Home Learning this Week

Karis is practicing clapping her hands like the seal!

Learning with Karis is such a joy! This week has been full of canning produce for the winter, and thus not a whole lot of time to devote to our beginning learning projects, but I have been amazed how much she can learn without a whole lot of effort. I love observing her enjoyment for reading. She is constantly looking at books and choosing her favorites. What a blessing to have a local library full of wonderful resources to draw from!

This week her favorite has been From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. I estimate I have read this to her at least a half dozen times each day this week! I have it all memorized now but how can I refuse her little pleading moans while she holds the book and hits it on my legs? The result…she is learning many different animals and the actions they do. This is a great resource for teaching physical actions, such as “the gorilla thumps his chest” and then it asks the reader “can you do it?” With each one we have been demonstrating these actions to Karis. She loves it and is learning to preform them amazingly well!

Secondly, she has been exploring the piano with great enthusiasm this week. Even if you just have a keyboard of some sort, or a simple drum, this is fun way to expose them to exploring with making their own music. Thankfully my piano has a quiet pedal to keep the tone down, but she will sit there and just bang around for quite awhile. Headphones would be a nice feature for a keyboard and little ones!

Lastly, even at just 16 months of age, she has found a new interest in sitting on the counter next to me and help preparing food. This week she started mixing batter for me with a mixing spoon. I was pleasantly surprised!

I love how simple learning can be so much fun, free and simple without too much planning and preparations!

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Fireproof: The Movie

The movie “Fireproof” is opening this weekend, September 26. For a preview and more information, visit here or click on the link above. This appears to be an excellent movie by the same producers of “Facing the Giants”. Their goal in making this movie was to be a change agent in our culture and save marriages.  Marriage is one of the corner stones that God set up and it is a picture of Christ and the Church.

The movie is about a marriage in crisis and the “love dare” that the husband’s father gives to him to help his son win back his wife’s heart. Christians purchasing tickets and showing support at the  opening weekend for this God- honoring film is critical to keep it in theaters.

Let’s help encourage Sherwood Baptist Church in their desire for this movie to be a change agent in our culture: go and see it this weekend, invite others to join you.  The opening weekend will decide if movie will continue in the theater or not.

Aaron and I had a few friends and family attend pre-screenings of this movie and highly recommended it. I personally was greatly blessed and encouraged by “Facing the Giants” and thus want to get behind the efforts of this church to supply our culture with Christ-honoring films. We will be there!

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Heb 10:24

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Christ Centered Childraising

Laura at Joshua’s House honored me with a request to write an article for her ministry on why we have a vision for keeping our child training Christ centered and how we are seeking to go about this. We are always in need of further growth and maturity in our own parenting, but I pray this might provide some encouragement to other families that there is reason to pursue Christ in everything. You will find it here.

Laura is seeking to provide families with resources to encourage spiritual growth. She has a great list of family fun activities to complete together to not only build relationships but also strengthen their love for the Lord. Thanks Laura for your efforts and the invitation!

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Simplifying Your Wardrobe – Part 2

Welcome back for part 2 with further tips on Simplifying your Wardrobe! For part 1, visit here. In part 1, we discussed how to build a simple wardrobe through evaluating how much clothing you really need and how to build a selected color scheme. Now on to other ideas…above all, remember that the reason we should ultimately seek to simplify is that we might reserve more resources, time and energy for the Lord’s use…in order that we might have more to give (read more about this purpose here)!

Select clothing that is timeless

Rather than following all the fashion trends that change with each season, I like to keep my wardrobe simple by choosing more timeless attire. I may choice one or two more fashionable items (because it is fun!) on an annual basis but they still remain in my color scheme. I love denim skirts and pants, and assortment of black and brown which never grow old!

Select clothing that is versatile

Choosing clothing that works for more than one occasion/event is also very helpful. I like to wear a variety of casual skirts that work well for both around the house, dinner or evening out, and at church. I have one or two fancier dresses for weddings and such, but the main collection of my wardrobe is appropriate for both casual and semi-formal events.

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Variety in Your Grains

There is such a variety of grains out there ready for our use…why limit ourselves to whole wheat? My recommendation for beginning on the pathway to more nutritious eating is to try and eliminate white flour and replace with whole wheat (read more here). This is a huge step in the right direction! As you become more familiar with whole wheat, it is very nutritious to start including a variety of grains in your diet!

Here is what we use around our kitchen. There are many more quality grains out there, but I have simplified my kitchen to use some of the easiest to work with…

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

If you are anything like me, you love homemade ice cream! But not just any homemade ice cream…but a healthy and naturally sweetened dessert!

Our family absolutely loves homemade ice cream from our Cuisinart maker that we purchased awhile back (highly recommended by the way!). In a matter of 30 minutes we have a fresh batch of delicious ice cream! We can use quality raw milk and cream and an array of ingredients!

Here is our favorite concoction:

4-5 cups fresh whole milk (preferably raw – for more info on this, check out realmilk) – best texture is achieved by replacing 2 cups or more with heavy whipping cream (we scrap the cream off the top of our raw milk for this purpose)
1 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2-3/4 cup rapadura (our favorite natural sweetener choice, but you can also experiment with maple syrup, agave nectar, etc)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine together in a mixing bowl and pour into your ice cream machine, as the manufacturer’s instructions suggest. If you don’t own an ice cream machine…you can also just put it in your freezer till frozen!

For our coconut ice cream recipe, visit here.

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Mission of Motherhood: Storing up Treasures!

Today we continue our book study on The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson with chapter 3: The Undivided Heart. Please join us! Here are just a few points that really stood out to me while reading this chapter.

