Friday, December 29, 2006
Posted by Christine at 2:45 PM
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Hello Dear Friends
I hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Christmas. Hubby was off since last Wednesday till yesterday. It was so very hard to see him go this morning. We certainly had some busy days last week. On Wednesday, we drove 4 hours to pick up my husband's brother in Virginia, who has recently joined the air force. Then, we drove back home 4 hours. The children were rather well behaved, except towards the end of the trip, when they simply could not take it any more. On Thursday, we tied up some loose ends around town, while preparing to visit my family. Friday morning, we left for Maryland at around 10 a.m.. Our trip, which was only supposed to take 6 hours ended up taking 10 hours! The traffic around the D.C. area was horrendous. The worst part was that I simply needed the restroom and all the exits were blocked with a myriad of shoppers. I really was at the brink of despair. Finally, after a few hours of traffic, we arrived at our hotel. My mom drove up from Virginia that night and we ate at IHOP with her. The next day I was able to visit with several relatives on both my mother and father's side of the family. It was a nice day just to visit, though it can be really difficult to spend time with those who feel so differently about things than you. I am sure you know how it is when certain people say things that are rude.One of my aunt's said that I needed to get a hobby since we are expecting baby # 3. I don't go around telling people how many children that they ought to have, so why should they tell me how few I should have? I guess God is just giving me plenty of opportunities to learn pure love towards those who are difficult to love. I sure wish I was better at it. On Sunday, we ventured on a lovely journey home, which only took 6 hours, including an hour stop at Cracker Barrel and a brief walk through a store. We got to treasure Christmas with my dear husband's relatives, who live near us. They are such a delight, and I truly appreciate how I can simply be myself around them. With my relatives, I feel as though I must weigh each word, but with hubby's family, I can laugh and tease and have a great time. It has been such a blessing to be back home, where I can finally get back into the swing of things. It is so difficult to have a normal, happy family in a hotel room. The children were not able to sleep very well at the hotel, because it was not their normal surroundings. So hubby and I were quite worn out, ourselves. Please pray for me because next Tuesday, I have my first ob appointment. I have the same doctor as when I was expecting Stevie. I am sure I will hear about having another little one, already. Please pray that things will go well, and that God will give Stephen and I the strength to bear any persecutions we might face. Thank you!
Image from www. art.com "Mother Love I"
Posted by Christine at 12:38 PM
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Posted by Christine at 3:20 PM
Monday, December 18, 2006
Last Minute Christmas Photo Cards
I have been feeling so sick lately that I have barely done anything Christmas-oriented. I really wanted some Christmas card pictures of my children, and I knew it was too late to get them taken at Walmart. So I went to the handy dandy Kodak kiosk at my Walmart, and got to personalize Christmas cards with a picture from my digital camera. This took only a matter of minutes, and I was able to walk away with my pictures! It was only $0.28 a picture. I also found an online coupon for 5 free prints! ) Of course I found it after I already bought my pictures, but maybe it can help you. The link for the coupon can be found here. I heartily recommend this as a wonderfully fast way to get the cards you need. My grand total for 20 cards was just under $6.00. You can also make 8x10 pictures, calenders, and a variety of neat items at any of the Kodak kiosks. Also, it does not matter which type of digital camera you have, the kiosk is compatible. I am planning to give out most of my cards, but the ones I mailed were quick and easy to send. I am so grateful for easy options this Christmas. What a blessing!
Posted by Christine at 10:31 PM
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I thought I was only suffering from nausea with this pregnancy. Last Friday, I was vacuuming the bedrooms, and I started to feel queasy. Right then, the children started bickering and mommy started feeling REALLY sick. I ran to the bathroom and was sick to my stomach. I really should not have taken my pre-natal vitamin in the morning, but I thought I was safe. I am just so grateful that I have signs of a very strong pregnancy, even if it can be difficult to cope sometimes. My dear hubby purchased a few things that sometimes help me with morning sickness, and I wanted to share them with you.
- Ginger Trips: This is a gum which has vitamin B6 and Ginger to help you with any type of motion or morning sickness. Ginger is always supposed to help with an upset stomach. To purchase this, visit here. If you can get natural ginger ale with real ginger in it, it may help to calm your stomach.
- Limeade: My dear father-in-law researched what helps with morning sickness when I was so ill, while I was expecting Lily. Limeade would help the waves of nausea to cease for a bit. I was desparate and was so grateful for any help. My favorite kind of limeade is homemade or Simply Limeade.
