Monday, June 28, 2010

Completing Him Challenge: Week Three

Time for Week Three of the Completing Him Challenge - to join in, go over to Women Living Well.  Over and over again in our lives we have seen the power of prayer.

Recently our daughter was in the hospital for a concussion, experiencing some of the more dangerous symptoms. We asked our family and our entire church to pray and had their affirmation several times that they were still praying... When she was moved to a children's hospital for more intensive testing, after about an hour there she sat up and started laughing, talking, eating, and just became herself again (this was after two days of unresponsive behavior). I have no answer for that but that God answers prayers.

 Challenge: Print this list out and pray through this list daily. Also, do not forget to ask your husband each morning for any specific prayer requests he has for the day.

Prayer changes things - do you believe that? Then let's get started! Here's a list of items you can begin to pray through for your husband (taken from "The Power of a Praying Wife" by Stormie Omartian):

1. His Wife -that's a good place to start right? lol!

2. His Work

3. His Finances

4. His Sexuality

5. His Affections

6. His Temptations

7. His Mind

8. His Fears

9. His Purpose

10. His Choices

11. His Health

12. His Protection

13. His Trials

14. His Integrity

15. His Reputation

16. His Priorities

17. His Relationships

18. His Fatherhood

19. His Past

20. His Attitude

21. His Marriage

22. His Emotions

23. His Walk

24. His Talk

25. His Repentance

26. His Deliverance

27. His Obedience

28. His Self-Image

29. His Faith

30. His Future

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why We Homeschool

 For starters, we're already one of THOSE families... we homeschool, we make our kids say "Yes, Sir/Ma'am," we use cloth diapers, we garden, we don't wear swim suits (or other immodest clothing), we eat mostly homemade meals, our children are breastfed for the first year of life, we teach our children the "old-school" values of discipline and responsibility, we take on the roles of "bread-winner" and "homemaker" ...  and we just plain enjoy it.

Our entry into this way of life started when we were saved by Christ and hopped onto the straight and narrow path to His Kingdom. So I would say that to understand any of this, you have to know that we believe in God, the Trinity, the death of Christ for our sins, the ressurection, salvation through faith alone and that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (and still relevant today).

God's Word tells us that we're not to be of this world (1John2:15-16, 1John5:19) but should stand alone (be a shining light) in our faith. So throw away all preconceptions that you have about any of the things that we do, because those views that you have accumulated are most likely from this world and not from God. Now take a dip into the way God views them.

God has very strong views on children...

  • Children are given to us as a gift to watch over
    Psalm 127:3-5 - Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gates.
  • But they're STILL God's - we are MERELY stewards
    Ezekiel 16:20-21 You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols ...
  • Fathers (as the head of the family) are told to ensure the Christ-like rearing of their children
    Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
  • Teaching your children "when you're able" isn't good enough - you're meant to be with them all day
    Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
  • How can we raise our children in God if we're throwing them in the Lion's Den?
    Jeremiah 10:2a Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen.
    Proverbs 13:20
    He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
    I Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived; bad company corrupts good morals
    James 3:15-17 5This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
  • For bringing harm to children (perhaps for throwing them in that Den):
    Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
  • And the rewards for obeying God in how we raise our children:
    II Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
    Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
So... if you are a Christian and you believe that the Word of God is completely inspired by Him... how can you scoff at the way God has told us to raise our children? I think at this point I would point back to the verses on living in the world but not of the world.

I know that everyone is not going to agree with me (or God) because "the bible was written a very long time ago for the people of THAT time", "It's just not for US!", "What about SOCIALIZING them???", "There are private schools that teach about God...", and "What would we do without two incomes?!?" If you think any of these things... then you're in the same boat as most of the world. As homeschoolers, we're the fringe society. And we're okay with that.

So let's go the scientific route. I don't think I have the words to express this correctly, so I'll turn it over to the pros.

Public schools were widely established in the U.S. around 1890. Compulsory education was not mandated until the late 1960's. And this is by state - it is not a federal law. (What on EARTH did people do before then?) If you subscribe to Creationism (as opposed to some theory) as we do, then you believe that the world was created around 6000 B.C. So that's 7,960 years of homeschooling. I'm gonna call that a 159/1 win. Boy, don't you feel like the minority now.

"But people were just idiot, savage cavemen!"

Au contraire.

