Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Learning To Be More Frugal

Money doesn't grow on trees does it? Some would love if it did. I know my children would.

I think on of the greatest dangers for a Christian these days is the desire to have more material possessions. An article I recently read in The Instructor stated that "covetousness and devotion to God and no more exist together than fire and water". How true it is! (see Luke 12:15)

One definition for covetousness is "a greedy desire to have more." It is not sinful to desire some material possession, but covetousness is an unlawful desire to have things for one's own self. It is a form of selfishness. It is a sin of the flesh. Covetousness is evident not just in ones improper desire to obtain more, but by the imprudent usage of that which is obtained.

A good steward will not be covetous but will be a good manager of household affairs. As a homemaker I believe this to be one of my greatest challenges. If I am to be a good stewards of what God has blessed me with then I must be frugal. What does being frugal really mean? Here is the definition below according to

1.economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful: a frugal manager.

2.entailing little expense; requiring few resources; meager; scanty: a frugal meal.

Personally I have not always tried to be a very frugal person, it is something I have to work hard to be good at. Now don't get me wrong, I have never been a big spender and I grew up learning from some very frugal parents! In fact my parents grew up in the 40's and 50's when no one really had much and frugal living was a way of life for everyone.

Now that the economy is making normal life more difficult for some of us I thought I would post a few things on being frugal. I would love if some of you can post in the comments your own frugal tips to share. I can use a lot of help in the area.

Here are some things I do to be a better steward of God's blessings:

1. When weather permits I hang towels on the close line

2. Hang up clothes to dry even if you just short their time in the dryer and hand them when damp.

3. Make your laundry soap.

4. Make your own window cleaner

These are really some very simple and basic ways to save on spending. I'm sure most of you already know these things, I am hoping to add to this list in the future with other post. I hope some of you will leave a comment about what you do to be good stewards too.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Love's Last Test

The following was written by a friend or ours, Steve Klein. I hope it touches you as it did me!

I miss my Dad. He set my young feet on a straight path. In my adult life, he was a strong fellow-worker in the Kingdom. I miss my dad even though he is still here. My dad has Alzheimer's disease. My mom cares for him; an on going struggle which both tests and strengthens her love for him day by day.
Mom shared this poem with me the other day; it was written by Dorothy Gast on honor of O.J. Gast and is entitled:

"Will you Still Love Me?"
Will you still love me if I don't know your name,
When my eyes have failed and nothing is the same?
When I don't know the date or even my age,
Or what is this book and where is the page?
Will you take time to remember and cherish our past,
And make our shared moments gold as long as they last?
Will you hold me and touch me and wrap me in care,
And whisper reminders of the history we share?
Will you hold on to me when myself fades away,
And you are a face from a dim yesterday?
When I want to go home and home is where I stand,
Will you gently remind me and hold to my hand?
When I call you Mama and forget you're my wife,
Will you tease me and kiss me and rejoice in my life?
Will you hold on to my world when I cannot see,
Will you keep a sweet thought for our used-to-be?
Will you keep our familiy together and memories bright,
Reminding our children to seek for the right?
And when I can no longer hold up my share,
Will you still take time to show me you care?
Will you hold on to my worlds for me?
Love is truely the greatest of all abiding things. It "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails" (1 Cor 13:7,8a) And love, real love, between a husband and a wife, bravely faces even its final test. As my Dad would say, "in the final analysis", love really is "as strong as death" (Song of Solomon 8:6) ---Steve Klien
Steves father died from complications of Alzheimers a few years back. Steve's mother, who introduced him to this poem, now suffers from it as well. Steve and his wife Sandi are now caring for her.
Be watching for the "Honor Your Husbands" Challenge!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Smokey Mtn. Vacation 08 Part 2

A few miles past DollyWood, on a curving back road outside of Pigeon Forge you will find Parrot Mountain. I actually missed seeing the sign to turn into it and drove on past for a mile or so. The country side was beautiful. Parrot Mountain is a tropical bird sanctuary that is open in warm weather only. The property is decorated in what I would call Mediterranian style. A kind lady took a picture of the girls and I on the entrance steps.

Emily is pretty afraid of almost all God's creatures so I wasn't able to take a lot a pictures. I had to hold her hand most of the time. She did get have the courage to feed the birds you see above. These were the only ones she fed, but I was proud of her for doing it.

There was another area where visitors could feed Lori's some sugar water. Jordan and I did this. I ended up with two on my head, one or two on each shoulder and seveal on my arm that help the sugar water. Jordan had several on her as well. I wish I could have gotten a picture. One of the Lori's bit my arm for no reason... ha!

The colorful bird you see above is a type of pheasant. I believe it was called a Golden Pheasant. It along with a peacock and two or three other species were in an area called The Secret Garden. Beautiful stone walls were around this part of the tour. This area was magical to me. You passed through a lovely wooden door into a garden foyer of sorts. Along the pathways were plaques that quoted scripture from the creation story in Genesis.

