Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who am I?

My friend, Tina wrote the other day about being a runner..."in her head" and it got me thinking. No, I'm not going to start running. I know that's not me, but it did get me thinking about the things "in my head" that I think I am.

Am I really a stay-at-home mom? Or am I a work-at-home mom? My days are filled with mothering amongst the working...or working amongst the mothering. And most days I seem to fail at one or the other or both.

Am I really a babywearing mama when the babe only gets put in the wrap a couple of times a month?

Am I really all about cloth diapers when she is in cloth diapers only some times and when I feel like it?

Am I really a homeschooling mom when I make no time for "school" in our day?

I do know that I have made a renewed committment to feeding my family better with more "real foods" and more things from scratch, but I'm scared I may get a little nuts some times. I don't want to be "the one" who everyone is scared to feed or have over because she is always reading labels and looking down on other peoples food choices.

Is it really fair for me to be that judging person when I still have M & M's in my pantry. And just because these food things are important to me doesn't mean I can't be gracious when people are kind and generous and hospitable to me and mine.

And is it just me or do you act differently around different people? Why do I feel like I need to do that? Why do I worry about vaccuuming before "person A" comes over but could care less if "person B" sees my daily messy house? Is it me or is it them?

And why am I more likely to talk about God with one person over another? Is that really fair to a non-believer? If I really care about lost souls, shouldn't I be sharing Him with everyone?

As a related note, I have noticed the closer my walk with Christ becomes, the more Satan (yes, I believe in Satan) is showing up...more in my thoughts and self-doubt than anything but other places as well.  It's really annoying, but affirming too because I know I am on the right path.

And just to leave you with a good laugh. Can I really proclaim mad-organizing skills when I have closets that look like this...

God bless!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Winters are for.....

.....getting out.....

.....making tracks.....

.....trying new things.....

.....testing boundries.

God bless!

Thoughts on Food

1. It is more important to me to feed my family real food than to save a buck at the grocery store.....even though I really do love a deal.

2. I will even pass up bringing a free item home if it is no good for us.

3. I love being able to order organic real food monthly from Azure Standard.

4. I also am loving all the info at Kitchen Stewardship.

5. I think I am going to try my hand at homemade yogurt.

6. I would rather be healthy than skinny.....good thing since I'm not seeing skinny happening anytime soon.

7. We got rid of our microwave this week and got a NuWave Oven.

8. I'm still grossed out from watching Food, Inc a couple of weeks ago and keep opening the pantry and taking a few things out at a time and setting them aside for the food shelf.

9. I feel bad that it is "ok" to take the crappy food to the food shelf but I don't want it in my home.

10. Why does there have to be corn syrup in everything.....and MSG.....and Red 40 or Yellow 5?

11. I thought this 60 Minutes piece on MSG was interesting and is from years ago.

12. The video at the bottom of this link is good, too.

13. I'm off to check the pantry again for hidden crap in our food.

14. And am going to stretch what we have in the fridge and freezer until my Azure order shows up a week from now.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week.....and sorry if I depressed you at all about what we eat or don't eat.

God bless!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Multitude Monday

holy experience

The gratitude community involved in counting their gifts is such an inspiration. Head on over to Ann's blog and check out some of the other links...they are sure to put a smile on your face.

161. Playdates.....with coffee
162. Lazy Saturday mornings with french toast and real maple syrup
163. Girl's night out with old and new friends
164. Quiet sleeping house when I got home
165. Sunday morning worship
166. Country views and open skies

167. Grandparents helping out.....
168. .....and excitingly asking about more grandchildren
169. The Lord's will
170. The Lord's grace
171. Footprints in the snow

172. Sunny winter days
173. Fenced in front yard
174. Independent, strong-willed almost 3 year old
175. The man of my dreams

176. Toothy grins from the baby
178. Freezers inventoried and organized 
179. The Lord's provisions
180. I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. Isaiah 61:10

God bless!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Photos of the Week






God bless!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday.....Favorites.....Feeding of Soul

It's Friday and the girls and I are off to play with some of our favorite people, My Priceless Fishers. I love being able to head out during the week and have a cup of coffee with a great friend while our little ones play together.

