Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Annual Wrapping Paper Tube Battle

Clint had been expecting them to sneak attack him all of December. I gave them the OK on Christmas Eve. The children got their tubes and waited quietly in the den. I innocently asked Clint "Honey, can you come in here and look at something for me?" He walked in, saw the children battle ready, said "UH OH!!" and took off running! Then he came in, gave a rebel yell and dove into the midst of them. He was immediately attacked and I handed him his two weapons in the midst of the already fierce battle. (I look out for him.) He survived the tube battle and will live to fight another year. Emily watched everything with amusement while I held her with her little tube.
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christ-a-must!

This is just beautiful and was sent to us by our dear friend Denise.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christ-a-must to you and yours!

We love all of you and hope your Christmas is one of the best ever!

from The Asbell Family
Clint & Wendy
Brandon, Amanda, Joshua, Caleb, Bethany and Emily
and Nala too! (woof, woof)

As pictured: Brandon 15 holding Emily 5 months, Joshua 8 standing behind Caleb 6, Amanda 13 holding Bethany 4
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Monday, December 17, 2007

How to Remove Wallpaper Border without Chemicals or Tools

I just finished doing this and it was so easy, I wanted to share. This wall boarder was installed on a semi-gloss painted wall about 4 years ago. You do not need the scoring tool or the chemicals. Here's what I did.
#1 Searched the internet for tips. Found many, discarded all and went with my own idea, which is usually how I do things.
#2 Peeled the vinyl layer off of the border by pulling evenly and gently. When I got a tear, I stopped and fixed it so I could pull it off together. Removing the vinyl will let the water get to the glue. This vinyl is what the scoring tool pricks holes in so you can get the chemical to the paper and glue layers. Several people and home decorating shows have said this tool is not effective.
#3 I got the paper very wet with hot water. Cold water would work, but might take longer to penetrate and soften the glue. The trick is to get it VERY wet to fully dissolve the glue. Have someone under you with a towel to catch drips. I didn't worry about it since we washed the wall afterwards.
#4 Peel slowly and evenly and it comes off almost whole. I washed over the wall to remove the glue residue. The entire room only took me 20 minutes from start to finish.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Adonai

Our sermon on Sunday showed us how the scribes who copied the Bible revered God so much they would wash themselves and change their garments before they wrote His name. If they were in the midst of writing God's name, they would not allow anyone to interrupt them, not even the king!

The early Jews had such a reverence for God that they would not publicly pronounce Jehovah (Self-Existent One), the covenant name, for fear of being guilty of speaking it in vain. The Hebrew scribes wrote the name with the vowels excluded as a form of reverence for Him. We aren't even sure Jehovah is correct. The English translation of the Hebrew letters used are JHVH.

Since they would not even pronounce God's covenant name in worship, they used another, Adonai (my Lord, my Master) during Scripture reading. The scribes used the vowels from Adonai between JHVH, which is how Jehovah (aka Yahweh) appeared.

The deep respect the Jews had for the name of God should be a reminder to all of us to be careful how we say His name. In our culture, we hear His Name tossed around like it has no meaning to us. Often, it is used as a curse word in which the person using it is actually cursing God!! Clint often asks people who say this "Why do you want to curse God when He's the very One you will cry to when you desperately need help?"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Economical Large Family Entertainment #2

I found these sets at Walmart after Christmas one year. They are normally $9.96, but I got two for 50% off. I dump the pieces in a baking pan and set the puzzle up on a piece of 1/2" plywood. I start it and before I know it, the children take over. It's a great activity to build family togetherness because you get to TALK! During a television show or sporting event, the family isn't interacting like they will over a board game, puzzle or household project.
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Economical Large Family Entertainment

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I start working on a puzzle and they come one by one until they move me out of the way. I grabbed the camera and took a picture while they weren't looking.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What It Means to Be a Christian (poem)

by Maya Angelou

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not shouting "I'm clean livin'."
I'm whispering "I was lost,
Now I'm found and forgiven."

When I say.. "I am a Christian"
I don't speak of this with pride.
I'm confessing that I stumble
and need Christ to be my guide.

When I say.. "I am a Christian"
I'm not trying to be strong.
I'm professing that I'm weak
And need His strength to carry on.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not bragging of success.
I'm admitting I have failed
And need God to clean my mess.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not claiming to be perfect,
My flaws are far too visible
But, God believes I am worth it.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
So I call upon His name.

