Friday, September 29, 2006

Ready to go...almost


We are heading out again this weekend--the only one this fall we have any active plans for save Thanksgiving. Why is it that all the events happen on one weekend? My dear friend is having a baby shower and I will have to miss it. She is going back to her mission work in Mexico afterwards so I will not see her for some time.


So why do I have cinnamon rolls to the right? Well, I was commissioned to make them for the family for the weekend and this is the before-cooked picture.  I am currently enduring the after-cooked-scent of cinnamon rolls I may not eat for at least 24 hours. Sigh. I love fresh yeast bready rolls and am hungry to boot.


We are readying ourselves to leave for a weekend of swimming, eating, boating, and great fellowship with my family and I have a lot of laundry yet to fold as well as bags to pack. Here I am just killing time here on the blog. How smart of me! (Grin!) It does not seem a very fallish trip, but here in CA the weather is still very much in the 80's and the truly cool weather has not hit us yet. Soon though! This will be our last "summerish" event.


I hope you have a lovely weekend and may you enjoy the beginning of the best time of year - FALL! 

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Important Reflections by Christine Miller

I was reading about the horrible story coming out of Colorado this morning and was so troubled. It is the kind of story that stays with you--especially if you have girls as I do. I went to Christine Miller's blog and found this:


Sowing the seeds of our own destruction


I am just so torn up over this tragedy which occurred in Bailey, Colorado yesterday. My son’s betrothed was from Bailey. It is a beautiful little town, small and close- knit; just an ideal place to raise a family. My theory is that the gunman picked on the school in Bailey because schools in larger cities have metal detectors, police on duty, and ID checks, but these little rural schools don’t have those kinds of things. Plus the police forces in small towns are small. I think he figured he could get in with a minimum of trouble and go out in some sick twisted blaze of glory. (...)


First we make sure that we erase all mention of God from every aspect of our culture, so that atheists and “freethinkers” are not made to feel uncomfortable being reminded that a holy and just God exists who has imposed a moral standard on human behavior. Then we basically nullify all public obscenity, profanity, and pornography laws because of a grossly mistaken interpretation of the first amendment, which has risen in sanctity -- in their minds -- far above any of the Ten Commandments.

(The rest of this important post is here.)


She is boldly speaking the truth from her blog. May our society be convicted of its grevious sin and seek the One truth that can redeem us from our folly.


May God be with those grieving families.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Newest Bible Discovery

Thanks to a very good friend, we are now owners of three of the bibles to the left. They are ESV Children's Bibles and are excellent! I never thought those words (about any children's bible) would cross my lips. These are different altogether though than most because God's word is not watered down as it is in many other children's bibles. It is the real Bible, but with study helps for children, a clear, thorough and understandable section in the back that is so helpful! I could not believe it was available so I bought three for my oldest children.


We are now using their memory verse section in the back and I am being blessed by it. It has been too long since we have really endeavored to memorize God's word here and we are starting afresh. Our family verse, that is used the most here, is:


Colossians 3:12-14


So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things, put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.


Doesn't that sound like the perfect verse for a family of seven? There is a lot of "bearing with" and "forgiving each other" that happens here - and the "putting on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility..." really must happen every day. It is a struggle sometimes and this verse helps so much!


Another of our memorized verses that I just love and that encourages me whenever I read it or say it out loud is:


1 John 5:11-13


And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.


I just love that beautiful reminder that it is God who gives eternal life in His Son and that we can know we have it. There are hard days when we grow uncertain, but we need not because we can know it!


Our newest memory verse, the first from the new Bible, is this:


Deuteronomy 7:9


Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.


To a thousand generations! Would that our faithful families can pass the torch through the Holy Spirit to so many people. I am grateful for this verse--the Lord our God is a faithful God and keeps his covenant and steadfast love with us. Thank you, God!


We will be memorizing one per week so that we can concentrate on it and do review of the previous verses learned. This is something I am excited about--how wonderful it is when we can call up God's word to our minds in need. What a blessing for our children too when they are faced with life's challenges.


I have been convicted recently of my too-free speech. It is God's word that showed me too:

Ephesians 4:29


Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.


So I am trying to listen and change through His grace. I have long struggled in this area and I do pray God will help me in it.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Time flies when you're having babies...