Here are a few of my favorite links from this week.....

A Holy Experience - A Box of Repentences
**any of Ann's stuff is good**

Sorta Crunchy - Your Morning Cup of Joe

Gohn Crazy - Food, Inc

I've been feeding my soul and heart with God's Word consistantly for 49 days now. Here are a couple of my favorite verses from the last few days.....

Proverbs 21:9 - Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

Proverbs 22:1 - A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Proverbs 24:3-4 - By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its room are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.

Proverbs 31

Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 - Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you - for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.

Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Another favorite ~ homemade bread!

Have a wonderful weekend.
God bless!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Look at me!

I've got 2 teeth and I'll show anyone who asks!

God bless!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Proverbs 31

Yesterday's reading included the second half of of my favorite books of the Bible. After my Lent post I've been thinking a lot about my attitude, being a godly wife and mother and just how I am going to make this change stick.

Then this morning I open my Bible and find wonderful nuggets of wisdom in Proverbs and it was such an encouragement to read.....just shows that God is in-tune and involved in our lives.....we just need to be willing to pay attention, listen and act.

I've always had a love-hate relationship with Proverbs 31 and what I thought it meant to be a Proverbs 31 wife. In the past, I've read with great aspirations and longings to make grand changes and have always felt - how could I possibly measure up?

But yesterday was different. I read it and felt encouraged and affirmed that I was already doing a lot of things right. I had a realization that it doesn't have to be the big things. All the seemingly small things we do each day as homemakers and home-managers are what makes us Proverbs 31 women. How cool is that!

Proverbs 31:10-31
(10) A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
(11) Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
Joe compliments me often on how helpful I am to him, both in our home and for our business. I strive to always be reliable to him and that he can count on me for daily support.
(12) She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
I have not always been focused on helping him. I do get wrapped up in my stuff and kids stuff, but today I am making a conscience action to be an intentional wife and to always be a source of goodness for my man.
(13) She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.
This actually made me laugh because I add flax seed to everything in our home.
(14) She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
I do the shopping and day to day management of my home.
(15) She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.
I truely believe that one of my strengths in our family unit is that I do the day to day stuff and rarely complain about them...the cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, bill paying and such. This frees Joe from having to worry about one more thing.
(16) She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
(17) She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
(18) She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
(19) In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
(20) She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
(21) When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
(22) She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
(23) Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
I never speak poorly of my husband to other people. I am his partner and want to build him up. I do respect him as a man, as a husband, as an employer and as a father and I would like to think others respect him as well.
(24) She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
(25) She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
(26) She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
I fail at this probably daily, but with God's grace I will continue to faithfully hold my tongue when need be and continue to teach my children daily.
(27) She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Up until recently, I would say this was untrue. I have not always been a good steward of my time. I have made a new commitment to be intentional with the time God has given me and use it effectively and efficiently.
(28) Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
(29) Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
(30) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
(31) Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 

Do you have a thought on Proverbs 31? Do you have a favorite Proverb? I love that I can open my Bible everyday and learn something new or have a verse speak to me in a new way. I love that a verse that may convict me one day is just the encouragement that I need the next. Praise the Lord and His Word.

God bless!

Monday, February 15, 2010

My 40 Days of Lent.....and beyond

I was raised in a church going family, but we never practiced fasting or sacrificing for Lent while I was growing up. Some of Joe's family is Catholic and they usually did meatless Fridays and gave up some food type thing for Lent (candy, pop, coffee, etc). In the early years of our relationship and marriage, we usually gave up coffee together, but it was never replaced with more time with God, more Bible study, family devotions or anything like that.

Now that my relationship with Christ has grown over the last couple of years, I feel like it's not enough. I don't feel tied to a particular denomonation or how a particular group may go about Lent, but it's more of a Holy Spirit prompting to get my act together. (*more on this later this week - it needs its own post*) And what a better time than Lent to go to my God and thank and praise Him.....and I think Lent is for all believers.