When I say... "I am a Christian"
I'm not holier than thou,
I'm just a simple sinner
Who received God's good grace, somehow!

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

There is a difference between being a Christian (living like Christ's example) and having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Only one of them will get you into Heaven:
  1. All Have Sinned. Romans 3:10Romans 3:23Romans 5:12 
  2. There is a Penalty for Sin. Romans 6:23
  3. Christ Died as a Substitute for Us. Romans 5:8
  4. Call Upon the Lord Jesus to Be SavedRomans 10:13

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Alright, don't write me any more letters about Elliot. He's really a nice guy and he's apologized. We've written quite a bit back and forth. I like him! In over ten years of being online, he's the only critic we've ever had to send an e-mail.

Here's the deal: Clint and I are responsible for over 2,000 internet pages. We would love for everything to be perfect, but it is not going to happen. Even the best of writers have paid proofreaders that go over their work several times in different ways. (Amazingly, I took a proofreading course in college.) Your own errors are never as apparent to you as they are to someone else. If we waited until we had time to get everything perfect, nothing would ever get posted to the blog or anywhere else. I just don't have that kind of time. Being perfect isn't our goal anyway. Sharing the love of Christ and encouraging fellow Christians is the aim of Contentment Acres. We hear from people all around the world who say we are doing a pretty good job of that too.

We had a campfire cookout last night and everyone enjoyed their fire roasted meals and desserts.

This morning we have school and then we will begin moving furniture. All of the furniture from the den and dining room must be moved today so Clint can begin to sand and refinish the floors tomorrow afternoon. There is a lot to move too. We had planned to do the floors four years ago until Hurricane Isabel forced it further down the list.

Don't expect e-mail. It's going to be a very busy weekend.

Pictures are next. Elliot will be happy....much less text to proofread. :-D

I am already tired from nursing and yesterday, so today should be a challenge. Pray for me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Letter and My Reply

I got this today. My reply is below:

Please correct your site for spelling, grammar and useage. As a Christian, I am embarrassed when someone who is so obviously Christian is running what is supposed to be a professional operation and they write something like this:

"People who suffer from skin allergies, winter itchies, eczema, and dry skin are frequent users of goat's milk soap. While we can't tell you it will heal these conditions, we can tell you it will not further excerbate them."

The word is "exascerbate," not "excerbate." If you start to get shaky when you reach for a more than 3 syllable word, either use words with less syllables,(as in "it will not make them worse), or reach for a dictionary.

Also, the phrase, "further exascerbate" is redundant. It's like saying "repeat again" or "stupid idiot."

The correct way to write the sentence is: "While we can't tell you it will heal these conditions, we can tell you it will not exascerbate them."

I understand a home schooler won a National geography contest, but it has been my experience that Christians as a group are very poor spellers and very lazy about using words. They use the words "impact" and "incredible" both incorrectly and to the point where anyone who is listening for them could about vomit.

Please have someone who knows spelling, grammar and useage go through your site and correct what is wrong.

Here's another, actually humorous error:

"Brandon was born in 1992. Clint and I realized then that we wanted the best for our children and recommitted our lives to Christ when he was still in womb." It sounds as if you recommitted your lives to Christ when Clint was still in the womb.

I apologize for writing to criticize, but I think it is in our best interests as Christians to look just as good and intelligent as we can to the rest of the world. Dan Quayle did us some real damage. Let's not make that worse.

Blessings and best wishes,

Thank you Elliot for taking your time to go over our website and find errors that make you "want to vomit." I have been very clear in our blog that I will make mistakes in spelling and grammar. In fact, I know of many more than what you pointed out. Overall, we find our readers to be very understanding, forgiving and humble people who encourage us to keep sharing our lives.

I've learned to face the facts that I will make mistakes not only in writing, but in every area of my life. In fact, I make them often. If you are looking for perfection in any area, please don't look this way! Instead, I point you to the example of Christ. He is the only Perfection I have ever met.

