Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Christmas Newsletter

Twas the night before Christmas, when all round the house
Not a creature nor person was quiet as a mouse
The work, it seems to grow and doesn't seem to care
If it’s Tuesday, or Sunday, it multiplies there
When the family finally nestles all snug in their beds
Visions of vacations dance round in their heads
And ma in her apron and pa in his barn cap
Realize it's a vacation to just take a nap
When out in the pastures the cows make a clatter
They want more to eat, what was the matter
The feed prices they rose in a flash
Now purchasing feed requires lots of cold cash
The gov't thinks corn works better in ethanol
But the dairymen think that's ridiculous - thats all
So down the road the cows slowly do go
Our minds say "O.K" but our hearts say "No"
Pa works with block, brick & stone, not sticks
To build beautiful projects and does so quite slick
Ma washes, and teaches, and cooks all the time
Her web work and job bring in a few dimes
Now Ben, he still butchers for Highway Meats and Twin Pine
And stays up to date on current events just fine
Solomon moves houses works hard and is on the go
Farm life for this young man is a bit too slow
George is being challenged by science and writing
And loves to be on the farm just abiding
Uriah is learning to write a good book
And loves being techy while being a cook
Oliver whizzes right through his math
And eagerly plays games with anyone in his path
Kelsey keeps busy taking good care of their girls
Number 3 will arrive when the buds start to unfurl
Gordon is fixing tractor trailer trucks big
Training horses is his future but for now it's a gig
The year passed so quickly, just like a quick flash
To put it in writing just seems like a dash
That wraps up our story as told by mom
Want to know more? visit beingtriedasgold.blogspot.com
And with the reminder that you're precious in God’s sight
     We say "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

Blessings to each of you in the coming New Year!

Until next time........

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Reality Is.......

.....I am NOT Martha Stewart!! 
Nor the Proverbs 31 Woman!!!
Oh, yes, I do make cheese, and sweet little projects with my Ag Science students.  I can sew a dress, and paint my own house.  But, really, I am not a wonder woman like someone called me.  To prove it, I am choosing to expose the real me.  If you would stop by my house unannounced, you would see what I can't do - like keep an organized house, start and complete the laundry in one day, never have my kitchen sink clear of dirty dishes.  Kitchen floor clean?  Can't tell you the last time I used the mop.  Spider webs?  Yep!  Right above my sink, and over there and over there. And finding things?  Forget it!  Well, I can't!  When something is lost, I become this obsessed woman, wracking my brain on where I left it.  Please don't tell anyone, but the frustration of it drives me to tears occassionally.  Ok, Martha, how is it done again?  And did you homeschool your children?  And what size was your house?  Oh, you have 20 closets to neatly stack all your possessions in?  You have a maid that does your laundry?  And a chef to cook your meals?  My oh my!  Life would be quite peachy if that were my case.  Or would it?  Really?  My head yells "YES", my heart yells right back, "NO!" well......depends on which day you ask me.....

The playroom/laundry is always the worst.  We can clean it up one day and the next it looks like a tornado went through.  I finally gave up.  If the boys are going to play in there, they have to learn to be responsible and keep it tidy.  Well, here is a picture of how it looks sometimes (this was right before a major clean up where some stuff went to the trash and some stuff went to Jubilee), .......

    But, what do I do all day?   Don't you love it when someone asked you that?  And  when you start to think about it, you really don't know?  You know you did something, but what was it?  I decided that I am going to keep a record of how many times I do the basic things for one week.  This does not include the meal fixin', school teachin', grocery shoppin', etc.  I started on a Monday morning and ended Saturday night.  Here are my results:

How many phone calls did I make? 25 
 How many times did I answer the phone (this does not count machine messages)?  40
How many times did I do laundry (does not count those that Dave did)?  12
How many times did I wash dishes by hand?  9
How many times did I run the dishwasher (not counting when Dave did it)?  8
How many eggs did I make?  91 (approx. 7.5 doz)

So what can be gleaned from the results?  Not exactly sure, except how did we talk on the phone while eating all those eggs?

And the laundry......it gets washed, hung in the basement to dry and then ends upstairs to fold....

