Thursday, November 26, 2009

Outside my window...I see the streetlight illuminating the foggy darkness.
I am thinking...that the Lord has given me so many things to be thankful for!
I am thankful husband and children, my family and friends, the basics and the faculties to live a productive and happy life.
I am wearing...jeans and a dressy black shirt -- but getting ready to go to bed shortly!
I am babies, my grandmother and grandfather, and my mother-in-law who are waiting for me in Heaven.
I am rest before I have to get up and cook!
I am reading..."Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations" by Alex and Brett Harris.
I am hoping...that it will be a white Christmas!
On my mind...I am praying for those who are in need, are alone, or feel they have nothing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
From the learning rooms...we had a light week this week, although we talked about thankfulness and tried some craft projects.
Noticing that...I can't sleep tonight for some reason.
Pondering these words..."God has a lot to say on the subject of how women are to view and relate to those in authority over them..." (From "So Much More" by Anna Sofia Botkin and Elizabeth Botkin)
From the kitchen...Smells wonderful -- I made homemade applesauce for our Thanksgiving meal.
Around the house...I am trying to keep things neat and tidy, and am enjoying the last few days of my fall decor.
One of my favorite to hear what my children have to say about being thankful and praising God for our blessings!!!
From my picture journal...nothing today...

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Something Worth Celebrating...

Forty-two years ago today, two people were joined together in holy matrimony -- and are still married! That may not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but in the current climate so prevalent in today's culture, it is something certainly worthy of notice and celebration. However, I am very thankful for my parents, and for the love and morals and values that were practiced in our home and served as examples...Sure, there were times when the example was more of what not to do....but the joys I recall from my childhood centered on the practice of faith, the model of love and the immersion of living out values like trust, honesty, hard work, courage, and commitment...

For thousands of years couples have joined together and created the core of society -- the family. However, these days families are so -- dare I say it? -- disjointed, immoral...just plain wrong. And often they certainly do not always model what the Almighty set in place. I don't want to criticize anyone's circumstances, but I do want to point out that the key to staying together for 42 years -- or more, God willing -- is commitment. That seems to be lacking in many "try it on first" relationships, that often end up being temporary. In fact, I know many people who signed mortgage papers with a partner before they walked down the aisle, and even with the poor excuse of finances and economy, it is just unthinkable to me. I am not discounting faith in this equation -- commitment is easier when God is in the midst and the couple in question have a solid foundation in faith.

My parents have shared many joys, many sorrows. I have witnessed their arguments, their apologies, their love and their thoughtfulness in so many ways...Little things, done or said, a tender look or touch. I am thankful for that.

A committed spouse will be there "...for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, etc...." The Lord knows I have been blessed with a husband who has stood by me through illnesses, two miscarriages and the depression that went along with it, and who has always been a steady rock by my side, giving support and holding my hand whenever I needed it. We've gone through many financial ups and downs, have supported one another when in pursuit of various goals and dreams, and have cried to one another when things went sour. My husband has been -- and remains -- a shoulder to cry on, a sounding board for my thoughts, dreams and ideas, and sometimes the one I vent to when I am frustrated, angry or sad. I cannot imagine that someone with a less-than-stellar level of commitment would still be here, day in, day out, experiencing and sharing the drudgery of life (at times) with me. It's not that there are not sunny days -- there are many. But someone without commitment may feel the need to pursue the sun and leave the dark days behind them., whether many or few in number.

And so it's appropriate to take the time to celebrate a marriage that has succeeded where many have not, to thank God for His joining of the couple and for His blessing on their relationship. I know that I am thankful for the model I had growing up and pray that my husband and I can model the best qualities for our children too.

Happy Anniversary, Mommy & Daddy!!! I love you both so much!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Thankful Heart

This Thanksgiving season I have been taking time to contemplate about the things that the Lord God has done for our family, rather than focus on the negative and distressing things that have occurred over the last year or so...

First, and most importantly, I am thankful to Almighty God for His love, grace and mercy. His amazing gift in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ guarantees those who call upon His Name a place in heaven, free from the eternal damnation in hell -- which is sadly these days a message oft overlooked in the effort to allow everyone to "feel good". However, without such a precious and wonderful gift, there would be no hope of anything after death. But through Christ's sacrifice, we have hope, and we can cling to that hope whether times are easy or hard to bear, knowing that we have the victory at the end through Christ.

