Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays- Mom's Peach Cobbler

Mmmmm....it's that time of year again, when the peaches start to ripen, and I make my mom's recipe for peach cobbler. Enjoy!

Peach Cobbler

2 cups flour
3-4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup oil
3-4 tbsp milk
Mix all of these ingredients together, and then press into a baking dish, making sure to save back at least 1/3 of crust mixture for topping.

5-6 peaches, depending on size
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp corn starch
Peel and slice up peaches, mixing with sugar, salt, corn starch, and cinnamon. Then add filling into crust, and add just a few slices of butter on top of mixture. Then crumble remaining crust over top of filling. Start oven at 425 degrees, and bring down to 375 degrees. Bake for 40 min-1 hour.

For more Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, link up with Lisa.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Daybook for June 29, 2009

FOR TODAY, Monday, June 29, 2009...
Outside my window...it is sunny and bright, looking warm.
I am thinking...that we are going to love the library here.
I am thankful for...God and His grace and mercy towards me; even though, I need more of His grace, for sure.
From the learning rooms...we will be working on some gardening things this week and possibly starting back to a little bit of schoolwork.
From the kitchen...not sure for tonight yet, possibly a roast?
I am wearing...jammies and a robe for just a bit more.
I am creating...a more organized workspace/schoolroom; we have a schoolroom now! How exciting! Decorating it is 3/4 of the fun! Oh, and I have lots of curtains to make, since a lot of my curtains won't fit these windows....
I am going...to the library today and possibly to find some fresh blueberries.
I am reading...still finishing up past books....haven't had a lot of time for reading with the move and all. I'm hoping to pick up a new book at the library today.
I am hoping...that we can finish getting settled this week; especially that Jacob's fears and worries right now will calm, and that God will just give him peace with whatever that little boy is going through, as well as give us sanity in dealing with it.
I am hearing...little boys waking up and jabbering.
Around the house...have to unpack more today, maybe do some decorating.
One of my favorite things...is a bigger kitchen where my dryer doesn't have to sit next to my stove anymore! Yea!!!!!
A few plans for the rest of the week: unpacking; errands; Jacob to Tae Kwon Do; school; writing assignments and writing schoolwork; getting everything organized, including changing our address on everything; fireworks celebration on Friday night; etc.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...(gotta love the innocence)

For more Simple Woman, head on over to Peggy's blog.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Can't Help It; I Have to Post About This

Michael Jackson Pictures, Images and Photos

I know you're all probably sick of hearing about Michael Jackson; another Hollywood tragedy, right? Maybe so....but I still have to post this. The Holy Spirit's been tugging at my heart through watching all the news coverage, hearing different opinions about what might have happened....but honestly, this is the plain and simple truth. If our eyes haven't been opened through all of this, then we really should reexamine our own hearts.

Michael died, and that alone is sad in and of itself, but the fact that he died, possibly without a Saviour, is the worst tragedy of all. Through all of the years of lawsuits, accusations, and drugs, it seems as if he was looking for something....I heard one professor say how lonely he was. I thought about this after watching that this morning. Michael may have been the "king of pop," but he was also just a fellow human in search of something to fill his life with meaning, and it seems that maybe he couldn't find it. Where were we in all of this? And I include myself here; don't get me wrong, I don't mean to condemn anyone.....but we sat back, sneering, maybe thinking how much sin he might have been involved in, evaluating his every move. Did we make an effort to reach out to this hurting, suffering soul? Not really.....there may have been some who did, but I can take a gander that the majority of us turned the other way. How even more tragic is this......and how often this happens.....

As another friend on Facebook put it, he was one of God's creations, and no matter the problems he had, God still loved Michael Jackson. I can imagine that God's heart is very grieved today over another, possibly, lost sinner; I say possibly because only God can judge a person's heart; we have no right to even try. One can only hope that somehow Michael reached out to God at some point in his life and realized his need for a Saviour. I find myself still praying even now that somehow he was saved; I definitely would like to meet him in Heaven some day.

This just goes to show that noone is invincible, no matter how much of a superstar he or she may be. Michael has family and children who loved him and are grieving over his loss, and if he truly wasn't saved, they have no hope of ever seeing him again....I truly pray that he was. I think it's time we start grieving too and step out of our Christian zones we're in and stand up and shout to the world that Jesus is Lord; not just shout it but live it in everything we say and do.....I totally include myself in this and don't mean to condemn, just to help open our eyes a little to see what we should be doing.....

