Thursday, July 31, 2008

How Do You Rate As A 1930s Houswife?

Okay, I found this test from a link on another blog and I had to take it for fun! :) Well, at least in the 1930s I would have been a very superior housewife. A day late and a dollar short is always the case, huh? :)


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Fun at Megan's shower

On Saturday, I got to go to a personal shower for my dear friend, Megan. I met Megan three summers ago at Crossings at Cedarmore camp, where Shane was the associate director. That summer she met Tim, another staff member, and they are getting married in August. Shane is officiating the wedding-his first! I am doing the photography, and my girls are the flower girls. It's going to be so much fun to do this as a family!

We got to go suit shopping for Shane on Saturday, since he does not own a suit! We found a really nice one, and I think I could get used to seeing him wear it quite often, but he thinks they are of the devil! :)

Anyhow, here are a few pictures from the shower! :) As you can see, all the other girls were in their early 20s. I was the "matriarch." I said, "wow, you all look so young in this picture," to which they replied, "well, you have so much wisdom." We all know what that means! :) But, it was so much fun. Laura, from church, was there-and she is just so sweet. And, Megan's sister Rachel is a hoot, and I could just keep her. And, Megan's friend, Jamie, who hosted the shower was also just sweet as can be. They were gracious to welcome me into their circle of youth! :) ha!
We are so happy for Tim and Megan and are so looking forward to seeing what God has for this young couple who seek Him with their whole hearts. Tim just graduated from Southern Seminary in May, and desires to be a pastor one day. He is currently interning at our church. We really love the two of them so much, and are so blessed to be a part of their lives.

My Beauty

"His blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress."

Something Beautiful

This is MY song lately. You know, that one song that you hear and it makes you weep every time. This is it for me these days.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Me and the Kids

My sweet, old neighbor, Jim, took this picture of the kids and I last Sunday. He gave us a copy, and I thought it was a sweet picture. He's always asking me for photography advice-as he loves to take pictures, and I enjoy talking to him! He's also an artist and gave us one of his paintings after Shane helped him with his yard one day. It's a painting of some churches, and he gave it to us since we were, quote "church people!" :)

Do I Have To Be the Best?

Link to original article here (I thought this was very encouraging)

By Carolyn Mahaney

Not Her Best

"As homemakers, we can be keenly, and somewhat painfully aware of our lack of specialized skill. Many of us trained for a specific field of work only to leave it behind to come home with our baby; and then the field left us behind as we raised our children. We may see our husband excelling at his career, and observe other women who seem to be “the best” at something, and because we haven’t distinguished ourselves in some way (we’ve been too busy cleaning toilets, running errands, reading children's books and pouring bowls of cereal), we wonder if we are really good at anything.

Twentieth century British author G.K. Chesterton has liberating insight for all homemakers who feel pressure to excel in something besides homemaking. In an essay entitled “The Emancipation of Domesticity” he observed that woman is a “general overseer” in the home, and as such, she must be able to do many things well—she shouldn't have to worry about being "the best" at something.

“In other words, there must be in every center of humanity one human being upon a larger plan; one who does not "give her best," but gives her all…..
The woman is expected to cook: not to excel in cooking, but to cook; to cook better than her husband who is earning [a living] by lecturing on botany or breaking stones….the woman is expected to tell tales to the children, not original and artistic tales, but tales--better tales than would probably be told by a first-class cook.

But she cannot be expected to endure anything like this universal duty if she is also to endure the direct cruelty of competitive or bureaucratic toil. Woman must be a cook, but not a competitive cook; a school mistress, but not a competitive schoolmistress; a house-decorator but not a competitive house-decorator; a dressmaker, but not a competitive dressmaker. She should have not one trade but twenty hobbies; she, unlike the man, may develop all her second bests.
This is what has been really aimed at from the first in what is called the seclusion, or even the oppression, of women. Women were not kept at home in order to keep them narrow; on the contrary, they were kept at home in order to keep them broad” (emphasis mine).

My fellow homemakers, let’s embrace the “larger plan” ordained by our Creator. Let’s not worry about being the best, but eagerly give our all to the broad calling of serving in the home."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Think About It

This video is so funny! I don't advocate all their songs, but this one just made Shane and I crack up! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Bad Dog!

Okay, after writing that nice post on our dog, Belle, yesterday, I have an update. She is NOT a good dog! :) We were gone for five hours yesterday-we've been gone that amount many times. During our brief outing, she managed to knock down the two gates we had up to keep her in, and chew up our mini blinds in our front window! Shane was not so happy with her. He said she gets one more chance! :) Guess it's time to start putting her in the crate when we leave. In the meantime, Shane's headed to Lowe's to pick up new blinds!

