Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Refreshment Stand

Came home after morning Bible Study to find my middle son had created a lemonade stand in our front foyer. The foyer is really just a patch of tiles about 4' by 6', but he had set up his place of business at one end to create a small "refreshment stand" on the tiles. The sign read simply:
Freezies 10cents
Peanut butter bread 75 cents
Iced Tea 25 cents
Well, when the entrepreneurial eldest son arrived on the scene, he immediately developed the business plan and "helped" get things "going". Within minutes a big sign was taped to our garbage can and sitting in the middle of the driveway - but now the "Refreshment stand" had a tag line - "all profits going to Neighbourhood Outreach" ( a local shelter for homeless folks).

I was enjoying them working together, and figured it all rather simple, yet delightful.

Then we got the idea of making cookies, to expand the menu, as well as a Sucker Tree and a Candy Tree. Less than an hour later, the "Refreshment Stand" had doubled its menu, and "improved" its decor to include a stool for customers to rest on, as well as some penguin napkins to spruce things up.

Now the advertising had to improve too. "Mom, what do we do to get people to stop?"

We found some old signs in our excess storage and posted them out on the major streets nearby. Then we came home and prepared for the onslaught of customers after school. (The signs were strategically posted near the local school around the corner - in time for dismissal).

At this point, I was hesitantly hopeful for a customer, but realistic that we may not see a soul. At the same time, I wanted to foster the hard work, charity, and entrepreneurship I was witnessing in my wee ones. Therefore, I thought we'd best get pretty distracted, so that waiting for a patron wouldn't result in my going batty... repeatedly saying, "Maybe the next car will stop in."

Long story short, no one stopped, and though the boys were disappointed, I was thankful for the experience. It was neat to see them work together like that. It was neat to see them think of passing the profits on to others in need. And it was neat to see them set it all up.

Hopefully next time we'll have some coin to show for their efforts, but in the meantime, the lessons were great... all in a day of school at home!

Saturday, November 07, 2009


I was reading Lamentations this morning. Feeling a little lost in understanding what Jeremiah is saying through the poetry, I thought I'd spend a few minutes gathering information this afternoon. Came upon the following quote from J.Vernon McGee and it made me smile, as I imagined his nasal voice crackling over the radio and delivering the following:
The book is filled with tears and sorrow. It is a paean of pain, a
poem of pity, a proverb of pathos, a hymn of heartbreak, a psalm of
sadness, a symphony of sorrow, a story of sifting, a tale of tears, a
dirge of desolation, a tragedy of travail, an account of agony, and a
book of “boo-hoo.” It is the wailing wall of the Bible.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Be a Woman of the Text

Ever have a hard time getting up early to spend in God's word?
Here's a good kick in the pants.... enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Don't Change Course!

Recently, I've been working my way through Teri Maxwell's "Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit". Her third chapter deals with fears and worries that can discourage us and prevent us from living with a meek and quiet spirit. She discusses how God will use difficulties in what we are doing to refine and grow us - particularly when we are being careful to walk in God's way and the Enemy is working to dissuade us. She writes about the particular challenge of deciding to homeschool and the fears that bombard us about that choice.
Keep in mind that the Lord usses difficulties in what we are doing to refine and grow us. Seldom are those struggles a signal to undo what He has called us to do! THe problems should be pulling us to a greater level of seeking the Lord and depending on him. They should not be causing us to consider returning to where we were before He directed us to homeschool. Mentally recall some of the best-known Bible stories. In many of them, a godly man is given a specific task from the Lord. This person soon faces difficulties. Are these obstacles circumstances from the Lord to change His follower's direction? We know, without a doubt, that they are not.Yet, in our lives, we will question our homeschooling "call" when we face trials...... May we never choose to turn back from the path the Lord has set us upon simply because it isn't easy.
This morning in bible study, we were looking at Ezra 4, and the discouragement the people faced in building both the temple and the city walls. In their case, the discouragement kept them from completing the task at hand in a timely manner.
What a good reminder to "stick to it"... when we pray for the Lord's guidance and we struggle to keep faith in our ever-faithful, ever-true, and ever-loving heavenly Father... who is working all things out according to His plan and for our good (Rom.8:28).
Blessings, my fellow pilgrim!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

