April 29, 2008

3 in 1 A Picture of God

I wanted to recommend a great book I got recently. It explains the Trinity using the metaphor of an apple, and in my opinion, explains it very well. It goes through the entire plan of salvation as well, using the apple seed. It's a book all kids will relate to, and to explain these abstract concepts to children, it is very effective. Apparently it's not new though; it's copyrighted in 1973.

Whoever said boys are the mischevious ones...

does not have a girl like Mattie.

Me, upon noticing a nice dirt mustache around Mattie's mouth: "Mattie, what did you eat?"
Mattie, with a big grin: "Rock!" (more clearly, I think... mulch lump)
Me: "Why?"
Mattie: "Because."
Me: "That's yucky. We don't eat rocks."
Mattie: "Oh. Okay."

April 27, 2008

Too Much Church???

Is that possible? This might be heretical, I don't know. Just warning you...

I've been pondering things like this lately as I've been invited to so many church functions it almost seems impossible. Meetings for: Sunday School teachers, VBS teachers, leadership for building fund, fun 80's night for building fund info, women's ministry re-vamping - and that's all in two week's time! That doesn't include our Sunday morning church and teaching Special Friends' Sunday School, Tuesday morning Bible Study, ensemble practice (which I had to drop), Wednesday night kids' activities and choir practice... and I've even considered attending on Sunday night as well. I did that once, and it was just too much.

Is that horrible to say it's "too much" to go to church? I know we're not supposed to "forsake the gathering," but surely I'm not doing that as many other times each week as we darken our church door.

Now, I'm not questioning these things because I don't enjoy them. I am loving falling in love with a church again. I thoroughly enjoy being an active part of a church family. But this is my struggle... I'm so busy going to church (with my kids) that we don't want to do anything else but stay home! GASP! You know what that means? No resources left for ministry. Something about that just seems all backwards to me. So, go one more evening per week? Or pare down to have family resources left for planting flowers for an elderly friend, encouraging a friend at a play date, baking something for someone else, caring for a child with disabilities to help a tired mother...

So there ya' have it. I think we're spending too much time at church lately! I want to have time to meet others' needs. I want my kids to experience ministry, but we're at church so much, we don't have any time to be the church.

I will say very clearly that I think there's nothing wrong with the church for having these things. I'm certainly not criticizing anyone else for doing every single one of them...at the same time, even! And I'm not advocating no participation in church, so don't read that into it. But I was reading in "My Utmost for His Highest" the other day about cutting off my right hand if it hinders my walk with the Lord. Before that, and since, I just keep having this nagging feeling that busyness -church busyness- is my "right hand." If I'm so busy doing things at church, I can't possibly be doing things for needy people.
If ministering blessed the Lord, and I'm blessed by the joy of serving others, aren't I/we completely missing out? So if something has to go because we just can't do it all, which is it?

Some days, I think Jesus might just skip the meeting! What do you think??

April 23, 2008

Peter Rabbit Watercolor

Just in case you wonder why I don't post much about school lately... ummmmmm... we've really been enjoying Spring! We've been doing a lot of spontaneous things outside: discovering what kinds of trees we have in our yard, looking the different seeds, finding worms, noticing all the different flowers, learning about native trees. Lots of stuff that I'm not planning!

Over a three week period we completed our Peter Rabbit unit from FIAR. We took it nice and slow, because we started it the day after I counted our school days and realized I only had 25 left. Anyway, this was our second time with Peter Rabbit and it was great fun! We focused n different things this year. Last year we focused on botany and gardening. This year we focused on rabbits, art, England, and consequences. This is a great site with a lot of Beatrix Potter fun! And we read almost all the way through the beautiful Beatrix Potter The Complete Tales Mattie received as a gift this Christmas. That was very fun to do together - Mattie listened to a lot of the stories as well! Beatrix Potter is definitely a favorite of ours.

Jacob working hard on his painting

Since Beatrix Potter's illustrations were done in watercolor, one day we pulled out our watercolors. Jacob drew his picture first using the I Can Draw Animals book. (Little shameless plug for my Usborne-selling SIL there!) Then he painted it with his watercolors. I coached him and reminded him about being neat, try to stay in the lines, and painted one little bunny's mouth to show him what to do, but this is his work. He really enjoyed it.