I am so blessed to have a wonderful loving and hard-working husband, who has a job (another thing to be thankful for in this difficult and trying economy!). I enjoy his friendship, the conversations we have, the fun activities we engage in and just his presence overall. I am thankful for the children the Lord has loaned to me and pray that I do them justice in raising them to know Him and honor Him. I am thankful for my parents and my in-laws, who raised both my husband and myself with a sense of morals and values that have withstood the tests placed upon us by time and a culture that seems to have turned away from things worthy and of value to embrace the fleeting pursuits of life that bring only temporary pleasure. I am thankful for the confidences I have shared with my beloved sister, the joy I have had in spending time with her and with my nieces and nephew, and the good-natured pranks and teasing that are part of our relationship.

I am thankful for my health, which although not perfect, allows me to experience life using all my senses and faculties...and I don't know that I always remember to thank Him just because of that reason alone. I would not be able to pursue my favorite activities - reading, writing, crafting singing, and baking to name a few - if it were not for the abilities that the Lord has granted me with in His mercy and love, and it is some of these things that distinguish me as unique and individual from among the other amazing creations He has wrought with His mighty hands!

Despite the current discouraging climate in this political arena of late, I am so blessed to live in a country where I can read God's Word without fear of arrest or torture, that I can instruct my children in His ways, that I can praise Him anywhere and everywhere I go, and that I have the freedom to worship in those ways. I am so thankful for the men and women who have fought and are fighting to protect our freedoms, from those who journeyed here before the Europeans did, for those who braved the seas and came, and for those who melded together for the common goal of creating a nation where freedom and liberty were paramount and thus secured...I am thankful for those who rose up in courage to speak out against dictators, heresies and the like to grant us all the opportunity to pursue freedom and happiness and who joined together to create the republic form of government which allows each of us to be part of the political system and elect leaders we believe will be trustworthy to bear the burdens of governing over the small towns, rural areas, cities, counties, states and nation we hold dear.

I praise God for all of these gifts and more -- family and friends, neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ here and around the world, food, clothing, shelter -- there are abundant blessings to count and we should all take time more than once each year to offer praise and thanksgiving to the Heavenly Father for His mercy and grace.

May you all experience a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book Entry: Monday, 26 October 2009

Outside my window...I enjoyed the still-turning leaves of yellow and red and orange earlier today – now it is dark in an almost wintery way.
I am thinking...that I am truly very blessed, despite whatever illness has attacked my house -- I know that He has already bought our healing with His precious Blood!
I am thankful husband, my children, family and friends…and the promise of health.
From the learning rooms...we covered a lesson in Mystery of History about Bar-Kokhba, a man during the Second Jewish Revolt who claimed he was the messiah – then discussed the importance of knowing the True Messiah, Yeshua.
From the kitchen...I made a simple soup of chicken broth, alphabet noodles and frozen veggies to help us all with this illness.
I am wearing...pajamas, just like everyone else here who is not feeling the best.
I am creating...a surprise for a Craft Swap Partner from the A Virtuous Woman site!!
I am be planning a more healthy and nutritious menu in the future.
I am be a blessing to my family.
I am hearing...the wind, cars and the sound of my husband praying for our children.
Around the house...things are unkempt and undone...
One of my favorite enjoying time to read a book or visit with friends.
A few plans for the rest of the week: catching up on the cleaning, exchanging summer for winter clothing, and working on a nutritious menu for the week.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Missing Piece

As I strive to live out a more intentional, purposeful life and immerse myself in the things of the Lord, I often find that there is a lot of white noise -- distraction, if you will. Sometimes in the flurry of activity that accompanies daily living, it gets more difficult to carve out that peaceful quiet time in order to seek out that perfect will of God. I have to say that I love all of my "distractions" (family) because I feel so blessed to be able to have experienced being a wife and mother of those dear to me. However, there are times when I try to seek out quiet pockets of time -- and I just cannot find them in the chaos that comes in having a large family.

