In my house, it seems like someone is always consuming a warm and delectable beverage, especially in the cooler months. We love drinking herb teas, for all of their cleansing capabilities. Stephen and I also enjoy drinking coffee, although I try to save it for an occasional treat, due to the fact that I am either nursing or expecting. We signed up for this incredible deal from Gevalia. For $15, we will receive a really nice stainless steel coffee maker, and a coffee scoop. We choose two types of coffee, out of their 40 types of coffee and teas, to sample. If we do not like this program, we can cancel and keep the coffeemaker. My Mom and a friend have recommended this program and they said that it works great. I can certainly use a new coffeemaker, as mine is quite shabby and has certainly seen better days. I was content with it, but this deal is wonderful.
My favorite warm beverage this season, hands down, has been Oregon Chai (from concentrate). I simply fill my tea cup half way with the tea concentrate, and halfway with milk. Then I heat it for 45 seconds in my microwave. It is warm and delicious with a scrumptious, cinnamony taste. It is a great afternoon pick-me-up, which I really look forward to. Walmart and Target sell this concentrate, and the bonus is that only organic materials are used. They even have an Egg Nog Chai, a Caffeine-free Chai, and a variety of other Chais displayed here. With all of the recipes they offer, I don't think I will be bored with this drink. What beverages are you enjoying this fall?
Friday, November 30, 2007
Posted by Christine at 7:15 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2007
The Joy of Being a June Bride...
I have always loved the movie, 7 Brides for 7 Brothers! Maybe that is why I got married in June. (and was blessed to have a spring baby- born nine months and a day, later) This song is so much fun!
Bonnet tip to Lauren.
Posted by Christine at 2:47 PM
Vision Forum Goodies!!!!
Yesterday, we got this collection of goodies from Vision Forum. Dear Hubby got a $200 gift certificate from Vision Forum, when he joined College Plus, last month. I chose the Return of the Daughters dvd. I have been anticipating seeing that movie for so long now, and it really is exceptional. Stephen got this baby carrier for Lily, and pop gun for Stevie.We are enjoying listening to Pilgrims Progress cds on our travels.These items are such a blessing to us, and we are blessed to be getting another package from Vision Forum, next week.Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 2:29 PM
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Thank you, Ali and Kelly!
Ali did such a wonderful job capturing how I wanted my blog redesign to look. She is the epitome of patience, and is so accommodating to one's blogging needs. My friend Kelly did an incredible job creating my header. These two ladies are so talented, and I am so blessed by their efforts. Thank you so much, dear ladies. If you ever need a blog makeover, I encourage you to contact these talented ladies.
Posted by Christine at 7:28 PM
Works for me Wednesday
It seems that my oldest two are always hungry for a snack, so what works for me is trying to keep healthy snacks on hand. I like to keep celery, spread with natural peanut butter, in individual baggies for my children. Another healthy snack choice is banana pops. I make these by cutting bananas in half, and inserting a popsicle stick in each one. Then, I dip each one in flavored yogurt, and freeze them on wax paper for a few hours.Freezing bananas actually makes them taste a lot better, in my opinion.You can also dip the banana pops in wheat germ, to make them even healthier.Our family has recently been making popcorn on the stovetop, using coconut oil and our own favorite seasonings to flavor it. We really enjoy coating it with Parmesan cheese.As a healthier alternative to the fruit snacks at the store, it would be great to make homemade fruit leathers. I also love baking a variety of muffins and granola, so that there is always something to snack on. Having prepared treats definitely works for me. For more Works for me Wednesday ideas, go here.
Posted by Christine at 8:00 AM
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Yesterday, sweet Anastasia rolled over for the first time, by herself. I had set her down on her back on the floor, and Stephen pointed out that she was now on her belly. My little girl is growing so fast.
Posted by Christine at 10:53 PM
A Blessed Thanksgiving
Though Thanksgiving 2007 was a cold and rainy day here in North Carolina , it was a time of great memories and fun for our family. The children and many adults played flag football before eating Thanksgiving dinner.
