Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Come back next week, January 5, 2009 for more thoughts, ideas and encouragement. You can expect some things on heritage, finances, Abbi and Andrew's upcoming wedding, Alexander and Katie's recent travels and schooling, Ali's recipes, Erin's educational exploits and more Dear Robin and What Do You Think?
In the meantime, check out:
a great fictional story packed with a great message
a new blogger
the encouragment to have a healthier 2009
a few pics of Switzerland, Paris, Prague and Slovakia where Alexander and Katie are currently travelling
Thanks to all of you for stopping by and especially for leaving your encouraging comments. Looking foward to another year of the blogging community!
Have any questions you'd like to ask any of us? Ask away!
Monday, December 22, 2008
No. It’s happening again this year.
You are going home for the holidays.
Once again you’ll be around those who are supposed to be your support system, but instead they tear you down. The air will be thick with years of no forgiveness. Strikes of unkind words will be sent your way. The lies begin: “I am unloved, my family doesn’t ‘get me’, why is this my family?”
And you’ve been on my heart this week.
How can it be different this year?
Don’t underestimate the power your prayers have for change…in you, in your family.
For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matt. 7:8
Know that the power of the Holy Spirit will be with you
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Eph. 3:20-21
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. II Pet. 1:3
Wear love and forgiveness
So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. Col. 3:12-14
Know this. Your circumstances may never change, but your heart can.
Go with a smile in your heart. We’ll be praying for you.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Okay, so I don't really have a "recipe" for this drink but here is what I am using
I've looked up a few recipes to see what proportions to use but I don't
like measuring things so by eye I will add half to two thirds cider and
half to one third red wine to a crockpot, I will probably heat about
two cups of the cider on the stove to dissolve the sugar in before
adding it to the mix, about 1 1/2 cups of sugar. One or two sliced apples in
the crockpot add a nice flavor and are tasty to chew on when it soaks up
all the juice! Cinnamon sticks and cloves to taste. I have seen some
recipes use brandy in it as well, so we will see what we have around
when I am making it. :)
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
it is not for man to direct his steps. Jer. 10:23
-George MacDonald It’s a choice.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
These days when time is money it is much more of a sacrifice to take that extra time to plan and create instead of just grabbing things off the shelf. As a young girl and then young wife I did handmade gifts more for financial reasons. Now when I could more afford to go buy people presents I found the desire to craft a gift went much deeper than just the money. This was a time to creatively labor with my own hands to produce something that is accomplished through personal frustration and triumph. Something that has the special touch of a person who knows that one that they are creating for. Whether it means as much to the person on my list or not, it has deep significance for me.
This also led me to think about the gift of my time all throughout the year. Sure I spend lots of time cleaning, cooking and toiling for my family, but true sacrificial time with those that mean the most to me - Do I offer this gift enough? Many of us well-intentioned parents can probably say that yes they do spend time with their kids, but is it doing what you want to do or busy in school-learning-type time, or is it actually letting lose and doing just what that person wants to do?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
We’ll revisit this topic at a later date and talk about why these words are so important and the effects their presence or absence may have in our own lives and the lives of our children.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
One thing we like to include in our activity time is cooking. My kitchen is a place I spend a lot of my time so I enjoy including my kids in the process. It’s been real fun finding food things they can make that go along with what we are learning in their schooling. We have some all time favorites that I wanted to share.
Who didn’t love “ants on a log” growing up (or was that just a homeschool thing)? We like extra long “logs” with lots of “ants”.
Pretzels and mini marshmallows make great math manipulatives for counting, addition, subtraction, etc. or for forming shapes and objects. Cheerios, raisins, and M & M’s work good for some of this too.
Make-your-own pizzas provide lots of creating fun! After decorating we top with cheese. When it melts you can still see the cute faces underneath.
Cutting and piecing together corn tortillas and then baking them make a great addition to whatever unit studies you are doing. They are a great healthy snack too! Check out our bats we made when we were studying about bats right before Halloween.
Another favorite is shaping or cutting out sugar cookie shapes and decorating them with icing. I make a batch of icing and put in separate little dishes and add food coloring to make different colors. They use paint brushes to decorate. We will be doing these for Christmas cookies next week.
What kind of things do you like to make with your kids in the kitchen?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I’ve been thinking about Mary, mother of Jesus this week.
Can you imagine the thoughts and feelings she must have experienced finding out that she was going to carry the long awaited Messiah? I’m sure she experienced fear and uncertainty along with morning sickness and all the accompanying child-bearing issues.
But that’s not what I’ve been thinking most about. I’ve been thinking about why she was chosen, why she was found worthy.
You see, we know she was very young, so she had not yet been tested in long-term relationships, or maybe even much temptation. In her short life, she probably hadn’t been through enough to show how she would handle adversity. She didn’t excel at the levels we may consider a “mature”, godly person to have. We sure wouldn’t have chosen her.
But God did. And I think he chose her especially for one reason.
She was willing. Willing to follow the calling on her life. Willing to obey. Willing to do whatever her Father asked of her. She was a servant. She knew the voice of her Master.
Are we willing? Do we recognize His voice enough to be able to listen? And are we even listening?
Oh, may our hearts be willing and may our spiritual ears be open to the gentle voice of our Master! That’s really all he asks of us.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
to school with a hot thermos of Russian Tea. She let me have a sip and
of course I asked for the recipe.
I made the tea as a before/after Thanksgiving meal treat. It was a hit!
2 family sized tea bags
peppermint sticks (as much as you like)
1 cup of sugar
Brew the tea bags according to package. Juice the oranges and lemons;
add to tea. Simmer on stove, add sugar (I used splenda so you don't
have to use as much) and peppermint sticks. Stir while sugar and
peppermint dissolve. Serve hot with an extra peppermint stick.
Everyone really enjoyed it and it is great for this cold weather we'll
**Watch for my special Christmas drink, hot red wine cider!
Friday, December 05, 2008
DaVinci had a special sleep schedule that allowed him to utilize 22 out of 24 hours per day. Sure, he may have gone half-crazy, but that insanity only served to increase his genius!
On the DaVinci sleep schedule, you sleep about 20 minutes every 4 hours. In a 24-hour period, you get about 120 minutes of sleep. Since there are 1440 minutes in a day, you're left with roughly 92% of every day to GET STUFF DONE. Laundry, Bible study, healthy cooking, errands, exercising, art projects, scrapbooking, blogging...just THINK of all the things you could do in 22 hours!!
What would you do if you had extra hours in the day?
Note from Robin: Abbi has TWO new blogs! Check them out:
The Bod Squad - Abbi and a group of her friends are doing a form of "The Biggest Loser" via the bloggesphere.
Z as in Zebra - All things "Abbi" - her cakes, her books, her designs. You'll love them!
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
What do you do when your husband doesn't clean up after himself? Do you leave it until he notices later while in the meantime it is driving you crazy and in the way of our daily life? Or do you constantly follow after him cleaning up his little mini tornadoes all day. We're talking dirty clothes all over the floor when he has his own laundry basket, dirty dishes left at his place on the table and elsewhere wherever he leaves them in the house, and little projects he works on just being left as is, mess and all. I have really been focusing on this in teaching my kids, but when hubby doesn't even do it, how do I expect my kids to learn the right way?
OK – I haven’t replied back to this question yet. See? In our family, Dirk is the really neat one….a knot, if you will and I’m….well, I’m just not. J Not to make excuses for your husband, but I’m telling you, he just doesn’t see that stuff. It’s invisible to him….and it doesn’t bother him a bit.
Another thing to remember, even though his things are driving you nuts, I’m sure there are some things you do that drive him nuts too! We all need a little extra grace from time to time. It's one of the things that keeps a relationship healthy.
But, I know this wife wants to honor her husband, and not mother him. So? What are your suggestions? How can she tactfully let her husband know that his stuff is getting out of control and help him see that he is setting a poor example to his children?
Come on…I know you have some great ideas.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
(around 6 servings)
1 can fat free evaporated milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds chicken meat
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups onions
2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
2 1/4 cups frozen green peas, thawed
3 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
In a small bowl stir together evaporated milk and flour until smooth. Place chicken, potatoes, onions, carrots and peas in pot. Pour in milk mixture and broth. Season with salt, pepper, Cook until potatoes are tender.
*This is a great recipe to make the day after you have the deli chicken because you can shred up the leftovers and use in this stew.*
This is a real crowd pleaser, my girls even liked it. My husband also liked it so much he requested me to make it he called it that chicken pot pie soup that you made last week!
Monday, December 01, 2008
Total cost after sixteen or so bills later: $21,000+ !! All that money just to get a stinking diseased GB out of me. I give God all the praise for watching over me.
Now, rather than us being stuck with paying $21,000, we are only responsible for $300! And that's with us being considered one of Oklahoma's uninsured families.
We have been lead to a great organization that we joined many years ago. Samaritan Ministries was created as a way for individuals to help families that have medical needs by using a health share newsletter. It is not insurance, but it is assurance. SM has gone back to doing business the way insurance companies used to when they were first created many years ago, helping people with medical needs.
As I write today, we have paid all the bills and have heard from over 65 families sending their "share", notes of encouragement, and prayers for my well-being. We have just experienced the fulfilling of Malachi 3:10-12 in our lives. This, though, is not the best part. The best part is when we get to send our share to help someone else, people that really need help in these uncertain times.
Do you have insurance?
Is it 80% or 70% coverage for medical bills, after a deductible?
Do you have fears about medical emergencies and what happens afterwards?
Let me know of any experiences you have had with the systems you now have.
Next, I will share how to maneuver through your medical bills.