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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Wednesday Here At Home


It was a typical day around here. I had lots of laundry and chores to do in the morning so that kept me busy. It wasn't until this afternoon that I had a chance to get on the computer to check my mail. I had 139 e-mails!! I had recently joined a new group that I thought would be interesting but I quickly unsubbed!! Who has time to read that kind of mail???

Last Friday we took JK's painting to be judged in the county fair. I wonder how she did? We won't know until we go to pick it up this Sunday afternoon. Today I submitted the forms to the state fair so she can enter her painting there. She's also going to enter her banana nut bread.

We went to the pool around 4:00. I worked on my school planning while JK swam. She has made a new friend there and enjoys swimming with her. There was a back-to-school party going on with lots of games and prizes, etc. so it was a good afternoon. We'll probably go again tomorrow since it's the last full week of swimming. Most of the pools in our area close this weekend but ours will be open for weekends only during September. It's usually hot enough to swim.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Smoothies

JK has been making smoothies for the past few days. She really enjoys being in the kitchen and I'm taking advantage of that. Here's two of the smoothies:

Chocolate Banana
1 cup milk
3-4 Ts chocolate syrup or sweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup frozen banana slices
1/4 ts cinnamon
Blend until smooth :-)

Peanut Butter Banana
1 cup milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups frozen banana slices

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Lord Will Not Cast Off


The other day I was feeling very discouraged about a situation in our home. I felt so far from the Lord; very alone in this problem. That night I was reading from the "Daily Light" devotional and this was that day's Scripture:

The Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion. ** "Do not fear", says the Lord, "for I am with will;....I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you." ** "For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you", says the Lord, your Redeemer. "For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not be removed", says the Lord, who has mercy on you. "O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires."

Then a few days later I read: The joy of the Lord is your strength.**Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted.**Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid: for Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my song; He also has become my salvation.**The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.**My soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.**Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.**We.....rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.**I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Yes, I was tossed with tempest and, not comforted until I read His Word. Thank you, Lord, for your Word and what an encouragement it is to my soul. May I never, ever grow tired of reading and studying it. It is the very words of life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Deliver Me/Consume Our Dross


Deliver Me

From dullness to a friendly word,
From deafness to the song of bird,
From blindness to the birds and flowers
That grow among the rocky hours,
From all that would ungratefully
Becloud my sky, deliver me.

From craven inner selfishness
Whatever be its outward dress,
From fainting when the goal is near,
From faltering in my song of cheer,
From all that is unsoldierly,
Captain of souls, deliver me.

From coldness to the burning woe
Mine eyes have seen, my heart must know;
From weakness in the awful fight
Again the demons of the night;
From all that would dishonor Thee,
O Christ, my Lord, deliver me.

From fearing calls to do and dare,
From insincerity in prayer,
From dread of battle wound and scar,
From seeing mud instead of star;
From all that would dishonor Thee,
O Christ, my Lord, deliver me.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Consume Our Dross

Lord, Thou hast said, "Seek ye My face."
O Lord of love, and Lord of grace,
We cannot lift our hearts to Thee
Till Thou hast cleansed us thoroughly.

O turn Thy hand upon us, Lord,
And search us with Thy powerful word.
And by the virtue of Thy Cross
Consume and cleanse away our dross.
-----
both poems by Amy Carmichael

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

What's Been Happening Lately


As you can tell from previous posts, I have been doing major, major de-cluttering of the house. Each day I've been working, working, working. Not just de-cluttering, but cleaning, scrubbing, fixing up, you name it. I am almost done the entire house. I only have left to do:
~master bedroom closet
~JK's bedroom
~pantry/school closet (pantry on most shelves and school items on a few other shelves)

I am so excited about getting this finished. Last year I noticed I wasted a lot of time with school because I was focusing too much on housework. I was trying to do both at once. My goal this year is to do one hour's worth of work each day and that's it. Once school starts then I'm focusing on that. So many times last year I would start Julianne on a project and then go start some housework. She would then need help and had to find me. I didn't like to be interrupted. Well, you get the picture. The Lord showed me that I need to be more productive with my time.