"A considerable number of well-known Americans never went through the twelve-year wringer our kids currently go through, and they turned out all right. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln? Someone taught them, to be sure, but they were not products of a school system, and not one of them was ever "graduated" from a secondary school. Throughout most of American history, kids generally didn't go to high school, yet the unschooled rose to be admirals, like Farragut; inventors, like Edison; captains of industry like Carnegie and Rockefeller; writers, like Melville and Twain and Conrad; and even scholars, like Margaret Mead. In fact, until pretty recently people who reached the age of thirteen weren't looked upon as children at all. Ariel Durant, who co-wrote an enormous, and very good, multi-volume history of the world with her husband, Will, was happily married at fifteen, and who could reasonably claim that Ariel Durant was an uneducated person? Unschooled, perhaps, but not uneducated." -- John Taylor Gatto

Some of the greatest minds in our history were not sent to a state-provided school and yet we're having a hard time producing minds like them now. *Well, if all of your friends play video games, I guess it's okay if you do too...* If you start by handing the education of your child over to someone else, soon you're giving over the rearing too.

I believe that we've started to confuse state-provided education with a means to success, knowledge, and common sense. 

If graduating from public school is a means of achieving success, why are 61% of high school graduates entering college with only a 27% graduation rate? Because public schools are preparing the students for standardized tests, not for independent thinking (i.e., college). 

According to the National Center for Home Education nearly 80% of homeschooled children achieved individual scores above the national average and 54.7% of the 16,000 homeschoolers achieved individual scores in the top quarter of the population, more than double the number of conventional school students who score in the top quarter.So it's possible to teach children a wide spectrum of information without catering to tests and to still achieve the goal of education. Who knew...

If the scientific information doesn't wow you over, put your mom hat on.

Do you remember that first day you took your child to daycare or preschool? I do... I took my daughter to daycare and it was just... wrong. My mom instinct was screaming at me that I was doing something against nature and I ignored it. My defenseless little infant was being put into the arms of someone I barely knew or trusted and it. felt. wrong. But I did it anyway, because "that's what everyone else did". I also fed my daughter formula for that same reason. And started her on cereal too early. And let her cry when she only needed some mommy comfort. Somewhere in me, I was screaming to stop the insanity. THAT is the mothering instinct that God equipped us with... and it's why, when we have a newborn, we wake up at night to make sure they're still breathing. Or when the kids get quiet, we run in to check on them. But how are any of these physical dangers different from the danger posed to their mind and spirits?

Why are parents all over the U.S. sending their children into an environment of drugs, violence, bullying, secularism, lazy teaching, sex education, calculator math,  and someone else's values (and the belief that they should teach them to your children). Because the norm now is to be of the world. Everyone else sends their children to a school of the world... why not me too? It DOESN'T MATTER what is "socially acceptable" - we're told to be Christ-like in ALL things, not those that we pick and choose.

So we homeschool our children. I have quiet, one-on-one sessions and they actually learn. I know that they learn something because I'm right there next to them. If they don't learn it, we have all of the time in the world to go over it again. My kids don't compete for attention or get looked over in a crowd of 24. Our day starts off with the Pledge of Allegiance and our first class is Bible Study. We say prayers of thanks for valuable lessons and we take breaks if they need one.

I wasn't educated as a teacher. I'm just a parent. And a Christian. If God told me to do it, then He must have known that all parents could handle it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rayovac Twitter Event

The Rayovac Powers Your Summer also has an upcoming Twitter event on June 30, 2010

The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Twitter Event won a prize package from Rayovac.

Rayovac Giveaway

The Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion is going on right now!

The first 99 bloggers to promote the Rayovac Powers Your Summer Promotion won a prize package from Rayovac.

Go here to win more great prizes!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Completing Him Challenge: Week Two

This week's challenge is simply to Remember. Remember the day you entered your sacred vows. If you are a blogger, please post pictures from that day and share your story. 

DH and I were married on July 12, 2004 in Abilene, TX. We were in love and ready to start a family... so much in fact that it was started two months after we were engaged. (I didn't say smart)

We both had already experienced large family weddings and mostly didn't think our families would support us in having another (and were a little afraid that they wouldn't come) so we had a justice of the peace ceremony with only two friends present. Like I said, not smart. Looking back now, I'm sure they would have been more than happy to help us celebrate our new marriage, regardless of the surrounding circumstances. That's just what families do...

Evie was three months in the making and we were three months away from moving to Japan so we were excited, anxious, a little scared but moreover... HAPPY. 

While this was our marriage day, I also consider another day a day of new beginnings for us... the day we were both saved. When we were in Japan, dh deployed for six months (Evie was one month old) and we received our first trial. It was NOT easy for either of us and I heartily commend those couples that are still in the service. 

I had continued attending a church that we had visited before dh left and when he returned the pastor came to our house to speak to us. Right in our living room, both dh and I got on our knees and accepted the Lord into our hearts. 