If I remember correctly this beautiful bird is a type of McCaw. There were all kinds of colorful birds like this one there. Some you could feed and some were off limites and were only for veiwing. The Parrot Mountain nursery was a place Jordan really enjoyed. She came away begging for a Pocket Parrot (Parrotett? I think the are also called)! Do a seach on them. They are really very neat little birds.

Not only were the birds wonderful to see, but the grounds were landscaped with impatients, river rock, hemlock, ferns, and other beautiful plants. The waterfall here was at the summit of the sanctuary. To the right of the waterfall a path led to a prayer garden where a stone tomb had been biult to mimic Christ's tomb.

If you are ever in the Smokey's (except for winter) be sure to visit Parrot Mountain!

Smokey Mtn. Vacation 08 Part 1

Last week our family took a vacation to the Great Smokey Mountains. We left early Sunday morning and traveled to Chatanooga to worship with the North Terrace Church of Christ for morning services. After services and a quick lunch we were on the road again. We arrived in Gatlinburg mid afternoon and went straigth to our Townhouse...of course that was right after we picked up a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts! YUM! We relaxed until time for church that night. We visited the Chapman Highway congregation Sunday night. It was the first time we had been there in several years. I am not sure what happened there, but the congregations size was much smaller than it used to be. The kids enjoyed a whilrpool bath Sunday night before bed! HA!

Monday we drove a motor trail called "Roaring Fork". I took the picture above at an overlook. I though it was awesome. We also stopped along the way to explore the "Ogle Homestead" and the surrounding nature tails. I will blog a separate post for that. I think it was my favorite part of the trip. After lunch we headed for DollyWood. Did you know that it you enter after 3:00 the next day ia FREE? That is what we did. I didn't take my cmaera so I didn't get pictures for it, but we had a lot of fun. DollyWood is very family oriented. This week was Harvest and Gospel week too. I really enjoyed watching craftman spin, weave, do tatting, carve wook, and make molasses! Jake and Jordan stunted the growth when the rode the Thunderhead roller coaster. We really enjoyed all the rides. Emily was tall enough for a few things too. She had never experienced anything quiet like that before.

It rained the whole day on Wednesday so we slept late and did a lot of relaxing. We did get out for lunch and spent some time a books store before going to church for Bible study. We actually saw a family there we know! Isn't it a small world?

Thursday the Shane and Jake left the townhouse early. They took the Jeep we rented and went to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail. The girls and I got all our things packed into the car and went shopping and to a bird sanctuary. I will blog about that separetly too.

Here is Jake hiking his way up to Charlies Bunion. Shane had to take most of the pictures so you won't see him in these. Shane did get in one picture that Jake took of him at the summit. It ended up being to dark to post. Below is Jake a the top of Charlies Bunion. Shane said the view was amazing! At the summit there was a rocky area, where Shane and Jake ate their lunch. Jake was pretty scared because of the shear drop down the side of the mountain there!
The leaves were just beginning to turn while we were there. This is one of the pictures from the top of Charlies Bunion. You can imagine how breathtaking it would have been to be up that high and see such a beautiful landscape.
They really did enjoy the hike. Our family loves to get out into nature and enjoy God's country side. Shane and Jake are hoping someday to hike all of the Appalachian Trial from Georgia to Maine!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

1 Corinthians for Mothers

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,but have not love,I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,but have not love,my children learn cleanliness, ­not godliness.

If I scream at my children for every infraction,and fault them for every mess they make,but have not love,my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.

Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present "mommy,"the taxi-driver to every childhood event,the counselor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.Now I glory in God's perfection of my child.

All the projections I had for my house and my childrenhave faded away into insignificance,And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,dishes with missing place settings,and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,But the greatest of all is the Love that permeates my relationships with my children.

-Adapted by Jim Fowler

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Curriculum for 2008-2009

I thought I'd share what were studying this year with everyone... so here it is.....

A Beka Math K for Emily

A Beka Math 4 for Jordan

A Beka Math 5 for Jake

A Reason for Handwriting Cursive (E) for Jake and Jordan Manuscript (A) for Emily

Apologia Science- Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day (we do this together as a read aloud, all experiments are done together as well)

History- American- A Beka. We are also doing a lot of notebooking with this. Anytime Emily can participate she does. Jake and Jordan will be memorizing: The America's Creed, The first portion of The Declaration of Independance and some other documents as well.

Reading- (Jake and Jordan) We have no particulular curriculum...just lots and lots of reading. Among the books on the list this year are Little Women, Captians Courageous, Story of My Life by Helen Keller, The Hobbit by Tolkein, The Story of King Authur and His Knights, Swiss Family Robinson, Trial and Triumph by Richard Hannula, Florence Nightingale by Ruth Hume, Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Reading (for Emily)- anything she wants to read basically. Our main focus with her is teaching her to read and reading a loud with her as often as we can. We are using Phonics Pathways and we absolutely LOVE IT!