What has helped you regarding morning sickness during your pregnancies?
Posted by Christine at 10:17 PM
Posted by Christine at 9:04 PM
Thursday, December 14, 2006
This week, Crystal posed a few questions for those participating in Frugal Friday. I would like to answer her first question, " What is the best resource for frugality you've found (book, magazine, website, etc.)?" There are a few websites that have been helpful to me in my search for frugal living. Frugal Mom has several sections on frugality, including frugal gifts and ways to cut back on your grocery expenses. Living on a Dime even gives tips for celebrating Christmas on a limited budget.The New Homemaker has a great section on making/buying inexpensive gifts. My absolute favorite frugality website, especially because of it's emphasis on being a godly helpmeet, is Frugal Homemaker. Don't miss their extensive section on Gifts in a Jar or their Free Printables. Have a blessed week in Him!
Posted by Christine at 8:50 PM
Today was a day of doctor's appointments. First, I was finally able to go and take my pregnancy test at the doctor's office. I went to the restroom before we left home, and I deeply regretted it. So dh quickly bought me a bottled water, so I could sufficiently take the test.Sometimes the logistics of using a tiny specimen cup, can be a lot of work for a pregnant woman. They said that I am most definitely pregnant. I told the nurse, "Thank goodness, or there is something dreadfully wrong with me." My ob/gyn's office just started making their patients take a preliminary pregnancy test before having their first prenatal exam. The receptionist said that it is because so many women were making their prenatal appointments, and they were not even pregnant. I am wondering why so many women are thinking they are pregnant when they are not.Could it be all the false positives that come from a particular pregnancy test? I also believe some of this mass confusion about fertility can be attributed to all the types of birth control out there. Some people take birth control pills which only give you a period 4 times a year. How can one's body not get messed up by such confusion? Anyways, even though I was quite certain I was expecting, there is nothing like hearing it for certain. They really want me to have my first exam before I turn 12 weeks, but I will be out of town, and then they will be closed. My first exam is scheduled for January 2nd. I only go to the doctor's office I have, because they only have female doctors there. Hubby and I just feel more comfortable with me going there. I dislike and feel sickened by the posters, charts, and calenders everywhere, which advertise for every form of birth control known to man. I know I will probably be criticized for having #3 already. This is a good opportunity to remain stedfast and to remember that the children of the Savior will always suffer some form of persecution.We should rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer in His name.
After taking my pregnancy test, we went for Lily's follow-up dental appointment. Her hygenist said that Lily's teeth look fabulous. They are getting brushed well, and they are healing really well. I am so proud of my Lily! She lets me brush her teeth several times a day, and she says she only wants to drink milk and water from now on. She has immense wisdom, far past her mere 3 1/2 humble years.
I ask for your prayers that I may have a healthy pregnancy. Please also pray for my hubby, who had a few moles removed 2 months ago. I hope with all my heart that they are not cancerous. Blessings to you as you prepare your hearts for the celebration of His birth.
Posted by Christine at 4:35 PM
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Homeschooling Material Review Website
A wonderful website which reviews homeschooling materials is Christian Character Matters.I love the variety of items on this site, which I had never heard of prior to my visit. There are so many homeschooling jewels which look wonderful in any homeschooling journey. You can even find a review I did on this site, under the "Reading,Handwriting, and Spelling" section. I also enjoy looking at homeschooling books at Christian Book, because they are affordable and they allow you to view an excerpt from that particular resource. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 5:42 PM
WFMW: Dresser Organization
Anyone who has a couple of little children knows how frustrating it can be to keep their drawers organized. My little Lily is at the age where she constantly wants to change some part of her attire. I was tired of organizing her drawers, only to have her mess them up shortly thereafter. So, a way to help her know where to put which garments is to draw a picture of what type of clothing goes in that drawer, and tape it on the front of the drawer. This is a great alternative for children who are too young to read. For more Works for me Wednesday tips, please visit Rocks in my Dryer.
Posted by Christine at 10:10 AM
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Posted by Christine at 7:22 PM
Posted by Christine at 10:42 AM
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Monday~Chicken Pot Pie and Salad
Tuesday~Beef and Bean Burritos
Thursday~Chicken Alfredo Pasta and Broiled Sweet Potatoes
Saturday~Whole Wheat Spaghetti with beef sauce and salad
Strawberry yogurt, oranges, apples, applesauce, crackers with peanut butter and honey, pudding and vanilla wafers, cheddar cheese sticksBecause of intense morning nausea, I have been trying to really simplify my morning meals. I still try to make eggs or oatmeal when I can stomach it. Recently, I bought some Bran Flake cereal for those mornings when I just have no strength. I guess I am living in survival mode.I also am grateful for the times I prepare the night ahead by making breakfast in the crockpot. For more meal plans, visit Organizing Junkie . Have a blessed week of cooking meals for your family.