So my plan for Lent.....

No facebook or twitter. I did this last year and it was very hard. I easily slipped back into spending way too much time there after lent was over, but am really praying that I will find a healthy balance after lent.

No internet on Sundays. This will probably be difficult too, since I often write a few blog posts on Sundays and schedule them for later in the week.

Limit my time online in general. I will still blog on my own site within reason, but will limit the time I spend reading other's blogs, searching amazon, etc. I'm thinking I will actually use a timer to pull this off and be accountable to myself. Most days, it is just I and the kids so I don't really answer to anyone about how I spend my time.....thus the timer. I would like to say no internet during the day when the kids are awake, but with a business it is not realistic. I still need to attend to some things like emails during the day.

By making the above changes, I will free up time to more actively be the child of God, wife and mother I want to be.....and that my family deserves.

I have been reading the Bible (Bible in 90 Days) every day since January 1 and have been pretty much staying on track. I will continue this. My plan is to slow down the pace a little and spend more time on particular books, verses later on when the 90 days is over. To continue to pull this off.....

I will rise early to start my day right and have my devotions before the kids are up. This will require me getting up by 6:00 am (we have early-risers over here). To successfully do this, I am also making a commitment to go to bed at a decent hour - preferably by 10:00 pm and no later than 11:00 pm. My days go sooooo much better when I make a conscience effort on this to start the day with Him.

Finally and most importantly, I will undergo an attitude adjustment.  I'm hoping this will come with more time in the Bible, but I know it will be hard. I'm stubborn. I am not patient. I am quick to get defensive. I am quick to jump to conclusions. I can be bitter and hold grudges. I like things done my way. I yell and get angry too quickly. Recently, while doing my weekly Bible study I was struck by verses that I have read a million times.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres. Love never fails.

Then, I came across this post from Amy and thought.....I get it Lord, I need to change me.

Charlie is only 2 1/2, but I've seen her mimic my behavior enough to know it is not how I want to be, nor do I want my children to grow up like that. Prasie the Lord for His patience with me and for my dear husbands understanding and forgiveness. I don't know exactly how to make this attitude change happen and to make it stick, but I have a few ideas. All will require me to humble myself and ask for forgiveness way more often than I do now.

Our Heavenly Father is soooo forgiving and patient with me.....I need to be that with my husband and children. I'm in Proverbs today for my Bible reading and so many verses have spoke to me about really following through on this on.....

Proverbs 13:3 - He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.

Proverbs 14:1 - The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Proverbs 15:1 - A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Proverbs 16:6 - Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for: through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil.

So, there are my plans for Lent.....praying it goes well and continues way beyond Lent.

God bless!

Updated Dining Room and School Corner

Before.....and yes the clutter and mess is somewhat normal

Charlie helping dad measure

Attaching brackets to the rain gutter shelves

Getting there.....shelves hung and a little more painting to do.
We painted right over the wallpaper and I'm glad we did.
It was nice to start and pretty much end a project in the same day.

Shelves all loaded up with books

Charlie thinks they are pretty cool.....she told me it was like the library

After.....and all cleaned up.
The big brown spot is chalkboard.....we can use it in a few days.....
I can't wait!

I am going to put a scripture verse above the bookshelves.

I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. -Proverbs 4:2

I just found the rug under the table at Target for 75% off too!
I love my new does make me want to paint the
rest of the house though.

God bless!

Gratefulness Day by Day

holy experience

I was looking back over my Multitude Monday lists and noticed that I have already included long underwear twice.....yes I said the 130 items I have listed so far. Just shows how important such things are in a Minnesota winter. On my gratitude continues.....

131. Lent season
132. Gift on the Cross
133. Reading and praising through Psalms
134. Cookies with my little baker
135. Everyday homemaking
136. Glue and glitter projects with Charlie
137. Feeding Cori with body and soul...
138. ...milky grins that follow
139. Husband glances...
140. ...and loving touches
141. Sales on organic coffee
142. Big mugs to start the day
143. Lord's convictions and the growth that's sure to come
144. Seed catalogs and the promise of spring
145. Fresh snow for current playing
146. Little one zipping her own coat and finding her own mittens
147. Extra mittens for extra playtime
148. Rearranged rooms...
149. ...and new found space
150. Crazyness of everyday
151. God in the midst of the mess
152. Piles of dirty dishes for it means we eat well (.....and often)
153. Piles of laundry for it means we have plenty (.....and we have girls)
154. Soul revealing conversations with friends
155. Crayon drawings by little hands
156. Excited stories from little mouths
157. Hearing about dear husband's day...
158. ...really listening and connecting with him
159. Out of the blue I love you too from Charlie
160. Straight out of the camera photos

For my blessings, my trials, my pleasure, my pain.....I thank you Lord.....for all of it.....I praise your name!

God bless!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Bible in 90 Days Reflections

I realize it has been about 2 weeks since I'm written about my reading. I am still caught up.....yeah!! I struggled for awhile, but I think I have figured out a better rythme to it all. I am not taking as many notes, but just marking passages and verse right in my Bible that I want to come back to. I think it has also helped that I got through Chronicles and have gotten into books that I think are easier to read. 

The last few days I have been reading in of my favorite books and am loving it.  Yesterday, I read over at Ruth's times of troubles we should read Psalms, searching not for an answer but an attitude. I think that explains my feelings perfectly.....actually my feelings about the Bible in general. I often sometimes need an attitude adjustment and I always can find it in the pages of the greatest Book.

 When I think of Psalms, I think of praising Him good times and in bad. A few of my favorite verses from the last few days.....

Psalms 18:2 - The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalms 18:19 - He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalms 25:4-5 - Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

Psalms 78:1-4 - O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old - what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Psalms 101:1-3 - I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life - when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing.

Thank you Lord for your great Word and all that I am learning! Praise to yuo today and always!

God bless!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Charlie.....Cookies.....and Cuteness

Yummy, yummy cookies!

My little cookie thief.

She told me they tasted "so good!"

I think this was "Oh, another picture mom?!?"

Just normal silly goofyness around here (and maybe a bright flash).

She is growing up so fast.
She always reminds us to pray before meals...
"We can't eat, we need to pray first."
She says sweet things..."You're a good mom."...
"Good job mom."..."Dad's cool."
She says funny things... "This is messy, I'm going to organize."
She is quick to throw a fit and is stubborn when she want to be.

A couple of weeks ago, we were saying bedtime prayers and I thought we were all done and I ended with an "amen".
I was wrong. The following is what came next.

Charlie: Want to do it again, pray some more?
Mommy: Ok, what do you want to pray for now? You start.
Charlie: Jesus, thank you for Santa Claus and Happy Birthdays.
Mommy: Santa, huh? Anything else?
Mommy: Thank you for daddy and mommy and Cori. Ok, all done.

Charlie and I butt heads some days, but I couldn't imagine not spending my
days at home with my kids.
God bless!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cori - 6 Months Old

I love to chew on my toes and about anything else.
I have 2 teeny, tiny little teeth popping through on the bottom.
Mom figures within a week or so they will be visible to everyone else.
I've been handling it well and am not too crabby about the whole deal.

I like when mom remembers to turn the flash off.

I love to drool, spit and roll all over the place.
Mom loves my little chunky legs and Charlie calls me "chubby, chubby".

I have the same blue eyes as daddy and Charlie.
I can sit up by myself even longer than I could just days ago.
Mom is pretty sure that I have said "mama" a couple of times already.

I love food...all kinds of food.
Just yesterday I had brown rice and ground hamburger for the first time.
I'm still nursing pretty regularly, but am really liking other foods, too.
I'll eat anything mom puts in front of me...peas, beans, avocado, peaches, pears, squash, zucchini, sweet potato, banana, and the list goes on.

What a joy and blessing this little girl is! I can't believe how fast the last 6 months have gone by.
God bless!