I am also starting to plan my lessons for school. I'm trying to do a little bit each night so when we start, I can have at least 6 weeks worth finished.

How is everyone else doing? Have you started school yet? If not, when do you plan to start? Or do you school year round? I'm going to be doing school 4 days a week with Friday as our Beautiful Girlhood day. We'll be doing home economics, sewing, working on Keepers at Home projects and also doing our Beautiful Girlhood study. I'm looking forward to it. If we do field trips, I'll try to make those on Friday also.

I would love to hear everyone's plans for next year!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Still More De-Cluttering

From where does this stuff come? How did it get here? Why was I keeping it??

The last few days I've been de-cluttering our art supplies and my files. I threw away so much paper! Old receipts, bank statements, owner's manuals for things we no longer own, and various other bits of paper. I have a lot more room in my file cabinets now.

I have also been going through our arts and crafts supplies. I threw away a lot of stuff in there also: paint that we no longer used, bits of yarn, felt, thread, beads, sequins, paintbrushes--you name it! Everything is now neatly organized. I also used two file drawers for all my rubber stamping items. I was able to file all my card stock, put pads and other equipment into boxes and get everything in order. That is going to make it a lot easy when JK and I have our rubber stamping sessions.

I'm planning on starting school on Monday if I can get the rest of this de-cluttering and organization finished. My bookcases in the family room are still not finished. Hopefully, Jim (the carpenter) will be able to do that tomorrow. All the bookcases need are molding and then he has to install the fireplace mantle. Once that is done I can put my books in. I have about three boxes of books that I need to get off the floor and away. I can't wait. The school room and family room will be done. Yeah!

I think I'll have to move school back a week because I don't think I'm going to be ready on Monday. Since dh is on vacation this week and home with us, my schedule is out of whack! I'm not in my usual routine. But that's ok. It's fun having him home. He's taken me out to lunch everyday !!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Solitude

He went up into a mountain apart to pray; and when evening was come, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23

The man Christ Jesus felt the need of perfect solitude--Himself alone, entirely by Himself, alone with Himself. We know how much intercourse with men draws us away from ourselves and exhausts our powers. the man Christ Jesus knew this, too, and felt the need of being by Himself again, of gathering all His powers, of realizing fully His high destiny, His human weakness, His entire dependence on the Father.

How much more does the child of God need this--himself alone with spiritual realities, himself alone with God the Father. If ever there were one who could dispense with specials seasons for solitude and fellowship, it was our Lord. but He could not do His work or maintain His fellowship in full power, without His quiet time.

Would God that every servant of His understood and practiced this blessed art, and that the Church knew how to train its children into some sense of this high and holy privilege, that every believer may and must have his time when he is indeed himself alone with God. Oh, the thought to have God all alone to myself, and to know that God has me all alone to Himself!--Andrew Murray

Lamertime speaks in one of his books of a secluded walk in his garden where his mother always spent a certain hour of the day, upon which nobody ever dreamed for a moment of intruding. It was the holy garden of the Lord to her. Poor souls that have no such Beulah land! Seek thy private chamber, Jesus says. It is in the solitude that we catch the mystic notes that issue from the soul of things.

A Meditation

My soul, practice being alone with Christ! It is written that when they were alone He expounded all things to His disciples. Do not wonder at the saying; it is true to thine experience. If thou wouldst understand thyself send the multitude away. Let them go out one by one till thou art left alone with Jesus....has thou ever pictured thyself the one remaining creature in the earth, the one remaining creature in all the starry worlds?

In such a universe thine every thought would be "God and I! God and I!" And yet He is as near to thee as that--as near as if in the boundless spaces there throbbed no heart but His and thine. Practice solitude, O my soul! Practice the expulsion of the crowd! Practice the stillness of thine own heart! Practice the solemn refrain "God and I! God and I!" Let none interpose between thee and thy wrestling angel! Thou shalt be both condemned and pardoned when thou shalt meet Jesus alone!--George Matheson
=========
The above was taken from my favorite devotional "Streams in the Desert" by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Waiting



The caterpillars have all formed their new home and we moved them and their paper disc to the butterfly garden. It's hanging in the kitchen where we can all watch. Now we just have to wait. In seven to ten days they will be painted lady caterpillars and will look like this:

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Taking A Break


I'm taking a break from cleaning. I've spent most of this afternoon dusting, organizing, de-cluttering and vacuuming the schoolroom. I have seven seven-foot bookcases with plants on top and I finally got the ladder to dust the tops and also the plants. Ugh! There were lots of dust bunnies up there!! We're starting school in two weeks so I want to get everything ready in here.