However, aside from the normal distractions of family, commitments and the like, there are also some other things that seem to me to get in the way of my understanding the Scriptures. Mainly, I feel that I lack the basic understanding of the Jewish customs and references and traditions that enhance and make clear the beauty of the New Testament. For example -- how can anyone completely realize the symbolism of Christ as the Sacrificial Lamb without understanding the basis of how sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, how a blood sacrifice was required of God for the atonement of sin, how God delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians during Passover by having them sprinkle the blood of a lamb over their doorposts and instructing the Angel of Death to pass over those houses but take the life of the firstborn of each family who was not protected by the covering of the blood of the lamb...the list goes on.

Many parables and New Testament instructions were plain to the people of the day, because Jesus was a practicing Jew who was knowledgeable of the traditions and customs of the people, and who clearly knew the Torah.

I am thankful that our pastor does not avoid the Old Tetsament, as it seems to me that many pastors of Christian churches do. There is a whole culture of Christians who feel that the Old Testament is irrelevant, and a whole movement called "replacement theology" that is attempting to divert God's promises for the Jewish people out of any Christian teaching. This is WRONG! The Scriptures tell us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, that the Israelites are the apple of God's eye. God is the same -- yesterday, today, tomorrow -- unchanging and constant and stable. His love for the gentiles is a truth, but cannot replace the fact that the Jewish people are His chosen ones.

It frustrates and angers me when I hear that people who practice Christianity are spewing hate against the Jewish people for any reason. One often expressed is that some accuse Jews of "killing Jesus"...First of all, Jesus was undeniably Jewish. He was a rabbi, a teacher, thoroughly indoctrinated in Judaism and following the rules, rites, customs and such of the Jewish faith. When Christians are ignorant of those teachings, I feel it opens the door to more unwarranted and unnecessary prejudice against that blessed line of people. The Jewish religious may not have recognized Jesus as the Messiah, but can we so easily fault them and force blame where it is not deserved? There are Christians today who would not recognize Christ because of wrong perception...Do we really think that He would be standing at the pulpit and dialoging on the evils and horrors of sin while eschewing the very sinners He sought to save? I would venture to guess that if He was indeed walking on earth at this stage in history, He would be among the sinners and ministering to them at the place of their need. He would be merciful and loving, not refusing to associate with any. However, some Christians actually refuse to meet sinners where they are, feeling that to do so would somehow tarnish their own righteousness.

At a Christian assembly opened to the public one time, I was appalled to hear several Christians judging those around us who were smoking and swearing and who certainly did not appear to be Christians, saying that they should not have attended...However, the purpose of the assembly was to reach out to the lost (and who were they to know the hearts of those standing there anyway!?). If I was unsaved, I would have left in disgust to think that brothers and sisters walking supposedly with Christ were so narrow-minded as to exclude me based on outward appearances, but also the hypocrisy was a loud and clear message to the masses -- it seemed to scream "Come back when you have no sin!" And yet...Jesus died for that sin and already covered it. Sometimes it just takes a while for the gift to get to the recipient. Attitudes like that in the hearts of those who are Christian are driving people away from God rather than to Him, which saddens me considerably. At any rate...back to my original thoughts. I apologize for the tangent.

Jesus, as a Jewish man, would have also celebrated as ordained by God in the Torah. We as Christians are lacking when we fail to understand the Biblical significance of the Old Testament Biblical celebrations, such as Yom Kippur and Passover. God outlined His laws throughout the Torah (which are the first five books of our Bible or the Old Testament: Genesis through Deuteronomy). In fact, many Christians just ignore these Scripture passages as being tedious or unnecessary because Jesus has freed Christians from the burden of the law. However, Jesus himself claimed after His famous Sermon on the Mount:

"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." ~Matthew 5:17-20.