Sometimes it goes days till it gets folded, in fact, finally yesterday I folded quite a few baskets and do you know how many pairs of socks I matched?  61!!  I can imagine what you are thinking.......poor Brenda's family.  In fact, I remember my big sister telling me when I was about 10 or so (we shared a bedroom) - "I am going to pity your husband one day!"  I didn't realize she was a prophet!  

So, you now see, I am no Martha Stewart nor the Proverbs 31 woman.  I am me!  A woman who God created, a woman who can make cheese, sew and paint, and obviously talk on the phone and make eggs, but has a more difficult time keeping on top of the house.  The point that I want to reach, though, is to be able to remain pleasant and loving, even though the house is sometimes chaotic and I can't find something (like a library science DVD that would've cost $25.00 to replace, which by the way we finally found, but I really don't want to tell you where).  My husband and children will not be near as effected by the topsy turvy house as they will be by my attitudes and manner towards them.  So, next time you come to visit, I will be sitting under the pile of laundry that needs to be folded singing my heart out......... move on over Martha, bet you wouldn't do that!!

Until next time.......

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Blindfold

For the Indian boy to receive the rite of passage into manhood, his father leads him into the middle of a forest, where he is blindfolded, and expected to spend the night alone, sitting on a stump, not removing his blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shines in the sky. He must sit still and not cry out for help.  Once he survives the night, he is a MAN, but he may not tell the other boys of this experience, because each of them must come into manhood in the same manner.

The boy is terrified! He hears the rustling of the leaves, the snapping of twigs, the murmur of the wind in the grass.  He wonders if a wild animal is about to attack him, or if he will be kidnapped by another tribe.  Terrified!!  "oh, if only I wouldn't be all alone"" if only I could remove this blindfold so I could see what is around me" But, quietly he sits, holding his fear within knowing that manhood comes with the morning light.

Alas, the sun appears and he eagerly removes the blindfold.  It is then that he discovers his father leaning against a tree close by, standing guard with his bow and arrow.  He had been there the whole night watching over his son and keeping him from any danger that may threaten him in the forest.  The son experienced such joy at seeing his father's face and feeling his presence.  How satisfied he felt of his accomplishment, for now he was fit to be a man.  A man just like his father.

How often do you and I feel like we are the ones blindfolded, sitting on a stump waiting for the sun to shine some light into the darkness?  How often have we felt alone and were afraid of the "noises" that rustled round about us and threaten to rob our calm?  How long the night can seem!  

My tears flowed when I heard this legend, for there is such beauty in it.  We are led into the "forest" at different times in our lives, where we do feel alone and frightened and have no sense of direction.  Maybe it is the stump of financial difficulties, or health issues.  Maybe you are sitting on the stump of marriage decay, wayward children, job dismissal.  There are many stumps!   In those times, we cry out, "Where is my Father?  Why was I led here?  Does He not care that I am terrified and unsure if I will survive the night?  Does He not want to protect me from the threatening "noises" that surround me?  When is the sun going to rise and spread it's warmth over this blindfold so it can be removed?"  We have a hard time sitting still on that stump, keeping our hands still to not lift that blindfold just enough for us to peek under.  We fidget to try to get comfortable.  It is not a place we really want to be, but we are.  And while there, we can be reassured with knowledge that the Indian boy did not have, and that is our Heavenly Father IS standing guard watching over us and protecting us while we are enduring the rite of passage into deeper faith, deeper trust, deeper love for the "Light".   

There once was another son who willingly endured the darkest night there ever was.  He did not wear a blindfold, but a crown of thorns.  He was beaten, mocked, spit upon and then hung on a cross where His Father turned away and allowed his son to endure it alone.  Oh, how Jesus did not want to face that night!  He knew he would be separated from his father and the sins of all people would be put on His shoulders to bare.  But, He willingly excepted this night - not to obtain a rite of passage for himself, but to provide a rite of passage for you and me.  The rite to the heart of our Heavenly Father is now open to each of us to become His sons and daughters - the rite to become just like our Father! 

 If that isn't love......