Yes, indeed it does. Where does it fly to? It is swift.


My oldest and most precious Hannah turns 12 today. 12!! I remember when she first started crawling--backwards. I remember when she took her first steps--forwards. I remember when she started talking and the silly way she would say words that only her father or I could understand. Now she is a sixth grader, a lovely young woman, a beautiful daughter--a gift from God. This is her day and we will celebrate. It is a school holiday and that means good fun, good food, and good fellowship. I praise God for my precious girl.


Happy Birthday, Hannah!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Praise God! The baby was found!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Oh praise Him with many voices. I am so excited to share that the baby Abigale Lynn Woods, who was kidnapped at barely a week old and her mother gravely harmed, was found alive and well and returned to the family! God is SO good!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Great Site for Parents!

I was just discussing the desire for something like this very site not two weeks ago and here I find it is already on the net. How cool is the web! Have you wandered the shelves at the bookstore wondering what was in those books that have the coolest new covers? I sure have. Do I dare buy something I know nothing about? No, I don't dare anymore. I have been disappointed more than once. Well now there is a site to help moms and dads in this tricky area of voracious readers. It is called Facts on Fiction and I hope they grow and grow.  I have linked to their book review pages and they are pretty thorough on what is included, and I really hope they add more brand new books on the market. However, this will be very helpful for the library or the bookstore. Just thought you might want to know too.


Police Release Sketch of Missouri Baby Kidnapping Suspect

Please pray for this tiny baby and her mother. May God extend His mighty hand of protection and care for this little one named Abigale Lynn Woods. May He give her mother and father extraordinary grace and peace during this terrible time of fear. May the kidnapper be brought to swift and thorough judgment. My heart aches for this mama. Let us lift her up in prayer!!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Welcome to Autumn!

I love fall. I love autumn! It is my favorite season without a doubt. After living here in the heart of California, where it gets to be 110 degrees in the summer sometimes, fall has become a festive entrance into cooler luscious weather. The days grow milder (it was a mere 71 here yesterday and only 81 today) the leaves start to change, apples and pumpkins are everywhere and fall candles are for sale with scents like Gingerbread, Iced Cranberry, Cinnamon Spice. I love these scents and have already ordered mine!


I love that we don't have to use the A/C to function in the house. I love that we can walk outside without the fear of being fried by the sun. I love the snuggly time in the evening when the time changes and it gets dark earlier. I love saying goodbye to our iced tea maker and welcoming my teapot. Fall is delicious. Soups and warm breads, stews and chili with cornbread. I love fall!


What will you do in the coming months to celebrate this marvelous time of year? Does your state climate affect what you do to celebrate it? Where we live the seasons are not so drastic as in the northern states, but leaves change here, the weather is cooler, and the days shorten. Like I said, fall is delicious!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

German Homeschool Mom Arrested

Thank you, Christine Miller, for this information:

Katharina Plett is a homeschooling mom in Germany; she has been arrested for homeschooling the children. The father and children have fled to Austria. Apparently Germany does not have the equilvalent of a 4th amendment, “no warrentless search and seizure,” because that is how the German police got into her home. Hitler was the one who banned homeschooling in Germany; I did not know that Germany still has laws on the books which were enacted by Hitler.


We can do three things: Let us not forget to thank the Lord daily for the freedoms and rights we have in this country. Let us pray for the Plett family. And let us write a letter to the German embassy in Washington D.C. expressing our opinion about Germany’s treatment of Katharina Plett (be polite and respectful!):


Ambassador Klaus Scharioth
German Embassy
4645 Reservoir Road NW
Washington, DC, 20007-1998
(202) 298-4000


If every homeschooling family in America wrote one letter, showing how homeschooling has benefitted the children, the family, and our communities and country, we might go a long way to influence Germany to treat Mrs. Plett with clemency and change Germany’s antiquated homeschooling law.

It is disgusting to me to think that anything in Germany is still run with Hitler's laws. Let us lift this family in prayer and may God unite them again soon and make homeschooling legal in this nation.



Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Scientifically Speaking


We are diving head-first into science this year. We have done a smattering of science for many years, but not any formal teaching for some time. Units and various reports and studies, yes, but not anything that was systematic. Science is my greatest weakness and I admit it here in public!


