean up and the girls play outside. (so hot) Sarah went to take a nap. My middle child ran down to my grandmother's house, so after awhile I went over to see how she was doing and they had modeling clay out. (my grandmother is 82 and in great health) So I ended up visiting with her for a couple of hours. I love being with older people, and she took care of me while my mom was working. We are so much alike too!

I can see that everyone is up and playing in the water and on the trampoline so I go back to my mom's. We visit a little while longer and then pack up the car to head home. Then I started some clothes washing and tidying up around the house. I made dinner, if you can call it that- ramen noodles and grape tomatoes. I clean up and get the girls bathed, clip their nails and comb hair. I get all of Leiah's clothes and backpack etc. set out for tomorrow since school is starting.

Bedtime for the girls. I sat down and watched two cooking shows I recorded from Foodnetwork yesterday. Now I'm blogging.

After this, I will put the clothes in the dryer and start another load, do any prep work for breakfast and run the dishwasher, take a bath or shower, get my clothes ready for tomorrow and go to bed. I need to get up early so I can get everyone ready- we're going to take Leiah to her classroom tomorrow, then head to a couple of stores to buy food and stuff for our trip.

Tuesday morning we are leaving for Galveston and will be back some time Friday. Then we'll be working on the mural in the girls' room and visiting some relatives coming in for Labor Day at my grandmother's house. So, I will be absent from blogger world for awhile!

Psalm 91 Part 4

I just wanted to reiterate that the posts I am doing here on the book, "Psalm 91 God's Umbrella of Protection" are just highlights, and the things that really stood out to me. The author goes into detail about every verse in Psalm 91, I'm give you a 'taste' of the book. This may be the last part I post, since I will be gone most of the week. We'll see...

This chapter is titled "The Enemy under my feet!"

" You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent (dragon in the KJV) you will trample underfoot." Psalm 91:13

In this verse God transitions to another topic. He takes us from the subject of our being protected by him, and He begins to put emphasis on the authority in His Name that has been given to us as believers.

There is a corresponding verse on our authority in Jesus name in Luke 10:19- "Behold, I (Jesus) have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you."

As Christians we have been given authority over the enemy- not him over us. We need to take time to allow that fact soak in. However, our authority over the enemy is not automatic. Too many Christians take authority when they should be praying, and they pray when they should be taking authority! For the most part Jesus prayed at night and took authority all day. When we encounter the enemy- that is not the time to start praying. We need to be already prayed up. When we encounter the enemy, we need to be speaking forth the authority that we have in the name of Jesus.

We need to be confident in who we are in Christ and the authority He has given us. If a situation rises up that we need to take authority in, will we have the courage to do it? At new birth in Christ, we immediately have enough power placed at our disposal to tread upon the enemy without being harmed. However, most Christians don't know that or they fail to use it. How often do we believe the Word enough to act on it?

So, what does it mean when God says we will tread on the lion, the young lion, the cobra, and the dragon? This is just a metaphorical look at things that are potentially harmful in our daily lives. So let's break each one down and see what these terms mean to us today.

Lion Problems- those problems that are bold, loud, and forthright- problems that come out in the open and hit us face on. At one time or another we have all had something come against us that was blatant and overt. It might have been a car wreck , or a boss who chewed us out royally in front of our fellow employees. Maybe it was an unexpected bill at the end of the month that caused a chain reaction of checks bouncing. These are lion problems- obvious problems that often seem insurmountable. And yet God says that we will tread on them- not the other way around.

Young Lion Problems- these can grow into full-grown problems if we don't handle them. These young lions come against us to harass and destroy gradually, like little foxes. "Catch the foxes for us. The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom. " Song of Solomon 2:15

Cobra Problems- These are the problems that seem to sneak up on us like a snake in the grass when we are going through our day, minding our own business. They are what we might call an undercover attack that brings sudden death- like a deceptive scheme that keeps us blinded until it devours us. How many times have you witnessed an unexpected church split or a marriage that fell apart so suddenly that you couldn't imagine what had happened, only to find out later that there had been offenses, gossip, undermining of authority,etc. going on behind the scenes? By the time the cause was uncovered, the poison had had its effect on it victims. Puncture wounds from fangs are hard to detect, and no one sees the poison as it travels through a body, but the results are always damaging and often times deadly.

The previous figurative examples we might have guessed, but what are the " dragon" problems? The Hebrew word for dragon in Strong's Concordance listed as " sea monster." Well, there is no such thing as a dragon or a sea monster. Dragons are a figment of one's imagination. But have you ever experienced fears that were a figment of your imagination? Yes! We all have!
Dragon problems represent our unfounded fears- phantom fears or mirage fears. That sounds harmless enough, but are you aware that they can be as deadly as the reality fears if we believe them? Some people's dragon fears are as real to them as another person's lion problems. That is why it is important to define your fears. So many people spend all of their lives running from something that is not even chasing them . Many people have shared testimonies about being delivered from 'fear of the dark' or ' fear of clowns' or ' fear of dolls'. Imaginary fears can cause us to do a lot of unnecessary running in life, so authority over dragons is very valid. (Amen to that!)

The Good News is that God says that we will tread on all the powers of the enemy- no matter whether they are loud and bold, sneaky and deceptive, or just imaginary fears. We have authority over all of them!

No longer are we to put up with the paralyzing fears that at one time gripped our hearts and left us powerless at the sight of the evil that was striking all around us. God has given us His Power of Attorney, and these problems now have to submit to the authority that has been given to us in His name- we can walk over the lion, the young lion, cobra and dragon.

August 25, 2007

Chronicle of My Day

~ This morning I woke up somewhere around 6:30- and very alert! I got up, did a second rinse on my diapers that I washed last night, and got my Bible to read John 8-10. About two minutes later my husband had gotten paged from work and he came in the living room to work on his computer.

~ Around 7:30 I went to the kitchen and started a batch of blueberry streusel muffins and cooked some scrambled eggs with ham and cheese.

~ I put diapers in the dryer and went to check on the older girls. They were awake and playing with their play kitchen. I changed Leiah into a dry pullup and Alexa went potty.

~I made them some chocolate milk to drink while the muffins were baking, then made Sarah her milk bottle and went to check on her. She was playing in her crib. I changed her diaper and brought her in the kitchen.

~ We ate breakfast- dh was still working. I started cleaning up the kitchen and let the girls watch Little Bear.

~ My friend Amanda arrived to help me paint the girls' room. We're all still in pajamas!!!!

~ I got everyone dressed and we went to Wal-Mart to get the rest of the painting supplies we needed.

~ After we got home I started moving all the furniture out of the room and put drop cloths down. Then I started taping off the ceiling and floors.

~Dh was still working...he kept an eye out for the girls while I was working on the bedroom. We started with the primer. After about 30 minutes it was getting close to lunch time, so I came back to make lunch for the girls. Leiah and Alexa had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mandarin oranges, Sarah and the rest of us ate leftover macaroni and cheese. We drank some very sweet fruit punch- yack!

~ Went back to the primer- me with the roller, my friend with the paintbrush doing edges.

~ Nap time for Sarah. The other two watched Lady and the Tramp and played with their tea set.

