Saturday, March 28, 2015

Choices- Updated

  Sometimes I hear the neatest things on the radio as I drive to and fro every day.  I wanted to share this one.  I was listening to Christian radio where a woman was sharing about how her family was being destroyed by some choices her husband had made.  This is the lady, pictured, Sheri Rose Shepherd.  And she was mad. I mean mad. Her son was turning away from God, feeling disillusioned, and she felt like she was losing everything.  

She sat down one day, and told God, "After all I've done to serve YOU over the years, and all I've endured, you need to fix my family. I don't deserve this and you owe me that. It's embarrassing to have everyone see this. You fix it NOW or I am quitting church and quitting everything. I won't ever speak to you again." 

The reply she heard was a gentle reproach, "Was my life given for you not enough?"   

She decided to follow Him no matter what. Whether he fixed her marriage or not. She let go.  I don't remember if God healed her marriage or not.   What does matter is what she chose to do in her crisis. 

Life is about choices.  We can choose what we do with the circumstances we're in.

Here is another story that has always inspired me from the first (I think) Duggar book.  I took it straight from the Duggar site- so please forgive the empty box.  (The picture wasn't there anymore.)

Michelle said:

"It was 1:00 AM in the morning as I stood folding laundry with tears streaming down my cheeks. Feelings of being overwhelmed flooded my mind. I cried aloud, "LORD I NEED YOUR HELP, I can't do it all! I feel so inadequate! Diapers, dishes, laundry, meals, cleanup, school lessons, baths, hugs, kisses, correction..." My list seemed to go on and on.
Then it was as if a still small voice said, "Michelle, it's easy to praise ME when things are going good, but are you willing to praise ME now?" Immediately the scripture that says, "Offer up a sacrifice of praise", came to mind.
I said, "OK Lord, I will praise you even now! It really is a sacrifice!" So through the tears I began to sing, "The joy of the Lord is my strength". In my heart there was a release as if a burden had been lifted. I finished the laundry at 2 AM and went to bed.
Days later, I was at our piano teacher's home (at 7 AM) trying to catch up on paperwork while the children were taking their lessons. Instead, I kept drifting off to sleep! The teacher noticed and asked, "Are you OK?" I replied, "I'm fine, I'm just tired. I was up late finishing laundry."
As we talked more she said that she actually enjoyed doing laundry and that she would be glad to come and help me! That weekend when she arrived we had mountains of dirty laundry, and when she left we had nice, neat, orderly stacks of clean laundry! For 12 years now, our piano teacher, whom we consider a part of our family and loving call "NaNa" has faithfully come (now twice a week) to help us with laundry! GOD sent "An angel" in answer to my cry for help.
He is faithful to hear the humble cries of his children. "Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up." God lifted my burden (literally mountains of laundry!) and freed me to meet the more urgent needs of my family. "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory...""

 I just love this.  When things go wrong for me, do I think to praise the Lord still?  I am thankful for my sisters who give me practical ways to follow Christ and examples to follow of kindness, gentleness, praise and love. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cookbook in the works

If I were famous and somebody wanted to buy my cookbook, well, they'd soon be in luck!  Soon meaning, hopefully by December 2015 yo.  I have a math final this week, an oral book report next week, girl's camp coming up... it never ends. 

These are the recipes that we have continued to make through the years.  Others have been tossed aside, either because they are too difficult to make or just not our favorites.  So I wanted to make a cookbook to reflect these favorite recipes.  My last cookbook was about 10 years ago, so I guess every 10 years we'll put out a new edition.  These are mostly for my sake, to have everything in one place that I use the most.  I wish I could share them with others, but it's too expensive.  I'd like to bind it well this time and have color photos.  People always ask me about my recipes and what I cook.  I wonder if I could sell them?  Hmmm.... 

Anyway- I can't wait to see the cookbook done with all these recipes. 

Three nights a week we have Vegetarian or Vegan meals for our health and for our budget.  Here's a great hearty soup!

Lentil Potato Soup
2 Medium Onions, chopped
1 small hot pepper chopped, or cayenne powder
4 cloves Garlic
Handful Cilantro leaves
7 cups water
3/4 c. dried lentils
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp ground ginger
2 medium potatoes, diced
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp lemon juice

Sautee 2 onions and pepper in oil about 5 minutes. Then add garlic and cilantro leaves.  After a couple minutes add water and lentils, pepper, cumin, and ginger.  Cook for about 20 minutes.  Then add the diced potatoes, and salt and cook for another 30 minutes.  (Salt tends to keep the skins of the lentils tough which is why I wait to add it).   Finish with lemon juice.

Above, Lentil-Potato Soup and Corn pancake.  Below, sauteed spinach in a cashew cream sauce.  (Good, but won't make the cookbook.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Look who visited us!

Aunt Steph and Uncle T!

This was such a great visit.  Where do I begin?!  Thank you for coming to visit us guys.  We love you!

Life updated

Leia took a couple of bites of her sandwich and then she said, "Mom!  I'm teaching Charlie how to finish my food!"  Then she passed the sandwich to him, and he did.

Sometimes she walks by and I hear her talking to herself saying the funniest things.  "I need to learn to stand on my head.  I don't know yet!  I need to learn to stand on my head."  She talks in the brightest voice.

Or, when a pair of hand-me-down pants finally fit her, she said to herself,  "I KNEW I would get bigger!  I just knew it!"

Another project at Home Depot.  The kids love this!

A test D took recently that I thought was neat.  I mean look at that poem he had to memorize!

D got Charles this motorized fish for his bath.  He loves it and calls it Nemo.  It's especially great in the big bath!

We thought Charlie was pretty neat that he actually tried to color things instead of just scribbling.

This is me randomly taking pictures of the kids books.  I have a fear that I won't remember what my olders read when my youngers get that age.

Backyard fun.  They have a million tricks on the swingset. 

Sam and Evan digging a 5'x5' hole from the book Holes.

Pat is pretty much the most awesome guy ever.  Our washing machine broke and he ordered a part and fixed it himself.  Normally, for our brand, there is one repair guy and he would have charged at least $200 to come out to our house.  He changed the oil on our cars and he just finished teaching the computer programming merit badge to the scouts, and just keeps on working at all his other duties like crazy.  If not for him, I would have quit school by now.  After dinner each night, four of us ask him to help us with our math!  He is truly wonderful.  In so many ways.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Our latest storm

We were supposed to be a lot of places this day. Oh well!

D shoveling.

Bunny tracks on the porch.
Tracking it all in.
Poor chickens.

Me going for a walk with my boys.
Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.  
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   

He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
The above branch is a place to sit in a cave of trees and pray.

An unexpected surprise from Uncle Jeremy, Aunt Kim, Cousins E & E!

Horses Evan made for History

Homeschool trip to a goat farm.  The Evan got to feed the goats and Leia and Charles loved it after they got over being scared of the goats.  Charles climbed up those metal wire fences you see and shouted "Me!" at the top to say, "Look at me!"