So what's a homeschool mom to do faced with the real need for science? Well, first off, we are unabashedly early-earth creationists. We have a lot of the beautifully photographed DK Eyewitness-type books, fascinating Usborne resources, and others of similar sort--but they are all evolutionary in nature. This does not limit our use of them as I think it is important not to be fearful of what the rest of the world believes and I think it is important to understand why they do. We have no need to fear evolution. What is truth always comes to light.  As John 3:21 tells us, "But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."


So what's this  homeschool mom going to be using? Well, I think you can plainly see what we discovered--and they are truly treasures. This set of books has been put together carefully with the light of scripture bearing upon all of its content. Not only is the information a blessing with its understanding from an early-earth, creationist perspective, but they are full of full-color photographs, detailed drawings, and explanations of the various processes.


We have begun The Fossil Book above and have already learned so much just in the first chapter!

Not only are the books solid on information that really bear out the truth, the website for Master Books offers free study guides for all the books. This has been really wonderful because I had been in a quandry just how best to use these books and they provided a brilliant solution.


Science is one of the most fascinating ways in which we glorify God. His mighty creation is what often showcases His glory--even in the fallen world we live in. Romans 1:18-20 is even more serious in its statements about God's creation:

"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."


So what we teach our children, and what we believe about God's world has eternal impact. We need not fear the world's teachings, for God is not the author of fear, as 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." He has equipped us as parents, through the Word of God, to train our children. Our science study this year is only one small part of that, but I am sure glad these resources are available to help me!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Army Sergeant 1st Class Randy D. Collins

Some Gave All

Husband, Father, Son, Soldier
Army Sergeant 1st Class Randy D. Collins

Died as a result of wounds sustained in Mosul, Iraq.  


Who was this man who died for freedom?  He was a father of two children, the husband to his wife, and the sixth of nine children.  A military man for 17 years he gave so much to his country--he gave all. He wanted to join the service from a young age and did just that. He was expected home for Christmas, 2005, but he never made it. “He won’t be back no more,” his mother, Margarette Miller, said between tears. “All his adult life he had been away in the service, and we’d be waiting for Christmas to come because he would be coming home.” He died May 24, 2005. He was 36.


I can do nothing to bring him back, but I can honor his service. Thank you, Army Sergeant 1st Class Randy D. Collins, for all you did for us. May God go with your family.

If you want to be a part of this tribute, you can find
out more information here.

In Remembrance



I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Psalm 121: 1-4


In remembrance of the fallen and lost of September 11, 2001.

May God keep their families in His mighty grip.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Number four is climbing the ladder!

It is a smallish birthday. Six years ago today that bright face entered the world underwater. What a treasure she is! She is truly one of the silliest and most precious people on the planet. Miss Elizabeth is her name and she is just a darling.


It is hard to imagine that six years have gone by since that early morning debut. Time goes SO fast. Enjoy this day today my sweet girl!


Happy Birthday!



Thursday, September 07, 2006

Happy Birthday Dear Friend!

There are a few people in the world that I believe are great treasures given to me from God. Gifts that are irreplaceable and unmatched in life. People who forgive foolish speech, who love you for who you are, who pray for you when you are low and hurting, who understand your heart and wacky sense of humor. Diane is one of those people in my life. We met at a church over seven years ago now and started out as neighbors--really really close neighbors--as in this picture, over-the-fence kind of neighbors. She is a dear and precious treasure that I am immensely blessed to know. She has challenged me, made me think, helped me to love better and deeper, and shown me so much grace. She is a true friend.


Happy Birthday, Diane!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tremendous Purity Resource for Girls


When Mrs. Igarashi and I flew to Florida for the FPEA conference little did we know we would meet so many tremendous people. One of the ministries at the conference was Generations of Virtue. They gave me the following product to bring home and we were so blessed by it that I thought I would share it. I have reviewed it below and I hope some of you find it worthwhile. I cannot say enough about the husband and wife who run the ministry. Their heart is truly for the church body and the purity thereof. God be with them!

