Saturday, September 24, 2011

Conquering Self

One of my main goals from now till the end of this year is to work on conquering self.  Self has gotten in the way so many times and prevented me from moving forward.  I want to spend time in self-introspection/reflection and be a better person, inside and out.  One part of this aspect is my weight.  I put on this weight a few years ago in 2007 after, what was to me, a traumatic event.  I've held on to it and lost some here and there but eventually gained it back.  I know what I'm holding onto - my insecurities, weaknesses and defenses.  It's time to let that go and the weight will go!

It isn't just weight though, I've realized as I've looked through the posts over the past 4 years that I've grown in a lot of ways but I still have a long way to go.  I don't want to hurt anyone with my words and throughout the years blogging here, I've been more careful in how I say things and haven't received those cruel comments like I used to.

This blog has made me!  It has worked out imperfections in myself.  It has shown me how personal people take things, myself included.  It has made me stronger and tougher-skinned.  It has helped me realize how insecurities about certain things are inside of me.  It has made me examine why I'm so passionate about certain things.  Most of all, it has helped me heal from the tragedies of my past.

I pray that these next 12 weeks of conquering self, prove to be life-changing for me!  I'm wanting to chronicle my weight loss journey and have re-opened my old blog and may do weekly videos again as those helped me to be accountable.


I chose to use Edmund Hillary's comment as my inspiration for this journey.  This is the man that was the first known to reach the summit of Mount Everest and his words are powerful:

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary

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Garden: Last Planting

I went ahead and took out the tomato and pepper plants and replaced them with carrots and sugar snap peas that generally do well in cooler weather.  I also planted more spinach, since a lot of them didn't sprout due to the 90 degree weather we had a few weeks ago.  I also pulled up the radishes and no one wanted to eat them, so we planted spinach in its place.  I may do a cover for the garden for night/morning frost and remove it daily to keep the vegetables growing since it doesn't get terribly cold here until November or so.


My second garden is doing well, the strawberry patch gives us about 1 pound a week and I couldn't keep up, so I started freezing them.  The sugar snap pea vines are growing and we will soon have some peas.  The broccoli is growing slowly due to the hot weather, but hopefully they will start to take off now that it will be cooling down.  We have a slug problem but its so late in the season that I didn't want to invest in Sluggo, but will next spring most likely.



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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shouting From the Hilltops!!!!!!

Normally our daughter is in children's church but since our church had a conference in St. Louis recently, she came to "big" church with us.  The past 6 months she has been talking about salvation, crying about wanting to go to Heaven and asking lots of questions.  This past Thursday night before church I showed her again Romans 10:9 and explained on the resurrection.  Then we went to church and the associate pastor preached about the resurrection and Katie was paying attention.

Then came altar call and my husband and I knelt at our pew to pray but Katie was still standing.  She asked me if we were going to the altar and I said no.  Then she asked if we could go again and I said no, my husband then told her no and with the most sincere eyes that were starting to water, she said, "But, I want to pray for salvation!"

My husband went with her and she prayed for salvation!!!!!!!!  I was crying of course!  It was awesome and then I thought of the scripture on how it is the PREACHING of the Word that saves, so she needed to be in "big" church to hear the preacher!

I've prayed while she was in my womb and then at night while she was sleeping as she has grown up.  Her salvation was of the utmost importance for me as nothing else really matters does it?  If Jesus came back tonight to take us home, Katie would go too!  How sweet your sleep is when you see your child love Jesus like you love Jesus!!

Satan has been upset ever since Thursday night as he has attacked our family left and right, but I want to let him know that he can't have my child, she isn't for sale!!!!  I will continue to train her up in the way she should go and instill a Godly view of the world in her life and pray she keeps God foremost in her life!

3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
Matt. 18:3  And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  
Matt. 19:13  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
Matt. 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Homeschool Room Ready for 2nd Grade!

You may remember in this post when I took all the posters from K-1 off the walls and it made our homeschool room look bare.  Well, we tried the timeline but I realized that 82 cards was going to take way too much space just for Ancient history, so I nixed the timeline idea.  I did love the subway art printables and the rail with the buckets so those stayed.  Then after I took the timeline down, I saw the yarn up there on the wall and thought it would be neat to display Katie's art and history color pages.  So I went through her art portfolio and got some of my favorites.  As she does art each week, we will replace an old one with a new one so her work is on display and she loved it too!


Here is a collage comparing the way the room was before and then after I took the posters down and then the last one being now.