And that was when we REALLY started growing together and loving each other the way God meant us to. = )

Menu Plan Monday

Menu plan Monday again! My sister Allison is visiting and dh is on a trip to TN so I let Allison pick out the food for this week... thankfully, it's all stuff I like! = )

Go  check out for more great menus!

Monday - pizza hoagies

Tuesday - lasagna, salad, garlic bread

Wednesday - waffles

Thursday - ORDER CHINESE! = )

Friday - wings, twice baked potatoes, salad

Saturday - bbq ribs, potato salad, corn on the cob

Sunday - leftovers

Monday - hamburgers, fries

Tuesday - quesadillas, spanish rice

Wednesday - breakfast burritos

Thursday - tacos

Friday - chili cheese dogs

Saturday - bbq chicken, steamed rice, green beans

Sunday - leftovers

Monday, June 14, 2010

Completing Him Challenge: Week One

It's Week #1 of the Completing Him Challenge. Post Pictures from your dating days (or tell us all about it!). Think about one thing you used to do or have as a couple that you have lost in the shuffle of life. How can you regain it?

My husband and I had several opportunities to meet before we actually did...we were both assigned to the same squadron but different offices at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, TX. We had ALL of the same friends but NOT ONCE did they invite us to any of the same events. And we were both married. If we had met then, we would have viewed each other differently and never would have worked out. (this is also before either of us were saved)

Both of our marriages failed for all of the reasons that unsaved people divorce for... and then I was loaned out to his office to deploy with them to Kyrgyzstan for four months.

We worked in the same tent there (thank goodness he wasn't my boss!) and became friends... watching movies together and constantly making each other laugh. Somewhere in there it developed into something more and we were sitting by each other on the plane ride home.

Once we were home we had a whole slew of problems but eventually worked through them... and then we were finally spending time with our friends together. We dated for four more months before he proposed to me on Valentine's Day.

It wasn't until we married and were PCSd to Japan that we were saved ... which leads me to believe that, while God does not approve of divorce, we were precisely where He wanted us.

One thing we used to do that somehow disappeared after we started our family is our date night - we were always going to the movies together. It's understandable that it's gone - being in the Air Force, we didn't often stay somewhere long enough to have babysitters on speed dial. Now that we're both civilians, albeit frugal ones, this is definitely a tradition that should be reinstated.

This next week I also plan on being the carefree woman that laughed at every joke and told plenty of her own that my husband fell in love with... humor brought us together and it's just what we need to put that sparkle back in my honey's eyes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Moist Sweet Cornbread

My husband loves soft, moist cornbread and I love slightly sweet cornbread... took forever, but I finally found this fantastic recipe right on a bag of cornmeal and it's been our staple for over a year now.


1 1/2 c cornmeal
2 1/2 c milk
2 c flour
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Whisk cornmeal and milk together - let sit for 10 whole minutes.
  3. Add in remaining ingredients. 
  4. Bake 30-35 min (knife test) in 9x13 prepared pan.
  5. Cut open and butter up!

These rise a good deal so be prepared for some rather large pieces (just cut smaller, they'll last longer!)

Completing Him Challenge

I'm joining the Completing Him summer challenge over at Women Living Well.

Marriages need revivals just like churches do! It's so easy to get complacent and forget the first fruits of marriage and this is just what I need to help me remember them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

My sister is coming to spend some time with us this summer so I'm trying to plan with another mouth to feed in mind... I'm used to my stepson visiting for the summer so that really isn't that hard to do. Definitely enjoying summer cooking and can't wait to throw in more bbq days!

Monday - blt and chips

Tuesday - mini meatloaves, steamed rice and vegetables

Wednesday - Church's Peru Mission Trip Fundraiser Meal

Thursday - homemade pizza - one with mozzarella cheese, fiesta cheese and tomatoes / the other with mozz and pepperoni

Friday - taco night

Saturday - crockpot chili (recipe follows) and cornbread

Sunday - leftovers

Monday - wings, baked potatoes and salad

Tuesday - chicken wraps and pasta salad

 Wednesday - fluffiest pancakes in the world!

Thursday - chili cheese dogs

Friday - ratatouille (combining this recipe and this one - I'll let you know how it goes) and cheese rolls

Saturday - bbq chicken, steamed rice and vegetables

Sunday - leftovers


1.5lb ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can tomato sauce
1 packet McCormick chili seasoning
1/2 onion, chopped
1. Brown ground beef on stove. Drain and put in crockpot.
2. Put all other ingredients in crockpot. Bring to desired consistency.
3. Voila! Keeps the kids happy!
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