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Friday, September 29, 2006

More Thoughts from The Contented Woman

Everyone wants to be happy. No one would turn down the chance to have the desires of their heart granted. However, it isn't hard to see tht some people choose to be sad. It is as though they keep hitting their head against a brick wall--trying to find happiness their way. They have a restless spirit, running from one thing to another, seeking happiness in possessions, prestige, or power. However, real happiness comes from within, never from without.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Anything that does not begin right can never end right. In order to be happy, the very first choice we must make, is to choose the master we will serve. Every soul is either serving Jesus or satan. There is no middle ground.

The foundation for everyone's happiness is to be sure we are SERVING the right master--Jesus, and Him alone! It can never be Jesus AND someone (or something) else!

What joy there is in striving to please Jesus in ALL that we do--whether it is worship, our work, conversation, recreation, dress, eating, hobbies, or vacation! Don't be afraid to try to please Him.
~*~*~*~*~*~

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Autumn

Autumn is.........

crisp mornings and cool evenings
orange and red sunsets
pumpkin pie
hot chocolate
spice-scented candles
jack o'lanterns with happy faces
foliage of red, yellow, green and brown
a return to a slower routine
juicy, red apples for applesauce and pie
popcorn
a bountiful harvest

Below are poems that JK has copied into her poetry notebook. November Night and A Pop Corn Song are her favorites.

November Night
Listen....
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees
And fall.
(Adelaide Crapsey)

Autumn
The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.
(Emily Dickinson)

September
The goldenrod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest
In every meadow nook;
And asters by the brook-side
Make aster in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.
(Helen Hunt Jackson)

A Pop Corn Song
Sing a song of pop corn
When the snowstorms rage;
Fifty little brown men
Put into a cage.
Shake them till they laugh and leap
Crowding to the top;
Watch them burst their little coats
Pop!! Pop!! Pop!!

Sing a song of pop corn
In the firelight;
Fifty little fairies
Robed in fleecy white.
Through the shining wires see
How they skip and prance
To the music of the flames;
Dance!! Dance!! Dance!!

Sing of song of pop corn
Done the frolicking;
Fifty little fairies
Strung upon a string.
Cool and happy, hand in hand
Sugar-spangled, fair;
Isn't that a necklace fit
For any child to wear?
(Nancy Byrd Turner)

Autumn Fancies
The maple is a dainty maid,
The pet of all the wood,
Who lights the disky forest glade
With scarlet cloak and hood.

The elm a lovely lady is,
In shimmering robes of gold,
That catch the sunlight when she moves,
And glisten, fold on fold.

The sumac is a gypsy queen,
Who flaunts in crimson dressed,
And wild along the roadside runs,
Red blossoms in her breast.

And towering high above the wood,
All in his purple cloak,
A monarch in his splendor is
The proud and mighty oak.
(Unknown)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blessed Are The Parents

Blessed are the Parents

Blessed are the parents who make their peace with spilled milk and mud, for of such is the kingdom of children.

Blessed are the parents who refuse to compare their children with others, for precious unto each is the rhythm of his own growth. (Note: A nice reminder to our homeschooling mothers.)

Blessed are the mothers and fathers, who have learned to laugh, for it is the music of the child’s world.

Blessed are those parents who understand the goodness of time, for they make it not a sword that kills growth, but a shield to protect and guide their children.

Blessed are the parents who can say "no" without anger; for comforting to the child is the security of a firm decision.

Blessed are the parents who are teachable, for knowledge brings understanding and understanding brings love.

Blessed are the parents who love their children in the midst of a hostile world, for love is the greatest of all gifts.

Author Unknown

Thursday, September 21, 2006

One-Dish Chicken and Stuffing


One-Dish Chicken and Stuffing

1 pkg. chicken stuffing mix
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
1/2 C sour cream or plain yogurt

Make stuffing according to package directions; set aside. Place chicken in 13x9 pan. Mix soup and sour cream, pour over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake at 375* for 35 minutes.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Organizing Your Craft and Sewing Supplies

Organizing Your Craft and Sewing Supplies by Rachel Paxton - rachel@creativehomemaking.com

If you're a weekend crafter like me, you probably have a lot of crafting odds and ends laying around that get all jumbled together depending on what project you're working on at the moment.


Over the years, I have found several ways to organize my craft and sewing supplies in a way that I can actually find them again when I need them. As I went through the process of organizing them, I was able to identify items I no longer needed and separate the remaining items into logical groups. As a result, I now have all my supplies limited to one corner of a room and well organized. Now I can find things when I need them.

When I first started sorting through all my supplies everything was thrown together in a lot of cardboard boxes up in a hard-to-reach closet. The first thing I did was dump each box into a big pile and start sorting. My piles were: lace, trim, buttons, quilting supplies, cross stitch supplies, ribbon roses, fabric scraps, craft books, and misc.

I first discarded the odds and ends I knew I'd never use again. I then bought two very large Rubbermaid containers (great for stacking) to store my supplies in. You may need more depending on how many supplies you have accumulated. I also bought some gallon-sized Ziploc bags.