The Bible says to be in the world, not of the world. Think about it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Little Boys, Little Men

With today being Wednesday, I would normally post on my chivalry series, but seeing as I have not unpacked my book yet, wherever it may be, I will probably not be posting on it again until next week. It will continue next Wednesday for sure, though.

Today has been an interesting day. We ended up painting the kitchen last night, so we were up once again until 3am.....why do we do that to ourselves? All in the name of color, I guess. I do love the color in the kitchen. It's called Mocha Java. I'll show you a picture after things get more organized so you can see it. I tried to do my writing this afternoon, but I was so exhausted that I fell asleep at my desk, so then I got up, stumbling blindly towards my bed, and I woke up when Jaden woke up from his nap, around 5 or so. Whew! I guess I needed the rest!

Anyway, I said today has been interesting because my seven year old son, Jacob, is growing up.....and not in such a good way, at least that's how I feel right now. He's starting to really ask questions about, ya know, that word.....shhhhhh, sex. No, seriously, it's something that needs to be talked about over and over with our kids, not shushed in any way; Dan and I both feel very strongly about that. Yep, he is, at seven years old! My mind starts to whirl when he starts talking about all of this, and lately, he's been confessing things to us that he thought were bad and he just doesn't understand yet. He has been to the point of crying....which breaks my heart. The first conversation happened right smack dab in the middle of Lowes the other night. Yeah, that was fun! I see a lot of myself in him; I also can see that his heart is tender, which gives me much hope for his future. I just can't believe that the time is already here for "The Talk." I mean, he's only 7!!!! Have I said that enough in this post? Kids just grow up way too fast these days! I remember going through all of this at around age 11 or 12, although curiosity did hit around 7 or 8 now that I think about it.

Anyway, I believe there will be many talks in the days ahead, and I'm so glad that he feels like he can talk to us, and I'm really trying to encourage him that he can talk to us about anything....I just hope that the Lord will give me the grace and strength and the words to say at these times....that He'll give me the energy it takes to have these conversations. It can be very hard after a long day of unpacking and chasing Jaden around the house....but as a mama in the trenches, it's my job and my duty. Now I can safely and understandably say that whoever quoted that "Boys are easy; girls are hard" was totally wrong!!!!!! Boys are not easy; they are definitely not even close to easy....some day these boys will be men, and that is a responsibility that weighs heavy on my heart, in raising them. It's all starting to hit me very much.....I guess maybe this post could actually go into my chivalry series after all. Have a great night!

Monday, June 22, 2009

We're Alive!

Well, we are here, home sweet home! We finally were able to take the moving truck back today....with a heat index of 105 right now, the garage will have to wait until after dark to be dealt with....poor Dan is just tuckered out! (Shhh....don't tell him I took this!) LOLOn Saturday, we grossly underestimated the time with this whole move and how long it would take. I think we finally left the old house around 10:30 at night, getting up here around 12:30; it took longer because the truck was slower driving. Then, here comes the hilarious part; not really, because we were so dead tired and becoming very irritable by this time. We had to keep unpacking the truck until we could at least find the kids' beds/towels. Well, I'm happy to say we found the kids' beds, so we set them up, of course, without bedding, but hey, ya can't have it all! The poor kids were such troopers the whole day; it got a little hairy there for a while, but they really were! Of course, Jacob was just excited because he got to stay up really late! Then, we hunted for the towels because we desperately just wanted a shower; and we couldn't find the toilet paper either! We felt so sweaty and grimy and just plain hot! Well, we never were able to find the towels until Sunday, so that first night, we ended up drying off with paper towels....what an experience, let me tell ya! If you've never tried to dry your back with perforated paper towels, you ain't missin' a thing! LOL We can laugh about it now, though.....we did finally end up going to sleep on the couches around 5am Sunday morning, missing church on Sunday, and then Dan was up until 4am this morning; I could only hack it until around 1 or 2.

I'm happy to say that we are now sort of starting to make some headway on unpacking, though. My kitchen's halfway done, and our closet in the master bedroom looks good....Dan finally has some shirts!Moving comes with a price, but it was so worth it! We have so much more room now, and we just are so thrilled with the house and everything so far. So, just wanted to update you all and let you know how it's going....our office/schoolroom might be a disaster for the next few days, but it's all starting to come together....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Big Day

going insane Pictures, Images and Photos

Well, the big day is here; we are moving today! This week has been a hurricane of a week, blowing by in the snap of the fingers. I can't wait to get this over with! Moving takes soooooooo much work, time, even money. It will all be worth it in the end, though!:) So, I'm signing off of the bloggie world, just for the weekend. We are supposed to have our internet back on Monday morning sometime. Have a great weekend, everyone!:) Next post, I should be sitting in my "new to me" home.:) Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Funnies- Starbucks Prank

Please know before you watch this that by no means do I endorse Ellen's lifestyle....but, with that being said, I saw this earlier while snacking on Cap'n Crunch with Jaden, and it cracked me up! Even though I don't agree with Ellen's choice of lifestyle, she is still a very funny lady.....enjoy, and laugh it up! Oh, what people will actually do!