Our Feast was simply scrumptious! This year, we started the tradition of having everyone in the family state what they were grateful for. This was so much fun.
The three blessings for which we are most grateful.....
My mom and sister visited with us from Friday through Sunday. We had a delightful time with them and are so grateful for their visit. Here is my Mom with sweet Anastasia.
Lily with my sister, Stephanie....
Posted by Christine at 10:06 PM
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
So much to be thankful for.......
Yesterday, I looked out the window to see this precious sight.....
It is such a blessing to see your precious children getting along and having a beautiful relationship. I am grateful that I can stay home with them, and that they get to spend so much time together.
I am also quite grateful for the precious little girl, Anastasia Rose, which God sent into our lives, this year. She is a true joy! I am thankful that He carried me through her birth, and helped me to grow through that experience.
I am grateful for the constant love and blessings bestowed on me, by my Savior.I am grateful that He died for my sins. Not only has he blessed me with Salvation, but, He continues to bless us, in a multitude of ways,daily.I am grateful for my Husband, who works diligently for our family. I am thankful that he is such a giving and loving father. God has blessed us with wonderful family members, parents, siblings, extended family, and friends. We are so blessed by you!
Praying that you and yours have a very blessed Thanksgiving!
Posted by Christine at 11:06 AM
Monday, November 19, 2007
A Plethora of Links
I love these Custom Tracer Pages for little ones.
For those who have an Aldi nearby, Amy has a Fall/Winter Meal
Planner complete with a shopping list , meal plans for a month , and snacks .
Amy also has a month's worth of recipes of slow cooking dinners available. Slow cookers are such a blessing to any mother!
Carmen has listed the top 10 ways to be productive in the home .
I am looking forward to making these Itty Bitty Books for reviewing letter sounds with Lily and Stevie.
A few nights ago, I listened to this excellent interview of the Botkin sisters by Kevin Swanson. He has some great programs; I encourage you to check out his show topics here.
Karen Andreola shares Activities for preschoolers, while homeschooling.
She also gives Reparatives for Weary Mamas.
These maple scones look scrumptious.
Once my bananas ripen, I am looking forward to making these Breakfast Banana Pops. Finally, a way to get my little ones to eat all the bananas, before they turn black.
Posted by Christine at 9:02 PM
This afternoon, Lily and I made 24 of these scrumptious Pumpkin Muffins.I have given up on making just 12 muffins at a time. We can easily eat a dozen within a half hour. I love having some leftover muffins to heat up in the morning. These are a fun autumn snack. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 8:12 PM
This past weekend, I was extremely blessed to attend a creation conference at my church, with talks given by John Whitcomb. He is an incredibly godly man, in his eighties, who desires to continue to use the rest of his life to draw others closer to the Creator. His passion for God and zeal for souls is contagious. He has such a knack for showing hidden truths in Scripture. One of my favorite talks was when he went into depth regarding Genesis 3. Whenever he would explain something, he always used Scripture to back it up. He never just made things up. Ever since he was saved one night, in his dorm room, back in the 40's, he has lived with such a passion for God. He was part of a group which tried to evangelize the campus. Albert Einstein even showed up at their showing of the incredible movie, The God of Creation. John Whitcomb even gave Einstein a tract afterwords.How amazing! I am so grateful that I can hear Whitcomb's incredible preaching, anytime, here.
I highly recommend such solid bible preaching. It can truly change your life.
Posted by Christine at 5:11 PM
Friday, November 16, 2007
I finally figured out how to use the video feature on my camera. Hallelujah!I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for your inspiration, Laura. I fear technology and you gave me courage. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 5:12 PM
What a Treat!
To hear Kevin Swanson's interview of Jennie Chancey, regarding women's roles, click here. It is such a biblically-based message that is such a blessing!