~Dh finally got done with working! He took all the outlet covers and such off the walls for us (I forgot about that) and some other things. Then he laid down with the other two girls for a nap in our bed. Sarah woke up right away- two down, one up. I put her in the playpen for awhile.

~ We started with the pink paint. The name of the color is 'Pink Chintz' and is pretty much a pink nightmare! No, it's not bad, it's just very pink, which they love. Dh came out and watched Sarah.

~After the other girls woke up, dh took over the painting while I filled the pool up one last time. It's 4:00 already! They played for awhile in the water and sandbox and the toys. I went inside to finish thawing out some chicken legs and preheat the oven.

~ We came in, got the girls dried off and clothes back on. Then they picked up the huge mess they made with their toys. I put Sarah in the playpen, then got the chicken in the oven. I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher, as well as washed some dishes by hand.

~ I made coleslaw, then got a pot of water boiling for the corn on the cob. Matt announced that the room was finished. It was totally done- he even replaced all the outlet covers and removed the tape and cleaned up. WOW! It's so pink in there! I will post pictures soon.

~ I painted the chicken with bbq sauce, made some iced tea and had a surprise visit from my sister. She admired the room and visited a minute.

~ Time to eat! Everyone scarfed their food down. I cleaned up the kitchen and my friend went home.

~We all went back into the girls' room and dh started drawing the mural. I laid on one of their beds watching him and they played with dolls and various items. Alexa is really starting to understand imaginary play now. It's so cute to watch. Sarah 'brushed' my hair with some kind of weird brush for awhile- that was funny.

~It's 8pm, and Sarah is ready for bed. I put her jammies on and made her a small milk bottle and put her to bed. She never made a peep.

~I got the other two in their pjs, then we went to the kitchen to eat a small serving of ice cream. I let them lay on the couch and look at books and watch some cartoons while I blog.

~ Next, dh and I made a list of things we will need for our trip next week and ate a snack. Then I went to take a much needed shower- it's amazing how much you sweat from painting. I hit the sack while dh took a shower. And that's all I can say about bedtime ;)

August 24, 2007

Part 3 Psalms 91

This next part is really what set me free. Satan had held me in fear for over a year, probably close to two years, about us getting sick. Not some terrible terminal illness, but mostly fear of the stomach virus. Such bondage- I would even get panic attacks about it if one of the girls woke up crying, afraid they were sick. Or even if my own stomach felt a bit queasy, I would get all worried I had picked up a virus and would be very sick. So, here we go.

"You will not be afraid of the pestilence that stalks in darkness." Psalm 91:6a

The third category of evil that God names is pestilence. This the only evil He names twice! And since God doesn't waste words, He must have a specific reason why this promise is repeated. God knew the pestilence and the fear that would be running rampant in these end days. The world is teeming with fatal epidemics that are hitting people by the thousands. So, He gets our attention by repeating this promise.

It's as though, just to be sure that we heard Him, He repeats again- you do not have to be afraid of the deadly pestilence!"

This is so contrary to the world that we have to renew our thinking before we understand the fact that we do not have to be afraid of the sicknesses and diseases that are epidemic in the world today.

The author says, "When I first started studying this psalm, I remember thinking, ' I don't know whether I have the faith to believe these promises!' It stretched my faith until I thought it would snap like a rubber band that was being pulled too tightly. But God reminded me that faith is not a feeling. Faith is simply choosing to believe what He says in His Word. The more I chose to believe God's Word, the more I had a knowing that I could trust and rely on it completely.

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will not pass away." Mark 13:31

In the Bible days when they mentioned pestilence, they were thinking of diseases like leprosy. Today we have AIDS, cancer, heart disease...but no matter what pestilence we might be facing, his promise is still true. The enemy may try to cause sudden surprises to catch us unaware and knock us down, but God is faithful.

The author then tells a story of how her husband decided to change health insurance and both she and her husband were required to have physicals done. Weeks went by before they ever heard anything about the results. Several months later they received a letter that said the insurance could not cover her because she failed her physical.
She says, " For the next few minutes, panic tried to overtake me. Every fearful thought imaginable was flooding my mind. It was then that I had to be honest with myself. I realized that for weeks I had been pushing back and ignoring a subtle anxiety that had kept the door open to an uneasiness in my emotions. Fear can be such a subtle enemy. "

Her daughter reminded her, "When you are walking with God and trusting in His Word, then to entertain reasoning and fear is sin-so stop it. Don't go there. " She decided to ' not go there' in her mind- by refusing to even consider some of the negative possibilities concerning her- finally put those fears to flight. Whenever a negative thought tried to come, she would say " A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand, but God's Word says that it will not approach me for any purpose- so I refuse to go there in my thinking."

Come to find out, there was an abnormality in her EKG, and when she went to be re-tested, it turned out to be something so minor that she need not come back for checkups or use any medication.
What we allow our minds to dwell on is our choice. Therefore if we desire to operate in this protection covenant, taking authority over negative thoughts and emotions is the key. Just saying to yourself "I refuse to go there in my mind." brings about such peace.

I will relate a personal testimony. When I was pregnant with my first child, I had to have a follow up sonogram because the one done at 22 weeks said she was measuring much smaller than she should be. Somehow, the next day, I just knew something wasn't right. I was called by the actual doctor to come in right away. As she explained to me what was going on, the horror of what might happen to my child began to creep in. My baby was only measuring 2lbs at 30 weeks, if she doesn't grow they will have to take her out, I had to be on bedrest, come in for non-stress tests and ultrasounds twice a week, and do kick counts everyday. I would have to go to Dallas for a more in depth ultrasound too. But, I refused to go there in my mind. I knew that I had been praying for her health throughout the entire pregnancy and I was confident that I could trust God's Word. My husband and my church stood behind me. From then on I never feared that we would have problems. Everyday, I thanked Him for helping her grow and develop as she should, and confessed Psalm 91 over her. Everything went as it should- she was growing, she was doing everything that a baby should at her stage, she was very active in the womb, andher heart rate was normal- this went on for 6 weeks. Our doctor had explained that our goal was to make it to 37 weeks, since that was considered full term.

Friday, January 3, 2003, I went for a regular ultrasound and non-stress test. She was estimated to be 4lbs 7oz, a good growth jump from before. As I was laying on the table with the monitor strapped to me, the nurse came in and that moment her heart rate went from 135 down to 80. She ran out and got the doctor and the doctor said, 'Looks like we're having a baby today." She checked to see if I was dilated at all, then I went to the hospital. About an hour later, I was laying on the operating table as they pulled baby Leiah out. She was crying! She was 4lbs 1oz and it was 37 weeks to the day.

Now, of course it would have been awesome to go into labor normally and deliver a healthy baby. But, this is how it happened, and it was much better than to have been in a NICU in Dallas for two months. She was perfectly healthy. She did have a heart murmur and difficulty eating and breathing at the same time, but within 10 days she was eating and gaining weight and doing great. By 4 months of age, according to our prayers, the heart murmur closed up. She was never sick her first year, and has been the healthiest of all my kids. Now that I know she has Trisomy 9, it's even more of a miracle that she's here. Most babies die in utero, or shortly after birth. And the ones that do survive, have a low quality of life.