And the funniest part to me was that the last guy actually bent over to look at her tonsils!!! LOL You could tell most of the customers were like, "Ok....what is up with this girl?" LOL

For more Friday Funnies, link up with Homesteaders Heart!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Old Schoolhouse Planner

Recently, I got accepted to be a part of The Old Schoolhouse CREW. I'm so excited and grateful for this opportunity to be able to review products with them, especially since I'll be actually using these products every day with Jacob and Jaden in our homeschooling adventure.

Anyway, our first trial run review is for
The Old Schoolhouse Planner Ebook. Now, I can't tell you how much I have wanted to get this planner, but I have held out until now. This has to be the most remarkable planner I have ever seen. If you can't find what you're looking for with this planner, then I don't know where to find it because it has everything a homeschooling family could ever need, when it comes to organization and planning.
Not only does this planner have calendars, for 2009-2012 I might add, and scheduling/appointment sheets, but it also has one lesson in a different subject for each month; for example, the month of July has a lesson on The Thirteen Colonies. It also offers teaching suggestions and resources available through The Old Schoolhouse Store, as well as two new recipes for each month. I especially liked the month of April because it focuses on lap books, which is something we are gradually trying to learn how to implement in our homeschooling plans.

Now, when it comes to forms of any kind, this is the planner for you. The homeschooling forms range from lesson and curriculum planning sheets to evaluation forms to daily schedules to memory work logs to reading logs to field trip logs, etc. There are forms to help you stay organized with all of the materials and resources you have on hand, including books, videos, audios, library resources, etc. There are even book report forms for every age. I am pretty sure that we will be using these this year. One section that especially piqued my interest and that I know for sure I will be using, is the Preschool Activity Box and the Preschool Planner, basically a whole preschool section. The Preschool Activity Box gives several suggestions as to different boxes that can be put together to keep your preschooler (toddler in my case) busy because we all know they just want to be a part of our school day too.

Household forms abound also, from emergency phone numbers and information to cleaning schedules and chore charts for even the smallest members of your families. I've already determined to use the Household Inventory sheets as soon as we are settled into our new home; that way, I can have a record of what we own, material wise, within our house. You won't even need a separate address book because there is a whole printable address book within the pages of this planner.

As for my opinion, well, I think you already know; I love it! I really feel this is going to help our family in the coming year to stay more organized and on top of things.
The Schoolhouse Planner is offered in The Old Schoolhouse Store for $39.00, no shipping, because it is completely downloadable. That way, you can even save money by only printing the sheets that your family will need and use.

If you are interested in reading more reviews, you can check out the Homeschool CREW Blog.

How Did We Get To This Point?

So life is never boring in the Lockcuff house, I'll tell ya. I have so much to say in this post, but I think I'm going to copy an email that I sent to a couple friends here, just so maybe it will make more sense, only I'll tweak it a bit with new details. God has taken us for a ride in the last week; He's totally turned us a 180. At the beginning of the week, I might not have said this with true confidence, but now, I'm so glad that He worked through Dan to shake us up a bit. Read on....

Well, God has certainly been closing doors around here lately.....it's been a very emotional past few days, as He's really revealed some things to both of us. It started in the last week or so, as Dan really started feeling a heaviness about this whole move to PA. He started looking into the details of his gram's house more and even our finances, and he started praying even harder. I resisted, as I kept feeling the rug being pulled out from under us more and more. We both desire so badly to have our own place, and I could feel the dream being "ripped away." Dan finally told me that he doesn't feel this move is right for our family. There are several reasons, some of which I had mentioned when we first started thinking about this move, months ago, but I had finally resigned myself that if Dan was so for this move to PA, then it must be God's will. Basic reasons are that if we don't move, we could be totally out of debt within the next year; the house has some major structural damage and needs so much work that it would literally suck our finances dry, leaving us with no finances for ministry or adoption (and we have just found out about this damage); and lastly, we had some personal reasons that I don't really want to mention here. In the last case, we would have to trust God, but we felt Him showing us another way to go.