Until next time........



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Only 364 more days........

and he will no longer be a teen!  His birthday was yesterday, but we celebrated on Sunday with cake, ice-cream, and volleyball with friends and family.   Happy 19th birthday, Solomon.  Thanks for being an insightful, responsible man! We love you!

Until next time...........

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Home-Made Bread and Stevia

A friend of mine recently requested the home-made bread recipe that I used to make weekly before embracing more of a low wheat menu for the family.  It is so easy and versatile that I thought maybe others would enjoy it as well. 
 French Bread
5 C. warm water
1 1/2 T salt
1/4 C instant yeast
1/4 C sugar, or honey
1/4 C olive oil or lard
Combine all of the above and let set til yeast gets bubbly, then slowly add enough flour (approx. 14 C?) until a soft, smooth dough turns out.  It can then be molded into 4 bread pans, or onto cookie sheets in a french style way.  Make diagonal slits across loaves, brush with egg whites and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.  If you are using wheat flour, you may want to allow some time for raising, but not necessary if using all white flour.  Bake at 400 at 20 min. or until done.

A more healthy alternative to white flour is using fresh ground whole wheat.  I have a K-Tec mill that I purchased at Mast's Bulk Foods near Myerstown.  I know Ruth would be happy to sell you one, too! :-)

I combine everything in my bosch mixer using bread hooks.

Well worth the time.....try different flours, sweetners, and oils and find the combo that you like best...

Last year at our home-school co-op, the students from the money management class each had to be an entrepreneur, make their products and market it to the rest of the families.  One young fella started plants and made neat little signs to go with them.  He had a stevia plant and I excitedly purchased it.  I brought it home and planted it in one of my tubs and it did wonderfully!  I had taken pictures of the beginning stages, but can't find them anywhere on this computer. :-(  Anyway, the plant grew all summer, got so big that I had put a tomato cage around it to hold it up. I cut the stems, brought them in, hung them up to dry... 

stripped all the dried leaves off and ground them in a coffee grinder

Still debating on making the powder into a liquid.  In the meantime, I use a small amount in tea.  Definately not as sweet as the liquid where a drop sweetens a cup of tea.  This was a fun experiment - one that I will repeat in the future.

Until next time.........


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Worms, Worms, Worms

When a word is said enough times, it begins to not sound like a word at all, or it seems like a foreign language.  Worm is one of those words.   How did Adam think up that name?   He didn't have a dictionary and he never had a vocabulary class!  Come to think about it, why did he call a cow a cow, or giraffe a giraffe and so on?  Amazing! 
Anyway, worms are small, amazing creatures and following is an agricultural lesson.  Enjoy!

A few months ago, we purchased some red wriggler worms on the Internet and they (250 of them) arrived in this bag.....

Red wrigglers are not considered fishing bait, but they are used for composting.  My goal is to have them multiply, sell some to other folks, sell the worm castings (their manure), and possibly make a "tea" from the castings and sell it for fertilizer.  This whole process will take awhile, but it is a fun goal.  This is how we are "raising" them..... 

We put clean, good soil in a Rubbermaid container with strips of black & white print newspaper and made the soil damp, not muddy. 

We tilted the bag of worms, which arrived in sawdust, and dumped them on top of the damp soil.  We didn't mess much with them, except spread them around just slightly.  We then covered the container with an old towel and searched for a dark place to keep them.  Their home couldn't be too hot nor too cold, so they ended up in our living room under one of the chairs. How hick-ish is that?   Raising worms in the living room!  I was really hoping that they didn't develop an odor.

We discovered that their favorite menu is pieces of apple core (not peelings), & cooked sweet potatoes.  Feeding them meat, citrus, and food that may rot and draw in rodents is not recommended.  We would just lay the food on top of the soil (food can be mixed in with soil, also),  cover with towel and push container back under the chair for a few days.  There is no odor and it is so interesting and fun to pull it out, quickly uncover and watch the worms dive underground for safety and darkness! 