A miracle. I am so thankful that I knew what I knew about God's Word and the authority He gave to us. The enemy tried to sneak in and steal my daughter's life, but because we had faith in God's Word, He turned it out for good. Thank you, thank you Lord!

August 23, 2007

Chronicles of My Day

Today I woke up around 6:40- my husband had already been paged from work and had been working on his computer. Guess he turned off the alarm because I didn't hear it.

I went to the kitchen and finished getting the pancake batter ready that was soaking overnight. I heated up the griddle and turned on the coffee and starting cooking pancakes.

I realized I did not have any eggs left and needed many today for my bread making...I always forget! My wonderful husband said he would run to the store and get some.

While I was cooking we heard the older girls, so we got them up and they took their vitamins and ate breakfast.

I sat down to eat, and then I heard the baby crying, so I got her up and changed. She was in a grumpy mood, so she sat with me while I ate and stared at everyone.

We got the girls washed up (syrup all over) and pull up changed when Daddy came back with my eggs. We said goodbye and I put Sarah in her highchair to eat her pancakes. It's 8:00am, time for Little Bear. Sarah was instantly in a good mood LOL.

Alexa sat in the recliner with the 'See and Say' toy, Leiah played with the stacking rings toy, and Sarah ate and watched the show. I washed the outside of a trash can I'm going to use as my diaper pail, put a trashbag in it and set it in the hallway by Sarah's room.

Then I sat down to check email and such.

I went to Sarah's room and stripped her bed and started her laundry. I put my laundry from yesterday away, got the girls dressed and made their beds.

Then I unloaded and reloaded the dishwasher and printed a different recipe for challah bread from Then I got the girls to the table with their crayons and new books while I made the bread dough. Sarah came in whining so I have her a little snack.

The girls didn't want to stay with the crayons, so I put a Baby Einstein movie in while I got the HUGE pot of lentil-barley soup going. Next I cleaned out the fridge and wiped all the shelves down, finished loading my dishwasher and started it up. I made a pitcher of apple juice (we use the frozen concentrate- saves space) and strained out my kombucha brew. This batch turned out great- tastes like flat coke with less sweetness and more fizz.

Kids are getting hungry and since I have so many things going on in the kitchen I put corndogs and tater tots in the oven. I put 2 quarts of water to boil to make my next batch of kombucha, to which I will add 1 cup of white sugar, 2 black tea bags and 1 herbal peach. After it cools I put it in my large pickle jar with the mushroom to ferment for a week.

Sarah has been fussy and has a bit of fever. Yep, those bad eye teeth are breaking through. I gave her some tylenol and she is resting on the couch watching Oobi. After she eats she will go straight to bed.

So, at 12:30pm Sarah went to take a nap and slept for about four hours. I rested for a bit, because I'm just tired today, especially after working in the kitchen all morning. Then I got to work on shaping my bread. I found a video online that shows how to braid it in the traditional six strand method. I tried it last week and things did not go well, so I was determined to get it right this time. Somehow I managed to get it just right even though my girls were not listening to me very well.

While the braids were proofing I made the girls pick up all the toys and go to nap time. I lay on a pillow on the floor until Leiah goes to sleep, usually 5-10 minutes. If I can get her to sleep, Alexa will usually go to sleep. They were both sound asleep when I shut the door.

So I thought. 15 minutes later I heard some banging on the wall. It was Leiah, our head banger. Alexa woke her up and they were standing on their beds throwing stuff. In my tired state, I was less than amused, and made them lay back down with a firm warning that there was to be no noise coming from their room. They were quiet for awhile, but then shut their door and started playing. Since they weren't yelling and banging I let them alone and laid on the couch for awhile.

I let them get up and started cleaning up my mess in the kitchen. They girls ate a snack and I got Sarah up, still hot with fever. She brought the remote control to me which means "I want to watch Little Bear." Since she isn't feeling well I am humoring her. I started the lentil soup for our supper and let the girls try to color in their books again. This brings us to now, me at the computer and the crayons are scattered ALL OVER! How that happened I do not know...

Next we will clean it all up, I will mix up the dumplings for the lentil-vegetable soup and tidy up the house. I'm going to change into some much nicer clothes and make a list of items I need from the store. After my husband gets home and we get the kids to bed I will go to the store.

My husband called to say he was at the Granary (our health food store) and ask what we needed. The girls ate their soup while I read some more of my Nourishing Traditions book. (there's parts that I still haven't read, like in the raw meat section...) Hubby got home and we ate salad and soup, then Sarah wanted me to hold her, so we went to the living room and rocked while hubby and the girls played and watched some cartoons. Then it was bedtime for the kiddies.

I ran to Wal-Mart because I made a massive amount of soup and forgot that I didn't have anything to store it in. Duh. Anyways, I splurged and bought some Breyers Reeses Peanut butter cup ice cream. I haven't eaten ice cream in forever!

After chatting with a friend and and my husband, I started my dishwasher and am off to bed.

I plan to put pictures up of my bread...I'm so proud :)

**I realize that my kids do watch a good bit of TV, however, that will soon change. So many times I would think to go turn it off, and then something else would call my attention and I would forget. Sarah is really addicted, but she is also good about entertaining herself with books and toys for long periods too. As long as there is a good balance, I don't see a problem.

August 22, 2007

Psalm 91 Part 2

Time to start the next part to Psalms 91.

"You will not be afraid of the terror by night." Psalm 91:5a

Verses 5 and 6 cover every evil known to man, which are divided up into four categories. The first is the terror by night and includes all the evils that come through man- kidnapping, robbery, rape, murder, terrorism, wars! It is the dread or horror or alarm that comes from what man can do to us.

God says, "You will not be afraid of any of those things...because they will not approach you." I don't know about you, but with everything going on the world, this is greatly comforting! The very first part of this verse talks about fear. Jesus said over and over again -'do not be afraid.' Why is it that He was continually reminding us to not be afraid? Because it is through faith in His Word that we are protected, and fear is the complete opposite of faith. He knows that fear will keep us from operating in the faith that is necessary to receive protection.

So, how do we keep from being afraid? When you think about it, fear comes when we think we are responsible for our protection. It's wrong to think, "Oh if I can just believe hard enough maybe I will be protected. " The protection is already there; it's been provided whether we receive it or not. Faith is the choice to receive what Jesus has already done.

The answer is the blood of Jesus. Even in the old testament, though their covenant wasn't as good as ours, Exodus 12:23 tells us that when the Israelites put blood on the door facings, the destroyer couldn't come in. The animal blood serves as a picture of the blood of Jesus, which ratifies our better protection in our better covenant.

When we say out loud, " I am covered and protected by the blood of Jesus.", the enemy literally cannot come in. It is heart and mouth- believing it in our heart and confessing it with our mouths. Nothing that has happened in this world has caught God by surprise. He has made provision for all things, even germ and chemical warfare, or what about the contaminated foods that have sickened many this past year? Here He says, "But you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water; and He will remove sickness from your midst."Exodus 23:25
If we find ourselves being afraid of the terror by night, that is our signal that we are not dwelling and abiding close with the Lord- we are not dwelling in the shelter of the Most High. When our eyes are not on God, fear will come. We have to choose to believe the Word rather than what our eyes may see, however real the attack may be.