So, our plan right now is to move to the Republic area.
We have found a really nice house and already signed the lease. I can't stress to you how important it is to listen to God's voice in everything you do. It was immediately clear when we went to look at this house, that we were in the right place. Everything fell together like pieces of a puzzle. And I have to say that I really believe that God has a sense of humor, because when we walked into Jacob's room, imagine what was on his wall. Actual murals of Star Wars....no joke. Now, with Jacob, we're talking major Star Wars fan; I'm not sure fan is even the right word for him.

It's all still very raw for me just for the fact that we were so excited, but I do feel a huge sense of relief in all of this. We both were so stressed with moving to PA, (even though I kinda of had a peace because I had finally come to terms with it, which is why I think I've been so upset over the whole "not moving to PA." It's hard to explain, really). Also, with staying here, Dan has the opportunity to keep his shop open here and open another in the Republic area, which he is really excited to do. It all depends on God, but we know for sure this is where He wants us. I have an online writing job now, where I'm getting paid for writing articles, most of which are health and wellness articles; it has been a huge blessing; plus I'm able to pick which ones I want to write; and I can do it on my own time, which means really early in the mornings or naptime.

So, we are headed in a new direction; we're actually moving this Saturday....of course, we'll come down Sunday to say goodbye to our church here and to spend some time with my family for Father's Day....like my friend, Nancy, said to me on the phone last night, "When God is working in something, you usually don't have a lot of time to secondguess it"....He moves it along fast, on a clear path! And that's what He's doing; we're just staying open to His voice.

Through all of this, I hope that this can encourage someone else, who might be missing God's voice in their ear....you'll know if it's God because you'll have that feeling way down deep in the pit of your stomach. Remember, no matter the situation, God is able!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Chivalry, Part 2: Invisible

father 4 Pictures, Images and Photos
Well, today as we were driving to Springfield once again, I was able to read the chapter for us both. As soon as I started reading it, it drew us both in. Dan offered feedback, and I'll share in a bit. The chapter was about dads who are invisible to their sons; in other words, they mean to do great things with their sons, and they love their sons dearly, but their actions tell a different story. They may desire to spend much quality time with their sons, but they're really not there for them in the way that they should be. Work may take them away, or even something as disastrous as alcohol can take them away and put a distance between. The author, Robert Lewis, tells the story of his own father and how his father's alcoholism affected every facet of the family, including himself and his two brothers. Even the mother was affected deeply by a long, tumultuous marriage. Lewis shared that because of their father never really talking with them, sharing with them, teaching them, it affected who they grew up to be. One brother lost all sense of identity and even his masculinity and turned to homosexuality, later dying of AIDS.

As I read to Dan, he talked about how it's true that the father's "absence" can sear the consciousness of his sons. If the father is not teaching them about what a man is, what a man should be taking care of or doing, or even just spending quality time with his sons, his sons are going to grow up to be very confused individuals when it comes to life; it can even affect their own families later on and how their sons grow up.

In the latter part of the chapter, Lewis tells of how his father came to know the Lord, finally, after a drunken, domestic accident nearly killed his mother and even his father.

As a mother, this chapter even spoke to me. Our sons need their fathers, it's very true. They need fathers who will bring them up for God's glory. But they also need mothers who take the time to really spend with them, to get down at their level and talk with them, notice the word with, not to. They need a mom who is not afraid to get her hands dirty, who will play cars with them, who will dress up in a Star Wars storm trooper costume with them and play with pretend light sabers. They need a mom who will pray with them, even over what may seem like the smallest things.

I'll leave you with a quote from the book:
Invisible Dads are toxic to their sons. I know because I have counseled many of them. Invisible Dads are busy, rushed, and full of good intentions. Their stories and circumstances vary widely, but the crippling impact of their lives upon their sons is the same: a disfigured masculinity with disastrous results.....
Every son deserves a dad who fills his life with love, affirmation, and blessing. Every son needs from his father vision, direction, and solid answers to questions such as: What is a man? What are a man's responsibilities? What does a man believe? How does a man behave? What should a man try to achieve?
(Raising a Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis, pg. 30)

More to come next week....I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

Trey, A.K.A., Superman

This is just a simple prayer request. Our nephew, Trey, has his MIBG scan this morning up in New York to determine how he's doing, post Neuroblastoma. He's had several problems lately, so everyone is kind of on edge, but just please keep him in your prayers today. God is able! He's been through so much for such a little trooper. Hang in there, Trey! We love you!:)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Devotions Today

