Tuesday, March 31, 2009
A week or two ago, I made pancakes for the first time. Ronnie has made them for the kids before, but I had never made them myself. Actually, pancakes belong to that group of foods that I didn't really like as a kid, but am learning to eat as an adult, but that isn't really the point. The point is this: I made the pancakes and everyone ate them, including JW, who even asked for seconds. Wow, this is the definition of a good meal in our house ~ everyone eating and enjoying the same thing.
So, I thought I would be safe making pancakes for breakfast. It seemed like a good idea until JW gets up and says "I don't like pancakes anymore." WHAT??? Why?
Well, suffice it to say, he did eat pancakes for breakfast ... I don't think he enjoyed them ~ he told me he didn't like the brown ones. What does that mean? I am not sure, but I think the only way to avoid brown, is to serve them raw.
Isn't life fun?
Monday, March 30, 2009
Aren't little brothers fun!
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Saturday, March 28, 2009
Growing up, I was something of a picky eater. I never really liked breakfast foods. I did not like eggs, grits (I am a southern girl, but YUCK), oatmeal or cereal with milk. I wasn't as bad about lunch or dinner, but I still did not like certain things like turnip greens, brussel sprouts, bell pepper, onions and probably a few more that I have forgotten. In a family with four kids (3 boys and me) my mom did not have time to cook separate meals for one picky child. And, my dad was determined that he could convince me to eat anything. Mama was a little more easy going ... she let me eat tuna sandwiches for breakfast. I know, that is weird and I don't really have an explanation for it. Mama also thought about me when cooking evening meals; if she was cooking something that she knew I didn't like, she would always include at least one veggie that she knew I did like and then it wasn't a big deal if I chose not to eat turnips. I have grown up a bit and am much more willing to try foods that I once wouldn't have even considered eating.
Fast forward 15 years and I am now cooking for a family of my own. I have one son (JW) who cries when he sees anything with tomatoes cooking. I have another who won't eat anything with barbecue sauce on it. This pretty much wipes out four of my favorite meals to cook: veggie soup, spaghetti, chili, and barbecue baked chicken with rice. Little D also won't eat sandwiches. I've never heard of a kid who didn't like spaghetti or sandwiches but I have both. LB is pretty laid back and will eat most anything except onions and bell peppers.
I am now experiencing the grief I gave my parents, times 2. Oh, the joys of parenting.
I am sorry, Mama, I never really understood how much trouble picky eaters can be.
But I still don't like turnip greens or brussel sprouts.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Second ... I need to add a disclaimer before reviewing this book. I do not feel qualified to review any book, much less this particular book. I don't figure I'll do it justice, but maybe I'll be able to interest you enough to read it for yourself.
This book was a late add to my spring reading list. It was in the house because the men of our church are reading it for their Wed. night Bible study and Ronnie picked up a copy. He teaches the kids on Wed. nights, so he isn't trying to read it along with the other men. I picked up the book after church Wed. night and read about half of it before going to bed. I had never heard of Jim Cymbala before reading this book, but I would guess that most everyone has heard of his church and their choir. He has pastored the Brooklyn Tabernacle for more than 35 years. His wife, Carol, directs their famous choir. This book tells the story of how God took a struggling congregation of about 20 people and an untrained pastor and transformed them into what they are today.
I was a little skeptical at first. You see, I go to a church with less than 100 active members and I love it. Although I grew up in a much larger church, I don't think I would be comfortable there now. I love the intamacy of a small church. We are truly family and some of them know me better than my biological family. So if this book was going to be about creating a mega church - I was not interested. I am not trying to be negative about large churches, they just aren't for me.
But that is not what it is about at all.
Pastor Cymbala spends much of the book talking about the early church. How did God use them to turn the whole world upside down? And, why is the church today so stagnant? He finds his answer in the New Testament church. God used those ordinary people because they were available to be bothered by the need around them. They begged God to use them to show HIS power to those they encountered. They weren't satisfied to simply attend a service and hear about God, they wanted, no they needed to experience this fresh wind and fresh fire that Cymbala is talking about. They were given a fresh indwelling of the Holy Spirit for whatever task God had set before them. With this fresh fire they boldly proclaimed the gospel in the face of impossible odds. The result ... lives were changed then and we are still building on their foundation today.
So, what is the answer for the church today? Pastor Cymbala reminds us that God hasn't changed, we have changed. He encourages the church to return to the foundation of our faith: the Word of God and claim the promises found there through fervent prayer. We don't need a new program for the church, we need fire from heaven to come and ignite our souls desire to reach the world around us for Christ.