Beautifully Made: Approaching Womanhood

Beautifully Made: Celebrating Womanhood

Beautifully Made: Wisdom from a Woman, Mother’s Guide

Edited by Julie Hiramine

Generations of Virtue


Generations of Virtue

P.O. Box 62253

Colorado Springs, CO 80962

This little set of wonderful books is truly a godsend in this mixed-up world of ours. There are so many mixed messages sent to our lovely young ladies from such a young age that this “find” comes at a wonderful time. There are three books here, two for your developing daughter and one for the mama. All three were edited and compiled by Julie Hiramine of Generations of Virtue, a ministry to families promoting purity.


From their website:


“Generations of Virtue is dedicated to providing books, music, movies, audio books and purity jewelry that will equip parents, teens and children to mature and understand how to combat the cultural pressure that tries to squeeze them into the world's unrighteous mold.”


“This ministry is the response to parents who are crying out for help while preparing their children to combat the negative influences—appalling opinions, perverse ideologies, and deteriorating morals—present in our culture. God is raising up a standard of purity to face our culture’s crumbling values and its opposition to His Word. It is our children—if we prepare them—who will lead the charge in this mandate. It is imperative that we, the parents, equip and prepare our children for the battle ahead so that they can boldly face this onslaught from the enemy. We need to train our children to be the leaders who lift up a banner of purity for their generation.”


“Generations of Virtue seeks to be your trusted resource to help you and your family grow in purity of heart, purity of mind, and purity of body.”


The first book in their series is entitled, Beautifully Made: Approaching Womanhood, and has chapters that discuss the approaching changes your daughter’s body will go through (or may be going through as she reads it). The first chapter, “What to Expect in Your Changing Body,” discusses growing spurts, developing breasts, new hair, shaving, skin changes, and getting your period—all with the continual theme that God is the author and creator of these changes and how special they truly are. They do not present the changes as something to dread or fear. In the first paragraph they say this: “God designed your body to start becoming a woman at the time that is right for you and no one else.” The underlying message is that: “You are going to begin changing into the woman God intended you to be. You are growing up! This is an exciting time for you.” It is very positive and not at all the doom and gloom or fear and secrets that are usually associated with the physical or emotional changes that puberty brings on.


From here the book goes into when it will happen, what usually happens first, how it happens, what to expect and the biology of a period complete with a black ink drawing of the inside of a woman with identification of female body parts. They also explain pad use, bras—when and why to use one, how to choose one, body image, and wrap it up with questions to discuss with Mom. This is intended to be read together in quiet moments and discussed when needed. It is possible to give your already well-into-puberty daughter the book to read on her own if you wish. It was received very well with the child this was given to in our family and cleared up some concerns she had.


The second book, Beautifully Made: Celebrating Womanhood, is meant for the daughter when she has started her period. “Having your period is something to celebrate, and this booklet explains why.” This book covers the topics of giving life without going into the details that should be left to the parents. For example, “God has given you the power to make life. Your body is actually changing and developing into a place that can house and grow life, kind of like a greenhouse would with plants. He doesn’t give us this gift lightly. He expects us to respect life and treasure it the way he does. He values life so much that He sent His son to die so that we could keep on living. He says that our bodies are a temple, and we are to treat them that way.” Isn’t that beautiful? The rest of the book discusses more in-depth pad use, tampons as well as the caution regarding Toxic Shock Syndrome, and does have a detailed black ink drawing of this process. This is not a book for boys. There is a menstrual record chart for tracking cycles and a discussion of the symbolism of blood in scripture. PMS is covered as well as how to handle it when puberty happens to your child before it happens to her friends. This is also meant to be read with your child and discussed as needed.


These two books alone would be a tremendous resource for a mom alone if you didn’t feel comfortable allowing your child to read the books or reading them with her. I have to say though that they so relived my own child and gave her a sense of her beautiful worth during this stressful time of great change—and a true understanding of the beautiful gift she really has as a woman—that I heartily recommend them.