Posted by Christine at 2:54 PM
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Why is it that I have nursed for 42 months of my life, and I am only just now realizing how useful a Nursing Tank can be? One morning,the winter chill had started to fill my bedroom, and no matter what I did, my belly felt freezing as I nursed my little Anastasia. So I realized that a nursing tank was something that I truly needed.They can be pretty pricey, so for a cheaper alternative, find a tank or a camisole to wear under your shirt. Cut a hole out for each bra cup, and viola, an inexpensive, and viable option for keeping your abdomen warm and modest. For more Frugal Fridays, visit Crystal.
Posted by Christine at 7:57 PM
Posted by Christine at 7:48 PM
2007 Book List
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth - Excellent- 9 (Non Fiction)
The Birth Book- Very Helpful and down to earth guide to birth- 9 (Non Fiction)
At Home in Mitford- Very Relaxing Read- 9 (Non Fiction)
The Bronze Bow Great Historical Fiction- 8 (Fiction)
Birthing from Within Good read; a bit "out there" (NF) 7
Giving Birth 6 (NF) Some interesting gems, but too feministic for me.
A Light in the Window 9- (F) Very pleasant read.
These High Green Hills 9-(F) Enjoyable!
Passionate Housewives Desperate for God 10- (NF) Wonderful inspiration! I will post a review soon on this book!
Elsie's Endless Wait 9 (F) Wonderful, Christian literature
What books have you been enjoying, lately?
Image available here
Posted by Christine at 1:40 PM
*For my dear Hubby's acceptance into college via College Plus.
*In Thanksgiving for the kind, sister-in-Christ at church, who encouraged me.
*For the blessing of being able to attend a Creation conference this weekend, at my church.
*For the blessing of three darling children, who bring so much joy to my day.
*A loving Heavenly Father who is Faithful in every circumstance.
*For the blessing of winning Passionate Housewives Desperate for God and the encouragement I have received from reading it.
For more Thankful Thursdays, visit Crystal.
Posted by Christine at 9:37 AM
Sunday, November 11, 2007
My Loot from the Preschool Activity Swap
I am very pleased with the large variety of things my children will be able to play with, from the Preschool Activity Bag Swap. One lady even had to make 5 bean bags for each household. The children and I had so much fun playing some of the games, tonight. I highly recommend the swap, though I encourage you to pick out activities to make, which are not too cumbersome. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 8:25 PM
Menu Plan Monday
Monday- Taco Bowls
Tuesday- Chicken Stir Fry and Brown Rice
Wednesday- Off- Sister-in-law cooking
Thursday- Chili (made with this delicious packet.)
Friday- Pizza and Breadsticks (The above picture shows what it looks like when baked in a cast iron skillet. Yummy!
Saturday- Grilled Cheese and Soup
Sunday- (Fellowship Meal at Church)Lasagna
I am so excited because John Whitcomb, Creationist scholar, will be teaching at my church, next weekend. What a blessing! For more Menu Plan Mondays, please visit Laura.
Posted by Christine at 8:07 PM
Gingerbread Baby Unit Study
My friend, Rebecca led me to the great homeschool website, Homeschool Share. They have a variety of free lapbook and unit study materials.I am hoping to do this fun unit study with my littles, very soon. If I am not able to get the book from the library, this is the link to watch Jan Brett read it. Making gingerbread cookies or houses would be so much fun! There is just such a plethora of wonderful ideas and materials for free, online. Blessings.