This morning, getting out of bed was very hard. The dreariness of the sky outside, and my attitude really made it very difficult....but alas, I made it, a little later than the alarm clock, but still made it. I was determined to read my Bible and have some prayer time when I first came out (everyone else was still asleep), so I sat down, and lately, I've been opening up my Bible and just reading wherever it takes me. Well, this morning, God was here; I felt God this morning as I read Scriptures that addressed exactly what I've been going through lately. I can't expand on everything, but the last few days I've been feeling rather down. The passage I opened to was Zechariah this morning; I read my chapter, then I flipped over to the nearest devotional, which read, "One-Woman Juggler." The verse for it was Zechariah 4:6, NIV- "So he said to me, This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty."
Hmmmm....not by my might or power, by by the Spirit Who lives within me....how many days, weeks, months even have I been trying to do everything that is within "my power?" How many times have I told the Lord (not really in words, but in deeds) that I can do it myself, I don't need help. I haven't really said those words, but I haven't necessarily given control of my days over to Him either, at least not every single day and every single moment.
Then, I flipped over to Ecclesiastes 2:17-26, NIV-
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What does a man get for all the toil and anxious striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, 25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 26 To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Wow, was this not how I've been feeling some days, when there is so much to do, and I feel like I'm going insane trying to get it all accomplished? Maybe I've taken too much on? Or could it be, in the midst of all my complaining and strife, that I haven't taken too much on, but that I have forgotten to turn it all over to the One who knows all and is in all? The One who cares about even the most minute details of my day....
Hope this inspires even just one person the way it has inspired me today.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Trauma at the Hair Salon

Today was a turning point in Mr. Jaden's little life; he got his first haircut. It turned out to be quite the traumatic event, as you can see.Meghan did such a wonderful job, even though she had a crying boy on her hands and a mommy following the chair in every direction to stay where he could see me and keep him from getting up.:)She even gave me bits of his hair to keep for the baby book that I am sooooo horrible at keeping up with. He cried, basically, the whole time.She asked me if it was squeezing my heart listening to him cry, but I told her I thought it was kinda funny. Does that make me a mean momma?:) LOL
He was even mad still after the haircut; he would look in the mirror and start crying again. It was honestly really funny; I guess you just had to be there.

Now, that he's had his first haircut, though, isn't he still such a cutie patootie?:)

Daybook for June 15, 2009

For Today, Monday, June 15, 2009...
Outside my window...it is cloudy and a little dreary.
I am thinking...that sometimes God's will can be very difficult to discern, even when it's right in front of our very eyes.
From the learning rooms...this week, we will do a little bit of school; possibly work on some of our gardening stuff for science; work on getting things more organized for the new school year.
I am thankful for...the ability to just be together as a family.
From the kitchen...tonight, I'm really not sure; possibly some rice and vegetables, maybe some chicken. I have to make a menu today.
I am wearing...jammies and robe for a bit more.
I am reading...still finishing up previous books; life has been soooo busy lately; after our move, it should settle down somewhat.
I am hoping...we find exactly what we are looking for this week.
I am creating...new school records and ways of keeping everything organized.
I am praying...that God will show us His will in our lives, that He will provide; and for a college friend who is going through a possible cancer diagnosis....God is able.
Around the house...have to dust, vacuum, and mop today as well as do some laundry.
One of my favorite things...peanut butter Twix bars....yum!
A few plans for the rest of the week...Packing; some school; boys' haircut today; closing on property today; trips to Springfield; article assignments/school assignments; errands and groceries; Jacob to Tae Kwon Do; Mom's birthday and Father's Day; etc.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you (I love these old pictures of family)...

For more Simple Woman, head on over to Peggy's site.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Dad's New "Toy"

Well, my dad brought home a new "toy" the other day, an original 1926 Model T Ford Roadster.:)
Jacob got to take a ride in it, but before I got to ride, they had a little accident with it; it sits very low to the ground, and they think they might have hit a rock in a neighbor's driveway, and it put a hole in the oil pan. So, Dad's going to fix it, and I'm going to get my ride! I was so excited that I had to at least sit in it, but my goodness, I could hardly get my long legs in it! Dad had to crunch up his left leg to drive....LOL. Won't this car make for great memories with the grandkids, though?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Funnies- Trunk Monkey Chaperone

My husband found these Trunk Monkey ads, and he just cracks up laughing at them when he watches....it cracks me up just to watch him, but I especially liked this one....LOL.

For more Friday Funnies, link up with Homesteaders Heart.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things I Love Thursday- Freebies

Freebies are always welcome in our home, and I especially love it when I find freebies that have to do with family or even homeschooling. Today, I came upon a site called Sunflower Schoolhouse, where there are all kinds of products. Their products include not only family, parenting, household, and journaling products, but stuff that will also help in homeschooling. The best thing is that right now, everything is free! And everything is completely downloadable! How can you go wrong?