I am a full time mother of six children. I am homeschooling five of them this year. The other is a newborn. I breed our dogs, run our farm, make soap, sell used books, garden, use coupons to plan out each grocery trip and cook our meals from scratch. I also spend time each week writing women around the globe who are desperate for Christian fellowship. I have been asked to do three book reviews in the next few weeks. I am also working with my husband to repair and renovate our home and so on and on the list goes. When I get a chance, I am also working on a book, which will be edited by someone who is paid to find my many errors. :-D I am asking you to cut me some slack, Elliot.

I promise to everyone reading that I WILL make more mistakes. I am not going back to correct the errors you mentioned. I am just not that proud and do not have the time. Many people relate to me because my flaws are so apparent.

In fact, I receive many, many compliments and have been told more times than I can count that I should write a book. Parts of our website are printed in electronic and print media every month. Something here works OK in spite of the many mistakes!

While I like doing things correctly, how I spell and the grammar I use is not quite as important to me as it is that I convey God's great love for each person who comes to this site. God is not going to ask me about my spelling and usage. He's going to ask me if I reached out to others in His Name. Did I change lives for Him? Did I show love, encourage, build up, strengthen, help, die to self and so much more?

Maybe that is why you find Christians to be "lazy" with words. Sincere Christians try to reflect Christ's humble, loving and forgiving spirit. Doing that means we work harder on the inner man than the external appearances. It's much easier to worry about how my hair, clothes, writing, home, etc appear to others than it is to work on the character traits it takes to be a dedicated follower of Christ.

What you get here is leftovers of a tired, hardworking mother with a love for the Lord and good sense of humor. If it bothers you so much, please find another place to read. If you can accept my humble and imperfect ways without being driven to the barf bucket, keep reading. We'd love to count you among our friends.

By the way Elliot, since you brought it up:

You misspelled usage. You do not need the "e." Spell checker would have found that for you, or were you like me, going so fast in a very busy day that you forgot it was there? or just didn't have thirty seconds more before your family needed you again?

The word I was looking for was exacerbate which means to increase the severity. According to (yes, I know how to use one) and Blogger's spell checker, you misspelled that also.

If it were part of a title, national would need capitalization.

In spite of your imperfections, I understood your meaning. I saw other errors in your writing, but I believe my point is made.

No matter how imperfect we are, Christ still shows us His awesome love. I don't have to have perfect words or a beautiful voice because He sees right to my heart. He never demeans. How wonderful it is to belong to Him! If only we could follow His example in how we relate to others.

If you really want nightmares Elliot, you should drop by the house and hear my southern accent whip out some slang. That'll put a knot in your britches. :-)

If Dan Quayle's only flaw anyone can remember is that he misspelled a word, I feel he's done very well.

You should also be aware that homeschooled children are doing a lot more than winning at national geography contests. Read up a little and be impressed.

In Christ,

Thursday, November 08, 2007

There is a God by Trent Willmon (video)

We enjoy this song and video.
It's busy here today. I hope to get the errands run tonight so we can work around the house this weekend.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Memory Lane (picts)

Here's Clint and I our senior year of high school in 1987.
We had to scan these in for a class reunion power point presentation.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Home Hair Cut Gone Wrong Part 3 (pict)

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Well, you've been having so much fun with the other pictures, we decided to give you a few more.
I figured since I had to give him an "Relative haircut," I just as well have fun with it.
I like that look in the bottom picture. That makes me laugh and squirm a little at the same time. You can tell he thinks it's funny, but he looks like he might be plotting something too. 8-0! It gets fun around here. :-)
He called from work to tell me he's been having fun with it all day.
I still feel horrible though.

Home Hair Cut Gone Wrong 2

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That bottom picture, he's saying "You're gonna put this on the blog, aren't you?"
To which I replied "How can I not?!"
Later, he told me, "I have the weirdest sensation. I am hot all over my face, but my head is refreshingly cool." LOL

Home Haircut Gone Wrong! (pict)

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First of all, thank the Lord for giving me a humble, easy going husband!!! Whew!!
Secondly, I wish I could title this "Don't mess with Wendy!" but it really was an accident.
After Clint had lunch with a relative, Clint told us how the relative clips his hair with no guard on the clippers. When I gave our men haircuts yesterday, I asked them "Who wants a "relative" haircut?" They all hid from me. So, I dug out the blade guards that cut the hair at a specified length.
While I was trimming Clint's hair, the clippers got too hot and I had to cut them off and let them cool. I took the guard off to clean the hair out of the blades and teeth. Clint and I got to talking and when I started on his head again, I forgot about the guard. You can see the result.
I was trying to find the words to tell Clint what I had done to his hair. Amanda saw my face and FLEW to get a look. She solved my dilemma by laughing so hard she fell down. Then she called all of the other children over to look and they started rolling. He made me take a picture so he could see what I had done. Then he made me cut the rest of it off..."cause Wendy you can't do any worse than you've already done."