Posted by Christine at 12:26 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2007
In our church worship services, we have been going through the book of James. In my book, James rates right up there with the book of Proverbs for "most convicting" book in the Bible. If you want to sit easily in your chair and have your ears "tickled" by a preacher, don't visit my church while we are studying James. (or any time for that matter, as my pastor is not big on "tickling ears".) Anyways, last week's sermon was on James 4:11, "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge." It really resonated with me when my pastor stated that according to this passage, when we judge another, we step away from being a "doer of the Word" to being a "hearer of the Word". Yikes...that is pretty intense and quite convicting. Gossip is one of those sins that tends to be extremely difficult to let go of. Just when I think I am starting to give it up, I fail. The reason I fail so often, is because of my heart. If I continue thinking ill of others, and try not to speak of it, I will fail. The reason is because my mouth will always betray what my heart feels. As Matthew 12:34 states, "O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." That is why we are to "hold every thought captive" (II Corinthians 10:5), for our thoughts truly influence us. Another thing that my pastor mentioned was that some people just listen to gossip, and that this is just as sinful as saying it. Sometimes, I have been told gossip, but I did not want to hear it. It was stated before I could do anything. I do not believe that is a sin in those circumstances. I have a very difficult time tactfully telling someone to stop gossiping to me. How do you respond to gossip? What about if your authority figure is gossiping to you? Is it still just to ask him or her to stop? These can be difficult situations, and I would love to hear how you handle them. Also, what do you think about having a confidant to tell things to, which may be bothering you? (Not for the purpose of hurting other people, but because you need someone to talk to?) Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 1:05 PM
I absolutely love this picture of the Duggar's prayer closet. It is so important for everyone to have a quiet spot to get away, to read God's Word and to pray. As parents, I believe that we should always make an available space for our children to pray, even if it is our bedroom or closet. What niches of your home would be useful as a prayer place?
Posted by Christine at 12:20 PM
Friday, November 09, 2007
There are so many recipes that I love to make, but they require adding a can of cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup. If you have examined the cans on most of these soups, then you well know that they are simply laden with unhealthy additives and preservatives. They contain MSG and aluminum, two very dangerous ingredients. In good conscience, I tried to greatly limit our intake of these recipes, as I did not have a good substitute. My husband purchased some Potato Flour, which was on sale, at the store, for $2.00. It has an easy recipe on the back for making potato soup, which can be made by the individual serving, to substitute for "cream of whatever soups".Another viable substitute, which a blogger reader recommended, is to make a Basic White Sauce.Not only are these cheaper alternatives to the creamed soups, but they are a lot healthier, and that will save you a lot of money, in the long run. For more Frugal Fridays, visit Crystal's blog.
Posted by Christine at 11:50 AM
Got Baby Carrier, Can Travel (and clean, etc.)
In the first months after having a baby, it seems so hard to keep up with the ever growing mountain of laundry, preparing meals, cleaning the house, and playing with the other children. Most babies seem to crave a lot of time with Mommy, when they are little. I struggled to get it all done, but life is a lot easier with my Ergo Baby Carrier. I have tried slings and other pouches and within minutes, they kill my back. This is the only carrier that I have found which I can literally wear for hours, and it does not hurt, whatsoever.This morning, for example, I carried Anastasia in the Ergo while I was teaching the children Bible stories, cooking breakfast, washing dishes, and vacuumed the house. It is a breeze with the Ergo and it is so wonderful to have my sweetie bundled up to me and content, rather than fussing in her bouncy chair.It is a huge blessing while we take a walk. I can put Lily and Stevie in the double stroller and Anastasia in the Ergo, and off we go. My hands are still free! One thing that I love about carrying my sweetie a lot, is that she learns so much more. She observes what I am doing and it is definitely soaking in. While I am singing with the children, she is right there, quietly taking it all in. She is learning her ABC's and 123's and so much more.She often falls asleep in there, having been lulled to sleep by hearing her mama's heartbeat.I love working around the house and getting to plant a kiss on my sweet girl's face, whenever I want to.It is so much easier when we take a trip to the store or library. I used to kill my arms dragging around that baby carseat, everywhere. When we arrive at our destination,I just pop Annie in the baby carrier, and then I have two free hands for Lily and Stevie to hold. For more information on the advantages of baby wearing, read here and here. It has been an absolute Godsend to me. By the way, this is the first picture that Lily has ever taken. She did a great job. I am glad to have a budding photographer to help me.Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 11:47 AM
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
More Sweet Pictures
Anastasia got a new Strawberry Shortcake doll and an Apple Dumpling doll. Lily pretends that she is Strawberry Shortcake, and that Annie is Apple Dumpling, Strawberry's baby sister.
I had to capture this moment when Stevie so sweetly went over to talk to his little sister.