Peter Rabbit, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Mrs. Rabbit in front of their fir tree

April 22, 2008

My June Cleaver Morning

These almost never happen (maybe never before??), so I have to share about it today. Jesus will probably come back before it happens again.

This morning I woke up to the birds singing, before my alarm went off. I had to relieve myself horribly, so I decided to get out of bed. Well, since I was up I decided to get a jump on getting ready for Bible Study. (We had a luncheon today and for some insane reason, forgetting my lack of success in the kitchen, I signed up to make rolls.) So I get ready, both kids still sleeping! Then I head to the kitchen, get their breakfast ready so that when Mattie wakes up, I don't have to do it one handed while she's wanting to snuggle. Ten minutes later, both kids were still sleeping! So I donned my apron and made my cinnamon honey butter, being sure to taste test it several times. It was yummy! The kids were awake now, Jacob a bit grumbly, but thankfully (quite an understatement) it didn't last long.

While the kids were eating, I threw my ingredients (prepared into wet and dry last night) into my great bread-machine to mix and knead. New recipe, so I wasn't sure what to expect. (Again, what was I thinking?? And substituting ingredients for other non-food-allergic people???) With no small amount of praise from me, the recipe seemed like it was working fine, so I made the kids' lunch while it finished. Then the dough was ready to shape into rolls. It started rising quickly, so June Cleaver's probably looked prettier. I had to just cut and round a bit quickly. The recipe made more than I needed, so I had enough to make a loaf of bread as well! (It's always good to have more yield for no more work in my opinion.)

Anyway, to make this nonsense story even longer, I finally got them all rising nicely in the warm ovens while I finished getting the kids ready and cleaning up. Twenty minutes later, lo and behold, they looked great! And they tasted great too! (I definitely have a new favorite bread recipe!!!)

No, I'm not done yet... the most amazing part hasn't even been told yet. I pack everything up, take the garbage out while the kids cheerfully help me, take the paraphernalia out to the car, load the kids up, realize I still have my cute little apron on, take it off, get in the car......... and look at the clock.

Drove to church, WE GOT THERE EARLY!!!

I had cheerful children,
Mattie still had her original outfit on after a meal,
I baked a successful batch of fresh milled flour whole wheat rolls to slather in honey butter,
I didn't yell at my kids,
and we arrived somewhere early!

Oh! Why can't June Cleaver stop by my house more often??

April 18, 2008

Taking Senior Pictures

A friend of mine asked me to take her senior pictures, and we did them on Thursday. It was fun! I really enjoy taking pictures as a hobby, but my two little subjects do not find it nearly as entertaining. Rachel was much more cooperative! We had some shadow issues that we couldn't really avoid, but we did the best we could at that time of day. Here are a few of my favorites...

April 14, 2008

Allergy Free Banana Muffins

I actually made muffins this morning that both of my kids can have... and they taste good!

I decided to try one more time before I gave up. I didn't have the heart to make muffins that one of them couldn't have.

Here's what I did based on my favorite recipe that always works...

Whisk (or sift) together in small bowl:
2c brown rice flour
1/4c tapioca starch
1/4c potato starch
2t guar gum
1t salt
1t baking soda

Mix together:
1 1/2 c raw sugar
1/2 c shortening
6T ground flax (or 3 beaten eggs)
2c mashed banana (could substitute 15 oz pumpkin and spices on can, or applesauce and cinnamon)

Add dry to wet and stir just until moistened. Bake at 350 for 60-65 minutes for loaves, 25-30 minutes for muffins.

April 13, 2008

Answered prayer

Well, we've had our Special Friends class going since August. And if you remember, we've been ready and praying for more kids to fill us up... praying for more families we can serve. Well, the Lord has brought the children! Between last week and this week we've had 4 new children! Today we had 7 children in our class (5 with disabilities) and we were missing 3 of our regulars!! It was so exciting! Two of these families have come from other churches for the Disability Ministry and one family has not been in church. (All three of them came to the Luke 14 dinner for the first time.) We have prayed... and they are coming! We're still praying for more to add to our rowdy crew. We LOVE having a full class!! We LOVE having the chance to tell these kiddos that God made them and how much He loves them. We LOVE having parents to love on and encourage. We LOVE telling the parents how much we LOVE having their kids in our class! What an opportunity we have... and how much fun to be a part of it!

April 11, 2008


First thing this morning-
Robert: Mattie, do you know what today is?
Mattie: Happy Birthday, Jacob! ....... CAKE!

