Sunday, November 29, 2015

How We Celebrate Christmas and Why

We don't tell our children there is a Santa (or Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy). We celebrate Christ's birth in such a big way there isn't any room for Santa. The only Santa you will find in our home is one kneeling in front of a manger worshipping the best Gift the world has ever seen.

There is still wonder and excitement! Our children still count down the days and announce how many are left each morning! They take a long time to write wish lists! They still eagerly anticipate and can't sleep the night before. We make Wise Men Bags instead of stockings. We have a cake for Jesus and sing Happy Birthday to Him. Every year, we make ornaments which reflect our beliefs. We view light shows keeping in mind that Jesus is the Light and encourages us to walk in truth. We attend events and worship in music all month in our home! Clint reads the Christmas story from Luke to us every year.

I make Christmas morning special by appealing to all of their senses. I use homemade potpourri to scent the house. I have Christmas music playing low. Sometimes I light candles. I have warm ham and turkey croissants on the table. The decorations are lit and the presents are arranged around it. Santa is so engraved in people's minds for Christmas due to our culture that they can't believe Christmas can be special without him!

We have taught them about the real St. Nicholas. He was a quite a passionate man! We feel feisty old St. Nick with his strong beliefs would have slapped people in their face, much like he did Arius, for how they celebrate him in Christ's place today. 

They also know about the difference between the myth of Santa and have been taught by us to respect other's beliefs and ways of celebration. They know of the accusations and hatred from other Christians that has been aimed at their father and I for celebrating Christmas with Christ and without Santa. Our children have repeatedly thanked us for making a stand for Truth over tradition.

As young parents, Clint and I felt this was the way the Lord was leading us to worship on Christmas. Our goal, every year, is to place Christ first and foremost. When Clint and I stand before the Lord, we don't want Him remembering how we squeezed Him in alongside something else but how we gave Him ALL of the room in our hearts and home. 


I Peter 3:15 But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,


Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

I John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 3:18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Little Closer

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I turn 47 today and am celebrating it joyfully with my loved ones while I count my blessings. I am blessed with good health and am not on any prescription medications. I am approaching the day for it but currently do not wear glasses. My teeth are all intact and in good condition. I am physically active working in our home and on our farm. My marriage and family are whole. Our finances are in order, and our home is solid. I am abundantly blessed with all I need plus enough to share with others. My God given talents were perfectly tailored to allow me to serve those placed directly in front of me. I feel and see evidence of God's Hand on my life. For decades, I felt lower than every other human being but escaped those chains and found my value in the Gift God gave to me. To God be the glory for every single bit of it! I am blessed far, far beyond what I ever imagined for myself. I would not trade my life for anyone else's. I am His, and He is mine.

Today marks another year closer to realizing what is behind the veil. I am a bit closer to meeting "the One Who loves me more than all others combined" face to face. My mind struggles to comprehend casting off this mortal form and stepping into eternity much like a caged bird would struggle to comprehend the vastness of the great outdoors. Birthdays are simply mile markers in this journey that has a glorious ever after ending.

I Corinthians 2:9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"

Friday, November 27, 2015

Shutters

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second story window

We finally shuttered the front of the house. We only had room to paint those ten at one time. We will do the sides next. Painting the trim will have to wait until next spring. 

Eventually we will wrap the trim in aluminum. The money that we could have used for that went to something we value more than possessions--loving on God's people. So we will wait patiently for the Lord to provide knowing He will at the perfect time and in the perfect manner.

Free Kindle on Oregano Essential Oil



Grab quickly! Prices change often.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving 
from our home to yours!

I am writing this the day before Thanksgiving. I am enjoying cooking in the kitchen with my beautiful children! I thank the Lord for these wonderful opportunities to experience life, make memories, and bond closer to each other. Now, at almost 47 years old, I even rejoice in the chaos, mess, and my own weariness because I know that is evidence of the blessing of a large family. 

We have much to be thankful for this year! Our family has grown in grace and knowledge of the Lord. We are still here and healthy. God has brought some awesome people into our lives who have impacted our family for the better. We have had many opportunities to serve others and rejoice in being God's hands and feet in this troubled world. We have seen an improvement in a broken relationship with external family. We have filled our freezer with homegrown foods. Our home and farm has undergone many positive changes. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are healthy and have the skills to do it. Brandon has not only purchased his own home but has excelled in his job. He has impressed upper management enough that he has been offered a very nice job two pay grades higher than what he is making in Atlanta. The rest of the children have made strides in their education. We have been blessed with the opportunity to increase our income. 