We can see that Jesus did not abolish the commandments ordained by God. We are free from the burden of the sin the law carries, but it does not mean that we can live our lives ignoring what God has set forth in His Word. Christianity is based on so much, and when pastors refuse to preach of hell or God's righteousness in favor of a "feel good" kind of message, they are doing a disservice to the people in denying them the whole story. Of course everyone likes to feel good and not think about the consequences of their sins, but the whole point of Jesus' amazing sacrifice cannot ever be fully appreciated when a person is unaware of the true gift of His saving grace. I am so aware of how my sins could have caused me to spend eternity in death, but that through God's saving grace, He allowed His only Son to die and take on not just my own sin, but the sins of everyone, in order that I could be free to spend eternity with Him. Without the knowledge of hell and the eternal damnation and separation from all that is good, a person really cannot fully comprehend what Christ's sacrifice has given. Can we then really expect that a person saved with a "feel good" kind of message will fully understand the why and how of avoiding sin, how the enemy tries to trap them or how they need to live intentionally for the Lord? I am not saying it cannot be done at all, but how much more deeply can we accomplish living a life for God when we know what our sins cost.

Although there are of course secular Jewish people, the religious Jews are still holding true to the traditions that stemmed from God in His Word, and though we as Christians may feel that we are justified in ignoring God's precepts, we are sorely mistaken. To live a life set apart from the world, we have to immerse ourselves in God's Word thoroughly -- both Old and New Testament should be given equal devotion, for one is inexorably linked to the other. They are not meant to be read as separate and apart, but as one complete picture of God's plan for our salvation.

I think that it is extremely important and necessary that Christians learn and put into practice some of the oracles of God that were written down so carefully for us thousands of years ago. To ignore the one part in favor of the other is to deny that part of God's commandments. We do not have to get so caught up in the learning of and adhering to the letter of the law that we lose focus or sight of God's mercy and grace as He has called us to accept the gift of the blood of His Lamb; however, we cannot live Christian lives that are ignorant of the desires of God to follow after His commandments. He is merciful, loving and forgiving; however, He is still a righteous and just judge. God reveals so much of His character throughout the Old Testament, especially through the Torah, which many Jews and Christians believe was given by God Himself directly to Moses.

The Old Testament is often the missing piece, and we, as Christians, need to embrace the beautiful stories and mysteries and precepts of the Old Testament to get a better, deeper understanding of who God really is and what God desires for us. In doing so, we can find our purpose, live intentionally and grow closer to Him as we embrace the gifts He has given to us and then, in turn, share His love, mercy and compassion with others.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Some Catching Up...

I truly hate to leave things undone, including keeping up with my correspondence with family and friends. I have let this blog go for far too long, and although I always resolve to "start and then keep up with it", I am afraid that sometimes our lives get so busy and hectic that it is not a terrible priority and so it gets forgotten in favor of far more pressing things. So, dear friends, I do not want to promise once again that I will faithfully enter the daily journals that I wish I could, but I will promise to write more regularly...Aiming at first for once a week. It is my heartfelt desire to chronicle this homeschool year, as things have begun a little unexpectedly.

You see, at some point during the summer my dear husband decided that we would keep our oldest daughter, Kayla, home this year. I struggled most of the time trying to figure out where I should place her with regard to the studies I am doing with my middle daughter, Sara. At this time they do much of the same work. Sara seems to be more apt to remember and recall information, and this I attribute largely to the fact that she's always been homeschooled using Charlotte Mason's principle of narration.

Kayla tells me often, while rolling her eyes, that she has covered a topic before, but when I probe for details, she cannot recall a single one! Kayla is a product of public school education for the most part, with only a short year or so having been at home. She thrives on being in the classroom, and I feel this is largely because when she first was placed with us as a seven year-old child, she was used to going to a public school, which seemed to be her only truly "safe" place. By the time her adoption finalization came about (along with her two sisters and her younger brother, all of whom are here with us!), she had been in our school system for two years while I homeschooled my other four adopted children. Two months after their finalization in court in December, we found out we were expecting our first biological child, and so the remainder of the school year was busy and hectic and we decided to let Kayla stay until she completed that school year.

At the time I did not mind so much, because the little school that served our country community was located right across the street, with one classroom per grade from kindergarten through grade four. The whole school seemed like an extension of the community, and reflected some old-fashioned values that one does not often find in public schools today. Sadly, our school district closed three country schools, and our own nearby school was one of them.