Worms are God-created farmers.  They burrow through the soil, making tunnels that allow air and water to more easily penetrate the soil.  This also creates soft soil and soft soil provides an excellent bed for seeds.  The worm's manure, called castings, fertilize the soil with the perfect balance of nutrients.  Worms do not like light, but prefer dark.  That is why fishermen hunt for worms at night, hence "night crawlers".  They will come to the surface of the earth and pull their food down into the soil, which creates a composting effect.  They do not have eyes or ears, but only a mouth and it's whole body can taste and feel.  They have bristles, or setae, which they use to help move along and to hang onto the soil, especially if a bird is trying to pull them from the ground.  They can hang on so well, that the bird will sometimes tear them in half.  Now the part of the worm that contains the head will grow again, but the tail end will die, of course.  When the worm grows after being torn apart, the new growth will be a lighter color.  If you look closely at a worm you will see a section that is thicker than the rest.  That is called a saddle and it secretes a slim to help them stay moist and it also protects the eggs.  A worm creates a cocoon to lay her 20 eggs in, but only one will survive.  Conventional farming is not friendly to worms.  Pesticides and other chemicals used by farmers kill them and when fertilizer is spread on fields it suffocates them.  If you have lots of worms in the soil, there would be no need to use fertilizers  If a comparison is made between organic soil and pesticide/or other chemical sprayed soil, there is a very noticeable difference.  So much more can be said about the seemingly lowly worm, but maybe you would like to do your own research.  The library has some very interesting books and easy for children to understand.  This lesson was taught to my 1st & 2nd grade ag science class at our homeschool co-op and hopefully now you will look at worms in a whole new light, too.  Our family has a new appreciation for those crawly creatures and now when it rains and they cover the road, we feel sad driving over them.  God has created them for a wonderful purpose and they are a huge benefit to the farmers!  They are small, but mighty!

Until next time................

Thursday, October 4, 2012

3 Yrs. Old and 26 Years Ago

 As of yesterday, Oakley is now 3 yrs. old - going on 6. :-)  She is a pretty little lady who knows her colors, is learning to draw and adores Shaun the Sheep.  She really wanted a snazzy red sportscar for her birthday, but instead received a bike, which she seemed quite pleased with anyway.  Happy 3rd birthday, Oakley, we love you bunches!
Her mommy did a great job on Shaun the Sheep cake, who by the looks of Oakley's candle placement, took up smoking......

Today, 26 years ago, my bestie & I said "I do" and we "did" ever since.  He truly is the best thing that ever happened to me, .  We have experienced some rough sessions during our marriage boot camp, and I am positive we will have more, for we still seem to be human no matter how hard we try not to be.  Heehee!  But, sticking together is not one of the multiple choice options in our marriage - it the only correct answer!  And so very worth it!

Would repeat is all over again - except we would have a smaller wedding next time..........

 It is obvious that we have gained, and lost, some things! Wonder how that happened!  Sneeky, for sure! 

Until next time.........

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Are You Voting?

Yes?  No?  Maybe?
In the church that I was brought up in, members did not vote for government officials nor serve in any gov't positions.  If that stand is your very own personal conviction, than take that stand, but do not force it on other people.  It is not a church issue.  It is also not a sin to vote and that thought became exceptionally very clear to us after we watched "The Truth Project" years ago.  Dr. Tackett explains the different God ordained "social spheres".  They include: the Trinity, God & Man, family, church, community, labor and the state.  (Check it out Here) Scriptures speak about each of these spheres, the responsibility and authority that is within each one.  We have injected each one with our own "convictions" and have put on our muddy boots and tracked dirt that belonged in the state sphere into the family spheres.  We took the smear from the church sphere and made tracks into the family sphere.   Presently we have federal gov't with it's filthy feet in all spheres, we have the state over-riding the authority of the fathers, the elders of the church have become dictators into the family sphere and so on.  This is not what God had so beautifully intended.   He created each sphere, works in each one and they are not to be muddled together. 