Scarecrow in the Outhouse (pict)

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Butt (picture)

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We saw this in a neighbor's yard and laughed. We named him "Pumpkin Butt." Now what we need is "Pumpkin Gut"- a scarecrow facing the road with a pumpkin for a belly and the stem as the belly button.
I am going to fire off a couple of short e-mails and then get back to it. We are cleaning out Clint's car for him and bringing down more winter clothes from the attic after homeschool today. It's going to be very busy.

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Thursday, October 04, 2007


I am often asked by mothers who are struggling "How do you get it all done?" I don't get it all done. There are many things left undone when I crawl into bed each evening. Sometimes the workload gets to me and I have to stop and reevaluate what is important.

God has made it clear to me through His Word that my husband, children and home are to be my priorities. (Titus 2:3-5) Anything that takes away from them needs to be refocused. They have to stay where God placed them in my life.

I enjoy helping with ministries, making soap and homemade gifts and selling online. I enjoy working with our animals, maintaining our websites, taking pictures, drawing, staying in touch with friends and reading. I also enjoy gardening and yard work and making herbal medicine. I like to sew, draw, cook and take walks along the waterfront. I enjoy many things, but none of those things are to be given precedence over what God has said must come first.

The last pregnancy put me far behind in many areas of my life. (Every pregnancy puts me far behind in many areas of my life! :-) I haven't been able to do much about it, but now Emily is older and more content to wait for me to get to her. I have recovered my health and most of my strength. I am suddenly overwhelmed by all that needs my immediate attention.

I've been asking God for more energy, more time, more help and more ability. Still I fell behind even though I was working from dawn to dusk trying to catch up.

Yesterday morning, I cried out to Him and asked "There is so much that needs my attention Lord! I can't see me getting it done any time soon. While I am thankful for so many opportunities, I am overwhelmed by all that needs my immediate attention. Help me to know where to start and how to go about catching up. Show me what is OK to let go and what needs doing first."

God pointed me back to His Word. He reminded me of what should be my priorities. He illluminated where I am (lamp unto my feet) with a clearly lit path to follow as I begin to find my rhythm again. I am a wife and mother first. Then I need to make my home a blessing to my family and our visitors. I've been here many times before and know that if I do it God's way, the rest will fall into place as I go along.
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path Psalms 119:105

Monday, September 24, 2007

Book Review: Wake Up, Night!

Wake Up, Night!
A Glow-in-the-Dark Lift-the-Flap Book
Kidsbooks Inc.
ISBN: 1588650820

This title was shared with our family by Wendy T. in FL. She reads her copy to her niece, Hannah. The book is perfect for bedtime stories. Each page features a glow in the dark moon rising a little more as the story goes along. The beautifully drawn animals you are "waking up" are hiding under flaps. At the end of the book, the full moon has risen the animals are in silhouette as the child goes to sleep. It only takes a couple of minutes to "charge" the glow in the dark features. Our youngest children have asked for this engaging and interactive story to be read to them over and over. They are fascinated by the artwork, hiding animals and especially the glow in the dark features. Even our oldest have sat in for a reading!

Thank you Wendy for sharing this lovely story book with our family!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Virginia's Breastfeeding Law & Jury Duty

I was asked if I knew. Here it is:

(Now don't abuse this law and take it as license to be an exhibitionist. Nursing in public can be done discreetly with modesty.)



Virginia has a law that exempts breastfeeding from their criminal statutes, clarifying that it is not a violation to breastfeed a child in any public place. In addition, Virginia law gives a woman a right to breastfeed on any property owned, leased or controlled by the Commonwealth. Effective March 20, 2005, mothers who are breastfeeding are exempt from jury duty, upon request.

A resolution, H.J.Res. 145 (2002), encourages employers to recognize the importance of breastfeeding and to provide breaks and space for employees to breastfeed or express milk; however, this resolution does not have the force of law.

Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-387 1994 Va. ALS 398; 1994 Va. Acts 398; 1994 Va. Ch. 398; 1994 Va. HB 1188

Section 18.2-387 Indecent ExposureEvery person who intentionally makes an obscene display or exposure of his person, or the private parts thereof, in any public place, or in any place where others are present, or procures another to so expose himself, shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. No person shall be deemed to be in violation of this section for breastfeeding a child in any public place or any place where others are present

Va. Code Ann. §2.2-1147.1, 2002 Virginia House Bill # 1264, 2002

Right to breast-feed
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast-feed her child at any location where that woman would otherwise be allowed on property that is owned, leased or controlled by the Commonwealth as defined in § 2.2-1147.

Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-341.1 Exemptions from jury service upon request.

Any of the following persons may serve on juries in civil and criminal cases but shall be exempt from jury service upon his request:

8. A person who has legal custody of and is necessarily and personally responsible for a child or children 16 years of age or younger requiring continuous care by him during normal court hours, or any mother who is breast-feeding a child, (emphasis mine)

You can find other state's laws on breastfeeding here:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Crucifixion of Christ Sculpture Park in Groom, TX

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This and the following pictures are from Elaine and Mike, RV full timers who are currently in Vermont. I met Elaine through and she is just a lovely, friendly lady. We are enjoying Elaine's e-mails as part of our homeschooling. She's teaching us History, Art, Geography, and so much more.
"These pictures are from a spot in I am told this sculpture is in the town of
"Groom along I-40 east of Amarillo TX" Crucifixion of Christ that a man sculptured out of metal near Amarillo,TX. The cross is a made of metal also. The man did this out of the kindness of his heart. Someone donated the land to him. "
I have other e-mails and pictures from her which she has kindly given us permission to share with people who visit the blog. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. And, we hope some homeschooling families will take the time to look these places up on a map and learn along with us.
I know I got a couple out of sequence. It's a busy day here. :-)
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"The process of shaping the child...shapes also the mother herself. Reverence for her sacred burden calls her to all that is pure and good, that she may teach primarily by her own humble, daily example." Elizabeth Elliot from The Shaping of a Christian Family

Portsmouth, VA FREE Homeschool Field Trip

Children's Museum & VA Sports Hall of Fame - FREE homeschool event

The Children's Museum and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, acrossthe street from each other in downtown Portsmouth, are hosting ahomeschool Open House day on Friday, Oct. 26. Both museums areoffering free admission to homeschoolers that day. Click on the linkto fill in their RSVP form (I was told that space is NOT limited, butto RSVP as soon as you can.)

Homeschool Open HouseFriday, October 26, 20079:00 am - 3:00 pmIn conjunction with the Children's Museum of VirginiaEducation Program DemonstrationsMake & Take CraftsObstacle Course for Preschool to Grade 2RefreshmentsCurriculum VendorsPlanetarium ShowsChildren's AuthorLocal Vendors & ExhibitorsInfo on How to Get Started with Home EducationFREE All Day!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

On Infertility:

I found a lot of comfort in the Scriptures which talk about how God controls the womb. I stopped looking to myself/doctors and started pleading with Him to open my womb. I also came to a place in my faith where I asked that if there would not be any (or any more during the secondary infertility) children that God would change my heart so that I would be content. I felt like I was letting my husband and others down and well, it was just very difficult times.

I also found these links helpful: charts your cycle to help you pinpoint ovulation. One big mistake women (and even doctors) make is that they do not "baby dance" (s*x) until they think they have ovulated. A woman has to baby dance before ovulation. If you wait until the test kits say you have ovulated, it's too late. has many helpful tips with suggested herbs and supplements for both spouses to correct infertility issues.

Here's a book I highly recommend (even though I dislike the title) and why: This book educates a woman as to how her body works and explains why ovulation predictor tests are often used incorrectly. I thought I knew all there was about how the female body worked until I got this book. It is WELL worth the investment.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Crazy Bird

Another one from Brandon

Sweety Chick

Brandon wanted to show everyone this.
He just loves it!

Bethany at the Race!

She had a blast with her Daddy last night and is still sleeping this a.m.
She was pretty excited about seeing a car lose the rubber off of it's rim.
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