I find that I need to go, as my "baby", who will turn five in just a little over two weeks, has something akin to a flu and he is crying for me. I hope that those of you who read this post will pray for us this year as we undertake the next stage of our adventures in homeschooling and life.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Two Very Good Books About Faith

It is rare, dear friends, that I have time to sit and read a book for my own leisure these days. With trying to manage homeschool, the household and my own education, I have sadly neglected the little (well -- large!) "To Be Read" pile in various places about the house, concentrating solely on things that I need to read to get through lessons, plan lessons or finish my own homework. That is not to say that I'm not reading other practical books -- such as gardening, as I am not well versed in that subject. But reading solely for the pleasure of reading is a past-time I've had to set aside in this particular busy season. It has saddened me, as I've not often had long spells of time without some sort of book to look forward to. However, I felt myself coming down with a slight cold, which usually accompanies that womanly cycle every month. This month it was extremely difficult, having my darling Mati so fresh in my thoughts. And so when I realized that I was actually getting a more developed cold than usual, I went immediately to the library to borrow two books that I've anticipated reading for a while now, as there has been no extra money for book purchases in the last few months.

The first book was titled "The Centurion's Wife" and is a collaborated effort by Janette Oke, who has written scores of lovely Christian fiction books, and Davis Bunn, an author with whom I was not familiar -- but whose works I will be looking up the next time I take a trip to the library. This was a lovely story set in the days between Jesus' Resurrection and the first Pentecost. The two main characters, centurion Alban and his betrothed, Leah, are each searching for the truth about what happened after the crucifixion -- Had Jesus been dead when He was laid in the tomb? What really happened to His body? Their search leads them both toward the same wonderful conclusion -- Jesus is alive! This book is the first in a series and I anxiously await the second book.

The other book I read is one of the loveliest autobiographies I've had the honor to devour - as I completed the book in a day. Written by Maria Augusta Trapp herself, "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers" paints the most wonderful picture of a family who walked out their faith daily through the joys and sorrows of life. I felt as though I were Mrs. Trapp's confidante as I read through the pages of this heartwarming and somewhat familiar story. The beauty of the family mottoes, which seemed to be "God's Will Be Done" and "God's Will has no why", is thoughtfully told. I enjoyed the picture of this Catholic family's faith put into practice, walking out not only their trust in Him but also their service toward others. It serves as a good example to Christians of all denominations -- we all need to embrace His ways even more closely than we have and aspire to show His love to others in ways that we may have shied from previously because of embarassment, fear or apathy. This book has inspired me to find more ways to teach and inspire my own children to follow God with all their hearts and to show God's love to others in practical and simple ways. I especially enjoyed the close of the book, where Mrs. Trapp includes a quote from one of my favorite stories, Henry Van Dyke's "The Other Wise Man", which you may recall our family read aloud this past Christmas day.

These stories have touched me lately like no others and I am thankful that I took ill enough to slow the normal busy pace of my family and take a moment to return to the joy of reading. These books were edifying and made me aspire to walk even closer with my Lord. I hope you will take the time to read these, or other books, that inspire you as well!

God bless!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Moving on...

I've had a very difficult year to date - and it's still early on in 2009! After our miscarriage loss, I had to have two different surgeries, which ultimately resulted in an infection. I am still trying to deal with the physical pain of this loss, so the emotional part has only been addressed in little bits and pieces. Most recently (well, yesterday), I was in the hospital recovering from a laproscopy and was in the section of the hospital reserved for new mothers. It was heart-wrenching to hear the cries of newborn babies, knowing that my arms would again be empty come July, when I'd expected to welcome the baby we've now named Mati (Hebrew for "God's gift"). It was almost cruel of them to put me in that wing, and yet...I have to move on. I cannot shrink from babies merely because of my sorrow over the loss of both Jordan and Mati. I wonder if, after all of the physical trials I've gone through, the Lord is going to bless me in that way again or if four year-old Samuel will always remain the youngest living member of our family and the only baby I've ever had? It gets difficult, this thinking things through and contemplating it all. My husband feels that we should not try again - even though we never actually tried to conceive, as I've always thought it should be left up to the Lord. So I am a little discomforted and admittedly depressed in some ways, wondering what the future will bring. I am only able to move ahead day by day remembering that God has blessed us with six beautiful children - five adopted into our family and one miracle born to us. I am so thankful, because I know some people are not as blessed. If you think of it, dear friends, please keep me in your prayers.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Snow Angels