Matthew 6:20-21
“Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

The command in this passage of Scripture is for us to set our hearts on choices that have eternal results, rather than temporal significance. I have always considered this passage to only be referring to storing up treasures in heaven, challenging us to be generous, to tithe, to serve, and send our resources on ahead of us. What struck me in this chapter was Sally’s insightful point with this question: Have you considered that your children are eternal souls that will last for eternity?

“My children are eternal human beings whose lives and souls will last throughout all of eternity…God has given them into my husband’s and my hands to protect and lead and shepherd them through this life on earth; in his sight, they are my first priority. Committing myself to fulfilling God’s design falls under the admonition to seek first his kingdom – the kingdom of heaven where we will live for all eternity. The kingdom of this world and all of its pleasures last only for a time. My children will become treasures in heaven if they indeed learn to love God and serve him with their whole hearts. This is eternal work – to train the hearts, minds, and consciences in righteousness.

This is our eternal work as parents – to invest in building a strong generation of children, through building their moral, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being, so they might function as responsible adults for the rest of their lives. This is my primary mission field – the souls of my children!

One day I will stand before the Judgment seat, and the Lord will ask me to give an account to him for the precious souls that he entrusted into my hands. Oh that I might be found faithful!

“Children do not accidentally become righteous leaders or emotionally healthy and productive adults – any more than seeds thrown randomly to the wind grow to be part of a thriving garden. Simply throwing children into a cultural tornado and hoping for the best gives them little chance of living up to their potential or coming out unharmed.”

There is a need for someone to take responsibility to invest in their nurture, protection, nourishment, intellectual development, manners, recreation, personal needs, and spiritual development. Who is willing to invest the time and energy needed to accomplish such a task? Should we leave it to others, the world around us, the “professionals”? A wise God has provided such a person in His perfect ordered plan for creation – and that person is a mother, working in partnership with her husband, to accomplish such a task!

What stood out to you in this chapter? Please feel free to share a quote, or anything that the Lord has been challenging you with thus far.

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The Art of Being A Well-Dressed Wife – Part 2

Welcome back for part 2, with highlights from Wife Dressing by Anne Fogarty from my sister, Christa, and a few little ideas of my own! For part 1, visit here.

A General Guide to Wife Dressing

1. Compress your Wardrobe

Be relentless. If it’s out of style-makes you itch or squirm with discomfort, turns your skin sallow- can it! Sentiment may cast a rosy  glow on some special piece or other, but in reality, it’s just taking up space.

With the dross and fool’s gold cleared away, the real nuggets shine. An uncluttered wardrobe gives you a working knowledge of what you have and full control over selections. I regularly (every month) clean out my closet and invariably give-away an item or two. It’s better to have fewer clothes, all wearable and each accessorized in your mind than the confusion of having three times the selection. Remember, weeding is a money saver – sell it or donate it and save on your income tax return!

2. The Jewelry Box

The best jewel box is one that is sparsely filled. Not being able to tell the forest for the trees is the chief woe of the overstuffed box. Simplicity, class. One or two fresh things is enough.

3. Excess Accessories

The Confusion of Profusion is too many scarves, belts, and other oddities. By “too many” I mean relics from the past, that are no longer in current use. If an accessory hasn’t been worn for a year, if it’s shabby, if the color is faded or doesn’t go with anything you have, if you simply cant stand to wear it…ditch it.

Here are some added thoughts and ideas from Lindsay…

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The Art of Being A Well-Dressed Wife – Part 1

While on the topic of simplifying the wardrobe, my sister, Christa, has been reading Wife Dressing: The Fine Art of Being A Well-Dressed Wife by Anne Fogarty. This is a cute little book re-published from the 50′s but has a lot of practical advice for today. She wanted to share some cute little ideas that she has gleaned from the book with my readers! Thanks deary!

Wife dressing is many things:

An art.

A science.

A labor of love.

A means of self-expression.

And, above all, a contributing factor to a happy marriage.

Wife dressing begins with the traditional rings for your third finger, left hand. But the wedding ring is only the beginning. When your husband’s eyes light up as he comes in at night, you’re in sad shape if it’s only because he smells dinner cooking.

Most men claim to be indifferent to fashion, if not down-right afraid. They can contemplate outer space without blinking an eye, sacrifice their very lives in defense of our country, or even explore the dark cellar where you’ve heard noises-yet the mention of a shopping trip turns them pale and trembling.

So how can you serve your husband through your dress?

You will need:

  1. A frank understanding of yourself
  2. A healthy attitude toward your new responsibilities
  3. A willingness to learn and
  4. A buoyant elation about being alive.

All this can be boiled down to one word: Discipline.

Discipline makes you the woman you are. You are you. Not the model in that photo, or the girl beside you in the elevator, or even the gal sitting at the next lunch table. Discipline is the secret to good grooming, no matter your budget. Discipline prevents you from being deluded about the squishing into the wrong size, or buying something just because it’s on sale.

Stay tuned for part 2…

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Simplifying the Wardrobe – Part 1

Now isn’t that a simple wardrobe?

Continuing on in our simplifying series, I have received many requests to talk about clothing! Oh the joy of figuring out how much clothing is sufficient!

Remember again, the reason we are simplifying is so that we might have more freedom to enjoy the important things of life. Having an overstocked closet can definitely consume a lot of time as we stress over the fact and complain to our husbands or family “I have nothing to wear!” Let’s admit…we have all been there! “Nothing” in our book means nothing “new” to wear. Do we really need new items or do we need to develop our creativity in assembling new outfits from what we already have?

Shopping for clothing can consume a lot of time (to find modest clothing especially), in addition to washing and maintaining your wardrobe. Just because we may have the space to store them, shouldn’t give us license to fill it with more clothing. Women especially have more of a natural battle of desiring to look appealing and fashionable and thus a tendency to consume a significant wardrobe.

How can you begin to simplify?

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