Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Okay ~

Okay, so it's now late Tuesday evening and I haven't gotten around to posting my Psalm 23 blog. Have you ever had one of those days where you just can't get around, no matter how hard you try?

I did manage to get the kiddos going on school, but getting into the shower and getting motivated for the day just didn't happen yesterday ~ or today!

I'm setting aside time to blog tomorrow ~ not much planned in the housecleaning department, only a few loads of laundry, vacuuming and dusting. Shouldn't be too terribly busy tomorrow. Until then, sisters!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hash Brown Quiche

I love this breakfast quiche from none other than Miss Paula Deen! If you love a "farmer's breakfast", this simple quiche is a winner!

Preheat oven to 450.


4 c. shredded frozen hashbrowns, thawed & drained
1/2 stick melted butter
4 large eggs, beaten
1 c. half & half
3/4 c. diced, cooked ham (crumbled bacon or prepared sausage would work, too)
1/2 c. sliced green onions
1 c. shredded cheddar
salt & pepper to taste


Toss hashbrowns with butter. Press into a 9" pie plate. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes or until golden & crisp. Mix remaining ingredients and pour into hot crust. Lower oven temperature to 350. Bake additional 30 minutes or until golden & puffed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This & That

Today I enjoyed fiddling around with a new blog design ~ I hope you find the change as refreshing as I have! I wanted to do a new one for autumn ~ my favorite time of year ~ but decided it was too early yet. I've got everything picked out, so I'll be changing my design sometime in late September ~ early October.

I finally (!) found my devotional on Psalm 23 (I had taken it to church to share w/ my ladies' SS class and left it in my attache ~ just thought to look there last week!) so we'll resume our study on Monday.

I'm so excited to now have 8 followers! When I decided to blog, I did so to be a source of encouragement to my fellow sisters in Christ. I wanted to share the truths I learned as I studied God's Word. I wanted to be transparent as I shared my struggles/joys/rewards of being a wife, mother, homemaker and Christian woman in today's world.

One of the reasons I chose to begin my own blog was because I wondered if anyone else ever struggled as I did. When I first discovered Christian homemaking blogs ~ aka "Titus 2 blogs" ~ I noticed a pattern. Not only were these women super-organized with HUGE household binders that they followed to the letter, but they were more than happy to share how they managed their homes!

At first, I was impressed! These bloggers had designed their own home management binders ~ some were even for sale ~ with pages and pages of detailed guides for chores, cleaning, laundry, and home-schooling schedules. Some included a section for quiet time, journaling, weekly/monthly menu ideas, shopping lists, phone directories and "Prairie Muffin" manifestoes. I felt as if I were sadly lacking in my God-given responsibility to be an effective homemaker, so I dutifully designed and printed out pages and pages for myself. (Ironically, the hours I spent preparing my binder kept me away from building on my home and family!)

I wish to state that I have no problem with home management binders. The Bible encourages us to do things "decently and in order" (1 Corinthians 14:40). It's great to have everything you need in one place. However, it seemed that these bloggers set these incredibly high standards for themselves (and others, according to how many other women posted about their similar binders) to live up to. They seemed to be prideful in their accomplishments of what they had to do each day.

In time, I began to feel intimidated by their posts instead of being encouraged. It seemed to me that they were implying that this is the way a healthy, God-fearing Christian homemaker should be ~ by being dresses only, wearing head coverings, making your own bread and clothes, and being KJV only.

(Doctrinal disclaimer: I myself believe the KJV to be the most accurate translation of the original Hebrew and Greek. However, the other versions are great for contrast/comparison Bible study.)

In continuation, these bloggers posted a week's worth of pictures of themselves in dresses and head coverings. Many made videos of tours showcasing their homes. I'm sure these bloggers only had the best intentions, but in reality, they unwittingly set themselves up as a standard for other women to aspire to.

Although there's nothing wrong with that per se, some women can fall into the trap of thinking themselves more spiritual/godly if they abide by certain "standards". In the comment section of one popular blog, I saw/read of women who were berating others that didn't believe as the blogger and the majority of her followers did. It was in this comment section that I discovered that there was actually a "hate" blog dedicated to "expose" the blogger for "who she really was". Disgusted, I quit reading this woman's blog. I couldn't help but realize that such is the reaping when one sows the seed of discord ~ in this case, the woman setting herself as the lofty "standard" of a "godly" homemaker.

Here is the fact: Jesus is THE only Standard! We're all sinners, saved by grace ~ our righteousness is nothing but filthy rags. Because of His grace and mercy, Jesus has redeemed us all! He is the Relentless Lover of our souls Who isn't willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. I'm so thankful that Jesus looks upon my heart ~ not my outward appearance!

It's not going to make a bit of difference for the Kingdom if I'm super-organized with a home management binder. God simply wants me in my home, working and weaving on it each day. Jesus isn't impressed with my vaccuumed floors or sparkling toilets. He wants my heart to be clean for communion with Him. He wants my speech to be sweet and sparkling ~ uplifting and encouraging. My Savior doesn't care if I make homemade bread or buy Sara Lee. He is the Bread of Life! He wants me to do my household chores joyfully ~ because, in reality, as I serve my family, I'm serving Him!