"We walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7

The author then tells a story about a friend of her daughter, named Julee. She was getting ready for church one Sunday morning when someone knocked on the door of her apartment. Never dreaming it wasn't someone she knew, she opened the door. She was then knocked over by a strange man who shoved his way in and attacked her. Remembering that God said, "You will not be afraid of the will not approach you!", Julee started using the Word of God as her defense. In the natural there was no way for a young girl to escape from a strong man, but she was confident in her covenant that she never gave up!
After 45 minutes of spiritual battle, and him coming at her time and again, her persistence in quoting the words of Psalm 91 brought confusion and immobility on him- thwarting every attempted attack. During one of those times when he was at a standstill, she was able to get out the door and escape unharmed.
Later, after he was caught and held in custody, she found out that he had sexually assaulted numerous young women, and she was the only one who had been able to escape without harm.

We do not have to be afraid of the terror of what man can do to harm us. Praise God for His higher law!

We're DONE!

Wow, I am SOOOOOO glad we are done with speech therapy. After two months of driving back and forth with kids in tow, it was really starting to get to me. I also had to make another trip yesterday for Leiah's eye doctor appointment, which turned out well. Her right eye doesn't seem to be crossing in at this point, so we will continue with wearing glasses and will also have a more in depth testing of her vision in the coming months.

I am glad to get back into a more normal schedule, however it won't be normal at first. Next Tuesday we are leaving for Galveston for a much needed vacation. After Labor Day, Leiah will start back to school, which is an all day preschool for special needs children. Alexa, my three year old, will also start preschool at a Baptist church just down the road. I have debated on this for awhile, but I think she will have a blast and the curriculum is very much centered on the Word of God. Plus, it's only$75 a month, for three mornings a week. This is a great deal compared to most places. I'm excited to see what she soaks up at school.

So, I will just have little Sarah for a good part of my days. She is so sweet and compliant- I can actually do things like sew and organize with just her. I could probably even paint if I put her in the playpen. (I'm planning to decorate the girls' rooms soon) This will be an adjustment.

After school starts, I will be crunching it to get ready for the Biblical Feast I'm doing for our church. I've got some bread in the freezer and the stock made for the soup, and tomorrow I will be making the soup and freezing it along with as much bread as I can make. (natural sourdough bread and challah)

Then, after all that, things will be boring and we can settle into the rhythm of life with school again. Well I wouldn't say boring...

And hopefully by then, glorious fall, my favorite season will be here! Yay cooler weather!

August 21, 2007

Psalm 91 God's Umbrella of Protection

I have always loved Psalms 91. My mom would quote it to me and pray it over me as a child, and I memorized much of it. I have called on those verses in many situations, but I didn't know to the full extent what God has made available to us in these verses.

I recently read the book, "Psalm 91 God's Umbrella of Protection" By Peggy Joyce Ruth. She has studied the passage in depth and as God revealed to her the promises and truth in that Psalm, she wrote it into a book. Now, I know there are a lot of Christians out there that believe that God uses bad circumstances for His good, which is true. However, I know that He is not the cause of the bad circumstances, because as Jesus said, a house divided against itself shall not stand. Jesus could not rebuke a storm if He in fact was the cause of it.

So, as we take a look at this book, I ask that you have an open mind and heart, and allow God to show you what He wants you to see. I can't go into every chapter, but plan to highlight the parts that meant the most to me.

Psalm 91
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, "My refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust!"
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of trapper,
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;
Of the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
Or of the destruction that lays waste at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not apporach you.
You will only look on with your eyes,
And see the recompense of the wicked.
For you have made the Lord, my refuge,
Even the Most High, you dwelling place.

No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent.
For He will give His angels charge concerning you, To guard you in all your ways.
They will bear you up in their hands,
Lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and cobra,
The young lion and serpent you will trample down.

Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
And let him behold My salvation.

The very first aspect of this verse is God saying 'he who dwells in the shelter of the Most High'. When reading this verse, it really creates a picture in my mind of being in a secret, safe place where we can seek refuge. Psalm 91 is really a literal place of physical safety and security that God tells us about here in these verses.

This secret place is literal, but it is also conditional. Our part is to choose to dwell in His shelter. How do we do that? A love relationship with the Father, one that you've developed in this secret place, by investing enough time into it to make it personal and intimate. The place has already been made available to us, but we have to choose to be in it. Make sense?

If you are caught in a bad storm, and someone is waving you over to take cover in a strong, sturdy building, you have to run in there to be sheltered from the storm. God isn't going to drag you in there.

" For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence." Psalm 91:3

We have an adversary, an enemy, Satan, whom Jesus called the thief in John 10:10. He is the trapper, his sole desire is to destroy us. No matter how hard we try, we can never deliver ourselves from the traps set out for us. Only God can deliver us.

The enemy custom makes, places and baits his traps specifically made just for us. He knows exactly what will most likely hook us, and he knows which thought to put int our minds to lure us into the trap.
Paul said in 2 Corinthians 2:11 that we are "not to be ignorant of the schemes(traps) of the enemy." Then goes on to say

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ. "

God not only delivers from the traps of the enemy, but in the rest of the verse He says He will deliver us from the deadly pestilence. When I think of pestilence, I think of mosquitoes, bugs that kill plants, mildew etc. When the author did a word study on pestilence she found it meant pestilence was an attack on people.

Webster's New World Dictionary says that pestilence is " any virulent of fatal disease; an epidemic that hits the masses of people- any deadly disease that attaches itself to one's body with the intent to destroy."

Wow. And God says He will deliver us from it. This verse is a twofold deliverance- being delivered from temptation and deliverance from harm. Isn't God awesome?

More to come soon...

Up and Coming

I have had a pretty busy day so far. I tried to chronicle my day like Candy last night, but blogger was down and ate my post :(

Hopefully tonight I will able to start a series of posts about a powerful book I recently read. It is based on Psalm 91 and is something every believer should know. It's very exciting.

Oh, and I posted for everyone to see, I got my first 'mean post' from some random person. It's on the first day of my week in feminine dress. Jesus said the world will hate us because of Him. Until later!

August 20, 2007

Last day of Feminine Dress

This is the dress I wore to the outdoor work party the other day. (please pardon the wrinkles, no time to iron this morning) I made it from a pattern and majorly altered it. I bought the fabric off the $1 table at Wal-Mart three years ago! It's very light 100% Indian cotton. I have to wear a full slip underneath, and next year I will be making a cotton one. This nylon one from the store does not breathe!

The dress is supposed to look like the shirts I've been wearing, with a V-neckline and a waistband with the gathered skirt attached. I attempted to simplify it a bit, and unfortunately couldn't find the waistband piece. So, I made one free hand and it's uneven. Oh well. The pattern is a very pale sky blue, gray and white stripe. The fabric is so delicate that every time i wash it, even on the handwash cycle, a seam rips open. I have some mending to do...

Well, I hope you liked peeking into my closet. Summer weather will be here for awhile yet, so I'll be wearing these clothes for the next month or so. Then I'll have to start gathering cooler weather clothes. I hope I'll have some time to sew some clothes and am thinking of ordering the Edwardian walking skirt pattern from Sensibility. It looks very simple and flattering.