Jacob: Mattie, today is the day of my Diego party!
Mattie: Chocolate and CAKE!

When I woke her up from her nap-
Mommy: Hey little girl, it's time to wake up for Jacob's party.
A very sleepy Mattie: Okay ... CAKE!

Tonight when Grandmama and Grandpa came home-
Grandmama: Mattie, did you have Jacob's party today?
Mattie: Yeah ... Diego party ... chocolates ... CAKE!

You suppose she likes cake???

Happy Birthday, Jacob!


That just sounds so big to me!
A few of my favorite things about him...

He loves to laugh!
He is tenderhearted.
He likes to help Mattie with things.
He loves to snuggle up with a good book, just like his mama!
He loves his trains.
He is such a great sport about his food allergies.
He loves to learn new things.
He wants to please us.
He's asked Jesus for a new heart and knows he's going to spend forever in heaven!
He knows in heaven there are no food allergies!
He is my behavior mirror. Isn't that so nice of him? :)
He still loves to snuggle with his mommy and daddy.
He loves his daddy and wants to do everything with him.
He is so sweet when he goes in to get Mattie out of her bed in the morning.
He doesn't normally leave me to wonder what he's thinking.

What a blessing he is to us!

April 05, 2008

A Breakthrough with our Doctor!

Well, our poor girl has a urinary tract infection. This child can't seem to catch a break! We went in Thursday morning and saw a different doctor than our regular pediatrician. A guy we've seen before, just not our regular one. Anyway, when she tested very positive for UTI and he wrote a prescription for an antibiotic, I asked how he felt about me trying some natural things for a couple of days to see if we could knock it out that way. Surprisingly, he said, "I'm all for that. I've seen a lot of those things work. I'm willing to let you try for two days." Woohoo! He was on call today, so he wrote out an order for a retest today and said we'd confer today to see how she was doing. I thought that was nice of him to do that for us on a Saturday.

So we started: oil of oregano (1 pill morning and night), cranberry capsules (4 pills per day), and colloidal silver (15 ppm, 2 oz, 3-4 times a day mixed with juice). Forty eight hours later.......... perfectly clear!!! Smile I am one happy mommy! I was pretty sure it would work, because we've treated one this way before, but there was pressure this time since I had a doctor following us.

So when we talked today after the results, he asked again what we were doing, and said, "Keep it up! Treat her for 7 days total that way." Yippee!!

And I must say, I think we'll be switching to him for all of our visits. I so appreciate that he's willing to try some natural stuff even though it's not how he's trained. (He let us try melatonin with Jacob in the past too, so it's not the first time. But since this was a problem that had to be fixed, I thought he might be resistant.)


A colloidal silver note: We don't take the stuff that can turn you blue, in case you're worried. The guy who turned blue was taking stuff with silver proteins in it. And it was 700 ppm, 1/2 gallon a day for years! We're just taking 15 ppm, ounces a day for a week or so during an illness. And when we have respiratory things, we use it in the nebulizer. We've had colds, but not one respiratory infection since (that wasn't food allergy induced).

April 01, 2008

I am one happy homeschooling mama!


Why, might you ask??

Because I just counted and realized we only have 25 official days to complete this year of homeschooling!!!!!!!! I hadn't counted up since I switched to my 2008 calendar, and life has been so crazy I felt like we were behind. Well, I was soooooooooooo wrong! Yippee!! Even if I start officially again on June 1 (we school year round and my goal was July 1), that gives us two full months to complete 25 days... a walk in the park! Speaking of a walk in the park, my Spring lesson plans are changing! Well... I don't have any lesson plans because I'm really unmotivated in the school planning department lately, but now I don't have to feel guilty for being unprepared!

So, who's meeting us at the park?

A Great Unit Study Resource!

For our schooling, we use literature based unit studies. This means we take a book to read (or sometimes a theme) and connect virtually all of our learning to that particular book/theme . It's been great for us because it offers a connection and application to what we're learning. (Yes, I'm learning a ton too!)

Literature based unit studies can be purchased in many different places, but there is one website where you can get them for free!! HomeschoolShare.com is a site that offers free unit studies written by home schoolers who want to share their ideas. "Many minds make light work" is their slogan. So, be one of those many minds and share your ideas! They have a blast each year during which many units are submitted. This years blast is coming up, so click on the rocket and check it out!