Katie is coloring and working on an Autumn mobile to hang in the homeschool room and then she wants to do a scarecrow too and put him on the wall.  I'm sure in a few weeks this room will be different again as it grows with the seasons, of not only weather, but our life.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Potholders with Crafty Loops

Katie had made these a while back but I finally got around to knitting them off the looms for her.  She loves weaving and is going to make my mom one of these for Christmas.



I love how they look in my kitchen and match!



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Friday, September 16, 2011

Freezer Cooking Day 2

Yes, you read the title right - I only needed 2 days to finish this cycle's freezer cooking!  I took Thursday off as I had some errands.  I woke up early today and worked so hard until about 2pm when I finished.  I'm SO sore but its SO worth it! ;-)  My freezer is full and my heart is smiling.......



But my kitchen is awaiting a washing......



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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Freezer Cooking Day 1

For those that don't know my order of the week when I do my 3-month freezer cooking, here is a quick run-down:

Monday - plan
Tuesday - shop for everything needed
Wednesday - first day cooking and prep
Thursday - second day 
Friday - last day

This week may be different as I have some interruptions on Thursday that may delay me another day but I have Saturday free for more cooking if need be.

So far today, I've been cooking 4 pounds of dry black beans in my new pot that I love!  This thing is so huge that it can cook that many beans at once and that helps me a lot.  I should have around 24 cups of cooked black beans when they are done.  Then, I put the lentil soup in the crockpot and it will be done in about 6 hours or so.


Note to self:  Though it looks really cool to cook 4 pounds of beans in an enormous pot, just remember you have to drain all that and stir it all.

2nd note to self:  Don't ever cook 4 pounds of dry elbow macaroni in the same pot again!  Didn't you learn your lesson with the beans woman!?  Not only did it have minimal space to boil, draining was another nightmare and then mixing in the cheese and other ingredients was excruciating for my arm and I almost broke my stirring spoon.





My daughter still did homeschooling today while I cooked, she did things she can do without me:  Read Beowulf, looked through her new dictionary and thesaurus, did ten minutes of cursive writing (thanks Mr. Meerkat!), did all her math fact cards and then ended the school time with coloring pages that she will cut and make a lapbook about animals needs.



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Monday, September 12, 2011

Freezer Meals & Batch Cooking Recipe Reviews #6

Here are the reviews of the new recipes we tried this past cycle and how we liked them:
  1. Black Bean Fajitas - a real winner around here, both my husband and daughter love these!  We skipped the grilled peppers and onions and we had them on homemade tortillas.
  2. Southwest Mac n' Cheese - another winner with the family!  I left out the corn.  Freezes well if only cooked al dente before freezing.
  3. Marinara Garbanzos on Couscous - everyone liked it but not a favorite.  We used Israeli couscous and homemade spaghetti sauce.  I didn't use the red pepper flakes or parsley.

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September-December Freezer Cooking Plan

I'm doing my 3-month freezer cooking this week!  We are really enjoying the meatless meals during the weekdays and using the weekends for meat meals, eating out whenever we want something else.

There are 91 meals between now and the second week of December that I need to plan for.  Some of you may remember how I showed how I plan this all out in this post.  I will also show you how I'm doing it for this cycle:

91 days of meals to plan
- 12 Tuesdays of spaghetti
- 13 Fridays of pizza
- 26 weekend meals (13 casseroles)
- 9 leftover meals from last cycle
________________
31 days of meals to plan

So after my calculations, I only have to plan out 31 more meals for Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays as the other days are already planned for:

Tuesdays - Spaghetti x 12
Fridays - Pizza x 13
Every Other Weekend - Lasagna x 13
Every Other Weekend - Chicken Divan x 13

31 meals for Mon, Wed & Thurs:
Israeli Couscous Lentil Dish x 9
Chili & Cornbread x 4
Marinara Garbanzos on Couscous x 2
Southwest Mac n' Cheese x 6
Black Bean Fajitas x 6
Curried Lentil Soup & Cornbread x 4

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I spent a lot of time in reflection today in remembering that terrible day that changed our nation.  I was 21 years old and waiting for my pastor's wife to pick me up to take me to a dental appointment on the Air Force base.  She called me on her way and told me she didn't think I would be going to my appointment today and then told me what had happened.  It was unbelievable news and I couldn't quite comprehend what it all meant at that moment in time.  I haven't forgotten where I was when I got the news that day, it seems to be lodged in my memory forever and others have shared the same.