Now I'm off the get going on my busy day :)

** It's interesting that I look like I have something of a tan in these pictures. I have been outside this summer, but only swimming once and I'm usually in the shade. Must be our lighting.

August 19, 2007

Week of Feminine Dress Sunday

I got a good picture today. I am wearing an aqua- sea green stretchy blouse, bought at Cato. It's a style similar to Friday's shirt. My skirt is also from Cato, is a side zipping A-line skirt that hits just below the knees. The fabric is very light- there's a built in slip- and I like the interesting polka dots. I have makeup and jewelry today, yea! My hair looks the same, but I used tiny claw clips all over my head, mostly because I couldn't find the big one. I did my hair like that a lot when it was very short and growing out- not recommended.

Since I didn't get a post up for Saturday, I may try to get one tomorrow since it was supposed to be a full week. We'll see...this is the last week of me traveling back and forth for speech therapy, yea! Then vacation!! Yea!!! Then school starts for both my girls. Then comes the Biblical isn't boring around here :)

**Edited to add- after doing this week of feminine dress, I have to say my self image has improved. I don't look near as bad as I thought I did. And it actually appears that somehow I've lost inches because I look much trimmer than before. Thanks for all the nice comments and I hope it's been helpful and enjoyable.

August 18, 2007


I did take a picture of my clothes for today, but the picture was rather bad and we just didn't have time to try again. I wore grass green polo style shirt and black gaucho pants for half the day. They look like a skirt really. Then I went to visit my sister, where they are renovating their house and it's like a war zone, so I changed into a t-shirt and denim capris and old shoes. Wow was it a mess!

Anyways, I am definitely planning to get a good picture tomorrow, and will have it up in the evening. At least that is the plan, things may change...

August 17, 2007

Day 5 Feminine Dress

Yea Friday! Such a busy week, I'm so tired :)

Today I am wearing a knit top with a blue Hawaiian floral print. It's my favorite. It wasn't too modest until I altered the front so it wouldn't gape open. My skirt is a gored, stretchy denim, also a previous maternity skirt :( But, it really just has an elastic waist, no tummy panel, so it works just fine and still fits, so why not wear it? The skirt is shin length- not too short or too long.
Today's agenda- since there has been no other time this week I must go grocery shopping with the kiddies. Not my favorite thing to do, unless we go early and get a good cart. I also must cram in cleaning bathrooms, floors, dusting, clean out fridge...(I just didn't get to it yesterday with the afternoon party)

Have a good Friday everyone!

Note: Last night when I was at the party for my husband's department, I noticed that every woman there wore short shorts, tank tops or capri pants. I wore a very light dress that I made
(and I plan to get the picture up here too), my hair up, and sandals and I think I was the only one not complaining of the heat. (It was at a lake park) Not that I'm judging other women for not wearing a dress, but I was much cooler with a loose dress blowing around me instead of blue jean capri pants and polyester tank top, which I considered wearing. I did stick out a bit though...oh well :)

August 16, 2007

Day 4 of Feminine Dress

Today I am wearing my all time favorite dress for working around the house. I ordered it from and it's a bit large and the color isn't the best for me. But it wears well, and I don't worry about something happening to it since I already have some paint stained at the hem. I like the two pockets and that it has no zippers or buttons in the back.

I won't be taking pictures of the girls today. I usually work in my kitchen on Thursdays- cleaning appliances/fridge and cooking, plus I forgot my husband and I are to attend a special party for him and his coworkers early this afternoon. (in the lovely August heat) So, that will cut my kitchen day short. I had a long day yesterday and I'm tired, hence the lack of a big smile.

You can also see that my hair is very curly when I go to sleep with it wet:)

August 15, 2007

May 9th 1982- Mother's Day- is my date of birth. I'm 25. My husband will be 36 tomorrow. I was a few weeks from turning 19 when we got married- talk about rob the cradle! But, all of my children were born by the time I was 23, so that is pretty young I guess.

Day 3 Dressing Femininely

Well, here we are on the third day of seeing how I dress. I am actually wearing a maternity dress...when you are pregnant 4 times in three years, you tend to only have maternity clothes in your closet. And I am not one of those fortunate people who go back to a normal size after babies- I still look pregnant! Anyways, this is a navy/daisy print dress made of some very soft and flowy fabric, probably rayon again. Babies are mesmerized by this dress- high contrast! It is actually pretty long too- close to ankle length. I also like to pair it with this sheer white eyelet mini-jacket(?). It's very light and covers my undefined arms :) It also works great if you forgot to shave, LOL!! I took it off after the picture so I could scrub a pot. No makeup or jewelry yet, and I will be wearing my same brown sandals as pictured on Monday.

The girls are wearing sporty polo shirts and skorts today- there is playground equipment inside the therapy place, and my girls like to climb all over it with their rears in the air with a dress on. I haven't made up any new bloomers yet either, so these work nicely. Sarah got her hair fixed today- we'll see how long that stays up! She always seems to have a pacifier when I take her picture.

August 14, 2007

How old am I?

I'm just old do you think I look? When I was a teen and pre-teen, people always thought I was a lot older than I was. I mean, who could blame them since I was taller than all my teachers! After I got married and had a child, people would say how young I looked. Do I look old enough to have three kids? When I was a bit slimmer in the face I did look pretty young.

I'll give the answer later :)

Day 2 Dressing Femininely

Good morning, bright and early :) Today I am wearing a handmade 'practice' dress that my grandmother made for me out of fabric and notions she already had and also all from Wal-Mart. We were trying out a pattern. I usually wear it at home. I believe it's all cotton and is a pull-over dress- nice and easy. No shoes this morning :) I have included a close up of my hair- too.

And here are the girls. They're dresses are stretchy knits bought from Wal-Mart by their grandmother. Sarah's used to be a dress, but she's grown up so much, it's a shirt. She is wearing some pantalettes I made for the other two. I just used white muslin with a bit of lace. They've been through a lot!
Today's agenda- Tuesday is my laundry day until after summer, so I will be washing, folding, ironing and all that. I will also be making a gallon or so of chicken stock for a lentil soup I'm making for the church Biblical Feast. It will go in the freezer till I finish making the soup. I may make some challah bread too...just depends on how much I get done today.

August 13, 2007

Week of Feminine Dress

Today is the first day of my Week in Feminine Dress post. I probably won't have any action shots because my camera doesn't have a timer, so hubby will have to take them before he leaves for work. I will try to include how my daughters dress too.

Today I am wearing a linen/rayon blend dress I bought for $13 a few weeks ago! I've never worn a dress this style before and I like how it looks on me. The colors are a brown, red and khaki plaid and it's a bit scratchy so I'm wearing a nylon full length slip underneath. This is a 'going out of the house dress'- as today I am taking Leiah to her speech therapy, and, while most women there don't care how they look in public, I do!

I am also wearing some brown slide on sandals. I only wear shoes that slide on and off- just habit and no time to mess with anything else :) It's amazing how the camera adds about 20lbs to you too :( No makeup yet, maybe not at all, just depends. Also, my hair is down to my shoulders, but in summer it goes up in a 'claw' clip. I also use tiny claw clips for the front of my hair, and it sort of has an Edwardian look to it :) I really am Anne at heart.