Conservative Christians have readily excepted the responsibilities in some of the spheres, but will stumble over the church and state spheres.  Husbands and fathers will be the head of their homes, will decide which occupation he will labor at and determine where the family will live.  However, they will permit the church to dictate what their family will wear, what color vehicle their family will drive, what places they can visit and sometimes where their children attend school.  They allow the church to inappropriately step into their family territory. In the church sphere, the state has now tiptoed into the sanctuary and is sitting in the pews - out of place.  God has ordained elders who are to act as shepherds, not dictators, to lead their flocks.  They also are required to stay in their sphere and not cross over into the God & man or the labor spheres.  If God has ordained each sphere and is present in each one, why do some folks believe that we should avoid the "state"?   If God has ordained the state, he has also created some people to serve in it.  If Christians are allowed to live in the "God & Man", "family", "church", "community" and "labor" spheres, and serve in them, why is the state taboo?  If you are not permitted to vote for the leaders of this country, and expect "others" to vote for them, prayer is all you will do, then why is voting for your church leaders excepted?  Why not let "others" vote them in, or wait until prayer puts in who God wants in ? (I totally believe that prayer is the first thing we must do in any voting, however, the shoe leather needs to hit the road sometime.)

God may not have called you to run for the Senate nor township superviser, but He cares tremendously who is in those positions.  He also cares that we care.  Depending on the person voted into those positions, along with many other gov't leadership positions, it will effect our freedoms to worship, labor and lead our families according to how God meant it to be in that sphere. We are responsible to elect in those positions people who will honor God and lead the people according to God's principles.  We practice that in a our church sphere, don't we?  We need to fall on our knees and ask God to restore this country, raise up men who will be leaders that glorify Him and continue to allow the freedoms we enjoy each day.   Let us remove our muddy boots, lace up those clean, work boots and march into the workforce that lies ahead of us.   It is our responsibility!  Especially in the fast approaching presidential election.  It's critical!  This is the last week that you can register if you intend to vote in November.

 Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote

I cannot explain this topic as deeply as Dave can, but he didn't have time to write.  He has spent much time studying the ideas of voting vs. not voting, being involved in gov't vs. not, and non-resistance.  He would be happy to discuss what we have learned.  You may have to make an appointment with him, however. :-)

Blessings to you, as you seek to serve HIM in each sphere of your life.

Until next time........

Sunday, September 30, 2012

News Flash

The blessings of being a Pop-pop and Grammy just keep increasing.... 

Until next time.......

Monday, September 17, 2012

14 Years Old

Yesterday, the 16th, was Georgie's, opps!  I mean George's 14th birthday.  He informed me Georgie sounds too childish, so now it is George!!  He also informed me that he does not want a party, a cake, or anything.  But, Oliver wanted to make him cupcakes and I allowed him to do that.  What is a birthday without something

Our church family did something different yesterday.  We gathered at 8:30 for breakfast around a campfire in the woods.  Scrambled eggs, bacon, baked oatmeal, fruit and birthday cupcakes.  Was delicious!  And even more different, we took communion sitting around the fire.  It was so neat and special! Every so often the neighbor man would shoot his gun.  We started feeling like we were possibly the next persecuted Christians.  It was a reminder that there are many Christians who realize that if they are caught worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ, they will lose their lives.  We are so blessed with religious freedom - freedom to worship wherever we choose with whoever we choose. Let's not take that for granted, but continue to pray that those freedoms will remain for many, many, MANY more years to come. 

Happy Birthday, George!  You are growing into a nice young man!  Love ya gobs!

Until next time..............

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday to Kelsey

Today, our one and only daughter turned 22.  She is a kind hearted beautiful woman and we love her dearly!  Happy birthday, Kels, and may the Lord's blessings continue to be with you as serve as a wife and mommy to your little family.  Uriah wanted to make her cake, and he did - a huge cupcake!  It was delicious and looked nice, too.  Thanks Riah!

Until next time......

