January 31, 2013

It tastes good

For most of my motherhood years it's been a challenge to spend time reading my Bible. I don't know why, but I just couldn't seem to make it happen that often. I tried and tried, but quiet alone time with God didn't happen much. I was praying throughout the day, going to church, maybe reading books or articles online that were Christian and edifying. I sang praise songs on my own and was hungry for the Word, and lived according to it as best I could, but not studying it a lot myself.

I've been wanting to change this for quite awhile, but always found excuses. I still continued to progress in my understanding of it God's Word and Him, but it got to the point that hearing it preached just wasn't enough. I had to feed myself.

Early this month I was listening to two ministers and they were talking about putting God's Word first, which I've heard MANY times. However, they were both saying that most people try to fit God into their lives, in their daily schedules, which means it doesn't happen or isn't quality. They said you have to put it first and arrange your life around it. That really clicked for me. They also related their own experiences of putting Him and His Word first place, and how all the other things they needed to do somehow got done. And when they tried skipping their daily dose of the Word, somehow the work got bigger and didn't get done!

I made the decision that I would do whatever I had to do to get this going in my life. One of the main issues was, if I got up early, and turned a light on in the living room, a child would wake up and no more quiet time. I also really like to drink some coffee to wake up, and messing around in the kitchen is also disturbing to children's sleep and hard to do when you're barely awake. So, God fixed it for me :)

We had rearranged the living room so that I now had a chair and a side table with lamp in the corner so that with the door shut to children's rooms, they wouldn't notice the light. I didn't think about how we did it until I was trying to figure out a way to get up early. Oh! That would work. Also, my parents gave me and Matt a Keurig coffee maker, so that all I have to do is put a k-cupp thingie in there and push a button and in about a minute the coffee is ready! Awesome, didn't even think about that. The Lord knew my heart and was setting it up for me.

So I started getting up at 5:30 and spending an hour praying and reading the Word. The cool thing is that this was no longer a difficult thing to do. This seemed so vital to me that it wasn't a hardship to get up. I have gotten to the point where I craved it. Now, of course there's the issue with going to bed early. This doesn't happen a lot, and so after 2-3 days I get up a little later, like 6 and have a shorter time. Today, since I unintentionally stayed up till 12:30 am (watching Ben-Hur, lost track of time!!!) I got up at 6:30. It's ok though, because it really is a habit, and it really is something I have to have.

Awhile back I was listening to a preacher talk about being in a meeting, and there was a lady behind him that was just saying constantly, "Oh this delicous! Oh the Word is delicious!" and he and his wife got tickled about it. But I get it now. I have found that the more time I spend in His Word, the more wonderful it becomes. It literally feels like life being poured into me. Hearing the Word being preached at church or through someone I'm listening to, actually feels like eating a most delicious juicy ripe fruit, or a juicy steak, or a hot buttered corn on the cob from the garden. This is so funny, but it really is the truth.

"How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!" Psalm 119:103

'But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."' John 4:32

"And Jesus said unto them,  I  am  the bread  of life: he that cometh to  me  shall never hunger; and  he that believeth  on  me  shall  never  thirst ..." John 6:35

This is so true, I have found out for myself. I'm not bragging on myself or anything, but I know what His Word says, and I am expecting to be rewarded and for His favor, and He has given it. I'm not saying that the days don't have challenges, they do, but He has enabled me to do things on limited sleep because I've sacrificed what my natural body was wanting to gain strength for my spiritual man. 

"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. " Hebrews 11:16

God wants to bless us and reward us, here on earth, not just in heaven. We need it here! I am walking by faith that if I am diligent in putting Him first, He will take care of my needs and desires. 

"But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33

Here's a real life example. Last week, somehow we lost track of some of our bank transactions, and it looked like we were going to have a transaction go through with not enough money in the account. So, we would have gone in the red and the bank would charge us overdraft fees. Normally, we would borrow some cash from a family member or something, and pay them back on the next paycheck, to make sure there was enough in the back to keep it from overdrafting.

But I didn't want to do that and neither did my husband. So, what are the choices? While it may have been our fault for losing track of the spending, it certainly wasn't intentional, and we had used some extra money to bless others that week. Well, I believe what the Bible says about sowing and reaping, and that by sowing tithes and offerings into the kingdom of God, we will reap a harvest back in the same form, which was money. So, we just gave the care to God, and stood on His promises. These are the ones we stood on:

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you [such] blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

There's more, but that's the gist of it. So, we forced ourselves to relax, put our faith in Him and not worry. Whatever happened, we knew He was taking care of us.