Here are the girls. Amazingly I only bought two of the dresses, and they were from resale shops. I have been very blessed because almost all of my kids' clothes have been given to me or purchased at a very low price. I also try to coordinate their colors and mine. It just bothers me if we're not at least in the same color family. So we have a blend of red, white, navy and brown.

Aren't Leiah's glasses cute?

I must confess, it is 100 degrees today, and my linen dress wasn't as much linen as I thought. As soon as we got home it had to come off! So I am wearing old dingy maternity t-shirt and shorts because I will be scraping wallpaper off later. I did put makeup on though :)

August 10, 2007

Update on cloth diapers

I received my cloth diaper order on Monday. I washed and lined dry my flats and toddler prefolds and started trying them out. I really like using pins. They're the good quality dritz metal head pins and if you run them through your hair or stick them in a bar of soap, they glide through the prefolds.

The flats however...I can't seem to get a good fit, and they aren't too absorbent. I'll keep working on those- however if they aren't working out at all I'll sew them into prefolds. I also got some flushable diaper liners. These are terrible. They are so thin and delicate and bunch up in the diaper. I have yet to use them successfully - as far as them containing anything. I plan to try some other kind when I order another wool cover.

I am loving my wool. I've had two Aristocrats brand large wool covers since I started cloth with my other two. They work so well. Last year I dyed them with kool-aid- a pink and a purple. They work so well with soaking up the wetness and not letting it wick out onto clothes/bedding.

I decided not to try and sew the trainers for my daughter. I just don't have time right now. I am thinking of trying a few of the ones on the Snap-EZ website.
They are pricey, but I only need a few for night time and the weekend. I can buy them gradually.

In other news, I get to buy a dryer this weekend!!!! Yippeee!!! But, I probably won't get it until unless we take it home ourselves. It wouldn't be such a big deal ordinarily, but with me being away during the day and the weather being unpredictable, and after having company with several sets of sheets to wash yet, this just isn't working well at all.

Well, that's all for today. We have speech today since we had company Monday, and I need to catch up on my house cleaning. Hopefully I will have more interesting things to read on here soon.

August 8, 2007

Wow I've been posting a lot. Obviously my duties are less since I've been dealing with a sick child, which hasn't turned out to be so bad. She keeps feeling better, then wanting to eat, then starts running and jumping, then upchucks- repeat. No matter what I say, she still wants to eat.

Just thought I'd ask for some suggestions. I have decided to decorate the older two girls' room. I didn't intend to, but then they tore a large chunk of the border off the wall, so it has to come off. Might as well do something cute in there.

What I have to work with: they have toddler beds, a side table, a 6 drawer dresser with a pretty mirror, and a tall skinny chest of drawers. There's a large window on the main wall where the beds are, and a smaller one to the right. (on a separate wall)

Ideas- They love Princess and Tea Party anything. Alexa loves Little Mermaid. I wasn't planning to do a theme, but it would be a lot cuter. They also love Little Bear, and my husband and I had discussed painting a mural of Little Bear and his friends. (we're both fairly skilled at art and I've done one at church before) I also like Beatrix Potter. Whatever we do, I think a mural would be fun. If princess, then I would have to do a tulle canopy of some sort somewhere in the room :)

Anyways, if anyone has any tips or ideas I welcome them. Meanwhile I be at searching for inspiration. (did I mention this has to be low budget? Like $100-200)


Alexa has a stomach virus today. This my all time worst fear- I hate getting sick with that! Thankfully, all last week I read a book about Psalm 91 and the hedge of protection against these things from God, and so I'm walking in the peace that He is with us, doesn't want us ill, and believing that the rest of us will stay well.

I'm also upping everyone's probiotic intake as well :) Poor baby, she definitely feels bad, but has only thrown 4-5 times in 3 hours, so it seems to be mild. Thank you Jesus :)

August 7, 2007

Things are better..

I know I sent sort of an alarming post today. I had all those thoughts rolling around in my head, and to just write them down wouldn't have been enough. I needed someone else to hear them I guess. Afterwards my girls woke up from their naps and wanted to play in their pool. Leiah, my oldest prefers to swim in regular clothes, so I left her shirt on and just put panties on the bottom. (instead of stripping down and putting on the whole swimsuit) Well, things were going well, until she sat on the patio and pooped. She isn't potty trained, and doesn't seem to care, and for some reason I freaked. I mean, if you've watched the Chevy Chase Vacation movies you know he freaks out- that's what happened. I don't know why.

Afterwards, I apologized to the girls for acting so ungodly- it's so not my nature at all. I guess I'm more stressed than usual. Things went very well from then on. I made them a 'tent' to play in, they watched some of their shows, I tidied a bit and made dinner, then after we ate we went to our neighbor's house to meet the other neighbors for some thing that's going on in our town. They listened to me well, were polite to others, and ate lots of cookies and ice cream. Did I mention we were outside sweating like pigs and getting eaten by mosquitoes?

We came home, they played for awhile, we put the baby to bed and let the older two 'play video games', meaning Daddy was actually playing but let them hold the controller so they thought they were doing it. I cleaned up some more and hung out some more laundry (yeah at 8pm). Then me and the girls curled up in the recliner with my favorite 20 year old comforter and my favorite Golden books. They took vitamins, got a drink, brushed teeth and hit the sack. They were all happy and loved and ready for their beds.

My living room floor has pillows and blankets and shoes and game controllers and various items strewn across it- don't care. My kitchen is clean! I feel a lot better about things now, and as someone gave me some good advice, take it one day at a time and don't try to overschedule.

Thanks for reading! Time to go hang some more laundry...(indoors)

I Lost Something

Somewhere in the last few years of being a wife and mom and homemaker I seem to have lost something. It wasn't until after I had my second child that I realized I was lacking in these areas and began to study what my roles really are. While the truth was illuminating for me, it seems that somehow I have become so focused on works, and not heart.

I find myself wondering what my purpose was for having children. I knew I always wanted them- to have babies of my own to care for, play with and teach. I knew I wanted to get married and always have someone that loved me and someone to love. I knew I want a little place of my own that I could be 'queen' in. But it seems that as I have grown in my understanding in the knowledge of my place and role in life, the more I am trying to measure up by someone else's standards. I feel like if I don't do this or that, then I won't be loved or have approval.

I have always been the kind that wanted to please others and cared about what other people thought of me. And while living out the path that God has given to me, Satan has taken this knowledge and twisted around against me. Here are some of the things I am currently dealing with:

Health and Nutrition

I feel guilty when I feed my family not so healthy meals. I have researched health for so long, that I really know too much. I am like an encyclopedia when it comes to nutrition and health, and the enemy uses it against me. Our budget does not allow organic products (except things like grains/flour/sugar) or grass-fed beef/free range chicken. I don't really have a lot of time to make all our bread and snacks etc. from scratch, and lately we have been eating a fair amount of junk just because of family coming over and going out etc.