Oh, speaking of which...all our blinds on our front window are labeled "Jencraft." The only thing I can find online for Jencraft is a lawsuit back in 1996, because their un-glossy mini-blinds contained lead as a binder. I guess the light deteriorated the blinds, and when you dusted them, the dust got into the air and was hazardous to kids. Any updates on this that anyone knows? I have NO idea how old these blinds are-they are in great condition. I don't know if the company is no longer around, or if they upgraded their products. I'm worried, because of the kids..and because my dog chewed them up! Anyone know anything about this?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Flowers for mama

The other day, Shane took the kids and the dog for a walk in the woods. That gave me a chance to go to my friend, Greta's, house and take her some of our garden lettuce and chat for awhile. When I came home, these wonderful flowers were in vases on my table and on top of our antique hutch. Shane and the kids had picked these for me on their walk. I was so surprised and thrilled. Besides hydrangeas, wildflowers are my favorite. Aren't they lovely? I have a great family.

Our new dog, Belle

We had told the girls, when we moved to our new home, that we would get them a dog. Shane said they could get a puppy, I prayed against it. Guess who's prayers were heard? MINE! :) ha, ha!

My friend from church, Janine, emailed me one day with a picture of Belle and the email asking for someone to please find a home for her. She had a good home, but the mother of the house just had her third child, and couldn't do it all anymore. So, we emailed the family, and went the next week to pick her up.

She's been a great dog. She's completely house-trained, and she's not overly active. She IS a dog, and sometimes does dumb dog stuff, but I guess we have to expect that! We love Belle, and are glad she's in our home. And, yes, she DOES look like Benji! :)

My Pretty Girls 7-07-08

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Baby Boy

I know he's mine and all....but isn't he beautiful? :)

New Blog Look....Same wonderful blog!

Okay, so what do you think of the new template? Do you like it? I thought I'd try something different! Let me know what you think! Kari

Got My Finger Stuck

Okay, so...Lizzie is my child who is always into something...always getting dirty, always getting into mischief. She's not bad, just curious. Always exploring, always climbing trees and picking up bugs. She was also the child that drew on the walls, "painted" on herself with yogurt, used Desitin as lotion, drew on her arms with a sharpie marker...the one who always keeps me on my toes!

So, yesterday we were in the girls' room, cleaning and reorganizing when she said, "mom, my finger is stuck." I look down and this (refer to picture) is what I see. (Now, I didn't realize until after I took this picture that it was THE this picture has no "nasty" sub-meanings, it's just a picture of another of her "mishaps!") It's the bottom half of an old recorder. Now, why she was not cleaning, and what possibly possessed her to put her finger into the recorder in the first place I will never know. And, so she got "the lecture"...but then I had to take a picture! :) hee, hee... I have to remember all these things she's done! We DID get it unstuck, but it took pouring water and soap down into the tube! She is just a nut...and I wouldn't have her any other way! :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Shawn and Tiffany's engagement pictures

A sneak peek of Tiffany and Shawn's engagement pictures is now posted on my photo blog!
click here

Friday, July 04, 2008

Any moms feeling weak and tired?

"When you are weak, let out a whoop, because whatever you are able to do comes through the grace of God. When you are nothing, shout 'halleluja!' because Jesus is getting all the glory and honor for what you accomplish. God loves his weak, imperfect, needy people. He didn't choose us because we won some international awards for strength, beauty, or intelligence. He has made us for Himself, and He is going to provide us with everything we need to serve Him and love others through our imperfect homes and families. What a joy to serve our perfect Creator, Who made us in His image and is transforming us (slowly, but surely) into the image of His perfect Son."

-Jennie Chancey, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God, a book I HIGHLY recommend

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Piper-Simplicity is Possible and Good

**Leave it up to Piper to always put things into perspective for you! :)

"This is the normal Christian life – radical freedom from earthly things and earthly security, with a joyful pursuit of God and his righteousness as our treasure."

1 Timothy 6:6-19

"..., verse 8: "If we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content." Christians can be and ought to be content with the simple necessities of life. I'll mention three reasons why simplicity is possible and good. First, because when you have God near you and for you, you don't need extra money or extra things to give you peace and security. Hebrews 13:5, 6 says,
Keep your life free from the love of money. Be content with what you have. For he has said, "I will never fail you nor forsake you." Hence we can confidently say, "The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?"
No matter which way the market is moving, God is always better than gold. Therefore, by God's help we can be content with the simple necessities of life.
Second, we can be content with the necessities of life because the deepest, most satisfying delights God gives us through creation are free gifts from nature and loving relationships with people. After your basic needs are met, money begins to diminish your capacity for these pleasures rather than increase them. Buying things contributes absolutely nothing to the heart's capacity for joy. There is a deep difference between the temporary thrill of a new toy and a homecoming hug from a devoted friend. Who do you think has the deepest most satisfying joy in life, the man who pays [big money] for a fortieth floor suite downtown and spends his evening in the half-lit, smoke filled lounge impressing strange women with ten dollar cocktails, or the man who chooses the Motel 6 by a vacant lot of sunflowers and spends his evening watching the sunset and writing a love letter to his wife?
Third, we should be content with the simple necessities of life because we could invest the extra that we make for what really counts. Three billion people today are outside Jesus Christ. Two-thirds of those do not have a viable Christian witness in their culture. If they are to hear—and Christ commands that they hear—cross-cultural missionaries will have to be sent and paid for. All the wealth needed to send this new army of good news ambassadors is in the American church. If we, like Paul, are content with the simple necessities of life, thousands of dollars at Bethlehem and millions of dollars in the Baptist General Conference and hundreds of millions of dollars in the Protestant church would be released to take the gospel to the frontiers. And the revolution of joy and freedom it would cause at home would be the best local witness imaginable. The biblical call is that you can and ought to be content with the simple necessities of life..."
John Piper (whole sermon text here)