I sorted through all the lace and trim and put lace in one Ziploc bag and trim in another. The ribbon roses went in another. I put all the buttons in a plastic container with different compartments--sorted by color. All these items, plus other misc. like styrofoam balls, contact paper, plastic canvas, went into one Rubbermaid container.

All my quilting and cross stitch supplies (mostly fabric scraps and cross stitch fabric) went into the second container.

All my unfinished projects went into a cardboard box, and all my yarn for plastic canvas projects went into another.

The containers and boxes stack on top of each other and fit nicely underneath a small square "craft table" I have set up in the corner of my home office. It's all out of the way and everything is easily identified.

On top of the table I keep little projects I'm working on, like cross stitch, or photo albums for working on scrapbooks. My embroidery thread is organized by DMC number in plastic containers made for storing embroidery thread. These containers are also stacked on the table.
My sewing machine thread is organized on a small wooden board with small spindles you can buy that is designed to hold spools of thread. My sewing machine sits on the floor next to the craft table while not in use.

Next to my craft table is a stand-alone cupboard that is sold as a pantry cupboard that you can probably find at Walmart for about $100. In the cupboard I store a lot of multipurpose items like my glue guns, all kinds of glue, paper, scissors, and all of my scrapbooking supplies. This cupboard works great for items other family members also use a lot, like tape and scissors. My paper cutter and long stapler are stored on top of the cabinet.

I also have several bookcases in my office, and I use a couple of shelves on one of them for organizing my craft and sewing books. The books are organized by craft type.
All of my small sewing supplies I keep in a couple of small sewing baskets that I can move with me from room to room. In these I keep sewing needles, embroidery scissors, measuring tape, pins, seam ripper, etc.

Hopefully these ideas will help you get in the mood to start organizing your own craft and sewing supplies. It's so much more enjoyable to work on projects when you know what you have and where everything is.
-----------
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. Visit her site
http://www.organized-mom.com, featuring the Easy Organizer, loaded with tools to help you plan, schedule, remember events, keep in touch, get your family on an organized schedule, prioritize, and more.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday Hymn

Come, All Christians, Be Committed

Come, all Christians, be committed
To the service of the Lord.
Make your lives for Him more fitted,
Tune your hearts with one accord.
Come into His courts with gladness,
Each his sacred vows renew,
Turn away from sin and sadness,
Be transformed with life anew.

Of your time and talents give ye,
They are gifts from God above,
To be used by Christians freely
To proclaim His wondrous love.
Come again to serve the Savior,
Tithes and off'rings with you bring.
In your work with Him find favor,
And with joy His praises sing.

God's command to love each other
Is required of every man.
Showing mercy to a brother
Mirrors His redemptive plan.
In compassion He has given
Of His love that is divine;
On the cross sins were forgiven;
Joy and peace are fully thine.

Come in praise and adoration,
All who on Christ's name believe.
Worship Him with consecration,
Grace and love will you receive.
For His grace give Him the glory,
For the Spirit and the Word,
And repeat the gospel story
Till all men His name have heard.

(Eva B. Lloyd)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thoughts on Servanthood


...The world's way is to be served; God's way is to serve. The world's way teaches us to focus on our own needs; God's way teaches us to focus on other people's needs.

Friday, September 15, 2006

First Week of School

Yesterday completed our first week of school. JK and my dh are in NJ this weekend visiting his brother while I am here with JM for the weekend so we only had a four-day week.

We did Language Arts and History each day using Lifepacs. I am so glad that I decided to use these. They have made school so much easier for me--and JK really likes them. She is always telling me some little tidbit that she has learned. We also did Wordsmith Apprentice and copywork. I picked up a neat little book at the convention called "
Copywork for Girls". A few years ago I picked up a used copy their Bible copywork but didn't really care for it. Not that I didn't like the Bible verses but just felt we could copy ones that pertain to certain situations that were going on in our home. Anyway, this one does have Scripture but also poems, literature selections, recipes, etc. that "help reinforce Godly character qualities in your daughters".

JK also reviewed all her Latin roots that we started last year and did very well on those. She also did her Bible study each day. We use Studying God's Word from Christian Liberty. The only thing we didn't do was math but we'll start on that next week.

We have a goal to finish each day before 2:15 when JM comes home from school and we achieved our goal each day. Once we add math, we'll have to start earlier but we're still planning on the 2:15 deadline. Next week we'll have a four-day schedule again since we're going on the church camping trip starting on Friday.

How was your week at home?

Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4T butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1/2 t hot sauce
1t kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
3/4 t dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday Hymn

Near to the Heart of God

There is a place of quiet rest,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where sin cannot molest,
Near to the heart of God.

Chorus:
O Jesus, blest Redeemer,
Sent from the heart of God,
Hold us who wait before Thee,
Near to the heart of God.

There is a place of comfort sweet,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where we our Savior meet,
Near to the heart of God.