This morning Matt showed me our account. Though we had two transactions pending and waiting to go through, and if they did we would have gone into the negative, somehow they didn't, and his weekly paycheck went through first before those other transactions. So, we didn't go in the red, we had more than enough to cover the checks and we got to see how walking in His Word and putting our trust and faith in Him and what He says, does indeed work.

Isn't He awesome? How He cares and loves us. To me, it's the seemingly little things that He does for us that speak the loudest to me, because most people think He doesn't care or can't be bothered with such tiny details. They don't want to trouble Him about their problems thinking He is ' too busy' or only interested in the major things happening on the earth. But I've found out different.

"For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16

I am so thankful and so grateful for Him. I am so blessed and so loved, and so are you!


January 29, 2013

Learning to Fly

Well since I can't be anything but me, and I'm just a real type of person, I'll just be real :)

Since I started homeschooling it's been hard to keep things balanced. I can either be organized and good at homeschooling, or I can be a good housekeeper and healthy cook. Doing both is like a complicated dance routine.And, since this is the first year of homeschooling, I've changed things up many many times, simply trying to find what works best for our famliy.

So last week I decided to go to Flylady's website. I hadn't been there in quite awhile, and she has lots of videos on there. The videos are really helpful and encouraging to me, to hear her southern voice of comfort telling me I don't have to be perfect LOL. She takes you through the year adding a good new habit each month. So, for January, shining up the sink is the habit you are learning. And she means just shining the sink, as in, put the dirty dishes on the floor if need be to get to the sink to shine it that first time.

So I did, which wasn't easy because my sink is not only white, it's made out of some type of plastic so it's really hard to get stains out. (yay for manufactured homes) I filled it with hot bleach water for an hour (on both sides) scrubbed with baking soda, sprayed bleach directly on it, windexed the faucet, went and bought some comet and scrubbed it and bleached it again. Still has stains. Oh well, it is clean! I've been making an effort each night to get it completely empty and scrubbed. This means that the dishes are getting done faster than before and I try to leave the kitchen as spotless as I'm able, depending on how the day goes.

Our house is in need of a gooooood declutter and spring clean. All those jobs that don't get done like straightening and cleaning out cabinets, tossing old toiletries etc., culling out TOO many clothes and so on, it's getting to the point where it has to be done. I don't clean our shower very often either, and it needs it. See, I'm just  being honest, because no one can be everything. A perfect clean home used to be important to me, like to the point I was obsessed. Thankfully that got replaced with a better attitude over the years.

It's important to me to have other fulfilling pursuits and to have time for them. I would rather spend 30 minutes knitting or sewing or reading than dusting the miniblinds.Not that I don't ever dust, it just gets done when I realize it is very needed. But, I need a better system and to create some better habits.

This week I plan to tackle some these tasks. The first and biggest one is the girls' clothes!!!!!!HOW can 4 little girls create such mountains of laundry???? Currently they share a large laundry hamper, and even if I'm washing their clothes 3 times a week, it is usually overflowing. I've paired down their clothes, but I think it's going to have to get done again. And let's not talk about socks...

Two of my daughters have dressers in the closet. So I'm planning to get rid of those and buy some plastic drawer things from walmart or target. Then, I can stack them on top of each other and they can each have two. (the closet is very big) I also plan to have a plastic tub for each of them to put the overflow of clothes into. Then, if we are behind on laundry or something and they don't have any clothes, they can get some out of their plastic tub. Maybe it'll work. Another part of the plan is teaching them how to do their own laundry from start to finish- they know how to sort clothes, put them in the washer and fold them, but not the other stuff.

And so, I regret to say a house tour will have to wait until I can get things nice again. You know how it is, it's like inviting the world into my house so it's gotta look like I want it! Soon though, very soon....