What matters is this: I am on assignment from God to help, submit to, and love my husband. I am to teach, pray for, and enjoy my children. God wants me to watch over, build, and care for my home and family every day. My desire as a homemaker is to make our household a place of tranquility, rest, and refreshment. The ultimate goal for my home is that the hubs and kiddos will think, "When I get home, everything will be all right!"

Although I have my own personal preferences ~ not to be confused with doctrinal convictions ~ concerning my Christian walk, I will never use this blog to dictate them. I believe that anyone of any "religion" can be saved as long as they realize that: Jesus is the only way to Heaven (John 14:6) ~ that they have recognized their need for a Savior (Romans 3:23) ~ and that they have asked Jesus to save them (Romans 10:9-13).

With this blog, I never want to set myself as a standard ~ I fail ~ miserably ~ all too often! I hope to share, to encourage, and to inspire my fellow sisters in Christ. We are to have an abundant life, filled with the desire to love and serve our Savior!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Homeschool: Year 2

Monday morning marks the 2nd year of my family's homeschool journey. I've kept busy these last weeks by printing, laminating, cutting, making lesson plans, and organizing for the year.

As I've stated in earlier posts, my youngest will be joining us for school this year. She's SO excited! Everything that she sees, she asks, "Is that for my school?" Thanks to Carissa's site, www.1plus1plus1equals1.com, and www.confessionsofashomeschooler.blogspot.com, my mom's borrowed printer, and reams of cardstock and paper, I now have everything prepared for the next 7 weeks for my preschooler's Bible/Phonics work.

During 1st quarter, we'll learn about the farm. I've made a cute farm lapbook, using some of Carissa's Tot School "Farm" components, as well as some others I've gleaned from the web. If I had computer savvy, I'd post photos of them ~ but sadly, I don't! All I can say is I think it's cute and Preschooler will love it!

I'm doing "Calendar Time" like Carissa's and all 3 of my kiddos will take part. Eventually, my oldest will be able to be in charge of Calendar Time, so that will free up a little bit of time to throw a load of clothes into the wash!

I've got 1 month of lesson plans completed for my 5th grader and 3rd grader, my gradebook ready, and materials organized for them. I made each of them a Language Arts notebook that has their weekly assignments for English, Spelling, Phonics, Reading, and Handwriting as well as sections for their English Handbook and any other components they need. They also have a Bible Notebook that's divided into sections for daily work, hymns, maps, glossary and "Heroes of Faith" section (we use Bob Jones Bible). I also added a pocket for any crafts they may make and to place in their timelines. There's also plenty of notebook paper, too.

All in all, I think I'm ready. I still have a couple of things to purchase, a few things to laminate, and a little more to do, but I'm confident that come Monday, I'll be prepared!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Favorite "Mommy Books"

What, you may ask, are "Mommy books"? The Mommy books I own are ones that encourage me, give practical ideas for my relationship with the kiddos, offer sound Biblical advice, and keep me in touch with what's going on so I can protect my children.

"Hide and Seek" by Dr. James Dobson and "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Ted Tripp are books I turn to time after time.

One of my favorite books that talks about raising my daughters is called "Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World" by Vicki Courtney. Vicki, the founder of Virtuous Reality Ministries and Yada Yada Events tackles issues (like counteracting the culture, self~worth, purity, modesty, bullying, and preparing our daughters for spiritual battle) with wisdom and humor. Beth Moore is quoted as "A must read for every daughter's mother." Definitely a great resource!

Another is "Mom's Everything Book for Daughters" by Becky Freeman. This book offers reading for the mom, then incorporates "Chick Chat" where you spend time talking and building your relationship, "Just for Fun", where you do an activity together, and a "God, Mom, and Me" time where you read Scripture together and study what it means. Chapters titles include "The Wind Beneath Her Wings or the Gum Beneath Her Shoes? ~ Bonding with Your Daughter for a Lifetime", "Lip Gloss, Hair Gel, and Toe Rings ~ Having Fun with Outer Beauty", and "Homemaking 911 ~ Helping Your Daughter Create a Home of Beauty, Love, and Laughter". I love this book!

For modesty issues, Dannah Gresh's "Secret Keeper Girl ~ 8 Great Dates for You and Your Daughter" is wonderful! This packet includes a book for Mom, a Secret Keeper diary for the Daughter, and a CD that has insights from Rebecca St. James. The "dates" include a pampering tea party, a shopping mall challenge and a dress~up date that includes dad. Awesome book!

For my son, I've read Vicki Courtney's companion book, "Your Boy". It goes along the same lines as her book for girls, yet gives the mom insight on how girls' modesty affects boys. Very eye-opening and perceptive!

Becky Freeman also wrote a companion book "Mom's Everything Book for Sons". I want to purchase that book very much!

Lastly, Dr. Dobson's books, "Raising Boys" and "Raising Girls" is on my to~buy list.