Chorus

There is aplace of full release,
Near to the heart of God,
A place where all is joy and peace,
Near to the heart of God.

Chorus

(Cleland B. McAfee)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Exciting Adventures Ahead

A few months ago our church announced that they were putting together a mission trip to Honduras. We have sent two saints from our church to work in a medical mission there. Their house is in the process of being built and men are needed to go down to finish it. The shell is there but it needs everything else. They also required two ladies to go in order to cook for them. I wanted to go but didn't think financially it was possible. Then the Lord provided an airline ticket through the generosity of dear friends. Last week another lady from church made the decision to go. So.......we will be flying to Honduras on October 6 (my 22nd weddding anniversary ) and returning on the 16th. It is less than a month away now.

Today I got my tetanus shot (which doesn't hurt; tomorrow might be another story) and next week I'll be getting the Hepatitis A. My passport is being processing and will, Lord willing, arrive soon. It's actually happening!

Last night our team leader, the other cook and I had a meeting to discuss our menu plans and various options. We were able to accomplish all that was needed and our plans are set. Of course, we need to be flexible but the planning is finished and that was a big task.

I asked my husband last night about when he went to Cuba (in '91 for the PanAm Games) if he thought it was really happening before he got there and he said no. I feel the same way. I am looking forward to going but it doesn't quite seem real. I'm sure as it gets closer I'll be more excited. For now it feels like an ordinary trip.

Last week I bought a nice leather journal just for the trip. I have already written a few entries concerning the preparation, prayer requests and praises. I think it will be neat to read it years from now and see how the Lord used me during this time.

In our study of James during the last two weeks, Trish and I learned about our faith and works. "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (2:17 NIV) As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead." (2:26 NIV) It is an honor and privilege to do these good works which God prepared in advance for me to do! It is a blessing to serve the Lord in any way I can. He gave ALL for me! Shouldn't I give all to Him?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Scripture Memory

Why memorize Scripture? John Piper tells you here.

This is an area that I have not been faithful in pursuing. One of the things Kay Arthur suggests as you go through her
Precept studies is to memorize the Scripture that is being studied. Right now I'm working through the book of James. I had started to memorize James 1 but let it fall by the wayside but after reading the above message from John Piper, I'm picking it back up again.

Years ago when I was an AWANA director for Chums (3rd-4th grade girls), I memorized a lot of Scripture and can still recall most of it. Those verses have been such a blessing to me. I pray that these new verses will fill my mind and heart the same way. I'm a lot older now and my brain isn't as fresh but I need to be obedient in this area of the spiritual disciplines.

I put James 1 on my PDA so I can take it out when needed. It will be easy to study while I'm waiting for orthodontist appointments, karate, etc. I also bought 4x6 cards that are on a spiral ring. I typed out the verses and put a few on each page. I'll use this for my studying at home since it's a lot easier to read and the batteries won't wear down.

Here's the first chapter of James:

1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;
10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.
11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger;
20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.
21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror;
24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.
27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
(NASB)

Homeschooling Offers Freedom

Today is one of the reasons I enjoy homeschooling. Freedom. Freedom to be able to serve others. JK and I went over a friend's house who is having some complications with her pregnancy. While Julianne played with her 3-year old, I was able to do a few loads of laundry, the dishes and clean the kitchen--all while this precious mom was off her feet and able to take a nap! I was so glad to be able help her and also for JK to minister. She is learning to be a servant also and I'm so thankful that we are able to change our schedule when a need comes up and to do the Lord's work.

Yeah for homeschooling and for being flexible.

First Day of School

My son, 17, is out the door and on his way to his senior year. sniff sniff. It's hard to believe it is here already. We watched videos last week for my oldest dd's birthday and there was my son when he was small. And now he is in his last year of high school. When the children were little, I remember older moms telling me how fast the time would go. I was a little skeptical because the days seemed endless. They were right!! It has gone by in a flash.

On another note, we are expecting more rain again. Heavy rain all day today. I will try to make the most of it but I miss the sun.

Hope you all have a blessed day in the Lord.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunday Hymn

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind;
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper rev'rence praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
Beside the Syrian Sea,
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still small voice of calm!

(John G. Whittier)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Here comes the sun......

The sun just peeked through the clouds a minute ago. Yeah! I don't function very well when it is cloudy for more than a day or two. I start to get headaches, feel very tired and grumpy. I miss the sun and am so glad it is coming out.

Happy happy! Joy joy!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ernesto

The remnants of Ernesto are blowing through right now. This is nothing compared to what was left of Hurricane Isabel when she came through. Still.....my backyard is full of leaves and twigs and a few branches--some large!! It's very windy and the lights keep flickering off and on.

We just heard a loud crack! A huge branch from our tulip tree has snapped off!! It is now wedged onto some branches of another tree. Thankfully it didn't hit our deck, house or shed. I noticed there was a tree down in our neighbor's yard.

Well, it looks like this day will not be an ordinary one in Central VA. More later.......

Update: before I got to post, the branch fell taking another large one with it. I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow.