Thursday, January 31, 2008
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Do want them to memorize scripture, but never have time?
Do you know your children should love each other more, but aren't sure how to teach them that?
Over the years we've had many versions of evening devotions together. Our kids call it "Bible Time". But after a lot of trial and error, we've come up with a simple, effective and easy to do plan of spending the time together in the Word and encouraging family unity and prayerfulness.
Our older 5 children are in school, so we don't have a chance to do this during the day. And even though they attend Christian school, their education is our responsibility and they need to see this happen in our HOME, not just at school. They are all memorizing verses at school, but it's important to do it together, as a family. And for our little ones to be involved.
Each evening that we are home (and we don't stress about the nights we aren't), we sit down in our playroom for about 10 or 15 minutes together. The Coach selects a passage of scripture (we are in 2 Peter 1:5-8 right now). We read through it - sometimes the Coach reads, sometimes one of the older kids read. Then starting with the beginning we take one verse and say it together several times. Then each child says it (with help). By the end of the week we've all memorized a verse together.
On Saturday, all of the kids quote the verses we've learned so far in the passage. One the first week, two the second, and so on.
Even our three year old can say them!
The Coach spends a minute of each time together talking about the verses - sometimes having an older child look up a word in the dictionary so that we can all understand what it means.
At the end, we all pray. Each child prays for another child. The one just older, or just younger, or the person next to them, etc. Rotating around so that they are praying for each sibling fairly frequently. We help them with this - talking about what each child has coming up in school, or projects, or other challenges. That way they can pray specifically.
This is a very simple way to teach your kids the value of knowing God's Word. How to study, meditate on and memorize it and how to love each other by praying for one another. And don't worry, once you've started this you won't forget to do it - your kids won't let you!
Simple Devotions work for us! It's worth the time.
Check over at Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW posts!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
The kids, they are excited.
The mom, she is unsure.
But either way, he's ours.
German Shepherd puppy - at three weeks.
Monday, January 28, 2008
And here she is waiting outside of the gym with her escort. He was a very little guy, but she's tiny, herself, so it worked out just fine. They stood, arms hooked, for about 30 minutes before it was time to go in.
Friday, January 25, 2008
Daughter (#6) said she didn't want to brush her teeth and why do we always have to do that first thing in the morning?
I laughed and told her we didn't want her teeth to rot and fall out.
She said, "Oh, Forget it, Mom. I can just eat yogurt."
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
As far as I could tell, it was just related to a common cold. Two trips with two different children to our pediatrician confirmed it. Nothing could be done.
But after TWO WEEKS of sleepless nights, listening to my toddlers cough, I was at the end of my rope.
Even though during the day, we need the coughing to clear out that nasty mucous, at night it's only frustrating. And my girls were coughing so much they ended up crying and gagging the night away. (Sorry - no intention to be disgusting here)
Our doctor is very adamantly opposed to cough suppressants. He suggested Benadryl to help them sleep more soundly. That didn't work. Even with his warning (and the fear of having their colds move into their chests), I tried several over-the-counter things to no avail.
My Sweet Mother, knowing how tired I was, said some ladies at church mentioned Vicks Vapor Rub. I'd tried that, too. No, she said, you put it on the bottom of their feet. What?
I was suspicious, but desperate.
Turns out, it works. Perfectly. We have been sleeping all night ever since. And with the added rest, the children are getting better by leaps and bounds. Amazing.
Now that this golden knowledge has been passed on to me, I'm finding that many of my family and friends were holding out. They KNEW this, and yet didn't TELL me.
So, in the interest of being kind and helpful, I'm passing this on to you.
And if you use the cream (instead of the ointment), it's easy and mess-free.
Vicks on the bottom of your feet kills the cough. It works for me!
Check back at Rocks in My Dryer for more WFMW posts!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Now, let me explain something. I have no extra time. What little I do have, I spend here at Mrs. Troop. Or here. And that usually adds up to about five minutes a day - which means something else isn't getting done. Like the laundry, or the dishes, or the girl's hair.
But I have a sweet cousin - who lives on the West Coast, and she's been reading a little bit of Mrs. Troop, and I wanted to read some of her musings, as well. Hence the need to have my own Facebook page. Because (I realize everyone else in the entire universe knows this, even if I just learned it, myself), you have to HAVE your own page, to read someone else's. Not only that, it's all very safe. Even though you can see other people's friends, you have to ASK them to be YOUR friend before you can read their page and they can read yours.
The problem is, apparently, I've been stuck in the dark ages with this blogging thing. Because, the Facebooks - they are many.