I'm starting to get motivated. It must be all those back-to-school sales I see in the stores now. I bought everything I needed last year after school started so I'm pretty set. I bought paper at Target for .15 cents for 200 sheets. I think I have enough paper for a few years.

Well, the dust, dirt and disorganization are still here so I'm off. I'll update tonight about the caterpillars. Exciting things are happening!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

They're Getting Ready to Change!

The caterpillars have now moved up to the top of the container and almost all of them are forming their chrysalises. As soon as the rest do, we can move them to the butterfly garden. This is so exciting. I can't believe how quickly it all happened.

I need to look for a place to hang the garden where it won't be disturbed for the next 10 days or so. I did a search and saw that a lot of people hung the garden up. I think that might be an option since we have such high ceilings in our school. As long as there's no ball playing the house, they should be safe.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Groceries and Good News


It was hot again today but this afternoon storms came through and I could notice a drop in the humidity. Yeah!

I spent most of the day shopping. It's not my favorite thing to do, especially on a Saturday, but dh just got paid and I finally had enough to buy groceries. Now that we have two teens with car insurance, finances are tricky. JL didn't have a full-time job for a few months so she was behind in paying us for her insurance but the Lord is always faithful!

I had to go to the post office, bank, library, Lowe's, Super Walmart, Kroger and Ukrop's (for their loss leader items) and Sam's Club. And Target! I made it to every store except Sam's. I'll do that tomorrow since I need to pick up some ice cream for our annual ice cream social after the evening service. By the time I got home my feet were so sore. It felt soooo good to take off my shoes .

After I put the groceries away, I sat down to work at my desk. The phone rang (as soon as I sat down!) and it was a dear friend from Costa Rica. She and her husband are there for a year at language school studying Spanish before they settle in Honduras. It was so good to hear her voice. She told me she saw a large cockroach this afternoon and thought of me. She doesn't like them either and I promised to pray for her about the bugs ! I guess I was slacking off because that was the first one she had seen in her apartment. I told her I would be more diligent about that. In a few weeks they will have finished their first semester and I know she and her husband are looking forward to the break. We had a nice chat about missions, our church home, the Lord, how they are doing in school and our families. It was a wonderful time of fellowship and I wish it could have lasted longer. I really miss her!

Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land. ~Proverbs 25:25

Friday, August 05, 2005

Daily Happenings

JK had her second bowling lesson today. The group is small, only four children, so she is getting almost individualized attention. She is trying so hard but still makes a lot of gutter balls! At the last minute, she always turns her wrist. She told me she's going to work very hard on straightening that out. She was not discouraged and had a good attitude throughout the lesson. That's a praise.

One of the moms told me that she really like JK. She thought she was funny and had a wonderful personality. One of the things she said was that she was very open and friendly. I'm thankful for that! I hope she always stays like that way!

JL and I went together to get our nails done. We had such a fun time just chatting about things. She can be so wonderful sometimes and other times.......... All part of being 18 (19 in two weeks!!!!), I guess.

JM took JK to the pool this afternoon and when we got back from doing our nails, JL joined them. I'm so glad that my children like to be with each other--at least most of the time.

After the nail salon, I went to Target and then to the local grocery store to pick up some chicken for dinner. Boneless chicken breasts were $1.88 a pound so I picked up a lot. That's the cheapest I've ever seen it.

I made kabobs on the grill: chicken, peppers, onions, tomatoes and pineapple. I marinated them in zesty Italian dressing. They were so good. We also had corn on the cob and baked beans.

After dinner, JL and JM both went out with friends. JK and my dh went out for ice cream. I'm home alone! As much as I'd like to have ice cream, I'm going to be good and have a small cup of Jello with fruit. I had some last night and it's very refreshing.