January 26, 2013


Is the post I did about the band below too judgemental? I realize that only God knows the intent of our hearts, and I do not want to place any wrong conclusions on the people in the band.And I'm not wanting to cast them in a bad light. It's just really a big let down when people seem be one thing and then veer way off into a direction that seems wrong. I am sure their music does appeal to many, but for me, I want to only put things in my ears that are strong in the right thing, the Word of God. I don't want wishy washy vague words floating in my head, because you know how a song can get stuck. And, if it's in your head, it'll eventually come out of your mouth, and I don't want to be speaking words unless they are working for me, not against me. (Remember, words are seeds too, if that sounds weird you'll have to read the posts about the power of the tongue down on the bottom right sidebar)

Anyways, I felt it was important to leave what I wrote about Jesus' name on the blog and didn't want to dissect my post, so that's all I'm saying. I want to stress how powerful His name is, and that He gave it to us to actually use and put to work. Not to shy away from it.

January 25, 2013

The Name of Jesus

I was sorting through my playlist on this blog yesterday, which by the way, if it's an annoyance let me know. I was going to delete if off of here, but I mainly use it for my own convenience, sort of like in ipod or something. I was amazed that a lot of the songs were still there since the website has had many changes since I blogged on this site.

There is one band in particular that I really liked- Skillet. Matt and I went to one of their concerts before we got married, and then it was a worship flavored sound, and it was awesome. Years went by and I happened on a song of theirs and wow, they had switched to some hardcore techno and rock sounds. My personal preference are these types of genres of music, and it really resonates in me.

So, we went to a concert of theirs in 2008, and it was really good. A new album came out in 2011, and I was so pumped, thinking it would be even better. What a disappointment. There were maybe two songs on their that were good, but, everything else seemed to be about nothing in particular.

So I finally looked it up yesterday to see if anyone else noticed the same things and if there was any insight on it. I found an article about various artists like TobyMac and another one called Lecrae. These two artists acknowledged that they were musicians that loved their career, but their faith is in the forefront of their lives, and while they may sing about something not overtly Christian once in awhile, they are not ashamed to proclaim Jesus' name in their music. I know this personally because I have some TobyMac cds and one of the songs is called 'Funky Jesus Music', which, every time I hear I get to laughing at the visual image I get of Jesus dancing hip hop.

The interesting thing is that these bands are wildly successful, not just in the Christian music arena, but also have been played on some secular radio stations. Lecrae, I believe, was asked to sing at some prominent event that was secular, and I think it was TobyMac that was played in a commercial or something.I would have to go back and reread the article to know for sure.

Skillet, however, has said that they prefer not to use the name of Jesus in their songs because they want to make their music appeal to a broader audience and don't want to alientate people; by singing about things in a more vague way, people are free to draw their own conclusions and find meaning that's relevant to them.

Um, exsqeeze me? Did I read that right? I would have liked to see the expression on my face when I did read it.  Something to notice too is that this band is still not welcome on several secular radio stations even though they aren't blatantly Christian(i.e. saying Jesus) The favor of the Lord is on those other guys, and though they're speaking the name of Jesus boldly, they aren't being penalized for it because all in all, they are good musicians. And why are they so good? They have God given talent and are using it for His glory and purpose.

The people in Skillet have amazing talent, of course, the lead guitar player left the band a year or so ago. I'm wondering now if he didn't like the path the group was on.Who knows? While what Skillet says could be true in a sense, I have found that people aren't ready to receive Jesus until they are ready. Usually the Spirit of God has been drawing and drawing them for awhile, and when the time is right and the harvest is ripe, God sends someone their way that reaps the harvest and lead them to Jesus.

My best friend listened to Christian music before she got saved, and she said it didn't mean jack to her. She read my books that were Christian, my Bible, went to church with me sometimes, listened to my songs and she still went her own way. (those were seeds that were sown in her heart and eventually she found Jesus) So, if that's the case, why NOT speak the truth? How is not using Jesus' name going to set them apart as anyone different from the secular music world? They actually said they didn't want to be labeled as a Christian band. Wow. They were SOLD OUT for Jesus the first time I saw them. It's one thing if the Lord is leading them in this path, but it doesn't seem that way to me. God isn't going to instruct us not to use His name.

Some may wonder why this is a big deal, so I'll go to the Word of God to find out.

John 20:30-31 " Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

Acts 2:38 "And Peter said to them, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Acts 3:16 "And his name--by faith in his name--has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all."

Acts 16:18 "And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour."

Mark 16:17-18 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

John 14:13-14 "Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."

And lastly, " Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;  And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:9-11

Obviously, Jesus' name is awesome and important. The above verse says that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow- in heaven, in earth, and hell (under the earth)- and every tongue confess that HE is Lord. His name is power.  Through His name, we have power to lay hands on the sick and they shall be healed, cast out evil spirits, baptize others in His name, receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and then, when we pray  according to His Word and ask in  Jesus name, He says He will do it. Repeatedly.