A wife and mom of five, Honey has created all of these wonderful products and wants to share them with us for free for a short time. She says that, "It has been so much fun giving things away!" Thanks so much, Honey!

For more Things I Love Thursday, link up with Diaper Diaries.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Chivalry, Part 1: Manhood

knighthood Pictures, Images and Photos

As a woman, I feel a little awkward addressing the issue of manhood, but I just wanted to share a small portion tonight, since Dan couldn't be here to read the first chapter with me. I'm reading the book, Raising A Modern-Day Knight by Robert Lewis. It's written to dads about not only how to guide their sons into manhood but how to teach their sons what a man is and celebrate their sons' passage into manhood. Just for the record, this book is an excellent guide for dads, but it would be excellent for anyone to read, not just men. There are thousands of single moms who are raising sons all by themselves, and really, we stay at home moms are teaching our sons every single day; we too can get great insight from reading this book.

One passage of Scripture that stands out to me when I think of teaching our sons is Titus 2. Verse 6 starts out with, "Likewise, exhort the young men...." To exhort means to give earnest advice and to admonish. According to Lewis, dads need to teach their sons what a man is and how to become a man. So many times, we just expect them to grow up, learning by example. The book also talks about how, in today's society, with all of the influences and modern thinking (feminism included), boys are growing up being persuaded in all different directions and not really being encouraged towards true masculinity. We, as parents, have to lead by example, but we also have to clearly teach our sons the concept of manhood.

Lewis introduces the concept of knighthood with its chivalrous code in the first chapter. I'll delve deeper into this, as we go on with the series, but I just want to leave you with this quote because it is just so fitting to what I think about when I look at my own sons and consider how to even begin to teach them true chivalry....

What's even more encouraging is to remember that the light of knighthood arose in the suffocating moral darkness and social chaos of the rough-and-tumble Middle Ages. In that sense, knighthood provides for modern dads a model of hope for raising healthy sons with moral and spiritual vision, despite our own increasingly dark and crude culture.

More to come next week....

Nine Years Ago Today

June 10, 2000, Dan and I got married! Happy Anniversary, Dan! I love you!

Dan and I met in Bible college, and we were friends for a little while before starting to date; I really thought he was weird at first, until I actually started talking to him one night while he was working security, and we shared a pizza....before we knew it, we'd been talking for somewhere around 6-8 hours, and we were fast friends. We started to date a couple of months later, and from there it was all over with, and we knew we wanted to get married....you just know; it's hard to explain, but you just know when you've found, "The one." Now, nine years and two blonde boys later, we're living life together, getting ready for a life change, but vowing to stay together no matter what life brings, because we said those vows to each other, "For better or for worse," and because we truly love each other....it's really beyond words. I love you, honey.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Honest Scrap!

Noel over at Bloom Where You're Planted! gave me the Honest Scrap award....thanks, Noel! She listed 10 honest things about herself, so now it's my turn to do the same....hmmmm.....

1) I am scared of the dark....when Dan has to be working at night, I keep my cell phone in bed....and I used to sleep with a baseball bat next to the bed when Mom and Dad would leave me home alone as a teenager.:)
2) I have quite a temper....let's just leave it at that....at least I'm honest. Cleaning is one thing that can get done really fast if something's bothering me.:)
3) My kids are such a soft spot in my heart.....I can't imagine not being at home with them; I just am so content to spend my days loving them and being with them.
4) I'm a bit of a germophobe; I used to be a lot worse when working as a nurse, but it has gotten sooooo much better. I no longer carry Clorox wipes in my car.
5) I enjoy going barefoot whenever possible, unless going outside (germophobe rears its head at that).
6) One major fear I have is that my kids will not learn enough to want to live for God....I just want them to have assurance of their faith and live their faith throughout their lives; it's the one thing I want most for them.
7) I love love love Jaden's naptime because it means writing and blogging time for Mommy.:)
8) I am trying to get motivated to exercise....but I really don't like to exercise.
9) Noel had one about herself and her husband, and it kind of prompted this one: My husband says the reason we argue so much (yes, we do argue; Dan is very analytical, and I'm just stubborn, but we desperately love each other) is that we are so alike, and I have to say that he is right on that; yes, we might have different learning styles and ways of thinking, but when it comes down to it, we are definitely alike in so many ways. LOL (Yep, I'm admitting you are right, honey).
10) Sometimes I think about how old I might live to be, and when I think of it in terms of, say, "When Jacob is 20, I'll be 44; or when my sister is 70, I'll be 55," I do get a little sad because really, that's not that far away, and it goes so quick....LOL Crazy thoughts!