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blunder in the Blender

There is one duty about being a wife that I have never enjoyed and still don't.  Dave sympathizes and helps when able, but it really is my wifey duty and when I do it, I can rest in peace for the rest of the day. :-)   That duty is packing lunch.  Dave must be the easiest person to pack for but, I still don't care for the job.  He loves cold leftovers!  And for the last few months, he prefers a light lunch - milkshake, fruit, nuts......    Well, this past Friday, I made his usual milkshake.  There was some that didn't fit in the thermos so he poured it in a cup and took a sip.  He immediately responded with "what did you put in this?" all the while pulling tiny bits of "something" from his mouth.  I said, "frozen bananas, strawberries, blueberries, yogurt and milk."  "Well, it tastes like lunch meat!"  I took a sip and it certainly did taste like lunch meat!  Gross!  Here what I thought were bananas, were really hotdogs!   Now, just wait!  Don't go thinking I am loony!  I did have my glasses on and yes, I was awake and yes, I really do love my husband!   We buy bananas by the case, peel them, break them in half and freeze them on trays.  After they are frozen, we put them in ziplok bags and whenever a milkshake is desired, we reach into the freezer and take out a few and put them in blender with other ingredients.  After a time in the freezer they can turn a light brown and get a little frosty.  I knew that we were almost out of bananas that morning, but ahhh haaa!  I found a bag with just 2 halves left and I just tilted the bag and dumped them right into the blender!   Waalaa!  A delicious nutritious milkshake, or so I thought.  Well, every now and then, Ben brings home some goodies from the butcher shop and some of the goodies were hotdogs and guess what?  we put them in ziplok bags in the freezer. 
Here is a test for you......is this a bag of bananas or hotdogs?

Well, they are......sƃopʇoɥ

Anyway, we had a really good laugh that morning, and that afternoon, and the next day!  I told him that my blunder was worse than his blunder and maybe we could call it even up.  You see, one day I was looking high and low for my liquid stevia.  Finally, one of the boys found it in the freezer.  Who put the stevia in the freezer?  You guessed it!  My man!  I reminded him that it only belongs in the fridge (and actually he got it out of there).  Well, about 2 days later - no stevia.  Couldn't find it again!  In the freezer!  After another reminder...thought it was all good.  Well, the next day he went to put it away again and was all ready to put it in the ....... where?  THE FREEZER!  The boys were giving him a hard time and he is now thinking about pressing harassment charges. ;-) 

Saturday night Dave wanted to have a cookout on the campfire.  He politely informed me that since I put the hotdogs in his milkshake, all I can have is grilled bananas.  ummmm....would that really be a terrible punishment?  Certainly didn't sound as bad as hotdogs in milkshakes.  Maybe I should give it a try.

Actually, they were delicious!  I had sprinkled some honey and cinnamon on top before grilling.  So, which would you choose?  A grilled banana in a bun or a hotdog with strawberries and blueberries?

Until next time...............

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Huh? Say What? (continuation of health journey)

Methylisothiazolinone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Bisphenol-A, Diethanolamine, Monoethanolamine, Triethanolamine, DMDM hydantoin, Isopropyl Alcohol, Sodium Lauryl sulfate.  How did you fare?  Were you able to pronounce any of those words?  No?  Ummmm........Well, maybe we would have learned them if we would have taken a class on toxic materials for that is what they are.  The sad part of it is that these toxic materials are found in the shampoos, deodorants, and other personal items that we use. 

Now, lets try this set of words - Potassium Bromate, Sulfur Dioxide, BHA and BHT, Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite, Monosodium Glutamate, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Aspartame, Curcumin Erythrosine, Vanillin.  Some of these may be easier to pronounce, but they are as toxic as the first list.  The only difference is that these are found in foods that grace the supermarket shelves and are consumed by human beings.    I do not want to go into detail of what they are, but I would highly encourage you spend some time with "Google" and you may be very surprised!