Now that the lunch hour is over now here at our house, my three children decided to leave me to my own devices for a little while and go play in the fresh snow. Yesterday an odd thing happened in our county -- a thin storm passed through the very center, leaving only several towns with any snow at all (one of my husband's coworkers claimed almost a foot, while we got nothin'!)...So this morning the children were excited that our school district had a two hour delay and that there was snow all over the ground. The storm didn't amount to much, maybe one to three inches, depending on where you stand in the yard. But the cool thing is that it's the perfect snow to make snow angels -- something my four year-old's been wanting to do all winter! We read Ezra Keats' "Snowy Day" and the main thing he loved about the story was the part where the boy makes snow angels. So needless to say, little Sammy's outside right this minute, spreading his wings around!!! The innocence of childhood is such a beautiful and fragile and precious thing that needs to be cherished...I need to get some hot chocolate ready for the children because I know they'll be ready to come in shortly. So...God bless all of you, dear friends! And if you have the opportunity to make a snow angel or two, go to it with gusto!!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Valentine e-book offer from Living on a Dime...

With the economy in such a state, it's a wonder that large families like mine are able to survive, let alone celebrate occassions like birthdays or holidays. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Living on A Dime was offering their Valentine on a Dime e-book for FREE...Yep, FREE!!! Just go to and you can get a copy. There are some great ideas in here to help make your Valentine's Day special without breaking the budget. Hope that helps some of you! My fav idea was the strawberries...I'm saving some of our grocery budget $$ for those!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Spring Cleaning Challenge

I was really greatful to find the Spring Cleaning Challenge for Normal People at While I am sadly no longer expecting my baby and had complications from all that, I am only playing on the laptop tonight because I'm too loopy from this morning's surgery to really accomplish anything. However, I had been excited about the baby's arrival and had actually started trying to rearrange things and cull toys, clothes and other things that we no longer have use for – or things that are in just too bad shape to be repaired. I do plan on jumping right in to the challenge as soon as I feel better. Today, though, I will just continue catching up on some of my reading and such. But the rest of you might want to check it out!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

My Ambitious Reading List

Although I am always busy with my own schooling and homeschooling several of my children, I want to make some meaningful strides in my life this year and have chosen some books that reflect the topics I want to learn more about and the values I wish to espouse. Of course I have some fiction thrown in the list too...nobody's perfect!!! At any rate, I got this idea from several other bloggers that I visited randomly, so I am not sure to whom I should give the credit. Suffice it to say, though, that this is an excellant idea that I hope to continue each and every year. I will plan on posting my progress, but please do not expect any reports for a while...Due to my miscarriage I have been behind in other tasks that must take priority -- which is yet another reason I felt the need to write down my ambitious reading list for this year...If I write it down, it might actually be accomplished!

Without further ado, here is my incomplete reading list (I have already thought of a few other things I might like to add) in no particular order as to priority or favorites...

1. Family Driven Faith ~ Voodie Baucham, Jr.
2. Shepherding a Child’s Heart ~ Tedd Tripp
3. Be Fruitful and Multiply ~ Nancy Campbell
4. When Children Love to Learn ~ Elaine Cooper
5. For the Children’s Sake ~ Susan Schaeffer Macaulay
6. The Excellent Wife ~ Martha Peace
7. Following God With All Your Heart ~ Elizabeth George
8. My Heart’s In the Lowlands ~ Liz Curtis Higgs
9. The Eat Clean Diet ~ Tosca Reno
10. Nourishing Traditions ~ Sally Fallon
11. Food Storage 101 ~ Peggy Layton
12. Last Child in the Woods ~ Richard Lauv
13. Rashi’s Daughters, Book I : Joheved ~ Maggie Anton
14. How To Pick a Peach ~ Russ Parsons
15. Songs in the Key of Solomon: In the Word…and in the Mood ~ John & Anita Renfroe
16. More Hours in My Day ~ Emilie Barnes and Sheri Torelli
17. The Original Homeschool Series, 6 volumes ~ Charlotte Mason
18. A Year in the World ~ Frances Mayes
19. Beautiful in God’s Eyes ~ Elizabeth George
20. The Meal that Heals ~ Perry Stone
21. The Shack ~ William P. Young
22. Rhett Butler’s People ~ Donald McCaig
23. Total Truth ~ Nancy Pearcey
24. Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write or Add ~ Charles Sykes
25. Bad Girls of the Bible ~ Liz Curtis Higgs
26. Country Wisdom Almanac ~ Storey Publishing
27. Cooking With Home Storage ~ Peggy Layton
28. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression ~ Mildred Armstrong Kalish
29. Debt-Proof Living ~ Mary Hunt
30. Don’t Make Me Count To Three ~ Ginger Plowman
31. Candymaking for Dummies
32. The Mission of Motherhood ~ Sally Clarkson
33. Breaking the Jewish Code ~ Perry Stone
34. Pride and Prejudice ~ Jane Austen
35. People of the Book ~ Geraldine Brooks