Grammar: Gworing with Grammer for Jake and Jordan; Language and Thinking for Young Children (for Emily)

Writing Strands for Jake and Jordan and the LOVE IT! They ask to do it! Its really a wonderful program in my opinion.

Commnication and Interpersonal Relationships (same publisher as writing strands)- has some great lessons on improving your communication skills.

Abeka Health 4 and 5 for Jake and Jordan

Art--A Beka Art 5 for Jake and Jordan. They love it! Also we are doing Drawing with Children as a family.

Bible- So far I have been doing some character lessons I got the ideas from In a couple of weeks we'll start a 5 year Chronilogical Study of the Bible we downloaded from the Embry Hills website. Emily will sit with Jake and Jordan for some of these lessons but she has her own Bible too. Right now for Emily we are doing Rod and Staffs "Bible Stories" to read and color. They are short lessons that explain things just right for her.

I would like to highly recommend for anyone just teaching their children to read. We love Star Fall. All of my children have learned a lot of their phonics from the site. There are print offs available as well. Star Fall is something Emily does everyday as a part of her school work!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

RYC 2008!!

Russellville Alabama is home to Rustic Youth Camp (RYC).
Below is a picture of the group of kids I spent the week with. Of course my children were in that group as well, minus Emily. Emily went to "granny-maw camp". The kids had a great time. I had been sick and some other things were on my mind that week that kept me from being myself. When I look back at the week I wish I had laid those mental burdens aside and enjoyed the week more.

Here is a picture from the first day. Jordan and a couple of the children from the 3rd and 4th grade class found a beetle they were very interested in. The area around RYC Camp is home to a lot of animal and insect life. I promise those are NOT shorts Jordan is wearing. They ar culottes. She just wasn't being very good about keeping modest in the picture. I didn't notice until later how much of her leg was showing in this picture!

Here Jordan is holding on of many lizards found during our week at camp. This wasn't the prettiest one, but its the one I got a picture of! My Jordan is some what of a "tom boy". I am working very hard to may her more "girly". I am glad she enjoy's God's creatures as much as she does though.
Here the children were playing a game where they had to take cards with books of the Bible on them and put them in order faster. It was boys against girls.... I think the girls won, but I don't remember for sure.

This picture was taken of the children playing a water ballon game. Notice the beautiful backdrop.

To me this was on of the funniest things all week. The man in the picture was turning a year older this day. His grandson was there staying in the bunkhouse. The boys in the bunkhouse all cut off some of their hair (this is what I heard anyway) and glued it together to make side burns and hair for the man's "birthday gift". It was quiet funny!

Ahh... my sweet little Jake is playing in the infamous goldfish pond. There were no fish in the pond, instead it was home to many, many tadpoles. All the kids would save their cups at snack and catch tadpoles in them. It was a hot spot for most of the week. The camp owner came back and just smiled saying "at least they were having fun".

The last night, Friday night, all age groups compete in differnt relay games. After the games the parents and children enjoy a meal before the children perform the skits they have practiced all week. Here is Jake passing of a baggy of water to the next child in line.

Here is Jordan holding up her culottes getting ready for her turn at using her toes to pick marbles out of a 10 gallon bucket filled with ice water. HE HE!!

This group was not our group. It is the kindergardent group. I just couldn't resist getting a picture if their version of the Muffin Man! SO CUTE!

RYC camp is not only a lot of fun and games for kids, but it's a great opportunity for them (and adults) to gain new Christian friends and deepen the bond with old ones. My children and I are always encouraged to know that there really are other Christians striving for "the mark". Each morning the whole camp met for singing, devotionals and the Pleadge of Alligence. Each meal and snack was preceded by prayer. Every class had Bible study once or twice a day. The Bible and God's word was the center focus of each day. The "fun" was just an added bonus. I just hope that someday my hubby will get to enjoy the experience with us.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Psalm 90:2

Before the mountains were brought forth,

Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,

Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.


We had a gospel meeting this week and on one of the nights, the preacher, R.J. Stevens, preached about the wonders of the Bible. In his message he quoted the verse above. For me the lesson was very encouraging. This verse is one of my favorites. It is very comforting and reassuring. It tells me that no matter what has happened here on earth, no matter what MAY happen in the future GOD IS THERE! He is there and he is unchanging. The preacher also quoted another verse this week that I had not thought about in a long time. 1John 4:4


Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.


As long as "HE" is in me I truly "can do all things!" (Phil. 4:13) He that is in me is stronger than Satan! So when life gets hard and things seem to be falling apart remember IF the "HE" is in you, you CAN NOT loose!


Here is the link for that sermon! The Wonders of the Bible