Our family's chemical-free quest began many years ago.  We were experiencing some frustrating times in our schooling with difficulty learning and behaviour issues.  Dave happened to hear a commercial on the radio for the Feingold Diet and after we researched it, we were convinced to give it a try.  From there, we started learning even more about food ingredients and better food choices.  Over time we have witnessed an increase in public awareness of this issue and some manufacturers and food producers making changes according to people's interest.  However, most have not, for it is easier and cheaper to use the chemicals.  Even though we have adopted Dr. Feingold's way of eating ever since, and have removed even more foods, like hydrogenated oils and "white" stuff, we have never addressed what we were putting on our skin until within the last few months.  In my research of thyroid issues, it became very evident that what we put ON our bodies, and not just what we put IN our bodies, has an effect on our health.  After all, how do we de-worm a cow or dog?  By pouring dewormer down their backs along the spine and it is absorbed through the skin into their system.  What about wearing a patch for car sickness or for other health issues?  Whatever is on patch gets absorbed into the skin to do its job.  Our skin is porous (very obvious) so it absorbs all the toxic chemicals named at the beginning of this post right into our systems as well!  Some of them attack the nervous system, while others attack the endocrine system and others cause severe allergic reaction.  It always amazes me that drinking raw milk is considered by "certain" people to be a health hazard, but nothing is said about the poisons that the USDA approves to put in our foods and personal care items.  Maybe that kind of thinking is the result of using too much toxic filled shampoo!  heehee!  No, wait! It's not funny!  It is madness!  Maybe we should take a closer look at those labels, do our own research and say, "out with store bought shampoo, out with the fluoride toothpaste, out with the paper mill waste called "vanillin", out with food colorings and preservatives, and in with products that can be pronounced by a first grader."  Yup, by people who do not have a bachelors degree in English!  I will share the changes we made and some recipes, but, sorry, you will have to wait.....

Until next time........

Monday, August 13, 2012

Morgan is 1 Year Old

Morgan turned 1 on July 29th (I know! I am behind in my postings)!  She toddles all around and makes the cutest/funniest faces at us.  Kelsey had made a bumblebee cake and it was enjoyed by 3 sets of great-grandparents, 2 sets grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  Happy 1st birthday to Morgan and thank you, Lord, for the blessing of having this sweet little lady in our lives....

Gordon also had a birthday July 11th (yes, I am REALLY behind in my postings of birthdays!) and he turned 25.  Our family was camping at Kevin's that weekend and Kelsey had a cake for him, however, I realize that I didn't take any pictures of him with it.  The only picture I could find was when the boys were playing basketball, so here it it.....

Happy 25th to our favorite son-in-law! :-)

Until next time...........

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dear Moms...

Dear Stay-at-Home Mom,
You are a gift of God to your husband and your kids.
But you don’t always feel that way, do you?
There’s a low-level feeling of guilt that creeps into your heart from time to time. Sometimes it bubbles over into tears, usually on lonely, difficult days.
You scan blogs and read books about being a good mom. You find some helpful tidbits here and there, often from women who are grandmothers now. Women you can learn from but who seem to have forgotten the struggle. They seem to have it all together.
In your heart, you want to be the kind of mom who trains up kids to make a difference for the kingdom. You know it’s an honor to be entrusted with these kids. You know you’ve only got one shot. You want to be the mom who teaches them the Bible, models how to pray, and trains them up in the fear of the Lord.mothers25.jpg
But most of the time you feel like you’re barely holding it all together.
Your house cleaning can’t keep up with your kids’ mess-making.
The kids embarrass you by acting up right when your guests arrive.
Your husband doesn’t get just how worn out you are by the end of the day.
You come to the end of your patience. You lose your temper. Then you feel worse.
The last thing you consider yourself to be is a “good mom.” And you think to yourself, It’ll be a miracle if my kids turn out okay.
And – surprisingly – that’s right where God wants to meet you. The place where you admit your powerlessness and your need for Him.
It’s only by God’s grace that any kid grows up to be a force for the kingdom.
You see, there are no perfect kids and no perfect mothers. No matter what you read in blogs, see in magazines, and learn in books. There are sinful kids and sinful moms and dads.
And the only thing greater than both is the grace of God. The God who says “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The God who loves to forgive, to transform, and empower.
God loves you – not because you are a good mother but just because you are His precious child.
God loves you – not because you’ve mastered all the skills of parenting but because He has.
It’s divine grace that will transform your parenting – not guilt.
It’s grace that will keep you going and serving and scrubbing when you’re exhausted and worn out.
It’s grace that will conquer your feelings of inadequacy and remind you of God’s love for you in Christ.
It’s grace that goes for the heart of your kids, not just their behavior.
God has demonstrated the fullness of His love for you through the cross of His Son, even while you were still a sinner.
He has promised you His presence.
He has spoken His approval over you in Christ.
He is the perfect Father who delights in you as a daughter.
Find in Him your Treasure and Joy. Be to others what He is to you.
So walk in freedom. Let Him hold you together when everything seems to be falling apart.
Bask in His unfailing love for you. And rest in His promise of power.