Posted by Christine at 10:50 PM
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Long before having children, I have been a homeschool curriculum afficionado. I always wanted to find just the right materials for my little ones, well before my children were old enough to need them. I read A Well Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer, and I was instantly impressed, particularly by their view on teaching history. Susan and her mother state that history, as it is commonly taught today is very narcisstic. In most curriculums, children only learn about American history during the elementary school years. They make a case that history is best learned in a chronological manner, thus eliminating confusion on who lived when. Also, it is important to learn at an early age about other cultures and people, for life does not revolve around the American culture alone. Since reading their materials, I have been a big advocate of learning chronologically and keeping a timeline to record various events on it. This helps to clearly plot out in one's mind what event occurred when, and who lived where. Because of this fascinating book, and the recommendations of many homeschoolers, I was so happy when Susan started making a history series for younger children. I quickly purchased The Story of the World, eager to review history in a chronological style. I only had to open the first few pages to be thoroughly disappointed. The book begins with a narrative about primitive type people, the nomads. This simply is an erroneous view if you take the Bible literally. Adam and Eve were exceptionally bright, much smarter than fallen man has become. Rather than depicting the first people as primitive, they should have been shown as the amazingly brilliant creatures they were. You can see an excerpt at the above link. Also, as one continued through the book, it was apparent how much Biblical truth was left out, and when an episode from the Bible was there, it was gravely distorted and embellished. My husband was appalled by the additions made to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. The Bible never states that he was a braggerd! My husband read the whole book and was simply appalled. It sickened me so, that I could only read a couple of chapters. We quickly sold it on E-bay.I knew right away that if there was a history book that was Christ-centered and chronological, then it would be a true treasure. I was blessed to find what I was seeking in The Mystery of History. One merely has to browse the table of contents to see how Christ-centered this book is! It begins at our true beginning of history, Creation. She does such a thorough job of weaving in so many critical historic events, Biblically. I love how you can teach all of your children history at one time with this curriculum. After you complete the first book during the first year, you continue through history by using her other books, which will follow history through modern times. In the classic education pattern, after you go all the way through history (studying over several years) you begin again at the beginning of history, studying systematically. Those who follow this history will certainly learn history, in a God-honoring manner. Christian Book Distributers no longer carries The Story of the World I, I believe, because of it's non-Christian view. We must be so careful to make our children's education Christ-centered in every manner. If something does not honor Him, why should we utilize it?
Posted by Christine at 12:04 PM
Homemade gifts can often be quite inexpensive to make, and they are, quite often, the best loved gifts. Handmade treasures can even become handed down heirlooms. Any homemaker would treasure a homemade dishcloth from any of the patterns shown here. Another cold-weathered gift which anyone would love is a scarf. Even though Christmas is just around the corner, there is still enough time to make one or two of these treasures. If you are interested in crafting for charities, visit here. If you want to help locally, many nursing homes are in need of lap blankets, especially for their patients in wheelchairs. They prefer patterns with no fringe, as tassels get caught in the wheels. A very basic pattern for lap blankets can be found here. One of my all new favorite crafting sites is Craft Bits.
"She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:19-20
Posted by Christine at 11:23 AM
Friday, December 08, 2006
Boxed Christmas cards can be quite expensive around the holiday season, and handmade cards are wonderful for adding that personal touch. There are many inexpensive ways one can make a frugal Christmas card. I would first recommend either purchasing a set of white cards and envelopes from a craft store. As a cheaper longterm option, purchase a card template set such as this one. You can use this a million times, just by using the templates on card stock. I would also recommend keeping a stash of various scrapbooking papers on hand, especially when 12 x 12 inch sheets go on sale for 10 cents each. I have even made my own tag templates and written a verse/pretty piece of prose and attached it to the front of the card. My favorite Christmas quote is from Wilda English, "God grant you the light of Christmas, which is faith; the warmth of Christmas, which is love... the all of Christmas, which is Christ." You can emboss and chalk with an appropriate Christmas stencil for a very elegant touch. I also love dressing up cards with ribbons, brads, glitter, and any embellishments I might have found on clearance or as a gift. If you want to make cards with your little children, it can be as simple as folding a red piece of construction paper in half, and drawing a triangle on the front, which will be the Christmas tree. (I purchased my stamp pads from A.C.Moore for $1.oo each, not on sale.) Then let your children fill the triangle with their stamped thumbprints. These are always a treasure for grandparents. Have fun using your imagination and making cards for your dear ones today! Please visit Biblical Womanhood for more Frugal Friday tips.