I picked up some DVDs at the library yesterday and I'm headed upstairs to watch them. I think I'll choose West Side Story, one of my favorite movies. I just read on the cover that it won Best Picture in 1961. Is it really 44 years old? Wow! Do I feel old!!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Growing




The caterpillars are growing more and more each day. JK is keeping a chart of their growth and writing a little about them. I can't believe how much they have changed since Monday. They're still eating and no sign of any cocoons yet. We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Decisions


The new school year is quickly approaching and there are a lot of decisions to be made as far as activities are concerned. I'm only hsing one but that doesn't mean I need to be on the road all the time.

A friend called today and asked about joining her in starting a club to prepare for the geography, spelling and vocabulary bees, which are usually held in February. It would only be a twice-a-month commitment. JK isn't interested in any of those so I'm not sure how viable this activity would be for me.

Another activity to decide about is softball. JK played in the spring and it's something she really enjoys. Because of all the rain, we didn't get to practice much and only played a few games. It's been decided to have the teams meet again starting in September to play on Mondays. That would be an every Monday commitment. I'm guessing it would go for 8 weeks.

Still another activity: art classes. Our local Michael's store is sponsoring home school art classes. We didn't do this last year but now that I've seen what they covered, I wish we had although JK did have her monthly oil painting class. Here are some of last year's topics:

Louis Tiffany: Stained Glass
Henri Matisse: Colorful Cutouts
Georgia O'Keefe: Watercolor Flowers
Sunflowers in the style of Expressionism
Experimenting with Watercolors
Claude Monet: Paint Like an Impressionist

Those are definitely not your typical arts and crafts class. One of the things that appeals to me about these classes is the schedule. They will do the same lesson on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week. They are going to introduce various class times so that's a plus, too! Another thing I like is that there's no need to pre-register nor commit to a whole season or semester of classes.

One of the ideas I want to implement this year is having Fridays for Biblical girlhood. I'd like to set aside that day to work on our Keepers projects, cooking/baking, and doing our Beautiful Girlhood study. I don't want to schedule anything on Fridays if at all possible so all of the above activities need to take place on another day.

I have much to pray about in the coming days as I want to provide the best but not get too involved in outside activities. I am not the type of person who can do a lot of running around. I like to be home and so does JK but I also want her to do some of things she enjoys. It's just her and me at home now and I know she enjoys being with other children once in a while.

All of the above activities are good but are they best? How will they help us to grow in the Lord? That's the criteria I need to use to evaluate these activities and to make a decision that would honor and glorify the Lord.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Time for God

Time for God by Elisabeth Elliot

It is a good and necessary thing to set aside time for God in each day. The busier the day, the more indispensable is this quiet period for prayer, Bible reading, and silent listening. It often happens, however, that I find my mind so full of earthly matters that it seems I have gotten up early in vain and have wasted three-fourths of the time so dearly bought (I do love my sleep!). But I have come to believe that the act of will required to arrange time for God may be an offering to Him. As such He accepts it, and what would otherwise be "loss" to me I count as "gain" for Christ.

Let us not be "weary in well-doing," or discouraged in the pursuit of holiness. Let us, like Moses, go to the Rock of Horeb--and God says to us what He said to him, "You will find me waiting for you there" (Ex 17:6 NEB).

The Caterpillars are Here!!


I purchased a live butterfly garden at the homeschool convention in June and a few weeks ago I sent off for our caterpillars. When we got home from errands this afternoon, the package was in the mailbox. JK was so excited!! I was hoping they hadn't been in the mailbox too long. It was hot today and I'm sure the temperature inside of that mailbox can get high.

We had to unload all the groceries from the car then we opened the package. All five were alive. Yeah!! We set the little container on the counter between the kitchen and the family room. The sun doesn't shine directly on them and it's a place where we can watch them.

According to the instructions for the next 7 to 10 days, they will eat the food that came with them and grow to ten times their size. Next, they'll hang upside-down and shed their skins to form chrysalides. Finally we'll have butterflies.

Stay tuned for an update each day.