My final assesment? Read the book. It is well written and easy to read. If nothing else you will find a great look at the early church and get the opportunity to evaluate your own prayer life and church in the light of their fire for God's work.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I took these pictures through my bedroom window, so they aren't the greatest, but I still think it was pretty cool to get to see this up close and personal.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I saw this "Spring Reading Thing" button on a couple of sites I have visited recently and decided to check it out. Let me just say, I absolutely love to read. I don't have nearly the amount of time I would like to devote to reading, but I am always looking for something new that I want to read. Suffice it to say, that this idea of a low-pressure reading challenge seemed perfect for me. So, I think I'll give it a go.
The basic premise is this ... you create a list of books that you want to read between March and June and then visit Katrina's Callapidder Days to join in the fun. In June you'll evaluate your challenge and write a post about how you did. Along the way, you can review the books you have read or revise your list if you find that it isn't working for you.
I am going to start with a fairly short list, because to be honest, I haven't exactly spent a lot of time making a list of books that I really want to read. I will see one occasionally and think that I should write the name down before I forget, but usually forget before I get that far. I fully expect to edit this list as I actively seek new books to read. For now, I am going to list the books that I want to read personally, as well as some books I want to read with the kids. So, here goes.
Books for just me:
- Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery ~ I am reading this one now and will probably read it again in the fall with LB.
- Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes ... in you and your kids by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller ~ I've been reading this one for a couple of weeks now and am at the point where I am ready to implement some of their ideas
- Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis ~ recommended by someone I went to high school with.
- Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan ~ I've never read the "real" version of this book. I am re-reading the simplified version with the kids for school right now. I would like to think that I am old enough for the real thing now.
- I would like to add a biography of some sort to this list, but haven't decided whose ... any suggestions?
- NEW ~ Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala ~ the men of our church are reading this book for their Wednesday night Bible study. My hubby got a copy of it and I picked it up last night after church (and read most of the night since I don't sleep well during thunderstorms). I plan to finish it tonight and so far it is very good.
Books for the kids and me:
- From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg ~ we are reading this again for LB's literature co-op class. The kids love this book ... it is great fun!
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott ~ one of my favorite books as a kid and now I want to read it with LB
- I am looking for something to read with JW and D, but I don't know much about "boy's books" so I am open to suggestions. I am thinking about Treasure Island or Swiss Family Robinson, but we'll see.
I have no idea that I will actually get through even half of these books by June, but I think I will enjoy trying! I would welcome any comments from those who have read these books or have suggestions for the areas I am still looking!
Don't forget to visit Callapidder Days and join the fun. Happy reading.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Outside my window... pretty blue skies with high white clouds.
I am thinking... about what I need to get the kids to wear for our family pictures this weekend.
I am thankful for... forgiveness ... and a husband who loves me.
From the learning rooms... trying to get back in the routine after spring break last week.
From the kitchen... who knows? I haven't done the week's menu yet.
I am wearing... shorts and a t-shirt
I am creating... hopefully a new bulletin board for LB this week.
I am going... to play practice and then maybe furniture shopping with Mama before ball practice tonight.
I am reading... Angel of Mercy by Tracie Peterson and James Scott Bell
I am hoping... to get finished with the projects in our house soon ... very soon.
I am hearing... the playlist on my blog and the boys getting wild on my bed.
Around the house... laundry, dirty dishes and projects to work on.
One of my favorite things... sleeping children.
A few plans for the rest of the week: choosing a paint color for the living room, dining room and kitchen (suggestions welcome!). Shopping for furniture, a washer & dryer and tile for the kitchen/dining room.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... I found this picture in a drawer this weekend. I originally found it in my grandmother's house after she died 7 years ago this month. Amazingly, no one else really wanted to have the picture, so I took it and had forgotten about even having it until this weekend. Now I am trying to decide where to display it.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Yesterday was a co-op day. It was a little bit different, because the boys were staying with my Daddy since it is very hard for me to teach a room full of high schoolers with a 3 year old in the room with me. I have done it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Anyway, that isn't really the point. Co-op went well and since it was just LB and me after class, I asked Daddy if the boys could stay a little longer and let us go shopping for a new dress. What followed was a really pleasant shopping trip for Mama and daughter. The boys were happily hanging out with their Papa and, as I found out later, with my brother and sister-in-law, who took them "exploring" in the woods. I can't think of anything they would rather be doing, so I didn't have to feel any guilt about them not being with me.