The name of Jesus might make unbelievers uncomfortable, as it should, because they are not saved.There is sin in their lives that hasn't been washed out by the blood of Jesus. And it sure makes the demons hanging around uncomfortable. We know that by several instances when they would speak in fear at what Jesus would do, and He would make them be quiet and come out of people. When I pray, especially if being attacked by ungodly thoughts, or symptoms of sickness, or if interceding on another's behalf, I use the name of Jesus first, for example, "In the name of Jesus, I command these evil thoughts/symptoms etc. to get off of me, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death..." or whatever comes up in my spirit to say,  and then as led will pray in the Spirit or tongues.

The name of Jesus is vital. I can't imagine that much power will be in songs by a band who doesn't want to speak it. I will continue to play and listen to their old ones because they are good, but I will be praying for their spirit eyes and ears to be opened on the matter. It could be that God is leading them into the mainstream music industry,it doesn't appear that way in my view. If your goal is to obey the Lord out of love for Him and fulfill His purposes, fame and glory and money won't be a concern. However, you will be blessed and can have just as big a following of people and fans in the Christian world while still speaking the truth, the Word, and His name. Take a look at this example:

January 23, 2013


I can't remember exactly how, but in a random search for something else, I came across someone who uses workboxes. I googled it and also went on Pinterest, my new favorite pastime,lol! Seriously, pinterest is quite addictive so be ware. I am actually being followed by several people through facebook because apparently the things I pin are awesome!

Anyways, the official website is here.

You can read all about it there and also doing your own searches will help. I am sort of in a hurry because my mom hurt her back and I gotta take her to the doctor.

The gist of it is for each subject of school you work on in a given day, you allot a drawer in the cart, a box, file folder, whatever you choose. You preload it with any materials they would need to complete their work down to the pencil and paper; they are to complete it and normally there is some way to identify which ones have been completed, like a card on each box/drawer with the number (1,2,3,4....on down) on them that you can flip around and on the other side it says 'done' or something. I haven't done that yet, and I may not do it, we'll see. Sarah probably needs that because I found out yesterday she skipped several of her drawers the last time we did school.

I didn't think this idea would work for us since we are using Charlotte Mason education, so what did I do? I did another search on Charlotte Mason workboxes, and I found a few blogs of homeschoolers that gave me ideas. I've linked to one at the bottom of the post.

So, to encourage Alexa, who is 9, how to use her Bible and look up verses, she does her Bible study on her own, whereas before I was doing it in a family study. I miss doing it as a family, so I think I'll have her start doing some copywork from the Bible to help her learn that. I stagger the subjects in each drawer so that I am available to help one on one with math. For instance:

Sarah's workboxes:

1. Bible story book, corresponding color page from www.calvarycurriculum.com
2. math- 2 or 3 pages a day, using popsicle sticks as manipulatives
3. handwriting practice
4. spelling/phonics workbook
5. reading/literature and narration (generally in the form of retelling me or drawing a picture)
6. fun activity-puzzles, blocks,playdoh, crafts
7. 1 chore and then a snack (sticky note might say 'sweep kitchen floor and get a snack'

Alexa's workboxes:

1. Bible passage and questions to answer (calvarycurriculm.com again- I do this because she has a hard time really paying attention, and with her public school background, she likes worksheets)

2. reading/literature (Little House on the Praire) and work on lapbook project that goes along with the book
3.copywork/cursive practice
4. game or puzzle
5. math
6. chore and snack

Guess what's missing in our Charlotte Mason education? Science, history, geography art, music and nature study, handicrafts. Why? I'm behind on ordering the books we need and totally unorganized with it!!!! I'm not perfect. I feel we are hitting on the most important things each day, and we do other things as well. Alexa loves rocks and does a lot with that, Sarah loves to read and do crafts.I am thinking about doing a unit study on the period of history of Alexa's book, 1880s and the wild west wagon trails and all that. I'm praying about it right now. I will have to write another post about what science and history curriculum we are using as a guide. The first semester we read lots and lots of books about the early history of America, and let me tell you, they know more about the pilgrims and our country's beginnings than most college students! That's the advantage of homeschool and WHY it is so important.

Here are some images of other people's workbox systems:

This one with the pink was found at this site and she has a lot of good information that helped me.
Here is the site that teaches via Charlotte Mason style and uses workboxes.
And another one.
Well I hope that helps explain some. Of course as I add the rest of our subjects and fine tune it I'll have to update :)

January 22, 2013

Our School Room

When we started school this year, we just sectioned off part of our living room and turned it into our school room. Why not use the kitchen? Our kitchen is quite dark no matter what I do and I didn't want to have to clear off the table constantly for meals. Also, I'm in the kitchen a lot, and I wanted to have a different place to be in for school. That's just me though. Because I was so ambivalent about homeschooling, I was simply trying to set myself up for success. This worked fine in the living room, but we were having to move our kitchen chairs in and out each day, our table was very wobbly, and that area was easily a mess all the time.

So after thinking about it, we decided to try putting all four of our girls into the larger bedroom- 1 set of bunkbeds, 1 daybed, 1 toddler bed- two dressers were in the room, two in the large closet. All large toys etc. were taken out, and it became a BED room, with clothes storage, and a few personal items displayed. They all went to sleep well that night and it's been a success ever since! Who would have thought?

So then we started work on the other room. I still had to use a table and lawn chairs for awhile, but at Christmas we were blessed by our church with a very large gift check, and was able to spiff up our room. I didn't want to paint, so I left it white and went with rainbow colors added to it. My husband had built the large desk a few years ago for their bedroom, and we put it in here. It has now become my space, which I really really needed, for sewing, crafting etc.

This is dark, I am not a photographer. This is taken when I was standing in front of the closet:

We bought the cube thingies at Lowes, and they were approximately $45, plus the cost of the square bins, and they were on sale for $5-6. A friend happened on these desks and chairs and brought them to me, two for the grade school girls, 1 for the preschooler and 1 for whatever.

A better picture. I painted some letters and er, uh, hot glued them to the wall! Hot glue is such a friend! I have various craft stuff and playdoh etc. stored under the desk. I want to make a curtain to hang and cover the things under it, and definitely paint it soon.

View from the window. Our window also has a bird feeder hanging in front of it, and the girls really enjoy watching the birdies during school, maybe a little too much sometimes. Those things on the shelves are picture display boards my sister in law made, and I thought they were decorative on their own so I put them up there. I also have a few EASY care potted indoor plants. We have a dry erase calender by the shelves, and all our school books, painting supplies, library books and workbooks are in those shelves.

Our map doesn't really fit on that wall, but it's the best place I could find for it. The metal cart is awesome and we use it for the workbox system. Each drawer holds materials for each subject we study. The girls know to start at the top and work their way down. I will have a sticky note telling them what to do, and they are able to work more independently. We are still getting used to this and haven't filled up all the drawers each day yet. But I really like it and they like being somewhat in control of what they do. I also put in notes for specific chores, or for getting a snack etc. I bought this one at Overstock.com

This is what is in the closet-Barbie world!!! Yes they have two houses in there, plus an RV camper hidden away, two barbie cars, countless horses, out of season clothes and dresses, and the top shelves are filled with other stuff that needs to be sorted out. They like being in a small space hidden away, like it really is a Barbie world LOL.

This room gets lots of action and lots of messes each day. These pictures were taken after most of the school lessons and after I cleaned it up. There was a lot of messes from ME because I hosted a large birthday party for my two oldest girls and there was lots of homemade decor. If anyone is interested in learning more about the workbox system for homeschool, you can do a search on it, or I can talk about it in a separate post.

Here is the link to the cart I bought. It's a little pricey, but it's worth it. It is metal and a nice hard plastic for the drawers, and was quick to put together. I really really like it. In the pics I have a big basket of pencils and my home management notebook on top. And it rolls.


I'm reviving this old blog again....I've been in and out of the blog world for a couple of years. For various reasons, but lately just lack of organization. I may not be able to post like I did in the beginning of this blog, but I hope to keep things more updated.

Since I last posted here a lot of things have changed. I still live in the same place, I turned 30 though! My children are growing up. Our oldest daughter just turned 10, the next one just turned 9, one will be 7 soon and the baby is 3.5.

We are now homeschooling all but our oldest, and that's been a challenge for me. In fact, I should be preparing for that now instead of messing with a blog, another reason I don't blog much. But the beauty of homeschool is that it doesn't take the whole day and we can squeeze it in whenever it works out.

So, I'll be back, with more interesting things to say.