May Jesus Be At Our School

I came upon this Invitation... a lovely poem and song to invite Jesus into our school. Thought you might enjoy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Sunday Song

Many a church probably sang the Doxology today, but none like this. It's a little "Gaither-like" for my tastes, and yet, you can't help praise the Lord as the song exhorts by the final key-change and Amen. Enjoy!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

When Something You Love Disappears

Growing up, I was a barefoot girl. Would walk around the yard barefoot. Nice soft feet in April. Tough by June. Able to run on gravel by August.

Naturally, I would walk barefoot inside the home too. Unless, of course, it was cold enough to require socks.

Moving to Northern Alberta, Canada for post-secondary education necessitated the re-education of "minimal sock wearing" to include such words as angora, merino wool, and the like.

I still enjoyed walking barefoot or socked inside over the years that followed University - spurning my mother's constant slipper-wearing. Clip, clip, clip. They seemed so noisy. And she even took them on holidays with her - wearing them in hotels, at Auntie Irene's home, or in a camp cabin.

Six years ago we moved to an acreage that had ceramic tiles over much of the main floor and my feet began to ache when I would spend large amounts of time in the kitchen. I discovered slippers reduced the pain and began to search out good, comfortable slippers.

After looking through a few stores, found a pair at Wal-Mart of all places, and they cost just $12 to boot (no pun intended). I noticed after Christmas these same slippers had gone on sale, so I stocked up a little.

And then, last year, they changed the design of those slippers, so that now they flipped and flopped, rather than slipped and walked.

Out I was, looking from store to store, searching for the perfect slippers.

Last trip to Costco, I found some again!!! NukNuuks they are called. They come in pink and grey. I opted for the grey - more practical with all the goop I spill on them.

Well, they have gone missing!! I have searched high and low. Who knows where my beloved NukNuuks have disappeared, but I know we'll be making a trip to Costco soon to get another pair. In the meantime, I have been complaining... the floor is too hard. My feet are cold. Where are my NukNuuks????

How is it that something so insignificant can mean so much?? Oh... sin, I guess. Discontent. Here the good Lord was allowing me to experience a loss - though small, and I have been complaining. The words of Paul ring in my mind, "for I have learned to be content" (Phil.4:11). Maybe that's why my slippers went for a walk.

As I tread today Lord, may I rejoice in the discomforts, knowing that they teach me about You, and allow me to learn a little along my walk.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Got an hour?

For the past 2 months, sleep has been evading me thanks to my dear children. Tonight, everyone is sleeping, and yet, by the mercy of God, I have been awakened by the storm outside... even had to go outside and secure our gate in my bathrobe :)

The blessing of this sleepless night is that I was able to listen to a wonderful sermon pointing to Christ through Numbers 1-10. If you have an hour in the next week... or a sleepless night... or a trip somewhere... consider listening to Michael Lawrence preach at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. A helpful history lesson on the organization of Israel to prepare the picture of God living in His dwelling-place among men... and a helpful reminder of the sacrifice we need to believe in, in Jesus Christ - the perfect blood sacrifice for our sin.


Thursday, August 20, 2009


Being the new pastor's wife has its perks... 2 families have invited me over to pick raspberries in their gardens. It has been delightful and the fruits of our labors have included a few tortes, breakfast treats, etc.

I will try making jam tonight... have never made raspberry jam before, so this will be an adventure. Hopefully it will be worth the work. Will let you know.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To Be Like Jesus

Sovereign Grace Music has released their second children's album, To Be Like Jesus, and I'd like to give my official two-thumbs up. The album offers a nice variety of styles of music, with a focus on the fruit of the Spirit.

My children have been struggling, particularly lately, with experiencing God's peace in the midst of our upturned life due to our move. The album addresses that.

The boys have been fighting and short-tempered with one another... the album addresses that.

Mommy has been struggling at displaying self-control and patience, as she's been working through boxes, on minimal sleep (while baby adjusts to the new home and life), and amidst the dryness of soul that comes when dear brothers and sisters are removed from one's life... the album points to Christ for help with such battles.

There are a few tunes that are a touch "rocky" for me... especially early in the morning, but overall, this is a great album... which explains why it's been in our CD player for almost 3 weeks straight.

Definitely different than Awesome God, but a favorite nonetheless!!

Move is Done

We have officially moved... to a small town... and a darling home... and a new family of believers...

Just have 15 more boxes or so, and we'll be ready to make a final trip to the recycling depot to dispose of cardboard.

Plans can now begin for beginning a more regular life, but then, what is regular?

For tonight, regular means going to bed early, as baby was up a lot last night, and I want to avoid those nasty canker sores I get when I'm short on zzzzzzs.

Blessings, my friends.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Great Clips

We went to Great Clips after dinner to get the manes under control. Big boy was having a difficult time giving up the mullet that he's been grooming on the sly. After deciding to "delay" the longer hair until hockey season, he got a nice, respectable crew cut, complete with gel to push up the bangs. As for the longer hair - I'm hoping it will be too hot under the hockey helmet and will not turn into a mullet again. (Is mommy being too manipulative :)

Son #2 got a buzz cut. "Buzz cut.... that sounds like a cool hair cut," was older brother's comment.
Then tonight as the buzzed one was getting into bed, he said, "my head doesn't even feel like it's on with all my hair missing."

What fun is to be had with just a simple visit to the hairdressers!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Speedy Pizza

When you're strapped for time, but the kiddos would love pizza and you don't feel like heading out for take-out, consider making this recipe for speedy pizza. The crust is somewhat reminiscent of those old Kraft boxes of pizza mix... but I find, this is a nice, quick recipe with standard ingredients that can put pizza on the table in around 1/2 hour....

Speedy Pizza
Preheat oven to 450
2 c. flour
2 tsp.baking powder
1 tsp.salt
2/3 c.milk
1/4 c. oil
Mix into a dough using your paddle attachment (if you have a KitchenAid mixer)
Form into 2 pizzas.
Top with sauce, cheese, meat, etc.
Bake 15-20 minutes

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Set Your Minds on Things Above

In Col. 3, Paul teaches us to "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things", that "If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God....For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."

As I've been packing up to move, this has been a real battle for me. I have been enjoying listening to my ipod - sermons worth mentioning like What to Do If You Don’t Love God from Capitol Hill Baptist Church)... and in the midst of that dealing with what earthly things to keep, and which to get rid of.

There is so much in my home that is precious for the moment (kid's artwork, cards from hubby, personal journals, sewing machine, dining room set, toys, kitchen tools, etc.etc.etc) and yet there is a point where it becomes too much to keep. How do you determine that point? Do you have a strategy? I am finding that I am throughout the day, pleading with God for wisdom. The conversations run something like this: "Should I keep this glitter glue... We could use it for a homeschool activity in the fall... I don't really have the space for it... Father, HELP!!"

"How about the teacups from Gramma Shirley? They'd make such a special tea time with the elderly ladies of the new church, when they come over to visit.... but I have the set from Oma Weinert, the set from my mom, and the set of cups that came with my everyday dishes.... What do I do, Lord?"

It seems crazy, I'm sure, but I feel like the battle for our home and for materialism is waging an ugly head - worse than I've ever encountered in a mall (which is surprising me). And I'm not sure if it's because I have people and memories linked to a lot of my stuff, since they were gifts. At which point do you give away a gift and feel like you're not becoming a traitor.

Well, I've got to leave it there. I'm limiting myself to 15 minutes per blog post. Love to hear your wisdom on this topic. In the meantime, I will keep trying to think of heaven, and hopefully I'll realize that even the most precious things here, can be let go, "in the light of His glory and grace".

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Layin' Around

I was sorting through my digital photos when I came upon this one. Clearly, taken when daddy was watching Johnny P. Guess the little ones will watch whatever we feed 'em...

Coffee Cup Verse Revisited

It's time to dust off the Fighter Verse booklet and get back to memorizing scripture with the kids... so I'll be posting the verse we will be working on each week, and if you'd like to join us, print it off, tape it to your coffee pot, and hide God's Word in your heart. We'll have fun together... and we pray that in the process, the Spirit will speak to us through God's Word.

While you're at it, pour yourself a cup of coffee, in a nice pink mug, if you've got one :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Breakfast For Tomorrow

Carolyn Mahaney of Girltalk inspired me to try a "make-ahead" recipe for breakfast tomorrow. Since I have day-old french bread and Granny Smith apples, we'll see how it goes. It should mean I could sleep in a little, which would be a treat if baby wakes again this night with teething pain, as of late. It should also mean a special breakfast for the boys. We'll let you know how it goes.

Do you have any "make-ahead" breakfast recipes?

Over at Holy Experience, I came across an interesting idea for family devotions. Since we are planning to move in the next month, I think I'll have to put the idea on the back burner for now. But I am definintely intrigued to try journalling as a family in the fall, possibly.

I've never really journalled, other than a diary I kept during my single years of university. Donald Whitney encourages journalling. Not sure if that will help convince hubby to try :)

Let me know if you've ever attempted such a venture - either alone or as a family. I'd love to hear your experiences.... particularly those that have become holy experiences.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Be Like Jesus

There's a new children's album out by Sovereign Grace Music... and if it's anything like their previous album, Awesome God, it's sure to be a great way to teach, praise, and raise our children. It's called To Be Like Jesus and samples can be heard here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Eco-Friendly Laundry Equipment

Over a year ago, after much saving up, we purchased a terrific washer and dryer set from Miele. I had been using a set for the previous 14 years which I had inherited from my Oma, that I thought was getting my clothes clean, but have since discovered, was probably just getting them wet.

This new set is touted as being the latest in energy-efficiency and clean-technology. In my experience with cloth diapers, grass stains, and blueberry jam on Sunday-suit jackets, it has proven to be quite effective in tackling even the toughest stains with minimal effort.

About a month ago, however, my dryer passed out for the second time. The high tech heat sensor was shutting down the heat in the unit. The technicians came out twice and confirmed it was the ducting we were sold by the appliance company. "Simply not appropriate for such a powerful machine."

Today I was doing laundry, while waiting for the repair man to arrive, and was once again drying the clothes outside. I have come to love the fresh smell of laundry from the outdoors, and have developed a "smooth" system to deal with it over the past 2 months. This afternoon, while I was hanging up the clothes in the beautiful sunshine, I paused to be thankful for my drying rack.

When I was shopping for a drying rack around 4 years ago, (my old wooden rack from Wal-Mart had disintigrated due to poor materials and poor manufacturing), I was determined to find something a little "sturdier", larger, and more attractive. After scouring Zellers, Sears, and 3 or 4 other stores, with nothing better to offer than the Wal-Mart unit, I grew discouraged and faint in hope of finding what I was looking for. At that point, I came upon a nice rack one day, while grocery shopping at Superstore. Expandable. Collapsible. Attractive. Only $24.99. It seemed a good fit for my requirements. I took it home, but was a little learie whether it would last since it was from Superstore.

Today, I was reflecting on that hunt and subsequent purchase, so glad that God provided such equipment for me. And that I might use His fresh air to dry the clothing He has granted us to cover our nakedness. What a terrific piece of eco-friendly laundry equipment!

Reviving the Keyboard

It's been quite a while since I sat down to type a post, but lately I've been thinking about ways to stay connected with friends after we move. (Post on this to come later this week). As a result, it is my goal to post on this blog, and allow dialogue to continue via blogger. I hope you'll keep commenting and that we will be able to grow in this way.