Posted by Christine at 5:18 PM
Stevie was quite proud of how he dressed himself for church, on Sunday. Check out the socks! Looking sharp there, cutie pie! By the way, are all boys as silly as this? For more wordless Wednesdays, visit Tiany.
Posted by Christine at 5:01 PM
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Beautiful Birth Story
My dear friend, Jamie, directed me to a beautiful birth story here. If you are a "birth junkie" like me, I am sure you will enjoy it! I also loved finding this article on why one would want a natural childbirth. It is written by a midwife and is really sound information. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 6:44 PM
Monday, November 05, 2007
Thanks be to God, I just found out that I won a signed copy of Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. Jennie Chancey hosted a giveaway for 10 people, and I was blessed to win. I know there is much that I need to learn from this incredible book. I want to be a godly helpmeet, mother, and homemaker. There is just so much that I need to learn, through the encouragement of these godly women, and at the throne of Jesus. Blessings, dear friends.
Posted by Christine at 11:08 PM
The Danger of Cytotec
Watch this. Cytotec is an ulcer medication, which has never been approved for labor, yet it often used for this purpose.
Posted by Christine at 10:00 PM
What a Deal!
This Ergo is an awesome price. You get the Ergo and the infant insert. It is going for $70 and it has 1 day left. If you need one, I hope you win this one.(This is not something I am selling, I just found it and wanted to pass along the good deal.) By the way, I adore my Ergo, it is worth every penny I paid for it. I have not mastered nursing in it, but it keeps Anastasia with me when I am doing a million things. She falls asleep in it so often. I am so grateful that I can go about my business while still having my sweetie up against me. My back always hurt with other baby carriers and slings. But this one is a winner. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 6:23 PM
Grace is not her Name!
No, I am not referring to my dog here, I am referring to me. On Saturday, we were doing our bimonthly grocery shopping at Aldi and Walmart. Anastasia got hungry, so I took her to the van to give her nourishment. Lily had to accompany us, just because that is part of her job as big sister. (Or so, she thinks) We made the trip alright, it was the whole getting into the van thing, that required grace. I put Lily in her seat and I opened my door and set my purse down on the van floor. I sat down and remembered that I needed to shut Lily's door, behind me. So I proceeded to get out of my seat. My purse had become hooked onto my ankle, and I fell out the door of the van, onto the ground. My purse went flying, and my phone went a foot past me. I grabbed for my phone, as I was on the ground, and a pencil (which had fallen out of my purse, also) stabbed into my finger. I had to carefully pull it out, though a bit of graphite remained in my finger. I think I can manage this whole getting in and out of vehicles, alright, but who knows? Maneuvering can be difficult, since my arms are always full. But the fact that my arms are always full with stuff or children is a sign that I am quite blessed by Him.Maybe dear Hubby is wise for calling me Amelia Bedelia, as I am always getting myself into a "pickle".
Posted by Christine at 3:34 PM
Sunday, November 04, 2007
My sweet baby girl is nearly 4 months old; time has been flying. But the real question is, now that I am no longer pregnant, why do I still have a baby belly? While nursing babies 1 and 2, the weight flew off. I could easily put on most clothes at around 2 months post partem. I have managed to squeeze my way into some pre-pregnancy clothes, but it isn't that easy. Last night, Lily wanted to feel my belly. Without a baby in there, it is so not cool! Is it because I am 26 years old and my metabolism isn't what it used to be? Or is this normal when having a good number of children? I better see if I can muster up doing some crunches....it couldn't hurt. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 7:20 PM
Hooray, we finally have cold weather, so I can make some soups and chili! I am so excited.