We have a lot to be thankful for this year, but even if we didn't, we could still give thanks and rejoice because our God is worthy to be praised!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Free Christmas Activities Book


I post some free Kindle books as I find them, but that does not mean I have read them.  Please preview the books before you read them with your children to see if they line up with your core beliefs.



Free Christmas Stories Kindle Book


Free Kindle of Christmas stories. 
Check price before downloading because prices can change quickly.

Article: Shut Down the Homeschool Fight

"1. Oh, I don’t like to debate my family’s choices. This one works on everything from cloth diapering to why your child can’t watch PG-13 movies with Grandma. I find it most effective when stated in a very relaxed way, because I’m not looking for a fight — I’m looking to be all done with that particular topic." - See more at: http://simplehomeschool.net/fight/#sthash.Du8JGln1.dpuf

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Article: Homeschool Mom, Give Yourself A Break

"Let’s start with not being so hard on ourselves.  I think the homeschool mom is more critical of themselves than most other moms I know.  We worry if our kids are getting a superior education, are we missing something, proving how awesome homeschooling is to our family, friends and strangers.  And we still want to keep a clean house, cook healthy meals and lose 10 pounds."--read more at: HOMESCHOOL MOM – GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Armful

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Please Pray for Our Friends (Transplant Day!!!)

Today is the day Bunny and Kara undergo surgery. Please lift them in your prayers.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Chicken Lover Gift Idea

An acquaintance of mine was given a unique gift. She really likes chickens. A thoughtful relative of hers took a worn out cupcake tin and painted it to look like a stack of nest boxes with chickens on straw nests in each hole. A ribbon was added to the hole for hanging. It turned out really cute. It was oooo-ed and awwww-ed over by the chicken crazy ladies.

No, I do not want one. Hannah might in 20 years though. :-)


Thursday, November 05, 2015

Spare your germs from others as you would like them spared from you!

Common courtesy says you stay home until you know you aren't contageous. Spare your germs from others, as you would like them spared from you! If you are a large family who has experienced the stomach virus at the same time, you know, the struggle is REAL, people!

For the Love of All That’s Holy, If You’re Vomiting, STAY HOME!

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Article: Successful Cancer Treatment

"They used heat and oxygen to kill it, and then vitamins, minerals and amino acids to strengthen the immune system, which kills the cancer as well. It turns out cancer cannot survive in certain environments, if you starve it, it has nothing to feed on and killing it becomes relatively easy. " -read more at 

So . . . It Turns Out Cancer Can Be Killed After All



Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Chicken Boots Made in the USA

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I bought them just to see Hannah smile. She said, "Oh, they are so adorable!" over and over. I wish Sloggers made them in children's sizes! 

They are very comfortable and made from a soft, flexible rubber unlike any I've seen on a rain boot before. The boots do not come up as high as I'd like so I'll wear these around the farm and buy a pair of waterman's boots for mud and heavier work. 

If you order a pair, you might consider going up two sizes. I wear normal width shoes. I went up one size hoping to fit a thick sock in them. These fit me perfectly while I am barefoot. I will not be able to get a heavy wool sock in them for winter wear. I do love the feel and look of these cute boots though! I may get a pair of the comfort shoes next spring to wear in the garden.

Monday, November 02, 2015

A Benefit of Homeschooling I Didn't Anticipate

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I am so thankful that homeschooling fostered a deep love for learning in our children that has carried over into early adulthood. In this picture, Brandon has sought out Clint and is listening eagerly to learn more plumbing tips and repairs during a break while we were helping him unclog a pipe at his house. Caleb is listening and learning too. Both of them asked Clint many questions.

We can either look at the clogged pipe as a difficulty or an opportunity. I am thankful both my husband and sons seized the opportunity to be together, make memories, learn together, and to share and receive knowledge. I am glad they let me hang out so I could help a little. I had some big "Praise the Lord" moments realizing how precious these moments were as I observed them interacting.

If you are waiting for perfect moments filled with lots of fun and entertainment to make memories, you might find out too late that you don't get that many perfect moments. 

Make each moment count...even the imperfect ones.