[I have decided that I will highlight the books I have completed, so that my reaaders might know how much I have accomplished...or not!]

Several of these books I have planned to read aloud to/with my husband either during a trip somewhere (church, store, etc.) or during our personal time. However, the majority are books that I hope will serve to help me learn essential spiritual truths or homemaking skills as I continue in my walk with Christ and try to be the best wife and mother possible. Of course, the number one book that is not listed on my current list is the Bible -- although there have been some days lately that have started out all wrong (such as the day I found out we'd lost the baby), I am trying to devote even more daily time to reading God's Word and drinking deeply of the spiritual truths. So far my readings have served to give me much comfort during this difficult time, in addition to revealing areas where I need to improve upon my attitude and walk with the Lord. No other book is as important to me, and if I never get to the rest of them because of the busy demands of a large family, I will have at least read the Book that matters the most!

God bless you all and have a wonderful week!!!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Praying for the President

Though many rejoice and many despair over the swearing in of a new president, President Obama needs prayer. The Lord wants us to pray for those in authority over us -- and yes, that would include our new president. It is especially crucial at this time, as he is taking over office. I urge my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to consider joining the Presidential Prayer Team and commit to praying for President Obama and his administration not only during the first 100 days, but throughout his term of office. The Lord can touch any heart and change any person, and give wisdom and knowledge and blessing, when people pray to God. I am including a link for you all so that you can examine this wonderful prayer ministry for yourselves. We need to pray that the Lord's will -- not that of any man or woman, but God's will alone -- will reign.

Thank you all for your consideration of this ministry. I have found it to be a blessing, for myself and for my children, to keep our nation's leaders in prayer.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook Entry for 12 January 2009

Well, hard to believe but it's Monday again already. The last few days have gone by in a blur for me. We named the baby "Mati", which is Hebrew for either gender and means "gift of God". The Share Burial is tomorrow and I am full of sorrow that I have to do this again. I don't know if God will ever bless me with another baby, but I am so thankful for every minute that Mati was growing and developing inside me. I'm just having a lot of regret that I didn't get to at least hold the baby. Anyway, I am posting my Simple Woman's Daybook entry. I am trying to have some semblance of order in my day. So here is the weekly entry:

Monday, January 12, 2009

Outside my window...
It is sunny but cold, with temperatures in the 20s.

I am thinking...
That I need to follow up on a lot of things, and get school done (with the kiddies and my online college stuff).

I am thankful for...
The brief time I was pregnant with Mati in 2008/2009 and the brief time I was pregnant with Jordan in 2007.

From the learning rooms...
We got a lot more accomplished last week than I thought. I hope to get more done today as tomorrow I don't know that I will be able to handle school knowing that we're burying Mati.

From the kitchen...
Tonight we'll finish the lovely eye roast we got on sale (enough for two meals!). I might get ambitious and make a cake or cookies for the kiddies, and I'd like to try to make some baked oatmeal for my husband's breakfasts this week.

I am wearing...
I am still in pajamas because I have a lot of cramping and bleeding still...But I am determined it will not be a wholly lazy day.

I am creating...
I purchased pins to pin the quilt I was making for Mati, which I intend to finish, as well as the baby blanket and booties I started. I also decided that maybe I would enroll in the next cake decorating course to give myself some sense of accomplishment and help my grief.