Monday- November 5- Chili and Cornbread
Tuesday- November 6- Breakfast (Bacon, Omelettes, and toast)
Wednesday- November 7th- Chicken Cacciotoire (for Extended family)
Thursday- November 8th- Potato Soup
Friday- November 9th- Homemade Pizza
Saturday- November 10th- Hamburgers and Creamed Spinach
Sunday- November 11th- Chicken Pot Pie
One thing that really helps me (when I plan in advance) is to make my Sunday meal ahead of time. Last Sunday, I had already defrosted a lasagna that I had prepared, to enjoy after our afternoon service. All I had to do was bake it, and we had a homemade meal! I am always so plum tuckered out on Sunday, and it is truly nice to have a real "day of rest". Chicken pot pie is a great recipe to make ahead, and put it in a disposable tin for baking and then you have little clean up. What meals do you enjoy making in advance? For more menu plans, visit Laura.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
I have been working like a busy bee this past week, preparing the materials for the Preschool Activity Bag Swap, which a lady from my church hosted today.I dropped my completed bags off, earlier at her house. (I had other errands to do (with my family), and could not make it to the swap. I am so excited to see what the other activity bags look like. I am really hoping that they will be enjoyable activities for my children. I will probably be getting them tomorrow, at church. Since only 10 women participated, and there are 20 swap activities, each lady had to make 10 of 2 types of bags. I am not very talented with a paper cutter, so I ended up cutting out 100 cards per bag, with scissors. Boy am I glad that I am finished!
Posted by Christine at 7:25 PM
The Wonders of Coconut Oil
This afternoon, my family and I went to an Asian grocery store, which has specialty foods that we enjoy, such as Nori (Roasted Seaweed). We were so happy to find some Virgin Coconut Oil, for $6.99. I had read of the benefits of this oil, in a recent Above Rubies magazine, and I have been wanting to try it. Coconut oil is the only oil that does not get chemically changed when heated. All other oils and butter, including Olive oil and vegetable oil, are altered when heated, and thus can lead to cancers. Olive oil is a great oil, but it should not be heated. It is best when used to make salad dressings.Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal. Coconut oil boosts metabolisms (thus causing weight loss), helps with thyroid problems, lowers cholesterol, moisturizes when applied to the skin, protects your heart, and supports immune systems. I would feel much better about rubbing this into my skin, than most moisturizers. Dr.Mercola says don't put on your skin anything that you would not be willing to eat. Now that is food for thought! Coconut oil contains the highest amount of lauric acid, second only to breatmilk. This is what makes it protective of your immune system. Here Dr.Mercola explains some of the wonderful benefits of Coconut oil. I highly recommend viewing his video on that site.Here is one more link that explains the many wonderful ways that Coconut Oil helps us.Wilderness Family Naturals has some of the nicest coconut oil and other natural products. I am eager to try it out in some recipes, and it is a blessing to know that this oil is a healthy choice for my family.Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 6:32 PM
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Congratulations to three blogging friends, who recently announced that they are expecting new blessings!
Kendra had sweet baby, Christian, back in March and was definitely surprised to see that the Lord had already blessed them with their next blessing! She is due in May.
Mrs.Brigham is happily expecting "Stringbean". Her daughter turned one, today! Stringbean should arrive next June.
Kim is expecting baby number 9, due next July! Will it be the eighth girl or the second boy?
Blessings to all these dear ladies who are expecting blessings! Prayers for a healthy pregnancy and a blessed delivery.
Posted by Christine at 9:51 PM
Hold that Thought
Hold that Thought has some incredible notebooking materials for children.I really like their Kindergarten Bible Book. What a great way to make learning enjoyable and easy! Their Beginners History contain 600 pages of important historical figures, events, and places, for first and second graders to know. I personally love these devotional sheets. It would be so helpful in one's prayer life! This is an incredible resource that your children will surely enjoy, even after completing a binder of materials.I love using binders for learning, so this is definitely something I am interested in. Most cds are $15-$25 dollars,and you can use them several times.What a blessing!
Posted by Christine at 4:41 PM
Passionate Housewives Book Giveaway
Ladies Against Feminism is giving away 10 autographed copies of the book, Passionate Housewives Desperate for God. I am so grateful that Stacy MacDonald and Jennie Chancey collaborated to write such an urgently needed message. In this work, they portray a type of homemaker, which Hollywood never depicts, a woman striving to please the Lord. May God bless Stacy and Jennie abundantly for their efforts to show the beauty of serving the Lord, as a homemaker. Blessings!
Posted by Christine at 4:05 PM