If you can handle it, the video of the events are below and I cried through it as I remembered.  I pray that nothing like this ever happens again to our country and that God continues to bless America!


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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Knitting Looms Set

We rewarded Katie with a gift for graduating first grade this past week.  We got her a colorful knitting loom set and I will probably be using it too!  She has been wanting to learn how to knit, so we can learn together.  It shows you how to use them to make hats, booties, teddy bear, scarves and other things.



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More American Than Christian?

“We’re not raising a man who happens to be biologically capable of having children. We’re raising a woman, a wife, a mother…’it sounds so radical!’ Yea, it probably does. You know why?’ Cause we’re a lot more American than we are Christian. We do the same thing everybody else does. And most times in the exact same way. After step A you take step B. Why? ‘Cause everybody does it, and if you don’t, you’re messin’ things up. Keep your prosperity in check. There’s a whole lot of women out there who have bought the lie that says you can have it all, and the fact of the matter is, you cannot. And you were never meant to. Nor were men. There is a role for us to play, you weren’t designed to have it all.

But here’s what I’m wondering: why would anyone who has been given the incredible gift and privilege of being able to bear and grow in them a life - 9 months – why? Why? To have a symbiotic relationship between your body and theirs; between your heartbeat and theirs. That’s why. So that they know your smell. So that they know everything about you. Why do they come here and the first thing they desperately need to do is nurse? So that from your breast they look into your eyes. Why? ‘Cause God designed you to nurture them. And you know what our culture says, that’s not good enough. You need to go share Adam’s curse ’cause Eve’s curse is not enough for you. That’s what our world says. And our world says as soon as you can, you rip that baby from you and hire somebody else to do what God created you to do instead. That’s what our world says. God says, ‘I’ve given you to this man to be his suitable helper.’ What does our world say? Well, let him go find somebody’s else’s wife to be his right arm, and then you be the right arm of some other man. That’s what our world says.

When we have the greatest gift, the greatest calling, and the greatest opportunity in the world, because the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world…There is nothing more beautiful, nothing more powerful, nothing more precious than authentic, strong, submissive womanhood, and there is nothing that is in shorter supply, except, authentic, strong, passionate, protecting, providing manhood. And as a result our houses are not order, they are in complete disarray. And we are raising men who are weak and have not been given permission to stand up and lead their homes, and women who are unprotected and completely dissatisfied because somebody told them they could have it all, and rather than enjoy and embrace this incredible powerful gift of womanhood and motherhood, that instead they should go out and share Adam’s curse and pay somebody else to do the menial job, the menial task, of raising and nurturing their children. God help us. Don’t buy the lie.” ~ Voddie Baucham, Getting Our Houses in Order (Part 2 of ‘The Children of Ceasar’)

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Poll: Homekeepers Earning Money

I've had some opportunities come my way that I'm trying to decide on.  I wanted to do a poll, not to make my decision for me, but rather to see where other homekeepers stand on this issue.  Seeing how you read my blog, you must share some of the same views or why else read my blog right?  So, I want to hear your thoughts on this!

Here is the issue:  If a homekeeper does something and earns money for it that doesn't take away from her home responsibilities and family, is it ok?  Here are some scenarios:

  1. Makes crafts and sells them
  2. Paints and sells her paintings
  3. Writes books and sells them
  4. Makes products and sells them
  5. Tutors children and gets paid
  6. Attends functions and gets paid (once a month)
  7. Teaches a workshop for women and gets paid
  8. Runs a homeschool co-op teaching group once a week and gets paid

Basically, she is using her skills to earn money but not as a job or a career, but on the side in her free time.  What say you?

*Poll Closed.

Here are the results:

Yes      13 (76%)
No         1 (5%)
Other     3 (17%)

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

I Know "Her".........

Years ago when I first became a Christian and got married, I had anticipated having children.  Upon voicing this, I was told that I would go to hell if I had a child because my husband was called to preach and a child would hinder his ministry.  (He was told he was called at that time but God is the only one who has the power to call and he will tell us if we are!)  This was tragic for me as I had always desired children, but upon hearing it from someone I trusted, I submitted and tried to quell the desire inside me for three years.  It was many nights of crying and forcing myself into submission because this must be what God wants I thought.  Then, we started learning that a lot of things we were taught by that individual were not correct.  Up came the hope that maybe I could have a child without risking my eternal future or "hindering" things.