Every day I get more requests to be someone's friend. And I keep finding people I haven't talked to in years (and yes, I've been sending the requests, myself). It's a thrilling thing, all of these people and pictures and "friends" everywhere, all connected by the thing we call the "Web".
Did I mention I don't have time for this? But I'm enjoying catching up with people. And although I have yet to actually USE my own page, it seems to be a good investment in order to keep up with old friends. And new ones, too.
So I'm leaping into modern technology. Or maybe falling into it.
At any rate, don't ask me to give up my blogging!
Monday, January 21, 2008
I know you've been waiting for, oh, a month or so.
Just seemed like I should include something here. All of this talk about how the Coach met with my dad for 8 months. Didn't you wonder, at all, what they talked about? And didn't you wonder, if you know the Coach and my daddy, if they talked at all? (hee hee)
So before we go on with the soon-to-come courtship (just to peak your interest), here's a something to satisfy your curiosity.
No, it's not funny.
Yes, this is serious.
And for those of us who have daughters (I have FOUR of them!), it certainly gets me on my knees. How many guys would have SURVIVED this? I'm so glad my Coach did.
Meet my Dad:
"My main goal in meeting with the Coach was to get to know him. Lots of what we talked about was what he was reading in the Bible, what scripture he was memorizing, and what he was doing with his family. He had a younger sister so I was particularly interested in how he treated her and what activities he was doing with her.We met for over 8 months, every week, for breakfast.
"I learned these things while meeting with the Coach. He was patient. He had goals. He was moving toward those goals. He had a regular quiet time with God. He had a job - direction in life. He had a second job in the summer - diligent. He was an early riser. He was consistent. He was punctual. He memorized Scripture. He loved his parents and followed the direction his parents gave. He was thrifty - saved money, no debt. He had a budget. He was family oriented - spent time with younger sister, older brothers/sister. He was able to work for his father! He was able to coach with his brother. He wasn't materially oriented - had a spiritual view of "things." He had good manners. He was respectful to me. He had the respect of others.These things cannot be determined just by a list of questions. You need to spend time with someone to answer.
A part of every meeting with the Coach were three questions - with some follow-up questions:
1. How are you doing in your relationship with the Lord?
Are you reading the Bible daily?
Are you memorizing Scripture?
Are you recording what God is saying to you?
Are you attending worship?
2. How are you doing with your thought and actions?
Have you made a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1,2)
Any problems remaining faithful to your covenant?
Are you having any problems with your thought life?
Any problems with physical purity?
3. How is your relationship with your family?
Any problems or disagreements with parents?
How did you resolve it?
Do they wish you could/would do anything differently?
Any relationship difficulties with siblings?
How were they resolved?
Have you been able to spend time with your family?
Would they like for you to arrange to spend more time with them?
"In addition, I asked the Coach the following questions (that Mother helped me write), and we discussed them. Usually one question per meeting. I tried to be prepared to open the Word with him so we could see what God said about each question. Sometimes a question continued for several meetings because of the Scripture study involved or because a decision had not been finalized in this area.
1. What is your direction in life?
2. How much money do you make?
3. What do you see as your ministry?
4. How much Scripture have you memorized?
5. Have you been to the Basic Seminar?
6. Have you made the seventeen basic commitments from the Basic Seminar?
7. What is your motivational gift?
8. What are your views on children/birth control?
9. What standards are you committed to? music, TV, alcohol, movies,dancing, playing cards
10. How important are sports in your life? (He is a coach. :-)
11. What do you do in your "free" time?
12. Do you know how to give comfort?
13. Are you committed to this marriage until death?
14. What are the needs of a wife?
15. What are the goals that you have before you get married?
16. What will be the goals of your courtship time (spiritual,intellectual, emotional, physical)?
17. What are your primary goals after you get married?
18. How do you plan on being the spiritual leader of your family?
19. What fears and concerns do you have about marriage?
There are lots of follow-up questions for discussion with each of these.
For instance with #2.
Do you tithe?
Do you save money?
A percentage or what is left over?
Do you have a budget? Why? Why not.
Do you actually follow it?
How do you make decisions about purchases?
Are you debt free?
Are you committed to getting out of debt and/or staying out of debt?
Can you live on one salary?
Do you intend for your future wife to continue to work?
Does your future financial plans require her to work?
If buying a house with a mortgage, does it require both salaries for qualification?"
"I think that the primary goal of any father should be to protect his daughter’s heart. Therefore, I didn’t want the Coach to “win her heart” until I was sure [Mother] and I would approve of him as a husband! After 7 months of meeting, I felt comfortable with him and began to proceed with allowing him to win her heart. There were many things that convinced me that was the next step. He had a heart for the Lord. He was conservative, politically and theologically. He was well mannered. His education was complete. He had a job and knew what he wanted to do for the foreseeable future. He had money in savings. He was thrifty. He was a hard worker. And finally, his goal was to court, win her heart, and marry her if she would have him. It wasn’t just “I want to get to know her and then we’ll see.” That was where he was in the beginning, but when I gave him permission to win her heart, his goal was to marry her."