Ok, so now it's time to pass this award on to 7 people on my followers list; it's ok if you don't have time to do it, but if you do, go ahead and let me know, so I can read them!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Daybook for June 8, 2009

FOR TODAY, Monday, June 8, 2009...
Outside my window...it kinda looks like it could rain, although it's supposed to be sunny today.
I am thinking...that I have a lot to accomplish this morning.
I am thankful for...my family; I just can't be thankful enough.
From the learning rooms...we will do a little bit of school this week; our plants are really sprouting up in our little greenhouse; I'm not sure what to do with them, since we really can't put them in the ground yet. Jacob is reading more and more, which just really gives me so much joy; I really hope he'll continue to love it.
From the kitchen...will probably be baked salmon or tilapia with pesto tonight with maybe some rice and veggies.
I am wearing...jammies and robe for a few more minutes.
I am creating...a picture frame that looks antiqued; I got it at a yard sale this weekend, and I want to put a picture in it of my mom when she was a little girl....it's a picture of her looking out into a field. I'd like to take the picture and make it look black and white with bits of color to it here and there, then blow it up to the size of the frame. Then, also bronze the picture frame.
I am going...possibly to Springfield with Mom today for one last shopping trip before we move.
I am reading...still finishing up The Way They Learn and The Hole in Our Gospel. Also got a new read from Thomas Nelson called It Happened in Italy, which really looks good.
I am hoping...that my mind can slow down a little this week, so I can actually focus on the things that need done and get them done.
I am hearing...savory silence, since my guys are still sleeping.
Around the house...I have to dust, vacuum, and mop today, as well as do some laundry.
One of my favorite things...food wise, strawberries and vanilla ice cream....yum!
A few plans for the rest of the week: we really have a lot to do around here to prepare for moving; school; Jacob to Tae Kwon Do, and he's testing for his green belt Saturday; Dan and I have to go to the Habitat Restore to see if we can find some things for our kitchen in PA; phone calls and paperwork for moving, so many things to check on and get settled; writing assignments; hopefully closing on the property; errands; mowing everywhere; must get the boys haircuts this week; etc.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing...(my happy boy)
For more Simple Woman, link up with Peggy.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Doubts Erased

This verse hit me like a Mack truck today during Pastor's sermon. I think it hit both of us. We've had quite a bit of fear with this move we're about to make; it's a huge step. BUT if God is in this, and He is, then we need to lay our fears aside and take that leap of faith....FAITH....that's what this morning's sermon was all about. As Dan says, "When it comes to faith, you either USE it or LOSE it. Anyway, here's the verse....

"By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8 NKJV)

With this whole move, we may not have exact answers to all of the questions and fears that are going through our heads, but there's Someone who does, and that's God. He knows what's in store for us, and what He's called us to do, so all we have to do is step out like Abraham did and just take that humongous leap of faith!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Just Some Music for Your Heart

I saw this on Facebook tonight, and I wanted to share, since this is the first song that I heard Paige sing last summer at Brooklyn Tab. God is doing and is going to continue to do great things through Paige's life and voice....enjoy!

Friday Funnies

This is silly, but it might put a smile on your face.:)

For more Friday Funnies, link up with Homesteaders Heart.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Is Chivalry Dead? I Think Not!

Knight1 Pictures, Images and Photos

A while ago, I had an idea to do a post series about raising boys with chivalry, and I had tested out the idea on Facebook....which got a pretty good response from other parents. The idea of chivalry has been on my mind for a while now; we are really trying to raise our boys in a Biblical manner, and we're really trying to instill in them the values that we hold dear. Sometimes I get to thinking about their futures and what they will be like when they are grown. How will they handle life? Will they love God with all their hearts? What will they do with their lives? How will they treat their wives? How will they treat other people? All of these things and more run through my head some days when I'm watching them play or even listening to Jacob talk. I hope that they will grow up to be Godly men, who not only are servants of God, but men who truly "love" others.

All of this led to my thinking about chivalry; Jacob loves to read stories about knights and castles, and as I was watching the movie First Knight this last time (as it's a movie I could watch over and over and never tire of), I started to think about how educated or well-mannered these knights were; they had a code of ethics unlike any other.