So, I asked the question and was covered in sympathy as the pastor told me that I would NOT go to hell for having a child and it had nothing to do with hindering my husband or the ministry.  However, I couldn't even trust his answer, I didn't trust anyone anymore.  One night while sitting on my couch, I asked God to just show me someway or somehow that it was ok and that I could let go of the fear of "putting a child before God."  It was then that I felt the Holy Spirit and as I remember it, started crying and this verse jumped out at me on the page:

For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. ~Genesis 18:19

I knew beyond any doubts that God was giving me His blessing to conceive.  God KNEW me!  God knew that I would raise children up in His ways and to do His will!  It was so moving for me and something I haven't forgotten.  No man or woman could ever tell you different, once you've had an experience like that!

After receiving that from the Lord, we made an appointment with my OB-GYN doctor to find out what we needed to do to prepare for pregnancy.  What happened next shook my world up again.  I was told that I may actually be sterile and even if I could conceive, it would probably take about two years.  I was devastated and hurt.  I called out to God, questioning all this as He had just given us His blessing for children and I couldn't understand this.  We tried anyway but I didn't believe I would get pregnant.

Rev. Olson, the head of our church organization, came to preach a revival at our church weeks later.  He was preaching a message so strong about how God was saying "TRUST ME!"  He said it over and over and God reached down and squeezed my heart so strong.  As he preached, I felt that I was pregnant, the baby was inside me at that moment and as the preacher echoed the words, "TRUST ME," I decided to trust God that I was.  After that, I shared with his wife about how I was believing I was pregnant, even though the doctors told me it was most likely not probable.  She seemed sincerely happy for me as she saw my bright eyes of desire for a child.

I was pregnant!  I had actually been 5 weeks pregnant already and we had conceived the first time we tried, despite the doctor's dismal outlook.  During that message from God of "TRUST ME," I was pregnant!  Katie was in my belly all that time and all I had to do was trust completely in God and not man, not a doctor, not anyone but God.

God had given me a blessing!  That is why I'm so adamant in my standing up for women desiring children and those that may try and stop God's blessings.  I'm here to tell you today that God wants to bless you!  Give it to God and TRUST HIM!

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Decorating with Subway Art

I love subway art, not only because its free but also because it looks mod!  I spray painted a few old frames black and then printed off some subway art of rules and encouragement for the homeschool room.  Then I also printed off one for the kitchen and hung it next to the utensil holder.  We also put up an IKEA cup holder rail, which really gave us more space on the bookshelf.  One holds scissors, hole punch and things of that nature, the other pens, pencils, etc. and the last one holds the dry erase markers and eraser.  It is really handy to have the markers and erasers at level with the dry erase board now!  I really love how this side of the wall turned out:


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Monday, September 5, 2011

Easel for Teaching with Posters/Boards

I got a great deal today at Michael's!  All their art easels were 40% off and I found one to match our black furniture in the homeschool room and it ended up being about $8!  I love how it is 67 inches tall and perfect height for me for teaching from posters and other large illustrations like felt boards.  It folds up too, so I can easily tuck it in the corner of the bookcase if need be. 




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A Change of Heart

The past few weeks have been some of the hardest of my life and a time or two, I had wanted to request prayer even on this blog for my husband and I.  However, through all of it, God was showing me that I needed to stand more steadfast than I have ever stood before!  There is so much He has taught me and I feel like I've taken some giant steps in God this past week than I have in a long time.  I just wanted to share and you might not understand because I'm not giving the whole story of what was involved but maybe you can relate in some way:

  1. Not to care what he said/she said - you know its mostly SHE said LOL.  Come on ladies, women are emotional and some act like children when they get their feelings hurt.
  2. Stand up to others about their criticism when needed - not in a harsh, critical way but rather telling them for example "Hey, I get it that homeschool isn't your thing, so you can please stop reminding me every time you see me?  If you can't keep it to yourself, maybe we shouldn't hang out anymore." or "Can you just stop talking about how you are doing more for God because you are preventing children?  I get it that you don't share my views so its probably best you don't talk about it when you around me." 
  3. Stand up to others that are busybodies - simply start saying that is none of your business.
  4. Tell the devil to shut up more!! - I think a lot of times I let what others say to me or about me get to me too much and I'm going to start telling the devil to shut up more!  When comments or insults are made against you or something you do, you know its the devil trying to get to you, don't let him!
  5. Stand alone if need be - my husband and I are learning that God wants us to just stand for our convictions, even if it means alone sometimes and to lay low, so to speak, and let God handle it.  I think this may be my greatest victory lately - realizing that God called me to homeschool, that I'm one of the nutty KJV only's, I won't take an abortion pill to keep God's blessings away and that I don't care what others say or think about that.  I would rather go overboard for God than come up short.  I learned that God gave us these convictions and he wants us to keep them, no matter who insults, ridicules or doesn't agree - we are steadfast and not wavering for ANYONE.  Anyone can stand with a group, but who can stand when you are seemingly the only one holding onto a certain conviction?  Will you stand with Jesus or will you cower to the crowd?  An amazing test for us and I'm glad to say we're passing it, thanks to Jesus!
  6. Pray more for my enemies - for those that think a certain way about me, criticize me and treat me unfairly - I'm going to start praying more for them.
  7. Stop analyzing others - you may not get this one but all through my life I realized from not only what I know about myself but from those that have known me well have said - I'm a left-brainer!  I have a strong analytical mind, I understand a lot of times more than the average person but it has become a problem for me.  I honestly see some people's situations clearly and solutions but I have to realize they don't and my brain is better spent on my own family and life.  Out of wanting to help a friend, I've gotten met with defensiveness and that is when I realized - its time to stop trying to help everyone see what I do.  A man of God was the last to tell me this about myself and after hearing my husband and parents say it for years, I finally accepted that I was different than most.  Now, I'm on a road to learning how to understand right-brain dominant people and let my friends have their problems and flaws, without analyzing it and showing them how to fix it.  I will reserve that for those that ASK me too lol. ;-)
  8. Let things roll off like water off a duck's back - I tend to analyze as I said above, which is good for things in my life but not for things that others say that hurt.  I need to learn the skill of, as soon as I hear it, to let it roll off of me like water off a duck's back.  Tell the devil to go away, pray to God for help and pray in the Holy Spirit for strength.  Then if it comes back in my mind later, to shoot it down again and do the 3 steps above.  I'm sure I could figure out a lot of things from analyzing what someone said to hurt me but what does it profit but more hurt to me?  It's time to let things go......

I'm sure there will be more, but for now I'm learning more about my mind and the left-brain dominance that has pervaded me most of my life.  I'm so thankful to the man of God that actually came out and said it because he made me feel that I'm not some problem, but rather that I don't use the same of the brain that most people do lol.  If only my prior pastors would have said this in my life, I may have had this breakthrough years ago but I suppose through it all - I learned to trust in Jesus!  Now, I'm on a new road to understanding myself more and realizing others don't analyze like I do, they don't see things like I do and they probably won't care that I'm left-brain dominant!  My husband does though, he knows me so well and once we started reading about my mind, he knew and I knew that was me!  

I also prayed for God to give me something to do to distract me lately from all that is going on and He did!  I'm partaking in one of the largest cases in our state and I can't say much more but God answered my prayer and its something that a left-brain dominant, analytical mind is perfect for! ;-)

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Preparing the Homeschool Room for a New School Year

I had some wall charts up for K and 1st grade but now that my daughter is moving onto 2nd grade work, I didn't see a reason to have them on the wall all the time.  Upon taking them down, I realized I definitely need something up there because it just looks like too much white to me, its not as colorful as it was before and it looks bare.

The first photo is before taking down the posters and the second photo is how it looks now.


We are doing a timeline towards the top, all around the room but I wanted some other things to hang on the pantry wall (left side) and then the other spaces.  I was thinking of a decorating a memo board with a bold, colorful fabric for Katie's charts and putting that above the small shelf where the globe is.

I want to keep the world map on the wall where it is so my daughter can easily see it all because we use it a lot and if I put up it higher, she wouldn't be able to see the small writing without a step ladder.  Then the dry erase board is going to stay where it is because its nailed to the wall.

Hopefully, I will have something set up soon and I can share those photos! :-)

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Poll Results: Why Do You Read My Blog?

Thanks to all those who voted and for those who shared their personal thoughts in the comment box, it was a blessing to my heart! :-)  I hope to continue to write and share things that do all the below:

Poll Question: Why Do You Read My Blog?

Makes You Think
  17 (56%)
It Stands For Truth
  16 (53%)
Pure Fun
  5   (16%)
Encouragement
  22 (73%)
Motivating/Inspiring
  16 (53%)
Quality - It's Worth Your Time
  17 (56%)
Other - Leave comment
  4   (13%)

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