This gives you an idea (it's me, again) of what went on those eight months. They were busy! And the Coach was thinking through his entire belief system, life goals, plans, etc.
As you can see from all of this, I am a very blessed daughter and wife. You can imagine what an amazing man I am married to, now. I love him more each day.
But I'm getting ahead of myself!
Friday, January 18, 2008
Tried and tested by a panel of eight children of various ages!
Add Anything Brownies
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Most weeks, my 10 year old (almost 11) daughter does the meal planning and the grocery list. She does a great job! It's a really good exercise for her find the recipes (if needed), check the pantry and the freezer for what we have and make the list for what we need. After we have the week's meals planned and the list ready, we head to the store. That's another story for another day. But let's just say it involves two of the older kids (as helpers), two grocery carts, a van full of grocery bags, and hundreds of dollars. Yikes. Not to mention all of the strange looks and comments.
Monday, January 14, 2008
In my mind I keep mulling over,
"There is nothing we can do to make God love us more.
There is nothing we can do to make God love us less."
And folks, we live in a "grace-less" world, encase you haven't noticed.
There is a great illustration in the book about man approaching God. In the Old Testament, it was all about perfection. Nothing unclean could come near the Most Holy Place. Only the perfect sacrifice. Nothing crippled, ill or lame. As if there was a sign, "No oddballs allowed."
In the New Testament we see Grace. And now the sign reads, "We are all oddballs. But God loves us, anyway."
Reminds me of something my grandmother used to say: "Everyone is a bit odd, except me and thee. And even thee is a bit strange."
Aren't we glad that God loves us anyway?
So from one oddball to another:
May you experience the grace of God today.
And may you be empowered to love and forgive others,
through the Holy Spirit,
with that same grace.
"From nursery school onward we are taught how to succeed in the world of ungrace. The early bird gets the worm. No pain, no gain. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Demand your rights. Get what you pay for. I know these rules well because I live by them. I work for what I earn; I like to win; I insist on my rights. I want people to get what they deserve - nothing more, nothing less.
Yet if I care to listen, I hear a loud whisper from the gospel that I did not get what I deserved. I deserved punishment and got forgiveness. I deserved wrath and got love. I deserved debtor's prison and got instead a clean credit history. I deserved stern lectures and crawl-on-your-knees repentance; I got a banquet spread for me."
"What's So Amazing About Grace?", pg 64
Friday, January 11, 2008
I am going to share with you all a recipe that we love around here. But there is a story behind it. I think of it every time I make them. Which is often.
When the Coach and I were married, my very best friend was our Maid of Honor. She and I had known each other for about five years. We had flown back and forth to visit one another, we had gone on several over seas mission trips together. We were sisters. Kindred Spirits. This was before the days of cell phones and e-mail. But we wrote letters. Hundreds of them. And we ran up long-distance phone bills like crazy.
My being married was hard for her. We had shared everything with each other. And suddenly I belonged to the Coach. She loved him, though. And we worked on our friendship, in spite of the fact that I had a baby right away and was soon expecting another.
The week my 2nd child was born, her mother died. I was sick that I couldn't be there for her. But I had a new baby and it wasn't possible. So I scheduled a trip when our baby would be 8 weeks old.
It was hard to see her. She had lived through watching her mother die from cancer. She was caring for her grieving, lonely, father. And she missed her momma. A lot.
But we had a wonderful visit. I saw the new home that her momma had designed and seen finished before her death. She told me about the last few days, about the funeral, about all that had gone on. It was heartbreaking. But it was good.
I loved her Momma, too. She was a lady. A Southern gentlewoman. She wore skirts and heels all of the time and hats to church on Sunday. She had long hair that she fixed in a twist in the back. And she loved her three girls and their friends. Most of all, she loved Jesus.
During that visit, my friend shared the grief with me, but she also took great care to be the hostess that her mother had always been. She had planned healthy meals, places to go, lunches out, and shopping. Although I didn't realize it at the time, being tired with a newborn and and missing my little family at home, I see now that it must have been very hard for her.
The years have passed and although we kept up for awhile, we don't talk, anymore. She's married, now. Has two children that I know of. I've never met her husband, or her children. And I haven't heard from her in two years.
But every time I make these muffins I think of her. My sweet friend. Who shared all of the fun of girlhood, all of the lessons of those mission trips, the joy of my falling in love. I miss her.