Posted by Christine at 12:40 PM
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
WFMW: Meat Preparation
To save time making meals throughout the week, it is easier to cook your meats on Monday. At the beginning of the week, I purchase as many meats as my weekly menu will require. I cook several chicken breasts and many pounds of beef. I then put them in individual freezer containers/bags, which are the proper meal size for my family. Then, when I need a particular meat at suppertime, I thaw it in the refrigerator the previous night, or I just zap it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Then, I simply add the meat to the meal as I am making it. This saves energy because you only heat up the oven and stove top once, rather than every night. (I still use the range to make my meals, though.) Also, meat preparation can be the most time consuming part of meal preparations. I save so much time this way, that I would have a really difficult time going back to the former way I would cook my meats nightly. For more Works for me Wednesday tips, visit Rocks in my Dryer. Have a blessed week!
Posted by Christine at 12:34 PM
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
The Nativity Story
We have been blessed to watch a few really inspiration movies at the theater done by Fox Faith. While watching these, we have seen previews for a movie we are really looking foward to seeing,The Nativity Story. I have not seen it yet, but I am really looking foward to seeing such an amazing movie. It was released nationwide on December 1. In the previews, I loved the realistic view the movie presented. Rather than putting Mary and Joseph on a pedestal, it portrayed them as two people who sought God amidst their trials. It portrayed Joseph carrying his very pregnant wife, begging for someone to give them shelter. It looks like a very tasteful depiction of an amazing event, which forever impacted eternity. Please visit the link above to The Nativity Story to see some movie trailers for this captivating film. It is such a blessing when others step out in faith and make wholesomely entertaining movies. Movies should transform our lives for the better. How utterly amazing it is when they have the power to do so.
Posted by Christine at 6:18 PM
The New Phillips' Baby
Visit Doug's Blog to see the announcement of his precious, newborn baby girl. She really is beautiful, and Doug is a faithful reminder of the blessedness of children. Vision Forum ministries have done so much to encourage modern Christians to stop taking the world's standards as their norm. They have encouraged me to take the Bible alone as my standard to guide me in all matters. The world tells us that babies are mere fianancial burdens; our Bible tells us that they are an heritage of the Lord! When we struggle to see which path is right, may we faithfully turn to the pure and unadulterated Word of God. Daily, seek the hidden treasure which is buried in His Word. It is an abundant feast which constantly awaits us, His children.
Posted by Christine at 2:08 PM
Monday, December 04, 2006
Posted by Christine at 3:12 PM
Mama's Other Little Helper
Last Friday afternoon, Lily was acting up quite a bit, and was definitely tired. (I think the medications from her surgery were still affecting her.) Anyways, the only place I can get her to take a nap for me is in Stevie's crib, after he has taken a nap. She was able to sleep for a little while, and I had a little blonde helper. Often, I neglect seeking Stevie's help as often as I should, since Lily is proficient at so many things. But instead of letting him run around getting into mischief while I cooked supper, I decided to teach him how to make pizza. He sure loved patting the dough down, pouring the sauce on, and putting yummy gobs of mozzarella on top. (He couldn't resist taking some shredded cheese to munch on.) It just makes little ones feel so good to "help" their parents, no matter how small the task. I encourage you to teach your smaller ones something useful and fun. You might be truly amazed at the fruits of their efforts.
Posted by Christine at 2:55 PM
Friday, December 01, 2006
Frugal Friday : Homemade Fruit Leathers
Do you want some affordable and healthy snacks on hand for you and your children? Homemade fruit leathers are a delicious snack for families. Please visit Crystal for more Frugal Friday tips.
Easy Applesauce Fruit Leathers:
Take your store bought/homemade jar of applesauce and some cinnamon (optional) and lay out on a 10 x 15 inch baking tray. If you do not have a food dehydrator, put in your oven , with it occasionally heated to 130 degrees. Dry until it is no longer wet. This should take 4-8 hours. You can roll it into individual portions , for your convenience. It should last 6 months, properly stored.
Posted by Christine at 11:49 AM