Dressing Modestly

This was a huge eye-opener for me. I had no idea how important it was to be modest. However, I am at a difficult size to buy and sew for right now, and don't have a lot of dresses/skirts still. I have quite a few, but some are for just at home. My girls wear dresses and shorts/pants, so do I. I feel guilty at times for us not all wearing matching handmade dresses. Silly I know, but for some reason I get to thinking like that.

My Home

Awhile back, I was ferociously attacked on the state of my home by someone close to me, and it just ruined me. I constantly feel guilty if my house is a little messy. Prior to this I was pretty relaxed about cleaning, probably too relaxed. It just wasn't a priority and I didn't see it as something noble to do in my profession. Now I'm a neat freak that gets upset with my children for making messes with toys in their room and whatnot. I have to step back and think, ok my kids are 1,3 and 4, they have no real concept of the importance of neatness yet. I have been working diligently to teach them to clean up after themselves, and they are doing good. Still, are my standards too high? Probably a little.

My Husband

Sometimes I get to a place where I feel like my husband won't love me as much or want me anymore if I slack in these areas. Forget the fact that I am a person created in the image of God and am valuable and loved by Him- I start thinking my husband will be unhappy if the bed is unmade. We've talked these things over and we both have a much clearer understanding of what the other expects and what we're supposed to be doing as husband and wife. He assures me it's fine for me to ask for help- that it won't kill him if he does the dishes once in awhile, or bathes the kids one night.

My Body

Now, this has always been a sensitive issue with me. I have always compared my body size to others, soooooo longing to be thin. And I am so not. Never have been. I've been a lot thinner than I am now, but I was still plus sized. I don't think I'm completely a cow or anything, but I feel inadequate just the same. I lost much weight before our first child came along, and have never been able to get back to that. My way of eating is just too hard to do with a growing family of little people on a budget.
I begin to think people look down on me, or that my husband is unhappy about it, or that my kids will notice and not like it etc. I feel like I always have to make an excuse, I've been pregnant 4 times in 4 years!

Being a Good mother

This is what I'm currently battling with right now. The last few weeks I've been short tempered and impatient and not very loving. I don't really know why. But I know I don't like it at all, and am ashamed to admit that I have not been exhibiting the love of Jesus to my children much.

Are we stressed? Yeah, but we always are, nothing abnormal. I always feel like I have so much to do and can never do it because the munchkins get in the way. But what is my purpose for doing all the stuff? Who am I trying to impress? Why do I feel I need approval? What happened to investing into an eternal soul than dusting the shelves? I just don't know. What happened to my dreams of playing with my kids and teaching them fun things and reading to them? I can't remember the last time I read a book to my kids!!! ME! Who used to LOVE to read! I don't even read anymore, at least not for fun. What happened to Jessica?

I've become so 'adult' that I can't remember how to play. I am so sad to write this. This isn't at all what I had envisioned. Why have I let these things bring me into such bondage? Why have I allowed myself to live a life of works and doing enough to measure up? Measure up to what? I will never measure up to Jesus in my flesh. I need grace. Lots of grace. I so want to show love and gentleness and patience to my girls. I want them to learn love and giving from me. I want to teach them the joy of using their imaginations when reading books or 'pretending'. I want them to learn all the homemaking skills I have had to learn while doing it. I want to teach them piano and guitar and singing and crafts and all the things I used to do. I don't want to be too busy for them.

Somewhere along the way, I lost the right heart attitude. I became focused on details and not the big picture. I feel overwhelmed- here's a list of reasons why.

My oldest is a special needs child, that I have just learned. She hasn't much speech yet and isn't potty trained yet but it's really a miracle she's alive. She requires more one and one and I haven't been giving it to her much. She goes to speech therapy twice a week and then will return to school in August.

My middle child is strong willed and spirited and very smart. She picks up on everything and loves to test and push my buttons. I need help with learning to redirect her energies/will and discipline in general. She needs way more attention (positive) and affection than I am giving her.

My youngest is a sweetie, but is getting very meddlesome and wanders off- again, training issues. And, sadly, I haven't really read her any books at all in her little life. She needs mama time too.

My husband has been dealing with constant dizziness and panic attacks for 9 months and we have done everything medically and naturally possibly to figure it out. Still have no idea what it is. We are believing for his healing, but sometimes things don't happen right away.

My own health is getting better, but hasn't been the best the last few years. My dryer is broken and it's been raining so much I can't hardly get our clothes dry.

We are facing a hard decision about future children. Since my oldest has a genetic disorder and I did have a late miscarriage with my third pregnancy, we must seriously consider if having more children would be wise. I also have c-sections, my blood type is O negative so I have to get shots, and it costs way too much money for an OB. I would have to undergo serious genetic testing including amniocentesis. I don't want that. I wanted a large family- I still want more babies someday, but I don't want to go through all of that. I don't want morning sickness and sciatic nerve pain and surgery recovery again. I don't want another high risk pregnancy- not with what is currently on my plate.

We have debt. A lot. Enough said.

My husband's job has gotten increasingly stressful and he often gets home late and works in the middle of the night too.

Wow, I have to take a deep breath now.

I am praying that God will show me what to do here. I need to know what things to focus on, and what aren't important. Is it more important that I have spotless floors or read the book with Alexa? Is it more important to have a perfectly healthy meal or save money? Is it better to put our children to bed early and be with my husband alone, or let them stay up and play as a family? So many variables. I need lots of time to think and pray about this.

August 4, 2007

Bath Day

I could not resist putting this up on the blog. My husband decided it was bath day for the animals, unfortunately for them. He got the cat to cooperate by feeding it. The cat is a freak when it comes to food, so it didn't care that it was getting wet. Until my husband, I didn't know anyone could bathe a cat. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fergus already had his bath....

All done kitty :) Our cat isn't really a beloved part of the family- he is always getting on my counters scavenging for food, and ends up eating the butter if I don't put it away. He has scratched the kids quite a bit, although they were taunting him, so we put him outside most of the time. This is sort of payback I guess, LOL.

August 3, 2007

Am I Crazy?

The last few years God has laid this idea on my heart. I had always thought it would be neat to celebrate Good Friday with a passover type meal with our church. Non-Jewish churches sometimes do this, as a way to focus on the death and resurrection of Christ and not the Easter Bunny. Circumstances prevented me from making this become a reality (we moved the week of Easter), so we decided to put it off for the time being. I go to a very small church- many of the members are related, and we generally have less than 40-50 people each Sunday. Sometimes the kids out number the adults. But, it is a wonderful church. Our pastor is so honest and gentle and only speaks what the Holy Spirit is giving to him at that moment. He delves deep into the Word and always delivers exactly what God wants to say.

Anyways, I had done lots of research last winter and even tested several recipes, got up in front of the church to explain the idea and it was well received. However that was for a passover type feast. In September, Rosh Hashana is celebrated, and while I'm not trying to make us like Jews, I want to get the meal close to what Jesus would have had at the time. They celebrated the New Year during this feast and most of the foods have a sweet taste to them, in hopes they would have a sweet year.

So, I've been mulling it over in my mind for a few weeks, and I believe this would be the right time to do it. If I wait till life is calmer, then it will never happen. I can do all things through Christ!

So, for the next several weeks I will be stocking my freezer with foods.