I am going...
To still continue to praise God and thank Him despite my grief, even though it is getting more difficult the closer I get to the share burial. I have faith that He will give me love and comfort.

I am reading...
Family Driven Faith by Voodie Baucham, Jr. and A Biblical Home Education by Ruth Beechick, as well as some stuff about homeschooling by Charlotte Mason that I got online from

I am hoping...
To find the strength to cope with this miscarriage loss without snapping out in anger at God or my family and to rest in the assurance that I will hold Mati (and Jordan) one day.

I am hearing...
Silence at the moment (which may or may not be a good thing -- where are the kiddies??).

Around the house...
I changed my sheets and blankets, and cleaned up some clutter and dusted in our master bedroom. I need to move a bookshelf and the entertainment center in the living room to make way for other furniture. And I asked my husband to please take down the crib and changing table, at least for now...It is too painful a reminder to have them up, and Sammy doesn't really use or need them right now anyway, as he's got a "big boy bed".

One of my favorite things...
At the moment I am too full of grief to really think this one through, but I love my family and and friends and am thankful for the strength and support I've gotten in the last week.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Aside from our regular homeschool schedule and my college course work...

Tonight: Church Small Group (which I really need right now)
Tuesday: Share Burial for Mati
Wednesday: Story time at Barnes & Noble since we'll miss it Tuesday
Thursday: Cleaning up the room my parents will be moving into
Friday: Moving some of the children around into other rooms
Saturday: Church in the evening (easier for us right now than Sundays, so I'm glad our church gives the option to accommodate people)
Sunday: Continuing to adjust January homeschool schedules, completing my online college week's work.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
This is my first attempt at bootie making, which are felt ones I tried to form for Mati's July arrival. Unfortunately they were way too big, but I was going to adjust the size - and the color, since we were not sure what the gender was going to be. It was just an experiment. Now there is no need, obviously, but I am still going to finish the booties and put them in a shadow box with the ultrasound pictures and information about this precious baby.

As always, thanks for stopping by!!!
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Monday, January 05, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook entry for January 5th

Simple Woman's Daybook entry for January 5th
I'm still trying to get the hang of this, but here is my second ever Simple Woman's Daybook entry:

Monday, January 5, 2009

Outside my window...
It is sunny and rather warm for a winter day.

I am thinking...
That although the doctors confirmed today that my baby no longer has a heartbeat, I am grateful that God allowed the child to be conceived and for me to enjoy 14 weeks of pregnancy.

I am thankful for...
My husband and my children, all of whom are extremely and especially precious to me.

From the learning rooms...
Today we resumed school, although it was not terribly successful due to the stress over the doctor’s appointment.

From the kitchen...
My wonderful husband took charge of the meals.

I am wearing...
I was wearing loose and comfortable clothing because of my doctor appointment, then pajamas to rest…

I am creating...
Nothing of note at the moment, although I intend to finish the baby blanket and booties I started.

I am going...
To continue to praise God and thank Him despite my grief.

I am reading...
Family Driven Faith by Voodie Baucham, Jr. and college textbooks for Chemistry 101 and Educational Psychology.

I am hoping...
To find the strength to cope with this miscarriage loss without snapping out in anger at God or my family.

I am hearing...
A television show my 4 year-old is watching in my room.

Around the house...
I did not really accomplish anything noteworthy today, except that I straightened my sheets and blankets!

One of my favorite things...
When my 4 year-old says “I love you big much up to the moon and back too big much!”

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Aside from our regular homeschool schedule and my college course work (well – as regular as possible considering the circumstances)
Tuesday: Resting.
Wednesday: A possible follow-up doctor appointment.
Thursday: Attending an evening appointment with my husband.
Friday: Resting.
Saturday: Probably church in the evening.
Sunday: Adjusting January homeschool schedules, completing my online college week's work and reading aloud to the children from the Bible.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
This rainbow was shining on the day we got our Christmas tree…We saw one before we got to the tree farm and the sky cleared, but when we got half-way into the field – we experienced a huge downpour, followed by hail and then…it cleared up and behold, an other rainbow graced the sky!

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