**and an interesting article on RETIREMENT, by Piper, here.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

My homemade pancake syrup

One day I was making pancakes (recipe below) and realized I was out of pancake syrup. I knew I had seen a recipe for pancake syrup in one of my Tightwad Gazette books-which are invaluable, by the way! :) So, I made it up, and my family loved it. Now, for the most part, I just make my own. The kids ask for my syrup over store-bought! :) And, it's economical, too.

Pancake Syrup

3 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups water

3 Tbsp. molasses

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tsp. butter flavoring, optional

1 tsp. maple extract

Bring all to a boil, sitrring until sugar dissolves (a good rolling boil). Turn off burner, but leave pot on burner until bubbling stops. Makes about 30 oz. cost estimation: $0.90 for 30 oz.

My favorite pancake recipe is from my old youth pastor, Doug Ehrgott. He used to make up gallons of this stuff and we'd go, as a youth group, and serve the deadheads when the Grateful Dead were in town and witness to them by feeding them and showing them Jesus' love. It was alot of fun. Anyhow, these are awesome-my favorite to this day!

Doug's Pancakes

1 cup milk

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 egg

1 tbsp. oil

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

Mix, stir, cook as normal. Makes 10 pancakes.

My Menu for the Next Two Weeks

Okay, well, we've been seriously trying to cut back on our expenses, and so I have gone back to making out a menu for two weeks like I used to do. Shane keeps asking me to simplify our meals, as I really like to cook...most of the time!

Making a two week menu usually helps me with my grocery bill, and I find it helps me with my daily planning. I don't have to think about what I'm going to make every morning. I've decided that since Shane is off on Saturdays, and we decided that's our family day, that I will cook a bigger breakfast, and we'll have dessert on Saturday evenings before our family movie or game. I usually stick to my menu plan, unless I have a massive amount of leftovers that need to be eaten-but we don't mind leftovers at all. And, keep in mind, that Shane is home every day for lunch.

I've also been getting up at 7am the past couple weeks and making breakfast for everyone. I find I get so much more done in my day when I get up early! It's been amazing. So, here is my two week menu:

lunch-tuna sandwiches, soup, crackers
dinner-Spinach Strawberry Salad with chicken, homemade spelt bread

*the spelt bread was AMAZING, by the way! It took all day to prepare, but I think I might start making a batch a week. Plus, it's a great arm workout, since you have to knead it for 20 minutes! But, it was worth it. yummy! I did make shoefly pie, too, since we had company. It was...good, but different. Probably won't make it again! :)

breakfast-homemade peanut butter muffins, fruit
lunch-egg salad sandwiches, soup
dinner-spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

*the muffins were very good! I got the recipe from the muffin recipes site I posted a few days ago.

dinner-chicken, fresh green beans, potatoes

breakfast-cereal or toast
lunch-hot dogs, mac-n-cheese
dinner-hamburgers, corn on the cob

lunch-fried egg sandwiches, apple slices
dinner-pesto quiche, salad

breakfast-eggs, bacon, toast
dinner-Cheese and Sausage Strata, salad, blueberry buckle for dessert

breakfast-muffins at home or donuts at church
lunch-Onion Pie (with peanut butter/jelly sand. option!), salad
dinner-Sunday dinners are a free-for-all at our home. usually it's popcorn or snacks!

lunch-lunchmeat sandwiches, chips
dinner-Tacos, chips-n-salsa, cheese dip

breakfast-muffins, yogurt
lunch-chili dogs, mac-n-cheese, salad option
dinner-black beans and rice, salad, bread

lunch-pb&j sandwiches, chips, apple slices
dinner-spaghetti, garlic bread, salad

breakfast-cereal or toast
lunch-blt sandwiches, salad, chips
dinner-Wild Game Braise(venison), veggies, potatoes

dinner-Top Sirloin Steak, baked potatoes, veggie

breakfast-eggs, bacon, toast
lunch-Greek salad, bread (pb&j option)
dinner-roast chicken, salad, veggie, cupcakes

breakfast-muffins at home or donuts at church