Here is the menu:

*At each table there will be a platter with a large braided (hopefully a six strand one) challah bread. Surrounding it will be grapes, dried apricots and dates, bowls of olives, spiced olive oil, and maybe feta cheese crumbles. On each side of the platter I plan to have large hurricane globes with candles in them, a white tablecloth underneath with a dark runner or something like that over it. I have goblets for water and 'new wine'- which will be grape juice with a touch of ginger ale or something.

*Then we will have a lentil-barley soup, made with homemade chicken stock, partially pureed, served with a lemon wedge to squeeze over it. (this is really tasty)

*Next is roasted lamb, whole sweet roasted onions and carrots, and I will probably make a mint sauce or something for the lamb to cut the after taste.

*Next is a honey sponge cake with a citrus honey glaze, whipped cream, and maybe some sauteed apples.

*Hot mint or chai tea will be served afterwards.

I had originally wanted to make cushions for us to sit on, and put the tables on cinder blocks to create 'lounging around the table' feel, but we have several elderly people coming, and chairs would be better.

Things I can make ahead right now are the stock/soup, bread, cake, and buying the lamb ahead of time. This makes me a little nervous because my church is fully of country people that don't eat lamb or anything exotic and may be a little picky. Oh well. I may also make some sourdough bread for tasting, or buy some Ezekial bread, just to have a variety.

My goal was to use only foods mentioned in the Bible, and make it more into a Biblical feast. I'm still trying to think of something as entertainment, or something non-food related.


I am contemplating draping fabric from the ceiling to resemble a tent. I will have many candles and possibly some kerosen lanterns, or Christmas lights. Large green plants, some flowers, wood or stoneware serving dishes, and the music from Ben-Hur. (I love it)

I want it to have a certain feel to it without going overboard and making things more stressful.
I have about 5 weeks to do all this, and we have a vacation, doctor appointments, and two girls starting school mixed into it all. Not to mention continuing with Leiah's therapy twice a week. I also planned to start sewing some school clothes. So, can I do it all? We may be having very simple meals and bare bones housecleaning for awhile (remember my dryer is still dead so life revolves around the weather) But, I feel it is the right timing, and God will help me. And any ideas or suggestions are certainly welcome. Feel free to comment.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."Phillippians 4:13

August 2, 2007

Cloth diapers

I have used cloth diapers on and off since my first two were little. Yes I did cloth with both of them at the same time- like twins! I started out with the prefolds, the kind you have to fold a bit, waterproof wraps that velcro on/off, fitted snap on diapers, wool covers and snappis. When I became pregnant the third time I needed a simpler method, and they were growing out of those. so we bought a dozen fuzzi bunz. They were great! I didn't have enough for both to last more than a day, but with the combination of diapers it worked well. I took a few breaks in there with disposables for one reason or another- moving, the miscarriage, vacation etc.

When I was preggo with Sarah, I bought 20 small fuzzi bunz, thinking she would wear them for awhile because my babies are usually small for awhile. (even though I'm not) Well, she grew out of them pretty quickly. I used disposables until she grew into the other ones I had, then when she got too big for those I passed them on to Candy's baby girl.

So, I was planning to just use the el cheap disposables, but knowing what I know I'd feel much better with her in cloth. The last few days I've been using old flannel receiving blankets and my largest wool covers. It works pretty well, but I have to fold them like the old flat diapers. I actually kind of enjoy it- the fit is much trimmer than fitted or prefolded diapers.

I just placed an order for 8 toddler prefolds, 8 birdseye flats, 2 nylon pull on covers, 2 sets of dritz pins (never used pins before) and some flushable diaper liners. With shipping it was less than $50. Can't beat that. I plan to get another wool cover too. At 17 months, she only goes through 4-5 diapers per day, so with my blankets as back up that should be plenty. Yea!

I'm going to also attempt making some training pants for my oldest. She isn't potty trained yet, and since she doesn't have much speech to really verbalize what she feels, regular training pants don't work. The pull-ups you buy are just like diapers to her- they aren't helping. I found a pattern that has velcro on the sides, so in case there is a poop you can easily clean it up, but they can also pull it on like underwear. I can buy some of the supplies at Wal-Mart, but the waterproof fabric and super absorbant hemp I will have to buy online. I'm kind of nervous about it, because it's very important that the fit is good, and that I don't mess up the expensive PUL fabric :)

Anyways, that's what I've been up to- trying to find everything I want at one store!

August 1, 2007

I've had internet problems today, plus a very busy day in general! I was at Wal-Mart at 8:30am with all the kids buying a huge amount of groceries since we have company coming. Then I came home, put it all away, got our things together and headed to my mom's to drop the younger two off before I took my oldest to speech therapy. After that I stopped by the pediatrician's office to get some papers, stopped by a friend's house, picked up the other two kids, drove back to our town, stopped at a church to drop the paperwork off for my second child so she can go to preschool there, then home. I took my kids in and out of carseats 7 times! That's 21 times total since there are three of them! I cannot imagine what it will be like to just get in the car and not have to buckle everybody in or take diaper bag along.

I was thinking today, while driving, which is what I do a lot, that people might be surprised to learn a fact about me. See I am committed to dressing modestly and femininely, keeping home and making it a comfortable, cozy place to live, being a helpmeet to my husband and all that. People might put me into a certain type of 'group'.

But, I LOVE heavy rock music. I'm talking the screaming head-bangin' mosh pit stuff.

The first time I ever heard a Christian band playing rock music was DC Talk's Jesus Freak. It rocked my world (pun intended). I just had no idea that kind of music could have a Christian message. From then on I loved it. It somehow satisfies a deep need in me, like feelings and emotions that can only be expressed in musical form.

I am musical. I play the piano for church, I can sing pretty well, and I play the guitar. My husband is the worship leader, also playing guitar. When we were dating and after we married, he was in a heavy rock Christian band. They were so talented, just had a hard time finding a good singer. When they would practice our whole house vibrated. You could hear it outside the house. Forget trying to watch TV or even talk! I miss it though.

Some people might disagree that this music isn't edifying or glorifying the Lord because of the image it portrays, that of the world. But you know, all genres of music can be secular or Christian. I'm sorry, but sometimes plain old contemporary music artists bore me to tears. Turn it off! Where's the feeling? Where's the depth? Not all are like that, but some just rub me the wrong way. God is a God of power and might, strength and authority. Listening or playing powerful music proclaiming Him is good.

So, you can see me wearing my modest feminine dress, with a car load of kids, beating a rhythm on the steering wheel, or even head banging. If I feel stressed or down, rock makes me feel better.

My absolute favorite band is Creed. They aren't exactly Christian, but the songs have such substance and depth, and references to Scripture. The lead singer has become a Christian and is recording Christian songs now. Interestingly, when my second daughter was a baby, she hated the car, so I would turn up the Creed tape, which was all I had, as loud as I could and she would stop crying. No other music worked, had to be Creed- she probably heard it so much in utero that it soothed her, LOL. Next is Third Day (lots of praise and worship), Delirious, Kutlass, Project 86, Jeremy Camp.

I do listen to some contemporary and lots of worship songs too. But, when I'm having a bad day or feel stressed, Creed does the trick :)

So, there ya go, a surprising side of me :)

Now back to the search for cheap cloth diapers...