This letter was penned by a gentleman named Trevin Wax. He’s the managing editor of the Gospel Project as part of LifeWay Christian Resources.

I copied it from Jim Daly's (from Focus on the Family) blog, which you can read Here

Until next time......

Thursday, August 2, 2012

It Is Not Mine Anyway!

No, it really isn't!  I once thought it was, but to tell you the truth, I don't want it back.  I did not build it, but Someone else did and that Someone else knows far more about it than I do.  He took great care in the architecture layout and has designed it so amazingly! His plans from the beginning were to take up residence in it and stay for as long as He is made welcome.  My responsibility is to keep the doors wide open, to keep it clean, pure and surrendered to the Designer.  Can anyone guess the riddle?

In my recent post of my thyroid story, I shared some of the parts of my journey in trying to find "Better Health".  Since that post, I came to realize that something seriously was missing.  I had become consumed in frustration, bitterness and un-thankfulness, which only added to the "sickness".  I was trying to do it alone.  The big bad  I was searching for answers and attempting to find healing solutions for my body and I was totally leaving the designer out in the cold. I felt so defeated and then conviction took hold of me.  Change!  I needed to make some changes   So, I started over in my quest by repenting, thanking God for all the trials He brings into our lives, and then surrendering my body, my sickness, my healing to the One whose temple it is by receiving the healing annointing of oil.   This should have been my first step and the first one I recommended to you before any search of a good book, a good website and an earthly Physician.  The Architech, the Builder of this vast universe, of all living things, who knows all the stars, knows the number of hairs on my head, has designed each amazing cell in my body and I wonder if I can trust Him?!  Can I not just trust Him in some things, but in every single thing in my life?  Sigh!  I want Him to be able to walk into every room of my heart and every fiber of my being and find a welcoming mat to wipe His feet and a recliner to rest in.  This earthly body is His residence, and I want Him to use it however He deems best and be glorified, whether healthy or sickly, rich or poor, skinny or chubby!  :-)    I want to be able to say as Job did "even though He slay me, still will I trust Him".  I have come to realize though, that this is not a once and done surrender.  It is daily and sometimes hourly, and when I start to be tempted to do it alone, I hope I can always remember that being in that position only opens the doors to anything but peace, joy and happiness.   Does this surrender mean then that I can eat and treat my body half-hearted and with carelessness?  If our bodies are to be called a temple of the Lord, then 1st Chronicles 29:1-5 will give us an idea of how important the input is. 

To be continued......

Until next time........

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy 11th Birthday to Uriah

This past Sunday (the 22nd), Uriah turned 11 years old.  We celebrated in the evening and he wanted pizza mountain pies.......

And instead of birthday cake, he wanted pumpkin pie - thanks, mom, for making them!

Happy Birthday, Uriah!  We so appreciate your sweet spirit and caring ways!  Love you bunches!

Until next time........

Thursday, July 19, 2012

My Favorite Men!

These are my favorite men a few years ago......

And here they are today.......

 I am still being loved and protected!

Life can be interesting in a house full of the opposite gender.  If you have ever been through the series "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerich, you will find the phrase "pink and blue" to be familiar.  Women see things through pink glasses, men through blue.  Is one wrong and the other right?  No!  Just different!  Now imagine a home where there is only one pair of pink glasses and 6 pair of blue!  Yes, quite interesting at times!   :-)    I love it though!   And you know that phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?"  it's true!  Sometimes I miss the pretty frills, but I know where to find them.  They are now at Kelsey's house and when I need a "pink" fix, I hang out with them!

Thank you, Ella, for taking these nice pictures!  Next time I need to remember my camera! :-)

Until next time........