LB wanted to go eat lunch so I let her choose the place. She chose McAlister's Deli and we sat outside on their patio while we ate our lunch. The day was beautiful, but a little windy. We just talked about what she had learned in class that morning and how she wants to re-arrange her room. We watched birds cleaning up the leftovers. As far as I can remember, this is the first time that LB and I have gone out to eat alone. Usually, if we are shopping without the boys, my mom is with us. And as much as we enjoy Grandmother, it was great for it just to be us. We went to Children's Place, our newly opened JC Penney and LB's favorite store, Target. We didn't buy much, a new pair of flip-flops for me and a pair of shorts and a dance t-shirt for the girl. Not surprisingly, we couldn't find a dress in my price range that was both modest and actually pretty, but that is a blog for another day.
After our day out, LB and I picked up the boys and came home to reheat the leftovers for supper before heading out again to clean the church last night. The last stop of the day was a quick Wal-mart run to pick up a new watch band for Ronnie and got home about 9:30. Not too bad, especially for us. People who know us aren't surprised when we roll in at midnight or even later if we have been playing cards with my family. Almost immediately, things began to go south. LB and JW had hatched this plan to sleep on the floor in the living room and watch a movie. Knowing how tired they were and how likely they are to argue when in that state, we nixed the idea. Suffice it to say we were not prepared for the firestorm of wails and tears and general insanity that followed.
Let me just say, I have no illusion of perfection in my children. They are normal kids. They are usually very well behaved for other people. At the same time, they test every ounce of patience I can muster on some days. BUT, this is not normal! We may get some whining and even arguing about decisions, but not like this, EVER! I have never seen my children act this way. I believe that this was the definition of a "melt-down." After a few minutes of this, I could do nothing but laugh. Even the little Hurricane, who had been watching his older siblings warily through this whole thing, wanted them to stop. He tried to whistle at them, which is my signal that I have had enough. It was hilarious. After a while they settled down enough to finish our night-time routine and get them in bed. The boys were both asleep within 10 minutes.
But the girl. My little girl, who had been such a pleasant companion for the day had turned into an angry, defiant little bundle of difficulty. She claimed that she would not go to sleep at all. She was going to sit up all night. Ronnie and I discussed it quietly and decided to just let her work it out for herself. She was in no condition to discuss anything and since she wasn't keeping the boys awake or anything, we just went to bed and let her stew. I don't really know how long it took her to go on to sleep, but I suspect that it wasn't very long.
The end result is this: I am afraid, terribly afraid of the coming storm when this little girl reaches the pre-teen (we are almost there) and teen years. I think the time has come to increase the intensity of my prayers for wisdom.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The bright spot is that they all worked together to clean the chairs, benches and table legs in the dining room. They did a pretty good job of it too. Because I wanted the little one to feel involved, I had him unload the silverware from the dishwasher ... he loved it and I can even count it as school since he played a matching game with the forks and spoons.
And in the end, their Daddy helped them finish up their list while I went to a homeschool meeting last night. Now today, I just have to finish my own list!
Now to the pink hair ... After getting everyone in the bed late last night, I was in my room and my daughter walks in and begins asking me something but before she could finish, I noticed a long pink stripe going across the side of her head. Umm, honey, what have you been playing with? It looks a lot like paint (which, by the way, she doesn't normally play with in her bed). Actually, it was fingernail polish ... you know the really yucky kind that comes in little girl's make-up sets. I never did figure out exactly how she managed to get it in her hair. I am sure that it has something to with the fact that she was using it to paint paper rather than nails. Strange girl, this Dancer of mine.
Oh, and yes, "toy" nail polish comes out with just water! And she has been forbidden to paint paper with nail polish in bed when she is supposed to be trying to go to sleep. I'll have to add this to the list. You know, that list of things that parents never even thought of, much less anticipated having to tell a child "no, you can't ...." So, parents, what is on your list?
Monday, March 16, 2009
Signs of Spring - Blooms on our Bradford Pear tree
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Hurricane is still staying pretty close to the ground, but since he started climbing long before he could walk, I am expecting to have to call the fire department for him one day.
This is the Hurricane's first experience with "wish flowers" ... he thought it was great fun, even though it took him about 10 tries to get all the little fuzzy things blown away.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Papa teaching the kids how to plant tomato seeds.
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Sunday, March 8, 2009
After a great Sunday School lesson and two sermons from the Word of God, challenged is the most appropriate word I can think to sum up the day.
Challenged by the Sunday School lesson from the book of Nehemiah to spend time planning and preparing for the things God has laid on my heart to do. Challenged to be patient and wait for God's leading instead of running ahead of God or following my own plan. Nehemiah spent four months praying, when was the last time I committed that amount of time to a single burden God has laid on my heart?
Challenged by this morning's sermon to examine my walk with Christ. Am I serving out of a sense of duty, or because I love Him and desire to follow His perfect will for my life? Challenged to search my thoughts and my attitude toward God's Word, God's house, God's family, the world, and God's Son. A statement to consider ... "when I submit to God because I love Him, my whole perspective changes."
Challenged by this evening's sermon to allow the Holy Spirit to work freely in my life to bring understanding, power, boldness, vitality, fervor, and passion for the lost into my life and to lead me to earnest prayer.
One final thought for the day ... tonight at choir practice, as we practiced our Easter Musical, I was so moved by the words of one of the songs. We have been working on this music for several weeks, so this isn't the first time I have heard the song, but somehow it spoke to me differently tonight. Some of you may be familiar with the song "He Grew the Tree" but just in case you aren't, let me share a few lines with you.
He grew the tree that He knew would be used to make the old rugged cross. Nothing took His life, with love He gave it. He was crucified on a tree that He created. With great love for man God stayed with His plan. He grew the tree so that we might go free. (words and music by Chuck Lawrence)
I think that these words speak for themselves. God's love, beyond anything we can possibly imagine. So now I am challenged with one more thing ... to be thankful.
Friday, March 6, 2009
I am not totally to blame for this … my parents trained me well. When we (my 3 brothers and I) were little, our parents, aunts and uncles would hang out at our grandparent’s house until all hours of the night yelling at each other as they played Aggravation. We loved it. The kids, there were 13 grandchildren in all, pretty much had free reign to play whatever we liked … as long as we didn’t interrupt the adult’s game. Sometimes the games would go into the wee hours of the morning and they would have to wake us up to go home. The one difference being, while I have always enjoyed sleeping in, my parents would be up at the normal time the next morning ready for whatever they had to do that day.
So here is the confession … I don’t enjoy this anymore. I am tired. And, now that my kids are older, sleeping late just makes for a miserable day of trying to play catch up and get our school work done before supper time. I love the freedom to set my own schedule, but I am finally having to admit that not starting until the middle of the morning isn’t working. Oh, the kids love it on the front end, but then they want to be outside playing in the afternoon and not stuck doing school work.
For the last couple of weeks we have been putting real effort into changing our routine. When I say we, what I really mean is that I am changing my routine and the family is slowly adapting. This morning was the true test. The kids and I had to leave the house no later than 9:00 in order to drop the boys off at their Grandmother’s house and for me to get the girl to her co-op class on time, and we made it. Okay, I know that this is not a really big deal, especially for anyone reading who has children who have to be on the school bus before daylight, but for a family that likes to have school in their pajamas, this is a big deal.
Who knows, I may even learn to like getting up early. And the hidden blessing? Kids who get up early, tend to go to sleep earlier. Amazing.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
On top of that, I wasted several hours over the last 2 nights watching the idiocy of the Bachelor. Yuck. I haven't been a follower of this "reality" show in several seasons. In our house, we mostly watch shows that the kids can watch with us and I am not too keen on the idea of the kids thinking that the way these people act is acceptable, or even normal. That said, I did watch a few episodes toward the end of the season, like from the final four on, and I wanted to see who he picked. Frankly, I preferred Melissa ... I don't really know why, I just did. Now, after seeing all of the after the rose junk, I have decided that I hope that the show is scripted, because then I wouldn't have to feel so bad for what he did to Melissa on camera!
Okay, that said, I think I will stick with re-runs of M*A*S*H and Hogan's Heroes.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Outside my window... A beautiful blue sky, but still a cold morning.
I am thinking... I wish my daughter liked handwriting.
I am thankful for... my early morning quiet time. I am really going to need it for the rest of today.
From the learning rooms... handwriting practice, and then new division tables for one and new blends for the other.
From the kitchen... homemade bread about to go in the oven.
I am wearing... my favorite lounge pants (so comfy) and an old gray t-shirt from some long ago youth camp I chaperoned.
I am creating... a mom's planning book and a unit study on gardening.
I am going... to take the kid's to play practice and then to the library for books on gardening and weather.
I am reading... this week's Sunday School lesson.
I am hoping... to finish cleaning out/re-arranging our bedroom this week.
I am hearing... way too much talking from the schoolroom and "Through It All" by Selah.
Around the house... more projects than I can count.
One of my favorite things... watching the birds play in the yard this morning and knowing that spring is on the way.
A few plans for the rest of the week: work on our monthly book report for our meeting on Wednesday, get co-op work done before Thursday night!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
No, we don't have snow today, but this just seemed appropriate for how cold it is this morning ... no problem though, it will be in the 70's by later this week, I love living in the deep south!
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