She made this recipe during that week I visited.
Hope you enjoy it!
1 Cup Butter
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Applesauce
3 t Cinnamon
2 t Allspice
1/2 t Cloves
1 t Salt
2 t Baking Soda
4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 C Chopped Pecans
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Add applesauce and spices, mix well. Mix in dry ingredients and fold in pecans. Bake at 350 for approx. 20 min. (for regular size muffin tins) in greased muffin pans.
Makes 30 muffins.
Sprinkle warm muffins with powdered sugar.
* These are the best when you use freshly ground flour. Sometimes I don't have time to get out the grinder, or I'm out of wheat, in which case store bought Whole Wheat flour is fine.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Why is it so fun to know that I'm not the only one who needs help?
Here's my question for the day.
One of my New Year's Resolutions is to get in some exercise three or four times each week.
I used to be so faithful. Before children, for sure. After baby #1, even. When baby #2 came I was walking every morning at the mall. Then baby #3 came and I switched to a double stroller. Then baby #4 came and we got our first treadmill. Since then I've walked mostly with some exercise DVDs for interest.
However at this point, I've adjusted my routine so much that exercise isn't a part of it!
So I'd love to know - how do YOU fit it in?
I realize I can't add time to my day that isn't there. I can't get up any earlier, pretty sure of that - I've tried and I just get sick. Can't stay up any later. I'm already tired, enough.
Help me out! Tell me your exercise routine and how you keep up with it. How do you fit your kids in? Do you include them? Or do it when they are elsewhere or occupied?
Because I can't be the first mom of many children to struggle with this.
And something has got to give.
And be sure to check back at WFMW for more questions and ideas!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
On Tuesday mornings, though, I have a couple of hours with just Baby Boy. And he takes a nap. So there is some time to fill, and it's ever the dilemma. A good dilemma to have, I realize.
For one thing, there is always the work option. There are bathrooms to clean (and how divine to clean the tub without someone hanging onto my back!), dishes to do, laundry to fold, floors to sweep.
Or I could organize something, or work on the papers filling my desk. Ugh.
I could return phone calls or e-mail.
But I hate to fill that precious quiet with WORK. I want to do something I can't do otherwise. And I'm used to doing the work with the noise of children in the background.
So then I think about what I can't do when they are home. How about watch a morning show (I've heard of them) and drink hot cocoa. Except cocoa is too many points and would throw my whole day off. And I'm not sure I'm the morning show type.
I could read blogs. That's always a fun pastime, and I never have time for it. But somehow I hate to spend my alone time on the computer.
But with a good two hours I could finish the next installment of "How the Coach Won My Heart". That would make me happy AND satisfy all of my waiting readers (ha!). But that requires brain power and journal reading and thinking and . . . I'm too tired.
Maybe something more worthwhile? I SHOULD walk on the treadmill. That would help the weight issues and the energy level and it IS hard to do with the children here. I try, mind you. But it seems that even though they are happily playing with something or other, the minute I get on the treadmill they need a drink, a movie, me to read a book, help in the bathroom, etc. Never fails.
And if I walk on the treadmill I could read more of my current book "What's so Amazing about Grace?" - which is really stretching my thinking on the subject. Or I could call a friend and catch up with them. Certainly makes the time go faster. And L.L. doesn't mind the treadmill humm in the background and the echo in the sunroom.
But if I'm going to have time to myself, do I want to spend it on the treadmill? Really?
As you can see, a mother of eight has difficulty being alone. Too many options. And really, I just want the time to go by so I can have my kids back and my hands full, again.
Today, I settled for a nap.
Sunday, January 6, 2008
- eat more frugal meals
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Funny how you don't hear it so much during the day.
There is some fever, too, for a couple of the troops.
Mostly, though, I'm just praying for sleep. For everyone. For the whole night.
Last night I was just wishing the sun would come up so we could, you know, stop TRYING to sleep!
So from our house to yours, tonight, Sweet Dreams! Or Happy Coughing!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
And today we discovered the arrival of his first tooth!
And the troops are excited.
Baby Boy wasn't, though, after the sixth or seventh or one hundredth person stuck their finger in his mouth to feel the new tooth.
I'm so glad this happened during cold season. All of those hands in his mouth. Because, as we all know, it would be expecting way too much to think that the majority of those hands had been washed, recently. Or in the last year.
This is excitement at it's finest, People!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
We went around and each told one thing we were grateful for last year (2007) and one thing we were praying for in the New Year (2008).
Some of us had more than one thing we were grateful for. However, without exception, all of us are grateful for the same thing this year.
Apparently, the Baby Boy is loved!