All this to say that I am going to start a post series on raising boys with chivalry. I'm hoping that this will encourage others who read it, but I'm also a little selfish in hoping that it will teach me how to teach my boys this mysterious and beautiful code of ethics, so that someday they can grow up to be wonderful men who treat others with respect and love their wives with all their hearts; not that they will be perfect, by any means. I have some Scripture in mind to use for the series, as well as I'm going to be reading the book Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis. Dan and I are actually going to be reading this book together, so I'll be able to share his input too, which would be wonderful to have a guy's perspective. I'm thinking that I will start the series next Wednesday and every Wednesday after for the summer, or until we're finished with the book. Feel free, if you have any input to comment; I will share any input I receive as well.

How exciting, though! My first series!:)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two of a Kind

I'm finally getting around to posting pics from our trip to "Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain!" It was a really fun trip....Jacob made his first best friend, Noah, and they have already talked on the phone, since we have gotten home. They formed a bond right away, and they were inseparable the whole time. From eating in their playhouse to riding fourwheelers and sleeping in the tent, they had a blast together. Jacob is rarin' to go back. Sarah and Gareth are really good friends of ours....Sarah and I went to our senior year of high school together, and that was the best year of school, I just have to say. We had so much fun! We were double trouble, walking through the door. Then we went on missions trips to Papua New Guinea together, where I might add, she met Gareth, who is from England. I still remember that plane ride home, Sarah.... I wish we could live closer to each other, especially for our sons' sakes. It was such a refreshing trip, to just be with friends and relax and know that our kids were having fun....and to just be able to talk into the wee hours, even though we were all falling asleep on the couches.....just making memories. Dan just fell in love with Rosie; I think we all did. She and Jaden seemed to play together quite a bit. I'll post Rosie's story either sometime this week or early next week....she is such a sweetheart.
We ended up going out on Saturday; we visited the Oklahoma Aquarium and the Riverwalk in Tulsa. At the Riverwalk, the kids got to splash around on the splash pads, and then we sat and ate gelatto. We got up close and personal with some sharks at the aquarium, which was just the coolest thing! We took the initiative to name this fish Wanda....Sarah's idea, actually!:) Doesn't she look like a Wanda?
The kids got to pet stingrays and feed them too, which was quite the adventure. I think Jaden just had fun splashing.
Anyway, I just have to say that it is a blessing to have good friends, friends who share like values and desire to raise their kids for Christ. We will truly miss Sarah and Gareth when we move....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What Have We Done?

Well, it's time for me to 'fess up....I know you've all been seeing me post about PA homeschool laws and having to figure that all out. Well, there's a reason.....

We are moving to PA, and it is happening really soon. We are buying Dan's gram's old farmhouse with about 20 acres, where we plan to hopefully start an organic nursery in the near future, where we can supply restaurants, stores, etc, and even be more self-sufficient for ourselves. We also plan to adopt in the near future, all depending on God's timing. We are feeling like God is calling us to some sort of ministry in NYC, and where we are moving will only be about 2 1/2-3 hours from there. With wanting to adopt, things may somehow work out to where we can do foster care to adoption, even with kids out of the inner city....we're not sure, but God knows all that. We may even adopt internationally someday. I plan to continue on staying at home and continue with homeschooling the boys and further my writing career, since writing has become a passion.

Now that that's all out, here comes the hard part.....I have to leave my family behind, which is honestly killing me inside. I feel very responsible for my parents, and I'm very close with them.....we have good friends here and not far away that we will be leaving.....and not only that, but I finally got to see pictures of our new "dream home".....now before you look below, please try to picture the potential we see when we look at this opportunity God has placed before us. Honestly, when I first looked at the pics, I burst out in tears.....so just prepare yourselves......but with the future we are hoping for, this could honestly be the hand of God placing this before us, so that's how I'm trying to wrap my mind and heart around this. The inside of the house is great! And really it just needs a good coat of paint on the outside and some cosmetics and some serious porch work, which could turn it right around. So, with bated breath.....here goes......all in the name of keepin' it real.......oy vei......
Ok, so now here's a pic of the porch, which I can see great potential in.....hanging baskets of beautiful flowers, a porch swing with beautiful pillows......rose bushes climbing trellises, etc.......
So, there it is.....I'm very stressed out and emotional right now, especially having just seen these pics, but I know that God is in this, and I just need to ask you to pray for me in these coming weeks, as we will face many changes, especially for my attitude in leaving my own family behind and moving closer to Dan's family, just that I can leave everything in God's hands.....after all, He's in control. He knows my heart right now, and He knows what all I can handle.....I just need to trust Him, which is sometimes better said than done......at this point, it'd be so much easier to just throw up our hands and move towards Springfield/Ozark, but is that what God wants? I mean, this is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for us, especially considering what we want to do with the rest of our lives.....He's in control!

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