The third book in the set is the one for the mama, Beautifully Made: Wisdom from a Woman, Mother’s Guide. It begins like this: “There have been days as a mother that I have wondered if I am an expert about anything, especially all the changes my daughters are going through. Then God speaks and confirms that He is the One who has given me these precious children as gifts and equipped me to be their guide for this season.” This book really is for us to help our daughters celebrate the gifts God gives us as women! Sometimes it really is no fun to be the woman, when we feel horrible and gross, but God made us the way He did in His sovereign plan and it really is a blessing. What a glorious heritage to pass to our girls! The book goes on with chapters like these: “Is Now the Time?” (talking to our daughters at the right time), “Leading Predictors” (knowing the changes, what they mean, when they will happen), “Your Daughter’s Changing Moods,” “Biology” (the whole cycle from hormones, ovaries and how they work, to shedding the lining, etc.), “Practical Tips for Moms,” and “Personal Experience.” It is a gem for moms unsure of how to approach this subject and unsure of what to say when they do. It clears up any misconceptions we may have about the biology of it too.


All throughout the books the gift of scripture is sprinkled with the primary focus upon our great God and Savior and His marvelous works and timing in our lives. I am so grateful for Generations of Virtue! If there is one resource for the mom who truly needs some help, understanding, or guidance in this extremely important area of our precious daughter’s growth, this would be the one I would recommend. Their website is filled with helpful information, books for families on these subjects as well as others, for boys as well as for girls. This is a gentle ministry with a heart of gold.

-Product Review by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Well done!


The BBC has done it again! I have long been a fan of both A&E and the BBC for their fine period dramas. Bleak House lives up to the standard! While I had to dive into the book with determination, I sat back and ate up the movie version. What tremendous actors! It is, as always, much better to have read the book before watching a movie of this type because you just get so much more out of it, but don't let that stop you from watching Dickens' brilliant work put to film. It was just so well done and now we own it!


Well, I finished Wives and Daughters several days ago after some very late nights.  I finished it with a sigh knowing that there will be no more of Molly, Roger, Cynthia, Mr. Gibson or Squire Hamley. Written in serial format and printed over 18 months in Cornhill Magazine, Mrs. Gaskell passed away before she finished it. As the story was so far written as to understand where it was going before she died, the editor wrote the final installment with that assumption.  It would have been wonderful to read it in Mrs. Gaskell's narrative style though. She was a thoughtful writer with a charming way of story telling. The movie version does end well and satisfactorily! It was a lovely book to follow the more detailed Dickens. I will miss Molly though; she had become a friend. I really am at a loss as to where to go from here. I think I ought to take up some more "steady reading" as Mr. Gibson termed it, but I have only read two works of fiction since my last nonfiction! (Grin!) Perhaps North and South?


We took the children out for a surprise movie afternoon at the $3.50 theater. That is the only theater we will take our entire family to for a movie. Seven of us rack up quite a tab at the regular theater! We saw the very fun and amazingly well-animated, Cars. It was such a fun movie! There were so many creative ways it was made and I really appreciated the family-friendliness of it. Owen Wilson as the lead did make me a bit nervous, but he was quite restrained and really entertaining. The annimation is superb and this will be a keeper!

This week we start afresh our school year with four of our five children officially "doing" school. It is hard to believe that! I am buckling down and trying to get things more scheduled here--a tough task for this seat-of-the-pants kind of woman. Any prayers offered up on our behalf would be kindly appreciated.


If you have started your new year, how is it going and what exciting changes/things are you making/doing this year?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Aprons for Adoption

UPDATE!! This wonderful online adoption help was a success. You can read about the adoption here. Thank you all for your support!


I wanted to share this with you all because it is such a precious cause. Some of you know who Jennifer Steward is and love her products. This is her married daughter, Cacey Klein, to the left.


Aaron and Cacey Klein are a young Christian couple who have been married for five years and are seeking to start their family through the adoption of a sweet baby from South Korea. Unfortunately the cost of adopting is all but prohibitive ($20,000-$30,000), so they have been working hard to come up with new ways to raise money, one of those being “Aprons for Adoption.”


Your purchase of an apron, homemade by Cacey, will be put into their adoption fund and greatly appreciated. Aprons are $12.95 + $2.00 for shipping and can be purchased by e-mailing Cacey at caceyklein@gmail.com or through her mom’s website. If you would like to support them through prayer contact Cacey and let her know you want to be added to their adoption update e-mail list.


I purchased one of these lovely homemade aprons and it is a delight to my daughter.  What a lovely gift for yourself, a child, or a friend.


Please feel free to copy the button above and place it on your blog or website in support of their cause. Wouldn't it be wonderful to bring a baby to that precious home? Thank you!

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